« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
customary appetites of it, which can only give a | I'll beg no more : if more thou'rt please to give, man liberty and happiness in this world. Let | I'll thankfully that overplus receive: this suffice at present to be spoken of those great If beyond this no more be freely sent, triumviri of the world; the covetous man, who | I'll thank for this and go away content. is a mean villain, like Lepidus ; the ambitious, who is a brave one, like Octavius; and the voluptuous, who is a loose and debauched one, like
MARTIAL, Lib. I. Ep. Ivi. Mark Antony :
Vota tui breviter, &c. Quisnam igitur liber? Sapiens, sibique imperiosus 5 :
Well then, sir, you shall know how far extend
The prayers and hopes of your poetic friend. Not Oenomaus 6, who commits himself wholly | He does not palaces nor manors crave, to a charioteer, that may break his neck ; but would be no lord, but less a lord would have; the man,
The ground he holds, if he his own can call,
He quarrels not with Heaven because 'tis small : Who governs his own course with steady hand; Let gay and toilsome greatness others please, Who does himself with sovereign power com He loves of homely littleness the ease. mand;
Can any man in gilded rooms attend, Whom neither death nor poverty does tright ; | And his dear hours in humble visits spend, Who stands not aukwardly in his own light When in the fresh and beauteous fields he may Against the truth; who can, when pleasures | With various healthful pleasures fill the day? knock
If there be nian (ye gods !) I ought to hate, Loud at his door, kcep firm the bolt and lock ; | Dependance and attendance be his fate : Who can, though Honourat his gate should stay | Still let him busy be, and in a crowd, In all her masking cloaths, send her away, And very much a slave, and very proud : And cry, “ Be gone, I have no mind to play." Thus he perhaps powerful and rich may grow;
No matter, O ye gods! that I'll allow: This, I confess, is a freeman : but it may be said, But let him peace and freedom never see; that many persons are so shackled by their for- Let him not love this life, who loves not me! tune, that they are hindered from enjoyment of that manumission which they have obtained from virtue. I do both understand, and in part
MARTIAL, Lib. II. Ep. liii. ' fee!, the weight of this objection; all I can answer to it is, that we must get as much liberty as
Vis fieri liber? &c. we can, we must use our utmost endeavours, and, when all that is done, be contented with the Would you be free? 'Tis your chief wish you length of that line which is allowed us. If you
say; ask me, in what condition of life I think the Come on ; I'll show thee, friend, the certain way; most allowerd; I should pitch upon that sort of If to no feasts abroad thou lov'st to go, people, whom King James was wont to call the While bounteous God does bread at home bestow; happiest of our nation, the men placed in the If thou the goodness of thy cluaths dost prize country by their fortune above an high constable, | By thine own use, and not by others' eyes; and yet beneath the trouble of a justice of peace; if (only safe from weathers) thou canst duell in a moderate plenty, without any just argument In a small house, but a convenient shell; for the desire of increasing it by the care of If thou, without a sigh, or golden wish, many relations; and with so much knowledge and Canst look upon thy beechen bowl and dish; love of piety and philosophy (that is, of the If in thy mind such power and greatness be, study of God's laws, and of his creatures) as may | The Persian king's a slave compar'd with thee. afford him matter enough never to be idle, though without business; and never to be melancholy, though without sin or vanity.
Martial, Lib. II. Ep. Ixviii. I shall conclude this tedious discourse with a prayer of mine in a copy of Latin verses, of which
Quod te nomine ? &c. I remember no other part; and (pour faire bonne bouche) with some other verses upon the That I do you with humble bows no more, same subject :
And danger of my naked head, adore;
That I, who “ Lord and master," cry'd crewhile, Magne Deus, quod ad has vite brevis attinet Salute you, in a new and different style, horas,
By your own name, a scandal to you now; Da mihi, da panem libertatemque, nec ultrà Think not that I forget inyself or you: Sollicitas effundo preces : si quid datur ultrà, By loss of all things, by all others sought, Accipiam gratus; si non, contentus abibo.
This freedom, and the freeman's bat, is bought.
A lord and master no man wants, but he
Who o'er himself has no authority;
And follies, without which lords cannot live. s Hor. 2 Sat. vii. 33.
If thou from fortune dost no serrant crare, . Virg. Georg. üi. 7.
