Your Hble & Obdt Editor, still somewhat be-fuddl’d from his Flea-some Birthday Celebrations, after much late Hurley-Burley, wassailling, & carowsing with Messrs. Marlowe, Donne, Gould, Hope, Jonson, Edgar, Murray, Page, &c., &c., with drinking of numberless Toasts, to naughtie-ey’d Mistress Annie Drysdale, Highe-spirited Mistress Patricia Jones, & merrily-laughing Mistress Anna Evans, inter alia; & moreover, despite a lay-Monethe’s recuperatiue Respite, which hath, nevertheless, & notwithstanding (nor neither notwithsitting), left him not altogether in full Restoration of his erst-while Powers & faculties; he now bringeth to publick Lighte this XVIIth Broadside of The FLEA; whiche present being, in point of Fact, the June Issueance, (but July now seruing as the new June, such is your Editor’s dilatory Belatednesse, as he trusts ye may well apprehend); &, it may be, hauing let this uerie same Sentence, which you now read, & which he now penneth, his flailing, quivering Quill dashing off Pixel vpon supernumerary Pixel, — this Sentence, (say I), he letteth run on somewhat rather over-lengthily, until the uery Thread & Pith of its Gist be lost beyond recall, in Clauses & Phrazes Pell-Mell, which evaporate fast-fadeing from the Minde’s-eye, from the Brain’s Cognizance, & away beyond all syntactical Devizement: — thus he cedeth the Editorial insteade, into the more secure Hande, and fine-focus’d Attention, of a Geste-Editor, Mr. Pulex Illustrissimus; as ye shall find heretounder appended, viz., thus:


Geste Editorial,
in which Pulex (alter, Anon), a Descendant
of John Donne’s
Original Flea Addresseth,
Over Twenty Years later,
His Host

What, sir, are we in the waie to Paules Crosse, to heere the Deane preach of the paines of hell? Hee maketh moe men to lie awake, to seeke out & sigh for their sinnes; thanne I & all my race of rest-robbers and night-annoyes, to seeke & scratch by candlelight. Hee is a grete disturber of the peace of this citie of London. And yet I love him well (for I & my people have ever loved sanctity, and habited with holy men); as my ancestor loved him (that dyed in his service & liveth in his verse).

This famous FLEA, sir, was Jack Donnes faytheful freende & fellow, XX yeeres agoe. They sorted well together; being both lads of metile & foes to quietnesse, good bedde-man & haunters of hostelries; & as the one was nimble of his limbes, so the other of his wittes, and bothe prodigious leapers in their owne kind, soe that a man might not know where to have them next.

Jacke Donne (that is nowe the Dean) would have had his faithfull FLEA doe the office of a bedde for him & his mistresse (since shee would meete with him in no other). If you would know how this Illustrious FLEA (pulex illustrissimus) dyed, hauing performed a service of soe great weighte; reade Jack Donne's lines.

Fare you well, sir. In so greate a press as crowdeth aboute the Crosse you are like to lose me (and find a dozen moe). If I may come to him through the throng of sermon swallowers, I will seek entertainment with the Dean; & as my ancestor labour'd to serve his youth in the gratification (though slight) soe will I his age in the mortification of the flesh.




This Geste Editorial, penn’d by Pulex (but submitted anonymously), was preuiously publish’d as an entry for a competition in the New Statesman.
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