[Footnote 1: These verses relate to the proposed repeal of the Test Act, and may be compared with the "Fable of the Bitches," ante, p.181.]
[Footnote 2: In allusion to the supremacy of Rome.—Scott.]
A SATIRICAL ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A LATE FAMOUS GENERAL
His Grace! impossible! what, dead! Of old age too, and in his bed! And could that mighty warrior fall, And so inglorious, after all? Well, since he's gone, no matter how, The last loud trump must wake him now; And, trust me, as the noise grows stronger, He'd wish to sleep a little longer. And could he be indeed so old As by the newspapers we're told? Threescore, I think, is pretty high; 'Twas time in conscience he should die! This world he cumber'd long enough; He burnt his candle to the snuff; And that's the reason, some folks think, He left behind so great a stink. Behold his funeral appears, Nor widows' sighs, nor orphans' tears, Wont at such times each heart to pierce, Attend the progress of his hearse. But what of that? his friends may say, He had those honours in his day. True to his profit and his pride, He made them weep before he died. Come hither, all ye empty things! Ye bubbles raised by breath of kings! Who float upon the tide of state; Come hither, and behold your fate! Let Pride be taught by this rebuke, How very mean a thing's a duke; From all his ill-got honours flung, Turn'd to that dirt from whence he sprung.
[Footnote 1: The Duke of Marlborough died on the 16th June, 1722.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: See the "Fable of Midas," ante, p. 150; and The Examiner, "Prose Works," ix, 95.—W. E. B.]
POEMS CHIEFLY RELATING TO IRISH POLITICS
PARODY ON THE SPEECH OF DR. BENJAMIN PRATT, PROVOST OF TRINITY COLLEGE TO THE PRINCE OF WALES
Illustrious prince, we're come before ye, Who, more than in our founders, glory To be by you protected; Deign to descend and give us laws, For we are converts to your cause, From this day well-affected.
The noble view of your high merits Has charm'd our thoughts and fix'd our spirits, With zeal so warm and hearty; That we resolved to be devoted, At least until we be promoted, By your just power and party.
Urged by a passionate desire Of being raised a little higher, From lazy cloister'd life; We cannot flatter you nor fawn, But fain would honour'd be with lawn, And settled by a wife.
For this we have before resorted, Paid levees punctually, and courted, Our charge at home long quitting, But now we're come just in the nick, Upon a vacant bishopric, This bait can't fail of hitting.
Thus, sir, you see how much affection, Not interest, sways in this election, But sense of loyal duty. For you surpass all princes far, As glow-worms do exceed a star, In goodness, wit, and beauty.
To you our Irish Commons owe That wisdom which their actions show, Their principles from ours springs, Taught, ere the deel himself could dream on't, That of their illustrious house a stem on't, Should rise the best of kings.
The glad presages with our eyes Behold a king, chaste, vigilant, and wise, In foreign fields victorious, Who in his youth the Turks attacks, And [made] them still to turn their backs; Was ever king so glorious?
Since Ormond's like a traitor gone, We scorn to do what some have done, For learning much more famous; Fools may pursue their adverse fate, And stick to the unfortunate; We laugh while they condemn us.
For, being of that gen'rous mind, To success we are still inclined, And quit the suffering side, If on our friends cross planets frown, We join the cry, and hunt them down, And sail with wind and tide.
Hence 'twas this choice we long delay'd, Till our rash foes the rebels fled, Whilst fortune held the scale; But [since] they're driven like mist before you, Our rising sun, we now adore you, Because you now prevail.
Descend then from your lofty seat, Behold th' attending Muses wait With us to sing your praises; Calliope now strings up her lyre, And Clio Phoebus does inspire, The theme their fancy raises.
If then our nursery you will nourish, We and our Muses too will flourish, Encouraged by your favour; We'll doctrines teach the times to serve, And more five thousand pounds deserve, By future good behaviour.
Now take our harp into your hand, The joyful strings, at your command, In doleful sounds no more shall mourn. We, with sincerity of heart, To all your tunes shall bear a part, Unless we see the tables turn.
If so, great sir, you will excuse us, For we and our attending Muses May live to change our strain; And turn, with merry hearts, our tune, Upon some happy tenth of June, To "the king enjoys his own again."
[Footnote 1: Dr. Pratt's speech, which is here parodied, was made when the Duke of Ormond, Swift's valued friend, was attainted, and superseded in the office of chancellor of Trinity College, which he had held from 1688-9, by the Prince of Wales, afterwards George II.
There is great reason to suppose that the satire is the work of Swift, whose attachment to Ormond was uniformly ardent. Of this it may be worth while to mention a trifling instance. The duke had presented to the cathedral of St. Patrick's a superb organ, surmounted by his own armorial bearings. It was placed facing the nave of the church. But after Ormond's attainder, Swift, as Dean of St. Patrick's, received orders from government to remove the scutcheon from the church. He obeyed, but he placed the shield in the great aisle, where he himself and Stella lie buried, and where the arms still remain. The verses have suffered much by the inaccuracy of the noble transcriber, Lord Newtoun Butler.
The original speech will be found in the London Gazette of Tuesday, April 17, 1716, and Scott's edition of Swift, vol. xii, p. 352. The Provost, it appears, was attended by the Rev. Dr. Howard, and Mr. George Berkeley, (afterwards Bishop of Cloyne,) both of them fellows of Trinity College, Dublin. The speech was praised by Addison, in the Freeholder, No. 33.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: The Rev. Dr. Pratt had been formerly of the Tory party; to which circumstance the phrase, "from this day well-affected," alludes.—Scott.]
[Footnote 3: The statutes of the university enjoin celibacy.—Scott.]
[Footnote 4: The provost was a most constant attendant at the levees at St. James's palace.—Scott.]
[Footnote 5: The see of Killaloe was then vacant, and to this bishopric the Reverend Dr. George Carr, chaplain to the Irish House of Commons, was nominated, by letters-patent.—Scott.]
[Footnote 6: Alluding to the sullen silence of Oxford upon the accession.—Scott.]
[Footnote 7: This is spelled Chloe, but evidently should be Clio; indeed, many errors appear in the transcription, which probably were mistakes of the transcriber.—Scott.]
AN EXCELLENT NEW SONG ON A SEDITIOUS PAMPHLET. 1720-21
To the tune of "Packington's Pound."
Brocades, and damasks, and tabbies, and gauzes, Are, by Robert Ballantine, lately brought over, With forty things more: now hear what the law says, Whoe'er will not wear them is not the king's lover. Though a printer and Dean, Seditiously mean, Our true Irish hearts from Old England to wean, We'll buy English silks for our wives and our daughters, In spite of his deanship and journeyman Waters.
In England the dead in woollen are clad, The Dean and his printer then let us cry fie on; To be clothed like a carcass would make a Teague mad, Since a living dog better is than a dead lion. Our wives they grow sullen At wearing of woollen, And all we poor shopkeepers must our horns pull in. Then we'll buy English silks for our wives and our daughters, In spite of his deanship and journeyman Waters.
Whoever our trading with England would hinder, To inflame both the nations do plainly conspire, Because Irish linen will soon turn to tinder, And wool it is greasy, and quickly takes fire. Therefore, I assure ye, Our noble grand jury, When they saw the Dean's book, they were in a great fury; They would buy English silks for their wives and their daughters, In spite of his deanship and journeyman Waters.
This wicked rogue Waters, who always is sinning, And before coram nobis so oft has been call'd, Henceforward shall print neither pamphlets nor linen, And if swearing can do't shall be swingingly maul'd: And as for the Dean, You know whom I mean, If the printer will peach him, he'll scarce come off clean. Then we'll buy English silks for our wives and our daughters, In spite of his deanship and journeyman Waters.
[Footnote 1: This ballad alludes to the Dean's "Proposal for the use of Irish Manufactures," for which the printer was prosecuted with great violence. Lord Chief-Justice Whitshed sent the jury repeatedly out of court, until he had wearied them into a special verdict. See Swift's Letter to Pope, Jan. 1721, and "Prose Works," vii, 13.—W. E. B.]
THE RUN UPON THE BANKERS
The bold encroachers on the deep Gain by degrees huge tracts of land, Till Neptune, with one general sweep, Turns all again to barren strand.
The multitude's capricious pranks Are said to represent the seas, Breaking the bankers and the banks, Resume their own whene'er they please.
Money, the life-blood of the nation, Corrupts and stagnates in the veins, Unless a proper circulation Its motion and its heat maintains.
Because 'tis lordly not to pay, Quakers and aldermen in state, Like peers, have levees every day Of duns attending at their gate.
We want our money on the nail; The banker's ruin'd if he pays: They seem to act an ancient tale; The birds are met to strip the jays.
"Riches," the wisest monarch sings, "Make pinions for themselves to fly;" They fly like bats on parchment wings, And geese their silver plumes supply.
No money left for squandering heirs! Bills turn the lenders into debtors: The wish of Nero now is theirs, "That they had never known their letters."
Conceive the works of midnight hags, Tormenting fools behind their backs: Thus bankers, o'er their bills and bags, Sit squeezing images of wax.
Conceive the whole enchantment broke; The witches left in open air, With power no more than other folk, Exposed with all their magic ware.
So powerful are a banker's bills, Where creditors demand their due; They break up counters, doors, and tills, And leave the empty chests in view.
Thus when an earthquake lets in light Upon the god of gold and hell, Unable to endure the sight, He hides within his darkest cell.
As when a conjurer takes a lease From Satan for a term of years, The tenant's in a dismal case, Whene'er the bloody bond appears.
A baited banker thus desponds, From his own hand foresees his fall, They have his soul, who have his bonds; 'Tis like the writing on the wall.
How will the caitiff wretch be scared, When first he finds himself awake At the last trumpet, unprepared, And all his grand account to make!
For in that universal call, Few bankers will to heaven be mounters; They'll cry, "Ye shops, upon us fall! Conceal and cover us, ye counters!"
When other hands the scales shall hold, And they, in men's and angels' sight Produced with all their bills and gold, "Weigh'd in the balance and found light!"
[Footnote 1: This poem was printed some years ago, and it should seem, by the late failure of two bankers, to be somewhat prophetic. It was therefore thought fit to be reprinted.—Dublin Edition, 1734.]
[Footnote 2: Solomon, Proverbs, ch. xxiii, v. 5.]
[Footnote 3: Who, in his early days of empire, having to sign the sentence of a condemned criminal, exclaimed: "Quam vellem nescire litteras!" Suetonius, 10; and Seneca, "De Clementia,", cited by Montaigne, "De l'inconstance de nos actions."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: Daniel, ch. v, verses 25, 26, 27, 28.—W. E. B.]
