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Who doubts? The lawes fell down from heaven's height,
Like to some gliding starre in winter's night?
Themis, the Scribe of God, did long agone
Engrave them deepe in during marble-stone,
And cast them downe on this unruly clay,
That men might know to rule and to obay.
But now their characters depraved bin,
By them that would make gain of others' sin.
And now hath wrong so maistered the right, .
That they live best, that on wrong's offal light.
So loathly fly, that lives on galled wound,
And scabby festers inwardly unsound,
Feeds fatter with that poys'nous carrion,
Than they, that haunt the healthy lims alone.
Wo to the weale", where many lawiers bee;
For there is, sure, much store of maladie !
'Twas truly said, and truely was foreseene,
The fat kine are devoured of the leane.
Genus and Species long since barefoote went,
Upon their ten-toes in wilde wanderment 2;
Whiles father Bartoll on his footcloth rode,
Upon high pavement gayly silver-strowd.
Each home-bred science percheth in the chaire,
Whiles sacred arts grovell on the groundsell bare.
Since pedling Barbarismes gan be 23 in request,
Nor classicke tongues, nor learning found no rest.
The crowching Client, with low-bended knee 24,
And manie Worships, and faire flatterie,
Tels on his tale as smoothly as him list,
But still the Lawier's eye squints on his fist;
If that seeme lined with a larger fee,
Doubt not the suite, the law is plaine for thee:
11 wealestate, common-wealth.
12 Genus and Species long since barefoote wend,
Upon their ten-toes in wilde wunderment. This is an allusion to an old distich, made and often quoted in the age of scholastic science.
Dat Galenus opes, dat Justinianus honores,
Sed Genus d Species cogitur ire in pedes. That is, the study of medicine produces riches, and jurisprudence leads to stations and offices of honour; while the professor of logic is poor, and obliged to walk on foot. W.
23 gan be began to be. ** The crowching client, with low-bended knee, &c. &c. The interview between the anxious client and rapacious lawyer, has humour well adapted to the characters at that time. W.
Tho' must he buy his vainer hope with price,
Disclout his crownes as, and thanke him for advice.
So have I seene in a tempestuous stowre,
Some breer-bush shewing shelter from the showre
Unto the hopefull sheepe, that faine would hide
His fleecie coate from that same angrie tide :
The ruth-lesse breere, regardlesse of his plight,
Layes hold upon the fleece he should acquite ao;.
And takes advantage of the carelesse pray,
That thought she in securer shelter lay.
The day is fayre, the sheepe would fare to feed,
The tyrant brier holds fast his shelter's meed,
And claymes it for the fee of his defence :
So robs the sheepe, in favour's faire pretence.
WORTHY were Galen to be weighed in gold,
Whose help doth sweetest life and helth uphold :
Yet, by S. Esculape he solemne swore,
That for diseases they were never more,
Fees never lesse, never so little gaine;
Men give a groate, and aske the rest againe.
Groats-worth of health can any leech allot?
Yet should he have no more, that gives a grote.
Should I on each sicke pillow leane my brest,
And grope the pulse of everie mangy" wrest,
And spie out marvels in each urinall,
And tumble 28 up the filths that from them fall,
And give a Dosse for every disease
In prescripts long and tedious Recipes,
All for so leane reward of art and mee?
No hors-leach but will looke for larger fee.
Meane while, if chaunce some desp'rate patient die,
Com'n a' to the period of his destinie:
(As who can crosse the fatall resolution,
In the decreed day of dissolution ?)
Whether ill tendment, or recurelesse paine,
Procure his death; the neighbors straight so complaine,
25 Disclout his crownes—i. e. unpurse them. W.
26 acquite-release. So Spenser, Book I. Canto vii. 52.
- For till I have acquit your captive knight.
- mangy-having the mange. 28 tumble-rumble, is the reading of the later editions. I have corrected it from the first. 29 Com'n-being come.
straight-all is the reading of the later editions; but straight of the first.
Th' unskilfull leech murdred his patient,
By poyson of some foule Ingredient.
Here-on the vulgar may as soone be brought
To Socrates-his poysoned Hemlock-drought,
As to the wholsome Julap, whose receat
Might his disease's lingring-force defeat.
If nor a dramme of Triacle soveraigne,
Or Aqua Vitæ, or Sugar Candian,
Nor Kitchin Cordials can it remedie,
Certes his time is come, needs mought he die.
Were I a leech, (as who knowes what may be?)
The liberall man should live, and carle 31 should die :
The sickly Ladie and the goutie Peere
Still would I haunt, that love their life so deere.
Where life is deare, who cares for coyned drosse ?
That, spent, is counted gaine; and, spared, losse :
Or would conjure the Chymick Mercurie,
Rise from his hors-dung bed, and upwards fie;
And, with glas-stils and sticks of Juniper,
Raise the Black-Spright, that burns not with the fire:
And bring Quintessence of Elixir pale,
Out of 'sublimed spirits minerall.
Each poudred graine ransometh captive kings,
Purchaseth realmes, and life prolonged brings.
Saw'st thou ever Siquis patch'd on Paul's Church dore 3,
To seek some vacant Vicarage before?
Who wants a Churchman, that can service sey,
Read fast and faire his monthly homiley?
And wed, and bury, and make Christen-soules?
Come to the left side alley of Saint Poules.
Thou servile foole, why could'st thou not repaire
To buy a benefice at steeple-faire ?
31 - Carle-a churl, clown. See Reed's Shakespeare, Vol. XVIII. p. 601. and Todd's Spenser, Vol. III. p. 104.
* Saw'st thou ever Siquis patch'd on Paul's Church dore, &c. &c. Si-quis was the first word of Advertisements, often published on the doors of St. Paul's. Decker says, “ The first time that you enter into Paules, pass thorough the body of the Church like a porter; yet presume not to fetch so much as one whole turne in the middle isle; nor to cast an eye upon SI QUIS doore, pasted and plaistered up with serving men's supplications, &c." Gul's Horne Booke. 1603. p. 21. And in Wroth’s Epigrams. 1620. Epigr. 93.
A mery Greeke set up a SI QUIS late,
To signify a stranger come to towne
Who could great noses &c. W.
There moughtest thou, for but a slender price,
Advowson thee with some fat benefice:
Or, if thee list not wayt for dead men's shoo'n 33,
Nor pray ech-morn th' incumbent's daies wer doon;
A thousand patrons thither ready bring,
Their new-falne 34 churches to the chaffering.
Stake three yeares' Stipend: no man asketh more :
Go, take possession of the church-porch-doore,
And ring thy bels 3s; lucke stroken 36 in thy fist :
The parsonage is thine, or ere thou wist.
Saint Fooles of Gotam mought thy parish bee,
For this thy base and servile Symonie !
A GENTLE squire would gladly intertaine
Into his house some trencher-chaplaine ;
Some willing man, that might instruct his sons,
And that would stand to good conditions.
First, that he lie upon the truckle-bed,
Whiles his yong maister lieth ore his hed,
Second, that he do, on no default,
Ever presume to sit above the salt 37.
Third, that he never change his trencher twise.
Fourth, that he use all common courtesies;
Sit bare at meales, and one halfe rise and wait.
Last, that he never his yong master beat,
But he must aske his mother to define,
How manie jerkes she would his breech should line.
All these observ’d, he could contented bee,
To give five markes and winter liverye.
new-falne-Come into their gift by the death of the incumbent, an therefore illegally offered for sale. * Go, take possession of the church-porch-doore,
And ring thy bels Alluding to the ceremonies observed on induction into a benefice. 3 stroken-struck, or stricken.
- to sit above the salt. Towards the head of the table was placed a large and lofty piece of plate; the top of which, in a broad cavity, held the salt for the whole company. One of these stately salt-cellars is still preserved, and in use, at Winchester College. With this idea we must understand the following passage of a table meanly decked. Book VI. Sat. 1.
Now shalt thou never see the salt beset
With a big-bellied gallon flagonet. W.
In th' heaven's universall alphabet
All earthly things so surely are foreset,
That, who can read those figures may foreshew,
Whatever thing shall afterwards ensue:
Faine would I know (might it our artist please)
Why can his tell-troth Ephemerides
Teach him the weather's state so long befornes,
And not fore-tel him, nor his fatall horne,
Nor his death's-day, nor no such sad event;
Which he mought wisely labour to prevent ?
Thou damned mock-art, and thou brainsick tale
Of old Astrology, where didst thou vaile
Thy cursed head thus long, that so it mist
The black bronds 39 of some sharper satyrist?
Some doting gossip, mongst the Chaldee wives,
Did to the credulous world thee first derive;
And superstition nurs'd thee ever sence,
And publisht in profounder Art's pretence:
That now, who pares his nailes, or libs 40 his swine,
But he must first take counsell of the signe.
So that the vulgars count, for faire or foule,
For living or for dead, for sick or whole.
His feare or hope, for plenty or for lack,
Hangs all uppon his New-Year's Almanack.
If chance once in the spring his head should ake,
It was foretold: Thus saies mine Almanack.
In th' heaven's High-Street are but dozen roomes,
In which dwels all the world, past and to come.
Twelve goodly Innes they are, with twelve fayre Signes,
Ever wel tended by our Star-Divines.
Everie man's head innes at the horned Ramme;
The whiles the necke the Black-Bull's guest became:
Th' arms, by good hap, meet at the wrastling Twins:
Th’ heart, in the way, at the Blew-Lion innes :
The legs their lodging in Aquarius got;
That is the Bridge-Streete of the heaven, I wot*':
was heaver is all the they are vitesed Ramme
- bronds—properly swords (See Todd's Spenser, Vol. V. p. 212.): but black bronds must here mean severe censures.
libs-castrates. 4 That is the Bridge-STREETE of the heaven, I wot. The later editions read Bride-Stroete. I have restored this reading from the first edition.