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the latter. Why should this frenzy affect the obstreperous poets in a less degree? I write odes, another elegies : a work wonderful to behold, and burnished by the nine muses! Observe first, with what a fastidious air, with what importance we survey the temple [of Apollo] vacant for the Roman poets. In the next place you may follow (if you are at leisure) and hear what each produces, and wherefore each weaves for himself the crown. Like Samnite gladiators in slow duel, till candle-light, we are beaten and waste out the enemy
with equal blows: I came off Alcæus, in his suffrage ; he is mine, who ? Why who but Callimachus ? Or, if he seems to make a greater demand, he becomes Mimnermus, and grows in fame by the chosen appellation. Much do I endure in order to pacify this passionate race of poets, when I am writing; and submissive court the applause of the people ; [but,] having finished
studies and recovered my senses, I the same man can now boldly stop my open ears against reciters.
Those who make bad verses are laughed at: but they are pleased in writing, and reverence themselves; and if you are silent, they, happy, fall to praising of their own accord whatever they have written. But he who desires to execute a genuine poem, will with his papers assume the spirit of an honest critic : whatever words shall have but little clearness and elegance, or shall be without weight and held unworthy of estimation, he will dare to displace: though they may recede with reluctance, and still remain in the sanctuary of Vesta : those that have been long hidden from the people he kindly will drag forth, and bring to light those expressive denominations of things that were used by the Catos and to what Mucius reference is made. There were three celebrated lawyers of this name, P. Mucius Scævola, and two Q. Mucii Scævolæ. P. Mucius Scævola, consul A. U. C. 620, the same year that Tiberius Gracchus was tribune, is the person here mentioned. Q. Mucius Scævola, son of that Publius, and called by Crassus, Cic. de Orat. i. 39, “ Jurisperitorum eloquentissimus, eloquentium jurisperitissimus," was the colleague of Crassus in the consulship, A. U. C. 658, while the Q. Mucius Scævola under whose care Cicero was placed by his father on assuming the toga virilis, was the son-in-law of Lælius, and the father-in-law of L. Crassus the orator. Bentley insists that he should read Crassus for Gracchus. Crassus and Scævola were cotemporaries, and colleagues in tribunato, censorship, and consulship, A. U. c. 659. Gracchus was much senior to Mucius, and inferior to him in eloquence. Crassus and Mucius support the dialogue in the first book of Cic. de Orat. M'CAUL,
Cethegi of ancient times, though now deformed dust and neglected age presses upon them: he will adopt new words,
which use, the parent (of language], shall produce : forcible and perspicuous, and bearing the utmost similitude to a limpid
stream, he will pour out his treasures, and enrich Latium with a comprehensive language. The luxuriant he will lop, the too harsh he will soften with a sensible cultivation : those void of expression he will discard: he will exhibit the
appearance of one at play; and will be [in his invention] on the rack, like [a dancer on the stage), who one while affects the motions of a satyr, at another of a clumsy cyclops.
I had rather be esteemed a foolish and dull writer, while my faults please myself, or at least escape my notice, than be wise and smart for it. There lived at Argos a man of no mean rank, who imagined that he was hearing some admirable tragedians, a joyful sitter and applauder in an empty theater: who [nevertheless] could support the other duties of life in a just manner; a truly honest neighbor, an amiable host, kind toward his wife, one who could pardon his slaves, nor would rave at the breaking of a bottle-seal : one who [had sense enough] to avoid a precipice, or an open well. This man, being cured at the expense and by the care of his relations, when he had expelled by the means of pure
hellebore the disorder and melancholy humor, and returned to himself; “By Pollux, my friends (said he), you have destroyed, not saved me; from whom my pleasure is thus taken away, and a most agreeable delusion of mind removed by force.”
In a word, it is of the first consequence to be wise in the rejection of trifles, and leave childish play to boys for whom it is in season, and not to scan words to be set to music for the Roman harps, but (rather) to be perfectly an adept in the numbers and proportions of real life. Thus therefore I commune with myself, and ponder these things in silence : “ If no quantity of water would put an end to your thirst, you would tell it to your physicians. And is there none to whom you dare confess, that the more you get the more you crave ? If
you had a wound which was not relieved by a plant or root prescribed to you, you would refuse being doctored with a root or plant that did no good. You have heard that vicious folly left the man, on whom the gods conferred
wealth ; and though you are nothing wiser, since you become richer, will you nevertheless use the same monitors as before ? But could riches make you wise, could they make you less covetous and mean-spirited, you well might blush, if there lived on earth one more avaricious than yourself.”
If that be any man's property which he has bought by the pound and penny,“ [and] there be some things to which (if you give credit to the lawyers) possession gives a claim," (then) the field that feeds you is your own; and Orbius' steward, when he harrows the corn which is soon to give you flour, finds you are [in effect] the proper master. You give
. your money; you receive grapes, pullets, eggs, a hogshead of strong wine: certainly in this manner you by little and little purchase that farm, for which perhaps the owner paid three hundred thousand sesterces, or more.
What does it signify, whether you live on what was paid for the other day, or a long while ago ? He who purchased the Aricinian and Ve entine fields some time since, sups on bought vegetables, however he may think otherwise; boils his pot with bought wood at the approach of the chill evening. But he calls all that his own, as far as where the planted poplar prevents quarrels among neighbors by a determinate limitation: as if any thing were a man's property, which in a moment of the fleeting hour, now by solicitations, now by sale, now by violence, and now by the supreme lot [of all men],
may change masters and come into another's jurisdiction.
Thus since the perpetual possession is given to none, and one man's heir urges on another's, as wave impels wave, of what importance are houses, or granaries; or what the Lucanian pastures joined to the Calabrian; if Hades, inexorable to gold, mows down the great together with the small ?
Gems, marble, ivory, Tuscan" statues, pictures, silverplate, robes dyed with Getulian purple, there are who can
50 Librâ mercatur et cere. In the reign of Servius Tullus, the Romans weighed their money before witnesses, in a bargain of buying and selling. When this custom was afterward changed, yet the same expression continued. ED. DUBL.
51 Mancipat usus. To prevent the perpetual vexations of law-suits, the laws wisely established, that possession and enjoyment for a certain number of years should confirm a title and ascertain the property of an estate. This right of prescription was called usucapio. ED. DUBL.
52 The Tuscans were famous for making statues and vases of earth and
not acquire; and there are others, who are not solicitous of acquiring. Of two brothers, why one prefers lourging, play, and perfume, to Herod's rich palin-tree gioves ;w why the other, rich and uneasy, from the rising of the light to the evening shade, subdues his woodland with fire and steel : our attendant genius knows, who governs the planet of our nativity, the divinity [that presides) over human nature, who dies with each individual, of various complexion, white and black.
I will use, and take out from my moderate stock, as much as my exigence demands : nor will I be under any apprehensions what opinion my heir shall hold concerning me, when he shall find (I have left him] no more than I had given me. And yet I, the same man, shall be inclined to know how far an open and cheerful person differs from a debauchee, and how greatly the economist differs from the miser. For there is some distinction whether you throw away your money in a prodigal manner, or make an entertainment without grudging, nor toil to accumulate more; or rather, as formerly in Minerva's holidays," when a school-boy, enjoy by starts the short and pleasant vacation.
Let sordid poverty be far away. I, whether borne in a large or small vessel, let me be borne uniform and the same. I am not wafted with swelling sail before the north wind blowing fair : yet I do not bear my course of life against the adcopper gilt, with which they decorated their temples and apartments. Vestes, in the next line, not only signifies clothes, but all sorts of tapes try, carpets, etc.; and, to show how unnecessary these ornaments are, the poet says there are many people who never give themselves any trouble or concern about them. SAN.
53 Judea was famous for its woods of palm, from whence Herod drew a considerable revenue. He began to reign in 717; he reigned seventeen years, and died in 750, between the 13th and 28th of March, three months after the birth of our Saviour. San.
54 Festis quinquatribus. According to the mythological traditions, Minerva came into the world the 19th of March, and therefore that day was consecrated to her. Four days afterward there was another festival, called tubilustrium sacrorum, the purification of the musical instruments used in the sacrifices. These two festivals were afterward united, by including the three days which separated them, and they were from thence called quinquatrus or quinquatria. This festival was a joyful vacation for school-boys, and some of them diverted themselves at their master's expense, by spending their Minerval, a present sent to hin, in money by their parents. DAC. San.
verse south. In force, genius, figure, virtue, station, estate, the last of the first-rate, [yet] still before those of the last.
You are not covetous, [you say]:-go to.—What then ? Have the rest of your vices fled from you, together with this?
breast free from vain ambition ? Is it free from the fear of death and from anger? Can you laugh at dreams, magic terrors, wonders, witches, nocturnal goblins, and Thessalian prodigies? Do you number your birth-days with a grateful mind? Are you forgiving to your frien 's? Do you grow milder and better as old age approaches ?
What profits you only one thorn eradicated out of many? If you do not know how to live in a right manner, make way for those that do. You have played enough, eaten and drunk enough, it is time for you to walk off : lest having tippled too plentifully, that age which plays the wanton with more propriety, should ridicule and drive you [off the stage).