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And whether 1 as lovely be or no,
'Tis ten to one but some do think me so.
The wealthiest men no benefits possess,
But I have such, or better, in their place.
As they my low condition can contemn,
So I know how to fling a scorn at them.
My fame is yet as fair, and flies as far
As some men’s, that with titles laden are.
Yea, by myself much more I have attain’d,
Than many have with help of others gain’d;
And my esteem I will not change for their,
Whose fortunes are ten thousand more a year.
Nor want I so much grace, as to confess
That God is author of this happiness.
I want not so much judgment as to see There must 'twixt men and men a difference be; And I of those in place account do make, Though they be wicked, for good order's sake; But I could stoop to serve them at their feet, Where old nobility and virtue meet.
To find mine own defects, I want not sense ; Nor want I will to grieve for my offence. To see my friend misdo, I want not eyes ; Nor love to cover his infirmities. I want not spirit, if I once but know The way be just and noble that I go.
My mind's as great as theirs that greatest are ;
Yet, I can make it fit the clothes I wear.
And whether I ascend or lower fall,
I want not hope but I preserve it shall.
I want no slanders ; neither want I brain
To scorn the rascal-rumours of the vain
And giddy multitude; and, trust me, they
So far unable are to talk
My resolution, that no more it fears
The worst their ignorance or malice dares,
Than doth the moon, when dogs and birds of night
Do barking stand, or whooting at her light.
And if this mischief no way shun I could,
But that they praise me or dispraise me would,
I rather wish their tongues should blast my name,
Than be beholding to them for my fame.
I want not wit nor honesty enough
To keep my hand from such base rascal-stuff
As is a libel; for, although I shall
Sometime let fly at vice in general,
I spare particulars; nor shall a knave
In my lines live, so much as shame to have,
But in his own corruption, die and rot,
That all his memory may be forgot.
I want not so much knowledge as to know
True wisdom lies not in a glorious show
Of human learning, or in being able
To cite authorities innumerable,
Nor in a new invention ; but that man,
Who make good use of ev'ry creature can,
And from all things that happen, well or ill,
Contentment draws, and keeps a conscience still
To witness his endeavours to be good,
That man is wisest, though he understood
The language of no country but his own,
Nor ever had the use of letters known.
To make fair shows of honesty and arts,
Of knowledge and religion, are the parts
This age doth strive to play ; but few there are,
Who truly are the same they do appear ;
And this is that which daily makes us see
So many, whom we honest thought to be,
And wise and learned, while some scenes do last,
Prove fools and knaves before their act be past.
I want not sense of those men's miseries, Who, lull'd asleep in their prosperities, Must shortly fall, and with a heavy eye, Behold their pomp and pleasures vanish by, And how that mistress they so doted on, Their proud Vain-glory, will with scorn be gone. I feel, methinks, with what a drooping heart They and their idle hopes begin to part,
And with what mighty burthens of unrest
Their poor distemper'd souls will be opprest.
How much they will repent I do foresee,
How much confused and asham'd they'll be;
And as I praise their doom, ev’n so I pray,
Their shame and sorrow work their comfort may.
I want not much experiment to shew
That all is good God pleaseth to bestow,
What shape soever he doth mask it in;
For all my former cares my joys have been,
And I have trust, that all my woes to come
Will bring my soul eternal comforts home.
I do not find within me other fears,
Than what to men of all degrees appears.
I have a conscience that is clean within ;
For, though I guilty am of many a sin,
A kind Redeemer I have found, and he
His righteousness imputeth unto me.
The greatest have no greatness more than 1,
In bearing out a want or misery.
I can as well to passion set a bound;
I brook as well the smarting of a wound ;
As well endure I to be hunger-bit ;
As well can wrestle with an ague-fit;
My eyes can ’wake as long as theirs, I'm sure,
And as much cold or heat I can endure.
Yea, let my dearest friends excused be
From heaping scorn or injuries on me :
Come all the world, and I my heart can make
To brook as much, before it shrink or break,
As theirs that do the noblest titles wear,
And slight as much their frown that mightiest, are ;
For, if in me at any time appear
A bashfulness, which some mis-title fear,
It is in doubt lest I, through folly, may
Some things unfitting me, or do, or say ;
But not that I am fearful to be shent,
For dread of men, or fear of punishment.
And yet, no faults I want, nor want in me
Affections, which in other men there be :
As much I hate an incivility;
As much am taken with a courtesy ;
As much abhor I brutish vanities;
As much allow I Christian liberties;
As soon an injury I can perceive,
And with as free a heart I can forgive;
My hand, in anger, I as well can stay ;
And I dare strike as stout a man as they ;
And when I know, that I amiss have done,
I am as much asham'd as any one.
more than others' be,
I have more comforts to keep heart in me.