Obrazy na stronie






I abominate the uninitiated vulgar, and keep them at a distance. Preserve a religious silence: I, the priest of the Muses, sing to virgins and boys verses not heard before. The dominion of dread sovereigns is over their own subjects; that of Jupiter, glorious for his conquest over the giants, who shakes all nature with his nod, is over sovereigns themselves. It happens that one man arranges trees, in regular rows, to a greater extent than another; this man comes down into the Campus [Martius] as a candidate of a better family; another vies with him for morals and a better reputation; a third has a su perior number of dependants; but Fate, by the impar tial law of nature, is allotted both to the conspicuous and the obscure: the capacious urn keeps every name in motion. Sicilian dainties will not force a delicious relish to that man, over whose impious neck the naked sword hangs: the songs of birds and the lyre will not restore his sleep. Sleep disdains not the humble cottages and shady bank of peasants; he disdains not Tempe, fanned by zephyrs. Him, who desires but a competency, nei ther the tempestuous sea renders anxious, nor the ma lign violence of Arcturus setting, or of the rising Kid; not his vineyards beaten down with hail, and a deceitful farm; his plantations at one season blaming the rains, at another, the influence of the constellations parching the grounds, at another, the severe winters. The fishes perceive the seas contracted, by the vast foundations that have been laid in the deep: hither numerous under

takers with their men, and lords, disdainful of the land, send down mortar: but anxiety and the threats of conscience ascend by the same way as the possessor: nor does gloomy care depart from the brazen-beaked galley, and she mounts behind the horseman. Since then nor Phrygian marble, nor the use of purple more dazzling than the sun, nor the Falernian vine, nor the Persian nard, composes a troubled mind, why should I set about a lofty edifice with columns that excite envy, and in the modern caste? Why should I exchange my Sabine vale for wealth, which is attended with more trouble?


AGAINST THE DEGENERACY OF THE ROMAN YOUTH. Let the robust youth learn patiently to endure pinching want in the active exercise of arms; and, as an expert horseman, dreadful for his spear, let him harass the fierce Parthians; and let him lead a life exposed to the open air, and familiar with dangers. Him, the consort and marriageable virgin-daughter of some warring tyrant, viewing from the hostile walls, may sigh-Alas! let not the affianced prince, unexperienced as he is in arms, provoke by a touch this terrible lion, whom bloody rage hurries through the midst of slaughter. It is sweet and glorious to die for one's country; death even pursues the man that flies from him; nor does he spare the trembling knees of effeminate youth, nor the coward back. Virtue, unknowing of base repulse, shines with immaculate honours; nor does she assume nor lay aside the ensigns of her dignity, at the veering of the popular air.. Virtue, throwing open heaven to those who deserve not ta die, directs her progress through paths of difficulty, and spurns with a rapid wing grovelling crowds and the slippery earth. There is likewise a sure reward for faithful silence. I will prohibit that man, who shall have di vulged the sacred rites of mysterious Ceres, from being under the same roof with me, or from setting sail with me in the same fragile bark: for Jupiter, when slighted, often joins a good man in the same fate with a bad one. Seldom hath punishment, though lame of foot, failed to overtake the wicked.



Not the rage of the people pressing to hurtful measures, not the aspect of a threatening tyrant, can shake from his settled purpose the man who is just and deter mined in his resolution; nor can the south wind, that tumultuous ruler of the restless Adriatic, nor the mighty hand of thundering Jove; if a crushed world should fal in upon him, the ruins would strike him undismayed. By this character Pollux, by this the wandering Hercules, arrived at the starry citadels; among whom Augustus has now taken his place, and quaffs nectar with empurpled lips. Thee, O father Bacchus, meritorious for this virtue, thy tigers carried, drawing the yoke with intractable neck; by this Romulus escaped Acheron on the horses of Mars-Juno having spoken what the gods in full con. clave approved: "Troy, Troy, a fatal and lewd judge and a foreign woman, have reduced to ashes, condemned, with its inhabitants and fraudulent prince, to me and the chaste Minerva, ever since Laomedon disappointed the gods of the stipulated reward. Now neither the in famous guest of the Lacedæmonian adulteress shines; nor does Priam's perjured family repel the warlike Grecians by the aid of Hector, and that war, spun out to such a length by our factions, has sunk to peace. Henceforth therefore I will give up to Mars both my bitter resentment, and the detested grandson, whom the Trojan princess bore. Him will I suffer to enter the bright regions, to drink the juice of nectar, and to be enrolled among the peaceful orders of gods. As long as the extensive sea rages between Troy and Rome, let them, exiles, reign happy in any other part of the world: as long as cattle trample upon the tomb of Priam and Paris, and wild beasts conceal their young ones there with im punity, may the Capitol remain in splendour, and inay brave Rome be able to give laws to the conquered Medes Tremendous, let her extend her name abroad to the ex tremest boundaries of the earth, where the middle ocean. separates Europe from Africa, where the swollen Nile waters the plains; more brave in despising gold as ye undiscovered, and so best situated while hidden in the


