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No cause is try'd at the litigious bar,
But women plaintiffs or defendants are,
They form the process, all the briefs they write;
The topics furnish, and the pleas indite;
And teach the toothless lawyer how to bite.

They turn viragos too; the wrestler's toil
They try, and smear their naked limbs with oil:
Against the post their wicker shields they crush,
Flourish the sword, and at the flastron push.
Of every exercise the mannish crew
Fulfils the parts, and oft excels us too;
Prepar'd not only in feign'd fight t' engage,
But rout the gladiators on the stage.

What sense of shame in such a breast can lie,
Inur'd to arms, and her own sex to fly?
Yet to be wholly man she would disclaim;
To quit her tenfold pleasure at the game,
For frothy praises and an empty name.
Oh what a decent sight 'tis to behold
All thy wife's magazine by auction sold!
The belt, the crested plume, the several suits
Of armour, and the Spanish leather-boots!
Yet these are they, that cannot bear the heat
Of figur'd silks, and under sarsenet sweat,
Behold the strutting Amazonian whore,
She stands in guard with her right-foot before:
Her coats tuck'd up; and all her motions just,
She stamps, and then cries " Hah!" at every

The ghosts of ancient Romans, should they rise,
Would grin to see their daughters play a prize.
Besides, what endless brawls by wives are bred:
The curtain-lecture makes a mournful bed.
Then, when she has thee sure within the sheets,
Her cry begins, and the whole day repeats.
Conscious of crimes herself, she teases first;
Thy servants are accus'd; thy whore is curst;
She acts the jealous, and at will she cries:
For womens' tears are but the sweat of eyes.
Poor cuckold-fool, thou think'st that love sincere,
And suck'st between her lips the falling tear:
But search her cabinet, and thou shalt find
Each tiller there with love-epistles lin❜d.
Suppose her taken in a close embrace,
This you would think so manifest a case,

No rhetoric could defend, no impudence out-face;
And yet, ev'n then, she cries, "The marriage-vow
A mental reservation must allow;
And there's a silent bargain still imply'd,
The parties should be pleas'd on either side:
And both may for their private needs provide.
Though men yourselves, and women us you call,
Yet homo is a common name for all."

There's nothing bolder than a woman caught;
Guilt gives them courage to maintain their fault.
You ask from whence proceed these monstrous

Once poor, and therefore chaste, in former times,
Our matrons were: no luxury found room
In low-rooft houses, and bare walls of lome;
Their hands with labour harden'd while 'twas light,
A frugal sleep supply'd the quiet night, [strait;
While pinch'd with want, their hunger held them
When Hannibal was hovering at the gate:
But wanton now and lolling at our ease,
We suffer all th' inveterate ills of peace,
And wasteful riot, whose destructive charms
Revenge the vanquish'd world, of our victorious
No crime, no lustful postures are unknown; [arms.
Since Poverty, our guardian god, is gone:

Pride, laziness, and all luxurious arts,
Pour like a deluge in from foreign parts:
Since gold obscene, and silver, found the way,
Strange fashions with strange bullion to convey,
And our plain simple manners to betray. [spread?
What care our drunken dames to whom they
Wine no distinction makes of tail or head.
Who, lewdly dancing at a midnight ball,
For hot eringoes and fat oysters call :
Full brimmers to their fuddled noses thrust;
Brimmers, the last provocatives of lust.
When vapours to their swimming brains advance,
And double tapers on the tables dance.

Now think what bawdy dialogues they have,
What Tullia talks to her confiding slave,
At Modesty's old statue; when by night
They make a stand, and from their litters light;
The good man early to the levee goes,
And treads the nasty puddle of his spouse.

