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Expect not more from servaris than is just, Flying from thence, to Italy it came,
And to the realm of Naples gave the name,
Till both their nation and their arts did como Since God and Nature them our brothers made ! A welcome trophy to triumphant Rome; If his offence be great, let that suffice;
Then wheresoe'er her conquering eagles fled, If light, forgive, for no man 's always wise. Arts, learning, and civility were spread;
And as in this our microcosm, the heart
All her own virtues through the universe. THE PROGRESS OF LEARNING, Here some digression I must make, t'accuse
Thee, my forgetful and ingrateful Muse:
Couldst thou from Greece to Latium take thy
flight, My early mistress, now my ancient Muse,
And not to thy great ancestor do right? That strong Circæan liquor cease t infuse,
I can no more believe old Homer blind, Wherewith thou didst intoxicate my youth,
Than those, who say the Sun bath never shin'd's Now stoop with dis-inchanted wings to truth:
The age wherein he liv'd was dark, but he As the dove's flight did guide Æneas, now
Could not want sight, who taught the world to May thine conduct me to the golden bough; Tell (like a tall old oak) how Learning shoots
They who Minerva from Jove's head derive, To Heaven her branches, and to Hell her roots.
Might make old Homer's skull the Muses' hive; WHEN God from earth form'd Adam in the East, Whose racy liquor did his offspring fill.
And from his brain, thạt Helicon distil, He his own image on the clay imprest;
Nor old Anacreon, Hesiod, Theocrite, As subjects then the whole creation came,
Must we forget, nor Pindar's lofty flight, And from their natures Adam then did name;
Old Homer's soul, at last from Greece retir'd, Not from experience, (for the world was new)
In Italy the Mantuan swain inspir'd. He only from their cause their natures knew.
When great Augustus made war's tempest cease, Had memory been lost with innocence,
His halycon days brought forth the arts of peace; We had not known the sentence, nor th' offence; He still in his triumphant chariot shines, 'Twas his chief punishment to keep in store
By Horace drawn, and Virgil's mighty lines. The sad remembrance what he was before;
'Twas certainly mysterious that the i name And though th' offending part felt mortal pain,
Of prophets and of poets is the same; Th' immortal part its knowledge did retain.
What the Tragedian wrote, the late succese After the flood, arts to Chaldæa fell,
Declares was inspiration, and not guess : The father of the faithful there did dwell,
As dark a truth that author did unfold,
As oracles or prophets e'er foretold:
Of things, and a new world by Tiphys found; When heavenly power that chosen vessel fill'd;
Then ages far remote shall understand And we to his high inspiration owe,
The isle of Thule is not the farthest land." That what was done before the flood, we know.
Sure God, by these discoveries, did design From Ægypt, arts their progress made to Greece, That his clear light through all the world should Wrapt in the fable of the Golden Fleece.
shine, Musæus first, then Orpheus, civilize
But the obstruction from that discord springs Mankind, and gave the world their deities;
The prince of darkness made 'twixt Christian To many gods they taught devotion,
kings; Which were the distinct faculties of one;
That peaceful age with happiness to crown, Th’ Eternal Cause, in their immortal lines,
From Heaven the Prince of Peace himself came Was taught, and poets were the first divines :
downį God Moses first, then David did inspire,
Then the true Sun of Knowledge first appear'd, To compose anthems for bis heavenly quire;
And the old dark mysterious clouds were clear'd, To th' one the style of friend he did impart,
The heavy cause of th' old accursed flood On th' other stamp the likeness of his heart:
Sunk in the sacred deluge of his blood. And Moses, in the old original,
His passion, man from his first fall redeem'd; Even God the poet of the world doth call.
Once more to Paradise restor'd we seem'd; Next those old Greeks, Pythagoras did rise,
Satan himself was bound, till th' iron chain Then Socrates, whom th' oracle call’d wise;
Our pride did break, and let him loose again. The divine Plato moral virtue shows,
Still the old sting remain'd, and man began Then his disciple Aristotle rose,
To tempt the serpent, as he tempted man; Who Nature's secrets to the world did teach,
Then Hell sends forth her furies, Avarice, Pride, Yet that great soul our novelists impeach ;
Fraud, Discord, Force, Hypocrisy their guide : Too much manuring fill'd that field with weeds, Though the foundation on a rock were laid, While sects, like locusts, did destroy the seeds; The church was undermin’d, and then betray'd; The tree of knowledge, blasted by dispntes,
Though the apostles these events foretold, Produces sapless leaves instead of fruits;
Yet even the shepherd did devour the fold : Proud Greece all nations else barbarians held, Boasting her learning all the world excell'd,
• Vates. · Senecą. The Prophecy
The fisher to convert the world began,
Uncharitable zeal our reason whets, The pride convincing of vain-glorious man;
And double edges on our passions sets ; But soon his followers grew a sovereign lord,
'Tis the most certain sign the world's accurst, And Peter's keys exchang'd for Peter's sword, That the best things corrupted, are the worst : Which still maintains for his adopted son 'Twas the corrupted light of knowledge, hurl'd Vast patrimonies, though himself had none; Sin, death, and ignorance, o'er all the world ; Wresting the text to the old giants' sense, That Sun, like this, (from which our sight we That Heaven, once more, must suffer violence.
have) Then subtle doctors scriptures made their prize, Gaz’d on too long, resumes the light he gare; Casuists, like cocks, struck out each other's eyes; And when thick mists of doubts obscure his Then dark distinctions reason's light disguis'd,
beams, And into atoms truth anatomiz'd.
Our guide is errour, and our visions dreams. Then Mahomet's crescent, by our feuds increast, 'Twas no false heraldry, when Madness drew Blasted the learn'd remainders of the East : Her pedigree from those who too much knew ; That project, when from Greece to Rome it came, Who in deep mines for hidden knowledge Made mother Ignorance Devotion's dame;
[coils ; Then, he whom Lucifer's own pride did swell, Like guns o'er-charg'd, breaks, misses, or reHis faithful emissary, rose from Hell
When subtle wits have spun their thread too To possess Peter's chair, that Hildebrand,
fine, Whose foot on mitres, then on crowns did stand, 'Tis weak and fragile like Arachne's line : And before that exalted idol, all
True piety, without cessation tost (Whom we call gods on Earth) did prostrate fall. By theories, the practic part is lost, Then darkness Europe's face did overspread,
And like a ball bandy'd 'twixt pride and wit, From lazy cells, where Superstition bred,
Rather than yield, both sides the prize will quit ; Which, link'd with blind Obedience, so increast,
Then whilst his foe each gladiator foils, That the whole world, some ages, they opprest;
The atheist looking on, enjoys the spoils. Till through those clouds the Sun of Knowledge Through seas of knowledge we our course ada brake,
vance, And Europe from her lethargy did wake;
Discovering still new worlds of ignorance; Then first our monarchs were acknowledged here, and these discoveries make us all confess That they their churches' nursing fathers were.
That sublunary science is but guess. When Lucifer no longer could advance
Matters of fact to man are only known, His works on the false ground of ignorance,
And what seems more is mere opinion; New arts he tries, and new designs he lays,
The standers-by see clearly this event, Then his well studied master-piece he plays; All parties say they're sure, yet all dissent ; Loyola, Luther, Calvin, he inspires,
With their new light our bold inspectors press And kindles with infernal flames their fires, Like Cham, to show their father's nakedness, Sends their forerunner, (conscious of th’event)
By whose example after-ages may Printing, his most pernicious instrument ! Discover, we more naked are than they : Wild controversy then, which long had slept,
All human wisdom, to divine, is folly ; Into the press from ruin'd cloysters leapt.
