Sidor som bilder


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

Unable to fupport a gem of weight:
Such fulsom objects meeting every where,
'Tis hard to write, but harder to forbear.

To view fo lewd a town, and to refrain, What hoops of iron could my spleen contain ! When pleading Matho, borne abroad for air, 46 With his fat paunch fills his new-fashioned

chair, And after him the wretch in ponip convey’d, Whose evidence his lord and friend betray’d, And but the wilh'd occasion does attend From the


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 me

rit, And brawn and back the next of kin disherit;



Ver. 40. Charg’d with light summer-rings &c.] The Romans were grown fo effeininate in Juvenal's time, that they wore light rings in the summer, and heavier in the winter.

Ver: 46. Matho,] A famous lawyer, mentioned in other places by Juvenal and Martial.


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 : 60
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 trod 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 impi

ous 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 fulsom to be read ! When he who pill’d his province scapes the laws, And keeps his money, though he lost his cause : His fine begg'd off, contemns his infamy, Can rise at twelve, and get him drunk ere

threr: Enjoys his exile, and, condemn’d in vain, Leaves thee, prevailing province, to complain !


75 80'

at Lyons] A city in France, where annual facrifices and games were made in honour of Augustus Cæsar.

Ver. 77. -prerailing province, &c.] Here the poet complains that the governors of provinces being accused for their unjust exactions, though they were condemned at their trials, yet got off by bribery.

Ver. 65.

Such villanies rous'd Horace into wrath : And 'tis more noble to pursue his path, Than an old tale of Diomede to repeat, Or lab'ring after Hercules to sweat, Or wand'ring in the winding maze of Crete ; Or with the winged smith aloft to fly, Or flutt’ring perish with his foolish boy.

With what impatience muft the Mufe behold The wife, by her procuring husband fold ? 86 For though the law makes null th' adulterer's

deed Of lands to her, the cuckold may fucceed; Who his taught eyes up to the cieling throws, And Neeps all over but his wakeful nose. When he dares hope a colonel's command, Whose coursers kept, ran out his father's land ; Who, yet a stripling, Nero's chariot drove, Whirl'd o'er the streets, while his vain master

strove With boasted art to please his eunuch-love. 95.

Would it not make a modest author dare To draw his table-book within the square,


Ver. 78. Horace] Who wrote satires : 'tis more noble, says our author, to imitate him in that way, than to write the labours of Hercules, the sufferings of Diomedes and his followers, or the flight of Dedalus who made the labyrinth, and the death of his fon Icarus.

Ver. 95. — his eunuch-love.] Nero married Sporus, an eunuch; though it may be the poet meant Nero's mistress in man's apparel. VOL. IV.




And fill with notes, when lolling at his eafe,
Mecænas-like, the happy rogue he fees
Born by fix weary'd Naves in open view, ,
Who cancelld an old will, and forg'd a new ;
Made wealthy at the small expence of signio g
With a wet seal, and a fresh interlining ?

The lady, next, requires a lashing line,
Who squeez’d a toad into lier husband's wine :
So well the fashionable med'cine thrives,
That now ’tis practis'd ev'n by country wives :
Pois'ning, without regard of fame or fear:
And spotted corps are frequent on the bier.
Wouldst thou to honours and preferments

climb ? Be bold in mischief, dare some mighty crime, Which dungeons, death, or banishment de

ferves : For virtue is but drily prais’d, and sterves. Great men, to great crimes, owe their plate

emboft, Fair palaces, and furniture of cost; And high commands: a sneaking fin is loft. Who can behold that rank old letcher keep His fon’s corrupted wife, and hope to Neep?



Ver. 99. Mecænas-like,] Mecænas is often tax'd by Seneca and others, for his effeminacy.

Ver. 118. —and hope to seep?] The meaning is, that the very consideration of suc

a crime, will hinder a virtuous man from taking his repose.


Or that male-harlot, or that unfledg'd boy,
Eager to fin, before he can enjoy ?
If nature could not, anger would indite
Such woeful stuff as I or Shadwell write.
Count from the time, fince old Deucalion's

Rais’d by the flood, did on Parnassus float;
And scarcely mooring on the cliff, implor'd 125
An oracle how man might be restor'd ;
When soften'd stones and vital breath ensu’d,
And virgins naked were by lovers view'd;
What ever since that Golden Age was done,
What human kind desires, and what they shun,
Rage, paffions, pleasures, impotence of will, 131
Shall this satirical collection fill.

What age so large a crop of vices bore, Or when was avarice extended more? When were the dice with more profufion thrown? The well-fill'd fob not empty'd now alone, 136 But gamesters for whole patrimonies play ; The steward brings the deeds which must con

vey The loft estate: what more than madness reigns, When one short fitting many hundreds drains,

Ver. 123. Deucalion and Pyrrha, when the world was drowned, escaped to the top of mount Parnassus; and were commanded to restore mankind by throwing stones over their heads : The stones he threw became men, and those the threw became women,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »