Abbildungen der Seite

But these punish themselves. The infolence Of Coscus, only, breeds my juft offence, Whom time (which rots all, and makes botchres pox, And plodding on, must make a calf an ox) Hath made a Lawyer ; which (alas) of late ; But scarce a Poet : jollier of this state, Than are new-benefic'd Ministers, he throws Like nets or lime-twigs wherefoe'er he goes His title of Barrister on ev'ry wench, And wooes 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 scolding, more Than when winds in our ruin'd Abbyes roar. Then fick with Poetry, and posseft with Muse Thou wast, and mad I hop'd ; but men which chufe Law practice for meer gain ; bold soul repute Worse than imbrothel'd krumpets prostitute.

[ocr errors]

VER. 61. Language, wbicb Boreas – ] The Original has here a very fine stroke of facire.

Than when winds in our ruin'd 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 diffoluteness in which the plunder arising from it was wasted, had scandalized all fober


One, one man only breeds my just offence;

45 Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave Impu

dence :
Time, that at last 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 scribble verses too;
Pierce the soft lab'rinth of a Lady's ear

With rhymes of this per cent. and that per year?
Or court a Wife, spread out his wily parts,
Like nets or lime-twigs, for rich Widows hearts ;
Call himself Barrister to ev'ry wench,
And wooe in language of the Pleas and Bench ? 6.
Language, which Boreas might to Autter 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 folemn face if he denies !

men; and disposed the best Protestants to with, that some part of that immense wealth, arising from the suppression of the Monasteries, had been reserved for Charity, Hospitality, and even for the public service of Religion,

Now like an owl-like watchman he muft walk, His hand still at a bill ; now he must talk Idly, like prisoners, which whole months will swear, That only furety hip hath brought them there, And to every suitor 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 asses, and more shameless farre Than carted whores, lye to the grave Judge; for Bastardy abounds not in King's titles, nor Simony and Sodomy in Church-men's lives, As these things do in him; by these he thrives. Shortly (as th' fea) he'll compass all the land, From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand. . And fpying heirs melting with Luxury, Satan will not joy at their fins as he : For (as a thrifty wench scrapes kitchen-stuffe, And barrelling the droppings, 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 gloss'd civil laws,

[ocr errors]

Grave, as when pris’ners fhake the head and swear 'Twas only Suretiship that brought 'em there.

78 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 duft, 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, 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 fteal 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 Jansen punts at White's, Or City-Heir in mortgage melts away; Satan himself feels far less joy than they. go Piecemeal 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 huge that men (in our times forwardness)
Are Fathers of the Church for writing lefs.
These he writes not; nor for these written payes,
Therefore spares no length (as in those first dayes
When Luther was profest, he did desire
Short Pater-n ters, saying as a Fryer
Each day his Beads; but having left those laws,
Adds to Christ's prayer, the power and glory clause)
But when he fells or changes land, h'impaires
The writings, and (unwatch’d) leaves out, ses heires,
As sily as any Commenter goes by
Hard words, or sense; or, in Divinity
As controvcrters in vouch'd Texts, leave out
Shrew'd words, which might against them clear the

doubt. Where are these spread woods which cloath'd

heretofore Those bought lands ? not built, not burnt within doar,

[ocr errors]

VER. 104. So Luther, etc.) Our Poet, by judiciously transposing this fine fimilitude, has given luftre to his Author's thought. The Lawyer, (says Dr. Donne) enlarges the legal inftruments for conveying property to the bigners of glofs'd civil Laws, when it is to secure his own ill-got wealth. But let the same Lawyer convey property for you, and he then omits even the necessary words; and becomes as concise and hafty as the loose postils of a modern Divine. So Lutber while a Monk, and, by his Institution, obliged to say Mass, and pray in Person for others, thought even his Pater nofter too long. But when he set 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-nefter


« ZurückWeiter »