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Cic. de Amic. c. 7: Agrigentinum quidem (Empedoclem)—vaticinatum ferunt, quae in rerum natura totoque mundo constarent, quaeque moverenta, ea contrahere amicitiam, dissipare discordiam.· -20. Stertinium; for Stertinianum; of Stertinius, who is here humorously put as the representative of the Stoics. Comp. Sat. ii., 3, 33, and the Introd. to that Satire. 26. Cantaber. See Introd. to O. ii., 6. -Neronis. See Introd. to Epist. i., 3. -27. Phraates—minor. See Introd. to O. i., 26; and n. O. iii., 5, 6.
Dispatching some of his poems to Augustus by the hands of one Vinius Asella, Horace writes this charming little Epistle; in which he professes most carefully to instruct the uncourtly messenger, in what way he must approach the presence of the emperor, and fitly execute his commission. The piece was probably not really written to Vinius, but to Augustus himself, and sent along with the other poems. In resorting to this little device, Horace shows his usual tact, and by the nice instructions given to his messenger, commends with a delicate, respectful modesty, both himself and his poems to the favorable notice of his imperial friend.
2. Volumina; from volvo, beceause, when a work was finished, the paper (charta, made from papyrus) or parchment (membrana) was rolled up by means of a staff fastened to one end of it. 2. Reddes;= reddas; you will hand. 5. Sedulus. Officious. Vehemente opera; with excessive pains. By overdoing his commission he might disgust the emperor. -6. Si te, etc. On the other hand, he might discharge the service in a rude, unceremonious manner. 8. Asinae-cognomen. With a rather free jest at the cognomen of his messenger, he compares him with an uneasy, restive ass, glad to rid itself of its burden. People might say that he well merited his cognomen. Such names were not uncommon; e. g. Lupius, Ovicula, etc.- -9. Fabula. See n. Epod. 8. 10. Uteris, also future, with same force as reddes, 1. 2. 12. Sic. The poet suits the action to the word; and tells him how to hold the volumes. 14. Pyrrhia. A female slave in some play, who had stolen some yarn, and betrayed the theft by her manner. — 15. Tribulis. Of humble rank. Such guests, having no slaves, would themselves bring to a dinner their sandals and cap. Comp. n. Sat. ii., 8, 77.
Horace remonstrates with his bailiff, on his discontent with country life, his impa. tience of its solitude and restraints; and on the other hand, expresses his own distaste
for the city, and his longing desires to get back to his peaceful occupations on his Sabine farm.
It appears from the beginning of the Epistle, that Horace had gone into the city to condole with his friend Lamia on the loss of a brother. It is probable that he there wrote the Epistle for the entertainment of himself and his friends, and did not really address and send it to his bailiff.
2. Focis. Focus here for familia or domus.· -3. Bonos-patres. In this language Horace means to illustrate the size of his farm. It was large enough to support five tenants (coloni) besides his own establishment. The expression, in Sat. ii., 7, 118, refers not to tenants, but to house slaves. Comp. n. O. i., 35, 6; and Dict. Antiqq. under Praedium.
- Variam. The nearest market-town to the farm; it is now called Vico-varo; thither the farmers carried their produce.6. Lamiae; to whom Horace addressed Ode i., 26; iii., 17.- 8. Istuc, thither, where you are. -9. Claustra. See n. Sat. i., 1, 114. - -14. Mediastinus. A slave of all work; "qui in medio stat ad quaevis imperata paratus." Acron. See Becker's Gallus, p. 223. - -23. Ocius uva, i. e. not that it produced no wine at all, but wine of an inferior quality. See Introd. to O. i., 20, and n. on 1. 1 of that Ode. -26. Et tamen. And yet (as you are wont to complain). · 28. Frondibus. Cato, de Reb. Rust. 30, gives this rule: Bubus frondem ulmeam, populneam, querneam, ficulneam, usquedum habebis, dato. Comp. Virg. Ecl. 9, 60. 33. Immunem. Without a present.- - 34. De media luce. See n. Sat. ii., 8, 3.- -36. Incidere, abrumpere, break off. -30. Glebas-moventem; i. e. when I, a poet, undertake to do any work myself.
Advised by his physician Antonius, Musa, to exchange the warm baths of Baiae for cold bathing at either Velia or Salernum, Horace writes to Numonius Vala, requesting some definite information on the relative merits of these two places. Probably Vala owned real estate near Velia and Salernum.
