The Petition, and Narrative of Geo. Wither Esq; concerning his many grie­vances and long sufferings; with a Preceding Addresse made to the Honourable Members of Parliament in their single Capacities, to in­cline them to a speedy consideration of his Case in Parliament.
Hodie Nobis, Cras Vobis.

WE are not few that suffer; and that may
To morrow, be your Case, that's our to day
(As now the Cards are shuffl'd, Cut, and lay'd,
And, as the Game shall well, or ill be plaid.)
Give Loosers leave to speak, and, me for one,
Who make at this time my Addresse alone,
Without your doors, within which, I, as yet
Can, for my Prayers, no admittance get.
Of seven times ten, to spend years ten and seven
In asking for mine own, I have been driven,
And no result obtained, but, instead
Of Fish, a Scorpion, and hard Stones for Bread,
Which fill'd me full of thoughts, that getting vent
Orecharge the Papers, which I would present.
Yet, muse not, if my Narrative it strain
To an unusual length, and shall speak plain:
Wide wounds, must have large Plasters; When a wrong
Lasts many years, Bills of Complaint, are long,
And, sharp words, may from him, be born withall,
Whose Drink and Food are Vineger and Gall.
I, have but one Life, and that's almost spent;
Let me not wait a time equivalent
To three mens lives, or till the Cure I crave
Comes, Physick-like, to him that's in his grave.
Nor let, by you, my Reason, at this time
Despised be, although you sleight my Rime;
For, who ere sleights a suffrer in his sorrow,
Mine, or a worse, may be his Case to morrow,
Or, ere the storms, now threatn'd, are past thorow.
I use not to make friends; for I suppose
In Parliament, men have nor friends nor foes,
But as the Case deserves; at least, I know
That if it be not thus, it should be so;
And, wish he may with shame requited be,
Who wilfully wrongs others, though for me.
All, which within your doors, Ile ask of you
Is no more, then I freely would allow
Ev'n to my greatest foe, and be afraid
Of what might follow, if it were delaid.
All my Requests, without your doors have been
But that some one of you would carry in
My sad Petitions; which I did in vain
Intreat for, whilest four Parliaments did raign;
For, evermore, the Commonwealths Affairs,
Or, private mens more acceptable pray'rs
Kept my Petitions out, though I attended
From their first sittings, till five Sessions ended.
Though, many seem'd me, and my Cause to own
With good respect, and few men are more known.
Some still, pretended to be pre-ingag'd
To others: some, against me were inrag'd
For personal respects: some did professe
They fear'd their own Inacceptablenesse
Might wrong my Cause: some, never were at leasure
To do for any honest man, a pleasure.
Some, very often, promis'd fair, and much;
But, their, or my ill hap, was ever such
That, some crosse intervening accident,
My hopes, and their performance did prevent:
And, one (as if I had been of a Nation
Without your Pale) said, he knew no Relation
'Twixt him and me, obliging him unto
That favour I requested him to do:
Which answer, I, the lesse was pleas'd withal,
Because, he is a Major General;
And, one of those, who (being raised, by
Pretending to the Common-liberty,)
Seem'd bound to have performed what I sought
In Courtesie, or Conscience, as I thought.
But, I, such sleightings very often smother,
And make good use of them, one time, or other.
This favour, I, yet want: This to obtain
By an Expedient, (once tride, not in vain)
I, once more now assay: For, though I hear
My Foes, do both my Rimes and Reasons jeer,
(And, that they are but laugh'd at, make their boast)
They have not gain'd their ends, nor are mine lost.
By these Outbreathings, I, refresh my heart;
They please my friends; sad musings, they divert;
They will commemorate my honest Cause
When all their grinning teeth, rot from their jaws:
And, I, at them, who my deriders be
Laugh, with as much scorn as they laugh at me,
Because, I know, their hearts, in secret, fear
Th' Events of that, whereat their Tongues do jeer;
And, that, at length, Time will a means provide,
Both to befool their wits, and shame their pride
By things which they contemn. I'll therefore try
How, Charmes of my despised Poetry
Will work on you; with hope, that they shall finde
Such acceptation, in the generous minde
Of some Heroick persons, that I may
Acquire, what I have fail'd of to this day,
By having my Oppressions, and Afflictions
(Which are without Hyperbolies, or Fictions
To you declar'd) there, speedily now read
Where, they shall justly be determined.
For, now the time is come, in which I, either
Must be repair'd, or ruin'd altogether,
If he, from whom, Repairs I, oft have got
(When I was nigh destroy'd) repaire me not.
Grant me, but that, which you would ask to have,
Were my Case, your; And I, no more will crave.
Your servant, Geo. Wither.

