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Nor place, nor perfons, now are facred held,
From their own grove the Muses are expell'd,
Into this lonely vale our steps we bend,
I and my fullen difcontented friend :
The marble caves, and aquæducts, we view;
But how adulterate now, and different from the true!
How much more beauteous had the fountain been
Embellish'd with her firft created green,、
Where crystal streams through living turf had run,
Contented with an urn of native stone!
Then thus Umbritius (with an angry frown,
And looking back on this degenerate town,)
Since noble arts in Rome have no fupport,
And ragged virtue not a friend at court,
No profit rifes from th' ungrateful stage,
My poverty encreafing with my age,
'Tis time to give my just difdain a vent,
And, curfing, leave fo bafe a government.
Where Dedalus his borrow'd wings laid by,
To that obfcure retreat I chufe to fly :
While yet few furrows on my face are feen,
While I walk upright, an old age is green,
And Lachefis has fomewhat left to spin.
Now, now, 'tis time to quit this curfed place,
And hide from villains my too honest face :
Here let Arturius live, and fuch as he:
Such manners will with fuch a town agree.
Knaves, who in full aflemblies have the knack
Of turning truth to lies, and white to black
Can hire large houfes, and oppress the poor
By farm'd excife; can cleanse the common-fhore;
And rent the fishery; can bear the dead;
And teach their eyes diffembled tears to shed,
All this for gain; for gain they fell their head.
Thefe fellows (fee what fortune's power can do)
Were once the minstrels of a country show :
Follow'd the prizes through each paltry town,
By trumpet-cheeks and bloated faces known.
But now, grown rich, on drunken holidays,
At their own costs exhibit public plays :
Where, influenc'd by the rabble's bloody will,
With thumbs bent back, they popularly kill.
From thence return'd, their fordid avarice rakes.
In excrements again, and hires the jakes.
Why hire they not the town, not every thing,
Since fuch as they have fortune in a string?
Who, for her pleasure, can her fools advance;
And tofs them topmoft on the wheel of chance.
What 's Rome to me, what business have I there,
I who can neither lie, nor falsely swear ?
Nor praise my patron's undeferving rhymes,
Nor yet comply with him, nor with his times;
Unfkill'd in fchemes by planets to foreshow,
Like canting rascals, how the wars will go :
I neither will, nor can prognofticate
To the young gaping heir, his father's fate:
Nor in the intrails of a toad have pry'd,
Nor carry'd bawdy prefents to a bride:
For want of thefe town-virtues, thus, alone,
I go conducted on my way by none;
Like a dead member from the body rent;
Maim'd, and unuseful to the government.
Who now is lov'd, but he who loves the times,
Confcious of close intrigues, and dipt in crimes;
Labouring with fecrets which his bofom burn,
Yet never must to public light return?
They get reward alone who can betray:
For keeping honeft counfels none will pay.
He who can Verres, when he will, accuse,
The purfe of Verres may at pleasure use:
But let not all the gold which Tagus hides,
And pays the fea in tributary tides,
Be bribe fufficient to corrupt the breast;
Or violate with dreams thy peaceful reft.
Great men with jealous eyes the friend behold,
Whofe fecrecy they purchase with their gold.
I hafte to tell thee, nor fhall fhame oppofe
What confidence our wealthy Romans chofe :
And whom I most abhor: to speak my mind,
I hate, in Rome, a Grecian town to find :
To fee the fcum of Greece tranfplanted here,
Receiv'd like gods, is what I cannot bear.
Nor Greeks alone, but Syrians here abound,
Obfcene Orontes, diving under ground,
Conveys his wealth to Tyber's hungry fhores,
And fattens Italy with foreign whores :
Hither their crooked harps and customs come:
F All find receipt in hospitable Rome,
The barbarous harlots crowd the public place :
Go, fools, and purchase an unclean embrace :
The painted mitre court, and the more painted face.
Old Romulus, and father Mars, look down,
Your herdfman primitive, your homely clown,
Is turn'd a beau in a loose tawdry gown.
His once unkem'd and horrid locks behold
Stilling sweet oil: his neck inchain'd with gold:
Aping the foreigners in every dress;
Which, bought at greater coft, becomes him lefs.
Meantime they wifely leave their native land,
From Sycion, Samos, and from Alaband,
And Amydon, to Rome they fwarm in fhoals
So fweet and eafy is the gain from fools.
Poor refugees at firft, they purchase here:
And, foon as denizen'd, they domineer.
Grow to the great, a flattering fervile rout:
Work themselves inward, and their patrons out.
Quick-witted, brazen-fac'd, with fluent tongues,
Patient of labours, and diffembling wrongs.
Riddle me this, and guefs him if you can,
Who bears a nation in a single man ?`
A cook, a conjurer, a rhetorician,
A painter, pedant, a geometrician,
A dancer on the ropes, and a physician.
All things the hungry Greek exactly knows :
And bid him go to heaven, to heaven he goes.
In short, no Scythian, Moor, or Thracian born,
But in that town which arms and arts adorn,
Shall he be plac'd above me at the board,
In purple cloath'd, and lolling like a lord?
Shall he before me fign, whom t' other day
A fmall craft veffel hither did convey;
Where ftow'd with prunes, and rotten figs, he lay?
How little is the privilege become
Of being born a citizen of Rome!
The Greeks get all by fulfom flatteries;
A moft peculiar stroke they have at lies.
They make a wit of their infipid friend;
His blobber-lip and beetle-brows commend;
His long crane-neck and narrow fhoulders praise ;
You'd think they were describing Hercules.
A creaking voice for a clear treble goes;
Though harfher than a cock that treads and crows.
We can as grofsly praife; but, to our grief,
No flattery but from Grecians gains belief.
Befides thefe qualities, we must agree
They mimic better on the stage than we :
The wife, the whore, the fhepherdefs, they play,
In fuch a free, and fuch a graceful way,
That we believe a very woman shown,
And fancy fomething underneath the gown.
But not Antiochus, nor Stratocles,
Our ears and ravifh'd eyes can only please :
The nation is compos'd of fuch as thefe.
All Greece is one comedian: laugh, and they
Return it louder than an afs can bray :
Grieve, and they grieve; if you weep filently,
There feems a filent echo in their eye :
They cannot mourn like you, but they can cry.