Obrázky na stránke

i do

The day itself is distinguished by a beautiful order of things
The sportula, then the forum, and Apollo learned in the law
And the triumphals : 'among which, an Egyptian, I kuow not

Has dared to have titles : and an Arabian præfect;

At whose image it is not right so much as to make water.
The old and tired clients go away from the vestibules, 2.
And lay aside their wishes, altho' the man has had a very long

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Cic. epist. ad Attic. 1. 2. epist. xvii. because he conquered a great part of Arabia, and made it tributary to Rome. But Juvenal means here some infamous character, who had probably been præfect, or vice-roy, over that country, and had, by rapine and extor. tion, returned to Rome with great riches, and thus got a statue crected to him, like the Ægyptian above mentioned, whom some suppose to have been in a like occupation in Ægypt, and therefore called Ægyptius. Arabarches—from Açoct or Agabios and agxn.

131. To make water.] There was a very severe law on those who did this, at or near the images of great men. This our poet turns into a jest on the statues above mentioned. Some are for giving the Jine another turn, as if Juvenal meant, that it was right, or lawful, not only to do this--non tantum meiere, but something worse. But I take the first interpretation to be the sense of the author, by which he would intimate, that the statues of such vile people were not only erected among those of great men, but were actually protected, like them, from all marks of indignity. So Pers. sat. i. 1. 114. Sacer est locus, ite prophani-extra mejite.

132. The old and tired clients.] The clients were retainers, or dependents, on great men, who became their patrons : to these the clients paid all reverence, honour, and observance. The patrons, on their part, afforded them their interest, protection, and defence. They also, in better times, made entertainments, to which they invi. ted their clients. See before, note on l. 95. Here the poor clients are represented, as wearied out with waiting, in long expectation of a supper, and going away in despair, under their disappointment. Cliens is derived from Greek xdebw, celebro-celebrem reddo-for it was no small part of their business to flatter and praise their patrons.

Vestibules.] The porches, or entries of great men's houses. Vestibulum ante ipsum, primoque in limine.

Virg. Æn. ij. 1. 469. 134. Pot-herbs.] Caulis properly denotes the stalk or stem of an herb, and, by Synecdoche, any kind of pot-herb-especially coleworts, or cabbage. See Ainsw. Caulis, No. 2.

To be bought.] The hungry wretches go from the patron's door, in order to lay out the poor pittance which they may have received from the sportula, in some kind of pot-herbs, and in buying a little firewood, in order to dress them for a scanty meal.

The poet seems to mention this, by way of contrast to what fol. lows.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


Spes homini : caules miseris, atque ignis emendus,
Optima sylvarum interea, pelagique vorabit
Rex horum, vacuisque toris tantum ipse jacebit:
Nam de tot pulchris, et latis orbibus, et tam
Antiquis, unâ comedunt patrimonia mensâ.
Nullus jam parasitus erit : sed quis feret istas
Luxuriæ sordes ? quanta est gula, quæ sibi totos
Ponit apros, animal propter convivia natum ?
Pæna tamen præsens, cum tu deponis amictus
Turgidus, et crudum pavonem in balnea portas :
Hinc subitæ mortes, atque intestatà senectus.
It nova, nec tristis per cunctas fabula cenas :
Ducitur iratis plaudendum funus amicis.



[ocr errors]

135. Their lord.] i. e. The patron of these clients. Rex not only signifies a king - but any great or rich man: so a patron. See Juv. sat. v. I. 14. This from the power and dominion which he exercised over his clients. Hence, as well as from his protection and care over them, he was called patronus, from the Greek watawy

from watne, a father.

Mean while.] i. e. While the poor clients are forced to take up with a few boiled coleworts.

The best things of the woods, &c.] The woods are to be ransacked for the choicest game, and the sea for the finest sorts of fish, to satisfy the patron's gluttony: these he will devour, without asking any body to partake with him.

136. On the empty beds.] The Romans lay along on beds, or couches, at their meals. Several of these beds are here supposed to be round the table which were formerly occupied by his friends and clients, but they are now vacant-not a single guest is invited to occupy them, or to partake of the entertainment with this selfish glutton.

