Note: this Renascence
Editions text was transcribed by Risa S.
Bear, August 2000, from the 1931 Shakespeare
Association facsimile reprintof the edition of 1598. Original copy text
is that of the British Museum, (C.40.b. 54). Any errors that have crept
into the transcription are the fault of the present publisher. The text
is in the public domain. Content unique to this presentation is
© 2000 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational
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A shadowe of Truth, in cer-
taine Epigrams and
Printed by I.R. for Nicholas Ling, and are
to bee solde at the little West doore of
To the Reader.
Insteede of Ingling termes for thy good will.
Reader fall to, reade, iest, and carpe thy fill.
E P I G
R A M S.
AS in the greatest of
The first beginners, like good natur'd soules,
Beare with their neighbors poore infirmities:
But after, when ambition controules
Theyr calme proceedings, they imperiously
"(As great things still orewhelme the[m]selues with
Enuy their countrimens prosperity,
And in contempt of poorer fates delight.
So Englands wits (now mounted the full height,)
Hauing confounded monstrous barbarismes,
Puft vp by conquest, with selfe-wounding spight,
Engraue themselues in ciuill warres Abismes,
Seeking by all meanes to destroy each other,
The vnhappy children of so deere a mother.
Whose hap shall be to reade these pedler rimes,
Let them expect no elaborat foolery,
Such as Hermaphroditize these poore times,
With wicked scald iests, extreame gullerie:
Bunglers stande long in tinck'ring their trim Say,
Ile onlely spit my venome, and away.
Titus oft vaunts his gentry euery where,
Blazoning his coate, deriuing's pedegree;
What needest thou daily Titus iade mine eare?
I will beleeue thy houses auncestry;
If that be auncient which we doe forget,
Thy gentry is so; none can remember it.
Liuia, I kon thee thanke, when thou doost kisse
Thou turn'st thy cheeke: see what good nature is!
For well thou knowest thy breaths infection,
Able to turne my stomacke vpside downe.
Which when I thinke on, but for manners sake,
I'ld pray thee thy cheeke too away to take.
Matho in credite bound to pay a debt,
His word engagde him for, doth still replie,
That he will aunswere it with sophistrie,
And so deferres daily to aunswere it:
Experience now hath taught me sophistrie,
He gaue me his word; that is, he coussend me.
Since marriage, Faber's prouder then before,
Yfayth his wife must take him a hole lower.
Of a railing
(Good Lord) that men should haue such kennel wits
To thinke so well of a scald railing vaine,
Which soone is vented in beslauered writs.
As when the cholicke in the gutts doth straine,
With ciuill conflicts in the same embrac't,
But let a fart, and then the worst is past.
Like to the fatall ominous Rauen which tolls,
The sicke mans dirge within his hollw beake,
So euery paper-clothed post in Poules,
To thee (Deloney) mourningly doth speake,
And tells thee of thy hempen tragedie,
The wracks of hungry Tyburne naught to thine.
Such massacre's made of thy balladry,
And thou in griefe, for woe thereof maist pine:
At euery streets end Fuscus rimes are read,
And thine in silence must be buried.
Paule daily wrongs me, yet he daily sweares
He wisheth me as well as to his soule:
I know his drift, to damne that he naught cares
To please his body: therefore (good friend Paule)
If thy kind nature will affoord me grace,
Heereafter loue me in thy bodies place.
Syluio the Lawyer, hunting for the fame
Of a wise man, studies Phylosophie,
And odly in his singularitie,
From being odde, thinks wisedome hath her name.
So long hath he turnde ouer Scaliger,
Old Cardan and the other chimick wits,
Which haue to after-times demisde their writs,
That a fift Element he doth auerre:
Deserues not he to make the wise men euen,
Who odly thus makes odd the Nerues of heauen?
Gue, hang thy selfe for woe, since gentlemen
Are now growne cunning in thy apishnes:
Nay, for they labour with their foolishnes
Thee to vndoe, procure to hang them then:
It is a strange seeld seene vncharitie,
To make fooles of themselues to hinder thee.
Behold a wonder, neuer seene before,
Yonder's Cotta's picture, dauncing trenchmore.
Of the same.
I saw not Cotta thys halfe yeere before,
When he was angry that I spoke not to him,
He hath no reason to take it so sore,
Being so painted that I did not know him.
Licus, thou often tell'st me iestingly,
I am a fine man, and so tyrannously
Hast thou now tired that phrase, that euery one
Is a fine man in thine opinion:
In thine opinion? no it's but thy word,
Which doth that fine addition affoord:
And yet I see no cause but many may,
Be euen as fine as Licus euery way;
In dauncing, vaulting, and in riming too,
In theyr conceits there are as good as you.
Then wherein is't that you so farre surpasse
Other plaine iades, like Lucius golden Asse?
I heare thee say the foulest day that is,
Thou art shodde in Veluet, and in Naples bisse:
Nay then I yeeld, for who will striue in it,
May haue fine clothes, but a most filthy wit.
Zeno desirous of the idle fame
Of Stoicke resolution, recklesly
Seemes to esteeme of good report or blame;
So prouing himselfe dull, most foolishly,
To euery thing he heares, he saith he cares not:
He cares not for his booke, nor yet for wit,
For pleasant catch-fooles in like sort he spares not
To sweare hee's carelesse, carelesse to forget
Or thinke vpon his dutie, soules comfort;
Carelesse to thriue, or liue in decencie;
Carelesse of vertuous, and a good consort,
Carelesse of wisedome, and of honestie;
To all this carelesnes, should one declare
His fathers death, I am sure he would not care.
Once Riuus saw a pretty lasse,
And liquorous tooth'd desir'd to tast,
But knowing not how to bring't to passe,
He vow'd to hange himselfe in hast:
I feard him not, the wench was gone,
And he was loth to hang alone.
Clodius oft sayth he hath chaleng'd beene by many,
But neuer tells me he hath answered any.
Curio threats my death in an Epigrame,
Yfayth hee'le eate his word, he is too blame,
And yet I think hee'le write; then ware of bleeding,
Nay feare not, he writes nothing worth the reading.
Faustus in steede of grace, saith Fuscus rimes,
Oh gracelesse manners! oh vnhallowed times!
Friend Candidus, thou often doost demaund,
What humours men by gulling vnderstand:
Our English Martiall hath full pleasantly,
In his close nips describde a gull to thee:
I'le follow him, and set downe my conceit
VVhat a Gull is: oh word of much receit!
He is a gull, whose indiscretion,
Cracks his purse strings to be in fashion;
He is a gull, who is long in taking roote
In barraine soyle, where can be but small fruite:
He is a gull, who runnes himselfe in debt,
For twelue dayes wonder, hoping so to get;
He is a gull, whose conscience is a block,
Not to take interest, but wastes his stock:
He is a gull, who cannot haue a whore,
But brags how much he spends vpon her score:
He is a gull, that for commoditie
Payes tenne tmes ten, and sells the same for three:
He is a gull, who passing finicall,
Peiseth each word to be thetoricall:
And to conclude, who selfe conceitedly,
Thinkes al men guls, ther's none more gull then he.
Procus insteede of more fitting discourse
To entertaine his Mistris eares withall,
Tells her a long tale of a rosted horse,
Of a great brabble did to him befall;
When she demaunds the occasion of the braule,
He in gallant brauery, gull-like swore,
The reason that he foorth with him did fall,
Was, for the other grutcht him of his whore:
(Ye who doe loue your loues better conceit,)
Iudge if this gull deserued his mistris fauour,
Who thus his goatish humours did relate:
Or what paine wish you for this rude behauiour?
Whomsoe're he marries may she a whore proue,
For this speech shewes that he a whore doth loue.
I prethee Clodius, tell me what's the reason,
Thou doost expect I should salute thee first,
I haue sized in Cambridge, and my friends a season
Some exhibition for me there disburst:
Since that, I haue beene in Goad his weekly role,
And beene acquaint with Mounsieur Littleton.
I haue walkt in Poules, and duly din'd at noone,
And sometimes visited the dauncing schoole:
Then how art thou my better, that I should
Speake alwaies first, as I incroch faine would?
But in a whore-house thou canst swagger too,
Clodius good day; tis more then I can doo.
Sextilius sigh'd, for Leuca let a fart,
Hath not the youth a meruailous kind hart?
