Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

*• , * In Campo doceat parentem currere frenis. Denique sit finis quaerendi, quumque habeas plus, Pauperiem metuas minus et finire laborem - - Incipias, parto quod avebas, ne facias quod / ** ; •'**-'**

[merged small][ocr errors]

lUt metiretur nummos, ita sordidus, ut se
Non umquam servo melius vestiret, ad usque
Supremum tempus, ne se penuria victus ?

Opprimeret, metuebat.

At hunc liberta securi Divisit medium, fortissima Tyndaridarum.

100

* Quid mi igitur suades? ut vivam Maenius, aut sic ,
* Ut Nomentanus?'—Pergis pugnantia secum · · ·

Erontibus adversis componere.

Non ego, avarum

Quum veto te fieri, vappam jubeo ac nebulonem.

Est inter Tanain quiddam socerumque Viselli:

105

Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines, -
Quos ultra citraque nequit consisterè rectum.— %**
Illuc unde abii redeo: nemo ut avarus / avv

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

90. sq. si quis asellum, after the proverb * docere asinum currere.' 91. Campo, i. e. Campo Martio, at Rome—frenis, as if it were a horse. 92. denique, i. e. as my last suggestion, I say. 94. parto=postquam peperisti, paravisti. 96. ut metiretur nummos, a proverbial expressiom for great wealth. 97. melius servo, i. e. quam servum suum vestiebat—ad usque, poetic. for usque ad (comp. below S. 1, 5, 96: via pejor ad usque Bari moenia, and Virg. A. 11, 262: Atrides Protei Menelaus ad usque colummas Exsulat). 98. construe: ne penuria viciùs (genit.) opprimeret se, 100. fortissima Tyndaridarum, jocosely alluding to Clytemnestra, daughter of Tyndareus; perhaps the name of this liberta was Tyndaris according to the practice then adopted by the Romans of giving to their slaves mythological names, of gods and heroes. In

that case the jest would be the more striking. 101. Maenius, poetic. for: ut (vivit) Maenius, * like Miaemius.' 103. frontibus adversis, belongs to componere, * to join with opposing foreheads things that contend with one another,' i. e. you try to unite things which are contrary to one amother. 104. vappam ac nebulonem, sc. te fieri. 105. sense: there is a difference between unlike mem, such forinstance as a Tanais and the father-in-law of Visellius (contemporaries of Horace, otherwise unknown). 107. quos ultra cutraque = ultra citraque quos, the prepos. put after (comp. above v. 47). 108. comstrue: redeo illuc, unde abi; (* I return to what Isaid in the beginning,') ut nemo avarus probet se (= contentus sit suâ sorte) ac (quisque) potius laudet sequentes diversa (see v. 1 sq.)— nemó üt, hiatus (comp. C. 1, 28, 24; 2,

Se probet ac potius laudet diyersa sequentes,
Quodque aliena capella gérat distentius uber, * ?

110

Tabescat, neque se majori pauperiorum
Turbae comparet, hunc atque hunc superare laboret. •)

Sic festinanti semper locupletior obstat, ... a.

[ocr errors]

Ut, quum carceribus missos rapit ungula currus,

Instat equis auriga suos vincentibus, illum *vttot

115

Praeteritum temnens extremos inter euntem. -
Inde fit, ut raro, qui se vixisse beatum . . . . . /- .

[ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The Satire is a species of poetry quite peculiar to the Romans, and must, therefore, not be confounded with the satyric drama of the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the femin. of the adj. satur, full, filled, satisfied), meant originally— with the substantive lanae, a dish, either expressed or understood—a dish made up of all kinds of ingredients, and especially a kind of sausage. It was afterwards used as a law term, with the substantive leae, expressed or understood, and signified a law containing various clauses. Lastly, it was employed as the general term for a kind of poetry, which, in the most ancient times, resembled popular comedy 9r farce, but was afterwards elevated into moral composition of a humorous and sarcastic character.

Aceording to Livy's account, 1 dramatic satire, like the Fescennine comedy, originally consisted in humorous scenes, contrived for the occa$ion, without any regular plot or definite form, but differing from the Fescennine plays, in having an accompaniment of flutes and pantomimes. After the better development of the legitimate drama, which had been introduced by Livius Andronicus, (about 514 A. U. c., 240 B. c.) the popular satires, which originated among the people themselves, generally formed the eonclusions or interludes (eaeodia) of the Oscan farces (Atellanae Fabulae, Ludi Osci, or Ludicra Osca.) The gradual advancement 6f Roman literature, and especially the influence exereised on it by the Greciam models, tended powerfully to improve the quality even of that Romam satire which was the natural product of the Romam mind. The arbitrary nature, both of its plan and style, was consequently somewhat modified. The poet Ennius à seems to have beem the first who followed certain distinet rules in his satiric composition, which may therefore be regarded as the commecting link between the oldest specimens of the art and those which were afterwards produced by Lucilius. The second of the Roman satirists in order of time, C. Lucilius, was born at Suessa Aurunca, in Campania, 606 A. U. c. (148 B. C.) He belonged to an equestrian family, was the friend of the Scipios, amd deeply versed in the literature of Greece and of his native country. He possessed, moreover, superior talent, and uniformly maintained a highly moral and independent character. To Roman satire he imparted an entirely new form and direction, and was therefore regarded as the creator and inventor of this species of poetry in its later and permanent form. From low buffoomery, in the shape of a drama or dialogue, fitted merely for the amusement of the mob, satire now became the medium of stern reproof to all ranks of society, and did not spare even individuals occupying the highest stations, at a period when the Roman character was already losing much of the purity and dignity by which it had beem distinguished in ancient times. The moral censure of Lucilius, however, is not bitter, but rather humorous and playful; the diction is easy and fluent, but the hexameters are sometimes so carelessly framed, that the style approaches more mearly the language of prose, or of ordinary conversation, than of poetry. In this respect, the satire of Horace must be considered as a decided improvement on that both of Lucilius and his predecessors. Its form is far more elaborate; the cast of expression is infinitely more correct and sustained ; while the su.bject-matter, like that of the Luciliam verse. consists of witty, humorous, patriotic, and indignant comments on the vices and weaknesses of the poet's countrymen. But now, of course, it was no longer the ancient republican virtue which was held up as the ideal of excellence, or the model for imitation. The author merely selects a few of his own contemporaries, whose moral defects he exposes,

i Liv. vii. 2.

* Ennius, a native of Rudiae in Calabria, born 515 A.U.c. (239 B.c.), the greatest poet of republicam Rome; wrote both epic and dramatic poetry ; died 585, (169 B.c.)

in their ridieulous, unnatural, and unbecoming character, not so much with the intention of inculcating the principles of moral truth and duty as of indulging his owm humour, by the graphic delineation of prevailing absurdities and foibles. In the great variety of topics, in the vividness of portraiture, in the acuteness of the reasoning, in the animation, the exceeding elegance, and apparent artlessness of the style, and the easy flow of the versification, we discover the secret of that charm by which the Horatiam satires have entramced the refined and thoughtful intelligence of all ages. In the perfect combination of these rare qualities, the satiric compositions of Horace not only surpass those of his predecessor Lucilius, and his followers, Persius ì and Juvenal,? but stand alone in the history of literature.

i Aulus Persius Flaccus was born at Volaterrae, 34 A.D., died in 62. Im his six satires, he declaims, with the rigour and moroseness of a Stoic, against the depravity and folly of mankind.

2 Decimus Junius Juvenalis was borm at Aquinum, a town of the Volsci, in the reign of the Emperor Claudius. After the death of Domitiam, he wrote sixteen satires, in a pathetic and rhetorica! style, the object of which was to expose, in all their deformity, the corruption and degeneracy of his countrymen. He died at the age of eighty, in the reign of Hadrian.

[ocr errors]

Variously dated by the Horatiam chronologers from A. U. c. 715 to 718. The maim object of the author in this satire is to expose the perverse disposition of mem to ignore or cherish their own faults, and, at the same time, to sift and censure the failings of others, and even oftheir own friends, with watchful and unsparing severity; and as a censorious temper of this kind is encouraged by the maxim of the Stoics, ** that all vices are equally culpable" (see line 76), he condemns this principle, and asserts the opposite doctrine of the Epicuream school (limes

98 to 112).

In the sequel of the poem, he ridicules with great force of humour

the absurd theory of the Stoics regarding the philosophic character.

OMNIBUs hoc vitium est cantoribus, inter amicos
Ut numquam inducant animum cantare rogati,

Injussi numquam desistant. Ille Tigellius hoc.

Sardus habebat,

Caesar, qui cogere posset, Si peteret per amicitiam patris atque suam, non ¢)

Quidquam proficeret; si collibuisset, ab ovo
Usque ad mala citaret * Io Bacche!* modo summâ
Voce, modo hac, resonat quae chordis quatuor ima.
Nil aequale homini fuit illi: saepe velut qui

Currebat fugiens hostem, persaepe velut qui

10

Junonis sacra ferret; habebat saepe ducentos,
Saepe decem servos; modo reges atque tetrarchas,
Omnia magna, loquens, modo * Sit mihi mensa tripes et

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

9. nil aequale, &c. = in nulla re sibi constabat—saepe velut, &c., construe: saepe currebat velut qui fugiens hostem (curreret), persaepe (sc. lente incedebat) velut qui ferre: sacra Junonis (sc. in capitibus, as the Kavmóópov, i. e. the basket-bearers, maidens who fn processions, or at the festivals of Juno or other deities, carried om their heads baskets containing sacred things, and used to march very slowly (comp. below S. 2, 8, 13 sq.: ut Attica virgo Cum sacris Cereris, procedit fuscus Hydaspes).

12. dècem servos, this was almost the smallest number of slaves according to the custom of the Romans in the time of Horace.

13. löquens = in ore habens, jactans, 'boasting of.'

« ZurückWeiter »