Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

But, know, thou art obferv'd: and there are

thofe

Who, if they durft, would all thy fecret fins expofe.

The depilation of thy modeft part:

Thy catamite, the darling of thy heart,
His engine-hand, and every lewder art.
When prone to bear, and patient to receive,
Thou tak'ft the pleasure which thou can'st not
give.

91

With odorous oil thy head and air are fleek;
And then thou kemb'ft the tuzzes on thy cheek:
Of these thy barbers take a coftly care,
While thy falt tail is overgrown with hair.
Not all thy pincers, nor unmanly arts,
Can smooth the roughness of thy fhameful
parts.

Not five, the ftrongest that the Circus breeds, 95 From the rank foil can root thofe wicked weeds:

85

Ver. 84. The depilation of thy modeft part: &c.] Our author here taxes Nero covertly with that effeminate cuftom, now used in Italy, and especially by harlots, of smoothing their bellies, and taking off the hairs which grow about their fecrets. In Nero's times they were pulled off with pincers, but now they ufe a paste, which, if applied to thofe parts, when it is removed, carries away with it thofe excrefcences.

Ver. 95. Not five, the strongest &c.] The learned Holiday, (who has made us amends for his bad poetry in this and the rest of these fatires, with his excellent illuftrations,) here tells us, from good authority, that the number five, does not allude to the five fingers of one man, who used them all, in taking off

Though fuppled firft with foap, to ease thy pain, The ftubborn fern fprings up, and fprouts again.

Thus others we with defamations wound, While they ftab us; and fo the jeft goes round. Vain are thy hopes, to 'fcape cenforious eyes; Truth will appear through all the thin difguife: Thou haft an ulcer which no leach can heal, Though thy broad fhoulder-belt the wound conceal.

Say thou art found and hale in every part, 105 We know, we know thee rotten at thy heart. We know thee fullen, impotent, and proud: Nor can't thou cheat thy nerve, who cheat'st the croud.

But when they praise me, in the neighbourhood,

When the pleas'd people take me for a god, 110

the hairs before-mentioned; but to five ftrong men, fuch as were skillful in the five robuft exercises then in practice at Rome, and were performed in the Circus, or public place, ordained for them. These five he reckons up in this manner: 1. The Cæftus, or whirlbatts, defcribed by Virgil, in his fifth Eneid; and this was the moft dangerous of all the reft. The fecond was the foot-race; the third the Difcus, like the throwing a weighty ball, a fport now ufed in Cornwall, and other parts of England; we may fee it daily practifed in Red-Lionfields. The fourth was the Saltus, or leaping; and the fifth wrestling naked, and befmeared with oil. They who were prac tifed in these five manly exercifes, were called Пívta0λos.

Ver. 108. thy nerve, &c.] That is, thou canst not deceive thy obfcene part, which is weak, or impotent, though thou makest oftentation of thy performances with women.

Shall I refufe their incenfe? Not receive
The loud applaufes which the vulgar give?
If thou doft wealth, with longing eyes, be-
hold;

S

And, greedily, art gaping after gold;
If fome alluring girl, in gliding by,
Shall tip the wink, with a lafcivious eye,
And thou, with a confenting glance, reply;
If thou, thy own folicitor become,
And bid'ft arife the lumpish pendulum:
If thy lewd luft provokes an empty ftorm,
And prompts to more than nature can per-
form;

120

115

If, with thy guards, thou scour'st the streets by night,

And doft in murthers, rapes, and fpoils delight;

125

Please not thyself, the flattering crowd to hear; "Tis fulfome stuff to feed thy itching ear. Reject the naufeous praises of the times: Give thy base poets back their cobbled rhimes: Survey thy foul, not what thou do'st appear, But what thou art; and find the beggar there.

Ver. 122. If, with thy guards, &c.] Perfius durft not have been fo bold with Nero, as I dare now; and therefore there is only an intimation of that in him, which I publicly speak; I mean of Nero's walking the ftreets by night in difguife; and committing all forts of outrages; for which he was fometimes well beaten.

Ver. 128. Survey thy foul, &c.] That is, look into thyfelf,

and examine thy own confcience, there thou shalt find, that how wealthy foever thou appeareft to the world, yet thou art but a beggar, because thou art deftitute of all virtues; which are the riches of the foul. This alfo was a paradox of the Stoick school.

THE

FIFTH SATIRE

OF

PERSIUS.

THE ARGUMENT.

The judicious Cafaubon, in his proem to this fatire, tells us, that Ariftophanes, the grammarian, being afked, what poem of Archilochus his Iambics he preferred before the rest; answered, the longest. His anfwer may justly be applied to this fifth fatire; which, being of a greater length than any of the reft, is alfo, by far, the most instructive: for this reafon I have felected it from all the others, and infcribed it to my learned mafter, Dr, Busby; to whom I am not only obliged myself for the best part of my own education, and that of my two fons, but have also received from him the first and truest tafte of Perfius. May he be pleafed to find in this tranflation, the gratitude, or at least fome small acknowledgment of his unworthy scholar, at the distance of forty-two years, from the time wheu I departed from under his tuition.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »