Page images
PDF
EPUB

these illustrations, the father uses gentle names, euphemisms, for posi. tive bodily defects. What adds to the humor of the passage is, that the names are also names of noble Roman families. Sisyphus was a dwarf of the times, The other words the Lexicon will explain. 55—75. But men, forgetting that they too have faults, pursue a course directly the opposite of all this. - 56. Sinceram-vas incrustare ; to coat over a clean vessel ; i. e. metaphorical for-daub over virtues with the names of vices. - 57. Multum demissus, very deficient in sperit. Demissus is generally used by Cicero in a good sense, modest; hence some Editors take here probus and demissus as opposed respectively to tardo and pingui ; but Orelli gives passages in which demissus is used in a bad sense, and the construction here plainly requires such a sense. -59. Malo; masc.; sc. homini. -63. Simplicior. Simplex here is one who acts naturally, from impulse, without stopping to reflect about what he says and does.

- 69. Ut aequum est; this belongs not to dulcis, but tc all that follows. - 70. Cum; conjunction, to be joined with compenset.

Pluribus ; dat. depending upon inclinet.- 71. Inclinet; sc. trutinam. -72. Hac lege. The lex is contained in pluribusinclinet.76. For the train of thought, see introduction. -77. Stultis ; in the sense of the Stoics, in opposition to their ideal Sapiens. 82. Labeone. Generally supposed to be M. Antistius Labeo, a jurist, and a man of rude manners. 83. Hoc; nominative, referring to what follows.

86. Rusonem ; a money-lender, and also a writer, whose stories (see 1. 89) the poor debtor must needs listen to, lest he offend his hard creditor. - 87. Tristes ; so called, because then interest on money borrowed, or the principal itself, was due. Comp. n. Epod. 2, 69.91. Tritum. Worn smooth; i. e. from long and constant use; by Evan. der, the Arcadian prince, whom ancient fable connected with Rome and the Palatine hill. See Livy, 1, 5.—The poet has here a pleasant hit at the passion of the rich Romans for objects of great antiquity, ancient plate, furniture, etc. Comp. Sat. ii., 3, 20; and see on this point Becker's Gallus, p. 24. - 92. Ante ; here used adverbially.- 95. Fide. See note, O. iii., 7, 4. - 97. Sensus, etc. Cicero has a similar view of this Stoic paradox, in de Finibus, 4, 19, 55: “Sensus enim cujusque et natura rerum atque ipsa veritas clamabat quodammodo, non posse adduci, ut inter eas res, quas Zeno exaequaret, nihil interesset.” Compare also Cicero's admirable raillery of the Stoics in his Pro Murena, chaps. 29, 30. 99. Cum prorepserunt, etc. This Epicurean view of the origin of man and of human society is developed more fully in Liber I. of Lucratius de Nat. R.- - 100. Mutum. Dumb; i. e. like brutes, uttering only inarticulate sounds. Such was man originally, according to this view, when he first crept forth from the earth. Afterwards necessity and expediency brought about a conventional language; and then, gradually, the laws and institutions of civilized society.- - 103. Verba

[ocr errors]

-nomina : literally, verbs, names of things or nouns, i. e. language

110. Editior, = superior; but nowhere else used in this sense. Orelli. -111–119. The poet still speaks the sentiments of the Epicureans. They allowed that man, by his constitution, could distinguish between good and ill, what is desirable and what undesirable; but not between justice and injustice, right and wrong. The latter distinction they founded in the usages of society. — 115. Vincet ratio. Will season triumphantly prove.

Vincere = evincere, to prevail over one's oppo nent in argument; in allusion to the efforts of the Stoics to carry their dogma by force of reasoning. 119. The scutica was an ordinary whip, the flagellum a frightful scourge, which Keightley compares with the cat-o'-nine-tails. 120. Ut caedas-non vereor. Reisig (Lat. Gr. p. 569) has best explained this construction, by supplying illud before vereor ; to strike, etc., that I do not fear, etc. There is no need, therefore, of the supposition, that the poet wrote ut loosely, instead of ne.

