« AnteriorContinuar »
Language which Boreas might to Auster hold, More rough than forty Germans when they scold.
Curs'd be the wretch, so venal and so vain, Paltry and proud as drabs in Drury-Lane. 'Tis such a bounty as was never known,
65 If Peter deigns to help you to your own: What thanks, what praise, if Peter but supplies ! And what a solemn face if he denies ! Grave, as when pris’ners shake the head, and swear 'Twas only suretyship that brought 'em there. 70 His office keeps your parchment fates entire, He starves with cold to save them from the fire; For you he walks the streets thro’ rain or dust, For not in chariots Peter puts his trust : For you he sweats and labours at the laws, 75 Takes God to witness he affects your cause,
More, more than ten Scalvonians scolding, more
Than when winds in our ruin'd abbys roar.
When sick with poetry, and possess'd with Muse
Thou wast, and mad, I hop'd; but men which chuse
Law-practice for meer gain, bold souls repute
Worse than imbrothell'd strumpets prostitute.
Now like an owl-like watchman must he walk,
His hand still at a bill; now he must talk
Idly, like pris'ners, which whole months will swear
That only suretyship hath brought then there,
And lies to ev'ry lord in ev'ry thing,
Like a king's favourite....or like a king.
These are the talents that adorn them all,
From wicked Waters ev'n to godly **** 80
Not more of Simony beneath black gowns,
Not 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 Janssen punts at White's,
Or city-heir in mortgage melts away,
Satan himself feels far less joy than they. 90
And to ev'ry suitor he in ev'ry thing,
Like a king's favourite, or like a king :
Like a wedge in a block wring to the bar,
Bearing like asses, and more shameless far
Than carted whores, lye to the grave judge ; for
Bastardy abounds not in kings' titles, nor
Simony and Sodomy in churchmen's lives,
As these things do in bim; by these he thrives.
Shortly (as th' sea) he'll compass all the land,
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover Strand;
And spying heirs melting with luxury,
Satan will not joy at their sins as he :
Piece-meal they win this acre first, then that,
Glean on, and gather up the whole estate ;
Then strongly fencing ill-got wealth by law,
Indentures, 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 you each rogue impairs
The deeds, and dex'trously 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.
For as a thrifty wench scrapes kitchen stuff,
And barrelling the droppings and the snuff
Of wasting candles, which in thirty year,
(Reliquely kept) perchance buys wedding chear;
Piece-ineal he gets lands, and spends as much time
Wringing each acre as maids pulling prime.
In parchment then, large as the fields he draws
Assurances big as gloss'd civil laws;
So huge, that men (in our time's forwardness)
Are fathers of the church for writing less.
These he writes not, nor for these written pays,
Therefore spares no length; (as in those first days)
So Luther thought the Pater-noster long, 105 When doom'd to say his beads and even song ; But having cast his cowl, and left those laws, Adds to Christ's pray'r the Pow'r 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 yore The good old landlord's hospitable door? Well, I could wish that still in lordly domes, 115 Some beasts were kill'd, tho' not whole hecatombs ; That both extremes were banish'd from their walls, Carthusian fasts and fulsome Bacchanals ;
When Luther was profest, he did desire
Short Pater-nosters, saying as a fryer
Each day his beads; but having left those laws,
Adds to Christ's pray'r the Power and Glory clause ;
But when he sells or changes land, h’ impairs
His writings, and (unwatch'd) leaves out ses heires,
And slily, as any commentator, goes by
Hard words or sense; or in divinity
As controverters in vouch'd texts leave out
Shrewd words, which might against them clear the
And all mankind might that just mean observe,
In which none e'er could surfeit, none could starve.
These are 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; 125
Let no court sycophant pervert my sense,
Nor sly informer watch, these words to draw
Within the reach of treason or the law.
Where are those spread woods which cloath'd here
tofore Those bought lands ? not built, nor burnt within door. Where the old landlord's troops and alms ? 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!) w' allow Good works as good, but out of fashion now, Like old rich wardrobes. But my words none draws Within the vast reach of th' huge statute-laws.