THE POEMS OF JONATHAN SWIFT, D.D., VOLUME I
WILLIAM ERNST BROWNING
Barrister, Inner Temple
Author of "The Life of Lord Chesterfield"
G. Bell and Sons, Ltd.
[Illustration: Jonathan Swift
From the bust by Cunningham in St. Patrick's Cathedral]
The works of Jonathan Swift in prose and verse so mutually illustrate
each other, that it was deemed indispensable, as a complement to the
standard edition of the Prose Works, to issue a revised edition of the
Poems, freed from the errors which had been allowed to creep into the
text, and illustrated with fuller explanatory notes. My first care,
therefore, in preparing the Poems for publication, was to collate them
with the earliest and best editions available, and this I have done.
But, thanks to the diligence of the late John Forster, to whom every
lover of Swift must confess the very greatest obligation, I have been
able to do much more. I have been able to enrich this edition with some
pieces not hitherto brought to light--notably, the original version of
"Baucis and Philemon," in addition to the version hitherto printed; the
original version of the poem on "Vanbrugh's House"; the verses entitled
"May Fair"; and numerous variations and corrections of the texts of
nearly all the principal poems, due to Forster's collation of them with
the transcripts made by Stella, which were found by him at Narford
formerly the seat of Swift's friend, Sir Andrew Fountaine--see Forster's
"Life of Swift," of which, unfortunately, he lived to publish only the
first volume. From Swift's own copy of the "Miscellanies in Prose and
Verse," 1727-32, with notes in his own handwriting, sold at auction last
year, I was able to make several corrections of the poems contained in
those four volumes, which serve to show how Swift laboured his works, and
revised and improved them whenever he had an opportunity of doing so. It
is a mistake to suppose that he was indifferent to literary fame: on the
contrary, he kept some of his works in manuscript for years in order to
perfect them for publication, of which "The Tale of a Tub," "Gulliver's
Travels," and the "Verses on his own Death" are examples.
I am indebted to Miss Wilmot-Chetwode, of Wordbrooke, for the loan of a
manuscript volume, from which I obtained some various readings. By the
advice of Mr. Elrington Ball, I applied to the librarians of Trinity
College and of the National Library, and from the latter I received a
number of pieces; but I found that the harvest had already been reaped so
fully, that there was nothing left to glean which could with certainty be
ascribed to Swift. On the whole, I believe that this edition of the Poems
will be found as complete as it is now possible to make it.
In the arrangement of the poems, I have adopted nearly the same order as
in the Aldine edition, for the pieces seem to fall naturally into those
divisions; but with this difference, that I have placed the pieces in
their chronological order in each division. With regard to the notes in
illustration of the text, many of them in the Dublin editions were
evidently written by Swift, especially the notes to the "Verses on his
own Death." And as to the notes of previous editors, I have retained them
so far as they were useful and correct: but to many of them I have made
additions or alterations wherever, on reference to the authorities cited,
or to other works, correction became necessary. For my own notes, I can
only say that I have sought to make them concise, appropriate to the
text, and, above all, accurate.
Swift and the educated men of his time thought in the classics, and his
poems, as well as those of his friends, abound with allusions to the
Greek and Roman authors, especially to the latter. I have given all the
references, and except in the imitations and paraphrases of so familiar a
writer as Horace, I have appended the Latin text. Moreover, Swift was,
like Sterne, very fond of curious and recondite reading, in which it is
not always easy to track him without some research; but I believe that I
have not failed to illustrate any matter that required elucidation.
W. E. B.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I
Ode to Doctor William Sancroft
Ode to Sir William Temple
Ode to King William
Ode to The Athenian Society
To Mr. Congreve
Occasioned by Sir William Temple's late illness and recovery
Written in a Lady's Ivory Table Book
Mrs. Frances Harris's Petition
A Ballad on the game of Traffic
A Ballad to the tune of the Cutpurse
The Description of a Salamander
To Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough
On the Union
On Mrs. Biddy Floyd
Answer to Lines from May Fair
Baucis and Philemon
Baucis and Philemon
The History of Vanbrugh's House
A Grub Street Elegy
A Description of the Morning
A Description of a City Shower
On the Little House
A Town Eclogue
To Lord Harley on his Marriage
Horace, Book IV, Ode ix
To Mr. Delany
To Mrs. Houghton
Verses written on a Window
On another Window
Apollo to the Dean
News from Parnassus
The Description of an Irish Feast
The Progress of Beauty
The Progress of Marriage
The Progress of Poetry
The South Sea Project
Fabula Canis et Umbrae
Answer to Prologue and Epilogue
On Gaulstown House
The Country Life
Dr. Delany's Villa
On one of the Windows at Delville
Copy of the Birthday Verses on Mr. Ford
Dr. Delany to Dr. Swift
A Quiet Life and a Good Name
A Pastoral Dialogue
Desire and Possession
The Furniture of a Woman's Mind
Clever Tom Clinch
Dr. Swift to Mr. Pope
A Love Poem
The Puppet Show
The Journal of a Modern Lady
The Logicians Refuted
The Elephant; or the Parliament Man
Paulus; an Epigram
On burning a dull Poem
An excellent new Ballad
On Stephen Duck
The Lady's Dressing Room
The Power of Time
Cassinus and Peter
A Beautiful young Nymph
Strephon and Chloe
Apollo; or a Problem solved
The Place of the Damned
The Day of Judgment
An Epistle to Mr. Gay
To a Lady
Epigram on Busts in Richmond Hermitage
A Conclusion from above Epigrams
To Swift on his Birthday with a Paper Book from the Earl of Orrery
Verses on Swift's Birthday with a Silver Standish
Verses occasioned by foregoing Presents
Verses sent to the Dean with an Eagle quill
An Invitation, by Dr. Delany
The Beasts' Confession
The Parson's Case
The hardship upon the Ladies
A Love Song
Ode on Science
A Young Lady's Complaint
On the Death of Dr. Swift
On Poetry, a Rhapsody
Verses sent to the Dean on his Birthday
Epigram by Mr. Bowyer
The Dean and Duke
Written by Swift on his own Deafness
The Dean's Complaint
The Dean's manner of living
Epigram by Mr. Bowyer
Verses made for Fruit Women
On Rover, a Lady's Spaniel
Epigrams on Windows
To Janus, on New Year's Day
A Motto for Mr. Jason Hasard
To a Friend
Catullus de Lesbia
On a Curate's complaint of hard duty
To Betty, the Grisette
Epigram from the French
Epigram added by Stella
Joan cudgels Ned
Verses on two modern Poets
Epitaph on General Gorges and Lady Meath
Verses on I know not what
Dr. Swift to himself
An Answer to a Friend's question
Verses written during Lord Carteret's administration
An Apology to Lady Carteret
The Birth of Manly Virtue
On Paddy's Character of the "Intelligencer"
An Epistle to Lord Carteret by Delany
An Epistle upon an Epistle
A Libel on Dr. Delany and Lord Carteret
To Dr. Delany
Directions for a Birthday Song
The Pheasant and the Lark by Delany
Answer to Delany's Fable
Dean Smedley's Petition to the Duke of Grafton
The Duke's Answer by Swift
Parody on a character of Dean Smedley
Dr. Johnson, in his "Life of Swift," after citing with approval Delany's
character of him, as he describes him to Lord Orrery, proceeds to say:
"In the poetical works there is not much upon which the critic can
exercise his powers. They are often humorous, almost always light, and
have the qualities which recommend such compositions, easiness and
gaiety. They are, for the most part, what their author intended. The
diction is correct, the numbers are smooth, and the rhymes exact. There
seldom occurs a hard laboured expression or a redundant epithet; all his
verses exemplify his own definition of a good style--they consist of
'proper words in proper places.'"
Of his earliest poems it is needless to say more than that if nothing
better had been written by him than those Pindaric Pieces, after the
manner of Cowley--then so much in vogue--the remark of Dryden, "Cousin
Swift, you will never be a Poet," would have been fully justified. But
conventional praise and compliments were foreign to his nature, for his
strongest characteristic was his intense sincerity. He says of himself
that about that time he had writ and burnt and writ again upon all manner
of subjects more than perhaps any man in England; and it is certainly
remarkable that in so doing his true genius was not sooner developed, for
it was not till he became chaplain in Lord Berkeley's household that his
satirical humour was first displayed--at least in verse--in "Mrs. Frances
Harris' Petition."--His great prose satires, "The Tale of a Tub," and
"Gulliver's Travels," though planned, were reserved to a later time.--In
other forms of poetry he soon afterwards greatly excelled, and the title
of poet cannot be refused to the author of "Baucis and Philemon"; the
verses on "The Death of Dr. Swift"; the "Rhapsody on Poetry"; "Cadenus
and Vanessa"; "The Legion Club"; and most of the poems addressed to
Stella, all of which pieces exhibit harmony, invention, and imagination.
Swift has been unduly censured for the coarseness of his language upon
Certain topics; but very little of this appears in his earlier poems, and
what there is, was in accordance with the taste of the period, which
never hesitated to call a spade a spade, due in part to the reaction from
the Puritanism of the preceding age, and in part to the outspeaking
frankness which disdained hypocrisy. It is shown in Dryden, Pope, Prior,
of the last of whom Johnson said that no lady objected to have his poems
in her library; still more in the dramatists of that time, whom Charles
Lamb has so humorously defended, and in the plays of Mrs. Aphra Behn,
who, as Pope says, "fairly puts all characters to bed." But whatever
coarseness there may be in some of Swift's poems, such as "The Lady's
Dressing Room," and a few other pieces, there is nothing licentious,
nothing which excites to lewdness; on the contrary, such pieces create
simply a feeling of repulsion. No one, after reading the "Beautiful young
Nymph going to bed," or "Strephon and Chloe," would desire any personal
acquaintance with the ladies, but there is a moral in these pieces, and
the latter poem concludes with excellent matrimonial advice. The
coarseness of some of his later writings must be ascribed to his
misanthropical hatred of the "animal called man," as expressed in his
famous letter to Pope of September 1725, aggravated as it was by his
exile from the friends he loved to a land he hated, and by the reception
he met with there, about which he speaks very freely in his notes to the
"Verses on his own Death."
On the morning of Swift's installation as Dean, the following scurrilous
lines by Smedley, Dean of Clogher, were affixed to the doors of St.
To-day this Temple gets a Dean
Of parts and fame uncommon,
Us'd both to pray and to prophane,
To serve both God and mammon.
When Wharton reign'd a Whig he was;
When Pembroke--that's dispute, Sir;
In Oxford's time, what Oxford pleased,
Non-con, or Jack, or Neuter.
This place he got by wit and rhime,
And many ways most odd,
And might a Bishop be in time,
Did he believe in God.
Look down, St. Patrick, look, we pray,
On thine own church and steeple;
Convert thy Dean on this great day,
Or else God help the people.
And now, whene'er his Deanship dies,
Upon his stone be graven,
A man of God here buried lies,
Who never thought of heaven.
It was by these lines that Smedley earned for himself a niche in "The
Dunciad." For Swift's retaliation, see the poems relating to Smedley at
the end of the first volume, and in volume ii, at p. 124, note.
This bitterness of spirit reached its height in "Gulliver's Travels,"
surely the severest of all satires upon humanity, and writ, as he tells
us, not to divert, but to vex the world; and ultimately, in the fierce
attack upon the Irish Parliament in the poem entitled "The Legion Club,"
dictated by his hatred of tyranny and oppression, and his consequent
passion for exhibiting human nature in its most degraded aspect.
But, notwithstanding his misanthropical feelings towards mankind in
general, and his "scorn of fools by fools mistook for pride," there never
existed a warmer or sincerer friend to those whom he loved--witness the
regard in which he was held by Oxford, Bolingbroke, Pope, Gay, Arbuthnot,
and Congreve, and his readiness to assist those who needed his help,
without thought of party or politics. Although, in some of his poems,
Swift rather severely exposed the follies and frailties of the fair sex,
as in "The Furniture of a Woman's Mind," and "The Journal of a Modern
Lady," he loved the companionship of beautiful and accomplished women,
amongst whom he could count some of his dearest and truest friends; but
He loved to be bitter at
A lady illiterate;
and therefore delighted in giving them literary instruction, most notably
in the cases of Stella and Vanessa, whose relations with him arose
entirely from the tuition in letters which they received from him. Again,
when on a visit at Sir Arthur Acheson's, he insisted upon making Lady
Acheson read such books as he thought fit to advise, and in the doggerel
verses entitled "My Lady's Lamentation," she is supposed to resent his
"very imperious" manner of instruction:
No book for delight
Must come in my sight;
But instead of new plays,
Dull Bacon's Essays,
And pore every day on
That nasty Pantheon.
As a contrast to his imperiousness, there is an affectionate simplicity
in the fancy names he used to bestow upon his female friends. Sir William
Temple's wife, Dorothea, became Dorinda; Esther Johnson, Stella; Hester
Vanhomrigh, Vanessa; Lady Winchelsea, Ardelia; while to Lady Acheson he
gave the nicknames of Skinnybonia, Snipe, and Lean. But all was taken by
them in good part; for his rather dictatorial ways were softened by the
fascinating geniality and humour which he knew so well how to employ when
he used to "deafen them with puns and rhyme."
Into the vexed question of the relations between Swift and Stella I do
not purpose to enter further than to record my conviction that she was
never more to him than "the dearest friend that ever man had." The
suggestion of a concealed marriage is so inconsistent with their whole
conduct to each other from first to last, that if there had been such a
marriage, instead of Swift having been, as he was, a man of _intense
sincerity_, he must be held to have been a most consummate hypocrite.
In my opinion, Churton Collins settled this question in his essays on
Swift, first published in the "Quarterly Review," 1881 and 1882. Swift's
relation with Vanessa is the saddest episode in his life. The story is
amply told in his poem, "Cadenus and Vanessa," and in the letters which
passed between them: how the pupil became infatuated with her tutor; how
the tutor endeavoured to dispel her passion, but in vain, by reason; and
how, at last, she died from love for the man who was unable to give love
in return. That Swift ought, as soon as Hester disclosed her passion for
him, at once to have broken off the intimacy, must be conceded; but how
many men possessed of his kindness of heart would have had the courage to
have acted otherwise than he did? Swift seems, in fact, to have been
constitutionally incapable of the _passion_ of love, for he says,
himself, that he had never met the woman he wished to marry. His annual
tributes to Stella on her birthdays express the strongest regard and
esteem, but he "ne'er admitted love a guest," and he had been so long
used to this Platonic affection, that he had come to regard women as
friends, but never as lovers. Stella, on her part, had the same feeling,
for she never expressed the least discontent at her position, or ever
regarded Swift otherwise than as her tutor, her counsellor, her friend.
In her verses to him on his birthday, 1721, she says:
Long be the day that gave you birth
Sacred to friendship, wit, and mirth;
Late dying may you cast a shred
Of your rich mantle o'er my head;
To bear with dignity my sorrow
One day alone, then die tomorrow.
Stella naturally expected to survive Swift, but it was not to be. She
died in the evening of the 28th January 1727-8; and on the same night he
began the affecting piece, "On the Death of Mrs. Johnson." (See "Prose
Works," vol. xi.)
With the death of Stella, Swift's real happiness ended, and he became
more and more possessed by the melancholy which too often accompanies the
broadest humour, and which, in his case, was constitutional. It was, no
doubt, to relieve it, that he resorted to the composition of the doggerel
verses, epigrams, riddles, and trifles exchanged betwixt himself and
Sheridan, which induced Orrery's remark that "Swift composing Riddles is
Titian painting draught-boards;" on which Delany observes that "a Riddle
may be as fine painting as any other in the world. It requires as strong
an imagination, as fine colouring, and as exact a proportion and keeping
as any other historical painting"; and he instances "Pethox the Great,"
and should also have alluded to the more learned example--"Louisa to
On Orrery's seventh Letter, Delany says that if some of the "coin is
base," it is the fine impression and polish which adds value to it, and
cites the saying of another nobleman, that "there is indeed some stuff
in it, but it is Swift's stuff." It has been said that Swift has never
taken a thought from any writer ancient or modern. This is not literally
true, but the instances are not many, and in my notes I have pointed out
the lines snatched from Milton, Denham, Butler--the last evidently a
It seems necessary to state shortly the causes of Swift not having
obtained higher preferment. Besides that Queen Anne would never be
reconciled to the author of the "Tale of a Tub"--the true purport of
which was so ill-understood by her--he made an irreconcilable enemy of
her friend, the Duchess of Somerset, by his lampoon entitled "The Windsor
Prophecy." But Swift seldom allowed prudence to restrain his wit and
humour, and admits of himself that he "had too much satire in his vein";
and that "a genius in the reverend gown must ever keep its owner down";
and says further:
Humour and mirth had place in all he writ;
He reconciled divinity and wit.
But that was what his enemies could not do.
Whatever the excellences and defects of the poems, Swift has erected, not
only by his works, but by his benevolence and his charities, a
_monumentum aere perennius,_ and his writings in prose and verse
will continue to afford instruction and delight when the malevolence of
Jeffrey, the misrepresentations of Macaulay, and the sneers and false
statements of Thackeray shall have been forgotten.
#POEMS OF JONATHAN SWIFT#
ODE TO DOCTOR WILLIAM SANCROFT
LATE LORD BISHOP OF CANTERBURY
WRITTEN IN MAY, 1689,
AT THE DESIRE OF THE LATE LORD BISHOP OF ELY
Truth is eternal, and the Son of Heaven,
Bright effluence of th'immortal ray,
Chief cherub, and chief lamp, of that high sacred Seven,
Which guard the throne by night, and are its light by day;
First of God's darling attributes,
Thou daily seest him face to face,
Nor does thy essence fix'd depend on giddy circumstance
Of time or place,
Two foolish guides in every sublunary dance;
How shall we find Thee then in dark disputes?
How shall we search Thee in a battle gain'd,
Or a weak argument by force maintain'd?
In dagger contests, and th'artillery of words,
(For swords are madmen's tongues, and tongues are madmen's swords,)
Contrived to tire all patience out,
And not to satisfy the doubt?
But where is even thy Image on our earth?
For of the person much I fear,
Since Heaven will claim its residence, as well as birth,
And God himself has said, He shall not find it here.
For this inferior world is but Heaven's dusky shade,
By dark reverted rays from its reflection made;
Whence the weak shapes wild and imperfect pass,
Like sunbeams shot at too far distance from a glass;
Which all the mimic forms express,
Though in strange uncouth postures, and uncomely dress;
So when Cartesian artists try
To solve appearances of sight
In its reception to the eye,
And catch the living landscape through a scanty light,
The figures all inverted show,
And colours of a faded hue;
Here a pale shape with upward footstep treads,
And men seem walking on their heads;
There whole herds suspended lie,
Ready to tumble down into the sky;
Such are the ways ill-guided mortals go
To judge of things above by things below.
Disjointing shapes as in the fairy land of dreams,
Or images that sink in streams;
No wonder, then, we talk amiss
Of truth, and what, or where it is;
Say, Muse, for thou, if any, know'st,
Since the bright essence fled, where haunts the reverend ghost?
If all that our weak knowledge titles virtue, be
(High Truth) the best resemblance of exalted Thee,
If a mind fix'd to combat fate
With those two powerful swords, submission and humility,
Sounds truly good, or truly great;
Ill may I live, if the good Sancroft, in his holy rest,
In the divinity of retreat,
Be not the brightest pattern earth can show
Of heaven-born Truth below;
But foolish man still judges what is best
In his own balance, false and light,
Following opinion, dark and blind,
That vagrant leader of the mind,
Till honesty and conscience are clear out of sight.
And some, to be large ciphers in a state,
Pleased with an empty swelling to be counted great,
Make their minds travel o'er infinity of space,
Rapt through the wide expanse of thought,
And oft in contradiction's vortex caught,
To keep that worthless clod, the body, in one place;
Errors like this did old astronomers misguide,
Led blindly on by gross philosophy and pride,
Who, like hard masters, taught the sun
Through many a heedless sphere to run,
Many an eccentric and unthrifty motion make,
And thousand incoherent journeys take,
Whilst all th'advantage by it got,
Was but to light earth's inconsiderable spot.
The herd beneath, who see the weathercock of state
Hung loosely on the church's pinnacle,
Believe it firm, because perhaps the day is mild and still;
But when they find it turn with the first blast of fate,
By gazing upward giddy grow,
And think the church itself does so;
Thus fools, for being strong and num'rous known,
Suppose the truth, like all the world, their own;
And holy Sancroft's motion quite irregular appears,
Because 'tis opposite to theirs.
In vain then would the Muse the multitude advise,
Whose peevish knowledge thus perversely lies
In gath'ring follies from the wise;
Rather put on thy anger and thy spite,
And some kind power for once dispense
Through the dark mass, the dawn of so much sense,
To make them understand, and feel me when I write;
The muse and I no more revenge desire,
Each line shall stab, shall blast, like daggers and like fire;
Ah, Britain, land of angels! which of all thy sins,
(Say, hapless isle, although
It is a bloody list we know,)
Has given thee up a dwelling-place to fiends?
Sin and the plague ever abound
In governments too easy, and too fruitful ground;
Evils which a too gentle king,
Too flourishing a spring,
And too warm summers bring:
Our British soil is over rank, and breeds
Among the noblest flowers a thousand pois'nous weeds,
And every stinking weed so lofty grows,
As if 'twould overshade the Royal Rose;
The Royal Rose, the glory of our morn,
But, ah! too much without a thorn.
Forgive (original mildness) this ill-govern'd zeal,
'Tis all the angry slighted Muse can do
In the pollution of these days;
No province now is left her but to rail,
And poetry has lost the art to praise,
Alas, the occasions are so few:
None e'er but you,
And your Almighty Master, knew
With heavenly peace of mind to bear
(Free from our tyrant passions, anger, scorn, or fear)
The giddy turns of popular rage,
And all the contradictions of a poison'd age;
The Son of God pronounced by the same breath
Which straight pronounced his death;
And though I should but ill be understood,
In wholly equalling our sin and theirs,
And measuring by the scanty thread of wit
What we call holy, and great, and just, and good,
(Methods in talk whereof our pride and ignorance make use,)
And which our wild ambition foolishly compares
With endless and with infinite;
Yet pardon, native Albion, when I say,
Among thy stubborn sons there haunts that spirit of the Jews,
That those forsaken wretches who to-day
Revile his great ambassador,
Seem to discover what they would have done
(Were his humanity on earth once more)
To his undoubted Master, Heaven's Almighty Son.
But zeal is weak and ignorant, though wondrous proud,
Though very turbulent and very loud;
The crazy composition shows,
Like that fantastic medley in the idol's toes,
Made up of iron mixt with clay,
This crumbles into dust,
That moulders into rust,
Or melts by the first shower away.
Nothing is fix'd that mortals see or know,
Unless, perhaps, some stars above be so;
And those, alas, do show,
Like all transcendent excellence below;
In both, false mediums cheat our sight,
And far exalted objects lessen by their height:
Thus primitive Sancroft moves too high
To be observed by vulgar eye,
And rolls the silent year
On his own secret regular sphere,
And sheds, though all unseen, his sacred influence here.
Kind star, still may'st thou shed thy sacred influence here,
Or from thy private peaceful orb appear;
For, sure, we want some guide from Heaven, to show
The way which every wand'ring fool below
Pretends so perfectly to know;
And which, for aught I see, and much I fear,
The world has wholly miss'd;
I mean the way which leads to Christ:
Mistaken idiots! see how giddily they run,
Led blindly on by avarice and pride,
What mighty numbers follow them;
Each fond of erring with his guide:
Some whom ambition drives, seek Heaven's high Son
In Caesar's court, or in Jerusalem:
Others, ignorantly wise,
Among proud doctors and disputing Pharisees:
What could the sages gain but unbelieving scorn;
Their faith was so uncourtly, when they said
That Heaven's high Son was in a village born;
That the world's Saviour had been
In a vile manger laid,
And foster'd in a wretched inn?
Necessity, thou tyrant conscience of the great,
Say, why the church is still led blindfold by the state;
Why should the first be ruin'd and laid waste,
To mend dilapidations in the last?
And yet the world, whose eyes are on our mighty Prince,
Thinks Heaven has cancell'd all our sins,
And that his subjects share his happy influence;
Follow the model close, for so I'm sure they should,
But wicked kings draw more examples than the good:
And divine Sancroft, weary with the weight
Of a declining church, by faction, her worst foe, oppress'd,
Finding the mitre almost grown
A load as heavy as the crown,
Wisely retreated to his heavenly rest.
Ah! may no unkind earthquake of the state,
Nor hurricano from the crown,
Disturb the present mitre, as that fearful storm of late,
Which, in its dusky march along the plain,
Swept up whole churches as it list,
Wrapp'd in a whirlwind and a mist;
Like that prophetic tempest in the virgin reign,
And swallow'd them at last, or flung them down.
Such were the storms good Sancroft long has borne;
The mitre, which his sacred head has worn,
Was, like his Master's Crown, inwreath'd with thorn.
Death's sting is swallow'd up in victory at last,
The bitter cup is from him past:
Fortune in both extremes
Though blasts from contrariety of winds,
Yet to firm heavenly minds,
Is but one thing under two different names;
And even the sharpest eye that has the prospect seen,
Confesses ignorance to judge between;
And must to human reasoning opposite conclude,
To point out which is moderation, which is fortitude.
Thus Sancroft, in the exaltation of retreat,
Shows lustre that was shaded in his seat;
Short glimm'rings of the prelate glorified;
Which the disguise of greatness only served to hide.
Why should the Sun, alas! be proud
To lodge behind a golden cloud?
Though fringed with evening gold the cloud appears so gay,
'Tis but a low-born vapour kindled by a ray:
At length 'tis overblown and past,
Puff'd by the people's spiteful blast,
The dazzling glory dims their prostituted sight,
No deflower'd eye can face the naked light:
Yet does this high perfection well proceed
From strength of its own native seed,
This wilderness, the world, like that poetic wood of old,
Bears one, and but one branch of gold,
Where the bless'd spirit lodges like the dove,
And which (to heavenly soil transplanted) will improve,
To be, as 'twas below, the brightest plant above;
For, whate'er theologic levellers dream,
There are degrees above, I know,
As well as here below,
(The goddess Muse herself has told me so),
Where high patrician souls, dress'd heavenly gay,
Sit clad in lawn of purer woven day.
There some high-spirited throne to Sancroft shall be given,
In the metropolis of Heaven;
Chief of the mitred saints, and from archprelate here,
Translated to archangel there.
Since, happy saint, since it has been of late
Either our blindness or our fate,
To lose the providence of thy cares
Pity a miserable church's tears,
That begs the powerful blessing of thy prayers.
Some angel, say, what were the nation's crimes,
That sent these wild reformers to our times:
Say what their senseless malice meant,
To tear religion's lovely face:
Strip her of every ornament and grace;
In striving to wash off th'imaginary paint?
Religion now does on her death-bed lie,
Heart-sick of a high fever and consuming atrophy;
How the physicians swarm to show their mortal skill,
And by their college arts methodically kill:
Reformers and physicians differ but in name,
One end in both, and the design the same;
Cordials are in their talk, while all they mean
Is but the patient's death, and gain--
Check in thy satire, angry Muse,
Or a more worthy subject choose:
Let not the outcasts of an outcast age
Provoke the honour of my Muse's rage,
Nor be thy mighty spirit rais'd,
Since Heaven and Cato both are pleas'd--
[The rest of the poem is lost.]
[Footnote 1: Born Jan., 1616-17; died 1693. For his life, see "Dictionary
of National Biography."--_W. E. B._]
ODE TO THE HON. SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE
WRITTEN AT MOOR-PARK IN JUNE 1689
Virtue, the greatest of all monarchies!
Till its first emperor, rebellious man,
Deposed from off his seat,
It fell, and broke with its own weight
Into small states and principalities,
By many a petty lord possess'd,
But ne'er since seated in one single breast.
'Tis you who must this land subdue,
The mighty conquest's left for you,
The conquest and discovery too:
Search out this Utopian ground,
Virtue's Terra Incognita,
Where none ever led the way,
Nor ever since but in descriptions found;
Like the philosopher's stone,
With rules to search it, yet obtain'd by none.
We have too long been led astray;
Too long have our misguided souls been taught
With rules from musty morals brought,
'Tis you must put us in the way;
Let us (for shame!) no more be fed
With antique relics of the dead,
The gleanings of philosophy;
Philosophy, the lumber of the schools,
The roguery of alchymy;
And we, the bubbled fools,
Spend all our present life, in hopes of golden rules.
But what does our proud ignorance Learning call?
We oddly Plato's paradox make good,
Our knowledge is but mere remembrance all;
Remembrance is our treasure and our food;
Nature's fair table-book, our tender souls,
We scrawl all o'er with old and empty rules,
Stale memorandums of the schools:
For learning's mighty treasures look
Into that deep grave, a book;
Think that she there does all her treasures hide,
And that her troubled ghost still haunts there since she died;
Confine her walks to colleges and schools;
Her priests, her train, and followers, show
As if they all were spectres too!
They purchase knowledge at th'expense
Of common breeding, common sense,
And grow at once scholars and fools;
Affect ill-manner'd pedantry,
Rudeness, ill-nature, incivility,
And, sick with dregs and knowledge grown,
Which greedily they swallow down,
Still cast it up, and nauseate company.
Curst be the wretch! nay, doubly curst!
(If it may lawful be
To curse our greatest enemy,)
Who learn'd himself that heresy first,
(Which since has seized on all the rest,)
That knowledge forfeits all humanity;
Taught us, like Spaniards, to be proud and poor,
And fling our scraps before our door!
Thrice happy you have 'scaped this general pest;
Those mighty epithets, learned, good, and great,
Which we ne'er join'd before, but in romances meet,
We find in you at last united grown.
You cannot be compared to one:
I must, like him that painted Venus' face,
Borrow from every one a grace;
Virgil and Epicurus will not do,
Their courting a retreat like you,
Unless I put in Caesar's learning too:
Your happy frame at once controls
This great triumvirate of souls.
Let not old Rome boast Fabius' fate;
He sav'd his country by delays,
But you by peace.
You bought it at a cheaper rate;
Nor has it left the usual bloody scar,
To show it cost its price in war;
War, that mad game the world so loves to play,
And for it does so dearly pay;
For, though with loss, or victory, a while
Fortune the gamesters does beguile,
Yet at the last the box sweeps all away.
Only the laurel got by peace
No thunder e'er can blast:
Th'artillery of the skies
Shoots to the earth and dies:
And ever green and flourishing 'twill last,
Nor dipt in blood, nor widows' tears, nor orphans' cries.
About the head crown'd with these bays,
Like lambent fire, the lightning plays;
Nor, its triumphal cavalcade to grace,
Makes up its solemn train with death;
It melts the sword of war, yet keeps it in the sheath.
The wily shafts of state, those jugglers' tricks,
Which we call deep designs and politics,
(As in a theatre the ignorant fry,
Because the cords escape their eye,
Wonder to see the motions fly,)
Methinks, when you expose the scene,
Down the ill-organ'd engines fall;
Off fly the vizards, and discover all:
How plain I see through the deceit!
How shallow, and how gross, the cheat!
Look where the pulley's tied above!
Great God! (said I) what have I seen!
On what poor engines move
The thoughts of monarchs and designs of states!
What petty motives rule their fates!
How the mouse makes the mighty mountains shake!
The mighty mountain labours with its birth,
Away the frighten'd peasants fly,
Scared at the unheard-of prodigy,
Expect some great gigantic son of earth;
Lo! it appears!
See how they tremble! how they quake!
Out starts the little beast, and mocks their idle fears.
Then tell, dear favourite Muse!
What serpent's that which still resorts,
Still lurks in palaces and courts?
Take thy unwonted flight,
And on the terrace light.
See where she lies!
See how she rears her head,
And rolls about her dreadful eyes,
To drive all virtue out, or look it dead!
'Twas sure this basilisk sent Temple thence,
And though as some ('tis said) for their defence
Have worn a casement o'er their skin,
So wore he his within,
Made up of virtue and transparent innocence;
And though he oft renew'd the fight,
And almost got priority of sight,
He ne'er could overcome her quite,
In pieces cut, the viper still did reunite;
Till, at last, tired with loss of time and ease,
Resolved to give himself, as well as country, peace.
Sing, beloved Muse! the pleasures of retreat,
And in some untouch'd virgin strain,
Show the delights thy sister Nature yields;
Sing of thy vales, sing of thy woods, sing of thy fields;
Go, publish o'er the plain
How mighty a proselyte you gain!
How noble a reprisal on the great!
How is the Muse luxuriant grown!
Whene'er she takes this flight,
She soars clear out of sight.
These are the paradises of her own:
Thy Pegasus, like an unruly horse,
Though ne'er so gently led,
To the loved pastures where he used to feed,
Runs violent o'er his usual course.
Wake from thy wanton dreams,
Come from thy dear-loved streams,
The crooked paths of wandering Thames.
Fain the fair nymph would stay,
Oft she looks back in vain,
Oft 'gainst her fountain does complain,
And softly steals in many windings down,
As loth to see the hated court and town;
And murmurs as she glides away.
In this new happy scene
Are nobler subjects for your learned pen;
Here we expect from you
More than your predecessor Adam knew;
Whatever moves our wonder, or our sport,
Whatever serves for innocent emblems of the court;
How that which we a kernel see,
(Whose well-compacted forms escape the light,
Unpierced by the blunt rays of sight,)
Shall ere long grow into a tree;
Whence takes it its increase, and whence its birth,
Or from the sun, or from the air, or from the earth,
Where all the fruitful atoms lie;
How some go downward to the root,
Some more ambitious upwards fly,
And form the leaves, the branches, and the fruit.
You strove to cultivate a barren court in vain,
Your garden's better worth your nobler pain,
Here mankind fell, and hence must rise again.
Shall I believe a spirit so divine
Was cast in the same mould with mine?
Why then does Nature so unjustly share
Among her elder sons the whole estate,
And all her jewels and her plate?
Poor we! cadets of Heaven, not worth her care,
Take up at best with lumber and the leavings of a fare:
Some she binds 'prentice to the spade,
Some to the drudgery of a trade:
Some she does to Egyptian bondage draw,
Bids us make bricks, yet sends us to look out for straw:
Some she condemns for life to try
To dig the leaden mines of deep philosophy:
Me she has to the Muse's galleys tied:
In vain I strive to cross the spacious main,
In vain I tug and pull the oar;
And when I almost reach the shore,
Straight the Muse turns the helm, and I launch out again:
And yet, to feed my pride,
Whene'er I mourn, stops my complaining breath,
With promise of a mad reversion after death.
Then, Sir, accept this worthless verse,
The tribute of an humble Muse,
'Tis all the portion of my niggard stars;
Nature the hidden spark did at my birth infuse,
And kindled first with indolence and ease;
And since too oft debauch'd by praise,
'Tis now grown an incurable disease:
In vain to quench this foolish fire I try
In wisdom and philosophy:
In vain all wholesome herbs I sow,
Where nought but weeds will grow
Whate'er I plant (like corn on barren earth)
By an equivocal birth,
Seeds, and runs up to poetry.
[Footnote 1: Sir William Temple was ambassador to the States of Holland,
and had a principal share in the negotiations which preceded the treaty
of Nimeguen, 1679.]
ODE TO KING WILLIAM
ON HIS SUCCESSES IN IRELAND
To purchase kingdoms and to buy renown,
Are arts peculiar to dissembling France;
You, mighty monarch, nobler actions crown,
And solid virtue does your name advance.
Your matchless courage with your prudence joins,
The glorious structure of your fame to raise;
With its own light your dazzling glory shines,
And into adoration turns our praise.
Had you by dull succession gain'd your crown,
(Cowards are monarchs by that title made,)
Part of your merit Chance would call her own,
And half your virtues had been lost in shade.
But now your worth its just reward shall have:
What trophies and what triumphs are your due!
Who could so well a dying nation save,
At once deserve a crown, and gain it too.
You saw how near we were to ruin brought,
You saw th'impetuous torrent rolling on;
And timely on the coming danger thought,
Which we could neither obviate nor shun.
Britannia stripp'd of her sole guard, the laws,
Ready to fall Rome's bloody sacrifice;
You straight stepp'd in, and from the monster's jaws
Did bravely snatch the lovely, helpless prize.
Nor this is all; as glorious is the care
To preserve conquests, as at first to gain:
In this your virtue claims a double share,
Which, what it bravely won, does well maintain.
Your arm has now your rightful title show'd,
An arm on which all Europe's hopes depend,
To which they look as to some guardian God,
That must their doubtful liberty defend.
Amazed, thy action at the Boyne we see!
When Schomberg started at the vast design:
The boundless glory all redounds to thee,
The impulse, the fight, th'event, were wholly thine.
The brave attempt does all our foes disarm;
You need but now give orders and command,
Your name shall the remaining work perform,
And spare the labour of your conquering hand.
France does in vain her feeble arts apply,
To interrupt the fortune of your course:
Your influence does the vain attacks defy
Of secret malice, or of open force.
Boldly we hence the brave commencement date
Of glorious deeds, that must all tongues employ;
William's the pledge and earnest given by fate,
Of England's glory, and her lasting joy.
ODE TO THE ATHENIAN SOCIETY
_Moor Park, Feb._ 14, 1691.
As when the deluge first began to fall,
That mighty ebb never to flow again,
When this huge body's moisture was so great,
It quite o'ercame the vital heat;
That mountain which was highest, first of all
Appear'd above the universal main,
To bless the primitive sailor's weary sight;
And 'twas perhaps Parnassus, if in height
It be as great as 'tis in fame,
And nigh to Heaven as is its name;
So, after the inundation of a war,
When learning's little household did embark,
With her world's fruitful system, in her sacred ark,
At the first ebb of noise and fears,
Philosophy's exalted head appears;
And the Dove-Muse will now no longer stay,
But plumes her silver wings, and flies away;
And now a laurel wreath she brings from far,
To crown the happy conqueror,
To show the flood begins to cease,
And brings the dear reward of victory and peace.
The eager Muse took wing upon the waves' decline,
When war her cloudy aspect just withdrew,
When the bright sun of peace began to shine,
And for a while in heavenly contemplation sat,
On the high top of peaceful Ararat;
And pluck'd a laurel branch, (for laurel was the first that grew,
The first of plants after the thunder, storm and rain,)
And thence, with joyful, nimble wing,
Flew dutifully back again,
And made an humble chaplet for the king.
And the Dove-Muse is fled once more,
(Glad of the victory, yet frighten'd at the war,)
And now discovers from afar
A peaceful and a flourishing shore:
No sooner did she land
On the delightful strand,
Than straight she sees the country all around,
Where fatal Neptune ruled erewhile,
Scatter'd with flowery vales, with fruitful gardens crown'd,
And many a pleasant wood;
As if the universal Nile
Had rather water'd it than drown'd:
It seems some floating piece of Paradise,
Preserved by wonder from the flood,
Long wandering through the deep, as we are told
Famed Delos did of old;
And the transported Muse imagined it
To be a fitter birth-place for the God of wit,
Or the much-talk'd-of oracular grove;
When, with amazing joy, she hears
An unknown music all around,
Charming her greedy ears
With many a heavenly song
Of nature and of art, of deep philosophy and love;
While angels tune the voice, and God inspires the tongue.
In vain she catches at the empty sound,
In vain pursues the music with her longing eye,
And courts the wanton echoes as they fly.
Pardon, ye great unknown, and far-exalted men,
The wild excursions of a youthful pen;
Forgive a young and (almost) virgin Muse,
Whom blind and eager curiosity
(Yet curiosity, they say,
Is in her sex a crime needs no excuse)
Has forced to grope her uncouth way,
After a mighty light that leads her wandering eye:
No wonder then she quits the narrow path of sense
For a dear ramble through impertinence;
Impertinence! the scurvy of mankind.
And all we fools, who are the greater part of it,
Though we be of two different factions still,
Both the good-natured and the ill,
Yet wheresoe'er you look, you'll always find
We join, like flies and wasps, in buzzing about wit.
In me, who am of the first sect of these,
All merit, that transcends the humble rules
Of my own dazzled scanty sense,
Begets a kinder folly and impertinence
Of admiration and of praise.
And our good brethren of the surly sect,
Must e'en all herd us with their kindred fools:
For though possess'd of present vogue, they've made
Railing a rule of wit, and obloquy a trade;
Yet the same want of brains produces each effect.
And you, whom Pluto's helm does wisely shroud
From us, the blind and thoughtless crowd,
Like the famed hero in his mother's cloud,
Who both our follies and impertinences see,
Do laugh perhaps at theirs, and pity mine and me.
But censure's to be understood
Th'authentic mark of the elect,
The public stamp Heaven sets on all that's great and good,
Our shallow search and judgment to direct.
The war, methinks, has made
Our wit and learning narrow as our trade;
Instead of boldly sailing far, to buy
A stock of wisdom and philosophy,
We fondly stay at home, in fear
Of every censuring privateer;
Forcing a wretched trade by beating down the sale,
And selling basely by retail.
The wits, I mean the atheists of the age,
Who fain would rule the pulpit, as they do the stage,
Wondrous refiners of philosophy,
Of morals and divinity,
By the new modish system of reducing all to sense,
Against all logic, and concluding laws,
Do own th'effects of Providence,
And yet deny the cause.
This hopeful sect, now it begins to see
How little, very little, do prevail
Their first and chiefest force
To censure, to cry down, and rail,
Not knowing what, or where, or who you be,
Will quickly take another course:
And, by their never-failing ways
Of solving all appearances they please,
We soon shall see them to their ancient methods fall,
And straight deny you to be men, or anything at all.
I laugh at the grave answer they will make,
Which they have always ready, general, and cheap:
'Tis but to say, that what we daily meet,
And by a fond mistake
Perhaps imagine to be wondrous wit,
And think, alas! to be by mortals writ,
Is but a crowd of atoms justling in a heap:
Which, from eternal seeds begun,
Justling some thousand years, till ripen'd by the sun:
They're now, just now, as naturally born,
As from the womb of earth a field of corn.
But as for poor contented me,
Who must my weakness and my ignorance confess,
That I believe in much I ne'er can hope to see;
Methinks I'm satisfied to guess,
That this new, noble, and delightful scene,
Is wonderfully moved by some exalted men,
Who have well studied in the world's disease,
(That epidemic error and depravity,
Or in our judgment or our eye,)
That what surprises us can only please.
We often search contentedly the whole world round,
To make some great discovery,
And scorn it when 'tis found.
Just so the mighty Nile has suffer'd in its fame,
Because 'tis said (and perhaps only said)
We've found a little inconsiderable head,
That feeds the huge unequal stream.
Consider human folly, and you'll quickly own,
That all the praises it can give,
By which some fondly boast they shall for ever live,
Won't pay th'impertinence of being known:
Else why should the famed Lydian king,
(Whom all the charms of an usurped wife and state,
With all that power unfelt, courts mankind to be great,
Did with new unexperienced glories wait,)
Still wear, still dote on his invisible ring?
Were I to form a regular thought of Fame,
Which is, perhaps, as hard t'imagine right,
As to paint Echo to the sight,
I would not draw the idea from an empty name;
Because, alas! when we all die,
Careless and ignorant posterity,
Although they praise the learning and the wit,
And though the title seems to show
The name and man by whom the book was writ,
Yet how shall they be brought to know,
Whether that very name was he, or you, or I?
Less should I daub it o'er with transitory praise,
And water-colours of these days:
These days! where e'en th'extravagance of poetry
Is at a loss for figures to express
Men's folly, whimseys, and inconstancy,
And by a faint description makes them less.
Then tell us what is Fame, where shall we search for it?
Look where exalted Virtue and Religion sit,
Enthroned with heavenly Wit!
Look where you see
The greatest scorn of learned vanity!
(And then how much a nothing is mankind!
Whose reason is weigh'd down by popular air,
Who, by that, vainly talks of baffling death;
And hopes to lengthen life by a transfusion of breath,
Which yet whoe'er examines right will find
To be an art as vain as bottling up of wind!)
And when you find out these, believe true Fame is there,
Far above all reward, yet to which all is due:
And this, ye great unknown! is only known in you.
The juggling sea-god, when by chance trepann'd
By some instructed querist sleeping on the sand,
Impatient of all answers, straight became
A stealing brook, and strove to creep away
Into his native sea,
Vex'd at their follies, murmur'd in his stream;
But disappointed of his fond desire,
Would vanish in a pyramid of fire.
This surly, slippery God, when he design'd
To furnish his escapes,
Ne'er borrow'd more variety of shapes
Than you, to please and satisfy mankind,
And seem (almost) transform'd to water, flame, and air,
So well you answer all phenomena there:
Though madmen and the wits, philosophers and fools,
With all that factious or enthusiastic dotards dream,
And all the incoherent jargon of the schools;
Though all the fumes of fear, hope, love, and shame,
Contrive to shock your minds with many a senseless doubt;
Doubts where the Delphic God would grope in ignorance and night,
The God of learning and of light
Would want a God himself to help him out.
Philosophy, as it before us lies,
Seems to have borrow'd some ungrateful taste
Of doubts, impertinence, and niceties,
From every age through which it pass'd,
But always with a stronger relish of the last.
This beauteous queen, by Heaven design'd
To be the great original
For man to dress and polish his uncourtly mind,
In what mock habits have they put her since the fall!
More oft in fools' and madmen's hands than sages',
She seems a medley of all ages,
With a huge farthingale to swell her fustian stuff,
A new commode, a topknot, and a ruff,
Her face patch'd o'er with modern pedantry,
With a long sweeping train
Of comments and disputes, ridiculous and vain,
All of old cut with a new dye:
How soon have you restored her charms,
And rid her of her lumber and her books,
Drest her again genteel and neat,
And rather tight than great!
How fond we are to court her to our arms!
How much of heaven is in her naked looks!
Thus the deluding Muse oft blinds me to her ways,
And ev'n my very thoughts transfers
And changes all to beauty and the praise
Of that proud tyrant sex of hers.
The rebel Muse, alas! takes part,
But with my own rebellious heart,
And you with fatal and immortal wit conspire
To fan th'unhappy fire.
Cruel unknown! what is it you intend?
Ah! could you, could you hope a poet for your friend!
Rather forgive what my first transport said:
May all the blood, which shall by woman's scorn be shed,
Lie upon you and on your children's head!
For you (ah! did I think I e'er should live to see
The fatal time when that could be!)
Have even increased their pride and cruelty.
Woman seems now above all vanity grown,
Still boasting of her great unknown
Platonic champions, gain'd without one female wile,
Or the vast charges of a smile;
Which 'tis a shame to see how much of late
You've taught the covetous wretches to o'errate,
And which they've now the consciences to weigh
In the same balance with our tears,
And with such scanty wages pay
The bondage and the slavery of years.
Let the vain sex dream on; the empire comes from us;
And had they common generosity,
They would not use us thus.
Well--though you've raised her to this high degree,
Ourselves are raised as well as she;
And, spite of all that they or you can do,
'Tis pride and happiness enough to me,
Still to be of the same exalted sex with you.
Alas, how fleeting and how vain
Is even the nobler man, our learning and our wit!
I sigh whene'er I think of it:
As at the closing an unhappy scene
Of some great king and conqueror's death,
When the sad melancholy Muse
Stays but to catch his utmost breath.
I grieve, this nobler work, most happily begun,
So quickly and so wonderfully carried on,
May fall at last to interest, folly, and abuse.
There is a noontide in our lives,
Which still the sooner it arrives,
Although we boast our winter sun looks bright,
And foolishly are glad to see it at its height,
Yet so much sooner comes the long and gloomy night.
No conquest ever yet begun,
And by one mighty hero carried to its height,
E'er flourished under a successor or a son;
It lost some mighty pieces through all hands it pass'd,
And vanish'd to an empty title in the last.
For, when the animating mind is fled,
(Which nature never can retain,
Nor e'er call back again,)
The body, though gigantic, lies all cold and dead.
And thus undoubtedly 'twill fare
With what unhappy men shall dare
To be successors to these great unknown,
On learning's high-establish'd throne.
Censure, and Pedantry, and Pride,
Numberless nations, stretching far and wide,
Shall (I foresee it) soon with Gothic swarms come forth
From Ignorance's universal North,
And with blind rage break all this peaceful government:
Yet shall the traces of your wit remain,
Like a just map, to tell the vast extent
Of conquest in your short and happy reign:
And to all future mankind shew
How strange a paradox is true,
That men who lived and died without a name
Are the chief heroes in the sacred lists of fame.
[Footnote 1: "I have been told, that Dryden having perused these verses,
said, 'Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet;' and that this
denunciation was the motive of Swift's perpetual malevolence to
Dryden."--Johnson in his "Life of Swift."--_W. E. B._
In Malone's "Life of Dryden," p. 241, it is stated that John Dunton,
the original projector of the Athenian Society, in his "Life and
Errours," 1705, mentions this Ode, "which being an ingenious poem, was
prefixed to the fifth Supplement of the Athenian Mercury."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: The Ode I writ to the king in Ireland.--_Swift_.]
[Footnote 3: The floating island, which, by order of Neptune, became
fixed for the use of Latona, who there brought forth Apollo and Diana.
See Ovid, "Metam.," vi, 191, etc.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: Gyges, who, thanks to the possession of a golden ring, which
made him invisible, put Candaules to death, married his widow, and
mounted the throne, 716 B.C. See the story in Cicero, "De Off.," iii,
9.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 5: Proteus. See Ovid, "Fasti," lib. i.--_W. E. B._]
TO MR. CONGREVE
WRITTEN IN NOVEMBER, 1693
Thrice, with a prophet's voice, and prophet's power,
The Muse was called in a poetic hour,
And insolently thrice the slighted maid
Dared to suspend her unregarded aid;
Then with that grief we form in spirits divine,
Pleads for her own neglect, and thus reproaches mine.
Once highly honoured! false is the pretence
You make to truth, retreat, and innocence!
Who, to pollute my shades, bring'st with thee down
The most ungenerous vices of the town;
Ne'er sprung a youth from out this isle before
I once esteem'd, and loved, and favour'd more,
Nor ever maid endured such courtlike scorn,
So much in mode, so very city-born;
'Tis with a foul design the Muse you send,
Like a cast mistress, to your wicked friend;
But find some new address, some fresh deceit,
Nor practise such an antiquated cheat;
These are the beaten methods of the stews,
Stale forms, of course, all mean deceivers use,
Who barbarously think to 'scape reproach,
By prostituting her they first debauch.
Thus did the Muse severe unkindly blame
This offering long design'd to Congreve's fame;
First chid the zeal as unpoetic fire,
Which soon his merit forced her to inspire;
Then call this verse, that speaks her largest aid,
The greatest compliment she ever made,
And wisely judge, no power beneath divine
Could leap the bounds which part your world and mine;
For, youth, believe, to you unseen, is fix'd
A mighty gulf, unpassable betwixt.
Nor tax the goddess of a mean design
To praise your parts by publishing of mine;
That be my thought when some large bulky writ
Shows in the front the ambition of my wit;
There to surmount what bears me up, and sing
Like the victorious wren perch'd on the eagle's wing.
This could I do, and proudly o'er him tower,
Were my desires but heighten'd to my power.
Godlike the force of my young Congreve's bays,
Softening the Muse's thunder into praise;
Sent to assist an old unvanquish'd pride
That looks with scorn on half mankind beside;
A pride that well suspends poor mortals' fate,
Gets between them and my resentment's weight,
Stands in the gap 'twixt me and wretched men,
T'avert th'impending judgments of my pen.
Thus I look down with mercy on the age,
By hopes my Congreve will reform the stage:
For never did poetic mind before
Produce a richer vein, or cleaner ore;
The bullion stamp'd in your refining mind
Serves by retail to furnish half mankind.
With indignation I behold your wit
Forced on me, crack'd, and clipp'd, and counterfeit,
By vile pretenders, who a stock maintain
From broken scraps and filings of your brain.
Through native dross your share is hardly known,
And by short views mistook for all their own;
So small the gains those from your wit do reap,
Who blend it into folly's larger heap,
Like the sun's scatter'd beams which loosely pass,
When some rough hand breaks the assembling glass.
Yet want your critics no just cause to rail,
Since knaves are ne'er obliged for what they steal.
These pad on wit's high road, and suits maintain
With those they rob, by what their trade does gain.
Thus censure seems that fiery froth which breeds
O'er the sun's face, and from his heat proceeds,
Crusts o'er the day, shadowing its partent beam,
As ancient nature's modern masters dream;
This bids some curious praters here below
Call Titan sick, because their sight is so;
And well, methinks, does this allusion fit
To scribblers, and the god of light and wit;
Those who by wild delusions entertain
A lust of rhyming for a poet's vein,
Raise envy's clouds to leave themselves in night,
But can no more obscure my Congreve's light,
Than swarms of gnats, that wanton in a ray
Which gave them birth, can rob the world of day.
What northern hive pour'd out these foes to wit?
Whence came these Goths to overrun the pit?
How would you blush the shameful birth to hear
Of those you so ignobly stoop to fear;
For, ill to them, long have I travell'd since,
Round all the circles of impertinence,
Search'd in the nest where every worm did lie
Before it grew a city butterfly;
I'm sure I found them other kind of things
Than those with backs of silk and golden wings;
A search, no doubt, as curious and as wise
As virtuosoes' in dissecting flies:
For, could you think? the fiercest foes you dread,
And court in prologues, all are country bred;
Bred in my scene, and for the poet's sins
Adjourn'd from tops and grammar to the inns;
Those beds of dung, where schoolboys sprout up beaux
Far sooner than the nobler mushroom grows:
These are the lords of the poetic schools,
Who preach the saucy pedantry of rules;
Those powers the critics, who may boast the odds
O'er Nile, with all its wilderness of gods;
Nor could the nations kneel to viler shapes,
Which worshipp'd cats, and sacrificed to apes;
And can you think the wise forbear to laugh
At the warm zeal that breeds this golden calf?
Haply you judge these lines severely writ
Against the proud usurpers of the pit;
Stay while I tell my story, short, and true;
To draw conclusions shall be left to you;
Nor need I ramble far to force a rule,
But lay the scene just here at Farnham school.
Last year, a lad hence by his parents sent
With other cattle to the city went;
Where having cast his coat, and well pursued
The methods most in fashion to be lewd,
Return'd a finish'd spark this summer down,
Stock'd with the freshest gibberish of the town;
A jargon form'd from the lost language, wit,
Confounded in that Babel of the pit;
Form'd by diseased conceptions, weak and wild,
Sick lust of souls, and an abortive child;
Born between whores and fops, by lewd compacts,
Before the play, or else between the acts;
Nor wonder, if from such polluted minds
Should spring such short and transitory kinds,
Or crazy rules to make us wits by rote,
Last just as long as every cuckoo's note:
What bungling, rusty tools are used by fate!
'Twas in an evil hour to urge my hate,
My hate, whose lash just Heaven has long decreed
Shall on a day make sin and folly bleed:
When man's ill genius to my presence sent
This wretch, to rouse my wrath, for ruin meant;
Who in his idiom vile, with Gray's-Inn grace,
Squander'd his noisy talents to my face;
Named every player on his fingers' ends,
Swore all the wits were his peculiar friends;
Talk'd with that saucy and familiar ease
Of Wycherly, and you, and Mr. Bayes:
Said, how a late report your friends had vex'd,
Who heard you meant to write heroics next;
For, tragedy, he knew, would lose you quite,
And told you so at Will's but t'other night.
Thus are the lives of fools a sort of dreams,
Rendering shades things, and substances of names;
Such high companions may delusion keep,
Lords are a footboy's cronies in his sleep.
As a fresh miss, by fancy, face, and gown,
Render'd the topping beauty of the town,
Draws every rhyming, prating, dressing sot,
To boast of favours that he never got;
Of which, whoe'er lacks confidence to prate,
Brings his good parts and breeding in debate;
And not the meanest coxcomb you can find,
But thanks his stars, that Phillis has been kind;
Thus prostitute my Congreve's name is grown
To every lewd pretender of the town.
Troth, I could pity you; but this is it,
You find, to be the fashionable wit;
These are the slaves whom reputation chains,
Whose maintenance requires no help from brains.
For, should the vilest scribbler to the pit,
Whom sin and want e'er furnish'd out a wit;
Whose name must not within my lines be shown,
Lest here it live, when perish'd with his own;
Should such a wretch usurp my Congreve's place,
And choose out wits who ne'er have seen his face;
I'll bet my life but the dull cheat would pass,
Nor need the lion's skin conceal the ass;
Yes, that beau's look, that vice, those critic ears,
Must needs be right, so well resembling theirs.
Perish the Muse's hour thus vainly spent
In satire, to my Congreve's praises meant;
In how ill season her resentments rule,
What's that to her if mankind be a fool?
Happy beyond a private Muse's fate,
In pleasing all that's good among the great,
Where though her elder sisters crowding throng,
She still is welcome with her innocent song;
Whom were my Congreve blest to see and know,
What poor regards would merit all below!
How proudly would he haste the joy to meet,
And drop his laurel at Apollo's feet!
Here by a mountain's side, a reverend cave
Gives murmuring passage to a lasting wave:
'Tis the world's watery hour-glass streaming fast,
Time is no more when th'utmost drop is past;
Here, on a better day, some druid dwelt,
And the young Muse's early favour felt;
Druid, a name she does with pride repeat,
Confessing Albion once her darling seat;
Far in this primitive cell might we pursue
Our predecessors' footsteps still in view;
Here would we sing--But, ah! you think I dream,
And the bad world may well believe the same;
Yes: you are all malicious slanders by,
While two fond lovers prate, the Muse and I.
Since thus I wander from my first intent,
Nor am that grave adviser which I meant,
Take this short lesson from the god of bays,
And let my friend apply it as he please:
Beat not the dirty paths where vulgar feet have trod,
But give the vigorous fancy room.
For when, like stupid alchymists, you try
To fix this nimble god,
This volatile mercury,
The subtile spirit all flies up in fume;
Nor shall the bubbled virtuoso find
More than _fade_ insipid mixture left behind.
While thus I write, vast shoals of critics come,
And on my verse pronounce their saucy doom;
The Muse like some bright country virgin shows
Fallen by mishap among a knot of beaux;
They, in their lewd and fashionable prate,
Rally her dress, her language, and her gait;
Spend their base coin before the bashful maid,
Current like copper, and as often paid:
She, who on shady banks has joy'd to sleep
Near better animals, her father's sheep,
Shamed and amazed, beholds the chattering throng,
To think what cattle she is got among;
But with the odious smell and sight annoy'd,
In haste she does th'offensive herd avoid.
'Tis time to bid my friend a long farewell,
The muse retreats far in yon crystal cell;
Faint inspiration sickens as she flies,
Like distant echo spent, the spirit dies.
In this descending sheet you'll haply find
Some short refreshment for your weary mind,
Nought it contains is common or unclean,
And once drawn up, is ne'er let down again.
[Footnote 1: Where Swift lived with Sir William Temple, who had bought an
estate near Farnham, called Compton Hall, which he afterwards named Moor
Park. See "Prose Works," vol. xi, 378.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Dryden. See "The Rehearsal," and _post_, p. 43.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: Will's coffee-house in Russell Street, Covent Garden, where
the wits of that time used to assemble. See "The Tatler," No. I, and
notes, edit. 1786.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: To this resolution Swift always adhered; for of the infinite
multitude of libellers who personally attacked him, there is not the name
mentioned of any one of them throughout his works; and thus, together
with their writings, have they been consigned to eternal oblivion.--_S._]
[Footnote 5: This alludes to Sir William Temple, to whom he presently
gives the name of Apollo.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 6: Out of an Ode I writ, inscribed "The Poet." The rest of it
[Footnote 7: For an account of Congreve, see Leigh Hunt's edition of
"Wycherley, Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Farquhar."--_W. E. B._]
OCCASIONED BY SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE'S LATE ILLNESS AND RECOVERY
WRITTEN IN DECEMBER, 1693
Strange to conceive, how the same objects strike
At distant hours the mind with forms so like!
Whether in time, Deduction's broken chain
Meets, and salutes her sister link again;
Or haunted Fancy, by a circling flight,
Comes back with joy to its own seat at night;
Or whether dead Imagination's ghost
Oft hovers where alive it haunted most;
Or if Thought's rolling globe, her circle run,
Turns up old objects to the soul her sun;
Or loves the Muse to walk with conscious pride
O'er the glad scene whence first she rose a bride:
Be what it will; late near yon whispering stream,
Where her own Temple was her darling theme;
There first the visionary sound was heard,
When to poetic view the Muse appear'd.
Such seem'd her eyes, as when an evening ray
Gives glad farewell to a tempestuous day;
Weak is the beam to dry up Nature's tears,
Still every tree the pendent sorrow wears;
Such are the smiles where drops of crystal show
Approaching joy at strife with parting woe.
As when, to scare th'ungrateful or the proud,
Tempests long frown, and thunder threatens loud,
Till the blest sun, to give kind dawn of grace,
Darts weeping beams across Heaven's watery face;
When soon the peaceful bow unstring'd is shown,
A sign God's dart is shot, and wrath o'erblown:
Such to unhallow'd sight the Muse divine
Might seem, when first she raised her eyes to mine.
What mortal change does in thy face appear,
Lost youth, she cried, since first I met thee here!
With how undecent clouds are overcast
Thy looks, when every cause of grief is past!
Unworthy the glad tidings which I bring,
Listen while the Muse thus teaches thee to sing:
As parent earth, burst by imprison'd winds,
Scatters strange agues o'er men's sickly minds,
And shakes the atheist's knees; such ghastly fear
Late I beheld on every face appear;
Mild Dorothea, peaceful, wise, and great,
Trembling beheld the doubtful hand of fate;
Mild Dorothea, whom we both have long
Not dared to injure with our lowly song;
Sprung from a better world, and chosen then
The best companion for the best of men:
As some fair pile, yet spared by zeal and rage,
Lives pious witness of a better age;
So men may see what once was womankind,
In the fair shrine of Dorothea's mind.
You that would grief describe, come here and trace
Its watery footsteps in Dorinda's face:
Grief from Dorinda's face does ne'er depart
Farther than its own palace in her heart:
Ah, since our fears are fled, this insolent expel,
At least confine the tyrant to his cell.
And if so black the cloud that Heaven's bright queen
Shrouds her still beams; how should the stars be seen?
Thus when Dorinda wept, joy every face forsook,
And grief flung sables on each menial look;
The humble tribe mourn'd for the quick'ning soul,
That furnish'd spirit and motion through the whole;
So would earth's face turn pale, and life decay,
Should Heaven suspend to act but for a day;
So nature's crazed convulsions make us dread
That time is sick, or the world's mind is dead.--
Take, youth, these thoughts, large matter to employ
The fancy furnish'd by returning joy;
And to mistaken man these truths rehearse,
Who dare revile the integrity of verse:
Ah, favourite youth, how happy is thy lot!--
But I'm deceived, or thou regard'st me not;
Speak, for I wait thy answer, and expect
Thy just submission for this bold neglect.
Unknown the forms we the high-priesthood use
At the divine appearance of the Muse,
Which to divulge might shake profane belief,
And tell the irreligion of my grief;
Grief that excused the tribute of my knees,
And shaped my passion in such words as these!
Malignant goddess! bane to my repose,
Thou universal cause of all my woes;
Say whence it comes that thou art grown of late
A poor amusement for my scorn and hate;
The malice thou inspirest I never fail
On thee to wreak the tribute when I rail;
Fool's commonplace thou art, their weak ensconcing fort,
Th'appeal of dulness in the last resort:
Heaven, with a parent's eye regarding earth,
Deals out to man the planet of his birth:
But sees thy meteor blaze about me shine,
And passing o'er, mistakes thee still for mine:
Ah, should I tell a secret yet unknown,
That thou ne'er hadst a being of thy own,
But a wild form dependent on the brain,
Scattering loose features o'er the optic vein;
Troubling the crystal fountain of the sight,
Which darts on poets' eyes a trembling light;
Kindled while reason sleeps, but quickly flies,
Like antic shapes in dreams, from waking eyes:
In sum, a glitt'ring voice, a painted name,
A walking vapour, like thy sister fame.
But if thou be'st what thy mad votaries prate,
A female power, loose govern'd thoughts create;
Why near the dregs of youth perversely wilt thou stay,
So highly courted by the brisk and gay?
Wert thou right woman, thou should'st scorn to look
On an abandon'd wretch by hopes forsook;
Forsook by hopes, ill fortune's last relief,
Assign'd for life to unremitting grief;
For, let Heaven's wrath enlarge these weary days,
If hope e'er dawns the smallest of its rays.
Time o'er the happy takes so swift a flight,
And treads so soft, so easy, and so light,
That we the wretched, creeping far behind,
Can scarce th'impression of his footsteps find;
Smooth as that airy nymph so subtly born
With inoffensive feet o'er standing corn;
Which bow'd by evening breeze with bending stalks,
Salutes the weary traveller as he walks;
But o'er the afflicted with a heavy pace
Sweeps the broad scythe, and tramples on his face.
Down falls the summer's pride, and sadly shows
Nature's bare visage furrow'd as he mows:
See, Muse, what havoc in these looks appear,
These are the tyrant's trophies of a year;
Since hope his last and greatest foe is fled,
Despair and he lodge ever in its stead;
March o'er the ruin'd plain with motion slow,
Still scattering desolation where they go.
To thee I owe that fatal bent of mind,
Still to unhappy restless thoughts inclined;
To thee, what oft I vainly strive to hide,
That scorn of fools, by fools mistook for pride;
From thee whatever virtue takes its rise,
Grows a misfortune, or becomes a vice;
Such were thy rules to be poetically great:
"Stoop not to interest, flattery, or deceit;
Nor with hired thoughts be thy devotion paid;
Learn to disdain their mercenary aid;
Be this thy sure defence, thy brazen wall,
Know no base action, at no guilt turn pale;
And since unhappy distance thus denies
T'expose thy soul, clad in this poor disguise;
Since thy few ill-presented graces seem
To breed contempt where thou hast hoped esteem--"
Madness like this no fancy ever seized,
Still to be cheated, never to be pleased;
Since one false beam of joy in sickly minds
Is all the poor content delusion finds.--
There thy enchantment broke, and from this hour
I here renounce thy visionary power;
And since thy essence on my breath depends
Thus with a puff the whole delusion ends.
[Footnote 1: Dorothy, Sir William Temple's wife, a daughter of Sir Peter
Osborne. She was in some way related to Swift's mother, which led to
Temple taking Swift into his family. Dorothy died in January, 1695, at
Moor Park, aged 65, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Sir William died
in January, 1698, "and with him," says Swift, "all that was good and
amiable among men." He was buried in Westminster Abbey by the side of his
wife.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Swift's poetical name for Dorothy, Lady Temple.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: "--when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er th'unbending corn, and skims along the main."
POPE, _Essay on Criticism_, 372-3.]
[Footnote 4: "Hic murus aheneus esto,
Nil conseire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa."
HOR., _Epist. 1_, I, 60.]
WRITTEN IN A LADY'S IVORY TABLE-BOOK, 1698
Peruse my leaves thro' ev'ry part,
And think thou seest my owner's heart,
Scrawl'd o'er with trifles thus, and quite
As hard, as senseless, and as light;
Expos'd to ev'ry coxcomb's eyes,
But hid with caution from the wise.
Here you may read, "Dear charming saint;"
Beneath, "A new receipt for paint:"
Here, in beau-spelling, "Tru tel deth;"
There, in her own, "For an el breth:"
Here, "Lovely nymph, pronounce my doom!"
There, "A safe way to use perfume:"
Here, a page fill'd with billets-doux;
On t'other side, "Laid out for shoes"--
"Madam, I die without your grace"--
"Item, for half a yard of lace."
Who that had wit would place it here,
For ev'ry peeping fop to jeer?
To think that your brains' issue is
Exposed to th'excrement of his,
In pow'r of spittle and a clout,
Whene'er he please, to blot it out;
And then, to heighten the disgrace,
Clap his own nonsense in the place.
Whoe'er expects to hold his part
In such a book, and such a heart,
If he be wealthy, and a fool,
Is in all points the fittest tool;
Of whom it may be justly said,
He's a gold pencil tipp'd with lead.
MRS. FRANCES HARRIS'S PETITION, 1699
This, the most humorous example of _vers de société_ in the English
language, well illustrates the position of a parson in a family of
distinction at that period.--_W. E. B._
To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Ireland,
The humble petition of Frances Harris,
Who must starve and die a maid if it miscarries;
Humbly sheweth, that I went to warm myself in Lady Betty's chamber,
because I was cold;
And I had in a purse seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence,
(besides farthings) in money and gold;
So because I had been buying things for my lady last night,
I was resolved to tell my money, to see if it was right.
Now, you must know, because my trunk has a very bad lock,
Therefore all the money I have, which, God knows, is a very small stock,
I keep in my pocket, ty'd about my middle, next my smock.
So when I went to put up my purse, as God would have it, my smock was
And instead of putting it into my pocket, down it slipt;
Then the bell rung, and I went down to put my lady to bed;
And, God knows, I thought my money was as safe as my maidenhead.
So, when I came up again, I found my pocket feel very light;
But when I search'd, and miss'd my purse, Lord! I thought I should have
"Lord! madam," says Mary, "how d'ye do?"--"Indeed," says I, "never worse:
But pray, Mary, can you tell what I have done with my purse?"
"Lord help me!" says Mary, "I never stirr'd out of this place!"
"Nay," said I, "I had it in Lady Betty's chamber, that's a plain case."
So Mary got me to bed, and cover'd me up warm:
However, she stole away my garters, that I might do myself no harm.
So I tumbled and toss'd all night, as you may very well think,
But hardly ever set my eyes together, or slept a wink.
So I was a-dream'd, methought, that I went and search'd the folks round,
And in a corner of Mrs. Duke's box, ty'd in a rag, the money was
So next morning we told Whittle, and he fell a swearing:
Then my dame Wadgar came, and she, you know, is thick of hearing.
"Dame," said I, as loud as I could bawl, "do you know what a loss I have
"Nay," says she, "my Lord Colway's folks are all very sad:
For my Lord Dromedary comes a Tuesday without fail."
"Pugh!" said I, "but that's not the business that I ail."
Says Cary, says he, "I have been a servant this five and twenty years
And in all the places I lived I never heard of such a thing."
"Yes," says the steward, "I remember when I was at my Lord
Such a thing as this happen'd, just about the time of _gooseberries_."
So I went to the party suspected, and I found her full of grief:
(Now, you must know, of all things in the world I hate a thief:)
However, I was resolved to bring the discourse slily about:
"Mrs. Duke," said I, "here's an ugly accident has happened out:
'Tis not that I value the money three skips of a louse:
But the thing I stand upon is the credit of the house.
'Tis true, seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence makes a great hole
in my wages:
Besides, as they say, service is no inheritance in these ages.
Now, Mrs. Duke, you know, and everybody understands,
That though 'tis hard to judge, yet money can't go without hands."
"The _devil_ take me!" said she, (blessing herself,) "if ever I saw't!"
So she roar'd like a bedlam, as thof I had call'd her all to naught.
So, you know, what could I say to her any more?
I e'en left her, and came away as wise as I was before.
Well; but then they would have had me gone to the cunning man:
"No," said I, "'tis the same thing, the CHAPLAIN will be here anon."
So the Chaplain came in. Now the servants say he is my sweetheart,
Because he's always in my chamber, and I always take his part.
So, as the _devil_ would have it, before I was aware, out I blunder'd,
"_Parson_" said I, "can you cast a _nativity_, when a body's plunder'd?"
(Now you must know, he hates to be called _Parson_, like the _devil!_)
"Truly," says he, "Mrs. Nab, it might become you to be more civil;
If your money be gone, as a learned _Divine_ says, d'ye see,
You are no _text_ for my handling; so take that from me:
I was never taken for a _Conjurer_ before, I'd have you to know."
"Lord!" said I, "don't be angry, I am sure I never thought you so;
You know I honour the cloth; I design to be a Parson's wife;
I never took one in _your coat_ for a conjurer in all my life."
With that he twisted his girdle at me like a rope, as who should say,
"Now you may go hang yourself for me!" and so went away.
Well: I thought I should have swoon'd. "Lord!" said I, "what shall I do?
I have lost my money, and shall lose my true love too!"
Then my lord call'd me: "Harry," said my lord, "don't cry;
I'll give you something toward thy loss." "And," says my lady, "so will
Oh! but, said I, what if, after all, the Chaplain won't come to?
For that, he said (an't please your Excellencies), I must petition you.
The premisses tenderly consider'd, I desire your Excellencies'
And that I may have a share in next Sunday's collection;
And, over and above, that I may have your Excellencies' letter,
With an order for the Chaplain aforesaid, or, instead of him, a better:
And then your poor petitioner, both night and day,
Or the Chaplain (for 'tis his _trade_,) as in duty bound, shall ever
[Footnote 1: The Earl of Berkeley and the Earl of Galway.]
[Footnote 2: Lady Betty Berkeley, afterwards Germaine.]
[Footnote 3: Wife to one of the footmen.]
[Footnote 4: The Earl of Berkeley's valet.]
[Footnote 5: The old deaf housekeeper.]
[Footnote 6: Galway.]
[Footnote 7: The Earl of Drogheda, who, with the primate, was to succeed
the two earls, then lords justices of Ireland.]
[Footnote 8: Clerk of the kitchen.]
[Footnote 9: Ferris; whom the poet terms in his Journal to Stella, 21st
Dec., 1710, a "beast," and a "Scoundrel dog." See "Prose Works," ii, p.
79--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 10: A usual saying of hers.--_Swift_.]
[Footnote 11: Swift.]
[Footnote 12: Dr. Bolton, one of the chaplains.--_Faulkner_.]
[Footnote 13: A cant word of Lord and Lady Berkeley to Mrs. Harris.]
[Footnote 14: Swift elsewhere terms his own calling a _trade_. See his
letter to Pope, 29th Sept., 1725, cited in Introduction to Gulliver,
"Prose Works," vol. viii, p. xxv.--_W. E. B_.]
A BALLAD ON THE GAME OF TRAFFIC
WRITTEN AT THE CASTLE OF DUBLIN, 1699
My Lord, to find out who must deal,
Delivers cards about,
But the first knave does seldom fail
To find the doctor out.
But then his honour cried, Gadzooks!
And seem'd to knit his brow:
For on a knave he never looks
But he thinks upon Jack How.
My lady, though she is no player,
Some bungling partner takes,
And, wedged in corner of a chair,
Takes snuff, and holds the stakes.
Dame Floyd looks out in grave suspense
For pair royals and sequents;
But, wisely cautious of her pence,
The castle seldom frequents.
Quoth Herries, fairly putting cases,
I'd won it, on my word,
If I had but a pair of aces,
And could pick up a third.
But Weston has a new-cast gown
On Sundays to be fine in,
And, if she can but win a crown,
'Twill just new dye the lining.
"With these is Parson Swift,
Not knowing how to spend his time,
Does make a wretched shift,
To deafen them with puns and rhyme."
[Footnote 1: The Earl of Berkeley.]
[Footnote 2: Paymaster to the Forces, "Prose Works," ii, 23.]
[Footnote 3: A beauty and a favourite with Swift. See his verses on her,
_post_, p. 50. He often mentions her in the Journal to Stella, especially
with respect to her having the smallpox, and her recovery. "Prose Works,"
ii, 138, 141, 143. 259.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: Mrs. Frances Harris, the heroine of the preceding poem.]
[Footnote 5: Written by Lady Betty Berkeley, afterwards wife of Sir John
A BALLAD TO THE TUNE OF THE CUT-PURSE
WRITTEN IN AUGUST, 1702
Once on a time, as old stories rehearse,
A friar would need show his talent in Latin;
But was sorely put to 't in the midst of a verse,
Because he could find no word to come pat in;
Then all in the place
He left a void space,
And so went to bed in a desperate case:
When behold the next morning a wonderful riddle!
He found it was strangely fill'd up in the middle.
CHO. Let censuring critics then think what they list on't;
Who would not write verses with such an assistant?
This put me the friar into an amazement;
For he wisely consider'd it must be a sprite;
That he came through the keyhole, or in at the casement;
And it needs must be one that could both read and write;
Yet he did not know,
If it were friend or foe,
Or whether it came from above or below;
Howe'er, it was civil, in angel or elf,
For he ne'er could have fill'd it so well of himself.
CHO. Let censuring, &c.
Even so Master Doctor had puzzled his brains
In making a ballad, but was at a stand;
He had mixt little wit with a great deal of pains,
When he found a new help from invisible hand.
Then, good Doctor Swift
Pay thanks for the gift,
For you freely must own you were at a dead lift;
And, though some malicious young spirit did do't,
You may know by the hand it had no cloven foot.
CHO. Let censuring, &c.
[Footnote 1: Lady Betty Berkeley, finding the preceding verses in the
author's room unfinished, wrote under them the concluding stanza, which
gave occasion to this ballad, written by the author in a counterfeit
hand, as if a third person had done it.--_Swift_.
The _Cut-Purse_ is a ballad sung by Nightingale, the ballad-singer, in
Ben Jonson's "Bartholomew Fair," Act III, Sc. I. The burthen of the
"Youth, youth, thou had'st better been starv'd by thy nurse
Than live to be hang'd for cutting a purse."--_W. E. B._]
When wise Lord Berkeley first came here,
Statesmen and mob expected wonders,
Nor thought to find so great a peer
Ere a week past committing blunders.
Till on a day cut out by fate,
When folks came thick to make their court,
Out slipt a mystery of state
To give the town and country sport.
Now enters Bush with new state airs,
His lordship's premier minister;
And who in all profound affairs,
Is held as needful as his clyster.
With head reclining on his shoulder,
He deals and hears mysterious chat,
While every ignorant beholder
Asks of his neighbour, who is that?
With this he put up to my lord,
The courtiers kept their distance due,
He twitch'd his sleeve, and stole a word;
Then to a corner both withdrew.
Imagine now my lord and Bush
Whispering in junto most profound,
Like good King Phys and good King Ush,
While all the rest stood gaping round.
At length a spark, not too well bred,
Of forward face and ear acute,
Advanced on tiptoe, lean'd his head,
To overhear the grand dispute;
To learn what Northern kings design,
Or from Whitehall some new express,
Papists disarm'd, or fall of coin;
For sure (thought he) it can't be less.
My lord, said Bush, a friend and I,
Disguised in two old threadbare coats,
Ere morning's dawn, stole out to spy
How markets went for hay and oats.
With that he draws two handfuls out,
The one was oats, the other hay;
Puts this to's excellency's snout,
And begs he would the other weigh.
My lord seems pleased, but still directs
By all means to bring down the rates;
Then, with a congee circumflex,
Bush, smiling round on all, retreats.
Our listener stood awhile confused,
But gathering spirits, wisely ran for't,
Enraged to see the world abused,
By two such whispering kings of Brentford.
[Footnote 1: To Ireland, as one of the Lords Justices.]
[Footnote 2: Who, by insinuating that the post of secretary was
unsuitable for a clergyman, obtained it for himself, though it had been
promised to Swift; and when Swift claimed the Deanery of Derry, in virtue
of Lord Berkeley's promise of the "first good preferment that should fall
in his gift," the earl referred him to Bush, who told him that it was
promised to another, but that if he would lay down a thousand pounds for
it he should have the preference. Swift, enraged at the insult,
immediately left the castle; but was ultimately pacified by being
presented with the Rectory of Agher and the Vicarages of Laracor and
Rathbeggan. See Forster's "Life of Swift," p. 111; Birkbeck Hill's
"Letters of Swift," and "Prose Works," vol. xi, 380.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 2: Always taken before my lord went to council.--_Dublin
[Footnote 3: The usurping kings in "The Rehearsal"; the celebrated farce
written by the Duke of Buckingham, in conjunction with Martin Clifford,
Butler, Sprat, and others, in ridicule of the rhyming tragedies then in
vogue, and especially of Dryden in the character of Bayes.--See Malone's
"Life of Dryden," p. 95.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: The usurping kings in "The Rehearsal," Act I, Sc. 1; Act II,
Sc. 1; always whispering each other.--_W. E. B_.]
"THAT MY LORD BERKELEY STINKS WHEN HE IS IN LOVE"
Did ever problem thus perplex,
Or more employ the female sex?
So sweet a passion who would think,
Jove ever form'd to make a stink?
The ladies vow and swear, they'll try,
Whether it be a truth or lie.
Love's fire, it seems, like inward heat,
Works in my lord by stool and sweat,
Which brings a stink from every pore,
And from behind and from before;
Yet what is wonderful to tell it,
None but the favourite nymph can smell it.
But now, to solve the natural cause
By sober philosophic laws;
Whether all passions, when in ferment,
Work out as anger does in vermin;
So, when a weasel you torment,
You find his passion by his scent.
We read of kings, who, in a fright,
Though on a throne, would fall to sh--.
Beside all this, deep scholars know,
That the main string of Cupid's bow,
Once on a time was an a-- gut;
Now to a nobler office put,
By favour or desert preferr'd
From giving passage to a t--;
But still, though fix'd among the stars,
Does sympathize with human a--.
Thus, when you feel a hard-bound breech,
Conclude love's bow-string at full stretch,
Till the kind looseness comes, and then,
Conclude the bow relax'd again.
And now, the ladies all are bent,
To try the great experiment,
Ambitious of a regent's heart,
Spread all their charms to catch a f--
Watching the first unsavoury wind,
Some ply before, and some behind.
My lord, on fire amid the dames,
F--ts like a laurel in the flames.
The fair approach the speaking part,
To try the back-way to his heart.
For, as when we a gun discharge,
Although the bore be none so large,
Before the flame from muzzle burst,
Just at the breech it flashes first;
So from my lord his passion broke,
He f--d first and then he spoke.
The ladies vanish in the smother,
To confer notes with one another;
And now they all agreed to name
Whom each one thought the happy dame.
Quoth Neal, whate'er the rest may think,
I'm sure 'twas I that smelt the stink.
You smell the stink! by G--d, you lie,
Quoth Ross, for I'll be sworn 'twas I.
Ladies, quoth Levens, pray forbear;
Let's not fall out; we all had share;
And, by the most I can discover,
My lord's a universal lover.
THE DESCRIPTION OF A SALAMANDER, 1705
From Pliny, "Hist. Nat.," lib. x, 67; lib. xxix.
As mastiff dogs, in modern phrase, are
Call'd _Pompey, Scipio_, and _Caesar;_
As pies and daws are often styl'd
With Christian nicknames, like a child;
As we say _Monsieur_ to an ape,
Without offence to human shape;
So men have got, from bird and brute,
Names that would best their nature suit.
The _Lion, Eagle, Fox_, and _Boar_,
Were heroes' titles heretofore,
Bestow'd as hi'roglyphics fit
To show their valour, strength, or wit:
For what is understood by _fame_,
Besides the getting of a _name?_
But, e'er since men invented guns,
A diff'rent way their fancy runs:
To paint a hero, we inquire
For something that will conquer _fire._
Would you describe _Turenne_ or _Trump?_
Think of a _bucket_ or a _pump._
Are these too low?--then find out grander,
Call my LORD CUTTS a _Salamander._
'Tis well;--but since we live among
Detractors with an evil tongue,
Who may object against the term,
Pliny shall prove what we affirm:
Pliny shall prove, and we'll apply,
And I'll be judg'd by standers by.
First, then, our author has defined
This reptile of the serpent kind,
With gaudy coat, and shining train;
But loathsome spots his body stain:
Out from some hole obscure he flies,
When rains descend, and tempests rise,
Till the sun clears the air; and then
Crawls back neglected to his den.
So, when the war has raised a storm,
I've seen a snake in human form,
All stain'd with infamy and vice,
Leap from the dunghill in a trice,
Burnish and make a gaudy show,
Become a general, peer, and beau,
Till peace has made the sky serene,
Then shrink into its hole again.
"All this we grant--why then, look yonder,
Sure that must be a Salamander!"
Further, we are by Pliny told,
This serpent is extremely cold;
So cold, that, put it in the fire,
'Twill make the very flames expire:
Besides, it spues a filthy froth
(Whether thro' rage or lust or both)
Of matter purulent and white,
Which, happening on the skin to light,
And there corrupting to a wound,
Spreads leprosy and baldness round.
So have I seen a batter'd beau,
By age and claps grown cold as snow,
Whose breath or touch, where'er he came,
Blew out love's torch, or chill'd the flame:
And should some nymph, who ne'er was cruel,
Like Carleton cheap, or famed Du-Ruel,
Receive the filth which he ejects,
She soon would find the same effects
Her tainted carcass to pursue,
As from the Salamander's spue;
A dismal shedding of her locks,
And, if no leprosy, a pox.
"Then I'll appeal to each bystander,
If this be not a Salamander?"
[Footnote 1: The famous Mareschal Turenne, general of the French forces,
called the greatest commander of the age.]
[Footnote 2: Admiral of the States General in their war with England,
eminent for his courage and his victories.]
[Footnote 3: Who obtained this name from his coolness under fire at the
siege of Namur. See Journal to Stella, "Prose Works," vol. ii, p.
267.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 4: "Animal lacertae figura, stellatum, numquam nisi magnis
imbribus proveniens et serenitate desinens."--Pliny, "Hist. Nat.," lib.
[Footnote 5: "Huic tantus rigor ut ignem tactu restinguat non alio modo
quam glacies. ejusdem sanie, quae lactea ore vomitur, quacumque parte
corporis humani contacta toti defluunt pili, idque quod contactum est
colorem in vitiliginem mutat."--Lib. x, 67. "Inter omnia venenata
salamandrae scelus maximum est. . . . nam si arbori inrepsit omnia poma
inficit veneno, et eos qui ederint necat frigida vi nihil aconito
distans."--Lib. xxix, 4, 23.--_W. E. B._]
TO CHARLES MORDAUNT, EARL OF PETERBOROUGH
Mordanto fills the trump of fame,
The Christian world his deeds proclaim,
And prints are crowded with his name.
In journeys he outrides the post,
Sits up till midnight with his host,
Talks politics, and gives the toast.
Knows every prince in Europe's face,
Flies like a squib from place to place,
And travels not, but runs a race.
From Paris gazette à-la-main,
This day arriv'd, without his train,
Mordanto in a week from Spain.
A messenger comes all a-reek
Mordanto at Madrid to seek;
He left the town above a week.
Next day the post-boy winds his horn,
And rides through Dover in the morn:
Mordanto's landed from Leghorn.
Mordanto gallops on alone,
The roads are with his followers strewn,
This breaks a girth, and that a bone;
His body active as his mind,
Returning sound in limb and wind,
Except some leather lost behind.
A skeleton in outward figure,
His meagre corps, though full of vigour,
Would halt behind him, were it bigger.
So wonderful his expedition,
When you have not the least suspicion,
He's with you like an apparition.
Shines in all climates like a star;
In senates bold, and fierce in war;
A land commander, and a tar:
Heroic actions early bred in,
Ne'er to be match'd in modern reading,
But by his namesake, Charles of Sweden.
[Footnote 1: Who in the year 1705 took Barcelona, and in the winter
following with only 280 horse and 900 foot enterprized and accomplished
the conquest of Valentia.--_Pope_.
"--he whose lightning pierc'd th'Iberian lines,
Now forms my quincunx, and now ranks my vines,
Or tames the genius of the stubborn plain
Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain."
POPE, _Imitations of Horace_, ii, Sat. 1.
Lord Peterborough seems to have been equally famous for his skill in
cookery. See note to above Satire, Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and
Courthope, iii, 298.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: See Voltaire's "History of Charles the Twelfth of Sweden."
"He left the name at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral or adorn a tale."
JOHNSON, _Vanity of Human Wishes_.]
ON THE UNION
The queen has lately lost a part
Of her ENTIRELY-ENGLISH heart,
For want of which, by way of botch,
She pieced it up again with SCOTCH.
Blest revolution! which creates
Divided hearts, united states!
See how the double nation lies,
Like a rich coat with skirts of frize:
As if a man, in making posies,
Should bundle thistles up with roses.
Who ever yet a union saw
Of kingdoms without faith or law?
Henceforward let no statesman dare
A kingdom to a ship compare;
Lest he should call our commonweal
A vessel with a double keel:
Which, just like ours, new rigg'd and mann'd,
And got about a league from land,
By change of wind to leeward side,
The pilot knew not how to guide.
So tossing faction will o'erwhelm
Our crazy double-bottom'd realm.
[Footnote 1: The motto on Queen Anne's coronation medal.--_N_.]
[Footnote 2: _I.e._, Differing in religion and law.]
ON MRS. BIDDY FLOYD;
OR, THE RECEIPT TO FORM A BEAUTY. 1707
When Cupid did his grandsire Jove entreat
To form some Beauty by a new receipt, Jove sent, and found, far in a
Truth, innocence, good nature, look serene:
From which ingredients first the dext'rous boy
Pick'd the demure, the awkward, and the coy.
The Graces from the court did next provide
Breeding, and wit, and air, and decent pride:
These Venus cleans'd from ev'ry spurious grain
Of nice coquet, affected, pert, and vain.
Jove mix'd up all, and the best clay employ'd;
Then call'd the happy composition FLOYD.
(TO SWIFT'S VERSES ON BIDDY FLOYD); OR, MRS. CLUDD
Venus one day, as story goes,
But for what reason no man knows,
In sullen mood and grave deport,
Trudged it away to Jove's high court;
And there his Godship did entreat
To look out for his best receipt:
And make a monster strange and odd,
Abhorr'd by man and every god.
Jove, ever kind to all the fair,
Nor e'er refused a lady's prayer,
Straight oped 'scrutoire, and forth he took
A neatly bound and well-gilt book;
Sure sign that nothing enter'd there,
But what was very choice and rare.
Scarce had he turn'd a page or two,--
It might be more, for aught I knew;
But, be the matter more or less,
'Mong friends 'twill break no squares, I guess.
Then, smiling, to the dame quoth he,
Here's one will fit you to a T.
But, as the writing doth prescribe,
'Tis fit the ingredients we provide.
Away he went, and search'd the stews,
And every street about the Mews;
Diseases, impudence, and lies,
Are found and brought him in a trice.
From Hackney then he did provide,
A clumsy air and awkward pride;
From lady's toilet next he brought
Noise, scandal, and malicious thought.
These Jove put in an old close-stool,
And with them mix'd the vain, the fool.
But now came on his greatest care,
Of what he should his paste prepare;
For common clay or finer mould
Was much too good, such stuff to hold.
At last he wisely thought on mud;
So raised it up, and call'd it--_Cludd._
With this, the lady well content,
Low curtsey'd, and away she went.
TO THE HONOURABLE MRS. FINCH, UNDER HER NAME OF ARDELIA
Phoebus, now short'ning every shade,
Up to the northern _tropic_ came,
And thence beheld a lovely maid,
Attending on a royal dame.
The god laid down his feeble rays,
Then lighted from his glitt'ring coach;
But fenc'd his head with his own bays,
Before he durst the nymph approach.
Under those sacred leaves, secure
From common lightning of the skies,
He fondly thought he might endure
The flashes of Ardelia's eyes.
The nymph, who oft had read in books
Of that bright god whom bards invoke,
Soon knew Apollo by his looks,
And guess'd his business ere he spoke.
He, in the old celestial cant,
Confess'd his flame, and swore by Styx,
Whate'er she would desire, to grant--
But wise Ardelia knew his tricks.
Ovid had warn'd her to beware
Of strolling gods, whose usual trade is,
Under pretence of taking air,
To pick up sublunary ladies.
Howe'er, she gave no flat denial,
As having malice in her heart;
And was resolv'd upon a trial,
To cheat the god in his own art.
"Hear my request," the virgin said;
"Let which I please of all the Nine
Attend, whene'er I want their aid,
Obey my call, and only mine."
By vow oblig'd, by passion led,
The god could not refuse her prayer:
He way'd his wreath thrice o'er her head,
Thrice mutter'd something to the air.
And now he thought to seize his due;
But she the charm already try'd:
Thalia heard the call, and flew
To wait at bright Ardelia's side.
On sight of this celestial _prude_,
Apollo thought it vain to stay;
Nor in her presence durst be rude,
But made his leg and went away.
He hop'd to find some lucky hour,
When on their queen the Muses wait;
But Pallas owns Ardelia's power:
For vows divine are kept by Fate.
Then, full of rage, Apollo spoke:
"Deceitful nymph! I see thy art;
And, though I can't my gift revoke,
I'll disappoint its nobler part.
"Let stubborn pride possess thee long,
And be thou negligent of fame;
With ev'ry Muse to grace thy song,
May'st thou despise a poet's name!
"Of modest poets be thou first;
To silent shades repeat thy verse,
Till Fame and Echo almost burst,
Yet hardly dare one line rehearse.
"And last, my vengeance to compleat,
May you descend to take renown,
Prevail'd on by the thing you hate,
A Whig! and one that wears a gown!"
[Footnote 1: Afterwards Countess of Winchelsea.--_Scott_. See
Journal to Stella Aug. 7, 1712. The Countess was one of Swift's intimate
friends and correspondents. See "Prose Works," xi, 121.--_W. E. B._]
ANSWER TO LINES FROM MAY FAIR
NOW FIRST PUBLISHED
In pity to the empty'ng Town,
Some God May Fair invented,
When Nature would invite us down,
To be by Art prevented.
What a corrupted taste is ours
When milk maids in mock state
Instead of garlands made of Flowers
Adorn their pails with plate.
So are the joys which Nature yields
Inverted in May Fair,
In painted cloth we look for fields,
And step in Booths for air.
Here a Dog dancing on his hams
And puppets mov'd by wire,
Do far exceed your frisking lambs,
Or song of feather'd quire.
Howe'er, such verse as yours I grant
Would be but too inviting:
Were fair Ardelia not my Aunt,
Or were it Worsley's writing.
[Footnote 1: Some ladies, among whom were Mrs. Worsley and Mrs. Finch, to
the latter of whom Swift addressed, under the name of Ardelia, the
preceding poem, appear to have written verses to him from May Fair,
offering him such temptations as that fashionable locality supplied to
detain him from the country and its pleasures: and thus he
[Footnote 1: There is some playful allusion in this last stanza, not now
BUILT FROM THE RUINS OF WHITEHALL THAT WAS BURNT, 1703
In times of old, when Time was young,
And poets their own verses sung,
A verse would draw a stone or beam,
That now would overload a team;
Lead 'em a dance of many a mile,
Then rear 'em to a goodly pile.
Each number had its diff'rent power;
Heroic strains could build a tower;
Sonnets and elegies to Chloris,
Might raise a house about two stories;
A lyric ode would slate; a catch
Would tile; an epigram would thatch.
Now Poets feel this art is lost,
Both to their own and landlord's cost.
Not one of all the tuneful throng
Can hire a lodging for a song.
For Jove consider'd well the case,
That poets were a numerous race;
And if they all had power to build,
The earth would very soon be fill'd:
Materials would be quickly spent,
And houses would not give a rent.
The God of Wealth was therefore made
Sole patron of the building trade;
Leaving to wits the spacious air,
With license to build castles there:
In right whereof their old pretence
To lodge in garrets comes from thence.
There is a worm by Phoebus bred,
By leaves of mulberry is fed,
Which unprovided where to dwell,
Conforms itself to weave a cell;
Then curious hands this texture take,
And for themselves fine garments make.
Meantime a pair of awkward things
Grow to his back instead of wings;
He flutters when he thinks he flies,
Then sheds about his spawn and dies.
Just such an insect of the age
Is he that scribbles for the stage;
His birth he does from Phoebus raise,
And feeds upon imagin'd bays;
Throws all his wit and hours away
In twisting up an ill spun Play:
This gives him lodging and provides
A stock of tawdry shift besides.
With the unravell'd shreds of which
The under wits adorn their speech:
And now he spreads his little fans,
(For all the Muses Geese are Swans)
And borne on Fancy's pinions, thinks
He soars sublimest when he sinks:
But scatt'ring round his fly-blows, dies;
Whence broods of insect-poets rise.
Premising thus, in modern way,
The greater part I have to say;
Sing, Muse, the house of Poet Van,
In higher strain than we began.
Van (for 'tis fit the reader know it)
Is both a Herald and a Poet;
No wonder then if nicely skill'd
In each capacity to build.
As Herald, he can in a day
Repair a house gone to decay;
Or by achievements, arms, device,
Erect a new one in a trice;
And poets, if they had their due,
By ancient right are builders too:
This made him to Apollo pray
For leave to build--the poets way.
His prayer was granted, for the God
Consented with the usual nod.
After hard throes of many a day
Van was delivered of a play,
Which in due time brought forth a house,
Just as the mountain did the mouse.
One story high, one postern door,
And one small chamber on a floor,
Born like a phoenix from the flame:
But neither bulk nor shape the same;
As animals of largest size
Corrupt to maggots, worms, and flies;
A type of modern wit and style,
The rubbish of an ancient pile;
So chemists boast they have a power,
From the dead ashes of a flower
Some faint resemblance to produce,
But not the virtue, taste, nor juice.
So modern rhymers strive to blast
The poetry of ages past;
Which, having wisely overthrown,
They from its ruins build their own.
[Footnote 1: This is the earlier version of the Poem discovered by
Forster at Narford, the residence of Mr. Fountaine. See Forster's "Life
of Swift," p. 163.--_W. E. B._]
BUILT FROM THE RUINS OF WHITEHALL THAT WAS BURNT, 1703
In times of old, when Time was young,
And poets their own verses sung,
A verse would draw a stone or beam,
That now would overload a team;
Lead 'em a dance of many a mile,
Then rear 'em to a goodly pile.
Each number had its diff'rent power;
Heroic strains could build a tower;
Sonnets, or elegies to Chloris,
Might raise a house about two stories;
A lyric ode would slate; a catch
Would tile; an epigram would thatch.
But, to their own or landlord's cost,
Now Poets feel this art is lost.
Not one of all our tuneful throng
Can raise a lodging for a song.
For Jove consider'd well the case,
Observed they grew a numerous race;
And should they build as fast as write,
'Twould ruin undertakers quite.
This evil, therefore, to prevent,
He wisely changed their element:
On earth the God of Wealth was made
Sole patron of the building trade;
Leaving the Wits the spacious air,
With license to build castles there:
And 'tis conceived their old pretence
To lodge in garrets comes from thence.
Premising thus, in modern way,
The better half we have to say;
Sing, Muse, the house of Poet Van,
In higher strains than we began.
Van (for 'tis fit the reader know it)
Is both a Herald and a Poet;
No wonder then if nicely skill'd
In both capacities to build.
As Herald, he can in a day
Repair a house gone to decay;
Or, by achievements, arms, device,
Erect a new one in a trice;
And as a poet, he has skill
To build in speculation still.
"Great Jove!" he cried, "the art restore
To build by verse as heretofore,
And make my Muse the architect;
What palaces shall we erect!
No longer shall forsaken Thames
Lament his old Whitehall in flames;
A pile shall from its ashes rise,
Fit to invade or prop the skies."
Jove smiled, and, like a gentle god,
Consenting with the usual nod,
Told Van, he knew his talent best,
And left the choice to his own breast.
So Van resolved to write a farce;
But, well perceiving wit was scarce,
With cunning that defect supplies:
Takes a French play as lawful prize;
Steals thence his plot and ev'ry joke,
Not once suspecting Jove would smoke;
And (like a wag set down to write)
Would whisper to himself, "a _bite_."
Then, from this motley mingled style,
Proceeded to erect his pile.
So men of old, to gain renown, did
Build Babel with their tongues confounded.
Jove saw the cheat, but thought it best
To turn the matter to a jest;
Down from Olympus' top he slides,
Laughing as if he'd burst his sides:
Ay, thought the god, are these your tricks,
Why then old plays deserve old bricks;
And since you're sparing of your stuff,
Your building shall be small enough.
He spake, and grudging, lent his aid;
Th'experienced bricks, that knew their trade,
(As being bricks at second hand,)
Now move, and now in order stand.
The building, as the Poet writ,
Rose in proportion to his wit--
And first the prologue built a wall;
So wide as to encompass all.
The scene, a wood, produc'd no more
Than a few scrubby trees before.
The plot as yet lay deep; and so
A cellar next was dug below;
But this a work so hard was found,
Two acts it cost him under ground.
Two other acts, we may presume,
Were spent in building each a room.
Thus far advanc'd, he made a shift
To raise a roof with act the fift.
The epilogue behind did frame
A place, not decent here to name.
Now, Poets from all quarters ran,
To see the house of brother Van;
Looked high and low, walk'd often round;
But no such house was to be found.
One asks the watermen hard by,
"Where may the Poet's palace lie?"
Another of the Thames inquires,
If he has seen its gilded spires?
At length they in the rubbish spy
A thing resembling a goose-pie.
Thither in haste the Poets throng,
And gaze in silent wonder long,
Till one in raptures thus began
To praise the pile and builder Van:
"Thrice happy Poet! who may'st trail
Thy house about thee like a snail:
Or harness'd to a nag, at ease
Take journeys in it like a chaise;
Or in a boat whene'er thou wilt,
Can'st make it serve thee for a tilt!
Capacious house! 'tis own'd by all
Thou'rt well contrived, tho' thou art small:
For ev'ry Wit in Britain's isle
May lodge within thy spacious pile.
Like Bacchus thou, as Poets feign,
Thy mother burnt, art born again,
Born like a phoenix from the flame:
But neither bulk nor shape the same;
As animals of largest size
Corrupt to maggots, worms, and flies;
A type of modern wit and style,
The rubbish of an ancient pile;
So chemists boast they have a power,
From the dead ashes of a flower
Some faint resemblance to produce,
But not the virtue, taste, or juice.
So modern rhymers wisely blast
The poetry of ages past;
Which, after they have overthrown,
They from its ruins build their own."
[Footnote 1: Here follows the later version of the poem, as printed in
all editions of Swift's works.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 2: Sir John Vanbrugh at that time held the office of
Clarencieux king of arms.--_Scott_.]
[Footnote 3: Several of Vanbrugh's plays are taken from
Molière.--_Scott_. This is a very loose statement. That Vanbrugh was
indebted for some of his plays to French sources is true; but the only
one taken from Molière was "The Mistake," adapted from "Le Dépit
Amoureux"; while his two best plays, "The Relapse" and "The Provoked
Wife," were original.--_W. E. B_.]
BAUCIS AND PHILEMON
ON THE EVER-LAMENTED LOSS OF THE TWO YEW-TREES
IN THE PARISH OF CHILTHORNE, SOMERSET. 1706.
IMITATED FROM THE EIGHTH BOOK OF OVID
In ancient time, as story tells,
The saints would often leave their cells,
And stroll about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.
It happen'd on a winter's night,
As authors of the legend write,
Two brother hermits, saints by trade,
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Came to a village hard by Rixham,
Ragged and not a groat betwixt 'em.
It rain'd as hard as it could pour,
Yet they were forced to walk an hour
From house to house, wet to the skin,
Before one soul would let 'em in.
They call'd at every door: "Good people,
My comrade's blind, and I'm a creeple!
Here we lie starving in the street,
'Twould grieve a body's heart to see't,
No Christian would turn out a beast,
In such a dreadful night at least;
Give us but straw and let us lie
In yonder barn to keep us dry."
Thus in the stroller's usual cant,
They begg'd relief, which none would grant.
No creature valued what they said,
One family was gone to bed:
The master bawled out half asleep,
"You fellows, what a noise you keep!
So many beggars pass this way,
We can't be quiet, night nor day;
We cannot serve you every one;
Pray take your answer, and be gone."
One swore he'd send 'em to the stocks;
A third could not forbear his mocks;
But bawl'd as loud as he could roar
"You're on the wrong side of the door!"
One surly clown look't out and said,
"I'll fling the p--pot on your head:
You sha'nt come here, nor get a sous!
You look like rogues would rob a house.
Can't you go work, or serve the King?
You blind and lame! 'Tis no such thing.
That's but a counterfeit sore leg!
For shame! two sturdy rascals beg!
If I come down, _I'll_ spoil your trick,
And cure you both with a good stick."
Our wand'ring saints, in woful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,
Having thro' all the village past,
To a small cottage came at last
Where dwelt a good old honest ye'man,
Call'd thereabout good man Philemon;
Who kindly did the saints invite
In his poor house to pass the night;
And then the hospitable sire
Bid Goody Baucis mend the fire;
Whilst he from out the chimney took
A flitch of bacon off the hook,
And freely from the fattest side
Cut out large slices to be fry'd;
Which tost up in a pan with batter,
And served up in an earthen platter,
Quoth Baucis, "This is wholesome fare,
Eat, honest friends, and never spare,
And if we find our victuals fail,
We can but make it out in ale."
To a small kilderkin of beer,
Brew'd for the good time of the year,
Philemon, by his wife's consent,
Stept with a jug, and made a vent,
And having fill'd it to the brink,
Invited both the saints to drink.
When they had took a second draught,
Behold, a miracle was wrought;
For, Baucis with amazement found,
Although the jug had twice gone round,
It still was full up to the top,
As they ne'er had drunk a drop.
You may be sure so strange a sight,
Put the old people in a fright:
Philemon whisper'd to his wife,
"These men are--Saints--I'll lay my life!"
The strangers overheard, and said,
"You're in the right--but be'nt afraid:
No hurt shall come to you or yours:
But for that pack of churlish boors,
Not fit to live on Christian ground,
They and their village shall be drown'd;
Whilst you shall see your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes."
Scarce had they spoke, when fair and soft,
The roof began to mount aloft;
Aloft rose ev'ry beam and rafter;
The heavy wall went clambering after.
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher,
Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was hoist,
And there stood fastened to a joist,
But with the upside down, to show
Its inclination for below:
In vain; for a superior force
Applied at bottom stops its course:
Doom'd ever in suspense to dwell,
'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
The wooden jack, which had almost
Lost by disuse the art to roast,
A sudden alteration feels,
Increas'd by new intestine wheels;
But what adds to the wonder more,
The number made the motion slower.
The flyer, altho't had leaden feet,
Would turn so quick you scarce could see't;
But, now stopt by some hidden powers,
Moves round but twice in twice twelve hours,
While in the station of a jack,
'Twas never known to turn its back,
A friend in turns and windings tried,
Nor ever left the chimney's side.
The chimney to a steeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone;
But, up against the steeple rear'd,
Became a clock, and still adher'd;
And still its love to household cares,
By a shrill voice at noon declares,
Warning the cookmaid not to burn
That roast meat, which it cannot turn.
The groaning-chair began to crawl,
Like a huge insect, up the wall;
There stuck, and to a pulpit grew,
But kept its matter and its hue,
And mindful of its ancient state,
Still groans while tattling gossips prate.
The mortar only chang'd its name,
In its old shape a font became.
The porringers, that in a row,
Hung high, and made a glitt'ring show,
To a less noble substance chang'd,
Were now but leathern buckets rang'd.
The ballads, pasted on the wall,
Of Chevy Chase, and English Mall,
Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood,
The little Children in the Wood,
Enlarged in picture, size, and letter,
And painted, lookt abundance better,
And now the heraldry describe
Of a churchwarden, or a tribe.
A bedstead of the antique mode,
Composed of timber many a load,
Such as our grandfathers did use,
Was metamorphos'd into pews;
Which yet their former virtue keep
By lodging folk disposed to sleep.
The cottage, with such feats as these,
Grown to a church by just degrees,
The holy men desired their host
To ask for what he fancied most.
Philemon, having paused a while,
Replied in complimental style:
"Your goodness, more than my desert,
Makes you take all things in good part:
You've raised a church here in a minute,
And I would fain continue in it;
I'm good for little at my days,
Make me the parson if you please."
He spoke, and presently he feels
His grazier's coat reach down his heels;
The sleeves new border'd with a list,
Widen'd and gather'd at his wrist,
But, being old, continued just
As threadbare, and as full of dust.
A shambling awkward gait he took,
With a demure dejected look,
Talk't of his offerings, tythes, and dues,
Could smoke and drink and read the news,
Or sell a goose at the next town,
Decently hid beneath his gown.
Contriv'd to preach old sermons next,
Chang'd in the preface and the text.
At christ'nings well could act his part,
And had the service all by heart;
Wish'd women might have children fast,
And thought whose sow had farrow'd last;
Against dissenters would repine.
And stood up firm for "right divine;"
Carried it to his equals higher,
But most obedient to the squire.
Found his head fill'd with many a system;
But classic authors,--he ne'er mist 'em.
Thus having furbish'd up a parson,
Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on.
Instead of homespun coifs, were seen
Good pinners edg'd with colberteen;
Her petticoat, transform'd apace,
Became black satin, flounced with lace.
"Plain Goody" would no longer down,
'Twas "Madam," in her grogram gown.
Philemon was in great surprise,
And hardly could believe his eyes.
Amaz'd to see her look so prim,
And she admir'd as much at him.
Thus happy in their change of life,
Were several years this man and wife:
When on a day, which prov'd their last,
Discoursing o'er old stories past,
They went by chance, amidst their talk,
To the churchyard, to take a walk;
When Baucis hastily cry'd out,
"My dear, I see your forehead sprout!"--
"Sprout;" quoth the man; "what's this you tell us?
I hope you don't believe me jealous!
But yet, methinks, I feel it true,
And really yours is budding too--
Nay,--now I cannot stir my foot;
It feels as if 'twere taking root."
Description would but tire my Muse,
In short, they both were turn'd to yews.
Old Goodman Dobson of the Green
Remembers he the trees has seen;
He'll talk of them from noon till night,
And goes with folk to show the sight;
On Sundays, after evening prayer,
He gathers all the parish there;
Points out the place of either yew,
Here Baucis, there Philemon, grew:
Till once a parson of our town,
To mend his barn, cut Baucis down;
At which, 'tis hard to be believ'd
How much the other tree was griev'd,
Grew scrubby, dy'd a-top, was stunted,
So the next parson stubb'd and burnt it.
[Footnote 1: I here give the original version of this poem, which Forster
found in Swift's handwriting at Narford; and which has never been
published. It is well known that, at Addison's suggestion, Swift made
extensive changes in this, "one of the happiest of his poems," concerning
which Forster says, in his "Life of Swift," at p. 165: "The poem, as
printed, contains one hundred and seventy-eight lines; the poem, as I
found it at Narford, has two hundred and thirty; and the changes in the
latter bringing it into the condition of the former, by which only it has
been thus far known, comprise the omission of ninety-six lines, the
addition of forty-four, and the alteration of twenty-two. The question
can now be discussed whether or not the changes were improvements, and,
in my opinion, the decision must be adverse to Addison."--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 2: The "village hard by Rixham" of the original has as little
connection with "Chilthorne" as the "village down in Kent" of the altered
version, and Swift had probably no better reason than his rhyme for
[Footnote 3: See the next poem for note on this line. Chevy Chase seems
more suitable to the characters than the Joan of Arc of the altered
version.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: A lace so called after the celebrated French Minister, M.
Colbert Planché's "Costume," p. 395.--_W. E. B_.]
BAUCIS AND PHILEMON
ON THE EVER-LAMENTED LOSS OF THE TWO YEW-TREES IN THE PARISH OF
CHILTHORNE, SOMERSET. 1706.
IMITATED FROM THE EIGHTH BOOK OF OVID
In ancient times, as story tells,
The saints would often leave their cells,
And stroll about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.
It happen'd on a winter night,
As authors of the legend write,
Two brother hermits, saints by trade,
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Disguis'd in tatter'd habits, went
To a small village down in Kent;
Where, in the strollers' canting strain,
They begg'd from door to door in vain,
Try'd ev'ry tone might pity win;
But not a soul would let them in.
Our wand'ring saints, in woful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,
Having thro' all the village past,
To a small cottage came at last
Where dwelt a good old honest ye'man,
Call'd in the neighbourhood Philemon;
Who kindly did these saints invite
In his poor hut to pass the night;
And then the hospitable sire
Bid Goody Baucis mend the fire;
While he from out the chimney took
A flitch of bacon off the hook,
And freely from the fattest side
Cut out large slices to be fry'd;
Then stepp'd aside to fetch 'em drink,
Fill'd a large jug up to the brink,
And saw it fairly twice go round;
Yet (what was wonderful) they found
'Twas still replenished to the top,
As if they ne'er had touch'd a drop.
The good old couple were amaz'd,
And often on each other gaz'd;
For both were frighten'd to the heart,
And just began to cry, "What _art_!"
Then softly turn'd aside, to view
Whether the lights were burning blue.
The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't,
Told them their calling and their errand:
"Good folk, you need not be afraid,
We are but saints," the hermits said;
"No hurt shall come to you or yours:
But for that pack of churlish boors,
Not fit to live on Christian ground,
They and their houses shall be drown'd;
While you shall see your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes."
They scarce had spoke, when fair and soft,
The roof began to mount aloft;
Aloft rose ev'ry beam and rafter;
The heavy wall climb'd slowly after.
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher
Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was hoist,
And there stood fasten'd to a joist,
But with the upside down, to show
Its inclination for below:
In vain; for a superior force
Applied at bottom stops its course:
Doom'd ever in suspense to dwell,
'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
A wooden jack, which had almost
Lost by disuse the art to roast,
A sudden alteration feels,
Increas'd by new intestine wheels;
And, what exalts the wonder more,
The number made the motion slower.
The flyer, though it had leaden feet,
Turn'd round so quick you scarce could see't;
But, slacken'd by some secret power,
Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
The jack and chimney, near ally'd,
Had never left each other's side;
The chimney to a steeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone;
But, up against the steeple rear'd,
Became a clock, and still adher'd;
And still its love to household cares,
By a shrill voice at noon, declares,
Warning the cookmaid not to burn
That roast meat, which it cannot turn.
The groaning-chair began to crawl,
Like an huge snail, half up the wall;
There stuck aloft in public view,
And with small change, a pulpit grew.
The porringers, that in a row
Hung high, and made a glitt'ring show,
To a less noble substance chang'd,
Were now but leathern buckets rang'd.
The ballads, pasted on the wall,
Of Joan of France, and English Mall,
Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood,
The little Children in the Wood,
Now seem'd to look abundance better,
Improved in picture, size, and letter:
And, high in order plac'd, describe
The heraldry of ev'ry tribe.
A bedstead of the antique mode,
Compact of timber many a load,
Such as our ancestors did use,
Was metamorphos'd into pews;
Which still their ancient nature keep
By lodging folk disposed to sleep.
The cottage, by such feats as these,
Grown to a church by just degrees,
The hermits then desired their host
To ask for what he fancy'd most.
Philemon, having paused a while,
Return'd them thanks in homely style;
Then said, "My house is grown so fine,
Methinks, I still would call it mine.
I'm old, and fain would live at ease;
Make me the parson if you please."
He spoke, and presently he feels
His grazier's coat fall down his heels:
He sees, yet hardly can believe,
About each arm a pudding sleeve;
His waistcoat to a cassock grew,
And both assumed a sable hue;
But, being old, continued just
As threadbare, and as full of dust.
His talk was now of tithes and dues:
Could smoke his pipe, and read the news;
Knew how to preach old sermons next,
Vamp'd in the preface and the text;
At christ'nings well could act his part,
And had the service all by heart;
Wish'd women might have children fast,
And thought whose sow had farrow'd last;
Against dissenters would repine,
And stood up firm for "right divine;"
Found his head fill'd with many a system;
But classic authors,--he ne'er mist 'em.
Thus having furbish'd up a parson,
Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on.
Instead of homespun coifs, were seen
Good pinners edg'd with colberteen;
Her petticoat, transform'd apace,
Became black satin, flounced with lace.
"Plain Goody" would no longer down,
'Twas "Madam," in her grogram gown.
Philemon was in great surprise,
And hardly could believe his eyes.
Amaz'd to see her look so prim,
And she admir'd as much at him.
Thus happy in their change of life,
Were several years this man and wife:
When on a day, which prov'd their last,
Discoursing o'er old stories past,
They went by chance, amidst their talk,
To the churchyard to take a walk;
When Baucis hastily cry'd out,
"My dear, I see your forehead sprout!"--
"Sprout;" quoth the man; "what's this you tell us?
I hope you don't believe me jealous!
But yet, methinks, I feel it true,
And really yours is budding too--Nay,--now
I cannot stir my foot;
It feels as if 'twere taking root."
Description would but tire my Muse,
In short, they both were turn'd to yews.
Old Goodman Dobson of the Green
Remembers he the trees has seen;
He'll talk of them from noon till night,
And goes with folk to show the sight;
On Sundays, after evening prayer,
He gathers all the parish there;
Points out the place of either yew,
Here Baucis, there Philemon, grew:
Till once a parson of our town,
To mend his barn, cut Baucis down;
At which, 'tis hard to be believ'd
How much the other tree was griev'd,
Grew scrubby, dy'd a-top, was stunted,
So the next parson stubb'd and burnt it.
[Footnote 1: This is the version of the poem as altered by Swift in
accordance with Addison's suggestions.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 2: La Pucelle d'Orléans. See "Hudibras," "Lady's Answer," verse
285, and note in Grey's edition, ii, 439.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: Mary Ambree, on whose exploits in Flanders the popular
ballad was written. The line in the text is from "Hudibras," Part I,
c. 2, 367, where she is compared with Trulla:
"A bold virago, stout and tall,
As Joan of France, or English Mall."
The ballad is preserved in Percy's "Reliques of English Poetry," vol. ii,
239.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: The tribes of Israel were sometimes distinguished in country
churches by the ensigns given to them by Jacob.--_Dublin Edition_.]
[Footnote 5: In the churchyard to fetch a walk.--_Dublin Edition_.]
THE HISTORY OF VANBRUGH'S HOUSE
When Mother Cludd had rose from play,
And call'd to take the cards away,
Van saw, but seem'd not to regard,
How Miss pick'd every painted card,
And, busy both with hand and eye,
Soon rear'd a house two stories high.
Van's genius, without thought or lecture
Is hugely turn'd to architecture:
He view'd the edifice, and smiled,
Vow'd it was pretty for a child:
It was so perfect in its kind,
He kept the model in his mind.
But, when he found the boys at play
And saw them dabbling in their clay,
He stood behind a stall to lurk,
And mark the progress of their work;
With true delight observed them all
Raking up mud to build a wall.
The plan he much admired, and took
The model in his table-book:
Thought himself now exactly skill'd,
And so resolved a house to build:
A real house, with rooms and stairs,
Five times at least as big as theirs;
Taller than Miss's by two yards;
Not a sham thing of play or cards:
And so he did; for, in a while,
He built up such a monstrous pile,
That no two chairmen could be found
Able to lift it from the ground.
Still at Whitehall it stands in view,
Just in the place where first it grew;
There all the little schoolboys run,
Envying to see themselves outdone.
From such deep rudiments as these,
Van is become, by due degrees,
For building famed, and justly reckon'd,
At court, Vitruvius the Second:
No wonder, since wise authors show,
That best foundations must be low:
And now the duke has wisely ta'en him
To be his architect at Blenheim.
But raillery at once apart,
If this rule holds in every art;
Or if his grace were no more skill'd in
The art of battering walls than building,
We might expect to see next year
A mouse-trap man chief engineer.
[Footnote 1: See _ante_, p. 51, "The Reverse."--_W, E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Vitruvius Pollio, author of the treatise "De
Architectura."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: Sir John Vanbrugh held the office of Comptroller-General of
his majesty's works.--_Scott_.]
A GRUB-STREET ELEGY
ON THE SUPPOSED DEATH OF PARTRIDGE THE ALMANACK MAKER. 1708
Well; 'tis as Bickerstaff has guest,
Though we all took it for a jest:
Partridge is dead; nay more, he dy'd,
Ere he could prove the good 'squire ly'd.
Strange, an astrologer should die
Without one wonder in the sky;
Not one of all his crony stars
To pay their duty at his hearse!
No meteor, no eclipse appear'd!
No comet with a flaming beard!
The sun hath rose and gone to bed,
Just as if Partridge were not dead;
Nor hid himself behind the moon
To make a dreadful night at noon.
He at fit periods walks through Aries,
Howe'er our earthly motion varies;
And twice a-year he'll cut th' Equator,
As if there had been no such matter.
Some wits have wonder'd what analogy
There is 'twixt cobbling and astrology;
How Partridge made his optics rise
From a shoe-sole to reach the skies.
A list the cobbler's temples ties,
To keep the hair out of his eyes;
From whence 'tis plain the diadem
That princes wear derives from them;
And therefore crowns are now-a-days
Adorn'd with golden stars and rays;
Which plainly shows the near alliance
'Twixt cobbling and the planet's science.
Besides, that slow-paced sign Böötes,
As 'tis miscall'd, we know not who 'tis;
But Partridge ended all disputes;
He knew his trade, and call'd it _boots_.
The horned moon, which heretofore
Upon their shoes the Romans wore,
Whose wideness kept their toes from corns,
And whence we claim our shoeing-horns,
Shows how the art of cobbling bears
A near resemblance to the spheres.
A scrap of parchment hung by geometry,
(A great refiner in barometry,)
Can, like the stars, foretell the weather;
And what is parchment else but leather?
Which an astrologer might use
Either for almanacks or shoes.
Thus Partridge, by his wit and parts,
At once did practise both these arts:
And as the boding owl (or rather
The bat, because her wings are leather)
Steals from her private cell by night,
And flies about the candle-light;
So learned Partridge could as well
Creep in the dark from leathern cell,
And in his fancy fly as far
To peep upon a twinkling star.
Besides, he could confound the spheres,
And set the planets by the ears;
To show his skill, he Mars could join
To Venus in aspect malign;
Then call in Mercury for aid,
And cure the wounds that Venus made.
Great scholars have in Lucian read,
When Philip King of Greece was dead
His soul and spirit did divide,
And each part took a different side;
One rose a star; the other fell
Beneath, and mended shoes in Hell.
Thus Partridge still shines in each art,
The cobbling and star-gazing part,
And is install'd as good a star
As any of the Caesars are.
Triumphant star! some pity show
On cobblers militant below,
Whom roguish boys, in stormy nights,
Torment by pissing out their lights,
Or through a chink convey their smoke,
Enclosed artificers to choke.
Thou, high exalted in thy sphere,
May'st follow still thy calling there.
To thee the Bull will lend his hide,
By Phoebus newly tann'd and dry'd;
For thee they Argo's hulk will tax,
And scrape her pitchy sides for wax:
Then Ariadne kindly lends
Her braided hair to make thee ends;
The points of Sagittarius' dart
Turns to an awl by heavenly art;
And Vulcan, wheedled by his wife,
Will forge for thee a paring-knife.
For want of room by Virgo's side,
She'll strain a point, and sit astride,
To take thee kindly in between;
And then the Signs will be Thirteen.
[Footnote 1: For details of the humorous persecution of this impostor by
Swift, see "Prose Works," vol. i, pp. 298 _et seq.--W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 2: Partridge was a cobbler.--_Swift_.]
[Footnote 3: See his Almanack.--_Swift_.]
[Footnote 4: Allusion to the crescent-shaped ornament of gold or silver
which distinguished the wearer as a senator.
"Appositam nigrae lunam subtexit alutae."--Juvenal, _Sat_. vii, 192; and
Martial, i, 49, "Lunata nusquam pellis."--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 5: Luciani Opera, xi, 17.]
"ipse tibi iam brachia contrahit ardens
Scorpios, et coeli iusta plus parte reliquit."
VIRG., _Georg._, i, 34.]
Here, five feet deep, lies on his back
A cobbler, starmonger, and quack;
Who to the stars, in pure good will,
Does to his best look upward still.
Weep, all you customers that use
His pills, his almanacks, or shoes;
And you that did your fortunes seek,
Step to his grave but once a-week;
This earth, which bears his body's print,
You'll find has so much virtue in't,
That I durst pawn my ears, 'twill tell
Whate'er concerns you full as well,
In physic, stolen goods, or love,
As he himself could, when above.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE MORNING
WRITTEN IN APRIL 1709, AND FIRST PRINTED IN "THE TATLER"
Now hardly here and there an hackney-coach
Appearing, show'd the ruddy morn's approach.
Now Betty from her master's bed had flown,
And softly stole to discompose her own;
The slip-shod 'prentice from his master's door
Had pared the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor.
Now Moll had whirl'd her mop with dext'rous airs,
Prepared to scrub the entry and the stairs.
The youth with broomy stumps began to trace
The kennel's edge, where wheels had worn the place.
The small-coal man was heard with cadence deep,
Till drown'd in shriller notes of chimney-sweep:
Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet;
And brickdust Moll had scream'd through half the street.
The turnkey now his flock returning sees,
Duly let out a-nights to steal for fees:
The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands,
And schoolboys lag with satchels in their hands.
[Footnote 1: No. 9. See the excellent edition in six vols., with notes,
1786.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: To find old nails.--_Faulkner_.]
[Footnote 3: To meet the charges levied upon them by the keeper of the
prison.--_W. E. B._]
A DESCRIPTION OF A CITY SHOWER
WRITTEN IN OCT., 1710; AND FIRST PRINTED IN "THE TATLER," NO. 238
Careful observers may foretell the hour,
(By sure prognostics,) when to dread a shower.
While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er
Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more.
Returning home at night, you'll find the sink
Strike your offended sense with double stink.
If you be wise, then, go not far to dine:
You'll spend in coach-hire more than save in wine.
A coming shower your shooting corns presage,
Old a-ches throb, your hollow tooth will rage;
Sauntering in coffeehouse is Dulman seen;
He damns the climate, and complains of spleen.
Meanwhile the South, rising with dabbled wings,
A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings,
That swill'd more liquor than it could contain,
And, like a drunkard, gives it up again.
Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope,
While the first drizzling shower is borne aslope;
Such is that sprinkling which some careless quean
Flirts on you from her mop, but not so clean:
You fly, invoke the gods; then, turning, stop
To rail; she singing, still whirls on her mop.
Not yet the dust had shunn'd the unequal strife,
But, aided by the wind, fought still for life,
And wafted with its foe by violent gust,
'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was dust.
Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid,
When dust and rain at once his coat invade?
Sole coat! where dust, cemented by the rain,
Erects the nap, and leaves a cloudy stain!
Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down,
Threatening with deluge this _devoted_ town.
To shops in crowds the daggled females fly,
Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy.
The Templar spruce, while every spout's abroach,
Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a coach.
The tuck'd-up sempstress walks with hasty strides,
While streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides.
Here various kinds, by various fortunes led,
Commence acquaintance underneath a shed.
Triumphant Tories, and desponding Whigs,
Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs.
Box'd in a chair the beau impatient sits,
While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits,
And ever and anon with frightful din
The leather sounds; he trembles from within.
So when Troy chairmen bore the wooden steed,
Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed,
(Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do,
Instead of paying chairmen, ran them through,)
Laocoon struck the outside with his spear,
And each imprison'd hero quaked for fear.
Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow,
And bear their trophies with them as they go:
Filth of all hues and odour, seem to tell
What street they sail'd from, by their sight and smell.
They, as each torrent drives with rapid force,
From Smithfield to St. Pulchre's shape their course,
And in huge confluence join'd at Snowhill ridge,
Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn bridge.
Sweeping from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, and blood,
Drown'd puppies, stinking sprats, all drench'd in mud,
Dead cats, and turnip-tops, come tumbling down the flood.
[Footnote 1: Swift was very proud of the "Shower," and so refers to it in
the Journal to Stella. See "Prose Works," vol. ii, p. 33: "They say 'tis
the best thing I ever writ, and I think so too. I suppose the Bishop of
Clogher will show it you. Pray tell me how you like it." Again, p. 41:
"there never was such a Shower since Danäe's," etc.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: "Aches" is two syllables, but modern printers, who had lost
the right pronunciation, have _aches_ as one syllable; and then to
complete the metre have foisted in "aches _will_ throb." Thus, what the
poet and the linguist wish to preserve, is altered and finally lost. See
Disraeli's "Curiosities of Literature," vol. i, title "Errata," p. 81,
edit. 1858. A good example occurs in "Hudibras," Part III, canto 2, line
407, where persons are mentioned who
"Can by their Pangs and _Aches_ find
All turns and changes of the wind."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: "'Twas doubtful which was sea and which was sky." GARTH'S
[Footnote 4: Originally thus, but altered when Pope published the
"His only coat, where dust confused with rain,
Roughens the nap, and leaves a mingled stain."--_Scott_.]
[Footnote 5: Alluding to the change of ministry at that time.]
[Footnote 6: Virg., "Aeneid," lib. ii.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 7: Fleet Ditch, in which Pope laid the famous diving scene in
"The Dunciad"; celebrated also by Gay in his "Trivia." There is a view of
Fleet Ditch as an illustration to "The Dunciad" in Warburton's edition
of Pope, 8vo, 1751.--_W. E. B._]
ON THE LITTLE HOUSE BY THE CHURCHYARD OF CASTLENOCK
Whoever pleases to inquire
Why yonder steeple wants a spire,
The grey old fellow, Poet Joe,
The philosophic cause will show.
Once on a time a western blast,
At least twelve inches overcast,
Reckoning roof, weathercock, and all,
Which came with a prodigious fall;
And, tumbling topsy-turvy round,
Lit with its bottom on the ground:
For, by the laws of gravitation,
It fell into its proper station.
This is the little strutting pile
You see just by the churchyard stile;
The walls in tumbling gave a knock,
And thus the steeple got a shock;
From whence the neighbouring farmer calls
The steeple, Knock; the vicar, Walls.
The vicar once a-week creeps in,
Sits with his knees up to his chin;
Here cons his notes, and takes a whet,
Till the small ragged flock is met.
A traveller, who by did pass,
Observed the roof behind the grass;
On tiptoe stood, and rear'd his snout,
And saw the parson creeping out:
Was much surprised to see a crow
Venture to build his nest so low.
A schoolboy ran unto't, and thought
The crib was down, the blackbird caught.
A third, who lost his way by night,
Was forced for safety to alight,
And, stepping o'er the fabric roof,
His horse had like to spoil his hoof.
Warburton took it in his noddle,
This building was design'd a model;
Or of a pigeon-house or oven,
To bake one loaf, or keep one dove in.
Then Mrs. Johnson gave her verdict,
And every one was pleased that heard it;
All that you make this stir about
Is but a still which wants a spout.
The reverend Dr. Raymond guess'd
More probably than all the rest;
He said, but that it wanted room,
It might have been a pigmy's tomb.
The doctor's family came by,
And little miss began to cry,
Give me that house in my own hand!
Then madam bade the chariot stand,
Call'd to the clerk, in manner mild,
Pray, reach that thing here to the child:
That thing, I mean, among the kale;
And here's to buy a pot of ale.
The clerk said to her in a heat,
What! sell my master's country seat,
Where he comes every week from town!
He would not sell it for a crown.
Poh! fellow, keep not such a pother;
In half an hour thou'lt make another.
Says Nancy, I can make for miss
A finer house ten times than this;
The dean will give me willow sticks,
And Joe my apron-full of bricks.
[Footnote 1: Mr. Beaumont of Trim, remarkable, though not a very old man,
for venerable white locks.--_Scott_. He had a claim on the Irish
Government, which Swift assisted him in getting paid. See "Prose Works,"
vol. ii, Journal to Stella, especially at p. 174, respecting Joe's desire
for a collector's place.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Archdeacon Wall, a correspondent of Swift's.--_Dublin
[Footnote 3: Dr. Swift's curate at Laracor.]
[Footnote 4: Stella.]
[Footnote 5: Minister of Trim.]
[Footnote 6: The waiting-woman.]
A TOWN ECLOGUE. 1710
_Scene, the Royal Exchange_
Now the keen rigour of the winter's o'er,
No hail descends, and frost can pinch no more,
While other girls confess the genial spring,
And laugh aloud, or amorous ditties sing,
Secure from cold, their lovely necks display,
And throw each useless chafing-dish away;
Why sits my Phillis discontented here,
Nor feels the turn of the revolving year?
Why on that brow dwell sorrow and dismay,
Where Loves were wont to sport, and Smiles to play?
Ah, Corydon! survey the 'Change around,
Through all the 'Change no wretch like me is found:
Alas! the day, when I, poor heedless maid,
Was to your rooms in Lincoln's Inn betray'd;
Then how you swore, how many vows you made!
Ye listening Zephyrs, that o'erheard his love,
Waft the soft accents to the gods above.
Alas! the day; for (O, eternal shame!)
I sold you handkerchiefs, and lost my fame.
When I forget the favour you bestow'd,
Red herrings shall be spawn'd in Tyburn Road:
Fleet Street, transform'd, become a flowery green,
And mass be sung where operas are seen.
The wealthy cit, and the St. James's beau,
Shall change their quarters, and their joys forego;
Stock-jobbing, this to Jonathan's shall come,
At the Groom Porter's, that play off his plum.
But what to me does all that love avail,
If, while I doze at home o'er porter's ale,
Each night with wine and wenches you regale?
My livelong hours in anxious cares are past,
And raging hunger lays my beauty waste.
On templars spruce in vain I glances throw,
And with shrill voice invite them as they go.
Exposed in vain my glossy ribbons shine,
And unregarded wave upon the twine.
The week flies round, and when my profit's known,
I hardly clear enough to change a crown.
Hard fate of virtue, thus to be distrest,
Thou fairest of thy trade, and far the best;
As fruitmen's stalls the summer market grace,
And ruddy peaches them; as first in place
Plumcake is seen o'er smaller pastry ware,
And ice on that: so Phillis does appear
In playhouse and in Park, above the rest
Of belles mechanic, elegantly drest.
And yet Crepundia, that conceited fair,
Amid her toys, affects a saucy air,
And views me hourly with a scornful eye.
She might as well with bright Cleora vie.
With this large petticoat I strive in vain
To hide my folly past, and coming pain;
'Tis now no secret; she, and fifty more,
Observe the symptoms I had once before:
A second babe at Wapping must be placed,
When I scarce bear the charges of the last.
What I could raise I sent; a pound of plums,
Five shillings, and a coral for his gums;
To-morrow I intend him something more.
I sent a frock and pair of shoes before.
However, you shall home with me to-night,
Forget your cares, and revel in delight,
I have in store a pint or two of wine,
Some cracknels, and the remnant of a chine.
And now on either side, and all around,
The weighty shop-boards fall, and bars resound;
Each ready sempstress slips her pattens on,
And ties her hood, preparing to be gone.
L. B. W. H. J. S. S. T.
[Footnote 1: Swift and Pope delighted to ridicule Philips' "Pastorals,"
and wrote several parodies upon them, the fame of which has been eclipsed
by Gay's "Shepherd's Week."--_Scott_.]
BETWEEN SIR HARRY PIERCE'S CHARIOT, AND MRS. D. STOPFORD'S CHAIR 
My pretty dear Cuz, tho' I've roved the town o'er,
To dispatch in an hour some visits a score;
Though, since first on the wheels, I've been every day
At the 'Change, at a raffling, at church, or a play;
And the fops of the town are pleased with the notion
Of calling your slave the perpetual motion;--
Though oft at your door I have whined [out] my love
As my Knight does grin his at your Lady above;
Yet, ne'er before this, though I used all my care,
I e'er was so happy to meet my dear Chair;
And since we're so near, like birds of a feather,
Let's e'en, as they say, set our horses together.
By your awkward address, you're that thing which should carry,
With one footman behind, our lover Sir Harry.
By your language, I judge, you think me a wench;
He that makes love to me, must make it in French.
Thou that's drawn by two beasts, and carry'st a brute,
Canst thou vainly e'er hope, I'll answer thy suit?
Though sometimes you pretend to appear with your six,
No regard to their colour, their sexes you mix:
Then on the grand-paw you'd look very great,
With your new-fashion'd glasses, and nasty old seat.
Thus a beau I have seen strut with a cock'd hat,
And newly rigg'd out, with a dirty cravat.
You may think that you make a figure most shining,
But it's plain that you have an old cloak for a lining.
Are those double-gilt nails? Where's the lustre of Kerry,
To set off the Knight, and to finish the Jerry?
If you hope I'll be kind, you must tell me what's due
In George's-lane for you, ere I'll buckle to.
Why, how now, Doll Diamond, you're very alert;
Is it your French breeding has made you so pert?
Because I was civil, here's a stir with a pox:
Who is it that values your ---- or your fox?
Sure 'tis to her honour, he ever should bed
His bloody red hand to her bloody red head.
You're proud of your gilding; but I tell you each nail
Is only just tinged with a rub at her tail;
And although it may pass for gold on a ninny,
Sure we know a Bath shilling soon from a guinea.
Nay, her foretop's a cheat; each morn she does black it,
Yet, ere it be night, it's the same with her placket.
I'll ne'er be run down any more with your cant;
Your velvet was wore before in a mant,
On the back of her mother; but now 'tis much duller,--
The fire she carries hath changed its colour.
Those creatures that draw me you never would mind,
If you'd but look on your own Pharaoh's lean kine;
They're taken for spectres, they're so meagre and spare,
Drawn damnably low by your sorrel mare.
We know how your lady was on you befriended;
You're not to be paid for 'till the lawsuit is ended:
But her bond it is good, he need not to doubt;
She is two or three years above being out.
Could my Knight be advised, he should ne'er spend his vigour
On one he can't hope of e'er making _bigger_.
[Footnote 1: Mrs. Dorothy Stopford, afterwards Countess of Meath, of whom
Swift says, in his Journal to Stella, Feb. 23, 1711-12, "Countess Doll
of Meath is such an owl, that, wherever I visit, people are asking me,
whether I know such an Irish lady, and her figure and her foppery."
See, _post_, the Poem entitled, "Dicky and Dolly."--_W. E. B._]
TO LORD HARLEY, ON HIS MARRIAGE
OCTOBER 31, 1713
Among the numbers who employ
Their tongues and pens to give you joy,
Dear Harley! generous youth, admit
What friendship dictates more than wit.
Forgive me, when I fondly thought
(By frequent observations taught)
A spirit so inform'd as yours
Could never prosper in amours.
The God of Wit, and Light, and Arts,
With all acquired and natural parts,
Whose harp could savage beasts enchant,
Was an unfortunate gallant.
Had Bacchus after Daphne reel'd,
The nymph had soon been brought to yield;
Or, had embroider'd Mars pursued,
The nymph would ne'er have been a prude.
Ten thousand footsteps, full in view,
Mark out the way where Daphne flew;
For such is all the sex's flight,
They fly from learning, wit, and light;
They fly, and none can overtake
But some gay coxcomb, or a rake.
How then, dear Harley, could I guess
That you should meet, in love, success?
For, if those ancient tales be true,
Phoebus was beautiful as you;
Yet Daphne never slack'd her pace,
For wit and learning spoil'd his face.
And since the same resemblance held
In gifts wherein you both excell'd,
I fancied every nymph would run
From you, as from Latona's son.
Then where, said I, shall Harley find
A virgin of superior mind,
With wit and virtue to discover,
And pay the merit of her lover?
This character shall Ca'endish claim,
Born to retrieve her sex's fame.
The chief among the glittering crowd,
Of titles, birth, and fortune proud,
(As fools are insolent and vain)
Madly aspired to wear her chain;
But Pallas, guardian of the maid,
Descending to her charge's aid,
Held out Medusa's snaky locks,
Which stupified them all to stocks.
The nymph with indignation view'd
The dull, the noisy, and the lewd;
For Pallas, with celestial light,
Had purified her mortal sight;
Show'd her the virtues all combined,
Fresh blooming, in young Harley's mind.
Terrestrial nymphs, by formal arts,
Display their various nets for hearts:
Their looks are all by method set,
When to be prude, and when coquette;
Yet, wanting skill and power to chuse,
Their only pride is to refuse.
But, when a goddess would bestow
Her love on some bright youth below,
Round all the earth she casts her eyes;
And then, descending from the skies,
Makes choice of him she fancies best,
And bids the ravish'd youth be bless'd.
Thus the bright empress of the morn
Chose for her spouse a mortal born:
The goddess made advances first;
Else what aspiring hero durst?
Though, like a virgin of fifteen,
She blushes when by mortals seen;
Still blushes, and with speed retires,
When Sol pursues her with his fires.
Diana thus, Heaven's chastest queen
Struck with Endymion's graceful mien
Down from her silver chariot came,
And to the shepherd own'd her flame.
Thus Ca'endish, as Aurora bright,
And chaster than the Queen of Night
Descended from her sphere to find
A mortal of superior kind.
[Footnote 1: Lord Harley, only son of the first Earl of Oxford, married
Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles, only daughter of John, Duke of
Newcastle. He took no part in public affairs, but delighted in the
Society of the poets and men of letters of his day, especially Pope and
Swift.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Pursued in vain by Apollo, and changed by him into a laurel
tree. Ovid, "Metam.," i, 452; "Heroides," xv, 25.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: Aurora, who married Tithonus, and took him up to Heaven;
hence in Ovid, "Tithonia conjux.," "Fasti," lib. iii, 403.--_W. E. B._]
PHYLLIS; OR, THE PROGRESS OF LOVE, 1716
Desponding Phyllis was endu'd
With ev'ry talent of a prude:
She trembled when a man drew near;
Salute her, and she turn'd her ear:
If o'er against her you were placed,
She durst not look above your waist:
She'd rather take you to her bed,
Than let you see her dress her head;
In church you hear her, thro' the crowd,
Repeat the absolution loud:
In church, secure behind her fan,
She durst behold that monster man:
There practis'd how to place her head,
And bite her lips to make them red;
Or, on the mat devoutly kneeling,
Would lift her eyes up to the ceiling.
And heave her bosom unaware,
For neighb'ring beaux to see it bare.
At length a lucky lover came,
And found admittance to the dame,
Suppose all parties now agreed,
The writings drawn, the lawyer feed,
The vicar and the ring bespoke:
Guess, how could such a match be broke?
See then what mortals place their bliss in!
Next morn betimes the bride was missing:
The mother scream'd, the father chid;
Where can this idle wench be hid?
No news of Phyl! the bridegroom came,
And thought his bride had skulk'd for shame;
Because her father used to say,
The girl had such a bashful way!
Now John the butler must be sent
To learn the road that Phyllis went:
The groom was wish'd to saddle Crop;
For John must neither light nor stop,
But find her, wheresoe'er she fled,
And bring her back alive or dead.
See here again the devil to do!
For truly John was missing too:
The horse and pillion both were gone!
Phyllis, it seems, was fled with John.
Old Madam, who went up to find
What papers Phyl had left behind,
A letter on the toilet sees,
"To my much honour'd father--these--"
('Tis always done, romances tell us,
When daughters run away with fellows,)
Fill'd with the choicest common-places,
By others used in the like cases.
"That long ago a fortune-teller
Exactly said what now befell her;
And in a glass had made her see
A serving-man of low degree.
It was her fate, must be forgiven;
For marriages were made in Heaven:
His pardon begg'd: but, to be plain,
She'd do't if 'twere to do again:
Thank'd God, 'twas neither shame nor sin;
For John was come of honest kin.
Love never thinks of rich and poor;
She'd beg with John from door to door.
Forgive her, if it be a crime;
She'll never do't another time.
She ne'er before in all her life
Once disobey'd him, maid nor wife."
One argument she summ'd up all in,
"The thing was done and past recalling;
And therefore hoped she should recover
His favour when his passion's over.
She valued not what others thought her,
And was--his most obedient daughter."
Fair maidens all, attend the Muse,
Who now the wand'ring pair pursues:
Away they rode in homely sort,
Their journey long, their money short;
The loving couple well bemir'd;
The horse and both the riders tir'd:
Their victuals bad, their lodgings worse;
Phyl cried! and John began to curse:
Phyl wish'd that she had strain'd a limb,
When first she ventured out with him;
John wish'd that he had broke a leg,
When first for her he quitted Peg.
But what adventures more befell 'em,
The Muse hath now no time to tell 'em;
How Johnny wheedled, threaten'd, fawn'd,
Till Phyllis all her trinkets pawn'd:
How oft she broke her marriage vows,
In kindness to maintain her spouse,
Till swains unwholesome spoil'd the trade;
For now the surgeon must be paid,
To whom those perquisites are gone,
In Christian justice due to John.
When food and raiment now grew scarce,
Fate put a period to the farce,
And with exact poetic justice;
For John was landlord, Phyllis hostess;
They keep, at Stains, the Old Blue Boar,
Are cat and dog, and rogue and whore.
[Footnote 1: A tradesman's phrase.--_Swift_.]
HORACE, BOOK IV, ODE IX
ADDRESSED TO ARCHBISHOP KING, 1718
Virtue conceal'd within our breast
Is inactivity at best:
But never shall the Muse endure
To let your virtues lie obscure;
Or suffer Envy to conceal
Your labours for the public weal.
Within your breast all wisdom lies,
Either to govern or advise;
Your steady soul preserves her frame,
In good and evil times, the same.
Pale Avarice and lurking Fraud,
Stand in your sacred presence awed;
Your hand alone from gold abstains,
Which drags the slavish world in chains.
Him for a happy man I own,
Whose fortune is not overgrown;
And happy he who wisely knows
To use the gifts that Heaven bestows;
Or, if it please the powers divine,
Can suffer want and not repine.
The man who infamy to shun
Into the arms of death would run;
That man is ready to defend,
With life, his country or his friend.
[Footnote 1: With whom Swift was in constant correspondence, more or less
friendly. See Journal to Stella, "Prose Works," vol. ii, _passim_; and
an account of King, vol. iii, p. 241, note.--_W. E. B._]
"Non possidentem multa vocaveris
recte beatum: rectius occupat
nomen beati, qui deorum
muneribus sapienter uti
duramque callet pauperiem pati,
pejusque leto flagitium timet."]
TO MR. DELANY,
OCT. 10, 1718 NINE IN THE MORNING
To you whose virtues, I must own
With shame, I have too lately known;
To you, by art and nature taught
To be the man I long have sought,
Had not ill Fate, perverse and blind,
Placed you in life too far behind:
Or, what I should repine at more,
Placed me in life too far before:
To you the Muse this verse bestows,
Which might as well have been in prose;
No thought, no fancy, no sublime,
But simple topics told in rhyme.
Three gifts for conversation fit
Are humour, raillery, and wit:
The last, as boundless as the wind,
Is well conceived, though not defined;
For, sure by wit is only meant
Applying what we first invent.
What humour is, not all the tribe
Of logic-mongers can describe;
Here only nature acts her part,
Unhelp'd by practice, books, or art:
For wit and humour differ quite;
That gives surprise, and this delight,
Humour is odd, grotesque, and wild,
Only by affectation spoil'd;
'Tis never by invention got,
Men have it when they know it not.
Our conversation to refine,
True humour must with wit combine:
From both we learn to rally well,
Wherein French writers most excel;
Voiture, in various lights, displays
That irony which turns to praise:
His genius first found out the rule
For an obliging ridicule:
He flatters with peculiar air
The brave, the witty, and the fair:
And fools would fancy he intends
A satire where he most commends.
But as a poor pretending beau,
Because he fain would make a show,
Nor can afford to buy gold lace,
Takes up with copper in the place:
So the pert dunces of mankind,
Whene'er they would be thought refined,
Because the diff'rence lies abstruse
'Twixt raillery and gross abuse,
To show their parts will scold and rail,
Like porters o'er a pot of ale.
Such is that clan of boisterous bears,
Always together by the ears;
Shrewd fellows and arch wags, a tribe
That meet for nothing but to gibe;
Who first run one another down,
And then fall foul on all the town;
Skill'd in the horse-laugh and dry rub,
And call'd by excellence The Club.
I mean your butler, Dawson, Car,
All special friends, and always jar.
The mettled and the vicious steed
Do not more differ in their breed,
Nay, Voiture is as like Tom Leigh,
As rudeness is to repartee.
If what you said I wish unspoke,
'Twill not suffice it was a joke:
Reproach not, though in jest, a friend
For those defects he cannot mend;
His lineage, calling, shape, or sense,
If named with scorn, gives just offence.
What use in life to make men fret,
Part in worse humour than they met?
Thus all society is lost,
Men laugh at one another's cost:
And half the company is teazed
That came together to be pleased:
For all buffoons have most in view
To please themselves by vexing you.
When jests are carried on too far,
And the loud laugh begins the war,
You keep your countenance for shame,
Yet still you think your friend to blame;
For though men cry they love a jest,
'Tis but when others stand the test;
And (would you have their meaning known)
They love a jest when 'tis their own.
You wonder now to see me write
So gravely where the subject's light;
Some part of what I here design
Regards a friend of yours and mine;
Who full of humour, fire, and wit,
Not always judges what is fit,
But loves to take prodigious rounds,
And sometimes walks beyond his bounds,
You must, although the point be nice,
Venture to give him some advice;
Few hints from you will set him right,
And teach him how to be polite.
Bid him like you, observe with care,
Whom to be hard on, whom to spare;
Nor indiscreetly to suppose
All subjects like Dan Jackson's nose.
To study the obliging jest,
By reading those who teach it best;
For prose I recommend Voiture's,
For verse (I speak my judgment) yours.
He'll find the secret out from thence,
To rhyme all day without offence;
And I no more shall then accuse
The flirts of his ill-manner'd Muse.
If he be guilty, you must mend him;
If he be innocent, defend him.
[Footnote 1: The Rev. Patrick Delany, one of Swift's most valued friends,
born about 1685. When Lord Carteret became Lord Lieutenant, Swift urged
Delany's claims to preferment, and he was appointed Chancellor of St.
Patrick's. He appears to have been warm-hearted and impetuous, and too
hospitable for his means. He died at Bath, 1768.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Famous as poet and letter writer, born 1598, died
1648.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: Dr. Sheridan.]
[Footnote 4: Mentioned in "The Country Life," as one of that lively
party, _post_, p. 137.--_W. E. B_.]
ON THE DEATH OF DEMAR, THE USURER;
WHO DIED ON THE 6TH OF JULY, 1720
Know all men by these presents, Death, the tamer,
By mortgage has secured the corpse of Demar;
Nor can four hundred thousand sterling pound
Redeem him from his prison underground.
His heirs might well, of all his wealth possesst
Bestow, to bury him, one iron chest.
Plutus, the god of wealth, will joy to know
His faithful steward in the shades below.
He walk'd the streets, and wore a threadbare cloak;
He din'd and supp'd at charge of other folk:
And by his looks, had he held out his palms,
He might be thought an object fit for alms.
So, to the poor if he refus'd his pelf,
He us'd 'em full as kindly as himself.
Where'er he went, he never saw his betters;
Lords, knights, and squires, were all his humble debtors;
And under hand and seal, the Irish nation
Were forc'd to own to him their obligation.
He that cou'd once have half a kingdom bought,
In half a minute is not worth a groat.
His coffers from the coffin could not save,
Nor all his int'rest keep him from the grave.
A golden monument would not be right,
Because we wish the earth upon him light.
Oh London Tavern! thou hast lost a friend,
Tho' in thy walls he ne'er did farthing spend;
He touch'd the pence when others touch'd the pot;
The hand that sign'd the mortgage paid the shot.
Old as he was, no vulgar known disease
On him could ever boast a pow'r to seize;
"But as the gold he weigh'd, grim death in spight
Cast in his dart, which made three moidores light;
And, as he saw his darling money fail,
Blew his last breath to sink the lighter scale."
He who so long was current, 'twould be strange
If he should now be cry'd down since his change.
The sexton shall green sods on thee bestow;
Alas, the sexton is thy banker now!
A dismal banker must that banker be,
Who gives no bills but of mortality!
[Footnote 1: The subject was John Demar, a great merchant in Dublin who
died 6th July, 1720. Swift, with some of his usual party, happened to be
in Mr. Sheridan's, in Capel Street, when the news of Demar's death was
brought to them; and the elegy was the joint composition of the
[Footnote 2: A tavern in Dublin, where Demar kept his office.--_F_.]
[Footnote 3: These four lines were written by Stella.--_F_.]
EPITAPH ON THE SAME
Beneath this verdant hillock lies
Demar, the wealthy and the wise,
His heirs, that he might safely rest,
Have put his carcass in a chest;
The very chest in which, they say,
His other self, his money, lay.
And, if his heirs continue kind
To that dear self he left behind,
I dare believe, that four in five
Will think his better self alive.
"His heirs for winding sheet bestow'd
His money bags together sew'd
And that he might securely rest,"
Variation--From the Chetwode MS.--_W. E. B_.]
TO MRS. HOUGHTON OF BOURMONT,
ON PRAISING HER HUSBAND TO DR. SWIFT
You always are making a god of your spouse;
But this neither Reason nor Conscience allows;
Perhaps you will say, 'tis in gratitude due,
And you adore him, because he adores you.
Your argument's weak, and so you will find;
For you, by this rule, must adore all mankind.
WRITTEN ON A WINDOW, AT THE DEANERY HOUSE, ST. PATRICK'S
Are the guests of this house still doom'd to be cheated?
Sure the Fates have decreed they by halves should be treated.
In the days of good John if you came here to dine,
You had choice of good meat, but no choice of good wine.
In Jonathan's reign, if you come here to eat,
You have choice of good wine, but no choice of good meat.
O Jove! then how fully might all sides be blest,
Wouldst thou but agree to this humble request!
Put both deans in one; or, if that's too much trouble,
Instead of the deans, make the deanery double.
[Footnote 1: Dr. Sterne, the predecessor of Swift in the deanery of St.
Patrick's, and afterwards Bishop of Clogher, was distinguished for his
hospitality. See Journal to Stella, _passim_, "Prose Works," vol.
ii--_W. E. B._]
ON ANOTHER WINDOW
A bard, on whom Phoebus his spirit bestow'd,
Resolving t'acknowledge the bounty he owed,
Found out a new method at once of confessing,
And making the most of so mighty a blessing:
To the God he'd be grateful; but mortals he'd chouse,
By making his patron preside in his house;
And wisely foresaw this advantage from thence,
That the God would in honour bear most of th'expense;
So the bard he finds drink, and leaves Phoebus to treat
With the thoughts he inspires, regardless of meat.
Hence they that come hither expecting to dine,
Are always fobb'd off with sheer wit and sheer wine.
[Footnote 1: Written by Dr. Delany, in conjunction with Stella, as
appears from the verses which follow.--_Scott_.]
APOLLO TO THE DEAN. 1720
Right Trusty, and so forth--we let you know
We are very ill used by you mortals below.
For, first, I have often by chemists been told,
(Though I know nothing on't,) it is I that make gold;
Which when you have got, you so carefully hide it,
That, since I was born, I hardly have spied it.
Then it must be allow'd, that, whenever I shine,
I forward the grass, and I ripen the vine;
To me the good fellows apply for relief,
Without whom they could get neither claret nor beef:
Yet their wine and their victuals, those curmudgeon lubbards
Lock up from my sight in cellars and cupboards.
That I have an ill eye, they wickedly think,
And taint all their meat, and sour all their drink.
But, thirdly and lastly, it must be allow'd,
I alone can inspire the poetical crowd:
This is gratefully own'd by each boy in the College,
Whom, if I inspire, it is not to my knowledge.
This every pretender in rhyme will admit,
Without troubling his head about judgment or wit.
These gentlemen use me with kindness and freedom,
And as for their works, when I please I may read 'em.
They lie open on purpose on counters and stalls,
And the titles I view, when I shine on the walls.
But a comrade of yours, that traitor Delany,
Whom I for your sake have used better than any,
And, of my mere motion, and special good grace,
Intended in time to succeed in your place,
On Tuesday the tenth, seditiously came,
With a certain false trait'ress, one Stella by name,
To the Deanery-house, and on the North glass,
Where for fear of the cold I never can pass,
Then and there, vi et armis, with a certain utensil,
Of value five shillings, in English a pencil,
Did maliciously, falsely, and trait'rously write,
While Stella, aforesaid, stood by with a light.
My sister hath lately deposed upon oath,
That she stopt in her course to look at them both;
That Stella was helping, abetting, and aiding;
And still as he writ, stood smiling and reading:
That her eyes were as bright as myself at noon-day,
But her graceful black locks were all mingled with grey:
And by the description, I certainly know,
'Tis the nymph that I courted some ten years ago;
Whom when I with the best of my talents endued,
On her promise of yielding, she acted the prude:
That some verses were writ with felonious intent,
Direct to the North, where I never once went:
That the letters appear'd reversed through the pane,
But in Stella's bright eyes were placed right again;
Wherein she distinctly could read ev'ry line,
And presently guessed the fancy was mine.
She can swear to the Parson whom oft she has seen
At night between Cavan Street and College Green.
Now you see why his verses so seldom are shown,
The reason is plain, they are none of his own;
And observe while you live that no man is shy
To discover the goods he came honestly by.
If I light on a thought, he will certainly steal it,
And when he has got it, find ways to conceal it.
Of all the fine things he keeps in the dark,
There's scarce one in ten but what has my mark;
And let them be seen by the world if he dare,
I'll make it appear they are all stolen ware.
But as for the poem he writ on your sash,
I think I have now got him under my lash;
My sister transcribed it last night to his sorrow,
And the public shall see't, if I live till to-morrow.
Thro' the zodiac around, it shall quickly be spread
In all parts of the globe where your language is read.
He knows very well, I ne'er gave a refusal,
When he ask'd for my aid in the forms that are usual:
But the secret is this; I did lately intend
To write a few verses on you as my friend:
I studied a fortnight, before I could find,
As I rode in my chariot, a thought to my mind,
And resolved the next winter (for that is my time,
When the days are at shortest) to get it in rhyme;
Till then it was lock'd in my box at Parnassus;
When that subtle companion, in hopes to surpass us,
Conveys out my paper of hints by a trick
(For I think in my conscience he deals with old Nick,)
And from my own stock provided with topics,
He gets to a window beyond both the tropics,
There out of my sight, just against the north zone,
Writes down my conceits, and then calls them his own;
And you, like a cully, the bubble can swallow:
Now who but Delany that writes like Apollo?
High treason by statute! yet here you object,
He only stole hints, but the verse is correct;
Though the thought be Apollo's, 'tis finely express'd;
So a thief steals my horse, and has him well dress'd.
Now whereas the said criminal seems past repentance,
We Phoebus think fit to proceed to his sentence.
Since Delany hath dared, like Prometheus his sire,
To climb to our region, and thence to steal fire;
We order a vulture in shape of the Spleen,
To prey on his liver, but not to be seen.
And we order our subjects of every degree
To believe all his verses were written by me:
And under the pain of our highest displeasure,
To call nothing his but the rhyme and the measure.
And, lastly, for Stella, just out of her prime,
I'm too much revenged already by Time,
In return of her scorn, I sent her diseases,
But will now be her friend whenever she pleases.
And the gifts I bestow'd her will find her a lover
Though she lives till she's grey as a badger all over.
[Footnote 1: Collated with the original MS. in Swift's writing, and also
with the copy transcribed by Stella.--_Forster_.]
[Footnote 2: Stella's copy has "the."--_Forster_.]
[Footnote 3: Diana.]
[Footnote 4: As originally written, this passage ran:
"Wherein she distinctly could read ev'ry line
And found by the wit the Fancy was mine
For none of his poems were ever yet shown
Which he in his conscience could claim for his own."
NEWS FROM PARNASSUS
BY DR. DELANY
OCCASIONED BY "APOLLO TO THE DEAN" 1720
Parnassus, February the twenty-seventh.
The poets assembled here on the eleventh,
Convened by Apollo, who gave them to know
He'd have a vicegerent in his empire below;
But declared that no bard should this honour inherit,
Till the rest had agreed he surpass'd them in merit:
Now this, you'll allow, was a difficult case,
For each bard believed he'd a right to the place;
So, finding the assembly grow warm in debate,
He put them in mind of his Phaethon's fate:
'Twas urged to no purpose; disputes higher rose,
Scarce Phoebus himself could their quarrels compose;
Till at length he determined that every bard
Should (each in his turn) be patiently heard.
First, one who believed he excell'd in translation,
Founds his claim on the doctrine of man's transmigration:
"Since the soul of great Milton was given to me,
I hope the convention will quickly agree."--
"Agree;" quoth Apollo: "from whence is this fool?
Is he just come from reading Pythagoras at school?
Begone, sir, you've got your subscriptions in time,
And given in return neither reason nor rhyme."
To the next says the God, "Though now I won't chuse you,
I'll tell you the reason for which I refuse you:
Love's Goddess has oft to her parents complain'd,
Of my favouring a bard who her empire disdain'd;
That at my instigation, a poem you writ,
Which to beauty and youth preferr'd judgment and wit;
That, to make you a Laureate, I gave the first voice,
Inspiring the Britons t'approve of my choice.
Jove sent her to me, her power to try;
The Goddess of Beauty what God can deny?
She forbids your preferment; I grant her desire.
Appease the fair Goddess: you then may rise higher."
The next that appear'd had good hopes of succeeding,
For he merited much for his wit and his breeding.
'Twas wise in the Britons no favour to show him,
He else might expect they should pay what they owe him.
And therefore they prudently chose to discard
The Patriot, whose merits they would not reward:
The God, with a smile, bade his favourite advance,
"You were sent by Astraea her envoy to France:
You bend your ambition to rise in the state;
I refuse you, because you could stoop to be great."
Then a bard who had been a successful translator,
"The convention allows me a versificator."
Says Apollo, "You mention the least of your merit;
By your works, it appears you have much of my spirit.
I esteem you so well, that, to tell you the truth,
The greatest objection against you's your youth;
Then be not concern'd you are now laid aside;
If you live you shall certainly one day preside."
Another, low bending, Apollo thus greets,
"'Twas I taught your subjects to walk through the streets."
You taught them to walk! why, they knew it before;
But give me the bard that can teach them to soar.
Whenever he claims, 'tis his right, I'll confess,
Who lately attempted my style with success;
Who writes like Apollo has most of his spirit,
And therefore 'tis just I distinguish his merit:
Who makes it appear, by all he has writ,
His judgment alone can set bounds to his wit;
Like Virgil correct, with his own native ease,
But excels even Virgil in elegant praise:
Who admires the ancients, and knows 'tis their due
Yet writes in a manner entirely new;
Though none with more ease their depths can explore,
Yet whatever he wants he takes from my store;
Though I'm fond of his virtues, his pride I can see,
In scorning to borrow from any but me:
It is owing to this, that, like Cynthia, his lays
Enlighten the world by reflecting my rays.
This said, the whole audience soon found out his drift:
The convention was summon'd in favour of SWIFT.
[Footnote 1: Dr. Trapp or Trap, ridiculed by Swift in "The Tatler," No.
66, as parson Dapper. He was sent to Ireland as chaplain to Sir
Constantine Phipps, Lord Chancellor, in 1710-11. But in July, 1712, Swift
writes to Stella, "I have made Trap chaplain to Lord Bolingbroke, and
he is mighty happy and thankful for it." He translated the "Aeneid" into
blank verse.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Prior, concerning whose "Journey to France," Swift wrote a
"formal relation, all pure invention," which had a great sale, and was a
"pure bite." See Journal to Stella, Sept., 1711.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: Pope, and his translations of the "Iliad" and
"Odyssey."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: Gay; alluding to his "Trivia."--_N_.]
[Footnote 5: Diana.]
OCCASIONED BY "NEWS FROM PARNASSUS"
Ireland is now our royal care,
We lately fix'd our viceroy there.
How near was she to be undone,
Till pious love inspired her son!
What cannot our vicegerent do,
As poet and as patriot too?
Let his success our subjects sway,
Our inspirations to obey,
And follow where he leads the way:
Then study to correct your taste;
Nor beaten paths be longer traced.
No simile shall be begun,
With rising or with setting sun;
And let the secret head of Nile
Be ever banish'd from your isle.
When wretched lovers live on air,
I beg you'll the chameleon spare;
And when you'd make a hero grander,
Forget he's like a salamander.
No son of mine shall dare to say,
Aurora usher'd in the day,
Or ever name the milky-way.
You all agree, I make no doubt,
Elijah's mantle is worn out.
The bird of Jove shall toil no more
To teach the humble wren to soar.
Your tragic heroes shall not rant,
Nor shepherds use poetic cant.
Simplicity alone can grace
The manners of the rural race.
Theocritus and Philips be
Your guides to true simplicity.
When Damon's soul shall take its flight,
Though poets have the second-sight,
They shall not see a trail of light.
Nor shall the vapours upwards rise,
Nor a new star adorn the skies:
For who can hope to place one there,
As glorious as Belinda's hair?
Yet, if his name you'd eternize,
And must exalt him to the skies;
Without a star this may be done:
So Tickell mourn'd his Addison.
If Anna's happy reign you praise,
Pray, not a word of halcyon days:
Nor let my votaries show their skill
In aping lines from Cooper's Hill;
For know I cannot bear to hear
The mimicry of "deep, yet clear."
Whene'er my viceroy is address'd,
Against the phoenix I protest.
When poets soar in youthful strains,
No Phaethon to hold the reins.
When you describe a lovely girl,
No lips of coral, teeth of pearl.
Cupid shall ne'er mistake another,
However beauteous, for his mother;
Nor shall his darts at random fly
From magazine in Celia's eye.
With woman compounds I am cloy'd,
Which only pleased in Biddy Floyd.
For foreign aid what need they roam,
Whom fate has amply blest at home?
Unerring Heaven, with bounteous hand,
Has form'd a model for your land,
Whom Jove endued with every grace;
The glory of the Granard race;
Now destined by the powers divine
The blessing of another line.
Then, would you paint a matchless dame,
Whom you'd consign to endless fame?
Invoke not Cytherea's aid,
Nor borrow from the blue-eyed maid;
Nor need you on the Graces call;
Take qualities from Donegal.
[Footnote 1: See the "Description of a Salamander," _ante_, p.
46.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 2: Denham's Poem.]
[Footnote 3: _Ante_, p. 50.]
[Footnote 4: Lady Catherine Forbes, daughter of the first Earl of
Granard, and second wife of Arthur, third Earl of Donegal.--_Scott_.]
THE DESCRIPTION OF AN IRISH FEAST
Given by O'Rourke, a powerful chieftain of Ulster in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, previously to his making a visit to her court. A song was
composed upon the tradition of the feast, the fame of which having
reached Swift, he was supplied with a literal version, from which he
executed the following very spirited translation.--_W. E. B._
TRANSLATED ALMOST LITERALLY OUT OF THE ORIGINAL IRISH. 1720
O'ROURKE'S noble fare
Will ne'er be forgot,
By those who were there,
Or those who were not.
His revels to keep,
We sup and we dine
On seven score sheep,
Fat bullocks, and swine.
Usquebaugh to our feast
In pails was brought up,
A hundred at least,
And a madder our cup.
O there is the sport!
We rise with the light
In disorderly sort,
From snoring all night.
O how was I trick'd!
My pipe it was broke,
My pocket was pick'd,
I lost my new cloak.
I'm rifled, quoth Nell,
Of mantle and kercher,
Why then fare them well,
The de'el take the searcher.
Come, harper, strike up;
But, first, by your favour,
Boy, give us a cup:
Ah! this hath some savour.
O'Rourke's jolly boys
Ne'er dreamt of the matter,
Till, roused by the noise,
And musical clatter,
They bounce from their nest,
No longer will tarry,
They rise ready drest,
Without one Ave-Mary.
They dance in a round,
Cutting capers and ramping;
A mercy the ground
Did not burst with their stamping.
The floor is all wet
With leaps and with jumps,
While the water and sweat
Splish-splash in their pumps.
Bless you late and early,
But, my hand, you dance rarely.
Bring straw for our bed,
Shake it down to the feet,
Then over us spread
The winnowing sheet.
To show I don't flinch,
Fill the bowl up again:
Then give us a pinch
Of your sneezing, a Yean.
Good lord! what a sight,
After all their good cheer,
For people to fight
In the midst of their beer!
They rise from their feast,
And hot are their brains,
A cubit at least
The length of their skeans.
What stabs and what cuts,
What clattering of sticks;
What strokes on the guts,
What bastings and kicks!
With cudgels of oak,
Well harden'd in flame,
A hundred heads broke,
A hundred struck lame.
You churl, I'll maintain
My father built Lusk,
The castle of Slane,
And Carrick Drumrusk:
The Earl of Kildare,
And Moynalta his brother,
As great as they are,
I was nurst by their mother.
Ask that of old madam:
She'll tell you who's who,
As far up as Adam,
She knows it is true.
Come down with that beam,
If cudgels are scarce,
A blow on the weam,
Or a kick on the a----se.
[Footnote 1: A wooden vessel.--_F_.]
[Footnote 2: A covering of linen, worn on the heads of the
[Footnote 3: The name of an Irishman.--_F_.]
[Footnote 4: An Irish oath.--_F_.]
[Footnote 5: The name of an Irishwoman.--_F_.]
[Footnote 6: Surname of an Irishwoman.--_F_.]
[Footnote 7: Daggers, or short swords,--_F_.]
[Footnote 8: It is the custom in Ireland to call nurses, foster-mothers;
their husbands, foster-fathers; and their children, foster-brothers or
foster-sisters; and thus the poorest claim kindred to the rich.--_F_.]
THE PROGRESS OF BEAUTY. 1719
When first Diana leaves her bed,
Vapours and steams her looks disgrace,
A frowzy dirty-colour'd red
Sits on her cloudy wrinkled face:
But by degrees, when mounted high,
Her artificial face appears
Down from her window in the sky,
Her spots are gone, her visage clears.
'Twixt earthly females and the moon,
All parallels exactly run;
If Celia should appear too soon,
Alas, the nymph would be undone!
To see her from her pillow rise,
All reeking in a cloudy steam,
Crack'd lips, foul teeth, and gummy eyes,
Poor Strephon! how would he blaspheme!
The soot or powder which was wont
To make her hair look black as jet,
Falls from her tresses on her front,
A mingled mass of dirt and sweat.
Three colours, black, and red, and white
So graceful in their proper place,
Remove them to a different light,
They form a frightful hideous face:
For instance, when the lily slips
Into the precincts of the rose,
And takes possession of the lips,
Leaving the purple to the nose:
So Celia went entire to bed,
All her complexion safe and sound;
But, when she rose, the black and red,
Though still in sight, had changed their ground.
The black, which would not be confined,
A more inferior station seeks,
Leaving the fiery red behind,
And mingles in her muddy cheeks.
The paint by perspiration cracks,
And falls in rivulets of sweat,
On either side you see the tracks
While at her chin the conflu'nts meet.
A skilful housewife thus her thumb,
With spittle while she spins anoints;
And thus the brown meanders come
In trickling streams betwixt her joints.
But Celia can with ease reduce,
By help of pencil, paint, and brush,
Each colour to its place and use,
And teach her cheeks again to blush.
She knows her early self no more,
But fill'd with admiration stands;
As other painters oft adore
The workmanship of their own hands.
Thus, after four important hours,
Celia's the wonder of her sex;
Say, which among the heavenly powers
Could cause such wonderful effects?
Venus, indulgent to her kind,
Gave women all their hearts could wish,
When first she taught them where to find
White lead, and Lusitanian dish.
Love with white lead cements his wings;
White lead was sent us to repair
Two brightest, brittlest, earthly things,
A lady's face, and China-ware.
She ventures now to lift the sash;
The window is her proper sphere;
Ah, lovely nymph! be not too rash,
Nor let the beaux approach too near.
Take pattern by your sister star;
Delude at once and bless our sight;
When you are seen, be seen from far,
And chiefly choose to shine by night.
In the Pall Mall when passing by,
Keep up the glasses of your chair,
Then each transported fop will cry,
"G----d d----n me, Jack, she's wondrous fair!"
But art no longer can prevail,
When the materials all are gone;
The best mechanic hand must fail,
Where nothing's left to work upon.
Matter, as wise logicians say,
Cannot without a form subsist;
And form, say I, as well as they,
Must fail if matter brings no grist.
And this is fair Diana's case;
For, all astrologers maintain,
Each night a bit drops off her face,
When mortals say she's in her wane:
While Partridge wisely shows the cause
Efficient of the moon's decay,
That Cancer with his pois'nous claws
Attacks her in the milky way:
But Gadbury, in art profound,
From her pale cheeks pretends to show
That swain Endymion is not sound,
Or else that Mercury's her foe.
But let the cause be what it will,
In half a month she looks so thin,
That Flamsteed can, with all his skill,
See but her forehead and her chin.
Yet, as she wastes, she grows discreet,
Till midnight never shows her head;
So rotting Celia strolls the street,
When sober folks are all a-bed:
For sure, if this be Luna's fate,
Poor Celia, but of mortal race,
In vain expects a longer date
To the materials of her face.
When Mercury her tresses mows,
To think of oil and soot is vain:
No painting can restore a nose,
Nor will her teeth return again.
Two balls of glass may serve for eyes,
White lead can plaister up a cleft;
But these, alas, are poor supplies
If neither cheeks nor lips be left.
Ye powers who over love preside!
Since mortal beauties drop so soon,
If ye would have us well supplied,
Send us new nymphs with each new moon!
[Footnote 1: Collated with the copy transcribed by
[Footnote 2: Gadbury, an astrologer, wrote a series of
ephemerides.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: John Flamsteed, the celebrated astronomer-royal, born in
August, 1646, died in December, 1719. For a full account of him, see
"Dictionary of National Biography."--_W. E. B._]
THE PROGRESS OF MARRIAGE
AETATIS SUAE fifty-two,
A reverend Dean began to woo
A handsome, young, imperious girl,
Nearly related to an earl.
Her parents and her friends consent;
The couple to the temple went:
They first invite the Cyprian queen;
'Twas answer'd, "She would not be seen;"
But Cupid in disdain could scarce
Forbear to bid them kiss his ----
The Graces next, and all the Muses,
Were bid in form, but sent excuses.
Juno attended at the porch,
With farthing candle for a torch;
While mistress Iris held her train,
The faded bow bedropt with rain.
Then Hebe came, and took her place,
But show'd no more than half her face.
Whate'er these dire forebodings meant,
In joy the marriage-day was spent;
The marriage-_day_, you take me right,
I promise nothing for the night.
The bridegroom, drest to make a figure,
Assumes an artificial vigour;
A flourish'd nightcap on, to grace
His ruddy, wrinkled, smirking face;
Like the faint red upon a pippin,
Half wither'd by a winter's keeping.
And thus set out this happy pair,
The swain is rich, the nymph is fair;
But, what I gladly would forget,
The swain is old, the nymph coquette.
Both from the goal together start;
Scarce run a step before they part;
No common ligament that binds
The various textures of their minds;
Their thoughts and actions, hopes and fears,
Less corresponding than their years.
The Dean desires his coffee soon,
She rises to her tea at noon.
While the Dean goes out to cheapen books,
She at the glass consults her looks;
While Betty's buzzing at her ear,
Lord, what a dress these parsons wear!
So odd a choice how could she make!
Wish'd him a colonel for her sake.
Then, on her finger ends she counts,
Exact, to what his age amounts.
The Dean, she heard her uncle say,
Is sixty, if he be a day;
His ruddy cheeks are no disguise;
You see the crow's feet round his eyes.
At one she rambles to the shops,
To cheapen tea, and talk with fops;
Or calls a council of her maids,
And tradesmen, to compare brocades.
Her weighty morning business o'er,
Sits down to dinner just at four;
Minds nothing that is done or said,
Her evening work so fills her head.
The Dean, who used to dine at one,
Is mawkish, and his stomach's gone;
In threadbare gown, would scarce a louse hold,
Looks like the chaplain of the household;
Beholds her, from the chaplain's place,
In French brocades, and Flanders lace;
He wonders what employs her brain,
But never asks, or asks in vain;
His mind is full of other cares,
And, in the sneaking parson's airs,
Computes, that half a parish dues
Will hardly find his wife in shoes.
Canst thou imagine, dull divine,
'Twill gain her love, to make her fine?
Hath she no other wants beside?
You feed her lust as well as pride,
Enticing coxcombs to adore,
And teach her to despise thee more.
If in her coach she'll condescend
To place him at the hinder end,
Her hoop is hoist above his nose,
His odious gown would soil her clothes.
She drops him at the church, to pray,
While she drives on to see the play.
He like an orderly divine,
Comes home a quarter after nine,
And meets her hasting to the ball:
Her chairmen push him from the wall.
The Dean gets in and walks up stairs,
And calls the family to prayers;
Then goes alone to take his rest
In bed, where he can spare her best.
At five the footmen make a din,
Her ladyship is just come in;
The masquerade began at two,
She stole away with much ado;
And shall be chid this afternoon,
For leaving company so soon:
She'll say, and she may truly say't,
She can't abide to stay out late.
But now, though scarce a twelvemonth married,
Poor Lady Jane has thrice miscarried:
The cause, alas! is quickly guest;
The town has whisper'd round the jest.
Think on some remedy in time,
The Dean you see, is past his prime,
Already dwindled to a lath:
No other way but try the Bath.
For Venus, rising from the ocean,
Infused a strong prolific potion,
That mix'd with Acheloüs spring,
The horned flood, as poets sing,
Who, with an English beauty smitten,
Ran under ground from Greece to Britain;
The genial virtue with him brought,
And gave the nymph a plenteous draught;
Then fled, and left his horn behind,
For husbands past their youth to find;
The nymph, who still with passion burn'd,
Was to a boiling fountain turn'd,
Where childless wives crowd every morn,
To drink in Acheloüs horn;
Or bathe beneath the Cross their limbs
Where fruitful matter chiefly swims.
And here the father often gains
That title by another's pains.
Hither, though much against his grain
The Dean has carried Lady Jane.
He, for a while, would not consent,
But vow'd his money all was spent:
Was ever such a clownish reason!
And must my lady slip her season?
The doctor, with a double fee,
Was bribed to make the Dean agree.
Here, all diversions of the place
Are proper in my lady's case:
With which she patiently complies,
Merely because her friends advise;
His money and her time employs
In music, raffling-rooms, and toys;
Or in the Cross-bath seeks an heir,
Since others oft have found one there;
Where if the Dean by chance appears,
It shames his cassock and his years.
He keeps his distance in the gallery,
Till banish'd by some coxcomb's raillery;
For 'twould his character expose,
To bathe among the belles and beaux.
So have I seen, within a pen,
Young ducklings foster'd by a hen;
But, when let out, they run and muddle,
As instinct leads them, in a puddle;
The sober hen, not born to swim,
With mournful note clucks round the brim.
The Dean, with all his best endeavour,
Gets not an heir, but gets a fever.
A victim to the last essays
Of vigour in declining days,
He dies, and leaves his mourning mate
(What could he less?) his whole estate.
The widow goes through all her forms:
New lovers now will come in swarms.
O, may I see her soon dispensing
Her favours to some broken ensign!
Him let her marry for his face,
And only coat of tarnish'd lace;
To turn her naked out of doors,
And spend her jointure on his whores;
But, for a parting present, leave her
A rooted pox to last for ever!
[Footnote 1: Collated with Swift's original MS. in my possession, dated
"A rich divine began to woo,"
"A grave divine resolved to woo,"
are Swift's successive changes of this line.--_Forster_.]
[Footnote 3: "Philippa, daughter to an Earl," is the original text, but
he changed it on changing the lady's name to Jane.--_Forster_.]
[Footnote 4: Scott prints "her."--_Forster_.]
[Footnote 5: Swift has writ in the margin:
"If by a more than usual grace
She lends him in her chariot place,
Her hoop is hoist above his nose
For fear his gown should soil her clothes."--_Forster_.]
[Footnote 6: For this fable, see Ovid, "Metam.," lib.
ix.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 7: So named from a very curious cross or pillar which was
erected in it in 1687 by John, Earl of Melfort, Secretary of State to
James the Second, in honour of the King's second wife, Mary Beatrice of
Modena, having conceived after bathing there.--Collinson's "History of
Somersetshire."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 8: "Meanwhile stands cluckling at the brim," the first
[Footnote 9: "The best of heirs" in first draft.--_Forster_.]
THE PROGRESS OF POETRY
The farmer's goose, who in the stubble
Has fed without restraint or trouble,
Grown fat with corn and sitting still,
Can scarce get o'er the barn-door sill;
And hardly waddles forth to cool
Her belly in the neighbouring pool!
Nor loudly cackles at the door;
For cackling shows the goose is poor.
But, when she must be turn'd to graze,
And round the barren common strays,
Hard exercise, and harder fare,
Soon make my dame grow lank and spare;
Her body light, she tries her wings,
And scorns the ground, and upward springs;
While all the parish, as she flies,
Hear sounds harmonious from the skies.
Such is the poet fresh in pay,
The third night's profits of his play;
His morning draughts till noon can swill,
Among his brethren of the quill:
With good roast beef his belly full,
Grown lazy, foggy, fat, and dull,
Deep sunk in plenty and delight,
What poet e'er could take his flight?
Or, stuff'd with phlegm up to the throat,
What poet e'er could sing a note?
Nor Pegasus could bear the load
Along the high celestial road;
The steed, oppress'd, would break his girth,
To raise the lumber from the earth.
But view him in another scene,
When all his drink is Hippocrene,
His money spent, his patrons fail,
His credit out for cheese and ale;
His two-years coat so smooth and bare,
Through every thread it lets in air;
With hungry meals his body pined,
His guts and belly full of wind;
And, like a jockey for a race,
His flesh brought down to flying case:
Now his exalted spirit loathes
Encumbrances of food and clothes;
And up he rises like a vapour,
Supported high on wings of paper.
He singing flies, and flying sings,
While from below all Grub-Street rings.
THE SOUTH-SEA PROJECT. 1721
Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto,
Arma virûm, tabulaeque, et Troïa gaza per undas.
For particulars of this famous scheme for reducing the National Debt,
projected by Sir John Blunt, who became one of the Directors of it, and
ultimately one of the greatest sufferers by it, when the Bubble burst,
see Smollett's "History of England," vol. ii; Pope's "Moral Essays,"
Epist. iii, and notes; and Gibbon's "Memoirs," for the violent and
arbitrary proceedings against the Directors, one of whom was his
grandfather.--_W. E. B._
Ye wise philosophers, explain
What magic makes our money rise,
When dropt into the Southern main;
Or do these jugglers cheat our eyes?
Put in your money fairly told;
_Presto_! be gone--'Tis here again:
Ladies and gentlemen, behold,
Here's every piece as big as ten.
Thus in a basin drop a shilling,
Then fill the vessel to the brim,
You shall observe, as you are filling,
The pond'rous metal seems to swim:
It rises both in bulk and height,
Behold it swelling like a sop;
The liquid medium cheats your sight:
Behold it mounted to the top!
In stock three hundred thousand pounds,
I have in view a lord's estate;
My manors all contiguous round!
A coach-and-six, and served in plate!
Thus the deluded bankrupt raves,
Puts all upon a desperate bet;
Then plunges in the Southern waves,
Dipt over head and ears--in debt.
So, by a calenture misled,
The mariner with rapture sees,
On the smooth ocean's azure bed,
Enamell'd fields and verdant trees:
With eager haste he longs to rove
In that fantastic scene, and thinks
It must be some enchanted grove;
And in he leaps, and down he sinks.
Five hundred chariots just bespoke,
Are sunk in these devouring waves,
The horses drown'd, the harness broke,
And here the owners find their graves.
Like Pharaoh, by directors led,
They with their spoils went safe before;
His chariots, tumbling out the dead,
Lay shatter'd on the Red Sea shore.
Raised up on Hope's aspiring plumes,
The young adventurer o'er the deep
An eagle's flight and state assumes,
And scorns the middle way to keep.
On paper wings he takes his flight,
With wax the father bound them fast;
The wax is melted by the height,
And down the towering boy is cast.
A moralist might here explain
The rashness of the Cretan youth;
Describe his fall into the main,
And from a fable form a truth.
His wings are his paternal rent,
He melts the wax at every flame;
His credit sunk, his money spent,
In Southern Seas he leaves his name.
Inform us, you that best can tell,
Why in that dangerous gulf profound,
Where hundreds and where thousands fell,
Fools chiefly float, the wise are drown'd?
So have I seen from Severn's brink
A flock of geese jump down together;
Swim where the bird of Jove would sink,
And, swimming, never wet a feather.
But, I affirm, 'tis false in fact,
Directors better knew their tools;
We see the nation's credit crack'd,
Each knave has made a thousand fools.
One fool may from another win,
And then get off with money stored;
But, if a sharper once comes in,
He throws it all, and sweeps the board.
As fishes on each other prey,
The great ones swallowing up the small,
So fares it in the Southern Sea;
The whale directors eat up all.
When stock is high, they come between,
Making by second-hand their offers;
Then cunningly retire unseen,
With each a million in his coffers.
So, when upon a moonshine night,
An ass was drinking at a stream,
A cloud arose, and stopt the light,
By intercepting every beam:
The day of judgment will be soon,
Cries out a sage among the crowd;
An ass has swallow'd up the moon!
The moon lay safe behind the cloud.
Each poor subscriber to the sea
Sinks down at once, and there he lies;
Directors fall as well as they,
Their fall is but a trick to rise.
So fishes, rising from the main,
Can soar with moisten'd wings on high;
The moisture dried, they sink again,
And dip their fins again to fly.
Undone at play, the female troops
Come here their losses to retrieve;
Ride o'er the waves in spacious hoops,
Like Lapland witches in a sieve.
Thus Venus to the sea descends,
As poets feign; but where's the moral?
It shows the Queen of Love intends
To search the deep for pearl and coral.
The sea is richer than the land,
I heard it from my grannam's mouth,
Which now I clearly understand;
For by the sea she meant the South.
Thus, by directors we are told,
"Pray, gentlemen, believe your eyes;
Our ocean's cover'd o'er with gold,
Look round, and see how thick it lies:
"We, gentlemen, are your assisters,
We'll come, and hold you by the chin."--
Alas! all is not gold that glisters,
Ten thousand sink by leaping in.
O! would those patriots be so kind,
Here in the deep to wash their hands,
Then, like Pactolus, we should find
The sea indeed had golden sands.
A shilling in the bath you fling,
The silver takes a nobler hue,
By magic virtue in the spring,
And seems a guinea to your view.
