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Lucilius had his numerous admirers in Rome, who
were greatly disobliged by the freedom with which our poet had treated him in his fourth
Satire. Horace was determined to support his own
judgment, and instead of making an apology, confirms what he had said, with his utmost force
and address. Respecting the eight spurious verses usually prefixed to this satire, see
Orelli's Excursus. The verses are as follows: “
lucili, quam sis mendosus, teste catone,
defensore tuo, pervincam, qui male factos
emendare parat versus, hoc lenius ille,
quo melior vir et est longe subtilior illo,
qui multum puer et loris et funibus udis
exoratus, ut esset, opem qui ferre poetis
antiquis posset contra fastidia nostra,
grammaticorum equitum doctissimus. ut redeam illuc:
3 Mimi were farces written purely for diversion and laughing. Decimus Laberius was made a Roman knight by Julius Caesar. He had long maintained the first character in this kind of writing, but Publius Syrus at last became his rival, and carried off all the applause of the theater.
4 Pedius. This is, without doubt, the son of that Q. Pedius whom Julius Caesar made heir to the fourth part of his estate, and who was chosen consul with Octavius, in room of Hirtius and Pansa.
5 Corvinus. V. Messala Corvinus, no less distinguished by his eloquence than by his noble birth. He was descended from the famed Valerius Poplicola
6 Canusium was built by Diomede. Its inhabitants, originally Greeks, had preserved many words of their first language, which being mixed with Latin, made a ridiculous, disagreeable jargon. Virgil for the same reason, calls the Tyrians, “Tyriosque bilingues.” (Aen. 1.661)
7 Alpinus. The most probable conjectures induce us to believe, that Horace means Furius Bibaculus, a poet of some reputation, and not without merit. He describes him in another Satire (2.5.40) “pingui tentus omaso” , and here he calls him turgidus, not only from the fatness of his person but the flatulency of his style. The surname of Alpinus marks his being born among the Gauls, who lived on the Alps; or, as Dr. Bentley pleasantly understands it, from a famous line, which our poet laughs at in another place: “"Jupiter hibernas cana nive conspuit Alpes."” “Iugulat dum Memnona” is a tone and style of bombast in the true spirit of ridicule.
8 “Quae nec in Aede sonent.” The commentator tells that Augustus appointed five judges, of whom Metius Tarpa was one, to distribute poetical prizes, and determine what plays should be presented on the stage. Vossius believes they were established in imitation of the Sicilians and Athenians. Mr. Dacier thinks they were continued under the reign of Domitian.
12 There is a great variation in the interpretation of this passage. They may be found collected in MCCAUL's notes.
14 Octavius. An excellent poet and historian. The Visci were two brothers, and both senators. Bibulus was the son of him that had been consul in 695, and Servius the son of Servius Sulpicius, who corresponded with Cicero. Furnius was consul in the year 737, and equally master of the pen and the sword.
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