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mortuum of terribly stormy places. Even since then, how are the mighty fallen! It is, now-a-days, neither "baked, nor boiled, nor stewed, nor roasted," but liker the yowl of a three-days-starved cat than any thing
else. And they are a copper-nosed, can-coloured generation, only giving employment to authors as jaundicedeyed as themselves, and printers whose characters are as black as their own devils.
CLASSICAL REVERIES. No. VII.
Upon this passage M. Dacier observes," Ce passage est un peu difficile, parce qu'il semble, d'abord qu' Horace dit le contraire de ce qu'il veut dire." Bentley makes the following annotation upon the concluding word "linquis." Quippe si Fortuna linquit domos afflictas, unaque comitatur Spes et Fides; tum profecto omnes omnino diffugiunt, tam fidi amici, quam infideles; quo nihil absurdius ;"-and hence he substitutes "vertis;" but this seems inconsistent with the notion of "Comes," which is applied to Fides as following Fortune in her travel. Dr Hunter, with his wonted acuteness and accuracy, observes," Poeta sibi finxisse videtur generalem fortunæ notionem, tanquam ancipitis deæ, quæ quemque comitatur, interdum læto vultu, et splendida veste, interdum vultu, ac veste_mutatis." And, in fact, any observations which I have to add upon this passage are only in elucidation of the Doctor's statement, and are derived principally from a consideration of the scope and tendency of the whole ode.
The Poet begins by addressing the goddess Fortune, as represented in the temple, and worshipped by the inhabitants of Antium, and he at
once, by a general statement, recog. nises her double capacity. "Præsens vel imo tollere de gradu Mortale corpus, vel superbos Vertere funeribus triumphos!" Having made this general averment respecting the character and attributes of the goddess, whom he addresses, he proceeds, in the precise order of his own annunciation, to exemplify, by an induction of parti culars, the proposition which he had stated. He had said, "Præsens imo tollere de gradu," and, in consonance with this view, the case of the "pau per colonus" is adduced: "Te pauper ambit sollicita prece
Ruris colonus; te dominam æquoris, &c.
which last circumstance is very judicially selected, as Antium was a maritime state.
Having thus adduced two instances in which the Præsens, or bona Fortuna ambitur, is courted, as raising "ab imo gradu," whether of worldly circumstances or of danger, the Poet next proceeds to reverse the picture, and to represent Fortune as an object of fear, by those, quos vertat, as it were, "funeribus, i. e. by the "Dacus asper," the "profugi Scythæ," the "urbes, gentesque et Latium ferox," the "matres regum barbarorum" and the "purpurei Tyranni ;" and the grounds of their dread are added, "injurioso ne pede proruas stantem columnam, neu populus, &c."
Still preserving the double aspect of Fortune before him, the Poet proceeds to shew the grounds of the "ambitio," ," or courting, on the one hand, and of the "metus," or aversion, on the other; and this he does by adhering, in all probability, to such representations of the goddess
and of her suite as were familiar to
"Te semper anteit sæva necessitas :
"Thee, Hope, and Faith, rarely to be found clothed in white, attend,-nor does Faith refuse to accompany thee, even when you change your character and your dress, and desert the houses of the great;" i. e. these are those who will faithfully accompany the great and the fortunate, even when all this is reversed, and they are, by "inimica Fortuna," driven in to exile, &c. Those who have hence the good fortune to have such friends are fortunate indeed, and therefore the whole statement is a favourable How unlike this averment is to what follows,-to the description of those whom no rara fides" actuates, but who change with the changing circumstances!
