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WHO dares upbraid these open rimes of mine
With blindfold Aquine's, or darke Venusine'?
Or rough-hew'ne Teretisius, writ in th' antique vain,
Like an old Satyr and new Flaccian?
Which who reads thrise, and rubs his rugged brow,
And deep indenteth every doubtfull row,
Scoring the margent with his blazing stars,
And hundreth crooked interlinears,
(Like to a merchant's debt-role new defac't,
When some crack'd Manour crost his book at last)
Should all in rage the curse-beat page out-rive,
And in ech dust-heape bury mee alive,
Stamping like Bucephall, whose slackned raynes
And bloody fet-lockes fry with seven men's braines :
More cruell than the cravon Satyre's ghost',
That bound dead-bones unto a burning post;
Or some more strait-lac'd juror of the rest,
Impannel'd of a Holy-Fax inquest*:
Yet well bethought, stoops downe and reads anew.
"The best lies low, and loaths the shallow view,"
Quoth old Eudemon, when his gout-swolne fist
Gropes for his double ducates in his chist":
Venusine-Venusia or Venusum; now Venosa, a town and principa
lity of the kingdom of Naples, was the birth-place of Horace. So Juvenal, i. 51. Hæc ego non credam VENUSINA digna lucerná. E.
And deep INDENTETH every doubtfull row.
The edition of 1599, followed by the Oxford, reads falsely intendeth.
* More cruell than the cravon Satyre's ghost.
I have not been able to discover the allusion. Craven, or cravent, formerly denoted a coward.
Fax antiently denoted hair. Possibly the reference may be to some inquest held on a holy relique of this nature.
Then buckle close his carelesse lyds once more,
To pose the poore-blind snake of Epidaore".
That Lyncius may be match't with Gaulard's sight,
That sees not Paris for the houses' height;
Or wilie Cyppus, that can winke and snort
Whiles his wife dallyes on Mæcenas' skort":
Yet when hee hath my crabbed pamphlet red
As oftentimes as Philip hath beene dead',
Bids all the Furies haunt ech peevish line
That thus have rackt their friendly reader's eyne;
Worse than the Logogryphes of later times,
Or Hundreth Riddles shak't to sleeve-lesse rimes.
Should I endure these curses and dispight,
While no man's eare should glow at what I write?
Labeo is whip't, and laughs mee in the face:
Why? for I smite, and hide the galled-place.
Gird but the Cynick's helmet on his head,
Cares hee for Talus, or his flayle of lead"?
Long as the craftie Cuttle lieth sure
In the blacke Cloud of his thicke vomiture,
Who list complaine of wronged faith or fame,
When hee may shift it to another's name?
Calvus can scratch his elbow and can smile,
That thrift-lesse Pontice bites his lip the while.
Yet I intended in that selfe devise,
To checke the churle for his knowne covetise.
Ech points his straight fore-finger to his friend,
Like the blind diall on the belfrey end.
Who turns it homeward, to say, This is I,
As bolder Socrates in the comedie ?
But single out, and say once plat and plaine,
That coy Matrona is a curtezan;
Or thou false Crispus chokd'st thy welthy guest,
Whiles he lay snoring at his midnight rest,
• To pose the poore-blind snake of Epidaore.
Cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutùm,
Quàm aut aquila, aut serpens Epidaurius?
HORACE, Sat. i. 3.
As oftentimes as PHILIP hath beene dead.
Alluding, possibly, to the First Philippic of Demosthenes; where the orator, reprobating the supineness of the Athenians in giving credit to the reports of Philip's death rather than in preparing to resist his attacks, asks τέθνηκε Φίλιππος; οὐ μὰ Δία ánλà déve. Or he may allude to Philip of Spain. E.
"Worse than the LOGOGRYPHES of later times.
Logogryphes are verbal intricacies, from Aoyos and ygos. It is used by Ben JonSee Mason's Supplement to Johnson.
1 Cares hee for Talus, or his flayle of lead? The allusion is to Spenser's Talus. W.
And in thy dung-cart didst the carkasse shrine
And deepe intombe it in Port-Esqueline".
Proud Trebius lives, for all his princely gate,
Or third-hand suits, and scrapings of the plate.
Titius knew not where to shroud his head
Untill he did a dying widow wed,
Whiles shee lay doting on her deathe's bed;
And now hath purchas'd lands with one night's paine
And on the morrow woes and weds againe.
Now see I fire-flakes sparkle from his eies,
Like to a Comet's tayle in th' angrie skies:
His pouting cheeks puff up above his brow,
Like a swolne toad touch't with the spider's blow:
His mouth shrinks sideward like a scornfull Playse,
To take his tired eares' ingratefull place:
His eares hang laving like a new lug'd swine,
To take some counsell of his grieved eyne.
Now laugh I loud, and breake my splene to see
This pleasing pastime of my poesie;
Much better than a Paris-Garden beare";
Or prating puppet on a theatere;
Or Mimoe's whistling to his tabouret ",
Selling a laughter for a cold meale's meat.
Go to then, ye my sacred Semones",
And please mee more the more ye doe displease.
Care we for all those bugs of ydle feare?
For Tigels grinning on the theatere?
Or scar-babe threatnings" of the rascal crue;
Or wind-spent verdicts of ech ale-knight's view?
