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Attic maid with Ceres' sacred rites, bearing wines of Cæcu bum; Alcon brings those of Chios, undamaged by the sea." Here the master [cries], "Mæcenas, if Alban or Falernian wine delight you more than those already brought, we have both."

Ill-fated riches! But, Fundanius, I am impatient to know, who were sharers in this feast where you fared so well.

I was highest, and next me was Viscus Thurinus, and below, if I remember, was Varius; with Servilius Balatro, Vibidius, whom Mæcenas had brought along with him, unbidden guests. Above [Nasidienus] himself was Nomentanus, below him Porcius, ridiculous for swallowing whole cakes at once. Nomentanus [was present] for this purpose, that if any thing should chance to be unobserved, he might show it with his pointing finger. For the other company, we, I mean, eat [po miscuously] of fowls, oysters, fish, which had concealed in them a juice far different from the known as presently appeared, when he reached to me the entrails of a plaice and of a turbot, such as had never been tasted before. After this he informed me that honey-apples were most ruddy when gathered under the waning moon. What difference this makes you will hear best from himself. Then [says] Vibidius to Balatro; "If we do not drink to his cost, we shall die in his debt;" and he calls for larger tumblers. A paleness changed the countenance of our host, who fears nothing so much as hard drinkers: either because they are more freely censorious; or because heating wines deafen the subtle [judgment of the] palate. Vibidius and Balatro, all following their example, pour whole casks into Alliphanians; the guests of the lowest couch did no hurt to the flagons. A lamprey is brought in, extended in a dish, in the midst of floating shrimps. Whereupon, "This," says the master, "was caught when pregnant; which, after having young, would have been less delicate in its flesh." For these a sauce is mixed up; with oil which the best cellar of Venafrum pressed, with pickle from the juices of the Iberian fish, with wine of five years old, but produced on this side the sea, while

4 It was customary to mix sea-water with the strong wines of Greece; but Fundanius, when he tells us that the wine Alcon carried had not a drop of water in it, would have us understand that this wine had never crossed the seas, and that it was an Italian wine which Nasidienus recommended for Chian. LAMB.

5 Large cups, so called from Allifæ, a town of Samnium. SCHOL

it is boiling (after it is boiled, the Chian wine suits it so well, that no other does better than it) with white pepper, and vinegar which, by being vitiated, turned sour the Methymnean grape. I first showed the way to stew in it the green rockets and bitter elecampane: Curtillus, [to stew in it] the sea-urchins unwashed, as being better than the pickle which the sea shell-fish yields.

In the mean time the suspended tapestry made a heavy downfall upon the dish, bringing along with it more black dust than the north wind ever raises on the plains of Campania. Having been fearful of something worse, as soon as we perceive there was no danger, we rise up. Rufus, hanging his head, began to weep, as if his son had come to an untimely death: what would have been the end, had not the discreet Nomentanus thus raised his friend! "Alas! O fortune, what god is more cruel to us than thou? How dost thou always take pleasure in sporting with human affairs!" Varius could scarcely smother a laugh with his napkin. Balatro, sneering at every thing, observed: "This is the condition of human life, and therefore a suitable glory will never answer your labor. Must you be rent and tortured with all manner of anxiety, that I may be entertained sumptuously; lest burned bread, lest ill-seasoned soup should be set before us; that all your slaves should wait, properly attired and neat? Add, besides, these accidents; if the hangings should tumble down, as just now, if the groom slipping with his foot should break a dish. But adversity is wont to disclose, prosperity to conceal, the abilities of a host as well as of a general." To this Nasidienus: "May the gods give you all the blessings, whatever you can pray for, you are so good a man and so civil a guest ;" and calls for his sandals. Then on every couch you might see divided whispers buzzing in each secret


I would not choose to have seen any theatrical entertainments sooner than these things. But come, recount what you laughed at next. While Vibidius is inquiring of the slaves, whether the flagon was also broken,' because cups were

That he might rise from table. The guests laid their slippers at the end of the bed when they went to supper. TORR.

