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Those write because all write, and so have still
Excufe for writing, and for writing ill.
Wretched indeed! but far more wretched yet
Is he who makes his meal on others wit:
'Tis chang'd, no doubt, from what it was before;
His rank digestion makes it wit no more:
Senfe, past through him, no longer is the fame;
For food digested takes another name.
I pass o'er all those Confeffors and Martyrs,
Who live like S-tt-n, or who die like Chartres,
Out-cant old Efdras, or out-drink his heir,
Out-ufure Jews, or Irishmen out-fwear;
Wicked as Pages, who in early years
Act fins which Prifca's Confeffor fcarce hears.
Ev'n those I pardon, for whose finful fake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make;
But he is worst, who beggarly doth chaw
Others wits fruits, and in his ravenous maw
Rankly digefted, doth those things out-fpue,
As his own things; and they 're his own, 'tis true,
For if one eat my meat, though it be known
The meat was mine, the excrement 's his own.
But thefe do me no harm, nor they which use,
to out-ufure Jews,
To out-drink the fea, t' out-fwear the Letanie,
Who with fins all kinds as familiar be
As Confeffors, and for whofe finful fake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make;
Of whofe ftrange crimes no Canonift can tell
In what Commandment's large contents they dwell.
One, one man only breeds my juft offence;
Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave Impudence:
Time, that at laft matures a clap to pox,
Whose gentle progress makes a calf an ox,
And brings all natural events to pass,
Hath made him an Attorney of an Ass.
No young divine, new-benefic'd, can be
More pert, more proud, more positive, than he.
What further could I wish the fop to do,
But turn a wit, and fcribble verses too?
Pierce the foft labyrinth of a Lady's ear
With rhymes of this per cent. and that per year?
Or court a Wife, fpread out his wily parts,
Like nets or lime-twigs, for rich Widows hearts;
Call himself Barrister to every wench,
And wooe in language of the Pleas and Bench?
Whofe ftrange fins Canonifts could hardly tell
In which Commandment's large receit they dwell.
But these punish themselves. The infolence
Of Cofcus, only, breeds my just offence,
Whom time (which rots all, and makes botches pox,
And plodding on, must make a calf an ox)
Hath made a Lawyer; which (alas) of late;
But fcarce a Poet: jollier of this state,
Than are new-benefic'd Minifters, he throws
Like nets or lime-twigs wherefoe'er he goes
Language, which Boreas might to Auster hold
More rough than forty Germans when they scold.
Curs'd be the wretch, so venal and fo vain :
Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane.
'Tis fuch a bounty as was never known,
If PETER deigns to help you to your own:
What thanks, what praife, if Peter but supplies!
And what a folemn face, if he denies!
Grave, as when prisoners shake the head and swear
'Twas only Suretiship that brought them there.
His Office keeps your Parchment fates entire,
He ftarves with cold to fave them from the fire;
For you he walks the ftreets through rain or duft,
For not in Chariots Peter puts his trust;
His tittle of Barrister on every wench,
And wooes in language of the Pleas and Bench. **
Words, words which would tear
The tender labyrinth of a Maid's foft ear:
More, more than ten Sclavonians scolding, more
Than when winds in our ruin'd Abbeys roar.
Then fick with Poetry, and poffeft with Muse
Thou waft, and mad I hop'd; but men which chuse
Law practice for mere gain: bold foul repute
Worfe than imbrothel'd ftrumpets prostitute.
Now like an owl-like watchman he muft walk,
His hand ftill at a bill; now he must talk
Idly, like prifoners, which whole months will fwear,
That only furetiship had brought them there,
For you he fweats and labours at the laws,
Takes God to witness he affects your cause,
And lies to every Lord in every 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 * *
Not more of Simony beneath black gowns,
Not more of baftardy in heirs to Crowns.
In fhillings and in pence at first they deal;
And steal fo little, few perceive they steal;
Till, like the Sea, they compafs all the land,
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover ftrand:
And when rank Widows purchase luscious nights,
Or when a Duke to Janffen punts at White's,
Or City Heir in mortgage melts away;
Satan himself feels far less joy than they.
And to every fuitor lye in every thing,
Like a King's Favourite-or like a King.
Like a wedge in a block, wring to the barre,
Bearing like affes, and more fhameless farre
Than carted whores, lye to the grave Judge; for
Baftardy abounds not in King's titles, nor
Simony and Sodomy in Churchmen's lives,
As these things do in him; by these he thrives.
Shortly (as th' fea) he 'Il compafs all the land,
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand.
And spying heirs melting with Luxury,
Satan will not joy at their fins as he;
Piecemeal they win this acre first, then that,
Glean on, and gather up the whole estate.
"Then ftrongly fencing ill-got wealth by law,
Indentures, Covenants, Articles they draw,
Large as the fields themselves, and larger far
Than Civil Codes, with all their Gloffes, are;
So vaft, our new Divines, we must confefs,
Are Fathers of the Church for writing lefs.
But let them write for you, each rogue impairs
The deeds, and dextroufly omits, fes beires:
No Commentator can more flily pafs
Over 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 fcrapes kitchen-ftuffe,
And barrelling the dropings and the snuffe
Of wasting candles, which in thirty year,
Reliquely kept, perchance buys wedding chear)
Piecemeal he gets lands, and spends as much time
Wringing each acre, as maids pulling prime.
In parchment then, large as the fields, he draws
Affurances, big as glofs'd civil laws,
So huge that men (in our times forwardness)
Are Fathers of the Church for writing less
These he writes not; nor for these written payes,
Therefore spares no length (as in those first dayes
When Luther was profeft, he did defire
Short Pater-nofters, faying as a Fryer.