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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

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Illvstr. VII.


Illvstr. VII.

[A tyrannous, or wicked Magistrat]

When Magistrates confined are,
They revell, who were kept in feare.

A tyrannous, or wicked Magistrat,
Is fitly represented by a Catt:
For, though the Mice a harmfull vermine bee,
And, Cats the remedie; yet, oft wee see,
That, by the Mice, far lesse, some house-wives leese,
Then when they set the Catt to keepe the Cheese.
A ravenous Cat, will punish in the Mouse,
The very same Offences, in the house,
Which hee himselfe commits; yea, for that Vice,
Which was his owne (with praise) he kils the Mice;
And, spoyleth not anothers life alone,
Ev'n for that very fault which was his owne,
But feeds, and fattens, in the spoyle of them,
Whom hee, without compassion did condemne.
Nay, worse than so; hee cannot bee content,
To slaughter them, who are as innocent,
As hee himselfe; but, hee must also play,
And sport his wofull Pris'ners lives away;
More torturing them, 'twixt fruitlesse hopes and feares,
Than when their bowels, with his teeth he teares:
For, by much terrour, and much crueltie,
Hee kills them, ten times over, e're they die.
When, such like Magistrates have rule obtain'd,
The best men with their powre might be restrain'd:
But, they who shun enormities, through Feare,
Are glad when good-men out of Office are.
Yea, whether Governours bee good or bad,
Of their displacings wicked-men are glad;
And, when they see them brought into disgraces,
They boldly play the Knaves before their faces.