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Voyager Rare Books Maps & Prints

A Hymn to the Pillory

Daniel Defoe -1708

Daniel Defoe was tried and found guilty of seditious libel for being the author of a publication offensive to the Government. He was sentenced to three days in the pillory a most degrading of punishments. He wrote this poem before his ordeal and copies were handed out in the streets ofLondonby his followers

It is a huge work for such a small item. For those with an interest in finance the following extract may arouse interest:



Jobbers, and Brokers and companies obey,

Or sink ‘em all the shortest way.

The instrinsick value of our Stocks,

Is stated in our Calculating Books;

Th’Imaginary Prizes rise and fall.

As they Command who toss the Ball;

Let ‘em upon thy lofty Turrets stand.

With Bear-skins on the back, Debentures in the hand,

And write in Capital upon the Post,

That here they should remain,

Till this Enigma they explain.

How stocks should Fall, when Sales surmount the Coast,

And rise again when Ships are lost.


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