The secrets of the goddess nam'd the good, Are ev'n by boys and barbers understood: Where the rank matrons, dancing to the pipe, Gig with their bums, and are for action ripe; With music rais'd, they spread abroad their hair; And toss their heads like an enamour'd mare: Rank'd with the lady the cheap sinner lies; For here not blood, but virtue, gives the prize. Nothing is feign'd in this venereal strife; 'Tis downright lust, and acted to the life. So full, so fierce, so vigorous, and so strong, That looking on, would make old Nestor young. Impatient of delay, a general sound, And universal groan of lust, goes round; For then, and only then, the sex sincere is found. "Now is the time of action! now begin!" They cry," and let the lusty lovers in. The whoresons are asleep; then bring the slaves, And watermen, a race of strong-back'd knaves." I wish, at least, our sacred rites were free From those pollutions of obscenity : But 'tis well known what singer, how disguis'd, A lewd audacious action enterpris'd; Into the fair, with women mixt, he went, Arm'd with a buge two-handed instrument; A grateful present to those holy choirs, Where the mouse, guilty of his sex, retires; And ev'n male-pictures modestly are veil'd, Yet no profaneness on that age prevail'd; No scoffers at religious rites are found; Though now, at every altar they abound.

"I hear your cautious counsel," you would say, "Keep close your women under lock and key:" But, who shall keep those keepers? Women, nurst In craft: begin with those, and bribe them first. The sex is turn'd all whore; they love the game; And mistresses and maids are both the same.

The poor Ogulnia, on the poet's day, Will borrow clothes, and chair, to see the play : She, who before had mortgag'd her estate, And pawn'd the last remaining piece of plate. Some are reduc'd their utmost shifts to try: But women have no shame of poverty. They live beyond their stint; as if their store, The more exhausted, would increase the more: Some men, instructed by the labouring ant, Provide against th' extremities of want; But womankind, that never knows a mean, Down to the dregs their sinking fortune drain: Hourly they give, and spend, and waste, and wear: And think no pleasure can be bought too dear.

If songs they love, the singer's voice they force Beyond his compass, till his quail-pipe's hoarse; His lute and lyre with their embrace is worn; With knots they trim it, and with gems adorn: Run over all the strings, and kiss the case; And make love to it, in the master's place. A certain lady once, of high degree, To Janus vow'd, and Vesta's deity, That Pollio might, in singing, win the prize; Pollio the dear, the darling of her eyes:


She pray'd, and brib'd; what could she more have
For a sick husband, or an only son?
With her face veil'd, and heaving up her hands,
The shameless suppliant at the altar stands;
The forms of prayer she solemnly pursues:
And, pale with fear, the offer'd entrails views.
Answer, ye powers; for, if you heard her vow,
Your godships, sure, had little else to do.

This s not all. for actors they implore:
An impudence not known to Heaven before.
Th' Aruspex, tir'd with this religious rout,
Is forc'd to stand so long. he gets the gout.
But suffer not thy wife abroad to roam,
•If she loves singing, let her sing at home;
Not strut in streets, with Amazonian pace;
For that's to cuckold thee before thy face.

Their endless itch of news comes next in play;
They vent their own, and hear what others say.
Know what in Thrace, or what in France, is done;
Th'intrignes betwixt the stepdame and the son.
Tell who loves who, what favours some partake:
And who is jilted for another's sake.
What pregnant widow in what month was made,
How oft she did, and doing, what she said.

She, first, beholds the raging comet rise: Knows whom it threatens, and what lands destroys, Still for the newest news she lies in wait; And takes reports just entering at the gate. Wrecks, floods, and fires: whatever she can meet, She spreads, and is the fame of every street.

This is a grievance; but the next is worse; A very judgment, and her neighbours' curse; For, if their barking dog disturb her ease, No prayer can bind her, no excuse appease. Th' unmanner'd malefactor is arraign'd; But first the master, who the cur maintain'd, Must feel the scourge: by night she leaves her bed, By night her bathing equipage is led, That marching arinies a less noise create; She moves in tumult, and she sweats in state. Meanwhile, her guests their appetites must keep ; Some gape for hunger and some gasp for sleep. At length she comes, all flush'd; but ere she sup, Swallows a swinging preparation-cup; And then, to clear her stomach, spews it up. The deluge-vomit all the floor o'erflows, And the sour savour nauseates every nose. She drinks again: again she spews a lake; Her wretched husband sees, and dares not speak : But muters many a curse against his wife; And damns himself for choosing such a life.

