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VIRGIDEMIARUM.

LIB. II.

PROLOGUE.

Or bene the Manes of that Cynick spright,
Cloth'd with some stubburn clay and led to light?
Or do the relique ashes of his grave
Revive, and rise from their forsaken cave;
That so, with gall-weet' words and speeches rude,
Controls the manners of the multitude ?
Envie belike incites his pining hart,
And bids it sate itselfe with others' smart.
Nay, no despight: but angrie Nemesis,
Whose scourge doth follow all that done amisse;
That scourge I beare, albe in ruder fist,
And wound, and strike, and pardon whom she list.

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BOOK II.

SATIRE IL

FOR

OR shame; write better, Labeo, or write none :
Or better write; or, Labeo, write alone.
Nay, call the Cynick but a wittie foole,
Thence to abjure his handsome drinking bole;
Because the thirstie swaine, with hollow hand,
Convey'd the streame to weet ’ his drie weasand.
Write they, that can ; tho' they, that cannot, doe :
But who knowes that; but they, that do not know?
Lo! what it is that makes white rags so deare,
That men must give a teston' for a queare*.
Lo! what it is that makes goose-wings so scant,
That the distressed semster did them want :
So, lavish ope-tyde causeth fasting-lents',
And starvling Famine comes of large expence.
Might not (so they were pleasd that beene above)
Long Paper-abstinence our death remove?
Then many a Loller would in forfaitment,
Beare Paper-fagots ore the pavement.
But now men wager who shall blot the most,
And each man writes. Ther's so much labour lost.
That's good, that's great : nay much is seldome well :
Of what is bad, a littl's a greate deale.
Better is more : but best is nought at all.
Lesse is the next, and lesser criminall.
Little and good, is greatest good save one :
Then, Labeo, or write little, or write none.
Tush, in small paynes can be but little art,
Or lode full drie-fats' fro’ the forren mart,

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· The author seems, in this Satire, to have had the First of Persius in view. E.

weet-wet.

- teston-or testerne : a piece of money of the value of ten-pence, as appears from the following passage of one of Latimer's Sermons, quoted by Mr. Holt White, in Reed's Shakespeare: Vol. IV. p. 188. “They brought him a denair, a piece of their current coyne that was worth ten of our usual pence, such another piece as our testerne."

queare-quire. E. 5 So lavish oPE-TYDE causeth fasting lents. Ope-tyde probably means profusion, an open-house.

drie-fats—the fat, or vat, is a vessel used for the fermentation of liquors; and also denotes á vessel of eight bushels, for measuring malt.

fro--from.

With Folio-volumes, two to an oxe hide ;
Or else, ye Pamphleter, go stand aside ;
Read in each schoole, in every margent coted',
In every catalogue for an autour noted.
There's happinesse well given and well got :
Lesse gifts, and lesser gaines, I weigh them not.
So may the giant rome and write on high,
Be he a dwarfe that writes not there as I.
But well fare Strabo, which, as stories tell,
Contriv'd all Troy within one walnut shell.
His curious ghost now lately bither came:
Arriving neere the mouth of luckie Tame,
I saw a Pismire strugling with the lode,
Dragging all Troy home towards her abode.
Now dare we hither, if he durst appeare,
The subtile Stithy-man that liv'd while eare':
Such one was once, or once I was mistaught,
A smith at Vulcan's owner forge up brought,
That made an iron-chariot so light,
The coach-horse was a fea in trappings dight.
The tame-lesse steed could well his wagon wield,
Through downes and dales of the uneven field.
Strive they, laugh we: meane while the black story
Passes new Strabo, and new Straboe's Troy.
Little for great ; and great for good; all one:
For shame! or better write; or, Labeo, write none.
But who conjur'd this bawdie Poggie's ghost,
From out the Stewes of his lewde home-bred coast :
Or wicked Rablais' dronken revellings,
To grace the mis-rule of our tavernings?
Or who put Bayes into blind Cupid's fist,
That he should crowne what laureats him list?
Whose words are those, to remedie the deed,
That cause men stop " their noses when they read ?
Both good things ill, and ill things well; ali one.
For shame! write cleanly, Labeo, or write none.

SATIRE II.

To what end did our lavish auncestours
Erect of old these stately piles of ours;

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coted-quoted. 9 The subtile STITHY-man that lived while eare. i. e. ANVIL-man, or Smith: the word is still used in the northern counties. See Reed's Shakespeare: Vol. XV. 422. XVIII. 191. And, I can add, in the midJand; as I have frequently heard it in Birmingham.-While eare means just now, a little while ago. See note 1, p. 277.

ownè — The only instance in our author of the pronunciation of the final e, E.

" That cause men stop_That cause men to stop.

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