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His Office keeps your parchment fates entire,
He starves with cold to fave 'em from the fire;
For you he walks the streets thro' rain or duft,
For not in chariots Peter puts his truft;
For you he sweats and labours at the laws,
Takes God to witness he affects your cause,
And lies to ev'ry lord in ev'ry thing,
Like a king's favourite-ör 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 bastardy in heirs to crowns.
In fhillings and in pence at firft they deal ;
And steal fo little, few perceive they steal;
Till, like the fea, they compass all the land,
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 lefs joy than they.
Idly, like prifoners, which whole months will fwear,
That only furetyfhip hath brought them there,
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 the king's titles, nor
Simony and fodomy in churchmen's lives,
As these things do in him; by these he thrives.
Shortly (as the fea) he'll compafs all the land,
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover ftrand.
And ipying heirs melting with luxury,
Satan will not joy at their fins as he :
Piecemeal they win this acre firft, then that,
Glean on, and gather up the whole estate.
Then ftrongly fencing ill-got wealth by law,
Indentures, cov'nants, 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 muft cenfefs,
Are fathers of the church for writing lefs.
But let them write for you, each rogue impairs
The deeds, and dextroufly omits, fes heires:
No commentator can more flily pass
O'er a learn'd, unintelligible place :
Or, in quotation, fhrewd divines leave out
For (as a thrifty wench fcrapes kitchen-ftuffe,
And barrelling the droppings, and the fnuffe
Of wafting candies, 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,
Those words, that would against them clear the doubt.
So Luther thought the Paternofter long,
When doom'd to fay his beads and even-fong;
So huge that men (in our times forwardness)
Are fathers of the church for writing less.
Thefe he writes not; nor for these written payes,
Therefore fpares no length (as in those first dayes
When Luther was profeft, he did defire
Short Paternofters, faying as a fryer
* Our poet, by judiciously tranfpofing this fine fimilitude, has given new luftre to his author's thought. The lawyer (fays Dr. Donne) enlarges the legal instruments for conveying property to the bigness of gloss'd civil laws, when it is to fecure his own ill-got wealth. But let the fame lawyer convey
But having caft his cowl, and left thofe laws,
Adds to Chrift's pray'r, the Power and Glory claufe.
The lands are bought; but where are to be found
Those antient woods, that fhaded all the ground?
We fee no new-built palaces afpire,
No kitchens emulate the veftal fire.
Where are those troops of poor, that throng'd of yore
The good old landlord's hofpitable door?
Each day his beads; but having left those laws,
Adds to Chrift's prayer, the power and glory claufe)
But when he fells or changes land, h' impaires
The writings, and (unwatch'd) leaves out, fes heires,
As flily as any commenter goes by
Hard words, or fenfe; or, in divinity
As controverters in vouch'd texts, leave out
Shrewd words, which might against them clear the doubt.
Where are these spread woods which cloath'd heretofore Those bought lands? not built, nor burnt within door.
property for you, and he then omits even the neceffary words; and becomes as concise and hafty as the loose postils of a modern divine. So Luther, while a monk, and, by his inftitution obliged to fay mafs, and pray in person for others, thought even his Pater-nofter too long. But when he fet up for a governor in the church, and his business was to direct others how to pray for the success of his new model, he then lengthened the Pater-noster by a new clause. This reprefentation of the first part of his conduct was to ridicule his want of devotion; as the other, where he tells us, that the addition was the power and glory claufe, was to fatirize his ambition; and both together to infinuate that, from a monk, he was become totally fecularized.About this time of his life Dr. Donne had a strong propensity to popery, which appears from several strokes in these fatires. We find amongst his works, a short satirical thing called a Catalogue of rare Books, one article of which is intitled, M. Lutherus de abbreviatione Orationis Dominicæ, alluding to Luther's omiffion of the concluding doxology, in his two Catechisms, which fhews he was fond of the joke; and, in the first instance, (for the fake of his moral) at the expence of truth. As his putting Erafmus and Reuchlin in the rank of Lully and Agrippa, shews what were then his fentiments of reformation.
Well, I could wish, that ftill in lordly domes
Some beafts were kill'd, tho' not whole hecatombs;
That both extremes were banish'd from their walls,
Carthufian fafts, and fulfome bacchanals;
And all mankind might that just mean obferve,
In which none e'er could furfeit, none could farve. 120
These as good works, 'tis true, we all allow,
But oh! thefe 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 faid, I truft, without offence;
Let no court fycophant pervert my sense,
Nor fly informer watch these words to draw
Within the reach of treafon, or the law.
Where the old landlords troops, and almes? In halls
Carthufian fafts, and fulfome Bacchanals
Equally I hate. Means bleft. In rich men's homes
I bid kill fome beafts, but no hecatombs ;
None ftarve, none furfeit fo. But (oh) we allow
Good works as good, but out of fashion now,
Like old rich wardrobes. But my words none draws
Within the vaft reach of th' huge ftatutes jawes.
WELL, if it be my time to quit the ftage,
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 fatires, 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 commiffion from his grace;
Í bought no benefice, I begg'd no place ;
Had no new verses, nor new fuit to show;
Yet went to court !-the dev'l would have it fo.
But, as the fool that in reforming days
Would go to mafs in jeft (as ftory fays)
WELL; I may now receive, and die. My fin
Indeed is great, but yet I have been in
A purgatory, fuch as fear'd Hell is
A recreation, and scant map of this.
My mind, neither with pride's itch, nor hath been Poyfon'd with love to fee or to be seen, I had no fuit there, nor new fuit to show, Yet went to court; but as glare which did go To mafs in jeft, catch'd, was fain to disburse Two hundred markes which is the ftatutes curfe,