etc.: he begins with the origin of satire, connecting it with the
Old Comedy of Athens, of which the three names mentioned are the greatest.
used technically of the Old Comedy, which introduced actual persons
upon the stage in order to cast ridicule upon them.
stigmatized. See 3.24.
= ab his. pendet,
springs, i.e. he is an imitation of them, and so hangs on
them, or is supported by them. Cf. "On these two commandments
hang all the law and the prophets.")
using the hexameter instead of the iambic measure.
the same idea in another form.
naris, of keen sense, lit. with his nose free
from obstruction, so that his scent is keen. durus,
etc.: it would seem that his critics had compared him with Lucilius
to his disadvantage, and he proceeds to state the defects of that
10. ut magnum,
as a great feat, i.e. he regarded easy and rapid composition
as the great object to be attained in art, rather than elegance and
in uno: proverbial, not changing his position (just as
we say "at a stretch") from one foot to the other.
lutulentus, hurried on with turbid flow.
tollere: the figure
is of a freshet carrying all sorts of foreign matter in its course,
much of which is worthless, and so ought to be removed. (But cf. Quintil.
13. ut multum:
sc. scripserit. nil
moror: a colloquial expression for "I don't care,"
"I don't mind." ecce,
etc.: to show his disregard of rapidity in writing, Horace represents
a challenge to himself from the loquacious moralizer Crispinus (see
I.120) to show his skill in writing.
At the same time he disparages this branch of skill by making a poetaster
like Crispinus excel him in it.
at great odds, lit. with a very small wager on my part.
17. di bene,
etc.: an expression of thankfulness,--Horace's answer to Crispinus'
pusilli animi, with an unproductive (opp. to
copiosi) and unaspiring (opp. to magni)
etc.: the full construction would be quod inopis, quodque
pusilli, etc. The expression of the second quod with
-que, thus implying the first, is almost a mannerism
with Horace. Cf. v. 115.
in reference to pusilli, perpauca, in reference to
inopis, speaking rarely, and very little at that.
puffing away. dum
ferrum, etc.: only to complete the picture.
a poet of the clique opposed to Horace, but otherwise unknown. The
sense is "Happy the popular poet, like Fannius, whose admirers
present him, etc." The poet now turns from the criticism of Lucilius
to a discussion of the difference between himself and the popular
poets of the day, and explains why he is not popular.
capsis et imagine: the natural meaning would be "with
his writings and bust deposited" in some public place, as a library,
for instance. It would seem, however, that there was no public library
until the one established by Pollio, and in that there was no bust
of a living author but that of Varro. The best meaning, perhaps, is
presented with, etc. nemo:
opposed to the popularity of Fannius, as indicated by the preceding
act of his admirers.
reads, by himself. recitare:
the regular word for public reading, which was the common method at
that time of bringing out an author's works. timentis,
agreeing with the genitive implied in mea.
hoc, i.e. satire. pluris,
the greater part. In English we must supply a verb, but the
Latin construction is a kind of apposition.
is troubled with, a regular word for diseases.
capit, is captivated (as better English).
dazed by the beauty of, i.e. has an admiration which amounts
to a craze.
29. hic mutat,
etc.: i.e. voyages as a trader to the farthest East and the
ut, here in the proper meaning of the construction, that
he may not, etc.
because they are conscious of being proper subjects of satire.
etc.: a mark of dangerous cattle. It may be translated literally,
or, abandoning the details of the figure, by, He's a vicious brute.
keep well away from him, like "give him a wide berth."
37. a furno
redeuntis, etc.: i.e. the common crowd in the
street, as they went to get bread or water, things which the better
classes would provide in their own homes. These errands were no doubt
occasions for gossip.
ego me, etc.: i.e. first, Horace doesn't claim
to be a poet, so that the rules of the art of poetry don't apply to
him. He thus avoids criticism as to his style.
versum, round off verses, i.e. make metrical
lines by bringing them to a proper conclusion.
an apodosis, but the indefinite second person singular regularly has
divinior, an inspired genius.
os magna sonaturum,
a grand and lofty style. As all poetry was originally to
be sung, the Latin retains figures in reference to its style derived
from sound which we have lost.
the Alexandrine grammarians.
spiritus, a lively inspiration.
in the diction. rebus,
in the matter. pede
certo, by its fixed measure.
in apposition with comoedia. at
pater, etc.: the objection of one who maintains that
comedy has passages of poetry in it. A very common scene in comedy
is that of the angry father under the circumstances here referred
spendthrift, used as an adjective.
a common form of revelry was the comissatio, in which the
drinkers after a supper paraded through the city with torches, committing
all sorts of wild disorder. Here it is done even before night, the
intoxicated youth doing it without shame in broad daylight.
Pomponius, etc.: the reply is that any dissolute young
man would be addressed in the same way in real life; but to express
this Horace takes an actual case of a young man of this kind, thus
satirizing him as well as making out his own point. These side thrusts
are very characteristic of the poet.
the reasoning is, if comedy has only the language of real life, it
cannot be called poetry though put into metrical form.
i.e. change the order so that the metre disappears. Cf. v.
etc.: in the same way Lucilius and Horace use only the language of
common conversation put into metre; whereas in the extract from Ennius
in v. 60, there a poetic diction, and the thoughts suggested are on
a higher plane than the language of common life.
haec, so much for that point.
i.e. according to the rights and laws of poetry.
viewed with suspicion, an allusion to v. 24.
etc.: the idea is that those informers who plied a trade in bringing
accusations are a terror only to evil-doers, and one would expect
the argument to continue: if you are honest men, you have no reason
to fear me; but instead of that the poet turns sharply, and says in
v. 69, "Though you have all the vices of the worst men, still
you need not fear me, for I am no informer."
walks around. rauci,
i.e. with pleading. libellis,
taberna, etc.: the distinction is that Horace does not
publish his strictures. pila:
the manuscripts were hung or placed out by the pillars to be inspected
by the passer-by, as in our second-hand bookstores.
73. nec recito:
i.e. he does not even read in public, but only for the amusement
of friends, when urged.
etc.: others are fond of reading in public in the Forum and at the
public baths, because they like to hear themselves in the enclosed
space, which gives a resonance to their elocution, regardless of tact
gaudes: another point made by his enemies, that he is
malicious in his satires, in answer to which he calls in the evidence
of his friends, asking his detractors where they get that stone to
throw at him, i.e. the authority for such an accusation.
etc.: the objector answers: "Your satire shows it; a man who
satirizes is a malicious person, and should be shunned by every honest
the black-hearted slanderer. Romane,
honest Roman, alluding to the supposed honorable character
of the Romans, as opposed to other nations.
tribus, etc.: as the usual number was nine a larger company
is indicated, of whom no one is safe from the malice of the detractor.
of course the host is referred to. Water, to mix with wine and for
the washing of hands, which was necessary in the Roman manner of eating,
played a more prominent part at a Roman feast than with us.
praecordia, the hidden secrets of the heart.
90. hic tibi,
etc.: i.e. such a fellow seems to you, pretending to be the
enemy of slanderers in literature, only an agreeable companion, witty
and outspoken; whereas my sportive jests upon the follies of men seem
to you expressions of envy, hatred, and malice.
lozenges, to perfume the person. As the ancients were unacquainted
with distillation, perfumes were conveyed in various vehicles, especially
in oils, or, as here, in little cakes. hircum,
dirt and sweat. The word is very often used of the smell
of the body in confined places, like the armpits.
si qua, etc.: a still more striking example of malicious
slander in social intercourse under pretence of friendship is introduced
to show what that vice really is, and by the contrast to show Horace's
freedom from it. Cf. vv. 100 and 101.
Petillius is so called in derision on account of his stealing gold
from the statue of Jupiter on the Capitol, for which crime he was
tried, but escaped through the influence of Augustus.
usus, etc.: has enjoyed my intimacy and friendship.
etc.: i.e. "I owe much to him."
. .in urbe, instead of losing his citizenship and being
exiled, as he would have been if convicted.
sucus loliginis, i.e. the essence of black malignity.
The figure is from the excretion of the cuttlefish from which India
ink is made. Cf. hic niger est, v. 85.
mera, pure verdigris: comparing slander to rust
eating into bronze, etc., which rust appears to do. Cf. A. P. 330.
from my heart. prius,
to begin with: not having it in his heart he would not put
it down on paper. ut
si quid, etc., as truly as I can, etc., lit.
I promise, as I promise, in case I can promise anything (else) truly.
with too much freedom. iocosius,
with too rough a jest.
iuris, this privilege.
etc.: giving a reason why he should be indulged in his habit of satire,
and at the same time showing that there is no malice in his strictures
because it is for a moral purpose. hoc,
i.e. ut fugerem.
notando, by censuring them through examples,--the
manner of insuevit.
the so-called subjunctive of repeated action. Cicero would have used
eo, etc.: i.e. with that style of living which
was within the income that his father had left him; not living in
the style of the spendthrifts mentioned below.
documentum, an urgent warning: the words are
in a kind of apposition with the preceding clauses.
quis velit: an expression of prohibition borrowed from
the laws. Cf. the common noli facere.
seems a contradiction to what follows, but the kind of person here
referred to is the mistress, corresponding to the Parisian woman of
the demi monde, to whom a lasting attachment was disapproved.
faithless wives, married women.
Treboni: an example from real life.
the philosopher, as opposed to the plain practical man.
-que implies an omitted quid before.
Cf. v. 17. quid,
depending on the ethical question implied though not expressed in
causas, may be rendered, as to what.
the theory, lit. the reasons, as a philosophical basis of
the mode of life.
by his precepts.
an example, properly a voucher for such a course of conduct.
selectis: the praetor urbanus made a list of the persons
qualified to sit as iudices (jurors) in criminal cases, in which
selection they used their discretion, so that naturally the body
would be supposed to be composed of respectable citizens, and for
the most part of equites and senators, though in Horace's time other
classes were also admitted. Cf. Praetores urbani, qui iurati
debent optimum quemque in selectos iudices referre. Cic. pro
why: as often, introducing the real second member of a double
question where the first is omitted, "Will you not decide this
question or will you still doubt," etc. inutile,
etc.: ill-fame runs like wild-fire, of this man and that.
parcere, take care of themselves.
youthful (and plastic). Cf. duraverit, v.
i.e. and only by these.
istinc = ex istis: the beginning of a statement of the
reason why Horace continues the custom derived from his father.
determination, resulting from his own reflection.
neque enim, for,
you see. . .not. lectulus
(for a nap) and porticus
(for exercise), i.e. in his moments of leisure,--my couch
has received me, or the portico.
do I neglect myself. rectius,
the truer course.
quidam, etc.: Horace thus connects his strictures with
his own self-improvement. Of course this is not to be taken too literally,
as appears his jest in the following. numquid,
etc., I hope I shall not, etc.
I turn over. datur,
is allowed me.
I playfully jot down. hoc
est, etc.: after representing this proceeding as an effort
at self-culture, he jocosely says that this fault of writing down
his meditations is a pardonable fault, one of those he has not been
able to cure himself of.
etc.: a droll form of vengeance, forcing his critic to join him in
the same offence, the suggestion of which ends his satire with a jest,
as usual, and removes all appearance of formal preaching.
multo, etc.: in the dearth of public interests literature
had become the fashionable employment of the day, and everybody wrote
poetry that could write and spell. (Cf. Ep. II.1.108.)
the Jews were famous with the ancients for their energy in proselyting.