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poem in the form of an Argument. This serves the purpose of giving a conspective view of the poem and its scope, and the connexion of the different parts, and often supplies a word or sentence which it otherwise might be necessary to translate in a note. The Arguments and Introductions will be found to relieve the notes considerably.
I have done my best to determine the merits of the various readings, and to choose in every disputed case the best, according to my judgment. I have given in a note the amount of authority for each disputed reading that I have adopted, and there is not a word in the text which has not good MS. authority. “L
“Lectiones ex conjectura profectas tanquam pestem a contextu procul me removisse dico!!" To those who are accustomed to look upon Bentley as a benefactor to the text of Horace, this statement will not be acceptable. I have in no single instance adopted a conjecture of Bentley's or any body else's”, nor have I proposed any myself. The antiquity, genuineness, and number of the MSS. of Horace that have been collated by scholars of great respectability, as well as the authority of the Scholiasts and quotations in early writers, all combine to supply materials for a more perfect text of Horace than we can get of almost any other writer. Opinions will always differ as to the choice of readings, but to desert the MSS. and resort to conjecture in the case of this author I hold to be inexcusable. I have not seen the smallest excuse for it in any single instance, and with this opinion I can only look upon
the numerous conjectural readings of Bentley (nearly all of which I have referred to in the notes) as so many instances of false taste and perverted ingenuity. Orelli, who was not wanting in respect for Bentley, says, “conjecturae summi Critici, etsi semper sagaces et acutae, admodum raro a circumspecto Critico probari nunc
1 H. Stephens, Diatr. ii. p. 46.
? [The editor has made a mistake here. There are several passages in which he has accepted conjectural readings; and he has in some cases informed the reader that they are conjectural. I believe however that the editor has not admitted any of Bentley's conjectures, and those which he has accepted from others are few and not like Bentley's.]
possunto.” Nor do I think he is much more happy, in most instances (especially in the Odes), in his choice of readings than in his conjectures. He was always liable to be misled by want of ear and poetical taste, as well as by the excess of a prurient sagacity* and an unbounded egotism. The text in this edition will be found to differ less from Orelli's than from any other. Where it does so the reason is, I think, always given in the notes. He collated some excellent MSS., especially three in the library at Berne, of which the oldest he places at the end of the eighth century or the beginning of the ninth, and the other two in the tenth. His other MSS. were one of St. Gallen nearly complete, and another of Zürich containing the Odes, Epodes, and Ars Poetica, both of which he says are of the tenth century. Other MSS. referred to in these notes are the Vatican and other Roman MSS. collated by Fea (1811); twenty-three MSS. in the Royal Library at Paris collated by Pottier (1823), varying in age from the tenth to the thirteenth century; and sundry others quoted with or without name by Lambinus (1577'), Cruquius (1611'), Torrentius (1608'), and Bentley (1711). Of the last the most important are four collated by Cruquius, and known as the Blandinian MSS. belonging to the monks of a Benedictine monastery in Flanders, and which were very soon afterwards destroyed with the monastery by fire. The oldest of these, which is appealed to as a great authority, but which was certainly more often wrong than right in the instances in which Cruquius quotes it, was said to the earlier than the ninth century. On the margin of this MS. Cruquius found some old notes, which, as he says, with infinite pains he deciphered, and he has added them to his own commentary in a separate form. These scholia are referred to under the abbreviated title of Comm. Cruq. They are chiefly made up of the commentaries of Acron and Porphyrion, with some additions apparently from other old authorities. The readings of these three Scholiasts help out the MSS.,
3 Vol. ii. p. 97.
+ “Vide quo provectus sit prurigine corrigendi ” (Bentley on Dan, Heinsius : note upon, S. ii. 4. 16).