126. Car optas quod habes. These words must be joined in thought with the clause above: si tibi regnum, etc. In asking his question the poet makes that si emphatic: You say if men allow you to be king; but if your sapiens is every thing, is king, if, in other words, you are already king; -why do you wish for what you have?-The Stoic idea of the Sage, Cicero refers to in de Amic. c. 5; and dwells upon in de Offic, 3. 4. See note above on 1. 97. 127. Chrysippus, who was, next to Zeno, the most eminent of the Stoic philosophers. 129. Hermogenes, a celebrated singer, the same who is referred to in Sat. i., 9, 25; 4, 72; 10, 80; but a different person, as Orelli thinks Kirchner has clearly shown, from the Tigellius, in Sat. i., 2., 3. — 130. Alfenus. Orelli has Alfenius, on the authority of an inscription. Who the person was, is not well established. - 136. Latras; like a dog; a comparison which the poet uses in his raillery, as the Stoics were, as Dillenburger remarks, at least semi cynici, κυνικόι, κυών. - 137. Quadrante. The fourth part of an as, and the smallest piece of Roman coin. The public baths were originally instituted for the poor, and were always intended chiefly for their convenience; hence the low price, a quadrans. See Dict. Antiqq. ander Beths. - 139. Crispinum. See note, Sat. i., 1, 120

SATIRE IV.

In this satire, Hora e defends himself against 'wo classes of his critics. The cao, offended ai the simplicity and grassful negligence of his satires, denied them the name of poems, and indeed to saure itself the name of poetry. The other alleged that be wrote with malignity, and spared not even his personal friends.

The charges were, then, substantially these : that he was no poet, and that he was a malignant satirist. After some pleasant allusions to Lucilius, and to Fannius, an inferior poet of the day, and then to the general dislike of satire, Horace begins his defence at line 38, and replies to the first charge in lines 38-63, and to the second in the remainder of the satire.

[ocr errors]

1. Eupolis, etc. These three poets were the masters of the prisca or vetus, comoedia, the old comedy, of the Greeks. Vetus, old, in distinction from the media, middle, and the nova, new. The Old Comedy, in its freedom in ridiculing the men and events of the day, and in intro ducing living persons by name, was in its nature like the Roman Satire, and the Satire of modern times. Hence its mention here.—See note on Ars. Poet. 281-284.- -6. Omnis ; i. e. entirely, expressing the resemblance between Lucilius and the writers of the Greek comedy. Lucilius was the first Roman poet who wrote in the regular satire. He was born at Suessa, B. C. 148.- - 7.. Mutatis, etc. The Greek comedy was written in iambic verse; Lucilius wrote mostly in hexameters, sometimes in iambic and trochaic verse. - 10. Ut magnam. As if (it were) a great thing. -Stans, etc., i. e. “without changing his position, a figure taken from the plays of boys or the feats of tumblers.” Keightley, from Orelli. - 11. Cum; the causal particle, since; the image from a muddy stream. 14. Crispinus; who thinks every thing depends upon facility in writing. See note, Sat. i., 1, 120.-Minimo; the lowest; or, as we say of one who challenges, at the largest odds, e. g. a hundred to one. — - 19. Follibus. He compares a tumid style with the puffing and blowing of a blacksmith's bellows. -21, 22. Ultro-imagine. Some suppose that these words mean, that the writings and bust of Fannius had been deposited in the public library; but Franke's explanation is simpler and nearer the text, that the friends of Fannius had brought him capsae for his poems; and also a bust for himself. Ultro, literally of their own accord; the things were brought without solicitation on the part of Fannius. The capsa, like the scrinium, in Sat. i., 1, 120, was a wooden case, with loculi, compartments, designed to kold books, writings, or other things. See Dict. Antiqq., also Biblio theca Sacra, vol. iii., pp. 227, 228.- - 23. Timentis. Agrees with mei, implied in mea. - 24. Utpote, etc. “By attraction for-quippe cum plures culpari digni sint.” Orelli. 25—38, Quemvis, etc. The poet dow illustrates the plures culpari dignos, and shows who they are that

[ocr errors]

