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But these punish themselves. The infolence
Of Cofcus, only, breeds my just offence,
Whom time (which rots all, and makes botches pox,
And plodding on, muft make a calf an ox)
Hath made a Lawyer; which (alas) of late;
But fcarce a Poet: jollier of this state,
Than are new-benefic'd Minifters, 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 foft ear:
More, more than ten Sclavonians fcolding, more
Than when winds in our ruin'd Abbyes roar.
Then fick with Poetry, and poffeft with Muse
Thou waft, and mad I hop'd; but men which chufe
Law practice for meer gain; bold foul repute
Worfe than imbrothel'd ftrumpets prostitute.
VER. 61. Language, which Boreas—] The Original has here a very fine ftroke of fatire.
Than when winds in our ruin'd Abbyes roar. The frauds with which that work (fo neceflary for the welfart both of religion and the state) was begun; the rapine with which it was carried on; and the diffoluteness in which the plunder arifing from it was wafted, had fcandalized all fober
One, one man only breeds my just offence; Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave Impu.
Time, that at last matures a clap to pox,
Whofe 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 pofitive than he.
What further could I wish the fop to do,
But turn a wit, and fcribble verfes too;
Pierce the foft lab'rinth of a Lady's ear
With rhymes of this per cent. and that per year r?
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? 60
Language,which Boreas might to Aufter hold
More rough than forty Germans when they fcold,
Curs'd be the wretch, fo venal and so vain :
Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane.
'Tis fuch 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!
men; and disposed the best Protestants to wish, that fome part of that immenfe wealth, arifing from the fuppreffion of the Monafteries, had been referved for Charity, Hospitality, - and
Now like an owl-like watchman he must walk,
His hand ftill at a bill; now he must talk
Idly, like prisoners, which whole months will fwear,
That only furety ship 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 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 compafs all the land,
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover ftrand.
And spying 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 fnuffe
Of wafting candles, which in thirty year,
Reliquely kept, perchance buys wedding chear)
Piecemeal he gets lands, and fpends 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,
Grave, as when pris'ners shake the head and swear
"Twas only Suretiship that brought 'em there.
His Office keeps your Parchment fates entire,
He ftarves with cold to fave them from the fire;
he walks the streets thro' rain or dust,
For not in Chariots Peter puts his truft;
For you he fweats and labours at the laws,
Takes God to witnefs he affects your caufe,
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 **
Not more of Simony beneath black gowns,
Nor more of baftardy in heirs to Crowns,
In fhillings and in pence at first they deal;
And fteal fo little, few perceive they steal;
Till like the Sea, they compass all the land, 85
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover ftrand':
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.
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
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-nofters, faying as a Fryer
Each day his Beads; but having left those laws,
Adds to Chrift's prayer, the power and glory clause)
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 fpread woods which cloath'd heretofore
Those bought lands? not built, not burnt within door.
VER. 104. So Luther etc.] Our Poet, by judiciously transpofing this fine fimilitude, has given new luftre to his Author's thought. The Lawyer (fays Dr. Donne) enlarges the legal inftruments for conveying property to the bigness of glofs'd civil Laws, when it is to fecure his own ill-got wealth. But let the fame Lawyer convey property for you, and he then omits even the neceffary words; and becomes as concife and hafty as the loofe poftils of a modern Divine. So Luther while a Monk, and, by his Inftitution, obliged to say Mass, and pray in perfon for others, thought even his Pater-nofler too long. But when he fet up for a Governor in the Church, and his bufinefs was to direct others how to pray for the fuccefs of his new Model; he then lengthened the Pater-nofter by a new claufe.