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A FIG FOR MOMUS.

I AM indebted to my friend Mr. G. Chalmers for an opportunity of describing the following most rare and curious work.

This I presume to be the first Collection of Satires, so named and intended in the English language. This work Warton had never seen, and what his indefatigable research had not discovered, cannot be of every days oceurrence. In his Catalogue of English Satirists, Warton gives precedence to Hall, but Halls Toothlesse Satyrs, Poetical, Academical, Moral, were published in 1597. Meres observes, “As Horace, Lucilius, Juvenal, Persius and Lucullus are the best for Satyre among the Latins, so with us in the same faculty, these are chiefe: Piers Plowman, Lodge, Hall of Emanuel Colledge in Cambridge, the author of PigmALIONS IMAGE, &c.” Commenting on this passage, Warton says, (see the sheets of the fourth volume which were printed p. 80.) “I have never seen Lodges Satires, unless his ALARUM AGAINST USURERS containing tried experiences against worldly abuses, and its Appendix, his History of Forbonius and Prisænia, may be considered under that character.

I now therefore proceed to describe this literary curiosity.

· A FIG FOR MOMUS,

CONTAINING

Pleasant Varietie, included in Satyres, Eclogues and Epistles, by T. L. of Lincolns Inne, Gent.

At London, for Clement Knight, and are to bee solde at his Shop at the Little North Doore of Pauls Church. 1595."

It is inscribed “ To the right honorable and thrice renowned Lord William, Earle of Darbie.”

When the early period is considered, at which these Satires were written, the reader will naturally be surprised at the extraordinary ease and melody of the verse. I give the first Satire at length

TO MASTER E. DIG.

SÁTYRE 1.

Digbie, whence comes it that the world begins
To winke at follies, and to sooth up (1) sinnes ?
Can other reason be alleadged than this?
The world sooths sinne because it sinfull is.
The man that lives by bribes and usurie
Winkes like a foxe at lothsome letcherie.
Craft gives ambition leave to lay his plot,
Aud crosse his friend because he (9) soundes him not.
All men are willing with the world to haulte (3)
But no man takes delight to knowe his faulte
He is a gallant fit to serve my Lord,
Which clawes and sooths him up at every word,
12

That

That cries when his lame poesie he heares,
Tis rare my Lord t'will passe the nicest eares.
This makes Amphidius welcome to good cheere,
And spend his master fortie poundes a yeere,
And keep his (4) plaise-mouthed wife in welts and

guardes,
For flatterie can never want rewardes;
And therefore Humfrey holdes this paradox,
Tis better bé a foole then be a fox,
For folly is rewarded and respected,
Where subtiltie is hated and rejected;
Selfe-will doth frowne when honest zeale reproves (5),
To heare good counsell error never loves.
Tell pursie Rollus, lurking (6) in his bed,
That humours by excessive ease are bred ;
That sloth corrupts and choakes the vitall sprights
And kils the memorie and hurts the lights (7):
He will not sticke after a cup of sacke
To flout his counsellor behind his backe;
For with a world of mischiefes and offence,
Unbridled will rebelles against the sence,
And thinketh it no little prejudice
To be reprooved though by good advice ;
For wicked men repine their sinnes to heare,
And folly flings (8) if coursaile tuch him neare.
Tell Sextus wife, whose shoes are under-layd (9)
Her gate is girlish, and her foote is splayd,
Sheele raile with open mouth as Marllat dooth ;
But if you praise her, though you speake not sooth,
You shall be welcome both to bed and bord,
And use her selfe, her husband, and his sword.
(10) Tell bleer-eid Linus that his sight is cleere,
Heele pawne himselfe to buy thee bread and beere;

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But tuch me Quintus with his stincking breath,
The dastard will defie thee to the death.
Thus though mens great deformities be knowne,
They greeve to heare, and take them for their owne.
Find me a niggard that doth want the shift
To call his cursed avarice good thrift;
A rakehell sworne to prodigalitie,
That dares not terme it liberalitie;
A letcher that hath lost both flesh and fame,
That holds not letcherie a pleasant game;
And why? because they cloake their shame by this,
And will not see the horror what it is,
And cunning sinne being clad in vertues shape,
Flies much reproofe, and many stormes doth scape.
(11) Last day I chaunst in crossing of the streete,
With Diffilus the inkeeper to meete,
He wore a silken night-cap on his head,
And lookt as if he had beene lately dead;
I askt him how he far'd; not well, quoth he,
An
ague

thus two months hath troubled me.
I let him passe, and laught to hear his skuce (12)
For I knew well he had the *** by Luce,
And wore his night-cappe ribbind at the eares,
Because of late he swet away his heares (13).
.But had a stranger chanst to spie him then,
He must have deemd him for a civill man.
Thus with the world, the world dissembles still,
And to their own confusions follow will, (14)
Holding it true felicitie to flie,
Not froin the sinne, but from the seeing eie.
Then in this world, who winks at each estate,
Hath found the meanes to make him fortunate,
To colour hate with kindness, to defraud
In private those in publique we applaud.

To keepe this rule, kaw me and I kaw thee,
To play the saints, whereas we divels bce.
What ere men doe let them not reprehend,
For cunning knaves with cunning knaves defend.
Truth is pursewed by hate, then is he wisę
That to the world his worldly will applies.
What is he wise? I (15) as Amphestus strong,
That burnt his face because his beard was long.

The spirit, the sentiment, the language, and versification of many passages in the preceding Satire are admirable, and would not have disgraced the pens, either of Drydep or Pope. I subjoin a few explanatory notes for the benefit of the reader who may be less familiar with the phraseology of this period.

(1) Sooth up, that is smooth over, palliate. (2) Soundes him not, does not expose him.

(3) To haulle, to limp, that is to keep pace with inhuman infirmity.

(4) Plaise-mouthed, I presumc, means foul-mouthed, or rather, perhaps, with a mouth as large as that of the Plaise. Welts and guards, means gowns and petticoats.

(5) Selfe will, &c. These are two excellent lines, (6) Lurking-lounging:

(7) Lights. Here also are four very spirited and forcible lines.-Lights evidently means the lights or powers of the mind.

(8) Flings here means kicks or resents. It would not be easy to find two finer lines in Pope's Satires than these :

For wicked men repine their sinnes to heare,
And folly flings if councill touch bim neare.

(9) Under

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