Obrazy na stronie

B. C.

scanty remainder of his property, or, as Tate surmises, with contributions received from Venusia. It is probable, however, that he was presented to this office by one of his patrons at a later period; and it seems that he continued to hold it till his death.1 Soon afterwards Virgil and Varius introduced him to Mæcenas, who received him courteously, though with somewhat of his habitual reserve: but doubtless recalled him to his levee, eight months afterwards, on their further recommendation; and admitted him to a closer intimacy, of which evidence may be found in many portions of his writings. Now commenced the composition of his first published work, the First Book of Satires, of which the latest must have been written about B. C. 37, shortly after the publication of Virgil's Eclogues. His own struggles and his feelings of disappointment may have led him to adopt this style of writing. Virgil, 40. in his Fourth Eclogue, had celebrated the first journey to


Brundusium, when Antony agreed to marry his rival's sister, 38. Octavia. The second met with a chronicler no less illus


trious; although Antony, alarmed by a prodigy, did not keep his appointment with Octavius. See Introduction, I. Sat. v. 36. The war with Sextus Pompey elicits expressions of a closer friendship between the poet and the patrons; and Mæcenas, it seems, acknowledged the incense of sincerity or adulation, by the gift of a small Sabine farm, situate at the village of Mandela, not far from the river Digentia. Under its sloping uplands, or in the shady valley where a limpid stream meandered to the river from the fount of Bandusia, the poet passed many of his happiest hours; and we owe many a beautiful passage to the purer aspirations of this rustic scenery. The extent was but moderate; five cottagers formed the tenants, and the labour of eight slaves sufficed for all agricultural purposes." His life at Rome also was one of ease and happiness. On terms of familiarity with Mæcenas, and enjoying the intimacy of the distinguished poets above mentioned, with a host of friends whom his social disposition had gathered round him1o, he has given us a graphic picture of the life of a literary man, exempt from the drudgery of labour", and enjoying and contributing to the amenities of a society which united refinement of intellect 35. with kindliness of heart. To this period we may refer the 34. composition of the Second Book of Satires. Agrippa exhibited 33. games as ædile in the year B. C. 33.12

The next work, though written apparently at more disjointed periods, was the Book of Epodes, which may have been pub32. lished about two years later. Dissensions had arisen between

11. Epist. xiv. 17.

21. Sat. vi. 54, and

ix. 43.

3 Sat. x. 44.

4 1. Sat. v. 1, &c.

5 Epode iv. 17, and ix. 7. 6 11. Sat. vi. 1.

11. Carm. xviii. 12.

Epode i. 31.

III. Carm. iv. 21.
7 1. Epist. xviii. 104.

8 1. Epist. xvi. 1-16.
1. Epist. xiv; and compare
Epode xvi. and III. Carm.
xvi. 29, &c.

9 II. Sat. vii. 118. 1. Epist. xiv. 2. 10 1. Sat. x. 76.

Tate, p. 54.

11 1. Sat. vi. 112.
12 11. Sat. iii. 185.

B. C.

Octavius and Antony, provoked by the latter's guilty passion for Cleopatra. Horace views with alarm the preparations for the coming strife; and forgetful of his former disgrace, or in poetic hyperbole, offers to accompany Mæcenas to the scene of action. He makes frequent reference to the fears which were created within the city', and to the success of Agrippa at the "crowning" victory of Actium in the following year." After the battle, he proposes to celebrate the triumph with 31. Mæcenas at a festive banquet." At this time, probably, he buys or rents the little cottage at Tibur, (the modern Tivoli,) to which his allusions are but slight, yet expressed in a tone of affection.'

The fruits of the next four years of his life may be found in 30. the First Book of Odes. One of the latest in the series appears to have been written early, when the events at Alexandria had left Octavius without a rival. On the news of the victor's march into Asia, Horace begins to anticipate Parthian victories; and these poetical vaticinations have led to some apparent difficulties in the chronological arrangement of his poems. Octavius on his return celebrated a triple triumph for Dalmatia, Actium, and Alexandria; and the temple of Janus was closed. In the fourteenth Ode, there is probably an allegorical allusion to the conference held with Mæcenas and Agrippa, on the subject of the resignation of the supreme authority. An event soon followed especially interesting to poets, the opening 28. of the public library in the temple of Apollo on Mount Palatine." In the next year, on the Ides of January, Octavius received the 27. title of Augustus." But amidst internal quiet, the external relations of the state were still threatening. The disturbances on the eastern and the north-eastern frontier1, and the expulsion of Tiridates from Parthia by Phraates and his Scythian allies13, who seemed likely to violate the safe-conduct offered to the fugitive in Syria', had led to rumours of an Eastern war; and Augustus had even proposed to carry his arms into Britain.15 Iccius, one of our poet's "band of brothers," was about to join the army of the East. Perhaps the candour of Horace is no where better exemplified than in the way in which he touches on this friend's besetting sin.16 Neither of these expeditions took place; the second was abandoned, the first deferred till Ælius Gallus, three years later, marched from Egypt into Arabia.

The poet, whilst wandering on his Sabine property, has his 26. philosophy tested by a providential escape from the fall of a tree", and he turns with real feelings of gratitude to the estab

1 Epode ix. 11.
2 Epode vii. and xvi.
3 Epode i. 1.
41. Carm. xxxvii. 6.
III. Carm. vi. 13.
51. Carm. xxxvii. 13.
1. Carm. vi. 1.
6 Epode ix.

71. Carm vii. 10.
11. Carm. vi. 5.

III. Carm. iv. 23.
IV. Carm. iii. 10.
81. Carm. xxxvii. See
IV. Carm. xiv. 35.
91. Carm. xii. 51.
10 1. Carm. xxxi. 1.
11 1. Carm. ii.

12 11. Carm. xx. 18.
13 1. Carm. xix. 10.

11. Carm. ii. 17.


14 1. Carm. xxvi. 5.

1. Carm. ii. 51.

15 1. Carm. xxxv. 29. 39.
1. Carm. xxi. 13.

16 1. Carm. xxix.
1. Epist. xii.

17 11. Carm. xii. 1.
III. Carm. iv. 27.

B. C.

lished religion of his country, to the worship of the Muses and of Bacchus, the tutelary deities of poetry, and of Faunus as a 25. rural god. His friend Septimius had invited him, but in vain, to join the expedition of Augustus into Spain3, and Lollius, and perhaps Hirpinus Quinctius, were serving in this war. To these campaigns, and to that of Lentulus, who checked the inroads of Cotiso king of the Daci, and of the Sarmatian tribes, the Geloni, &c., many of his historical allusions are directed."

At the close of this year, the temple of Janus is shut for the 24. second time'; and in the ensuing spring Augustus returns from Spain, and receives the congratulations of his courtiers. To this and to the next year Bentley ascribes the Third Book of Odes. Three are addressed to Mæcenas9, who was now Præfectus Urbis in the absence of Augustus first in Egypt, and afterwards in Sicily and Syria. Tiridates, feeling insecure, flies to Augustus, taking with him the youngest son of Phraates.10 The latter, exhausted by these civil dissensions, sends an embassy to Augustus; who consents to recognise Phraates as monarch, and to relinquish his son, stipulating that the standards and captives taken from Crassus and Antony should be restored. The poets celebrate these terms as a victory, and the restoration is hailed as taking place forthwith", though the standards did not arrive in Italy till B. c. 20. The war in Ethiopia12 soon after terminates in the defeat of Queen Candace by Petronius.


We now arrive at the First Book of Epistles, the composi21. tion of which may be placed between B. C. 21, when Horace completed his 44th year13, and B. C. 19. It would seem from the language of the poet11 and from his subsequent silence with respect to Mæcenas, that this was intended by him to be the last of his works, and that in the First Epistle, the latest in chronological order, he purposed to bid farewell to his patron 20. and the Muses. In the mean while he records the absolute re

storation of the standards15, corresponds with friends in the 19. suite of Tiberius16 who had been sent into Armenia to restore Tigranes, and with Tiberius himself", and celebrates the final subjugation of the restless Cantabrians.18 Virgil died in this year, and Tibullus in the year following. Horace had addressed the former in an ode19, and the latter in an epistle, not long before death deprived him of his friends.20


In this year the Carmen Sæculare was composed, by the special command of Augustus. And Suetonius tells us that the Fourth Book of Odes was published at the same time, in compliance with the same authority, Augustus desiring that

1 III. Carm. viii. 6.

2 II. Carm. xvii. 27.
3 11. Carm. vi. 1.
41. Epist. xviii. 55.
5 II. Carm. xi. 1.
6 11. Carm. ix. 18.
II. Carm. viii. 18.

7 IV. Carm. xv. 8.

III. Carm. xiv. 3.

9 III. Carm. viii.

III. Carm. xvi.
III. Carm. xxix.

10 III. Carm. viii. 19.
11 III. Carm. v. 3
12 III. Carm. vi. 14.
13 1. Epist. xx. 27.
14 1. Epist. i. 1. 10.

15 1. Epist. xviii. 56.

IV. Carm. xv. 6. 16 1. Epist. iii. 1. Epist. viii. 17 1. Epist. ix. 18 1. Epist. xii. 26. 19 IV. Carm. xiii. 20 1. Epist. iv.

B. C.

the exploits of his stepsons should be celebrated by his favourite poet. Some of the odes in Book IV. had been written earlier, as Ode VI., which is, as it were, a prelude to the Secular Hymn; but they could not have been published earlier than B. C. 15 or 14. The Sicambri were not finally subdued till B. C. 12 or 11, by Drusus; but the poet anticipates their 16. overthrow, presuming on a temporary submission to Augustus, which led to no results. Horace complies with the request of 15. Augustus, and sings the glory of Tiberius and Drusus, in their conquest of the Rhæti and Vindelici. This is one of the finest of his odes; and its lyrical correctness may be compared with the greater metrical licences of the First Book written in his earlier years. Two more of his odes must be ascribed to this year, one by the "lustra decem" of his own ages; the other by the "lustro tertio," which he declares to be elapsing, since the surrender of Alexandria.1 His prayers for the return of Augustus met with no response before B. c. 13. This year Augustus returns from Gaul. It is difficult to assign a date to the Epistles of the Second Book, or to that to the Pisos, though the First Epistle attests the presence of the emperor in the city; there being a difficulty in fixing the date of the third closing of the temple of Janus', which Ernesti places B. C. 10. The Second Epistle was probably written 11. during the campaign of Tiberius in Dalmatia and Pannonia.


The years of the poet were now fast drawing to their close. He had outlived many of his contemporaries, and the playful and often licentious spirit of his early Muse had been sobered down into good-humoured criticism. After the death of his 8. first and last patron, Mæcenas, a few weeks completed his career, almost in literal accordance with his own poetic resolution." He died at the age of 57, so suddenly as to leave his will uncompleted, and named Augustus the heir of his small property. He was buried near the tomb of Mæcenas on the Esquiline Hill.10

In person, he was of small stature11 and corpulent', with dark hair's, which soon became grey", subject to a weakness in the eyes', to which he sometimes pleasantly alludes.15 In temper hasty, yet readily appeased16; contented with his circumstances17; and so ready to adapt himself to present company, or events', as to incur the charge of fickleness19; and yet ever grateful to his benefactors20, constant to his friends, and tenderly affectionate to the memory of his father.22 But as truth rather than panegyric is our object,

1 IV. Carm. ii. 34.
IV. Carm. xiv. 51.

2 IV. Carm. iv. See
also IV. Carm. xiv. 8.

3 IV. Carm. i. 6.
4 IV. Carm. xiv. 34.
5 IV. Carm. ii. 42.
IV. Carm. v.
6. Epist. i. 1. 15.
71. Epist. i. 255.

8 11. Erist. ii, 1.

9 II. Carm. xvii. 5,

10 Vita Suetonii.
11 1. Epist. xx. 24.
12 1. Epist. iv. 15; and
Life by Suetonius.
13 1. Epist. vii. 26.
14 1. Sat. v. 30.
15 1. Sat. i. 120.

16 1. Epist. xx. 25.
17 11. Carm. xviii. 11.
III. Carm. xvi. 18.
Epode i. 31.

18 1. Epist. xvi. 42.
19 11. Sat. vii. 24.
20 1. Carm. i. 2, &c.
21 11. Carm. vii. 5.
1. Epist. i. 1.
22 1. Sat. vi. 89.

we must admit that the easiness of his temper led him into an Epicurean indifference on subjects of the highest import, so that he had no settled creed or consistent theory either in religion' or philosophy. He has placed a catalogue of some of his own chief faults in the mouth of his servant Davus. We may ascribe to his indolence, or to his disregard of wealth and power, the fact, if it be such, recorded by Suetonius, that he refused the post of private secretary, which was offered him by Augustus. His habits, social in festive life, simple in seclusion, will be best gathered from his own admissions. In his town life, we have a sketch of his day's employment; in the country we find him loving either to bask in the sun, or to loiter idly in the shade." But we may direct the especial attention of the student to a description given of an evening's entertainments, when the poet was surrounded by his country neighbours and the simple labourers of his farm. We know not whether most to admire the kindness of heart manifested on these occasions by this friend of nobles, or the unusually judicious choice of subjects by which the mirth of this rustic party was chastened as well as enlivened. Though destitute, as we have said, of fixed principles for his guidance on many most important points of moral conduct, he is to be honoured for maintaining the candour and integrity of his character, amid the blandishments of the imperial court, and the plaudits of his admiring friends.

But whatsoever he may have been as a man, as a writer he expresses maxims of sound good sense, and sentiments of no common moral elevation, with an emphasis and elegance peculiar to himself. The vigour of his thoughts, the terseness of his language, and his familiar acquaintance with human nature, have rendered him the most generally popular, the most readily remembered, and probably the most largely quoted of all authors, ancient or modern. In his three chief styles of composition, as a lyric poet he has few superiors, as a poetical critic none; and perhaps no equal as a writer of satires and epistles, in which narrative and raillery, the serious and the playful, are happily blended in a style half didactic, half colloquial. In each of these three departments his genius was decidedly original; in the combination of the three unique.

11. Carm. xxxiv. 1.
1. Sat. v. 101.
21. Epist. i. 13.
3 11. Sat. vii. 23.

4 1. Carm, xxxi. 15.
1. Sat. vi. 116, &c.
51. Sat. vi. 111-129.
61 Epist. xx. 24.

1. Epist. iv. 14.

7 11. Epist. ii. 78.

11. Carm. xi. 13. 8 II. Sat. vi. 60-80.

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