صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

ry

Mr. URBAN, Shrewsbury, Aug. 3. it were much if even the artificial 1

BEG to offer you a sketch of the teeth of Canidia, and the false hair of N. E. view of the antient and ve her friend Sagana, had not done him

curious Church of St. Alkmund in signal disservice with some fair ladies, Shrewsbury, which, excepting its most whose charms he thus taught their beautiful steeple, was destroyed by rivals to suspect, the Parishioners in 1793, The draw Horace had already in pretty lively ing from which the inclosed is copied, colours représented to bimself this was made by me a few days previous inevitable fate of a young satirist, at to the unnecessary demolition of the the time when his first essays were venerable fabrick, and is, I believe, the circulating singly among his friends only existing representation of its and acquaintance, in transcripts of Northern ciovativn.---( See Plaie I.) their own takiog: but having now Yours, &c.

H.O. collected thens, and a whole volume of

his satires lying on the stall of the ILLUSTRATIONS OF HORACE. brothers Sosii for public sale, the claBook 11.SAT. I.

mour raised by those who thought TOTW ITIISTANDING the relish themselves struck at, exceeded his ex

, Rome still found in the satires of oid geiher with the manner of judging in Lucilius, the enterprise, however, of general here and ihere, perhaps even our bard to try his strength in the in respectable houses, of his Socratie same species of composition, excited muse, seems naturally to have inspired as nuuch surprise as though he had him with the thought of prefixing to ventured on that slippery path with the second book of his satires, such a out precedent or example. Resent- comic apology, as should procure him ments naturally subside with time, and peace for the future, and get the men none had now any reason to complain of good understanding and nice disof the liberties, however great, that, cerninent, as well as the laughers, on seventy years ago, Lucilius, the famous his side. poet, had taken with the leading men The wit, the humour, the ingenuity, of his age; they cropped the roses of the urbanity, with which he has introhis wit, without being wounded by ils ! duced these ideas in the present perforthorns, and laughed, with all their mance, still continue surprising, even lieart, at many a sarcasm, which had after he has so long accustomed us caused him at whom it was anned, 10 to find him uniformis equal to himself, make a sour fice. We are at present and comparable to himself, alone. in the same situation respecting the That siraia of irony, in which none satires of Horace: but at the time, the great Athenian master himself, and in the place when and where they not excepied) ever knew how to wanwere written, many parts of the ton with more elegance and ease than must indeed have produced a quite he, is called in most opportunely and contrary effect; and through Horace successfully to his aid; it runs through (besides that he was really of that the whole piece; agreeably insinuatgentle and benevolent disposition ing itself into that playful style of which he assumes to himself in the simplicity and good nature, wlrich is fourth and sixth satires) from his easy so peculiar to hin; while both comand agreeable situation in life and the bine to shed a grace upon the whole, good company in which he passed his which may be better felt than describtime, could never let his satire degene ed, but certainly cannot be unobserved rate either into the angry snaps and by any reader of taste. Nothing could · bites of a snarling cynic, nor into the well be more happily imagined, than splenetic ravings of a disappointed in the ironical perplexity into which man, nor like Juvenal's, into a bitter the contradictory judgments of the invective on the times: yet; there public on his satires have thrown him, were not wanting people, who were and consult a lawyer, and (on much alarmed for themselves, when which the whole matter ninges) of all they perceived what little ceremony possible lawyers, exactly Trebatius: he observed with a Gorgonius and an incideut, whereby the poem at Rufillus, with a Pantalabus and Nó once acquires all the interest of a lumentanus, Fannius and Tigellius, and dicrous drainatical scene, and the artGENT. MAG. Junuary, 1811.

lessness

lessness of a casual conversation, in basty strides to the completion of the. the course of which, however, he bim- great plan he had been regularly proself finds an opportunity, as it were secuting all his life. Gaul, and a place by chance, and as if between them. amongst Cæsar's comites, was at that selves alone, to disclose in confidence juncture, a gold mine in the contemto Trebatius, his private opinion of plation of all young folks who wanted one and another, which was partly de to make their fortune; without being signed for quite different persons. too scrupulous about the means. Tre

In order to feel the beauty of this batius was not cold and insensible to piece to its full extent, as far at least this shining bait; on the contrary, he as that is possible at present, we must had an eager desire to take the short previously have made ourselves ac road to opulence; but he appears to quainted with the character of Treba- have been too heedless, too impatient, tius through the medium of Cicero's apdwhat some would perhaps call too letters to him which are still extant*. horrest, for pushing his fortune, by a The dialogue itself will be the more zealous and entire devotion to his new perspicuous, the more distinct and patron, as far as in his power lay. lively the kuowledge we have of the The truth is, in the temper and dispointerlocutor. We then behold as it sition of Trebatius, there were sevewere the gesture, the looks, the tone ral points in which he resembled Ciwith which he utters every word; and cero; he had not fortitude enough who can need to be told, how totally always to act, altogether and without different in signification the very same capitulation and conditions, according words frequently are, when pronoun- to his conviction ; though he had the eed with one or another inodulation principles of integrity. Whenever be of voice, accompanied with such, or a was attracted towards the contrary contrary motion of the eyes, lips, &c. ? side, he uniformly vacillated back

Caius Trebatius Testa, sprung from again to his natural propensity, and a good family, though it always re there were propositions to which he mained in obscurity, of the equestrian could not be determined by any proorder, appears to have been the first spect of advantage. Hence it was, that of bis name, who felt impulse and ca notwithstanding the various obligapacity to distinguish himself in the tions he was under to the mighty Cæworld. To a young man, destitute. sar, yet at the breaking out of the civil both of credit and fortune, only two war, without assisting the republic in avenues were open at Rome to either, any way by it, he improvidently found the law, and the army.

Trebatius himself engaged, logether with his old made choice of the former, and thus and first pairon, Cicero, in the Pompebecoming acquainted with Cicero, was ian faction, and therefore, presently so successful in his assiduities as in after, in the necessity of leaving his fate early life to secure to himself the pro to the vaunted Clementia Cæsaris. He tection of that great man, and had was not, however, deceived in his calthe art, no less by his industry and abi- culation. Cæsar forgave him; and lities than by the charms of his con Trebatius, to whom (as it appears) this verse, to render himself so agreeable event was a lesson of prudence for the and estimable to him, that of all his resi of his life, henceforth addicted him. humble friends there was scarcely one self entirely to his former profession in whose behalf, from real attachinent without meddling any farther with alone, he made such earnest applica- matters of state, excepting that in tions, and in whose success he took so the year 706 he personated a very cordial an interest. Trebatius was in harmless popular tribune. He was, the prime of life, when Cicero, in the to judge from the familiar and jocose year 699, recommended him to Julius style of Cicero's letters to him, and Cæsar, who (as every one knows) was the many clear indications they conthen, as proconsul of Gaul, making taint; a man of activity and enterprise,

* They follow in the viith book of the letters ad fumiliares, from the 7th to the 21st in regular succession. The 19th and 20th are written in the year 709, all the rest are of the years 699 anii 700.

ť For instance : sed hæc jocati sumus tuo more, ep. 14. and in the 10th letter : ride. amus licet, sum enim a te invitatus · and in the following, where he very gravely assures him, that, were it not for Trebatius's good, the separation from so agreeable a compa

with a high flow of spirits and a jovial plated. All then appears in its natudisposition, and appears (as Melmothral light; we understand both Treba observes) to have had in his youth tius and the poet; we are no longer somewhat more of the character of a puzzled here and there at expressions man of the world, and agreeable com which, only to him who has not companion, than befitted the gravity of prehended the genius and spirit of the his profession. Cicero therefore fre- whole, can appear problematical ; and quently rallies him on his juristery, in we wonder how so many commentaa strain that might have entirely ruin- tors, engrossed with verbal criticism, ed the credit of his friend with his could so perversely mistake this spiclients, if he had not as often repaired rit, and how even the learned Cruthe mischief by other passages of a quius could adopt the supposition, serious nature, and particularly re that Horace, on account of an unfacommended him to Cæsar in expres- vourable judgment that Trebatius bad sions which only a man of extraordi- passed upon his satires, intended to nary worth could deserve*.

That give him a secret wipe. We rather on conjunction of solid and useful, with the direct contrary perceive, that with agreeable qualities, that application all their pretended difference of opi. to business associated with wit and nion, they are at the bottom in a persprightliness in conversation, it was, fectly good understanding together; that in the sequel, raised him so high and although the bard, (as is the manin the favour and esteem of the young ner of all those who, on affairs in Cæsar, that he was regularly consulted which every man must follow his own in all weighty affairs that hinged on advice, apply to others for theirs) had points of law. It is therefore unques- already taken his resolution before tionable that, for the same reasons, hand, ere he asks his adviser what he he lived in amicable connexion with should do; yet at least he could have Mæcenas, that this intimacy brought consulted no other oraculum juris, our poet acquainted with him, and from whom he was more sure of being that, notwithstanding their disparity dismissed at last with the pleasing of aget, the similarity, and unison of decision : their disposition and humour placed Solventur risu tabulæ, tu missus abibis. them on that familiar footing to Ter, uncti

corpus habento ! ] Hother, which is exhibited to us through race humorously makes Trebatius, as the whole of this entertaining dialogue. a learned counsellor, deliver his advice For, on such a footing they must have with affected solemnity in the authostood together, if it be at all conceiv- ritative style of a prætorian edict — able, that Horace could make a man transnunto ! - habento ! Dacier at of Trebatius's public character and this place observes, from a passage in consequence the interlocutor in such the fifth of Cicero's letters to Treba-' a conference. But, no sooner do we tius (Famil. vii. 10. where he is termpresuppose this circumstance, and the ed studiosissimus homo natundi) that jovial humour of the old lawyer, than Trebatius here speaks as an old lover we bave the true point of view from of swimming, and recommends to Howhich this piece should be contem race his favourite diætetic remedy as nion would have been quite insupportable to him: “were not our parting beneficial to thee," he adds, “nothing could be more foolish than hoth of us: I in not immediately running back again to Rome after thee; thou in having not come flying bither. For, by Hercules, one serious or jocular conversation of ours (una nostra vel secera vel jocosa congressio) would be more interesting than all your foes and friends in Gaul.”

tibi spondeo, probiorem hominem, meliorem virum, prudentiorem esse neminem. Accedit etiam quod familiam ducit in jure civili, singularis memoria, supima scientia, &c. From the circumstance that he was then already at the head of a peculiar sect of jurists (which afterwards, through his principal pupil Antistius Labeo, grew into such consequence as to rival the sect of Ofilius and Ateius Capito) it is to be inferred, that in the year 699, when Cicero introduced him into the cohors amicorum Cæsaris, he was not so young as Melmoth in his translation of the 7th epistle makes himn.

+ Trebatius, in the year 718 (in which this piece, at the very latest was composed was indeed not above fourscore years old, as Dacier, from a mistake of the facetious ex. pression of Cicero, mi vetule, infers : since at the time when Cicero so calls bim, he was etate opportunissima for making his fortune with Cæsar. Cic. ad Famil. vii. 7. however safely admit, that he was somewhat turned of 50, and at least about 20 years older than Horace.

We may

a pa

« السابقةمتابعة »