My Brothers of this world, of ev’ry Nation,
Some maxims of prudence the Muse would inspire.
Now restlessness reigns throughout every station;
The low would be high, and the high would be higher;
Now Freedom’s the word,
That unsheaths ev’ry sword,
But don’t be deceiv’d by such pretexts as these:
‘Tis not Freedom, nor Slavery,
That calls for your Bravery;
‘Tis, only a Scramble for more Bread and Cheese.
When others some party are venting their rage on,
Inflam’d by the news from Versailles or the Hague,
Let Mum be your maxim … beware of contagion …
For Anger is catching as Fever or Plague:
Now Victuals is scanty,
And Eaters are plenty,
The former must rise, or the latter decrease;
If in War they’re employ’d,
Till one half are destroy’d,
The few that are left will have more Bread and Cheese.
Think not that Employment’s the grand requisition;
That if men had work it would make the times good;
No man would want work if he lack’d not provision;
The cry for Employ is the cry for more Food.
Now every Trade,
From the Gown to the Spade,
Oppress’d by it’s numbers feels Scarcity’s squeeze;
From the Prince to the Peasant,
‘Tis true, tho’ unpleasant,
There must be fewer mouths, or else more Bread and Cheese.
Now our Hive is so pinch’d, both for room and for honey,
The industrious Bees would fain kick out the Drones:
But expose not your Life, for victuals nor money;
‘Tis better you supperless sleep with whole bones,
Then shuffle, and hustle,
Keep clear of the bustle,
Step out of the way-when they kick up a breeze:
Preserve your own Life,
Till the end of the strife:
Then the few that are left will have more Bread and Cheese.
Think not Hell is let loose with a terrible mission,
To punish a world for incor’gible Sin.
Not from angry Gods, nor from deep Politicians,
War nat’rally springs from the Passions of Men:
‘Tis for room and for food,
That Men fight and shed blood;
When sufficiently thinn’d the inducement will cease:
There’ll be room for us all,
When our numbers are small:
And the few that are left will have more Bread and Cheese.
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Based on Keywords: scarcity, versailles, inflam, venting, supperless, thinn, eaters, requisition, hague, pretexts, inducement