7 Vibidius asks whether the groom had broken the bottle at the same time that he broke the dish, for quoque certainly refers to patinam lapsus

not brought when he called for them; and while a laugh is continued on feigned pretences, Balatro seconding it; you, Nasidienus, return with an altered countenance, as if to repair your ill-fortune by art. Then followed the slaves, bearing on a large charger the several limbs of a crane besprinkled with much salt, not without flour, and the liver of a white goose fed with fattening figs, and the wings of hares torn off, as a much daintier dish than if one eats them with the loins. Then we saw blackbirds also set before us with scorched breasts, and ringdoves without the rumps: delicious morsels! did not the master give us the history of their causes and natures: whom we in revenge fled from, so as to taste nothing at all; as if Canidia, more venomous than African serpents, had poisoned them with her breath.

frangat agaso. He seems to insinuate that Nasidienus had given orders to his slaves not to be in too much haste to supply the guests with wine, but to let them call for it more than once. CRUQ. DAC.






The poet renounces all verses of a ludicrous turn, and resolves to apply himself wholly to the study of philosophy, which teaches to bridle the desires and to postpone every thing to virtue.

MECENAS, the subject of my earliest song, justly entitled to my latest, dost thou seek to engage me again in the old lists,' having been tried sufficiently, and now presented with the foils? My age is not the same, nor is my genius. Veianius, his arms consecrated on a pillar of Hercules' temple,' lives snugly retired in the country, that he may not form the extremity of the sandy amphitheater so often supplicate the poople's favor. Some one seems frequently to ring in my

1 Horace began to write at about four-and-twenty years of age, and he is now past fifty, which he expresses by antiquo ludo, in allusion to the schools, where the gladiators performed their exercises. Mens may be understood either for a poetical genius, or an inclination to poetry. SAN. DAC.

2 Donatum jam rude. The poet compares himself with a gladiator; hence the use here of the terms of that art. A gladiator, who had been relieved from the necessity of appearing before the public-who had received his discharge-is said to be donatus rude, and called rudiorius. The rudis with which he was presented, as an emblem of freedom, was a rod, or wooden sword. M'CAUL.

3 After Hercules had wandered through the world-destroying monsters, he was received by Greece and Italy among the gods who presided over athletic exercises. There was generally a temple of this god near their amphitheaters, in which the ceremonies of receiving a new gladiator into the company were performed. From thence the custom of conse crating their arms to Hercules. FRAN.

4 Horace would authorize his resolution of writing no more, by the


purified ear: Wisely in time dismiss the aged courser, lest, an object of derision, he miscarry at last, and break his wind." Now therefore I lay aside both verses, and all other sportive matters; my study and inquiry is after what is true and fitting, and I am wholly engaged in this: I lay up, and collect rules which I may be able hereafter to bring into use. And lest you should perchance ask under what leader, in what house [of philosophy], I enter myself a pupil: addicted to swear implicitly to the ipse-dixits of no particular master, wherever the weather drives me, I am carried a guest. One while I become active, and am plunged in the waves of state affairs, a maintainer and a rigid partisan of strict virtue; then again I relapse insensibly into Aristippus' maxims, and endeavor to adapt circumstances to myself, not myself to cir cumstances. As the night seems long to those with whom a mistress has broken her appointment, and the day slow to those who owe their labor; as the year moves lazy with minors, whom the harsh guardianship of their mothers confines; so all that time to me flows tedious and distasteful, which delays my hope and design of strenuously executing that which is of equal benefit to the poor and to the rich, which neglected will be of equal detriment to young and to old. It remains, that I conduct and comfort myself by these example of Veianius, who, having often fought with success, was now retired into the country, determined never to expose himself on the stage again; for if a gladiator, who had obtained his discharge, ever engaged a second time, he was obliged to have a second dismission, and going to the end of the stage, extrema arena, implored the people to give him his freedom. CRUQ.

5 Jurare in verba magistri. Similarly, Epod. 15, in verba jurant mea. Soldiers jurabant in verba imperatoris, when entering on service; whence some think Horace alludes to this; others suppose the reference is to the great respect paid to Pythagoras by his disciples, so that the words ipse dixit were sufficient to decide any question. M'CAUL.

This naturally follows the three preceding lines. Horace could not long be reconciled to the two former systems; one required too much action, the other too much severity; and neither of them was agreeable to his inclination. The morals of Aristippus, who founded the Epicurean sect, were more to his taste; but as this philosophy was very severely treated by the Stoics and Cynics, the poet pleasantly says, he was obliged with privacy, furtim, to follow its doctrines. SAN.

Horace, by the word furtim, might probably mean, that he did not pass, at once, from the sentiments of Zeno to those of Aristippus, as it were from one extreme to another, but by degrees, and insensibly. DAC. This latter view is correct. ED. DUBL.

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