The John Milton Reading Room
Epigrams from Defensio 1651 and Defensio Secunda 1654

Epigrams from The Second Defense of the English People 1654


Gaudete Scombri, & quicquid est piscium salo,
Qui frigidâ hyeme incolitis algentes freta,
Vestrûm misertus ille Salmasius eques
Bonus amicire nuditatem cogitat;
Chartæq; largus apparat papyrinos [ 5 ]
Vobis cucullos præferentes Claudii
Insignia nomenque & decus Salmasii,
Gestetis ut per omne cetarium forum
Equitis clientes, scriniis mungentium
Cubito virorum, & capsulis gratissimos.


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——de virtute loquutus
Clunem agitas: ego te ceventum more verebor?

Epigrams from The Second Defense of the English People 1654

Rejoice, mackerels! and whatever fish are in the brine, who, frigid, spend the winter in the cold abyss; that compassionate knight, Sir Salmon, plans to clothe your nakedness, and prodigal of foolscap, has prepared paper cowls for you, bearing the insignia, name and honor of Claudius Salmasius, so that, as the knight's servants you may carry them all across the fish market, most welcome in the haunts of those who wipe their noses on their sleeves.


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——having discoursed on virtue, you hunt for buttocks: should I be afraid, More, when you grind your hips?