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335

Cum stimulos odio pudor admovet. Elige quidnam
Suadendum esse putes, cui nubere Cæsaris uxor
Destinat: optimus hic, et formosissimus idem
Gentis patriciæ rapitur miser extinguendus
Messalinæ oculis : dudum sedet illa parato
Flammeolo; Tyriusque palam genialis in hortis
Sternitur, et ritu decies centena dabuntur
Antiquo: veniet cum signatoribus auspex.
Hæc tu secreta, et paucis commissa putabas ?
Non nisi legitime vult nubere. Quid placeat, dic:
Nî parere velis, pereundum est ante lucernas:
Si scelus admittas, dabitur mora parvula, dum res
Nota urbi et populo, contingat principis aures :
Dedecus ille domûs sciet ultimus. Interea tu
Obsequere imperio, si tanti est vita dierum
Paucorum ; quicquid melius, leviusque putaris,
Præbenda est gladio pulchra hæc et candida cervix.

340

345

328. Most cruel, &c.] A woman is rid lewdness of this empress, see sat. vi. then most savage and relentless, when, 115–31. on being disappointed, the fear of shame -Long she sits, &c.] The time seems adds spurs to her resentment, and her long to her, while waiting for Sipassion of love is changed to hatred. lius. See Gen. xxxix. 7-20.

333, 4. Prepared bridal veil.] Which Virgil represents Juno as stirred up she had prepared for the ceremony. See to her relentless hatred to Æneas, and sat. ii. 1. 124, note on the word flamthe Trojans,from several motives; among mea; and sat. vi. 224. the rest, from the contempt which had 334. Openly, &c.] She transacts her been shewn her by Paris, in his judge matter openly, without fear or shame ; ment against her at mount Ida.

accordingly she omits nothing of the Necdum etiam causæ irarum, sæviquc marriage ceremony; she puts on the dolores,

flame-coloured marriage veil; the cori. Exciderant animo, manct alta mente jugal bed was sumptuously adorned with repóstum

purple', and prepared in the Lucullan Judicium Paridis, spretæque injuria gardens, a place of public resort.

See formæ, &c. &c. Æn. i. 29, 30, 31. note on l. 338. See also Æn. v. 5–7.

335. Ten times an hundrcd.] She had 329. Choose, &c.] i, c. Think it over, her portion ready, according to ancient and determine, all things considered, custom. On this instance it amounted what advice you would give.

to the vast sum of one thousand sester330, Tohim whom, &c.] Silius is meant tia. See sat, i. 1. 406, note. This was here, a noble Roman, whom the empress supposed to be given to the husband, in Messalina so doated upon, that she made consideration of the burdens of matrihim put away his wife Julia Syllana, mony. and resolved to marry him in the ab 336. Soothsayern---signers, &c.] The sence of her husband, the emperor soothsayer, who always attended on such Claudius, who was gone no farther than occasions. VALER. lib. ii. says, that Ostia, a city near the mouth of the Ti. among the ancients, nothing of conseber.

quence was undertaken, either in private 333. By the cycs, &c.] By her having or public, without consulting the aufixed her eyes upon him, so as to be- spices; hence a soothsayer attended on come enamoured with him. Of the hor- marriages. Auspex-quasi avispex

When shame adds goads to hatred. Choose what 829 You think to be advised, to him whom Cæsar's wife destines To

marry: this the best and most beautiful too Of a patrician family is hurried, a wretch, to be destroy'd By the eyes of Messalina : long she sits in her prepared Bridal veil, and openly the Tyrian marriage-bed is strowed In the gardens, and ten times an hundred will be given by ancient

335 Rite: the soothsayer, with the signers, will come. Do you think these things secret, and committed to a few ? She will not marry unless lawfully. Say—what like you ? Unless you will obey, you must perish before candle-light. If you commit the crime, a little delay will be given, till the

thing, Known to the city and to the people, reaches the prince's ears, (He will last know the disgrace of his house.) În the mean

while Do thou obey the command, if the life of a few days is Of such consequence; whatever you may think best and easiest, This fair and white neck is to be yielded to the sword. 845

340

because they divined from the fight and marrying the wife of another. other actions of birds.

-A little detay, &c.] You will proThe signatories were a sort of public bably live for a few days; the public runotaries, who wrote and attested wills, mour will reach the prince's ears, though deeds, marriage-settlements, &c. Thesc later than the ears of others, as he will also were present; for, before the mar- probably be the last who hears the disriage, they wrote down in tables, (tabu- honour done to his family, few, perhaps, lis, see sat. ii. 58, note) by way of re- daring to break such a thing to him. cord, the form of the contract, to which 343. The command.] Of Messalina. they, with the witnesses, set their seals. -If the life of a few days, &c.] If you

337. These things secret, &c.] That she think that living a few days more or less does things privately, so that only a few is of so much consequence, that you will chosen secret friends should know them? sooner commit a crime of such magniby no means.

tude to gain a short respite, than risk an 338. Unless lutofully.) She determines earlier death, by avoiding the commisto marry publicly, with all the usual sion of it, then to be sure you must forms and ceremonies ; and this, says obey ; but whichever way you deterTacitus, in the face of the senate, of the mineequestrian order, and of the whole peo 345. Neck, &c.] This beautiful person ple and soldiery. See Ant. Univ. Hist. of yours will be sacrificed, either to Mesvol. xiv. p. 344, note i.

salina's resentment, if you don't comply, -Say, what like you?] Quid placeat, or to the emperor's, if you do. Howwhat it may please you to do. Say, Si- ever, the marriage took place, and they lius, what part will you take in such a pleased themselves in all festivity that situation ? what do you think best to do, day and night ; afterwards Silius was under so fatal a dilemma ?

seized, by the emperor's command, and 339. Unless, &c.] If you refuse this put to death ; thus exhibiting a striking horrid woman's offer, she will have you example of the sad consequences which murdered before night,

often attend being remarkable for beauty. 340. If you commit the crime.] Of Messalina, soon after, was killed in the VOL. II.

350

Nil ergo optabunt homines ? si consilium vis,
PERMITTES IPSIS EXPENDERE NUMINIBUS, QUID
CONVENIAT NOBIS, REBUSQUE SIT UTILE NOSTRIS.
Nam pro jucundis aptissima quæque dabunt Dî.
CARIOR EST ILLIS HOMO, QUAM SIBI : nos animorum
Impulsu, et cæcâ magnâque cupidine ducti,
Conjugium petimus, partumque uxoris : at illis
Notum, qui pueri, qualisque futura sit uxor.
Ut tamen et poscas aliquid, voveasque sacellis
Exta, et candiduli divina tomacula porci ;
ORANDUM EST, UT SIT MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO.
Fortem posce animum, et mortis terrore carentem ;
Qui spatium vitæ extremum inter munera ponat
Naturæ, qui ferre queat quoscunque labores ;
Nesciat irasci ; cupiat nihil ; et potiores

355

360

p. 348, 9.

gardens of Lucullus, whither she had re 354. Ask something.) In the former tired. See Ant. Univ. Hist. vol. xiv. part of this fine passage the poet speaks

of leaving all to the gods, in such an 346. Shall men therefore, &c.] If all absolute and unreserved manner, as you say be considered, the consequence seemingly to exclude the exercise of seems to be, that it is wrong to wish, prayer : as to outward things, such as or pray, for any thing.

power, riches, beauty, and the like, he -Have advice.) If you will be ad. certainly does, inasmuch as these matters vised what is best to do, 1 answer ought to be left entirely to Providence,

347. Permit the gods, &c.] Leave all we not being able to judge about them; to the gods; they know what is best for and, indeed, as he has shewn throughout us, and what is most suitable to our cir- the preceding part of this Satire, the cumstances and situations.

having of these things may prove ruin349. Instead of pleasant things, &c.] ous and destructive, therefore are not They can, though we cannot, foresee all proper subjects either of desire or prayer: consequences which will arise, and there.