When Fuscus first had taught his Muse to scold,
He gloried in her rugged vaine so much,
That euery one came to him, heare her should,
First Victor, then Cinna, nor did he grutch
To let both players, and artificers,
Deale with his darlings, as if confident,
None of all these he did repute for Lechers,
Or thought her face would all such lusts preuent:
But how can he a bawdes surname refuse,
Who to all sorts thus prostitutes his Muse?
My lord most court-like lyes in bed till noone,
Then, all high stomackt riseth to his dinner,
Falls straight to Dice, before his meate be downe,
Or to digest, walks to some femall sinner.
Perhaps fore-tyrde he gets him to a play,
Comes home to supper, and then falls to dice,
There his deuotion wakes till it be day,
And so to bed, where vntill noone he lies.
This is a Lords life, simple folke will sing.
A Lords life? what to trot so foule a ring?
Yet thus he liues, and what's the greatest griefe,
Gnatho still sweares he leads true vertues life.
Th'art a fine fellow trust me Pollio,
And euery one reputes thee so to be,
Both for thy ingles face, and goodly show,
Of thyne apparraile and thy naperie:
Then, for thou pertly knowes to wagge thy head,
Like some old palfrey-strucken vsurer,
Chiefely, for that this Christmas thou hast led
An vnthrifts life, (gramercy Creditor,)
But for this last thou must be faine to goe,
Into the country for a yeere or two.
Pollio at length's fallne in my good conceit,
Not for his wanton face and curled haire,
Nor his fatte buttocke, nor that I delight
In his french Galliard, which is nothing rare,
Nor for that others thinke him to be so,
(For others credits cannot better me,)
But for he thinks himselfe a fine fellow,
For his owne state who better knowes then hee?
Zeno would faine th'old widdow Ægle haue,
Trust me hee's wise, for shee is rich and braue:
But Zeno, Zeno, shee will none of you,
In my mind shee's the wiser of the two.
Arions thoughts are growne so musicall,
That all his talke's of crochets, and of quauers,
His very words to sembriefe time doe fall,
And blowing of his nose of musicke sauours:
Hee'le tell you of well fretting of a Lute,
Euen til you fret, and of the harmonie,
Is either in a still Cornet or Flute,
Of rests, and stops, and such like trumperie,
Yet loues he more, for all sweet musick sence,
His mistris belly, then these instruments.
Chrysogonus each morning by his glasse,
Teacheth a wrinckled action to his face,
And with the same he runnes into the street,
Each one to put in feare that he doth meet:
I prythee tell me (gentle Chrysogone)
What needs a borrowed bad face to thine owne?
Torques a Knight, and of indifferent liuing,
Is neyther free of house-keeping, nor giuing:
Yet stands he in the Debet booke vncrost:
Wonder not man, he keepes a whore to his cost.
Wanton young Lais hath a pretty note,
Whose burthen is, pinch not my petticoate:
Not that she feares close nips, for by the rood,
A priuy pleasing nip will cheare her blood:
But she which longs to tast of pleasures cup,
In nipping would her petticoate weare vp.
Fidens instructs young Gentlemen to play,
Who teach his wife, they get true fingring:
But she learnes to play false; no mervaile, they
Of a Maister, she of Schollers got her learning.
Orpheus hath wed a young lusty wife,
And all day long vpon his Lute doth play:
Doth not this fellow lead a merry life,
Who plays continually both night and day?
I wonder (Cotta) Paynters Art can like thee,
Who drew thy picture being nothing like thee.
Metius of late hath greatly cosend me,
I tooke him for an earnest Catholike,
He talk'd so much of almes and charity;
But I vvas mightily deceau'd belike.
He praiseth charity and almes, because
He was made Barrister for almes, not lawes.
With what conscience can Metius sell law deare,
When of meere almes he was made Barrister?
Licus, thou art deceau'd in saying, that
I'me a fine man: thou saist thou knowest not what.
He's a fine fellow vvho is neate and fine,
Whose locks are kem'd, & neuer a tangled twine,
Who smels of Musk, Ciuet, and Pomander,
Who spends, and out-spends many a pound a yeare,
Who piertly iets, can caper, daunce, and sing,
Play with his Mistris fingers, her hand vvring,
Who companying vvith vvenches nere is still:
But either skips or mowes or prates his fill,
VVho is at euery play, and euery night
Sups with his Ingles, vvho can vvell recite,
Whatsoeuer rimes are gracious (Licus) leaue,
Iniure not my content then, to bereaue
My fortune of her quiet: I am I,
But a fine fellovv in my fantasie
Is a great trouble, trouble me not then,
For a fine fellow, is a fine foole mongst men.
I told Chrestina I vvould lie vvith her,
When she with al old phrase doth me aduise,
To keepe my selfe from water and from fier,
And she would keepe me from betwixt her thighs,
That there is vvater I doe make no doubt,
But Il'e be loth (vvench) to be fired out.
Næuia is one vvhile of the Innes of Court,
Toyling in Brooke, Fitzherbert, and in Dyer:
Another vvhile th'Exchange he doth resort,
Moyling as fast, a seller, and a buyer:
Will not he thriue (think yee) who can deuise,
Thus to vnite the lavv and merchandise?
Doubtlesse he vvill, or cosen out of doubt;
What matter's that? his law will beare him out.
Næuia's a Merchant, and a Gentleman:
That is, scarce honest, liue how he can.
Pardon me (Reader) I will not bewray
Who Næuia is, not that I feare to say,
But that he should be punishd I am loth,
For engrossing occupations as he doth.
He is a Lawyer, and a Merchant to,
And shortly will I doubt haue more to do:
He is a busie fellow, and may be
A knaue Promoter for his honesty.
Clodius me thinks lookes passing big of late,
With Dunstons browes, and Allens Cutlacks gate:
What humours haue possest him so, I wonder,
His eyes are lightning, and his words are thunder:
What meanes the Bragart by his alteration?
He knows he's known too wel, for this fond fashion:
To cause him to be feard: what meanes he than?
Belike, because he cannot play the man.
Yet would be awde, he keepes this filthy reuell,
Stalking and roaring like to Iobs great deuill.
Phrix hath a nose; who doubts what ech man knows
But what hath Phrix know-worth besides his nose?
Thy wife so nimph-like sitting at the board,
Why frown'st thou that I look on her? good Lord.
What sinne is't to looke on a pretty lasse!
We look on heauen, the Sun & Moons bright face.
Would'st haue me turne away, as I did see
Some filthy slut, or lewd deformity?
Why Iealousie her selfe may suffer sight;
Sight cannot cuckold thee, nor do thee spight:
If thow'lt not haue her look'd on by thy guests,
Bid none but Harpers hence-forth to thy feasts.
The world finds fault with Gellia, for she loues
A skip-iack fidler, I hold her excus'd,
For louing him, sith she her selfe so proues:
What, she a fidler? tut she is abus'd?
No in good faith; what fidle hath she vs'd?
The Viole Digambo is her best content,
For twixt her legs she holds her instrument.
Excuse me (Reader) though I now and than,
In some light lines doe shew my selfe a man,
Nor be so sowre, some wanton words to blame,
They are the language of an Epigrame.
(Lydia) so mote I thee thou art not faire,
A plaine brownetta when thou art at best:
Yet darst not thou come forth into the ayre,
When no wind stirres, and Sunne's hid in the vvest.
But mask'd forsooth, I prethy what's thy reason,
That hauing (God he knowes) no faire to loose,
Thou hid'st that pitteous None so out of
Oh th'art a mummer, and perhaps dost choose,
A faire calme euen as fittest for thy gaine:
Sayest thou me so? nay, then we'le haue about,
Come, trip the dice, haue at your box(Madame)
Ile cast at all, for sure I goe not out.
Nothing but mum? nay then we are agreed,
Be I well chanc'd, my chance may be to speed.
Be not wrath, Cotta, that I not salute thee,
I vs'd it whilst I worthy did repute thee:
Now thou art made a painted Saint, and I
Cotta will not commit idolatry.
Yee that haue beauty and withall no pitty,
Are like a prick-song-lesson without ditty.
Talke bawdery and Chrestina spets and spals,
So much her chast thoughts hate it, tut that's false,
She loues it well, wherefore then should she spet?
Her teeth doe water but to heare of it.
Fine spruce young Pansa's growne a malcontent,
A mighty malcontent thought young and spruce,
As hersie he shuns all merriment,
And turn'd good husband, puts forth sighs to vse,
Like hate-man Timon in his cell, he sits
Misted with darknes like a smoaky roome,
And if he be so mad to walke the streetes,
To his sights life, his hat becomes a toombe.
What is the cause of this melancholly,
His father's dead: no, such newes reuiues him,
Wants he a whore? nor that, loues he? that's folly,
Mount his high thoughts? oh no, then what grieues him?
Last night which did our Ins of court men call
In silken sutes like gawdy Butterflies,
To paint the Torch-light sommer of the hall,
And shew good legs, spite of slops-smothering thies
He passing from his chamber through the Court,
Did spoile a paire of new white pumps with durt[.]
See you him yonder, who sits o're the stage,
With the Tobacco-pipe now at his mouth?
It is Cornelius that braue gallant youth,
Who is new printed to this fangled age:
He weares a Ierkin cudgeld with gold lace,
A profound slop, a hat scarce pipkin high,
For boots, a paire of dagge cases; his face,
Furr'd with Cads-beard: his poynard on his thigh.
He wallows in his walk his slop to grace,
Sweares by the Lord, daines no salutation
But to some iade that's sick of his owne fashion,
As farewell sweet Captaine, or (boy) come apace:
Yet this Sir Beuis, or the fayery Knight,
Put vp the lie because he durst not fight.
Issa from me to a player tooke her way,
No meruaile, for she alwaies lou'd to play.
Many aske Mira, why I nam'd thee so:
Let them aske Nature why she fram'd thee so.
There's an odd fellow, (ile not tell his name,
Because from my lines he shal get no fame:)
Reading mine Epigrams bathes euery limb,
In angry sweat swearing that I meane him:
Content thy selfe I write of better men,
Thou art no worthy subiect for my pen.
Why should Nigrina weare her mask so much?
Her skins lawn's not so fine, so soone to staine,
Her tendrest poultry may endure the touch,
Her face, face and out-face the wind againe:
The cherry of her lip's a vvinter Cherry,
Then weather-proof, & needs no masks defence:
Her cheeks best fruit's a black, no Mulberry,
But fearelesse of sharp gustes impouerishments:
And to be briefe, she being all plaine Ione,
Why is she mask'd to keepe that where is none?
O sir, she's painted, and you know the guise,
Pictures are curtaind from the vulgar eyes.
Drus for a cuckold, and miserable's fam'd,
May not he well a hard-head then be nam'd?
Thou fearst I loue thee, for I prayse thee so:
Should I dispraise thee, what wouldst feare I trow?
Yon fellow thinks mine Epigrams him meane,
Then let me write of euery bawd and queane.
Painted Nigrina vnmask'd comes ne're in sight,
Because light vvenches care not for the light.
Painted Nigrina with the picture face,
Hauing no maske thinks she's without grace,
So with one case she doth another case,
Doth not her maske become her then apace?
Eloquent Bassus speakes all with a grace,
Not so much but good morrow, and good night:
I wonder when the Somner did him cite,
For his sweet sinne, how he spake in that case:
I am sure he could with no grace well refuse it
And worse I doubt with any grace excuse it.
Thou fear'st I am in loue with thee (my Deare)
I prethy feare not, it comes with a feare.
Because Nigrina hath a painted face,
Many suspect her to be light and base:
I see no reason to repute her such,
For out of doubt she will abide the tuch.
Gellia intic'd her good-man to the Citty,
And often threatneth to giue him the lurch,
See how this sweet sinne makes the simplest witty:
She (too prophane) whilst he is at the church,
Ringing the first peale at the greatest bels
At home will ring all in with some one els.
Crocus, thou sai'st that thou do'st know more queans
Then many a poore man ears in Autum gleans?
But Crocus, Crocus, if they all know you,
I feare I-faith you haue too much to do.
As Caius walks the streets, if he but heare
A blackman grunt his note, he cries oh rare!
He cries oh rare, to heare the Irishmen
Cry pippe, fine pippe, with a shrill accent, when
He comes at Mercers chappell; and, oh rare,
At Ludgate at the prisoners plaine-song there:
Oh rare sings he to heare a Cobler sing,
Or a wassaile on twelfe night, or the ring
At cold S. Pancras church; or any thing:
He'le cry, Oh rare, and scratch the elbow too
To see two Butchers curres fight; the Cuckoo,
Will cry oh rare, to see the champion bull,
Or the victorious mastife with crown'd scull:
And garlanded with flowers, passing along
From Paris-garden he renewes his song,
To see my L. Maiors Henchmen; or to see,
(At an old Aldermans blest obsequie)
The Hospitall boyes in their blew æquipage,
Or at a carted bawde, or whore in cage:
He'le cry, oh rare, at a Gongfarmers cart,
Oh rare to heare a ballad or a fart:
Briefely so long he hath vsde to cry, oh rare,
That now that phrase is growne thin & thred-bare,
But sure his wit will be more rare and thin,
If he continue as he doth begin.
Some dainte eare, like a wax-rubd Citty roome,
Wil haply blame my Muse for this salt rhume,
Thinking her lewd and too vnmaidenly,
For dauncing this Iigge so lasciuiously:
But better thoughts, more discreet, will excuse
This quick Couranto of my merry Muse;
And say she keeps Decorum to the times,
To womens loose gownes suting her loose rimes:
But I, who best her humourous pleasance know,
Say, that this mad wench when she iesteth so
Is honester then many a sullen one,
Which being more silent thinks worse being alone:
Then my quick-sprighted lasse can speake: for who
Knowes not the old said saw of the Still Sow.
the Reader. 70.
(Reader) when thou hast read this mad-cap stuffe,
Wherein my Muse swaggers as in her ruffe:
I know these Orphants shal be soone renounced,
Of euery one, and vnto death denounced:
I know thow'lt doome them to th'Apotheta,
To wrap Sope in, and Assifœtida:
And iustly to: for thou canst not misuse,
More then I will, these bastards of my Muse:
I know they are passing filthy, scuruey lines,
I know they are rude, harsh, and vnsauory rimes:
Fit to wrap playsters, and odd vnguents in,
Reedifiers of the wracks of Synne.
Viewing this sin-drownd vvorld, I purposely,
Phisick'd my Muse, that thus vnmannerly,
She might beray our folly-soyled age,
And keepe Decorum on a comick stage,
Bringing a foule-mouth Iester vvho might sing
To rogues, the story of the lousie King.
I care not vvhat the vvorld doth think, or say,
There lies a morral vnder my leane play:
And like a resolute Epigrammatist,
Holding my pen, my Rapier in my fist:
I know I shall vvide-gaping Momes conuince.
My Muse so armed is a carelesse Prince.
S A T Y
R E P R E-
Fie on these Lydian
tunes which blunt our sprights
the Satyres flourish before
And turne our gallants to Hermaphrodites:
Giue me a Doricke touch, whose Somphony,
And dauncing aire may with affinity
Moue our light vaulting spirits and capering.
Woo Alexander from lewd banquetting
To armes. Bid Haniball remember Cannas,
And leaue Salapian Tamyras embrace.
Hence with these fidlers, whose oyle-buttred lines,
Are Panders vnto lusts, and food to sinnes,
Their whimpring Sonnets, puling Elegies
Slaunder the Muses; make the world despise,
Admired poesie, marre Resolutions ruffe,
And melt true valour with lewd ballad stuffe.
Heere one's Elegiack pen patheticall,
His parting from his Mistris doth bewaile:
Which when young gallant Mutio hath perus'd,
His valour's crestfalne, his resolues abusd,
For vvhatsoe're his courage erst did moue,
He'le goe no voyage nevv to leaue his Loue.
Another vvith his supple passion
Meaning to moue his Pigsney to compassion,
Makes puisne Lucius in a simpathy
In loue vvith's pibald Laundres by and by.
A third that falls more roundly to his vvorke,
Meaning to moue her vvere she Ievv or Turke:
Writes perfect Cat and fidle, vvantonly,
Tickling her thoughts vvith masking bavvdry:
Which read to Captaine Tucca, he doth svveare,
And scratch, and svveare, and scratch to heare
His ovvne discourse discours'd: and by the Lord,
It's passing good: oh good! at euery vvord:
When his Cock-sparrovv thoughts to itch begin,
He vvith a shrug svvearest a most sweet sinne.
Some others Lady Muse is comicall,
Thalia to the back, nay back and all,
And she vvith many a salt La volto iest
Edgeth some blunted teeth, and fires the brest
Of many an old cold gray-beard Cittizen,
Medea like making him young againe;
Who comming from the Curtaine sneaketh in,
To some odde garden no[t]ed house of sinn[e].
But oh vvorse yet! for some Capritcious humor
Making an issue of his vlcerous tumor.
Some prophane Clodian pen daring display
(Like connicatching) bawdries Orgia,
With the prouost Martiall, ransacks euery roome
Of a vaulting house, and ribbald doth presume,
VVith Midwife Albert, or the womans booke
To anatomize each corner, and fond nooke.
Let Rablais with his durtie mouth discourse
No longer blush, for they'le write ten times worse:
And Aretines great wit be blam'd no more,
They'le storie forth the errant arrant whore:
And speaking painters excuse Titian,
For his Ioues loues; and Elephanticke vaine.
Thus all our Poets as they had carousde
A health to Circes, are in hogsties housde,
Or els transformd to Goates lasciuiously,
Filching chast eares with theyr pens Gonorrhey,
For euen the staliest and most generous,
The heroicke Poeme is lasciuious,
Which midst of Mars his field, & hote alarmes,
VVill sing of Cupids chiualrie and armes.
The Satyre onely and Epigramatist,
(Concisde Epigrame, and sharpe Satyrist)
Keepe diet from this surfet of excesse,
Tempring themselues from such licenciousnes.
The bitter censures of their Critticke spleenes,
Are Antidotes to pestilentiall sinnes,
They heale with lashing, feare luxuriousnes,
They are Philosophicke true Cantharides
To vanities dead flesh. An Epigrame
Is poopish displing, rebell flesh to tame:
A plaine dealing lad, that is not afraid
To speake the truth, but calls a iade, a iade.
And Mounsieur Gulard was not much too blame,
VVhen he for meat mistooke an Epigrame,
For though it be no cates, sharpe sauce it is,
To lickerous vanitie, youths sweet amisse.
But oh the Satyre hath a nobler vaine,
He's the Strappado, rack, and some such paine
To base lewd vice; the Epigram's Bridewell,
Some whipping cheere: but this is follies hell.
The Epigram's like dwarf Kings scurril grace,
A Satyre's Chester to a painted face;
It is the bone-ach vnto lechery,
To Acolastus it is beggery:
It is the scourge, the Tamberlaine of vice,
The three square Tyborne of impieties.
But to come neere the verses of our time,
It is (oh scuruey) to a Lenten rime;
It is the grand hisse to a filthy play,
T[']is peoples howts and showts at a pot fray.
Itch farther yet, yet nerer to them, fie
Their wits haue got my Muse with Tympanie:
And with their loose tayld penns to let it loose,
It's like a Syring to a Hampshire Goose.
These critique wits which nettle vanitie,
Are better farre then foode to foppery:
And I dare warrant that the hangingst brow,
The sowrest Stoicke that will scarce allow
A riming stone vpon his fathers graue,
(Though he no reason haue no rime to haue:)
The stricktest (Plato) that for vertues health:
Will banish Poets forth his common-wealth
VVill of the two affoord the Satye grace,
Before the whyning loue-song shall haue place:
And by so much his night-cap's ouer awde,
As a Beadle's better states-man then a Bawde.
Alterius qui fert
SHall I still mych in
silence and giue ayme,
To other wits which make court to bright fame?
A schoole boy still, shall I lend eare to other,
And myne owne priuate Muses musick smother?
Especially in this sinne leapered age,
VVhere euery Player vice comes on the stage:
Maskt in a vertuous robe? and fooles doe sit
More honored then the Prester Iohn of wit?
VVhere vertue, like a common gossop shieldes
Vice with her name, and her defects ore-guilds:
No no, my Muse, be valiant to controule,
Play the scold brauely, feare no cucking-stoole,
Begall thy spirit, like shrill trumpets clangor,
Vent forth th'impatience, and allarme thine anger:
Gainst sines inuasions, rende the foggie clowde,
whose al black wombe far blacker vice doth shrowd
Tell Gyant greatnes a more great did frame,
Th'imaginary Colosse of the same;
And then expostulate why Titus should
Make shewe of Ætnas heat, yet be as cold
As snow-drownd Athos in his frozen zeale,
Both to Religion and his Common-weale?
Or why should Cælius iniure thrift so much,
As to entitle his extortion such?
Or desperat Drus cloke the confusion,
Of heady rage with resolution,
Pale trembling Matho dies his milke-staind liuer
In colour of a discreet counsell-giuer:
And coole aduisement: yet the world doth know,
Hee's a rancke coward: but who dares tell him so?
The world's so bad that vertue's ouer-awde,
And forst poore soule to become vices bawde:
Like the old morrall of the comedie,
Where Conscience fauours Lucars harlotry.
In spight of valour martial Anthony,
Doth sacrifice himselfe to lecherie:
Wasting to skin & bones (true map of ruth,)
Yet termes it solace, and a trick of youth.
Oh world, oh time, that euer men should be
So blinde besotted with hipocrisie:
Poyson to call an wholsome Antidote,
And made carouse the same, although they know't.
How now my Muse, this is right womans fashion,
To fall from brawling to a blubbering passion?
Haue done haue done, and to a nimbler key,
Set thy winde instrument, and sprightly play.
Thys leaden-heeled passion is to dull,
To keepe pace with this Satyre-footed gull:
This mad-cap world, this whirlygigging age:
Thou must haue words compact of fire & rage:
Tearms of quick Camphire & Salt-peeter phrases,
As in a myne to blow vp the worlds graces,
And blast her anticke apish complements.
Her iugling tricks and mists which mock the sence,
Make Catiline or Alcibiades,
To seeme a Cato, or a Socrates.
This vizar-fac't pole-head dissimulation,
This parrasite, this guide to reprobation,
Thys squynt-eyde slaue, which lookes two wayes at once,
This forkt Dilemma, oyle of passions,
Hath so bereyde the world with his foule myre,
That naked truth may be suspect a lyer.
For when great Fœlix passing through the street,
Vayleth his cap to each one he doth meet,
And when no broome-man that will pray for him,
Shall haue lesse truage then his bonnets brim,
VVho would not thinke him perfect curtesie?
Or the honny-suckle of humilitie?
The deuill he is as soone: he is the deuill,
Brightly accoustred to bemist his euill:
Like a Swartrutters hose his puffe thoughts swell,
With yeastie ambition: Signior Machiauel
Taught him this mumming trick, with curtesie
T'entrench himselfe in popularitie,
And for a writhen face, and bodies moue,
Be Barricadode in the peoples loue.
Yonder comes Clodius, giue him the salute,
An oylie slaue: he angling for repute,
VVill gently entertaine thee, and preuent
Thy worse conceit with many a complement:
But turne thy backe, and then he turnes the word,
The foul-mouthd knaue wil call thee goodma[n] Tord.
Nothing but cossenage doth the world possesse,
And stuffes the large armes of his emptines.
Make sute to Fabius for his fauour, he
Will straight protest of his loues treasurie:
Beleeu'st thou him, then weare a motly coate,
He'le be the first man which shall cut thy throat.
Come to the Court, and Balthazer affords
Fountaines of holy and rose-water words:
Hast thou need of him? & wouldst find him kind?
Nay then goe by, the gentleman is blind.
Thus all our actions in a simpathy,
Doe daunce an anticke with hypocrisie,
And motley fac'd Dissimulation,
Is crept into our euery fashion,
VVhose very titles to are dissembled:
The'now all-buttockt, and no-bellied
Doublet and hose which I doe reuell in,
VVas my great grandsires when he did begin
To wooe my grandame, when hee first bespake her,
And witnesse to the ioynture he did make her:
(VVitnes some auntient painted history
Of Assueras, Haman, Mardoche.
For though some gulls me to beleeue are loth,
I know thei'le credite print, and painted cloth)
Yet, like th'olde Ballad of the Lord of Lorne,
VVhose last line in King Harries dayes was borne,
It still retaines the title of as new,
And proper a fashion, as you euer knew.
All things are different from their outward show,
The very poet, whose standish doth flow
VVith Nectar of Parnassus, and his braine
Melts to Castalian dew, and showres wits raine,
Yet by his outward coutnaunce doth appeare
To haue borne in wits dearths deerest yeere.
So that Zopirus iudging by his face,
VVill pronounce Socrates for dull and base.
This habite hath false larumd-seeming wonne
In our affections, that whatsoere is done
Must be newe coynd with slie dissemblance stamp,
And giue a sunne-shine title to a lampe.
This makes the foisting trauailer to sweare,
And face out many a lie within the yeere.
And if he haue beene an howre or two aboarde,
To spew a little gall: then, by the Lord,
He hath beene in both the Indias, East and West,
Talkes of Guiana, China, and the rest:
The straights of Gibraltare, and Ænian,
Are but hard by, no nor the Magellane,
Mandeuile, Candish, , sea-experienst Drake
Came neuer neere him, if he truly crake;
Nor euer durst come where he layd his head,
For out of doubt he hath discouered
Some halfe a dozen of th'infinity
Of Anaxarchus worlds. Like foppery
The Antiquary would perswade vs to:
He shewes a peece of blacke-iack for the shooe,
Which old Ægeus bequeathd his valiant sonne:
A peece of pollisht mother of pearle's the spoone
Cupid eate pape with; and he hath a dagger
Made of the sword wherewith great Charles did swagger.
Oh that the whip of fooles, great Aretine,
Whose words were squibs, and crackers euery line,
Liu'd in our dayes, to scourge these hypocrites,
VVhose taunts may be like gobblins and sprights.
To haunt these wretches forth that little left them
Of ayery wit; (for all the rest's bereft them.)
Oh how the varges from his black pen wrung,
VVould sauce the Idiome of the English tongue,
Giue it a new touch, liuelier Dialect
To heare this two-nect goose, this falshood checkt.
Me thinks I see the pie-bald whoresone tremble
To heare of Aretine: he doth dissemble,
There is no trust to be had to his quaking,
To him once more, and rouse him from his shaking
Feauer of fained feare, hold whip and cord,
Muse, play the Beadle, a lash at euery word:
No, no, let be, he's a true cosoner still,
And like the Cramp-fish darts, euen throgh my qui[ll]
His slie insinuating poysonous iuice,
And doth the same into my Spirit infuse:
Me thinks already I applaud my selfe,
For nettle-stinging thus this fayery elfe:
And though my conscience sayes I merit not
Such deere reward, dissembling yet (God wot)
I hunt for praise, and doe the same expect:
Hence (crafty enchaunter) welcome base neglect,
Scoffes make me know my selfe, I must not erre,
Better a wretch then a dissembler.
HEre comes a Coach (my
Lads) let's make a stand,
And take a view of blazing starres at hand:
Who's here? woho's here? now trust me passing faire,
Thai're most sweet Ladies: mary and so they are.
Why thou young puisne art thou yet to learne,
A harper from a shilling to discerne?
I had thought the last mask which thou caperedst in
Had catechiz'd thee from this errors sinne,
Taught thee S. Martins stuffe from true gold lace,
And know a perfect from a painted face:
Why they are Idols, Puppets, Exchange babies,
And yet (thou foole) tak'st them for goodly Ladies:
Where are thine eyes? But now I call to mind,
These can bewitch, and so haue made thee blind;
A[ ]compound mist of May deaw and Beane flowre,
Doe these Acrasias on thy eye lids powre:
Thou art enchaunted (Publius) and hast neede
Of Hercules, thy reason, to be freede.
Consider what a rough worme-eaten table,
By well-mix'd colours is made saleable:
Or how toad-housing sculs, and old swart bones,
Are grac'd with painted toombs, and plated stones:
And think withall how scoffe-inspiring faces
From dawbing pencils doe deriue their graces:
Their beauties are most antient Gentlemen,
Fetch'd from the deaw-figs, hens dung, & the beane.
Nay, this doth rather prooue them bastard faires.
For to so many fathers they are heires,
Yet their effronted thoughts adulterate,
Think the blind world holds them legitimate.
(Madame) you gull your selfe, thinking to gull
Young puisnes eyes with your ore-varnish'd scull:
For now our Gallants are so cunning growne,
That painted faces are like pippins knowne:
They know your spirits, & your distillations,
which make your eies turn diamo[n]ds, to charm passions,
Your cerusse now growne stale, your skaine of silke,
Your philtered waters, and your asses milke,
They were plaine asses if they did not know,
Quicksiluer, iuyce of Lemmons, Boras too,
Allom, olye Tartar, whites of egges, & gaules
Are made the bawdes to morphew, scurffs & scaus
Then whats a wench but a quirke, quidlit case,
VVhich makes a Painters pallat of her face?
Or would not Chester sweare her downe that shee
Lookt like an Elench, logicke sophistrie?
Or like a new sherifes gate-posts, whose old faces
Are furbisht ouer to smoothe times disgraces?
Then how is man turnd all Pygmalion,
That knowing these pictures, yet we doate vpon
The painted statues, or what fooles are we
So grosly to commit idolatry?
VVhat, are we Ethnicks that we honour beasts?
(They are beasts which paint themselues) or els papists
Whose ouer-fleeting brittle memories
Right worshipfull intitle Images?
But be we any thing; these wenches know
VVe are but fooles to be deluded so:
Who for deluding vs, to plague their sinne,
Are turnd to counterfaits, which their vncasde skin,
Quickly discouers, and to shadowes too,
For making louers shadowes as they doo.
Is not he fond then which a slip receaues
For currant money? she which thee deceaues
With copper guilt is but a slip, and she
will one day shew thee a touch as slippery:
She's counterfait now, and it will goe hard,
If e'ere thou find her currant afterward:
A painted vvench is like a whore-house signe,
The old new slurred ouer: or mix'd wine,
Sophisticate, to giue it hew and tast;
A dudgin dagger that's new scowr'd and glast:
Or I could sute her were she not prophane,
To a new painted, and churchwarden'd fane.
Or generall pardons, which speake gloriously,
Yet keepe not touch: or a Popish Iubily.
Thus altering natures stamp, they're altered,
From their first purity, innate maydenhead:
Of simple naked honesty, and truth,
And giuen o're to seducing lust and youth:
Whose stings when they are blunted, & these freede
Then shall they see the horror of this deede:
And leauing it their lothsome playstered skins,
Shall shew the furrowed riuels of their sins:
And now their box complexions are depos'd,
Their iaundise looks, and raine-bow like disclos'd,
Shall slander them with sicknes e're their time,
For pocket-healths, vaine vsage in their prime.
Then shall their owly consciences shun light,
And thus like Bats shall flutter in the night,
Asham'd that any eye should testifie,
Their now impouerish'd beauties beggary,
Nay, they so far shall be asham'd thereof,
That from themselues they shal feare cannon scoffe,
And hate to see themselues: all glasses breake,
By which before they taught their lookes to speake:
And parly with their lusts. But I'me a foole,
Which talke to deafe eares, & dull stocks do schoole:
Me thinks the painted Pageant's out of sight,
It's time to end my lecture then: good night.
MAry and gup! haue I
then lost my cap?
It shall be a warning for an after-clap,
Not that I weigh the tributary due,
Of cap and courtship complements, and new
Antike salutes, I care not for th'embrace,
The Spanish shrug, kiss'd-hand, nor cheuerell face,
God saue you sir, and such like phrases,
Pronounc'd with lisping, and affected graces,
Moue me no more then t'heare a Parrat cry
Her by-roate lesson of like curtesie:
But this I wonder, that th'art so estrang'd,
And thy old English looks to outlandish chang'd,
Howsoe're thy selfe by English birth art freed,
Thou hast neede to haue thy looks endenized:
With thee I haue beene long time well acquainted:
But those beyond-sea looks haue now disioynted
Our well knit friendship, for whose sake I doubt
Th'art quite turn'd Dutch, or some outlandish lowt,
Thou hast cleane forgot thine English tong, & then
Art in no state to salute Englishmen:
Or else th'hast had some great sicnes of late,
Whose tiranny doth so extenuate
Thy fraile remembrance, that thou canst not claime
Thine old acquaintance, mothers tong, nor name
Given thee in thy baptisme: for I cannot, I,
Impute it vnto pride, Philosophy
Hauing so well fore-season'd thy minds caske.
Of gulls and fooles I will no question aske,
Wherefore they looke so strange, because I know
They are but poore in wit, though rich in show.
Looke on Panduris, with whom in th'infancy
Of my then greene, now riper iudgment, I
Was well acquainted: he sir will not speake,
Thinking himselfe the better man belike
Because his father with bartring, and trucke
Of bad greene-sicknes wines hath heapt vp muck,
And for his mother with her greedy gripes,
Hath out of neats-feet, chitterlings, and tripes,
Scrapt many a durty pound: this is he,
That lookes like Gnazzo, or pedant grauitie,
Spits controuersies, prates of Bellarmine,
And yet perhaps nere saw of his a line.
Then there is Cynops, whose grand-mother sold
Good ale and wigs, in curtesey growne cold,
Because his father with a cossening fetch,
Purchasd land for him, which his conscience stretch
Hath almost sworne the whole world, thar the man
Is damnd, to make his sonne a gentleman.
With them in ranck La volto Publius,
VVho's growne a reueller ridiculous:
And for his dad with Chimicke vsurie,
Turnd yron to sterling, drosse to land and fee,
And got so by old horse-shooes, that the foole
Enterd himselfe into the dauncing schoole;
Thinks scorne to speake: especially now since
H'ath beene a player to a Christmas prince.
When these, & such like doe themselues estrange,
I neuer muse at theyr fantasticke change:
Because they are Phantasmas butterflies,
Inconstant, but yet witlesse Mercuries.
I know some of their humorous neere of kin,
Which scorne to speake to one which hath not bin
In one of these last voyages: or to one
Which hauing bin there yet (though he haue none)
Hath not a Cades-beard: though I dare sweare
That many a beardlesse chin hath marched where
They durst not for their berds come, thogh they dare
Come where they will not leaue theyr beardes one haire
But I doe wonder what estrangeth thee,
New cast in mold of deepe philosophy:
Thee whom that Queene hath taught to moderate,
Thy mounting thought, nor to be eleuate
With puffingst fortunes? though (for ought I know)
Thy fortunes are none such to puffe thee so.
How like a Musherom art thou quickly growne,
I knew thee when thou war'dst a thred-bare gowne:
Siz'd eighteene pence a weeke, and so did I,
As then thou wert faine of my company,
Of mine acquaintance glad; how art thou altered?
Or wherein's thine estate so bettered?
Thou art growne a silken dauncer, and in that
Turn'd to a caper, skipst from loue to hate,
To daunce Ma piu, French-galliard, or a measure,
Doost thou esteeme this cunning such a treasure?
Neuer be proud of that for dost thou know,
That Laureat Batchelor Del Phrygio?
He with a spade-beard can full mannerly,
Leade the olde measures to a company
Of bare chind-boyes, and with his nimble feete,
Make our fore-wearied Counsellours to sweat:
For enuie at his strange actiuitie,
Because they cannot do't as well as he.
But then a simple reueller, thou art more,
Thou hast had som doings with the prince d'Amore
And playd a noble mans part in a play:
Now out vpon thee Fabian, I dare say,
If Florus should alledge that cause of pride,
Hisse him thou wouldst to death for't: and beside,
thou mightst haue had som doings with that prince
which wold haue made thee lesse proude euer since.
Yet art thou stately, and so stately, to,
That thou forget'st thy state, and wilt not know
Them which knowe thee and it: so long thou hast
True follower beene of fashions, that at last
Thou art growne thy selfe a fashion: for to day
Thou art common, popular, in vse euery way
Fitting the various world, but by and by
Thou art disusde, growst stale, and too proudly
Wringst thy selfe fro[m] the humorous world conceit,
Now art thou like the wide breech, doublet strait,
But er't be long, thou wilt estranged be,
Like the French quarter slop, or the gorbelly,
The long stockt hose, or close Venetian.
Now fie vpon this pride, which makes wise men
Looke like expired lease; out of doubt
Thou wert wise, but thy lease of wit is out:
For such fond toyes thou hast estrangde thy selfe
For vaine braue Bragardisme, and durtie pelfe,
And yet I thinke, thy pelfe with thee'le dispence
To kisse the Counter, ere twill bale thee thence.
These foolish toyes haue quite disparaged
Philosophy thy Mistris, and tis said,
Thou art like to Damasippus, for thy hayre
Precisely cut, makes thee Philosopher,
And nothing (God wot) else. But what care I?
Why should I reason with thy surquedry?
I smile at thy Atturneys silken pride,
Tufttaffeta state, and make my Muse deride,
In these her scoffing rimes thy beeing strange,
And haue good pastimes at thy motley change.
Prethee be proude still, strange still, stately still,
And with thy winde my Muses organs fill,
To sound an Antheme of thy folly foorth,
It wil be merry musicke, richly worth
The laughing at, for I will play a Iigge,
And thou shalt daunce, my Muse shall play the rig
Once in her dayes, but shee shall quittance thee,
For thy contemptible inconstancie.
VVell, if thou wilt speake so, and so farewell,
If not, I thinke thee worse foole then I'le tell.
WHat a scald humour is
this ialous care,
Which turnes a man to a familiare?
See how Trebatio yonder haunts his wife,
And dares not loose sight of her for his life:
And now there's one speakes to her, mark his grace,
See how he basts himselfe in his owne greace:
Note what a squint askew he casts, as he
Already saw his heads hornd-armory.
Foule weather ielousie to a forward spring,
Makes weeds grow ranke, but spoyles a better thing:
Sowes tares (gainst haruest) in the fields of loue,
And dogged humor Dog-dayes-like doth proue:
Scorching loues glorious world with glowing tong;
A serpent by which loue to death is flung,
A fire to wast his pleasant sommer bowres,
Ruine his mansions, and deface his towres.
Yonder goes Cæius playing fast and loose
With his wiues arme[,] but not for loue God knowes,
Suspition is the cause she well doth know,
Can she then loue him that doth wrong her so?
If she refuse to walke vvith him he'ele frowne,
Fore-vvearied both, they rest, he on her gowne
Sits for his ease she saith, afrayd in hart,
Least sodainly she should giue him the start:
Thus doth he make her prisoner to his feare,
And himselfe thrall to selfe-consuming care.
A male-kind sparrow once mistooke his nest,
And fled for harbour to faire Liuias breast:
Her husband caught him with a iealous rage,
Swearing to keepe him prisoner in a Cage:
Then a poore flye dreading no netty snare,
Was caught in curled meshes of her haire,
Humming a sad note for's imprisonment;
When the mad beast, with ruder hands doth rent
That golden fleece, for hast to take the flie,
And straight-wayes at a vvindow gins to prie,
Busie, sharp-sighted blind-man-hob, to know
Whether t'were male or female taken so,
Marke how Seuerus frigs from roome to roome,
To see, and not to see his martirdome:
Peeuish disease which doth all foode distast,
But what kils health, and that's a pleasing feast:
Like Weauers shuttles which runne to and fro,
Rau'ling their owne guts with their running so.
He which infects these with this lunacy,
Is an odd figgent iack called Iealousie,
His head is like a vvindmils trunk so bigge.
Wherein ten thousand thoughts runne whirligigge,
Play at barly-breake, and daunce the Irish hay
Ciuill and peacefull like the Centaures fray
His body is so fallen away and leane,
That scarce it can his logger-head sustaine.
He hath as many hundred thousand eyes
As Argus had, like starres plac't in the skies,
Though to no purpose, for blinde loue can see
Hauing no eyes, farther then Iealousie.
Gulfe-brested is he, silent, and profound,
Cat-footed for slie pace, and without sound,
Porpentine-backed, for he lies on thornes,
Is it not pitty such a beast wants hornes?
Is it not pitty such a beast should so,
Possesse mens thoughts, and timpanize with woe
Their bigge swlone harts? for let Seuerus heare,
A Cuckow sing in Iune, he sweats for feare:
And Com[m]ing home, he whurries through the house,
Each hole that makes an inmate of a mouse
Is ransackt by him for the cuckold-maker,
He beates his wife, & mongst his mades doth swagger
T'extort confession from the[m] who hath been
Familiar with his wife, wreeking his teene
Vpon her ruffes and iewels, burning, tearing,
Flinging and hurling, scolding, staring, swearing.
Hee's as discreet, ciuill a gentleman,
As Harry Peascod, or a Bedlam man,
A drunken captaine, or a ramping whore,
Or swaggering blew-coate at an ale-house doore.
VVhat an infection's this, which thus doth fire
Mens most discreetest tempers, and doth tire
Their soules with furie? and doth make them thirst
To carouse bolles of poyson till they burst?
Oh this it is to be too wise in sin.
Too well experienst, and skilld therein:
''For false suspition of another, is,
''A sure condemning of our owne amisse.
Vnlesse a man haue into practise brought
The Theoricke art of loue which Ouid wrote,
Vnlesse his owne lewd life haue taught him more
Then Aretines aduenturous wandring whore,
Vnlesse he haue an antient souldiour beene,
Brags of the markes, and shewes the scarres of sinne,
How could he be so gorgde with louing hate,
As to thinke women so insaciate?
How could he know their strategems and shifts,
Their politicke delayes and wilie drifts?
No no tis true, he hath beene naught himselfe,
And lewdnes fathereth this wayward elfe,
Then take this for a Maxim generall rule,
No iealous man, but is or knaue, or foole.
LEt me alone I prethee
in thys Cell,
Entice me not into the Citties hell;
Tempt me not forth this Eden of content,
To tast of that vvhich I shall soone repent:
Prethy excuse me, I am not alone
Accompanied with meditation,
And calme content, vvhose tast more pleaseth me
Then all the Citties lushious vanity.
I had rather be encoffin'd in this chest
Amongst these bookes and papers I protest,
Then free-booting abroad purchase offence,
And scandale my calme thoughts with discontents.
Heere I conuerse with those diuiner spirits,
Whose knowledge, and admire the world inherits:
Heere doth the famous profound Stagarite,
With Natures mistick harmony delight
My rauish'd contemplation: I heere see
The now-old worlds youth in an history:
Heere may I be graue Platosauditor;
And learning of that morrall Lecturer,
To temper mine affections, gallantly
Get of my selfe a glorious victory:
And then for change, as we delight in change.
(For this my study is indeede m'Exchange)
Heere may I sit, yet walke to Westminster
And heare Fitzherbert, Plowden, Brooke,and Dier
Canuas a law-case: or if my dispose
Perswade me to a play, I'le to the Rose,
Or Curtaine, one of Plautus Comedies,
Or the Patheticke Spaniards Tragedies:
If my desire doth rather wish the fields,
Some speaking Painter, some Poet straitway yeelds
A flower bespangled walk, where I may heare
Some amorous Swaine his passions declare
To his sun-burnt Loue. Thus my books little case,
My study, is mine All, mine euery place.
What more variety of pleasures can
An idle Citty-walke affoord a man?
More troublesome and tedious will I now
T'will be, into the peopled streets to goe,
Witnes that hotch-potch of so many noyses,
Black-saunts of so many seuerall voyces,
That Chaons of rude sounds, that harmo[n]y,
And Dyapason of harsh Barbary.
Compos'd of seuerall mouthes, and seuerall cries,
Which to mens eares turne both their tongs & eies.
There squeaks a cart-wheele, here a tumbrel rumbles
Heere scolds an old Bawd, there a Porter grumbles.
Heere two tough Car-men combat for the way,
There two for looks begin a coward fray,
Two swaggering knaues heere brable for a whore,
There brauls an Ale-knight for his fat-grown score.
But oh purgation! yon rotten-throated slaues
Engarlanded with coney-catching knaues,
Whores, Bedles, bawdes and Sergeants filthily
Chaunt Kemps Iigge, or the Burgonians tragedy:
But in good time, there's one hath nipt a bong,
Farewell my harts, for he hath marrd the song.
Yet might all this, this too bad be excusd,
Were not an Ethicke soule much more abusd,
And her still patience choaked by vanitie,
VVith vnsufferable inhumanitie:
For whose gall is't that would not ouerflow,
To meete in euery streete where he shall goe,
With folly maskt in diuers semblances?
The Cittie is the mappe of vanities,
The marte of fooles, the Magazin of gulles,
The painters shop of Antickes: walke in Poules,
And but obserue the sundry kindes of shapes,
Th'wilt sweare that London is as rich in apes
As Affricke Tabraca: One wries his face.
This fellow wrie necke is his better grace.
He coynd in newer mint of fashion,
With the right Spanish shrugge shewes passion.
There comes one in a muffler of Cad[i]z-beard,
Frowning as he would make the world afeard,
VVith him a troupe all in gold-dawbed sutes,
Looking like Talbots, Percies, Montacutes,
As if their very countenaunces would sweare,
The Spanyard should conclude a peace for feare:
But bring them to a charge, then see the luck,
Though but a false fire, theyr plumes wil duck
What maruell, since life's sweete? But see yonder,
One like the vnfrequented Theater
Walkes in darke silence, and vast solitude,
Suited to those blacke fancies which intrude,
Vpon possession of his troubled breast:
But for blacks sake he would looke like a ieast,
For hee's cleane out of fashion: what he?
I thinke the Genius of antiquitie,
Come to complaine of our varietie,
Of tickle fashions: then you iest I see.
Would you needs know? he is a malecontent:
A Paipst? no, nor yet a Protestant,
But a discarded intelligencer,
Here's one lookes like to a king Arthurs fencer,
VVith his case of rapiers, and suted in buffe,
Is he not a Sargeant? then say's a muffe
For his furrd sattin cloake; but let him goe,
Meddle not with him, he's a shrewd fellow.
Oh what a pageant's this? what foole was I
To leaue my studie to see vanitie?
But who's in yonder coach? my lord and foole,
One that for ape tricks can put Gue to schoole:
Heroick spirits, true nobilitie
Which can make choyce of such societie.
He more perfections hath than y'would suppose,
He hath a wit of waxe, fresh as a rose,
He playes well on the trebleViolin,
He soothes his Lord vp in his grosest sin,
At any rimes sprung from his Lordships head,
Such as Elderton would not haue fathered:
He cries, Oh rare my Lord, he can discourse
The story of Don Pacolet and his horse,
(To make my Lord laugh) sweares and iest.
And with Simile non plus the best,
(Vnlesse like Pace his wit be ouer-awde)
But his best part is he's a perfect Bawde,
Rare vertues; farewel they. But who's yonder
Deep mouth'd Hound, that bellows rimes like thunder
He maks an earthquake throughout Paules churchyard,
Well fare his hart, his larum shall be heard:
Oh he's a puisne of the Innes of Court,
Come from th'Vniuersity to make sport
With his friends money heere: but see, see,
Heere comes Don Fashion, spruce formality,
Neat as a Merchants ruffe, that's set in print,
New halfe-penny, skip'd forth his Laundres mint;
Oh braue! what, with a feather in his hat?
He is a dauncer you may see by that;
Light heeles, light head, light feather well agree.
Salute him, with th'embrace beneath the knee?
I thnk twere better let him passe along,
He will so dawbe vs with his oyly tongue,
For thinking on some of his Mistresses,
We shall be curried with the briske phrases,
And prick-song termes he hath premeditate,
Speake to him woe to vs, for we shall ha'te,
Then farewell he. But soft, whom haue we heare?
What braue Saint George, what mounted Caualiere?
He is all court-like, Spanish in's attyre,
He hath the right ducke, pray God he be no Frier:
Thys is the Dictionary of complements,
The Barbers mouth of new-scrapt eloquence,
Synomicke Tully for variete,
And Madame Conceits gorgeous gallerie,
The exact patterne which Castilio
Tooke for's accomplish Courtier: but soft ho,
What needs that bownd, or that curuet (good sir)
There's some sweet Lady, and tis done to her,
That she may see his Iennets nimble force:
VVhy, would he haue her in loue with his horse?
Or aymes he at popish merrit, to make
Her in loue with him, for his horses sake?
The further that we walke, more vanitie
Presents it selfe to prospect of mine eye,
Here sweares some Seller, though a known vntruth,
Here his wife's bated by some quick-chapt youth.
There in that window mistres minkes doth stand,
And to some copesmate beckneth her hand,
In is he gone, Saint Venus be his speede,
For some great thing must be aduentured:
There comes a troupe of puisnes from the play,
Laughing like wanton schoole-boyes all the way.
Yon goe a knot to Bloome is Ordinary,
Friends and good fellowes all now, by and by
Thei[']le be by the eares, vie stabs, exchange disgraces,
And bandie daggers at each others faces.
Enough of these then, and enough of all,
I may thanke you for this time spent; but call
Henceforth, I'le keepe my studie, and eschew,
The scandall of my thoughts, my follies view:
Now let vs home, I'me sure tis supper time,
The horne hath blowne, haue done my merry rime.
