Plato, therefore, calls poverty, “thievish, sacrilegious, filthy, wicked, and mischievous:” and well he might. For it makes many an upright man otherwise, had he not been in want, to take bribes, to be corrupt, to do against his conscience, to sell his tongue, heart, hand, &c., to be churlish, hard, unmerciful, uncivil, to use indirect means to help his present estate. It makes princes to exact upon their subjects, great men tyrannise, landlords oppress, justice mercenary, lawyers vultures, physicians harpies, friends importunate, tradesmen liars, honest men thieves, devout assassins, great men to prostitute their wives, daughters, and themselves, middle sort to repine, commons to mutiny, all to grudge, murmur, and complain. A great temptation to all mischief, it compels some miserable wretches to counterfeit several diseases, to dismember, make themselves blind, lame, to have a more plausible cause to beg, and lose their limbs to recover their present wants.Author and Text
What shall I make of it, I, who am tremblingAuthor and Text
Fearful of loss?–Oh, enamored, dissembling
Flame!–of the candle that burning, but guttering,
Flatters the moth that comes circling and fluttering
Out of the summer night; trusting, importunate,
Quitting cool flowers for this–O unfortunate!–
Such has she been to me making me such to her,
Slaying me, saying I never was much to her–
What shall I make of it, what can I make!
I enjoyed perfect health of body, and tranquillity of mind; I did not feel the treachery or inconstancy of a friend, nor the injuries of a secret or open enemy. I had no occasion of bribing, flattering, or pimping, to procure the favour of any great man, or of his minion; I wanted no fence against fraud or oppression: here was neither physician to destroy my body, nor lawyer to ruin my fortune; no informer to watch my words and actions, or forge accusations against me for hire: here were no gibers, censurers, backbiters, pickpockets, highwaymen, housebreakers, attorneys, bawds, buffoons, gamesters, politicians, wits, splenetics, tedious talkers, controvertists, ravishers, murderers, robbers, virtuosos; no leaders, or followers, of party and faction; no encouragers to vice, by seducement or examples; no dungeon, axes, gibbets, whipping-posts, or pillories; no cheating shopkeepers or mechanics; no pride, vanity, or affectation; no fops, bullies, drunkards, strolling whores, or poxes; no ranting, lewd, expensive wives; no stupid, proud pedants; no importunate, overbearing, quarrelsome, noisy, roaring, empty, conceited, swearing companions; no scoundrels raised from the dust upon the merit of their vices, or nobility thrown into it on account of their virtues; no lords, fiddlers, judges, or dancing-masters.Author and Text
Shoulders and loinsAuthor and Text
Ache – – – !
Ache, and the mattress,
Run into boulders and hummocks,
Glows like a kiln, while the bedclothes—
Tumbling, importunate, daft—
Ramble and roll, and the gas,
Screwed to its lowermost,
An inevitable atom of light,
Haunts, and a stertorous sleeper
Snores me to hate and despair.