Poems (Volume II.)
by Jonathan Swift
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Well! now, since the heat of my passion's abated, That the Dean hath lampoon'd me, my mind is elated:— Lampoon'd did I call it?—No—what was it then? What was it?—'Twas fame to be lash'd by his pen: For had he not pointed me out, I had slept till E'en doomsday, a poor insignificant reptile; Half lawyer, half actor, pert, dull, and inglorious, Obscure, and unheard of—but now I'm notorious: Fame has but two gates, a white and a black one; The worst they can say is, I got in at the back one: If the end be obtain'd 'tis equal what portal I enter, since I'm to be render'd immortal: So clysters applied to the anus, 'tis said, By skilful physicians, give ease to the head— Though my title be spurious, why should I be dastard, A man is a man, though he should be a bastard. Why sure 'tis some comfort that heroes should slay us, If I fall, I would fall by the hand of AEneas; And who by the Drapier would not rather damn'd be, Than demigoddized by madrigal Namby?[1] A man is no more who has once lost his breath; But poets convince us there's life after death. They call from their graves the king, or the peasant; Re-act our old deeds, and make what's past present: And when they would study to set forth alike, So the lines be well drawn, and the colours but strike, Whatever the subject be, coward or hero, A tyrant or patriot, a Titus or Nero; To a judge 'tis all one which he fixes his eye on, And a well-painted monkey's as good as a lion.

[Footnote 1: Ambrose Philips. See ante, vol. i, p. 288.—W. E. B.]


The scriptures affirm (as I heard in my youth, For indeed I ne'er read them, to speak for once truth) That death is the wages of sin, but the just Shall die not, although they be laid in the dust. They say so; so be it, I care not a straw, Although I be dead both in gospel and law; In verse I shall live, and be read in each climate; What more can be said of prime sergeant or primate? While Carter and Prendergast both may be rotten, And damn'd to the bargain, and yet be forgotten.


In your indignation what mercy appears, While Jonathan's threaten'd with loss of his ears; For who would not think it a much better choice, By your knife to be mangled than rack'd with your voice. If truly you [would] be revenged on the parson, Command his attendance while you act your farce on; Instead of your maiming, your shooting, or banging, Bid Povey[1] secure him while you are haranguing. Had this been your method to torture him, long since, He had cut his own ears to be deaf to your nonsense.

[Footnote 1: Povey was sergeant-at-arms to the House of Commons.—Scott.]


To the Tune of "Derry Down."

Jolly boys of St. Kevan's,[2] St. Patrick's, Donore And Smithfield, I'll tell you, if not told before, How Bettesworth, that booby, and scoundrel in grain, Has insulted us all by insulting the Dean. Knock him down, down, down, knock him down.

The Dean and his merits we every one know, But this skip of a lawyer, where the de'il did he grow? How greater his merit at Four Courts or House, Than the barking of Towzer, or leap of a louse! Knock him down, etc.

That he came from the Temple, his morals do show; But where his deep law is, few mortals yet know: His rhetoric, bombast, silly jests, are by far More like to lampooning, than pleading at bar. Knock him down, etc.

This pedler, at speaking and making of laws, Has met with returns of all sorts but applause; Has, with noise and odd gestures, been prating some years, What honester folk never durst for their ears. Knock him down, etc.

Of all sizes and sorts, the fanatical crew Are his brother Protestants, good men and true; Red hat, and blue bonnet, and turban's the same, What the de'il is't to him whence the devil they came. Knock him down, etc.

Hobbes, Tindal, and Woolston, and Collins, and Nayler, And Muggleton, Toland, and Bradley the tailor, Are Christians alike; and it may be averr'd, He's a Christian as good as the rest of the herd. Knock him down, etc.

He only the rights of the clergy debates; Their rights! their importance! We'll set on new rates On their tithes at half-nothing, their priesthood at less; What's next to be voted with ease you may guess. Knock him down, etc.

At length his old master, (I need not him name,) To this damnable speaker had long owed a shame; When his speech came abroad, he paid him off clean, By leaving him under the pen of the Dean. Knock him down, etc.

He kindled, as if the whole satire had been The oppression of virtue, not wages of sin: He began, as he bragg'd, with a rant and a roar; He bragg'd how he bounced, and he swore how he swore.[3] Knock him down, etc.

Though he cringed to his deanship in very low strains, To others he boasted of knocking out brains, And slitting of noses, and cropping of ears, While his own ass's zags were more fit for the shears. Knock him down, etc.

On this worrier of deans whene'er we can hit, We'll show him the way how to crop and to slit; We'll teach him some better address to afford To the dean of all deans, though he wears not a sword. Knock him down, etc.

We'll colt him through Kevan, St. Patrick's, Donore, And Smithfield, as rap was ne'er colted before; We'll oil him with kennel, and powder him with grains, A modus right fit for insulters of deans. Knock him down, etc.

And, when this is over, we'll make him amends, To the Dean he shall go; they shall kiss and be friends: But how? Why, the Dean shall to him disclose A face for to kiss, without eyes, ears, or nose. Knock him down, etc.

If you say this is hard on a man that is reckon'd That sergeant-at-law whom we call Kite the Second, You mistake; for a slave, who will coax his superiors, May be proud to be licking a great man's posteriors. Knock him down, etc.

What care we how high runs his passion or pride? Though his soul he despises, he values his hide; Then fear not his tongue, or his sword, or his knife; He'll take his revenge on his innocent wife. Knock him down, down, down, keep him down.

[Footnote 1: GRUB STREET JOURNAL, No. 189, August 9,1734.—"In December last, Mr. Bettesworth, of the city of Dublin, serjeant-at-law, and member of parliament, openly swore, before many hundreds of people, that, upon the first opportunity, by the help of ruffians, he would murder or maim the Dean of St. Patrick's, (Dr. Swift.) Upon which thirty-one of the principal inhabitants of that liberty signed a paper to this effect: 'That, out of their great love and respect to the Dean, to whom the whole kingdom hath so many obligations, they would endeavour to defend the life and limbs of the said Dean against a certain man and all his ruffians and murderers.' With which paper they, in the name of themselves and all the inhabitants of the city, attended the Dean on January 8, who being extremely ill in bed of a giddiness and deafness, and not able to receive them, immediately dictated a very grateful answer. The occasion of a certain man's declaration of his villanous design against the Dean, was a frivolous unproved suspicion that he had written some lines in verse reflecting upon him."—Scott.]

[Footnote 2: Kevan Bayl was a cant term for the rabble of this district of Dublin.]

[Footnote 3: Swift, in a letter to the Duke of Dorset, January, 1733-4, gives a full account of Bettesworth's visit to him, about which he says that the serjeant had spread some five hundred falsehoods.—W. E. B.]


Dear Dick, pr'ythee tell by what passion you move? The world is in doubt whether hatred or love; And, while at good Cashel you rail with such spite, They shrewdly suspect it is all but a bite. You certainly know, though so loudly you vapour, His spite cannot wound who attempted the Drapier. Then, pr'ythee, reflect, take a word of advice; And, as your old wont is, change sides in a trice: On his virtues hold forth; 'tis the very best way; And say of the man what all honest men say. But if, still obdurate, your anger remains, If still your foul bosom more rancour contains, Say then more than they, nay, lavishly flatter; Tis your gross panegyrics alone can bespatter; For thine, my dear Dick, give me leave to speak plain, Like very foul mops, dirty more than they clean.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Theophilus Bolton, a particular friend of the Dean.—Scott.]


Ye paltry underlings of state, Ye senators who love to prate; Ye rascals of inferior note, Who, for a dinner, sell a vote; Ye pack of pensionary peers, Whose fingers itch for poets' ears; Ye bishops, far removed from saints, Why all this rage? Why these complaints? Why against printers all this noise? This summoning of blackguard boys? Why so sagacious in your guesses? Your effs, and tees, and arrs, and esses! Take my advice; to make you safe, I know a shorter way by half. The point is plain; remove the cause; Defend your liberties and laws. Be sometimes to your country true, Have once the public good in view: Bravely despise champagne at court, And choose to dine at home with port: Let prelates, by their good behaviour, Convince us they believe a Saviour; Nor sell what they so dearly bought, This country, now their own, for nought. Ne'er did a true satiric muse Virtue or innocence abuse; And 'tis against poetic rules To rail at men by nature fools: But * * * * * * *

[Footnote 1: In the Dublin Edition, 1729—Scott.]



If Noisy Tom[1] should in the senate prate, "That he would answer both for church and state; And, farther, to demonstrate his affection, Would take the kingdom into his protection;" All mortals must be curious to inquire, Who could this coxcomb be, and who his sire? "What! thou, the spawn of him[2] who shamed our isle, Traitor, assassin, and informer vile! Though by the female side,[3] you proudly bring, To mend your breed, the murderer of a king: What was thy grandsire,[4] but a mountaineer, Who held a cabin for ten groats a-year: Whose master Moore[5] preserved him from the halter, For stealing cows! nor could he read the Psalter! Durst thou, ungrateful, from the senate chase Thy founder's grandson,[6] and usurp his place? Just Heaven! to see the dunghill bastard brood Survive in thee, and make the proverb good?[7] Then vote a worthy citizen to jail,[8] In spite of justice, and refuse his bail!"[9]

[Footnote 1: Sir Thomas Prendergast. See post, p. 266.]

[Footnote 2: The father of Sir Thomas Prendergast, who engaged in a plot to murder King William III; but, to avoid being hanged, turned informer against his associates, for which he was rewarded with a good estate, and made a baronet.—F.]

[Footnote 3: Cadogan's family.—F.]

[Footnote 4: A poor thieving cottager under Mr. Moore, condemned at Clonmel assizes to be hanged for stealing cows.—F.]

[Footnote 5: The grandfather of Guy Moore, Esq., who procured him a pardon.—F.]

[Footnote 6: Guy Moore was fairly elected member of Parliament for Clonmel; but Sir Thomas, depending upon his interest with a certain party then prevailing, and since known by the title of parson-hunters, petitioned the House against him; out of which he was turned upon pretence of bribery, which the paying of his lawful debts was then voted to be.—F.]

[Footnote 7: "Save a thief from the gallows, and he will cut your throat."—F.]

[Footnote 8: Mr. George Faulkner. Mr. Sergeant Bettesworth, a member of the Irish Parliament, having made a complaint to the House of Commons against the "Satire on Quadrille," they voted Faulkner the printer into custody (who was confined closely in prison three days, when he was in a very bad state of health, and his life in much danger) for not discovering the author.—F.]

[Footnote 9: Among the poems, etc., preserved by Mr. Smith are verses on the same subject and person with these in the text. The verses are given in Swift's works, edit. Scott, xii, 448.—W. E. B.]


Make Rundle bishop! fie for shame! An Arian to usurp the name! A bishop in the isle of saints! How will his brethren make complaints! Dare any of the mitred host Confer on him the Holy Ghost: In mother church to breed a variance, By coupling orthodox with Arians? Yet, were he Heathen, Turk, or Jew: What is there in it strange or new? For, let us hear the weak pretence, His brethren find to take offence; Of whom there are but four at most, Who know there is a Holy Ghost; The rest, who boast they have conferr'd it, Like Paul's Ephesians, never-heard it; And, when they gave it, well 'tis known They gave what never was their own. Rundle a bishop! well he may; He's still a Christian more than they. We know the subject of their quarrels; The man has learning, sense, and morals. There is a reason still more weighty; 'Tis granted he believes a Deity. Has every circumstance to please us, Though fools may doubt his faith in Jesus. But why should he with that be loaded, Now twenty years from court exploded? And is not this objection odd From rogues who ne'er believed a God? For liberty a champion stout, Though not so Gospel-ward devout. While others, hither sent to save us Come but to plunder and enslave us; Nor ever own'd a power divine, But Mammon, and the German line. Say, how did Rundle undermine 'em? Who shew'd a better jus divinum? From ancient canons would not vary, But thrice refused episcopari. Our bishop's predecessor, Magus, Would offer all the sands of Tagus; Or sell his children, house, and lands, For that one gift, to lay on hands: But all his gold could not avail To have the spirit set to sale. Said surly Peter, "Magus, prithee, Be gone: thy money perish with thee." Were Peter now alive, perhaps, He might have found a score of chaps, Could he but make his gift appear In rents three thousand pounds a-year. Some fancy this promotion odd, As not the handiwork of God; Though e'en the bishops disappointed Must own it made by God's anointed, And well we know, the conge regal Is more secure as well as legal; Because our lawyers all agree, That bishoprics are held in fee. Dear Baldwin[1] chaste, and witty Crosse,[2] How sorely I lament your loss! That such a pair of wealthy ninnies Should slip your time of dropping guineas; For, had you made the king your debtor, Your title had been so much better.

[Footnote 1: Richard Baldwin, Provost of Trinity College in 1717. He left behind him many natural children.—Scott.]

[Footnote 2: Rector of St. Mary's Dublin, in 1722; before which time he had been chaplain to the Smyrna Company. See the Epistolary Correspondence, May 26, 1720.—Scott.]


Friend Rundle fell, with grievous bump, Upon his reverential rump. Poor rump! thou hadst been better sped, Hadst thou been join'd to Boulter's head; A head, so weighty and profound, Would needs have kept thee from the ground.



The immediate provocation to this fierce satire upon the Irish Parliament was the introduction of a Bill to put an end to the tithe on pasturage, called agistment, and thus to free the landlords from a legal payment, with severe loss to the Church.

As I stroll the city, oft I See a building large and lofty, Not a bow-shot from the college; Half the globe from sense and knowledge By the prudent architect, Placed against the church direct,[1] Making good my grandam's jest, "Near the church"—you know the rest.[2] Tell us what the pile contains? Many a head that has no brains. These demoniacs let me dub With the name of Legion[3] Club. Such assemblies, you might swear, Meet when butchers bait a bear: Such a noise, and such haranguing, When a brother thief's a hanging: Such a rout and such a rabble Run to hear Jackpudding gabble: Such a crowd their ordure throws On a far less villain's nose. Could I from the building's top Hear the rattling thunder drop, While the devil upon the roof (If the devil be thunder proof) Should with poker fiery red Crack the stones, and melt the lead; Drive them down on every skull, When the den of thieves is full; Quite destroy that harpies' nest; How might then our isle be blest! For divines allow, that God Sometimes makes the devil his rod; And the gospel will inform us, He can punish sins enormous. Yet should Swift endow the schools, For his lunatics and fools, With a rood or two of land, I allow the pile may stand. You perhaps will ask me, Why so? But it is with this proviso: Since the house is like to last, Let the royal grant be pass'd, That the club have right to dwell Each within his proper cell, With a passage left to creep in And a hole above for peeping. Let them, when they once get in, Sell the nation for a pin; While they sit a-picking straws, Let them rave of making laws; While they never hold their tongue, Let them dabble in their dung: Let them form a grand committee, How to plague and starve the city; Let them stare, and storm, and frown, When they see a clergy gown; Let them, ere they crack a louse, Call for th'orders of the house; Let them, with their gosling quills, Scribble senseless heads of bills; We may, while they strain their throats, Wipe our a—s with their votes. Let Sir Tom,[4] that rampant ass, Stuff his guts with flax and grass; But before the priest he fleeces, Tear the Bible all to pieces: At the parsons, Tom, halloo, boy, Worthy offspring of a shoeboy, Footman, traitor, vile seducer, Perjured rebel, bribed accuser, Lay thy privilege aside, From Papist sprung, and regicide; Fall a-working like a mole, Raise the dirt about thy hole. Come, assist me, Muse obedient! Let us try some new expedient; Shift the scene for half an hour, Time and place are in thy power. Thither, gentle Muse, conduct me; I shall ask, and you instruct me. See, the Muse unbars the gate; Hark, the monkeys, how they prate! All ye gods who rule the soul:[5] Styx, through Hell whose waters roll! Let me be allow'd to tell What I heard in yonder Hell. Near the door an entrance gapes,[6] Crowded round with antic shapes, Poverty, and Grief, and Care, Causeless Joy, and true Despair; Discord periwigg'd with snakes,'[7] See the dreadful strides she takes! By this odious crew beset,[8] I began to rage and fret, And resolved to break their pates, Ere we enter'd at the gates; Had not Clio in the nick[9] Whisper'd me, "Lay down your stick." What! said I, is this a mad-house? These, she answer'd, are but shadows, Phantoms bodiless and vain, Empty visions of the brain. In the porch Briareus stands,[10] Shows a bribe in all his hands; Briareus the secretary, But we mortals call him Carey.[11] When the rogues their country fleece, They may hope for pence a-piece. Clio, who had been so wise To put on a fool's disguise, To bespeak some approbation, And be thought a near relation, When she saw three hundred[12] brutes All involved in wild disputes, Roaring till their lungs were spent, PRIVILEGE OF PARLIAMENT, Now a new misfortune feels, Dreading to be laid by th' heels. Never durst a Muse before Enter that infernal door; Clio, stifled with the smell, Into spleen and vapours fell, By the Stygian steams that flew From the dire infectious crew. Not the stench of Lake Avernus Could have more offended her nose; Had she flown but o'er the top, She had felt her pinions drop. And by exhalations dire, Though a goddess, must expire. In a fright she crept away, Bravely I resolved to stay. When I saw the keeper frown, Tipping him with half-a-crown, Now, said I, we are alone, Name your heroes one by one. Who is that hell-featured brawler? Is it Satan? No; 'tis Waller.[13] In what figure can a bard dress Jack the grandson of Sir Hardress? Honest keeper, drive him further, In his looks are Hell and murther; See the scowling visage drop, Just as when he murder'd Throp.[14] Keeper, show me where to fix On the puppy pair of Dicks: By their lantern jaws and leathern, You might swear they both are brethren: Dick Fitzbaker,[15] Dick the player,[15] Old acquaintance, are you there? Dear companions, hug and kiss, Toast Old Glorious in your piss; Tie them, keeper, in a tether, Let them starve and stink together; Both are apt to be unruly, Lash them daily, lash them duly; Though 'tis hopeless to reclaim them, Scorpion's rods, perhaps, may tame them. Keeper, yon old dotard smoke, Sweetly snoring in his cloak: Who is he? 'Tis humdrum Wynne,[16] Half encompass'd by his kin: There observe the tribe of Bingham,[17] For he never fails to bring 'em; And that base apostate Vesey With Bishop's scraps grown fat and greasy, While Wynne sleeps the whole debate, They submissive round him wait; (Yet would gladly see the hunks, In his grave, and search his trunks,) See, they gently twitch his coat, Just to yawn and give his vote, Always firm in his vocation, For the court against the nation. Those are Allens Jack and Bob,[18] First in every wicked job, Son and brother to a queer Brain-sick brute, they call a peer. We must give them better quarter, For their ancestor trod mortar, And at Hoath, to boast his fame, On a chimney cut his name. There sit Clements, Dilks, and Carter;[19] Who for Hell would die a martyr. Such a triplet could you tell Where to find on this side Hell? Gallows Carter, Dilks, and Clements, Souse them in their own excrements. Every mischief's in their hearts; If they fail, 'tis want of parts. Bless us! Morgan,[20] art thou there, man? Bless mine eyes! art thou the chairman? Chairman to yon damn'd committee! Yet I look on thee with pity. Dreadful sight! what, learned Morgan Metamorphosed to a Gorgon![21] For thy horrid looks, I own, Half convert me to a stone. Hast thou been so long at school, Now to turn a factious tool? Alma Mater was thy mother, Every young divine thy brother. Thou, a disobedient varlet, Treat thy mother like a harlot! Thou ungrateful to thy teachers, Who are all grown reverend preachers! Morgan, would it not surprise one! To turn thy nourishment to poison! When you walk among your books, They reproach you with their looks; Bind them fast, or from their shelves They'll come down to right themselves: Homer, Plutarch, Virgil, Flaccus, All in arms, prepare to back us: Soon repent, or put to slaughter Every Greek and Roman author. Will you, in your faction's phrase, Send the clergy all to graze;[22] And to make your project pass, Leave them not a blade of grass? How I want thee, humorous Hogarth! Thou, I hear, a pleasant rogue art. Were but you and I acquainted, Every monster should be painted: You should try your graving tools On this odious group of fools; Draw the beasts as I describe them: Form their features while I gibe them; Draw them like; for I assure you, You will need no car'catura; Draw them so that we may trace All the soul in every face. Keeper, I must now retire, You have done what I desire: But I feel my spirits spent With the noise, the sight, the scent. "Pray, be patient; you shall find Half the best are still behind! You have hardly seen a score; I can show two hundred more." Keeper, I have seen enough. Taking then a pinch of snuff, I concluded, looking round them, "May their god, the devil, confound them!"[23]

[Footnote 1: St. Andrew's Church, close to the site of the Parliament House.]

[Footnote 2: On a scrap of paper, containing the memorials respecting the Dean's family, there occur the following lines, apparently the rough draught of the passage in the text: "Making good that proverb odd, Near the church and far from God, Against the church direct is placed, Like it both in head and waist."—Scott.]

[Footnote 3: From the answer of the demoniac that the devils which possessed him were Legion.—St. Mark, v, 9.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 4: Sir Thomas Prendergast, a prominent opponent of the clergy, and a servile supporter of the government. See the verses on "Noisy Tom," ante, p. 260.]

[Footnote 5: "Di quibus imperium est animarum umbraeque silentes Sit mihi fas audita loqui."—VIRG., Aen., vi, 264.]

[Footnote 6: "Vestibulum ante ipsum primisque in faucibus Orci Luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae;"—273.]

[Footnote 7:"——Discordia demens Vipereum crinem vittis innexa cruentis."—281.]

[Footnote 8: "Corripit his subita trepidus, ——strictamque aciem venientibus offert."—290.]

[Footnote 9: "Et ni docta comes tenues sine corpore vitas."—VIRG., Aen., vi, 291.]

[Footnote 10: "Et centumgeminus Briareus."—287.]

[Footnote 11: The Right Honourable Walter Carey. He was secretary to the Duke of Dorset when lord-lieutenant of Ireland. The Duke of Dorset came to Ireland in 1731.]

[Footnote 12: "Two hundred" written by Swift in the margin.—Forster.]

[Footnote 13: John Waller, Esq., member for the borough of Dongaile. He was grandson to Sir Hardress Waller, one of the regicide judges, and who concurred with them in passing sentence on Charles I. This Sir Hardressmarried the daughter and co-heir of John Dowdal of Limerick, in Ireland, by which alliance he became so connected with the country, that after the rebellion was over, the family made it their residence.—Scott.]

[Footnote 14: Rev. Roger Throp, whose death was said to have been occasioned by the persecution which he suffered from Waller. His case was published by his brother, and never answered, containing such a scene of petty vexatious persecutions as is almost incredible; the cause being the refusal of Mr. Throp to compound, for a compensation totally inadequate, some of the rights of his living which affected Waller's estate. In 1739, a petition was presented to the House of Commons by his brother, Robert Throp, gentleman, complaining of this persecution, and applying to parliament for redress, relative to the number of attachments granted by the King's Bench, in favour of his deceased brother, and which could not be executed against the said Waller, on account of the privilege of Parliament, etc. But this petition was rejected by the House, nem. con. The Dean seems to have employed his pen against Waller. See a letter from Mrs. Whiteway to Swift, Nov. 15, 1735, edit. Scott, xviii, p. 414.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 15: Richard Tighe, so called because descended from a baker who supplied Cromwell's army with bread. Bettesworth is termed the player, from his pompous enunciation.]

[Footnote 16: "Right Honourable Owen Wynne, county of Sligo.—-Owen Wynne, Esq., borough of Sligo.—John Wynne, Esq., borough of Castlebar."]

[Footnote 17: "Sir John Bingham, Bart., county of Mayo.—His brother, Henry Bingham, sat in parliament for some time for Castlebar."]

[Footnote 18: John Allen represented the borough of Carysfort; Robert Allen the county of Wicklow. The former was son, and the latter brother to Joshua, the second Viscount Allen, hated and satirized by Swift, under the name of Traulus. The ancestor of the Allens, as has been elsewhere noticed, was an architect in the latter end of Queen Elizabeth's reign; and was employed as such by many of the nobility, particularly Lord Howth. He settled in Ireland, and was afterwards consulted by Lord Stafford in some of his architectural plans.—Scott.]

[Footnote 19: There were then two Clements in parliament, brothers, Nathaniel and Henry. Michael Obrien Dilks represented the borough of Castlemartye. He was barrack-master-general.]

[Footnote 20: Doctor Marcus Antonius (which Swift calls his "heathenish Christian name") Morgan, chairman to that committee to whom was referred the petition of the farmers, graziers, etc. against tithe agistment. On this petition the House reported, and agreed that it deserved the strongest support.]

[Footnote 21: Whose hair consisted of snakes, and who turned all she looked upon to stone.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 22: A suggestion that if the tithe of agistment were abolished, the clergy might be sent to graze.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 23: On the margin of a Broadside containing this poem is written by Swift: "Except the righteous Fifty Two To whom immortal honour's due, Take them, Satan, as your due All except the Fifty Two."—Forster. probably the number of those who opposed the Bill.—W. E. B.]


Better we all were in our graves, Than live in slavery to slaves; Worse than the anarchy at sea, Where fishes on each other prey; Where every trout can make as high rants O'er his inferiors, as our tyrants; And swagger while the coast is clear: But should a lordly pike appear, Away you see the varlet scud, Or hide his coward snout in mud. Thus, if a gudgeon meet a roach, He dares not venture to approach; Yet still has impudence to rise, And, like Domitian,[2] leap at flies.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Faulkner, for printing the "Proposal for the better Regulation and Improvement of Quadrille."]

[Footnote 2: "Inter initia principatus cotidie secretum sibi horarum sumere solebat, nec quicquam amplius quam muscas captare ac stilo praeacuto configere; ut cuidam interroganti, essetne quis intus cum Caesare, non absurde responsum sit a Vibio Crispo, ne muscam quidem" (Suet. 3).—W. E. B.]


"Qui color ater erat, nunc est contrarius atro."[1]

WITH singing of ballads, and crying of news, With whitening of buckles, and blacking of shoes, Did Hartley set out, both shoeless and shirtless, And moneyless too, but not very dirtless; Two pence he had gotten by begging, that's all; One bought him a brush, and one a black ball; For clouts at a loss he could not be much, The clothes on his back as being but such; Thus vamp'd and accoutred, with clouts, ball, and brush, He gallantly ventured his fortune to push: Vespasian[2] thus, being bespatter'd with dirt, Was omen'd to be Rome's emperor for't. But as a wise fiddler is noted, you know, To have a good couple of strings to one bow; So Hartley[3] judiciously thought it too little, To live by the sweat of his hands and his spittle: He finds out another profession as fit, And straight he becomes a retailer of wit. One day he cried—"Murders, and songs, and great news!" Another as loudly—"Here blacken your shoes!" At Domvile's[4] full often he fed upon bits, For winding of jacks up, and turning of spits; Lick'd all the plates round, had many a grubbing, And now and then got from the cook-maid a drubbing; Such bastings effect upon him could have none: The dog will be patient that's struck with a bone. Sir Thomas, observing this Hartley withal So expert and so active at brushes and ball, Was moved with compassion, and thought it a pity A youth should be lost, that had been so witty: Without more ado, he vamps up my spark, And now we'll suppose him an eminent clerk! Suppose him an adept in all the degrees Of scribbling cum dasho, and hooking of fees; Suppose him a miser, attorney, per bill, Suppose him a courtier—suppose what you will— Yet, would you believe, though I swore by the Bible, That he took up two news-boys for crying the libel?

[Footnote 1: Variation from Ovid, "Met.," ii, 541: "Qui color albus erat, nunc est contrarius albo."—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: So in Hudibras, Pt. II, Canto II: "Vespasian being dawb'd with Durt, Was destin'd to the Empire for't And from a Scavinger did come To be a mighty Prince in Rome."]

[Footnote 3: Squire Hartley Hutcheson, "that zealous prosecutor of hawkers and libels," who signed Faulkner's committal to prison. See "Prose Works," vii, 234.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 4: Sir T. Domvile, patentee of the Hanaper office.—F.]


But he by bawling news about, And aptly using brush and clout, A justice of the peace became, To punish rogues who do the same.

I sing the man of courage tried, O'errun with ignorance and pride, Who boldly hunted out disgrace With canker'd mind, and hideous face; The first who made (let none deny it) The libel-vending rogues be quiet. The fact was glorious, we must own, For Hartley was before unknown, Contemn'd I mean;—for who would chuse So vile a subject for the Muse? 'Twas once the noblest of his wishes To fill his paunch with scraps from dishes, For which he'd parch before the grate, Or wind the jack's slow-rising weight, (Such toils as best his talents fit,) Or polish shoes, or turn the spit; But, unexpectedly grown rich in Squire Domvile's family and kitchen, He pants to eternize his name, And takes the dirty road to fame; Believes that persecuting wit Will prove the surest way to it; So with a colonel[1] at his back, The Libel feels his first attack; He calls it a seditious paper, Writ by another patriot Drapier; Then raves and blunders nonsense thicker Than alderman o'ercharged with liquor: And all this with design, no doubt, To hear his praises hawk'd about; To send his name through every street, Which erst he roam'd with dirty feet; Well pleased to live in future times, Though but in keen satiric rhymes. So, Ajax, who, for aught we know, Was justice many years ago, And minding then no earthly things, But killing libellers of kings; Or if he wanted work to do, To run a bawling news-boy through; Yet he, when wrapp'd up in a cloud, Entreated father Jove aloud, Only in light to show his face, Though it might tend to his disgrace. And so the Ephesian villain [2] fired The temple which the world admired, Contemning death, despising shame, To gain an ever-odious name.

[Footnote 1: Colonel Ker, a Scotchman, lieutenant-colonel to Lord Harrington's regiment of dragoons, who made a news-boy evidence against The printer.—F.]

[Footnote 2: Herostratus, who set fire to the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, 356 B.C.—W. E. B.]



At Dublin's high feast sat Primate and Dean, Both dress'd like divines, with band and face clean: Quoth Hugh of Armagh, "The mob is grown bold." "Ay, ay," quoth the Dean, "the cause is old gold." "No, no," quoth the Primate, "if causes we sift, This mischief arises from witty Dean Swift." The smart one replied, "There's no wit in the case; And nothing of that ever troubled your grace. Though with your state sieve your own notions you split, A Boulter by name is no bolter of wit. It's matter of weight, and a mere money job; But the lower the coin the higher the mob. Go tell your friend Bob and the other great folk, That sinking the coin is a dangerous joke. The Irish dear joys have enough common sense, To treat gold reduced like Wood's copper pence. It is a pity a prelate should die without law; But if I say the word—take care of Armagh!"

[Footnote 1: In 1737, the gold coin had sunk in current value to the amount of 6d. in each guinea, which made it the interest of the Irish dealers to send over their balances in silver. To bring the value of the precious metals nearer to a par, the Primate, Boulter, who was chiefly trusted by the British Government in the administration of Ireland, published a proclamation reducing the value of the gold coin threepence in each guinea. This scheme was keenly opposed by Swift; and such was the clamour excited against the archbishop, that his house was obliged to be guarded by soldiers. The two following poems relate to this controversy, which was, for the time it lasted, nearly as warm as that about Wood's halfpence. The first is said to be the paraphrase of a conversation which actually passed between Swift and the archbishop. The latter charged the Dean with inflaming the mob, "I inflame them?" retorted Swift, "were I to lift but a finger, they would tear you to pieces."—Scott.]


Patrick astore,[1] what news upon the town? By my soul there's bad news, for the gold she was pull'd down, The gold she was pull'd down, of that I'm very sure, For I saw'd them reading upon the towlsel[2] doore. Sing, och, och, hoh, hoh.[3]

Arrah! who was him reading? 'twas jauntleman in ruffles, And Patrick's bell she was ringing all in muffles; She was ringing very sorry, her tongue tied up with rag, Lorsha! and out of her shteeple there was hung a black flag.[4] Sing, och, &c.

Patrick astore, who was him made this law? Some they do say, 'twas the big man of straw;[5] But others they do say, that it was Jug-Joulter,[6] The devil he may take her into hell and Boult-her! Sing, och, &c.

