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Cum stimulos odio pudor admovet. -
Destinat: optimus hic, et formosissimus idem
Sternitur, et ritu decies centena dabuntur
Antiquo: veniet cum signatoribus auspex.
Non nisi legitime vult nubere.
Ni parere velis, pereundum est ante lugernas:
Siscelus admittas, dabitur mora parvula, dum res
Nota urbi et populo, contingat principis aures:
omás sciet ultimus.
Obsequere imperio, si tanti est vita dierum
Praebenda est gladio pulchra haec et candida cervix.
Elige quidnam 330 335 Quid placeat, dic: 340 Interea tu 345
rid lewdness of this empress, see sat. vi. 115–31. —Long she sits, &c.] The time seems long to her, while waiting for Silius. 333, 4. Prepared bridal veil.] Which she had prepared for the ceremony. See sat. ii. l. 124, note on the word flammea; and sat. vi. 224. 334. Openly, &c.] She transacts her matter openly, without fear or shame : accordingly she omits nothing of the marriage ceremony; she puts on the flame-coloured marriage veil; the conjugal bed was sumptuously adorned with purple, and prepared in the Lucullan gardens, a place of public resort. See note on 1.338. 335. Ten times an hundred.] She had her portion ready, according to ancient custom. On this instance it amounted to the vast sum of one thousand sestertia. See sat. i. 1. 406, note. This was supposed to be given to the husband, in consideration of the burdens of matrimony. 336. Soothoayer—signers, &c.] The soothsayer, who always attended on such occasions. VALER. lib. ii, says, that among the ancients, nothing of consequence was undertaken, either in private or public, without consulting the auspices; hence a soothsayer attended on marriages. Auspex—quasi avispex329
When shame adds goads to hatred. Choose what
You think to be advised, to him whom Caesar's wife destines
Rite: the soothsayer, with the signers, will come.
Known to the city and to the people, reaches the prince's ears,
(He will last know the disgrace of his house.)
n the mean
Do thou obey the command, if the life of a few days is
This fair and white neck is to be yielded to the sword.
because they divined from the flight and other actions of birds. The signatories were a sort of public notaries, who wrote and attested wills, deeds, marriage-settlements, &c. These also were present; for, before the marriage, they wrote down in tables, (tabulis, see sat. ii. 58, note) by way of record, the form of the contract, to which they, with the witnesses, set their seals. 337. These things secret, &c.] That she does things privately, so that only a few chosen secret friends should know them? by no means. 338. Unless lawfully..] She determines to marry publicly, with all the usual forms and ceremonies; and this, says Tacitus, in the face of the senate, of the equestrian order, and of the whole people and soldiery. See ANT. Univ. Hist. vol. xiv. p. 344, note i. —Say, what like you?] Quid placeat— what it may please you to do. Say, Silius, what part will you take in such a situation? what do you think bo to do, under so fatal a dilemma 2 339. Unless, &c.] If you refuse this horrid woman's offer, she will have you murdered before night. 340. If you commit the crime.] Of
marrying the wife of another. —A little detay, &c.] You will probably live for a few days; the public rumour will reach the prince's ears, though later than the ears of others, as he will probably be the last who hears the dishonour done to his family, few, perhaps, daring to break such a thing to him. 343. The command.] Of Messalina. —If the life of a few days, &c.] If you think that living a few days more or less is of so much consequence, that you will sooner commit a crime of such magnitude to gain a short respite, than risk an earlier death, by avoiding the commission of it, then to be sure you must obey; but whichever way you determine— 345. Neck, &c.] This beautiful person of yours will be sacrificed, either to Messalina's resentment, if you don't comply, or to the emperor's, if you do. However, the marriage took place and they pleased themselves in all festivity that day and night; afterwards Silius was seized, by the emperor's command, and put to death; thus exhibiting a striking example of the sad consequences which often attend being remarkable for beauty. Messalina, soon after, was killed in the
* Nil ergo optabunt homines? si consilium vis,
CARIoR Est ILLIs HoMo, QUAM sibl: nos animorum
Impulsu, et caecă magnâque cupidine ducti,
Exta, et candiduli divina tomacula porci;
ORANDUM EST, UT sit MENs san.A IN corport E. sano. Fortem posce animum, et mortis terrore carentem; Qui spatium vitae extremum inter munera ponat Naturae, qui ferre queat quoscunque labores;
Nesciatirasci; cupiat nihil ; et potiores
gardens of Lucullus, whither she had retired. See ANT. Univ. Hist. vol. xiv. p. 348, 9. 346. Shall men therefore, &c.] If all you say be considered, the consequence seems to be, that it is wrong to wish, or pray, for any thing. —Have advice.] If you will be advised what is best to do, l answer347. Permit the gods, &c.] Leave all to the gods; they know what is best for us, and what is most suitable to our circumstances and situations. 349. Instead of pleasant things, &c.] They caw, though we cannot, foresee all consequences which will arise, and therefore, instead of bestowing what may be pleasing, they will give what is most proper, most suitable, and best adapted to our welfare ; and this, because mortals are dearer to them than we are to ourselves. Comp. 1 Pet. v. 7. 350, 1. By the impulse, &c.] We are impelled to wish for things, merely from the strong desire we have to possess them ; and do not reflect, as we ought, on the blindness of our minds, which cannot see farther than present things, and therefore are led to judge amiss of what may be for our good in the end. 352. Wedlock, and the bringing forth, &c.] We pray for a wife, and that that wife may bring forth children; but the gods only can foresee how either the wife or children may turn out, consequently, whether the gratification of our wishes may be for our happiness.
354. Ask something.] In the former part of this fine passage the poet speaks of leaving all to the gods, in such an absolute and unreserved manner, as seemingly to exclude the exercise of prayer: as to outward things, such as power, riches, beauty, and the like, he certainly does, inasmuch as these matters ought to be left entirely to Providence, we not being able to judge about them; and, indeed, as he has shewn throughout the preceding part of this Satire, the having of these things may prove ruinous and destructive, therefore are not proper subjects either of desire or prayer: but now the poet finely shews, that there are subjects of prayer, which are not only desirable, but to be petitioned for, as conducive to our real good and happiness.
—Vow in chapels.] Sacellum signifies a chapel, a little temple, or perhaps any place consecrated to divine worship. Here it may signify the sacred shrines of their gods, before which they offered their vows, prayers, and sacrifices.
355. Entrails.]The bowels, or inwards,
of animals, which were execta, (unde exta,) cut out, and offered in sacrifice.
—Divine puddings, &c.]Tomacula, or tomacle,from Gr. orsova,to cut, were puddings, or sausages, made of the liver and flesh of the animal, chopped and mixed together, and were called also farcimina, gut-puddings; and, like our sausages, were made by stuffing a gut taken from are fittest.
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
MAN is DeARER to TheM, THAN to HIM self; we, led by
Impulse of our minds, and by a blind, and great desire,
Entrails, and the divine puddings of a whitish swine,
YoU MUST PRAY, THAT YOU MAY HAVE A sound MIND IN A
Ask a mind, strong, and without the fear of death;
the animal with the above ingredients. These accompanied the sacrifices, and were therefore called divine. 855. Whitish swine.] This was offered to Diana, under the name of Lucina, in order to make her propitious to childbearing women, as also on other occasions. See Hon. lib. iii. ode xxii. 356. You must pray, &c.] As if the poet had said, “I by no means object “either to sacrifices or prayers to the “gods, provided what is asked be rea“sonable and good, we cannot be too “earnest.” —A sound mind, &c.] q. d. Health of body and mind is the first of blessings here below; without a sound mind we can neither judge, determine, or act aright; without bodily health there can be no enjoyment. 357. A mind strong, &c.] Fortitude, by which, unmoved and undismayed, you can look upon death without terror. 358. The last stage, &c.) Ultimum spatium, in the chariot and horse-racing, signified the space between the last bound or mark, and the goal where the race ended. Hence, by an easy metaphor, it denotes the latter part of life, when we are near our end, and are about to finish our course of life. So the apostle, 2 Tim. iv. 7. says, won too, ririxixa, I have finished my
course. 358, 9. Gifts of nature.] The word munus either signifies a gift, or a duty or office. If we take munera, here, in the former sense, we must understand the poet to mean, that true fortitude, so far from fearing death as an evil, looks on it as a gift or blessing of nature. So Mr. DRY DEN : A soul that can securely death defy, And count it nature's privilege to die. In the other sense, we must understand the poet to mean, that death will be looked upon, by a wise and firm mind, as an office, or duty, which all are to fulfil, and therefore to be submitted to as such, not with fear and dismay, but with as much willingness and complacency as any other duty which nature has laid upon us. 359. Any troubles, &c.] Any misfortunes, without murmuring and repining, much less sinking under them. 360. Knows not to be angry.] Can so rule the tempers and passions of the soul, as to control, on all occasions, those perturbations which arise within, and produce a violence of anger. —Covets nothing.] Being content and submissive to the will of Providence, desires nothing but what it has, neither coveting what others have, or uneasy to obtain what we ourselves have not.
Nullum numen habes, si sit prudentia: sed te
Nos facimus, Fortuna, deam, coeloque locamus.
361. The toils of Hercules, &c.] Alluding to what are usually called, the twelve labours of Hercules. 362. Than the lasciviousness, &c.] Such a mind as has been described esteems the greatest sufferings and labours, even such as Hercules underwent, more eligible than all the pleasures and enjoyments of sensuality. –Sardanapalus.] The last king of Assyria, whose life was such a scene of lasciviousness, luxury, and effeminacy, that he fell into the utmost contempt in the eyes of his subjects, who revolted; and he, being overcome, made a pile, set it on fire, and burnt himself, and his most valuable moveables, in it: “The “only thing,” says Justin, “he ever “ did like a man.” As the word venere, in this line, is metonymically-used for lewdness, or lasciviousness, Venus being the goddess of these, and coenis for all manner of gluttony and luxury, so plumis may here be used to denote softness and effeminacy of dress. Plumae, in one sense, is used sometimes to denote plates, scales, or spangles, wrought on the armour or accoutre
ments of men or horses, one whereof, Garments also
was laid upon another. were adorned with gold and purple plumage, feather-work. AINsw. See AEn. xi. l. 770, l. 363. What yourself may give, &c.] While others are disquieting themselves, and asking for the gratification of their foolish and hurtful desires, let me tell you the only way to solid peace and comfort, and what it is in your own power to bestow upon yourself; I mean, and it is most certainly true, that there is no other way to happiness, but in the paths of virtue. Comp. Eccl. xii. 13, 14. The heathen thought that every man was the author of his own virtue and wisdom; but there were some at Rome, at that time, who could have
taught Juvenal, that Even y Good GIFT, AND Evr. R Y PERFEct Girt, 1s From Above, AND com Eth now N from the FATHEIt of lights. Comp. Jer. x. 23. Holt. lib. i. epist. xviii. 1. 111, 12, says, Sed satis est orare Jovcm qui donat ct aufert, Det vitam, det opes, aequum mi animum ipse parabo. Cic. Nat. Deorum, lib. iii. c. xxxvi. declares it as a general opinion, that mankind received from the gods the outward conveniences of life, virtutem autem nemo unquam acceptam Deo retulit; “but virtue none ever yet thought they “received from the Deity.” And again, “this is the persuasion of all, that for“tune is to be had from the gods, wis“dom from ourselves.” Again, “who “ever thanked the gods for his being a “good man? men pray to Jupiter, not “that he would make them just, tempe. “rate, wise, but rich and prosperous.” Thus “they became vain in their ima“ginations, and their foolish heart was “darkened; professing themselves to “be wise, they became fools.” Rom. i. 21, 2. 365. You have no deity, &c.] If men would act prudently and wisely, we should no more hear of good or ill luck, as if the affairs of men were left to the disposal of Fortune, or chance, who manages them in a way of sport and caprice, independently of any endeavours of their own; ludum insolentem ludere pertinax. (See Hon. lib. iii. ode xxix. l. 49–52.) The goddess Fortune would no longer be a divinity in the eyes of mortals, if they were themselves prudent and careful in the management of themselves and their affairs. It is not easy to do justice to the word numen, in this place, by any single one in the English language; at least I am not acquainted with any that can at