Believe it, thou no master need'st to have.
| Who keep your primitive powers and rights so ODE UPON LIBERTY. Though men and angels fell.
Of all material lives the highest place FREEDOM with Virtue takes her seat;
To you is justly given; Her proper place, her only scene,
And ways and walks the nearest Heaven. Is in the golden mean,
Whilst wretched we, yet vain and proud, think fit She lives not with the poor nor with the great.
To boast, that we look up to it. The wings of those Necessity has clipt,
Ev'n to the universal tyrant, Love, And they 're in Fortune's bridewell whipt
You homage pay but once a year: To the laborious task of bread;
None so degenerous and unbirdly prove, These are by various tyrants captive led.
As his perpetual yoke to bear; . Now wild Ambition with imperious force
None, but a few unhappy household fowl, Ridcs, reins, and spurs, them like th' unruly
Whom human lordship does control : borse;
Who from their birth corrupted were
By bondage, and by man's example here.
He's no small prince who every day
Now will I sleep, now eat, now sit, now walk, From these insulting passions free,
Now meditate alone, now with acquaintance talks Yet we ev'n those, too, fetter'd see
This I will do, here I will stay, By custom, business, crowds, and formal decency;
Or, if my fancy call me away, And,wberesoe'er they stay, and wheresoe'er they
| My man and I will presently go ride go,
(For we, before, have nothing to provide, Impertinences round them flow:
Nor, after, are to render an account) These are the small uneasy things
To Dover, Berwick, or the Cornish mount, Which about greatness still are found,
If thou but a short journey take, And rather it molest than wound :
As if thy last thou wert to make, Like gnats, which too much heat of summer
Business must be dispatch'd, ere thou canst part, brings;
Nor canst thou'stir, unless there be But cares do swarm there, too, and those have
A hundred horse and men to wait on thee, As, when the honey aoes too open lie, [stings:
And many a mule and many a cart; A thousand wasps about it fly :
What an unwieldly man thou art ! Nor will the master ev'n to share admit;
The Rhodian Colossus so The master stands aloof, and dares not taste of .
A journey, too, might go.
Where honour,or where conscience, does not bind, 'Tis norning; well; I fain would yet sleep on;
Nor other law shall shackle me; You cannot now; you must be gone
Slave to myself I will not be, To court, or to the noisy hall :
Nor shall my future actions be confin'd Besides, the rooms without are crowded all;
By my own present mind. The stream of business does begin,
Who by resolves and vows engag'd does stand And a spring-tide of clients is come in.
For days, that yet belong to Fate, Ah cruel guards, which this poor prisoner keep!
Does, like an unthrift, mortgage his estate, Will they not suffer him to sleep?
Before it falls into his hand : Make an escape; out at the postern flee,
The bondman of the cloister so, And get some blessed hours of liberty :
All that he does receive does always owe; With a few friends, and a few dishes, dine,
And still, as time comes in, it goes away And much of mirth and moderate wine.
Not to enjoy, but debts to pay. To thy bent mind some relaxation give,
Unhappy slave, and pupil to a bell, And steal one day out of thy life to live.
Which his hours-work, as well as hours, does tell ! Oh happy man (he cries) to whom kind Heaven
Unhappy, till the last, the kind releasing knell. Has such a freedom always given !
If life should a well-order'd poem be, Why, mighty madman, what should hinder thee
(In which he only hits the white From being every day as free?
Who joins true profit with the best delight)
The more heroic strain let others take, In all the free born nations of the air,
Mine the Pindaric way I'll make; [free, Never did bird a spirit so mean and sordid bear,
| The matter shall be grave, the numbers loose and As to exchange his native liberty
It shall not keep one settled pace of time, Of svaring boldly up into the sky,
In the same tune it shall not always chime, His liberty to sing, to perch, or fly.
Nor shall each day just to his neighbour rhyme; When, and wherever he thought good,
A thousand liberties it shall dispense, And all bis innocent pleasures of the wood,
And yet shall manage all without offence For a more plentiful or constant food.
Or to the sweetness of the sound, or greatness of · Nor ever did ambitious rage
the sense; Make him into a painted cage,
Nor shall it never from one subject start, Or the false forest of a well-hung room,
Nor seek transitions to depart, For honour, and preferment, come.
Nor its set way o'er st:'es and bridges make, Now, blessings on you all, ye heroic race,
Nor through lar.es a compass take,
As if it fear'd some trespass to commit.
| Tu mihi curarum requies, ti nocte relatra When the wide air 's a road for it,
Lumen, & in solis tu mihi turbu locis.
With thee for ever I in woods could rest,
Where never human foot the ground has prest, As if his generous hunger understood
Thou from all shades the darkness canst exclude, That he can never want plenty of food,
And fiom a desert banish solitude.
And yet our dear self is so wearisome to us, that To kites, and meaner birds, he leaves the mangled we can scarcely support its conversation for an prey.
hour together. This is such an odd temper of mind, as Catullus expresses towards one of his
mistresses, whom we may suppose to have been II.
of a very unsociable humour 3: OF SOLITUDE.
Odi, & amo: quare id faciam fortasse requirisa Nunquam minus solus, quam cum solus, is now
Nescio; sed fieri sentio, & excrucior. become a very vulgar saying. Every man, and almost every boy, for these seventeen han
I hate, and yet I love thee too ; dred years, has had it in his mouth. But it was
How can that be? I know not how; at first spoken by the excellent Scipio, who was
Only tliat so it is I know; without question a most eloquent and witty per
And feel with torment that 'tis so. son, as well as the most wise, most worthy, most happy, and the greatest of all mankind. His
It is a deplorable condition, this, and drives a meaning, no doubt, was this, that he found more
man sometimes to pitiful shifts, in seeking hos satisfaction to his mind, and more improvement
to avoid himself. of it, by solitude than by company; and, to The truth of the matter is, that neither he show that he spoke not this loosely or out of va- who is a fop in the world, is a fit man to be alone; nity, after he had made Rome mistress of almost nor he who has set his heart much upon the world, the whole world, he retired himself from it by a though he have never so much understanding; voluntary exile, and at a private house, in the so that solitude can be well fitted, and sit right, middle of a wood, near Linterrum', passed the but upon a very few persons. They must have remainder of his glorious life no less gloriously. I enough knowledge of the world to see the vanity This house Seneca went to see so long after with of it, and enough virtue to despise all vanity; if great veneration; and, among other things, de- the mind be possessed with any lust or passions, scribes his baths to have been of so mean a struc- la man had better be in a fair, than in a wood ture, that now, says he, the basest of the peo- | alone. They may, like petty thieves, cheat us ple would despise them, and cry out, “ Poor perhaps, and pick our pockets, in the midst of Scipio understood not how to live." What an au
| company ; but, like robbers, they use to strip thority is here for the credit of retreat! and happy and bind, or murder us. when they catch bad it been for Hannibal, if adversity could have alone. This is but to retreat frum men, and fall taught him as much wisdom as was learnt by into the hands of deri's. It is like the punish. Scipio from the highest prosperitjes. This would
ment of parricides among the Romans, to be be no wonder, if it were as truly as it is colourably
rably sowed into a bag, with an ape, a dog, and a and wittily said by Monsieur de Montagne,
serpent. “ That ambition itself might teach us to love soli- |
The first work therefore that a man must do, tude; there is nothing does so much hate to have to make himself capable of the good of solitude. companions.” It is true, it loves to have its el. l is, the very eradication of all lusts; for how is it bows free, it detests to bave company on either
| possible for a man to enjoy himself, wbile his atside; but it delights above all things in a train
fections are tied to things without himself? In the bebind, aye, and ushers too before it. But the
second place, be must learn the heart and get the greatest part of men are so far from the opinion habit of thinking ; for this too, nu less than well. of that noble Roman, that if they chance at any speaking, depends upon inucb practica : and cotime to be without company, they are like a be- gitation is the thing which distinguishes the solicalmed ship; they never move but by the wind of tude of a god from a wild beast. Now because other men's breath, and have no oars of their own the soul of man is uot by its own nature or obserto steer withal. It is very fantastical and contra- vation furnished with sufficient materials to work dictory in human nature, that men should love upon, it it is necessary for it to have continual retheinselves above all the rest of the world, and
course to learning and books for fresh supplies, yet never endure to be with themselves. When
so that the solitary life will grow indigent, and they are in love with a mistress, all other persons
be ready to starve, without them ; but if once me are importunate and burthensome to them.
be thoroughly engaged in the lore of letters, inTecum vivere amem, tecum obeam lubans,
stead of being wearied with the length of any day, they would live and die with her alone,
we shall only complain of the shortness of our
whole life, Sic ego secretis possum bene vivere sylvis, Quà nulla humano sit via trita pede.
3 4 Tibull. xiji. 9. * Seneca Epist. lxxxvi.
3 De amore suo, lxxxiii,
O vita, stulto longa, sapienti brevis +! | With all their wanton boughs dispute,
And the more tuneful birds to both replying, O life, long to the fool, short to the wise ! |
Nor be myself, too, mute, The first minister of state has not so much | A silver stream shall roll his waters near, business in public, as a wise man has in Gilt with the Sun-beams here and there; private : if the one have little leisure to be On whose enamelld bank I'll walk, a'one, the other has less leisure to be in com- And see how prettily they smile, and hear pany; the one has but part of the affairs of one
How prettily they talk. nation, the other all the works of God and nature, under his consideration. There is no Ah wretched and too solitary he, saying shocks me so much as that which I hear Who loves not his own company ; very often, “ That a man does not know how to He'll feel the weight of’t many a day, pass his time.” It would have been but ill-spoken / Unless he call in sin or vanity by Methusalem in the nine hundred sixty-ninth To help to bear't away. year of his life ; so far it is from us, who have not time enough to attain to the utmost perfection Oh Solitude, first state of buman-kind ! of any part of any science, to have cause to com
Which blest remaia'd, till man did find plain that we are forced to be idle for want of work. Ev'n his own helper's company. But this, you will say, is work only for the learn- | As soon as two alas ! together join'd, al; others are not capable either of the employ
The serpent made up three. ments or divertisements that arrive from letters. I know they are not; and therefore cannot much Tho' God himself, through countless ages, thee recommend solitude to a man totally illiterate. His sole companion chose to be, But, if any man be so unlearned, as to want en. Thee, sacred Solitude, alone, tertainment of the little intervals of accidental | Before the branchy head of number's tree solitude, which frequently occur in almost all Sprang from the trunk of one. conditions (except the very meanest of the people, who have business enough in the necessary | Thou (tho'men think thine an unactive part) provisions for life), it is truly a great shame both
Dost, break and time th' unruly heart, to his parents and himself; for a very small por Which else would know no settled pace, tion of any ingenious art will stop up all those
nove, well-ma gaps of our time: either music, or painting, or
With swiftness and with grace, designing, or chymistry, or history, or gardening, or twenty other things, will do it usefully and Thou the faint beams of reason's scatter'd light pleasantly; and if he happen to set his affections Dost, like a burning-glass, unite; upon poetry (which I do not advise him too im Dost multiply the feeble heat, moderately), that will over-do it ; no wood will And fortify the strength, till thou dost bright be thick enough to hide him from the importuni
And noble fires beget. ties of company or business, which would abstract him from his beloved.
Whilst this hard truth I teach, methinks, I set
The monster London laugh at me; - qui me gelidis in vallibus Hæmi
I should at thee too, foolish city! Sistat, & ingeuti ramorum protegat umbrâs ?
If it were fit to laugh at misery ;
But thy estate I pity. Hail, old patrician trees, so great and good!
Let but thy wicked men from out thee go, Hail, ye plebeian under-wood!
And all the fools that crowd thee so. Where the poetic birds rejoice,
Even thou who dost thy millions boast, And for their quiet nests and plenteous food
A village less than Islington wilt grow,
A solitude alinost.
OF OBSCURITY. metropolis above.
Nam neque divitibus contingunt gaudia solis ; Here Nature does a house for me erect,
Nec vixit malè, qui natus moriensque fefel Nature the wisest architect,
lit 6. Who those fond artists does despise God made not pleasures only for the rich; That can the fair and living trees neglect; Nor have those men without their share too liv'd, Yet the dead timber prize.
Who both in life and death the world deceiv'd.
Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying,
Hear the soft winds, above me flying,
This seems a strange sentence, thus literally translated, and looks as if it were in vindication of the men of business (for who else can deceive the
4"O vita, misero longa, felici brevis !"
