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THE

FIRST SA TIRE

OF

JU V E N A L.

THE ARGUMENT.

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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

1

at least have left bim in so much obscurity, that too much room is left for guesing.

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ITILL shall I hear, and never quit the score,
Stunn'd with hoarse Codrus' Theseid, o'er

and o'er?
Shall this man's elegies and t’other's play
Unpunish'd murder a long summer's day?
Huge Telephus, a formidable page,
Cries vengeance; and Orestes' bulky rage
Unsatisfy'd with margins closely writ,
Foams o'er the covers, and not finish'd yet. .
No man can take a more familiar note
Of his own home, than I of Vulcan’s grott,
Or Mars his grove, or hollow winds that blow
From Ætna's top, or tortur’d ghosts below.
I know by rote the fam'd exploits of Greece;
The Centaurs fury, and the golden fleece;
Through the thick shades th' eternal scribler bauls,
And shades the statues on their pedestals.
The best and worst on the same theme employs
His muse, and plagues us with an equal noise.

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.

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But, since the world with writing is pofseft,
I'll versify in spite ; and do my best,
To make as much waste paper as the rest.

But why I lift aloft the satire's rod,
And tread the path which fam'd Lucilius trod,
Attend the causes which my Musę have led :
When sapless eunuchs mount the marriage-bed,
When mannish Mevia, that two-handed whore,
Astride on horse-back hunts the Tuscan boar,
When all our lords are by his wealth outvy'd,
Whose razor on my callow beard was try'd;
When I behold the spawn of conquer'd Nile,
Crispinus, both in birth and manners vile,
Pacing in pomp, with cloak of Tyrian dye,
Chang'd oft a-day for needless luxury;
And finding oft occasion to be fan’d,
Ambitious to produce his lady-hand;
Charg’d with light summer-rings his fingers

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,
Whose evidence his lord and friend betray’d,
And but the with'd occasion does attend
From the poor nobles the last spoils to rend,
Whom ev'n spies dread as their superior fiend,
And bribe with presents ; or, when presents fail,
They send their prostituted wives for bail :
When night-performance holds the place of merit,
And brawn and back the next of kin disherit;
For such good parts are in preferment's way,
The rich old madam never fails to pay
Her legacies, by nature's standard giv'n,
One gains an ounce, another gains eleven :
A dear-bought bargain, all things duly weigh'd,
For which their thrice concocted blood is paid.
With looks as wan, as he who in the brake
At unawares has trode upon a snake;
Or play'd at Lyons a declaiming prize,
For which the vanquish'd rhetorician dies.
What indignation boils within

my

veins, When perjur'd guardians, proud with impious

gains, Choak

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!

!

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