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Discourses then about Sejanus ; these the secret murmurs of
the vulgar. Will you be saluted as Sejanus? have
90 As much-and give to one chief chairs of state Set another at the head of armies ? be accounted guardian Of a prince, sitting in the august rock of Capreæ, With a Chaldæan band ? you certainly would have javelins,
cohorts, Choice horsemen, domestic tents. “Why should you not 95 “ Desire these things ?” Even those who would not kill any one Would be able. But what renowned and prosperous things
are of so much Value, since to prosperity there may be an equal measure of
evils ? Had you rather take the robe of this man, who is dragg’d Along, or be the power of Fidenæ, or Gabii,
100 And judge about a measure, and lesser vessels Break, a ragged Ædile at empty Ulubræ ?Therefore, what was to be wish'd for, you will confess Sejanus To have been ignorant : for he who desired too many honours, And sought too much wealth, was preparing numerous 105 Stories of an high tower, from whence his fall might be Higher, and the precipice of his enforced ruin be dreadful.
harm, say you, is there in such a de- thc burghs of Italy, was an officer who sire ?-I don't desire this for the sake had jurisdiction over weights and mea. " of hurting or killing any body.” sures, and if these were bad, he had au“ Aye, that may be, but still, lo know thority to break them. He was an offi" that such a thing may be in your cer of low rank, and though, like all ma
power, upon occasion, gives you no gistrates, he wore a gown, yet this hav“ small idea of self-importance." ing been delivered down from his prede
97. What renowned, &c.] But, to con cessurs, was old and ragged, vere unlike sider coolly of the matter, what is there the fine robe of Sejanus, and other chief so valuable in dignity and prosperity, magistrates at Rome. See Pers. sat, i. since, amid the enjoyment of them, they l. 130, and notc. are attended with an equal measure of -Empty Ulubræ.] A small town of uneasiness, and when a fatal reverse, Campania, in Italy, very thinly inhaeven in the securest and happiest mo bited. Comp. sat. iii. 1. 2. ments, may be impending ? the evil, 103. Therefore, &c.] In this, and the therefore, may be said, at least, to coun- four following lines, the poet very finely terbalance the good.
applies what he has said, on the subject .99. Of this man, &c.] Of Sejanus. of Sejanus, to the main argument of Had you rather be invested with his this Satire; viz. that mortals are too dignity?
short-sighted to see, and too ignorant to 100. The power.] The magistrate of know, what is best for thein, and theresome little town, like Fidenæ, or Gabii. fore those things which are most coveled, See sat. vi. 1. 56, 7. Called in Italy, often prove the most destructive ; and Podestà. Something like what we should the higher we rise in the gratification of call—a country justice.
our wishes, the higher may we be raising 102. A ragged Ædile.] Pannosus signi- the precipice from which we may fall. fies patched or ragged. The Ædilo, in 107. Enforced ruin.] Impulsæ ruinæ,
Quid Crassos, quid Pompeios evertit, et illum,
Eloquium ac famam Demosthenis, aut Ciceronis
into which he was driven, as it were, by will, liable to be treated in the mosi huthe envy and malice of those enemies, miliating manner. which his greatness, power, and prospe 110. Chief place.] The ambition of rity, had created. Impulsæ, melaplı. reigning absolutely. The poet bere alluding to the violence with which a shews the fatal source of misery to the person is thrown, or pushed, from an aspiring and ambitious; namely, a resthigh precipice. Immane-dreadful less desire after greatness, so as to leave immense-huge-great.
no stone unturned to come at it-nulla 108. The Crassi.] M. Crassus making non arte, &c. war upon the Parthians for the sake of 111. Great rows.] i. c. Wishes and plunder, Surena, general of the enemy, prayers for greatness, honours, riches, slew him, and cut off his head and his &c. hand, which he carried into Armenia -By malignant gods-] Who, proto his master.
voked by the unreasonable and foolish -The Pompeys.] Pompey the Great, wishes of mortals, punish thein, with being routed at the battle of Pharsalia, accepting their vows, and with granting fled into Egypt, where he was perfidi- their desires. Comp. 1. 7, 8. ously slain. He left two sons, Cneius 112. Son-in-law of Ceres.] Pluto, the and Sextus; the first was defeated in fabled god, and king of the infernal rea land battle in Spain, the other in a gions : he stole Proserpina, the daughter sea-fight on the coast of Sicily. We are of Jupiter and Ceres, and carried her not only to understand here Crassus and to his subterranean dominions. Pompey, but, by Crassos et Pompeios, The poet means here to say, that few plur. all such great men who have fallen of the great and successful ambitious by ill-fated ambition.
