WERE the vexations of our lives
All gathered together,
We would find the greatest part's
Reproaching one another.

Few men there are upon the earth,
But who, in some degree,
Do still go on in this offence,
And of it are not free.

Though we our neighbours well do treat,
And use them as our friends,
When they are gone, we seldom fail
To speak of them our minds.

This certainly must take it's rise
From ill-will to mankind,
Or from a violent desire
To have ourselves esteem'd.

The publisher of scandal is
More odious to mankind,
Than he who does the crime commit:
His motives make him blind.

In publishing a bad report,
Man ought for to consider,
How much mischief and hurt it may
Occasion to his brother.

And if he do consider well
The int'rest that's his own,
His neighbour he will not reproach
For what himself's to blame.

The person who doth take delight
To hear the faults of others,
Doth plainly shew and testify,
That he doth scandal relish;

With eagerness he swallows't up,
And speaks of them with spite,
Especially if he perceive
His friends in it delight:

'Tis, certainly, more gen'rous far,
To reject, with disdain,
The ill-reports that slander may
Have rais'd against a man.

From envy and malev'lence, sure,
Proceed this cursed evil;
And all who practice it must be
The children of the devil.

But he who gen'rously does strive
This practice to avoid,
Shall be carress'd by all good men
And loved by his God.


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