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murmurs down its sloping channel? Why, trees are nursed along the variegated columns [of the city]; and that house is commended, which has a prospect of distant fields. You may drive out nature with a fork,58 yet still she will return, and, insensibly victorious, will break through [men's] improper disgusts.

Not he who is unable to compare the fleeces that drink up the dye of Aquinum with the Sidonian purple, will receive a more certain damage and nearer to his marrow, than he who shall not be able to distinguish false from true. He who has

been overjoyed by prosperity, will be shocked by a change of circumstances. If you admire any thing [greatly], you will be unwilling to resign it. Avoid great things; under a mean roof one may outstrip kings, and the favourites of I kings, in one's life.

The stag, superior in fight, drove the horse from the common pasture, till the latter, worsted in the long contest, implored the aid of man and received the bridle; but after he had parted an exulting conqueror from his enemy, he could not shake the rider from his back, nor the bit from his mouth. So he who, afraid of poverty, forfeits his liberty, more valuable than mines, avaricious wretch, shall carry a master, and shall eternally be a slave, for not knowing how to use a little. When a man's condition does not suit him, it will be as a shoe at any time; which, if too big for his foot, will throw him down; if too little, will pinch him. [If you are] cheerful under your lot, Aristius, you will live wisely; nor shall you let me go uncorrected, if I appear to scrape together more than enough, and not have done. Accumulated money is the master or slave of each owner, and ought rather to follow than to lead the twisted rope. 59

These I dictated to thee behind the mouldering temple of Vacuna;60 in all other things happy, except that thou wast not with me.

58 Expelles furca. A proverbial expression for removing, putting away, what we dislike or despise, derived from the use of the fork in the farmyard. The Greek expression is, diкpávois woεïv. Comp. Lucian. Timon., * καὶ μόνονοὐχὶ δικράνοις μὲ ἐξεώθει τῆς οἰκίας. M'CAUL.

59 Tortum digna sequi. A metaphor taken from beasts that are led with a cord. Persius hath used the same figure, "funem reduco." SAN. 60 Vacuna was the goddess of vacations, whose festival was celebrated in December. There are still some remains of her temple on our poet's




Endeavouring to recall him back to Rome from Asia, whither he had re treated through his weariness of the civil wars, he advises him to ease the disquietude of his mind not by the length of his journey, but by forming his mind into a right disposition.

WHAT, Bullatius, do you think of Chios, and of celebrated Lesbos ?61 What of neat Samos?62 What of Sardis, the royal residence of Croesus? What of Smyrna, and Colophon? Are they greater or less than their fame? Are they all contemptible in comparison of the Campus Martius and the river Tiber? Does one of Attalus' cities enter into your wish? Or do you admire Lebedus, through a surfeit of the sea and of travelling? You know what Lebedus is; it is a more unfrequented town than Gabii and Fidena; yet there would I be willing to live; and, forgetful of my friends and forgotten by them, view from land Neptune 63 raging at a distance. But neither he who comes to Rome from Capua, bespattered with rain and mire, would wish to live in an inn; nor does he, who has contracted a cold, cry up stoves and bagnios as completely furnishing a happy life: nor, if the violent south wind has tossed you in the deep, will you therefore sell your ship on the other side of the Egean 64 Sea. On a man sound in

estate. He dates his letter behind this temple, to insult Aristius with that idleness and liberty which he enjoyed in the country, in opposition to the business and confinement of Rome. TORR.

61 Notaque Lesbos. The island in the Ægean, south of Tenedos. Its principal towns were Mitylene and Methymna. It was nota, not so much on account of its excellent wine, as that it was the birth-place of Sappho and Alcæus. ED. DUBL.

62 Concinna Samos. To the south-east of Chios, well known as the favourite island of Juno; and as the birth-place of Pythagoras. The epithet concinna, neat, refers, perhaps, to the character of the buildings and appointments of its chief city, which also was called Samos. ED. DUBL.

63 Neptunum procul è terrâ. This image perfectly well represents the condition of Rome and Italy. A sea agitated by tempests, is a natural figure of a state distracted by the dissensions of an intestine war. SAN. Egaum mare. The Archipeiago between Europe and Asia, said by ume to derive its name from Egeus, the father of Theseus, who flung himself into it from the promontory of Sunium, when he saw black sails



mind 65 Rhodes and beautiful Mitylene have such an effect, as a thick cloak at the summer solstice, thin drawers in snowy weather, [bathing in] the Tiber in winter, a fire 66 in the month of August. While it is permitted, and fortune preserves a benign aspect, let absent Samos, and Chios, and Rhodes, be commended by you here at Rome. Whatever pros perous hour Providence bestows upon you, receive it with a thankful hand: and defer not [the enjoyment of] the comforts of life, till a year be at an end; that, in whatever place you are, you may say you have lived with satisfaction. For if reason and discretion, not a place that commands a prospect of the wide-extended sea, remove our cares; they change their climate, not their disposition, who run beyond the sea: a busy idleness harasses us: by ships and by chariots we seek to live happily. What you seek is here [at home], is at Ulubræ, if a just temper of mind is not wanting to you.



Under the appearance of praising the man's parsimony, he archly ridicules it; introduces Grosphus to him, and concludes with a few articles of news concerning the Roman affairs.

O ICcius, if you rightly enjoy the Sicilian products,67 which you collect 68 for Agrippa, it is not possible that greater affluence can be given you by Jove. Away with complaints! for that man is by no means poor, who has the use of every thing in the vessel which was returning from Crete. Others give different derivations. ED. DUBL.


65 66 Incolumi, integro, sanæ mentis homini." 66 Caminus was a room exposed to the south, and contrived in such a manner as to collect the rays of the sun in winter. It was called heliocaminus and solarium. ED. DUBL.

67 Fructibus Agrippa Siculis. Augustus was obliged to Agrippa for the reduction of Sicily, and gave him, in acknowledgment, an estate there, to which Iccius was agent or farmer. His father had been governor of the island four-and-twenty years before. ED. DUBL.

68 Quos colligis. This expression and the last line of the letter seem to say that it was harvest time, both in Sicily and Italy, which will more exactly direct us to fix the date of it. SAN.



he wants. If it is well with your belly, your back, and your feet, regal wealth can add nothing greater. If perchance abstemious amidst profusion you live upon salad and shell-fish,69 you will continue to live in such a manner, even if 70 presently fortune shall flow upon you in a river of gold: either because money cannot change the natural disposition, or because it is your opinion that all things are inferior to virtue alone. Can we wonder, that cattle feed upon the meadows and corn-fields of Democritus, while his active soul is abroad [travelling] without his body?72 When you, amidst such great impurity and infection of profit, have no taste for any thing trivial, but still mind [only] sublime things;73 what causes restrain the sea, what rules the year, whether the stars spontaneously or by direction wander about and are erratic, what throws obscurity on the moon, and what brings out her orb, what is the intention and power of the jarring harmony of things, whether Empedocles or the clever Stertinius be in the wrong?

However, whether you murder fishes, or onions and garlic,

69 Orelli maintains that the nettle is intended, which the Italians, even at the present day, are wont to cook at spring time, while its leaves are tender. Plin. xxi. 15: Urtica incipiens nasci veré, non ingrata, multis etiam religioso in cibo est ad pellandos totius anni morbos. The Urtica Marina belongs to the genus Medusa, and was only served up at the most expensive banquets. Herbis et Urtica are joined as Silva et quercus, Od. i. 12, 1. Flores mille colorum Liliaque, Ovid. Met. x. 261. WHEELER. 70 Sic vives protenus, ut te. Ut here signifies quamvis, which only can determine the sense. Protenus is for uno eodemque tenore, in one continued, unbroken length. TORR. See Orelli.

71 This comparison hath much ironical pleasantry. Democritus was so engaged in his philosophical speculations, that he left his estate a prey to his neighbours. But the severe and frugal life of Iccius rose from very different principles. He denied himself only those pleasures which his avarice would not allow him to purchase. But virtue, says our laughing poet, was a source of real wealth to him, and he wanted only those riches which his Stoical wisdom had taught him to despise. SAN.

72 The Platonics, explaining the powers of the soul, talk as if they could really, by strength of imagination, separate the soul from the body, and raise it above all earthly ideas. Aristophanes, to ridicule this language, introduces Socrates, telling his disciples that he could never have penetrated into things sublime, but by mixing his most refined ideas with air most like them. He then pleasantly advises them not to restrain their imagination, but to let it soar, like a butterfly, which boys tie to a thread. FRAN.

73 It was now seventeen years since Iccius had quitted philosophy for the army; but, as his Arabian expedition had not the success it promised, our new soldier returned to his first profession. SAN.

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receive Pompeius Grosphus; and, if he asks any favour, grant it him frankly: Grosphus will desire nothing but what is right and just. The proceeds of friendship are cheap, when good men want any thing.

But that you may not be ignorant in what situation the Roman affairs are; the Cantabrians 74 have fallen by the valour of Agrippa, the Armenians by that of Claudius Nero: Phraates has, suppliant on his knees,75 admitted the laws and power of Cæsar. Golden plenty has poured out the fruits of Italy from a full horn.



Horace cautions him to present his poems to Augustus at a proper
opportunity, and with due decorum.

As on your setting out I frequently and fully gave you instructions, Vinnius, that you would present these volumes to Augustus sealed up 76 if he shall be in health, if in spirits, finally, if he shall ask for them: do not offend out of zeal to

74 Cantaber. A nation of Spain, (inhabiting what is now Biscay, and part of Austurias,) distinguished for the spirited opposition which they made to the Romans. In A. u. c. 729 Augustus, in person, headed an expedition to punish them, but no sooner had he left their country than this warlike people reasserted their independence. Horace alludes here (and also Carm. iii. 8, 22, Cantaber serâ domitus catena) to the chastisement which they received from Agrippa, a. u. c. 734. M'CAUL.

75 Genibus minor. The poet only means that Phraates was reduced to the lowest submissions, to purchase the protection of Augustus against his own subjects. Dacier understands the words literally, and that Cæsaris means Tiberius, from whose hand the Parthian monarch received his crown. But is it not astonishing that Velleius Paterculus, always disposed to flatter Tiberius, hath forgotten a circumstance so glorious to him, and that we have not the least marks of it in any other historian? SAN.

76 Our poet sent Augustus not only the letter addressed to him, (the first of the second Book,) but also the last odes and last epistles he had written. He calls these pieces volumina, because they were separately rolled up; and he desires Vinnius to present them sealed, that they might not be exposed to the impertinent curiosity of the court. RODELL.

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