صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Must mortgage her long scarf and mantua gown ;

Now scorn'd of all, forsaken and opprest,
And want and dirt endure a whole half-year,
That for one month she tawdry may appear.
In Easter-term she gets her a new gown;
When my young master's worship comes to town,
Who with strong beer and beef the country rules,
And ever since the Conquest have been fools;

's as lame in making a true fop,
As a philosopher; the very top
And dignity of folly we attain
By studious search and labour of the brain,
By observation, counsel, and deep thought:
God never made a coxcomb worth a groat;
We owe that name to industry and arts :
An eminent fool must be a fool of parts,
And such a one was she, who had turn’d o'er
As many books as men, lov'd much, read more,
Had a discerning wit; to her was known
Every one's fault or merit, but her own.
All the good qualities that ever blest
A woman so distinguish'd from the rest,
Except discretion only, she possest:
But now, mon cher, dear Pug, she cries, adieu ;
And the discourse broke off does thus renew :

You smile to see me, who the world perchance
Mistakes to have some wit, so far advance
The interest of fools, that I approve
Their merit more than men of wit in love;
But in our sex too many proofs there are
Of such whom wits undo, and fools repair.
This, in my time, was so observ'd a rule,
Hardly a wench in town but had her fool;
The meanest common sluit, who long was grown
The jest and scorn of every pit buffoon,
Had yet left charms enough to have subdued
Some fop or other, fond to be thought lewd.
Foster could make an Irish Lord a Nokes,
And Betty Morris had her city Cokes.
A woman's ne'er so ruin'd, but she can
Be still reveng'd on her undoer, man :
How lost soe'er, she'll find some lover more
A lewd abandon'd fool than she a whore.
That wretched thing, Corinna, who has run
Through all the several ways of being undone:
Cozen'd at first by love, and living then
By turning the too dear bought cheat on men :
Gay were the hours, and wing’d with joy they flew,
When first the town her early beauties knew;
Courted, admir’d, and lov'd, with presents fed,
Youth in her looks, and pleasure in her bed;
Till fate, or her ill angel, thought it fit
To make her doat upon a man of wit ;
Who found 'twas dull to love above a day,
Made his ill-natur’d jest, and went away.

This character, lest crossing of the strain
Should mend the booby breed, his friends provide
A cousin of his own to be his bride:
And thus set out-
With an estate, no wit, and a young wife,
The solid comforts of a coxcomb's life,
Dunghill and pease forsook, he comes to town,
Turns spark, learns to be lewd, and is undone ;
Nothing suits worse with vice than want of sense,
Fools are still wicked at their own expense.
This o'ergrown school-boy lost Corinna wins;
At the first dash to make an ass begins :
Pretends to like a man that has not known
The vanities or vices of the town;
Fresh is the youth, and faithful is his love,
Eager of joys which he does seldom prove ;
Healthful and strong, he does no pains endure
But what the fair one he adores can cure;
Grateful for favours, does the sex esteem,
And libels none for being kind to him;
Then of the lewdness of the town complains,
Rails at the wits and atheists, and maintains
"Tis better than good sense, than

power or wealth,
To have a blood untainted, youth, and health,
The unbred puppy, who had never seen
A creature look so gay, or talk so fine,
Believes, then falls in love, and then in debt;
Mortgages all, ev'n to the ancient seat;
To buy his mistress a new house for life,
To give her plate and jewels, robs his wife;
And when to th' height of fondness he is grown,
'Tis time to poison him, and all's her own:
Thus meeting in her common arms his fate,
He leaves her bastard heir to his estate ;
And, as the race of such an owl deserves,
His own dull lawful progeny he starves.
Nature (that never made a thing in vain,
But does each insect to some end ordain)
Wisely provokes kind-keeping fools, no doubt,
To patch up vices men of wit wear out.
Thus she ran on two hours, some grains of sense
Still mixt with follies of impertinence.
But now 'tis time I should some pity shew
To Cloe, since I cannot choose but know,
Readers must reap what dullest writers sow.
By the next post I will such stories tell,
As join'd to these, shall to a volume swell;
As true as heaven, more infamous than hell.
But you are tir'd and so am I, Farewell.

