the statements of the seer related in Od. XI. 90.
3. rides: the seer smiles at the greed of mankind as shown by Ulysses, who is not satisfied with escaping with his life, but being assured of that, at once wishes to get rich again. iam, already, when he is assured of his life. doloso: representing the standing epithets of Ulysses (Gr. pol˙tropos, etc.), but at the same time suggesting his character as illustrated by his conduct here.
6. te vate, according to your prophecy.
7. apotheca: containing his stores of grain, wine, and oil. procis: the suitors of Penelope, who lived as her guests in the house of her husband while awaiting her decision. (See. Hom. Odys. I. 106 et seq.). pecus: both as means of subsistence, and as constituting a great part of the wealth of a barbaric chief. atqui: the adversative turn in the thought depends on an idea not expressed; "I have birth and worth, to be sure; yet they are worthless without money."
9. ambagibus: i.e. the excuse he makes in et genus et virtus, etc.
10. turdus: a delicacy for the table.
11. privum, rare, not possessed by everybody. devolet: chosen on account of the thrush.
12. nitet, flourishes; the figure no doubt derived from animals and lands which are well kept.
13. honores: cf. ruris honorum, Carm. I. 17.16.
14. ante larem: the first fruits were offered to the household god. Cf. pomiferi laribus consuevimus horti Mittere primitias. Calp. Ecl. II. 64.
15. sine gente: a freedman, as once having been a slave, and so filius nullius.
17. comes: one of the principal functions of a humble dependent was to escort his superior wherever he appeared abroad. Cf. I.6.101 and 112. exterior, on the left hand, where the more humble companion would go. Cf. Suet. Claud. 24; Eutrop. VII.13; see also tegam latus, meaning the same thing.
18. utne tegam, the idea of, etc. Damae: a common slave's name. The little struggle of the hero gives the more force to his very speedy submission.
19. melioribus: dative, as in Greek. ergo pauper eris, then you'll have to be, etc., in a Laconic style, showing the necessity of this degradation. To which Ulysses replies as it were, "Oh well, if I must, I will."
20. fortem hoc, etc.: the point of this lies in the fact that his other sufferings had contained no abasement, while here the degradation is self-imposed, though the words are imitated from his expressions of heroic fortitude. Cf. Odys. XX. 18, and V.224. hoc: of course the degradation, not the poverty.
22. ruam, dig up (like eruam), as the earth is the source of the precious metals.
23. dixi, etc.: with a little impatience, as if he said, I told you before, that is the only way. Cf. the abruptness of pauper eris.
24. si vafer, etc.: i.e. don't be discouraged by any want of success.
25. praeroso, etc.: the figure of course is of a fish stealing the bait, and escaping uncaught.
27. magna, etc.: the Romans went into court accompanied by one or more friends (advocati), who assisted them with advice and services. Cf. I.9.38. This is one of the services by which the will-hunter can ingratiate himself with the rich. res: case. Cf. reus (orig. party).
28. ultro, etc.: i.e. take no account of the justice of the cause, but be guided by the position of the parties.
32. Quinte, etc.: the use of the praenomen denotes familiarity and affection, in which the sensitive nature, looked upon by the Romans as a weakness, of these men delight. As childless old men they feel the want of affection. puta, with short a, as often in this sense, following the popular prosody as in comedy.
34. ius anceps, the doubtful points of law.
36. contemptum, cast contempt upon, treating it as another verb. The contempt would consist in getting the better of him in a lawsuit, showing that he can be attacked with impunity. Cf. sis locus, v. 37.
38. pelliculam, his precious health; a variation on cutis (cf. Ep. I.2.29), in the sense of coddling one's self. No doubt the expression is derived from the bathing and anointing which the Romans made great use of. cognitor, his attorney; the person who appeared to represent the party in court. The advocate proper would be patronus.
39. rubra, etc.: no doubt a quotation made in jest from the poet Furius. The whole is a comic expression for the extremes of hot and cold weather. Canicula: this ought properly to be the constellation of the Little Dog, Gr. prok˙on (cf. Od. III.29.18), but it probably refers to or is confused with Sirius, whose rising in earlier times in Greece was the mark of the hot season.
40. infantis: literally, dumb. statuas: they are cracked by the excessive drought, being of wood. pingui: doubtless alluding to the poetaster's personal appearance. Furius: cf. Sat. I.10.36. M. Furius Bibaculus, whose nickname Alpinus appears to have been derived from this passage or a similar one. He was a ridiculous poet of Cremona.
42. stantem prope, his neighbor.
43. aptus, accommodating, srictly, adapted, i.e. adapting himself to his needs. Cf. Cic. ad Fam. XII.30, O hominem semper illum quidem mihi aptum.
44. thynni: cf. v. 25. cetaria, fish ponds, probably arrangements like modern weirs, but in which fish were kept awaiting a demand, and taken out as wanted, as is sometimes done nowadays with fish sold for bait.
45. si cui, etc.: i.e. occasionally as a blind the will-hunter should be content with the second chance, and pay court to a man who is not absolutely childless, but has a son, in case the son's health is poor.
46. sublatus, born, strictly, in allusion to the custom of laying a new-born child on the ground to be taken up by the father (tollere) if he wished it to be reared as his, instead of being exposed and abandoned.
47. leniter, slyly; i.e. by gentle means, so as not to be caught at it.
48. secundus: i.e. in the second place, failing the first disposition of the estate to the child, through his death.
49. Orco: the common poetic construction of the date as end of motion is more justifiable from the fact that Orcus is properly a person. Cf. 'A´di pro´ßptein.
51. qui: with cumque. legendum: i.e. he either wishes, as a mark of his confidence, to assure his friend that he is remembered in his will, or else to show that he is not deceived by his friend's pretended devotion.
52. abnuere, etc.: to show the disinterestedness of his devotion.
53. sic tamen, etc.: i.e. but do not fail to assure yourself that you are not taken in yourself. prima. . .cera: the first of the two tablets on which such documents were written. Cf. note on I.6.74. secundo. . .versu: the first line would have the testator's name; the second, the heir's.
55. plerumque, etc.: i.e. it very often happens that the testator sees through the wiles of the will-hunter and finally eludes him. This idea, however, is jocosely expressed by reference to a single instance where such a thing has happened. As the incident has happened since the time of Ulysses, the whole is put in the form of a prophecy, keeping up the form of the travesty, and producing a most comic effect. recoctus, boiled down; an allusion to the story of Medea, which had become almost proverbial. Cf. Cic. de Sen. XXIII.83.
56. scriba: cf. II.6.36. quinqueviro: apparently a kind of policeman. Cf. Cic. Acad. II.44.136, though boards of five men for several other purposes are mentioned. At any rate, the office is that of some humble magistrate. corvum: an allusion to the fable of the fox and the crow.
58. num furis: the use of the proper names, unknown of course to Ulysses, makes him doubt the sanity of the seer. prudens, purposely, as opposed to furis.
59. O Laertiade: the seer replies in effect that the allusion is a prophetic one. aut erit aut non: this would naturally mean, will or will not according as I say it will or will not, but no doubt there is a double meaning, with a jest at divination.
60. divinare: a poetic use of the infinitive probably influenced by the Greek. donat: present because the gift is a continued one.
61. tamen: as if he said, "yes, but still I wish you would explain what the story means."
62. tempore, etc.: purposely put in the heroic style. The time referred to is the establishment of Augustus' power after the battle of Actium.
63. demissum: cf. Virg. Ăn. I.288. genus, a scion, in apposition with iuvenis. Cf. I.6.12.
64. forti: cf. II.1.16, 3.216. procera: corresponding to forti and suggesting a fine figure. Both are no doubt stock epithets for a newly married pair, like "gallant bridegroom" and "fair bride."
65. Nasicae, etc.: the father-in-law being indebted to the son-in-law, has given him his daughter to secure his favor. metuentis: simply a strong form for nolentis. soldum: i.e. solidum, the principal of the debt.
66. tabulas: as in v. 52.
69. legatum: a technical word. Under the Roman law of wills it was necessary that one or more persons should be heredes or direct legatees who represented the estate or succession, and any sum that they were directed to pay was said to be legatum ab eis. Here, however, Horace probably does not use the word technically, but only in a general sense, as English left. plorare: treated like a noun govern by praeter. It is used as in I.10.91, equivalent to a curse. The whole story shows comically how "the biter" may sometimes be "bit."
70. illud, etc.: other less direct means of gaining favor. mulier: doubtless a freedwoman mistress.
72. socius: implying that they are engaged in the same enterprise.
73. hoc: i.e. the scheme referred to. vincit, carries off the palm, as compared with the indirect means. longe prius, by far the better course.
74. caput, the main stronghold, the old man himself. scribet: with the force of a condition. mala, worthless (cf. II.1.83). vecors: in Latin cor included the intellectual as well as the moral powers, to which last we have limited the heart later.
75. laudato: the second form of the imperative used as often in a general command. roget: the ne is omitted here as frequently elsewhere.
76. potiori, your superior, more worthy than you. putasne: in response to the idea implied in the preceding, and repeated in the following words.
77. frugi, virtuous, properly referring to her housewifely qualities as opposed to luxury and wantonness (cf. I.3.49 and 4.107).
78. proci: cf. Hom. Odys. I.106.
79. enim, oh yes, for. donandi: cf. parcus aceti, II.2.62; and cupidus te audiendi, Cic. de Or. II.4.
81. sic, that's why, referring to the circumstances just mentioned. uno: opposed to the number of the suitors.
83. canis, etc.: proverbial, cf. Gr. chalep˛n xhorÝo k˙na geűsai. Here is the usual identification of the figure with the object. Cf. II.1.20.
84. me sene: a jocose expression in accordance with the dramatic setting varied from me iuvene, and the like. The anecdote shows the necessity of caution in the pursuit of this profession. improba, malicious.
85. sic, in this fashion, as follows. elata: the technical word for carrying to the grave.
86. tulit: the statement implies (cf. ex testamento) that these were the conditions of the will, which is the real fact to be stated though it is not directly set down.
87. scilicet, to see, no doubt. posset: the so-called indirect question with si. mortua: i.e. since she never had been able to get away from him while alive, which is stated indirectly in the next line.
88. cautus adito: as a kind of conclusion from the preceding, followed by further amplification of the same theme. abundes: sc. opera supplied from operae.
90. difficilem et morosum: the common characteristics of old men. Cf. at sunt morosi et anxii et iracundi et difficiles senes. Cic. de Sen. XVIII.65. Evidently this was thought to be their ordinary character, though Cicero maintains that this is not the fault of age. garrulus: an example of one qui immoderatus abundat. ultro, rather, i.e. instead of pleasing, which he hopes to do, he will fail to please, and will offend the old man besides.
91. non: here not different from ne, though doubtless the construction is of different origin, coming from the potential use of the subjunctive. Cf. Ep. I.18.72. etiam, either, properly too. Davus: a stock name for slaves in the comedy. Cf. e.g. Ter. Andria.
92. obstipo, humbly bowed, properly, slanting, bowed and turned to one side. Cf. loxos, Theognis, 548. multum: apparently colloquial in this sense. Cf. I.3.57, where its connection with a participle is more regular.
95. substringe, prick up, properly, tie up.
96. importunus, spoiled or exacting, in so far as he is inconsiderate of the claims of others, and so is troublesome. ohe iam: cf. I.5.12.
97. ad caelum, etc.: properly a gesture of supplication to be delivered from the excess of flattery, impliedly, however, in this case half affected.
98. crescentem. . .utrem, the swelling wind-bag. tumidis: active, puffing (?). Cf. tumidus Auster, Virg. Ăn. III.357.
100. certum: sharply, so as to be perfectly sure of your aim. Cf. certum scire, etc.
101. Dama: cf. v. 18.
102. fortem, noble. Cf. v. 64, and II.1.16, where, however, the conception is somewhat different. The word, expressing courage, spirit, and the stalwart virtues generally, is very widely used to express the highest ideal of a Roman worthy. So bonus et fortis, the stock Roman expression for a gentleman. Cf. Ep. I.9.13; Cic. Brut. 2.6. For the construction, supply quaeram, or the like, which is regularly omitted, cf. II.7.116.
103. est, 'tis well, properly like Gr. Úxestin, it is allowable, one may (well).
104. celare: i.e. with tears.
105. arbitrio: cf. II.3.86. sordibus: cf. I.6.107.
108. fundi, land. domus, buildings in the city.
109. emptor, disposed to buy. nummo, for a song, or nominal price. Cf. Plaut. Most. 115.
110. imperiosa (cf. ŔsainŔ Persephˇneia, Hom. Il. IX.457), all-powerful, whose imperia cannot be disobeyed. To Hecate, identified with Proserpine, was assigned the control of the shades, and to her were addressed the prayers intended to summon them. Cf. I.8.33, and Odys. XI.225 (ˇtrunen gÓr agauŔ Persephˇneia). vive valeque: a common form of parting salutation. Cf. Ep. I.6.67, and Hospes vive vale, Inscript. in Bull. Ist. Arch. 1872, p. 30.
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