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FABLE  XXVII.
The Sick Man and the Angel.
1 Is there no hope? the sick Man said.
2 The silent doctor shook his head,
3 And took his leave, with signs of sorrow,
4 Despairing of his fee to-morrow.
5 When thus the Man, with gasping breath.
6 I feel the chilling wound of death.[Page 91]
7 Since I must bid the world adieu;
8 Let me my former life review.
9 I grant, my bargains well were made.
10 But all men over-reach in trade;
11 'Tis self-defence in each profession,
12 Sure self-defence is no transgression.
13 The little portion in my hands,
14 By good security on lands,
15 Is well encreas'd. If unawares,
16 My justice to my self and heirs,
17 Hath let my debtor rot in jail,
18 For want of good sufficient bail;
19 If I by writ, or bond, or deed
20 Reduc'd a family to need,
21 My will hath made the world amends;
22 My hope on charity depends.
23 When I am number'd with the dead,
24 And all my pious gifts are read,
25 By heav'n and earth 'twill then be known
26 My charitys were amply shown.
27 An Angel came. Ah friend, he cry'd,
28 No more in flatt'ring hope confide.
29 Can thy good deeds in former times
30 Outweigh the ballance of thy crimes?
31 What widow or what orphan prays
32 To crown thy life with length of days?
33 A pious action's in thy power,
34 Embrace with joy the happy hour;
35 Now, while you draw the vital air,
36 Prove your intention is sincere:
37 This instant give a hundred pound;
38 Your neighbours want, and you abound.
39 But why such haste, the sick Man whines,
40 Who knows as yet what Heav'n designs?
41 Perhaps I may recover still.
42 That sum and more are in my will.
43 Fool, says the Vision, now 'tis plain,
44 Your life, your soul, your heav'n was gain;
45 From ev'ry side, with all your might,
46 You scrap'd, and scrap'd beyond your right,[Page 93]
47 And after death would fain attone,
48 By giving what is not your own.
49 While there is life, there's hope, he cry'd;
50 Then why such haste? so groan'd and dy'd.
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. 90-93. ,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  VI. The Miser and Plutus. ()
- 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  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. ()