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the base descendant of the Trojan, who, was so far forgetful of his noble lineage, so unmindful of his ancestral honor, as to contend with freedmen and beggars for the miserable pittance of the patron's • sportula.' Scenes like these so revolting to human nature ; so mortifying to the pride of a virtuous Roman, might well have excited the bitter exclamation of Juvenal :
• NOTHING is left - nothing for future times
Such is a brief sketch of the most striking features in this introductory satire. In the few extracts which have been presented, we per. ceive a fair illustration of that impetuous fury, that unmitigated bitterness which so eminently distinguishes this incorruptible censor from the delightful pleasantry, the studied politeness of the courteous Horace.
The design of the poet in exposing the enormities of vice, however established by custom or honored by the examples of the great, is most successfully and ingeniously carried out in the third satire.
Umbritius, a member of what in modern society would be called the old school,' is represented as leaving the capital where every vice is encouraged and every virtue neglected. As he passes the Porta Capena, he turns to give a farewell look at scenes endeared to him from childhood and hallowed by the fondest associations. The magnificent city lies before him, but its external grandeur is but the index of its interual corruption. At his right, lay the romantic vale of Egeria, once consecrated as the nightly resort of Numa, and the fabled home of the Muses, but now polluted by the footsteps of wandering strangers, and desecrated by the habitations of miserable mendicants. The whole scene is well calculated to awaken our sympathies, and prepares us to listen with the deepest attention to the sorrowful reflections of the voluntary exile.
'I leave,' he pathetically begins, 'my native soil, since now there is no place for honest arts; no just reward of virtuous industry. What can
do at Rome? I can neither openly deceive, nor play the contemptible flatterer, nor divine the dark passages of the future; and I neither can nor will predict to the unnatural son the untimely death of his father. I am not ashamed to confess, O Romans ! that I detest a Grecian city. But what, let me ask, is the proportion of Achaia's refuse when compared with the overwhelming' influx of Eastern nations ? Shall the despicable Greek, bedizened with his ill-gotten finery, take the precedence of one who was born on the cold Aventine, and is a free citizen of the mistress of nations ? Where is now the integrity of Scipio Nasica, or the virtue of the sacred Metellus ? No one inquires now, 'What is this man's morality ? but, • How many servants does he maintain ?' • How many acres does he
On how many and how great dishes does he feast ?
" Quantum quisque sua nummorum servat in arca,
(As much of gold as each man hoards
The unhappy condition of a society in which wealth is the only standard of excellence, and fortune the only road to preferment, is clearly depicted in these severe but just reflections of Umbritius. With a lively indignation he beheld the natural prerogatives of the Roman assailed, and the inherited privileges of the citizen usurped, by those whose fathers still bore the marks of Roman bondage. The fair Persian, the dark-browed Syrian, and the swarthy Grecian, now supplanted in wealth and in influence the unworthy descendants of the conquerors of them all; while the necessary evils incident to this mutation of society were doubly aggravated by the reckless depravity which invariably attends the loss of national virtue.
The remainder of this satire enumerates the various inconveniences of a crowded capital, and contrasts with these the tranquillity and retirement of a country life. Umbritius then reverts again to the sufferings of the lower classes, and to the rigid simplicity of olden time,' and, concluding with an affectionate farewell to his friend and fellow. satirist, turns his back on the scene of so much unhappiness, and wends his way toward the quiet shore of secluded Cumæ.
But, by far the most complete and masterly production of Juvenal is the sixth satire. The poet has expended upon it the full force of his genius, and embodied in it the full measure of his wrath. The abandoned profligacy of the women of his time is most powerfully displayed. “And what a picture does it present to us! We, who are accustomed to regard the sanctity of the female character with feelings of the highest and the holiest reverence, can hardly conceive of the existence of a society where every social obligation was so openly and so wantonly violated. The Augustan age, in this respect, appears in a hardly more favorable light. Those restraining influences of woman's affection; those refining tendencies of woman's society; and, above all, those hallowed joys of the domestic circle, which are the inestimable blessings, as well as the invariable indices of exalted refinement, do not appear in a community where female loveliness was sacrificed to the lowest and the vilest passions of man's nature.
We have thus far considered separately
the prominent features in the intellectual characters of Horace and Juvenal; the different periods in which they flourished; and the modifying influences which the opposite tempers of the two poets exerted upon the character of their writings. We are now prepared to institute a more immediate comparison, and to decide with more certainty upon their relative excellences.
