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Who, that observes all this, would think that he
Did but an hour before receive a fee,
Some innocent, by law, to murder there?
Or else, from children fatherless to tear
Their just inheritance ? and that when this
Were done, as if that nought had been amiss,
He could go sleep upon a deed so foul,
And neither think on man's or God's controul?
I have not a stupidity so mad,
And this presumption I would no man had.
I have no question made but some there are
Who, when of this Motto they shall hear,
Will have a better stomach to procure
That I may check or punishment endure,
Than their own evil manners to amend;
For that's a work they cannot yet intend.
And though they many view, before their face,
Fall'n, and each minute falling, to disgrace,
For less offences far than they commit,
Without remorse and penitence they sit,
As if that they, and they alone, had been
Without the compass of reproof for sin.
I have no great opinion of their wit, Nor ever saw their actions prosper yet, Who wedded to their own devices be, And will not counsel hear nor danger see
That is foretold them by their truest friends,
But rather list to them who for their ends
Do sooth their fancies; and the best excuse
That such men can to hide their folly use,
When all their idle projects come to nought,
Are these words of the fool, I had not thought.
I have not their delight who pleasure take
At nature's imperfections scoffs to make ;
Nor have I bitterness against that sin
Which thorough weakness hath committed been;
For I myself am to offences prone,
And every day commit I many a one;
But at their hateful crimes I only glance
That sin of pleasure, pride, and arrogance.
I have not so much knowledge as to call
The arts in question; neither wit so small,
To waste my spirits those things to attain
Which all the world hath labour'd for in vain.
I have not so much beauty, to attract
The eyes of ladies ; neither have I lack'd
Of that proportion which doth well suffice
To make me gracious in good people's eyes.
I have not done so many a holy deed,
As that of Jesus Christ I have no need;
And my good works I hope are not so few,
But that in me a living faith they shew.
I have not found ability so much,
To carry millstones; yea, and were it such,
I should not greatly vaunt it; for in this
A scurvy pack-horse far my better is.
I love his manly strength that can resist
His own desires, force.passage when he list
Through all his strong affections, and subdue
The stout attempts of that rebellious crew.
This were a braver strength than Samson got;
And this I covet, but I have it not.
I have not so much heedlessness of things
Which appertain unto the Courts of Kings,
But that from my low station I can see
A Prince's love may oft abused be;
. For many men their country injure dare
At home, where all our eyes upon them are.
And of the World's Protector I implore,
The trust abroad be not abused more.
I have no brother but of younger age,
Nor have 1 birth-right without heritage;
And with that land let me inherit shame,
Unless I grieve when I possess the same.
The value of a penny have I not, That was by bribery or extortion got. I have no lands that from the church were pillid, To bring, hereafter, ruin to my child ;
And hitherto, I think, I have been free
From widows or from orphans cursing me.
The spleen, the cholic, or the lethargy,
Gouts, palsies, dropsies, or a lunacy,
1, by inheritance, hare none of these,
Nor reigning sin, nor any foul disease.
I have no debts, but such as, when I can,
I mean to pay; nor is there any man,
To whom I stand engag'd, by ought I borrow,
Shall loss sustain, though I should die to-morrow;
And if they should, so much my friends they be,
Their greatest loss they'll think the loss of me.
And well they know, I took not what they lent
To wrong their loves or to be idly spent.
Except the Devil, and that cursed brood
Which have dependence on his devilhood,
I know no foes I have ; for, if there be
In none more malice than I find in me,
The earth that man, at this time, doth not bear,
Who would not, if some just occasion were,
Ev’n in his height of spleen, my life to save,
Adventure with one foot into his grave.
To make me careful, children I have none ;
Nor have I any wife to get them on;
Nor have I yet to keep her had I one;
Nor can this spoil my marriage, being known,
Since I am sure, I was not born for her
That shall before my worth her wealth prefer ;
For, I do set my virtues at a rate
As high as any prize their riches at;
And if all count the venture too much cost,
In keeping it myself there's nothing lost.
For she I wed shall somewhat think in me
More worthy love than great revenues be;
And if I find not one of such a mind,
As such indeed are jewels rare to find,
Ill clasped in mine own embraces lie,
And never touch a woman till I die.
For, shall a fellow whom the usurer,
His father, by extortion did prefer
Unto an heritage in value clear
Abave four times a thousand pounds a year,
So worthy, or so confident become,
By means of that his goodly annual sum,
may be lost to-morrow, as to dare
Attempt a nymph of honour for his phere?
.Shall he that hath with those four thousand pounds
A gaming-vein, a deep-mouth'd cry of hounds,
Three cast of hawks, of whores as many brace,
Six hunting-nags, and five more for the race,
Perhaps a numerous brood of fighting-cocks,
Physicians, barbers, surgeons for the poy,