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Si vero est unctum qui recte ponere possit
Et spondere levi pro paupere et eripere atris
Litibus implicitum, mirabor si sciet inter-
Noscere mendacem verumque beatus amicum.
Tu seu donaris seu quid donare voles cui,
Nolito ad versus tibi factos ducere plenum
Laetitiae ; clamabit enim, Pulchre ! bene! recte!
Pallescet super his, etiam stillabit amicis
Ex oculis rorem, saliet, tundet pede terram.
Ut qui conducti plorant in funere dicunt
Et faciunt prope plura dolentibus ex animo, sic
Derisor vero plus laudatore movetur.
Reges dicuntur multis urgere culullis
Et torquere mero quem perspexisse laborant,
An sit amicitia dignus : si carmina condes
Nunquam te fallant animi sub vulpe latentes.
Quintilio si quid recitares, Corrige sodes
Hoc, aiebat, et hoc. Melius te posse negares
Bis terque expertum frustra, delere jubebat
Et male tornatos incudi reddere versus.
Si defendere delictum quam vertere malles,
Nullum ultra verbum aut operam insumebat inanem
Quin sine rivali teque et tua solus amares.
Vir bonus et prudens versus reprehendet inertes,
Culpabit duros, incomptis adlinet atrum
Traverso calamo signum, ambitiosa recidet
Ornamenta, parum claris lucem dare coget,
Arguet ambigue dictum, mutanda notabit,
Fiet Aristarchus; non dicet : Cur ego amicum
Offendam in nugis ? — Hae nugae seria ducent
In mala derisum semel exceptumque sinistre.
Ut mala quem scabies aut morbus regius urget
Aut fanaticus error et iracunda Diana,
Vesanum tetigisse timent fugiuntque poëtam
Qui sapiunt ; agitant pueri incautique sequuntur.
Hic, dum sublimis versus ructatur et errat,
Si veluti merulis intentus decidit auceps
In puteum foveamve, licet, Succurrite, longum
Clamet, Io cives ! non sit qui tollere curet.
Si curet quis opem ferre et demittere funem,
Qui scis an prudens huc se projecerit atque
Servari nolit? dicam, Siculique poëtae
Narrabo interitum. Deus immortalis haberi
Dum cupit Empedocles, ardentem frigidus Aetnam
Insiluit. Sit jus liceatque perire poëtis :
Invitum qui servat idem facit occidenti.
Nec semel hoc fecit, , nec si retractus erit jam
Fiet homo et ponet famosae mortis amorem.
Nec satis apparet cur versus factitet, utrum
Minxerit in patrios cineres, an triste bidental
Moverit incestus : certe furit ac velut ursus
Objectos caveae valuit si frangere clathros,
Indoctum doctumque fugat recitator acerbus;
Quem vero arripuit tenet occiditque legendo,
Non missura cutem nisi plena cruoris hirudo,
A. P., Ars Poetica.
A. & S., Andrews and Stoddard's Latin
C. (Carmina), Odes.
Cf. (confer), compare.
C. S., Carmen Seculare.
E., Eclogue, Epistles.
Gr., Harkness's Latin Grammar.
lit., literal, literally.
Sc. (scilicet), supply.
V., V., verse, verses.
Z., Zumpt's Latin Grammar.
Abbreviations of grammatical terms, as gen., dat., sing., pres., infin., etc., and many of a miscellaneous character, as B. C., A. U. C., MSS., etc., need no explana. tion.
In the Tenth Elegy of the Fourth Book of his Tristia, our poet has himself given us a minute account of his life and fortunes. In other poems, he often speaks of himself, so that there are few writers of ancient times with whose history we are better acquainted. Several biographies of him have come down to us; but they add little of importance to what we thus learn from his own writings.
Publius Ovidius Naso was born of an ancient and noble family, at Sulmo (now Sulmona), in the country of the Peligni, March 20, B. C. 43. At an early age, he was sent to Rome to be educated, and studied with some of the most eminent teachers of the day, among whom he mentions Arellius Fuscus and Porcius Latro. He was de. signed by his father for the bar, and seems to have made commend. able proficiency in the preliminary studies of the profession. The elder Seneca speaks highly of his declamations, and has preserved an extract from one of them. He remarks, however, that Ovid's oratory resembled a solutum carmen, and Ovid himself tells us that whatever he attempted to write took the form of verse sponte sua. His father endeavored to wean him from this tendency to poetical pursuits, warning him that poetry was the direct road to poverty; but, after a brief struggle against the ruling passion, he yielded to his destiny, aban. doned the profession for which he was intended, and devoted himself to the service of the Muses. He mentions several of the leading poets of the day as among the number of his friends at this time; Macer, Propertius, Bassus, and Horace. Virgil and Tibullus, both of whom died when he was but twenty-four, he knew less intimately. He seems to have been most familiar with Propertius, who, like himsell
, had relinquished forensic for poetical pursuits, and who occasionally read to him his elegies, which naturally excited the admiration and the emulation of the youthful listener. Ovid, like Propertius, had attempted epic poetry; but the failure of his friend in this species of writing, and his brilliant success in elegy, appear to have determined his own hesitating muse. His first published work, the Amores, was the result, and the favor with which it was received enCouraged him to persevere in the career on which he had entered.