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2 A desire--of seeing what he had never seen] “More humani ingenii, cupido ignara visundi invadit.” This is the reading of Cortius, to which Müller and Allen adhere. Gerlach inserted in his text, More humani ingeni, cupidio difficilia faciundi animum vortit; which Kritzius, Orelli, and Dietsch, have adopted, and which Cortius acknowledged to be the reading of the generality of the manuscripts, except that they vary as to the last two words, some having animadvortit. The sense of this reading will be, "the desire of doing something difficult, which is natural to the human mind, drew off his thoughts from gathering snails, and led him to contemplate something of a more arduous character." But the reading of Cortius gives so much better a sense to the passage, that I have thought proper to follow it. Burnouf, with Havercamp and the editions antecedent to Cortius reads more humanœ cupidinis ignara visundi animum vortit, of which the first five words are taken from a quotation of Aulus Gellius, ix. 12, who, however, may have transcribed them from some other part of Sallust's works, now lost.
4 As nature directs all vegetables] “Quò cuncta gignentium natura, fert.” It is to be observed that the construction is natura fert cuncta gignentium, for cuncta gignentia. On gignentia, i.e. vegetable, or whatever produces any thing, see c. 79, and Cat., c. 53.
5 Four centurions for a guard] “Prœsidio qui forest, quatuor centuriones.” It is a question among the commentators whether the centurions were attended by their centuries or not; Cortius thinks that they were not, as ten men were sufficient to cause an alarm in the fortress, which was all that Marius desired. But that Cortius is in the wrong, and that there were common soldiers with the centurions, appears from the following considerations: 1. Marius would hardly have sent, or Sallust have spoken of, four men as a guard to six. 2. Why should centurions only have been selected, and not common soldiers as well as their officers? 3. An expression in the following chapter, laqueis--quibus allevati milites facilius escenderent, seems to prove that there were others present besides the centurions and the trumpeters. The word milites is indeed wanting in the text of Cortius, but appears to have been omitted by him merely to favor his own notion as to the absence of soldiers, for he left it out, as Kritzius says, summâ libidine, ne uno quidem codice assentiente, "purely of his own will, and without the authority of a single manuscript." Taking a fair view of the passage, we seem necessarily led to believe that the centurions were attended by a portion, if not the whole, of their companies. See the following note.
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