Harold F. Brooks and Raman Selden (eds), The Poems of John Oldham

Find Location in text

Main Text

A SATYR, In Imitation of the Third of JUVENAL.

Written, May, 1682.

The Poet brings in a Friend of his, giving him an account why he removes from London to live in the Country.

  • pg 247Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus1Tho much concern'd to leave my dear old Friend,
  • 2I must however his Design commend
  • 3Of fixing in the Country: for were I
  • 4As free to chuse my Residence, as he;
  • Editor’s Note5The Peake, the Fens, the Hundreds, or Lands-end,
  • 6I would prefer to Fleetstreet, or the Strand.
  • 7What place so desart, and so wild is there,
    8Whose Inconveniencies one would not bear,
    9Rather than the Alarms of midnight Fire,

  • 10The falls of Houses, Knavery of Cits,
  • 11The Plots of Factions, and the noise of Wits,
  • 12And thousand other Plagues, which up and down
  • 13Each day and hour infest the cursed Town?
  • Editor’s Note14  As Fate wou'd have't, on the appointed day
  • 15Of parting hence, I met him on the way,
  • Editor’s Note16Hard by Mile-end, the place so fam'd of late,
  • Critical Apparatus17In Prose and Verse for the great Factions Treat;
  • Editor’s Note18Here we stood still, and after Complements
  • 19Of course, and wishing his good Journey hence,
  • 20I ask'd what sudden causes made him flie
  • 21The once-lov'd Town, and his dear Company:
  • 22When, on the hated Prospect looking back,
  • Editor’s Note23Thus with just rage the good old Timon spake.
  • 24  Since Virtue here in no repute is had,
    25Since Worth is scorn'd, Learning and Sense unpaid,
    26And Knavery the only thriving Trade;

  • 27Finding my slender Fortune every day
  • Critical Apparatus28Dwindle and wast insensibly away,
  • Editor’s Note29I, like a losing Gamester, thus retreat,
  • 30To manage wiselier my last stake of Fate:
  • 31While I have strength, and want no staff to prop
  • 32My tott'ring Limbs, e're Age has made me stoop
  • 33Beneath its weight, e're all my Thread be spun,
    34And Life has yet in store some Sands to run,
    Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus35'Tis my Resolve to quit the nauseous Town.

  • pg 248Editor’s Note36  Let thriving Morecraft chuse his dwelling there,
  • 37Rich with the Spoils of some young spend-thrift Heir:
  • Editor’s Note38Let the Plot-mongers stay behind, whose Art
  • 39Can Truth to Sham, and Sham to Truth convert:
  • Critical Apparatus40Who ever has an House to Build, or Set
  • 41His Wife, his Conscience, or his Oath to let:
  • 42Who ever has, or hopes for Offices,
  • Editor’s Note43A Navy, Guard, or Custom-house's Place:
  • 44Let sharping Courtiers stay, who there are great
  • 45By putting the false Dice on King, and State.
  • Editor’s Note46Where they, who once were Grooms and Foot-boys known,
  • 47Are now to fair Estates and Honors grown;
  • 48Nor need we envy them, or wonder much
  • 49At their fantastick Greatness, since they're such,
  • 50Whom Fortune oft in her capricious freaks
  • 51Is pleas'd to raise from Kennels, and the Jakes,
  • 52To Wealth and Dignity above the rest,
  • 53When she is frolick, and dispos'd to jest.
  • Editor’s Note54  I live in London? What should I do there?
  • 55I cannot lye, nor flatter, nor forswear:
  • 56I can't commend a Book, or Piece of Wit,
  • 57(Tho a Lord were the Author) dully writ:
  • Editor’s Note58I'm no Sir Sydrophel to read the Stars,
  • 59And cast Nativities for longing Heirs,
  • Editor’s Note60When Fathers shall drop off: no Gadbury
  • 61To tell the minute, when the King shall die,
  • 62And you know what—come in: nor can I steer
    63And tack about my Conscience, whensoe're,
    64To a new Point, I see Religion veer.

  • 65Let others pimp to Courtier's Lechery,
  • 66I'll draw no City-Cuckold's Curse on me:
  • 67Nor would I do it, tho to be made great,
  • Critical Apparatus68And rais'd to the chief Minister of State.
  • 69Therefore I think it fit to rid the Town
  • 70Of one, that is an useless member grown.
  • 71Besides, who has pretence to Favour now,
    72But he, who hidden Villany does know,
    73Whose Breast does with some burning Secret glow?

  • 74By none thou shalt preferr'd, or valued be,
  • 75That trusts thee with an honest Secresie:
  • 76He only may to great men's Friendship reach,
  • 77Who Great Men, when he pleases, can impeach.
  • 78Let others thus aspire to Dignity;
  • 79For me, I'd not their envied Grandeur buy
  • Editor’s Note80For all th'Exchange is worth, that Pauls will cost,
  • Editor’s Note81Or was of late in the Scotch Voyage lost.
  • 82What would it boot, if I, to gain my end,
    83Forego my Quiet, and my ease of mind,
    84Still fear'd, at last betray'd by my great Friend.

  • 85  Another Cause, which I must boldly own,
  • 86And not the least, for which I quit the Town,
  • 87Is to behold it made the Common-shore,
  • 88Where France does all her Filth and Ordure pour:
  • 89What Spark of true old English rage can bear
  • Editor’s Note90Those, who were Slaves at home, to Lord it here?
  • Editor’s Note91We've all our Fashions, Language, Complements,
  • 92Our Musick, Dances, Curing, Cooking thence;
  • Editor’s Note93And we shall have their Pois'ning too e're long,
  • 94If still in the improvement we go on.
  • Editor’s Note95  What would'st thou say, great Harry, should'st thou view
  • 96Thy gawdy flutt'ring Race of English now,
  • Editor’s Note97Their tawdry Cloaths, Pulvilio's, Essences,
    Editor’s Note98Their Chedreux Perruques, and those Vanities,
    99Which thou, and they of old did so despise?

  • 100What would'st thou say to see th' infected Town
  • 101With the fowl Spawn of Foreigners o're-run?
  • 102Hither from Paris, and all Parts they come,
  • Editor’s Note103The Spue and Vomit of their Goals at home;
  • Editor’s Note104To Court they flock, and to S. James his Square,
  • 105And wriggle into Great Mens Service there:
  • 106Foot-boys at first, till they, from wiping Shooes,
  • 107Grow by degrees the Masters of the House:
  • 108Ready of Wit, harden'd of Impudence,
    Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus109Able with ease to put down either H[ains,]
    110Both the King's Player, and King's Evidence:

  • Editor’s Note111Flippant of Talk, and voluble of Tongue,
  • 112With words at will, no Lawyer better hung:
  • 113Softer than flattering Court-Parasite,
  • 114Or City-Trader, when he means to cheat:
  • 115No Calling, or Profession comes amiss,
  • 116A needy Monsieur can be what he please,
  • Editor’s Note117Groom, Page, Valet, Quack, Operator, Fencer,
  • 118Perfumer, Pimp, Jack-pudding, Juggler, Dancer:
  • Editor’s Note119Give but the word; the Cur will fetch and bring,
  • Editor’s Note120Come over to the Emperor, or King:
  • Editor’s Note121Or, if you please, fly o're the Pyramid,
  • Critical Apparatus122Which [Asto]n and the rest in vain have tried.
  • 123  Can I have patience, and endure to see
  • 124The paltry Forein Wretch take place of me,
  • Editor’s Note125Whom the same Wind and Vessel brought ashore,
  • 126That brought prohibited Goods and Dildoes o're?
  • 127Then, pray, what mighty Privilege is there
  • 128For me, that at my Birth drew English Air?
  • 129And where's the Benefit to have my Veins
  • 130Run Brittish Blood, if there's no difference
  • Editor’s Note131'Twixt me, and him, the Statute Freedom gave,
  • 132And made a Subject of a true-born Slave?
  • 133  But nothing shocks, and is more loath'd by me,
  • 134Than the vile Rascal's fulsom Flattery:
  • Editor’s Note135By help of this false Magnifying Glass,
  • 136A Louse, or Flea shall for a Camel pass:
  • Editor’s Note137Produce an hideous Wight, more ugly far
    138Than those ill Shapes, which in old Hangings are,
    139He'l make him strait a Beau Garçon appear:

