Sidor som bilder

concerning his lust, his drunkeness, and his effeminacy, which had not yet arrived to public notice. He also reprehends the fattery of his cour. ticrs, who endeavoured to make all his vices pass for virtues. Covetousness was undoubtedly none of his faults ; but it is here described as a veil cast over the true meaning of the poet, which was to satirize his prodigality and voluptuousness; to which he makes a tranhtion. I find no instance in history of that emperor's being a Pathique, though Persius seems to brand him with it. From the two dialogues of Plato, both called ALCIBIADES, the poet took the arguments of the second and third satires, but he inverted the order of them : for the third satire is taken from the first of those

dialogues The commentators before Casaubon, were ignorant

of our author's secret meaning ; and thought he had only written against young noblemen in general, who were too forward in aspiring to public magistracy: but this excellent scholiast has unravelled the whole mystery; and made it apparent, that the sting of this satire was particularly aimed

at Nero. WHOE'ER thou art, whose forward years

are bent On state-affairs, to guide the government; Hear, first, what Socrates of old has said To the lov'd youth, whom þe, at Athens, bred,

Ver. 3. Socrates, whom the oracle of Delphos praised, as




Tell me, thou pupil to great Pericles, Our second hope, my Alcibiades, What are the grounds, from whence thou dost

prepare To undertake, so young,

so vast a care ? Perhaps thy wit: (a chance not often heard, That parts and prudence should prevent the

beard :) 'Tis feldom seen, that senators so young Know when to speak, and when to hold their

Sure thou art born to some peculiar fate;
When the mad people rise against the state,
To look them into duty : and command
An awful silence with thy lifted hand.

Then to bespeak 'em thus: Athenians, know Against right reason all

go; This is not fair; nor profitable that; Nor t’other question proper for debate. 20 But thou, no doubt, can'ft set the business

right, And give each argument its proper weight: the wisest man of his age, lived in the time of the Peloponnefian war. He, finding the uncertainty of natural philofophy, applied himself wholly to the moral. He was master to Xenophon and Plato, and to many of the Athenian young noblemen; amongst the rest, to Alcibiades, the most lovely youth then living; afterwards a famous captain, whose life is written by Plu. tarch.

Ver. 5. Pericles was tutor, or rather overseer the will of Clinias, father to Alcibiades. While Pericles lived, who was a wise man, and an excellent orator, as well as a great general, the Athenians had the better of the war.

your counsels


Know'st, with an equal hand, to hold the

scale : Seeft where the reasons pinch, and where

they fail, And where exceptions o'er the general rule

prevail. And, taught by inspiration, in a trice, Can'st punish crimes, and brand offending vice. Leave, leave to fathom such high points as

these, Nor be ambitious, e'er thy time, to please : Unfeasonably wise, till age, and cares, Have form’d thy soul, to manage great affairs. Thy face, thy shape, thy outside, are but

vain; Thou hast not strength such labours to suf

tain: Drink hellebore, my boy, drink deep, and


purge thy brain.

What aim'st thou at, and whither tends thy care,

35 In what thy utmost good ? Delicious fare ; And, then, to fun thyself in open

air. Ver. 27. Can'ft punish crimes, &c.] That is, by death. When the judges would condemn a malefactor, they caft their votes into an urn, as, according to the modern custom, a ballottingbox. If the suffrages were marked with they signified the fentence of death to the offender, as being the first letter of Oáralos, which in English is death.

Ver. 34. Drink hellebore, 8c.] The poet would say, that such an ignorant young man, as he here describes, is fitter to be governed himself, than to govern others. He therefore ads vises him to drink hellebore, which purges the brain.

Hold, hold; are all thy empty wishes such ? A good old woman would have said as much. But thou art nobly born: 'tis true ; go boast 40 Thy pedigree, the thing thou valuest moft: Besides thou art a beau: what's that, my child? A fop well dreft, extravagant, and wild : She, that cries herbs, has less impertinence; And, in her calling, more of common sense. 45

None, none descends into himself, to find The secret imperfections of his mind : But every one is eagle-eyed, to see Another's faults, and his deformity. Say, dost thou know Vectidius ? Who, the



Whose lands beyond the Sabines largely stretch;
Cover the country, that a failing kite
Can scarce o'er fly 'em, in a day and night;
Him dost thou mean, who, spight of all his

store, Is ever craving, and will still be poor? Who cheats for half-pence, and who doffs his

coat, To save a farthing in a ferry-boat ? Ever a glutton, at another's cost, But in whose kitchen dwells perpetual frost ?


Ver. 50. Say, dost thou know Vedidius ? &c.] The name of Vecidius is here used appellatively to fignify any rich covetous man; though perhaps there might be a man of that name then living. I have tranfated this paffage paraphrastically, and loosely: and leave it for those to look on, who are not unlike the piaure.

Who eats and drinks with his domestic flaves ;
Averier hind than any of his knaves ? 61
Born with the curse and anger of the gods,
And that indulgent genius he defrauds ?
At harveft-home, and on the sheering-day,
When he should thanks to Pan and Pales

And better Ceres ; trembling to approach 66
The little barrel, which he fears to broach:
He 'says the wimble, often draws it back,
And deals to thirsty servants but a smack.
To a short meal he makes a tedious grace, 70
Before the barley-pudding comes in place:
Then, bids fall on ; himself, for saving charges,
A peeld Nic'd onion eats, and tipples verjuice.
Thus fares the drudge: but thou, whose

life's a dream Of lazy pleafures, tak'st a worse extream. 'Tis all thy business, business how to shun; To balk thy naked body in the fun; Suppling thy stiffen'd joints with fragrant oil: Then, in thy spacious garden, walk a while, To fuck the moisture up, and soak it in: And this, thou think'st, but vainly think'st, un




Ver. 65. When he should thanks &c.] Pan the god of thepherds, and Pales the goddess presiding over rural affairs, whom Virgil invocates in the beginning of his second Georgic. I give the epithet of better to Ceres, because the first taught the use of corn for bread, as the poets tell us; men, in the first ruda ages, feeding only on acorns, or mast, inttead of bread.

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