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Adriano from Pietro Metastasio

Speech of Aquileio

Grown old in courts, thou art not surely one
Who keeps the rigid rules of ancient honour;
Well skill'd to soothe a foe with looks of kindness,
To sink the fatal precipice before him,
And then lament his fall with seeming friendship!
Open to all, true only to thyself,
Thou know'st the arts which blast with envious praise,
Which aggravate a fault with feign'd excuses,
And drive discountenanced virtue from the throne;
That leave the blame of rigour to the prince,
And of his every gift usurp the merit,
That hide in seeming zeal a wicked purpose,
And only build upon another's ruin.

poem by Pietro Metastasio from Adriano, translated by Samuel JohnsonReport problemRelated quotes
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