Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

60

65

Pagina; descendunt statuæ, restemque sequuntur ;
Ipsas deinde rotas bigarum impacta securis
Cædit, et immeritis franguntur crura caballis.
Jam strident ignes, jam follibus atque caminis
Ardet adoratum populo caput, et crepat ingens
Sejanus : deinde ex facie toto orbe secunda
Fiunt urceoli, pelves, sartago, patellæ.
Pone domi lauros, duc in Capitolia magnum
Cretatumque bovem ; Sejanus ducitur unco
Spectandus: gaudent omnes: quæ labra? quis illi
Vultus erat ? nunquam (si quid mihi credis) amavi
Hunc hominem: sed quo cecidit sub crimine ? quisnam
Delator? quibus indiciis ? quo teste probavit ?
Nil horum : verbosa et grandis epistola venit
A Capreis—bene habet; nil plus interrogo: sed quid
Turba Remi? Sequitur fortunam, ut semper, et odit

70

posing them to the envy and malice of flames. those, in whose power and inclination it - Second facc, &c.] Sejanus was so may be to disgrace and destroy them. favoured by Tiberius, that he raised

58. Statues descend.] Are pulled down. him to the highest dignity next to him

- Follow the rope. With which the self. populace (set on work by a notion of 64. Watcr-pots, &c.] The meanest doing what would please the emperor, household utensils are made from the who had disgraced his prime-minister brass, which once conferred the highest Sejanus) first pulled down all the statues honour on Sejanus, when representing of Sejanus, of which there were many him in the form of statues. sct up in Rome, and then dragged them 65. Laurels, &c.] Here ibe poet shews with ropes about the strects.

the malicious triumph of envy. It was 59. The driven are.] Impacta-driven customary to adorn the doors of their <forced against. There were some sta houses with crowns, or garlands of laulues of Sejanus, by which he was repre- rel, on any public occasion of joy; such sented on horseback; others in a trium. was the fall of poor Sejanus to his enephal car, drawn by two horses (coinp. mies. sat. viii. 1. 3.); all which were broken 66. A white bull.] The beasts sacrificed to pieces, the very chariots and horses to the celestial gods were white (cretademolished, and, if made of brass, car. lum, here, lit. chalked, whited); those ried to the fire and melted.

to the infernal gods were black. This 60. Undeserving horses, &c.] Their offering to Jupiter, in his temple on the spite against Sejanus, who could alone capitol hill, must be supposed to have deserve their indignation, carried them been by way of thanksgiving for the to such fury, as to demolish even the fall of Sejanus. A lively mark of the inost innocent appendages to his state hatred and prejudice which the people and dignity.

bad conceived against him, on his dis61. The fires roar, &c.] From the grace; as it follows force of the bellows, in tlie forges pre -Dragg’dby a hook, &c.] To the Scapared for melting the brass of the sta læ Gemoniæ, and then thrown into the lues.

Tiber. -Stoves.] Or furnaces.

67. To be look'd upon.] As a spectacle 62. The head adored, &c.] Of Sejanus, of contempt to the whole city. once the darling of the people, who -All rejoice.) At his disgrace and once worshipped him as a god.

misery the people triumph. 63. Cracks.] By the violence of the *** What lips," &c.] The poet here

Statues descend and they follow the rope;
Then, the driven axe, the very wheels of two-horse cars
Demolishes, and the legs of the undeserving horses are broken.
Now the fires roar, now with bellows and stoves,

61
The head adored by the people burns, and the great Sejanus
Cracks: then, from the second face in the whole world,
Are made water-pots, basons, a frying-pan, platters.
Place laurels at your house, lead to the capitol a large

65 White bull; Sejanus is dragg'd by a hook To be look’d upon: all rejoice: “ what lips? what a countenance “ He had ? I never (if you at all believe me) loved 66 This man :-but under what crime did he fall? who was “ The informer ? from what discoveries ? by what witness hath “ he prov'd it?"

70 Nothing of these : a verbose and great epistle came from “ Capreæ:"_" It is very well, I ask no more: but what did " The mob of Remus?"_“It follows fortune, as always, and

66 hates

supposes a language to be holden, which Tiber, is very natural for a prejudiced, igno Tiberius was at that time at Capreæ, rant people to utter on such an occasion, an island on the coast of Naples, about as they saw him dragging along by the twenty-five miles south of that city, inhands of the executioner, or perhaps as dulging in all manner of excess and dethey viewed him lying dead on the bank bauchery. of the Tiber, (comp. I. 86.) before his The Scalæ Gemoniæ was a place ap. body was thrown into it.

pointed either for torturing criminals, or What a blubber-lipp'd, ill-looking for exposing their bodies after execution. fellow ! say they.

Some derive the name Gemoniæ from 69. What crime, &c.) What was one Gemonius, who was first executed charged against him (says one) that he there ; others from gemere, to groan, should be brought to this.

because the place rang with the groans 70. Infurmer.] Delator-his accuser and complaints of those who were put to to the emperor.

death. It was on the hill Aventinus, -What discoveries, &c.] of the fact, and there were several steps led up to it, and its circumstances? and on what whence the place was called Scalæ Geevidence hath he (i. e. the informer) moniæ. The dead bodies of those who proved the crime alleged against him ? died under the hands of the executioner

71. Nothing of these."] Says the an were dragged thither by an iron hook, swerer-i. e. there was no regular form and after they had been some time exof conviction.

posed to public view, were thrown into -A great epistle, &c.] It, some how the Tiber. See ANT. Univ. Hist. vol. or other, came to the ears of Tiberius, xii. p. 214, note f. that his favourite Sejanus had a design 73. Mob of Renus, &c.] i. e. The upon the empire, on which he wrote a people in general; so called because delong pompous epistle to the senate, who scended from Romulus and Remus. had Sejanus seized, and sentenced him How did they behave? says the querist. to be punished, as is mentioned above : " It follows fortune," &c.] It is anviz. that he should be put to death, then swered. The common people behaved have an hook fixed in him, be dragged as they always do, by changing with the through the streets of Rome to the Scalæ fortune of the condemned, and treating Gemoniæ, and thrown at last into the them with the utmost spite,

75

80

Damnatos. Idem populus, si Nurscia Thusco
Favisset, si oppressa foret secura senectus
Principis, hâc ipsâ Sejanum diceret hora
Augustum. Jampridem, ex quo suffragia nulli
Vendimus, effudit curas-nam qui dabat olim
Imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se
Continet, atque duas tantum res anxius optat,
Panem et Circenses. Perituros audio multos :
Nil dubium : magna est fornacula : pallidulus mî
Brutidius meus ad Martis fuit obvius aram-
Quam timeo, victus ne pænas exigat Ajax,
Ủt male defensus! curramus præcipites, et,
Dum jacet in ripâ, calcemus Cæsaris hostem.
Sed videant servi, ne quis neget, et pavidum in jus
Cervice astrictâ dominum trahat. Hi sermones

85

74. Nurscia, &c.] Sejanus was a Tus- ing their magistrales was taken from can, born at Volscinium, where the god- them, and they could no longer sell their dess of Nurscia, the same as fortune, was votes, they bad parted with all their worshipped. q. d. If fortune had fa cares about the state. voured Sejanus.

--For il.] That same populace. 75. Secure old age, &c.] If Tiberius -Which once gave, &c.] By their havhad thought himself secure from any ing the right of election, conferred pubplot against him, and therefore had taken lic offices on whom they chose. no measures to prevent the consequences 79. Authority.] Power, or governof it.

ment: this alludes to the great offices in 76. Oppress'd.] By death, from the the state, which were once elective by hands of Sejanus. q. d. If the plot of the people. Sejanus had succeeded, and the enıperor -Fasces.] Consuls and prælors, who dethroned.

had the fasces carried before them, -Would, &c.] That very populace -Legions.) Military prefectures, who now treat the poor fallen Sejanus so -All things.] All elective offices. ill, would have made him emperor, and 79, 80. Itself refrains.] From conhave changed his name to the imperial cerns of state. title of Augustus.

