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Stet-vivax, stare = manere (as in Virg. Georg. iv.
afterwards came to be written in this measure; after
extent, each may partake of the style of the other (to 1. 98). ———— 90. Privatis, i. e. suited to the every-day life of private persons, which is the province of comedy; in distinction from the life of public personages, e. g. kings and heroes, which is the province of tragedy. ———— 91. Coena Thyestae. For the sake of speciality, the poet uses a particular tragic subject, instead of the general expression, res tragica. On this particular subject, see n. O. i., 6, 68. - -94. Iratusque Chremes. A common name in the comedies of Terence. The poet means that a comic character may be made to use, in the expression of passion, the loftier language of tragedy. - -Delitigat. This word occurs only here. –96. Telephus-Peleus. Common tragic characters in the ancient drama. Both were unfortunate princes, who lost their thrones, and wandered in exile and poverty. For details, see Class. Dict.- -97. Ampullas. Comp. Epist. i., 3, 14. 98. Tetigisse. See n. O. i., 14. — 99-118. Poems must charm, and sway the passions (to 1. 105); the language, which the speaker uses, must suit his inward feelings (to 1. 111), and his nature and outward circumstances (to 1. 118). 100. Animum-agunto, carry the soul; like the Greek yuxaywyśw. - 107. Severum seria, generally used (as here) the former of persons, the latter of things. Ruhnken, on Ter. Eun. iii., 3, 7 (quoted by Orelli.) - 108. Prius, corresponds with post in 1. 111. The poet simply means, that the inward emotion precedes the outward expression; nature first awakens the emotion, afterwards expresses it by language. · 109. Juvat, pleases (us). — 113. Equites peditesque, a comprehensive expression, borrowed from the army, meaning literally cavalry and infantry, or horse and foot; so for the whole body of citizens, as in Livy, i., 44, Omnes cives Romani equites, peditesque; and here for the whole audience, nobles and common, high and low. 114. Divusne, etc. Observe the contrast in the several expressions in these six lines, turning upon the nature of the persons, age, rank, occupation, country. Comp. n. O. iii., 4, 45. — 119-135. The poet here treats of dramatic "characters and subjects" (Hurd); on these his doctrine is this: if they are old, let them be in accordance with tradition (famam); if new, let them be throughout consistent. But on account of the difficulty that belongs to invention, it is better to dramatize materials already existing (e. g. in the Iliad), which belong, by common right, to all writers; such materials may be appropriated (made one's own literary property) by avoiding, 1, commonplace, 2, mere translation, 3, servile imitation. 119. Famam; = μûov, the established tradition of early poets and other writers. The rule famam sequere is illustrated in 120-124. 120. Reponis; again represent.Honoratum; honored, renowned; as in Cic. Leg. i., 11, 32; Or. 9. 121. Impiger-acer; as in the Iliad, i., 165, and xix., 199; beginning of i.; ix., 636; i. 295.- 122. Nihil-armis; as in Il. i., 300 seqq. Armis is abl., and sibi might be supplied with arroget, as expressed
with negel. Arroget means acquire, win.· -123. Ferox ; as described by Euripides; comp. n. Epod. iii, 12, 13.- Ino-Orestes. Ino and Orestes were subjects of Euripides; Ixion of Aeschylus; Io is intro duced in the Prometheus of Aeschylus. Ino was the wife of Athamas The story was, that one of her sons was killed by her husband, and that she herself, being pursued by him, threw herself into the sea. The epithet perfidus refers to the story of Ixion's betraying Deioneus into a pitfall of fire, and of his abuse of Jupiter's hospitality; vaga to Io's being changed into a heifer, and driven over the earth by a gad-fly, through the vengeance of Juno. 125-127 Here is more fully given the precept in the latter half of 1. 119, relating to new characters. 128-130. Difficile est-dicere: tuque, etc. A difficult and controverted passage. I shall give first, what seems to me the true interpretation, in detail and on the whole, and then add a brief statement and criticism of two interpretations, which are held by other Editors.
1. In the first place, of the most important expression, proprie communia dicere. Of this the right view is given by Gesner, in explaining proprie dicere, as follows: "Proprie dicere est ita undique describere ac finire, ut jam non commune quiddam aut generale videatur, sed individuum, in quo omnia sunt determinata." That is, commune means the abstract, the general, and so communia abstract ideas, general conceptions. The opposite is proprium, the concrete, the particular, and propria, embodiments of abstract ideas in individual forms of character.-As illustrative of commune in the above sense, comp. Cic. de Invent. i., 18 & 48, & 52; de Off. ii., 10; Quintil. vii., 1, 28; xii., 10, 42; Tac. Ann. iii., 27. -To illustrate from Horace himself: the epithets just above in 1. 121 contain so many communia or abstract conceptions, to which Homer's genius gave individual form and embodiment in the Achilles of the Iliad. So we might illustrate of the Medea, the Ino, and the other characters of the Grecian drama; and so of other characters in ancient and in modern literature. Accordingly proprie dicere means to describe particularly, to individualize; and the whole expression means: to form, from general ideas, individual characters. Now to proceed with the other expressions. Tuque; the que expresses inference; and so, and accordingly.- Iliacum carmen; i, e. Iliadem, the Iliad; of course mentioned by Horace only by way of example. - Deducis in actus; to draw out into acts; i. e. make a drama of, dramatize. As to the construction of deducis with proferres, observe that it is briefly put for, "rectius facis, si deducis-quam faceres, si proferres" (Orelli). If now we add, that proferres primus refers to the same thing as proprie dicere, we have the connection, and the sense, on the whole, as follows: the difficulty mentioned is suggested by the rule just before given for forming new characters; the difficulty itself is that of invention, confessedly the greatest task of the poet, and requiring the highest gifts of go
nius; on account of this difficulty, Horace advises the dramatic treatment of (e. g.) the materials furnished by the Iliad.
