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175. Loculos. See n. Sat. i., 3, 17. 177. Quem tulit. The poet now speaks of those who are most influenced by a love of popular applause. On ventoso, see n. Epist. i., 19, 37; comp. Sat. i., 6, 23.- 182. Saepe etiam. Horace here passes to the chief obstacle in the way of dramatic poets, the taste of the people for the shows of the amphitheatre. 185. Eques. See n. Ars. P. 113. -186. Nam. See n. O. i., 18, 3. 189. Premantur. In the ancient stage, the curtain was wound round a roller under the stage, and was let down at the beginning, and raised up at the end, of the play. 190-197. The poet describes in these lines, the exhibition of battles, triumphal processions, wild beasts,-all pleasing to the people, but fatal to the success of the drama. Retortis. See n. O. iii., 5, 22. – -192. Esseda, etc. The names of chariots, adopted by the Romans from the ancient Britons and Gauls, and used on public occasions. See description of them in Dict. Antiqq.
193. Ebur-Corinthus. Works of art in ivory, and Corinthian bronze. 194. Democritus. The philosopher of Abdera, usually called the laughing philosopher, as Heraclitus of Ephesus was called the weeping philosopher, from the different view which they took of the follies of men. Juvenal has a parallel passage in Sat x., 28-53, which should be compared with the present one of Horace. - 195. Genus; in apposition to confusa-panthera camelo: "the beast half-camel and half-pard."-Howes. The poet means the camelopard or giraffe, first exhibited at Rome by Julius Caesar. – 197. Ludis ipsis; quam ludos ipsos. See n. O. i., 12, 13. -198. Mimo. Put here for any actor, for histrione. 199. Asello-surdo. The poet unites the Greek Ονῳ τις έλεγε μῦθον with the Latin surdo narrare fabulam, fr. Terence, Heaut. ii., 1, 10.- 203. Artes. See n. on 1. 193.- -204. Divitiae; refers to the costly dresses. 207. Tarentino veneno. Dye of Tarentum. Veneno = succo muricis, the purple extract from the murex, which was also found near Tarentum; comp. n. O. ii. 16, 36. The variety here referred to was the violacea, from its bordering on the violet color. 210. Per extentum funem-ire. Proverbial for something very difficult. – -216. Munus; i. e. the temple of Apollo on the Palatine. See Introd. to O. i., 31; and Epist. i., 3, 17. 220. Ut vineta-mea. Proverbial for people who do something injurious to themselves; here equivalent to saying,-to blame myself and other poets. In these lines, 220-228, Horace excuses Augustus for sometimes paying too little attention to a poet's works, and at the same time laughs at poets (skilfully including himself) for obtruding themselves and their verses upon the emperor's notice. 231. Virtus; i. e. virtus Augusti. · - 233. Choerilus. An inferior poet of Iasus, a town in Caria, who was in the train of Alexander the Great. Curtius, viii., 17, thus speaks of him: Agis quidam Argivus, pessimorum carminum post Choerilum conditor.-Comp. n. Ars. P. 357. - Versibus ;
dative; as in Cic. pro Deiot. 13, quietem senectutis acceptam refert clementiae tuae. -234. Philippos; sc. nummos. Pieces of gold coin, sc called from Philip of Macedon. -240. Lysippo. A celebrated artist in bronze; of Sicyon.-On the ablative, see n. Epist. i., 16, 20. —— 244. Boeotum in crasso. Cicero gives the origin of this epithet, in De Fato, (quoted by Orelli); Athenis tenue coelum, ex quo acutiores etiam putantur Attici; crassum Thebis, itaque pingues Thebani. 246. Dantis; 247. Both Virgil and Varius had died before the composition of this Epistle. -251. Repentes. Comp. Sat. ii., 6, 17. - -252. Arces. Comp. O. iv., 14, 11. 254. Auspiciis. Comp. n. O. iv. 14, 16. -255. Janum. Comp. n. O. iv., 15, 9.· 257. Si-possem. Comp. the poet's language in O. i., 6. 259. Vires-recnsent. Comp. the poet's example here with his precept in Ars. P. 39. 264. Nil moror,
etc. The poet expresses the sentiments which he thinks Augustus himself would cherish and utter; as if he had said: if I were in your place, I should not care for, &c. -268. Capsa. Here used for sandapila, a bier, in which the bodies of poor people were carried to the grave. The word aperta is added with capsa, because a capsa, with nothing but indifferent books in it, might be left open, but would be kept carefully closed, if it contained valuable books. See n. Sat. ii., 3, 228.
This highly finished Epistle, full of illustration of the poet's life and character, was addressed to Julius Florus. (See Introd. to Epist. i., 3.) Florus had complained, that Horace had not, in fulfilment of his promise, sent to him, while absent in the East, in the suite of Tiberius, any of his poetical compositions. The poet, in replying to his friend's complaint, professes to excuse himself for his silence.
He contends, in a familiar illustration from a slave-dealer, that he had warned his friend that he might not keep his word (1-25); and in another illustration from a soldier in the army of Lucullus, that the reasons which once urged him to poetical composition, now no longer existed (26-57). He proceeds to mention various grounds for his growing indisposition to write; the capricious tastes of readers (58-64); the distracting cares, and the noise and tumult of a city life (65-86); the mutual admiration and flattery of small poets (8-108); in contrast with which he describes the lofty aims and difficult task of the true poet (109-140). Finally, he alleges in his defence his confirmed attachment to the study of philosophy, and thence slides, in his usual happy manner, into some of his favorite precepts of wisdom, with which he closes the Epistle (141-end). This Epistle has been imitated by Pope.
2. Si-velit. The apodosis to si-velit-agat is in line i6, Des nummos. -Natum Tibure; i. e. not just imported, but born and brought up in Italy, and near Rome. -4. Ad imos talos. Comp. Sat. i., 9, 10.
5. Nummorum; i. e. sestertiorum. See A. & S. 327; and Dict. Antiqq.- -6. Ministeriis. Dative case. -7. Litteralis. The slavedealer cautiously uses the diminutive. The poet admirably takes off throughout the business tact of the man. 12. Meo-in aere, i. e. not alieno in aere, as aes alienum, another's money, means debt; he is poor (indeed) but he is not in debt; hence has no need of forcing his wares upon any one. -13. Temere. Comp. Epist. ii., 1, 120. - - 15. Pendentis. Doubtless the whip was hung up in the hall or in some public part of the house, to strike terror into the slaves.
16. Des, etc. See above at 1. 2. These are now the words of Horace. -17. Poenae, in respect to the penalty (of the law); because he has told you the faults of the slave, and therefore you can recover no damages. 22. Rediret, in reference to an epistle in reply, for which Florus had waited in vain. - 23. Mecum, i. e. in my favor. -30. Regale, i. e. of king Mithridates. The story is taken from the celebrated campaigns of Lucullus in the Third Mithridatic War, B. c. 74–67. - -40. Zonam, the girdle which fastened the toga; in it the purse was kept. Athenae. The personal points touched upon in these lines (44-52) are noticed in the Life of Horace. · 44. Curvo―rectum, used in a moral sense; right from wrong. He is speaking of the Academy and of the study of philosophy, not of geometry. -47. Belli, depends upon rudem; comp., on the whole line, O. ii., 7, 9–16; Sat. i., 6, 48. Quae — cicutae. Hemlock was used as a cooling medicine; expurgare sanare, heal. Now that I am in fortunate circumstances, I were mad indeed not to enjoy my repose; so mad, that no doses of hemlock, how great soever, could possibly restore me to sanity. -58-140. For course of thought see Introd. - Carmine; i. e. odes, lyric poetry. - 60. Bioneis sermonibus; satires. Bion was a philosopher of sarcastic mood, and attached to the sect of the Cynics. - 67. Sponsum -auditum. Supines; on the former comp. Sat. i., 6, 23.- 68. Cubat. See n. Sat. i., 9, 18. - -70. Humane. In pleasant allusion to the distance from each other of the Quirinal and Aventine, which were at opposite extremities of the city; delightfully convenient. Veram, etc.; as if said in objection; but (you will say) &c. -71. Meditantibus. Comp. Sat. i., 9, 2. -72. Festinat, etc. With this description compare the more extended one of Juvenal, Sat. iii., 227 seqq.- 76. I nunc, etc. Comp. Epist. i., 6, 17. 78. Somno-umbra. So Juvenal, Sat. vii., 105. Sed genus ignavum, quod lecto gaudet et umbra.- - 80. Contracta-vestigia. The narrow tracks; "arta, nondum imitatorum turba protrita." Mitscherlich. -81. Ingenium, etc. "A man of talent, who has studied many years in all the advantage of seclusion, often turns out unfit for authorship, and even for society; how much less can I deem myself fit to compose lyric poetry, amid the tumults and conflicts of city life ?"-Osborne, from Orelli. - 88. Meros;="nihil
aliud nisi, nothing but compliments." Dillenburger.
89. Gracchus; Tiberius or Caius; both were distinguished orators. Comp. Cic. de Orat. i., 9. Mucius; Mucius Scaevola; there were two celebrated jurists of this name. See Cic. de Amie, E. i.—91. Mirabile-opus. The flattering words of the one to the other on his new poem. Your wonderful work, wrought by the Nine Muses! Caelatum the poet borrows from a sister art. Comp. the mixed metaphor in Ars. P. 441.
