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my ftars! as early as I knew
This Town, I had the fenfe to hate it too:
Yet here, as ev'n in Hell, there must be ftill
It brought (no doubt) th' Excife and Army in:
But that the cure is ftarving, all allow.
One fings the Fair; but fongs no longer move; No rat is rhym'd to death, nor maid to love;
Rams, and flings now are filly battery,
And they who write to Lords, rewards to get,
But he is worst, who beggarly doth chaw Others wits fruits, and in his ravenous maw Rankly digested, doth these 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, T'out-drink the fea, t' out-fwear the Letanie, Who with fins all kinds as familiar be As Confeffors, and for whose sinful fake Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make Whose strange fins Canonifts could hardly tell In which Commandment's large receit they dwell.
VER. 38. Irishmen cut-fwear.] The Original says, "out-fwear the Letanie."
improved by the Imitator into a juft ftroke of Satire. Dr. Donne's is a low allufion to a licentious quibble used at that time by the enemies of the English Liturgy; who difliking the
In love's, in nature's fpite, the fiege they hold, And scorn the flesh, the dev'l, and all but gold. These write to Lords, fome mean reward to get, As needy beggars fing at doors for meat. 26 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: 30 'Tis chang'd, no doubt, from what it was before, His rank digeftion makes it wit no more: Sense, past thro' him, no longer is the fame; For food digested takes another name.
I pass o'er all those Confeffors and Martyrs 35 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 scarce hears. 40 Ev'n those I pardon, for whofe finful fake Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make; Of whose strange crimes no Canonist can tell In whatCommandment's large contents they dwell.
frequent invocations in the Letanie, called them the taking God's Name in vain, which is the Scripture periphrafis for fwearing.
VER. 44. In what Commandment's large contents they dwell.] The Original is more humorous;
"In which Commandment's large receit they dwell."
But these punish themselves. The infolence
And plodding on, must make a calf an ox)
And woes in language of the Pleas and Bench. ** Words, words which would tear
The tender labyrinth of a Maid's soft ear: More, more than ten Sclavonians fcolding, more Than when winds in our ruin'd Abbyes roar.
As if the Ten Commandments were fo wide, as to ftand ready to receive every thing within them, that either the Law of Nature, or the Gospel, enjoins. A juft ridicule on thofe practical Commentators, as they are called, who include all moral and religious duties within the Decalogue. Whereas their true original fenfe is much more confined; being a fhort fummary of moral duty fitted for a fingle people, upon a particular occafion, and to ferve transitory ends.
VER.61. Language, which Boreas-] The Criginal has here a very fine stroke of Satire,
"Than when winds in our ruin'd Abbyes roar."
One, one man only breeds my juft offence; 45 Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth
Time, that at last matures a clap to pox,
The frauds with which that work (fo neceffary for the welfare both of religion and the ftate) was begun; the rapine with which it was carried on; and the diffolutenefs in which the plunder arising from it was wafted, had fcandalized all fober men; and difpofed fome even of the best Proteftants to wish, that fome part of that immense wealth, arifing from the fup. preffion of the Monafteries, had been referved for charity, hofpitality, and even for the fervice of religion.