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• You, too, my children, at your father's side,

In after years, a step-dame if you see, Let no rash word offend her jealous pride,

Nor indiscreetly wound by praising me. "Obey his will in all ; and should he bear

In widowed solitude the ills of age,
Let it be yours to prop his steps with care,

And with your gentle love those woes assuage. 'I lost no child ; 'twas mine in death to see

Their faces clustered round ; nor should I grieve, If but the space of life cut off from me Could swell the years in store for those I leave.'

E. W. H.

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HE popularity of Horace with readers of almost

every school of thought is attributable to the broad

human sympathies, the vigorous common sense, and the aptness of expression, which characterise his writings.

His father had been a slave; but, after obtaining his freedom, had purchased a small farm near Venosa in Apulia, where the poet was born, and brought up in the midst of picturesque scenery. At the age of twelve his father took him to Rome, and gave him the best education the capital could supply. He tells us how carefully his father superintended his studies, and himself moulded him to habits of virtue and morality, by showing him the results of folly and vice. He then spent some time at Athens, where Brutus met with him, on his way to Syria, and induced him to accept the command of one of his legions. Many of his writings contain allusions to his Asiatic campaign, during which he made his first essay in satire, suggested by an incident in a law-suit. The defeat of Brutus at Philippi brought his military career to a close, and, on returning to Rome, he found his father was dead, and his property confiscated. In this predicament he says



• Bated in spirit, and with pinions clipped,
Of all the means my father left me stripped,
Want stared me in the face, so, then and there,

I took to scribbling verse, in sheer despair.' His early productions were chiefly personal and abusive lampoons and satirical poems. But in other compositions he showed a true poetic spirit

. In one addressed “To the Roman People' is a description of the Happy Isles, the poets' region of ideal earthly happiness and peace. Another contains a sketch of the innocent enjoyments of a country life, commencing

Happy the man in busy schemes unskilled,

Who, living simply, like our sires of old,
Tills the few acres which his father tilled,
Vexed by no thoughts of usury or gold.'

Martin. A more imaginative effort is a midnight scene in the garden of the sorceress Canidia, who, aided by her accomplices, is torturing a boy to death, in order to extract a love philtre from his liver and spleen. The witches are again introduced, in another satire, holding an incantation in a burial ground on the Esquiline Hill,

So to evoke the shade and soul
Of dead men, and from these to wring

Responses to their questioning ;' but, after a climax of ghastly horrors, the hags are disturbed in the midst of their orgies, and rush off in terror, one dropping her false teeth, and another her wig, by the way ;-a conclusion evidently meant to ridicule any belief in their supernatural pretensions. Horace afterwards describes himself as under the influence of a spell for the calumnies he has uttered against the enchantress, which he affects to recant; but she is not pacified, and threatens him with worse pangs than those of Tantalus, Prometheus, or Sisyphus

“Then shall you curse the evil hour,

You made a mockery of my power.' Thus the poet earned himself a name; and with the produce of his writings he purchased a place in the Quæstor's department, which he held for many years.

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Soon afterwards, through his friends Virgil and Varius, he obtained an introduction to Mæcenas, with whom he thenceforth became inseparably associated. We have a full account of a journey he made with his patron from Rome to Brindisi. On reaching Capua

Mæcenas hies at ball to play,
To sleep myself and Vir gil go,
For tennis-practice is, we know,
Injurious quite, beyond all question,

Both to weak eyes and weak digestion.' Then he describes travelling by night in a canal-barge with three hundred other passengers.

Next he ridicules the story of the incense in the temple at Egnatia being kindled without fire, in the well-known couplet

'This may your circumcised Jew

Believe, but never I.' With many glimpses of Roman life and manners he continues his narrative of their progress, prudently refraining from any allusion to politics. In another poem, after expressing his horror of garlic-seasoned dishes, he concludes with a more familiar than complimentary reference to his friend's wife.

He now published his first book of Satires, which, like all his subsequent series of poems, commences with one specially addressed to Mæcenas. But they are more didactic and conversational than epigramatic or sarcastic, although many are conceived in a vein of irony. How such poems should be written he thus tells us :

*Your style must be concise, that what you say
May flow on clear and smooth, nor lose its way,
Stumbling and halting through a chaos drear
Of cumbrous words, that load the weary ear ;
And you must pass from grave to gay ;-now, like
The rhetorician, vehemently strike,
Now, like the poet, deal a lighter hit,
With easy playfulness and polished wit
Veil the stern vigour of a soul robust,
And flash your fancies, while like death you thrust;
For men are more impervious, as a rule,
To slashing censure than to ridicule.'


He proclaims himself a humble follower of the satirist Lucilius; and then lays down this golden rule,

Oh yes, believe me, you must draw your pen,
Not once or twice, but o'er and o'er again,
Through what you've written, if you would entice
The man who reads you once to read you twice,
Not making popular applause your cue,
But looking to find audience fit, though few.'

Conington. In his personal allusions he is, almost invariably, genial, forbearing, and lenient; and he possessed in perfection the rare gift of raillery, which flatters the self-love of those whom it seems not to spare.

His creed on the subject of charitable judgment of others


True love, we know, is blind ; defects that blight
The loved one's charms, escape the lover's sight.
Oh, with our friendships that we did the same,
And screened our blindness under virtue's name !
For we are bound to treat a friend's defect
With touch most tender, and a fond respect ;
Even as a father treats a child's, who hints
The urchin's eyes are roguish, if he squints ;
So if a friend too close a fist betrays,
Let us ascribe it to his frugal ways ;
Another's tongue is rough and over free,
Let's call it bluntness and sincerity ;
This is the course, methinks, that makes a friend,
And having made, secures him to the end.'


His indifference to extravagance and social display is thus expressed,

'For then a larger income must be made,
Men's favour courted, and their whims obeyed ;
Nor could I then indulge a lonely mood,
Away from town, in country solitude ;
More slaves must then be fed, more horses too,

And chariots bought.' In another Satire, how a day of his life in Rome was spent, is most graphically told ; and just as natural are the descriptions of his enjoyment of the Sabine farm presented to him by Mæcenas, where, jaded by city gaiety, he could

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