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The conning courtier should be slighted too,
Who with dull knavery makes so much ado;
Till the shrewd fool, by thriving too, too fast,
Like Esop'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 dissembling still in either place,
Affected bumour, or a painted fáce.
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 priuce by two at once misled;
False, foolish, old, ill-natur'd, and ill-bred?
Earnly ?, 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 wile was thought exceeding wise,
Only for taking pains and telling lies.
But there's no meddling with such nanseous men;
Their very names have tir'd my lazy pen :
'Tis time to quit their company, and choose
Some fitter subject for a sharper muse.
First, let's behold the merriest 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:
? Probably Sir John Earnly, chancellor of the exchequer. in the latter part of the reign of Charles II.
Yet he will laugh at his best friends, and be
Jast as good company as Nokes and Lee:
But when he aims at reason or at rule,
He torns himself the best to ridicule.
Let him at business ne'er so earnest sit,
Show him but mirth, and bait that mirth with wit,
That shadow of a jest shall be enjoy'd,
Though he left all mankind to be destroy'd.
So cat, transform’d, sat gravely and demure,
Till mouse appear'd and thouglit himself secure;
But soon the lady bad him in her eye,
And from her friend did just as oddly fly.
Reaching above onr nature does no good;
We must fall back to our old flesh and blood :
As by our little Maebiavel 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 langhing out,
To see liim drag his feeble legs about,
Like hounds ill-coupled? Jowler lugs him still
Through hedges, ditches, and through all that's ill.
'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, [soar,
That whilst he creeps, his vigorous thoughts can
Alas! that soaring, to those few that know,
Is but a busy groveling here below.
So men in rapture think they mount the sky,
Whilst on the ground the’intranced wretches lie:
So modern fops have fancied 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 slights;
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 reign;
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 barn, so wittingly contrives?
Will any dog that has his teeth and stones,
Refin’dly 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.
Though satire, nicely writ with humour, stings
But those who merit praise in other things;
Yet we 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 abusid:
Rais'd only by his mercenary tongue,
For railing smoothly, and for reasoning wrong,
As boys, on holidays let loose to play,
Lay waggish traps for girls that pass that way;
Then shout to see in dirt and deep distress,
Some silly cit in her flower'd foolish dress;
So bave 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 sits silent, and condemns for weaker
The tiner, 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 woolsack, 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 :
To live dissolv'd in pleasures still they feign,
Though their whole life's but intermitting pain :
So much of surfeits, headachs, claps, are seen,
We scarce perceive the little time between :
Well-meaning men, who make this gross mistake,
And pleasare lose, only for pleasure's sake.
Each pleasure has its price, and when we pay
Too much of pain, we squander life away.
Thus Dorset, purring like a thoughtful cat, Married, but wiser puss ne'er thought of that: And first he worried her with railing rhyme, Like Pembroke's mastives, at his kindest time; Then for one night sold all his slavish life, A teeming widow, but a barren wife. Swell'd by contact of such a fulsome toad, He lugg'd about the matrimonial load, Till Fortune, blindly kind, as well as he, Has ill-restord him to his liberty; Which he would use in his old sneaking way, Drinking all night, and dozing all the day;
Dull as Ned Howard, whom his brisker times
Had fam'd for dulness in malicious rhymes.
Mulgrave had much ado to’scape the snare,
Though learn’d in all those arts that cheat the fair ;
For after all his vulgar marriage mocks,
With beauty dazzled, Numps was in the stocks ;
Dcluded parents dried their weeping eyes,
To see him catch his tartar for his prize;
The’ impatient Town waited the wish’d-for change,
And cuckolds smild in hopes of sweet revenge ;
Till Petworth plot made us with sorrow see,
As his estate, his person, too, was free:
Him no soft thoughts, no gratitude, could move;
To gold he fled from beauty and from love ;;
Yet failing there, he keeps his freedom still,
Forc'd to live happily against his will.
'Tis not his fault if too much wealth and power
Break not his boasted quiet every hour.
And little Sid 3. for simile renown'd, Pleasure has always sought, but never found: Though all his thoughts on wine and women fall, His are so bad, sure he ne'er thinks at all. The flesh he lives upon is rank and strong; His meat and mistresses are kept too long : But sure we all mistake this pious nian, Who mortifies his person all he can; What we uncharitably take for sin, Are only rules of this odd Capuchin; For never bermit, under grave pretence, Has liv'd more contrary to common sense ; And 'tis a miracle we may suppose, No nastiness offends his skilful nose;