Quinti Horatii Flacci Opera: Accedunt Clavis Metrica Et Notæ Anglicæ Juventuti Accomodatæ (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from Quinti Horatii Flacci Opera: Accedunt Clavis Metrica Et Notæ Anglicæ Juventuti Accomodatæ
The writings of Horace have an air of frankness and openness about them; a manly simplicity, and a contempt Of afi'ectation, or the little pride Of a vain and mean concealment, which, at once, take hold on our confidence. We can believe the account which he gives of his own character, without scruple or suspicion. That he was fond Of pleasure is confessed; but, general] speaking, he was moderate and temperate in his pleasures; an his convivial hours seem to have been far more intellectual, and more enlight ened by social wit and wisdom, than are those Of the common herd of Epicurean poets.
Horace, of all the writers Of antiquity, most abounds with that practical good sense, and familiar Observation Of life and manners, which render an author, in a more emphatic sense, the reader's companion. Good sense, in fact, seems the most distinguishing feature Of his satires; for, his wit seems rather forced; and it is their tone of sound understanding, added to their easy, conversation al air, and a certain turn for fine raillery, that forms the secret by which they please. In variety and versatility, his lyric genius is unrivalled by that Of any poet with whom we are acquainted; and there are no marks Of inequality or Of inferiority to himself. Whether his Odes be Of the moral and philosophic kind; or the heroic the descriptive; or the amatory, the light, and the joyous; each separate species would seem to be his peculiar province. His epistles evince a knowledge of the weaknesses Of the human heart, which would do honor to a professed philosopher. What Quintilian, and the modems after him, call the Art of Poetry, seems to have been only the third epistle Of the second book, aﬂ dressed to the Pisos. The style and manner d ffer in no respect from the former epistles. The Observations are equally desultory, and we meet with the same strokes of satirical humor; which appear unsuitable to a didactic piece.
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