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But, for this money, was a courtier found,
Begg'd Ridway's pardon : Duncote now doth cry, “Robb’d both of money, and the law's relief,
The courtier is become the greater thief.”
TO ALL TO WHOM I write.
VAY none whose scatter'd names honour my
book, For strict degrees of rank or title look: 'Tis 'gainst the manners of an epigram ; And I a poet here, no herald am.
TO MY LORD IGNORANT.
YHOU call'st me POET, as a term of shame;
But I have my revenge made, in thy name.
ON SOMETHING, THAT WALKS SOMEWHERE.
T court I met it, in clothes brave enough,
To seem a statesman : as I near it came,
ON LIEUTENANT SHIFT.
HIFT, here in town, not meanest amongst
5 That haunt Pickt-hatch, Marsh-Lambeth, and White-friars.] The respective resorts of debauchees, thieves, and fraudulent debtors.
• God pays.] The impudent plea for charity, or rather for running in debt, advanced by disbanded soldiers, of whom there were many at this period, and more who pretended to be such. The expression occurs in the London Prodigal, in a passage much to the purpose :
Sir Arthur. I am a soldier and a gentleman.
Lace. I neither doubt your valour nor your love,
Crying, god pays.'
Calls for his stool, adorns the stage : god pays.
To Doctor EMPIRIC.
HEN men a dangerous disease did 'scape,
Of old, they gave a cock to Æsculape :
Let me give two, that doubly am got free ; From
my disease's danger, and from thee.
To WILLIAM CAMDEN.
AMDEN! most reverend head, to whom I owe
great renown, and name wherewith she goes ! Than thee the age sees not that thing more grave, More high, more holy, that she more would crave.
? They gave a cock to Æsculape.] The last request which Socrates made to his friends was, that they would offer this popular sacrifice for him. This has led some to imagine that the poison had begun to take effect, and that he was become light-headed. He was quite as rational as his critics; and, in perfect consistency with his creed, viewed his death as a recovery to life.
Camden, most reverend head, to whom I owe
All that I am in arts, all that I know.] Camden was our poet's master at Westminster-school; and gratitude has led him
What name, what skill, what faith hast thou in
LL men are worms; but this no man. In
as milk ;
to make a proper acknowledgment for his care and pains in teaching him, both by this epigram, and the dedication of Every Man in his Humour to him. WHAL.
These are not the only places in which Camden is mentioned with respect. In the King's Entertainment, Jonson terms him “the glory and light of the kingdom,” and in the Masque of Queens, he introduces him with similar commendation. No man ever possessed a more warm and affectionate heart than this great poet, whose name is made synonymous with envy and ingratitude, by every desperate blockhead who reprints an old play or a poem.
in silk 'Twas brought to court, &c.] Pope had this epigram in his thoughts when he wrote his Epistle to Arbuthnot :
“Let Sporus tremble. What, that thing of silk !
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk." But he has confounded the metaphor, which is preserved by Jonson with equal accuracy and beauty.
SARDY, thy brain is valiant, 'tis confest,
Thou more; that with it every day dar’st jest
Thy self into fresh brawls : when, call'd upon,
TO THE LEARNED CRITIC.
As guilty men do magistrates; glad I,
That wish my poems a legitimate fame,
TO MY MERE ENGLISH CENSURER.
O thee, my way in Epigrams seems new,
When both it is the old way, and the true.