Page images
PDF
EPUB

The Flaminian way: for the boy Automedon was holding the

reins, When he boasted himself to his cloaked mistress. Doth it not like one to fill capacious waxen tablets in the

middle of a Cross-way-when now can be carried on a sixth neck (Here and there exposed, and in almost a naked chair, 65 And much resembling the supine Mæcenas) A signer to what is false; who himself splendid and happy Has made, with small tables, and with a wet gem? A potent matron occurs, who soft Calenian wine About to reach forth, her husband thirsting, mixes a toad, 70 And, a better Locusta, instructs her rude neighbours, Through fame and the people, to bring forth their black hus

bands. Dare something worthy the narrow Gyaræ, or a prison,

Here it means a species of cheat, who im. --the husband is supposed to be so posed false wills and testaments on the thirsty, as not to examine the contents heirs of the deceased, supposed to be made of the draught; of this she avails herself, in their own favour, or in favour of others by reaching to him some Calenian wine, with whom they shared the spoil. See with poison in it, which was extracted sat. x. I. 336. and note. Some suppose from a toad. this to be particularly meant of Tigelli 71. A better Locusta.] This Locusta nus, a favourite of Nero's, who poisoned was a vile woman, skilful in preparing three uncles, and, by forging their wills, poisons. She helped Nero to poison made himself heir to all they had. Britannicus, the son of Claudius and

68. By small tables.] Short testaments, Messalina ; and Agrippina to dispatch contained in a few words. Comp. note Claudius. The woman alluded to by on 1. 63.

Juvenal, l. 69. he here styles, melior A wet gem.] i. e. A seal, which Locusta, a better Locusta, i. e. more was cut on some precious stone, worn in skilled in poisoning than even Locusta a ring on the finger, and occasionally herself. made use of to seal deeds or wills—this - Her rude neighbours.] i. e. Unacthey wetted to prevent the wax sticking quainted, and unskilled before, in this to it. This was formerly known among diabolical art. our forefathers by the name of a seal 72. Through fume and the people.] Setring,

ting all reputation and public report at 69. A potent matron occurs.] Another defiance; not caring what people should subject of satire the poet here adverts say. to, namely, women who poison their -To bring forth.] For burial--which husbands, and this with impunity. The efferre peculiarly means. See Ter. And. particular person here alluded tõ, under act i. sc. i. 1. 90. the description of matrona potens, was,

72. Black husbands.] Their corpses probably, Agrippina, the wife of Clau- turned putrid and black, with the effects dius, who poisoned her husband, that of the poison. she might make her son Nero emperor. 73. Dare.] i. e. Attempt-presume

Occurs.] Meets you in the public be not afraid—to commit. street, and thus occurs to the observation -Something.] Some atrocious crime, of the satirist. Comp. 1. 63, 4.

worthy of exile, or imprisonment. 69. Calenian wine.] Calenum was a -The narrow Gyaræ.] Gyaras was city in the kingdom of Naples, famous an island in the Agean sea, small, barfor a soft kind of wine.

and desolate, to which criminals 70. About to reach forth.] Porrectura were banished.

ren,

175

80

Si vis esse aliquis: PROBITAS LAUDATUR, ET ALGET.
Criminibus debent hortos, prætoria, mensas,
Argentum vetus, et stantem extra pocula caprum.
Quem patitur dormire nurûs corruptor avaræ ?
Quem sponsæ turpes, et prætextatus adulter ?
Si natura negat, facit indignatio versum,
Qualemcunque potest : quales ego, vel Cluvienus.
Ex
quo

Deucalion, nimbis tollentibus æquor,
Navigio montem ascendit, sortesque poposcit,
Paulatimque animâ caluerunt mollia saxa,
Et maribus nudas ostendit Pyrrha puellas :
Quicquid agunt homines, votum, timor, ira, voluptas
Gaudia, discursus, nostri est farrago libelli.
Et quando uberior vitiorum copia ? quando
Major avaritiæ patuit sinus ? alea quando
Hos animos ? neque enim loculis comitantibus itur

85

a

74. If you would be somebody.] i. e. If. 78. Buse spouses.] Lewd and adulte. you would make yourself taken notice rous wives. of, as a person of consequence, at Rome. - The noble young adulterer.] PræA severe reflection on certain favourites textatus, i. e. the youth, not having laid of the emperor, who, by being informers, aside the prætextata, or gown worn by and by other scandalous actions, had boys, sons of the nobility, till seventeen enriched themselves.

years of age yet, in this early period of -Probity is praised, &c.] This seems life, initiated into the practice of adulproverbial saying, and applies to what tery. goes before, as well as to what follows, 79. Indignation makes verse.] Forces wherein the poet is shewing, that vice one to write, however naturally without was, in those days, the only way to talents for it. riches and honours. Honesty and in 80. Such us I, or Cluvienus.] i. e. nocence will be commended, but those Make or write. The poet names himwho possess them be left to starve. self with Cluvienus, (soune bad poet of

75. Gardens.) i. e. Pleasant and beau- his time,) that he might the more freely tiful retreats, where they had gardens of satirize him, which he at the same time great taste and expence.

does, the more severely, by the

compari-Palaces.] The word prætoria denotes noblemen's seats in the country, 81. From the time that Deucalion.] This as well as the palaces of great men in and the three following lines relate to the city.

the history of the deluye, as described -Tables.] Made of ivory, marble, by Ovid. See Met. lib. i. 1. 264-315. and other expensive materials.

82. Ascended the mountain, &c.] Al76. Old silver.] Ancient plate-very Juding to Ovid : valuable on account of the workmanship

Mons ibi verticibus petit arduus astra

duobus, -A goat standing, &c.] The figure

Nomine Parnassusof a goat in curious bas relief-which animal, as sacred to Bacchus, was very

Hic ubi Deucalion (nam cætera texerat usually expressed on drinking cups.

æquor) 77. Whom.] i. e. Which of the poets,

Cum consorte tori parvâ rate vectus ad

hæsit. or writers of satire, can be at rest from writing, or withhold his satiric rage ?

-Asked for lots.] Sortes here means The corrupter.] i. e. The father, the oracles, or billets, on which the anwho takes advantage of the love of swers of the gods were written. Ovid, money in his son's wife, to debauch her. (ubi supra,) I. 367, 8. represents Deu

son.

PRAISED

AND

If you would be somebody. PROBITY IS

STARVES WITH COLD.
To crimes they owe gardens, palaces, tables,

75 Old silver, and a goat standing on the outside of cups. Whom does the corrupter of a covetous daughter-in-law suf

fer to sleep ?
Whom base spouses, and the noble young adulterer?
If nature denies, indignation makes verse,
Such as it can : such as I, or Cluvienus.

80
From the time that Deucalion (the showers lifting up the sea)
Ascended the mountain with his bark, and asked for lots,
And the soft stones by little and little grew warm with life,
And Pyrrha shewed to males naked damsels,
Whatever men do—desire, fear, anger, pleasure,

85 Joys, discourse—is the composition of my little book. And when was there a more fruitful plenty of vices ? when Has a greater bosom of avarice lain open ? when the die These spirits ?—they do not go, with purses accompanying,

sortes.

calion, and his wife Pyrrlia, resolving to sent out of the ark. go to the temple of the goddess Themis, 86. The composition, &c.] Farrago to enquire in what manner mankind signifies a mixture, an hodge-podge, as should be restored.

we say, of various things mixed together. -placuit cæleste præcari The poet means, that the various purNumen, et auxilium per sacras quærere suits, inclinations, actions, and passions

of men, and all those human follies and And 1. 381. Mota Dea est, sortemque vices, which have existed, and have dedit.

been increasing, ever since the flood, are Again, 1. 389. Verba datæ sortis. the subjects of his satires.

To this Juvenal alludes in this line ; 88. Bosom of avarice.] A metaphorical wherein sortes may be rendered, ora allusion to the sail of a ship when excular answers.

panded to the wind, the centre whereof 83. The soft stones, &c.] When Deu is called sinus, the bosom. The larger calion and Pyrrha, having consulted the the sail, and the more open and spread oracle how mankind might be repaired, it is, the greater the capacity of the bowere answered, that this would be done som for receiving the wind, and the more by their casting the bones of their great powerfully is the ship driven on through mother behind their backs, they picked the sea. stones from off the earth, and cast them Thus avarice spreads itself far and behind their backs, and they became wide; it catches the inclinations of men, men and women.

as the sail the wind, and thus it drives

them on in a full course_when more Jussos lapides sua post vestigia mittunt :

than at present ? says the poet. SaraPonere duritiem ca pêre, suumque rigo- gaming ; put here for gaming itself.

-The die.] A chief instrumeat of

METON. Mollirique morå, mollitaque ducere for

89. These spirits.] Animus signifies mum, &c. Ib. I. 399 402.

spirit or courage ; and in this sense we Hence Juvenal says, mollia saxa. are to understand it here. As if the poet

It is most likely that the whole ac said, when was gaming so encouraged ? count of the deluge, given by Ovid, is a or when had games of hazard, which corruption of the Mosaical history of were forbidden by the law, (except only that event. Plutarch mentions the dove during the Saturnalia,) the courage to

rem,

90

95

Ad casum tabulæ, posità sed luditur arca.
Prælia quanta illic dispensatore videbis
Armigero! simplexne furor sestertia centum
Perdere, et horrenti tunicam non reddere servo ?
Quis totidem erexit villas ? quis fercula septem
Secreto cænavit avus? nunc sportula primo
Limine parva sedet, turbæ rapienda togatæ.
Ille tamen faciem prius inspicit, et trepidat ne
Suppositus venias, ac falso nomine poscas :
Agnitus accipies. Jubet a præcone vocari
Ipsos Trojugenas; nam vexant limen et ipsi
Nobiscum : da Prætori, da deinde Tribuno.

[blocks in formation]

appear so open and frequently as they decent necessaries. The Romans had do now? The sentence is elliptical, and their sestertius and sestertium. The latmust be supplied with habuit, or some ter is here meant, and contains 1000 of other verb of the kind, to govern, hos the former, which was worth about ld. animos.

