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And fatteft of my flock, a fuckling yet,

That ne'er had nourishment, but from the teat;
No bitter willow-tops have been its food,

Scarce grass; its veins have more of milk than blood.
Next that, fhall mountain 'fparagus be laid,
Pull'd by fome plain, but cleanly, country maid.
The largest eggs, yet warm within their neft,
Together with the hens which laid them, dreft; |
Clufters of grapes, preferv'd for half a year,
Which plump and fresh as on the vines appear;
Apples of a ripe flavour, fresh and fair,
Mixt with the Syrian and the Signian pear,
Mellow'd by winter, from their cruder juice,
Light of digeftion now, and fit for use."

Such food as this would have been heretofore
Accounted riot in a fenator:

When the good Curius thought it no difgrace,
With his own hands a few finall herbs to drefs;
And from his little garden cull'd a feaft,

Which fetter'd flaves would now difdain to taste;
For fcarce a flave, but has to dinner. now,

The well-drefs'd paps of a fat

pregnant fow.

But heretofore 'twas thought a fumptuous treat,
On birth-days, feftivals, or days of ftate;

A falt, dry flitch of bacon to prepare :
If they had fresh meat, 'twas delicious fare!
Which rarely happen'd: and 'twas highly priz'd
If aught was left of what they facrific'd.
To entertainments of this kind would come
The worthieft and the greatest men in Rome;


Nay, feldom

any at such treats was feen,

But thofe who had at least thrice confuls been ; :
Or the dictator's office had difcharg'd,

And now from honourable toil enlarg'd,
Retir'd to hufband and manure their land,

Humbling themfelves to thofe they might command.
Then might y' have feen the good old general hafte,
Before th' appointed hour, to fuch a feast;
His fpade aloft, as 'twere in triumph held,
Proud of the conqueft of some stubborn field.
'Twas then, when pious confuls bore the fway,
And vice, difcourag'd, pale and trembling lay,
Our Cenfors then were fubject to the law,
Ev'n Power itself of Juftice ftood in awe.
It was not then a Roman's anxious thought,
Where largest tortoife-fhells were to be bought,
Where pearls might of the greatest price be had,
And thining jewels to adorn his bed,
That he at vaft expence might loll his head.
Plain was his couch, and only rich his mind;
Contentedly he flept, as cheaply as he din'd.
The foldier then, in Grecian arts unfkil'd,
Returning rich with plunder from the field;
If cups of filver or of gold be brought,
With jewels fet, and exquifitely wrought,
To glorious trappings ftraight the plate he turn'd,
And with the glittering fpoil his horse adorn'd;
Or elfe a helmet for himself he made,
Where various warlike figures were inlaid :



The Roman wolf fuckling the twins was there,
And Mars himself, arm'd with his field and spear,
Hovering above his creft, did dreadful fhow,
As threatening death to each refifting foe.r
No ufe of filver, but in arms, was known;
Splendid they were in war, and there alone.
No fide-boards then with gilded plate were drefs'd,
No fweating flaves with maffive dishes prefs'd;
Expensive riot was not understood,

But earthen platters held their homely food.
Who would not envy them that age of blifs,
That fees with fhame the luxury of this?
Heaven unwearied then did bleffings pour,
And pitying Jove foretold each dangerous hour;
Mankind were then familiar with the god,
He fnuff'd their incenfe with a gracious nod;
And would have ftill been bounteous, as of old,
Had we not left him for that idol gold.

His golden ftatues hence the god have driven :

For well he knows, where our devotion 's given.
'Tis gold we worship, though we pray to heaven.
Woods of our own afforded tables then,
Though none can please us now but from Japan.
Invite my lord to dine, and let him have
The nicest dish his appetite can crave;
But let it on an oaken board be fet,


His lord fhip will grow fick, and cannot eat :
Something's amifs, he knows not what to think,
Either your venifon's rank, or ointments stink.
ino al Jail mOrder

Order fome other table to be brought,
Something, at great expence in India bought,
Beneath whofe orb large yawning panthers lie,
Carv'd on rich pedestals of ivory :

He finds no more of that offenfive fimell,

The meat recovers,

and my lord

An ivory table is a certain whet;

grows well.

You would not think how heartily he'll eat,
As if new vigour to his teeth were sent,
By fympathy from thofe o' th' elephant.

But fuch fine feeders are no guests for me:

Riot agrees not with frugality;
Then, that unfashionable man am I,
With me they'd starve for want of ivory:
For not one inch does my whole houfe afford,
Not in my very tables, or chefs-board;
Of bone the handles of my knives are made,
Yet no ill tafte from thence affects the blade,
Or what I carve; nor is there ever left
Any unfavoury haut-goût from the haft.

A hearty welcome to plain wholesome meat
You'll find, but ferv'd up in no formal state;
No fewers nor dextrous carvers have I got,
Such as by skilful Trypherus are taught:

In whofe fam'd schools the various forms appear
Of fishes, beasts, and all the fowls o' th' air;
And where, with blunted knives, his scholars learn
How to diffect, and the nice joints difcern ;
While all the neighbours are with noife oppreft,
From the harsh carving of his wooden feast.


On me attends a raw unfkilful lad,

On fragments fed, in homely garments clad,
At once my carver, and my Ganymede;
With diligence he 'll ferve us while we dine,
And in plain beechen veffels fill our wine.
No beauteous boys I keep, from Phrygia brought,
No catamites, by fhameful pandars taught:
Only to me two home-bred youths belong,
Unskill'd in any but their mother-tongue;
Alike in feature both, and garb appear,
With honeft faces, though with uncurl'd hair.
This day thou shalt my rural pages fee,
For I have dreft them both to wait on thee.
Of country fwains they both were born, and one
My ploughman's is, t' other my fhepherd's fon;
A chearful fweetnefs in his looks he has,
And innocence unartful in his face :

Though fometimes fadnefs will o'ercaft the joy,
And gentle fighs break from the tender boy;
His abfence from his mother oft he 'll mourn,
And with his eyes look wishes to return;
Longing to fee his tender kids again,
And feed his lambs upon the flowery plain;
A modeft blush he wears, not form'd by art,
Free from deceit his face, and full as free his heart.
Such looks, fuch bafhfulness, might well adorn
The cheeks of youths that are more nobly born;
But noblemen thofe humble graces fcorn.
This youth to-day fhall my small treat attend,
And only he with wine fhall ferve my friend,




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