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from the rest of the Book. Satire 7 turns on a ludicrous incident which occurred in the proconsular court of Brutus when he was in Asia in the year before the battle of Philippi, and while Horace was in his suite. It culminates in the jest on the name of Rex, in connection with Brutus' political antecedents,— qui reges consueris tollere.' The play on names is of just the kind in which Roman taste delighted; and it is quite intelligible that having been one of Horace's first essays in composition, perhaps one which had been shown to Maecenas by Virgil when he told him what Horace was like,' the Satire may have been retained, possibly at Maecenas' desire. It is less likely that it should have been composed when Horace had begun to beware of playing with edged tools.

Sat, 2 has other signs of date earlier than that of the bulk of the Book. There is the grossness of tone (never congenial to Horace, but always bearing the look of a concession to a supposed 'operis lex ') to be paralleled only in some of the earlier Epodes. There is more appearance of those liberties taken with persons of position (not merely the thieves, money-lenders, misers, and parasites of later Satires) and of broad references to real scandals, which he professes to defend in Sat. I. 4 and 2. I, but with apologies which, if we look at any Satire but this one, seem to outrun the needs of the case. There is above all the curious tradition of the Scholiasts that under the name of Maltinus (or Malchinus) he was satirizing in v. 25 the personal habit of Maecenas. If this be true, it is so completely unlike Horace's bearing towards his friends in high position that it must mean that the Satire was written before his acquaintance with Maecenas commenced, and preserved with Maecenas' assent if not at his desire,

§ 5. Title and Nature of the Satires. Horace uses two words to designate his Satires.

1. The only title which he uses within the Satires themselves is Satira. This he employs in Sat. 2. I. I in the singular, to describe the form of composition or its spirit, ‘Sunt quibus in satira videar nimis acer. He is there speaking of himself as the successor of

1 Is not Sat. 2 the one specimen which Horace allowed to be preserved of an earlier type of Satires which had been shown to friends, but which his own fastidious taste failed finally to approve ?

VOL. II.

THE SATIRES, EPISTLES, AND

DE ARTE POETICA

WITH A COMMENTARY

BY

E. C. WICKHAM, D.D.

HON, FELLOW OF NEW COLLEGE, OXFORD

OXFORD

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

1903

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are, they are imitations of conversation - talks, causeries'imitations of the best talk of a polished time—in its ease, its diversity of topic, its graceful transitions, its spice of personality, its play of repartee, its irony, its anecdotes, fables, quotations, allusions'. But the talk had a definite scope. It was such talk as Horace indicates in Sat. 2. 6.71 f., on subjects of the highest interest, even if treated with a light hand. It was talk on the art of living. Even literature has an incidental rather than a primary place in it. He has to make his “apologia’ both for venturing to follow Lucilius and for venturing to differ from him; and this raises the question, which will occupy so much of his later writings, of the taste of the day in its unqualified preference of the older writers to the new classical school to which he attaches himself. He is also at first the conscious 'freedman's son, the mark of envious tongues, and he has to justify his right to open his mouth' as though his ancestors as well as himself had 'had three names 2' But the talk comes back again always to life and conduct, men's tastes and inconsistencies, the true path of happiness. We have sketches of life in Rome, of different phases of it from the point of view of bystanders, the honest countryman, the Stoic lecturer, the slave, the man of letters at the supper table of the rich upstart; sketches of talk as it shouldn't be, talk about eating and drinking; sketches of personal and social vices, of avarice and the transparent excuses for it, of censoriousness, of vulgar pushing, of legacyhunting

Politics we miss altogether. Political satire belongs to the age before the proscriptions, to the age when power belonged to an oligarchy, cultivated at least enough to read and to be amused, not to the two masters, or the one master, of legions. And Horace was not by nature a politician. He had had an enthusiasm and especially by Cicero of his Dialogues. Dialogue plays a large part in all Horace's Satires, and in Book II we have almost entirely dramatic scenes in which Horace himself plays no part or a subsidiary one.

"A characteristic feature of conversation is markedly imitated in the endings of the Satires, and of the Epistles which approach most nearly to this type. They end generally abruptly; but just as talk is ended, when the topic threatens to become wearisome, with a jest or personal sally, or again with an epigram, fable, or story, which sums up the matter and leaves no more to be said.

' Juv. S. 5. 127.

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