[Footnote 3: The name of an Irishman.—F.]
[Footnote 4: An Irish oath.—F.]
[Footnote 5: The name of an Irishwoman.—F.]
[Footnote 6: Surname of an Irishwoman.—F.]
[Footnote 7: Daggers, or short swords,—F.]
[Footnote 8: It is the custom in Ireland to call nurses, foster-mothers; their husbands, foster-fathers; and their children, foster-brothers or foster-sisters; and thus the poorest claim kindred to the rich.—F.]
THE PROGRESS OF BEAUTY. 1719
When first Diana leaves her bed, Vapours and steams her looks disgrace, A frowzy dirty-colour'd red Sits on her cloudy wrinkled face:
But by degrees, when mounted high, Her artificial face appears Down from her window in the sky, Her spots are gone, her visage clears.
'Twixt earthly females and the moon, All parallels exactly run; If Celia should appear too soon, Alas, the nymph would be undone!
To see her from her pillow rise, All reeking in a cloudy steam, Crack'd lips, foul teeth, and gummy eyes, Poor Strephon! how would he blaspheme!
The soot or powder which was wont To make her hair look black as jet, Falls from her tresses on her front, A mingled mass of dirt and sweat.
Three colours, black, and red, and white So graceful in their proper place, Remove them to a different light, They form a frightful hideous face:
For instance, when the lily slips Into the precincts of the rose, And takes possession of the lips, Leaving the purple to the nose:
So Celia went entire to bed, All her complexion safe and sound; But, when she rose, the black and red, Though still in sight, had changed their ground.
The black, which would not be confined, A more inferior station seeks, Leaving the fiery red behind, And mingles in her muddy cheeks.
The paint by perspiration cracks, And falls in rivulets of sweat, On either side you see the tracks While at her chin the conflu'nts meet.
A skilful housewife thus her thumb, With spittle while she spins anoints; And thus the brown meanders come In trickling streams betwixt her joints.
But Celia can with ease reduce, By help of pencil, paint, and brush, Each colour to its place and use, And teach her cheeks again to blush.
She knows her early self no more, But fill'd with admiration stands; As other painters oft adore The workmanship of their own hands.
Thus, after four important hours, Celia's the wonder of her sex; Say, which among the heavenly powers Could cause such wonderful effects?
Venus, indulgent to her kind, Gave women all their hearts could wish, When first she taught them where to find White lead, and Lusitanian dish.
Love with white lead cements his wings; White lead was sent us to repair Two brightest, brittlest, earthly things, A lady's face, and China-ware.
She ventures now to lift the sash; The window is her proper sphere; Ah, lovely nymph! be not too rash, Nor let the beaux approach too near.
Take pattern by your sister star; Delude at once and bless our sight; When you are seen, be seen from far, And chiefly choose to shine by night.
In the Pall Mall when passing by, Keep up the glasses of your chair, Then each transported fop will cry, "G——d d——n me, Jack, she's wondrous fair!"
But art no longer can prevail, When the materials all are gone; The best mechanic hand must fail, Where nothing's left to work upon.
Matter, as wise logicians say, Cannot without a form subsist; And form, say I, as well as they, Must fail if matter brings no grist.
And this is fair Diana's case; For, all astrologers maintain, Each night a bit drops off her face, When mortals say she's in her wane:
While Partridge wisely shows the cause Efficient of the moon's decay, That Cancer with his pois'nous claws Attacks her in the milky way:
But Gadbury, in art profound, From her pale cheeks pretends to show That swain Endymion is not sound, Or else that Mercury's her foe.
But let the cause be what it will, In half a month she looks so thin, That Flamsteed can, with all his skill, See but her forehead and her chin.
Yet, as she wastes, she grows discreet, Till midnight never shows her head; So rotting Celia strolls the street, When sober folks are all a-bed:
For sure, if this be Luna's fate, Poor Celia, but of mortal race, In vain expects a longer date To the materials of her face.
When Mercury her tresses mows, To think of oil and soot is vain: No painting can restore a nose, Nor will her teeth return again.
Two balls of glass may serve for eyes, White lead can plaister up a cleft; But these, alas, are poor supplies If neither cheeks nor lips be left.
Ye powers who over love preside! Since mortal beauties drop so soon, If ye would have us well supplied, Send us new nymphs with each new moon!
[Footnote 1: Collated with the copy transcribed by Stella.—Forster.]
[Footnote 2: Gadbury, an astrologer, wrote a series of ephemerides.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: John Flamsteed, the celebrated astronomer-royal, born in August, 1646, died in December, 1719. For a full account of him, see "Dictionary of National Biography."—W. E. B.]
THE PROGRESS OF MARRIAGE
AETATIS SUAE fifty-two, A reverend Dean began to woo A handsome, young, imperious girl, Nearly related to an earl. Her parents and her friends consent; The couple to the temple went: They first invite the Cyprian queen; 'Twas answer'd, "She would not be seen;" But Cupid in disdain could scarce Forbear to bid them kiss his —— The Graces next, and all the Muses, Were bid in form, but sent excuses. Juno attended at the porch, With farthing candle for a torch; While mistress Iris held her train, The faded bow bedropt with rain. Then Hebe came, and took her place, But show'd no more than half her face. Whate'er these dire forebodings meant, In joy the marriage-day was spent; The marriage-day, you take me right, I promise nothing for the night. The bridegroom, drest to make a figure, Assumes an artificial vigour; A flourish'd nightcap on, to grace His ruddy, wrinkled, smirking face; Like the faint red upon a pippin, Half wither'd by a winter's keeping. And thus set out this happy pair, The swain is rich, the nymph is fair; But, what I gladly would forget, The swain is old, the nymph coquette. Both from the goal together start; Scarce run a step before they part; No common ligament that binds The various textures of their minds; Their thoughts and actions, hopes and fears, Less corresponding than their years. The Dean desires his coffee soon, She rises to her tea at noon. While the Dean goes out to cheapen books, She at the glass consults her looks; While Betty's buzzing at her ear, Lord, what a dress these parsons wear! So odd a choice how could she make! Wish'd him a colonel for her sake. Then, on her finger ends she counts, Exact, to what his age amounts. The Dean, she heard her uncle say, Is sixty, if he be a day; His ruddy cheeks are no disguise; You see the crow's feet round his eyes. At one she rambles to the shops, To cheapen tea, and talk with fops; Or calls a council of her maids, And tradesmen, to compare brocades. Her weighty morning business o'er, Sits down to dinner just at four; Minds nothing that is done or said, Her evening work so fills her head. The Dean, who used to dine at one, Is mawkish, and his stomach's gone; In threadbare gown, would scarce a louse hold, Looks like the chaplain of the household; Beholds her, from the chaplain's place, In French brocades, and Flanders lace; He wonders what employs her brain, But never asks, or asks in vain; His mind is full of other cares, And, in the sneaking parson's airs, Computes, that half a parish dues Will hardly find his wife in shoes. Canst thou imagine, dull divine, 'Twill gain her love, to make her fine? Hath she no other wants beside? You feed her lust as well as pride, Enticing coxcombs to adore, And teach her to despise thee more. If in her coach she'll condescend To place him at the hinder end, Her hoop is hoist above his nose, His odious gown would soil her clothes. She drops him at the church, to pray, While she drives on to see the play. He like an orderly divine, Comes home a quarter after nine, And meets her hasting to the ball: Her chairmen push him from the wall. The Dean gets in and walks up stairs, And calls the family to prayers; Then goes alone to take his rest In bed, where he can spare her best. At five the footmen make a din, Her ladyship is just come in; The masquerade began at two, She stole away with much ado; And shall be chid this afternoon, For leaving company so soon: She'll say, and she may truly say't, She can't abide to stay out late. But now, though scarce a twelvemonth married, Poor Lady Jane has thrice miscarried: The cause, alas! is quickly guest; The town has whisper'd round the jest. Think on some remedy in time, The Dean you see, is past his prime, Already dwindled to a lath: No other way but try the Bath. For Venus, rising from the ocean, Infused a strong prolific potion, That mix'd with Acheloues spring, The horned flood, as poets sing, Who, with an English beauty smitten, Ran under ground from Greece to Britain; The genial virtue with him brought, And gave the nymph a plenteous draught; Then fled, and left his horn behind, For husbands past their youth to find; The nymph, who still with passion burn'd, Was to a boiling fountain turn'd, Where childless wives crowd every morn, To drink in Acheloues horn; Or bathe beneath the Cross their limbs Where fruitful matter chiefly swims. And here the father often gains That title by another's pains. Hither, though much against his grain The Dean has carried Lady Jane. He, for a while, would not consent, But vow'd his money all was spent: Was ever such a clownish reason! And must my lady slip her season? The doctor, with a double fee, Was bribed to make the Dean agree. Here, all diversions of the place Are proper in my lady's case: With which she patiently complies, Merely because her friends advise; His money and her time employs In music, raffling-rooms, and toys; Or in the Cross-bath seeks an heir, Since others oft have found one there; Where if the Dean by chance appears, It shames his cassock and his years. He keeps his distance in the gallery, Till banish'd by some coxcomb's raillery; For 'twould his character expose, To bathe among the belles and beaux. So have I seen, within a pen, Young ducklings foster'd by a hen; But, when let out, they run and muddle, As instinct leads them, in a puddle; The sober hen, not born to swim, With mournful note clucks round the brim. The Dean, with all his best endeavour, Gets not an heir, but gets a fever. A victim to the last essays Of vigour in declining days, He dies, and leaves his mourning mate (What could he less?) his whole estate. The widow goes through all her forms: New lovers now will come in swarms. O, may I see her soon dispensing Her favours to some broken ensign! Him let her marry for his face, And only coat of tarnish'd lace; To turn her naked out of doors, And spend her jointure on his whores; But, for a parting present, leave her A rooted pox to last for ever!
[Footnote 1: Collated with Swift's original MS. in my possession, dated January, 1721-2.—Forster.]
[Footnote 2: "A rich divine began to woo," "A grave divine resolved to woo," are Swift's successive changes of this line.—Forster.]
[Footnote 3: "Philippa, daughter to an Earl," is the original text, but he changed it on changing the lady's name to Jane.—Forster.]
[Footnote 4: Scott prints "her."—Forster.]
[Footnote 5: Swift has writ in the margin: "If by a more than usual grace She lends him in her chariot place, Her hoop is hoist above his nose For fear his gown should soil her clothes."—Forster.]
[Footnote 6: For this fable, see Ovid, "Metam.," lib. ix.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 7: So named from a very curious cross or pillar which was erected in it in 1687 by John, Earl of Melfort, Secretary of State to James the Second, in honour of the King's second wife, Mary Beatrice of Modena, having conceived after bathing there.—Collinson's "History of Somersetshire."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 8: "Meanwhile stands cluckling at the brim," the first draft.—Forster.]
[Footnote 9: "The best of heirs" in first draft.—Forster.]
THE PROGRESS OF POETRY
The farmer's goose, who in the stubble Has fed without restraint or trouble, Grown fat with corn and sitting still, Can scarce get o'er the barn-door sill; And hardly waddles forth to cool Her belly in the neighbouring pool! Nor loudly cackles at the door; For cackling shows the goose is poor. But, when she must be turn'd to graze, And round the barren common strays, Hard exercise, and harder fare, Soon make my dame grow lank and spare; Her body light, she tries her wings, And scorns the ground, and upward springs; While all the parish, as she flies, Hear sounds harmonious from the skies. Such is the poet fresh in pay, The third night's profits of his play; His morning draughts till noon can swill, Among his brethren of the quill: With good roast beef his belly full, Grown lazy, foggy, fat, and dull, Deep sunk in plenty and delight, What poet e'er could take his flight? Or, stuff'd with phlegm up to the throat, What poet e'er could sing a note? Nor Pegasus could bear the load Along the high celestial road; The steed, oppress'd, would break his girth, To raise the lumber from the earth. But view him in another scene, When all his drink is Hippocrene, His money spent, his patrons fail, His credit out for cheese and ale; His two-years coat so smooth and bare, Through every thread it lets in air; With hungry meals his body pined, His guts and belly full of wind; And, like a jockey for a race, His flesh brought down to flying case: Now his exalted spirit loathes Encumbrances of food and clothes; And up he rises like a vapour, Supported high on wings of paper. He singing flies, and flying sings, While from below all Grub-Street rings.
THE SOUTH-SEA PROJECT. 1721
Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto, Arma virum, tabulaeque, et Troia gaza per undas. VIRG.
For particulars of this famous scheme for reducing the National Debt, projected by Sir John Blunt, who became one of the Directors of it, and ultimately one of the greatest sufferers by it, when the Bubble burst, see Smollett's "History of England," vol. ii; Pope's "Moral Essays," Epist. iii, and notes; and Gibbon's "Memoirs," for the violent and arbitrary proceedings against the Directors, one of whom was his grandfather.—W. E. B.
Ye wise philosophers, explain What magic makes our money rise, When dropt into the Southern main; Or do these jugglers cheat our eyes?
Put in your money fairly told; Presto! be gone—'Tis here again: Ladies and gentlemen, behold, Here's every piece as big as ten.
Thus in a basin drop a shilling, Then fill the vessel to the brim, You shall observe, as you are filling, The pond'rous metal seems to swim:
It rises both in bulk and height, Behold it swelling like a sop; The liquid medium cheats your sight: Behold it mounted to the top!
In stock three hundred thousand pounds, I have in view a lord's estate; My manors all contiguous round! A coach-and-six, and served in plate!
Thus the deluded bankrupt raves, Puts all upon a desperate bet; Then plunges in the Southern waves, Dipt over head and ears—in debt.
So, by a calenture misled, The mariner with rapture sees, On the smooth ocean's azure bed, Enamell'd fields and verdant trees:
With eager haste he longs to rove In that fantastic scene, and thinks It must be some enchanted grove; And in he leaps, and down he sinks.
Five hundred chariots just bespoke, Are sunk in these devouring waves, The horses drown'd, the harness broke, And here the owners find their graves.
Like Pharaoh, by directors led, They with their spoils went safe before; His chariots, tumbling out the dead, Lay shatter'd on the Red Sea shore.
Raised up on Hope's aspiring plumes, The young adventurer o'er the deep An eagle's flight and state assumes, And scorns the middle way to keep.
On paper wings he takes his flight, With wax the father bound them fast; The wax is melted by the height, And down the towering boy is cast.
A moralist might here explain The rashness of the Cretan youth; Describe his fall into the main, And from a fable form a truth.
His wings are his paternal rent, He melts the wax at every flame; His credit sunk, his money spent, In Southern Seas he leaves his name.
Inform us, you that best can tell, Why in that dangerous gulf profound, Where hundreds and where thousands fell, Fools chiefly float, the wise are drown'd?
So have I seen from Severn's brink A flock of geese jump down together; Swim where the bird of Jove would sink, And, swimming, never wet a feather.
But, I affirm, 'tis false in fact, Directors better knew their tools; We see the nation's credit crack'd, Each knave has made a thousand fools.
One fool may from another win, And then get off with money stored; But, if a sharper once comes in, He throws it all, and sweeps the board.
As fishes on each other prey, The great ones swallowing up the small, So fares it in the Southern Sea; The whale directors eat up all.
When stock is high, they come between, Making by second-hand their offers; Then cunningly retire unseen, With each a million in his coffers.
So, when upon a moonshine night, An ass was drinking at a stream, A cloud arose, and stopt the light, By intercepting every beam:
The day of judgment will be soon, Cries out a sage among the crowd; An ass has swallow'd up the moon! The moon lay safe behind the cloud.
Each poor subscriber to the sea Sinks down at once, and there he lies; Directors fall as well as they, Their fall is but a trick to rise.
So fishes, rising from the main, Can soar with moisten'd wings on high; The moisture dried, they sink again, And dip their fins again to fly.
Undone at play, the female troops Come here their losses to retrieve; Ride o'er the waves in spacious hoops, Like Lapland witches in a sieve.
Thus Venus to the sea descends, As poets feign; but where's the moral? It shows the Queen of Love intends To search the deep for pearl and coral.
The sea is richer than the land, I heard it from my grannam's mouth, Which now I clearly understand; For by the sea she meant the South.
Thus, by directors we are told, "Pray, gentlemen, believe your eyes; Our ocean's cover'd o'er with gold, Look round, and see how thick it lies:
"We, gentlemen, are your assisters, We'll come, and hold you by the chin."— Alas! all is not gold that glisters, Ten thousand sink by leaping in.
O! would those patriots be so kind, Here in the deep to wash their hands, Then, like Pactolus, we should find The sea indeed had golden sands.
A shilling in the bath you fling, The silver takes a nobler hue, By magic virtue in the spring, And seems a guinea to your view.
But, as a guinea will not pass At market for a farthing more, Shown through a multiplying glass, Than what it always did before:
So cast it in the Southern seas, Or view it through a jobber's bill; Put on what spectacles you please, Your guinea's but a guinea still.
One night a fool into a brook Thus from a hillock looking down, The golden stars for guineas took, And silver Cynthia for a crown.
The point he could no longer doubt; He ran, he leapt into the flood; There sprawl'd a while, and scarce got out, All cover'd o'er with slime and mud.
"Upon the water cast thy bread, And after many days thou'lt find it;" But gold, upon this ocean spread, Shall sink, and leave no mark behind it:
There is a gulf, where thousands fell, Here all the bold adventurers came, A narrow sound, though deep as Hell— 'Change Alley is the dreadful name.
Nine times a-day it ebbs and flows, Yet he that on the surface lies, Without a pilot seldom knows The time it falls, or when 'twill rise.
Subscribers here by thousands float, And jostle one another down; Each paddling in his leaky boat, And here they fish for gold, and drown.
"Now buried in the depth below, Now mounted up to Heaven again, They reel and stagger to and fro, At their wits' end, like drunken men."
Meantime, secure on Garway cliffs, A savage race, by shipwrecks fed, Lie waiting for the founder'd skiffs, And strip the bodies of the dead.
But these, you say, are factious lies, From some malicious Tory's brain; For, where directors get a prize, The Swiss and Dutch whole millions drain.
Thus, when by rooks a lord is plied, Some cully often wins a bet, By venturing on the cheating side, Though not into the secret let.
While some build castles in the air, Directors build them in the seas; Subscribers plainly see them there, For fools will see as wise men please.
Thus oft by mariners are shown (Unless the men of Kent are liars) Earl Godwin's castles overflown, And palace roofs, and steeple spires.
Mark where the sly directors creep, Nor to the shore approach too nigh! The monsters nestle in the deep, To seize you in your passing by.
Then, like the dogs of Nile, be wise, Who, taught by instinct how to shun The crocodile, that lurking lies, Run as they drink, and drink and run.
Antaeus could, by magic charms, Recover strength whene'er he fell; Alcides held him in his arms, And sent him up in air to Hell.
Directors, thrown into the sea, Recover strength and vigour there; But may be tamed another way, Suspended for a while in air.
Directors! for 'tis you I warn, By long experience we have found What planet ruled when you were born; We see you never can be drown'd.
Beware, nor overbulky grow, Nor come within your cully's reach; For, if the sea should sink so low To leave you dry upon the beach,
You'll owe your ruin to your bulk: Your foes already waiting stand, To tear you like a founder'd hulk, While you lie helpless on the sand.
Thus, when a whale has lost the tide, The coasters crowd to seize the spoil: The monster into parts divide, And strip the bones, and melt the oil.
Oh! may some western tempest sweep These locusts whom our fruits have fed, That plague, directors, to the deep, Driven from the South Sea to the Red!
May he, whom Nature's laws obey, Who lifts the poor, and sinks the proud, "Quiet the raging of the sea, And still the madness of the crowd!"
But never shall our isle have rest, Till those devouring swine run down, (The devils leaving the possest) And headlong in the waters drown.
The nation then too late will find, Computing all their cost and trouble, Directors' promises but wind, South Sea, at best, a mighty bubble.
[Footnote 1: Phaethon. Ovid, "Metam.," lib. ii.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: See the fable of Midas. Ovid, "Metam.," lib. xi.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: Ecclesiastes, xi, I.]
[Footnote 4: Psalm cvii, 26, 27.]
[Footnote 5: Garraway's auction room and coffee-house, closed in 1866.—W. E. B.]
FABULA CANIS ET UMBRAE
ORE cibum portans catulus dum spectat in undis, Apparet liquido praedae melioris imago: Dum speciosa diu damna admiratur, et alte Ad latices inhiat, cadit imo vortice praeceps Ore cibus, nee non simulacrum corripit una. Occupat ille avidus deceptis faucibus umbram; Illudit species, ac dentibus aera mordet.
BILLET TO A COMPANY OF PLAYERS SENT WITH THE PROLOGUE
The enclosed prologue is formed upon the story of the secretary's not allowing you to act, unless you would pay him L300 per annum; upon which you got a license from the Lord Mayor to act as strollers. The prologue supposes, that upon your being forbidden to act, a company of country strollers came and hired the playhouse, and your clothes, etc. to act in.
Our set of strollers, wandering up and down, Hearing the house was empty, came to town; And, with a license from our good lord mayor, Went to one Griffith, formerly a player: Him we persuaded, with a moderate bribe, To speak to Elrington and all the tribe, To let our company supply their places, And hire us out their scenes, and clothes, and faces. Is not the truth the truth? Look full on me; I am not Elrington, nor Griffith he. When we perform, look sharp among our crew, There's not a creature here you ever knew. The former folks were servants to the king; We, humble strollers, always on the wing. Now, for my part, I think, upon the whole, Rather than starve, a better man would stroll. Stay! let me see—Three hundred pounds a-year, For leave to act in town!—'Tis plaguy dear. Now, here's a warrant; gallants, please to mark, For three thirteens, and sixpence to the clerk. Three hundred pounds! Were I the price to fix, The public should bestow the actors six; A score of guineas given underhand, For a good word or so, we understand. To help an honest lad that's out of place, May cost a crown or so; a common case: And, in a crew, 'tis no injustice thought To ship a rogue, and pay him not a groat. But, in the chronicles of former ages, Who ever heard of servants paying wages? I pity Elrington with all my heart; Would he were here this night to act my part! I told him what it was to be a stroller; How free we acted, and had no comptroller: In every town we wait on Mr. Mayor, First get a license, then produce our ware; We sound a trumpet, or we beat a drum: Huzza! (the schoolboys roar) the players are come; And then we cry, to spur the bumpkins on, Gallants, by Tuesday next we must be gone. I told him in the smoothest way I could, All this, and more, yet it would do no good. But Elrington, tears falling from his cheeks, He that has shone with Betterton and Wilks, To whom our country has been always dear, Who chose to leave his dearest pledges here, Owns all your favours, here intends to stay, And, as a stroller, act in every play: And the whole crew this resolution takes, To live and die all strollers, for your sakes; Not frighted with an ignominious name, For your displeasure is their only shame. A pox on Elrington's majestic tone! Now to a word of business in our own. Gallants, next Thursday night will be our last: Then without fail we pack up for Belfast. Lose not your time, nor our diversion miss, The next we act shall be as good as this.
[Footnote 1: Thomas Elrington, born in 1688, an English actor of great reputation at Drury Lane from 1709 till 1712, when he was engaged by Joseph Ashbury, manager of the Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. After the death of Ashbury, whose daughter he had married, he succeeded to the management of the theatre, and enjoyed high social and artistic consideration. He died in July, 1732.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Two celebrated actors: Betterton in tragedy, and Wilks in comedy. See "The Tatler," Nos. 71, 157, 167, 182, and notes, edit. 1786; Colley Cibber's "Apology "; and "Dictionary of National Biography."—W. E. B.]
TO MR. HOPPY'S BENEFIT-NIGHT, AT SMOCK-ALLEY
HOLD! hold, my good friends; for one moment, pray stop ye, I return ye my thanks, in the name of poor Hoppy. He's not the first person who never did write, And yet has been fed by a benefit-night. The custom is frequent, on my word I assure ye, In our famed elder house, of the Hundreds of Drury. But then you must know, those players still act on Some very good reasons, for such benefaction. A deceased poet's widow, if pretty, can't fail; From Cibber she holds, as a tenant in tail. Your emerited actors, and actresses too, For what they have done (though no more they can do) And sitters, and songsters, and Chetwood and G——, And sometimes a poor sufferer in the South Sea; A machine-man, a tire-woman, a mute, and a spright, Have been all kept from starving by a benefit-night. Thus, for Hoppy's bright merits, at length we have found That he must have of us ninety-nine and one pound, Paid to him clear money once every year: And however some think it a little too dear, Yet, for reasons of state, this sum we'll allow, Though we pay the good man with the sweat of our brow. First, because by the King to us he was sent, To guide the whole session of this parliament. To preside in our councils, both public and private, And so learn, by the by, what both houses do drive at. When bold B—— roars, and meek M—— raves, When Ash prates by wholesale, or Be——h by halves, When Whigs become Whims, or join with the Tories; And to himself constant when a member no more is, But changes his sides, and votes and unvotes; As S——t is dull, and with S——d, who dotes; Then up must get Hoppy, and with voice very low, And with eloquent bow, the house he must show, That that worthy member who spoke last must give The freedom to him, humbly most, to conceive, That his sentiment on this affair isn't right; That he mightily wonders which way he came by't: That, for his part, God knows, he does such things disown; And so, having convinced him, he most humbly sits down. For these, and more reasons, which perhaps you may hear, Pounds hundred this night, and one hundred this year, And so on we are forced, though we sweat out our blood, To make these walls pay for poor Hoppy's good; To supply with rare diet his pot and his spit; And with richest Margoux to wash down a tit-bit. To wash oft his fine linen, so clean and so neat, And to buy him much linen, to fence against sweat: All which he deserves; for although all the day He ofttimes is heavy, yet all night he's gay; And if he rise early to watch for the state, To keep up his spirits he'll sit up as late. Thus, for these and more reasons, as before I did say Hop has got all the money for our acting this play, Which makes us poor actors look je ne scai quoy.
[Footnote 1: This piece, which relates, like the former, to the avaricious demands which the Irish Secretary of State made upon the company of players, is said, in the collection called "Gulliveriana," to have been composed by Swift, and delivered by him at Gaulstown House. But it is more likely to have been written by some other among the joyous guests of the Lord Chief Baron, since it does not exhibit Swift's accuracy of numbers.—Scott. Perhaps so, but the note to this piece in "Gulliveriana" is "Spoken by the Captain, one evening, at the end of a private farce, acted by gentlemen, for their own diversion at Gallstown"; the "Captain" being Swift, as the leader of the "joyous guests." This is very different from "composed."—W. E. B.]
TO A PLAY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE DISTRESSED WEAVERS. BY DR. SHERIDAN. SPOKEN BY MR. ELRINGTON. 1721
Great cry, and little wool—is now become The plague and proverb of the weaver's loom; No wool to work on, neither weft nor warp; Their pockets empty, and their stomachs sharp. Provoked, in loud complaints to you they cry; Ladies, relieve the weavers; or they die! Forsake your silks for stuff's; nor think it strange To shift your clothes, since you delight in change. One thing with freedom I'll presume to tell— The men will like you every bit as well. See I am dress'd from top to toe in stuff, And, by my troth, I think I'm fine enough; My wife admires me more, and swears she never, In any dress, beheld me look so clever. And if a man be better in such ware, What great advantage must it give the fair! Our wool from lambs of innocence proceeds; Silks come from maggots, calicoes from weeds; Hence 'tis by sad experience that we find Ladies in silks to vapours much inclined— And what are they but maggots in the mind? For which I think it reason to conclude, That clothes may change our temper like our food. Chintzes are gawdy, and engage our eyes Too much about the party-colour'd dyes; Although the lustre is from you begun, We see the rainbow, and neglect the sun. How sweet and innocent's the country maid, With small expense in native wool array'd; Who copies from the fields her homely green, While by her shepherd with delight she's seen! Should our fair ladies dress like her, in wool How much more lovely, and how beautiful, Without their Indian drapery, they'd prove! While wool would help to warm us into love! Then, like the famous Argonauts of Greece, We'll all contend to gain the Golden Fleece!
[Footnote 1: In connection with this Prologue and the Epilogue by the Dean which follows, see Swift's Papers relating to the use of Irish Manufactures in "Prose Works," vol. vii.—W. E. B.]
EPILOGUE TO A BENEFIT PLAY, GIVEN IN BEHALF OF THE DISTRESSED WEAVERS. BY THE DEAN. SPOKEN BY MR. GRIFFITH
Who dares affirm this is no pious age, When charity begins to tread the stage? When actors, who at best are hardly savers, Will give a night of benefit to weavers? Stay—let me see, how finely will it sound! Imprimis, From his grace a hundred pound. Peers, clergy, gentry, all are benefactors; And then comes in the item of the actors. Item, The actors freely give a day— The poet had no more who made the play. But whence this wondrous charity in players? They learn it not at sermons, or at prayers: Under the rose, since here are none but friends, (To own the truth) we have some private ends. Since waiting-women, like exacting jades, Hold up the prices of their old brocades; We'll dress in manufactures made at home; Equip our kings and generals at the Comb. We'll rig from Meath Street Egypt's haughty queen And Antony shall court her in ratteen. In blue shalloon shall Hannibal be clad, And Scipio trail an Irish purple plaid, In drugget drest, of thirteen pence a-yard, See Philip's son amidst his Persian guard; And proud Roxana, fired with jealous rage, With fifty yards of crape shall sweep the stage. In short, our kings and princesses within Are all resolved this project to begin; And you, our subjects, when you here resort, Must imitate the fashion of the court. O! could I see this audience clad in stuff, Though money's scarce, we should have trade enough: But chintz, brocades, and lace, take all away, And scarce a crown is left to see the play. Perhaps you wonder whence this friendship springs Between the weavers and us playhouse kings; But wit and weaving had the same beginning; Pallas first taught us poetry and spinning: And, next, observe how this alliance fits, For weavers now are just as poor as wits: Their brother quillmen, workers for the stage, For sorry stuff can get a crown a page; But weavers will be kinder to the players, And sell for twenty pence a yard of theirs. And to your knowledge, there is often less in The poet's wit, than in the player's dressing.
[Footnote 1: Archbishop King.]
[Footnote 2: A street famous for woollen manufactures.—F.]
[Footnote 3: See the fable of Pallas and Arachne in Ovid, "Metamorph.," lib. vi, applied in "A proposal for the Universal use of Irish Manufacture," "Prose Works," vii, at p. 21.—W. E. B.]
ANSWER TO DR. SHERIDAN'S PROLOGUE, AND TO DR. SWIFT'S EPILOGUE. IN BEHALF OF THE DISTRESSED WEAVERS. BY DR. DELANY.
Femineo generi tribuantur.
The Muses, whom the richest silks array, Refuse to fling their shining gowns away; The pencil clothes the nine in bright brocades, And gives each colour to the pictured maids; Far above mortal dress the sisters shine, Pride in their Indian Robes, and must be fine. And shall two bards in concert rhyme, and huff And fret these Muses with their playhouse stuff? The player in mimic piety may storm, Deplore the Comb, and bid her heroes arm: The arbitrary mob, in paltry rage, May curse the belles and chintzes of the age: Yet still the artist worm her silk shall share, And spin her thread of life in service of the fair. The cotton plant, whom satire cannot blast, Shall bloom the favourite of these realms, and last; Like yours, ye fair, her fame from censure grows, Prevails in charms, and glares above her foes: Your injured plant shall meet a loud defence, And be the emblem of your innocence. Some bard, perhaps, whose landlord was a weaver, Penn'd the low prologue to return a favour: Some neighbour wit, that would be in the vogue, Work'd with his friend, and wove the epilogue. Who weaves the chaplet, or provides the bays, For such wool-gathering sonnetteers as these? Hence, then, ye homespun witlings, that persuade Miss Chloe to the fashion of her maid. Shall the wide hoop, that standard of the town, Thus act subservient to a poplin gown? Who'd smell of wool all over? 'Tis enough The under petticoat be made of stuff. Lord! to be wrapt in flannel just in May, When the fields dress'd in flowers appear so gay! And shall not miss be flower'd as well as they? In what weak colours would the plaid appear, Work'd to a quilt, or studded in a chair! The skin, that vies with silk, would fret with stuff; Or who could bear in bed a thing so rough? Ye knowing fair, how eminent that bed, Where the chintz diamonds with the silken thread, Where rustling curtains call the curious eye, And boast the streaks and paintings of the sky! Of flocks they'd have your milky ticking full: And all this for the benefit of wool! "But where," say they, "shall we bestow these weavers, That spread our streets, and are such piteous cravers?" The silk-worms (brittle beings!) prone to fate, Demand their care, to make their webs complete: These may they tend, their promises receive; We cannot pay too much for what they give!
ON GAULSTOWN HOUSE
THE SEAT OF GEORGE ROCHFORT, ESQ. BY DR. DELANY
'Tis so old and so ugly, and yet so convenient, You're sometimes in pleasure, though often in pain in't; 'Tis so large, you may lodge a few friends with ease in't, You may turn and stretch at your length if you please in't; 'Tis so little, the family live in a press in't, And poor Lady Betty has scarce room to dress in't; 'Tis so cold in the winter, you can't bear to lie in't, And so hot in the summer, you're ready to fry in't; 'Tis so brittle, 'twould scarce bear the weight of a tun, Yet so staunch, that it keeps out a great deal of sun; 'Tis so crazy, the weather with ease beats quite through it, And you're forced every year in some part to renew it; 'Tis so ugly, so useful, so big, and so little, 'Tis so staunch and so crazy, so strong and so brittle, 'Tis at one time so hot, and another so cold, It is part of the new, and part of the old; It is just half a blessing, and just half a curse— wish then, dear George, it were better or worse.
[Footnote 1: Daughter of the Earl of Drogheda, and married to George Rochfort, Esq.—F.]
THE COUNTRY LIFE
PART OF A SUMMER SPENT AT GAULSTOWN HOUSE, THE SEAT OF GEORGE ROCHFORT, ESQ.
The Baron, Lord Chief Baron Rochfort. George, his eldest son. Nim, his second son, John, so called from his love of hunting. Dan, Mr. Jackson, a parson. Gaulstown, the Baron's seat. Sheridan, a pedant and pedagogue. Delany, chaplain to Sir Constantine Phipps, when Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Dragon, the name of the boat on the canal. Dean Percival and his wife, friends of the Baron and his lady.
Thalia, tell, in sober lays, How George, Nim, Dan, Dean, pass their days; And, should our Gaulstown's wit grow fallow, Yet Neget quis carmina Gallo? Here (by the way) by Gallus mean I Not Sheridan, but friend Delany. Begin, my Muse! First from our bowers We sally forth at different hours; At seven the Dean, in night-gown drest, Goes round the house to wake the rest; At nine, grave Nim and George facetious, Go to the Dean, to read Lucretius; At ten my lady comes and hectors And kisses George, and ends our lectures; And when she has him by the neck fast, Hauls him, and scolds us, down to breakfast. We squander there an hour or more, And then all hands, boys, to the oar; All, heteroclite Dan except, Who never time nor order kept, But by peculiar whimseys drawn, Peeps in the ponds to look for spawn: O'ersees the work, or Dragon rows, Or mars a text, or mends his hose; Or—but proceed we in our journal— At two, or after, we return all: From the four elements assembling, Warn'd by the bell, all folks come trembling, From airy garrets some descend, Some from the lake's remotest end; My lord and Dean the fire forsake, Dan leaves the earthy spade and rake; The loiterers quake, no corner hides them And Lady Betty soundly chides them. Now water brought, and dinner done; With "Church and King" the ladies gone. Not reckoning half an hour we pass In talking o'er a moderate glass. Dan, growing drowsy, like a thief Steals off to doze away his beef; And this must pass for reading Hammond— While George and Dean go to backgammon. George, Nim, and Dean, set out at four, And then, again, boys, to the oar. But when the sun goes to the deep, (Not to disturb him in his sleep, Or make a rumbling o'er his head, His candle out, and he a-bed,) We watch his motions to a minute, And leave the flood when he goes in it. Now stinted in the shortening day, We go to prayers and then to play, Till supper comes; and after that We sit an hour to drink and chat. 'Tis late—the old and younger pairs, By Adam lighted, walk up stairs. The weary Dean goes to his chamber; And Nim and Dan to garret clamber, So when the circle we have run, The curtain falls and all is done. I might have mention'd several facts, Like episodes between the acts; And tell who loses and who wins, Who gets a cold, who breaks his shins; How Dan caught nothing in his net, And how the boat was overset. For brevity I have retrench'd How in the lake the Dean was drench'd: It would be an exploit to brag on, How valiant George rode o'er the Dragon; How steady in the storm he sat, And saved his oar, but lost his hat: How Nim (no hunter e'er could match him) Still brings us hares, when he can catch 'em; How skilfully Dan mends his nets; How fortune fails him when he sets; Or how the Dean delights to vex The ladies, and lampoon their sex: I might have told how oft Dean Perceval Displays his pedantry unmerciful, How haughtily he cocks his nose, To tell what every schoolboy knows: And with his finger and his thumb, Explaining, strikes opposers dumb: But now there needs no more be said on't, Nor how his wife, that female pedant, Shews all her secrets of housekeeping: For candles how she trucks her dripping; Was forced to send three miles for yeast, To brew her ale, and raise her paste; Tells everything that you can think of, How she cured Charley of the chincough; What gave her brats and pigs the measles, And how her doves were killed by weasels; How Jowler howl'd, and what a fright She had with dreams the other night. But now, since I have gone so far on, A word or two of Lord Chief Baron; And tell how little weight he sets On all Whig papers and gazettes; But for the politics of Pue, Thinks every syllable is true: And since he owns the King of Sweden  Is dead at last, without evading, Now all his hopes are in the czar; "Why, Muscovy is not so far; Down the Black Sea, and up the Straits, And in a month he's at your gates; Perhaps from what the packet brings, By Christmas we shall see strange things." Why should I tell of ponds and drains, What carps we met with for our pains; Of sparrows tamed, and nuts innumerable To choke the girls, and to consume a rabble? But you, who are a scholar, know How transient all things are below, How prone to change is human life! Last night arrived Clem and his wife— This grand event has broke our measures; Their reign began with cruel seizures; The Dean must with his quilt supply The bed in which those tyrants lie; Nim lost his wig-block, Dan his Jordan, (My lady says, she can't afford one,) George is half scared out of his wits, For Clem gets all the dainty bits. Henceforth expect a different survey, This house will soon turn topsyturvy; They talk of farther alterations, Which causes many speculations.
