AESOP FROM Islington.

—Secretum divitis ullum
Esse putas? Servi ut taceant, Jumenta loquentur
Et Canis, & postes, & marmora. —
Juven.
—de te Fabula narratur.

Printed in the Year, 1699.

THE PREFACE TO THE READER.

AESOP it seems is in fashion, and because it's a kind of Custom to date him from some Waters, (like his Predecessors) I had as good make use of Islington, since it is not very far from thence to Westminster, which I be­lieve is the end of his Journey. The Fables were written to please one of Judgment; and whether they [Page] will please any Body else is more than the Author knows, and whom they will not please he cares not. There is a mode in Prefaces too, and jocond one to these loose Papers in the Modern Tripping Stile, wou'd perhaps pass them off better; but there are few in these days have reason to laugh, (except those that win) unless it be after the rate of Mark Cole­man, the Oxford Madman, who in his description of Bedlam said they there made one Sing, and Laugh, till ones Heart akes.

It may be another account of Aesop than what we have had from Plaundes Camerarius, &c. wou'd help to piece out a Leaf; and because one may be given of him, that the less studious part of the Town is not well acquainted with, there shall be a hint of him, which is, that he is not the man we take him to be, but in stead of the Samian Slave, we must seek him in the Arabian or Indian Lohkman, which is of an Ancienter Date than any Greek Imitator of him. For it is no news to the Learned World, that those Grecians we so much admire, (for what reasons let Schoolmasters tell you, for I can't) were but wretched Filchers, and worse disguisers of the Eastern Wisdom, and patch'd up their Aesop from an Eastern Sage as they did their Fabulous Theban Hercules, from the Nobler and much older discovering Tyrian Merchant, as the name [Herakol] implies, and bet­ter Accounts than theirs inform us. This might be illustrated and explain'd, by some curious, and use­ful Arabian and Persian Quotations; which no [Page] doubt would be call'd Scrawls, and Pothooks; and therefore Aesop or Sad-coloured Monsieur Lohkman, with the Princes he was Councellor to, and the Oc­casion of his Fables for the present is omitted; it may suffice in general to know, that Fables and Pa­rables were much more in use among the Beaux Es­prits of the East, than they are with ours (tho' it be a Fabling Age) and were the proper means among them, of conveying Truths to those, who had a Syme­tar and Bowstring (without the help of Speech-ma­kers and Evidences) at the Service of Wiser and Honester Men than themselves; who aim'd at Mercy, Truth, Honour, and the Publick Good. This may serve for an Excuse for this digression, and for the design of the Fables too; and if they are stop'd or enquir'd after, it may serve also for as good a Justification of our boasting English Liberties, by way of a Trifle, as the suspensions of the Hab— Corp— Act were in good earnest.—

[Page] [Page 1] AESOP FROM Islington.

FABLE I. Of the Countryman and Snake.

A Pitying Yoeman found a frozen Snake,
Which almost starv'd with killing cold did quake:
('Twas when a Basilisk the Vermine drove
Forth from his Grott, and shelter of the Grove;)
[Page 2]When home he took the wretched Refugie;
Daily renew'd his Charity;
And made the Crawling Thing one of his Family
Who with the plenty of the place
Soon chang'd his sallow meager Look:
Erects his Crest, hist with a Grace,
Gentile and haughtier Airs he took;
Casts off his ragged Skin, the Houshold Rules,
Despises all the honest Hinds, and counts them bubled Fools.
Long with the Insolence they bore
of this same Wrigling Worm,
They never were so us'd before,
So snap't at ev'ry turn:
It bit their faithful useful Dogs,
Gnaw'd things with Weesils, Rats and Mice
Join'd with the poysnous Toads and Frogs
Spawn'd in unwholsom neighbouring Bogs,
In every base Device.
[Page 3]But when the Childrens Milk is soak'd,
The Buttery clear'd, the Dairy rob'd,
They'd be no longer so provok'd,
Nor by their Masters Favourite fob'd:
But shew'd themselves like Men:
For out they drove with many a thwack,
The Sawcy interloping Snake,
To starve abroad agen.

MORAL.

Beware fond Brittains how you Favourites chuse,
No more the Scum of other Lands maintain:
To foster Forreign Things forbear;
For all you'll by the Sharpers gain
Will be their old Scorn'd Wooden Shooes,
And a Fools Cap to wear.

FABLE II. Of the Steward and his Dogs.

A Steward of a very large Estate,
Set up for living splendedly and great,
Dogs of all Countrys and all sorts
For mischief most, and some for sports,
In order to't this Nimrod Spark provides,
And more in such a rout of Currs he prides,
Then all his Squirish Equipage besides,
The Tenants sore were vex'd and griev'd,
And often beg'd to be reliev'd:
They swarm'd with Tykes of several Nations
And different qualities, and fashions;
English Bull-Dogs that wink and bite,
No matter whither wrong or right;
Who when set on with loud Halloo's
Distinguish not 'twixt Friends and Foes.
[Page 5] French Spaniels who can fawn when starv'd,
But snarl when full, and turn is serv'd,
Dutch Dogs with Warlike Looks and Miens,
Who still in Danger save their Skins,
Greedy and ready to devour,
But on the Wolf's approach would scour.
With such each Country Farm is fill'd
Their Cattle worried, Poultry kill'd,
And all their store consum'd and spoil'd,
The Clowns in dread of Life and Limb,
Petition'd many a doleful time
For ease, from dangerous, useless, Beasts,
By whom they were so much opprest,
The Steward grave, as oft reply'd,
You know w'are on the Forest side:
Out-Laws and Wolves, may ruin all,
And then too late for help you'll call.
We know the danger cry'd the men,
And that from Otters of the Neighbouring Fen;
[Page 6]But yet tho' routs of Wolves and Thieves should come
They're not so dangerous as these Curs at home
By sad Experience we the difference know
Between a Foreign and Domestick woe;
These Dogs undo us, and we pay for't too.

MORAL.

May those by whom keeping such Dogs is encourag'd,
Have their Seats made free Quarters, and their Land bravely forag'd

FABLE III. The Pump.

A Welch-man (from his Hill's came down)
Saw a strange Engine near a Town;
A high erected Post there stood,
Crown'd with a Janus head of Wood;
[Page 7]One of whose Faces look'd to th' Country,
T'other Phyz o're the Town was Centry,
A Clown close by gave it many a thump,
And told admiring Taffy 'Twas a Pump.
With this side I my Cellar drain and dry
With t'other I my Waters want supply,
Here's all I have which in this bowl stands by.
Sot, quoth the Briton, why dost toil?
Here's not a drop comes all this while.
T'other strait pours the dish of Water
Into the Pump: thou mendst the matter,
Cry'd Taffy Laughing, why dost wast
The Water thou already hast:
Vext with his Ignorance, the Clown
Replied if ever thou hadst known
How wiser men can use a Tool,
Thou wouldst not prate so like a Fool:
I threw this dishful in, thou silly Lout
Because I'm sure to get a Tubfull out.

MORAL.

No wonder some profusely give their C—
'Tis easie being liberal on design.
Money well plac'd at time of need we know
Tho' sprinkled but by P— makes M— flow.

FABLE IV. Of the Bear and the Bees.

COld Moscovy (as story tells)
Is fam'd for Czars, the Bears:
That it in Honey too excell'd,
From the same Books appears.
There's scarce a hollow-Tree that grows,
When cut, but Honey from it flows.
[Page 9]A Plundering Bear about did roam,
To many a hollow Oak he troop'd,
Greedy he was, oft chang'd his home,
As oft the Pillag'd Trees he Scoop'd:
The Witless Bees saw him devour,
Their Summers toils, and Winter store
Call'd it perhaps protecting too,
Lest other Beasts the like should do,
And seem'd to be content,
At length when he enlarged his rounds,
(For Rapine scarce knows any bounds.)
To a Farm-house he went.
The Bear his wonted raving drives,
To run a muck at all the Hives.
The Bees who had with patience born,
The rifling of the Forest round;
Enrag'd, their all was from them torn,
And that their last retreat he found,
With Indignation rose in swarms,
With one consent all flew to arms,
[Page 10]And all assail'd the Bear:
In numerous clusters round they hung;
Never was prowling Beast so stung,
As he was every where.
Vast Numbers goard his tender Snout,
Some his two shining Favourite Eyes,
He rages, storms, and cuffs about,
Both mad and blind to shun them trys:
Among the rest there's none attack'd him more
Then even those Drones who snack'd with him be­fore.
In vain for aid he roars and bawls
In vain his kindred Cubs he calls;
The Floods and Woods that Interpose,
Keep all things from him but his Foes.
Till torn, and bloody, thro' the bogs he flys,
And by those insects he cou'd once despise
Raving, and Venom'd, for his Rapine dies.

MORAL.

Whoever D' Alva like Essays
To use oppressing means and ways,
Will find the consequence but bad;
Oppression all things over rules
Not only raises swarms of Fools,
But makes a wise Man mad.

FABLE V. Of the Shepherd, Boy, and Clowns.

A Shepherd Boy had oft abus'd
Many an honest Country Fellow,
Tho' one wou'd guess that folks so us'd
Were at the best but something shallow,
Yet they had mixtures of good Nature,
Made them believe the unlucky Creature.
To Neighbouring Villages he'd run,
With frighted looks and dismal tone,
And roar out, Help! or I'm undone?
Sometimes 'twas Thieves wou'd cut his Throat,
Then, O the Wolf! was all his Note;
Thus when he was of danger yelping,
The sturdy Lowts wou'd run to help him.
[Page 13]Together wou'd scour th' Associated band,
And each with Life, Fortune, and Dung-fork in hand,
But as soon as they came to the Sheep-cote, and Flock,
All they had from the Jearing young Whelp was a mock:
Or at best he'd but show them, hang'd up on a Bough
Some poor Whesil or Polcat for a desperate Foe:
And after wou'd boast with his roguish Comrades,
How finely he had bubled the clod-pated Blades,
At last the Swains found out the Trade
And no more hesten to his aid:
But when in earnest Wolves and Thieves
Attack his Flock, there's none believes,
But wounded and plunder'd he justly is crying
For abusing good Nature, and bantring and lying.

MORAL.

If once I by a Knave am caught,
'Tis his, if twice, 'tis then my fault.
Who on Design will Plots and tricks devise
Tho' he his bubbles ne're so much despise,
At length to his cost, finds Blockheads will grow wise.

FABLE VI. Of the Ox and the Leeches.

TO a fed Ox whose overflowing blood,
Ran from his mouth and nostrils like a flood,
Some Leeches from th' adjoining Marches came,
And cry'd to cure him they'd divert the stream,
Each fix'd himself in a convenient part
And drein'd the Blood and Spirits from his heart.
The panting Beast beheld the Leeches mud,
Enrich'd and cover'd with his Purple blood.
But when they talk'd how much their help did please,
And with what skill they drew off the Disease:
The fainting Ox (finding his Vitals fail)
Cry'd where's the difference if my Life, Blood flows
By usual maladies thro mouth and Nose,
Or against nature thro' a Leeches Tail.

MORAL.

When story tells how tax'd and Bleeding France
Suffer'd by Favourite Leeches heretofore;
Which of them did her misery most advance
Th' Ʋnnatural Catamite or natural Whore?
We well may Judge the several Mestresses,
And Bastards, of fourth Harry no Disease,
When once compar'd with Sodom's Sulphrous Flashes
That flam'd and ruin'd with the third's Bardashes.

FABLE VII. Of a Mother and her Son.

A Knowing Mother in a Country Town,
Found a Rich Widow for her Looby Son:
Her Fellow Gossip lik'd the Brawny Lad,
The Mother courted, and the Match was made.
When on the Noon of brisk S. Valentine,
Our Lover blubber'd, nay he cou'd not Dine:
The Mother wondring why he left his Fodder,
And cry'd, and curs'd, and kept a doleful pother;
The o're-grown School-boy strait she took aside,
And ask'd the whimpring Youngster why he cry'd
That shortly was to have both Wealth and Bride.
Who quick repli'd, in Fury mixt with Snivel,
[...] give all Women Wealth, and Brides to th' Devil:
[Page 18]I'de rather have the Greyhound-bitch, or Sow,
They'l make the better Spouses of the two.
Why Rogue, quoth She, Marry, or take what fol­lows.
S. Ads-Nines I wont, I'de rather to th' Gallows.
M. What Reason? S. Why this Morning I design'd
To have my Mistress for my Valentine,
To steal a Kiss, up Stairs I softly tread,
But saw a Sight ready to strike me dead,
She and the hectoring Cornet both a Bed.
M. O wicked Carrion! faith I'le make her known,
'Slife shall a Strumpet think to catch my Son?
Hold, Mother, crys he, home I ran to find
You, and my Sisters both, to ease my mind,
But saw, through the Latch-hole of the Dairy,
Another Motive for Man to Marry,
Dol and the Trooper at the same Figary.
M. O wretched Jade! I'le break her Neck, I'le teach her
To damn her Soul with such a Ruffian Letcher:
[Page 19]She trots a begging strait. S. Good Mother hold
He sobbing crys, the Storys not all told.
Up then I went, and open'd Jinnys Curtains,
To tell my Sisters Tricks, and my Misfortunes,
Out my Young Landlord starts, draws, bans and swears
[...]eel cut my Throat, then tumbles me down Stairs.
The Mother bellows more than he — M. O Whores,
Wou'd I were dead — but both shall out of Doors;
Thou shalt have both their Portions — faith I'le rout them,
Not a crackt Groat but what they have about them.
[...] Zounds Mother Peace—pray let the Girls alone,
Hear my damn'd Story —to the Cart I run
[...]nd took a Rope, then to the Barn I went
To end my wretched Life with full intent.
[...]ne always at such times ones self prepares,
[...] crying sung my Psalm, and snob'd my Prayers.
[Page 20]Scarce had I done, while fitting up the Noose,
I saw—M. Hold Child—S. I think the Devil broke loose
You and the Thresher climb upon the Mow,
And manage matters there, you best know how.
Purpose to hang my self I strait let fall,
But came my ways, wishing to hang you all.
The Mother clear'd her Brow, then winck'd and smil'd
'Tis general Coupling-time thou silly Child;
Go to thy Mistress Fool, sh'has Mony store,
That whitens all things, and heals every Sore.
Wealth, all Defects, and Crimes, away will strik [...]
Choose where you will, perhaps we are all alike.

MORAL.

[...]t the fair gentle Sex not look a-skew,
[...]is a vile Story, and can ne're be true.
[...]ay I suspect the Mothers Sex in't, when
[...]ethinks she talks confounded like a Man
[...] these degenerate, and corrupted days,
Women are fittest subjects of our praise.
Woman no Country sells, nor Land enslaves;
(Ʋnless the cursed Priesthood goes their halves)
Trust, Faith, and Honour, they engross alone;
No baneful Woman evidence is shown.
With them the chiefest Joys on Earth we prove,
They soften Cares, and crown our Toyls with Love.
Of Avarice this Fable bids beware,
[...]ony to wretched Man's the surest snare,
His chief Vice-gerent of the Prince of Air.
Nothing shows more than this the Power of Coin,
Those force even makes such fallen Angels shine.

FABLE VIII. Of the Man and his Idols.

A Superstitious Man had damn'd ill Fortune,
Losses come daily on, Revenues shorten;
As daily he, that every thing might hap well,
Ador'd some guilded Idols in his Chappel:
Much time he lost, much Incence smoak'd in vain
And nothing from the sensless Things cou'd gain
Him did a Friend, pitying his want of sense,
And want of Mony, labour to convince:
So Reason foolish Zeal did once o're come,
When back'd with Rage, and Poverty at home.
Half-witted Men run often to extreams,
To Atheism from Superstitious Dreams.
[Page 23]Which made him knock his gilded Pagods down;
The Family ran gladly to his aid,
Hoping the bigot starving Trade was done,
And they no more shou'd famish while he pray'd,
When from their broken Trunks vast Treasures flew,
Enough to make him easy while he liv'd,
This heap of Pelf, of which he nothing Knew,
Was by some wealthy Ancestor contriv'd:
Who for his wise Posterity did hoard,
And thought Religious Dread, the Surest Guard.
O'rejoy'd he crys, let others Pray and Bow,
I've turn'd you to the fittest purpose now.

MORAL

In times perhaps as hard as Hal the Eighths,
What if a shining Church help'd pay our Debts.
What if in State the Expedient now
On some fine Things were try'd;
Who their gay out-sides daily show,
And mightier Treasures hide.
FINIS. [Page]

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