Obrazy na stronie

in the two Gauls.

aquatic plant, whose root and seeds were eaten in and restless foes to obtain possession of all the settle. Egypt; the other the fruit of a shrub or small tree, ments on the western coast. These aggressions of

on the sandy coast of Libya. ing of the Libyan lotus (4, 177), says, that the fruit of

the lotus is of the size of the mastic, and sweet like

the date, and that of it a kind of wine is made. Pliny (13, 17) describes two different kinds of lotus, the one found near the Syrtes, the other in Egypt. The former he describes from Cornelius Nepos as the fruit of a tree; in size ordinarily as big as a bean, and of a yellow colour, sweet and pleasant to the taste. The fruit was bruised, and made into a kind of paste or dough, and then stored up for food. Moreover, a kind of wine was made from it, resembling mead, but which would not keep many days. Pliny adds, that “armies, in marching through that part of Africa, have subsisted on the lotus.” Perhaps this may refer to the army of Balbus, which the same writer informs us (5, 5) had penetrated to Gadamis and Fezzan. Polybius, who had himself seen the lotus on the coast of Libya, says, that it is the fruit of a shrub, which is rough and armed with prickles, and in foliage resembles the rhamnus. That when ripe it is of the size of a round olive; has a purple tinge, and contains a hard but small stone; that it is bruised or pounded, and laid by for use, and that its flavour approaches to that of figs or dates. And, finally, that a kind of wine is made from it, by expression, and diluted with water; that it affords a good beverage, but will not keep more than ten days. (Polyb., apud Athen., 14, p. 65.) The lotus has also been described by several modern travellers, such as Shaw, Desfontaines, Park, and Beechy. Shaw says (vol. 1, p. 263) that the lotus is the seedra of the Arabs; that it is a species of ziziphus or jujeb; and that the fruit tastes somewhat like gingerbread. When fresh, it is of a bright yellow. Park's descrip. tion, however, is the most perfect of all. “They are small farinaceous berries, of a yellow colour and delicious taste. The natives convert them into a sort of bread, by exposing them some days to the sun, and asterward pounding them gently in a wooden mortar, until the sarinaceous part of the berry is separated from the stone. This meal is then mixed with a little water, and formed into cakes, which, when dried in the sun, resemble in colour and flavour the sweetest gingerbread. The stones are afterward put into a vessel of water and shaken about, so as to separate the meal which may still adhere to them: this communicates a sweet and agreeable taste to the water, and, with the addition of a little pounded millet, forms a pleasant gruel called fondi, which is the common breakfast in many parts of Ladamar during the months of February and March. The fruit is collected by spreading a cloth upon the ground and beating the branches with a stick” (p. 99). Luca, a city of Etruria, northeast of Pisae, on the river Auser or Serchio. It still preserves its situation and name. It is mentioned for the first time by Livy, as the place to which Tiberius Gracchus retired after the unfortunate campaign on the Trebia (21, 59). The same writer states it to have been colonized A.U.C. 575 (41, 13.—Well. Paterc., 1, 15). Caesar frequently made Luca his headquarters during his command (Cic., Ep. ad Fam., 1,9.—Suet., Cas., 24.) It is also mentioned by Strabo (217.— Compare Plin, 3, 5–1°tol., p. 61). LucAN1, the inhabitants of Lucania. (Vid. Lucania.) LucANIA, a country of Magna Græcia, below Apulia. It was occupied, in common with the other provinces of southern Italy, by numerous Greek colonies. The native race of the Lucani were numerous and warlike, and said to be of Samnitic origin. These, as their numbers increased, gradually advanced from the interior to the coast, and were soon engaged in hostilities with the Greeks, who, unable to make good their defence, gradually retreated; thus allowing their hardy

Herodotus, in speak- the Lucani were for a season checked by the valour

and ability of Alexander, king of Epirus; but upon his death they renewed their inroads with increased confidence and success, making themselves masters of Thurii, Metapontum, Heraclea, with several other towns, and finally reducing the Grecian league to an empty name, with only the shadow of its former brill iancy and power. Such was the state of things when the Romans appeared on the scene. The Lucani unable to make any effectual resistance after Pyrrhus had withdrawn his forces from Italy, submitted to the victors. The war with Hannibal, carried on for so. many years in this extremity of Italy, completed its desolation and ruin; for, with the exception of a few towns restored and colonized by the Romans, this once flourishing tract of country became a dreary waste, retaining only the ruins of deserted cities, as mournful relics of the late abodes of wisdom and genius—Lucania, considered as a Roman province, was separated from Apulia by the Bradanus, and a line drawn from that river to the Silarus; which latter stream served also for a boundary on the side of Campania. To the southwest the river Laos divided the Lucani from the Bruttii, as did also the Crathis to the southeast. (Strabo, 255.-Cramer's Anc. Italy, vol. 2, p. 347.) UcKNUs, M. ANNAEUs, a Latin poet, born A.D 38, at Corduba, in Spain, where his family, originally from Italy, had been settled for several generations, and where some of its members had filled public of. fices. (Suet., Vit. Lucan.—Fahr., Bib. Lat., vol. 2, p. 141.) His father, Annæus Mela, was a Roman knight, and enjoyed great consideration in the province. Lucan was named after Annæus Lucanus, his maternal grandfather, who was distinguished for his eloquence. His father was also the youngest brother of Seneca the philosopher. At a very early age Lu can was sent to Rome, where he received his educa tion. Rhemnius Palaemon and Flavius Virginius wer. his teachers in grammar and eloquence. The princi ples of the Stoic philosophy were taught him by An naus Cornutus, a Greek philosopher, who instructed at Rome until Nero, offended at his opinions and lan guage, banished him to an island. Lucan's talent for poetry developed itself at an early period; he was ac customed to declaim in Greek and Latin verse whet only fourteen years of age. Having completed his education at Athens, he was placed by Seneca, his pa ternal uncle, who had charge at that time of the youth of Nero, around the person of the young prince. Nerc soon became attached to Lucan, and raised him to the dignity of an augur and quastor before he had reached the proper #. for either of these offices. During his magistracy Lucan exhibited to the populace a magnificent show of gladiators. The folly of Nero, who pretended to be a great poet, and the vanity of Lucan, who would not yield the palm to any competitor, soon embroiled the two friends. Nero offended the young and presumptuous aspirant by abruptly quitting, on one occasion, an assembly in which the latter was reciting one of his poetical productions. Lucan sought to avenge this affront by presenting himself in another assembly as a competitor against the prince. We hardly know which to admire the more, the boldness of Lucan, who believed the poetical art about to be degraded, if a bad piece, though composed by a prince, should receive the crown; or the courage of the judges, who decreed the prize to a subject who had dared to compete with his master. The vengeance of Nero was not slow in overtaking the imprudent poet: it wounded him in the most sensible part, for he was commanded to abstain in future from declaiming in public. Without being unjust towards the memory of Lucan, we may attribute to the hatred which from this time he conceived against Nero, the part that he subsequently took in the conspiracy of Piso : but it were to be wished that he could in any way be defended from a reproach which Tacitus makes against him, and which has affixed an indelible stigma to his name. It is said that, deceived by a promise of pardon in case he should discover his accomplices, and wishing to propitiate the favour of Nero, who had destroyed his own mother, by incurring in like manner, in his turn, the guilt of parricide, he declared that his mother Anicia was a party in the conspiracy. The admirers of Lucan have suggested, that this tale was invented by Nero or his flatterers, to heap odium on the character of a poet from a contest with whom he had brought away nothing but disgrace. Unfortunately, however, for the correctness of this assertion, it may be alleged in reply, that Tacitus, a close scrutinizer into the artifices of tyranny, relates the charge with: out expressing the least doubt as to its truth. (Ann., 15, 56.) But, however this may be, the cowardly complaisance of the poet, if he were really guilty of the conduct ascribed to him, could not prove of any avail; he was merely permitted to choose the manner of his death. He caused his veins to be opened, and died with a degree of courage that formed a strange contrast to the pusillanimity in which, but a moment before, he had indulged. It is even said, that, feeling himself enfeebled by the loss of blood, he recited four verses which, in his Pharsalia (3, 639–42), he had put into the mouth of a dying soldier. He perished A.D. 65, at the age of 27 years. Although accused of being an accomplice, his mother was not involved in his disgrace. Lucan left a young widow, whose character and merits are praised by both Martial and Statius. She was named Polla Argentaria, and is reckoned by Sidonius Apollinaris (2, 10) among the number of those celebrated females whose counsels and taste have been of great use to their husbands in the composition of their works. The various poems of Lucan, his “Combat of Hector and Achilles,” which he composed at the age of twelve years; his “Description of the burning of Rome;” his “Saturnalia;” his tragedy of “Medea,” left unfinished by him, have all perished. We have remaining only one poem, the “Pharsalia,” or the war between Caesar and Pompey. It is comprised in ten books; but, since the tenth breaks off abruptly in the middle of a narrative, it is probable that some part has been lost, or that the poet had not finished the work at the time of his death. The first book opens with the most extravagant adulation of Nero, in which the poet even exceeds the base subserviency of the poets of the age of Augustus. The Pharsalia contains many vigorous and animated descriptions, and the speeches are characterized by considerable rhetorical merit, but the lan. guage is often inflated, and the expressions are extremely laboured and artificial. The poem is also deficient in that truth to nature, and in those appeals to the feelings and the imagination, which excite the sympathy of every class of readers. Still, great allowance must be made for the youth of the author, who, if he had lived longer, would probably have cured himself of those faults and defects which are now so conspicuous in his poem.—The Pharsalia cannot be regarded as an epic poem, since both poetic invention and machinery, which forin the very soul of the epopée, are altogether wanting in it. The event on which the action is based was not sufficiently far removed from Lucan's own times to permit him to indulge his imagination in adorning it with fictions. The poem should rather be called an historical one. —The principal defect in the Pharsalia, admitting that it is nothing more than an historic poem, is the want of unity of action. One cannot perceive, on reading the work, what is the object which the poet had in view, what is the point to which everything

ought to tend. Is it the momentary triumph of freedom, in the fall of Caesar, which Lucan has wished to celebrate Or was it his intention to paint in vivid colours the disastrous consequences of civil discord 1 Or did he wish to dilate on some moral or political virtue 1 Great uncertainty accompanies all these questions. It is true, the poem being probably left unfinished, it becomes proportionably more difficult to pronounce upon its object; but, at the same time, this object ought to be so clearly indicated in every part of the poem, as to form, as it were, its very soul, and to be the pivot around which everything should turn. Faithful to the laws of history, far different in their character srom those of the epopée, Lucan does not, in the commencement of his poem, transport us at once into the midst of affairs; he goes back to the origin of the civil war between Caesar and Pompey, and follows events in chronological order. His principal heroes are Pompey, Caesar, Cato, and Brutus. But we may charge the poet with not having fully succeeded in the delineation of their characters, and with producing sometimes a different impression upon his readers from that which he intended to effect. The character of Pompey is exalted, even at the expense of historical truth; that of Caesar is treated with injustice ; and yet, notwithstanding all this, Lucan has failed in making the former interesting, and Caesar, in spite of the poet, is the true hero of the Pharsalia; he is the centre of action, the soul of events: we have him constantly before our eyes, while we only see and hear of Pompey in the exaggerated eulogiums lavished upon him by the poet. But it is principally in his digressions, in the numerous descriptions with which he adorns his narrative, some of which, at the same time, afford proofs of distinguished talent, that Lucan betrays a want of judgment and of good taste, the immediate results of his youth, and of his imitation of models selected from the school of Alexandrea. Erudition often supplies the place of variety; and the brilliant conceits brought into vogue by his uncle Seneca, together with the maxims of the Porch, to which he was attached, are made to stand in lieu of that enthusiasm and dignity which form two of the principal seatures of epic composition. His versification, too, wants the elegance and the melody of Virgil's. – Besides the Pharsalia, several critics, among whom are Joseph Scaliger and Vossius, have ascribed to Lucan a poem in 261 verses, which has come down to us, and which contains a eulogium on Calpurnius Piso, the same who conspired against Nero. Barthius thinks that this production formed one of a collection of fugitive pieces published by Lucan under the title of Silva; ; but other critics, among whom may be cited Fabricius and Wernsdorff, have clearly shown that Lucan cannot be regarded as the author of the poem. The expressions employed by its author to indicate the lowness of his origin and the scantiness of his fortune, do not apply with any correctness to Lucan, descended as he was from a good family, and rich as well in his own as in the property brought him by his wife. It is assigned with more propriety to Saleius Bassus, a friend of Lucan's. —The best editions of Lucan are, that of Cortius, Lips., 1726, 8vo, re-edited and completed by Weber, Lips., 1828, 2 vols. 8vo; Oudendorp, Lugd. Bat, 1728, 2 vols: Burmann, Lugd. Bat., 1740, 4to; Lemaire, Paris, 1830–1832, 3 vols. 8vo, and that of Weise, Quedlinb., 1835, 8vo. The edition published at Glasgow (1816, 8vo), with the notes of Bentley and Grotius, is also a good one. (Schöll, Hist. Lit Rom., vol. 2, p. 286, seqq.—Bähr, Gesch. Rom. Lit., p. 94. seqq.)— II. Ocellus, a Lucanian philosopher. (Wid. Ocellus.) Lucenia, a city of Apulia, about twelve miles to the west of Arpi. It was a place of great antiquity, and was said to have been founded by Diomede

whose offerings to Minerva were still to be seen in the temple of that goddess in the time of Strabo (294). Luceria was the first Apulian city which the Romans appear to have been solicitous to possess; and though it was long an object of contention with the Samnites, they finally secured their conquest and sent a colony there, A.U.C. 440. (Lir., 9, 2–Diod. Sic, 18.— Vell. Paterc., 1, 14.) We find Luceria afterward enumerated among those cities which remained most firm in their allegiance to Rome during the invasion of Hannibal. (Liv., 27, 10.—Polyb., 3, 88.) In the civil wars of Pompey and Caesar, Luceria is mentioned by Cicero as a place which the former was anxious to retain, and where he invited Cicero to join him. (Ep. ad Att., 8, 1. — Caes., Bell. Civ., 1, 24.) It seems to have been noted for the excellence of its wool, a property, indeed, which, according to Strabo (284), was common to the whole of Apulia. This place still retains its ancient site under the modern name of Lucera. (Cramer's Anc. Italy, vol. 2, p. 285, seqq.) Lucăres, the third of the three original tribes at Rome. These three original tribes were the Ramnenses or Ramnes, the Tatienses or Titienses, and the Luceres. (Wid. Roma.) Luci RNus, a celebrated Greek writer, born at Samosata in Syria. The period when he flourished is uncertain. Suidas, who is the only ancient writer that makes mention of him, informs us that he lived in the time of Trajan, and also before that prince (2.Éyeral de yevéabat &mi Toi Kaiqapoo Tpaiavoú, kai èrékelva). This, however, Wossius denies to be correct. (Hist. Gr., 2, 15.) The same Suidas also states, that, after having followed the profession of an advocate at Antioch with little success, he turned his attention to literary composition; and that he was finally torn to pieces by dogs, which this writer considers a wellmerited punishment for his impiety in attacking the Christian religion. Lucian himself, however (Reviv., © 29), assigns as the reason for his quitting the profession of an advocate, his disgust at the fraud and chicanery of the lawyers of the day; and as for the story of his death, we may safely pronounce it a pious falsehood. In a dissertation on Isidorus of Charax, Dodwell endeavours to prove that Lucian was born A.D. 135; which will coincide, in some degree, with the opinion of Hemsterhuys, who (Praef. ad Jul. Poll.) places him under the Antonines and Commodus. Vossius also (l.c.) makes him a contemporary of Athenaeus, who lived under Marcus Aurelius, and Isonius (Script. Hist. Phil, 3, 10, p. 60) inclines to the same opinion, considering him as contemporary with Demonax, who flourished under Antoninus Pius and his successor. Reitz (De AEtate, &c., Luciani, p. 63.− Op., ed. Hemst, vol. 1), agreeing in opinion with Hemsterhuys, places him under the Antonines and Commodus, and makes him to have lived from 120 B.C. until 200–Destined at first, by his father, who was in humble circumstances, to the profession of a sculptor, he was placed with that view under the instruction of his uncle. , But, becoming soon disgusted with the employment, he turned his attention to literature, and travelled into Asia Minor and Greece, in the latter of which countries he was present, according to the computation of Dodwell, at the celebration of the 233d, 234th, and 235th Olympiads (A.D. 157, 161, 165), answering to the 22d, 26th, and 30th years of his age. In his 29th year he appears to have heard historical lectures in Ionia. His principal place of residence while in this country was the city of Ephesus. Whether Lucian entered upon the profession of an advocate before or after this period is not clearly ascertained : the latter is perhaps the more correct opinion. Antioch was the scene of his labours in this new vocation; but he soon became disgusted with forensic pursuits, and turned his attention to others of a more purely

rhetorical nature. Eloquence applied to sophistle declamations and improvisaziones, if we may be allowed the expression, opened at this time the surest path to fortune and same. The sophists were constantly engaged in travelling to and fro among the great cities: they announced a discourse as an itinerant musician at the present day would announce a concert ; and people flocked from all quarters to hear and see them, and to pay liberally for the harmonious and polished periods with which their ears were gratified. Lucian yielded to the fashion of the day, and abandoned the bar for the tribune. . He again directed his thoughts to travel, and visited Asia, Greece, and particularly Gaul, in which last-mentioned country he settled for a time as a teacher of rhetoric, and soon obtained great celebrity and a numerous school. He appears to have remained in Gaul till he was about forty, when he gave up the profession of rhetoric, after having acquired considerable wealth. On his return from Gaul he visited Italy, and paints in vivid colours, in his “Nigrinus,” the corruption of the capital. During the remainder of his life we find him travelling about from place to place, and visiting successively Macedonia, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, and Bithynia. The greater part of his time, however, was passed in Athens, where he lived on terms of the greatest intimacy with Demonax, a philosopher of great celebrity. Having here made the study of man his particular object, we find him embracing no one of the systems then in vogue, but following, as far as he could be said to have fol. lowed any sect, the tenets of the school of Epicurus, In his old age he obtained from Marcus Aurelius an honourable employment in Egypt. Some make him to have been placed over a part of this province; but it appears more probable that he was appointed register to one of the higher tribunals. He died at a very advanced age.—What distinguishes Lucian as a writer is a genius eminently satirical, a brilliancy of thought, and a larger share of humour than any other author of antiquity, with the exception, perhaps, of Aristophanes and Horace. His irony spares no folly and no prejudice on the part of his contemporaries, but wages against their failings a continual warfare. The writings of Lucian very rarely betray any marks of the decline of taste which characterized the period in which he is said to have lived. His style, formed by the study of the best models, and especially of Aristophanes, would never lead us to suspect that he was a native of the distant province of northern Syria : it is as pure, as elegant, and as Attic as if he had flourished in the classic periods of Grecian literature, and the defects of the age in which he lived merely show themselves in the desire to coin new expressions, and to divert others from their more ancient and legitimate meaning; faults from which he has not been able to save himself, although he ridicules them in one of his own productions, the “Lexiphanes.” Neither has he been always able to resist the inclination of adorning his style with the tinsel of quotations and phrases borrowed from the ancient poets and historians, and frequently misplaced. The greater part of his productions have the dialogue form; but they are not, like the dialogues of Plato, dissertations put into the mouth of interlocutors, merely to destroy the monotonous uniformity of a continued discourse. The dialogues of Lucian are true conversations; they are in every sense dramatic. He says himself (Air Karmy, c. 33) that he has restored dialogue to earth, after it had been lost in the regions of the clouds; and that, of it of its tragic garb, he has brought it in contact wit

pleasantry and the comic muse. — The subjects on which he treats are various and interesting: history, philosophy, and all the sciences furnish him with materials. Lucian may, in fact, be regarded as the Aristophanes of his age, and, like the great comic poet, he had recourse to raillery and satire to accomplish the

great object he had in view. This object was, to expose all kinds of delusion, fanaticism, and imposture; the quackery and imposition of the priests, the folly and absurdity of the superstitious, and especially the solemn nonsense, the prating insolence, and the imIn oral lives of the philosophical charlatans of his age. His study was human nature in all its varieties, and the age in which he lived furnished ample materials for his observation. drawn from the circumstances of his own times, are true for every age and country. If he sometimes discloses the follies and vices of mankind too freely, and occasionally uses expressions which are revolting to our ideas of morality, it should be recollected that every author ought to be judged by the age in which he lived, and not by a standard of religion and morality which was unknown to the writer. The character of Lucian's mind was decidedly practical : he was not disposed to believe anything without sufficient evidence of its truth; and nothing that was ridiculous or absurd escaped his raillery and sarcasm. The tales of the poets respecting the attributes and exploits of the gods, which were still firmly believed by the common peo. ple of his age, were especially the objects of his satire and ridicule in his dialogues between the gods, and in many other of his works; and that he should have attacked the Christians in common with the false systems of the pagan religion, will not appear surprising to any one who considers that Lucian probably never took the trouble to inquire into the doctrines of a religion which was almost universally despised in his time by the higher orders of society.—The greater . if not all, of the dialogues of Lucian appear to ave been written after his return from Gaul and while he was residing at Athens; but most of his other pieces were probably written during the time that he taught rhetoric in the former country.—Our limits, of course, will not allow an examination of the numerous writings of Lucian. We will content ourselves with noticing merely one piece, partly on account of its peculiar character, which has made it a subject of frequent reserence, and partly because the general opinion of scholars at the present day is adverse to its being regarded as one of the productions of Lucian. It is the puzóTarpic, # dućaokóuevoc (“The lover of his country, or the student”). The author of this }. whoever he was, ridicules, after the manner of

ucian, the absurdities of the Greek mythology; but his satire has, in fact, no other end than to serve as an introduction to an unsparing attack on the Christians: they are represented as wicked men, continually offering up prayers for the evil of the state. The authenticity of this piece has been much disputed. Mention is made in it of events, which some place under Nero or even under Claudius, others under Trajan or Marcus Aurelius, and some under Julian. The first of these, as, for example, Theodore Marcilius, think, in consequence, that the author of the piece lived during the first century. What appears to favour this opinion is a passage in which the writer alludes, without naming him, to St. Paul, or even, according to the Socinian Crell, to our Saviour himself. Some orthodox theologians have shown themselves favourably inclined to this system, because in a passage of the dialogue the question of the Trinity is openly stated, and they have taken this as a proof that this doctrine was taught prior to the council of Nice. Marcilius, however, is mistaken. Artemidorus, author of the Oneirocritica, is cited in the Philopatris: it is true, critics are not agreed as to the period when this writer flourished, but in any event he cannot be placed lower than Hadrian. In the dialogue under consideration, so strong a resemblance to the other works of Lucian is perceptible, there occur so many phrases and forms of expression which are familiar to him, that, if it be not the work of Lucian himself, it could only have been composed by

Many of his pictures, though

some writer that came after him. Huet and Gesner have sound in it a much more accurate acquaintance with Christianity than we can suppose Lucian to have possessed, after having read his Peregrinus. Schöll, following the side espoused by Gesner, takes the Philopatris to have been the work of a man who, after having been initiated into the mysteries of Christianity, had renounced the gospel, not to return to paganism, but to throw himself into the arms of incredulity. The tone which pervades it betrays the bitterness of an apostate. —We have remaining, besides his other works, fifty Epigrams ascribed to Lucian. The greater part are of that hyperbolic cast which was so much in vogue during the first centuries of the Christian era. Lucian, however, has not carried this kind of poetry to that point of extravagance to which later writers pushed it. (Schöll, Hist. Lit. Gr., vol. 4, p. 243, seqq.) The best editions of Lucian are, that of Hemsterhuys, completed by Reitz, Amst, 1730–36, 4 vols. 4to, edited in a more complete manner by Gesner, Amst, 1743, 3 vols. 4to, and to which must be added, although of inserior value, the Lexicon Lucianeum of C. R. Reitz, brother to the former, Ultraj., 1746, 4to: that of the Bipont editors, in 10 vols. 8vo, a reprint of the preceding, but containing, besides, the various readings of six manuscripts in the library of the king of France, collected by M. Belin de Ballu ; and that of Lehmann, Lips., 1822–1831, 8vo, of which 9, volumes have thus far appeared. This last edition, however, is much disfigured by typographical errors. (Hoffmann, Ler. Bibliograph., vol. 3, p. 32.) Lucifer, the name of the planet Venus, or morn ing star. It is called Lucifer when appearing in the morning before the sun; but when it follows it, and appears some time after its setting, it is called Hespe rus. (Wid. Hesperus.) Lucilius, I. C., a Roman knight, born at Suessa, a town in the Auruncian territory, A.U.C. 605, B.C. 149. He was descended of a good family, and was grand-uncle, by the mother's side, to Pompey the Great. In early youth he served at the siege of Numantia, in the same camp with Marius and Jugurtha, under the younger Africanus, whose friendship and protection he had thus the good fortune to acquire. (Well. Paterc., 2, 9.) On his return to Rome from his Spanish campaign, he dwelt in the house which had been built at the public expense, and had been inhabited by Seleucus Philopator, prince of Syria, while he resided in his youth as an hostage at Rome. (Ascon. Pedian., in Cic., contr. L. Pis.) I.ucilius continued to live on terms of the closest intimacy with the brave Scipio and the wise Laolius. (Horat., Serm., 2, 1, 71.) These powerful protectors enabled him to satirize the vicious without restraint or fear of punishment. In his writings he drew a genuine picture of himself, acknowledged his faults, made a frank confession of his inclinations, gave an account of his adventures, and, in short, exhibited a true and spirited representation of his whole life. Fresh from business or pleasure, he seized his pen while his fancy was yet warm and his passions were still awake, as elated with success or depressed with disappointment. All these feelings or incidents he faithfully relatcd, and made his remarks on them with the utmost freedom. (Horat, Srrm., 2, 1, 30.) Unfortunately, however, his writings are so mutilated, that few particulars of his lise and manners can be gleaned from them. Little farther is known concerning him than that he died at Naples, but at what age has been much disputed. Eusebius and most other writers have fixed it at 45, which, as he was born in A.U.C. 605, would be in the 651st year of the city. But Dacier and Bayle assert that he must have been much older, as he speaks in his Satires of the Licinian law against exorbitant expenditure at enter: tainments, which was not promulgated till B.C. 97 or 96 (A.U.C. 657 or 658). he expression, * applied by Horace to Lucilius (Serm., 2, 1, 34), namely,

sener or “old,” seems to imply, as Clinton has remarked (Fast. Hell, vol., 2, p. 135), that he lived to a later date.—The period at which Lucilius wrote was favourable to satiric composition. There was a struggle existing between the old and new manners, and the freedom of speaking and writing, though restrained, had not yet been totally checked by law. Lucilius lived with a people among whom luxury and corruption were advancing with fearful rapidity, but among whom some virtuous citizens were anxious to stem the tide which threatened to overwhelm their countrymen. . His satires, therefore, were adapted to please those stanch “laudatores temporis acti" who stood up for ancient manners and discipline. The freedom with which he attacked the vices of his contemporaries, without sparing individuals, the strength of colouring with which his pictures were charged, the weight and asperity of the reproaches with which he loaded those who had exposed themselves to his ridicule or indignation, had nothing revolting in an age when no consideration compelled to those forbearances necessary under different forms of society or government. By the time, too, in which he began to write, the Romans, though yet far from the polish of the Augustan age, had become familiar with the delicate and cutting irony of the Greek comedies, of which the more ancient Roman satirists had no conception. Lucilius chiefly applied himself to the imitation of these dramatic productions, and caught, it is said, much of their fire and spirit. The Roman lan. guage likewise had grown more refined in his age, and was thus more capable of receiving the Grecian beauties of style. Nor did Lucilius, like his predecessors, mix iambic with trochaic verses. Twenty books of his satires, from the commencement, were in hexameter verse, and the rest, with the exception of the thirtieth, in iambics or trochaics. His object, too, seems to have been bolder and more extensive than that of his predecessors, and was not so much to excite laughter or ridicule as to correct and chastise vice. Lucilius thus bestowed on satiric composition such additional grace and regularity that he is declared by Horace to have been the first among the Romans who wrote satire in verse. But, although he may have greatly improved this sort of writing, it does not follow that his satires are to be considered as a different species from those of Ennius, a light in which they have been regarded by Casaubon and Ruperti; “for,” as Dryden has remarked, “it would thence follow that the satires of Horace are wholly different from those of Lucilius, because Horace has not less surpassed Lucilius in the elegance of his writing, than Lucilius surpassed Ennius in the turn and ornament of his.” The satires of Lucilius extended to not fewer than thirty books, but whether they were so divided by the poet himself, or by some grammarian who lived shortly after him, is uncertain. He was reputed, however, to be a voluminous author, and has been satirized by Horace for his hurried copiousness and facility. Of the thirty books there are only fragments extant : but these are so numerous, that, though they do not capacitate us for catching the full spirit of the poet, we perceive something of his manner. His merits, too, have been so much canvassed by ancient writers, who judged of them while his works were yet entire, that their discussion enables us in some measure to appreciate his poetical claims. It would appear that he had

eat vivacity and humour, uncommon command of fo. intimate knowledge of life and manners, and considerable acquaintance with the Grecian masters. Virtue appeared in his draughts in native dignity, and he exhibited his distinguished friends, Scipio and Laelius, in the most amiable light. At the same time, it was impossible to portray anything more powerful than the sketches of his vicious characters. His rogue, glutton, and courtesan are drawn in strong, not to say

coarse, colours. He had, however, much of the old Roman humour, that celebrated but undefined urbanitas, which indeed he possessed in so eminent a degree, that Pliny says it began with Lucilius in composition (Praef. Hist. Nat.), while Cicero declares that he carried it to the highest perfection, and that it almost expired with him. But the chief characteristic of Lucilius was his vehement and cutting satire. Macrobius (Sat., 3, 16) calls him “Acer et violentus poeta,” and the well-known lines of Juvenal, who relates how he made the guilty tremble with his pen, as much as if he had pursued them sword in hand, have fixed his character as a determined and inexorable persecutor of vice. His Latin is admitted on all hands to have been sufficiently pure (Aul. Gell., 18, 5.-Horat., Sat, 1, 10), but his versification was rugged and prosaic. Horace, while he allows that he was more polished than his contemporaries, calls his muse “pedestris,” talks repeatedly of the looseness of his measures, “incomposito pede currere versus,” and compares his whole poetry to a muddy and troubled stream. Quintilian does not entirely coincide with this opinion of

Horace; for, while blaming those who considered him as the greatest of poets, which some persons still did in the age of Domitian, he says, “Ego quantum ab illis, tantum ab Horatio dissentio, qui Lucilium flucre lutulentum, et esse aliquid quod tollere possis, putat.” (Inst. Or., 10, 1.) The author of the books Rhetoricorum, addressed to Herennius, and which were at one time ascribed to Cicero, mentions, as a singular awkwardness in the construction of his lines, the disjunction of words, which, according to proper and natural arrangement, ought to have been placed together, as,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

As to the learning of Lucilius, the opinions of antiquity are different; and even those of the same author of. ten appear somewhat contradictory on this point. Quintilian says that there is “Eruditio in eo mira.” Cicero, in his treatise De Finibus, calls his learning “Mediocris;” though afterward, in the person of Crassus, in his treatise De Oratore, he twice terms him “doctus” (1, 16; 2, 6). Dacier suspects that Quintilian was led to consider Lucilius as learned, from the pedantic intermixture of Greek words in his compositions, a practice which seems to have excited the applause of his contemporaries, and also of his numerous admirers in the Augustan age, for which they have been severely ridiculed by Horace, who always warmly opposed himself to the excessive popularity of Lucilius during that golden period of literature. It is not unlikely that there may have been something of political spleen in the admiration expressed for Lucilius during the age of Augustus, and something of courtly complaisance in the attempts of Horace to counteract it. Augustus had extended the law of the twelve tables respecting libels, and the people who found themselves thus abridged of the liberty of satirizing the great by name, might not improbably seek to avenge themselves by an overstrained attachment to the works of a poet, who, living, as they would insinuate, in better times, practised without fear what he enjoyed without restraint. (Gifford's Juvenal, Praef, p. 43.) Some motive of this sort doubtless weighed with the Romans of the age of Augustus, since much of the satire of Lucilius must have been unintelligible, or, at least, uninteresting to them. Great part of his compositions appear to have been rather a series of libels than legitimate satire, being occupied with virulent attacks on contemporary citizens of Rome. Douza, who has collected and edited all that remains of the satires of Lucilius, mentions the

« PoprzedniaDalej »