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Te, Lupe, te, Muti; et genuinum fregit in illis.
125 Inde vaporatâ lector mihi ferveat aure.
115. Thee, Lupus, thee, Murius.] Pub. tell it to others, he dug a ditch or furrow Rutilius Lupus, the consul, and Titus in the earth, and there vented his wish to Mutius Albutius, a very powerful man. speak of it, by whispering what he bad
q. d. Lucilius not only satirized the great, but did it by name.
120. Nevertheless I will dig here, &c.] -Brake his jaw-tooth, &c.] Metaph. Though I can't speak out, yet I will use from grinding food between the jaw- my book as the barber did the ditch ; I teeth, to express the severity with which will secretly commit to it what I have be treated them, grinding them to seen, Infodiam relates to the manner pieces as it were ; brake his very teeth of writing with the point of an iron bod
kin, which was called a style, on tablets 116. Sly Horace touches, &c.] Horace, of wood smeared with wax, so that the "though he spared not vice, even in his writer might be said to dig or plough the friends, yet he was shrewd enough to wax as be made the letters. touch it in such a manner as to please - O little book.'] Here, with indignaeven while he chastised.
tion, the poet relates, as it were, to his 117. And admitted, &c.] He insi- book (as the barber did to his ditch) nuated himself into the affections, and what he had seen; namely, the absurseemed in sport, having the happy art dity and folly of the modern taste for of improving, without the least appear- poetry, in Nero, in the nobles, and in all ance of severity or sneering.
their flatterers. 118. Cunning to hang up, &c.] Sus 121. The ears of an ass.') Alluding pendere, to hang them or hold them up still to the story of Midas, who, finding to view, as the subjects of his satires. fault with the judgment of the country
Excusso naso here stands in opposi- deities, when they adjudged the prize to tion to naribus uncis, supr. 1. 41. see Apollo, in his contention with Pan, had note there, and to the paso adunco of Ho- asses' ears fixed on him by Apollo. race; and means the unwrinkled and Who, says the poet, does not judge of smooth appearance of the nose when poetry as ill as Midas judged of music? in good-humour, and so, good-humour One would think they had all asses' ears itself: Quasi-rugis excusso.
given them for their folly. Suet. in 119. To mutter, &c.] If others, in Vit. Persii, says, that this line originally their different ways, could openly sa stood for Mida rex habet, which Corou. tirize, may not I have the liberty of tus, his friend and instrtictor, advised even muttering, secretly with myself, him to change to quis non habet ? lest or among a few select friends pri- it should be thought to point too plainly vately?
at Nero. -Nor with a ditch.) Alluding to the -I this hidden thing.] This secret joke story of Midas's barber, who, when he saw of mine. the ass's ears which Apollo had placed 122. This laugh of mine.] Hoc ridere, on the head of Midas, not daring to for hunc risum, a Græcism, meaning his
Thee, Lupus, thee, Mutius; and he brake his jaw-tooth upon them.
115 Sly Horace touches every vice, his friend laughing : And admitted round the heart, plays Cunning to hang up the people with an unwrinkled nose. Is it unlawful for me to mutter ? neither secretly, nor with a
ditch ? M. No where, P. Nevertheless I will dig here. “I have seen, I myself have seen, O little book :
120 “ Who has not the ears of an ass ?" I this hidden thing, This laugh of mine, such a nothing, I sell to thee for no Iliad. Õ thou whosoever art inspired by bold Cratinus, Art pale over angry Eupolis, with the very great old man, These too behold: if haply any thing more refined you hear, Let the reader glow towards me with an ear evaporated from thence.
