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Besides, the nostrils, ears, and eyes, 110
Are not his parts, but his allies;
Even what you hear the tongue proclaim
Comes ab origine from them.
What could the head perform alone,
If all their friendly aids were gone!
A foolish figure he must make;
Do nothing else but sleep and ake.
Nor matters it, that you can show
How to the head the spirits go;
Those spirits started from some goal, 120
Before they through the veins could roll.
Now, we should hold them much to blame,
If they went back, before they came.
If, therefore, as we must suppose,
They came from fingers, and from toes;
Or toes, or fingers, in this case,
Of Num-scull's self should take the place:
Disputing fair, you grant thus much,
That all sensation is but touch.
Dip but your toes into cold water, 130
Their correspondent teeth will chatter;
And, strike the bottom of your feet,
You set your head into a heat.
The bully beat, and happy lover,
Confess, that feeling lies all over.
Note here, Lucretius dares to teach,
As all our youth may learn from Creech,
That eyes were made, but could not view,
Nor hands embrace, nor feet pursue;
But heedless Nature did produce 140
The members first, and then the use.
What each must act was yet unknown,
Till all is moved by chance alone.
A man first builds a country-seat, 144 Then finds the walls not good to eat. Another plants, and wondering sees Nor books nor medals on his trees. Yet poet and philosopher Was he, who durst such whims aver. Blessed, for his sake, be human reason, 150 That came at all, though late in season.
But no man sure e'er left his house, And saddled Ball with thoughts so wild, To bring a midwife to his spouse, Before he knew she was with child. And no man ever reaped his corn, Or from the oven drew his bread, Ere hinds and bakers yet were born, That taught them both to sów and knead. Before they’re asked can maids refuse, 160 Can—Pray, says Dick, hold in your Muse. While you Pindaric truths rehearse, She hobbles in alternate verse. Verse! Mat replied; is that my care? Go on, quoth Richard, soft and fair.
This looks, friend Dick, as Nature had But exercised the salesman's trade; As if she haply had set down, And cut out clothes for all the town, Then sent them out to Monmouth Street, 170 To try what persons they would fit; But every free and licensed tailor Would in this thesis find a failure. Should whims like these his head perplex, How could he work for either sex; His clothes, as atoms might prevail, Might fit a pismire, or a whale.
No, no; he views with studious pleasure 178
Your shape, before he takes your measure.
For real Kate he made the bodice,
And not for an ideal goddess.
No error near his shopboard lurked:
He knew the folks for whom he worked;
Still to their size he aimed his skill:
Else, prythee, who would pay his bill?
Next, Dick, if chance herself should vary,
Observe, how matters would miscarry;
Across your eyes, friend, place your shoes;
Your spectacles upon your toes;
Then you and Memmius shall agree, 190
How nicely men would walk, or see.
But wisdom, peevish and cross-grained,
Must be opposed, to be sustained;
And still your knowledge will increase,
As you make other people's less.
In arms and science ’tis the same;
Our rival's hurts create our fame.
At Faubert's, if disputes arise
Among the champions for the prize,
To prove who gave the fairer butt, 200
John shows the chalk on Robert's coat.
So, for the honour of your book,
It tells where other folks mistook;
And, as their notions you confound,
Those you invent get farther ground.
The commentators on old Ari-
stotle ('tis urged) in judgment vary;
They to their own conceits have brought
The image of his general thought;
Just as the melancholic eye 210
Sees fleets and armies in the sky,
And to the poor apprentice ear 212
The bells sound, “Whittington lord mayor.’
The conjuror thus explains his scheme;
Thus spirits walk, and prophets dream;
North Britons thus have second-sight;
And Germans, free from gun-shot, fight.
Theodoret and Origen,
And fifty other learned men,
Attest, that, if their comments find 220
The traces of their master's mind,
Alma can ne'er decay nor die;
This flatly t'other sect deny:
Simplicius, Theophrast, Durand,
Great names, but hard in verse to stand.
They wonder men should have mistook
The tenets of their master's book;
And hold, that Alma yields her breath,
O'ercome by age, and seized by death.
Now which were wise, and which were fools?
Poor Alma sits between two stools: 231
The more she reads, the more perplexed;
The comment ruining the text.
Now fears, now hopes, her doubtful fate:
But, Richard, let her look to that—
Whilst we our own affairs pursue.
These different systems, old or new,
A man with half an eye may see,
Were only formed to disagree.
Now, to bring things to fair conclusion, 240
And save much Christian ink's effusion,
Let me propose a healing scheme,
And sail along the middle stream:
For, Dick, if we could reconcile
Old Aristotle with Gassendus,
How many would admire our toil, 246
And yet how few would comprehend us!
Here, Richard, let my scheme commence;
Oh! may my words be lost in sense!
While pleased Thalia deigns to write
The slips and bounds of Alma's flight.
My simple system shall suppose,
That Alma enters at the toes;
That then she mounts by just degrees
Up to the ankles, legs, and knees;
Next, as the sap of life does rise,
She lends her vigour to the thighs;
And, all these under-regions past,
She nestles somewhere near the waist;
Gives pain or pleasure, grief or laughter; 260
As we shall show at large hereafter,
Matured, if not improved by time,
Up to the heart she loves to climb;
From thence, compelled by craft and age,
She makes the head her latest stage.
From the feet upward to the head,
Pithy and short, says Dick, proceed.
Dick, this is not an idle notion,
Observe the progress of the motion.
First, I demonstratively prove 270
That feet were only made to move;
And legs desire to come and go,
For they have nothing else to do.
Hence, long before the child can crawl,
He learns to kick, and wince, and sprawl:
To hinder which, your midwife knows
To bind those parts extremely close;
Lest Alma, newly entered in,
And stunned at her own christening's din,