but now the poet finely shews, that fore, instead of bestowing what may be there are subjects of prayer, which are pleasing, they will give what is most not only desirable, but to be petitioned proper, most suitable, and best adapted for, as conducive to our real good and to our welfare , and this, because mor- happiness. tals are dearer to them than we are to -Vow in chapels.] Sacellum signifies ourselves. Comp. 1 Pet. v. 7.

a chapel, a little temple, or perhaps any 350, 1, By the impulse, &c.] We are place consecrated to divine worship. impelled to wish for things, merely from Here it may signify the sacred shrines the strong desire we have to possess of their gods, before which they offered them; and do not reflect, as we ought, their vows, prayers, and sacrifices. on the blindness of our minds, which 355. Entrails.] The bowels, or inwards, cannot see farther than present things, of animals, which were execta, (unde and therefore are led to judge amiss of exta,) cut out, and offered in sacriwhat may be for our good in the end.

fice. 352. Wedlock, and the bringing forth, —Divine puddings, &c.] Tomacula, or &c.] We pray for a wife, and that that tomacla, from Gr.fileww, to cut, were pud. wife may bring forth children; but the dings, or sausages, made of the liver and gods only can foresee how either the flesh of the animal, chopped and mixed wife ur children may turn out, conse together, and were called also farcimina, quently, whether the gratification of our gut-puddings ; and, like our sausages, wishes may be for our happiness. were made by stuffing a gut taken from

Shall men therefore wish for nothing? If you will have advice, PERMIT THE GODS THEMSELVES TO CONSIDER WHAT MAY SUIT US, AND BE USEFUL TO OUR AFFAIRS. For, instead of pleasant things, the gods will give whatever

are fittest. MAN IS DEARER TO THEM, THAN TO HIMSELF: we, led by the

350 Impulse of our minds, and by a blind, and great desire, Ask wedlock, and the bringing forth of our wife: but to them Is known, what children, and what sort of a wife she may be. However, that you may ask something, and vow in chapels Entrails, and the divine puddings of a whitish swine, 355 YOU MUST PRAY, THAT YOU MAY HAVE A SOUND MIND IN A

SOUND BODY. Ask a mind, strong, and without the fear of death ; Which puts the last stage of life among the gifts of Nature; which can bear any troubles whatsoever ; Knows not to be angry; covets nothing; and which thinks 360

the animal with the above ingredients. course. These accompanied the sacrifices, and 358, 9. Gifts of nature.] The word were therefore called divine.

munus either signifies a gift, or a duty 355. Whitish swine. ] This was offered or office. If we take munera, here, in to Diana, under the name of Lucina, in the former sense, we must understand order to make her propitious to child- the poet to mean, that true fortitude, so bearing women, as also on other occa far from fearing death as an evil, looks sions. See Hor. lib, iji, ode xxii. on it as a gift or blessing of nature. So

356. You must pray, &c.] As if the Mr. DRYDEN : poet had said, “I by no means object A soul that can securely death defy, * either to sacrifices or prayers to the And count it nature's privilege to die. “ gods, provided what is asked be rea. In the other sense, we must understand " sonable and good, we cannot be too the poet to mean, that death will be “ earnest."

looked upon, by a wise and firm mind, -A sound mind, &c.] g. d. Health of as an office, or duty, which all are to body and mind is the first of blessings fulfil, and therefore to be submitted to here below; without a sound mind we as such, not with fear and dismay, but can neither judge, determine, or act with as much willingness and complaaright; without bodily health there can cency as any other duty which nature be no enjoyment.

has laid upon us. 357. Å mind strong, &c.] Fortitude, 359. Any troubles, &c.] Any misforby which, unmoved and undismayed, you tunes, without murmuring and repining, can look upon death without terror. much less sinking under them.

