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says the man who has retired to study, as he had done at Athens, and has shut himself up for several years, and got dull over his books and his meditations, cannot open his lips when he gets to Rome, and is only laughed at by the people for his sobriety. This is an odd defence for one who had written so much as he had done at Rome. It is meant for a joke. 'Septem annos' is not to be taken literally, as if Horace had been seven years at Athens, which is very improbable, but for any considerable number. He was only twenty-two when he joined Brutus, A. u. c. 711.
87. Frater erat Romae] Who these brothers were Horace does not tell us, and it does not matter. One was a jurisconsultus (see S. i. 1. 9, n.), and the other a teacher of rhetoric. The lawyer said the rhetorician was a perfect Gracchus for eloquence, and he returned the compliment by declaring that his brother was a second Scævola for legal learning. And this sort of mutual flattery goes on, Horace says, among poets, and he cannot keep pace with their passion for praise. Tiberius Gracchus and his brother Caius were both, in Cicero's opinion, great orators. We need not therefore attempt to decide which Horace means us to understand here. Q. Mucius Scævola the augur, son-in-law of C. Lælius, and an early instructor of Cicero (Lael. c. 1), was learned in the law; but his namesake and younger contemporary, the Pontifex Maximus (mentioned in the same treatise), was more celebrated still. This name, therefore, like that of Gracchus for oratory, stands for a consummate jurist.
88. meros audiret honores,] Compare Epp. i. 7. 84, "vineta crepat mera." 90. argutos] Compare iv. 6. 25: "Doctor argutae fidicen Thaliae." It means melodious, and is a sort of mock compliment.
92. Cuelatumque novem Musis opus] It is likened to a perfect piece of carved work, in which all the Muses had a hand.
93. quanto molimine] This expresses the pompous strut with which they pass the library of Apollo, in which they take it for granted a place is reserved for them. As to 'aedem,' see S. i. 10. 38.
95. procul This word signifies any distance, great or small. Here it means hard by, as in S. ii. 6. 105; Epp. i. 7. Quid ferat' means what each has to say.
97. Caedimur et totidem plagis] They carry on such a contest of mutual flattery, that they are like two gladiators, each trying to get the better of the other. Samnites' were a particular class of gladiators, so called because they wore the same arms as that people, particularly an oblong shield. See S. ii. 6. 44, n. 'Ad lumina prima' would be usually till the second course, when the lights were brought in. Among the amusements that rich men had at their dinners were gladiators who fought with blunt weapons; and here the contest is said to be protracted ('lento') till the lights came in. It was a long trial of skill.
99. puncto illius;] In his judgment or by his vote. When an election took place, there were certain persons called 'custodes' appointed to take the votes and prick off the number given for each candidate. From this process votes came to be called 'puncta.' See A. P. 343, n.
101. Fit Mimmermus] See Epp. i. 6. 65, n. Horace seems to think him superior to Callimachus, who was a grammarian and voluminous prosewriter as well as a poet, a native of Cyrene, and established at Alexandria in the reigns of the Ptolemies, Philadelphus and Euergetes, in the third century B. C. Optivo,' signifying desired,' does not occur elsewhere.
105. impune legentibus] He says, when he has done writing and recovered his senses (which was the same thing), he should stop his ears, and they might recite without fear of reprisals. See Epp. i. 19. 39.
113. Verba movere loco,] The notion of the censor is kept up. See note on S. i. 6. 20.
114. Et versentur adhuc] This is a way of saying that the verses, though they may be expunged, still are kept in the author's desk, because he has a regard for them, and cannot make up his mind to destroy them. The sanctuary of Vesta could only be entered by her own priestesses, and Horace calls his desk 'penetralia Vestae' because it was private. 116. speciosa vocabula rerum,] Expressive terms'; words which make themselves intelligible at once. So in A. P. 319 a play is said to be 'speciosa locis,' that is, 'plain in its points,' its commonplaces or sentiments clearly put.
117. Catonibus atque Cethegis] As to the use of the plural number, see note on S. i. 7. 8. M. Porcius Cato Censorius was born about B. c. 234, and was therefore contemporary with Ennius, with whom he is associated, A. P. 56, as successfully importing new words into the language. Fragments remain of his treatise De Re Rustica, embracing a variety of instructions on husbandry and subjects connected with domestic economy; and of his Origines, an account of the early history of Italy. There are also fragments of his orations, which Cicero appears to have studied (Brutus, c. 17). He had the highest opinion of Cato, and complains that he was not studied enough even in his day. M. Cornelius Cethegus was older than Cato, since he was curule ædile when Cato was no more than twenty. His eloquence was such that Ennius called Cethegus "Suadae medulla, orator suaviloquenti ore." (Cic. Brut. c. 15; Cat. Maj. c. 14; see Epp. i. 6. 36, n.) But it does not appear that any of his orations were extant in Cicero's time, for he only mentions them on the authority of Ennius, who had heard him speak. His reputation was sufficient at the time Horace wrote, for him to name him twice as an authority on the language (sce A. P. 50, n.).
119. quae genitor produxerit usus.] Usus' is 'custom,' which has always been the parent of novelties in language. Compare A. P. 70, sqq.
120. Vehemens] The first two syllables are pronounced as one. Compare S. i. 5. 67.
123. virtute carentia tollet,] He will remove what lacks merit.' He will work hard to produce a result which shall appear playful and easy, the turns being as easy as those of the 'mimus,' who dances either the light measure of the nimble Satyr, or the clumsy dance of the Cyclops (on which see S. i. 5. 63, n.). The poet's art is to conceal his art, and to make that appear easy which has cost him a good deal of trouble.
126. Praetulerim scriptor] This is supposed to be the remark of one who would be a poet without the necessary trouble. He would rather be pleased with his own bad verses, even though he might be deceiving himself, than be so learned and be perpetually vexed with himself. 'Ringi' is properly applied to the grinning of a dog when it snarls.
128. Fuit haud ignobilis Argis,] Sir Henry Halford furnishes a parallel story (Essays, p. 61): "One case, that of the gentleman of Argos, whose delusion led him to suppose that he was attending the representation of a play, as he sat in his bedchamber, is so exact, that I saw a person of exalted rank (George III.) under those very circumstances of delusion, and heard him call upon Mr. Garrick to exert himself in the performance of Hamlet."
131. Caetera qui vitae servaret] "Though he observed all the other duties of life."
134. Et signo laeso] The amphorae' or 'lagenae' were sealed with the owner's seal when they were filled. Horace says that the man was not one who would get furious if he found the slaves had opened a 'lagena,' and drunk the contents. See C. iii. 8. 11. 12.
135. puteum vitare patentem.] Wells were usually surrounded with a wall ('puteal') two or three feet high. See Dict. Antt.
136. cognatorum opibus] See S. ii. 3. 217, n., and as to 'elleborum,' see v. 83 of that Satire. 'Meracus' is generally applied only to wine.
141. Nimirum sapere est] See Introduction.
158. quod quis libra mercatur et aere,] There was a mode of sale which was called 'per aes et libram.' A third person held a pair of scales (‘libra'), which the purchaser touched with a piece of money, at the same time laying his hand on the thing purchased. According to a set form of words he claimed the thing as his own, and handed the money to the seller as a token of the sum agreed upon. This form of purchase was called 'mancipatio.' The seller was said 'mancipio dare' (to which mancipare' in this place is equivalent), and the purchaser was said mancipio accipere.' A man might become owner of 'res mancipii' by having been in possession for a certain time, as much as if he had received it by mancipatio.' Hence 'usus' is said 'mancipare,' because the effect is the same whether a man got his ownership by usus,' that is, possession, or by mancipatio.' Usus' here means that sort of possession which consists in the enjoyment of the fruits by paying for them. Before quaedam,' 'si' must be supplied again.
160. villicus Orbi,] Who is meant by Orbius, if anybody, it is impossible He had landed property and sold the produce. As to 'villicus,' see Epp. i. 14. 1, n.
163. cadum temeti:]
Temetum' is an old word signifying 'wine.' See
164. trecentis — nummorum_millibus] Three hundred sestertia.' Taking the value of the 'sestertium' at 8l. 17s. 1d., this sum would be 2,656/. 5s. of English money.
167. Emptor Aricini quondam] Emptor quondam,' as Orelli says, is equivalent to 'is qui quondam emit,' he who buys at any time.' As to Aricia, see S. i. 5. 1, n. The old Veii had long ceased to exist. It had been replaced (whether on the same site or not is uncertain) by a new city, which again fell into ruin in the civil wars. Julius Cæsar divided its lands among his soldiers. It appears, however, that Augustus restored it, and made it a municipium.
170. qua populus adsita certis Limitibus] Usque' in this verse is an adverb of place, not of time. It means all the way up to where the poplar stands.' There were many different kinds of private boundaries, as, for instance, a stone or an image of the god Terminus, with a tree or a clump planted near it, such as Horace alludes to. A ditch or a hedge, a stream or path, and many other marks, were sufficient to define the limits of property, and prevent neighbors from quarrelling ('vicina refugit jurgia ').
177. Quid vici prosunt] Vicus' is used for any collection of houses. Vicus urbanus' was a street in the city; 'vicus rusticus,' a village. Here it appears to mean a villa with the adjoining cottages.
Calabris Saltibus adjecti Lucani,] Saltus' expresses 'pastures,' wooded or otherwise, on hills or in valleys and plains. Those of Calabria were low and without wood; those of Lucania were among the hills. See Epod. 1. 27, n.
180. Tyrrhena sigilla,] Small images of the gods, of Etrurian workmanship, in bronze.
181. Gaetulo murice]
See C. ii. 16. 35, n.
182. Sunt qui non habeant,] See C. i. 1. 3, n.
184. Herodis palmetis pinquibus,] Herod the Great derived a large revenue from the woods of palm which abounded in Judæa. They were most thickly planted about Jericho and on the banks of the Jordan. The date-palm is that which most abounded there.
187. Scit Genius] See Epp. i. 7. 94, n. 'Albus et ater' signifies 'cheerful and gloomy.'
192. Quod non plura datis] 'Because he finds that I have not left him more'; lit. because he finds not more than what I have left him'; in short, he gets less than he expected.
193. simplex hilarisque A guileless cheerful man,' and so liberal. He says he is anxious to learn the difference between such a one and a prodigal, and between the thrifty and covetous, and of course to act the part of the former of the two in either case. 'Plura' means 'more than enough.'
197. festis Quinquatribus olim,] The Quinquatria was a festival in honor of Minerva, held on the 19th of March and four following days. Boys had holidays during this festival, that they might pay their devotions to Minerva, the goddess of learning.
199. domus] This word is omitted, and an imperfect verse given in some MSS. It has no meaning here. The best MSS. vary, and the commenta tors seem agreed to give it up without being able to find out what Horace really wrote. (See note on C. iv. 6. 17.)
205. Non es avarus: abi ;] 'You are no miser: go to; what, do all your faults vanish with that?' See Forcell, for a variety of uses of abi.'
209. Nocturnos lemures] The belief in ghosts was as common with the ancients as with the superstitions among ourselves. The spirits of the dead were worshipped as Manes, Lares, Lemures, and Larvæ. Under the two former names were recognized the spirits of the good (see Epp. ii. 1. 138, n.); the other two represented cruel spirits coming up to terrify and torment the living. The Thessalians had the credit of extraordinary power in magic and drugs. (See C. i. 27. 21; Epod. 5. 45.)
210. Natales grate numeras?] 'Are you happy when you count up your birthdays?' that is, 'Are you content to see yourself advancing in life and drawing near the end of it?' As to natales,' see S. ii. 2. 60, n.; C. iv. 11. 8, n.
213. decede peritis.] If you do not know how to live properly, go off the stage and give place to those that do.'