earth, thun in forcing it out for the use of mankind, with a hand ready to make depredations on every thing that is sacred. Whatever end of the world has made resistance, that let her reach with her arms, joyfully alert to visit even that part where fiery heats rage madding; that where clouds and rains storm with unmoderated fury. But I pronounce this fate to the warlike Romans, upon this condition; that neither through an excess of piety, nor of confidence in their power, they become inclined to rebuild the houses of their ancestors' Troy. fortune of Troy, reviving under unlucky auspices, shall be repeated with lamentable destruction, I, the wife and sister of Jupiter, leading on the victorious bands. Thrice if a brazen walı should arise by the means of its founder Phoebus, thrice should it fall, demolished by my Gre cians; thrice should the captive wife bewail her husband and her children." These themes ill suit the merry lyre. Whither, muse, are you going?—Cease, impertinent, to relate the language of the gods, and to debase great things by your trifling measures.



Descend from heaven, queen Calliope, and come sing with your pipe a lengthened strain; or, if you had now rather, with your clear voice, or on the harp or lute of Phoebus. Do ye hear? or does a pleasing frensy delude me? I seem to hear [her], and to wander [with her] along the hallowed groves, through whieh pleasant rivulets and gales make their way. Me, when a child, and fatigued with play, in sleep the woodland doves, famous in story, covered with green leaves in the Apulian Vul tur, just without the limits of my native Apulia; so that it was matter of wonder to all that inhabit the nest of lofty Acherontia, the Bantine forests, and the rich soil of low Ferentum, how I could sleep with my body safe fror deadly vipers and ravenous bears; how I could be covered with sacred laurel and myrtle heaped together, though a child, not animated without the [inspiration of the] gods. Yours, O ye muses, I am yours, whether I am elevated to

the Sabine heights; or whether the cool Præneste, or the sloping Tibur, or the watery Baiæ have delighted me. Me, who am attached to your fountains and dances, not the army put to flight at Philippi, not the execrable tree, nor a Palinurus in the Sicilian Sea has destroyed. While you shall be with me, with pleasure will I, a sailor, dare the raging Bosphorus; or, a traveller, the burning sands of the Assyrian shore: I will visit the Britons inhuman to strangers, and the Concanian delighted [with drinking] the blood of horses: I will visit the quivered Geloni, and the Scythian river without hurt. You entertained lofty Cæsar, seeking to put an end to his toils, in the Pierian grotto, as soon as he had distributed in towns his troops, wearied by campaigning: you administer [to him] moderate counsel, and graciously rejoice at it when adminstered. We are aware how he, who rules the inactive earth and the stormy main, the cities also, and the dreary realms [of hell], and alone governs with a righteous sway both gods and the human multitude, how he took off the impious Titans and the gigantic troop by his falling thunderbolts. That horrid youth trusting to the strength of their arms, and the brethren proceeding to place Pelion upon shady Olympus, had brought great dread [even] upon Jove. But what could Typhoeus, and the strong Mimas, or what Porphyrion with his menacing stature; what Rhoetus, and Enceladus, a fierce darter with trees uptorn, avail, though rushing violently against the sounding shield of Pallas? At one part stood the eager Vulcan, at another the matron Juno, and he, who is never desirous to lay aside his bow from his shoulders, Apollo, the god of Delos and Patara, who bathes his flowing hair in the pure dew of Castalia, and possesses the groves of Lycia and his native wood. Force, void of conduct, falls by its own weight; moreover, the gods promote discreet force to further advantage; but the same beings detest forces, that meditate every kind of impiety. The hundred-handed Gyges is an evidence of the sentiments I allege: and Orion, the tempter of the spotless Diana, destroyed by a virgin dart. The earth, heaped over her own monsters, grieves and laments her offspring, sent to murky Hades by a thunderbolt; not does the active fire consume Etna that is placed over it,

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