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My eyes, by watery humours blear
And sore, I with black balsam smear.
At length they join us, and with them
Our worthy friend Fonteius came;
A man of such complete desert,
Antony loved him at his heart.
At Fundi we refused to bait,
And laughed at vain Aufidius' state,
A prætor now, a scribe before,
The purple-bordered robe he wore,
His slave the smoking censer bore.
Tired at Muræna's we repose,
At Formia sup at Capito's.
With smiles the rising morn we greet,
At Sinuessa pleased to meet
With Plotius, Varius, and the bard
Whom Mantua first with wonder heard.
The world no purer spirits knows;
For none my heart more warmly glows.
Oh ! what embraces we bestowed,
And with what joy our breasts o'erflowed !
Sure while my sense is sound and clear,
Long as I live, I shall prefer
A gay, good-natured, easy friend,
To every blessing heaven can send.
At a small village, the next night,
Near the Vulturnus we alight;
Where, as employed on state affairs,
We were supplied by the purveyors
Frankly at once, and without hire,
With food for man and horse, and fire.
Capua next day betimes we reach,
Where Virgil and myself, who each
Laboured with different maladies,
His such a stomach,—mine such eyes, --
As would not bear strong exercise,
In drowsy mood to sleep resort ;
Mæcenas to the tennis-court.
Next at Cocceius' farm we're treated,
Above the Caudian tavern seated ;
His kind and hospitable board
With choice of wholesome food was stc.ed.
Now, O ye Nine, inspire my lays !
To nobler themes my fancy raise !
Two combatants, who scorn to yield
The noisy, tongue-disputed field,
Sarmentus and Cicirrus, claim
A poet's tribute to their fame ;
Cicirrus of true Oscian breed,
Sarmentus, who was never freed,
But ran away. We don't defame him,
His lady lives, and still may claim him.
Thus dignified, in harder fray
These champions their keen wit display,
And first Sarmentus led the way.
“ Tuy locks, (quoth he), so rough and coarse,
Look like the mane of some wild horse.'
We laugh : Cicirrus undismayed-
“Have at you !” —cries, and shakes his head.
“'Tis well (Sarmentus says) you've lost
That horn your forehead once could boast;
Since maimed and mangled as you are,
You seem to butt.” A hideous scar
Improved ('tis true) with double grace
The native horrors of his face.
Well. After much jocosely said
Of his grim front, so fiery red,
(For carbuncles had blotched it o'er,
As usual on Campania's shore)
“Give us, (he cried), since you're so big,
A sample of the Cyclops' jig!
Your shanks methinks no buskins ask,
Nor does your phiz require a mask.”
To this Cicirrus. “In return
Of you, sir, now I fain would learn,
When 'twas, no longer deemed a slave,
Your chains you to the Lares gave.
For though a scrivener's right you claim,
Your lady's title is the same.
But what could make you run away,
Since, pigmy as you are, each day
A single pound of bread would quite
O’erpower your puny appetite ?"
Thus joked the champions, while we laughed,
And many a cheerful bumper quaffed.
To Beneventum next we steer ;
Where our good host by over care
In roasting thrushes lean as mice
Had almost fallen a sacrifice.
The kitchen soon was all on fire,
And to the roof the flames aspire.
There might you see each man and master
Striving, amidst this sad disaster,
To save the supper. Then they came
With speed enough to quench the flame.
From hence we first at distant see
The Apulian hills, well known to me,
Parched by the sultry western blast;
And which we never should have past,
Had not Trivicus by the way
Received us at the close of day.
But each was forced at entering here
To pay the tribute of a tear,
For more of smoke than fire was seen:
DESCRIPTION OF AN IMPERTINENT.
The hearth was piled with logs so green.
From hence in chaises we were carried
Miles twenty-four and gladly tarried
At a small town, whose name my verse
(So barbarous is it) can't rehearse.
Know it you may by many a sign,
Water is dearer far than wine.
There bread is deemed such dainty fair,
That every prudent traveller
His wallet loads with many a crust;
For at Canusium, you might just
As well attempt to gnaw a stone
As think to get a morsel down.
That too with scanty streams is fed ;
Its founder was brave Diomed.
Good Varius (ah, that friends must part !)
Here left us all with aching heart.
At Rubi we arrived that day,
Well jaded by the length of way,
And sure poor mortals ne'er were wetter.
Next day no weather could be better;
No roads so bad ; we scarce could crawl
Along to fishy Barium's wall.
The Ignatians next, who by the rules
Of common sense are knaves or fools,
Made all our sides with laughter heave,
Since we with them must needs believe,
That incense in their temples burns,
And without fire to ashes turns.
To circumcision's bigots tell
Such tales ! for me, I know full well,
That in high heaven, unmoved by care,
The gods eternal quiet share :
Nor can I deem their spleen the cause
Why fickle nature breaks her laws.
Brundusium last we reach : and there
Stop short the Muse and Traveller.
THE NINTH SATIRE OF THE FIRST BOOK OF HORACE.
THE DESCRIPTION OF AN IMPERTINENT.
ADAPTED TO THE PRESENT TIMES,
SAUNTERING along the street one day,
On trifles musing by the way,
Up steps a free familiar wight;
(I scarcely knew the man by sight.)
· Carlos (he cried), your hand, my dear!
Gad, I rejoice to meet you here!
Pray heaven I see you well!” “So, so;
Even well enough as times now g?.
The same good wishes, sir, to you.*
Finding he still pursued me close,
“Sir, you have business, I suppose ?”
“My business, sir, is quickly done,
'Tis but to make my merit known.
Sir, I have read — ” “O learned sir,
You and your learning I revere."
Then, sweating with anxiety,
And sadly longing to get free,
Gods, how I scampered, scuffled for't,
Ran, halted, ran again, stopped short,
Beckoned my boy, and pulled him near,
And whispered nothing in his ear.
Teased with nis loose unjointed chat,
“What street is this? What house is that?'
O Harlow, how I envied thee
Thy unabashed effrontery,
Who darest a foe with freedom blame,
And call a coxcomb by his name !
When I returned him answer none,
Obligingly the fool ran on,
“I see you're dismally distressed,
Would give the world to be released,
But, by your leave, sir, I shall still
Stick to your skirts, do what you will.
Pray which way does your journey tend ?”
“Oh, 'tis a tedious way, my friend,
Across the Thames, the Lord knows where :
I would not trouble you so far."
“Well, I'm at leisure to attend you."
“Are you? (thought I) the deil befriend you !”
No ass with double panniers racked,
Oppressed, o'erladen, broken-backed,
E’er looked a thousandth part so dull
As I, nor half so like a fool.
“Sir, I know little of myself
(Proceeds the pert conceited elf),
İf Gray or Mason you will deem
Than me more worthy your esteem.
Poems I write by folios,
As fast as other men write prose.
Then I can sing so loud, so clear,
That Beard cannot with me compare.
In dancing too I all surpass,
Not Cooke can move with such a grace.”
Here I made shift, with much ado,
To interpose a word or two.-
“Have you no parents, sir, no friends,
Whose welfare on your own depends ?”
“Parents, relations, say you? No.
They're all disposed of long ago.”—
DESCRIPTION OF AN IMPERTINENT.
“Happy to be no more perplexed !
My fate too threatens, I go next.
Dispatch me, sir, 'tis now too late,
Alas! to struggle with my fate !
Well, I'm convinced my time is come.
When young, a gipsy told my doom ;
The beldame shook her palsied head,
As she perused my palm, and said,
“Of poison, pestilence, or war,
Gout, stone, defluxion, or catarrh,
You have no reason to beware.
Beware the coxcomb's idle prate;
Chiefly, my son, beware of that ;
Be sure, when you behold him, fly
Out of all earshot, or you die!”
To Rufus' Hall we now draw near,
Where he was summoned to appear,
Refute the charge the plaintiff brought,
Or suffer judgment by default.
“For heaven's sake, if you love me, wait
One moment ! I'll be with you straight.”
Glad of a plausible pretence-
“Sir, I must beg you to dispense
With my attendance in the court.
My legs will surely suffer for’t.”—
“Ñay, prithee, Carlos, stop awhile !"
“Faith, sir, in law I have no skill.
Besides, I have no time to spare,
I must be going, you know where.”
“Well, I protest, I'm doubtsul now,
Whether to leave my suit or you !”
“Me, without scruple ! (I reply)
Me, by all means, sir !”—“No, not I.
Allons, Monsieur !” 'Twere vain (you know)
To strive with a victorious foe.
So I reluctantly obey,
And follow, where he leads the way,
“ You and Newcastle are so close ;
Still hand and glove, sir, I suppose.'
“Newcastle (let me tell you, sir,)
Has not his equal every where."
“Well. There indeed your fortune's made !
Faith, sir, you understand your trade..
Would you but give me your good word !
Just introduce me to my lord.
I should serve charmingly by way
Of second fiddle, as they say:
What think you, sir ? 'twere a good jest.
'Slife, we should quickly scout the rest.”—
“Sir, you mistake the matter far,
We have no second fiddles there."
“Richer than I some folks may be :