á These are not the earliest editions, but those that I have used.
though sometimes they are not supported by any that are known
The editions that I have consulted I will not tire the reader by enumerating. No classical author has been edited and commented upon so often as Horace. The editions I have always referred to when a difficulty of interpretation occurred are those of Ascensius (1519), with the scholia of Acron and Porphyrion, Lambinus, Cruquius (for his commentator), Torrentius, Gesner, Doering, Dillenburger, and Orelli. From these I have got real help, especially from Torrentius, whose commentary is in general clear, learned, and judicious. I have often referred to the French editors Sanadon and Dacier, but their judgment is not to be trusted. The old edition of Landini, published at Florence in 1482, and reprinted at Venice the next year, is in my possession, and will be found frequently referred to for various readings as “ Ven. 1483,” or simply “ Ven.” Fea has a good many sensible notes, but I have found him most useful for inscriptions, of which he gives several. Jani and Mitscherlich have edited the Odes, but are so redundant in quotation and admiring exclamation, that their commentaries are disagreeable. The Satires are much indebted to the learning and diligence of Heindorf, whose copious notes and judicious prefaces must be of use to any one who consults them, though his text I do not think is always well chosen. His notes on law-terms are valuable, but in such matters I have been chiefly indebted to the judgment of my friend and coadjutor Mr. Long, whose advice I have likewise followed in many other particulars.
I have not entered at any length upon the chronology of Horace's poems. I have referred to the subject in the Introduction, and have done my best to determine the date of each poem so far as there are reasonable grounds to argue upon. The principal authorities on this subject now relied upon and referred to in this book are Franke (Fasti Horatiani, Berlin, 1839) and Kirchner (Quaestiones Horatianae, Leipzig, 1834). These two writers differ materially from one another, and both of them from Bentley, who in his
Preface has laid down a scheme determining the dates of the several books, without stating the grounds on which he founds it. It will be seen that I prefer Franke's opinion on this subject to Kirchner's, but that there are many instances in which his zeal appears to outstrip his judgment in determining the date of particular poems.
Of the other books that I have used I have been most indebted to Estré's Prosopographeia Horatiana (Anisterdam, 1846), a most favourable specimen of industry and judgment.
I have studied with much pleasure the fragments of the Greek Lyric poets, with whose entire works Horace must have been familiar. The little that is left may make us mourn for what is lost. So much beauty has perished as the world will never see again. There is more power of tenderness and passionate feeling in some of Sappho's small fragments than in all that Horace ever wrote. Such passages of these poets as he appears to have imitated, intentionally or otherwise, I have given, so far as they can be gathered from the fragments now remaining, the edition of which by Bergk (Leipzig, 1843) is that which I have used. Most of them had been quoted before.
This leads me to say that I have not loaded the notes with nearly so many quotations as most who have gone before me. I have tried to confine myself to such passages as throw light upon the text, or appear to have been imitated by or copied from Horace. When I have met with a quotation in any of the late commentators that appeared to have originated from himself, I have given his name. Where, on the other hand, as is the case very often, the quotation is only one of the common stock that has accumulated from the Scholiasts downwards, I have given credit for it to no one, but do not on that account wish to have the credit of it myself. If any have been suggested by my own memory or reading, I have not inquired whether others had thought of them before, and shall hope that I may not appear to have defrauded any one. I have been careful as far as possible to let Horace illustrate himself, without however distracting the reader by referring him backwards and forwards to passages that will throw no light upon the text.
The MSS. generally and most of the editions have inscriptions or headings to the different poems. That these were not given them by Horace himself is clear, but they appear in the earliest MSS., and are supposed by some to have been invented by the grammarians almost contemporary with the author. They vary very much in the different MSS., and as they are quite arbitrary modern editors have seen the propriety of abandoning them. At the same time, as Kirchner says justly enough (Qu. Hor. p. 20), they have their value as showing the opinion of very early grammarians as to the scope of the different poems, and I have accordingly referred to them where they could be of any use in settling disputed points.
I had supposed before I began that much that now appears in the notes might be omitted by merely referring the reader to the Dictionaries of Antiquities and Biography edited by Dr. Smith. But valuable as those works are, I found that the articles were not and could not be so drawn up as to save the necessity, in many instances, of independent notes in such a commentary and for such an author as this. I have often referred to them, and if I ought to have done so oftener the omission has been unintentional.
I meant at first to give an Index of the principal words, to form a Concordance at the end of the Volume; but I found there was no room for it, and I hope that, as I have made the Index to the notes pretty copious, and have given a full Index of Proper Names expressed or referred to in the text, the want of the other Index will not be much felt.
I had hoped it would be possible to give engravings of a few