Obrázky na stránke


those of Ennius were quite overshadowed by his epic and dramatic poems.

The writer uniformly recognized as the founder of literary Satire (inventor, Horace, Sat. i. 10. 48) was Gaius Lucilius, who lived from 180 to 103 B.c. He was of equestrian rank and a man of wealth, the maternal uncle of Pompey the Great and a member of the Scipionic circle. His thirty books of Saturae,a written partly in trochaics, elegiacs and iambics, but mostly in hexameters, handled a great variety of topics. Fragments, numbering over 1300 verses, have been preserved, and are accessible in the splendid edition by F. Marx (2 vols., 1904, 1905), which has supplanted all earlier collections. A study of these throws a flood of light upon the important question of the relation of Horace to his model in the satiric field, and we are fortunate in having a very thorough survey of the subject in Lucilius and Horace, a study in the Classical Theory of Imitation, by Professor George Converse Fiske, to which every future editor of Horace will be much indebted, and to which, therefore, we must often refer.

The Satires of Lucilius were largely autobiographical,

quo fit ut omnis votiva pateat veluti descripta tabella vita senis.

(Horace, Sat. ii. 1. 32 ff.), and if they had survived intact we should to-day have

a Cited thus by grammarians but called by Lucilius himself ludus ac sermones (fr. 1039). Note that the latter term sermones (or “ Talks ") was adopted by Horace in his turn as the title of his Satires.

b Published in University of Wisconsin Studies in Language and Literature, Madison, 1920.

[ocr errors]

as to

as complete a picture of the poet's life and times as any modern diarist has given of his. Lucilius portrayed not only himself but also his friends and foes, and at the same time discoursed upon the follies and vices of his day, as well as upon philosophy, religion, literature, and grammar; upon travels and adventures ; upon eating and drinking, and the many incidents of daily life.

In his criticism of others Lucilius was unrestrained, and it is because of this mappnoia or freedom of speech that Horace makes him dependent upon the Old Comedy of Athens (Sat. i. 4. 1 ff.). Lucilius does indeed show an inexhaustible power of invective, but in this he harks back, not so much to Aristophanes,

the vivid and impromptu utterances of the Cynic and Stoic popular preachers." He was, it is

a true, familiar with the whole range of Greek literature, and makes citations from Homer, Aristophanes, Euripides, Menander, and Plato. He alludes to Socrates and Aristippus, and draws freely upon the Academy and later exponents of Greek philosophy. Fiske aims at showing that “Lucilian satire is the product of a highly sophisticated Hellenistic environment combined with the Italian penchant for frank, vigorous, dramatic expression. In his diction, Lucilius was quite unlike Terence, that puri sermonis amator,

for Gallic words, Etruscan words, Syrian words, and words from the Italic dialects, Oscan, Pelignian, Praenestine, Sardinian, and Umbrian, even bits of Greek dialect slang, are found in his pages.”

We must remember both the plebeian origin of satire, and the chief characteristics of Lucilius, as well as the ancient mode of adhering closely to a Fiske, p. 128.

• Fiske, p. 116.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

literary types, if we are to understand some of the features of later satire. Thus its excessive coarseness, especially in Juvenal, is largely a survival from early days, and this element in Horace's Satires, strictly limited to Book I., is due to our poet's following here too closely in the footsteps of Lucilius. So, too, the fierce invective, which Juvenal has taught us to regard as the main feature of satire, is a distinct inheritance from Lucilius.

C. RELATION OF HORACE TO LUCILIUS (In the Satires and Epistles of Horace, it is easy to trace an interesting development in tone and character from the more peculiarly Lucilian compositions to those that are more distinctly independent and Horatian, Thus in the First Book of Satires, the Seventh, which sketches a trial scene before the court of Brutus, is to be closely associated with a satire in Book II. of Lucilius, where Scaevola is accused by Albucius of peculation in the province of Asia. In the Second, dealing with a repulsive subject, not only " the satiric moulding of the material, " but even the vocabulary is distinctly Lucilian.” a Both of these poems, as well as the Eighth, were probably composed before Horace's introduction to Maecenas. The Eighth, however, is the only one of this First Book which shows no obvious connexion. with Lucilius. It is a Priapeum—a late genre in v Roman literature—but treated in satirical fashion.

The famous Fifth and Ninth Satires, though giving personal experiences of the writer, are nevertheless modelled somewhat closely upon Lucilius. Of the a Fiske, pp. 271, 272.

Fifth Porphyrio says, “Lucilio hac satyra aemulatur Horatius,” and Horace's encounter with the bore will lose none of its interest, even when we learn that the Sixth Book of Lucilius contained a similar satire, which was his direct model.a The First Satire handles two themes which were much discussed in the popular philosophy of the Stoics, viz., discontent with one's lot and the love of riches. Both of these figured in more than one satire of Lucilius, the scanty fragments of whose Nineteenth Book furnish sufficient material to enable Fiske to reconstruct the particular Satire which was Horace's model here.b

In the remaining Satires of Horace's First Book, viz., the Third, Fourth, Sixth and Tenth, Horace is on his defence against hostile criticism. He makes a plea for satire as a literary form and tries to prove that it should not be disliked because of its subject matter. It is therefore not without reason that he places the Third next to the Second in the collection, so as to stand in direct contrast with it, for while the Second is coarse, brutal, and extremely personal, the Third, dropping all abuse and invective, shows a kindly and genial tone which must tend to disarm all criticism. The Fourth and Tenth Satires still further show that the poet is casting off the spell of Lucilius. He is ready to criticize the very founder of the satiric


scribendi and to set up standards of his own. Jof In fact,” as Fiske says,

d®“ Horace's Fourth satire may be regarded as an aesthetic and ethical analysis of the Lucilian theory of satire,” while the Tenth, composed under the smart of hostile criticism, is a vigorous polemic directed, not so much against Lucilius himself, as against those critics of Horace's own day, who upheld the standards or lack of standards illustrated by the Satires of Lucilius. It is “only in the general recognition of his predecessor as the originator of the poetical form, and in acknowledgement of his skill in the employment of the harshest weapons of satire,” that Horace here 66 treats Lucilius with consideration.”a And as the Fourth and Tenth Satires are a defence of his art, so the Sixth is a defence of the poet himself, as well as of his noble patron and the circle of friends to which Horace has been admitted. The fragments show that in the Thirtieth Book Lucilius had discussed his own relations to some patron, and had placed the poet's calling above the lure of wealth, as Horace places it above political ambition. If we had the whole poem, we should doubtless find that Horace had drawn a contrast between his own lowly birth, and the aristocratic origin of Lucilius

a Fiske, p. 335.

• Fiske, pp. 246, 247. c“ From no other Satire, as the commentators point out, do we have such an extensive portrait gallery of contemporaries ” (Fiske, p. 270).

d Fiske, p. 278.

In the Second Book of the Satires, published as we have seen in 30 B.C., Horace finds it no longer necessary to make a serious defence of his satire. His position as a writer is now well established, and the controversies underlying Book I. have been settled in his favour. Yet the poet is not wholly

a Hendrickson, Horace and Lucilius, in Studies in Honor of B. L. Gildersleeve, p. 162 (Baltimore, 1902).

0 Fiske, p. 318.

. See Sat. i. 6. 58, 59, where claro natum patre probably refers to Lucilius, who, according to Cichorius, had estates near Tarentum. Cf. Fiske, p. 320.

« PredošláPokračovať »