Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/162

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the more desperate in his circumstances any one is, the more severely be pinches him: he hunts out the names of young fellows that have just put on the toga virilis under rigid fathers. Who does not cry out, O sovereign Jupiter! when he has heard [of such knavery]? But [you will say, perhaps,] this man expends upon himself in proportion to his gain. You can hardly believe how little a friend he is to himself: insomuch that the father, whom Terence’s comedy introduces as living miserable after he had caused his son to run away from him, did not torment himself worse than he. Now if any one should ask, “To what does this matter tend?” To this: while fools shun [one sort of] vices, they fall upon their opposite extremes. Malthinus walks with his garments trailing upon the ground; there is another droll fellow who [goes] with them tucked up even to his middle; Rufillus smells like perfume itself, Gorgonius like a he-goat. There is no mean. There are some who would not keep company with a lady, unless her modest garment perfectly conceal her feet. Another, again, will only have such as take their station in a filthy brothel. When a certain noted spark came out of a stew, the divine Cato [greeted] him with this sentence: “Proceed (says he) in your virtuous course. For, when once foul lust has inflamed the veins, it is right for young fellows to come hither, in comparison of their meddling with other men’s wives.” I should not be willing to be commended on such terms, says Cupiennius, an admirer of the silken vail.

Ye, that do not wish well to the proceedings of adulterers, it is worth your while to hear how they are hampered on all sides; and that their pleasure, which happens to them but seldom, is interrupted with a great deal of pain, and often in the midst of very great dangers. One has thrown himself headlong from the top of a house; another has been whipped al-