University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
A Collection of Emblemes

Ancient and Moderne: Quickened VVith Metricall Illvstrations, both Morall and Divine: And disposed into Lotteries, That Instruction, and Good Counsell, may bee furthered by an Honest and Pleasant Recreation. By George Wither

expand section 


Illvstr. III

[The World is much for Shewes, and few there are]

By seeming other than thou art,
Thou dost performe a foolish part.

The World is much for Shewes, and few there are
So diligent to bee, as to appeare;
Although a little travaile more, would make them
Those men, for which, the lookers on mistake them.
Some, have so toyled, and consum'd so much,
To get a false repute of being Rich,
That, they have spent farre more, than would have bought,
The substance of the shadow, they have sought;
And, caused those, who deem'd them rich before,
To know them, to bee miserably poore.
Some others, would so faine be counted Wise,
That, they consume in Curiosities,
In Sophistries, and superficiall showes,
More pretious Time, than would have made them those,
They long to seeme, (had halfe that meanes been spent,
In seeking Wisdome, with a pure intent)
Whereas, the glorioust purchases of such,
(Though by their Peeres they seeme applauded much)
Are still so vaine, that little they possesse,
But fruitlesse leaves, of learned foolishnesse:
Yea, by affecting more than is their due,
They lose ev'n both the substance, and the shew;
And, so, instead of honours Crowne, have worne
The Coxcombes, of a well-deserved scorne.
But, of all Fooleries, the grossest Folly
Is theirs, who weare those garbes of seeming-holy,
Which paine them sore, yet make them still appeare,
To God and Men, as wicked as they are.
Be, therefore, what, to be, thou hast profest;
But, bee not of this last, of all the rest.