Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Est qui nec veteris pocula Massici
Nec partem solido demere de die

Spernit, nunc viridi membra sub arbuto

Stratus, nunc ad aquae lene caput sacrae.
Multos castra juvant et lituo tubae
Permixtus sonitus bellaque matribus
Detestata. Manet sub Jove frigido
Venator tenerae conjugis immemor,
Seu visa est catulis cerva fidelibus,
Seu rupit teretes Marsus aper plagas.

three: Lucan. i. 419, 66 rura Nemetis," or
Nemossi ;' Sil. Ital. iv. 227, "rura Ca-
sini;" viii. 433, "rura Numanae." Grono-
vius approved of this conjecture, and by it
corrected a verse of Paulinus.

18. indocilis-pati.] Examples of this Greek construction for 'ad patiendum' are very numerous. Bentley, as we have seen, tries to apply it to v. 6, reading 'nobilis evehere.' To go no further than this book, we have audax perpeti,' 'blandum dicere,' 'nobilem superare,' 'impotens sperare,' 'callidum condere,' 'doctus tendere,'' praesens tollere,' 'ferre dolosi.' -Pauperies,' 'paupertas,' 'pauper,' are never by Horace taken to signify 'privation,' or any thing beyond a humble estate, as among many other instances "meo sum pauper agello" (Epp. ii. 2. 12). "Probamque pauperiem sine dote quaero (C.iii. 29.56). Aristophanes describes shortly the difference between egens' (πTшуóс) and 'pauper' (évnç), and his description will generally explain Horace's meaning when he uses the latter word :

πτωχοῦ μὲν γὰρ βίος ὃν σὺ λέγεις ζῆν

ἔστιν μηδὲν ἔχοντα,

τοῦ δὲ πένητος ζῆν φειδόμενον καὶ τοῖς

ἔργοις προσέχοντα, περιγίγνεσθαι δ' αὐτῷ μηδὲν, μὴ μέντοι μήδ' ἐπιλείπειν.—Plut. 552, sqq. Paupertas,' 'inopia,'' egestas,' is the climax given by Seneca (de Tranq. Animi, 8). 20. solido demere de die] That is, to interrupt the hours of business. So (C. ii. 7. 6) "morantem saepe diem mero fregi.' 'Solidus' signifies that which has no vacant part or space; and hence 'solidus dies' comes to signify the business hours, or occupied part of the day. Juvenal says (xi. 204, 5):

:

"Jam nunc in balnea salva

[blocks in formation]

Senec. Ep. 84, "Hodiernus dies solidus est: nemo ex illo quicquam mihi eripuit." Stat. Sylv. iv. 36,

"At nunc, quae solidum diem terebat, Horarum via facta vix duarum."

The solidus dies' ended at the hour of dinner, which with industrious persons was the ninth in summer, and tenth in winter. The luxurious dined earlier (as "Exul ab octava Marius bibit," Juv. i. 49), the busy sometimes later. See Becker's Gallus, Exc. i. sc. 9, on the meals of the Romans. The commencement of the day varied with the habits of different people.

22. Caput] This is used for the mouth, as well as the spring of a river. V. Georg. iv. 319, "Tristis ad extremi sacrum caput astitit amnis." Caes. (B. G. iv. 10) says of the Rhine, "multis capitibus in Oceanum influit." Here it is the spring. Shrines were usually built at the fountain-head of streams, dedicated to the nymphs that protected them, which explains sacrae.'

23. lituo tubae] The 'lituus' was curved in shape and sharp in tone, and used by the cavalry: 'tuba,' as its name indicates, was straight and of deep tone, and used by the infantry. "Non tuba directi, non aeris cornua fexi” (Ov. Met. i. 98). Lipsius de Mil. Rom. says thelituus' was in shape a mean between the tuba' and the cornu;' not other. Aulus Gellius (N. A. i. 11) makes a so straight as the one, nor so twisted as the distinction between the three, but does not explain what it is. See C. ii. 1. 17.

[ocr errors]

24. Bellaque matribus Detestata.] 'Detestatus' is no where else used passively, except by the law-writers, who use it for one convicted by evidence: 'modulatus' (C. i. 32. 5), 'metatus' (ii. 15. 15), are likewise used passively.

25. sub Jove] Epod. xiii. 2: "Nives

Fronte licet vadas, quamquam solida hora que deducunt Jovem." The Latin writers

supersit

Ad sextam."

represented the atmosphere by Jupiter, the Greeks by Hera (Serv. ad Aen. i. 51).

