Page images



IJORACB liere wells apon a theme often sung by him, and of which he seems never w have grown weary; to which the sixteenth and the eighteenth odes of Book Second aro devoted, and many passages in other odes. He teaches in what true happiness consists not in honors, nor in fame, nor in riches-in nothing outward, but alone in a contented spirit, in a mind well regulated, and free from all inordinate desires.

On this head, Horace may be compared with Burns, in his “First Epistle to Davie :"

“If happiness hae not her seat

And centre in the breast,
We may be wise or rich or great,
But never can be blest:
Nae treasures nor pleasures

Could make us happy lang,
The heart's aye the part aye,

That makes us right or wrang."

1. Odi, etc. “This first stanza,” as Dillenburger remarks, “is introductory," not merely to this ode, but “to the first six odes of this Book ;” as these all have a like moral complexion, and aim in common to recall the degenerate Romans to the simple manners of ancient times, and to the cultivation of those virtues, which are necessary to private and public happiness. Hence the poet, seeking to exercise the high functions of a moral teacher, styles himself a priest of the Muses, sacerdos Musarum; and in these first two lines, borrows the expressions, wont to be uttered by the priests, when about to reveal the sacred mys. teries - Profanum vulgus. Comp. Virgil, Aen. 6, 258, Procul, o procul, este profani ; and the Greek ékás, ekás čote Béontol. These words of Horace are often quoted as the expression of an aristocratic feeling; but as used by himself they betray no such feeling, and have no such meaning. The profani, in the original sense of the word, are the unini. tiated, to whom the sacred mysteries have not been revealed; and in the sense of Horace here, they are those who have not true wisdom, and care not for its teachings. - -2. Favete linguis; the formula of the priests, by which a sacred silence was enforced; the Greek euon meite. The words of Virgil are similar, in Aen. 5, 71, Ore favete ; and of Ovid, Fast. 1, 71, Linguis, animisque favete. -4. Virginibus puerisque. The poet designed his lessons of wisdom chiefly for the Roman youth. These words have no reference to a chorus. -5. Greges. In

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1mitatioof the Hormeric ποιμένες λαών. -8. Supercilio. Literally eyebrow, and here nod. So Virgil, Aen. 9, 106, Annuit, et totum nulu tremefecit Olympum. Both, in imitation of Homer, Il. 1, 528, 'H, kal κυανέησιν επ' οφρυσι νευσε κρονίων-μέγαν δελέλιξεν 'Όλυμπον. - - 9. Est, ut. Like accidit ut, and the Greek ČOTIV ŐTws.- - 11. Campum. The Campus Martius, the place for the assembling of the comitia, and for the elections of consuls and other magistrates. - 16. Urna. Sce note, O. ii., 3, 26. -17. Cui. In allusion to the story of Damocles, so admirably told by Cicero, Tusc. 5, 21. See also Classical Dict.- - 19. Elaborabant. This verb is chosen, to express the pains with which the luxurious strive to overcome their loathing for food. - 21. Somnus, etc. Seneca, de Provid. 3, alluding to Maecenas, says, somnus per symphoniarum cantum ex longinquo lene resonantium quaeritur. Osborne aptly compares Shakspeare, Henry IV., Pt. ii., 3, 1:

“Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,

Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull’d with sounds of sweetest melody ?"

[ocr errors]

25. This line embodies the principal sentiment of the ode. In the form of a precept it is this: desidera quod satis est. Comp. O. ii., 16, 42; Epist. i., 2, 46; i., 10, 44.- 27. Areturi. The stormy weather of autumn. The Arcturus set Oct. 29, and the Hoedus rose Oct. 14. 30. Mendax. By a lively figure, the poet thus describes the unproductive estate, one that disappoints the expectation of its owner. So also in Epist. i., 7, 87, spem mentita seges. Arbore. The tree too (used here collectively), invested by the poet with life, alleges various excuses for its barrenness, blaming now the heat and now the cold. 33. Contracta. A happy allusion to the practice explained in note on 0. ii., 18, 21. -34. Frequens. For frequenter. 35. Caementa. From caedere, broken stones, to fill up the spaces in constructing the moles. So 0. iii., 24, 3.- -36. Terrae fastidiosus. Finely describing the irksome discontent of the luxurious lord, who has grown weary of the land, and must needs live on the sea. Comp. as above 0. ii., 18, 22. 37. Timor, the fear of some accident, or of sudden death; or somewhat else, that keeps him in perpetual anxiety.- - Minae. Perhaps of an uneasy conscience.

-37. Scandunt. Comp. 0. ii., 16, 21, and the introduction to that ode. —41. The poet turns now to himself, more content than ever with his own moderate desires and humble lot. Phrygius lapis. See n. 0. ii., 18, 4.- —42. Clarior-USUS. A bold poetic expression for "purpureae, quibus utuntur, vestes clariores sideruni splendore.” Orelli. - 44. Achaemenium. From Achaemenes, a Per

sian king. The perfume was imported through Persia from either Arabia or India. - 47. Valle. For the abl. see n. 0. i., 16, 25.


The poet extols bravery (1-16), the dignity of virtue or true civil merit (17-24) ana ' good faith (25-end).

[ocr errors]

1. Amice. Advero; aequo animo, patiently; like the Greek ayar Tŵs péperv. — 2. Robustus. Has the force of a participle. Grown robust. Dillenb. refers to Epod. 1, 34; 16, 34; and Livy, 5, 2, where with consules dictatoresve we understand facti. 6. Ilum. With emphasis. Such a youth as that. 6. Hosticis. Poetic for hostilibus; like civicus, O. ii., 1, 1. -7. Prospiciens. The image is drawn from some besieged city. The matron, like Helen at Troy (Iliad, 3, 154), or Antigone at Thebes (Eurip. Phoen. 88), gazes out from the walls on the battle as it rages below, and trembles for the fate of a royal youth attached to her house. -9. Ne-lacessat. Follows suspiret, because both in that verb and in eheu is necessarily involved the notion of fearing. 11. Tactu. Join with asperum. - 13. Dulce et. The Roman youth, trained up by hard discipline, will be brave in battle, nor fear to die for his country. See a similar connection of thought in O. iv., 9, 49–52

– 16. Poplitibus. In Livy, 22, 48, the Numidians fiercely pursue the retreating Romans, and, by a refinement of cruelty, cut their ham-strings ; Romanorum-poplites caedentes. -17. Nescia. A stranger to. Repulsa is th: regular expression for the defeat of a candidate for civil office. 1 he verse inculcates the lofty sentiment, that the man of true merit is indifferent to such a repulse, knowing that real worth is independent of popular favor. It is said that Cato played at ball in the Comitium, on the day when he lost his election. Sen. Ep. 104. 22. Negata. That is, to men of ordinary character. 26. Cereris sacrum. To divulge the Eleusinian mysteries, which belonged to the worship of Ceres, was with the ancients the strongest possible illustration of bad faith. See Dict. Antiqq., Eleusinia. - 29. Diespiter. See note, O. i., 34, 5. 30. Addidit. Used like the Greek aorist. See n. 0. i., 28, 20. 32. Claudo. Halting. A striking analogy in the sentiment of the verse to the teaching of revelation in Eccles. viii., 11: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the song of men is fully set in them to do evil.”



This is a genuine Rrman ode. It sings the praises of inflexible firmness of purpose (constantia), a cardinal Roman virtue; and utters the true national feeling touching the greatness of the Roman name and the perpetuity of the Roman state. On the mention of Romulus as an eminent example of this virtue, the poet is transported in imaginatiɔn to the assembled council of the gods, and hears the words of Juno on the admission of Romulus to divine honors. True to her ancient hatred, the goddess queen insists that Troy shall be left to eternal desolation; on this condition she consents to the deification of Romulus, and to the destiny of Rome as the ruler of the world.

From this allusion to Troy, we may infer that the poet had in mind the rumored intention of Julius Caesar, recorded by Suetonius (Caes. 79), of transferring the seat of government to ancient Ilium.

1. Tenacem propositi. Steadfast ; like the prose expression propositum tenere, as in Livy, 3, 51; but tenax is frequently used in the sense of obstinate. The connection of the epithet with justum makes its meaning evident. - -2. Jubentium. Jubere is the regular expression with populus, as jubere legem, jubere regem. Observe the use of the word with the acc. prava, and see A. & S. V 223, R. 2 (2), and Z. 5 412. 3. Tyranni. Orelli mentions that the first eight lines of this ode were uttered by the celebrated Cornelius de Witte, when put to the rack Compare the lines of Juvenal, 8, 80, seqq.:

[blocks in formation]

9. Arte. That is by constantia. In ars here, there is something of the force of the Grees àpetn, virtue, quality of character. - 11. Recumbens. The poet represents Augustus as already enjoying divine honors. So also in O. iii., 5, 2; iv., 5, 32; Epist. ii., 1, 15. In the same manner Virgil speaks of Augustus in Ecl. 1, 6; deus nobis haec otia fecit. Namque erit ille mihi semper deus. Coming from men like Horace and Virgil, such language is not to be summarily disposed of as nothing but servile adulation; in perfect accordance with the ideas of the ancients, who exalted to the rank of gods men who were illustrious on earth, it is to be regarded as the language of poetic exaggeration, denoting the high respect and admiration of these poets for one, who, in the language of Buttman, “was, in his time, the most important personage in the world.” - 12. Parpureo. Poetic, like roseo ore applied by Virgil, Aen. 2, 593, to Venus, and by Ovid, Met. 7, 705, to Aurora. This it were not necessary to observe, did not some, with a painful precision, explain the epithet by connecting it with the color of nectar. -14, Indocili. Untamed. 15. Quirinus. As Livy relates the story, 1, 16, Romulus

was carried up to heaven in a cloud during a violent storm, and after. wards appeared to Proculus Julius, and left with him his last counsels to his people, in those memorable words, which may well be compared with the present ode, “ Abi, nuntia Romanis, coelestes ita velle, ut mea Roma caput orbis terrarum sit: proinde rem militarem colant, sciantque et ita posteris tradant, nullas opes humanas armis Romanis resistere posse.”

- 19. Judex. In allusion to the story of the golden apple, which Paris adjudged, as the prize of beauty, to Venus, in preference to Juno and Minerva. See Class. Dict., Paris. - Comp. Virgil, Aen. 1, 26 (also said of Juno):

“ Maret alta mente repostum Judicium Paridis, spretaeque injuria forınae."

22. Mercede. The story was, that Apollo and Neptune, by the orders of Jupiter, built for Laomedon the walls of Troy, and were by him defrauded of their wages. 23. Damnatum. Given over. Connect with ex quo, which is equivalent to ex eo tempore quo; given overfrom that time when, etc. - 24. Duce. Laomedon. 25. Adulterae. Genitive, depending upon hospes ; not dative, as some explain it, in dependence upon splendet. - 29. Ductum. Protracted ; equivalent to productum. 30. Graves iras. See note above on judex. 31. Nepotem. Romulus, the son of Mars and grandson of Juno. 33. Redonabo. I will give up-and forgive-for the sake of Mars. Redonare is here used in the sense of condonare; but so used only by Horace, and by him only in this place. He uses the same word in another sense in 0. ii., 7, 3, where see note. - 37. Dam. Provided. The goddess proceeds to mention the condition on which she con ents to the universal dominion of Rome. - 40. Priami busto. In Virgil, Aen. 2, 557, Priam is slaughtered by Neoptolemus at the altar of Jupiter, and his mangled body, denied the rites of burial, is rudely flung out upon the shore. Horace speaks poetically of the place where he lay as his bustum; and describes this, and indeed the whole plain of Troy, as doomed by the haughty queen to utter desolation. - 45. Late. Join with horrenda. -49. Irrepertum. Undiscovered ; i. e. yet in the mine. 50. Spernere fortior. More resolute in despising ; as if it were in spernendo. The adjective has the force of a participle, and the clause expresses another condition; thus: if she is more resolute, etc. - -53. Obstitit. Another instance of the perf. used as a Greek aorist. See note, 0. i., 28, 20. -58. Nimium pii. With a too loyal spirit; the relation here is that of colony and mother-country. Pius expresses the feeling that springs from some natural relation; to God, to our parents, our country, etc., and means pious, filial, loyal, etc. 61. Alite. Comp mala ari, 0. i., 15, 5. 64. Conjuge me Jovis. So Virgil, Aen. 1, 46,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »