children. The twelve tables confined them to ten in number. " Decem
tibicines adhibeto, hoc plus ne facito." ED. DUBL.
" Octonis referentes idibus aura. The Romans had many stated times of
paying their schoolmasters. Some imagine it was at the beginning, others
at the end of the year, or at the grand festival of Minerva, called quinqua-
trus, or quinquatria, which began the 19th of March. But the Minerval
then given to the master was not a salary, but a voluntary present
168 SATIRES OF HORACE. BOOK i.
spirit to bring me a child to Rome, to be taught those art*
which any Roman knight and senator can teach his own chil-
dren. So that, if any person had considered my dress, and
the slaves who attended me in O populous a city, he would
have concluded that those expenses were supplied to me out of
some hereditary estate. He himself, of all others the most
faithful guardian, was constantly about every one of my pre-
ceptors. Why should I multiply words ? He preserved me
chaste (which is the first honor of virtue) not only from
every actual guilt, but likewise from [every] foul imputation,
nor was he afraid lest any should turn it to nis reproach, if I
should come to follow a business attended with small profits,
in capacity of an auctioneer, or (what he was himself) a tax-
gatherer. Nor [had that been the case] should I have com-
plained. On this account the more praise is due to him, and
from me a greater degree of gratitude. As long as I am in
my senses, I can never be ashamed of such a father as this,
and therefore shall not apologize [for my birth], in the man-
ner that numbers do, by affirming it to be no fault of theirs.
My language and way of thinking is far different from such
persons. For if nature were to make us from a certain term of
years to go over our past time again, and [suffer us] to choose
other parents, such as every man for ostentation's sake would
wish for himself; I, content with my own, would not assume
those that are honored with the ensigns and seats of state ;
[for which I should seem] a madman in the opinion of the
mob, but in yours, I hope a man of sense ; because I should
be unwilling to sustain a troublesome burden, being by no
means used to it. For I must [then] immediately set about
acquiring a larger fortune, and more people must be compli-
mented ; and this and that companion must be taken along,
so that I could neither take a jaunt into the country, or a jour-
ney by myself; more attendants and more horses must be
fed ; coaches must be drawn. Now, if I please, I can go as
far as Tarentum on my bob-tailed mule, whose loins the port-"
This word has no particular force here. It merely means that the Ides
were eight days from the Nones. With regard to idibus comp. Sat. i. 3,
87. M'CAUL. It appears from a passage of Martial that the Roman
youths had full four months' vacation ; hence Octonis idibus denote the
period of tuition : trana, ''bringing the money for eight months' instruc-
SAT. vi SATIRES OF HORACE. 169
manteau galls with his weight, as does the horseman his shoul-
ders. No one will lay to my charge such sordidness as he
may, Tullius, to you, when five slaves follow you, a praetor,
along the Tiburtian way, carrying a traveling kitchen, and a
vessel of wine. Thus I live more comfortably, O illustrious
senator, than you, and than thousands of others. Wherever I
have a fancy, I walk by myself : I inquire the price of herbs
and bread : I traverse the tricking circus, 78 and the forum
often in the evening: I stand listening among the for-
tune-tellers : thence I take myself home to a plate of onions,
pulse, and pancakes. My supper is served up by three slaves ;
and a white stone slab supports two cups and a brimmer :
near the salt-cellar stands a homely cruet " with a little bowl,
earthen-ware from Campania. Then I go to rest ; by no
means concerned that I must rise in the morning, and pay a
visit to the statue of Marsyas, 74 who denies that he is able to
bear the look of the younger Novius. I lie a-bed to the fourth
hour ; after that I take a ramble, or having read or written
what may amuse me in my privacy, I am anointed with oil,
but not with such as the nasty Nacca, when he robs the lamps.
But when the sun, become more violent, has reminded me to
go to bathe, I avoid the Campus Martius 70 and the game of
hand-ball. Having dined in a temperate manner, just enough
to hinder me from having an empty stomach, during the rest
of the day I trifle in my own house. This is the life of those
who are free from wretched and burthensome ambition : with
such things as these I comfort myself, in a way to live more
72 He calls the circus fattacem, deceiving, because diviners, fortune-
tellers, interpreters of dreams, astrologers, and impostors of all sorts
usually assemble there. TURNER.
73 Echino vilis. We can not precisely determine what the guttus and
echinus were. Mr. Dacier thinks the first was a little urn, out of which
they poured water into a basin, echinus, to wash their hands. ED. DUEL.
74 Marsyas, a satyr, who, challenging Apollo to a trial of skill in music,
was overcome and flayed alive by the god. A statue was erected to him
Jn the forum, opposite to the rostra where the judges determined causes,
and the poet pleasantly says, it stood in such an attitude as showed its
indignation to behold a man who had been a slave, now sitting among
the magistrates of Rome. The satyr forgets, in his resentment of such
a sight, the pain of being flayed alive. TORR.
73 Fugio campum, lusumque trigonem. Campus is the Campus Afartius,
and lusus trigon was a game played with a ball, otherwise called lusua
trigonalis, because the players stood in a triangle. Martial speaks of it
in more than one place. FRAN.
1 70 SATIRES OF HORACE. BOOK L
delightfully than if my grandfather had been a quaestor, and
father and uncle too.
He humorously describes a squabble betwixt Rupilius and Peraius.
IN what manner the mongrel Persius 7 ' revenged the filth and
venom of Rupilius, surnaraed King, is I think known to all
the blind men and barbers. This Persius, being a man of
fortune, had very great business at Clazomenae, and, into the
bargain, certain troublesome litigations wtth King ; a hardened
fellow, and one who was able to exceed even King in viru-
lence ; confident, blustering, of such a bitterness of speech,
that he would outstrip the Sisennae" and Barri, if ever so well
I return to King. After nothing could be settled betwixt
them (for people among whom adverse war breaks out, are
proportionably vexatious on the same account as they are
brave. Thus between Hector, the son of Priam, and the high-
spirited Achilles, the rage was of so capital a nature, that only
the final destruction [of one of them] could determine it ; on
no other account, than that valor in each of them was consum-
mate. If discord sets two cowards to work ; or if an engage-
ment happens between two that are not of a match, as that of
Diomed and the Lycian Glaucus ; the worse man will walk off,
[buying his peace] by voluntarily sending presents), when Bru-
tus held as praetor" the fertile Asia, this pair, Rupilius and Per-
sius, encountered; in such a manner, that [the gladiators]
7 Ibrida Persius. Persius was a Greek by his father, and an Italian
by his mother. The Romans gave the name of Ibrida to those whom
parents were of different nations, or different conditions. TORE.
" Cornelius Sisenna being reproached by the senate with the bad con-
duct of his wife, replied, " I married her by the advice of Augustus."
Insinuating, Augustus had obliged him to marry her, that he might
have a more easy commerce with her. Titus Veturius Barras, having
ruined himself by his extravagance, was put to death for violating a
vestal virgin. ED. DUEL.
78 Marcus Brutus and Cassius were praetors of Rome when Cassar was
put to death. In 7 1 1 Brutus went to take possession of his Macedonian
government, and praetor may be understood proprcetor : a manner of
peaking of which there are many examples. SAN.
SAT. nn. SATIRES OF HORACE 171
Bacchius and Bithus were not better matched. Impetuous
they hurry to the cause, each of them a fine sight.
Persius opens his case ; and is laughed at by all the assem-
bly ; he extols Brutus, and extols the guard ; he styles Brutus
the sun of Asia, and his attendants he styles salutary stars, all
except King ; that he [he says,] came like that dog, the con-
stellation hateful to husbandman : he poured along like a wintery
flood, where the ax seldom comes.
Then, upon his running on in so smart and fluent a manner,
the Praenestine [king] directs some witticisms squeezed from the
vineyard,' himself* a hardy vine-dresser, never defeated, to whom
the passenger had often been obliged to yield, bawling cuckoo
with roaring voice.
But the Grecian Persius, as soon as he had been well sprin-
kled with Italian vinegar, bellows out : O Brutus, by the great
gods I conjure you, who are accustomed to take off kings," why
do you not dispatch this King ? Believe me, this is a piece of
work which of right belongs to you.
Priapus complains that the Esquilian mount is infested with the
incantations of sorceresses,
FORMERLY I was the trunk of a wild fig-tree, an uselss log :"
when the artificer, in doubt whether he should make a stool
or a Priapus of me, determined that I should be a god.
Henceforward I became a god, the greatest terror of thieve*
TO The Scholiast tells us, that Bithus and Bacchius were two gladiators,
who certainly put to death whoever fought with them. They afterward
engaged together, and both expired on the stage. ED. DUEL.
80 Horace means a particular kind of vine, arbustiva, that grew round
trees, in which the people who gathered the grapes stood exposed to the
raillery of the travelers. In such an attitude our durus Vindemiator had
often appeared. All sort of injurious language was allowed during the
vintage; a custom that still continues in Naples. DAC.
