A public brothel in his mouth. – “The Character of Mercurius Politicus” (1650)
As for his writings, there is as much difference between them and finer Invectives, as there is between a man cut with a Razor, and spewed upon. For as such a one cannot be said to be wounded, but bemired, so we cannot say, that this Fellow writes, but vomits. – “Mercurius Anti Mercurius” (1650)
The Goliath of the Philistines whose pen was in comparison with others a weaver’s beam. He had very great influence upon numbers of inconsiderable persons, such who have a strange presumption that all must needs be true that is in print. – Anthony Wood, “Athenae Oxoniensis” (1691)
Yet it is not fit that we should be at the mercy of a Tavern, and the drunkenness of an arbitrary Pen. Must we be subjected to his two sheets of “High Court of Justice?” We are content to serve, but it mads us to be reproached, and by such a one as him; for there is no such torment to a Christian as to be tyrannized over by a Renegade. So insatiable is his appetite of speaking ill that there is no person so intimate to him, or so deserving; nothing so secret or religious which he abuseth not to that purpose; so that he is neither to be tolerated in Society nor policy, neither in Conversation nor a State; but, rather, as a public parricide, to be thrown into the sea in a sack, with a cock, and ape, and a serpent, the right emblems of his politic triplicity. – John Cleveland, “Character of Mercurius Politicus” (1650)
He was a person endowed with quick natural parts, was a good humanitarian, poet and boon droll and had he been constant to his cavaleering principles he would have been beloved by, and admired of, all; but being mercenary and valuing money and sordid interest, rather than conscience, friendship, or love to his prince, was much hated by the royal party to his last, and many cannot yet endure to hear him spoken of. – Anthony Wood, “Athenae Oxoniensis” (1691)
He is like a shuttle-cock, drive him which way you will, falls still with the cork end forwards.
He is like a cat that, throw him as you will, still lights on his feet. – Samuel Butler, “The Character of the Rump” (1660)
With the times he turn’d, next turn I hope– THE DOVVNFALL OF Mercurius Britannicus. Mercurius Pragmaticus. Mercurius Politicus. That three Headed CERBERUS (1660)
Will up the Ladder be, and down the Rope.
The Rump’s trumpeter being he that first found the way to make a Fart sound in paper. – Samuel Butler, “The Character of the Rump” (1660)
‘Twould make a man be-pisse himself to see the see the soft-hearted Needham weeping (like Niobe, till he turns Stone) over the Tomb of Bradshaw. – Sir Roger L’Estrange, “No Fool to the Old Fool” (1659)
Soon after siding with the rout, and scum of the people, he made them weekly sport by railing at all that was noble, in his intelligence called Merc. liritan. wherein his endeavours were to sacrifice the fame of some lord, or person of quality, nay of the king himself, to the beast with many heads. – Anthony Wood, “Athenae Oxoniensis” (1691)
That poison-framing Hound Britanicus,
That weekly snarling whelp of Cerberus,
That Microcosm of Morbus Gallicus,
That Lernean venom’d Snake of Erebus.
– John Taylor, “Rebels Anathematized and Anatomized” (1645)
He in satires mixed,
To make some laugh and others deeply vexed.
– George Wither, “The Great Assessors Holden in Parnassus by Apollo and His Assessors” (1645)
For my o‘This filthy Aviary, this moth-eaten crew of News-mongers, Every Jack-sprat that hath but a pen in his ink-horn is ready to gather up the Excrements of the Kingdom, purged forth by the glister of distraction, by the suppository of dissention; and to put them into a curranto, mixt with innumerable lies of their own making, in the fashion of News, to gull the credulous world. – Mercurius Anti-Mercurius (1650)
Thou hath out-slandered slander
He hath more wit than honesty; he is the wittiest knave of the whole crew: (give the Devil his due,) he is the Court-jester, the Cavaliers fool, the chief squib-crack, arch pamphlet-puppy; if his brethren (in iniquity) get him, the fools hug him, as the Papists doe a Dispensation, to eat flesh Fridays; wherewith they are furnished with jests and jeers for a long time after. – Mercurius Anti-Mercurius (1650)
An old malignant pamphleteer, that lying railing Rabshekah and defamer… odious to almost everybody, who prostrates his Learning, Conscience, Credit, and Pen, to serve the interests and lusts of a few corrupt men. – Vavasour Powell, A True Catalogue, Or, An Account of Several Eminent Persons by whom Richard Cromwell was Proclaimed Lord Protector (1659)
But if at Amsterdam you meet,
With one that’s pur-blinde in the street;
Hawk nosed, turn up his hair,
And in his Ears, two holes you’ll find,
And (if they are not pawned behind,)
Two Rings are hanging there.
His Visage smeager is and long,
His Body slender; but his Tongue
If once you chance to hear;
Observe it well; It has a Grace,
Becoming no such Traitor’s face,
Of English, that are there.
Some forty years he is of age,
In’s prime to act on any Stage,
And fit for any Plot;
Had not he been of Oxford shire,
Because he writes so much for hire;
I’d swear, he was a Scot.
If you will ask, what shall be done
With this Pie-bald Chameleon,
In case you send him home;
He shall be hanged upon a Tree,
Cut down alive, and then you’ll see
His Quarters have their Doom.
– Sir Roger L’Estrange, “A rope for Pol, or, A hue and cry after Marchemont Nedham, the late scurrulous news-writer being a collection of his horrid blasphemies and revilings against the king’s majesty, his person, his cause, and his friends, published in his weekly Politicus” (1660)