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Be answer'd thus: If I by chance succeed
In what I write, (and that's a chance indeed)
Know, I am not so stupid, or so hard,
Not to feel praise, or fame's deserv'd reward:
But this I cannot grant, that thy applause
Is my work's ultimate, or only cause.
Prudence can ne'er propose so mean a prize ;
For mark what vanity within it lies.
Like Labeo's Iliads, in whose verse is found
Nothing but trifling care, and empty sound:
Such little elegies as nobles write,
Who would be poets, in Apollo's spite.
Them and their woeful works the Muse defies:
Products of citron-beds, and golden canopies.
To give thee all thy due, thou hast the heart
To make a supper, with a fine dessert:
And to thy thread-bare friend, a cast old suit
Thus brib'd, thou thus bespeak'st him, "Tell
(For I love truth, nor can plain speech offend,) What says the world of me and of my Muse?"
The poor dare nothing tell but flattering news: But shall I speak? Thy verse is wretched rhyme;
And all thy labours are but loss of time.
Thy strutting belly swells, thy paunch is high;
Thou writ'st not, but thou pissest poetry.
All authors to their own defects are blind;
Hadst thou but, Janus like, a face behind,
To see the people, what splay-mouths they make;
To mark their fingers, pointed at thy back:
Their tongues loll'd out, a foot beyond the pitch,
When most a-thirst of an Apulian bitch :
But noble scribblers are with flattery fed;
For none dare find their faults, who eat their bread.
To pass the poets of patrician blood,
What is 't the common reader takes for good >
The verse in fashion is, when numbers flow,
Soft without sense, and without spirit slow:
So smooth and equal, that no sight can find
The rivet, where the polish'd piece was join'd.
So even all, with such a steady view,
As if he shut one eye to level true.
Whether the vulgar vice his satire stings,
The people's riots, or the rage of kings,
The gentle poet is alike in all;
His reader hopes to rise, and fears no fall.
PRIEND. Hourly we see, some raw pin-feather'd thing
Attempt to mount, and fights and heroes sing;
Who, for false quantities, was whipt at school
But t' other day, and breaking grammar-rule,
Whose trivial art was never try'd above
The brave description of a native grove:
Who knows not how to praise the country store,
The feasts, the baskets, nor the fatted boar :
Nor paint the flowery fields that paint themselves
Where Romulus was bred, and Quintius born,
Whose shining ploughshare was in furrows worn,
Met by his trembling wife, returning home,
And rustically joy'd, as chief of Rome :
She wip'd the sweat from the dictator's brow;
And o'er his back his robe did rudely throw;
The lictors bore in state their lord's triumphant
Some love to hear the fustian poet roar;
And some on antiquated authors pore:
Rummage for sense; and think those only good
Who labour most, and least are understood.
When thou shalt see the blear-ey'd fathers teach Their sons, this harsh and mouldy sort of speech; · Or others, new affected ways to try,
Of wanton smoothness, female poetry;
One would inquire from whence this motley style
Did first our Roman purity defile:
For our old dotards cannot keep their seat;
But leap and catch at all that's obsolete.
Others, by foolish ostentation led,
When call'd before the bar, to save their head,
Bring trifling tropes, instead of solid sense :
And mind their figures more than their defence.
Are pleas'd to hear their thick-skull'd judges cry,
Well mov'd, oh finely said, and decently:
"Theft" (says th' accuser)" to thy charge I lay,
O Pedius;" what does gentle Pedius say?
Studious to please the genius of the times, [crimes:
With periods, points, and tropes, he slurs his
"He robb'd not, but he borrow'd from the poor;
And took but with intention to restore."
He lards with flourishes his long harangue;
"Tis fine, say'st thou; what, to be prais'd, and
Effeminate Roman, shall such stuff prevail [hang?
To tickle thee, and make thee wag thy tail?
