Page images

But having cast his cowl, and left those laws,
Adds to Christ's prayer, the power and glory clause.

The lands are bought; but where are to be found
Those ancient woods, that shaded all the ground?
We see no new-built palaces aspire,
No kitchens emulate the vestal fire.
Where are those troops of poor, that throng'd of yore
The good old landlord's hospitable door?
Well, I could wish, that still in lordly domes
Some beasts were kill'd, though not whole heca-

That both extremes were banish'd from their walls,
Carthusian fasts, and fulsome bacchanals;
And all mankind might that just mean observe,
In which none e'er could surfeit, none could starve.
These as good works,'tis true, we all allow,
But, oh! these works are not in fashion now:
Like rich old wardrobes, things extremely rare,
Extremely fine, but what no man will wear.

Thus much I've said, I trust, without offence;
Let no court sycophant pervert my sense,
Nor sly informer watch these words to draw
Within the reach of treason, or the law.

As slily as any commentator goes by
Hard words, or sense; or, in divinity
As controverters in vouch'd texts, leave out
Shrewd words, which might against them clear the

Where are these spread woods which cloth'd here-
Those bought lands? not built, nor burnt within door
Where the old landlords troops and almes? In halls
Carthusian fasts, and fulsome bachanals
Equally I hate. Means blest. In rich men's homes
I bid kill some beasts, but no hecatombs;
None starve, none surfeit so. But (oh) we allow
Good works as good, but out of fashion now,
Like old rich wardrobes. But my words none draws
Within the vast reach of th' huge statutes jawes.


WELL, if it be my time to quit the stage,

Adieu to all the follies of the age !
I die in charity with fool and knave,
Secure of peace at least beyond the grave.
I've had my purgatory here belimes,
And paid for all my satires, all my rhymes.
The poet's hell, its tortures, fiends, and flames,
To this were trifles, toys, and empty names.

With foolish pride my heart was never fir'd,
Nor the vain itch t admire, or be admir'd;
I hop'd for no commission from his grace;
I bought no benefice, I begg'd no place:
Had no new verses, nor new suit to show;
Yet went to court! --the devil would have it so.
But, as the fool that in reforming days
Would go to mass in jest (as story says)




may now receive, and die. My sin Indeed is great; but yet I have been in A purgatory, such as fear'd Hell is A recreation, and scant map of this.

My mind, neither with pride's itch, nor hath been Poyson'd with love to see or to be seen, I had no suit there, nor new suit to show, Yet went to court; but as Glare which did go To mass in the jest, catch’d, was fain to disburse Two hundred markes which is the statutes curse, Before he scap'd; so it pleas'd my destiny (Guilty of my sin of going) to As prone to all ill, and of good as forgetful, as proud, lustfull, and as much in debt,


Could not but think, to pay his fine was odd,
Since 'twas no form'd design of serving God;
So was I punish'd, as if full as proud,
As prone to ill, as negligent of good,
As deep in debt, without a thought to pay,
As vain, as idle, and as false, as they
Who live at court, for going once that way!
Scarce was I enter'd, when, behold! there came
A thing which Adam had been pos'd to name;
Noah had refus'd it lodging in his ark,
Where all the race of reptiles might embark :
A verier monster, than on Afric's shore
The sun e'er got, or slimy Nilus bore,
Or Sloane or Woodward's wondrous shelves contain,
Nay, all that lying travellers can feign.
The watch would hardly let him pass at noon,
At night would swear him dropp'd out of the moon.
One, whom the mob, when next we find or make
A popish plot, shall for a Jesuit take,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

As vain, as witless, and as false, as they
Which dwell in court, for once going that way.

Therefore I suffer'd this; towards me did run
A thing more strange, than on Nile's slime the sun
E'er bred, or all which into Noah's ark came :
A thing which would have pos'd Adam to name :
Stranger than seven antiquaries' studies,
Than Africk monsters, Guianaes rarities,
Stranger than strangers : one who, for a Dane,
In the Danes massacre had sure been slain,
If he had liv'd then; and without help dies,
When next the 'prentices'gainst strangers rise;.
One, whom the watch at noon lets scarce go by:
One, to whom th' examining justice sure would cry,
Sir, by your priesthood, tell me what you are ?"
His clothes were strange, though coarse, and black,

though bare,
Sleeveless his jerkin was, and it had been
Velvet, but'twas now, (so much ground was seen)

And the wise justice starting from his chair
Cry, ' By your priesthood tell me what you are ?"

Such was the wight: th' apparel on his back, Though coarse was reverend, and though bare was

black :
The suit, if by the fashion one night guess,
Was velvet in the youth of good queen Bess,
But mere tuff-taffety what now remain'd;
So time, that changes all things, had ordain'd;
Our sons shall see it leisurely decay,
First turn plain rash, then vanish quite away.

This thing has travell'd, and speaks language too,
And knows what's fit for every state to do;
Of whose best phrase and courtly accent join'd,
He forms one tongue, exotic and refin'd.
Talkers I've learn'd to bear; Morteux I knew,
Henley himself I've heard, and Budgel too.
The doctor's wormwood style, the hash of tongues
A pedant makes, the storm of Gonson's lungs,
The whole artillery of the terms of war,
And (all those plagues in one) the bawling bar;

Become tuff-taffaty; and our children shall
See it plain rash a while, then nought at all.
The thing hath travail'd, and faith, speaks all

And only knoweth what to all states belongs,
Made of th' accents, and best phrase of all these,
He speaks one language. If strange meats displease,
Art can deceive, or 'hunger force my tast;
But pedants motly tongue, soldiers bombast,
Mountebanks drug-tongue, nor the terms of law,
Are strong enough preparatives to draw
Me to hear this; yet I must be content
With his tongue, in his tongue call'd complement:
In which he can win widows, and pay scores,
Make men speak treason, couzen subtlest whores,
Outflatter favourites, or outlie either
Jovius, or Surius, or both together,

These I could bear; but not a rogue so civil,
Whose tongue will compliment you to the devil,
A tongue that can cheat widows, cancel scores,
Make Scots speak treason, cozen subtlest whores,
With royal favourites in flattery vie,
And Oldmixon and Burnet both outlie.

He spies me out; I whisper, Gracious God!
What sin of mine could merit such a rod ?
That all the shot of dulness now must be
From this thy blunderbuss discharg'd on me!

• Perinit,' he cries, . no stranger to your fame To crave your sentiment, if ****'s your name. What speech esteem you most?' The king's,' said I. • But the best words ?--' 0, sir, the dictionary.' • You miss my aim! I mean the most acute And perfect speaker?-Onslow, past dispute.' • But, sir, of writers?' - Swift for closer style, But Hoadly for a period of a mile.' • Why yes, 'tis granted these, indeed may pass; Good common linguists, and so Panurge was;

He names me, and comes to me; I whisper, God, How have I sinn'd that thy wrath's furious rod, This fellow, chuseth me! he saith, "Sir, I love your judgement, whom do you prefer For the best linguist?' avd I seelily Said that I thought Calepines dictionary. • Nay, but of men, most sweet sir?" Beza then, Some Jesuits, and two reverend men of our two academies I pam'd. Here He stopt me, and said, 'Nay your apostles were Good pretty linguists; so Panurgus was. Yet a poor gentleman; all these may pass By travail. Then, as if he would have sold His tongue, he prais'd it, and such wonders told, That I was fain to say, “ If you had liv'd, sir, Time enough to have been interpreter To Babel's bricklayers, sure the tower had stood.' He adds, 'If of court life you knew the good,

« PreviousContinue »