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temporaries, the personages on whom he pours out his indignation are those with whom he and his contemporaries were well acquainted, and they are those of whom mention is made by Tacitus, Suetonius, the younger Pliny, and Martial. In the spurious Satires, on the contrary, which are the work of a Declamator, as Ribbeck calls him, the few names which may belong to contemporaries of Juvenal are with some exceptions totally unknown. These Satires also give us little information on manners or events in Rome, while nearly every line of the genuine Satires contains instructive matter. The Declamator abounds in allusions to Greek and Roman history and to mythical legends. Even Moses is introduced to us. It is true that the writer of the genuine Satires shows that he was well acquainted with Greek and Roman history; but he handles his matter like a man of sense, who knows the world, while the Declamator writes like a pedant.
The Declamator, who tells us little about Rome, treats us with a great deal about foreign parts, and in the fifteenth Satire he even takes us into Egypt; and yet, as Ribbeck maintains, he does not even know that Canopus (xv. 44, and the note) is in Egypt.
It has been observed also, he adds, that the Declamator has a turn for philosophy, but the genuine Juvenal scarcely indicates any taste for such speculation. He never uses the word Sapientia, which the Declamator prizes highly, and, following the Stoic doctrine, declares that Nature and Philosophy teach the same thing (xiii. 189). He seems also to have collected some of his philosophical matter from other writers; for instance, Sat. x. 28, &c., greatly resembles a passage in Seneca De Tranquillitate Animi, c. 15, Democritum potius ;' and the matter of a passage in Sat. x. 346 may have been derived from Valerius Maximus, vii. 2, Ext. 1 (see the note on that passage).
From this brief statement the reader may collect the nature of the general objections to the genuineness of the five Satires which Ribbeck attributes to an unknown Declamator. He supports his general conclusion by an examination of many passages, and he employs a chapter of three-and-seventy well filled pages in belabouring the unfortunate Declamator, to whom, as far as I have observed, he allows no merit at all, not even to the few lines which may be admired by those who do not value all the Declamator's poetry. Those who will take the pains to read Ribbeck's satirical remarks on the false Satirist, will be amused and instructed, if they shall not be convinced. In fact he has undertaken to prove what is often difficult to prove, and sometimes impossible; to show from a comparison of writings, attributed to the same person, that some are genuine and some are not. But he evidently has confidence in his own conclusion, and he presses it so hard that he sometimes misunderstands or affects not to understand that which others may find
no difficulty about. So far as this I admit: he has proved clearly enough that there are very manifest differences between the matter and the style of the ten Satires which he assigns to Juvenal, and the five which he has handled so unmercifully. These five Satires are marred by great faults, and contain comparatively few good lines. They are indeed feeble compositions as satires, when compared with the vigorous work of the earlier pieces, the best of which are perhaps those which cannot be read with young men.
Satire of the five is to be excepted from this general condemnation, it is the thirteenth; but many parts even of that Satire are open to just censure. As to the famous tenth, if we do not except to the matter, we may allow that there is some merit in the manner in which the subject is treated; but even if this admission is made, it is still nothing more than a frothy declamation. Both the matter and the style of the tenth form a striking contrast to another Satire, the third, which is justly admired. It is a living picture.
The question then is, whether the same man wrote or could write all these Satires, a question which Ribbeck answers by affirming that he could not ; and he labours hard to prove his assertion. But it is impossible to say what a man may do in the way of writing, for the same men have written wise books and foolish books, bad poetry and good poetry. The same difficulty exists as to some of Cicero's orations, which are so bad that some excellent critics maintain that Cicero could not have written them ; but on the other hand there are critics, both old and new, who admire the spurious orations, and think they are
As to the sixteenth Satire, which is manifestly a fragment, it is admitted by Ribbeck that this may be a piece of the true Juvenal's work.
In a second chapter Ribbeck discusses the interpolations in the ten Satires. His hypothesis, he says, about the five Declamations would fare badly, if we accepted the ten Satires in their present form as the genuine work of Juvenal; for all the faults which have led him to reject the five Declamations, are found here and there in the ten Satires; and these bits of patchwork resemble so much the whole texture of the five Declamations, that if we allow them to stand where they are, we must admit that the poet could exhibit in the same Satire the skill of a master and the stupidity of a bungler. However, there is no necessity, he says, for this admission, for the ten Satires are disfigured by interpolations which have been remarked on by many recent critics; and indeed nobody who has read Juvenal with any care will deny that there are interpolated verses. Ribbeck has only increased the number of them. There are two long passages, which Ribbeck assumes
to be interpolations, and his judgment on them may be viewed as a challenge to all those who maintain that they are genuine. His reputation as a critic will depend on his success or failure in establishing his opinion. The fourth Satire, as it stands, has an introduction of thirty-six verses, which have been added, as Ribbeck assumes, by somc unskilful hand. He is not the first critic or reader who has felt some surprise at finding a long Prologue to nothing, for the first thirtysix lines have no connexion with the real subject of the Satire, though there are critics who admire this Prologue and think it is appropriate and a fine piece of composition. The beginning of the Prologue announces that Crispinus is again brought on the stage, and the writer declares his intention to summon him often to play his part. We expect that we are going to read a terrible invective against the fellow; but after a few general remarks about his villany, we are told that the present Satire will only treat of his smaller offences, and then comes the particular charge against him of buying a fish at an enormous price, and eating it himself. The mention of the fish is supposed by the admirers of the Prologue to be a clever way of connecting the introduction with the real Satire, the subject of which is the great fish that was presented to Domitian. But what becomes of Crispinus after this flourish? He plays a most insignificant part in the scene before the Emperor, and says not a word about the big fish, though something would have been very much to the purpose from a man who was a buyer of fish, and in his early days cried them through the streets of Rome. If Juvenal wrote this Prologue to the Satire, we cannot commend his taste. Ribbeck goes into particulars, and examines various parts of this Prologue in order to confirm his general condemnation of it.
The other long passage, which Ribbeck treats as an interpolation, is the Introduction of fifty-five lines which is prefixed to the eleventh Satire. This Introduction resembles that to the fourth Satire in this respect, that if you cut it off, you lose nothing of the real Satire, which is an invitation to a friend to come and dine with Juvenal. This friendly epistle is a charming composition, and reminds us, as Ribbeck observes, of Horace's humour and genial temper. If Juvenal wrote the Prologue, he would have done better if he had commenced his epistle at once without a preface.
This Essay also contains a short chapter on verses which have been transposed in Juvenal's text, and on the passages where something appears to have been lost. The last chapter, written in Latin, is on the famous sixth Satire, the disorderly arrangement of which the learned critic has attempted to correct.
This ingenious Essay contains matter which a future editor of Juvenal must examine carefully. I think that many of Ribbeck's criticisms on particular passages may be answered, but it seems to me impossible to read the work of the so-called Declamator without feeling the great difference between him and the writer of the ten undisputed Satires. Whether that difference is best explained by assuming that we have two writers under one name, or on some other hypothesis, is a matter which every reader must determine for himself.
The peculiar difficulty of Persius consists in the arrangement of the dialogue or supposed dialogue. There are also a few passages which perhaps no editor has yet satisfactorily explained. I think Mr. Macleane has handled the matter well, though he may be mistaken sometimes. I agree with what he says of Jahn's copious commentary. Jahn's edition is a most laborious and useful work, and his commentary is full of learning. But the good sense is not equal to the learning, and he is sometimes completely wrong in his explanation. I prefer Heinrich's briefer and less learned notes.