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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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A Supersedeas to all them, whose custome it is, without any deserving, to importune Authors to give unto them their Bookes.

A Supersedeas to all them, whose custome it is, without any deserving, to importune Authors to give unto them their Bookes.

It merits nor your Anger, nor my Blame,
That, thus I have inscrib'd this Epigram:
For, they who know me, know, that, Bookes thus large,
And, fraught with Emblems, do augment the Charge
Too much above my Fortunes, to afford
A Gift so costly, for an Aierie-word:
And, I have prov'd, your Begging Qualitie,
So forward, to oppresse my Modestie;
That, for my future ease, it seemeth fit,
To take some Order, for preventing it.
And, peradventure, other Authors may,
Find Cause to thanke me fort, another day.
These many years, it hath your Custom bin,
That, when in my possession, you have seene
A Volume, of mine owne, you did no more,
But, Aske and Take, As if you thought my store
Encreast, without my Cost; And, that, by Giving,
(Both Paines and Charges too) I got my living;
Or, that, I find the Paper and the Printing,
As easie to me, as the Bookes Inventing.
If, of my Studies, no esteeme you have,
You, then abuse the Courtesies you crave,
And, are Vnthankfull. If you prize them ought,
Why should my Labour, not enough be thought,
Vnleffe, I adde Expences to my paines?
The Stationer, affoords for little Gaines,
The Bookes you crave: And, He, aswell as I
Might give away, what you repine to buy:
For, what hee Gives, doth onely Mony Cost,
In mine, both Mony, Time, and Wit is lost.
What I shall Give, and what I have bestow'd
On Friends, to whom, I Love, or Service ow'd,
I grudge not; And, I thinke it is from them,
Sufficient, that such Gifts they do esteeme:
Yea, and, it is a Favour too, when they
Will take these Triflles, my large Dues to pay;
(Or, Aske them at my hands, when I forget,
That, I am to their Love, so much in debt.)
But, this inferres not, that, I should bestow
The like on all men, who, my Name do know;
Or, have the Face to aske: For, then, I might,
Of Wit and Mony, soone be begger'd, quite.
So much, already, hath beene Beg'd away,
(For which, I neither had, nor looke for pay)
As being valu'd at the common Rate,
Had rais'd, Five hundred Crownes, in my Estate.

Which, (if I may confesse it) signifies,
That, I was farre more Liberall, than Wise.
But, for the time to come, resolv'd I am,
That, till without deny all (or just blame)
I may of those, who Cloth and Clothes do make,
(As oft as I shall need them) Aske, and Take;
You shall no more befoole me. Therfore, Pray
Be Answer'd; And, henceforward, keepe away.