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Elevet, accedas : examenve improbum in istâ
them in what they say, or accede to their opinion, as might lead him to assent to opinion. The word elevet is metapho- it, contrary to his own opinion, judgrical, and alludes to scales, where that ment, and conscience. In this view it which is lightest is raised up, and signi- answers to what he has before said : fies undervaluing, disparaging, .or, as we
-Non, si quid turbida Roma say, making light of any thing.
L. 5, 6. 6. Nor correct, &c.] Exainen properly 8. Who does not—?) i. e. Who does signifies the tongue, needle, or beam of not leave his own judgment and cona balance, which always inclines toward science out of the question, and suffer the side where the weight preponde. himself to be led away by popular opirates—where this does not act iruly, and nion? This is an aposiopesis : but I in due proportion, it shews that the ba- think the nam refers us to the preceding lance is false : how false it is, and, of sentence to make out the sense. This course, how it may be properly judged view of it furnishes a farther argument of and corrected, may be seen, by weigh against trusting the opinions of others, ing the same thing in a true scale, or by since even they don't judge for thema true balance; this will exactly discover selves, the deficiency.
8. Ah! if I might say !] i. e. Alas! if I The poet, alluding to this, advises his were but at liberty to speak out plainly: friend not to attempt correcting one - But I may, &c.] Persius lived in false balance by another : he means, the reign of Nero, a dangerous period for that, if any thing should be amiss, which the writers of satire : he was therefore, the people in general find fault with, yet as he hints in the preceding line, afraid it is not to be weighed or considered to speak out: but yet he will not quite according to their opinion, which, like a refrain: the objects of satire were too false balance, is erroneous; much less to many, and too gross, for him to be be corrected by their standard of judg- silent, and therefore he determines to
attack them. 7. Seek not thyself, &c.] i. e. Judge for 9. When I have beheld greyness.) When yourself, by your own conscience and I bave turned my eyes on the grey hairs opinion, not by what other people say; of old age. The more exact ineaning of this Stoical
-Our grave way of life,] Vivere, here, maxim seems to be - You can judge of for vita, à Græcism-these often occur yourself better by what passes within in Persius. you, than by the opinions of others; so, When I behold, says the poet, the go not out of yourself, in order to draw gravity and austerity with which we apjust and true conclusions concerning pear to live. yourself. The Stoics maintained, that 10. Whatever we do, &c.] The manner a wise man should not make other peo- in which people employ themselves, as ple's opinions, but his own reason, his soon as they have left their playthings, rule of action.
and are become men. The conscience is the test of ev'ry mind; Nuces, lit. nuts—and tali, little square Seek not thyself, without ihyself, to find. stones, or bones with four sides-were
Dryden. the usual playthings of children. The The poet seems to urge this sentiment nuces were little balls of ivory, or round upon bis friend, in order to guard him stones. See Francis' Hor. lib. ii. sal. against such an attention to popular iii. I. 172. Hence nucibus relictis sig
Any thing, agree with it, nor correct a false balance
10 When we have the relish of uncles—then, then forgive. M. I
will not. P. What shall I do? for I am a great laugher with a petulant
spleen. M. We write shut up. One numbers, another prose,
nifies ceasing to be children. See Hor. control my natural temper and disposi. lib. ii. sat. iii. 1. 171, 2.
tion ? Il. Relish of uncles, &c.] Patruus is a -A great laugher.] Cachinno-onis, father's brother, on whom sometimes the from cachinnus, a loud laughing, a laughcare of children devolved on the loss of ter in derision or scorn. Ainsw. their father. The father's brother, thus -A petulant spleen.) The spleen, or having the authority of a father, without milt, was looked upon by the ancients to the tenderness and affection of a father, be the organ of laughter. See Chamwas apt to be very rigid and severe : BERS, tit. Spleen. Also the receptacle this was so much the case, as almost to of the atrabilious, or melancholic hubecome proverbial; hence patruus sig- mour. Hence when people are lowpified a severe, rigid reprover. See spirited or melancholy, they are said to Ainsw. Hence Hor. lib. i. sat. iii. be splenetic; so when they are disgusted 1. 87, 8.
and out of humour. Thus SWIFT, in -Sive ego prave,
his City Shower : Seu recte hoc rolui, ne sis patruus mihi. “ Saunt'ring in coffee-house is Dulman Comp. lib. iii. ode xi. 1. 3, where we
“ Rails on the climate and complains of Metuentes patru v rerbera lingua.