Me doctarum hederae praemia frontium
Dis miscent superis; me gelidum nemus
Nympharumque leves cum Satyris chori
Secernunt populo, si neque tibias
Euterpe cohibet nec Polyhymnia
Lesboum refugit tendere barbiton.
Quod si me lyricis vatibus inseris,
Sublimi feriam sidera vertice.

28. teretes] This word Festus describes to mean long and round as a pole,' which definition will not always be found to help us to its meaning. It has always more or less closely the meaning of roundness or smoothness, or both as here. It contains the same root as 'tero,' 'tornus,' Teipw, and its cognate words, and its meaning is got from the notion of rubbing and polishing. Horace applies it to a woman's ancles, a smooth-faced boy, the cords of a net, and a faultless man (see Index). It is applied by Ovid (Fast. ii. 320) to a girdle, and by Virgil (Aen. xi. 579) to the thong of a sling; where, as here, it represents the exact twisting of a cord. Slender' will not do; for plagae' were nets of thick cord with which the woods were surrounded, to catch the larger beasts as they were driven out by dogs and beaters. The professed translators, as usual, give no assistance. Smart renders the words, "circling toils;” Francis,“spreading toils;" Dacier omits teretes' altogether. Marsus for Marsicus, as Colchus for Colchicus, Medus for Medicus, and many others, is the only form Horace uses.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

29. Me doctarum hederae praemia frontium]-Te' has been proposed for me;' and Mr. Tate has declared, that this "true reading, on necessity arising from internal evidence against me' and the MSS., after the assent of scholars generally given, may now take its place as it were by acclamation." Orelli says, in opposition to Mr. Tate, "conjecturam-jam ab omnibus explosam esse arbitror." It was originally conjectured by Hare, and the only editors as far as I know, who had adopted it when Mr. Tate

[blocks in formation]

wrote, are Jones and Sanadon. Other critics have defended it, but very lamely : and more recently Fea has adopted this reading, but on grounds very different from his predecessors. "Thou, Maecenas," he says, "art ever occupied in crowning poets with the ivy, and they in return exalt thee to the gods in their songs." I need not protract this note with quotations to prove that the ivy, which was sacred to Bacchus, made a fit and usual garland for a lyric poet. "Doctarum frontium," which Mr. Tate defends, as applied to Maecenas, is the proper description of poets, who, by the Greeks were called σοφοί. So doidoi copioraí (Pind. Isth. ii. 36). 34. Lesboum-barbiton.] Sappho and Alcaeus.

The lyre of

35. Quod si] A reference to the Index will show that quod si' does not occur, as Orelli says it does, but rarely in the poets. The MSS. vary between ‘inseris' and 'inseres.' The present seems to be more in keeping with what goes before, and Horace had no occasion to express a doubt as to whether Maecenas ranked him among lyric poets. Although the personal pronoun 'tu' is emphatic in this sentence, it is omitted, as the poets often do, where no opposition of persons is intended. Orelli and Dillenbr. have quoted a fragment of Sappho (15 Bergk), from which it might appear that the last line was imitated: but the reading is so doubtful that nothing certain can be made out of it. The idea will be found frequently in Ovid.—' Lyricis' is less common than melicis,' to describe the lyric poets of Greece.

CARMEN II.

A.U.C. 725.

This ode was probably written on the return of Augustus to Rome, after the taking of Alexandria, when the civil wars were brought to a close and the temple of Janus was shut, A.U.c. 725. Horace here expresses the opinion which Tacitus (Ann. i. 9) states was held by reflecting men of all parties, "non aliud discordantis patriae remedium fuisse quam ut ab uno regeretur," that the only remedy left for the troubles of the state was an absolute government in the hands of one person. He has been charged with deserting his republican principles, and even urging the destruction of those whose party he had once belonged to, and with whom he had fought at Philippi. But Horace urges reform, not bloodshed; and he had lived long enough to see that reform was not to be expected at the hands of republican leaders, or from any but him whose genius was now in the ascendant. It is not therefore in any mean spirit that he urges upon Augustus to take upon himself the task of reducing to order the elements of the state, which so many years of civil war had thrown into confusion.-None of Horace's odes are more justly celebrated than this for the imagery it contains, for its genuine feeling, and for the delicacy with which it flatters Augustus, investing him with divine attributes, but inviting him to exercise them as a father correcting and defending his children, and thus to avenge in the noblest manner his great-uncle's murder. The way in which he introduces the name of Caesar unexpectedly at the end has always appeared to me an instance of consummate art.

The prodigies described at the beginning of this ode are those which were said to have followed the death of Julius Caesar. They are related also by Virgil, Georg. i. 466—489, which passage, and the verses that follow it to the end of the book, should be read in connexion with this ode. It will appear to any reader of both very probable that Horace had this description in his mind when he wrote. It has been thought that Horace could not have referred to prodigies which had occurred so long before (A.U.c. 710, fifteen years before this ode was written), when he was at Athens, and therefore could not have witnessed them. Other prodigies therefore have been assumed as the subject of these opening stanzas. But the only other occasions, about this time, when the Tiber is recorded to have overflowed its banks, were A.U.c. 727 and 732, the earliest of which years would be too late for this ode, in which the allusions to the state of Rome and the triumphs of Augustus (v. 49), and the proposal that he should assume supreme authority, would in that case have been out of date and unnecessary. One of the chief purposes professed by Augustus was the avenging of his adoptive father's death: see Suet. Octav. x.: "Nihil convenientius duxit quam necem avunculi vindicare tuerique acta." Tacitus also speaks of him (Ann. i. 9) as "pietate erga parentem-ad arma civilia actum;" which his enemies turned against him, saying, "Cassii et Brutorum exitus paternis inimicitiis datos, quanquam fas sit privata odia in publicis utilitatibus remittere." According to Dion Cassius (liii. 4) his declared purpose was ὄντως τῷ τε πατρὶ δεινῶς σφαγέντι τιμωρῆσαι καὶ τὴν πόλιν ἐκ μεγάλων καὶ ἐπαλλήλων κακῶν ἐξελέσθαι. Ovid (Fast. v. 569, sqq.) introduces him as uttering this prayer to Mars:

"Si mihi bellandi pater est Vestaeque sacerdos
Auctor, et ulcisci numen utrumque paro;
Mars, ades et satia scelerato sanguine ferrum;
Stetque favor causa pro meliore tuus.

Templa feres et me victore vocaberis ultor."

This being the case, Horace could not judiciously have passed over the death of Julius Caesar, in an ode which hailed the return of Augustus ; nor could he have alluded to it better

than in connexion with those prodigies which seemed to speak the wrath of Heaven against civil discord. Other poets wrote of these prodigies which were very notorious. See Tibull. ii. 5. 71, sqq.; Ovid, Met. xv. 782, sqq.; and one phenomenon poetically described by Horace is recorded by Dion. (xlv. 17): xai ixtũs in Tйs Oaλáoσης ἀμύθητοι κατὰ τὰς τοῦ Τιβέριδος ἐκβολὰς ἐς τὴν ἤπειρον ἐξέπεσον.

If this ode is read with C. ii. 15, and the others mentioned in the Introduction to that ode, the feeling with which Horace entered into the mission of Augustus as the reformer will be better understood.

ARGUMENT.

Portents enough hath Jove sent upon the earth, making it afraid lest a new deluge were coming, as the Tiber rolled back from its mouth threatening destruction to the city, the unauthorized avenger of Ilia!

Our sons shall hear that citizens have whetted for each other the steel that should have smitten the enemy.

What god shall we invoke to help us? What prayers shall move Vesta to pity? To whom shall Jove assign the task of wiping out our guilt? Come thou, Apollo; or thou, smiling Venus, with mirth and love thy companions; or thou, Mars, our founder, who hast too long sported with war; or do thou, son of Maia, put on the form of a man and let us call thee the avenger of Caesar; nor let our sins drive thee too soon away; here take thy triumphs; be thou our father and our prince, and suffer not the Mede to go unpunished whilst thou art our chief, O Caesar.

JAM satis terris nivis atque dirae
Grandinis misit Pater, et rubente
Dextera sacras jaculatus arces
Terruit Urbem,

Terruit gentes, grave ne rediret

Seculum Pyrrhae nova monstra questae,
Omne cum Proteus pecus egit altos
Visere montes,

1. Jam satis-] See Introduction. dirae] It is very common in Horace (though not peculiar to him) to find an epithet which is attached to the latter of two substantives, but belongs to both, as here, and "fidem mutatosque Deos" (C. i. 5. 6); "poplitibus timidoque tergo" (C. iii. 2. 16), and many other places which the student will observe for himself. Horace uses this construction so frequently that it may be looked upon as a feature in his style; and he often uses it with effect.

2. rubente] Virgil has (G. i. 328) "Corusca dextera," where, however, it may be doubted whether corusca' belongs to 'fulmina' or to dextera.' Some MSS. have 'rubenti.' But Bentley (on C. i. 25. 17) quotes Verrius Flaccus, a grammarian of the Augustan age, who lays down the rule that in Horace all nouns ending in 'ns' have the termination of the ablative in 'e,' not

5

i.' This is not true in respect to some words, which though they have the force of adjectives are in fact participles. For instance, "Ab insolenti temperatam laetitia" (C. ii. 3. 3). Bentley, therefore, attributes too much perhaps to the authority of his grammarian in adopting this as an invariable rule in respect to the participle. No doubt Horace would have used the long vowel if ever it had been convenient.

3. arces] The sacred buildings on the Capitoline hill. They were called collectively Capitolium or Arx (from their position), Arx Capitolii, and sometimes by hendiadys, "Arx et Capitolium." (Livy, v. 39, &c.) They embraced the three temples of Jup. Opt. Max., Juno, and Minerva, of Jupiter Feretrius, and of Terminus.

10. columbis,] The proper name for a wood-pigeon is palumbus,' or 'ba,' or '-bes;' and therefore some have proposed,

Piscium et summa genus haesit ulmo
Nota quæ sedes fuerat columbis,
Et superjecto pavidae natarunt
Aequore damae.

Vidimus flavum Tiberim retortis
Littore Etrusco violenter undis
Ire dejectum monumenta regis
Templaque Vestae ;

Iliae dum se nimium querenti
Jactat ultorem, vagus et sinistra
Labitur ripa Jove non probante u-
xorius amnis.

contrary to the MSS, to adopt 'palumbis' here. But columbus'.ba,' are the generic terms for pigeons. Sueton. Octav. Ixiv. "palma frequentabatur columbarum nidis." Damae' is both masculine and feminine. Georg. iii. 539: " timidi damae cervique fugaces."

11. superjecto] 'sibi et terris' adds Lambinus. But sibi' is not wanted. Virgil uses the word (Aen. xi. 625), “Scopulisque superjacit undam."

13. flavum] This common epithet of the Tiber arose out of the quantity of sand washed down in its stream. Aen. vii. 31: "Vorticibus rapidis et multâ flavus arenâ." It has been argued from 'vidimus' that Horace wrote of what he had seen, and therefore the prodigies could not be those at Caesar's death. But this is not worth listening to. Horace means that his generation had seen the prodigies he refers to, as Virgil says of the eruptions of Aetna:

"Quoties Cyclopum effervere in agros Vidimus undantem ruptis fornacibus Aetnam."-Aen. i. 471.

13, 14. retortis Littore Etrusco violenter undis] "its waters driven violently back from its mouth at the shore of the Etruscan sea." So I am inclined to take it with Orelli, Dillenbr., and others. Some take 'Littore Etrusco' for the Etruscan or right bank of the river, as opposed to 'sinistra ripa' (v. 18). Littus' is used for 'ripa' (as Forcell. shews) by Virgil, as 'ripa' is used for 'littus' by Horace (C. iii. 27. 24). But 'littus Etruscum' means the shore of the Etruscan sea in Carm. Saec. 38, Epod. xvi. 40, and ' retortis' can only signify driven back, and that must be from the mouth. Moreover the notion of the reflux of the river seems to have been common. Fea remarks that the overflowings of the Tiber are still by the

10

155

20

common people accounted for by the violence of the sea driving back the stream. That this is an old opinion we learn from the statement of Seneca, quoted by Mitsch., to the effect that a river suddenly overflows its banks "si crebrioribus ventis ostium cæditur et reverberatus fluctu amnis restitit qui crescere videtur quia non effunditur." (Nat. Quaest. iii. 26. 1.)

15. monumenta regis] This signifies the palace of Numa adjoining the temple of Vesta, hence called atrium regium' (Liv. xxvi. 27), as forming a kind of atrium' to the temple. Ovid (Fasti, vi. 263) thus alludes to this building ::

"Hic locus exiguus, qui sustinet atria Vestae,

Tunc erat intonsi regia magna Numae;" which he varies a little elsewhere (Tr. iii. 1. 29, sq.):

"Hic locus est Vestae qui Pallada servat et ignem :

Hic fuit antiqui regia parva Numae." Fea says that the church of Sta. Maria Liberatrice stands on this spot, and that it is proved by certain inscriptions of the Vestal Virgins found there in the beginning of the fifteenth century.

Tiber is repre

17. Ilicultorem,] sented as taking upon himself without the sanction of Jove, and in consequence of Ilia's complaints, to avenge the death of Julius Caesar the descendant of Iulus. Ilia or Rea Sylvia (as Niebuhr, i. 111, says the name is to be written and not Rhea) was said by Ennius, according to the Scholiast Porphyrion, to have been thrown into the Tiber by command of Amulius, and for this reason she is represented as married to that river, though she had been previously betrothed to the Anio, to whom Ovid marries her (Amor. iii. 6. 45, sqq., a

« PoprzedniaDalej »