Page images

Of litters thick besiege the donor's gate,

And begging lords and teeming ladies wait

The promis'd dole: nay, fome have learn'd the trick
To beg for abfent persons; feign them fick,
Clofe mew'd in their fedans, for fear of air:
And for their wives produce an empty chair.
This is my spouse: dispatch her with her share.
'Tis Galla: let her ladyship but peep :
No, Sir, 'tis pity to disturb her fleep..

Such fine employments our whole days divide:
The falutations of the morning-tide

Call up the fun; thofe ended, to the hall
We wait the patron, hear the lawyers baul;
Then to the ftatues; where, amidst the race
Of conquering Rome, fome Arab fhews his face,
Infcrib'd with titles, and profanes the place;
Fit to be pifs'd against, and fomewhat more.
The great man, home-conducted, shuts his door;
Old clients, weary'd out with fruitless care,
Difmifs their hopes of eating, and despair.
Though much against the grain forc'd to retire,
Buy roots for fupper, and provide a fire.

Meantime his lordship lells within at ease,
Pampering his paunch with foreign rarities;
Both fea and land are ranfack'd for the feast;
And his own gut the fole invited gueft..
Such plate, fuch tables, dishes drest so well,
That whole eftates are swallow'd at a meal.
Ev'n parafites are banish'd from his board
(At once a fordid and luxurious lord):




Prodigious throat, for which whole boars are drest
(A creature form'd to furnish out a feast).
But prefent punishment purfues his maw,
When furfeited and fwell'd, the peacock raw
He bears into the bath; whence want of breath,
Repletions, apoplex, inteftate death.

His fate makes table-talk, divulg'd with fcorn,
And he, a jeft, into his grave is born.

No age can go beyond us; future times

Can add no farther to the prefent crimes.
Our fons but the fame things can wish and do;
Vice is at ftand, and at the highest flow.

Then, Satire, fpread thy fails; take all the winds can


Some may, perhaps, demand what Mufe can yield
Sufficient ftrength for such a spacious field?
From whence can be deriv'd fo large a vein,
Bold truth to speak, and fpoken to maintain?
When god-like Freedom is fo far bereft
The noble mind, that fcarce the name is left?
Ere fandalum magnatum was begot,

No matter if the great forgave or not:
But if that honeft licence now you rake,
If into rogues omnipotent you take,
Death is your doom, impal'd upon a stake;
Smear'd o'er with wax, and fet on blaze, to light
The streets, and make a dreadful fire by night

Shall they who drench'd three uncles in a draught Of poisonous juice be then in triumph brought,





Make lanes among the people where they go,
And, mounted high on downy chariots, throw
Disdainful glances on the crowd below?
Be filent, and beware, if fuch you fee;
'Tis defamation but to say, That's he!
Against bold Turnus the great Trojan arm,
Amidft their strokes the poet gets no harm:
Achilles may in epic verse be slain,
And none of all his myrmidons complain :
Hylas may drop his pitcher, none will cry;
Not if he drown himself for company :
But when Lucilius brandishes his pen,
And flashes in the face of guilty men,
A cold fweat ftands in drops on every part;
And rage fuccceds to tears, revenge to fmart:
Mufe, be advis'd; 'tis paft confidering-time,
When enter'd once the dangerous lifts of rhime:
Since none the living villains dare implead,
Arraign them in the perfons of the dead.


[ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

THE ftory of this fatire speaks itfelf. Umbritius, the fuppofed 'friend of Juvenal, and himself a poet, is leaving Rome, and retiring to Cumæ. Our au thor accompanies him out of town. Before they take leave of each other, Umbritius tells his friend. the reafons which oblige him to lead a private life, in an obfcure place. He complains that an honeft man cannot get his bread at Rome: that none but flatterers make their fortunes there :: that Grecians and other foreigners raise themfelves by thofe fordid arts which he defcribes, and against which he bitterly inveighs. He reckons up the feveral inconveniencies which arife from a city-life; and the many dangers which attend it.. Upbraids the noblemen with covetousness, for not rewarding good poets; and arraigns the government for ftarving them. The great art of this fatire

[ocr errors]

fatire is particularly fhown, in common-places; and drawing in as many vices, as could naturally fall into the compass of it.


RIEV'D though I am an ancient friend to lofe,
I like the folitary feat he chofe:

In quiet Cumæ fixing his repose:

Where far from noify Rome fecure he lives,

And one more citizen to Sibyl gives.

The road to Bajæ, and that soft recess
Which all the gods with all their bounty bless.
Though I in Prochyta with greater ease
Could live, than in a ftreet of palaces.
What fcenes fo defert, or fo full of fright,
As towering houfes tumbling in the night,
And Rome on fire beheld by its own blazing light?
But worse than all the clattering tiles, and worse
Than thoufand padders, is the poet's curfe.
Rogues that in dog-days cannot rhime forbear:
But without mercy read, and make you hear.

Now while my friend, just ready to depart,
Was packing all his goods in one poor cart;
He ftop'd a little at the Conduit-gate,
Where Numa model'd once the Roman-state,
In mighty councils with his nymph retir'd
Though now the facred fhades and founts are hir'd
By banish'd Jews, who their whole wealth can lay
In a small basket, on a wifp of hay;

Yet fuch our avarice is, that every tree
Pays for his head; nor fleep itfelf is free:


« PreviousContinue »