OH that mens thoughts
should so degenerate,
Being free borne, t'admit a slauish state:
They disclaime Natures manumission,
Making themselues bond to opinion:
VVhose gally-slaues they are, tost on the sea
Of vulgar humors, which doth rage and play,
According as the various breath of change
Calmes or perturbs her smooth brow. Is't not strang
That heau'n bred soules, discended from aboue
Should brooke such base subiection? Feare reproofe
from her cold northern gales, or els be merry
When her Fanonian praise breathes a sweet perry?
(Rason) thou art the soules bright Genius,
Sent downe from Ioues throne to fate conduct us
In this lifes intricate Dædalian maze:
How art thou buffuld? how comes this disgrace,
That by opinion thou art bearded so,
Thy slaue, thy shadow: nay, out-bearded too?
She earth-worme doth deriue her pedegree
From bodies durt, and sensualitie,
And marshald in degree fitting her birth
Is but a dwarffe, or iester to make mirth.
Thou the soules bidies Queenes allie most neere,
The first Prince of her blood, and chiefest peere,
Nay, her protector in nonage, whilst she
Liues in this bodies weake minoritie,
Art yet kept vnder by that vnderling,
That dreame, that breath, nay that indeed Nothing.
The ale-house Ethicks, the worlds vpside downe
Is verefied: the prince now serues the clowne.
If reason bandy with opinion,
Opinion winnes in the conclusion:
For if a man be once opinionate,
Millions of reasons nill extenuate
His fore-ceited mallice: conference
Cannot asswage opinions insolence.
But let opinion once lay battery
To reasons fort, she will turne heresie,
Or superstition, wily politist,
But she will winne those rampires which resist.
Then sith such innate discord is maintain'd
Twixt reason and opinion; what staid-brain'd,
True resolute, and philosophick head
Would by opinion be distempered?
Opinion is as various as light change,
Now speaking Court-like friendly, strait-wayes strange;
She's any humours perfect parasite,
Displeas'd with her, and pleas'd with her delight,
She is the Eccho of inconstancie,
Soothing her no with nay, her I with yea.
Then who would weigh this feather, or respect
The fickle censure of shallow neglect?
Shall graue Lycurgus straite repeale his lawes,
Because some Cobler finds fault with this clawse,
Some Ale-konner with that? or shall the state
Be subiect to each base-groomes arbitrate?
No, let's esteeme Opinion as she is,
Fooles bawble, innouations Mistris,
The Proteus Robin-good-fellow of change,
Smithfield of iaded fancies, and th'Exchange
Of fleeting censures, nurse of heresi[e],
Begot by Malice on Inconstancie:
It's but the hisse of Geese, the peoples noyse,
The tongue of humours, and phantasticke voyce
Of haire-brain'd Apprehension: it respects
With all due titles, and that due neglects
Euen in one instant. For in these our times
Some of Opinions gulls carpe at the rimes
Of reuerend Chawcer: other-some do praise them,
And vnto heau'n with wonders wings do raise them[.]
Some say the mark is out of Gowers mouth,
Others, he's better then a trick of youth.
Some blame deep Spencer for his grandam words,
Others protest that, in them he records
His maister-peece of cunning giuing praise,
And grauity to his profound-prickt layes.
Daniel (as some holds) might mount if he list
But others say that he's a Lucanist.
Markham is censur'd for his want of plot,
Yet others thinke that no deepe stayning blot;
As Homer writ his Frogs-fray learnedly,
And Virgil his Gnats vnkind Tragedy:
So though his plot be poore, his Subiect's rich,
And his Muse soares a Falcons gallant pitch.
Drayton's condemn'd of some for imitation,
But others say t'was the best Poets fashion,
In spight of sicke Opinions crooked doome,
Traytor to kingdome mind, true iudgments toomb,
Like to a worthy Romaine he hath wonne
A three-fold name affined to the Sunne,
When he is mounted in the glorious South,
And Drayton's iustly sirnam'd Golden-mouth.
The double volum'd Satyre praised is,
And lik'd of diuers for his Rods in pisse,
Yet other-some, who would his credite crack
Haue clap'd Reactioes Action on his back.
Nay, euen wits Cæsar, Sidney, for whose
The Fates themselues lamented Englands scath,
And Muses-wept, till of their teares did spring
Admiredly a second Castral spring,
Is not exempt from prophanation,
But censur'd for affectation.
Thus doth Opinion play the two edg'd sword,
And vulgar iudgments both-hand playes afford,
Then who but fooles, and empty caske like minds,
Would be engross'd with such phantastique winds?
Let Players, Minstrels, silken Reuellers,
Light minded as their parts[,] their aires, their fethers,
Be slaues t'Opinion, when the people shoute
At a quaint iest, crosse-poynt, or well touch'd Lute,
Let their sleight frothy minds be bubled vp,
And breake againe at a hisse, or howt, or hup.
Let Caius when his horse hath wone the bell,
Conceiue more ioy than his dull tongue can tell:
Or let Lycanor feare a tennis set
More than his soules losse, and for it more fret.
Pollio me thinks is going into the Towne,
Boy, set your Maisters ruffe, and brush his gowne,
Least some spruce Taylor sitting on his stall,
Say, there goes a slouen, careless of all,
Heere comes young Pansa: whether away so fast?
Why, going to the Barbers in all hast,
Thy haire's all short enough: but I must craue
A little labour to be smug'd and haue
A blessing of Rose-water, ere I goe
To see such and such Ladies, for you know
Thei'le flowt a man behind his backe, if he
Be not trim furbish'd and in decencie.
Oh what a slauerie's this? shall a free mind
Sicke of a Cockneys Ague, feare the wind?
No, let's be Stoicks, resolute, and spare not
To tell the proudest Criticke that we care not
For his wooden censure, nor to mittigate
The sharp tart veriuice of his snap-haunce hate
Would change a line, a word, no not a poynt
For his deepe mouthed scoffes, as soone disioynt
His grind-iest chaps as hurt our credites, who
Are carelesse of what he can say or do.
Oh Epictetus, perfect libertine,
Who thought a slaue, tyr'd daily in the mine,
Yet hadst as free a soule, as free a powre
To calme content as any Emperour,
Thou wert no busie Polypragmons thrall,
No slaue to censures, caring not at all
Which way the vulgar wind stood, negligent
Whether the world were angry or content.
Thy vertue-purged soule, thy Genius
Made all thine inclinations vertuous:
Which thou didst follow, carelesse of th'euent,
Of of the worlds applause, or discontent.
True patterne of a philosophick soule,
Not subiect to Mechanick mates controule,
Nor puff'd vp with the praises of each hind
Which gaue a froathy battery to thy mind.
With such resolue, such perfect temperature
Should a Socratique mind her thoughts assure:
And as he taught young Alcibiades
Audacity to pleade, and to despise
The popular scarcrow estimation;
For that such bodies composition
Consisted but of Brokers, Coblers, slaues,
Black-men, trap-makers, and such kind of knaues,
Whose many headed doomes he neuer weighd,
Nor of their giddy vnion was afraid:
So let all others care for vulgar breath,
Which neither can preseue, nor plague with death,
(Vnlesse their sent of Garlike poyson vs.)
Should I take it at hart, or for hainous,
To heare some Prentize, or some Players boy
Hath iested at my Muse, and scoff'd my ioy?
Or that some Chaundler slopt a mustard pot,
Or wrap't Sope in some leaues, her petticoate?
Or perfum'd Courtiour in a peeuish scorne,
Some pages thereof, tyrant-like hath torne,
To scauenger his backe dore from the durt?
Which if he do (though me it shall not hurt)
May my harsh stile (the Muses I beseech)
Be but as arse-smart to his tickled breech:
Or shall I thinke my selfe t'haue better hap,
If that some weeuil, mault-worme, barly-cap,
Hearing my lines halfe-snorting ore his kanne,
Sweares them for good, and me a proper man?
Or shall I waxe proud if some Pedant daigne
The Epethite of Pretty for my paine?
The pox I will as soone: let others care,
Ile play the Gallant, I, the Caueleire;
Once in my dayes Ile weene, and ouer-weene,
And cry, a Fico for the Critike spleene:
For let them praise them, or their praise deny,
My lines are still themselues, and so am I.
I N I S.