The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume I (of 2)
by Jonathan Swift
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Thou shalt in puny wood be shown, Thy image shall preserve thy fame; Ages to come thy worth shall own, Point at thy limbs, and tell thy name.

Tell Tom,[2] he draws a farce in vain, Before he looks in nature's glass; Puns cannot form a witty scene, Nor pedantry for humour pass.

To make men act as senseless wood, And chatter in a mystic strain, Is a mere force on flesh and blood, And shows some error in the brain.

He that would thus refine on thee, And turn thy stage into a school, The jest of Punch will ever be, And stand confest the greater fool.

[Footnote 1: Two famous puppet-show men.]

[Footnote 2: Sheridan.]



SIR, 'twas a most unfriendly part In you, who ought to know my heart, Are well acquainted with my zeal For all the female commonweal— How could it come into your mind To pitch on me, of all mankind, Against the sex to write a satire, And brand me for a woman-hater? On me, who think them all so fair, They rival Venus to a hair; Their virtues never ceased to sing, Since first I learn'd to tune a string? Methinks I hear the ladies cry, Will he his character belie? Must never our misfortunes end? And have we lost our only friend? Ah, lovely nymphs! remove your fears, No more let fall those precious tears. Sooner shall, etc.

[Here several verses are omitted.]

The hound be hunted by the hare, Than I turn rebel to the fair. 'Twas you engaged me first to write, Then gave the subject out of spite: The journal of a modern dame, Is, by my promise, what you claim. My word is past, I must submit; And yet perhaps you may be bit. I but transcribe; for not a line Of all the satire shall be mine. Compell'd by you to tag in rhymes The common slanders of the times, Of modern times, the guilt is yours, And me my innocence secures. Unwilling Muse, begin thy lay, The annals of a female day. By nature turn'd to play the rake well, (As we shall show you in the sequel,) The modern dame is waked by noon, (Some authors say not quite so soon,) Because, though sore against her will, She sat all night up at quadrille. She stretches, gapes, unglues her eyes, And asks if it be time to rise; Of headache and the spleen complains; And then, to cool her heated brains, Her night-gown and her slippers brought her, Takes a large dram of citron water. Then to her glass; and, "Betty, pray, Don't I look frightfully to-day? But was it not confounded hard? Well, if I ever touch a card! Four matadores, and lose codille! Depend upon't, I never will. But run to Tom, and bid him fix The ladies here to-night by six." "Madam, the goldsmith waits below; He says, his business is to know If you'll redeem the silver cup He keeps in pawn?"—"Why, show him up." "Your dressing-plate he'll be content To take, for interest cent. per cent. And, madam, there's my Lady Spade Has sent this letter by her maid." "Well, I remember what she won; And has she sent so soon to dun? Here, carry down these ten pistoles My husband left to pay for coals: I thank my stars they all are light, And I may have revenge to-night." Now, loitering o'er her tea and cream, She enters on her usual theme; Her last night's ill success repeats, Calls Lady Spade a hundred cheats: "She slipt spadillo in her breast, Then thought to turn it to a jest: There's Mrs. Cut and she combine, And to each other give the sign." Through every game pursues her tale, Like hunters o'er their evening ale. Now to another scene give place: Enter the folks with silks and lace: Fresh matter for a world of chat, Right Indian this, right Mechlin that: "Observe this pattern—there's a stuff; I can have customers enough. Dear madam, you are grown so hard— This lace is worth twelve pounds a-yard: Madam, if there be truth in man, I never sold so cheap a fan." This business of importance o'er, And madam almost dress'd by four; The footman, in his usual phrase, Comes up with, "Madam, dinner stays." She answers, in her usual style, "The cook must keep it back a while; I never can have time to dress, No woman breathing takes up less; I'm hurried so, it makes me sick; I wish the dinner at Old Nick." At table now she acts her part, Has all the dinner cant by heart: "I thought we were to dine alone, My dear; for sure, if I had known This company would come to-day— But really 'tis my spouse's way! He's so unkind, he never sends To tell when he invites his friends: I wish ye may but have enough!" And while with all this paltry stuff She sits tormenting every guest, Nor gives her tongue one moment's rest, In phrases batter'd, stale, and trite, Which modern ladies call polite; You see the booby husband sit In admiration at her wit! But let me now a while survey Our madam o'er her evening tea; Surrounded with her noisy clans Of prudes, coquettes, and harridans, When, frighted at the clamorous crew, Away the God of Silence flew, And fair Discretion left the place, And modesty with blushing face; Now enters overweening Pride, And Scandal, ever gaping wide, Hypocrisy with frown severe, Scurrility with gibing air; Rude laughter seeming like to burst, And Malice always judging worst; And Vanity with pocket glass, And Impudence with front of brass; And studied Affectation came, Each limb and feature out of frame; While Ignorance, with brain of lead, Flew hovering o'er each female head. Why should I ask of