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Better Together

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Banquet halls are a very special place, where under one big roof so many different memories are made. From proms to weddings to baby showers, once that DJ starts to spin, there’s something about that cavernous echo that begs to be filled with sing-along dance tunes. Top 40 hits come and go, and no doubt there will be plenty of those contemporary tunes throughout the evening, but there are few songs that are as fun now as they were the first time. Not only do they never go out of style, they are essential components of the perfect hoe-down in all banquet halls.

1. The Chicken Dance
This song is a great opener to get the crowd going. Even the stiffest old timers can’t help but get up and shake a leg when this song comes on. And what could be cuter than a gaggle of little kids all wiggling their tail feathers and squawking like chicks? This is a great song for a country-themed wedding.

2. Macarena, by Los Dos Rios
A major craze when first released in 1995, the Macarena will keep the energy up, up, up. The simple dance moves and catchy tune are an irresistible combination, and the Latin flavor will be a welcome change of beat.

3. Dancing Queen, by ABBA
Light-hearted and bubbly, Dancing Queen is a must-have for any occasion where free spirits are blooming and the night is young. Dancing Queen was written for the royal Swedish wedding in 1976, but its candy-sweet ebullience is as fresh as ever. This song has gone on to be a romantic staple at just about every wedding in the U.S.

4. My Heart Will Go On, by Celine Dion
The words are simple, the feeling is big. Lost love is in the air, and nobody ever said it better than Celine. Play this song later in the night, after a few glasses of wine have everyone misty-eyed and ready to belt out, “My heart will go on and OOOOOOON!” with Celine.

5. Don’t Stop Believin, by Journey
The ultimate crowd-pleaser, bring the mood up again with Journey’s quintessential Americana midnight adventure song. Fists will pump and memories of late-night train rides and midnight diner trysts will flood back. Even though this song came out in 1981, it still plays on the radio often enough that kids who weren’t even born then know the words. It’s a great goodbye, goodnight, and see you on the road song.

These time-honored tunes have been staples of banquet halls for decades because they’ve got that timeless jive that keeps them fresh. They are sure to bring back old memories and inspire new ones.

riage, first gave sign
Unto his contract; fire and air did shine,
As guilty of the match; and from the hill
The nymphs with shriekings do the region fill.
Here first began their bane; this day was ground
Of all their ills; for now, nor rumour’s sound,
Nor nice respect of state, moves Dido ought;
Her love no longer now by stealth is sought:
She calls this wedlock, and with that fair name
Covers her fault. Forthwith the bruit and fame,
Through all the greatest Lybian towns is gone;
Fame, a fleet evil, than which is swifter none,
That moving grows, and flying gathers strength,
Little at first, and fearful; but at length
She dares attempt the skies, and stalking proud
With feet on ground, her head doth pierce a cloud!
This child, our parent earth, stirr’d up with spite
Of all the gods, brought forth; and, as some write,
She was last sister of that giant race
That thought to scale Jove’ s court; right swift of pace,
And swifter far of wing; a monster vast,
And dreadful. Look, how many plumes are placed
On her huge corps, so many waking eyes
Stick underneath; and, which may stranger rise
In the report, as many tongues she bears,
As many mouths, as many listening ears.
Nightly, in midst of all the heaven, she flies,
And through the earth’s dark shadow shrieking cries,
Nor do her eyes once bend to taste sweet sleep;
By day on tops of houses she doth keep,
Or on high towers; and doth thence affright
Cities and towns of most conspicuous site:
As covetous she is of tales and lies,
As prodigal of truth: this monster—

[within.] Come, follow me, assist me, second me! Where’! the

1 Eques.
[within.] Sir, you must pardon us.

2 Eques.
[within.] Caesar is private now; you may not enter.

[within.] Not enter! Charge them upon their allegiance,

1 Eques.
[within.] We have a charge to the contrary, sir.

[within.] I pronounce you all traitors, horrible traitors:
What! do you know my affairs? I have matter of danger and state to impart to Caesar.

What noise is there? who’s that names Caesar?

[within.] A friend to Caesar. One that, for Caesar’s good,
would speak with Caesar.

Who is it? look, Cornelius.

1 Eques.
[within.] Asinius Lupus.

O, bid the turbulent informer hence;
We have no vacant ear now, to receive
The unseason’d fruits of his officious tongue.

