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ILLUSTRATIONS or HORACE. pelled him, no less for his own sake
than that of his magnificent patron, BOOK I. SATIRE VI.
to explain this matter to the world, W
place, speaking of Lucilius, that whom he could not be more intimately his book, like a votive tablet, repre- known. Mæcenas, notwithstanding sents the good old way of living, is his vast influence and reputation, never equally applicable to bimself, and par, held any public office in the administicularly in the present performance, tration of the Roman republic: yet which may be considered as an interest='he seems to have lent a willing ear ing account of some passages in his life. whenever any compliment was paid Few authors have in their work him on the high antiquity and the poken so much of themselves as Ho- noble origin of his race *, pleasing race; and nothing, perhaps is more bimself with an assumed unodesty, difficult than to talk of oneself with which in fact was only a cover to the propriety; that is, so as to be neither pride of preferring to be the first tiresome vor disgusting; equally re among the hereditary equestrians, mote from affected modesty on one than to be clothed with those honours hand, and ridiculous vanity on the which were conferred by popular elec ather ; with ingenuousness, yet witļi- tion, and which he would have pose out garrality; with due self-estima-sessed in common with that earth-bore tion, yet without vaunting. The tribe, who in those times, either by task becomes harder, if, in, the situa- the aura popularis or the favour of tion and relative position of our poet, the triumvirs, were elevated to posts we should have to speak of ourselvos which they were not born to fill. He to such a person as Mæcenas. Never had therefore, even though he had to trip in a path at once so slippery been less of a philosopher, a reason and tortuous, is perhaps the non plus of very pear concernment, for dock ultra of urbanity and delicate sensa- ing, in the choice of his friends and tion, and doubtless the Graces must commensals, at their persopal qualia, have been particularly auspicious toties rather than at the circumstance him, who could come off with so quali sit quisque parente. To this, much ease and decorum from such a however, was added a political view, hazardous enterprize, as Horace in to which (as may be assumed upon this Satire and in the viith and xixth the most solid arguments), in this Epistles to Mæcepas has done.
mode of proceeding, his eye was cono Horace, in consequence of the lik- stantly directed; namely, that it was ing which Mæcenas had condescended conformable to the great plan of the to take to him, began, as it appears, young Cæsar, chalked out by himself, about this time, to excite the atten- that in the monarchy into which he tion of the publick, the dislike of the intended imperceptibly to transform middling class of poets, and in general the republick, every thing should in of those who by witty conversation, a manner be new, and, in the design taste, and the talent of amusing, of defeating the pretensions of the sought to render themselves agreeable remaining old families, and as much to the great. Among these people, as possible of rendering the condition were not a few who could boast a far of the Romans dependent on the arbihigher descent than our bard - for tration of the imperator, less regard every thing had been so turned upside should in future be had to the honours down in Rome by the civil war, the and merits of ancestry, than to per proscriptions, and the last triumvi-sonal worth and acquirements. Ace rate, that numbers, who were born cordingly Horace brings his process to, a quite different fortune and a before a judge no less favourable than quite different course of life, being competent; and the artful turn he now reduced to a state of utter de gives it is so well adapted, that he pendence, were obliged to contrive seems rather to be writing a justificar means of subsistence which they would tio of the esteem and attachment heretofore have looked down upon with which he is honoured by Mæce with scorn. It was probably people nas, than an apology for hiinself.
this stamp who, inore than others, * Thence the atavis edite regibus in the upbraided our poet with the meanness First Ode, which is of a date posterior to of his birth, and thus' at last com. the present compesition. .
We are already acquainted from the traordinary, than that the son of a foregoing Satires with our author's freedman should become a man who manner of giving his treatises the ap- in his twenty-second year deserved to pearance of that natural planless ca- be valued and beloved by a Marcus reer of thought, the characteristic of Brutus, and in histwenty-sixth by such free and easy conversation, and en. men as Mæcenas and Pollio. Horace tirely along mæandring walks, with was onquestionably indebted to his little occasional digressions, in reality father for all this, and more than to be approaching his object at every most of his contemporaries of nobler step. This method of composition descent were to theirs; and accordo cannot be sufficiently recommended ingly he had great reason not to be to all who would descant upon opi- ashamed of such a father. The same nions, manners, and passions, in the individuality may be predicated like form of satires, epistles, or discourses: wise of the use which he made of his and since herein we cannot so well leisure. His dispositions and bis habits work by rules, as upon forms and of life were strictly analogous to his models, which the judgment must situation ; and in him much was highly select and the imagination impress; praiseworthy, which would have heen young poets, wishing to try their extrimely culpable in a thousand strength in this department, cannot others. Our poet therefore, when perhape more profitably employ them- speaking of the prerogatives selves in any kind of study, than in pobility which is conferred upon us diligently analyzing the satires and by education, moral character, talents, Epistles of Horace. What a dull and acquirements, over that which academical exercise would be the re-' consists solely in hereditary posses. sult, if the axioms contained in this sions, and the advantages of an hum. performance were to be delivered in ble over a splendid birth, enjoys the a methodical series of syllogistical advantage of finding all he wants for deductions ! And what else can be ad- setting these objects in the fairest duced bút trite common-place matter point of view, as it were within his on such a subject? But how new, own enclosure, and therefore (making how interesting and entertaining, is allowance for the difficulty of speak every thing that Horace says upon it, ing of oneself with decency and withby partitioning the universals, con- oot fatuity) but little art was requisite verting all into results of immediate to finish this beautiful delineation of experience, illustrating every propo- manners. Fewer requisites, só to sition by appropriate examples, and speak, sufficed him for being a poet, forming the main point which he inbecause he was a man so fortunately tends to demonstrate, into an indivi- born, and so happily situated. This' dual characteristic of Mæcenas, whose remark is perhaps applicable to most conduct he is vindicating, while, with of his performances ; but it may likethe most simple cordiality he deline- wise be a hint to the poets, invita Miates his father's character and his nerva, and the imitators, servum peown! By this method abstract ideas cus. It is not impossible to ape the are rendered apparent, and meta- manner of Virgil, Ovid, Lucan, with morphosed as it were into historical success; but in order to seize Horace's personages ; the figures file off into manner, we must be able almost to distinct groups, acquire their proper kidnap his very person. keeping, their natural colouring, light, Lydorum quicquid Hetruscos.] Hoand shade ; and instead of a hard and race bere speaks in conformity to a dry didactic sketch, a living picture vulgar tradition accredited by the of manners is produced to our view, historian Herodotus, in pursuance which at once satisfies the judgmeut, whereofthe Hetrurians were descended affects the heart, and gratifies the from a Lydian colony which had been taste,
transported thither by Tyrrhenus, a The situation of Horace respecting son of King Atys. The falsity of this his birth and education, was indeed report, which was even held fabulous one of those which rarely occur, A by Diodorus Siculus, may be scen freedman of such noble sentiments, proved to demonstration in the Reand procuring for his son such an ex- cherches sur l'Origine des differents cellent education as the elder Hora. Peuples de l'Italie, article 5, in the Lius, was a phenomenon ugt lese ex. Xth volume of the Histoire de l'Aca.
demie des Inscriptions et Belles Let- testine wars and the proscriptions, retres, the edition in 12mo.
duced to a very few families. The Olint qui magnis legionibus imperi- senatorial dignity was shorn of its an, tarint.] No vestige is to be found, tient splendour by the novi homines, either in the history or the fusti of who were in great numbers admitthe Roman republick, that the Cilnian ted into that body, even from the family, from which Mæcenas derived dregs of the populace, by favour or his lineage, was ever illustrated by wealth. The equestrian order, on the posts of supreme command in it*: other hand, rose in consequence in the It is therefore ridiculous in the Abbé same proportion as that of the senas Souchay, in his Recherches sur la vie tors declined. Even the class of the de Mécene to attempt at proving from freeborn (ingenui) got up, and com, this passage, that the ancestors of posed a sort of inferior nobles, which this celebrated favourite, after repair. hy insensible gradations coalesced with ing to the capital from their native the equestrian order ; with this diftown Arezzo, were in great authority ference, however, that between one at Rome, and commanded armies. who derived his pedigree from an an-Certainly Horace here uses the word tient equestrian family, and one who legiones for troops; but he could not merely in virtue of some acquired intend to express any thing more by post of honour, or by means of his it, than what he says in several pas- census, belonged to the equestrian sages of his Odes, that Mæcenas could order, there was about the same disnumber Hetrurian Kings or Lucu- tinction as till of late subsisted in mones among his ancestors. It is ap: France and Germany between the old parent that he was much gratified and new nobility.' i'he change which with this sort of flattery on the ori, this must have wrought in the national ginal splendour of his house ; and spirit was of the greater moment, as what is noticed by Livy in his tenth now even among the ingenui, forbook, touching the supremacy of the merly a stated regular degree was Cilnian family in Aretium. one of the overleaped. For whereas heretofore most powerful cities of the Hetrurian the libertini, or sons of the emanciconfederacy, was of itseļf sufficient pated, composed a middle class beto foster and encourage that yanity, iween the liberti and ingenui, and the even granting that the genealogical son of a liberlinus was first to be re, proofs of afinity to King Porsenna created with the privileges of an in(for which we have the warranty of genuus ; these were now accorded to an aptient scholiast), could not be the sons of the emancipated, and li. exactly made out in all the due forms beslųs and libertinus passed for one of heraldry.
and the sąmet. That this was already Dum ingenuus.] To me it appears become customary in Cicero's time, pot improbable, that Horace has here Torrentius, who had his doubts coutaken the word ingenuus in its equi- cerning it, might have convinced himvocal inport. To the better under, self from the oth and 19th chapters standing of this and numerous other of the oration pro Cluentio ; where, passages of our author, I must here speaking of the judicial defence of bring to recollection, that the sigual Scamander, 7 libertys of the Fabricii, revolution effected under Augustus in who had been arraigned on a charge the Roman republick, necessarily $u- of assassination, Cicero says, he had perinduced, together with a certain employed an argument in viadication relaxation of the old Roman spirit of this Scamander, which in libertiand republican manners, a debaseincnt norum causis had always been held or a counterfeiting of the several valid. The generality of expositors, classes (ordines ) of the Roman citi- from inattention to this confusion of zens. The patricians were by the io- ranks which had imperceptibly arisen
* Besides the Farourite of Augustus, I find only two Mecenases, whose names have accidentally come down to us. One of them úgures in a fragment of Sallust, in the character of a Secretary, at the lower end of the table of Sertorius ; the other is nentioned by Cicero (pro Cluent. cap. 56.) under the naine Caj. Mecenas, with great commendation, as having, with two other Roman knights, effectually opposed the furbulevt enterprizes of the tribune, M. Livins Drusus (who was consul in the year 640). This might very possibly, however, have been the grandfather of ours. † Aldus Manutius, citante Massom, in vita Hurații, p. 4. & seq.
in the latter period of the republick, Junius Brutus, as his colleague in the
Tulli.] Servius Tullius, who, born say, that virtue and merit are not
times at least) properly enough, so Contra Lævinum.] The old Scholiast as to prefer a new Decius to a Lævisays, that the subject here relates to nus unworthy of his progenitors. a certain (unknown) P. Valerius Læ- But suppose (continues he) the people vinus, who, by reason of the bad re- were, in such a casc, unjust to a putation he had brought on biinself candidate of obscure descent, or a by his scurvy tricks, was never able censor, like Appius Pulchert, should to get any higher promotion than to the quæsture (the office of public
* Livy, lib. viii. cudi 8---12.
+ Who in the year 702, together with, treasurer). The family. Valeria was
Luc. Pisn, was censor, and in virtue of pne of the oldest and noblest in Rome.
that office, turned several persons out of Valerius Poplicola, who, in place of the senaté, because they were sons of Collatinus, was given to the famous freedmen.
turn some one out of the senate be to his Imperial Majesty, &c and Excause his father was not free born, traordinary Ainbassadour froin Leon what mighty injustice after all is done? poldus, Emperor of Germany, to the Why could not be sleep quietly in bis Grand Signior, Sultan Mahomet Hau own skiy ? Why did not he weigh all the Fourth. Written by John Burs the mischief to which his vanity and bury, Gent. London, &c. 1671;" his ambition exposed him ? &c. This 12.no.. meseems, is the natural sense and Dedication : « To the Honourable connection of the train of ideas in Henry Howard, eldest son of the the passage before us, and I cannot Right Houourable My Lord Henry conceive how Torrentius could find Howard. Sir ; Pictures which relate anything here obscure and incongru. to a family are usually exposed in gal ous. That Horace is not positively leries, that the heir by looking on ypcaking of himself, bot of persons them, may not only see the features, of his rauk placed in a similar situa- but read too the virtues and generous tion, scarcely needs to be noticed, this exploits of his truly noble ancestors. turn of expression being so common This Picture of, my Lord, your fa. with him.
ther's journey to Turkey (wbom you Sed fulgente trahit constrictos glo- have so lively coppi'd in your early ria curru, &c.] This ouce, Baxter travels abroad) 1 hunbly present at appears to me to have justly disco- your feet, being sure it will have a vered that Horace has taken this lofty choice place in the gallery of your and sonorous verse, so widely different mind, since the original itself (which from the ordinary diction of his ser extracts adıniration from all) will mones, from some herwie poem now' doubtless as highly deserve of poste lost, but well known at the time. rity, as any of your greatest proges Whether he intended it iu derision or nitors. Here without the wind of in earnest, such allusions and humor- adulation, I might tow down the pus applications of thoughts and me stream of my Lord your father's qua. taphors of other authors are not un, lities, and excellent endowments, but usual with him, and contribute not a remembring that you two only differ little to that urbanity in which his in time, I shall but say this (least I writings so peculiarly excel.
seem to flatter you) that you are most Ormond-streel.
W.T. happy in your father, and your father
as happy in you. May your happi Mr. UABAN,
June 4. Dess, like the Danube, (which in its Country Clergyman, having been long passage through Tyrole, Bava. analysis and account of curious and thirty bavigable Rivers, ere it falls scarce books in Beloe's Anecdotes, into the Sea) inereasc all along in the and Savage's Librarian, has an incli- course of your life, till it become to pation to endeavour to amuse bimself, be as great, as lo your Noble self and and perhaps Mr. Urban's Readers, by your family, the devotion is of, Sir, a similar selection from his own lis your inost bumble and most obe. brary. He does not indeed promise a dieut faithful servant, selection from books so curious, or
JOHN BURBURY." so scarce, as those to which he refers, It appears from this Relation, that but of such as happen to be in his pos. the Author was an attendant of Lord session, and may possess sufficient Henry Howard, who joined the Im• merit (as objects of amusement) to perial Ambassador's suite at Vienna, recommend them to a little transitory and accompanied him to Constantinodotice.
ple. They set forward " on Tuesday Yours, &c.
J. B. the twenty one of February 1664, I.
about one of the clock in the mornTitle : “ A Relation of a Journey ing.' The object of the Embassy was of the Right Honourable My Lord to settle the terms of a Peace. The Henry Howard, from London to Vi- Ambassador was Count Lesley, the enoa, and thence to Constantinople ; particular friend of Thomas Earl of in the Company of his Excellency Arundel and Surrey, grandfather of Count Lesley, Knight of the Order of Lord Henry Howard, and Mr. Edward the Golden Flcece, Councellor of State his brother, who, by invitation, ac