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4. Odiumque ... minister : 'and by too much zeal bring odium on my works, as an officious agent.'

8. Asina : Horace humorously reminds Asella not to stumble awkwardly with his budget into Cæsar's presence; lest the courtiers should make a joke of him, and of his surname,

which signifies a little ass.

12. Sub alâ : under your arm.'

14. Ut ... lana: as drunken Pyrrhia carries her bottoms, or balls, of stolen yarn.' A character in a comedy by Titinnius.

15. Conviva' tribulis : “a tribe-guest. This word signifies a guest of humble condition, perhaps from the country, who, being invited to an entertainment by a more wealthy individual of the same tribe, proceeds thither barefoot, with his slippers and cap under his arm. He carries his slippers,or sandals, that they may be clean when he enters the house of his kinsman, and his cap, as is usually supposed, to wear home in case of rain, or to protect his head from the dampness of the night.


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This epistle is addressed by Horace to his steward in the country, showing him the folly of preferring a life in the city to one in the country. He says this preference arises from inconstancy of mind, and a love of change. For this steward had been transferred, at his own earnest request, from Rome to his present situa-' tion.

2. Quem . .. patres : which, though you despise it, has five dwelling houses upon it, and was wont to send five good senators to Varia.' This estate was within the jurisdiction of Varia, where the most respectable commoners convened to consult on public affairs. Some commentators understand by patres, heads of families who went to Varia occasionally about their own affairs.

10. Ego: sc. dico.
14. Tu mediastinus : "you when a slave of the lowest rank.'
19. Tesqua : “wilds.'

22. Et quòd ... uvâ : "and because this farm of mine produces pepper and frankincense rather than the grape.'

28. Disjunctum : when, unyoked.'
32. Quem : sc. me :-tenues togæ : 'fine garments.'
35. Sed ... ludum : “but not to set bounds to indulgence.'
38. Moventem : sc. me videntes.

41. Calo : this means a slave of the lowest order, that is employed in bringing wood and water, and performing other similar offices in a family.

43. Quam ... artem : 'I shall decide that each of you pursue contentedly the business he understands.'


Antonius Musa, physician to Augustus, had recommended the cold bath to Horace, who practised cold bathing in Clusium and Gabi. But finding the winter too severe, he resolved to go to some warmer climate, and try sea-bathing. For this reason, he writes to his friend Numonius Vala, who had been using the baths at Velia and Salernum, to give him some account of the climate, people, accommodations, &c. The beginning of this epistle is very much transposed and confused. We must look as far as the twenty-fourth verse before we can get the natural arrangement of the thoughts.

1. Quæ sit hiems : before taking in this, it seems necessary to bring in the twenty-fourth verse : Par est te scribere nobis, ac nos accredere tibi, quæ sit hiems Veliæ; i. e. you must write to me, Vala, what kind of winter you have at Velia, and what the climate of Salernum ; what is the character of the inhabitants, and how the roads are ; for Antonius Musa assures me that the waters of Baiæ are useless to me.

3. Illis : i. e. to the people at Baiæ, for slighting their warm baths.

5. Sanè . . . gemit : indeed the village is vexed that their myrtle groves and sulphur baths should be neglected, so long famed for driving away maladies settling on the nerves.'

13. Sed ...in ore : 'but to horses the ear is in the bitted mouth.' 21. Tractus uter. apros: i. e. utra regio, Veliæne an Salerni ? which region produces hares in greatest abundance, and which wild boars.'

23. Pinguis Phæarque: “plump, and a real Phæacian;' i. e. similis Alcinoo luxurioso regi Phæacum.

32. Timidis : these are they who, fearing the slanderous disposition of Mænius, entertained him in hope of escaping his calumnies.

35. Scilicet . . . Bestius : "forsooth, like the reformer Bestius, he would declare all the while that the bellies of gluttons ought to be branded with a hot iron.'—Nepotum : (of gluttons. The Greeks and Romans branded the belly of a gluttonous slave ;

the feet of a fugitive ; the hands of a thief--and the tongue of a babbler. Dacier.

39. Bona : "their estates.'
41. Nimirum ... sum : in fact, just such a one am I.'


We may suppose that Quinctius' had rallied Horace on the extent and magnificence of his country-seat, that had charms sufficient to detain him so long from Rome. The poet, after giving a description of his residence, falls into some moral reflections which may have a bearing on the character of Quinctius, and be an offset to what he had before written to Horace.

1. Ne perconteris . . . ulmo : “that you may not have the trouble of inquiring, most excellent Quinctius, whether my farm supplies its owner with grain, or enriches him with olives, fruits, pasturage, or vines covering the elms.' 4. Loquaciter : at full length.'

14. Infirmo ... alvo : and excellent for disorders of the head and the stomach.”

17. Quod audis : what you have the reputation of being.'

19. Sed vereor ... beatum : 'but I fear that you rely more on the judgment of others about yourself

, than you do on your own; and that you think a man may be happy without being wise and good.'

23. Manibus unctis : as the Romans used no forks in eating, their fingers would of course be liable to become greasy. The idea is, I fear you will conceal your disease till trembling shall seize you when eating:

25. Si quis ... possis : "should any one speak of battles fought by you by land and sea, and soothe your willing ears with words like these, “ May Jupiter, who consults both your good and the city's, keep it doubtful whether the people be more anxious for your welfare, or you for theirs,” you would perceive that these are praises which belong to Augustus. The apparently accidental manner of introducing the praises of Augustus is not the least beautiful feature in this passage.

