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unbidden guests. Above [Nasidienus] himself was Nomentanus, below him Porcius, ridiculous for swallowing whole cakes at once. Nomentanus [was present] for this purpose, that if any thing should chance to be unobserved, he might show it with his pointing finger. For the other company, we, I mean, eat [promiscuously] of fowls, oysters, fish, which had concealed in them a juice far different from the known: as presently appeared, when he reached to me the entrails of a plaice and of a turbot, such as had never been tasted before. After this he informed me that honey-apples were most ruddy when gathered under the waning moon. What difference this makes you will hear best from himself. Then [says] Vibidius to Balatro; "If we do not drink to his cost, we shall die in his debt:" and he calls for larger tumblers. A paleness changed the countenance of our host, who fears nothing so much as hard drinkers: either because they are more freely censorious; or because heating wines deafen the subtle [judgment of the] palate. Vibidius and Balatro, all following their example, pour whole casks into Alliphanians; the guests of the lowest couch did no hurt to the flagons. A lamprey is brought in, extended in a dish, in the midst of floating shrimps. Whereupon "This," says the master, was caught when pregnant which, after having young, would have been less delicate in its flesh." For these a sauce is mixed up; with oil which the best cellar of Venafrum pressed, with pickle from the juices of the Iberian fish, with wine of five years old, but produced on this side the sea, while it is boiling (after it is boiled, the Chian wine suits it so well, that no other does better than it) with white pepper, and vinegar which, by being vitiated, turned sour the Methymnean grape. I first showed the way to stew in it green rockets and bitter elecampane: Curtillus, [to stew in it] the seaurchins unwashed, as being better than the pickle which the sea shell-fish yields.

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In the mean time the suspended tapestry made a heavy downfall upon the dish, bringing along with it more black dust than the north wind ever raises on the plains of Campania. Having been fearful of something worse, as soon as we perceived there was no danger, we rise up. Rufus, hanging his head, began to weep, as if his son

had come to an untimely death: what would have been the end, had not the discreet Nomentanus thus raised his friend! "Alas! O fortune, what god is more cruel to us than thou? How dost thou always take pleasure in sporting with human affairs!" Varius could scarcely smother a laugh with his napkin. Balatro, sneering at every thing, observed: "This is the condition of human life, and therefore a suitable glory will never answer your labour. Must you be rent and tortured with all manner of anxiety, that I may be entertained sumptuously; lest burned bread, lest ill-seasoned soup should be set before us; that all your slaves should wait, properly attired and neat? Add, besides, these accidents; if the hangings should tumble down, as just now, if the groom slipping with his foot should break a dish. But adversity is wont to disclose, prosperity to conceal, the abilities of a host as well as of a general." To this Nasidienus: "f May the gods give you all the blessings, whatever you can pray for, you are so good a man and so civil a guest; " and calls for his sandals. Then on every couch you might see divided whispers buzzing in each secret ear.

I would not choose to have seen any theatrical entertainments sooner than these things. But come, recount what you laughed at next. While Vibidius is inquiring of the slaves, whether the flagon was also broken, be cause cups were not brought when he called for them and while a laugh is continued on feigned pretences, Balatro seconding it you, Nasidienus, return with an altered countenance, as if to repair your ill-fortune by art. Then followed the slaves, bearing on a large charger the several limbs of a crane besprinkled with much salt, not without flour, and the liver of a white goose fed with fattening figs, and the wings of hares torn off, as a much daintier dish than if one eats them with the loins. Then we saw blackbirds also set before us with scorched breasts, and ring-doves without the rumps: delicious norsels! did not the master give us the history of their causes and natures: whom we in revenge fled from, so as to taste nothing at all; as if Canidia, more venomous than African serpents, had poisoned them with her breath.






The poet renounces all verses of a ludicrous turn, and resolves to apply himself wholly to the study of philosophy, which teaches to bridle the desires and to postpone every thing to virtue.

