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Add, that you still abhor to be alone,
Nor can you make one vacant Hour your own: In Discontent you roam from Place to Place, And seek by Wine or Sleep your Cares to chase: In vain; for Care pursues with swifter Wing.
Give me a Stone
Swords, Arrows bring!
Hark! is he mad, or does he Verse repeat?
Hence, hence, vile Rascal, make a quick Retreat,
1 Davus, according to Strabo, is the fame as Dacus. The Romans took many Slaves from among the Getes and Dacians. Hence in their Comic Writers a Slave is commonly called Geta, or Davus.
2 Ut vitale putes.] The Ancients confidered it as a Symptom of fhort Life, when a Perfon was very accomplished in Youth: And we ftill fay, He has too much Wit to be long-lived. Thus Ceftius in Seneca, fpeaking of Alfius Flavius, Tam immaturè magnum ingenium non eft vitale. "So great a Genius premature, will drop early." And Shakespeare,
So wife, fo young, they fay do ne'er live long.
Short Summer lightly has a forward Spring.
Libertate Decembri utere Slaves, during the Feafts of Saturn, wore their Mafters Habits, and were allowed to fay what they pleased. Eor a farther Account of thefe Feafts, fee the Notes on Satire III. of this Book.
lava Prifcus inani.] Prifcus was either a Senator, or a Knight. Rings, at firft, were looked upon as a Mark of Effeminacy, and therefore worn on the Fingers of the Left Hand, that they might be the lefs confpicuous. The Character of the Duke of Wharton, admirably drawn by Mr. Pope, feems to have had a great Refemblance to that of this noble Roman. See his Epiftie to Lord Cobham, ver. 182 to 209.
Fufta chiragra.] Horace applies this Epithet to the Gout, to intimate, that it was the Reward of Volanerius's Debaucheries.
6 Dum, quæ Crispini docuit me janitor, edo.]
While I declare what I have learned from the Porter of Crifpinus.
I fuppofe, that thefe Words refer to the folemn moral Precepts he is going to utter, which are worthy the Mouth of the wifest Philofopher; and that Davus would thus apologise for the Smattering of Philofophy he has acquired.
Sanadon understands them in a different Senfe. He thinks Davus means, that the Porter of Crifpinus had told him Horace was guilty of thofe Vices with which he here upbraids him. But Davis himfelf was probably better acquainted with these than Crifpinus's Porter.
However, it is fubmitted to the Reader's own Judgment, which of these is the true Construction.
Prodis ex judice Dama
i. e. You quit the Robes of a Judge, to take the 'Habit of a Slave.'
Auguftus had granted to Horace the Privilege of wearing the Robe called Angufticiavium, which was embroidered with fmall Studs of Purple, and the Ring belonging to the Order of Knights. By this he was incorporated with that Order, who fat as Judges in fome particular Caufes, both civil and criminal; and were diftinguished by the Name of Commissaries. On this Account Davus calls him a Judge. DACIER.
16. As Horace was innocent of the Crime with which Davus here charges him, it is thought, that the Satire was levelled at fome Perfon in High Life, whom he could iot venture to attack in a more open Manner.
8 Duceris ut nervis alienis mobile fignum.]
Horace borrowed this Similé from the Stoics, with whom it was familiar; and they took it from Socrates. An Athenian, in the firft Book of Plato's Commonwealth, fays, That the Paffions have the fame Effect on our Bodies as thofe Wires have on the Puppets: They move all our Limbs, and produce contrary Motions with thwarting Powers.'
The Emperor Marcus Antoninus alfo frequently makes ufe of this Similé. See the fixth and tenth Books of his Meditations; the latter, towards the Conclufion.
In feipfo totus teres atque rotundus.]
Thus the common Editions; but Bentley points it in this Manner,
In feipfo totus; teres atque rotundus
which is followed by the Tranflator.
The fpherical Figure is the most perfect and durable, and the fittelt to refift all external Impreffions.
On this Account Plato fays, in his Timæus, 'God has made the World round, that it might be eternal, and that nothing fhould be able to deftroy it, but the Will of him who created it.'
And thus Marcus Antoninus speaks to himfelf: Thou mayit pass thy Life without Trouble, if thou canst refemble the Sphere of Empedocles, which, having no Inequalities, but being perfectly round, revolves for ever ' on its own Axis, untired.' Meditations, XII. 3.
About five hundred
Horace here alludes to the firft Scene of the firft A&t of Terence's Eunuch.
Et acres fubje&at lafso fimulos.] The late Dr. Young, in his Centaur not fabulous, has happily made ufe of the fame Image which Horace here employs Men given to Pleafure (whom he calls Centaurs, as being partly human, partly brutal) are daily rid, and farely galled, by the domineering Infolence of their inflamed Mistress,' P. 276.
And, in another Place, he quotes this pithy Arabian Proverb Let him that would be fafe avoid feven Things, namely, Wafps, Spiders, Hyænas, Crocodiles, Effs, Adders, and fine Women.'
12 Vel cum Paufiaca torpes tabella.] Paufias was an excellent Flower-Painter of Sicyone, contemporary with Apelles.
There is a Paffage in Cicero, parallel with this in Horace: You ftand fixed, and gazing at a Picture of Echion, or a Statue of Polycletus, as if you had loft your Senfes. When I behold you ftruck with Wonder, and hear you crying out in Rapture, "Admirable ! "Marvellous," &c. I cannot help thinking, that you are the Slave of every Trifle.
"But are not thefe Things beautiful?" you will fay. Undoubtedly. But they are fitter to be the Toys of Children, than the Objects of Man's Dotage.'
The SAME SATIRE Imitated.
By Mr. CHRISTOPHER PITT.
SIR,-I've long waited in my Turn to have AWord with you-but I'm your humble Slave. POET.
What Knave is that? My Rafcal!
Sir, 'tis I;
No Knave nor Rafcal, but your trufty Guy.
Well, as your Wages ftill are due, I'll bear
Some Folks are drunk one Day, and some for ever,
This Hour a Roman, and the next an Ape.
Poor Clodio hir'd a Boy to throw the Dice. Some wench for ever; and their Sins on those By Custom fit as eafy as their Cloaths.