Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/249

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and none from you, affright me.” Thou art a monster with many heads. For what shall I follow, or whom? One set of men delight to farm the public revenues: there are some, who would inveigle covetous widows with sweet-meats and fruits, and insnare old men, whom they would send [like fish] into their ponds: the fortunes of many grow by concealed usury. But be it, that different men are engaged in different employments and pursuits: can the same persons continue an hour together approving the same things? If the man of wealth has said, “No bay in the world outshines delightful Baiæ,” the lake and the sea presently feel the eagerness of their impetuous master: to whom, if a vicious humor gives the omen, [he will cry,] — “to-morrow, workmen, ye shall convey hence your tools to Teanum.” Has he in his hall the genial bed? He says nothing is preferable to, nothing better than a single life. If he has not, he swears the married only are happy. With what noose can I hold this Proteus, varying thus his forms? What does the poor man? Laugh [at him too]: is he not forever changing his garrets, beds, baths, barbers? He is as much surfeited in a hired boat, as the rich man is, whom his own galley conveys.

If I meet you with my hair cut by an uneven barber, you laugh [at me]: if I chance to have a ragged shirt under a handsome coat, or if my disproportioned gown fits me ill, you laugh. What [do you do], when my judgment contradicts itself? it despises what it before desired; seeks for that which lately it neglected; is all in a ferment, and is inconsistent in the whole tenor of life; pulls down, builds up, changes square to round. In this case, you think I am mad