To the Right Honourable, the Knights, Citizens and Bur­gesses in Parliament Assembled.
The humble Petition of George Wither, Esq;

THe said Petitioner hath suffered so much and so long, by trusting to the Publick faith of this Nation, and their Securities given by Act of Parliament, that it hath much impaired his Estate and Credit, and so multiplied his troubles and grievances per­tinent to your Cognizance in order to his Relief, that, he dares not offer them in this Petition, lest it prove so large, that at first view it may infringe your patience. Therefore, he is constrained to make way by this Previous Address, adjoyning thereto an humble Narrative of some part of his sad sufferings, with a Series of his Cause, as briefly Epitomized as above 16 years Oppressions would permit; which Narrative he prays your Honours (as you desire GOD should be propitious to you, and those whom you represent) to take into speedy consideration, lest Redress either come too late, or may cost twice so much as will relieve him at this present: For, it will be no Injustice to take Cognizance of those Causes out of Course, that will else be­come remedilesse, or so hazardous by delay, as this Petitioners will be if deferred, whom perhaps, GOD hath permitted to be so incumbred and insnared, as well for some ends relating to the Publick, or to his own Glory, as for the said Petitioners correction

Justice and Mercy are the chief supports and Ornaments of Kingdoms and Republicks; and the great Body, which your Honours represent, consists of Individuals, whose preservation being neglected One by One, the Whole will be at last consumed. Otherwhiles also Justice neglected, or Injustice done to private men, occasions Plagues to be inflicted on States and Publick persons; and it may be it hath so succeeded within our knowledge: For the five last Parliaments did shut private Complaints so long out of this House, to the remedilesse destruction of many, that those Parliaments were at last shut out of it, and destroyed. Peradventure likewise, that GOD, who alone can make men to be of One minde in a House, will not re­pair our breaches, untill failings be expiated by more acceptable oblations then such cheap and easie Sacrifices, as formal fastings: Even by some signal Acts of Justice and Mercy, seasonably, and impartial­ly performed for relief of persons extreamly and notoriously oppressed; among whom, if there be any whose present condition deserves more compassion then this Petitioners, he is contented they should be first relieved.

Your Honours will not wholly loose your time, or labour, in hearing the annexed Narrative, or the proofs of the Petitioners Allegations which he shall produce: For, his sufferings being well weighed with the advantages which he hath had in several respects, more then many other oppressed men to vindicate his Cause, and that he hath notwithstanding been hitherto without relief; your Wisdoms may thereby ob­serve, the sad constitution of these times, and conjecture the miserable condition whereto many thou­sands of the faithfull servants of this Commonwealth have been exposed, who had lesse means to make known their Oppressions; and thence also may collect what is likely to be the sequel.

Therefore, he again beseecheth your Honours (notwithstanding the length thereof) to take the said Narrative into speedy consideration, and to grant the several Requests thereto subjoyned, as in Justice, Equity, or Compassion you shall finde cause; that GOD, who sheweth Mercie to the Mercifull, may free you from your Incumbrances, and so prosper your consultations, that all future Generations may call you BLESSED; to which end this Petitioner will continue his prayers.

Geo. Wither.

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