[merged small][ocr errors]

She's a memento mori to the rest :
Diseas'd, decayd, to take up half a crown

Poor creature, who, unheard-of, as a fly
In some dark hole, must all the winter lie,

Were I, who to my cost already am
One of those strange prodigious creatures man,
A spirit free to choose for my own share,
What sort of flesh and blood I pleas'd to wear,
I'd be a dog, a monkey, or a bear,
Or any thing, but that vain animal,
Who is so proud of being rational.
The senses are too gross, and he'll contrive
A sixth, to contradict the other five;

From pedagogue and mother just set free,
The heir and hopes of a great family;

And now, with careful prospect, to maintain

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And, before certain instinct, will prefer

And give the world true grounds of hope and fear. da prete Reason, which fifty times for one does err.

Hold, mighty man, I cry; all this we know
Reason, an ignis fatuus of the mind,

From the pathetic pen of Ingelo,
Which leaves the light of nature, sense, behind: From Patrick's Pilgrim, Sibb's Soliloquies,
Pathless and dangerous wandering ways it takes, And 'tis this very reason I despise,
Through error's fenny bogs, and thorny brakes; This supernatural gift, that makes a mite
Whilst the misguided follower climbs with pain Think he's the image of the Infinite ;
Mountains of whimsies, heapt in his own brain : Comparing his short life, void of all rest,
Stumbling from thought to thought, falls headlong To the Eternal and the Ever-blest :

This busy puzzling stirrer up of doubt,
Into Doubt's boundless sea, where like to drown That frames deep mysteries, then finds them out;
Books bear him up awhile, and make him try Filling with frantic crowds of thinking fools,
To swim with bladders of philosophy ;

The reverend bedlams, colleges and schools.
In hopes still to o'ertake the skipping light,

Borne on these wings, each heavy sot can pierce
The vapour dances in his dazzled sight,

The limits of the boundless universe. eve; Till, spent, it leaves him to eternal night.

So charming ointments make an old witch ily,
Then Old Age and Experience, hand in hand, And bear a crippled carcase through the sky.
Lead him to death, and make him understand, 'Tis this exalted power, whose business lies
After a search so painful and so long,

In nonsense and impossibilities:
That all bis life he has been in the wrong.

This made a whimsical philosopher,
Huddled in dirt, this reasoning engine lies,

Before the spacious world his tub prefer;
Who was so proud, so witty, and so wise :

And we have many modern coxcombs, who
Pride drew him in, as cheats their bubbles catch, Retire to think, 'cause they have nought to do.
And made him venture to be made a wretch. But thoughts were given for action's government,
His wisdom did his happiness destroy,

Where action ceases, thought's impertinent.
Aiming to know the world he should enjoy:

Our sphere of action is life's happiness, dielli And wit was his vain frivolous pretence,

And he that thinks beyond, thinks like an ass. Of pleasing others at his own expense ;

Thus whilst against false reasoning I inveigh, 9

For wits are treated just like common whores, I own right reason, which I would obey; if: First they're enjoy'd, and then kick'd out of doors : That reason, which distinguishes by sense,

The pleasure past, a threatening doubt remains, And gives us rules of good and ill from thence;
That frights th’ enjoyer with succeeding pains. That bounds desires with a reforming will,
Women, and men of wit, are dangerous tools, To keep them more in vigour, not to kill:
And ever fatal to admiring fools.

Your reason hinders, mine helps to enjoy,
Pleasure allures; and when the fops escape, Renewing appetites, your's would destroy.
'Tis not that they are lov'd, but fortunate;

My reason is my friend, your's is a cheat: And therefore what they fear, at heart they hate. Hunger calls out, my reason bids me eat: :)

But now, methinks, some formal band and beard Perversely your's your appetite does mock:
Takes me to task: come on, Sir, I'm prepar'd. This asks for food; that answers, what's a clock ?
Then, by your favour, any thing that's writ,

This plain distinction, Sir, your doubt secures :
Against this gibing, gingling knack, call’d wit, 'Tis not true reason I despise, but your's.
Likes me abundantly; but you'll take care,

Thus I think reason righted: but for man,
Upon this point, not to be too severe ;

I'll ne'er recant; defend him, if you can.
Perhaps my Muse were fitter for this part;

For all his pride and his philosophy,
For, I profess, I can be very smart

'Tis evident beasts are, in their degree,
On wit, which I abhor with all my heart.

As wise at least, and better far than he.
I long to lash it in some sharp essay,

Those creatures are the wisest, who attain,
But your grand indiscretion bids me stay,

By surest means, the ends at which they aim. And turns my tide of ink another way.

If therefore Jowler finds and kills his hare, What ferments in your degenerate mind,

Better than Meres supplies committee-chair: rage To make you rail at reason and mankind?

Though one's a statesman, th' other but a hound,

Jowler in justice will be wiser found,
Blest glorious man, to whom alone kind Heaven

You see how far man's wisdom here extends :
An everlasting soul hath freely given;

Look next if human nature makes amends; Whom his great Maker took such care to make,

Whose principles are most generous and just ; That from himself he did the image take,

And to whose morals you would sooner trust : And this fair frame in shining reason drest,

Be judge yourself; I'll bring it to the test, To dignify his nature above beast:

Which is the basest creature, man or beast : Reason, by whose aspiring influence,

Birds feed on birds, beasts on each other prey,
We take a flight beyond material sense,

But savage man alone does man betray.
Dive into mysteries, then soaring pierce

Prest by necessity, they kill for food;
The flaming limits of the universe,

Man undoes man, to do himself no good:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Search heaven and hell, find out what's acted there,

[ocr errors]

With teeth and claws by nature arm'd, they hunt

Whose envious heart, with saucy eloquence, Nature's allowance, to supply their want;

Dares chide at kings, and rail at men of sense; But man, with smiles, embraces, friendships, praise,

Who in his talking vents more peevish lies, Inhumanly his fellow's life betrays;

More bitter railings, scandals, calumnies, With voluntary pains works his distress,

Than at a gossiping are thrown about, Not through necessity, but wantonness.

When the good wives drink free, and then fall out. For hunger or for love, they bite or tear;

None of the sensual tribe, whose talents lie Whilst wretched man is still in arms for fear:

In avarice, pride, in sloth, and gluttony; For fear he arms, and is of arms afraid;

Who hunt preserment, but abhor good lives; From fear to fear successively betray'd :

Whose lust exalted to that height arrives, Base fear, the source whence his base passions came, They act adultery with their own wives; His boasted honour, and his dear-bought fame: And, ere a score of years completed be, The lust of power, to which he's such a slave,

Can from the lofty stage of honour see And for the whieh alone he dares be brave;

Half a large parish their own progeny.
To which his various projects are design'd,

Nor doating — who would be ador'd,
Which make him generous, affable, and kind; For domineering at the council-board;
For which he takes such pains to be thought wise, A greater fop in business at fourscore,
And screws his actions in a forc'd disguise ;

Fonder of serious toys, affected more,
Leads a most tedious life, in misery,

Than the gay, glittering fool at twenty proves, Under laborious, mean hypocrisy.

With all his noise, his tawdry clothes, and loves. Look to the bottom of his vast design,

But a meek, humble man,

of modest sense, Wherein man's wisdom, power, and glory, join ; Who, preaching peace, does practise continence; The good he acts, the ill he does endure:

Whose pious life's a proof he does believe 'Tis all from fear, to make himself secure.

Mysterious truths, which no man can conceive. Merely for safety, after fame they thirst;

If upon earth there dwell such godlike men, For all men would be cowards if they durst:

I'll here recant my paradox to them, And honesty's against all common sense ;

Adore those shrines of virtue, homage pay, Men must be knaves; 'tis in their own defence,

And, with the thinking world, their laws obey : Mankind's dishonest: if you think it fair,

If such there are, yet grant me this at least, Amongst known cheats, to play upon the square,

Man differs more from man, than man from beast. You'll be undone Nor can weak truth your reputation save;


you The knaves will all agree to call Wrong'd shall he live insulted o'er, opprest,

Nothing ! thou elder brother ev'n to shade,

That badst a being ere the world was made,
Who dares be less a villain than the rest.
Thus here you see what human nature craves,

And (well fixt) art alone of ending not afraid.
Most men are cowards, all men should be knaves.

Ere Time and Place were, Time and Place were not, The difference lies, as far as I can see,

When primitive Nothing Something straight begot, Not in the thing itself, but the degree ;

Then all proceeded from the great united-What. And all the subject matter of debate, Is only who's a knave of the first rate.

Something, the general attribute of all,

Sever'd from thee, its sole original,

Into thy boundless self must undistinguish'd fall.
All this with indignation have I hurl'd
At the pretending part of the proud world,

Yet Something did thy mighty power command,

And from thy fruitful emptiness's hand
Who, swoln with selfish vanity, devise

Snatch'd men, beasts, birds, fire, air, and land.
False freedoms, holy cheats, and formal lies,
Over their fellow-slaves to tyrannize.

Matter, the wicked'st offspring of thy race,
But if in court so just a man there be,

By Form assisted, flew from thy embrace; (In court a just man, yet unknown to me)

And rebel Light obscur'd thy reverend dusky face. Who does his needful flattery direct, Not to oppress and ruin, but protect ;

With Form and Matter, Time and Place did join; Since flattery, which way soever laid,

Body, thy foe, with these did leagues combine,
To spoil thy peaceful realm, and ruin all thy line.
But turn-coat Time assists the foe in vain,
And, brib’d by thee, asserts thy short-liv'd reign,
And to thy hungrywombdrives back thy slaves again.
Though mysteries are barr'd from laic eyes,
And the divine alone, with warrant, pries
Into thy bosom, where the truth in private lies;

Is still a tax on that unhappy trade:
If so upright a statesman you can find,
Whose passions bend to his unbias'd mind;
Who does his arts and policies apply,
To raise his country, not his family.

Is there a mortal who on God relies ?
Whose life his faith and doctrine justifies ?
Not one blown up with vain, aspiring pride,
Who, for reproof of sins, does man deride;

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


Yet this of thee the wise may freely say,

AN EPILOGUE. Thou from the virtuous Nothing tak'st away, As charms are nonsense, nonsense seems a charm, And to be part with thee the wicked wisely pray. Which hearers of all judgment does disarm;

For songs and scenes a double audience bring, Great Negative! how vainly would the wise

And doggrel takes, which smiths in satin sing. Inquire, define, distinguish, teach, devise,

Now to machines and a dull mask you run; Didst thou not stand to point their dull philosophies ! We find that wit's the monster you would shun,

And by my troth 'tis most discreetly done. Is, or is not, the two great ends of Fate,

For since with vice and folly wit is fed, And, true or false, the subject of debate,

Through mercy 'tis most of you are not dead. That perfect or destroy the vast designs of Fate;

Players turn puppets now at your desire,

In their mouth's nonsense, in their tail's a wire; When they have rack'd the politician's breast,

They fly through crowds of clouts and showers of Within thy bosom most securely rest,

A kind of losing Loadum is their game, (fire. And, when reduc'd to thee, are least unsafe and best.

Where the worst writer has the greatest fame.

To get vile plays like theirs shall be our care;
But Nothing, why does Something still permit, But of such awkward actors we despair.
That sacred monarchs should at council sit

False taught at first-
persons highly thought at best for nothing fit? Like bowls ill biass'd, still the more they run,

They 're further off than when they first begun; While weighty Something modestly abstains

In comedy their unweigh’d action mark, From princes' coffers, and from statesmen's brains,

There's one is such a dear familiar spark, And nothing there like stately Nothing reigns. He yawns as if he were but half awake, Nothing, who dwell'st with fools in grave disguise,

And fribbling for free speaking does mistake;

False accent, and neglectful action too: For whom they reverend shapes and forms devise,

They have both so nigh good, yet neither true, Lawn sleeves, and furs, and gowns, when they like That both together, like an ape's mock face, thee look wise.

By near resembling man, do man disgrace.

Thorough-pac'd ill actors may, perhaps, be cur'd; French truth, Dutch prowess, British policy, Half players, like half wits, can't be endur'd. Hibernian learning, Scotch civility,

(thee. Yet these are they, who durst expose the age Spaniards’ dispatch, Danes' wit, are mainly seen in Of the great wonder of the English stage;

Whom Nature seem'd to form for your delight, The great man's gratitude to his best friend, (tend, And bid him speak, as she bid Shakspeare write. Kings' promises, whores' vows, towards thee they Those blades indeed are cripples in their art, Flow swiftly into thee, and in thee ever end. Mimic his foot, but not his speaking part.

Let them the Traitor or Volpone try,

Could they

Rage like Cethegus, or like Cassius die,

They ne'er had sent to Paris for such fancies, Some few, from wit, have this true maxim got, As monsters' heads and merry-Andrews' dances. * That 'tis still better to be pleas'd than not;" Wither'd, perhaps, not perish’d, we appear; And therefore never their own torment plot: But they are blighted, and ne'er came to bear. While the malicious critics still agree'

Th' old poets dress'd your mistress Wit before ; To loath each play they come and pay to see. These draw you on with an old painted whore, The first know 'tis a meaner part of sense

And sell, like bawds, patch'd plays for maids twice
To find a fault, than taste an excellence:

Yet they may scorn our house and actors too, so'er.
Therefore they praise, and strive to like; while these Since they have swell'd so high to hector you.
Are dully vain of being hard to please.

They cry, Pox o' these Covent-garden men;
Poets and women have an equal right

Damp them, not one of them but keeps out ten.
To hate the dull, who, dead to all delight,

Were they once gone, we for those thundering blades Feel pain alone, and have no joy but spight. Should have an audience of substantial trades, 'Twas impotence did first this vice begin:

Who love our muzzled boys and tearing fellows,
Fools censure wit, as old men rail at sin ;

My Lord, great Neptune, and great nephew Æolus.
Who envy pleasure which they cannot taste, O how the merry citizen's in love
And, good for nothing, would be wise at last. With-
Since therefore to the women it appears,

Psyché, the goddess of each field and grove.
That all the enemies of wit are theirs,

He cries, l' faith, methinks 'tis well enough; Our poet the dull herd no longer fears :

But you roar out and cry, 'Tis all damn'd

stuff! Whate'er his fate may prove, 'twill be his pride So to their house the graver fops repair; To stand or fall with beauty on his side.

While men of wit find one another here.

[ocr errors]

ROSCOMMON-A. D. 1633-84.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

If in a picture (Piso) you should see
A handsome woman with a fish's tail,
Or a man's head upon a horse's neck,
Or limbs of beasts of the most different kinds
Cover'd with feathers of all sorts of birds,
Would you not laugh, and think the painter mad?
Trust me, that book is as ridiculous,
Whose incoherent style (like sick men's dreams)
Varies all shapes, and mixes all extremes.
Painters and poets have been still allow'd
Their pencils and their fancies unconfin'd.
This privilege we freely give and take;
But Nature, and the common laws of sense,
Forbid to reconcile antipathies,
Or make a snake engender with a dove,
And hungry tigers court the tender lambs.