But of all the plagues, the greatest is untold;
The book-lear 'd wife in Greek and Latin bold.
The critic dame, who at her table sits:
Homer and Virgil quotes, and weighs their wits;
And pities Dido's agonizing fits.

She bis so far th' ascendent of the board,
The prating pedant puts not in one word:
The man of law is non plust in his sait;
Nay, every other female tongue is mute.

Hammers, and beating anvils, you would swear,
And Vulcan with his whole militia there.
Tabors and trumpets cease; for she alone
Is able to redeem the labouring Moon.
Ev'n wit's a burthen, when it talks too long:
But she, who has no continence of tongue,
Should walk in breeches, and should wear a beard;
And mix among the philosophic herd.

O what a midnight curse has he, whose side
Is pester'd with a mood and figure bride!
Let mine, ye gods! (if such must be my fate)
No logic learn, nor history translate;
But rather be a quiet, humble fool:
I hate a wife to whom I go to school,
Who climbs the grammar-tree, distinctly knows
Where noun, and verb, and participle, grows;
Corrects her country-neighbour; and, a-bed,
For breaking Priscian's, breaks her husband's head.
The gaudy gossip, when she's set agog,
In jewels drest, and at each ear a bob,
Goes flaunting out, and, in her trim of pride,
Thinks all she says or does is justify'd.
When poor, she's scarce a tolerable evil;
But rich, and fine, a wife's a very devil.

She duly, once a month, renews her face;
Meantime, it lies in dawb, and hid in grease;
Those are the husband's nights; she craves her due,
He takes fat kisses and is stuck with glue.
But to the lov'd adulterer when she steers,
Fresh from the bath, in brightness she appears:
For him the rich Arabia sweats her gum;
And precious oils from distant Indies come:
How haggardly soe'er she looks at home.
Th' eclipse then vanishes; and all her face
Is open'd, and restor❜d to every grace,
The crust remov'd, her cheeks as smooth as silk,
Are'd with a wash of asses' milk;
And should she to the farthest north be sent,
A train of these attend her banishment.
But hadst thou seen her plaister'd up before,
'Twas so unlike a face, it seem'd a sore.

'Tis worth our while, to know what all the day They do, and how they pass their time away; For, if o'er-night the husband has been slack, Or counterfeited sleep, and turn'd his back, Next day, be sure, the servants go to wrack. The chamber-maid and dresser are call'd whores; The page is stript, and beaten out of doors. The whole house suffers for the master's crime: And he himself is warn'd, to wake another time.

She hires tormentors by the year, she treats
Her visitors, and talks; but still she beats.
Beats while she paints her face, surveys her gown,
Casts up the day's account, and still beats on:
Tir'd out, at length, with an outrageous tone,
She bids them in the devil's name be gone.
Compar'd with such a proud insulting dame,
Sicilian tyrants may renounce their name.
For, if she hastes abroad to take the air,

Or goes to Isis' church (the bawdy-house of prayer)
She hurries all her handmaids to the task;
Her head, alone, will twenty dressers ask.
Psecas, the chief, with breast and shoulders bare,
Trembling, considers every sacred hair;
If any straggler from his rank be found,
A pinch must, for the mortal sin, compound.
Psecas is not in fault: but. in the glass,
The dame's offended at her own ill face.
The maid is banish'd; and another girl,
More dextrous, manages the comb and curl;