thee, my Muse, A hundred tongues, as poets use, When, to give every dame her due, A hundred thousand were too few? Or how should I, alas! relate The sum of all their senseless prate, Their innuendoes, hints, and slanders, Their meanings lewd, and double entendres? Now comes the general scandal charge; What some invent, the rest enlarge; And, "Madam, if it be a lie, You have the tale as cheap as I; I must conceal my author's name: But now 'tis known to common fame." Say, foolish females, bold and blind, Say, by what fatal turn of mind, Are you on vices most severe, Wherein yourselves have greatest share? Thus every fool herself deludes; The prude condemns the absent prudes: Mopsa, who stinks her spouse to death, Accuses Chloe's tainted breath; Hircina, rank with sweat, presumes To censure Phyllis for perfumes; While crooked Cynthia, sneering, says, That Florimel wears iron stays; Chloe, of every coxcomb jealous, Admires how girls can talk with fellows; And, full of indignation, frets, That women should be such coquettes: Iris, for scandal most notorious, Cries, "Lord, the world is so censorious!" And Rufa, with her combs of lead, Whispers that Sappho's hair is red: Aura, whose tongue you hear a mile hence, Talks half a day in praise of silence; And Sylvia, full of inward guilt, Calls Amoret an arrant jilt. Now voices over voices rise, While each to be the loudest vies: They contradict, affirm, dispute, No single tongue one moment mute; All mad to speak, and none to hearken, They set the very lap-dog barking; Their chattering makes a louder din Than fishwives o'er a cup of gin; Not schoolboys at a barring out Raised ever such incessant rout; The jumbling particles of matter In chaos made not such a clatter; Far less the rabble roar and rail, When drunk with sour election ale. Nor do they trust their tongues alone, But speak a language of their own; Can read a nod, a shrug, a look, Far better than a printed book; Convey a libel in a frown, And wink a reputation down; Or by the tossing of the fan, Describe the lady and the man. But see, the female club disbands, Each twenty visits on her hands. Now all alone poor madam sits In vapours and hysteric fits; "And was not Tom this morning sent? I'd lay my life he never went; Past six, and not a living soul! I might by this have won a vole." A dreadful interval of spleen! How shall we pass the time between? "Here, Betty, let me take my drops; And feel my pulse, I know it stops; This head of mine, lord, how it swims! And such a pain in all my limbs!" "Dear madam, try to take a nap"— But now they hear a footman's rap: "Go, run, and light the ladies up: It must be one before we sup." The table, cards, and counters, set, And all the gamester ladies met, Her spleen and fits recover'd quite, Our madam can sit up all night; "Whoever comes, I'm not within." Quadrille's the word, and so begin. How can the Muse her aid impart, Unskill'd in all the terms of art? Or in harmonious numbers put The deal, the shuffle, and the cut? The superstitious whims relate, That fill a female gamester's pate? What agony of soul she feels To see a knave's inverted heels! She draws up card by card, to find Good fortune peeping from behind; With panting heart, and earnest eyes, In hope to see spadillo rise; In vain, alas! her hope is fed; She draws an ace, and sees it red; In ready counters never pays, But pawns her snuff-box, rings, and keys; Ever with some new fancy struck, Tries twenty charms to mend her luck. "This morning, when the parson came, I said I should not win a game. This odious chair, how came I stuck in't? I think I never had good luck in't. I'm so uneasy in my stays: Your fan, a moment, if you please. Stand farther, girl, or get you gone; I always lose when you look on." "Lord! madam, you have lost codille: I never saw you play so ill." "Nay, madam, give me leave to say, 'Twas you that threw the game away: When Lady Tricksey play'd a four, You took it with a matadore; I saw you touch your wedding ring Before my lady call'd a king; You spoke a word began with H, And I know whom you meant to teach, Because you held the king of hearts; Fie, madam, leave these little arts." "That's not so bad as one that rubs Her chair to call the king of clubs; And makes her partner understand A matadore is in her hand." "Madam, you have no cause to flounce, I swear I saw you thrice renounce." "And truly, madam, I know when Instead of five you scored me ten. Spadillo here has got a mark; A child may know it in the dark: I guess'd the hand: it seldom fails: I wish some folks would pare their nails." While thus they rail, and scold, and storm, It passes but for common form: But, conscious that they all speak true, And give each other but their due, It never interrupts the game, Or makes them sensible of shame. The time too precious now to waste, The supper gobbled up in haste; Again afresh to cards they run, As if they had but just begun. But I shall not again repeat, How oft they squabble, snarl, and cheat. At last they hear the watchman knock, "A frosty morn—past four o'clock." The chairmen are not to be found, "Come, let us play the other round." Now all in haste they huddle on Their hoods, their cloaks, and get them gone; But, first, the winner must invite The company to-morrow night. Unlucky madam, left in tears, (Who now again quadrille forswears,) With empty purse, and aching head, Steals to her sleeping spouse to bed.


