141           "quot pascit seruos? quot possidet agri
iugera? quam multa magnaque paropside cenat?"
quantum quisque sua nummorum seruat in arca,
tantum habet et fidei. iures licet et Samothracum
et nostrorum aras, contemnere fulmina pauper
What table does he keep, what slaves maintain,
And what, they ask, and where, is his domain?
These weighty matters known, his faith they rate,
And square his probity to his estate.
The poor may swear by all the immortal Powers,
By the Great Gods of Samothrace, and ours,
His oaths are false, they cry; he scoffs at heaven,
And all its thunders; scoffs,— and is forgiven!
Add, that the wretch is still the theme of scorn,
If the soil’d cloak be patch’d, the gown o’erworn;
If, through the bursting shoe, the foot be seen,
Or the coarse seam tell where the rent has been.
O Poverty, thy thousand ills combined,
Sink not so deep into the generous mind,
As the contempt and laughter of mankind!
“Up! Up! these cushion’d benches,” Lectius cries,
“Befit not your estates: for shame! arise.”
For “shame!” — but you say well: the pander’s heir,
The spawn of bulks and stews, is seated there;
The cry’r’s spruce son, fresh from the fencer’s school,
And prompt the taste to settle and to rule.—
So Otho fix’d it, whose preposterous pride,
First dared to chase us from their Honour’s side.
In these curs’d walls, devote alone to gain,
When do the poor a wealthy wife obtain?
When are they named in wills? when call’d to share
The Aedile’s council, and assist the chair? —
Long since should they have risen, thus slighted, spurn’d,
And left their home, but — not to have return’d!
Depress’d by indigence, the good and wise,
In every clime, by painful efforts rise;
HERE, by more painful still, where scanty cheer,
Poor lodging, mean attendance, — all is dear.
In earthen ware HE scorns, at Rome, to eat,
WHO, call’d abruptly to the Marsian’s seat,
From such, well pleased, would take his simple food,
Nor blush to wear the cheap Venetian hood.
146 creditur atque deos dis ignoscentibus ipsis.
quid quod materiam praebet causasque iocorum
omnibus hic idem, si foeda et scissa lacerna,
si toga sordidula est et rupta calceus alter
pelle patet, uel si consuto uolnere crassum
151 atque recens linum ostendit non una cicatrix?
nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se
quam quod ridiculos homines facit. "exeat" inquit,
"si pudor est, et de puluino surgat equestri,
cuius res legi non sufficit, et sedeant hic
156 lenonum pueri quocumque ex fornice nati,
hic plaudat nitidus praeconis filius inter
pinnirapi cultos iuuenes iuuenesque lanistae."
sic libitum uano, qui nos distinxit, Othoni.
quis gener hic placuit censu minor atque puellae
161 sarcinulis inpar? quis pauper scribitur heres?
quando in consilio est aedilibus? agmine facto
debuerant olim tenues migrasse Quirites.
haut facile emergunt quorum uirtutibus obstat
res angusta domi, sed Romae durior illis
166 conatus: magno hospitium miserabile, magno
seruorum uentres, et frugi cenula magno.
fictilibus cenare pudet, quod turpe negabis
translatus subito ad Marsos mensamque Sabellam
contentusque illic Veneto duroque cucullo.
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