Valerius Cato, a poet and grammarian, of Gaul, who, we may conclude,
undertook to modernize Lucilius.
so much, correlative with quo.
apparently refers to another emender of Lucilius, afterwards referred
to as equitum doctissimus.
referring to illo.
used passively like many participles of deponents.
opem ferre, come
to the rescue of, i.e. by modernizing and emending, as English
poets have sometimes done with Chaucer.
must be taken as referring to the general subject of Lucilius, from
which he has diverged in his talk about his emenders. But the whole
eight lines are very obscure, and perhaps not worth understanding.
yes, or true; in answer to a criticism on his remark
about Lucilius, in I.4.8 and
11, and opposed by at
in v. 3. incomposito,
careless or rough measure.
modifying fautor, which is used in the sense of an
adjective. In translating, it is better to make fautor
a noun, and inepte an adjective.
he, at the same time. sale:
used often of witty satire, but the figure is here made more vivid
by defricuit. It may be imitated by made the
city smart, with caustic wit.
I.4.1-8, where he is spoken of in
the highest terms.
paying him this tribute. dederim:
cf. I.4.39. quoque,
belonging to the whole clause. cetera,
the other qualities that make a poet. sic,
on that principle, by that rule.
Decimus Laberius, a Roman knight of the end of the Republic, who wrote
mimes, farcical dramatic poems of the lowest class, often obscene,
and always representing common realistic scenes from low life. The
argument is that if witty ridicule alone made poetry, these productions
must be counted as such.
i.e. since the reductio ad absurdum above
proves that wit alone is not sufficient. diducere
rictum, raise a laugh: lit. open wide the jaws
as in laughter.
i.e. the common talk of the street is too wordy for art.
flow on freely. sententia,
etc.: i.e. farcical dialogue alone is not enought; there
must be a serious vein as well, to give variety.
support: cf. tueri, the more common expression.
the part. rhetoris
atque poetae, the serious style of the orator and poet.
of the wit. parcentis:
i.e. treating a subject lightly, not speaking with as much
moral fervor as the poet or orator.
the style of the urbanus just referred to.
acri: the style
of the orator and poet.
decides (cuts knots), cf. Ep. I.16.42.
Aristophanes and the like, the writers of the old comedy (prisca).
kept their ground, a word borrowed from the stage, like "run"
in English. pulcher:
a term of reproach, indicating effeminacy.
etc.: referring, no doubt, to the clique of Horace's critics, who,
he implies, are incapacitated for criticism in this matter because
they never read Greek, and don't know what they are talking about.
perhaps on account of his tricks which he used to amuse society. Cf.
I.9.24 and v.
80. The reference is said to be to Demetrius. See v.
C. Licinius Calvus, a contemporary of Cicero, and friend of Catullus.
The reproach here is aimed, no doubt, at the prettiness of their love
songs. We can hardly tell about Calvus, but Catullus was certainly
superior to Horace in the poetic gift.
fecit: in the general admiration of Greek literature,
no doubt there were men who actually thought the interlarding of Greek
words was a merit. Their claim is introduced to be disallowed.
uses whole sentences of Greek.
studiorum (cf. cerebri
pedantic blockheads, a translation of ÚphimatheÓs,
late to learn, and so filled with the zeal of a new convert, putting
in at all times what they have just learned. Cf. Gell. XI.7.
quine: this difficult
expression is the despair of grammarians. The -ne
absolutely requires a question either in the clause itself of in the
principle clause. (cf. Plaut. Truc. II.6.53). But no question
including the meaning of qui seems exactly right.
It might be taken in the sense of "How can you think," etc.,
in which case the -ne would only be added to the
interrogative as in utrumne. Perhaps qui
may be indefinite, as in the Hercle qui, and the
like, of the comedy. In this case it would mean, "Can you have
any idea?" etc., and the expression would be a popular one not
appearing elsewhere in literature.
an unknown poetaster. Possibly Pitholaus. Cf. Suet. F.C.
introducing an argument of his adversaries; but, you say.
abl. of means. concinnus,
the Greek wines were sweeter and less harsh than the Latin, and hence
an agreeable mixture was made of the two. nota:
the brand put for the wine. The opponent uses this practice
as an example to prove the advantage of mixing the two languages.
etc.: Horace meets the argument by reducing it to an absurdity, asking
if it is only in poetry, or will it hold good in oratory also.
te ipsum, etc.:
implying that they themselves could see the folly of such a course
in a plea in court.
a famous law case (see I.4.94)
is used as a sample of all.
etc.: i.e. to be consistent, of course, they must also ask
the great orator to use Greek as well. oblitus,
etc.: that is, forgetting that you are a Roman.
Q. Pedius Publicola was a brother of M. Valerius Messala Corvinus,
but adopted into the gens Pedia. These two are types of great orators.
a humorous expression for "work out" their difficult cases
for their orations.
(sc. verbis from verba
the regular grammar would require eos expressed,
but it is readily supplied from the names which have just occurred.
i.e. from Greece. Canusini:
at Canusium Greek and Oscan would both be spoken.
ego, etc.: the answer is supposed already to be given,
and the absurdity shown, whereupon Horace makes the argument still
stronger by showing that it isn't well for a Roman to write Greek
poetry at all. This he enforces by a fable of his own case. It is
probably true so far as the main idea is concerned.
the words in vv. 34, 35.
etc., an old superstition.
34. in silvam,
etc., a common proverb, like coals to Newcastle, and GraŻk ežs
Athťnas. The fable gives him a transition to his own style and
his reason for adopting it.
probably with a double meaning, as there is no reason to doubt the
assertion of the scholiast that M. Furius Bibaculus is meant (cf.
II.5.41). If he is, he was no
doubt called Alpinus in mockery of his poem on the Alps. (see above
with a double meaning, of a poem in which Memnon, son of Tithonus
and Aurora, was killed by Achilles. The poem is said by a scholiast
to have been an ∆thiopis.
muddles: i.e. by describing it badly, using no doubt the
epithet luteum. caput:
probably the mouth, but it may mean the source. The former seems more
likely on account of luteum. haec
ego ludo, i.e. "I, having been advised
not to write Greek poetry, and not wishing to imitate the tasteless
effusions of Alpinus in epic poetry, content myself with these trifles
in a sportive strain, not to be recited for a prize, nor to appear
on the stage. Others can do those things better." He then proceeds
to assign the mastery in the different styles to others,--to Fundanius
in comedy (cf. Sat. II.8.19); to C. Asinius Pollio, famed
as a statesman, orator, and historian as well, in tragedy; in epic
poetry, to Varius (cf. I.5.40);
in rural scenes to Virgil, whose ∆neid had not yet been written. He
has not tried to rival these, but has chosen a branch in which he
38. in aede,
etc.: a free allusion to recitation for prizes, though no definite
occasion is known. Tarpa:
Sp. Maecius Tarpa was a friend of Pompey, and chosen by him as a literary
critic to select the play for his new theatre. He probably contrived
to hold the same position, as a judge of literature under Augustus
(cf. A. P. 387), though the reference may be to any judge.
etc.: the two methods of publication are referred to in chiastic order:
first, comedy and tragedy for the theatre; second, epic and bucolic
poetry for recitation. arguta, cunning.
in the abl. absolute with eludente, giving the subject
of the writing through the characters usually appearing in that form
of composition. meretrice, one of the most common
characters in the comedy. Davo,
a characteristic slave name. See. Ter. Andria.
old man of the comedy. See Ter. Adelphi.
the tricks of the slave, who assists his young master in deceiving
the father, form the staple of the new comedy. The meretrix
also assisted in these. comis
(with libellos), witty and elegant.
off. The word is chosen on account of the light character of
the dialogue. libellos,
i.e. works, a cognate acc. with garrire.
mentioned also in II.8.19, as
belonging the Maecenas coterie, but none of his works are known.
chieftains like Agamemnon, etc., in tragedy. See next note.
ter percusso, i.e. in the iambic trimeter, the
staple verse of tragedy. Though the verse has six, it has only three
marked ictus. Cf. A. P. 252. forte,
powerful, on account of the stirring scenes depicted.
on account of the spirit which the author must have.
ducit: the figure
is from spinning, but weaving the web of, etc., is perhaps
better in English. ut
nemo, sc. alius.
molle: the gentleness
of bucolic poetry, as opposed to the vigor of epic.
elegant and polished. Cf. Facetum quoque non tantum circa ridicula
opinor consistere. . .Decoris hanc magis et excultae cuiusdam elegantiae
appellationem puto. Quintil. VI.3.20.
have granted, i.e. given the power to write in that manner.
i.e. satire. erat:
referring to the time when Horace made his choice.
had tried it unsuccessfully, not as those in the other branches in
such a way as to forbid competition. Varrone:
P. Terentius Varro, called Atacinus from the river Atax in Narbonese
Gaul, where he was born, was a very industrious and copious poet,
who tried many styles of composition, but whose light was obscured
by the more brilliant men who succeeded him. He was born 82 B.C.
such as M. Terentius Varro, L. Abbucius, Servius Nicanor.
minor, i.e. though inferior to Lucilius.
neque ego, etc.:
the main point of the whole. Horace was charged with setting himself
up as superior to Lucilius, and criticising arrogantly the work of
his master. This he here expressly denies.
50. at dixi,
but I did say (I admit), proceeding to show that such criticism
is the natural thing in the improvement of literature from age to
age, even in regard to so great a genius as Homer. The passage referred
to is I.4.11, and the figure
is that of a torrent.
the part to be rejected is even more than that to be retained.
learned critic, an almost technical expression for a professional
man in any art.
53. So also Lucilius
improves on Accius, though in the line of tragedy.
minores, inferior in dignity, to the requirements
of the subject.
55. At the same time
Lucilius does not claim that he is superior to these earlier writers,
though he criticises them.
56. Therefore there
is no objection to Horace's following Lucilius' example, and criticising
him in his turn.
his own, i.e. the character of the poet's genius.
rerum: the character
of his subjects. dura,
rough and stiff, not flexible so as to yield to the elegances of poetry.
etc.: i.e. smooth and flowing, and carefully finished verse.
etc.: than would naturally be the case with one that wrote as he did,
carelessly and copiously, in the manner of his age.
i.e. hexameters. claudere,
compose, an almost technical expression for writing poetry,
rounding off the lines.
i.e. merely making verse without regard to polish.
so called, probably, to distinguish him from the Cassius in Ep.
an unknown poet. ferventius,
rolling on more swiftly.
etc.: i.e. he wrote enough to make his own funeral pile of
his manuscripts and their cases. capsis: these were
cases for rolls in which they stood up on end.
a concession, to which is opposed the sentence with sed ille,
more polished. idem,
at the same time, a still greater concession.
etc.: i.e. than the inventor of this kind of composition
could be expected to be. rudis,
untried (with carminis). Satire was probably
not in fact a really new form of literary art, but the Greeks had
not brought it to perfection as they had other forms, and hence Lucilius
had strictly no one to imitate; therefore the first attempts must
necessarily be rough. intacti:
the Romans of Horace's time considered satire as entirely of Roman
origin, which in some sense it was. Cf. Quintil. X.1.93.
emphatic; even he would write with much more care and pains
if he were alive now; an argument, of course, in favor of Horace's
criticism, as well as for his style.
another reading, dilapsus, gives no sense, and delapsus
smooth away; referring to the use of the file, cf. limatior.
prune away; not merely polishing, as in detereret,
but suppressing. ultra
perfectum traheretur: i.e. overdone, beyond
the golden mean of perfection.
etc.: humorous expressions indicating greater pains in writing, as
opposed to the careless style of Lucilius. This thought leads Horace
to descant on the necessity of erasing and doing over again one's
vertas: the ancient stilus, for writing on wax,
was made with a sharp point on one end, and a flat piece at the other
to smooth down (inducere) the wax and obliterate
the previous writing.
if you mean to write. labores,
trouble yourself to have, try to have.
only the better educated few could appreciate perfect work; it would
be too refined to please the people, for whom a different style would
be necessary. an:
a reductio ad absurdum, as often with an.
cf. I.6.72. dictari:
i.e. to be used as exercises in teaching the ignorant to
write. It is probable, however, that it was just this use of Horace's
works and others that has, by the multiplication of copies, preserved
them to us.
for the higher classes. audax,
undaunted, not abashed by the displeasure of the crowd.
hissed off the stage, whence comes our expression, an "exploded
theory," though we have a different conception of it now.
Arbuscula, a famous
actress in the mimes, the only class of plays in which women appeared.
She is also mentioned by Cic. ad Att. VI.15. Her acting was
probably too tame and decent for the coarse Romans of the lower class.
78. The distinction between the two kinds of leaders
gives him an opportunity to hold up to scorn the opposing clique,
by putting them among the populace, and to claim for himself the approval
of the more refined. cimex:
as we might say reptile. Pantilius,
an unknown poet.
also unknown, but very likely the simius referred
to in v. 18.
a third of the clique, the garrulous coxcomb mentioned in I.4.21.
cf. I.4.72, 9.25,
probably to indicate that they are both parasites, worthless fellows
who made a living by their wits.
Varius: see v.
C. Valgius Rufus, an elegiac and epigrammatic poet, a friend of Horace,
to whom Od. II.9 is addressed. His writings are now lost.
a poet and historian. Virgil(?) speaks of him, Catalecta
XIV.,-- "Scripta quidem tua nos multum mirabimur et te/
Raptum et Romanum flebimus historiam."
see I.9.61, Od.
I.10. He was probably only a literary connoisseur, as no works
of his are known to us. Viscorum,
one of them is mentioned in I.9.22.,
but they are otherwise unknown.
as the others were of high rank in prominent positions, he might be
accused of ambitious designs in mentioning them; therefore he declares
that he has no such designs, and implies that their prominence is
so great that he can mention them without suspicion.
see v. 42.
v. 29. fratre,
Servi, Furni: otherwise unknown. his:
dative following simul by an imitation of the Greek
ama and an extension of words of nearness and likeness.
connoisseurs; cf. v. 52
purposely; cf. imprudens.
haec, the Satires,
to which this one is a kind of envoi.
such as they are.
give pleasure, a meaning transferred from its proper meaning
of smile upon. Cf. Cic. ad Att. XIII.21.3.
doliturus: a favorite
construction with Horace, but better rendering in English by and
I should, etc.
being applied to a good thing, is equivalent to minus,
and is very likely colloquial.
by this word Horace scoffs at these poets as effeminate women's darlings.
the regular word, like our bid, here with a kind of double
whine, referring to the love-sick songs that these men sang
(and perhaps taught also), to the delight of women, and also to the
Greek oimozein (the opposite of xaipein). The whole
only amounts to, "I leave you to whine among your petticoated
pupils, bad luck to you."
an amanuensis. citus:
adjective for adverb; "be quick and go."
libello: the first
book of Satires.