1. Quae sit, etc. The clauses in lines 1, 2; 14-16; 22-24; all depend upon par est, etc., in 1. 25. The passages 2-13, 17-21, are parenthetical Veliac. Velia was in Lucania; Salernum in the Picentine district, and now called Salerno. 3. Antonius. Antonius Musa was a physician of the day, who practised hydropathy. His cold water-treatment was of great service to Augustus; see Suet. Octav. 59, and 81. — Illis ; i. e. Baiis, or rather its inhabitants, who take it amiss that the poet quits their baths for other waters. 8. Caput-supponere. Celsus prescribed pouring of cold water for weak heads and stomachs what the
Italians call doccia, and the French douche.. 9. Clusinis. Clusium was in Etruria, and Gabii in Latium. There were cold springs at both these places. 10. Diversoria nota; sc. equo. The poet must mean the inns on the road to Baiae, to which he, from the force of custom would turn of his own accord. But now, as is mentioned in next line his rider is not going to Baiae. — – 12. Laeva habena; i. e. by pulling the left rein. One who was going to Baiae or Cumae would turn off from the Appian way to the right; but, going to Salernum, would turn off to the left. The branch road to the two former places commenced at Sinuessa, and was called Via Domitiana; that leading to Salernum commenced at Capua, and was called Via Aquillia. See Dict. Antiqq. under Viac.· 13. Equi-in ore. This remark explains and, as it were, excuses the expression habena dices, inasmuch as the horse was to be addressed, not by the voice, but by the bits which were in his mouth. 15. Collectos; i. e. in cisterns. Fugis aquae = aquae fontanae, spring-water. Perennes adds the idea of never-failing.· - 16. Nam, etc. Elliptical. I make no inquiries about the wine, for I care nothing, &c. 24. Phacax. See n. Epist. i., 2, 28. 26. Maenius. Having (1. 24) touched upon his hope of finding good living, he passes to the story of Maenius, humorously comparing himself with him; a man who lived luxuriously so long as he had abundant means, but when these were exhausted, made himself content with humble fare. ———— 28. Non qul, etc. Explanatory of vagus. He lived on other people, going now to one and now to another's table, like a stray horse who had no regular manger. -29. Hoste. Here used in its original sense of stranger. The man when hungry was rude to all alike. —— 31. Pernicies, etc. These nominatives are put by apposition to the subject of donabat. The words are borrowed from comedy, and descriptive of a glutton and hanger-on upon the markets. 37. Bestius. The name of a miser, who was fond of preaching against extravagance. Verterat - cinerem ; 41. Turdo-vulva. were, by Roman epicures, accounted great delicacies.
made secure, i. e. collocata, safely invested.
Quinctius, to whom this Epistle is addressed, seems to have been an ambitious man, absorbed in the pursuit of civil honors, and rejoicing in the success he had already gained. He probably wondered, as such a man well might, how Horace could be content with the unambitious life he was leading in the retirement of his Sabine farm.
Horace, in this Epistle, first describes the spot in which he so loved to live, dwelling upon its delightful situation, its mild climate, its verdure and its healthfulness (1-16). Turning, then, in direct address to his friend, he congratulates him upon his good fortune
in the world, but bids him remember that character is of higher value than fame and honor, that the favor of the multitude is apt to mislead and blind its votary, and that it is fickle and often unworthily bestowed (17-40). He then illustrates the difference between a mere negative, and a real, positive virtue (41-62), and concludes by showing that none but the truly virtuous can lead a free and happy life.
Nothing definite is known concerning the person to whom this piece is addressed. Perhaps it is the same as Quinctius Hirpinus, to whom Horace wrote the Eleventh of the Second Book of Odes.
See n. Sat. ii., 6, 19.
5. Continul montes, ni-valle. The Valley of Ustica (see O. i., 17, 11), now Valle Rustica, or, in a wider sense, the Valley of the Digentia (see Epist. i., 18, 104), now Valle di Licenza, in which lay the poet's farm, 6. made a break in the otherwise continuous range of Sabine hills. Sed. This word limits opaca. The valley was shady, but did not quite exclude the sun, which shone in upon one side in the morning, and on the other in the afternoon. Dextram latus-laevum. The course of the stream, which ran south, determines the direction of the valley, which was due north and south; and hence, too, the meaning of dextrum and laevum, which were respectively the western and the eastern Iside of the valley. -7. Vaporet; "vapore obducat." Orelli. Covers with vapor; in allusion to the exhalations at sunset, with us as well as in Italy. 11. Dicas-Tarentum'; i. e: so charming is the place, you would say it was another Tarentum in full bloom. Tarentum was a 12. Rivo; i. e. favorite place with Horace. See O. ii., 6, 9, seqq. the Digentia; comp. above n. on 1. 5. Ut; i. e. talis (or) ita ut. 16. Septembribus. 17. Audis. See n. Sat. ii., 6, 20. -20. Alium sapiente. Alius is here used with the abl. in the same way as λos is used with the genitive. Comp. Epist. ii., 1, 240, Sat. ii., 2, 208. Also Cic. Fam. xi. 2; Nec quidquam aliud libertate communi quaesisse. - 25. Tibi; for a te. -27. Tene magis, etc. These verses are quoted from the Panegyric on Augustus, written by Varius. 36. Furem; sc. me esse.➖➖ – 40. Medicandum; (the man) who needs to be cured; i. e. of his faults: the word follows up mendosum. Consultum patrum;= senatus consulta, which made a part of the jus civile. 43. Tenentur. Are maintained. The opposite is causâ cadere. 49. Sum bonus - renuit, etc.; i. e. if he thinks himself good merely on the ground of having done nothing grossly wrong, he -53. Tu, etc.; deceives himself. On Sabellus, see n. O iii., 6, 38. opposed to boni in preceding line; they shun wrong from the love of 57. Vir bonus. Ironical. virtue, you from fear of punishment. (Your) good man. The description following is a fine piece of satire upon a hypocrite. One is reminded by it of the outside religion of the Pharisees, as described by our Lord in the New Testament. Sancto. On the construction, see n. Sat. i., 1, 19. fixum. The poet probably refers to a trick the Roman boys had of
- 61. 64. In triviis
fastening a piece of coin in the pavement, so as to have a laugh upen any one who should happen to see it, and try to pick it up. - 65. Qui capiet, etc. See a parallel passage in E. i., 6, 10.- 69. Captivum. The man who is lost to virtue, and is a slave of avarice, is like the coward who has flung away his arms, and is taken captive by the enemy. But, as the captive in war may be kept as a slave, so the avaricious man lives indeed, but for low aims and objects. -73. Pentheu, etc. An imitation of a passage in Euripides' Bacchae, where Bacchus, disguised as a priest, replies to Pentheus, the Theban king, who threatens him with chains and torture. 78. Volam. In allusion to suicide, which the Stoics taught was lawful. Seneca says, in De Provid. vi., 5: "Contemnite mortem quae vos aut finit aut transfert.Patet exitus. Si pugnare non vultis, licet fugere. -79. Ultima linea. A metaphorical use of the line drawn across the course in the Circus, to mark the goal. Cicero in de Senec. 23, has a similar metaphor: nec vero velim, quasi decurso spatio, a calce ad carceres revocari.
The poet teaches Scaeva, some young friend of his, how he may gain the favor of the great, without any loss of self-respect. It seems to be his object at once to encourage an honorable ambition, and to censure an indolent spirit, which, under the pretext of independence, would content itself with obscurity.
5. Fecisse. See n. O. i., 1, 4.
3. Amiculas. The diminutive favors the friendly air of the piece. The poet adopts the tone of a familiar friend, rather than that of a teacher. 8. Ferentinum. A small retired town in Latium, 48 miles 8. E. of Rome. The sense is: if you study your personal comfort, shun the city and the society of the great. Orelli thinks the poet refers to a journey with a patron, to the noise and dust on the road, and the bad public houses. - -10. Fefellit;= vixit ignotus. See n. O. iii., 16, 32. -11. Tais; your relatives and friends, whom, through a patron, you may aid. 12. Unetum; opulentum; so siccus pauper. The expressions are sportively borrowed from a feast. We are not to infer that Scaeva was a poor man. — -13. Si pranderet. The words of the Cynic Diogenes, said of Aristippus, when the latter was at the court of Dionysius of Syracuse. -14. Si seiret. The reply of Aristippus. See n. Sat. ii., 3, 100.- -21. Officium facio. I pay my court. -22. Nullius. Masculine, as is manifest from dante minor. 24. Fere; limits aequum; for the most part. í. e. Diogenes. -25. Quem; -25. Duplici. In allusion to to the dimλots, or double cloak which Diogenes wore, instead of the tunic and the pallium.