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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. XXXVIII.


Illvstr. XXXVIII.

[The Barrell, from whose bottome, sides, and bung]

The Tongue, which every secret speakes,
Is like a Barrell full of leakes.

The Barrell, from whose bottome, sides, and bung,
The liquor (as in this our Emblem) flowes,
May fitly typifie the babling Tongue,
Of him that utters ev'ry thing hee knowes.
For, such as are their taskes, who strive to fill
An ever-leaking Vessell, to the brim;
Ev'n such are his, who laboureth to still
A tatlers tongue; for, paines are lost on him.
This Figure, also, serveth to expresse,
The trustlesse nature of a whorish woman;
For, shee to all displayes her wantonnesse,
And, cares to keepe her secresies, from no man.
Within her bosome, nothing long shee keeps,
But, whatsoever shee conceives or knowes,
Streight, from the heart, up to her tongue, it creeps;
And, round about the Citie, then, it goes.
Bee warned therefore, and commit thou not
Thy person, state, or fame, to such as these;
Lest, they thy Reputation doe bespot,
Consume thy Substance, or thy Minde disease.
But, most of all, bee wary, lest the crime,
Which here wee doe reproove, thy mind infect:
For, Vice, like weeds, will grow in little time,
And, out-grow Vertues, if wee them neglect.
The surest way to keepe such errors out,
And, in our selves true Vertnes to maintaine;
Is, to bee hoopt with Temp'rance, round about,
And, our out-flowing humors to restraine.
If thus we practise, 'twill prevent the wrongs
Of our owne errors, and of others tongues.