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WELL, if it be my time to quit the stage,
Adieu to all the follies of the age!
I die in charity with fool and knave,
Secure of peace at leaft beyond the grave.
I've had my Purgatory here betimes,
And paid for all my fatires, all my rhymes.
The Poet's hell, its tortures, fiends, and flames,
To this were trifles, toys, and empty names.
With foolish pride my heart was never fir'd,
Nor the vain itch t' admire, or be admir'd;
I hop'd for no commiffion from his Grace;
I bought no benefice, I begg'd no place;
Had no new verfes, nor new fuit to show;
Yet went to Court!-the Devil would have it fo.
WELL; I may now receive, and die. My un
Indeed is great, but yet I have been in
A Purgatory, fuch as fear'd Hell is
A recreation, and fcant map of this.
My mind, neither with pride's itch, nor hath been Poyfon'd with love to fee or to be seen,
I had no fuit there, nor new fuit to fhow,
Yet went to Court; but as Glare which did go
But, as the Fool that in reforming days
Would go to Mass in jeft (as story fays)
Could not but think, to pay his fine was odd,
Since 'twas no form'd design of serving God;
So was I punish'd, as if full as proud,
As prone to ill, as negligent of good,
As deep in debt, without a thought to pay,
As vain, as idle, and as falfe, as they
Who live at Court, for going once that way!
Scarce was I enter'd, when, behold! there came
A thing which Adam had been pos'd to name;
Noah had refus'd it lodging in his Ark,
Where all the Race of Reptiles might embark :
A verier monfter, than on Afric's fhore
The fun e'er got, or flimy Nilus bore,
To Mafs in jeft, catch'd, was fain to disburse
Two hundred markes which is the Statutes curse,
Before he fcap'd; fo it pleas'd my destiny
(Guilty of my fin of going) to think me
As prone to all ill, and of good as forget-
ful, as proud, luftfull, and as much in debt,
As vain, as witlefs, and as falfe, as they
Which dwell in Court, for once going that way.
Therefore I fuffer'd this; towards me did run
A thing more strange, than on Nile's flime the Sun
E'er bred, or all which into Noah's Ark came;
A thing which would have pos'd Adam to name:
Or Sloane or Woodward's wondrous fhelves contain,
Nay, all that lying Travellers can feign.
The watch would hardly let him pass at noon,
At night would fwear him dropt out of the Moon.
One, whom the mob, when next we find or make
A popish plot, fhall for a Jefuit take,
And the wife Juftice starting from his chair
Cry, By your Priesthood tell me what you are?
Such was the wight: Th' apparel on his back,
Though coarse, was reverend, and tho' bare, was black:
The fuit, if by the fashion one might guefs,
Was velvet in the youth of good Queen Befs,
But mere tuff-taffety what now remain'd;
So Time, that changes all things, had ordain'd!
Stranger than feven Antiquaries ftudies,
Than Africk Monsters, Guianaes rarities,
Stranger than strangers: one who, for a Dane,
In the Danes Maffacre had fure been flain,
If he had liv'd then; and without help dies,
When next the Prentices 'gainst strangers rise;
One, whom the watch at noon lets scarce go by;
One, to whom the examining Juftice fure would cry,
Sir, by your Priesthood, tell me what you are?
His cloaths were ftrange, though coarse, and black, though bare,
Sleeveless his jerkin was, and it had been
Velvet, but 'twas now (fo much ground was feen)
Become Tufftaffaty; and our children fhall
See it plain rafh a while, then nought at all,
Our fons fhall fee it leifurely decay,
First turn plain rash, then vanish quite away.
This thing has travel'd, speaks each language too, And knows what's fit for every state to do;
Of whofe best phrase and courtly accent join'd,
He forms one tongue, exotic and refin'd.
Talkers I've learn'd to bear; Motteux I knew,
Henley himself I've heard, and Budgel too.
The Doctor's wormwood ftyle, the Hafh of tongues
A Pedant makes, the storm of Gonson's lungs,
The whole Artillery of the terms of War,
And (all thofe Plagues in one) the bawling Bar;
These I could bear; but not a rogue fo civil,
Whose tongue will compliment you to the devil.
A tongue, that can cheat Widows, cancel fcores,
Make Scots speak treason, cozen subtlest whores,
The thing hath travail'd, and faith, fpeaks all tongues, And only knoweth what to all States belongs, Made of th' accents, and beft phrase of all these, He fpeaks one language. If ftrange meats difpleafe, Art can deceive, or hunger force my
But pedants motly tongue, foldiers bumbaft,
Mountebanks drug-tongue, nor the terms of law,
Are strong enough preparatives to draw
Me to hear this, yet I must be content
With his tongue, in his tongue call'd Complement :
In which he can win widows, and pay scores,
Make men speak treafon, couzen fubtlest whores,
With royal Favourites in flattery vie,
And Oldmixon and Burnet both outlie.
He spies me out; I whisper, Gracious God! What fin of mine could merit fuch a rod?
That all the fhot of dulnefs now must be
From this thy blunderbufs difcharg'd on me!
Permit (he cries) no ftranger to your fame
To crave your fentiment, if -'s your name.
What Speech esteem you most?" The King's," faid I.
But the best words?" O Sir, the Dictionary."
You miss my aim! I mean the most acute
And perfect Speaker?" Onflow, paft difpute."
But, Sir, of writers? "Swift, for closer style,
"But Hoadly for a period of a mile."
Why yes, 'tis granted, these indeed may pass:
Good common linguifts, and fo Panurge was;
Outflatter favourites, or outlie either
Jovius, or Surius, or both together.
He names me, and comes to me; I whisper, God,
How have I finn'd, that thy wrath's furious Rod,
This fellow, chufeth me! He faith, Sir,
I love your Judgment, whom do you prefer
For the best Linguift? and I feelily
Said that I thought Calepines Dictionary.
Nay, but of men, moft fweet Sir? Beza then,
Some Jefuits, and two reverend men
Of our two academies I nam'd.
He stopt me, and faid, Nay your Apoftles were