Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature Rose of King Charles II Aphra Behn

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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



The Cabal at Nickey Nackeys.

by Aphra Behn

      A pox of the statesman that's witty,
Who watches and plots all the sleepless night:
For seditious harangues, to the Whigs of the city;
And maliciously turns a traitor in spite.
Let him wear and torment his lean carrion:
      To bring his sham-plots about,
      Till at last king, bishop, and baron,
For the public good he have quite rooted out.

      But we that are no politicians,
But rogues that are impudent, bare faced and great,
Boldly head the rude rabble in times of sedition;
And bear all down before us, in church and in state.
      Your impudence is the best state-trick;
            And he that by law means to rule,
      Let his history with ours be related;
And though we are the knaves, we know who's the fool.

Behn, Aphra. Oroonoko, and Other Writings. Paul Salzman, ed.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. 236.

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