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WELL; I may now receive, and die. My sin
. Indeed is great,
yet I have been in A purgatory, such as fear'd hell is A recreation, and scant map of this.
My mind, neither with pride's itch, nor hath been Poyson’d with love to see or to be seen, I had no suit there, nor new suit to show, Yet went to court ; but as Glare which did go To mass in jest, catch’d, was fain to disburse Two hundred markes, which is the statutes curse, Before he scap'd; so it pleas'd my destiny (Guilty of my sin of going) to think me As prone to all ill, and of good as forget. full, as proud, lustfull, and as much in debt, As vain, as witless, and as false, as they Which dwell in court, for once going that way.
WELL, if it be my time to quit the stage,
Adieu to all the follies of the age !
With foolish pride my heart was never fir’d,
-the dev'l would have it so. But, as the fool that in reforming days
15 Would go to mass in jest (as story says) Could not but think, to pay his fine was odd, Since 'twas no form'd design of serving God; So was I punish'd, as if full as proud As prone to ill, as negligent of good, As deep in debt, without a thought to pay, As vain, as idle, and as false, as they Who live at court, for going once that way!
Therefore I suffer'd this; towards me did run A thing more strange, than on Nile's slime the sun E’er bred, or all which into Noah's ark came : A thing which would have pos’d Adam to name : Stranger than seven antiquaries studies, Than Africk monsters, Guianaes rarities, Stranger than strangers : one who, for a Dane, In the Danes massacre had sure been slain, If he had liv'd then ; and without help dies, When next the 'prentices 'gainst strangers rise ; One whom the watch at noon lets scarce go by; One, to whom the examining justice sure would cry, Sir, by your priesthood, tell me what you are? His cloathes were strange, tho' coarse, and black,
tho' bare. Sleeveless his jerkin was, and had it been Velvet, but 'twas now (so much ground was seen) Become tufftaffaty ; and our children shall See it plain rash a while, then nought at all. The thing hath travail'd, and, faith, speaks all
tongues, And only knoweth what to all states belongs, Made of th' accents, and best phrase of all these, He speaks one language. If strange meats displease,
Scarce was I enter'd, when, behold! there came
35 And the wise justice, starting from his chair, Cry, By your priesthood tell me what you are ? Such was the wight: Th' apparel on his back, Tho' coarse, was rev'rend, and tho' bare, was black: The suit, if by the fashion one might guess, Was velvet in the youth of good Queen Bess, But mere tuff-taffety what now remain'd; So time, that changes all things, had ordain'd! Our sons shall see it leisurely decay, First turn plain rash, then vanish quite away. 45
This thing has travell’d, speaks each language too, And knows what's fit for ev'ry state to do ; Of whose best phrase and courtly accent join'd, He forms one tongue, exotic and refin'd. Talkers I've learn’d to bear; Motteux I knew, 50 Henley himself I've heard, and Budgel too.
Art can deceive, or hunger force my tast;
He names me, and comes to me; I whisper, God,