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The self-same thing they will abhor
One way, and long another for.
Free-will they one way disavow,
Another, nothing else allow.
All piety consists therein
In them, in other men all sin.
Quoth he, “ That honour's very squeamish,
That takes a basting for a blemish :
For what's more honourable than scars,
Or skin to tatters rent in wars ?
Some have been beaten till they know
What wood a cudgel's of by th' blow;
Some kicked, until they can feel whether
A shoe be Spanish or neat's leather ;
And yet have met, after long running,
With some whom they have taught that cunning,
The furthest way about, t' o'ercome,
I'th' end does prove the nearest home.
By laws of learned duellists,
They that are bruised with wood, or fists,
And think one beating may for once
Suffice, are cowards and poltroons ;
But if they dare engage t a second,
They're stout and gallant fellows reckoned.
Th' old Romans freedom did bestow,
Our princes worship, with a blow :
King Pyrrhus cured his splenetic
And testy courtiers with a kick.
The Negus, when some mighty lord
Or potentate's to be restored,
And pardoned for some great offence,
With which he's willing to dispense,
First has him laid upon his belly,
Then beaten back and side t’ a jelly;
That done, he rises, humbly bows,
And gives thanks for the princely blows;
Departs not meanly proud, and boasting
Of his magnificent rib-roasting.
The beaten soldier proves most manful,
That, like his sword, endures the anvil,
And justly's held more formidable,
The more his valour's malleable :
But he that fears a bastinado,
Will run away from his own shadow :
And though I'm now in durance fast,
By our own party basely cast,
Ransom, exchange, parole, refused,
And worse than by the en’my used ;
In close catasta shut, past hope
Of wit or valour to elope;
As beards, the nearer that they tend
To th' earth, still grow more reverend ;
And cannons shoot the higher pitches,
The lower we let down their breeches ;
I'll make this low dejected state
Advance me to a greater height.”
And now the saints began their reign,
For which th' had yearned so long in vain,
And felt such bowel-hankerings
To see an empire, all of kings,
Delivered from the Egyptian awe
Of justice, government, and law,
And free t' erect what spiritual cantons
Should be revealed, or gospel Hans-towns.
To edify upon the ruins
Of John of Leyden's old out-goings,
Who for a weather-cock hung up
Upon their mother church's top,
Was made a type by Providence
Of all their revelations since,
And now fulfilled by his successors,
Who equally mistook their measures :
For when they came to shape the model,
Not one could fit another's noddle;
But found their light and gifts more wide
From fadging, than th' unsanctified,
While every individual brother
Strove hand to fist against another,
And still the maddest, and most cracked,
Were found the busiest to transact;
For though most hands dispatch apace,
And make light work, (the proverb says,)
Yet many different intellects
Are found t have contrary effects;
And many heads t obstruct intrigues,
As slowest insects have most legs.
CALIGULA'S CAMPAIGN IN BRITAIN.
So th' emperor Caligula,
That triumphed o'er the British sea,
Took crabs and oysters prisoners,
And lobsters, 'stead of cuirassiers ;
Engaged his legions in fierce bustles,
With periwinkles, prawns, and muscles,
And led his troops with furious gallops,
To charge whole regiments of scallops;
Not like their ancient way of war,
To wait on his triumphal car;
But when he went to dine or sup,
More bravely ate his captives up,
And left all war, by his example,
Reduced to vict’ling of a camp
THE PROCESSION OF THE SKIMMINGTON.
And now the cause of all their fear
By slow degrees approached so near,
They might distinguish different noise
Of horns, and pans, and dogs, and boys,
And kettle-drums, whose sullen dub
Sounds like the hooping of a tub,
But when the sight appeared in view,
They found it was an antique show;
A triumph that, for pomp and state,
Did proudest Romans emulate :
For as the aldermen of Rome
Their foes at training overcome,
And not enlarging territory,
As some, mistaken, write in story,
Being mounted in their best array,
Upon a car, and who but they ?
And followed with a world of tall lads,
That merry ditties trolled, and ballads,
Did ride with many a good-morrow,
Crying, Hey for our town, through the borough.
THE OPPOSITION IN THE LONG PARLIAMENT.
Are these the fruits o' th’ protestation,
The prototype of reformation,
Which all the saints, and some, since martyrs,
Wore in their hats like wedding garters,
When 'twas resolved by their house
Six members' quarrel to espouse ?
Did they for this draw down the rabble,
With zeal, and noises formidable ;
And make all cries about the town
Join throats to cry the bishops down ?
Who having round begirt the palace,
(As once a month they do the gallows,)
As members gave the sign about,
Set up their throats with hideous shout.
When tinkers bawled aloud, to settle
Church discipline, for patching kettle :
The oyster women locked their fish up,
And trudged away to cry No Bishop;
The mousetrap-men laid save-alls by,
And 'gainst ev'l counsellors did cry ;
Botchers left old clothes in the lurch,
And fell to turn and patch the church;
Some cried the covenant, instead
Of pudding-pies, and gingerbread ;
And some for brooms, old boots, and shoes,
Bawled out to purge the common’s-house :
Instead of kitchen-stuff, some cry
A gospel-preaching ministry;
And some for old suits, coats, or cloak,
No surplices nor service-book.
A strange harmonious inclination
Of all degrees to reformation.
John Dryden. 1631-1700. (Manual, pp. 228-237.)
146. FROM THE ANNUS MIRABILIS.'
LONDON AFTER THE FIRE.
Methinks already from this chymic flame,
I see a city of more precious mould :
Rich as the town which gives the Indies name,
With silver pav'd, and all divine with gold.
Already labouring with a mighty fate,
She shakes the rubbish from her mounting brow, And seems to have renew'd her charter's date,
Which Heaven will to the death of Time allow.
More great than human now, and more august,
Now deified she from her fires does rise :
Her widening streets on new foundations trust,
And opening into larger parts she flies.
Before, she like some shepherdess did show,
Who sat to bathe her by a river's side;
Not answering to her fame, but rude and low,
Nor taught the beauteous arts of modern pride.
Now like a maiden queen she will behold,
From her bigh turrets, hourly suitors come ; The East with incense, and the West with gold,
Will stand like suppliants to receive her doom. The silver Thames, her own domestic flood,
Shall bear her vessels like a sweeping train; And often wind, as of his mistress proud,
With longing eyes to meet her face again.
147. ODE TO THE MEMORY OF MRS. ANNE KILLEGREW.
Thou youngest virgin-daughter of the skies,
Made in the last promotion of the blest;
Whose palms, new pluck'd from Paradise,
In spreading branches more sublimely rise,
Rich with immortal green, above the rest :
Whether, adopted to some neighbouring star,
Thou roll'st above us, in thy wandering race,
Or, in procession fix'd and regular,
Mov'st with the heaven-majestic pace ;
Or, call’d to more superior bliss,
Thou tread'st, with seraphims, the vast abyss :
Whatever happy region is thy place,
Cease thy celestial song a little space ;
Thou wilt have time enough for hymns divine,
Since heaven's eternal year is thine.
Hear, then, a mortal Muse thy praise rehearse,
In no ignoble verse ;
But such as thine own voice did practise here,
When thy first-fruits of poesy were given ;
To make thyself a welcome inmate there :
While yet a young probationer,
And candidate of heaven.
If by traduction came thy mind,
Our wonder is the less to find