Page images
PDF
EPUB

dono lepidum novum LIBELLUM. The same was practised by Tibullus *, and Propertius t. Thus Virgil publish’d his Bucolicks all at once, as one may lec from these Words, Extremuin hunc, Arethusa, mihi concede laborem; and Ovid did the same with respect to his Books de Amoribus, de Triftibus, and de Ponto, as he himself witnesses. In like manner Persius puc our his Satyrs, Phedrus and Avienus their Fables, Aufonius, Prudentius, Sidonius, and Venantius their Poems áll at once, as it plainly appears from their Prologues.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Secondly, Dr. Bentley observes, thar Horace himself tells us, he published a whole Book at one Time. They First Book of his Odes came out all at once, as it appears froin the Prologue: The Second and the Third were also published in the same manner, as one may see by the Epilogues ; and likewise the Epodes, as these Words in the XIVth plainly prove it: Inceptos olim promiffum Carmen Jambos Ad umbilicum adducere. The First Book of Satyrs came out also all at once, as the last Verse shews, I puer, atque meo citus hæc Subscribe Libello. The same may be laid of the Sea cond Book of Satyrs, as it appears from the Prologue ; and of the First Book of Epistles, as it appears from the Prologue and Epilogue. As for what concerns the Fourth Book of Odes, and the Second Book of Epistles, 'tis certain from the Testimony of Suetonius, that they came out a long Timę (longo intervallo) af ter the rest.

The Learned Author having premised these Obser? vations, proceeds to shew when, and in what order, the several Books of Horace came out. That Poer, says he, published,

[ocr errors]

* Vid. Eleg. I. Lib. III. v. 7. & 17. + Vid. Eleg. I. Lib, II. III. & IV. & Lib. II. Elegi X. v. 25. & XIX, v. 59.

ift. The First Book of Satyrs, and composed it in the XXVI:h, XXVIIth, and XXVIIIth Years of his Age.

2dly, The Second Book of Satyrs, likewise in Three Years, viz. XXXII, XXXIIJ, XXXIIId. 3dly, His Epodes in Two Years, viz. the XXXIVth

, and XXXVch.

[ocr errors]

4thly, The First Book of Odes, in Three Years, XXXVI, XXXVII, XXXVII.

5thly, The Second Book of Odes, in Two Years, XL, XLI.

6thly, The Third - Book of Odes, likewise in Two Years, XLII, XLIII,

7thly, The First Book of Epistles, in Two Years,

, XLVI, XLVII.

Sthly, The Fourth Book of Odes, and the Secular Poem, in Three Years, XLIX, L, LI.

9thly, His Ait of Poetry, and the Second. Book of Epistles; but 'tis not known at what Age he com posed them.

Our Author adds, that all the Poems of Horace ought to be placed in the several Times above-mentioned, as it appears from the Subjects of each of them, and from Chronology. Hence it is, that the Emperor is never called Auguftus, but Cæfar, in the Satyrs, and Epodes, and in the First Book of Odes, because thar Title was not bestowed upon him before the XXXIX. Year of Horace : But he is called Aue gustus, in the other Books. Hence it is, that Horace speaks of himself, as of a Young Man, in his Satyrs and Epodes

; and fays, he is only Famous for his Satyria

sal

There are many

cal Verses, as Virgil was Famous for his Bucolicks, (Serm. I. '1o. v. 48.) whithout saying any thing of his Lyrick Poetry. His other Poems plainly thew the different Degrees of his growing Age; and a careful Reader may easily perceive it. obscene things in his Youthful Composures; but as he grew older, he became more modest, pitched upon more grave Subjects, and thewed himself a better Poer, Dr. Bentley affirms, That whoever unders takes to assign any other Time, than what he has mentioned, for the several Poems of Horace, mult needs be mistaken. He adds, that he mighr Inew it of every one of them ; but he is contented to in(tance only upon Two or Three Poems, leaving the rest to the Industry of the Readers.

1. Some (says he) call the XXIft Ode of the Ift. Book, Dianam tenere dicite Virgines, &c. a Secular Poem ; and pretend that Horace writ that Piece in the XLIXth of his Age ; which is contrary to the Teftimony of Suetonius, who affirms that the Three First Books of Odes were made a long time before that Year. Our Author maintains, that there is nothing in that Ode, that concerns the Secular Games, but only the Feast of Diana or Apollo, the Firft whereof was celebrated in August, and the latter in Fuly. The XXXVth Poem of Catullus, Diane (umus in fide, &c. ought to be understood in the same manner, though some Learned Men call it also a Secular Poem; for Catullus died a long time before the Secular Games of Auguftus.

