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That they would now his tedious ghost bereav'n,
And wisheth well, that wish'st no worse than heav'n.
When Zoylus was sicke, he knew not where,
Save his wrought night-cap, and laune pillow-bere":
Kinde fooles ! they made him sick, that made him fine;
Take those away, and ther's his medicine.
Or Gellia wore a velvet mastick-patch"
Upon her temples when no tooth did ache;
When Beauty was her reume I soone espidea,
Nor could her plaister cure her of her pride.
These vices were; but now they ceas'd of long :
Then why did I a righteous age that wrong?
I would repent mee, were it not too late;
Were not the angry world prejudicate.
If all the sevens penitentiall
Or thousand white-wands might me ought availe,
If Trent or Thames could scoure my foule offence
And set mee in my former innocence,
I would at last repent me of my rage :
Now, beare my wrong, I thine, Orighteous age.
As for fine wits, a hundreth thousand fold
Passeth our age, whatever times of olde.
For, in that Puis-nè as world, our syres of long
Could hardly wagge their too unweldy tongue
As pined crowes and parrats can doe now,
When hoary age did bend their wrinckled brow :
And now, of late, did many a learned man
Serve thirty yeares' prenti-sbip with Priscian;
But now can every novice speake with ease
The far-fetch'd language of Th’-Antipodes.
Would'st thou the tongues, that earst were learned hight",
Tho' our wise age hath wipt 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,
Tho' in all ten not one good tongue alone.
And can deepe skill ly smothering within,
Whiles neither smoke nor flame discerned bin ?
2 — mastick-patch – Mastick is a clear and sweet gum, of a dry and binding quality. It appears to have been used for the cure of the tooth-ache.
20 When Beauty was her REUME I soon espide. The meaning probably is, that the desire of being thought beautiful was her disease. Rheuma is explained by Phillips as “ a flowing down of humours from the head upon the lower parts.'
25 - Puis-ne-Fr. younger, inconsiderable. * hight-named, called.
Shall it not be a wild-figg in a wall,
Or fired brimstone in a minerall ?
Do thou disdaine, O over-learned age!
The tongue-ty'de silence of that Samian sage:
Forth, ye fine wits, and rush into the presse,
And for the cloyed world your workes addresse.
Is not 18 a gnat, nor fly, nor seely 9 ant,
But a fine wit can make an elephant.
Should Bandel's throstle die without a song?
Or Adamantius, my dog, be laid along,
Downe in some ditch without his exequies,
Or epitaphs, or mournefull elegies?
Folly it selfe, and baldnes, may be prais'd 30;
And sweet conceyts from filthy objects rays'd.
What do not fine witts dare to undertake?
What dare not fine wits doe for honor's sake?
But why doth Balbus his deade-doing quill
Parch in his rusty scabbard all the while;
His golden fleece ore-growne with moldy hore,
As tho' he had his witty works forswore?
Belike, of late, now Balbus hath no need ;
Nor now belike his shrinking shoulders dread
The catch-pole's fist-The presse may still remaine
And breath, till Balbus be in debt againe.
Soone may that bee! so I had silent beene,
And not thus rak't up quiet crimes unseene.
Silence is safe, when saying stirreth sore
And makes the stirred puddle stinke the more.
Shall the controller of proud Nemesis
In lawlesse rage upbrayd ech other's vice, .
While no man seeketh to reflect the wrong,
And curb the raunge of his mis-ruly tongue ?
By the two crownes of Pernasse ever-greene,
And by the cloven head of Hippocrene,
As I true poet am, I here avow
(So solemnly kist he his laurell bow 31)
If that bold Satyre unrevenged be
For this so saucy and foule injurie.
27 --- over-learned--The Oxford Editor reads ever-learned; probably by an error of the press, but certainly without authority.
28 --- Is not—There is not. 39 —- seely-silly, simple.
30 Folly it selfe, and baldnes, muy be pruis'd. An allusion to Erasmus's Moriæ Encomium, and the Encomium Calvitiei, written at the restoration of Learning, Cardan also wrote an Encomium on Nero, the Gout, &c. W.
So Labeo weens it my eternall shame
To prove I never earnd a poet's name.
But would I be a poet if I might 33,
To rub my brow three daies, and wake three nights,
Aud bite my nayles, and scrat 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 ech ale-knight's censuring eye 33,
And hang'd my head for fear they deeme awry.
Whiles thred-bare Martiall turnes his merry note,
To beg of Rufus a cast winter-cote 34;
Whiles hungry Marot leapeth at a beane,
And dyeth like a starv'd Cappucien 35 :
Go, Ariost, and gape for what may fall 36
From trencher of a fattring cardinall;
And, if thou gettest but a pedant's fee,
Thy bed, thy board, and coarser liverye,
» But would I be a poet if I might,
- Vos 6
Pompilius sanguis, carmen reprehendite, quod non
Muita dies et multa litura coërcuit, atque
Perfectum decies non castigavit ad unguem.
Hor, Ars. Poet, 291. E.