You must avoid him there.

[within.] I conjure thee, as thou art. Caesar, or respectest
thine own safety, or the safety of the state, Caesar, hear me,
speak with me, Caesar; ’tis no common business I come about, but
such, as being neglected, may concern the life of Caesar.

The life of Caesar! Let him enter. Virgil, keep thy seat.
Enter Lupus, Tucca, and Lictors.

[within.] Bear back, there: whither will you? keep back!

By thy leave, goodman usher: mend thy peruke; so.

Lay hold on Horace there; and on Mecaenas, lictors. Romans,
offer no rescue, upon your allegiance: read, royal Caesar.
[Gives a paper.] I’ll tickle you, Satyr.

He will, Humours, he will; he will squeeze you, poet

I’ll lop you off for an unprofitable branch, you satirical

Ay, and Epaminondas your patron here, with his flagon chain;
come, resign: [takes off Mecaenas’ chain,] though ’twere your great grandfather’s, the law has made it mine now, sir. Look to him, my party-coloured rascals; look to him.

What is this, Asinius Lupus? I understand it not.

Not understand it! A libel, Caesar; a dangerous, seditious
libel; a libel in picture.

A libel!

Ay, I found it in this Horace his study, in Mecaenas his
house, here; I challenge the penalty of the laws against them.

Ay, and remember to beg their land betimes; before some of
these hungry court-hounds scent it out.

Shew it to Horace: ask him if he know it.

Know it! his hand is at it, Caesar.

Then ’tis no libel.

It is the imperfect body of an emblem, Caesar, I began for

An emblem! right: that’s Greek for a libel. Do but mark how
confident he is.

A just man cannot fear, thou foolish tribune;
Not, though the malice of traducing tongues,
The open vastness of a tyrant’s ear,
The senseless rigour of the wrested laws,
Or the red eyes of strain’d authority,
Should, in a point, meet all to take his life:
His innocence is armour ‘gainst all these.

Innocence! O impudence! let me see, let me see! Is not here an
eagle! and is not that eagle meant by Caesar, ha? Does not Caesar
give the eagle? answer me; what sayest thou?

Hast thou any evasion, stinkard?

Now he’s turn’d dumb. I’ll tickle you, Satyr.

Pish: ha, ha!

Dost thou pish me? Give me my long sword.

With reverence to great Caesar, worthy Romans,
Observe but this ridiculous commenter;
The soul ‘to my device was in this distich:
Thus oft, the base and ravenous multitude
Survive, to share the spoils of fortitude.
Which in this body I have figured here,
A vulture—

A vulture! Ay, now, ’tis a vulture. O abominable! monstrous!
monstrous! has not your vulture a beak? has it not legs, and
talons, and wings, and feathers?

Touch him, old buskins.

And therefore must it be an eagle?

Respect him not, good Horace: say your device.

A vulture and a wolf

A wolf! good: that’s I; I am the wolf: my name’s Lupus; I am
meant by the wolf. On, on; a vulture and a wolf

Preying upon the carcass of an ass—

An ass! good still: that’s I too; I am the ass. You mean me by
the ass.

Prithee, leave braying then.

If you will needs take it, I cannot with modesty give it from

But, by that beast, the old Egyptians
Were wont to figure, in their hieroglyphics,
Patience, frugality, and fortitude;
For none of which we can suspect you, tribune.

Who was it, Lupus, that inform’d you first, This should be
meant by us? Or was’t your comment?

No, Caesar; a player gave me the first light of it indeed.

Ay, an honest sycophant-like slave, and a politician besides

Where is that player?

He is without here.

Call him in.

Call in the player there: master AEsop, call him.

[within.] Player! where is the player? bear back: none but
the player enter.

[Enter AESOP, followed by CRISPINUS and DEMETRIUS.

Yes, this gentleman and his Achates must.

Pray you, master usher:—we’ll stand close, here.

‘Tis a gentleman of quality, this; though he be somewhat out
of clothes, I tell ye.—Come, AEsop, hast a bay-leaf in thy mouth?
Well said; be not out, stinkard. Thou shalt have a monopoly of
playing confirm’d to thee, and thy covey, under the emperor’s broad seal, for this service.

Is this he?

Ay, Caesar, this is he.

Let him be whipped. Lictors, go take him hence.
And, Lupus, for your fierce credulity,
One fit him with a pair of larger ears:
‘Tis Caesar’s doom, and must not be revoked.
We hate to have our court and peace disturb’d
With these quotidian clamours. See it done.


[Exeunt some of the Lictors, with Lupus and AEsop

Gag him, [that] we may have his silence.

Caesar hath done like Caesar. Fair and just
Is his award, against these brainless creatures.
‘Tis not the wholesome sharp morality,
Or modest anger of a satiric spirit,
That hurts or wounds the body of the state;
But the sinister application
Of the malicious, ignorant, and base
Interpreter; who will distort, and strain
The general scope and purpose of an author
To his particular and private spleen.

We know it, our dear Virgil, and esteem it
A most dishonest practice in that man,
Will seem too witty in another’s work.
What would Cornelius Gallus, and Tibullus?

[They whisper Caesar.

[to Mecaenas.] Nay, but as thou art a man, dost hear! a man
of worship and honourable: hold, here, take thy chain again.
Resume, mad Mecoenas. What! dost thou think I meant to have kept it, old boy? no: I did it but to fright thee, I, to try how thou
would’st take it. What! will I turn shark upon my friends, or my
friends’ friends? I scorn it with my three souls. Come, I love
bully Horace as well as thou dost, I: ’tis an honest hieroglyphic.
Give me thy wrist, Helicon. Dost thou think I’ll second e’er a
rhinoceros of them all, against thee, ha? or thy noble Hippocrene,
here? I’ll turn stager first, and be whipt too: dost thou see,

You have your will of Caesar: use it, Romans.
Virgil shall be your praetor: and ourself
Will here sit by, spectator of your sports;
And think it no impeach of royalty.
Our ear is now too much profaned, grave Maro,
With these distastes, to take thy sacred lines;
Put up thy book, till both the time and we
Be fitted with more hallow’d circumstance
For the receiving of so divine a work.
Proceed with your design.

Mec. Gal. Tib.
Thanks to great Caesar.

Tibullus, draw you the indictment then, whilst Horace arrests
them on the statute of Calumny. Mecaenas and I will take our
places here. Lictors, assist him.

I am the worst accuser under heaven.

Tut, you must do it; ’twill be noble mirth.

I take no knowledge that they do malign me.

Ay, but the world takes knowledge.

Would the world knew
How heartily I wish a fool should hate me!

Body of Jupiter! what! will they arraign my brisk Poetaster
and his poor journeyman, ha? Would I were abroad skeldering for, a drachm, so I were out of this labyrinth again! I do feel myself
turn stinkard already: but I must set the best face I have upon’t
[Aside.]—Well said, my divine, deft Horace, bring the whoreson detracting slaves to the bar, do; make them hold up their spread golls: I’ll give in evidence for thee, if thou wilt. Take courage, Crlspinus; would thy man had a clean band!

What must we do, captain?

Thou shalt see anon: do not make division with thy legs so.

What’s he. Horace?

I only know him for a motion, Caesar.

I am one of thy commanders, Caesar; a man of service and
action: my name is Pantilius Tucca; I have served in thy wars
against Mark Antony, I.

Do you know him, Cornelius?

He’s one that hath had the mustering, or convoy of a company
now and then: I never noted him by any other employment.

We will observe him better.

Lictor, proclaim silence in the court.

In the name of Caesar, silence!

Let the parties, the accuser and the accused, present

The accuser and the accused, present yourselves in court.

Dem. Here.

Read the indictment.

Rufus Laberius Crispinus, and Demetrius Fannius, hold up your
hands. You are, before this time, jointly and severally indicted,
and here presently to be arraigned upon the statute of calumny, or
Lex Remmia, the one by the name of Rufus Laberius Crispinus, alias
Cri-spinus, poetaster and plagiary, the other by the name of
Demetrius Fannius, play-dresser and plagiary. That you (not having
the fear of Phoebus, or his shafts, before your eyes) contrary to
the peace of our liege lord, Augustus Caesar, his crown and
dignity, and against the form of a statute, in that case made and
provided, have moat ignorantly, foolishly, and, more like
yourselves, maliciously, gone about to deprave, and calumniate the
person and writings of Quintus Horatius Flaccus, here present,
poet, and priest to the Muses, and to that end have mutually
conspired and plotted, at sundry times, as by several means, and in
sundry places, for the better accomplishing your base and envious
purpose, taxing him falsely, of self-love, arrogancy, impudence,
railing, filching by translation, etc. Of all which calumnies, and
every of them, in manner and form aforesaid, what answer you! Are you guilty, or not guilty?

Not guilty, say.

Dem. Not guilty.

How will you be tried?
[Aside to Crispinus.

By the Roman Gods, and the noblest Romans.

Dem. By the Roman gods, and the noblest Romans.

Here sits Mecaenas, and Cornelius Gallus, are you contented
to be tried by these?

Ay, so the noble captain may be joined with them in
commission, say.

Dem. Ay, so the noble captain may be joined
with them in commission.

What says the plaintiff?

I am content.

Captain, then take your place.

alas, my worshipful praetor! ’tis more of thy gentleness than
of my deserving, I wusse. But since it hath pleased the court to
make choice of my wisdom and gravity, come, my calumnious
varlets; let’s hear you talk for yourselves, now, an hour or two.
What can you say? Make a noise. Act, act!

Stay, turn, and take an oath first. You shall swear,
By thunder-darting Jove, the king of gods,
And by the genius of Augustus Caesar;
By your own white and uncorrupted souls,
And the deep reverence of our Roman justice;
To judge this case, with truth and equity:
As bound by your religion, and your laws.
Now read the evidence: but first demand
Of either prisoner, if that writ be theirs.
[Gives him two papers.

Shew this unto Crispinus. Is it yours?

Say, ay. [Aside.]—What! dost thou stand upon it, pimp! Do not
deny thine own Minerva, thy Pallas, the issue of thy brain.

Yes it is mine.

Shew that unto Demetrius. Is it yours?

It is.

There’s a father will not deny his own bastard now, I warrant

Read them aloud.

Ramp up my genius, be not retrograde;
But boldly nominate a spade a spade
What, shall thy lubrical and glibbery muse
Live, as she were defunct, like punk in stews!


Alas! that were no modern consequence,
To have cothurnal buskins frighted hence.
No, teach thy Incubus to poetise;
And throw abroad thy spurious snotteries,
Upon that puft-up lump of balmy froth.

Ah, Ah!

Or clumsy chilblain’d judgment; that with oath
Magnificates his merit; and beapawls
The conscious time, with humorous foam and brawls,
As if his organons of sense would crack
The sinews of my patience. Break his back,
O poets all and some! for now we list
Of strenuous vengeance to clutch the fist.

Ay, marry, this was written like a Hercules in poetry, now.

Excellently well threaten’d!

And as strangely worded, Caesar.

We observe it.

The other now.

This is a fellow of a good prodigal tongue too, this will do

Our Muse is in mind for th’ untrussing a poet,
I slip by his name, for most men do know it:
A critic, that all the world bescumbers
With satirical humours and lyrical numbers:

Art thou there, boy?

And for the most part, himself doth advance
With much self-love, and more arrogance.

Good again!

And, but that I would not be thought a prater,
I could tell you he were a translator.
I know the authors from whence he has stole,
And could trace him too, but that
I understand them not full and whole.

That line is broke loose from all his fellows: chain him up
shorter, do.

The best note I can give you to know him by,
Is, that he keeps gallants’ company;
Whom I could wish, in time should him fear,
Lest after they buy repentance too dear.

Well said! This carries palm with it.

And why, thou motley gull, why should they fear!
When hast thou known us wrong or tax a friend?
I dare thy malice to betray it. Speak.
Now thou curl’st up, thou poor and nasty snake,
And shrink’st thy poisonous head into thy bosom:
Out, viper! thou that eat’st thy parents, hence!
Rather, such speckled creatures, as thyself,
Should be eschew’d, and shunn’d; such as will bite
And gnaw their absent friends, not cure their fame;
Catch at the loosest laughters, and affect
To be thought jesters; such as can devise
Things never seen, or head, t’impair men’s names,
And gratify their credulous adversaries;
Will carry tales, do basest offices,
Cherish divided fires, and still encrease
New flames, out of old embers; will reveal
Each secret that’s committed to their trust:
These be black slaves; Romans, take heed of these.

Thou twang’st right, little Horace: they be indeed a couple of
chap-fall’n curs. Come, we of the bench, let’s rise to the urn, and
condemn them quickly.

Before you go together, worthy Romans,
We are to tender our opinion;
And give you those instructions, that may add
Unto your even judgment in the cause:
Which thus we do commence. First, you must know,
That where there is a true and perfect merit,
There can be no dejection; and the scorn
Of humble baseness, oftentimes so works
In a high soul, upon the grosser spirit,
That to his bleared and offended sense,
There seems a hideous fault blazed in the object;
When only the disease is in his eyes.
Here-hence it comes our Horace now stands tax’d
Of impudence, self-love, and arrogance,
By those who share no merit in themselves;
And therefore think his portion is as small.
For they, from their own guilt, assure their souls,
If they should confidently praise their works,
In them it would appear inflation:
Which, in a full and well digested man,
Cannot receive that foul abusive name,
But the fair title of erection.
And, for his true use of translating men,
It still hath been a work of as much palm,
In clearest judgments, as to invent or make,
His sharpness,—-that is most excusable;
As being forced out of a suffering virtue,
Oppressed with the license of the time:—-
And howsoever fools or jerking pedants,
Players, or suchlike buffoon barking wits,
May with their beggarly and barren trash
Tickle base vulgar ears, in their despite;
This, like Jove’s thunder, shall their pride control,
“The honest satire hath the happiest soul.”

Now, Romans, you have heard our thoughts;
withdraw when you please.

Remove the accused from the bar.

Who holds the urn to us, ha? Fear nothing, I’ll quit you, mine
honest pitiful stinkards; I’ll do’t.

Captain, you shall eternally girt me to you, as I am

Go to.

Tibullus, let there be a case of vizards privately provided;
we have found a subject to bestow them on.

It shall be done, Caesar.

Here be words, Horace, able to bastinado a man’s ears.

Hor. Ay.
Please it, great Caesar, I have pills about me,
Mixt with the whitest kind of hellebore,
Would give him a light vomit, that should purge
His brain and stomach of those tumorous heats:
Might I have leave to minister unto him.

O, be his AEsculapius, gentle Horace!
You shall have leave, and he shall be your patient. Virgil,
Use your authority, command him forth.

Caesar is careful of your health, Crispinus;
And hath himself chose a physician
To minister unto you: take his pills.

They are somewhat bitter, sir, but very wholesome.
Take yet another; so: stand by, they’ll work anon.

Romans, return to your several seats: lictors, bring forward
the urn; and set the accused to the bar.

Quickly, you whoreson egregious varlets; come forward. What!
shall we sit all day upon you? You make no more haste now, than a
beggar upon pattens; or a physician to a patient that has no money,
you pilchers.

Rufus Laberius Crispinus, and Demetrius Fannius, hold up your
hands. You have, according to the Roman custom, put yourselves upon trial to the urn, for divers and sundry calumnies, whereof you
have, before this time, been indicted, and are now presently
arraigned: prepare yourselves to hearken to the verdict of your
tryers. Caius Cilnius Mecaenas pronounceth you, by this
hand-writing, guilty. Cornelius Gallus, guilty. Pantilius Tucca—

Parcel-guilty, I.

He means himself; for it was he indeed
Suborn’d us to the calumny.

I, you whoreson cantharides! was it I?

I appeal to your conscience, captain.

Then you confess it now?

I do, and crave the mercy of the court.

What saith Crispinus?

O, the captain, the captain—-

My physic begins to work with my patient, I see.

Captain, stand forth and answer.

Hold thy peace, poet praetor: I appeal from thee to Caesar, I.
Do me right, royal Caesar.

Marry, and I will, sir.—-Lictors, gag him; do.
And put a case of vizards o’er his head,
That he may look bifronted, as he speaks.

Gods and fiends! Caesar! thou wilt not, Caesar, wilt thou?
Away, you whoreson vultures; away. You think I am a dead corps now, because Caesar is disposed to jest with a man of mark, or so. Hold your hook’d talons out of my flesh, you inhuman harpies. Go to, do’t. What! will the royal Augustus cast away a gentleman of
worship, a captain and a commander, for a couple of condemn’d
caitiff calumnious cargos?

Dispatch, lictors.

Tuc. Caesar!
[The vizards are put upon him.

Forward, Tibullus.

Demand what cause they had to malign Horace.

In troth, no great cause, not I, I must confess; but that he
kept better company, for the most part, than I; and that better men
loved him than loved me; and that his writings thrived better than
mine, and were better liked and graced: nothing else.

Thus envious souls repine at others’ good.

If this be all, faith, I forgive thee freely.
Envy me still, so long as Virgil loves me,
Gallus, Tibullus, and the best-best Caesar,
My dear Mecaenas; while these, with many more,
Whose names I wisely slip, shall think me worthy
Their honour’d and adored society,
And read and love, prove and applaud my poems;
I would not wish but such as you should spite them.


How now, Crispinus? C

O, I am sick—!

A bason, a bason, quickly; our physic works. Faint not, man.


What’s that, Horace?

Retrograde, reciprocal, and incubus, are come up.

Thanks be to Jupiter!


Well said; here’s some store.

What are they?

Glibbery, lubrical, and defunct.

O, they came up easy.


What’s that?

Nothing yet.


Magnificate! That came up somewhat hard.

Ay. What cheer, Crispinus?

O! I shall cast up my———spurious———snotteries———

Good. Again.


That clumsie stuck terribly.

What’s all that, Horace?

Spurious, snotteries, chilblain’d, clumsie.

O Jupiter!

Who would have thought there should have been such a deal of
filth in a poet?

O———balmy froth———

What’s that?


Balmy, froth, puffie, inflate, turgidous, and ventosity are
come up.

O terrible windy words.

A sign of a windy brain.


Here’s a deal; oblatrant, furibund, fatuate, strenuous.

Now all’s come up, I trow. What a tumult he had in his belly?

No, there’s the often conscious damp behind still.


It is come up, thanks to Apollo and AEsculapius: another; you
were best take a pill more.

O, no; O———O———O———O———O!

Force yourself then a little with your finger.


Prorumped I What a noise it made! as if his spirit would have
prorumpt with it.


Help him, it sticks strangely, whatever it is.


Now it is come; clutcht.

Clutcht! it is well that’s come up; it had but a narrow


Again! hold him, hold his head there.

Snarling gusts———quaking custard.

How now, Crispinus?


Nay, that are all we, I assure you.

How do you feel yourself?

Pretty and well, I thank you.

These pills can but restore him for a time,
Not cure him quite of such a malady,
Caught by so many surfeits, which have fill’d
His blood and brain thus full of crudities:
‘Tis necessary therefore he observe
A strict and wholesome diet. Look you take
Each morning of old Cato’s principles
A good draught next your heart; that walk upon,
Till it be well digested: then come home,
And taste a piece of Terence, suck his phrase
Instead of liquorice; and, at any hand,
Shun Plautus and old Ennius: they are meats
Too harsh for a weak stomach.
Use to read (But not without a tutor) the best Greeks,
As Orpheus, Musaeus, Pindarus,
Hesiod, Callimachus, and Theocrite,
High Homer; but beware of Lycophron,
He is too dark and dangerous a dish.
You must not hunt for wild outlandish terms,
To stuff out a peculiar dialect;
But let your matter run before your words.
And if at any time you chance to meet
Some Gallo-Belgic phrase; you shall not straight.
Rack your poor verse to give it entertainment,
But let it pass; and do not think yourself
Much damnified, if you do leave it out,
When nor your understanding, nor the sense
Could well receive it. This fair abstinence,
In time, will render you more sound and clear:
And this have I prescribed to you, in place
Of a strict sentence; which till he perform,
Attire him in that robe. And henceforth learn
To bear yourself more humbly; not to swell,
Or breathe your insolent and idle spite
On him whose laughter can your worst affright.

Take him away.

Jupiter guard Caesar!

And for a week or two see him lock’d up
In some dark place, removed from company;
He will talk idly else after his physic.
Now to you, sir. [to Demetrius.] The extremity of law
Awards you to be branded in the front,
For this your calumny: but since it pleaseth
Horace, the party wrong’d, t’ intreat of Caesar
A mitigation of that juster doom,
With Caesar’s tongue thus we pronounce your sentence.
Demetrius Fannius, thou shalt here put on
That coat and cap, and henceforth think thyself
No other than they make thee; vow to wear them
In every fair and generous assembly,
Till the best sort of minds shall take to knowledge
As well thy satisfaction, as thy wrongs.

Only, grave praetor, here, in open court,
I crave the oath for good behaviour
May be administer’d unto them both.

Horace, it shall: Tibullus, give it them.

Rufus Laberius Crispinus, and Demetrius Fannius, lay your
hands on your hearts. You shall here solemnly attest and swear,
that never, after this instant, either at booksellers’ stalls, in
taverns, two-penny rooms, tyring-houses, noblemen’s butteries,
puisents chambers, (the best and farthest places where you are
admitted to come,) you shall once offer or dare (thereby to endear
yourself the more to any player, enghle, or guilty gull in your
company) to malign, traduce, or detract the person or writings of
Quintus Horatius Flaccus, or any other eminent men, transcending
you in merit, whom your envy shall find cause to work upon, either
for that, or for keeping himself in better acquaintance, or
enjoying better friends, or if, transported by any sudden and
desperate resolution, you do, that then you shall not under the
batoon, or in the next presence, being an honourable assembly of
his favourers, be brought as voluntary gentlemen to undertake the
for-swearing of it. Neither shall you, at any time, ambitiously
affecting the title of the Untrussers or Whippers of the age,
suffer the itch of writing to over-run your performance in libel,
upon pain of being taken up for lepers in wit, and, losing both
your time and your papers, be irrecoverably forfeited to the
hospital of fools. So help you our Roman gods and the Genius of
great Caesar.

So! now dissolve the court.

Bor. Tib. Gal. Mec.
And thanks to Caesar, That thus hath exercised his patience.

We have, indeed, you worthiest friends of Caesar.
It is the bane and torment of our ears,
To hear the discords of those jangling rhymers,
That with their bad and scandalous practices
Bring all true arts and learning in contempt.
But let not your high thoughts descend so low
As these despised objects; let them fall,
With their flat grovelling souls: be you yourselves;
And as with our best favours you stand crown’d,
So let your mutual loves be still renown’d.
Envy will dwell where there is want of merit,
Though the deserving man should crack his spirit.

Blush, folly, blush; here’s none that fears
The wagging of an ass’s ears,
Although a wolfish case he wears.
Detraction is but baseness’ varlet;
And apes are apes, though clothed in scarlet.


Rumpatur, quisquis rumpitur invidi!

“Here, reader, in place of the epilogue, was meant to thee an
apology from the author, with his reasons for the publishing of
this book: but, since he is no less restrained than thou deprived
of it by authority, he prays thee to think charitably of what thou
hast read. till thou mayest hear him speak what he hath written.”

                                    HORACE AND TREBATIUS.
                                                A DIALOGUE.
                                                Sat. 1. Lib. 2.

There are to whom I seem excessive sour,
And past a satire’s law t’ extend my power:
Others, that think whatever I have writ
Wants pith and matter to eternise it;
And that they could, in one day’s light, disclose
A thousand verses, such as I compose.
What shall I do, Trebatius? say.


And shall my muse admit no more increase?

So I advise.

An ill death let me die,
If ’twere not best; but sleep avoids mine eye,
And I use these, lest nights should tedious seem.

Rather, contend to sleep, and live like them,
That, holding golden sleep in special price,
Rubb’d with sweet oils, swim silver Tyber thrice,
And every even with neat wine steeped be:
Or, if such love of writing ravish thee,
Then dare to sing unconquer’d Caesar’s deeds;
Who cheers such actions with abundant meeds.

That, father, I desire; but, when I try,
I feel defects in every faculty:
Nor is’t a labour fit for every pen,
To paint the horrid troops of armed men,
The lances burst, in Gallia’s slaughter’d forces;
Or wounded Parthians, tumbled from their horses:
Great Caesar’s wars cannot be fought with words.

Yet, what his virtue in his peace affords,
His fortitude and justice thou canst shew
As wise Lucilius honour’d Scipio.

Of that, my powers shall suffer no neglect,
When such slight labours may aspire respect:
But, if I watch not a most chosen time,
The humble words of Flaccus cannot climb
Th’ attentive ear of Caesar; nor must I
With less observance shun gross flattery:
For he, reposed safe in his own merit,
Spurns back the gloses of a faw


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