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external advantages Horace was indebted to the favour and friendship of Maecenas: the literary friends whom he met at his house encouraged him to poetical activity and to improvement in the art; and there, too, he became acquainted with many men of power and influence in the state. It would have been easy for him to alter his position in regard to Maecenas, and to strike out for himself a path to honour and authority; but how little he thought of this appears from his conduct to Augustus. Maecenas had spoken of Horace to the emperor, and had given him a copy of his poems; with which, being a man of taste, and from disposition as well as from political motives a patron of literature, he expressed himself as delighted. He wanted a secretary to write letters for him, and asked Maecenas to give up Horace to him. Maecenas consented; but Horace pleaded the weak state of his health, to escape taking the office, which would have given him much influence, but at the same time much trouble. Augustus admitted the excuse, and was not angry; but he wished that Horace would speak of his exploits in his poems, or rather that he would write a poem upon them, and he felt hurt that the poet had not mentioned him in any previous production. But Horace declined to attempt any such panegyric, his reason being either that which he gave-namely, that he had no talent for epic poetry-or, as is more probable, that he hated flattery. He had in his youth belonged to the republican party; and though in his maturer years he felt and acknowledged that the restoration of the republic was impossible, and the government of Augustus beneficent, still he was unwilling to act in such a manner as indirectly to depreciate the merits of those heroes who had formerly been the gods of his idolatry. But he often praised the administration of Augustus, which had, in truth, induced contentment and excited gratitude in allextolling him for having given to Italy and the Roman Empire the long wished-for blessings of peace; for having, by successful battles, extended and secured the boundaries of his dominions; and for labouring most zealously, by good institutions and wise laws, to elevate the moral condition of the people. It was not till after pressing requests from Augustus, which he could not refuse without giving great offence, that Horace resolved to celebrate in two odes the victories of Tiberius and Drusus, the stepsons of the emperor, and for this reason to add a fourth book of Odes to the three which were already in the hands of the public. The epistle to Augustus (Epist. ii. 1) was written on the
Maecenas, particularly when he grew old, and fell into bad health, also made demands upon the poet which he could not reconcile with his principles; and this was probably the reason
why, towards the end of his life, his visits to Roine became fewer and fewer. But, upon the whole, the connection between the two friends remained the same; and ought always to be considered as a pattern for the relations between an artist or poet and his patron. The more the fame of Horace increased, the more intimate became his friendship with Maecenas. No petty jealousy interfered with their mutual affection and respect. Good fortune preserved the friends from the necessity of a separation, and gratified the wish of Horace not to survive Maecenas long. Maecenas died, after a protracted illness, in the year 8 B. c.; and when near his end, he commended our poet to Augustus in the following words: Horatii Flacci, ut mei, memor esto. Horace followed soon after, on the 27th of November in the same year, having very nearly completed his fifty-seventh year. Death took him by surprise: he had not time to make a will; but, having no children or relations, named orally Augustus as his heir. He was buried near his long-loved friend Maecenas on the Esquiline Hill.
Horace frequently describes his own bodily appearance and mental temperament. He was of small stature, and had dark eyes and black hair; though the latter, as he grew older, became somewhat gray. In his youth, he was of a weakly constitution, and suffered from a complaint in his eyes. When he reached the age of manhood, his general health did not much improve, but he became stout and corpulent; so that Augustus used to joke with him upon his rotundity. In temperament, he says, he was hot; in his youth even passionate; in his later years easily irritated, but easily calmed again. His dress was simple, and rather careless than elegant. In his mode of life he studied comfort and ease, which never degenerated into luxury.
This, then, was the poet of whom Quintilian, the greatest of Roman critics, remarks, that he was almost the only Latin lyrist who deserved to be read-a judgment which has been fully ratified by posterity; for scarcely any nation has ever had any lyric poet who has been so extensively read, admired, and imitated as Horace. It is therefore worth while to say something regarding his poetry in general, and regarding the kinds of poetry which he cultivated.
It is of great importance for the thorough comprehension and enjoyment of a poet like Horace, whose excellence consists in his having invested the particular circumstances and friendships which led him to write with a universal interest, that we should know when his poems were composed; and, even since Bentley spoke briefly, generally, and without stating proofs, on this question, it has been eagerly taken up by every subsequent commentator. Horace began his poetical attempts early, and con
tinued his activity till he had attained a considerable age. intended to conclude his poetical exertions with the first book of the Epistles, which he published in the year 20 B. c., when he was in his forty-fifth year. However, he still occasionally made poems (particularly Odes, iv. 14) in celebration of exploits of members of the reigning family; and at last, long after the publication of the first three books of Odes, he issued a fourth; and besides, by the wish of Augustus, wrote the second book of Epistles. It is thus certain that Horace himself published his poems divided into books; and in regard to the Ars Poetica alone, it is a possible, but not a probable supposition, that it was issued after its author's death. It seems likely, therefore, that all of Horace's poetry which he himself considered worthy of publi cation, has come down to us.
Horace commenced his poetical labours in his youth with satirical poetry, which with him assumed two forms-the satire properly so called, and the more lyrical epode. In the Satires, we find no allusion to the battle of Actium, or to the events immediately preceding; they were therefore finished, and perhaps also published before 32 B. c. It appears, moreover, that the two books were issued together. They were composed on various occasions, partly for the amusement of Maecenas's social circle; and appear to have been intended originally entirely for the entertainment of private friends. Horace read each separately to his friends, as he composed them; afterwards he divided them into books, and published them. They were followed by the book of Epodes. Some of these Epodes were undoubtedly composed long before; but we find in the book allusions to the impending battle between Antony and Octavianus, which held all Italy in trembling anxiety, and also a kind of triumphal song on the victory at Actium; so that the book seems to have been published immediately after it. With the Epodes, Horace closed his satirical poetry. He had gained a name by it, but had also made himself enemies; and in his riper years he acknowledged that it was not enough for a person to mark and satirise the faults of his fellows, but that he must himself attempt to produce something excellent. He brought the hexameter of the Satires to perfection in the Epistles, and changed the simple iambic verse of the Epodes for the strict and artistic metres of the Odes. He finished the first three books of the Odes about the year 20 B. C., and published them together, as appears from the first Ode, and from the last of the third book. The first book of the Epistles was also issued in the year 20 B. c.; and with it, as we have already observed, Horace intended to close his poetical career. But in 17 B. C., at the emperor's request, he wrote the Carmen Saeculare; and soon afterwards at all events before 13 B. c.-he published the fourth
book of the Odes. The second book of Epistles appeared somewhat later still. His Epistle on the Art of Poetry appears to have occupied him last, for it contains observations such as only old age and mature experience could supply, and has especíal reference to the drama; as if the poet intended, in the gradual development of his talents, to advance from lyrical to dramatic poetry.
It may here be asked, What is it that gives Horace his acknowledged value? He is a poet of reality, trained in the world and for the world, full of elegant remarks, pleasant and kindly sentiments, averse to all rough merriment, and impelled by his genius to clothe his observations in the garb of poetry. He is an amiable man and a thorough gentleman; but what makes him a poet is not an inspiration or wild impulse of the soul, but the quiet deliberation which enables him to give his reflections the most beautiful form possible. He works with the greatest care, and strives to attain perfection in his style of representation and expression. He is great, because he thoroughly understands, as an artist, all his immediate relations, and raises the individual to the universal. In his lyric poems he despises the dithyrambic strain of thought; and its want is made up by noble sentiments, and by freedom from faults; for of bombast and want of correctness nothing is to be found in them. Many of his Odes are imitated from the Greek, but he has done it skilfully, and without lavishly following his models; and his poems are even superior to the originals in polish and in unity of thought. He had only one predecessor among the Romans in regard to odes-namely, Valerius Catullus, a poet of great ability and genius, but who wrote very little, and made, as it were, merely a beginning. In regard to epodes, Horace, as it appears, was the only one of the Romans who attempted them. The idea of this kind of poetry he derived from the Greek Archilochus, whose celebrated satirical poems were written in iambics; but their form he himself invented. The name of epodi is taken from the fact, that in the majority of them the first verse is a somewhat long line; then following it, or in addition to it (Ti), one shorter. The epistle, as a kind of poetry, is entirely an invention of Horace. There was nothing like it in ancient literature before his time, and he had but feeble imitators in Claudian and Ausonius, who lived in the fourth century after Christ. His Epistles are really letters, containing personal allusions, and sentiments (for example, Epist. i. 3, and 9) not going beyond private matters. But in others he goes from private affairs to general observations on life and art. The epistle, with Horace's as patterns, has been a favourite species of poetry among the moderns. The satire was not invented by Horace, but he re
modelled it, and was the first to bring it into general notice. This kind of poetry was unknown to the Greeks: its place was supplied by what was called the Old Comedy, with which Horace, in defending his Satires, classes them. The Drama Satyricum was a parody on tragedy. The Latin word satira is not connected with the satyrs or the Drama Satyricum: it comes from the adjective satur, full, heaped up.' Hence satura means originally, 'a heaping up, mixing together of heterogeneous things,' either in offerings made to the gods, or in laws which embraced various subjects per saturam, 'in the gross or slump.' Hence the old Roman poets Ennius and Pacuvius called a poem written in various kinds of verse, and probably of a comic nature, a satura. Lucilius, about the year 120 B.C., retained the name, applying it to a regular hexameter poem, of the class now called satires, which he divided into thirty books. This originated the satire, and Horace expressly mentions Lucilius as its inventor. Horace, however, made an improvement on its character. He gave up personal attacks, and the assailing of particular individuals: for this he made use of his Epodes. In his Satires he lashes not single fools, but fools as a class-folly generally. The satire with him is a didactic poem; it gives instruction in the philosophy of life, and particular persons mentioned are introduced merely as illustrative examples. There are marked features of distinction also between Horace and his successors as Roman satirists, Juvenal and Persius, whose works are still extant. Lucilius had been entirely personal, and principally political; Horace, in another age and under other political circumstances, took only the follies of mankind as his subject: he was worldly-wise, and endeavoured to teach by showing where error lay. Juvenal inveighs against vice with ardour and indignation; Persius was a noble youth, of noble spirit, desirous to regulate life according to the maxims of the Stoic philosophy.. In style, Lucilius was very free; Juvenal is rhetorical and regular; Persius difficult, epigrammatic, and full of obscurity. Horace retains throughout the tone of witty, familiar conversation. It is for this reason that he seems to have given to his work, though including it in the species of poetry called satire, the distinctive name of Sermones (Conversations.') This accounts also both for the fact, that his Satires are generally in the form of entertaining narrative, and for the peculiarities of their language and metre. In style, he keeps as close as possible to that of polished prose; indeed he speaks once of the musa pedestris in his Satires. In regard to metre, he so constructs his hexameters that they are very different from the sounding lines of heroic poetry. It would have been easier for him, as we can partly see from the Epistles, to follow the epic hexameters of Virgil; but he would not do it, that he might preserve the cha