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Lie not; but let thy heart be true to God,
Thy mouth to it, thy actions to them both :
Cowards tell lies, and those that fear the rod ;
The stormy working soul spits lies and froth.
Dare to be true. Nothing can need a lie :
A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.
Fly idleness, which yet thou canst not fly
By dressing, mistressing, and complement.
If those take up thy day, the Sun will cry
Against thee; for his light was only lent.
God gave thy soul brave wings; put not those feathers
Into a bed, to sleep out all ill weathers.
Art thou a Magistrate? then be severe :
If studious; copy fair what time hath blurr'd;
Redeem truth from his jaws : if Soldier,
Chase brave employments with a naked sword
Throughout the world. Fool not; for all may have,
If they dare try, a glorious life, or grave.
O England! full of sin, but most of sloth!
Spit out thy phlegm, and fill thy breast with glory :
Thy Gentry bleats, as if thy native cloth
Transfused a sheepishness into thy story :
Not that they all are so; but that the most
Are gone to grass, and in the pasture lost.
This loss springs chiefly from our education.
Some till their ground, but let weeds choke their son :
Some mark a partridge, never their child's fashion :
Some ship them over, and the thing is done.
Study this art, make it thy great design;
And if God's image move thee not, let thine.
Some great estates provide, but do not breed
A mastering mind; so both are lost thereby :
Or else they breed them tender, make them need
All that they leave; this is flat poverty.
For he, that needs five thousand pound to live,
Is full as poor as he that needs but five.
to make thy son rich, is to fill His mind with rest, before his trunk with riches: For wealth without contentment, climbs a hill, To feel those tempests, which fly over ditches.
But if thy son can make ten pound his measure, Then all thou addest may be call'd his treasure.
When thou dost purpose ought (within thy power),
Be sure to do it, though it be but small :
Constancy knits the bones, and makes us stour,
When wanton pleasures beckon us to thrall.
Who breaks his own bond, forfeiteth himself:
What nature made a ship, he makes a shelf.
Do all things like a man, not sneakingly :
Think the king sees thee still; for his King does.
Simpering is but a lay-hypocrisy :
Give it a corner, and the clue undoes.
Who fears to do ill, sets himself to task :
Who fears to do well, sure should wear a mask.
Look to thy mouth diseases enter there.
Thou hast two sconces, if thy stomach call;
Carve, or discourse; do not a famine fear.
Who carves, is kind to two; who talks, to all.
Look on meat, think it dirt, then eat a bit;
And say withal, Earth to earth I commit.
amidst their sickly healths,
What doth not so but man?
Houses are built by rule, and commonwealths.
Entice the trusty sun, if that you can,
From his Ecliptic line; beckon the sky.
Who lives by rule, then, keeps good company.
Who keeps no guard upon himself, is slack,
And rots to nothing at the next great thaw.
Man is a shop of rules, a well-truss'd pack,
Whose every parcel underwrites a law.
Lose not thyself, nor give thy humours way :
God gave them to thee under lock and key.
By all means use sometimes to be alone.
Salute thyself: see what thy soul doth wear.
Dare to look in thy chest; for 'tis thine own :
And tumble up and down what thou find'st there.
Who cannot rest till he good fellows find,
He breaks up house, turns out of doors his mind.
Be thrifty, but not covetous: therefore give
Thy need, thine honour, and thy friend his due.
Never was scraper brave man. Get to live;
Then live, and use it: else, it is not true
That thou hast gotten. Surely use alone
Makes money not a contemptible stone.
Never exceed thy income. Youth may make
Even with the year: but age, if it will hit,
Shoots a bow short, and lessens still his stake,
As the day lessens, and his life with it.
Thy children, kindred, friends upon thee call;
Before thy journey fairly part with all.
Yet in thy thriving still misdoubt some evil;
Lest gaining gain on thee, and make thee dim
To all things else. Wealth is the conjurer's devil;
Whom when he thinks he hath, the devil hath him.
Gold thou may'st safely touch; but if it stick
Unto thy hands, it woundeth to the quick.
What skills it, if a bag of stones or gold
About thy neck do drown thee? raise thy head;
Take stars for money; stars not to be told
By any art, yet to be purchased.
None is so wasteful as the scraping dame :
She loseth three for one; her soul, rest, fame.
By no means run in debt: take thine own measure.
Who cannot live on twenty pound a year,
Cannot on forty: he's a man of pleasure,
A kind of thing that's for itself too dear.
The curious unthrift makes his clothes too wide,
And spares himself, but would his tailor chide.
Spend not on hopes. They that by pleading clothes
Do fortunes seek, when worth and service fail,
Would have their tale believed for their oaths,
And are like empty vessels under sail.
Old courtiers know this; therefore set out so,
As all the day thou may'st hold out to go.
In clothes, cheap handsomeness doth bear the bell.
Wisdom's a trimmer thing than shop e'er gave.
Say not then, This with that lace will do well;
But, This with my discretion will be brave.
Much curiousness is a perpetual wooing,
Nothing with labour, folly long a doing.
Play not for gain, but sport. Who plays for more
Than he can lose with pleasure, stakes his heart:
Perhaps his wife's too, and whom she hath bore:
Servants and churches also play their part.
Only a herald, who that way doth pass,
Finds his crack'd name at length in the Church-glass.
If yet thou love game at so dear a rate,
Learn this, that hath old gamesters dearly cost:
Dost lose? rise up; dost win? rise in that state.
Who strive to sit out losing hands, are lost.
Game is a civil gunpowder, in peace
Blowing up houses with their whole increase.
In Conversation boldness now bears sway.
But know, that nothing can so foolish be,
As empty boldness: therefore first assay
To stuff thy mind with solid bravery;
Then march on gallant: get substantial worth:
Boldness gilds finely, and will set it forth.
Be sweet to all. Is thy complexion sour?
Then keep such company; make them thy allay:
Get a sharp wife, a servant that will lour.
A stumbler stumbles least in rugged way.
Command thyself in chief. He life's war knows,
Whom all his passions follow, as he goes.
Catch not at quarrels. He that dares not speak
Plainly and home, is coward of the two.
Think not thy fame at every twitch will break :
By great deeds show, that thou canst little do;
And do them not that shall thy wisdom be;
And change thy temperance into bravery.