Satires, in which he derides the objects poet here meant is Aristophanes, who of them. See 1. 9, and note.
lived to a very great age. He was of a 122. Such a nothing.) So insignificant vehement spirit, had a genius turned to and worthless in thine opinion, my friend, raillery, wit free and elevated, and cou(comp. 1. 2, 3.) and perhaps in the eyes rage not to fear the person when vice of others, that they would not think was to be reproved. He wrote thirtythem worth reading, as you told me. four comedies, whereof eleven only re
-I sell to thee, &c.] Nero, as well as main. Labeo, had written a poem on the de Hor. lib. i. sat. iv. l. 1, mentions all struction of Troy; to these the poet may these three poets together. be supposed to allude, when he says he Persius gives him the epithet of præwould not sell his Satires-- his nothing, as grandi, either on account of his age, for others esteemed them-for my Iliad: he lived till he was fourscore, or on acperhaps the word nulla may be under- count of the great eminence of his writstood as extending to Homer himself. ings, for he was the prince of the old
123. O thou whosoever, &c.] Afate comedy, as Menander was of the new; hast read so much of Cratinus, as to be but so as we must join, says Ainsworth, influenced and inspired with his spirit. Eupolis and Cratinus with the former, Cratinus was a Greek comic poet, who, Diphilus and Polemon with the latter. with a peculiar boldness and energy, sa
125. These too behold.] Look also on tirized ihe evil manners of his time. The these Satires of mine. poet is about to describe what sort of -If haply any thing more refined, &c.] readers he chooses for his Satires, and The poet speaks modestly of his own those whom he does not choose.
writings, si forte, (see before, 1. 44, 5.) 124. Art pale.] With reading and if it should so happen, that thou shouldstudying hast contracted that paleness est meet with any thing more clear, well of countenance,
which is incident to stu- digested, pure, refined than ordinary. dious people. See Juv. sat. vii. I. 97; Metaph. taken from liquors, which, by and Pers. sat. v. 1. 62.
being often boiled, lose much of their -Angry Eupolis.] This was another quantity, but gain more strength and comic poet, who, incensed at the vices of clearness. It is said of Virgil, that he the Atheniads, lashed them in the se would make fifty verses in a morning, or verest manner. He is said to have been more, and in the evening correct and thrown into the sea by Alcibiades, for purge them till they were reduced to some verses written against him.
about ten. - With the very great old man.] The 126. Let the reader glow, &c.] If, says
Non hic, qui in crepidas Graiorum ludere gestit
Persius, there be any thing in my writ- is he that has lost an eye, a one-eyed ings better than ordinary, let the reader, man. who has formed his taste on the writ Persius means those who can upbraid ings of the poets above mentioned, glow and deride the patural infirmities or miswith a fervour of delight towards the fortunes of others, by way of wit : author. This I take to be the meaning Cun mock the blind : and has the wit to of the line, which literally is
cryLet the reader glow lowards me with (Prodigious wit !)—" Why, friend, you an ear evaporated (i. e. purified from the
o want an eye!"
BeEWSTER. false taste of the present times) from 129. Thinking himself somebody.) A thence (i. e. from, or by, reading and person of great consequence. studying the writings of Cratinus, &c.) -Lifted up, &c.] Puffed up with such I wish to be my readers. Vaporo self-importance, because bearing an ofsignifies to send out vapours, to evapo- fice in some country-district of Italy ; rate : thus the metaphor is continued and therefore flippant of his abuse, by through both the lines.
way of being witty, 1. 127, 8. 127. Not he, who delights, &c.] Persius 130. An ædile, &c.] An inferior kind now marks out those who were not to be of country-magistrate, who had jurischosen for bis readers.
diction over weights and measures, and The first class of men which he objects had authority to break and destroy to are those who can laugh at the per- those which were false. Juv. sat. x. I. sons and babits of philosophers; this 102. bespeaks a despicable, mean, and sordid - Aretium.) A city of Tuscany, famind.
mous for making earthen-ware, but, per-Slippers of the Grecians.) Crepidas haps, put here for any country town. Graiorum, a peculiar sort of slippers, or So heminas, half sextaries, little meashoes, worn by philosophers—bere put by sures holding about three quarters of a synec, for the whole dress : but it is most pint, are put for measures in general. likely, that Persius here means the phi- Comp. Juv. sat. x. 101, 2. losophers themselves, and all their wise 131. Nor who, arch, &c.] Another sayings and institutes ; these were ori- class of people, which Persius would exginally derived from Greece.
clude from the number of his readers, 128. Sordid.] See note, No. 1, above, are those who laugh at and despise all at ). 127, ad fin.
science whatsoever. -Say to the blinkard, &c.] Luscus Abacus signifies a bench, skate, or
Not he, who delights to sport on the slippers of the Grecians, Sordid, and who can say to the blinkard, thou blinkard : Thinking himself somebody ; because, lifted up with Italian
honour, An ædile he may have broken false measures at Aretium. 130 Nor who,arch, knows to laugh at the numbers of an accountable, And bounds in divided dust; prepared to rejoice much, If petulant Nonaria should pluck a Cynic's beard. I give to these, in the morning, anedict; after dinner, Callirhoë.
table, used for accounts by arithmeti- meant that these illiterate fellows should cians, and for figures by arithmeticians attend the forum in the morning, and -here put for arithmetic and mathe- the brothel in the evening : but the matics.
former seems too serious an employ for 132. Bounds in divided dust.] The men such as he is speaking of. geometricians made their demonstrations Marcilius, therefore, more reasonably, upon dust, or sanded floors, to the end takes edictum (consonant to the phrases that their lines might easily be changed edictum ludorum, edictum muneris glaand struck out again- here geometry is diatorii, &c.) to signify a programma, a
kind of play-bill, which was stuck up, as 133. Petulant Nonaria, &c.] Who ours are, in a morning; and Callirhoe to think it an high joke, if they see an im- be the title of some wretched play, writpudent strumpet meet a grave Cynic in ten on the story of that famous parricide ihe street, and pull him by the beard; (who slew her father because he would which was the greatest affront that could not consent to her marriage) by some of be offered. Comp. Hor, sat. iii. lib. i. the writers at which this Satire is levelled, 1. 133, 4.
and which was announced to be perThe ninth hour, or our three o'clock formed in the evening. in the afternoon, was the time when the 9.d. Instead of wishing such to read harlots first made their appearance; hence my Satires, I consigo these pretty genthey were called Nonariæ. Perhaps tlemen to the study of the play.bills in our poet may allude, in this line, to the the morning, and to an attendance on story of Diogenes, (mentioned by Athen. the play in the evening Thus this lib. xii.) who was in love with Lais, the Satire concludes, in conformity with the famous courtezan, and had his beard preceding part of it, with lashing bad plucked by her.
writers and their admirers. 134. In the morning, an edict.] To Marcilius contends, that this line is to such people as these I assign employ; be referred to Nero, against whom, as a ments suitable to their talents and poet, this Satire is principally, though characters. It has been usually thought, covertly, levelled-who, by ordering that edictum here means the prætor's bills to be distributed, called the people edict, and that by Callirhoe is meant together, in order to hear him sing over some harlot of that name; and therefore his poems on Callirhoe, this line is to be understood, as if Persius
It being customary among the Romans for one friend to send a
present to another on his birth-day-Persius, on the birthday of his friend Macrinus, presents him with this Satire, which seems (like Juv. Sat. x.) to be founded on Plato's dialogue on prayer, called The Second Alcibiades. The Poet takes occasion to expose the folly and impiety of those,
who, thinking the gods to be like themselves, imagined that they were to be bribed into compliance with their prayers by sumptuous presents; whereas, in truth, the gods regard not these, but regard only the pure intention of an honest heart.
AD PLOTIUM MACRINUM.
Line 1. Macrinus.] Who this Macri - White.] i e. Happy, good, propi. nus was does not sufficiently appear; he tious. was a learned man, and a friend of Per -Adds to thee sliding yeurs.) Sets one sius, who here salutes him on his birth more complete year to the score, and day.
begins another. - Better stone.] The ancients reckoned -Sliding years.] "happy days with white pebbles, and un Ehen fugaces, Posthume, Posthume, happy days with black ones, and at the Labuntur anni. end of the year cast up the reckoning,
Hor. ode xiv. lib. ii. by which they could see how many Years that glide swiftly, and almost imhappy, and how many unhappy days perceptibly away,
3. Pour out wine to your genius.] The The poet here bids his friend dis- genius was a tutelar god, which they tinguish his birth-day among the hap- believed to preside at their birth, whom piest of his days, with a better, a whiter they worshipped every year on their stone than ordinary. See Juv. sat. birth-day, by making a libation of wine. xii. 1.
They did not slay any beast in sacrifice 2. Which.] i. e. Which day to their genius on that day, because they