Obrázky na stránke
[blocks in formation]

Non facient alii, cùm tu multicia sumas,
Cretice, & hanc vestem populo mirante perores
In Proculas, & Pollineas ? eft mæcha Fabulla :
Damnetur fi vis, etiam Carfinia: talem
Non fumet damnata togam. Sed Julius ardet,
Æftuo: nudus agas ; minùs eft infania turpis.
En habitum, quo te leges, ac jura ferentem
Vulneribus crudis populus modò victor, & illud
Montanum pofitis audiret vulgus aratris.


ticus, the effeminacy of certain magiftrates, who appeared, even in the seat of justice, attired in a most unbecoming and indecent manner, and such as bespake them in the high road to the most horrid impurities.

66. Will not others do, &c.] 4. d. It is no marvel, that we find vice triumphant over people that move in a less conspicuous. sphere of life, when plain and apparent symptoms of it are seen in those who fill the seats of justice, and are actually exhibited by them, before the public eye, in open court.

67. O Creticus.] This magistrate was descended from the family of that Metellus, who was called Creticus, from his conquest of Crete. Juvenal, most probably, addresses Metellus by this surname of his great ancestor, the more to expose and shame him, for acting so unworthy his descent from so brave and noble a person.

Transparent garments.] Multicia, quasi multilicia, of many threads. These were to finely and curiously wrought, that the body might be seen through them.

Thou declaimejl.] Paffeft fentence in the most aggra. vated terms- Perores. The end of a speech, in which the orator collected all his force and eloquence, was called the peroration : but the verb is used in a larger sense, and fignifies to declaim and make an harangue against any person or thing.

68. Proculæ and Pollite.) Names of particular women, who were condemned, on the Julian law, for incontinence, but, fo famous in their way, as to Itand here for lewd women in ge: neral.

He could condemn such in the feverest manner, when before him in judgment, while he, by his immodelt dress, shewed him self to be worse than they were.


70. Such

But what 65 Will not others do, when thou assumest transparent gar.

ments, O Creticus, and (the people wond'ring at this apparel)

thou declaimest Against the Proculæ and Pollineæ? Fabulla is an adulteress: Let Carfinia too be condemned if you please : such A gown, condemned, The'll not put on, “ burns

70 “ I'm very hot”-do your business naked: madness is less

shameful. Lo the habit! in which, thee promulgating statutes and

ļaws, The people (with crude wounds just now victorious, Mountain-vulgar with ploughs laid by) might hear.

« But July

70. Such a gown, &c.] Bad as such women may be, and even convicted of incontinence, yet they would not appear in such a dress, as is worn by you who condemn them.

Or perhaps this alludes to the custom of obliging women, convicted of adultery, to pull off the stola, or woman's garment, and put on the toga, or man's garment, which stigmatized them as infamous, but even this was not so infamous as the transparent dress of the judge, Horace calls a common prostitute-togata. Sat. ii. Lib. 1.1.63.

But July burns," &c.] He endeavours at an excuse, from the heat of the weather, for being thus clad.

71. Do your business, &c.] As a judge. Agere legem sometimes, fignifies, to execute the sentence of the law againft malefactors. See AINSWORTH-Ago.

Madness is less shameful.] Were you to fit on the bench naked, you might be thought mad, but this would not be fo shameful ; madness might be fome excuse.

72. Behold the habit ? &c.] This, and the three following lines, suppose some of the old hardy and brave Romans, just come from a victory, and covered with fresh wounds (crudia vulneribus)-rough mountaineers, who had left their ploughs, like Cincinnatus, to fight against the enemies of their country, and on their arrival at Rome, with the enligns of glorious conqueft, finding such an effeminate character upon the bench, bearing the charge of the laws, and bringing them forth in judgment-- which may be the sense of ferentem

in this place,

75. What


Quid non proclames, in corpore Judicis ista
Si videas? quæro an deceant multicia testem?
Acer, & indomitus, libertatisque magister,
Cretice pelluces ! Dedit hanc contagio labem,
Et dabit in plures : ficut grex totus in agris
Unius scabie cadit, & porrigine porci ;
Uvaque conspectâ livorem ducit ab uva.
Fædius hoc aliquid quandoque audebis amictu :
Nemo repentè fuit turpissimus. accipient te
Paulatim, qui longa domi redimicula fumunt


75. What would not you proclaim, &c.] How would you ex. claim! What would you not utter, that could express your indignation and abhorrence (O antient and venerable people) of such a filken judge !

76. I ak, would, &c.] q. d. It would be indecent for a private person, who only attends as a witness, to appear in such a dress how much more for a judge, who fits in an eminent station, in a public character, and who is to condemn vice of all kinds.

77. Sour and unfubdued.] O Creticus, who pretendeft to ftoicism, and appearing morose, fevere, and not overcome by your passions.

