TO FORTUNE.Queen of Antium, ruler of the vicissitudes of mortal lots, supplicated by pauper and feared by prince: before thee stalks Destiny with symbolic wedge and clamp. With thee abide ³pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope." But Folly's brood, the summer friend, and the flatterer disperse at thy frown. Guard Caesar in his expedition against Britain; guard our young soldiers, the terror of the Orient. So may we forget our impious fratricidal strife, and whet our blunted swords against the Scythian and the Arab.Augustus contemplated an expedition to Britain B.C. 27 (Dio. 53. 22), but was detained in Gaul. The Arabian campaign of Aelius Gallus (see on 1. 29) was preparing B.C. 26, the probable date of the Ode.The introductory prayer to Fortune is suggested by Pind. O. 12. 18. Wordsworth says of his Ode to Duty, 'This ode is on the model of Gray's Ode to Adversity, which is copied from Horace's Ode to Fortune.' A comparative study of the four odes illustrates in a very interesting way the transformations and various moral applications of a single literary motif.On Fortune cf. 1. 34. 15. n.; 3. 29. 49. n.; Hes. Theog. 360 where Τύχη is an Ocean nymph; Hymn. Cer. 421; Theogn. 130; Pausan. 7. 26. 8; Pliny, N. H. 2. 22; Lucret. 5. 107; Plautus, Pseud. 2. 3. 14; Pacuvius, fr. incert. 14; Menander, fr. incert. 594 (Kock); Philem. fr. incert. 137 (Kock); Anth. Pal. 9. 74; 10. 70; Dante, Inferno, 7; Shaks. Henry V.3. 6; Fronto, p.157, Naber.Schmidt, Ethik der Griechen, 2. 68; Lehrs, Aufsätze, p.176. Etc., etc. As Shaks. says, 'Fortune is an excellent moral.'
diva . . . regis: cf. 1. 30. 1. The divinity is pleased by the mention of her favorite abode.—gratum: sc. tibi; cf. 1. 30. 2. But Cicero says of Antium nihil amoenius, ad Att. 4. 8. a. It was on the coast of Latium, the capital of the Volsci, and at this time a seaside resort; Strabo, 5, p.232. At the old oracle and temple of Fortune there the Fortunae Antiates, two images, were consulted by lots, per sortes, and as late as Theodosius were supposed to give responses by their movements. Cf. Mart. 5. 1. 3; Macrob. Sat. 1. 23. 13.
praesens, a 'very present help' (cf. 3. 5. 2) is also potens or valens, which may take inf.: with power. For thought, cf. Praed, Chaunt of the Brazen Head, 'I think one nod of Mistress Chance | Makes creditors of debtors, | And shifts the funeral for the dance, | The sceptre for the fetters: | I think that Fortune's favored guest | May live to gnaw the platters, | And he that wears the purple vest | May wear the rags and tatters.'—imo: cf. on 1. 34. 12; Tac. Hist. 4. 47, Magna documenta instabilis Fortunae summaque et ima miscentis.
mortale corpus: our frail dust; 'Dust are our frames; and gilded dust, our pride,' etc. (Tenn. Aylmer's Field). Cf. Livy, 22. 22, unum vile atque infame corpus. But cf. Epode 5. 13, impube corpus; Verg. Aen. 1. 70; 2. 18; Lucret. 1. 258, where corpus is a mere periphrasis.
funeribus: abl. vertere has construction of mutare, 1. 16. 26. Cf. A. P. 226. The death of the two sons of Aemilius Paullus on the eve of his triumph may have occurred to Horace (Livy, 45, 41).5-6. te . . . te: cf. 4. 1. 39. 5. ambit: courts, like a canvassing candidate. Cf. Lex. s. v.and Shaks. Cor. 2. 3.—sollicita: he is anxious for his crops (3. 1. 29).
colonus: cf. on 2. 14. 12.—dominam aequoris: she is sometimes represented with rudder (Fortuna gubernans, Lucret. 5. 107; Pind. fr. 40) and a horn of plenty. Cf. Pind. O. 12. 3; Aesch. Ag. 664. Fortuna is still a seaman's term for storm on the Mediterranean.
Bithyna: poetic specification. Cf. 1. 1. 13; 1. 16. 4. Bithynia, on the south coast of the Black Sea, produced excellent timber for shipbuilding. It is possible, however, that the reference may be to a ship trading to or from Bithynia. Cf. on 3. 7. 3.—lacessit: challenges, braves. For thought, cf. 1. 3. 11 sqq.
Carpathium: that part of the Aegean between Crete and Rhodes; 4. 5. 10.
Dacus: the Dacians dwelt north of the Danube. Verg. G. 2. 497, descendens Dacus ab Istro.—asper: 1. 23. 9; 1. 37. 26; 3. 2. 10.—te profugi Scythae: a tag; cf. 4. 14. 42; nomad, cf. 3. 24. 9. n.
urbes: 2. 20. 5; 3. 4. 46; 4. 15. 20.—gentes: 1. 2. 5. n.—Latium: so 1. 12. 53; 4. 4. 40.—ferox: Roma ferox, 3. 3. 44. Cf. 1. 6. 3; 1. 32. 6.
matres: cf. 3. 2. 7. Atossa, the mother of Xerxes (Aesch. Persae, 163); Judges, 5. 28, the mother of Sisera.
purpurei: purple-clad; 'Aud purple tyrants vainly groan' (Gray, Hymn to Adversity); Verg. G. 2. 495, purpura regum.
iniurioso: cf. Epode 17. 34. ὑβριστικῷ, insulting.—pede: Aesch. Persae, 163.
columnam: of their power. Cf. Lowell, Com. Ode, 'Shakes all the pillared state with shock of men.'
ad arma: the repetition quotes their cry. Cf. Plato, Symp. 212 D, Αγάθων . . . Ἀγάθωνα; Ov. Met. 11. 377; 12. 241; Tac. Ann. 1. 59; Verg. Aen. 2. 314; 7. 460; 11. 453; Tass. Ger. Lib. 12. 44, 'onde la guarda | all' arme, all' arme in alto suon raddoppia'; Pope, St. Cecilia, 'And seas and skies and rocks rebound | To arms, to arms, to arms.'—cessantis: those who timidly or prudently hold back. On cesso cf. 3. 27. 58; 1. 27. 13; 3. 28. 8; 3. 19. 19; Verg. Aen. 6. 51.
anteit: like a Roman lictor before the magistrate.—saeva: Some Mss. read serva, as thy handmaiden.—necessitas: necessity, fate, and fortune are allied conceptions. Cf. Ruskin, Fors Clavigera, 2, '"Fortune" means the necessary fate of a man, the ordinance of his life which cannot be changed.' Dante makes Fortune one of God's ministers, and says of her: 'Le sue permutazion non hanno triegue, | Necessità la fa esser veloce' (Inf. 7). The nails, the tightening wedge, the inexorable clamp, the molten lead, are symbols of necessity. Cf. on 3. 24. 5; Aesch. Suppl. 945; Gildersleeve on Pind. Pyth. 4. 71, with Shaks. Ham. 1. 3. 'Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel,' Much Ado, 4. 1, 'O, that is stronger made | Which was before barred up with hoops of iron'; Webster, White Devil, 1. 2, "Tis fixed with nails of diamond to inevitable necessity.' Lessing's hostile criticism of this strophe (Laocoön, § 10. n.e.) assumes that these cumulative symbols must form an image. Horace may have had some picture in mind, but the brazen (iron) hand is already beyond the limits of painting. Cf. Burke's observations on the emotional as distinguished from the pictorial use of words, Subl. and Beaut. 5. 5, 'The picturesque connexion is not demanded, because no real picture is formed, nor is the effect of the description at all the less upon this account.' It is sheer pedantry to work out an exact image of Fortune as a builder and Necessitas as an assistant carrying her tools.
clavo trabali figere was proverbial. Cf. Otto, p.85. In the monuments clavi appear as attributes of the Fortuna of Antium and the Etruscan Athrpa or Atropos.
Molten lead was used to fix the iron clamps that held the stones together. Cf. Vitruv. 2. 8; Eurip. Andr. 267.
Te Spes, etc.: cf. Sellar, p.183. The imagery wavers between the idea of this universal power (Fortune) and the Roman personified fortune or luck of a family or institution, as Fortuna populi Romani, Fortuna Tulliana, the fortune of the house of Barca, 4. 4. 71. Hope and white-robed faith 'follow the fortunes of a fallen lord,' and withhold not their companionship even when Fortune (the great divinity) grows hostile (inimica), and his personal Fortune puts on mourningand leaves the once lordly home. Perfect consistency is not attained, but the meaning is clear. With the moral sentiment of the whole, cf. Gray's imitation, Hymn to Adversity, stanzas 3 and 4. Postgate would change nec to ni (but). See Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society XLVI-XLVIII.
rara: cf. 1. 24. 7-8.
velata: transferred to Fides from the priest who by the institution of Numa (Livy, 1. 21) worshiped her manu(que) ad digitos usque involuta. The cloth was white (Serv. ad Verg. Aen. 1. 292). But cf. Preller-Jordan, 1. 253; Hes. Works, 198.—comitem: sc. se (Ov. A. A. 1. 127).
utcumque: whensoever; 1. 17. 10; 4. 4. 35.
volgus infidum: contrasted with Fides. Cf. Sen. Phaedr.496, volgus infidum bonis; Otto, p.378. For the faithlessness of fair-weather friends, cf. poor Ovid's plaint, Trist. 1. 5. 33, vix duo tresve mihi de tot superestis amici: | cetera Fortunae non mea turba fuit.
cum faece: to the lees, dregs and all. Cf. 3. 15. 16; Theog. 643. For the thought, cf. the proverbζεῖ χύτρα ζῇ φιλία; Shaks. Timon of Athens, 2. 2, 'Feast-won, fast-lost.'
ferre . . . dolosi: too treacherous to bear the yoke fairly, i.e. to share a friend's misfortunes as well as his prosperity. For the image, cf. on 1. 33. 11; 2. 5. 1; Theoc. 12. 15; Pliny, Ep. 3. 9. 8, cum uterque pan iugo . . . pro causa niteretur; Ov. Trist. 5. 2. 40; Propert. 3. 25. 8. 29.
ultimos: 4. 14. 47; Catull. 11. 12; Verg. Ecl. 1. 67, et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos.
examen: etymologically exagmen, swarm, levy. Cf. Aesch. Pers. 126.
rubro: the Indian Ocean including the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
Cf. 1. 2. 21; 2. 1. 29-36; Epodes 7 and 16.
fratrum: brothers (slain by brothers), i.e. in the civil war; cf. Verg. G. 2. 510.
nefasti: gen. with quid.
O utinam: 4. 5. 37.
diffingas: only here and 3. 29. 47. Here apparently recast, forge anew. Cf. Verg. Aen. 7. 636, and Αἶσα φασγανουργός (Aesch. Choeph. 647).—in: with diffingas, against.
Massagetas: Scythians east of the Caspian.