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tion, as well as disenchantment and difficulty, have done their part in shaping his character.

It was in the decade between 41, when he returned after Philippi, and 30, when at the age of thirty-five he published the Epodes and the Second Book of Satires, that his character and his life philosophy were matured. Few events are known to us out of these years. In 39 or 38 he was introduced by Vergil and Varius to Maecenas, and in 33 he received from Maecenas the gift of the Sabine farm, which was in a special sense his home for the rest of his life. But the intimacy with the circle of poets and critics who were gathered about Maecenas, greatly as it stimulated him, and the lasting friendship with Maecenas himself, with all the resulting benefits, were only important incidents in his development; his real life was in his writings. He began with a group of three satires, 2, 7, and 8 of Book I, and it was these which, with some of the Epodes, brought him to the notice of Vergil, and ultimately of Maecenas. They are plainly the work of a young writer. The seventh, though it is well written, is trivial; the eighth is a kind of burlesque Priapuspoem, without wit or real humor, unpleasantly personal and with no marked attractiveness of style. Of the second it must be said plainly that it is an attempt to draw attention by jesting indecency; there is no other possible interpretation of the choice of subject. On the other hand, the style of the seventh is good, the eighth is better than most poems of its kind, and the second, except in the choice of subject, is the real Horace, easy in style and handling, humorous and yet in a certain way serious. There is enough of sharpness and even of bitterness in it to explain the criticisms that it brought upon the writer, and the tone of the next satire, 4 of Book I, shows that Horace was himself aware that the earlier satires needed defense, if not apology. But a clear-sighted critic, on the lookout, as the members of the circle of Maecenas were, for young men of promise, would certainly have seen that the writer of these poems was a man not to be


The satires which followed the admission of Horace to the friendship of Vergil and Varius and Maecenas need no specific comment beyond that which will be found in the special introductions; they are not the work of an obscure beginner, but of a man tempered by association with men of taste, mellowed by friendly recognition, and already master of an easy style and a sane and humorous philosophy of life.

His choice of satire as a means of expression is explained by Horace in Sat. 1, 10, 40-47; he says that other fields — comedy, tragedy, the epic, the bucolic - were already occupied, and that satire alone seemed open to him. But this explanation is not to be taken seriously; the causes which determined his choice were deeper, partly in his own temperament, partly in the conditions of his time. He was by nature an observer of men; he found in the interplay of character and circumstance a spectacle of constant interest, and the account which he gives (Sat. 1, 4, 105-143) of the teachings of his father and of his own habitual attitude, however humorous the application which he makes of it, is essentially true. To a man of such a habit of mind satire, in the sense which Horace gave to the word, as a good-natured commentary, that is, upon the follies and upon the virtues, too, of the men with whom he lived, was the most natural vehicle of expression. In so far as he was inclined toward more serious and emotional expression, he used at first the half-lyrical form of the Epodes, and the absence of the more profound feelings from the Satires is to be explained in part by the fact that they found another outlet in such poems as Epodes 4, 7, 9, and 16. But these strongly emotional verses look backward to the tempestuous past; they express the attitude of the obscure and defeated republican, struggling with circumstances and not yet in harmony with himself, and their subjects belong rather to the period of strife than to the new era upon which Rome was entering. The Augustan Age, precisely because it checked the vigorous public activities of the preceding period and turned

men back upon science and philosophy and law and literature, was of all periods in Roman history the one which offered the most inviting material for humorous commentary. As on the crowded streets of the city men of every country and of all stations met and passed on, a peasant from the mountains, a deposed Eastern king, a Greek philosopher, a Roman noble, so in the complex social structure motives of every possible form and color were at work. Though public activities were checked, the office-holding and office-seeking politician flourished as he always flourishes under a one-man power, and his ambitions, selfish enough, yet not wholly unworthy, were an open invitation to discriminating satire. The immense business interests, too, which centered at Rome, presented then, as now, their puzzling mixture of motives and of influences, and it was to the man of business that Horace addressed the satire which was the preface to his first collected publication, as if the business man was to him the most marked figure of the age. Intermingled with these ambitions as a kind of common reward for every form of success was the prize of social recognition and prominence, which seems to have had for a Roman, with his outspoken personal conceits and vanities, an attractiveness even greater and more general than it has in modern societies; and certainly no spectacle offers itself more invitingly to the genial satirist than the spectacle of the social struggle. Horace played his part in society, as Thackeray did, and gathered material for his Book of Snobs. Somewhat apart from all these rivalries, but with rivalries no less keen in their own sphere, were the two schools of philosophy, the Epicurean and the Stoic. Horace is often, in a vague way, regarded as an Epicurean, but he was, in fact, of no school or of a school of his own, and it is not as an Epicurean that he occasionally strikes a sudden blow at a Stoic, or, more often, burlesques the paradoxes of the school with ironical solemnity. He recognized the underlying truth of the Stoics; he was by no means unconscious of the seriousness of

life; he was, indeed, himself a preacher; but he was also a discriminating humorist, and the formal Stoic, apparently more concerned about the growth of his beard than about his growth in grace, and more insistent upon the phraseology of his doctrines than upon their intelligibility, appealed to both sides of his mind. In the long picture gallery of the Satires no figure is more frequently recurrent. Nor did Horace neglect the men of his own craft. The Augustan Age, which is often called the golden age of Latin literature, was, at any rate, a period most prolific in skillful writers. Through chance allusions, serious or satirical, we are able to see, behind the figures of the greater poets whose writings have survived to our times, a long array of men of lesser rank, not undistinguished among their contemporaries, and undoubtedly writers of merit. And below them was the crowd of poets and historians and critics and essayists whose names even have been lost. Here was rich material for the satirist, and material especially for such a satirist as Horace, who was always as much critic as poet and interested alike in the practice and in the theory of his art. Somewhat less prominent in the life of the city, yet marked enough to give occasional color to the scene, were various minor caprices or eccentricities, each with its little circle of devotees. There were the collectors of old bronzes and tableware, indifferent to the artistic imperfections of their rare pieces, but credulous of their antiquity. The professional musicians formed, then as now, a class by themselves, with their own standards and judgments. Petty officials rejoiced in opportunities to display themselves in elaborate costume. It is in part the notice which Horace has bestowed upon them that makes the so-called legacy hunters seem to have been so numerous in Rome, but the brilliant satire in which their arts are burlesqued was the product of observation, not of invention. The proper arrangement of a menu and the doctrines of gastronomy were quite certainly matters of serious concern to many persons in Roman society, though it is possible that the

humorously detailed descriptions and travesties in the Second Book make the followers of this particular mania more prominent than they actually were in Roman life. But certainly the society to which Horace's friendship with Maecenas gave him access was a highly complex society, one which brought before his observant eye a most interesting variety of types and of individuals, and invited good-humored comment and even caustic remark. The Satires are not the result of so mechanical a choice as Horace jokingly implies, but the inevitable expression of the reflections of such a man as Horace was upon such a society as that of the Augustan Age.

The form which Horace's commentary on life was to take was already determined for him. In this respect ancient literature was to a high degree conventional and traditional; when once the type was fixed by the influence of some great originator, the range of subsequent deviation from the type was small. Didactic poetry was written in hexameters from Hesiod to Ovid; innovator as Euripides was, his variations from the norm of tragedy are in reality slight. Form and content are identified under one name in the iambi of Archilochus. The form of Roman satire, or at least the prevalent form, was fixed by C. Lucilius. He was an eques of the period of the Gracchi and the younger Scipio Africanus, a man of education and rank, a conservative in politics, and a writer of force and courage. His range of subjects was not very different from that of Horace, - literary criticism, ethical discussion, social comment, but a large place was occupied by political satire, which was almost inevitable in that stormy period and in the writings of a friend of Scipio. In tone he was, so far as can be judged from the extant fragments and from the statements of his successors, extremely personal and harsh. The fact that the fragments of his writings have come down largely in quotations by the grammarians, who were interested chiefly in unusual words or phrases, makes it difficult to form an independent judgment

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