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ARGUMENT. The Poet commences, as if he intended a tritical moral essay: 1. and,
when discouraged by a friend from his design of assuming the censor, 2
s99. he proceeds, in bold defiance of public opinion, to a spirited exposure of the wretched taste of the times. 4 sqq. He repeatedly disclaims all intention of writing for popularity or effect,
4 sqq. 26 sq. 44 sqq. and expresses supreme contempt of that mania for public recitation, whlch had already excited the ridicule of Horace, and which, not long after this, provoked the spleen of Juvenal. 14 sq. An amusing picture is drawn of one of those hoary versifiers, who pander to the passions of their auditory by grossly luscious strains. 13 sqq. After which we are introduced to a younger set, whose sickly appetite
cloys itself with the mawkish sweets of softly sentimental lays. 30 sqq. The cause of this depravation of taste is ingeniously traced to the pedantic
nature of the schools, 69–82. fostered by the interested and ignorant admiration of sycophants and dependents; 48–56. 63–68. men, who
are the very first to ridicule their dupe behind his back. 56–62. The Satirist then makes a digression to the bar, of which the language was
grossly vitiated by a meretricious glare of elocution, and an affected display of rhetorical subtleties : 83–91. returning to the poets, he parodies and ridicules the favourites of fashion ; 92–106. this excites the alarm of his friend, and draws forth some cautious advice, 107–110. which, as generally happens, only serves to render the writer more
daring, and to give a spirited conclusion to the Satire. 111-134. To the contemporaries of Persius, this must have been a very amusing
performance; but to us, who are ignorant of the true nature of his parodies, and who cannot, in a single instance, appropriate them with certainty, it has lost much of its pleasantry. Enough, however, remains to give a most favourable impression of the youthful critic's humour and good sense. G. K.
O CURAS hominum! o quantum est in rebus inane!
Turpe et miserabile.” Quare ? Ne mihi Polydamas et Troïades Labeonem 5 Prætulerint? Nugæ! Non, si quid turbida Roma
Elevet, accedas examenque improbum in illa
1. Ecclesiastes i. 2-14. M.
K. "The muddy citizens,' M. an equi"Oro to xrvén! VS.
voque. 2. This verse is from Lucilius, VS. 6. 'Make light of.' FA. The words of some critical friend, who, "You should not join them in so aware that Persius has serious intentions doing. FA. of publishing a satire, throws cold water Lanx “ the scale,' libra' the beam,' upon his design. K.
“the tongue,' trutina the cavity Among the Romans it was usual for in which it plays.' HO. This is one of men to swear by Hercules and women those technical illustrations, in which the by Castor, Gell. xi. 6. cf. Juv. ii. 98. Stoics so much delighted: and means PR.
either (1) to correct the errors of an 3. ' But two or three, if any.' 'It apothecary's or goldsmith's balance by a will be a disgrace, and a thousand common pair of scales, such as are used pities !' CAS.
in weighing bulky commodities. Cicero, Why so ? I do not write ad cap- in speaking of subjects suited to popular tandum vulgus: K. therefore your pity and philosphical discussion, uses a simiis quite thrown away.'
lar metaphor: hæc nostra oratio multitu4. “Shall I fear K. sinking below dini est accommodanda, ad oblectandos Labeo in the estimation of the prince and animos, ad impellendos, ad ea probanda, the people: as Hector feared lest Poly- quæ non aurificis statera, sed quadam damas and the Trojans should think dis- populari trutina examinantur: Or. paragingly of him ?? Πουλυδάμας μοι 11. G. or, (2) Supposing a balance to be πρώτος έλεγχείην αναθήσει – αιδίομαι Τρώ- perfect in all other respects, its tongue, as xud Tpwedus laxsortirhousHom. it it be not at right angles to the beam, Il. X. 100. 105. This appears to have will not tally (when the scales are in become in a manner proverbial. cf. equilibrium) with the cheeks of the oblong Cic. to Att. ii. 5. vii. 1. PR. Poly- aperture through which it oscillates. In damas was the son of Antenor. Under such a case, restore the tongue to its perthis name Nero is perhaps designated: pendicular, and all will be right. But LU. as he affected to be greatly in- when (in addition to this fault in the terested in all that concerned Troy. tongue) the balance itself is inaccurate, PR. By the words • Trojan dames' it is of no use whatever to set the tongue the satirist lashes, at once, the vanity straight, the scales will still be false. of his countrymen in tracing their Eramen is used for the tongue of the origin to the Trojans, and their de- apothecary's balance (or statera) in r. generate effeminacy. FA. CAS. Juv. 100 sq. see note. i. 100. K.
