Sidor som bilder

Death ftalks behind thee, and each flying hour
Does fome loose remnant of thy life devour.
Live, while thou liv'ft; for death will make us all
A name, a nothing but an old wife's tale.

Speak wilt thou Avarice, or Pleasure, chufe
To be thy lord? Take one, and one refufe.
But both, by turns, the rule of thee will have;
And thou, betwixt 'em both, wilt be a flave.

Nor think when once thou haft refifted one,
That all thy marks of fervitude are gone :
The ftruggling greyhound gnaws his leath in vain;
If, when 'tis broken, ftill he drags the chain.

Says 3 Phædra to his man, Believe me, friend,
To this uneafy love I'll put an end :

Shall I run out of all? My friends difgrace,
And be the first lewd unthrift of my race?
Shall I the neighbours nightly rest invade.
At her deaf doors, with fome vile ferenade?
Well haft thou freed thy felf, his man replies,
Go, thank the Gods, and offer facrifice.
Ah, fays the youth, if we unkindly part,
Will not the poor fond creature break her heart?
Weak foul! and blindly to deftruction led!

She break her heart! fhe'll fooner break your head.
She knows her man, and when you rant and fwear,
Can draw you to her, with a fingle hair.
But fhall I not return? Now, when fhe fues!
Shall I my own, and her defires refufe?

Sir, take your courfe: but my advice is plain:
Once freed, 'tis madness to refume your chain, .
Ay; there's the man, who locs'd from luft and pelf,
Lefs to the prætor owes, than to himfelf.

This alludes to the play of Terence, called the Eunuch; which was excellently imitated of late in English, by Sir Charles Sidley: In the first scene of that comedy, Phædra was introduced with his man Pamphilus, difcourfing whether he fhould leave his miftrefs Thais, or return to her, now that the had invited him.

But write him down a flave, who, humbly proud,
With prefents begs preferments from the crowd;
That early 4 fuppliant who falutes the tribes,
And fets the mob to scramble for his bribes :
That fome old dotard, fitting in the fun,

On holidays may tell, that such a feat was done
In future times this will be counted rare.

Thy fuperftition too may claim a fhare:


When flow'rs are ftrew'd, and lamps in order plac'd,
And windows with illuminations grac❜d,

On 5 Herod's day; when sparkling bowls go round,
And tunny's tails in favoury fauce are drown'd,
Thou mutter'ft pray'rs obfcene; nor doft refuse
The fafts and fabbaths of the curtail'd Jews.
Then a crack'd 6 egg-fhell thy fick fancy frights,
Befides the childish fear of walking sprights.
Of o'ergrown gelding priefts thou art afraid;
The timbrel, and the fquintifego maid

4 He who fued for any office amongst the Romans, was called a candidate, because he wore a white gown; and fometimes chalked it, to make it appear whiter. He rose early, and went to the Levees of those who headed the people: faluted alfo the tribes feverally, when they were gathered together, to chufe their magiftrates; and diftributed a largess amongst them, to engage them for their voices: much refembling our elections of Parliament-men.

5 The commentators are divided, what Herod this was whom our author mentions; whether Herod the Great, whose birth-day might be celebrated, after his death, by the Herodians, a fect among the Jews, who thought him their Meffiah; or Herod Agrippa, living in the author's time, and after it. The latter teems the more probable opinion.

6 The ancients had a fuperftition, contrary to ours, concerning egg-fhells: They thought that if an egg fhell were cracked, or a hole bored in the bottom of it, they were fubject to the power of forcery: We as vainly break the bottom of an egg-fhell, and crofs it, when we have eaten the egg, left fome hag fhould make ufe of it, in bewitching us, or failing over the fea in it, if it were whole.

The reft of the priests of Itis, and her one-eyed, or fquinting prieftefs, is more largely treated in the fixth fatire of Juvenal, where the fuperftitions of women are related.


Of Ifis, awe thee: left the Gods for fin,
Should, with a fwelling dropfy, ftuff thy fkin:
Unless three garlick heads the curfe avert,
Eaten each morn, devoutly, next thy heart.

Preach this among the brawny guards, fay'ft thou, And fee if they thy doctrine will allow :

The dull fat captain, with a hound's deep throat,
Would bellow out a laugh, in a base note;
And prize a hundred Zeno's just as much
As a clipt fixpence, or a fchilling Dutch.








This fixth fatire treats an admirable common-place of moral philofophy of the true uje of riches. They are certainly intended by the Power who befiows them, as inftruments and helps of living commodiorfly ourselves; and of administering to the wants of others, who are oppreffed by fortune. There are two extremes in the opinions of men concerning them. One error, though on the right hand, yet a great one, is, that they are no helps to a virtuous life; the other places all our happiness in the acquifition and poffefion of them; and this is, undoubtedly, the worst extream. The mean betwixt thefe, is the cpinion of the Stoicks; which is, that riches may be useful to the leading a virtuous life; in cafe we rightly understand how to give according to right reafon; and how to receive what is given us by others. The virtue of giving well is called liberality and it is of this virtue that Perfius writes in this fatire; wherein he not only fhews the lawful use of riches, but aljo fharply inveighs against the vices which are oppofed to it; and efpecially of thefe, which confifts in the defects of giving or spending; or in the abufe of riches. He writes to Cafius Baffus his friend, and a poet afo. Enquires firft of his health and fiudies; and afterwards informs him of his own, and where he is now refident. He gives an account of himself, that he is endeavouring by little and little to wear off his vices; and particularly, that he is combating ambition, and the defire of wealth. He dwells upon the latter vice: and being jenfible that few men either defire or ufe riches as they ought, he endeavours to convince them of their folly; which is the main defign of the whole fatire.

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AS winter caus'd thee, friend, to change thy feat,
And feek in Sabine air a warm retreat?
Say, do'st thou yet the Roman harp command ?
Do the strings anfwer to thy noble hand?
Great mafter of the mufe, infpir'd to fing
The beauties of the first created fpring;
The pedigree of nature to rehearse,

And found the Maker's work, in equal verse,
Now 2 sporting on the lyre the loves of youth.
Now virtuous age, and venerable truth;
Expreffing juftly Sappho's wanton art
Of odes, and Pindar's more majestic part.
For me, my warmer conftitution wants
More cold, than our Ligurian winter grants;
And therefore to my native fhoars retir'd,
I view the coaft old Ennius once admir'd ;

1 And feck, in Sabine air, &c. All the ftudious, and particularly the poets, about the end of Auguft, began to set themselves on work: refraining from writing, during the heats of the fummer. They wrote by night, and fat up the greatest part of it: For which reason the product of their studies, was called Elucubrations, or nightly labours. They who had country-feats, retired to them while they ftudied: As Perfius did to his, which was near the port of the moon in Etruria; and Baffus to his which was in the country of the Sabines, nearer Rome.

2 Now Sporting on thy lyre, &c. This proves Cæfius Baffus to have been a lyrick poet: It is faid of him, that by an eruption of the flaming mountain Vefuvius, near which the greatest part of his fortune lay, he was burnt himself, together with all his writings.

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