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"The triple trine* of old Parnassus' hill,
The liquor of the Heliconian grape
For though the muses, as the poets feign,
Which have produced more dismal effects,
Than ever the unfortunate aspects
Of the erratick and malevolent
Planets, that wander in the firmament;
The mischiefs, which to Mars' or Saturn's square
Are subsequent, thereto may not compare.
Their pow'r extends, not only to the brain,
Infusing it with notions idly vain,
But wounds the heart with horrid pangs of pain,
Which never perfectly are cur'd again:
Yea, by their art, with a dissembling smile,
They many of their senses do beguile.
And for the sake of such unhappy men,
* This expression strikes us to be original: one of Lord Byron's imitators says,
"Aid me, ye nine! I own that's nothing new,
I'll think of novelty another time:
And, three to one, it passes for sublime."
We prefer the apprentice's, however.
In hand, for to delineate their folly
It is remarkable, that he speaks of the cockney as synonymous with the Greek a*u£uv, not very remote from the French coquin, the most rational origin of that controverted dissyllable. From various allusions, we gather that his attainments were above those of his class at that time; nor does he hesitate to express his contempt for astrology, the fashionable study of his age. Another writer, equally hardy, speaking of "upstart astrologers, which will take upon them to tell things to come," says, "what that art is I know not, or from whence they fetch the evil aspect of any of the planets, seeing in the beginning they were made all good; neither do I find how these celestial bodies lost their first vertue."* We now come to the " character" itself.
"These cockneys, they of which my muse doth sing,
They are the oldest daughters of the king
Of pride, old Lucifer, and may compare
With all his off-spring, for their filial care
To tread his steps: for pride's epitome
In them compris'd exactly you may see.
They do conceit, that the whole world was
They hang at once more wealth upon their backs,
Than is contain'd in forty pedlers' packs,
In silks and satins, pearls, and diamond rings,
And many other superfluous things,
To which the seller liberally affords
Bombastic names of long six-footed words.t
For if their names to understand were plain,
* Extract of a printed letter, dated York, December 18, 1651, in the Perfect Account, No. 52, December 31.
t Did the learned apprentice fancy that he was translating the sesquipedalia verba of Horace?
Like as the rustic slights an almanack,
If an useless anatomy it lack:
For all strange things which are not understood,
Admired are, and judged very good."
Though probably of humble origin, he has a due regard for genealogy.
"But pride in them is not predominant
Alone, but likewise idleness doth haunt
Them so inseparably close, that it
To them is as a second nature knit:
For that which once within the bone is bred,
Will never from the flesh be severed.
Idleness unto them doth come by kind,
The early dramatists were equally severe, and the City Madam is to them a perpetual object of satire. Nor are the prose-writers more polite; Wilkins* remarks, " 'tis grown a fashion among them to eat their breakfasts in their beds, and not to be ready till half an hour after noon, about which time their husbands are to return from the Burse." But the employments of these ladies are made as reprehensible as their indolence,—after rising at ten, and sitting before a mirror till twelve,
"The afternoon most commonly they spend
In gossiping and tattling without end;
Or else are coach'd to th' Old, or New Exchange^
To see if there they can spie any strange
New fashions, which aredaiLy there invented,
To please such fools as never are contented.
There have they patches, for to represent
* ;§ee [Tfie Conjuring-up of Cock Wg.t, (the walking,spirit of Newgate,) appended to Jests to mp,ke ,you Merie, 4to. 160,7.
t From ttris passage it appears, that,although the term Bpzaar has been recently adopted, the custom is of long continuance.
<X stars, horn'd Cynthia and Pleiades are
Religion usually they send before,
The following description, though not quite a counterpart to Shakspeare's Seven Ages of Man, possesses some merit: we have taken great liberties, by selecting the best lines, and blending them in one extract.
"These rare creatures, thus richly qualified,
Now all the qualities, which I before
Litigious, and prone unto contention,
He then introduces an anecdote, scarcely worth telling, unless it relate to his relentless Amanda: the woman fancied herself " as ladies wish to be who love their lords," and was persuaded by her maid that her girdle was too short. After which follows the epilogue.
"And you, my brethren, for whose only sake
The spirit mov'd me, for to undertake
This work; you every one can testify,
That what I here have written is no lie; •
And if that Zo-ilus carp and Momus rage,
Because I lash the crimes of this our age,
I weigh it not a rush, nor do I care,
Although they do their worst; let them not spare;
1 know that none but the gall'd horse will kick;
If so, I'll deal them such another trick:
At what here's writ, if any be offended,
It is not like by me to be amended.
And thou, my muse, who yet was ne'er outwitted
During the civil wars, the apprentices presented petitions, passed resolutions, raised regiments, and supported the levellers. Cosmo III. Grand Duke of Tuscany, who was in England in 1669, speaks of the license they enjoyed, and mentions, that on their holidays an armed force was necessary to