Say, should a shipwreck'd sailor sing his woe,
Wouldst thou be mov'd to pity, or bestow
An alms? What's more preposterous than to see
A merry beggar? Mirth in misery?
PERSIUS. He seems a trap, for charity, to lay: And cons, by night, his lesson for the day.
FRIEND, But to raw numbers, and unfinish'd
Sweet sound is added now, to make it terse:
""Tis tagg'd with rhyme, like Berecynthian Atys,
The mid-part chimes with art, which never flat is.
The dolphin brave, that cuts the liquid wave,
Or he who in his line can chine the long-ribb'd
PERSIUS. All this is doggrel stuff. [Apennine."
FRIEND. What if I bring
A nobler verse? "Arms and the man I sing."
PERSIUS. Why name you Virgil with such fops
He's truly great, and must for ever please:
Nor fierce, but awful, in his manly page;
Bold in his strength, but sober in his rage.
FRIEND. What poems think you soft? and to be With languishing regards, and bended head? [read PERSIUS. "Their crooked horns the Mimallonian
Could such rude lines a Roman mouth become, Were any manly greatness left in Rome? Mænas and Atys in the mouth were bred; And never hatch'd within the labouring head: No blood from bitten nails those poems drew: But churn'd, like spittle, from the lips they flew.
FRIEND. 'Tis fustian all; 'tis execrably bad: But if they will be fools, must you be mad? Your satires, let me tell you, are too fierce; The great will never bear so blunt a verse. Their doors are barr'd against a bitter flout: Snarl, if you please, but you shall snarl without. Expect such pay as railing rhymes deserve, Y are in a very hopeful way to starve.
PERSIUS. Rather than so, uncensur'd let them be; All, all is admirably well, for me.
My harmless rhyme shall 'scape the dire disgrace Of common-shores, and every pissing-place. Two painted serpents shall, on high, appear; 'Tis holy ground; you must not urine here. This shall be writ to fright the fry away, Who draw their little baubles, when they play. Yet old Lucilius never fear'd the times, But lash'd the city, and dissected crimes. Mutius and Lupus both by name he brought; He mouth'd them, and betwixt his grinders caught. Unlike in method, with conceal'd design, Did crafty Horace his low numbers join: And, with a sly insinuating grace, Laugh'd at his friend, and look'd him in the face. Would raise a blush, where secret vice he found; And tickle, while he gently prob'd the wound. With seeming innocence the crowd beguil'd; But made the desperate passes when he smil'd. Could he do this, and is my Muse control'd By servile awe? Born free, and not be bold? At least, I'll dig a hole within the ground; And to the trusty earth commit the sound: The reeds shall tell you what the poet fears, "King Midas has a snout, and asses' ears." This mean conceit, this darling mystery, Which thou think'st nothing, friend, thou shalt Nor will I change for all the flashy wit, [not buy. That flattering Labeo, in his Iliads, writ. Thou, if there be a thou in this base town Who dares, with angry Eupolis, to frown; He, who, with bold Cratinus, is inspir'd With zeal, and equal indignation fir'd: Who, at enormous villainy, turns pale, And steers against it with a full blown sail, Like Aristophanes, let him but smile
On this my honest work, though writ in homely
And if two lines or three in all the vein
Appear less drossy, read those lines again.
May they perform their author's just intent,
Glow in thy ears, and in thy breast ferment.
But from the reading of my book and me,
Be far, ye foes of virtuous poverty:
Who fortune's fault upon the poor can throw;
Point at the tatter'd coat, and ragged shoe :
Lay Nature's failings to their charge, and jeer
The dim weak eye-sight, when the mind is clear,
When thou thyself, thus insolent in state,
Art but. perhaps, some country magistrate:
Whose power extends no farther than to speak
Big on the bench, and scauty weights to break.
Hin, also, for my censor I disdain,
Who thinks all science, as all virtue, vain;
Who counts geometry, and numbers, toys;
And, with his foot, the sacred dust destroys:
Whose pleasure is to see a strumpet tear
A Cynic's beard, and lug him by the hair.
Such, all the morning, to the pleadings run;
But when the business of the day is done,
On dice, and drink, and drabs, they spend their
THE SECOND SATIRE OF
THIS satire contains a most grave and philosopbical argument, concerning prayers aud wishes.
Undoubtedly it gave occasion to Juvenal's tenth satire; and both of them had the r original from one of Plato's dialogues, called the Se cond Alcibiades. Our author has induced it with great mystery of art, by taking his rise from the birth-day of his friend; on which oc casions, prayers were made, and sacrifices of fered by the native. Persius, commending the purity of his friend's vows, descends to the impious and immoral requests of others. The satire is divided into three parts: the first is the exordium to Macrinus, which the poet confines within the compass of four verses. The second relates to the matter of the prayers and rows, and enumeration of those things, wherein men commonly sinned against right reason, and offended in their requests. The third part consists in showing the repugnances of those prayers and wishes, to those of other men, and inconsistencies with themselves. He shows the original of these vows, and sharply inveigts against them and lastly, not only corrects the false opinion of mankind concerning them, but gives the true doctrine of all addresses made to Heaven, and how they may be made acceptable to the powers above, in excellent precepts, and more worthy of a Christian than a Heathen.
DEDICATED TO HIS FRIEND PLOTIUS MACRINUS, ON HIS
LET this auspicious morning be exprest
With a white stone, distinguish'd from the rest:
White as thy fame, and as thy honour clear;
And let new joys attend on thy new added year.
Indulge thy genius, and o'erflow thy soul,
Till thy wit sparkle, like the cheerful bowl.
Pray; for thy prayers the test of Heaven will bear;
Nor need'st thou take the gods aside, to hear:
While others, ev'n the mighty men of Rome,
Big swell'd with mischief, to the temples come;
And in low murmurs, and with costly smoke,
Heaven's help, to prosper their black vows, invoke.
So boldly to the gods mankind reveal
What from each other they, for shame, conceal.
"Give me good fame, ye powers, and make rat
Thus much the rogue to public ears will trust:
In private then :-" When wilt thou, mighty Jove,
My wealthy uncle from this world remove?"
Or" O thou thunderer's son, great Hercules,
That once thy bounteous deity would please
To guide my rake upon the chinking sound
Of some vast treasure, hidden under ground!
"O were my pupil fairly knock`d o' th' head; I should possess th' estate, if he were dead! He's so far gone with rickets, and with th' evil, That one small dose will send him to the devil.”
"This is my neighbour Nerius's third spouse, Of whom in happy time he rids his house. But my eternal wife !-Grant, Heaven, I may Survive to see the fellow of this day!” Thus, that thou may'st the better bring about Thy wishes, thou art wickedly devout · In Tyber ducking thrice, by break of day, To wash th' obscenities of night away. But, pr'ythee, tell me, ('tis a small request) With what ill thoughts of Jove art thou possest?
Would'st thou prefer him to some man? Suppose
I dipp'd among the worst, and Statius chose?
Which of the two would thy wise head declare
The trustier tutor to an orphan heir?
Or, put it thus:-Unfold to Statius, straight,
What to Jove's ear thou didst impart of late:
He'll stare, and, "O good Jupiter!" will cry;
"Canst thou indulge him in this villainy !"
And think'st thou, Jove himself, with patience then
Can hear a prayer condemn'd by wicked men?
That, void of care, he lolls supine in state,
And leaves his business to be done by fate?
Because his thunder splits some burley-tree,
And is not darted at thy house and thee?
Or that his vengeance falls not at the time,
Just at the perpetration of thy crime,
And makes thee a sad object of our eyes,
Fit for Ergenna's prayer and sacrifice?
What well-fed offering to appease the god,
What powerful present to procure a nod,
Hast thou in store? What bribe has thou prepar'd,
To pull him, thus unpunish'd, by the beard?"
Our superstitions with our life begin :
Th' obscene old grandam, or the next of kin,
The new-born infant from the cradle takes,
And first of spittle a lustration makes:
Then in the spawl her middle-finger dips,
Anoints the temples, forehead, and the lips,
Pretending force of magic to prevent,
By virtue of her nasty excrement.
Then dandles him, with many a mutter'd prayer
That Heaven would make him some rich miser's
Lucky to ladies, and in time a king;
Which to ensure, she adds a length of navel-string.
But no fond nurse is fit to make a prayer:
And Jove, if Jove be wise, will never hear;
Not though she prays in white, with lifted hands:
A body made of brass the crone demands
For her lov'd nursling, strung with nerves of wire,
Tough to the last, and with no toil to tire:
Unconscionable vows, which, when we use,
We teach the gods, in reason, to refuse.
Suppose they were indulgent to thy wish:
Yet the fat entrails, in the spacious dish,
Would stop the grant: the very over-care,
And nauseous pomp, would hinder half the prayer.
Thou hop'st, with sacrifice of oxen slain,
To compass wealth, and bribe the god of gain,
To give thee flocks and herds, with large increase;
Fool! to expect them from a bullock's grease!
And think'st that, when the fatteu'd flames aspire,
Thou seest th' accomplishment of thy desire!
"Now, now, my bearded harvest gilds the plain,
The scanty folds can scarce my sheep contain,
And showers of gold come pouring in amain !"
Thus dreams the wretch, and vainly thus dreams on,
Till his lank purse declares his money gone.
Should I present them with rare figur'd plate,
Or gold as rich in workmanship as weight;
O how thy rising heart would throb and beat,
And thy left side, with trembling pleasure, sweat!
Thou measur'st by thyself the powers divine;
Thy gods are burnish'd gold, and silver is their
Thy puny godlings of inferior race,
Whose humble statues are content with brass,
Should some of these, in visions purg'd from phlegm,
Foretel events, or in a morning dream;
Ev'n those thou would'st in veneration hold;
And, if not faces, give them beards of gold.
The priests in temples, now, no longer care
For Saturn's brass, or Numa's earthern ware;
Or vestal urns, in each religious rite:
This wicked gold has put them all to flight.
O souls, in whom no heavenly fire is found,
Fat minds, and ever groveling on the ground!
We bring our manners to the blest abodes,
And think what pleases us must please the gods.
Of oil and cassia one th' ingredients takes,
And, of the mixture, a rich ointment makes:
Another finds the way to dye in grain;
And makes Calabrian wool receive the Tyrian stain;
Or from the shells their orient treasure takes,
Or, for their golden ore, in rivers rakes;
Then melts the mass: all these are vanities!
Yet still some profit from their pains may rise:
But tell me, priest, if I may be so bold,
What are the gods the better for this gold?
The wretch that offers from his wealthy store
These presents, bribes the powers to give him more:
As maids to Venus offer baby-toys,
To bless the marriage-bed with girls and boys.
But let us for the gods a gift prepare,
Which the great man's great charges cannot bear:
A soul, where laws both human and divine,
In practice more than speculation shine;
A genuine virtue, of a vigorous kind,
Pure in the last recesses of the mind:
When with such offerings to the gods I come,
A cake, thus given, is worth a hecatomb.
THE THIRD SATIRE OP
OUR author has made two satires concerning study;' the first and the third: the first related to men; this to young students, whom he desired to be educated in the stoic philosophy: he himself sustains the person of the master, or preceptor, in this admirable satire; where he upbraids the youth of sloth, and negligence in learning. Yet he begins with one scholar reproaching his fellow-students with late rising to their books. After which he takes upon him the other part of the teacher. And addressing himself parti cularly to young noblemen, tells them, that by reason of their high birth, and the great possessions of their fathers, they are careless of adorning their minds with precepts of moral philosophy and withal, inculcates to them the miseries which will attend them in the whole course of their life, if they do not apply themselves betimes to the knowledge of virtue, and the end of their creation, which he pathetically insinuates to them. The title of this satire, in some ancient manuscript, was the Reproach of Idleness; though in others of the scholiast it is inscribed, Against the Luxury and Vices of the Rich. In both of which the intention of the poet is pursued; but principally in the former.
[I remember I translated this satire, when I was a king's scholar at Westminster-school, for a Thursday-night's exercise; and believe that it,
and many other of my exercises of this nature, in English verse, are still in the hands of my learned master, the reverend doctor Busby.]
"Is this thy daily course? The glaring Sụn
Breaks in at every chink: the cattle run
To shades, and noon-tide rays of summer shun,
Yet plung'd in sloth we lie; and snore supine,
As fill'd with fumes of indigested wine."
This grave advice some sober student bears;
And loudly rings it in his fellow's ears.
The yawning youth, scarce half awake, essays
His lazy limbs and dozy head to raise :
Then rubs his gummy eyes, and scrubs his pate;
And cries, "I thought it had not been so late :
My clothes, make haste!" Why then, if none be
He mutters first, and then begins to swear:
And brays aloud, with a more clamorous note,
Than an Arcadian ass can stretch his throat.
With much ado, his book before him laid,
And parchment with the smoother side display'd;
He takes the papers; lays them down again;
And, with unwilling fingers, tries the pen:
Some peevish quarrel straight he strives to pick;
His quill writes double, or his ink's too thick;
Infuse more water; now 'tis grown so thin
It sinks, nor can the characters be seen.
O wretch, and still more wretched every day!
Are mortals born to sleep their lives away?
Go back to what thy infancy began,
Thou, who wert never meant to be a man:
Eat pap and spoon-meat; for thy gewgaws cry:
Be sullen, and refuse the lullaby.
No more accuse thy pen: but charge the crime
On native sloth, and negligence of time.
Think'st thou thy master, or thy friends, to cheat?
Fool, 'tis thyself, and that's a worse deceit,
Beware the public laughter of the town;
Thou spring'st a leak already in thy crown.
A flaw is in thy ill-bak'd vessel found;
'Tis hollow, and returns a jarring sound.
Yet, thy moist clay is pliant to command;
Unwrought, and easy to the potter's hand:
Now take the mould; now bend thy mind to feel
The first sharp motions of the forming wheel.
But thou hast land; a country-seat, secure
By a just title; costly furniture;
A fuming-pan thy Lares to appease :
What need of learning, when a man's at ease?
If this be not enough to swell thy soul,
Then please thy pride, and search the herald's roll,
Where thou shalt find thy famous pedigree,
Drawn from the root of some old Tuscan tree;
And thou, a thousand off, a fool of long degree.
Who, clad in purple, canst thy censor greet;
And, loudly, call him cousin, in the street.
Such pageantry be to the people shown;
There boast thy horse's trappings, and thy own:
I know thee to thy bottom; from within
Thy shallow centre, to the utmost skin:
Dost thou not blush to live so like a beast,
So trim, so dissolute, so loosely drest?
But 'tis in vain: the wretch is drench'd too deep;
His soul is stupid, and his heart asleep;
Fatten'd in vice; so callous, and so gross,
He sins, and sees not; senseless of his loss.
Down goes the wretch at once, unskill'd to swim,
Hopeless to bubble up, and reach the water's brim.
Great father of the gods, when, for our crimes,
Thou send'st some heavy judgment on the times;
Some tyrant-king, the terrour of his age,
The type and true vicegerent of thy rage;
Thus punish him: set Virtue in his sight,
With all her charms adorn'd, with all her graceș
But set her distant, make him pale to see
His gains outweigh'd by lost felicity!
