Nor by me e'er shall you, You of all names the sweetest, and the best, You Muses, books, and liberty, and rest; You gardens, fields, and woods forsaken be, As long as life itself forsakes not me.
But this is a very petty ejaculation. Because I have concluded all the other chapters with a copy of verses, I will maintain the humour to the last.
MARTIAL, LIB. 10, EP. 47. Vitam quae faciunt beatiorem, etc.
Since, dearest friend, 'tis your desire to see A true receipt of happiness from me; These are the chief ingredients, if not all: Take an estate neither too great nor small, Which quantum sufficit the doctors call; Let this estate from parents' care descend: The getting it too much of life does spend. Take such a ground, whose gratitude may be A fair encouragement for industry. Let constant fires the winter's fury tame, And let thy kitchens be a vestal flame. Thee to the town let never suit at law, And rarely, very rarely, business draw. Thy active mind in equal temper keep, In undisturbed peace, yet not in sleep. Let exercise a vigorous health maintain, Without which all the composition's vain. In the same weight prudence and innocence take Ana of each does the just mixture make. But a few friendships wear, and let them be By Nature and by Fortune fit for thee. Instead of art and luxury in food, Let mirth and freedom make thy table good. If any cares into thy daytime creep, At night, without wines, opium, let them sleep. Let rest, which Nature does to darkness wed, And not lust, recommend to thee thy bed, Be satisfied, and pleased with what thou art; Act cheerfully and well the allotted part. Enjoy the present hour, be thankful for the past, And neither fear, nor wish the approaches of the last.
Me, who have lived so long among the great, You wonder to hear talk of a retreat: And a retreat so distant, as may show No thoughts of a return when once I go. Give me a country, how remote so e'er, Where happiness a moderate rate does bear, Where poverty itself in plenty flows And all the solid use of riches knows. The ground about the house maintains it there, The house maintains the ground about it here. Here even hunger's dear, and a full board Devours the vital substance of the lord. The land itself does there the feast bestow, The land itself must here to market go. Three or four suits one winter here does waste, One suit does there three or four winters last. Here every frugal man must oft be cold, And little lukewarm fires are to you sold. There fire's an element as cheap and free Almost as any of the other three. Stay you then here, and live among the great, Attend their sports, and at their tables eat. When all the bounties here of men you score: The Place's bounty there, shall give me more.
Hic, O viator, sub Lare parvulo Couleius hic est conditus, hic jacet; Defunctus humani laboris Sorte, supervacuague vila.
Non indecora pauperie nitens, Et non inerti nobilis otio, Vanoque dilectis popello Divitiis animosus hostis.
Possis ut illum dicere mortuum, En terra jam nunc quantula sufficit! Exempta sit curis, viator; Terra sit illa levis, precare.