Logicians have but ill defined As rational, the human kind; Reason, they say, belongs to man, But let them prove it if they can. Wise Aristotle and Smiglesius, By ratiocinations specious, Have strove to prove, with great precision, With definition and division, Homo est ratione praeditum; But for my soul I cannot credit 'em, And must, in spite of them, maintain, That man and all his ways are vain; And that this boasted lord of nature Is both a weak and erring creature; That instinct is a surer guide Than reason, boasting mortals' pride; And that brute beasts are far before 'em. Deus est anima brutorum. Whoever knew an honest brute At law his neighbour prosecute, Bring action for assault or battery, Or friend beguile with lies and flattery? O'er plains they ramble unconfined, No politics disturb their mind; They eat their meals, and take their sport Nor know who's in or out at court. They never to the levee go To treat, as dearest friend, a foe: They never importune his grace, Nor ever cringe to men in place: Nor undertake a dirty job, Nor draw the quill to write for Bob.[1] Fraught with invective, they ne'er go To folks at Paternoster Row. No judges, fiddlers, dancing-masters, No pickpockets, or poetasters, Are known to honest quadrupeds; No single brute his fellow leads. Brutes never meet in bloody fray, Nor cut each other's throats for pay. Of beasts, it is confess'd, the ape Comes nearest us in human shape; Like man, he imitates each fashion, And malice is his lurking passion: But, both in malice and grimaces, A courtier any ape surpasses. Behold him, humbly cringing, wait Upon the minister of state; View him soon after to inferiors Aping the conduct of superiors; He promises with equal air, And to perform takes equal care. He in his turn finds imitators, At court, the porters, lacqueys, waiters, Their masters' manner still contract, And footmen, lords and dukes can act. Thus, at the court, both great and small Behave alike, for all ape all.

[Footnote 1: Sir Robert Walpole, and his employment of party-writers.—W. E. B.]



Sir E. Coke says: "Every member of the house being a counsellor should have three properties of the elephant; first that he hath no gall; secondly, that he is inflexible and cannot bow; thirdly, that he is of a most ripe and perfect memory ... first, to be without gall, that is, without malice, rancor, heat, and envy: ... secondly, that he be constant, inflexible, and not be bowed, or turned from the right either for fear, reward, or favour, nor in judgement respect any person: ... thirdly, of a ripe memory, that they remembering perils past, might prevent dangers to come."—W. E. B.

Ere bribes convince you whom to choose, The precepts of Lord Coke peruse. Observe an elephant, says he, And let him like your member be: First take a man that's free from Gaul, For elephants have none at all; In flocks or parties he must keep; For elephants live just like sheep. Stubborn in honour he must be; For elephants ne'er bend the knee. Last, let his memory be sound, In which your elephant's profound; That old examples from the wise May prompt him in his noes and ayes. Thus the Lord Coke hath gravely writ, In all the form of lawyer's wit: And then, with Latin and all that, Shows the comparison is pat. Yet in some points my lord is wrong, One's teeth are sold, and t'other's tongue: Now, men of parliament, God knows, Are more like elephants of shows; Whose docile memory and sense Are turn'd to trick, to gather pence; To get their master half-a-crown, They spread the flag, or lay it down: Those who bore bulwarks on their backs, And guarded nations from attacks, Now practise every pliant gesture, Opening their trunk for every tester. Siam, for elephants so famed, Is not with England to be named: Their elephants by men are sold; Ours sell themselves, and take the gold.



Dublin, Sept. 7, 1728.

"A SLAVE to crowds, scorch'd with the summer's heats, In courts the wretched lawyer toils and sweats; While smiling Nature, in her best attire, Regales each sense, and vernal joys inspire. Can he, who knows that real good should please, Barter for gold his liberty and ease?"— This Paulus preach'd:—When, entering at the door, Upon his board the client pours the ore: He grasps the shining gift, pores o'er the cause, Forgets the sun, and dozes on the laws.

[Footnote 1: A polite and elegant scholar; at that time an eminent pleader at the bar in Dublin, and afterwards advanced to be one of the Justices of the Common Pleas.—H.]


Lindsay mistakes the matter quite, And honest Paulus judges right. Then, why these quarrels to the sun, Without whose aid you're all undone? Did Paulus e'er complain of sweat? Did Paulus e'er the sun forget; The influence of whose golden beams Soon licks up all unsavoury steams? The sun, you say, his face has kiss'd: It has; but then it greased his fist. True lawyers, for the wisest ends, Have always been Apollo's friends. Not for his superficial powers Of ripening fruits, and gilding flowers; Not for inspiring poets' brains With penniless and starveling strains; Not for his boasted healing art; Not for his skill to shoot the dart; Nor yet because he sweetly fiddles; Nor for his prophecies in riddles: But for a more substantial cause— Apollo's patron of the laws; Whom Paulus ever must adore, As parent of the golden ore, By Phoebus, an incestuous birth, Begot upon his grandam Earth; By Phoebus first produced to light; By Vulcan form'd so round and bright: Then offer'd at the shrine of Justice, By clients to her priests and trustees. Nor, when we see Astraea[1] stand With even balance in her hand, Must we suppose she has in view, How to give every man his due; Her scales you see her only hold, To weigh her priests' the lawyers' gold. Now, should I own your case was grievous, Poor sweaty Paulus, who'd believe us? 'Tis very true, and none denies, At least, that such complaints are wise: 'Tis wise, no doubt, as clients fat you more, To cry, like statesmen, Quanta patimur! But, since the truth must needs be stretched To prove that lawyers are so wretched, This paradox I'll undertake, For Paulus' and for Lindsay's sake; By topics, which, though I abomine 'em, May serve as arguments ad hominem: Yet I disdain to offer those Made use of by detracting foes. I own the curses of mankind Sit light upon a lawyer's mind: The clamours of ten thousand tongues Break not his rest, nor hurt his lungs; I own, his conscience always free, (Provided he has got his fee,) Secure of constant peace within, He knows no guilt, who knows no sin. Yet well they merit to be pitied, By clients always overwitted. And though the gospel seems to say, What heavy burdens lawyers lay Upon the shoulders of their neighbour, Nor lend a finger to their labour, Always for saving their own bacon; No doubt, the text is here mistaken: The copy's false, the sense is rack'd: To prove it, I appeal to fact; And thus by demonstration show What burdens lawyers undergo. With early clients at his door, Though he was drunk the night before, And crop-sick, with unclubb'd-for wine, The wretch must be at court by nine; Half sunk beneath his briefs and bag, As ridden by a midnight hag; Then, from the bar, harangues the bench, In English vile, and viler French, And Latin, vilest of the three; And all for poor ten moidores fee! Of paper how is he profuse, With periods long, in terms abstruse! What pains he takes to be prolix! A thousand lines to stand for six! Of common sense without a word in! And is not this a grievous burden? The lawyer is a common drudge, To fight our cause before the judge: And, what is yet a greater curse, Condemn'd to bear his client's purse: While he at ease, secure and light, Walks boldly home at dead of night; When term is ended, leaves the town, Trots to his country mansion down; And, disencumber'd of his load, No danger dreads upon the road; Despises rapparees,[2] and rides Safe through the Newry mountains' sides. Lindsay, 'tis you have set me on, To state this question pro and con. My satire may offend, 'tis true; However, it concerns not you. I own, there may, in every clan, Perhaps, be found one honest man; Yet link them close, in this they jump, To be but rascals in the lump. Imagine Lindsay at the bar, He's much the same his brethren are; Well taught by practice to imbibe The fundamentals of his tribe: And in his client's just defence, Must deviate oft from common sense; And make his ignorance discern'd, To get the name of counsel-learn'd, (As lucus comes a non lucendo,) And wisely do as other men do: But shift him to a better scene, Among his crew of rogues in grain; Surrounded with companions fit, To taste his humour, sense, and wit; You'd swear he never took a fee, Nor knew in law his A, B, C. 'Tis hard, where dulness overrules, To keep good sense in crowds of fools. And we admire the man, who saves His honesty in crowds of knaves; Nor yields up virtue at discretion, To villains of his own profession. Lindsay, you know what pains you take In both, yet hardly save your stake; And will you venture both anew, To sit among that venal crew, That pack of mimic legislators, Abandon'd, stupid, slavish praters? For as the rabble daub and rifle The fool who scrambles for a trifle; Who for his pains is cuff'd and kick'd, Drawn through the dirt, his pockets pick'd; You must expect the like disgrace, Scrambling with rogues to get a place; Must lose the honour you have gain'd, Your numerous virtues foully stain'd: Disclaim for ever all pretence To common honesty and sense; And join in friendship with a strict tie, To M—l, C—y, and Dick Tighe.[3]

[Footnote 1: The Goddess of Justice, the last of the celestials to leave the earth. "Ultima caelestum terras Astraea reliquit," Ovid, "Met.," i, 150.—W. E .B.]

[Footnote 2: Highwaymen of that time were so called.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: Richard Tighe, Esq. He was a member of the Irish Parliament, and held by Dean Swift in utter abomination. He is several times mentioned in the Journal to Stella: how he used to beat his wife, and how she deserved it. "Prose Works," vol. ii, pp. 229, 242, etc.—W. E. B.]



"Sunt quibus in Satira," etc.



Since there are persons who complain There's too much satire in my vein; That I am often found exceeding The rules of raillery and breeding; With too much freedom treat my betters, Not sparing even men of letters: You, who are skill'd in lawyers' lore, What's your advice? Shall I give o'er? Nor ever fools or knaves expose, Either in verse or humorous prose: And to avoid all future ill, In my scrutoire lock up my quill?


Since you are pleased to condescend To ask the judgment of a friend, Your case consider'd, I must think You should withdraw from pen and ink, Forbear your poetry and jokes, And live like other Christian folks; Or if the Muses must inspire Your fancy with their pleasing fire, Take subjects safer for your wit Than those on which you lately writ. Commend the times, your thoughts correct, And follow the prevailing sect; Assert that Hyde,[2] in writing story, Shows all the malice of a Tory; While Burnet,[3] in his deathless page, Discovers freedom without rage. To Woolston[4] recommend our youth, For learning, probity, and truth; That noble genius, who unbinds The chains which fetter freeborn minds; Redeems us from the slavish fears Which lasted near two thousand years; He can alone the priesthood humble, Make gilded spires and altars tumble.


Must I commend against my conscience, Such stupid blasphemy and nonsense; To such a subject tune my lyre, And sing like one of Milton's choir, Where devils to a vale retreat, And call the laws of Wisdom, Fate; Lament upon their hapless fall, That Force free Virtue should enthrall? Or shall the charms of Wealth and Power Make me pollute the Muses' bower?


As from the tripod of Apollo, Hear from my desk the words that follow: "Some, by philosophers misled, Must honour you alive and dead; And such as know what Greece has writ, Must taste your irony and wit; While most that are, or would be great, Must dread your pen, your person hate; And you on Drapier's hill[5] must lie, And there without a mitre die."

[Footnote 1: Mr. Lindsay.—F.]

[Footnote 2: See Clarendon's "History of the Rebellion."]

[Footnote 3: In his "History of his own Time," and "History of the Reformation."]

[Footnote 4: An enthusiast and a freethinker. For a full account of him, see "Dictionary of National Biography." His later works on the Miracles caused him to be prosecuted, fined, and imprisoned. He died in 1733.—W.E.B.]

[Footnote 5: In the county of Armagh.—F.]



An ass's hoof alone can hold That poisonous juice, which kills by cold. Methought, when I this poem read, No vessel but an ass's head Such frigid fustian could contain; I mean, the head without the brain. The cold conceits, the chilling thoughts, Went down like stupifying draughts; I found my head begin to swim, A numbness crept through every limb. In haste, with imprecations dire, I threw the volume in the fire; When, (who could think?) though cold as ice, It burnt to ashes in a trice. How could I more enhance its fame? Though born in snow, it died in flame.


Our brethren of England, who love us so dear, And in all they do for us so kindly do mean, (A blessing upon them!) have sent us this year, For the good of our church, a true English dean. A holier priest ne'er was wrapt up in crape, The worst you can say, he committed a rape.

In his journey to Dublin, he lighted at Chester, And there he grew fond of another man's wife; Burst into her chamber and would have caress'd her; But she valued her honour much more than her life. She bustled, and struggled, and made her escape To a room full of guests, for fear of a rape.

The dean he pursued, to recover his game; And now to attack her again he prepares: But the company stood in defence of the dame, They cudgell'd, and cuff'd him, and kick'd him down stairs. His deanship was now in a damnable scrape, And this was no time for committing a rape.

To Dublin he comes, to the bagnio he goes, And orders the landlord to bring him a whore; No scruple came on him his gown to expose, 'Twas what all his life he had practised before. He made himself drunk with the juice of the grape, And got a good clap, but committed no rape.

The dean, and his landlord, a jolly comrade, Resolved for a fortnight to swim in delight; For why, they had both been brought up to the trade Of drinking all day, and of whoring all night. His landlord was ready his deanship to ape In every debauch but committing a rape.

This Protestant zealot, this English divine, In church and in state was of principles sound; Was truer than Steele to the Hanover line, And grieved that a Tory should live above ground. Shall a subject so loyal be hang'd by the nape, For no other crime but committing a rape?

By old Popish canons, as wise men have penn'd 'em, Each priest had a concubine jure ecclesiae; Who'd be Dean of Fernes without a commendam? And precedents we can produce, if it please ye: Then why should the dean, when whores are so cheap, Be put to the peril and toil of a rape?

If fortune should please but to take such a crotchet, (To thee I apply, great Smedley's successor,) To give thee lawn sleeves, a mitre, and rochet, Whom wouldst thou resemble? I leave thee a guesser. But I only behold thee in Atherton's[2] shape, For sodomy hang'd; as thou for a rape.

Ah! dost thou not envy the brave Colonel Chartres, Condemn'd for thy crime at threescore and ten? To hang him, all England would lend him their garters, Yet he lives, and is ready to ravish again.[3] Then throttle thyself with an ell of strong tape, For thou hast not a groat to atone for a rape.

The dean he was vex'd that his whores were so willing; He long'd for a girl that would struggle and squall; He ravish'd her fairly, and saved a good shilling; But here was to pay the devil and all. His troubles and sorrows now come in a heap, And hang'd he must be for committing a rape.

If maidens are ravish'd, it is their own choice: Why are they so wilful to struggle with men? If they would but lie quiet, and stifle their voice, No devil nor dean could ravish them then. Nor would there be need of a strong hempen cape Tied round the dean's neck for committing a rape.

Our church and our state dear England maintains, For which all true Protestant hearts should be glad: She sends us our bishops, our judges, and deans, And better would give us, if better she had. But, lord! how the rabble will stare and will gape, When the good English dean is hang'd up for a rape!

[Footnote 1: "DUBLIN, June 6. The Rev. Dean Sawbridge, having surrendered himself on his indictment for a rape, was arraigned at the bar of the Court of King's Bench, and is to be tried next Monday."—London Evening Post, June 16, 1730. "DUBLIN, June 13. The Rev. Thomas Sawbridge, Dean of Fernes, who was indicted for ravishing Susanna Runkard, and whose trial was put off for some time past, on motion of the king's counsel on behalf of the said Susanna, was yesterday tried in the Court of King's Bench, and acquitted. It is reported, that the Dean intends to indict her for perjury, he being in the county of Wexford when she swore the rape was committed against her in the city of Dublin."—Daily Post-Boy, June 23, 1730.—Nichols.]

[Footnote 2: A Bishop of Waterford, sent from England a hundred years ago, was hanged at Arbor-hill, near Dublin.—See "The penitent death of a woful sinner, or the penitent death of John Atherton, executed at Dublin the 5th of December, 1640. With some annotations upon several passages in it". As also the sermon, with some further enlargements, preached at his burial. By Nicholas Barnard, Dean of Ardagh, in Ireland.

"Quis in seculo peccavit enormius Paulo? Quis in religione gravius Petro? illi tamen poenitentiam assequuti sunt non solum ministerium sed magisterium sanctitatis. Nolite ergo ante tempus judicare, quia fortasse quos vos laudatis, Deus reprehendit, et quos vos reprehenditis, ille laudabit, priminovissimi, et novissimi primi. Petr. Chrysolog. Dublin, Printed by the Society of Stationers, 1641."]

[Footnote 3: This trial took place in 1723; but being only found guilty of an assault, with intent to commit the crime, the worthy colonel was fined L300 to the private party prosecuting. See a full account of Chartres in the notes to Pope's "Moral Essays," Epistle III, and the Satirical Epitaph by Arbuthnot. Carruthers' Edition.—W. E. B.]



The thresher Duck[1] could o'er the queen prevail, The proverb says, "no fence against a flail." From threshing corn he turns to thresh his brains; For which her majesty allows him grains: Though 'tis confest, that those, who ever saw His poems, think them all not worth a straw! Thrice happy Duck, employ'd in threshing stubble, Thy toil is lessen'd, and thy profits double.

[Footnote 1: Who was appointed by Queen Caroline librarian to a small collection of books in a building called Merlin's Cave, in the Royal Gardens of Richmond. "How shall we fill a library with wit, When Merlin's cave is half unfurnish'd yet?" POPE, Imitations of Horace, ii, Ep. 1.—W. E. B.]


