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18. Cuminum: Dioscorides says that cumin will make persons pale who wash in, or drink, a decoction of it.

23. Parios : called Parian from Paros, the country of Archilochus, the inventor of iambic verse.

28. Temperat ... dispar: “the masculine and vigorous Sappho tempers her verses by the measures of Archilochus, and Alcæus tempers his; but, differing in subjects and arrangement, he neither seeks a father-in-law, &c.

30. Socerum : sc. ut Archilochus Lycamben oblevit.
31. Sponse : see Epode VI. 13. note.
36. Premat extra limen : abuses them abroad.'

40. Pupita: this refers to the stages on which teachers (grammaticæ tribus) caused their pupils to recite the poems of such writers as they were pleased with, or wished to bring into notice. Horace says he did not court their favor, and they resented it by slighting his writings.

42. Pudet recitare : "I am ashamed to recite :' it was customary in the time of Horace for literary men who aspired to the reputation of critics, and desired to give a tone to the literature of the day, to open a kind of auditory, where authors read or rehearsed their productions. These gentlemen, whom our poet styles “Grammarians,” then criticised them, and passed sentence

upon them.

43. Rides ... pulcher : "you are laughing at us,” says one of these grammarians,' “ and reserve these writings for the ears of majesty: for, fine in your own eyes, you imagine that you alone distil poetic sweets.”—Jovis : i. e. of Auguztus. Manare is used actively. 44. Fidis enim: "for you suppose.

47. Displicet ... posco: 'I do not like the place of contest; I ask for a truce.' Horace pretends very modestly to ask for time to correct his verses, before they were brought before the critics on the stage.


When about to publish a volume of his poetry, Horace prefixes this little address to his book, in which he warns it of the ill treatment it must expect on going out into the world. He pleasantly adds some peculiarities of his own character.

1. Vertumnum: the booksellers' shops were situated around the statues of Vertumnus and Janus; hence he says, "you seem to have your eye on Vertumnus and Janus.'

2. Sosiorum : the Sosii were two brothers, the most celebrated bookbinders and booksellers of their time.-Pumice: the parchment was smoothed with pumice-stone.'

5. Non ita nutritus : not so educated; i. e. not accustomed to seek publicity.

7. Et scis ... amator: 6and you perceive yourself compressed into a small compass, when your partial reader shall be cloyed.

9. Quòd si... ætas : but if I am not blinded by my indignation at your folly, you will please at Rome while you are a novelty.'

13. Uticam: when a work had run out at Rome, the booksellers sent it off into the provinces.—Ilerdam: this was in Spain ; Utica was in Africa.

14. Ridebit monitor : i. e. then shall I, who have in vain warned you of your fate, laugh at you.

23. Primis Urbis : the first men of Rome;' referring to Augustus and Mæcenas.

24. Solibus aptum : fond of basking in the sun.'



Augustus had complained that Horace had not addressed any of his satires or epistles to him. In this beautiful and finished epistle the poet makes ample amends for his former remissness. In the first part of it he examines the comparison between the ancients and the moderns, which has been matter of dispute in all ages. He next shows the folly of that excessive love of antiquity, which regarded the time of any performance rather than its merits. In the third place he treats of the theatre, and of the difficulty of succeeding there. And finally he would remind princes how important it is for them to encourage a spirit of emulation for epic poetry, by which their own achievements may be celebrated.

10. Qui : Hercules slew the hydra of Lerna.

13. Artes : for artifices : one eminent in any department depresses, by his fame, those who are inferior to him.

23. Sic fautor veterum : the idea is, So extravagantly do the people admire the works of antiquity, that they would say, the Muses themselves uttered, on Mount Alba, the laws of the Twelve Tables, the treaty with the Gabii, &c. These were among the first productions of the Romans, and certainly not to be considered as models in composition. 28. Si, quia

loquamur : if, because the most ancient works of the Greeks are the best, we are to weigh Roman writers in the same balance, it is in vain to say any thing farther

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31. Nü: i. e. we might as well say that there is nothing hard within an olive, or on the outside of a nut.'

35. Şcin.... annus : *I desire to know what number of years may establish a value to writings.'

38. Excludat ... finis : let the established number of years (to constitute antiquity) remove all doubt.' This is the answer to Horace's question, and the beginning of a dialogue full of pleasantry.

45. Utor permisso : 'I avail myself of your concession.' 48. Qui ... fastos : who has recourse to the calendar.'

52. Leviter ... Pythagorea : seems to care but little what may become of his promises and his Pythagorean dreams.' Ennius pretended that the soul of Homer, whom he zealously imitated, had, by transmigration through a peacock, passed into himself. But now that posterity had accorded to Ennius the fame that he desired, Horace says, he cares little about his Pythagorean fables. Thus, beginning with Ennius, our author proceeds in the nine following lines to give the common estimation in which other poets were held by his coteniporaries.

56. Actius alti : “Actius has the reputation of a sublime poet.'

67. Ignave multa fatetur : 'if it (the multitude) acknowledges that they (the ancients) have written many things in a slovenly manner.

69. Livi: i. e. of Livius Andronicus. 71. Orbilium : Horace once attended the school of Orbilius, whom he calls plagosus, for his severity.

72. Et exactis ... distantia : and little removed from perfection.'

79. Rectè ... dubitem : 'were I to doubt whether Atta's drama moves with propriety through the saffron and flowers on the stage or not.'

81. Quum; since ;' inasmuch.' 86. Saliare Numa carmen : 'Numa's hymn for the Salii.' When Numa instituted the order of Salii, he composed a form of prayer or praise for them.

102. Hoc ... secundi : “this effect, benign peace and favoring breezes of national prosperity produced.'

103. Reclusâ manè ... nummos : “to be up early in the morning with open doors, to explain the laws to clients, and to loan money carefully secured by good names.'

115. Didicit : sc. medicinæ artem.
123. Pane secundo : brown bread,' of a secondary quality.
125. Si das hoc : "if you allow this.'

132. Puella : referring to the virgins, who sung the Carmen Sæculare with a choir of boys.

145. Fescennina : from Fescinnia, a town in Etruria, a kind of pantomime exhibitions was introduced into Rome. These at first consisted in gesticulations ; but afterwards extemporaneous verses of a satirical character were superadded, which were de

or more.

nominated Fescinnine verses. At first these verses were amusing and innocent; but they finally became so defamatory and abusive that a law was passed making it a criminal offence to abuse any one in this way. The punishment was, to be beaten to death with clubs.

154. Formidine fustis : 'through fear of the club.' 160. Serus enim : sc. Romanus.

164. Tentavit ... posset : he made an experiment, too, whether he could translate their pieces as they deserved to be.'

171. Partes tutetur : "he represents the character.'

173. Quantus ... parasitis : how excessive Dossennus is in his characters of ravenous parasites ;' and how careless and negligent he is in his style!

178. Exanimat lentus spectator : 6a listless spectator depresses.'

180. Valeat res ludicra : "farewell to dramatic writing.'

185. Si discordet eques : 'if the knights disagree with them; i. e. if they oppose their freaks at the theatre.

187. Equiti : i. e. this depravity of taste has spread to the better classes; they want show rather than sentiment. 189. Quatuor... horas : “the curtain is kept down for four hours

At the commencement of the play the Romans let fall the curtain to expose the stage, instead of raising it up, as we do. The play was interrupted in the present case, and the stage kept open to view for the exhibition of some show, for several hours. Horace complains of this abuse.

193. Ebur: i. e. cut out in figures of ivory.

195. Panthera camelo : the reference is to the camelopard, or giraff, as being of a mixed race.

199. Scriptores ... surdo : "he would think the writers of the comedy employed in telling a story to a deaf ass.'

205. Concurrit dextra lævæ : i. e. they clap hands; they applaud.

209. Laudare malignè : condemn by faint praise."

210. Nle ... poeta : "that poet appears to me able to walk upon a tight rope ;' i. e. able to do any thing.

223. Quum loca ... irrevocati : when unsolicited we repeat. passages already recited.' Irrevocati is an expression borrowed from the stage, where a performer is called back, revocatus, when desired by his audience to repeat again any part of his perform226. Ut, simul atque .

cogas : 'that as soon as you shall leam that we write poetry, you will

, of your own accord, graciously send for us, place us beyond the reach of want, and constrain us to write.'

230. Ædituos : "heralds,' to proclaim or record.

234. Philippos : these were golden coins with Philip’s head on them, given by Alexander to Cherilus. See Class. Dict.

236. Carmine fædo : " by verses unworthy of their subjecta?


242. Judicium subtile : sc. Alexandri. 244 Natum : sc. eum esse.

264. Nil ... gravat : ‘I love not that respect which annoys me.'

267. Ne rubeam : lest I should blush.'
268. Cum scriptore meo : 'with my panegyrist.'
269. In vicum vendentem: 'into the street where they sell.'

270. Et quidquid ... ineptis : “and whatever is wrapped up in worthless paper'


Julius Florus, to whom this epistle is addressed, was, at the time it was written, absent with Tiberius Nero. Horace gives his reasons for not having complied with the request of Florus that he would send him some lyric poems. He tells him that he wished to devote himself to the study of philosophy. And throughout the epistle he intersperses many excellent precepts for the regulation of the conduct, and for securing a good and happy life. He commences with a lively and amusing account of a slave-dealer, as an example of the verbosity and knavery of that class of men.

12. Meo . . . ære: 'I am short for money, but owe nobody.'

14. Semel hic cessavit : "he was once in fault; and hid himself behind the stairs for fear of the whip, as was natural enough.' Doëring prefers this construction to pendentis in scalis, the usual one. The seller uses the word cessavit for aufugit; to soften the crime of running away, which was considered so important a defect in the character of a slave, that the sale was made void by law, if this was not mentioned to the purchaser.

17. Nle: i. e. the slave-dealer who sells the slave.-Pane securus : 'fearless of any punishment,' for the fraud he committed ; as the law could not reach him, after he had mentioned the fact that the slave had run away.

23. Quid . . . attentas : what then have I gained by my concession, if, nevertheless, you impeach the laws protecting me?-Mecum facientia : i. e. me adjuvantia. Jaeck.

28. Vehemens lupus : sc. ut : 'like a raging wolf.' 43. Bonæ Athena : kind Athens.'

48. Non responsura lacertis : unable to cope with the arms, or forces of Augustus Cæsar.

52. Sed quod ... versus : i. e. but now possessing every thing that I wish, what doses of hellebore could cure my madness if I did not think it better to sleep quietly than to attempt writing poetry again?

60. Bioneis sermonibus : i. e. with such keen satire a's Bion of Borysthénes is said to have written.

65. Præter cætera : « above all.'

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