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the two dialogues of Plato, both called Alcibiades, the poet took the arguments of the second and third satires, but be inverted the order of them: for the third satire is taken

from the firft of those dialogues. The commentators before Calaubon, avere ignorant of our

author's secret meaning 5 and I bought he had only written against young noblemen in general, who were too forward in aspiring to public magiftracy: but this excellent scholiaff bas unravelled the whole mystery; and made it apparent, that the fing of this satire was particularly aimed at Nero.


Hoe'er thou art, whose forward years are bent

On ftate-affairs to guide the government;
Hear, first, what i Socrates of old has said
To the lov'd youth, whom he at Athens bred.

Tell me, thou pupil to great 2 Pericles,
Our second hope, my Alcibiades,
What are the grounds, from whence thou dost prepare
To undertake, so young, fo vast a care?
Perhaps thy wit: (a chance not often heard,
That parts and prudence should prevent the beard :)
'Tis seldom seen, that senators so young,
Know when to speak and when to hold their congue.
Sure thou art born to some peculiar fate:
When the mad people rise against the state,
To look them into duty : and command
An awful silence with thy listed hand.

i Socrates, whom the oracle of Delphos praised as the wifeft maa of his age, lived in the time of the Peloponnesian war, He finding the uncertainty of natural philosophy, applied himself wholly to the moral. He was master to Xenophon and Plato; and to many of the Athenian young noblemen; among the rest, to Alcibiades, the moft lovely youth then living; afterwards a famous captain, whose life is written by Plutarch.

2 Pericles was tutor, or rather overseer of the will of Clinias, father to Alcibiades. While Pericles lived, who was a wise man, and an excellent orator, as well as a great general, the Athenians had the betier of the war.


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Then to bespeak 'em thus : Athenians, know
Against right reason all your counsels go;
This is not fair; nor profitable that;
Nor t'other question proper for debate.
But thou, no doubt, can't set the business right,
And give each argament its proper weight :
Know'st, with an equal hand, to hold the scale :
Seeft where the reasons pinch, and where they fail,
And where exceptions o’er the general rule prevail.
And, taught by inspiration, in a trice,
Can'ft 3 punish crimes, and brand offending vice.

Leave, leave to fathom such high points as these,
Nor be ambitious, e'er the time, to please :
Unseasonably wise, till age, and cares,

Have form’d thy foul, to manage great affairs.
Thy face, thy shape, thy outside, are but vain ;
Thou hast not strength such labours to sustain :
Drink 4 hellebore, my boy, drink deep and purge thy

What aim'st thou at, and whither tends thy care,
In what thy utmost good ? Delicious fare ;
And, then, to sun thyself in open air.

Hold, hold ; are all thy empty wishes such ?
A good old woman would have said as much.
But thou art nobly born, 'tis true ; go boast
Thy pedigree, the thing thou valu'st most :
Besides thou art a beau : what's that, my child ?
A fop well dreft, extravagant, and wild :

3 Canft punish crimes, &c. That is, by death. When the judge would condemn a malefactor, they cast their votes into an urn, as, according to the modern custom, a ballotting-box. If the suffrages were marked with , they signified the sentence of death to the offender : as being the first letter of Oávaro, which in English is death,

4 Drink Hellebore, &c. The poet would say, that such an ignorant young man, as he here describes, is fitter to be governed himself, than to govern others : He therefore advises him to drink Hellebore, which purges the brain, VOL. IV.



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She, that cries herbs, has lefs impertinence;
And, in her calling, more of common sense.

None, none descends into himself, to find
The secret imperfections of his mind :
But ev'ry one is eagle-ey'd, to see
Another's faults, and his deformity.
Say, doft thou know 5 Vectidius ? Who, the wretch
Whose lands beyond the Sabines largely stretch;
Cover the country, that a failing kite
Can scarce o'er fly 'em in a day and night;
Him dost thou mean, who, spight of all his store,
Is ever craving, and will still be poor?
Who cheats for half-pence, and who doffs his coat,
To save a farthing in a ferry-boat?
Ever a glutton, at another's coft,
But in whose kitchen dwells perpetual frost:
Who eats and drinks with his domestic flaves ;
A verier hind than any of his knaves ?
Born with the curse and anger of the Gods,
And that indulgent genius he defrauds?
At harveft-home, and on the fheering-day
When he should 6 thanks to Pan and Pales pay,
And better Ceres ; trembling to approach
The little barrel, which he fears to broach :
He 'says the wimble, often draws it back,
And deals to thirsty fervants but a smack.


