Page images

Something of man must be expos'd to view,
That, gallants, they may more resemble you.
Sir Fopling is a fool so nicely writ,

The ladies would mistake him for a wit;

And, when he fings, talks loud, and cocks would cry,

I vow, methinks, he's pretty company :

So brifk, fo gay, fo travel'd, fo refin'd,

As he took pains to graff upon his kind.
True fops help nature's work, and go to school,
To file and finish God Almighty's fool.
Yet none Sir Fopling him, or him can call;
He's knight o' th' fhire, and represents you all.
From each he meets he culls whate'er he can ;
Legion's his name, a people in a man.
His bulky folly gathers as it goes,

And, rolling o'er you, like a fnow-ball grows.
His various modes froin various fathers follow;
One taught the tofs, and one the new French wallow.
His fword-knot this, his cravat that defign'd;

And this, the yard-long snake he twirls behind.

From one the facred periwig he gain'd,

Which wind ne'er blew, nor touch of hat prophan'd.

Another's diving bow he did adore,

Which with a fhog cafts all the hair before,
Till he with full decorum brings it back,
And rifes with a water-fpaniel shake.
As for his fongs, the ladies dear delight,

These sure he took from most of you who write.
Yet every man is fafe from what he fear'd;

For no one fool is hunted from the herd.


[merged small][ocr errors]


By Mr. N. LE E, 1678.

YOU'VE feen a pair of faithful lovers die :

And much you care; for most of you will cry, 'Twas a juft judgment on their conftancy.

For, heaven be thank'd, we live in fuch an age,
When no man dies for love, but on the stage:
And ev'n those martyrs are but rare in plays ;
A curfed fign how much true faith decays.
Love is no more a violent defire;
'Tis a meer metaphor, a painted fire.
In all our fex, the name examin'd well,
'Tis pride to gain, and vanity to tell.
In woman, 'tis of fubtle intereft made:
Curfe on the punk that made it first a trade !
She firft did wit's prerogative remove,
And made a fool prefume to prate of love.
Let honour and preferment go for gold;
But glorious beauty is not to be fold:
Or, if it be, 'tis at a rate fo high,

That nothing but adoring it should buy.
Yet the rich cullies may their boafting spare;
They purchase but fophifticated ware.
'Tis prodigality that buys deceit,
Where both the giver and the taker cheat.
Men but refine on the old half-crown way;
And women fight, like Swiffers, for their pay.




[By Mr. N. LE E, 1680.]


H' unhappy man, who once has trail'd a pen,
Lives not to please himself, but other men ;
Is always drudging, waftes his life and blood,
Yet only eats and drinks what you think good.
What praise foe'er the poetry deserve,

Yet every fool can bid the poet starve.
That fumbling letcher to revenge is bent,
Because he thinks himfelf or whore is meant :
Name but a cuckold, all the city fwarms;
From Leadenhall to Ludgate is in arms:
Were there no fear of Antichrift or France,
In the bleft time poor poets live by chance.
Either you come not here, or, as you grace
Some old acquaintance, drop into the place,
Careless and qualmish with a yawning face:
You sleep o'er wit, and by my troth you may;
Most of your talents lie another way.
You love to hear of fome prodigious tale,
The bell that toll'd alone, or Irish whale.
News is your food, and you enough provide,
Both for yourselves, and all the world beside.
One theatre there is of vaft resort,
Which whilome of Requests was called the Court;
But now the great Exchange of News 'tis hight,
And full of hum and buz from noon till night.



Up ftairs and down you run, as for a race,
And each man wears three nations in his face.
So big you look, though claret you retrench,
That, arm'd with bottled ale, you huff the French.
But all your entertainment ftill is fed

By villains in your own dull island bred.
Would you return to us, we dare engage
To fhew you better rogues upon the ftage.
You know no poison but plain ratibane here;
Death's more refin'd, and better bred elsewhere.
They have a civil way in Italy

By fmelling a perfume to make you


A trick would make you lay your snuff-box by.
Murder's a trade, so known and practis'd there,
That 'tis infallible as is the chair.

But, mark their feaft, you shall behold such pranks;
The pope fays grace, but 'tis the devil gives thanks.


PROLOGUE to SOPHONISBA, at Oxford, 1680.

THESPIS, the first profeffor of our art,

At country wakes, fung ballads from a cart.
Το prove this true, if Latin be no trespass,
Dicitur & plauftris vexiffe Poemata Thespis.
But Æfchylus, says Horace in some page,
Was the first mountebank that trod the stage :
Yet Athens never knew your learned sport
Of toffing poets in a tennis court.


But 'tis the talent of our English nation,
Still to be plotting fome new reformation :
And few years hence, if anarchy goes on,
Jack Prefbyter fhall here erect his throne,
Knock out a tub with preaching once a day,
And every prayer be longer than a play.
Then all your heathen wits shall go to pot,
For disbelieving of a Popish-plot :
Your poets fhall be us'd like infidels,
And worst the author of the Oxford bells:
Nor fhould we 'fcape the fentence, to depart,
Ev'n in our first original, a cart.

No zealous brother there would want a ftone,
To maul us cardinals, and pelt pope Joan :
Religion, learning, wit, would be supprest,
Rags of the whore, and trappings of the beaft:
Scot, Suarez, Tom of Aquin, must go down,
As chief fupporters of the triple crown ;
And Ariftotle's for deftruction ripe;
Some fay, he call'd the foul an organ-pipe,
Which by some little help of derivation,
Shall then be prov'd a pipe of inspiration.



IF yet there be a few that take delight

In that which reafonable men fhould write
To them alone we dedicate this night.
The reft may fatisfy their curious itch
With city gazettes, or some factious speech,


« PreviousContinue »