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Hierce of high life, and annoying them with ostentatious and tedious remarks on the merits of all the various dishes. The poet exhibits his skill and good taste in making Maecenas observe a polite silence in the conversation, and betray no disposition to join in the sport at the host's expense; though we may well imagine that he fully appre ciated the nature of the occasion.
This Satire has been imitated by Dean Swift.
De-die. In the time
1. Nasidieni. Pronounce in this line as a quadrisyliable. See n. O. i., 29, 1.- 2. Dietas; sc. es. ——— 3. of Horace, the hour for the coena was 3 P. M. may infer that Maecenas dined at about sunset. ner of Nasidienus was therefore an early one; such a feast was called convivium tempestivum.· ·Sie, etc.; i. e. sic juvit, ut, etc., so pleased me, that, etc. Ut with fuerit, therefore, expresses the result. · Lucanus aper. See n. Sat. ii., 4, 40. — - Leni Austro; a gentle south wind; in opposition to fervido, hot; the former gave a high flavor to the meat of the boar, the latter spoiled it. 8. Radices; radishes.
-9. Pervellunt; literally, pull at, ¿e. sharpen. This clause qualia, etc., appears at first to end the enumeration, but the speaker seems to call to mind other things, and adds them to the list. All these articles, being alike fitted to stimulate the palate, were taken at the beginning of a dinner, and usually formed that part of the Roman coena, which was called the gustatorium. Some Editors think that the poet meant to represent the boar, that was served up by Nasidienus, as already tainted; but there is in the language employed, no just ground for such an opinion. Allec, faecula Coa. See n. Sat. ii., 4. 73. - 10. Alte cinctus. The slaves, in waiting at table, always had their tunics girt high, to facilitate their movements. Hence, in Phaed. ii., 5, 11: Ex allicinctis unus atriensibus. 13. Ut Attica virgo. See n. Sat. i., 3, 11. -15. Caecuba. See n. O. i., 20, 9. - Chiam; sc. vinum. See n. O. iii., 19, 5. Maris expers. One of the means employed by the Greeks to season wines and improve their flavor was to mix sea-water with them in certain proportions. The Chian wine here spoken of had not undergone this process; for what reason we can only conjecture; perhaps simply because the Romans preferred that wine in its pure state, without the sharpening qualities which would be given it by seawater; or because the unmixed wine was considered (as Pliny seems to intimate, in Nat. Hist. xiv., 7) more wholesome. 18. Divitias miseras. This line and the next are the words of Horace. Pulchre fuerit. See n. Sat. ii., 2, 106. 20. Summus ego, etc. The Roman Triclinium consisted of three lecti, or couches, placed around three sides of a table; the fourth side was left open. Each lectus had three places. The lecti were called lectus medius, lectus summus, lectus imus. There was a difference in the rank of the lecti, and of the several places on each lectus. The lectus medius was the most honorable, next,
the lectus summus, and last, the lectus imus. On the lectus medius, the highest place, therefore the highest at the table, was the first on the right (as you face the table), then respectively the middle and the third place; on the lectus summus, which stood to the left of the medius the first place was the one farthest from the lectus medius, then the other two places in order; on the lectus imus, the first place was the one nearest the lectus medius, and then the other two respectively. The guests reclined, each on his left arm, so that those on the imus and those on the summus were turned in opposite directions, the latter looking towards the medius, the former looking away from it. This summary I have made up from Becker's Gallus, Exc. ii. to Sc. ix., where is given the fullest and most satisfactory account of the subject, with which I am acquainted. The account given in Dict. Antiqq. is different, and, I think, unsatisfactory. The following sketch, taken from Orelli, illustrates the Triclinium in general, and the arrangement of the guests, as described in the present passage:
20. Thurinus. Of Thurii, a town in Calabria; probably so designated, to distinguish him from the brothers Visci, mentioned in Sat. i., 10, 83. 22. Umbras. The word umbra, shadow, like σká in Greek, was used of an uninvited guest, introduced by one of the invited, as here by Maecenas. 23. Ipsum, i. e. the host. 25. Ad hoc; sc. aderat; was present for this purpose. Nomentanus was a parasite of the host, and his business was to draw the guests' attention to the peculiar excellence of the various dishes, and to the new methods by which they were prepared. - 26. Cetera tarba; like the French nous autres; the rest of us, who were quite unskilled in the mysteries of cooking, and without the aid of Nomentanus would not have noticed the very rare flavor given by Nasidienus' cook to ordinary dishes! 29. Ut-patuit. Vel strengthens the meaning of continuo. As it at once appeared; i. e. the originality of the cookery was quite manifest, when these dainties were brought to my notice. The tone of the whole passage is of course ironical. -31. Minorem ad lunam. At the waning of the moon. 34. Damnose. A colloquial expression for drinking to excess at the expense of the host, ruinously. Moriemar inulti; a burlesque use of an epic expression; Virgil has it in Aen. ii., 670: nunquam omnes hodie moriemur inulti. The meaning is, that they would, by hard drinking, revenge themselves upon the host and his parasite, for their stupid observations. 36. Parochi; a word here used in jest for hospes, host. See n. Sat. i., 5, 46. 39. Allifanis; sc. poculis; drinking-cups of a very large size, which were made at Allifae, a town in Samnium. 40. Nocuere lagenis; i. e. did not drink freely, either for such reasons as those mentioned in lines 35, 36, or because they feared the displeasure of the host. -42. Muraena. A species of eel, the lamprey, one of the greatest delicacies on a Roman table; with the nobility it was a pet fish, and was reared with care in their fish-ponds. -45. His; these ingredients; viz. oleo, garo, etc.. -45. Venafri. See n. O. ii., 6, 16.46. Garo. Some kind of caviar, like e. g. anchovy-sauce. fish here referred to was probably the scomber, mackerel. Chiam. The meaning is, that the Italian wine should be poured in while the sauce is boiling, and the Chian added afterwards. 50. Quod, etc. Methymnacam; of Methymna, a town of Lesbos. Vitio mutaverit; vitio is dative, in vitium; turned to a fault, i. e. has vitiated, made sour. The idea of the whole is; vinegar made from Lesbian wine.- -51. Erucas. A species of cabbage; the rocket.-Inulas. See n. Sat. ii., 2, 44. 53. Ut melius, etc. The muria has been explained in Sat. ii., 4, 65. The clause quod remittit refers not to muria but to echinos illutos. The meaning is that the juice furnished by the echini is better than the muria: As (being) better than the muria, that which (or what) the sea shell-fish leaves behind. 54. Aulaea. n. O. iii., 29, 15. 58. Rafas; the cognomen of Nasidienus.
Suspendens. See n. Sat. i., 6, 5. –67. Tene-torquerier. The infinį. tive, in exclamations, often stands thus absolutely. See A. and S. ◊ 270, Rem. 2. –68. Ne panis, etc. These points are doubtless touched upon, with a mixture of malicious pleasantry, reflecting upon the tedious commendation which the host had been all the while bestowing upon the various arrangements of his dinner. -77. Soleas poscit. The custom was to put off the sandals, on taking the reclining attitude at table. Nasidienus now on rising, probably to go and give some orders to the servants, calls for his sandals. -81. Sit quoque; i. e. as well as the patina (see 1. 55) which had been broken by the accident that had occurred. -83. Fictis rerum; they pretend to start some jokes, that they may have out their laughter without betraying to the parasites its real cause. 88. Jecur anseris. The liver of the gcose was as favorite a dish at Rome as it is now in some parts of Europe, especially at Strasburg; where the pâté de foie gras is a famous dish. Means were then used as now to increase the size of the liver. 93. Fugimas. This word does not mean that they abruptly took leave; it is explained by what follows ut-gustaremus. They revenged themselves by not touching the dishes which had been so tediously praised. 94. Illis; dative case. -95. Canidia. See Introd. to Epode v. and xvii.
NOTES ON THE EPISTLES.
THE Epistles of Horace, the latest of his works, are the maturest fruits of his literary studies and culture, and of his observation and experience of human life. In the form of familiar communications tc personal friends, they disclose to us the interior of the poet's mind and heart, and the life of thought and feeling, that flowed on there in even current, in the last and best years of his life. It is this subjective character, that distinguishes the Epistles of Horace from his Satires. In his Satires, the poet contemplates the life that was going on without and around him; he paints the manners of men and of the times, as he saw and caught them, as they rose in the living world of Rome; and, even in the few places where he dwells upon himself, his starting point is in something external, in some opinions of other men, and generally in their envious judgments of his habits and character. But in the Epistles, the point of departure, if we may so say, is the poet's self; they reveal to us his own individuality; they tell us in casy converse, and yet in finished verse, his own habitual thoughts and sentiments, whether or art, poetry, philosophy or letters; his most cherished wishes and tastes, his experiences of the world, and what they have taught him, and all the way in which he is wont to view, to understand, and to enjoy human life.
It is also precisely this subjective feature of these writings, which gives them their interest and their value, which has drawn and fastened to them so many minds and hearts, and ever instructed and delighted them. They teach us, from out the poet's own experience, so many lessons of good sense, moderation and wisdom, fitted to the conduct of our own every-day lives; which charm us by their serene humor and graceful diction, and win us by their humane and friendly tone. We feel ourselves in communion with an earnest, tranquil, and yet genial, happy spirit, that has practically learned what we too need to know; that has found out much, at least, of the secret of human life, and knows how to impart it to others; that has reached, after many wan