« ПредишнаНапред »
And thou who gap'ít for my estate, draw near;
For I would whisper somewhat in thy ear.
Hear's thou the news, my friend ? th' express is come
With laurel'd letters from the camp to Rome :
Cæfar falutes the queen and senate thus:
My arms are on the Rhine victorious.
From mourning altars sweep the dust away:
Ceafe fafting, and proclaim a fat thanksgiving-day.
The goodly empress, jollily inclin'd,
Is to the welcome bearer wondrous kind :
And, setting her good housewifery aside,
Prepares for all the pageantry of pride.
The captive Germans, of gigantic size,
Are rank'd in order, and are clad in frize :
The spoils of kings and conquer'd camps we boast,
Their arms in trophies hang on the triumphal post.
Now, for so many glorious actions done
In foreign parts, and mighty battles won :
For peace at home, and for the public wealth,
I mean to crown a bowl to Cæsar's health:
Besides, in gratitude for such high matters,
Know I have vow'd two hundred gladiators.
Say, would'st thou hinder me from this expence;
I disinherit thee, if thou dar'st take offence.
Yet more, a public largess I design
Of oil and pies, to make the people dine :
Control me 110t, for fear I change my will.
And yet methinks I hear thee grumbling still,
You give as if you were the Persian king :
Your land does not so large revenues bring.
Well; on my terms' thou wilt not be
heir ? If thou car'st little, less shall be my care : Were none of all my father's sisters left: Nay, were I of my mother's kin bereft : None by an uncle's or a grandàme's fide, Yet I could some adopted" heir provide. I need but take my journey half a day From haughty Rome, and at Aricia stay, Where Fortune throws poor Manius in my way. Him will I choose : What! him of humble birth, Obscure, a foundling, and a son of earth? Obscure? Why pr’ythee what am I? I know My father, grandfire, and great-grandire too. If farther I derive my pedigree, I can but guess beyond the fourth degree. The rest of my forgotten ancestors Were fons of earth, like him, or fons of whores. Yet, why would'st thou, old covetous wretch,
aspire To be my heir, who might'st have been
In Nature's race, should'st thou demand of me
My torch, when I in course run after thee?
Think I approach thee, like the God of gain,
With wings on head and heels, as poets feign :
Thy moderate fortune from my gift receive ;
Now fairly take it, or as fairly leave.
But take it as it is, and ask no more.
What, when thou hast embezzled all thy store ?
Where 's all thy father left ? 'Tis true, I grant,
Some I hàve Mortgag d, to supply my want:
The legacies of Tadius too are flown;
All spent, and on the self-fame errand gone.
How little then to my poor share will fall !
Little indeed; but yet that little's all.
Nor tell me, in a dying father's tone,
Be careful still of the main chance, my son;
Put out thy principal in trusty hands:
Live on the use; and never dip thy lands :
But yet what's left for me? What 's left, my friend!
Ask that again, and all the rest I spend.
Is not my fortunes at my own command ?
Pour oil, and pour it with a plenteous hand,
Upon my sallads, boy: shall I be fed
With fodden nettles, and a sing’d sow's head ?
'Tis holiday ; provide me better cheer ;
'Tis holiday, and shall be round the year.
Shall I my houshold gods and genius cheat,
To make him rich, who grudges me my meat?
That he may loll at ease; and, pamper'd high,
When I am laid, may feed on giblet-pie?
And, when his throbbing lust extends the vein,
Havc wherewithal his whores to entertain ?
Shall I in homespun cloth be clad, that he
His paunch in triumph may before him fee?
Go, miser, go; for lucre fell thy soul; Truck wares for wares, and trudge from pole to
pole: That men may say, when thou art dead and gone, See what a vaft eftate he left his son!
How large a family of brawny knaves,
Well fed, and fat as Cappadocian Naves !
Increase thy wealth, and double all thy store;
'Tis done: now double that, and swell the score;
thousand add ten thousand more. Then say, Chryfippus, thou who would'st nfine Thy heap, where I shall put an end to mine, 207.