die, without some violence committed 109. Brought doren, &c.] i. c. Julius upon them. Cæsar, who, after he had obtained the 113. A dry death.] Without bloodsovereignty, partly by arms and violence, shed. partly by art and intrigue, was publicly 115. The whole, &c.] Minerva was the assassinated in the senate-house, as a goddess of learning and eloquence ; her tyrant and enemy to the liberty of his festival was celebrated for five days, country. His scourgesmi. e. made them hence called Quinquatria ; during this slaves, as it were, and subject to his the school-boys had holidays.
What overthrew the Crassi, the Pompeys, and him who Brought down the subdued Romans to his scourges ? Why truly, the chief place, sought by every art, 110 And great vows listend to by malignant gods. To the son-in-law of Ceres, without slaughter and wound, few Kings descend, and tyrants by a dry death.
For the eloquence and fame of Demosthenes, or of Cicero, He begins to wish, and does wish during the whole Quinquatria,
115 Whoever reveres Minerva, hitherto gotten for three farthings, Whom a little slave follows, the keeper of his narrow satchel: But each orator perish'd by eloquence ; each A large and overflowing fountain of genius consigned to death. The hand and neck was cut off by a genius ; nor ever 120 Were rostra wet with the blood of a weak lawyer. O fortunatam natam, me consule, Romam ! He might have contemn’d the swords of Antony, if thus He had said all things. I like better laughable poems, Than thee, divine Philippic of conspicuous fame, 125
116. Whoever reveres, &c.] The poor danger of any design against his life, by school-boy, who has got as much learn what he was capable of saying in ing as has cost him about three far- public. things; i. e. the merest young beginner 122. O fortunatam, &c.] Mr. Dryden at the lower end of the school.
renders this line, 117. A little slave, &c.] This is a na Fortune forc-tun'd the dying notes of tural image of little master going to Rome, school, with a servant-boy to carry his Till I, thy consul sole, consoľd thy satchel of books after him, and heightens
doom : the ridiculous idea of his coveting the and observes, that “the Latin of this eloquence of the great orators.
“ couplet is a verse of Tully's, (in which 118. Each orator, &c.] See note on “ he sets out the happiness of his own 1. 9, i. e. Both Demosthenes and Cicero. “consulship,) famous for the vanity and Demosthenes, to avoid the cruelty of “ill poetry of it.” Antipater, poisoned himself.
It is bad enough; but Mr. Dryden 120. Hand and neck, &c.] Of Cicero, has made it still worse, by adding more which were cut off by the emissaries of jingles to it. However, to attempt Antony, when they attacked and mur- translating it is ridiculous, because it dered him in his litter on the road. disappoints the purpose of the passage, They, i. e. Tully's head and hand, were which is to give a sample of Tully's bad afterwards fixed up at the rostra, from poetry in his own words. whence he had spoken his Philippics, by 123. If thus, &c.] 9. d. If Tully had order of Antony.
never written or spoken better than -Cut off by genius.] i.e. His capacity this, he needed not to bave dreaded any and powers of eloquence, which he mischief to himself; he might have deused against Antony, brought this upon fied the swords which Antony employed him.
against him. 121. Rostru.] A place in the forum, 124. Laughable poems.] Ridenda-ri. where lawyers and orators harangued. diculous, that are only fit to be laughed See Ainsw. Rostra, No. 2. No weak at. lawyer, or pleader, could ever make him. 125. Divine Philippic.] Meaning Ciceself of consequence enough to be in ro's second Philippic, which, of all the
Volveris a prima quæ proxima. Sævus et illum
130 A carbone et forcipibus, gladiosque parante Incude, et luteo Vulcano ad rhetora misit.
Bellorum exuviæ, truncis afixa trophæis hunk - formed Lorica, et fractâ de casside buccula pendens, er! Et curtum temone jugum, victæque triremis
135 Aplustre, et summo tristis captivus in arcu, Humanis majora bonis creduntur : ad hæc se Romanus, Graiusque ac Barbarus induperator Erexit : causas discriminis atque laboris Inde habuit. TANTO MAJOR FAME SITIS EST, QUAM
140 VIRTUTIS : QUIS ENIM VIRTUTEM AMPLECTITUR IPSAM, PRÆMIA SI TOLLAS ? patriam tamen obruit olim
fourteen orations which he made against Athens. Antony, was the most cutting and se -Of a burning mass.] Large masses vere, and this probably cost him his of iron, when red-hot out of the forge, life.
are very hurtful to the eyes of the He called these orations Philippics, as workmen, from their great heat. he tells Atticus, because in the freedom 131. Coal and pincers, &c.] His father and manner of his speech he imitated at first thought of bringing up his son the Philippics (DMTFixo Toyo) of Demosthenes to his own trade; but he Demosthenes, whose orations against took him from this, and put him to a Philip were so called.
rhetorician to be taught eloquence. 126. Rolld up, &c.) Volveris. The 132. Dirty Vulcan.] Vulcan was the books of the ancients were rolled up in fabled god of smiths, whose trade is volumes of paper or parchment; this very filthy and dirty. Sat. xiii. 1. 44, famous Philippic stood second in the 5. volume. See sat. xiv. 1, 102.
133. Maimed trophies.] The trophy 127. Athens admired.) Demosthencs. was a morument erected in memory of See note on 1. 9.
victory. The custom came from the 128. Rapid.] Torrentem, his elo- Greeks, who, when they had routed quence rapid and flowing, like the tor their enemies, erected a tree, with all rent of a river.
the branches cut off, on which they sus-Moderating-) Or governing the pended the spoils of armour which they full assembly of his hearers as he had taken from them, as well as other pleased, as a horse is governed and ensigns of victory: several of which the managed by a rein; so Demosthenes poet here enumerates ; but as nothing regulated and governed the minds of was entire, the poet calls them maimed his auditory.
trophies. 129. Gods adverse, &c.] It was a cur 134. A bearer.) Buccula, from bucca, rent notion among the ancientz, that the cheek, seems to have been that part where people were unfortunate in their of armour which was fastened to the lives, the gods were displeased at their helmet, and came down over the cheeks, birth, and always took a part against and fastened under the chin. them.
135. Beam.] Temo was the beam of 130. His father.] Demosthenes is said the wain, or the draught-tree, whereon to have been the son of a blacksmith the yoke hung : by this the chariot was
Who art rolld up next from the first. Him also a cruel
The spoils of war, to maimed trophies a breast-plate
of a few
supported and conducted, while drawn catching at military fame, perished mi. by the yoke.
serably. 136. A sad captive, &c.) On the top 138. Barbarian.) A name which the of the triumphal arch, which was built Greeks and Romans were fond of fixing upon these occasions, they made some on all but themselves. wretched captive place himself, and Here may be meant Hannibal, the there sit bemoaning his wretched fate, great Carthaginian general, who, while he while the conquerors were exulting in vexed the Romans with continual wars, their victory. So DRYNEN:
occasioned the overthrow of his country, an arch of victory,
and his own miserable death. On whose high convrx sits a captive foe, 139. Causes of danger, &c.] These And sighing casts a mournful look be- things have been the grand motives of low.
their exertions, in the very face of diffi137. To be greater, &c.] Such is the culty, and even of death. folly of mankind, that these wretched 140. So much greater, &c.] i. e. All trifies are looked upon not only as bear would be great; how few wisb to be ing the highest value, but as something good! more than human.
142. If you take away, &c.] Who is --For these, &c.] Commanders of all so disinterestedly virtuous, as to love nations have exerted themselves, through and embrace virtue, merely for the sake every scene of danger and fatigue, in of being and doing good indeed, who order to get at these ensigns of fame would be virtuous at all, unless the fame and victory. Erexit se—hath roused and reputation of being so brought himself to mighty deeds. *
something with them to gratify the pride 138. The Roinan.) By the Roman, and vanity of the human heart? Virtue perhaps, we may understand Julius Cæ- seldom walks forth, saith one, without sar, M. Antony, and others, who, while vanity at her side. they were greedily following military - The glory of a few.) As Marius, glory, were preparing ruin for them- Sylla, Pompey, Antony, &c.q.d. Ma. selves, as well as many sad calamities to ny instances have there been, where a their country
few men, in search of fame, and of the -Greek.) Here Miltiades and The- gratification of their ambition, have been mistocles, the two Athenian generals, the destroyers of their country, may be alluded to, who, while they were