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FABLE  VI.
The Miser and Plutus.
1 The wind was high; the window shakes,
2 With sudden start the Miser wakes,
3 Along the silent room he stalks,
4 Looks back and trembles as he walks,
5 Each lock and ev'ry bolt he trys,
6 In ev'ry creek and corner prys,[Page 19]
7 Then opes the chest with treasure stor'd,
8 And stands in rapture o'er his hoard.
9 But now, with sudden qualms possest,
10 He wrings his hands, he beats his breast,
11 By conscience stung he wildly stares,
12 And thus his guilty soul declares.
13 Had the deep earth her stores confin'd,
14 This heart had known sweet peace of mind.
15 But virtue's sold. Good Gods, what price
16 Can recompense the pangs of vice!
17 O bane of good! seducing cheat!
18 Can man, weak man, thy power defeat?
19 Gold banish'd honour from the mind,
20 And only left the name behind;
21 Gold sow'd the world with ev'ry ill;
22 Gold taught the murd'rer's sword to kill;
23 'Twas gold instructed coward hearts
24 In treach'ry's more pernicious arts:
25 Who can recount the mischiefs o'er?
26 Virtue resides on earth no more!
27 He spoke, and sigh'd. In angry mood
28 Plutus, his God, before him stood;
29 The Miser trembling lock'd his chest,
30 The Vision frown'd, and thus addrest.
31 Whence is this vile ungrateful rant?
32 Each sordid rascal's daily cant:
33 Did I, base wretch, corrupt mankind?
34 The fault's in thy rapacious mind.
35 Because my blessings are abus'd,
36 Must I be censur'd, curst, accus'd?
37 Ev'n virtue's self by knaves is made
38 A cloak to carry on the trade,
39 And power (when lodg'd in their possession)
40 Grows tyranny, and rank oppression.
41 Thus when the villain crams his chest,
42 Gold is the canker of the breast;
43 'Tis av'rice, insolence, and pride,
44 And ev'ry shocking vice beside.
45 But when to virtuous hands 'tis given,
46 It blesses, like the dews of Heaven,[Page 21]
47 Like Heav'n, it hears the orphan's cries,
48 And wipes the tears from widows eyes.
49 Their crimes on gold shall misers lay,
50 Who pawn'd their sordid souls for pay?
51 Let bravos then (when blood is spilt)
52 Upbraid the passive sword with guilt.
About this text
Author: John Gay
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Gay, John, 1685-1732. FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. 18-21. ,173,p.: ill.; 4°. (ESTC T13818)
Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.
Other works by John Gay
- [FABLE ] INTRODUCTION TO THE FABLES. The Shepherd and the Philosopher. ()
- FABLE  I. The Lyon, the Tyger, and the Traveller. ()
- FABLE  II. The Spaniel and the Cameleon. ()
- FABLE  III. The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy. ()
- FABLE  IV. The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals. ()
- FABLE  V. The Wild Boar and the Ram. ()
- FABLE  VII. The Lyon, the Fox, and the Geese. ()
- FABLE  VIII. The Lady and the Wasp. ()
- FABLE  IX. The Bull and the Mastiff. ()
- FABLE  X. The Elephant and the Bookseller. ()
- FABLE  XI. The Peacock, the Turkey, and Goose. ()
- FABLE  XII. Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus. ()
- FABLE  XIII. The tame Stag. ()
- FABLE  XIV. The Monkey who had seen the World. ()
- FABLE  XV. The Philosopher and the Pheasants. ()
- FABLE  XVI. The Pin and the Needle. ()
- FABLE  XVII. The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf. ()
- FABLE  XVIII. The Painter who pleased No body and Every body. ()
- FABLE  XIX. The Lyon and the Cub. ()
- FABLE  XX. The Old Hen and the Cock. ()
- FABLE  XXI. The Rat-catcher and Cats. ()
- FABLE  XXII. The Goat without a beard. ()
- FABLE  XXIII. The Old Woman and her Cats. ()
- FABLE  XXIV. The Butterfly and the Snail. ()
- FABLE  XXV. The Scold and the Parrot. ()
- FABLE  XXVI. The Cur and the Mastiff. ()
- FABLE  XXVII. The Sick Man and the Angel. ()
- FABLE  XXVIII. The Persian, the Sun and the Cloud. ()
- FABLE  XXIX. The Fox at the point of death. ()
- FABLE  XXX. The Setting-dog and the Partridge. ()
- FABLE  XXXI. The Universal Apparition. ()
- FABLE  XXXII. The two Owls and the Sparrow. ()
- FABLE  XXXIII. The Courtier and Proteus. ()
- FABLE  XXXIV. The Mastiffs. ()
- FABLE  XXXV. The Barley-mow and the Dung-hill. ()
- FABLE  XXXVI. Pythagoras and the Countryman. ()
- FABLE  XXXVII. The Farmer's Wife and the Raven. ()
- FABLE  XXXVIII. The Turkey and the Ant. ()
- FABLE  XXXIX. The Father and Jupiter. ()
- FABLE  XL. The two Monkeys. ()
- FABLE  XLI. The Owl and the Farmer. ()
- FABLE  XLII. The Jugglers. ()
- FABLE  XLIII. The Council of Horses. ()
- FABLE  XLIV. The Hound and the Huntsman. ()
- FABLE  XLV. The Poet and the Rose. ()
- FABLE  XLVI. The Cur, the Horse, and the Shepherd's Dog. ()
- FABLE  XLVII. The Court of Death. ()
- FABLE  XLVIII. The Gardener and the Hog. ()
- FABLE  XLIX. The Man and the Flea. ()
- FABLE  L. The Hare and many Friends. ()