UPON THE HORRID PLOT DISCOVERED BY HARLEQUIN, THE BISHOP OF ROCHESTER'S FRENCH DOG, IN A DIALOGUE BETWEEN A WHIG AND A TORY
I ask'd a Whig the other night, How came this wicked plot to light? He answer'd, that a dog of late Inform'd a minister of state. Said I, from thence I nothing know; For are not all informers so? A villain who his friend betrays, We style him by no other phrase; And so a perjured dog denotes Porter, and Pendergast, and Oates, And forty others I could name. WHIG. But you must know this dog was lame. TORY. A weighty argument indeed! Your evidence was lame:—proceed: Come, help your lame dog o'er the stile. WHIG. Sir, you mistake me all this while: I mean a dog (without a joke) Can howl, and bark, but never spoke. TORY. I'm still to seek, which dog you mean; Whether cur Plunkett, or whelp Skean, An English or an Irish hound; Or t'other puppy, that was drown'd; Or Mason, that abandon'd bitch: Then pray be free, and tell me which: For every stander-by was marking, That all the noise they made was barking. You pay them well, the dogs have got Their dogs-head in a porridge-pot: And 'twas but just; for wise men say, That every dog must have his day. Dog Walpole laid a quart of nog on't, He'd either make a hog or dog on't; And look'd, since he has got his wish, As if he had thrown down a dish, Yet this I dare foretell you from it, He'll soon return to his own vomit. WHIG. Besides, this horrid plot was found By Neynoe, after he was drown'd. TORY. Why then the proverb is not right, Since you can teach dead dogs to bite. WHIG. I proved my proposition full: But Jacobites are strangely dull. Now, let me tell you plainly, sir, Our witness is a real cur, A dog of spirit for his years; Has twice two legs, two hanging ears; His name is Harlequin, I wot, And that's a name in every plot: Resolved to save the British nation, Though French by birth and education; His correspondence plainly dated, Was all decipher'd and translated: His answers were exceeding pretty, Before the secret wise committee; Confest as plain as he could bark: Then with his fore-foot set his mark. TORY. Then all this while have I been bubbled, I thought it was a dog in doublet: The matter now no longer sticks: For statesmen never want dog-tricks. But since it was a real cur, And not a dog in metaphor, I give you joy of the report, That he's to have a place at court. WHIG. Yes, and a place he will grow rich in; A turnspit in the royal kitchen. Sir, to be plain, I tell you what, We had occasion for a plot; And when we found the dog begin it, We guess'd the bishop's foot was in it. TORY. I own it was a dangerous project, And you have proved it by dog-logic. Sure such intelligence between A dog and bishop ne'er was seen, Till you began to change the breed; Your bishops are all dogs indeed!
[Footnote 1: In Atterbury's trial a good deal of stress was laid upon the circumstance of a "spotted little dog" called Harlequin being mentioned in the intercepted correspondence. The dog was sent in a present to the bishop from Paris, and its leg was broken by the way. See "State Trials," xvi, 320 and 376-7.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: John Kelly, and Skin, or Skinner, were persons engaged in the plot. Neynoe, whose declaration was taken before the lords of council, and used in evidence against the bishop, is "t'other puppy that was drown'd," which was his fate in attempting to escape from the messengers.]
A QUIBBLING ELEGY ON JUDGE BOAT 1723
To mournful ditties, Clio, change thy note, Since cruel fate has sunk our Justice Boat; Why should he sink, where nothing seem'd to press His lading little, and his ballast less? Tost in the waves of this tempestuous world, At length, his anchor fix'd and canvass furl'd, To Lazy-hill retiring from his court, At his Ring's end he founders in the port. With water fill'd, he could no longer float, The common death of many a stronger boat. A post so fill'd on nature's laws entrenches: Benches on boats are placed, not boats on benches. And yet our Boat (how shall I reconcile it?) Was both a Boat, and in one sense a pilot. With every wind he sail'd, and well could tack: Had many pendants, but abhorr'd a Jack. He's gone, although his friends began to hope, That he might yet be lifted by a rope. Behold the awful bench, on which he sat! He was as hard and ponderous wood as that: Yet when his sand was out, we find at last, That death has overset him with a blast. Our Boat is now sail'd to the Stygian ferry, There to supply old Charon's leaky wherry; Charon in him will ferry souls to Hell; A trade our Boat has practised here so well: And Cerberus has ready in his paws Both pitch and brimstone, to fill up his flaws. Yet, spite of death and fate, I here maintain We may place Boat in his old post again. The way is thus: and well deserves your thanks: Take the three strongest of his broken planks, Fix them on high, conspicuous to be seen, Form'd like the triple tree near Stephen's Green: And, when we view it thus with thief at end on't, We'll cry; look, here's our Boat, and there's the pendant.
Here lies Judge Boat within a coffin: Pray, gentlefolks, forbear your scoffing. A Boat a judge! yes; where's the blunder? A wooden judge is no such wonder. And in his robes you must agree, No boat was better deckt than he. 'Tis needless to describe him fuller; In short, he was an able sculler.
[Footnote 1: A street in Dublin, leading to the harbour.]
[Footnote 2: A village near the sea.]
[Footnote 3: It was said he died of a dropsy.]
[Footnote 4: A cant word for a Jacobite.]
[Footnote 5: In condemning malefactors, as a judge.]
[Footnote 6: Where the Dublin gallows stands.]
[Footnote 7: Query, whether the author meant scholar, and wilfully mistook?—Dublin Edition.]
VERSES OCCASIONED BY WHITSHED'S  MOTTO ON HIS COACH. 1724
Libertas et natale solum:  Fine words! I wonder where you stole 'em. Could nothing but thy chief reproach Serve for a motto on thy coach? But let me now the words translate: Natale solum, my estate; My dear estate, how well I love it, My tenants, if you doubt, will prove it, They swear I am so kind and good, I hug them till I squeeze their blood. Libertas bears a large import: First, how to swagger in a court; And, secondly, to show my fury Against an uncomplying jury; And, thirdly, 'tis a new invention, To favour Wood, and keep my pension; And, fourthly, 'tis to play an odd trick, Get the great seal and turn out Broderick; And, fifthly, (you know whom I mean,) To humble that vexatious Dean: And, sixthly, for my soul to barter it For fifty times its worth to Carteret. Now since your motto thus you construe, I must confess you've spoken once true. Libertas et natale solum: You had good reason when you stole 'em.
[Footnote 1: That noted chief-justice who twice prosecuted the Drapier, and dissolved the grand jury for not finding the bill against him.—F.]
[Footnote 2: This motto is repeatedly mentioned in the Drapier's Letters.—Scott.]
[Footnote 3: Allan Broderick, Lord Middleton, was then lord-chancellor of Ireland. See the Drapier's Letters, "Prose Works," vi, 135.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.]
PROMETHEUS ON WOOD THE PATENTEE'S IRISH HALFPENCE 1724
When first the squire and tinker Wood Gravely consulting Ireland's good, Together mingled in a mass Smith's dust, and copper, lead, and brass; The mixture thus by chemic art United close in ev'ry part, In fillets roll'd, or cut in pieces, Appear'd like one continued species; And, by the forming engine struck, On all the same impression took. So, to confound this hated coin, All parties and religions join; Whigs, Tories, Trimmers, Hanoverians, Quakers, Conformists, Presbyterians, Scotch, Irish, English, French, unite, With equal interest, equal spite Together mingled in a lump, Do all in one opinion jump; And ev'ry one begins to find The same impression on his mind. A strange event! whom gold incites To blood and quarrels, brass unites; So goldsmiths say, the coarsest stuff Will serve for solder well enough: So by the kettle's loud alarms The bees are gather'd into swarms, So by the brazen trumpet's bluster Troops of all tongues and nations muster; And so the harp of Ireland brings Whole crowds about its brazen strings. There is a chain let down from Jove, But fasten'd to his throne above, So strong that from the lower end, They say all human things depend. This chain, as ancient poets hold, When Jove was young, was made of gold, Prometheus once this chain purloin'd, Dissolved, and into money coin'd; Then whips me on a chain of brass; (Venus was bribed to let it pass.) Now while this brazen chain prevail'd, Jove saw that all devotion fail'd; No temple to his godship raised; No sacrifice on altars blazed; In short, such dire confusion follow'd, Earth must have been in chaos swallow'd. Jove stood amazed; but looking round, With much ado the cheat he found; 'Twas plain he could no longer hold The world in any chain but gold; And to the god of wealth, his brother, Sent Mercury to get another. Prometheus on a rock is laid, Tied with the chain himself had made, On icy Caucasus to shiver, While vultures eat his growing liver.
Ye powers of Grub-Street, make me able Discreetly to apply this fable; Say, who is to be understood By that old thief Prometheus?—Wood. For Jove, it is not hard to guess him; I mean his majesty, God bless him. This thief and blacksmith was so bold, He strove to steal that chain of gold, Which links the subject to the king, And change it for a brazen string. But sure, if nothing else must pass Betwixt the king and us but brass, Although the chain will never crack, Yet our devotion may grow slack. But Jove will soon convert, I hope, This brazen chain into a rope; With which Prometheus shall be tied, And high in air for ever ride; Where, if we find his liver grows, For want of vultures, we have crows.
[Footnote 1: Corrected from Swift's own MS. notes.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: To understand this and the following poems on Wood and his halfpence, they must be read in connexion with The Drapier's Letters, "Prose Works," vol. vi.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: Duchess of Kendal.—Scott.]
VERSES ON THE REVIVAL OF THE ORDER OF THE BATH, DURING WALPOLE'S ADMINISTRATION, A. D. 1725
Quoth King Robin, our ribbons I see are too few Of St. Andrew's the green, and St. George's the blue. I must find out another of colour more gay, That will teach all my subjects with pride to obey. Though the exchequer be drain'd by prodigal donors, Yet the king ne'er exhausted his fountain of honours. Men of more wit than money our pensions will fit, And this will fit men of more money than wit. Thus my subjects with pleasure will obey my commands, Though as empty as Younge, and as saucy as Sandes And he who'll leap over a stick for the king, Is qualified best for a dog in a string.
[Footnote 1: See Gulliver's Travels, "Prose Works," ii, 40. Also my "Wit and Wisdom of Lord Chesterfield" and "Life of Lord Chesterfield" for a ballad on the order.—W. E. B.]
EPIGRAM ON WOOD'S BRASS MONEY
Carteret was welcomed to the shore First with the brazen cannon's roar; To meet him next the soldier comes, With brazen trumps and brazen drums; Approaching near the town he hears The brazen bells salute his ears: But when Wood's brass began to sound, Guns, trumpets, drums, and bells, were drown'd.