Sicilian tortures, and the brazen bull,
Are emblems, rather than express the full
Of what he feels: yet what he fears is more:
The wretch, who, sitting at his plenteous board,
Look'd up, and view'd on high the pointed sword
Hang o'er his head, and hanging by a twine,
Did with less dread, and more securely dine:
Ev'n in his sleep he starts, and fears the knife,
And, trembling, in his arms takes his accomplice
Down, down he goes; and from his darling friend
Conceals the woes his guilty dreams portend.
When I was young, I, like a lazy fool,
Would blear my eyes with oil, to stay from school;
Averse from pains, and loath to learn the part
Of Cato, dying with a dauntless heart:
Though much my master that stern virtue prais'd,
Which o'er the vanquisher the vanquish'd rais'd;
And my pleas'd father came, with pride, to see
His boy defend the Roman liberty.
But then my study was to cog the dice,
And dextrously to throw the lucky sice:
To shun ames-ace, that swept my stakes away;
And watch the box, for fear they should convey
False bones, and put upon me in the play.
Careful, besides, the whirling top to whip,
And drive her giddy, till she fell asleep.
Thy years are ripe, nor art thou yet to learn
What's good or ill, and both their ends discern;
Thou in the stoic porch, severely bred,
Hast heard the dogmas of great Zeno read:
There on the walls, by Polygnotus' hand,
The conquer'd Medians in trunk-breeches stand.
Where the shorn youth to midnight lectures rise,
Rous'd from their slumbers to be early wise:
Where the coarse cake, and homely husks of beans,
From pampering riot the young stomach weans:
And where the Samian Y directs thy steps to run
To Virtue's narrow steep, and broad-way Vice to
And yet thou snor'st; thou draw'st thy drunken
Sour with debauch; and sleep'st the sleep of death;
Thy chaps are fallen, and thy frame disjoin'd;
Thy body is dissolv'd, as is thy mind.
Hast thou not, yet, propos'd some certain end, To which thy life, thy every act, may tend? Hast thou no mark, at which to bend thy bow? Or, like a boy, pursuest the carrion crow With pellets, and with stones, from tree to tree: A fruitless toil; and liv'st extempore? Watch the disease in time: for, when within The dropsy rages, and extends the skin, In vain for hellebore the patient cries, And fees the doctor; but too late is wise: Too late, for cure, he proffers half his wealth; Conquest and Guibbons cannot give him health. Learn, wretches, learn the motions of the mind, Why you were made, for what you were design'd And the great moral end of human kind, Study thyself: what rank or what degree The wise Creator has ordain'd for thee:
And all the offices of that estate
Perforin; and with thy prudence guide thy fate. Pray justly, to be heard: nor more desire Than what the decencies of life require. Learn what thou ow'st thy country, and thy friend; What's requisite to spare, and what to spend : Learn this; and after, envy not the store Of the greas'd advocate, that grinds the poor: Fat fees from the defended Umbrian draws; And only gains the wealthy client's cause. To whom the Marsians more provision send, Than he and all his family can spend. Gammons, that give a relish to the taste, And potted fowl, and fish, come in so fast, That, ere the first is out, the second stinks: And mouldy mother gathers on the drinks. But, here, some captain of the land or fleet, Stout of his hands, but of a soldier's wit; Cries, "I have sense to serve my turn, in store; And he's a rascal who pretends to more. Damme, whate'er those book-learn'd blockheads Solon's the veryest fool in all the play. Top-heavy drones, and always looking down, (As over-ballasted within the crown!) Muttering betwixt their lips some mystic thing, Which, well examin'd, is flat conjuring, Meer madmen's dreams: for what the schools have Is only this, that nothing can be brought [taught, From nothing; and, what is, can ne'er be turn'd to Is it for this they study? to grow pale, And miss the pleasures of a glorious meal? For this, in rags accouter'd, are they seen, And made the may-game of the public spleen?" Proceed, my friend, and rail; but hear me tell A story, which is just thy parallel. A spark, like thee, of the man-killing trade, Fell sick, and thus to his physician said; "Methinks I am not right in every part; I feel a kind of trembling at my heart: My pulse unequal, and my breath is strong; Besides a filthy fur upon my tongue." The doctor heard him, exercis'd his skill: And, after, bid him for four days be still. Three days he took good counsel, and began To mend, and look like a recovering man: The fourth, he could not hold from drink; but sends His boy to one of his old trusty friends: Adjuring him, by all the powers divine, To pity his distress, who could not dine Without a flaggon of his healing wine.