But, as a guinea will not pass
At market for a farthing more,
Shown through a multiplying glass,
Than what it always did before:
So cast it in the Southern seas,
Or view it through a jobber's bill;
Put on what spectacles you please,
Your guinea's but a guinea still.
One night a fool into a brook
Thus from a hillock looking down,
The golden stars for guineas took,
And silver Cynthia for a crown.
The point he could no longer doubt;
He ran, he leapt into the flood;
There sprawl'd a while, and scarce got out,
All cover'd o'er with slime and mud.
"Upon the water cast thy bread,
And after many days thou'lt find it;"
But gold, upon this ocean spread,
Shall sink, and leave no mark behind it:
There is a gulf, where thousands fell,
Here all the bold adventurers came,
A narrow sound, though deep as Hell--
'Change Alley is the dreadful name.
Nine times a-day it ebbs and flows,
Yet he that on the surface lies,
Without a pilot seldom knows
The time it falls, or when 'twill rise.
Subscribers here by thousands float,
And jostle one another down;
Each paddling in his leaky boat,
And here they fish for gold, and drown.
"Now buried in the depth below,
Now mounted up to Heaven again,
They reel and stagger to and fro,
At their wits' end, like drunken men."
Meantime, secure on Garway cliffs,
A savage race, by shipwrecks fed,
Lie waiting for the founder'd skiffs,
And strip the bodies of the dead.
But these, you say, are factious lies,
From some malicious Tory's brain;
For, where directors get a prize,
The Swiss and Dutch whole millions drain.
Thus, when by rooks a lord is plied,
Some cully often wins a bet,
By venturing on the cheating side,
Though not into the secret let.
While some build castles in the air,
Directors build them in the seas;
Subscribers plainly see them there,
For fools will see as wise men please.
Thus oft by mariners are shown
(Unless the men of Kent are liars)
Earl Godwin's castles overflown,
And palace roofs, and steeple spires.
Mark where the sly directors creep,
Nor to the shore approach too nigh!
The monsters nestle in the deep,
To seize you in your passing by.
Then, like the dogs of Nile, be wise,
Who, taught by instinct how to shun
The crocodile, that lurking lies,
Run as they drink, and drink and run.
Antæus could, by magic charms,
Recover strength whene'er he fell;
Alcides held him in his arms,
And sent him up in air to Hell.
Directors, thrown into the sea,
Recover strength and vigour there;
But may be tamed another way,
Suspended for a while in air.
Directors! for 'tis you I warn,
By long experience we have found
What planet ruled when you were born;
We see you never can be drown'd.
Beware, nor overbulky grow,
Nor come within your cully's reach;
For, if the sea should sink so low
To leave you dry upon the beach,
You'll owe your ruin to your bulk:
Your foes already waiting stand,
To tear you like a founder'd hulk,
While you lie helpless on the sand.
Thus, when a whale has lost the tide,
The coasters crowd to seize the spoil:
The monster into parts divide,
And strip the bones, and melt the oil.
Oh! may some western tempest sweep
These locusts whom our fruits have fed,
That plague, directors, to the deep,
Driven from the South Sea to the Red!
May he, whom Nature's laws obey,
Who lifts the poor, and sinks the proud,
"Quiet the raging of the sea,
And still the madness of the crowd!"
But never shall our isle have rest,
Till those devouring swine run down,
(The devils leaving the possest)
And headlong in the waters drown.
The nation then too late will find,
Computing all their cost and trouble,
Directors' promises but wind,
South Sea, at best, a mighty bubble.
[Footnote 1: Phaëthon. Ovid, "Metam.," lib. ii.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: See the fable of Midas. Ovid, "Metam.," lib.
xi.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: Ecclesiastes, xi, I.]
[Footnote 4: Psalm cvii, 26, 27.]
[Footnote 5: Garraway's auction room and coffee-house, closed in
1866.--_W. E. B._]
FABULA CANIS ET UMBRAE
ORE cibum portans catulus dum spectat in undis,
Apparet liquido praedae melioris imago:
Dum speciosa diu damna admiratur, et altè
Ad latices inhiat, cadit imo vortice praeceps
Ore cibus, nee non simulacrum corripit una.
Occupat ille avidus deceptis faucibus umbram;
Illudit species, ac dentibus aëra mordet.
BILLET TO A COMPANY OF PLAYERS SENT WITH THE PROLOGUE
The enclosed prologue is formed upon the story of the secretary's not
allowing you to act, unless you would pay him £300 per annum; upon
which you got a license from the Lord Mayor to act as strollers.
The prologue supposes, that upon your being forbidden to act, a company
of country strollers came and hired the playhouse, and your clothes,
etc. to act in.
Our set of strollers, wandering up and down,
Hearing the house was empty, came to town;
And, with a license from our good lord mayor,
Went to one Griffith, formerly a player:
Him we persuaded, with a moderate bribe,
To speak to Elrington and all the tribe,
To let our company supply their places,
And hire us out their scenes, and clothes, and faces.
Is not the truth the truth? Look full on me;
I am not Elrington, nor Griffith he.
When we perform, look sharp among our crew,
There's not a creature here you ever knew.
The former folks were servants to the king;
We, humble strollers, always on the wing.
Now, for my part, I think, upon the whole,
Rather than starve, a better man would stroll.
Stay! let me see--Three hundred pounds a-year,
For leave to act in town!--'Tis plaguy dear.
Now, here's a warrant; gallants, please to mark,
For three thirteens, and sixpence to the clerk.
Three hundred pounds! Were I the price to fix,
The public should bestow the actors six;
A score of guineas given underhand,
For a good word or so, we understand.
To help an honest lad that's out of place,
May cost a crown or so; a common case:
And, in a crew, 'tis no injustice thought
To ship a rogue, and pay him not a groat.
But, in the chronicles of former ages,
Who ever heard of servants paying wages?
I pity Elrington with all my heart;
Would he were here this night to act my part!
I told him what it was to be a stroller;
How free we acted, and had no comptroller:
In every town we wait on Mr. Mayor,
First get a license, then produce our ware;
We sound a trumpet, or we beat a drum:
Huzza! (the schoolboys roar) the players are come;
And then we cry, to spur the bumpkins on,
Gallants, by Tuesday next we must be gone.
I told him in the smoothest way I could,
All this, and more, yet it would do no good.
But Elrington, tears falling from his cheeks,
He that has shone with Betterton and Wilks,
To whom our country has been always dear,
Who chose to leave his dearest pledges here,
Owns all your favours, here intends to stay,
And, as a stroller, act in every play:
And the whole crew this resolution takes,
To live and die all strollers, for your sakes;
Not frighted with an ignominious name,
For your displeasure is their only shame.
A pox on Elrington's majestic tone!
Now to a word of business in our own.
Gallants, next Thursday night will be our last:
Then without fail we pack up for Belfast.
Lose not your time, nor our diversion miss,
The next we act shall be as good as this.
[Footnote 1: Thomas Elrington, born in 1688, an English actor of great
reputation at Drury Lane from 1709 till 1712, when he was engaged by
Joseph Ashbury, manager of the Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. After the
death of Ashbury, whose daughter he had married, he succeeded to the
management of the theatre, and enjoyed high social and artistic
consideration. He died in July, 1732.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Two celebrated actors: Betterton in tragedy, and Wilks in
comedy. See "The Tatler," Nos. 71, 157, 167, 182, and notes, edit. 1786;
Colley Cibber's "Apology "; and "Dictionary of National
Biography."--_W. E. B._]
TO MR. HOPPY'S BENEFIT-NIGHT, AT SMOCK-ALLEY
HOLD! hold, my good friends; for one moment, pray stop ye,
I return ye my thanks, in the name of poor Hoppy.
He's not the first person who never did write,
And yet has been fed by a benefit-night.
The custom is frequent, on my word I assure ye,
In our famed elder house, of the Hundreds of Drury.
But then you must know, those players still act on
Some very good reasons, for such benefaction.
A deceased poet's widow, if pretty, can't fail;
From Cibber she holds, as a tenant in tail.
Your emerited actors, and actresses too,
For what they have done (though no more they can do)
And sitters, and songsters, and Chetwood and G----,
And sometimes a poor sufferer in the South Sea;
A machine-man, a tire-woman, a mute, and a spright,
Have been all kept from starving by a benefit-night.
Thus, for Hoppy's bright merits, at length we have found
That he must have of us ninety-nine and one pound,
Paid to him clear money once every year:
And however some think it a little too dear,
Yet, for reasons of state, this sum we'll allow,
Though we pay the good man with the sweat of our brow.
First, because by the King to us he was sent,
To guide the whole session of this parliament.
To preside in our councils, both public and private,
And so learn, by the by, what both houses do drive at.
When bold B---- roars, and meek M---- raves,
When Ash prates by wholesale, or Be----h by halves,
When Whigs become Whims, or join with the Tories;
And to himself constant when a member no more is,
But changes his sides, and votes and unvotes;
As S----t is dull, and with S----d, who dotes;
Then up must get Hoppy, and with voice very low,
And with eloquent bow, the house he must show,
That that worthy member who spoke last must give
The freedom to him, humbly most, to conceive,
That his sentiment on this affair isn't right;
That he mightily wonders which way he came by't:
That, for his part, God knows, he does such things disown;
And so, having convinced him, he most humbly sits down.
For these, and more reasons, which perhaps you may hear,
Pounds hundred this night, and one hundred this year,
And so on we are forced, though we sweat out our blood,
To make these walls pay for poor Hoppy's good;
To supply with rare diet his pot and his spit;
And with richest Margoux to wash down a tit-bit.
To wash oft his fine linen, so clean and so neat,
And to buy him much linen, to fence against sweat:
All which he deserves; for although all the day
He ofttimes is heavy, yet all night he's gay;
And if he rise early to watch for the state,
To keep up his spirits he'll sit up as late.
Thus, for these and more reasons, as before I did say
Hop has got all the money for our acting this play,
Which makes us poor actors look _je ne sçai quoy_.
[Footnote 1: This piece, which relates, like the former, to the
avaricious demands which the Irish Secretary of State made upon the
company of players, is said, in the collection called "Gulliveriana," to
have been composed by Swift, and delivered by him at Gaulstown House. But
it is more likely to have been written by some other among the joyous
guests of the Lord Chief Baron, since it does not exhibit Swift's
accuracy of numbers.--_Scott_. Perhaps so, but the note to this
piece in "Gulliveriana" is "Spoken by the _Captain_, one evening, at the
end of a private farce, acted by gentlemen, for their own diversion at
_Gallstown_"; the "Captain" being Swift, as the leader of the "joyous
guests." This is very different from "composed."--_W. E. B._]
TO A PLAY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE DISTRESSED WEAVERS.
BY DR. SHERIDAN. SPOKEN BY MR. ELRINGTON. 1721
Great cry, and little wool--is now become
The plague and proverb of the weaver's loom;
No wool to work on, neither weft nor warp;
Their pockets empty, and their stomachs sharp.
Provoked, in loud complaints to you they cry;
Ladies, relieve the weavers; or they die!
Forsake your silks for stuff's; nor think it strange
To shift your clothes, since you delight in change.
One thing with freedom I'll presume to tell--
The men will like you every bit as well.
See I am dress'd from top to toe in stuff,
And, by my troth, I think I'm fine enough;
My wife admires me more, and swears she never,
In any dress, beheld me look so clever.
And if a man be better in such ware,
What great advantage must it give the fair!
Our wool from lambs of innocence proceeds;
Silks come from maggots, calicoes from weeds;
Hence 'tis by sad experience that we find
Ladies in silks to vapours much inclined--
And what are they but maggots in the mind?
For which I think it reason to conclude,
That clothes may change our temper like our food.
Chintzes are gawdy, and engage our eyes
Too much about the party-colour'd dyes;
Although the lustre is from you begun,
We see the rainbow, and neglect the sun.
How sweet and innocent's the country maid,
With small expense in native wool array'd;
Who copies from the fields her homely green,
While by her shepherd with delight she's seen!
Should our fair ladies dress like her, in wool
How much more lovely, and how beautiful,
Without their Indian drapery, they'd prove!
While wool would help to warm us into love!
Then, like the famous Argonauts of Greece,
We'll all contend to gain the Golden Fleece!
[Footnote 1: In connection with this Prologue and the Epilogue by the
Dean which follows, see Swift's Papers relating to the use of Irish
Manufactures in "Prose Works," vol. vii.--_W. E. B._]
TO A BENEFIT PLAY, GIVEN IN BEHALF OF THE DISTRESSED WEAVERS.
BY THE DEAN. SPOKEN BY MR. GRIFFITH
Who dares affirm this is no pious age,
When charity begins to tread the stage?
When actors, who at best are hardly savers,
Will give a night of benefit to weavers?
Stay--let me see, how finely will it sound!
_Imprimis_, From his grace a hundred pound.
Peers, clergy, gentry, all are benefactors;
And then comes in the _item_ of the actors.
_Item_, The actors freely give a day--
The poet had no more who made the play.
But whence this wondrous charity in players?
They learn it not at sermons, or at prayers:
Under the rose, since here are none but friends,
(To own the truth) we have some private ends.
Since waiting-women, like exacting jades,
Hold up the prices of their old brocades;
We'll dress in manufactures made at home;
Equip our kings and generals at the Comb.
We'll rig from Meath Street Egypt's haughty queen
And Antony shall court her in ratteen.
In blue shalloon shall Hannibal be clad,
And Scipio trail an Irish purple plaid,
In drugget drest, of thirteen pence a-yard,
See Philip's son amidst his Persian guard;
And proud Roxana, fired with jealous rage,
With fifty yards of crape shall sweep the stage.
In short, our kings and princesses within
Are all resolved this project to begin;
And you, our subjects, when you here resort,
Must imitate the fashion of the court.
O! could I see this audience clad in stuff,
Though money's scarce, we should have trade enough:
But chintz, brocades, and lace, take all away,
And scarce a crown is left to see the play.
Perhaps you wonder whence this friendship springs
Between the weavers and us playhouse kings;
But wit and weaving had the same beginning;
Pallas first taught us poetry and spinning:
And, next, observe how this alliance fits,
For weavers now are just as poor as wits:
Their brother quillmen, workers for the stage,
For sorry stuff can get a crown a page;
But weavers will be kinder to the players,
And sell for twenty pence a yard of theirs.
And to your knowledge, there is often less in
The poet's wit, than in the player's dressing.
[Footnote 1: Archbishop King.]
[Footnote 2: A street famous for woollen manufactures.--_F_.]
[Footnote 3: See the fable of Pallas and Arachne in Ovid, "Metamorph.,"
lib. vi, applied in "A proposal for the Universal use of Irish
Manufacture," "Prose Works," vii, at p. 21.--_W. E. B._]
TO DR. SHERIDAN'S PROLOGUE, AND TO DR. SWIFT'S EPILOGUE.
IN BEHALF OF THE DISTRESSED WEAVERS. BY DR. DELANY.
Femineo generi tribuantur.
The Muses, whom the richest silks array,
Refuse to fling their shining gowns away;
The pencil clothes the nine in bright brocades,
And gives each colour to the pictured maids;
Far above mortal dress the sisters shine,
Pride in their Indian Robes, and must be fine.
And shall two bards in concert rhyme, and huff
And fret these Muses with their playhouse stuff?
The player in mimic piety may storm,
Deplore the Comb, and bid her heroes arm:
The arbitrary mob, in paltry rage,
May curse the belles and chintzes of the age:
Yet still the artist worm her silk shall share,
And spin her thread of life in service of the fair.
The cotton plant, whom satire cannot blast,
Shall bloom the favourite of these realms, and last;
Like yours, ye fair, her fame from censure grows,
Prevails in charms, and glares above her foes:
Your injured plant shall meet a loud defence,
And be the emblem of your innocence.
Some bard, perhaps, whose landlord was a weaver,
Penn'd the low prologue to return a favour:
Some neighbour wit, that would be in the vogue,
Work'd with his friend, and wove the epilogue.
Who weaves the chaplet, or provides the bays,
For such wool-gathering sonnetteers as these?
Hence, then, ye homespun witlings, that persuade
Miss Chloe to the fashion of her maid.
Shall the wide hoop, that standard of the town,
Thus act subservient to a poplin gown?
Who'd smell of wool all over? 'Tis enough
The under petticoat be made of stuff.
Lord! to be wrapt in flannel just in May,
When the fields dress'd in flowers appear so gay!
And shall not miss be flower'd as well as they?
In what weak colours would the plaid appear,
Work'd to a quilt, or studded in a chair!
The skin, that vies with silk, would fret with stuff;
Or who could bear in bed a thing so rough?
Ye knowing fair, how eminent that bed,
Where the chintz diamonds with the silken thread,
Where rustling curtains call the curious eye,
And boast the streaks and paintings of the sky!
Of flocks they'd have your milky ticking full:
And all this for the benefit of wool!
"But where," say they, "shall we bestow these weavers,
That spread our streets, and are such piteous cravers?"
The silk-worms (brittle beings!) prone to fate,
Demand their care, to make their webs complete:
These may they tend, their promises receive;
We cannot pay too much for what they give!
ON GAULSTOWN HOUSE
THE SEAT OF GEORGE ROCHFORT, ESQ.
BY DR. DELANY
'Tis so old and so ugly, and yet so convenient,
You're sometimes in pleasure, though often in pain in't;
'Tis so large, you may lodge a few friends with ease in't,
You may turn and stretch at your length if you please in't;
'Tis so little, the family live in a press in't,
And poor Lady Betty has scarce room to dress in't;
'Tis so cold in the winter, you can't bear to lie in't,
And so hot in the summer, you're ready to fry in't;
'Tis so brittle, 'twould scarce bear the weight of a tun,
Yet so staunch, that it keeps out a great deal of sun;
'Tis so crazy, the weather with ease beats quite through it,
And you're forced every year in some part to renew it;
'Tis so ugly, so useful, so big, and so little,
'Tis so staunch and so crazy, so strong and so brittle,
'Tis at one time so hot, and another so cold,
It is part of the new, and part of the old;
It is just half a blessing, and just half a curse--
wish then, dear George, it were better or worse.
[Footnote 1: Daughter of the Earl of Drogheda, and married to George
THE COUNTRY LIFE
PART OF A SUMMER SPENT AT GAULSTOWN HOUSE,
THE SEAT OF GEORGE ROCHFORT, ESQ.
The Baron, Lord Chief Baron Rochfort.
_George_, his eldest son.
_Nim_, his second son, John, so called from his love of hunting.
_Dan_, Mr. Jackson, a parson.
Gaulstown, the Baron's seat.
_Sheridan_, a pedant and pedagogue.
_Delany_, chaplain to Sir Constantine Phipps, when Lord Chancellor
Dragon, the name of the boat on the canal.
Dean Percival and his wife, friends of the Baron and his lady.
Thalia, tell, in sober lays,
How George, Nim, Dan, Dean, pass their days;
And, should our Gaulstown's wit grow fallow,
Yet _Neget quis carmina Gallo?_
Here (by the way) by Gallus mean I
Not Sheridan, but friend Delany.
Begin, my Muse! First from our bowers
We sally forth at different hours;
At seven the Dean, in night-gown drest,
Goes round the house to wake the rest;
At nine, grave Nim and George facetious,
Go to the Dean, to read Lucretius;
At ten my lady comes and hectors
And kisses George, and ends our lectures;
And when she has him by the neck fast,
Hauls him, and scolds us, down to breakfast.
We squander there an hour or more,
And then all hands, boys, to the oar;
All, heteroclite Dan except,
Who never time nor order kept,
But by peculiar whimseys drawn,
Peeps in the ponds to look for spawn:
O'ersees the work, or Dragon rows,
Or mars a text, or mends his hose;
Or--but proceed we in our journal--
At two, or after, we return all:
From the four elements assembling,
Warn'd by the bell, all folks come trembling,
From airy garrets some descend,
Some from the lake's remotest end;
My lord and Dean the fire forsake,
Dan leaves the earthy spade and rake;
The loiterers quake, no corner hides them
And Lady Betty soundly chides them.
Now water brought, and dinner done;
With "Church and King" the ladies gone.
Not reckoning half an hour we pass
In talking o'er a moderate glass.
Dan, growing drowsy, like a thief
Steals off to doze away his beef;
And this must pass for reading Hammond--
While George and Dean go to backgammon.
George, Nim, and Dean, set out at four,
And then, again, boys, to the oar.
But when the sun goes to the deep,
(Not to disturb him in his sleep,
Or make a rumbling o'er his head,
His candle out, and he a-bed,)
We watch his motions to a minute,
And leave the flood when he goes in it.
Now stinted in the shortening day,
We go to prayers and then to play,
Till supper comes; and after that
We sit an hour to drink and chat.
'Tis late--the old and younger pairs,
By Adam lighted, walk up stairs.
The weary Dean goes to his chamber;
And Nim and Dan to garret clamber,
So when the circle we have run,
The curtain falls and all is done.
I might have mention'd several facts,
Like episodes between the acts;
And tell who loses and who wins,
Who gets a cold, who breaks his shins;
How Dan caught nothing in his net,
And how the boat was overset.
For brevity I have retrench'd
How in the lake the Dean was drench'd:
It would be an exploit to brag on,
How valiant George rode o'er the Dragon;
How steady in the storm he sat,
And saved his oar, but lost his hat:
How Nim (no hunter e'er could match him)
Still brings us hares, when he can catch 'em;
How skilfully Dan mends his nets;
How fortune fails him when he sets;
Or how the Dean delights to vex
The ladies, and lampoon their sex:
I might have told how oft Dean Perceval
Displays his pedantry unmerciful,
How haughtily he cocks his nose,
To tell what every schoolboy knows:
And with his finger and his thumb,
Explaining, strikes opposers dumb:
But now there needs no more be said on't,
Nor how his wife, that female pedant,
Shews all her secrets of housekeeping:
For candles how she trucks her dripping;
Was forced to send three miles for yeast,
To brew her ale, and raise her paste;
Tells everything that you can think of,
How she cured Charley of the chincough;
What gave her brats and pigs the measles,
And how her doves were killed by weasels;
How Jowler howl'd, and what a fright
She had with dreams the other night.
But now, since I have gone so far on,
A word or two of Lord Chief Baron;
And tell how little weight he sets
On all Whig papers and gazettes;
But for the politics of Pue,
Thinks every syllable is true:
And since he owns the King of Sweden 
Is dead at last, without evading,
Now all his hopes are in the czar;
"Why, Muscovy is not so far;
Down the Black Sea, and up the Straits,
And in a month he's at your gates;
Perhaps from what the packet brings,
By Christmas we shall see strange things."
Why should I tell of ponds and drains,
What carps we met with for our pains;
Of sparrows tamed, and nuts innumerable
To choke the girls, and to consume a rabble?
But you, who are a scholar, know
How transient all things are below,
How prone to change is human life!
Last night arrived Clem and his wife--
This grand event has broke our measures;
Their reign began with cruel seizures;
The Dean must with his quilt supply
The bed in which those tyrants lie;
Nim lost his wig-block, Dan his Jordan,
(My lady says, she can't afford one,)
George is half scared out of his wits,
For Clem gets all the dainty bits.
Henceforth expect a different survey,
This house will soon turn topsyturvy;
They talk of farther alterations,
Which causes many speculations.
[Footnote 1: Dr. Swift.--_F_.]
[Footnote 2: For his philosophy and his exquisite verse, rather than for
his irreligion, which never seems to have affected Swift.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: The butler.--_F_.]
[Footnote 4: A Tory news-writer. See "Prose Works," vii, p.
347.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 5: Charles XII, killed by a musket ball, when besieging a
"petty fortress" in Norway in the winter of 1718.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 6: Mr. Clement Barry, called, in the notes appended to
"Gulliveriana," p. 12, chief favourite and governor of
Gaulstown.--_W. E. B._]
DR. DELANY'S VILLA
WOULD you that Delville I describe?
Believe me, Sir, I will not gibe:
For who would be satirical
Upon a thing so very small?
You scarce upon the borders enter,
Before you're at the very centre.
A single crow can make it night,
When o'er your farm she takes her flight:
Yet, in this narrow compass, we
Observe a vast variety;
Both walks, walls, meadows, and parterres,
Windows and doors, and rooms and stairs,
And hills and dales, and woods and fields,
And hay, and grass, and corn, it yields:
All to your haggard brought so cheap in,
Without the mowing or the reaping:
A razor, though to say't I'm loth,
Would shave you and your meadows both.
Though small's the farm, yet here's a house
Full large to entertain a mouse;
But where a rat is dreaded more
Than savage Caledonian boar;
For, if it's enter'd by a rat,
There is no room to bring a cat.
A little rivulet seems to steal
Down through a thing you call a vale,
Like tears adown a wrinkled cheek,
Like rain along a blade of leek:
And this you call your sweet meander,
Which might be suck'd up by a gander,
Could he but force his nether bill
To scoop the channel of the rill.
For sure you'd make a mighty clutter,
Were it as big as city gutter.
Next come I to your kitchen garden,
Where one poor mouse would fare but hard in;
And round this garden is a walk
No longer than a tailor's chalk;
Thus I compare what space is in it,
A snail creeps round it in a minute.
One lettuce makes a shift to squeeze
Up through a tuft you call your trees:
And, once a year, a single rose
Peeps from the bud, but never blows;
In vain then you expect its bloom!
It cannot blow for want of room.
In short, in all your boasted seat,
There's nothing but yourself that's GREAT.
[Footnote 1: This poem has been stated to have been written by Swift's
friend, Dr. Sheridan, on the authority of his son, but it is
unquestionably by Swift. See "Prose Works," xii, p. 79.--_W. E. B._]
ON ONE OF THE WINDOWS AT DELVILLE
A bard, grown desirous of saving his pelf,
Built a house he was sure would hold none but himself.
This enraged god Apollo, who Mercury sent,
And bid him go ask what his votary meant?
"Some foe to my empire has been his adviser:
'Tis of dreadful portent when a poet turns miser!
Tell him, Hermes, from me, tell that subject of mine,
I have sworn by the Styx, to defeat his design;
For wherever he lives, the Muses shall reign;
And the Muses, he knows, have a numerous train."
IN COMITATU CORGAGENSI. SCRIPSIT JUN. ANN. DOM. 1723
Ecce ingens fragmen scopuli, quod vertice summo
Desuper impendet, nullo fundamine nixum,
Decidit in fluctus: maria undique et undique saxa
Horrisono stridore tenant, et ad aethera murmur
Erigitur; trepidatque suis Neptunus in undis.
Nam, longâ venti rabie, atque aspergine crebrâ
Aequorei laticis, specus imâ rupe cavatur:
Jam fultura ruit, jam summa cacumina nutant;
Jam cadit in praeceps moles, et verberat undas.
Attonitus credas, hinc dejecisse Tonantem
Montibus impositos montes, et Pelion altum
In capita anguipedum coelo jaculâsse gigantum.
Saepe etiam spelunca immani aperitur hiatu
Exesa è scopulis, et utrinque foramina pandit,
Hinc atque hinc a ponto ad pontum pervia Phoebo
Cautibus enormè junctis laquearia tecti
Formantur; moles olim ruitura supernè.
Fornice sublimi nidos posuere palumbes,
Inque imo stagni posuere cubilia phocae.
Sed, cum saevit hyems, et venti, carcere rupto,
Immensos volvunt fluctus ad culmina montis;
Non obsessae arces, non fulmina vindice dextrâ
Missa Jovis, quoties inimicus saevit in urbes,
Exaequant sonitum undarum, veniente procellâ:
Littora littoribus reboant; vicinia latè,
Gens assueta mari, et pedibus percurrere rupes,
Terretur tamen, et longè fugit, arva relinquens.
Gramina dum carpunt pendentes rupe capellae,
Vi salientis aquae de summo praecipitantur,
Et dulces animas imo sub gurgite linquunt.
Piscator terrâ non audet vellere funem;
Sed latet in portu tremebundus, et aëra sudum
Haud sperans, Nereum precibus votisque fatigat.
TRANSLATED BY DR. DUNKIN
Lo! from the top of yonder cliff, that shrouds
Its airy head amid the azure clouds,
Hangs a huge fragment; destitute of props,
Prone on the wave the rocky ruin drops;
With hoarse rebuff the swelling seas rebound,
From shore to shore the rocks return the sound:
The dreadful murmur Heaven's high convex cleaves,
And Neptune shrinks beneath his subject waves:
For, long the whirling winds and beating tides
Had scoop'd a vault into its nether sides.
Now yields the base, the summits nod, now urge
Their headlong course, and lash the sounding surge.
Not louder noise could shake the guilty world,
When Jove heap'd mountains upon mountains hurl'd;
Retorting Pelion from his dread abode,
To crush Earth's rebel sons beneath the load.
Oft too with hideous yawn the cavern wide
Presents an orifice on either side.
A dismal orifice, from sea to sea
Extended, pervious to the God of Day:
Uncouthly join'd, the rocks stupendous form
An arch, the ruin of a future storm:
High on the cliff their nests the woodquests make,
And sea-calves stable in the oozy lake.
But when bleak Winter with his sullen train
Awakes the winds to vex the watery plain;
When o'er the craggy steep without control,
Big with the blast, the raging billows roll;
Not towns beleaguer'd, not the flaming brand,
Darted from Heaven by Jove's avenging hand,
Oft as on impious men his wrath he pours,
Humbles their pride and blasts their gilded towers,
Equal the tumult of this wild uproar:
Waves rush o'er waves, rebellows shore to shore.
The neighbouring race, though wont to brave the shocks
Of angry seas, and run along the rocks,
Now, pale with terror, while the ocean foams,
Fly far and wide, nor trust their native homes.
The goats, while, pendent from the mountain top,
The wither'd herb improvident they crop,
Wash'd down the precipice with sudden sweep,
Leave their sweet lives beneath th'unfathom'd deep.
The frighted fisher, with desponding eyes,
Though safe, yet trembling in the harbour lies,
Nor hoping to behold the skies serene,
Wearies with vows the monarch of the main.
COPY OF THE BIRTH-DAY VERSES
ON MR. FORD
COME, be content, since out it must,
For Stella has betray'd her trust;
And, whispering, charged me not to say
That Mr. Ford was born to-day;
Or, if at last I needs must blab it,
According to my usual habit,
She bid me, with a serious face,
Be sure conceal the time and place;
And not my compliment to spoil,
By calling this your native soil;
Or vex the ladies, when they knew
That you are turning forty-two:
But, if these topics shall appear
Strong arguments to keep you here,
I think, though you judge hardly of it,
Good manners must give place to profit.
The nymphs, with whom you first began,
Are each become a harridan;
And Montague so far decay'd,
Her lovers now must all be paid;
And every belle that since arose,
Has her contemporary beaux.
Your former comrades, once so bright,
With whom you toasted half the night,
Of rheumatism and pox complain,
And bid adieu to dear champaign.
Your great protectors, once in power,
Are now in exile or the Tower.
Your foes triumphant o'er the laws,
Who hate your person and your cause,
If once they get you on the spot,
You must be guilty of the plot;
For, true or false, they'll ne'er inquire,
But use you ten times worse than Prior.
In London! what would you do there?
Can you, my friend, with patience bear
(Nay, would it not your passion raise
Worse than a pun, or Irish phrase)
To see a scoundrel strut and hector,
A foot-boy to some rogue director,
To look on vice triumphant round,
And virtue trampled on the ground?
Observe where bloody **** stands
With torturing engines in his hands,
Hear him blaspheme, and swear, and rail,
Threatening the pillory and jail:
If this you think a pleasing scene,
To London straight return again;
Where, you have told us from experience,
Are swarms of bugs and presbyterians.
I thought my very spleen would burst,
When fortune hither drove me first;
Was full as hard to please as you,
Nor persons' names nor places knew:
But now I act as other folk,
Like prisoners when their gaol is broke.
If you have London still at heart,
We'll make a small one here by art;
The difference is not much between
St. James's Park and Stephen's Green;
And Dawson Street will serve as well
To lead you thither as Pall Mall.
Nor want a passage through the palace,
To choke your sight, and raise your malice.
The Deanery-house may well be match'd,
Under correction, with the Thatch'd.
Nor shall I, when you hither come,
Demand a crown a-quart for stum.
Then for a middle-aged charmer,
Stella may vie with your Mounthermer;
She's now as handsome every bit,
And has a thousand times her wit
The Dean and Sheridan, I hope,
Will half supply a Gay and Pope.
Corbet, though yet I know his worth not,
No doubt, will prove a good Arbuthnot.
I throw into the bargain Tim;
In London can you equal him?
What think you of my favourite clan,
Robin and Jack, and Jack and Dan;
Fellows of modest worth and parts,
With cheerful looks and honest hearts?
Can you on Dublin look with scorn?
Yet here were you and Ormond born.
O! were but you and I so wise,
To see with Robert Grattan's eyes!
Robin adores that spot of earth,
That literal spot which gave him birth;
And swears, "Belcamp is, to his taste,
As fine as Hampton-court at least."
When to your friends you would enhance
The praise of Italy or France,
For grandeur, elegance, and wit,
We gladly hear you, and submit;
But then, to come and keep a clutter,
For this or that side of a gutter,
To live in this or t'other isle,
We cannot think it worth your while;
For, take it kindly or amiss,
The difference but amounts to this,
We bury on our side the channel
In linen; and on yours in flannel.
You for the news are ne'er to seek;
While we, perhaps, may wait a week;
You happy folks are sure to meet
A hundred whores in every street;
While we may trace all Dublin o'er
Before we find out half a score.
You see my arguments are strong,
I wonder you held out so long;
But, since you are convinced at last,
We'll pardon you for what has past.
So--let us now for whist prepare;
Twelve pence a corner, if you dare.
[Footnote 1: Dr. Swift had been used to celebrate the birth-day of his
friend Charles Ford, which was on the first day of January. See also the
poem, "Stella at Wood Park."--Dr. Delany mentions also, among the Dean's
intimate friends, "Matthew Ford, Esq., a man of family and fortune, a
fine gentleman, and the best lay scholar of his time and
[Footnote 1: A celebrated tavern in St. James' Street, from 1711 till
about 1865. Since then and now, The Thatched House Club.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 3: Mary, youngest daughter of the Duke of Marlborough,
"exquisitely beautiful, lively in temper, and no less amiable in mind
than elegant in person," married in 1703, to Lord Mounthermer, son of the
Earl, afterwards Duke, of Montagu. See Coxe's "Life of Marlborough," i,
172.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: Dr. Corbet, afterwards Dean of St. Patrick's, on the death
of Dr. Maturine, who succeeded Dr. Swift.]
[Footnote 5: Robert and John Grattan, and John and Daniel Jackson.--_H._]
[Footnote 6: In Fingal, about five miles from Dublin.--_H._]
[Footnote 7: The law for burying in woollen was extended to Ireland in
AN IMITATION OF PETRONIUS
Petronii Fragmenta, xxx.
THOSE dreams, that on the silent night intrude,
And with false flitting shades our minds delude
Jove never sends us downward from the skies;
Nor can they from infernal mansions rise;
But are all mere productions of the brain,
And fools consult interpreters in vain.
For when in bed we rest our weary limbs,
The mind unburden'd sports in various whims;
The busy head with mimic art runs o'er
The scenes and actions of the day before.
The drowsy tyrant, by his minions led,
To regal rage devotes some patriot's head.
With equal terrors, not with equal guilt,
The murderer dreams of all the blood he spilt.
The soldier smiling hears the widow's cries,
And stabs the son before the mother's eyes.
With like remorse his brother of the trade,
The butcher, fells the lamb beneath his blade.
The statesman rakes the town to find a plot,
And dreams of forfeitures by treason got.
Nor less Tom-t--d-man, of true statesman mould,
Collects the city filth in search of gold.
Orphans around his bed the lawyer sees,
And takes the plaintiff's and defendant's fees.
His fellow pick-purse, watching for a job,
Fancies his fingers in the cully's fob.
The kind physician grants the husband's prayers,
Or gives relief to long-expecting heirs.
The sleeping hangman ties the fatal noose,
Nor unsuccessful waits for dead men's shoes.
The grave divine, with knotty points perplext,
As if he were awake, nods o'er his text:
While the sly mountebank attends his trade,
Harangues the rabble, and is better paid.
The hireling senator of modern days
Bedaubs the guilty great with nauseous praise:
And Dick, the scavenger, with equal grace
Flirts from his cart the mud in Walpole's face.
"Somnia quae mentes ludunt volitantibus umbris,
Non delubra deum nec ab aethere numina mittunt,
Sed sibi quisque facit."]
"Nam cum prostrata sopore
Urguet membra quies et mens sine pondere ludit,
Quidquid luce fuit, tenebris agit."--_W. E. B._]
SENT BY DR. DELANY TO DR. SWIFT,
IN ORDER TO BE ADMITTED TO SPEAK TO HIM WHEN HE WAS DEAF. 1724
Dear Sir, I think, 'tis doubly hard,
Your ears and doors should both be barr'd.
Can anything be more unkind?
Must I not see, 'cause you are blind?
Methinks a friend at night should cheer you,--
A friend that loves to see and hear you.
Why am I robb'd of that delight,
When you can be no loser by't
Nay, when 'tis plain (for what is plainer?)
That if you heard you'd be no gainer?
For sure you are not yet to learn,
That hearing is not your concern.
Then be your doors no longer barr'd:
Your business, sir, is to be heard.
The wise pretend to make it clear,
'Tis no great loss to lose an ear.
Why are we then so fond of two,
When by experience one would do?
'Tis true, say they, cut off the head,
And there's an end; the man is dead;
Because, among all human race,
None e'er was known to have a brace:
But confidently they maintain,
That where we find the members twain,
The loss of one is no such trouble,
Since t'other will in strength be double.
The limb surviving, you may swear,
Becomes his brother's lawful heir:
Thus, for a trial, let me beg of
Your reverence but to cut one leg off,
And you shall find, by this device,
The other will be stronger twice;
For every day you shall be gaining
New vigour to the leg remaining.
So, when an eye has lost its brother,
You see the better with the other,
Cut off your hand, and you may do
With t'other hand the work of two:
Because the soul her power contracts,
And on the brother limb reacts.
But yet the point is not so clear in
Another case, the sense of hearing:
For, though the place of either ear
Be distant, as one head can bear,
Yet Galen most acutely shows you,
(Consult his book _de partium usu_)
That from each ear, as he observes,
There creep two auditory nerves,
Not to be seen without a glass,
Which near the _os petrosum_ pass;
Thence to the neck; and moving thorough there,
One goes to this, and one to t'other ear;
Which made my grandam always stuff her ears
Both right and left, as fellow-sufferers.
You see my learning; but, to shorten it,
When my left ear was deaf a fortnight,
To t'other ear I felt it coming on:
And thus I solve this hard phenomenon.
'Tis true, a glass will bring supplies
To weak, or old, or clouded eyes:
Your arms, though both your eyes were lost,
Would guard your nose against a post:
Without your legs, two legs of wood
Are stronger, and almost as good:
And as for hands, there have been those
Who, wanting both, have used their toes.
But no contrivance yet appears
To furnish artificial ears.
[Footnote 1: There have been instances of a man's writing with his foot.
And I have seen a man, in India, who painted pictures, holding the brush
betwixt his toes. The work was not well done: the wonder was to see it
done at all.--_W. E. B._]
A QUIET LIFE AND A GOOD NAME
TO A FRIEND WHO MARRIED A SHREW. 1724
NELL scolded in so loud a din,
That Will durst hardly venture in:
He mark'd the conjugal dispute;
Nell roar'd incessant, Dick sat mute;
But, when he saw his friend appear,
Cried bravely, "Patience, good my dear!"
At sight of Will she bawl'd no more,
But hurried out and clapt the door.
Why, Dick! the devil's in thy Nell,
(Quoth Will,) thy house is worse than Hell.
Why what a peal the jade has rung!
D--n her, why don't you slit her tongue?
For nothing else will make it cease.
Dear Will, I suffer this for peace:
I never quarrel with my wife;
I bear it for a quiet life.
Scripture, you know, exhorts us to it;
Bids us to seek peace, and ensue it.
Will went again to visit Dick;
And entering in the very nick,
He saw virago Nell belabour,
With Dick's own staff, his peaceful neighbour.
Poor Will, who needs must interpose,
Received a brace or two of blows.
But now, to make my story short,
Will drew out Dick to take a quart.
Why, Dick, thy wife has devilish whims;
Ods-buds! why don't you break her limbs?
If she were mine, and had such tricks,
I'd teach her how to handle sticks:
Z--ds! I would ship her to Jamaica,
Or truck the carrion for tobacco:
I'd send her far enough away----
Dear Will; but what would people say?
Lord! I should get so ill a name,
The neighbours round would cry out shame.
Dick suffer'd for his peace and credit;
But who believed him when he said it?
Can he, who makes himself a slave,
Consult his peace, or credit save?
Dick found it by his ill success,
His quiet small, his credit less.
She served him at the usual rate;
She stunn'd, and then she broke his pate:
And what he thought the hardest case,
The parish jeer'd him to his face;
Those men who wore the breeches least,
Call'd him a cuckold, fool, and beast.
At home he was pursued with noise;
Abroad was pester'd by the boys:
Within, his wife would break his bones:
Without, they pelted him with stones;
The 'prentices procured a riding,
To act his patience and her chiding.
False patience and mistaken pride!
There are ten thousand Dicks beside;
Slaves to their quiet and good name,
Are used like Dick, and bear the blame.
[Footnote 1: See _post_, p. 200, "A beautiful young nymph."]
[Footnote 2: A performance got up by the rustics in some counties to
ridicule and shame a man who has been guilty of beating his wife (or in
this case, who has been beaten by her), by having a cart drawn through
the village, having in it two persons dressed to resemble the woman and
her master, and a supposed representation of the beating is inflicted,
enacted before the offender's door. "Notes and Queries," 1st S., ix,
370, 578.--_W. E. B._]
ADVICE TO THE GRUB-STREET VERSE-WRITERS
Ye poets ragged and forlorn,
Down from your garrets haste;
Ye rhymers, dead as soon as born,
Not yet consign'd to paste;
I know a trick to make you thrive;
O, 'tis a quaint device:
Your still-born poems shall revive,
And scorn to wrap up spice.
Get all your verses printed fair,
Then let them well be dried;
And Curll must have a special care
To leave the margin wide.
Lend these to paper-sparing Pope;
And when he sets to write,
No letter with an envelope
Could give him more delight.
When Pope has fill'd the margins round,
Why then recall your loan;
Sell them to Curll for fifty pound,
And swear they are your own.
[Footnote 1: The infamous piratical bookseller. See Pope's Works,
_passim.--W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 2: The original copy of Pope's celebrated translation of Homer
(preserved in the British Museum) is almost entirely written on the
covers of letters, and sometimes between the lines of the letters
A PASTORAL DIALOGUE
WRITTEN JUNE, 1727, JUST AFTER THE NEWS OF THE DEATH OF GEORGE I,
WHO DIED THE 12TH OF THAT MONTH IN GERMANY 
This poem was written when George II succeeded his father, and bore the
following explanatory introduction:
Richmond Lodge is a house with a small park belonging to the crown. It
was usually granted by the crown for a lease of years. The Duke of Ormond
was the last who had it. After his exile, it was given to the Prince of
Wales by the king. The prince and princess usually passed their summer
there. It is within a mile of Richmond.
"Marble Hill is a house built by Mrs. Howard, then of the bedchamber, now
Countess of Suffolk, and groom of the stole to the queen. It is on the
Middlesex side, near Twickenham, where Pope lives, and about two miles
from Richmond Lodge. Pope was the contriver of the gardens, Lord Herbert
the architect, the Dean of St. Patrick's chief butler, and keeper of the
ice-house. Upon King George's death, these two houses met, and had the
above dialogue."--_Dublin Edition_, 1734.
In spight of Pope, in spight of Gay,
And all that he or they can say;
Sing on I must, and sing I will,
Of Richmond Lodge and Marble Hill.
Last Friday night, as neighbours use,
This couple met to talk of news:
For, by old proverbs, it appears,
That walls have tongues, and hedges ears.
Quoth Marble Hill, right well I ween,
Your mistress now is grown a queen;
You'll find it soon by woful proof,
She'll come no more beneath your roof.
The kingly prophet well evinces,
That we should put no trust in princes:
My royal master promised me
To raise me to a high degree:
But now he's grown a king, God wot,
I fear I shall be soon forgot.
You see, when folks have got their ends,
How quickly they neglect their friends;
Yet I may say, 'twixt me and you,
Pray God, they now may find as true!
My house was built but for a show,
My lady's empty pockets know;
And now she will not have a shilling,
To raise the stairs, or build the ceiling;
For all the courtly madams round
Now pay four shillings in the pound;
'Tis come to what I always thought:
My dame is hardly worth a groat.
Had you and I been courtiers born,
We should not thus have lain forlorn;
For those we dext'rous courtiers call,
Can rise upon their masters' fall:
But we, unlucky and unwise,
Must fall because our masters rise.
My master, scarce a fortnight since,
Was grown as wealthy as a prince;
But now it will be no such thing,
For he'll be poor as any king;
And by his crown will nothing get,
But like a king to run in debt.
No more the Dean, that grave divine,
Shall keep the key of my (no) wine;
My ice-house rob, as heretofore,
And steal my artichokes no more;
Poor Patty Blount no more be seen
Bedraggled in my walks so green:
Plump Johnny Gay will now elope;
And here no more will dangle Pope.
Here wont the Dean, when he's to seek,
To spunge a breakfast once a-week;
To cry the bread was stale, and mutter
Complaints against the royal butter.
But now I fear it will be said,
No butter sticks upon his bread.
We soon shall find him full of spleen,
For want of tattling to the queen;
Stunning her royal ears with talking;
His reverence and her highness walking:
While Lady Charlotte, like a stroller,
Sits mounted on the garden-roller.
A goodly sight to see her ride,
With ancient Mirmont at her side.
In velvet cap his head lies warm,
His hat, for show, beneath his arm.
Some South-Sea broker from the city
Will purchase me, the more's the pity;
Lay all my fine plantations waste,
To fit them to his vulgar taste:
Chang'd for the worse in ev'ry part,
My master Pope will break his heart.
In my own Thames may I be drownded,
If e'er I stoop beneath a crown'd head:
Except her majesty prevails
To place me with the Prince of Wales;
And then I shall be free from fears,
For he'll be prince these fifty years.
I then will turn a courtier too,
And serve the times as others do.
Plain loyalty, not built on hope,
I leave to your contriver, Pope;
None loves his king and country better,
Yet none was ever less their debtor.
Then let him come and take a nap
In summer on my verdant lap;
Prefer our villas, where the Thames is,
To Kensington, or hot St. James's;
Nor shall I dull in silence sit;
For 'tis to me he owes his wit;
My groves, my echoes, and my birds,
Have taught him his poetic words.
We gardens, and you wildernesses,
Assist all poets in distresses.
Him twice a-week I here expect,
To rattle Moody for neglect;
An idle rogue, who spends his quartridge
In tippling at the Dog and Partridge;
And I can hardly get him down
Three times a-week to brush my gown.
I pity you, dear Marble Hill;
But hope to see you flourish still.
All happiness--and so adieu.
Kind Richmond Lodge, the same to you.
[Footnote 1: The King left England on the 3rd June, 1727, and after
supping heartily and sleeping at the Count de Twellet's house near Delden
on the 9th, he continued his journey to Osnabruck, where he arrived at
the house of his brother, the Duke of York, on the night of the 11th,
wholly paralyzed, and died calmly the next morning, in the very same room
where he was born.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Swift was probably not aware how nearly he described the
narrowed situation of Mrs. Howard's finances. Lord Orford, in a letter to
Lord Strafford, 29th July, 1767, written shortly after her death,
described her affairs as so far from being easy, that the utmost economy
could by no means prevent her exceeding her income considerably; and
states in his Reminiscences, that, besides Marble Hill, which cost the
King ten or twelve thousand pounds, she did not leave above twenty
thousand pounds to her family.--See "Lord Orford's Works," vol. iv, p.
304; v, p. 456.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: Who was "often in Swift's thoughts," and "high in his
esteem"; and to whom Pope dedicated his second "Moral
Epistle."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: This also proved a prophecy more true than the Dean
[Footnote 5: Lady Charlotte de Roussy, a French lady.--_Dublin
[Footnote 6: Marquis de Mirmont, a Frenchman, who had come to England
after the Edict of Nantes (by which Henri IV had secured freedom of
religion to Protestants) had been revoked by Louis XIV in 1685. See
Voltaire, "Siècle de Louis XIV."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 7: The gardener.]
DESIRE AND POSSESSION 1727
'Tis strange what different thoughts inspire
In men, Possession and Desire!
Think what they wish so great a blessing;
So disappointed when possessing!
A moralist profoundly sage
(I know not in what book or page,
Or whether o'er a pot of ale)
Related thus the following tale.
Possession, and Desire, his brother,
But still at variance with each other,
Were seen contending in a race;
And kept at first an equal pace;
'Tis said, their course continued long,
For this was active, that was strong:
Till Envy, Slander, Sloth, and Doubt,
Misled them many a league about;
Seduced by some deceiving light,
They take the wrong way for the right;
Through slippery by-roads, dark and deep,
They often climb, and often creep.
Desire, the swifter of the two,
Along the plain like lightning flew:
Till, entering on a broad highway,
Where power and titles scatter'd lay,
He strove to pick up all he found,
And by excursions lost his ground:
No sooner got, than with disdain
He threw them on the ground again;
And hasted forward to pursue
Fresh objects, fairer to his view,
In hope to spring some nobler game;
But all he took was just the same:
Too scornful now to stop his pace,
He spurn'd them in his rival's face.
Possession kept the beaten road,
And gather'd all his brother strew'd;
But overcharged, and out of wind,
Though strong in limbs, he lagg'd behind.
Desire had now the goal in sight;
It was a tower of monstrous height;
Where on the summit Fortune stands,
A crown and sceptre in her hands;
Beneath, a chasm as deep as Hell,
Where many a bold adventurer fell.
Desire, in rapture, gazed awhile,
And saw the treacherous goddess smile;
But as he climb'd to grasp the crown,
She knock'd him with the sceptre down!
He tumbled in the gulf profound;
There doom'd to whirl an endless round.
Possession's load was grown so great,
He sunk beneath the cumbrous weight;
And, as he now expiring lay,
Flocks every ominous bird of prey;
The raven, vulture, owl, and kite,
At once upon his carcass light,
And strip his hide, and pick his bones,
Regardless of his dying groans.
Ye wise, instruct me to endure
An evil, which admits no cure;
Or, how this evil can be borne,
Which breeds at once both hate and scorn.
Bare innocence is no support,
When you are tried in Scandal's court.
Stand high in honour, wealth, or wit;
All others, who inferior sit,
Conceive themselves in conscience bound
To join, and drag you to the ground.
Your altitude offends the eyes
Of those who want the power to rise.
The world, a willing stander-by,
Inclines to aid a specious lie:
Alas! they would not do you wrong;
But all appearances are strong.
Yet whence proceeds this weight we lay
On what detracting people say!
For let mankind discharge their tongues
In venom, till they burst their lungs,
Their utmost malice cannot make
Your head, or tooth, or finger ache;
Nor spoil your shape, distort your face,
Or put one feature out of place;
Nor will you find your fortune sink
By what they speak or what they think;
Nor can ten hundred thousand lies
Make you less virtuous, learn'd, or wise.
The most effectual way to balk
Their malice, is--to let them talk.
THE FURNITURE OF A WOMAN'S MIND
A set of phrases learn'd by rote;
A passion for a scarlet coat;
When at a play, to laugh or cry,
Yet cannot tell the reason why;
Never to hold her tongue a minute,
While all she prates has nothing in it;
Whole hours can with a coxcomb sit,
And take his nonsense all for wit;
Her learning mounts to read a song,
But half the words pronouncing wrong;
Has every repartee in store
She spoke ten thousand times before;
Can ready compliments supply
On all occasions cut and dry;
Such hatred to a parson's gown,
The sight would put her in a swoon;
For conversation well endued,
She calls it witty to be rude;
And, placing raillery in railing,
Will tell aloud your greatest failing;
Nor make a scruple to expose
Your bandy leg, or crooked nose;
Can at her morning tea run o'er
The scandal of the day before;
Improving hourly in her skill,
To cheat and wrangle at quadrille.
In choosing lace, a critic nice,
Knows to a groat the lowest price;
Can in her female clubs dispute,
What linen best the silk will suit,
What colours each complexion match,
And where with art to place a patch.
If chance a mouse creeps in her sight,
Can finely counterfeit a fright;
So sweetly screams, if it comes near her,
She ravishes all hearts to hear her.
Can dext'rously her husband teaze,
By taking fits whene'er she please;
By frequent practice learns the trick
At proper seasons to be sick;
Thinks nothing gives one airs so pretty,
At once creating love and pity;
If Molly happens to be careless,
And but neglects to warm her hair-lace,
She gets a cold as sure as death,
And vows she scarce can fetch her breath;
Admires how modest women can
Be so robustious like a man.
In party, furious to her power;
A bitter Whig, or Tory sour;
Her arguments directly tend
Against the side she would defend;
Will prove herself a Tory plain,
From principles the Whigs maintain;
And, to defend the Whiggish cause,
Her topics from the Tories draws.
O yes! if any man can find
More virtues in a woman's mind,
Let them be sent to Mrs. Harding;
She'll pay the charges to a farthing;
Take notice, she has my commission
To add them in the next edition;
They may outsell a better thing:
So, holla, boys; God save the King!
[Footnote 1: Widow of John Harding, the Drapier's printer.--_F._]
CLEVER TOM CLINCH GOING TO BE HANGED. 1727
As clever Tom Clinch, while the rabble was bawling,
Rode stately through Holborn to die in his calling,
He stopt at the George for a bottle of sack,
And promised to pay for it when he came back.
His waistcoat, and stockings, and breeches, were white;
His cap had a new cherry ribbon to tie't.
The maids to the doors and the balconies ran,
And said, "Lack-a-day, he's a proper young man!"
But, as from the windows the ladies he spied,
Like a beau in the box, he bow'd low on each side!
And when his last speech the loud hawkers did cry,
He swore from his cart, "It was all a damn'd lie!"
The hangman for pardon fell down on his knee;
Tom gave him a kick in the guts for his fee:
Then said, I must speak to the people a little;
But I'll see you all damn'd before I will whittle.
My honest friend Wild (may he long hold his place)
He lengthen'd my life with a whole year of grace.
Take courage, dear comrades, and be not afraid,
Nor slip this occasion to follow your trade;
My conscience is clear, and my spirits are calm,
And thus I go off, without prayer-book or psalm;
Then follow the practice of clever Tom Clinch,
Who hung like a hero, and never would flinch.
[Footnote 1: A cant word for confessing at the gallows.--_F._]
[Footnote 2: The noted thief-catcher, under-keeper of Newgate, who was
the head of a gang of thieves, and was at last hanged as a receiver of
stolen goods. See Fielding's "Life of Jonathan Wild."--_W. E. B._]
DR. SWIFT TO MR. POPE, WHILE HE WAS WRITING THE "DUNCIAD"
POPE has the talent well to speak,
But not to reach the ear;
His loudest voice is low and weak,
The Dean too deaf to hear.
Awhile they on each other look,
Then different studies choose;
The Dean sits plodding on a book;
Pope walks, and courts the Muse.
Now backs of letters, though design'd
For those who more will need 'em,
Are fill'd with hints, and interlined,
Himself can hardly read 'em.
Each atom by some other struck,
All turns and motions tries;
Till in a lump together stuck,
Behold a poem rise:
Yet to the Dean his share allot;
He claims it by a canon;
That without which a thing is not,
Is _causa sine quâ non_.
Thus, Pope, in vain you boast your wit;
For, had our deaf divine
Been for your conversation fit,
You had not writ a line.
Of Sherlock, thus, for preaching framed
The sexton reason'd well;
And justly half the merit claim'd,
Because he rang the bell.
A LOVE POEM FROM A PHYSICIAN TO HIS MISTRESS
WRITTEN AT LONDON
By poets we are well assured
That love, alas! can ne'er be cured;
A complicated heap of ills,
Despising boluses and pills.
Ah! Chloe, this I find is true,
Since first I gave my heart to you.
Now, by your cruelty hard bound,
I strain my guts, my colon wound.
Now jealousy my grumbling tripes
Assaults with grating, grinding gripes.
When pity in those eyes I view,
My bowels wambling make me spew.
When I an amorous kiss design'd,
I belch'd a hurricane of wind.
Once you a gentle sigh let fall;
Remember how I suck'd it all;
What colic pangs from thence I felt,
Had you but known, your heart would melt,
Like ruffling winds in cavern pent,
Till Nature pointed out a vent.
How have you torn my heart to pieces
With maggots, humours, and caprices!
By which I got the hemorrhoids;
And loathsome worms my _anus_ voids.
Whene'er I hear a rival named,
I feel my body all inflamed;
Which, breaking out in boils and blains,
With yellow filth my linen stains;
Or, parch'd with unextinguish'd thirst,
Small-beer I guzzle till I burst;
And then I drag a bloated _corpus_,
Swell'd with a dropsy, like a porpus;
When, if I cannot purge or stale,
I must be tapp'd to fill a pail.
[Footnote 1: The Dean of St. Paul's, father to the Bishop.--_H._]
ON SIGNORA DOMITILLA
Our schoolmaster may roar i' th' fit,
Of classic beauty, _haec et illa_;
Not all his birch inspires such wit
As th'ogling beams of Domitilla.
Let nobles toast, in bright champaign,
Nymphs higher born than Domitilla;
I'll drink her health, again, again,
In Berkeley's tar, or sars'parilla.
At Goodman's Fields I've much admired
The postures strange of Monsieur Brilla;
But what are they to the soft step,
The gliding air of Domitilla?
Virgil has eternized in song
The flying footsteps of Camilla;
Sure, as a prophet, he was wrong;
He might have dream'd of Domitilla.
Great Theodose condemn'd a town
For thinking ill of his Placilla:
And deuce take London! if some knight
O' th' city wed not Domitilla.
Wheeler, Sir George, in travels wise,
Gives us a medal of Plantilla;
But O! the empress has not eyes,
Nor lips, nor breast, like Domitilla.
Not all the wealth of plunder'd Italy,
Piled on the mules of king At-tila,
Is worth one glove (I'll not tell a bit a lie)
Or garter, snatch'd from Domitilla.
Five years a nymph at certain hamlet,
Y-cleped Harrow of the Hill, a-
--bused much my heart, and was a damn'd let
To verse--but now for Domitilla.
Dan Pope consigns Belinda's watch
To the fair sylphid Momentilla,
And thus I offer up my catch
To the snow-white hands of Domitilla.
[Footnote 1: Verses to be made upon a given name or word, at the end of a
line, and to which rhymes must be found.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, famous, _inter alia_, for his
enthusiasm in urging the use of tar-water for all kinds of complaints.
See his Works, _edit._ Fraser. Fielding mentions it favourably as a
remedy for dropsy, in the Introduction to his "Journal of a voyage to
Lisbon"; and see Austin Dobson's note to his edition of the
"Journal."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: "Aeneid," xi.]
[Footnote 4: Qu. Flaccilla? see Gibbon, iii, chap, xxvii.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 5: Who lived from 1650 to 1723, and wrote and published several
books of travels in Greece and Italy, etc.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 6: See "The Rape of the Lock."]
HELTER SKELTER; OR, THE HUE AND CRY AFTER THE ATTORNEYS
UPON THEIR RIDING THE CIRCUIT
Now the active young attorneys
Briskly travel on their journeys,
Looking big as any giants,
On the horses of their clients;
Like so many little Marses
With their tilters at their a--s,
Brazen-hilted, lately burnish'd,
And with harness-buckles furnish'd,
And with whips and spurs so neat,
And with jockey-coats complete,
And with boots so very greasy,
And with saddles eke so easy,
And with bridles fine and gay,
Bridles borrow'd for a day,
Bridles destined far to roam,
Ah! never, never to come home.
And with hats so very big, sir,
And with powder'd caps and wigs, sir,
And with ruffles to be shown,
Cambric ruffles not their own;
And with Holland shirts so white,
Shirts becoming to the sight,
Shirts bewrought with different letters,
As belonging to their betters.
With their pretty tinsel'd boxes,
Gotten from their dainty doxies,
And with rings so very trim,
Lately taken out of lim--
And with very little pence,
And as very little sense;
With some law, but little justice,
Having stolen from my hostess,
From the barber and the cutler,
Like the soldier from the sutler;
From the vintner and the tailor,
Like the felon from the jailor;
Into this and t'other county,
Living on the public bounty;
Thorough town and thorough village,
All to plunder, all to pillage:
Thorough mountains, thorough valleys,
Thorough stinking lanes and alleys,
Some to--kiss with farmers' spouses,
And make merry in their houses;
Some to tumble country wenches
On their rushy beds and benches;
And if they begin a fray,
Draw their swords, and----run away;
All to murder equity,
And to take a double fee;
Till the people are all quiet,
And forget to broil and riot,
Low in pocket, cow'd in courage,
Safely glad to sup their porridge,
And vacation's over--then,
Hey, for London town again.
[Footnote 1: _Limbo_, any place of misery and restraint.
"For he no sooner was at large,
But Trulla straight brought on the charge,
And in the selfsame _Limbo_ put
The knight and squire where he was shut."
_Hudibras_, Part i, canto iii, 1,000.
Here abbreviated by Swift as a cant term for a pawn shop.--_W. E. B._]
The life of man to represent,
And turn it all to ridicule,
Wit did a puppet-show invent,
Where the chief actor is a fool.
The gods of old were logs of wood,
And worship was to puppets paid;
In antic dress the idol stood,
And priest and people bow'd the head.
No wonder then, if art began
The simple votaries to frame,
To shape in timber foolish man,
And consecrate the block to fame.
From hence poetic fancy learn'd
That trees might rise from human forms;
The body to a trunk be turn'd,
And branches issue from the arms.
Thus Dædalus and Ovid too,
That man's a blockhead, have confest:
Powel and Stretch the hint pursue;
Life is a farce, the world a jest.
