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FIRST SA TIRE
JU V E N A L.
The poet gives us first a kind of bumorous reason for
his writing : that being provoked by hearing so many ill poets rehearse their works, he does himself justice on them, by giving them as bad as they bring. But since no man will rank himself with all writers, it is easy to conclude, that if such wretches could draw an audience, he thought it no hard matter to excel ihem, and gain a greater esteem with the public. Next be informs us more openly, why he rather addiets himself to satyr, than
any other kind of poetry. And bere be discovers that it is not so much bis indignation to ill poets, as to ill men, which has prompted him to write. He therefore gives us a summary and general view of the vices and follies reigning in his time. So that this first Satyr is the natural ground-work of all the rest. Herein he confines himself to no one subject, but firikes indifferently at all men in his way: in every following satire he has chosen fome particular moral which he would inculcate; and lashes fome particular vice or folly, (an art with which our lampooners are not much acquainted.) But our poet being desirous to reform his own age, but not daring to attempt it by an cert-ast of naming living perfons, inveigbs only against those who were infamous in the times immediately preceding bis, whereby be not only gives a fair warning to great men, that their mcmory lies at the mercy of future poets and biftorians, but also with a finer stroke of his pen, brands even the living, and personates them under
dead men's names. I have avoided as much as I could posibly the bora
rowed learning of marginal notes and illustrations, and for that reason have translated this Satire somewhat largely. And freely own (if it be a fault) that I have likewise omitted most of the proper names, because I thought they would not much edify ibe reader. To conclude, if in two or three places I have deferted all the commentators, it is becanse they first deserted my author, or
at least have left bim in so much obscurity, that too much room is left for guesing.
ITILL shall I hear, and never quit the score,
Provok'd by these incorrigible fools, I left declaiming in pedantic schools ; Where, with men-boys, I strove to get renown, Advising Sylla to a private gown.
But, since the world with writing is pofseft,
But why I lift aloft the satire's rod,
sweat, Unable to support a gem of weight: Such fulfum objects meeting every where, 'Tis hard to write, but harder to forbear. To view so lewd a town, and to refrain, What hoops of iron could my spleen contain! When pleading Matho, born abroad for air, With his fat paunch fills his new-fathion'd chair,
And after him the wretch in pomp convey'd,
veins, When perjur'd guardians, proud with impious
up the streets, too narrow for their trains! Whose wards by want betray'd, to crimes are led Too foul to name, too fullom to be read!