« ElőzőTovább »
Go, fool, and for the loss of time repent,
L'ENVOY OF THE POET. He who exists, desiring other's death, Lives but on air, and wagers breath 'gainst
THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS. Come, trim the boat, row on each Rara Avis, Crowds flock to man my Stultifera Navis.
OF TRADING FOOLS.
Fortuna multis dat nimium, nulli satis.
To gold this fool pays such devotion,
That, to ensure the precious store, He, on the wide, inconstant ocean,
Ventures his certain wealth for more. *
Soon the fragile bark destroy:
Farewel the golden dreams of joy.f
* When the mercantile fool acts, thus, he may well ex. claim, Fortunæ cætera mando: or verify the Italian proverb, that says, A torto si lamenta del mare, chi due volte ei vuol tornare.
† When the evil arrives, the fool then recollects the words of Syrus too late, who saith, Fortuna vitrea est, tum cum splendet, frangitur.
But, if dame fortune, less capricious,
Wafts to thee the precious mine; Awake, thou fear'st-while dreams suspicious,
Ev'ry succeeding night are thine.*
For what's possess’d, thou prov’st ungracious;
And thus defy'st all common sense; Relying on pursuit fallacious,
Though bless’d with ease and competence.
Thus ever thankless fools, unsteady,
Spite of their reason, act amiss: And, to exchange for ills, are ready,
The body's ease and mental bliss.f
* This stanza of the poet brings to mind the words of Shakspeare, who, speaking of fortune, thus expresses himself:
Will fortune never come with both hands full;
† No country can afford more instances of maniac, speculative fools, than England, where they not only risk their
L’ENVOY OF THE POET.
For, this plain truth I'd have thee understand;
Two birds in bush are not worth one in hand.
THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS.
fortunes in ventures abroad, but will equally grasp at any mad scheme at home. Some delve for mines in the bowels of the earth, and procure naught but'dust for their cost and pains; whilst others must build houses for wise men to purchase at half price, when the speculator has become a bankrupt. In short, there is nothing too absurd for the folly of discontented minds, which prompts them to exchange af. fluence for poverty, ease and liberty for the confines of a gaol... inne
OF FOOLS THAT WILL NOT SPEAK THE TRUTH, FOR
FEAR OF PUNISHMENT.
Quem pænitet peccasse, pene est innocens.
THE wily fool, by fraud and lies,
* The lines of Shakspeare, on falsehood, are beautifully expressive, where he says,
Two beggars told me I could not miss my way. Will poor folks lie, That have afflictions on them; knowing 'tis A punishment, or trial? Yes: no wonder, When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fullness Is sorer than to lie for need; and falsehood Is worse in kings than beggars.