Ajax - NOTES TO THE PROLOGUE

NOTES TO THE PROLOGUE

1. Side note: Ovid Metam. Lib. 12.

2. Side Note: Salt recovers baned sheep

3. Side Note: Rabelais. Liv. i. chap. 13. Come Gargasier cognoit l'esprit excellent de Gargantua a l'invention d'un torche cul. "How Gargasier realised the excellent talents of Gargantua by his invention of an arse-wiper."

4. Side note: Lib. Fictit. "fictitious book."

5. Restinga des ladrones, St. Lazaro] Islands in the Western Pacific.

6. Capon de Bona Speranza] Cape of Good Hope.

7. Side note: Hic desunt non pauca de sermone ath. clerum. "Here was wanting not a few sermons of atheist priests."

8. Side note: Thus far Ovid.

9. Side note: Thus much. Lib. 6. 8. Au[gustine] de civitate Dei.

10. Side note: Stercutius, the god of dung

11. similiter desinentia] "Similar endings" i.e. rhymes.

12. Vos Vero, &c.] "You truly learned men, if you do not want to see these filthy words, ignore them, for it is most true, that when evil men conceive of performing defiled pleasures, they (as far as they can) avoid hearing about them. You will see also how we severely punish this type of men, who are not pious, learned, saintly, and restrained, but lustful, heretical, barbarous, and impious. To these I have all my life been a bitter enemy, so that truly I will be everywhere acknowledged as Misacmos ("hater of filth") Our proverb is "One swindler swindles another" and certainly this is an appropriate lid for the dish. And similarly, we should have lettuce for lips."
The last two sentences refer to proverbs meaning roughly "They will get what they deserve"
Side note: Such lips, such lettuce.

13. O tu qui dans oracula, &c.]
"O thou who utt'ring mystic notes
The whetstone cuts't with razor
In mother-tongue permit our throats,
Henceforth to sing and say, Sir!
To rich, material breakfasts join,
These miracles more funnyŚ
Fill all our cups with lasting wine,
Our bags with lasting money!
To us a guardian tow'r remain,
Through ages long and jolly;
Nor give our house a moment's pain,
From thought's intrusive folly!
Nor let our eyes for losses mourn,
Nor pore on aught but glasses;
And soothe the cares that still return,
By couching with our lasses;
Who loud as tattling magpies prate,
Alternate laugh and lour,
Then kiss we round each wanton mate,
And crop each vernal flow'r,
To deck our rooms, and chiefly that
Where supper's charms invite;
Then close in chimney-corner squat,
To see so blest a sight!"
(John Hawkins, from his History of Music, 1776)

14. Prateolo de vita haereticorum.] "The lives of the Heretics, by Prateolus."

15. Quod potest fieri per pauciora, non debet fieri per plura] "What can be said briefly, need not be said at length."

16. loquendum cum vulgo] "We must speak as the common people do."

17. Mopsa] An exceptionally repulsive woman, character in The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia by Philip Sidney.

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