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N O T E S. Horace shows in this Satire, that true Nobility does not consist in being descended from a long Train of illustrious Ancestors, but in right Sentiments and Probity of Man.
The Gratitude he testifies to his Father's Memory, does more Honour to his own, than the Friendship of Macenas, or even that of Auguftus.
If this Satire was written after the Death of Virgil and Varius, as it probably was, by the 54th Verle, &c. Optimus olim Virgilius--it was after the Year of Rome 735, and Horace must have been above forty-seven Years old. Dacier and SANADON.
I Ante poteftatem Tulli atque ignobile regnum.] Servius Tullius, the sixth King of Rome. He was the Son of Ocrisia, who was taken Captive by the Romans at the Sacking of Corniculum. Because his Mother was in a State of Sérvitude when he was born, he was called Servius. It is on this Account only, and in Allusion to the Opinion of the Populace, that Horace here applies the Epithet ignobile (ignoble) to his Reign; for he was in fact a wise and valiant Prince, and his Reign was glorious, This Passage is thus transated by Dacier : 'You justly
think, that before the glorious Reign of Tullius, who ( was the son of a Slave, there have been many Persons • obscurely born, who have lived with Honour, and by • their Merit obtained the highest Dignities.' 2 Quam Decio mandare novo.
10.] Publius Decius Mus was the first of his Family who distinguished himself, and obtained the Consulship by his Merit. He devoted himself for his Country in a Battle against the Latins, in the Year of Rome 417, three hundred and thirty-four Years before the Birth of Christ. His Son followed his Example forty Years afterwards. 3
Cenforque moveret Appius.] Appius Claudius Cæcus, who was chosen Cenfor in the Year of Rome 443. He was distinguished by the Severity with which he exercised this Office for five Years,
The Business of the Cenfor was to survey the People, and to censure their Manners. He had Authority to punish immoralities in any Ferfons, of what Rank soever, Senators themselves not excepted.
Quoniam in propriâ non pelle quieffem. ] He here alludes to the Fable of the Ass in the Lion's Skin.
Tilli.] This Reading is found in the most ancient Copies : Others read, Tulli. Tillius was a Person of an obscure Birth and bad Morals, and was obliged by Cæfur to lay aside the Purple Robe, for having joined with Pompey; but after Casar's Death he resumed it, and was created Tribune ; all things being then in so great Confusion, that the vileft Slaves were sometimes created Senators. 6
quo morbo Barrus.] Titus Veturius Barrus. All that we know of this pretty Fellow is, that he was an egregious Coxcomb, (a Woman's Man, to be sure,) and 10 extravagant, that he ruined himself. He was at last put to Death for corrupting one of the Vestal Virgins.
7 Paulus & Melala.] Paulus Æmilius and Meljala Corvinus, two illustrious Romans. 8
Mihi pareret legio Romana Tribuno.] Horace ferved in the Civil Wars as a Tribune in Brutus's Army, and was present at the Battle of Philippi, where, however, he gained no Honour, as he himself owns, in Book II. Ode 17.
Philippos, & celerem fugam Sensi, reli&ta non bene parmulâ. The Legion consisted of thirty Manipuli, or Bands, which made about fix thousand Men, and was commanded by fix Tribunes, or Colonels. 9 Ipfe mihi Custos incorruptifimus omnes
Circum doctores aderat.] It was very difficult to preserve the Morals of those Boys untainted, who were sent to the great Schools. Therefore they never went abroad without being accompanied by a sort of Guardian, or Governor, who was styled Cuftos
and Rector. But as such Perfons too often coirnived at the Vices and Extravagances of their Pupils, the Vigilance of our Poet's Father supplied that Office himself, well knowing, that Learning would be too dearly purchased at the Expence of Morals.
10 Laus illi debetur, &c.] In the same amiable Manner Mr. Pope speaks of his Father :
Born to no Pride, inheriting no Strife,
Epist. to Dr. Arbuthnnt. Uique Tarentum.] Now Taranto, a City of tie Province of Otranto, in the Kingdom of Naples. Erre was so pleased with it, that he would have been glad ta have spent the latter Part of his Life there. '1tabourdi, says he, with excellent Honey, delicate Oyl, ani kine little inferior to that of Falernus : An early Spring, and 'a soft Winter, render it a delightful habitation for an rold Man.' See Book II. Ode 6.
ulceret atque eques armos.] The Critics puzzle themselves about the Meaning of thefe Words. Dalier fays, he galled his Mule by his awkward Manner of fitting Sanadon contends for the Poet's good Horsemanship, and is of Opinion, that it was occasioned by his Weiglit only; for he was fat and unwieldy. The Translator dares not pretend to decide this important Queftion.
13 Fallacem Circum, &c.] Mr. Creech here introduces these Lines :
Through cheating Rome, about the Close of Day,
I freely walk; I go to Church and pray.
14 Lachanique catinum.) But other Copies read, Laganique catinuin, A Plate of Pancakes. The Reader may chule which Dith he likes best.
15 - Obe
Obeundus Marsya.] Marsyas was a Phrygian Musician, who, presuming to challenge Apollo to play with him on the Flute, was conquered, and fayed alive.
His Statue was placed in the Forum, facing the Bench where the Judges sat, and the Lawyers pleaded.
The Pain Marsjas felt to see such a sordid Wretch as Novius among the Judges, made him forget what he had suffered from Apollo. This Thought is the more happy, as his Statue had one Hand raised : And Horace ascribes this Poiture to his Indignation against Novius. Dacier,
16 Ad quartam jaceo.] I lie a-bed 'till the fourth Hour, i e. 'till ien oth Clock. But we are not to understand by these Words, that he Nept so long; for none but Sluggards indulged themselves in Sleep even 'till fix o'th' Clock. See Epift. I. ver. 17, & 18. No, he ap. plied hintelf to Reading or Writing on his Couch, which was a common Practice among the Ancients.
Neque enim cum lectulus, aut me Porticus excepit, defum mibi. Book I. Sat. IV. Nor when my Bed or Portico receives me, Do I forbear to coinmune with myself. Thus Seneca in his 72d Epistle :
Some Things may be written, even in a Chariot; but others require the Bed, Leisure, and Retirement.' And Pliny:
Cažus Fannius dreamed one Night, that he lay on his • Couch, in an Undress fit for Study, with a Desk, as usual, • before him.' B. V. Ep. 5. Translated by the late Earl of CORKE.
17 Natta.] This was a famous Miser, who is also mentioned by Juvenal, Sat. VIII. 95. and by Perfus, Sat. III. 31.
Non pudet ad morem discinēti vivere Natta? • Are you not ashamed to lead such a Life as that dif• solute Spendthrift Natta ?'
18 Fugio rabioh tempora hgni.) But, according to Cruquius, a very ancient Manuscript reads,
Fugio campum lufumque trigonem. This Reading is adopted by Bentley, Cuningham, and Sanadon, and followed by the Translator. Horace plainly intends to point out here the Hour of the Day, and not the Season of the Year. It is ridiculous to suppose with Dacier, that he bathed only in the Dog-days. By Campus he means the Campus Mariius, or Martian Field, where the public Exercises were performed ; and tliis Line explains the preceding Words, Ungor olivo; for he was anointed, to make his Limbs the more pliant for Exercise. 19
Hæc eft Vita solutorum miferâ ambitione gravique.] Horace has Reason to boast of his Happiness. What a Contrast? On one side, we see the constrained and relia less Life of the Great, whom Ambition drags along, chained, like Slaves, to the Chariot of Fortune; on the other Side, the free and peaceable Life of a private Man, who tastes, in his moderate State of Competence, Repose without Troubles, and Pleasure without Solicitude ; and whose Labours afford him an useful and agreeable Amusement. SANADON.
- villurum suaviùs, ac fi Quastor avus.] The Quaftor was the Treasurer of the Commonwealth. This Office is put here for any considerable Charge. It was the first step to mount higher. SANADON.