2. Dr. Bentley proceeds to thew, how the Time of the XVIIth Ode of the IId Book, inscribed to Me cenas, has been ftrangely mistaken by those, who pre. tend that Horace writ that Piece in the LVth Year of his Age. Our Author calls iç a prodigious Ana. chronism; and the Argument on which thar Opinion is, grounded, appears to him very frivolous, viz, that Mecenas began then to be fick of a Diftemper, which kept him constantly awake : As if he had never been

ز

[ocr errors]

fick before, though Pliny (Lib. VII. Cap. 15.) tells us, that he was feverith ever since his Youth. s. These Words of the VIth Satyr of the IId Book,

Quid, militibus promissa Triquetra Prædia Cæfar, an esi Itala tellure daturus ? áre wrongly understood of the Battle of Aštium, in the XXXVth Year of Horace ; . or of the Battle of Philippi,, in the XXIVth Year of that Poet; for he means the Division of the Land, that was made in Campania, and other Parts, after the Victory obtain'd over Pompey in Sicily, and the Surrender of Lepidus, in the xxxiit Year of his Age, as it appears from Dion, Plutarch in the Life of Antony, Paterculus, and Appian.

Dr. Bentley says, he might easily confure what has been asserted upon the other Poems of Horace; but he thinks this Spécimen is sufficient.

I Mall conclude this Article with an Emendation upon a Paffage in the Ars Poetića; v. 119. & Jeq.

Aut famam sequere, aut fibi convenientia finge,
Scriptor. HONORATUM si forte reponis Achillem;
Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer,
Fura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis.
Sit Medea ferox invištaque, flebilis Ino,
Perfidus Ixion, Io vaga, tristis Orestes.

The Epithet Honoratus, which Horace bestows upor Achilles, according to the common Reading, has very much exercised the Commentators, who endeavour to give several Reasons for it. Dr. Bentley examines those Reasons, and shews that they are very absurd and frivolous. In the next Place, he observes, That as Medea, Ino, Ixion, Io, and Ore. ftes have no Epithet, (that expresses any Part of their Character, added to them in the firft Mem

bes

ber of the Sentence; in like manner, no such Epither can be bestowed upon Achilles in this place without great Absurdity. The thing is very plain ; and therefore I shall not enlarge upon it. Besides, I suppose the Attentive Readers of Horace have been long ago sensible of the Difficulty occafioned by the Word Honoratus in this Passage. Our Author removes that Difficulty by Reading,

[ocr errors]

Aut famam fequere, aut fibi convenientia finge,
Scriptor. HOMEREUM fi forte reponis Achil.
linpiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, ater,
Jura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis.

[lem :

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The Transcribers, who had never read the Word Homercum, changed it into Honoratum. This Cor. rection makes the Passage very clear. 6. Famam se.

quere, (Says the Poet,) & fi reponis Achillem Home

ricum ; talem tu illum exhibe, qualem Homerus me“ moriæ prodidit: ". Achilles is rightly called Homea reus or Homericis, as several other Heroes sung by thar Poet, to whom they are indebted for their Glory and Fame. Our Learned Author proves it by many Par: fagés. Cicero de Legibus. I. 1. Aut quod Homericus Ulixes Deli se proceram & teneram palmam vidiffe di: xit. De Divinatione l. 3. Ex quo & illud Homerici Hectoris, qui moriens propinquam Achilli mortem denuntiat.' Tufcul. Quæft. III. 26. Hinc ille Agamem. non Homericus, idemque Accianus,

Scindens dolore identidem inton am comam. Ibid. IV. 23. Quid Achille Homerico fædius, quid Agamemnone in jurgio ? Seneca de Tranquillitate Cap. 2. Qualis ille Homericus Achilles eft, modo pronus, modo Supinus, in varios habitus fe ipfe componens. Appuleius de Deo Socratis. Species quam folus Socrates cerneret, ita ut Homericus Achilles Minervan. Horace could not Vol. IV.

Q

insert

« PreviousContinue »