7. Judge for yourself:' PR. yvæl. Accius Labeo was a poet who wasted orautó» atque aliis de te, quam tu tibi, his time in translating the Iliad and credere noli; Hor. LU. Those who are Odyssey into Latin, word for word. The ambitious of praise or popularity are following may serve as a sample of his but too apt too regulate their actions by version : crudum manduces Priamum the caprices of those whom they study Priamique pisinnos. VS. See 50. K. to please, rather than by the criterion
5. Túrbida “ too busy to attend to such of right and wrong. CĂS. cf. Juv, xi. matters:' Virg. Æ. ix.57. Lucian Nigr. 27, note. Æsch. P. V. 317. (BG.)
Nam Romæ quis non? Ah, si fas dicere ! sed fas
Tunc quum ad canitiem et nostrum istud vivere triste 10 Adspexi ac nucibus facimus quæcumque relictis, Quum sapimus patruos: tunc, tunc ignoscite.
6 Nolo.” Quid faciam ? Sed sum petulanti splene cachinno.
Scribimus inclusi, numeros ille, hic pede liber, Grande aliquid, quod pulmo animæ prælargus anhelet. 15 Scilicet hæc populo pexusque togaque recenti
8. 'Who judges fairly and without 13.
Scribimus indocti doctique prejudice ?' ob hanc rem, quod sunt quos poemata passim; Hor. II Ep. i. genus hoc minime juvat, utpote plures 117, M. culpari dignos; Hor. I S. iv. 23 sqq. K. Shut up' in our studies : carmina But cf. v. 121.
secessum scribentis et otia quærunt; Ov. 9. Here Persi deavours to mis- Tr. I. i. 41. LU. Cic. de Or. iii. 5. Plin. lead enquirers as to the real author of Ep. v. 5. K. the Satire, by assuming the character 14. Petronius censured, in those who of a man advanced in years. G. K. affected to be eloquent, rerum tumorem
That the writings of Persius were po- et sententiarum vanissimum strepitum ; pular and soon considered as standard 1. LU. sublimes versus ructatur; Hor. works is evident from the fact of Quinti- A. P. 457. Arist. R. 860 sqq. phuara lian quoting this passage as an example δαιομένη γλώσσα καταλιπτολογήσει πλιν- . of partium mutatio: ut in satira“ nostrum pów tókur Tóvoro ib. 851 sqq. sunt qui istud vivere triste," cum infinitivo verbo crebro anhelitu et introrsum etiam clare sit usus pro appellatione, nostram enim sonante imitentur jumenta onere et jugo vitam vult intelligi. G. vi. 38.
laborantia; quod affectant quoque, tam10. “Nuts.' cf. Cat. xiv. 183 sqq. quam inventionis copia urgeantur majorPhædr. III. xiv. Mart. V. lxxxvi. I. que vis eloquentiæ ingruat, quam quæ Petr. 81. K. Juv.v. 144, note.
faucibus emitti possit ; Quint. Inst. xi. 11. Patruus censor; Cic. Cal. VS. 3. K. CAS. cf. Juv. vii. 111, note, ne sis patruus mihi ; Hor. II S. ii. 15. “To the people' equally deficient 88. FÁ. ib. ii. 97. III Od. xii. 3. BX. in taste and in common sense. LU. For patruus was a term, which conveyed an account of these rehearsals, see Juv. an idea of harshness, probably from the i. 1. iii. 9. vii. 38 sqq. Mart. III. xliv. paternal uncle' being the natural guar. IV. vi. X. lxx. Hor. I S. iii. 88 sqq.iv. dian of orphans; who would experience 74 sqq. cf. also Ov. Tr. III. xiv. 39. less tenderness from him, than from a Pont. I. v. 57. IV. ii. 33. Plin. Ep. i. father. M. The uncle by the mother's 13. ii. 14. 19. vii. 17. viii. 12. 21. ix. side, having nothing to do with the ma. 27. Cic. Att. xii. 4. xv. 3. PR. K. nagement of the children, would treat The declaimer seems by his dress to them with more indulgence, or, at any anticipate a triumph. Both on public and rate, would not be called upon to exercise on private solemnities it was customary any severity towards them; hence avun- to put on a gown fresh from the fuller's culus (the diminutive of avus, i.e. avus hands : cf. Mart. II. lviii. CAS. scilicet natu minor) would be a term of en- exspectas solitum tibi moris honorem, pendearment.
deat ex humeris vestis ut alba meis; Ov. 12. Physiologists attributed' laughter' Tr. III. xiii. 13 sq. M. The most soto the spleen,' Arist. Th. 3. anger to lemn festival a Roman knew, was that the gall, Juv, v. 159. love to the liver, of his birth : on the anniversary of that Theoc. xi. 6. xiii. 71. Claud. viii. 241 day they dressed themselves in all the sqq. wisdom to the heart, pride to the magnificence which their circumstances lungs, lust to the loins : v. 20. VS. K. allowed, and, after the customary sacri
Spleen, too petulant to be controll'd." fices, sat at home, in state, to receive G. • It is my nature.' CAS.
their friends, none of whom came withCachinno (cachinnonis)' a great laugh- out a present in their
hands. (Juv. xi. er;' VS, i, e. 'satirical.' G.
