« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Preach this among the brawny guards, fay'st
thou, And see 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 schilling Dutch,
SI X T H S A TIRE
P E R S T U S.
(This sixth satire treats an admirable common-place
of moral philofophy; of the true use of riches. They are certainly intended by the Power who bestows them, as instruments and helps of living commodiously ourselves; and of administring to the wants of others, who are oppressed by fortune. There are two extremes in the opinions of men concerning them. One error, tho on the right hand, get a great one, is, that they are no helps to a virtuous life; the other places all our bappiness in the acquisition and pollefion of them; and this is, undoubtedly, the worse extream. The mean betwixt these, is the opinion of the Stoicks ; which is, that riches may be useful to the leading a virtuous life; in case we rightly understand how to give according to right reason ; and how to re
ceive what is given us by others. The virtue of ✓ giving well, is called liberality: and it is of this
virtue that Persius writes in this fatire; wherein be not only shews the lawfill use of riches, but also Jharply inveighs against the vices which are opposed to it; and especially of those, which consist in the defeets of giving or spending; or in the abuse of riches. He writes to Casius Bassus bis friend, and a poet also. Enquires first of his health and studies; and afterwards informs him of his own, and where he is now resident. He gives an account of himself, that he is endeavour. ing by little and little to wear off bis vices; and particularly, that he is combating ambition, and ihe desire of wealth. He dwells upon the latter vice : and being sensible that few men either desire or use riches as they ought, he endeavours to 2012 vince them of their folly; which is the main defign of the wbole satire.
SI X TH SAT I R E.
To CÆsius BAS SUS, a Lyric Poet.
Great master of the muse, inspir’d to fing
For me, my warmer constitution wants
play: And, after, opening in an ampler way, Afford the pleasing prospect of the bay. 'Tis worth your while, O Romans, to regard The port
of Luna says our learned bard; Who in a drunken dream beheld his soul The fifth within the transmigrating roll; Which first a peacock, then Euphorbus was, Then Homer next, and next Pythagoras; And last of all the line did into Ennius pass.
Secure and free from business of the state; And more secure of what the vulgar prate,
Here I enjoy my private thoughts ; nor care
bounteous cheer. Nor yet unseal the dregs of wine that stirik Of cask; nor in a nasty flaggon drink ; Let others stuff their guts with homely fare ; For men of diff'rent inclinations are ; Tho born perhaps beneath one common star. In minds and manners twins oppos'd we see In the same fign, almost the fame degree : One, frugal, on his birth-day fears to dine ; Does at a penny's cost in herbs repine, And hardly dares to dip his fingers in the brine. Prepar’d as priest of his own rites to stand, He sprinkles pepper with a sparing hand. His jolly brother, opposite in sense, Laughs at his thrift; and lavish of expence, Quaffs, crams, and guttles, in his own defence. For me, I'll use my own; and take
and take my share; Yet will not turbots for
llaves prepare; Vol. IV.