[Footnote 1: Dr. Swift.—F.]
[Footnote 2: For his philosophy and his exquisite verse, rather than for his irreligion, which never seems to have affected Swift.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: The butler.—F.]
[Footnote 4: A Tory news-writer. See "Prose Works," vii, p. 347.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 5: Charles XII, killed by a musket ball, when besieging a "petty fortress" in Norway in the winter of 1718.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 6: Mr. Clement Barry, called, in the notes appended to "Gulliveriana," p. 12, chief favourite and governor of Gaulstown.—W. E. B.]
DR. DELANY'S VILLA
WOULD you that Delville I describe? Believe me, Sir, I will not gibe: For who would be satirical Upon a thing so very small? You scarce upon the borders enter, Before you're at the very centre. A single crow can make it night, When o'er your farm she takes her flight: Yet, in this narrow compass, we Observe a vast variety; Both walks, walls, meadows, and parterres, Windows and doors, and rooms and stairs, And hills and dales, and woods and fields, And hay, and grass, and corn, it yields: All to your haggard brought so cheap in, Without the mowing or the reaping: A razor, though to say't I'm loth, Would shave you and your meadows both. Though small's the farm, yet here's a house Full large to entertain a mouse; But where a rat is dreaded more Than savage Caledonian boar; For, if it's enter'd by a rat, There is no room to bring a cat. A little rivulet seems to steal Down through a thing you call a vale, Like tears adown a wrinkled cheek, Like rain along a blade of leek: And this you call your sweet meander, Which might be suck'd up by a gander, Could he but force his nether bill To scoop the channel of the rill. For sure you'd make a mighty clutter, Were it as big as city gutter. Next come I to your kitchen garden, Where one poor mouse would fare but hard in; And round this garden is a walk No longer than a tailor's chalk; Thus I compare what space is in it, A snail creeps round it in a minute. One lettuce makes a shift to squeeze Up through a tuft you call your trees: And, once a year, a single rose Peeps from the bud, but never blows; In vain then you expect its bloom! It cannot blow for want of room. In short, in all your boasted seat, There's nothing but yourself that's GREAT.
[Footnote 1: This poem has been stated to have been written by Swift's friend, Dr. Sheridan, on the authority of his son, but it is unquestionably by Swift. See "Prose Works," xii, p. 79.—W. E. B.]
ON ONE OF THE WINDOWS AT DELVILLE
A bard, grown desirous of saving his pelf, Built a house he was sure would hold none but himself. This enraged god Apollo, who Mercury sent, And bid him go ask what his votary meant? "Some foe to my empire has been his adviser: 'Tis of dreadful portent when a poet turns miser! Tell him, Hermes, from me, tell that subject of mine, I have sworn by the Styx, to defeat his design; For wherever he lives, the Muses shall reign; And the Muses, he knows, have a numerous train."
IN COMITATU CORGAGENSI. SCRIPSIT JUN. ANN. DOM. 1723
Ecce ingens fragmen scopuli, quod vertice summo Desuper impendet, nullo fundamine nixum, Decidit in fluctus: maria undique et undique saxa Horrisono stridore tenant, et ad aethera murmur Erigitur; trepidatque suis Neptunus in undis. Nam, longa venti rabie, atque aspergine crebra Aequorei laticis, specus ima rupe cavatur: Jam fultura ruit, jam summa cacumina nutant; Jam cadit in praeceps moles, et verberat undas. Attonitus credas, hinc dejecisse Tonantem Montibus impositos montes, et Pelion altum In capita anguipedum coelo jaculasse gigantum. Saepe etiam spelunca immani aperitur hiatu Exesa e scopulis, et utrinque foramina pandit, Hinc atque hinc a ponto ad pontum pervia Phoebo Cautibus enorme junctis laquearia tecti Formantur; moles olim ruitura superne. Fornice sublimi nidos posuere palumbes, Inque imo stagni posuere cubilia phocae. Sed, cum saevit hyems, et venti, carcere rupto, Immensos volvunt fluctus ad culmina montis; Non obsessae arces, non fulmina vindice dextra Missa Jovis, quoties inimicus saevit in urbes, Exaequant sonitum undarum, veniente procella: Littora littoribus reboant; vicinia late, Gens assueta mari, et pedibus percurrere rupes, Terretur tamen, et longe fugit, arva relinquens. Gramina dum carpunt pendentes rupe capellae, Vi salientis aquae de summo praecipitantur, Et dulces animas imo sub gurgite linquunt. Piscator terra non audet vellere funem; Sed latet in portu tremebundus, et aera sudum Haud sperans, Nereum precibus votisque fatigat.
TRANSLATED BY DR. DUNKIN
Lo! from the top of yonder cliff, that shrouds Its airy head amid the azure clouds, Hangs a huge fragment; destitute of props, Prone on the wave the rocky ruin drops; With hoarse rebuff the swelling seas rebound, From shore to shore the rocks return the sound: The dreadful murmur Heaven's high convex cleaves, And Neptune shrinks beneath his subject waves: For, long the whirling winds and beating tides Had scoop'd a vault into its nether sides. Now yields the base, the summits nod, now urge Their headlong course, and lash the sounding surge. Not louder noise could shake the guilty world, When Jove heap'd mountains upon mountains hurl'd; Retorting Pelion from his dread abode, To crush Earth's rebel sons beneath the load. Oft too with hideous yawn the cavern wide Presents an orifice on either side. A dismal orifice, from sea to sea Extended, pervious to the God of Day: Uncouthly join'd, the rocks stupendous form An arch, the ruin of a future storm: High on the cliff their nests the woodquests make, And sea-calves stable in the oozy lake. But when bleak Winter with his sullen train Awakes the winds to vex the watery plain; When o'er the craggy steep without control, Big with the blast, the raging billows roll; Not towns beleaguer'd, not the flaming brand, Darted from Heaven by Jove's avenging hand, Oft as on impious men his wrath he pours, Humbles their pride and blasts their gilded towers, Equal the tumult of this wild uproar: Waves rush o'er waves, rebellows shore to shore. The neighbouring race, though wont to brave the shocks Of angry seas, and run along the rocks, Now, pale with terror, while the ocean foams, Fly far and wide, nor trust their native homes. The goats, while, pendent from the mountain top, The wither'd herb improvident they crop, Wash'd down the precipice with sudden sweep, Leave their sweet lives beneath th'unfathom'd deep. The frighted fisher, with desponding eyes, Though safe, yet trembling in the harbour lies, Nor hoping to behold the skies serene, Wearies with vows the monarch of the main.
COPY OF THE BIRTH-DAY VERSES
ON MR. FORD
COME, be content, since out it must, For Stella has betray'd her trust; And, whispering, charged me not to say That Mr. Ford was born to-day; Or, if at last I needs must blab it, According to my usual habit, She bid me, with a serious face, Be sure conceal the time and place; And not my compliment to spoil, By calling this your native soil; Or vex the ladies, when they knew That you are turning forty-two: But, if these topics shall appear Strong arguments to keep you here, I think, though you judge hardly of it, Good manners must give place to profit. The nymphs, with whom you first began, Are each become a harridan; And Montague so far decay'd, Her lovers now must all be paid; And every belle that since arose, Has her contemporary beaux. Your former comrades, once so bright, With whom you toasted half the night, Of rheumatism and pox complain, And bid adieu to dear champaign. Your great protectors, once in power, Are now in exile or the Tower. Your foes triumphant o'er the laws, Who hate your person and your cause, If once they get you on the spot, You must be guilty of the plot; For, true or false, they'll ne'er inquire, But use you ten times worse than Prior. In London! what would you do there? Can you, my friend, with patience bear (Nay, would it not your passion raise Worse than a pun, or Irish phrase) To see a scoundrel strut and hector, A foot-boy to some rogue director, To look on vice triumphant round, And virtue trampled on the ground? Observe where bloody **** stands With torturing engines in his hands, Hear him blaspheme, and swear, and rail, Threatening the pillory and jail: If this you think a pleasing scene, To London straight return again; Where, you have told us from experience, Are swarms of bugs and presbyterians. I thought my very spleen would burst, When fortune hither drove me first; Was full as hard to please as you, Nor persons' names nor places knew: But now I act as other folk, Like prisoners when their gaol is broke. If you have London still at heart, We'll make a small one here by art; The difference is not much between St. James's Park and Stephen's Green; And Dawson Street will serve as well To lead you thither as Pall Mall. Nor want a passage through the palace, To choke your sight, and raise your malice. The Deanery-house may well be match'd, Under correction, with the Thatch'd. Nor shall I, when you hither come, Demand a crown a-quart for stum. Then for a middle-aged charmer, Stella may vie with your Mounthermer; She's now as handsome every bit, And has a thousand times her wit The Dean and Sheridan, I hope, Will half supply a Gay and Pope. Corbet, though yet I know his worth not, No doubt, will prove a good Arbuthnot. I throw into the bargain Tim; In London can you equal him? What think you of my favourite clan, Robin and Jack, and Jack and Dan; Fellows of modest worth and parts, With cheerful looks and honest hearts? Can you on Dublin look with scorn? Yet here were you and Ormond born. O! were but you and I so wise, To see with Robert Grattan's eyes! Robin adores that spot of earth, That literal spot which gave him birth; And swears, "Belcamp is, to his taste, As fine as Hampton-court at least." When to your friends you would enhance The praise of Italy or France, For grandeur, elegance, and wit, We gladly hear you, and submit; But then, to come and keep a clutter, For this or that side of a gutter, To live in this or t'other isle, We cannot think it worth your while; For, take it kindly or amiss, The difference but amounts to this, We bury on our side the channel In linen; and on yours in flannel. You for the news are ne'er to seek; While we, perhaps, may wait a week; You happy folks are sure to meet A hundred whores in every street; While we may trace all Dublin o'er Before we find out half a score. You see my arguments are strong, I wonder you held out so long; But, since you are convinced at last, We'll pardon you for what has past. So—let us now for whist prepare; Twelve pence a corner, if you dare.
