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EBBA 31172

British Library - Roxburghe
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A CHOICE
Pennyworth of WIT.

HERE is a Penny-worth of Wit,
for those that ever went astray
It warning they will take by it,
I will do them good another day.

It is a Touch-stone of true Love,
Betwixt a Harlot and a Wife,
The former does destructive prove,
The latter yeilds the Joys of Life.

As in this Book you may behold,
Set forth by Mr. William Lane,
A wealthy Marchant brave and bold,
Who did a Harlot long maintain.

Although a Virtuous Wife he had,
Likewise a youthful Daughter dear,
which might have made his heart ful glad
Yet them he never would come near.

The Traffick which he Traded for
On the tempestuous Ocean wide,
His Harlot had it brought to her,
But nothing to his Virtuous Bride.

The finest Silks that could be bought
Nay Jewels, Rubies & Dimond Rings,
He to his wanton Harlot brought,
With many other costly things.

She still receivd them with a smile
When he came from the roaring Seas,
And said with words as smooth as Oil,
My dearest come and take thy ease.

To thy soft Bed and Linnen fine,
Thou art right welcome, Love said she,
Both I and all that here is mine,
Shall still at thy Devotion be.

He brought 200 l. in Gold,
And after that 300 more,
Rich Chains and Jewels manyfold,
And bid her lay them up in store.

Aye that I will thou needst not fear,
And so embracd him with a kiss,
Then took the wealth and said my dear,
Ill have a special care of this.

Then did they banquet many days:
Feasting on Delicious Fare,
Thus by her false deluding ways,
She drew him in a fatal Snare.

When he had livd sometime on shore
He must go to the Seas again,
With Traffick to encrease his store,
The wanton Harlot to Maintain.

To whom he said, My Joy and Dear,
What Venture will you send.
A good return thou needst not fear,
Ill be thy Factor & thy Friend.

In Goods my dear Ill send above,
Ten Pounds thou shalt take on Board
I know that unto me my dear,
A trible gain thou wilt afford.

This said next to his wife he goes,
And askd her in a scornful wise
What Venture she would then propose
To send by him for Merchandize.

Ill send a Penny love by thee,
Be sure yon take great care of it;
When youre in Foreign Parts said she,
Pray Buy a Penny-worth of Wit.

She laid the Penny in his Hand,
And said I pray now dont forget;
When you are in another Land,
To Buy a Penny-worth of Wit.

He put the Penny up secure,
And said Ill take a special care,
To lay it out you may be sure:
So to his Miss he did repair.

And told her what he was to Buy,
At which she laughd his Wife to scorn
On Board he went immediately
And so to Sea that very Morn.

PART II.
NOw they are gone with merry hearts
The Merchant and his jovial Crew
From Port to Port in Foreign Parts
TO Trade as they were wont to do.

At length when he had well bestowd
The Cargo which was outward-bound,
He did his Trading vessel Load
With the Rich Treasure which he found.

As he his Merchandize still sent,
They turnd to Gems and Golden Oar,
Which crownd his labour with content,
He never was so Rich before.

The wanton Harlots venture then
Did turn to great Account likewise
For eery Pound she should have Ten,
Such was his lucky Merchandize.

For joy of which the Merchant cry
One merry bout my Lads shall have
A splendid supper Ill provide,
Of all the Dainties you can crave

Before we set to Sea again.
Which said they to a Tavern went,
Where they did drink and feast amain,
Till Crowns and Pounds were spent.

The Merchant then with laughter movd,
Said he for Wit had never thought,
My Harlots venture is improvd,
But of my Wifes I never thought.

One single Penny, and no more
She has a venture sent by me,
I was to lay it out therefore
In what you think a Rarity.

She bid me use my utmost Skill
To Buy a Penny-worth of Wit,
But I have kept the Penny still,
And neer so much as thought of it.

Where shall I go to lay it out
True Wit is hard and scarse to find
But come my Lads lets Drink about,
My Wifes small venture Ill not mind.

There is a Proverb often usd,
Wits never good till bought full dear,
Therefore I well may be excusd
Theres little for a Penny here.

An Aged Father sitting by
Whose venerable Locks were Grey
Strait made the Merchant this reply,
Hear me a word or two I pray.

Thy Harlot in Prosperity,
She will embrace thee for thy Gold,
But when in want or poverty
youll nought from her but frowns behold.

And ready to betray thy Life,
When Wretched, Naked, Poor and Low;
But thy true Hearted Faithful Wife,
Will stand by thee in Wealth or Woe.

If thou wilt prove the truth of this,
Stript off thy Gudy Gay Array
And so return to thy Lewd Miss!
Declare that thou wast Cast away.

Thy Riches buried in the Main,
Besides as you past thought the wood
One of your Servants you have Slain
For which your Life in danger stood.

Beseech her for to Shelter thee
Declare on her you do depend,
And then alas! Full soon youll see,
How far shell prove a Faithful Friend.

Then if she frowns go thy wife
Tell her this Melancholly Theam
who labours most to save thy Life,
Let them be most in thy Esteem.

Father the Merchant then replyd,
you must this single Penny take,
And when Ive past the Ocean wide,
A proof of it i mean to make.

So loving Friend, for ought I know,
may this single Penny prize,
It may be the best I do bestow
In my fine wealthy Merchandize.

So taking Leave, away they went,
Both he and his fine Hearts of Gold,
Unto them he said, I must prove the same,
When I my native Land behold.

PA[R]T III.

WIth full spread Sails away they went,
Neptune the Golden Cargo bore,
Thro roaring waves to their content
At length they reach the British Shore,

The Merchant put on poor array
The very worst of ragged Cloaths
And then without the least delay
He to his wanton Harlot goes.

When she beheld him in Distress
She cryd what is the matter now
Said he Im poor and penny-less
With that he made a courtious Bow.

Crying no Man was neer so crost
As I have been sweet Hearts delight
My Ship and all my Cargo lost
Without thy help Im Ruind quite.

My loss is great yet thats not all
One of my Servants I have Slain
as we did both at Variance fall,
Some Shelter let me here obtain.

I dare not go anear my wife
whom I have worngd many Years
Into thy Hands I put my Life
Take pitty of my melting tears.

You bloody Villian she replyd
Dont in the least on me depend
Begone or as I live she cryd
I for an Officer will send.

Ill give you neither Bread nor Drink
Nor any shelter shall you have
Of Nasty Lousy Rags you stink
Begone you base Pernicious Slave.

Dont think that Ill your counse keep
Or harbour any such as you
He turnd aside and seemd to weep
and bid the wanton Jilt adieu.

Then to his loving wife he came
Both Poor and Naked in Distress
He told her all the very same,
Yet she recievd him neer the less.

My Dear she cryd since it is so,
Take comfort in thy loving wife,
All that I have shall freely go
To gain a Pardon for thy Life.

Ill lodge thee in a Place secure,
Where I will daily Nourish thee,

Believe me Love thou mayst be sure
To find a constant Friend in me.

When he this perfect Proof had made.
Which of them two did Love him best,
Unto his vertuous Wife he said,
My Jewel set thy Heart at Rest.

Behold no Servant have I Slain.
Nor have I sufferd any Loss;
Enough I have us to Maintain,
The Ocean Seas no more Ill cross.

My Leading Ship lies near the Shore
With Gold and Jewels Richly frought
So much I never had before
Thy Penny-worth of Wit Ive bought.

Once more he to his Harlot goes.
With Fourteen Sailors brave and bold,
All Cloathd in new and Costly Cloaths
Of Silk and Rich Embroiderd Gold.

The Miss when she his Pomp beheld
Did offer him a kind Embrace
But he with wrath and anger filld,
Did strait upbraid her to her Face.

But she with smiles these words exprest,
I have a faithful love for thee
What eer I said was but in Jest
Why didst thou go so soon from me.

Twas time to go for as Im told
You have another Love in store
Whom you have furnnishd with my Go[ld]
And Jewels which I brought on Shore.

Its false she said I have them all
With that the Merchant soon replyd
Lay them down before me then I shall
Be soon convincd and satisfyd.

Then up she run and fetchd then down
His Jewels Gold and Rubies bright
He seizd them all then with a Frown.
He bid wanton Jilt good Night.

When he had took the Golden Purse
and swept up eery Precious Stone
She cryd what will you Rob me thus
Yes that I will of whats my own.

You wanted to betray my Life
But thankd be God theres no such fear
Those Jewels shall adorn my Wife
Henceforth your House Ill neer come nea[r]

Home he returnd to his sweet Wife,
and told her all that he had done
Eer since they lead a happy Life
and hell no more to Harlots run.

Thus he the wanton Harlot bit,
That long had his Destruction sought,
This is a Pennyworth of Wit,
The best that ever Merchant bought.


Printed at the Office in Grubstreet.

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