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The town minstrels are here introduced ; they begin with the same image which the poet has already employed in his proper person.

“Mark and hear us, gentle bride;
Behold the torches nimbly plied,

Waving here and there;
Along the street and in the porch,
See the fiery-tressed torch,

Spreads its sparkling hair.

“Like a lily, fair and chaste,
Lovely bride, you shall be placed

In a garden gay,
A wealthy lord's delight and pride ;
Come away then, happy bride,

Hasten, hence away!

“ Mark and hear us he your lord
Will be true at bed and board,

Nor ever walk astray,
Withdrawing from your lovely side;
Mark and hear us, gentle bride,

Hasten, hence away!

“Like unto the tender vine,
He shall ever clasp and twine,

Clinging night and day,
Fairly bound and firmly tied;
Come away then, happy bride,

Hasten, hence away!”

Happy chamber, happy bed,
Can the joys be told or said

That await you soon;
Fresh renewals of delight,
In the silent fleeting night

And the summer noon.

Make ready. There I see within
The bride is veiled; the guests begin

To muster close and slow:
Trooping onward close about,
Boys, be ready with a shout -

“Hymen! Hymen! ho !

Now begins the free career,
For many a jest and many a jeer,

And many a merry saw;
Customary taunts and gibes,
Such as ancient use prescribes,

And immemorial law.

“Some at home, it must be feared, Will be slighted and cashiered,

Pride will have a fall;
Now the favorites' reign is o'er:
Proud enough they were before –

Proud and nice withal.

“Full of pride and full of scorn, Now you see them clipt and shorn,

Humbler in array;
Sent away, for fear of harm,
To the village or the farm,-

Packed in haste away.

“Other doings must be done, Another empire is begun,

Behold your own domain! Gentle bride! Behold it there! The lordly palace proud and fair:

You shall live and reign,

“ In that rich and noble house, Till age shall silver o'er the brows,

And nod the trembling head, Not regarding what is meant, Incessant uniform assent

To all that's done or said.

“Let the faithful threshold greet, With omens fair, those lovely feet,

Lightly lifted o'er;
Let the garlands wave and bow
From the lofty lintel's brow

That bedeck the door."

See the couch with crimson dress
Where, seated in the deep recess,

With expectation warm,

The bridegroom views her coming near,The slender youth that led her here

May now release her arm.

With a fixt intense regard
He beholds her close and hard

In awful interview:
Shortly now she must be sped
To the chamber and the bed,

With attendance due.

Let the ancient worthy wives,
That have past their constant lives

With a single mate,
As befits advised age,
With council and precaution sage

Assist and regulate.

She the mistress of the band
Comes again with high command,

“ Bridegroom, go your way; There your bride is in the bower, Like a lovely lily flower,

Or a rose in May.

Ay, and you yourself, in truth, Are a goodly comely youth,

Proper, tall, and fair; Venus and the Graces too Have befriended each of you

For a lovely pair.

“ There you go! may Venus bless Such as you with good success

In the lawful track; You that, in an honest way, Purchase in the face of day

Whatsoe'er you lack.”

Sport your fill and never spare –
Let us have an infant heir

Of the noble name;
Such a line should ever last,
As it has for ages past,

Another and the same.

Fear not! with the coming year
The new Torquatus will be here:

Him we soon shall see
With infant gesture fondly seek
To reach his father's manly cheek,

From his mother's knee.

With laughing eyes and dewy lip,
Pouting like the purple tip

That points the rose's bud;
While mingled with the mother's grace,
Strangers shall recognize the trace

That marks the Manlian blood.

So the mother's fair renown
Shall betimes adorn and crown

The child with dignity,
As we read in stories old
Of Telemachus the bold

And chaste Penelope.

Now the merry task is o'er,
Let us hence and close the door,

While loud adieus are paid;
“Live in honor, love, and truth,
And exercise your lusty youth

In matches fairly played."




(From the “Vindication.")

(Lucius Apuleius, Roman story-writer, was born in Madaura, Africa, early in the second century A.D. ; the time of his death is unknown. His fame rests on the immortal “ Metamorphoses ; or, the Golden Ass," a sort of early Decameron, with contents ranging from the grossest indecencies to the exquisite story of Cupid and Psyche; and on the amusing “Vindication," a defense to the charge of having used magic arts to make a rich middle-aged widow marry him.]

POVERTY has long been the handmaid of Philosophy : frugal, temperate, contented with little, eager for praise, averse from the things sought by wealth, safe in her ways, simple in her requirements, in her counsels a promoter of what is right. No one has she ever puffed up with pride, no one has she corrupted by the enjoyment of power, no one has she maddened with tyrannical ambition; for no pampering of the appetite or of the passions does she sigh, nor can she indulge it. But it is your fosterlings of wealth who are in the habit of perpetrating these disgraceful excesses, and others of a kindred nature. If you review all the greatest enormities that have been committed in the memory of mankind, you will not find a single poor man among the perpetrators; whilst, on the other hand, in the number of illustrious men hardly any of the rich are to be found; poverty has nurtured from his very cradle every individual in whom we find anything to admire and commend. Poverty, I say - she who in former ages was the foundress of all cities, the inventress of all arts, she who is guiltless of all offense, who is lavish of all glory, who has been honored with every praise among all nations. For this same Poverty it was that, among the Greeks, showed herself just in Aristides, humane in Phocion, resolute in Epaminondas, wise in Socrates, and eloquent in Homer. It was this same Poverty, too, that for the Roman people laid the very earliest foundations of their sway, and that offers sacrifice to the immortal gods in their behalf, with the ladle and the dish of clay, even to this day.

If there were now sitting as judges at this trial C. Fabricius, Cneius Scipio, and Manius Curius, whose daughters, by reason of their poverty, went home to their husbands portioned at the public expense, carrying with them the glories of their family and the money of the public; if Publicola, the expeller of the kings, and Agrippa, the reconciler of the people, the expense of whose funeral was, in consequence of their limited fortunes, defrayed by the Roman people, by contributions of the smallest coins; if Attilius Regulus, whose little field was, in consequence of a like poverty, cultivated at the public expense; if, in fine, all those ancient families, ennobled by consulships, censorships, and triumphs, could obtain a short respite, and return to light, and take part in this trial, would you then have dared to reproach a philosopher for his poverty, in the presence of so many consuls distinguished for theirs ? . . .

... I could show that none of us are poor who do not wish for superfluities, and who possess the things that are necessary, which, by nature, are but few indeed. For he has the most who desires the least; he who wants but little is most likely to have as much as he wants. It is with the mind just as with the body; in a healthy state it is lightly clad, but in sickness it is wrapped in cumbrous clothing ;

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