  • Editor’s Note140Commend his Voice and Singing, tho he bray
  • 141Worse than Sir Martin Marr-all in the Play:
  • 142And if he Rhime; shall praise for Standard Wit,
  • Editor’s Note143More scurvy sense than Pryn and Vickars Writ.
  • 144  And here's the mischief, tho we say the same,
  • Editor’s Note145He is believ'd, and we are thought to sham:
  • 146Do you but smile, immediately the Beast
  • pg 251147Laughs out aloud, tho he ne'er heard the jest;
  • 148Pretend, you're sad, he's presently in Tears,
  • 149Yet grieves no more than Marble, when it wears
  • 150Sorrow in Metaphor: but speak of Heat;
  • Critical Apparatus151O God! how sultry 'tis! he'l cry, and sweat
  • 152In depth of Winter: strait, if you complain
  • 153Of Cold; the Weather-glass is sunk again:
  • Editor’s Note154Then he'l call for his Frize-Campaign, and swear,
  • Editor’s Note155'Tis beyond Eighty, he's in Greenland here.
  • 156Thus he shifts Scenes, and oft'ner in a day
  • 157Can change his Face, than Actors at a Play:
  • 158There's nought so mean, can scape the flatt'ring Sot,
  • 159Not his Lord's Snuff-box, nor his Powder-Spot:
  • 160If he but Spit, or pick his Teeth; he'l cry,
    Critical Apparatus161How every thing becomes you! let me die,
    162Your Lordship does it most judiciously:

  • 163And swear, 'tis fashionable, if he Sneeze,
  • 164Extremely taking, and it needs must please.
  • 165  Besides, there's nothing sacred, nothing free
  • 166From the hot Satyr's rampant Lechery:
  • 167Nor Wife, nor Virgin-Daughter can escape,
  • 168Scarce thou thy self, or Son avoid a Rape:
  • Editor’s Note169All must go pad-lock'd: if nought else there be,
  • 170Suspect thy very Stables Chastity.
  • 171By this the Vermin into Secrets creep,
  • 172Thus Families in awe they strive to keep.
  • 173What living for an English man is there,
    174Where such as these get head, and domineer,
    175Whose use and custom 'tis, never to share

  • Editor’s Note176A Friend, but love to reign without dispute,
  • 177Without a Rival, full, and absolute?
  • 178Soon as the Insect gets his Honor's ear,
  • 179And fly-blows some of's pois'nous malice there,
  • 180Strait I'm turn'd off, kick'd out of doors, discarded,
  • 181And all my former Service dis-regarded.
  • Editor’s Note182  But leaving these Messieurs, for fear that I
  • pg 252183Be thought of the Silk-Weavers Mutiny,
  • 184From the loath'd subject let us hasten on,
  • 185To mention other Grievances in Town:
  • 186And further, what Respect at all is had
  • 187Of poor men here? and how's their Service paid,
  • 188Tho they be ne'r so diligent to wait,
  • 189To sneak, and dance attendance on the Great?
  • 190No mark of Favour is to be obtain'd
  • 191By one, that sues, and brings an empty hand:
  • 192And all his merit is but made a sport,
  • 193Unless he glut some Cormorant at Court.
  • 194  'Tis now a common thing, and usual here,
  • 195To see the Son of some rich Usurer
  • 196Take place of Nobless, keep his first-rate Whore,
  • 197And for a Vaulting bout, or two give more
  • 198Than a Guard-Captains Pay: mean while the Breed
  • 199Of Peers, reduc'd to Poverty and Need,
  • Editor’s Note200Are fain to trudg to the Bank-side, and there
  • 201Take up with Porters leavings, Suburb-Ware,
  • 202There spend that Blood, which their great Ancestor
    203So nobly shed at Cressy heretofore,
    204At Brothel Fights in some foul Common-shore.

  • 205  Produce an Evidence, tho just he be,
  • Editor’s Note206As righteous Job, or Abraham, or He,
  • 207Whom Heaven, when whole Nature shipwrack'd was,
  • 208Thought worth the saving, of all human Race,
  • 209Or t'other, who the flaming Deluge scap'd,
  • 210When Sodom's Lechers Angels would have rap'd;
  • 211How rich he is, must the first question be,
  • Critical Apparatus212Next for his Manners, and Integrity,
  • 213They'l ask, what Equipage he keeps, and what
  • 214He's reckon'd worth in Money and Estate,
  • Editor’s Note215For Shrieve how oft he has been known to fine,
  • 216And with how many Dishes he does dine:
  • 217For look what Cash a person has in store,
  • 218Just so much Credit has he, and no more:
  • 219Should I upon a thousand Bibles Swear,
    Critical Apparatus220And call each Saint throughout the Calendar,
    221To vouch my Oath; it won't be taken here;

  • 222The Poor slight Heav'n and Thunderbolts (they think)
  • 223And Heav'n it self does at such Trifles wink.
  • Critical Apparatus224  Besides, what store of gibing scoffs are thrown
  • 225On one, that's poor, and meanly clad in Town;
  • 226If his Apparel seem but overworn,
  • 227His Stockings out at heel, or Breeches torn?
  • Editor’s Note228One takes occasion his ript Shooe to flout,
  • 229And swears 'thas been at Prison-grates hung out:
  • 230Another shrewdly jeers his coarse Crevat,
  • Editor’s Note231Because himself wears Point: a third his Hat,
  • 232And most unmercifully shews his Wit,
  • Editor’s Note233If it be old, or does not cock aright:
  • 234Nothing in Poverty so ill is born,
  • Editor’s Note235As its exposing men to grinning scorn,
  • 236To be by tawdry Coxcombs piss'd upon,
  • 237And made the jesting-stock of each Buffoon.
  • Editor’s Note238Turn out there, Friend! (cries one at Church) the Pew
  • 239Is not for such mean scoundrel Curs, as you:
  • 240'Tis for your Betters kept: Belike, some Sot,
  • Editor’s Note241That knew no Father, was on Bulks begot:
  • Editor’s Note242But now is rais'd to an Estate, and Pride,
  • Editor’s Note243By having the kind Proverb on his side:
  • Editor’s Note244Let Gripe and Cheatwel take their Places there,
  • 245And Dash the Scriv'ners gawdy sparkish Heir,
  • 246That wears three ruin'd Orphans on his back:
  • 247Mean while you in the Alley stand, and sneak:
  • 248And you therewith must rest contented, since
  • 249Almighty Wealth does put such difference.
  • 250What Citizen a Son-in-law will take,
  • 251Bred ne'er so well, that can't a Joynter make?
  • 252What man of sense, that's poor, e'er summon'd is
  • 253Amongst the Common-Council to advise?
  • 254At Vestry-Consults when does he appear,
    255For choosing of some Parish Officer,
    Editor’s Note256Or making Leather-Buckets for the Choire?

  • 257  'Tis hard for any man to rise, that feels
  • 258His Virtue clog'd with Poverty at heels:
  • 259But harder 'tis by much in London, where
    260A sorry Lodging, coarse, and slender Fare,
    261Fire, Water, Breathing, every thing is dear:

  • 262Yet such as these an earthen Dish disdain,
  • Editor’s Note263With which their Ancestors, in Edgar's Reign,
  • 264Were serv'd, and thought it no disgrace to dine,
  • 265Tho they were rich, had store of Leather-Coin.
  • 266Low as their Fortune is, yet they despise
  • Editor’s Note267A man that walks the streets in homely Frize:
  • Editor’s Note268To speak the truth, great part of England now
  • 269In their own Cloth will scarce vouchsafe to go:
  • 270Only, the Statutes Penalty to save,
  • 271Some few perhaps wear Woollen in the Grave.
  • 272Here all go gaily drest, altho it be
  • 273Above their Means, their Rank, and Quality:
  • 274The most in borrow'd Gallantry are clad,
  • 275For which the Tradesmen's Books are still unpaid:
  • 276This Fault is common in the meaner sort,
    277That they must needs affect to bear the Port
    278Of Gentlemen, tho they want Income for't.

  • 279  Sir, to be short, in this expensive Town
  • 280There's nothing without Mony to be done:
  • 281What will you give to be admitted there,
  • 282And brought to speech of some Court-Minister?
  • 283What will you give to have the quarter-face,
  • 284The squint and nodding go-by of his Grace?
  • 285His Porter, Groom, and Steward must have Fees,
  • Editor’s Note286And you may see the Tombs and Tow'r for less:
  • 287Hard Fate of Suitors! who must pay, and pray
  • 288To Livery-slaves, yet oft go scorn'd away.
  • 289  Who e're at Barnet, or S. Albans fears
  • 290To have his Lodging drop about his ears,
  • Editor’s Note291Unless a sudden Hurricane befal,
  • 292Or such a Wind as blew old Noll to Hell?
  • Editor’s Note293Here we build slight, what scarce out-lasts the Lease,
  • 294Without the help of Props and Buttresses:
  • pg 255295And Houses now adays as much require
  • Editor’s Note296To be ensur'd from Falling, as from Fire.
  • 297There Buildings are substantial, tho less neat,
  • 298And kept with care both Wind and Water-tight:
  • 299There you in safe security are blest,
  • 300And nought, but Conscience, to disturb your Rest.
  • Editor’s Note301  I am for living where no Fires affright,
  • 302No Bells rung backward break my sleep at night:
  • Editor’s Note303I scarce lie down, and draw my Curtains here,
  • 304But strait I'm rous'd by the next House on Fire:
  • 305Pale, and half-dead with Fear, my self I raise,
  • 306And find my Room all over in a blaze:
  • Editor’s Note307By this 'thas seiz'd on the third Stairs, and I
    308Can now discern no other Remedy,
    309But leaping out at Window to get free:

  • 310For if the Mischief from the Cellar came,
  • 311Be sure the Garret is the last, takes flame.
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus312  The moveables of P[orda]ge were a Bed
    313For him, and's Wife, a Piss-pot by its side,
    314A Looking-glass upon the Cupboards Head,

  • 315A Comb-case, Candlestick, and Pewter-spoon,
  • 316For want of Plate, with Desk to write upon:
  • 317A Box without a Lid serv'd to contain
  • Editor’s Note318Few Authors, which made up his Vatican:
  • 319And there his own immortal Works were laid,
  • 320On which the barbarous Mice for hunger prey'd:
  • Critical Apparatus321P[ordage] had nothing, all the world does know;
  • 322And yet should he have lost this Nothing too.
  • 323No one the wretched Bard would have suppli'd
  • 324With Lodging, House-room, or a Crust of Bread.
  • 325  But if the Fire burn down some Great Man's House,
  • Editor’s Note326All strait are interessed in the loss:
  • 327The Court is strait in Mourning sure enough,
  • Editor’s Note328The Act, Commencement, and the Term put off:
  • 329Then we Mischances of the Town lament,
  • Editor’s Note330And Fasts are kept, like Judgments to prevent.
  • Editor’s Note331Out comes a Brief immediately, with speed
  • pg 256332To gather Charity as far as Tweed.
  • 333Nay, while 'tis burning, some will send him in
  • 334Timber and Stone to build his House agen:
  • Editor’s Note335Others choice Furniture: here some rare piece
  • 336Of Rubens, or Vandike presented is:
  • Editor’s Note337There a rich Suit of Moreclack-Tapestry,
  • 338A Bed of Damask, or Embroidery:
  • Editor’s Note339One gives a fine Scritore, or Cabinet,
  • 340Another a huge massie Dish of Plate,
  • 341Or Bag of Gold: thus he at length gets more
  • 342By kind misfortune than he had before:
  • 343And all suspect it for a laid Design,
  • 344As if he did himself the Fire begin.
  • 345Could you but be advis'd to leave the Town,
  • 346And from dear Plays, and drinking Friends be drawn,
  • 347An handsom Dwelling might be had in Kent,
  • 348Surrey, or Essex, at a cheaper Rent
  • 349Than what you're forc'd to give for one half year
  • 350To lie, like Lumber, in a Garret here:
  • Editor’s Note351A Garden there, and Well, that needs no Rope,
  • 352Engin, or Pains to Crane its Waters up:
  • 353Water is there thro Natures Pipes convey'd,
  • 354For which no Custom, or Excise is paid:
  • 355Had I the smallest Spot of Ground, which scarce
  • Editor’s Note356Would Summer half a dozen Grasshoppers,
  • 357Not larger than my Grave, tho hence remote,
    Editor’s Note358Far as S. Michaels Mount, I would go to't,
    359Dwell there content, and thank the Fates to boot.

  • 360  Here want of Rest a nights more People kills
  • Editor’s Note361Than all the College, and the weekly Bills:
  • 362Where none have privilege to sleep, but those,
  • 363Whose Purses can compound for their Repose:
  • 364In vain I go to bed, or close my eyes,
    Editor’s Note365Methinks the place the Middle Region is,
    366Where I lie down in Storms, in Thunder rise:

  • 367The restless Bells such Din in Steeples keep,
  • 368That scarce the Dead can in their Church-yards sleep:
  • Editor’s Note369Huzza's of Drunkards, Bell-mens midnight-Rhimes,
  • 370The noise of Shops, with Hawkers early Screams,
  • pg 257Editor’s Note371Besides the Brawls of Coach-men, when they meet
  • 372And stop in turnings of a narrow Street,
  • Editor’s Note373Such a loud Medley of confusion make,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus374As drowsie A[rche]r on the Bench would wake.
  • Editor’s Note375  If you walk out in Bus'ness ne'er so great,
  • 376Ten thousand stops you must expect to meet:
  • 377Thick Crowds in every Place you must charge thro,
  • 378And storm your Passage, wheresoe're you go:
  • 379While Tides of Followers behind you throng,
  • 380And, pressing on your heels, shove you along:
  • 381One with a Board, or Rafter hits your Head,
  • 382Another with his Elbow bores your side;
  • 383Some tread upon your Corns, perhaps in sport,
  • 384Mean while your Legs are cas'd all o're with Dirt.
  • Editor’s Note385Here you the March of a slow Funeral wait,
  • 386Advancing to the Church with solemn State:
  • 387There a Sedan and Lacquies stop your way,
  • 388That bears some Punk of Honor to the Play:
  • 389Now you some mighty piece of Timber meet,
  • 390Which tott'ring threatens ruin to the Street:
  • Editor’s Note391Next a huge Portland Stone, for building Pauls,
  • 392It self almost a Rock, on Carriage rowls:
  • 393Which, if it fall, would cause a Massacre,
  • 394And serve at once to murder, and interr.
  • 395  If what I've said can't from the Town affright,
  • 396Consider other dangers of the Night:
  • 397When Brickbats are from upper Stories thrown,
  • Editor’s Note398And emptied Chamber-pots come pouring down
  • 399From Garret Windows: you have cause to bless
  • 400The gentle Stars, if you come off with Piss:
  • Critical Apparatus401So many Fates attend, a man had need
  • 402Ne'er walk without a Surgeon by his side:
  • 403And he can hardly now discreet be thought,
  • 404That does not make his Will, e're he go out.
  • Editor’s Note405  If this you scape, twenty to one, you meet
  • 406Some of the drunken Scowrers of the Street,
  • pg 258407Flush'd with success of warlike Deeds perform'd,
  • 408Of Constables subdu'd, and Brothels storm'd:
  • 409These, if a Quarrel, or a Fray be mist,
  • 410Are ill at ease a nights, and want their Rest.
  • 411For mischief is a Lechery to some,
  • 412And serves to make them sleep like Laudanum.
  • 413Yet heated, as they are, with Youth and Wine,
  • 414If they discern a train of Flamboes shine,
  • 415If a Great Man with his gilt Coach appear,
    416And a strong Guard of Foot-boys in the rere,
    417The Rascals sneak, and shrink their Heads for fear.

  • Editor’s Note418Poor me, who use no Light to walk about,
  • 419Save what the Parish, or the Skies hang out,
  • 420They value not: 'tis worth your while to hear
    421The scuffle, if that be a scuffle, where
    422Another gives the Blows, I only bear:

  • 423He bids me stand: of force I must give way,
  • 424For 'twere a sensless thing to disobey
  • 425And struggle here, where I'd as good oppose
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus426My self to P[reston] and his Mastiffs loose.
  • 427Who's there? he cries, and takes you by the Throat,
  • 428Dog! are you dumb? Speak quickly, else my Foot
  • 429Shall march about your Buttocks: whence d'ye come,
  • 430From what Bulk-ridden Strumpet reeking home?
  • 431Saving your reverend Pimpship, where d'ye ply?
  • 432How may one have a Job of Lechery?
  • 433If you say any thing, or hold your peace,
  • 434And silently go off; 'tis all a case:
  • 435Still he lays on: nay well, if you scape so:
  • 436Perhaps he'l clap an Action on you too
  • 437Of Battery: nor need he fear to meet
  • 438A Jury to his turn, shall do him right,
  • 439And bring him in large Damage for a Shooe
  • 440Worn out, besides the pains, in kicking you.
  • 441A Poor Man must expect nought of redress,
  • 442But Patience: his best in such a case
  • 443Is to be thankful for the Drubs, and beg
  • pg 259444That they would mercifully spare one leg
  • 445Or Arm unbroke, and let him go away
  • 446With Teeth enough to eat his Meat next day.
  • 447  Nor is this all, which you have cause to fear,
  • Editor’s Note448Oft we encounter midnight Padders here:
  • Editor’s Note449When the Exchanges and the Shops are close,
    450And the rich Tradesman in his Counting-house
    451To view the Profits of the day withdraws.

  • Editor’s Note452Hither in flocks from Shooters-Hill they come,
  • 453To seek their Prize and Booty nearer home:
  • Editor’s Note454Your Purse! they cry; 'tis madness to resist,
  • 455Or strive with a cock'd Pistol at your Breast:
  • 456And these each day so strong and numerous grow,
  • 457The Town can scarce afford them Jail-room now.
  • Editor’s Note458Happy the times of the old Heptarchy,
  • 459E're London knew so much of Villany:
  • Editor’s Note460Then fatal Carts thro Holborn seldom went,
  • 461And Tyburn with few Pilgrims was content:
  • 462A less and single Prison then would do,
  • 463And serv'd the City, and the County too.
  • 464These are the Reasons, Sir, which drive me hence,
  • 465To which I might add more, would Time dispense,
  • 466To hold you longer; but the Sun draws low,
  • 467The Coach is hard at hand, and I must go:
  • 468  Therefore, dear Sir, farewel; and when the Town
  • 469From better Company can spare you down,
  • 470To make the Country with your Presence blest,
  • 471Then visit your old Friend amongst the rest:
  • 472There I'll find leisure to unlade my mind
  • 473Of what Remarques I now must leave behind:
  • 474The Fruits of dear Experience, which with these
  • 475Improv'd will serve for hints and notices;
  • Editor’s Note476  And when you write again, may be of use
  • 477  To furnish Satyr for your daring Muse.

Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
1–35 1683, R (but see 17, 28, 35)
Editor’s Note
1. Boswell comments (Life, i.119 f.): '… his poem sets out with a strange inadvertent blunder: "Tho' much concern'd to leave my dear old friend"…. It is plain he was not going to leave his friend; his friend was going to leave him. A young lady at once corrected this with good critical sagacity, to "Tho' much concern'd to lose my dear old friend."' Reading 'leave', R226 confirms the text.
Editor’s Note
5. the Hundreds: the Essex Hundreds: see 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 260 f. and n.
Editor’s Note
14–17. Substituted for Juvenal's 11-line description of the Porta Capena and Valley of Egeria.
Editor’s Note
16 f. 'The faction' was one of the opprobrious names bestowed upon the Whigs: (see Thomas Papillon's trial, 1689, p. 4). Shaftesbury, declares The Loyal Scot: An Excellent New Song (1682), 'with Treats and Treason daily crams his City-Friends'. The Whigs had planned a great feast at Haberdasher's Hall for 21 Apr. 1682: it was forbidden by proclamation on the 19th; whereupon some of them dined at separate places with part of the provisions. See The London Mercury, 17–20 Apr. 1682, and Luttrell, i.179 f. One of these places was probably Mile-end, where a Whig entertainment had been held in 1681, no doubt because it lay handy for the brisk boys of Wapping. Cf. Otway's prologue to Venice Preserv'd for James's visit, 21 Apr. 1682; bidding the Whigs, 'Renounce … Your Wapping Feasts and your Mile-End High-places', and The Observator, 27 Apr. 1682: 'I hear mine Host of Wapping is like now to be paid the Remnant of the Reckoning that was left at the Gun when the Whigs treated their Friends there last Summer.' Is not this the Gun at Mile-end (cf. Pepys, 2 June 1668)? The 1681 entertainment was scarcely 'fam'd … in Prose, and Verse': the disappointment of 1682 emphatically was: cf. the satirical comments in the Loyal Protestant and Heraclitus Ridens on 25 Apr. 1682; Otway's Prologue to The City Heiress (1682) by Aphra Behn, and her Prologue to Romulus and Hersilia (1682), anon. (Wiley, pp. 78, ll. 35 f., p. 132, l. 25; cf. p. 74, n. 1, quoting The Tory Poets (1682), and p. 130, n. 1); Absalom, Pt. II (Nov. 1682), ll. 913–30; and such ballads as The Loyal Feast … and how it was Defeated (1682); An Answer to Thomson's Ballad call'd The Loyal Feast, [1682]; The Whigg-Feast (1682); Hemp for the Flaxman: Or, A Friday Feast Kid-Napped [1682]; A Congratulatory Poem on the Whiggs Entertainment (1682); An Answer To the Pamphlet called, The Loyal Feast (1682).
Critical Apparatus
17 Prose and] R; Prose, and 1683
Editor’s Note
18–23. Oldham expands the original, introducing the satiric monologue less abruptly. In ll. 22 f. he follows Boileau, Satires, p. 2, Satire I: the Latin is simply 'Hic tunc Vmbricius'; the French:
  • La colère dans l'âme, & le feu dans les yeux,
  • Il distila sa rage, en ces tristes adieux.
Editor’s Note
23. Timon. Rochester had used the name eight years earlier for the spokesman in his satirical sketch from London life, beginning: 'What Timon'. does old age begin t'approach …?'
Critical Apparatus
28 Dwindle and] R; Dwindle, and 1683
Editor’s Note
29 f. Substituted for an allusion to Daedalus, and no doubt suggested by Cowley's fifth Anacreontique (Poems, p. 53) where the aging poet resolves to 'manage wisely the last stake'.
Critical Apparatus
35 nauseous] 1683; plotting R227
Editor’s Note
35. nauseous. R227 reads 'plotting'.
Editor’s Note
36. Morecraft. The usurer in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady (1616), who tries to possess himself of the land to which the younger Loveless is supposed heir. At the end of the play he turns swaggerer 'and is now called Cutting Moorecraft'. Dryden refers to him by this title in the prologue to Marriage A-La-Mode (1673).
Editor’s Note
38 f. According to the Tories, the Popish Plot was a sham: the Whigs had conspired to fit the Catholics with a forged crime. The Whigs retorted that this supposed conspiracy of theirs was the sham, with which they were being saddled by the Papists. Minor plots were set on foot to plant evidence that the other side was really conspiring (see 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 246–8 and n.). These were 'The little Shamms', the issue of 'old Mother-Plot', to which An Elegy On The Death Of The Plot makes reference in 1681. A Tory ballad of 1683, on the Rye House conspiracy, is entitled The Old New True Blew Protestant Plot. Or Five Years Sham Plots Discovered in one True One. Cf. A Just Narrative Of The Hellish New Counter-Plots Of The Papists, To cast the Odium of their Horrid Treasons Upon The Presbyterians (1679); The Discovery Of Captain Bury and Alderman Brooks. Of a new Design of the Papists … to charge the late Plott upon the Protestants (1679); Andrew Yarranton's Full Discovery of the First Presbyterian Sham Plot (1681); E[dmund?] H[ickeringill?]'s Character Of A Sham-Plotter (1681); R. L'Estrange's The Shammer Shammed (1681); Thomas Dangerfield's More Shams Still (1681), and Robert Ferguson's No Protestant Plot (1681), with 2nd and 3rd parts published in 1682.
Critical Apparatus
40 Set] Ed. (1722); Set, 1683
Editor’s Note
43. Guard. i.e. in the professional army, which consisted of a few regiments of Guards.
Editor’s Note
46 f. The Latin precluded close imitation: Oldham follows Boileau, Satires, p. 3, Satire I:
  • Que George vive ici …
  • Qu'un million comptant par ses fourbes acquis
  • De clerc, jadis Laquais, a fait Comte et Marquis.
Editor’s Note
54 f. The original is: 'Quid Romae faciam? mentiri nescio'; Oldham follows Boileau, Satires, p. 3, Satire I:
  • Mais moi, vivre à Paris! eh, qu'y voudrois-je faire?
  • Je ne sçai ni tromper, ni feindre, ni mentir….
Editor’s Note
58–60. Cf. Rochester, 'Upon His Drinking a Bowl', ll. 15 f.:
  • For I am no Sir Sidrophel,
  • Nor none of his relations.
See 'Ode Of Anacreon', headnote. Sidrophel is the astrologer, drawn from William Lilly, in Hudibras, II.iii. Hudibras says of him and his fellows (ll. 937 f.):
  • Some take a measure of the lives
  • Of Fathers, Mothers, Husbands, Wives.
Editor’s Note
60–2. See Observations upon the Strange & Wonderful Prophecies Of Mr. John Gadbury (1680), quoting from Gadbury's almanac on 'an Eclipse of the Sun in Aries', 20 Mar. 1680, 'these Insolent Words: The Famous Cambden … hath TRULY minded us of the danger attending ENGLAND, from Eclipses in Aries,—Si quando fuerit Eclipsis in γ‎ ant [sic] Ω‎ significat Mortem Regis.' Cf. The Northern Star: The British Monarchy, 1680 ('May 10', Luttrell, Catalogues) A1r: 'Their friend Gadbury hath … let [the Papists] understand that this Blow is to be struck now or never'. Examined at Mrs Cellier's first trial, June 1680, Gadbury admitted that during the King's illness the previous Aug. she had asked him to consult the stars to know whether it would end fatally: but he denied that he had done so. (The Case of Tho. Dangerfield, 1680, ('Octobr 16', Luttrell, Catalogues), pp. 7–9). The accusations were still alive in 1682 (see Animadversions Upon Mr. John Gadbury's AlmanackFor1682. By Thomas Dangerfield (1682), p. 6); and are referred to in other satires: e.g. 'An Ironical Encomium on … the Incomparable Couple of Whiggish Walloons', POAS, iii, 2nd edn. (1716), p. 151:
  • The Ides of March are past, and Gadbury
  • Proclaims a downfal of our Monarchy; &c
and 'Staffords Ghost Feb. 1682', POAS, i, 2nd edn. (1716):
  • York's most belov'd and boldest Friend is he,
  • Who knows he must succeed by Gadbury.
Critical Apparatus
68 Minister] Ed. ('1683'); Ministers 1683
Editor’s Note
80. th'Exchange: the Royal Exchange: see 'Boileau VIII', 1. 97, n.
Editor’s Note
80. that Pauls will cost. New St. Paul's had been building since 1675, and was not completed until 1710; the eventual cost was £747,661. 10s.
Editor’s Note
81. By the wreck, 6 May 1682, of the Gloucester frigate, in which the Duke of York was sailing for Edinburgh; cf. 'On the Times', R223, ll. 7 f.; Burnet, ii.326 f. and nn; and Nat. Lee, To the Duke On His Return, 1682 ('May 29', Luttrell's copy; Wiley, p. 112, p. 113, ll. 4 ff.). There went down with her 'the dukes furniture and plate &c., to the losse of 30,000 l.' (Luttrell, I.185).
Editor’s Note
90. Those, who were Slaves at home. Cf. 'Boileau VIII', l. 76 and n.
Editor’s Note
91 f. Sir Fopling Flutter, the Man of Mode in Etherege's play, 'wears nothing but what are Originals of the most Famous hands in Paris'. Medley, in the same piece, satirizes the affected ladies who, like Melantha in Dryden's Marriage-A-La-Mode, use 'all the Foolish French Words' they can acquire (Brett-Smith, ii.231, 221; 209, 153 and n.): and Dryden in the dedication of The Rival Ladies (Essays, i.5) expresses the wish that both in conversation and literature, 'we might at length leave to borrow words from other nations, which is now a wantonness in us, not a necessity'. The leading dancing-master of the day, St. André, was a Frenchman: so was Grabut, the master of the king's music. Pelham Humphrey was sent to complete his musical education under Lully at Paris; Bannister is said to have been dismissed the king's service for asserting that the English violins were better than the French; and Pepys tells, 20 Nov. 1660, of the king putting 'a great affront upon Singleton's musique, he bidding them stop, and made the French musique play, which, my Lord says, do much outdo all ours'. As for French cooking, Pepys dined à la française at Lord Brouncker's house, and at Chatelin's, Monsieur Robins', and the Bear, Drury Lane, 'an excellent ordinary, after the French manner but of Englishmen' (2 Jan. 1665, 12 May, 1667, 18 Feb., 13 Mar. 1668). It is a boorish host in Rochester's 'Timon', ll. 73 f., who declares complacently:
  • As for French kickshaws, sillery and champagne,
  • Ragouts and fricassees, in troth w'have none.
Editor’s Note
93 f. Cf. Dryden, The Spanish Fryar (acted Mar. 1679/80, printed 1681), Prologue, ll. 45 ff.:
  • When Murther's out, what Vice can we advance?
  • Unless the new found Pois'ning Trick of France….
From 1679 to 1682 the Chambre Ardente was investigating the La Voisin and other poisonings.
Editor’s Note
95. great Harry: Henry V, victor of Agincourt.
Editor’s Note
97. Pulvilio: a perfumed powder.
Editor’s Note
98. Chedreux Perruques. Periwigs by the celebrated Chedreux, of Paris. Sir Fopling Flutter's periwig was a Chedreux. In the preface to All for Love (1678; Essays, i.195), Dryden dubs those who make French poetry their standard of judgement 'Chedreux critics'.
Editor’s Note
103. Goals: gaols; the spelling is common at this period.
Editor’s Note
104 f. St. James's Square was planned by the Earl of St. Albans about 1663, and a warrant for its erection was issued to Bab May and Abraham Cowley 24 Sept. 1664. Among the 'great men' residing there about this time were St. Albans himself, Ormond, Essex, Dorset the satirist, and Halifax. See Wheatley, ii.298 ff.; A.J. Dasent, The History of St. James's Square (1895); Ogg, i.94 f.
Critical Apparatus
109 H[ains,]] Ed. (1854 subst.); Hans, (1722); H1683
Editor’s Note
109 f. Jo. Haynes (d. 1701) had been a popular low comedian since 1668, when Pepys notes that he was lately come from the Nursery. Actors joining the King's or the Duke's company were reckoned royal servants. Haynes's livery was granted 2 Oct. 1669; he was further certified His Majesty's servant, 14 Apr. 1679 and 10 July 1682. Famed for his fluent gags, and impudent assurance, he was suspended 4 Nov. 1675 because he had with 'scandalous language & insolent carriage abused Sir Edmund Windham', and was arrested, 18 June 1677, 'for reciteinge … a Scurrilous and obscoene Epilogue'. See Nicoll, i.298 and n. 8, 313 n. 3, 319 n. 4, 326 n. 1, 328, 367; Wiley, pp. 195–9; and, in the Bodleian, MS Firth e. 6. f. 65v and Thorn Drury's MS collection on Restoration Players.
Bryan Haynes, 'Aged thirty years and upward' in 1681, was one of the Irish witnesses whose brazen venality and brutality have been illustrated above ('Boileau VIII', l. 257, n.). He was king's evidence first against the Papists, and then, turning his coat like his fellows, against College and Shaftesbury, 17 Aug. and 24 Nov. 1681. (See Luttrell, i.108, 117, 121, 137, 146; The Irish-Evidence Convicted by their Own Oaths, 1682, p. 11, and the trials of College and Shaftesbury).
Editor’s Note
111 f. 'Well-hung' means 'having pendent organs'—e.g. a long tongue; cf. Dryden's 'well hung Balaam' in Absalom, l. 574.
Editor’s Note
117 f. This figure, a favourite with Oldham, is in the Latin. For 'Jack-pudding', see 'Spencer's Ghost', 1. 264 n. 'Operator' is either, as in 'Jesuits IV', l. 186, a tooth-drawer, or a quack manufacturer of drugs (OED, 3 or 3b). 'Mr. Elmer, Operator' advertizes in The Protestant (Domestick) Intelligence, 17 Feb. 1679/80.
Editor’s Note
119 f. Oldham attempts no direct version of 'in caelum iusseris ibit' such as Johnson achieved with his famous 'And bid him go to Hell, to Hell he goes', itself a happy modification of Dryden's more literal 'And bid him go to Heav'n, to Heav'n he goes'.
Editor’s Note
120. The 'well-educated ape' in the induction to Jonson's Bartholomew Fair (l. 17) will 'come over the chain for a king of England, and back again for the prince, and sit still … for the pope and the king of Spain'. Similarly with Rupert's dog, 'Boy' (Cleveland, 'To P. Rupert', ll. 125 f.).
Editor’s Note
121 f. fly … tried. This combines, if my conjectures, fully discussed in 'Oldham: Some Problems', pp. 573–5, are accepted, allusions to the London Monument and to the Royal Society. Extensive search has failed to find in the pre-history of aeronautics a Johnston, or even a metrically possible J--n (see Apparatus). Nor is an attempt to fly over the Great Pyramid in Egypt, or any other, upon record. The clue to Oldham's equivalent for 'in caelum iusseris ibit' lies, it seems, in his accommodation of Juvenal to Restoration London, where the Monument, commemorating the Great Fire, was sometimes known as the Pyramid: e.g. in 'Hodge's Vision from the Monument', which moreover Algernon Sidney reported to Henry Savile (Marvell, Poems, 3rd edn., i.237) as 'the speech of Hodge … from the top of the Pyramid'. The Monument was closely associated with the Royal Society. Wren was consulted about it; Hooke designed it, supervized its erection, and (to confirm its stability) surveyed it in 1679. Its height suggested the Society's using it for barometry and astronomy, though for the latter it proved unsuitable (see Margaret 'Espinasse, Robert Hooke (1956), pp. 96 f.; James Elmes, Memoirs … of … Wren (1823), p. 289; Thomas Birch, History of the Royal Society, 1660–87 (1856, 1857), iii.463; R.W.T. Gunther, Early Science in Oxford (1923–45), vi.526 f.). A corporate body and someone representative of it would be aptly referred to by Oldham's named individual 'and the rest'. I believe he wrote A—-n. Francis Aston became one of the two Secretaries of the Royal Society on 30 Nov. 1681, and though it was not until Dec. 1682 that he became senior Secretary, from the first he was active in correspondence on its behalf, and seems soon to have taken an increasing share in its business (Birch, op. cit., iii.442, iv.58, 106, 108 f., 112–36 passim, 168, 226).
Aeronautical speculation among the Society's parent group is quipped at in Henry Stubbes's Plus Ultra reduced to a Non Plus (1670), p. 42: 'the contrivance of wings for mankind', he recalls, was 'projecting at Wadham College'. Hooke continued prolific in theories, designs, and models, and discussed the subject with other Fellows of the Society, Wilkins, Crowne, Moore, Henshaw, Walter Pope, Aubrey, Tompion, and especially Wren (whose 'way of kites' he mentions in his Diary, 11 Feb. 1675/6); on 8 May 1679 he initiated a consideration of it at the Royal Society meeting itself (Birch, op. cit., iii.481 f.; Gunther, op. cit., vi.5, 9, 427, vii.517 f., 523; 'Espinasse, op. cit., p. 117; H.W. Robinson and W. Adams (eds.), The Diary of Robert Hooke 1672–80 (1935), pp. xvii, 70, 107, 109, 129, 273, 359 f., 411). No attempt is known, however, to proceed at the Monument from barometric experiment to aeronautics. Oldham's 'oer the Pyramid' seems to be simply an image for soaring into the heavens. The height both of the London and the Egyptian Pyramids was rhetorically exaggerated. In his ode on Morwent (ll. 773 f.) Oldham had written of the 'fond Aegyptian Fabrick, built so high / As if 'twould climb the Sky', recollecting Propertius' 'Pyramidum sumptus ad sidera ducti' (III.ii.19), whose 'ad sidera' would spring back to mind at Juvenal's 'in caelum' here. 'Th' Aegyptian Pyramids', according to London's Index, Or Some Reflexions on the New Built Monument (1676), are now put to shame and 'shrink in their heads', for
  • Here's Pelian and Ossa too:
  • Typhon had laid a Siege with less a do
  • To Heav'n and scal'd the Sky
  • Durst he have ventur'd half so high.
Critical Apparatus
122 [Asto]n] Ed.; J—n 1683; Johnston 1722
Editor’s Note
125 f. Trade with France was viewed with disfavour, as involving an adverse balance, and introducing effeminate luxuries. It was discouraged, notably by the prohibitions imposed in 1678. These stimulated smuggling. See 'Ode on Jonson', ll. 104 ff., and 'The Careless Good Fellow', ll. 17 f., and nn. The contraband sometimes included the leather goods mentioned by Oldham; a consignment was seized and burnt by the Customs in 1670. Savile writes to Rochester on 26 Jan., facetiously suggesting that as General of the Ballers he ought to take revenge, (Rochester, Letters, p. 63.)
Editor’s Note
131. the Statute: the private Act by which (alternatively to letters patent) an alien could become naturalized. There was as yet no general one. See D.C. Agnew, French Protestant Refugees (1886), ii.13, 43, etc.
Editor’s Note
135 f. The observations of a flea and a louse described and illustrated in Hooke's Micrographia (1665), had already furnished Butler and Marvell with a jest apiece (Hudibras, II.iii.305 ff.; 'Last Instructions to a Painter', ll. 16–18); and cf. Etherege's comparison in The Man of Mode (1676), II.i.100: 'a Flea or a Maggot is not made more monstrous by a magnifying Glass'.
Editor’s Note
137 f. Cf. the simile in Donne's 4th satire, ll. 225 f.:
  • … though his face be as ill
  • As theirs which in old hangings whip Christ….
Editor’s Note
140 f. Sir Martin Mar-all, in Dryden's play of that name (1667, printed 1668), 'sings like a Scritch-Owle', and therefore serenades his mistress in dumb-show, his man Warner supplying the music from concealment. Unfortunately, he continues the dumb-show after Warner has finished the song. Shadwell alludes to this famous scene in the prologue to The Humorists (1671); and Wycherley in The Country Wife (1675), I.i.
Editor’s Note
143. William Prynne (1600–69) and his fellow-Puritan, John Vicars (1580?–1652) were versifiers as well as controversialists. Cf. Hudibras, I.i.639–42 (and Wilder's n.):
  • Thou that with Ale or viler Liquors
  • Didst inspire Withers, Pryn, and Vickars,
  • And force them, though it were in spight
  • Of nature and their stars, to write …
and on Prynne, A. B.'s verses before Cleveland's poems:
  • When sage George Withers, and grave William Pryn
  • Himself, might for a poet's share put in,
and Cowley's scornful references to him, in 'An Answer' (Poems, p. 44) as 'the Homer of the Isle'.
Editor’s Note
145. The earliest instance in OED of 'sham' in the generalized sense of trickery, hoaxing.
Critical Apparatus
151 'tis!] Ed. ('1683'); 'tis? 1683