2. By another interpretation, communia is explained as = nondum occupata, a nemine adhuc tractata, i. e. things never before handled, in short, new subjects; and proprie means in a peculiar or original manner. The sense of the whole passage, which is given by this interpretation, is kindred to that which is stated above. But the method seems objectionable, because communia can mean untried or new subjects, only by way of inference: as thus: communia (it is said) means what is common and open alike to all authors, just as the civil law calls the sea, the air, &c. communia, common to all men; now subjects, which are new, hitherto untried, are common to all writers; and accordingly, communia means here new, untried subjects. It is clear that this method of interpretation is not a legitimate one.
3. The third interpretation, while it takes the same view of proprie as No. 2, takes an exactly opposite one of communia, and makes that = jam occupata et nota, i. e. things often handled and well known, in short, old subjects. The sense of the whole passage, given by this interpretation is this: it is difficult to handle common subjects in an original manner, and yet you had better do this, by dramatizing the Iliad, than be the first to handle new subjects. The obvious objection here is, that there is no such link in the original between the two parts of the passage as is expressed by and yet. The Editors, who interpret thus, translate tuque by and yet you; just as if Horace had written "tu tamen," "nihilominus tu" (Orelli). Indeed a Latin paraphrase of Vincentius Gaudius (quoted by a celebrated Editor from the British Critic, Vol. 5, p. 356, and adopted by him) has these words: "hunc tamen ego conatum tibi suadeo." Of this whole interpretation, it seems enough to say, that in order to establish it, it must be clearly made out that the que in tuque is equivalent to tamen. 131. For the course of thought, see above, n. on 119-135. Publica; opposed to privati juris, and = = publici juris, of common right; said of something, which is open to the use of all alike. In using the word materies, Horace had in mind the store of myths and fables furnished by Homer, and by earlier and later writers. From these stores the Greek tragic writers drew their subjects, and they made these subjects their own by treating them in their own manner. For instance, the Electra (cited by Orelli) was a subject on which Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides each composed a tragedy. These same stores were still open to the Roman poets; and hence for their guidance these precepts of Horace. But the same word may also be applied by us to similar stores of fiction (e. g. ballads) or of history, treasured up in the literature of any modern people. So too familiar instances of the original treatment of the materials of tradition and fiction are furnished by such plays as Shakspeare's Hamlet,
Lear; or Corneille's tragedy of the Cid; and, of the materials of history, by Shakspeare's historical plays. eris Orbem. Orbis Kúkλos, circle or cycle, refers whole series of the ancient fables of the early poets ■scriptor cyclicus); but it seems to be used here in the of a commonplace round of topics. By the dwelling mon and obvious round, the poet means a mere mechaninaterials. 134. In artum; into a strait; i. e. con7 imitation, within narrow limits; beyond which you re to step (pudor vetet), or could not step, without viothe work. The words desilies in artum are generally de to Aesop's fable of the goat in the well. Doet here speaks of the beginning of a poem; it should that more be promised than can be performed (to 1. 139), Homer, so that the performance shall far surpass what was 5); nor should it be far-fetched and tedious, but pertinent urry the reader into the action of the piece (to 1. 152).elicus. In explanation of this expression, I quote the es (putting in italics what specially bears upon it), st. of Greece, Vol. II., pp. 165-167; "the Alexandrine he second century before the Christian era, arranged fold epic poets into a series found on the supposed the events narrated-beginning with the intermarriage aea, and the Theogony-and concluding with the death the hands of his son Telegonus. This collection passed e Epic Cycle, and the poets, whose compositions were emtermed Cyclic poets."—" Both the Iliad and the Odyssey in the Cycle, so that the denomination of cyclic poet lly or designedly carry with it any association of conthe great and capital poems were chiefly spoken of by themEtle of their own separate authors, so the general name of came gradually to be applied only to the worst, and thus y or commonplace."—" It is in this manner that we are disparaging sentiment connected by Horace with the = writer.". -139. Parturiunt montes, etc. From the derived from Aesop : Ωδινεν ὄρος εἶτα μῦν ἀπέτεκεν. etc. The opening of the Odyssey. Comp. Epist. i., 2, ll compares here the opening lines of the Paradise Lost. amum, etc.; i. e. not begin with a sudden flash and end ut of smoke to give a cheerful and enduring light. The in the first instance may be taken from brilliant firesingle rocket; in the second, from the kindling of a eans, of course: not a brilliant opening, which falls off I worthless piece, but a simple, modest introduction,