Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

"A FIG FOR MOMUS,"

CONTAINING

Pleasant Varietie, included in Satyres, Eclogues and Epistles, by T. L. of Lincolns Inne, Gent.

At London, for Clement Knight, and are to bee solde at his Shop at the Little North Doore of Pauls Church. 1595,"

It is inscribed "To the right honourable and thrice renowned Lord William, Earle of Darbie."

When the early period is considered, at which these Satires were written, the reader will naturally be surprised at the extraordinary ease and melody of the verse. I give the first Satire at length.

TO MASTER E. DIG.

SATYRE 1.

Digbie, whence comes it that the world begins
To winke at follies, and sooth up (1) sinnes?
Can other reason be alleadged than this?
The world sooths sinne because it sinfull is.
The man that lives by bribes and usurie
Winkes like a foxe at lothsome letcherie.
Craft gives ambition leave to lay his plot,
And crosse his friend because he (2) soundes him not,
All men are willing with the world to haulte (3)

But no man takes delight to knowe his faulte.
He is a gallant fit to serve my Lord,
Which clawes and sooths him up at every word,

I 2

That

1

That cries when his lame poesie he heares,
Tis rare my Lord t'will passe the nicest eares.
This makes Amphidius welcome to good cheere,
And spend his master fortie poundes a yeere,

And keep his (4) plaise-mouthed wife in welts and

guardes,

For flatterie can never want rewardes;

And therefore Humfrey holdes this paradox,

Tis better be a foole then be a fox,

For folly is rewarded and respected,
Where subtiltie is hated and rejected;

Sife will doth frowne when honest zeale reproves (5),

To heare good counsell error never loves.

Tell pursie Rollus, lurking (6) in his bed,
That humours by excessive ease are bred;

That sloth corrupts and choakes the vitall sprights
And kils the memorie and hurts the lights (7):

He will not sticke after a cup of sacke

To flout his counsellor behind his backe;
For with a world of mischiefes and offence,
Unbridled will rebelles against the sence,
And thinketh it no little prejudice

To be reprooved though by good advice ;
For wicked men repine their sinnes to heare,
And folly flings (8) if counsaile tuch him neare.
Tell Sextus wife, whose shoes are under-layd (9)
Her gate is girlish, and her foote is splayd,
Sheele raile with open mouth as Marllat dooth;
But if you praise her, though you speake not sooth,
You shall be welcome both to bed and bord,
And use her selfe, her husband, and his sword.
(10) Tell bleer-eid Linus that his sight is cleere,
Heele pawne himselfe to buy thee bread and beere;

But

But tuch me Quintus with his stincking breath,
The dastard will defie thee to the death.
Thus though mens great deformities be knowne,
They greeve to heare, and take them for their owne.
Find me a niggard that doth want the shift

To call his cursed avarice good thrift;
A rakehell sworne to prodigalitie,
That dares not terme it liberalitie;

A letcher that hath lost both flesh and fame,
That holds not letcherie a pleasant game;

And why? because they cloake their shame by this, And will not see the horror what it is,

And cunning sinne being clad in vertues shape,
Flies much reproofe, and many stormes doth scape.
(11) Last day I chaunst in crossing of the streete,
With Diffilus the inkeeper to meete,

He wore a silken night-cap on his head,
And lookt as if he had beene lately dead;
I askt him how he far'd; not well, quoth he,
An ague thus two months hath troubled me.
I let him passe, and laught to hear his skuce (12)
For I knew well he had the *** by Luce,
And wore his night-cappe ribbind at the eares,
Because of late he swet away his heares (13).
But had a stranger chanst to spie him then,
He must have deemd him for a civill man.
Thus with the world, the world dissembles still,
And to their own confusions follow will, (14)
Holding it true felicitie to flie,

Not from the sinne, but from the seeing eie.
Then in this world, who winks at each estate,
Hath found the meanes to make him fortunate,
To colour hate with kindness, to defraud
In private those in publique we applaud.

To keepe this rule, kaw me and I kaw thee,
To play the saints, whereas we divels bee.
What ere men doe let them not reprehend,
For cunning knaves with cunning knaves defend.
Truth is pursewed by hate, then is he wise
That to the world his worldly will applies.
What is he wise? I (15) as Amphestus strong,
That burnt his face because his beard was long,

The spirit, the sentiment, the language, and versification of many passages in the preceding Satire are admirable, and would not have disgraced the pens, either of Dryden or Pope. I subjoin a few explanatory notes for the benefit of the reader who may be less familiar with the phraseology of this period.

(1) Sooth up, that is smooth over, palliate. (2) Soundes him not, does not expose him.

(3) To haulte, to limp, that is to keep pace with inhuman infirmity.

(4) Plaise-mouthed, I presume, means foul-mouthed, or rather, perhaps, with a mouth as large as that of the Plaise.— Welts and guards, means gowns and petticoats.

(5) Selfe will, &c. These are two excellent lines.

(6) Lurking-lounging.

(7) Lights. Here also are four very spiritual and forcible lines.-Lights evidently means the lights or powers of the mind.

(8) Flings here means kicks or resents. It would not be easy to find two finer lines in Pope's Satires than these :

For wicked men repine their sinnes to heare,
And folly flings if councill touch him neare.

(9) Under

19) Under-layd, trodden down in a slovenly manner. (10) Tell bleur-eyed, &c. These, and many of the succeeding lines are very animated, and truly conceived and expressed in the indignant spirit of genuine Satire.

(11) Last day-Yesterday.

(12) Skuce-excuse.

(13) Heares.-hairs.

(14) Will-passion. I know not weere these lines are surpassed in force, truth, or elegance.

Thus with the world, the world dissembles still,
And to their own confusions fellow will,

Holding it true felicitie to flie,

Not from the sinne, but from the seeing eie.

(15) I. That is ay, I confess I do not comprehend the meaning of these concluding lines.

EUPHUES GOLDEN LEGACIE,

Found after his Death in his Cell at Silexedra. Bequeathed to Philautus Sonnes, nursed up with

their Father in England.

Fetcht from the Canaries by T. L. Gent. Imprinted at London, for John Smethwick, and are to be sold at his Shop in Saint Dunstanes Church Yard, in Fleet Street, under the Dyall. 1612. First printed in 1590.

THIS Tract is by the same author as that which precedes, Thomas Lodge, of whom Warton

I 4

remarks

« AnteriorContinua »