« PredošláPokračovať »
scholar. It has been lately republished by Duebner (Leipzig, 1839), with the text revised but not improved by this editor, who has added to Casaubon's notes the conflicting opinions of other commentators. The notes of Lubinus are so wordy and embarrassed as to be quite unreadable. Plum and Koenig have furnished the world with long commentaries, of which Plum's is the better. Passow's edition (Leipzig, 1809) is accompanied by a German translation, and a commentary in the same language on the first Satire. In cases of difficulty I have not been able to rely upon his judgment. Orelli has given the text, scholia, and many of the various readings of Persius in his Eclogae Poetarum Latinorum. His text is good, and I have never failed to consider it with respect. Every editor who thinks as he ought, independently, will have his own opinion of his author's meaning; and so will choose, out of many that may have authority, that reading which best represents his opinion. With this remark I disclaim any want of proper deference to the scholarship of others more learned than myself. Scholarship (of a certain sort) and learning do not always go along with judgment; sometimes they tend to obscure it; nor are all editors learned that contrive to seem so.
The scholia on this author, published with great care by Jahn, are more numerous than those on Juvenal. They passed among scholars of the early time as the production of one person, and he no other than Annaeus Cornutus, the teacher of Persius. It does not require much discrimination to see that they are not from that source, and do not contain a syllable that was written near the time of the poet. Jahn has taken great pains to show that they are the work of a later Cornutus of the tenth century, who wrote a commentary also on Juvenal. If this be so, he may have used notes of earlier Grammarians than himself without acknowledgment. There is a great deal of useful and a great deal of foolish matter in these scholia.
Of the MSS. of Persius Jahn has mentioned and described sixtyseven, of which the most memorable are a fragment of the first Satire, edited by Mai from the famous Vatican Palimpsest, and two others of the ninth and tenth centuries which bear an inscription, showing that they were both copied from a MS. written in the year A.D. 402, by one Fl. Julius. The later of these, which is at Rome, Heinrich collated. The collation of the earlier used by Jahn is by Duebner. Their task was rendered more laborious by the strange orthography of the MSS. and their many palpable blunders. A more accurate and useful MS. is one of the tenth century (which is not however complete), in the library of Bern. There are several of the tenth and eleventh centuries, and it is clear that Persius, though he must have been but little understood’, was a good deal read among the semipagani of the mediaeval monasteries.
The Satires of Persius are here joined with those of Juvenal, according to a common practice. But except for the convenience of publication, there is no reason why they should be so. United they form a fair-sized volume, which separately they would not do except by extending the notes on either to an inordinate and useless length.· Persius, though older than Juvenal, yet, as being less read and of less importance, is usually and rightly put after him.
It is easy to write long notes on such authors as these ; indeed the difficulty is to write at moderate length ; even without the practice, which I think objectionable, of overlaying the text with an embarrassing heap of references. Among other ways of lengthening this commentary was one which to some general readers would have been acceptable. I might have dwelt upon the immorality of the age, and contrasted the practice of the heathen with the contemporary precepts of the Christian. But I do not think any observations of mine would have strengthened the language of Juvenal, and if I have helped Christians to read and understand him, I shall be satisfied. They will be able then to compare the profligacy of the degenerate Roman with the purity of the Christian's profession, and perhaps may find in the rebukes of the Satirist matter for more useful contemplation than that which dwells upon the vices and superstitions of former ages, and overlooks the vices and superstitions of our own.
? Jahn gives an instance of a gloss written in the eleventh century, in the margin of the last-named MS., on vi. 28 : “ Brutlia Saxa, in quibus Brutus superatus est."
I have not thought it right to omit any part of these Satires. The character of the writers is seen throughout, and the spirit even of the coarsest parts is manifestly that of virtue. I have had some experience of boys, and I believe that those are exceptions on whom such passages as are usually expunged are likely to have an injurious effect. Wantonness is one thing, and the stern reproof of wantonness in terms it best understands is another, and few minds fail to see the difference. I have thought it enough to pass over the worst passages without comment.
He who is occupied with the labours of two professions, the cares of a large family, and the unavoidable distractions of a town life, may claim some indulgence for the defects of a work requiring much attention and a clear judgment at every point, and for the execution of which only a limited time could be allowed. I have done the best I could under the circumstances for students and general readers of Juvenal and Persius, that they may be able to understand and take an interest in those writers, especially the former, who has great charms for all that can appreciate a vigorous mind and Stoical integrity. In this task I am thankful to have had the advice and sympathy of my friend, Mr. George Long.
KING EDWARD'S GRAMMAR School,
BATH, July, 1857.
LIFE OF JUVENAL.
The character of Horace's mind was such, that his own experience and the events of his life come naturally into his writings, and a tolerably full and accurate biography of that poet has been gathered from his own pen. His poems form a gallery of contemporary portraits, including his own picture in every stage of life. It is not so with Juvenal. He had to deal with vice and folly more than a century older than the vice and folly of Horace's day, and a tyranny which Horace never witnessed. The playful personalities of Horace did not suit Juvenal's subject, and would not have represented his way of viewing it; nor did they suit the severe and defiant spirit in which he approached it. The consequence is that the traces of Juvenal's life in his Satires are very slight.
There are several ancient biographies to be found in various MSS. of the Satires, one of which is generally supposed to be older than the rest. It is not uncommonly supposed to have been written by the grammarian Probus', but it is published among the memoirs attributed to Suetonius. It may be a fragment taken from Suetonius' life of the poet. The following is a translation of that memoir, according to the most probable version of the text :
“Junius Juvenalis, the son or the alumnus (it is uncertain which) of a rich freedman, practised declamation till near middle life, more for amusement than by way of preparing himself for school or forum. Afterwards, having written a clever Satire of a few verses on Paris the pantomimus, and a poet of his, who was puffed up with his paltry six months' military rank, he took pains to perfect himself in this kind of writing. And yet for a very long time he did not venture to trust any thing even to a small audience. But after a while he was heard by
1 See Life of Persius, p. xxiv.