網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

In other things they justly are preferr’d:
In this alone methinks the ancients err'd ;
Against the grosielt follies they declaim ;
Hard they pursue, but hunt ignoble game.
Nothing is easier than such blots to hit,
And 'tis the talent of each yulgar wit :
Besides 'tis labour lost; for who would preach
Morals to Armstrong, or dull Aston teach?
'Tis being devout at play, wife at a ball,
Or bringing wit and friend thip to Whitehall.
But with sharp eyes those nicer faults to find,
Which lie obscurely in the wisest mind ;
That little fpeck which all the rest does spoil,
To wash off that would be a noble toil;
Beyond the loose-writ libels of this age,
Or the forc'd scenes of our declining stage ;
Above all censure too, each little wit
Will be so glad to see the greater hit;
Who judging better, though concern'd the most,
Of such correction will have cause to boast.
In such a satire all would seek a Mare,
And every fool will fancy he is there.
Old story-tellers too must pine and die,
To see their antiquated wit laid by ;
Like her, who miss’d her name in a lampoon,
And griev'd to find herself decay'd so soon.
No common coxcomb must be mention'd here :
Not the dull train of dancing sparks appear ;
Nor fluttering officers who never fight;
Of such a wretched rabble who would write ?
VOL. I.

I

Much

[ocr errors]

3

Much less half wits : that's more against our rules; For they are fops, the other are but fools. Who would not be as filly as Dunbar ? As dull as Monmouth, rather than Sir Carr? The cunning courtier should be slighted too, Who' with dull knavery makes so much ado Till the shrewd fool, by thriving too too fast, Like Æsop's fox becomes a prey at last. Nor shall the royal mistresses be nam'd, Too ugly, or too easy, to be blam'd ; With whom each rhyming fool keeps such a pother, They are as common that way as the other : Yet sauntering Charles, between his beastly brace, Meets with diffembling still in either place, Affected humour, or a painted face. In loyal libels we have often told him, How one has jilted him, the other sold him : How that affects to laugh, how this to weep; But who can rail so long as he can sleep? Was ever prince by two at once milled, False, foolish, old, ill-natur'd, and ill-bred ? Earnely and Aylesbury, with all that race Of busy blockheads, shall have here no place ; At council set as foils on Dorset's score, To make that great false jewel shine the more ; Who all that while was thought exceeding wise, Only for taking pains and telling lies. But there 's no meddling with such nauseous men ; Their very names have tir'd my lazy pen :

}

'Tis time to quit their company, and chuse Some fitter subject for a sharper Mule.

First, let's behold the merrielt man alive Against his careless genius vainly strive; Quit his dear ease, some deep design to lay, 'Gainst a set time, and then forget the day : Yet he will laugh at his best friends, and be Just as good company as Nokes and Lee, But when he aims at reason or at rule, He turns himself the best to ridicule. Let him at business ne'er so earneit fit, Shew him but mirth, and bait that mirth with wit; That shadow of a jest thall be enjoy’d, Though he left all mankind to be destroy'd. So cat transform’d fat gravely and demure, Till inouse appear'd, and thought himself secure ; But soon the lady had him in her eye, And from her friend did just as oddly fly. Reaching above our nature does no good ; We must fall back to our old flesh and blood ; As by our little Machiavel we find That nimblest creature of the busy kind, His limbs are crippled, and his body shakes ; Yet his hard mind, which all this bustle makes, No pity of its poor companion takes. What gravity can hold from laughing out, To see him drag his feeble legs about, Like hounds ill-coupled ? Jowler lugs him still Through hedges, ditches, and through all that's ill.

'Twere

}

I 2

}

'Twere crime in any man but him alone, To use a body so, though 'tis one's own : Yet this false comfort never gives him o'er, That whilst he creeps his vigorous thoughts can soar : Alas! that soaring, to those few that know, Is but a busy groveling here below. So men in rapture think they m nt the sky, Whilit on the ground th' intranced wretches lie : So modern fops have fancy'd they could fly. As the new earl with parts deserving praise, And wit enough to laugh at his own ways ; Yet loses all soft days and sensual nights, Kind nature checks, and kinder fortune flights ; Striving against his quiet all he can, For the fine notion of a busy man. And what is that at best, but one, whose mind Is made to tire himself and all mankind ? For Ireland he would go ; faith, let him reigo ; For if some odd fantastic lord would fain Carry in trunks, and all my drudgery do, I'll not only pay him, but admire him too. But is there any other beast that lives, Who his own harm fo wittingly contrives ? Will any dog, that has his teeth and stones, Refinedly leave his bitches and his bones, To turn a wheel ? and bark to be employ’d, While Venus is by rival dogs enjoy'd ? Yet this fond man, to get a statesman's name, Forfeits his friends, his freedom, and his fame. 5

Though

we

[ocr errors]

Though satire nicely writ no humour stings But those who merit praise in other things; Yet must needs this one exception make, And break our rules for folly Tropos sake ; Who was too much despis'd to be accus'd, And therefore scarce deserves to be abus’d; Rais'd only by his mercenary tongue, For railing smoothly, and for reasoning wrong. As boys on holy-days let loose to play, Lay waggish traps for girls that pass that way; Then shout to see in dirt and deep distress Some filly cit in her flower'd foolish dress : So have I mighty satisfaction found, To see his tinsel reason on the ground : To see the florid fool despis'd, and know it, By some who scarce have words enough to show it : For sense fits silent, and condemns for weaker The sinner, nay sometimes the wittiest speaker : But 'tis prodigious so much eloquence Should be acquired by such little sense; For words and wit did anciently agree, And Tully was no fool, though this man be: At bar abusive, on the bench unable, Knave on the woolfack, fop at council-table. These are the grievances of such fools as would Be rather wise than honest, great than good.

Some other kind of wits must be made known, Whose harmless errors hurt themselves alone ; Excess of luxury they think can please, And laziness call loving of their ease :

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »