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tainly among the most touching passages in classical literature.

When his school days were over he went, after the fashion of the time, to complete his studies at what was practically the University of Athens, 'searching for truth amid the groves of the Academy" or, in other words, reading philosophy. Here he made the acquaintance of M. Junius Brutus who after the murder of Cæsar (B.C. 44) had been driven from Italy and visited Athens before taking up as proprætor the government of Macedonia. Horace seems to have gone with him to Asia Minor and, when Brutus and Cassius raised a republican force with which to resist Octavian and Antony, he was appointed a military tribune and found himself, as he puts it with intentional exaggeration, ‘in command of a Roman legion?' He took part in the battle of Philippi (B.C. 42), which finally extinguished the hopes of the republican party, and, though his own description of himself as spirited away by Mercury the protector of poets and leaving his poor shield ingloriously behind him “' must not be taken too literally, still we may well imagine that his exploits on that fatal field were not very distinguished.

1 Ep. 2. 2. 45 inter silvas Academi quærere verum.

Sat. 1. 7; Ep. 1. 11.

3 Sat. 1. 6. 48 quod mihi pareret legio Romana tribuno; the legion bad six tribunes.

+ Od. 2. 7. 10 relicta non bene parmula.

At any rate his military and republican ardour soon cooled and, instead of following his friends further amid the 'stormy seas!' of war, he took advantage of an amnesty offered by the conquerors and returned to Italy, where he found himself with his wings clipped and destitute of house and farm?,' his property near Venusia having probably been confiscated and assigned to a veteran of the victorious army.

By some means, however, he managed to procure a sort of clerkship in the treasury' on which to live. Meantime some of his writings, possibly some of the earlier Satires (e.g. 1. 7), attracted the notice of Varius and Virgil, who in 39 B.C. procured for the timid and stammering clerk an introduction to C. Cilnius Mæcenas, the peace minister of Augustus and the great literary patron of the age. After & delay of nine months, during which Mæcenas seenis to have satisfied himself as to the talent and character of Horace, he welcomed him as an intimate member of that famous literary group which the great statesman loved to collect around him in his palace on the Esquiline. From this time until his death, which occurred on the 17th of December B.C. 8 a few weeks after that of Mæcenas, the poet and his patron lived on terms of extreme intimacy, and Horace takes a

1 Od. 2. 17. 16.

3 Ep. 2. 2. 50 decisis humilem pennis inopemque paterni | et Laris et fundi.

; scriptum quæstorium comparavit Suet. Vit.; Sat. 2. 6. 36.

marked place as one of the notable figures in Roman society.

Of his life however there is little to relate. He was a man who infinitely preferred repose and comfort to rank and distinction. Mæcenas presented him with a small farm among the Sabine hills a little north-east of Tibur (Tivoli), and this Sabine farm was dear to him as the apple of his eye'. He is never weary of referring to its charms; he loved to retire to it from Rome, and he constantly contrasts the delights of his peaceful life there with the worry and turmoil and endless engagements of the capital. In Rome itself he contented himself with an extremely modest household', partly because his independent spirit made him unwilling to accept too much from his patron, partly because he had a genuine dislike to ostentation and the inconveniences which it entails. His ideal in life was a modest competence and the ability to do as you like. To lie in bed until ten, then to write or read, to play a game at ball, to bathe, to dine at ease, to stroll round the Circus or the Forum in the evening listening to fortune-tellers and cheap-jacks'—these were delights in his judgment to which kings and courts could afford nothing equal. Even when pressed by Augustus to accept the distinguished position of his

i Od. 2. 18. 14 unicis Sabinis.
9 Sat. 1. 6. 114.
8 Sat. 1. 6. 114 seq.

private secretary, he refused to sacrifice his freedom, and the refusal was accepted without irritation by the

emperor, while Suetonius quotes a letter in which the master of the world good-humouredly contrasts the poet's haughty reserve with his own humble entreaties and offers of friendship'.

Throughout life he took a keen interest in philosophy and especially in Ethics, questions connected with morals being continually discussed by him. His own tastes and habits were naturally Epicurean, and

'a sleek-skinned porker from the pen of Epicurus" is his jesting description of himself, while such maxims as carpe diem and dona præsentis cape lætus horæ abound in his writings and are illustrated in his life. On the other hand he is never tired of jibing at the crabbed and paradoxical teaching of the Stoics, whose typical 'wise man' he delights to portray as a typical fool. But in spite of this he everywhere exhibits a hearty admiration for that strong, sober, self-sacrificing 'manliness' (virtus) which had made a 'race of rustic soldiers' the conquerors of the world, but which is certainly Stoical rather than Epicurean. The fact is that he sets little store by logical consistency and writes according to the changing phases of his own mood.

1

neque enim, si tu superbus amicitiam nostram sprevisti, ideo nos quoque ávOur epopovoûper, Suet. Vit.

: Ep. 1. 4. 16 Epicuri de grege porcim.
8 Od. 3. 6. 37.

He denies the interference of the gods in human affairs', or calls such teaching the 'wisdom of fools' and piety the first of virtues with amiable facility. He writes an Ode to Pyrrha or a wine-jar and then descants on the advantages of hard fare and hard exercise with apparently equal enthusiasm. Such inconsistency is common and almost a part of human nature, and it is one of the charms of Horace that he does not endeavour to conceal it. At the same time, because he does not play the Puritan or assume the solemn countenance of a professed moralist, we have no right, as some do, to describe him as a voluptuary. Those who choose may discuss with seriousness the exact contents of his cellar, or find in the Odes which he addresses to Lydia, Pyrrha and their kind a history of his own amours, but more careful critics will detect under the various disguises in which the poet masquerades a certain serious and sober earnestness as of a man not without noble conceptions of life and duty. This much at any rate is certain : the man who wrote of his father, as Horace did of his, was not a bad man; the man who amid all the temptations of Rome could make a simple country life his ideal, as Horace did, was not a vicious man; the man who kept his head in a position such as Horace occupied was not a vain man; the man whom

1 Sat. 1. 5. 101 namque deos didici securum agere ævom.

Od. 1. 34. 2 insaniens sapientia.
3 Sat. 1. 1. 24 ridentem dicere verum | quid vetat I

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