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Clamet, Io cives; non sit qui tollere curet.
Si curet quis opem ferre, et demittere funem ;
Qui scis, an prudens huc se dejecerit,† atque
Servari nollit? dicam; Siculique poetæ
Narrabo interitum. Deus immortalis haberi
Dum cupit Empedocles, ardentem frigidus Etnam
Insiluit: sit jus, liceatque perire poetis.
Invitum qui servat, idem facit occidenti.
Nec semel hoc fecit; nec si retractus erit, jam
Fiet homo, et ponet famosæ mortis amorem.
Nec satis apparet, cur versus factitet; utrum. 470
Minxerit in patrios cineres, an triste bidental
Moverit incestus: certè furit; ac velut ursus,
Objectos caveæ valuit si frangere clathros,
Indoctum doctumque fugat recitator acerbus.
Quem verò arripuit, tenet, occiditque legendo; 475
Non missura cutem, nisi plena cruoris, hirudo.

* Si quis curet.
Huc se projecerit.
Versus cur dictitet.

should cry out for a long time, "Come to my assistance, Oh my countrymen," not one would give himself the trouble of taking him up. Were any one to take pains to give him aid, and let him down a rope, how, do you know, but he threw himself in thither on purpose? I will say, and would relate the death of the famous Sicilian poet. Empedocles, while he was ambitious of being esteemed as an immortal god, in a cold fit leaped into Etna. Let poets have the privilege and license to die as they please. He who saves a man against his will, does the same as killing him. Neither is it the first time he has behaved in this manner; nor, were he to be forced from his purposes, would he now become a man, and lay aside his desire of such a famous death. Neither does it appear sufficiently, why he makes verses; whether he has staled upon his father's ashes, or sacrilegiously removed the sad trophy of the vindictive thunder: it is evident, however, that he is mad; and, like a bear that has burst through the grates, that shut up his den, this unmerciful rehearser chases the learned and unlearned; and whomsoever he lays hold on, he fastens on him, and kills him with reading; a leech, that will not quit the skin till satiated with blood.


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