The same great truth South Sea has proved
On that famed theatre, the alley;
Where thousands, by directors moved
Are now sad monuments of folly.
What Momus was of old to Jove,
The same a Harlequin is now;
The former was buffoon above,
The latter is a Punch below.
This fleeting scene is but a stage,
Where various images appear;
In different parts of youth and age,
Alike the prince and peasant share.
Some draw our eyes by being great,
False pomp conceals mere wood within;
And legislators ranged in state
Are oft but wisdom in machine.
A stock may chance to wear a crown,
And timber as a lord take place;
A statue may put on a frown,
And cheat us with a thinking face.
Others are blindly led away,
And made to act for ends unknown;
By the mere spring of wires they play,
And speak in language not their own.
Too oft, alas! a scolding wife
Usurps a jolly fellow's throne;
And many drink the cup of life,
Mix'd and embitter'd by a Joan.
In short, whatever men pursue,
Of pleasure, folly, war, or love:
This mimic race brings all to view:
Alike they dress, they talk, they move.
Go on, great Stretch, with artful hand,
Mortals to please and to deride;
And, when death breaks thy vital band,
Thou shalt put on a puppet's pride.
Thou shalt in puny wood be shown,
Thy image shall preserve thy fame;
Ages to come thy worth shall own,
Point at thy limbs, and tell thy name.
Tell Tom, he draws a farce in vain,
Before he looks in nature's glass;
Puns cannot form a witty scene,
Nor pedantry for humour pass.
To make men act as senseless wood,
And chatter in a mystic strain,
Is a mere force on flesh and blood,
And shows some error in the brain.
He that would thus refine on thee,
And turn thy stage into a school,
The jest of Punch will ever be,
And stand confest the greater fool.
[Footnote 1: Two famous puppet-show men.]
[Footnote 2: Sheridan.]
THE JOURNAL OF A MODERN LADY
IN A LETTER TO A PERSON OF QUALITY. 1728
SIR, 'twas a most unfriendly part
In you, who ought to know my heart,
Are well acquainted with my zeal
For all the female commonweal--
How could it come into your mind
To pitch on me, of all mankind,
Against the sex to write a satire,
And brand me for a woman-hater?
On me, who think them all so fair,
They rival Venus to a hair;
Their virtues never ceased to sing,
Since first I learn'd to tune a string?
Methinks I hear the ladies cry,
Will he his character belie?
Must never our misfortunes end?
And have we lost our only friend?
Ah, lovely nymphs! remove your fears,
No more let fall those precious tears.
Sooner shall, etc.
[Here several verses are omitted.]
The hound be hunted by the hare,
Than I turn rebel to the fair.
'Twas you engaged me first to write,
Then gave the subject out of spite:
The journal of a modern dame,
Is, by my promise, what you claim.
My word is past, I must submit;
And yet perhaps you may be bit.
I but transcribe; for not a line
Of all the satire shall be mine.
Compell'd by you to tag in rhymes
The common slanders of the times,
Of modern times, the guilt is yours,
And me my innocence secures.
Unwilling Muse, begin thy lay,
The annals of a female day.
By nature turn'd to play the rake well,
(As we shall show you in the sequel,)
The modern dame is waked by noon,
(Some authors say not quite so soon,)
Because, though sore against her will,
She sat all night up at quadrille.
She stretches, gapes, unglues her eyes,
And asks if it be time to rise;
Of headache and the spleen complains;
And then, to cool her heated brains,
Her night-gown and her slippers brought her,
Takes a large dram of citron water.
Then to her glass; and, "Betty, pray,
Don't I look frightfully to-day?
But was it not confounded hard?
Well, if I ever touch a card!
Four matadores, and lose codille!
Depend upon't, I never will.
But run to Tom, and bid him fix
The ladies here to-night by six."
"Madam, the goldsmith waits below;
He says, his business is to know
If you'll redeem the silver cup
He keeps in pawn?"--"Why, show him up."
"Your dressing-plate he'll be content
To take, for interest _cent. per cent._
And, madam, there's my Lady Spade
Has sent this letter by her maid."
"Well, I remember what she won;
And has she sent so soon to dun?
Here, carry down these ten pistoles
My husband left to pay for coals:
I thank my stars they all are light,
And I may have revenge to-night."
Now, loitering o'er her tea and cream,
She enters on her usual theme;
Her last night's ill success repeats,
Calls Lady Spade a hundred cheats:
"She slipt spadillo in her breast,
Then thought to turn it to a jest:
There's Mrs. Cut and she combine,
And to each other give the sign."
Through every game pursues her tale,
Like hunters o'er their evening ale.
Now to another scene give place:
Enter the folks with silks and lace:
Fresh matter for a world of chat,
Right Indian this, right Mechlin that:
"Observe this pattern--there's a stuff;
I can have customers enough.
Dear madam, you are grown so hard--
This lace is worth twelve pounds a-yard:
Madam, if there be truth in man,
I never sold so cheap a fan."
This business of importance o'er,
And madam almost dress'd by four;
The footman, in his usual phrase,
Comes up with, "Madam, dinner stays."
She answers, in her usual style,
"The cook must keep it back a while;
I never can have time to dress,
No woman breathing takes up less;
I'm hurried so, it makes me sick;
I wish the dinner at Old Nick."
At table now she acts her part,
Has all the dinner cant by heart:
"I thought we were to dine alone,
My dear; for sure, if I had known
This company would come to-day--
But really 'tis my spouse's way!
He's so unkind, he never sends
To tell when he invites his friends:
I wish ye may but have enough!"
And while with all this paltry stuff
She sits tormenting every guest,
Nor gives her tongue one moment's rest,
In phrases batter'd, stale, and trite,
Which modern ladies call polite;
You see the booby husband sit
In admiration at her wit!
But let me now a while survey
Our madam o'er her evening tea;
Surrounded with her noisy clans
Of prudes, coquettes, and harridans,
When, frighted at the clamorous crew,
Away the God of Silence flew,
And fair Discretion left the place,
And modesty with blushing face;
Now enters overweening Pride,
And Scandal, ever gaping wide,
Hypocrisy with frown severe,
Scurrility with gibing air;
Rude laughter seeming like to burst,
And Malice always judging worst;
And Vanity with pocket glass,
And Impudence with front of brass;
And studied Affectation came,
Each limb and feature out of frame;
While Ignorance, with brain of lead,
Flew hovering o'er each female head.
Why should I ask of thee, my Muse,
A hundred tongues, as poets use,
When, to give every dame her due,
A hundred thousand were too few?
Or how should I, alas! relate
The sum of all their senseless prate,
Their innuendoes, hints, and slanders,
Their meanings lewd, and double entendres?
Now comes the general scandal charge;
What some invent, the rest enlarge;
And, "Madam, if it be a lie,
You have the tale as cheap as I;
I must conceal my author's name:
But now 'tis known to common fame."
Say, foolish females, bold and blind,
Say, by what fatal turn of mind,
Are you on vices most severe,
Wherein yourselves have greatest share?
Thus every fool herself deludes;
The prude condemns the absent prudes:
Mopsa, who stinks her spouse to death,
Accuses Chloe's tainted breath;
Hircina, rank with sweat, presumes
To censure Phyllis for perfumes;
While crooked Cynthia, sneering, says,
That Florimel wears iron stays;
Chloe, of every coxcomb jealous,
Admires how girls can talk with fellows;
And, full of indignation, frets,
That women should be such coquettes:
Iris, for scandal most notorious,
Cries, "Lord, the world is so censorious!"
And Rufa, with her combs of lead,
Whispers that Sappho's hair is red:
Aura, whose tongue you hear a mile hence,
Talks half a day in praise of silence;
And Sylvia, full of inward guilt,
Calls Amoret an arrant jilt.
Now voices over voices rise,
While each to be the loudest vies:
They contradict, affirm, dispute,
No single tongue one moment mute;
All mad to speak, and none to hearken,
They set the very lap-dog barking;
Their chattering makes a louder din
Than fishwives o'er a cup of gin;
Not schoolboys at a barring out
Raised ever such incessant rout;
The jumbling particles of matter
In chaos made not such a clatter;
Far less the rabble roar and rail,
When drunk with sour election ale.
Nor do they trust their tongues alone,
But speak a language of their own;
Can read a nod, a shrug, a look,
Far better than a printed book;
Convey a libel in a frown,
And wink a reputation down;
Or by the tossing of the fan,
Describe the lady and the man.
But see, the female club disbands,
Each twenty visits on her hands.
Now all alone poor madam sits
In vapours and hysteric fits;
"And was not Tom this morning sent?
I'd lay my life he never went;
Past six, and not a living soul!
I might by this have won a vole."
A dreadful interval of spleen!
How shall we pass the time between?
"Here, Betty, let me take my drops;
And feel my pulse, I know it stops;
This head of mine, lord, how it swims!
And such a pain in all my limbs!"
"Dear madam, try to take a nap"--
But now they hear a footman's rap:
"Go, run, and light the ladies up:
It must be one before we sup."
The table, cards, and counters, set,
And all the gamester ladies met,
Her spleen and fits recover'd quite,
Our madam can sit up all night;
"Whoever comes, I'm not within."
Quadrille's the word, and so begin.
How can the Muse her aid impart,
Unskill'd in all the terms of art?
Or in harmonious numbers put
The deal, the shuffle, and the cut?
The superstitious whims relate,
That fill a female gamester's pate?
What agony of soul she feels
To see a knave's inverted heels!
She draws up card by card, to find
Good fortune peeping from behind;
With panting heart, and earnest eyes,
In hope to see spadillo rise;
In vain, alas! her hope is fed;
She draws an ace, and sees it red;
In ready counters never pays,
But pawns her snuff-box, rings, and keys;
Ever with some new fancy struck,
Tries twenty charms to mend her luck.
"This morning, when the parson came,
I said I should not win a game.
This odious chair, how came I stuck in't?
I think I never had good luck in't.
I'm so uneasy in my stays:
Your fan, a moment, if you please.
Stand farther, girl, or get you gone;
I always lose when you look on."
"Lord! madam, you have lost codille:
I never saw you play so ill."
"Nay, madam, give me leave to say,
'Twas you that threw the game away:
When Lady Tricksey play'd a four,
You took it with a matadore;
I saw you touch your wedding ring
Before my lady call'd a king;
You spoke a word began with H,
And I know whom you meant to teach,
Because you held the king of hearts;
Fie, madam, leave these little arts."
"That's not so bad as one that rubs
Her chair to call the king of clubs;
And makes her partner understand
A matadore is in her hand."
"Madam, you have no cause to flounce,
I swear I saw you thrice renounce."
"And truly, madam, I know when
Instead of five you scored me ten.
Spadillo here has got a mark;
A child may know it in the dark:
I guess'd the hand: it seldom fails:
I wish some folks would pare their nails."
While thus they rail, and scold, and storm,
It passes but for common form:
But, conscious that they all speak true,
And give each other but their due,
It never interrupts the game,
Or makes them sensible of shame.
The time too precious now to waste,
The supper gobbled up in haste;
Again afresh to cards they run,
As if they had but just begun.
But I shall not again repeat,
How oft they squabble, snarl, and cheat.
At last they hear the watchman knock,
"A frosty morn--past four o'clock."
The chairmen are not to be found,
"Come, let us play the other round."
Now all in haste they huddle on
Their hoods, their cloaks, and get them gone;
But, first, the winner must invite
The company to-morrow night.
Unlucky madam, left in tears,
(Who now again quadrille forswears,)
With empty purse, and aching head,
Steals to her sleeping spouse to bed.
THE LOGICIANS REFUTED
Logicians have but ill defined
As rational, the human kind;
Reason, they say, belongs to man,
But let them prove it if they can.
Wise Aristotle and Smiglesius,
By ratiocinations specious,
Have strove to prove, with great precision,
With definition and division,
_Homo est ratione praeditum;_
But for my soul I cannot credit 'em,
And must, in spite of them, maintain,
That man and all his ways are vain;
And that this boasted lord of nature
Is both a weak and erring creature;
That instinct is a surer guide
Than reason, boasting mortals' pride;
And that brute beasts are far before 'em.
_Deus est anima brutorum._
Whoever knew an honest brute
At law his neighbour prosecute,
Bring action for assault or battery,
Or friend beguile with lies and flattery?
O'er plains they ramble unconfined,
No politics disturb their mind;
They eat their meals, and take their sport
Nor know who's in or out at court.
They never to the levee go
To treat, as dearest friend, a foe:
They never importune his grace,
Nor ever cringe to men in place:
Nor undertake a dirty job,
Nor draw the quill to write for Bob.
Fraught with invective, they ne'er go
To folks at Paternoster Row.
No judges, fiddlers, dancing-masters,
No pickpockets, or poetasters,
Are known to honest quadrupeds;
No single brute his fellow leads.
Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
Nor cut each other's throats for pay.
Of beasts, it is confess'd, the ape
Comes nearest us in human shape;
Like man, he imitates each fashion,
And malice is his lurking passion:
But, both in malice and grimaces,
A courtier any ape surpasses.
Behold him, humbly cringing, wait
Upon the minister of state;
View him soon after to inferiors
Aping the conduct of superiors;
He promises with equal air,
And to perform takes equal care.
He in his turn finds imitators,
At court, the porters, lacqueys, waiters,
Their masters' manner still contract,
And footmen, lords and dukes can act.
Thus, at the court, both great and small
Behave alike, for all ape all.
[Footnote 1: Sir Robert Walpole, and his employment of
party-writers.--_W. E. B._]
THE ELEPHANT; OR, THE PARLIAMENT MAN
WRITTEN MANY YEARS SINCE;
AND TAKEN FROM COKE'S FOURTH INSTITUTE
THE HIGH COURT OF PARLIAMENT, CAP. I
Sir E. Coke says: "Every member of the house being a counsellor
should have three properties of the elephant; first that he hath no gall;
secondly, that he is inflexible and cannot bow; thirdly, that he is of a
most ripe and perfect memory ... first, to be without gall, that is,
without malice, rancor, heat, and envy: ... secondly, that he be
constant, inflexible, and not be bowed, or turned from the right either
for fear, reward, or favour, nor in judgement respect any person: ...
thirdly, of a ripe memory, that they remembering perils past, might
prevent dangers to come."--_W. E. B._
Ere bribes convince you whom to choose,
The precepts of Lord Coke peruse.
Observe an elephant, says he,
And let him like your member be:
First take a man that's free from _Gaul_,
For elephants have none at all;
In flocks or parties he must keep;
For elephants live just like sheep.
Stubborn in honour he must be;
For elephants ne'er bend the knee.
Last, let his memory be sound,
In which your elephant's profound;
That old examples from the wise
May prompt him in his noes and ayes.
Thus the Lord Coke hath gravely writ,
In all the form of lawyer's wit:
And then, with Latin and all that,
Shows the comparison is pat.
Yet in some points my lord is wrong,
One's teeth are sold, and t'other's tongue:
Now, men of parliament, God knows,
Are more like elephants of shows;
Whose docile memory and sense
Are turn'd to trick, to gather pence;
To get their master half-a-crown,
They spread the flag, or lay it down:
Those who bore bulwarks on their backs,
And guarded nations from attacks,
Now practise every pliant gesture,
Opening their trunk for every tester.
Siam, for elephants so famed,
Is not with England to be named:
Their elephants by men are sold;
Ours sell themselves, and take the gold.
PAULUS: AN EPIGRAM
BY MR. LINDSAY
_Dublin, Sept._ 7, 1728.
"A SLAVE to crowds, scorch'd with the summer's heats,
In courts the wretched lawyer toils and sweats;
While smiling Nature, in her best attire,
Regales each sense, and vernal joys inspire.
Can he, who knows that real good should please,
Barter for gold his liberty and ease?"--
This Paulus preach'd:--When, entering at the door,
Upon his board the client pours the ore:
He grasps the shining gift, pores o'er the cause,
Forgets the sun, and dozes on the laws.
[Footnote 1: A polite and elegant scholar; at that time an eminent
pleader at the bar in Dublin, and afterwards advanced to be one of the
Justices of the Common Pleas.--_H._]
THE ANSWER. BY DR. SWIFT
Lindsay mistakes the matter quite,
And honest Paulus judges right.
Then, why these quarrels to the sun,
Without whose aid you're all undone?
Did Paulus e'er complain of sweat?
Did Paulus e'er the sun forget;
The influence of whose golden beams
Soon licks up all unsavoury steams?
The sun, you say, his face has kiss'd:
It has; but then it greased his fist.
True lawyers, for the wisest ends,
Have always been Apollo's friends.
Not for his superficial powers
Of ripening fruits, and gilding flowers;
Not for inspiring poets' brains
With penniless and starveling strains;
Not for his boasted healing art;
Not for his skill to shoot the dart;
Nor yet because he sweetly fiddles;
Nor for his prophecies in riddles:
But for a more substantial cause--
Apollo's patron of the laws;
Whom Paulus ever must adore,
As parent of the golden ore,
By Phoebus, an incestuous birth,
Begot upon his grandam Earth;
By Phoebus first produced to light;
By Vulcan form'd so round and bright:
Then offer'd at the shrine of Justice,
By clients to her priests and trustees.
Nor, when we see Astraea stand
With even balance in her hand,
Must we suppose she has in view,
How to give every man his due;
Her scales you see her only hold,
To weigh her priests' the lawyers' gold.
Now, should I own your case was grievous,
Poor sweaty Paulus, who'd believe us?
'Tis very true, and none denies,
At least, that such complaints are wise:
'Tis wise, no doubt, as clients fat you more,
To cry, like statesmen, _Quanta patimur!_
But, since the truth must needs be stretched
To prove that lawyers are so wretched,
This paradox I'll undertake,
For Paulus' and for Lindsay's sake;
By topics, which, though I abomine 'em,
May serve as arguments _ad hominem_:
Yet I disdain to offer those
Made use of by detracting foes.
I own the curses of mankind
Sit light upon a lawyer's mind:
The clamours of ten thousand tongues
Break not his rest, nor hurt his lungs;
I own, his conscience always free,
(Provided he has got his fee,)
Secure of constant peace within,
He knows no guilt, who knows no sin.
Yet well they merit to be pitied,
By clients always overwitted.
And though the gospel seems to say,
What heavy burdens lawyers lay
Upon the shoulders of their neighbour,
Nor lend a finger to their labour,
Always for saving their own bacon;
No doubt, the text is here mistaken:
The copy's false, the sense is rack'd:
To prove it, I appeal to fact;
And thus by demonstration show
What burdens lawyers undergo.
With early clients at his door,
Though he was drunk the night before,
And crop-sick, with unclubb'd-for wine,
The wretch must be at court by nine;
Half sunk beneath his briefs and bag,
As ridden by a midnight hag;
Then, from the bar, harangues the bench,
In English vile, and viler French,
And Latin, vilest of the three;
And all for poor ten moidores fee!
Of paper how is he profuse,
With periods long, in terms abstruse!
What pains he takes to be prolix!
A thousand lines to stand for six!
Of common sense without a word in!
And is not this a grievous burden?
The lawyer is a common drudge,
To fight our cause before the judge:
And, what is yet a greater curse,
Condemn'd to bear his client's purse:
While he at ease, secure and light,
Walks boldly home at dead of night;
When term is ended, leaves the town,
Trots to his country mansion down;
And, disencumber'd of his load,
No danger dreads upon the road;
Despises rapparees, and rides
Safe through the Newry mountains' sides.
Lindsay, 'tis you have set me on,
To state this question _pro_ and _con_.
My satire may offend, 'tis true;
However, it concerns not you.
I own, there may, in every clan,
Perhaps, be found one honest man;
Yet link them close, in this they jump,
To be but rascals in the lump.
Imagine Lindsay at the bar,
He's much the same his brethren are;
Well taught by practice to imbibe
The fundamentals of his tribe:
And in his client's just defence,
Must deviate oft from common sense;
And make his ignorance discern'd,
To get the name of counsel-learn'd,
(As _lucus_ comes _a non lucendo_,)
And wisely do as other men do:
But shift him to a better scene,
Among his crew of rogues in grain;
Surrounded with companions fit,
To taste his humour, sense, and wit;
You'd swear he never took a fee,
Nor knew in law his A, B, C.
'Tis hard, where dulness overrules,
To keep good sense in crowds of fools.
And we admire the man, who saves
His honesty in crowds of knaves;
Nor yields up virtue at discretion,
To villains of his own profession.
Lindsay, you know what pains you take
In both, yet hardly save your stake;
And will you venture both anew,
To sit among that venal crew,
That pack of mimic legislators,
Abandon'd, stupid, slavish praters?
For as the rabble daub and rifle
The fool who scrambles for a trifle;
Who for his pains is cuff'd and kick'd,
Drawn through the dirt, his pockets pick'd;
You must expect the like disgrace,
Scrambling with rogues to get a place;
Must lose the honour you have gain'd,
Your numerous virtues foully stain'd:
Disclaim for ever all pretence
To common honesty and sense;
And join in friendship with a strict tie,
To M--l, C--y, and Dick Tighe.
[Footnote 1: The Goddess of Justice, the last of the celestials to leave
the earth. "Ultima caelestum terras Astraea reliquit," Ovid, "Met.," i,
150.--_W. E .B._]
[Footnote 2: Highwaymen of that time were so called.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: Richard Tighe, Esq. He was a member of the Irish Parliament,
and held by Dean Swift in utter abomination. He is several times
mentioned in the Journal to Stella: how he used to beat his wife, and
how she deserved it. "Prose Works," vol. ii, pp. 229, 242,
etc.--_W. E. B._]
BETWEEN AN EMINENT LAWYER AND DR. JONATHAN
SWIFT, D.S.P.D. IN ALLUSION TO HORACE,
BOOK II, SATIRE I
"Sunt quibus in Satirâ," etc.
WRITTEN BY MR. LINDSAY, IN 1729
Since there are persons who complain
There's too much satire in my vein;
That I am often found exceeding
The rules of raillery and breeding;
With too much freedom treat my betters,
Not sparing even men of letters:
You, who are skill'd in lawyers' lore,
What's your advice? Shall I give o'er?
Nor ever fools or knaves expose,
Either in verse or humorous prose:
And to avoid all future ill,
In my scrutoire lock up my quill?
Since you are pleased to condescend
To ask the judgment of a friend,
Your case consider'd, I must think
You should withdraw from pen and ink,
Forbear your poetry and jokes,
And live like other Christian folks;
Or if the Muses must inspire
Your fancy with their pleasing fire,
Take subjects safer for your wit
Than those on which you lately writ.
Commend the times, your thoughts correct,
And follow the prevailing sect;
Assert that Hyde, in writing story,
Shows all the malice of a Tory;
While Burnet, in his deathless page,
Discovers freedom without rage.
To Woolston recommend our youth,
For learning, probity, and truth;
That noble genius, who unbinds
The chains which fetter freeborn minds;
Redeems us from the slavish fears
Which lasted near two thousand years;
He can alone the priesthood humble,
Make gilded spires and altars tumble.
Must I commend against my conscience,
Such stupid blasphemy and nonsense;
To such a subject tune my lyre,
And sing like one of Milton's choir,
Where devils to a vale retreat,
And call the laws of Wisdom, Fate;
Lament upon their hapless fall,
That Force free Virtue should enthrall?
Or shall the charms of Wealth and Power
Make me pollute the Muses' bower?
As from the tripod of Apollo,
Hear from my desk the words that follow:
"Some, by philosophers misled,
Must honour you alive and dead;
And such as know what Greece has writ,
Must taste your irony and wit;
While most that are, or would be great,
Must dread your pen, your person hate;
And you on Drapier's hill must lie,
And there without a mitre die."
[Footnote 1: Mr. Lindsay.--_F_.]
[Footnote 2: See Clarendon's "History of the Rebellion."]
[Footnote 3: In his "History of his own Time," and "History of the
[Footnote 4: An enthusiast and a freethinker. For a full account of him,
see "Dictionary of National Biography." His later works on the Miracles
caused him to be prosecuted, fined, and imprisoned. He died in
[Footnote 5: In the county of Armagh.--_F_.]
ON BURNING A DULL POEM
An ass's hoof alone can hold
That poisonous juice, which kills by cold.
Methought, when I this poem read,
No vessel but an ass's head
Such frigid fustian could contain;
I mean, the head without the brain.
The cold conceits, the chilling thoughts,
Went down like stupifying draughts;
I found my head begin to swim,
A numbness crept through every limb.
In haste, with imprecations dire,
I threw the volume in the fire;
When, (who could think?) though cold as ice,
It burnt to ashes in a trice.
How could I more enhance its fame?
Though born in snow, it died in flame.
AN EXCELLENT NEW BALLAD
OR, THE TRUE ENGLISH DEAN TO BE HANGED FOR A RAPE. 1730
Our brethren of England, who love us so dear,
And in all they do for us so kindly do mean,
(A blessing upon them!) have sent us this year,
For the good of our church, a true English dean.
A holier priest ne'er was wrapt up in crape,
The worst you can say, he committed a rape.
In his journey to Dublin, he lighted at Chester,
And there he grew fond of another man's wife;
Burst into her chamber and would have caress'd her;
But she valued her honour much more than her life.
She bustled, and struggled, and made her escape
To a room full of guests, for fear of a rape.
The dean he pursued, to recover his game;
And now to attack her again he prepares:
But the company stood in defence of the dame,
They cudgell'd, and cuff'd him, and kick'd him down stairs.
His deanship was now in a damnable scrape,
And this was no time for committing a rape.
To Dublin he comes, to the bagnio he goes,
And orders the landlord to bring him a whore;
No scruple came on him his gown to expose,
'Twas what all his life he had practised before.
He made himself drunk with the juice of the grape,
And got a good clap, but committed no rape.
The dean, and his landlord, a jolly comrade,
Resolved for a fortnight to swim in delight;
For why, they had both been brought up to the trade
Of drinking all day, and of whoring all night.
His landlord was ready his deanship to ape
In every debauch but committing a rape.
This Protestant zealot, this English divine,
In church and in state was of principles sound;
Was truer than Steele to the Hanover line,
And grieved that a Tory should live above ground.
Shall a subject so loyal be hang'd by the nape,
For no other crime but committing a rape?
By old Popish canons, as wise men have penn'd 'em,
Each priest had a concubine _jure ecclesiae_;
Who'd be Dean of Fernes without a _commendam_?
And precedents we can produce, if it please ye:
Then why should the dean, when whores are so cheap,
Be put to the peril and toil of a rape?
If fortune should please but to take such a crotchet,
(To thee I apply, great Smedley's successor,)
To give thee lawn sleeves, a mitre, and rochet,
Whom wouldst thou resemble? I leave thee a guesser.
But I only behold thee in Atherton's shape,
For sodomy hang'd; as thou for a rape.
Ah! dost thou not envy the brave Colonel Chartres,
Condemn'd for thy crime at threescore and ten?
To hang him, all England would lend him their garters,
Yet he lives, and is ready to ravish again.
Then throttle thyself with an ell of strong tape,
For thou hast not a groat to atone for a rape.
The dean he was vex'd that his whores were so willing;
He long'd for a girl that would struggle and squall;
He ravish'd her fairly, and saved a good shilling;
But here was to pay the devil and all.
His troubles and sorrows now come in a heap,
And hang'd he must be for committing a rape.
If maidens are ravish'd, it is their own choice:
Why are they so wilful to struggle with men?
If they would but lie quiet, and stifle their voice,
No devil nor dean could ravish them then.
Nor would there be need of a strong hempen cape
Tied round the dean's neck for committing a rape.
Our church and our state dear England maintains,
For which all true Protestant hearts should be glad:
She sends us our bishops, our judges, and deans,
And better would give us, if better she had.
But, lord! how the rabble will stare and will gape,
When the good English dean is hang'd up for a rape!
[Footnote 1: "DUBLIN, June 6. The Rev. Dean Sawbridge, having surrendered
himself on his indictment for a rape, was arraigned at the bar of the
Court of King's Bench, and is to be tried next Monday."--_London Evening
Post_, June 16, 1730. "DUBLIN, June 13. The Rev. Thomas Sawbridge, Dean
of Fernes, who was indicted for ravishing Susanna Runkard, and whose
trial was put off for some time past, on motion of the king's counsel on
behalf of the said Susanna, was yesterday tried in the Court of King's
Bench, and acquitted. It is reported, that the Dean intends to indict her
for perjury, he being in the county of Wexford when she swore the rape
was committed against her in the city of Dublin."--_Daily Post-Boy_, June
[Footnote 2: A Bishop of Waterford, sent from England a hundred years
ago, was hanged at Arbor-hill, near Dublin.--See "The penitent death of
a woful sinner, or the penitent death of John Atherton, executed at
Dublin the 5th of December, 1640. With some annotations upon several
passages in it". As also the sermon, with some further enlargements,
preached at his burial. By Nicholas Barnard, Dean of Ardagh, in Ireland.
"_Quis in seculo peccavit enormius Paulo? Quis in religione gravius
Petro? illi tamen poenitentiam assequuti sunt non solum ministerium sed
magisterium sanctitatis. Nolite ergo ante tempus judicare, quia fortasse
quos vos laudatis, Deus reprehendit, et quos vos reprehenditis, ille
laudabit, priminovissimi, et novissimi primi_. Petr. Chrysolog. Dublin,
Printed by the Society of Stationers, 1641."]
[Footnote 3: This trial took place in 1723; but being only found guilty
of an assault, with intent to commit the crime, the worthy colonel was
fined £300 to the private party prosecuting. See a full account of
Chartres in the notes to Pope's "Moral Essays," Epistle III, and the
Satirical Epitaph by Arbuthnot. Carruthers' Edition.--_W. E. B._]
ON STEPHEN DUCK
THE THRESHER, AND FAVOURITE POET
A QUIBBLING EPIGRAM. 1730
The thresher Duck could o'er the queen prevail,
The proverb says, "no fence against a flail."
From threshing corn he turns to thresh his brains;
For which her majesty allows him grains:
Though 'tis confest, that those, who ever saw
His poems, think them all not worth a straw!
Thrice happy Duck, employ'd in threshing stubble,
Thy toil is lessen'd, and thy profits double.
[Footnote 1: Who was appointed by Queen Caroline librarian to a small
collection of books in a building called Merlin's Cave, in the Royal
Gardens of Richmond.
"How shall we fill a library with wit,
When Merlin's cave is half unfurnish'd yet?"
POPE, _Imitations of Horace_, ii, Ep. 1.--_W. E. B._]
THE LADY'S DRESSING-ROOM. 1730
Five hours (and who can do it less in?)
By haughty Celia spent in dressing;
The goddess from her chamber issues,
Array'd in lace, brocades, and tissues.
Strephon, who found the room was void,
And Betty otherwise employ'd,
Stole in, and took a strict survey
Of all the litter as it lay:
Whereof, to make the matter clear,
An inventory follows here.
And, first, a dirty smock appear'd,
Beneath the arm-pits well besmear'd;
Strephon, the rogue, display'd it wide,
And turn'd it round on ev'ry side:
On such a point, few words are best,
And Strephon bids us guess the rest;
But swears, how damnably the men lie
In calling Celia sweet and cleanly.
Now listen, while he next produces
The various combs for various uses;
Fill'd up with dirt so closely fixt,
No brush could force a way betwixt;
A paste of composition rare,
Sweat, dandriff, powder, lead, and hair:
A fore-head cloth with oil upon't,
To smooth the wrinkles on her front:
Here alum-flour, to stop the steams
Exhaled from sour unsavoury streams:
There night-gloves made of Tripsey's hide,
Bequeath'd by Tripsey when she died;
With puppy-water, beauty's help,
Distil'd from Tripsey's darling whelp.
Here gallipots and vials placed,
Some fill'd with washes, some with paste;
Some with pomatums, paints, and slops,
And ointments good for scabby chops.
Hard by a filthy bason stands,
Foul'd with the scouring of her hands:
The bason takes whatever comes,
The scrapings from her teeth and gums,
A nasty compound of all hues,
For here she spits, and here she spues.
But, oh! it turn'd poor Strephon's bowels
When he beheld and smelt the towels,
Begumm'd, bematter'd, and beslim'd,
With dirt, and sweat, and ear-wax grim'd;
No object Strephon's eye escapes;
Here petticoats in frouzy heaps;
Nor be the handkerchiefs forgot,
All varnish'd o'er with snuff and snot.
The stockings why should I expose,
Stain'd with the moisture of her toes,
Or greasy coifs, and pinners reeking,
Which Celia slept at least a week in?
A pair of tweezers next he found,
To pluck her brows in arches round;
Or hairs that sink the forehead low,
Or on her chin like bristles grow.
The virtues we must not let pass
Of Celia's magnifying glass;
When frighted Strephon cast his eye on't,
It shew'd the visage of a giant:
A glass that can to sight disclose
The smallest worm in Celia's nose,
And faithfully direct her nail
To squeeze it out from head to tail;
For, catch it nicely by the head,
It must come out, alive or dead.
Why, Strephon, will you tell the rest?
And must you needs describe the chest?
That careless wench! no creature warn her
To move it out from yonder corner!
But leave it standing full in sight,
For you to exercise your spight?
In vain the workman shew'd his wit,
With rings and hinges counterfeit,
To make it seem in this disguise
A cabinet to vulgar eyes:
Which Strephon ventur'd to look in,
Resolved to go thro' thick and thin.
He lifts the lid: there needs no more,
He smelt it all the time before.
As, from within Pandora's box,
When Epimetheus op'd the locks,
A sudden universal crew
Of human evils upward flew;
He still was comforted to find
That hope at last remain'd behind:
So Strephon, lifting up the lid,
To view what in the chest was hid,
The vapours flew from up the vent;
But Strephon, cautious, never meant
The bottom of the pan to grope,
And foul his hands in search of hope.
O! ne'er may such a vile machine
Be once in Celia's chamber seen!
O! may she better learn to keep
Those "secrets of the hoary deep." 
As mutton-cutlets, prime of meat,
Which, tho' with art you salt and beat,
As laws of cookery require,
And toast them at the clearest fire;
If from upon the hopeful chops
The fat upon a cinder drops,
To stinking smoke it turns the flame,
Pois'ning the flesh from whence it came,
And up exhales a greasy stench,
For which you curse the careless wench:
So things which must not be exprest,
When drop'd into the reeking chest,
Send up an excremental smell
To taint the part from whence they fell:
The petticoats and gown perfume,
And waft a stink round ev'ry room.
Thus finishing his grand survey,
Disgusted Strephon slunk away;
Repeating in his amorous fits,
"Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia sh--!"
But Vengeance, goddess never sleeping,
Soon punish'd Strephon for his peeping:
His foul imagination links
Each dame he sees with all her stinks;
And, if unsavoury odours fly,
Conceives a lady standing by.
All women his description fits,
And both ideas jump like wits;
By vicious fancy coupled fast,
And still appearing in contrast.
I pity wretched Strephon, blind
To all the charms of woman kind.
Should I the Queen of Love refuse,
Because she rose from stinking ooze?
To him that looks behind the scene,
Statira's but some pocky quean.
When Celia in her glory shews,
If Strephon would but stop his nose,
(Who now so impiously blasphemes
Her ointments, daubs, and paints, and creams,
Her washes, slops, and every clout,
With which he makes so foul a rout;)
He soon would learn to think like me,
And bless his ravish'd sight to see
Such order from confusion sprung,
Such gaudy tulips raised from dung.
[Footnote 1: Var. "The bitch bequeath'd her when she died."--1732.]
[Footnote 2: Var. "marks of stinking toes."--1732.]
[Footnote 3: Milton, "Paradise Lost," ii, 890-1:
"Before their eyes in sudden view appear
The secrets of the hoary deep."--_W. E. B._]
THE POWER OF TIME. 1730
If neither brass nor marble can withstand
The mortal force of Time's destructive hand;
If mountains sink to vales, if cities die,
And lessening rivers mourn their fountains dry;
When my old cassock (said a Welsh divine)
Is out at elbows, why should I repine?
CASSINUS AND PETER
A TRAGICAL ELEGY
Two college sophs of Cambridge growth,
Both special wits and lovers both,
Conferring, as they used to meet,
On love, and books, in rapture sweet;
(Muse, find me names to fit my metre,
Cassinus this, and t'other Peter.)
Friend Peter to Cassinus goes,
To chat a while, and warm his nose:
But such a sight was never seen,
The lad lay swallow'd up in spleen.
He seem'd as just crept out of bed;
One greasy stocking round his head,
The other he sat down to darn,
With threads of different colour'd yarn;
His breeches torn, exposing wide
A ragged shirt and tawny hide.
Scorch'd were his shins, his legs were bare,
But well embrown'd with dirt and hair
A rug was o'er his shoulders thrown,
(A rug, for nightgown he had none,)
His jordan stood in manner fitting
Between his legs, to spew or spit in;
His ancient pipe, in sable dyed,
And half unsmoked, lay by his side.
Him thus accoutred Peter found,
With eyes in smoke and weeping drown'd;
The leavings of his last night's pot
On embers placed, to drink it hot.
Why, Cassy, thou wilt dose thy pate:
What makes thee lie a-bed so late?
The finch, the linnet, and the thrush,
Their matins chant in every bush;
And I have heard thee oft salute
Aurora with thy early flute.
Heaven send thou hast not got the hyps!
How! not a word come from thy lips?
Then gave him some familiar thumps,
A college joke to cure the dumps.
The swain at last, with grief opprest,
Cried, Celia! thrice, and sigh'd the rest.
Dear Cassy, though to ask I dread,
Yet ask I must--is Celia dead?
How happy I, were that the worst!
But I was fated to be curst!
Come, tell us, has she play'd the whore?
O Peter, would it were no more!
Why, plague confound her sandy locks!
Say, has the small or greater pox
Sunk down her nose, or seam'd her face?
Be easy, 'tis a common case.
O Peter! beauty's but a varnish,
Which time and accidents will tarnish:
But Celia has contrived to blast
Those beauties that might ever last.
Nor can imagination guess,
Nor eloquence divine express,
How that ungrateful charming maid
My purest passion has betray'd:
Conceive the most envenom'd dart
To pierce an injured lover's heart.
Why, hang her; though she seem'd so coy,
I know she loves the barber's boy.
Friend Peter, this I could excuse,
For every nymph has leave to choose;
Nor have I reason to complain,
She loves a more deserving swain.
But, oh! how ill hast thou divined
A crime, that shocks all human kind;
A deed unknown to female race,
At which the sun should hide his face:
Advice in vain you would apply--
Then leave me to despair and die.
Ye kind Arcadians, on my urn
These elegies and sonnets burn;
And on the marble grave these rhymes,
A monument to after-times--
"Here Cassy lies, by Celia slain,
And dying, never told his pain."
Vain empty world, farewell. But hark,
The loud Cerberian triple bark;
And there--behold Alecto stand,
A whip of scorpions in her hand:
Lo, Charon from his leaky wherry
Beckoning to waft me o'er the ferry:
I come! I come! Medusa see,
Her serpents hiss direct at me.
Begone; unhand me, hellish fry:
"Avaunt--ye cannot say 'twas I."
Dear Cassy, thou must purge and bleed;
I fear thou wilt be mad indeed.
But now, by friendship's sacred laws,
I here conjure thee, tell the cause;
And Celia's horrid fact relate:
Thy friend would gladly share thy fate.
To force it out, my heart must rend;
Yet when conjured by such a friend--
Think, Peter, how my soul is rack'd!
These eyes, these eyes, beheld the fact.
Now bend thine ear, since out it must;
But, when thou seest me laid in dust,
The secret thou shalt ne'er impart,
Not to the nymph that keeps thy heart;
(How would her virgin soul bemoan
A crime to all her sex unknown!)
Nor whisper to the tattling reeds
The blackest of all female deeds;
Nor blab it on the lonely rocks,
Where Echo sits, and listening mocks;
Nor let the Zephyr's treacherous gale
Through Cambridge waft the direful tale;
Nor to the chattering feather'd race
Discover Celia's foul disgrace.
But, if you fail, my spectre dread,
Attending nightly round your bed--
And yet I dare confide in you;
So take my secret, and adieu:
Nor wonder how I lost my wits:
Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia sh--!
[Footnote 1: From "Macbeth," in Act III, Sc. iv:
"Thou canst not say, I did it:" etc.
"Avaunt, and quit my sight."]
A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG NYMPH GOING TO BED.
WRITTEN FOR THE HONOUR OF THE FAIR SEX. 1731
Corinna, pride of Drury-Lane,
For whom no shepherd sighs in vain;
Never did Covent-Garden boast
So bright a batter'd strolling toast!
No drunken rake to pick her up,
No cellar where on tick to sup;
Returning at the midnight hour,
Four stories climbing to her bower;
Then, seated on a three-legg'd chair,
Takes off her artificial hair;
Now picking out a crystal eye,
She wipes it clean, and lays it by.
Her eyebrows from a mouse's hide
Stuck on with art on either side,
Pulls off with care, and first displays 'em,
Then in a play-book smoothly lays 'em.
Now dext'rously her plumpers draws,
That serve to fill her hollow jaws,
Untwists a wire, and from her gums
A set of teeth completely comes;
Pulls out the rags contrived to prop
Her flabby dugs, and down they drop.
Proceeding on, the lovely goddess
Unlaces next her steel-ribb'd bodice,
Which, by the operator's skill,
Press down the lumps, the hollows fill.
Up goes her hand, and off she slips
The bolsters that supply her hips;
With gentlest touch she next explores
Her chancres, issues, running sores;
Effects of many a sad disaster,
And then to each applies a plaster:
But must, before she goes to bed,
Rub off the daubs of white and red,
And smooth the furrows in her front
With greasy paper stuck upon't.
She takes a bolus ere she sleeps;
And then between two blankets creeps.
With pains of love tormented lies;
Or, if she chance to close her eyes,
Of Bridewell and the Compter dreams,
And feels the lash, and faintly screams;
Or, by a faithless bully drawn,
At some hedge-tavern lies in pawn;
Or to Jamaica seems transported
Alone, and by no planter courted;
Or, near Fleet-ditch's oozy brinks,
Surrounded with a hundred stinks,
Belated, seems on watch to lie,
And snap some cully passing by;
Or, struck with fear, her fancy runs
On watchmen, constables, and duns,
From whom she meets with frequent rubs;
But never from religious clubs;
Whose favour she is sure to find,
Because she pays them all in kind.
Corinna wakes. A dreadful sight!
Behold the ruins of the night!
A wicked rat her plaster stole,
Half eat, and dragg'd it to his hole.
The crystal eye, alas! was miss'd;
And puss had on her plumpers p--st,
A pigeon pick'd her issue-pease:
And Shock her tresses fill'd with fleas.
The nymph, though in this mangled plight
Must ev'ry morn her limbs unite.
But how shall I describe her arts
To re-collect the scatter'd parts?
Or show the anguish, toil, and pain,
Of gath'ring up herself again?
The bashful Muse will never bear
In such a scene to interfere.
Corinna, in the morning dizen'd,
Who sees, will spew; who smells, be poison'd.
[Footnote 1: See Cunningham's "Handbook of London." Bridewell was the
Prison to which harlots were sent, and were made to beat hemp and
pick oakum and were whipped if they did not perform their tasks. See
the Plate in Hogarth's "Harlot's Progress." The Prison has, happily,
been cleared away. The hall, court room, etc., remain at 14, New
Bridge Street. The Compter, a similar Prison, was also abolished.
For details of these abominations, see "London Past and Present,"
by Wheatley.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Jamaica seems to have been regarded as a place of exile. See
"A quiet life and a good name," _ante_, p. 152.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 3: See _ante_, p. 78, "Descripton of a City
Shower."--_W. E. B_.]
STREPHON AND CHLOE
Of Chloe all the town has rung,
By ev'ry size of poets sung:
So beautiful a nymph appears
But once in twenty thousand years;
By Nature form'd with nicest care,
And faultless to a single hair.
Her graceful mien, her shape, and face,
Confess'd her of no mortal race:
And then so nice, and so genteel;
Such cleanliness from head to heel;
No humours gross, or frouzy steams,
No noisome whiffs, or sweaty streams,
Before, behind, above, below,
Could from her taintless body flow:
Would so discreetly things dispose,
None ever saw her pluck a rose.
Her dearest comrades never caught her
Squat on her hams to make maid's water:
You'd swear that so divine a creature
Felt no necessities of nature.
In summer had she walk'd the town,
Her armpits would not stain her gown:
At country dances, not a nose
Could in the dog-days smell her toes.
Her milk-white hands, both palms and backs,
Like ivory dry, and soft as wax.
Her hands, the softest ever felt,
 Though cold would burn, though dry would melt.
Dear Venus, hide this wond'rous maid,
Nor let her loose to spoil your trade.
While she engrosses ev'ry swain,
You but o'er half the world can reign.
Think what a case all men are now in,
What ogling, sighing, toasting, vowing!
What powder'd wigs! what flames and darts!
What hampers full of bleeding hearts!
What sword-knots! what poetic strains!
What billets-doux, and clouded canes!
But Strephon sigh'd so loud and strong,
He blew a settlement along;
And bravely drove his rivals down,
With coach and six, and house in town.
The bashful nymph no more withstands,
Because her dear papa commands.
The charming couple now unites:
Proceed we to the marriage rites.
_Imprimis_, at the Temple porch
Stood Hymen with a flaming torch:
The smiling Cyprian Goddess brings
Her infant loves with purple wings:
And pigeons billing, sparrows treading,
Fair emblems of a fruitful wedding.
The Muses next in order follow,
Conducted by their squire, Apollo:
Then Mercury with silver tongue;
And Hebe, goddess ever young.
Behold, the bridegroom and his bride
Walk hand in hand, and side by side;
She, by the tender Graces drest,
But he, by Mars, in scarlet vest.
The nymph was cover'd with her _flammeum_,
And Phoebus sung th'epithalamium.
And last, to make the matter sure,
Dame Juno brought a priest demure.
Luna was absent, on pretence
Her time was not till nine months hence.
The rites perform'd, the parson paid,
In state return'd the grand parade;
With loud huzzas from all the boys,
That now the pair must crown their joys.
But still the hardest part remains:
Strephon had long perplex'd his brains,
How with so high a nymph he might
Demean himself the wedding-night:
For, as he view'd his person round,
Mere mortal flesh was all he found:
His hand, his neck, his mouth, and feet,
Were duly wash'd, to keep them sweet;
With other parts, that shall be nameless,
The ladies else might think me shameless.
The weather and his love were hot;
And, should he struggle, I know what--
Why, let it go, if I must tell it--
He'll sweat, and then the nymph may smell it;
While she, a goddess dyed in grain,
Was unsusceptible of stain,
And, Venus-like, her fragrant skin
Exhaled ambrosia from within.
Can such a deity endure
A mortal human touch impure?
How did the humbled swain detest
His prickly beard, and hairy breast!
His night-cap, border'd round with lace,
Could give no softness to his face.
Yet, if the goddess could be kind,
What endless raptures must he find!
And goddesses have now and then
Come down to visit mortal men;
To visit and to court them too:
A certain goddess, God knows who,
(As in a book he heard it read,)
Took Col'nel Peleus to her bed.
But what if he should lose his life
By vent'ring on his heavenly wife!
(For Strephon could remember well,
That once he heard a school-boy tell,
How Semele, of mortal race,
By thunder died in Jove's embrace.)
And what if daring Strephon dies
By lightning shot from Chloe's eyes!
While these reflections fill'd his head,
The bride was put in form to bed:
He follow'd, stript, and in he crept,
But awfully his distance kept.
Now, "ponder well, ye parents dear;"
Forbid your daughters guzzling beer;
And make them ev'ry afternoon
Forbear their tea, or drink it soon;
That, ere to bed they venture up,
They may discharge it ev'ry sup;
If not, they must in evil plight
Be often forc'd to rise at night.
Keep them to wholesome food confin'd,
Nor let them taste what causes wind:
'Tis this the sage of Samos means,
Forbidding his disciples beans.
O! think what evils must ensue;
Miss Moll, the jade, will burn it blue;
And, when she once has got the art,
She cannot help it for her heart;
But out it flies, even when she meets
Her bridegroom in the wedding-sheets.
_Carminative_ and _diuretic_
Will damp all passion sympathetic;
And Love such nicety requires,
One blast will put out all his fires.
Since husbands get behind the scene,
The wife should study to be clean;
Nor give the smallest room to guess
The time when wants of nature press;
But after marriage practise more
Decorum than she did before;
To keep her spouse deluded still,
And make him fancy what she will.
In bed we left the married pair;
'Tis time to show how things went there.
Strephon, who had been often told
That fortune still assists the bold,
Resolved to make the first attack;
But Chloe drove him fiercely back.
How could a nymph so chaste as Chloe,
With constitution cold and snowy,
Permit a brutish man to touch her?
Ev'n lambs by instinct fly the butcher.
Resistance on the wedding-night
Is what our maidens claim by right;
And Chloe, 'tis by all agreed,
Was maid in thought, in word, and deed.
Yet some assign a different reason;
That Strephon chose no proper season.
Say, fair ones, must I make a pause,
Or freely tell the secret cause?
Twelve cups of tea (with grief I speak)
Had now constrain'd the nymph to leak.
This point must needs be settled first:
The bride must either void or burst.
Then see the dire effects of pease;
Think what can give the colic ease.
The nymph oppress'd before, behind,
As ships are toss'd by waves and wind,
Steals out her hand, by nature led,
And brings a vessel into bed;
Fair utensil, as smooth and white
As Chloe's skin, almost as bright.
Strephon, who heard the fuming rill
As from a mossy cliff distil,
Cried out, Ye Gods! what sound is this?
Can Chloe, heavenly Chloe,----?
But when he smelt a noisome steam
Which oft attends that lukewarm stream;
(Salerno both together joins,
As sov'reign med'cines for the loins:)
And though contriv'd, we may suppose,
To slip his ears, yet struck his nose;
He found her while the scent increast,
As mortal as himself at least.
But soon, with like occasions prest
He boldly sent his hand in quest
(Inspired with courage from his bride)
To reach the pot on t'other side;
And, as he fill'd the reeking vase;
Let fly a rouser in her face.
The little Cupids hov'ring round,
(As pictures prove) with garlands crown'd,
Abash'd at what they saw and heard,
Flew off, nor ever more appear'd.
Adieu to ravishing delights,
High raptures, and romantic flights;
To goddesses so heav'nly sweet,
Expiring shepherds at their feet;
To silver meads and shady bowers,
Dress'd up with amaranthine flowers.
How great a change! how quickly made!
They learn to call a spade a spade.
They soon from all constraint are freed;
Can see each other do their need.
On box of cedar sits the wife,
And makes it warm for dearest life;
And, by the beastly way of thinking,
Find great society in stinking.
Now Strephon daily entertains
His Chloe in the homeliest strains;
And Chloe, more experienc'd grown,
With int'rest pays him back his own.
No maid at court is less asham'd,
Howe'er for selling bargains fam'd,
Than she to name her parts behind,
Or when a-bed to let out wind.
Fair Decency, celestial maid!
Descend from Heaven to Beauty's aid!
Though Beauty may beget desire,
'Tis thou must fan the Lover's fire;
For Beauty, like supreme dominion,
Is best supported by Opinion:
If Decency bring no supplies,
Opinion falls, and Beauty dies.
To see some radiant nymph appear
In all her glitt'ring birth-day gear,
You think some goddess from the sky
Descended, ready cut and dry:
But ere you sell yourself to laughter,
Consider well what may come after;
For fine ideas vanish fast,
While all the gross and filthy last.
O Strephon, ere that fatal day
When Chloe stole your heart away,
Had you but through a cranny spy'd
On house of ease your future bride,
In all the postures of her face,
Which nature gives in such a case;
Distortions, groanings, strainings, heavings,
'Twere better you had lick'd her leavings,
Than from experience find too late
Your goddess grown a filthy mate.
Your fancy then had always dwelt
On what you saw and what you smelt;
Would still the same ideas give ye,
As when you spy'd her on the privy;
And, spite of Chloe's charms divine,
Your heart had been as whole as mine.
Authorities, both old and recent,
Direct that women must be decent;
And from the spouse each blemish hide,
More than from all the world beside.
Unjustly all our nymphs complain
Their empire holds so short a reign;
Is, after marriage, lost so soon,
It hardly lasts the honey-moon:
For, if they keep not what they caught,
It is entirely their own fault.
They take possession of the crown,
And then throw all their weapons down:
Though, by the politician's scheme,
Whoe'er arrives at power supreme,
Those arts, by which at first they gain it,
They still must practise to maintain it.
What various ways our females take
To pass for wits before a rake!
And in the fruitless search pursue
All other methods but the true!
Some try to learn polite behaviour
By reading books against their Saviour;
Some call it witty to reflect
On ev'ry natural defect;
Some shew they never want explaining
To comprehend a double meaning.
But sure a tell-tale out of school
Is of all wits the greatest fool;
Whose rank imagination fills
Her heart, and from her lips distils;
You'd think she utter'd from behind,
Or at her mouth was breaking wind.
Why is a handsome wife ador'd
By every coxcomb but her lord?
From yonder puppet-man inquire,
Who wisely hides his wood and wire;
Shows Sheba's queen completely drest,
And Solomon in royal vest:
But view them litter'd on the floor,
Or strung on pegs behind the door;
Punch is exactly of a piece
With Lorrain's duke, and prince of Greece.
A prudent builder should forecast
How long the stuff is like to last;
And carefully observe the ground,
To build on some foundation sound.
What house, when its materials crumble,
Must not inevitably tumble?
What edifice can long endure
Raised on a basis unsecure?
Rash mortals, ere you take a wife,
Contrive your pile to last for life:
Since beauty scarce endures a day,
And youth so swiftly glides away;
Why will you make yourself a bubble,
To build on sand with hay and stubble?
On sense and wit your passion found,
By decency cemented round;
Let prudence with good-nature strive,
To keep esteem and love alive.
Then come old age whene'er it will,
Your friendship shall continue still:
And thus a mutual gentle fire
Shall never but with life expire.
[Footnote 1: A delicate way of speaking of a lady retiring behind a bush
in a garden.--_W. E. B_.]
"Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing, full."
DENHAM, _Cooper's Hill._]
[Footnote 3: A veil with which the Roman brides covered themselves when
going to be married.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: Marriage song, sung at weddings.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 5: Diana.]
[Footnote 6: Who married Thetis, the Nereid, by whom he became the father
of Achilles.--Ovid, "Metamorph.," lib. xi, 221, _seq.--W. E. B._]
[Footnote 7: See Ovid, "Metamorph.," lib. iii.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 8: A precept of Pythagoras. Hence, in French _argot_, beans, as
causing wind, are called _musiciens.--W. E. B._]
[Footnote 9: Provocative of perspiration and urine.]
[Footnote 1: "Mingere cum bombis res est saluberrima lumbis." A precept
to be found in the "Regimen Sanitatis," or "Schola Salernitana," a work
in rhyming Latin verse composed at Salerno, the earliest school in
Christian Europe where medicine was professed, taught, and practised. The
original text, if anywhere, is in the edition published and commented
upon by Arnaldus de Villa Nova, about 1480. Subsequently above one
hundred and sixty editions of the "Schola Salernitana" were published,
with many additions. A reprint of the first edition, edited by Sir
Alexander Croke, with woodcuts from the editions of 1559, 1568, and
1573, was published at Oxford in 1830.--_W. E. B._]
APOLLO; OR, A PROBLEM SOLVED
Apollo, god of light and wit,
Could verse inspire, but seldom writ,
Refined all metals with his looks,
As well as chemists by their books;
As handsome as my lady's page;
Sweet five-and-twenty was his age.
His wig was made of sunny rays,
He crown'd his youthful head with bays;
Not all the court of Heaven could show
So nice and so complete a beau.
No heir upon his first appearance,
With twenty thousand pounds a-year rents,
E'er drove, before he sold his land,
So fine a coach along the Strand;
The spokes, we are by Ovid told,
Were silver, and the axle gold:
I own, 'twas but a coach-and-four,
For Jupiter allows no more.
Yet, with his beauty, wealth, and parts,
Enough to win ten thousand hearts,
No vulgar deity above
Was so unfortunate in love.
Three weighty causes were assign'd,
That moved the nymphs to be unkind.
Nine Muses always waiting round him,
He left them virgins as he found them.
His singing was another fault;
For he could reach to B in _alt_:
And, by the sentiments of Pliny,
Such singers are like Nicolini.
At last, the point was fully clear'd;
In short, Apollo had no beard.
[Footnote 1: "Bubus tantum feminis vox gravior, in alio omni genere
exilior quam maribus, in homine etiam castratis."--"Hist. Nat.," xi, 51.
"A condicione castrati seminis quae spadonia appellant Belgae,"
_ib_. xv.--_W. E. B._]
THE PLACE OF THE DAMNED
All folks who pretend to religion and grace,
Allow there's a HELL, but dispute of the place:
But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined
The place of the damn'd--I'll tell you my mind.
Wherever the damn'd do chiefly abound,
Most certainly there is HELL to be found:
Damn'd poets, damn'd critics, damn'd blockheads, damn'd knaves,
Damn'd senators bribed, damn'd prostitute slaves;
Damn'd lawyers and judges, damn'd lords and damn'd squires;
Damn'd spies and informers, damn'd friends and damn'd liars;
Damn'd villains, corrupted in every station;
Damn'd time-serving priests all over the nation;
And into the bargain I'll readily give you
Damn'd ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy.
Then let us no longer by parsons be flamm'd,
For we know by these marks the place of the damn'd:
And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.
How happy for us that it is not at home!
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT
With a whirl of thought oppress'd,
I sunk from reverie to rest.
An horrid vision seized my head;
I saw the graves give up their dead!
Jove, arm'd with terrors, bursts the skies,
And thunder roars and lightning flies!
Amaz'd, confus'd, its fate unknown,
The world stands trembling at his throne!
While each pale sinner hung his head,
Jove, nodding, shook the heavens, and said:
"Offending race of human kind,
By nature, reason, _learning_, blind;
You who, through frailty, stepp'd aside;
And you, who never fell--_through pride_:
You who in different sects were shamm'd,
And come to see each other damn'd;
(So some folk told you, but they knew
No more of Jove's designs than you;)
--The world's mad business now is o'er,
And I resent these pranks no more.
--I to such blockheads set my wit!
I damn such fools!--Go, go, you're _bit_."
[Footnote 1: This Poem was sent in a letter from Lord Chesterfield to
Voltaire, dated 27th August, 1752, in which he says: "Je vous envoie
ci-jointe une pièce par le feu Docteur Swift, laquelle je crois ne vous
déplaira pas. Elle n'a jamais été imprimée, vous en dévinerez bien la
raison, roais elle est authentique. J'en ai l'original, écrit de sa
propre main."--_W. E. B._]
By the just vengeance of incensed skies,
Poor Bishop Judas late repenting dies.
The Jews engaged him with a paltry bribe,
Amounting hardly to a crown a-tribe;
Which though his conscience forced him to restore,
(And parsons tell us, no man can do more,)
Yet, through despair, of God and man accurst,
He lost his bishopric, and hang'd or burst.
Those former ages differ'd much from this;
Judas betray'd his master with a kiss:
But some have kiss'd the gospel fifty times,
Whose perjury's the least of all their crimes;
Some who can perjure through a two inch-board,
Yet keep their bishoprics, and 'scape the cord:
Like hemp, which, by a skilful spinster drawn
To slender threads, may sometimes pass for lawn.
As ancient Judas by transgression fell,
And burst asunder ere he went to hell;
So could we see a set of new Iscariots
Come headlong tumbling from their mitred chariots;
Each modern Judas perish like the first,
Drop from the tree with all his bowels burst;
Who could forbear, that view'd each guilty face,
To cry, "Lo! Judas gone to his own place,
His habitation let all men forsake,
And let his bishopric another take!"
AN EPISTLE TO MR. GAY
How could you, Gay, disgrace the Muse's train,
To serve a tasteless court twelve years in vain!
Fain would I think our female friend  sincere,
Till Bob, the poet's foe, possess'd her ear.
Did female virtue e'er so high ascend,
To lose an inch of favour for a friend?
Say, had the court no better place to choose
For triee, than make a dry-nurse of thy Muse?
How cheaply had thy liberty been sold,
To squire a royal girl of two years old:
In leading strings her infant steps to guide,
Or with her go-cart amble side by side!
But princely Douglas, and his glorious dame,
Advanced thy fortune, and preserved thy fame.
Nor will your nobler gifts be misapplied,
When o'er your patron's treasure you preside:
The world shall own, his choice was wise and just,
For sons of Phoebus never break their trust.
Not love of beauty less the heart inflames
Of guardian eunuchs to the sultan's dames,
Their passions not more impotent and cold,
Than those of poets to the lust of gold.
With Pæan's purest fire his favourites glow,
The dregs will serve to ripen ore below:
His meanest work: for, had he thought it fit
That wealth should be the appanage of wit,
The god of light could ne'er have been so blind
To deal it to the worst of human kind.
But let me now, for I can do it well,
Your conduct in this new employ foretell.
And first: to make my observation right,
I place a statesman full before my sight,
A bloated minister in all his gear,
With shameless visage and perfidious leer:
Two rows of teeth arm each devouring jaw,
And ostrich-like his all-digesting maw.
My fancy drags this monster to my view,
To shew the world his chief reverse in you.
Of loud unmeaning sounds, a rapid flood
Rolls from his mouth in plenteous streams of mud;
With these the court and senate-house he plies,
Made up of noise, and impudence, and lies.
Now let me show how Bob and you agree:
You serve a potent prince, as well as he.
The ducal coffers trusted to your charge,
Your honest care may fill, perhaps enlarge:
His vassals easy, and the owner blest;
They pay a trifle, and enjoy the rest.
Not so a nation's revenues are paid;
The servant's faults are on the master laid.
The people with a sigh their taxes bring,
And, cursing Bob, forget to bless the king.
Next hearken, Gay, to what thy charge requires,
With servants, tenants, and the neighbouring squires,
Let all domestics feel your gentle sway;
Nor bribe, insult, nor flatter, nor betray.
Let due reward to merit be allow'd;
Nor with your kindred half the palace crowd;
Nor think yourself secure in doing wrong,
By telling noses  with a party strong.
Be rich; but of your wealth make no parade;
At least, before your master's debts are paid;
Nor in a palace, built with charge immense,
Presume to treat him at his own expense.
Each farmer in the neighbourhood can count
To what your lawful perquisites amount.
The tenants poor, the hardness of the times,
Are ill excuses for a servant's crimes.
With interest, and a premium paid beside,
The master's pressing wants must be supplied;
With hasty zeal behold the steward come
By his own credit to advance the sum;
Who, while th'unrighteous Mammon is his friend,
May well conclude his power will never end.
A faithful treasurer! what could he do more?
He lends my lord what was my lord's before.
The law so strictly guards the monarch's health,
That no physician dares prescribe by stealth:
The council sit; approve the doctor's skill;
And give advice before he gives the pill.
But the state empiric acts a safer part;
And, while he poisons, wins the royal heart.
But how can I describe the ravenous breed?
Then let me now by negatives proceed.
Suppose your lord a trusty servant send
On weighty business to some neighbouring friend:
Presume not, Gay, unless you serve a drone,
To countermand his orders by your own.
Should some imperious neighbour sink the boats,
And drain the fish-ponds, while your master dotes;
Shall he upon the ducal rights intrench,
Because he bribed you with a brace of tench?
Nor from your lord his bad condition hide,
To feed his luxury, or soothe his pride.
Nor at an under rate his timber sell,
And with an oath assure him, all is well;
Or swear it rotten, and with humble airs 
Request it of him, to complete your stairs;
Nor, when a mortgage lies on half his lands,
Come with a purse of guineas in your hands.
Have Peter Waters  always in your mind;
That rogue, of genuine ministerial kind,
Can half the peerage by his arts bewitch,
Starve twenty lords to make one scoundrel rich:
And, when he gravely has undone a score,
Is humbly pray'd to ruin twenty more.
A dext'rous steward, when his tricks are found,
Hush-money sends to all the neighbours round;
His master, unsuspicious of his pranks,
Pays all the cost, and gives the villain thanks.
And, should a friend attempt to set him right,
His lordship would impute it all to spite;
Would love his favourite better than before,
And trust his honesty just so much more.
Thus families, like realms, with equal fate,
Are sunk by premier ministers of state.
Some, when an heir succeeds, go bodily on,
And, as they robb'd the father, rob the son.
A knave, who deep embroils his lord's affairs,
Will soon grow necessary to his heirs.
His policy consists in setting traps,
In finding ways and means, and stopping gaps;
He knows a thousand tricks whene'er he please,
Though not to cure, yet palliate each disease.
In either case, an equal chance is run;
For, keep or turn him out, my lord's undone.
You want a hand to clear a filthy sink;
No cleanly workman can endure the stink.
A strong dilemma in a desperate case!
To act with infamy, or quit the place.
A bungler thus, who scarce the nail can hit,
With driving wrong will make the panel split:
Nor dares an abler workman undertake
To drive a second, lest the whole should break.
In every court the parallel will hold;
And kings, like private folks, are bought and sold.
The ruling rogue, who dreads to be cashler'd,
Contrives, as he is hated, to be fear'd;
Confounds accounts, perplexes all affairs:
For vengeance more embroils, than skill repairs.
So robbers, (and their ends are just the same,)
To 'scape inquiries, leave the house in flame.
I knew a brazen minister of state,
Who bore for twice ten years the public hate.
In every mouth the question most in vogue
Was, when will they turn out this odious rogue?
A juncture happen'd in his highest pride:
While he went robbing on, his master died.
We thought there now remain'd no room to doubt;
The work is done, the minister must out.
The court invited more than one or two:
Will you, Sir Spencer? or will you, or you?
But not a soul his office durst accept;
The subtle knave had all the plunder swept:
And, such was then the temper of the times,
He owed his preservation to his crimes.
The candidates observed his dirty paws;
Nor found it difficult to guess the cause:
But, when they smelt such foul corruptions round him,
Away they fled, and left him as they found him.
Thus, when a greedy sloven once has thrown
His snot into the mess, 'tis all his own.
[Footnote 1: The Dean having been told by an intimate friend that the
Duke of Queensberry had employed Mr. Gay to inspect the accounts and
management of his grace's receivers and stewards (which, however, proved
to be a mistake), wrote this Epistle to his friend.--_H_. Through the
whole piece, under the pretext of instructing Gay in his duty as the
duke's auditor of accounts, he satirizes the conduct of Sir Robert
Walpole, then Prime Minister.--_Scott_.]
[Footnote 2: See the "Libel on Dr. Delany and Lord Carteret," _post_.]
[Footnote 3: The Countess of Suffolk.--_H._]
[Footnote 4: Sir Robert Walpole.--_Faulkner_.]
[Footnote 5: The post of gentleman-usher to the Princess Louisa was
offered to Gay, which he and his friends considered as a great indignity,
her royal highness being a mere infant.--_Scott_.]
[Footnote 6: The Duke and Duchess of Queensberry.]
[Footnote 7: A title given to every duke by the
[Footnote 8: Counting the numbers of a division. A horse dealer's
term.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 9: Alluding to the magnificence of Houghton, the seat of Sir
Robert Walpole, by which he greatly impaired his fortune.
"What brought Sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste?
Some Demon whispered, 'Visto! have a Taste.'"
POPE, _Moral Essays_, Epist. iv.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 10: These lines are thought to allude to some story concerning
a vast quantity of mahogany declared rotten, and then applied by somebody
to wainscots, stairs, door-cases, etc.--_Dublin edition_.]
[Footnote 11: He hath practised this trade for many years, and still
continues it with success; and after he hath ruined one lord, is
earnestly solicited to take another.--_Dublin edition_.
Properly Walter, a dexterous and unscrupulous attorney.
"Wise Peter sees the world's respect for gold,
And therefore hopes this nation may be sold."
POPE, _Moral Essays_, Epist. iii.
And see his character fully displayed in Sir Chas. Hanbury Williams'
poem, "Peter and my Lord Quidam," Works, with notes, edit. 1822. Peter
was the original of Peter Pounce in Fielding's "Joseph
Andrews."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 12: Sir Robert Walpole, who was called Sir Robert Brass.]
[Footnote 13: King George I, who died on the 12th June,
1727.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 14: Sir Spencer Compton, Speaker of the House of Commons,
afterwards created Earl of Wilmington. George II, on his accession to the
throne, intended that Compton should be Prime Minister, but Walpole,
through the influence of the queen, retained his place, Compton having
confessed "his incapacity to undertake so arduous a task." As Lord
Wilmington, he is constantly ridiculed by Sir Chas. Hanbury Williams.
See his Works, with notes by Horace Walpole, edit. 1822.--_W. E. B._]
TO A LADY
WHO DESIRED THE AUTHOR TO WRITE SOME VERSES UPON HER
IN THE HEROIC STYLE
After venting all my spite,
Tell me, what have I to write?
Every error I could find
Through the mazes of your mind,
Have my busy Muse employ'd,
Till the company was cloy'd.
Are you positive and fretful,
Heedless, ignorant, forgetful?
Those, and twenty follies more,
I have often told before.
Hearken what my lady says:
Have I nothing then to praise?
Ill it fits you to be witty,
Where a fault should move your pity.
If you think me too conceited,
Or to passion quickly heated;
If my wandering head be less
Set on reading than on dress;
If I always seem too dull t'ye;
I can solve the diffi--culty.
You would teach me to be wise:
Truth and honour how to prize;
How to shine in conversation,
And with credit fill my station;
How to relish notions high;
How to live, and how to die.
But it was decreed by Fate--
Mr. Dean, you come too late.
Well I know, you can discern,
I am now too old to learn:
Follies, from my youth instill'd,
Have my soul entirely fill'd;
In my head and heart they centre,
Nor will let your lessons enter.
Bred a fondling and an heiress;
Drest like any lady mayoress:
Cocker'd by the servants round,
Was too good to touch the ground;
Thought the life of every lady
Should be one continued play-day--
Balls, and masquerades, and shows,
Visits, plays, and powder'd beaux.
Thus you have my case at large,
And may now perform your charge.
Those materials I have furnish'd,
When by you refined and burnish'd,
Must, that all the world may know 'em,
Be reduced into a poem.
But, I beg, suspend a while
That same paltry, burlesque style;
Drop for once your constant rule,
Turning all to ridicule;
Teaching others how to ape you;
Court nor parliament can 'scape you;
Treat the public and your friends
Both alike, while neither mends.
Sing my praise in strain sublime:
Treat me not with dogg'rel rhyme.
'Tis but just, you should produce,
With each fault, each fault's excuse;
Not to publish every trifle,
And my few perfections stifle.
With some gifts at least endow me,
Which my very foes allow me.
Am I spiteful, proud, unjust?
Did I ever break my trust?
Which of all our modern dames
Censures less, or less defames?
In good manners am I faulty?
Can you call me rude or haughty?
Did I e'er my mite withhold
From the impotent and old?
When did ever I omit
Due regard for men of wit?
When have I esteem express'd
For a coxcomb gaily dress'd?
Do I, like the female tribe,
Think it wit to fleer and gibe?
Who with less designing ends
Kindlier entertains her friends;
With good words and countenance sprightly,
Strives to treat them more politely?
Think not cards my chief diversion:
'Tis a wrong, unjust aspersion:
Never knew I any good in 'em,
But to dose my head like laudanum.
We, by play, as men, by drinking,
Pass our nights to drive out thinking.
From my ailments give me leisure,
I shall read and think with pleasure;
Conversation learn to relish,
And with books my mind embellish.
Now, methinks, I hear you cry,
Mr. Dean, you must reply.
Madam, I allow 'tis true:
All these praises are your due.
You, like some acute philosopher,
Every fault have drawn a gloss over;
Placing in the strongest light
All your virtues to my sight.
Though you lead a blameless life,
Are an humble prudent wife,
Answer all domestic ends:
What is this to us your friends?
Though your children by a nod
Stand in awe without a rod;
Though, by your obliging sway,
Servants love you, and obey;
Though you treat us with a smile;
Clear your looks, and smooth your style;
Load our plates from every dish;
This is not the thing we wish.
Colonel ***** may be your debtor;
We expect employment better.
You must learn, if you would gain us,
With good sense to entertain us.
Scholars, when good sense describing,
Call it tasting and imbibing;
Metaphoric meat and drink
Is to understand and think;
We may carve for others thus;
And let others carve for us;
To discourse, and to attend,
Is, to help yourself and friend.
Conversation is but carving;
Carve for all, yourself is starving:
Give no more to every guest,
Than he's able to digest;
Give him always of the prime;
And but little at a time.
Carve to all but just enough:
Let them neither starve nor stuff:
And, that you may have your due,
Let your neighbours carve for you.
This comparison will hold,
Could it well in rhyme be told,
How conversing, listening, thinking,
Justly may resemble drinking;
For a friend a glass you fill,
What is this but to instil?
To conclude this long essay;
Pardon if I disobey,
Nor against my natural vein,
Treat you in heroic strain.
I, as all the parish knows,
Hardly can be grave in prose:
Still to lash, and lashing smile,
Ill befits a lofty style.
From the planet of my birth
I encounter vice with mirth.
Wicked ministers of state
I can easier scorn than hate;
And I find it answers right:
Scorn torments them more than spight.
All the vices of a court
Do but serve to make me sport.
Were I in some foreign realm,
Which all vices overwhelm;
Should a monkey wear a crown,
Must I tremble at his frown?
Could I not, through all his ermine,
'Spy the strutting chattering vermin;
Safely write a smart lampoon,
To expose the brisk baboon?
When my Muse officious ventures
On the nation's representers:
Teaching by what golden rules
Into knaves they turn their fools;
How the helm is ruled by Walpole,
At whose oars, like slaves, they all pull;
Let the vessel split on shelves;
With the freight enrich themselves:
Safe within my little wherry,
All their madness makes me merry:
Like the waterman of Thames,
I row by, and call them names;
Like the ever-laughing sage,
In a jest I spend my rage:
(Though it must be understood,
I would hang them if I could;)
If I can but fill my niche,
I attempt no higher pitch;
Leave to d'Anvers and his mate
Maxims wise to rule the state.
Pulteney deep, accomplish'd St. Johns,
Scourge the villains with a vengeance;
Let me, though the smell be noisome,
Strip their bums; let Caleb hoise 'em;
Then apply Alecto's whip
Till they wriggle, howl, and skip.
Deuce is in you, Mr. Dean:
What can all this passion mean?
Mention courts! you'll ne'er be quiet
On corruptions running riot.
End as it befits your station;
Come to use and application;
Nor with senates keep a fuss.
I submit; and answer thus:
If the machinations brewing,
To complete the public ruin,
Never once could have the power
To affect me half an hour;
Sooner would I write in buskins,
Mournful elegies on Blueskins.
If I laugh at Whig and Tory;
I conclude _à fortiori_,
All your eloquence will scarce
Drive me from my favourite farce.
This I must insist on; for, as
It is well observed by Horace,
Ridicule has greater power
To reform the world than sour.
Horses thus, let jockeys judge else,
Switches better guide than cudgels.
Bastings heavy, dry, obtuse,
Only dulness can produce;
While a little gentle jerking
Sets the spirits all a-working.
Thus, I find it by experiment,
Scolding moves you less than merriment.
I may storm and rage in vain;
It but stupifies your brain.
But with raillery to nettle,
Sets your thoughts upon their mettle;
Gives imagination scope;
Never lets your mind elope;
Drives out brangling and contention.
Brings in reason and invention.
For your sake as well as mine,
I the lofty style decline.
I should make a figure scurvy,
And your head turn topsy-turvy.
I who love to have a fling
Both at senate-house and king:
That they might some better way tread,
To avoid the public hatred;
Thought no method more commodious,
Than to show their vices odious;
Which I chose to make appear,
Not by anger, but by sneer.
As my method of reforming,
Is by laughing, not by storming,
(For my friends have always thought
Tenderness my greatest fault,)
Would you have me change my style?
On your faults no longer smile;
But, to patch up all our quarrels,
Quote you texts from Plutarch's Morals,
Or from Solomon produce
Maxims teaching Wisdom's use?
If I treat you like a crown'd head,
You have cheap enough compounded;
Can you put in higher claims,
Than the owners of St. James?
You are not so great a grievance,
As the hirelings of St. Stephen's.
You are of a lower class
Than my friend Sir Robert Brass.
None of these have mercy found:
I have laugh'd, and lash'd them round.
Have you seen a rocket fly?
You would swear it pierced the sky:
It but reach'd the middle air,
Bursting into pieces there;
Thousand sparkles falling down
Light on many a coxcomb's crown.
See what mirth the sport creates!
Singes hair, but breaks no pates.
Thus, should I attempt to climb,
Treat you in a style sublime,
Such a rocket is my Muse:
Should I lofty numbers choose,
Ere I reach'd Parnassus' top,
I should burst, and bursting drop;
All my fire would fall in scraps,
Give your head some gentle raps;
Only make it smart a while;
Then could I forbear to smile,
When I found the tingling pain
Entering warm your frigid brain;
Make you able upon sight
To decide of wrong and right;
Talk with sense whate'er you please on;
Learn to relish truth and reason!
Thus we both shall gain our prize;
I to laugh, and you grow wise.
"Beside, he was a shrewd Philosopher,
And had read ev'ry Text and Gloss over."
[Footnote 2: Democritus, the Greek philosopher, one of the founders of
the atomic theory.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: Caleb d'Anvers was the name assumed by Nicholas Amhurst, the
ostensible editor of the celebrated journal, entitled "The Craftsman,"
written by Bolingbroke and Pulteney. See "Prose Works," vii, p.
219.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: One of the three Furies--Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera, the
avenging deities.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 5: The famous thief, who, while on his trial at the Old Bailey,
stabbed Jonathan Wild. See Fielding's "Life of Jonathan Wild," Book iv,
ch. i.--_W. E. B._]
Fortius et melius magnas plerumque secat res."--_Sat_. I, x, 14.]
EPIGRAM ON THE BUSTS IN RICHMOND HERMITAGE. 1732
"Sic siti laetantur docti."
With honour thus by Carolina placed,
How are these venerable bustoes graced!
O queen, with more than regal title crown'd,
For love of arts and piety renown'd!
How do the friends of virtue joy to see
Her darling sons exalted thus by thee!
Nought to their fame can now be added more,
Revered by her whom all mankind adore.
[Footnote 1: Newton, Locke, Clarke, and Woolaston.]
[Footnote 2: Queen Caroline's regard for learned men was chiefly directed
to those who had signalized themselves by philosophical research. Horace
Walpole alludes to this her peculiar taste, in his fable called the
"Funeral of the Lioness," where the royal shade is made to say:
"... where Elysian waters glide,
With Clarke and Newton by my side,
Purrs o'er the metaphysic page,
Or ponders the prophetic rage
Of Merlin, who mysterious sings
Of men and lions, beasts and kings."
_Lord Orford's Works_, iv, 379.--_W. E. B._]
Louis the living learned fed,
And raised the scientific head;
Our frugal queen, to save her meat,
Exalts the heads that cannot eat.
DRAWN FROM THE ABOVE EPIGRAMS, AND SENT TO THE DRAPIER
Since Anna, whose bounty thy merits had fed,
Ere her own was laid low, had exalted thy head:
And since our good queen to the wise is so just,
To raise heads for such as are humbled in dust,
I wonder, good man, that you are not envaulted;
Prithee go, and be dead, and be doubly exalted.
DR. SWIFT'S ANSWER
Her majesty never shall be my exalter;
And yet she would raise me, I know, by a halter!
TO THE REVEREND DR. SWIFT
WITH A PRESENT OF A PAPER-BOOK, FINELY BOUND,
ON HIS BIRTH-DAY, NOV. 30, 1732.
BY JOHN, EARL OF ORRERY
To thee, dear Swift, these spotless leaves I send;
Small is the present, but sincere the friend.
Think not so poor a book below thy care;
Who knows the price that thou canst make it bear?
Tho' tawdry now, and, like Tyrilla's face,
The specious front shines out with borrow'd grace;
Tho' pasteboards, glitt'ring like a tinsell'd coat,
A _rasa tabula_ within denote:
Yet, if a venal and corrupted age,
And modern vices should provoke thy rage;
If, warn'd once more by their impending fate,
A sinking country and an injur'd state,
Thy great assistance should again demand,
And call forth reason to defend the land;
Then shall we view these sheets with glad surprise,
Inspir'd with thought, and speaking to our eyes;
Each vacant space shall then, enrich'd, dispense
True force of eloquence, and nervous sense;
Inform the judgment, animate the heart,
And sacred rules of policy impart.
The spangled cov'ring, bright with splendid ore,
Shall cheat the sight with empty show no more;
But lead us inward to those golden mines,
Where all thy soul in native lustre shines.
So when the eye surveys some lovely fair,
With bloom of beauty graced, with shape and air;
How is the rapture heighten'd, when we find
Her form excell'd by her celestial mind!
[Footnote 1: It was occasioned by an annual custom, which I found pursued
among his friends, of making him a present on his birth-day. Orrery's
"Remarks," p. 202.--_W. E. B._]
VERSES LEFT WITH A SILVER STANDISH ON THE DEAN OF ST. PATRICK'S DESK,
ON HIS BIRTH-DAY.
BY DR. DELANY
Hither from Mexico I came,
To serve a proud Iernian dame:
Was long submitted to her will;
At length she lost me at quadrille.
Through various shapes I often pass'd,
Still hoping to have rest at last;
And still ambitious to obtain
Admittance to the patriot Dean;
And sometimes got within his door,
But soon turn'd out to serve the poor:
Not strolling Idleness to aid,
But honest Industry decay'd.
At length an artist purchased me,
And wrought me to the shape you see.
This done, to Hermes I applied:
"O Hermes! gratify my pride;
Be it my fate to serve a sage,
The greatest genius of his age;
That matchless pen let me supply,
Whose living lines will never die!"
"I grant your suit," the God replied,
And here he left me to reside.
[Footnote 1: Alluding to sums lent by the Dean, without interest, to
assist poor tradesmen.--_W. E. B._]
VERSES OCCASIONED BY THE FOREGOING PRESENTS
A paper book is sent by Boyle,
Too neatly gilt for me to soil.
Delany sends a silver standish,
When I no more a pen can brandish.
Let both around my tomb be placed:
As trophies of a Muse deceased;
And let the friendly lines they writ,
In praise of long-departed wit,
Be graved on either side in columns,
More to my praise than all my volumes,
To burst with envy, spite, and rage,
The Vandals of the present age.
SENT TO THE DEAN WITH AN EAGLE QUILL,
ON HEARING OF THE PRESENTS BY THE EARL OF ORRERY AND DR. DELANY.
BY MRS. PILKINGTON
Shall then my kindred all my glory claim,
And boldly rob me of eternal fame?
To every art my gen'rous aid I lend,
To music, painting, poetry, a friend.
'Tis I celestial harmony inspire,
When fix'd to strike the sweetly warbling wire.
I to the faithful canvas have consign'd
Each bright idea of the painter's mind;
Behold from Raphael's sky-dipt pencils rise
Such heavenly scenes as charm the gazer's eyes.
O let me now aspire to higher praise!
Ambitious to transcribe your deathless lays:
Nor thou, immortal bard, my aid refuse,
Accept me as the servant of your Muse;
Then shall the world my wondrous worth declare,
And all mankind your matchless pen revere.
[Footnote 1: Quills of the harpsichord.]
AN INVITATION, BY DR. DELANY, IN THE NAME OF DR. SWIFT
Mighty Thomas, a solemn senatus I call,
To consult for Sapphira; so come one and all;
Quit books, and quit business, your cure and your care,
For a long winding walk, and a short bill of fare.
I've mutton for you, sir; and as for the ladies,
As friend Virgil has it, I've _aliud mercedis_;
For Letty, one filbert, whereon to regale;
And a peach for pale Constance, to make a full meal;
And for your cruel part, who take pleasure in blood,
I have that of the grape, which is ten times as good:
Flow wit to her honour, flow wine to her health:
High raised be her worth above titles or wealth.
[Footnote 1: To correct Mrs. Barber's poems; which were published at
London, in 4to, by subscription.]
[Footnote 2: The name by which Mrs, Barber was distinguished by her
[Footnote 2: Mrs. Pilkington.--_N_.]
[Footnote 3: Mrs. Constantia Grierson, a very learned young lady, who
died in 1733, at the age of 27.--_N_.]
[Footnote 4: Mrs. Van Lewen, Mrs. Pilkington's mother. Swift had
ultimately good reason to regret his intimacy with the Pilkingtons, and
the favours he showed them. See accounts of them in the "Dictionary of
National Biography."--. _W. E. B_.]
THE BEASTS' CONFESSION TO THE PRIEST,
ON OBSERVING HOW MOST MEN MISTAKE THEIR OWN TALENTS. 1732
I have been long of opinion, that there is not a more general and
greater mistake, or of worse consequences through the commerce of
mankind, than the wrong judgments they are apt to entertain of their
own talents. I knew a stuttering alderman in London, a great frequenter
of coffeehouses, who, when a fresh newspaper was brought in, constantly
seized it first, and read it aloud to his brother citizens; but in a
manner as little intelligible to the standers-by as to himself. How many
pretenders to learning expose themselves, by choosing to discourse on
those very parts of science wherewith they are least acquainted! It is
the same case in every other qualification. By the multitude of those
who deal in rhymes, from half a sheet to twenty, which come out every
minute, there must be at least five hundred poets in the city and suburbs
of London: half as many coffeehouse orators, exclusive of the clergy,
forty thousand politicians, and four thousand five hundred profound
scholars; not to mention the wits, the railers, the smart fellows, and
critics; all as illiterate and impudent as a suburb whore. What are we
to think of the fine-dressed sparks, proud of their own personal
deformities, which appear the more hideous by the contrast of wearing
scarlet and gold, with what they call toupees on their heads, and all
the frippery of a modern beau, to make a figure before women; some of
them with hump-backs, others hardly five feet high, and every feature
of their faces distorted: I have seen many of these insipid pretenders
entering into conversation with persons of learning, constantly making
the grossest blunders in every sentence, without conveying one single
idea fit for a rational creature to spend a thought on; perpetually
confounding all chronology, and geography, even of present times. I
compute, that London hath eleven native fools of the beau and puppy kind,
for one among us in Dublin; besides two-thirds of ours transplanted
thither, who are now naturalized: whereby that overgrown capital exceeds
ours in the articles of dunces by forty to one; and what is more to our
farther mortification, there is no one distinguished fool of Irish birth
or education, who makes any noise in that famous metropolis, unless the
London prints be very partial or defective; whereas London is seldom
without a dozen of their own educating, who engross the vogue for half a
winter together, and are never heard of more, but give place to a new
set. This has been the constant progress for at least thirty years past,
only allowing for the change of breed and fashion.
The poem is grounded upon the universal folly in mankind of mistaking
their talents; by which the author does a great honour to his
own species, almost equalling them with certain brutes; wherein, indeed,
he is too partial, as he freely confesses: and yet he has gone as
low as he well could, by specifying four animals; the wolf, the ass, the
swine, and the ape; all equally mischievous, except the last, who outdoes
them in the article of cunning: so great is the pride of man!
When beasts could speak, (the learned say
They still can do so every day,)
It seems, they had religion then,
As much as now we find in men.
It happen'd, when a plague broke out,
(Which therefore made them more devout,)
The king of brutes (to make it plain,
Of quadrupeds I only mean)
By proclamation gave command,
That every subject in the land
Should to the priest confess their sins;
And thus the pious Wolf begins:
Good father, I must own with shame,
That often I have been to blame:
I must confess, on Friday last,
Wretch that I was! I broke my fast:
But I defy the basest tongue
To prove I did my neighbour wrong;
Or ever went to seek my food,
By rapine, theft, or thirst of blood.
The Ass approaching next, confess'd,
That in his heart he loved a jest:
A wag he was, he needs must own,
And could not let a dunce alone:
Sometimes his friend he would not spare,
And might perhaps be too severe:
But yet the worst that could be said,
He was a wit both born and bred;
And, if it be a sin and shame,
Nature alone must bear the blame:
One fault he has, is sorry for't,
His ears are half a foot too short;
Which could he to the standard bring,
He'd show his face before the king:
Then for his voice, there's none disputes
That he's the nightingale of brutes.
The Swine with contrite heart allow'd,
His shape and beauty made him proud:
In diet was perhaps too nice,
But gluttony was ne'er his vice:
In every turn of life content,
And meekly took what fortune sent:
Inquire through all the parish round,
A better neighbour ne'er was found;
His vigilance might some displease;
'Tis true, he hated sloth like pease.
The mimic Ape began his chatter,
How evil tongues his life bespatter;
Much of the censuring world complain'd,
Who said, his gravity was feign'd:
Indeed, the strictness of his morals
Engaged him in a hundred quarrels:
He saw, and he was grieved to see't,
His zeal was sometimes indiscreet:
He found his virtues too severe
For our corrupted times to bear;
Yet such a lewd licentious age
Might well excuse a stoic's rage.
The Goat advanced with decent pace,
And first excused his youthful face;
Forgiveness begg'd that he appear'd
('Twas Nature's fault) without a beard.
'Tis true, he was not much inclined
To fondness for the female kind:
Not, as his enemies object,
From chance, or natural defect;
Not by his frigid constitution;
But through a pious resolution:
For he had made a holy vow
Of Chastity, as monks do now:
Which he resolved to keep for ever hence
And strictly too, as doth his reverence.
Apply the tale, and you shall find,
How just it suits with human kind.
Some faults we own; but can you guess?
--Why, virtue's carried to excess,
Wherewith our vanity endows us,
Though neither foe nor friend allows us.
The Lawyer swears (you may rely on't)
He never squeezed a needy client;
And this he makes his constant rule,
For which his brethren call him fool;
His conscience always was so nice,
He freely gave the poor advice;
By which he lost, he may affirm,
A hundred fees last Easter term;
While others of the learned robe,
Would break the patience of a Job.
No pleader at the bar could match
His diligence and quick dispatch;
Ne'er kept a cause, he well may boast,
Above a term or two at most.
The cringing knave, who seeks a place
Without success, thus tells his case:
Why should he longer mince the matter?
He fail'd, because he could not flatter;
He had not learn'd to turn his coat,
Nor for a party give his vote:
His crime he quickly understood;
Too zealous for the nation's good:
He found the ministers resent it,
Yet could not for his heart repent it.
The Chaplain vows, he cannot fawn,
Though it would raise him to the lawn:
He pass'd his hours among his books;
You find it in his meagre looks:
He might, if he were worldly wise,
Preferment get, and spare his eyes;
But owns he had a stubborn spirit.
That made him trust alone to merit;
Would rise by merit to promotion;
Alas! a mere chimeric notion.
The Doctor, if you will believe him,
Confess'd a sin; (and God forgive him!)
Call'd up at midnight, ran to save
A blind old beggar from the grave:
But see how Satan spreads his snares;
He quite forgot to say his prayers.
He cannot help it, for his heart,
Sometimes to act the parson's part:
Quotes from the Bible many a sentence,
That moves his patients to repentance;
And, when his medicines do no good,
Supports their minds with heavenly food:
At which, however well intended,
He hears the clergy are offended;
And grown so bold behind his back,
To call him hypocrite and quack.
In his own church he keeps a seat;
Says grace before and after meat;
And calls, without affecting airs,
His household twice a-day to prayers.
He shuns apothecaries' shops,
And hates to cram the sick with slops:
He scorns to make his art a trade;
Nor bribes my lady's favourite maid.
Old nurse-keepers would never hire,
To recommend him to the squire;
Which others, whom he will not name,
Have often practised to their shame.
The Statesman tells you, with a sneer,
His fault is to be too sincere;
And having no sinister ends,
Is apt to disoblige his friends.
The nation's good, his master's glory,
Without regard to Whig or Tory,
Were all the schemes he had in view,
Yet he was seconded by few:
Though some had spread a thousand lies,
'Twas he defeated the excise.
'Twas known, though he had borne aspersion,
That standing troops were his aversion:
His practice was, in every station:
To serve the king, and please the nation.
Though hard to find in every case
The fittest man to fill a place:
His promises he ne'er forgot,
But took memorials on the spot;
His enemies, for want of charity,
Said, he affected popularity:
'Tis true, the people understood,
That all he did was for their good;
Their kind affections he has tried;
No love is lost on either side.
He came to court with fortune clear,
Which now he runs out every year;
Must, at the rate that he goes on,
Inevitably be undone:
O! if his majesty would please
To give him but a writ of ease,
Would grant him license to retire,
As it has long been his desire,
By fair accounts it would be found,
He's poorer by ten thousand pound.
He owns, and hopes it is no sin,
He ne'er was partial to his kin;
He thought it base for men in stations,
To crowd the court with their relations:
His country was his dearest mother,
And every virtuous man his brother;
Through modesty or awkward shame,
(For which he owns himself to blame,)
He found the wisest man he could,
Without respect to friends or blood;
Nor ever acts on private views,
When he has liberty to choose.
The Sharper swore he hated play,
Except to pass an hour away:
And well he might; for, to his cost,
By want of skill, he always lost;
He heard there was a club of cheats,
Who had contrived a thousand feats;
Could change the stock, or cog a die,
And thus deceive the sharpest eye:
Nor wonder how his fortune sunk,
His brothers fleece him when he's drunk.
I own the moral not exact,
Besides, the tale is false, in fact;
And so absurd, that could I raise up,
From fields Elysian, fabling Æsop,
I would accuse him to his face,
For libelling the four-foot race.
Creatures of every kind but ours
Well comprehend their natural powers,
While we, whom reason ought to sway,
Mistake our talents every day.
The Ass was never known so stupid,
To act the part of Tray or Cupid;
Nor leaps upon his master's lap,
There to be stroked, and fed with pap,
As Æsop would the world persuade;
He better understands his trade:
Nor comes whene'er his lady whistles,
But carries loads, and feeds on thistles.
Our author's meaning, I presume, is
A creature _bipes et implumis;_
Wherein the moralist design'd
A compliment on human kind;
For here he owns, that now and then
Beasts may degenerate into men.
[Footnote 1: Wigs with long black tails, at that time very much in
fashion. It was very common also to call the wearers of them by the same
[Footnote 2: The priest, his confessor.--_F_.]
[Footnote 3: A bill was brought into the House of Commons of England, in
March, 1733, for laying an excise on wines and tobacco, but so violent
was the outcry against the measure, that when it came on for the second
reading, 11th April, Walpole moved that it be postponed for two months,
and thus it was dropped.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: See Gulliver's Travels; voyage to the country of the
Houyhnhnms, "Prose Works," vol. viii.--_W. E. B._]
THE PARSON'S CASE
That you, friend Marcus, like a stoic,
Can wish to die in strains heroic,
No real fortitude implies:
Yet, all must own, thy wish is wise.
Thy curate's place, thy fruitful wife,
Thy busy, drudging scene of life,
Thy insolent, illiterate vicar,
Thy want of all-consoling liquor,
Thy threadbare gown, thy cassock rent,
Thy credit sunk, thy money spent,
Thy week made up of fasting-days,
Thy grate unconscious of a blaze,
And to complete thy other curses,
The quarterly demands of nurses,
Are ills you wisely wish to leave,
And fly for refuge to the grave;
And, O, what virtue you express,
In wishing such afflictions less!
But, now, should Fortune shift the scene,
And make thy curateship a dean:
Or some rich benefice provide,
To pamper luxury and pride;
With labour small, and income great;
With chariot less for use than state;
With swelling scarf, and glossy gown,
And license to reside in town:
To shine where all the gay resort,
At concerts, coffee-house, or court:
And weekly persecute his grace
With visits, or to beg a place:
With underlings thy flock to teach,
With no desire to pray or preach;
With haughty spouse in vesture fine,
With plenteous meals and generous wine;
Wouldst thou not wish, in so much ease,
Thy years as numerous as thy days?
THE HARDSHIP UPON THE LADIES
Poor ladies! though their business be to play,
'Tis hard they must be busy night and day:
Why should they want the privilege of men,
Nor take some small diversions now and then?
Had women been the makers of our laws,
(And why they were not, I can see no cause,)
The men should slave at cards from morn to night
And female pleasures be to read and write.
A LOVE SONG IN THE MODERN TASTE. 1733
Fluttering spread thy purple pinions,
Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart:
I a slave in thy dominions;
Nature must give way to art.
Mild Arcadians, ever blooming
Nightly nodding o'er your flocks,
See my weary days consuming
All beneath yon flowery rocks.
Thus the Cyprian goddess weeping
Mourn'd Adonis, darling youth;
Him the boar, in silence creeping,
Gored with unrelenting tooth.
Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers;
Fair Discretion, string the lyre;
Sooth my ever-waking slumbers:
Bright Apollo, lend thy choir.
Gloomy Pluto, king of terrors,
Arm'd in adamantine chains,
Lead me to the crystal mirrors,
Watering soft Elysian plains.
Mournful cypress, verdant willow,
Gilding my Aurelia's brows,
Morpheus, hovering o'er my pillow,
Hear me pay my dying vows.
Melancholy smooth Meander,
Swiftly purling in a round,
On thy margin lovers wander,
With thy flowery chaplets crown'd.
Thus when Philomela drooping
Softly seeks her silent mate,
See the bird of Juno stooping;
Melody resigns to fate.
Pallas, a goddess chaste and wise
Descending lately from the skies,
To Neptune went, and begg'd in form
He'd give his orders for a storm;
A storm, to drown that rascal Hort,
And she would kindly thank him for't:
A wretch! whom English rogues, to spite her,
Had lately honour'd with a mitre.
The god, who favour'd her request,
Assured her he would do his best:
But Venus had been there before,
Pleaded the bishop loved a whore,
And had enlarged her empire wide;
He own'd no deity beside.
At sea or land, if e'er you found him
Without a mistress, hang or drown him.
Since Burnet's death, the bishops' bench,
Till Hort arrived, ne'er kept a wench;
If Hort must sink, she grieves to tell it,
She'll not have left one single prelate:
For, to say truth, she did intend him,
Elect of Cyprus _in commendam._
And, since her birth the ocean gave her,
She could not doubt her uncle's favour.
Then Proteus urged the same request,
But half in earnest, half in jest;
Said he--"Great sovereign of the main,
To drown him all attempts are vain.
Hort can assume more forms than I,
A rake, a bully, pimp, or spy;
Can creep, or run, or fly, or swim;
All motions are alike to him:
Turn him adrift, and you shall find
He knows to sail with every wind;
Or, throw him overboard, he'll ride
As well against as with the tide.
But, Pallas, you've applied too late;
For, 'tis decreed by Jove and Fate,
That Ireland must be soon destroy'd,
And who but Hort can be employ'd?
You need not then have been so pert,
In sending Bolton to Clonfert.
I found you did it, by your grinning;
Your business is to mind your spinning.
But how you came to interpose
In making bishops, no one knows;
Or who regarded your report;
For never were you seen at court.
And if you must have your petition,
There's Berkeley in the same condition;
Look, there he stands, and 'tis but just,
If one must drown, the other must;
But, if you'll leave us Bishop Judas,
We'll give you Berkeley for Bermudas.
Now, if 'twill gratify your spight,
To put him in a plaguy fright,
Although 'tis hardly worth the cost,
You soon shall see him soundly tost.
You'll find him swear, blaspheme, and damn
(And every moment take a dram)
His ghastly visage with an air
Of reprobation and despair;
Or else some hiding-hole he seeks,
For fear the rest should say he squeaks;
Or, as Fitzpatrick did before,
Resolve to perish with his whore;
Or else he raves, and roars, and swears,
And, but for shame, would say his prayers.
Or, would you see his spirits sink?
Relaxing downwards in a stink?
If such a sight as this can please ye,
Good madam Pallas, pray be easy.
To Neptune speak, and he'll consent;
But he'll come back the knave he went."
The goddess, who conceived a hope
That Hort was destined to a rope,
Believed it best to condescend
To spare a foe, to save a friend;
But, fearing Berkeley might be scared,
She left him virtue for a guard.
[Footnote 1: Josiah Hort was born about 1674, and educated in London as a
Nonconformist Minister; but he soon conformed to the Church of England,
and held in succession several benefices. In 1709 he went to Ireland as
chaplain to Lord Wharton, when Lord Lieutenant; and afterwards became, in
1721, Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, and ultimately Archbishop of Tuam. He
died in 1751.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Dr. Theophilus Bolton, afterwards Archbishop of
[Footnote 3: Dr. George Berkeley, a senior fellow of Trinity College,
Dublin, who became Dean of Derry, and afterwards Bishop of Cloyne.]
[Footnote 4: The Bishop had a project of a college at Bermuda for the
propagation of the Gospel in 1722. See his Works, _ut supra.--W. E. B._]
[Footnote 5: Brigadier Fitzpatrick was drowned in one of the packet-boats
in the Bay of Dublin, in a great storm.--_F_.]
ODE ON SCIENCE
O, heavenly born! in deepest dells
If fairest science ever dwells
Beneath the mossy cave;
Indulge the verdure of the woods,
With azure beauty gild the floods,
And flowery carpets lave.
For, Melancholy ever reigns
Delighted in the sylvan scenes
With scientific light;
While Dian, huntress of the vales,
Seeks lulling sounds and fanning gales,
Though wrapt from mortal sight.
Yet, goddess, yet the way explore
With magic rites and heathen lore
Obstructed and depress'd;
Till Wisdom give the sacred Nine,
Untaught, not uninspired, to shine,
By Reason's power redress'd.
When Solon and Lycurgus taught
To moralize the human thought
Of mad opinion's maze,
To erring zeal they gave new laws,
Thy charms, O Liberty, the cause
That blends congenial rays.
Bid bright Astræa gild the morn,
Or bid a hundred suns be born,
To hecatomb the year;
Without thy aid, in vain the poles,
In vain the zodiac system rolls,
In vain the lunar sphere.
Come, fairest princess of the throng,
Bring sweet philosophy along,
In metaphysic dreams;
While raptured bards no more behold
A vernal age of purer gold,
In Heliconian streams.
Drive Thraldom with malignant hand,
To curse some other destined land,
By Folly led astray:
Iërne bear on azure wing;
Energic let her soar, and sing
Thy universal sway.
So when Amphion bade the lyre
To more majestic sound aspire,
Behold the madding throng,
In wonder and oblivion drown'd,
To sculpture turn'd by magic sound
And petrifying song.
[Footnote 1: King of Thebes, and husband of Niobe; famous for his magical
power with the lyre by which the stones were collected for the building
of the city.--Hor., "De Arte Poetica," 394.--_W. E. B._]
A YOUNG LADY'S COMPLAINT
FOR THE STAY OF THE DEAN IN ENGLAND
Blow, ye zephyrs, gentle gales;
Gently fill the swelling sails.
Neptune, with thy trident long,
Trident three-fork'd, trident strong:
And ye Nereids fair and gay,
Fairer than the rose in May,
Nereids living in deep caves,
Gently wash'd with gentle waves;
Nereids, Neptune, lull asleep
Ruffling storms, and ruffled deep;
All around, in pompous state,
On this richer Argo wait:
Argo, bring my golden fleece,
Argo, bring him to his Greece.
Will Cadenus longer stay?
Come, Cadenus, come away;
Come with all the haste of love,
Come unto thy turtle-dove.
The ripen'd cherry on the tree
Hangs, and only hangs for thee,
Luscious peaches, mellow pears,
Ceres, with her yellow ears,
And the grape, both red and white,
Grape inspiring just delight;
All are ripe, and courting sue,
To be pluck'd and press'd by you.
Pinks have lost their blooming red,
Mourning hang their drooping head,
Every flower languid seems,
Wants the colour of thy beams,
Beams of wondrous force and power,
Beams reviving every flower.
Come, Cadenus, bless once more,
Bless again thy native shore,
Bless again this drooping isle,
Make its weeping beauties smile,
Beauties that thine absence mourn,
Beauties wishing thy return:
Come, Cadenus, come with haste,
Come before the winter's blast;
Swifter than the lightning fly,
Or I, like Vanessa, die.
[Footnote 1: These verses, like the "Love Song in the Modern Taste" and
the preceding one, seem designed to ridicule the commonplaces of
poetry.--_W. E. B._]
ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT
WRITTEN IN NOVEMBER, 1731 
Occasioned by reading the following maxim in Rochefoucauld, "Dans
l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons toujours quelque chose,
qui ne nous déplait pas."
This maxim was No. 99 in the edition of 1665, and was one of those
suppressed by the author in his later editions. In the edition published
by Didot Freres, 1864, it is No. 15 in the first supplement. See it
commented upon by Lord Chesterfield in a letter to his son, Sept. 5,
1748, where he takes a similar view to that expressed by
Swift.--_W. E. B._
AS Rochefoucauld his maxims drew
From nature, I believe 'em true:
They argue no corrupted mind
In him; the fault is in mankind.
This maxim more than all the rest
Is thought too base for human breast:
"In all distresses of our friends,
We first consult our private ends;
While nature, kindly bent to ease us,
Points out some circumstance to please us."
If this perhaps your patience move,
Let reason and experience prove.
We all behold with envious eyes
Our _equal_ raised above our _size._
Who would not at a crowded show
Stand high himself, keep others low?
I love my friend as well as you:
But why should he obstruct my view?
Then let me have the higher post:
Suppose it but an inch at most.
If in battle you should find
One whom you love of all mankind,
Had some heroic action done,
A champion kill'd, or trophy won;
Rather than thus be overtopt,
Would you not wish his laurels cropt?
Dear honest Ned is in the gout,
Lies rackt with pain, and you without:
How patiently you hear him groan!
How glad the case is not your own!
What poet would not grieve to see
His breth'ren write as well as he?
But rather than they should excel,
He'd wish his rivals all in hell.
Her end when Emulation misses,
She turns to Envy, stings and hisses:
The strongest friendship yields to pride,
Unless the odds be on our side.
Vain human kind! fantastic race!
Thy various follies who can trace?
Self-love, ambition, envy, pride,
Their empire in our hearts divide.
Give others riches, power, and station,
'Tis all on me an usurpation.
I have no title to aspire;
Yet, when you sink, I seem the higher.
In Pope I cannot read a line,
But with a sigh I wish it mine;
When he can in one couplet fix
More sense than I can do in six;
It gives me such a jealous fit,
I cry, "Pox take him and his wit!"
I grieve to be outdone by Gay
In my own hum'rous biting way.
Arbuthnot is no more my friend,
Who dares to irony pretend,
Which I was born to introduce,
Refin'd it first, and shew'd its use.
St. John, as well as Pultney, knows
That I had some repute for prose;
And, till they drove me out of date
Could maul a minister of state.
If they have mortify'd my pride,
And made me throw my pen aside;
If with such talents Heav'n has blest 'em,
Have I not reason to detest 'em?
To all my foes, dear Fortune, send
Thy gifts; but never to my friend:
I tamely can endure the first;
But this with envy makes me burst.
Thus much may serve by way of proem:
Proceed we therefore to our poem.
The time is not remote, when I
Must by the course of nature die;
When, I foresee, my special friends
Will try to find their private ends:
Tho' it is hardly understood
Which way my death can do them good,
Yet thus, methinks, I hear 'em speak:
"See, how the Dean begins to break!
Poor gentleman, he droops apace!
You plainly find it in his face.
That old vertigo in his head
Will never leave him till he's dead.
Besides, his memory decays:
He recollects not what he says;
He cannot call his friends to mind:
Forgets the place where last he din'd;
Plyes you with stories o'er and o'er;
He told them fifty times before.
How does he fancy we can sit
To hear his out-of-fashion'd wit?
But he takes up with younger folks,
Who for his wine will bear his jokes.
Faith! he must make his stories shorter,
Or change his comrades once a quarter:
In half the time he talks them round,
There must another set be found.
"For poetry he's past his prime:
He takes an hour to find a rhyme;
His fire is out, his wit decay'd,
His fancy sunk, his Muse a jade.
I'd have him throw away his pen;--
But there's no talking to some men!"
And then their tenderness appears,
By adding largely to my years;
"He's older than he would be reckon'd,
And well remembers Charles the Second.
He hardly drinks a pint of wine;
And that, I doubt, is no good sign.
His stomach too begins to fail:
Last year we thought him strong and hale;
But now he's quite another thing:
I wish he may hold out till spring!"
Then hug themselves, and reason thus:
"It is not yet so bad with us!"
In such a case, they talk in tropes,
And by their fears express their hopes:
Some great misfortune to portend,
No enemy can match a friend.
With all the kindness they profess,
The merit of a lucky guess
(When daily how d'ye's come of course,
And servants answer, "_Worse and worse!_")
Wou'd please 'em better, than to tell,
That, "God be prais'd, the Dean is well."
Then he, who prophecy'd the best,
Approves his foresight to the rest:
"You know I always fear'd the worst,
And often told you so at first."
He'd rather chuse that I should die,
Than his prediction prove a lie.
Not one foretells I shall recover;
But all agree to give me over.
Yet, shou'd some neighbour feel a pain
Just in the parts where I complain;
How many a message would he send!
What hearty prayers that I should mend!
Inquire what regimen I kept;
What gave me ease, and how I slept?
And more lament when I was dead,
Than all the sniv'llers round my bed.
My good companions, never fear;
For though you may mistake a year,
Though your prognostics run too fast,
They must be verify'd at last.
Behold the fatal day arrive!
"How is the Dean?"--"He's just alive."
Now the departing prayer is read;
"He hardly breathes."--"The Dean is dead."
Before the Passing-bell begun,
The news thro' half the town has run.
"O! may we all for death prepare!
What has he left? and who's his heir?"--
"I know no more than what the news is;
'Tis all bequeath'd to public uses."--
"To public use! a perfect whim!
What had the public done for him?
Mere envy, avarice, and pride:
He gave it all--but first he died.
And had the Dean, in all the nation,
No worthy friend, no poor relation?
So ready to do strangers good,
Forgetting his own flesh and blood!"
Now, Grub-Street wits are all employ'd;
With elegies the town is cloy'd:
Some paragraph in ev'ry paper
To curse the Dean, or bless the Drapier.
The doctors, tender of their fame,
Wisely on me lay all the blame:
"We must confess, his case was nice;
But he would never take advice.
Had he been ruled, for aught appears,
He might have lived these twenty years;
For, when we open'd him, we found,
That all his vital parts were sound."
From Dublin soon to London spread,
'Tis told at court, "the Dean is dead."
Kind Lady Suffolk, in the spleen,
Runs laughing up to tell the queen.
The queen, so gracious, mild, and good,
Cries, "Is he gone! 'tis time he shou'd.
He's dead, you say; why, let him rot:
I'm glad the medals were forgot.
I promised him, I own; but when?
I only was a princess then;
But now, as consort of a king,
You know, 'tis quite a different thing."
Now Chartres, at Sir Robert's levee,
Tells with a sneer the tidings heavy:
"Why, is he dead without his shoes,"
Cries Bob, "I'm sorry for the news:
O, were the wretch but living still,
And in his place my good friend Will!
Or had a mitre on his head,
Provided Bolingbroke were dead!"
Now Curll his shop from rubbish drains:
Three genuine tomes of Swift's remains!
And then, to make them pass the glibber,
Revised by Tibbalds, Moore, and Cibber.
He'll treat me as he does my betters,
Publish my will, my life, my letters:
Revive the libels born to die;
Which Pope must bear, as well as I.
Here shift the scene, to represent
How those I love my death lament.
Poor Pope will grieve a month, and Gay
A week, and Arbuthnot a day.
St. John himself will scarce forbear
To bite his pen, and drop a tear.
The rest will give a shrug, and cry,
"I'm sorry--but we all must die!"
Indifference, clad in Wisdom's guise,
All fortitude of mind supplies:
For how can stony bowels melt
In those who never pity felt!
When _we_ are lash'd, _they_ kiss the rod,
Resigning to the will of God.
The fools, my juniors by a year,
Are tortur'd with suspense and fear;
Who wisely thought my age a screen,
When death approach'd, to stand between:
The screen removed, their hearts are trembling;
They mourn for me without dissembling.
My female friends, whose tender hearts
Have better learn'd to act their parts,
Receive the news in doleful dumps:
"The Dean is dead: (and what is trumps?)
Then, Lord have mercy on his soul!
(Ladies, I'll venture for the vole.)
Six deans, they say, must bear the pall:
(I wish I knew what king to call.)
Madam, your husband will attend
The funeral of so good a friend.
No, madam, 'tis a shocking sight:
And he's engaged to-morrow night:
My Lady Club wou'd take it ill,
If he shou'd fail her at quadrille.
He loved the Dean--(I lead a heart,)
But dearest friends, they say, must part.
His time was come: he ran his race;
We hope he's in a better place."
Why do we grieve that friends should die?
No loss more easy to supply.
One year is past; a different scene!
No further mention of the Dean;
Who now, alas! no more is miss'd,
Than if he never did exist.
Where's now this fav'rite of Apollo!
Departed:--and his works must follow;
Must undergo the common fate;
His kind of wit is out of date.
Some country squire to Lintot goes,
Inquires for "Swift in Verse and Prose."
Says Lintot, "I have heard the name;
He died a year ago."--"The same."
He searches all the shop in vain.
"Sir, you may find them in Duck-lane;
I sent them with a load of books,
Last Monday to the pastry-cook's.
To fancy they could live a year!
I find you're but a stranger here.
The Dean was famous in his time,
And had a kind of knack at rhyme.
His way of writing now is past;
The town has got a better taste;
I keep no antiquated stuff,
But spick and span I have enough.
Pray do but give me leave to show 'em;
Here's Colley Cibber's birth-day poem.
This ode you never yet have seen,
By Stephen Duck, upon the queen.
Then here's a letter finely penned
Against the Craftsman and his friend:
It clearly shows that all reflection
On ministers is disaffection.
Next, here's Sir Robert's vindication,
And Mr. Henley's last oration.
The hawkers have not got them yet:
Your honour please to buy a set?
"Here's Woolston's tracts, the twelfth edition;
'Tis read by every politician:
The country members, when in town,
To all their boroughs send them down;
You never met a thing so smart;
The courtiers have them all by heart:
Those maids of honour (who can read),
Are taught to use them for their creed.
The rev'rend author's good intention
Has been rewarded with a pension.
He does an honour to his gown,
By bravely running priestcraft down:
He shows, as sure as God's in Gloucester,
That Moses was a grand impostor;
That all his miracles were cheats,
Perform'd as jugglers do their feats:
The church had never such a writer;
A shame he has not got a mitre!"
Suppose me dead; and then suppose
A club assembled at the Rose;
Where, from discourse of this and that,
I grow the subject of their chat.
And while they toss my name about,
With favour some, and some without,
One, quite indiff'rent in the cause,
My character impartial draws:
The Dean, if we believe report,
Was never ill receiv'd at court.
As for his works in verse and prose
I own myself no judge of those;
Nor can I tell what critics thought 'em:
But this I know, all people bought 'em.
As with a moral view design'd
To cure the vices of mankind:
And, if he often miss'd his aim,
The world must own it, to their shame,
The praise is his, and theirs the blame.
"Sir, I have heard another story:
He was a most confounded Tory,
And grew, or he is much belied,
Extremely dull, before he died."
Can we the Drapier then forget?
Is not our nation in his debt?
'Twas he that writ the Drapier's letters!--
"He should have left them for his betters,
We had a hundred abler men,
Nor need depend upon his pen.--
Say what you will about his reading,
You never can defend his breeding;
Who in his satires running riot,
Could never leave the world in quiet;
Attacking, when he took the whim,
Court, city, camp--all one to him.--
"But why should he, except he slobber't,
Offend our patriot, great Sir Robert,
Whose counsels aid the sov'reign power
To save the nation every hour?
What scenes of evil he unravels
In satires, libels, lying travels!
Not sparing his own clergy-cloth,
But eats into it, like a moth!"
His vein, ironically grave,
Exposed the fool, and lash'd the knave.
To steal a hint was never known,
But what he writ was all his own.
"He never thought an honour done him,
Because a duke was proud to own him,
Would rather slip aside and chuse
To talk with wits in dirty shoes;
Despised the fools with stars and garters,
So often seen caressing Chartres.
He never courted men in station,
_Nor persons held in admiration;_
Of no man's greatness was afraid,
Because he sought for no man's aid.
Though trusted long in great affairs
He gave himself no haughty airs:
Without regarding private ends,
Spent all his credit for his friends;
And only chose the wise and good;
No flatterers; no allies in blood:
But succour'd virtue in distress,
And seldom fail'd of good success;
As numbers in their hearts must own,
Who, but for him, had been unknown.
"With princes kept a due decorum,
But never stood in awe before 'em.
He follow'd David's lesson just;
_In princes never put thy trust:_
And would you make him truly sour,
Provoke him with a slave in power.
The Irish senate if you named,
With what impatience he declaim'd!
Fair LIBERTY was all his cry,
For her he stood prepared to die;
For her he boldly stood alone;
For her he oft exposed his own.
Two kingdoms, just as faction led,
Had set a price upon his head;
But not a traitor could be found,
To sell him for six hundred pound.
"Had he but spared his tongue and pen
He might have rose like other men:
But power was never in his thought,
And wealth he valued not a groat:
Ingratitude he often found,
And pitied those who meant the wound:
But kept the tenor of his mind,
To merit well of human kind:
Nor made a sacrifice of those
Who still were true, to please his foes.
He labour'd many a fruitless hour,
To reconcile his friends in power;
Saw mischief by a faction brewing,
While they pursued each other's ruin.
But finding vain was all his care,
He left the court in mere despair.
"And, oh! how short are human schemes!
Here ended all our golden dreams.
What St. John's skill in state affairs,
What Ormond's valour, Oxford's cares,
To save their sinking country lent,
Was all destroy'd by one event.
Too soon that precious life was ended,
On which alone our weal depended.
When up a dangerous faction starts,
With wrath and vengeance in their hearts;
_By solemn League and Cov'nant bound,_
To ruin, slaughter, and confound;
To turn religion to a fable,
And make the government a Babel;
Pervert the laws, disgrace the gown,
Corrupt the senate, rob the crown;
To sacrifice old England's glory,
And make her infamous in story:
When such a tempest shook the land,
How could unguarded Virtue stand!
With horror, grief, despair, the Dean
Beheld the dire destructive scene:
His friends in exile, or the tower,
Himself within the frown of power,
Pursued by base envenom'd pens,
Far to the land of slaves and fens;
A servile race in folly nursed,
Who truckle most, when treated worst.
"By innocence and resolution,
He bore continual persecution;
While numbers to preferment rose,
Whose merits were, to be his foes;
When _ev'n his own familiar friends_,
Intent upon their private ends,
Like renegadoes now he feels,
_Against him lifting up their heels._
"The Dean did, by his pen, defeat
An infamous destructive cheat;
Taught fools their int'rest how to know,
And gave them arms to ward the blow.
Envy has own'd it was his doing,
To save that hapless land from ruin;
While they who at the steerage stood,
And reap'd the profit, sought his blood.
"To save them from their evil fate,
In him was held a crime of state,
A wicked monster on the bench,
Whose fury blood could never quench;
As vile and profligate a villain,
As modern Scroggs, or old Tresilian:
Who long all justice had discarded,
_Nor fear'd he God, nor man regarded;_
Vow'd on the Dean his rage to vent,
And make him of his zeal repent:
But Heaven his innocence defends,
The grateful people stand his friends;
Not strains of law, nor judge's frown,
Nor topics brought to please the crown,
Nor witness hired, nor jury pick'd,
Prevail to bring him in convict.
"In exile, with a steady heart,
He spent his life's declining part;
Where folly, pride, and faction sway,
Remote from St. John, Pope, and Gay.
Alas, poor Dean! his only scope
Was to be held a misanthrope.
This into gen'ral odium drew him,
Which if he liked, much good may't do him.
His zeal was not to lash our crimes,
But discontent against the times:
For had we made him timely offers
To raise his post, or fill his coffers,
Perhaps he might have truckled down,
Like other brethren of his gown.
For party he would scarce have bled:
I say no more--because he's dead.
What writings has he left behind?
I hear, they're of a different kind;
A few in verse; but most in prose--
Some high-flown pamphlets, I suppose;--
All scribbled in the worst of times,
To palliate his friend Oxford's crimes,
To praise Queen Anne, nay more, defend her,
As never fav'ring the Pretender;
Or libels yet conceal'd from sight,
Against the court to show his spite;
Perhaps his travels, part the third;
A lie at every second word--
Offensive to a loyal ear:
But not one sermon, you may swear."
His friendships there, to few confined
Were always of the middling kind;
No fools of rank, a mongrel breed,
Who fain would pass for lords indeed:
Where titles give no right or power,
And peerage is a wither'd flower;
He would have held it a disgrace,
If such a wretch had known his face.
On rural squires, that kingdom's bane,
He vented oft his wrath in vain;
[Biennial] squires to market brought;
Who sell their souls and [votes] for nought;
The [nation stripped,] go joyful back,
To *** the church, their tenants rack,
Go snacks with [rogues and rapparees,]
And keep the peace to pick up fees;
In every job to have a share,
A gaol or barrack to repair;
And turn the tax for public roads,
Commodious to their own abodes.
"Perhaps I may allow the Dean,
Had too much satire in his vein;
And seem'd determined not to starve it,
Because no age could more deserve it.
Yet malice never was his aim;
He lash'd the vice, but spared the name;
No individual could resent,
Where thousands equally were meant;
His satire points at no defect,
But what all mortals may correct;
For he abhorr'd that senseless tribe
Who call it humour when they gibe:
He spared a hump, or crooked nose,
Whose owners set not up for beaux.
True genuine dulness moved his pity,
Unless it offer'd to be witty.
Those who their ignorance confest,
He ne'er offended with a jest;
But laugh'd to hear an idiot quote
A verse from Horace learn'd by rote.
"Vice, if it e'er can be abash'd,
Must be or ridiculed or lash'd.
If you resent it, who's to blame?
He neither knew you nor your name.
Should vice expect to 'scape rebuke,
Because its owner is a duke?
"He knew an hundred pleasant stories,
With all the turns of Whigs and Tories:
Was cheerful to his dying day;
And friends would let him have his way.
"He gave the little wealth he had
To build a house for fools and mad;
And show'd by one satiric touch,
No nation wanted it so much.
That kingdom he hath left his debtor,
I wish it soon may have a better."
And, since you dread no farther lashes
Methinks you may forgive his ashes.
[Footnote 1: This poem was first written about 1731 but was not then
intended to be published; and having been shown by Swift to all his
"common acquaintance indifferently," some "friend," probably
Pilkington, remembered enough of it to concoct the poem called "The Life
and Character of Dr. Swift, written by himself," which was published in
London in 1733, and reprinted in Dublin. In a letter to Pope, dated 1
May, that year, the Dean complained seriously about the imposture,
saying, "it shall not provoke me to print the true one, which indeed is
not proper to be seen till I can be seen no more." See Swift to Pope,
in Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope, vii, 307. The poem was
subsequently published by Faulkner with the Dean's permission. It is now
printed from a copy of the original edition, with corrections in Swift's
hand, which I found in the Forster collection.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: _Var_. "But would not have him stop my view."]
[Footnote 3: _Var_. "I ask but for an inch at most."]
[Footnote 4: _Var_. "Why must I be outdone by Gay."]
[Footnote 5: The author supposes that the scribblers of the prevailing
party, which he always opposed, will libel him after his death; but that
others will remember the service he had done to Ireland, under the name
of M. B. Drapier, by utterly defeating the destructive project of Wood's
halfpence, in five letters to the people of Ireland, at that time read
universally, and convincing every reader.]
[Footnote 6: The Dean supposeth himself to die in Ireland.]
[Footnote 7: Mrs. Howard, afterwards Countess of Suffolk, then of the
bedchamber to the queen, professed much favour for the Dean. The queen,
then princess, sent a dozen times to the Dean (then in London), with her
commands to attend her; which at last he did, by advice of all his
friends. She often sent for him afterwards, and always treated him very
graciously. He taxed her with a present worth £10, which she promised
before he should return to Ireland; but on his taking leave the medals
were not ready.
