Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/264

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passion makes his way to Philip’s house. Whom as soon as Philip beheld, rough and unshaven, “Vulteius,” said he, “you seem to me to be too laborious and earnest.” “In truth, patron,” replied he, “you would call me a wretch, if you would apply to me my true name. I beseech and conjure you then, by your genius and your right hand and your household gods, restore me to my former life.” As soon as a man perceives, how much the things he has discarded excel those which he pursues, let him return in time, and resume those which he relinquished.

It is a truth, that every one ought to measure himself by his own proper foot and standard.


EPISTLE VIII.
TO CELSUS ALBINOVANUS.
That he was neither well in body, nor in mind; that Celsus should bear his prosperity with moderation.

My muse at my request, give joy and wish success to Celsus Albinovanus, the attendant and the secretary of Nero. If he shall inquire, what I am doing, say that I, though promising many and fine things, yet live neither well [according to the rules of strict philosophy], nor agreeably;[1] not because the hail has crushed my vines, and the heat has nipped my olives; nor because my herds are distempered in distant pastures; but because, less sound in my mind than in my whole body, I will hear nothing, learn nothing which may relieve me, diseased as I am; that I am displeased with my faithful physicians, am angry with my friends for[2] being industrious to rouse me from a fatal lethargy; that I pursue things which have done me hurt, avoid things which I am persuaded would be of service, inconstant as the wind, at Rome am in love with Tibur, at Tibur with Rome. After this, inquire how he does; how he manages his business and himself; how

  1. Vivere nec rectè nec suaviter. This distinction is of pure Epicurean morality. Rectè vivere, to live according to the rules of virtue; vivere suaviter, to have no other guidance for our actions but pleasure and our passions. Ed. Dubl.
  2. Cur me funesto. The poet uses cur for quod, and it is too remarkable to be passed over. Ed. Dubl.