84. M. ix. 53, note.) The indignation of
Et natalitia tandem cum sardonyche albus
neque more probo videas nec voce serena
Intrant et tremulo scalpuntur ubi intima versu.
Persius is excited by this egregious cox- for Rhamnenses; Hor. A. P. 342. Ov. comb's putting on all the splendour of a F. iii. 132. H. (Rhenos for Rhenenses; high festival on the simple occasion of vi. 47.) They were named after Titus reciting a paltry poem. G. Thus Lucian Tatius, the king of the Sabines and coldescribes a dandy rhetorician, tricked league of Romulus. PR. out for the approbation of his auditors, Trepidare to be in ecstasies.' saliet, as sávropór piva, xai cáyxanor ärdpa, doce tundet pede terram ; Hor. A.P.430. PR. σισαλουμίνον το βάδισμα, επικεκλασμίνον το Lumbum. “ dd or pùs apão órgãos irixiαυχένα, γυναικείον το βλέμμα. μελιχρόν το νείται Luc. As. Aur. 6. t. ii. principio Pásonjece, kúpwv érotvorTe: %. 5. 2. Rh. tremulis gannitibus aera pulsat, verbaque pr. t. iii. p. 11. K. Compare Hotspur's lascivos meretricum imitantia cætus vibrat, description of the foppish lordling ; K. et obscena numeros pruriginis implet; H. iv. pt. i. A. I. sc. iii.
Aus. Ep. cviii. 4 sqq. pávov sú díanós pride 16. This valuable ring was one of these έν ορχήσει διάθεσιν τα ποιήματα παρακαλεϊν birth-day presents, and always worn on και τα χείρε και το σίδε, μάλλον δε άλ» the return of that day. VS. Juv. vii. 142 rtsp gioi uimpírbons, laxu od swyce pois sq. M. Plaut. Curc. V. ii. 56. On the pinigi xai ivtiivuv, rohrwe di asyonívws abuse of this custom of wearing rings : και αδoμίνων, ήσυχίαν άγειν μή δυναμένους" cf. Isid. xix. 32. Juv. i. 27 sqq. vi. 381, Plut. Symp. xi. 15. cf. Juv. vi. 314. note. Petr. 55. Mart. V. xi. 1. II. xxix, K. V. ix. The following is among the di- 21. Tremulo. cf. Hor. IV Od. xiii. 5. rections given to an orator; manus non im- Petr. 70. Mart. I. xxxvi. K. pleatur annulis, præcipue medios articulos “ As the luscious line Thrills through non transeuntibus; Quint. Inst. xi. 3. K. the marrow." G. scalpuntur
Albus from his dress. VS. cf. Mart. I. tickled.' quid aures meas scalpis ? Ivi. 14. IV. xli. VI. xli. X. Ixii. 6. Sen. quid oblectus ? Sen. Ep. 75. K. Ep. 114. Gell. xi. 9. PR. K.
22. Vetulus is always used in a bad 17. " After he has rinsed his throat sense. LU. Plaut. Epid. II. ii. 4. Arist. with a gargle.' According to Synesius N. 789. K. a footman stood by the reciter with some Escus. και εστιώσιν ου μάλα τας ακοάς: emollients in a cup or phial, to which Æl. V. H. iii. 1. K. • Dost thou, thou his master applied, every now and then, hoary pander, cater for the itching ears to clear his voice. nec in tragedorum of others ?' modum guttur et fauces dulci medicamine 23. “ All'orecchie di tai, ch'uopo t'è collinienda, ut in ecclesia theatrales mo- loro, Benchè sfrentato, gridar-basta !" duli audiantur et cantica; S. Hier. ad STE. importunus amat laudari ? donec Eph. v. CAS.
