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Learn what thou ow'ft thy country, and thy friend;
What's requifite to fpare, and what to spend :
Learn this; and after, envy not the store
Of the greaz'd advocate, that grinds the poor:
Fat fees from the defended Umbrian draws;
And only gains the wealthy client's cause.
To whom the 2 Marfians 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 firft is out, the fecond ftinks:
And mouldy mother gathers on the drinks.
But, here, fome captain of the land or fleet,
Stout of his hands, but of a foldier's wit;
Cries, I have sense to serve my turn, in ftore;
And he's a rafcal who pretends to more.
Dammee, what-e'er those book-learn'd blockheads fay,
Solon's the very'ft fool in all the play.
Top-heavy drones, and always looking down,
(As over-ballafted within the crown!)
Mutt'ring betwixt their lips fome myftic thing,
Which, well examin'd, is flat conjuring,
Mere madmen's dreams: for what the fchools have taught,
Is only this, that nothing can be brought
From nothing; and, what is, can ne'er be turn'd to
Is it for this they ftudy? to grow pale,
And mifs the pleasures of a glorious meal?
For this, in rags accouter'd, are they seen,
And made the may-game of the public spleen?
1 Fat fees, &c. Cafaubon here notes, that among all the Romans, who were brought up to learning, few befides the orators, or lawyers, grew rich.
2 The Marfians or Umbrians, were the most plentiful of all the provinces of Italy.
Proceed, my friend, and rail; but hear me tel
A ftory, which is just thy parallel.
A fpark, like thee, of the man-killing trade,
Fell fick, and thus to his phyfician faid:
Methinks I am not right in ev'ry part;
I feel a kind of trembling at my heart :
My pulfe unequal, and my breath is strong;
Befides a filthy furr upon my tongue.
The doctor heard him, exercis'd his fkill:
And, after, bid him for four days be still.
Three days he took good counfel, and began
To mend, and look like a recov'ring man
The fourth, he could not hold from drink; but fends
His boy to one of his old trufty friends:
Adjuring him, by all the Pow'rs Divine,
To pity his diftrefs, who could not dine
Without a flaggon of his healing wine.
He drinks a fwilling draught; and, lin'd within,
Will fupple in the bath his outward skin :
Whom should he find but his physician there,
Who, wifely, bade him once again beware.'
Sir, you look wan, you hardly draw your breath;
Drinking is dang'rous, and the bath is death.
'Tis nothing, fays the fool: but fays the friend,
This nothing, Sir, will bring you to your end.
Do I not fee your dropfy belly fwell?
Your yellow fkin ?-No more of that; I'm well.
I have already bury'd two or three
That flood betwixt a fair eftate and me,
And, doctor, I may live to bury thee.
Thou tell'ft me, I look ill; and thou look ft worse.
I've done, fays the phyfician; take your courfe.
The laughing fot, like all unthinking men,
Bathes and gets drunk; then bathes and drinks again :
His throat half throttled with corrupted phlegm,
And breathing thro' his jaws a belching fteam:
Amidft his cups with fainting fhiv'ring feiz'd,
His limbs disjointed, and all o'er difeas'd,
His hand refuses to fuftain the bowl:
And his teeth chatter, and his eye-balls roll :
Till, with his meat, he vomits out his foul:
Then trumpets, torches, and a tedious crew
Of hireling mourners, for his fun'ral due.
Our dear departed brother lies in ftate,
His 3 heels ftretch'd out, and pointing to the gate:
And flaves, now manumiz'd, on their dead mafter wait.
They hoift him on the bier, and deal the dole;
And there's an end of a luxurious fool.
But what's thy fulfom parable to me?
My body is from all diseases free :
My temp❜rate pulse does regularly beat;
Feel, and be fatisfy'd, my hands and feet:
These are not cold, nor those oppreft with heat.
Or lay thy hand upon my naked heart,
And thou shalt find me hale in ev'ry part.
grant this true but, ftill, the deadly wound
Is in thy foul; 'tis there thou art not found.
Say, when thou seest a heap of tempting gold,
Or a more tempting harlot doft behold;
Then, when the cafts on thee a fide-long glance,
Then try thy heart, and tell me if it dance.
Some coarse cold fallad is before thee fet;
Bread with the bran perhaps, and broken meat;
Fall on, and try thy appetite to eat.
These art not difhes for thy dainty tooth:
What, haft thou got an ulcer in thy mouth?
Why ftand'st thou picking? Is thy pallat fore?
That bete and radishes will make thee roar?
Such is the unequal temper of thy mind;
Thy paffions, in extreams, and unconfin'd:
3 His heels fretch'd out, &c.
The Romans were buried without the city; for which reafon the poet fays, that the dead man's heels were ftretched out towards the gate,
Thy hair fo briftles with unmanly fears,
As fields of corn, that rife in bearded ears.
And, when thy cheeks with flufhing fury glow,
The rage of boiling caldrons is more flow;
When fed with fuel and with flames below.
With foam upon thy lips and sparkling eyes,
Thou fay'ft, and doft, in fuch outrageous wife :
That mad 4 Oreftes, if he faw the show,
Would fwear thou wert the madder of the two.
4 That mad Oreftes. Oreftes was fon to Agamemnon and Clytemneftra. Agamemnon, at his return from the Trojan wars, was flain by Egyfthus, the adulterer of Clytemneftra. Oreftes to revenge his father's death, flew both gyfthus and his mother: For which he was punished with madness, by the Eumenides, or furies, who continually haunted him.
Our author, living in the time of Nero, was contemporary and friend to the noble poet Lucan; both of them were fufficiently fenfible, with all good men, how unskilfully he managed the commonwealth: and perhaps might guess at his future tyranny, by fome paffages during the latter part of his first five years; though he broke not out into his great exceffes, while he was reftrained by the counfels and authority of Seneca. Lucan has not pared him in the poem of his Pharfalia'; for his very compliment looked afquint as well as Nero. Perfius has been bolder, but with caution likewife. For here, in the perfon of young Alcibiades, he arraigns his ambition of meddling with State-affairs, without judgment or experience. It is probable that he makes Seneca, in this fatire, fuftain the part of Socrates, under a borrowed name. And, withal, difcovers fome fecret vices of Nero, concerning his luft, his drunkenness, and his effeminacy, which had not yet arrived to public notice. He aljo reprehends the flattery of his courtiers, who endeavoured to make all his vices pafs for virtues. Covetousness was undoubtedly none of his faults; but it is here defcribed as a veil caft over the true meaning of the poet, which was to fatirize his prodigality and voluptuoufnefs; to which he makes a tranfition. I find no inftance in hifiory of that emperor's being a Pathick, though Perfius feems to brand him with it. From