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SATIRE II.

my ftars! as early as I knew

This Town, I had the fenfe to hate it too:

ES; thank

Yet here, as ev'n in Hell, there must be ftill
One Giant-Vice, fo excellently ill,
That all befide, one pities, not abhors;
As who knows Sappho, fmiles at other whores.
I grant that Poetry's a crying fin;

It brought (no doubt) th' Excife and Army in:
Catch'd like the Plague, or Love, the Lord knows
how,

5

But that the cure is ftarving, all allow.
Yet like the Papift's, is the Poet's state,
Poor and difarm'd, and hardly worth your hate!
Here a lean Bard, whose wit could never give
Himself a dinner, makes an Actor live:
The Thief condemn'd, in law already dead, 15
So prompts, and faves a rogue who cannot read.
Thus as the pipes of fome carv'd Organ move,
The gilded puppets dance and mount above.
Heav'd by the breath, th' inspiring bellows blow:
Th' infpiring bellows lie and pant below.

20

One fings the Fair; but fongs no longer move; No rat is rhym'd to death, nor maid to love;

10

Rams, and flings now are filly battery,
Pistolets are the best artillery.

And they who write to Lords, rewards to get,
Are they not like fingers at doors for meat?
And they who write, because all write, have still
That 'fcufe for writing, and for writing ill.

But he is worst, who beggarly doth chaw Others wits fruits, and in his ravenous maw Rankly digested, doth these things out-fpue, As his own things; and they're his own, 'tis true, For if one eat my meat, though it be known The meat was mine, the excrement's his own. But thefe do me no harm, nor they which use, to out-ufure Jews, T'out-drink the fea, t' out-fwear the Letanie, Who with fins all kinds as familiar be As Confeffors, and for whose sinful fake Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make Whose strange fins Canonifts could hardly tell In which Commandment's large receit they dwell.

NOTES.

VER. 38. Irishmen cut-fwear.] The Original says, "out-fwear the Letanie."

improved by the Imitator into a juft ftroke of Satire. Dr. Donne's is a low allufion to a licentious quibble used at that time by the enemies of the English Liturgy; who difliking the

In love's, in nature's fpite, the fiege they hold, And scorn the flesh, the dev'l, and all but gold. These write to Lords, fome mean reward to get, As needy beggars fing at doors for meat. 26 Those write because all write, and so have still Excufe 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 digeftion makes it wit no more: Sense, past thro' him, no longer is the fame; For food digested takes another name.

I pass o'er all those Confeffors and Martyrs 35 Who live like S-tt-n, or who die like Chartres, Out-cant old Efdras, or out-drink his heir, Out-ufure Jews, or Irishmen out-fwear; Wicked as Pages, who in early years Act fins which Prifca's Confeffor scarce hears. 40 Ev'n those I pardon, for whofe finful fake Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make; Of whose strange crimes no Canonist can tell In whatCommandment's large contents they dwell.

NOTES.

frequent invocations in the Letanie, called them the taking God's Name in vain, which is the Scripture periphrafis for fwearing.

VER. 44. In what Commandment's large contents they dwell.] The Original is more humorous;

"In which Commandment's large receit they dwell."

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, must make a calf an ox)
Hath made a Lawyer; which (alas) of late;
But fcarce a Poet: jollier of this ftate,
Then are new-benefic'd Minifters, he throws,
Like nets or lime-twigs, wherefoe'er he
His title of Barrister on ev'ry wench,

.

goes

And woes 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 fcolding, more Than when winds in our ruin'd Abbyes roar.

NOTES.

As if the Ten Commandments were fo wide, as to ftand ready to receive every thing within them, that either the Law of Nature, or the Gospel, enjoins. A juft ridicule on thofe practical Commentators, as they are called, who include all moral and religious duties within the Decalogue. Whereas their true original fenfe is much more confined; being a fhort fummary of moral duty fitted for a fingle people, upon a particular occafion, and to ferve transitory ends.

VER.61. Language, which Boreas-] The Criginal has here a very fine stroke of Satire,

"Than when winds in our ruin'd Abbyes roar."

One, one man only breeds my juft offence; 45 Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth

gave im

pudence:

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 verses too;
Pierce the foft lab'rinth of a Lady's ear 55
With rhymes of this per cent. and that per year?
Or court a Wife, fpread 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 Auster hold
More rough than forty Germans when they scold.

50

NOTES.

The frauds with which that work (fo neceffary for the welfare both of religion and the ftate) was begun; the rapine with which it was carried on; and the diffolutenefs in which the plunder arising from it was wafted, had fcandalized all fober men; and difpofed fome even of the best Proteftants to wish, that fome part of that immense wealth, arifing from the fup. preffion of the Monafteries, had been referved for charity, hofpitality, and even for the fervice of religion.

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