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struction. In Persius the characters are always shifting, always fading away into an impersonal Tu. This may be partly due to the interval which he allowed to elapse between the periods of composition; but it is possible that he recognized the limitation of his own powers, that his satires were intended to be a knotted thong, and not a smooth horsewhip. This piecemeal composition, be it the result of poverty or of economy, makes Persius the very author for ‘Elegant Extracts. Hence it is not hard to defend him, as it is not hard to defend Seneca, and on similar grounds. Single verses ring in the ear for months and years. What line, for instance, more quoted than

Tecum habita : noris quam sit tibi curta supellex ? What line sinks deeper than the sombre verse,

Virtutem videant intabescantque relicta ? Single scenes, whether of dialogue or of description, possess every requirement of dramatic vividness. On every page of the commentary we call him bookish, and yet his pictures stand out from the canvas with a boldness which makes us concede that his books did not keep him from seeing, if they did not teach him to see, what was going on around him. What is not a little remarkable in so young a man is the honesty of his painting. A homekeeping youth, Persius gives us living pictures of what he saw at home, whether at Rome, at Volaterrae, or at Luna; in the school-room, in the lecture - room, in the court of justice, on the wharf, at the country cross-roads. He has watched the carpenter stretching his line, the potter whirling his wheel, the physician adjusting his scales. He has heard the horse-laugh of the burly centurion, and shivered; has heard, with a young Stoic sneer, a cooing and mincing declaimer. He knows all about ink and paper and parchment and reeds; he has not outlived

his knowledge of marbles, and one might fancy that the lustral spittle of his aunty was still fresh on his brow. The fact that there is no breeziness about his poems, nothing that tells us of the liberal air beyond, is another sign of his truthfulness. His life is like his own ever retreating bay' of the Sixth Satire, with the cliffs of Stoic philosophy between him and the wintry sea without. Arretium he knows-it was not so far from Volaterrae—and Bovillae, in the neighborhood of which he had a farm, and Luna, and the world of Rome; but the rest of his geography is in the inane. Horace, on the other hand, ambles all over Italy, and treats us every now and then to a foreign tour with the air of a man who had run across the sea in his time; and even if he who takes us in his sweeping flight from Cadiz to Ganges be not the real Juvenal, the undisputed Juvenal has a far wider geographical outlook than Persius. This very limitation is one of the best signs of the artistic worth of Persius, and justifies the regret that he had not made himself the Crabbe of Roman poetry.

We have seen that Persins was not slavishly dependent on Horace, assimilated the material that he derived from him, raised the worldly wisdom of Horace to the ideal standard of the Stoic, and followed a different canon of dramatic art. To this we may add that Persius, with a certain aristocratic disdain of conventionalities, goes deeper into the current of vulgar diction than the freedman's son dared. Persius felt that he could afford to talk slang, and he talked it; and the commentators have found it necessary to hold Petronius in the left hand, as well as Horace in the right.

We now proceed to yet another formal element, which is no less significant to the close student of antique literature. The Roman handling of the hexameter was artificial in the extreme. Reasoning backward from the Latin hexameter, scholars have been prone to transfer the conscious symbolism of the Roman poets to the Greek originals; and if they had stopped, say, at Apollonius Rhodius, they might have been justified, for in the later Greek poets something of the sort is not to be denied. But the healthier period of Greek poetic art was lifted far above such toying adaptations of sound to sense as commentators still discover in Homer when they enlarge on the symbolism of this or that spondaic verse, the beauty of this or that combination of diaeresis and caesura. A recent comparison of Homer with his successors has shown that, of all the spondaic verses in Homer, scarcely one in a hundred can be traced to any picturesque' motive, and the rapid movement of so many five-dactyl hexameters is simply the normal pace of the verse.

When we come to Latin metres, however, we must take a different standard, and recognize a conscious modification of the Greek rule. The Ovidian pentameter of the best period —to cite a familiar instance—is subject to minute laws, which are transgressed at every turn in Greek elegiac poetry, and the different ideals of Persius and Horace are distinctly traceable in their treatment of the hexameter. Horace, as is well known, broke the lofty movement of the hexameter to suit the easy gait of the satire. Persius is more rhetorical than Horace, and, although he admits elision with as great freedom as his master, his verse has a more mechanical structure than the verse of Horace, and many of the conversational peculiarities of the Horatian hexameter are much less conspicuous in Persius. Horace weakens the caesura, employs a great number of spondaic words, and neglects the variety at which the epic aims; and perhaps the trained ear of a determined scholar might hear in the jog-trot of his satiric rhythms the hoofs of his bob-tailed mule and the lazy flapping of his portmanteau. Persius, on the other hand, hammers out his thoughts in a far more orthodox cadence. Comparing the first six hundred and fifty verses of the first book of the satires of Horace with the six hundred and fifty verses of Persius, we find that more than eight per cent. have five spondees against less than five per cent. in Persius. The so-called third trochee or feminine caesura of the third foot is found in one of ten of Horace's hexameters, and only in one of twenty-six in Persius-a low proportion even for a Latin poet. Still more striking is the rare use which Persius makes of the masculine caesura of the sixth foot, with its consequent monosyllabic close. Aside from all idle symbolism, this arrangement, which is comparatively common in Horace, gives the verse a certain familiar roughness, especially where the final word forces a union with the following line. These diversities can not be accidents, and serve to show that, although Persius might weave himself a garment from the dyed threads of Horatian diction, he was not bold enough to wear the discincta tunica of Horace's Muse. But we must not forget to be just, and it is only fair to add that such a garb would have been as inappropriate to his severe and lofty, though narrow spirit, as the Coan vestments of Ovid’s ‘kept goddess '—if we may borrow the déesse entretenue of Heinrich Heine.

A comparison of Persius with Juvenal — a favorite theme with editors-does not enter into the plan of this study. It suffices for our present purpose to note that the practiced rhetorician of the time of Trajan could not shared Quintilian's admiration of his youthful pred

The parallel passages which have been cited belong to the common stock of satirical strokes or to the thesaurus.of proverbial phrases. Who can believe that Juvenal took usque adeo from Persius, or borrowed from him the familiar rara avis? There are three or four touches in the Tenth Satire which recall some of the more striking expressions of Persius; but Ribbeck's objections to the genuineness of this sophistic declamation, if not convincing, are at least sufficiently well founded to make us pause in citing them. In moral earnestness, Persius is as far superior to Juvenal as he is inferior to him in the rhetorical treatment of his themes; and so long as men will take into consideration this moral element, which modern critics are prone to eliminate from works of art, so long as they will say pectus est quod satiricum facit as well as quod theologum, Persius will command a personal esteem which does not attach to the satires of Juvenal. The ingenious theory of Boissier, that the great satirist of the Caesars was a snubbed snob, brings out in still more striking contrast the figure of Persius as the reserved provincial aristocrat, and may be worthy of a more ample development than it has yet received. But Juvenal is a dangerous theme. As M. Martha has admirably observed, Juvenal is an author whose declamatory tone has infected his eulogists; and those who are not carried away by an admiration which disfigures while it exalts,' may readily be tempted into the opposite extreme. Let us turn, then, to other matters which illustrate more directly the character of our author's compositions. And first a word or two of Stoicism.


With the strong practical tendencies of the Romans, the only systems of Greek philosophy that ever found large acceptance at Rome were the Epicurean and the Stoic; and in the Stoic school the only doctrines that commanded much attention were the ethic. The subtle dialectic of the Stoics, of which we have some unjoyous specimens in Cicero's philosophical compilations, was not

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