I. Unquestionable traces of HoraceNowhere in the poems of Keats can there be found a direct quotation or even a definite echo from Horace. There are, however, a
few reminiscences in his letters, which I append.
|1. ||From a letter to B. R. Haydon (probably of December, 1818):|
'I will be with you to-morrow morning and stop all day--we will
hate the profane vulgar and make us wings.'
See Carm. 3. 1. 1:
Odi profanum volgus.
|2. ||From a letter to Thomas Keats, July 11, 1818:|
'As to the profanum vulgus, I must incline to the Scotch.'
See the foregoing citation from Horace.
|3. ||From a letter to Richard Woodhouse, October 27, 1818:|
'Your letter gave me great satisfaction, more on account of its
friendliness than any relish of that matter in it which is accounted
so acceptable in the genus irritabile.'
See Epist. 2. 2. 102:
Genus irritabile vatum.
II. Probable traces of Horace
|1. ||From a letter to George and Georgiana Keats, December,
'I am in daily expectation of letters--Nil desperandum.'
The quotation may be found in Horace ( Carm. 1. 7. 27); but it
is so very familiar a catchword that one cannot feel positive of its
|2. ||From The Cap and Bells 61. 3-5:|
'Behold, your Majesty, upon the brow
Of yonder hill, what crowds of people!' 'Whew!
The monster's always after something new.'
The use of monster to describe the populace recalls Horace belua
multorum capitum ( Epist. 1. 1. 76); but see above, reference to Shelley's
probable use of the same passage, p. 88.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Influence of Horace on the Chief English Poets of the Nineteenth Century.
Contributors: Mary Rebecca Thayer - Author.
Publisher: Yale University Press.
Place of publication: New Haven, CT.
Publication year: 1916.
Page number: 93.
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