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Nor would he have them known for any thing,
Though all the vault of his loud murmur ring:
Not one man tells a lye of all the yearc,
Except the Almanack or the Chronicler.
But not a man of all the damned crew,
For hills of gold would sweare the thing untrue.
Pansophus now, though all in the cold sweat,
Dares venture through the feared castle-gate,
Albe the faithful oracles have foresayne,
The wisest senator shall there be slaine :
That made him long keepe home, as well it might,
Till now he hopeth of some wiser wight.
The vale of Stand-gate, or the Suter's hill,
Or westerne plainc, are free from feared ill.
Let him that hath nought, feare nought I arced:
But he that hath aught hye him, and God speed.
Nor drunken Dennis doth, by breake of day,
Stumble into blind taverns by the way,
And reel me homeward at the ev'ning starre,
Or ride more eas’ly in his neighbour's chayre.
Well might these checks have fitted former times,
And shoulder'd angry Skelton's breathlesse rhymes,
Ere Chrysalus had barr’d the common boxe,
Which erst he pick'd to store his private stocks;
But now hath all with vantage paid againe,
And locks and plates what doth behind remaine;
When erst our dry-sould sires so lavish were,
To charge whole boots-full to their friends welfare ;
Now shalt thou never see the salt beset
With a big-bellied gallon fagonet.
Of an ebbe cruise must thirsty Silen sip,
That's all forestalled by his upper lip;
Somewhat it was that made his paunchi so peare,
His girdle fell ten inches in a yeare.
Or when old gouty bed-rid Euclio
To his officious factor fair could show
His name in margent of some old cast bill,
And say, Lo! whom I named in my will,
Whiles he believes, and looking for the share
Tendeth his cumbrous charge with busy care
For but a while ; for now he sure will die,
By his strange qualme of liberality.
Great thanks he gives—but God him shield and save
From ever gaining by his master's grave:
Only live long, and he is well repaid,
And wets his forced cheeks while thus he said ;
Some strong-smellid onion shall stir his eyes
Rather than no salt teares shall then arise.
So looks he like a marble toward raine,
And wrings and snites, and weeps, and wipes again.
Then turns his back and smiles, and looks askance,
Seas'ning again his sorrow'd countenance;
Whiles yet he wearies Heav'n with daily cries,
And backward death with devout sacrifice,
That they would now his tedious ghost bereav'n,
And wishes well, that wish'd no worse than Heav'n.
When Zoylus was sicke, he knew not where,
Save his wrought night-cap, and lawn pillowbear.
Kind fooles! they made him sick that made him
Take those away, and there's his medicine. [fine;
Or Gellia wore a velvet mastick-patch
Upon her temples when no tooth did ache;
When beauty was her rheume I soon espy'd,
Nor could her plaister cure her of her pride.
These vices were, but now they ceas'd off long :
Then why did I a righteous age that wrong?
I would repent me were not too late,
Were not the angry world prejudicate.
If all the seven penitential
Or thousand white-wands might me aught availe ;
If Trent or Thames could scoure my foule offence
And set me in my former innocence,
I would at last repent me of my rage :
Now, bear my wrong, I thine, O righteous age.
As for fine wits, an hundred thousand fold
Passeth our age whatever times of old.
For in that puisne world, our sires of long
Could hardly wag their too unwieldy tongue
As pined crowes and parrots can do now,
When hoary age did bend their wrinkled brow:
And now of late did many a learned man
Serve thirty yeares prenticeship with Priscian;
But now can every novice speake with ease
The far-fetch'd language of th' antipodes.
Would'st thou the tongues that erst were learned
hight, Though our wise age had wip'd them of their
right; Would'st thou the courtly three in most request, Or the two barbarous neighbours of the west ? Bibinus selfe can have ten tongues in one, Though in all ten not one good tongue alone. And can deep skill lie smothering within, Whiles neither smoke nor flame discerned bin ? Shall it not be a wild-fig in a wall, Or fired brimstone in a minerall ? Do thou disdain, O ever-learned age! The tongue-ty'd silence of that Samian sage : Forth, ye fine wits, and rush into the presse, And for the cloyed world your works addresse Is not a gnat, nor fly, nor seely ant, But a fine wit can make an clephant,
Should Bandell's throstle die without a song,
Or Adamantius, my dog, be laid along,
Downe in some ditch without his exequies,
Or epitaphs, or mournful elegies?
Folly itself, and baldnesse may be prais'd,
And sweet conceits from filthy objects rais'd.
What do not fine wits dare to undertake?
What dare not fine wits do for honour's sake?
But why doth Balbus his dead-doing quill
Parch in his rusty scabbard all the while ;
His golden fleece o'ergrowne with mouldy hoare,
As though he had his witty works forswore?
Belike of late now Balbus hath no need,
Nor now belike his shrinking shoulders dread
The catch-poll's fist- The presse may still remaine
And breathe, till Balbus be in debt againe.
Soon may that be! so I had silent beene,
And not thus rak'd up quiet crimes unseen.
Silence is safe, when saying stirreth sore,
And makes the stirred puddle stink the more.
Shall the controller of proud Nemesis
In lawlesse rage upbraid each other's vice,
While no man seeketh to reflect the wrong,
And curb the raunge of his misruly tongue ?
By the two crownes of Parnasse ever-green,
And by the cloven head of Hippocrene
As I true poet am, I here avow
(So solemnly kiss'd he his laurell bough)
If that bold satire unrevenged be
For this so saucy and foule injury.
So Labeo weens it my eternal shame
To prove I never earn'd a poet's name.
But would I be a poet if I might, (nights,
To rub my browes three dayes and wake three
And bite my nails, and scratch my dullard head,
And curse the backward Muses on my bed
About one peevish syllable; which out sought
I take up Thales joy, save for fore-thought
How it shall please each ale-knight's censuring eye,
And hang'd my head for fear they deem awry:
While thread-bare Martiall turns his merry note
To beg of Rufus a cast winter-coate;
While hungry Marot leapeth at a beane,
And dieth like a starved Capuchein ;
Go, Ariost, and gape for what may fall
From trencher of a flattering cardinall;
And if thou gettest but a pedant's fee,
Thy bed, thy board, and coarser livery,
O honour far beyond a brazen shrine,
To sit with Tarleton on an ale-post's signe!
Who had but lived in Augustus' dayes,
'T had been some honour to be crown'd with bayes;
When Lucan stretched on his marble bed,
To think of Cæsar, and great Pompey's deed :
Or when Achelaus shav'd his mourning head,
Soon as he heard Stesichorus was dead.
At least, would some good body of the rest
Set a gold pen on their baye-wreathed crest :
Or would their face in stamped coin expresse,
As did the Mytelens their poetesse.
Now as it is, beshrew him if he might,
That would his browes with Cæsar's laurell dight.
Though what ail'd me, I might not well as they
Rake up some forworne tales that smother'd lay
In chimney corners smoak'd with winter fires,
To read and rock asleep our drowsy sires ?
No man his threshold better knowes, than I
Brute's first arrival, and first victory;