"At vulgus infidum, et meretrix retro
This last verse is, in fact, the best commentary upon the former, as the "Amici ferre jugum pariter dolosi" contrast so directly and precisely with the "Nec comitem abnegat, utcunque mutata potentes veste domos ini mica linquis." The one set of comites, or amici, are willing, and the other unwilling, "ferre jugum pariter," in adversity. It would probably remove all impression of obscurity from the above passage, if, instead of the abstract term Fides, the words "fidiles amici," which are, in fact, in as far as this passage is concerned, an equivalent to Fides, were substituted. “Faithful friends are found, not only in good, but in bad fortune. Fortune, in the general sense,
has the advantage of being attended
In the first book of the history of Tacitus, and at the seventy-first chapter, there is the following pas"Celsus constanter servatæ erga Gallium fidei crimen confessus, exemplum ultro imputavit. Nec Otho quasi ignosceret, sed ne hostis metum reconciliationis adhiberet, statim inter amicos habuit et mox bello inter duces delegit, &c." The circumstances under which the above statement is made are these: Otho had contrived to have the Emperor Galba murdered by the soldiery, and had thus assumed the reins of empire. Marius Celsus, consul elect, had proved true to the last to the murdered Galba, and was therefore obnoxious to the soldiery. "Marium Celsum, (we are told,) consulem designatum, et Galbæ usque in extremas res amicum fidumque; ad supplicium expostulabant, industria ejus, innocentiæque quasi malis artibus infensi." Hereupon Otho," simulatione iræ," but with the view of saving Celsus' life, "vinciri jussum, et majores pænas daturum affirmans, præsenti exitio subtraxit." context, we find this same Marius Celsus " per speciem vinculorum sævitiæ militum subtractum, dered to be brought into the capital and into the presence of Otho; and here Tacitus adds his own opinion upon the motives of Otho, "Clementiæ titulus, a viro claro et partibus inviso, petebatur;" next follow the words which have already been quoted as involving some difficulty and "Celsus constanter serobscurity. vatæ erga Galbam fidei crimen confessus, exemplum ultra imputavit.
Celsus, as might naturally be expected from his character, persisting with firmness in confessing his crime, if crime it must be deemed, of standing by Galba to the last, not only justified the particular act on special grounds; but of his own accord, and without being driven by necessity to go so far, he openly and avowedly proposed his case as a precedent, ás
an example" to others, exemplum a se datum, ultro et animo voluntario, imputavit; i. e. putavit esse in alios, et præcipue in Othonem ipsum, cui porteaquam fideliter adhaesit.'
The expression exemplum imputavit" is left general, without pointing out the person or persons to whom it is meant to be applied, as these might easily be gathered from the context; and in the same manner we find this author using the word "imputavit" in his treatise "De moribus Germanorum," where he says, "Gaudent muneribus, sed nec data imputent nec acceptis obligantur." They rejoice in receiving presents, but they neither think of these presents in reference to the givers, (nec data imputent datoribus,") nor do they consider them as obligations. Next follows the statement respecting Otho's conduct upon occasion of Celsus' intrepidity and boldness.
"Nec Otho, quasi ignosceret, sed ne hostis metum reconciliationis adhibeat, statim inter amicos habuit."
Upon this latter clause Lipsius makes the following remarks:"Frons aliqua sententiæ apparet, sed si excutias, vanæ et falsæ. Censeo emendendum sed nec hostis metu reconciliationi se adhiberet; duo videlicet, cum Celsum sibi jungeret, Otho cavit. Ne aut ignoscere videretur, ut in vero magnoque crimine, aut ne hostis, id est Vitellii metu adsciscere sibi virum fortem et nobilem." But if this way of going to work, without the authority of MSS., is to be permitted, then farewell to all just and legitimate criticism. We must endeavour, therefore, to make something of the words as they stand otherwise fairly confess that they are unintelligible.
There are two things which, it is quite natural to suppose, Otho would be anxious to accomplish. He would wish, in the first place, since he approved of the sentiments of Celsus, to avoid all appearance, even by implication, of pardoning him; for that would necessarily presume crime and offence and he would naturally be desirous, in the second place, of obtaining the confidence and full attachment of so steady a friend to the imperial interests. Both of these views are, if I mistake not, deduceable from the words as they stand, "Nec Otho quasi ignosceret," as if he were pardoning him whom he did not consider guilty, sed ne adhiberet metum reconciliationis hostis;" but,
that he might remove all apprehension upon the mind of Celsus of reconciliation with an enemy, in which light Celsus was well entitled, both from his own opposition and from his late imprisonment by orders of the Emperor, to consider Otho. This was surely the primary object in view, "statim habuit inter amicos;" he, for both these reasons, his wish not to have the appearance of pardoning, and his desire to remove all fear respecting a complete reconciliation, immediately, without any hesitation or delay, numbered him amongst his most intimate friends, and raised him to places of great trust.