Hor. 1 Ep. xvii. 9.
world?); whereas it is in commendation of those that time, with his friend Metrodorus: after who live and die so obscurely, that the world whose death, making in one of his letters a kind takes no notice of them. This Horace calls commemoration of the happiness which they two deceiving the world; and in another place uses | had enjoyed together, he adds at last, that he the same phrase?,
thought it no disparageinent to those great fe
licities of their life, that, in the midst of the Secretum iter & fallentis semita vitæ. most talked-of and talking country in the world, The secret tracts of the deceiving life.
they had lived so long, not only without fame,
but almost without being heard of. And yet, It is very elegant in Latin, but our English within a very few years afterward, there were word will hardly bear up to that sense; and no two names of men more known, or more getherefore Mr. Broom translates it very well nerally celebrated. If we engage into a large
acquaintance and various familiarities, we set Or from a life led, as it were, by stealth. open our gates to the invaders of most of our
time: we expose our life to a quotidian ague of Yet we say in our language, a thing deceives our frigid impertinences, which would make a wise sight, when it passes before us unperceived; man tremble to think of. Now, as for being and we may say well enough, out of the same known much by sight, and pointed at, I cannot author,
comprehend the honour that lies in that; what
soever it be, every mountebank has it more Sometimes with sleep, sometimes with wine, than the best doctor, and the hangman more we strive
than the lord chief justice of a city. Every The cares of life and troubles to deceive. creature has it, both of nature and art, if it be
any ways extraordinary. It was as often said, But that is not to deceive the world, but to de-“This is that Bucephalus,” or, “ This is that ceive ourselves, as Quintilian says 9, vitam Incitatus," when they were led prancing through fallere, to draw on still, and amuse, and de the streets, as, “This is that Alexander,” or, 'ceive, our life, till it be advanced insensibly to “ This is that Domitian ;'' and truly, for the the fatal period, and fall into that pit which latter, I take Incitatus to have been a much more nature hath prepared for it. The meaning of all honourable beast than his master, and more this is no more than that most vulgar saying, deserving the consulship, than he the empire. Bene qui latuit, bene vixit, He has lived I lore and commend a true good-fame, bewell, who has lain well hidden; which, if it because it is the shadow of virtue: not that it a truth, the world (I will swear) is sufficiently | doth any good to the body which it accompanies, deceived: for my part, I think it is, and that but it is an efficacious shadow, and, like that of the pleasantest condition of life is, in incognito. | St. Peter, cures the diseases of others. The best What a brave privilege is it, to be free from all kind of glory, no doubt, is that which is reflected contentions, from all envying or being envyed, from honesty, such as was the glory of Cato and from receiving and from paying all kind of ce- | Aristides; but it was harmful to them both, and remonies! It is, in my mind, a very delightful | is seldom beneficial to any man, whilst he lives; pastime, for two good and agreeable friends to what it is to him after his death, I cannot say, travel up and down together, in places where because I love not philosophy merely notionaland they are by nobody known, nor know any body. conjectural, and'no man who has inade the experiIt was the case of Æneas and his Achates, when ment has been so kind as to come back to inform they walked invisibly about the fields and us. Upon the whole matter, I account a person streets of Carthage. Venus herself,
who has a moderate mind and fortune, and lives
in the conversation of two or three agrecable A vail of thicken'd air around them cast, friends, with little commerce in the world besides, That none might know, or see them, as they ) who is esteemed well enough by his few neighpass'd'. .
bours that know him, and is truly irreproachable
by any body; and so, after a healthful quiet life, The common story of Demosthenes' confession, before the great inconveniencies of old-age, goes that he had taken great pleasure in hearing of a | more silently out of it than he came in (for I would tanker-woman say, as he passed, “ This is that not have him so much as cry in the exit): this Demosthenes," is wonderfully ridiculous from innocent deceiver of the world, as Horace calls so solid an orator. I myself have otten met him, this muta persona, I take to have been with that temptation to vanity (if it were any); | more happy in his part, than the greatest actors but am so far from finding it any pleasure, that that fill the stage with show and noisc, nay, it only makes me run faster from the place, even than Augustus himself, who asked, with till I get, as it were, out of sight-shot. Demo- | his last breath, whether he had not played his critus relates, and in such a manner as if he farce very well, gloried in the good fortune and commodity of it, that, when he came to Athens, nobody there did so much as take notice of him; and Epicurus lived there very well, that is, lay hid
SENECA, EX THYESTE, ACT II. CHOR, many years in his gardens, so fainous since
- Stet quicumque volet potens, &c. • Hor. 1 Ep. xviii, 103. Sat. vii. 114. l'pon the slippery tope of human state, ► Declam, de Apib,
irg. An. 1. 415. The gilde. pinnacles of fate,