Carmina Burana

A song,

 c. 1200

Money being testified
makes a mockery of law;
equity, though on their side,
counts for nothing to the poor;
wealthy clients, quickly spied,
quicker still are catered for.
    Judges so adore it
    they’ll move mountains for it;
    causes with it pleading
    find themselves succeeding.

Money when it comes along
bids fair play a fond farewell;
though the case be none too strong
curias say, “Bagatelle!
grease a palm—you can’t go wrong—
chuck that pauper in a cell!”
    Laws are only made for
    those by whom they’re paid for;
    not a one endorses
    men of no resources.

Isabella Whitney

A Sweet Nosegay,

 1573

That lawyer which is chose to plead
    for rich and mighty men
Must either let the truth go by
    or lose their friendship then.

A little gold in law will make
    thy matter better speed
Than if thou broughtest of love as much
    as might in kindreds breed.

Gold savors well, though it be got
    with occupations vile;
If though hast gold, thou welcome art,
    though virtue thou exile.

Such poor folk as to law do go
    are driven oft to curse;
But in meanwhile, the lawyer thrusts
    the money in his purse.

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