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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!
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 fired,
Nor the vain itch to admire, or be admired :
I hoped for no commission from his grace;
I bought no benefice, I begg'd no place :
Equally I hate. Means bless’d. In rich men's homos
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 drawe
Within the vast reach of the huge statute's jawes.
Well; I may now receive, and die. My sin
Indeed is great; but yet I have been in
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 to be seen;
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,
So was I punish'd, as if full as proud,
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 posed to name ;
Noah had refused 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 Sloan 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;
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 scaped; so it pleased my destiny
Guilty of my sin of going) to think me
As prone to all ill, and good as forget-
ful, as proud, lustful, 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 sun
E’er bred, or all which into Noah's ark came;
A thing which would have posed Adam to name :
Stranger than seven antiquaries' studies,
Than Africk monsters, Guianaes rarities,
Stranger than strangers: one who, for a Dare,
In the Danes' massacre had sure been slain,
If he had lived then; and without help dies,
Une, 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: the apparel on his back,
Tho'coarse, was reverend, and though bare, was black
The suit, if by the fashion one might guess,
Was velvet in the youth of good que 'n 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, speaks each language tco, 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 refined. 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; When next the 'prentices 'gainst strangers rise ; One, whom the watch at noon scarce lets go by: One, to whom the examining justice sure would cry Sir, by your priesthood, tell me what you are ?' His clothes were strange, though coarse, and black,
though bare, Sleeveless his jerkin was, and had it been Velvet, but 'twas now, (so much ground was seen) Become tuff-taffety; and our children shall See it plain rash a while, then nought at all.
The thing hath travail'd, and faith, speaks all tongucs And only knoweth what to all states belongs, Made of the accents, and best phrase of all these He speaks one language. If strange meats displease, Art can deceive, or hunger force my taste; But pedants motly tongue, soldiers bumbasi, Mountebanks drug-tongue, nor the terms of law Are strong enough preparativog to draw
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 discharged 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,' said I • But the best words?'-'0, 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 ;'
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 whoren,
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, chooseth me! he saith, “Sir,
I love your judgment, whom do you prefer
For the best linguist ?' and I seelily
Said that I thought Calepine's dictionary.
Nay, but of men, most sweet sir ?' Beza then,
Some Jesuits, and two reverend men
Of our two academies I named. Here
He stopp'd me, and said, 'Nay your apostles were
Good pretty linguists; so Panurgus was,
Yet a poor gentleman; all these may pass
Nay, troth, the 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 cried 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 buried 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! your 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 lust 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 entranced, 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!'
By travail.' Then, as if he would sold
His tongue, he praised it, and such wonders told,
That I was fain to say, 'If you had lived, sir,
Time enough to have been interpreter
To Babel's bricklayers, sure the tower had stood.'
He adds, 'If of court life you knew the good,
You would leave loneless. I said, 'Not alone
My loneless is; but Spartanes fashion
To teach by painting drunkards dotk 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-stretch'd lutestring squeaks, 'O s: 'Tis sweet to talk of kings.' 'At Westminster'