Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Juvenal

'He [Ivanhoe] was deposited in the horse-litter which had brought him from the lists, and every precaution taken for his travelling with ease. In one circumstance only even the entreaties of Rebecca were unable to secure sufficient attention to the accommodation of the wounded knight. Isaac, like the enriched traveller of Juvenal's tenth satire, had ever the fear of robbery before his eyes, conscious that he would be alike accounted fair game by the marauding Norman noble, and by the Saxon outlaw. He therefore journeyed at a great rate, and made short halts, and shorter repasts, so that he passed by Cedric and Athelsiane who had several hours the start of him, but who had been delayed by their protracted feasting at the convent of Saint Withold's. Yet such was the virtue of Miriam's balsam, or such the strength of Ivanhoe's constitution, that he did not sustain from the hurried journey that inconvenience which his kind physician had apprehended.'

Latin poet Juvenal's actual birth date is unknown, though the Book of Days quotes March 2nd, around the year 40 AD.  Juvenal's tenth satire, employed by Scott in "Ivanhoe",  is "The Vanity of Human Wishes".  Another of Juvenal's satires, his third, was used as a model by Samuel Johnson for his famous poem "London".

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