i.e. in its nature. quanta,
i.e. in degree.
3. abnormis, outside the schools, according to no particular pattern or sect. sapiens: in its technical sense. crassa Minerva, plain homespun wit, opposed to subtilis. The figure is derived from spinning, of which Minerva was patroness.
4. non inter, etc.: if one wants to study the subject of abstemiousness, a richly furnished table is not the best place for it.
5. stupet, is dazed. insanis, senseless.
7. hic, right here, i.e. without the disturbing influences mentioned. impransi, on an empty stomach. cur hoc: a question of the hearer, which is answered in the next line.
9. corruptus: the mind of a man at a feast is compared to a judge who has been bribed. leporem, etc.: to have an unbiased mind one must be in the normal state of hunger, which is produced by exercise.
10. Romana: these rude sports are called Roman, as opposed to the more artistic athletic exercises of the Greeks.
11. militia: riding and hunting approach near to the exercises in military life.
12. austerum: the dry toil is relieved by the interest (studio) of the game.
13. discus: the quoit was a favorite means of exercise with the ancients, not thrown at a mark, as with us, but for long distances, like throwing the hammer or putting the stone. agit, attracts, lit. spurs on. pete: this parenthesis is strictly independent of the main construction, which is si. . .fatigat, etc., sperne, but the added clause, seu discus agit, suggests to the poet the apodosis, pete cedentem aera disco, hurl the discus through the yielding air.
14. cum labor, then when, etc. extuderit, has knocked out of you.
15. sperne, i.e. if you can.
16. foris est promus: a supposed extreme case, where the steward is out, so that no dainties can be got from the storeroom, and there is no fish to be had; in that case you will find even the simplest food grateful.
18. latrantem, etc., the cravings of, etc. unde. . .aut qui, etc., whence and how does this come? i.e. that you find this food grateful. The answer is in the next sentence.
20. tu: repeating the emphasis in te ipso. pulmentaria: probably an allusion to the story of Socrates, who, upon being discovered walking abroad before daylight, said, ópson sunágo. The same idea is in the proverb, fames est optimum condimentum.
21. vitiis, excesses.
22. iuvare, give pleasure.
23. tamen: i.e. though the real pleasure depends upon the appetite and not the food, yet the epicure is beguiled by the empty show of the viand, even where there is no difference in taste.
24. tergere, tickle.
25. vanis rerum: a Greek construction for vanis rebus.
28. cocto (sc. pavoni), etc.: and furthermore, though the peacock is served with its plumage, the plumage loses much of its beauty when thus served.
29. carne, etc.: this passage has been a crux grammaticorum for more than a thousand years. The idea is obvious, but the construction is difficult. If we take the reading in the text, the only difficulty is the position of esto after the infinitive clause. Otherwise the construction is precisely like esto iam haec aeterno manere, Lucr. II.907, and Ep. I.1.181. The sense then is: "Allowing that you are deceived by appearances, so that you prefer (magis petere) this (bird or flesh) rather than the other (the fowl), yet how in the world can you tell the difference in the case of the lupus?" If we read hac magis illa. . .te patet; esto, we must take illa as nominative (with caro understood), and hac agreeing wth carne; and take distat with magis in the sense of the Greek diaphero, be superior, "Though that flesh is no whit superior to this, yet is plain you are taken in by the difference of appearance," etc.
31. unde datum sentis, whence is it given you to tell (by the taste), i.e. how can you possibly tell where the fish is caught--a thing which epicures make a great point of--whether in the Tiber or in the sea outside? lupus: probably either bass or pike.
32. hiet: change the construction in English; whether the lupus which yawns on the platter was caught, etc.
33. trilibrem: these are points on which the epicures lay great stress, though they are really of no account, as the poet shows.
35. quo pertinet ergo, what point is there then in, etc.: i.e. if you like a big mullet, why despise the lupus? The answer is, that the epicure demands something strange and unnatural.
36. illis: the lupus, as being more distant from the mind of the speaker.
38. raro: take with ieiunus.
39. porrectum, etc.: the idea suddenly changes, and a remark is interposed from a glutton, who care for quantity rather than quality; "I wish I could see a big one, etc.," as if he said, "you can't have them too big for me." Thereupon the poet bursts out into an indignant exclamation direction both at the gourmet and the gourmand, calling on the hot south wind to come and spoil their dainties for them.
41. quamquam: corrective; though it is of no use to wish that, for the food, however fresh, is as good as spoiled when there is no appetite and the stomach crave sharp stimulants.
44. necdum, etc.: the mention of the simple appetizers leads him to say that there are still simple viands served, implying that it might be so throughout, only it is a matter of fashion, and the dainties vary from time to time from mere caprice.
45. regum, princes, i.e. the rich. ovis: cf. I.3.6.
46. nigris oleis: olives preserved after they are ripe, as they are still treated in Italy.
47. Galloni, a person satirized by Lucilius on account of his luxury, and especially on account of his serving the sturgeon (cf. Cic. de Fin. II.8). praeconis: he had been an auctioneer, or crier.
48. rhombos minus, etc.: i.e. was it because there were no turbots? No; but the fashion of turbots had not come in.
50. praetorius: Sempronius Rufus, who, as it appears, was defeated for the praetorship, hence so called in irony.
51. mergos, sea-gulls, a worthless bird for eating. But if some praetor (hence edixerit) like Rufus should set the fashion, all the bons vivants would begin to relish them.
53. sordidus, etc.: Horace, true to his principle of the golden mean, warns his readers as well against a mean and parsimonious living. "Nor yet did Ofellus fail to see the difference, etc."
54. illud: luxurious living.
55. pravum, perversely, but agreeing with te. Avidienus, a noted miser.
56. canis: from his dirty habits. ex vero, from the fact, i.e. justly.
57. quinquennis: i.e. kept so long as to have lost their flavor. est: from edo. corna: the tough berry of the cornel.
58. mutatum, turned, as we say. defundere, serve.
59. licebit, although; a relic of a more general use of licet, only retained regularly in the present tense.
60. repotia, the feast the day after the wedding, at the house of the bridegroom. The miser serves no better fare than that mentioned, even on the highest festivals. natalis: the Romans made great account of birthdays.
61. albatus, in full dress, in which the Romans appeared with their togas cleansed and whitened. cornu. . .bilibri: opposed to the more elegant gutta, which was small, and served as a cruet, while the miser has a huge horn containing his whole stock, as it were. ipse: i.e. he doles it out himself.
62. non parcus: he keeps his wine till it sours, and of course has plenty of vinegar, the only thing of which he is liberal.
63. horum: the two extremes. The answer to the question is contained in the following proverb: i.e. neither, for both are equally bad, there is danger on both sides. The true precept is given in v. 65.
65. mundus erit (sc. sapiens): will be decent so far as not to give offence by meanness.
66. neutram: neither too miserly nor too luxurious. cultus: genitive of reference with miser: cf. cerebri felicem, I.9.11. miser, pitiable, as he would be in case of excess in either direction. servis, etc.: i.e. in giving directions to his slaves, he punishes them beforehand, to guard against any carelessness on their part, which is an indication of excessive fastidiousness about his table; whereas the other is so careless in this regard that he lets the slaves give the guests dirty water. The wise man will avoid both extremes.
68. simplex, good-natured, easily imposed upon by his slaves.
69. vitium, etc.: this particular matter, negligence in table service, the poet gives as an example of the other extreme. Then he changes the subject entirely to the advantages of a frugal life.
71. valeas bene: good health is the first advantage.
73. olim tibi sederit, used to agree with you.
75. dulcia, etc.: the ancient and popular modern idea of physiology.
76. pituita: referring to the "sluggish humors" of the body, which, according to ancient ideas, produced disease.
77. dubia, puzzling; where a man is puzzled what to take first, an allusion to Ter. Phorm. III.1.28, where the word is comically used in that sense. corpus, etc.: i.e. and not only is the body unhealthy, but the soul, which ought to be like its divine original, is weighed down and deteriorated (cf. Cic. Tusc. V.13 and de Sen. 77).
