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In that nice moment, as another lie Stood just a-tilt, the minister came by. To him he fies, and bows, and bows again, Then, close as Umbra, joins the dirty train. Not Fannius' self more impudently near, When half his nose is in his prince's ear. I quak'd at heart ; and, still afraid to see All the court fill'd with stranger things than he, Ran out as fast as one that pays bis bail, And dreads more actions, hurries from a jail.
Bear me, some god! oh quickly bear me hence To wholesome solitude, the nurse of sense! Where contemplation prunes her ruffled wings, And the free soul fooks down to pity kings ! There sober thought pursu'd th' amusing theme, Till fancy colour'd it, and form'd a dream. A vision hermits can to hell transport, And forc'd ev'n me to see the damn'd at court. Not Dante, dreaming all th' infernal state, Beheld such scenes of envy, sin, and hate.
Of suitors at court to mourn, and a trance
Like his, who dreamt he saw hell, did advance
Itself o'er me; such men as he saw there
I saw at court, and worse and more. Low fear
Becomes the guilty, not the accuser: Then
Shall I, none's slave, of highborn or rais'd men
Fear frowns: and my mistress, truth, betray thee
For the huffing, bragart, puft nobility?
No, no, thou which since yesterday hast been
Almost about the whole world, hast thou seen,
O sun, in all thy journey, vanity,
Such as swells the bladder of our court? I
Think he which made your waxen garden, and
Transported it from Italy, to stand
With us, at London, fouts our courtiers; for
Just such gay painted things, which no sap, nor
Taste have in them, ours are; and natural
Some of the stocks are; their fruits bastard alla
Base fear becomes the guilty, not the free;
Suits tyrants, plunderers, but suits not me:
Shall I, the terror of this sinful town,
Care, if a livery'd lord or smile or frown?
Who cannot flatter, and detest who can,
Tremble before a noble serving-man?
O my fair mistress, truth? shall I quit thee
For huffing, braggart, puft nobility?
Thou, who since yesterday hast rollid o'er all
The busy, idle blockheads of the ball,
Hast thou, oh Sun! beheld an emptier sort,
Than such as swell this bladder of a court ?
Now pox on those who show a court in wax!
It ought to bring all courtiers on their backs:
Such painted puppets! such a varnish'd race
Of hollow gewgaws, only dress and face!
Such waxen doses, stately staring things--
No wonder some folks bow, and think them kings.
See! where the British youth, engag'd no more, At Fig's, at White's, with felons, or a whore,
'Tis ten a clock and past; all whom the Mues, Baloun, or tennis, diet, or the stews Had all the morning held, now the second Time made ready, that day, in flocks are found In the presence, and I (God pardon me) As fresh and sweet their apparels be, as be Their fields they sold to buy them. For a king Those hose are, cry the flatterers : and bring Them next week to the theatre to sell. Wants reach all states : me seems they do as well At stage, as courts : all are players. Whoe'er looks (For themselves dare not go) o'er Cheapside books, Shall find their wardrobes inventory. Now The ladies come. As pirates (which do know That there came weak ships fraught with cutchanel) The men board them: and praise (as they think) well, Their beauties; they the mens wits; both are bought, Why.good wits ne'er wear scarlet gowns, I thought
Pay their last duty to the court, and come
All fresh and fragrant, to the drawing room;
In hues as gay, and odours as diyine,
As the fair fields they sold to look so fine.
• That's velvet for a king !' the flatterer swears;
'Tis true, for ten days hence 'twill be king Lear's.
Our court may justly to our stage give rules
That helps it both to fool's-coats and to fools.
And why not players strut in courtiers' clothes ?
For these are actors too, as well as those :
Wants reach all states: they beg but better drest,
And all is splendid poverty at best.
Painted for sight, and essenc'd for the smell,
Like frigates fraught with spice and cochinell,
Sail in the ladies : how each pirate eyes
So weak a vessel, and so rich a prize!
Top-gallant he, and she in all her trim,
He boarding her, she striking sail to him :
• Dear countess ! you have charms all hearts to hit!'
