Excerpt from ‘Satyra Sexta’ by Everard Guilpin

Oh that mens thoughts should so degenerate,
Being free borne, t’admit a slavish state:
They disclaime Natures manumission,
Making themselves bond to opinion:
Whose gally-slaves they are, tost on the sea
Of vulgar humors, which doth rage and play,
According as the various breath of change
Calmes or perturbs her smooth brow. Is’t not strang
That heav’n bred soules, discended from above
Should brooke such base subiection? Feare reproofe
from her cold northern gales, or els be merry
When her Fanonian praise breathes a sweet perry?

(Rason) thou art the soules bright Genius,
Sent downe from Joves throne to fate conduct us
In this lifes intricate Dædalian maze:
How art thou buffuld? how comes this disgrace,
That by opinion thou art bearded so,
Thy slave, thy shadow: nay, out-bearded too?
She earth-worme doth derive her pedegree
From bodies durt, and sensualitie,
And marshald in degree fitting her birth
Is but a dwarffe, or jester to make mirth.
Thou the soules bidies Queenes allie most neere,
The first Prince of her blood, and chiefest peere,
Nay, her protector in nonage, whilst she
Lives in this bodies weake minoritie,
Art yet kept under by that underling,
That dreame, that breath, nay that indeed Nothing.
The ale-house Ethicks, the worlds upside downe
Is verefied: the prince now serves the clowne.
If reason bandy with opinion,
Opinion winnes in the conclusion:
For if a man be once opinionate,
Millions of reasons nill extenuate
His fore-ceited mallice: conference
Cannot asswage opinions insolence.
But let opinion once lay battery
To reasons fort, she will turne heresie,
Or superstition, wily politist,
But she will winne those rampires which resist.
Then sith such innate discord is maintain’d
Twixt reason and opinion; what staid-brain’d,
True resolute, and philosophick head
Would by opinion be distempered?

Opinion is as various as light change,
Now speaking Court-like friendly, strait-wayes strange;
She’s any humours perfect parasite,
Displeas’d with her, and pleas’d with her delight,
She is the Eccho of inconstancie,
Soothing her no with nay, her I with yea.

From: Guilpin, Everard, Skialethia; or, A Shadowe of Truth, in certaine Epigrams and Satyres, 1598, I.R. for Nicholas Ling: London, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 1598

By: Everard Guilpin (c1572-1607)

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