A letter from Swift to Lady Suffolk, 21st November, 1730, bears out
this note.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 8: The medals were to be sent to the Dean in four months; but
she forgot or thought them too dear. The Dean, being in Ireland, sent
Mrs. Howard a piece of plaid made in that kingdom, which the queen seeing
took it from her and wore it herself and sent to the Dean for as much as
would clothe herself and children, desiring he would send the charge of
it; he did the former, it cost £35, but he said he would have nothing
except the medals; he went next summer to England, and was treated as
usual, and she being then queen, the Dean was promised a settlement in
England, but returned as he went, and instead of receiving of her
intended favours or the medals, hath been ever since under Her
[Footnote 9: Chartres is a most infamous vile scoundrel, grown from a
footboy, or worse, to a prodigious fortune, both in England and Scotland.
He had a way of insinuating himself into all ministers, under every
change, either as pimp, flatterer, or informer. He was tried at seventy
for a rape, and came off by sacrificing a great part of his fortune. He
is since dead; but this poem still preserves the scene and time it was
writ in.--_Dublin Edition,_ and see _ante_, p. 191.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 10: Sir Robert Walpole, chief minister of state, treated the
Dean in 1726 with great distinction; invited him to dinner at Chelsea,
with the Dean's friends chosen on purpose: appointed an hour to talk with
him of Ireland, to which kingdom and people the Dean found him no great
friend; for he defended Wood's project of halfpence, etc. The Dean would
see him no more; and upon his next year's return to England, Sir Robert,
on an accidental meeting, only made a civil compliment, and never invited
[Footnote 11: Mr. William Pultney, from being Sir Robert's intimate
friend, detesting his administration, became his mortal enemy and joined
with my Lord Bolingbroke, to expose him in an excellent paper called the
Craftsman, which is still continued.]
[Footnote 12: Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, Secretary of State to
Queen Anne, of blessed memory. He is reckoned the most universal genius
in Europe. Walpole, dreading his abilities, treated him most injuriously
working with King George I, who forgot his promise of restoring the said
lord, upon the restless importunity of Sir Robert Walpole.]
[Footnote 13: Curll hath been the most infamous bookseller of any age or
country. His character, in part, may be found in Mr. Pope's "Dunciad." He
published three volumes, all charged on the Dean, who never writ three
pages of them. He hath used many of the Dean's friends in almost as vile
[Footnote 14: Three stupid verse-writers in London; the last, to the
shame of the court, and the highest disgrace to wit and learning, was
made laureate. Moore, commonly called Jemmy Moore, son of Arthur Moore,
whose father was jailor of Monaghan, in Ireland. See the character of
Jemmy Moore, and Tibbalds [Theobald], in the "Dunciad."]
[Footnote 15: Curll is notoriously infamous for publishing the lives,
letters, and last wills and testaments of the nobility and ministers of
state, as well as of all the rogues who are hanged at Tyburn. He hath
been in custody of the House of Lords, for publishing or forging the
letters of many peers, which made the Lords enter a resolution in their
journal-book, that no life or writings of any lord should be published,
without the consent of the next heir-at-law or license from their House.]
[Footnote 16: The play by which the dealer may win or lose all the
tricks. See Hoyle on "Quadrille."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 17: See _post_, p. 267.]
[Footnote 18: A place in London, where old books are sold.]
[Footnote 19: See _ante_ "On Stephen Duck, the Thresher Poet,"
[Footnote 20: Walpole hath a set of party scribblers, who do nothing but
write in his defence.]
[Footnote 21: Henley is a clergyman, who, wanting both merit and luck to
get preferment, or even to keep his curacy in the established church,
formed a new conventicle, which he called an Oratory. There, at set
times, he delivereth strange speeches, compiled by himself and his
associates, who share the profit with him. Every hearer payeth a shilling
each day for admittance. He is an absolute dunce, but generally reported
[Footnote 22: See _ante_, p. 188.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 23: See _ante_, p. 188. There is some confusion here betwixt
Woolston and Wollaston, whose book, the "Religion of Nature delineated,"
was much talked of and fashionable. See a letter from Pope to Bethell in
Pope's correspondence, Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope, ix,
p. 149.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 24: Denham's elegy on Cowley:
"To him no author was unknown,
Yet what he wrote was all his own."]
[Footnote 25: See _ante_, pp. 192 and 252.]
[Footnote 26: In the year 1713, the late queen was prevailed with, by an
address of the House of Lords in England, to publish a proclamation,
promising £300 to whatever person would discover the author of a pamphlet
called "The Public Spirit of the Whigs"; and in Ireland, in the year
1724, Lord Carteret, at his first coming into the government, was
prevailed on to issue a proclamation for promising the like reward
of £300 to any person who would discover the author of a pamphlet,
called "The Drapier's Fourth Letter," etc., writ against that destructive
project of coining halfpence for Ireland; but in neither kingdom was the
[Footnote 27: Queen Anne's ministry fell to variance from the first year
after their ministry began; Harcourt, the chancellor, and Lord
Bolingbroke, the secretary, were discontented with the treasurer Oxford,
for his too much mildness to the Whig party; this quarrel grew higher
every day till the queen's death. The Dean, who was the only person that
endeavoured to reconcile them, found it impossible, and thereupon retired
to the country about ten weeks before that event: upon which he returned
to his deanery in Dublin, where for many years he was worryed by the new
people in power, and had hundreds of libels writ against him in England.]
[Footnote 28: In the height of the quarrel between the ministers, the
[Footnote 29: Upon Queen Anne's death, the Whig faction was restored to
power, which they exercised with the utmost rage and revenge; impeached
and banished the chief leaders of the Church party, and stripped all
their adherents of what employments they had; after which England was
never known to make so mean a figure in Europe. The greatest preferments
in the Church, in both kingdoms, were given to the most ignorant men.
Fanaticks were publickly caressed, Ireland utterly ruined and enslaved,
only great ministers heaping up millions; and so affairs continue, and
are likely to remain so.]
[Footnote 30: Upon the queen's death, the Dean returned to live in Dublin
at his Deanery House. Numberless libels were written against him in
England as a Jacobite; he was insulted in the street, and at night he was
forced to be attended by his servants armed.]
[Footnote 31: Ireland.]
[Footnote 32: One Wood, a hardware-man from England, had a patent for
coining copper halfpence in Ireland, to the sum of £108,000, which, in
the consequence, must leave that kingdom without gold or silver. See The
Drapier's Letters, "Prose Works," vol. vi.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 33: Whitshed was then chief justice. He had some years before
prosecuted a printer for a pamphlet writ by the Dean, to persuade the
people of Ireland to wear their own manufactures. Whitshed sent the jury
down eleven times, and kept them nine hours, until they were forced to
bring in a special verdict. He sat afterwards on the trial of the printer
of the Drapier's Fourth Letter; but the jury, against all he could say or
swear, threw out the bill. All the kingdom took the Drapier's part,
except the courtiers, or those who expected places. The Drapier was
celebrated in many poems and pamphlets. His sign was set up in most
streets of Dublin (where many of them still continue) and in several
country towns. This note was written in 1734.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 34: Scroggs was chief justice under King Charles II. His
judgement always varied in state trials according to directions from
Court. Tresilian was a wicked judge hanged above three hundred years
[Footnote 35: In Ireland, which he had reason to call a place of exile;
to which country nothing could have driven him but the queen's death,
who had determined to fix him in England, in spite of the Duchess of
[Footnote 36: In Ireland the Dean was not acquainted with one single
lord, spiritual or temporal. He only conversed with private gentlemen of
the clergy or laity, and but a small number of either.]
[Footnote 37: The peers of Ireland lost their jurisdiction by one single
act, and tamely submitted to this infamous mark of slavery without the
least resentment or remonstrance.]
[Footnote 38: The Parliament, as they call it in Ireland, meet but once
in two years, and after having given five times more than they can
afford, return home to reimburse themselves by country jobs and
oppressions of which some few are mentioned.]
[Footnote 39: The highwaymen in Ireland are, since the late wars there,
usually called Rapparees, which was a name given to those Irish soldiers
who, in small parties, used at that time to plunder Protestants.]
[Footnote 40: The army in Ireland are lodged in barracks, the building
and repairing whereof and other charges, have cost a prodigious sum to
that unhappy kingdom.]
A RHAPSODY. 1733
All human race would fain be wits,
And millions miss for one that hits.
Young's universal passion, pride,
Was never known to spread so wide.
Say, Britain, could you ever boast
Three poets in an age at most?
Our chilling climate hardly bears
A sprig of bays in fifty years;
While every fool his claim alleges,
As if it grew in common hedges.
What reason can there be assign'd
For this perverseness in the mind?
Brutes find out where their talents lie:
A bear will not attempt to fly;
A founder'd horse will oft debate,
Before he tries a five-barr'd gate;
A dog by instinct turns aside,
Who sees the ditch too deep and wide.
But man we find the only creature
Who, led by Folly, combats Nature;
Who, when she loudly cries, Forbear,
With obstinacy fixes there;
And, where his genius least inclines,
Absurdly bends his whole designs.
Not empire to the rising sun
By valour, conduct, fortune won;
Not highest wisdom in debates,
For framing laws to govern states;
Not skill in sciences profound
So large to grasp the circle round,
Such heavenly influence require,
As how to strike the Muse's lyre.
Not beggar's brat on bulk begot;
Not bastard of a pedler Scot;
Not boy brought up to cleaning shoes,
The spawn of Bridewell or the stews;
Not infants dropp'd, the spurious pledges
Of gipsies litter'd under hedges;
Are so disqualified by fate
To rise in church, or law, or state,
As he whom Phoebus in his ire
Has blasted with poetic fire.
What hope of custom in the fair,
While not a soul demands your ware?
Where you have nothing to produce
For private life, or public use?
Court, city, country, want you not;
You cannot bribe, betray, or plot.
For poets, law makes no provision;
The wealthy have you in derision:
Of state affairs you cannot smatter;
Are awkward when you try to flatter;
Your portion, taking Britain round,
Was just one annual hundred pound;
Now not so much as in remainder,
Since Cibber brought in an attainder;
For ever fix'd by right divine
(A monarch's right) on Grub Street line.
Poor starv'ling bard, how small thy gains!
How unproportion'd to thy pains!
And here a simile comes pat in:
Though chickens take a month to fatten,
The guests in less than half an hour
Will more than half a score devour.
So, after toiling twenty days
To earn a stock of pence and praise,
Thy labours, grown the critic's prey,
Are swallow'd o'er a dish of tea;
Gone to be never heard of more,
Gone where the chickens went before.
How shall a new attempter learn
Of different spirits to discern,
And how distinguish which is which,
The poet's vein, or scribbling itch?
Then hear an old experienced sinner,
Instructing thus a young beginner.
Consult yourself; and if you find
A powerful impulse urge your mind,
Impartial judge within your breast
What subject you can manage best;
Whether your genius most inclines
To satire, praise, or humorous lines,
To elegies in mournful tone,
Or prologue sent from hand unknown.
Then, rising with Aurora's light,
The Muse invoked, sit down to write;
Blot out, correct, insert, refine,
Enlarge, diminish, interline;
Be mindful, when invention fails,
To scratch your head, and bite your nails.
Your poem finish'd, next your care
Is needful to transcribe it fair.
In modern wit all printed trash is
Set off with numerous breaks and dashes.
To statesmen would you give a wipe,
You print it in _Italic_ type.
When letters are in vulgar shapes,
'Tis ten to one the wit escapes:
But, when in capitals express'd,
The dullest reader smokes the jest:
Or else perhaps he may invent
A better than the poet meant;
As learned commentators view
In Homer more than Homer knew.
Your poem in its modish dress,
Correctly fitted for the press,
Convey by penny-post to Lintot,
But let no friend alive look into't.
If Lintot thinks 'twill quit the cost,
You need not fear your labour lost:
And how agreeably surprised
Are you to see it advertised!
The hawker shows you one in print,
As fresh as farthings from the mint:
The product of your toil and sweating;
A bastard of your own begetting.
Be sure at Will's, the following day,
Lie snug, and hear what critics say;
And, if you find the general vogue
Pronounces you a stupid rogue,
Damns all your thoughts as low and little,
Sit still, and swallow down your spittle;
Be silent as a politician,
For talking may beget suspicion;
Or praise the judgment of the town,
And help yourself to run it down.
Give up your fond paternal pride,
Nor argue on the weaker side:
For, poems read without a name
We justly praise, or justly blame;
And critics have no partial views,
Except they know whom they abuse:
And since you ne'er provoke their spite,
Depend upon't their judgment's right.
But if you blab, you are undone:
Consider what a risk you run:
You lose your credit all at once;
The town will mark you for a dunce;
The vilest dogg'rel Grub Street sends,
Will pass for yours with foes and friends;
And you must bear the whole disgrace,
Till some fresh blockhead takes your place.
Your secret kept, your poem sunk,
And sent in quires to line a trunk,
If still you be disposed to rhyme,
Go try your hand a second time.
Again you fail: yet Safe's the word;
Take courage and attempt a third.
But first with care employ your thoughts
Where critics mark'd your former faults;
The trivial turns, the borrow'd wit,
The similes that nothing fit;
The cant which every fool repeats,
Town jests and coffeehouse conceits,
Descriptions tedious, flat, and dry,
And introduced the Lord knows why:
Or where we find your fury set
Against the harmless alphabet;
On A's and B's your malice vent,
While readers wonder whom you meant:
A public or a private robber,
A statesman, or a South Sea jobber;
A prelate, who no God believes;
A parliament, or den of thieves;
A pickpurse at the bar or bench,
A duchess, or a suburb wench:
Or oft, when epithets you link,
In gaping lines to fill a chink;
Like stepping-stones, to save a stride,
In streets where kennels are too wide;
Or like a heel-piece, to support
A cripple with one foot too short;
Or like a bridge, that joins a marish
To moorlands of a different parish.
So have I seen ill-coupled hounds
Drag different ways in miry grounds.
So geographers, in Afric maps,
With savage pictures fill their gaps,
And o'er unhabitable downs
Place elephants for want of towns.
But, though you miss your third essay,
You need not throw your pen away.
Lay now aside all thoughts of fame,
To spring more profitable game.
From party merit seek support;
The vilest verse thrives best at court.
And may you ever have the luck
To rhyme almost as ill as Duck;
And, though you never learn'd to scan verse
Come out with some lampoon on D'Anvers.
A pamphlet in Sir Bob's defence
Will never fail to bring in pence:
Nor be concern'd about the sale,
He pays his workmen on the nail.
Display the blessings of the nation,
And praise the whole administration.
Extol the bench of bishops round,
Who at them rail, bid ---- confound;
To bishop-haters answer thus:
(The only logic used by us)
What though they don't believe in ----
Deny them Protestants--thou lyest.
A prince, the moment he is crown'd,
Inherits every virtue round,
As emblems of the sovereign power,
Like other baubles in the Tower;
Is generous, valiant, just, and wise,
And so continues till he dies:
His humble senate this professes,
In all their speeches, votes, addresses.
But once you fix him in a tomb,
His virtues fade, his vices bloom;
And each perfection, wrong imputed,
Is fully at his death confuted.
The loads of poems in his praise,
Ascending, make one funeral blaze:
His panegyrics then are ceased,
He grows a tyrant, dunce, or beast.
As soon as you can hear his knell,
This god on earth turns devil in hell:
And lo! his ministers of state,
Transform'd to imps, his levee wait;
Where in the scenes of endless woe,
They ply their former arts below;
And as they sail in Charon's boat,
Contrive to bribe the judge's vote;
To Cerberus they give a sop,
His triple barking mouth to stop;
Or, in the ivory gate of dreams,
Project excise and South-Sea schemes;
Or hire their party pamphleteers
To set Elysium by the ears.
Then, poet, if you mean to thrive,
Employ your muse on kings alive;
With prudence gathering up a cluster
Of all the virtues you can muster,
Which, form'd into a garland sweet,
Lay humbly at your monarch's feet:
Who, as the odours reach his throne,
Will smile, and think them all his own;
For law and gospel both determine
All virtues lodge in royal ermine:
I mean the oracles of both,
Who shall depose it upon oath.
Your garland, in the following reign,
Change but the names, will do again.
But, if you think this trade too base,
(Which seldom is the dunce's case)
Put on the critic's brow, and sit
At Will's, the puny judge of wit.
A nod, a shrug, a scornful smile,
With caution used, may serve a while.
Proceed no further in your part,
Before you learn the terms of art;
For you can never be too far gone
In all our modern critics' jargon:
Then talk with more authentic face
Of unities, in time and place:
Get scraps of Horace from your friends,
And have them at your fingers' ends;
Learn Aristotle's rules by rote,
And at all hazards boldly quote;
Judicious Rymer oft review,
Wise Dennis, and profound Bossu.
Read all the prefaces of Dryden,
For these our critics much confide in;
Though merely writ at first for filling,
To raise the volume's price a shilling.
A forward critic often dupes us
With sham quotations _peri hupsous_:
And if we have not read Longinus,
Will magisterially outshine us.
Then, lest with Greek he overrun ye,
Procure the book for love or money,
Translated from Boileau's translation,
And quote quotation on quotation.
At Will's you hear a poem read,
Where Battus from the table head,
Reclining on his elbow-chair,
Gives judgment with decisive air;
To whom the tribe of circling wits
As to an oracle submits.
He gives directions to the town,
To cry it up, or run it down;
Like courtiers, when they send a note,
Instructing members how to vote.
He sets the stamp of bad and good,
Though not a word be understood.
Your lesson learn'd, you'll be secure
To get the name of connoisseur:
And, when your merits once are known,
Procure disciples of your own.
For poets (you can never want 'em)
Spread through Augusta Trinobantum,
Computing by their pecks of coals,
Amount to just nine thousand souls:
These o'er their proper districts govern,
Of wit and humour judges sovereign.
In every street a city bard
Rules, like an alderman, his ward;
His undisputed rights extend
Through all the lane, from end to end;
The neighbours round admire his shrewdness
For songs of loyalty and lewdness;
Outdone by none in rhyming well,
Although he never learn'd to spell.
Two bordering wits contend for glory;
And one is Whig, and one is Tory:
And this, for epics claims the bays,
And that, for elegiac lays:
Some famed for numbers soft and smooth,
By lovers spoke in Punch's booth;
And some as justly fame extols
For lofty lines in Smithfield drolls.
Bavius in Wapping gains renown,
And Mævius reigns o'er Kentish town:
Tigellius placed in Phooebus' car
From Ludgate shines to Temple-bar:
Harmonious Cibber entertains
The court with annual birth-day strains;
Whence Gay was banish'd in disgrace;
Where Pope will never show his face;
Where Young must torture his invention
To flatter knaves or lose his pension.
But these are not a thousandth part
Of jobbers in the poet's art,
Attending each his proper station,
And all in due subordination,
Through every alley to be found,
In garrets high, or under ground;
And when they join their pericranies,
Out skips a book of miscellanies.
Hobbes clearly proves, that every creature
Lives in a state of war by nature.
The greater for the smaller watch,
But meddle seldom with their match.
A whale of moderate size will draw
A shoal of herrings down his maw;
A fox with geese his belly crams;
A wolf destroys a thousand lambs;
But search among the rhyming race,
The brave are worried by the base.
If on Parnassus' top you sit,
You rarely bite, are always bit:
Each poet of inferior size
On you shall rail and criticise,
And strive to tear you limb from limb;
While others do as much for him.
The vermin only teaze and pinch
Their foes superior by an inch.
So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite 'em,
And so proceed _ad infinitum_.
Thus every poet, in his kind,
Is bit by him that comes behind:
Who, though too little to be seen,
Can teaze, and gall, and give the spleen;
Call dunces, fools, and sons of whores,
Lay Grub Street at each other's doors;
Extol the Greek and Roman masters,
And curse our modern poetasters;
Complain, as many an ancient bard did,
How genius is no more rewarded;
How wrong a taste prevails among us;
How much our ancestors outsung us:
Can personate an awkward scorn
For those who are not poets born;
And all their brother dunces lash,
Who crowd the press with hourly trash.
O Grub Street! how do I bemoan thee,
Whose graceless children scorn to own thee!
Their filial piety forgot,
Deny their country, like a Scot;
Though by their idiom and grimace,
They soon betray their native place:
Yet thou hast greater cause to be
Ashamed of them, than they of thee,
Degenerate from their ancient brood
Since first the court allow'd them food.
Remains a difficulty still,
To purchase fame by writing ill.
From Flecknoe down to Howard's time,
How few have reach'd the low sublime!
For when our high-born Howard died,
Blackmore alone his place supplied:
And lest a chasm should intervene,
When death had finish'd Blackmore's reign,
The leaden crown devolved to thee,
Great poet of the "Hollow Tree."
But ah! how unsecure thy throne!
A thousand bards thy right disown:
They plot to turn, in factious zeal,
Duncenia to a common weal;
And with rebellious arms pretend
An equal privilege to descend.
In bulk there are not more degrees
From elephants to mites in cheese,
Than what a curious eye may trace
In creatures of the rhyming race.
From bad to worse, and worse they fall;
But who can reach the worst of all?
For though, in nature, depth and height
Are equally held infinite:
In poetry, the height we know;
'Tis only infinite below.
For instance: when you rashly think,
No rhymer can like Welsted sink,
His merits balanced, you shall find
The Laureate leaves him far behind.
Concanen, more aspiring bard,
Soars downward deeper by a yard.
Smart Jemmy Moore with vigour drops;
The rest pursue as thick as hops:
With heads to point the gulf they enter,
Link'd perpendicular to the centre;
And as their heels elated rise,
Their heads attempt the nether skies.
O, what indignity and shame,
To prostitute the Muses' name!
By flattering kings, whom Heaven design'd
The plagues and scourges of mankind;
Bred up in ignorance and sloth,
And every vice that nurses both.
Perhaps you say, Augustus shines,
Immortal made in Virgil's lines,
And Horace brought the tuneful quire,
To sing his virtues on the lyre;
Without reproach for flattery, true,
Because their praises were his due.
For in those ages kings, we find,
Were animals of human kind.
But now, go search all _Europe_ round
Among the _savage monsters_ ----
With vice polluting every _throne_,
(I mean all thrones except our own;)
In vain you make the strictest view
To find a ---- in all the crew,
With whom a footman out of place
Would not conceive a high disgrace,
A burning shame, a crying sin,
To take his morning's cup of gin.
Thus all are destined to obey
Some beast of burthen or of prey.
'Tis sung, Prometheus, forming man,
Through all the brutal species ran,
Each proper quality to find
Adapted to a human mind;
A mingled mass of good and bad,
The best and worst that could be had;
Then from a clay of mixture base
He shaped a ---- to rule the race,
Endow'd with gifts from every brute
That best the * * nature suit.
Thus think on ----s: the name denotes
Hogs, asses, wolves, baboons, and goats.
To represent in figure just,
Sloth, folly, rapine, mischief, lust;
Oh! were they all but Neb-cadnezers,
What herds of ----s would turn to grazers!
Fair Britain, in thy monarch blest,
Whose virtues bear the strictest test;
Whom never faction could bespatter,
Nor minister nor poet flatter;
What justice in rewarding merit!
What magnanimity of spirit!
What lineaments divine we trace
Through all his figure, mien, and face!
Though peace with olive binds his hands,
Confess'd the conquering hero stands.
Hydaspes, Indus, and the Ganges,
Dread from his hand impending changes.
From him the Tartar and Chinese,
Short by the knees, entreat for peace.
The consort of his throne and bed,
A perfect goddess born and bred,
Appointed sovereign judge to sit
On learning, eloquence, and wit.
Our eldest hope, divine Iülus,
(Late, very late, O may he rule us!)
What early manhood has he shown,
Before his downy beard was grown,
Then think, what wonders will be done
By going on as he begun,
An heir for Britain to secure
As long as sun and moon endure.
The remnant of the royal blood
Comes pouring on me like a flood.
Bright goddesses, in number five;
Duke William, sweetest prince alive.
Now sing the minister of state,
Who shines alone without a mate.
Observe with what majestic port
This Atlas stands to prop the court:
Intent the public debts to pay,
Like prudent Fabius, by delay.
Thou great vicegerent of the king,
Thy praises every Muse shall sing!
In all affairs thou sole director;
Of wit and learning chief protector,
Though small the time thou hast to spare,
The church is thy peculiar care.
Of pious prelates what a stock
You choose to rule the sable flock!
You raise the honour of the peerage,
Proud to attend you at the steerage.
You dignify the noble race,
Content yourself with humbler place.
Now learning, valour, virtue, sense,
To titles give the sole pretence.
St. George beheld thee with delight,
Vouchsafe to be an azure knight,
When on thy breast and sides Herculean,
He fix'd the star and string cerulean.
Say, poet, in what other nation
Shone ever such a constellation!
Attend, ye Popes, and Youngs, and Gays,
And tune your harps, and strew your bays:
Your panegyrics here provide;
You cannot err on flattery's side.
Above the stars exalt your style,
You still are low ten thousand mile.
On Lewis all his bards bestow'd
Of incense many a thousand load;
But Europe mortified his pride,
And swore the fawning rascals lied.
Yet what the world refused to Lewis,
Applied to George, exactly true is.
Exactly true! invidious poet!
'Tis fifty thousand times below it.
Translate me now some lines, if you can,
From Virgil, Martial, Ovid, Lucan.
They could all power in Heaven divide,
And do no wrong on either side;
They teach you how to split a hair,
Give George and Jove an equal share.
Yet why should we be laced so strait?
I'll give my monarch butter-weight.
And reason good; for many a year
Jove never intermeddled here:
Nor, though his priests be duly paid,
Did ever we desire his aid:
We now can better do without him,
Since Woolston gave us arms to rout him.
[Footnote 1: See Young's "Satires," and "Life" by
Johnson.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: The prison or house of correction to which harlots were
often consigned. See Hogarth's "Harlot's Progress," and "A beautiful
young Nymph," _ante_, p. 201.--_W. R. B._]
[Footnote 3: Colley Cibber, born in 1671, died in 1757; famous as a
comedian and dramatist, and immortalized by Pope as the hero of the
"Dunciad"; appointed Laureate in December, 1730, in succession to Eusden,
who died in September that year. See Cibber's "Apology for his Life";
Disraeli's "Quarrels of Authors," edit. 1859.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: Barnaby Bernard Lintot, publisher and bookseller, noted for
adorning his shop with titles in red letters. In the Prologue to the
"Satires" Pope says: "What though my name stood rubric on the walls"; and
in the "Dunciad," book i, "Lintot's rubric post." He made a handsome
fortune, and died High Sheriff of Sussex in 1736, aged
sixty-one.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 5: The coffee-house most frequented by the wits and poets of
that time.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 6: See _ante_, p. 192, "On Stephen Duck, the Thresher
Poet."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 7: Allusion to the large sums paid by Walpole to scribblers in
support of his party.--_W. E. B._]
"Sunt geminae Somni portae: quarum altera fertur
Cornea; qua veris facilis datur exitus Vmbris:
Altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto;
Sed falsa ad coelum mittunt insomnia Manes."
VIRG., _Aen._, vi.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 9: See the "South Sea Project," _ante_, p. 120.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 10: Thomas Rymer, archaeologist and critic. The allusion is to
his "Remarks on the Tragedies of the last Age," on which see Johnson's
"Life of Dryden" and Spence's "Anecdotes," p. 173. Rymer is best known by
his work entitled "Foedera," consisting of leagues, treaties, etc., made
between England and other kingdoms.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 11: John Dennis, born 1657, died 1734. He is best remembered as
"The Critic." See Swift's "Thoughts on various subjects," "Prose Works,"
i, 284; Disraeli, "Calamities of Authors: Influence of a bad Temper in
Criticism"; Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope,
_passim._--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 12: Highly esteemed as a French critic by Dryden and
Pope.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 13: By Leonard Welsted, who, in 1712, published the work of
"Longinus on the Sublime," stated to be "translated from the Greek." He
is better known through his quarrel with Pope. See the "Prologue to the
Satires."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 14: Dryden, whose armed chair at Will's was in the winter
placed by the fire, and in the summer in the balcony. Malone's "Life of
Dryden," p. 485. Why Battus? Battus was a herdsman who, because he
Betrayed Mercury's theft of some cattle, was changed by the god into a
Stone Index. Ovid, "Metam.," ii, 685.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 15: The ancient name of London, also called Troynovant. See
Journal to Stella, "Prose Works," ii, 249; and Cunningham's "Handbook of
London," introduction.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 16: The two bad Roman poets, hateful and inimical to Virgil and
Horace: Virg., "Ecl." iii, 90; Horat., "Epod." x. The names have been
well applied in our time by Gifford in his satire entitled "The Baviad
and Maeviad."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 17: A musician, also a censurer of Horace. See "Satirae," lib.
1. iii, 4.--_--W. E. B._]
[Footnote 18: In consequence of "Polly," the supplement to the "Beggar's
Opera," but which obtained him the friendship of the Duke and Duchess of
Queensberry.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 19: The grant of two hundred a year, which he obtained from the
Crown, and retained till his death in 1765.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 20: See "Leviathan," Part I, chap, xiii.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 21: Richard Flecknoe, poet and dramatist, died 1678, of whom it
has been written that "whatever may become of his own pieces, his name
will continue, whilst Dryden's satire, called 'Mac Flecknoe,' shall
remain in vogue." Dryden's Poetical Works, edit. Warton, ii,
169.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 22: Hon. Edward Howard, author of some indifferent plays and
poems. See "Dict. Nat. Biog."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 23: Richard Blackmore, physician and very voluminous writer in
prose and verse. In 1697 he was appointed physician to William III, when
he was knighted. See Pope, "Imitations of Horace," book ii, epist. 1,
387.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 24: Lord Grimston, born 1683, died 1756. He is best known by
his play, written in 1705, "The Lawyer's Fortune, or Love in a Hollow
Tree," which the author withdrew from circulation; but, by some person's
malice, it was reprinted in 1736. See "Dict. Nat. Biog.," Pope's Works,
edit. Elwin and Courthope, iii, p. 314.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 25: Matthew Concanen, born in Ireland, 1701, a writer of
miscellaneous works, dramatic and poetical. See the "Dunciad," ii, 299,
304, _ut supra.--W. E. B._]
[Footnote 26: James Moore Smythe, chiefly remarkable for his consummate
assurance as a plagiarist. See the "Dunciad," ii, 50, and notes thereto,
Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope, iv, 132.--_W. E. B._]
"Fertur Prometheus, addere principi
Limo coactus particulam undique
Desectam, et insani leonis
Vim stomacho apposuisse nostro."
HORAT., _Carm._ I, xvi.--_W. E. B._]
"---- super et Garamantas et Indos,
Proferet imperium; ----
---- jam nunc et Caspia regna
Responsis horrent divom."
Virg., _Aen._, vi.]
"---- genibus minor."]
[Footnote 30: Son of Aeneas, here representing Frederick, Prince of
Wales, father of George III.--_W. E. B._]
"Unus qui nobis cunctando restituis rem."
Virg., _Aen._, vi, 847.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 32: "Divisum imperium cum Jove Caesar habet."]
VERSES SENT TO THE DEAN
ON HIS BIRTH-DAY, WITH PINE'S HORACE, FINELY BOUND.
BY DR. J. SICAN
You've read, sir, in poetic strain,
How Varus and the Mantuan swain
Have on my birth-day been invited,
(But I was forced in verse to write it,)
Upon a plain repast to dine,
And taste my old Campanian wine;
But I, who all punctilios hate,
Though long familiar with the great,
Nor glory in my reputation,
Am come without an invitation;
And, though I'm used to right Falernian,
I'll deign for once to taste Iërnian;
But fearing that you might dispute
(Had I put on my common suit)
My breeding and my politesse,
I visit in my birth-day dress:
My coat of purest Turkey red,
With gold embroidery richly spread;
To which I've sure as good pretensions,
As Irish lords who starve on pensions.
What though proud ministers of state
Did at your antichamber wait;
What though your Oxfords and your St. Johns,
Have at your levee paid attendance,
And Peterborough and great Ormond,
With many chiefs who now are dormant,
Have laid aside the general's staff,
And public cares, with you to laugh;
Yet I some friends as good can name,
Nor less the darling sons of fame;
For sure my Pollio and Mæcenas
Were as good statesmen, Mr. Dean, as
Either your Bolingbroke or Harley,
Though they made Lewis beg a parley;
And as for Mordaunt, your loved hero,
I'll match him with my Drusus Nero.
You'll boast, perhaps, your favourite Pope;
But Virgil is as good, I hope.
I own indeed I can't get any
To equal Helsham and Delany;
Since Athens brought forth Socrates,
A Grecian isle, Hippocrates;
Since Tully lived before my time,
And Galen bless'd another clime.
You'll plead, perhaps, at my request,
To be admitted as a guest,
"Your hearing's bad!"--But why such fears?
I speak to eyes, and not to ears;
And for that reason wisely took
The form you see me in, a book.
Attack'd by slow devouring moths,
By rage of barbarous Huns and Goths;
By Bentley's notes, my deadliest foes,
By Creech's rhymes, and Dunster's prose;
I found my boasted wit and fire
In their rude hands almost expire:
Yet still they but in vain assail'd;
For, had their violence prevail'd,
And in a blast destroy'd my frame,
They would have partly miss'd their aim;
Since all my spirit in thy page
Defies the Vandals of this age.
'Tis yours to save these small remains
From future pedant's muddy brains,
And fix my long uncertain fate,
You best know how--"which way?"--TRANSLATE.
[Footnote 1: This ingenious young gentleman was unfortunately murdered in
[Footnote 2: See verses to the Earl of Peterborough, _ante_,
p. 48.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: The translator and editor of Lucretius and
Horace.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: Who put forth, in 1710, the "Satyrs and Epistles of Horace,
done into English," of which a second edition was published in 1717, with
the addition of the "Art of Poetry." His versions were well satirized by
the wits of the time, one of whom, Dr. T. Francklin, wrote:
"O'er Tibur's swan the Muses wept in vain,
And mourned their bard by cruel Dunster slain."
_Dict. Nat. Biog.--W. E. B._]
EPIGRAM BY MR. BOWYER
INTENDED TO BE PLACED UNDER THE HEAD OF GULLIVER. 1733
"Here learn from moral truth and wit refined,
How vice and folly have debased mankind;
Strong sense and humour arm in virtue's cause;
Thus her great votary vindicates her laws:
While bold and free the glowing colours strike;
Blame not the picture, if the picture's like."
At two afternoon for our Psyche inquire,
Her tea-kettle's on, and her smock at the fire:
So loitering, so active; so busy, so idle;
Which has she most need of, a spur or a bridle?
Thus a greyhound outruns the whole pack in a race,
Yet would rather be hang'd than he'd leave a warm place.
She gives you such plenty, it puts you in pain;
But ever with prudence takes care of the main.
To please you, she knows how to choose a nice bit;
For her taste is almost as refined as her wit.
To oblige a good friend, she will trace every market,
It would do your heart good, to see how she will cark it.
Yet beware of her arts; for, it plainly appears,
She saves half her victuals, by feeding your ears.
[Footnote 1: Mrs. Sican, a very ingenious lady, mother to the author of
the "Verses" with Pine's Horace; and a favourite with Swift and
Stella.--_W. E. B._]
THE DEAN AND DUKE
James Brydgesand the Dean had long been friends;
James is beduked; of course their friendship ends:
But sure the Dean deserves a sharp rebuke,
For knowing James, to boast he knows the duke.
Yet, since just Heaven the duke's ambition mocks,
Since all he got by fraud is lost by stocks,
His wings are clipp'd: he tries no more in vain
With bands of fiddlers to extend his train.
Since he no more can build, and plant, and revel,
The duke and dean seem near upon a level.
O! wert thou not a duke, my good Duke Humphry,
From bailiffs claws thou scarce couldst keep thy bum free.
A duke to know a dean! go, smooth thy crown:
Thy brother(far thy better) wore a gown.
Well, but a duke thou art; so please the king:
O! would his majesty but add a string!
[Footnote 1: James Brydges, who was created Duke of Chandos in 1719, and
built the magnificent house at Canons near Edgware, celebrated by Pope in
his "Moral Essays," Epistles iii and iv. For a description of the
building, see De Foe's "Tour through Great Britain," cited in Carruthers'
edition of Pope, vol. i, p. 482. At the sale of the house by the second
Duke in 1747, Lord Chesterfield purchased the hall pillars for the house
he was then building in May Fair, where they still adorn the entrance
hall of Chesterfield House. He used to call them his _Canonical_
pillars.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 2: In allusion to the Duke's difficulties caused by the failure
of his speculative investments.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 3: The Hon. Henry Brydges, Archdeacon of Rochester.--_N_.]
WRITTEN BY DR. SWIFT ON HIS OWN DEAFNESS, IN SEPTEMBER, 1734
Vertiginosus, inops, surdus, male gratus amicis;
Non campana sonans, tonitru non ab Jove missum,
Quod mage mirandum, saltem si credere fas est,
Non clamosa meas mulier jam percutit aures.
THE DEAN'S COMPLAINT, TRANSLATED AND ANSWERED
DOCTOR. Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone.
ANSWER. Except the first, the fault's your own.
DOCTOR. To all my friends a burden grown.
ANSWER. Because to few you will be shewn.
Give them good wine, and meat to stuff,
You may have company enough.
DOCTOR. No more I hear my church's bell,
Than if it rang out for my knell.
ANSWER. Then write and read, 'twill do as well.
DOCTOR. At thunder now no more I start,
Than at the rumbling of a cart.
ANSWER. Think then of thunder when you f--t.
DOCTOR. Nay, what's incredible, alack!
No more I hear a woman's clack.
ANSWER. A woman's clack, if I have skill,
Sounds somewhat like a throwster's mill;
But louder than a bell, or thunder:
That does, I own, increase my wonder.
THE DEAN'S MANNER OF LIVING
On rainy days alone I dine
Upon a chick and pint of wine.
On rainy days I dine alone,
And pick my chicken to the bone;
But this my servants much enrages,
No scraps remain to save board-wages.
In weather fine I nothing spend,
But often spunge upon a friend;
Yet, where he's not so rich as I,
I pay my club, and so good b'ye.
EPIGRAM BY MR. BOWYER
"IN SYLLABAM LONGAM IN VOCE VERTIGINOSUS A. D. SWIFT CORREPTAM"
Musarum antistes, Phoebi numerosus alumnus,
Vix omnes numeros Vertiginosus habet.
Intentat charo capiti vertigo ruinam:
Oh! servet cerebro nata Minerva caput.
Vertigo nimium longa est, divina poeta;
Dent tibi Pierides, donet Apollo, brevem.
VERSES MADE FOR FRUIT-WOMEN
Come buy my fine wares,
Plums, apples, and pears.
A hundred a penny,
In conscience too many:
Come, will you have any?
My children are seven,
I wish them in Heaven;
My husband a sot,
With his pipe and his pot,
Not a farthing will gain them,
And I must maintain them.
Fit for lad or lass,
To make their water pass:
O, 'tis pretty picking
With a tender chicken!
Come, follow me by the smell,
Here are delicate onions to sell;
I promise to use you well.
They make the blood warmer,
You'll feed like a farmer;
For this is every cook's opinion,
No savoury dish without an onion;
But, lest your kissing should be spoil'd,
Your onions must be thoroughly boil'd:
Or else you may spare
Your mistress a share,
The secret will never be known:
She cannot discover
The breath of her lover,
But think it as sweet as her own.
Charming oysters I cry:
My masters, come buy,
So plump and so fresh,
So sweet is their flesh,
No Colchester oyster
Is sweeter and moister:
Your stomach they settle,
And rouse up your mettle:
They'll make you a dad
Of a lass or a lad;
And madam your wife
They'll please to the life;
Be she barren, be she old,
Be she slut, or be she scold,
Eat my oysters, and lie near her,
She'll be fruitful, never fear her.
Be not sparing,
Leave off swearing.
Buy my herring
Fresh from Malahide,
Better never was tried.
Come, eat them with pure fresh butter and mustard,
Their bellies are soft, and as white as a custard.
Come, sixpence a-dozen, to get me some bread,
Or, like my own herrings, I soon shall be dead.
[Footnote 1: Malahide, a village five miles from Dublin, famous for
Come buy my fine oranges, sauce for your veal,
And charming, when squeezed in a pot of brown ale;
Well roasted, with sugar and wine in a cup,
They'll make a sweet bishop when gentlefolks sup.
ON ROVER, A LADY'S SPANIEL
INSTRUCTIONS TO A PAINTER
Happiest of the spaniel race,
Painter, with thy colours grace:
Draw his forehead large and high,
Draw his blue and humid eye;
Draw his neck so smooth and round,
Little neck with ribbons bound!
And the muscly swelling breast,
Where the Loves and Graces rest;
And the spreading even back,
Soft, and sleek, and glossy black;
And the tail that gently twines,
Like the tendrils of the vines;
And the silky twisted hair,
Shadowing thick the velvet ear;
Velvet ears, which, hanging low,
O'er the veiny temples flow.
With a proper light and shade,
Let the winding hoop be laid;
And within that arching bower,
(Secret circle, mystic power,)
In a downy slumber place
Happiest of the spaniel race;
While the soft respiring dame,
Glowing with the softest flame,
On the ravish'd favourite pours
Balmy dews, ambrosial showers.
With thy utmost skill express
Nature in her richest dress,
Limpid rivers smoothly flowing,
Orchards by those rivers blowing;
Curling woodbine, myrtle shade,
And the gay enamell'd mead;
Where the linnets sit and sing,
Little sportlings of the spring;
Where the breathing field and grove
Soothe the heart and kindle love.
Here for me, and for the Muse,
Colours of resemblance choose,
Make of lineaments divine,
Daply female spaniels shine,
Pretty fondlings of the fair,
Gentle damsels' gentle care;
But to one alone impart
All the flattery of thy art.
Crowd each feature, crowd each grace,
Which complete the desperate face;
Let the spotted wanton dame
Feel a new resistless flame!
Let the happiest of his race
Win the fair to his embrace.
But in shade the rest conceal,
Nor to sight their joys reveal,
Lest the pencil and the Muse
Loose desires and thoughts infuse.
[Footnote 1: A parody of Ambrose Phillips's poem on Miss Carteret,
daughter of the Lord Lieutenant. Phillips stood high in Archbishop
Boulter's regard. Hence the parody. "Does not," says Pope, "still to one
Bishop Phillips seem a wit?" It is to the infantine style of some of
Phillips' verse that we owe the term, Namby Pamby.--_W. E. B_.]
EPIGRAMS ON WINDOWS
SEVERAL OF THEM WRITTEN IN 1726
I. ON A WINDOW AT AN INN
We fly from luxury and wealth,
To hardships, in pursuit of health;
From generous wines, and costly fare,
And dozing in an easy-chair;
Pursue the goddess Health in vain,
To find her in a country scene,
And every where her footsteps trace,
And see her marks in every face;
And still her favourites we meet,
Crowding the roads with naked feet.
But, oh! so faintly we pursue,
We ne'er can have her full in view.
II. AT AN INN IN ENGLAND
The glass, by lovers' nonsense blurr'd,
Dims and obscures our sight;
So, when our passions Love has stirr'd,
It darkens Reason's light.
III. ON A WINDOW AT THE FOUR CROSSES
IN THE WATLING-STREET ROAD, WARWICKSHIRE
Fool, to put up four crosses at your door,
Put up your wife, she's CROSSER than all four.
IV. ANOTHER, AT CHESTER
The church and clergy here, no doubt,
Are very near a-kin;
Both weather-beaten are without,
And empty both within.
V. ANOTHER, AT CHESTER
My landlord is civil,
But dear as the d--l:
Your pockets grow empty
With nothing to tempt ye;
The wine is so sour,
'Twill give you a scour,
The beer and the ale
Are mingled with stale.
The veal is such carrion,
A dog would be weary on.
All this I have felt,
For I live on a smelt.
VI. ANOTHER, AT CHESTER
The walls of this town
Are full of renown,
And strangers delight to walk round 'em:
But as for the dwellers,
Both buyers and sellers,
For me, you may hang 'em, or drown 'em.
WRITTEN UPON A WINDOW WHERE THERE WAS NO WRITING BEFORE
Thanks to my stars, I once can see
A window here from scribbling free!
Here no conceited coxcombs pass,
To scratch their paltry drabs on glass;
Nor party fool is calling names,
Or dealing crowns to George and James.
VIII. ON SEEING VERSES WRITTEN UPON WINDOWS AT INNS
The sage, who said he should be proud
Of windows in his breast,
Because he ne'er a thought allow'd
That might not be confest;
His window scrawl'd by every rake,
His breast again would cover,
And fairly bid the devil take
The diamond and the lover.
[Footnote 1: See on this "Notes and Queries," 10th S., xii,
497.--_W. E. B._]
By Satan taught, all conjurors know
Your mistress in a glass to show,
And you can do as much:
In this the devil and you agree;
None e'er made verses worse than he,
And thine, I swear, are such.
That love is the devil, I'll prove when required;
Those rhymers abundantly show it:
They swear that they all by love are inspired,
And the devil's a damnable poet.
XI. ANOTHER, AT HOLYHEAD 
O Neptune! Neptune! must I still
Be here detain'd against my will?
Is this your justice, when I'm come
Above two hundred miles from home;
O'er mountains steep, o'er dusty plains,
Half choked with dust, half drown'd with rains,
Only your godship to implore,
To let me kiss your other shore?
A boon so small! but I may weep,
While you're like Baal, fast asleep.
[Footnote 1: These verses were no doubt written during the Dean's
enforced stay at Holyhead while waiting for fair weather. See Swift's
Journal of 1727, in Craik's "Life of Swift," vol. ii, and "Prose Works,"
vol. xi.--_W. E. B_.]
TO JANUS, ON NEW YEAR'S DAY, 1726
Two-faced Janus, god of Time!
Be my Phoebus while I rhyme;
To oblige your crony Swift,
Bring our dame a new year's gift;
She has got but half a face;
Janus, since thou hast a brace,
To my lady once be kind;
Give her half thy face behind.
God of Time, if you be wise,
Look not with your future eyes;
What imports thy forward sight?
Well, if you could lose it quite.
Can you take delight in viewing
This poor Isle's approaching ruin,
When thy retrospection vast
Sees the glorious ages past?
Happy nation, were we blind,
Or had only eyes behind!
Drown your morals, madam cries,
I'll have none but forward eyes;
Prudes decay'd about may tack,
Strain their necks with looking back.
Give me time when coming on;
Who regards him when he's gone?
By the Dean though gravely told,
New-years help to make me old;
Yet I find a new-year's lace
Burnishes an old-year's face.
Give me velvet and quadrille,
I'll have youth and beauty still.
[Footnote 1: "Matutine pater, seu Jane libentius audis
Unde homines operum primos vitaeque labores
Instituunt."--HOR., _Sat_., ii, vi, 20.]
[Footnote 2: Ireland.--_H_.]
A MOTTO FOR MR. JASON HASARD
WOOLLEN-DRAPER IN DUBLIN, WHOSE SIGN WAS THE GOLDEN FLEECE
Jason, the valiant prince of Greece,
From Colchis brought the Golden Fleece;
We comb the wool, refine the stuff,
For modern Jasons, that's enough.
Oh! could we tame yon watchful dragon,
Old Jason would have less to brag on.
[Footnote 1: England.--_H_.]
TO A FRIEND
WHO HAD BEEN MUCH ABUSED IN MANY INVETERATE LIBELS
The greatest monarch may be stabb'd by night
And fortune help the murderer in his flight;
The vilest ruffian may commit a rape,
Yet safe from injured innocence escape;
And calumny, by working under ground,
Can, unrevenged, the greatest merit wound.
What's to be done? Shall wit and learning choose
To live obscure, and have no fame to lose?
By Censure frighted out of Honour's road,
Nor dare to use the gifts by Heaven bestow'd?
Or fearless enter in through Virtue's gate,
And buy distinction at the dearest rate.
[Footnote 1: See _ante_, p. 160, the poem entitled "On
Censure."--_W. E. B._.]
CATULLUS DE LESBIA
Lesbia for ever on me rails,
To talk of me she never fails.
Now, hang me, but for all her art,
I find that I have gain'd her heart.
My proof is this: I plainly see,
The case is just the same with me;
I curse her every hour sincerely,
Yet, hang me but I love her dearly.
[Footnote 1: "Lesbia mi dicit semper mala nec tacet unquam
De me: Lesbia me dispeream nisi amat.
Quo signo? quia sunt totidem mea: deprecor illam
Assidue; verum dispeream nisi amo."
_Catulli Carmina, xcii.--W. E. B._]
ON A CURATE'S COMPLAINT OF HARD DUTY
I marched three miles through scorching sand,
With zeal in heart, and notes in hand;
I rode four more to Great St. Mary,
Using four legs, when two were weary:
To three fair virgins I did tie men,
In the close bands of pleasing Hymen;
I dipp'd two babes in holy water,
And purified their mother after.
Within an hour and eke a half,
I preach'd three congregations deaf;
Where, thundering out, with lungs long-winded,
I chopp'd so fast, that few there minded.
My emblem, the laborious sun,
Saw all these mighty labours done
Before one race of his was run.
All this perform'd by Robert Hewit:
What mortal else could e'er go through it!
TO BETTY, THE GRISETTE
Queen of wit and beauty, Betty,
Never may the Muse forget ye,
How thy face charms every shepherd,
Spotted over like a leopard!
And thy freckled neck, display'd,
Envy breeds in every maid;
Like a fly-blown cake of tallow,
Or on parchment ink turn'd yellow;
Or a tawny speckled pippin,
Shrivell'd with a winter's keeping.
And, thy beauty thus dispatch'd,
Let me praise thy wit unmatch'd.
Sets of phrases, cut and dry,
Evermore thy tongue supply;
And thy memory is loaded
With old scraps from plays exploded;
Stock'd with repartees and jokes,
Suited to all Christian folks:
Shreds of wit, and senseless rhymes,
Blunder'd out a thousand times;
Nor wilt thou of gifts be sparing,
Which can ne'er be worse for wearing.
Picking wit among collegians,
In the playhouse upper regions;
Where, in the eighteen-penny gallery,
Irish nymphs learn Irish raillery.
But thy merit is thy failing,
And thy raillery is railing.
Thus with talents well endued
To be scurrilous and rude;
When you pertly raise your snout,
Fleer and gibe, and laugh and flout;
This among Hibernian asses
For sheer wit and humour passes.
Thus indulgent Chloe, bit,
Swears you have a world of wit.
EPIGRAM FROM THE FRENCH
Who can believe with common sense,
A bacon slice gives God offence;
Or, how a herring has a charm
Almighty vengeance to disarm?
Wrapp'd up in majesty divine,
Does he regard on what we dine?
[Footnote 1: A French gentleman dining with some company on a fast-day,
called for some bacon and eggs. The rest were very angry, and reproved
him for so heinous a sin; whereupon he wrote the following lines, which
are translated above:
"Peut-on croire avec bon sens
Qu'un lardon le mil en colère,
Ou, que manger un hareng,
C'est un secret pour lui plaire?
En sa gloire envelopé,
Songe-t-il bien de nos soupés?"--_H_.]
As Thomas was cudgell'd one day by his wife,
He took to the street, and fled for his life:
Tom's three dearest friends came by in the squabble,
And saved him at once from the shrew and the rabble;
Then ventured to give him some sober advice--
But Tom is a person of honour so nice,
Too wise to take counsel, too proud to take warning,
That he sent to all three a challenge next morning.
Three duels he fought, thrice ventur'd his life;
Went home, and was cudgell'd again by his wife.
[Footnote 1: Collated with copy transcribed by
EPIGRAM ADDED BY STELLA
When Margery chastises Ned,
She calls it combing of his head;
A kinder wife was never born:
She combs his head, and finds him horn.
[Footnote 1: From Stella's copy in the Duke of Bedford's
JOAN CUDGELS NED
Joan cudgels Ned, yet Ned's a bully;
Will cudgels Bess, yet Will's a cully.
Die Ned and Bess; give Will to Joan,
She dares not say her life's her own.
Die Joan and Will; give Bess to Ned,
And every day she combs his head.
VERSES ON TWO CELEBRATED MODERN POETS
Behold, those monarch oaks, that rise
With lofty branches to the skies,
Have large proportion'd roots that grow
With equal longitude below:
Two bards that now in fashion reign,
Most aptly this device explain:
If this to clouds and stars will venture,
That creeps as far to reach the centre;
Or, more to show the thing I mean,
Have you not o'er a saw-pit seen
A skill'd mechanic, that has stood
High on a length of prostrate wood,
Who hired a subterraneous friend
To take his iron by the end;
But which excell'd was never found,
The man above or under ground.
The moral is so plain to hit,
That, had I been the god of wit,
Then, in a saw-pit and wet weather,
Should Young and Philips drudge together.
EPITAPH ON GENERAL GORGES, AND LADY MEATH
Under this stone lies Dick and Dolly.
Doll dying first, Dick grew melancholy;
For Dick without Doll thought living a folly.
Dick lost in Doll a wife tender and dear:
But Dick lost by Doll twelve hundred a-year;
A loss that Dick thought no mortal could bear.
Dick sigh'd for his Doll, and his mournful arms cross'd;
Thought much of his Doll, and the jointure he lost;
The first vex'd him much, the other vex'd most.
Thus loaded with grief, Dick sigh'd and he cried:
To live without both full three days he tried;
But liked neither loss, and so quietly died.
Dick left a pattern few will copy after:
Then, reader, pray shed some tears of salt water;
For so sad a tale is no subject of laughter.
Meath smiles for the jointure, though gotten so late;
The son laughs, that got the hard-gotten estate;
And Cuffe grins, for getting the Alicant plate.
Here quiet they lie, in hopes to rise one day,
Both solemnly put in this hole on a Sunday,
And here rest----_sic transit gloria mundi_!
[Footnote 1: Of Kilbrue, in the county of Meath.--_F._]
[Footnote 2: Dorothy, dowager of Edward, Earl of Meath. She was married
to the general in 1716, and died 10th April, 1728. Her husband survived
her but two days.--_F_.
The Dolly of this epitaph is the same lady whom Swift satirized in
his "Conference between Sir Harry Pierce's Chariot and Mrs. Dorothy
Stopford's Chair." See _ante_, p.85.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: John Cuffe, of Desart, Esq., married the general's eldest
VERSES ON I KNOW NOT WHAT
My latest tribute here I send,
With this let your collection end.
Thus I consign you down to fame
A character to praise or blame:
And if the whole may pass for true,
Contented rest, you have your due.
Give future time the satisfaction,
To leave one handle for detraction.
DR. SWIFT TO HIMSELF ON ST. CECILIA'S DAY
Grave Dean of St. Patrick's, how comes it to pass,
That you, who know music no more than an ass,
That you who so lately were writing of drapiers,
Should lend your cathedral to players and scrapers?
To act such an opera once in a year,
So offensive to every true Protestant ear,
With trumpets, and fiddles, and organs, and singing,
Will sure the Pretender and Popery bring in,
No Protestant Prelate, his lordship or grace,
Durst there show his right, or most reverend face:
How would it pollute their crosiers and rochets,
To listen to minims, and quavers, and crochets!
[The rest is wanting.]
AN ANSWER TO A FRIEND'S QUESTION
The furniture that best doth please
St. Patrick's Dean, good Sir, are these:
The knife and fork with which I eat;
And next the pot that boils the meat;
The next to be preferr'd, I think,
Is the glass in which I drink;
The shelves on which my books I keep
And the bed on which I sleep;
An antique elbow-chair between,
Big enough to hold the Dean;
And the stove that gives delight
In the cold bleak wintry night:
To these we add a thing below,
More for use reserved than show:
These are what the Dean do please;
All superfluous are but these.
INSCRIBED ON A MARBLE TABLET, IN BERKELEY CHURCH, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
H. S. E.
CAROLUS Comes de BERKELEY, Vicecomes DURSLEY,
Baro BERKELEY, de Berkeley Cast., MOWBRAY, SEGRAVE,
Et BRUCE, è nobilissimo Ordine Balnei Eques,
Vir ad genus quod spectat et proavos usquequaque nobilis
Et longo si quis alius procerum stemmate editus;
Muniis etiam tarn illustri stirpi dignis insignitus.
Siquidem a GULIELMO III° ad ordines foederati Belgii
Ablegatus et Plenipotentiarius Extraordinarius
Rebus, non Britanniae tantùm, sed totius fere Europae
(Tunc temporis praesertim arduis) per annos V. incubuit,
Quam felici diligentia, fide quam intemerata,
Ex illo discas, Lector, quod, superstite patre,
In magnatum ordinem adscisci meruerit.
Fuit à sanctioribus consiliis et Regi GULIEL. et ANNAE Reginae
E proregibus Hiberniae secundus,
Comitatum civitatumque Glocest. et Brist. Dominus Locumtenens,
Surriae et Glocest. Gustos Rot., Urbis Glocest. magnus
Senescallus, Arcis sancti de Briavell Castellanus, Guardianus
Forestae de Dean.
Denique ad Turcarum primum, deinde ad Romam Imperatorem
Cum Legatus Extraordinarius designatus esset,
Quo minus has etiam ornaret provincias
Obstitit adversa corporis valetudo.
Sed restat adhuc, prae quo sordescunt caetera,
Honos verus, stabilis, et vel morti cedere nescius
Quòd veritatem evangelicam seriò amplexus;
Erga Deum pius, erga pauperes munificus,
Adversùs omnes aequus et benevolus,
In Christo jam placidè obdormit
Cum eodem olim regnaturus unà.
Natus VIII° April. MDCXLIX. denatus
XXIV° Septem. MDCCX. aetat. suae LXII.
ON FREDERICK, DUKE OF SCHOMBERG
Hic infra situm est corpus
FREDERICI DUCIS DE SCHOMBERG.
ad BUDINDAM occisi, A.D. 1690.
DECANUS et CAPITULUM maximopere etiam
atque etiam petierunt,
UT HAEREDES DUCIS monumentum
In memoriam PARENTIS erigendum curarent:
Sed postquam per epistolas, per amicos,
diu ac saepè orando nil profecêre;
Hunc demum lapidem ipsi statuerunt,
Saltem ut scias, hospes,
Ubinam terrarum SCONBERGENSIS cineres
"Plus potuit fama virtutis apud alienos,
Quam sanguinis proximitas apud suos."
[Footnote 1: The Duke was unhappily killed in crossing the River Boyne,
July, 1690, and was buried in St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the dean and
chapter erected a small monument to his honour, at their own
[Footnote 2: The words with which Dr. Swift first concluded the epitaph
were, "Saltem ut sciat viator indignabundus, quali in cellulâ tanti
ductoris cineres delitescunt."--_N._]
VERSES WRITTEN DURING LORD CARTERET'S ADMINISTRATION OF IRELAND
As Lord Carteret's residence in Ireland as Viceroy was a series of cabals
against the authority of the Prime Minister, he failed not, as well from
his love of literature as from his hatred to Walpole, to attach to
himself as much as possible the distinguished author of the Drapier
Letters. By the interest which Swift soon gained with the
Lord-Lieutenant, he was enabled to recommend several friends, whose High
Church or Tory principles had hitherto obstructed their preferment. The
task of forwarding the views of Delany, in particular, led to several of
Swift's liveliest poetical effusions, while, on the other hand, he was
equally active in galling, by his satire, Smedley, and other Whig beaux
esprits, who, during this amphibious administration, sought the favour of
a literary Lord-Lieutenant, by literary offerings and poetical adulation.
These pieces, with one or two connected with the same subject, are here
thrown together, as they seem to reflect light upon each other.--_Scott._
AN APOLOGY TO LADY CARTERET
A lady, wise as well as fair,
Whose conscience always was her care,
Thoughtful upon a point of moment,
Would have the text as well as comment:
So hearing of a grave divine,
She sent to bid him come to dine.
But, you must know he was not quite
So grave as to be unpolite:
Thought human learning would not lessen
The dignity of his profession:
And if you'd heard the man discourse,
Or preach, you'd like him scarce the worse.
He long had bid the court farewell,
Retreating silent to his cell;
Suspected for the love he bore
To one who sway'd some time before;
Which made it more surprising how
He should be sent for thither now.
The message told, he gapes, and stares,
And scarce believes his eyes or ears:
Could not conceive what it should mean,
And fain would hear it told again.
But then the squire so trim and nice,
'Twere rude to make him tell it twice;
So bow'd, was thankful for the honour;
And would not fail to wait upon her.
His beaver brush'd, his shoes, and gown,
Away he trudges into town;
Passes the lower castle yard,
And now advancing to the guard,
He trembles at the thoughts of state;
For, conscious of his sheepish gait,
His spirits of a sudden fail'd him;
He stopp'd, and could not tell what ail'd him.
What was the message I received?
Why certainly the captain raved?
To dine with her! and come at three!
Impossible! it can't be me.
Or maybe I mistook the word;
My lady--it must be my lord.
My lord 's abroad; my lady too:
What must the unhappy doctor do?
"Is Captain Cracherode here, pray?"--"No."
"Nay, then 'tis time for me to go."
Am I awake, or do I dream?
I'm sure he call'd me by my name;
Named me as plain as he could speak;
And yet there must be some mistake.
Why, what a jest should I have been,
Had now my lady been within!
What could I've said? I'm mighty glad
She went abroad--she'd thought me mad.
The hour of dining now is past:
Well then, I'll e'en go home and fast:
And, since I 'scaped being made a scoff,
I think I'm very fairly off.
My lady now returning home,
Calls "Cracherode, is the Doctor come?"
He had not heard of him--"Pray see,
'Tis now a quarter after three."
The captain walks about, and searches
Through all the rooms, and courts, and arches;
Examines all the servants round,
In vain--no doctor's to be found.
My lady could not choose but wonder;
"Captain, I fear you've made some blunder;
But, pray, to-morrow go at ten;
I'll try his manners once again;
If rudeness be th' effect of knowledge,
My son shall never see a college."
The captain was a man of reading,
And much good sense, as well as breeding;
Who, loath to blame, or to incense,
Said little in his own defence.
Next day another message brought;
The Doctor, frighten'd at his fault,
Is dress'd, and stealing through the crowd,
Now pale as death, then blush'd and bow'd,
Panting--and faltering--humm'd and ha'd,
"Her ladyship was gone abroad:
The captain too--he did not know
Whether he ought to stay or go;"
Begg'd she'd forgive him. In conclusion,
My lady, pitying his confusion,
Call'd her good nature to relieve him;
Told him, she thought she might believe him;
And would not only grant his suit,
But visit him, and eat some fruit,
Provided, at a proper time,
He told the real truth in rhyme;
'Twas to no purpose to oppose,
She'd hear of no excuse in prose.
The Doctor stood not to debate,
Glad to compound at any rate;
So, bowing, seemingly complied;
Though, if he durst, he had denied.
But first, resolved to show his taste,
Was too refined to give a feast;
He'd treat with nothing that was rare,
But winding walks and purer air;
Would entertain without expense,
Or pride or vain magnificence:
For well he knew, to such a guest
The plainest meals must be the best.
To stomachs clogg'd with costly fare
Simplicity alone is rare;
While high, and nice, and curious meats
Are really but vulgar treats.
Instead of spoils of Persian looms,
The costly boast of regal rooms,
Thought it more courtly and discreet
To scatter roses at her feet;
Roses of richest dye, that shone
With native lustre, like her own;
Beauty that needs no aid of art
Through every sense to reach the heart.
The gracious dame, though well she knew
All this was much beneath her due,
Liked everything--at least thought fit
To praise it _par manière d'acquit_.
Yet she, though seeming pleased, can't bear
The scorching sun, or chilling air;
Disturb'd alike at both extremes,
Whether he shows or hides his beams:
Though seeming pleased at all she sees,
Starts at the ruffling of the trees,
And scarce can speak for want of breath,
In half a walk fatigued to death.
The Doctor takes his hint from hence,
T' apologize his late offence:
"Madam, the mighty power of use
Now strangely pleads in my excuse;
If you unused have scarcely strength
To gain this walk's untoward length;
If, frighten'd at a scene so rude,
Through long disuse of solitude;
If, long confined to fires and screens,
You dread the waving of these greens;
If you, who long have breathed the fumes
Of city fogs and crowded rooms,
Do now solicitously shun
The cooler air and dazzling sun;
If his majestic eye you flee,
Learn hence t' excuse and pity me.
Consider what it is to bear
The powder'd courtier's witty sneer;
To see th' important man of dress
Scoffing my college awkwardness;
To be the strutting cornet's sport,
To run the gauntlet of the court,
Winning my way by slow approaches,
Through crowds of coxcombs and of coaches,
From the first fierce cockaded sentry,
Quite through the tribe of waiting gentry;
To pass so many crowded stages,
And stand the staring of your pages:
And after all, to crown my spleen,
Be told--'You are not to be seen:'
Or, if you are, be forced to bear
The awe of your majestic air.
And can I then be faulty found,
In dreading this vexatious round?
Can it be strange, if I eschew
A scene so glorious and so new?
Or is he criminal that flies
The living lustre of your eyes?"
[Footnote 1: The gentleman who brought the message.--_Scott._]
THE BIRTH OF MANLY VIRTUE
INSCRIBED TO LORD CARTERET
Gratior et pulcro veniens in corpore virtus.--VIRG., _Aen._, v, 344.
Once on a time, a righteous sage,
Grieved with the vices of the age,
Applied to Jove with fervent prayer--
"O Jove, if Virtue be so fair
As it was deem'd in former days,
By Plato and by Socrates,
Whose beauties mortal eyes escape,
Only for want of outward shape;
Make then its real excellence,
For once the theme of human sense;
So shall the eye, by form confined,
Direct and fix the wandering mind,
And long-deluded mortals see,
With rapture, what they used to flee!"
Jove grants the prayer, gives Virtue birth,
And bids him bless and mend the earth.
Behold him blooming fresh and fair,
Now made--ye gods--a son and heir;
An heir: and, stranger yet to hear,
An heir, an orphan of a peer;
But prodigies are wrought to prove
Nothing impossible to Jove.
Virtue was for this sex design'd,
In mild reproof to womankind;
In manly form to let them see
The loveliness of modesty,
The thousand decencies that shone
With lessen'd lustre in their own;
Which few had learn'd enough to prize,
And some thought modish to despise.
To make his merit more discern'd,
He goes to school--he reads--is learn'd;
Raised high above his birth, by knowledge,
He shines distinguish'd in a college;
Resolved nor honour, nor estate,
Himself alone should make him great.
Here soon for every art renown'd,
His influence is diffused around;
The inferior youth to learning led,
Less to be famed than to be fed,
Behold the glory he has won,
And blush to see themselves outdone;
And now, inflamed with rival rage,
In scientific strife engage,
Engage; and, in the glorious strife
The arts new kindle into life.
Here would our hero ever dwell,
Fix'd in a lonely learned cell:
Contented to be truly great,
In Virtue's best beloved retreat;
Contented he--but Fate ordains,
He now shall shine in nobler scenes,
Raised high, like some celestial fire,
To shine the more, still rising higher;
Completely form'd in every part,
To win the soul, and glad the heart.
The powerful voice, the graceful mien,
Lovely alike, or heard, or seen;
The outward form and inward vie,
His soul bright beaming from his eye,
Ennobling every act and air,
With just, and generous, and sincere.
Accomplish'd thus, his next resort
Is to the council and the court,
Where Virtue is in least repute,
And interest the one pursuit;
Where right and wrong are bought and sold,
Barter'd for beauty, and for gold;
Here Manly Virtue, even here,
Pleased in the person of a peer,
A peer; a scarcely bearded youth,
Who talk'd of justice and of truth,
Of innocence the surest guard,
Tales here forgot, or yet unheard;
That he alone deserved esteem,
Who was the man he wish'd to seem;
Call'd it unmanly and unwise,
To lurk behind a mean disguise;
(Give fraudful Vice the mask and screen,
'Tis Virtue's interest to be seen;)
Call'd want of shame a want of sense,
And found, in blushes, eloquence.
Thus acting what he taught so well,
He drew dumb merit from her cell,
Led with amazing art along
The bashful dame, and loosed her tongue;
And, while he made her value known,
Yet more display'd and raised his own.
Thus young, thus proof to all temptations,
He rises to the highest stations;
For where high honour is the prize,
True Virtue has a right to rise:
Let courtly slaves low bend the knee
To Wealth and Vice in high degree:
Exalted Worth disdains to owe
Its grandeur to its greatest foe.
Now raised on high, see Virtue shows
The godlike ends for which he rose;
For him, let proud Ambition know
The height of glory here below,
Grandeur, by goodness made complete!
To bless, is truly to be great!
He taught how men to honour rise,
Like gilded vapours to the skies,
Which, howsoever they display
Their glory from the god of day,
Their noblest use is to abate
His dangerous excess of heat,
To shield the infant fruits and flowers,
And bless the earth with genial showers.
Now change the scene; a nobler care
Demands him in a higher sphere:
Distress of nations calls him hence,
Permitted so by Providence;
For models, made to mend our kind,
To no one clime should be confined;
And Manly Virtue, like the sun,
His course of glorious toils should run:
Alike diffusing in his flight
Congenial joy, and life, and light.
Pale Envy sickens, Error flies,
And Discord in his presence dies;
Oppression hides with guilty dread,
And Merit rears her drooping head;
The arts revive, the valleys sing,
And winter softens into spring:
The wondering world, where'er he moves,
With new delight looks up, and loves;
One sex consenting to admire,
Nor less the other to desire;
While he, though seated on a throne,
Confines his love to one alone;
The rest condemn'd with rival voice
Repining, do applaud his choice.
Fame now reports, the Western isle
Is made his mansion for a while,
Whose anxious natives, night and day,
(Happy beneath his righteous sway,)
Weary the gods with ceaseless prayer,
To bless him, and to keep him there;
And claim it as a debt from Fate,
Too lately found, to lose him late.
[Footnote 1: See Swift's "Vindication of Lord Carteret," "Prose Works,"
vii, 227; and his character as Lord Granville in my "Wit and Wisdom of
Lord Chesterfield."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: George, the first Lord Carteret, father of the Lord
Lieutenant, died when his son was between four and five years of
[Footnote 3: Lord Carteret had the honour of mediating peace for Sweden,
with Denmark, and with the Czar.--_H._]
ON PADDY'S CHARACTER OF THE "INTELLIGENCER." 1729
As a thorn bush, or oaken bough,
Stuck in an Irish cabin's brow,
Above the door, at country fair,
Betokens entertainment there;
So bays on poets' brows have been
Set, for a sign of wit within.
And as ill neighbours in the night
Pull down an alehouse bush for spite;
The laurel so, by poets worn,
Is by the teeth of Envy torn;
Envy, a canker-worm, which tears
Those sacred leaves that lightning spares.
And now, t'exemplify this moral:
Tom having earn'd a twig of laurel,
(Which, measured on his head, was found
Not long enough to reach half round,
But, like a girl's cockade, was tied,
A trophy, on his temple-side,)
Paddy repined to see him wear
This badge of honour in his hair;
And, thinking this cockade of wit
Would his own temples better fit,
Forming his Muse by Smedley's model,
Lets drive at Tom's devoted noddle,
Pelts him by turns with verse and prose
Hums like a hornet at his nose.
At length presumes to vent his satire on
The Dean, Tom's honour'd friend and patron.
The eagle in the tale, ye know,
Teazed by a buzzing wasp below,
Took wing to Jove, and hoped to rest
Securely in the thunderer's breast:
In vain; even there, to spoil his nod,
The spiteful insect stung the god.
[Footnote 1: For particulars of this publication, the work of two only,
Swift and Sheridan, see "Prose Works," vol. ix, p. 311. The satire seems
To have provoked retaliation from Tighe, Prendergast, Smedley, and even
from Delany. Hence this poem.--_W. E. B._]
AN EPISTLE TO HIS EXCELLENCY JOHN, LORD CARTERET
BY DR. DELANY. 1729
Credis ob haec me, Pastor, opes fortasse rogare,
Propter quae vulgus crassaque turba rogat.
MART., _Epig._, lib. ix, 22.
Thou wise and learned ruler of our isle,
Whose guardian care can all her griefs beguile;
When next your generous soul shall condescend
T' instruct or entertain your humble friend;
Whether, retiring from your weighty charge,
On some high theme you learnedly enlarge;
Of all the ways of wisdom reason well,
How Richelieu rose, and how Sejanus fell:
Or, when your brow less thoughtfully unbends,
Circled with Swift and some delighted friends;
When, mixing mirth and wisdom with your wine,
Like that your wit shall flow, your genius shine:
Nor with less praise the conversation guide,
Than in the public councils you decide:
Or when the Dean, long privileged to rail,
Asserts his friend with more impetuous zeal;
You hear (whilst I sit by abash'd and mute)
With soft concessions shortening the dispute;
Then close with kind inquiries of my state,
"How are your tithes, and have they rose of late?
Why, Christ-Church is a pretty situation,
There are not many better in the nation!
This, with your other things, must yield you clear
Some six--at least five hundred pounds a-year."
Suppose, at such a time, I took the freedom
To speak these truths as plainly as you read 'em;
You shall rejoin, my lord, when I've replied,
And, if you please, my lady shall decide.
"My lord, I'm satisfied you meant me well,
And that I'm thankful, all the world can tell;
But you'll forgive me, if I own the event
Is short, is very short, of your intent:
At least, I feel some ills unfelt before,
My income less, and my expenses more."
"How, doctor! double vicar! double rector!
A dignitary! with a city lecture!
What glebes--what dues--what tithes--what fines--what rent!
Why, doctor!--will you never be content?"
"Would my good Lord but cast up the account,
And see to what my revenues amount;
My titles ample; but my gain so small,
That one good vicarage is worth them all:
And very wretched, sure, is he that's double
In nothing but his titles and his trouble.
And to this crying grievance, if you please,
My horses founder'd on Fermanagh ways;
Ways of well-polish'd and well-pointed stone,
Where every step endangers every bone;
And, more to raise your pity and your wonder,
Two churches--twelve Hibernian miles asunder:
With complicated cures, I labour hard in,
Beside whole summers absent from--my garden!
But that the world would think I play'd the fool,
I'd change with Charley Grattan for his school.
What fine cascades, what vistoes, might I make,
Fixt in the centre of th' Iërnian lake!
There might I sail delighted, smooth and safe,
Beneath the conduct of my good Sir Ralph:
There's not a better steerer in the realm;
I hope, my lord, you'll call him to the helm."--
"Doctor--a glorious scheme to ease your grief!
When cures are cross, a school's a sure relief.
You cannot fail of being happy there,
The lake will be the Lethe of your care:
The scheme is for your honour and your ease:
And, doctor, I'll promote it when you please.
Meanwhile, allowing things below your merit,
Yet, doctor, you've a philosophic spirit;
Your wants are few, and, like your income, small,
And you've enough to gratify them all:
You've trees, and fruits, and roots, enough in store:
And what would a philosopher have more?
You cannot wish for coaches, kitchens, cooks--"
"My lord, I've not enough to buy me books--
Or pray, suppose my wants were all supplied,
Are there no wants I should regard beside?
Whose breast is so unmann'd, as not to grieve,
Compass'd with miseries he can't relieve?
Who can be happy--who should wish to live,
And want the godlike happiness to give?
That I'm a judge of this, you must allow:
I had it once--and I'm debarr'd it now.
Ask your own heart, my lord; if this be true,
Then how unblest am I! how blest are you!"
"'Tis true--but, doctor, let us wave all that--
Say, if you had your wish, what you'd be at?"
"Excuse me, good my lord--I won't be sounded,
Nor shall your favour by my wants be bounded.
My lord, I challenge nothing as my due,
Nor is it fit I should prescribe to you.
Yet this might Symmachus himself avow,
(Whose rigid rules are antiquated now)--
My lord; I'd wish to pay the debts I owe--
I'd wish besides--to build and to bestow."
[Footnote 1: Delany, by the patronage of Carteret, and probably through
the intercession of Swift, had obtained a small living in the north of
Ireland, worth about one hundred pounds a-year, with the chancellorship
of Christ-Church, and a prebend's stall in St. Patrick's, neither of
which exceeded the same annual amount. Yet a clamour was raised among the
Whigs, on account of the multiplication of his preferments; and a charge
was founded against the Lord-Lieutenant of extravagant favour to a Tory
divine, which Swift judged worthy of an admirable ironical confutation
in his "Vindication of Lord Carteret." It appears, from the following
verses, that Delany was far from being of the same opinion with those who
thought he was too amply provided for.--_Scott._ See the "Vindication,"
"Prose Works," vii, p. 244.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Which, according to Swift's calculation, in his "Vindication
of Lord Carteret," amounted only to £300 a year. "Prose Works," vol. vii,
p. 245.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: A free school at Inniskillen, founded by Erasmus Smith,
[Footnote 4: Sir Ralph Gore, who had a villa in the lake of
[Footnote 5: Symmachus, Bishop of Rome, 499, made a decree, that no man
should solicit for ecclesiastical preferment before the death of the
AN EPISTLE UPON AN EPISTLE
FROM A CERTAIN DOCTOR TO A CERTAIN GREAT LORD.
BEING A CHRISTMAS-BOX FOR DR. DELANY
As Jove will not attend on less,
When things of more importance press:
You can't, grave sir, believe it hard,
That you, a low Hibernian bard,
Should cool your heels a while, and wait
Unanswer'd at your patron's gate;
And would my lord vouchsafe to grant
This one poor humble boon I want,
Free leave to play his secretary,
As Falstaff acted old king Harry;
I'd tell of yours in rhyme and print,
Folks shrug, and cry, "There's nothing in't."
And, after several readings over,
It shines most in the marble cover.
How could so fine a taste dispense
With mean degrees of wit and sense?
Nor will my lord so far beguile
The wise and learned of our isle;
To make it pass upon the nation,
By dint of his sole approbation.
The task is arduous, patrons find,
To warp the sense of all mankind:
Who think your Muse must first aspire,
Ere he advance the doctor higher.
You've cause to say he meant you well:
That you are thankful, who can tell?
For still you're short (which grieves your spirit)
Of his intent: you mean your merit.
Ah! _quanto rectius, tu adepte,
Qui nil moliris tarn inepte_?
Smedley, thou Jonathan of Clogher,
"When thou thy humble lay dost offer
To Grafton's grace, with grateful heart,
Thy thanks and verse devoid of art:
Content with what his bounty gave,
No larger income dost thou crave."
But you must have cascades, and all
Iërne's lake, for your canal,
Your vistoes, barges, and (a pox on
All pride!) our speaker for your coxon:
It's pity that he can't bestow you
Twelve commoners in caps to row you.
Thus Edgar proud, in days of yore,
Held monarchs labouring at the oar;
And, as he pass'd, so swell'd the Dee,
Enraged, as Ern would do at thee.
How different is this from Smedley!
(His name is up, he may in bed lie)
"Who only asks some pretty cure,
In wholesome soil and ether pure:
The garden stored with artless flowers,
In either angle shady bowers:
No gay parterre with costly green
Must in the ambient hedge be seen;
But Nature freely takes her course,
Nor fears from him ungrateful force:
No shears to check her sprouting vigour,
Or shape the yews to antic figure."
But you, forsooth, your all must squander
On that poor spot, call'd Dell-ville, yonder;
And when you've been at vast expenses
In whims, parterres, canals, and fences,
Your assets fail, and cash is wanting;
Nor farther buildings, farther planting:
No wonder, when you raise and level,
Think this wall low, and that wall bevel.
Here a convenient box you found,
Which you demolish'd to the ground:
Then built, then took up with your arbour,
And set the house to Rupert Barber.
You sprang an arch which, in a scurvy
Humour, you tumbled topsy-turvy.
You change a circle to a square,
Then to a circle as you were:
Who can imagine whence the fund is,
That you _quadrata_ change _rotundis_?
To Fame a temple you erect,
A Flora does the dome protect;
Mounts, walks, on high; and in a hollow
You place the Muses and Apollo;
There shining 'midst his train, to grace
Your whimsical poetic place.
These stories were of old design'd
As fables: but you have refined
The poets mythologic dreams,
To real Muses, gods, and streams.
Who would not swear, when you contrive thus,
That you're Don Quixote redivivus?
Beneath, a dry canal there lies,
Which only Winter's rain supplies.
O! couldst thou, by some magic spell,
Hither convey St. Patrick's well!
Here may it reassume its stream,
And take a greater Patrick's name!
If your expenses rise so high;
What income can your wants supply?
Yet still you fancy you inherit
A fund of such superior merit,
That you can't fail of more provision,
All by my lady's kind decision.
For, the more livings you can fish up,
You think you'll sooner be a bishop:
That could not be my lord's intent,
Nor can it answer the event.
Most think what has been heap'd on you
To other sort of folk was due:
Rewards too great for your flim-flams,
Epistles, riddles, epigrams.
Though now your depth must not be sounded,
The time was, when you'd have compounded
For less than Charley Grattan's school!
Five hundred pound a-year's no fool!
Take this advice then from your friend,
To your ambition put an end,
Be frugal, Pat: pay what you owe,
Before you build and you bestow.
Be modest, nor address your betters
With begging, vain, familiar letters.
A passage may be found, I've heard,
In some old Greek or Latian bard,
Which says, "Would crows in silence eat
Their offals, or their better meat,
Their generous feeders not provoking
By loud and inharmonious croaking,
They might, unhurt by Envy's claws,
Live on, and stuff to boot their maws."
[Footnote 1: "King Henry the Fourth," Part I, Act ii,
Scene 4.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: Adapted from Hor., "Epist. ad Pisones," 140.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: See the "Petition to the Duke of Grafton," _post_,
p. 345.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: Alluding to Dr. Delany's ambitious choice of fixing in the
island of the Lake of Erin, where Sir Ralph Gore had a villa.--_Scott_.]
[Footnote 5: When residing at Chester, he obliged eight of his tributary
princes to row him in a barge upon the Dee. Hume's "History of England,"
vol. i, p. 106.--_W. E. B_.]
[Footnote 6: Which had suddenly dried up. See _post_, vol. ii, "Verses on
the sudden drying up of St. Patrick's Well, near Trinity College,
[Footnote 7: Hor., "Epist.," lib. I, xvii, 50.
"Sed tacitus pasci si corvus posset, haberet
Plus dapis, et rixae multo minus invidiaeque."
I append the original, for the sake of Swift's very free
rendering.--_W. E. B._]
ON THE REVEREND DR. DELANY, AND HIS EXCELLENCY JOHN, LORD CARTERET
Deluded mortals, whom the great
Choose for companions _tête-à-tête_;
Who at their dinners, _en famille_,
Get leave to sit whene'er you will;
Then boasting tell us where you dined,
And how his lordship was so kind;
How many pleasant things he spoke;
And how you laugh'd at every joke:
Swear he's a most facetious man;
That you and he are cup and can;
You travel with a heavy load,
And quite mistake preferment's road.
Suppose my lord and you alone;
Hint the least interest of your own,
His visage drops, he knits his brow,
He cannot talk of business now:
Or, mention but a vacant post,
He'll turn it off with "Name your toast:"
Nor could the nicest artist paint
A countenance with more constraint.
For, as their appetites to quench,
Lords keep a pimp to bring a wench;
So men of wit are but a kind
Of panders to a vicious mind
Who proper objects must provide
To gratify their lust of pride,
When, wearied with intrigues of state,
They find an idle hour to prate.
Then, shall you dare to ask a place,
You forfeit all your patron's grace,
And disappoint the sole design,
For which he summon'd you to dine.
Thus Congreve spent in writing plays,
And one poor office, half his days:
While Montague, who claim'd the station
To be Mæcenas of the nation,
For poets open table kept,
But ne'er consider'd where they slept:
Himself as rich as fifty Jews,
Was easy, though they wanted shoes;
And crazy Congreve scarce could spare
A shilling to discharge his chair:
Till prudence taught him to appeal
From Pæan's fire to party zeal;
Not owing to his happy vein
The fortunes of his later scene,
Took proper principles to thrive:
And so might every dunce alive.
Thus Steele, who own'd what others writ,
And flourish'd by imputed wit,
From perils of a hundred jails,
Withdrew to starve, and die in Wales.
Thus Gay, the hare with many friends,
Twice seven long years the court attends:
Who, under tales conveying truth,
To virtue form'd a princely youth:
Who paid his courtship with the crowd,
As far as modest pride allow'd;
Rejects a servile usher's place,
And leaves St. James's in disgrace.
Thus Addison, by lords carest,
Was left in foreign lands distrest;
Forgot at home, became for hire
A travelling tutor to a squire:
But wisely left the Muses' hill,
To business shaped the poet's quill,
Let all his barren laurels fade,
Took up himself the courtier's trade,
And, grown a minister of state,
Saw poets at his levee wait.
Hail, happy Pope! whose generous mind
Detesting all the statesman kind,
Contemning courts, at courts unseen,
Refused the visits of a queen.
A soul with every virtue fraught,
By sages, priests, or poets taught;
Whose filial piety excels
Whatever Grecian story tells;
A genius for all stations fit,
Whose meanest talent is his wit:
His heart too great, though fortune little,
To lick a rascal statesman's spittle:
Appealing to the nation's taste,
Above the reach of want is placed:
By Homer dead was taught to thrive,
Which Homer never could alive;
And sits aloft on Pindus' head,
Despising slaves that cringe for bread.
True politicians only pay
For solid work, but not for play:
Nor ever choose to work with tools
Forged up in colleges and schools,
Consider how much more is due
To all their journeymen than you:
At table you can Horace quote;
They at a pinch can bribe a vote:
You show your skill in Grecian story;
But they can manage Whig and Tory;
You, as a critic, are so curious
To find a verse in Virgil spurious;
But they can smoke the deep designs,
When Bolingbroke with Pulteney dines.
Besides, your patron may upbraid ye,
That you have got a place already;
An office for your talents fit,
To flatter, carve, and show your wit;
To snuff the lights and stir the fire,
And get a dinner for your hire.
What claim have you to place or pension?
He overpays in condescension.
But, reverend doctor, you we know
Could never condescend so low;
The viceroy, whom you now attend,
Would, if he durst, be more your friend;
Nor will in you those gifts despise,
By which himself was taught to rise:
When he has virtue to retire,
He'll grieve he did not raise you higher,
And place you in a better station,
Although it might have pleased the nation.
This may be true--submitting still
To Walpole's more than royal will;
And what condition can be worse?
He comes to drain a beggar's purse;
He comes to tie our chains on faster,
And show us England is our master:
Caressing knaves, and dunces wooing,
To make them work their own undoing.
What has he else to bait his traps,
Or bring his vermin in, but scraps?
The offals of a church distrest;
A hungry vicarage at best;
Or some remote inferior post,
With forty pounds a-year at most?
But here again you interpose--
Your favourite lord is none of those
Who owe their virtues to their stations,
And characters to dedications:
For, keep him in, or turn him out,
His learning none will call in doubt;
His learning, though a poet said it
Before a play, would lose no credit;
Nor Pope would dare deny him wit,
Although to praise it Philips writ.
I own he hates an action base,
His virtues battling with his place:
Nor wants a nice discerning spirit
Betwixt a true and spurious merit;
Can sometimes drop a voter's claim,
And give up party to his fame.
I do the most that friendship can;
I hate the viceroy, love the man.
But you, who, till your fortune's made,
Must be a sweetener by your trade,
Should swear he never meant us ill;
We suffer sore against his will;
That, if we could but see his heart,
He would have chose a milder part:
We rather should lament his case,
Who must obey, or lose his place.
Since this reflection slipt your pen,
Insert it when you write again;
And, to illustrate it, produce
This simile for his excuse:
"So, to destroy a guilty land
An angel sent by Heaven's command,
While he obeys Almighty will,
Perhaps may feel compassion still;
And wish the task had been assign'd
To spirits of less gentle kind."
But I, in politics grown old,
Whose thoughts are of a different mould,
Who from my soul sincerely hate
Both kings and ministers of state;
Who look on courts with stricter eyes
To see the seeds of vice arise;
Can lend you an allusion fitter,
Though flattering knaves may call it bitter;
Which, if you durst but give it place,
Would show you many a statesman's face:
Fresh from the tripod of Apollo,
I had it in the words that follow:
Take notice to avoid offence,
I here except his excellence:
"So, to effect his monarch's ends,
From hell a viceroy devil ascends;
His budget with corruptions cramm'd,
The contributions of the damn'd;
Which with unsparing hand he strews
Through courts and senates as he goes;
And then at Beelzebub's black hall,
Complains his budget was too small."
Your simile may better shine
In verse, but there is truth in mine.
For no imaginable things
Can differ more than gods and kings:
And statesmen, by ten thousand odds,
Are angels just as kings are gods.
[Footnote 1: Earl of Halifax; see Johnson's "Life of
Montague."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 2: The whole of this paragraph is unjust both to Halifax and
Congreve; for immediately after the production of Congreve's first play,
"The Old Bachelor," Halifax gave him a place in the Pipe Office, and
another in the Customs, of £600 a year. Ultimately he had at least four
sinecure appointments which together afforded him some £1,200 a year. See
Johnson's "Lives of the Poets," edit. Cunningham.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 3: William, Duke of Cumberland, son to George II, "The
[Footnote 4: See _ante_, p. 215, note.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 5: See Johnson's "Life of Addison."--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 6: See "Prologue to the Satires," 390 to the end.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 7: "So when an angel by divine command," etc.
TO DR. DELANY
ON THE LIBELS WRITTEN AGAINST HIM. 1729
--Tanti tibi non sit opaci
Omnis arena Tagi quodque in mare volvitur aurum.--_Juv._ iii, 54.
As some raw youth in country bred,
To arms by thirst of honour led,
When at a skirmish first he hears
The bullets whistling round his ears,
Will duck his head aside, will start,
And feel a trembling at his heart,
Till 'scaping oft without a wound
Lessens the terror of the sound;
Fly bullets now as thick as hops,
He runs into a cannon's chops.
An author thus, who pants for fame,
Begins the world with fear and shame;
When first in print you see him dread
Each pop-gun levell'd at his head:
The lead yon critic's quill contains,
Is destined to beat out his brains:
As if he heard loud thunders roll,
Cries, Lord have mercy on his soul!
Concluding that another shot
Will strike him dead upon the spot.
But, when with squibbing, flashing, popping,
He cannot see one creature dropping;
That, missing fire, or missing aim,
His life is safe, I mean his fame;
The danger past, takes heart of grace,
And looks a critic in the face.
Though splendour gives the fairest mark
To poison'd arrows in the dark,
Yet, in yourself when smooth and round,
They glance aside without a wound.
'Tis said, the gods tried all their art,
How pain they might from pleasure part:
But little could their strength avail;
Both still are fasten'd by the tail;
Thus fame and censure with a tether
By fate are always link'd together.
Why will you aim to be preferr'd
In wit before the common herd;
And yet grow mortified and vex'd,
To pay the penalty annex'd?
'Tis eminence makes envy rise;
As fairest fruits attract the flies.
Should stupid libels grieve your mind,
You soon a remedy may find;
Lie down obscure like other folks
Below the lash of snarlers' jokes.
Their faction is five hundred odds,
For every coxcomb lends them rods,
And sneers as learnedly as they,
Like females o'er their morning tea.
You say the Muse will not contain
And write you must, or break a vein.
Then, if you find the terms too hard,
No longer my advice regard:
But raise your fancy on the wing;
The Irish senate's praises sing;
How jealous of the nation's freedom,
And for corruptions how they weed 'em;
How each the public good pursues,
How far their hearts from private views;
Make all true patriots, up to shoe-boys,
Huzza their brethren at the Blue-boys;
Thus grown a member of the club,
No longer dread the rage of Grub.
How oft am I for rhyme to seek!
To dress a thought I toil a week:
And then how thankful to the town,
If all my pains will earn a crown!
While every critic can devour
My work and me in half an hour.
Would men of genius cease to write,
The rogues must die for want and spite;
Must die for want of food and raiment,
If scandal did not find them payment.
How cheerfully the hawkers cry
A satire, and the gentry buy!
While my hard-labour'd poem pines
Unsold upon the printer's lines.
A genius in the reverend gown
Must ever keep its owner down;
'Tis an unnatural conjunction,
And spoils the credit of the function.
Round all your brethren cast your eyes,
Point out the surest men to rise;
That club of candidates in black,
The least deserving of the pack,
Aspiring, factious, fierce, and loud,
With grace and learning unendow'd,
Can turn their hands to every job,
The fittest tools to work for Bob;
Will sooner coin a thousand lies,
Than suffer men of parts to rise;
They crowd about preferment's gate,
And press you down with all their weight;
For as of old mathematicians
Were by the vulgar thought magicians;
So academic dull ale-drinkers
Pronounce all men of wit free-thinkers.
Wit, as the chief of virtue's friends,
Disdains to serve ignoble ends.
Observe what loads of stupid rhymes
Oppress us in corrupted times;
What pamphlets in a court's defence
Show reason, grammar, truth, or sense?
For though the Muse delights in fiction,
She ne'er inspires against conviction.
Then keep your virtue still unmixt,
And let not faction come betwixt:
By party-steps no grandeur climb at,
Though it would make you England's primate;
First learn the science to be dull,
You then may soon your conscience lull;
If not, however seated high,
Your genius in your face will fly.
When Jove was from his teeming head
Of Wit's fair goddess brought to bed,
There follow'd at his lying-in
For after-birth a sooterkin;
Which, as the nurse pursued to kill,
Attain'd by flight the Muses' hill,
There in the soil began to root,
And litter'd at Parnassus' foot.
From hence the critic vermin sprung,
With harpy claws and poisonous tongue:
Who fatten on poetic scraps,
Too cunning to be caught in traps.
Dame Nature, as the learned show,
Provides each animal its foe:
Hounds hunt the hare, the wily fox
Devours your geese, the wolf your flocks
Thus Envy pleads a natural claim
To persecute the Muse's fame;
On poets in all times abusive,
From Homer down to Pope inclusive.
Yet what avails it to complain?
You try to take revenge in vain.
A rat your utmost rage defies,
That safe behind the wainscot lies.
Say, did you ever know by sight
In cheese an individual mite!
Show me the same numeric flea,
That bit your neck but yesterday:
You then may boldly go in quest
To find the Grub Street poet's nest;
What spunging-house, in dread of jail,
Receives them, while they wait for bail;
What alley are they nestled in,
To flourish o'er a cup of gin;
Find the last garret where they lay,
Or cellar where they starve to-day.
Suppose you have them all trepann'd,
With each a libel in his hand,
What punishment would you inflict?
Or call them rogues, or get them kickt?
These they have often tried before;
You but oblige them so much more:
Themselves would be the first to tell,
To make their trash the better sell.
You have been libell'd--Let us know,
What fool officious told you so?
Will you regard the hawker's cries,
Who in his titles always lies?
Whate'er the noisy scoundrel says,
It might be something in your praise;
And praise bestow'd in Grub Street rhymes,
Would vex one more a thousand times.
Till critics blame, and judges praise,
The poet cannot claim his bays.
On me when dunces are satiric,
I take it for a panegyric.
Hated by fools, and fools to hate,
Be that my motto, and my fate.
[Footnote 1: The Irish Parliament met at the Blue-Boys Hospital, while
the new Parliament-house was building.--_Swift_.]
[Footnote 2: Sir Robert Walpole.]
[Footnote 3: Pallas.]
DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING A BIRTH-DAY SONG. 1729
To form a just and finish'd piece,
Take twenty gods of Rome or Greece,
Whose godships are in chief request,
And fit your present subject best;
And, should it be your hero's case,
To have both male and female race,
Your business must be to provide
A score of goddesses beside.
Some call their monarchs sons of Saturn,
For which they bring a modern pattern;
Because they might have heard of one,
Who often long'd to eat his son;
But this I think will not go down,
For here the father kept his crown.
Why, then, appoint him son of Jove,
Who met his mother in a grove;
To this we freely shall consent,
Well knowing what the poets meant;
And in their sense, 'twixt me and you,
It may be literally true.
Next, as the laws of verse require,
He must be greater than his sire;
For Jove, as every schoolboy knows,
Was able Saturn to depose;
And sure no Christian poet breathing
Would be more scrupulous than a Heathen;
Or, if to blasphemy it tends.
That's but a trifle among friends.
Your hero now another Mars is,
Makes mighty armies turn their a--s:
Behold his glittering falchion mow
Whole squadrons at a single blow;
While Victory, with wings outspread,
Flies, like an eagle, o'er his head;
His milk-white steed upon its haunches,
Or pawing into dead men's paunches;
As Overton has drawn his sire,
Still seen o'er many an alehouse fire.
Then from his arm hoarse thunder rolls,
As loud as fifty mustard bowls;
For thunder still his arm supplies,
And lightning always in his eyes.
They both are cheap enough in conscience,
And serve to echo rattling nonsense.
The rumbling words march fierce along,
Made trebly dreadful in your song.
Sweet poet, hired for birth-day rhymes,
To sing of wars, choose peaceful times.
What though, for fifteen years and more,
Janus has lock'd his temple-door;
Though not a coffeehouse we read in
Has mention'd arms on this side Sweden;
Nor London Journals, nor the Postmen,
Though fond of warlike lies as most men;
Thou still with battles stuff thy head full:
For, must thy hero not be dreadful?
Dismissing Mars, it next must follow
Your conqueror is become Apollo:
That he's Apollo is as plain as
That Robin Walpole is Mæcenas;
But that he struts, and that he squints,
You'd know him by Apollo's prints.
Old Phoebus is but half as bright,
For yours can shine both day and night.
The first, perhaps, may once an age
Inspire you with poetic rage;
Your Phoebus Royal, every day,
Not only can inspire, but pay.
Then make this new Apollo sit
Sole patron, judge, and god of wit.
"How from his altitude he stoops
To raise up Virtue when she droops;
On Learning how his bounty flows,
And with what justice he bestows;
Fair Isis, and ye banks of Cam!
Be witness if I tell a flam,
What prodigies in arts we drain,
From both your streams, in George's reign.
As from the flowery bed of Nile"--
But here's enough to show your style.
Broad innuendoes, such as this,
If well applied, can hardly miss:
For, when you bring your song in print,
He'll get it read, and take the hint;
(It must be read before 'tis warbled,
The paper gilt and cover marbled.)
And will be so much more your debtor,
Because he never knew a letter.
And, as he hears his wit and sense
(To which he never made pretence)
Set out in hyperbolic strains,
A guinea shall reward your pains;
For patrons never pay so well,
As when they scarce have learn'd to spell.
Next call him Neptune: with his trident
He rules the sea: you see him ride in't;
And, if provoked, he soundly firks his
Rebellious waves with rods, like Xerxes.
He would have seized the Spanish plate,
Had not the fleet gone out too late;
And in their very ports besiege them,
But that he would not disoblige them;
And make the rascals pay him dearly
For those affronts they give him yearly.
'Tis not denied, that, when we write,
Our ink is black, our paper white:
And, when we scrawl our paper o'er,
We blacken what was white before:
I think this practice only fit
For dealers in satiric wit.
But you some white-lead ink must get
And write on paper black as jet;
Your interest lies to learn the knack
Of whitening what before was black.
Thus your encomium, to be strong,
Must be applied directly wrong.
A tyrant for his mercy praise,
And crown a royal dunce with bays:
A squinting monkey load with charms,
And paint a coward fierce in arms.
Is he to avarice inclined?
Extol him for his generous mind:
And, when we starve for want of corn,
Come out with Amalthea's horn:
For all experience this evinces
The only art of pleasing princes:
For princes' love you should descant
On virtues which they know they want.
One compliment I had forgot,
But songsters must omit it not;
I freely grant the thought is old:
Why, then, your hero must be told,
In him such virtues lie inherent,
To qualify him God's vicegerent;
That with no title to inherit,
He must have been a king by merit.
Yet, be the fancy old or new,
Tis partly false, and partly true:
And, take it right, it means no more
Than George and William claim'd before.
Should some obscure inferior fellow,
Like Julius, or the youth of Pella,
When all your list of Gods is out,
Presume to show his mortal snout,
And as a Deity intrude,
Because he had the world subdued;
O, let him not debase your thoughts,
Or name him but to tell his faults.--
Of Gods I only quote the best,
But you may hook in all the rest.
Now, birth-day bard, with joy proceed
To praise your empress and her breed;
First of the first, to vouch your lies,
Bring all the females of the skies;
The Graces, and their mistress, Venus,
Must venture down to entertain us:
With bended knees when they adore her,
What dowdies they appear before her!
Nor shall we think you talk at random,
For Venus might be her great-grandam:
Six thousand years has lived the Goddess,
Your heroine hardly fifty odd is;
Besides, your songsters oft have shown
That she has Graces of her own:
Three Graces by Lucina brought her,
Just three, and every Grace a daughter;
Here many a king his heart and crown
Shall at their snowy feet lay down:
In royal robes, they come by dozens
To court their English German cousins:
Beside a pair of princely babies,
That, five years hence, will both be Hebes.
Now see her seated in her throne
With genuine lustre, all her own:
Poor Cynthia never shone so bright,
Her splendour is but borrow'd light;
And only with her brother linkt
Can shine, without him is extinct.
But Carolina shines the clearer
With neither spouse nor brother near her:
And darts her beams o'er both our isles,
Though George is gone a thousand miles.
Thus Berecynthia takes her place,
Attended by her heavenly race;
And sees a son in every God,
Unawed by Jove's all-shaking nod.
Now sing his little highness Freddy
Who struts like any king already:
With so much beauty, show me any maid
That could resist this charming Ganymede!
Where majesty with sweetness vies,
And, like his father, early wise.
Then cut him out a world of work,
To conquer Spain, and quell the Turk:
Foretel his empire crown'd with bays,
And golden times, and halcyon days;
And swear his line shall rule the nation
For ever--till the conflagration.
But, now it comes into my mind,
We left a little duke behind;
A Cupid in his face and size,
And only wants, to want his eyes.
Make some provision for the younker,
Find him a kingdom out to conquer;
Prepare a fleet to waft him o'er,
Make Gulliver his commodore;
Into whose pocket valiant Willy put,
Will soon subdue the realm of Lilliput.
A skilful critic justly blames
Hard, tough, crank, guttural, harsh, stiff names
The sense can ne'er be too jejune,
But smooth your words to fit the tune.
Hanover may do well enough,
But George and Brunswick are too rough;
Hesse-Darmstadt makes a rugged sound,
And Guelp the strongest ear will wound.
In vain are all attempts from Germany
To find out proper words for harmony:
And yet I must except the Rhine,
Because it clinks to Caroline.
Hail, queen of Britain, queen of rhymes!
Be sung ten hundred thousand times;
Too happy were the poets' crew,
If their own happiness they knew:
Three syllables did never meet
So soft, so sliding, and so sweet:
Nine other tuneful words like that
Would prove even Homer's numbers flat.
Behold three beauteous vowels stand,
With bridegroom liquids hand in hand;
In concord here for ever fix'd,
No jarring consonant betwixt.
May Caroline continue long,
For ever fair and young!--in song.
What though the royal carcass must,
Squeezed in a coffin, turn to dust?
Those elements her name compose,
Like atoms, are exempt from blows.
Though Caroline may fill your gaps,
Yet still you must consult your maps;
Find rivers with harmonious names,
Sabrina, Medway, and the Thames,
Britannia long will wear like steel,
But Albion's cliffs are out at heel;
And Patience can endure no more
To hear the Belgic lion roar.
Give up the phrase of haughty Gaul,
But proud Iberia soundly maul:
Restore the ships by Philip taken,
And make him crouch to save his bacon.
Nassau, who got the name of Glorious,
Because he never was victorious,
A hanger-on has always been;
For old acquaintance bring him in.
To Walpole you might lend a line,
But much I fear he's in decline;
And if you chance to come too late,
When he goes out, you share his fate,
And bear the new successor's frown;
Or, whom you once sang up, sing down.
Reject with scorn that stupid notion,
To praise your hero for devotion;
Nor entertain a thought so odd,
That princes should believe in God;
But follow the securest rule,
And turn it all to ridicule:
'Tis grown the choicest wit at court,
And gives the maids of honour sport;
For, since they talk'd with Dr. Clarke,
They now can venture in the dark:
That sound divine the truth has spoke all,
And pawn'd his word, Hell is not local.
This will not give them half the trouble
Of bargains sold, or meanings double.
Supposing now your song is done,
To Mynheer Handel next you run,
Who artfully will pare and prune
Your words to some Italian tune:
Then print it in the largest letter,
With capitals, the more the better.
Present it boldly on your knee,
And take a guinea for your fee.
[Footnote 1: Alluding to the disputes between George I, and his son,
while the latter was Prince of Wales.--_Scott_.]
[Footnote 2: The Electress Sophia, mother of George II, was supposed to
have had an intrigue with Count Konigsmark.--_Scott_.]
[Footnote 3: The name of the goat with whose milk Jupiter was fed, and
one of whose horns was placed among the stars as the Cornu Amaltheae, or
Cornu Copiae. Ovid, "Fasti," lib. v.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 4: The ancient city in Macedonia, the birthplace of Alexander
the Great.--_W. E. B._]
[Footnote 5: A famous Low Church divine, a favourite with Queen Caroline,
distinguished as a man of science and a scholar. He became Rector of St.
James', Piccadilly, but his sermons and his theological writings were not
considered quite orthodox. See note in Carruthers' edition of Pope,
"Moral Essays," Epist. iv.--_W. E. B._]
THE PHEASANT AND THE LARK
A FABLE BY DR. DELANY
Tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se?--_-Juv._ i, 30.
In ancient times, as bards indite,
(If clerks have conn'd the records right.)
A peacock reign'd, whose glorious sway
His subjects with delight obey:
His tail was beauteous to behold,
Replete with goodly eyes and gold;
Fair emblem of that monarch's guise,
Whose train at once is rich and wise;
And princely ruled he many regions,
And statesmen wise, and valiant legions.
A pheasant lord, above the rest,
With every grace and talent blest,
Was sent to sway, with all his skill,
The sceptre of a neighbouring hill.
No science was to him unknown,
For all the arts were all his own:
In all the living learned read,
Though more delighted with the dead:
For birds, if ancient tales say true,
Had then their Popes and Homers too;
Could read and write in prose and verse,
And speak like ***, and build like Pearce.
He knew their voices, and their wings,
Who smoothest soars, who sweetest sings;
Who toils with ill-fledged pens to climb,
And who attain'd the true sublime.
Their merits he could well descry,
He had so exquisite an eye;
And when that fail'd to show them clear,
He had as exquisite an ear;
It chanced as on a day he stray'd
Beneath an academic shade,
He liked, amidst a thousand throats,
The wildness of a Woodlark's notes,
And search'd, and spied, and seized his game,
And took him home, and made him tame;
Found him on trial true and able,
So cheer'd and fed him at his table.
Here some shrewd critic finds I'm caught,
And cries out, "Better fed than taught"--Then
jests on game and tame, and reads,
And jests, and so my tale proceeds.
Long had he studied in the wood,
Conversing with the wise and good:
His soul with harmony inspired,
With love of truth and virtue fired:
His brethren's good and Maker's praise
Were all the study of his lays;
Were all his study in retreat,
And now employ'd him with the great.
His friendship was the sure resort
Of all the wretched at the court;
But chiefly merit in distress
His greatest blessing was to bless.--
This fix'd him in his patron's breast,
But fired with envy all the rest:
I mean that noisy, craving crew,
Who round the court incessant flew,
And prey'd like rooks, by pairs and dozens,
To fill the maws of sons and cousins:
"Unmoved their heart, and chill'd their blood
To every thought of common good,
Confining every hope and care,
To their own low, contracted sphere."
These ran him down with ceaseless cry,
But found it hard to tell you why,
Till his own worth and wit supplied
Sufficient matter to deride:
"'Tis envy's safest, surest rule,
To hide her rage in ridicule:
The vulgar eye she best beguiles,
When all her snakes are deck'd with smiles:
Sardonic smiles, by rancour raised!
Tormented most when seeming pleased!"
Their spite had more than half expired,
Had he not wrote what all admired;
What morsels had their malice wanted,
But that he built, and plann'd, and planted!
How had his sense and learning grieved them,
But that his charity relieved them!
"At highest worth dull malice reaches,
As slugs pollute the fairest peaches:
Envy defames, as harpies vile
Devour the food they first defile."
Now ask the fruit of all his favour--
"He was not hitherto a saver."--
What then could make their rage run mad?
"Why, what he hoped, not what he had."
"What tyrant e'er invented ropes,
Or racks, or rods, to punish hopes?
Th' inheritance of hope and fame
Is seldom Earthly Wisdom's aim;
Or, if it were, is not so small,
But there is room enough for all."
If he but chance to breathe a song,
(He seldom sang, and never long,)
The noisy, rude, malignant crowd,
Where it was high, pronounced it loud:
Plain Truth was Pride; and, what was sillier,
Easy and Friendly was Familiar.
Or, if he tuned his lofty lays,
With solemn air to Virtue's praise,
Alike abusive and erroneous,
They call'd it hoarse and inharmonious.
Yet so it was to souls like theirs,
Tuneless as Abel to the bears!
A Rook with harsh malignant caw
Began, was follow'd by a Daw;
(Though some, who would be thought to know,
Are positive it was a crow:)
Jack Daw was seconded by Tit,
Tom Tit could write, and so he writ;
A tribe of tuneless praters follow,
The Jay, the Magpie, and the Swallow;
And twenty more their throats let loose,
Down to the witless, waddling Goose.
Some peck'd at him, some flew, some flutter'd,
Some hiss'd, some scream'd, and others mutter'd:
The Crow, on carrion wont to feast,
The Carrion Crow, condemn'd his taste:
The Rook, in earnest too, not joking,
Swore all his singing was but croaking.
Some thought they meant to show their wit,
Might think so still--"but that they writ"--
Could it be spite or envy?--"No--
Who did no ill could have no foe."--
So wise Simplicity esteem'd;
Quite otherwise True Wisdom deem'd;
This question rightly understood,
"What more provokes than doing good?
A soul ennobled and refined
Reproaches every baser mind:
As strains exalted and melodious
Make every meaner music odious."--
At length the Nightingale was heard,
For voice and wisdom long revered,
Esteem'd of all the wise and good,
The Guardian Genius of the wood:
He long in discontent retired,
Yet not obscured, but more admired:
His brethren's servile souls disdaining,
He lived indignant and complaining:
They now afresh provoke his choler,
(It seems the Lark had been his scholar,
A favourite scholar always near him,
And oft had waked whole nights to hear him.)
Enraged he canvasses the matter,
Exposes all their senseless chatter,
Shows him and them in such a light,
As more inflames, yet quells their spite.
They hear his voice, and frighted fly,
For rage had raised it very high:
Shamed by the wisdom of his notes,
They hide their heads, and hush their throats.
[Footnote 1: Lord Carteret, Lord-lieutenant of Ireland.--_F_.]
[Footnote 2: Ireland.--_F_]
[Footnote 3: A famous modern architect, who built the Parliament-house in
[Footnote 4: Dr. Delany.--_F_.]
[Footnote 5: Dr. T----r.--_F._]
[Footnote 6: Right Hon. Rich. Tighe.--_F._]
[Footnote 7: Dr. Sheridan.--_F._]
[Footnote 8: Dean Swift.--_F._]
ANSWER TO DR. DELANY'S FABLE OF THE PHEASANT AND LARK.
In ancient times, the wise were able
In proper terms to write a fable:
Their tales would always justly suit
The characters of every brute.
The ass was dull, the lion brave,
The stag was swift, the fox a knave;
The daw a thief, the ape a droll,
The hound would scent, the wolf would prowl:
A pigeon would, if shown by Æsop,
Fly from the hawk, or pick his pease up.
Far otherwise a great divine
Has learnt his fables to refine;
He jumbles men and birds together,
As if they all were of a feather:
You see him first the Peacock bring,
Against all rules, to be a king;
That in his tail he wore his eyes,
By which he grew both rich and wise.
Now, pray, observe the doctor's choice,
A Peacock chose for flight and voice;
Did ever mortal see a peacock
Attempt a flight above a haycock?
And for his singing, doctor, you know
Himself complain'd of it to Juno.
He squalls in such a hellish noise,
He frightens all the village boys.
This Peacock kept a standing force,
In regiments of foot and horse:
Had statesmen too of every kind,
Who waited on his eyes behind;
And this was thought the highest post;
For, rule the rump, you rule the roast.
The doctor names but one at present,
And he of all birds was a Pheasant.
This Pheasant was a man of wit,
Could read all books were ever writ;
And, when among companions privy,
Could quote you Cicero and Livy.
Birds, as he says, and I allow,
Were scholars then, as we are now;
Could read all volumes up to folios,
And feed on fricassees and olios:
This Pheasant, by the Peacock's will,
Was viceroy of a neighbouring hill;
And, as he wander'd in his park,
He chanced to spy a clergy Lark;
Was taken with his person outward,
So prettily he pick'd a cow-t--d:
Then in a net the Pheasant caught him,
And in his palace fed and taught him.
The moral of the tale is pleasant,
Himself the Lark, my lord the Pheasant:
A lark he is, and such a lark
As never came from Noah's ark:
And though he had no other notion,
But building, planning, and devotion;
Though 'tis a maxim you must know,
"Who does no ill can have no foe;"
Yet how can I express in words
The strange stupidity of birds?
This Lark was hated in the wood,
Because he did his brethren good.
At last the Nightingale comes in,
To hold the doctor by the chin:
We all can find out what he means,
The worst of disaffected deans:
Whose wit at best was next to none,
And now that little next is gone;
Against the court is always blabbing,
And calls the senate-house a cabin;
So dull, that but for spleen and spite,
We ne'er should know that he could write
Who thinks the nation always err'd,
Because himself is not preferr'd;
His heart is through his libel seen,
Nor could his malice spare the queen;
Who, had she known his vile behaviour,
Would ne'er have shown him so much favour.
A noble lord has told his pranks,
And well deserves the nation's thanks.
O! would the senate deign to show
Resentment on this public foe,
Our Nightingale might fit a cage;
There let him starve, and vent his rage:
Or would they but in fetters bind
This enemy of human kind!
Harmonious Coffee, show thy zeal,
Thou champion for the commonweal:
Nor on a theme like this repine,
For once to wet thy pen divine:
Bestow that libeller a lash,
Who daily vends seditious trash:
Who dares revile the nation's wisdom,
But in the praise of virtue is dumb:
That scribbler lash, who neither knows
The turn of verse, nor style of prose;
Whose malice, for the worst of ends,
Would have us lose our English friends:
Who never had one public thought,
Nor ever gave the poor a groat.
One clincher more, and I have done,
I end my labours with a pun.
Jove send this Nightingale may fall,
Who spends his day and night in gall!
So, Nightingale and Lark, adieu;
I see the greatest owls in you
That ever screech'd, or ever flew.
[Footnote 1: Lord Allen, the same who is meant by Traulus.--_F._]
[Footnote 2: A Dublin gazetteer.--_F._]
[Footnote 3: See A New Song on a Seditious Pamphlet.--_F._]
DEAN SMEDLEY'S PETITION TO THE DUKE OF GRAFTON
Non domus et fundus, non aeris acervus et auri.--HOR.
_Epist._, I, ii, 47.
It was, my lord, the dexterous shift
Of t'other Jonathan, viz. Swift,
But now St. Patrick's saucy dean,
With silver verge, and surplice clean,
Of Oxford, or of Ormond's grace,
In looser rhyme to beg a place.
A place he got, yclept a stall,
And eke a thousand pounds withal;
And were he less a witty writer,
He might as well have got a mitre.
Thus I, the Jonathan of Clogher,
In humble lays my thanks to offer,
Approach your grace with grateful heart,
My thanks and verse both void of art,
Content with what your bounty gave,
No larger income do I crave:
Rejoicing that, in better times,
Grafton requires my loyal lines.
Proud! while my patron is polite,
I likewise to the patriot write!
Proud! that at once I can commend
King George's and the Muses' friend!
Endear'd to Britain; and to thee
(Disjoin'd, Hibernia, by the sea)
Endear'd by twice three anxious years,
Employ'd in guardian toils and cares;
By love, by wisdom, and by skill;
For he has saved thee 'gainst thy will.
But where shall Smedley make his nest,
And lay his wandering head to rest?
Where shall he find a decent house,
To treat his friends and cheer his spouse?
O! tack, my lord, some pretty cure,
In wholesome soil, and ether pure;
The garden stored with artless flowers,
In either angle shady bowers.
No gay parterre, with costly green,
Within the ambient hedge be seen:
Let Nature freely take her course,
Nor fear from me ungrateful force;
No shears shall check her sprouting vigour,
Nor shape the yews to antic figure:
A limpid brook shall trout supply,
In May, to take the mimic fly;
Round a small orchard may it run,
Whose apples redden to the sun.
Let all be snug, and warm, and neat;
For fifty turn'd a safe retreat,
A little Euston may it be,
Euston I'll carve on every tree.
But then, to keep it in repair,
My lord--twice fifty pounds a-year
Will barely do; but if your grace
Could make them hundreds--charming place!
Thou then wouldst show another face.
Clogher! far north, my lord, it lies,
'Midst snowy hills, inclement skies:
One shivers with the arctic wind,
One hears the polar axis grind.
Good John indeed, with beef and claret,
Makes the place warm, that one may bear it.
He has a purse to keep a table,
And eke a soul as hospitable.
My heart is good; but assets fail,
To fight with storms of snow and hail.
Besides, the country's thin of people,
Who seldom meet but at the steeple:
The strapping dean, that's gone to Down,
Ne'er named the thing without a frown,
When, much fatigued with sermon study,
He felt his brain grow dull and muddy;
No fit companion could be found,
To push the lazy bottle round:
Sure then, for want of better folks
To pledge, his clerk was orthodox.
Ah! how unlike to Gerard Street,
Where beaux and belles in parties meet;
Where gilded chairs and coaches throng,
And jostle as they troll along;
Where tea and coffee hourly flow,
And gape-seed does in plenty grow;
And Griz (no clock more certain) cries,
Exact at seven, "Hot mutton-pies!"
There Lady Luna in her sphere
Once shone, when Paunceforth was not near;
But now she wanes, and, as 'tis said,
Keeps sober hours, and goes to bed.
There--but 'tis endless to write down
All the amusements of the town;
And spouse will think herself quite undone,
To trudge to Connor from sweet London;
And care we must our wives to please,
Or else--we shall be ill at ease.
You see, my lord, what 'tis I lack,
'Tis only some convenient tack,
Some parsonage-house with garden sweet,
To be my late, my last retreat;
A decent church, close by its side,
There, preaching, praying, to reside;
And as my time securely rolls,
To save my own and other souls.
[Footnote 1: This piece is repeatedly and always satirically alluded to
in the preceding poems.--_Scott_.]
[Footnote 2: The name of the Duke's seat in Suffolk.--_N._]
[Footnote 3: Bishop Sterne.--_H._]
[Footnote 4: The bishopric of Connor is united to that of Down; but there
are two deans.--_Scott_.]
THE DUKE'S ANSWER
BY DR. SWIFT
Dear Smed, I read thy brilliant lines,
Where wit in all its glory shines;
Where compliments, with all their pride,
Are by their numbers dignified:
I hope to make you yet as clean
As that same Viz, St. Patrick's dean.
I'll give thee surplice, verge, and stall,
And may be something else withal;
And, were you not so good a writer,
I should present you with a mitre.
Write worse, then, if you can--be wise-
Believe me, 'tis the way to rise.
Talk not of making of thy nest:
Ah! never lay thy head to rest!
That head so well with wisdom fraught,
That writes without the toil of thought!
While others rack their busy brains,
You are not in the least at pains.
Down to your dean'ry now repair,
And build a castle in the air.
I'm sure a man of your fine sense
Can do it with a small expense.
There your dear spouse and you together
May breathe your bellies full of ether,
When Lady Luna is your neighbour,
She'll help your wife when she's in labour,
Well skill'd in midwife artifices,
For she herself oft falls in pieces.
There you shall see a raree show
Will make you scorn this world below,
When you behold the milky-way,
As white as snow, as bright as day;
The glittering constellations roll
About the grinding arctic pole;
The lovely tingling in your ears,
Wrought by the music of the spheres--
Your spouse shall then no longer hector,
You need not fear a curtain-lecture;
Nor shall she think that she is undone
For quitting her beloved London.
When she's exalted in the skies,
She'll never think of mutton-pies;
When you're advanced above Dean Viz,
You'll never think of Goody Griz;
But ever, ever live at ease,
And strive, and strive your wife to please;
In her you'll centre all your joys,
And get ten thousand girls and boys;
Ten thousand girls and boys you'll get,
And they like stars shall rise and set.
While you and spouse, transform'd, shall soon
Be a new sun and a new moon:
Nor shall you strive your horns to hide,
For then your horns shall be your pride.
[Footnote 1: Diana, also called Lucina, for the reason given in the
text.--_W. E. B._]
PARODY ON A CHARACTER OF DEAN SMEDLEY,
WRITTEN IN LATIN BY HIMSELF
The very reverend Dean Smedley,
Of dulness, pride, conceit, a medley,
Was equally allow'd to shine
As poet, scholar, and divine;
With godliness could well dispense,
Would be a rake, but wanted sense;
Would strictly after Truth inquire,
Because he dreaded to come nigh her.
For Liberty no champion bolder,
He hated bailiffs at his shoulder.
To half the world a standing jest,
A perfect nuisance to the rest;
From many (and we may believe him)
Had the best wishes they could give him.
To all mankind a constant friend,
Provided they had cash to lend.
One thing he did before he went hence,
He left us a laconic sentence,
By cutting of his phrase, and trimming
To prove that bishops were old women.
Poor Envy durst not show her phiz,
She was so terrified at his.
He waded, without any shame,
Through thick and thin to get a name,
Tried every sharping trick for bread,
And after all he seldom sped.
When Fortune favour'd, he was nice;
He never once would cog the dice;
But, if she turn'd against his play,
He knew to stop _à quatre trois_.
Now sound in mind, and sound in _corpus_,
(Says he) though swell'd like any porpoise,
He hies from hence at forty-four
(But by his leave he sinks a score)
To the East Indies, there to cheat,
Till he can purchase an estate;
Where, after he has fill'd his chest,
He'll mount his tub, and preach his best,
And plainly prove, by dint of text,
This world is his, and theirs the next.
Lest that the reader should not know
The bank where last he set his toe,
'Twas Greenwich. There he took a ship,
And gave his creditors the slip.
But lest chronology should vary,
Upon the ides of February,
In seventeen hundred eight-and-twenty,
To Fort St. George, a pedler went he.
Ye Fates, when all he gets is spent,
RETURN HIM BEGGAR AS HE WENT!
[Footnote 1: INSCRIPTION,
BY DEAN SMEDLEY, 1729.
Reverendus Decanus, JONATHAN SMEDLEY,
Theologia instructus, in Poesi exercitatus,
Politioribus excultus literis;
Parce pius, impius minime;
Veritatis Indagator, Libertatis Assertor;
Subsannatus multis, fastiditus quibusdam,
Exoptatus plurimis, omnibus amicus,
Auctor hujus sententiae, PATRES SUNT VETULAE.
Per laudem et vituperium, per famam atque infamiam;
Utramque fortunam, variosque expertus casus,
Mente Sana, sano corpore, volens, laetusque,
Lustris plus quam XI numeratis,
Ad rem familiarem restaurandam augendamque,
Et ad Evangelium Indos inter Orientales praedicandum,
_Grevae_, idibus Februarii, navem ascendens,
Arcemque _Sancti_ petens _Georgii_, vernale per aequinoxium,
Anno Aerae Christianae MDCCXXVIII,
Fata vocant--revocentque precamur.]
END OF VOL. I