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fir up the Affections, particularly in Narration. To which it may be reply'd, That where the Trope is far fetch'd, and hard, 'tis fit for nothing but to puzzle the Understanding; and may be reckond amongst those things of Demofthenes, which Æschines call'a fauveta not pnuata, chat is, Prodigies, not Words. it must granted to Casaubon, that the Knowledge of many things is lost in our Modern Ages, which were of familiar notice to the Ancients; and that Satyr is a Poem of a difficult nature in it felf, and is not written to vulgar Readers. And through the relation which it has to Comedy, the frequent change of Persons makes the Sense perplex'd; when we can but divine who it is that speaks: Whether Perhus himself, or his Friend and Monitor; or, in some places, a third Person. But Casaubon comes back always to him self, and concludes, that if Persius had not been obscure, there had been no need of him for an Interpreter. Yet when he had once enjoin'd him, himself so hard a Task, he then consider'd the Greek Proverb, that he mun xeadves payer read Qeydito either eat the whole Snail, or let it quite a lone; and so he went through with his laborious Task, as I have done with my difficult Translation.
Thus far, my Lord, you see it has gone very hard with Perfius : I think he cannot be allow'd to stand in competition, either with Fuvenal or Horace. Yet, for once, I will venture to be so vain, as to affirm, That none of his hard Metaphors, or forc'd Expressions, are in my Translation : But more of this in its proper Place, where I Shall say somewhat in particolar, of our general Performance, in ma. king these two Authors English. In the mean tine, I think my self oblig'd to give Perfas his wadoubted due, and to acquaint the World with
. Casaubon, in what he has equall'd, and in what excell'd his two Competitors.
A Man who is resolv'd to praise an Autħor; with any appearance of Justice, must be sure to take him on the strongelt lide, and where he is least liable to Exceptions. He is therefore oblig'd to chuse his Mediuins accordingly: Casaubon, who faw that Perfius cou'd not laugh with a becoming Grace, that he was not made for Jefting, and that a merry Conceit was not his Talent, turn'd his Feather, like an: Indian, to another Light, that he might give it the better Gloss. Moral Do&trine, says he, and Urbanity, or well-manner'd Wit, are the two things which constitute the Roman Satyr. But of the two, that which is most effential to this Poem, and is, as it were, the very Soul which animates it, is the scourging of Vice, and exhortation to Virtue. Thus Wit
, for a good Reason, is already almost out of Doors; and allow'd only for an Instrument, a kind of Tool, or a Weapon, as he calls it, of which the Satyrist makes use, in the compassing of his Design. The End and Aim of our Three Rivals, is consequently the same. But by what Methods they have prosecuted their Intention, is farther to be consider'd. Satyr is of the nature of Moral Philosophy, as being instructive: He therefore, who instručts most usefully, will carry the Palm from his two Antagonists. The Philosophy in which Persius was Educated, and which he professes through his whole Book, is the Stoick: The mott Noble, moft Generous, most Beneficial to human Kind, amongst all the Sees, who have given us the Rules of Ethiques, thereby to form a severe Virtue in the Soul; to raise in us an undaunted Courage, against the Affaults of Fortune; to esteem as nothing the things
that are without us, because they are not in our Power; ( not to value Riches, Beauty, Ho. nours, Fame, or Health, any farther than as Conveniencies, and so many Helps to living as we ought, and doing good in our Generation. In short, to be anyways happy, while we pofless our Minds, with a good Conscience, are free from the Slavery of Vices, and conform our Actions and Conversa. tion to the Rules of right Reason. See here, my Lord, an Epitome of Epictetus ; the Doctrine of Zeno, and the Education of our Perfius. And this he exprefs'd, not only in all his Satyrs, but in the manner of his Life. I will not lessen this Commendation of the Stoick Philosophy, by giving you an Account of some Abfurdities in their Doctrine, and some perhaps Impieties, if we consider them by the Standard of Christian Faith: Perfius has fallen into