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In love's, in nature's spite, the siege they hold,
And scorn the flesh, the devil, and all but gold.
These write to lords, some mean reward to get,
As needy beggars sing at doors for meat.
Those write because all write, and so have still
Excuse for writing, and for writing ill.
Wretched indeed! but far more wretched yet
Is he who makes his meal on others wit:
'Tis chang'd, no doubt, from what it was before;
His rank digestion makes it wit no more:
Sense, past through him, no longer is the same;
For food digested takes another name.
I pass o'er all those confessors and martyrs,
Who live like S-tt-n, or who die like Chartres,
Out-cant old Esdras, or out-drink his heir,
Out-usure Jews, or Irishmen out-swear;
Wicked as pages, who in early years
Act sins which Prisca's confessor scarce hears.
Ev'n those I pardon, for whose sinful sake
Schoolmen new tenements in Hell must make;
Of whose strange crimes no canonist can tell
In what commandment's large contents they dwell.
One, one man only breeds my just offence;
Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave impu-
Time, that at last matures a clap to pox, [dence:
Whose gentle progress makes a calf an ox,
And brings all natural events to pass,
Hath made him an attorney of an ass.
No young divine, new-benefic'd, can be
More pert, more proud, more positive, than he.
What further could I wish the fop to do,
But turn a wit, and scribble verses too?
Pierce the soft labyrinth of a lady's ear
With rhymes of this per cent, and that per year?
Or court a wife, spread out his wily parts,
Like nets or lime-twigs, for rich widows' hearts;
Call himself barrister to every wench,
And woo in language of the Pleas and Bench?
And they who write to lords, rewards to get,
Are they not like singers at doors for meat?
And they who write, because all write, have still
That 'scuse for writing, and for writing ill.
But he is worst, who beggarly doth chaw
Other wits fruits, and in his ravenous maw
Rankly digested, doth those things out-spue,
As his own things; and they're his own, 'tis true,
For if one eat my meat, though it be known
The meat was mine, the excrement's his own.
But these do me no harm, nor they which use,
to out-usure Jews,
To out-drink the sea, t' out-swear the letanie,
Who with sins all kinds as familiar be
As confessors, and for whose sinful sake
Schoolmen new tenements in Hell must make;
Whose strange sins canonists could hardly tell
In which commandment's large receit they dwell.
But these punish themselves. The insolence
Of Coscus, only, breeds my just offence,
Whom time (which rots all, and makes botches pox,
And plodding on, must make a calf an ox)
Hath made a lawyer; which (alas) of late;
But scarce a poet: jollier of this state,
Than are new-benefic'd ministers, he throws
Like nets or lime twigs wheresoe'er he goes
His tittle of barrister on every wench,
And wooes in language of the Pleas and Bench. **
Words, words which would tear
The tender labyrinth of a maid's soft ear:
Language, which Boreas might to Auster hold
More rough than forty Germans when they scold.
Curs'd be the wretch, so venal and so vain :
Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane.
'Tis such a bounty as was never known,
If Peter deigns to help you to your own:
What thanks, what praise, if Peter but supplies!
And what a solemn face, if he denies
Grave, as when prisoners shake the head and swear
'Twas only suretyship that brought them there.
His office keeps your parchment fates entire,
He starves with cold to save them from the fire;
For you he walks the streets through rain or dust,
For not in chariots Peter puts his trust;
For you he sweats and labours at the laws,
Takes God to witness he affects your cause,
And lies to every lord in every thing,
Like a king's favourite or like a king.
These are the talents that adorn them all,
From wicked Waters ev'n to godly **
Not more of simony beneath black gowns,
Not more of bastardy in heirs to crowns.
In shillings and in pence at first they deal;
And steal so little, few perceive they steal;
Till, like the sea, they compass all the land,
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand:
And when rank widows purchase luscious nights,
Or when a duke to Jansen punts at White's,
Or city heir in mortgage melts away;
Satan himself feels far less joy than they.
Piecemeal they win this acre first, then that,
Glean on, and gather up the whole estate.
Then strongly fencing ill-got wealth by law,
Indentures, covenants, articles they draw
Large as the fields themselves, and larger far
Than civil codes, with all their glosses, are;
Law practice for mere gain: bold soul repute Worse than imbrothel'd strumpets prostitute. Now like an owl-like watchman he must walk, His hand still at a bill; now he must talk Idly, like prisoners, which whole months will swear, That only suretiship had brought them there, And to every suitor lye in every thing, Like a king's favourite-or like a king. Like a wedge in a block, wring to the barre, Bearing like asses, and more shameless farre Than carted whores, lye to the grave judge; for Bastardy abounds not in king's titles, nor Simony and sodomy in churchmen's lives, As these things dò in him; by these he thrives. Shortly (as th' sea) he'll compass all the land, From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand. · And spying heirs melting with luxury, Satan will not joy at their sins as he; For (as a thrifty wench scrapes kitchen-stuffe, And barrelling the dropings and the snuffe Of wasting candles, which in thirty year, Reliquely kept, perchance buys wedding chear) Piecemeal he gets lands, and spends as much time
Wringing each acre, as maids pulling prime. In parchment then, large as the fields he draws Assurances, big as gloss'd civil laws,
So vast, our new divines, we must confess,
Are fathers of the church for writing less.
But let them write for you, each rogue impairs
The deeds, and dexterously omits, ses heires:
No commentator can more slily pass
Over a learn'd, unintelligible place :
Or, in quotation, shrewd divines leave out
Those words that would against them clear the doubt.
So Luther thought the pater-noster long,
When doom'd to say his beads and even-song;
But having cast his cow!, 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.
I die in charity with fool and knave,
Secure of peace at least beyond the grave.
I've had my purgatory here betimes,
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)
Could not but think, to pay his fine was odd,
Since 'twas no form'd design of serving God;
Where are those troops of poor, that throng'd of yore So was I punish'd, as if full as proud,
The good old landlord's hospitable door?
Well, I could wish, that still in lordly domes
Some beasts were killed, though not whole heta-
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.
WELL, if it be my time to quit the stage,
Adieu to all the follies of the age!
So huge that men (in our times forwardness)
Are fathers of the church for writing less
These he writes not; nor for these written payes,
Therefore spares no length (as in those first dayes
When Luther was profest, he did desire
Short pater-nosters, saying as a fryer
Each day his beads: but having left those laws,
Adds to Christ's prayer, the power and glory clause)
But when he sells or changes land, h' impaires
The writings, and (unwatch'd) leaves out ses heires,
As slily as any commentator goes by
Hard words, or sense; or, in divinity
As controverters in vouch'd texts, leave out [doubt
Shrewd words, which might against them clear the
Where are these spread woods which cloth'd
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; I may now receive, and die. My sin
Indeed is great; but yet I have been in
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,
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
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 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 think me
As prone to all ill, and of good as forget-
ful, as proud, lustfull, and as much in debt,
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 Sup
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
The suit, if by the fashion one might 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;
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!
"Permit" (he cries) "no stranger to your fame
To crave your sentiment, if - -'s your name.
What speech esteem you most?" The king's,"
"But the best words?"-" O 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;
Nay troth th' apostles (though perhaps too rough)
Had once a pretty gift of tongues enough:
Yet these were all poor gentlemen! I dare
Affirm, 'twas travel made them what they were."
Thus, others' talents having nicely shown,
He came by sure transition to his own:
Till I cry'd out, "You prove yourself so able,
Pity! you was not Druggerman at Babel;
For had they found a linguist half so good,
I make no question but the tower had stood."
"Obliging sir! for courts you sure were made:
Why then for ever bury'd in the shade?
Spirits like you, should see and should be seen,
The king would smile on you-at least the queen."
Ah, gentle sir! you courtiers so cajole us-
But Tully has it, Nunquam minus solus:
And as for courts, forgive me if I say
No lessons now are taught the Spartan way:
Though in his pictures Inst. be full display'd,
Few are the converts Aretine has made;
And though the court show vice exceeding clear
None should, by my advice, learn virtue there."
At this entranc'd, he lifts his hands and eyes, Squeaks like a high-stretch'd lutestring, and replies; "Oh, 'tis the sweetest of all earthly things To gaze on princes, and to talk of kings!" "Then, happy man who shows the tombs!” said I, "He dwells amidst the royal family; He every day from king to king can walk, Of all our Harries, all our Edwards talk; And get, by speaking truth of monarchs dead, What few can of the living, ease and bread." Lord, sir, a mere mechanic! strangely low, And coarse of phrase,-your English all are so. How elegant your Frenchmen !" Mine, d'ye I have but one; I hope the fellow's clean." [mean? "Oh! sir, politely so! nay, let me die, Your only wearing is your paduasoy." "Not, sir, my only, I have better still, And this you see is but my dishabille”
Sleeveless his jerkin was, and it had been
Velvet, but 'twas now, (so much ground was seen)
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 That I was fain to say,
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.
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 judgment, whom do you prefer
For the best linguist?" and 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 nam'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,
"If you had liv'd, sir,
Time enough to have been interpreter
To Babel's bricklayers, sure the tower had stood."
You would leave loneless." I said,
He adds, "If of court life you knew the good,
My loneless is; but Spartanes fashion
To teach by painting drunkards doth not last
Now, Aretine's pictures have made few chaste;
No more can princes courts (though there be few
Better pictures of vice) teach me virtue."
He like to a high-strecht lutestring squeaks, "O
"Tis sweet to talk of kings." "At Westminster,"
Said I, "the man that keeps the abbey-tombs,
And for his price, doth with whoever comes
From king to king, and all their kin can walk :
Of all our Harrys and our Edwards talk,
Your ears shall hear nought but kings; your eyes
Kings only the way to it is King-street." [meet
He smack'd, and cry'd. "He's base, mechanique,
So are all your Englishmen in their discourse.
Are not your Frenchmen neat?" "Mine, as you see,
I have but one, sir, look, he follows me."
"Certes they are neatly cloath'd. I of this mind am,
Your only wearing is your grogram."
"Not so, sir, I have more." Under this pitch
He would not fly; I chaff'd him: but as itch
Wild to get loose, his patience I provoke,
Mistake, confound, object at all he spoke.
But as coarse iron, sharpen'd, mangles more,
And itch most hurts when anger'd to a sore;
So when you plague a fool, 'tis still the curse,
You only make the matter worse and worse.
He past it o'er; affects an easy smile
At all my peevishness, and turns his style.
He asks, "What news?" I tell him of new plays,
New eunuchs, harlequins, and operas.
He hears, and as a still with simples in it,
Between each drop it gives, stays half a minute,
Loth to enrich me with too quick replies,
By little, and by little, drops his lies. [shows,
Mere houshold trash! of birthnights, balls, and
More than ten Hollinsheds, or Halls, or Stowes,
When the queen frown'd, or smil'd, he knows; and
A subtle minister may make of that:
Who sins with whom: who got his pension rug,
Or quicken'd a reversion by a drug:
Whose place is quarter'd out, three parts in four,
And whether to a bishop, or a whore:
Who, having lost his credit, pawn'd his rent,
Is therefore fit to have a government:
Who, in the secret, deals in stocks secure,
And cheats th' unknowing widow and the poor:
Who makes a trust of charity a job,
And gets an act of parliament to rob:
Why turnpikes rise, and now no cit nor clown
Can gratis see the country, or the town:
Shortly no lad shall chuck, or lady vole,
But some excising courtier will have toll.
He tells what strumpet places sells for life,
What 'squire his lands, what citizen his wife:
At last (which proves him wiser still than all)
What lady's face is not a whited wall.
As one of Woodward's patients, sick, and sore,
I puke, I nauseate, yet he thrusts in more:
Trims Europe's balance, tops the stateman's part,
And talks gazettes and postboys o'er by heart.
Scratch'd into smart, and as blunt iron ground
Into an edge, hurts worse: So, I (fool) found,
Crossing hurt me. To fit my sullenness,
He to another key his style doth dress;
And asks what news; I tell him of new playes,
He takes my hand, and as a still, which stayes
A sembrief 'twixt each drop, he niggardly,
As loth to enrich me, so tells many a ly.
More than ten Hollensheds, or Halls, or Stows,
Of trivial houshold trash, he knows: he knows
When the queen frown'd or smil'd; and he knows
A subtle statesman may gather of that:
He knows who loves whom; and who by poison
Hasts to an officer's reversion;
Who wastes in meat, in clothes, in horse, he notes;
Who loveth whores
He knows, who hath sold his land, and now doth beg
A licence, old iron, boots, shoes, and egge-
Shells to transport;
shortly boys shall not play
At span-counter, or blow-point, but shall pay
Toll to some courtier; and wiser than all us.
He knows what lady is not painted. Thus
Like a big wife at sight of loathsome meat
Ready to cast, I yawn, I sigh, and sweat.
Then as a licens'd spy, whom nothing can
Silence or hurt, he libels every man ;
Swears every place entail'd for years to come,
In sure succession to the day of doom:
He names the price for every office paid,
And says our wars thrive ill, because delay'd;
Nay hints, 'tis by contrivance of the court,
That Spain robs on, and Dunkirk's still a port.
Not more amazement seis'd on Circe's guests,
To see themselves fall headlong into beasts,
Than mine to find a subject stay'd and wise
Already half turn'd traitor by surprise.
I felt th' infection slide from him to me;
As in the pox, some give it to get free;
And quick to swallow me, methought I saw
One of our giant statues ope its jaw.
In that nice moment, as another lie
Stood just a-tilt, the minister came by.
To him he flies, 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 his bail,
And dreads more actions, hurries from a jail.
Like a big wife, at sight of loathed meat,
Ready to travail: so I sigh, and sweat
To hear this makaron talk: in vain, for yet,
Either my humour, or his own to fit,
He like a priviledg'd spie, whom nothing can
Discredit, libels now 'gainst each great man.
He names the price of every office paid;
He saith our wars thrive ill, because delaid:
That offices are intail'd, and that there are
Perpetuities of them, lasting as far
As the last day; and that great officers
Do with the Spaniards share, and Dunkirkers.
I more amaz'd than Circe's prisoners, when
They felt themselves turn beasts, felt myself then
Becoming traytor, and methought I saw
One of our giant statues ope its jaw
To suck me in for hearing him: I found
That as burnt venemous leachers do grow sound
By giving others their sores, I might grow
Guilty, and be free: Therefore I did show
All signs of loathing; but since I am in,
I must pay mine, and my forefathers sin
To the last farthing. Therefore to my power
Toughly and stubbornly I bear; but th' hower
Of mercy was now come: he tries to bring
Me to pay a fine to 'scape a torturing,
And says, 66
Sir, can you spare me-
Nay, sir, can you spare me a crown?" Thank-
Gave it, as ransom; but as fidlers, still,
Though they be paid to be gone, yet needs will
Thrust one inore jigg upon you: so did he
With his long complimental thanks vex me.
But he is gone, thanks to his needy want,
He with home meats cloys me. I belch, spue, spit, And the prerogative of my crown; scant
Look pale and sickly, like a patient, yet
He thrusts on more, and as he had undertook,
To say Gallo Belgicus without book,
Speaks of all states and deeds that have been since
The Spaniards came to th' loss of Amyens.
His thanks were ended, when I (which did see
All the court fill'd with more strange things than he)
Ran from thence with such, or more haste than
Who fears more actions, doth hast from prison.
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 looks down to pity kings!
There sober thought pursued 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.
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 roll'd o'er all
The busy, idle blockheads of the ball,
Hast thou, oh Sun! beheld an emptier sort,
Then 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 noses, 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,
Pay their last duty to the court, and come
All fresh and fragrant, to the drawing room;
In hues as gay, and odours as divine,
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.
At home in wholesome solitariness
My piteous soul began the wretchedness
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, flouts 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 all.
'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
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 be, and she in all her trim,
He boarding her, she striking sail to him: [hit!"
"Dear countess! you have charms all hearts to
And "Sweet sir Fopling! you have so much wit!"
Such wits and beauties are not prais'd for nought,
For both the beauty and the wit are bought.
'Twould burst even 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 lily, 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!
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)
Their beauties; they the mens wits; both are bought.
Why good wits ne'er wear scarlet gowns, I thought
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 shrift,
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
Him not so much as good-will, he arrests,
And unto her protests, protests, protests,
No much as at Roine 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