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النشر الإلكتروني


When your butler 's away and the weather 's so bad
That there's not a morsel of fish to be had,
A crust with some salt will soothe not amiss
The ravening stomach. You ask, "How is this?”
Because for delight, at the best, you must look
To yourself, and not to your wealth or your cook.
Work till you perspire: of all sauces 't is best.
The man that's with over-indulgence opprest,
White-livered and pursy, can relish no dish,
Be it ortolans, oysters, or finest of fish.
Still I scarcely can hope, if before you there were
A peacock and capon, you would not prefer
With he peacock to tickle your palate, you're so
Completely the dupes of mere semblance and show.
For to buy the rare bird only gold will avail,
And he makes a rare show with his fine painted tail,
As if this had to do with the matter the least !
Can you make of the feathers you prize so a feast?
And when the bird's cooked, what becomes of its splendor ?
Is his flesh than the capon's more juicy or tender ?
Mere appearance, not substance, then, clearly it is
Which bamboozles your judgment so much, then, for this.
So were any one now to assure us a treat
In cormorants roasted, as tender and sweet,
The young men of Rome are so prone to what's wrong,
They'd eat cormorants all to a man before long.

If pure and innocent I live, and dear
To those I love (self-praise is venial here),
All this I owe my father, who, though poor,
Lord of some few acres, and no more,
Was loath to send me to the village school,
Where the sons of men of mark and rule -
Centurions and the like — were wont to swarm,
With slate and satchel on sinister arm,
And the poor dole of scanty pence to pay
The starveling teacher on the quarter-day:
But boldly took me, when a boy, to Rome,
There to be taught all arts that grace the home
Of knight and senator. To see my dress,
And slaves attending, you'd have thought no less

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Than patrimonial fortunes old and great
Had furnished forth the charges of my state.
When with my tutors, he would still be by,
Nor ever let me wander from his eye;
And, in a word, he kept me chaste (and this
Is virtue's crown) from all that was amiss.
Nor such in act alone, but in repute,
Till even scandal's tattling voice was mute.
No dread had he that men might taunt or jeer,
Should I, some future day, as auctioneer,
Or, like himself, as tax-collector, seek
With petty fees my humble means to eke.
Nor should I then have murmured. Now I know
More earnest thanks, and loftier praise I owe.
Reason must fail me ere I cease to own
With pride that I have such a father known.
Nor should I stoop my birth to vindicate,
By charging, like the herd, the wrong on Fate,
That I was not of noble lineage sprung:
Far other creed inspires my heart and tongue,
For now should Nature bid all living men
Retrace their years and live them o'er again,
Each culling, as his inclination bent,
His parents for himself — with mine content,
I would not choose whom men endow, as great,
With the insignia and seats of state ;
And, though I seemed insane to vulgar eyes,
Thou wouldst perchance esteem me truly wise
In thus refusing to assume the care
Of irksome state I was unused to bear.


SHOULD then my humorous vein run wild, some latitude allow.
I learned the habit from the best of fathers, who employed
Some living type to stamp the vice he wished me to avoid.
Thus temperate and frugal when exhorting me to be,
And with the competence content which he had stored for me,
“ Look, boy,” he'd say,

66 at Albius's son observe his sorry plight! And Barrus, that poor beggar there! Say, are not these a sight To warn a man from squandering his patrimonial means ? The reasons why this should be shunned, and that be sought, The sages will explain. Enough for me if I uphold

The faith and morals handed down from our good sires of old ;
And while you need a guardian, keep your life pure, and your

name. When years have hardened, as they will, your judgment and your

frame, You'll swim without a float."

And so, with talk like this, he won And moulded me while yet a boy. Was something to be done, Hard it might be — “For this,” he'd say, “good warrant you can

quote," And then as model pointed to some public man of note. Or was there something to be shunned, then he would urge, “Can

you One moment doubt that acts like these are base and futile too, Which have to him and his such dire disgrace and trouble bred ? ” And as a neighbor's death appals the sick, and by the dread Of dying forces them to put upon their lusts restraint, So tender minds are oft deterred from vices by the taint They see them bring on others' names; 't is thus that I from those Am all exempt, which bring with them a train of shame and woes.


[Davus loquitur.)
YOU'RE praising up incessantly
The habits, manners, likings, ways,
Of people in the good old days ;
Yet should some god this moment give
To you the power like them to live,
You 're just the man to say, “I won't!”
Because in them you either don't
Believe, or else the courage lack
The truth through thick and thin to back;
And rather than its heights aspire,
Will go on sticking in the mire.

At Rome, you for the country sigh;
When in the country, to the sky
You — flighty as the thistle's down -
Are always crying up the town.
If no one asks you out to dine,
Oh, then the pot-au-feu's divine !
You "go out on coinpulsion only -
'T is so delightful to be lonely;

And drinking bumpers is a bore
You shrink from daily more and more."

But only let Mæcenas send Command for you “to meet a friend ;” Although the message comes so late The lamps are being lighted, straight, “ Where's my pomade? Look sharp!” you shout; “ Heavens! is there nobody about? Are you all deaf?” And stormy high

At all the household, off you fly.
When Milvius, and that set, anon
Arrive to dine, and find you gone,
With vigorous curses they retreat
Which I had rather not repeat.



It chanced that I, the other day
Was sauntering up the Sacred Way,
And musing, as my habit is,
Some trivial random fantasies,
When there comes rushing up a wight
Whom only by his name I knew.
"Ha! my dear fellow, how d'ye do?”
Grasping my hand, he shouted.
As times go, pretty well," said I ;
“ And you, I trust, can say the same.”
But after me as still he came,

Sir, is there anything," I cried,
“ You want of me?” “Oh,” he replied,
“I'm just the man you ought to know:
A scholar, author!”

66 Is it so ? For this I 'll like you all the more !”

Then, writhing to escape the bore, I'll quicken now my pace, now stop, And in my servant's ear let drop Some words; and all the while I feel Bathed in cold sweat from head to heel. “ Oh, for a touch," I moaned in pain, “Bolanus, of the madcap vein, To put this incubus to rout!” As he went chattering on about Whatever he descries or meets The city's growth, its splendor, size.

“You're dying to be off," he cries :

(For all the while I'd been stock dumb;) " I've seen it this half-hour. But come, Let's clearly understand each other; It's no use making ll this pother. My mind's made up to stick by you; So where you go, there I go too.” “ Don't put yourself," I answered, “pray, So very far out of your way. I'm on the road to see a friend Whom you don't know, that's near his end, Away beyond the Tiber far, Close by where Cæsar's gardens are." “I've nothing in the world to do, And what's a paltry mile or two? I like it: so I'll follow you!"

Down dropped my ears on hearing this, Just like a vicious jackass's, That's loaded heavier than he likes, But off anew my torment strikes :

“If well I know myself, you'll end With making of me more a friend Than Viscus, ay, or Varius; for Of verses who can run off more, Or run them off at such a pace? Who dance with such distinguished grace ? And as for singing, zounds!” says he, “ Hermogenes might envy me!

Here was an opening to break in : “Have you a mother, father, kin, To whom your life is precious ?” “None; I've closed the eyes of every one.” Oh, happy they, I inly groan; Now I am left, and I alone. Quick, quick despatch me where I stand; Now is the direful doom at hand, Which erst the Sabine beldam old, Shaking her magic urn, foretold In days when I was yet a boy: “Him shall no poison fell destroy, Nor hostile sword in shock of war, Nor gout, nor colic, nor catarrh. In fulness of time his thread Shall by a prate-apace be shred; So let him, when he's twenty-one, If he be wise, all babblers shun.”

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