Abuses Stript And Whipt

3 May

“And yet in these days, if that men have riches,
Though they be hangmen, usurers or witches,
Devils-incarnate, such as have no shame
To act the thing that I shall blush to name,
Does that disgrace them one whit? Fie, no.
…There is no shame for rich men in these times,
For wealth will serve to cover many crimes.”

– George Wither, Abuses Stript and Whipt (1613)

Wither’s writing “gave such offense that he was committed to the Marshalsea prison for several months.” British Bibliographer 1 (1810), pp 4-5.

From Michael Hoffman, Usury In Christendom: The Mortal Sin that Was and Now is Not (2013).

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2 Responses to “Abuses Stript And Whipt”

  1. Kevin Moore May 3, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    The word “fie” reminded me of “Jack and the Beanstalk”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_and_the_Beanstalk

    “Fie-fi-foh-fum,
    I smell the blood of an Englishman,
    be he alive or be he dead,
    I’ll have his bones to grind my bread”

    “fie” is a ME expression of disgust.

    “fi”, in music is an arbitrary modification of fa in the diatonic scale.

    “foh” is an exclamation of abhorence or contempt.

    “fum” is to play on a fiddle.

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