Page images



But b'ing a virtuofo, able
To smatter, quack, and cant, and dabble,
He held his talent most adroit,
For any mystical exploit,
As others of his tribe had done,
And rais’d their prizes three to one ;
For one predicting pimp has th' odds
Of chaldrons of plain downright bawds.
But as an elf, the devil's valet,
Is not so slight a thing to get,
For those that do his bus'ness best,
In hell are us'd the ruggedest;
Before so meriting a person
Cou'd get a grant, but in reversion,
He serv'd two ’prenticeships, and longer,
I'th' myst’ry of a lady-monger.
For, as some write, a witch's ghost,
As soon as from the body loos’d,



Becomes a puisney imp itself,
And is another witch's elf,
He, after searching far and near,
At length found one in Lancashire,
With whom he bargain'd beforehand, 385
And, after hanging, entertain's :
Since which he ’as play'd a thousand feats,
And practis'd all mechanic cheats :
Transform’d himself to th’ ugly shapes
Of wolves and bears, baboons and apes, ,
Which he has vary'd more than witches,
Or Pharaoh's wizards could their switches;
And all with whom he 'as had to do,
Turn’d to as monstrous figures too ;
Witness myself, whom he 'as abus’d,
And to this beastly shape reduc'd,
By feeding me on beans and peas,
He crams in nasty crevices,



[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

And turns to comfits by his arts,
To make me relish for deserts ;
And one by one, with shame and fear,
Lick up the candy'd provender.
Beside—But as h' was running on,
To tell what other feats he 'ad done,
The Lady stopt his full career,
And told him, now 'twas time to hear,
If half those things, said she, be true.
They ’re all, quoth he, I swear by you.
Why then, said the, that Sidrophel
Has damn'd himself to th' pit of hell,
Who, mounted on a broom, the nag
And hackney of a Lapland hag,
In quest of you came hither post,
Within an hour, I'm sure, at most,
Who told me all you swear and say,
Quite contrary, another way;





Vow'd that you came to him, to know

carry me or no ;
And would have hir'd him and his imps,
To be your match-makers and pimps,
T'engage the devil on your side,
And steal, like Proferpine, your bride ;
But he, disdaining to embrace
So filthy a design, and base,
You fell to vapouring and huffing,
And drew upon him like a ruffin ;
Surpriz'd him meanly, unprepar'd,
Before he 'ad time to mount his guard,
And left him dead upon the ground,
With many a bruise and desperate wound; 430
Swore you had broke and rob'd his house,
And stole his talismanique louse,
And all his new-found old inventions,
With flat felonious intentions,


Which he could bring out, where he had, 435
And what he bought 'em for, and paid ;
His flea, his morpion, and punese,
He 'ad gotten for his proper ease,
And all in perfect minutes made,
By th’ablest artists of the trade ;
Which, he could prove it, since he lost,
He has been eaten up almost,
And all together, might amount
To many hundreds on account ;
For which he 'ad


sufficient warrant
To seize the malefactors errant,
Without capacity of bail,
But of a cart's or horse's tail ;
And did not doubt to bring the wretches
To serve for pendulums to watches,

Which, modern virtuosi say,
Incline to hanging every way.


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »