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He bears into the bath ; whence want of breath,
Repletion, apoplex, inteftate death.
His fate makes table-talk, divulg'd with scorn,
And he, a jeft, into his grave is borne.
No age can go beyond us ; future times
Can add no farther to the present crimes.
Our fons but the same things can with and do;
Vice is at stand, and at the highest fiow.
Then fatire spread thy fails; take all the windscan blow.
Some may, perhaps, demand what Muse can yield
Sufficient strength for such a spacious field ;
From whence can be deriv'd so large a vein,
Bold truth to speak, and spoken to maintain?
When god-like freedom is so far bereft
The noble mind, that scarce the name is left?
Ere fcandalum magnatum was begot,
No matter if the great forgave or not:
But if that honest licence now you take,
If into rogues omnipotent you rake,
Death is your doom, impail'd upon a fake;
Smeard o'er with wax, and set on fire, to light
The streets, and make a dreadful blaze by night.
Shall they who drench'd three uncles in a draught Of pois'nous juice be then in triumph brought, Make lanes among the people where they go And, mounted high on downy chariots, throw Disdainful glances on the crowd below? Be filent, and beware, if such you fee; 'Tis defamation but to say, That's he! Against 9 bold Turnus the great Trojan arm, Amidst their strokes the poet gets no harm:
9 Against bold Turnus, &c. A poet may safely write an heroick poem, such as that of Virgil, who describes the duel of Turnus and Æneas ; or of Homer who writes of Achilles and Hector ; or the death of Hylas the Catamite of Hercules ; who stooping for water, dropt his pitcher, and fell into the well after it. But it is dangerous to write satire like Lucilius. P4
Achilles may in epic verse be flain,
And none of all his myrmidons complain :
Hylas may drop his pitcher, none will cry;
Not if he drown himself for company :
But when Lucilius brandishes his pen,
And flashes in the face of guilty men,
A cold sweat stands in drops on ev'ry part;
And rage succeeds to tears, revenge to smart :
Muse, be advis’d; tis past considering time,
When enter'd once the dang’rous lifts of rhime:
Since none the living villains dare implead,
Arraign them in the persons of the dead.
The story of this satire speaks itself. Umbritius, the fup
posed friend of Juvenal, and himself a poet, is leaving Rome, and retiring to Cumæ. Our author accompanies him out of town. Before they take leave of each other, Umbritius tells his friend the reasons which oblige him to lead a private life, in an obscure place. He complains that an honest man cannot get his bread at Rome. That none but flatterers make their fortunes there : that Grecians and other foreigners raise themselves by those fordid arts which he describes, and against which he bitterly inveighs. He reckons up the several inconveniencies which arise from a city life; and the many dangers which attend it. Upbraids the noblemen with covetousness, for not rewarding good poets; and arraigns the government for starving them. The great art of this satire is particularly jhown in common places; and drawing in as many vices, as could naturally fall into the compass of it.
Riev'd tho' I am an ancient friend to losc,
I like the solitary seat he chose :
In quiet i Cumæ fixing his repose :
Where, far from noily Rome secure he lives,
And one more citizen to Sybil gives.
1 Cuma, a small city in Campania, near Puteoli, or Puzzolo, as it is called. The habitation of the Cumæan Sybil.
The road to 2 Bają, and that soft recess
Which all the Gods with all their bounty bless,
Tho'I in 3 Prochyta with greater eale
Could live, than in a street of palaces.
What scene so desert, or so full of fright,
As tow'ring houses tumbling in the night,
And Rome on fire beheld by its own blazing light ?
But worse than ali the clatt’ring tiles; and worse
Than thousand padders, is the poet's curse.
Rogues that 4 in dog-days cannot shime forbear:
But without mercy read, and make you
Now while my friend, just ready to depart,
Was packing all his goods in one poor cart ;
He stopp'd a little at the Conduit-gate,
Where 5 Numa modell’d once the Roman state,
In mighty councils with his 6 nymph retir’d:
Tho' now the sacred shades and founts are hir'd
By banish'd Jews, who their whole wealth can lay
In a small basket, on a wisp of hay;
Yet such our av’rice is, that ev'ry tree
Pays for his head ; nor sleep itself 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 sullen discontented friend :
The marble caves, and aquæducts we view ;
But how adult'rate now, and different from the true !
2 Baie; another little town in Campania, near the sea : a pleaa sant place.
3 Prochyta: A small barren island belonging to the kingdom of Naples.
4 In dog-days, The poets in Juvenal's time, used to rehearse their poetry in Auguft. 5
Numa. The second king of Rome; who made their laws and inftituted their religion.
6 Nymph Ægeria, a nymph or goddess, with whom Numa feigned to converse by night; and to be instructed by her in modelling his fuperititions.
How much more beauteous had the fountain been
Embellish'd with her first created green,
Where chryftal streams thro’ living turff had run,
Contented with an urn of native stone !
Then thus Umbritius (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, cursing, leave so base a government.
Where 7 Dedalus his borrow'd wings laid by,
To that obscure retreat I chuse to fly:
few furrows on my face are seen,
While I walk upright, an 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 honeft face:
Here let 9 Arturius live, and such as he ;
Such manners will with such a town agree.
Knaves who in full assemblies 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-thoar ;
And rent the fishery; can bear the dead;
And teach their eyes dissembled tears to shed,
All this for gain ; for gain they sell their very
These fellows (see what fortune's power 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.
7 Where Dedalus, &c. Meaning at Cumæ,
8 Lachesis; one of the three destinies, whole office was to spin the life of every man; as it was of Clotho to hold the distaff, and Atropos to cut the thread. 9 Arturius, Any debauched wicked fellow who gains by the times.