He drinks a swilling draught; and, lin'd within,
Will supple in the bath his outward skin:
Whom should he find but his physician there,
Who, wisely, bade him once again beware.
"Sir, you look wan, you hardly draw your breath;
Drinking is dangerous, and the bath is death."
""Tis nothing," says the fool. "But," says the
"This nothing, sir, will bring you to your end.
Do I not see your dropsy belly swell?
Your yellow skin?"-"No more of that; I'm well.
I have already bury'd two or three
That stood betwixt a fair estate and me,
And, doctor, I may live to bury thee.
Thou tell'st me, I look ill; and thou look'st worse." “I've done," says the physician; "take your
His throat half throttled with corrupted phlegm,
And breathing through his jaws a belching steam:
Amidst his cups with fainting shivering seiz'd,
His limbs disjointed, and all o'er diseas'd,
His hand refuses to sustain the bowl;
And his teeth chatter, and his eyeballs roll:
Till, with his meat, he vomits out his soul:
Then trumpets, torches, and a tedious crew
Of hireling mourners, for his funeral due.
Our dear departed brother lies in state,
His heels stretch'd out, and pointing to the gate:
And slaves, now manumis'd, on their dead master
They hoist him on the bier, and deal the dole:
And there's an end of a luxurious fool.
But what's thy fulsome parable to me?
My body is from all diseases free:
My temperate pulse does regularly beat;
Feel, and be satisfy'd, my hands and feet:
These are not cold, nor those opprest with heat.
Or lay thy hand upon my naked heart.
And thou shalt find me hale in every part.
I grant this true: but, still, the deadly wound
Is in thy soul; 'tis there thou art not sound,
Say, when thou seest a heap of tempting gold,
Or a more tempting harlot dost behold;
Then, when she casts on thee a side-long glance,
Then try thy heart, and tell me if it dance.
Some coarse cold sallad is before thee set; Bread with the bran, perhaps, and broken meat Fall on, and try thy appetite to eat. These are not dishes for thy dainty tooth: What, hast thou got an ulcer in thy mouth? Why stand'st thou picking? Is thy palate sore? That beet and radishes will make thee roar? Such is th' unequal temper of thy mind; Thy passions in extremes, and unconfin'd: Thy hair so bristles with unmanly fears, As fields of corn, that rise in bearded ears. And, when thy cheeks with flushing fury glow, The rage of boiling caldrons is more slow; When fed with fuel and with flames below. With foam upon thy lips and sparkling eyes, Thou say'st, and dost, in such outrageous wise; That mad Orestes, if he saw the show, Would swear thou wert the madder of the two.
THE FOURTH SATIRE OF PERSIUS.
OUR author, living in the time of Nero, was contemporary and friend to the noble poet Lucan ; both of them were sufficiently sensible, with all good men, how unskilfully he managed the commonwealth and perhaps might guess at his future tyranny, by some passages, during the latter part of his first five years; though he broke not out into his great excesses, while he was restrained by the counsels and authority of Seneca. Lucan has not spared him in the poem of his Pharsalia; for his very compliment looked asquint as well as Nero. Persius has been bolder, but with caution likewise. For here, in the person of young Alcibiades, he arraigns his ambition of meddling with state-affairs, without