« PredošláPokračovať »
Cum duo crura habeas, offendere tot caligatos,
Quis tam procul absit ab urbe 2 25
Praeterea, quis tam Pylades, molem aggeris ultra
Da testem, Judex cum dixerit:
Nescio quis, pugnos vidit qui, dicere, vidi; 30
Convallem ruris aviti
Improbus, aut campum mihi si vicinus ademit;
plead his cause against him, must have the resolution and impudence of that brawling lawyer of Mutina (hod. Modena), who, for a fee, would undertake the most dangerous and desperate CauSeS. 24. Since you have two legs.] (Which are now safe and sound) to be objects of mischief to the soldiers, who will kick our shins with their clouted shoes, and reak them. —Common soldiers.] Caligatos-having the caliga on their feet and legs stuck full of nails and spikes, hence called caligati. See sat. iii. 222–48, and notes. 25. Thousands of nails.] Each soldier having a great number. —So far from the city.] Who can be so foolish and ignorant, so unacquainted with the ways of the world, and especially with the manners of the soldiery, as to venture upon any quarrel with a soldier? Quistam procul absit ab urbe q. d. Who can be so ignorant of the world ! The expression seems proverbial: the people in a town, or great city, as Rome was, must be supposed to know mankind better than rustics, who live in the country, and are usually raw and ignorant; hence called inurbani, rude, simple, homely. So the Greeks used the word arrsues, (from as rv, a city, particularly Athens.) to denote a sharp man, well acquainted
with the ways of the world; answering, in great measure, to the English word politic, which is from the Latin politicus, and this from Gr. orexie, a city. 26. So much a Pylades.] So much like . alluding to Pylades, the friend of Orestes, who underwent all dangers with him and for him, and even exposed his life for him, when he went to Taurica to expiate his crimes at the altar of Diana Taurica. See Eurip. Iphigen. in Tauris. Whom, beside all I have been saying of your own personal dangers from the soldiery, could you find such a friend, as to expose his safety for your sake, and enter within the camp to plead your cause, or to take your part? —Mole of the rampurt.] The Romans used to surround their encampments with vast heaps or banks of earth, thrown up by way of rampart. The mass of earth which formed this might properly be called moles aggeris. A person could not get into the camp without first passing this.-Who would, says the poet, venture beyond this for your sake? 27. Let tears, &c.] Cease to implore with tears your friends to help you. 28. About to ercuse themselves.] Forbear to solicit your friends, who, instead of complying with such a request, will find a thousand excuses for not complying with your solicitations. 29. When the judge says, &c.] But let us
Since you have two legs, to offend so many common soldiers,
Not solicit friends about to excuse themselves.
And I will believe him worthy the beard, and worthy the locks,
A dale of my ancestral estate,
'Or a field, if a wicked neighbour has taken away from me; Or hath dug up the sacred stone from the middle border, Which my annual puls hath rever'd with an old cake:
suppose you could prevail on a friend to go with you, to be a witness for you in the cause, who saw you beaten by the soldier, and suppose the judge calls on the cause, and bids you produce your evidence; let any man, (I know not who—I name nobody,) but let me see the man who dares to swear publicly in court that he saw the blows given— 31. Worthy the beard, &c.] I will allow him to be a man of primitive virtue, fidelity, and courage; such as resided in our great ancestors, who knew not our modern effeminacy; they neither shaved their beards, nor cut their hair. 32. You might sooner produce, ...] Paganus literally signifies one in, or of, the country, or country village; here it is used in contradistinction to a soldier. It is more easy to bring a false accusation, and support it by false testimony, against such a one, than to bring a true accusation, and to support it by true testimony, against either the property or honour of a soldier–armati. See ante, l. 8, note. 36. Of oaths.] When soldiers were inlisted, they took an oath of allegiance and fidelity to the emperor, to their country, and to their general. Now, says Juvenal, let us consider some farther privileges of taking the oaths as a soldier, and, by this, being enrolled in the army.
