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The occasion of the composition of this Epistle we learn from the following passage in the Life of Horace, by Suetonius: "Augustus post sermones lectos, nullam sui mentionem habitam ita est questus: Irasci me tibi scito, quod non in plerisque ejus nodi scriptis mecum potissimum loquaris. An vereris, ne apud posteros tibi infame sit, quod videaris familiaris nobis esse ?" expressitque Eclogam, cujus initium est, Cum tot sustineas, etc.

This Epistle is the noble reply of the poet to the complaints of his sovereign. In it he delivers his sentiments on a theme, worthy of himself and the prince who coveted his praises, the condition of Roman poetry, with particular reference to the evils under which it labored, growing out of the prevailing tastes of the people. From a fine panegyric of Augustus, so skilfully woven into the body of the piece, that it can scarcely be called an Introduction (1-17), he passes to a censure of the existing undue admiration of the old poets, and demonstrates the folly of estimating a poem merely by its age (18-49). He then enumerates and criticises some of the early Roman poets, and by comparing together the character and the life of the Greeks and the Romans, he shows how the Greeks were always better qualified and more ready to appreciate and acknowledge the merits of their poets than the Romans (50-107). Then follows, after a satirical touch upon the universal rage in his times for writing verse (108-125), and a noble eulogy of true poetry (126-138), a brief historical sketch of Roman poetry (126-167), and of the present low state of the drama, occasioned chiefly by the passion of the people for the shows of the circus and the amphitheatre (168-213). Finally, he commends other than dramatic poets to the protection of his patron, to the end that both the emperor and his people may find fit heralds of their fame; and then, by a graceful transition, concludes with his favorite plea, that he himself is inadequate to the task of celebrating the exploits of Augustus (214-end).

1. Solus. This Epistle was written B. c. 9. Augustus had now concentrated in himself all the most important powers, which belonged, under the republic, to different magistracies; of Imperator, commander of all the Roman armies, of tribune for life, of censor, of proconsul in all the provinces, and of pontifex maximus. 2. Armis. Comp. the passage, O. iv., 14, 42 sqq. Moribus. See n. O. iv., 5, 22. 5. Romulus, etc. Comp. O. iii., 3, 9-16.. -10. Hydram. See n. O. iv., 4, 61.-13. Urit-suo; burns by his own brightness; i. e. by the brilliancy of his fame hurts and fills with envy. The object of urit is the same as that of praegravat. - Artes positas. Artes ingenii facultates, talents, by metonymy, for men of talents; men of inferior talents. Comp. O. iii., 24, 31.- -15. Praesenti. In contrast with the heroes just mentioned, who were not deified till after death, the poet addresses Augustus as already in his lifetime invested with divine honors. See n. O. iii., 3, 11.

18. Sed populus. Here the poet

slides gracefully into his subject; but (he says) this estimate of the present, by which the Romans exalt you above all the heroes of the past, is quite reversed in their judgments of literature and of poets.

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See Introd. just below. and the verb dictitet, expresses result, so that. of the Twelve Tables, made by the Decemvirs. so the preposition is omitted in O. iii., 25, 2. Livy mentions B. I., 53 seqq., and with the Sabines, ib. 13; ib. 17. 26. Libros. The Annals of the Pontiffs. See Dict. Antiqq., under Annales. Volumina; old books of prophecies. All these were among the oldest literary monuments, written in language well nigh obsolete. -27. Albano; said in jest; as if these adorers of the poet believed that the Muses ever lived on the Alban Mount, not Helicon and Parnassus. - -31. Nil intra, etc.; i. e. if we may argue from the superiority of the old Greek poets to that of the old Roman poets, we may maintain any absurdity whatever; e. g. an olive has no stone inside of it, or a nut has no shell outside.-Intra is here a preposition, and extra an adverb. Hand, Turs. ii., 681, and iii., 440, has other examples of this construction. -45. Candae-equino. The commentators adduce here the story told by Plutarch of Sertorius. To animate his soldiers to persevering effort, Sertorius set a soldier of great strength to pulling out the tail of a weak horse by a single exertion, and on the other hand a very feeble man to pulling out the tail of a noble vigorous horse, by plucking out a single hair at a time. Ratione acervi. Horace alludes to the Stoic method of arguing, called owpeirns, fr. owpós, acervus, by which an opponent was silenced through his own repeated concessions. Hence the logical sorites, or cumulative argument, consisting of a series of syllogisms, in which the conclusion of each makes the premise for the next.-Thus Horace here, by taking away months and years, finally reduces to nothing his opponent's century. 48. Fastos; sc. consulares. See n. O. iii., 17, 4. -50. Ennius. See notes, O. iv., 8, 17 and 23. 52. Promissa. See the quotation from Ennius, at the end of Notes on B. ii. of the Odes. Somnia refers to the dream of Ennius, with which he opened his Annales, in which he was told, that the soul of Homer had, according to the doctrine of Metempsychosis, passed into his body. 53. Naevius. A dramatic and epic poet, still older than Ennius; and yet, as Horace says, having still a fame as fresh as if he were a modern writer. -56. Pacuvius was born at Tarentum, B. c. 221; he was a nephew of Ennius, and lived on terms of intimacy with his rival Accius, who however was many years younger. 57. Afranius, a comic poet, who flourished about 100 B. C., and resembled, in his plays, the Greek Menander. Plautus was a native of Sarsina, in Umbria, and flourished about

In uno; i. e. in hac una re. Uno is opposed to cetera -23. Veterum; neuter gender.-Ut, with preceding sic, Tabulas. The laws 25. Gabiis; sc. cum; The treaty with Gabii



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200 B. C.; earlier than Terence, who was ten years old when Plautus died. Properare refers to the rapid movement of incidents in his plays. Terence, who was a native of Carthage, whence he was brought as a slave, and where he was afterwards favorably known, and befriended by Laelius and the younger Scipio, excelled Plautus both in the construction of his plots, arte, and in the elegance and purity of his diction.. 59. Statius Caecilius was a dramatic poet, who flourished just before Terence. He died в. c. 168, a year after Ennius. - 62. Livi; Livius Andronicus, the earliest Roman dramatist, who flourished B. C. 240. -63. Peccat. See n. on juvat O. i., 1, 4. 71. Orbilium. Orbilius Pupillus, who, after serving as a soldier, taught school at Rome; where it appears Horace was his pupil. -75. Vendit; sells, i. e. gains (it) favor. The subject of vendit is the two preceding lines. 79. Crocum. The stage was wont to be strewed with saffron and flowers. Quintius Atta was a Roman dramatic writer, who died B. c. 78. -81. Patres; i. e. seniors, like senes below, 85.the celebrated tragic orator, who lived in Cicero's time. equally celebrated in the acting of comedy, and was also rary of Cicero, and a personal friend of the orator. Sung by the Salii, in honor of Mars. See n. O. iii., 26, 12. Quintilian says of these songs (so antiquated had their language become): Saliorum carmina vix sacerdotibus suis satis intellecta, i., 6.- -93. Bellis; the Persian wars. 93. Nugari; i. e. to give itself to poetry

82. Aesopus, Roscius was a contempo86. Saliare.

and the fine arts, which, compared with war, may be called nugae. 94. Vitium; i. e. a life of luxurious indulgence. So Tacitus, speaking of the Britons, in Agric. xxi., says: discessum ad delenimenta vitiorum. Horace refers to the decline of the public morals, which began in the time of Pericles. - 102. Paces; times of peace. -103. Romae, etc. The poet now turns to the prevailing tastes of the ancient Romans, which were averse to literature, and inclined only to the business of practical life. He has a similar passage in Ars. P. 323 seqq. 110. Fronde. Comp. O. i., 1, 29. 110. Dictant; i. e. recitant; recite in a loud and pompous tone, as if they were dictating them to their guests. This is Orelli's explanation of the word, and is better than that which makes dictant componunt. 112. Parthis. Comp. O. iv., 15, 23. 113. Calamum, etc. See cut on p. 204. 114. Navim, etc. Comp. the parallel passage in Ars. P. 379. 120. Non temere;= = non facile, as above, Sat. ii., 2, 116.. 124. Militiae. Dative, for ad militiam. 126. Poeta ; i. e. the true poet, in distinction from the crowd, whom he has just been satirically describing. Comp. Introd.

Figurat. Refers to the effects of reading the poets in the schools. Com. Sat. i., 10, 75; and above 1. 71.- - 130. Orientia tempora ;=adolescentes; the rising generation. 131. Aegrum; sc. animi. -132. Castis, etc. The poet describes the sacred uses of poetry. The Car

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177. Quem tulit. The poet now

186. Nam. See n. O. i., 18, 3.

175. Loculos. See n. Sat. i., 3, 17. speaks of those who are most influenced by a love of popular applause. On ventoso, see n. Epist. i., 19, 37; comp. Sat. i., 6, 23.- 182. Saepe etiam. Horace here passes to the chief obstacle in the way of dramatic poets, the taste of the people for the shows of the amphitheatre. 185. Eques. See n. Ars. P. 113. 189. Premuntur. In the ancient stage, the curtain was wound round a roller under the stage, and was let down at the beginning, and raised up at the end, of the play. -190-19%. The poet describes in these lines, the exhibition of battles, triumphal processions, wild beasts,-all pleasing to the people, but fatal to the success of the drama. 191. Retortis. See n. O. iii., 5, 22. 192. Esseda, etc. The names of chariots, adopted by the Romans from the ancient Britons and Gauls, and used on public occasions. See description of them in Dict. Antiqq. 193. Ebur-Corinthus. Works of art in ivory, and Corinthian bronze.. -194. Democritus. The philosopher of Abdera, usually called the laughing philosopher, as Heraclitus of Ephesus was called the weeping philosopher, from the different view which they took of the follies of men. Juvenal has a parallel passage in Sat x., 28-53, which should be compared with the present one of Horace. 195. Genus; in apposition to confusa-panthera camelo: "the beast half-camel and half-pard."-Howes. The poet means the camelopard or giraffe, first exhibited at Rome by Julius Caesar. 197. Ludis ipsis; quam ludos ipsos. See n. O. i., 12, 13.. 198. Mimo. Put here for any actor, for histrione. 199. Asello-surdo. The poet unites the Greeks Ονῳ τις ἔλεγε μῦθον with the Latin surdo narrare fabulam, fr. Terence, Heaut. ii., 1, 10.. 203. Artes. See n. on 1. 193.- -204. Divitiae; refers to the costly dresses. 207. Tarentino -veneno. Dye of Tarentum. Veneno = succo muricis, the purple extract from the murex, which was also found near Tarentum; comp. n. O. ii. 16, 36. The variety here referred to was the violacea, from its bordering on the violet color. -210. Per extentum fanem-ire. Proverbial for something very difficult. 216. Munus; i. e. the temple of Apollo on the Palatine. See Introd. to O. i., 31; and Epist. i., 3, 17. 220. Ut vineta-mea. Proverbial for people who do something injurious to themselves; here equivalent to saying,-to blame myself and other poets. In these lines, 220-228, Horace excuses Augustus for sometimes paying too little attention to a poet's works, and at the same time laughs at poets (skilfully including himself) for obtruding themselves and their verses upon the emperor's notice.. -231. Virtus; i. e. virtus Augusti. 233. Choerilus. An inferior poet of Iasus, a town in Caria, who was in the train of Alexander the Great. Curtius, viii., 17, thus speaks of him: Agis quidam Argivus, pessimorum carminum post Choerilum conditor.-Comp. n. Ars. P. 357. Versibus ;

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