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The Bankrupt or Advice to the Insolvent. A Poem, addressed to a friend, with other pieces   By:

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THE BANKRUPT,

OR

ADVICE TO THE INSOLVENT ,

A POEM,

ADDRESSED TO A FRIEND:

WITH

OTHER PIECES.

BY JAMES PARKERSON , JUN. LATE OF YARMOUTH.

NORWICH : PRINTED AND SOLD FOR THE AUTHOR BY S. KITTON, WHITE LION LANE; SOLD ALSO BY CROSBY AND CO. LONDON; KEYMER, YARMOUTH: AND ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS.

PRICE ONE SHILLING. 1806.

THE BANKRUPT.

Oft have you pray'd me, when in youth, Never to err from paths of truth; But youth to vice is much too prone, And mine by far too much, I own. Induced to riot, swear, and game, I thought in vice t'acquire a fame; But found the pois'ning scenes of riot Soon robb'd my mind of joy and quiet. The usual course of rakes I ran, The dupe of woman and of man. Careless of fortune's smile or frown, My desk I left t'enjoy the town, At folly dash'd in wisdom's spite, Idled by day, revell'd by night: But short was the delusive scene, And I awoke to sorrow keen. Debt press'd on debt: I could not pay, And found that credit had its day. No friend to aid, what should I do? I made bad worse: to liquor flew: For when my bill book I survey'd, I shrunk, as if I'd seen my shade; And to drive terror from my mind, Drank on, and care gave to the wind: But wine nor words can charm away The banker's clerk who comes for pay. Payment is press'd, the cash is gone: Too late I cry, 'What must be done?' Horror! a docket struck appears: I look aghast, my wife's in tears. The naked truth now stares me in the face, And shows me more than one disgrace. My keys a messenger demands; While, as a culprit often stands, The humbled bankrupt lowers his view, And sees the law its work pursue. Soon comes of all his goods the sale, Which, like light straw before a gale, The hammer man puffs clean away, And cries, 'They must be sold this day.' They are so, and I'll tell you how: At loss you'll readily allow. Then comes the tedious, humbling task, To answer all commiss'ners ask; And those who mean to act most fair Will at first meeting e'er appear, To questions ask'd will answer true, And clearly state accounts to view. A second he need not attend, But if not may perhaps offend. Happy the man who then can lay His hand upon his heart, and say, 'You all my books and deeds may scan: I'm honest, though distressed man. My own just wants, and losses great, Have brought me to this low estate.' Then comes the last dread meeting on, Dreadful to such as will act wrong, And through dishonesty or shame Evasive answers 'tempt to frame: For vain his shifts; howe'er he try, He can't elude the searching eye Of lawyers, who'll in all things pry: His private foibles e'en must out Grievous exposure 'tis no doubt! And if he's fraud'lent found, must go To witness scenes of vice and woe; Of liberty deprived, to wail His faults and folly in a gaol: But should his conduct seem least fair, England's blest laws will set him clear; Not only so, but means will give T'enable him again to live: For such the law, that when 'tis found There's fifteen shillings in the pound, A handsome drawback he's allow'd, When, 'stead of shamed, he may look proud; And be his div'dend e'er so low, They'll never let him coinless go... Continue reading book >>




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