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a yelping at once with more noise, but not half so much harmony, as a pack of beagles on the full cry; to still this bawling, up starts
Capt. All.man-sir, the man of mouth, with a face as blustering as that of Æolus and his four sons, in painting, and a voice louder than the speaking trumpet, he begins you the story of a sea-fight; and though he never were further, by water, than the Bear-garden, or Cuckold's. haven, yet, having pirated the names of ships and captains, he persuades you himself was present, and performed miracles; that he waded knee. deep in blood on the upper-deck, and never thought to serenade his mis. tress so pleasant as the bullets whistling; how he stopped a vice-admi. ral of the enemy's under full sail, till she was boarded, with his single arm, instead of grappling-irons, and puffed out with his breath a fire-ship that fell foul on them. All this he relates, sitting in a cloud of smoke, and belching so many common oaths to vouch it, you can scarce guess whether the real engagement, or his romancing account of it, be the more dreadful: however, he concludes with railing at the conduct of some eminent officers (that, perhaps, he never saw) and protests, had they taken his advice at the council of war, not a sail had escaped us.
He is no sooner out of breath, but another begins a lecture on the Ga. zetle, where, finding several prizes taken, he gravely observes, if this trade hold, we shall quickly rout the Dutch, horse and foot, by sca: he nicknames the Polish gentlemen wherever he meets them, and enquires, whether Gayland and Taffaletta be Lutherans or Calvinists? stilo novo he interprets a vast new stile, or turnpike, erected by his electoral high. ness on the borders of Westphalia, to keep Monsieur Turenne's cavalry from falling on his retreating troops; he takes words by the sound, without examining their sense: Morea he believes to be the country of the Moors, and Hungary a place where famine always keeps her court, nur is there any thing more certain, than that he made a whole room full of fops, as wise as himself, spend above two hours in searching the map for Aristocracy and Democracy, noi doubting but to have found them there, as well as Dalmatia and Croatia.
Next, Signior Poll takes up the cudgels, that speaks nothing but de. signs, projects, intrigues, and experiments; one of those in the old comedian, Plautus, Sciunt id quod in aurem Rex Reginæ direrit, quod Juno confabulata est cum Jove, sciunt quæ neque futura neque facta sunt, tamen illi sciunt, fc. All the councils of the German dyet, the Romish conclave, and Turkish divan, are as well known to him as his laundress's smock. He kens all the cabals of the court to a hair's breadth, and (more than an hundred of us do) which lady is not painted; you would take his mouth for a lembeck, it distills his words so niggardly, as if he was loth to inrich you with lyes, of which he has yet more plenty than Fox, Stowe, and Hollingshead bound up together: he tells you of a plot to let the lions loose in the tower, and then blow it up with white pow. der; of five hundred and fifty Jesuits all mounted on dromedaries, seen by moon-shine on Hampstead-heath, and a terrible design hatched by the college of Doway, to drain the narrow seas, and bring Popery over
Vide Justin. Lib. ii, de Cynæ giro.
dry shod; besides, he has a thousand inventions dancing in his brain. pan; an advice-boat on the stocks, that shall go to the East Indies and come back again, in a fortnight; a trick to march under water, and bore holes through the Dutch ships keels with augres, and sink them, as they ride at anchor; and a most excellent pursuit to catch sun-beams, for making the ladies new. fashioned towers, that poets may no more be damned for telling lyes about their curls and tresses.
But these are puny pugs; the arch devil, wherewith this smoke-hole is haunted, is the town wit, one that plays rex wherever he comes, and makes as much hurry as Robin Goodfellow of old amongst our Granam's milk bowls; he is a kind of a squib on a rope; a meteor, composed of self-conceit and noise, that, by blazing and crackling, engages the won. der of the ignorant, till, on a sudden, he vanishes and leaves a stench, if not infection, behind him; he is too often the stain of a good family, and, by his debauched life, blots the noble coat of his ancestors : a wild unbacked colt, whose brains are not half coddled, indebted for his clothes to his taylor, and for his wit, such as it is, to his company: the school had no sooner endued him with a few superficial sprinklings, but his mother's indulgence posted him to town for genteeler breeding, where three or four wild companions, half a dozen bottles of Burgundy, two leaves of Leviathan, a brisk encounter with his landlord's glass windows, the charms of a little miss, and the sight of a new play, dubbed him at once both a wit and a hero; ever since, he values himself mainly for understanding the town, and, indeed, knows most things in it that are not worth knowing: the two poles, whereon all his discourses turn, are atheism and bawdy: bar him from being profane or obscene, and you cramp his ingenuity, which forthwith flags and becomes useless, as a mere common lawyer when he has crossed the channel.
