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Alexander Brome (Александр Бром)

The New Mountebank

Written in 1643.

IF any body politick,
Of plenty or ease be very sick,
There's a Physician come to Town,
Of far fetcht fame and high renown;
Though call'd a Mountebank, 'tis meant,
Both words being French, a Parliament;
Who from Geneva and Amsterdam,
From Germany and Scotland came;
Now lies in London; but the place,
If men say true, is in his face.
His Scaffold stands on Tower-hill,
When he on Strafford try'd his skill;
Off went his head, you'l think him slain;
But straight 'twas voted on again.
Diurnals are his weekly-bills,
Which speak how many he cures or kills:
But of the Errata we'l advise,
For cure read kill, for truth read lies.
If any Traytor be diseased
with a sore-neck, and would be eased;
There is a pill, they call a Vote,
Take it ex tempore it shall do't.
If any conscience be to strict,
Here's several p〈…〉 from Lectures pickt,
Which swallowed down will stretch it full,
As far as 'tis from this to Hull.
Is any by Religion bound,
Or Law, and would be looser found;
Here's a Glister which we call
His priviledge o'r-topping all.
Is any money left, or plate,
Or goods? bring't in at any rate:
He'l melt three shillings into one,
And in a minute leave you none.
Here's powder to inspire the lungs,
Here's water that unties your tongues;
Spight of the Law, 'twill set you free,
To speak treason only lispingly.
Here's Leeches, which if well apply'd,
And fed, will stick close to your fide,
Till your superfluous bloud decay,
Then they'l break and drop away.
But here's a soveraign Antidote,
Be sure our Soveraign never know't;
Apply it as the Doctour pleases,
'Twill cure all wounds and all diseases.
A drug none but himself e're saw,
'Tis call'd a Fundamental Law:
Here's Glasses to delude your sight,
Dark Lanthorns here, here bastard light.
This if you conquer trebbles the men,
If loose a hundred, seems but ten.
Here's Opium to lull asleep,
And here lie dangerous plots in steep.
Here stands the safety of the City,
There hangs the invisible Committee.
Plundring's the new Philosophers stone,
Turns war to Gold, and Gold to 〈…〉e:
And here's an Ordinance that shall,
At one full shot enrich you all.
He's skilled in the Mathematicks,
And in his circle can do tricks,
By raising spirits, that can smell
Plots that are hatcht as deep as hell:
Which ever to themselves are known,
The Devil's ever kind to his own.
All this he gratis doth, and saith,
He'l only take the Publick Faith,
Flock to him then make no delay,
The next fair wind he must away,

Alexander Brome's other poems:
  1. The Cavalier
  2. The Hard Heart
  3. The Reformation
  4. The Libertine
  5. The Prodigal

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