Графични страници
PDF файл

would inculcate; and lashes some particular vice or folly (an art with which our lampooners are not much acquainted). But our poet being desirous to reform his own age, but not daring to attempt it by an overt-act of naming living persons, inveighs only against those who were infamous in the times imme. diately preceding his, whereby he not only gives a fair warning to great men, that their memory lies at the mercy of future poets and historians, but also, with a finer stroke of his peil, brands even the living, and personates them under dead mens names.

[ocr errors]

I have avoided as much as I could possibly the borrowed

learning of marginal notes and illustrations, and for that reason have translated this fatire somewhat largely. And freely own (if it be a fault) that I have likewise omitted most of the proper names, because I thought they would not much edify the reader. To conclude, if in two or three places I have deserted all the commentators, it is because they first deserted my author, or at least have left him in fo much obfcurity, that. 'too much room is left for guelling.


TILL shall I hear, and never quit the score,

Stunn'd with boarse Codrus’ Theseid, o’er and o'er?
Shall this man's elegies and t 'other's play
Unpunish'd murder a long summer's day?
Huge Telephus, a formidable page,
Cries vengeance; and Orekes' bulky rage


Unfatisfy'd with margins closely writ,
Foams o'er the covers, and not finish'd yet.
No man can take a more familiar note
Of his own home, than I of Vulcan's grot,
Or Mars his grove, or hollow winds that blow
From Ætna's top, or tortur'd ghosts below.
I know by rote the fam'd exploits of Greece ;
The Centaurs' fury, and the golden fleece ;
Through the thick shades th' eternal scribbler bauls,
And Nades the statues on their pedeftals.
The best and worst on the same theme employs
His Muse, and plagues us with an equal noise.

Provok'd by these incorrigible fools,
I left declaiming in pedantic schools ;
Where, with men-

-boys, I strove to get renown,
Advising Sylla to a private gown.
But, since the world with writing is possest,
I'll versify in spite ; and do my best,
To make as much waste paper as the rest.

But why I lift aloft the Satire's rod,
And tread the path which fam'd Lucilius trod,
Attend the causes which my Muse have led :
When sapless eunuchs mount the marriage-bed,
When mannish Mevia, that two handed whore,
Aftride on horse-back hunts the Tuscan boar,
When all our lords are by his wealth outvy'd,
Whose razor on my callow beard was try'd;
When I behold the spawn of conquer'd Nile,
Crispinus, both in birth and manners vile,


Pacing in pomp, .with cloak of Tyrian dye,
Chang'd oft a-day for needless luxury;
And finding oft occasion to be fann'd,
Ambitious to produce his lady-hand;
Charg'd with light summer-rings his fingers sweat,
Unable to support a gem of weight :
Such fulsom objects meeting every where,
'Tis hard to write, but harder to forbear.
To view so lewd a town, and to refrain,
What hoops of iron could my spleen contain !
When pleading Matho, borne abroad for air,
With his fat paunch fills his new-fashion'd chair,
And, after him, the wretch in pomp convey'd,
Whose evidence his lord and friend betray'd,
And but the wish'd occasion does attend,
From the poor nobles the last spoils to rend,
Whom ev'n spies dread as their fuperior fiend,
And bribe with presents; or, when presents fail,
They send their prostituted wives for bail :
When night-performance holds the place of merit,
And brawn and back the next of kin disherit;
For such good parts are in preferment's way,
The rich old madam never fails to pay
Her legacies, by nature's standard given,
One gains an ounce, another gains eleven :
A dear-bought bargain, all things duly weigh'd,
For which their thrice-concocted blood is paid,
With looks as wan, as he who in the brake
„At unawares has trode upon a snake ;



Or play'd at Lyons a declaiming prize,
For which the vanquish'd rhetorician dies.

What indignation boils within my veins,
When perjur'd guardians, proud with impious


Choak up the streets, too narrow for their trains !
Whose wards, by want betrey'd, to crimes are led
Too foul to name, too fulsom to be read!
When he who pill'd his province scapes the laws,
And keeps his money, though he loft his cause :
His fine begg'd off, contemus his infamy,
Can vise at twelve, and get him drunk ere three :
Enjoys his exile, and, condemn'd in vain,
Leaves thee, prevailing province, to complain ?
pa Such villainies rouz'd Horace into wrath :
And 'tis more noble to pursue his path,
Than an old tale of Diomede repeat,
Or labouring after Hercules to sweat,
Or wandering in the winding maze of Crete ;
Or with the winged smith aloft to fly,
Or fluttering perish with his foolish boy.

With what impatience must the Muse behold
The wife, by heş procuring husband sold !
For though the law makes null th' adulterer's deed
Of lands to her, the cuckold may

Who his taught eyes up to the cieling throws,
And sleeps all over but his wakeful nofe.
When he dares hope a colonel's command,
Whose coursers kepty ran out his father's land i




[ocr errors]

Who yet a stripling, Nero's chariot drove,
Whirl'd o'er the streets, while his vain master strove
With boasted art to please his eunuch-love.

Would it not make a modest author dare
To draw his table-book within the square,
And fill with notes, when, lolling at his ease,
Mæcenas-like, the happy rogue he sees
Borne by fix weary'd laves in open view,
Who cancel'd an old will, and forg'd a new :
Made wealthy at the snall expence of figning
With a wet seal, and a fresh interlining?
The lady, next, requires a lathing line,
Who squeez'd a toad into her husband's wine:
So well the fashionable medicine thrives,
That now 'tis practis'd ev'n by country wives :
Poisoning, without regard of fame or fear :
And spotted corpse are frequent on the bier.
Would'st thou to honours and preferments climb ?
Be bold in mischief, dare some mighty crime,
Which dungeons, death, or banishinent deserves :
For virtue is but drily prais’d, and starves.
Great men, to great crimes, owe their plate emboft,
Fair palaces, and furniture of colt;
And high commands : a sneaking sin is lost.
Who can behold that rank old letcher keep
His son's corrupted wife, and hope to sleep?
Or that male-harlot, or that unfledg'd boy,
Eager to fin, before he can enjoy?
If nature could not, anger would indite
Such woful stuff as I or Shadwell write.



[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »