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Having outlined briefly the views of a few of the prominent Juvenalian scholars, I shall attempt, in conclusion, to indicate those which seem to me most probable, and to construct therefrom a possible sequence of events in the life of the satirist.
In consideration of the arguments advanced by Professor Merchant (quoted, in part, above, p.417), we may very reasonably doubt the statement of the vitae that Juvenal was the foster-son of a freedman. I can not think of the poet as one who would viciously assail the class to which his own family belonged. His parents were probably free-born, but not wealthy. That Aquinum was his birthplace, there seems no reason to doubt. The time of his birth can not be so definitely stated. Although all commentators do not accept as authoritative the evidence of the first vita, yet its statement that Juvenal practised declamation till middle life is made the basis of practically all the estimates of the time of his birth. From the fact that Martial's last epigram in which Juvenal's name occurs (12. 18, A. D. 102) contains no mention of previous or contemporary literary activity on the part of the latter; and from the fact that the reference to Domitian's pet, Crispinus, in 1. 27, would appear to indicate that at least part of Book I must have been written about the year 100, we may with reasonable certainty fix upon 60, approximately, as the year of the poet's birth.
He undoubtedly received the regular grammar-school training, and also studied rhetoric, probably under the best masters of the time; possibly under Quintilian himself. At the age of seventeen we may suppose that he entered the army and went to Britain with Agricola in 78, rose rapidly in rank, and returned with his general in 84, a praefectus or tribunus cohortis (cf., here, 2. 159161). He would naturally pay a visit to his old home, after six years' service in the army; and his fellow townsmen expressed their pride in the young warrior's achievements by electing him quaestor, then aedile, then duumvir, and finally, flamen divi Vespasiani-in spite of his youth. Assuming that a year each was occupied in the tenure of these several offices, we may surmise that in 89 or 90 he returned to Rome, to practise law or declamation. Martial refers to him in 7. 24 and 91 (92 A. D.). In the latter epigram the epithet facundus is applied to Juvenal. Nettleship argues that this word may refer to elegance of style in
writing, as well as to eloquence in oratory; but, inasmuch as there is nothing else in either epigram to corroborate this interpretation, we may feel fairly safe in believing that Martial had reference only to his friend's attainments in declamation.
Discouraged in his efforts at political advancement, Juvenal may have reëntered the army. It is certainly significant that Martial makes no further mention of him until 102; and it is quite probable that his banishment can be assigned to that period, if, indeed, he was banished at all. As has already been suggested, the exile may have taken the form of a military relegation; or the fact that he was away from Rome again at this period (which appears very likely from the silence of Martial) may have given rise to the tradition of a genuine imperial ejectment. It is hardly probable that, if he ever went to Egypt, it was at this time, for there are only two or three references to that country in the first fourteen satires. If expelled in 92, the lines against Paris can not have been the
Although no remnants of Juvenal's oratorical efforts, as such, have come down to us, yet it is not at all improbable that, in his direct and emphatic way, he made some remark which, coming to Domitian's ears, offended that monarch so grievously that he proceed to banish the young orator. At least we find him in Rome again by the year 102, Domitian gathered to the Furies and the fetters of intellectual slavery shattered. If he was exiled by Domitian in 92, or shortly thereafter, there is, of course, a strong probability that he came back to Rome very soon after the emperor's death in 96. But if he was actually absent on military duty, there is no ground for any conjecture as to the date of his return earlier than 101. He must have remained in Rome during the next twenty or twenty-five years, for it is very difficult to understand how he could have written his satires-at least the first four books—in some distant province, repulsing Rome's foes on the field of battle, or pining away in a foreign land.
The dates of publication were probably as follows: Book I, 105108; II, 116; III, 119-121; IV, 125; V, 128-129. The evidence for this estimate has already been presented (pp. 420-421), and need not be rehearsed at this point.
Presumably during the latter half of his life, Juvenal inherited a small estate (6. 57) and had a farm at Tibur (11. 65). He
also had a house at Rome, where he entertained his friends in a modest way (11. 190, 12. 87-90). That he could have been away from Rome during Trajan's reign and the earlier part of Hadrian's seems highly improbable, as already suggested. It is true that in 103 the fourth Delmatian cohort was stationed in Britain among the Brigantes, to whom Juvenal refers in 14. 196-108. That is an interesting coincidence, as noted above (p. 419). But the fact that the obscured number in the Aquinum inscription (which, in my opinion, most likely refers to the poet) is I or II (Hardy, Introd., p. xxviii), coupled with the probability that the poet was, in 103, already at work on the satires which appeared later as Book I, outweighs the coincidence.