It is almost unnecessary to repeat what in the course of this paper has been so often implied: that of the two weapons which the satirist is compelled to employ - ridicule or invective, Horace selected the former, and Juvenal the latter; the one laughed at the foibles, the other lashed the vices of human nature. Horace is the amiable and the eloquent adviser, Juvenal is the stern, the upbraiding censor. In his philosophy Horace appears in as many shapes as the Proteus, and assumes as many colors as the chameleon; Juvenal, on the contrary, embraced none of the absurd theories of his
but framed a system of morality for himself on the instinctive teachings of a highly virtuous nature. The former was more like the laughing Democritus; the latter like the weeping philosopher of Ephesus.
We love Horace as the amiable philanthropist; we fear Juvenal as the unsympathizing misanthrope. Both have truly painted the weaknesses of human nature; but the one in the varied tints of Rubens, the other in the solemn shades of Rembrandt. The fine raillery of Horace would have called forth only a contemptuous sneer from the senseless court of Domitian; and the cutting reproof of Juvenal would have fallen too harshly on the fastidious ears of Augustus.
He who delights in wit brilliant, but not envenomed; in elegance without affectation; in splendor without bombast; will yield the palm of excellence to the Venusian poet; but he who prefers that withering sarcasm which paralyzes vice; that exuberant diction, which dazzles while convinces; and, above all, that moral grandeur which gives dignity to the man and eloquence to the poet, will pronounce Juvenal the paragon of satirists.
In fine, to the arbitration of individual taste must the long.contested question of their relative superiority be ever referred. The scholar who can find in either so much worthy of admiration; the poet who can derive from both so many inspiring conceptions; and the philosopher who, in the perusal of either, can glean so much valuable instruction, will shrink from the task of elevating one at the expense of the reputation of the other. In vain do we scrutinize each beauty; in vain do we magnify each imperfection. Like the enraptured beholder of some exquisite painting, we insensibly exchange the coldness of the measured critic for the ardor of the enthusiastic admirer.
Such were the relative merits of these two satirists, who appeared at the two most interesting eras in the decline of the Roman power. The promptings of virtue, and the teachings of morality, were their only guides; yet thus earnestly did the one, and thus fearlessly did the other combat the errors and the vices of a thoughtless and an enervated people. If we consider merely the self-sacrificing generosity, the unwavering integrity, or the exalted virtue which characterized these heathen reformers, we must rank them among the greatest benefactors of mankind; but with what sentiments shall we regard them, when we reflect that they were sustained and encouraged by none of those animating influences which nerve the heart and inspire the soul of the zealous Christian. Had a single ray of that brighter and purer faith, which was already appearing above the sacred hills of Palestine, penetrated the darkness and superstition which overhung the ill-fated mistress of the world; could they have beheld the meekness and submission of the Saviour, or have witnessed the agonizing scene at Calvary, with what different effects might their philanthropic efforts have been attended? But the fulness of time was not yet come. The Roman was destined to drink still deeper from the poisoned chalice of Circe; to pass unheeded the prophetic voice of warning; and entranced by the sweet song of the Syren, perish a victim to his own unlicensed passion - a martyr to his own unholy lust. Providence, R. I., 1849.
When the laughing roses rise,
He will shield them with his arm,
Care, the heritage of man,
MON CHER Ami Louis GAYLORD : • Let me have a prose sketch, not a serial; something complete in one number.'
These were your very words, as you took my hand the other morning, and pressed a peremptory confirmation of your wishes. As though an article can be served up to order, like a beef-steak at Downing's or a fricandeau at Delmonico's! But why not? Why should not your author obey orders as well as his betters ? Forgive this momentary impulse of rebellion. Already it doth repent me. While your words are still in my ears, I cry : Coming - coming, Sir!'
You and I have had before now a good many discussions together, upon a good many different subjects. Sometimes they have assumed a serious phase, sometimes they were lively, sometimes sentimental, sometimes matter-of-fact; but, to me, always agreeable.
You will bear me witness how invariably I have defended our sex (I take it for granted your readers will understand me as speaking in the masculine gender,) against that sickening sentimental cant which is forever crying up the wrongs and silent endurance of injured woman,' and the inconstancy and selfishness of tyrant man.' There is too a class of poets and romancers, among whom, by the way, are many distinguished names, who invariably use for a stock in trade'