BY MR. DRYDEN
Most modern wits such monstrous fools have shown,
They seemed not of heav'n's making, but their own.
Those nauseous harlequins in farce may pass,
But there goes more to a substantial ass.
Something of man must be exposed to view 5 That, gallants, they may more resemble you. Sir Fopling is a fool so nicely writ,
The ladies would mistake him for a wit;
And when he sings, talks loud, and cocks,1 would cry,
'I vow, methinks he's pretty company! 10 So brisk, so gay, so travelled, so refined, As he took pains to graft upon his kind.'2
True fops help nature's work and go to school,
To file and finish God A'mighty's fool.
Yet none Sir Fopling him, or him, can call; 15 He's knight o'th' shire,3 and represents ye all.
From each he meets, he culls whate'er he can;
Legion's his name, a people in a man.
His bulky folly gathers as it goes
And, rolling o'er you, like a snowball grows. 20 His various modes from various fathers follow; One taught the toss,4 and one the new French wallow.5
His sword-knot, this; his cravat, this designed;
And this, the yard-long snake6 he twirls behind.
From one the sacred periwig he gained, 25 Which wind ne'er blew, nor touch of hat profaned. Another's diving bow he did adore,
Which with a shog7 casts all the hair before
Till he with full decorum brings it back,
And rises with a water spaniel shake. 30 As for his songs (the ladies' dear delight), Those sure he took from most of you who write.
Yet every man is safe from what he feared,
For no one fool is hunted from the herd.