Outlaws and Highwaymen

Passage from George Wither’s Abuses Stript and Whipt
George Wither, Abuses Stript and Whipt. Or Satirical Essayes, (London, 1613), sig. P1r–v (Lib. 2, Satyr 2)


Those that wil now braue gallant men be deem’d,
And with the Common people be esteem’d,
Let them turne hack-sters as they walke the street,
Quarrell, and fight with euery one they meet;

* * *

Yet this is nothing if they looke for fame,
And meane to haue an euerlasting name.
Amongst the Vulgar let them seeke for gaine
With Ward the Pirat on the boisterous Maine,1
Or else well mounted keepe themselues on land,
And bid our wealthy trauellers to stand,
Emptying their full cram’d bags; for that’s a tricke
Which sometimes wan renoune to cutting Dicke.2
But some may tell me, though that such,
It doth not goe against their conscience much:
And though there’s boldnes showne in such a case,
Yet to be Tost at Tyburns a disgrace,3
No, ’tis their credit, for the people then,
Wil say, ’tis pitty they were proper men.

George Wither


Notes and page design © Gillian Spraggs 2001, 2007
Text added to site on 20 September 2001 | Page last modified on 28 August 2007

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