137. Dishes.] Which were round—in an orbicular shape_hence called orbes.

Beautiful.] of a beautiful pattern-ancient- valuable for their antiquity; made, probably, by some artists of old time.

138. At one meal.] Mensa- lit. table-- which (by Meton.) stands here for what is set upon it. Thus they waste and devour their estates, in this abominable and selfish gluttony. 139. No parasite.] From σταρα, near-and

σιτον, ,

food. These were a kind of jesters, and fatterers, who were frequently invited to the tables of the great; and who, indeed, had this in view, when they flattered and paid their court to them. Terence, in his Eunuch, has given a most spirited and masterly specimen of parasites, in his inimitable character of Gnatho.

But so fallen were the great into the meanest avarice, and into the most sordid luxury, that they could gormandize by themselves, with out even inviting a parasite to flatter or divert them. But who, eren though a parasite, would endure (feret) such a sight?

Expectation of a supper : pot-herbs for the wretches, and fire is

to be bought. Mean while their lord will devour the best things of the woods, and of the sea,

195 And he only will lie on the empty beds : For from so many beautiful, and wide, and ancient dishes, They devour patrimonies at one meal. There will now be no parasite : but who will bear that [140 Filthiness of luxury? how great is the gullet, which, for itself, puts Whole boars, an animal born for feasts? Yet there is a present punishment, when you put off your clothes, Turgid, and carry an indigested peacock to the baths : Hence sudden deaths, and intestate old age.

[143 A new story, nor is it a sorrowful one, goes thro' all companies : A funeral, to be applauded by angry friends, is carried forth.

140. Filthiness of luxury.] Sordes — nastiness—a happy word to describe the beastliness of such gluttony with regard to the patron himself—and its stinginess, and niggardliness, with respect to others.

-How great is the gullet.] The gluttonous appetite of these


[ocr errors]

-Puts.] Ponit-sets-places on the table. 141. Whole boars, &c.] A whole boar at a time—the wild boar, especially the Tuscan, was an high article of luxury, at all grand entertainments. The 'word natum is here used as the word natis. Ilor. lib. I. od. xxvii. 1. 1.-See also Ovid, Met. lib. xv. 1. 117.

Quid meruistis, oves, placidum pecus, inque tuendos

NATUM homines ? Juvenal speaks as if boars were made and produced for no other purpose than convivial entertainments. 142. A present punishment.] Of such horrid gluttony.

Put off your clothes.] Strip yourself for bathing. 143. Turgid.] Turgidus-swoln-puffed up with a full stomach.

An indigested peacock.] Which you have devoured, and which is crude and indigested within you.

To the baths.] It was the custom to bathe before meals; the contrary was reckoned unwholesome. See pers. sat. iii. 1. 98 105. and Hor. Epist. lib. I. Ep. vi. I. 61.

144. Sudden deaths.] Apoplexies and the like, which arise from too great repletion. Bathing, with a full stomach, must be likely to occasion these, by forcing the blood with too great violence towards the brain.

Intestate old age.] i. e. Old gluttons thus suddenly cut off, without time to make their wills.

145. A new story, &c.] A fresh piece of news, which nobody is

[ocr errors]

sorry for.

146. A funeral is carried forth.] The word ducitur is peculiarly used to denote the carrying forth a corpse to burial, or to the fune. ral pile. So Virg. Geor. iv. 256.

Nil crit ulterius, quod nostris moribus addati: 1.4 - Posteritas : eadem cupient, facientque minores. id el 16 OMNE IN PRÆCIPITI VITIUM STETIT: utere velis, {} Totos pande sinus. Dicas hic forsitan," unde 17 i 150 “ Ingenium par materiær unde illa priorum « Scribendi quodcunque animo flagrante liberet, amit “ Simplicitas, cujus non audeo dicere nomen? " Quid refert dietis ignoscat Mutius, an non? “ Pone Tigellivum, tædâ lucebis iu illa,

155 'Quâ stantes ardent, qui fixo gutture fument, « Et latum mediâ sulcum deducis arenâ.

Exportant tectis, et tristia funera DUCUNT. Owing, perhaps, to the procession of the friends, &c. of the deceased, which went before the corpse, and led it to the place of burning, or interment.

146. Applauded ly angry friends.] Who, disobliged by having nothing left them, from the deceased's dying suddenly, and without a will, express their resentment by rejoicing at his death, instead of lamenting it. See Pers. sat. vi. 33, 4.

118. To our morals.] Our vices and debaucheries, owing to the depravity and corruption of our morals.

Those born after us.] Minores, i. e, natu—our descendents; the opposite of majores natu—our ancestors.

149. All rice is at the height.] In præcipiti stetit-hath stood hath been for some time at its highest pitch--at its summit-so that our posterity can carry it no higher. Compare the two preceding lines,

Vice is at stand, and at the highest flow. DRYDEN. On tip toe. Ainsw.

149-50. Use sails-Spread, &c.] A metaphor taken from sailors, who, when they have a fair wind, spread open their sails as much as they can. The poet here insinuates, that there is now a fair oppor. tunity for satire to display all its powers.

150-1. Whence is there genius, &c.] Here he is supposed to be interrupted by some friend, who starts an objection, on his invocation to Satire to spread all its sails, and use all its powers against the vices of the times.

Where shall we find genius equal to the matter? equal to range go wide a field-equal to the description, and due correction of so much vice?

151. Whence that simplicity, &c.] That simple and undisguised freedom of reproof, which former writers exercised. Alluding, per. haps, to Lucilius, Horace, and other writers of former times.

153. A burning mind.] Inflamed with zeal, and burning with satiric rage against the vices and abuses of their times.

Of which I dare not, &c.] It is hardly safe now to name, or mention, the liberty of the old writers; it is so sunk and gone, that the very naming it is dangerous.

There will be nothing farther, which posterity can add
To our morals : those born after us, will desire, and do the same

things. ALL VICE IS AT THE HEIGHT. Use sails, Spread their whole bosoms open. Here, perhaps, you'll say" Whence 1991 titel

150 “ Is there genius equal to the matter? Whence that simplicity “ Of former (writers), of writing whatever they might like, with * A burning mind, of which I dare not tell the name. “ What signifies it, whether Mutius might forgive what they said,

or not?

“ Set down Tigellinus, and you will shine in that torch, 155 “ In which standing they burn, who with fixed throat smoke; * And you draw out a wide furrow in the midst of sand.

154. Mutius.] Titus Mutius Albutius--a very great and powerful man. He was satirized by Lucilius, and this, most severely by name. See note on Pers. sat. i. 1. 115.

Lucilius feared no bad consequences of this, in those days of lia berty.

155. Set down Tigellinus.] i. e. Expose him as an object of satire-satirize this creature and infamous favourite of Nero's, and most terrible will be the consequence.

In that torch.] This cruel punishment seems to have been proper to incendiaries, in which light the poet humourously supposes the satirizers of the emperor's favourites, and other great men, to be looked upon át that time.

After Nero had burnt Rome, to satisfy his curiosity with the prose pect, he contrived to lay the odium on the Christians, and charged them with setting the city on fire. He caused them to be wrapped

round with garments, which were bedaubed with pitch, and other is combustible matters, and set on fire at night, by way of torches to en

lighten the streets—and thus they miserably perisheds See KENNETT, Ant. p. 147. 1.56. Standing.] In an erect posture.

With fixed throat.] Fastened by the neck to a stake. L. 157. And you draw out a wide furrow, &c.] After all the danger which a satirist runs of his life, for attacking Tigellinus, or any * other minion of the emperor'small his labour will be in vain; there is no hope of doing any good. It would be like ploughing in the barren sand, which would yield nothing to reward your pains.

Commentators have given various explanations of this line, which is

very difficult, and almost unintelligible where the copies read de. ducet, as if relating to the fumant in the preceding line ; but this cannot well be, that the plural should be expressed by the third person singular. They talk of the sufferers making a trench in the sand, by running round the post, to avoid the flames-but how can this be, when the person has the combustibles fastened round him, and

« PredošláPokračovať »