94. Aedem. The temple of Apollo (see Introd. to O. i., 31.), and the library, in which were put the works and the busts of poets and other men of letters. Our poets enter, and gaze about with their minds full of the thought that here too their precious productions will find a place. - -97. Caedimur. The image is taken from a gladiatorial match: we belabor one another with praises, like a pair of Samnite gladiators, who fight at a feast for the amusement of the guests, and keep battling each other till the lights are brought in. 98. Ad lumina. See n. Sat. ii., 7, 33.-This whole passage is a standing satire upon all cliques and clubs of literary men, which rest upon the basis of mutual flattery and admiration. -99. Discedo. I come off. - 99. Puncto; suffragio, vote. At a Roman election, each citizen had a waxen tablet, like our ticket, containing the names of the candidates; he gave his vote by pricking the tablet, just opposite the name of the candidate of his choice. Afterwards, the tablets were collected and given to officers, called custodes, who checked them off, by pricking points on a larger tablet or register kept for the purpose. See Dict. Antiqq. under Tabula; comp. Ars. P. 343. 100. Callimachus. The celebrated Alexandrian poet, who lived about B. C. 280. 101. Mimnermus. The amatory poet of Colophon; B. c. 627. Comp. Epist. i., 6, 65. 104. Mente recepta; when I have recovered my mind; i. e. gotten over the frenzy of writing poetry.. -105. Impune, i. e. without any danger of my retaliating upon them. Comp. n. Epist. i., 19, 39.- -109. At, qui. Horace now passes to a picture of the true poet. See Introd. - 110. Censoris. The genuine poet will carry into his art the severe fidelity of an upright censor. The Censor had the sole charge of the lists of the Roman citizens; and, for good cause, could degrade a senator or an eques from his order, or a citizen to the rank of aerarians. Hence these expressions, parum honoris, honore indigna, movere loco, etc. 114. Intra penetralia; the inmost recess, the sanctum of the temple of Vesta, to which none might enter but the Vestals themselves; here used for the retirement of the poet's own home, in which are guarded, as it were, these cherished expressions of a hitherto unpublished work, and into which the public may not intrude. 117. Priscis. Comp. Ars. P. 50. -119. Usus. Comp. The poet uses similar language saliat; dances a Satyr, i. e. so as
Ars. P. 71. 122. Luxuriantia, etc. in Ars. P. 446, 447. 125. Movetur,
to represent a Satyr. So in Ars. P. 232, though the word is not followed by an accusative.-Horace here describes the ease of a good writer, who has the art to conceal the toil and effort which his style has cost him. -126. Praetulerim, etc. Horace really means to say, that such is his own ideal of what a poet ought to be, that he is always ill at ease, when he tries to write himself. Far better the bliss of the complacent poet, who is ignorant of what constitutes good poetry. The poet's words, together with the story that now follows, well illustrate Gray's familiar words:
"Where ignorance is bliss,
128. Ringi; used properly of dogs, when they snarl and show their teeth. 134. Signo. The seal put upon the flask. - 137. Helleboro. See Sat. ii., 3, 82; Ars. P. 300. The ancients ascribed insanity to derangement of the organs that secrete the bile; hence atra bilis, μeλayxoxía, madness. The great remedy was the Hellebore of Anticyra. 141-end. See Introd.-The precepts have reference chiefly to a love of wealth (to 1. 204); then to bad passions in general. - 150. Fugeres ;= nolles, or recusares. (Orelli); as in O. i., 9, 13. - 158. Libra-et aere. Purchase of property was accompanied by a form of transfer, called in the Roman law mancipatio; which was effected per aes et libram. The purchaser took hold of the thing (manu capere), and declaring, "I have bought this thing with this piece of money and these brazen scales," he struck the scales with the piece of money, and gave the latter to the seller as a symbol of the price. To the real ownership in property which was thus represented, Horace in this passage pleasantly opposes the quasi ownership which one has from the use of the property, e. g. of the produce of lands, by paying a certain price. See Dict. Antiqq. under Mancipium. 160. Orbi. The name of the real owner of the land, which, as the poet argues, is yours inasmuch as you live upon it. -166. Numerato-olim; on what was paid lately or some time ago; i. e. by you for the produce you have recently bought, or for the land itself purchased (by the owner) some time ago. -167. Emptor. "Join with quondam ; = is, qui quondam emit." Orelli. 168. Aliter; i. e. that they are not bought, but are 170. Usque-quae, up to the place where. Populuslimitibus. The poplar planted on the securely fixed boundaries; populus is collective, and the whole expression describes a line of poplars, that makes a boundary about which there can be doubt.—171. Refugit. The aoristic perfect; see n. O. i., 28, 20; literally, avoids; prevents.— 177. Non-auro. Comp. O. ii., 18, 36. -180. Sigilla; little images, in Tuscan bronze, of the gods; valuable, in the time of Horace, from