358. The last stage, &c.] Ultimum 360. Knows not to be angry.] Can so spatium, in the chariot and horse-racing, rule the tempers and passions of the signified the space between the last soul, as to control, on all occasions, bound or mark, and the goal where the those perturbations which arise within, race ended. Hence, by an easy meta, and produce a violence of anger. phor, it denotes the latter part of life, -Coocts nothing. ) Being content and when we are near our end, and are about submissive to the will of Providence, to finish our course of life.

desires nothing but what it has, neither So the apostle, 2 Tim. iv. 7. says, coveting what others have, or uneasy to Tor domov tirsasxa, I have finished my obtain what we ourselves have not.

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Herculis ærumnas credat, sævosque labores,
Et Venere, et conis, et plumis Sardanapali.
Monstro quod ipse tibi possis dare: SEMITA CERTE
TRANQUILLÆ PER VIKTUTEM PATET UNICA VITÆ.
Nullum numen habes, si sit prudentia : sed te
Nos facimus, Fortuna, deam, cæloque locamus.

365

EVERY

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361. The toils of Hercules, &c.] Allud- taught Juvenal, that ing to what are usually called, the GIFT, AND EVERY PERFECT GIFT, 13 twelve labours of Hercules.

YROM ABOVE,

COMETH DOWN 362. Than the lasciviousness, &c.] Such FROM THE FATHER OF LIGHTg. Comp. a mind as has been described esteems Jer. x, 23. the greatest sufferings and labours, even Hon. lib. i. epist. xviii. 1. 111, 12, such as Hercules underwent, more eligi- says, ble than all the pleasures and enjoy Sed satis est orare Jovem qui donat et ments of sensuality.

anfert, —Sardanapalns.] The last king of As. Det vitam, det opes, æquum mianimum syria, whose life was such a scene of ipse parabo. lasciviousness, luxury, and effeminacy, Cic. Nat. Deorum, lib. iii. c. xxxvi. that he fell into the utmost contempt in declares it as a general opinion, that manthe eyes of his subjects, who revolted; kind received from the gods the outward and he, being overcome, made a pile, conveniences of life, virtutem autem set it on fire, and burnt himself, and his nemo unquam acceptam Deo retulit; most valuable moveables, in it: “ The “ but virtue none ever yet thought they “ only thing," says Justin, “ he ever “ received from the Deity.” And again, “ did like a man."

“this is the persuasion of all, that forAs the word venere, in this line, is “ tune is to be had from the gods, wismetonymically used for lewdness, or “ dom from ourselves.” Again, “ who lasciviousness, Venus being the goddess “ ever thanked the gods for his being a of these, and cænis for all manner of good man? men pray to Jupiter, not gluttony and luxury, so plumis may here " that he would make them just, tempe. be used to denote softness and effemi- “ rate, wise, but rich and prosperous.” nacy of dress.

Thus“ they became vain in their imaPlumæ, in one sense, is used some ginations, and their foolish heart was times to denote plates, scales, or span “ darkened ; professing themselves to gles, wrought on the armour or accoutre “ be wise, they became fools.” Rom. ments of men or horses, one whereof i. 21, 2. was laid upon another. Garments also 365. You have no deity, &c.] If men were adorned with gold and purple would act prudently and wisely, we plumage, feather-work. Ainsw. See should no more hear of good or ill luck, Æn. xi, 1, 770, 1.

as if the affairs of men were left to the 363. What yourself may give, &c.) disposal of Fortune, or chance, who While others are disquieting themselves, manages them in a way of sport and and asking for the gratification of their caprice, independently of any endeafoolish and hurtful desires, let me tell vours of their own; ludum insolentem you the only way to solid peace and ludere pertinax. (See Hor. lib. iii. ode comfort, and what it is in your own xxix. 1. 49-52.) The goddess Fortune power to bestow upon yourself; I mean, would no longer be a divinity in the eyes and it is most certainly true, that there of mortals, if they were themselves pruis no other way to happiness, but in the dent and careful in the management of paths of virtue. Comp. Eccl. xii. 13, themselves and their affairs. 14. The heathen thought that every It is not easy to do justice to the word man was the author of his own virtue numen, in this place, by any single one and wisdom; but there were some at in the English language; at least I am Rome, at that time, who could have not acquainted with any that can at

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