Musha! Why Parliament wouldn't you maul, Those carters, and paviours, and footmen, and all;[7] Those rascally paviours who did us undermine, Och ma ceade millia mollighart[8] on the feeders of swine! Sing, och, &c.

[Footnote 1: Astore, means my dear, my heart.]

[Footnote 2: The Tholsel, where criminals for the city were tried, and where proclamations, etc., were posted. It was invariably called the Touls'el by the lower class.]

[Footnote 3: It would appear that the chorus here introduced, was intended to chime with the howl, the ululatus, or funeral cry, of the Irish.]

[Footnote 4: Swift, it is said, caused a muffled peal to be rung from the steeple of St. Patrick's, on the day of the proclamation, and a black flag to be displayed from its battlements.—Scott.]

[Footnote 5: The big man of straw, means the Duke of Dorset, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; he had only the name of authority, the essential power being vested in the primate.]

[Footnote 6: Jug-Joulter means Primate Boulter, whose name is played upon in the succeeding line. In consequence of the public dissatisfaction expressed at the lowering the gold coin, the primate became very unpopular.]

[Footnote 7: "Footmen" alludes to a supporter of the measure, said to have been the son or grandson of a servant.]

[Footnote 8: Means "my hundred thousand hearty curses on the feeders of swine."]


While the king and his ministers keep such a pother, And all about changing one whore for another, Think I to myself, what need all this strife, His majesty first had a whore of a wife, And surely the difference mounts to no more Than, now he has gotten a wife of a whore. Now give me your judgment a very nice case on; Each queen has a son, say which is the base one? Say which of the two is the right Prince of Wales, To succeed, when, (God bless him,) his majesty fails; Perhaps it may puzzle our loyal divines To unite these two Protestant parallel lines, From a left-handed wife, and one turn'd out of doors, Two reputed king's sons, both true sons of whores; No law can determine it, which is first oars. But, alas! poor old England, how wilt thou be master'd; For, take which you please, it must needs be a bastard.

[Footnote 1: So the following very remarkable verses are entitled, in a copy which exists in the Dean's hand-writing bearing the following characteristic memorandum on the back: "A traitorous libel, writ several years ago. It is inconsistent with itself. Copied September 9, 1735. I wish I knew the author, that I might hang him." And at the bottom of the paper is subjoined this postscript. "I copied out this wicked paper many years ago, in hopes to discover the traitor of an author, that I might inform against him." For the foundation of the scandals current during the reign of George I, to which the lines allude, see Walpole's Reminiscences of the Courts of George the first and second, chap, ii, at p. cii, Walpole's Letters, edit. Cunningham.—W. E. B.]


CHARLES CARTHY, a schoolmaster in the city of Dublin, was publisher of a translation of Horace, in which the Latin was printed on the one side, and the English on the other, whence he acquired the name of Mezentius, alluding to the practice of that tyrant, who chained the dead to the living. Carthy was almost continually involved in satirical skirmishes with Dunkin, for whom Swift had a particular friendship, and there is no doubt that the Dean himself engaged in the warfare.—Scott.


Containing, on one side, the original Latin, on the other, his own version.

This I may boast, which few e'er could, Half of my book at least is good.


How monstrous Carthy looks with Flaccus braced, For here we see the man and there the beast.


Once Horace fancied from a man, He was transformed to a swan;[1] But Carthy, as from him thou learnest, Has made the man a goose in earnest.

[Footnote 1: "Jam jam residunt cruribus asperae Pelles, et album mutor in alitem Superne, nascunturque leves Per digitos humerosque plumae." Lib. ii, Carm. xx.]


Talis erat quondam Tithoni splendida conjux, Effulsit misero sic Dea juncta viro; Hunc tandem imminuit sensim longaeva senectus, Te vero extinxit, Carole, prima dies.


So blush'd Aurora with celestial charms, So bloom'd the goddess in a mortal's arms; He sunk at length to wasting age a prey, But thy book perish'd on its natal day.


Lectores ridere jubes dum Carthius astat? Iste procul depellit olens tibi Maevius omnes: Sic triviis veneranda diu, Jovis inclyta proles Terruit, assumpto, mortales, Gorgonis ore.


Could Horace give so sad a monster birth? Why then in vain he would excite our mirth; His humour well our laughter might command, But who can bear the death's head in his hand?


While with the fustian of thy book, The witty ancient you enrobe, You make the graceful Horace look As pitiful as Tom M'Lobe.[1] Ye Muses, guard your sacred mount, And Helicon, for if this log Should stumble once into the fount, He'll make it muddy as a bog.

[Footnote 1: A notorious Irish poetaster, whose name had become proverbial.—Scott.]


High as Longinus to the stars ascends, So deeply Carthy to the centre tends.


Aethereas quantum Longinus surgit in auras, Carthius en tantum ad Tartara tendit iter.


What Midas touch'd became true gold, but then, Gold becomes lead touch'd lightly by thy pen.


For saying he could not live by the profits of Carthy's works, as they did not sell.

I must confess that I was somewhat warm, I broke his teeth, but where's the mighty harm? My work he said could ne'er afford him meat, And teeth are useless where there's nought to eat!

TO CARTHY On his sending about specimens to force people to subscribe to his Longinus.

Thus vagrant beggars, to extort By charity a mean support, Their sores and putrid ulcers show, And shock our sense till we bestow.

TO CARTHY On his accusing Mr. Dunkin for not publishing his book of Poems.

How different from thine is Dunkin's lot! Thou'rt curst for publishing, and he for not.


So witches bent on bad pursuits, Assume the shapes of filthy brutes.


Thy labours, Carthy, long conceal'd from light, Piled in a garret, charm'd the author's sight, But forced from their retirement into day, The tender embryos half unknown decay; Thus lamps which burn'd in tombs with silent glare, Expire when first exposed to open air.


From the Gentleman's London Magazine for January.

My lines to him you give; to speak your due, 'Tis what no man alive will say of you. Your works are like old Jacob's speckled goats, Known by the verse, yet better by the notes. Pope's essays upon some for Young's may pass, But all distinguish thy dull leaden mass; So green in different lights may pass for blue, But what's dyed black will take no other hue.


You have undone Horace,—what should hinder Thy Muse from falling upon Pindar? But ere you mount his fiery steed, Beware, O Bard, how you proceed:— For should you give him once the reins, High up in air he'll turn your brains; And if you should his fury check, 'Tis ten to one he breaks your neck.


On one Delacourt's complimenting Carthy on his Poetry

Carthy, you say, writes well—his genius true, You pawn your word for him—he'll vouch for you. So two poor knaves, who find their credit fail, To cheat the world, become each other's bail.


Some ancient authors wisely write, That he who drinks will wake at night, Will never fail to lose his rest, And feel a streightness in his chest; A streightness in a double sense, A streightness both of breath and pence: Physicians say, it is but reasonable, He that comes home at hour unseasonable, (Besides a fall and broken shins, Those smaller judgments for his sins;) If, when he goes to bed, he meets A teasing wife between the sheets, 'Tis six to five he'll never sleep, But rave and toss till morning peep. Yet harmless Betty must be blamed Because you feel your lungs inflamed But if you would not get a fever, You never must one moment leave her. This comes of all your drunken tricks, Your Parry's and your brace of Dicks; Your hunting Helsham in his laboratory Too, was the time you saw that Drab lac a Pery But like the prelate who lives yonder-a, And always cries he is like Cassandra; I always told you, Mr. Sheridan, If once this company you were rid on, Frequented honest folk, and very few, You'd live till all your friends were weary of you. But if rack punch you still would swallow, I then forewarn'd you what would follow. Are the Deanery sober hours? Be witness for me all ye powers. The cloth is laid at eight, and then We sit till half an hour past ten; One bottle well might serve for three If Mrs. Robinson drank like me. Ask how I fret when she has beckon'd To Robert to bring up a second; I hate to have it in my sight, And drink my share in perfect spite. If Robin brings the ladies word, The coach is come, I 'scape a third; If not, why then I fall a-talking How sweet a night it is for walking; For in all conscience, were my treasure able, I'd think a quart a-piece unreasonable; It strikes eleven,—get out of doors.— This is my constant farewell Yours, J. S.

October 18, 1724, nine in the morning.

You had best hap yourself up in a chair, and dine with me than with the provost.


Resolve me this, ye happy dead, Who've lain some hundred years in bed, From every persecution free That in this wretched life we see; Would ye resume a second birth, And choose once more to live on earth?

[Footnote 1: Soon after Swift's acquaintance with Dr. Sheridan, they passed some days together at the episcopal palace in the diocess of Kilmore. When Swift was gone, it was discovered that he had written the following lines on one of the windows which look into the church-yard. In the year 1780, the late Archdeacon Caulfield wrote some lines in answer to both. The pane was taken down by Dr. Jones, Bishop of Kilmore, but it has been since restored.—Scott.]


Thus spoke great Bedel[1] from his tomb: "Mortal, I would not change my doom, To live in such a restless state, To be unfortunately great; To flatter fools, and spurn at knaves, To shine amidst a race of slaves; To learn from wise men to complain And only rise to fall again: No! let my dusty relics rest, Until I rise among the blest."

[Footnote 1: Bishop Bedel's tomb lies within view of the window.]


The following lines occur in the Swiftiana, and are by Mr. Wilson, the editor, ascribed to Swift.—Scott.

"—— The rascal! that's too mild a name; Does he forget from whence he came? Has he forgot from whence he sprung? A mushroom in a bed of dung; A maggot in a cake of fat, The offspring of a beggar's brat; As eels delight to creep in mud, To eels we may compare his blood; His blood delights in mud to run, Witness his lazy, lousy son! Puff'd up with pride and insolence, Without a grain of common sense. See with what consequence he stalks! With what pomposity he talks! See how the gaping crowd admire The stupid blockhead and the liar! How long shall vice triumphant reign? How long shall mortals bend to gain? How long shall virtue hide her face, And leave her votaries in disgrace? —Let indignation fire my strains, Another villain yet remains— Let purse-proud C——n next approach; With what an air he mounts his coach! A cart would best become the knave, A dirty parasite and slave! His heart in poison deeply dipt, His tongue with oily accents tipt, A smile still ready at command, The pliant bow, the forehead bland—" * * * * * * * * * *


—URBS INTACTA MANET—semper intacta manebit, Tangere crabrones quis bene sanus amat?

[Footnote 1: While viewing this town, the Dean observed a stone bearing the city arms, with the motto, URBS INTACTA MANET. The approach to this monument was covered with filth. The Dean, on returning to the inn, wrote the Latin epigram and added the English paraphrase, for the benefit, he said, of the ladies.—Scott.]


A thistle is the Scottish arms, Which to the toucher threatens harms, What are the arms of Waterford, That no man touches—but a ——?


Atria longa patent. Sed nec cenantibus usquam Nec somno locus est. Quam bene non habitas! MART., lib. xii, Ep. 50.