The tradition of Juvenal's visit to Egypt in his later years, either forced or voluntary, is a persistent one, but it has met some rather vigorous opposition. There is at least a possibility, as Friedländer and Hardy suggest, that the lines about Paris may have been shouted at some sorry actor who happened to be beloved of Hadrian, and so have brought down imperial vengeance on the author's head. Tradition is inclined to Egypt as the place of the banishment, and has it that he died there, after years of helpless longing for home. That he was put in command of a cohort in his old age is wholly preposterous, in spite of the fact that the notion is well fortified by this same stream of tradition.
The fifteenth Satire deals exclusively with things Egyptian; hence, it has been supposed by some that all the satires of the fifth Book were written in Egypt. Their comparative feebleness, too, is urged in an attempt to prove that they were the work of a crabbed exile. Friedländer states categorically that the eleventh, twelfth, fourteenth and sixteenth Satires must have been written in Rome, and that, consequently, all the others were probably composed there. My own opinion is that Friedländer is right, for the four satires named deal with matters upon which a wretched outcast would hardly occupy his mind. As to the fifteenth, it has already been pointed out that Juvenal knew little of the topography of Egypt, and his outbreak against Egyptians and their ways in that Satire may well be interpreted simply as a sort of formal expression of the hearty and ripe detestation of a long life. All in all, the evidence in support of the journey to Egypt seems to me meagre, unsatisfying, and extremely doubtful.
Assuming, as we have, that Juvenal was born about 60 A. D., and accepting, as all commentators have done, that he died at the age of eighty, or thereabout, we may fix upon 140, approximately, as the date of his death. We have seen that he was writing at least as late as 127 (Satire 15). The sixteenth Satire was presumably written after that date. At any rate, he probably ceased to write by the year 130, and died, as has just been suggested, a few years later.—Had he known what a problem his eighty years were destined to prove to posterity, surely, out of the kindness of his heart, he would have ordered the facts of his life engraved upon imperishable stone and preserved from that time forth, through all succeeding generations !
Wake Forest College, N. C.
SOME ASPECTS OF EXTEMPORAL ACTING
BY THORNTON S. GRAVES
Since Hamlet's famous protest against allowing the clowns to speak " more than is set down for them,” English critics have, as a class, looked with disfavor upon the practice of "gagging.” i So respected has been the advice of Shakspere and so uncompromising have been the critical utterances inspired by it that to-day the average person looks upon any interpolation by an actor as a species of disrespect peculiar to a by-gone age. In assuming such an attitude we are, of course, merely repeating the complacency of previous generations who have assumed a similar air of superiority; for to-day actors are extemporizing just as they were in 1638 when a character in Brome's Antipodes declared that the disgusting practice of adding to the author's text was a crudity of the “ days of Tarleton and Kempe before the stage was purged from barbarisms,"-or just as they were in the middle of the eighteenth century when Hill wrote in The Actor (p. 252) that extemporizing
suffered in the last age” but is no longer tolerated. In view of such a tradition against actors taking any liberties with their author's texts, the majority of English-speaking people will perhaps not relish being reminded of the idea presented by Strindberg in the preface to Miss Julia (1888), the suggestion that actors should be given ample liberty in the speaking of the much-discussed soliloquy, which, instead of being written out, should be merely indicated by the playwright. But in spite of Shakspere and tradition and the present status of the soliloquy, such suggestions of a return to the methods of the old comedia dell'arte, practices of which actually remain in vogue on certain Italian stages, are worthy of serious consideration in these days of innovation and free tendencies in literature and art; hence it is hoped that a brief résumé of the art of extemporizing on the English stage will offer a few suggestions to those who wish to go
* Cf., for example, Betterton's History of the English Stage (1741), pp. 52, 119; Steele’s Tatler, No. 89; Hill's The Actor (Ed. 1755), pp. 251-52; Tate Wilkinson's Memoirs, II, 130-135 and Wandering Patentee, m, 2829; John Roach's Authentic Memoirs of the Green-Room (1814), pp. 105106; Cibber's Apology (Ed. Lowe), I, 240-41.