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CORNUTUS. Nature is ever various in her frame: Each has a different will, and few the fame : The greedy merchants, led by lucre, run To the parch'd Indies, and the rising sun;

70 From thence hot pepper, and rich drugs they

bear, Bartering for spices their Italian ware ; The lazy glutton safe at home will keep, Indulge his sloth, and batten with his sleep: One bribes for high preferments in the state ; 75 A second shakes the box, and sits


late: Another makes the bed, diffolving there, Till knots


his gouty joints appear, And chalk is in his crippled fingers found; Rots like a dodderd oak, and piecemeal falls to

ground; Then his lewd follies he would late repent; And his past years, that in a mist were spent.



But thou art pale, in nightly studies, grown, To make the Stoick institutes thy own; Thou long, with studious care, hast till’d our

youth, And sown our well-purg'd ears with wholesome



Ver. 84. Zeno was the great master of the Stoick philofophy, and Cleanthes was fecond to him in reputation. Cornutus, who was master or tutor to Persius, was of the fame school.

From thee both old and young, with profit,

learn The bounds of good and evil to discern.

CORNUTUS. Unhappy he who does this work adjourn, And to to-morrow would the search delay: 90 His lazy morrow will be like to-day.


But is one day of ease too much to borrow?


Yes, sure: for yesterday was once to-morrow. That yesterday is gone, and nothing gain'd: And all thy fruitless days will thus be drain'd ; 95 For thou hast more to-morrows yet to ask, And wilt be ever to begin thy talk ; Who, like the hindmost chariot-wheels, art curst, Still to be near, but ne'er to reach the first.

O freedom ! first delight of human kind ! 100 Not that which bondmen from their masters

find, The privilege of doles; not yet to inscribe Their names in this or l’other Roman tribe:

Ver. 102. When a Nave was made free, he had the privilege of a Roman born, which was to have a Mare in the donatives or doles of bread, &c. which were distributed by the magiftrates amongst the people.

Ver. 103. The Roman people was distributed into several tribes: he who was made free was enrolled into some one of them, and thereupon enjoyed the common privileges of a Roman citizen.


That false enfranchisement with ease is found :
Slaves are made citizens by turning round. 105
How, replies one, can any be more free?
Here's Dama, once a groom of low degree,
Not worth a farthing, and a fot beside ;
So true a rogue, for lying's fake he ly’d:
But, with a turn, a freeman he became;
Now Marcus Dama is his worship’s name.
Good gods ! who would refuse to lend a sum,
If wealthy Marcus furety will become !
Marcus is made a judge, and for a proof
Of certain truth, He said it, is enough.
A will is to be prov'd ; put in your claim;
'Tis clear, if Marcus has subscrib’d his name.
This is true liberty, as I believe ;
What can we farther from our caps receive,
Than as we please without controul to live ?
Not more to noble Brutus could belong.
Hold, says the Stoick, your affumption's wrong:




Ver. 105. The master, who intended to infranchise a Bave, carried him before the city prætor, and turned him round, uling these words, “ I will that this man be free.”

Ver. 111. Slaves had only one name before their freedom ; after it they were admitted to a Prænomen, like our christened names; fo Dama is now called Marcus Dama.

Ver. 117. At the proof of a testament, the magiftrates were to subscribe their names, as allowing the legality of the will.

Ver. 118. Slaves, when they were set free, had a cap given them, in sign of their liberty.

Ver. 121. Brutus freed the Roman people from the tyranny of the Tarquins, and changed the form of the government into a glorious commonwealth.


I grant true freedom you have well defin'd :
But, living as you lift, and to your mind,
Are loosely tack’d, and must be left behind. 125
What! since the prætor did my fetters loose,
And left me freely at my own dispose,
May I not live without controul and awe,
Excepting still the letter of the law ?

Hear me with patience, while thy mind I free
Froin those fond notions of false liberty :
'Tis not the prætor's province to bestow
True freedom; nor to teach mankind to know
What to ourselves, or to our friends, we owe.
He could not set thee free from cares and strife,
Nor give the reins to a lewd vicious life :
As well be for an afs a harp might string,
Which is against the reason of the thing ;
For reason still is whispering in your ear,
Where you are sure to fail, the attempt forbear.
No need of public fanctions this to bind, 141
Which Nature has implanted in the mind :
Not to pursue the work, to which we're not

design'd. Unkill'd in hellebore, if thou Mould'st try To mix it, and mistake the quantity, The rules of physic would against thee cry.



Ver. 129. The text of the Roman laws was written in red letters, which was called the Rubrick, tranlated here, in more general words, “ The Letter of the Law.


The high-lhoo'd ploughman, Nould be quit

the land, To take the pilot's rudder in his hand, Artless of stars, and of the moving fand, The gods would leave him to the wayes and

wind, And think all shame was lost in human kind. Tell me, my friend, from whence liadft thou

the skill, So nicely to diftinguilh good from ill? Or by the found to judge of gold and brass, What piece is tinkers' metal, what will pass? 155 And what thou art to follow, what to fly, This to condemn, and that to ratify ? When to be bountiful, and when to spare, But never craving, or oppress’d with care ? The baits of gifts, and money to despise, And look on wealth with undefiring eyes ? When thou canst truly call these virtues thine, Be wife and free, by heaven's consent, and mine.

But thou, who lately of the common strain, Wert one of us, if still thou dost retain The same ill habits, the fame follies too, Glofs'd over only with a faint-like thow, Then I resume the freedom which I

gave, Still thou art bound to vice, and still a slave. Thou can'st not wag thy finger, or begin “ The least light motion, but it tends to fin."




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