Editor’s Note
154. Frize-Campaign: a campaign coat, such as soldiers wore, made of coarse woollen cloth. Sedley, preface to Bellamira (1687), writes of 'our English weather, where in the same day a man shall Sweat in Crape, and wish for a Campagn Coat three hours after'.
Editor’s Note
155. beyond Eighty: degrees of north latitude. Oldham echoes Cowley's 'The Parting' (Poems, p. 117), in which the first stanza begins 'As Men in Groen-land left' and the third ends ''Tis beyond eighty at least, if you're not here'.
Critical Apparatus
161 you!] Ed. ('1683'); you? 1683
Editor’s Note
169. Alluding to the 'Italian lock, Custos pudicitiae'. One was preserved among Tradescant's Rarities. See 'Jesuits IV', ll. 60 ff., n.
Editor’s Note
176 f. Echoing MacFlecknoe, ll. 5 f.
Editor’s Note
182 f. Cf. Dryden, Epilogue to Aureng-Zebe (1676), ll. 20 f.:
  • True English hate your Mounsieur's paltry Arts,
  • For you are all Silk-weavers, in your hearts.
This refers to the riots of the previous August. See CSPD, 1675–6, p. 253, 10 Aug. 1675, R. M. to Sir Francis Radcliffe: 'today a great company' of the London weavers 'fell upon the French weavers, broke all their materials, and defaced several of their houses'. The Government should 'encourage our natives more than foreigners'. With intensified persecution in France from 1680, immigration of the Huguenot weavers was increasing rapidly, and the English government had affirmed a liberal policy toward the refugees by a proclamation of 28 June 1681.
Editor’s Note
200 f. The Bankside, Southwark, once the site of the Stews, was still of evil fame. The fiddler's song in Shadwell's Epsom Wells (1673), III.i, makes reference to 'Suburb debauches': 'Suburbian' was a cant name for a prostitute.
Editor’s Note
206–10. Noah and Lot.
Critical Apparatus
212 Integrity,] Ed.; Integrity: 1683
Editor’s Note
215. See 'Boileau VIII', l. 119, and n. Cf. also 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 165.
Critical Apparatus
220 Calendar,] Ed. (1683b); Calendar: 1683
Critical Apparatus
224 thrown] 1683 (some copies) hrown (others)
Editor’s Note
228 f. See 'Upon a Bookseller', l. 88 and n.
Editor’s Note
231. Point: rich lace.
Editor’s Note
233. The fashionable cocking of a hat was of moment in the eyes of the town: cf. Etherege, She wou'd if she cou'd (1668), III.iii.145: 'never Hat took the fore-cock and the hind-cock at one motion so naturally', and Brett-Smith's n.
Editor’s Note
235. grinning scorn: the mockery of the rabble, so described also in a draft of 'Jesuits III', l. 339 (R185).
Editor’s Note
238–49. The building and appropriation of pews, beginning apparently in the 16th century, went on rapidly in the 17th, so that in 1714 we read: 'there is one great Fault in the Churches here, which we no where meet with abroad, and that is, that a Stranger cannot have a convenient Seat without paying for it'. (A Journey through England in Familiar Letters, i.202, quoted by J. Wickham Legg, English Church Life (1914), p. 35.) See also A.C. Heales, History and Law of Church Seats or Pews (1872), passim. The emphasis thus given to social precedence in church is exemplified in Pepys, 11 Nov. 1660, 30 Mar. and 24 Aug. 1662. The alley (l. 247) is the aisle.
Editor’s Note
241. on Bulks begot: in the street; bulk (OED, sb2), a stall-like projection from the front of a shop.
Editor’s Note
242 f. Both prosperity and pride are traditionally ascribed to bastards: the superstition 'that Bastards have an unusual share of prosperity and happiness' is recorded by V.S. Lean (Collectanea (1902–4), ii.609; cf. Shakespeare, King John, I.i.180 f.); and Bailey (Dictionary, s.v. Bastard) quotes the proverb 'Bastard brood is always proud'.
Editor’s Note
243. Cf. R.W., The English Rechabite (n.d.), p. 15:
  • Pharaoh's chief Butler had by th' Neck been ti'd.
  • Had he not had a Proverb on his side….
Editor’s Note
244 f. Conventional names. An Alderman Gripe is a covetous old usurer in Wycherley's Love in a Wood (1672). Traverse's clerk in Shirley's Honoria and Mammon (1659), and Justice Trifle's in Davenant, News from Plymouth (1635), are each called Dash, since the true scrivener, 'for feare of writing false Latin … abbreviates the ending … of his word with a dash, and so leaves it doubtfull' (Wye Saltonstall, 'A Lawyer's Clearke', Picturae Loquentes, ed. C.H. Wilkinson, Luttrell Society, 1946, p. 34); moreover, he makes 'the wordes in his declaration spread', to enhance the price, so that 'a Clarke of a swooping Dash is [especially] commendable' ('A Puny-Clarke', The Overburian Characters, ed. W.J. Paylor (1936), p. 52).
Editor’s Note
256. Cf. Cleveland, 'The Rebell Scot', ll. 5–7:
  • Ring the bells backward; I am all on fire,
  • Not all the buckets in a Countrey Quire
  • Shall quench my rage.
In the Great Fire, Dryden, in Annus Mirabilis, 229.2, depicts how some ran 'for Buckets to the hallow'd Quire'. After the Fire, the Common Council made provision for extra buckets in each ward. See An Act For Preventing and Suppressing of Fires Within The City of London (1667).
Editor’s Note
263–5. Davenant, The Witts (1635/6), V, I3v, refers to this tradition concerning 'the dayes of Edgar', when 'they Coyn'd Leather'.
Editor’s Note
267. Frize: coarse woollen cloth, with a nap, usually on one side only.
Editor’s Note
268–71. Acts for burying in woollen shrouds were passed in 1666, 1678, and 1680. If Oedipus (produced Sept. 1678) is damned, it will be, Dryden con-cludes his Prologue, 'The first Play bury'd since the Wollen Act'. The wool trade was so important, declares 'Prince Butler's Tale' (1691), POAS (1707), iv.422:
  • That since the Living would not bear it,
  • They should, when dead, be forc'd to wear it.
See 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 186 and n.
Editor’s Note
286. The Westminster tombs and the Tower with its menagerie were two of the sights of London. Cf. Pepys, 3 May 1662, and 23 Feb. 1669. For the Tower, see 'Art of Poetry', l. 812 n. Dr Walter Pope, in his Life of Seth Ward (1697), p. 147, describes the 'custom for the Servants at the Church upon all Holidays, Sundays excepted, betwixt the Sermon and Evening Prayers, to shew the Tombs, and Effigies of the Kings and Queens in Wax, to the meaner sort of People, who flock thither … and pay their Twopence to see The Play of the Dead Volks, as I have heard a Devonshire Clown not improperly call it'. The price was the same as early as 1651 (Henry Vaughan, 'Upon a Cloke', ll. 78 ff.). Camden furnished a guide-book: Reges Reginae, Nobiles et alii in ecclesia collegiata B. Petri Westmonasterii sepulti, 1600 (see M. St. Clare Byrne, Elizabethan Life in Town and Country (1925), p. 73 and n. 4). Cf. also Donne, 'Satyre IV', ll. 75–7, Luttrell, i.368, and Brett-Smith's n. in his Etherege, p. 317.
Editor’s Note
291 f. Cf. Butler, Hudibras, III.ii.215 f.:
  • Toss'd in a furious hurricane
  • Did Oliver give up his reign,
and Flagellum etc. (1663), p. 206 (n. in Marvell, Poems, i.258): 'He dyed on Fryday the said 3d. of September at 3 of the clock in the afternoon, though divers rumours were spread, that he was carried away in the Tempest the day before.'
Editor’s Note
293–6. In Davenant, The First Days Entertainment At Rutland House (1657), p. 50, the Parisian critic of London satirically declares that the newer houses 'are enclosed with Pasteboard wals, … so slight, and so pretily gaudy, that if they could move, they would pass for Pageants'. Before the Great Fire, most of the houses were of timber and plaster; after it, those which had been burnt, about a fifth of the whole, were rebuilt of brick with party-walls (P. Cunningham, Handbook for London (1849), i.xxvi). Pepys describes the sudden collapse of a house 'from top to bottom', 14 Mar. 1664, and reports others blown down 18 Feb. 1662 and 24 Jan. 1666; but on the former occasion the wind was 'such as hath not been in memory before, unless at the death of the late Protector' (cf. ll. 291 f.).
Editor’s Note
296. ensur'd from … Fire. Schemes of fire-insurance canvassed from 1660 led up to A. Newbold's of 1 Jan. 1679, published as London's Improvement And The Builder's Security Asserted (1680)—see A Second Letter to his Honoured Friend Mr. M.T. (?Matthew Taubman) [c.1682]. This the Common Council took up, but were forestalled by a private company, whose office, advertized in The True News: Or, Mercurius Anglicus, 5–8 May, 1680, was 'At the House late the Ship Tavern, behind the Royal Exchange', the insurance being '6d in the pound Rent for Brick Houses, and 12d for Timber', less the allowance for ground value. Cf. their Propositions (Bodl. Ashmole 1674, LVIII): see further Mercurius Civicus, Or, The City Mercury, for 12, 20, 28 May, 11 June, 1680. The Common Council adopted their own proposals 16 Nov. 1681, and recriminations kept the subject seething. On the side of the company, see Observations on the Proposals of the City to Insure Houses in Case of Fire (1681), and on the other, To my Honoured Friend Mr. M.T. one of the Committee chosen by the Common Council of London for the Insuring of Houses from Fire (1682). The company published A Table of the Insurance Office in 1682.
Editor’s Note
301. Cf. D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers: '"… they used to ring the bells backward for alarm". "How?" said Annie. "A bell sounds the same whether it's rung backwards or forwards." "But," he said, "if you start with the deep bell and ring up to thehigh one …".' Among many 17th-century allusions cf. Cleveland's in 'To P. Rupert', l. 18: 'Bels which ring backward in this great Combustion'.
Editor’s Note
303–5. Cf. Boileau, Satires, pp. 63 f., Satire VI:
  • J'entens crier par tout …
  • … 'Le feu vient de prendre à la maison voisine.'
  • Tremblant & demi mort, je me leve à ce bruit….
Editor’s Note
307–9. One such incident had been reported in the previous few weeks. See The Loyal Protestant, 28 Mar. 1682: 'Westminster March 26. This morning about Two of the Clock happened a dreadful Fire in Channel-Row…. Three or Four persons are reported to be burnt in their beds, and one Maid leaping out of a window to save her self, dyed soon after.'
Critical Apparatus
312 P[orda]ge] Ed. (1722); P—ge 1683
Editor’s Note
312. P[orda]ge. See 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 98 and n.
Editor’s Note
318. his Vatican: his vast library. Cf. Thomas Fuller's reference to a hypothetical library 'exceeding … many Vaticans, for choicenesse, and rarity' (Church History of Britain (1655), VI. §iv).
Critical Apparatus
321 P[ordage]] Ed. (1722); P— 1683
Editor’s Note
326. interessed: the old (ME) form of the word, fairly common in the 17th century.
Editor’s Note
328. The ceremony at which full degrees (those of Master and Doctor) were conferred was called at Oxford the Act, at Cambridge the Commencement.
Editor’s Note
330. Fast days were proclaimed for the Great Fire itself and other great public calamities and crises: the martyrdom of Charles I, the Plague, the wars with Holland, and the Popish Plot. (Steele, nos. 3410, 3426, 3474, 3558, 3649, 3659, 3683.)
Editor’s Note
331. Brief. See 'Spencer's Ghost', 1. 135 n.; and the briefs for fires at Newport, Salop, 15 Oct. 1666, and Bicester, 26 Nov. 1667, recorded in Steele, nos. 3478, 3509.
Editor’s Note
335 f. Cf. what Evelyn told Pepys about Clarendon's collection of portraits: 'when his designe was once made known, every body who either had them of their owne or could purchase them at any price, strove to make their court by these presents; by which meanes he got many excellent pieces of Vandyke … & the best of our modern masters hands'. (Spingarn, ii.322.) Evelyn refers to the Van Dykes at Suffolk House, Beaufort House, Lord Sunderland's, and Sir William Temple's, and to Lord Milford's collection both of Van Dyke and Rubens (Diary, passim); and cf. Dryden, Essays, ii.115.
Editor’s Note
337. Cf. Cowley's 'a hanging … (The richest work of Mortclake's noble loom)' in his paraphrase upon Horace, Sat. II.vi (Essays, p. 415). According to The Present State Of England. Part III. (1683), p. '86' [really 93]: 'Our Tapistry-work … was brought … by Sir Francis Crane', James I giving £2000 towards a building for it at 'Moreclacke'; 'Francis Clein [?Crane] was the first Designer.'
Editor’s Note
339. Scritore: scrutoire (escritoire); OEO's first example is 1678.
Editor’s Note
351–4. A memorandum of Aubrey's (ii.60) gives an idea of the limited water-supply of London at this time: 'now (1681/2) London is growne so populous and so big that the New River of Middleton can serve the pipes to private houses but twice a weeke'.
Editor’s Note
356. Summer. An authentic idiom: cf. the still current 'to winter'.
Editor’s Note
358. Far as S. Michaels Mount. So Cowley, Discourse … ConcerningCromwell (Essays, p. 342): 'as far as from the Mount in Cornwall'.
Editor’s Note
361–74. Oldham owes two instances to Boileau, Satires, p. 59, Satire VI:
  • Tandis que dans les airs mille cloches émuës
  • D'un funebre concert font retenir les nuës;
  • Et se mélant au bruit de la gresle et des vents
  • Pour honnorer les Morts, font mourir les vivants.
and 'J'entens déja … / les boutiques s'ouvrir'. Cf. ll. 367 f., 370.
Editor’s Note
361. The College of Physicians, and the weekly Bills of Mortality. See 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 230 and n.
Editor’s Note
365 f. The Middle Region of the air was that in which storms were engendered: Cowley passes through it in st. 3 of his ode 'The Extasie' (Poems, p. 204). The air was theoretically divided into a Lower, a Middle, and an Upper Region: see Appendix D in A.W. Verity's 1910 edn. of Paradise Lost.
Editor’s Note
369. Bell-mens midnight-Rhimes. The 'bellman's drowsy charm' of 'Il Penseroso' wears a less romantic aspect here. On bellmen's verses, see 'Upon a Bookseller', l. 65, n.
Editor’s Note
371 f. Cf. Pepys, 27 Nov. 1660: 'To Westminster Hall, and in King Street there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield's coachman, and one of his footmen killed'; and 22 Dec. 1663: 'I heard of a great fray lately between Sir H. Finch's coachman, who struck with his whip a coachman of the King's, to the loss of one of his eyes.'
Editor’s Note
373. 'It is very pleasant' says Pepys of W. Stankes the Brampton bailiff, 29 Apr. 1663, 'to hear how he rails at the rumbling and ado that is in London over it is in the country, that he cannot endure it'.
Critical Apparatus
374 A[rche]r] Ed. (1854 subst.); Arche (1722); A—r 1683
Editor’s Note
374. A[rche]r. The identification, by the 1722 editor, with John Archer (1598–1682), justice of Cammon Pleas, is not wholly satisfactory, for Archer died 8 Feb., before this satire was written, and, since 1672, had been banned from exercising his judicial functions. North (Lives, i.63) refers to him, however, as disliking a long cause: and his son had been at St. Edmund Hall at the same time as Oldham.
Editor’s Note
375 ff. Cf. Pepys, 30 Apr. 1663: 'But Lord! what a stir Stankes makes with his being crowded in the streets and wearied in walking in London.'
Editor’s Note
385–7. Cf. Boileau, Satires, p. 60, Satire VI:
  • Là d'un Enterrement le funebre ordonnance,
  • D'un pas lugubre & lent vers l'Eglise s'avance;
  • Et plus loin, des laquais….
Editor’s Note
391. See l. 80 n. The conveyance of Portland stone for the building of St. Paul's is mentioned by Evelyn, 2 Feb. 1695/6.
Editor’s Note
398 f. The custom persisted in London well into the 18th century; it figures in Hogarth's picture of a London night. Cf. Boswell on the present passage, Life, i.119, n. 1.
Critical Apparatus
401 need] Ed. (1770); need, 1683
Editor’s Note
405 ff. The Scourers had succeeded the Hectors (for whom see 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 285 ff. and n.). In Shadwell's comedy, The Scowrers (1691), an assault on the watch is staged, V.i, and Whachum boasts 'I … demolish Bawdyhouses … scower the Streets, and the like, as well as any he that swaggers in the Town', and again, 'this morning I … scower'd like Lightning, and kick'd fellows like Thunder, ha, ha, ha'. Cf. The Character Of A Town Gallant, 1680 ('July 28', Luttrell, Catalogues; 1st edn. 1675). History records the exploits of 'some young gentlemen of the Temple' at the King's Head in Chancery Lane, 13 Jan. 1681/2 (Luttrell, i.158); and of Philip, Earl of Pembroke, who, having already had one victim in 1678, killed a Mr Smith in a midnight scuffle in 1680; see Great and Bloody News, from Turnham Green, or a Relation of a sharp Encounter between the Earl of Pembrook, and his Company, with the Constable and Watch belonging to the Parish of Chiswick, 1680 ('Aug. 25', Luttrell, Catalogues); Great News from Saxony (';Aug. 30. 1680.', op. cit.).
Editor’s Note
418. A proclamation by the Lord Mayor, 29 Nov. 1679 (Bodl. Nichols Newspapers, I.b) complains of 'The neglect of the Inhabitants of this City, in hanging and keeping out their Lights at the accustomed hours, according to the good and Antient usage of this City, and Acts of Common Council in that behalf.'
Critical Apparatus
426 P[reston]] Ed. (1722); P— 1683
Editor’s Note
426. P[reston]. Christopher Preston (1628 or 1629–1709), keeper of the Hockley-Hole Bear Garden. I saw in Sir Charles Firth's collection a broadside, undated but belonging to 1709 (see Luttrell, vi.491), entitled The Bear-Garden in Mourning. Or, An Elegy On The Death of Mr. Christopher Preston, Master of Her Majesties Bear-Garden at Hockley in the Hole, who was torn to pieces last Night, being Sunday, the 18th of September, by one of his own Bears, in the 81st Year of his Age.
Editor’s Note
448. Padders: footpads; see 'Juvenal XIII', l. 39 and n.
Editor’s Note
449. the Exchanges: the Royal Exchange (see 'Boileau VIII', l. 97 n.) and the New Exchange, with its two long double galleries of shops, frequented by people of fashion. Etherege's She wou'd if she cou'd (1668), III.i, is laid here (see further, Brett-Smith's n., p. 130; cf. 'Counterpart', l. 108).
Editor’s Note
449–51. An expansion of Juvenal's
  • … postquam omnis ubique
  • fixa catenatae siluit compago tabernae …
after Boileau, Satires, p. 62, Satire VI:
  • Car si-tost que du soir les ombres pacifiques
  • D'un double cadenas font fermer les boutiques,
  • Que, retiré chez lui, le paisible Marchand
  • Va revoir ses billets, & compter son argent,
  • Que dans le Marché-neuf tout est calme et tranquille….
Editor’s Note
452. Shooters Hill had long been famed for robberies (see The Enterlude of Hyck-scorner, in Six Anonymous Plays, First Series, ed. J.S. Farmer, pp. 139, 144, 153), and was so still: on 11 Apr. 1661 Pepys rode under a thief hanging in chains there, in terrorem.
Editor’s Note
454. Cf. Boileau, Satires, p. 63, Satire VI:
  • La bourse: Il faut se rendre: ou bien non, resistez;
  • Afin que votre mort, de tragique memoire,
  • Des massacres fameux aille grossir l'Histoire.
Juvenal has only ''interdum et ferro subitus grassator agit rem'.
Editor’s Note
458. Heptarchy. The seven Saxon kingdoms into which Britain, according to 16th- and 17th-century historians, was long divided. Milton, in his History of England, reckons the Heptarchy as lasting from the 6th century until about 800.
Editor’s Note
460. See 'Upon a Bookseller', ll. 73 ff., and 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 77 f., and nn.
Editor’s Note
476 f. Oldham's Latin text evidently read:
  • … saturarum ego, ni pudet illas
  • adiutor gelidos veniam caligatus in agros.
The better reading is now acknowledged to be 'auditor'.
logo-footer Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.
Access is brought to you by Log out