Obrazy na stronie

the day between reading and writing, the bath and the tenniscourt. He was subject to a defluxion in the eyes; as was Virgil to a complaint of asthma; and Augustus used to rally the two poets, by saying, "that he sat between sighs and tears." He had a farm in the country of the Sabines, and a house at Tibur, now Tivoli, the ruins of which are still shown to strangers. He died in his fifty-ninth year; so suddenly that he left no will, and his property therefore reverted to the emperor. He was buried in the cemetery on the Esquiline Hill, near the tomb of Mecenas.

The writings of Horace have an air of frankness and openness about them; a manly simplicity, and a contempt of affectation, 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, generally speaking, he was moderate and temperate in his pleasures; and his convivial hours seem to have been far more intellectual, and more enlightened 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, conversational 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 moderns after him, call the "Art of Poetry," seems to have been only the third epistle of the second book, addressed to the Pisos. The style and manner differ 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.*

* See Elton's Specimens of the Classic Poets.






MECENAS, atavis edite regibus,

O et præsidium et dulce decus meum!
Sunt quos curriculo pulverem Olympicum
Collegisse juvat; metaque fervidis
Evitata rotis, palmaque nobilis,
Terrarum dominos evehit ad deos.
Hunc, si mobilium turba Quiritium
Certat tergeminis tollere honoribus;
Illum, si proprio condidit horreo
Quidquid de Libycis verritur areis.
Gaudentem patrios findere sarculo
Agros Attalicis conditionibus
Nunquam dimoveas ut trabe Cypriâ
Myrtoum pavidus nauta secet mare.
Luctantem Icariis fluctibus Africum
Mercator metuens, otium et oppidi
Laudat rura sui: mox reficit rates
Quassas, indocilis pauperiem pati.
Est qui nec veteris pocula Massici,
Nec partem solido demere de die
Spernit, nunc viridi membra sub arbuto
Stratus, nunc ad aquæ lene caput sacræ
Multos castra juvant, et lituo tubæ
Permixtus sonitus, bellaque matribus
Detestata. Manet sub Jove frigido
Venator, teneræ conjugis immemor;






Seu visa est catulis cerva fidelibus,
Seu rupit teretes Marsus aper plagas.
Me doctarum ederæ præmia frontium
Dîs miscent superis; me gelidum nemus,
Nympharumque leves cum Satyris chori,
Secernunt populo; si neque tibias
Euterpe cohibet, nec Polyhymnia
Lesboüm refugit tendere barbiton.
Quòd si me lyricis vatibus inseres,
Sublimi feriam sidera vertice.





JAM satìs terris nivis atque diræ
Grandinis misit Pater, et, rubente
Dexterâ sacras jaculatus arces,
Terruit urbem:

Terruit gentes, grave ne rediret

Sæculum Pyrrhæ, nova monstra questæ ;
Omne quum Proteus pecus egit altos

Visere montes;

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SOLVITUR acris hiems gratâ vice veris et Favonî,
Trahuntque siccas machinæ carinas;

Ac neque jam stabulis gaudet pecus, aut arator igni;
Nec prata canis albicant pruinis.

Jam Cytherea choros ducit Venus, imminente Lunâ;
Junctæque Nymphis Gratiæ decentes


Alterno terram quatiunt pede, dum graves Cyclopum
Vulcanus ardens urit officinas.

Nunc decet aut viridi nitidum caput impedire myrto,

Aut flore, terræ quem ferunt solutæ.

Nunc et in umbrosis Fauno decet immolare lucis,

Seu poscat agnâ, sive malit hædo.


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