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One sings the Fair ; but songs no longer move; No rat is rhym'd to death, nor maid to love: In love's, in nature's spite, the siege they hold, And scorn the flesh, the dev'l, and all but gold.
These write to Lords, some mean reward to get, As needy beggars sing at doors for meat. 26 Those write because all write, and so have still Excuse 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 digestion makes it wit no more: Sense, past thro' him, no longer is the same; For food digested takes another name.
I pass o'er all those Confessors and Martyrs, 35 Who live like S---tt---n, or who die like Chartres, Out-cant old Efdras, or out-drink his heir, Out-usure Jews, or Irishmen out-swear ; Wicked as Pages, who in early years Act fins which Prisca's Confessor scarce hears. 40 Ev’n those I pardon, for whose sinful fake Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make;
Notes. invocations in the Letanie, called them the taking God's Name in vain, which is the Scripture periphrafis for swearing.
Whose strange fins Canonists could hardly tell
But these punish themselves. The infolence
Words, words which would tear The tender labyrinth of a Maid's soft ear : More, more than ten Sclavonians scolding, more Than when winds in our ruin’d Abbyes roar.
Ver. 44. In what Commandment's large contents they dwell.] The Original is more humourous,
In which Comniandment's large receit they dwell. As if the Ten Commandments were so wide, as to stand ready to receive every thing within them, that either the Law of Na
Of whose strange crimes no Canonist can tell
One, one man only breeds my just offence; 45 Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave Im
NOTES. ture or the Gospel commands. A just ridicule on those practica! Commentators, as they are called, who include all moral and religious Duties within them. Whereas their true original
Then fick with Poetry, and poffest with Muse
Law practice for meer gain ; bold soul repute
Now like an owl-like watchman he must walk,
His hand still at a bill; now he must talk
Idly, like prisoners, which whole months will swear,
sense is much more confined, being a short summary of duty fitted for a fingle People, upon a particular occasion, and to ferve transitory ends.
VER. 61. Language, which Boreas —] The Original has here a very fine stroke of fatire,
Than when winds in our ruind Abbyes roar. The frauds with which that work (so necessary for the welfare both of religion and the state) was begun; the rapine with which it was carried on; and the dissoluteness in which the plunder arising from it was wasted, had scandalized all fober men; and disposed the best Protestants to wish, that some part of that immense wealth, arising from the suppression of the Monaiteries, had been reserved for Charity, Hospitality, and even for the public service of Religion.
Curs'd be the wretch, fo venal and so vain : Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane. 'Tis such a bounty as was never known, If Peter deigns to help you to your own : What thanks, what praise, if Peter but supplies, And what a folemn face if he denies ! Grave, as when pris’ners shake the head and swear 'Twas only Suretiship 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;
he sweats and labours at the laws, Takes God to witness he affects your cause, 75 And lies to ev'ry Lord in ev'ry thing, Like a King's Favourite --- or like a King
* He speaks here of those illiberal Advocates who frequent the Bar for mere gain, without any purpose of promoting or advancing civil justice; the consequence of which, he tells us, is a flavish attendance, together with the degradation of their parts and abilities. So that when they undertake to excufe the bad conduct of their client, they talk as idly, and are heard with the same contempt, as debtors, whose common cant is, that they were undone by Suretiship. The Imitator did not seem to take the fineness of the satire, or he would not have neglected an abuse of this importance, to fall upon such faultry