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man. We believe, indeed, his good temper to be the main charm of his writings. In reading the Journal' or the political squibs of Swift, we recoil from the saturnine temperament of their author. In Walpole's letters we make allowance for more than epigrammatic malice. In Prior and Boileau we are on our guard against the plenipotentiary and the pensioner; and in Pope we remember that he in turn eulogised and defamed nearly every one of his friends, from Wycherley to Lady Mary: Lapse of time and our imperfect acquaintance with details have doubtless softened, for the modern reader, some of Horace's original acerbity. Canidia, Mænas, and Cassius indeed, could their opinion be obtained, might perhaps justly describe him as being as "good-natured a friend' as any that Sir Fretful Plagiary could boast. But we know little of the provocations he had received: he had been unfortunate in his party politics ; he was again rising in the world, and he could not lack enviers and backbiters. Yet the succus nigræ loliginis is shed over comparatively few of his pages. He plays with foibles rather than lashes vices, and satirises the type rather than the individual. Though Rome, in the age of Horace, abounded equally with materials for a Newgate Calendar and a Dunciad, he tells us more of the coxcombs than of the criminals. We smile at the loquacity of Fabius, the perfumes of Rufillus, and the coarse hospitality of Nasidienus : but we are left to learn from other sources the atrocities of L. Hostius and Vedius Pollio. In the hands of Juvenal and Churchill, satire is the iron scourge of the Furies: in those of Horace and Cowper, it is the rod of a very popular. and good-tempered schoolmaster. We believe, with Dr. Tate, in despite of the ingenious argument of Buttman to the contrary, that Malchinus was not intended for Mæcenas. We believe, too, that Horace never maligned or even civilly sneered at any person of real worth and genius; and we find nothing in his satires so disingenuous as Pope's lampoon on the Duke of Chandos, or so insidious as his Atticus.' Sweet as may be the uses of adversity, the uses of prosperity are oftentimes not less so; and as the fortunes of Horace improved, his poetry became not only purer in its sentiments, but also more liberal and indulgent in its treatment of men and manners.
There are losses in historical literature which surpass the injuries inflicted by barbarian blindness and Gothic rage. Among the heaviest of these is the destruction -- the author's own act of the letters and memoranda of Pomponius Atticus. Vicar of Bray, as Atticus undoubtedly was, - a model we should scarcely have expected to have been picked out by Sir Matthew Hale to dress himself by,— his adroitness in trimming proves his skill in reading the signs of the times. Perhaps,
Boyhood of Horace at Venusia.
with the exception of the late Prince Talleyrand, never man enjoyed such opportunities for disclosing the springs of faction and the motives of partisans as the friend of Cicero and Brutus, of Antonius and Augustus, of nearly every sturdy Pompeian, and of nearly every zealous Cæsarian, had access to for half a century. If he were not equally trusted, he was at least generally consulted, by all the leaders and by all the more prominent members of the conflicting parties. His advice was sought by the sufferers as well as by the actors in the revolution, — by matrons trembling for their sons and husbands, by bankers in jeopardy for their investments, and by country-gentlemen in dread of a fresh settlement of centurions in their neighbourhood. But Talleyrand seems to have extended his caution beyond the grave, and Atticus burned his correspondence with all and sundry; — preferring a good match for his daughter Pomponia to the dangerous honour of being the historian to his own life and times. Horace's opportunities for observation were much less complete than those of this prince of trimmers. Yet they were not inconsiderable: and a brief comparison of the several crises of the Republic with the principal epochs of the poet's life, will corroborate Mr. Milman's assertion that his works are, in great measure, a contemporary record of Rome. We must not, indeed, look for direct information. Neither his mode of writing, his position, nor his inclination admitted of it. Youth and adverse circumstances at first disqualified him for the office of chronicler : and his subsequent connexions with the Cæsarian court imposed upon him a politic, although not a servile, acquiescence under the powers that were.
From his birth to his twelfth year, Horace dwelt among the shrewd and hardy borderers of Lucania and Apulia. Yet even among them he witnessed the recent vestiges of foreign war and domestic convulsion. The district of Venusia—the modern Basilicata -had been seized upon by Sulla; and among the immediate neighbours of the elder Flaccus were veterans of the Pontic and Italian campaigns. Even his father's profession (he was a collector of payments at auctions), may have impressed upon the future satirist his first conceptions of the toil and trouble of revolution. In those days of confiscation and of rapid transfer of property, the hereditary landowner was the most frequent sufferer; and the fields of Umbrenus' may have changed hands more than once during the boyhood of Horace. From the glimpse he affords of the ingenuous youth of Venusia, - magni pueri magnis e centurionibus orti'--we may infer that the society of the neighbourhood was neither intellectual nor select. Our armies swore terribly in Flanders ;' and we know how the orphan Roderic Random was regarded by his schoolfellows, the sons of country magnates. Doubtless the centurions were as hard-drinking and boisterous as the wise Mr. Justice • Freeman or Sir Thomas Trueby,' and told as interminable stories of the Propontic and the Hellespont,' as Sir Dugald Dalgetty himself in his retirement at Drumthwacket. Men, too, who had revelled in Asian luxury, who had driven off mules laden with gold and seen frankincense measured by the bushel, would have small respect for the frugal collector and his unproductive farm, which would not have furnished a breakfast for one of the satraps of Mithridates. From such worshipful society Horace was removed in his twelfth year by his watchful father, and introduced to the motley crowds and turbulent pomp of the capital. The relation between the father and son appears to have been of the most tender and confiding kind. The paternal fondness and vigilance were repaid by the most filial reverence and affection: and the immortality of the poet has preserved for us one of the most interesting glimpses of Roman private life. The patria potestas, in the families at least of Horace and of Ovid, was a most paternal sway. At any era of Rome, to a sprightly and observant boy, removal there from the high-hung chalets of Acerenza, the vast thickets of Banzi, the sounding Aufidus, and the picturesque Mount Voltore, would have been impressive: in the 701st year of the city it must have been an impression at once startling and indelible. Rome, which had long been the focus of revolution, was in that year staggering under a great defeat. Crassus and his army had perished,—the last counterpoise between the surviving triumvirs had been destroyed, - and all the moderate men and all the dangerous men in Rome were awaiting a collision between the Chief of the Senate and the Proconsul of the Gauls. Nor was the rumour of battle lost or won the only sound which would awaken his curiosity. The year of his arrival was marked upon the spot by even bloodier and more disastrous events than the murder of a triumvir or the dishonour of the legions. There was 'war in procinct' in the streets of Rome; and the gladiators of Milo and Clodius fought daily in the forum, and made night hideous with the flames of burning houses and the revelry of their respective camps.