“ spleen.”. See also the note there, in edit. Delph. Our poet gives bis friend to under
The poet's meaning seems io be az stand, that he can't take his advice to follows:
suppress his Satires; for that his spleen, “ When I consider the vanity and which is of the petulant kind, and his folly in which we Romans (he speaks in natural disposition to laugh at the follies the first person, as if he meani to include of men, make it impossible for him to himself, to avoid offence) are employed, resist the temptation of publishing: from our first becoming men to our old 13. We write shut up.] Persius having age, and, at the same time, that pre- expressed his turn for satire, from his tended and assumed gravity and seve natural disposition, and having asked his rity which we put on, insomuch that we friend what he should do, were he to be have the relish or savour of morose un- silent, and lay by his intention of writcle-guardians in our reproofs of others, ing—the friend gives him to understand, and in our carriage towards them, though that he may iudulge his desire for writ. we are in truth as vain and foolish as ing, without writing satires" Do as those whom we reprove, then, then I “ others do, who indulge their genius for think I may be forgiven if I write and
' writing on popular and inoffensive subpublish my Satires, when the times so *jects, some in verse, others in prose, evidently stand in need of reproof." “shut up in their studies, for their
11. I will not.] Says the friend-All greater quiet and privacy, where they you say does not convince me that you compose something in a grand and lofty should publish your Satires.
style."-"Aye,”-says Persius, inter12. What shall I do?] Says Persius— rupting him, so grand, as to require a How can I contain myself? how can I very large portion of breath to last
Grande aliquid-P. Quod pulmo animæ prælargus anhelet. Scilicet hæc populo, pexusque togâque recenti,
15 Et natalitiâ tandem cum sardonyche albus, Sede leges celså, liquido cum plasmate guttur Mobile collueris, patranti fractus ocello. Hic, neque more probo videas, neque voce serena, Ingentes trepidare Titos; cum carmina lumbum
" through their periods and sentences, -Lnrge of air.] Capable of contain“ which are too bombast and long-winded ing a very large portion of air, and greatly “ to be read by ordinary lungs.” The innated. speaker uses the first person plural 15. Doubtless these to the people, &c.] scribimus inclusi-we-nous autres (as Persius, as we shall find, by using the the French say). By this mode of second person singular, l. 17, leges, and speech, the pointedness and personality collueris, 1. 18, is not to be understood as of what is said are much lessened; con- confining what he says to the person with sequently the prejudice and offence with whom he is discoursing, but means which a more direct charge on the per- covertly to attack and expose all the sons meant would have been received.
poetasters at Rome, who shut themselves Hor. lib.ii. epist. i. 1. 117.
up to compose turgid and bombast poems Scribimus indocti, doctique poemata pas- and declamations, to recite in public, in sim.
order to get the applause of their ignorant " But ev'ry desperate blockhead dures to and tasteless hearers.
The Monitor had said-scribimus, l. "Verse is the trade of every living wight.” 13: heuce the poet addresses him par
Francis. ticularly; but, no doubt, means to carry 13. One numbers.] i. e. One pens his satire to all the vain scribblers of the
time, and especially to those who exposed - Another prose.) Pede liber-a peri- themselves in the ridiculous manner after phrasis for prose-writing, which is free described ; not without a view to the from the shackles of feet and numbers, emperor Nero, who was vain of his by which writers in verse are con- poetry, and used to recite his poems in fined.
public. See my note on l. 134, ad fia. 14. Something grand-] The speaker and comp. Juv. viii. 220—30, and notes, is going on with his advice, and in his there. enforcing it from the examples of the I would observe, that in the arrangewriters of his day; but at the words ment of the dialogue, v. 13, 14, I have grande aliquid, Persius interrupts him, followed Mr. Brewster, whose ingenious as though not able to bear such an epithet version of Persius is well worthy the as grande, when applied to the bombast reader's attention. and fustian which were daily coming According to the usual arrangement, forth in order to catch the applause of whereby scribimus indocti, &c. is given the vulgar. In this Persius bas, no to l'ersius, he receives no answer to his doubt, a stroke at Nero's writings, some question, quid faciem, l. 12, but abruptly samples which we met with in a sub- introduces a new subject; whereas, acsequent part of this Satire, 1.93—5, and cording to the above method, the Monitor 1. 99-102.
very naturally begins an answer, which -Which lungs, &c.] See note on l. introduces the chief subject of this 14. The word anhelet is well applied Satire, and the poet as naturally interhere.—Anhelo signifies to breathe short rupts, at the words grande aliquid, l. 14, and with difficulty—to pant, as if out of in order to pursue it; which he does by breath-also to labour in doing a thing describing the vanity and folly of these -and well denotes the situation of one scribblers, some of whom, at an advanced who has to read aloud the poems and time of life, when they ought to be performances in question.
wiser, are writing trifling and lascivious
Something grand.-P. Which lungs, large of air, may breathe. Doubtless these to the people, comb'd, and with a new gown,
15 White, and lastly with a birth-day sardonyx, You will read, in a high seat, when with a liquid gargle you
have wash'd Your moveable throat, and effeminate with a lascivious eye: Here, neither in a modest manner, nor with a serene voice, You may see the great Titi tremble, when the verses enter the loins,
poems, and reading them to the people in In u
u high seat.] When authors read public; this, with every disgraceful cir their works publicly, they had a sort cumstance of dress and manner.
of desk, or pulpit, raised above the au15. Comb’d.] Or crisped, curled, and ditory, by which means they could be set in an effeminate style.
better seen and heard. -A new gown.] Niade, and put on, Liquid gargle, &c.] Plasma, a garon the occasion.
gle, or medicine, to prevent or take away 16. White.] Albus. This can't agree hoarseness, and to clear the voice. with toga, therefore some refer it to the 18. Moveable throut.) Mobilismi, e. man himself, as supposing him to look pliant, tractable, easily contracting or white, or pale, with fear and anxiety, dilating, according to the sounds which for the success of his poem, and make are to be formed. it equivalent to pallidus. Hor. epod. - A lascivious eye.] Suiting the lewd. vii. 1. 15, says, albus pallor; and albus, ness of his look to the obscenity of his in one sense of it, signifies pale or wan. subject. See Ainsw. Fractus, No. 4. Ainsw.
and Patrans, ib. But I do not see why we may not 19. Here.] In such a place, and on read albus toga recenti, to denote the such an occasion. The poet having deperson's being clad in a new white gar- scribed the reader's dress, preparation, ment-lit. white with a new gown. and manner, now describes the effect His hair being first kemb’d and smooth, which he had on his auditory. and then bedighet
– Neilher in a modest manner.] But In a fair comely garment fresh and white. quite the contrary, betraying very inde
HOLYDAY. cent emotions. The Romans wore white garments, as -Nor with a serone voice.] Nor giving a piece of finery, on certain festival oc their applause with a calm decency of casions, as on a birth-day, and the like. expression, but with a confused and So Ovid :
broken kind of voice, like people agiScilicet es pectus solitum tibi moris honu- tated with disorderly passions.
