referring to the following. For the spirit of the expression of satisfaction, cf. Od.
II.18.14, III.16.29; Ep. I.16.5-16 and I.18.104. in votis, among my prayers. Cf.
in optatis, Cic. ad Fam. II.13.2. modus: i.e. a moderate amount. ita: cf. II.2.46.
2. iugis: either with aquae or fons. The latter would follow the favorite interlocked order, but cf. Ep. I.15.16.
3. super his, in addition to this; in prose it would be accusative. auctius: more generously, a rare adverb, but in accordance with the meaning of auctus, abundant.
5. Maia nate: Mercury, as the god of gain, cf. II.3.68; but cf. also v. 15 with Od. II.17.29, and II.7.13. propria: cf. II.2.129, and Ep. II.2.172. faxis: this use of the perfect for the present seems to be colloquial and archaic, as certainly the use of the short form is.
6. si: introducing the protasis of oro, v.13, a common form of supplication in ancient times. Cf. "as we forgive those," etc., Od. III.18.5; Smintheû! eípoté toi charíent' epì neòn érepsa, Hom. Il. I.39. maiorem, etc.: cf. I.4.108. ratione mala, any base means prompted by avarice. This is spoken of in the past because the poet takes the present condition of his estate as the starting point.
7. sum facturus, etc.: i.e. have no bad habits of luxury (vitio) to waste, nor idleness (culpa) to neglect, and so lose my property. These are spoken of as to their future results. The whole claims the favor of the god on account of past virtues and present character.
8. veneror: i.e. pray for in my worship of the gods. Cf. II.2.124; and qui multa deos venerati sunt contra eius salutem, Cic. ad Fam. VI.7. stultus: i.e. as covetous, and so not a sapiens, who would have no vain desires. nihil horum, nothing like this.
9. denormat, breaks the line of, a technical word of surveying.
10. urnam argenti: the ancients on account of the insecure state of society were often wont to bury their treasure, and at times to lose it. Cf. Plaut. Aulularia and nec vero quemquam senem audivi oblitum quo loco thesaurum obruisset, Cic. de Sen. 21.
11. qui mercennarius: a shorthand way of saying qui agrum, quem mercennarius araverat, mercatus (and so the owner) aravit. This compendious form seems colloquial like so many other expressions in the Satires.
13. Hercule: regarded as a giver of gain (ploutodótes), especially from hidden treasures. gratum, my grateful soul, i.e. if I am satisfied and thankful.
14. pingue, heavy (to render the punning force of the word as applied to ingenium), dull, thick. cetera, all the rest.
15. ut soles: cf. Od. II.17.29, and Od. II.7.13. Mercury being the god of eloquence is regarded by Horace as his tutelary divinity.
16. ergo: i.e. since I am thus contented and thankful. arcem, my stronghold, with a reference at once to the heights and the secure retreat from cares. Cf. Ep. I.10.8.
17. prius, rather, i.e. than the pleasures of my country home (cf. note to ergo, v. 16). saturis: i.e. in a composition which reflects the whole life of the author, and is an indiscriminate collection of thoughts, facts, and feelings (cf. II.1.30), and so may well begin with what is nearest the poet's heart. pedestris: cf. Ep. II.1.250.
18. mala ambitio, etc.: i.e. in this retreat I secure at the same time health of mind and of body. plumbeus, leaden, as weighing down the body, making one feel lifeless and inert. Auster: i.e. the sirocco, an especially oppressive and deadening wind.
19. gravis, fatal, inducing fevers. Libitinae: in the temple of Venus Libitina were found the undertakers and all the paraphernalia of interment. The connection of this temple with death was probably merely accidental, but in course of time the name of the goddess came to be associated with funerals. Cf. Od. III.30.7. quaestus: a fee was paid at the registration of burials, and hence the autumn as causing death was a gain to the goddess. Trans. profitable to. The poet means to say that this country abode is salutary for soul and body too.
