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PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES.
ARGUMENT. In this little poem, though irrelevant to the main objects of the work to
which it serves as an introduction, there is much pleasantry and spirit. Persius however had little notion of what we call keeping* : and the village bard, 6. diffident of his own talents, and driven by necessity alone to the exercise of them, 8 sqq. is no sooner fairly embarked, than he launches out into a critical examination of the literary pretensions of his contemporaries, S. i. and assumes a decisive tone upon all the subtle
disquisitions of the schools. S. iii. and v. G. The practice of prefixing to a poem, or collection of poems, shorter pieces
in a different metre became more common afterwards, with Claudian in particular. K. In our own times we have very felicitous instances of it in Sir Walter Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel.
Among the liberties, which the Old Comedy allowed itself, one was the little regard it paid to consistency of character. WIE.
Nec fonte labra prolui caballino
Heliconidasque pallidamque Pirenen
1. ' The hackney spring :' a sarcastic Ov. Her. xv. 157 sqq. Arist. Pl. 411. version of irroxpúrn, CAS. T. though not 679 sqq. K. necessarily so ; cf. Juv. x. 6. Aus. Ep. 3. As if he could have forgotten such iv. 8. (it is most probable that in this an event! K. elegant little piece of irony, a constant "Αφνω φιλόσοφος ημϊνίσανελήλυθεν: Epict. . allusion is maintained to the trite follies 22. K. To come forth as Phæbus from the of our poet's immediate contemporaries. ocean; CAS. or a chick from the shell; G.) humor Bellerophontei equi; Prop. III. or a pitcher from the potter's hands : curii. 2. K. Respecting this spring, see rente rota urceus erit; Hor. A. P. 22. Ov. F. iii. 450 sqq. M. v. 256-268. Stat. 4. The Muses are called ' nymphs of Th. vi. 338. Arat. Ph. 205 sqq. Plin. iv. Helicon,' from a mountain of Bæotia on 7. It was in Mount Helicon, v, 4, and the confines of Phocis. LU. CAS. sacred to Apollo and the Muses. LU. Pirene was a fountain in AcrocorinThose who drank of it were fabled to thus, the citadel of Corinth, and was become poets forthwith. PR. cf. Virg. likewise sacred to the Muses. LU.CAS. Æ. vii. 641. x. 163. M. The first trace Diod. iv. 74. Paus. Cor. ii. 3. Strab. p. of this notion appears to be in Mosch. 582. Pind. Ol. xiii. 84 sqq. Ov. Pont. Î. Id. iii. 77 sq. Propertius has refined iii. 75. Stat. S. I. iv. 15. réuvon üdwie 11upon the idea ; II. viii. 19 sqq. cf. Hor. sávns. Eur. M. 69. cf. Tr. 207. It was I Ep. iii. 10. Stat. S. I. ii. 6. II. vii. here that Pegasus was caught by Belle12. V. v. 2. I. iv. 25. BRU, An. t. ii. rophon, and hence that he is called [leop. 344. t. i. p. 218. K.
paraños Tādos Eur. El. 475. vatum conProluere labra is to dip the lips,'PR. scius amnis, Gorgoneo percussus equo; as cattle do when they drink. cf. Prop. Stat. Th. iv. 60 $99.
K. III. ii. 52. Stat. S. V, jii. 122. It is The epithet“ pale' refers most probably sometimes said of those who drink deep : to the wan hue, by which the votaries Virg. Æ.i. 738. Cop. 29. Hor. I Sat. v. of the Muses were distinguished. LU. 16. This the poetasters of our author's CAS. v. 62. PR. i. 124. M. day pretended to have done at the in- 5. 'To Hesiod, Ennius, and the anspiring fount. Mart. VIII. Ixx. 3. Stat. cient poets.' LU. The following imitaS. II. vii. 12. Hence the Muses are tion, which is taken from Hall's opencalled madidæ potata ab Hippocrene; ing poem, has great beauty:“ Trumpets, Sidon. ix. 285. K. cf. Ov. Am. I. xv. and reeds, and socks, and buskins fine,
I thein bequeath ; whose statues, wanSidonius has imitated this passage : dring twine Of ivy, mixt with bayes, non hic ego commentitiam Terpsichoren circlen around, Their living temples more studii veteris adscivi: nec juxta sca- likewise laurel-bound." G. turiginem fontis Aganippici per roscidas Under the emperors, the busts of emiripas et pumices muscidos stylum trari : nent poets or literary men, crowned with &c. Ep. viii. ult. (9 sqq.) PR.
bay or ivy, were used to ornament public 2. Parnassus had two peaks, Tithorea or private libraries. Hor. I S. iv. 21 sqq. and Hyampeum; (or Nauplia and Hy. Sen. de Tr. An. 9. Plin. xxxv. 2. Suet. ampea ; cf. Her. viii. 32, note 19.) FA. Tib. 70. Juv. vii. 29. Plin. Ep. iv. 18. cf. vi. 10 sq, note. PR. Ov. M. i. x. 25. K. Sometimes their chaplets 316 sqq. Luc. v. 71 sqq. Sen. (Ed. 227. were of oak, or of parsley. LU. K.
The ivy twines like a serpent, and Those who slept in a consecrated spot seems to lick with a forky tongue the were supposed to receive aid from the objects round which it clings. LU. presiding divinity: Virg. Æ. vii. 86 s99. Virg. Æn. ii. 684. K.
Hederæ sequaces: ipse semipaganus
Picasque docuit nostra verba conari ? 10 Magister artis ingenique largitor
Venter, negatas artifex sequi voces.
6. Me doctorum hederae præmia fron- are at present unsuccessful. has primum tium Dís miscent superis ; Hor. I Od. i. audiet prer, harum verba cffingere ini29 sq. LU. Properly the ivy' was sa- tando conabitur; Quint. I. i. K. cred to Bacchus, in whose train the 10. “Hunger does wonders; and merMuses are often found. Aristoph. N. cenary motives are quite as inspiring, as 603. R. 1242. Prop. IV. vii. 75 sqq. drinking the waters at Helicon, or bivouOrph. Arg. 7 sqq. K. Her. viii. 32, acquing for the night on Parnassus.' K. note 19.
Necessity is the mother of invention.” Ivy clings and climbs, and may be Paupertas impılit auar, ut versus facesaid to follow the form of that about rem; Hor. II Ep. ii. 52 sq. FA. Agreewhich it spreads. Plin. Pan. 4. V. Flac. ably to the proverbs: multa docet fames: i. 124. cf. Petron. 83. K.
and πολλών ο λιμός γίγνεται διδάσκαλος Half a clown.' M. Paganus and Miles PR. Juv. iii. 78. K. Jonson alludes to are opposed to each other. CAS. Juv. this and a subsequent passage, in The xiv. 154. xvi. 33. PR. Plin. Ep. x. 18. Poetaster : “ They would think it Veg. ii. 23. K.
strange, now A man should take but 7. 'I add my uninitiated verse to the colt's-foot for one day, And between inspired productions of the bards.' sacri whiles, spit out a better poem Than e'er vates et divúm cura vocamur; Ov. Am. the master of arts, or giver of wit, Their III. ix. 17. The works of eminent poets Belly, made.- Yet, this is possible !" were deposited in the library consecrated BW. Compare Arist. Pl. 467-594. to the Palatine Apollo : Hor. I Ep. iii. Under the name of Genius' may be 17. LU. Suet. Aug. 29. PR. Dio included the intellectual virtues in geliii. pr. Ov. Tr. III. i. 59 sqq. Hor. I neral. Cic. de Fin. v. CAS. It applies S. x. 38. II Ep. ii. 92. (BY.) Calp. Sic. to poetical talent in particular: Ov. A. 157 sqq. LM. But without reference to A. iii. 57. R. this fact, poetry may be called sacred : 11. • Cunning to follow.' LU. A. Prop. III. i. 1. Ov. Pont. ii. x. 17 sqq. Grecism : 'an expert artist in teaching III. iv. 65 sqq. IV. viii. 81 sqq. K. them to express.' K.
8. This is by way of anticipation to • Denied by nature.' SCH. the objection ;
• How can one write 12. “Money' is called 'deceitful,' from without divine inspiration ?' He is here the many wiles and frauds which it leads attacking others, as it were, in his own men to practise : quid non mortalia pecperson; for Persius himself was a Roman tora cogis, auri sacra fames ! Virg. Æ. knight, and died young and rich, leaving iii. 56 sq. LU. or from its decoying men his preceptor a very handsome fortune. into undertakings for which they are LU.
disqualified. K. Who is it that has removed all im- "Shall have shone forth suddenly and pediments in the parrot's speech?' LU. unexpectedly.' Previously, however
Who has made it so ready with its sa- they might have wished for money, lutation ?' M. humane solers imitator, they could not have hoped for it. CÀS. psittace, linguæ; Stat. II S. iv. 16 sqq. The metaphor is taken either from the Apul. ii. Plin. X. 42 sqq.LU. Mart. XIV. gleaming of gold and silver; Virg. Æ. Ixxiii. lxxvi. M. Petron. 28. Ov. Am. vi. 204. V. Paterc. i. 103. or from the II. vi. 37 sqq. K.
appearance of a propitious star; Hor. 9. To attempt'applies to efforts which I Od. xii. 27 sqq. K.
Corvos poetas et poetrias picas
13. “Ravens turning poets, and mag- öußpos 'Exsxavido; dodñs. Nest. Lar. Ep. pies becoming poetesses.' LU.
i. An. Br. t. ii. p. 344. Ov. Pont. III. 14. ^ Pegaseian,' see note on 1. “Such iv. 55. Martial perhaps was imitating as would be composed by one who had this passage, where he says, post hos drunk of Hippocrene ;' PR. or " As honoratior fontigenarum virginum chorus sweet as the vaunted streams of that Pega sea e vocis nectare difflucbat; ix. fountain.' R.
VO. νεκτάριαι λιβάδες Πηγάσιδος κρήνης "Nectar;' cf. B. on Calp. Sic. iv. Honest. Ep. 3. in. Br. An. t. ii. p. 289. 151. Poets called their own lays K. On the mixture of metaphors see “nectar :' Pind. Ol. vii. 12 sqq. Theocr. note on pallentes; v. 15. (Livy xxvii, Id. vii. 82. See Hom. Il. A 249. ndüs 20, 7. ED.)