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Who in a drunken dream beheld his soul
The fifth within the transmigrating roll.-P. 269. I call it a drunken dream of Ennius; not that my author, in this place, gives me any encouragement for the epithet; but because Horace, and all who mention Ennius, say he was an excessive drinker of wine. In a dream, or vision, call you it which you please, he thought it was revealed to him, that the soul of Pythagoras was transmigrated into him; as Pythagoras before him believed, that himself had been Euphorbus in the wars of Troy. Commentators differ in placing the order of this soul, and who had it first. I have here given it to the peacock; because it looks more according to the order of nature, that it should lodge in a creature of an inferior species, and so by gradation rise to the informing of a man. And Persius favours me, by saying, that Ennius was the fifth from the Pythagorean peacock.
Note IV. My friend is shipwrecked on the Brutian strand.-P. 270. Perhaps this is only a fine transition of the poet, to introduce the business of the satire; and not that any such accident had happened to one of the friends of Persius. But, however, this is the most poetical description of any in our author; and since he and Lucan were so great friends, I know not but Lucan might help him in two or three of these verses, which seem to be written in his style; certain it is, that besides this description of a shipwreck, and two lines more, which are at the end of the second satire, our poet has written nothing elegantly. I will, therefore, transcribe. both the passages, to justify my opinion. The following are the last verses, saving one, of the second satire:
Compositum jus, fasque animi; sanctosque recessus
Mentis, et incoctum generoso pectus honesto.
-trabe rupta, Bruttia Sara
Now lend assistance, and relieve the poor.-P. 270. The Latin is, Nunc et de cespite vivo, frange aliquid. Casaubon only opposes the cespes virus, which, word for word, is the living turf, to the harvest, or annual income; I
suppose rather means, sell a piece of land already sown, and give the money of it to my friend, who has lost all by shipwreck ; that is, do not stay till thou hast reaped, but help bim immediately, as his wants require.
Note VI. Nor beg with a blue table on his back.-P. 270. Holyday translates it a green table: the sense is the same; for the table was painted of the sea-colour, which the shipwrecked person carried on his back, expressing his losses, thereby to excite the charity of the spectators.
Note VII. Or without spices lets thy body burn.---P. 270. The bodies of the rich, before they were burnt, were embalmed with spices; or rather spices were put into the urn with the relics of the ashes. Our author here names cinnamum and cassia, which cassia was sophisticated with cherry-gum, and probably enough by the Jews, whu adulterate all things which they sell. But whether the ancients were acquainted with the spices of the Molucca Islands, Ceylon, and other parts of the Indies, or whether their pepper and cinnamon, &c. were the same with ours, is another question. As for nutmegs and mace, it is plain that the Latin names for them are modern.
My arms are on the Rhine victorious.---P. 271. The Cæsar, here mentioned, is Caius Caligula, who affected to triumph over the Germans, whom he never conquered, as he did over the Britons; and accordingly sent letters, wrapt about with laurels, to the senate and the Empress Cæsonia, whom I here call queen ; though I know that name was not used amongst the Ro
mans; but the word empress would not stand in that verse, for which reason I adjourned it to another. The dust, which was to to be swept away from the altars, was either the ashes which were left there after the last sacrifice for victory, or might perhaps mean the dust or ashes which were left on the altars since some former defeat of the Romans by the Germans; after which overthrow, the altars had been neglected.
The goodly empress.---P. 271. Cæsonia, wife to Caius Caligula, who afterwards, in the reign of Claudius, was proposed, but ineffectually, to be married to him, after he had executed Messalina for adultery.
The captive Germans, of gigantic size,
Are ranked in order, and are clad in frize. --P. 271. He means only such as were to pass for Germans in the triumph, large-bodied men, as they are still, whom the empress clothed new with coarse garments, for the greater ostentation of the victory.
Know, I have rowed two hundred gladiators.---P. 271. A hundred pair of gladiators were beyond the purse of a private man to give; therefore this is only a threatening to his heir, that he could do what he pleased with his estate.
Shouldst thou demand of me My torch, when I in course run after thee.---P. 272. Why shouldst thou, who art an old fellow, hope to outlive me, and be my heir, who am much younger ? He who was first in the course or race, delivered the torch, which he carried, to him who was second.
Note XIII. Well fed, and fat as Cappadocian slaves.---P. 273. Who were famous for their lustiness, and being, as we call it, in good liking. They were set on a stall when they were exposed to sale, to show the good habit of then body; and made to play tricks before the buyers, to show their activity and strength.
Note XIV. Then say, Chrysippus.---P. 273. Chrysippus, the Stoic, invented a kind of argument, consisting of more than three propositions, which is called sorites, or a heap. But as Chrysippus could never bring his propositions to a certain stint, so neither can a covetous man bring his craving desires to any certain measure of riches, beyond which he could not wish for any more.