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The rest are summon'd on a point so nice;
And first, the grave old woman gives advice.
The next is call'd, and so the turn goes round,
As each for age, or wisdom, is renown'd:
Such counsel, such deliberate care, they take,
As if her life and honour lay at stake:
With curls on curls, they build her head before,
And mount it with a formidable tower.
A giantess she seems; but look behind,
And then she dwindles to the pigmy kind.
Duck-legg'd, short-waisted, such a dwarf she is,
That she must rise on tip-toes for a kiss.
Meanwhile, her husband's whole estate is spent!
He may go bare, while she receives his rent.
She minds him not; she lives not as a wife,
But, like a bawling neighbour, full of strife:
Near him, in this alone, that she extends
Her hate to all his servants and his friends.
Bellona's pri sts, an eunuch at their head,
About the streets a mal procession lead;
The venerable g iding. large and high,
O'erlooks the herd of his inferior fry.
His awkward clergymen about him prance;
And beat the timbrels to their mystic dance:
Meanwhile, his cheeks the mitred prophet swells,
And dire presages of the year foretels.
Unless with eggs (his priestly hire) they haste
To expiate, and avert th' autumnal blast.
And add beside a murrey-colour'd vest,
Which, in their places, may receive the pest:
And, thrown into the flood, their crimes may bear,
To purge th' unlucky omens of the year.
Th' astonish'd matrons pay, before the rest;
That sex is still obnoxious to the priest.

Thro' you they beat, and plunge into the stream,
If so the god has warn'd them in a dream. *
Weak in their limbs, but in devotion strong,
On their bare hands and feet they crawl along
A whole field's length, the laughter of the throng.
Should Io (Io's priest I mean) command
A pilgrimage to Mero's burning sand,

Through deserts they would seek the secret spring;
A holy water for lustration bring.

How can they pay their priests too much respect,
Who trade with Heaven, and earthly gains neglect!
With him, domestic gods discourse by uight:
By day, attended by his choir in white,

The bald-pate tribe runs madding thro' the street,
And smile to see with how much ease they cheat.
The ghostly sire forgives the wife's delights,
Who sins, through frailty, on forbidden nights,
And tempts her husband in the holy time,
When carnal pleasure is a mortal crime.
The sweating inage shakes his head, but he,
With mumbled prayers, atones the deity.
The pious priesthood the fat goose receive,
And they once brib'd, the godhead must forgive.
No sooner these remove, but, full of fear,
A gypsy Jewess whispers in your ear,

In dogs, a victim more obscene, he rakes;
And murder'd infants for inspection takes:
For gain, his impious practice he pursues;
For gain, will his accomplices accuse.

More credit, yet, is to Chaldeans given ;
What they foretel, is deem'd the voice of Heaven.
Their answers, as from Hammon's altar, come;
Since now the Delphian oracles are dumb,
And mankind, ignorant of future fate,
Believes what fond astrologers relate.

Of these the most in vogue is he who, sent
Beyond seas, is return'd from banishment,
His art who to aspiring Otho sold ;
And sure succession to the crown foretold.
For his esteem is in his exile plac'd;
The more believ'd, the more he was disgrac'd.
No astrologic wizard honour gains,
Who has not oft been banish'd, or in chains.
He gets renown, who, to the halter near,
But narrowly escapes, and buys it dear.

From him your wife inquires the planets' will,
When the black jaundice shall her mother kill:
Her sister's and her uncle's end, would know:
But, first, consults his art, when you shall go.
And, what's the greatest gift that Heaven can give,
If, after her, th' adulterer shall live.

She neither knows, nor cares to know, the rest;
If Mars and Saturn shall the world infest;
Or Jove and Venus, with their friendly rays,
Will interpose, and bring us better days.

Beware the woman too, and shun her sight,
Who in these studies does herself delight,
By whom a greasy almanac is borne,
With often handling, like chaf d amber worn:
Not now consulting, but consulted, she
Of the twelve houses, and their lords, is free.
She, if the scheme a fatal journey show,
Stays safe at home, but lets her husband go.
If but a mile she travel out of town,
The planetary hour must first be known,
And lucky moment; if her eye but akes
Or itches, its decumbiture she takes,
No nourishment receives in her disease,
But what the stars and Ptolemy shall please.
The middle sort, who have not much to spare,
To chiromancers' cheaper art repair,

Who clap the pretty palin, to make the lines more


But rich the matron, who has more to give,
Her answers from the Brachman will receive:
Skill'd in the globe and sphere, he gravely stands,
And, with his compass, measures seas and lands.
The poorest of the sex have still an itch
To know their fortunes, equal to the rich.
The dairy-maid inquires, if she shall take
The trusty taylor, and the cook forsake.

Yet these, tho' poor, the pain of childbirth bear;
And, without nurses, their own infants rear:
You seldom hear of the rich mantle, spread

And begs an alins: an high-priest's daughter she,' For the babe, born in the great lady's bed.

Vers'd in their Talmud, and divinity,
And prophesies beneath a shady tree.
Her goods a basket, and old hay her bed,
She strolls, and telling fortunes gains her bread:
Farthings, and some smail monies, are her fees;
Yet she interprets all your dreams for these.
For-tels th' estate, when the rich unele dies,
And sees a sweet-beart in the sacrifice.
Such toys, a pigeon's entrails can disclose;
Which yet th' Armenian augur far outgues:

Such is the power of herbs; such arts they use
To make them barren, or their fruit to lose.
But thou, whatever slops she will have bought,
Be thankful, and supply the deadly draught:
Help her to make man-slaughter; let her breed,
And never want for savin at her need.
For, if she holds till her nine months be run,
Thou may'st be father to an Ethiop's son.
A boy, who, ready gotten to thy hands,
By law is to inherit all thy lands:

One of that hue, that, should he cross the way,
His omen would discolour all the day.

I pass the foundling by, a race unknown,
At doors expos'd, whom matrons make their own:
And into noble families advance

A nameless issue, the blind work of chance.
Indulgent Fortune does her care employ,
And, smiling, broods upon the naked boy:
Her garment spreads, and laps him in the fold,
And covers, with her wings, froin nightly cold:
Gives him her blessing; puts him in a way;
Sets up the farce, and laughs at her own play.
Him she promotes; she favours him alone,
And makes provision for him, as her own.

The craving wife the force of magic tries,
And philtres for th' unable husband buys:
The potion works not on the part design'd;
But turns his brains, and stupifies his mind.
The sotted moon-calf gapes, and staring on,
Sees his own business by another done:
A long oblivion, a benumbing frost,
Constrains his head; and yesterday is lost:
Some nimbler juice would make him foam and rave,
Like that Cæsonia to her Caius gave:
Who, plucking from the forehead of the fole
His mother's love, infus'd it in the bowl:
The boiling blood ran hissing in his veins,
Till the mad vapour mounted to his brains.
The thunderer was not half so much on fire,
When Juno's girdle kindled his desire.
What woman will not use the poisoning trade,
When Cæsar's wife the precedent has made?
Let Agrippina's mushroom be forgot,
Giv'n to a slavering, old, unuseful sot;
That only clos'd the driveling dotard's eyes,
And sent his godhead downward to the skies.
But this fierce potion calls for fire and sword;
Nor spares the common, when it strikes the lord.
So many mischiefs were in one combin'd;
So much one single poisoner cost mankind.

If stepdames seek their sons-in-law to kill, 'Tis venial trespass; let them have their will: But let the child, entrusted to the care Of his own mother, of her bread beware: Beware the food she reaches with her hand The morsel is intended for thy land. The tutor be thy taster, ere thou eat; There's poison in thy drink, and in thy meat. You think this feign'd; the Satire in a rage Struts in the buskins of the tragic stage, Forgets his business is to laugh and bite: And will of deaths and dire revenges write. Would it were all a fable, that you read; But Drymon's wife pleads guilty to the deed. "I," she confesses, "in the fact was caught, Two sons dispatching at one deadly draught." "What two! two sons, thou viper, in one day!" "Yes, seven," she cries," if seven were in my Medea's legend is no more a lye; One age adds credit to antiquity. Great ills, we grant, in former times did reign, And murders then were done but not for gain. Less admiration to great crimes is due,


They read th' example of a pious wife, Redeeming, with ber own, her husband's life; Yet, if the laws did that exchange afford, Would save their lapdog sooner than their lord,

Where'er you walk, the Belides you meet; And Clytemnestras grow in every street: But here's the difference: Agamemnon's wife Was a gross butcher with a bloody knife; But murder, now, is to perfection grown, And subtle poisons are employ'd alone: Unless some antidote prevents their arts, And lines with balsam all the nobler parts: In such a case, reserv'd for such a need, Rather than fail, the dagger does the deed.




THE poet's design, in this divine satire, is to represent the various wishes and desires of mankind; and to set out the fully of them. He runs through all the several heads of riches, honours, eloquence, fanie for martial atchievements, long life, and beauty; and gives instances, in each, how frequently they have proved the ruin of those that owned them. He concludes, therefore, that since we generally choose so ill for ourselves, we should do better to leave it to the gods, to make the choice for us. All we can safely ask of Heaven, lies within a very small compass. It is but health of body and mind. And if we have these, it is not much matter what we want besides; for we have already enough to make us happy.

Look round the habitable world, how few
Know their own good; or, knowing it, pursue.
How void of reason are our hopes and fears!
What in the conduct of our life appears
So well design'd, so luckily begun,
But, when we have our wish, we wish undone?
Whole houses, of their whole desires posscet,
Are often ruin'd, at their own request.
In wars, and peace, things hurtful we require,
When made obnoxious to our own desire.

With laurels some have fatally been crown'd; Some, who the depths of eloquence have found, In that unnavigable stream were drown'd.

The brawny fool, who did his vigour boast; In that presuming confidence was lost: But more have been by avarice opprest, And heaps of money crowded in the chest: Unwieldy sums of wealth, which higher mount Than files of marshall'd figures can account. To which the stores of Croesus, in the scale, Would look like little dolphins, when they sail

Which they thro' wrath, or thro' revenge, pursue. In the vast shadow of the British whale.

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The fearful passenger, who travels late,
Charg'd with the carriage of a paltry plate,
Shakes at the moonshine shadow of a rush;
And sees a red-coat rise from every bush:
The beggar sings, ev'n when he sees the place
Beset with thieves, and never mends his pace.
Of all the vows, the first and chief request
Of each, is to be richer than the rest :
And yet no doubts the poor man's draught control,
He dreads no poison in his homely bowl,
Then fear the deadly drug, when gems divine
Enchase the cup, and sparkle in the wine.

Will you not now the pair of sages praise,
Who the same end pursu'd, by several ways?
One pity'd, one contemn'd, the woeful times:
One laugh'd at follies, one lamented crimes :
Laughter is easy; but the wonder lies,
What store of brine supply'd the weaper's eyes.
Democritus could feed his spleen, and shake
His sides and shoulders till he felt them ake;
Though in his country town no lictors were,
Nor rods, nor ax, nor tribune did appear:
Nor all the foppish gravity of show,
Which cunning magistrates on crowds bestow.
What had he done, had he beheld, on high,
Our pretor seated, in mock majesty;
His chariot rolling o'er the dusty place,
While, with dumb pride, and a set formal face,
He moves in the dull ceremonial track,
With Jove's embroider'd coat upon his back:
A suit of hangings had not more opprest
His shoulders, than that long, laborious vest:
A heavy gewgaw (call'd a crown) that spread
About his temples, drown'd his narrow head:
And would have crush'd it with the massy freight,
But that a sweating slave sustain'd the weight:
A slave in the same chariot seen to ride,
To mortify the mighty madman's pride.
And now th' imperial eagle, rais'd on high,
With golden beak (the mark of majesty)
Trumpets before, and on the left and right,
A cavalcade of nobles, all in white:

In their own natures false and flattering tribes,
But made his friends, by places and by bribes.
In his own age, Democritus could find
Sufficient cause to laugh at human kind :
Learn from so great a wit; a land of bogs
With ditches fenc'd, a heaven made fat with frogs,
May form a spirit fit to sway the state;

And make the neighbouring monarchs fear their fate.

