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Can they make plays there, that shall fit
The public humour with less wit?
Write wittier dances, quainter shows,
Or fight with more ingenious blows ?
Or does the man i'th' moon look big,
And wear a huger perriwig?
Shew in his gait, or face, more tricks
Than our own native lunaticks?
But, if w' outdo him here at home,
What good of your design can come ?
As wind, i th' hypochondres pent,
Is but a blast, if downward fent;
But if it upwards chance to fly,
Becomes new light and prophecy ;
So when our speculations tend
Above their juft and useful end,
Altho' they promise strange and great
Discoveries of things far fet,
They are but idle dreams and fancies,
And favour strongly of the ganzas.
Tell me but what's the natural cause,
Why on a sign no painter draws
The full moon ever, but the half?
Resolve that with your Jacob's staff;
Or why wolves raise a hubbub at her,
And dogs howl when she shines in water ?
And I shall freely give my vote,
You may know something more remote.
At this, deep Sidrophel look'd wise,
And staring round with owl-like eyes,
He put his face into a posture
Of fapience, and began to bluster ;
For having three times shook his head
To stir his wit up, thus he said :
Art has no mortal enemies,
Next ignorance, but owls and geese ;
Those consecrated geese, in orders,
That to the capitol were warders,
And being then upon patrol,
With noise alone beat off the Gaul ;
Or those Athenian sceptic owls,
That will not credit their own souls,
Or any science understand,
Beyond the reach of eye or hand;
But measuring all things by their own
Knowledge, hold nothing's to be known :
Those wholesale critics, that in coffee-
Houses cry down all philosophy,
And will not know upon what ground
In nature we our doctrine found,
Altho' with pregnant evidence
e can demonstrate it to fense,
As I just now have done to you,
Foretelling what you came to know.
Were the stars only made to light
Robbers and burglarers by night?
To wait on drunkards, thieves, gold-finders,
And lovers folacing behind doors ?
Or giving one another pledges
Of matrimony under hedges ?
Or witches simpling, and on gibbets
Cutting from malefactors snippets ?
Or from the pill’ry tips of ears
Of rebel-saints and perjurers,
Only to stand by, and look on,
But not know what is said or done?
Is there a constellation there
That was not born and bred
here? 830 And therefore cannot be to learn In Were they not, during all their lives, Most of 'em pirates, whores, and thieves ?
And is it like they have not still,
In their old practices, some skill ?
Is there a planet that by birth
Does not derive its house from earth?
And therefore probably must know
What is, and hath been done below,
Who made the balance, or whence came
The bull, the lion, and the ram ?
Did not we here the Argo rig,
Make Berenice's periwig ?
Whose liv'ry does the coachman wear?
Or who made Cassiopeia's chair?
And therefore, as they came from hence,
With us may hold intelligence.
Plato deny'd the world can be
Govern'd without geometry;
For money b’ing the common scale
Of things by measure, weight, and tale,