216. lasciva decentius aetas.] A time of life which may be wanton with less indecency'; that is, youth, to which it is more natural.”
THE ART OF POETRY.
THERE are no internal evidences, at all fit to be trusted, of the time when this poem was written, or of the persons to whom it is addressed. They are three in number, a father and two sons.
The poem professes to contain a history of the progress of poetry, and rules for composition, with criticisms of different authors and different styles. The rules are miscellaneous, and have little or no method, and the history is more fanciful than real. It is impossible to look upon it as a finished
1. Humano capiti] The picture supposed is monstrous enough; a woman's head and a fish's tail, with a horse's neck, limbs from all manner of beasts, and feathers from all sorts of birds. This portentous medley (invented of course by himself, for we are not bound to suppose he had ever seen a pic
torial monster of this kind), Horace considered a good illustration of some of the poetry of his day, in which figures and images were thrown together without order or purpose.
9. Pictoribus atque poëtis] This is a supposed reply, that painters and poets have always been privileged people, which Horace admits, but within certain limits. They must not outrage common sense, nor should they patch their verses with images which, however pretty, have nothing to do with the matter in hand.
18. flumen Rhenum] This is the same form as “ Metaurum flumen " (C. iv. 4. 38).
19. fortasse cupressum Scis simulare:] The Scholiasts all agree in saying this refers to a Greek proverb, μή τι καὶ κυπαρίσσου θέλεις; the origin of which was an answer given by a bad painter to a shipwrecked sailor, who asked him for a picture of his wreck (see C. i. 5. 13, n.). The man considered himself clever at drawing a cypress, and asked the sailor if he should introduce him one in his picture.
21. Amphora coepit Institui ;] Of the amphora,' 'diota,'' cadus,' 'testa,' 'lagena,' (all which names represent the same kind of vessel for keeping wine, oil, honey, &c.,) drawings will be found in the Dictionary of Antiquities. It was usually of clay, but sometimes of glass. Urceus' was the name for a jug of earthenware or glass, of which specimens of many different shapes have been found at Pompeii. As to the 'rota figularis' and other matters connected with the art of poetry as practised by the ancients, all necessary information will be found in the Dictionary of Antiquities.
24. pater et juvenes patre digni,] See Introduction. Horace passes on to say that there are those who are led into error by some standard of correctness that they have set themselves, some rule to which they adhere at al costs. One man thinks brevity the right thing, another smoothness of versification, another grandiloquence, another caution, another vanity, and to avoid the opposites of these they run into the excess of them.
29. Prodigialiter] Monstrously.' This belongs to 'variare.'
32. Aemilium circa ludum] This illustrates the case of those who can invent details, but cannot compose an entire poem. The Aemilius ludus,' near which this artist lived, is said to have been a gladiator's school, built by Emilius Lepidus, but by which of those who bore that name is unknown. There were many celebrated persons so called. Unus' means 'singular,' surpassing all others; which sense it bears in S. i. 10. 42; ii. 3. 24; 6. 57 (where see note).
38. Sumite materiam] The next consideration is the choice of a subject, which should be well weighed with reference to the powers of the writer ('potenter,' karà dúvaμiv, v. 40).
42. Ordinis haec virtus] Having said that, if a man chooses his subject well, he will be at no loss to arrange his poem, Horace proceeds to explain what arrangement consists in, which is, saying everything in its right place and time.
45. promissi carminis] A poem he is known to have in hand, and which the public are expecting.
46. tenuis cautusque serendis,] Judicious and careful in planting his words.' "Tenuis' signifies a nice discernment. The use of words is the next point noticed, — skill in giving by its connection new force to an old word, or in the introduction of new terms sometimes borrowed from the Greek, for the fashion of words is conventional and liable to change.
49. Indiciis] This means words, as being the signs by which things are made known. As to 'abdita rerum,' see C. iv. 12. 19, n.
50. Cethegis] See Epp. ii. 2. 117, n. 'Cinctutus' means one that is only girt about the lower part of his body, having the arms free from the encum