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incredible variety. The workmanship is often the most exquisite of any thing of its kind. A man would wonder how it were possible for so much life to enter into marble, as may be discovered in some of the best of them; and even in the meanest one has the satisfaction of seeing the faces, postures, airs, and dress of those that-have lived so many ages before us. There is a strange resemblance between the figures of the several heathen deities, and the descriptions that the Latin poets have given us of them; but as the first may be looked upon as the ancienter of the two, I question not but the Roman poets were the copiers of the Greek statuaries. Though on other occasions we often find the statuaries took their subjects from the poets. The Laocoon is too known an instance among many others that are to be met with at Rome. In the villa Aldobrandina are the figures of an old and young man, engaged together at the Cæstus, who are probably the Dares and Entellus of Virgil; where by the way one may observe the make of the ancient Cæstus, that it only consisted of many large thongs about the hand, without any thing like a piece of lead at the end of them, as some writers of antiquities have falsely imagined.
I question not but many passages in the old poets hint at several parts of sculpture, that were in vogue in the author's time, though they are now never thought of, and that, therefore, such passages lose much of their beauty in the eye of a modern reader, who does not look upon them in the same light with the author's contemporaries. I shall only mention two or three out of Juvenal, that his commentators have not taken notice of: the first runs thus,
Multa pudicitiæ veteris vestigia forsan,
Some thin remains of chastity appear'd
I appeal to any reader, if the humour here would not appear much more natural and unforced to a people that saw every day some other statue of this god with a thick bushy beard, as there are still many of them extant at Rome, than it can to us who have no such idea of him; especially if we consider there was in the same city a temple dedicated to the young Jupiter, called Templum Væjovis, where, in all probability there stood the particular statue of a Jupiter Imberbis*. Juvenal, in another place, makes his flatterer compare the neck of one that is but feebly built, to that of Herculus holding up Antæus from the earth.
Et longum invalidi collum cervicibus æquat
DRYDEN. What a strained unnatural similitude must this seem to a modern reader, but how full of humour, if we suppose it alludes to any celebrated statues of these two champions, that stood perhaps in some public place or highway near Rome? And what makes it more than probable there were such statues, we meet with the figures, which Juvenal here describes, on antique intaglios and medals; nay, Propertius has taken notice of the very statues. .
-Luctantum in pulvere signa
Lib. 8. car. I.
And both the grappling statues seem to live, I cannot forbear observing here, that the turn of the neck and arms is often commended in the Latin poets among the beauties of a man, as in Horace we find both put together, in that beautiful description of jealousy.
* Vide Ovid de Fastis, lib. 3. ecl. 7.
Dum tu, Lydia, Telephi
Cervicem roseam, et cerea Telephi
Fervens difficili bile tumet jecur:
Certâ sede manent: humor in genas
neck and winding arms,
away. This we should be at a loss to account for, did we not observe in the old Roman statues, that these two parts were always bare, and exposed to view, as much as our hands and face are at present. I cannot leave Juvenal without taking notice that his
Ventilat æstivum digitis sudantibus aurum,
was not anciently so great an hyperbole as it is now, for I have seen old Roman rings so very thick about, and with such large stones in them, that it is no wonder a fop should reckon them a little cumbersome in the summer season of so hot a climate.
It is certain that Satire delights in such allusions and instances as are extremely natural and familiar. When, therefore, we see any thing in an old satirist that looks forced and pedantic, we ought to consider how it appeared in the time the poet writ, and whether or no there might not be some particular circumstances to recommend it to the readers of his own age, which we are now deprived of. One of the finest ancient státues in Rome is a Meleager with a spear in his hand, and the head of a wild boar on one side of him. It is of Parian marble, and as yellow as ivory. One meets with many other figures of Meleager in the ancient basso relievos, and on the sides of the sargophagi, or funeral monuments. Perhaps it was the arms or device of the old Roman hunters; which conjecture I have found confirmed in a passage of Manilius, that lets us know the Pagan hunters had Meleager for their patron, as the Christians have their St. Hubert. He speaks of the constellation which makes a good sports
-Quibus aspirantibus orti
Manil. lib. 1. I question not but this sets a verse, in the fifth satire of Juvenal, in a much better light than if we suppose that the poet aims only at the old story of Meleager, without considering it as so very common and familiar a one among the Romans.
-Flavi dignus ferro Meleagri
Juv. Sat. 5.
BOWLES. In the beginning of the ninth satire, Juvenal asks his friend, why he looks like Marsya when he was overcome:
Scire velim quare toties mihi, Nævole tristis
Some of the commentators tell us, that Marsya was a lawyer who had lost his cause; others say that this passage alludes to the story of the satyr, Marsyas, who VOL. V.
contended with Apollo; which I think is more humorous than the other, if we consider there was a famous statue of Apollo fleaing Marsya in the midst of the Roman Forum, as there are still several ancient statues of Rome on the same subject.
There is a passage in the sixth satire of Juvenal, that I could never tell what to make of, till I had got the interpretation of it from one of Bellorio's ancient basso relievos.
Magnorum artificum frangebat pocula miles
As threat'ning death to each resisting foe. DRYDEN' Juv. Juvenal here describes the simplicity of the old Roman soldiers, and the figures that were generally engraven on their helmets. The first of them was the wolf giving suck to Romulus and Remus: the second, which is comprehended in the two last verses, is not so intelligible. Some of the commentators tell us, that the god here mentioned is Mars, that he comes to see his two sons sucking the wolf, and that the old sculptors generally drew their figures naked, that they might have the advantage of representing the different swelling of the muscles, and the turns of the body. But they are extremely at a loss to know what is meant by the word pendentis; some fancy it expresses only the great embossment of the figure, others believe it hung off the helmet in alto relievo, as in the foregoing translation. Lubin supposes that the god Mars was engraven on the shield, and that he is said to be hanging, because the shield which bore him hung on the left shoulder. One of the old interpreters is of opinion, that by hanging is only meant a posture of