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THE

SATIRES OF PERSIUS.

SATIRE IV.

SATIRA IV.

VI-16.

1

Rem populi tractas? barbatum hæc crede magistrum
Dicere, sorbitio tollit quem dira cicutæ.
Quo fretus ? dic hoc magni pupille Pericli.
Scilicet ingenium, et rerum prudentia velox
Ante pilos venit : dicenda, tacendaque calles.
Ergo ubi commota fervet plebecula bile,
Fert animus calidæ fecisse silentia turbæ
Majestate manus : quid deinde loquêre ? Quirites,
Hoc, puto, non justum est, illud male, rectius illud.
Scis etenim justum gemina suspendere lance
Ancipitis libræ : rectum discernis, ubi inter
Curva subit, vel cum fallit pede regula varo :
Et potis es nigrum vitio præfigere theta.
Quin tu igitur summa nequicquam pelle decorus
Ante diem blando caudam jactare popello
Desinis, Anticyras melior sorbere meracas ?

V. 1—26.

Imagine that divine Athenian sage (At once the shame and honour of his age) Who by the malice of his foes belied, A victim to their rage by hemlock died, In scoffing language to have thus address'd That froward youth whom Athens once caress'd. Art thou a statesman ? wouldst thou hold the helm i And rule like Pericles the subject realm? Does sense mature, ere life has reach'd its noon? Does thy young judgment bring forth fruit so soon? Ere yet the down has gather'd on thy cheek, Art thou instructed how, and when, to speak ? Canst thou the tumult's mingled roar restrain, Silence command, nor wave the hand in vain ; On public good the public mind enlight, And lift the torch of truth where all is night? No doubt, thou canst in thy experience trust, Say what is right, and point out what is just; No doubt, thy way thou always canst discern, And men and manners thou hast not to learn : Thou holdest virtue at its proper price ; Fixing thy stigma on the brow of vice. But therefore cease, at every public place, To show the beauties of thy form and face. From all these idle practices refrain, And take to hellebore to clear thy brain.

Quæ tibi summa boni est ? uncta vixisse patella
Semper et assiduo curata cuticula sole.
Expecta : haud aliud respondeat hæc anus. I nunc.
Dinomaches égo sum, suffla, sum candidus. Esto:
Dum ne deterius sapiat pannucea Baucis,
Cum bene discincto cantaverit ocynna vernæ.
Ut nemo in sese tentat descendere, nemo:
Sed præcedenti spectatur mantica tergo.
Quæsieris. Nostrin' Vectidi prædia? cujus ?
Dives arat Curibus quantum non milvus oberret :
Hunc ais ? hunc diis iratis, genioque sinistro:
Qui quandoque jugum pertusa ad compita figit,
Seriolæ veterem metuens deradere linum,
Ingemit, Hoc bene sit: tunicatum cum sale mordens

What have thy pleasures been? what is thy care?
A sumptuous table, and luxurious fare;
Of thy fine skin the whiteness to display,
Preserved untann'd amidst the blaze of day.
But for thy mind ;-old Baucis at her stall,
Who ne'er did aught but beets and cabbage bawl,
Knows just as much--might place as well as thou,
The statesman's laurel on her wrinkled brow.
None looks at home ; none seeks himself to know
(The only knowledge undesired below).
But each intent regards his neighbour's mind,
Sees other's faults, and to his own is blind.
That man thou blamest ; (him, whose lands extend
Far as a kite its longest course can bend ;)
And him thou wouldst consign to every woe
Which gods award, or wretched mortals know;
Because he grudges annual presents due,
To frugal Pales and her rustic crew;
Gives to his wearied hinds a scanty meal,
And dines himself upon an onion peel.
Lo, at thine elbow an accuser stands,
Who thy dark deed with foul opprobrium brands ;
That deed, which covers even vice with shame,
While outraged Nature reddens at the name.
[How truly fair was bounteous Nature's plan!
How wisely suited to the state of man!
For him her hand had traced a flowery way;
Mild was her reign, and gentle was her sway :
But fury passions, owning no control,
Seized on her empire, and usurp'd the soul.

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