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Р P.E. R S T U S.
FIRST SA T Y R.
By Mr. D RYDEN.
Argument of the Prologue to the First Satyr. The Design of the Author was to conceal bis Name
and Quality. He lived in the dangerous Times of the Tyrant Nero; and aims particularly at Him, in most of his Satyrs. For which Reason, though he was a Roman Knight, and of a plenti
ful Fortune, he wou'd appear in this Prologue but s'a Beggarly Poet, who writes for Bread. After
this, he breaks into the Bufiness of the Firf Satyr; which is, chiefly to decry the Poetry then in Fashion; and the Impudence of those, who were endea zauring to pass their Stuft upon the World.
To the First S AT. Y R.
Nor taste the sacred Heliconian. Stream;
1 Parnasus and Helicon were frinth; Consecrated also to the HillsConfecrated to the Muses, Myses and the suppos'd Place of their 3. The Statues of the Poets Abode. Parnassus was forked were Crown'd with Ivy about on the top; and from Helicon their Brows. ran a Stream, the Spring of 4 Before the Shrine; that is, which was call'd the Muses before the Shrine of Apollo, Well.
in his Temple at Rome, callid 2. Pyrene, a Fountain in cool the Palatine..
Argument of the First Satyr. I need not repeat, that the chief Aim of the Author is
against bad Poets, in this Satyr. But I must add, that he includes also bad Orators, who began at that Time, (as Petronius in the beginning of his Book tells as, to enervate Manly Eloquence, by Tropes and Figures, ill plac'd and worse apply'd. Amongst the Poets, Perlius covertly Arikes at Nero; some of whose Verses he recites with Scorn and Indignation. He also takes notice of the Noblemen and their abominable Poetry, who in the Luxury of their Fortune, fet up för Wits and Judges. The Satyr is in Dialogue, betwixt the Author and his friend or Monitor; who disuades him from this dangerous Attempt of exposing Great Men. But Persius, who is of a free Spirit, and has not forgotten that Rome was once a Commonwealth, breaks through all those Difficulties, and boldly arraigns the false Judgment of the Age in which he lives. The Reader may observe that our Poet was à Stoick Philofopher; and that all his Moral Sentences, both here, and in all the rest of his Satyrs, are drawn from the Dogma's of that Sect.
The First SARYR In Dialogue betwixt the
Poet and his Friend or Monitor.
Friend. Thy Sp'eon contain:
Persius. This to me? Friend. None; or what's next to none, but two or thres. Tis hard, I grant.
Persous. 'Tis nothing ; I can bear That paltry Scriblers have the Publick Ear: That this vast universal Fool, the Town, Shou'd cry up Labeo's Stuff, and cry me down. They damn themselves; nor will my Muse descend To clap with such, who Fools and Knaves commends . Their Smiles and Censures are to me the fame: I care not what they praise, or what they blame. In full Assemblies let the Crowd prevail : I weigh no Merit by the common Scale. The Conscience is the Test of ev'ry Mind; Seek not thy self, without thy self, to find. But where's that Roman? Somewhat I wou'd say, But fear ; --- Let Fear, for once, to Truth give way. Truth lends the Stoick Courage: When I look On Human Acts, and read in Nature's Book, From the first Pastimes of our Infant Age, "To elder Cares, and Man's feverer Page; When ftern as Tutors, and as Uncles hard, We lash the Pupil, and defraud the Ward : Then, then I say, ---- or wou'd say, if I durft -a But thus provok’d, I must speak out, or burst. Friend. Once more forbear.
Persius. I cannot rule my Spleen; *My Scorn rebels, and tickles me within.
First, to begin at home; our Authors write In lonely Rooms, secur'd from publick fight;
i Nothing is remaining of from an old Commentator or Atticus Labeo, (so he is calld Persius, says, that he made : by the Learned Casaubon.) Nor very foolish Translation of Heis he mention'd by any other mer's Iliad. Poet besides Perfons: Casaubon,