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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 gave ; 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. linked 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 adbrake,
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; I
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 aid 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, SO. 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
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.
'Tis happy when our streams of knowledge flow Who a bright cloud for Juno did embrace ; And such the monsters of Chimæra's behind,
To fill their banks, but not to overthrow.
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, por 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 year?
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 remembranca Jast. 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) And Nature (which all acts of life designs)
(A stripling then) in his fourth consulate Not like ill poets, in the last declines :
On him at Capua I in arms did wait. But some one part must be the last of all, I five years after at Tarentum wan Which, like ripe fruits, must either rot or fall. The quæstorship, and then our love began, And this from Nature must be gently borne, And four years after, when I prætor was, Else her (as giants did the gods) we scorn. He pleaded, and the Cincian law did pass.
LÆl. But, sir, 'tis Scipio's and my desire, With useful diligence he us'd t'engage, Since to long life we gladly would aspire, ( hear, Yet with the temperate arts of patient age That from your grave instructions we might He breaks fierce Hanniba P's insulting heats; How we, like yon, may this great burthen bear. Of which exploits thus our friend Ennius treats,
Cat. This I resolv'd before, but now shall do He by delay restor'd the commonwealth, With great delight, since 'tis requir'd by you. Nor preferr'd rumour before public health.
LÆL. If to yourself it will not tedious prove,
Four causes, which its misery declare.
1. Because our body's strength it much imTwo consuls (who in years my equals were)
pairs : When senators, lamenting I did hear,
2. That it takes off our minds from great afThat age from them had all their pleasures torn,
fairs : And them their former suppliants now scorn: 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, Joy'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 in human and ill-tempered mind,
Did Fabius, and your father Scipio
1 (Whose daughter my son married) nothing do? Theirage (as yours) can never bear such fruit Whose courage, counsel, 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 : Wh ther's our courage and our wisdom come, Dying in extreme age, 1 prophesy'd When Rome itself conspires the fate of Rome? That which is come to pass, and did discern 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, proceed; | 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, wbo 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 nuw grown old, I seem t'abandon it, As by age preservd, 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 gold. 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 fled, the town being lost, But in the quiet and contemplative. Yet he to Maxiinus 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 spenn'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, From which the commonwealth found good 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 beholu, Yet greater he appear'd in his retreat;
| And nothing that offends : he should have told When feasting with his privato friends at home, This not to age, but youth, who oftener see Such counsel, such discourse, from him did come, What not alone offends, but harts, than we :
That I in him, which he in age, condemn'd, | Cyrus, though ag'd, (if Xenophon say true) That us it renders odious and contemn’d.
Lucius Metellus (whom when young I knew) He knew not virtue, if he thought this truth; Who held (after his second consulate) For youth delights in age, and age in youth. Twenty-two years the high pontificate; What to the old can greater pleasure be,
Neither of these, in body or in mind, Than hopeful and ingenuous youth to see ;
Before their death the least decay did find. When they with reverence follow where we lead, I speak not of myself, though none deny And in straight paths by our directions tread! To age, to praise their youth, the liberty: And ev'n my conversation here I see,
Such an unwasted strength I cannot boast, As well receiv'd by you, as yours by me.
Yet now my years are eighty-four almost : 'Tis disingenuous to accuse our age
And though frim 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 hath 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, These 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 com
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 ? I grieve no more my youthful strength to want, The force which Nature gives with care retain, Than, young, that of a bull or elephant;
But, when decay'd, 'tis folly to complain; Then with that force content which Nature gare, In age to wish for youth is full as vain, Nor am I now displeas'd with what I have.
As for a youth to turn a child again. When the young wrestlers at their sport grew | Simple and certain Nature's ways appear, warm,
And she sets forth the seasons of the year. Old Milo wept to see his naked arm ;
So in all parts of life we find her truth, And cry'd, 'twas dead: Trifler, thine heart, and Weakness to childhood, rashness to our 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. 1 No duty which belongs ív 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 audiencelead: That they no great design can undertake; 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 besicle. What's to be done, or not be done, instruct | That Scipio, who adopted you, did fan And t, 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 be 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 xe may preveut, How in their progress they should act, and live. Like those of youth, by being diligent. And they whose high examples youth obeys, When sich, such moderate exercise we use, Are not ciespised, though their strength decays, And diet, as our vital beat renews ; And those decays (to speak the naked truth, And if our body thence refreshment finds, 'Though 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 :
Though bodies may be tir'd with exercise, Intoxicating both, by them, she finds,
Furies, which, reason's divine chains had bound, He represents the follies on the stage;
(That being broken) all the world confound. They're credulous, forgetful, dissolute,
Lust, 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 fed, Lust, petulance, rashness, are in youth more | All ber 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,
(Then censor) from the senate I displac'd;
Since by a private villainy he stain'd
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 bis 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 bigh 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 : All 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 ; THE 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.
“1 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 aitended 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 åge'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, Duth with unbridied appetite devour :
With sense of honour and rewards are pleas'd; And as all poisons sek 1'? noblest part,
S) from ambitious hopes and lu its releast, Pleasure possesses first the head and heart; Delighted with itself, our age doth resta