See, here's the grand approach, That way is for his grace's coach; There lies the bridge, and there the clock, Observe the lion and the cock;[2] The spacious court, the colonnade, And mind how wide the hall is made; The chimneys are so well design'd, They never smoke in any wind: The galleries contrived for walking, The windows to retire and talk in; The council-chamber to debate, And all the rest are rooms of state. Thanks, sir, cried I, 'tis very fine, But where d'ye sleep, or where d'ye dine? I find, by all you have been telling, That 'tis a house, but not a dwelling.

[Footnote 1: Built by Sir John Vanbrugh for the Duke of Marlborough. See vol. i, p. 74.—W.E..B_]

[Footnote 2: A monstrous lion tearing to pieces a little cock was placed over two of the portals of Blenheim House; "for the better understanding of which device," says Addison, "I must acquaint my English reader that a cock has the misfortune to be called in Latin by the same word that signifies a Frenchman, as a lion is the emblem of the English nation," and compares it to a pun in an heroic poem. The "Spectator," No. 59.—W. E. B.]


Poor Monsieur his conscience preserved for a year, Yet in one hour he lost it, 'tis known far and near; To whom did he lose it?—A judge or a peer.[2] Which nobody can deny.

This very same conscience was sold in a closet, Nor for a baked loaf, or a loaf in a losset, But a sweet sugar-plum, which you put in a posset. Which nobody can deny.

O Monsieur, to sell it for nothing was nonsense, For, if you would sell it, it should have been long since, But now you have lost both your cake and your conscience. Which nobody can deny.

So Nell of the Dairy, before she was wed, Refused ten good guineas for her maidenhead, Yet gave it for nothing to smooth-spoken Ned. Which nobody can deny.

But, Monsieur, no vonder dat you vere collogue, Since selling de contre be now all de vogue, You be but von fool after seventeen rogue. Which nobody can deny.

Some sell it for profit, 'tis very well known, And some but for sitting in sight of the throne, And other some sell what is none of their own. Which nobody can deny.

But Philpot, and Corker, and Burrus, and Hayze, And Rayner, and Nicholson, challenge our praise, With six other worthies as glorious as these. Which nobody can deny.

There's Donevan, Hart, and Archer, and Blood, And Gibson, and Gerard, all true men and good, All lovers of Ireland, and haters of Wood. Which nobody can deny.

But the slaves that would sell us shall hear on't in time, Their names shall be branded in prose and in rhyme, We'll paint 'em in colours as black as their crime. Which nobody can deny.

But P——r and copper L——h we'll excuse, The commands of your betters you dare not refuse, Obey was the word when you wore wooden shoes. Which nobody can deny.

[Footnote 1: This is an address of congratulation to the Grand Jury who threw out the bill against Harding the printer. It would seem they had not been perfectly unanimous on this occasion, for two out of the twelve are marked as having dissented from their companions, although of course this difference of opinion could not, according to the legal forms of England, appear on the face of the verdict. The dissenters seem to have been of French extraction. The ballad has every mark of being written by Swift.—Scott.]

[Footnote 2: Whitshed or Carteret.]


Dr. King, Archbishop of Dublin, stood high in Swift's estimation by his opposition to Wood's coinage.


I sing not of the Drapier's praise, nor yet of William Wood, But I sing of a famous lord, who seeks his country's good; Lord William's grace of Dublin town, 'tis he that first appears, Whose wisdom and whose piety do far exceed his years. In ev'ry council and debate he stands for what is right, And still the truth he will maintain, whate'er he loses by't. And though some think him in the wrong, yet still there comes a season When every one turns round about, and owns his grace had reason. His firmness to the public good, as one that knows it swore, Has lost his grace for ten years past ten thousand pounds and more. Then come the poor and strip him so, they leave him not a cross, For he regards ten thousand pounds no more than Wood's dross. To beg his favour is the way new favours still to win, He makes no more to give ten pounds than I to give a pin. Why, there's my landlord now, the squire, who all in money wallows, He would not give a groat to save his father from the gallows. "A bishop," says the noble squire, "I hate the very name, To have two thousand pounds a-year—O 'tis a burning shame! Two thousand pounds a-year! good lord! And I to have but five!" And under him no tenant yet was ever known to thrive: Now from his lordship's grace I hold a little piece of ground, And all the rent I pay is scarce five shillings in the pound. Then master steward takes my rent, and tells me, "Honest Jo, Come, you must take a cup of sack or two before you go." He bids me then to hold my tongue, and up the money locks, For fear my lord should send it all into the poor man's box. And once I was so bold to beg that I might see his grace, Good lord! I wonder how I dared to look him in the face: Then down I went upon my knees, his blessing to obtain; He gave it me, and ever since I find I thrive amain. "Then," said my lord, "I'm very glad to see thee, honest friend, I know the times are something hard, but hope they soon will mend, Pray never press yourself for rent, but pay me when you can; I find you bear a good report, and are an honest man." Then said his lordship with a smile, "I must have lawful cash, I hope you will not pay my rent in that same Wood's trash!" "God bless your Grace," I then replied, "I'd see him hanging higher, Before I'd touch his filthy dross, than is Clandalkin spire." To every farmer twice a-week all round about the Yoke, Our parsons read the Drapier's books, and make us honest folk. And then I went to pay the squire, and in the way I found, His bailie driving all my cows into the parish pound; "Why, sirrah," said the noble squire, "how dare you see my face, Your rent is due almost a week, beside the days of grace." And yet the land I from him hold is set so on the rack, That only for the bishop's lease 'twould quickly break my back. Then God preserve his lordship's grace, and make him live as long As did Methusalem of old, and so I end my song.



Serus in coelum redeas, diuque Laetus intersis populo.—HOR., Carm. I, ii, 45.

Great, good, and just, was once applied To one who for his country died;[l] To one who lives in its defence, We speak it in a happier sense. O may the fates thy life prolong! Our country then can dread no wrong: In thy great care we place our trust, Because thou'rt great, and good, and just: Thy breast unshaken can oppose Our private and our public foes: The latent wiles, and tricks of state, Your wisdom can with ease defeat. When power in all its pomp appears, It falls before thy rev'rend years, And willingly resigns its place To something nobler in thy face. When once the fierce pursuing Gaul Had drawn his sword for Marius' fall, The godlike hero with a frown Struck all his rage and malice down; Then how can we dread William Wood, If by thy presence he's withstood? Where wisdom stands to keep the field, In vain he brings his brazen shield; Though like the sibyl's priest he comes, With furious din of brazen drums The force of thy superior voice Shall strike him dumb, and quell their noise.

[Footnote 1: The epitaph on Charles I by the Marquis of Montrose:

"Great, good, and just! could I but rate My griefs to thy too rigid fate, I'd weep the world in such a strain As it should deluge once again; But since thy loud-tongued blood demands supplies More from Briareus' hands than Argus' eyes, I'll sing thine obsequies with trumpet sounds, And write thine epitaph in blood and wounds."

See Napier's "Montrose and the Covenanters," i, 520.—W. E. B.]


And shall the Patriot who maintain'd your cause, From future ages only meet applause? Shall he, who timely rose t'his country's aid, By her own sons, her guardians, be betray'd? Did heathen virtues in your hearts reside, These wretches had been damn'd for parricide. Should you behold, whilst dreadful armies threat The sure destruction of an injured state, Some hero, with superior virtue bless'd, Avert their rage, and succour the distress'd; Inspired with love of glorious liberty, Do wonders to preserve his country free; He like the guardian shepherd stands, and they Like lions spoil'd of their expected prey, Each urging in his rage the deadly dart, Resolved to pierce the generous hero's heart; Struck with the sight, your souls would swell with grief, And dare ten thousand deaths to his relief, But, if the people he preserved should cry, He went too far, and he deserved to—die, Would not your soul such treachery detest, And indignation boil within your breast, Would not you wish that wretched state preserved, To feel the tenfold ruin they deserved? If, then, oppression has not quite subdued At once your prudence and your gratitude, If you yourselves conspire not your undoing, And don't deserve, and won't draw down your ruin, If yet to virtue you have some pretence, If yet ye are not lost to common sense, Assist your patriot in your own defence; That stupid cant, "he went too far," despise, And know that to be brave is to be wise: Think how he struggled for your liberty, And give him freedom, whilst yourselves are free. M. B.

[Footnote 1: The Address to the Citizens appears, from the signature M. B., to have been written by Swift himself, and published when the Prosecution was depending against Harding, the printer of the Drapier's Letters, and a reward had been proclaimed for the discovery of the author. Some of those who had sided with the Drapier in his arguments, while confined to Wood's scheme, began to be alarmed, when, in the fourth letter, he entered upon the more high and dangerous matter of the nature of Ireland's connection with England. The object of these verses is, to encourage the timid to stand by their advocate in a cause which was truly their own.—Scott.]


——Quid non mortalia pectora cogis, Auri sacra fames!——VIRG., Aen., iii.

This poem partly relates to Wood's halfpence, but resembles the style of Sheridan rather than of Swift. Hoppy, or Hopkins, here mentioned, seems to be the master of the revels, and secretary to the Duke of Grafton, when Lord-Lieutenant. See also Verses on the Puppet-Show.—Scott. See vol. i, p. 169.—W. E. B.

Fair ones who do all hearts command, And gently sway with fan in hand Your favourite—Punch a suppliant falls, And humbly for assistance calls; He humbly calls and begs you'll stop The gothic rage of Vander Hop, Wh'invades without pretence and right, Or any law but that of might, Our Pigmy land—and treats our kings Like paltry idle wooden things; Has beat our dancers out of doors, And call'd our chastest virgins whores; He has not left our Queen a rag on, Has forced away our George and Dragon, Has broke our wires, nor was he civil To Doctor Faustus nor the devil; E'en us he hurried with full rage, Most hoarsely squalling off the stage; And faith our fright was very great To see a minister of state, Arm'd with power and fury come To force us from our little home— We fear'd, as I am sure we had reason, An accusation of high-treason; Till, starting up, says Banamiere, "Treason, my friends, we need not fear, For 'gainst the Brass we used no power, Nor strove to save the chancellor.[1] Nor did we show the least affection To Rochford or the Meath election; Nor did we sing,—'Machugh he means.'" "You villain, I'll dash out your brains, 'Tis no affair of state which brings Me here—or business of the King's; I'm come to seize you all as debtors, And bind you fast in iron fetters, From sight of every friend in town, Till fifty pound's to me paid down." —"Fifty!" quoth I, "a devilish sum; But stay till the brass farthings come, Then we shall all be rich as Jews, From Castle down to lowest stews; That sum shall to you then be told, Though now we cannot furnish gold." Quoth he, "thou vile mis-shapen beast, Thou knave, am I become thy jest; And dost thou think that I am come To carry nought but farthings home! Thou fool, I ne'er do things by halves, Farthings are made for Irish slaves; No brass for me, it must be gold, Or fifty pounds in silver told, That can by any means obtain Freedom for thee and for thy train." "Votre tres humble serviteur, I'm not in jest," said I, "I'm sure, But from the bottom of my belly, I do in sober sadness tell you, I thought it was good reasoning, For us fictitious men to bring Brass counters made by William Wood Intrinsic as we flesh and blood; Then since we are but mimic men, Pray let us pay in mimic coin." Quoth he, "Thou lovest, Punch, to prate, And couldst for ever hold debate; But think'st thou I have nought to do But to stand prating thus with you? Therefore to stop your noisy parly, I do at once assure you fairly, That not a puppet of you all Shall stir a step without this wall, Nor merry Andrew beat thy drum, Until you pay the foresaid sum." Then marching off with swiftest race To write dispatches for his grace, The revel-master left the room, And us condemn'd to fatal doom. Now, fair ones, if e'er I found grace, Or if my jokes did ever please, Use all your interest with your sec,[2] (They say he's at the ladies' beck,) And though he thinks as much of gold As ever Midas[3] did of old: Your charms I'm sure can never fail, Your eyes must influence, must prevail; At your command he'll set us free, Let us to you owe liberty. Get us a license now to play, And we'll in duty ever pray.

