« PoprzedniaDalej »
ELL; I may now receive, and die. My fin
Indeed is great, but yet I have been in
A Purgatory, fuch as fear'd hell is
A recreation, and scant map of this.
My mind, neither with pride's itch, nor hath been Poyfon'd with love to fee or to be seen,
I had no fuit there, nor new fuit to show,
Yet went to Court; but as Glare which did go
To Mafs in jeft, catch'd, was fain to disburse
Two hundred markes, which is the Statutes curse,
VER. 1. Well, if it be etc.] Donne fays,
Well; I may now receive and die.
which is very indecent language on fo ludicrous an occafion.
VER. 3. I die in charity with fool and knave,] We verily think he did. But of the immediate cause of his departure hence there is fome fmall difference between his Friends and Enemies. His family fuggefts that a general decay of nature, which had been long coming on, ended with a Dropfy in the breaft, enough to have killed Hercules. The Gentlemen of the Dunciad maintain, that he
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 leaft beyond the grave.
I've had my Purgatory here betimes,
And paid for all my fatires, 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 fir'd,
Nor the vain itch t'admire, or be admir'd;
I hop❜d for no commiffion from his Grace;
1 bought no benefice, I begg'd no place;
Had no new verses, nor new fuit to show;
Yet went to Court !--the Dev'l would have it fo.
But, as the Fool that in reforming days
Wou'd go to Mass in jeft (as story says)
fell by the keen pen of our redoubtable Laureat. We ourfelves fhould be inclined to this latter opinion, for the fake of ornamenting his ftory; for it would be a fine thing for his Historian to be able to say, that he died, like his immortal namefake, Alexander the Great, by a drug of so deadly cold a nature, that, as Plutarch and other grave writers tell us, it could be contained in nothing but the Scull of an Afs. SCRIBL.
VER. 7. The Poet's hell] He has here with great pru dence corrected the licentious expreffion of his Original.
Before he fcap'd; fo it pleas'd my destiny
(Guilty of my fin of going) to think me
As prone to all ill, and of good as forget-
full, as proud, luftfull, and as much in debt,
As vain, as witlefs, and as falfe, as they
Which dwell in Court, for once going that way.
Therefore I fuffer'd this; towards me did run
A thing more ftrange, than on Nile's flime the Sun
E'er bred, or all which into Noah's Ark came:
A thing which would have pos'd Adam to name:
Stranger than seven Antiquaries ftudies,
Than Africk Monsters, Guianaes rarities,
Stranger than strangers: one who, for a Dane,
In the Danes Maffacre had fure been flain,
If he had liv'd then; and without help dies,
When next the Prentices 'gainst strangers rise;
One whom the watch at noon lets scarce go by;
One, to whom the examining Juftice fure would cry,
Sir, by your Priesthood tell me what you are?
His cloaths were ftrange, tho' coarse, and black,
Sleeveless his jerkin was, and it had been
Velvet, but 'twas now (fo much ground was feen】
Become Tufftaffaty; and our children shall
See it plain rash a while, then nought at all.
This is ill expreffed, for it only means, he would be more ftared at than Strangers are.
Could not but think, to pay his fine was odd,
Since 'twas no form'd defign 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 falfe, 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 pos'd to name;
Noah had refus'd it lodging in his Ark,
Where all the Race of Reptiles might embark:
A verier monfter, than on Africk's shore
The fun e'er got, or flimy Nilus bore,
Or Sloane or Woodward's wondrous fhelves contain,
Nay, all that lying Travellers can feign.
The watch would hardly let him pass at noon,
At night, wou'd swear him dropt out of the Moon.
One whom the mob, when next we find or make
A popish plot, fhall for a Jefuit take,
And the wife Justice starting from his chair
Cry, By your Priefthood tell me what you are?
Such was the wight: Th' apparel on his back
Tho' coarse, was rev'rend, and tho' bare, was black:
The fuit, if by the fashion one might guess, 40
Was velvet in the youth of good Queen Bess,
But mere tuff-taffety what now remain'd;
So Time, that changes all things, had ordain'd!
The thing hath travail'd, and, faith, speaks all
And only knoweth what to all States belongs,
Made of th' accents, and best phrase of all these,
He speaks one language. If ftrange meats difplease,
Art can deceive, or hunger force my taft;
But pedants motly tongue, fouldiers bumbast,
Mountebanks drug-tongue, nor the termes of law,
Are ftrong enough preparatives to draw
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 subtleft whores,
Out-flatter favourites, or out-lie either
Jovius, or Surius, or both, together.
He names me, and comes to me; I whisper, God, How have I finn'd, that thy wrath's furious Rod, This fellow, chuseth me! He faith, Sir,
I love your judgment, whom do you prefer
For the beft Linguift? and I feelily
Said that I thought Calepines Dictionary.