He laughs at all the vulgar cares and fears; At their vain triumphs, and their vainer tears: An equal temper in his mind he found, When fortune flatter'd him, and when she frown'd. 'Tis plain, from hence, that what our vows request, Are hurtful things, or useless at the best.

Some ask for envy'd power; which public hate Pursues, and hurries headlong to their fate: Down go the titles; and the statue crown'd, Is by base hands in the next river drown'd. The guiltless horses, and the chariot wheel, The same effects of vulgar fury feel: The smith prepares his hammer for the stroke, While the lung'd bellows hissing fire provoke ; Sejanus, almost first of Roman names, The great Sejanus crackles in the flames: Form'd in the forge, the pliant brass is laid On anvils; and of head and limbs are made, Pans, cans, and piss-pots, a whole kitchen trade.

Adorn your doors with laurels; and a bull, Milkwhite, and large, lead to the Capitol ; Sejanus, with a rope, is dragg'd along; The sport and laughter of the giddy throng! "Good Lord," they cry, "what Ethiop lips he has, How foul a snout, and what a hanging face! By Heaven, I never could endure his sight; But say, how came his monstrous crimes to light? What is the charge, and who the evidence, (The saviour of the nation and the prince?)" "Nothing of this; but our old Cæsar sent A noisy letter to his parliament:"


Nay, sirs, if Cæsar writ, I ask no more,
He's guilty, and the question's out of door."
How goes the mob? (for that's a mighty thing,)
When the king 's trump, the mob are for the king:
They follow fortune, and the common cry
Is still against the rogue condemn'd to die.
But the same very mob, that rascal crowd,
Had cry'd Sejanus, with a shout as loud;
Had his designs (by fortune's favour blest)
Succeeded, and the prince's age opprest.
But long, long since, the times have chang'd their
The people grown degenerate and base :
Not suffer'd now the freedom of their choice,
To make their magistrates, and sell their voice.
Our wise forefathers, great by sea and land,
Had once the power and absolute command;
All offices of trust, themselves dispos'd;
Rais'd whom they pleas'd, and whom they pleas'd

But we, who give our native rights away,
And our enslav'd posterity betray,
Are now reduc'd to beg an alms, and go
On holidays to see a puppet-show.





"There was a damn'd design," cries one, For warrants are already issued out; I met Brutidius in a mortal fright; He's dipt for certain, and plays least in sight: I fear the rage of our offended prince, Who thinks the senate slack in his defence! Come let us haste, our loyal zeal to show, And spurn the wretched corps of Cæsar's foe: But let our slaves be present there, lest they Accuse their masters, and for gain betray." Such were the whispers of those jealous times, About Sejanus' punishment and crimes. Now tell me truly, would'st thou change thy To be, like him, first minister of state? To have thy levees crowded with resort, Of a depending, gaping, servile court: Dispose all honours of the sword and gown, Grace with a nod, and ruin with a frown: To hold thy prince in pupilage, and sway That monarch, whom the master'd world obey? While he, intent on secret lust alone, Lives to himself, abandoning the throne; Coop'd in a narrow isle, observing dreams With flattering wizards, and erecting schemes! I well believe, thou wouldst be great as he; For every man's a fool to that degree; All wish the dire prerogative to kill;

Ev'n they would have the power, who want the will:

But wouldst thou have thy wishes understood,
To take the bad together with the good,
Would'st thou not rather choose a small renown,
To be the mayor of some poor paltry town,
Bigly to look, and barbarously to speak;
To pound false weights, and scanty measures break?

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