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allow; and the same remark may be extended to the xvith Epode, Altera jam teritur.... which from similarity of subject might be expected to stand in conjunction with the v11th, were it not (as we have seen in other cases) for the sake of variety, perhaps, kept separate.
Both those Epodes, in any thing like allusion to the leaders of the great political parties, are obscure now, from the Poet's studied delicacy at the time: as long as any hope remained of healing the breach, Horace was not the man to aggravate the discord. But when matters had come to an open rupture, in that Epode, 1. Ibis Liburnis... he tes tifies at once his personal devotedness to Mæcenas, and his earnest desire to accompany his Patron to the scene of approaching conflict: and in the 1xth Epode, Quando repostum... on the first news of Cæsar's victory at Actium, Horace naturally addresses Mæcenas in a strain of the most delighted gratulation, yet even then (v. 29) not naming Antony, though he clearly alludes to him; while the disgraceful phenomenon of (Cleopatra's) gauze-curtain, in a scene like that, is represented as moving the indignation even of foreigners to forsake such a leader;
Ep. 1x. 15–18. Interque signa turpe militaria
Sol aspicit conopium.
Ad hoc frementes verterunt bis mille equos
It was about a year (B. c. 30) after that memorable engagement, when the affair at Alexandria had left Cæsar without a rival, that Horace broke out in his final effusion of joy, 1 C. XXXVII. Nunc est bibendum ..., connected with that eventful epoch.
Now that we are advancing from the Epodes to the Odes, it is lucky that Horace in his Epistle, Prisco si credis ... to Mæcenas, (XIX.) de suis et Poetastrorum sui sæculi scriptis, has himself afforded a delicate clue for the transition.
After asserting (vv. 21-25, recently adduced) his claim
to originality in having first adopted Parian Iambics as a Latin poet, he proceeds to defend himself for borrowing an old metre instead of attempting to devise a new one. “Well: and had not Sappho blended her song with the measure of Archilochus? Had not Alcæus likewise partly availed himself of that Poet's metre?"-Alcæus, whom it was Horace's greatest pride to acknowledge as his Master in Lyric verse. In that department also (vv. 32-34) he represents himself as the first adventurer, but content to have his original productions (immemorata, elsewhere, 4 C. Ix. 3. non ante vulgatas per artes,) privately read by the intelligent few: he was too shy or too proud for public recitation and the common modes of courting popularity.
Ac, ne me foliis ideo brevioribus ornes,
Quod timui mutare modos et carminis artem :
Hunc ego, non alio dictum prius ore, Latinus
In our next transition, that from the Odes to the Epistles, is it at all surprising, that Horace, when, satisfied with his laurels, he had expressly taken leave of the Lyric Muse at the close of the third book, should adopt the Epistolary form of writing, if any temptation afterwards arose to resume his pen? Now, on the occasions which would frequently arise for communicating with his friends by letter, nothing could be more congenial to the habits of a Poet, than to prefer verse (and that the commonest) as the vehicle: and with Horace in particular, his Odes on various subjects addressed to individuals whom he loved and esteemed, naturally preluded to the more serious and discursive style of argument which marks the Epistles to his friends.
Under these circumstances, and especially considering the
great change of age and character, which the Author had undergone in that interval betwixt the last date of his Satires and the first of his Epistles, the wonder is that any idea should have occurred to a Scholar like MORGENSTERN of writing a formal treatise De Satiræ atque Epistolæ Horatianæ discrimine (Lipsiæ, 1801.); when perhaps, unless from the Epistles immediately following the Satires as hitherto published, even he, aware as he was of Bentley's arrangement, would hardly have thought either of contrast or of comparison between them. Unquestionably, however, Morgenstern has rendered one great service to the cause advocated in these pages: no reader of his elegant and generally judicious Essay will ever again be misled by the juxtaposition of the Satires and Epistles to consider the latter as a continuation merely of the former. That source of error and confusion is now finally closed.
To go on with the real succession of Horace's works here recommended to the Scholar's notice; not only, as it has been well observed, " is the writer of the Epistles "—from the “moral turn" of the composition generally" discerned in the Odes:" but more particularly we may discover also somewhat of the same dexterity with which his Odes are often concluded, in the abrupt but happy conclusion of many of his Epistles. In both classes of writing Horace seldom seeks or regards any plan of regular termination. After saying what he principally thought of saying when he set out, whenever he finds himself arrived at some point which supplies a piquant or pleasant mode of dropping the subject, there he suddenly slips away from his reader; leaving him on the one hand to recall in quick review the train of images which had just been passing before his mind, or on the other, to wind up the argument in its practical inference for himself, with the less of offence given to his vanity and self-love.
To exemplify all this by adducing the passages at full, would be a work of labour. The Odes abound with endings
where the great felicity of art is shown in leaving the reader con la bocca dolce: and for Epistles which end hastily with some passing simile or some quaint turn of thought, or with such apparent abruptness as to elicit the comment-deest conclusio,-it may be sufficient to refer to the following, 1 E. 1, VI, VII, XVII; 2 E. II; and that to the Pisos.
The Odes and Epistles, it has been truly said, when once placed in the just order of time, may be fairly left to themselves for illustration, as constituting the poetical at once and personal history of Horace. But then the localities of the bard are presumed to be already ascertained and fixed without that essential proviso, even the chronological arrangement of his books would fail to exhibit many proprieties and delicacies, entwined in the local circumstances of the party addressing or the party addressed. Is it then too much to arrogate, that the labour now for the first time bestowed on distinguishing the three several residences of Horace, has laid the ground-work at least for a clearer understanding of many of his writings, than ever engaged the speculation of any commentator before?
In this restitution of Horace, at first sight, the greatest revulsion is likely to arise on seeing the third and fourth books of Odes here separated by the first book of Epistles. But then the lapse of several years between the third book of Odes and the fourth has been demonstrated as necessary to reconcile the moral and political phenomena, in the mean while produced, to anything like the probable course of human events.
Fortunately, too, the publication of the fourth book of Odes, from many striking points in it, seems to have excited a very early attention. The tradition of Suetonius, for instance, that Augustus felt a strong desire for that high
tribute of fame which a Poet of such talent might confer, carries with it every reasonable evidence of truth, as to the origin of the Poems alluded to.
Scripta quidem ejus usque adeo probavit, mansuraque perpetuo opinatus est, ut non modo Sæculare carmen componendum injunxerit, sed et Vindelicam victoriam Tiberii Drusique privignorum suorum; eumque coëgerit propter hoc, tribus Carminum Libris ex longo intervallo quartum addere.
Other considerations too may here deserve our regard. The very mixture of articles, in matter certainly baser, if not in execution, compared with so much magnificence in the principal Odes of the 1vth book, is enough to indicate something extraordinary. In the few words of Gesner indeed prefixed to that book of Odes, the whole secret is thus briefly told.
Mihi sic videbatur: cum semel placuisset novum librum edere, in eum conjectum esse quidquid ad manus erat.
But it may be asked: on what ground is the Carmen Sæculare in this arrangement entitled to precede the fourth book of Odes? Since Bentley (u. s. ¶ 5) himself mentions them in a different order, and what is more, ad Car. Sæc. v. 16, distinctly calls the sixth Ode of that book, Dive, quem proles...., "quasi præfatio (and very truly) et commendatio" to the Secular Ode itself. I answer thus. From the very nature and object of that great occasional poem, it must have been separately published in the year (B. c. 17) assigned to the celebration of the Ludi Sæculares; whereas of the fourth book of Odes, from the peculiarity of its constituent parts, there could be no collective publication till some two or three years after that date.
Need I here bestow a moment's notice on the pomp and conceit with which, out of various lyric pieces of the Poet, Sanadon, and after him Anchersen, have arbitrarily constructed a drama quoddam sæculare of their own. Justly, yet mildly enough, is their audacious absurdity, in thus