And sweet sir Fopling! you have so much wit!
This cause, these men, mens wits for speeches buy,
And women buy all red which scarlets dye.
He call’d her beauty lime-twigs, her hair net :
She fears her drugs ill lay'd, her hair loose set:
Wouldn't Heraclitus laugh to see Macrine
From hat to shoe, himself at door refine,
As if the presence were a mosque; and lift
His skirts and hose, and call his clothes to shift,
Making them confess not only mortal
Great stains and holes in them, but venial
Feathers and dust, wherewith they fornicate:
And then by Durer's rules survey the state
Of his each limb, and with strings the odds tries
Of his neck to his leg, and waste to thighs.
So in immaculate clothes and symmetry
Perfect as circles, with such nicety
As a young preacher at his first time goes
To preach, he enters, and a lady which owes
Such wits and beauties are not prais'd for rought,
For both the beauty and the wit are bought.
'Twould burst ev'n Heraclitus with the spleen,
To see those anticks, Fopling and Courtin:
The presence seems, with things so richly odd,
The mosque of Mahound, or some queer pa.god,
See them survey their limbs by Durer's rules,
Of all beau-kind the best proportion'd fools !
Adjust their clothes, and to confession draw
Those venial sins, an atom, or a straw :
But, oh! what terrors must distract the soul
Convicted of that mortal crime, a hole ;
Or should one pound of powder less bespread
Those monkey-tails that wag behind their head?
Thus finish'd, and corrected to a hair,
They march, to prate their hour before the fair.
So first to preach a white-glov’d chaplain goes,
With band of lilly, and with cheek of rose,
Sweeter than Sharon, in immac'late trim,
Neatness itself impertinent in him.
Let but the ladies smile, and they are blest:
Prodigious ! how the things protest, protest!
Peace, fools, or Gonson will for papists seize you,
If once he catch you at your Jesu! Jesu!
Nature made every fop to plague his brother,
Just as one beauty mortifies another.
Him not so much as good-will, he arrests,
And unto her protests, protests, protests,
So much as at Rome would serve to have thrown
Ten cardinals into the inquisition;
And whispers by Jesu so oft, that a
Pursuevant would have ravish'd him away
For saying our lady's Psalter. But 'tis fit
That they each other plague, they merit it.
But here comes Glorious that will plague 'em both,
Who in the other extreme only doth
Call a rough carelessness good fashion:
Whose cloak his spurs tear, or whom he spits on,
But here's the captain that will plague them both,
Whose air cries, Arm! whose very look's an oath :
The captain's honest, sirs, and that's enough,
Though his soul's bullet, and his body buff.
He spits fore-right; his haughty chest before,
Like battering rams, beats open every door:
And with a face as red, and as awry,
As Herod's hangdogs in old tapestry,
Scarecrow to boys, the breeding woman's curse,
Has yet a strange ambition to look worse :
Confounds the civil, keeps the rude in awe,
Jests like a licens'd fool, commands like law.
Frighted, I quit the room, but leave it so
As men from jails to execution go;
For hung with deadly sins I see the wall,
And lin'd with giants deadlier than them all :
Each man an Askapart, of strength to toss
For quoits, both Temple-bar and Charing.cross.
Scar'd at the grizzly forms, I sweat, I fly,
And shake all o'er, like a discover'd spy.
Courts are too much for wits so weak as mine: Charge them with heaven's artillery, bold divine !
He cares not, he. His ill words do no harm
To him; he rushes in, as if arm, arm,
He meant to cry; and though his face be as ill
As theirs which in old hangings whip Christ, still
He strives to look worse; he keeps all in awe;
Jests like a licens'd fool, commands like law.
Tir'd, now, I leave this place, and but pleas'd so
As men from gaols to execution go,
Go, through the great chamber (why is it hung,
With these seven deadly sins?) being among
Those Askaparts, men big enough to throw
Charing-cross, for a bar, men that do know
No token of worth, but queens man, and fine
Living; barrels of beef, flaggons of wine.
I shook like a spied spie-Preachers which are
Seas of wit and arts, you can, then dare,