[Footnote 1: Dr. Swift had been used to celebrate the birth-day of his friend Charles Ford, which was on the first day of January. See also the poem, "Stella at Wood Park."—Dr. Delany mentions also, among the Dean's intimate friends, "Matthew Ford, Esq., a man of family and fortune, a fine gentleman, and the best lay scholar of his time and nation."—Nichols.]
[Footnote 1: A celebrated tavern in St. James' Street, from 1711 till about 1865. Since then and now, The Thatched House Club.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: Mary, youngest daughter of the Duke of Marlborough, "exquisitely beautiful, lively in temper, and no less amiable in mind than elegant in person," married in 1703, to Lord Mounthermer, son of the Earl, afterwards Duke, of Montagu. See Coxe's "Life of Marlborough," i, 172.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: Dr. Corbet, afterwards Dean of St. Patrick's, on the death of Dr. Maturine, who succeeded Dr. Swift.]
[Footnote 5: Robert and John Grattan, and John and Daniel Jackson.—H.]
[Footnote 6: In Fingal, about five miles from Dublin.—H.]
[Footnote 7: The law for burying in woollen was extended to Ireland in 1733.]
AN IMITATION OF PETRONIUS
Petronii Fragmenta, xxx.
THOSE dreams, that on the silent night intrude, And with false flitting shades our minds delude Jove never sends us downward from the skies; Nor can they from infernal mansions rise; But are all mere productions of the brain, And fools consult interpreters in vain.
For when in bed we rest our weary limbs, The mind unburden'd sports in various whims; The busy head with mimic art runs o'er The scenes and actions of the day before.
The drowsy tyrant, by his minions led, To regal rage devotes some patriot's head. With equal terrors, not with equal guilt, The murderer dreams of all the blood he spilt.
The soldier smiling hears the widow's cries, And stabs the son before the mother's eyes. With like remorse his brother of the trade, The butcher, fells the lamb beneath his blade.
The statesman rakes the town to find a plot, And dreams of forfeitures by treason got. Nor less Tom-t—d-man, of true statesman mould, Collects the city filth in search of gold.
Orphans around his bed the lawyer sees, And takes the plaintiff's and defendant's fees. His fellow pick-purse, watching for a job, Fancies his fingers in the cully's fob.
The kind physician grants the husband's prayers, Or gives relief to long-expecting heirs. The sleeping hangman ties the fatal noose, Nor unsuccessful waits for dead men's shoes.
The grave divine, with knotty points perplext, As if he were awake, nods o'er his text: While the sly mountebank attends his trade, Harangues the rabble, and is better paid.
The hireling senator of modern days Bedaubs the guilty great with nauseous praise: And Dick, the scavenger, with equal grace Flirts from his cart the mud in Walpole's face.
[Footnote 1: "Somnia quae mentes ludunt volitantibus umbris, Non delubra deum nec ab aethere numina mittunt, Sed sibi quisque facit."]
[Footnote 2: "Nam cum prostrata sopore Urguet membra quies et mens sine pondere ludit, Quidquid luce fuit, tenebris agit."—W. E. B.]
SENT BY DR. DELANY TO DR. SWIFT, IN ORDER TO BE ADMITTED TO SPEAK TO HIM WHEN HE WAS DEAF. 1724
Dear Sir, I think, 'tis doubly hard, Your ears and doors should both be barr'd. Can anything be more unkind? Must I not see, 'cause you are blind? Methinks a friend at night should cheer you,— A friend that loves to see and hear you. Why am I robb'd of that delight, When you can be no loser by't Nay, when 'tis plain (for what is plainer?) That if you heard you'd be no gainer? For sure you are not yet to learn, That hearing is not your concern. Then be your doors no longer barr'd: Your business, sir, is to be heard.
The wise pretend to make it clear, 'Tis no great loss to lose an ear. Why are we then so fond of two, When by experience one would do? 'Tis true, say they, cut off the head, And there's an end; the man is dead; Because, among all human race, None e'er was known to have a brace: But confidently they maintain, That where we find the members twain, The loss of one is no such trouble, Since t'other will in strength be double. The limb surviving, you may swear, Becomes his brother's lawful heir: Thus, for a trial, let me beg of Your reverence but to cut one leg off, And you shall find, by this device, The other will be stronger twice; For every day you shall be gaining New vigour to the leg remaining. So, when an eye has lost its brother, You see the better with the other, Cut off your hand, and you may do With t'other hand the work of two: Because the soul her power contracts, And on the brother limb reacts. But yet the point is not so clear in Another case, the sense of hearing: For, though the place of either ear Be distant, as one head can bear, Yet Galen most acutely shows you, (Consult his book de partium usu) That from each ear, as he observes, There creep two auditory nerves, Not to be seen without a glass, Which near the os petrosum pass; Thence to the neck; and moving thorough there, One goes to this, and one to t'other ear; Which made my grandam always stuff her ears Both right and left, as fellow-sufferers. You see my learning; but, to shorten it, When my left ear was deaf a fortnight, To t'other ear I felt it coming on: And thus I solve this hard phenomenon.
'Tis true, a glass will bring supplies To weak, or old, or clouded eyes: Your arms, though both your eyes were lost, Would guard your nose against a post: Without your legs, two legs of wood Are stronger, and almost as good: And as for hands, there have been those Who, wanting both, have used their toes. But no contrivance yet appears To furnish artificial ears.
[Footnote 1: There have been instances of a man's writing with his foot. And I have seen a man, in India, who painted pictures, holding the brush betwixt his toes. The work was not well done: the wonder was to see it done at all.—W. E. B.]
A QUIET LIFE AND A GOOD NAME TO A FRIEND WHO MARRIED A SHREW. 1724
NELL scolded in so loud a din, That Will durst hardly venture in: He mark'd the conjugal dispute; Nell roar'd incessant, Dick sat mute; But, when he saw his friend appear, Cried bravely, "Patience, good my dear!" At sight of Will she bawl'd no more, But hurried out and clapt the door. Why, Dick! the devil's in thy Nell, (Quoth Will,) thy house is worse than Hell. Why what a peal the jade has rung! D—n her, why don't you slit her tongue? For nothing else will make it cease. Dear Will, I suffer this for peace: I never quarrel with my wife; I bear it for a quiet life. Scripture, you know, exhorts us to it; Bids us to seek peace, and ensue it. Will went again to visit Dick; And entering in the very nick, He saw virago Nell belabour, With Dick's own staff, his peaceful neighbour. Poor Will, who needs must interpose, Received a brace or two of blows. But now, to make my story short, Will drew out Dick to take a quart. Why, Dick, thy wife has devilish whims; Ods-buds! why don't you break her limbs? If she were mine, and had such tricks, I'd teach her how to handle sticks: Z—ds! I would ship her to Jamaica, Or truck the carrion for tobacco: I'd send her far enough away—— Dear Will; but what would people say? Lord! I should get so ill a name, The neighbours round would cry out shame. Dick suffer'd for his peace and credit; But who believed him when he said it? Can he, who makes himself a slave, Consult his peace, or credit save? Dick found it by his ill success, His quiet small, his credit less. She served him at the usual rate; She stunn'd, and then she broke his pate: And what he thought the hardest case, The parish jeer'd him to his face; Those men who wore the breeches least, Call'd him a cuckold, fool, and beast. At home he was pursued with noise; Abroad was pester'd by the boys: Within, his wife would break his bones: Without, they pelted him with stones; The 'prentices procured a riding, To act his patience and her chiding. False patience and mistaken pride! There are ten thousand Dicks beside; Slaves to their quiet and good name, Are used like Dick, and bear the blame.
[Footnote 1: See post, p. 200, "A beautiful young nymph."]
[Footnote 2: A performance got up by the rustics in some counties to ridicule and shame a man who has been guilty of beating his wife (or in this case, who has been beaten by her), by having a cart drawn through the village, having in it two persons dressed to resemble the woman and her master, and a supposed representation of the beating is inflicted, enacted before the offender's door. "Notes and Queries," 1st S., ix, 370, 578.—W. E. B.]
ADVICE TO THE GRUB-STREET VERSE-WRITERS 1726
Ye poets ragged and forlorn, Down from your garrets haste; Ye rhymers, dead as soon as born, Not yet consign'd to paste;
I know a trick to make you thrive; O, 'tis a quaint device: Your still-born poems shall revive, And scorn to wrap up spice.
Get all your verses printed fair, Then let them well be dried; And Curll must have a special care To leave the margin wide.
Lend these to paper-sparing Pope; And when he sets to write, No letter with an envelope Could give him more delight.
When Pope has fill'd the margins round, Why then recall your loan; Sell them to Curll for fifty pound, And swear they are your own.
[Footnote 1: The infamous piratical bookseller. See Pope's Works, passim.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: The original copy of Pope's celebrated translation of Homer (preserved in the British Museum) is almost entirely written on the covers of letters, and sometimes between the lines of the letters themselves.]
A PASTORAL DIALOGUE
WRITTEN JUNE, 1727, JUST AFTER THE NEWS OF THE DEATH OF GEORGE I, WHO DIED THE 12TH OF THAT MONTH IN GERMANY 
This poem was written when George II succeeded his father, and bore the following explanatory introduction:
Richmond Lodge is a house with a small park belonging to the crown. It was usually granted by the crown for a lease of years. The Duke of Ormond was the last who had it. After his exile, it was given to the Prince of Wales by the king. The prince and princess usually passed their summer there. It is within a mile of Richmond.
"Marble Hill is a house built by Mrs. Howard, then of the bedchamber, now Countess of Suffolk, and groom of the stole to the queen. It is on the Middlesex side, near Twickenham, where Pope lives, and about two miles from Richmond Lodge. Pope was the contriver of the gardens, Lord Herbert the architect, the Dean of St. Patrick's chief butler, and keeper of the ice-house. Upon King George's death, these two houses met, and had the above dialogue."—Dublin Edition, 1734.
In spight of Pope, in spight of Gay, And all that he or they can say; Sing on I must, and sing I will, Of Richmond Lodge and Marble Hill. Last Friday night, as neighbours use, This couple met to talk of news: For, by old proverbs, it appears, That walls have tongues, and hedges ears.
Quoth Marble Hill, right well I ween, Your mistress now is grown a queen; You'll find it soon by woful proof, She'll come no more beneath your roof.
The kingly prophet well evinces, That we should put no trust in princes: My royal master promised me To raise me to a high degree: But now he's grown a king, God wot, I fear I shall be soon forgot. You see, when folks have got their ends, How quickly they neglect their friends; Yet I may say, 'twixt me and you, Pray God, they now may find as true!
My house was built but for a show, My lady's empty pockets know; And now she will not have a shilling, To raise the stairs, or build the ceiling; For all the courtly madams round Now pay four shillings in the pound; 'Tis come to what I always thought: My dame is hardly worth a groat. Had you and I been courtiers born, We should not thus have lain forlorn; For those we dext'rous courtiers call, Can rise upon their masters' fall: But we, unlucky and unwise, Must fall because our masters rise.
My master, scarce a fortnight since, Was grown as wealthy as a prince; But now it will be no such thing, For he'll be poor as any king; And by his crown will nothing get, But like a king to run in debt.
No more the Dean, that grave divine, Shall keep the key of my (no) wine; My ice-house rob, as heretofore, And steal my artichokes no more; Poor Patty Blount no more be seen Bedraggled in my walks so green: Plump Johnny Gay will now elope; And here no more will dangle Pope.
Here wont the Dean, when he's to seek, To spunge a breakfast once a-week; To cry the bread was stale, and mutter Complaints against the royal butter. But now I fear it will be said, No butter sticks upon his bread. We soon shall find him full of spleen, For want of tattling to the queen; Stunning her royal ears with talking; His reverence and her highness walking: While Lady Charlotte, like a stroller, Sits mounted on the garden-roller. A goodly sight to see her ride, With ancient Mirmont at her side. In velvet cap his head lies warm, His hat, for show, beneath his arm.
Some South-Sea broker from the city Will purchase me, the more's the pity; Lay all my fine plantations waste, To fit them to his vulgar taste: Chang'd for the worse in ev'ry part, My master Pope will break his heart.
In my own Thames may I be drownded, If e'er I stoop beneath a crown'd head: Except her majesty prevails To place me with the Prince of Wales; And then I shall be free from fears, For he'll be prince these fifty years. I then will turn a courtier too, And serve the times as others do. Plain loyalty, not built on hope, I leave to your contriver, Pope; None loves his king and country better, Yet none was ever less their debtor.
Then let him come and take a nap In summer on my verdant lap; Prefer our villas, where the Thames is, To Kensington, or hot St. James's; Nor shall I dull in silence sit; For 'tis to me he owes his wit; My groves, my echoes, and my birds, Have taught him his poetic words. We gardens, and you wildernesses, Assist all poets in distresses. Him twice a-week I here expect, To rattle Moody for neglect; An idle rogue, who spends his quartridge In tippling at the Dog and Partridge; And I can hardly get him down Three times a-week to brush my gown.
I pity you, dear Marble Hill; But hope to see you flourish still. All happiness—and so adieu.
Kind Richmond Lodge, the same to you.
[Footnote 1: The King left England on the 3rd June, 1727, and after supping heartily and sleeping at the Count de Twellet's house near Delden on the 9th, he continued his journey to Osnabruck, where he arrived at the house of his brother, the Duke of York, on the night of the 11th, wholly paralyzed, and died calmly the next morning, in the very same room where he was born.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Swift was probably not aware how nearly he described the narrowed situation of Mrs. Howard's finances. Lord Orford, in a letter to Lord Strafford, 29th July, 1767, written shortly after her death, described her affairs as so far from being easy, that the utmost economy could by no means prevent her exceeding her income considerably; and states in his Reminiscences, that, besides Marble Hill, which cost the King ten or twelve thousand pounds, she did not leave above twenty thousand pounds to her family.—See "Lord Orford's Works," vol. iv, p. 304; v, p. 456.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: Who was "often in Swift's thoughts," and "high in his esteem"; and to whom Pope dedicated his second "Moral Epistle."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: This also proved a prophecy more true than the Dean suspected.]
[Footnote 5: Lady Charlotte de Roussy, a French lady.—Dublin Edition.]
[Footnote 6: Marquis de Mirmont, a Frenchman, who had come to England after the Edict of Nantes (by which Henri IV had secured freedom of religion to Protestants) had been revoked by Louis XIV in 1685. See Voltaire, "Siecle de Louis XIV."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 7: The gardener.]
DESIRE AND POSSESSION 1727
'Tis strange what different thoughts inspire In men, Possession and Desire! Think what they wish so great a blessing; So disappointed when possessing! A moralist profoundly sage (I know not in what book or page, Or whether o'er a pot of ale) Related thus the following tale. Possession, and Desire, his brother, But still at variance with each other, Were seen contending in a race; And kept at first an equal pace; 'Tis said, their course continued long, For this was active, that was strong: Till Envy, Slander, Sloth, and Doubt, Misled them many a league about; Seduced by some deceiving light, They take the wrong way for the right; Through slippery by-roads, dark and deep, They often climb, and often creep. Desire, the swifter of the two, Along the plain like lightning flew: Till, entering on a broad highway, Where power and titles scatter'd lay, He strove to pick up all he found, And by excursions lost his ground: No sooner got, than with disdain He threw them on the ground again; And hasted forward to pursue Fresh objects, fairer to his view, In hope to spring some nobler game; But all he took was just the same: Too scornful now to stop his pace, He spurn'd them in his rival's face. Possession kept the beaten road, And gather'd all his brother strew'd; But overcharged, and out of wind, Though strong in limbs, he lagg'd behind. Desire had now the goal in sight; It was a tower of monstrous height; Where on the summit Fortune stands, A crown and sceptre in her hands; Beneath, a chasm as deep as Hell, Where many a bold adventurer fell. Desire, in rapture, gazed awhile, And saw the treacherous goddess smile; But as he climb'd to grasp the crown, She knock'd him with the sceptre down! He tumbled in the gulf profound; There doom'd to whirl an endless round. Possession's load was grown so great, He sunk beneath the cumbrous weight; And, as he now expiring lay, Flocks every ominous bird of prey; The raven, vulture, owl, and kite, At once upon his carcass light, And strip his hide, and pick his bones, Regardless of his dying groans.
ON CENSURE 1727
Ye wise, instruct me to endure An evil, which admits no cure; Or, how this evil can be borne, Which breeds at once both hate and scorn. Bare innocence is no support, When you are tried in Scandal's court. Stand high in honour, wealth, or wit; All others, who inferior sit, Conceive themselves in conscience bound To join, and drag you to the ground. Your altitude offends the eyes Of those who want the power to rise. The world, a willing stander-by, Inclines to aid a specious lie: Alas! they would not do you wrong; But all appearances are strong. Yet whence proceeds this weight we lay On what detracting people say! For let mankind discharge their tongues In venom, till they burst their lungs, Their utmost malice cannot make Your head, or tooth, or finger ache; Nor spoil your shape, distort your face, Or put one feature out of place; Nor will you find your fortune sink By what they speak or what they think; Nor can ten hundred thousand lies Make you less virtuous, learn'd, or wise. The most effectual way to balk Their malice, is—to let them talk.
THE FURNITURE OF A WOMAN'S MIND 1727
A set of phrases learn'd by rote; A passion for a scarlet coat; When at a play, to laugh or cry, Yet cannot tell the reason why; Never to hold her tongue a minute, While all she prates has nothing in it; Whole hours can with a coxcomb sit, And take his nonsense all for wit; Her learning mounts to read a song, But half the words pronouncing wrong; Has every repartee in store She spoke ten thousand times before; Can ready compliments supply On all occasions cut and dry; Such hatred to a parson's gown, The sight would put her in a swoon; For conversation well endued, She calls it witty to be rude; And, placing raillery in railing, Will tell aloud your greatest failing; Nor make a scruple to expose Your bandy leg, or crooked nose; Can at her morning tea run o'er The scandal of the day before; Improving hourly in her skill, To cheat and wrangle at quadrille. In choosing lace, a critic nice, Knows to a groat the lowest price; Can in her female clubs dispute, What linen best the silk will suit, What colours each complexion match, And where with art to place a patch. If chance a mouse creeps in her sight, Can finely counterfeit a fright; So sweetly screams, if it comes near her, She ravishes all hearts to hear her. Can dext'rously her husband teaze, By taking fits whene'er she please; By frequent practice learns the trick At proper seasons to be sick; Thinks nothing gives one airs so pretty, At once creating love and pity; If Molly happens to be careless, And but neglects to warm her hair-lace, She gets a cold as sure as death, And vows she scarce can fetch her breath; Admires how modest women can Be so robustious like a man. In party, furious to her power; A bitter Whig, or Tory sour; Her arguments directly tend Against the side she would defend; Will prove herself a Tory plain, From principles the Whigs maintain; And, to defend the Whiggish cause, Her topics from the Tories draws. O yes! if any man can find More virtues in a woman's mind, Let them be sent to Mrs. Harding; She'll pay the charges to a farthing; Take notice, she has my commission To add them in the next edition; They may outsell a better thing: So, holla, boys; God save the King!
[Footnote 1: Widow of John Harding, the Drapier's printer.—F.]
CLEVER TOM CLINCH GOING TO BE HANGED. 1727
As clever Tom Clinch, while the rabble was bawling, Rode stately through Holborn to die in his calling, He stopt at the George for a bottle of sack, And promised to pay for it when he came back. His waistcoat, and stockings, and breeches, were white; His cap had a new cherry ribbon to tie't. The maids to the doors and the balconies ran, And said, "Lack-a-day, he's a proper young man!" But, as from the windows the ladies he spied, Like a beau in the box, he bow'd low on each side! And when his last speech the loud hawkers did cry, He swore from his cart, "It was all a damn'd lie!" The hangman for pardon fell down on his knee; Tom gave him a kick in the guts for his fee: Then said, I must speak to the people a little; But I'll see you all damn'd before I will whittle. My honest friend Wild (may he long hold his place) He lengthen'd my life with a whole year of grace. Take courage, dear comrades, and be not afraid, Nor slip this occasion to follow your trade; My conscience is clear, and my spirits are calm, And thus I go off, without prayer-book or psalm; Then follow the practice of clever Tom Clinch, Who hung like a hero, and never would flinch.
[Footnote 1: A cant word for confessing at the gallows.—F.]
[Footnote 2: The noted thief-catcher, under-keeper of Newgate, who was the head of a gang of thieves, and was at last hanged as a receiver of stolen goods. See Fielding's "Life of Jonathan Wild."—W. E. B.]
DR. SWIFT TO MR. POPE, WHILE HE WAS WRITING THE "DUNCIAD"
POPE has the talent well to speak, But not to reach the ear; His loudest voice is low and weak, The Dean too deaf to hear.
Awhile they on each other look, Then different studies choose; The Dean sits plodding on a book; Pope walks, and courts the Muse.
Now backs of letters, though design'd For those who more will need 'em, Are fill'd with hints, and interlined, Himself can hardly read 'em.
Each atom by some other struck, All turns and motions tries; Till in a lump together stuck, Behold a poem rise:
Yet to the Dean his share allot; He claims it by a canon; That without which a thing is not, Is causa sine qua non.
Thus, Pope, in vain you boast your wit; For, had our deaf divine Been for your conversation fit, You had not writ a line.
Of Sherlock, thus, for preaching framed The sexton reason'd well; And justly half the merit claim'd, Because he rang the bell.
A LOVE POEM FROM A PHYSICIAN TO HIS MISTRESS
WRITTEN AT LONDON
By poets we are well assured That love, alas! can ne'er be cured; A complicated heap of ills, Despising boluses and pills. Ah! Chloe, this I find is true, Since first I gave my heart to you. Now, by your cruelty hard bound, I strain my guts, my colon wound. Now jealousy my grumbling tripes Assaults with grating, grinding gripes. When pity in those eyes I view, My bowels wambling make me spew. When I an amorous kiss design'd, I belch'd a hurricane of wind. Once you a gentle sigh let fall; Remember how I suck'd it all; What colic pangs from thence I felt, Had you but known, your heart would melt, Like ruffling winds in cavern pent, Till Nature pointed out a vent. How have you torn my heart to pieces With maggots, humours, and caprices! By which I got the hemorrhoids; And loathsome worms my anus voids. Whene'er I hear a rival named, I feel my body all inflamed; Which, breaking out in boils and blains, With yellow filth my linen stains; Or, parch'd with unextinguish'd thirst, Small-beer I guzzle till I burst; And then I drag a bloated corpus, Swell'd with a dropsy, like a porpus; When, if I cannot purge or stale, I must be tapp'd to fill a pail.
[Footnote 1: The Dean of St. Paul's, father to the Bishop.—H.]
ON SIGNORA DOMITILLA
Our schoolmaster may roar i' th' fit, Of classic beauty, haec et illa; Not all his birch inspires such wit As th'ogling beams of Domitilla.
Let nobles toast, in bright champaign, Nymphs higher born than Domitilla; I'll drink her health, again, again, In Berkeley's tar, or sars'parilla.
At Goodman's Fields I've much admired The postures strange of Monsieur Brilla; But what are they to the soft step, The gliding air of Domitilla?
Virgil has eternized in song The flying footsteps of Camilla; Sure, as a prophet, he was wrong; He might have dream'd of Domitilla.
Great Theodose condemn'd a town For thinking ill of his Placilla: And deuce take London! if some knight O' th' city wed not Domitilla.
Wheeler, Sir George, in travels wise, Gives us a medal of Plantilla; But O! the empress has not eyes, Nor lips, nor breast, like Domitilla.
Not all the wealth of plunder'd Italy, Piled on the mules of king At-tila, Is worth one glove (I'll not tell a bit a lie) Or garter, snatch'd from Domitilla.
Five years a nymph at certain hamlet, Y-cleped Harrow of the Hill, a- —bused much my heart, and was a damn'd let To verse—but now for Domitilla.
Dan Pope consigns Belinda's watch To the fair sylphid Momentilla, And thus I offer up my catch To the snow-white hands of Domitilla.
[Footnote 1: Verses to be made upon a given name or word, at the end of a line, and to which rhymes must be found.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, famous, inter alia, for his enthusiasm in urging the use of tar-water for all kinds of complaints. See his Works, edit. Fraser. Fielding mentions it favourably as a remedy for dropsy, in the Introduction to his "Journal of a voyage to Lisbon"; and see Austin Dobson's note to his edition of the "Journal."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: "Aeneid," xi.]
[Footnote 4: Qu. Flaccilla? see Gibbon, iii, chap, xxvii.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 5: Who lived from 1650 to 1723, and wrote and published several books of travels in Greece and Italy, etc.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 6: See "The Rape of the Lock."]
HELTER SKELTER; OR, THE HUE AND CRY AFTER THE ATTORNEYS UPON THEIR RIDING THE CIRCUIT
Now the active young attorneys Briskly travel on their journeys, Looking big as any giants, On the horses of their clients; Like so many little Marses With their tilters at their a—s, Brazen-hilted, lately burnish'd, And with harness-buckles furnish'd, And with whips and spurs so neat, And with jockey-coats complete, And with boots so very greasy, And with saddles eke so easy, And with bridles fine and gay, Bridles borrow'd for a day, Bridles destined far to roam, Ah! never, never to come home. And with hats so very big, sir, And with powder'd caps and wigs, sir, And with ruffles to be shown, Cambric ruffles not their own; And with Holland shirts so white, Shirts becoming to the sight, Shirts bewrought with different letters, As belonging to their betters. With their pretty tinsel'd boxes, Gotten from their dainty doxies, And with rings so very trim, Lately taken out of lim— And with very little pence, And as very little sense; With some law, but little justice, Having stolen from my hostess, From the barber and the cutler, Like the soldier from the sutler; From the vintner and the tailor, Like the felon from the jailor; Into this and t'other county, Living on the public bounty; Thorough town and thorough village, All to plunder, all to pillage: Thorough mountains, thorough valleys, Thorough stinking lanes and alleys, Some to—kiss with farmers' spouses, And make merry in their houses; Some to tumble country wenches On their rushy beds and benches; And if they begin a fray, Draw their swords, and——run away; All to murder equity, And to take a double fee; Till the people are all quiet, And forget to broil and riot, Low in pocket, cow'd in courage, Safely glad to sup their porridge, And vacation's over—then, Hey, for London town again.
[Footnote 1: Limbo, any place of misery and restraint. "For he no sooner was at large, But Trulla straight brought on the charge, And in the selfsame Limbo put The knight and squire where he was shut." Hudibras, Part i, canto iii, 1,000. Here abbreviated by Swift as a cant term for a pawn shop.—W. E. B.]
The life of man to represent, And turn it all to ridicule, Wit did a puppet-show invent, Where the chief actor is a fool.
The gods of old were logs of wood, And worship was to puppets paid; In antic dress the idol stood, And priest and people bow'd the head.
No wonder then, if art began The simple votaries to frame, To shape in timber foolish man, And consecrate the block to fame.
From hence poetic fancy learn'd That trees might rise from human forms; The body to a trunk be turn'd, And branches issue from the arms.
Thus Daedalus and Ovid too, That man's a blockhead, have confest: Powel and Stretch the hint pursue; Life is a farce, the world a jest.
The same great truth South Sea has proved On that famed theatre, the alley; Where thousands, by directors moved Are now sad monuments of folly.
What Momus was of old to Jove, The same a Harlequin is now; The former was buffoon above, The latter is a Punch below.
This fleeting scene is but a stage, Where various images appear; In different parts of youth and age, Alike the prince and peasant share.
Some draw our eyes by being great, False pomp conceals mere wood within; And legislators ranged in state Are oft but wisdom in machine.
A stock may chance to wear a crown, And timber as a lord take place; A statue may put on a frown, And cheat us with a thinking face.
Others are blindly led away, And made to act for ends unknown; By the mere spring of wires they play, And speak in language not their own.
Too oft, alas! a scolding wife Usurps a jolly fellow's throne; And many drink the cup of life, Mix'd and embitter'd by a Joan.
In short, whatever men pursue, Of pleasure, folly, war, or love: This mimic race brings all to view: Alike they dress, they talk, they move.
Go on, great Stretch, with artful hand, Mortals to please and to deride; And, when death breaks thy vital band, Thou shalt put on a puppet's pride.