Whatever brest doth freeze for such false dread,
Beshrew his base white liver for his meede.
Fond were that pittie, and that feare were sin,
To spare wast leaves that so deserved bin.
And deepe intombe it in Port-Esqueline.
Esquilia was one of the Roman Hills. Here were thrown the carcases of malefactors; and here the eagles sought their prey. E.
laving-stretched, dangling: so called, perhaps, from the action of
Paris-Garden was in the Borough: and the Bear Baitings there are frequently alluded to in the productions of the time. W. See Reed's Shakespeare, Vol. XV. Page 200.
14 Or Mimoe's whistling to his tabouret. Probably alludes to Kempe. W.
15 Go to then, ye my sacred SEMONES.
Semo, quasi semi-homo, means a deity of inferior order. See p. 206 of this Vol. “Quod à quoquam vel hominum, vel Semonum, vel Dæmonum, fieri possit.".
16 Or scar-babe threatnings
i. e. such as might frighten children.
Those tooth-lesse Toyes that dropt out by mis-hap",
Bee but as lightning to a thunder-clap.
Shall then that foule infamous Cyned's hide
Laugh at the purple wales of others' side?
Not, if he were as neere as, by report,
The stewes had wont be to the tenis court.
Hee, that, while thousands envy at his bed,
Neighs after bridals and fresh-maydenhead:
While slavish Juno dares not looke awry,
To frowne at such imperious rivalry;
Not tho' shee sees her wedding jewels drest,
To make new bracelets for a strumpet's wrest;
Or, like some strange disguised Messaline,
Hires a night's lodging of his concubine ;
Whether his twilight-torch of love doe call
To revels of uncleanly musicall,
Or midnight playes, or taverns of new wine,
Hy, ye white aprons, to your land-lord's signe;
When all, save tooth-lesse age or infancie,
Are summon'd to the Court of Venerie.
Who list excuse? when chaster dames can hire
Some snout-fayre stripling to their apple-squire";
Whom, staked up like to some stallion-steed,
They keepe with egs and oysters for the breed.
O Lucine! barren Caia hath an heire,
After her husband's dozen years' despayre.
And now the bribed mid-wife sweares apace,
The bastard babe doth beare his father's face.
But hath not Lelia past her virgine yeares?
For modest shame (God wot!) or penall feares?
He tels a merchant tidings of a prise,
That tells Cynedo of such novelties;
Worth little lesse than landing of a whale,
Or Gades' spoyles, or a churl's funerale.
Go bid the banes and poynt the bridall-day,
His broking baud hath got a noble prey:
A vacant tenement, an honest dowre
Can fit his pander for her paramoure;
That hee, base wretch, may clog his wit-old head,
And give him hansell" of his Hymen-bed.
Ho! all ye females that would live unshent",
Fly from the reach of Cyned's regiment.
If Trent be drawn to dregs and Low refuse,
Hence, ye hot lechour, to the steaming stewes.
17 Those tooth-lesse Toyes that dropt out by mis-hap. Alluding to what he calls his own Toothless Satires.
apple-squire-See Note 19, p. 286.
·wit-old-See Note 45, unshent-unreproached.
Tyber, the famous sinke of Christendome,
Turn thou to Thames, and Thames run towards Rome.
Whatever damned streame but thine were meete,
To quench his lusting liver's boyling heat?
Thy double draught may quench his dog-daies' rage
With some stale Bacchis, or obsequious page,
When writhen Lena makes her sale-set showes
Of wooden Venus with fayre limned browes;
Or like him more some vayled Matrone's face,
Or trayned prentise trading in the place.
The close adulteresse, where her name is red,
Comes crauling from her husband's lukewarme bed,
Her carrion skin bedaub'd with odors sweet,
Groping the postern with her bared feet.
Now play the Satyre whoso list for mee,
Valentine self, or some as chaste as hee.
In vaine shee wisheth long Alchmana's night,
Cursing the hasty dawning of the light;
And, with her cruell ladie-starre uprose,
Shee seeks her third roust on her silent toes;
Besmeared all with loathsome smoke of lust,
Like Acheron's stemes, or smoldring sulphur dust:
Yet all day sits she simpring in her mew",
Like some chast dame, or shrined saynct in shew;
Whiles hee lies wallowing with a westy hed"
And palish carkasse, on his brothel-bed,
Till his salt bowels boyle with poysonous fire;
Right Hercules with his second Deianire,
O Esculape! how rife is phisicke made,
When ech brasse-basen can professe the trade
Of ridding pocky wretches from their paine,
And doe the beastly cure for ten-grotes' gaine!
All these and more deserve some blood-drawne lines,
sixe cords beene of too loose a twine:
2 Yet all day sits shee simpring in her mew.
mer was a place of confinement where hawks were kept till they had moulted. Hence the King's "Mews"-that place having been formerly full of mews where the king's hawks were kept. See Reed's Shakespeare, Vol. XIV. p. 280. and Todd's Spenser, Vol. II. p. 161. Our author, Book IV. Sat. 4, has
Or tend his spar-hauke mantling in her MEW.
And, Book VI, when describing the use made by an old belle of her false teeth, he says
And with them grinds SOFT-SIMPRING ALL THE DAY.
Qu. Should not this be wefty-head, that is waving, shaking, palsied.