Masterpieces of Latin Literature: Terence: Lucretius: Catullus: Virgil: Horace: Tibullus: Propertius: Ovid: Petronius: Martial: Juvenal: Cicero: Caesar: Livy: Tacitus: Pliny the Younger: Apuleius; with Biographical Sketches and Notes

By Gordon Jennings Laing | Go to book overview
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"A miracle! if 't were not told by you,
I scarce should credit it." "And yet 't is true."
"Ah, well, you double my desire to rise
To special favor with a man so wise."75
"You've but to wish it: 't will be your own fault,
If, with your nerve, you win not by assault:
He can be won: that puts him on his guard,
And so the first approach is always hard."
"No fear of me, sir: a judicious bribe80
Will work a wonder with a menial tribe:
Say, I'm refused admittance for to-day);
I'll watch my time; I'll meet him in the way,
Escort him, dog him. In this world of ours
The path to what we want ne'er runs on flowers."85
'Mid all this prate there met us, as it fell,
Aristius, my good friend, who knew him well.
We stop: inquiries and replies go round:
"Where do you hail from?" "Whither are you
bound?"
There as he stood, impassive as a clod,90
I pull at his limp arms, frown, wink, and nod,
To urge him to release me. With a smile
He feigns stupidity: I burn with bile.
"Something there was you said you wished to tell
To me in private." "Ay, I mind it well;95
But not just now: 't is a Jews' fast to-day;
Affront a sect so touchy! nay, friend, nay."
"Faith, I've no scruples." "Ah! but I've a few:
I'm weak, you know, and do as others do:
Some other time: excuse me." Wretched me!100
That ever man so black a sun should see!
Off goes the rogue, and leaves me in despair,
Tied to the altar with the knife in air:
When, by rare chance, the plaintiff in the suit

-298-

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Masterpieces of Latin Literature: Terence: Lucretius: Catullus: Virgil: Horace: Tibullus: Propertius: Ovid: Petronius: Martial: Juvenal: Cicero: Caesar: Livy: Tacitus: Pliny the Younger: Apuleius; with Biographical Sketches and Notes
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