79. aurae, ether, the finer element of which the soul was formed.
80. alter: the abstemious man. curata, etc.: like curare corpus, which is constantly used of refreshing the body by eating. sopori, etc.: i.e. no indigestion keeps him awake.
82. tamen: i.e. though ordinarily abstemious, yet he can at times indulge more freely, on occasion either of a festival or of ill health or age.
86. tibi, etc.: i.e. but for the epicure no change in that direction is possible because he has indulged himself to the extreme before.
89. rancidum, etc.: the frugal man has also something on hand for an unexpected guest. This Horace expresses indirectly by the exmple of their ancestors who kept their boar till it was "high," a practice which he attributes to the desire to keep something in store. The superiority of that fashion he indicates by the wish in v. 92.
94. das aliquid, etc.: then again, one's reputation is better for this frugality.
96. damno, ruin of one's fortunes.
97. iniquum, hateful to, despising yourself.
99. iure, etc.: the answer of a rich interlocutor, who excuses his prodigality by the extent of his fortune. Trausius, some luxurious liver who had not the fortune to stand such expenses.
100. vectigalia: properly of public revenues, but here used purposely on account of the great estate.
102. quod superat, the surplus. non est, etc.: i.e. suppose you have this great wealth, are there not more worthy objects to spend it on.
106. uni, etc.: i.e. and in any case this wealth is uncertain, expressed by the contrary ironically. If, then, a change of fortune occurs, the fall will be more conspicuous and ruinous than in case of a man who is frugal even in the midst of wealth.
111. aptarit idonea bello, provides the needs of war, i.e. a frugal and contented spirit, and habits of self-control and abstemiousness (a proverbial expression).
112. quo magis, etc.: to enforce his doctrine Horace gives the example of Ofellus himself, who had lost his property, and now hires it of its new proprietor, but, as he himself says, he is just as well off, having never indulged himself amid his better fortune.
113. latius: cf. anguste.
114. metato, confiscated, measured out by the commissioners, who assigned lands to the veterans of the army.
115. fortem mercede colonum, a sturdy farmer for hire on the land he no longer owns.
116. narrantem, etc.: his words prove his content and indomitable spirit. The description of his mode of life indicates the frugal style which Horace recommends. non. . .temere, not without special reason, i.e. not commonly.
118. hospes: the arrival of a guest gives occasion for some simple luxuries.
119. vacuo: social intercourse with his neighbors, at times when the labors of the field were stopped by the weather, was also frugally celebrated, not with foreign luxuries, but with the dainties such as the farm afforded.
121. pensilis uva, raisins, grapes hung up to dry. secundas, i.e. the dessert.
122. duplice ficu, split figs, hence dried.
123. ludus: i.e. not the elaborate music, etc., of the cities. culpa. . .magistra: with only their sense of shortcoming to regulate the drinking, instead of a symposiarch, who was appointed at city feasts for that purpose. Shirking in such cases would be a culpa.
124. venerata Ceres: i.e. the worship of Ceres, which consisted in a libation followed by drinking. ita: the correlative would be, ut hoc vinum tibi fundo, or the like. surgeret: the indirect representative of surge or surgas of the prayer. The goddess is here, as often, identified with the grain of which she was patroness.
125. seria, the frowning.
127. hinc, from this condition in which we now are. It is implied in the whole that Ofellus could still enjoy the simple life he had led in his prosperity.
128. pueri, his sons who were working with him. Cf. v. 115.
129. propriae, as his own.
131. nequities, his prodigality; regularly opposed to frugalitas: cf. nequam and frugi. iuris: i.e. he will lose it by the tricks of the law.
132. postremum, etc.: at any rate he won't live forever, and then the surviving heir will at last dispossess him.
133. Umbreni, the veteran to whom the land had been assigned. Cf. Ep. II.171 ff.
134. proprius, permanent. cedet, will pass. in usum, to the possession temporarily for use, but not for permanent property; so that the tenant is after all as well off as the proprietor.
135. vivite fortes, live undismayed. With this exhortation, Horace breaks off abruptly, as is his custom, without a definite close.
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