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This fatire confifts of two distinct parts: the first

contains the praises of the Stoick philosopher Cornutus, master and tutor to our Persius. It also declares the love and piety of Perfus, to his welldeserving master; and the mutual friendship which continued betwirt them, after Perhus was now grown a man. As also his exhortation to young noblemen, that they would enter themselves into his institution. From hence he makes an artful transition into the second part of his subject : wherein he first complains of the sloth of scholars, and afterwards persuades them to the pursuit of their true liberty : here our author ercellently treats that parador of the Stoicks, which affirms, that the wise or virtuous man is only free, and that all vicious men are naturally Naves. And, in the illustration of this dogma, he takes up the remaining part of this inimitable fatire.








OF ancient use to poets it belongs,
To with themselves an hundred mouths and

tongues :
Whether to the well-lung'd tragedian's rage
They recommend the labours of the stage,
Or sing the Parthian, when transfix'd he lies, 5
Wrenching the Roman javelin from his thighs.


And why wouldst thou these mighty morsels

chuse, Of words unchew'd, and fit to choak the muse?


Let fustian poets with their ftuff be gone,
And fuck the mists that hang o’er Helicon; 10
When Progne or Thyestes' feast they write;
And, for the mouthing actor, verse indite.
Thou neither, like a bellows, swell'st thy face,
As if thou wert to blow the burning mass
Of melting ore; nor canst thou strain thy throat,
Or murmur in an undistinguish’d note,
Like rolling thunder, till it breaks the cloud,
And rattling nonsense is discharg'd aloud.
Soft elocution does thy ftile renown,
And the sweet accents of the peaceful gown: 20
Gentle or sharp, according to thy choice,
To laugh at follies, or to lash at vice.
Hence draw thy theme, and to the stage permit
Raw-head and Bloody-bones, and hands and

feet, Ragousts for Tereus or Thyestes drest; 'Tis talk enough for thee to expose a Roman feast.

PERSIUS. 'Tis not, indeed, my talent to engage In lofty trifles, or to swell my page


Ver. 11. Progne was wife to Tereus, king of Thracia : Tereus fell in love with Philomela, sister to Progne, ravished her, and cut out her tongue : in revenge of which, Progre killed Itys, her own fou by 'lereus, and served him up at a feast, to be eaten by his father.

Ibid. Thyestes and Atreus were brothers, both kings: Atreus to revenge himfelf of his unnatural brother, killed the fons of Thyestes, and invited him to eat them.


With wind and noise ; but freely to impart,
As to a friend, the secrets of my heart;
And, in familiar speech, to let thee know
How much I love thee, and how much I owe.
Knock on my heart: for thou haft skill to find
If it found folid, or be fill’d with wind;
And, through the veil of words, thou view'st

the naked mind. For this a hundred voices I desire, To tell thee what a hundred tongues would



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Yet never could be worthily exprest,
How deeply thou art seated in my breaft.
When first my childish robe relign'd the

And left me, unconfin'd, to live at large;
When now my golden Bulla (hung on high
To houshold gods) declar'd me past a boy ;
And my white shield proclaim'd my liberty;
When with

my wild companions, I could roll 45
From street to street, and fin without controul;
Just at that age, when manhood set me free,
I then depos'd myself, and left the reins to thee.

Ver. 40. By the childish robe is meant the Prætexta, or first gowns which ihe Roman children of quality wore: these were welted with purple, and on those welts were fastened the Bullæ, or little bells, which, when they came to the age of puberty, were hung up, and consecrated to the Lares, or household gods.

Ver. 44. The firft Shields which the Roman youths wore were white, and without any impress or device on them, to fhew they bad yet atchieved nothing in the wars. VOL. IV.



On thy wife bosom I repos'd my head,
And by my better Socrates was bred.
Then thy straight rule fet virtue in my light,
The crooked line reforming by the right.
My reason took the bent of thy command,
Was form’d and polish'd by thy skilful hand:
Long summer-days thy precepts I rehearse ; 55
And winter-nights were short in our converse:
One was our labour, one was our repose,
One frugal supper did our studies close.

Sure on our birth some friendly planet shone ;
And, as our fouls, our horoscope was one: 60
Whether the mounting Twins did heaven adorn,
Or, with the rising Balance we were born;
Both have the same impressions from above;
And both have Saturn's rage, repell’d hy Jove.
What tiar I know not, but some star I find,
Has given thee an ascendant o'er my



Ver. 50. Socrates by the Oracle was declared to be the wiselt of mankind : he instructed many of the Athenian

young noblemen in morality, and amongst the rest Alcibiades.

Ver. 60. Astrologers divide the heaven into twelve parts, according to the number of the twelve signs of the zodiack : the sign or constellation which rises in the east, at the birth of any nian, is called the ascendant: Persius, therefore, judges that Cornutus and he had the same, or a like nativity.

Ver. 61. The sign of Gemini.
Ver. 62. The sign of Libra.

Ver. 64. Astrologers have an axiom, that whatsoever Saturn ties is loosed by Jupiter: they account Saturn to be a planet of # malevolent nature, and Jupiter of a propitious influence.

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