This truth the wisest man made melancholy ; No longer by implicit faith we err,
Hope, or belief, or guess, gives some relief, Whilst every man's his own interpreter ;
But to be sure we are deceiv'd, brings grief: No more conducted now by Aaron's rod,
Who thinks his wife is virtuous, though not Lay-elders, from their ends create their God;
so, But seven wise men the ancient world did know,
Is pleas'd, and patient, till the truth he know. We scarce know seven who think themselves not Our God, when Heaven and Earth he did
create, When man learn'd undefild religion,
Form'd man, who should of both participate ; We were commanded to be all as one ;
If our lives' motions theirs must imitate, Fiery disputes that union have calcin'd,
Our knowledge, like our blood, must circulate. Almost as many minds as men we find,
When like a bridegroom from the east, the And when that flame finds combustible earth,
[run; Thence fatuus fires and meteors take their Sets forth, he thither, whence he came, doth birth,
Into earth's spungy veins the ocean sinks, Legions of sects and insects come in throngs;
Those rivers to replenish which he drinks ; To name them all would tire a hundred tongues. So learning, which from reason's fountain springs Such were the Centaurs of Ixion's race,
Back to the source, some secret channel brings.
OF OLD AGE.
SCIPIO TO CATO.
Than that those years, which others think ex- Of honour, wealth, and power, to make them treme,
sweet ; Nor to yourself, nor us uneasy seem;
Not every one such happiness can meet. Under which weight most, like th' old giants, CAT. Some weight your argument, my groan,
(When a Seriphian thus did him upbraid,
The more uneasy is his age's weight. We say it steals upon us unaware ;
Age's chief arts, and arms, are to grow wise, Our want of reasoning these false measures makes, Virtue to know, and known to exercise ; Youth runs to age, as childhood youth o'er- All just returns to age then virtue makes, takes.
Nor her in her extremity forsakes ; How much more grievous would our lives ap- The sweetest cordial we receive at last, pear,
Is conscience of our virtuous actions pasi. To reach th' eighth hundred, than the eightieth I (when a youth) with reverence did look
On Quintus Fabius, who Tarentum took; Of what, in that long space of time hath past, Yet in his age such cheerfulness was seen, To foolish age will no remembrance last, As if his years and mine had equal been: My age's conduct when you seem t'admire, His gravity was mixt with gentleness, (Which that it may deserve, I much desire) Nor had his age made his good-humour less; 'Tis my first rule, on Nature, as my guide Then was he well in years, (the same that he Appointed by the gods, I have rely'd ;
Was consul, that of my nativity)
On him at Capua I in arms did wait.
LÆl. But, sir, 'tis Scipio's and my desire, With useful diligence he us'd t'engage,
ČAT. This I resolv'd before, but now shall do He by delay restor'd the commonwealth,
LÆL. If to yourself it will not tedious prove,
Four causes, which its misery declare.
1. Because our body's strength it much imI'wo consuls (who in years my equals were)
pairs : When scnators, lamenting I did hear,
2. That it takes off our minds from great af. That age from them had all their pleasures torn,
fairs : And them their former suppliants now scurn: 3. Next that our sense of pleasure it deprives : They, what is not to be accus'd, accuse,
4. Last, that approaching death attends our Not others, but themselves their age abuse:
lives. Else this might me concern, and all my friends, Of all these several causes I'll discourse, Whose cheerful age, with honour, youth at- And then of each, in order weigh the force.”
tends, Jov'd that from pleasure's slavery they are free,
THE FIRST PART. And all respects due to their age they see. The old from such affairs is only freed, In its true colours this complaint appears
Which vigorous youth, and strength of body The ill effect of manners, not of years ;
need : For on their life no grievous burthen lies,
But to more high affairs our age is lent, Who are well natur'd, temperate, and wise:
Most properly when heats of youth are spent. But an inhuman and ill-tempered mind,
Did Fabius, and your father Scipio Not any easy part in life can find.
(Whose darghter my son married) nothing do? LAL. This I believe ; yet others may dispute, Fabricii, Coruncani, Curii, heir age (as yours) can never bear such fruit
Whose courage, counset, and authority,
The Roman commonwealth restor'd did boast, Such science in his art of
augury, Nor Appius, with whose strength his sight was No Roman ever was more learn'd than he ; lost,
Knowledge of all things present and to coine, Who, when the senate was to peace inclin'd Remembering all the wars of ancient Rome, With Pyrrhus, show'd his reason was not blind. Nor only there, but all the world's beside : Whither's our courage and our wisdom come, Dying in extreme age, I prophesy'd When Rome itself conspires the fate of Rome ? That which is come to pass, and did discem The rest with ancient gravity and skill
From his survivors I could nothing learn.
This long discourse was but to let you see,
(skill, With honour after ninety years did die. Whilst he that guides the helm, employs his Th’ Athenian story writ at ninety-four And gives the law to them, by sitting still. By Isocrates, who yet liv'd five years more ; Great actions less from courage, strength, and His master Gorgias at the hundredth year speed,
And seventh, not his studies did forbear: Than from wise counsels and commands, proc ed; And, ask'd, why he no sooner left the stage, Those arts age wants not, which to age belong, Said, he saw nothing to accuse old age. Not heat, but cold experience, makes us strong. None but the foolish, who their lives abuse, A consul, tribune, general, I have been,
Age, of their own mistakes and crimes, accuse. all sorts of war I have past through, and seen; All commonwealths (as by records is seen) And now grown old, I seem t'abandon it, As by age preserv'd, by youth destroy'd have Yet to the senate I prescribe what's fit.
When the tragedian Nævis did demand, [been. I every day 'gainst Carthage war proclaim, Why did your commonwealth no longer stand ? (For Rome's destruction hath been long her aim) 'Twas answer'd, that their senators were new, Nor shall I cease till I her ruin see,
Foolish and young, and such as nothing knew. Which triumph may the gods design for thee; Nature to youth hot rashness doth dispense, That Scipio may revenge his grandsire's ghost, But with cold prudence age doth recompense ; Whose life at Cannæ with great honour lost But age, 'tis said, will memory decay : Is on record; nor had he weary'd been
So (if it be not exercis'd) it may; With age, if he an hundred years had seen : Or, if by nature it be dull and slow : He had not us'd excursions, spears, or darts, Themistocles (when ag'd) the names did know But counsel, order, and such aged arts;
Of all th’ Athenians; and none grow so old, Which, if our ancestors had not retain'd, Not to remember where they hid their golda The senate's name our council had not gain'd. From age such art of memory we learn The Spartans to their highest magistrate
To forget nothing, which is our concern ; The name of Elder did appropriate :
Their interest no priest nor sorcerer Therefore his fame for ever shall remain, Forgets, nor lawyer, nor philosopher ; How gallantly Tarentum he did gain,
No understanding memory can want, With vigilant conduct : when that sharp reply Where wisdom studious industry doth plant. He gave to Salinator, I stood by,
Nor does it only in the active live, Who to the castle filed, the town being lost, But in the quiet and contemplative. Yet he to Maximus did vainly boast,
When Sophocles (who plays when aged wrote) 'Twas by my means Tarentum you obtain'd; Was by his sons before the judges brought, 'Tis true, had you not lost, I had not gain’d. Because he pay'd the Muses such respect, And as much honour on his gown did wait, His fortune, wife, and children to neglect ; As on his arms, in his fifth consulate.
Almost condemn'd, he mov'd the judges thus, When his colleague Carvilius stept aside, “ Hear, but instead of me, my Oedipus :" The tribune of the people would divide
The judges hearing with applause, at th’ end To them the Gallic and the Picene field,
Freed him, and said, “No fool such lines had Against the senate's will, he will not yield; What poets and what orators can I [penn'd.” When being angry, boldly he declares
Recount! what princes in philosophy! Those things were acted under happy stars, Whose constant studies with their age did strive, Prom which the commonwealth found guod ef- Nor did they those, though those did them surBut otherwise they came from bad aspects. (fects,
vive. Many great things of Fabius I could tell,
Old husbandmen I at Sabinum know, But his son's death did all the rest excel; Who for another year dig, plough, and sow; (His gallant son, though young, had consul been) For never any man was yet so old His funeral oration I have seen
But hop'd his life one winter more might hold. Often ; and when on that I turn my eyes, Cæcilius vainly said, “ Each day we spend I all the old philosophers despise.
Discovers something, which must needs offend." Though he in all the people's eyes seem'd great, But sometimes age may pleasant things behold, Yet greater he appeard in his retreat ;
And nothing that offends : he should have cold When feasting with his private friends at home, This not to age, but youth, who oftener see Such counsel, such discourse, from bim did come, What not alone offends, but hurts, than we :
That I in him, which he in age, condemn'd, Cyrus, though ag'd, (if Xenophon say true)
Neither of these, in body or in mind,
Such an unwasted strength I cannot boast,
Yet now my years are eighty-four almost : 'Tis disingenuous to accuse our age
And though from what it was my strength is far, Of idleness, who all our powers engage
Both in the first and second Punic war, In the same studies, the same course to hold ; Nor at Thermopylæ, under Glabrio, Nor think our reason for new arts too old. Nor when I consul into Spain did go ; Solon the sage his progress never ceas'd,
But yet I feel no weakness, nor halh length But still his learning with his days increas'd;
Of winters quite enervated my strength; And I with the same greediness did seek,
And I my guest, my client, or my friend, As water when I thirst, to swallow Greek; Still in the courts of justice can defend : Which I did only learn, that I might know Neither must I that proverb's truth allow, Those great examples which I follow now:
“ Who would be ancient, must be early so.” And I have heard that Socrates the wise, I would be youthful still, and find no need Learn'd on the lute for his last exercise.
To appear old, till I was so indeed. Though many of the ancients did the same, And yet you see my hours not idle are, To improve knowledge was my only aim. Though with your strength I cannot mine come
Yet this centurion's doth your's surmount,
Not therefore him the better man I count.
Milo, when entering the Olympic game, Now int' our second grievance I must break, With a huge ox upon his shoulder came. " That loss of strength makes understanding Would you the force of Milo's body find, weak.”
Rather than of Pythagoras's mind ?
Then with that force content which Nature gave, In age to wish for youth is full as vain,
And she sets forth the seasons of the year.
So in all parts of life we find her truth, And cry'd, 'twas dead : Trifler, thine heart, and weakness to childhood, rashness toour youth; head,
To elder years to be discreet and grare, And all that's in them (not thy arm) are dead ; Then to old age maturity she gave. This folly every looker-on derides,
(Scipio) you know, how Massinissa bears To glory only in thy arms and sides,
His kingly port at more than ninety years ! Our gallant ancestors let fall no tears,
When marching with his foot, he walks till night; Their strength decreasing by increasing years ; When with his horse, he never will alight; But they advanc'd in wisdom every hour, Though cold or wet, his head is always bare; And made the commonwealth advance in power. So hot, so dry, his aged members are. But orators may grieve, for in their sides,
You see how exercise and temperance Rather than heads, their faculty abides ; Ev'n to old years a youthful strength advance. Yet I have heard old voices loud and clear, Our law (because from age our strength retires) And still my own sometimes the senate hear. No duty which belongs to strength requires, When th’old with smooth and gentle voices plead, But age doth many men so feeble make, They by the ear their well-pleas'd audience lead: That they no great design can undertake i, Which, if I had not strength enough to do, Yet, that to age not singly is apply'd, I could (my Lælius, and my Scipio)
But to all man's infirmities beside. What's to be done, or not be done, instruct, That Scipio, who adopted you, did fall And to the maxims of good life conduct.
Into such pains, he had no health at all : Cneius and Publius Scipio, and (that man Who else had equall?d Africanus' parts, Of men) your grandsire, the great African, Exceeding him in all the liberal arts. Were joyful, when the flower of noble blood Why should those errours then imputed bs Crowded their dwellings, and attending stood, To age alone, from which our youth's not free! Like oracles their counsels to receive,
Every disease of age we may prevent, How in their progress they should act, and live. Like those of youth, by being diligent. And they whose high examples youth obeys, When sick, such moderate exercise we use, Are not despised, though their strength decays, And diet, as our vital heat renews ; And those decays (to speak the naked truth, And if our body thence refreshment finds, Thongh the defects of age) were crimes of youth. Then must we also exercise our minds. Intemperate youth (by sad experience found) If with continual oil we not supply Ends in an age imperfect and unsound, Our lamp, the light for want of it will die :