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Yet such our Av'rice is, that ev'ry Tree
Pays for his Head; 'not Sleep it self is free:
Nor Place, nor Persons, now are Sacred held,
From their own Grove the Muses are expellid.
Into this lonely Vale our Steps we bend,
I and my fullen difcontented Friend:
The marble Caves, and Aquæducts we view;
But how adult'rate now, and different from the true !
How much more Beauteous had the Fountain been
Embellish'd with her first created Green,
Where Crystal Streams thro’ living Turf had run,
Contented with an Urn of Native Stone!
Then thus Umbricius (with an angry Frown,
And looking back on this degen'rate Town)
Since noble Arts in Rome have no Support,
And ragged Virtue not a Friend at Court,
No Profit rises from th' ungrateful Stage,
My Poverty encreasing with my Age,
Tis time to give my just Disdain a vent,
And, Curling, leave so base a Government.
Where 7 Dedalus his borrow'd Wings laid by,
To that obscure Retreat I chuse to Ay:
While yet few Furrows on my Face are seen,
While I walk upright, and old Age is green,
And 8 Lachesis has somewhat left to spin.
Now, now 'tis time to quit this cursed Place;
And hide from Villains my too honest Face:
Here let 9 Arturius live, and such as he;
Such Manners will with such a Town agree.
7 Where Dedalus, &c. Mean | Distaff, and Atropes to cut the ing at Cuma.
Thread. : Lachesis ; one of the three 9 Arturius. Any debauch'd Definies, whose Office was to wicked Fellow who gains by spin the Life of every Man; the times, *as it was of Clotho to hold the
Knaves who in full Affemblies have the knack
Of turning Truth to Lies, and white to Black:
Can hire large Houses, and oppress the Poor
By farm’d Excise; can cleanse the Common-shoar ;
And rent the Fishery; can hear the Dead;
And teach their Eyes dissembled Tears to shed.
All this for Gain ; for Gain they fell their Head.
These Fellows (see what Fortune's Pow'r can do)
Were once the Minstrels of a Country Show:
Follow'd the Prizes thro' each paltry Town,
By Trumpet-Cheeks and bloated Faces known.
But now, grown rich, on drunken Holy-days,
At their own Costs exhibic publick Plays:
Where influenc'd by the Rabble's bloody Will,
Wich 10 Thumbs bent back, they popularly kill.
From thence return'd, their fordid Avarice rakes
In Excrements again, and hires the Jakes.
Why hire they not the Town, not ev'ry thing,
Since such as they have Fortune in a String?
Who, for her Pleasure, can her Fools advance;
And toss ’em topmost on the Wheel of Chance.
What's Rome to me, what Bus'ness have I there,
I who can neither Lie nor fallly Swear?
Nor praise my Patron's undeserving Rhimes,
Nor yet comply with him, nor with his Times;
Unskill'd in Schemes by Planets to foreshow,
Like Canting Rascals, how the Wars will go:
I neither will, nor can Prognosticate
To the young gaping Heir, his Father's Fate:
10 With Thumbs bent back. Spectators. If they thought In a Prize of Sword-Players, he deserv'd it not, they held
of the Fencers up their Thumbs and bent had the other at his Mer-them backwards, in sign of cy, the Vanquish'd Party im- Death. plor'd the Clemency of the с
Nor in the Intrails of a Toad bave pry'd,
Nor carry'd Lawdy Presents to a Bride :
For want of these Town Virtues, thus, alone,
go conducted on my Way by none:
Like a dead Member from the Body rent;
Maim'd, and unuseful to the Government.
Who now is lov'd, but he who loves the Times,
Conscious of close Intrigues, and dipt in Crimes:
Lab’ring with Secrets which his Bosom burn,
Yet never must to publick Light rerurn ?
They get Reward alone who can betray:
For keeping honest Counsels none will pay.
He who can 1 Verres when he will, accuse,
The Purse of Verres may at pleasure use:
But let not all the Gold which 12 Tagus hides,
the Sea in Tributary Tides,
Be Bribe fufficient to corrupt thy Breast;
Or violate with Dreams thy peaceful Rest.
