John Arbuthnot

(29 April 1667 – 27 February 1735 / Kincardineshire, Scotland)

Epitaph On Don Francisco - Poem by John Arbuthnot

An Epitaph.

Here lieth the Body of Colonel
DON FRANCISCO;

Who, with inflexible Constancy,
And inimitable Uniformity of Life,

Persisted, in Spite of Age and Infirmity,

In the Practice of every human Vice,
Excepting Prodigality and Hypocrisy;

His insatiable Avarice
Exempting him from the first,
And his matchless Impudence
From the latter.

Nor was he more singular
In that undeviating Viciousness of Life,
Than successful in accumulating Wealth;

Having,
Without Trust of public Money, Bribe,
Worth, Service, Trade, or Profession,
Acquired, or rather created
A Ministerial Estate.

Among the Singularities of his Life and Fortune
Be it likewise commemorated,
That he was the only Person in his Time
Who could cheat without the Mask of Honesty;
Who could retain his primaeval Meanness

After being possessed of 10,000 Pounds a Year;
And who, having done, every Day of his Life,

Something worthy of a Gibbet,

Was once condemned to one
For what he had not done.

Think not, indignant Reader,
His Life, useless to Mankind.

PROVIDENCE

Favoured, or rather connived at
His execrable Designs,
That he might remain,
To this, and future Ages,
A conspicuous Proof and Example
Of how small Estimation
Exorbitant Wealth is held in the Sight
Of the ALMIGHTY,
By his bestowing it on
The most unworthy
Of all the Descendants
of Adam.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 19, 2012



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