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he spent a considerable part of every year. Here he could entertain a stray friend from town, his patron Maecenas, upon occasion,and the delights of this agreeable retreat were doubtless more than a compensation for the plain fare, or the thin home-grown wine with which its resources alone enabled him to regale them.

The life of Horace from the time of his intimacy with Maecenas appears to have been one of comparative ease and of great social enjoyment. He was soon admitted to the friendship of Augustus, and to the close of his life his favor at court continued without a cloud. Augustus not only liked the man, but entertained a profound admiration for the poet. That Horace had fought with Brutus against him, did not operate to his prejudice. The poet was not ashamed of the past, and Maecenas and Augustus were just the men to respect his independence, and to like him the better for it. Their favor did not spoil him. He was ever the same kindly, urbane, and simple man of letters he had originally been, never presuming upon his position, nor looking superciliously on others less favored than himself. At all times generous and genial, years only mellowed his wisdom and gave a finer polish to his verse. The unaffected sincerity of his nature and the rich vein of his genius made him courted by the rich and noble (C. II. 18. 9 foll.). He mixed on easy terms with the choicest society of Rome; and what must that society have been which included Virgil, Varius, Plotius, Tibullus, Pollio, and a host of others who were not only ripe scholars, but had borne and were bearing a leading part in the great actions and events of that memorable epoch?

The health of Horace, never very vigorous, appears to have declined for some years before his death. He was doomed to see some of his dearest friends drop into the grave before him. This to him, who gave to friendship the ardor which other men give to love, was the severest wound that time could bring. "The shocks of Chance, the blows of Death" smote him heavily; and the failure of youth, and spirits, and health, in the inevitable decay of nature, saddened the thoughtful poet in his solitude, and tinged the gayest society with melancholy. Maecenas's health was a source of deep anxiety to him; and one of the most exquisite Odes (C. II. 17) addressed to that valued friend, in answer to some outburst of despondency, while it expresses the depth of the poet's regard, bears in it the tone of a man somewhat weary of the world. He declares that, if untimely fate shall snatch away his patron, he will not survive him; and the prophecy was fulfilled almost to the very letter. The same year (A. U. C. 746, B. C. 8) witnessed the death of both Horace and Maecenas. The latter died about the middle of the year, committing his friend, in almost his last words, to the care of Augustus : Horatii Flacci, ut mei, esto memor. On the 27th of November,

when he was on the eve of completing his fifty-seventh year, Horace himself died, of an illness so short and sudden that he was unable to make his will in writing. He declared it verbally before witnesses, leaving to Augustus the little which he possessed. He was buried on the Esquiline Hill, near his patron and friend Maecenas.

There are no authentic busts or medallions of Horace, and his descriptions of himself are vague. He was short in stature; his eyes and hair were dark, but the latter was early silvered with gray, He suffered at one time with an affection of the eyes, and seems to have been by no means robust in constitution. His habits were temperate and frugal, as a rule, although he was far from insensible to the charms of a good table and good wine, heightening and heightened by the zest of good company. But he seems to have had neither the stomach nor the taste for habitual indulgence in the pleasures of the table. Latterly he became corpulent and sensitive to the severity of the seasons, and sought at Baiae and Tibur the refreshment or shelter which his mountain retreat had ceased to yield to his delicate frame.

Of all his writings, Horace himself appears to have ascribed the greatest value to the Odes, and to have rested upon them his claims to posthumous fame. They were the result of great labor, as he himself indicates (C. IV. 2. 27 foll.); and yet they bear pre-eminently the charm of simplicity and ease. He was the first to mould the Latin tongue to the Greek lyric measures; and his success in this difficult task may be estimated from the fact that, as he was the first, so was he the greatest, of the Roman lyrists. Quinctilian's criticism upon the Odes can scarcely be improved: Lyricorum Horatius fere soins legi dignus. Nam et insurgit aliquando, et plenus est jucunditatis et gratiae, et variis figuris, et verbis felicissime audax. In this airy and playful grace, in happy epithets, in variety of imagery, and exquisite felicity of expression, the Odes are still unsurpassed among the writings of any period or language. It is these qualities and a prevailing vein of genial and sober wisdom, which imbue them with a charm quite peculiar, and have given them a hold upon the minds of educated men which no change of taste has shaken.

Horace was not and could not have been a national poet. He wrote only for cultivated men, and under the shadow of a court. Beyond a very narrow circle his poems could not have been read. The very language in which he wrote must have been unintelligible to the people, and he had none of those popular sympathies which inspire the lyrics of Burns or Béranger. The Roman populace of his time was perhaps as little likely to command his respect as any which the world has ever seen; and there was no people, in the sense in which we understand the word, to appeal to. And yet Horace has many

points in common with Burns. "A man's a man for a' that," in the whole vein of its sentiment is thoroughly Horatian. In their large and genial views of life they are closely akin; but the fiery glow of the peasant poet is subdued to a temperate heat in the gentler and physically less energetic nature of Horace.

In his amatory verses the same distinction is visible. Horace writes much about love, but he is never thoroughly in love. He seems to have known by experience just enough of the tender passion to write pretty verses about it, and to rally, not unsympathetically, such of his friends as had not escaped so lightly from its flame. The attempt to make out the Lydias and Lalages, the Lyces and Phrynes of his Odes as real objects of attachment is one of the many follies in which his commentators have wasted much dreary labor.

Horace's Satires and Epistles are less read, yet they are perhaps intrinsically more valuable than his lyric poetry. As reflecting "the age and body of the time," they possess the highest historical value. Through them the modern scholar is able to form a clearer idea in all probability of the state of society in Rome in the Augustan age, than of any other phase of social development in the history of nations, Horace's observation of character is subtle and exact, his knowledge of the heart is profound, his power of graphic delineation great A genial humor plays over his verses, and a kindly wisdom dignifies them. As a living and brilliant commentary on life, as a storehouse of maxims of practical wisdom, couched in language the most apt and concise, as a picture of men and manners, which will be always fresh and always true, because it was true once, and because human nature will always reproduce itself under analogous circumstances, his Satires, and still more his Epistles, will have a permanent value for mankind. In these, as in his Odes, he inculcates what is fitting and decorous, and tends most to tranquillity of mind and body, rather than the severe virtues of a high standard of moral purity, To live at peace with the world, to shun the extremes of avarice, luxury, and ambition, to outrage none of the laws of nature, to enjoy life wisely, and not to load it with the cares which the lapse of a few brief years will demonstrate to be foolishness, is very nearly the sum of his philosophy. Of religion, as we understand it, he had little, Although himself little of a practical worshipper (C. I. 34. 1), he respected the sincerity of others in their belief in the old gods. But, in common with the more vigorous intellects of the time, he had outgrown the effete creed of his countrymen. He was content to use it for poetical purposes, but he could not accept as matter of belief the mythology about which the forms of the contemporary worship still clustered.




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ODE I. It is probable that the first three books of Odes were published together, with this as a preface, A. U. C. 730, B. C. 24 It is a graceful dedication to Maecenas of a work the composition of which had occupied and amused the poet at intervals for some years. It was probably at his patron's instigation that he arranged his fugitive pieces, and put them forth in this collected form.


1 Atavis=ancestors; properly, an ancestor in the fifth degree, thus: pater, avus, proavus, abavus, atavus. Maecenas belonged to the family of Cilnii, formerly Lucumones or princes of Etruria. — 2. Cf. Virg. G. II. 40. - 3. Sunt quos aliquos. The indicative is used when particular persons are alluded to, as here the Greeks in opposition to the Romans. The subjunctive is used, as Dillenb. ex. presses it, quum non tam esse aliquid ostenditur quam quale quid sit describitur. Cf. Gr. 501. 2. A. & S. 26. 46 and R. 4. Curriculo

either the chariot (from currere, as vehiculum from vehere) or the course. On Olympicum, see on Ov. T. IV. 10. 95, and Virg. G. I. 59.-4. Collegisse. Gr. 542. 2. A. & S. 268. 2, R. 2. The perfect instead of the present is used, like the Greek aorist, to express a complete action, or one frequently repeated, not a continuing course of action. Cf. C. I. 34. 16; III. 2. 30, etc. Metathe goal; a conical pillar at the end of the course, round which the chariots turned on their way back to the starting-place. A skilful driver turned the goal as closely as possible without touching it; hence evitata rotis. Fervidis. Cf. Milton: “then stayed the fervid wheels."-5. Palma; i. e. the palm-branch which was presented with the crown to the victor in the games. - 6. Terrarum - Deos

exalts them, (as if they were) lords of the world, to the gods. The whole passage has been a very perplexing one to the critics. Some make dominos in apposition with Deos. Some put a period

after nobilis, and consider evehit as impersonal; translating: It exalts the lords of the earth (i. e. ironically, the Romans), to the gods - this one, if, etc. The chief difficulty with the punctuation and interpretation we have followed is, that it leaves hunc and illum to depend on juvat; a harsh construction (though not so bad as joining them with dimoveas, as some have done), but one which is adopted and defended by Dillenb. and others. On evehit ad deos, cf. C. IV. 2. 17, 18.8. Tergeminis honoribus is by most critics understood to refer to the three curule magistracies, those of the aedile, praetor, and consul; but some make it =maximis honoribus. The case is ablative; but a few of the commentators make it dative for ad honores. On tollere, see Gr. 553. V. A. & S. 271, N. 3; 274, R. 7 (6). The construction is a very common one in Horace.-10. Libycis, The great bulk of the corn consumed at Rome was imported from Sicily and Libya. See C. III. 16. 26, 31. The area was a raised floor on which the corn was threshed; and after the wind had winnowed it the floor was swept, and the corn was thus collected. See Virg. G. I. 178 foll., where full directions are given for making an area.-11. Scindere is the proper word for the plough; findere for the hoe or smaller instruments. Attalicis conditionibus; i. e. the most extravagant terms. There were three kings of Pergamus of this name, which was proverbial for riches. The third left his great wealth to the Romans, B. C. 134. See C. II. 18. 5.—13. Dimoveas. From the meaning of de, down from, demoveo is more properly used when the place from which the removal takes place is expressed, and dimoveo, when the sentence is absolute, as here. Trabe. Gr. 705. III. A. & S. 324. 3. Cf. carina, C. I. 35. 7. Cypria. See on Virg. A. I. 622. Cypria, Myrtoum, Icariis, Africum, are all particular names for general, used to give life to the description.-14. The Myrtoan Sea, like the Icarian (see on Ov. M. VIII. 230), was a part of the Aegean.—15. Fluctibus. Gr. 385 and 5. A. & S. 223, R. 2 (6). Africum the west-southwest wind, which elsewhere Horace calls praeceps, proterous, etc. Cf. Virg. A. I. 85.-16. Otium-sui the peaceful fields about his native town. -18. Pati. Gr. 552. 3. A. & S. 270, R. 1 (a). This is a Greek construction, and very frequent in Horace. Pauperiem is not extreme poverty (egestas), but narrow means. Cf. C. III. 29. 56.19. Est qui. See on sunt quos, v. 3. Massici. See on Virg. G. II. 143.-20. Solidodie; i. e. to break in upon the hours of business. The solidus dies ended at the dinner hour, which, with industrious people, was the ninth in summer and tenth in winter. The luxurious dined earlier, the busy sometimes later. – 21. Viridi = evergreen. See on Ov. M. I. 104. Membra. Gr. 380. A. & S. 234. II. — 22. Caput= the source. Sacrae; i. e. to the nymphs of the stream. Cf. Virg.

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