« AnteriorContinuar »
There moughtest thou, for but a slender price,
Advowson thee with some fat benefice:
Or, if thee list not wayt for dead men's shoo’n",
Nor pray ech-morn th' incumbent's daies wer doon;
A thousand patrons thither ready bring,
Their new-fálne 4 churches to the chaffering.
Stake three yeares' Stipend: no man asketh more:
Go, take possession of the church-porch-doore,
And ring thy bels 35; lucke stroken is in thy-fist :
The parsonage is thine, or ere thou wist.
Saint Fooles of Gotam mought thy parish bee,
For this thy base and servile Symonie!
A GENTLE squire would gladly intertaine
Into his house some trencher-chaplaine;
Some willing man, that might instruct his sons,
And that would stand to good conditions.
First, that he lie upon the truckle-bed,
maister lieth ore his hed.
Second, that he do, on no default,
Ever presume to sit above the salt 37.
Third, that he never change his trencher twise.
Fourth, that he use all common courtesies;
Sit bare at meales, and one halfe rise and wait.
Last, that he never his yong master beat,
But he must aske his mother to define,
How manie jerkes she would his breech should line.
All these observ’d, he could contented bee,
To give five markes and winter liverye.
new-falne-Come into their gift by the death of the incumbent, an therefore illegally offered for sale. 35 Go, take possession of the church-porch-doore,
And ring thy bels
Alluding to the ceremonies observed on induction into a benefice.
stroken-struck, or stricken.
to sit above the salt. Towards the head of the table was placed a large and lofty piece of plate; the top of which, in a broad cavity, held the salt for the whole company. One of these stately salt-cellars is still preserved, and in use, at Winchester College. With this idea we must understand the following passage of a table meanly decked. Book VI. Sat. I.
Now shalt thou never see the salt beset
With a big-bellied gallon flagonet.
In th' heaven's universall alphabet
All earthly things so surely are foreset,
That, who can read those figures may foreshew,
Whatever thing shall afterwards ensue:
Faine would I know (might it our artist please)
Why can his tell-troth Ephemerides
Teach him the weather's state so long beforne3,
And not fore-tel him, nor his fatall horne,
Nor his death's-day, nor no such sad event;
Which he mought wisely labour to prevent ?
Thou damned mock-art, and thou brainsick tale
Of old Astrology, where didst thou vaile
Thy cursed head thus long, that so it mist
The black bronds” of some sharper satyrist?
Some doting gossip, mongst the Chaldee wives,
Did to the credulous world thee first derive;
And superstition nurs’d thee ever sence,
And publisht in profounder Art's pretence:
That now, who pares his nailes, or libs o his swine,
But he must first take counsell of the signe.
So that the vulgars count, for faire or foule,
For living or for dead, for sick or whole.
His feare or hope, for plenty or for lack,
Hangs all uppon his New Year's Almanack.
If chance once in the spring bis head should ake,
It was foretold: Thus saies mine Almanack.
In th' heaven's High-Street are but dozen roomes,
In which dwels all the world, past and to come.
Twelve goodly Innes they are, with twelve fayrę Signes,
Ever wel tended by our Star-Divines.
Everie man's head innes at the horned Ramme;
The whiles the necke the Black-Bull's guest became :
Th' arms, by good hap, meet at the wrastling Twins:
Th' heart, in the way, at the Blew-Lion innes :
The legs their lodging in Aquarius got;
That is the Bridge-Streete of the heaven, I wot":
bronds-properly swords (See Todd's Spenser, Vol. V. p. 212.): but black bronds must here mean severe censures.
libs-castrates. " That is the BRIDGE-STREETE of the heaven, I wot. The later editions read Bride-Streete. I have restored this reading from the firx edition.
The feete tooke up the Fish, with teeth of gold;
But who with Scorpio lodg’d, may not be told“.
What office then doth the Star-Gazer beare ?
Or let him be the heaven's Ostelere;
Or Tapsters, some; or some be Chamberlaines,
To waite upon the guests they entertaine.
Hence can they reade, by vertue of their trade,
When any thing is mist, where it was laide.
Hence they divine, and hence they can devise,
If their ayme faile, the Stars to moralize.
Demon, my friend, once liver-sicke of love,
Thus learn'd I by the signes his griefe remove+:
In the blinde Archer first I saw the signe,
When thou receiv’dst that wilful wound of thine;
And now in Virgo is that cruell mayd,
Which hath not yet with love thy love repaide :
But marke when once it comes to Gemini,
Straightway fish-whole shall thy sicke-liver be:
But now (as th' angry heavens seeme to threat
Many hard fortunes and disastres great)
If chance it come to wanton Capricorne,
And so into the Ram's disgracefull horne,
Then learne thou of the ugly Scorpion,
To hate her for her foule abusion 4.
Thy refuge then the Balance be of right,
Which shall thee from thy broken bond acquite“:
So, with the Crab, go backe whence thou began,
From thy first match, and live a single man.
* The human figure, thus astrologically distributed, was common on old al. manacks.
his griefe remove. i. e. his grief to remove.
abusion-delusion, fraud. acquite-acquit, release.