See 1. 106. n. - They do not go, with purses, &c.] 93. And not give a coat, 8c.] The poet Gaming has now gotten to such an ex here puts one instance, for many, of the travagant height, that gamesters are not ruinous consequences of gaming. content to play for what can be carried Juvenal, by this, severely censures in their purses, but stake a whole chest the gamesters, who had rather lose a of money at a time; this seems to be large sum at the dice, than lay it out implied by the word posita. Pono some for the comfort, happiness, and decent times signifies, laying a wager, putting maintenance uf their families. down as a stake. See an example of this 94. So many villas.] Houses of pleasure sense, from Plautus, Ainsw. pono, No.5. for the summer-season. These were

91. How many bottles, 8c.] i. e. visually built and furnished at a vast How many attacks on one another at expence. The poet having inveighed play:

against their squandering at the gamingThe steward.] Dispensator signi- table, now attacks their luxury, and profies a dispenser, a steward, one that Jays digality in other respects ; and then, out money, a manager.

the excessive meanness into which they 92. Armour-bearer.] The armigeri were were sunk. servants who followed their masters with 95. Supped in secret, fic.] The ancient their shields, and other arms, when they Roman nobility, in order to shew their went to fight. The poet still carries on munificence and hospitality, used, at certhe metaphor of prælia in the preceding tain times, to makean handsome and splenline. There gaming is compared to did entertainment, to which they invited fighting ; here he humourously calls the their clients and dependents. Now steward the armour-bearer, as supplying they shut out these, and provided a his master with money, a necessary wea- sumptuous entertainment for themselves pon at a gaming-table, to stake at play, only, which they sat down to in private. instead of keeping and dispensing it, or Which of our ancestors, says the poet, laying it out for the usual and honest did this? expenses of the family.

-Now a little basket, &c.] Sportula, -Simple madness, &c.] All this is a a little basket or pannier, made of a species of madness, but not without kind of broom called sportum. Ken. ' mixture of injury and mischief; and NET, Antig. p. 375. In this were put therefore may be reckoned something victuals, and some small sums of money, more than mere madness, where such to be distributed to the poor clients and iminense sums are thrown away at a dependents at the outward door of the gaming-table, as that the servants of house, who were no longer invited, as the family cannot be afforded common formerly, to the entertainment within.

To the chance of the table, but a chest being put down is played for.

90 How many battles will you see there, the steward Armour-bearer ! is it simple madness an hundred sestertia To lose, and not give a coat to a ragged servant ? Who has erected so many villas ? What ancestor on seven

dishes Has supped in secret ? Now a little basket at the first 95 Threshold is set, to be snatched by the gowned crowd. But he first inspects the face, and trembles, lest Put in the place of another you come, and ask in a false name. Acknowledged you will receive. He commands to be called

by the crier The very descendants of the Trojans; for even they molest the threshold

100 Together with us : “ Give to the Prætor-then give to the

66 Tribune.”

to.

96. To be snatched, &c.] i. e. Eagerly -He commands to be called.] i. e. received by the hungry poor clients, Summoned, called together. The poet who crowded about the door.

is now about to inveigh against the -The gowned crowd.] The common meanness of many of the nobles and sort of people were called turba togata, magistrates of Rome, who could suffer from the gowns they wore, by which themselves to be summoned by the they were distinguished from the higher common crier, in order to share in the sort. See note before on 1. 3.

distribution of the dole-baskets. 97. But he] i. e. The person who 100. The very descendants of the Trodistributes the dole.

jans.] Ipsos Trojugenas; from Troja, -First inspects the face.] That he or Trojanus, and gigno. The very peomay be certain of the person he gives ple, says he, who boast of their descent

from Æneas, and the ancient Trojans, -And trembles.] At the apprehen- who first came to settle in Italy; even sion of being severely, reproved by his these are so degenerate, as to come and master, the great man, if he should make scramble, as it were, among the poor, for a mistake, by giving people who assume a part of the sportula. The word ipsos a false name, and pretend themselves to makes the sarcasm the stronger. be clients, when they are not.

100. Molest the threshold.] Crowd 99. Acknowledged, &c.] Agnitus, owned, about it, and are very troublesome. So acknowledged, as one for whom the dole Hor. lib. i. sat. viii. 1. 18.-hunc vexare is provided.

locum. Perhaps, in better days, when the 101. With us.] Avec nous autres, as clients and dependents of great men

the French say. were invited to partake of an entertain Give to the Prætor.] In Juvenal's ment within doors, there was a sportula, time this was a title of a chief magistrate, or dole-basket, which was distributed, at something like the lord-mayor of London; Jarge, to the poor, at the doors of great he was called Prætor Urbanus, and had men's houses. Now times were altered; power to judge matters of law between no invitation of clients to feast within citizen and citizen. This seems to be doors, aud no distribution of doles, to the the officer here meant: but for a further poor at large, without: none now got any account of the Prætor, see AINSW. thing bere but the excluded clients, and Prætor. what they got was distributed with the 101. The Tribune.] A chief officer in utmost caution, l. 97, 98.

Rome. The tribunes, at their first in

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »