Lapas attēli

Or Nomentanus spent in riotous feasts?
In satires, each man, though untouch'd, complains
As he were hurt; and hates such biting strains.

Hor. What shall I do? Milonius shakes his heels
In ceaseless dances, when his brain once feels
The stirring fervour of the wine ascend;
And that his eyes false numbers apprehend.
Castor his horse, Pollux loves handy-fights:
A thousand heads, a thousand choice delights.
My pleasure is in feet my words to close,
As, both our better, old Lucilius does:
He, as his trusty friends, his books did trust
With all his secrets; nor, in things unjust,
Or actions lawful, ran to other men :

So that the old man's life described, was seen
As in a votive table in his lines:

And to his steps my genius inclines;
Lucanian, or Apulian, I know not whether,
For the Venusian colony ploughs either;

Sent thither, when the Sabines were forced thence,
As old Fame sings, to give the place defence
'Gainst such as, seeing it empty, might make road
Upon the empire; or there fix abode:
Whether the Apulian borderer it were,
Or the Lucanian violence they fear.—
But this my style no living man shall touch,
If first I be not forced by base reproach;
But like a sheathed sword it shall defend
My innocent life; for why should I contend
To draw it out, when no malicious thief
Robs my good name, the treasure of my life?
O Jupiter, let it with rust be eaten,
Before it touch, or insolently threaten
The life of any with the least disease;
So much I love, and woo a general peace.
But, he that wrongs me, better, I proclaim,
He never had assay'd to touch my fame.

For he shall weep, and walk with every tongue
Throughout the city, infamously sung.
Servius the prætor threats the laws, and urn,
If any at his deeds repine or spurn;
The witch Canidia, that Albutius got,
Denounceth witchcraft, where she loveth not:
Thurius, the judge, doth thunder worlds of ill,
To such as strive with his judicial will.
All men affright their foes in what they may,
Nature commands it, and men must obey.

Observe with me: The wolf his tooth doth use,
The bull his horn; and who doth this infuse,
But nature? There's luxurious Scæva; trust
His long-lived mother with him; his so just
And scrupulous right-hand no mischief will;
No more than with his heel a wolf will kill,
Or ox with jaw: marry, let him alone
With temper'd poison to remove the croan.
But briefly, if to age I destined be,

Or that quick death's black wings environ me;
If rich, or poor; at Rome; or fate command
I shall be banish'd to some other land;
What hue soever my whole state shall bear,
I will write satires still, in spite of fear.

Treb. Horace, I fear thou draw'st no lasting breath; And that some great man's friend will be thy death.

Hor. What! when the man that first did satirize Durst pull the skin over the ears of vice, And make, who stood in outward fashion clear, Give place, as foul within; shall I forbear? Did Lælius, or the man so great with fame, That from sack'd Carthage fetch'd his worthy name, Storm that Lucilius did Metellus pierce, Or bury Lupus quick in famous verse? Rulers, and subjects, by whole tribes he checkt, But virtue and her friends did still protect: And when from sight, or from the judgment-seat,

The virtuous Scipio and wise Lælius met,
Unbraced, with him in all light sports they shared,
Till their most frugal suppers were prepared.
Whate'er I am, though both for wealth and wit
Beneath Lucilius I am pleased to sit;
Yet Envy, spite of her empoison'd breast,
Shall say, I lived in grace here with the best;
And seeking in weak trash to make her wound,
Shall find me solid, and her teeth unsound :
'Less learn'd Trebatius' censure disagree.

Treb. No, Horace, I of force must yield to thee; Only take heed, as being advised by me, Lest thou incur some danger: better pause, Than rue thy ignorance of the sacred laws; There's justice, and great action may be sued 'Gainst such as wrong men's fames with verses lewd. Hor. Ay, with lewd verses, such as libels be, And aim'd at persons of good quality : I reverence and adore that just decree. But if they shall be sharp, yet modest rhimes, That spare men's persons, and but tax their crimes, Such shall in open court find current pass, Were Cæsar judge, and with the maker's grace.

Treb. Nay, I'll add more; if thou thyself, being clear,

Shall tax in person a man fit to bear
Shame and reproach, his suit shall quickly be
Dissolved in laughter, and thou thence set free.



F, by looking on what is past, thou hast deserved that name, I am willing thou should'st yet know more, by that which follows, an APOLOGETICAL DIALOGUE; which was only once spoken upon the stage,' and all the answer I ever gave to sundry impotent libels then cast out (and some yet remaining) against me, and this play. I take no pleasure to revive the times; but that posterity may make a difference between their manners that provoked me then, and mine that neglected them ever. For, in these strifes, and on such persons, were as wretched to affect a victory, as it is unhappy to be committed with them. Non annorum canities est laudanda, sed morum.

SCENE, The Author's Lodgings.



PRAY you, let's go see him, how he looks
After these libels.

Pol. O vex'd, vex'd, I warrant you.

Nas. Do you think so? I should be sorry for him, If I found that.


only once spoken upon the stage.] This Apology was first printed in 1616; so that we have no means of ascertaining

Pol. O, they are such bitter things, He cannot choose.

Nas. But, is he guilty of them?
Pol. Fuh! that's no matter.
Nas. No!

Pol. No. Here's his lodging.
We'll steal upon him: or, let's listen; stay.
He has a humour oft to talk t' himself.

Nas. They are your manners lead me, not mine own. [They come forward: the scene opens, and discovers the Author in his study.

Aut. The fates have not spun him the coarsest thread,

That (free from knots of perturbation)
Doth yet so live, although but to himself,
As he can safely scorn the tongues of slaves,
And neglect fortune, more than she can him.
It is the happiest thing this, not to be
Within the reach of malice; it provides
A man so well, to laugh off injuries;
And never sends him farther for his vengeance,
Than the vex'd bosom of his enemy.

I, now, but think how poor their spite sets off,
Who, after all their waste of sulphurous terms,
And burst-out thunder of their charged mouths,
Have nothing left but the unsavoury smoke
Of their black vomit, to upbraid themselves:
Whilst I, at whom they shot, sit here shot-free,

how long the injunction, mentioned above, continued in force; it could not, however, be many weeks. It appears that Jonson himself took the part of "the Author;" and no one could do it more justice, for he was a most excellent declaimer. But how little did he know of himself! He talks of neglecting his enemies, at the very moment that he is pouring out his utmost indignation upon them. There is, however, much merit in this little piece. What credit was given to the author's declarations, I know not; but if he expected to silence his detractors by them, he was evidently disappointed.

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