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And cast them downe on this unruly clay,
The interview between the anxious client and the rapacious lawyer, is drawn with much humour: and shews the authoritative superiority and the mean subordination subsisting between the two characters, at that time.
The crowching client, with low-bended knee,
"Doubt not the suite, the law is plaine for thee."
Tho must he buy his vainer hope with price,
The fourth displays the difficulties and discouragements of the physician. Here we learn, that the sick lady and the gouty peer were then topics of the ridicule of the satirist.
The sickly ladie, and the gowtie peere,
Still would I haunt, that loue their life so deere :
He thus laughs at the quintessence of a sublimated mineral elixir.
Each powdred graine ransometh captive kings,
Imperial oils, golden cordials, and universal panaceas, are of
Zz yet even.
pull them out of his purse.
b B. ii. 3. f. 31.
I cite a couplet from this satire to explain it.
Genus and Species long since barfoote
made and often quoted in the age of scholastic science.
Dat Galenus opes, dat Justinianus honores,
Sed Genus et Species cogitur ire pedes.
That is, the study of medicine produces and offices of honour; while the professor riches, and jurisprudence leads to stations of logic is poor, and obliged to walk on foot. B. ii. 4. f. 35..
high antiquity: and perhaps the puffs of quackery were formerly more ostentatious than even at present, before the profession of medicine was freed from the operations of a spurious and superstitious alchemy, and when there were mystics in philosophy as well as in religion. Paracelsus was the father of empiricism.
From the fifth we learn, that advertisements of a LIVING WANTED were affixed on one of the doors of Saint Paul's cathedral.
Sawst thou ere SIQUIS patch'd on Paul's church dore,
The sixth, one of the most perspicuous and easy, perhaps the most humorous, in the whole collection, and which I shall therefore give at length, exhibits the servile condition of a domestic preceptor in the family of an esquire. Several of the satires of this second Book, are intended to shew the depressed state of modest and true genius, and the inattention of men of fortune to literary merit.
A gentle squire would gladly entertaine
Some willing man, that might instruct his sons,
While his young maister lieth oer his head:
SIQUIS was the first word of advertisements, often published on the doors of Saint Paul's. Decker says, "The first time that you enter into Paules, pass thorough the body of the church like a porter; yet presvme not to fetch so much as one whole turne in the middle ile, nor to cast an eye vpon SIQUIS doore, pasted and plaistered vp with seruingmens supplications," &c." THE GULS HORNE BOOKE, 1609. p. 21. And in Wroth's EPIGRAMS, 1620. EPIGR. 93.
sense we have trencher-knight, in Loves LABOUR LOST.
f This indulgence allowed to the pupil, is the reverse of a rule antiently practised in our universities. In the Statutes of Corpus Christi college at Oxford, given in 1516, the Scholars are ordered to sleep respectively under the beds of the Fellows, in a truckle-bed, or small bed shifted about upon wheels. "Sit unum [cubile] altius, et aliud humile et rotale, et in altiori cubet Socius, in altero semper Discipulus." Cap. xxxvii. Much the same injunction is ordered in the statutes of Magdalen college Oxford, given 1459. "sint duo lecti principales, et duo lecti Or, a table-chaplain. In the same rotales, Trookyll beddys vulgariter nuncu
A mery Greeke set vp a SIQUIS late,
Second, that he do, upon no default,
Neuer presume to sit aboue the salt :
Third, that he neuer change his trencher twise;
Sit bare at meales, and one half rise and wait:
How manie jerks she would his breech should line.
To give five markes, and winter liverie.1
From those who despised learning, he makes a transition to those who abused or degraded it by false pretences. Judicial astrology is the subject of the seventh satire. He supposes that Astrology was the daughter of one of the Egyptian midwives, and that having been nursed by Superstition, she assumed the garb of Science.
That now, who pares his nailes, or libs his swine?
Again, of the believer in the stars, he says,
His feare or hope, for plentie or for lack,
pati," &c. Cap. xlv. And in those of
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-sellars is still preserved, and in use, at Winchester college. With this idea, we must understand the following passage, of a table meanly decked. B. vi. i. f. 83.
Now shalt thou never see the Salt beset
In Jonson's CYNTHIA'S REVELLS, acted in 1600, it is said of an affected coxcomb, "His fashion is, not to take knowledge of him that is beneath him in clothes. He never drinkes below the salt." A. i. S. ii.
So Dekker, GULS HORNE BOOKE, p. 26. "At your twelue penny Ordinarie, you may giue any iustice of the peace, or young knight, if he sit but one degree towards the Equinoctiall of the Saltsellar, leaue to pay for the wine," &c. See more illustrations, in Reed's OLD PLAYS, edit. 1780. vol. iii. 285. In Parrot's SPRINGES FOR WOODCOCKES, 1613, a guest complains of the indignity of being degraded below the salt. Lib.ii. EPIGR.
And swears that he below the Salt was
If chance once in the spring his head should ake,
The numerous astrological tracts, particularly pieces called PROGNOSTICATIONS, published in the reign of queen Elizabeth, are a proof how strongly the people were infatuated with this sort of divination. One of the most remarkable, was a treatise written in the year 1582, by Richard Harvey*, brother to Gabriel Harvey, a learned astrologer of Cambridge, predicting the portentous conjunction of the primary planets, Saturn and Jupiter, which was to happen the next year. It had the immediate effect of throwing the whole kingdom into the most violent consternation. When the fears of the people were over, Nash published a droll account of their opinions and apprehensions while this formidable phenomenon was impending; and Elderton a ballad-maker, and Tarleton the comedian, joined in the laugh. This was the best way of confuting the impertinencies of the science of the stars. True knowledge must have been beginning to dawn, when these profound fooleries became the objects of wit and ridicule '.
[Nash says of Gab. Harvey in his "Have with You," &c. 1596, "The best wit-craft I can turn him too, to get three pence a weeke, is to write Prognostications and Almanackes, and that alone
must be his best philosophers stone till hys last destiny." Sig. I. 3. 6.-PARK.]
i See Nash's APOLOGY OF PEERS PENNILESS, &c. Lond. 1593. 4to. f. 11.
THE opening of the first satire of the third Book, which is a contrast of antient parsimony with modern luxury, is so witty, so elegant, and so poetical an enlargement of a shining passage in Juvenal, that the reader will pardon another long quotation.
Time was, and that was term'd the time of gold,
When world and time were young, that now are old:
Desir'd more daintie dish of rare delite,