NEVVES from Graues-end: Sent to Nobody.

Nec Quidquam nec Cuiquam.

LONDON Printed by T.C. for Thomas Archer, and are to be solde at the long Shop vnder S. Mildreds Church in the Poultry. 1604

TEE EPISTLE Dedicatory.

To Him, that (in the despite and neuer-dying-disho­nour of all empty sisted Mecaen-Asses) is the Gratious, munificent, and golden. Rewarder of Rimes: singular pay­maister of Songes and Sonnets: Vnsquint-eyde Surueyor of Heroicall Poems: Chiefe Rent-gatherer of Poets and Musi­tians: And the most valiant Confounder of their desperate debts. And to the comfort of all honest Christians) The now-onely-onely-Supper-maker to Enghles & Plaiers-Boyes, Syr Nicolas Nemo, alias Nobody.

SHall I creepe (like a drownde Ratte) into thy warme bosome, (my Bene­fique Patron!) with a piece of some olde mustie Sentence in my mouth, stolne out of Lycosthenes Apothegmes, and so accost thee? Out vpont! the fa­shion of such Dedications is more stale than kissing. No, no, suffer me (good Nobody) to diue (like a White-Friars Puncke) into thy fa­miliar & solid acquaintance at the first dash: And in stead of Worshipfull Syr, come vpon thee with honest Iew, how doest? Wonder not that out of the whole barrell of pickeld [Page] Pat [...]ons, I haue onely made choice of thee, for I loue none really, but thee and my selfe, for vs two do I only care, and therefore I coniure thee, let the payment of thine affection be reciprocall.

They are Rimes that I have boyld in my leaden Inck­pot, for thine owne eating: And now (rarest Nobody) taste the reason why they are serued vp to thee (in the taile of the Plague) like Caveare, or a dish of Anchoues after supper. Know then (Monnsier verse-gilder) that I haue failed (du­ring this storme of the Pestilence) round about the vast I­land of the whole world, which when I found to be made like a foote-ball, the best thing in it, being but a bladder of mans life, (lost with a litle pricke) I tooke vp my foote and spurnd at it, bicause I haue heard that none but fooles make account of the world. But mistake me not, (thou Spur-roy­all of the Muses!) for it was neither in Sir Francis Drakes nor in Candishes voyage, that I swom through so much salt­water: But onely with two honest Card-makers Peter Pla­mius and Gerard Mercator) who in their vniuersall Maps, (as in a Barbers Looking-glasse, where a nomber of most villanous vngodly faces are seene, in a yeare, and especially now at Christmas) did (like Country-fellowes, that is to say very plainly) and in a shorter time, than a Sculler can rowe from Queene-hyue to Wapping, make a braue discouery vnto me, as well of all the old raine-beaten, as of the spicke and span new-found worlds, with euery particular King­dome, Dukedome, and Popedome in their liuely cullors, so that I knew Constantinople as perfectly, as Iobbin, the Mault-mans horse of Enfield knowes the way to London: and could haue gone to the great Turkes Serraglio (where he keepes all his wenches) as tollerably and farre more welcome, than if I had beene one of his Eunuches. Pre­ster Iohn, and the Sophy, were neuer out of mine eye, (yet my sight was not a pin the worse). The Soldan of Egipt [Page] I had with a wet finger: from whence, I trauailed as boldly to the Courts of all the Kings in Christendome, as if I had bin an Embassadour) his pomp only excepted.)

Strange fashions did I pick (like wormes) out of the fingers of euery Nation, a number of phantastick Popin-Iayes and Apes (with faces like men) itching till they had got them. And (besides fashions) many wonder [...] wo [...]hy to be hung vp (like Shields with senseles, bald, impraesaes) in the white paper-gallery of a large Chronicle. But this made me fret out worse than gumd Taffaty, that neither in any one of those Kingdomes, (no nor yet within the walls and water-works of mine own country) could I either find or heare, (for I gaue a Crier a King-Harry-groate to make an oyes) no nor read of any man, woman or child, left so wel by their friends, or that caryed such an honest mind to the Common-wealth of the Castalians, as to keepe open-house for the seauen poore Liberall Sciences: nor once (which euen the rich cubs and fox-furd curmudgens do) make thē good cheere so much as at Christmas, whē euery cobler has licence (vnder the broad Seale of Hospitality) to sit cheeke by iowle at the table of a very Aldermans deputy.

What woodcocks then are these seauen wise maisters to answere to that worme-eaten name of Liberall, seeing it has vndone them? It's a name of the old fashion: It came vp with the old Religion, and went down with the new. Libe­rality has bin a Gentleman of a good house, and an ancient house, but now that old house (like the Players old Hall at Dowgate) is falne to decay, and to repaire it, requires too much cost. My seauen lattin-sellers, haue bin liberall so long to others, that now they haue not a rag (or almost nothing but rags) left for themselues: Yea and into such pitifull predicaments are they fallen, that most of our Gentry (besides the Punyes of Innes of Court and Chan­cery) takes them for the Seauen Deadly Sinnes, and [Page] hate him worse than they hate whores. How much happi­er had it bin for them, to haue changed their copies, & trō Sciences bin bound to good Occupations, cōsidering that one London-occupier (dealing vprightly with all men) puts vp more in a weeke, than seuen Bachilers of Art (that euery day goe barely a wooing to them) do in a yeare.

Hath not the Plague (incomparable Nobody: and there­fore incomparable, bicause with an Aeneas-like glory, thou hast redeemed the golden-tree of Poesie, euen out of the hellish scorne, that this worlde (out of her Luciferan pride) hopes to dam it with) hath it not I say done all men knights seruice in working the downfal of our greatest & greediest beggers? Dieite Io Paean, You yong Sophisticall Fry of the Vniuersities! breake Priscians pate (if hee crosse you) for ioy: for had not the Plague stuck to you in this case, fixe of your seuen Academicall sweet-hearts (if I saide all seuen I should not lye vpon them) had long ere this (but that some Doctors withstood it) bene begd, (not for Wards, yet some of them haue lodged I can tell you in the knights Warde) but for meere Stones, and Chesters, Fooles, Fooles, and Ie­sters, because whereas some of their Chymicall & Alchymi­call raw disciples haue learnt (at their hands) to distill gold and siluer out of very Tauerne-bushes, old greazy knaues of Diamonds, the dust of bowling Allyes, yea & like Ae­sops Gallus Gallinaceus, to scrape precious stones euen out of dung-hils, yet they themselues (poore harletries) had neuer the grace, nor the face, to cary one peny in their own purses.

