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Your kind acceptance of my former labours has encouraged me to continue writing, tho' the general approbation you have been so good as to favour me with, has excited the envy of some, and drawn upon me the malice of others. These illwillers of mine, despited at the great reputation I gain'd by exactly predicting another man's death, have endeavoured to deprive me of it all at once in the most effectual manner, by reporting that I myself was never alive. They say, in short, that there ¡s no such a man as I am; and have spread this notion so thoroughly in the country, that I have been frequently told it to my face by those that don't know me. This is not civil treatment, to endeavour to deprive me of my very being, and reduce me ta a non-entity ¡n the opinion of the publick. But so long as I know myself to walk about, eat, drink and sleep, I am satisfied that there is really such a man as I am, whatever they may say to the contrary. And the world may be satisfied likewise, for if there was no such man as I am, how is it possible I should appear publickly to hundreds of people, as I have done for several years past, in print? I need not, indeed, have taken any notice of so idle a report, if it had not been for the sake of my printer, to whom my enemies are pleased to ascribe my productions; and who it seems is as unwillingly to father my offspring as I am to lose the credit of it. Therefore, ta clear him entirely, as well as to vindicate my own honour, I make this publick and serious declaration which I desire may be believed, to wit: That what I have written heretofore and do now write, neither was, nor is written by any other man or men, per son or persons, whatsoever. Those who are not satisfied with this, must needs be very unreasonable.
My performance for this year follows; it submits itself, kind reader, to thy censure, but hopes (for) thy candor, to forgive its faults. It devotes itself entirely to thy service, and will serve thee faithfully. And if it has the good fortune to please its master, tis gratification enough for the labour of
Presumptuous man! the reason would'st thou find
Why formed so weak, so little, and so blind?
First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess,
Why formed no weaker, blinder, and no less?
Ask of thy Mother Earth, why Oaks are made
Taller or stronger than the Weeds they shade?
Or ask of yonder argent Fields above
Why Jove's Sattelites are less than Jove?
XI Mon. January hath xxxi days.
Some have learn't many Tricks of sly Evasion,
Instead of Truth they use Equivocation,
And eke it out with mental Reservation,
Which to good Men is an Abomination.
Our Smith of late most wonderfully swore,
That whilst he breathed he would drink no more,;
But since, I know his Meaning, for I think
He meant he would not breathe whilst he did drink
He is no clown that drives the plow, but he that doth clownish things.
If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher's stone
The good pay-master is lord of another mans purse
Fish and visiters smell in three days.
XII Mon. February hath xxix days.
Sam’s wife provok'd him once; he broke her Crown,
The surgeon’s Bill amounted to Five Pounds;
This Blow (she brags) has cost my Husband dear,
He’ll ne'er strike more, Sam chanc'd to overhear.
Therefore, before his Wife the Bill he pays,
And to the surgeon in her hearing, says:
Doctor, you charge Five pound, here e'en take Ten,
My Wife may chance to want your Help again.
He that has neither fools nor beggars among his kindred, is the son of thunder-gust.
Diligence is the mother of good luck.
Do not do that which you would not have known.
I Mon. March hath xxxi days.
Whate'ers desired, Knowledge, Fame, or Pelf,
Not one will change his Neighbour with himself;
The learn’d are happy Nature to explore,
The Fool is happy that he knows no more.
The Rich are happy in the Plenty given;
The Poor contents him with the Care of Heav'n.
Thus does some Comfort ev'ry State attend,
And Pride’s bestowed on all, a common Friend.
Never praise your Cyder or Horse, or Bedfellow
Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
'Tis easy to see, hard to foresee.
In a discreet man’s mouth a pub lick thing is private.
II Mon. April hath xxx days.
By nought is Man from Beast distinguished,
More than by Knowledge in his learned Head,
Then Youth improve thy Time, but cautious see
That what thou learnest somehow useful be;
Each Day improving, Solon waxed old;
For Time he knew was better far than Gold:
Fortune might give him Gold which would decay,
But Fortune cannot give him — Yesterday
Let thy maid-servant be faithful, strong, and homely.
Keep flax from fire, youth from gaming.
Bargaining has neither friends nor relations.
Admiration is the daughter of ignorance.
There’s more old drunkards, than old doctors.
III Mon. May hath xxxi days.
Lalus who loves to hear himself discourse,
Keeps talking still as if he frantick were,
And tho’ himself might no where hear a worse,
Yet he no other but himself will hear.
Stop not his Mouth, if he be troublesome,
But stop his Ears, and then the Man is dumb.
Here comes Courage! that seiz'd the lion absent, and run away from the present mouse. He that takes a wife takes care. Nor Eye in a letter, nor Hand in a purse, nor Ear in the secret of another. He that buys by the penny, maintains not only himself, but other people.
IV Mon. June hath xxx days.
Things that are bitter, bitterer than Gall,
Physicians say are always physical:
Now Women's Tongues if into Powder beaten,
May in a Potion or a Pill be eaten,
And as there's nought more bitter, I do muse,
That Women's Tongues in Physick they ne'er use.
My self and others who lead restless Lives,
Would spare that bitter Member of our Wives.
He that can have Patience can have what he Will.
Now I have a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good morrow.
God helps them that help themselves.
Why does the blind man’s wife paint herself?