20. matutine pater, god of the morning, apparently a half humorous invocation used merely to express the morning itself. Iane: following the custom of the ancients in addressing their gods (cf. Carm. Saec. 14 seq., Ilithyia. . .Sive tu Lucina probas vocari, Seu Genitalis) he identifies his supposed divinity with Janus, the god of beginnings generally. The vocative is used as the actual form that the god would hear. Cf. Ep. I.7.38. audis, art called, perhaps originally an imitation of akoúein but afterwards thoroughly Latinized (cf. Ep. I.7.38, and erat surdaster M. Crassus, sed aliud molestius quod male audiebat, Cic. Tusc. V.40).
21. unde. . .instituunt (= a quo incipiunt), with whom (as the god invoked) men begin, etc. operum vitaeque: a case of what is called hendiadys, where a particular idea is mentioned first, and a general one including the first is added. But the same form is also used in English, and really has no claim to be called a figure at all. operum refers to the thing to be done, labores to the effort to do it.
22. sic dis, etc.: i.e. in the arrangement of the world this god has this particular function of presiding over beginnings (cf. Januarius, and the temple of Janus in relation to war).
23. Romae: as opposed to the undisturbed quiet of country life. sponsorem, as a bondsman. In the Roman legal proceedings there were many cases in which bail was necessary, so that it seems to have been a common friendly officium to act as security. Cf. I.1.11 and Ep. II.2.67. The trials began about nine (cf. I.9.35); and probably the preliminary proceedings (in iure) were earlier. Heia, etc.: the poet's own reflection is put into the mouth of the god.
24. prior, before you. officio: cf. note to v. 23, and officiosus, II.5.48, Ep. I.7.8. respondeat: answer to the call of duty, i.e. perform the duty itself.
25. Aquilo, etc.: notwithstanding the raw wind or freezing cold, the Tramontana. radit, rasps.
26. interiore: i.e. at the winter solstice, when the short day seems to make a circle of small diameter, as the sun does in the heaven. trahit: as if the day came unwillingly to an end.
27. postmodo: with obsit. obsit, cause loss, when by and by he has to pay the amount of his surety. clare: i.e. without shrinking. certum: in the exact form prescribed, as otherwise the act would be invalid.
28. luctandum, etc.: i.e. he has at once to hurry away to the next duty, his morning call (salutatio) on Maecenas. facienda, etc.: indicating his hurry in a more lively way by its effects.
29. quid vis, etc.: the remonstrance of the persons he runs against. improbus, impudently.
30. precibus, imprecations. pulses, do you think you must knock down. Subjunctive of indignant question.
31. ad Maecenatem, etc.: implying that his relation to Maecenas is known and envied. memori mente, thinking of nothing but him. There seems to be an implied taunt.
32. melli est, is sweet as honey to me. non mentiar, I will not deny, i.e. to tell the truth, though the statement is contrary to my argument. The words contain also of course a compliment to Maecenas. at: i.e. but when I arrive it is no better, as it might be, if it were only on the way that he was subject to these annoyances, which after all have their compensations as he has just said. atras: cf. I.8.10.
33. Esquilias: on the Esquiline was Maecena's house and a fine garden. negotia, affairs.
34. saliunt, assail; the figure is too strong to be literally rendered, though it was originally in our English word as well. ante, etc.: the words of a messenger of Roscius who had some claim or other upon the poet. ante secundam: i.e. in the first twelfth of the day.
35. orobat: like the epistolary imperfect, which is written with reference to the time of the reading. Very likely the messages are conceived as written and quoted verbatim. Puteal: the Puteal Libonis, a kind of well curb in the Forum (cf. Ep. I.19.8) around a place once struck by lightning. As it was near the tribunal of the praetor, the matter was probably a judicial one in which Horace would appear as advocatus. Cf. I.9.38.
36. de re communi, etc., a new matter of great importance to our body. Horace had once been a regular clerk of the treasury. The expressions aliena negotia, reverti, and re communi seem to indicate that he was a clerk still, but only a nominal one. Cf. the case of Sarmentus, I.5.66.
37. meminisses, you will not forget. Quinte, friend Horace (cf. II.5.32), as the praenomen indicated intimacy. reverti, come in, probably to the office of the quaestors, which he would not always do if he was a mere nominal clerk.