[Footnote 1: Lord Chancellor Middleton, against whom a vote of censure passed in the House of Lords for delay of justice occasioned by his absence in England. It was instigated by Grafton, then Lord-Lieutenant, who had a violent quarrel at this time with Middleton.—Scott.]

[Footnote 2: Abridged from Secretary, rythmi gratia.—Scott.]

[Footnote 3: See Ovid, "Metam." xi, 85; Martial, vi, 86.—W. E. B.]


Great folks are of a finer mould; Lord! how politely they can scold! While a coarse English tongue will itch, For whore and rogue, and dog and bitch.



Lord Pam[3] in the church (you'd you think it) kneel'd down; When told that the Duke was just come to Town— His station despising, unawed by the place, He flies from his God to attend to his Grace. To the Court it was better to pay his devotion, Since God had no hand in his Lordship's promotion.

[Footnote 1: See vol. i, "The Storm," at p. 242.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Lionel Cranfield, first Duke of Dorset, was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1730 to 1735.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: Pam, the cant name for the knave of clubs, from the French Pamphile. The person here intended was a famous B. known through the whole kingdom by the name of Lord Pam. He was a great enemy to all men of wit and learning, being himself the most ignorant as well as the most vicious P. of all who had ever been honoured with that Title from the days of the Apostles to the present year of the Christian Aera. He was promoted non tam providentia divina quam temporum iniquitate E-scopus. From a note in "The Toast," by Frederick Scheffer, written in Latin verse, done into English by Peregrine O Donald, Dublin and London, 1736.—W. E. B.]


Behold! a proof of Irish sense; Here Irish wit is seen! When nothing's left that's worth defence, We build a magazine.

[Footnote 1: Swift, in his latter days, driving out with his physician, Dr. Kingsbury, observed a new building, and asked what it was designed for. On being told that it was a magazine for arms and powder, "Oh! Oh!" said the Dean, "This is worth remarking; my tablets, as Hamlet says, my tablets"—and taking out his pocket-book, he wrote the above epigram.—W. E. B.]




That Downpatrick's Dean, or Patrick's down went, Like two arrand Deans, two Deans errant I meant; So that Christmas appears at Bellcampe like a Lent, Gives the gamesters of both houses great discontent. Our parsons agree here, as those did at Trent, Dan's forehead has got a most damnable dent, Besides a large hole in his Michaelmas rent. But your fancy on rhyming so cursedly bent, With your bloody ouns in one stanza pent; Does Jack's utter ruin at picket prevent, For an answer in specie to yours must be sent; So this moment at crambo (not shuffling) is spent, And I lose by this crotchet quaterze, point, and quint, Which you know to a gamester is great bitterment; But whisk shall revenge me on you, Batt, and Brent. Bellcampe, January 1, 1717.



Delany reports it, and he has a shrewd tongue, That we both act the part of the clown and cow-dung; We lie cramming ourselves, and are ready to burst, Yet still are no wiser than we were at first.

Pudet haec opprobria, I freely must tell ye, Et dici potuisse, et non potuisse refelli. Though Delany advised you to plague me no longer, You reply and rejoin like Hoadly of Bangor[2]; I must now, at one sitting, pay off my old score; How many to answer? One, two, three, or four, But, because the three former are long ago past, I shall, for method-sake, begin with the last. You treat me like a boy that knocks down his foe, Who, ere t'other gets up, demands the rising blow. Yet I know a young rogue, that, thrown flat on the field, Would, as he lay under, cry out, Sirrah! yield. So the French, when our generals soundly did pay them, Went triumphant to church, and sang stoutly, Te Deum. So the famous Tom Leigh[3], when quite run a-ground, Comes off by out-laughing the company round: In every vile pamphlet you'll read the same fancies, Having thus overthrown all our farther advances. My offers of peace you ill understood; Friend Sheridan, when will you know your own good? 'Twas to teach you in modester language your duty; For, were you a dog, I could not be rude t'ye; As a good quiet soul, who no mischief intends To a quarrelsome fellow, cries, Let us be friends. But we like Antaeus and Hercules fight, The oftener you fall, the oftener you write: And I'll use you as he did that overgrown clown, I'll first take you up, and then take you down; And, 'tis your own case, for you never can wound The worst dunce in your school, till he's heaved from the ground.

I beg your pardon for using my left hand, but I was in great haste, and the other hand was employed at the same time in writing some letters of business. September 20, 1718.—I will send you the rest when I have leisure: but pray come to dinner with the company you met here last.

[Footnote 1: The humour of this poem is partly lost, by the impossibility of printing it left-handed as it was written.—H.]

[Footnote 2: Bishop of Bangor. For an account of him, see "Prose Works," v, 326.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: Frequently mentioned by Swift in the Journal to Stella, "Prose Works," ii, especially p. 404.—W. E. B.]


Since your poetic prancer is turn'd into Cancer, I'll tell you at once, sir, I'm now not your man, sir; For pray, sir, what pleasure in fighting is found With a coward, who studies to traverse his ground? When I drew forth my pen, with your pen you ran back; But I found out the way to your den by its track: From thence the black monster I drew, o' my conscience, And so brought to light what before was stark nonsense. When I with my right hand did stoutly pursue, You turn'd to your left, and you writ like a Jew; Which, good Mister Dean, I can't think so fair, Therefore turn about to the right, as you were; Then if with true courage your ground you maintain, My fame is immortal, when Jonathan's slain: Who's greater by far than great Alexander, As much as a teal surpasses a gander; As much as a game-cock's excell'd by a sparrow; As much as a coach is below a wheelbarrow: As much and much more as the most handsome man Of all the whole world is exceeded by Dan. T. SHERIDAN.

This was written with that hand which in others is commonly called the left hand.

Oft have I been by poets told, That, poor Jonathan, thou grow'st old. Alas, thy numbers failing all, Poor Jonathan, how they do fall! Thy rhymes, which whilom made thy pride swell, Now jingle like a rusty bridle: Thy verse, which ran both smooth and sweet, Now limp upon their gouty feet: Thy thoughts, which were the true sublime, Are humbled by the tyrant, Time: Alas! what cannot Time subdue? Time has reduced my wine and you; Emptied my casks, and clipp'd your wings, Disabled both in our main springs; So that of late we two are grown The jest and scorn of all the town. But yet, if my advice be ta'en, We two may be as great again; I'll send you wings, you send me wine; Then you will fly, and I shall shine.

This was written with my right hand, at the same time with the other.

How does Melpy like this? I think I have vex'd her; Little did she know, I was ambidexter. T. SHERIDAN.



I am teacher of English, for want of a better, to a poor charity-school, in the lower end of St. Thomas's Street; but in my time I have been a Virgilian, though I am now forced to teach English, which I understood less than my own native language, or even than Latin itself: therefore I made bold to send you the enclosed, the fruit of my Muse, in hopes it may qualify me for the honour of being one of your most inferior Ushers: if you will vouchsafe to send me an answer, direct to me next door but one to the Harrow, on the left hand in Crocker's Lane. I am yours, Reverend Sir, to command, PAT. REYLY.

Scribimus indocti doctique poemata passim. HOR., Epist. II, i, 117


Deliciae, Sheridan, Musarum, dulcis amice, Sic tibi propitius Permessi ad flumen Apollo Occurrat, seu te mimum convivia rident, Aequivocosque sales spargis, seu ludere versu Malles; dic, Sheridan, quisnam fuit ille deorum, Quae melior natura orto tibi tradidit artem Rimandi genium puerorum, atque ima cerebri Scrutandi? Tibi nascenti ad cunabula Pallas Astitit; et dixit, mentis praesaga futurae, Heu, puer infelix! nostro sub sidere natus; Nam tu pectus eris sine corpore, corporis umbra; Sed levitate umbram superabis, voce cicadam: Musca femur, palmas tibi mus dedit, ardea crura. Corpore sed tenui tibi quod natura negavit, Hoc animi dotes supplebunt; teque docente, Nec longum tempus, surget tibi docta juventus, Artibus egregiis animas instructa novellas. Grex hinc Paeonius venit, ecce, salutifer orbi; Ast, illi causas orant: his insula visa est Divinam capiti nodo constringere mitram. Natalis te horae non fallunt signa, sed usque Conscius, expedias puero seu laetus Apollo Nascenti arrisit; sive ilium frigidus horror Saturni premit, aut septem inflavere triones. Quin tu alte penitusque latentia semina cernis Quaeque diu obtundendo olim sub luminis auras Erumpent, promis; quo ritu saepe puella Sub cinere hesterno sopitos suscitat ignes. Te dominum agnoscit quocunque sub aere natus: Quos indulgentis nimium custodia matris Pessundat: nam saepe vides in stipite matrem. Aureus at ramus, venerandae dona Sibyllae, Aeneae sedes tantum patefecit Avernas; Saepe puer, tua quem tetigit semel aurea virga, Et coelum, terrasque videt, noctemque profundam.

Ad te, doctissime Delany, Pulsus a foribus Decani, Confugiens edo querelam, Pauper petens clientelam. Petebam Swift doctum patronum, Sed ille dedit nullum donum, Neque cibum neque bonum. Quaeris quam male sit stomacho num? Iratus valde valde latrat, Crumenicidam ferme patrat: Quin ergo releves aegrotum, Dato cibum, dato potum. Ita in utrumvis oculum, Dormiam bibens vestrum poculum.

Quaeso, Reverende Vir, digneris hanc epistolam inclusam cum versiculis perlegere, quam cum fastidio abjecit et respuebat Decanus ille (inquam) lepidissimus et Musarum et Apollinis comes.

