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Wicked as pages, who in early years
dwell. One, one man only breeds my just offence; 45 Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave im
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 ;
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.
More, more than ten Sclavonians scolding, more
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,
Cursed be the wretch, so venal and so vain :
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.
Shortly (as the sea) he'll compass all the land
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
Till, like the sea, they compass all the land, 85
doubt. So Luther thought the Pater-noster long, 105 When doom'd to say his beads and even-song;
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,