So Pope: Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone. Or emphasis, parare non potuit pedibus qui pontum per vada possent, from Lucretius; multaque praeterea vatum praedi ta priorum, from Virgil. Assonance is almost equally common, and is even more strange to our taste.
“Your father,” writes Jowett, with his usual wisdom, to Lord Tennyson, “was very sensitive, and had an honest hatred of being gossiped about. It never occurred to him that a new poet in the days of his youth was sure to provoke dangerous hostilities in the ‘genus irritabile vatum’ and in the old-fashioned public.”
We are Christians in name alone. Why does a classic proverb sound better to us than a quotation from the Bible: corchorum inter olera, 'chick-weed among the vegetables', better than 'Saul among the prophets'? As a sample of the absurdity of Ciceronianism, he gives a translation of a dogmatic sentence in classical language: 'Optimi maximique Jovis interpres ac filius, servator, rex, juxta vatum responsa, ex Olympo devolavit in terras, for: Jesus Christ, the Word and the Son of the eternal Father, came into the world according to the prophets.
Epirota tenellorum nutricula vatum. The Epirot who, With tender care, our unfledged poets nursed.
Dear Abraham, I never met a parson in my life who did not consider the Corporation and Test Acts as the great bulwarks of the Church; and yet it is now just sixty-four years since bills of indemnity to destroy their penal effects, or, in other words, to repeal them, have been passed annually as a matter of course. Heu vatum ignar mentes.
I likewise either found or formed an image to myself of the contrary kind that those who lost the prizes were such as had disobliged the poet, or were in disgrace with Augustus, or enemies to Maecenas; and this was the poetical revenge he took, for genus irritabile vatum, as Horace says.
A quo, ceu fonte perenni, Vatum Pieriis ora rigantur aquis. In appearance he is a very short man with a long black beard, a sunburnt face, and a clay pipe. He has shot battalions of tigers and speared squadrons of wild pig. He is universally loved, universally admired, and universally laughed at. He is generous to a fault. All the young fellows for miles round owe him money.
"'Tutemet a nobis iam quovis tempore vatum terriloquis victus dictis desciscere quaeres. But I must be prudent. I saw somebody watching your house on the other side of the street. If I am caught they will think I belong to the accursed sect too. Farewell." "The morning came, and about an hour after Charmides had risen two soldiers presented themselves.
I have often thought, that it would be neither uninstructive nor unamusing to analyze, and bring forward into distinct consciousness, that complex feeling, with which readers in general take part against the author, in favour of the critic; and the readiness with which they apply to all poets the old sarcasm of Horace upon the scribblers of his time genus irritabile vatum.
He was for 30 years Master of the Charter-house, and set himself against James II. in refusing to admit a Roman Catholic as a Poor Brother. No. 39. Saturday, April 14, 1711. Addison. 'Multa fero, ut placem genus irritabile vatum, Cum scribo. Hor.