THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS. Come, trim the boat, row on each Rara Avis, Crowds flock to man my Stultifera Navis.

Imperial Cæsar, dead, and turn’d to clay,
Might stop a hole, to keep the wind away.
Oh! that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall, t'expel the winter's flaw.




Aλλων, ιατρυς αντος ελκεσι βρων.

Stultus, nisi quod ipse facit nil rectum putat.

[ocr errors]

HERE's one who boasts conceit refin'd,

As if all sense,

By Providence,
To his wise pate had been consign’d;
And plac'd in him such sterling reason,
That to dispute it were rank treason.

In argument he'll knock you down,
. With yes or no, *

It must be so,
And if presumptive you dare frown;

* This species of egotism is as frequent in society as any other epidemic folly with which it is assailed, and well merits the following quotation from Terence:

Homine imperito nunquam quidquid injustius
Qui, nisi quod ipse facit, nihil rectum putat.

Take special care, he'll butt with horns of Bos,
For doubting one as famous as Delphos.*

Mark, ye hist countenance and air;

Which well might pass,

For living brass,
While, bold and arrogant, his stare,

• The poet, in the above line, alludes to the celebrated Delphinn Oracle of Apollo, which was supposed by the an. cients, never to fail, and was delivered by a virgin named Pythia or Phobus. Whether the Bos in the foregoing line, alludes to the brazen bull presented by the tyrant of Agrigentum to this famed temple, we are at a loss to conjecture; from the emptiness, however, of the skull of that brazen animal, and from the brassy impudence of his countenance, it is shrewdly surmised, that the poetaster might have intended it in allusion to the properties of that species of fools who were then under his consideration.

† The vanity of Nero the emperor, is recorded by many • historians; who needs must pique himself on being the best actor and musician in Rome; and in order that he might have no competitor, he caused the finest performer of that time (who had acquired great fame) to be murdered; and with respect to his musical talents, the burning of the then capital of the universe, was deemed but a fit accompaniment to oue of his solos on the fiddle.

Bespeaks to all that he's the cherish'd elf,
Of no one creature living-but himself.

As the fierce tenant of some den,

With one accord,

By all abhorr’d,
This fool's turn'd forth from haunts of men;
For those who would be all in others' sight,
Are subject to the world's contempt and spite.*

If thou feel’st conscious of thy skill, be wise,

Nor publish it, thy vanity to sate;
For he who builds on others' fall his rise,

Brings on himself the universal hate.

* Notwithstanding the gratification which these conceited fools may derive from their overbearing impertinence, it is, nevertheless, impossible, but that they must frequently experience the keenness of rebuke, and suffer a degree of mental pain on witnessing the marked hatred of such as are tortured in their society; during such moments, therefore, I would recommend to their consideration, these lines of our bard, so truly applicable to their situation:

Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain,
Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain.

[ocr errors]

THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS. Come, trim the boat, row on each Rara Avis, Crowds flock to man my Stultifera Navis.

« ElőzőTovább »