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Cuddy. Not thy acquaintance and thy friends alone Pity thy close restraint, as friends should do; But some that have but seen thee, for thee moan; Yea, many that did never see thee, too. Some deem thee in a fault, and most in none; So divers ways do divers rumours go ;

And at all meetings where our shepherds be, Now the main news that's extant, is of thee.

Philarete. Why, this is somewhat yet. Had I but kept Sheep on the mountains till the day of doom, My name should in obscurity have slept In brakes, in briars, shrubbed furze and broom : Into the world's wide ear it had not crept, Nor in so many men's thoughts found a room.

But what cause of my sufferings do they know? Good Cuddy! tell me, how doth rumour go?

Cuddy. 'Faith! 'tis uncertain: some speak this, some that; Some dare say nought, yet seem to think a cause, And many an one, prating he knows not what, Comes out with proverbs and old ancient saws, As if he thought thee guiltless, and yet not ; Then doth he speak half sentences, then pause,

That what the most would say we may suppose; But what to say the rumour is, none knows.

Philarete.

Nor care I greatly; for it skills not much
What the unsteady common people deems :
His conscience doth not always feel least touch
That blameless in the sight of others seems.
My cause is honest, and because 'tis such,
I hold it so, and not for men's esteems.

If they speak justly well of me, I'm glad;
If falsely evil, it ne'er makes me sad.

Willy.
I like that mind; but, shepherd ! you are quite
Beside the matter that I long to hear :
Remember what you promis'd yester-night ;
You'ld put us off with other talk, I fear.
Thou know'st that honest Cuddy's heart's upright,
And none but he, except myself, is near;

Come therefore, and betwixt us two relate
The true occasion of thy present state.

Philarete.

My Friends ! I will. *You know I am a swain
That kept a poor flock on a barren plain;

* The incidents in the part of Wither's life here referred to, are recounted in the Biographical Notice prefixed to the first volume.

Who, though it seems I could do nothing less,
Can make a song, and woo a shepherdess;
And not alone the fairest where I live
Have heard me sing, and favours deign’d to give ;
But, though I say't, the noblest nymph of Thame
Hath grac'd my verse, unto my greater fame.
Yet, being young, and not much seeking praise,
I was not noted out for shepherd's lays,
Nor feeding flocks, as you know others be;
For the delight that most possessed me
Was hunting foxes, wolves, and beasts of

prey,
That spoil our folds, and bear our lambs away.
For this, as also for the love I bear
Unto my country, I laid by all care
Of gain, or of preferment, with desire
Only to keep that state I had entire,
And like a true grown huntsman sought to speed
Myself with hounds of rare and choicest breed,
Whose names and natures, ere I further go,
Because you are my friends, I'll let you know.
My first esteemed dog that I did find
Was by descent of old Acteon's kind;
A brache* which, if I do not aim amiss,
For all the world is just like one of his :
She's named Lovet and scarce yet knows her duty;
Her dam's my lady's pretty beagle, Beauty.

* A bitch-hound. + The different passions here enumerated, are those which Wither has personified in his Abuses Stript and Whipt.

I bred her up myself with wondrous charge,
Until she grew to be exceeding large,
And wax'd so wanton, that I did abhor it,
And put her out amongst my neighbours for it.
The next is Lust, a hound that's kept abroad
'Mongst some of mine acquaintance, but a toad
Is not more loathsome : 'tis a cur will range
Extremely, and is ever full of mange;
And cause it is infectious, she's not wont
To come among the rest, but when they hunt.
Hate is the third, a hound both deep and long ;
His sire is True, or else supposed Wrong.
He'll have a snap at all that pass him by,
And yet pursues his game most eagerly.
With him goes Envy coupled, a lean cur,
And yet she'll hold out, hunt we ne'er so far:
She pineth much, and feedeth little too,
Yet stands and snarleth at the rest that do.
Then there's Revenge, a wond'rous deep-mouth'd

dog,
So fleet, I'm fain to hunt him with a clog;
Yet many times he'l much out-strip his bounds,
And hunts not closely with the other hounds :
He'll venture on a lion in his ire.
Curst Choler was his dam, and Wrong his sire.
This Choler is a brache that's very old,
And spends her mouth too much to have it hold :

She's very testy, an unpleasing cur,
That bites the very stones if they but stir;
Or when that ought but her displeasure moves,
She'll bite and snap at any one she loves.
But my quick scented’st dog is Jealousy;
The truest of this breed's in Italy.
The dam of mine would hardly fill a glove,
It was a lady's little dog, call’d Love;
The sire, a poor deformed cur, nam'd Fear,
As shagged and as rough as is a bear;
And yet the whelp turn’d after neither kind,
For he is very large, and near-hand blind.
Far-off, he seemeth of a pretty colour,
But doth not prove so when you view him fuller;
A vile suspicious beast, whose looks are bad,
And I do fear in time he will grow mad.
To him I couple Avarice, still poor,
Yet she devours as much as twenty more:
A thousand horse she in her paunch can put,
Yet whine as if she had an empty gut;
And having gorg'd what might a land have found,
She'll catch for more, and hide it in the ground.
Ambition is a hound as greedy full ;
But he for all the daintiest bits doth cull :
He scorns to lick up crumbs beneath the table :
He'll fetch't from boards and shelves, if he be able;

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