Page images

And what I've sworn to bear, forbear,
And so b' equivocation swear;
Or whether 't be a lesser sin
To be forsworn than act the thing;
Are deep and subtle points, which must,
T'inform my conscience, be discuss’d;
In which to err a tittle may
To errors infinite make way;
And therefore I desire to know
Thy judgment ere we further go.

Quoth Ralpho, Since you do enjoin't , I shall enlarge upon the point; And, for my own part, do not doubt Th' affirmative may be made out. But first, to state the case aright, For best advantage of our light, And thus 'tis : Whether 't be a sin To claw and curry your own skin, Greater or less, than to forbear, And that you are forsworn, forswear. But first, o'th' first: The inward man, And outward , like a clan and clan, Have always been at daggers-drawing, And one another clapper-clawing.

Je puis, par équivoque, omettre?
Ou qui fait le plus grand péché,
Du parjure ou de l'écorché ?
Ces points il faut régler d'avance
Pour informer ma conscience;
Car le moindre où l'on manquerait,
A conséquence tirerait.
Avant d'en faire davantage,
Je les mets à ton arbitrage.

Ralpho lui dit: J'obeirai, Et mon sentiment vous dirai: Pour moi, je crois l'affirmative Plus sûre que la négative; Mais , pour rendre la question Plus claire à la conception; Savoir, si c'est un plus grand crime, Ou bien chose plus légitime, Vous même de vous fustiger, Ou, l'ayant omis, l'attester; D'abord on sait que l'homme interne Est toujours mal avec l'externe; Comme deux voisins irrités, Tous les jours à couteaux tirés; Non qu'ils se battent à l'épée, La chose n'est que figurée;

Not that they really cuff, or fence,
But in a spiritual mystic sense;
Which to mistake, and make 'em squabble,
In literal fray's abominable.
'Tis heathenish, in frequent use
With pagans and apostate Jews,
To offer sacrifice of Bridewells,
Like modern Indians to their idols;
And mongrel christians of our times,
That expiate less with greater crimes,
And call the foul abomination,
Contrition and mortification.
Is 't not enough we're bruis’d and kicked
With sinful members of the wicked,
Our vessels, that are sanctify'd,
Prophan'd and curry'd back and side,
But we must claw ourselves with shameful
And heathen stripes, hy their example ?
Which ( were there nothing to forbid it)
Is impious because they did it:
This, therefore, may be justly reckon'd
A heinous sin. Now to the second :
That saints may claim a dispensation
To swear and forswear, on occasion,
I doubt not but it will appear

Les faire battre tout de bon
Serait abomination;
C'est l'usage du paganisme,
Ou de l'apostat judaïsme.
Soi-même se sacrifier,
Et toute sa peau déchirer,
C'est bien faire le même rôle,
Qu'Indien devant son idole:
Et de nos jours bâtards chrétiens
Qui se fessent comme des chiens,
Pour expier ( c'est leur maxime)
Petits péchés, par plus grand crime.
Et cette abomination
Ils appellent contrition.
Les coups de pied, ou chose pire,
Que nous font méchants, doit suffire;
Quand nos vases sanctifiés
Sont profanés et maltraités,
Des païens suivrons-nous l'exemple,
Nous fessant comme eux dans leur temple? (55)

pour que ce soit un péché,
Il suffit qu'ils l'ont pratiqué.
Donc la chose est abominable
Pour nous, et crime détestable.

Pour la seconde question,
Si les saints ont pouvoir, ou non,
De jurer de faire une affaire,
Et puis après de n'en rien faire ;

With pregnant light : the point is clear.
Oaths are but words, and words but wind,
Too feeble implements to bind,
And hold with deeds proportion, so
As shadows to a substance do.
Then when they strive for place, 'tis fit
The weaker vessel should submit.
Although your church be opposite
To ours as black friars are to white,
In rule and order, yet I grant
You are a reformado saint;
And what the saints do claim as due,
You may pretend a title to.
But saints , whom oaths and vows oblige,
Know little of their privilege,
Further (I mean ) than carrying on
Some self-advantage of their own:
For if the dev'l, to serve his turn,
Can tell truth, why the saints should scorn,
When it serves their's, to swear and lie,
I think there's little reason why:
Else h' has a greater power than they,
Which 'twere impiety to say.
W' are not commanded to forbear
Indefinitely, at all to swear;

« PreviousContinue »