Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

My honest homely words were carp'd and censur'd,
For want of courtly style: related actions,
Though modestly reported, pass'd for boasts:
Secure of merit, if I ask'd reward,

Thy hungry minions thought their rights invaded, And the bread snatch'd from pimps and parasites.

DRYDEN.

Don Sebastian, activ.

You have not visited the court, Cha mont,

your return ?

Since

I have no business there

I have not slavish temperance enough

To attend a favourite's heels, and watch his smiles, Bear an ill office done me to my face,

And thank the lord that wrong'd me, for his fa

vour.

I doubt there's deep resentment in his mind

For the late slight his honour suffer'd there.
Has he not reason? When for what he

had borne,

Long, hard, and faithful toil, he might have claim'd
Places in honour, and employment high;
A huffing, shining, flatt'ring, cringing coward,
A canker worm of peace, was rais'd above him.

*

Go to the camp, preferment's noblest mart, Where honour ought to have the fairest play, you'll

find

*: 337.

Corruption

Corruption, envy, discontent, and faction,
Almost in every band: how many men
Have spent their blood in their dear country's

service;

Yet now pine under want, while selfish slaves, That e'en could cut their throats whom now, they fawn on,

Like deadly locusts, eat the honey up,

Which those industrious bees so hardly toil'd for.

Avoid both courts and camps,

Where dilatory fortune plays the jilt
With the brave, noble, honest, gallant man,
To throw herself away on fools and knaves.

*

Who merit, ought indeed to rise i' th' world; But no wise man that's honest should expect. What man of sense would rack his gen'rous mind, To practise all the base formalities

And forms of business? force a grave starch'd face,
When he's a very libertine in's heart?

Seem not to know this or that man in public,
When privately, perhaps, they meet together,
And lay the scene of some brave fellow's ruin?
Such things are done.

*

No flatt'ry, boy, an honest man can't live by't:
It is a little sneaking art, which knaves
Use to cajole and soften fools withal.

If thou hast flatt'ry in thy nature, out with't,
Or send it to a court, for there 'twill thrive.

"Tis

'Tis next to money current there,
To be seen daily in as many forms
A's there are sorts of vanities and men.

[ocr errors]

OTWAY.

Orphan, act i. and ii.

WOULD you be happy, leave this fatal place; Fly from the court's pernicious neighbourhood, Where innocence is shunn'd, and blushing modesty Is made the scorner's jest: where hate, deceit, And deadly ruin, wear the mask of beauty, And draw deluded fools with shows of pleasure.

ROWE. Jane Shore, act i.

Ì AM no courtier, no fawning dog of state, To lick and kiss the hand that buffets me. Nor can I smile upon my guest, and praise His stomach, when I know he feeds on poison, And death disguis'd sits grinning at my table. SEWEL. Walter Raleigh, aes

THE Court's a golden, but a fatal circle, Upon whose magic skirts a thousand devils In chrystal forms sit tempting innocence; And beckon early virtue from its centre.

[ocr errors]

LEL. Nero, act ii.

THOU art too good for courts-where ruin preys On innocence; and nought but guile is safe.

Shame on the great! why long'd my eyes for

courts?

Haughty

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Haughty of heart, why have they souls thus

abject?

You threaten, praise, fright, flatter, and insult me!
Gods! what a creeping, climbing, hot, cold crea-

ture,

Is this big, little flutt'rer, called a courtier.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

MINISTERS.

us

FALSEHOOD and insincerity, unsuitable as they seem to the dignity of public transactions, offend ith a less degrading idea of meanness, than when they are found in the intercourse of private life. In the latter, they discover a want of courage; in the other only a defect of power: and as it is impossible for the most able statesmen to subdue millions of followers and enemies by their own personal strength, the world, under the name of policy, seems to have granted them a very liberal indulgence of craft and dissimulation.

GIBBON.

Roman Empire, vol. i. 119.

I HAD formerly upon occasion discoursed with my master upon the nature of government in general, and particularly of our own excellent constitution, deservedly the wonder and envy of the whole world. But having here accidentally mentioned a minister of state, he commanded me some time after to inform him, what species of yahoo I particularly meant by that appellation.

IN

I told

« ÎnapoiContinuați »