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Phaedrus, The Fables of Phaedrus (ed. Christopher Smart, Christopher Smart, A. M.), book 2, Caesar and His Slave (search)
Caesar and His Slave There is in town a certain set Of mortals, ever in a sweat, Who idly bustling here and there, Have never any time to spare, While upon nothing they discuss With heat, and most outrageous fuss, Plague to themselves, and to the rest A most intolerable pest. I will correct this stupid clan Of busy-bodies, if I can, By a true story; lend an ear, 'Tis worth a trifler's time to hear. Tiberius Caesar, in his way To Naples, on a certain day Came to his own Misenian seat, (Of old Lucullus's retreat,) Which from the mountain top surveys Two seas, by looking different ways. Here a shrewd slave began to cringe With dapper coat and sash of fringe, And, as his master walk'd between The trees upon the tufted green, Finding the weather very hot, Officiates with his wat'ring-pot; And still attending through the glade, Is ostentatious of his aid. Caesar turns to another row, Where neither sun nor rain could go; He, for the nearest cut he knows, Is still before with pot and rose. Ca