In Ianum Virbium (n.d.)

Maitland was well-known for his satirical 'pasquinade' lampooning the Regent Moray and his supporters (see the feature on Thomas Maitland elsewhere on the site for details), and the sketch of a tyrannical and haranguing minister in this poem suggests that 'Janus Virbius' might be John Knox. Metre: elegiac couplets.

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In Ianum Virbium

1Quod non sceptrigerum miratur Numina regum
Virbius, hoc rigidi forte Catonis habet. 1
Quod regit imperio mystas, turbamque profanam,
sacrifici morem rex quoque regis habet.
1=5Quod quatit eloquii torpentem fulmine turbam,
grandiloqui dotes has Ciceronis habet.
Sed quod saeva furens rabiosae jurgia linguae
ingerit, et fortes sic sine fine viros
ignavus gaudet mordaci insigere dente
10Virbius, hoc scurrae Ianus, opinor, habet.

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Against Janus Virbius

Because Virbius does not revere the divine power of sceptre-bearing kings, perhaps he has something of unbending Cato about him. And this king has the manner of the sacrificed king, because he rules the ministers under his dominion, and the sordid mob. Because he rouses the sleeping mob with rhetoric's thunderbolt, he has those gifts belonging to powerfully-spoken Cicero. But because the madman lets loose the savage invective of his rabid tounge, and without strength or manpower the fool delights in sinking in his sharp teeth, Janus Virbius has, I think, something of the buffoon about him.



1: 'rigidi...Catones': Martial, Epigrammata X.20.21