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Iuli Flore, quibus terrarum militet oris
an pingues Asiae campi collesque morantur ?
Quid studiosa cohors operum struit ? hoc quoque
quis sibi res gestas Augusti scribere sumit?
bella quis et paces longum diffundit in aevum ?
ut valet ? ut meminit nostri ? fidibusne Latinis
a i.e. Tiberius Claudius Nero, the later Emperor Tiberius. The towers of Hero and Leander, at Sestos and Abydos, on either side of the Hellespont.
In lacos et rivos apertos Horace refers to the artificial pools and tanks from which anyone could draw water, as contrasted with the natural springs in far distant hills, which
I long to know, Julius Florus, in what regions of the earth Claudius," step-son of Augustus, is now campaigning. Does Thrace stay your steps, and Hebrus, bound in snowy fetters, or the straits that run between neighbouring towers, or Asia's fertile plains and hills ?
6 What works is the learned staff composing? This, too, I want to know. Who takes upon him to record the exploits of Augustus? Who adown distant ages makes known his deeds in war and peace? What of Titius, soon to be on the lips of Romans, who quailed not at draughts of the Pindaric spring, but dared to scorn the open pools and streams? How fares he? How mindful is he of me? Does he essay, under favour of the Muse, to fit Theban measures to the Latin lyre? Or does he storm and swell in the tragic art? What, pray, is Celsus doing? He was warned, and must often be warned to search for home treasures, and to shrink from touching the one could reach only with difficulty. Apart from the metaphor, the contrast is between those Greek writers who could easily be reproduced, and the inimitable Pindar. For the latter idea cf. Odes, iv. 2, Pindarum quisquis studet aemulari," etc.
d The word ampullatur, translating Ankvice, is from ampulla, a flask, the swelling body of which led to the use of the word for bombast. Cf. Ars Poet. 97.
scripta Palatinus quaecumque recepit Apollo, ne, si forte suas repetitum venerit olim grex avium plumas, moveat cornicula1 risum furtivis nudata coloribus. ipse quid audes ? quae circumvolitas agilis thyma? non tibi parvum ingenium, non incultum est et2 turpiter hirtum. seu linguam causis acuis seu civica iura respondere3 paras seu condis amabile carmen, prima feres hederae victricis praemia. quod si frigida curarum fomenta relinquere posses, quo te caelestis sapientia duceret, ires.4 hoc opus, hoc studium parvi properemus et ampli, si patriae volumus, si nobis vivere cari.
Debes hoc etiam rescribere, sit5 tibi curae quantae conveniat Munatius; an male sarta gratia nequiquam coit et rescinditur, ac vos seu calidus sanguis seu rerum inscitia vexat indomita cervice feros? ubicumque locorum vivitis, indigni fraternum rumpere foedus, pascitur in vestrum reditum votiva iuvenca.
1 vulpecula Servius on Aen. xi. 522. nec pl.
4 Hitzig would transpose ll. 26, 27 with each other, perhaps correctly.
5 sid: hence si tibi curae est Bentley, Orelli.
seu Acron: heu ... heu MSS.
a Celsus is urged to depend more upon himself, instead of drawing so freely upon earlier writers, whose works he consulted in the library of the temple of Apollo on the Palatine.
Strictly speaking, the ivy applies only to the poet. For this cf. Odes, i. 1. 29.
writings which Apollo on the Palatine has admitteda: lest, if some day perchance the flock of birds come to reclaim their plumage, the poor crow, stripped of his stolen colours, awake laughter. And yourselfwhat do you venture on? About what beds of thyme are you busily flitting? No small gift is yours: not untilled is the field, or rough-grown and unsightly. Whether you sharpen your tongue for pleading, or essay to give advice on civil law, or build charming verse, you will win the first prize of the victor's ivy.b But could you but lay aside your cares-those cold compresses you would rise to where heavenly wisdom would lead. This task, this pursuit let us speed, small and great alike, if we would live dear to our country, and dear to ourselves.
30 This, too, when you reply, , you must tell mewhether you esteem Munatius as much as you should. Or does your friendship, like a wound ill-stitched, close vainly and tear open once more? Yet, whether hot blood or ignorance of the world drives you both, wild steeds with untamed necks, wherever on earth you are living-you who are too good to break the bond of brotherhood-a votive heifer is fattening against your return.
• Horace seems to mean that the cares which weigh upon Florus are like the cold bandages which physicians in his day were prescribing for certain bodily ailments, cf. Suet. Aug. 81. The curae chilled the fire of inspiration, and were therefore far from beneficial, because Florus was continually wrapping himself up in his troubles. Some, however, prefer to take curarum as an objective genitive, so that curarum fomenta means remedies against cares."