He is so refractory to divinity, that morality itself cannot hold him; he affirms human nature knows no such things, as principles of good and evil, and will swear all women are whores, though his motherand sister bo:h stand by: whatever is sacred or serious he seeks to render ridiculous, and thinks government and religion fit objects for his idle and fantastick bufioonry; his humour is proud and assuming, as if he would palliate his ignorance by scoffing at what he understands not; and therefore with a pert and pragmatic scorn depreciates all things of nobler moment, but most passionately affects pretty a-la-mode words; and is as covelous of a new song or air, as an antiquary of Cato's statue with never an arm, and but half a nese; these keep him always employed, and fill up the grotesco's of his conversation, whilst with a stately gallantry, once in every half hour, lic combs out his wig, careens his breeches, and new marshals his garniture, to the tunc of — Methinks the poor town has been troubled too long.
His mind used to whistle up and down, in the levities of fancy, and cffeminated by the childish toyings of a rampant imagination, finds itself indisposed for all solid employment, especially the serious exercises of piety and virtue, which begets an aversion to those lovely beauties, and that prompts him, on all occasions, to expose them as ridiculous and vain: hence, by degrees, he comes to abuse sacred scripture, makes 'a mock of eternal Names, jokes on the venerable mysteries of religion, and, in fine, scoffs at that all-glorious and tremendous Majesty, before whom, his brother wits below tremble: it is true, he will not confess himself atheist, yet in his heart the fool hath said it, and boasts aloud, that he holds his gospel from the apostle of Malmsbury, though it is more than probable, he never read, at least understood, ten leaves of that unlucky author; talk of witches, and you tickle him; speak of spirits, and he tells you, he knows none better than those of wine; name but immaterial essence, and he shall tout at you, as a dull fop incapable of sense, and unfit for conversation: nor is he ever better pleased, than when he can here hedge in some young raw divine to bulbait with scurrility, and all kind of pro. faneness.
By means of some small scraps of learning matched with a far greater stock of confidence, a voluble tongue, and bold delivery, he has the ill luck to be celebrated by the vulgar, for a man of parts; which opinion gains credit to his insolencies, and sets him on further extravagancies, to maintain his title of a wit, by continuing his practice of fooling; whereas all his mighty parts are summed up in this inventory : Imprimis, ą
peddling way of fancy, a lucky hit at quibbling, now and then an odd ' metaphor, a conceited irony, a ridiculous simile, a wild fetch, an uno
expected inference, a mimick gesture, a pleasing knack in humouring a tale, and lastly an irresistible resolution to speak last, and never be dashed out of countenance.'
By these arts, dexterously managed, he engrosses a vast repute; the grave citizen calls him a shrewd man, and notable headpiece; the ladies (we mean the things so called of his acquaintance) vote him a most ac. complished gentleman ; and the blades swear, he is a walking comedy, the only merry Andrew of the age, that scatters wit, wherever he comes, as beggars do lice, or musk-cats perfumes, and that nothing, in nature and all, can compare with him.
You would think he had got the Lullian art, for he speaks extempore on all subjects, and ventures his words, without the relief of sense to second them; his thoughts start from his imagination, and he never troubles himself to examine their decency, or solidity, by judgment. To discourse him seriously, is to read ethicks to a monkey, or make an oration to Caligula's horse, whence you can only expect a weehee or jadish spurn; after the most convincing arguments, if he can but muster up one plausible joke, you are routed: for be, that understood not your logick, apprehends his droll; and, though syllogisms may be answered, yet jests and loud laughter can never be confuted, but have more sway to degrade things with the unthinking croud, than demonstrations; there being a root of envy, in too many men, that invites them to applaud that, which exposes and vilifies what they cannot comprebend: he pre. tends great skill in curing the tetters and ring-worms of state, but blows in the sores, till they rankle with his poisonous breath; he shoots libels, with his forked tongue, at his superiors, and abuses his dearest friends, chusing to forfeit his neck to the gibbet, or his shoulders to the battoon, rather han lose the driest of his idle quibbles: in brief, he is the jackpudding of society, a fileering buffoon, a better kind of ape in the judgment of all wise men, but an incomparable wit, in his own.
Thus have we led you from board to board, like the fellow in the tower, to shew you strange beasts, wherewith this place is sometimes frequented. To take now a farewel view of the house will be difficult, since it is al.
ways shifting scenes, and like O Brazile (the inchanted island) seldom appears twice in a posture; the wax candles burning, and low devout whispers sometimes strike a kind of religious awe; whilst the modish gallant swears so often by Jesu, an ignorant catholick would take it for a chapel, and think he were saying our lady's psalter; in some places, the organs speak it a musick-room ; at others, a pair of tables and draughtboard, a small gaming-house ; ou a sudden it turns exchange, or a warehouse for all sorts of commodities, where fools are drawn in by inch of candle, as we betray and catch larks with a glass : the bully-rook makes it his bubbling-pond, where he angles for fops, singles out his man, insinuates an acquaintance, offers the wine, and, at next tavern, sets upon him with high fullums, and plucks him : the ingeniosi use it for an after rehearsal, where they bring plays to Tepetition, sift each scene, examine every uncorrected line, and damn beyond the fury of the rota ; whilst the incognito poet out of an overweening affection to his infant wit steals in, muffled up in his cloke, and slily evesdrops like a mendicant mother to praise the prettiness of the babe, she bas newly palmed on the parish.
But it is time to be gone, who knows what magick may be a working? For behold! the coffee-powder settles at the bottom of our dish, in form of a most terrible Saracen's head. For a parting blow then give us leave to unbend a little, and say,
A coffee-house is a phanatick theatre, a hot-house to flux in for a clapped understanding, a sympathetical cure for the gonorrhea of the tongue, or a refined baudy-house, where illegitimate reports are got in close adultery, between lying lips and itching ears.
Si quid novisti rectius, candidus imperti.
THE GRAND CONCERN OF ENGLAND
PROPOSALS OFFERED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF
1. For Payment of publick Debts.
In order whereunto, it is proved necessary, 1. That a stop be put to further buildings in and about London. II. That the gentry be obliged to live, some part of the year, in the
Vide the soouh article in the catalogue of pamphlets.
III. That registers be settled in every county.
them, and his majesty's subjects at home, in matters of conscience, may be passed. V. That the act, probibiting the importation of Irish cattle, may be
repealed. VI. That brandy, coffee, mum, tea, and chocolate may be prohibited. VII. That the multitude of stage-coaches and caravans may be sup
pressed. VIII. That no leather may be exported unmanufactured. IX. That a court of conscience be sctiled for Westminster, and all the
suburbs of London, and in every city and corporation of England. X. That the extravagant habits and expence of all persons may be
curbed, the excessive wages of servants and handicrafts-men may be
reduced, and all foreign manufactures may be prohibited. XI. That it may be made lawful to assign bills, bonds, and other securi.
ties; and that a course be taken, to prevent the knavery of bankrupts. XII. That the Newcastle trade for coals may be managed by com.
missioners, to the ease of the subjects, and great advantage of the
publick. XIII. That the fishing-trade may be vigorously prosecuted, all poor
people set at work to make fishing-tackle, and be paid out of the money collected every year, for the poor, in the several parishes in
England. By a Lover of his Country, and Well-wisher to the Prosperity both of
the King and Kingdoms. London, printed in the year 1673. Quarto, containing sixty-four pages.
Proposals humbly offered to the consideration of the Parliament, &c.
1. For discharging the publick debts of the kingdom.
3. The increase of the rents of lands. THE honour, interest, and safety of a kingdom lies in maintaining
I the grandeur and dignity of their king, and the prerogative of his crown; the which can no way be better secured, ihan by providing him a plentiful revenue wherewith to defray the publick expences of the kingdom, encourage and help all his friends and allies, maintain forces for his own, his subjects, and the kingdom's safeguard at home, and a suf. ficient fleet at sea for the security of trade abroad, and defence of his kingdom against all foreign princes and potentates; and wherewith also, to discharge such publick debts as are justly owing to any person upon valuable consideration. .
If the payment of publick debts were provided for, the rest would be easily secured, without any great charge to the people, and the king be freed from the necessity of calling for fresh supply every year from his subjects, which now comes very hard, and makes parliaments un. easy to themselves, as well as to those whose representatives they are.