Mæcenas, the subject of my earliest song, justly entitled to my latest, dost thou seek to engage me again in the old lists, having been tried sufficiently, and now presented with the foils? My age is not the same, nor is my genius. Veianius, his arms consecrated on a pillar of Hercules' temple, lives snugly retired in the country, that he may not from the extremity of the sandy ampitheatre so often supplicate the people's favour. Some one seems frequently to ring in my purified ear: "Wisely in time dismiss the aged courser, lest, an object of derision, he miscarry at last, and break his wind." Now therefore I lay aside both verses, and all other sportive matters; my study and inquiry is after what is true and fitting, and I am wholly engaged in this: I lay up, and collect rules which I may be able hereafter to bring into use. And lest you should perchance ask under what leader, in what house [of philosophy], I enter myself a pupil: addicted to swear implicitly to the ipse-dixits of no particula master, wherever the weather drives me, I am carried a guest. One while I become active, and am plunged in the waves of state affairs, a maintainer and a rigid partien of strict virtue; then again I relapse insensibly into Aristippus' maxims, and endeavour to adapt circum

stances to myself, not myself to circumstances. As the night seems long to those with whom a mistress has broken her appointment, and the day slow to those who owe their labour; as the year moves lazy with minors, whom the harsh guardianship of their mothers confines; so all that time to me flows tedious and distasteful, which delays my hope and design of strenuously executing that which is of equal benefit to the poor and to the rich, which neglected will be of equal detriment to young and to old. It remains, that I conduct and comfort myself by these principles: your sight is not so piercing as that of Lynceus; you will not however therefore despise being anointed, if you are sore-eyed: nor because you despai of the muscles of the invincible Glycon, will you be careless of preserving your body from the knotty gout. There is some point to which we may reach, if we can go no further. Does your heart burn with avarice, and a wretched desire of more? Spells there are, and incantations, with which you may mitigate this pain, and rid yourself of a great part of the distemper. Do you swell with the love of praise? There are certain purgations which can restore you, a certain treatise being perused hrice with purity of mind. The envious, the choleric, the indolent, the slave to wine, to woman-none is so savage that he cannot be tamed, if he will only lend a patient ear to discipline.

It is virtue, to fly vice; and the highest wisdom, to have lived free from folly. You see with what toil of mind and body you avoid those things which you believe to be the greatest evils, a small fortune and a shameful repulse. An active merchant, you run to the remotest Indies, fleeing poverty through sea, through rocks, through flames. And will you not learn, and hear, and be advised by one who is wiser, that you may no longer regard those things which you foolishly admire and wish for? What little champion of the villages and of the streets would scorn being crowned at the great Olympic games, who had the hopes and happy opportunity of victory without toil? Silver is less valuable than gold, gold than virtue. "O citizens, citizens, money is to be sought first; virtue after riches:" this the highest Janus from the lowest inculcates; young men and old repeat these

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maxims, having their bags and account-books hung on the left arm. You have soul, have breeding, have eloquence and honour: yet if six or seven thousand sesterces be wanting to complete your four hundred thousand, you shall be a plebeian. But boys at play cry. You shall be king, if you will do right." Let this be a [man's] brazen wall, to be conscious of no ill, to turn pale with no guilt. Tell me, pray, is the Roscian law best, or the boy's song which offers the kingdom to them that do right, sung by the manly Curii and Camilli? Does he advise you best, who says, "Make a fortune; a fortune, if you can, honestly; if not, a fortune by any means"-that you may view from a nearer bench the tear-moving poems of Puppius: or he, who animates and enables you to stand free and upright, a match for haughty fortuue?

If now perchance the Roman people should ask me why I do not enjoy the same sentiments with them, as [I do the same] porticoes, nor pursue or fly from whatever they admire or dislike; I will reply, as the cautious fox once answered the sick lion: "Because the foot-marks all looking toward you, and none from you, affright me. Thou art a monster with many heads. For what shall i follow, or whom? One set of men delight to farm the public revenues: there are some, who would inveigle covetous widows with sweet-meats and fruits, and insnare old men, whom they would send [like fish] into their ponds: the fortunes of many grow by concealed usury. But be it, that different men are engaged in different employments and pursuits: can the same persons continue an hour together approving the same things? If the man of wealth has said, "no bay in the world outshines delightful Baiæ," the lake and the sea presently feel the eagerness of their impetuous master: to whom, if a vicious humour gives the omen, [he will cry,]-"tomorrow, workmen, ye shall convey hence your tools to Teanum." Has he in his hall the genial bed? He says

nothing is preferable to, nothing better than a single life. If he has not, he swears the married only are happy. With what noose can I hold this Proteus, varying thus his forms? What does the poor man? Laugh [at him too]: is he not for ever changing his garrets, beds, baths,

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