81 Lucius Junius Brutus expelled Tarquinius Superbus. Marcus Bru-
tus freed his country from the imperial power of Julius Caesar. From the
introduction of this, we may conjecture that Horace, at the time of writ*
ing this satire, had not yet espoused the side of Augustus. M'CAUL.
82 The wood of a fig-tree was very little used, on account of its brit
172 SATIRES OF HORACE. BOOK L
and birds : for my right hand restrains thieves, and a bloody-
looking pole stretched out from my frightful middle : but a
reed fixed upon the crown of my head terrifies the mischievous
birds, and hinders them from settling in these new gar-
dens." 1 Before this the fellow-slave bore dead corpses thrown
out of their narrow cells to this place, in order to be deposited
in paltry coffins. This place stood a common sepulcher for
the miserable mob, for the buffoon Pantolabus, and Nomen-
tanus the rake. Here a column assigned a thousand feet 64 [of
ground] in front, and three hundred toward the fields: that
the burial-place should not descend to the heirs of the es-
tate. Now one may live in the Esquiliae,* 6 [since it is made]
a healthy place ; and walk upon an open terrace, where lately
the melancholy passengers beheld the ground frightful with
white bones ; though both the thieves and wild beasts accus-
tomed to infest this place, do not occasion me so much care
and trouble, as do [these hags], that turn people's minds by
their incantations and drugs. These I can not by any means
destroy nor hinder, but that they will gather bones and noxious
herbs, as soon as the fleeting moon" has shown her beauteous
I myself saw Canidia, with her sable garment tucked up,
walk with bare feet and disheveled hair, yelling together with
the elder Sagana. Paleness had rendered both of them hor-
rible to behold. They began to claw up the earth with their
nails, and to tear a black ewe-lamb to pieces with their teeth.
83 Octavius, willing to correct the infection of this hill, which was a
common burial-place for all the poor of Rome, got the consent of the
senate and people to give part of it to Maecenas, who built a magnificent
house there with very extensive gardens. Hence the poo calls them
novia horiis SAN.
84 Mitte pedes in fronte. Such was the title of the grave-yard, pre-
served on a pillar of stone, cippus, to show its extent, and to declare it
was never to return to the heirs of the estate. "We have numberless in-
scriptions of this kind, ITA NB UNQUAM DK NOMINE FAMILLB NOSTR-E
EXEAT HOC MONCMENTUM. HOC MONUMEXTUM IIEREDES NON 8EQUITUR,
IN FRONTE LAT. FED. XX. ET DIG. II. Ix AGR, LONG. FED. XX. In
fronte signifies to the road: in agro, to the fields. Dabat is for indicabat,
85 The air was afterward so healthy, that Augustus was carried thither
when he was ill. TORR.
88 The moon presided over all enchantments, and was believed to be
most favorable when in the full, decorum 03, because she th*n infused a
tronger spirit into the magical herbs. TORR.
SAT. vra. SATIRES OP HORACE. 173
The blood was poured into a ditch, that thence they might
charm out the shades 87 of the dead, ghosts that were to give
them answers. There was a woolen effigy' 8 too, another of
wax : the woolen one larger, which was to inflict punishment
on the little one. 89 The waxen stood in a suppliant posture,
as ready to perish in a servile manner. One of the hags in-
vokes Hecate, and the other fell lisiphone. Then might you
see serpents and infernal bitches 90 wander about ; and the
moon with blushes hiding behind the lofty monuments, that
she might not be a witness to these doings. But if I lie, even
a tittle, may my head be contaminated with the white filth of
ravens; and may Julius, and the effeminate Miss Pediatous, 91
and the knave Voranus, come to water upon me, and befoul
me. Why should I mention every particular ? viz. in what
manner, speaking alternately with Sagana, the ghosts uttered
dismal and piercing shrieks ; and how by stealth they laid in
the earth a wolf's beard, with the teeth of a spotted snake ;
and how a great blaze flamed forth from the waxen image 1
And how I was shocked at the voices and actions of these
two furies, a spectator however by no means incapable of re-
venge ? For from my cleft body of fig-tree 93 wood I uttered
a loud noise with as great an explosion as a burst bladder.
But they ran into the city : and with exceeding laughter and
diversion might you have seen Canidia's artificial teeth, and
" Black victims alone were sacrificed to the infernal gods, nor was
any thing supposed more delicious to the souls of the departed than
blood. They could not foretell any future events, or answer any ques-
tions, until they had drank of it. Ulysses was obliged to draw his sword
to frighten them away from the blood he had poured into the trench for
88 The image of wool represented the person they were willing should
survive the other represented by that of wax. 'T is for this reason that
the images were made of different materials, that their fates might be
89 This little figure probably represented Darius, who had forsaken
Canidia, as we find in the fifth epode. SAN.
9<J The serpents were forerunners of Tisiphone, and the bitches foretold
that her infernal majesty was coming. TORE.
91 Julius et fragilis Pediatia. We know not who Julius was. Pedi-
atius was an infamous Roman knight, whom Horace, "for his effeminacy,
calls Pediatia. Thus Aristophanes calls Cleonymus Cleonyma; Sostra-
tus, Sostrata, CRUQ.
92 Ficus, i. e. I, an image made of the truncus Jictdmis. The heat made
the wood crack with a noise, which put the witches to flight.
174 SATIRES OF HORACE. BOOK i.
Sagana's towering tete of false hair falling off, and the herbs,
and the enchanted bracelets from her arms.
He describes his sufferings from the loquacity of an impertinent feUow.
I WAS accidentally going along the Via Sacra, meditating on
some trifle or other, as is my custom, and totally intent upon
it. A certain person, known to me by name only, runs up ;
and, having seized my hand, " How do you do, my dearest
fellow ?" " Tolerably well," say I, " as times go ; and I wish
you every thing you can desire." When he still followed me ;
" Would you any thing *"" said I to him. But, " You know
me," says he: "I am a man of learning." "Upon that ac-
count," says I : " you will have more of my esteem." Wanting
sadly to get away from him, sometimes I walked on apace,
now and then I stopped, and I whispered something to my boy.
When the sweat ran down to the bottom of my ankles. O,
said I to myself, Bolanus, 94 how happy were you in a head-
piece! Meanwhile he kept prating on any thing that came
uppermost, praised the streets, the city; and, when I made
him no answer; "You want terribly," said he "to get away;
I perceived it long ago; but you effect nothing. I shall still
93 Numquid vis. Donatus tells us in a remark upon a passage in Ter-
ence, that it was a polite customary manner of speaking among the
Romans, that they might not seom to take their leave too abruptly, to
say at parting, " numquid vis ?" as in modern phrase, "have you any
commands?" "Abituri, ne id dure facerent, 'numquid vis' dicebant
his, quibuscum constitissent." ED. DUEL
* Bolanus was a very irritable person. SOHOL. Horace then pro-
nounces him cerebri felicem ; for were he but in this fellow's company,
he would break out into a storm of passion that would drive him away.
It appears more humorous to suppose him a heavy, stupid person, so
apathetic that not even this fellow would annoy him. P. Similarly
Demea in Terent. Adelph. v. 5, exclaims,
" fortunatus, qui istoc animo sies ;
Ego sentio." M'CAUL.
Bolanus was a surname of the Vettii derived from Bola, a town of the
^EquL Celebri felicem. Thus ficiKapi^j at rr)f nafifirioiaf, and Virg.
Geor. L 277, "felicea operum dies." WUEELEB.
SAT. ix. SATIRES OP HORACE. 175
stick close to you ; I shall follow you hence : where are you
at present bound for?" "There is no need for your being
carried so much about : I want to see a person, who is un-
known to you : he lives a great way oft' across the Tiber, just
by Caesar's gardens." " I have nothing to do, and I am not
lazy ; I will attend you thither." I hang down my ears like
an ass of surly disposition, when a heavier load than ordinary
is put upon his back. He begins again : " If I am tolerably
acquainted with myself, you will not esteem Viscus or Varius
as a friend, more than me ; for who can write more verses, or
in a shorter time than I ? Who can move his limbs with softer
grace [in the dance] ? And then I sing, so that even Hermo-
geues may envy."
Here there was an opportunity of interrupting him. "Have
you a mother, [or any] relations that are interested in your
welfare ?" " Not one have I ; I have buried them all."
" Happy they ! now I remain. Dispatch me : for the fatal
moment is at hand, which an old Sabine sorceress, having
shaken her divining urn, 95 foretold when I was a boy ; ' This
child, neither shall cruel poison, nor the hostile sword, nor
pleurisy, nor cough, nor the crippling gout destroy : a babbler
shall one day demolish him ; if he be wise, let him avoid talk-
ative people, as soon as he comes to man's estate.' "
One fourth" of the day being now passed, we came to Vesta's
temple ; and, as good luck would have it, he was obliged to
appear to his recogniaznce ; which unless he did, he must
have lost his cause. "If you love me," said he, "step
in here a little." " May I die ! if I be either able to stand it
out,* 7 or have any knowledge of the civil laws : and besides,
93 The divination was performed in this manner. A number of letters
and entire words were thrown into an urn and shaken together. When
they were well mixed, they were poured out, and if any thing intelligible
appeared in them, from thence the witch formed her divination and
96 The first hour of the day among the Romans answered to our
sixth. Martial says the courts were open at nine o'clock, "exercet
raucos tertia causidicos;" it was, therefore, more than an hour after their
opening, that Horace passed by the temple of Vesta.
97 Aut vcdeo stare. Horace uses the law terms, " respondere, adesse,
tare, rem relinquere." The first signifies to appear before a judge upon
a summons ; the second was properly to attend on the person who ap-
peared, and to support his cause ; the third marks the posture in which
176 SATIRES OP HORACE. BOOK L
I am in a hurry, you know whither." " I am in doubt what
I shall do," said he ; " whether desert you or my cause."
" Me, I beg of you." " I will not do it," said he ; and began
to take the lead of me. I (as it is difficult to contend with
one's master) follow him. " How stands it with Maecenas
and you ?" Thus he begins his prato again. " He is one of
few intimates,* 8 and of a very wise way of thinking. No man
ever made use of opportunity with more cleverness. You
should have a powerful assistant," who could play an under-
part, if you were disposed to recommend this man ; may I
perish, if you should not supplant all the rest !" " We do not
live there in the manner you imagine ; there is not a house
that is freer or more remote from evils of this nature. It is
never of any disservice to me, that any particular person is
wealthier or a better scholar than I am : every individual has
his proper placed' " You tell me a marvelous thing, scarcely
credible." " But it is even so." " You the more inflame my
desires to be near his person." " You need only be inclined to
it : such is your merit, you will accomplish it : and he is
capable of being won ; 100 and on that account the first access
he stood, and relinqttere causam to suffer himself to be non-suited for not
appearing. ED. DUBL.
18 Paucorum hominum. " A man of discernment, who does not con-
verse with the multitude," as in Terence, " hie homo est perpaucorum,
hominum." Scipio having engaged three or four friends to sup with him,
and intending to make some others, who came to see him, stay with him,
Pontius whispered him, " Consider, Scipio, what you are doing ; this is
a delicate fish, paucorum hominum, and does not love a great deal of
company." ED. DUEL.
* Adjutor was a person who assisted a player either with his voice or
action, but in what manner is to us inconceivable, as we have nothing
like it in our stage. Ferre secundas may be somewhat better explained
by a passage in Cicero: " He will not exert his utmost eloquence, but
consult your honor and reputation, by lowering his own abilities and
raising yours. Thus we see among the Grecian actors, that he who plays
the second or third part, conceals his own power, that the principal player
may appear to the best advantage." ED. DUEL.
Our impertinent therefore promises Horace, that far from any design
of supplanting him in the favor of Maecenas, he will be contented to play
the second part, and use his utmost abilities to raise our poet's character,
as a principal actor. The reader may turn to the note on the twelfth
line in the eighteenth epistle. FRAN*.
100 The poet says Maecenas was naturally easy to be gained, but that
a sense of his own weakness obliged him to guard himself against the
first addresses of a stranger. " E5," for " ideo difficiles aditus primes habet,
BAT. IX SATIRES OF HORACE. 177
to him he makes difficult." " I will not be wanting to myself:
I will corrupt his servants with presents ; if I am excluded
to-day, I will not desist ; I will seek opportunities ; I will
meet him in the public streets ; I will wait upon him home.
Life allows nothing to mortals without great labor." While
he was running on at this rate, lo ! Fuscus Aristius comes up,
a dear friend of mine, and one who knows the fellow well.
We make a stop. "Whence come you? whither are you
going ?" he asks and answers. I began to twitch him [by the
elbow], and to take hold of his arms [that were affectedly]
passive, nodding and distorting my eyes, that he might rescue
me. Cruelly arch he laughs, and pretends not to take the
hint : anger galled my liver. " Certainly," [said I, " Fuscus,]
you said that you wanted to communicate something to me in
private." "I remember it very well ; but will tell it you at
a better opportunity : to-day is the thirtieth sabbath. 1 Would
you affront the circumcised Jews ?" I reply, " I have no
scruple [on that account]." "But I have: I am something
weaker, one of the multitude. You must forgive me : I will
speak with you on another occasion." And has this sun arisen