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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.
INSCRIBED TO THE
REVEREND DR. BUSBY.
PERSIUS AND CORNUTUS.
OF ancient use to poets it belongs,
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,
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,
the naked mind. For this a hundred voices I desire, To tell thee what a hundred tongues would
Yet never could be worthily exprest,
my wild companions, I could roll 45
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,
Sure on our birth some friendly planet shone ;
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. 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.