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As confessors, and for whose sinful sake
But these punish themselves. The insolence
pox, And plodding on, must make a calf an ox) Hath made a lawyer; which (alas) of late ; But scarce a poet: jollier of this state, Than are new-beneficed ministers, he throws, Like nets or lime-twigs, wheresoe'er he goes His title of barrister on every wench, And wooes in language of the Pleas and Bench.**
Words, words which would tear The tender labyrinth of a maid’s soft ear :
Ver. 38. Irishmen out-swear ;] The original says,
out-swear the Letanie,” improved by the Imitator into a just stroke of satire. Dr. Donne's is a low allusion to a licentious quibble used at that time by the enemies of the English Liturgy: who, disliking the frequent invocations in the Letanie, called them the taking God's name in dain, which is the scripture periphrasis for swearing.
Warburton.' Ver. 43. Of whose strange crimes] Such as Sanchez de Matrimonio has minutely enumerated and described. Such Canonists deserved this animadversion. In Pascal's fine Provincial Letters are also some strange and striking examples.
Warton. Ver. 44. In what Commandment's large contents they dwell.] The original is more humorous :
“ In which Commandment's large receit they dwell." As if the Ten Commandments were so wide, as to stand ready to
Wicked as pages, who in early years
dwell. One, one man only breeds my just offence; 45 Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave im
55 With rhymes of this per cent, and that per year ? Or court a wife, spread out his wily parts, Like nets, or lime twigs, for rich widows' hearts ;
receive every thing within them, that either the law of nature, or the Gospels, enjoins. A just ridicule on those practical commentators, as they are called, who include all moral and religious duties within the Decalogue. Whereas their true original sense is much more confined; being a short summary of moral duty fitted for a single people, upon a particular occasion, and to serve tem
Warburton. Ver. 48. makes a calf an or,] An unaccountable blunder in our author. As if an ox was in his natural state.
More, more than ten Sclavonians scolding, more
Ver. 61. Language, which Boreas-] The original has here a very fine stroke of satire :
“ Than when winds in our ruin'd abbyes roar." The frauds with which that work (so necessary for the welfare both of religion and the state) was begun; the rapine with which it was carried on; and the dissoluteness in which the plunder arising from it was wasted, had scandalized all sober men ; and disposed some, even of the best Protestants, to wish, that some part of that immense wealth, arising from the suppression of the monasteries, had been reserved for charity, hospitality, and even for the service of religion.
Warburton. Ver. 74. For not in chariots Peter] Pope might have applied the words of Horace to this eternal Peter, with as much propriety as he did to his friend Bolingbroke:
Prima dicte mihi, summa dicende camænâ !
Call himself barrister to every wench,
Cursed be the wretch, so venal and so vain :
you he walks the streets through rain or dust,
Ver. 78. Like a king's favourite] A line from the original, as also line 60; which shews that Donne, if he had properly attended to it, could have written harmoniously.
IVarton. VOL. VI.
Shortly (as the sea) he'll compass all the land
Ver. 105. So Luther, &c.] Our Poet, by judiciously transposing this fine similitude, has given new lustre to his author's thought. The Lawyer (says Dr. Donne) enlarges his legal instruments to the bigness of glossd civil laws, when it is to convey property to himself, and to secure his own ill-got wealth. But let the same lawyer convey property to you, and he then omits even the necessary words ; and becomes as concise and loose as the hasty postils of a modern divine. So Luther, while a monk, and by his institution obliged to say Mass, and pray in person for others, thought even his Pater-noster too long. But when he set up for a governor in the church, and his business was to direct others how to pray for the success of his new model; he then lengthened the Pater-noster by a new clause. This representation of the first part of his conduct was to ridicule his want of devotion; as the other, where he tells us, that the ad