Silenum pueri somno vidêre jacentem. Virgil.

LONDON, Printed for Robert Boulter, at the Turks Head in Cornhill, over against the Royal Exchange. 1680.


IT was my hap Spectator once to be,
As I unseen, in secret Angle, sate,
Of that unmanly Crowd,
Who, with Wits low, and Voices loud,
Were met to Celebrate,
In Evening late,
The Bacchanalian Solemnity.
If what I then
Or heard, or saw, I here relate agen,
Accuse me not of Incivility,
In blabbing privacy;
Since all men know, that in those Mysteries,
(Quite different from other Deities)
No man obliged is to secresie.
Yea, if I should Conceal,
'Twould be in vain:
That pervious Tribe would their own Acts reveal,
Since Wine (transparent thing!) no secret can retain.
The Actors in this Scene were not of one
Age, Humour, Figure, or Condition.
See One with hollow Cheeks, meagre, and lean,
By Sipping-Hectick, e'ne consumed quite,
As he a Skeleton had been,
Enough to put Deaths self into a fright:
[Page 2]Only in this he seem'd to differ from the Dead,
He lifted oft his Hand up to his Head,
Another swoln up with Hydropick fat,
Out-strutting Eyes, and Paunch that so o're grows,
He might vie Bellies with the very Butt,
From whence the precious Liquor flows.
One comes with Crimson face,
More red than Erysipelas;
Another pale, through Vital heat struck dead,
By greater heat of Wine, extinguished.
Yet is the Case of both, much what the same,
Nature, in One, is on a flame,
And, in the Other, all in Ashes laid.
One young as Hebe, smooth as Ganimede,
Another old Silenus seems to be,
With trembling-Hand, and palsie-Head,
And lame on Feet, with Gowty Malady;
One Grave, and Saturnine,
Another jolly, brisk, and fine,
He seem'd not much unlike the lusty God of Wine.
One Noble was, yclep'd a Lord, I wis,
Another did a meaner Title take,
A Tinker hight: but all's one, that, or this,
Lyaean-Laws no difference do make.
Cups reconcile Degrees, and Natures too;
He Noblest is, who can in Drink out-do.
No boast of Blood will here allowed be,
But what from tender Grape is prest.
No need of Heraulds, or their Blazonry;
He bears best Coat, who bears his Liquor best.
(Such Passive Valour is in most Request)
No talk of Race, or Pedigree;
For Honour here is a meer sudden thing:
The Garland hops from Brow to Brow,
As more, or less, the moist Atchievements grow,
Who yesterday was Puny, now is Crown'd a King.
But see! the Battel comes.
Sound Trumpets, now, and Drums!
Two Armies rank'd, and facing, I espy'd;
Whom nothing, but one long Plain, did divide,
[Page 3]The Table call'd. Well chosen ground, for both,
So plain, and smooth,
It gave no vantage unto either Side.
Signal once giv'n, the Bullets fly
From side to side, so furiously,
That, in short time, none scap'd without a Wound,
Yea bloody Wound: only, 'twixt this,
And common Wounds, some difference is,
That those do let blood out, but these infund.
One thing indeed I mus'd to see,
Each Souldier, to his own mouth, lift his paw,
Before he aim'd at face of Enemy.
What? sure, quoth I, these do their Bullets chaw,
Before they Fight. Or, is it Dutch-mans Law,
Who, 'ere his Valour in Sea-Fight appear,
First takes a Dose of his own Gunpowder?
And now the Battel's hot. Each Champion grows
(Like chafed Lion) more enrag'd by blows.
For Wounds do valour but augment.
Wounds broach their Fury, and give Rage a Vent.
Nothing will now their keen Revenge content,
Until they see their Foes
Lie prostrate at their Feet, senseless, and dead:
And hence their blows
Are level'd all against the Soul's chief Seat, the Head.
And, by this time, me-thought, I saw
Dame Reason trembling stand upon
The top of her Conarion,
Dreading a Deluge from the Floods below.
As Mortals in Deucalion's Flood, on cliff
Of Caucasus, or Tenariff,
On Aiery Alps, or Apennine,
Prolong'd that Fate, which they could not decline.
But what she fear'd is come.
See! the Waves rise, and Billows foam;
And washing first her Foot, and Shin,
Then Wast, and Shoulders, Neck, and Chin,
At last quite stop her mouth, surround her piercing Eye,
Yea swallow Head and Brain,
Till nought of her doth visible remain,
No not the very Hair,
Which stands upright,
Through dismal fright,
But all, by swelling Surge, surmounted are.
And now a new Scene comes. The Censor's gone,
All things in medley, and confusion, run.
Words now, like Thieves in Interregnums, break
Their Prisons. All men hear, and all men speak:
Yet none another understands, nor yet
Himself a whit.
And, could some nimble-handed Scribe have writ
All that was said; Babel had been retriev'd,
And all her Tongues Reviv'd.
Yea more confus'd these Tongues, than Babel's, were:
They talkt of Towers on Earth, but these in Air.
One is All Manhood; talks of nothing else,
But Swords, and Guns, and Forts, and Cittadels;
Sieges, and Fights by Sea and Land,
And with a Gravity Censorian,
'Twixt generous scorn, and pity; doth condemn
What the World calls Exploit, or Stratagem.
Alas! your Dutch-Fights, or Blakes Tunis Knacks,
What were they all, but Squibs and Cracks?
Throw Eighty Eight in,
'Twas but a meer Bear-baiting.
Cales Fight was but a Flutter,
And Great Lepanto, fam'd of yore,
To a true Sea-Fight, was no more,
(Although Historique Coxcombs make a Splutter)
Than shooting Ducks in Pond, or stabbing of an Otter.
Some talk of Bajazet's great Battel;
'Twas more a Tumult, than a Fight
I would more Execution with one
Well-Marshal'd, resolute Troop, have done,
Than Tamerlane's long drove of Motley Cattel.
And Cannae Field (to speak the right)
Was meerly lost for want
Of Courage both, and Management.
[Page 5]O, how I would have knockt, had I been there,
And kickt, and cuff'd, that Punick Cur,
As long as He could stir!
I would have giv'n him Beef to's Vineger.
The Stripling Macedonian,
What was he to a Man,
Although his Legends make a mighty pother?
And those two Roman Boys,
Who in Pharsalian Fray did make such noise
(As Lucan prates) they did but spit at one another.
The World did ne're yet know
What Resolution, join'd with Art, could do.
Could I but find
A pack of Heroes to my mind,
And of as clear
A Valour, as my self; I'd not dispair
To rid poor Christendom of all its fear.
I'd seize the Turk in his own Dardanells,
That all the Spells
Of Magick Art, should▪ never set him free.
Then wafting o're the Euxine Sea,
To Cham of Tartary,
I'd make his Cham-ship, and his flat-fac'd men
For eating raw Horse-legs agen.
The Persian King
I'd take, and in his Carpets roll
Him up, like his own Silk-Worms; and so bring
Him quite away under my Arm. Mogoll
I'd make to stoop. Or, if he durst advance
His sturdy Lance,
I'd hamstring him, and all his Elephants.
So passing on
To China, and Japan,
To Africk shore, and to American,
I'd Conquer th' Universe, in far less bound
Of time, than lazy Drake, or Magellan, could sail it round.
Another, he is all State-Policy;
Esteeming then Himfelf most wise
In Mysteries
Of Government, when he
Has lost the Hegemonique Faculty.
As if his Wine-soakt Brains
Like Rivers were,
Which ever deepest are,
In times of greatest Flouds, and Rains.
Or, as on watry Brook,
In Moon-shine Night, we look,
And see the Stars, how in their Orbs they move:
So, while with Wine
His liquid Brains do shine,
He sees the motions of the Powers above.
Europe, quoth he,
Is meerly lost, I see,
For lack of good Intelligence.
And understanding of Intrigues,
The Crafts of Treaties, and of Leagues,
This Spoils all States, and ruins Governments.
But, were I once in Secretaries Place,
I'd quickly bring things to a better pass.
Alas! Colbert's an Asse,
I'd Fox him with his own French Wine;
Then gage his Brains, and so the bottom find,
Extent, and Compass, of the French Design.
The Jesuits themselves I'd undermine;
Out-do th' Ignation Creeples in their Play,
I'd halt e're I was Lame, as well, and better far, than they.
Are these the Popes Grand Tools?
Worshipful Noddies! who, but blundring Fools,
Would ever have forgot,
To burn those Letters, that Reveal'd their Plot?
Or, in an Ale-house, told, that Godfrey's dead,
Three days before he was discovered;
Leaving the Silly World, to call to mind
That Common Logick, They, that hide, can find?
[Page 7]But see their Master-policy
On Primrose-Hill!
Where their Grand Enemy,
Like Saul upon Mount-Gilboa; doth lie,
Faln on his Sword, as he himself did kill.
But O the Infelicity!
That blood was fresh, and gusht out of the Wound,
This so congeal'd that not one Spot was found;
No, not upon his Sword; as if it wou'd
Tell us, 'twas guiltless of its Master's blood.
Some Carkasses, by bleeding, do declare;
This by not bleeding, shew'd the Murderer.
But, to his broken-Neck, I pray;
What can our Politicians say?
He hang'd, then stab'd Himself, for a sure way?
Or, first he stab'd himself, then wrung about
His Head, for madness, that advis'd him to't?
Well, Primrose, may our Godfrey's Name, on thee
(Like Hyacinth) inscribed be.
On Thee his Memory flourish still,
(Sweet, as thy Flower, and lasting, as thy Hill)
Whilst blushing Somerset, to her
Eternal shame, shall this Inscription wear,
The Devil's an Asse: for Jesuits, on this Spot,
Broke both the Neck of Godfrey, and their Plot:
Thus spake this Sage: whilst I, from thence,
Infer'd, amidst heaps of Impertinence,
Fools sometimes chop on Truth, and Drunkards stumble upon sense.
Another's all Art, and Philosophy.
Encyclopaedia, with it's mighty sound,
What is't, quoth he, but when the Brain turns round?
Of which versatile Ingeny
No man, I'm sure, is Master, more than I.
Tongues are my Element. I declare,
I'l talk with any man on Earth,
And yet a dearth
Of words will never fear.
The fertile Cups best Dictionaries are.
And as for Rherotick, that two-handed Art,
Which Play's both Plaintiff's, and Defendants part;
To me 'tis Natural: for, ev'n now, what e're,
Me-thinks, I look on, double doth appear.
Logick's a Toy. Alas!
I'l prove by Syllogisms, a man's an Asse,
[Page 8]Yet never stir out of this Room,
(Most Reverend Friends) to find a Medium.
Arithmetick, and Algebraick Arts,
What are they to a man of parts?
A member, he
Unworthy sure must be,
Of such a Learned Club as this,
Who understands not, what a Reckoning is.
Astronomy's a Science which I know
So throughly, that my Head ev'n now,
I feel, is in the Clouds; and with each Star
I'm so familiar
Without a Jacobs-Staff, I know not how to go.
Philosophy both new, and old, I know.
The seven wise Men, of whom the Grecians tell us,
Were but a Club of honest Fellows,
That sate, and drank, and talkt, as we do now;
until the Reckoning was come,
Then every man threw in his Symbolum.
Yea Sects of old had their Origination
But from the Liquor's various Operation.
Some, when inspired by the Barrel,
Grew Sceptical, or apt to quarrel:
Others, enclin'd to the Dogmatique way,
Are wondrous Positive in all they say.
'Twas the same Sherry,
That made Democritus so merry,
And weeping Heraclite so sorry:
For he (as most suppose)
Was Maudlin, when he snivel'd so at Nose.
Some would be so dead drunk, that, pinch them n'ere
So hard, they never felt: these Stoicks were.
Others were sensible a little
And this was call'd the Peripatetique Whittle,
Others, of Epicurus mad-cap strain,
No pleasure knew like Drunk, and drunk again.
Yea ev'n grave Plato's Academick Tribe
No scruple made to bibb,
Until Idea's crawled in their Brain.
As for Mechanick Virtuoso's skill,
That founds all Knowledge in Experiments,
(Although indeed I know what 'tis, full well,
To make Mans Reason truckle to his sense)
[Page 9]Yet I have found a more Compendious way,
For whilst, in quest of Nature, they
By tedious searches clear the Object; I
Do all, by strengthening the Faculty.
With brisk Falernum, clear the dim-ey'd Soul;
This was, I'm sure, the old Philosophy,
They ever sought, for Truth, i'th' bottom of the Bowl.
But the most frequent Humor's still behind;
Which is, to talk of Grave Divinity.
Of which, the proper Reason to assign,
I find it not an easie Task to be.
Whether from that near Consanguinity,
And natural Love
'Twixt Bacchus and great Jove;
Whose Son he was, and hatch'd up, in his Thigh,
In place we commonly do call, Popes-Eye;
An Omen that, in time, he'd prove
A great Dictator in Theology?
Or, that the Grape so sweet,
That Nectar of the Gods, do's men inspire
With Sacred Fire.
And raise their thoughts to more than Humane height?
Or that the Intellect doth gasping lie,
And thence, to utter doth desire,
Some few grave Sentences, before she die?
To give you an Account of my Belief,
Quoth one deep Sage, who thought himself a Chief,
I'm no Mahometan:
But utterly defie the Alcoran;
Whose Cursed Laws forbid the use of Wine.
Nor shall the Jews Religion be mine,
Which so abhors that harmless Beast, the Swine.
The Pope I do Pronounce to be
Stark Antichristian
Which prove by forty Arguments I can.
But only, name this One, I shall,
So strong, it well may serve for all,
He takes the Cup from honest Layity.
Base dirty Clown!
I wonder in what Town,
Unless it were Hogs-Norton, he was bred.
[Page 10]To drink to men,
And presently forbid,
On pain of Death, they must not pledge agen.
Were He un-erring; as He dos pretend,
His Wit would Him have better Manners taught:
But Wit, and Manners both, I see, are naught.
And shall I then believe
What such a Slovenly Religion saith,
And pin my Faith
Upon a Snotty Sleeve?
No, no; if e're my Reason I resign,
It shall be only to a Glass of Wine.
Thus did this Heroe vent,
'Gainst Triple-Crown, his discontent;
Throughout which whole Discourse, thought I,
An Argument close coucht doth lie,
'Gainst Rome's Infallibility,
Stronger then what hath yet expressed been:
For Standers by are apt to think,
That Popes, sometimes, may be in Drink,
And then, as rambling, talk, as other men.
But he proceeds. I could rehearse ye
The State, quoth he, of Modern Controversie.
What Weapons keen are us'd in that sharp Sport,
Betwixt Arminius, and Dort.
How those twit These, with turning men
To Stocks, and Stones; and how agen
The Absolute Divine
Whips Cinq with Thirty Nine;
Not much unlike the Jewish scourging Discipline.
I could the Gordian knot unty
Of Ecclesiastick Polity;
And tell the Street, and Sign,
Where that Great Lady dwells, call'd Jus-Divine,
Who Courted long by all has been,
But still so Coy, She's scarcely to be seen.
I could Discourse of Ceremonial Jarr,
(That least, yet greatest War)
Whose Hot Spurs, on each side, engage so far
Beyond their slow-pac'd Squadrons, that oft they,
By meer pursuing, lose the Day.
Some would confine Religion's Dress
To the Course Freeze of meer Necessity:
Others attire Her all in Lace,
Preferring still the greatest Bravery.
[Page 11]Some make Her all Embroidery, and Seaming;
Some let Her ravel out, for lack of Hemming.
Some are resolv'd to scruple whatsoe're
Is by Authority enjoin'd:
Whilst some again, to cross the others mind,
Wish all things were Enjoin'd, that scrupled are.
But how much better would it be,
Would but you Bigots of each side, quoth he,
Come hither, to observe Our prudent Fashion,
And imitate Our signal Moderation!
For We, in these
Do neither scruple, nor press Modes upon ye;
Drink either with, or without Ceremonye.
Each man enjoy's his Liberty, provided
He takes his Cup,
And drinks all up,
All other Doubts, and Circumstances are decided.
But by this time Tongues 'gan to rest;
The Talking Game was at the best.
A sleepy Scene beginneth to appear.
Bright Reason's ray,
By damp of Wine, within this Hemisphere,
Was quench'd before: and now dim sense, to stay,
Must not expect, long after Her.
So when, Nights fairest Lanthorn, Cynthia bright
Is set; each little mist, or thin-spread Cloud
Sufficient is to shroud
The pink-ey'd Stars, and make a pitchy Night.
Old Morpheus comes, with Leaden Key,
His drowsie Office to perform:
Though some there are, that do affirm,
'Twas Bacchus did it; and that He
Had Legal Right, to lock up each mans Brain:
Since every Room
His own Goods did contain,
And was his proper Wine-Cellar become.
Some down into their Seats do shrink,
As snuffs in Sockets sink;
Some throw themselves upon the Bed,
Some at Feet, and some at Head,
[Page 12]Some Cross, some Slope-wise, as they can;
Like Hogs in straw, or Herrings in a pan.
Some on the Floor do make their humble Bed,
(Proper effect of Wine!)
So over-laden Vine,
Prop failing, bowes its bunchy Head,
To kiss the Ground, from whence 'twas nourished.
One, stouter than the rest, maintain'd the Field,
And scorn'd to yield.
A Roman Emperour, standing, vow'd to die;
And so, quoth he, will I;
Till nodding, as he stood, the Churlish Wall
Repuls'd his Head, and made him, reeling fall;
So, with a jot.
Embrac'd the common lot,
The last, but yet the greatest, Trophy, of them all.
So slept they sound; but whilst they slept,
Nature, which all this while, had kept
Her last reserve of strength,
In Stomachs mouth, where, Helmont saith,
The Soul its chiefest Mansion hath,
Began at length
To kick, and frisk, and stoutly strove
To throw the Liquid Rider off.
For now Her Case, like Mariners, was grown,
In leaky Ship, She must or pump, or drown.
Or whether that the Wine, which, till this time,
Was wont to dwell in Cellar's cooler Clime,
Now put in Stomachs boiling-Pot,
Found its new Habitation too hot?
What e're it was, the Floods gusht out
From ev'ry spout,
With such a force; they made a fulsome fray.
One, who athwart his Neighbour lay,
Did right into his Pocket disembogue;
For which the other would have call'd him Rogue,
But that his forestall'd mouth (brawls to prevent)
Replenisht was with the same Element.
I'th' next mans face Another spues,
Who doth, with nimble Repartee, retort
His own, and his Assailants juice,
And so returns him double for't.
One with a Horizontal mouth,
Discharges up into the Air,
[Page 13]Which falls again in Perpendicular:
Much like those Clouds, in Sea, that's South,
Which, in a Lump, descend, and quite
O're-whelm the Ship, on which they chance to light:
The Floor with such a Deluge was o'reflown,
As would infallibly have ran
Quite through, and to it's native Cellar gone,
As Rivers Circulate to th' Ocean:
Had it not been incrassate with a scum,
Which did, for Company, from Stomach come.
Nor was this all. The surly Element,
With Orall Channels not content,
Reverberates; and downward finds a Vent.
Which my Nice Muse to tell forbears,
And begs, for what is past, the pardon of your Ears.
At length the Storm blows o're; the Sky grows clear,
Clouds are dispel'd, and foggs, and fumes,
And Madam Dianoia now resumes
Her Throne; when nimble Drawer mounts the stair,
And guessing, by this time, these Heroes were
In Reckoning-case; produceth, sans delay,
A Bill more swel'd, and more inflam'd, than they.
Gigantick Items! yet evicted
Nothing could be, nor contradicted,
By any of the Company:
Because 'twas all beyond Man's Memory.
Since then Objection was fruitless,
Solution must be the business.
All pockets (but ev'n now well lin'd) were swept,
Not one Cross, for a Neast-egg, kept.
Tokens, and single pence, must go,
Jacobusses, and Medals too;
And all too little to discharge the score,
But forc't to sign a Bill for as much more.
And thus the Poets Fiction came to pass,
That Bacchus Conquered the golden India's
All done, and now just ready to depart,
I, from my close recess, out start.
And cry'd, Hold Gallants! I perceive,
The Play is done; yet give a Stranger leave,
Before the Company up break,
In a few words, the Epilogue to speak.


Now these mad Hurricanes are over-blown,
In cooler thoughts, Considet what y' h' done.
Think, each of you this day has kil'd a Man,
Stabbing, with Murd'rous Hand,
That noble Reason, by which Mortals are
Most like their Maker, and do bear
Their Great Creator's Superscription.
Think of your ruin'd Health. See! your own Blood
Flies in your guilty Face: as if she wou'd
Now tell you, to your Head, 'Tis you alone,
But whom she's scorch't, disordred, and undone.
Think of those Hours consum'd in sordid Vice,
Those Golden Sands, that run in vain,
(Lusts Measure made and Sacrifice)
Those winged Hours, that n'ere return again.
Think of that abused Wealth,
Due to your Families, or the Poor;
Think how you swallow, in each Drunken Health,
The Widows Tears, and starved Orphans Goar,
Think of your Bankrupt Reputation;
Each Ear abhors your more than brutish Name;
More dirty than the dirt you tread upon.
Your very Vomit stinks not, like your Fame.
Think, lastly, on the Worlds great Doom,
When guilty Souls must to an Audit come.
A far more heavy Reckoning, then e're
You met with here.
More true by far, and yet far more severe.
Think on All this: and think on't soberly,
And then, perhaps you'l say, as well as I,
Your Mirth is Madness: Wine is Poison fell:
Your Paradise is Bedlam; if not Hell.

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