—A dale.] Convallis signifies a vale or valley, enclosed on both sides with hills, commonly the most fruitful part of an estate. See Ps. lxv. 13. —My ancestral estate.] My familyestate, descended to me from my ancestors.-He speaks as a common person. 37. Or a field.] Some other favourite spot. Po a wicked neighbour hath by violence entered and disseised me of these. 38. Hath dug up, &c.] If he hath removed my boundary. The stones which were set up for boundaries were held sacred; they adorned them with chaplets, and every year offered to the god Terminus, on the top of the boundary stones, sacrifices of honey, meal, and oil, made into cakes. This composition was called puls. See AINsw.—And the cakes, liba. See ib. libum. —Middle border.] i. e. Which stood on the line between my estate and my neighbour's. It was always reckoned a grievous offence to remove a land-mark; it was expressly forbidden in the divine law, Deut. xxvii. 17. 39. An old cake.] This institution of a yearly sacrifice to the god Terminus, the god of boundaries, was as old as the days of Numa Pompilius, the successor of Romulus.
Debitor aut sumptos pergit non reddere nummos,
Vana supervacui dicens chirographa ligni;
Sternuntur ; jam facundo ponente lacernas
Caeditio, et Fusco jam micturiente, parati
Necres atteritur longo sufflamine litis.
Solis praeterea testandi militibus jus
Omne tenet cujus regimen pater.
40. A debtor goes on, &c.] A man that has borrowed a suth of money continues to refuse the payment.
41. Saying the hand-writings, &c.] Denying the validity of his bond. See sat. xiii. 137, note.
42. The year, &c.] There were judges, or commissioners, chosen to hear certain civil causes among the people, of whom every tribe had three : there being thirty-five tribes in Rome, there were, of course, one hundred and five judges, though named centumviri, from the greater number.
By the year (annus) here, we are to understand a certain time of the year, when the judges sat to try causes; what we should call term-time. Annus properly signifies a circle, whence annulus, a ring. Being applied to time, it denotes the annual progress of the sun through the twelve signs of the Zodiac, which we call a year; but it may also denote the revolution of any certain time.
—Of the whole people.] Totius populi —i. e. when the courts were open to the people at large, that they might get their causes heard and decided.
—Begin suits.] The time of year when the centumviri will open their commission, and begin to try causes, must be waited for—this may occasion much delay.
Hunc labor aequus
43, 4. Fatigues—delays.] When the term is begun, and the cause is ready for hearing, there is no eud of the delays, and of the uneasiness which these occasion. Taedium signifies irksomeness, weariness, 44. So often the benches, &c.] It so often happens that the seats are prepared for the judges, and they don't attend. Sternuntur may here signify the spreading of the benches for the judges with cushions, or the like. See AINsw. Subsellium, No. 2. 45. Laying by his garments.] Lacerna signifies a cloak, a riding coat, and various other species of garments; but here, the robes or dress of the judges. One judge, says the poet, lays by his garments; meaning, perhaps, that he goes out of court to do this, complaining that he can't bear the heat. Of Caeditius, see sat. xiii. 197, note. 46. Fuscus, &c.] Aurelius Fuscus, noted by Martial as a very drunken fellow. He is always going out of court to get rid of his liquor. —Prepared.] That is, for the hearing. 47. We depart.] By the strange avo. cations of the judges for different purposes, the day passes without the cause being tried, and the parties are forced to go away as they came. —The slow sand, &c.] A metaphor. taken from gladiators. See sat. ii. 143,
Or a debtor goes on not to render money taken, 40
The whole government of which the father possesses.
An attendant of banners, and earning the money of camps, 55
His father, tho' trembling, besets.
note 2, ad fin.-lenta arena fori-for
by their military services. This was
Provehit, et pulchro reddit sua dona labori.
57. And renders, &c.] And has amply rewarded all the glorious pains which he has taken in the service .."his country. 58. This certainly, &c.] q. d. It should certainly be the principal study of , a general to promote and reward the brave; and that they who render the greatest services to their country by their valour, should be most happy. See AINsw. Resero, No. 5. Referre ipsius ducis is of difficult construction, but seems equivalent to referre ad ipsum ducem. For’tis a noble general's prudent part, To cherish valour and reward desert. DRY DEN.
60. Should be glad, &c.] Should rejoice in being distinguished by military honours. —Trappings.] Phalara-arum — some ornaments worn by men of arms, who had distinguished themselves. —Collars..] Or chains of gold, worn about the necks of those whose valour and services in the army had rendered them worthy of military honours. q. d. It old be the peculiar care of the general, that all .. have distinguished themselves by their services under him should be made happy, by bearing those military honours about them, which are the rewards of military