none of them; and therefore is free from those Imputations. What he teaches, might be taught from Pulpits, with more profit to the Audience, than all the nice Speculations of Divinity, and Controversies concerning Faith; which are inore for the Profit of the Shepherd, than for the Edification of the Flock. Passion, Interest, Ambition, and all their bloody Consequences of Discord, and of War, are banilh'd from this Doétrine. Here is nothing propos'd but the Quiet and Tranquility of the Mind, Virtue lodg'd at home, and afterwards diffus'd in her general Effects, to the Improvement and Good of Human Kind. And therefore I wonder not that the present Bishop of Salisbury has recommended this our Author, and the Tenth Satyr of Juvenal, in his Pastoral Lettet, to the serious Perusal and Practice of the Divines in his Diocess, as the best Common-Places for their Sermons, as the Store-houses and Magazines of Moral
Virtues, from whence they may draw out, as they have occasion, all manner of Affisance for the accomplishment of a virtuous Life, which the Stoick: have affign’d for the great End and Perfection o Mankind. Herein then it is, that Persius has ex celld both Juvenal and Horace. He sticks to hi own Philosophy : He shifts not fides, like Horace. who is fometimes an Epicurean, fometimes a Sto ick, sometimes an Eclectick; as his present Humour leads him: nor declaims like Juvenal again Vices, more like an Orator, than a Philosopher Persius is every where the same ; true to the Dogma's of his Master : What he has learnt, he teaches vehemently; and what he teaches, that he pra&tises himself. There is a Spirit of Sincerity in al he says: You may easily difcern that he is in carnest, and is perswaded of that Truth which he inculcates. In this I am of Opinion, that he excels Horace, who is commonly in jest, and laughs while he instructs: And is equal to Juvenal, who was as honest and serious as Perfius, and more he cou'd not be.
Hitherto I have follow'd Casaubon, and enlarg'd upon him ; because I am satisfy'd that he says no more than Truth; the rest is almost'all frivolous. For he says that Horace being the Son of a Taxgatherer, or a Collector, as we call it, smells every where of the Meanness of his Birth and Education: His Conceits are vulgar, like the Subjects of his Satyrs; that he does Plebeium sapere ; and writes not with that Elevation, which becomes a Satyrift: That Perfius being Nobly born, and of an opulent Family, had likewise the advantage of a better Mafter; Cornutus being the most. Learned of his time, a Man of a moft Holy Life, the Chief of the Stoick Sect at Rome; and not only a great Philo
Topher, but a Poet himself; and in probability a Coadjutor of Perfus. That, as for Juvenal, he was long a Declaimer, came late to Poetry, and had not been much conversant in Philofophy,
'Tis granted that the Father of Horace was Lie bertinus, that is, one degree remov'd from his Grandfather, who had been once a Slave: But Horace, speaking of him, gives him the best Charaéter of a Father, which I ever read in History; and I wish a witty Friend of mine now living had such another. He bred him in the best School, and with the best Company of young Noblemen. And Horace, by his Gratitude to his Memory, gives a certain Testimony that his Education was ingenuous. After this, he form'd himself abroad, by the Conversation of Great Men. Brutus found him at Athens, and was so pleas’d with him, that he took him thence into the Army, and made him Tribunus Militum, a Colonel in a Legion, which was the Preferment of an Old Soldier. All this was before his Acquaintance with Mecenas, and his Introduction into the Court of Auguftus, and the Familiarity of that Great Emperor; which, had he not been well-bred before, had been enough to civilize his Conversation, and render him accomplin’d and knowing in all the Arts of Complacen. cy and good Behaviour; and, in mort, an agreeable Companion for the retir’d Hours and Privacies of a Favourite, who was First Minister. So that, upon the whole matter, Persius may be acknowledg'd to be equal with him, in those Respects, tho' better born, and Juvenal inferior to both. "If the advantage be any where, 'tis on the side of Horace ; as much as the Court of Augustus Cufar, was fuperior to that of Nero. As for the Subjects which they treated, it will appear hereafter, that Horace,