Some, that at first have promis’d mighty things,
Applaud themselves, when a few florid lines
Shine through th' insipid dulness of the rest.
Here they describe a temple, or a wood,
Or streams that through delightful meadows run ;
And there the rainbow, or the rapid Rhine:
But they misplace them all, and crowd them in,
And are as much to seek in other things,
As he that only can design a tree,
Would be to draw a shipwreck or a storm.
When you begin with so much pomp and show,
Why is the end so little and so low?
Be what you will, so you be still the same.

Most poets fall into the grossest faults,
Deluded by a seeming excellence:
By striving to be short, they grow obscure;
And when they would write smoothly, they want

Their spirits sink; while others, that affect
A lofty style, swell to a tympany.
Some timorous wretches start at every blast,
And fearing tempests, dare not leave the shore;
Others, in love with wild variety,
Draw boars in waves, and dolphins in a wood :
Thus fear of erring, join'd with want of skill,
Is a most certain way of erring still.

The meanest workman in th’ Æmilian square,
May grave the nails, or imitate the hair,
But cannot finish what he hath begun :
What can be more ridiculous than he ;
For one or two good features in a face,
Where all the rest are scandalously ill,
Make it but more remarkably deform’d.

Let poets match their subject to their strength,
And often try what weight they can support,
And what their shoulders are too weak to bear.
After a serious and judicious choice,
Method and eloquence will never fail.

As well the force as ornament of verse
Consists in choosing a fit time for things,
And knowing when a Muse may be indulg'd
In her full flight, and when she should be curb'd.

Words must be chosen, and be plac'd with skill:
You gain your point, when, by the noble art
Of good connexion, an unusual word
Is made at first familiar to our ear:
But if you write of things abstruse or new,
Some of your own inventing may be us'd,
So it be seldom and discreetly done:
But he that hopes to have new words allow'd,
Must so derive them from the Grecian spring,
As they may seem to flow without constraint.
Can an impartial reader discommend
In Varius, or in Virgil, what he likes
In Plautus or Cæcilius? Why should I
Be envy'd for the little I invent,
When Ennius and Cato's copious style
Have so enrich'd and so adorn'd our tongue?
Men ever had and ever will have leave
To coin new words well suited to the age.
Words are like leaves; some wither every year;
And every year a younger race succeeds.
Death is a tribute all things owe to fate.
The Lucrine mole (Cæsar's stupendous work)
Protects our navies from the raging north ;
And (since Cethegus drain’d the Pontine lake)
We plow and reap where former ages row'd.
See how the Tiber (whose licentious waves
So often overflow'd the neighbouring fields)
Now runs a smooth and inoffensive course,
Confin’d by our great Emperor's command.
Yet this, and they, and all, will be forgot.
Why then should words challenge eternity,
When greatest men and greatest actions die?
Use may revive the obsoletest words,
And banish those that now are most in vogue:
Use is the judge, the law, and rule of speech.

Homer first taught the world in epic verse
To write of great commanders and of kings.

Elegies were at first design'd for grief,
Though now we use them to express our joy;
But to whose Muse we owe that sort of verse,
Is undecided by the men of skill.

Rage with lambics arm'd Archilocus,
Numbers for dialogue and action fit,
And favourites of the Dramatic Muse.
Fierce, lofty, rapid, whose commanding sound
Awes the tumultuous noises of the pit,
And whose peculiar province is the stage.

Gods, heroes, conquerors, Olympic crowis,
Love's pleasing cares, and the free joys of wine,
Are proper subjects for the Lyric song.

Why is he honour'd with a poet's name,

se xhants, impetue petrecta and wri er all interpre

words and 2014 d. gTCHES

dancters of U serva pre od boils

Atva. or at frau arcbants, care

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »