« PredošláPokračovať »
And when the inwards are scratch'd with the tremulous verse.
Dost thou, O old man, collect food for the ears of others ? For ears, to which even thou, in skin destroy'd, may'st say
Enough.” “ For what purpose to have learnt, unless this ferment, and
66 what once
“ Is within innate, the wild fig-tree, should come forth from “ the bursten liver ?"
25 Lo, paleness and old-age! O manners! is your knowing, then, Altogether nothing, unlessanother should know that you knowité “ But it is pleasant to be shewn with the finger, and to be
66 said—This is he." “ For thee to have been the exercises of an hundred curl-pates,
“ talents do me?" The ancients reckoned the world of it? have you no pleasure the liver as the seat of the concupisci, or satisfaction in what you know, without ble and irascible passions. See Juv. you exert a principle of vain glory, by sat. i. 1. 45, note. Here Persius uses cultivating the applause of others? Is the word jecore for the inward mental this the end of your study and applicapart, which contained the genius and tion? Scire tuumi. e. scientia tua. talents of the poet, and was to be Græcism. Comp. istud vivere, 1. 9. broken through by the energy of their 28. “ Shewn with the finger.”] Here is exertions.
an ironical prolepsis-the poet antici26. Lo, paleness and old-age!] These pates some of the pleas of these writers words are by some supposed to be the for their proceedings. It is a pleasant end of the apologist's speech, as if he thing, perhaps, you may say, to be so had said-See how pale I am with study famous for one's writings, as to be and application, and that in my old-age, pointed at as one goes along by the pasa time of life when otbers retire from sers by, and to hear them say, " That's labour-and shall I meet with no reward “ he' _" that's the famous poet.” for all this?
Horace disgraces one of his finest odes, Others suppose the words to be the by mentioning, with pleasure, such a reply of Persius, and a continuation of piece of vanityhis reproof.
“ Lo, paleness of counte Quod monstror digito pratereuntium “ nance and old-age! and yet thou dost Romanæ fidicen lyræ. «« not cease from such vain toils !" See
Ode iii. lib. iv. 1. 22, 3. Juv. vij. 96, 7.
Cicero, Tusc. v. 36, mentions it as -O manners!] Like that of Tully- an instance of great weakness in Detempora! O mores!
mosthenes, in that he professed himself g. d. What are we come to! what can much pleased with hearing a poor girl, we say of the manners of the times, when who was carrying water, say to another, an old fellow can write such obscenity, as he passed by, “ There, that's the faand can find hearers to approve his re mous Demosthenes.” Quid hoc lepetition of it!
“ vius?” says Tully-"At quantus ora27. Altogether nothing, unless, &c.] “ tor ?_Sed apud alios loqui videlicet Persius here imitates a passage of Lu “ didicerat, non multum ipse secum." cilius.
29. The erercises, &c.] Dictata. Pre-Id me
cepts or instructions of any kind-partiNolo scire mihi cujus sum consciu' solus, cularly, and most frequently, lessons Ne damnum faciam. Scire est nescire, which the master pronounceth to his nisi id me
scholars; school-boys'exercises. Ainsw. Scire alius sciret.
The poet continues his banterWhat, says Persius, is all your science, Is it nothing, think you, to have your then, nothing worth, unless you tell all verses taught to the children of the no
« Pro nihilo pendas ?”—Ecce, inter pocula, quærunt
bles at school; to have an hundred such peated something of the obscene or filthy boys getting them by heart, and repeating kind, though with a bad voice, uttered them as their lessons, or writing themes through his nose by way of preface to on passages of your works? The poet, what follows. here, has a fling at the emperor Nero, 34. Phylisses.] Phyllis, the daughter who ordered his poems to be taught in of Lycurgus, who fell in love with Dethe schools for youth.
mophoon, the son of Theseus, on his re29. Curl-pales.] i. e. The young nobi turn from Troy, and entertained him at lity, so called, from having their hair bed and board. He, after some time, dressed and curled in a particular man- going from her, promised to return
again; but not performing his promise, 30, 31. Satiated Romans, &c.] He she hanged herself upon an almondcalls the Roman nobility, Romulidæ, tree. dim. from Romulus their great progeni - Hypsipyla.] Hypsipyle was the tor; and he means hereby to insinuate, daughter of Thoas, and queen of Lemsarcastically, their declension and defec nos, who, when all the women in the tion from the sober and virtuous man island slew their male kindred, preserved wers of their ancestors. Comp. Juv. her father ; for which pious deed she sat. i. 1. 100, note.
was banished. She entertained Jason Here we see them at table, gorman- in his way to Colchos, and bad twins by dizing, and filled with eating and drink- him. ing; then calling for somebody to repeat The poet mentions the names of these passages from the writings of poets for women in the plural number; by which their entertainment, or perhaps that we may understand, that he means any they might inquire into ihe merit of women of such sort of character, who them.
