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Though bodies may be tir'd with exercise, Intoxicating both, by them, she finds,
Furies, whieh, reason's divine chains had bounda He represents the follies on the stage ;
(That being broken) all the world confound. They're credulous, forgetful, dissolute,
Łust, Murder, Treason, Avarice, and Hell Neither those crimes to age he doth impute, Itself broke loose, in Reason's palace dwell : But to old men to whom those crimes belong. Truth, Honour, Justice, Temperance, are fled, Lust, petulance, rashness, are in youth more All her attendants into darkness led. strong
But why all this discourse? when pleasure's rage Than age, and yet young men those vices hate, Hath conquer'd reason we must treat with age. Who virtuous are, discreet and temperate : Age undermines, and will in time surprise And so what we call dotage, seldom breeds Her strongest forts : and cut off all supplies ; In bodies, but where Nature sows the seeds. And join'd in league with strong necessity, There are five daughters, and four gallant sons, Pleasure must fly, or else by famine die. In whom the blood of noble Appius runs,
Flaminius, whom a consulship had grac'd, With a most numerous family beside,
(Then censor) from the senata I displac'd; Whom he alone, though old and blind,did guide, When he in Ganl, a consul, made a feast, Yet his clear-sighted mind was still intent,
A beauteous courtezan did him request And to his business like a bow stood bent : To see the cutting off a prisoner's head ; By children, servants, neighbours, so esteem'd, This crime I could not leave unpunished, He not a master, but a monarch seem'd.
Since by a private villainy he stain'd All his relations his admirers were,
That public honour, which at Rome he gain'd. His sons paid reverence, and his servants fear: Then to our age (when not to pleasures bent) The order and the ancient discipline
This seems an honour, not disparagement. Of Romans did in all his actions shine,
We, not all pleasures, like the Stoics, hate; Authority kept up old age secures,
But love and seek, those which are moderate. Whose dignity as long as life endures.
(Though divine Plato thus of pleasures thought, Something of youth I in old age approve,
They us, with hooks and baits, like fishes caught) But more the marks of age in youth I love. When quæstor, to the gods, in public calls Who this observes, may in his body find I was the first who set up festivals. Decrepit age, but never in his mind.
Not with high tastes our appetites did force, The seven volumes of my own Reports,
But fill'd with conversation and discourse ; Wherein are all the pleadings of our courts ;
Which feasts convivial meetings we did name: AU noble monuments of Greece are come
Not like the ancient Greeks, who, to their shame, Unto my hands, with those of ancient Rome. Call'd it a compotation, not a feast; The pontificial, and the civil law,
Declaring the worst part of it the best. I study still, and thence orations draw.
Those entertainments I did then frequent And to confirm my memory, at night,
Sometimes with youthful heat and merriment : What I hear, see, or do, by day I still recite. But now I thank my age, which gives me ease These exercises for my thoughts I find,
From those excesses; yet myself I please These labours are the chariots of my mind.
With cheerful talk to entertain my guests, To serve my friends, the senate 1 frequent, (Discourses are to age continual feasts) And there, what I before digested, vent.
The love of meat and wine they recompense, Which only from my strength of mind proceeds, and cheer the mind, as much as those the sense, Nor any outward force of body needs :
I'm not more pleas'd with gravity among Which, if I could not do, I should delight
The ag'd, than to be youthful with the young ; On what I would to ruminate at night.
Nor 'gainst all pleasures proclaim open war, Who in such practices their minds engage,
To which, in age, some natural motions are. Nor fear nor think of their approaching age;
And still at my Sabinum I delight Which by degrees invisibly doth creep:
To treat my neighbours till the depth of night, Nor do we seem to die, but fall asleep,
But we the sense of gust and pleasure want
Which youth at full possesses, this I grant ; TAE THIRD PART.
But age seeks not the things which youth re.
quires, Now must I draw my forces 'gainst that host And no man needs that which he not desires. Of pleasures, which i th' sea of age are lost. When Sophocles was ask'd, if he deny'd o thou most high transcendent gift of age ! Himself the use of pleasures, he reply'd Youth from its folly'thus to disengage.
“ I humbly thank th' immortal gods, who me And now receive from me that most divine From that fierce tyrant's insolence set free." Oration of that noble Tarentine,
But they, whom pressing appetites constrain, Which at Tarentum I long since did hear, Grieve when they cannot their desires obtain. When I attended the great Fabius there. Young men the use of pleasure understand, Ye gods ! was it man's nature, or his fate, As of an object new, and near at hand : Betray'd him with sweet pleasure's poison’d Though this stands more remote from age's sight, bait?
Yet they behold it not without delight : Which he with all designs of art or power, As ancient soldiers, from their duties eas'd, Doth with unbridled appetite devour :
With sense of honour and rewards are pleas'd; And as all poisons seek the noblest part, So from ambitious hopes and lusts releast, Pleasure possesses first the head and heart; Delighted with itself, our age doth resta
No part of life's more happy, when with bread l'th' spring, like youth, it yields an acid taste, Of ancient knowledge, and new learning fed. But summer doth, like age, the sourness waste; All youthful pleasures by degrees must cease, Then cloth’d with leaves, from heat and cold But those of age ev'n with our years increase.
secure, We love not loaded boards, and goblets crown'd, Like virgins, sweet, and beauteous, when mature. But free from surfeits our repose is sound. On fruits, flowers, herbs, and plants, I long could When old Fabricius to the Samnites went,
dwell, Ambassador, from Rome to Pyrrhus sent, At once to please my eye, my taste, my smell ; He heard a grave philosopher maintain, My walks of trees, all planted by my hand, That all the actions of our life were vain, Like children of my own begetting stand. Which with our sense of pleasure not conspir'd; To tell the several natures of each earth, Fabricius the philosopher desir'd,
What fruits from each most properly take birth: That he to Pyrrhus' would that maxim teach, And with what arts to enrich every mould, And to the Samnites the same doctrine preach; The dry to moisten, and to warm the cold. Then of their conquest he should doubt no more, But when we graft, or buds inoculate, Whom their own pleasures overcame before. Nature by art we nobly meliorate; Now into rustic matters I must fall.
As Orpheus' music wildest beasts did tame, Which pleasure seems to me the chief of all. From the sour crab the sweetest apple came: Age no impediment to those can give,
The mother to the daughter goes to school, Who wisely by the rules of Nature live.
The species changed doth her laws o'er rule;
Much was I pleas'd with fowls and beasts, the Which, with her genuine warmth diffus'd and
For food and profit, and the wild for game. Sends forth betimes a green and tender head, Excuse me when this pleasant string I touch, Then gives it motion, life, and nourishment, (For age of what delights it, speaks too much.) Which from the root through nerves and veins Who twice victorious Pyrrhus conquered, are sent,
The Sabines and the Samnites captive led, Straight in a hollow sheath upright it grows, Great Curius, his remaining days did spend, And, form receiving doth itself disclose :
And in this happy life his triumphs end. Drawn up in ranks and files, the bearded spikes My farm stands near, and when I there retire, Guard it from birds, as with a stand of pikes. His and that age's temper I admire : When of the vine I speak, I seem inspir'd, The Samnite chiefs, as by his fire he sate, And with delight, as with her juice, am fir'd; With a vast sum of gold on him did wait ; At Nature's god-like power I stand amaz’d, “ Return,” said he, “ yg 's gold I nothing weigh, Which such vast bodies hath from atoms rais'd. When those, who can command it, me obey :" The kernel of a grape, the fig'a small grain, This my assertion proves, he may be old, Can clothe a mountain, and o'r shade a plain : And yet not sordid, who refuses gold. But thou, dear vine, forbid'st ne to be long, In summer to sit still, or walk, I love, Although thy trunk be neithe; farge nor strung. Neara cool fountain, or a shady grove, Nor can thy head (not helpt) itself sublime, What can in winter render more delight, Yet, like a serpent, a tall tree can climb; Than the high Sun at noon, and fire at night? Whate'er thy many fingers kan entwine, While our old friends and neighbours feast and Proves thy support, and all its strength is thine.
