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John Dryden (1631–1700).  The Poems of John Dryden.  1913.
 
Prologues and Epilogues
Epilogue to The Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter
 
MOST 1 Modern Wits such monstrous Fools have shown,
They seem not of heav’ns making, but their own.
Those Nauseous Harlequins in Farce may pass;
But there goes more to a substantial Ass!
Something of man must be expos’d to View,        5
That, Gallants, they may more resemble you.
Sir Fopling is a Fool so nicely writ,
The Ladies wou’d mistake him for a Wit;
And, when he sings, talks lowd, and cocks, wou’d cry,
I vow methinks he’s pretty Company!        10
So brisk, so gay, so travail’d, so refin’d!
As he took pains to graff upon his kind.
True Fops help Natures 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, and represents ye all.
From each he meets he culls whate’re he can,
Legion’s his name, a people in a Man.
His bulky folly gathers as it goes,
And, rolling o’re you, like a Snow-ball growes.        20
His various Modes from various Fathers follow;
One taught the Toss, and one the new French Wallow;
His Sword-knot this, his Crevat this design’d;
And this the yard long Snake he twirls behind.
From one the sacred Perriwig he gain’d,        25
Which Wind ne’er blew, nor touch of Hat prophan’d.
Another’s diving Bow he did adore,
Which with a shog 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 fear’d;
For no one fool is hunted from the herd.
 
Note 1. 1676. The play is by Etherege. [back]
 
 
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