Reverende Vir,

De vestra benignitate et clementia in frigore et fame exanimatos, nisi persuasum esset nobis, hanc epistolam reverentiae vestrae non scripsissem; quam profecto, quoniam eo es ingenio, in optimam accipere partem nullus dubito. Saevit Boreas, mugiunt procellae, dentibus invitis maxillae bellum gerunt. Nec minus, intestino depraeliantibus tumultu visceribus, classicum sonat venter. Ea nostra est conditio, haec nostra querela. Proh Deum atque hominum fidem! quare illi, cui ne libella nummi est, dentes, stomachum, viscera concessit natura? mehercule, nostro ludibrium debens corpori, frustra laboravit a patre voluntario exilio, qui macrum ligone macriorem reddit agellum. Huc usque evasi, ad te, quasi ad asylum, confugiens, quem nisi bene nossem succurrere potuisse, mehercule, neque fores vestras pultussem, neque limina tetigissem. Quam longum iter famelicus peregi! nudus, egenus, esuriens, perhorrescens, despectus, mendicans; sunt lacrymae rerum et mentem carnaria tangunt. In via nullum fuit solatium praeterquam quod Horatium, ubi macros in igne turdos versat, perlegi. Catii dapes, Maecenatis convivium, ita me pictura pascens inani, saepius volvebam. Quid non mortalium pectora cogit Musarum sacra fames? Haec omnia, quae nostra fuit necessitas, curavi ut scires; nunc re experiar quid dabis, quid negabis. Vale.

Vivitur parvo male, sed canebat Flaccus ut parvo bene: quod negamus: Pinguis et laute saturatus ille Ridet inanes.

Pace sic dicam liceat poetae Nobilis laeti salibus faceti Usque jocundi, lepide jocantis Non sine cura.

Quis potest versus (meditans merendam, Prandium, coenam) numerare? quis non Quot panes pistor locat in fenestra Dicere mallet?

Ecce jejunus tibi venit unus; Latrat ingenti stomachus furore; Quaeso digneris renovare fauces, Docte Patrone.

Vestiant lanae tenues libellos, Vestiant panni dominum trementem, Aedibus vestris trepidante penna Musa propinquat.

Nuda ne fiat, renovare vestes Urget, et nunquam tibi sic molestam Esse promittit, nisi sit coacta Frigore iniquo.

Si modo possem! Vetat heu pudor me Plura, sed praestat rogitare plura, An dabis binos digitos crumenae im- ponere vestrae?


Dear Sir, Since you in humble wise Have made a recantation, From your low bended knees arise; I hate such poor prostration.

'Tis bravery that moves the brave, As one nail drives another; If you from me would mercy have, Pray, Sir, be such another.

You that so long maintain'd the field With true poetic vigour; Now you lay down your pen and yield, You make a wretched figure.

Submit, but do't with sword in hand, And write a panegyric Upon the man you cannot stand; I'll have it done in lyric:

That all the boys I teach may sing The achievements of their Chiron; What conquests my stern looks can bring Without the help of iron.

A small goose-quill, yclep'd a pen, From magazine of standish Drawn forth, 's more dreadful to the Dean, Than any sword we brandish.

My ink's my flash, my pen's my bolt; Whene'er I please to thunder, I'll make you tremble like a colt, And thus I'll keep you under. THOMAS SHERIDAN.


Dear Dean, I'm in a sad condition, I cannot see to read or write; Pity the darkness of thy Priscian, Whose days are all transform'd to night.

My head, though light, 's a dungeon grown, The windows of my soul are closed; Therefore to sleep I lay me down, My verse and I are both composed.

Sleep, did I say? that cannot be; For who can sleep, that wants his eyes? My bed is useless then to me, Therefore I lay me down to rise.

Unnumber'd thoughts pass to and fro Upon the surface of my brain; In various maze they come and go, And come and go again.

So have you seen in sheet burnt black, The fiery sparks at random run; Now here, now there, some turning back Some ending where they just begun. THOMAS SHERIDAN.


Dear Sherry, I'm sorry for your bloodsheded sore eye, And the more I consider your case, still the more I Regret it, for see how the pain on't has wore ye. Besides, the good Whigs, who strangely adore ye, In pity cry out, "He's a poor blinded Tory." But listen to me, and I'll soon lay before ye A sovereign cure well attested in Gory. First wash it with ros, that makes dative rori, Then send for three leeches, and let them all gore ye; Then take a cordial dram to restore ye, Then take Lady Judith, and walk a fine boree, Then take a glass of good claret ex more, Then stay as long as you can ab uxore; And then if friend Dick[1] will but ope your back-door, he Will quickly dispel the black clouds that hang o'er ye, And make you so bright, that you'll sing tory rory, And make a new ballad worth ten of John Dory: (Though I work your cure, yet he'll get the glory.) I'm now in the back school-house, high up one story, Quite weary with teaching, and ready to mori. My candle's just out too, no longer I'll pore ye, But away to Clem Barry's,[2]—there's an end of my story.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Richard Helsham.]

[Footnote 2: See "The Country Life," i, 140.]


I like your collyrium, Take my eyes, sir, and clear ye 'um, 'Twill gain you a great reputation; By this you may rise, Like the doctor so wise,[1] Who open'd the eyes of the nation.

And these, I must tell ye, Are bigger than its belly;— You know, there's in Livy a story Of the hands and the feet Denying of meat,— Don't I write in the dark like a Tory?

Your water so far goes, 'Twould serve for an Argus, Were all his whole hundred sore; So many we read He had in his head, Or Ovid's a son of a whore.

For your recipe, sir, May my lids never stir, If ever I think once to fee you; For I'd have you to know, When abroad I can go, That it's honour enough, if I see you.

[Footnote 1: Probably Dr. Davenant.]


My pedagogue dear, I read with surprise Your long sorry rhymes, which you made on my eyes; As the Dean of St. Patrick's says, earth, seas, and skies! I cannot lie down, but immediately rise, To answer your stuff and the Doctor's likewise. Like a horse with a gall, I'm pester'd with flies, But his head and his tail new succour supplies, To beat off the vermin from back, rump, and thighs. The wing of a goose before me now lies, Which is both shield and sword for such weak enemies. Whoever opposes me, certainly dies, Though he were as valiant as Conde or Guise. The women disturb me a-crying of pies, With a voice twice as loud as a horse when he neighs. By this, Sir, you find, should we rhyme for a prize, That I'd gain cloth of gold, when you'd scarce merit frize.


Dear Tom, I'm surprised that your verse did not jingle; But your rhyme was not double, 'cause your sight was but single. For, as Helsham observes, there's nothing can chime, Or fit more exact than one eye and one rhyme. If you had not took physic, I'd pay off your bacon, But now I'll write short, for fear you're short-taken. Besides, Dick[1] forbid me, and call'd me a fool; For he says, short as 'tis, it will give you a stool. In libris bellis, tu parum parcis ocellis; Dum nimium scribis, vel talpa caecior ibis, Aut ad vina redis, nam sic tua lumina laedis: Sed tibi coenanti sunt collyria tanti? Nunquid eges visu, dum comples omnia risu? Heu Sheridan caecus, heu eris nunc cercopithecus. Nunc bene nasutus mittet tibi carmina tutus: Nunc ope Burgundi, malus Helsham ridet abunda, Nec Phoebe fili versum quis[2] mittere Ryly. Quid tibi cum libris? relavet tua lumina Tybris[3] Mixtus Saturno;[4] penso sed parce diurno Observes hoc tu, nec scriptis utere noctu. Nonnulli mingunt et palpebras sibi tingunt. Quidam purgantes, libros in stercore nantes Lingunt; sic vinces videndo, mi bone, lynces. Culum oculum tergis, dum scripta hoc flumine mergis; Tunc oculi et nates, ni fallor, agent tibi grates. Vim fuge Decani, nec sit tibi cura Delani: Heu tibi si scribant, aut si tibi fercula libant, Pone loco mortis, rapis fera pocula fortis Haec tibi pauca dedi, sed consule Betty my Lady, Huic te des solae, nec egebis pharmacopolae. Haec somnians cecini, JON. SWIFT.

Oct. 23, 1718.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Richard Helsham.]

[Footnote 2: Pro potes.—Horat.]

[Footnote 3: Pro quovis fluvio.—Virg.]

[Footnote 4: Saccharo Saturni.]


Tom, for a goose you keep but base quills, They're fit for nothing else but pasquils. I've often heard it from the wise, That inflammations in the eyes Will quickly fall upon the tongue, And thence, as famed John Bunyan sung, From out the pen will presently On paper dribble daintily. Suppose I call'd you goose, it is hard One word should stick thus in your gizzard. You're my goose, and no other man's; And you know, all my geese are swans: Only one scurvy thing I find, Swans sing when dying, geese when blind. But now I smoke where lies the slander,— I call'd you goose instead of gander; For that, dear Tom, ne'er fret and vex, I'm sure you cackle like the sex. I know the gander always goes With a quill stuck across his nose: So your eternal pen is still Or in your claw, or in your bill. But whether you can tread or hatch, I've something else to do than watch. As for your writing I am dead, I leave it for the second head.

Deanery-House, Oct. 27, 1718.


Perlegi versus versos, Jonathan bone, tersos; Perlepidos quidem; scribendo semper es idem. Laudibus extollo te, tu mihi magnus Apollo; Tu frater Phoebus, oculis collyria praebes, Ne minus insanae reparas quoque damna Dianae, Quae me percussit radiis (nec dixeris ussit) Frigore collecto; medicus moderamine tecto Lodicem binum premit, atque negat mihi vinum. O terra et coelum! quam redit pectus anhelum. Os mihi jam siccum, liceat mihi bibere dic cum? Ex vestro grato poculo, tam saepe prolato, Vina crepant: sales ostendet quis mihi tales? Lumina, vos sperno, dum cuppae gaudia cerno: Perdere etenim pellem nostram, quoque crura mavellem. Amphora, quam dulces risus queis pectora mulces, Pangitur a Flacco, cum pectus turget Iaccho: Clarius evohe ingeminans geminatur et ohe; Nempe jocosa propago, haesit sic vocis imago.


Whate'er your predecessors taught us, I have a great esteem for Plautus; And think your boys may gather there-hence More wit and humour than from Terence; But as to comic Aristophanes, The rogue too vicious and too profane is. I went in vain to look for Eupolis Down in the Strand,[1] just where the New Pole[2] is; For I can tell you one thing, that I can, You will not find it in the Vatican. He and Cratinus used, as Horace says, To take his greatest grandees for asses. Poets, in those days, used to venture high; But these are lost full many a century. Thus you may see, dear friend, ex pede hence, My judgment of the old comedians. Proceed to tragics: first Euripides (An author where I sometimes dip a-days) Is rightly censured by the Stagirite, Who says, his numbers do not fadge aright. A friend of mine that author despises So much he swears the very best piece is, For aught he knows, as bad as Thespis's; And that a woman in these tragedies, Commonly speaking, but a sad jade is. At least I'm well assured, that no folk lays The weight on him they do on Sophocles. But, above all, I prefer Eschylus, Whose moving touches, when they please, kill us. And now I find my Muse but ill able, To hold out longer in trissyllable. I chose those rhymes out for their difficulty; Will you return as hard ones if I call t'ye?

[Footnote 1: N.B.—The Strand in London. The fact may not be true; but the rhyme cost me some trouble.—Swift.]

[Footnote 2: The Maypole. See "The Dunciad," ii, 28. Pope's "Works," Elwin and Courthope, vol. iv.]



I thank you for your comedies. I'll stay and read 'em now at home a-days, Because Parcus wrote but sorrily Thy notes, I'll read Lambinus thoroughly; And then I shall be stoutly set a-gog To challenge every Irish Pedagogue. I like your nice epistle critical, Which does in threefold rhymes so witty fall; Upon the comic dram' and tragedy Your notion's right, but verses maggotty; 'Tis but an hour since I heard a man swear it, The Devil himself could hardly answer it. As for your friend the sage Euripides, I[1] believe you give him now the slip o' days; But mum for that—pray come a Saturday And dine with me, you can't a better day: I'll give you nothing but a mutton chop, Some nappy mellow'd ale with rotten hop, A pint of wine as good as Falern', Which we poor masters, God knows, all earn; We'll have a friend or two, sir, at table, Right honest men, for few're comeatable; Then when our liquor makes us talkative, We'll to the fields, and take a walk at eve. Because I'm troubled much with laziness, These rhymes I've chosen for their easiness.

[Footnote 1: N.B.—You told me you forgot your Greek.]


Dear Dean, since in cruxes and puns you and I deal, Pray why is a woman a sieve and a riddle? 'Tis a thought that came into my noddle this morning, In bed as I lay, sir, a-tossing and turning. You'll find if you read but a few of your histories, All women, as Eve, all women are mysteries. To find out this riddle I know you'll be eager, And make every one of the sex a Belphegor. But that will not do, for I mean to commend them; I swear without jest I an honour intend them. In a sieve, sir, their ancient extraction I quite tell, In a riddle I give you their power and their title. This I told you before; do you know what I mean, sir? "Not I, by my troth, sir."—Then read it again, sir. The reason I send you these lines of rhymes double, Is purely through pity, to save you the trouble Of thinking two hours for a rhyme as you did last, When your Pegasus canter'd in triple, and rid fast. As for my little nag, which I keep at Parnassus, With Phoebus's leave, to run with his asses, He goes slow and sure, and he never is jaded, While your fiery steed is whipp'd, spurr'd, bastinaded.


In reading your letter alone in my hackney, Your damnable riddle my poor brains did rack nigh. And when with much labour the matter I crack'd, I found you mistaken in matter of fact. A woman's no sieve, (for with that you begin,) Because she lets out more than e'er she takes in. And that she's a riddle can never be right, For a riddle is dark, but a woman is light. But grant her a sieve, I can say something archer; Pray what is a man? he's a fine linen searcher. Now tell me a thing that wants interpretation, What name for a maid,[1] was the first man's damnation? If your worship will please to explain me this rebus, I swear from henceforward you shall be my Phoebus.

From my hackney-coach, Sept. 11, 1718, past 12 at noon.

[Footnote 1: A damsel, i.e., Adam's Hell.—H. Vir Gin.—Dublin Edition.]


Don't think these few lines which I send, a reproach, From my Muse in a car, to your Muse in a coach. The great god of poems delights in a car, Which makes him so bright that we see him from far; For, were he mew'd up in a coach, 'tis allow'd We'd see him no more than we see through a cloud. You know to apply this—I do not disparage Your lines, but I say they're the worse for the carriage. Now first you deny that a woman's a sieve; I say that she is: What reason d'ye give? Because she lets out more than she takes in. Is't that you advance for't? you are still to begin. Your major and minor I both can refute, I'll teach you hereafter with whom to dispute. A sieve keeps in half, deny't if you can. D. "Adzucks, I mistook it, who thought of the bran?" I tell you in short, sir, you[1] should have a pair o' stocks For thinking to palm on your friend such a paradox. Indeed, I confess, at the close you grew better, But you light from your coach when you finish'd your letter. Your thing which you say wants interpretation, What's name for a maiden—the first man's damnation? A damsel—Adam's hell—ay, there I have hit it, Just as you conceived it, just so have I writ it. Since this I've discover'd, I'll make you to know it, That now I'm your Phoebus, and you are my poet. But if you interpret the two lines that follow, I'll again be your poet, and you my Apollo. Why a noble lord's dog, and my school-house this weather, Make up the best catch when they're coupled together?

From my Ringsend car, Sept. 12, 1718, past 5 in the morning, on a repetition day.

[Footnote 1: Begging pardon for the expression to a dignitary of thechurch.—S.]


12 o'Clock at Noon Sept. 12, 1718.

SIR, Perhaps you may wonder, I send you so soon Another epistle; consider 'tis noon. For all his acquaintance well know that friend Tom is, Whenever he makes one, as good as his promise. Now Phoebus exalted, sits high on his throne, Dividing the heav'ns, dividing my crown, Into poems and business, my skull's split in two, One side for the lawyers, and t'other for you. With my left eye, I see you sit snug in your stall, With my right I'm attending the lawyers that scrawl With my left I behold your bellower a cur chase; With my right I'm a-reading my deeds for a purchase. My left ear's attending the hymns of the choir, My right ear is stunn'd with the noise of the crier. My right hand's inditing these lines to your reverence, My left is indenting for me and heirs ever-hence. Although in myself I'm divided in two, Dear Dean, I shall ne'er be divided from you.



SIR, I cannot but think that we live in a bad age, O tempora, O mores! as 'tis in the adage. My foot was but just set out from my cathedral, When into my hands comes a letter from the droll. I can't pray in quiet for you and your verses; But now let us hear what the Muse from your car says. Hum—excellent good—your anger was stirr'd; Well, punners and rhymers must have the last word. But let me advise you, when next I hear from you, To leave off this passion which does not become you; For we who debate on a subject important, Must argue with calmness, or else will come short on't. For myself, I protest, I care not a fiddle, For a riddle and sieve, or a sieve and a riddle; And think of the sex as you please, I'd as lieve You call them a riddle, as call them a sieve. Yet still you are out, (though to vex you I'm loth,) For I'll prove it impossible they can be both; A school-boy knows this, for it plainly appears That a sieve dissolves riddles by help of the shears; For you can't but have heard of a trick among wizards, To break open riddles with shears or with scissars. Think again of the sieve, and I'll hold you a wager, You'll dare not to question my minor or major.[1] A sieve keeps half in, and therefore, no doubt, Like a woman, keeps in less than it lets out. Why sure, Mr. Poet, your head got a-jar, By riding this morning too long in your car: And I wish your few friends, when they next see your cargo, For the sake of your senses would lay an embargo. You threaten the stocks; I say you are scurrilous And you durst not talk thus, if I saw you at our ale-house. But as for your threats, you may do what you can I despise any poet that truckled to Dan But keep a good tongue, or you'll find to your smart From rhyming in cars, you may swing in a cart. You found out my rebus with very much modesty; But thanks to the lady; I'm sure she's too good to ye: Till she lent you her help, you were in a fine twitter; You hit it, you say;—you're a delicate hitter. How could you forget so ungratefully a lass, And if you be my Phoebus, pray who was your Pallas? As for your new rebus, or riddle, or crux, I will either explain, or repay it by trucks; Though your lords, and your dogs, and your catches, methinks, Are harder than ever were put by the Sphinx. And thus I am fully revenged for your late tricks, Which is all at present from the DEAN OF ST. PATRICK'S.

From my closet, Sept, 12, 1718, just 12 at noon.

[Footnote 1: Ut tu perperam argumentaris.—Scott.]


SIR, Your Billingsgate Muse methinks does begin With much greater noise than a conjugal din. A pox of her bawling, her tempora et mores! What are times now to me; a'nt I one of the Tories? You tell me my verses disturb you at prayers; Oh, oh, Mr. Dean, are you there with your bears? You pray, I suppose, like a Heathen, to Phoebus, To give his assistance to make out my rebus: Which I don't think so fair; leave it off for the future; When the combat is equal, this God should be neuter. I'm now at the tavern, where I drink all I can, To write with more spirit; I'll drink no more Helicon; For Helicon is water, and water is weak; 'Tis wine on the gross lee, that makes your Muse speak. This I know by her spirit and life; but I think She's much in the wrong to scold in her drink. Her damn'd pointed tongue pierced almost to my heart; Tell me of a cart,—tell me of a ——, I'd have you to tell on both sides her ears, If she comes to my house, that I'll kick her down stairs: Then home she shall limping go, squalling out, O my knee; You shall soon have a crutch to buy for your Melpomene. You may come as her bully, to bluster and swagger; But my ink is my poison, my pen is my dagger: Stand off, I desire, and mark what I say to you, If you come I will make your Apollo shine through you. Don't think, sir, I fear a Dean, as I would fear a dun; Which is all at present from yours, THOMAS SHERIDAN.


SIR, When I saw you to-day, as I went with Lord Anglesey, Lord, said I, who's that parson, how awkwardly dangles he! When whip you trot up, without minding your betters, To the very coach side, and threaten your letters. Is the poison [and dagger] you boast in your jaws, trow? Are you still in your cart with convitia ex plaustro? But to scold is your trade, which I soon should be foil'd in, For scolding is just quasi diceres—school-din: And I think I may say, you could many good shillings get, Were you drest like a bawd, and sold oysters at Billingsgate; But coach it or cart it, I'd have you know, sirrah, I'll write, though I'm forced to write in a wheelbarrow; Nay, hector and swagger, you'll still find me stanch, And you and your cart shall give me carte blanche. Since you write in a cart, keep it tecta et sarta, 'Tis all you have for it; 'tis your best Magna Carta; And I love you so well, as I told you long ago, That I'll ne'er give my vote for Delenda Cart-ago. Now you write from your cellar, I find out your art, You rhyme as folks fence, in tierce and in cart: Your ink is your poison, your pen is what not; Your ink is your drink, your pen is your pot. To my goddess Melpomene, pride of her sex, I gave, as you beg, your most humble respects: The rest of your compliment I dare not tell her, For she never descends so low as the cellar; But before you can put yourself under her banners, She declares from her throne you must learn better manners. If once in your cellar my Phoebus should shine, I tell you I'd not give a fig for your wine; So I'll leave him behind, for I certainly know it, What he ripens above ground, he sours below it. But why should we fight thus, my partner so dear With three hundred and sixty-five poems a-year? Let's quarrel no longer, since Dan and George Rochfort Will laugh in their sleeves: I can tell you they watch for't. Then George will rejoice, and Dan will sing highday: Hoc Ithacus velit, et magni mercentur Atridae. JON. SWIFT.

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