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But, know, thou art observ’d: and there are
those Who, if they durst, would all thy secret fins
one to bear, and patient to receive, Thou tak’st the pleasure which thou can'st not
give. With odorous oil thy head and air are seek; And then thou kemb’st the tuzzes on thy cheek: Of these thy barbers take a costly care, While thy falt tail is overgrown with hair. Not all thy pincers, nor unmanly arts, Can smooth the roughness of thy shameful
parts. Not five, the strongest that the Circus breeds, 95 From the rank foil can root those wicked
Ver. 84. The depilation of thy modest part: &c.] Our author here taxes Nero covertly with that effeminate custom, now used in Italy, and especially by harlots, of smoothing their bellies, and taking off the hairs which grow about their secrets. In Nero's times they were pulled off with pinçers, but now they ufe a paste, which, if applied to those parts, when it is rea moved, carries away with it those excrescences.
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 satires, with his excellent illustrations,) 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 suppled first with soap, to ease thy pain, The stubborn fern springs up, and sprouts
again. Thus others we with defamations wound, While they ftab us; and so the jest goes round. . Vain are thy hopes, to 'scape censorious eyes; Truth will appear through all the thin disguise: Thou haft an ulcer which no leach can heal, Though thy broad shoulder-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'st thou cheat thy nerve, who cheat'st
the croud. But when they praise me, in the neighbour
hood, When the pleas'd people take me for a god, 119
the hairs before-mentioned; but to five strong men, such as were skillful in the five robust 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, described by Virgil, in his fifth Æneid ; and this was the most dangerous of all the rest. The second was the foot-race; the third the Discus, like the throwing a weighty ball, a sport now used in Cornwall, and other parts of England; we may see it daily praised in Red-Lionfields. The fourth was the Saltus, or leaping; and the fifth wrestling naked, and besmeared with oil. They who were practised in these five manly exercises, were called Nirrabros. Ver. 108.
thy nerve, &c.] That is, thou canst not deceive thy obscene part, which is weak, or impotent, though thou makett oftentation of thy performances with women.
Shall I refuse their incense? Not receive
If thou dost wealth, with longing eyes, be
And, greedily, art gaping after gold;
If, with thy guards, thou scour'st the streets by
night, And doft in murthers, rapes, and spoils de
light; Please not thyself, the flattering crowd to hear; 'Tis fulsome stuff to feed thy itching ear. Reject the nauseous 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
Ver. 122. If, with thy guards, &c.] Persius durft not have been so bold with Nero, as I dare now; and therefore there is only an intimation of that in him, which I publicly speak; I meau of Nero's walking the streets by night in disguise; and committing all sorts of outrages; for which he was sometimes well beaten.
Ver. 128. Survey thy soul, &c.] That is, look into thyself,
and examine thy own conscience, there thou shalt find, that how wealthy foever thou appearest to the world, yet thou art but a beggar, because thou art destitute of all virtues; which are the riches of the soul. This also was a paradox of the Stoa ick school.
The judicious Casaubon, in his proem to this satire,
tells us, that Aristophanes, the grammarian, being asked, what poem of Archilochus his Iambics he preferred before the rest ; answered, the longest. His answer may justly be applied to this fifth fatire ; which, being of a greater length than any of the rest, is also, by far, the most instrutive : for this reason I have selected it from all the others, and inscribed it to my learned master, 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 taste of Perhus. May he be pleased to find in this translation, the gratitude, or at least some small acknowledgment of his unworthy scholar, at the distance of forty-two years, from the time wheu I departed from under his tụition.