A SIMILE ON OUR WANT OF SILVER, AND THE ONLY WAY TO REMEDY IT. 1725
As when of old some sorceress threw O'er the moon's face a sable hue, To drive unseen her magic chair, At midnight, through the darken'd air; Wise people, who believed with reason That this eclipse was out of season, Affirm'd the moon was sick, and fell To cure her by a counter spell. Ten thousand cymbals now begin, To rend the skies with brazen din; The cymbals' rattling sounds dispel The cloud, and drive the hag to hell. The moon, deliver'd from her pain, Displays her silver face again. Note here, that in the chemic style, The moon is silver all this while. So (if my simile you minded, Which I confess is too long-winded) When late a feminine magician, Join'd with a brazen politician, Exposed, to blind the nation's eyes, A parchment of prodigious size; Conceal'd behind that ample screen, There was no silver to be seen. But to this parchment let the Drapier Oppose his counter-charm of paper, And ring Wood's copper in our ears So loud till all the nation hears; That sound will make the parchment shrivel And drive the conjurors to the Devil; And when the sky is grown serene, Our silver will appear again.
[Footnote 1: The Duchess of Kendal, who was to have a share of Wood's profits.—Scott.]
[Footnote 2: Sir Robert Walpole, nicknamed Sir Robert Brass, vol. i, p. 219.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: The patent for coining halfpence.]
WOOD AN INSECT. 1725
By long observation I have understood, That two little vermin are kin to Will Wood. The first is an insect they call a wood-louse, That folds up itself in itself for a house, As round as a ball, without head, without tail, Enclosed cap a pie, in a strong coat of mail. And thus William Wood to my fancy appears In fillets of brass roll'd up to his ears; And over these fillets he wisely has thrown, To keep out of danger, a doublet of stone. The louse of the wood for a medicine is used Or swallow'd alive, or skilfully bruised. And, let but our mother Hibernia contrive To swallow Will Wood, either bruised or alive, She need be no more with the jaundice possest, Or sick of obstructions, and pains in her chest. The next is an insect we call a wood-worm, That lies in old wood like a hare in her form; With teeth or with claws it will bite or will scratch, And chambermaids christen this worm a death-watch; Because like a watch it always cries click; Then woe be to those in the house who are sick: For, as sure as a gun, they will give up the ghost, If the maggot cries click when it scratches the post; But a kettle of scalding hot-water injected Infallibly cures the timber affected; The omen is broken, the danger is over; The maggot will die, and the sick will recover. Such a worm was Will Wood, when he scratch'd at the door Of a governing statesman or favourite whore; The death of our nation he seem'd to foretell, And the sound of his brass we took for our knell. But now, since the Drapier has heartily maul'd him, I think the best thing we can do is to scald him; For which operation there's nothing more proper Than the liquor he deals in, his own melted copper; Unless, like the Dutch, you rather would boil This coiner of raps in a caldron of oil. Then choose which you please, and let each bring a fagot, For our fear's at an end with the death of the maggot.
[Footnote 1: He was in jail for debt.]
[Footnote 2: Counterfeit halfpence.]
ON WOOD THE IRONMONGER. 1725
Salmoneus, as the Grecian tale is, Was a mad coppersmith of Elis: Up at his forge by morning peep, No creature in the lane could sleep; Among a crew of roystering fellows Would sit whole evenings at the alehouse; His wife and children wanted bread, While he went always drunk to bed. This vapouring scab must needs devise To ape the thunder of the skies: With brass two fiery steeds he shod, To make a clattering as they trod, Of polish'd brass his flaming car Like lightning dazzled from afar; And up he mounts into the box, And he must thunder, with a pox. Then furious he begins his march, Drives rattling o'er a brazen arch; With squibs and crackers arm'd to throw Among the trembling crowd below. All ran to prayers, both priests and laity, To pacify this angry deity; When Jove, in pity to the town, With real thunder knock'd him down. Then what a huge delight were all in, To see the wicked varlet sprawling; They search'd his pockets on the place, And found his copper all was base; They laugh'd at such an Irish blunder, To take the noise of brass for thunder. The moral of this tale is proper, Applied to Wood's adulterate copper: Which, as he scatter'd, we, like dolts, Mistook at first for thunderbolts, Before the Drapier shot a letter, (Nor Jove himself could do it better) Which lighting on the impostor's crown, Like real thunder knock'd him down.
[Footnote 1: Who imitated lightning with burning torches and was hurled into Tartarus by a thunderbolt from Jupiter.—Hyginus, "Fab." "Vidi et crudelis dantem Salmonea poenas Dum flammas louis et sonitus imitatur Olympi." VIRG., Aen., vi, 585. And see the Excursus of Heyne on the passage.—W. E. B.]
WILL WOOD'S PETITION TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND
BEING AN EXCELLENT NEW SONG, SUPPOSED TO BE MADE, AND SUNG IN THE STREETS OF DUBLIN, BY WILLIAM WOOD, IRONMONGER AND HALFPENNY-MONGER. 1725
My dear Irish folks, Come leave off your jokes, And buy up my halfpence so fine; So fair and so bright They'll give you delight; Observe how they glisten and shine!
They'll sell to my grief As cheap as neck-beef, For counters at cards to your wife; And every day Your children may play Span-farthing or toss on the knife.
Come hither and try, I'll teach you to buy A pot of good ale for a farthing; Come, threepence a score, I ask you no more, And a fig for the Drapier and Harding.
When tradesmen have gold, The thief will be bold, By day and by night for to rob him: My copper is such, No robber will touch, And so you may daintily bob him.
The little blackguard Who gets very hard His halfpence for cleaning your shoes: When his pockets are cramm'd With mine, and be d—d, He may swear he has nothing to lose.
Here's halfpence in plenty, For one you'll have twenty, Though thousands are not worth a pudden. Your neighbours will think, When your pocket cries chink. You are grown plaguy rich on a sudden.
You will be my thankers, I'll make you my bankers, As good as Ben Burton or Fade; For nothing shall pass But my pretty brass, And then you'll be all of a trade.
I'm a son of a whore If I have a word more To say in this wretched condition. If my coin will not pass, I must die like an ass; And so I conclude my petition.
[Footnote 1: The Drapier's printer.]
[Footnote 2: Two famous bankers.]
A NEW SONG ON WOOD'S HALFPENCE
Ye people of Ireland, both country and city, Come listen with patience, and hear out my ditty: At this time I'll choose to be wiser than witty. Which nobody can deny.
The halfpence are coming, the nation's undoing, There's an end of your ploughing, and baking, and brewing; In short, you must all go to wreck and to ruin. Which, &c.
Both high men and low men, and thick men and tall men, And rich men and poor men, and free men and thrall men, Will suffer; and this man, and that man, and all men. Which, &c.
The soldier is ruin'd, poor man! by his pay; His fivepence will prove but a farthing a-day, For meat, or for drink; or he must run away. Which, &c.
When he pulls out his twopence, the tapster says not, That ten times as much he must pay for his shot; And thus the poor soldier must soon go to pot. Which, &c.
If he goes to the baker, the baker will huff, And twentypence have for a twopenny loaf, Then dog, rogue, and rascal, and so kick and cuff. Which, &c.
Again, to the market whenever he goes, The butcher and soldier must be mortal foes, One cuts off an ear, and the other a nose. Which, &c.
The butcher is stout, and he values no swagger; A cleaver's a match any time for a dagger, And a blue sleeve may give such a cuff as may stagger. Which, &c.
The beggars themselves will be broke in a trice, When thus their poor farthings are sunk in their price; When nothing is left they must live on their lice. Which, &c.
The squire who has got him twelve thousand a-year, O Lord! what a mountain his rents would appear! Should he take them, he would not have house-room, I fear. Which, &c.
Though at present he lives in a very large house, There would then not be room in it left for a mouse; But the squire is too wise, he will not take a souse. Which, &c.
The farmer who comes with his rent in this cash, For taking these counters and being so rash, Will be kick'd out of doors, both himself and his trash. Which, &c.
For, in all the leases that ever we hold, We must pay our rent in good silver and gold, And not in brass tokens of such a base mould. Which, &c.
The wisest of lawyers all swear, they will warrant No money but silver and gold can be current; And, since they will swear it, we all may be sure on't. Which, &c.
And I think, after all, it would be very strange, To give current money for base in exchange, Like a fine lady swapping her moles for the mange. Which, &c.
But read the king's patent, and there you will find, That no man need take them, but who has a mind, For which we must say that his Majesty's kind. Which, &c.
Now God bless the Drapier who open'd our eyes! I'm sure, by his book, that the writer is wise: He shows us the cheat, from the end to the rise. Which, &c.
Nay, farther, he shows it a very hard case, That this fellow Wood, of a very bad race, Should of all the fine gentry of Ireland take place. Which, &c.
That he and his halfpence should come to weigh down Our subjects so loyal and true to the crown: But I hope, after all, that they will be his own. Which, &c.
This book, I do tell you, is writ for your goods, And a very good book 'tis against Mr. Wood's, If you stand true together, he's left in the suds. Which, &c.
Ye shopmen, and tradesmen, and farmers, go read it, For I think in my soul at this time that you need it; Or, egad, if you don't, there's an end of your credit. Which nobody can deny.
A SERIOUS POEM UPON WILLIAM WOOD, BRAZIER, TINKER, HARD-WAREMAN, COINER, FOUNDER, AND ESQUIRE
When foes are o'ercome, we preserve them from slaughter, To be hewers of wood, and drawers of water. Now, although to draw water is not very good, Yet we all should rejoice to be hewers of Wood. I own it has often provoked me to mutter, That a rogue so obscure should make such a clutter; But ancient philosophers wisely remark, That old rotten wood will shine in the dark. The Heathens, we read, had gods made of wood, Who could do them no harm, if they did them no good; But this idol Wood may do us great evil, Their gods were of wood, but our Wood is the devil. To cut down fine wood is a very bad thing; And yet we all know much gold it will bring: Then, if cutting down wood brings money good store Our money to keep, let us cut down one more. Now hear an old tale. There anciently stood (I forget in what church) an image of wood; Concerning this image, there went a prediction, It would burn a whole forest; nor was it a fiction. 'Twas cut into fagots and put to the flame, To burn an old friar, one Forest by name, My tale is a wise one, if well understood: Find you but the Friar; and I'll find the Wood. I hear, among scholars there is a great doubt, From what kind of tree this Wood was hewn out, Teague made a good pun by a brogue in his speech: And said, "By my shoul, he's the son of a BEECH." Some call him a thorn, the curse of the nation, As thorns were design'd to be from the creation. Some think him cut out from the poisonous yew, Beneath whose ill shade no plant ever grew. Some say he's a birch, a thought very odd; For none but a dunce would come under his rod. But I'll tell the secret; and pray do not blab: He is an old stump, cut out of a crab; And England has put this crab to a hard use, To cudgel our bones, and for drink give us ver-juice; And therefore his witnesses justly may boast, That none are more properly knights of the post, But here Mr. Wood complains that we mock, Though he may be a blockhead, he's no real block. He can eat, drink, and sleep; now and then for a friend He'll not be too proud an old kettle to mend; He can lie like a courtier, and think it no scorn, When gold's to be got, to forswear and suborn. He can rap his own raps and has the true sapience, To turn a good penny to twenty bad halfpence. Then in spite of your sophistry, honest Will Wood Is a man of this world, all true flesh and blood; So you are but in jest, and you will not, I hope, Unman the poor knave for the sake of a trope. 'Tis a metaphor known to every plain thinker, Just as when we say, the devil's a tinker, Which cannot, in literal sense be made good, Unless by the devil we mean Mr. Wood. But some will object that the devil oft spoke, In heathenish times, from the trunk of an oak; And since we must grant there never were known More heathenish times, than those of our own; Perhaps you will say, 'tis the devil that puts The words in Wood's mouth, or speaks from his guts: And then your old arguments still will return; Howe'er, let us try him, and see how he'll burn: You'll pardon me, sir, your cunning I smoke, But Wood, I assure you, is no heart of oak; And, instead of the devil, this son of perdition Hath join'd with himself two hags in commission. I ne'er could endure my talent to smother: I told you one tale, and I'll tell you another. A joiner to fasten a saint in a niche, Bored a large auger-hole in the image's breech; But, finding the statue to make no complaint, He would ne'er be convinced it was a true saint. When the true Wood arrives, as he soon will, no doubt, (For that's but a sham Wood they carry about;) What stuff he is made of you quickly may find If you make the same trial and bore him behind. I'll hold you a groat, when you wimble his bum, He'll bellow as loud as the de'il in a drum. From me, I declare you shall have no denial; And there can be no harm in making a trial: And when to the joy of your hearts he has roar'd, You may show him about for a new groaning board. Now ask me a question. How came it to pass Wood got so much copper? He got it by brass; This brass was a dragon, (observe what I tell ye,) This dragon had gotten two sows in his belly; I know you will say this is all heathen Greek. I own it, and therefore I leave you to seek. I often have seen two plays very good, Call'd Love in a Tub, and Love in a Wood; These comedies twain friend Wood will contrive On the scene of this land very soon to revive. First, Love in a Tub: Squire Wood has in store Strong tubs for his raps, two thousand and more; These raps he will honestly dig out with shovels, And sell them for gold, or he can't show his love else. Wood swears he will do it for Ireland's good, Then can you deny it is Love in a Wood? However, if critics find fault with the phrase, I hope you will own it is Love in a Maze: For when to express a friend's love you are willing, We never say more than your love is a million; But with honest Wood's love there is no contending, 'Tis fifty round millions of love and a mending. Then in his first love why should he be crost? I hope he will find that no love is lost. Hear one story more, and then I will stop. I dreamt Wood was told he should die by a drop: So methought he resolved no liquor to taste, For fear the first drop might as well be his last. But dreams are like oracles; 'tis hard to explain 'em; For it proved that he died of a drop at Kilmainham. I waked with delight; and not without hope, Very soon to see Wood drop down from a rope. How he, and how we at each other should grin! 'Tis kindness to hold a friend up by the chin. But soft! says the herald, I cannot agree; For metal on metal is false heraldry. Why that may be true; yet Wood upon Wood, I'll maintain with my life, is heraldry good.
[Footnote 1: Forge his own bad halfpence.—Scott.]
[Footnote 2: He was burnt in effigy.—Scott.]
[Footnote 3: The place of execution near Dublin.—Scott.]
AN EXCELLENT NEW SONG, UPON THE DECLARATIONS OF THE SEVERAL CORPORATIONS OF THE CITY OF DUBLIN AGAINST WOOD'S HALFPENCE
To the tune of "London is a fine town," &c.
O Dublin is a fine town And a gallant city, For Wood's trash is tumbled down, Come listen to my ditty, O Dublin is a fine town, &c.
In full assembly all did meet Of every corporation, From every lane and every street, To save the sinking nation. O Dublin, &c.
The bankers would not let it pass For to be Wood's tellers, Instead of gold to count his brass, And fill their small-beer cellars. O Dublin, &c.
And next to them, to take his coin The Gild would not submit, They all did go, and all did join, And so their names they writ. O Dublin, &c.
The brewers met within their hall, And spoke in lofty strains, These halfpence shall not pass at all, They want so many grains. O Dublin, &c.
The tailors came upon this pinch, And wish'd the dog in hell, Should we give this same Wood an inch, We know he'd take an ell. O Dublin, &c.
But now the noble clothiers Of honour and renown, If they take Wood's halfpence They will be all cast down. O Dublin, &c.
The shoemakers came on the next, And said they would much rather, Than be by Wood's copper vext, Take money stampt on leather. O Dublin, &c.
The chandlers next in order came, And what they said was right, They hoped the rogue that laid the scheme Would soon be brought to light. O Dublin, &c.
And that if Wood were now withstood, To his eternal scandal, That twenty of these halfpence should Not buy a farthing candle. O Dublin, &c.
The butchers then, those men so brave, Spoke thus, and with a frown; Should Wood, that cunning scoundrel knave, Come here, we'd knock him down. O Dublin, &c.
For any rogue that comes to truck And trick away our trade, Deserves not only to be stuck, But also to be flay'd. O Dublin, &c.
The bakers in a ferment were, And wisely shook their head; Should these brass tokens once come here We'd all have lost our bread. O Dublin, &c.
It set the very tinkers mad, The baseness of the metal, Because, they said, it was so bad It would not mend a kettle. O Dublin, &c.
The carpenters and joiners stood Confounded in a maze, They seem'd to be all in a wood, And so they went their ways. O Dublin, &c.
This coin how well could we employ it In raising of a statue, To those brave men that would destroy it, And then, old Wood, have at you. O Dublin, &c.
God prosper long our tradesmen then, And so he will I hope, May they be still such honest men, When Wood has got a rope. O Dublin is a fine town, &c.
VERSES ON THE UPRIGHT JUDGE, WHO CONDEMNED THE DRAPIER'S PRINTER
The church I hate, and have good reason, For there my grandsire cut his weasand: He cut his weasand at the altar; I keep my gullet for the halter.
ON THE SAME
In church your grandsire cut his throat; To do the job too long he tarried: He should have had my hearty vote To cut his throat before he married.
ON THE SAME
THE JUDGE SPEAKS
I'm not the grandson of that ass Quin; Nor can you prove it, Mr. Pasquin. My grandame had gallants by twenties, And bore my mother by a 'prentice. This when my grandsire knew, they tell us he In Christ-Church cut his throat for jealousy. And, since the alderman was mad you say, Then I must be so too, ex traduce.
[Footnote 1: Alderman Quin, the judge's maternal grandfather, who cut his throat in church.—W. E. B.]
IN ANSWER TO THE DEAN'S VERSES ON HIS OWN DEAFNESS 
What though the Dean hears not the knell Of the next church's passing bell; What though the thunder from a cloud, Or that from female tongue more loud, Alarm not; At the Drapier's ear, Chink but Wood's halfpence, and he'll hear.
[Footnote 1: See vol. i, p. 284.]
HORACE, BOOK I, ODE XIV PARAPHRASED AND INSCRIBED TO IRELAND 1726
Poor floating isle, tost on ill fortune's waves, Ordain'd by fate to be the land of slaves; Shall moving Delos now deep-rooted stand; Thou fix'd of old, be now the moving land! Although the metaphor be worn and stale, Betwixt a state, and vessel under sail; Let me suppose thee for a ship a while, And thus address thee in the sailor style.
Unhappy ship, thou art return'd in vain; New waves shall drive thee to the deep again. Look to thyself, and be no more the sport Of giddy winds, but make some friendly port. Lost are thy oars, that used thy course to guide, Like faithful counsellors, on either side. Thy mast, which like some aged patriot stood, The single pillar for his country's good, To lead thee, as a staff directs the blind, Behold it cracks by yon rough eastern wind; Your cables burst, and you must quickly feel The waves impetuous enter at your keel; Thus commonwealths receive a foreign yoke, When the strong cords of union once are broke. Tom by a sudden tempest is thy sail, Expanded to invite a milder gale. As when some writer in a public cause His pen, to save a sinking nation, draws, While all is calm, his arguments prevail; The people's voice expands his paper sail; Till power, discharging all her stormy bags, Flutters the feeble pamphlet into rags, The nation scared, the author doom'd to death, Who fondly put his trust in poplar breath. A larger sacrifice in vain you vow; There's not a power above will help you now; A nation thus, who oft Heaven's call neglects, In vain from injured Heaven relief expects. 'Twill not avail, when thy strong sides are broke That thy descent is from the British oak; Or, when your name and family you boast, From fleets triumphant o'er the Gallic coast. Such was Ierne's claim, as just as thine, Her sons descended from the British line; Her matchless sons, whose valour still remains On French records for twenty long campaigns; Yet, from an empress now a captive grown, She saved Britannia's rights, and lost her own. In ships decay'd no mariner confides, Lured by the gilded stern and painted sides: Yet at a ball unthinking fools delight In the gay trappings of a birth-day night: They on the gold brocades and satins raved, And quite forgot their country was enslaved. Dear vessel, still be to thy steerage just, Nor change thy course with every sudden gust; Like supple patriots of the modern sort, Who turn with every gale that blows from court. Weary and sea-sick, when in thee confined, Now for thy safety cares distract my mind; As those who long have stood the storms of state Retire, yet still bemoan their country's fate. Beware, and when you hear the surges roar, Avoid the rocks on Britain's angry shore. They lie, alas! too easy to be found; For thee alone they lie the island round.
[Footnote 1: "O navis, referent in mare te novi Fluctus! O quid agis?"]
VERSES ON THE SUDDEN DRYING UP OF ST. PATRICK'S WELL NEAR TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN. 1726
By holy zeal inspired, and led by fame, To thee, once favourite isle, with joy I came; What time the Goth, the Vandal, and the Hun, Had my own native Italy o'errun. Ierne, to the world's remotest parts, Renown'd for valour, policy, and arts. Hither from Colchos, with the fleecy ore, Jason arrived two thousand years before. Thee, happy island, Pallas call'd her own, When haughty Britain was a land unknown: From thee, with pride, the Caledonians trace The glorious founder of their kingly race: Thy martial sons, whom now they dare despise, Did once their land subdue and civilize; Their dress, their language, and the Scottish name, Confess the soil from whence the victors came. Well may they boast that ancient blood which runs Within their veins, who are thy younger sons. A conquest and a colony from thee, The mother-kingdom left her children free; From thee no mark of slavery they felt: Not so with thee thy base invaders dealt; Invited here to vengeful Morrough's aid, Those whom they could not conquer they betray'd. Britain, by thee we fell, ungrateful isle! Not by thy valour, but superior guile: Britain, with shame, confess this land of mine First taught thee human knowledge and divine; My prelates and my students, sent from hence, Made your sons converts both to God and sense: Not like the pastors of thy ravenous breed, Who come to fleece the flocks, and not to feed. Wretched Ierne! with what grief I see The fatal changes time has made in thee! The Christian rites I introduced in vain: Lo! infidelity return'd again! Freedom and virtue in thy sons I found, Who now in vice and slavery are drown'd. By faith and prayer, this crosier in my hand, I drove the venom'd serpent from thy land: The shepherd in his bower might sleep or sing, Nor dread the adder's tooth, nor scorpion's sting. With omens oft I strove to warn thy swains, Omens, the types of thy impending chains. I sent the magpie from the British soil, With restless beak thy blooming fruit to spoil; To din thine ears with unharmonious clack, And haunt thy holy walls in white and black. What else are those thou seest in bishop's gear, Who crop the nurseries of learning here; Aspiring, greedy, full of senseless prate, Devour the church, and chatter to the state? As you grew more degenerate and base, I sent you millions of the croaking race; Emblems of insects vile, who spread their spawn Through all thy land, in armour, fur, and lawn; A nauseous brood, that fills your senate walls, And in the chambers of your viceroy crawls! See, where that new devouring vermin runs, Sent in my anger from the land of Huns! With harpy-claws it undermines the ground, And sudden spreads a numerous offspring round. Th' amphibious tyrant, with his ravenous band, Drains all thy lakes of fish, of fruits thy land. Where is the holy well that bore my name? Fled to the fountain back, from whence it came! Fair Freedom's emblem once, which smoothly flows, And blessings equally on all bestows. Here, from the neighbouring nursery of arts, The students, drinking, raised their wit and parts; Here, for an age and more, improved their vein, Their Phoebus I, my spring their Hippocrene. Discouraged youths! now all their hopes must fail, Condemn'd to country cottages and ale; To foreign prelates make a slavish court, And by their sweat procure a mean support; Or, for the classics, read "The Attorney's Guide;" Collect excise, or wait upon the tide. Oh! had I been apostle to the Swiss, Or hardy Scot, or any land but this; Combined in arms, they had their foes defied, And kept their liberty, or bravely died; Thou still with tyrants in succession curst, The last invaders trampling on the first; Nor fondly hope for some reverse of fate, Virtue herself would now return too late. Not half thy course of misery is run, Thy greatest evils yet are scarce begun. Soon shall thy sons (the time is just at hand) Be all made captives in their native land; When for the use of no Hibernian born, Shall rise one blade of grass, one ear of corn; When shells and leather shall for money pass, Nor thy oppressing lords afford thee brass, But all turn leasers to that mongrel breed, Who, from thee sprung, yet on thy vitals feed; Who to yon ravenous isle thy treasures bear, And waste in luxury thy harvest there; For pride and ignorance a proverb grown, The jest of wits, and to the court unknown. I scorn thy spurious and degenerate line, And from this hour my patronage resign.
[Footnote 1: Italy was not properly the native place of St. Patrick, but the place of his education, and whence he received his mission; and because he had his new birth there, by poetical license, and by scripture figure, our author calls that country his native Italy.—Dublin Edition.]
[Footnote 2: Orpheus, or the ancient author of the Greek poem on the Argonautic expedition, whoever he be, says, that Jason, who manned the ship Argos at Thessaly, sailed to Ireland. And Adrianus Junius says the same thing, in these lines: "Ilia ego sum Graiis, olim glacialis Ierne Dicta, et Jasoniae puppis bene cognita nautis."—Dublin Edition.]
[Footnote 3: Tacitus, comparing Ireland to Britain, says of the former: "Melius aditus portusque per commercia et negotiatores cogniti."—Agricola, xxiv.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: Fordun, in his Scoti-Chronicon, Hector Boethius, Buchanan, and all the Scottish historians, agree that Fergus, son of Ferquard, King of Ireland, was the first King of Scotland, which country he subdued.—Scott.]
[Footnote 5: In the reign of Henry II, 1172, Dermot Macmorrogh, King of Leinster, having been expelled from his kingdom by Roderick, King of Connaught, sought and obtained the assistance of the English for the recovery of his dominions. See Hume's "History of England," vol. i, p. 380.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 6: There are no snakes, vipers, or toads in Ireland; and even frogs were not known here till about the year 1700. The magpies came a short time before; and the Norway rats since.—Dublin Edition. These plagues are all alluded to in this and the subsequent stanzas.—Scott.]
[Footnote 7: The University of Dublin, called Trinity College, was founded by Queen Elizabeth in 1591.—Dublin Edition.]
[Footnote 8: Wood's ruinous project against the people of Ireland was supported by Sir Robert Walpole in 1724.—Dublin Edition.]
[Footnote 9: The absentees, who spent the income of their Irish estates, places, and pensions, in England.—Dublin Edition.]
ON READING DR. YOUNG'S SATIRE, CALLED THE UNIVERSAL PASSION 1726
If there be truth in what you sing, Such godlike virtues in the king; A minister so fill'd with zeal And wisdom for the commonweal; If he who in the chair presides, So steadily the senate guides; If others, whom you make your theme, Are seconds in the glorious scheme; If every peer whom you commend, To worth and learning be a friend; If this be truth, as you attest, What land was ever half so blest! No falsehood now among the great, And tradesmen now no longer cheat: Now on the bench fair Justice shines; Her scale to neither side inclines: Now Pride and Cruelty are flown, And Mercy here exalts her throne; For such is good example's power, It does its office every hour, Where governors are good and wise; Or else the truest maxim lies: For so we find all ancient sages Decree, that, ad exemplum regis, Through all the realm his virtues run, Ripening and kindling like the sun. If this be true, then how much more When you have named at least a score Of courtiers, each in their degree, If possible, as good as he? Or take it in a different view. I ask (if what you say be true) If you affirm the present age Deserves your satire's keenest rage; If that same universal passion With every vice has fill'd the nation: If virtue dares not venture down A single step beneath the crown: If clergymen, to show their wit, Praise classics more than holy writ: If bankrupts, when they are undone, Into the senate-house can run, And sell their votes at such a rate, As will retrieve a lost estate: If law be such a partial whore, To spare the rich, and plague the poor: If these be of all crimes the worst, What land was ever half so curst?
[Footnote 1: Sir Robert Walpole, afterwards Earl of Orford. Young's seventh satire is inscribed to him.—Scott.]
[Footnote 2: Sir Spencer Compton, then Speaker, afterwards Earl of Wilmington, to whom the eighth satire is dedicated. See vol. i, 219.—W. E. B.]
THE DOG AND THIEF. 1726
Quoth the thief to the dog, let me into your door And I'll give you these delicate bits. Quoth the dog, I shall then be more villain than you're, And besides must be out of my wits.
Your delicate bits will not serve me a meal, But my master each day gives me bread; You'll fly, when you get what you came here to steal, And I must be hang'd in your stead.
The stockjobber thus from 'Change Alley goes down, And tips you the freeman a wink; Let me have but your vote to serve for the town, And here is a guinea to drink.
Says the freeman, your guinea to-night would be spent! Your offers of bribery cease: I'll vote for my landlord to whom I pay rent, Or else I may forfeit my lease.
From London they come, silly people to chouse, Their lands and their faces unknown: Who'd vote a rogue into the parliament-house, That would turn a man out of his own?
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN MAD MULLINIX AND TIMOTHY 1728
M. I own, 'tis not my bread and butter, But prithee, Tim, why all this clutter? Why ever in these raging fits, Damning to hell the Jacobites? When if you search the kingdom round, There's hardly twenty to be found; No, not among the priests and friars—— T. 'Twixt you and me, G—d d—n the liars! M. The Tories are gone every man over To our illustrious house of Hanover; From all their conduct this is plain; And then—— T. G—d d—n the liars again! Did not an earl but lately vote, To bring in (I could cut his throat) Our whole accounts of public debts? M. Lord, how this frothy coxcomb frets! [Aside. T. Did not an able statesman bishop This dangerous horrid motion dish up As Popish craft? did he not rail on't? Show fire and fagot in the tail on't? Proving the earl a grand offender; And in a plot for the Pretender; Whose fleet, 'tis all our friends' opinion, Was then embarking at Avignon? M. These wrangling jars of Whig and Tory, Are stale and worn as Troy-town story: The wrong, 'tis certain, you were both in, And now you find you fought for nothing. Your faction, when their game was new, Might want such noisy fools as you; But you, when all the show is past, Resolve to stand it out the last; Like Martin Marall, gaping on, Not minding when the song is done. When all the bees are gone to settle, You clatter still your brazen kettle. The leaders whom you listed under, Have dropt their arms, and seized the plunder; And when the war is past, you come To rattle in their ears your drum: And as that hateful hideous Grecian, Thersites, (he was your relation,) Was more abhorr'd and scorn'd by those With whom he served, than by his foes; So thou art grown the detestation Of all thy party through the nation: Thy peevish and perpetual teasing With plots, and Jacobites, and treason, Thy busy never-meaning face, Thy screw'd-up front, thy state grimace, Thy formal nods, important sneers, Thy whisperings foisted in all ears, (Which are, whatever you may think, But nonsense wrapt up in a stink,) Have made thy presence, in a true sense, To thy own side, so d—n'd a nuisance, That, when they have you in their eye, As if the devil drove, they fly. T. My good friend Mullinix, forbear; I vow to G—, you're too severe: If it could ever yet be known I took advice, except my own, It should be yours; but, d—n my blood! I must pursue the public good: The faction (is it not notorious?) Keck at the memory of Glorious: 'Tis true; nor need I to be told, My quondam friends are grown so cold, That scarce a creature can be found To prance with me his statue round. The public safety, I foresee, Henceforth depends alone on me; And while this vital breath I blow, Or from above or from below, I'll sputter, swagger, curse, and rail, The Tories' terror, scourge, and flail. M. Tim, you mistake the matter quite; The Tories! you are their delight; And should you act a different part, Be grave and wise, 'twould break their heart. Why, Tim, you have a taste you know, And often see a puppet-show: Observe the audience is in pain, While Punch is hid behind the scene: But, when they hear his rusty voice, With what impatience they rejoice! And then they value not two straws, How Solomon decides the cause, Which the true mother, which pretender Nor listen to the witch of Endor. Should Faustus with the devil behind him Enter the stage, they never mind him: If Punch, to stir their fancy, shows In at the door his monstrous nose, Then sudden draws it back again; O what a pleasure mixt with pain! You every moment think an age, Till he appears upon the stage: And first his bum you see him clap Upon the Queen of Sheba's lap: The Duke of Lorraine drew his sword; Punch roaring ran, and running roar'd, Reviled all people in his jargon, And sold the King of Spain a bargain; St. George himself he plays the wag on, And mounts astride upon the dragon; He gets a thousand thumps and kicks, Yet cannot leave his roguish tricks; In every action thrusts his nose; The reason why, no mortal knows: In doleful scenes that break our heart, Punch comes like you, and lets a fart. There's not a puppet made of wood, But what would hang him if they could; While, teasing all, by all he's teased, How well are the spectators pleased! Who in the motion have no share, But purely come to hear and stare; Have no concern for Sabra's sake, Which gets the better, saint or snake, Provided Punch (for there's the jest) Be soundly maul'd, and plague the rest. Thus, Tim, philosophers suppose, The world consists of puppet-shows; Where petulant conceited fellows Perform the part of Punchinelloes: So at this booth which we call Dublin, Tim, thou'rt the Punch to stir up trouble in: You wriggle, fidge, and make a rout, Put all your brother puppets out, Run on in a perpetual round, To tease, perplex, disturb, confound: Intrude with monkey grin and clatter To interrupt all serious matter; Are grown the nuisance of your clan, Who hate and scorn you to a man: But then the lookers-on, the Tories, You still divert with merry stories, They would consent that all the crew Were hang'd before they'd part with you. But tell me, Tim, upon the spot, By all this toil what hast thou got? If Tories must have all the sport, I fear you'll be disgraced at court. T. Got? D—n my blood! I frank my letters, Walk to my place before my betters; And, simple as I now stand here, Expect in time to be a peer— Got? D—n me! why I got my will! Ne'er hold my peace, and ne'er stand still: I fart with twenty ladies by; They call me beast; and what care I? I bravely call the Tories Jacks, And sons of whores—behind their backs. But could you bring me once to think, That when I strut, and stare, and stink, Revile and slander, fume and storm, Betray, make oath, impeach, inform, With such a constant loyal zeal To serve myself and commonweal, And fret the Tories' souls to death, I did but lose my precious breath; And, when I damn my soul to plague 'em, Am, as you tell me, but their May-game; Consume my vitals! they shall know, I am not to be treated so; I'd rather hang myself by half, Than give those rascals cause to laugh. But how, my friend, can I endure, Once so renown'd, to live obscure? No little boys and girls to cry, "There's nimble Tim a-passing by!" No more my dear delightful way tread Of keeping up a party hatred? Will none the Tory dogs pursue, When through the streets I cry halloo? Must all my d—n me's! bloods and wounds! Pass only now for empty sounds? Shall Tory rascals be elected, Although I swear them disaffected? And when I roar, "a plot, a plot!" Will our own party mind me not? So qualified to swear and lie, Will they not trust me for a spy? Dear Mullinix, your good advice I beg; you see the case is nice: O! were I equal in renown, Like thee to please this thankless town! Or blest with such engaging parts To win the truant schoolboys' hearts! Thy virtues meet their just reward, Attended by the sable guard. Charm'd by thy voice, the 'prentice drops The snow-ball destined at thy chops; Thy graceful steps, and colonel's air, Allure the cinder-picking fair. M. No more—in mark of true affection, I take thee under my protection; Your parts are good, 'tis not denied; I wish they had been well applied. But now observe my counsel, (viz.) Adapt your habit to your phiz; You must no longer thus equip ye, As Horace says optat ephippia; (There's Latin, too, that you may see How much improved by Dr.—) I have a coat at home, that you may try: 'Tis just like this, which hangs by geometry; My hat has much the nicer air; Your block will fit it to a hair; That wig, I would not for the world Have it so formal, and so curl'd; 'Twill be so oily and so sleek, When I have lain in it a week, You'll find it well prepared to take The figure of toupee and snake. Thus dress'd alike from top to toe, That which is which 'tis hard to know, When first in public we appear, I'll lead the van, keep you the rear: Be careful, as you walk behind; Use all the talents of your mind; Be studious well to imitate My portly motion, mien, and gait; Mark my address, and learn my style, When to look scornful, when to smile; Nor sputter out your oaths so fast, But keep your swearing to the last. Then at our leisure we'll be witty, And in the streets divert the city; The ladies from the windows gaping, The children all our motions aping. Your conversation to refine, I'll take you to some friends of mine, Choice spirits, who employ their parts To mend the world by useful arts; Some cleansing hollow tubes, to spy Direct the zenith of the sky; Some have the city in their care, From noxious steams to purge the air; Some teach us in these dangerous days How to walk upright in our ways; Some whose reforming hands engage To lash the lewdness of the age; Some for the public service go Perpetual envoys to and fro: Whose able heads support the weight Of twenty ministers of state. We scorn, for want of talk, to jabber Of parties o'er our bonnyclabber; Nor are we studious to inquire, Who votes for manors, who for hire: Our care is, to improve the mind With what concerns all human kind; The various scenes of mortal life; Who beats her husband, who his wife; Or how the bully at a stroke Knock'd down the boy, the lantern broke. One tells the rise of cheese and oatmeal; Another when he got a hot-meal; One gives advice in proverbs old, Instructs us how to tame a scold; One shows how bravely Audouin died, And at the gallows all denied; How by the almanack 'tis clear, That herrings will be cheap this year. T. Dear Mullinix, I now lament My precious time so long mispent, By nature meant for nobler ends: O, introduce me to your friends! For whom by birth I was design'd, Till politics debased my mind; I give myself entire to you; G—-d d—n the Whigs and Tories too!
[Footnote 1: This is a severe satire upon Richard Tighe, Esq., whom the Dean regarded as the officious informer against Sheridan, in the matter of the choice of a text for the accession of George I, Swift had faithfully promised to revenge the cause of his friend, and has certainly fully redeemed his pledge, in this and the following pasquinades. Mad Mullinix, or Molyneux, was a sort of crazy beggar, a Tory politician in His madness, who haunted the streets of Dublin about this time. In a paper subscribed Dr. Anthony, apparently a mountebank of somewhat the same description, the doctor is made to vindicate his loyalty and regard for the present constitution in church and state, by declaring that he always acted contrary to the politics of Captain John Molyneux. The immediate occasion for publication is assigned in the Intelligencer, in which paper the dialogue first appeared.—Scott.
"Having lately had an account, that a certain person of some distinction swore in a public coffee-house, that party should never die while he lived, (although it has been the endeavour of the best and wisest among us, to abolish the ridiculous appellations of Whig and Tory, and entirely to turn our thoughts to the good of our prince and constitution in church and state,) I hope those who are well-wishers to our country, will think my labour not ill-bestowed, in giving this gentleman's principles the proper embellishments which they deserve; and since Mad Mullinix is the only Tory now remaining, who dares own himself to be so, I hope I may not be censured by those of his party, for making him hold a dialogue with one of less consequence on the other side. I shall not venture so far as to give the Christian nick-name of the person chiefly concerned, lest I should give offence, for which reason I shall call him Timothy, and leave the rest to the conjecture of the world."—Intelligencer, No. viii. See an account of this paper in "Prose Works," ix, 311.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: "Sir Martin Marall," one of Dryden's most successful comedies. See Malone's "Life of Dryden," p. 93.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: "Ilias," lib. ii, 211, seq.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: To reach at vomiting.]
[Footnote 5: King William III.]
[Footnote 6: Old word for a puppet-show.—Scott.]
TIM AND THE FABLES
MY meaning will be best unravell'd, When I premise that Tim has travell'd. In Lucas's by chance there lay The Fables writ by Mr. Gay. Tim set the volume on a table, Read over here and there a fable: And found, as he the pages twirl'd, The monkey who had seen the world; (For Tonson had, to help the sale, Prefix'd a cut to every tale.) The monkey was completely drest, The beau in all his airs exprest. Tim, with surprise and pleasure staring, Ran to the glass, and then comparing His own sweet figure with the print, Distinguish'd every feature in't, The twist, the squeeze, the rump, the fidge in all, Just as they look'd in the original. "By —," says Tim, and let a f—t, "This graver understood his art. 'Tis a true copy, I'll say that for't; I well remember when I sat for't. My very face, at first I knew it; Just in this dress the painter drew it." Tim, with his likeness deeply smitten, Would read what underneath was written, The merry tale, with moral grave; He now began to storm and rave: "The cursed villain! now I see This was a libel meant at me: These scribblers grow so bold of late Against us ministers of state! Such Jacobites as he deserve— D—n me! I say they ought to starve."
TOM AND DICK
Tim and Dick had equal fame, And both had equal knowledge; Tom could write and spell his name, But Dick had seen the college.
Dick a coxcomb, Tom was mad, And both alike diverting; Tom was held the merrier lad, But Dick the best at farting.
Dick would cock his nose in scorn, But Tom was kind and loving; Tom a footboy bred and born, But Dick was from an oven.
Dick could neatly dance a jig, But Tom was best at borees; Tom would pray for every Whig, And Dick curse all the Tories.
Dick would make a woful noise, And scold at an election; Tom huzza'd the blackguard boys, And held them in subjection.
Tom could move with lordly grace, Dick nimbly skipt the gutter; Tom could talk with solemn face, But Dick could better sputter.
Dick was come to high renown Since he commenced physician; Tom was held by all the town The deeper politician.
Tom had the genteeler swing, His hat could nicely put on; Dick knew better how to swing His cane upon a button.
Dick for repartee was fit, And Tom for deep discerning; Dick was thought the brighter wit, But Tom had better learning.
Dick with zealous noes and ayes Could roar as loud as Stentor, In the house 'tis all he says; But Tom is eloquenter.
[Footnote 1: This satire is a parody on a song then fashionable.—Scott.]
[Footnote 2: Sir Thomas Prendergast. See post, "The Legion Club."]
[Footnote 3: Tighe's ancestor was a contractor for furnishing the Parliament forces with bread during the civil wars. Hence Swift calls him Elsewhere Pistorides. See "Prose Works," vii, 233; and in "The Legion Club," Dick Fitzbaker.—W.E.B.]
DICK, A MAGGOT
As when, from rooting in a bin, All powder'd o'er from tail to chin, A lively maggot sallies out, You know him by his hazel snout: So when the grandson of his grandsire Forth issues wriggling, Dick Drawcansir, With powder'd rump and back and side, You cannot blanch his tawny hide; For 'tis beyond the power of meal The gipsy visage to conceal; For as he shakes his wainscot chops, Down every mealy atom drops, And leaves the tartar phiz in show, Like a fresh t—d just dropp'd on snow.
CLAD ALL IN BROWN
Foulest brute that stinks below, Why in this brown dost thou appear? For wouldst thou make a fouler show, Thou must go naked all the year. Fresh from the mud, a wallowing sow Would then be not so brown as thou.
'Tis not the coat that looks so dun, His hide emits a foulness out; Not one jot better looks the sun Seen from behind a dirty clout. So t—ds within a glass enclose, The glass will seem as brown as those.
Thou now one heap of foulness art, All outward and within is foul; Condensed filth in every part, Thy body's clothed like thy soul: Thy soul, which through thy hide of buff Scarce glimmers like a dying snuff.
Old carted bawds such garments wear, When pelted all with dirt they shine; Such their exalted bodies are, As shrivell'd and as black as thine. If thou wert in a cart, I fear Thou wouldst be pelted worse than they're.
Yet, when we see thee thus array'd, The neighbours think it is but just, That thou shouldst take an honest trade, And weekly carry out the dust. Of cleanly houses who will doubt, When Dick cries "Dust to carry out!"
[Footnote 1: This is a parody on the tenth poem of Cowley's "Mistress," entitled, "Clad all in White."—Scott.]
Dull uniformity in fools I hate, who gape and sneer by rules; You, Mullinix, and slobbering C—— Who every day and hour the same are That vulgar talent I despise Of pissing in the rabble's eyes. And when I listen to the noise Of idiots roaring to the boys; To better judgment still submitting, I own I see but little wit in: Such pastimes, when our taste is nice, Can please at most but once or twice. But then consider Dick, you'll find His genius of superior kind; He never muddles in the dirt, Nor scours the streets without a shirt; Though Dick, I dare presume to say, Could do such feats as well as they. Dick I could venture everywhere, Let the boys pelt him if they dare, He'd have them tried at the assizes For priests and jesuits in disguises; Swear they were with the Swedes at Bender, And listing troops for the Pretender. But Dick can f—t, and dance, and frisk, No other monkey half so brisk; Now has the speaker by his ears, Next moment in the House of Peers; Now scolding at my Lady Eustace, Or thrashing Baby in her new stays. Presto! begone; with t'other hop He's powdering in a barber's shop; Now at the antichamber thrusting His nose, to get the circle just in; And damns his blood that in the rear He sees a single Tory there: Then woe be to my lord-lieutenant, Again he'll tell him, and again on't
[Footnote 1: "Dick Tighe and his wife lodged over against us; and he has been seen, out of our upper windows, beating her two or three times; ... I am told she is the most urging, provoking devil that ever was born; and he a hot whiffling puppy, very apt to resent."—Journal to Stella, "Prose Works," ii, 229.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Farquhar, who inscribed his play of the "Inconstant" to Richard Tighe, has painted him in very different colours from those of the Dean's satirical pencil. Yet there may be discerned, even in that dedication, the oulines of a light mercurial character, capable of being represented as a coxcomb or fine gentleman, as should suit the purpose of the writer who was disposed to immortalize him.—Scott.]
TRAULUS. PART I
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN TOM AND ROBIN 1730
Tom. Say, Robin, what can Traulus mean By bellowing thus against the Dean? Why does he call him paltry scribbler, Papist, and Jacobite, and libeller, Yet cannot prove a single fact?
Robin. Forgive him, Tom: his head is crackt.
T. What mischief can the Dean have done him, That Traulus calls for vengeance on him? Why must he sputter, spawl, and slaver it In vain against the people's favourite? Revile that nation-saving paper, Which gave the Dean the name of Drapier?
R. Why, Tom, I think the case is plain; Party and spleen have turn'd his brain.
T. Such friendship never man profess'd, The Dean was never so caress'd; For Traulus long his rancour nursed, Till, God knows why, at last it burst. That clumsy outside of a porter, How could it thus conceal a courtier?
R. I own, appearances are bad; Yet still insist the man is mad.
T. Yet many a wretch in Bedlam knows How to distinguish friends from foes; And though perhaps among the rout He wildly flings his filth about, He still has gratitude and sap'ence, To spare the folks that give him ha'pence; Nor in their eyes at random pisses, But turns aside, like mad Ulysses; While Traulus all his ordure scatters To foul the man he chiefly flatters. Whence comes these inconsistent fits?
R. Why, Tom, the man has lost his wits.
T, Agreed: and yet, when Towzer snaps At people's heels, with frothy chaps, Hangs down his head, and drops his tail, To say he's mad will not avail; The neighbours all cry, "Shoot him dead, Hang, drown, or knock him on the head." So Traulus, when he first harangued, I wonder why he was not hang'd; For of the two, without dispute, Towzer's the less offensive brute.
R, Tom, you mistake the matter quite; Your barking curs will seldom bite And though you hear him stut-tut-tut-ter, He barks as fast as he can utter. He prates in spite of all impediment, While none believes that what he said he meant; Puts in his finger and his thumb To grope for words, and out they come. He calls you rogue; there's nothing in it, He fawns upon you in a minute: "Begs leave to rail, but, d—n his blood! He only meant it for your good: His friendship was exactly timed, He shot before your foes were primed: By this contrivance, Mr. Dean, By G—! I'll bring you off as clean—" Then let him use you e'er so rough, "'Twas all for love," and that's enough. But, though he sputter through a session, It never makes the least impression: Whate'er he speaks for madness goes, With no effect on friends or foes.
T. The scrubbiest cur in all the pack Can set the mastiff on your back. I own, his madness is a jest, If that were all. But he's possest Incarnate with a thousand imps, To work whose ends his madness pimps; Who o'er each string and wire preside, Fill every pipe, each motion guide; Directing every vice we find In Scripture to the devil assign'd; Sent from the dark infernal region, In him they lodge, and make him legion. Of brethren he's a false accuser; A slanderer, traitor, and seducer; A fawning, base, trepanning liar; The marks peculiar of his sire. Or, grant him but a drone at best; A drone can raise a hornet's nest. The Dean had felt their stings before; And must their malice ne'er give o'er? Still swarm and buzz about his nose? But Ireland's friends ne'er wanted foes. A patriot is a dangerous post, When wanted by his country most; Perversely comes in evil times, Where virtues are imputed crimes. His guilt is clear, the proofs are pregnant; A traitor to the vices regnant. What spirit, since the world began, Could always bear to strive with man? Which God pronounced he never would, And soon convinced them by a flood. Yet still the Dean on freedom raves; His spirit always strives with slaves. 'Tis time at last to spare his ink, And let them rot, or hang, or sink.
[Footnote 1: Son of Dr. Charles Leslie.—Scott.]
[Footnote 4: Joshua, Lord Allen. For particulars of the satire upon this individual, see "Advertisement by Swift in his defence against Joshua, Lord Allen," "Prose Works," vii, 168-175, and notes.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: This is the usual excuse of Traulus, when he abuses you to others without provocation.—Swift.]
TRAULUS. PART II
TRAULUS, of amphibious breed, Motley fruit of mongrel seed; By the dam from lordlings sprung. By the sire exhaled from dung: Think on every vice in both, Look on him, and see their growth. View him on the mother's side, Fill'd with falsehood, spleen, and pride; Positive and overbearing, Changing still, and still adhering; Spiteful, peevish, rude, untoward, Fierce in tongue, in heart a coward; When his friends he most is hard on, Cringing comes to beg their pardon; Reputation ever tearing, Ever dearest friendship swearing; Judgment weak, and passion strong, Always various, always wrong; Provocation never waits, Where he loves, or where he hates; Talks whate'er comes in his head; Wishes it were all unsaid. Let me now the vices trace, From the father's scoundrel race. Who could give the looby such airs? Were they masons, were they butchers? Herald, lend the Muse an answer From his atavus and grandsire: This was dexterous at his trowel, That was bred to kill a cow well: Hence the greasy clumsy mien In his dress and figure seen; Hence the mean and sordid soul, Like his body, rank and foul; Hence that wild suspicious peep, Like a rogue that steals a sheep; Hence he learnt the butcher's guile, How to cut your throat and smile; Like a butcher, doom'd for life In his mouth to wear a knife: Hence he draws his daily food From his tenants' vital blood. Lastly, let his gifts be tried, Borrow'd from the mason's side: Some perhaps may think him able In the state to build a Babel; Could we place him in a station To destroy the old foundation. True indeed I should be gladder Could he learn to mount a ladder: May he at his latter end Mount alive and dead descend! In him tell me which prevail, Female vices most, or male? What produced him, can you tell? Human race, or imps of Hell?
[Footnote 1: The mother of Lord Alen was sister to Robert, Earl of Kildare.—Scott]
[Footnote 2: John, Lord Allen, father of Joshua, the Traulus of the satire, was son of Sir Joshua Allen, Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1673, and grandson of John Allen, an architect in great esteem in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.Scott]
A FABLE OF THE LION AND OTHER BEASTS
One time a mighty plague did pester All beasts domestic and sylvester, The doctors all in concert join'd, To see if they the cause could find; And tried a world of remedies, But none could conquer the disease. The lion in this consternation. Sends out his royal proclamation, To all his loving subjects greeting, Appointing them a solemn meeting: And when they're gather'd round his den, He spoke,—My lords and gentlemen, I hope you're met full of the sense Of this devouring pestilence; For sure such heavy punishment, On common crimes is rarely sent; It must be some important cause, Some great infraction of the laws. Then let us search our consciences, And every one his faults confess: Let's judge from biggest to the least That he that is the foulest beast, May for a sacrifice be given To stop the wrath of angry Heaven. And since no one is free from sin, I with myself will first begin. I have done many a thing that's ill From a propensity to kill, Slain many an ox, and, what is worse, Have murder'd many a gallant horse; Robb'd woods and fens, and, like a glutton, Devour'd whole flocks of lamb and mutton; Nay sometimes, for I dare not lie, The shepherd went for company.— He had gone on, but Chancellor Fox Stands up——What signifies an ox? What signifies a horse? Such things Are honour'd when made sport for kings. Then for the sheep, those foolish cattle, Not fit for courage, or for battle; And being tolerable meat, They're good for nothing but to eat. The shepherd too, young enemy, Deserves no better destiny. Sir, sir, your conscience is too nice, Hunting's a princely exercise: And those being all your subjects born, Just when you please are to be torn. And, sir, if this will not content ye, We'll vote it nemine contradicente. Thus after him they all confess, They had been rogues, some more some less; And yet by little slight excuses, They all get clear of great abuses. The Bear, the Tiger, beasts of flight, And all that could but scratch and bite, Nay e'en the Cat, of wicked nature, That kills in sport her fellow-creature, Went scot-free; but his gravity, An ass of stupid memory, Confess'd, as he went to a fair, His back half broke with wooden-ware, Chancing unluckily to pass By a church-yard full of good grass, Finding they'd open left the gate, He ventured in, stoop'd down and ate Hold, says Judge Wolf, such are the crimes Have brought upon us these sad times, 'Twas sacrilege, and this vile ass Shall die for eating holy grass.
ON THE IRISH BISHOPS. 1731
Old Latimer preaching did fairly describe A bishop, who ruled all the rest of his tribe; And who is this bishop? and where does he dwell? Why truly 'tis Satan, Archbishop of Hell. And He was a primate, and He wore a mitre, Surrounded with jewels of sulphur and nitre. How nearly this bishop our bishops resembles! But he has the odds, who believes and who trembles, Could you see his grim grace, for a pound to a penny, You'd swear it must be the baboon of Kilkenny: Poor Satan will think the comparison odious, I wish I could find him out one more commodious; But, this I am sure, the most reverend old dragon Has got on the bench many bishops suffragan; And all men believe he resides there incog, To give them by turns an invisible jog. Our bishops, puft up with wealth and with pride, To hell on the backs of the clergy would ride. They mounted and labour'd with whip and with spur In vain—for the devil a parson would stir. So the commons unhors'd them; and this was their doom, On their crosiers to ride like a witch on a broom. Though they gallop'd so fast, on the road you may find 'em, And have left us but three out of twenty behind 'em. Lord Bolton's good grace, Lord Carr and Lord Howard, In spite of the devil would still be untoward: They came of good kindred, and could not endure Their former companions should beg at their door. When Christ was betray'd to Pilate the pretor Of a dozen apostles but one proved a traitor: One traitor alone, and faithful eleven; But we can afford you six traitors in seven. What a clutter with clippings, dividings, and cleavings! And the clergy forsooth must take up with their leavings; If making divisions was all their intent, They've done it, we thank them, but not as they meant; And so may such bishops for ever divide, That no honest heathen would be on their side. How should we rejoice, if, like Judas the first, Those splitters of parsons in sunder should burst! Now hear an allusion:—A mitre, you know, Is divided above, but united below. If this you consider our emblem is right; The bishops divide, but the clergy unite. Should the bottom be split, our bishops would dread That the mitre would never stick fast on their head: And yet they have learnt the chief art of a sovereign, As Machiavel taught them, "divide and ye govern." But courage, my lords, though it cannot be said That one cloven tongue ever sat on your head; I'll hold you a groat (and I wish I could see't) If your stockings were off, you could show cloven feet. But hold, cry the bishops, and give us fair play; Before you condemn us, hear what we can say. What truer affections could ever be shown, Than saving your souls by damning our own? And have we not practised all methods to gain you; With the tithe of the tithe of the tithe to maintain you; Provided a fund for building you spittals! You are only to live four years without victuals. Content, my good lords; but let us change hands; First take you our tithes, and give us your lands. So God bless the Church and three of our mitres; And God bless the Commons, for biting the biters.
[Footnote 1: Occasioned by two bills; a Bill of Residence to compel the clergy to reside on their livings, and a Bill of Division, to divide the church livings. See Considerations upon two Bills, "Prose Works," iii, and Swift's letter to the Bishop of Clogher, July, 1733, in which he describes "those two abominable bills for enslaving and beggaring the clergy." Edit. Scott, xviii, p. 147. The bills were passed by the House of Lords, but rejected by the Commons. See note, next page.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Dr. Tennison, Bishop of Ossory, who promoted the Bills. See "Prose Works," xii, p.26.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: Theophilus Bolton, Archbishop of Cashel from 1729 to 1744; Charles Carr, Bishop of Killaloe from 1716 to 1739; and Robert Howard, Bishop of Elphin from 1729 to 1740, who voted against the bills on a division.—W. E. B.]
HORACE, BOOK IV, ODE IX
ADDRESSED TO HUMPHRY FRENCH, ESQ. LATE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN
PATRON of the tuneful throng, O! too nice, and too severe! Think not, that my country song Shall displease thy honest ear. Chosen strains I proudly bring, Which the Muses' sacred choir, When they gods and heroes sing, Dictate to th' harmonious lyre. Ancient Homer, princely bard! Just precedence still maintains, With sacred rapture still are heard Theban Pindar's lofty strains. Still the old triumphant song, Which, when hated tyrants fell, Great Alcaeus boldly sung, Warns, instructs, and pleases well. Nor has Time's all-darkening shade In obscure oblivion press'd What Anacreon laugh'd and play'd; Gay Anacreon, drunken priest! Gentle Sappho, love-sick muse, Warms the heart with amorous fire; Still her tenderest notes infuse Melting rapture, soft desire. Beauteous Helen, young and gay, By a painted fopling won, Went not first, fair nymph, astray, Fondly pleased to be undone. Nor young Teucer's slaughtering bow, Nor bold Hector's dreadful sword, Alone the terrors of the foe, Sow'd the field with hostile blood. Many valiant chiefs of old Greatly lived and died before Agamemnon, Grecian bold, Waged the ten years' famous war. But their names, unsung, unwept, Unrecorded, lost and gone, Long in endless night have slept, And shall now no more be known. Virtue, which the poet's care Has not well consign'd to fame, Lies, as in the sepulchre Some old king, without a name. But, O Humphry, great and free, While my tuneful songs are read, Old forgetful Time on thee Dark oblivion ne'er shall spread. When the deep cut notes shall fade On the mouldering Parian stone, On the brass no more be read The perishing inscription; Forgotten all the enemies, Envious G——n's cursed spite, And P——l's derogating lies, Lost and sunk in Stygian night; Still thy labour and thy care, What for Dublin thou hast done, In full lustre shall appear, And outshine th' unclouded sun. Large thy mind, and not untried, For Hibernia now doth stand, Through the calm, or raging tide, Safe conducts the ship to land. Falsely we call the rich man great, He is only so that knows His plentiful or small estate Wisely to enjoy and use. He in wealth or poverty, Fortune's power alike defies; And falsehood and dishonesty More than death abhors and flies: Flies from death!—no, meets it brave, When the suffering so severe May from dreadful bondage save Clients, friends, or country dear. This the sovereign man, complete; Hero; patriot; glorious; free; Rich and wise; and good and great; Generous Humphry, thou art he.
[Footnote 1: Elected M. P. for Dublin, by the interest of Swift, in the name of the Drapier. See Advice to the Freemen of the City of Dublin, etc., "Prose Works," vii, 310.—W. E. B.]
ON MR. PULTENEY'S BEING PUT OUT OF THE COUNCIL. 1731
SIR ROBERT, wearied by Will Pulteney's teasings, Who interrupted him in all his leasings, Resolved that Will and he should meet no more, Full in his face Bob shuts the council door; Nor lets him sit as justice on the bench, To punish thieves, or lash a suburb wench. Yet still St. Stephen's chapel open lies For Will to enter—What shall I advise? Ev'n quit the house, for thou too long hast sat in't, Produce at last thy dormant ducal patent; There near thy master's throne in shelter placed, Let Will, unheard by thee, his thunder waste; Yet still I fear your work is done but half, For while he keeps his pen you are not safe. Hear an old fable, and a dull one too; It bears a moral when applied to you.
A hare had long escaped pursuing hounds, By often shifting into distant grounds; Till, finding all his artifices vain, To save his life he leap'd into the main. But there, alas! he could no safety find, A pack of dogfish had him in the wind. He scours away; and, to avoid the foe, Descends for shelter to the shades below: There Cerberus lay watching in his den, (He had not seen a hare the lord knows when.) Out bounced the mastiff of the triple head; Away the hare with double swiftness fled; Hunted from earth, and sea, and hell, he flies (Fear lent him wings) for safety to the skies. How was the fearful animal distrest! Behold a foe more fierce than all the rest: Sirius, the swiftest of the heavenly pack, Fail'd but an inch to seize him by the back. He fled to earth, but first it cost him dear; He left his scut behind, and half an ear. Thus was the hare pursued, though free from guilt; Thus, Bob, shall thou be maul'd, fly where thou wilt. Then, honest Robin, of thy corpse beware; Thou art not half so nimble as a hare: Too ponderous is thy bulk to mount the sky; Nor can you go to Hell before you die. So keen thy hunters, and thy scent so strong, Thy turns and doublings cannot save thee long.
[Footnote 1: Right Honourable William Pulteney, afterwards Earl of Bath.]
[Footnote 2: Sir Robert Walpole, at that time Prime Minister, afterwards first Earl of Orford.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: This hunting ended in the promotion of Will and Bob. Bob was no longer first minister, but Earl of Orford; and Will was no longer his opponent, but Earl of Bath.—H.]
ON THE WORDS BROTHER PROTESTANTS AND FELLOW CHRISTIANS, SO FAMILIARLY USED BY THE ADVOCATES FOR THE REPEAL OF THE TEST-ACT IN IRELAND 1733
AN inundation, says the fable, Overflow'd a farmer's barn and stable; Whole ricks of hay and stacks of corn Were down the sudden current borne; While things of heterogeneous kind Together float with tide and wind. The generous wheat forgot its pride, And sail'd with litter side by side; Uniting all, to show their amity, As in a general calamity. A ball of new-dropp'd horse's dung, Mingling with apples in the throng, Said to the pippin plump and prim, "See, brother, how we apples swim." Thus Lamb, renown'd for cutting corns, An offer'd fee from Radcliff scorns, "Not for the world—we doctors, brother, Must take no fees of one another." Thus to a dean some curate sloven Subscribes, "Dear sir, your brother loving." Thus all the footmen, shoeboys, porters, About St. James's, cry, "We courtiers." Thus Horace in the house will prate, "Sir, we, the ministers of state." Thus at the bar the booby Bettesworth, Though half a crown o'erpays his sweat's worth; Who knows in law nor text nor margent, Calls Singleton his brother sergeant. And thus fanatic saints, though neither in Doctrine nor discipline our brethren, Are brother Protestants and Christians, As much as Hebrews and Philistines: But in no other sense, than nature Has made a rat our fellow-creature. Lice from your body suck their food; But is a louse your flesh and blood? Though born of human filth and sweat, it As well may say man did beget it. And maggots in your nose and chin As well may claim you for their kin. Yet critics may object, why not? Since lice are brethren to a Scot: Which made our swarm of sects determine Employments for their brother vermin. But be they English, Irish, Scottish, What Protestant can be so sottish, While o'er the church these clouds are gathering To call a swarm of lice his brethren? As Moses, by divine advice, In Egypt turn'd the dust to lice; And as our sects, by all descriptions, Have hearts more harden'd than Egyptians As from the trodden dust they spring, And, turn'd to lice, infest the king: For pity's sake, it would be just, A rod should turn them back to dust. Let folks in high or holy stations Be proud of owning such relations; Let courtiers hug them in their bosom, As if they were afraid to lose 'em: While I, with humble Job, had rather Say to corruption—"Thou'rt my father." For he that has so little wit To nourish vermin, may be bit.
[Footnote 1: These lines were the cause of the personal attack upon the Dean. See "Prose Works," iv, pp. 27,261. —W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Henry Singleton, Esq., then prime sergeant, afterwards lord-chief-justice of the common pleas, which he resigned, and was some time after made master of the rolls.—F.]