play, Though Nature gave not leg, it gave thee hands, And with their harmless mirth turn night to day, By which thy prop the proi dest cedar stands; Unpurchas'd plenty our full tables loads, As thou hast hands, so hatn thy offspring wings, And part of what they lent, retum t' our gods. And to the highest part of mortals springs. That horour and authority which dwells But lest thou should'st consume thy wealth in With age, all pleasures of our youth excels. vain
Observe, that I that age have only prais'd And starve thyself to feed a numerous train, Whose pillars were on youth's foundations rais'd, Or like the bee (sweet as thy blood) desigu'd. And that (for which I great applause receir'd) To be destroy'd to propagate his kind,
As a true maxim hath been since believ'd. Lest thy redundant and superfluous juice That most unhappy age great pity needs, Should fading leaves instead of fruits produce, Which to defend itself new matter pleads; The pruner's hand, with letting blood, must Not from grey hairs authority doth flow, quench
Nor from bald heads, nor from a wrinkled brow, Thy heat and thy exubrrant parts retrench : But our past life, when virtuously spent, Then from the joints of thy prolific stem Must to our age those happy fruits present. A swelling knot is raised (callid a gem),
Those things to age most honourable are, Whence in short space, itself the cluster shows, Which easy, common, and but light appear, And from earth's moisture mixt with sun-beams Salutes, consulting, compliment, resort, grows.
Crowding attendance to, and from the court:
And not on Rome alone this honour waits, The youngest in the morning are not sure,
That till the night their life they can secure,
Their age stands more expos'd to accidents From thence his strongest argument did raise, Than ours, nor common care their fate prevents : That Sparta did with honour age support,
Death's force(with terrour)against Nature strives, Paying them just respect at stage, and court. Nor one of many to ripe age arrives. But at proud Athens youth did age out-face,
From this ill fate the world's disorders rise, Nor at the plays would rise, or give them place. For if all men were old they would be wise; When an Athenian stranger of great age
Years and experience our forefathers taught, Arriv'd at Sparta, climbing up the stage,
Them under laws, and into cities brought; To him the whole assembly rose, and ran
Why only should the fear of death belong To place and ease this old and reverend man,
To age, which is as common to the young ? Who thus his thanks returns, “ Th’ Athenians Your hopeful brothers, and my son, to you know
(Scipio) and me, this maxim makes too true : What's to be done ; but what they know, not do." But vigorous youth may his gay thoughts erect Here our great senate's orders I may quote,
To many years, which age must not expect; The first in age is still the first in vote.
But when he sees his airy hopes deceiv'd;
“ Who this would have beNor honour, nor high birth, nor great command With grief he says, In competition with great years may stand.
liev'd?" Why should our youth's short transient pleasures We happier are than they, who but desir'd dare
To possess that, which we long since acquir'd. With age's lasting honours to compare ?
What if our age to Nestor's could extend? On the world's stage, when our applause grows 'Tis vain to think that lasting, which must end; high,
And when 'tis past, not any part remains For acting here life's tragic-comedy,
Thereof, but the reward which virtue gains. The lookers-on will say we act not well,
Days, months, and years, like running waters Unless the last the former scenes excel:
flow, But age is froward, uneasy, scrutinous,
Nor what is past, nor what's to come, we know; Hard to be pleas'd, and parsimonious ;
Our date, how short soe'er, must us content. But all those errours from our manners rise,
When a good actor doth bis part present, Not from our years; yet some morosities
In every act he our attention draws, We must expect, since jealousy belongs
That at the last he may find just applause; Tó age, of scorn, and tender sense of wrongs :
So (though but short) yet we must learn the art Yet those are mollify'd, or not discern'd,
Of virtue, on this stage to act our part; Where civil arts and manners have been learn'd: True wisdom must our actions so direct, So the Twins' humours, in our Terence, are
Not only the last plaudit to expect : [last, Unlike, this harsh and rude, that smooth and fair. Yet grieve no more, though long that part should Our nature here is not unlike our wine,
Than husbandmen, because the spring is past. Some sorts, when old, continue brisk and fine;
The spring, like youth, fresh blossoms doth proSo age's gravity may seem severe,
duce, But nothing harsh or bitter ought t'appear.
But autumn makes them ripe, and fit for usc; Of age's avarice I cannot see
So age a mature mellowness doth set What colour, ground, or reason there should be: On the green promises of youthful heat. Is it not folly, when the way we ride
All things which Nature did ordain are good, Is short, for a long voyage to provide ?
And so must be receiv'd and understood. To avarice some title youth may own,
Age like ripe apples, on Earth's bosom drops, To reap in autumn what the spring had sown;
While force our youth, like fruits untimely, And with the providence of bees, or ants,
crops; Prevent with summer's plenty, winter's wants.
The sparkling flame of our warm blood expires, But age scarce sows,till Death stands by to reap, But age unforc'd falls by her own consent,
As when huge streams are pour’d on raging fires ; And to a stranger's hand transfers the heap; Afraid to be so once, she's always poor,
As coals to ashes, when the spirit 's spent ; And to avoid a miscbief makes it sure.
Therefore to death I with such joy resort, Such maduess, as for fear of death to die,
As seamen from a tempest to their port.
Yet to that port ourselves we must not force,
Let us the causes of our fear condemn,
Then Death at his approach we shall contemn,
Though to our heat of youth our age seems cold, Now against (that which terrifies our age) Yet, when resolv'd, it is more brave and bold. The last, and greatest grievance, we engage; Thus Solon to Pisistratus reply'd, To her, grim Death appears in all her shapes, Demanded, on what succour he rely'd, The hungry grave for her due tribute gapes.
When with so few he boldly did engage ; Fond, foolish man! with fear of death surpris'd, He said, he took his courage from his age. Which either should be wish'd for, or despis'd; Then death seems welcome, and our nature kind, This, if our souls with bodies death destroy ; When, leaving is a perfect sense and mind, That, if our souls a second life enjoy.
She (like a workman in bis science skill'd) What else is to be feard, when we shall gaia Pulls down with ease, what her own hand did Eteroal life, or have no sense of pain ?
That art which knew to join all parts in one, He th’ immortality of souls proclaim'd,
(Whom th' oracle of men the wisest nam'd.) Yet though our ligaments betimes grow weak, Why should we doubt of that, whereof our sense We must not force them till themselves they break. Finds demonstration from experience ? Pythagoras bids us in our station stand,
Our minds are here, and there, below, above; Till God, our general, shall us disband.
Nothing that's mortal can so swiftly move. Wise Solon dying, wish'd his friends might grieve, Our thoughts to future things their flight directa That in their memories he still might live. And in an instant all that's past collect. Yet wiser Ennius gave command to all
Reason, remembrance, wit, inventive art, His friends, not to bewail his funeral;
No nature, but immortal, can impart. Your tears for such a death in vain you spend, Man's soul in a perpetual motion flows, Which straight in immortality shall end.
And to no outward cause that motion owes ; In death if there be any sense of pain,
And therefore that no end can overtake, But a short space to age it will remain;
Because our minds cannot themselves forsake. On which, without my fears, my wishes wait, And since the matter of our soul is pure But timorous youth on this should meditate: And simple, which no mixture can endure Who for light pleasure this advice rejects, Of parts, which not among themselves agree; Finds little, when his thoughts he recollects. Therefore it never can divided be. Our death (though not its certain date) we know; And Nature shows (without philosophy) Nor whether it may be this night or no:
What cannot be divided, cannot die. How then can they contented live, who fear We ev'n in early infancy discern, A danger certain ? and none knows how near. Knowledge is born with babes before they leam; They ert, who for the fear of death dispute, Ere they can speak, they find so many ways Our gallant actions this mistake confute.
To serve their turn, and see more arts than Thee Brutus, Rome's first martyr I must name,
days : The Curtii bravely div'd the gulph of flame; Before their thoughts they plainly can express, Attilius sacrific'd himself, to save
The words and things they know are numberless, That faith, which to his barbarous foes he gave; Which Nature only, and no art could find, With the two Scipio's did thy uncle fall,
But what she taught before, she call'd to mind. Rather than fly from conquering Hannibal ; These to his sons (as Xenophon records) The great Marcellus (who restored Rome) Of the great Cyrus were the dying words; His greatest foes with honour did intomb. “ Fear not when I depart (nor therefore mourn) Their lives how many of our legions threw
I shall be no where, or to nothing turn: Into the breach? whence no return they knew : That soul, which gave me life, was seen by none, Must then the wise, the old, the learned, fear Yet by the actions it design'd, was known ; What not the rude, the young, th' unlearn'd for- And though its flight no mortal eye shall see, bear?
Yet know, for ever it the same shall be. Satiety from all things else doth come,
That soul, which can immortal glory give, Then life must to itself grow wearisome.
To her own virtues must for ever live. Those trifes wherein children take delight Can you believe, that man's all-knowing mind Grow nauseous to the young man's appetite; Can to a mortal body be confin'd ? And from those gajeties our youth requires Though a foul foolish prison her immure To exercise their minds, our age retires.
On Earth, she (when escap'd) is wise and pure. And when the last delights of age shall die, Man's body, when dissolv’d, is but the same Life in itself will find satiety.
[hear, With beasts, and must return from whence it Now you, my friends, my sense of death shall
came; Which I can well describe, for he stands near, But whence into our bodies reason flows, Your father, Lælius, and your's, Scipio,
None sees it, when it comes, or where it goes. My friends, and men of honour, I did know; Nothing resembles death so much as sleep, As certainly as we must die, they live
Yet then our minds themselves from slumbers keep, That life which justly may that name receive: When from their fleshly bondage they are free, Till from these prisons of our flesh releas'd, Then what divine and future things they see! Our souls with heavy burthens lie oppress'd; Which makes it most apparent whence they are, Which part of man from Heaven falling down, And what they shall hereafter be, declare." Earth, in her low abyss, doth hide and drown, This noble speech the dying Cyrus made. A place so dark to the cælestial light,
Me, Scipio, shall no argument persuade, And pure eternal fire 's quite opposite.
Thy grandsire, and his brother, to whom Fame The gods through human bodies did disperse Gave, from two conquer'd parts o'th'world, their An heavenly soul, to guide this universe,
name, That man, when he of heavenly bodies saw Nor thy great grandsire, nor thy father Paul, The order, might from thence a pattern draw; Who fell at Cannæ against Hannibal; Nor this to me did my own dictates show, Nor I (for 'tis permitted to the ag'd But to the old pbilosophers I owe.
To boast their actions) had so oft engag'd I heard Pythagoras, and those who came In battles, and in pleadings, had we thought, With him, and from our country took their name; That only Fame our virtuous actions bought i Who never doubted but the beams divine, 'Twere better in soft pleasure and repose Deriv'd from gods in mortal breasts did shine. Ingloriously our peaceful eyes to close: Nor from my knowledge did the ancients hide Some high assurance hath possest niy mind, What Socrates declar'd the hour be dy'd; After my death an happier life to findo
Unless our souls from the immortals came, Not only those I nam'd I there shall greet,
Then cease to wonder that I feel no grief
And if I err, no power shall dispossess But such as before ours did end their days My thoughts of that expected happiness : Of whom we hear, and read, and write their Though some minute philosophers pretend, praise.
That with our days our pains and pleasures end This I believe: for were I on my way,
If it be so, I hold the safer side,
Yet virtue hath itself rewarded here.
Too late will wish, that me they had believ'd. Yet will I not my length of days deplore, If souls no immortality obtain, As many wise and learn'd have done before; 'Tis fit our bodies should be out of pain, Nor can I think such life in vain is lent,
The same uneasiness which every thing Which for our country and our friends is spent. Gives to our nature, life must also bring. Hepce from an inn, not from my home I pass, Good acts, if long, seem tedious; so is age, Since Nature meant us here no dwelling-place. Acting too long upon this Earth, her stage, Happy when I, from this turmoil set free, Thus much for age, to which when you arrive, That peaceful and divine assembly see : That joy to you, which it gives me, 'twill give.