5 Say, defibou know Vectidius, &c. The name of Vectidius is here used appellatively to fignify any rich coveious man; though

perhaps there might be a man of that name then living. I have tranMaied this passage paraphrastically, and loofly; and leave it ior tbose to look on, who are not unlike the picture.

6. When he fou'd sharks, &c. Pan the god of shepherds, and Pales ihe gooidets presiding over rural affairs, whom Virgil invocates in the beginning of his second Georgick. I give the epithet of Better to Cres, because fe first taught the use of corn for bread, as the poets tell us. Men, in the first rude ages, feeding only on acorns, or inalt, insteau ci b:ead.



To a short meal he makes a tedious grace,
Before the barley-pudding comes in place :
Then, bids fall on; himself, for faving charges,
A peeld fic'd onion eats, and tipples verjuice.

Thus fares the drudge: but thou, whose life's a dream
Of lazy pleasures, tak’ft a worse extream.
'Tis all thy bus’ness, bus'ness how to fhun ;
To bask thy naked body in the sun ;
Suppling thy ftiffen'd joints with fragrant oil :
Then, in thy spacious garden, walk a while,
To suck the moisture up, and soak it in:
And this, thou think'ft, but vainly think'it, unseen.
But, know, thou art observ'd: and there are those
Who, if they durft, would all thy secret fins expose.
The 7 depilation of thy modeft part:
Thy catamite, the darling of thy heart,
His engine-hand, and ev'ry lewder art.
When prone to bear, and patient to receive,
Thou tak’st the pleasure, which thou can'st not give.
With odorous oil thy head and hair are sleek;
And then thou kemb'st the tuzzes on thy cheek :
Of these thy barbers take a costly care,
While thy falt tail is overgrown with hair.
Not all thy pincers, nor unmanly arts,
Can smooth the roughness of thy shameful parts.
Not 8 five, the strongest that the Circus breeds,
From the rank foil can root those wicked weeds :




7 The depilation of thy modest part, &c. Our author here tasks Nero, covertly, with that effeminate cotton now used in Italy, and especially by Harlots, of smoothing their bellies, and taking off the hairs which grow about their secrets. In Nero's time they were pulled off with pincers; but now they use a pale, which applied to those parts, when it is removed, carries away with it those excrescencies.

S Not five the fliongeft, &c. The learned Holiday, (who has made us amends for his bad poetry in this and the rest of these fatires, with his excellent illustrations,) here tells us, froni good authority, that the number five does not allude to the Five Fingers of one man, who


Y 2

Tho' suppled first with soap, to ease thy pain,
The stubborn fern springs up, and sprouts again.

Thus others we with defamations wound,
While they ftab us; and so the jest goes round.
Vain are thy hopes, to 'scape censorious eyes ;
Truth will appear through all the thin disguise :
Thou haft an ulcer which no leach can heal,
Tho' thy broad shoulder-belt the wound conceal.
Say thou art sound and hale in ev'ry part,
We know, we know thee rottén at thy heart.
We know thee fullen, impotent, and proud :
Nor can'st thou cheat thy 9 nerve, who cheat'st the croud.

But when they praise me, in the neighbourhood.
When the pleas'd people take me for a God,
Shall I refuse their incense ? Not receive
The loud applauses which the vulgar give ?

If thou doft wealth, with longing eyes, behold;
And, greedily, art gaping after gold;
If some alluring girl, in gliding by,
Shall tip the wink, with a lascivious eyes
And thou with a consenting glance, reply ;
If thou, thy own solicitor become,
And bid'at arise the lumpish pendulum :

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used them all, in taking off the hairs before mentioned; but to “ Five strong Men,” fuch as were skilful in the five robust exercises, then in practice at Rome, and were performed in the Circus, or públic place, ordained for them. These five he reckons up in this man. ner: 1 The Cæftus, or whirlbats, described by Virgil, in his fifth Æneid ; and this was the most dangerous of all the rest. The lecond was the Foot-race. The third the Discus, like the throwing a weighty ball; a Sport now used in Cornwall, and other parts of England; we may see it daily practised in Red-lion Fields. The fourth was the Saltus, or leaping : And the fifth Wreftling naked, and be a smeared with oil. They who were practised in theie five manly exercises, were called Elévtanov.

9 Tby nerve, &c. That is, canst nor deceive thy obscene part, which is weak, or impotent, though thou makest oftentation of thy performances with women,


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