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Where do we finer strokes and colours see
Than when we with attention look
We all, like Moses, should espy
Upon the flowers of heaven we gaze;
Though these perhaps do, more than they,
The life of mankind sway.
We no-where Art do so triumphant see,
And changes her sometimes, and sometimes does re-
Who would not joy to see his conquering hand
And the wild giants of the wood receive
What law he's pleas'd to give F He bids th' ill-natur'd crab produce The gentler apple's winy juice;
The golden fruit, that worthy is
Of Galatea's purple kiss:
He does the savage hawthorn teach
To bear the medlar and the pear:
He bids the rustick plum to rear
A noble trunk, and be a peach.
Ev'n Daphne's coyness he does mock,
And weds the cherry to her stock,
Though she refus'd Apollo's suit; , Ev'n she, that chaste and virgin tree,
Now wonders at herself, to see That she 's a mother made, and blushes in her fruit.
Methinks, I see great Dioclesian walk
T* entice him to a throne again.
I walk not here with more delight, Than ever, after the most happy fight, In triumph to the capitol I rode, To thank the gods, and to be thought, myself, almost a god.
SINCE we cannot attain to greatness (says the sieur de Montaigne), let us have our revenge by railing at it:" this he spoke but in jest. I believe he desired it no more than I do, and had less reason; for he enjoyed so plentiful and honourable a fortune in a most excellent country, as allowed him all the real conveniencies of it, separated and purged from the incommodities. If I were but in his condition, I should think it hard measure, without being convinced of any crime, to be sequestered from it, and made one of the principal officers of state. But the reader may think that what I now say is of small authority, because I never was, nor ever shall be, put to the trial .. I can therefore only make my protestation,
If ever I more riches did desire
I know very many men will despise, and some pity me, for this humour, as a poor-spirited fellow; but I am content, and, like Horace, thank God for being so.
Di bene fecerunt, inopis me quodque pusilli
I confess, I love littleness almost in all things. A little convenient estate, a little cheerful house, a little company, and a very little feast; and, if I were ever to fall in love again (which is a great passion, and, therefore, I hope, I have done with it) it would be, I think, with prettiness, rather than with majestical beauty. I would neither wish that my mistress, nor my fortune, should be a bona roba, nor, as Homer uses to describe his beauties, like a daughter of great Jupiter for the stateliness and largeness of her person; but, as Lu» cretius says,
Parvula, pumilio, Xzprut pU, tota mcrum sal f.
* 1 Sat. iv. 17. f Lucr. iv. 1155.
VOL. III. »
Where there is one man of this, I believe there are a thousand of Senecio's mind, whose ridiculous affectation of grandeur Seneca the elder * describes to this effect: Senecio was a man of a turbid and confused wit, who could not endure to speak any but mighty words and sentences, till this humour grew at last into so notorious a habit, or rather disease, as became the sport of the whole town: he would have no servants, but huge, massy fellows; no plate or household-stuff, but thrice as big as the fashion : you may believe me, for I speak it without raillery, his extravagancy came at last into such a madness, that he would not put on a pair of shoes, each of which was not big enough for both his feet: he would eat nothing but what was great, nor touch any fruit but horse-plums and pound-pears: he kept a concubine that was a very giantess, and made her walk too always in chiopins, till, at last, he got the surname of Senecio Grandio, which, Messala said, was not his cognomen, but his cognomentum; when he declaimed for the three hundred Lacedaemonians, who alone opposed Xerxes's army of above three hundred thousand, he stretched out his arms, and stood on tiptoes, that he might appear the taller, and cried out, in a very loud voice; "I rejoice, I Tejoice."—We wondered, I remember, what new great fortune had befallen his eminence. "Xerxes (says he) is all mine own. He, who took away the sight of the sea, with the canvas veils of so many * Suaiotiarma Liber. Sins. 11.