Friday, August 26, 2022


A Little Too Close for Comfort

Peter Green, "Juvenal Revisited," Grand Street 9.1 (Autumn, 1989) 175-196 (at 175):
My acquaintance with Juvenal—Hamlet's "satirical rogue"—dates back, I am somewhat horrified to realize, almost half a century, so that his animadversions on the disadvantages of old age—the baboonlike wrinkles, the dripping noses, the ruined taste buds, the sluggish sexual performance (iacet exiguus cum ramice neruus), and what Shakespeare, embroidering as usual on the original, sums up as "a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams"—have come, in the course of time, a little too close for comfort.
The quotation is from Juvenal 10.205, omitted in most school editions (e.g. J.D. Duff's) and translated by Paul Murgatroyd as "your little penis with its varicocele lies there."

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