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Viveret in nobis? summa delumbe saliva

Hoc natat in labris: et in udo est Mænas, et Attin:
Nec pluteum cædit, nec demorsos sapit ungues.
Sed quid opus teneras mordaci radere vero
Auriculas vide sis, ne majorum tibi fortè
Limina frigescant: sonat heic de nare canina
Littera. Per me equidem sint omnia protinus alba.
Nil moror: euge, omnes, omnes bene miræ eritis res.
Hoc juvat: heic, inquis, veto quisquam faxit oletum.
Pinge duos angues: pueri, sacer est locus: extra
Meiite, discedo. Secuit Lucilius urbem,

Te Lupe, te Muti, et genuinum fregit in illis.
Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
Tangit, et admissus circum præcordia ludit,
Callidus excusso populum suspendere naso.

Where is the spirit of our fathers fled,

Where the stern virtue by our country bred;
Where the exalted genius which inspired,

The force which nerved it, or the pride which fired?
Are these all gone? Does nature give offence,
Or chaste simplicity, or manly sense,

That themes like these, by poetasters sung,
Charm every ear, and hang on every tongue ?
M. Do you not tremble, my unguarded friend,
Lest some Patrician poet you offend?
Still will you wear that most uncourtly scowl,
Still snarl a critic, still a Cynic growl?

P. 'Tis well, 'tis well. Be all their doggerel read;
Let courts applaud, and princes nod the head;
The same dead colour runs through all they write,
A trackless waste of snow, where all is white.
But I no more their faults and failings blame,
Admired their works, immortal be their fame;
Be it resolved, that this be sacred ground,
That babbling critics be to silence bound;
Be it resolved, that when occasion calls,
Unlucky boys do not pollute these walls.
Yet let me say, when old Lucilius sung,
Invectives fell not garbled from his tongue.
With greater art sly Horace gain'd his end,
But spared no failing of his smiling friend;
Sportive and pleasant round the heart he play'd,
And wrapt in jests the censure he convey'd ;
With such address his willing victims seized,
That tickled fools were rallied, and were pleased.

Men' mutire nefas,nec clam,nec cum scrobe? nusquam.
Heic tamen infodiam. Vidi, vidi ipse, libelle:
Auriculas asini Mida rex habet. Hoc ego opertum,
Hoc ridere meum tam nil, nulla tibi vendo
Iliade. Audaci quicunque afflate Cratino,
Iratum Eupolidem prægrandi cum sene palles,
Aspice et hæc, si fortè aliquid decoctius audis ;
Inde vaporata lector mihi ferveat aure.

Non hic, qui in crepidas Graiorum ludere gestit
Sordidus, et lusco qui poscit dicere, lusce;
Sese aliquem credens, Italo quod honore supinus
Fregerit heminas Areti ædilis iniquas :

But why should I then bridle in my rage?
Why tremble thus to lash a guilty age?
Here let me dig—even here the truth unfold
(As once the gossip barber did of old),
Here to my little book I will declare,
Of ass's ears I've seen a royal pair.

Nor would I now have miss'd this single hit
For all the Iliads by the Accii writ.
If such there be who feel the force and fire,
Of bold Cratinus' free and manly lyre;
Who, while they see triumphant vice prevail,
O'er the stern page of Eupolis grow pale;
Or nightly loiter with that comic sage,
Who lash'd, amused, did all but mend his age;
Let them look here; and if by chance they find
Men well described, or manners well design'd,
Let them acknowledge that my breast has known
Fires not less pure, less generous than their own.
But let that sordid wretch approach not here,
Whose utmost wit is some offensive jeer;
Whose narrow mind nor sense, nor honour knows;
Who mocks the tear which from affliction flows;
Who never kindred sigh of sorrow heaves,
But dares to laugh when suffering nature grieves:
Hence let such readers fly, though on them wait,
An Edile's honours, or Proconsul's state :
And hence, far hence, be all that vulgar crew,
Whose theme still is the stable or the stew;
Who mock all science, all her laws despise,
Insult the good, and ridicule the wise;

Nec qui abaco numeros, et secto in pulvere metas
Scit risisse vafer, multum gaudere paratus,
Si Cynico barbam petulans Nonaria vellat.
His mane edictum, post prandia Callirhoën do.

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