Poems with the Muses looking-glasse: and Amyntas· By Thomas Randolph Master of Arts, and late fellow of Trinity Colledge in Cambridge.
Randolph, Thomas, 1605-1635., Randolph, Robert, 1612 or 13-1671.

SCEN. 4.

  • Agroicus.

This is Agroicus, a rustique clownish fellow, whose discourse is all Country; An extreame of urbanity, where∣by you may observe there is a vertue in jesting.


They talke of witty discourse, and fine conceits, and I ken not what a deale of prittle prattle would make a Cat pisse to heare 'em. Cannot they be content with their Grannams English? They thinke they talke learnedly, when I had rather heare our brindled curre howle, or Sow grunt. They must be breaking of jests with a murraine, when I had as live heare 'em breake wind Sir reverence! My zonne Dick is a pretty Bookish Scholar of his age, God blesse him; he can write and read, and makes bonds, and bills, and hobligations, God save all. But by'r lady, if I wotted it would make him such a Iacksauce, as to have more wit then his vore-vathers, he should have learn'd nothing for old Agroicus, but to keepe a Tally. There is a new trade Page  79 lately come up to be a vocation, I wis not what; they call 'em—Boets, a new name for Beggars I think, since the statute against Gypsies. I would not have my zon Dick one of those Boets for the best Pig in my styeby the mackins: Boets? heau'n shield him, and zend him to be a good Varmer; if he can cry hy, ho, gee, hut, gee, ho, it is better I trow then being a Poet. Boets? I had rather zee him remitted to the jayle, and haue his twelve God-vathers, good men and true contemne him to the Gallowes; and there see him vairely perse∣cuted. There is Bomolochus one of these Boets, now a bots take all the red-nose tribe of 'em for Agroicus! he does so abuse his betters! well 'twas a good world, when I virst held the Plow!

They car'd not then so much for speaking well
As to mean honest, and in you still lives
The good simplicity of the former times:
When to doe well was Rhetorique, not to talke.
The tongue disease of Court spreads her infections
Through the whole Kingdome, flattery, that was wont
To be confin'd within the virge, is now
Grown Epidemicall, for all our thoughts
Are borne between our lips: The heart is made
A stranger to the tongue; as if it us'd
A language that she never understood.
What is it to be witty in these daies,
But to be bawdy, or prophane, at least
Abusive? Wit is grown a petulant waspe,
And stings she knows not whom, nor where, nor why;
Spues vinegar, and gall on all she meets
Page  80Without distinction—buyes laughter with the losse
Of reputation, father, kinsman, friend;
Hunts Ord'naries only to deliver
The idle Timpanies of a windy braine,
That beats and throbs above the paine of child-bed,
Till every eare she meets be made a mid wife
To her light Bastard-issue, how many times
Bomolochus sides, and shoulders ake, and groane!
Hee's so witty—here he comes—away—

His wit is dangerous and I dare not stay.