31. Respondesne tuo nomine : do you answer to this character as your own?

36. Idem si, &c: the construction is, si idem clamet me esse furem, neget me esse pudicum, &c.

41. Consulta patrum : 'the decrees of the senate.'

49. Renuit negat atque Sabellus : 'I object to and deny that.' Horace pleasantly styles himself Sabellus : inasmuch as country people allow their slaves to take greater liberty than they have in the city. The situation of atque after negat is unusual and forced ; and it has given occasion to various conjectures.

60. Labra movet : i. e. after addressing Janus or Apollo, with a loud voice, he whispers his prayer to Laverna, fearing some one else will hear him. Laverna was the protectress of thieves and impostors.


Horace gives his young friend Sceva some instructions respecting his conduct at court; that he may preserve his integrity, and pass with honor and happiness through that scene of danger and temptation. He shows that an active life, the life of a man determined to deserve and secure the favor and esteem of the great by his own merit, is infinitely more honorable than a life spent in indolence, without emulation or ambition. He cau-tions him against asking favors.

10. Fefellit : sc. lucem publicam ; i. e. latuit in obscuro ; "has escaped public notice.'

12. Accedes siccus ad unctum : i. e. you will make your court to the great.

14. Si sciret ... notat : if he (Diogenes), who censures me, knew how to ingratiate himself with kings, he would despise his plate of pot-herbs. This is the reply of Aristippus, to the remark of Diogenes, that “if Aristippus could dine contentedly on pot-herbs, he would not seek the society of kings."

19. Scurror ... mihi : “I play the buffoon for my own interest,' i. e. to the great.

21. Officium fucio: 'I but do my duty,' that I may ride on horseback and live at the expense of a king; i. e.


pay my court to sovereignty, which we were born to obey; while you are a slave to the people.-Tu ... egentem : "you beg the meanest of things, and are inferior to the giver, however low; while at the same time you boast of wanting nothing.'

25. Quem ... velat : whom obstinacy clothes with a coarse garment as thick as two.'

36. Non cuivis ... Corinthum : this is an old proverb; meaning that the rich only could bear the expense of visiting Corinth.

44. Plus poscente ferent : shall obtain more than one who demands.

48. Succinit ... quadra : “another subjoins, “and the bount shall be divided, and a quarter given to me.” Quadra literally means a quadrant, or a quarter of a round cake, cut from the centre to the circumference.

59. Planum : “a vagrant,' that had before practised imposition, though his leg be at last actually broken.

62. Quære peregrinum : ask one who does not know you.'


This epistle contains the advice of Horace to Lollius, a young gentleman in whose happiness our poet took much interest'; and who was yet inexperienced in the wiles and temptations of a courtier's life. He had already written one letter to him to guard him against some mistakes that might be fatal to his virtue.

9. Virtus . reductum : virtue holds a middle place between these vices, and is distinct from each.'

10. Imi derisor lecti : the jesters and buffoons usually took the lowest of the three couches at table.

11. Horret : «regards ;'observes.'

15. Riratur ... caprina : this is an old proverb, meaning to wringle about trifles.

16. Scilicet ... sordet : i. e. forsooth, may I not be believed first ? and may I not speak my mind without restraint ? I would disdain life on other conditions.

24. Dires ... horret : "his rich friend, though ten times more deep in vice, hates and despises him.'

27. Plus ... vult : wishes him to be more wise and more virtuous than he is himself.'

35. Nummos alienos pascet : ‘he will live on money bired of others.'

36. Thrar: i. e. he will at last turn gladiator, or he will be hired to drive some gardener's horse to market loaded with herbs.

40. Nle : i. e, dives amicus.

42. Donec ... lyra : until the lyre of Amphion, hated by his austere brother, was abandoned.' See Class. Dict.

56. Sub duce : sc. Augusto. 58. Ac, ne

abstes : i. e. that you may not seem to withdraw yourself, and stand aloof unjustifiably.

63. Lacus, Hadria: “a pond served for the Hadriatic.' 78. Theonino : Theon was a slanderous fellow.

82. Dulcis ... amici : the possession of a powerful friend seems desirable to those who have never made the trial.'

92. Inter cuncta leges : above all things you will read.' 100. Gelidus Digentia . : . bibit : "the cool streani Digentia, which flows through Mandela.

107. Sed satis ... aufet: 'but it is enough to ask of Jove the things which he alone gives and takes away.'


This epistle is a satire on the poets of our author's time, who, under pretence that Bacchus was the god of poetry, and that the best ancient bards loved wine, imagined they might. equal their merit by drinking as freely. Horace laughs at such ridiculous imitation, and rallies the methodical dullness of their compositions. Dacier.

1. Chatino : Cratinus was excessively fond of wine ; so much so, that Aristophănes says, he died of grief at seeing a hogshead broken and the wine running out.

5. Ferè : i. e. plerumque.

8. Forum ... severis : let the forum and the prætor's court, established by Libo, be the lot of the sober ; but I forbid them to attempt poetry ;' i. e. let serious business be performed by the temperate. The prætor's court was near the puteal. This we understand to be the decree of Bacchus.

15. Rupit Iarbitam: the poet means to say that Iarbīta burst with envy and vexation in attempting to rival the wit and eloquence of Timagěnes the rhetorician.

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