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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, bebold! there came
A thing which Adam had been pos'd to name :
Noah had refus'd 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 Sloane 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 dropt ont of the moon :
One 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 Though coarse was reverend, and though bare was
The suit, if by the fashion one might guess,
Was velvet in the yonth of good queen Bess,
But mere tuff-taffety what now remain'd;
So time, that changes all things, had ordaind!
Our sons shall see it leisurely decay,
First turn plain rash, then vanish quite away.
This thing has travell’d, speaks each language too,
And knows what's fit for every state to do;
Of whose best phrase and conrtly accent join'd
He forms one tongne, exotic and refin'd.
Talkers I've learn'd to bear: Motteux I knew,
Henley himself I've heard, and Bndgell 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 :
These I could bear; but not a rogue so civil
Whose tongue will compliment yon 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, gracions God!
Wbat sin of mine could merit such a rod?
That all the shot of dulness now must be
From this thy blunderbuss discharg'd on me!
Permit, he cries, no stranger to your fame,
To crave your sentiment, if *'s your name.
What speech esteem yon 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;
Nay, troth, the’Apostles (though perbaps too rough)
Had once a pretty gift of tongues enouglı :
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
"Ah, gentle sir! you 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 entranc'd, 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 !' • Then, happy man who shows the tombs! (said I) He dwells amidst the royal family: He every day from king to king can walk, Of all our Harries, all our Edwards talk, And get, by speaking truth of monarchs dead, What few can of the living, ease and bread.'
Lord, sir, a mere mechanic! strangely low, And coarse of plırase-your English all are so. How elegant your Frenchmen!'- Mine, d'ye
mean! I have but one; I hope the fellow's clean.' • 0, sir, politely so! nay, let me die, Your only wearing is your paduasoy.' • Not, sir, my only; I have better still, And this you see is but my dishabille.'Wild to get loose, his patience I provoke, Mistake, confound, object at all he spoke: But as coarse iron, sharpen'd, mangles more, And itch most hurts when anger'd to a sore;
So when you plague a fool, 'tis still the curse,
Yon only make the matter worse and worse.
He past it o’er ; affects an easy smile
At all my peevishness, and turns his style.
He asks, 'what news?' I tell him of new plays,
New eunuchs, harlequins, and operase
He hears, and as a still, with simples in it,
Between each drop it gives, stays half a minute,
Loth to enrich me with too quick replies,
By little, and by little, drops his lies. [shows,
Mere household trash! of birthnights, balls, and
More than ten Holinsheds, or Halls, or Stows.
When the queen frown'd or smil'd he knows, and
A subtle minister may make of that: (what
Who sins with whom : who got his pension rug,
Or quicken'd a reversion by a drug:
Whose place is quarter'd out three parts in four,
And whether to a bishop, or a whore :
Who, having lost his credit, pawn’d his rent,
Is therefore fit to have a government:
Who, in the secret, deals in stocks secure,
And cheats the unknowing widow and the poor:
Who makes a trust of charity a job,
And gets an act of parliament to roh :
Why turnpikes rise, and now no cit nor clown
Can gratis see the country or the town :'
Shortly no lad shall chuck or lady vole,
But some excising courtier will have toll:
He tells what strumpet places sells for life,
What 'squire his lands, what citizen his wife :
At last (which proves him wiser still than all)
What lady's face is not a whited wall.
As one of Woodward's patients, sick, and sore, I puke, I nauseate--yet he thrusts in more;
Trims Europe's balance, tops the statesman's part,
And talks gazettes and postboys o'er by heart.
Like a big wife at sight of loathsome meat
Ready to cast, I yawn, I sigh, and sweat.
Then as a licens'd spy, whom nothing can
Silence or hurt, he libels the great man:
Swears every place entail'd for years to come
In sure succession to the day of doom :
He names the price for every office paid,
And says our wars thrive ill, because delay'd:
Nay hints 'tis by connivance of the court
That Spain robs on, and Dunkirk's still a port.
Not more amazement seiz'd on Circe's guests
To see themselves fall endlong into beasts,
Than mine, to find a subject stay'd and wise
Already half-turn'd traitor by surprise.
I felt the infection slide from him to me,
As in the p-x some give it to get free;
And quick to swallow me, methought I saw
One of our giant statutes ope its jaw.
In that nice moment, as another lie
Stood just a-tilt, the minister came by :
To him he flies, and bows, and bows again,
Then, close as Umbra, joins the dirty train.
Not Fannius' self more impudently near,
When half his nose is in his prince's ear.
I quak'd at heart; and, still afraid to see
All the court fill'd with stranger things than he,
Ran ont 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 prunes her ruffled wings, And the free soul louks down, to pity kipgs !