Sivut kuvina

came women.

Make lanes among the people where they 13 At Lyons. A city in France, where annual

sacrifices and games were made in honor of Augo,


gustus Cæsar. And, mounted high on downy chariots,

14 Prevailing province, &c. Here the poet throw

complains that the governors of provinces, being Disdainful glances on the crowd below ? accus'd for their unjust exactions, tho' they were Be silent, and beware, if such you see;

condemn'd at their trials, yet got off by bribery. 'Tis defamation but to say: “ That's he !" 15 Horace, who wrote satires: 't is more noble, Against bold Turnus 27 the great Trojan

says our author, to imitate him in that way, than

to write the labors of Hercules, the sufferings of arm,

Diomedes and his followers, or the flight of Dæ Amidst their strokes the poet gets no dalus, who made the Labyrinth, and the death of barm:

his son Icarus.

16 His eunuch-love. Nero married Sporus, an Achilles may in epic verse be slain,

eunuch ; tho' it may be, the poet meant Nero's And none of all his Myrmidons complain: mistress in man's apparel. Hylas may drop his pitcher, none will cry; 17 Mæcenas-like. Mæcenas is often tax'd by Not if he drown himself for company: 250

Seneca and others for his effeminacy. But when Lucilius brandishes his pen,

18 And hope to sleep. The meaning is, that the

very consideration of such a crime will hinder a And flashes in the face of guilty men, virtuous man from taking his repose. A cold sweat stands in drops on ev'ry part; 19 Deucalion and Pyrrha, when the world was And rage succeeds to tears, revenge to drown'd, escap'd to the top of Mount Parnassus, smart.

and were commanded to restore mankind, by Muse, be advis'd; 't is past consid’ring time,

throwing stones over their heads : the stones

he threw became men, and those she threw beWhen enter'd once the dangerous lists of rhyme:

20 Tho' my torn ears are bor'd. The ears of all Since none the living villains dare implead, slaves were bor'd, as a mark of their servitude;

which custom is still usual in the East Indies, Arraign them in the persons of the dead.

and in other parts, even for whole nations, who

bore prodigious holes in their ears, and wear vast EXPLANATORY NOTES ON THE FIRST weights at them. SATIRE

21 The poor patrician. The poor nobleman.

22 Pallas, of Licinius. Pallas, a slave freed 1 Codrus, or it may be Cordus, a bad poet who by Claudius Cæsar, and rais'd by his favor to wrote the life and actions of Theseus.

great riches. Licinius was another wealthy 2 Telephus, the name of a tragedy.

freedman, belonging to Augustus. 3 Orestes, another tragedy.

23 Where the stork on high, & Perhaps the 4 Mars his grove. Some commentators take storks were us'd to build on the top of the temple this grove to be a place where poets were us'd to dedicated to Concord. repeat their works to the people; but more prob- 24 Prevented by those harpies. He calls the ably, both this and Vulcan's grot, or cave, and Roman knights, &c., harpies, or devourers. In the rest of the places and names here mention'd, those days the rich made doles intended for the are only meant for the commonplaces of Horner poor; but the great were either so coveteous, or in his Wiads and Odysses.

so needy, that they came in their litters to de5 The best and worst; that is, the best and the mand their shares of the largess, and thereby worst poets.

prevented, and consequently starv'd, the poor. 6 Advising Sylla, &c. This was one of the 25 T is Galla, &c. The meaning is, that themes given in the schools of rhetoricians, in noblemen would cause empty litters to be car the deliberative kind; whether Sylla should lay ried to the giver's door, pretending their wives down the supreme power of dictatorship, or still were within them. " 'Tis Galla," that is, " keep it.

wife ;,.' the next words, " Let her ladyship but 7 Lucilius, the first satirist of the Romans, peep, are of the servant who distributes the who wrote long before Horace.

dole ; Let me see her, that I may be sure she 8 Mæviu, a name put for any impudent or is within the litter." The husband answers : mannish woman.

“She is asleep, and to open the litter would 9 Whose razor, &c. Juvenal's barber now disturb her rest." grown wealthy.

26 Next to the statues, &c. The poet here tells 10 Crispinus, an Egyptian slave; now by his you how the idle pass'd their time ; in going first riches transform d into a nobleman.

to the levees of the great, then to the hall, that 11 Charg'd with light summer-rings, &c. The is, to the temple of Apollo, to hear the lawyers Romans were grown so effeminate in Juvenal's plead, then to the marketplace of Augustus, time, that they wore light rings in the summer where the statues of the famous Romans were and heavier in the winter.

set in ranks on pedestals, amongst which statues 12 Matho, a famous lawyer, mention'd in were seen those of foreigners, such as Arabs, &c., other places by Juvenal and Martial.

who, for no desert, but only on the account of

[ocr errors]

their wealth or favor, were plac'd amongst the noblest

27 Against bold Turnus, &c. A poet may safely write an heroic poem, such as that of Virgil who describes the duel of Turnus and Æneas; or of Homer, who writes of Achilles and Hector; or the death of Hylas, the catamite of Hercules, who, stooping for water, dropp'd his pitcher, and fell into the well after it. But 't is dangerous to write satire, like Lucilius.






The story of this satire speaks itself. Umbri

tius, the suppos'd friend of Juvenal, and himself a poet, is leaving Rome, and retiring to Cumæ. Our author accompanies him out of town. Before they take leave of each other, Umbritius tells his friend the reasons which oblige him to lead a private life, in an obscure place. He complains that an honest man cannot get his bread at Rome; that none but flatterers make their fortunes there; that Grecians and other foreigners raise themselves by those sordid arts which he describes, and against which he bitterly inveighs. He reckons up the several inconveniencies which arise from a city life, and the many dangers which attend it; upbraids the noblemen with covetousness, for not rewarding good poets; and arraigns the government for starving them. The great art of this satire is particularly shown in commonplaces, and drawing in as many vices as could naturally fall into the compass of it.

Rogues that in dog days * cannot rhyme for

bear: But without mercy read, and make you

hear. Now while my friend, just ready to de

part, Was packing all his goods in one poor cart; He stopp'd a little at the Conduit-gate, Where Numa 5 modeld once the Roman

State, In mighty councils with his nympho retir'd: Tho' now the sacred shades and founts are

hir'd By banish'd Jews, who their whole wealth

can lay In a small basket, on a wisp of hay; Yet such our avarice is, that every tree Pays for his head; not sleep itself is free: Nor place, nor persons, now are sacred held; From their own grove the Muses are ex

pell’d. Into this lonely vale our steps we bend, I and my sullen discontented friend: The marble caves, and aqueducts we view; But how adult'rate now, and different from

the true ! How much more beauteous had the foun

tain been, Embellish'd with her first created green, Where crystal streams thro' living turf had

run, Contented with an urn of native stone ! Then thus Umbritius (with an angry

frown, And looking back on this degen'rate town): “Since noble arts in Rome have no support, And ragged virtue not a friend at court, 40 No profit rises from th' ungrateful stage, My poverty encreasing with my age, 'T is time to give my just disdain a vent, And, cursing, leave so base a government. Where Dædalus? his borrow'd wings laid by, To that obscure retreat I choose to fly: While yet few furrows on my face are

seen, While I walk upright, and old age is

green, And Lachesis 8 has somewhat left to spin. Now, now 't is time to quit this cursed

place, And hide from villains my too honest face: Here let Arturius' live, and such as he; Such manners will with such a town agree. Knaves who in full assemblies have the


GRIEV'D tho' I am an ancient friend to

lose, I like the solitary seat he chose, In quiet Cumæ 1 fixing his repose: Where, far from noisy Rome, secure he

lives, And one more citizen to Sibyl gives; The road to Bajæ, and that soft recess, Which all the gods with all their bounty

bless. Tho' I in Prochyta 3 with greater ease Could live, than in a street of palaces. What scene so desart, or so full of fright, As tow'ring houses tumbling in the night, And Rome on fire beheld by its own blaz

ing light? But worse than all, the clatt'ring tiles; and




Than thousand padders, is the poet's curse;

very head.


[ocr errors]

Of turning truth to lies, and white to black; Can hire large houses, and oppress the poor By farm'd excise; can cleanse the common

shore, And rent the fishery; can bear the dead; And teach their eyes dissembled tears to

shed: All this for gain; for gain they sell their These fellows (see what Fortune's pow'r can

do) Were once the minstrels of a country show: Follow'd the prizes thro' each paltry town, By trumpet-cheeks and bloated faces known. But now, grown rich, on drunken holi

days, At their own costs exhibit public plays; Where, influenc'd by the rabble's bloody

will, With thumbs bent back,o they popularly

kill. From thence return'd, their sordid avarice

rakes In excrements again, and hires the jakes. 70 Why hire they not the town, not ev'ry

thing, Since such as they have Fortune in a string, Who, for her pleasure, can her fools ad

vance, And toss 'em topmost on the wheel of

chance ? What's Rome to me, what bus'ness have I

there, I who can neither lie, nor falsely swear ? Nor praise my patron's undeserving rhymes, Nor yet comply with him, nor with his

times; Uuskill'd in schemes by planets to foreshow, Like canting rascals, how the wars will go: I neither will, nor can prognosticate To the young gaping heir, his father's fate; Nor in the entrails of a toad have pried, Nor carried bawdy presents to a bride: For want of these town virtues, thus, alone, I go conducted on my way by none: Like a dead member from the body rent; Maim’d, and unuseful to the government. “Who now is lov’d, but he who loves the

times, Conscious of close intrigues, and dipp'd in

crimes; Lab’ring with secrets which his bosom burn, Yet never must to public light return ? They get reward alone who can betray: For keeping honest counsels none will pay.

He wbo can Verres,11 when he will, accuse,
The purse of Verres may at pleasure use:
But let not all the gold which Tagus 12 hides,
And pays the sea in tributary tides,
Be bribe sufficient to corrupt thy breast,
Or violate with dreams thy peaceful rest. 100
Great men with jealous eyes the friend be-

bold, Whose secrecy they purchase with their

gold. “I haste to tell thee, nor shall shame

oppose, What confidents our wealthy Romans chose; And whom I most abhor: to speak my mind, I hate, in Rome, a Grecian town to find: To see the scum of Greece transplanted

here, Receiv'd like gods, is what I cannot bear. Nor Greeks alone, but Syrians here abound; Obscene Orontes, 13 diving under ground, Conveys his wealth to Tiber's 14 hungry

shores, And fattens Italy with foreign whores: Hether their crooked harps and customs

come; All find receipt in hospitable Rome. The barbarous harlots crowd the public

place: Go, fools, and purchase an unclean em

brace; The painted miter court, and the more

painted face. Old Romulus,15 and Father Mars, look

down ! Your herdsman primitive, your homely

clown Is turn'd a beau in a loose tawdry gown. His once unkemm’d and horrid locks, be

hold Stilling sweet oil: his neck inchain'd with

gold; Aping the foreigners, in ev'ry dress, Which, bought at greater cost, becomes

him less. Meantime they wisely leave their native

land; From Sicyon, Samos, and from Alaband, And Amydon, to Rome they swarm in

shoals: So sweet and easy is the gain from fools. Poor refugees at first, they purchase here; And, soon as denizen'd, they domineer; 130 Grow to the great a flatt'ring servile rout: Work themselves inward, and their patrons







[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Quick - witted, brazen - fac'd, with fluent Call for a fire, their winter clothes they tongues,

take: Patient of labors, and dissembling wrongs. Begin but you to shiver, and they shake: Riddle me this, and guess him if you can, In frost and snow, if you complain of heat, Who bears a nation in a single man ? They rub th’ unsweating brow, and swear A cook, a conjurer, a rhetorician,

they sweat. A painter, pedant, a geometrician,

We live not on the square with such as A dancer on the ropes, and a physician.

these; All things the hungry Greek exactly knows: Such are our betters who can better please; And bid him go to heav'n, to heav'n he Who day and night are like a looking-glass, goes:

Still ready to reflect their patron's face; In short, no Scythian, Moor, or Thracian The panegyric hand, and lifted eye, born,

Prepar'd for some new piece of flattery. But in that town 16 which arms and arts Ev'n nastiness occasions will afford; adorn.

They praise a belching, or well-pissing lord. Shall he be plac'd above me at the board, Besides, there 's nothing sacred, nothing free In purple cloth’d, and lolling like a lord ? From bold attempts of their rank lechery. Shall he before me sign, whom t'other Thro’ the whole family their labors run; day

The daughter is debauch’d, the wife is A small-craft vessel hither did convey;

won: Where, stow'd with prunes, and rotten Nor scapes the bridegroom, or the bloomfigs, he lay?

ing son. How little is the privilege become

If none they find for their lewd purpose fit, Of being born a citizen of Rome !

