IN what manner the mongrel Persius[*](Ibrida Persius. Persius was a Greek by his father, and an Italian by his mother. The Romans gave the name of Ibrida to those whom parents were of different nations, or different conditions.) revenged the filth and venom of Rupilius, surnamed King, is I think known to all the blind men and barbers. This Persius, being a man of fortune, had very great business at Clazomenae, and, into the bargain, certain troublesome litigations wtth King; a hardened fellow, and one who was able to exceed even King in virulence; confident, blustering, of such a bitterness of speech, that he would outstrip the Sisennae[*](Cornelius Sisenna being reproached by the senate with the bad conduct of his wife, replied, "I married her by the advice of Augustus." Insinuating, Augustus had obliged him to marry her, that he might have a more easy commerce with her. Titus Veturius Barras, having ruined himself by his extravagance, was put to death for violating a vestal virgin.) and Barri, if ever so well equipped.
I return to King. After nothing could be settled betwixt them (for people among whom adverse war breaks out, are proportionably vexatious on the same account as they are brave. Thus between Hector, the son of Priam, and the highspirited Achilles, the rage was of so capital a nature, that only the final destruction [of one of them] could determine it; on no other account, than that valor in each of them was consummate. If discord sets two cowards to work; or if an engagement happens between two that are not of a match, as that of Diomed and the Lycian Glaucus; the worse man will walk off, [buying his peace] by voluntarily sending presents), when Brutus held as praetor[*](Marcus Brutus and Cassius were praetors of Rome when Caesar was put to death. In 711 Brutus went to take possession of his Macedonian government, and praetor may be understood propraetor; a manner of speaking of which there are many examples.) the fertile Asia, this pair, Rupilius and Persius, encountered; in such a manner, that [the gladiators] Bacchius and Bithus[*](The Scholiast tells us, that Bithus and Bacchius were two gladiators, who certainly put to death whoever fought with them. They afterward engaged together, and both expired on the stage.) were not better matched. Impetuous they hurry to the cause, each of them a fine sight.
Persius opens his case; and is laughed at by all the assembly; he extols Brutus, and extols the guard; he styles Brutus the sun of Asia, and his attendants he styles salutary stars, all except King; that he [he says,] came like that dog, the constellation hateful to husbandman: he poured along like a wintery flood, where the ax seldom comes.
Then, upon his running on in so smart and fluent a manner, the Praenestine [king] directs some witticisms squeezed from the vineyard,[*](Horace means a particular kind of vine, arbustiva, that grew round trees, in which the people who gathered the grapes stood exposed to the raillery of the travelers. In such an attitude our durus Vindemiator had often appeared. All sort of injurious language was allowed during the vintage; a custom that still continues in Naples.) himself a hardy vine-dresser, never defeated, to whom the passenger had often been obliged to yield, bawling cuckoo with roaring voice.
But the Grecian Persius, as soon as he had been well sprinkled with Italian vinegar, bellows out: O Brutus, by the great gods I conjure you, who are accustomed to take off kings,[*](Lucius Junius Brutus expelled Tarquinius Superbus. Marcus Brutus freed his country from the imperial power of Julius Caesar. From the introduction of this, we may conjecture that Horace, at the time of writing this satire, had not yet espoused the side of Augustus.) why do you not dispatch this King? Believe me, this is a piece of work which of right belongs to you.