But to speak truth (my noble curer of the poeticall mad­nesse for nothing) where should they haue it? Let them be sent into the courts of Princes, there they are so lordly, that (vnles they were bigger & taller of their hands, than so ma­ny of the Guard) euery one lookes ouer thē, of it they giue him any thing, it's nothing but good lookes. As for the Ci­tie, thats so full of Crafts-men, there is no dealing with their [Page] misteries: the nine Muses stand in a brown study, whē they come within their liberties, like so many mad wenches takē in a watch & broght before a bench of Brown bils. O Ciues, Ciues! quaerenda pecunia primum! Virtus post Nummos: First open your purses, and then be vertuous, part not with a pe­ny: the rich mizers holde their owne by this Canon lawe. And for those (whom in English we call poore snakes) A­las! they are barde (by the Statute against Beggers) from giuing a dandiprat or a Bawbee. In the Campe there is no­thing to be had but blowes and Prouant: for souldiers had neuer worse doings: My sweet Captain, bestowes his pipe of rich Trynidado (taking the Muses for Irish Chimny-swee­pers) and thats his Talent.

Being in this melancholy contemplation, and hauing wept a whole ynck-horne full of Verses in bewailing the miseries of the time, on the suddaine I started vp: with my teeth bit my writings, because I would eate my words: con­demnd my pen-knife to the cutting of powder-beefe and brewes: my paper to the drying and inflaming of Tobacco: and my Retirements to a more Gentleman-like recreation, viz. Duke Humphres walke in Powles: swearing fiue or sixe poeticall furious oathes, that the Goose-quill should neuer more gull me, to make me shoote paper-bullets into any Stationers shop, or to serue vnder the weather-beaten colours of Apollo, seeing his pay was no better. Yet remem­bring what a notable good fellow thou wert: the onely Atlas that supports the Olympian honour of learning: and (out of thy horne of Abundance) a continuall Benefactor to all Schollers (Thou matchlesse Nobody!) I set vp my rest, and vowde to consecrate all my blotting-papers onely to thee: And not content to dignifie thee with that loue and honor of my selfe: I sommond all the Rymesters, Play-pat­chers, Iig-makers, Ballad-mongers, & Pamphlet-stitchers (being the yeomanry of the Company) together with all [Page] those whom Theocrytus calls the Muses Byrds (being the Maisters and head-Wardens) and before them all made an [...]ncomiasticall Oration in praise of Nobody, (scilicet your proper selfe) pronouncing them Asses, and threatning to haue them prest to serue at sea in the ship of Fooles, if euer hereafter, they taught their lynes (like water-Spaniels) to fetch any thing that were throwne out for thē, or to diue into the vnworthy commendations of Lucius Apuleius, or any Golden-Asle of them all, being for their paines clapt only on the shoulder, and sent away dropping, when as thy lea­therne bagges stand more open than Seacoale sackes more bounteously to reward them.

I had no sooner cut out thy vertues in these large cantles, but all the Synagogue of Scribes gaue a Pla [...]dite, crying out Viua voce, with one loud throat, that All their verses should henceforth haue more feete, and take longer strides than if they went vpon stilttes, onely to carry thy glorious praises ouer the earth: And that none (but Nobody) should licke the fat of their Inuentions: that Dukes, Earles, Lordes and Ladies, should haue their Il-liberal names torn out of those bookes whose Authors they sent away with a Flea in their eare, And the stile of Nobody in Capitall Romane Letters, brauely Printed in their places.

Herevpon crowding their heads together, and amongst thēselues canuasing more & more thy inexplicable worth, All of them (as inspirde) burst suddenly forth, and sung ex­temporall Odes in thine honor, & Palynodes in recanta iō of all former good opinions held of niggardly patrons: One of them magnifying thee, for that in this pestiferous ship­wrack of Londoners, when the Pilot, Boteswaines, Maister and Maisters-mates, with all the chiefe Mariners that had charge in this goodly Argozy of gouernment, leapt from the sterne, strooke all the sailes from the maine yard to the mizzen; neuer lookt to the Compasse, neuer fownded in places of danger, nor so much as put out their Close-fights, [Page] when they saw a most cruel man of warre pursue them, but suffred all to sinke or swim, crying out onely, Put your trust in God my Bullies, & not in vs, whilst they either hid them selues vnder hatches, or else scrambled to shoare in Cock­boats: yet thou (vndanted Nobody) then, euen then, didst stand stoutly to thy tackling, step coragiously to the helme, and manfully runne vp & downe, encouraging those (with comfortable words) whose hearts laie coldly in their bel­lies. Another lifted thee vp aboue the third Heauen, for playing the Constable part so rarely: And (not as your commō Constables, charging poore sick wretches, that had neither meate nor mony, in the kings name to keepe their houses, thats to say, to famish & die: But discharging whole baskets full of victualls (like vollies of shot) in at their win­dowes: thou, onely thou (most charitable Nobody, madest them as fat as butter, & preseruedst their liues. A third ex­told thy martiall discipline, in appointing Ambushes of Surgeons and Apothecaries, to lye close in euery ward, of purpose to cut of any cōuoy that broght the plague succor. A fourth swore at the next Impressiō of the Chronicles, to haue thy name, with the yeare of our Lord & certain Hex­ameter verses under-neath) all in great goldē letters, wher­in thy Fame should be consecrated to eternall memory, for carefully purchasing conuenient plots of ground, onlie for Burialls (and those out of the Citie too, as they did in Ieru­salem) to the intent, that threescore (contrary to an Act of common Councell against In-mates might not be pestred together, in one litle hole, where they lie and rot: but that a poore man might for his mony haue elbow-roome, & not haue his guts thrust out to be eaten vp with paltry worms: least when in hot and drie Sommers (that are yet not drea­med on) those mustie bodies putrifying, the inavoydable stench of their strong breath be smelt out by the Sun, and then there's new worke for Clarkes and Sextons.

