Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/222

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by blind chance; he will make no more of it, than if he should set about raving by right reason and rule.” What—when, picking the pippins from the Picenian apples, you rejoice if haply you have hit the vaulted roof; are you yourself? What—when you strike out faltering accents from your antiquated palate, how much wiser are you than [a child] that builds little houses? To the folly [of love] add bloodshed, and stir the fire with a sword. I ask you, when Marius lately, after he had stabbed Hellas, threw himself down a precipice, was he raving mad? Or will you absolve the man from the imputation of a disturbed mind, and condemn him for the crime, according to your custom, imposing, on things named that have an affinity in signification?

There was a certain freedman, who, an old man, ran about the streets in a morning fasting, with his hands washed, and prayed thus: “Snatch me alone from death” (adding some solemn vow), “me alone, for it is an easy matter for the gods:” this man was sound in both his ears and eyes; but his master, when he sold him, would except his understanding, unless he were fond of law-suits. This crowd too Chrysippus places in the fruitful family of Menenius.

O Jupiter, who givest and takest away great afflictions, (cries the mother of a boy, now lying sick abed for five months), if this cold quartan ague should leave the child, in the morning of that day on which you enjoy a fast, he shall stand naked in the Tiber. Should chance or the physician relieve the patient from his imminent danger, the infatuated