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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.
Therefore I suffer'd this; towards me did run
A thing more strange, than on Nile's flime 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 a: one who, for a Dane,
In the Danes Maflacre 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 fure would cry,
Sir, by your Priesthood tell me what you are?
His cloaths were strange, tho' coarse, and black,
though bare, Sleeveless his jerkin was, and it had been Velvet, but 'twas now (so much ground was seen) Become Tufftaffaty; and our children shall See it plain rafh a while, then nought at all.
Notes. a This is ill expressed, for it only means, he would be more stared at than Strangers are.
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!
Scarce was I enter'd, when, behold! there came
A thing which Adam had been pos'd to name; 25
Noah had refus'd it lodging in his Ark,
Where all the Race of Reptiles might embark:
A verier monfter, than on Africk's shore
The sun e'er got, or slimy Nilus bore,
Or Sloane or Woodward's wondrous shelves contain,
Nay, all that lying Travellers can feign.
The watch would hardly let him pass at noon,
At night, wou'd swear him dropt out of the Moon.
One whom the mob, when next we find or make
A popish plot, shall for a Jefuit take,
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, 40
Was velvet in the youth of good Queen Bess,
But mere tuff-tafféty what now remain'd;
So Time, that changes all things, had ordain’d!
The thing hath travaild, 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 difpleafe, Art can deceive, or hunger force my tast; But pedants motly tongue, souldiers bumbaft, Mountebanks drug-tongue, nor the termes of law, Are frong enough preparatives to draw Me to hear this, yet I must be content With his tongue, in his tongue call’d Complement : In which he can win widows, and pay scores, Make men speak treason, couzen subtlest whores, Out-flatter favourites, or out-lie either Jovius, or Surius, or both together.
He names me, and comes to me; I whisper, God, How have I finn'd, that thy wrath's furious Rod, This fellow, chuseth me! He faith, Sir, I love your judgment, whom do you prefer For the best Linguift? and I seelily Said that I thought Calepines Dictionary.
Our fons shall see it leisurely decay,
First turn plain rash, then vanish quite away. 45
This thing has travel'd, speaks each language too,
And knows what's fit for every ftate 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.
The Doctor's Wormwood style, the Hath of tongues
A Pedant makes, the storm of Gonson's lungs,
The whole Artill’ry of the terms of War,
And all those plagues in one) the bawling Bar: 55
These I cou'd bear; but not a rogue so civil,
Whose tongue will compliment you to the devil.
A tongue, that can cheat widows, cancel feores,
Make Scots speak treason, cozen subtleft whores,
With royal Favourites in flatt'ry vie,
60 And Oldmixon and Burnet both out-lie.
He spies me out, I whisper, Gracious God!
What fin of mine could merit such a rod?
That all the shot of dulness now must be
From this thy blunderbuss discharg'd on me! 65
Permit (he cries) no stranger to your fame
To crave your sentiment, if- 's your name.
What Speech efteem you most ? “ The King's, said I.”
But the best words?" O Sir, the Diktionary.”
Nay, but of men, most sweet Sir? Beza then,
Some Jesuits, and two reverend men
Of our two academies I nam'd: here
He stopt me, and said, Nay your Apostles were
Good pretty Linguists; fo Panurgus was,
Yet a poor Gentleman; all these may pass
By travail. Then, as if he would have sold
His tongue, he prais'd it, and such wonders told,
That I was fain to fay, If you had liv’d, Sir,
Time enough to have been Interpreter
To Babels Bricklayers, sure the Tower had stood.
He adds, If of Court life you knew the good,
You would leave loneness.
My loneness is ; but Spartanes fashion
Notes. VER. 78. Yet these were all poor Gentlemen!] Our Poet has here added to the humour of his original. Donne makes his thread-bare Traveller content himself under his