Master of liberty. ] By this, and the preceding part of this line, it should appear, that this effeminate judge was one who pretended to stoicism, which taught a great severity of manners, and an apathy both of body and mind; likewise such a li. berty of living as they pleased, as to be exempt from the frail. ties and passions of other men. They taught-sli povos • coas

A ev bagos--that “ only a wise man was free.”-Hence Cic. Quid eft libertas ? potestas vivendi ut velis.

78. You are transparent. Your body is seen through your fine garments : so that with all your stoicism, your appearance is that of a shameless and most unnatural libertine: a slave to the vilest passions, though pretending to be master of your liberty of action.

Contagion gave this ftain. You owe all this to the company which you have kept ; by this you have been infected.

79. And will give it to more. You will corrupt others by your example, as you were corrupted by the example of those whom you have followed.

The language here is metaphorical, taken from distempered cattle, which communicate infection by herding together.

80. Falls

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

What would you not proclaim, if, on the body of a judge,
those things

You should fee? I ask, would transparent garments be-

come a witness?
Sour and unsubdued, and master of liberty,
O Creticus, you are transparent ! contagion gave this stain,
And will give it to more: as, in the fields, a whole herd,
Falls by the scab and measles of one swine :

And a grape derives a blueness from a grape beholden.
Some time you'll venture something worse than this dress;
Nobody was on a sudden most base. They will receive thee
By little and little, who at home bind long fillets on

80. Falls by the scab, &c.] Qur English proverb says.
. One fcabby sheep mars the whole flock.”

81. A grape, &c.] This is also a proverbial saying, from the ripening of the black grape (as we call it) which has a blue or livid hue : these do not turn to that colour all at once and together, but grape after grape, which, the vulgar supposed, was owing to one grape's looking upon another, being very near in contact, and so contracting the same colour. They had a proyerb-Uva uyam videndo varia fit.

83. Nobody was on a sudden, &c.] None ever arrived at the highest pitch of wickedness at first setting out: the workings of evil are gradual, and almost imperceptible at first; but as the infinuations of vice deceive the conscience, they first blind and then harden it, until the greatest crimes are committed without remorse.

I do not recollect where I met with the underwritten lines;
þut as they contain excellent advice, they may not be unuseful
in this place.

O Leoline, be obstinately just,
Indulge no paflion, and betray no trust;
Never let man be bold enough to say,
Thus, and no farther, let my passion ftray :
The first crime past compels us on to more,
And guilt proves fate, which was but choice before.

They will receive, &c.] By degrees you will go on
from one step to another till you are received into the lewd and
horrid society after mentioned. The poet is now going to ex-
pose a fet' of unnatural wretches, who, in imitation of women,
celebrated the rites of the Bona Dea.

84. Who at home, &c.] Domim that is, secretly, privately,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


Frontibus, & toto posuere monilia collo,
Atque Bonam teneræ placant abdomine porcæ,
Et magno cratere Deam: fed more sinistro
Exagitata procul non intrat fæmina limen.
Solis ara Deæ maribus patet: ite profanæ,
Clamatur: nullo gemit hîc tibicina cornu.
Talia secretâ coluerunt Orgia tædà
Cecropiam soliti Baptæ laffare Cotyttö,


[ocr errors]

in some house, hired or procured for the purpose of celebrating their horrid rites, in imitation of the women, who yearly observed the rites of the Bona Dea, and celebrated them in the house of the high priest,--Plut. in vita Ciceronis & Cæsaris.

If we say-redimicula domi literally fillets of the house we may understand it to mean those fillets which, in imitation of the women, they wore around their heads on these occasions, and which, at other times, were hung up about the house, as part of the sacred furniture.

Here is the first instance, in which their ornaments and ha. bits were like those of the women.

85. And have placed ornaments, &c.) Monilianecklaces consisting of so many rows, as to cover the whole neck; these were allo female ornaments. This is the second instance. Monile, in its largest sense, implies an ornament for any part

of the body. Ainsw. But as the neck is here mentioned, necklaces are most probably meant; these were made of pearls, precious ftones, gold, &c.

86. The good goddess.] The Bona Dea, worshipped by the women, was a Roman lady, the wife of one Faunus ; the was famous for chastity, and, after her death, consecrated. Sacri. fices were performed to her only by night, and secretly; they facrificed to her a fow pig. Nomen were admitted.

In imitation of this, these wretches, spoken of by our poet, that they might resemble women as much as possible, instituted rites and sacrifices of the same kind, and performed them in the fame secret and clandestine manner.

The belly, &t.] The sumen, or dugs and udder of a young sow, was esteemed a great dainty, and seems here meant by abdomine. Pliny fays (-:i. 84. edit. Hard.) antiqui fumen vocabant abdomen. Here it stands for the whole animal (as in Sat. xii. 73.) by fynec.

87. A large goblet.] Out of which they poured their libations.

By a perverted custom.] More finiftro-by a perverted, awkward custom, they exclude all women from their mysteries,


« PredošláPokračovať »