« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
T'inform and teach? or your unwearied pain Of gathering? bounty in pouring out again? What fables have you vexed, what truth redeemed,
Antiquities searched, opinions disesteemed, Impostures branded, and authorities urged! What blots and errors have you watched and purged
Records and authors of how rectified 'Times, manners, customs innovations spied!
Sought out the fountains, sources, creeks, paths, ways,
And noted the beginnings and decays!
How are traditions there examined! how
To mark the excéllent seasoning of your style,1
And manly elocution! not one while
I yield, I yield. The matter of your praise
Of others' honours, thus enjoy thy own.
In offering this thy work to no great name, That would, perhaps, have praised and thanked the same,
But nought beyond. He thou hast given it to,2
Thy learned chamber-fellow, knows to do It true respects: he will not only love, Embrace, and cherish; but he can approve And estimate thy pains, as having wrought In the same mines of knowledge; and thence brought
No person, nor is loved: what ways he proves
To gain upon his belly; and at last Crushed in the snaky brakes that he had past!
See the grave, sour, and supercilious sir,
Honoured at once, and envied (if it can Be honour is so mixed) by such as would, And strength to be a champion, and defend For all their spite, be like him if they could:
Humanity enough to be a friend,
[ To mark the excellent seasonings of your style
And masculine elocution. 1614-F. C.] He, thou hast given it to,
Thy learned chamber-fellow, &c.] volume is dedicated by Selden to my most beloved friend and chamber-fellow, Edward Heyward, of Cardeston, in Norfolk, Esq."
No part or corner man can look upon,
And being a thing blown out of nought, rebels
Against his Maker, high alone with weeds, And impious rankness of all sects and seeds: Not to be checked or frighted now with fate,
But more licentious made and desperate! Our delicacies are grown capital,
And even our sports are dangers! what we call
Friendship, is now masked hatred ! justice fled,
And shamefastness together! all laws dead That kept man living! pleasures only sought!
Honour and honesty, as poor things thought As they are made! pride and stiff clownage mixed
To make up greatness! and man's whole good fixed
In bravery, or gluttony, or coin,
All which he makes the servants of the groin! Thither it flows: how much did Stallion spend
To have his court-bred filly there commend
That all respect, she must lie down; nay
'Tis there civility to be a whore :
He's one of blood and fashion! and with these
The bravery makes she can no honour leese: To do't with cloth, or stuffs, lust's name might merit,
With velvet, plush, and tissues, it is spirit. O these so ignorant monsters, light as proud!
Who can behold their manners, and not cloud
Like, on them lighten? If that nature could
If Nature could
Not make a verse, &c.] This epistle, which possesses no ordinary degree of merit, partakes of the nature of satire. The author had his
favourite, Horace, in view when he drew it up, though the particular allusion in the quotation is to Juvenal:
Si natura negat, facit indignatio versum.
Not make a verse, anger or laughter would,' To see them aye discoursing with their glass, How they may make some one that day an
Planting their purls and curls, spread forth like net,
And every dressing for a pit-fall set
And jealous each of other, yet think long
Do all the tricks of a salt lady bitch! For t'other pound of sweetmeats, he shall feel
That pays, or what he will: the dame is steel.
For these with her young company she'll enter,
Where Pittes, or Wright, or Modet would not venture;
And comes by these degrees the style t'inherit
Of woman of fashion, and a lady of spirit.
Adulteries now are not so hid or strange,
Nature, that will not let his wife be a whore;
The servant of the serving-woman, in scorn, Ne'er came to taste the plenteous marriagehorn.
Thus they do talk. And are these objects fit
For man to spend his money on? his wit? His time? health? soul? Will he for these go throw
Those thousands on his back, shall after blow
His body to the Counters, or the Fleet?
Coached, or on foot-cloth, thrice changed every day,
To teach each suit he has the ready way From Hyde Park to the Stage, where at the last
His dear and borrowed bravery he must cast?
When not his combs, his curling-irons, his glass,
Sweet bags, sweet powders, nor sweet words will pass
For less security. O [heavens !] for these Is it that man pulls on himself disease, Surfeit, and quarrel? drinks the t'other health?
Or by damnation voids it, or by stealth? What fury of late is crept into our feasts? What honour given to the drunkenest guests?
What reputation to bear one glass more,
Brought on us, and will every hour increase.
More than themselves, or than our lives could take,
But both fell prest under the load they make. I'll bid thee look no more, but flee, flee, friend,
This precipice, and rocks that have no end, Or side, but threatens ruin. The whole day Is not enough now, but the nights to play: And whilst our states, strength, body, and mind we waste,
Go make ourselves the usurers at a cast. He that no more for age, cramps, palsies
Now use the bones, we see doth hire a man To take the box up for him; and pursues The dice with glassen eyes, to the glad views
Of what he throws: like letchers grown content
To be beholders, when their powers are spent.
Can we not leave this worm? or will we not?
Is that the truer excuse? or have we got
When I am hoarse with praising his each cast,
Give me but that again that I must waste
With him, for he is followed with that. heap,
That watch and catch at what they may applaud,
As a poor single flatterer, without bawd Is nothing, such scarce meat and drink he'll give,
But he that's both, and slave to both, shall live
And be beloved while the whores last. O times!
Friend, fly from hence, and let these kindled rhymes
Light thee from hell on earth; where flatterers, spies,
Informers, Masters both of Arts and lies; Lewd slanderers, soft whisperers, that let blood
The life and fame-veins, yet not understood
Of the poor sufferers; where the envious, proud,
Ambitious, factious, superstitious, loud Boasters, and perjured, with the infinite
Prevaricators swarm of which the store (Because they're everywhere amongst mankind
Spread through the world) is easier far to find,
Than once to number, or bring forth to hand,
Though thou wert Muster-master of the Land.
Go, quit them all! And take along with thee,
For if such men as he could die," What surety' of life have thou and I?
And take along with thee Thy true friend's wishes, Colby.] The name of the person to whom this epistle is addressed; he appears to have been in the military service, and from the preceding line was probably mustermaster of the forces.-WHal.
For if such men, &c.] The force of this Epitaph is not felt, for want of knowing the character whose fate led to these reflections.
Chetwood has an Epitaph on Prince Henry which he ascribes to Jonson, and which the reader may perhaps expect to find in a collection of his works. I have little confidence in this VOL. III.
TO A FRIEND.
They are not, sir, worst owers that do pay Debts when they can: good men may break their day,
And yet the noble nature never grudge; 'Tis then a crime, when the usurer is judge, And he is not in friendship: nothing there Is done for gain; if't be, 'tis not sincere. Nor should I at this time protested be, But that some greater names have broke with me,
And their words too, where I but break my band;3
I add that BUT, because I understand
writer, who seldom mentions his authorities and, to say the truth, can discover nothing of our author's manner in the composition itself, which appears to be patched up from different poems, and is therefore omitted; though I have thought it right to mention the circumstance.
Where I but break my band.] i.e., whereas, in the old sense of the word. Jonson pleads his cause well, and probably kept his word (if it was taken) better than his bond.
↳ And Love sware.] He alludes to the two proverbs, Faint heart, &c., and Fortes Fortuna juvat. x
And Fortune once, t'assist the spirits that dare.
But which shall lead me on? both these are blind.
Such guides men use not, who their way would find,
Except the way be error to those ends; And then the best are still the blindest friends.
Oh how a lover may mistake! to think
To see men fear; or else for truth and state,
I'll therefore ask no more, but bid you love, And so that either may example prove
By those pure baths your either cheek discloses,
Where he doth steep himself in milk and roses.] Though no date is prefixed to this Elegy, it was written before the celebration of Charis, for in the fifth ode there is an allusion to these and the following verses:
Unto the other; and live patterns, how
His issue, and all circumstance of life,
A SATIRICAL SHRUB,2
A woman's friendship! God, whom I trustin,
Or have the least of good, but what it must
Of many colours; outward, fresh from spots, But their whole inside full of ends and knots?
Knew I that all their dialogues and dis
Were such as I will now relate, or worse?
Knew I this woman? yes, and you do see,
This is a curious mode of settling precedency; but it shall be as Whalley pleases. This little piece begins much better than it ends.
2 This is more in the style and manner of Donne than of our author. It may, however, be his; though I suspect that the loose scraps found after his death among his papers were committed to the press without much examination. There was undoubtedly an intercommunity of verse between the two friends; but I do not wish to carry the argument any further.
Here (the folio says) something is wanting,