38. imprimat, etc.: the words of some one who wished to get a favor from Maecenas through Horace's influence.
39. dixeris, if you (i.e. Horace) say; hortatory subjunctive. si vis, etc.: this statement Horace ingeniously uses as a transition to his relations with Maecenas.
40. septimus, etc.: this would give as the date of the Satire B.C. 31, as that of his introduction was about B.C. 38. Cf. Dacis, v. 53.
42. dumtaxat ad hoc, merely to this extent; i.e. not in a close intimacy as a confidential friend.
43. nugas: i.e. only the merest trifles of conversation.
44. hoc genus, of this sort, properly in apposition with nugas. Thraex, the Thracian, i.e. a gladiator in Thracian arms, a round shield and curved sword. The Romans were fond of fights in which gladiators of different and outlandish arms were matched against each other, and they talked about their favorites much as our sporting men talk about oarsmen and ball-players. (A reminder to the reader that this book was written in 1888, as oarsmen have fallen in notoriety in the last 110 years.--webmaster). Gallina, the Chicken, a nickname. Syro: a gladiator's name, probably of a mirmillo (the kind that usually fought against the Thraeces, cf. Cic. Phil. III.12, Suet. Dom. 10) armed in the Gallic fashion, with a large, strong shield, and heavy armor.
45. matutina, etc.: mere remarks about the weather.
46. rimosa, deponuntur: the figure of a deposit is not uncommon in reference to secrets, cf. Od. I.27.18; and mihi quod credideris sumes ubi posiveris, Pl. Trin. 145. Cf. also Ter. Eun. 105, plenus rimarum sum hac atque illac perfluo. The whole means that Horace was only trusted with things that would do no harm if betrayed, though people outside thought otherwise, as appears from the following.
48. noster, our friend, Horace. una: i.e. with Maecenas.
49. omnes: sc. inquiunt.
50. frigida, chilling, as being bad news. a Rostris: i.e. from the rostra, where news would be announced to the crowd in the Forum; or if not publicly announced first made known there. per compita, by the street corners, where the next largest assemblies of men would be collected.
51. quicumque, etc.: further explaining the invidia, but at the same time showing that the real state of the case was different from that supposed by the envious crowd. O bone, my good friend, but apparently with a touch of depreciation.
52. deos: trans. literally, but referring to the leading statesman with whom Horace was supposed to be in contact from his intimacy with Maecenas.
53. num quid, etc.: you haven't, etc., have you? The question formally but not really expects a negitve answer, as often the corresponding form in other languages. Dacis: in B.C. 31, after the battle of Actium, an invasion of Italy was feared from the Dacians who had been on the side of Antony (cf. v. 41). nil equidem, not a thing. ut tu, etc., what a wag, etc., the answer of the incredulous interlocutor.
54. at omnes, etc.: Horace's asseveration in reply.
55. quid, etc.: another similar inquiry. promissa, etc.: i.e. the allotments of land to the veterans, which had been promised by Augustus.
57. unum: not merely a, but the one of all men.
59. perditur: instead of perit, which is the usual substitute for the passive. haec: this envy and worry which are unavoidable in the city.
61. veterum: cf. II.3.11. libris: abl. of means with ducere.
63. faba, etc.: the simple viands of the country. Pythagorae: beans were forbidden as food by Pythagoras, because, as was said by some, they contain the souls of the dead. Hence Horace jocosely calls them the kinsfolk of that philosopher. simulque, and with them.
64. satis, well (with uncta). holuscula, humble greens.
65. deum: i.e. as enjoyable as theirs. mei: i.e. friends.
66. ante larem: i.e. the hearth, which, according to the simple custom of the early Romans, stood at the back of the atrium, where also was the place for the household god, the lar familiaris. Cf. Epod. 2.66; Serv. to Æn. I.370. vernas, household servants; this also points to the simple habits of early times retained in country life, according to which the slaves also ate in the atrium. procacis, saucy, a characteristic of the slaves brought up in the house along with the children.