Great Men with jealous Eyes the Friend behold,
Whose Secrefie they purchase with their Gold.
I histe to tell thee, nor shall Shame oppofc
What Confidents our wealthy Romans chose:
And whom I most abhor : To speak my Minds
I hate, in Rome, a Grecian Town to find:
To see the Scum of Greece transplanted here,
Receiv'd like Gods, is what I caonot bear.
Nor Greeks alone, but Syrians here abound,
Obscene 13 Orontes diving under ground,
u Verres, Prætor in Sicily, f self into the Ocean neay Lisa Contemporary with Cicero; by bon in Portugal. It was held whom accus'd of oppressing of old, to be full of Golden the Province, he was con Sands. demn'd: His Name is us'd
13 Orontes, the greateft River here for any Rich vicious of Syria : The Poet here puts Men.
the River for the inhabitants 12 Tagus, a famous River of Syria. in Spain, which discharges it
Conveys his Wealth to 14 Tyber's hungry Shores,
And fattens Italy with foreign Whores :
Hither their crooked Harps and Customs come:
All find receipt in Hospitable Rome.
The barbarous Harlots crowd the publick Place:
Go, Fools, and purchase an unclean Embrace ;
The painted Mitre court, and the more painted Face.
Old 's Romulus, and Father Mars look down,
Your Herdsman primitive, your homely Clown
Is turn'd a Beau in a loose tawdry Gown.
His once unkem'd, and horrid Locks, hehold
Stilling sweet Oil: his Neck inchain'd with Gold:
Aping the Foreigners in ev'ry Dress;
Which, bought at greater Cost, becomes him less.
Mean time they wisely leave their Native Land,
From Sycion, Samos, and from Alaband,
And Amydon, to Rome they swarm in Shoals:
So sweet and easie is the Gain from Fools,
Poor Refugees at first, they purchase here:
And, foon as Denizen'd, they domineer.
Grow to the Great, a flatt’ring servile Rout:
Work themselves inward, and their Patrons out.
Quick-witted, Brazen-facd, with fluent Tongues,
Patient of Labours, and dissembling Wrongs.
Riddle me this, and guess him if you can,
Who bears a Nation in a single Man?
A Cook, a Conjurer, a Rhetorician,
A Painter, Pedant, a Geometrician,
A Dancer on the Ropes, and a Physician.
All things the hungry Greek exactly knows:
And bid him go to Heav'n, to Heav'n he goes.
14 Tyber; the River which sans by Rome.
is Romulus, First King of
Rome; Son of Mars, as the Poets feign. The first Romans were originally Herdsmen.
In short, no Scythian, Moor, or Thracian born,
But 16 in that Town which Arms and Arts adorn,
Shall he be plac'd above me at the Board,
In Purple cloath’d, and lolling like a Lord ?
Shall he before me lign, whom t’other Day
A small-craft Vessel bicher did convey;
Where stow'd with Pruncs, and rotten Figs, he lay?
How little is the Privilege become
Of being born a Citizen of Rome!
The Greeks get all by fulsom Flatteries ;
A most peculiar Stroke they have at Lies.
They make a Wit of their insipid Friend;
His Blobber-lips and Beetle-brows commend:
His long Crane-Neck, and narrow Shoulders praise;
You'd think they were describing Hercules.
A creaking Voice for a clear Trebble goes;
Tho' harsher than a Cock that Treads and Crows,
We can as grofly Praise; but, to our Grief,
No Flatt'ry but from Grecians gains Belief.
Besides these Qualities, we must agree
They Mimick better on the Stage than we:
The Wife, the Whore, the Shepherdess they Play,
In such a Free, and such a Graceful way,
That we believe a very Woman shown,
And fancy something underneath the Gown.
But not '7 Antiochus, nor Stratocles,
Our Ears and ravish'd Eyes can only please:
The Nation is compos’d of such as these.
All Greece is one Comedian: Laugh, and they
Return it louder than an Ass can bray:
16 But in that Town, &c. He means Athens ; of which, Palias the Goddess of Arms and Arts was Patroness,
17 Antiochus and Stratocles, two famous Grecian Mimicks, or Actors, in the Poet's time.