It is perhaps unnecessary to add, that the words "metus reconciliationis," are equally capable of expressing the dread that a reconciliation has taken place, and the apprehension that it has not taken place; and that accordingly, in the above instance, the latter of these senses is the one adopted.
In the life of Agricola, by the same author, the following sentence occurs at the beginning of the sixth chapter:
"Hinc ad capessendos Magistratus in urbem digressus Domitiam Decidianam splendidis natalibus ortam sibi junxit, idque matrimonium ad majora nitenti decus ac robur fuit, vixeruntque mira concordia, per mutuam caritatem et invicem se anteponendo." Nisi quod in bona uxore tanto major laus, quanto in mala plus culpa est.
Upon the latter clause of this sentence, which, in its general import, is too manifest to require any illustration derived from the context, Lipsius thus animadverts: " Assentior vero Pichenæ tanto minor laus, ingeniose adstruenti. Quod ego tamen aliter ab illo explico. Non est maxima laus in fæmina bonam esse et mariti sequentem. Quid ita? quia sic facta a natura est, mitis, mollis, imbecilla, ad parendum. Si ergo non facit; tanto plus culpanda, quia et in naturam pugnat." So that, according to Lipsius and Pichenas, we are to read, solely because it suits their view, minor for major ; and are thus to reverse, in as far as these terms are concerned, the sense of the whole statement. This, as in the above instance, is a somewhat summary proceeding,
Immedicabile vulnus Ense recidendum, ne pars sincera trahatur !
If we are to be permitted, when it suits our convenience, as commentators or interpreters, to substitute minor for major, it is not easy to say what other substitution or commutation we may not boldly effect. The deliverance of a little Irish rogue, who, to the face of the Justice, stoutly maintained that, whereas, on his precognition, he had said "No," he really meant "Yes," is much of a piece with this method of proceeding. Let us see, however, in accordance with the method of the poet, whether "omnia prius tentata fuerint," before we consider the case as completely desperate, before we pronounce it" immedicabile."
Tacitus states, that his father-inlaw, Agricola, after his return from Britain to Rome, had united himself in marriage with Domitia Decidiana, a lady of high birth and eminent virtues, and that this connection was of advantage to him in promoting his views of preferment, at the same time that it proved most happy in respect of his private and domestic comfort and happiness. "Vixerunt," says he, "mira concordia." They lived together in a degree of concord indeed surprising, "per mutuam caritatem, et invicem se anteponendo:" and the foundation, or cause, of this astonish. ing concordance, is given-it was built upon reciprocal affection, and reciprocal deference. Hereupon a break follows, as is customary with this most reflective and elliptical of all historians, and something passes in the writer's mind, to which the word "nisi" has a direct reference. Let us endeavour to discover that train of reflection which would necessarily, or at least naturally, conduct to this term. The historian has just stated that the "concordia" in which Agricola and his wife lived was rare, it was "mira ;" and this comparison must have a reference, either to that degree of happiness and concord enjoyed in the matrimonial state in general, or to that which prevailed in Tacitus' own day, and in the society where he lived. Under whatever views, however, whether more or less general, the reflection is made, this one thing is certain, that
the historian considers the degree of concord which Agricola and his wife enjoyed, as far above the average, as "mira," and he immediately proceeds to shew upon what grounds an occurrence, which might be regarded ́ as common, was by him regarded as "rare." This, says he, (or seems he at least to say,) this would not appear to me so praiseworthy and remarkable as it does, "nisi quod," ne si, or si ne (esset) quod, were it not that, "in bona uxore, tanto major laus, quanto in mala plus culpæ est ;" "in a good wife, the merit, and the praise, in consequence of the merit, is greater in precise proportion, as in a bad wife, the demerit, and, consequently, the censure, is greater; and why? because the temptations to be bad are extreme, in the same proportion as those to be good are extreme and alluring;" as if the historian meant to state, every body praises a good wife in proportion as they censure a bad one; just as a man who hears the storm raging, without congratulates himself the more sincerely upon his fortunate state at a snug fireside within; a good wife being estimated, and being really estimable, not from the middle point of separation betwixt good and bad, not from the point of indifference, but from the extreme, mala;" just as a spirit which has reached Paradise, will estimate its happiness, and the cause of it, not from the earth merely, but from the lowest pit of perdition into which it might have been cast. He, for example, who has a wife like Agricola, and looks at the same time at his neighbour, who is saddled with a scold and a vixen, will prize and praise his own wife, and wonder at his own good fortune the more, that he has a view of both extremes. Whilst, on the other hand, the " culpa," the culpability of a bad wife will be so much the more exposed to reprobation, that it is contrasted with a good one; for she who sees how lovely and engaging "concordia et caritas" are in the married state, is so much the more culpable that she neglects or despises the lesson and example. A good wife has every inducement to be otherwise than good, from the extended scale of bad examples; and therefore she has " mas
jorem laudem," by becoming and remaining good; whilst, on the other hand, a bad wife, from the extended scale of laudable and amiable ambition, has every temptation to be otherwise than bad, and therefore her condemnation, if she remain bad, is the greater" plus culpæ est," and these two motives act proportionally on both sides. Whilst it is "tanto" on the one, it is "quanto" on the other.
In the famous speech of the Caledonian leader, Galgacus, to his army, there occurs the following sentence, not far from the beginning of that address:
"Brigantes, fæmina duce exurere coloniam, expugnare castra, ac nisi felicitas in secordiam vertisset exuere jugum potuere. Nos integri et indomiti, et libertatem non in præsen tia laturi, primo statim congressu unde ostendamus quos sibi Caledonia viros seposuerit."
Without entering into the various and somewhat fanciful interpretations which have been put upon this "locus vexatus," I may be permitted to say, that what appears the most natural and obvious sense, will, probably, in this, as well as in most similar instances, be found, upon more mature investigation, to be the best, and most consistent with the style of the author and his strain of reasoning. Tacitus, as every body knows, is fond of contrasting one idea with another; he is ever on the outlook for such words or phrases, as, by being placed over against each other, may thus acquire a stronger force, and a more impressive meaning."Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant-si locuples hostis est, avari --si pauper, ambitiosi," &c. are inStances in point. In the speech of Galgacus, there is a reference had to the case of the Brigantes, as an excitement, a fortiori, to the vindication and support of Caledonian liberty. The Brigantes are represent ed as able "exurere coloniam, expugnare castra ;" and had it not been that they did not follow up their good for tune by a suitable vigilance and activity,nisi felicitas in secordiam vertisset," they might even it is added, have been able "exuere jugum" (Romanum) altogether. And
all this they had effected" fæmina duce," under the conduct of a
Then the orator proceeds to contrast all these circumstances with a nation in some respects similarly circumstanced with the Caledonians, and to shew, that if the Brigantes could, less favourably circumstanced, effect so much, the Caledonians, more favourably circumstanced, might, a fortiori, effect still more. He admits that the Brigantes were "domiti," for he represents them as "sub jugo Romano" at the time when the effort was made to regain their freedom; he states, on the other hand, of the Caledonians, that they were yet "integri et indomiti," unassailed and unsubdued. He admits that the Brigantes were not able to retain the liberty which, by their valour, they had acquired, for "felicitas in secordiam vertit;" but he augurs boldly of the Caledonians, that what they might win by their valour they would be enabled to keep; libertatem non in presentia_laturi"-not, like the Brigantes, fighting for what their "socordia" might lose to them afterwards. He avers, lastly, of the Bri gantes, that a woman conducted them to all this; he exhorts the Caledonians to shew that they neither were under the conduct, nor possessed of the spirit of women. “Unde,” (sunt) says he, "ostendamus quos sibi Caledonia Viros seposuerit;" let us shew thern of what stock those men are to whom Caledonia hath committed the defence of her liberty.
On the supposition that the above is the true sense of the passage, the words in "non in presentia libertatem laturi," are taken in a usual and classical sense, as signifying that they were about "ferre libertatem," to obtain liberty; "non in presentia" alone, but for ages to come; whereas by supposing as some have done, that " non in presentia libertatem laturi" refers not to what they had yet to do, but to what they had already done; to the state in which they were previous to this speech, "as if it were" not to obtain liberty now for the first time; there is a palpable necessity for some verbal alterations, or unnatural twistings, to effect this sense legitimately. By placing a point of interrogation, in