etc.: as the master is busy, apparently writing or thinking, he does not see the slave,
who, after listening by the door to see whether his master is engaged with anybody,
finally ventures to make his presence known. The master still does not look up, but
recognizes him by his voice.
2. Davusne, is it you, Davus? For the name, cf. II.5.91.
3. frugi, an honest fellow (cf. II.5.77), referring to the virtues of industry, sobriety, and the like.
4. ut vitale, etc., not too god to live; cf. "the good die young," a familiar notion with the ancients (cf. Plaut. Bacch. 816; Ov. Am. II.6.39). libertate Decembri: i.e. of the Saturnalia.
6. pars, etc.: the slave in Horace's regular manner approaches the subject gradually (cf. v. 21), beginning with a philosophical division of the vicious into those who follow vice with vigor, and those who weakly show their feebleness of purpose even in vicious courses.
7. natat, drift.
8. notatus, conspicuous, but with a shade of blame in it, on account of the display of luxury and effeminacy.
9. Priscus: a man of senatorial rank, an example of this inconsistency, and want of constant purpose.
10. inaequalis: cf. I.3.9. clavum mutaret: i.e. from broad to narrow, now appearing with pride as a senator, now as a simple eques.
12. mundior, respectable; i.e. of the better class. honeste, with decency.
13. doctus, a philosopher.
14. Vertumnis: there was properly only one god of this name, the god of the changing seasons. The poet, however, jocosely multiplies the number, and represents them as having given him at his birth all their fickleness to his injury.
15. Volanerius: an example of persistence. iusta, well earned, by excesses at the table, which he frequented as scurra, or professional diner-out.
16. contudit: i.e. so that he could no longer do the service for himself. se: the reflexive allowed because the clause is a purpose of the man.
17. talos, the knuckle-bones, used by the ancients as well as dice for gaming.
18. conductum, etc.: indicating his devotion to the game. pavit, kept.
19. levius miser: the slave makes the consistently vicious man the better off of the two.
20. contento, etc.: the figure probably derived from leading an animal, whose attempts to get free only trouble it the more.
21. hodie: not in the literal sense, but as in the comedy in its weakest use, now. quorsum. . .tendunt, what. . .is driving at, the regular expression (often with tendere omitted) for asking the meaning of an argument. putida, silly stuff.
22. ad te, at you, the slave taking the quorsum in a different sense, and so bringing the argument home in Horace's usual manner, as he proceeds to explain in the next verse. laudas: cf. II.6.60. It is characteristic of Horace that this reproach should be selected, which is in the main true (cf. Ep. I.8.12).
23. fortunam, condition, in regard to their mode of life.
24. usque, "every time."
25. sentis, really think; i.e. it is pure affectation on Horace's part.
26. firmus, etc.: i.e. or else it is on account of infirmity of purpose, in which case Horace is in the position of those referred to in v. 7.
30. securum, quiet, as free from the cares and worries of intercourse with the great. Cf. sollicitae opes, II.6.79. velut (ita), just as if. usquam, anywhere, used on account of the negative implied. Equivalent to "as if you obliged to go like a slave to the country, in case you were invited."
31. ita, referring to velut. amas, hug yourself (cf. I.2.54).
32. iusserit: hortatory subjunctive, expressing a condition.
33. serum, etc.: i.e. he is only invited at the last moment, when it is already getting dark.
34. oleum: for the lantern to conduct him. fert: the ordinary colloquial use of present for future as in the comedy.
35. fugis: are off like a shot.
36. Mulvius et scurrae: guests who hoped to dine with Horace; hence their wrath. non referenda, unmentionable things.
37. etenim: explaining his disappointment. dixerit, he might say, if you asked him. ille: Mulvius, who makes no pretensions to be a philosopher.
38. levem, weakly. nasum, etc., I enjoy the delightful fragrance, i.e. of well-cooked viands.
39. si quid vis, if you like.
40. ultro, arrogantly, having no excuse for so doing, as a better man might have; referring to Horace's habit of hitting such persons.
41. insectere: question of indignation. decoris, specious: i.e. his duty to Maecenas and the like.
42. quid si, etc.: the slave takes up the reproach of Malvius. me, etc.: the qualities here mentioned were especially ascribed to slaves. Cf. vv. 102, 109; II.6.109; I.3.81.
43. quingentis drachmis: i.e. five hundred denarii, less than $100.00, a low price for a slave of any worth. deprenderis: not merely found to be, but found out to be, or detected in being, as if caught in his pretence or virtue. aufer, don't try. Horace represents himself as angered by the reproach, thus indicating that the blow has struck home. Whereupon the slave replies, as it were, "Oh, you needn't try to frighten me with your frowns; wait till I show you why."
44. terrere: with aufer, as a complementary infinitive, in accordance with Horace's fondness for the infinitive with any word whose meaning is akin to the verbs which take that construction regularly. The charges are of course overdrawn, and Horace does not have reference to himself alone, but he includes himself along with the others. Cf. v. 111. and Ep. I.1.97, etc.
53. tu: referring to any respectable person, not necessarily Horace, of whom we do not know that he was an eques. Still his military tribuneship makes it possible.
54. Romano, etc.: i.e. the toga. ex iudice, etc.: i.e. you change your station from an eques to a slave, and in fact are what you pretend to be, which is in accordance with the Stoic dogma, omnem stultum esse servum.
55. lacerna: a coarse, rough clock, often with a capuchin or hood, as is intimated here.
57. libidinibus: dative after verbs of contending, as in Greek.
59. auctoratus, bound; the technical expression for the contract of one who sold himself as a gladiator. Cf. illius turpissimi auctoramenti verba sunt: uri vinciri ferroque necari. Sen. Ep. 37. Of course another proof that such a man is a slave.
60. conscia: cf. I.2.130.
61. contractum, etc.: cf. Falstaff in the buck-basket, Merry Wives of Windsor. estne marito, hasn't the husband. Therefore the gallant is a slave.
63. illa, etc.: she is the less guilty one of the two.
64. mutat, etc.: cf. vv. 53-55. loco, in position.
65. cum, etc.: the reason why she is an unwilling partner.
66. sub furcam: a common punishment of slaves. Cf. furcifer, v. 22.
68. evasti (old and colloquial form for evasisti), you have got off, i.e. we will suppose so. credo: ironical, with the following.
69. quaeres, etc.: i.e. instead of that, you will only look for another opportunity to be a slave.
72. non sum, etc.: i.e. that is not my character; this argument does not apply to me. The answer is, "you want to be, only you don't dare," and this according to the Stoic doctrine was just as bad. Cf. Ep. I.16.53.
74. vaga, and run wild.
75. imperiis, to the dictates (ablative).
76. minor, subject. Cf. Od. I.12.57. vindicta: in the process of manumission per vindictam, a formal claimant asserted a right to the slave by striking him with a rod; the master abandoned his claim, and the praetor then declared him free. In the case of a slave to passion, such a process would be tried in vain; hence how much more a slave is he.
78. super: cf. Ep. II.2.33.
79. vicarius: a slave bought by another out of his peculium to take his place.
80. tibi, etc.: i.e. I am only a vicarius or conservus, and yet you pretend to be my master.
81. alii, i.e. to your passions.
82. alienis, in the hands of another. mobile lignum, like a dancing puppet. Such automata were very familiar to the ancients.
83. quisnam, etc.: the argument follows the ordinary Stoic form. Cf. II.3.158; Cic. Parad. V.I.34, and I.1.19. sapiens: of course in the technical sense the sage, the ideal perfect man of the Stoics. sibi imperiosus: i.e. over whom no one but himself has an imperium.
84. pauperies, etc.: these evils being mere accidents independent of virtue, the solum bonum, of course have no effect on the truly wise man.
85. responsare, defy, depending on fortis.
86. totus, etc.: i.e. independent of all external influence; a familiar idea with the Stoics. Cf. Cic. Parad. II.; Tusc. Disp. V.12.36. teres atque rotundus, etc.: the figure is of a smooth cylinder or globe, on which nothing can gain a foothold, as it offers no place of lodgement, as it were, for external accidents.
88. manca, powerless, crippled so as to do him no harm.
89. quinque, etc.: Davus answers his own question in the negative by showing that Horace is the slave of passion. The point is in rursus vocat, wherein the lover is assumed to be so vexed with his mistress as to desire to break off the connection, but is not sufficiently master of himself to assert his freedom when she summons him again.
94. subiectat, etc., plies the spur; i.e. like spurs. versat: the same figure of a restive horse.
95. Pausiaca, of Pausias, a painter of Sicyon, remarkable for his skill in foreshortening. There was a famous painting of his in the portico of Pompey. See. Plin. N. H. XXXV.123 seq. torpes, stand dazed before, indicating a craze for painting (cf. Ep. I.6.14, and stupet, Sat. I.4.28). The point of the reproach is that such a passion is regarded by the Stoics as inconsistent with the serious purpose of the Sage (cf. Cic. Parad. 5.2). tabella, a bit of a picture, with depreciation. Cf. the vivid description in v. 99.
96. peccas: i.e. when Davus stops to look at the advertisements of gladiatorial shows (cf. circus posters) he is regarded (see v. 100) as a worthless loiterer (cf. the modern errand boy), of course a slavish vice; why should not then Horace's admiration in a similar case be regarded as a slavish fault. Fulvi, etc.: gladiators.
97. contento, etc., standing on tiptoe, as he looks at the pictures.
98. rubrica: such posters were drawn on the walls. Some are found in Pompeii, scratched in the plaster. (cf. Plin. N. H. XXXV.52).
99. vitent, parry, though the corresponding process with the ancients was one of dodging (cf. eludere).
100. Davus, sc. audit, from audis, v. 101.
101. veterum, the old masters. callidus, a connoisseur. audis, cf. II.6.20.
102. nil: i.e. nequam, a good-for-nothing, referring to the slavery of the appetite. libo: such dainties were apparently for sale in full view on the street, as at chestnut stands or fruit stalls. tibi ingens, etc.: i.e. "are not you equally greedy?"
104. perniciosius est cur: i.e. how, in fact, do I suffer for it more than you?
105. enim, to be sure; cf. quid enim, note to I.1.7.
107. nempe, why!
108. illusi, failing you; properly, being deceived themselves as to their powers. vitiosum, unhealthy, from eating too much.
109. qui, etc.: another servile vice, where the slave is led astray by his appetite.
113. ponere, dispose of; i.e. employ to advantage. fugitivus et erro: another allusion to the faults of slaves.
115. comes: cf. Od. III.1.40.
116. unde mihi, etc.: Horace, to close the satire without forcing, represents himself as enraged (cf. II.3.323), and stopping the diatribe by a threat of punishment, which is of course an admission of its truth. lapidem: cf. II.5.102.
117. insanit: the allusion is to the other Stoic paradox, as in II.3. The suggestion of insanity is in the similarity of Horace's cry to that of some insane person on the stage, so that Horace is either crazy himself or writing a tragedy to represent Ajax or some similar person, which is just as bad. Cf. II.3.322.
118. accedes, etc.: i.e. you shall be sent into the country to work on the farm, a common punishment of city slaves. Cf. Plaut. Mostell. I.1.18, and many other cases in Plautus and Terence. opera, laborer. nona: hence it would seem Horace had eight, a very moderate number of farm hands.
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