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24. “The guilty worshipper is in a grove (lucis, v. 27) during a thunderstorm ; the lightning strikes not him but one of the sacred trees, and he congratulates himself on his escape-without reason, as PERSIUS tells him. The circumstances are precisely those used by LUCRETIUS to enforce his skeptical argument, 6, 390 and 416' (Conington).
25. sulpure sacro: 'lightning.' Comp. the Greek gelov, once innocently derived from the Adjective Seios.-tuque domusque: Comp. Juv., 13, 206: cum prole domoque. The editors cite the Oracle in HEROD., 6, 86, 3: πάσαν | συμμάρψας ολέσει γενεών και οίκον άπαντα.
26. fibris: the extremities of the liver, đóßoi.—Ergenna: an Etruscan name. The Etruscans were great bowel-searchers (haruspices) and lightning-doctors.
27. lucis : local Abl. and poetic Plural.-bidental: According to a law of Numa, whosoever was struck dead by lightning was buried where he fell, and the spot was inclosed. The place was called puteal, from the resemblance of the inclosure to a well-curb, or bidental, because of the oves bidentes (sheep with upper and lower teeth, hence ‘full grown ') sacrificed in the consecration of the spot, which was invested with a holy horror (triste), and might not even be looked at (evitandum). Here bidental is transferred from the place to the person: a trophy of vengeance' (Conington), 'a monument of wrath' (Gifford). Triste bidental, Hor.,
471. 28. idcirco: Emphatic resumption.-vellere=rellendam. G., 424, R. 4; A., 57, 8, f. On the phrase vellere barbam, comp. 1, 133. Jupiter was always represented as bearded, yeveihins, LUCIAN, Sacrif., 11. 'Jove, will nothing wake thee? | Must vile Sejanus pull thee by the beard | ere thou wilt open thy black-lidded eyes and look him dead ?' BEN JONSON, Sejan., 4, 5.
29. aut: Another (negatived) case. See G., 460, R.; A., 71, 2. -quidnam est, qua mercede=quanam mercede; unusual. Not dissimilar, CAES., B. G., 5, 31: Omnia excogitantur quare nec sine periculo maneatur et languore militum et vigiliis periculum augeatur.
30. emeris: Jahn compares praebere and dare aurem, to which Conington adds commodare, HoR., Ep., 1, 1, 40.-pulmone: for
the larger, lactibus for the smaller intestines (yalartides). "The details are mentioned contemptuously' (Conington). Comp. Juv., 6, 540; 10, 354; 13, 115.
31-40. Thus far we have had wicked prayers; now we have specimens of silly prayers, of old wives' wishes.
31. Ecce: transitioni servit (Casaubon). See 1, 30. The showman puts in a new slide, and says . Look here.'—avia aut matertera: The doting fondness of grandmothers, aunts, and nurses is proverbial. Their affection is not tempered by responsibility; hence their indiscretion. Matertera is the mother's sister, as amita (whence aunt') the father's; but, significantly enough, there is not the same moral distinction as between patruus and avunculus (whence 'uncle').—metuens divum: deloidaiuwv. G., 374, R. 1; A., 50, 3, 6.-cunis : Dat. is more picturesque than Abl.
32. exemit: The Perf. brings the scene before us, and makes it particular instead of gencric.-uda: slobbering.'
33. infami digito: The middle finger (Juv., 10, 53) being used in mocking and indecent gesture, was considered on that very account to have more power against fascination. The notion still survives, and is embodied in coral “amulets' or 'charms' (breloques) manufactured at Genoa.-lustralibus: The lustral day for a girl was the eighth, for a boy the ninth. Such a day would be the day for vows and prayers. On the corresponding Gr. åupidpóuia, see the Classical Dictionaries.--ante: adverbial, first of all.'—salivis : Spittle has manifold medical and magical virtues among all nationalities. Comp. Plin., H. N., 28, 4, 22; Juv., 8, 112; PETRON., 131. The Plural is poetical, perhaps intimating abundance.
34. expiat: ‘charms against mischief' (Conington).—urentis: blasting,' withering,' papaivovrac.--oculos: If the belief in the 'evil eye' is not too well known and too widely spread to need illustration, comp. VERG., Ecl., 3, 103; HoR., Ep., 1, 14, 37. On the philosophy of the evil eye, see PLUTARCH, Quaest. Conv., 5, 7. -inhibere perita: On the construction, see Prol., 11.
35. manibus : We say 'in,' Prol., 1. Translate 'arms,' as often. -quatit: I1., 6, 474: αυτάρ ό γ ον φίλον υιόν επεί κύσε πήλέ τε χερσίν, | είπεν επευξάμενος Διί τ' άλλοισίν τε θεοίσιν. “Dances, landles.'—spem macram: “the skinny hope.'
36. Licini: Licinus, originally slave and steward of Caesar, then set free and made procurator of Gaul, where he acquired immense wealth by extortion. Comp. Juv., 1, 109: Ego possideo plus | Pallante et Licinis.-Crassi: a still more familiar synonym for wealth, Cic., Att., 1, 4, 3. The two combined in SEN., Ep., 119, 9: Quorum nomina cum Crasso Licinoque numerantur. -mittit: “transports,' wafts’ (Pretor); “packs off' (Conington), is not in keeping with the mock-lyrical tone of the passage.
37. hunc: deiktiKÕç. König comp. CATULLUS, 62, 42: Multi illum pueri, multae optavere puellae. On optet, comp. G., 281, Exc. 1; A., 49, 1, d.-rex et regina: Comp. 1, 67. “My lord and [my] lady' (Conington). As the prayer is extravagant, Pretor thinks that the words are to be taken literally, and Conington inclines to the same opinion. But there is no objection to regina for domina in itself, MART., 10, 64.
38. rapiant=diripiant, åpnásolev. "May the girls have a scramble for him.' The sexes are to be reversed in his honor. Casaubon comp.: Editum librum continuo mirari homines et diripere coeperunt, Vita Persii.-rosa fiat: Casaubon comp. CLAUD., Seren., 1, 89: Quocumque per herbam | reptares, fluxere rosae. A fairytale wish. Comp. THEOCR., 8, 41; VERG., Ecl., 7, 59.
39. ast=at + set. G., 490, R.-nutrici : Quid voveat dulci nutricula maius alumno, HoR., Ep., 1, 4, 8. With the sentiment of the passage Casaubon comp. SEN., Ep., 60, 1: Etiamnum optas quod tibi optavit nutrix aut paedagogus aut mater? Nondum intellegis quantum mali optaverint?
40. albata: “clad in white,' the proper attire of worshippers, TIBULL., 2, 1, 13; Plaut., Rud., 1, 5, 12 (Jahn). Hence though she ask it with every requisite form’ (Conington). See v. 15.
41-51. From wicked wishes we have passed to silly wishes, from silly we now pass to insane. Men pray for health and pray for wealth, and all the while are doing their utmost to break down their health and squander their wealth.
41. nervis : “thews,' «sinews.'—senectae : may depend on poscis opem or on fidele (Casaubon's view), “ to stand you in stead in old age' (Conington), or “to stand your old age in stead.' The latter is the more forcible.
42. esto: ‘so far, so good' (Conington).-grandes patinae,
etc.: Comp. HoR., Sat., 2, 2, 95: Grandes rhombi patinaequel grande ferunt una cum damno dedecus. Jahn (1868) reads pingues. -tuccetaque crassa: According to the Schol., “beef steeped in a thick gravy, which enables it to keep a year.' ‘Rich gravies' (Conington); “rich forced meats' (Pretor). “Rich potted meats.' --his=his precibus, votis.—vetuere: Perf. to show that the mischief is already done' (Pretor). It is not a general Perfect. Comp. 32.
44. rem struere: The Biblical “heap up riches.' HoR., Sat., 1, 1, 35: acervo | quem struit.—caeso bove: An expensive sacrifice. Comp. Gr. Bovdutiv.—Mercurium : See note on v. 11. An allusion to Mercury, or rather Hermes, as the God of Flocks and father of Pan, is barely possible.
45. arcessis = in auxilium vocas (Jabn). Conington's 'serve a summons on’ is a caricature. Comp. Ov., Fast., 4, 263, and PETRON., 122. Accerso is a rarer form than arcesso, and to be reserved for state occasions, according to Brambach.—fibra: See v. 26.da fortunare=ut fortunent.—fortunare: used absolutely, as in AFRANIUS, V. 84 (Ribbeck). Fortuno a vox sollemnis in prayers (Jahn).—Penatis: Gods of the Basket and Store.
46. quo, pessime, pacto : Hor., Sat., 2, 7, 22: quo pacto, pessime?
47. iunicum=iuvencarum. Observe the extravagance of the sacrifice, and compare with the expression CATULL., 90, 6 : omentum in flamma pingue liquefaciens.
48. extis et ferto: Comp. vv. 30, 45. Fertum (a ferendo), a kind of sacrificial cake or pudding, libi genus, quod crebrius ad sacra obmovebatur (Jahn).
49. et tamen: at tamen (Hermann), on which see 5, 159.
50-51, Casaubon sees in this passage an imitation of HESIOD, 0. et D., 369: decan do žvì truquévi perdó (sera parsimonia in fundo. est, SEN., Ep., 1, 5). I have followed the old reading, which makes nummus the subject. The personification is in PERSIUS'S vein, as Schlüter correctly remarks. Comp. tacita acerra, v. 5; gemuerunt aera, 3, 39; sapiens porticus, 3, 53; modice sitiente lagoena, 3, 92. Nummi are nursed as children, 5, 149; there is a kind of personification in dolosi nummi, Prol., 12, and literature is full of personified coins, of nimble sixpences," "slow shillings,'
• adventurous guineas. Add: ac velut exhausta redivivus pullulet arca | nummus, Juv., 6, 363. Paley (ap. Pretor) suggests that nequiquam may be considered the exclamation of the nummus. This gives so happy a turn that I am almost tempted to put it in the text. It is the familiar story of the bottom dime,' set to the familiar tune of the ‘ Last Rose of Summer.' Jalın makes the numbskull, not the nummus, the subject, and reads in his ed. of 1843:
Nequiquam fundo, suspiret, nummus in imo! In his ed. of 1868 he follows Hermann, who reads:
Nequiquam fundo, suspiret, nummus in imo! Pretor prints:
Nequiquam : fundo, suspiret, nummus in imo! The scholiast hesitates. All much more prosaic and much less satisfactory.--suspiret : See G., 574, R.; A., 62, 2, d.
52-75. With a sudden start PERSIUS strikes at the root of the matter—the false conception of the divine character. Thou thoughtest,' saith God,“that I was altogether such a one as thyself,' Ps. 50, 21. Because you love gold, you fancy that God loves gold, and judge of His Holiness by your corruption. God demands a pure heart, and not 'thousands of rams.' This is a plane on which the highest expressions of the most various religions meet, so that Hebrew, Greek, and Christian hold almost identical discourse. M. Martha (Moralistes Romains, p. 134) recognizes a progress' in thoughts, which are immemorial in their antiquity.
52. creterras : preferred by Jahn (1868) and Hermann to crateras, in which the Acc. Sing. of the Greek word kpatýp seems to be taken as the stem (G., 72, R. 2). See HoR., Od., 3, 18, 7; Sat., 2, 4, 80. Comp. also statera and panthera. G. Meyer (Beiträge zur Stammbildung in Curtius, Studien, 5, 72) questions the Accus. origin.-argenti: The context indicates the material, which in prose would be ex argento or argentea (G., 396; A., 54, 2). The Genitive should give us the contents as in v. 11, argenti seria. Comp. Juv., 9, 141: argenti vascula puri.—incusa : ‘is a translation of έμπαιστά (Casaubon), έμπαιστική τέχνη being the art of embossing silver or some other material with golden ornaments