have suffered by their amours in some 31. Divine poems.] Dia, from Gr. dios, disastrous way or other, and have been divinus. The science of poetry was made subjects of verse. Eliquo signifies reckoned divine ; but the poet's use of to melt down, or make liquid. Hence, the epithet, in this place, is ironical, to sing, or speak softly and effeminately. meaning to satirize those productions Ajnsw. which ihese Romulidæ saturi were so -Some lamentable matter, &c.) Some pleased with. Quid narrent-i. e. what mournful love-tale, either invented or they may contain and set forth.
related by the poets. 32. Here.] i. e. Upon this occa 35. Supplanis words, &c.] He does not sion.
utter the words in a plain, manly man. -Some one, &c.] Some noble and de ner, but minces and trips them up, as it licate person, dressed in a violet-coloured were, in their way through his palate, to garment, which was a sign of effemi- make them sound the more apposite to nacy, and greatly in fashion among such the tender subject. of the Roman nobility who were the A metaphor, from wrestlers, wbo, beaux of the time.
when they trip up their antagonists, are 33. Something rankish, &c.] i. c. Re- said-supplantare.
“ Dost thou esteem as nothing ?” Lo, among
the satiated Romans inquire, what divine poems may relate. Here, some one, who has round his shoulders a hyacinthine
cloak, (Having spoken something rankish from a snuffling nostril,) If he hath gently sung Phyllises, Hypsipylæ, and some la
mentable matter Of the poets, and supplants words with a tender palate, 35 The men have assented : now are not the ashes of that poet Happy ? now does not a lighter hillock mark his bones? The guests praise : now will there not from those manes, Now will there not from the tomb, and the fortunate ember, Violets spring up ?-You laugh, says he, and too much indulge
-His refining throat an hillock, or heap of earth; also a Fritters, and melts, and minces ev'ry note. tomb, grave, or sepulchre. Ainsw.
BREWSTER. -Fortunate ember.] Favilla (from Pauw, His dainty palate tripping forth his words. to shine) a hot ember; the white ashes
HOLYDAY. wherein the fire is raked up. 36. The men have assented.] The poet Here it means the embers of the fuuses the word viri here as a mark of neral pile, some of which were mixed censure that those who were called with the bones in the urn. men, should be delighted with such 40. Violets spring up.] It was usual verses, so repeated.
among the Greeks and Romans, when They all assented to the approbation they would extol a living person, to given by some of the company.
speak of flowers springing up under his - Ashes of that poet, &c.] Cinis ille footsteps; and of the favoured dead, to poetæới. e. cinis illius poetæ. Hypal. speak of sweet-smelling flowers growing lage. It was the custom to burn the
over their graves. Perhaps this idea bodies of the dead, and to gather up was first derived from the custom of their ashes, and put them into urds, in strewing flowers in the way of eminent order to preserve them.
persons as they walked along, and of To be sure, the very ashes of a poet, strewing flowers over the graves of the thus approved by a set of a drunken peo- departed. ple, must be happy! Iron.
It is easy to see that Persius is jeering 37. Lighter hillock.) Cippus is a grave. the person to whom he is speaking, when stone, or monument; also a little hill of he mentions the above circumstances of earth, such as are raised over graves. honour and happiness, attending the
This line alludes to the usual super. writers of such verses, as are repeated to, stitious wish which the Romans expressed and approved by, a set of drunken liberfor a deceased friend-Sit tibi terra le- tines at a feast. vis—may the earth be light upon thee ! Juvenal, on another occasion, has colThe cippus marked the grave.
lected all the above ideas, as the gifts of 38. The guests praise.) Now they all the gods to the good and worthy. Sat. break forth into the highest commenda- vii. 1. 207, 208. tion.
-You laugh, says he, &c.] The deManes.] Signifies the spirit, or fender of such writings is not a little ghost, of one departed—sometimes what hurt with the ironical sneer of Persius. we call the remains, or dead body. O, says the galled poet, you are laughing
Sepulchra diruta, nudati manes, Liv. all this while; you are too severe upon and this seems the sense of it here.
39. From the tomb.] Tumulus signifies VOL. II.
Naribus indulges : an erit qui velle recuset
Quisque es, ô modo quem ex adverso dicere feci,
41. Hooked nostrils.] Uncis naribus here, after having severely satirized a indulges--a phrase for indulging scorn desire of false praise, and empty comand sneering ; taken from the wrinkled mendation of what really deserves no and distorted shape assumed by the nose praise at all, now allows, that praise, on such occasions. Thus Hor. lib. i. where properly bestowed, is not to be sat. vi. 1. 5, where he is observing, that despised. “ Mæcenas does not, as too many are apt Made to speak, &c.] i. e. Whom i “ to do, look with scorn and contempt have been setting up as a supposed ad“on people of obscure birth," expresses versary, or opponent, in this dispute. himself in this manner :
Whosoever thou art, that findest what
Nec I have been saying applicable to thyUt plerique solent, naso suspendis adunco self, let me confess to thee, thatIgnotos.
45. 1, when I write, &c.) i e. When The ideas of scorn and contempt are I compose verses—if by chance any often expressed among us by turning up thing well adapted to the subject, and the nose.
well expressed, Aows from my pen, (since -Will there be, &c.] i. e. Is such a I confess this happens but seldom, and person to be found, who is so lost to all therefore gives me the greater satisfacdesire of praise, continues the apologist, tion,) I should not fear commendation. as to have no concern at all to merit the Comp. Juv. vi. 1. 164. approbation and countenance of the 47. Inwards so horny.] Fibra, the in. public ?
wards or entrails—here, by met. the in42. Worthy of cedar, &c.] i. e. Wor- ward man, the moral sense. thy to be preserved. Cedar was looked Horny-hard-insensible like born. upon as an incorruptible wood, which See sat. i. 1. 31. never decayed. From the cedar they 9. d. I am not so callous, so insensible, extracted a juice, which being put on or unfeeling, as not to be pleased, as well books, and other things, kept them from as touched, with deserved praise. moths, worms, and even decay itself. 48. But to be the end, &c.] But that
43. To leave verses, &c.] i. e. In no the eulogies of fools and sots should be danger of being used as waste paper, the end and aim of writing, I deny; either by fishmongers, to wrap or pack or, indeed, that inerely to gain applause their fish in when they sell it, or by per- should be the view and end of even fumers, for their frankincense or other doing right, I cannot allow. perfumes. See Hor. lib. ii. epist. i. I. 49. Your “ Well done! O fine !"] 266, &c. here imitated by Persius. Euge!-belle! like our Well done! fine!
44. Whoever thou art, &c.] The poet bravo! which were acclamations of
Your hooked nostrils. Will there be, who can refuse to be willing
41 To have deserved the countenance of the people? and, having
spoken things worthy of cedar, To leave verses fearing neither little fishes, nor frankincense ? Whoever thou art, O thou, whom I just now made to speak
on the adverse part, I, when I write, if haply something more apt comes forth, 45 (Since this is a rare bird,) yet if something more apt comes forth, Would not fear to be praised; nor indeed are my inwards so
horny. But to be the end and extreme of right I deny Your “ Well done!” and your 6 0 fine !" for examine this
whole “ O fine," What has it not within ? Is not the Iliad of Accius here, 50 Drunk with hellebore? Is there not, if crudenobles havedictated Any little elegies ? Is there not, lastly, whatever is written In citron beds ?-You know how to place a hot sow's-udder ; You know to present a shabby client with a worn garment; And “ I love truth (say you); tell me the truth concerning me."
applause. See Juv. sat. vii. l. 44, them?
52. Is there not, lastly, &c.) The 49. Eramine this whole “ O fine!”] citron wood was reckoned very valuable Sift, canvass well this mark of applause and precious; of this the nobles had which you are so fond of.
their beds and couches made, on which 50. What has it not within ? &c.) they used to lie, or sit, when they What is there so absurd, that you will wrote. Lastly, says Persius, all the not find it applied to as the object of it? trash which issues forth from the citron in short, what is not contained within couches of the great is contained within it?
the compass of this mark of applause ; -The Iliad of Accius.] Accius Labeo, therefore your making it your end and who made a wretched translation of aim is but very little worth your while : Homer's Iliad. See note above, 1. 4. it is so unworthily bestowed, as to be Is not even this contained within the no sort of criterion of excellence and compass of your favourite terms of ap- desert. plause ?
53. How to place, &c.] The poet still 51. Drunk with hellebore.] The an continues to satirize empty applause, by cients made use of hellebore, not only shewing that it may be gained by the when they were disordered in the head, lowest and most abject means. but also when in health, in order to He therefore attacks those who bribe quicken the apprehension. This the for it. You know how, says he, to place poet humourously supposes Accius to on your table a dainty dish. See Juv. have done, but in such a quantity as to sat. xi. 81, note. stupify his senses.
54. You know to present, &c.]. You -Is there not, if crude nobles, &c.] know the effect of giving an old shabby Are not the flimsy and silly little elegies coat to one of your poor dependents. and sonnets, which our raw and inex. Comp. Hor. epist. xix. lib. ii. 1. 37, perienced nobles write and repeat, all 8. subjects of your favourite Belle? Is 55. “ I love truth,” &c.] Then, when not this constantly bestowed upon you have given a good dinner to some,