OHE ! jam ad cælum manibus sublatis 18. 'Effeminately, CAS. and with las. dixerit, urge; et crescentem tumidis infla civious eye half-closed ;' therefore called sermonibus utrem; Hor. II S. v. 96 sqq. ocellus. VS. LU. cf. Juv.ii. 94, last note. PR. ohe! jam satis est; Id. I S. v. 12
19. Neque probo wanton.' LU. Sen. sq. M. Ep. 52. Plin. Ep. ii. 14. 12. K.
'Even thy cheek and brow, bronzed Nec serena 'not calm, but agitated as they are, tingle with shame.' G. or with passion.' M.
Bloated, like one swollen with the 20. Hence it appears that the auditory dropsy.' Lucilius calls' vanity,' aquam consisted of the chief nobility. Titos in animo intercutem; xxviii. p. 407. cf. may be put for Titienses, as Rhamnes Sid. Ap. ix. 9. CAS. Arist. Éth. ir. 9.
“ Quo didicisse, nisi hoc fermentum et quæ semel intus 25 Innata est, rupto jecore exierit caprificus ?”
En pallor seniumque! o mores! Usque adeone
Ten cirratorum centum dictata fuisse
Romulidæ saturi, quid dia poemata narrent.
Phyllidas, Hypsipylas, vatum et plorabile si quid, 35 Eliquat ac tenero supplantat verba palato. oi di areso Búrupos rai ragnxpaxórss avab- into first-rate schools ; where you are OXUNTO: Nãazov aio xurando. Id. Rh. read by the youth of quality,' " Brave II. xv.
lads with curled locks of gold.” HO. cf. 24. The apologist first tries the meta. Juv. vii. 226. Mart. I. xxxv. cirrhata phor of leaven,' (Juv. iii. 188.) but, caterva magistri; IX. xxx. 7. K. finding this an awkward one, as it might 30. This custom is evident from Athebe readily compared to the vanity which næus. Juv. vi. 434 sqq. It might serve was working and swelling within him, he well for entertainment's sake, but was of abruptly leaves it for the still more un- little use as far as intellectual improvelucky one of the wild fig-tree;' (Juv. ment was concerned: discite, non inter x. 145, note.) for after this had burst to lances mensasque nitentes, cum stupet inlight, the question of quo (Juv. viii. 9, sanis acies fulgoribus, et cum adclínis falnote didicisse " What are the fruits ?' sis animus meliora recusat; verum hic would still recur. LU. CAS. PR. impransi mecum disquirite: Hor. II S.
25. By jumbling these incongruous ii. 4 sqq. PR. Plin. Ep. I. xv. 2. IX. metaphors, the Satirist may also intend xxxvi. 4. K. to parody and ridicule the style of these 31. Quid dia (Sulpicia 48) poemata conceited poetasters. LU.
narrent? (Plaut. Pers. IV. iii. 29.) 26. 'Worthy fruits indeed of such in. may be considered as the question of tense studies, (Juv. vii. 97, note, M.) and one of these noblemen, therefore Persius such advanced years.' CAS. cf. Hor. I is not chargeable with the inaccuracy in Ep. xviii. 47. II Ep. ii. 82 sqq. K. 0. the use of this verb. K. 124. iii. 85. v. 62.
Romulidæ sarcastically, as Quirites, O tempora! o mores! Cic. Cat. i. 1. M. Juv. iii. 60. especially as Romulus was 27. This is taken from Lucilius: VS. very abstemious; Gell. xi. 14. PR. id me nolo scire mihi cujus sum consciu' 32. Tyrioque ardebat murice lana desolus; ne damnum faciam scire est nescire, missa ex humeris ; Virg. Æ. iv. 262 sq. nisi id me scire alius scierit. MAR. CAS. cf. Juv. vii. 136. iii. 283, notes. Spectator, No. 379.
K. 28. Monstror digito prætereuntium 33. 'Snuffling through his nose some Romanæ fidicen lyre; Hor. IV Od. iii. stale ditty.' G. 22 sq. Cicero finds fault with Demos- 34. Phyllis hung herself in a fit of imthenes for being pleased at hearing a poor patience at the long protracted absence woman whisper to her neighbour, où tos of her husband, Demophoon. T. G. Ov. ixsīvos! T. Q. v. 36. VS. Luc. Som, t. Her. ii. PR. i. c. 2. cf. Ov. Am. III. i. 17 sqq. K. Hypsipyle, after running through more Pliny thinks there was no great harm love adventures than any lady of roin this ; Ep. ix. 23, 5. GE. Certainly mance, narrowly escaped the same or a the censure comes with an ill grace worse catastrophe. Her faithless lover from Cicero. cf. Juv. i. 161.
was Jason. T. G. Ov. Her. vi. PR. 29. "To be introduced as a class book 35. ' Filters,'LU.“ melts,'CAS. dis