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Could fuch rude lines a Roman mouth become, Were any manly greatness left in Rome? Mænas and Atys in the mouth were bred; And never hatch'd within the lab'ring head: No blood from bitten nails those poems drew: But churn'd, like spittle, from the lips they flew. Friend. 'Tis fuftian all; 'tis execrably bad : But if they will be fools, must you be mad? Your fatires, let me tell you, are too fierce; The great will never bear fo blunt a verse. Their doors are barr'd against a bitter flout: Snarl, if you please, but you shall fnarl without. Expect fuch pay as railing rhimes deferve, Y' are in a very hopeful way to starve.

Perfias. Rather than fo, uncenfur'd let 'em be; All, all is admirably well, for me.

My harmless rhime shall 'scape the dire disgrace
Of common-fhoars, and ev'ry piffing-place.
Two painted ferpents shall, on high, appear;
'Tis holy ground; you must not urine here.
This shall be writ to fright the fry away,
Who draw their little bawbles, when they play.
Yet old Lucilius never fear'd the times,
But lafh'd the city, and diffected crimes.
Mutius and Lupus both by name he brought;
He mouth'd 'em, and betwixt his grinders caught.

Unlike in method, with conceal'd defign,
Did crafty Horace his low numbers join:
And, with a fly infinuating grace,

Laugh'd at his friend, and look'd him in the face:
Would raise a blush, where fecret vice he found';
And tickle, while he gently prob'd the wound.
With feeming innocence the crowd beguil'd;
But made the desperate paffes when he smil'd.

Could he do this, and is my Muse controll'd By fervile awe? Born free, and not be bold?" At least, I'll dig a hole within the ground; And to the trufty earth commit the found: The reeds fhall tell you what the

poet fears, King Midas has a fnout, and affes ears." This mean conceit, this darling mystery;

Which thou think'ft nothing, friend, thou fhalt

not buy,

Nor will I change for all the flafhy wit,

That flatt'ring Labeo in his Iliads writ.

Thou, if there be a thou in this bafe town, Who dares, with angry Eupolis, to frown; He, who, with bold Cratinus, is infpir'd With zeal, and equal indignation fir'd: Who, at enormous villany, turns pale, And fteers against it with a full-blown fail,

Like Ariftophanes, let him but smile

On this my honeft work, tho writ in homely

ftile:

And if two lines or three in all the vein
Appear lefs droffy, read thofe lines again.
May they perform their author's juft intent,
Glow in thy ears, and in thy breast ferment.
But from the reading of my book and me,
Be far, ye foes of virtuous poverty:
Who fortune's fault upon the poor can throw ;
Point at the tatter'd coat, and ragged fhoe:
Lay nature's failings to their charge, and jeer
The dim weak eye-fight, when the mind is

clear,

When thou thyself, thus infolent in ftate,
Art but, perhaps, fome country magistrate;
Whose pow'r extends no farther than to speak
Big on the bench, and fcanty weights to break,
Him, alfo, for my cenfor I difdain,

Who thinks all fcience, as all virtue vain;
Who counts geometry, and numbers, toys;
And, with his foot, the facred duft destroys:
Whose pleasure is to fee a ftrumpet tear
A Cynick's beard, and lug him by the hair,
VOL. IV.

A a

Such, all the morning, to the pleadings run;
But when the bus'nefs of the day is done,
On dice, and drink, and drabs, they spend their
afternoon.

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THE

SECOND SATIRE

OF

PERSIUS.

THE ARGUMENT.

This fatire contains a most grave and philofophical argument, concerning prayers and wishes. Indoubtedly it gave occafion to Juvenal's tenth Jatire; and both of them had their original from one of Plato's dialogues, called the Second Alcibiades. Our author has induced it with great mystery of art, by taking his rife from the birth-day of his friend; on which occafions, prayers were made, and facrifices offered by the native. Perfius commending the purity of his friend's vws, defcends to the impious and immoral requests of others. The fatire is divided into three parts: the first is the exordium to Macrinus, which the poet confines within the compafs of four verfes. The fecond relates to the matter of the prayers and vws, and an enumeration of thofe things, wherein men com

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