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happen, since he is of humbler origin, lest he should be a sub. ject of envy to you, instead of you being so to him.'

25. Quum bene : the purport of the whole passage is this: Tiine will bring hidden things to light, and will bury the conspicuous in oblivion. Though you now glitter in the walks of fashion, you must soon go where Numa and Anchus have gone.

31. Virtutem verba putes : do you think virtue consists merely of words?

34. Totidem altera : 6 another thousand talents.' 37. Regina pecunia : “sovereign money.' 38. Ac... Venusque : “Persuasion and Venus grace the man of wealth.'

51. Trans pondera : i. e. who may remind you to extend your hand in salutation across the loaded wagons, &c. in the crowded streets.

52. Hic... Velind : suppose the slave to jog his master, and to say, 'this man has great influence in the Fabian tribe, and that one in the Velinian.'

56. Lucet : “it is daylight.'
61. Crudi tumidique : with stomachs full and overloaded.'

62. Cærite cerâ : the inhabitants of Cære, having been admitted to all the privileges of Roman citizens, forfeited them by a revolt. They afterwards submitted, and received the rights of citizenship, except the right of voting, of which they were deprived. When any one afterwards forfeited his right of voting, he was said to be placed in the register of the Carites.


On retiring into the country, Horace had promised his patron that he would return in five days. But after spending the whole month of August, he writes this epistle to Mæcenas, by way of apology for breaking his engagement. The natural and easy manner in which Horace excuses himself to his illustrious friend, shows that it is possible to enjoy the favor of the great without sacrificing one's independence, or descending to servility.

2. Sextilem : the Romans began their year in March, the sixth month from which was called Sextilis. Afterwards it took the name of Augustus, mensis Augustus ; as that before it did of Julius Cæsar, mensis Julius.

5. Ficus prima: the hot, unhealthy season, with its fatal effects, is briefly and beautifully expressed by the ripening of the fig, and the funeral procession.

6. Designatorem : the person who had the care of marshalling funeral processions was called designator, 'the undertaker.'

12. Contractus : snug in his apartment,' he will indulge in reading. There are various glosses on this passage.


14. Calaber : i. e. any rustic host. Horace was himself a Calabrian, and this circumstance increases the humor of the following dialogue.

16. Benignè : 'I thank you kindly.' 21. Hæc ...

annis: i. e. this profuse generosity always has, and always will make men ungrateful.

22. Vir ... paratus : “a good and wise man says that he is prepared for the deserving ; i. e. he is prepared to bestow favors on those who deserve them. Paratus in the nominative is put with the infinitive by a Greek construction, for se paratum

The reference is to Mæcenas. 23. Æra lupinis : coins from lupins. In theatrical exhibitions, lupins were so done up as to resemble coins, and used instead of them.

24. Dignum ... merentis : 'I too, as the praise of my patron deserves, will show myself worthy of his favors.

25. Reddes forte latus : i. e. you will restore my youthful vigor, the black locks that shaded my short forehead, &c.

28. Tenuis nitedula: "a lean field mouse.'
29. In cumeram frumenti : into a basket of corn.'

33. Hac resigno: i. e. if this fable be applied to me, I give up all your favors.

34. Satur altilium: when surfeited with dainties.'-Nec otia ... muto : 'nor would exchange my repose, and the freedom enjoyed with it, for the wealth of Arabia.' 38. Inspice

... lætus : "try me, and see if I can cheerfully resign what you have given me.'

47. Carinas : the Carine was a part of the city where Philip and other distinguished Romans had their residence. Though not very far from the Forum, it seemed to be so to the counsellor now advanced in years.

49. Adrasum : smoothly shaved.' 52. Unde domo : i.e. Romanus an hospes ; quânam ex familia. 56. Et properare: i. e. knowing both when to hasten, and when to relax; when to gain, and when to enjoy the fruits of his industry.

61. Benignè: "I thank your master kindly. Vateius thus civilly declines the invitation of Philip.

64. Tunicato popello : “to the poorer sort of people.'-Vilia scruta: these words mean, old clothes, old iron, and any trash of this kind.

67. Quod non ... eum : i. e. that he had not seen him first.

83. Sulcos ... mera : "he talks of nothing but furrows and vineyards.'—Mera : solely,' only.'


This epistle is addressed to Celsus Albinovanus, the secretary of Tiberius, who is mentioned Book I. Ep. III. 15. Horace describes himself as laboring under hypochondriac affections, inconstant, contradictory, and unreasonable.

1. Celso ... Neronis : the construction is, O Musa rogata, refer Celso Albinovano, comiti scribæque Neronis, gaudere et gerere rem benè. This is an imitation of the Greek form of salutation, χαίρειν και ευπράττειν: “give joy and success.'

3. Minantem : promising,' intending.'

10. Cur ... veterno : because they strive to rouse me from this fatal lethargy. Cur is equivalent to ideo, quòd. Doer.

12. Ventosus : inconstant,'changeful.' 13. Rem gerat : ut scriba apud Neronem.

14. Ut placeat juveni : how he stands with the youthful prince,' Tiberius Claudius Nero.Cohorti : 'to the courtiers,' about the prince.

17. Ut tu ... feremus : the poet bids the muse to remind his friend Celsus, that their future intimacy will depend upon himself: if in his high station, he does not forget his old friend, neither will that friend forget him: 'as thou bearest thy high fortune, Celsus, so will we conduct ourselves towards thee.'


This is a letter of introduction and commendation to Tiberius Claudius Nero in behalf of Septimius, the poet's particular friend. The great delicacy necessary on such an occasion is manifestly felt by Horace, who pleads the importunity of his friend, as an excuse for what he does, with modesty and seeming reluctance.

1. Septimius . . . facias: 'O Claudius, Septimius alone, forsooth, knows how high I stand in your esteem.'

6. Quid . . . ipso : he sees and understands how much influence I have with you much better than I do myself.'

10. Sic ego ... præmia : so I, to avoid the appearance of a greater crime (unwillingness to serve a friend), have taken upon myself a little modest assurance. Descendi expresses his unwillingness, and that he did not at first intend to do it.


There are few persons insensible to the pleasures of the country. In Horace the love of rural retirement became a kind of passion; and the praises he bestows in this epistle on a country life, and on contentment with one's lot, are pleasing and instructive,

5. Vetuli notique columbi : sc. ut : “ like a pair of old and constant doves.'

8. Quid quæris : what would you more ?"

10. Sacerdotis fugitivus : the priest's slave, tired of the cakes and delicacies offered at the altar, runs away from his master that he may get a little common bread. So our poet would retreat from the luxuries and artificial pleasures of the city to the simple and natural enjoyments of the country.

13. Ponendæque ... primùm : "and if in the first place a situation is to be selected for building a house.'

19. Deteriùs ... lapillis : “does a verdant carpet of grass and flowers smell less sweetly or look less beautiful than a tesselated pavement of Libyan marbles ?'

24. Naturam ... victrix : you will banish nature by violence, yet she will always return, and, victorious, will insensibly triumph over unreasonable disgusts.'— Furcâ : 'with a pitchfork; a figure derived from rural employments.

26. Non ... falsum : the merchant, who has not skill to distinguish the fleeces that drink the dye of Aquinum from the real Sidonian purple, will not suffer a more sure, or more deeply affecting loss, than he who cannot distinguish falsehood from truth.' At Aquinum a dye was made in imitation of the far-famed purple of Tyre and Sidon.

31. Pones invitus : "you will resign it with reluctance.'

32. Licet ... amicos : •beneath an humble roof one may enjoy life better than kings and the favorites of kings.'

49. Fanum putre Vacuna : Vacūna was the goddess of ease and leisure, and had an old temple in the Sabine country, not far from Horace's country seat.-Putre : vetustate obsoletum.

50. Excepto : sc. eo ; except this,' that you are absent.


It is not known who Bullatius was, to whom this letter was addressed. But he is supposed to have retired to Asia when the last quarrel was breaking out between Augustus and Antony, that he might not again behold the horrors of a civil war. When it was ended, our poet invites him to return to Rome; and gives such excellent maxims as might be useful to a person too much inclined to despondency. Sanadon.

1. Quid ... Lesbos : how does Chios appear to you, and famed Lesbos, O Bullatius ?'

5. Attalicis ... una: 'one of the cities ruled by Attalus.'

7. Desertior ... vicus : sc. nunc ; i. e. though now but a deserted village ; it was once a very celebrated city.

14. Ut fortunatam ... vitam : as fully completing a happy life.'

17. Incolumi ... solstitio : 'to a sound mind Rhodes and 'fair Mityléne are about the same as a great coat in summer.'

21. Romæ : i. e. when you are at Rome, let Samos, Chios and Rhodes be praised.

25. Nam si ... aufert : ' for if reason and prudence only, and no situation, however commanding its prospect over the expanded ocean, can dispel our cares.'


This epistle is addressed to the same person to whom Horace addressed the XXIV th Ode of the first Book. He there rallies Iccius with some humor on turning soldier, and abandoning his literary and philosophical pursuits. He now ridicules his love of money, blended with those pursuits.

1. Fructibus Agrippæ Siculis : Iccius was, at the time this epistle was addressed to him, agent and superintendent of the estates of Agrippa in Sicily; an office of no trifling emolument.

7. In medio positorum : 'in the midst of abundance spread out before you.'

12. Miramur si: i. e. can we wonder that the fields and crops of Democrítus became the prey of flocks, while his mind was searching for the hidden causes of things; when you, amidst so corrupt an age, where the love of gain spreads like a contagion, withdraw your mind from all low inquiries, and employ yourself in the sublime study of nature? This is probably irony, for the poet's amusement.

21. Seu pisces, seu portum : a humorous allusion to the doctrines of Pythagoras, who taught that the soul, in its transmigrations, passed into plants as well as animals.

22. Utere ... ultro defer : "give a kind réception to Pompeius Grosphus; and if he request anything, grant it readily.'

24. Vilis ... deest : «the harvest of friends to be acquired is cheap, when good men need anything.' Because they can be gained by a trifling favor, wanting nothing but what is just and honorable.

28. Accepit genibus minor : has received on bended knees.'


It seems our poet had intrusted several rolls of his writings, volumina, to his friend Vinius Asella, to be carried to Augustus, But he was anxious that they should be presented at a proper time, when he might not be employed by more weighty concerns ; and that they should not, through too much zeal on the part of his friend, be urged upon the emperor unseasonably.

2. Signata : he wished them to be delivered sealed, that they might not be the subject of impertinent curiosity to the courtiers

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