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patron to Brundusium, where, in company with Cocceius Nerva and Capito, he was engaged in negotiating a reconciliation between Antony and Augustus. A most amusing description of "travelers' miseries,” in the fifth Satire of the first Book, commemorates this event, and gives an entertaining picture of the domestic habits of the wealthier classes at Rome during the Augustan age. In accompanying Mæcenas in the war against Sextus Pompey, a storm arose, and our poet narrowly escaped being drowned in the Gulf of Velia. Nevertheless, he volunteered himself as his companion in the expedition that ended in that decisive battle of Actium, an offer which Mæcenas, probably out of tenderness to the health of his friend, declined to accept.
Mæcenas was not a mere complimentary friend, but one of tried liberality. To his kindness our poet was indebted for his villa at Tibur, and to his intercession with Augustus, for a grant of land in the Sabine district. The emperor even offered him the appointment of private secretary to himself, but he declined this honor, as it would have separated him from the frequent society of Mecenas. Augustus bore this refusal in good part, and even personally encouraged our poet to further literary exertions.
Alternating between his dwelling on the then healthy Esquiline hill at Rome, and the quieter and more congenial retirement of his villa at Præneste, Horace lived a life of Epicurean enjoyment, nor wholly untainted with the vices of the times, but yielding to them rather with the carelessness of a wit, than with the wantonness of a voluptuary. His mode of living at home
was simple and unostentatious, but he was by no means insensible to the pleasures of the table, especially in society. He was a kind and indulgent master, and a faithful friend. In fact, an unruffled amiability, relieved by a keen and well-expressed perception of other men's follies, seems to have been the leading feature in our author's conduct, and the guiding principle of his writings. The beautiful compliment paid to the memory of his father, is unsurpassed either as a description of what education ought to be, or as a grateful tribute of filial affection.
At the age of fifty-seven, in the year 8, B. C., Horace died suddenly at Rome, having nominated Augustus as his heir. Mæcenas died about the same time, almost fulfilling the melancholy prediction of his poet friend, though it is uncertain which first departed from life. In death they were scarcely separated, the remains of Horace being deposited near those of Mæcenas on the Esquiline hill.
The popularity of Horace, as a writer, is, perhaps, unexampled. Read, recited, and quoted in his own time by all classes, throughout the cheerless period of superstition and analytical dullness which oppressed the middle ages, he was one of the few bright spirits, in whose jokes and geniality the Schoolman might forget even his Latin Aristotle. His works became a constant source of delight and imitation to almost all subsequent poets, especially those of Italy, while commentary upon commentary began to point out beauties, and clear away difficulties. His manifold imita
2 Satire i. 6.
tions of the Greeks, especially in the lyrical portion of his works, his pungent and well-defined sketches of society and manners, his nice perception of the refinements of archæology and criticism, all in turn began to call forth illustration. Yet much still remains unexplained. As with Aristophanes, so with Horace, we continually lack knowledge of the running current of fashionable foibles and conventionalities, the happy delineation of which constitute the essence of comedy and satire. Nevertheless, imitations in every language, in none more abundantly than our own, attest the masterly power of Horace to interest all mankind, and show the connection that, despite accidental variations, one age has with the development, one race with the sympathies, of another.
THE FIRST BOOK
ODES OF HORACE.
MECENAS,' descended from royal ancestors, O both my protection and my darling honor! There are those whom it delights to have collected Olympic dust in the chariot race; and [whom] the goal nicely avoided by the glowing wheels, and the noble palm, exalts, lords of the earth, to the gods.
This man, if a crowd of the capricious Quirites strive to raise him to the highest dignities; another, if he has stored up in his own granary whatsoever is swept from the Libyan thrashing-floors him who delights' to cut with the hoe his patrimonial fields, you could never tempt, for all the wealth of Attalus, [to become] a timorous sailor and cross the Myrtoan sea in a Cyprian bark. The merchant, dreading the south-west
1 Caius Cilnius Mæcenas, who shared with Agrippa the favor and confidence of Augustus, and distinguished himself by his patronage of literary men, is said to have been descended from Elbius Volterenus, one of the Lucumones of Etruria, who fell in the battle at the lake Vadimona, A. U. C. 445. The Cilnian family were from a very early period attached to the interests of Rome, when devoted alliance was of value. ANTHON.
2 Gaudentem. This word is used to denote a separate character, him who delights: thus, DESIDERANTEM quod satis est. Carm. i. 25: him who bounds his desire by a competency. Fulgentem imperio, 3 C. xvi. 31, etc. ANTHON.
3 Because most of the commentators take sarculum for the plow, I have followed them. But Torrentius says, that the Romans used two kinds of weeding-hooks; one, when the corn was young like grass, with which they cleft the earth, and took up the young weeds by the root; the other, when the corn was grown up, with which they cut out the strong weeds as they thought proper; for the weeds do not grow up all at the same time, and the sarculum being no part of the plow, it can not be taken for it by synecdoche. WATSON.