We know not in which of the many lanes of Rome stood the school-room of Orbilius; that it was no very splendid seminary may be inferred from its owner's poverty. But, in whichever of the regions it was seated, and however rare an event a half-holiday may have been, it cannot have been so remote from the arena of convulsion, as to have been beyond earshot of the surge and recoil of fierce civil strife. We know something, however, of Orbilius himself. As every par
Boyhood of Horace at Rome.
ticular connected with the life of Horace is interesting, we will remark, - what has escaped even his last and best biographer, — that as a native of Beneventum, Orbilius was probably recommended to the elder Flaccus by some of his former neighbours at Venusia. He was a schoolmaster of the old stamp, -as strict a disciplinarian as Dr. Rodinos of Oviedo, whose skill in educing the logical faculties is attested by Gil Blas,- and as stout a foe to educational innovation as the Fathers of the National Council of Thurles, or even the Bishop of Exeter himself. He read with his classes Homer and Livius Andronicus; and his curriculum' produced permanent results upon the mind of his most distinguished pupil. Many a stripe had engraved the verses of both these archaic bards upon the Horatian memory, but with very opposite effects. For Horace retained small affection for the old Saturnian poet, or for ancient Italian verse in general; while, to the end of his life, he studied with delight the war of Troy and the wanderings of Ulysses. From his twelfth to his eighteenth year the young aspirant remained at Rome, and in that period must bave been eye-witness and ear-witness of the final movements of the Cæsarian revolution. It was among the treasured recollections of Seneca the rhetorician in his declining years that he had heard Cicero speak in the senate. He probably had heard one of the swan-songs of the great orator-one of the speeches against M. Antony. But, in the year after he was placed under the care of Orbilius, Horace may have listened to Cicero's defence of Milo. He
have been among the by-standers on that memorable day when the eye under which Catilina had quailed, and the voice which the tribune Metellus could not silence, drooped and faltered in the presence of the armed tribunal of Pompeius and the yelling of the Clodian mob. Five years afterwards Horace went to the university of Athens. The intervening period was crowded with all the preparations for the last contest between Pompeius and Cæsar. As a freedman of the Horatian House, the elder Flaccus was probably a conservative in politics. His illustrious son was, we know, an active partisan of Brutus and the senate. These five years of school-life must accordingly have been a period of intense excitement, both to the anxious father and the observing son. Men, it has often been remarked, live fast in revolutionary times. The events of an hour often baffle all the experiences of a past life. When Horace came to Rome, the name of Pompeius was in everybody's mouth. He alone
can save the Republic. He is the second Sulla. He is the most moderate of men;' he is the most false of men.' • He is all-powerful and will proscribe :' " he is superannuated
• and will yield;' • Cæsar and his hybrid legions will melt at a * word of his mouth: Cneius and all his carpet-knights will • fly before the Alauda and the Xth. Such were the partycries and prognostications, to be stifled or fulfilled on the plain of Pharsalia. The peaceful studies of the youth of Rome must have been strangely interrupted by these political excitements. No man could be so obscure, so young, or so thoughtless, but that he must have been deeply affected by the insecurity of liberty and of life. In the unruffled quiet of his manhood and age, Dean Milman observes, how often must these turbulent and “awful days have contrasted themselves in the memory of • Horace, with his tranquil pursuit of letters, social enjoyment • and country retirement.'
Meanwhile there was a happy interval between Horace's earlier and later participation in the common calamities of the time. It was probably in the year after the battle of Pharsalia that he quitted his school at Rome and enrolled himself as a student under one of the many professors at Athens. We are not informed whether the good co-actor still survived, and still farther taxed his humble means to afford his son a university education, or whether Horace already inherited the paternal acres, and maintained himself among the groves of Academe' upon the rents of his Venusian farm. He has indicated his mode of life there, and his deep enjoyment of its studious repose by one of those quiet touches which, to the mind's eye, enrich his works with so many lively portraitures. He studied the Greek poets and philosophers, and probably learned geometry, that essential element of Athenian education. More we know not of him, although we may fairly conjecture that his intimacy with Messala and Bibulus was cemented at the university, and that he was contemporary with young Marcus Cicero; who, however, had most likely too large an allowance, and was too much devoted to supper parties and Chian wine to be a congenial companion for the freedman's son. From Lucian and the Greek fathers of the Church we derive some interesting particulars of ancient university life. In the character of Nigrinus the satirist sketches the deep repose and the studious employments of the Attic philosophers; and the groves and walks of the Academy acquire a new charm from the youthful friendship of Basil and Gregory of Nazianzum. But of Horace and his contemporaries it can 'merely be told that they studied at Athens, and that their studies were interrupted by the immediate consequences of an event which pervaded, with exultation or dismay, every province of the Roman world.
That event was the murder of Cæsar; and one among its many consequences was the arrival of Brutus at Athens to