[Page]Thus had euery one a flirt at thy praises: if thou hadst bene begde to haue plaid an Anatomy in Barber-surgions Hall, thy good parts could not haue bene more curiosly ript vp: they diu'de into the very bowels of thy hartie com­mendations. So that I, that (like a Match) scarce gaue fire before, to the dankish powder of their apprehensions, was now burnt vp my self, in the flames of a more ardent affec­tion towards thee, kindled by them. For presently the court brake vp, and (without a quarter-dinner) all parted: their heads being great with childe, and aking very pittifully, till they were deliuered of Hymnes, Hexasticons, Paeans, and such other Panegyricall stuffe, which euery one thought 7. yeare till he had brought forth, to testifie the loue that he bore to Nobody: In aduancement of whose honour (and this was sworne vpon a pen & ynck-horne in stead of a sword, yet they al write Tam marti quàm mercurio, but how lawfully let the Heralds haue an eye toot) they vowd & swore very ter­ribly, to sacrifice the very liues of their inuention; And whē they wanted ynck (as many of them do wanting mony) or had no more (like a Chancery-man) but one pen in all the world, parcell of their oath was, to write with their blood and a broome-stick before they would sit idle.

Accept therefore (for hansell-sake) these curtall Rymes of ours (thou Capon-feaster of schollers:) I call thē News frō Graues-end: Be it knowne vnto thy Non-residence, that I come not neare that Graues-end (which takes his beginning in Kent) by twenty miles at least; but the end of those Graues do I shoote at, which were cast vp here in London, to stand as land-marks for euery parish, to teach them how far they were to goe: laying down (so wel as I can) the maner how death & his army of pestilent Archers, entred the field, and how euery arrow that they drew, did almost cleaue a heart in sunder. Reade ouer but one leafe (deare Nobody) & thou purst vpō me an armor of proofe against the rankling teeth [Page] of those mad dogs (cald Booke-biters) that run barking vp and downe Powles Church-yard, and bite the Muses by the shinnes Commend thou my labours, and I will labour onely to commend thee: for thy humor being pleasd, all the mewing Critists in the world shall not fright me. I know the Stationers will wish me and my papers burnt (like hereticks) at the Crosse, if thou doest (now) but enter into their Shops by my meanes: It would fret their hearts to see thee at their Stalls reading my Newes. Yet therein they deale doubly, and like notable dissemblers, for all the time of this Plaguy Allarum, they marcht only vnder thy cullors: desirde none but thy company▪ none but thy selle wert welcome to them: none but Nobody (as they all cride out the thine immortall commendatious) bought bookes of them: Nobody was their best, and most boun­teous customer. Fye on this hollow-hearted world! Do they shake thee off now? Be wise, and come not neere them by twelue-score at least, so shalt thou not neede to care what disgraces they shoote at thee. But leauing them to their old tune, of What new Bookes do you lack? prick vp thine eares like a March-Hare (at the sudden cry of a ken­nell of hounds) and listen what newes the Post thats come from Winchester - Terme windes out of his horne.

O that thou hadst taken a lease there (happy Nobody) but for one moneth, the place had (for thy sake) bin well spoken of for euer. Many did heartily pray (especially Wa­termen, and Players, besides the Drawers, Tapsters, But­chers, and Inholders, with all the rest of the hungry Comi­naltie of Westminster) for thy going thither. Ten thousand in London swore to feast their neighbors with nothing but plum-porredge, and mince-pyes all Christmas, (that now for anger will not bestow a crust on a begger) vpon condi­tion that all the Iudges, Sergeants, Barristers, and Atturnies, had not set a foot out of dores, but that thou only (in pomp) [Page] (sauing them that labour) hadst rode the iourney, so gree­dily did they thirst after thy preferment. For hadst thou bin there, those black-buckrom tragedies had neuer bin seene, that there haue bin acted. Alas! its a beastly thing to report. But (truth must out) poore dumb Horses were made meere Iades, being vsed to villanouslie, that they durst neither weihy nor wag taile. And though the riders of them had growne neuer so chollerick, and chaft till they foamd againe, an Hostler to walke them was not to be had for loue or money. Neither could the Geldings (euen of Gentlemen) get leaue (for all they swet til they dropt again) to stand as they had wont at Rack & Manger. (no, no, twas enough for their maisters to haue that honor) but now (a­against all equitie) were they cald (when they little thought of any such matter) to a deere reckoning for all their old wilde-oates.

A cōspiracy there was amōgst all the Inkeepers, that Iack Straw (an ancient rebell) should choak al the horses: and the better to bring this to passe, a bottle of hay was sold deerer then a bottle of wine at London. A trusse cost more, then maister Maiors trusse of Forduch, with the sleeues & belly-piece all of bare Sattin to boote: Which knauery being smelt out, the horsemen grew pollitick, & neuer sate downe to dinner, but their Nags were still at their elbowes: so that it grew to be as ordinary a question, to aske, What shall I pay for a Chamber for my selfe and my Gelding all night, (because they would not be Iaded any more) as in other countrey townes, For my wife and my selfe, for a beast and a man were entertained both alike, and that in such wonderful sort, that theile speake of it, In aeternam rei memoriam. For most of their roomes were fairely built (out of the ground, but not out of the durt) like Irish Houels, hung round about with cobweb-lawne very richly, and furnished, no Aldermans Parlor in London like them: for heres your bed, there a [Page] stable, and that a hogsty, yet so artificially contriu'd, that they stand all vnder one roofe, to the amazement of all that behold them.

But what a childishnes is it, to get vp thus vpon their Hobby-horses, let them bite a the bridle, whilst we haue a­bout with the men. As for the women, they may laugh and lye downe, its a merry world with them, but some-body payes for it. O Winchester! much mutton hast thou to an­swer for, which thou hast made away (being sluttishly fryed out in steakes, or in burnt Carbonadoes) thy maid-seruants best know how, if they were cald to an account. It was happy for some, that 4. of the Returnes were cut off, for if they had held together, many a one had neuer returned from thence his owne man. Oh beware! your Winche­ster-Goose is tenne times more dangerous to surfet vpon, than your S. Nicholas Shambles-Capon.

You talke of a Plague in London, & red Crosses set vpon dores, but ten plagues cannot melt so many crosses of siluer out of Lawyers purses, as the Winchesterians (with a hey-pas, re-pas) iugled out of theirs to put into their owne. Patient they were I must needes confesse, for they would pocket vp any thing, came it neuer so wrongfully, insomuch that very good substantiall householders haue oftentimes gone away with crackt crownes, & neuer cōplaind of thē that gaue thē. If euer mony were currant (à currēdo, of rūning away) now was the time, it ran frō the poore clients to the Atturneys & Clarks of bands in small troopes (here 10 & there 20) but when the Leaguers of Winchester cried Charge, Charge, the Lawyers paid fort, they went to the pot full deerely, & the townesmen still caryed away all the noble and royall victo­ries. So that being puft vp with an opinion, that the Siluer Age was crept into the world againe, they denyed (in a manner) the Kings Coyne, for a penny was no money with them. Whensoeuer there shall come forth a Prest [Page] for Souldiers, thither let it be sent, for by all the opinion of the best Captaines (that had a charge there, and haue tryed them) the men of Winchester are the onely seruiceable men this day in England: the reason is, they care no more to ven­ture among small shots, than to be at the discharging of so many Cannes of beere: Tush, us their desire, to see those that enter vpon them, to come off soundly, that when they are gone, all the world may beare witnes they came to their cost.

And being thus (night and day) imploid, and continu­ally entring into Action, it makes them haue mightie sto­macks, so that they are able to soake and deuoure all that come in their way: A Rapier and a Cloake haue bin eaten vp at a Supper as cleane (and caryed away well too) as if they had bin but two Rabbet-suckers. A Nag serued but one Seruing-man to a breakefast, whilst the Saddle and Bridle were brewd into a quart of strong Beere.

This intollerable destroying of victuals being lookt into, the Inhabitants laid their heads together, and agreed among themselues (for the general good of the whole Towne) to make it a towne of Garrison. And seeing the desperate Termers, that stroue in lawe together, in such a pittifull pickle, and euery day so durty, that when they met their Councell, they lookt like the black Guard, fighting with the Innes of Court, that therefore all the Househol­ders should turne Turke, and be victuallers to the Camp. By this meanes hauing the lawe in their owne hands, they rulde the roast how they listed: insomuch, that a common iugge of double Beere skornd to kisse the lips of a Knight vnder a groate. Sixe howres sleepe could not be bought vnder fiue shillings. Yea in some places a nights lodging was dearer than the hire of a Curtizan in Venice twice so long. And (hauing learnd the tricks of London-Sextons) there they laid foure or fiue in a bed, as here, those other [Page] knaues of Spades thrust nine and tenne into one graue. Beds keeping such a iustling of one another in euery roome, that in the day time the lodgings lookt like so many Vpholsters Shops, and in the night time like the Sauoy, or S. Thomas Hospitall. At which, if any guest did but once bite his lip, or grumble, he was cashierd the com­pany for a mutinous fellow, the place was not for him, let him trudge. A number stood with Petitions readie to giue mony for the reuersion of it: for Winchester now durst, (or at least hopt to) stand vpon prowd termes with London. And this (thou beloued of all men) is the very pith and marrow of the best and latest Newes (except the vnmas­king of certaine Treasons) that came with the Post from Winchester, where if thou hadst hirde a Chamber (as would to heauen thou hadst) thou wouldst neuer haue gone to any Barbers in London whilst thou hadst liude, but haue bin trimd only there, for they are the true shauers, they haue the right Neapolitan polling.

To whose commendations, let me glew this piece more, that it is the most excellent place for dispatching of old suites in the world, for a number of riding suites (that had lyen long in lauander) were worne out there, only with seruing amongst the hot shots, that marcht there vp and downe: let Westminster therefore, Temple-bar, and Fleete­streete, drinke off this draught of Rosa solis, to fetch life into them againe, after their so often swounding, that those few Iurors that went thither (if any did goe thither) haue tane an oath neuer to sit at Winchester-Ordinary againe, if they can choose, but rather to breake their fasts in the old Abbey behinde Westminster, with Pudding-Pyes, and Furmenty.

Deliuer Copies of these Newes (good Nobody) to none of thy acquaintance (as thou tenderst me) and thou shalt commaund any seruice at my hands: for I haue an intent [Page] to hire three or foure Ballad-makers, who I know will be glad for sixe pence and a dinner, to turne all this lim­ping Prose into more perfectly-halting Verse, that it shall doe any true-borne Citizens heart good, to heare such doings sung to some filthie tune, and so fare­well. Turne ouer a new leafe, and try if I handle the Plague in his right kind.

Deuoted to none but thy selfe, Some-body.

Newes from Graues-ende.

TO Sicknes, and to Queazie Tymes,
We drinke a health in wholesome Rymes,
Phisicke we inuoke thy aide,
Thou (that borne in heauen) art made
A lackey to the meanest creature,
Mother of health; thou nurse of nature,
Equall friend to rich and poore,
At whose hands, Kings can get no more,
Than emptie Beggers; O thou wise
In nothing but in Misteries!
Thou that ha'st of earth the rule,
Where (like an Academe, or Schoole)
Thou readst deep Lectures to thy sonnes,
(Mens Demi-gods) Phisitions;
Who thereby learne the abstruse powers
Of Hearbs, of Roots, of Plants, of Flowers,
And suck from poysonous stinking weede
Preseruatiues, mans life to feede.
Thou nearest to a God, (for none
Can worke it, but a God alone,)
O graue Enchauntresse, deigne to breath
Thy Spells into vs, and bequeath
Thy sacred fires, that they may shine
In quick and vertuall medicine,
[Page]Arme vs to conuince this Foe,
This King of dead men, conquering so;
This hungry Plague, Cater to death,
Who eates vp all, yet famisheth:
Teach vs how we may repaire
These Ruines of the rotten Aire,
Or, if the Aires pollution can
So mortall strike through beast and man,
Or, if in blood corrupt, Death lye,
Or if one dead, cause others die,
How ere, thy soueraigne cures disperse,
And with that glory crowne our verse:
That we may yet saue many a soule
(Perchance now merry at his Bowle)
That ere our Tragick Song be don,
Must drinke this thick Contagion:
But (ô griefe) why do we atcite
The charmes of Phisick? whose numbd sprite
Now quakes, and nothing dare, or can,
Checkt by a more dread Magitian?
Sick is Phisicks selfe to see
Her Aphorismes prou'de a mockery:
For whilst shee's turning o're her bookes,
And on her drugs and simples lookes,
[Page]Shee's run through owne armed heart,
(Th'infection flying aboue Art:)
Come therefore thou the best of Nine,
(Because the Saddest) euery line
That drops from Sorrowes pen is due
Only to thee, to Thee we sue:
Thou Tragick Maid, whose Fury's spent
In dismall, and most black O [...]tent.
In Vprores, and in Fall of Kings,
Thou of Empires change that sings,
Of Dearths, of Warres, of Plagues, and laughes
At Funeralls, and Epitaphes:
Carowse thou to our thirstie soule
A full draught from the Thespian bowle,
That we may powre it out agen,
And drinke, in nombers Iuice to men,
Striking such horrors through their eares
Their haire may vpright stand with feares,
Till rich Heires meeting our strong verse
May not shrinck back, before it pierce
Their marble eye-balls, and there shead
One drop (at least) for him thats dead:
To worke which wonder, we will write
With Penns puld from that bird of night
[Page](The shriking Owle) our Inck weele mix
With teares of widowes, (black as Stix)
The paper where our lynes shall meete,
Shall be a folded winding sheete,
And that the Scene may shew more full,
The Standish is a dead mans scull.
Inspire vs therefore how to tell
The Horror of a Plague, the Hell.

The cause of the Plague.

NOr drops this venome, from that faire
And christall bosome of the Aire,
Whose ceaseles motion clarifies
All vaporous stench, that vpward flies
And with her vniuersall wings,
Thick poisonous fumes abroad she flings,
Till (like to Thunder) rudely tost,
Their malice is (by spreading) lost.
Yet must we graunt that from the veines
Of Rottennes and Filth, that reignes,
O're heapes of bodies, slaine in warre,
From Carrion (that indangers farre)
From standing Pooles, or from the wombes
Of Vaults, of Muckhills, Graues, & Tombes,
[Page]From Boggs; from ranck and dampish Fenns,
From Moorish breaths, and nasty Denns,
The Sun drawes vp contagious Fumes,
Which falling downe burst into Rhewmes,
And thousand malladies beside,
By which our blood growes putrified.
Or, being by windes not swept from thence,
They houer there in cloudes condense,
Which suckt in by our spirits, there flies
Swift poyson through our Arteries,
And (not resisted) strait it choakes
The heart, with those pestiferous smoakes.
Thus Phisicke and Philosophy
Do preach, and (with this) Salues apply:
Which search, and vse with speede: but now
This monster breeds not thus: For how
(If this be prou'de) can any doubt
But that the Ayre does (round about)
In flakes of poyson drop on all,
The Sore being spread so generall?
Nor dare we so conclude: for then
Fruites, Fishes, Fowle, nor Beasts, nor Men
Should scape vnteinted, Grazing flocks
Would feede vpon their graues: the Oxe
[Page]Drop at the plough: the trauelling Horse
Would for a Rider beare a Coar [...]e:
Th'ambitious Larke, (the Bird of state)
Whose wings do sweep heauens pearled gate,
As she descended (Then) would bring,
Pestilent Newes vnder each wing:
Then Riu [...]rs would drink poyson'd aire:
Trees shed their green and curled haire:
Fish swim to shore full of disease,
(For Pestilence would Fin the seas:)
And we should thinke their scaly barkes,
Hauing small speckles, had the markes.
No soule could moue: but sure there lyes
Some vengeance more then in the skies:
Nor (as a Taper, at whose beames
Ten thousands lights fetch golden streames,
And yet it selfe is burnt to death,)
Can we belieue that one mans breath
Infected, and being blowne from him,
His poyson should to others swim:
For then who breath'd vpon the first?
Where did th'imbulked venome burst?
Or how scapte those that did diuide
The selfe-same bits with those that dide?
[Page]Drunke of the selfe-same cups, and laie
In Vlcerous beds, as close as they?
Or, those, who euery houre, (like Crowes)
Prey on dead carkasies: their nose
Still smelling to a graue: their feete
Still wrapt within a dead mans sheete!
Yet (the sad execution don)
Careles among their Canns they run,
And there (in scorne of Death or Fate)
Of the deceast they widely prate,
Yet snore vntoucht, and next day rise
To act in more new Tragedies:
Or (like so many bullets flying)
A thousand here and there being dying,
Death's Text-bill clapt on euery dore,
Crosses on sides, behinde, before,
Yet the (i'th midst) stands fast: from whence
Comes this? youle say from Prouidence.
Tis so, and that's the common Spell,
That leades our Ignorance, (blinde as hell)
And serues but as excuse, to keepe
The soule from search of things more deepe;
No, no, this black and burning starre
(Whose sulphurd drops, do scald so farre,)
[Page]Does neither houer o're our heads,
Nor lyes it in our bloods, nor beds:
Nor is it stitcht to our attires,
Nor like wilde balls of running fires
Or thunderbolts, which where they light
Do either bruise, or kill out-right;
Yet by the violence of that Bound
Leape off, and giues a second wound:
But this fierce dragon (huge and fowle)
Sucks virid poyson from our soule,
Which being spit forth again, there raigns
Showers of Blisters, and of Blaines,
For euery man within him feedes
A worme which this contagion breedes;
Our heauenly parts are plaguy sick,
And there such leaprous spotts do stick,
That God in anger fills his hand
With Vengeance, throwing it on the land;
Sure tis some Capitall offence,
Some high, high Treason doth incense
Th'Eternall King, that thus we are
Arraign'd at Death most dreadfull barre;
Th'Inditement writ on Englands brest,
When other Countries (better blest)
[Page]Feele not the Iudges heauy doome
Whose breath (like Lightning doth consume
And (with a whip of Planets) scourges
The Veines of mortalls, In whom Surges
Of sinfull blood, Billowes of Lust
Stir vp the powres to acts vniust.
Whether they be Princes Errors,
Or faults of Peeres, pull downe these Terrors,
Or (because we may not erre,)
Lets sift it in particuler,
The Courtiers pride, lust, and excesse,
The Church mans painted holinesse;
The Lawyers grinding of the poore,
The Souldiers staruing at the doore,
Ragd, leane, and pale through want of blood,
Sold cheape by him for Countries good.
The Schollers enuy; Farmers curse,
When heau'ns rich Threasurer doth disburse
In bounteous heapes (to thankles men)
His vniuersall Blessings: then
This deluing Moale, for madness eates
Euen his owne lungs, and strange oathes sweates,
Because he cannot sell for pence,
Deare yeares, in spite of Prouidence.
[Page]Adde vnto these, the City sin
(Brought by seuen deadly monsters in)
Which doth all bowndes, and blushing scorne,
Because tis in the Freedome borne,
What Traines of Vice, (which euen Hell hates)
But haue bold passage through her gates?
Pride in Diet, Pride in Cloathing,
Pride in Building, pure in nothing,
And that she may not want disease
She sailes for it beyond the Seas,
With Antwerp will she drinke vp Rhene:
With Paris act the bloodiest Scene:
Or in pyed fashions passe her folly,
Mocking at heauen yet looke most holy:
Of Vsury shee'll rob the Iewes,
Of Luxury, Venetian Stewes,
With Spaniards, shee's an Indianist,
With barbarous Turks a Sodomist.
So low her Antique walls do stand,
These sinnes leape o're euen with one hand:
And Hee, that all in modest black,
Whose Eye-ball strings shall sooner crack,
Then seeme to note a tempting face,
Measuring streets with a Doue-like pace,
[Page]Vnder that oyly vizard weares,
The poore mans sweat, and Orphans teares:
Now whether these particular Fates,
Or generall Moles (disfiguring States)
Whether one sin alone, or whether
This Maine Battalion ioynd together,
Do dare these plagues; we cannot tell,
But downe they beate all humane Spell:
Or, it may be, Iehouah lookes
But now vpon those Audit-Bookes
Of 45. yeares husht account,
For houres mispent, (whose summes surmount
The price of ransomd Kings) and there
Finding our grieuous debts, doth cleere
And crosse them vnder his owne hand,
Being paid with Liues, through all the land.
For since his Maiden. Seruant's gone,
And his new Vizeroy fills the Throne,
Heauen meanes to giue him (as his bride)
A Nation new, and purified.
Take breath a while our panting Muse,
And to the world tell gladder newes,
Than these of Burialls, striue a while,
To make thy sullen nombers smile:
[Page]Forget the names of Graues, and Ghosts,
The sound of bells: the vnknowne coasts
Of Deaths vast Kingdome: and saile o're
With fresher winde to happier Shore.
For now the maiden Ile hath got,
A Roiall Husband, (heauenly Lott)
Faire Scotland does faire England wed,
And giues her for her maiden-head,
A crowne of gold, wrought in a Ring,
With which Shee's maried to a King:
Thou Beldame (whisperer of false Rumors)
Fame; cast aside those Antique humors,
Lift vp thy golden Tromp, and sound
Euen from Tweedes vtmost christ all bownd,
And from the bankes of Siluer Thames
To the greene Ocean, that King Iames
Had made an Iland, (that did stand
Halfe sinking) now the firmest land:
Carry thou this to Neptunes eare,
That his shrill Tritons it may beare,
So farre, vntill the Danish sound
With repercussiue voice rebound,
That Eccho's (doubling more and more)
May reach the parched Indian shore,
For tis heau'ns care so great a wonder,
Should fly vpon the wings of Thunder.

The Horror of the Plague.

O Thou my Countrie, here mine eyes
Are almost sunck in waues, that rise
From the rough winde of Sighs, to see
A spring that lately courted thee
In pompous brauery, All thy Bowers
Gilt by the Sunne, perfumde with flowers,
Now like a loathsome Leaperlying,
Her arbors withring, greene Trees dying,
Her Reuells, and May-meriments,
Turned all to Tragick dreeryments:
And thou (the mother of my breath)
Whose soft brest thousandes nourisheth,
A pos [...] ad Ciui [...] tem.
Alrar of Ioue, thou throne of Kings:
Thou Fownt, where milke and hony springs,
Europs Iewell; Englands Iem:
Sister to great Ierusalem:
Neptunes minion, (bout whose wast
The Thames is like a girdle cast,)
Thou that (but health canst nothing want,
Empresse of Cities, Troynouant.
When I thy lofty Towers behold,
(Whose Pinnacles were tipt with gold
Both when the Sun did set and rise
So louely wert thou in his eies)
[Page]Now like old Monuments forsaken,
Or (like tall Pynes) by winter thaken;
Or, seeing thee gorgeous as a bride
Euen in the heigth of all thy pride
Disrobd'e, disgracte; And when all Nations
Made loue to thee in amorous passions,
Now scornd of all the world alone,
None seeke thee, nor must thou seeke none,
But like a prisoner must be kept
In thine owne walles, till thou hast wept
Thine eyes out, to behold thy sweete
Dead children heapt about thy feete:
O Derrest! say how can we chuse
But haue a sad and drooping Muse,
When Coarses do so choake thy way
That now thou lookst like Golgatha;
But thus, The altring of a State
Alteis our Bodies, and our Fate,
For Princes death's do euen bespeake
Millions of liues; when Kingdomes breake,
People dissolue, and (as with Thunder)
Cities proud glories rent asunder.
Witnes thy walls, whose stony armes
But yesterday receiu'de whole swarmes
[Page]Of frighted English: Lord and Lowne,
Lawyer, and Client, Courtier, Clowne,
All sorts did to thy buildings fly,
As to the safest Sanctuary.
And he that through thy gates might passe,
His feares were lockt in Towers of brasse,
Happie that man: now happier they
That from thy reach get first away:
As from a shipwrack, to some shore:
As from a lost field, drownd in gore:
As from high Turrets, whose Ioints faile:
Or rather from, some loathsome Iaile:
But note heau'ns Iustice, they by flying
That would cozen Death, and saue a dying,
How like to chaffe abroad th'are blowne,
And (but for scorne) might walke vnknowne;
Like to plumde Estridges they ride,
Or like Sea-pageants, all in pride
Of Tacklings, Flags, and swelling Sailes,
Borne on the loftiest waues, that veiles
His purple bonnet, and in dread
Bowes downe his snowie curled head,
So from th'infected citie fly
These Swallowes in their Gallantry,
[Page]Looking that wheresoe're they light,
Gay Sommer, (like a Parasite)
Should waite on them, and build'em bowers
And crowne their nests with wreathed flowers,
And Swaynes to welcome them should sing
And daunce, as for their Whisson King:
Feather of Pride, how art thou tost?
How soone are all thy beauties lost?
How casely golden hopes vn-winde?
The russet boore, and leatherne hinde,
That two daies since did sinck his knee,
And (all vncouered) worshipt thee,
Or being but poore, and meanely cloathed,
Was either laught to scorne or loathed,
Now thee he loathes, and laughes to scorne,
And tho vpon thy back be worne,
More Sattin than a kingdomes worth,
He barrs his doore, and thrusts thee forth:
And they whose pallat Land nor Seas,
Whome fashions of no shape could please,
Whome Princes haue (in ages past)
For rich attires, and sumptuous wast,
Neuer come neere: now sit they rownd
And feede (like beggers) on the grownd,
[Page]A field their bed, whose dankish Sheetes
Is the greene grasse: And he that meetes
The flatrings [...]? Fortune, does but lie
In some rude barne, or loathsome stie:
Forsooke of all, floured, forlorne:
Owne brother does owne brother scorne,
The trembling Father is vndone,
Being once but breath'd on by his sonne;
Or, if in this sad pilgrimage
The hand of vengeance fall in rage,
So heauy vpon any'es head
Striking the sinfull body dead.
O shame to ages yet to come!
Dishonor to all Christendome!
In hallowed ground no heaped gold
Can buy a graue; nor linnen sold
To make (so farre is pittie fled)
The last apparell for the dead:
But as the fashion is for those
Whose desperare handes the knot vnlose
Of their owne liues, In some hye-way
Or barren field, their bones they lay,
Euen such his buriall is; And there
Without the balme of any teare,
[Page]Or pomp of Souldiers, But (ô griefe!)
Dragd like a Traitor or some thiefe
At horses tailes, hee's rudely throwne,
The coarse being stuck with flowers by none,
No bells (the dead mans Confort) playing,
Nor any holy Churchman saying
A Funerall Dirge: But swift th'are gon,
As from some noysome cation
O desolate Citie! now thy wings
(Whose shadowe hath bene lou'd by Kings)
Should feele sick feathers on each side,
Seeing thus thy sonnes (got in ther pride)
And heate of plenty, In peace borne,
To their owne Nation left a scorne:
Each cowheards feares a Ghost him haunts,
Seeing one of thine inhabitants,
And does a Iew, or Turke prefer,
Before that name of Londoner;
Would this were all: But this black Curse
Doing ill abroad, at home does worse,
For in thy (now dispeopled) streetes,
The dead with dead, so thickly meetes,
As if some Prophets voice should say
None shall be Citizens, but they.
[Page]Whole housholds; and whole streets are stricken,
The sick do die, the sound do sicken,
And Lord haue mercy vpon vs, crying
Ere Mercy can come forth, th'are dying.
No musick now is heard but bells,
And all their tunes are sick mens knells;
And euery stroake the bell does toll,
Vp to heauen it windes a soule:
Oh, if for euery coarse that's laide
In his cold bed of earth, were made
A chyme of belles, if peales should ring
For euery one whom death doth sting,
Men should be deaffe, as those that dwell
By Nylus fall; But now one Knell,
Giues with his Iron voyce this doome,
That twentie shall but haue one roome;
There friend, and foe, the yong and old,
The freezing coward, and the bold:
Seruant, and maister: Fowle and faire:
One Liuery weare, and fellowes are
Sailing along in this black fleete,
And at the New Graues-end do meete,
Where Church-yards banquet with cold cheere,
Holding a feast once in ten yeere,
[Page]To which comes many a Pilgrym worme,
Hungry and faint, beat with the storme
Of galping Famine, which before
Onely pickt bones, and had no more,
But now their messes come so fast,
They know not where, or which to tast;
For before (Dust to Dust) be spoken,
And throwne on One, more Graues be broken.
Thou Iealous man I pittie thee,
Thou that liu'st in hell to see
A wantons eye cheapening the sleeke
Soft Iewels, of thy faire wiues cheeke,
My verse must run through thy cold heart,
Thy wife has playd the womans part
And lyen with Death: but (spite on spite)
Thou must endure this very night
Close by her side the poorest Groome,
In selfe-same bed, and selfe-same roome:
But ease thy vext soule, thus behold
There's one, who in the morne with gold
Could haue built Castells: now hee's made
A pillow to a wretch, that prayde
For halfe-penny Almes, (with broken lim)
The Begger now is aboue him;
[Page]So he that yesterday was clad
In purple robes, and hourely had
Euen at his fingers becke, the fees
Of bared heads, and bending knees,
Rich mens fawnings, poore mens praiers
(Tho they were but hollow aires)
Troopes of seruants at his calling,
Children (like to subiects) falling
At his proude feete: loe, (now hee's taken
By death,) he lies of all forsaken.
These are the Tragedies, whose sight
With teares blot all the lynes we write,
The Stage whereon the Scenes are plaide
Is a whole Kingdome: who was made
By some (most prouident and wise)
To hide from sad Spectators eyes
Acts full of Ruth, a priuate Roome
To drowne the horror of deaths doome,
That building now no higher reare
The Pest-House standeth euery where,
For those that on their Beeres are borne,
Pest-ho [...]
Are nombred more, than those that mourne.
But you graue Patriots, whom Fate
Makes Rulers of this walled State,
[Page]We must not loose you in our verse,
Whose Acts we one day may rehearse
In marble nombers, that shall stand
Aboue Tymes all-destroying hand:
Only (methinkes) you do erre
In flying from your charge so farre.
So coward Captaines shrinke away,
So Shepheards do their flocks betray:
So Souldiers, and so Lambes do perish,
So you kill those, y'are bound to cherish:
Be therefore valiant, as y'are wife,
Come back again: The man that dies
Within your walls, is euen as neere
To heau'n, as dying any where;
But if (ô pardon our bold thought)
You feare your breath is sooner caught
Here then aloofe; and therefore keepe
Out of Deaths reach, whilst thousands weepe
And wring their hands for thousands dying,
No comfort neare the sick man lying:
Tis to be fear'd (you petty-kings,)
When back you spread your golden wings,
A deadlyer siege (which heauen auert)
Will your replenisht walls ingirt.
[Page]Tis now the Beggers plague, for none
Are in this Battaile ouerthrowne
But Babes and poore: The lesser Fly
Now in this Spiders web doth lie.
But if that great, and goodly swarme
(That has broke through, and felt no harme,)
In his inuenom'd snares should fall,
O pittie! twere most tragicall:
For then the Vsurer must behold
His pestilent flesh, whislt all his gold
Turns into Tokens, and the chest
(They lie in,) his infections brest:
How well heele play the Misers part
When all his coyne sticks at his heart?
Hees worth so many farthings then,
That was a golden God mongst men.
And tis the aptest death (so please
Him that breath heauen, earth, and Seas)
For euery couetous rooting Mowle
That heaues his drosse aboue his soule,
And doth in coyne all hopes repose
To die with corps, stampt full of those.
Then the rich Glutton, whose swolne eyne
Looke fiery red (being boild in wine)
[Page]And in his meales, adores the cup,
(For when he falls downe that stands vp
Therefore a goblet is his Saint,
To whome he kneeles with small constrain:,
When his owne goblet Scull flowes o're
He worships Bacchus on all foure,
For none's his God but Bacchus then,
Who rules and guides all drunken men,)
When He shall wake from wine, and view
More then Tauern-tokens, new
Stampt vpon his brest and armes,
In horrid throngs, and purple swarmes,
Then will he loath his former shapes,
When he shall see blew markes mock grapes,
And hang on clusters on each veine,
Like to wine-bubbles, or the graine
Of staggering sinne, which now appeares
In the December of his yeares,
His last of howers; when heele scarce haue
Time to goe sober to his Graue.
And then to die! (dreadfull to thinke!)
When all his blood is turnd to drinke:
And who knowes not this Sentence giuen,
Mongst all sinnes, none can reele to Heauen?
[Page]But woe to him that sinkes in wine,
And dyes so (without heau'd vp eyne)
And buried so! O loathsome trench!
His graue is like a Tauerne bench.
Tis fearefull, and most hard to say,
How he shall stand at latter day.
The adulterous and luxurious spirit
Pawnd to hell, and sinnes hot merrit,
That bathes in lust his leaprous soule,
Acting a deed without controll
Or thought of Deitie: through whose bloud,
Runnes part of the Infernall floud:
How will he freeze with horror? lying
In dreadfull trance before his dying:
The heate of all his dambd desires
Coold with the thought of gnashing fires:
His Ryots rauisht, all his pleasures
His marrow wasted with his treasures,
His painted harlots (whose imbraces
Cost him many siluer faces,
Whose only care and thought was then
To keepe them sure from other men)
Now they dance in Russians handes,
Lazy Leiftenents (without bandes,)
[Page]With muffled halfe-fac'de Pandars, laughing,
Whilst he lies gasping, they sit qua [...]fing,
Smile at this plague, and black mischance,
Knowing their deaths come o're from France:
Tis not their season now to die,
Two gnawing poisons cannot lie,
In one corrupted flesh together,
Nor can this poison then fly thether:
Theres not a Strompet mongst them all
That liues and rises by the fall,
Dreads this contagion, or her threats,
Being guarded with French Amulets.
Yet all this while thy selfe liest panting,
Thy Luxurious howers recanting,
Whilst before thy face appeares,
Th'adulterous fruit of all thy yeares
In their true forme and horrid shapes,
So many Incests, violent Rapes,
Chambered adulteries, vncleane passions,
Wanton habits, riotous fashions,
And all these Anticks drest in hell,
To dance about the passing bell;
And clip thee round about the bed,
Whilst thousand Horrors graspe thy head.

The Cure of the Plagne.

ANd therefore this infectious season
That now arrests the Flesh for Treason
Against heauens euerlasting King,
Annointed with th'eternall spring
(Of life and power) this stroke of Force,
That turnes the world into a Coarse,
Feeding the Dust with what it craues,
Emptying whole houses to fill graues,
These speckled Plagues (which our sinnes leuy)
Are as needfull as th'are heauy;
Whose cures to cite, our Muse for beares,
Tho he the Daphnean wreath that weares
(Being both Poesis Soueraigne King,
And God of medicine) bids vs sing
As boldly of those pollicies,
Those Onfets, and those Batteries,
By Phisick cunningly applied,
To beate downe Plagues (so fortified)
And of those Armes defensitiue,
To keep th'assaulted Heart aliue,
And of those wardes, and of those sleights,
Vsde in these mortall single fights,
[Page]As of the causes that commence
This ciuill warre of Pestilence,
For Poets soules should be confinde
Within no bownds, their towring mindes
Must (like the Sun) a progresse make
Through Arts immensiue Zodiake:
And suck (like Bees) the vertuous power,
That flows in learnings seuen-sold flower,
Distilling forth the same agen
In sweet and wholesome Iuice to men:
But for we see the Army great
Of those whose charge it is to beat
This proud Inuader, and haue skill
In all those weapons, that do kill
Such pestilent foes, we yeeld to them
The glory of that stratagem:
To whose Oraculous voice repaire,
For they those Delphick Prophets are,
That teach dead bodies to respire
By sacred Aesculapian fire:
We meane not those pied Lunatickes,
Those bold fantastick Empirickes,
Quack-saluers, mishrump Mountebancks,
That in one night grow vp in rancks
[Page]And liue by pecking Phisickes crummes,
O hate these venemous broodes, there comes
Worse sores from them, and more strange births
Then from ten plagues, or twentie deaths:
Only this Antidote apply,
Cease vexing heauen, and cease to die.
The [...]
Seeke therefore (after you haue found
Salue naturall for the naturall wound
Of this Contagion,) Cure from thence
Where first the euill did commence,
And that's the Soule: each one purge one,
And Englands free, the Plague is gone.

The necessitie of a Plague.

YEt to mixe comfortable words
Tho this be horrid, it affords
Sober gladnes, and wise ioyes,
Since desperate mixtures it destroies;
For if our thoughts sit truly trying,
The iust necessitie of dying
How needfull (tho how dreadfull) are
Purple Plagues, or Crimson warre,
We would conclude (still vrging pittie)
A Plague's the Purge to clense a Cittie:
Who amongst millions can deny
(In rought prose, or smooth Poesie)
[Page]Of Euils, tis the lighter broode,
A dearth of people, then of foode!
And who knowes not, our Land ran o're
With people; and was onely poore
In hauing too too many, liuing,
And wanting liuing! rather giuing
Themselues to wast, deface and spoyle,
Than to increase (by vertuous toyle)
The banckrout bosome of our Realme
Which naked birthes did ouerwhelme:
This begers famine, and bleake dearth:
When fruites of wombes passe fruites of earth,
Then Famines onely Phisick: and
The medcine for a ryotous Land
Is such a plague: So it may please
Mercies Distributer to appease,
His speckled anger, and now hide
Th'old rod of Plagues: no more to chide
And lash our shoulders and sick vaines
With Carbuncles, and shooting Blaines:
Make vs the happiest amongst men,
Immortall by our prophecing pen,
That this last lyne may truly raigne,
The Plague's ceast, heauen is friends againe.

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