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Nec Curo.*

THEN, to vouchsafe me yet more favour here,
He that supplies my want, hath took my care ;
And when to bar me ought, he sees it fit,
He doth infuse a mind to sleight at it.

Why, if He all things needful doth bestow,
Should I, for what I have not, careful grow?
Low place I keep, yet, to a greatness born
Which doth the world's affected greatness scorn,
I do disdain her glories, and contemn
Those muddy spirits that delight in them.

I care for no man's countenance or grace, Unless he be as good, as great in place.

* This clause of Wither's Motto is most delightfully pourtrayed. The whole secret of his happiness seems to have consisted in the art of an innocent self-pleasing. His poems are generally so many professions of a generous egotism. Whatever he does, it is to please himself; if he writes, it is to please himself: he would have you think, he never casts a care upon his readers. This way of talking certainly requires a known warmth of heart, in the person who uses it, to make it palatable. But egotist as Wither is, the extensive benevolence of his heart betrays itself in every line. By selt, he means a great deal: his friends, his principles, his country; all of which he sometimes includes in himself. EDITOR.

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For no man's spite or envy do I care ;
For none have spite at me that honest are,
I care not for that baser wealth, in which
Vice may become, as well as virtue, rich.
I care not for their friendship who have spent
Love's best expressions in mere compliment;
Nor for those favours, though a Queen's they were,
In which I thought another had a share.

I care not for their praise, who do not shew
That in their lives, which they in words allow.
A rush I care not who condemneth me,
That sees not what my soul's intentions be.
I care not, though to all men known it were,
Both whom I love or hate ; for none I fear.
I care not, though some courtiers still prefer
The parasite and smooth-tongued flatterer,
Before my bold truth-speaking lines; and here,
If these should anger them, I do not care.

I care not for that goodly precious stone,
Which chymists have so fondly doated on;
Nor would I give a rotten chip, that I
Were of the Rosy-Cross fraternity;
For I the world too well have understood,
As to be gull’d with such a brotherhood.

I care for no more knowledge, than to know
What I to God and to my neighbour owe.

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For outward beauties I do nothing care, So I within may fair to God appear. No other liberty I care to win, But to be wholly freed from my sin; Nor more ability, whilst I have breath, Than strength to bear my crosses to my death; Nor can the earth afford a happiness That shall be greater than this carelessness.

For such a life I soon should careless grow, In which I had not leisure more to know. Nor care I in a knowledge pains to take, Which doth not those who get it wiser make. Nor for that wisdom do I greatly care, Which would not make me somewhat honester; Nor for that moral honesty, that shall Refuse to join religion therewithal ; Nor for that zealous seeming piety, Which wanteth love and moral honesty ; Nor for their loves, whose base affections be More for their lust than for ought good in me. Nor for ought good within me should I care, But that they sprinklings of God's goodness are. For many

books I care not; and my store Might now suffice me, though I had no more Than God's two Testaments, and therewithal That mighty volume which the World we call ;

For these well look'd on, well in mind preserv'd,
The present age's passages observ'd,
My private actions seriously o’erview'd,
My thoughts recall'd, and what of them ensu'd,
Are books which better far instruct me can
Than all the other paper-works of man;
And some of these I may be reading too,
Where'er I come, or whatsoe'er I do.

I care not, though a sight of idle gulls,
With lavish tongues and ever-empty skulls,
Do let my better-temper'd labours lie;
And since I termly make not pamphlets fly,
Say I am idle and do nothing now;
As if, that I were bound to let them know
What I were doing, or to cast away
My breath and studies on such fools as they:
I much disdain it; for these blocks be those
That use to read my verse like ragged prose;
And such as, so their books be new, ne'er care
Of what esteem nor of what use they are.

I care not, though a vain and spungy crew Of shallow critics, in each tavern, spew 'Their drunken censures on my poesy, Until among their cups they sprawling lie : These poor betatter'd rhymers, now and then, With wine and impudence inspired, can

Some fustian language utter, which doth seem,
Among their base admirers, worth esteem;
But those base ivy-poets never knew
Which way a sprightly, honest rapture flew;
Nor can they relish any strain of wit,
But what was in some drunken fury writ.

Those needy poetasters, to prefer
Their nasty stuff to some dull stationer,
With impudence extol it, and will tell him,
The very title of their book shall sell him
As many thousands of them, wholly told,
As ever of


Satires have been sold ;
Yet, ere a twelvemonth, by the walls it lies,
Or to the kitchen or the pastry hies.
Sometime, that these men's rhymes may heeded be,
They give, forsooth, a secret jerk at me,
But so obscurely, that no man may know
Who there was meant, until they tell them so.
For, fearing me, they dare not to be plain;
And yet my vengeance they suspect in vain :
For I can keep my way, and careless be,
Though twenty snarling curs do bark at me;
And while my fame those fools do murmur at,
And vex themselves, with laughing I am fat.

I am not much inquisitive to know
For what brave action our last fleet did go;

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