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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.
Bear me, some God! oh quickly bear me hence
To wholesome Solitude, the nurse of Sense:
Where Contemplation pranes 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 Vifion 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, fin, and hate.
Base Fear becomes the guilty, not the free;
Suits Tyrants, Plunderers, but suits not me :
But he is gone, thanks to his needy want,
And the Prerogative of my Crown; scant
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 one
Who fears more actions, doth hast from prison.
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
Shall I, the Terror of this sinful town,
Care, if a livery'd Lord or smile or frown?
Who cannot flatter, and deteft who can,
Tremble before a noble Serving-man?
O my fair mistress, Truth! shall I quit thee
For huffing, braggart, puft Nobility?
Thou, who fince yesterday haft rollid o’er all
The busy, idle blockheads of the ball,
Haft thou, oh Sun! beheld an emptier sort,
Than such as fwell this bladder of a court ?
Non 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 !
Becomes the guilty, not the accuser : Then,
Shall I, none's Nave, of highborn or rais'd men
Fear frowns: and my mistress Truth, betray thee
For th' huffing, bragart, piift nobility?
No, no, thou which since yesterday haft been,
Almost about the whole world, hast thou seen,
O fun, 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 all.
Such waxen noses, stately staring things-
No wonder fome 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; 215
In hues as gay, and odours ás 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 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.
'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 Cheapfide books,
Painted for fight, and eflenc'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 the in all her trim,
He boarding her, she striking fail to him :
“ Dear Countess ! you have charms all hearts to t!"
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 these 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, 240
Of all beau-kind the best proportion'd fools !
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
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,
Adjust their cloaths, 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 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 Rofe,
Sweeter than Sharon, in immaculate trim,
Neatness itself impertinent in him.
As if the Presence were a Mosque: and lift
His skirts and hose, and call his clothes to Thrift,
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,
So much as at Rome would serve to have thrown
Ten Cardinals into the Inquisition;