20. The great Titi, &c.] The poet in Pendeat er humeris vestis ut alba meis. derision calls the Roman nobles Titi,
A birth-day sardony..] This species of from Titus Tatius, a king of the Sabines : precious stone, set in a ring, and worn a peace being made between the Saon the finger, was reckoned a piece of bines and romans, at the instance of finery, which the Romans were very the Sabine women, he became a partner ambitious of displaying. See Juv. sat. with Romulus in a joint government for vii. I. 142, 3.
five years. Persius weans to exhibit a By a birth-day sardonyx, the poet contrast between what the great Roprobably means a present that had been mans were in the days of Titus Tatius, made to the man, on his birth-day, of and what they were now , hence calls this ring, which he wore on this occasion. them, ironically, ingentes Titi, the great It was usual to send presents to a person descendants of Titus Tatius. See Juv. on his birth-day. See Juv. sat. xi. 1. 84, sat. ii. 1. 60, note. note.
-Tremble.) Are agitated with lust, 17. You will read.] i. e. Rehearse aloud. at hearing the recital of the obscene
Intrant, et tremulo scalpuntur ubi intima versu.
Tun', vetule, auriculis alienis colligis escas? Auriculis ! quibus et dicas cute perditus, Ohe.
“ Quo didicisse, nisi hoc fermentum, et quæ semnel intus “ Innata est, rupto jecore exierit caprificus?"
25 En pallor, seniumque! O mores, usque adeone Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter!
“ At pulchrum est, digito monstrari, et dicier, Hic est. “ Ten cirratorum centum dictata fuisse,
performance, which enters their very to stop the fulsome applause and comloins, as it were, and irritates their most pliments of his hearers, with crying, inward parts.
Enough! forbear! I can endure no 21. Scratch'd.) i. e. Titillated, irri " more!" tated.
-Ohe -Tremulous verse.] With the lasci
Jum satis est ! vious verses, which are read with an
Hor. sat. v. lib. i. l. 12, 13. effeminate, soft, and trembling accent, Cute perditus bas perhaps a reference suited to the nature of the subject. to the fable of the proud frog, who
22. Dost thou, O old man, &c.] Per. swelled till she burst. See Hor. Sat, iii. sius, in this apostrophe, io veighs against lib. ii. 1. 314–19. these lascivious old fellows, who wrote 24. “ Unless this ferment.”] The old such poems as are before mentioned. man answers-To what purpose, then,
Dost thou, who art old enough to be is all my study and pains to excel in wiser, put together such obscene and this kind of writing, unless they appear filthy stuff, in order to become food for thus, and shew themselves in their effects the ears of your libidinous hearers ? on myself and hearers ? In vain would
23. For ears, &c.] He repeats the you mix leaved with the dough of which word auriculis, in order to make his bread is made, unless it ferments and reproof the more striking.
lightens the mass ; so all my science -To which even thou, &c.] The poet's would be vain, if it lay dormant and imitations of Horace, in all his Satires, quiet within me, and did not shew itself are very evident; in none more than in visibly to others, by being productive of this line. There can be little doubt such compositions which raise such a that Persius had in his eye.that passage ferment in the minds of my hearers of Horace, lib. ii. sat. v. 1. 96-3. Fermentum here is metaphorical. Importunus amat laudari? donec ohe
-" And what once,” &c.] In order to jam!
understand this line, we are to observe, Ad cælum manibus sublatis dixerit, urge,
that the caprificus was a sort of wild
fig-tree, which grew about walls and Crescentem tumidis infla sermonibus u
other buildings; and by shooting its
branches into the joints of them, burst Should lust
a passage through them, and, in time,
weakened and destroyed them. See Of empty glory be the blockhead's gust,
Juv. sat, X. k. 145, note. Indulge his
eager appetite and puti The glowing bladder with inspiring meaning, by comparing his natural, as
The apologist fartber illustrates his stuf"; Till he, with hands uplifted to the skies,
well as acquired talents, to the caprifiEnough! Enongh! in glutted rupture in, will burst forth, through the inmost
cus—these having once taken root withcries.
recesses of the mind, to the observation Thus Persius represents the reciter of of all, at the caprificus does through the the obscene verses to be so flattered, as clefts of rocks, or stone-quarries, or to be ready to burst with the vanity stone-walls : and, “ unless this were the created within him; so that he is forced case, what good would these inbred