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Wicked as pages, who in early years
Act sins which Prisca's confessor scarce hears. 40
Even those I pardon, for whose sinful sake
Schoolmen new tenements in Hell must make;
Of whose strange crimes no canonist can tell
In what Commandment's large contents they

dwell. One, one man only breeds my just offence; 45 Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave im

pudence :
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.

50
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 labyrinth of a lady's ear

55 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 ;

NOTES,

receite every thing within them, that either the law of nature, or the Gospels, enjoins. A just ridicule on those practical commentators, as they are called, who include all moral and religious duties within the Decalogue. Whereas their true original sense is much more confined; being a short summary of moral duty fitted for a single people, upon a particular occasion, and to serve tem

Warburton. Ver. 48. makes a calf an ox,] An unaccountable blunder in our author. As if an ox was in his natural state.

Warton.

porary ends.

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More, more than ten Sclavonians scolding, more
Than when winds in our ruin'd abbyes roar.
Then sick with poetry, and possest with Muse
Thou wast, and mad I hoped; but men which chuse
Law practice for mere gain ; bold soul repute
Worse than imbrothel'd strumpets prostitute.
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,
That only suretyship 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, lie to the grave judge; for
Bastardy abounds not in the king's titles, nor
Simony and sodomy in church-men's lives,
As these things do in him; by these he thrives.

NOTES.

Ver. 61. Language, which Boreas–] The original has here a very fine stroke of satire :

“ 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 dissoluteness in which the plunder aris-, ing from it was wasted, had scandalized all sober men ; and disposed some, even of the best Protestants, to wish, that some part of that immense wealth, arising from the suppression of the monasteries, had been reserved for charity, hospitality, and even for the service of religion.

Warburton. Ver. 74. For not in chariots Peter Pope might have applied the words of Horace to this eternal Peter, with as much propriety as he did to his friend Bolingbroke:

Prima dicte mihi, summa dicende camana !

Call himself barrister to every wench,
And woo in language of the Pleas and Bench? 60
Language, which Boreas might to Auster hold,
More rough than forty Germans when they scold.

Cursed 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 solemn face, if he denies !
Grave, as when prisoners shake the head and swear
'Twas only suretyship that brought them 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 through rain or dust,
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 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 even 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 steal so little, few perceive they steal ;

NOTES,

Ver. 78. Like a king's favourite] A line from the original, as also line 60; which shews that Donne, if he had properly attended to it, could have written harmoniously.

Warton. VOL. VI.

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Shortly (as the sea) he'll compass all the land
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand.
And spying heirs melting with luxury,
Satan will not joy at their sins 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 cheer)
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
Assurances, big as gloss'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 profest, he did desire
Short Pater-nosters, saying as a fryar

NOTES. Ver. 105. So Luther, &c.] Our Poet, by judiciously transposing this fine similitude, has given new lustre to his author's thought. The Lawyer (says Dr. Donne) enlarges his legal instruments to the bigness of gloss'd civil laws, when it is to convey property to himself, and to secure his own ill-got wealth. But let the same lawyer convey property to you, and he then omits even the necessary words ; and becomes as concise and loose as the hasty postils of a modern divine. So Luther, while a monk, and by his institution obliged to say Mass, and pray in person for others, thought even his Pater-noster 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-noster by a new clause. This representation of the first part of his conduct was to ridicule his want of devotion; as the other, where he tells us, that the ad

dition

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. 90
Piecemeal they win this acre first, then that,
Glean on, and gather up the whole estate.
Then strongly fencing ill-got wealth by law,
Indenture, covenants, articles, they draw,
Large as the fields themselves, and larger far 95
Than civil codes, with all their glosses, are ;
So vast, our new Divines, we must confess,
Are Fathers of the Church for writing less.
But let them write for you, each rogue impairs
The deeds, and dextrously omits, ses heires: 100
No commentator can more slily pass
O'er a learn’d, unintelligible place;
Or, in quotation, shrewd divines leave out
Those words, that would against them clear the

doubt. So Luther thought the Pater-noster long, 105 When doom'd to say his beads and even-song;

NOTES.

dition was the power and glory clause, was to satirize his ambition; and both together, to insinuate, that from a monk, he was become totally secularized. About this time of his life Dr. Donne had a strong propensity to the Roman Catholic religion, which appears from several strokes in these Satíres. 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 Doniinicæ, alluding to Luther's omission of the concluding Dorology in his two Catechisms ; which shews the Poet was fond of his joke,

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