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captives slaughtering each other for her amusement. Rome thus wanted the three great sources of poetic inspiration--an heroic period of history, religion, and scenic representation. She had never, at least there appears no vestige of their existence, a caste or order of bards; her sacerdotal offices, attached to her civ magistracies, dis lained the aid of high-wrought music, or mythic and harmonious hymns. Foreign kings and heroes walkea ner stage,' and even her comedy represented, in general, the manners of Athens or of Asia Minor rather than those of Italy.

Still, however, in those less poetic departments of poetry, if we may so speak, which the Greeks had cultivated only in the later and less creative periods of their literature, the Romans seized the unoc upied ground, and asserted a distinct superiority. Wherever poetry ould not disdain to become an art-wherever lofty sentiment, maestic, if elaborate verse, unrivalled vigor in condensing and expressig moral truth, dignity, strength, solidity, as it were, of thought and language, not w hout wonderful richness and variety, could compensate for the chastened fertility of invention, the life and dis. tinctness of conception, and the pure and translucent language, in which the Greek stands alone--there the Latin surpasses all poetry In what is commonly called didactic poetry, whether it would con. vey in verse philosophical opinions, the principles of art, descriptions of scenery, or observations on life and manners, the Latin poets are of unrivalled excellence. The poem of Lucretius, the Georgies of Virgil, the Satires and Epistles of Horace, and the works of Juvenal, were, no doubt, as much superior even to the poem of Empedocles (of which, nevertheless, there are some very fine fragments), or to any other Greek poems to which they can fairly be compared, as the Latin tragedians were inferior to Eschylus and Sophocles, or Terence to Menander.

Ennius, in all points, if he did not commence, completed the de. naturalization of Roman poetry. He was in every respect a Greek;

1. Nine names of Tragoediae Prætextatæ, tragedies on Roman subjects, have survived, more than one of which is doubtful; four only claim to be of the ear fer age. I. The Paulus of Pacuvius, which Neukirch ("De Fabula Togata") and Welcker ("Griechische Tragoedie," p. 1384) suppose to have represented, not Paulus Æmilius Macedonicus, but his father, L. Æmilius Paulus, who, after the battle of Cannæ, refused to survive the defeat. (Liv., xxii., 49.) Yet, noble as was the conduct of Paulus, the battle of Canne would have been a strange subject for Roman tragedy. II. The Brutus of Accius (Cic., Ep. ad Att., xvi., 2 and 5) Cassius Parmensis wrote also a Brutus (Welcker, p. 1403). See the dream of Brutus Cic. De Divinat., i., 22, and Bothe (Scenic. Lat. Fragm., i., 191). From this frag ment Niebuhr (Rom. Hist., vol. i., note 1078) rather boldly concludes that thes were not imitations of the Greek drama, but historical tragedies, like those of Shakspeare. III. The Encada, or Decius of Accius. IV. The Marcellus of Accius s doubtful. V. The Iter ad Lentulum, by Balbus, acted at Gades represented a passage in the author's own life. (Cic., Ep. ad Fam., x., 32.) The later prætex tata were, VI The Cato; and, VII. The Domitius Nero of Maternus, in the reign of Vespasian. VIII. The Vescio of Persius; and, IX The Octavia, in the works ef Seneca, probably at the time of Trajan.

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But

he tine old Roman legends spoke not in their full grandeur to his The fragments of the Annals, which relate the exploits of Roman valor, are by no means his most poetic passages; in almost an his loftier flights we trace Grecian inspiration, or more than inspiration. If it be true that the earliest annalists of Rome turned their ald roetry into prose, Ennius seems to have versified their tame his tory, and to have left it almost as prosaic as before. It may be doubted, notwithstanding the fame of Varius, whether there was any She Roman narrative poetry till the appearance of the Æneid. Lucretius had shown of what the rich and copious, and, in his hands, Aexible Latin language was capable; how it could paint as well as describe, and, whenever his theme would allow, give full utterance to human emotion. It is astonishing how Lucretius has triumphed over the difficulties of an unpromising subject, and the cold and unpoetic tone of his own philosophy. His nobler bursts are not sur passed in Latin poetry. Notwithstanding the disrepute in which Cicero's poetic talents have been held, there are lines, especially ir his translation of Aratus, which, by their bold descriptive felicity and picturesque epithets, rise above the original. Lucretius was dead before Horace settled at Rome, and so, likewise, was the only other great Roman poet who has survived (excluding the dramatists), Ca tullus. Notwi standing their grace, sweetness, and passion, the lyric poems of Catullus do not seem to have been so pleasing a might have been expected to the Roman ear. His fame and popu larity rested chiefly on his satirical iambics. His lyrics are men tioned with asparagement by Horace, and are not noticed by Quin tilian; yet in his happier moments, what Latin poet equals Catul lus? Even if more of his poems than we suppose are translations some of them, which we know to be translations, have all the fir and freedom of original poetry. If the Atys be but a feeble ech of a Greek dithyrambic, what must the dithyrambics of Greece hav been?

When Horace returned to Rome, Virgil and Varius, with Asiniu Pollio, the statesman and tragic writer, were the most celebrate names in Roman poetry. These two great poets soon admitted the young Horace to their intimacy. The fame of Varius, as an epic poet, does not appear to have been recognized even by his Roman posterity. Quintilian speaks of his Thyestes with the highest praise,

worthy to be compared with the nobiest Greek tragedies; he does not mention his name among the epic writers. Varius, it should seem, wrote fine verses on the events and characters of the times; a poem on the death of Cæsar, and a panegyric on Augustus. That kind of poetry obtains high reputation in its own day, but loses its interest with the events which it celebrates. Yet of the few epic lines of Varius which survive, all show vigor and felicity of expresvion, some great beauty. The Eclogues of Virgil appeared in their collective form about the same time with the earliest publication of Horace, his first book of Satires Bt Virg I had already acquired

fame; some of his shorter poems had excited great admiration and greater hope; a few of his Eclogues must have been already known among his friends; he had the expectation, at least, of recovering his forfeited lands through the friendship of Asinius Pollio; he was already honored with the intimate acquaintance of Mæcenas.

The introduction of Horace to Maecenas was the turning-point of hy fortunes; but some time (at least two or three years) must have intervened between his return to Rome, and even his first presenta. on to his future patron, during which he must have obtained some oputation for postic talent, and so recommended himself to the friendahip of kindred spirits like Varius and Virgil. Poverty, in his own words, was the inspiration of his verse.

"Paupertas impulit audax

Ut versus facerein."-Epist. fi., 2, 51, seq.

The interpretation of this passage is the difficult problem in the early history of Horace. What was his poetry? Did the author

expect to make money or friends by it? Or did he write mere. ly to disburden himself of his resentment and his indignation, at that erisis of desperation and destitution when the world was not his friend, nor the world's law, and so to revenge himself upon that world by a stern and unsparing exposure of its vices? Did the de. feated partisan of Brutus and of liberty boldly hold up to scorn man of the followers and friends of the triumvir, whose follies and vice might offer strong temptation to a youth ambitious of wielding the Scourge of Lucilius? Did he even venture to ridicule the all-powerful Mecenas himself? This theory, probable in itself, is supported by many recent writers, and is, perhaps, not altogether without founda tion. In the second satire, one unquestionably of his earliest compositions, most of the persons held up to ridicule belonged to the Cæsaria party. The old scholiast asserts that, under the name of Malchinus, the poet glanced at the effeminate habit of Mæcenas, of wearing his robes trailing on the ground, while more malicious scandal added that this was a trick in order to conceal his bad legs and straddling gait. To judge of the probability of this, we must Look forward to the minute account of his first interview with Mæce. nas. If Horace was conscious of having libelled Mæcenas, it must have been more than modesty, something rather of shame and confusion, which overpowered him, and made his words few and broken.

The dry and abrupt manner of Mæcenas, though habitual to him, might perhaps be alleged as rather in favor of the notion that he had been induced to admit a visit from a man of talent, strongly recom mended to him by the most distinguished men of letters of the day, though he was aware that the poet had been a partisan of Brutus, and had held himself up to ridicule in a satire, which, if not publish. ed, had been privately circulated, and must have been known at east to Varins and Virgil. The gentlemanly magnanimity of Mæ. cenas, or even the policy, which would induce him to reconcile al 1 Walkenaer, Histoire de la Vie d'Horace, i., p. 88.

2 Sat i., 6, 54.

;

men of talent with the government, might dispose him to o with quiet contempt or easy indifference, or even to join in the lang. at this touch of satire against his own peculiarity of person or mai ner; but, sti!!, the subsequent publication of a poem containing such an allusion, after the satirist had been admitted into the intimacy of Macenas (and it is universally admitted that the satire was first pub lished after this time), appears improbable, and altogether inconsistent with the deferential respect and gratitude shown by Horace to his Patron, with the singular tact and delicacy through which the poet preserves his freedom by never trespassing beyond its proper bounds, and with that exquisite urbanity which prevents his flattery from de« generating into adulation. This is still less likely if the allusion in the satire glanced at physical deformity or disease. After all, this negligence or effeminate affectation was probably much too com non to point the satire against any individual, even one so eminent as Mæcenas. The grave observation of the similarity between the names of Mæcenas and Malchinus, being each of three syllables and beginning with an M, reminds us irresistibly of old Fluellin's Macedon and Monmouth.

1

The other circumstances of the interview seem to imply that Horace felt peculiar embarrassment, such as he might have experienced if was conscious of having libelled Mæcenas. There was no awkward attempt at apology, but a plain independence ir his manner; he told him merely that he was neither a man of family nor fortune, and explained who and what he was The question then recurs, what were these verses to which Horse was impelled by poverty? Poetry can not have hear of itself a gainful occupation. The Sosii were not, like the opulent booksellers of our own day, ready to encourage, ard to speculate in favor of, a young and promising author. In another passage, written late in life, the poet pleasantly describes himself as having grown rich and indolent, and as having lost that genial inspiration of want wh ch heretofore had BO powerfully excited his poetic vein. Pope has imitated the humorons illustration of the old soldier with more than his usual felicity "In Anna's wars, a soldier, poor and old, Had dearly earn'd a little purse of gold. Tired with a tedious march, one luckless night He slept (poor dog), and lost it to a doit. This put the man in such a desperate mind, Between revenge, and grief, and hunger join'd, Against himself, the foe, and all mankind

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More conors, more rewards, attend the brave"
Don't you remember what reply he gave?
'D'ye think me, noble general, such a sot?

Let him take castles who has ne'er a groat.""

From these lines it appears that the influence of poverty was more han the independent desire of exhaling his indignation against the partisans of the triumvirs, or of wreaking his revenge; it was the vulgar prudential design, in some way or other, of bettering his condition, was ch was his avowed inspiration. In truth, literary dis tinction in those times might not unreasonably hope for reward The most eminent of the earlier poets had not disdained the patron age and friendship of the great statesmen. Ennius had been domiciliated in the family of the Scipios, and his statue was admitted after his death into the family mausoleum. Lucilius had been connected with the same family. Lucretius lived in the house of the Memmii; Terence with Scipio Africanus and Lælius. Decimus Brutus was the admirer and patron of Accius; as Messala of Tibul. ius; Vulcatius, or Ælius Gallus, of Propertins. Varius was himself a man of rank and birth; bu. Virgil owed to his poetical fame he intimate friendship of Pollio an 1 Maecenas ;' and though Horace, as a known republican, could hardly have hoped for the patronage of Mæcenas, there were others to whom the poet might have been welcome, though much prudence might be required in both parties ⚫ on account of his former political connections.

But, whatever the motives which induced him to write, the poetcal talents of Horace must soon have begun to make themselves known. To those talents he owed, in the first place, the friendship of Varius and Virgil, of Pollio, and perhaps of some others in that list of distinguished persons, which he recounts in the tenth satire of the first book. Some of these, no doubt, he first encountered after he had been admitted to the society of Mecenas. Under what other haracter, indeed, could the son of a provincial freedman, who had Deen on the wrong side in the civil wars, had lost all his property, and scarcely possessed the means of living, make such rapid progress among the accomplished and the great? Certainly not by his socia qualities alone, his agreeable manners, or convivial wit. Nothing out his well-known poetical powers can have so rapidly endeared aim to his brother poets. When Virgil and Varius told Mæcenas 'what he was," they must have spoken of him as a writer of verses, not merely of great promise, but of some performance. But were

1 If Donatus is to be credited, Virgil received from the liberality of his friende got less than centies sestertiam (£80,729 3s. 4d.), besides a house in Rome on the Esquiline, a villa near Nola, perhaps another in Sicily. (Donati, Vita Virg, vi. Hence Juvenal's well-known linea:

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Magnæ mentis opus, nec de lodice paranda
Attonitæ, carrus et equos, faciemque Deorumi
Aspicere, et qualis Rutulum confundat Erinys

Nam si Virgilio puer et tolerabile deesset

Hospitium, caderent omnes e crinibus hydri."- Sat. viii. ob

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