Page images


'Tis pity wine, which Nature meant
to man in kindness to present,
and gave him kindly to caress
and cherish his frail happiness,
of equal virtue to renew

his weary'd mind and body too,
shou'd (like the cyder-tree in Eden,
which only grew to be forbidden)
no sooner came to be enjoy'd,
but th' owner's fatally destroy'd;
and that which she for good design'd,
becomes the ruin of mankind,

that for a little vain excess

runs out of all its happiness,

and makes the friend of Truth and Love their greatest adversary prove; t' abuse a blessing she bestow'd so truly essentially to his good, to countervail his pensive cares, and slavish drudgery of affairs; to teach him judgment, wit, and sense, and more than all these, confidence; to pass his times of recreation in choice and noble conversation, catch truth and reason unawares, as men do health in wholesome airs; (while fools their conversants possess as unawares with sottishness) to gain access a private way to man's best sense, by its own key, which painful judgers strive in vain

by any other course t' obtain;
to pull off all disguise, and view
things as they're natural and true;
discover fools and knaves, allow'd
for wise and honest in the crowd;
with innocent and virtuous sport

make short days long, and long nights' short,
and mirth, the only antidote

against diseases e'er they're got

to save health harmless from th' access both of the med'cine and disease; or make it help itself, secure against the desperat'st fit, the cure. All these sublime prerogatives of happiness to human lives, he vainly throws away, and slights for madness, noise, and bloody fights; when nothing can decide, but swords and pots, the right or wrong of words, like princes' titles; and he's outed the justice of his cause that's routed. No sooner has a charge been founded With-Son of a whore, and Damn'd confounded, and the bold signal giv'n, the lie,

but instantly the bottles fly,

where cups and glasses are small shot,

and cannon-ball a pewter-pot:

that blood, that's hardly in the vein,

is now remanded back again;

though sprung from wine of the same piece
and near akin, within degrees,
strives to commit assassinations

on its own natural relations;

and those twin-spirits, so kind-hearted,

that from their friends so lately parted, no sooner several ways are gone, but by themselves are set upon, surpris'd like brother against brother, and put to th' sword by one another; so much more fierce are civil wars, than those between mere foreigners; and man himself, with wine possest, more savage than the wildest beast. For serpents, when they meet to water, lay by their poison and their nature; and fiercest creatures, that repair, in thirsty deserts, to their rare and distant rivers' banks, to drink, in love and close alliance link, and, from their mixture of strange seeds, produce new, never-heard-of breeds, to whom the fiercer unicorn begins a large health with his horn; as cuckolds put their antidotes when they drink coffee, into th' pots; while man, with raging drink inflaim'd, is far more savage and untam'd; supplies his loss of wit and sense with barb'rousness and insolence; believes himself, the less he 's able, the more heroic and formidable; lays by his reason in his bowls, as Turks are said to do their souls, until it has so often been

shut out of it's lodging, and let in, at length it never can attain

to find the right way back again; drinks all his time away, and prunes 7

No. 77.

the end of's life as vignerons
cut short the branches of a vine,
to make it bear more plenty o' wine;
and that which Nature did intend
t' enlarge his life perverts t' it's end.
So Noah, when he anchor'd safe on
the mountain's top, his lofty haven,
and all the passengers he bore
were on the new world set ashore,
he made it next his chief design
to plant and propagate a vine,

which since has overwhelm'd and drown'd
far greater numbers, on dry ground,
of wretched mankind, one by one,
than all the flood before had done.


Sure marriages were never so well fitted, as when to matrimony' men were committed, like thieves by justices, and to a wife bound, like to good behaviour, during life: for then 't was but a civil contract made between two partners that set up a trade; and if both fail'd there was no conscience nor faith invaded in the strictest sense; no canon of the church, nor vow, was broke when men did free their gall'd necks from the but when theytir'd, like other horned beasts, [yoke might have it taken off, and take their rests, without b'ing bound in duty to shew cause, or reckon with divine or human laws.

For since, what use of matrimony' has been but to make gallantry a greater sin?


As if there were no appetite nor gust,
below adultery, in modish lust;
or no debauchery were exquisite,
until it has attain'd its perfect height.

For men do now take wives to nobler ends,
not to bear children, but to bear 'em friends,
whom nothing can oblige at such a rate
as these endearing offices of late.

For men are now grown wise, and understand how to improve their crimes, as well as land; and if they've issue, make the infants pay down for their own begetting on the day, the charges of the gossiping disburse, and pay beforehand (e'er they are born) the nurse; as he that got a monster on a cow,

out of design of setting up a show.

For why should not the brats for all account, as well as for the christ'ning at the fount,

when those that stand for them lay down the rate o' th' banquit and the priest in spoons and plate? The ancient Romans made the state allow for getting all men's children above two : then marry'd men, to propagate the breed, had great rewards for what they never did, were privileg❜d, and highly honour'd too, for owning what their friends were fain to do; for so they ad children, they regarded not by whom (good men) or how they were begot. To borrow wives (like money) or to lend, was then the civil office of a friend, and he that made a scruple in the case was held a miserable wretch and base;

for when they 'ad children by 'em, th' honest men return'd 'em to their husbands back agen..

« EelmineJätka »