- which, OUT-SOUGHT,
I take up THALES' joy, save for fore-thought,
How it shall please ech AIE-KNIGHT's censuring eye. Out-sought means discovered.-By Thales' joy the Satirist seems to refer to a sayo ing of Thales, the Milesian, the founder of the Ionic Sect, and the first of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. He boasted that he had to thank his fortune principally for three things-IIgūtov Mir Gv Iewtros lytyóunv, xai 8 Ingíoy tita, oti árn's, ral yurn' agitoy, ÖTo "Ezanv, xai 8 Báeßapos. See his Life in Diog. Laert.Ale-knight means the oracle of the tavern. 34 Whiles thred-bare Martiall turnes his merry note,
To beg of Rufus a cast winter-cote. Alluding to the 57th Epigram of the VIth Book of Martial. E. 35 Whiles hungry Marot leapeth at a beane,
And dyeth like a slarv'd Cappucien. Clement Marot, the best French poet of his time. Toward the close of his life he fell into disgrace, as a warm friend to the Reformed Religion : having, as Beza confesses, contracted at the Court of France such loose habits of life, as even Protestantism itself could never correct. E. 36 Go, Ariost, and gape for what may fall,
86. 8c. The allusion is evidently to Hippolito, Cardinal of Este; to whose court Ariosto's reputation for wit had procured him favourable access. E.
O honor, farre beyond a brazen shrine,
To sit with Tarleton on an ale post's signe 37 !
Who had but 38 lived in Augustus' daies,
"Thad beene some honor to be crown'd with bayes :
When Lucan streaked on his marble bed,
To thinke of Cæsar, and great Pompey's deed 39;
Or when Achelaus shay'd his mourning head,
Soone as he heard Stesichorus was dead.
At least, would some good body of the rest
Set a gold-pen on their bay-wreathed crest;
Or would their face in stamped coyne 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.
Tho' what ayl'd mee I might not well as they
Rake up some for-worne tales 40, that smother'd lay
In chimny corners, smok'd with winter-fires,
To read and rocke asleepe our drouzy sires ?
No man his threshoid better knowes, than I.
Brute's first arrivall and first victory“;
37 O honor, farre beyond a brazen shrine,
To sit with Tarleton on an ale post's sign! See the History of Shoreditch, p. 209, Tarleton's Portrait, with a Tabor and Pipe, still serves as a sign to an ale-house in the Borough. E. Tarleton is here praised as a poet, who is commonly considered only as a comedian. Meres, in Wits Tr. f. 286, commends him for his facility in extemporaneous versification. W.
38 had but—had he but.
-39 When Lucan streaked on his marble bed,
To thinke of Cæsar, and great Pompey's deed.
Contentus famú jaceat Lucamus in hortis.
Juv. Sat. vii. 79. E. Streaked is restored from the early editions; the Oxford reading stretched : which conveys, indeed, nearly the proper meaning; for to streak, according to Littleton, is to stretch one's self for want of sleep. a
'i.e. tales frequently related before.
4. No man his threshold better knowes, than I
Brute's first arrivall and first victory. .
! • Nota magis nulli domus est sua, quàm mihi lucus
Juv. Sat, i. 7. These lines, and those which immediately follow, allude to the popular pieces of our author's day. E.
Saint George's sorrell, or his crosse of blood;
Arthur's round bord, or Caledonian wood;
Or holy battels of bold Charlemaine 42,
What were his knights did Salem's siege maintaine" ;
How the mad rival of fayre Angelice
Was phisick’t from the new-found paradice 44.
High-stories they, which, with their swelling straine,
Have riven Frontoe's broad rehearsall-plane 4s.
But, so to fill up bookes, both backe and side,
What needs it 40? Are there not enow beside?
O age well thriven and well fortunate,
When ech man hath a muse appropriate;
And shee, like to some servile eare-boar'd slave,
Must play and sing when and what he would have!
Would that were all !- small fault in number lies,
Were not the feare from whence it should arise.
But can it be ought but a spurious seede,
That grows so rife in such unlikely speed ?
Sith Pontian left his barren wife at home,
And spent two yearęs at Venice and at Rome,
Returned, heares his blessing askt of three,
Cries out, O Julian law! adulterie!
Tho' Labeo reaches right (who can deny ?)
The true straynes of Heroicke poesie :
For he can tell how fury reft his sense,
And Phoebus fild him with intelligence :
He can implore the heathen deities
To guide his bold and busy enterprise;
« Or holy battels of bold Charlemaine. « Les Douze Pairs”, or “ The Twelve Peers”, of Charlemagne are frequently mentioned in the fictions of Chivalry. See Warton's Obs. on the Fairy Queen, I. 184. E.
4 What were his knights did Salem's siege maintaine. Alluding to Godfrey of Bulloigne, the subject of Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. E. - How the mud rivall of fayre Angelice
Was phisick't from the new-found paradice.
Alluding to Orlando, in Ariosto. E.
* High-stories they, which, with their swelling straine,
Have riden Frontoe's broad rehearsall-plane.
- quantas jaculetur Monychus ornos
Frontonis platani, convulsáque marmora clamant
Semper, et assiduo ruptæ lectore columna.
Juv. Sat. i. 11. E. 46 But, so to fill up bookes, both backe and side, What needs it?