80. Only wishes, &c.] Now they care -This very hour.]Instead of his being for nothing else, at least witń any put to deaih, dragged by the hook, and anxiety, but for bread to be distributed insulted by the populace, they would, at to them as usual, by the command of the that very hour, have been heaping the emperor, to satisfy their hunger; and highest honours upon him. So preca the games in the circus to divert them : rious, fluctuating, and uncertain, is the of these last the populace were very favour of the multitude !

fond. See sat, xi, 53, 77. We sell, &c.] The poorer sort of 81. “I hear many,&c.) Here begins plebeians used to sell their votes to the a fresh discourse on the occasion and candidates for public offices, before Ju- circumstances of the time. lius Cæsar took from them the right of I hear, says one of the standers by, electing their magistrates, Since that that Sejanus is not the only one who is time

to suffer; a good many more will be cut 78. It.] The populace.

off, as well as he, about this plot. No -Done with cares.] Effudit, literally, doubt, says ihe otherhas poured out, as a person empties a 82. The furnuce is large.) And made vessel by pouring out the liquor. The to hold mor es for melting than poet means, that since the right of elect- those of Sejanus. Sce 1. 61.

“ The condemn’d- The same people, if Nurscia had favour'd “ The Tuscan—if the secure old age of the prince had been 75

Oppressed, would, in this very hour, have called Sejanus,

Augustus. Long ago, ever since we sell our suffrages “ To none, it has done with cares; for it, which once gave “ Authority, fasces, legions, all things, now itself “ Refrains, and anxious only wishes for two things, 80 “ Bread and the Circenses.”—“ I hear many are about to

“ perish”— “ No doubt: the furnace is large: my friend Brutidius “ Met me, a little pale, at the altar of Mars"“ How I fear lest Ajax conquer'd should exact punishment, As defended badly!- let us run headlong, and, while he 85 “ Lies on the bank, trample on the enemy of Cæsar. “ But let the slaves see, lest any should deny it, and drag into “ Law their fearful master with shackled neck :" these were the

82, 3. Brutidius met me.] This was a “ takes to be his enemies, as Ajax derhetorician and famous historian, a great “stroyed the sheep and oxen, when he friend of Sejanus, and therefore was hor. “ ran mad on his defeat, taking them ridly frightened, lest it should be his turn " for the Grecians on whom he vowed next to be apprehended and put to " revenge." Other expositions are given death, as concerned in the conspiracy. to this place, but I think this suits best

84. Lest Ajar conquer'd, &c.] Allude with l. 82, 3. ing to the story of Ajax, who, being 85. Let us run, &c.] As precipitately, overcome in his dispute with Ulysses as fast as we can; let us lose no time about the armour of Achilles, (see Ovid. to avoid the emperor's suspicion of our Met. lib. xiii.) went mad, fell upon man favouring Sejanus, and wreaking his and beast, and afterwards destroyed vengeance upon us. himself.

-While he.) Sejanus i.e. bis corpse. These seem to be the words of Bruti 86. Lies on the bank.) i. e. Exposed on dius, expressing his fears of being sus the bank, before it is thrown into the pected to have been concerned in the river Tiber. conspiracy with Sejanus; and, in order - Trample, &c.] Set our feet upon his to wipe off all imputation of the kind, corpse, to shew our indignation against not only from himself, but from the this supposed enemy of Tiberius. person he is speaking to, he advises, 87. Let the slaves see, &c.] That they that no time should be lost, but that may be witnesses for their masters, in they should hasten to the place where case these should be accused of not havthe corpse of Sejanus was exposed, and ing done it, or of having shewn the least do some act which might be construed respect to Sejanus, and so be brought into an abhorrence of Sejanus, and con- under the displeasure of the emperor, sequently into a zeal for the bonour and and hurried to judgment. service of the emperor.

88. “ Shackled neck.”] Those who “ How I fear,” says Brutidius, looking were dragged to punishment, had a chain aghast, “ Jest the emperor, thinking his or halter fastened about the neck : this • cause not cordially espoused, and that was the condition of some when brought "he was badly defended, should wreak to trial; so, among us, felons, and others “ his vengeance on such as he suspects accused of capital offences, are usually “ to have been too remiss, and, like the brought to their trial with gyves or felfurious Ajax, when overcome, like an ters upon their legs. " other victus Ajax, destroy all that he 88, 9. The discourses, &c.) Thus do

90

95

Tunc de Sejano : secreta hæc murmura vulgi.
Visne salutari sicut Sejanus ? habere
Tantundem, atque illi summas donare curules ?
Illum exercitibus præponere? tutor haberi
Principis Augusta Caprearum in rupe sedentis
Cum grege Chaldæo ? vis certe pila, cohortes,
Egregios equites, et castra domestica—quidni
Hæc cupias ? et qui nolunt occidere quenquam,
Posse volunt. Sed quæ præclara, et prospera tanti,
Cum rebus lætis

par sit mensura malorum?
Hujus, qui trahitur, prætextam sumere mavis,
An Fidenarum, Gabiorumque esse potestas,
Et de mensurâ jus dicere, vasa minora
Frangere pannosus vacuis Ædilis Ulubris ?
Ergo quid optandum foret, ignorâsse fateris
Sejanum: nam qui nimios optabat honores,
Et nimias poscebat opes, numerosa parabat
Excelsæ turris tabulata, unde altior esset
Casus, et impulsæ præceps immane ruinæ.

100

105

the people talk about poor Sejanus, the perous Sejanus. See the last 1!. ad remembrance of his greatness being all fin. passed and gone, and his shameful suf. 92. Guardian, &c.] Who, in the ab. ferings looked upon with the most igno. sence of Tiberius, at his palace on the minious contempt.

rock at Capreæ, (see note on 1. 71, 2, ad 90. Saluted, &c.] You, who think hap- fin.) amidst a band of astrologers from piness to consist in the favour of the Chaldæa, (who amused the prince with prince, in great power, and high prefer their pretended knowledge of the stars, ment, what think you? do you now and their government of human affairs,) wish to occupy the place which Sejanus governed all his affairs of state, and maonce held, to have as much respect paid naged them, as a tutor or guardian you, to accumulate as many riches, to manages the affairs of a youth under age. have as many preferments and places of Thus high was Sejanus in the opinion honour in your gift ?

and confidence of Tiberius; but do you 91. Chief chairs, &c.] Summas curu

envy him? les. The poet speaks in the plural num. 94. Javelins.] Pila were a kind of ber, as each of the great offices of Rome javelins with which the Roman fool had a chair of state, made of ivory, were armed : therefore the poet is here carved, and placed in a chariot-curru- to be understood as saying to the person in which they were wont to be carried with whom he is supposed to discourse, to the senate; so the prætor had his sella “ You certainly wish to be an officer, curulis, in which he was carried to the " and to have soldiers under your comforum, and there sat in judgment. See " mand." before, 1. 35, n. No. 4. When an ædile -Cohorts.) A cohort was a tenth part was a person of senatorial dignity, he of a legion. was called curulis, from the curule chair 95. Domestic tents, &c.] The castra in which he was carried.

domestica were composed of horse, who Summas curules, here, is used in a were the body-guards of the prince or metonymical sense, like curule ebur, prætor; hence called also prætoriani. Hor. lib. i. epist. vi. l. 53, 4. to denote These seem to have been something like the chief offices in the state, which had our life-guards. all been in the disposal of the once-prus -"Why should you not,&c.] What

« PredošláPokračovať »