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poet's works to any connection of this kind. At all events, the freed-man has thrown a brighter and more lasting lustre around that celebrated name, than all the virtues and exploits of the older patriots who bore it. We know no reason for his having the prænomen Quintus, nor the agnomen, by which he was familiarly known, Flaccus. The latter name was by no means uncommon; it is found in the Calpurnian, the Cornelian, the Pomponian, and the Valerian families. Horace was of ingenuous birth, which implies that he was born after his father had received his manumission. The silence of the poet about his mother, leads to the supposition that she died in his early youth.

The father of Horace exercised the function of collector of payments at auctions.) The collector was a public servant. This comparatively humble office was probably paid according to the number of sales, and the value of the property brought to market; and in those days of confiscation, and of rapid and frequent changes of property, through the inordinate ambition or luxury of some, the forfeitures or ruin of opulent landholders, and the extinction of noble families in the civil wars, the amount and value of the property brought to sale (sub hastâ) was likely to enable a prudent public officer to make a decent fortune. This seems to have been the case with the elder Horace, who invested his acquisitions in a house

(3) Coactor exauctionum, Suet, in vit. Another reading, exactionum, would make him a collector of the indirect taxes, farmed by the publicans: the Roman municipalities in Italy being exempt from all direct taxation.

and farm in the district of Venusia, on the banks of the river Aufidus, close upon the doubtful boundaries of Lucania and Apulia. There he settled down into a respectable small farmer. In this house the poet was born, and passed his infant years. The romantic adventure of his childhood is told with his peculiar grace. One incident cannot but remind the English reader of our own old ballad of the Children in the Wood, "and Robin Redbreast piously did cover them with leaves."-Carm. 111. iv. 9-20.

"Me, vagrant infant, on Mount Vultur's side, Beyond my childhood's nurse, Apulia's, bounds, By play fatigued and sleep,

Did the poetic doves

With young leaves cover. Spread the wondrous tale
Where Acherontia's sons hang their tall nests,
Through Bante's groves, the low

And rich Ferentine plain.

From the black viper safe, and prowling bear,
Sweet slept I, strewn with sacred laurel leaves,
And myrtle twigs-bold child,

Not of the gods unwatched."

The names and situation of the towns in this romantic district (the Basilicata) still answer to the description of the poet, the high-hung chalets of Acerenza, the vast thickets of Banzi, and the picturesque peaks of Mount Voltore. There are no monuments to mark the site of Bante; bones, helmets, pieces of armour, and a few bad vases, have been picked up near Acerenza.(') The poet cherished

(4) Keppel Craven's Tour in the Abruzzi. Lombardi, sopra la Basilicata, in Memorie dell' Instituto Archæologico.


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through life his fond reminiscences of these scenes, the
shores of the sounding Aufidus (to whose destructive
floods he alludes in one of his latest Odes), and the
fountain of Bandusia.(") He delights also in reverting
to the plain life and severe manners of the rustic
population. Shrewd, strenuous, and frugal, this race
furnished the best soldiers to the Roman legions;

(5) The biographers of Horace had transferred this fountain
to the neighbourhood of the poet's Sabine villa. M. Capmartin
de Chaupy proved, by a bull of Pope Paschal II., that it was
to be sought in the neighbourhood of Venusia. Some modern
writers are so pertinaciously set on finding it in the Sabine
district, that they have supposed Horace to have called some
fountain in that valley by the name endeared to him by his
youthful remembrances. But do we know enough of the life of
Horace, to pronounce that he may not have revisited, even
more than once, the scenes of his childhood, or to decide that
he did not address the famous ode to the Venusian fountain?-
Capmartin de Chaupy, Maison d'Horace, tom. ii. p. 363. See,
however, letter of G. Dennis, Esq.; Appendix.







their sun-burned wives shared in their toils (Epod. ii.

41-2). They cultivated their small farms with their

own labour and that of their sons (Sat. II. ii. 114).
They worshipped their rustic deities, and believed in
the superstitions of a religious and simple people,
witchcraft and fortune-telling (Sat. 1. ix. 29, 30).
The hardy but contented Ofella (Sat. II. ii. 112 et
seqq.) was a kind of type of the Sabine or Apulian

At about ten or twelve years old commenced the
more serious and important part of the Roman educa-
tion. It does not appear how Horace acquired the
first rudiments of learning; but as he grew to youth,
the father, either discerning some promise in the boy,
or from paternal fondness, determined to devote





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