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These are the talents that adorn them all,
From wicked Waters ev'n to godly **
Not more of simony beneath black gowns,
Nor more of bastardy in heirs to crowns.
In shillings and in pence at first they deal;
And steal so little, few perceive they steal ;
Till, like the sea, they compass all the land, 85
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand :
And when rank widows purchase luscious nights,
Or when a duke to Jansen punts at White's,
Or city-heir in mortgage melts away;
Satan himself feels far less joy than they.
Piecemeal they win this acre first, then that,
Glean on, and gather up the whole estate.
Then strongly fencing ill-got wealth by law,
Indenture, cov'nants, articles they draw,
Large as the fields themselves, and larger far 95
Than civil codes, with all their glosses, are ;
So vast, our new divines, we must confess,
Are fathers of the church for writing less.
But let them write for
The deeds, and dexterously omits, ses heires : 100
No commentator can more slily pass
O’er a learn’d, unintelligible place ;
Or, in quotation, shrewd divines leave out
Those words, that would against them clear the doubt.
So Luther thought the pater-noster long, 105
When doom'd to say his beads and even-song ;
Each day his beads; but having left those laws,
Adds to Christ's prayer, the power and glory clause);
But when he sells or changes land, l'impaires
The writings, and (unwatch'd) leaves out ses heires,
As slily as any commenter goes by
Hard words, or sense ; or, in divinity
As controverters in vouch'd texts, leave out [doubt.
Shrewd words, which might against them clear the
Where are these spread woods which cloath'd
Those bought lands? not built, not burnt within door,
Where the old landlords troops, and almes ? In halls
Carthusian fasts, and fulsome Bacchanals
Equally I hate. Means blest. In rich men's homes
I bid kill some beasts, but no hecatombs ;
None starve, none surfeit so. But (oh) we allow
Good works as good, but out of fashion now,
Like old rich wardrobes. But
words none draws Within the vast reach of th' huge statutes jaws.
But having cast his cowl, and left those laws,
Adds to Christ's prayer, the power and glory clause.
The lands are bought ; but where are to be found
Those ancient woods that shaded all the ground? 110
We see no new-built palaces aspire,
No kitchens emulate the vestal fire.
Where are those troops of poor, that throng'd of
The good old landlord's hospitable door?
Well, I could wish, that still in lordly domes
Some beasts were kill'd, tho' not whole hecatombs
That both extremes were banish'd from their walls,
Carthusian fasts, and fulgome Bacchanals;
And all mankind might that just mean observe,
In which none e'er could surfeit, none could starve.
These as good works, 'tis true, we all allow, 121
But oh! these works are not in fashion now:
Like rich old wardrobes, things extremely rare,
Extremely fine, but what no man will wear.
Thus much I've said, I trust, without offence; Let no court sycophant pervert my sense, 126 Nor sly informer watch these words to draw Within the reach of treason, or the law.
WELL; I may now receive, and die. My sin
Indeed is great, but yet I have been in
A purgatory, such as fear'd hell is
A recreation, and scant map
My mind, neither with pride's itch, nor hath been
Poyson’d with love to see or to be seen,
I had no suit there, nor new suit to show,
Yet went to court ; but as Glare which did go
To mass in jest, catch'd, was fain to disburse
Two hundred markes, which is the statutes curse,
Before he scap'd; so it pleas'd my destiny
(Guilty of my sin of going) to think me
As prone to all ill, and of good as forget.
full, as proud, lustfull, and as much in debt,
As vain, as witless, and as false, as they
Which dwell in court, for once going that way.
WELL, if it be my time to quit the stage,
Adieu to all the follies of the age !
I die in charity with fool and knave,
Secure of peace at least beyond the grave.
I've had my purgatory here betimes,
And paid for all my satires, all my rhymes.
The poet's hell, its tortures, fiends, and flames,
To this were trifles, toys, and empty names.
With foolish pride my heart was never fir’d,
Nor the vain itch t'admire, or be admir'd;
I hop'd for no commission from his Grace ;
I bought no benefice, I begg'd no place ;
Had no new verses, nor new suit to show ;
Yet went to court !-the dev'l would have it so.
But, as the fool that in reforming days
Would go to mass in jest (as story says)
Could not but think, to pay his fine was odd,
Since 'twas no form'd design of serving God;
So was I punish'd, as if full as proud
As prone to ill, as negligent of good,
As deep in debt, without a thought to pay,
As vain, as idle, and as false, as they
Who live at court, for going once that