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Such waxen noses, stately staring things-
No wonder some folks bow, and think them kings.
See! where the British youth, engaged 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 fools'-coats and to fools.
And why not players strut in cùurtiers' clothes?
For these are actors too, as well as those :
Wants reach all states: they beg but better dress'd,
And all is splendid poverty at best.
Painted for sight, and essenced for the smell,
Like frigates fraught with spice and cochineal,
Sail in the ladies : how each pirate eyes
So weak a vessel, and so rich a prize!
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)
Their beauties; they the men's wits; both are bought.
Why good wits ne'er wear scarlet gowns, I thought
This cause, these men, men's 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,
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
And 'Sweet Sir Fopling! you have so much wit!'
Such wits and beauties are not praised for nought,
For both the beauty and the wit are bought.
'Twould burst e'en Heraclitus with the spleen,
To see those antics, 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.
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 waist tò 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,
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.
So first to preach a white-gloved chaplain goes,
With band of lily, and with cheek of rose,
Sweeter than Sharon, in immaculate trim,
Neatness itself impertinent in him.
Let but the ladies smile, and they are bless'd :
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.
But here's the captain that will plague them
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 licensed fool, commands like law.
Frighted, I quit the room, but leave it so As men from jails to execution go ;
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,
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 licensed fool, commands like law. i
Tired now, I leave this place, and but pleased so
As men from gaols to execution go,
Go, through the great chamber (why is it hung
With these seven deadly sins ?) being among
For hung with deadly sins I see the wall,
And lined with giants deadlier than them all :
Each man an Askapart, of strength to toss
For quoits, both Temple-bar and Charing-cross.
Scared at the grisly 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 !
From such alone the great rebukes endure,
Whose satire 's sacred, and whose rage secure ;
"Tis mine to wash a few light stains; but theirs
To deluge sin, and drown a court in tears,
Howe'er, what 's now Apocrypha, my wit,
In time to come may pass for Holy Writ.
Those Askaparts, men big enough to throw
Charing-cross, for a bar, men that do know
No token of worth, but queen's 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,
Drown the sins of this place, but as for me
Which am but a scant brook, enough shall be
To wash the stains away: although I yet
(With Maccabees' modesty) the known merit
Of my work lessen, yet some wise men shall,
I hope, esteem my writs Canonical.
DIALOGUE 1. Fr. Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in print, And when it comes the court see nothing in't. You grow correct, that once with rapture writ, And are, besides, too moral for a wit.
Decay of parts, alas ! we all must feel Why now, this moment, don't I see you steal ? 'Tis all from Horace; Horace long before ye Said, “Tories call’d him Whig, and Whigs a Tory;' And taught his Romans, in much better metre, * To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter.'
But Horace, sir, was delicate, was nice; Bubo observes, he lash'd no sort of vice : Horace would say, Sir Billy served the crown, Blunt could do business, Higgins knew the town; In Sappho touch the failings of the sex, In reverend bishops note some small neglects, And own the Spaniard did a waggish thing, Who cropp'd our ears, and sent them to the king. His sly, polite, insinuating style Could please at court, and make Augustus smile : An artful manager, that crept between His friend and shame, and was a kind of screen. But 'faith your very friends will soon be sore; Patriots there are, who wish you'd jest no moreAnd where 's the glory? 'twill be only thought The great man never offer'd you a groat. Go see Sir Robert P.
See Sir Robert!-hum-
And never laugh—for all my life to come?
Seen him I have, but in his happier hour
Of social pleasure, ill-exchanged for power;
Seen him, uncumber'd with a venal tribe,
Smile without art, and win without a bribe.
Would he oblige me? let me only find,
He does not think me what he thinks mankind.
Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt;
The only difference is, I dare laugh out.
F. Why yes: with Scripture still you may be
A horse-laugh, if you please, at honesty ;
A joke on Jekyll, or some odd old Whig ;
Who never changed his principle, or wig ;
A patriot is a fool in every age,
Whom all ord chamberlains allow the stage:
These nothing hurts; they keep their fashion still,
And wear their strange old virtue as they will,