dislike satire. - 28. Aere. Bronze. Read the article des in Vict. Antiqq. - -30. Quin, =quin immo, nay even. - 32. Ut, and also the preceding ne, depend upon metuens. - 34. Foenum, etc. A common cry of the street, bere humorously applied to a poet. A vicious ox or cow usually had a wisp of Lay fastened to its horns, as a warning to the passers-by. - 37. Lacu. By this word were designated the basins, containing a head of water, supplied from the aqueducts, to which, as to a city-pump, the poor might come, who could not afford to have the pipes in their own houses. They are here referred to, because they wero naturally thronged by servants and loungers. - 38. The poet (see introduction) admits that, in his Satires, he is not, in the highest sense of the word, a poet. We must bear in mind that these criticisms were made upon the satires; the odes were written afterwards. - 39. Poetis. See note, Sat. i., 1, 19.-Dederim; I should allow; the subj. softens the assertion. See Harkness, Lat. Gram., 485, 486, I.-40. Concludere. To round. -42. Sermoni; i. e. prose. -45. Quidam. The Alexandrian critics. Their view seems to have been, that Comedy was restricted both in its language (verbis) and matter (rebus) to every day life, and did not rise to the dignity of poetry. — 48. At pater. So may say an objector, in defence of comedy. (Comp. Ars. P. 93, 94.) -The language refers to a character common in comedy, as in the Adelphi, and in the Self-Tormentor of Terence. 52. Pomponius. Some dissolute young man of the time. The reply to the objector is : Just so Pomponius's father might talk, it is the language of real and of common life. -58. Tempora; in reference to quantity, times ;=pedes, feet; modos, to rhythm, measures. -60. Ut si. After ut, repeat invenias; as (you would find) if, etc. The meaning is: take from my verses the feet, rhythm, order, and you would not still find poetry there, as yća would, after putting to the same process those verses of Ennius. Etiam means still, yet.-Solvas; turn to prose. 64. See introduction. The poet wonders (65–78) that he should be so much feared, since he shuns publicity, and reads his satires only to his particular friends. 65. Sulcias—Caprius. Probably two well-known lawyers; the Scholiast says, informers. - 66. Male ;= valde. -71. Pila. The Roman booksellers suspended the titles of their books on the door of their shop (taberna), or on the pillar of the portico, under which the shop

See Becker's Gallus, Exc. 3; Biblioth. Sacra, Vol. 3, p. 229. 72. Tigelli. See note, Sat. i., 3, 129. - -78-end. The poet now repels the charge of malignity; and to show how abhorrent was such a temper to his whole character, he dwells, as in other parts of his works, upon the judicious and careful training he had received from his father. 79. Inquit. Some one says; or it is said.-Hoc is accusative.-Studio; with eagerness; on purpose. - 86. Tribus lectis ; i. e. the Triclinium. Ree note, Sat. ii., 8, 20. Quaternos; four on each couch, and twelve in

was.

the compauy; usually there were but three on a couch, and nine at the table. The rule of Varro was, that the number of guests at a dinnerparty should not be smaller than the number of the Graces, nor greater than that of the Muses. - 88. Qui-aquam; either to drink, or for washing. The whole expression for convivator, the host. - Hunc; in same construction as cunctos; potus (part.) agrees with unus. - 94. Capitolini. So called, because once governor of the Capitol. The Scho liast says, that when in this office, Petillius stole the crown of Jupiter Capitolinus, but was acquitted on trial, through the favor of Augustus.

100. Loliginis. Loligo means a cuttle-fish; the whole expression is metaphorical for rank malignity. — 102. Ut si, etc. Dillenburger explains this construction thus: ut promitto, si quid aliud vere de me promittere possum, ita promitto abfore, etc. 105. Hoc is the abl., the usual case with suesco and its compounds; Dillenb. makes it an acc. Me is the object of insuevit. Comp. Sat. ii., 2, 109. Also Tacitus, Ann. 2, 52: ut lectos viros imperiis suesceret. -118. Custodis. Comp. Sa. i., 6, 81, and note. — 123. Judicibus selectis. A body of judices chosen, by the provisions of the Lex Aurelia, enacted B. c. 70, from the senators, equites, and tribuni aerarii ; they were 360 in number. It is not known whether the Lex Aurelia determined the number of judices in any given case, but it is conjectured that the number was seventy. They tried criminal cases. See Dict. Antiqq., under Judex. - 124. An, join with addubites ; or can you doubt, &c. 133. Lectulus. My couch ; here the allusion is to reclining upon it for study, reading, writing, &c.--See Becker's Gallus, p. 42. Bibl. Sacra, vol. iii., p. 228. 137. Haec ; i. e. what is said in preceding lines, from Rectius. 141. Multa-manus. Horace humorously says, that all the poets, most of whom were far from friendly to him, would turn to his aid in a body, and bring to terms such an enemy of poets. — 143. Judaci. The comparison seems to turn upon the zeal of the Jews in proselyting.

SATIRE V.

This Satire is a humorous description of a journey which Horace made from Rome to Brundusium, in the company of Maecenas and of other friends. It is generally supposed that the party was arrang by Maecenas, when he had occasion to go to Brundusium, 3. C. 37, to aid in settling terms of reconciliation between Octavianus and Artony; as he had done once before, B. C. 40, when the alliar.ce called foedus Brunausinum was formed between the two triumvirs.

The route from Rome to Capua, and thence to Beneventum, lay on the Appian Way, and thence to Brundusium on the side-road, called the Via Fignatia. The poet, and his friends, must have travelled very leisurely, as they occupied certainly fifteen, and perhaps, as Orelli conjectures, seventeen, days in reaching Brundusium, which was :breo kundrail and twelve miles from Rome

« PreviousContinue »