They with the walls and very floors commit. The Greeks get all by fulsome flatteries; They search the secrets of the house, and A most peculiar stroke they have at lies. They make a wit of their insipid friend; Are worship'd there, and fear'd for what His blobber lips, and beetle brows commend; they know. His long crane neck, and narrow shoulders “ And, now we talk of Grecians, cast a praise –

view You'd think they were describing Hercules. On what, in schools, their men of morals A creaking voice for a clear treble goes;

do; Tho' barsher than a cock that treads and A rigid Stoic 18 his own pupil slew:

A friend, against a friend, of his own cloth, We can as grossly praise; but, to our grief, Turn'd evidence, and murther'd on his oath. No flatt'ry but from Grecians gains belief. What room is left for Romans in a town 201 Besides these qualities, we must agree 161

Where Grecians rule, and cloaks control They mimic better on the stage than we:

the gown? The wife, the whore, the shepherdess they Some Diphilus, or some Protogenes,19 play,

Look sharply out, our senators to seize: In such a free, and such a graceful way, Engross 'em wholly, by their native art, That we believe a very woman shown, And fear no rivals in their bubble's heart: And fancy something underneath the gown. One drop of poison in my patron's ear, But not Antiochus, nor Stratocles,17 One slight suggestion of a senseless fear, Our ears and ravish'd eyes can only Infus'd with cunning, serves to ruin me; please:

Disgrac'd and banish'd from the family. 210 The nation is compos’d of such as these. In vain forgotten services I boast; All Greece is one comedian: laugh, and My long dependence in an hour is lost: they

Look round the world, what country will Return it louder than an ass can bray:

appear, Grieve, and they grieve; if you weep

Where friends are left with greater ease silently,

than here ? There seems a silent echo in their eye: At Rome (nor think me partial to the poor) They cannot mourn like you; but they All offices of ours are out of door: can cry

In vain we rise, and to their levees run;

[ocr errors]







My lord himself is up, before, and gone; Want is the scorn of ev'ry wealthy fool;
The prætor bids his lictors mend their pace, And wit in rags is turn’d to ridicule.
Lest his colleague outstrip him in the “ • Pack hence, and from the cover'd

benches rise,'
The childless matrons are, long since, The master of the ceremonies cries,

• This is no place for you, whose small estate And for affronts the tardy visits take. Is not the value of the settled rate; “ 'T is frequent, here, to see a freeborn The sons of happy punks, the pander's

On the left hand of a rich hireling run; Are privileg'd to sit in triumph there,
Because the wealthy rogue can throw away, To clap the first, and rule the theater.
For half a brace of bouts, a tribune's

pay: Up to the galleries, for shame, retreat; But you, poor sinner, tho' you love the vice For, by the Roscian law,21 the poor can And like the whore, demur upon the price;

claim no seat.' And, frighted with the wicked sum, forbear Who ever brought to his rich daughter's bed To lend a hand, and help her from the The man that poll'd but twelvepence for chair.

his head ? “ Produce a witness of unblemish'd life, Who ever nam'd a poor man for his heir, Holy as Numa, or as Numa's wife,

Or call'd him to assist the judging chair ? Or him who bid 20 th' unhallow'd flames The poor were wise, who, by the rich opretire,

pressid, And snatch'd the trembling goddess from Withdrew, and sought a sacred place of the fire;

rest. The question is not put, how far extends Once they did well, to free themselves from His piety, but what he yearly spends:

scorn; Quick, to the busʼness; how he lives and But had done better never to return. eats;

Rarely they rise by virtue's aid, who lie How largely gives; how splendidly he | Plung'd in the depth of helpless poverty. treats;

“At Rome 't is worse; where houseHow many thousand acres feed his sheep;

rent by the year What are his rents; what servants does he And servants' bellies cost so dev'lish dear; ' keep?

And tavern bills run high for hungry Th’ account is soon cast up; the judges

cheer. rate

To drink or eat in earthenware we Our credit in the court by our estate.


280 Swear by our gods, or those the Greeks Which cheaply country cupboards does adore,

adorn; Thou art as sure forsworn, as thou art poor; And coarse blue hoods on holidays are The poor must gain their bread by perjury;

Some distant parts of Italy are known, And even the gods, that other means Where none, but only dead men,a2 wear a deny,

gown; In conscience must absolve 'em, when On theaters of turf, in homely state,

they act, old feasts they cele“ Add, that the rich have still a gibe in

brate; store;

The same rude song returns upon the crowd, And will be monstrous witty on the poor: And, by tradition, is for wit allow'd. For the torn surtout and the tatter'd vest, The mimic yearly gives the same delights; The wretch and all his wardrobe are a jest; And in the mother's arms the clownish inThe greasy gown, sullied with often turn

fant frights. ing,

Their habits (undistinguish'd by degree) Gives a good hint, to say: "The man's in Are plain, alike; the same simplicity, mourning: '

Both on the stage, and in the pit, you see. Or if the shoe be ripp'd, or patches put:

In his white cloak the magistrate appears; • He's wounded ! see the plaster on his foot.' The country bumpkin the same liv'ry wears.



they lie.

Old pla



« EdellinenJatka »