67. libatis dapibus: the remnant of the feast. Properly the words refer to a rich feast, of which part was offered to the gods (libare). libido, fancy.
68. inaequalis: not (as was usual at formal dinners) prescribed by regulation (legibus) as to the amount of wine and water. Cf. II.2.123.
69. insanis, absurd, crazy, as being irrational, merely freaks of fashion. capit: i.e. is able to stand. acria, strong.
70. laetius, etc., delights rather to, etc. ergo: i.e. in accordance with the frugal character of the meal. Cf. II.2.4 seq.
71. alienis: which would indicate envy or rivalry in display, whereas their conversation is directed to their own ethical improvement.
72. Lepos (a pantomime dancer): as a sample of trivial themes.
73. utrumne: cf. II.3.295 with note.
74. divitiis, etc.: one of the favorite ethical questions of the ancients was whether men could be perfectly happy (beatissimi) through virtue alone, the Stoic school holding that it was possible, against the Peripatetics. Cf. Cic. Tusc. Disp. V. passim.
75. usus rectumne, advantage (cf. I.1.73), or virtue (honestum, tò prépon, cf. I.1.107), the former being the Epicurean, and the latter the Stoic view. trahat: i.e. the origin of friendship.
76. boni, the good; the technical name for that which being in itself desirable may be used as the criterion of human action, answering in ancient philosophy to "the chief end of man." summum eius: the summum bonum, called also finis bonorum, and extremum bonum, the ultimate foundation of all ethical systems. Cf. Cicero de Finibus, passim, which is a treatise on that subject.
77. Cervius: doubtless a neighbor (cf. mei, v. 65) dining with the poet. haec inter, in the talk. garrit, tells in lively strain. anilis fabellas, nursery tales, like "old wives' fables," but without the contempt implied in that phrase.
78. ex re, in point, arising from the subject, and illustrating it. Arelli: a rich neighbor,--so that after all, human nature was too much for them, and they did talk "de villis domibusve alienis."
79. sollicitas, care-haunted. ignarus, foolishly, not knowing the true nature of happiness. olim, once upon a time.
81. veterem vetus: two old friends, guest and host. Notice the general Epic flavor of the story.
82. asper, ascetic, not self-indulgent. ut: i.e. talis or ita ut. artum, careful, properly not allowed to expand in genial relaxation.
83. quid multa: a common form of transition, like "to make a long story short."
84. ciceris: genitive after invidit, apparently an imitation of the Greek; for the usual construction, see I.6.50.
86. fastidia, want of appetite, disdaining common food. The viands are what the host regards as delicacies.
87. male, hardly. superbo, disdainful.
88. pater domus: a variation on paterfamilias.
91. patientem, contented, patient of the privations which your life brings with it. dorso, etc.: the rocky wooded ridge.
92. vis, an informal exhortation, like our will you? or won't you?
93. mihi crede, take my advice, a common form of encouragement and exhortation. terrestria, etc.: i.e. since life is so short, enjoy it while it lasts.
94. sortita, with the destiny of; lit. having got by lot.
95. quo. . .circa: separated for the sake of the metre.
98. levis: i.e. gladly.
104. fercula, courses; properly the trays on which the courses were served at a Roman banquet.
105. procul, at one side, not necessarily at a distance; derived from pro, cf. Proculus and proximus. exstructis, well filled, heaped high, with the plenteous food.
107. succinctus, a waiter; cf. II.8.10.
108. verniliter, like a pampered house-servant, tasting everything with the greed of that class. ipsis: i.e. he not only bustles about as busy as a waiter, which he might do even as a host, but he also performs the servile offices like a slave and with the greedy taste of one as well.
111. agit, plays the part of.
112. valvarum, etc.: i.e. when the work of the day begins. Molossis: cf. Virg. Georg. III.405.
114. simul: i.e. simul ac.
115. haud mihi est opus, I have no occasion for, with the same spirit as in "no, I thank you."
117. ervo: abl. of means. The meaning of course is that the security of his home even with his humble fare will console him for the loss of the dainties which it does not afford.
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