E P I G R A M S .|
XII. ON LIEUTENANT SHIFT.
SHIFT, here in town, not meanest among squires,
That haunt Pickt-hatch, Marsh-Lambeth, and White-friars,
Keeps himself, with half a man, and defrays
The charge of that state, with this charm, god pays.
By that one spell he lives, eats, drinks, arrays
Himself : his whole revenue is, god pays.
The quarter-day is come ; the hostess says,
She must have money : he returns, god pays.
The tailor brings a suit home : he it says,
Look's o'er the bill, likes it : and says, god pays.
He steals to ordinaries ; there he plays
At dice his borrow'd money : which, god pays.
Then takes up fresh commodities, for days ;
Signs to new bonds ; forfeits ; and cries, god pays.
That lost, he keeps his chamber, reads essays,
Takes physic, tears the papers : still god pays.
Or else by water goes, and so to plays ;
Calls for his stool, adorns the stage : god pays.
To every cause he meets, this voice he brays :
His only answer is to all, god pays.
Not his poor cockatrice but he betrays
Thus ; and for his lechery, scores, god pays.
But see ! the old bawd hath serv'd him in his trim,
Lent him a pocky whore.She hath paid him.
[ AJ Notes:
l.9 He it says, he it assays, i.e., tries it on.
l.11 Steals to ordinaries, goes to taverns.
l.16 Physic, medicine.
l.23 In his trim, in his own fashion, i.e., she has given him
a taste of his own medicine.
l.24 Pocky, diseased. ]
Jonson, Ben. The Works of Ben Jonson.
Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Co., 1853. 786.
||to Works of Ben Jonson
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