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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
And rich Ferentine plain.
From the black viper safe, and prowling bear,
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.
through life his fond reminiscences of these scenes, the
(5) The biographers of Horace had transferred this fountain
LIFE OF HORACE.
THE RIVER AUFIDUS.
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).
At about ten or twelve years old commenced the