Five hours (and who can do it less in?) By haughty Celia spent in dressing; The goddess from her chamber issues, Array'd in lace, brocades, and tissues. Strephon, who found the room was void, And Betty otherwise employ'd, Stole in, and took a strict survey Of all the litter as it lay: Whereof, to make the matter clear, An inventory follows here. And, first, a dirty smock appear'd, Beneath the arm-pits well besmear'd; Strephon, the rogue, display'd it wide, And turn'd it round on ev'ry side: On such a point, few words are best, And Strephon bids us guess the rest; But swears, how damnably the men lie In calling Celia sweet and cleanly. Now listen, while he next produces The various combs for various uses; Fill'd up with dirt so closely fixt, No brush could force a way betwixt; A paste of composition rare, Sweat, dandriff, powder, lead, and hair: A fore-head cloth with oil upon't, To smooth the wrinkles on her front: Here alum-flour, to stop the steams Exhaled from sour unsavoury streams: There night-gloves made of Tripsey's hide, [1]Bequeath'd by Tripsey when she died; With puppy-water, beauty's help, Distil'd from Tripsey's darling whelp. Here gallipots and vials placed, Some fill'd with washes, some with paste; Some with pomatums, paints, and slops, And ointments good for scabby chops. Hard by a filthy bason stands, Foul'd with the scouring of her hands: The bason takes whatever comes, The scrapings from her teeth and gums, A nasty compound of all hues, For here she spits, and here she spues. But, oh! it turn'd poor Strephon's bowels When he beheld and smelt the towels, Begumm'd, bematter'd, and beslim'd, With dirt, and sweat, and ear-wax grim'd; No object Strephon's eye escapes; Here petticoats in frouzy heaps; Nor be the handkerchiefs forgot, All varnish'd o'er with snuff and snot. The stockings why should I expose, Stain'd with the moisture of her toes,[2] Or greasy coifs, and pinners reeking, Which Celia slept at least a week in? A pair of tweezers next he found, To pluck her brows in arches round; Or hairs that sink the forehead low, Or on her chin like bristles grow. The virtues we must not let pass Of Celia's magnifying glass; When frighted Strephon cast his eye on't, It shew'd the visage of a giant: A glass that can to sight disclose The smallest worm in Celia's nose, And faithfully direct her nail To squeeze it out from head to tail; For, catch it nicely by the head, It must come out, alive or dead. Why, Strephon, will you tell the rest? And must you needs describe the chest? That careless wench! no creature warn her To move it out from yonder corner! But leave it standing full in sight, For you to exercise your spight? In vain the workman shew'd his wit, With rings and hinges counterfeit, To make it seem in this disguise A cabinet to vulgar eyes: Which Strephon ventur'd to look in, Resolved to go thro' thick and thin. He lifts the lid: there needs no more, He smelt it all the time before. As, from within Pandora's box, When Epimetheus op'd the locks, A sudden universal crew Of human evils upward flew; He still was comforted to find That hope at last remain'd behind: So Strephon, lifting up the lid, To view what in the chest was hid, The vapours flew from up the vent; But Strephon, cautious, never meant The bottom of the pan to grope, And foul his hands in search of hope. O! ne'er may such a vile machine Be once in Celia's chamber seen! O! may she better learn to keep Those "secrets of the hoary deep." [3] As mutton-cutlets, prime of meat, Which, tho' with art you salt and beat, As laws of cookery require, And toast them at the clearest fire; If from upon the hopeful chops The fat upon a cinder drops, To stinking smoke it turns the flame, Pois'ning the flesh from whence it came, And up exhales a greasy stench, For which you curse the careless wench: So things which must not be exprest, When drop'd into the reeking chest, Send up an excremental smell To taint the part from whence they fell: The petticoats and gown perfume, And waft a stink round ev'ry room. Thus finishing his grand survey, Disgusted Strephon slunk away; Repeating in his amorous fits, "Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia sh—!" But Vengeance, goddess never sleeping, Soon punish'd Strephon for his peeping: His foul imagination links Each dame he sees with all her stinks; And, if unsavoury odours fly, Conceives a lady standing by. All women his description fits, And both ideas jump like wits; By vicious fancy coupled fast, And still appearing in contrast. I pity wretched Strephon, blind To all the charms of woman kind. Should I the Queen of Love refuse, Because she rose from stinking ooze? To him that looks behind the scene, Statira's but some pocky quean. When Celia in her glory shews, If Strephon would but stop his nose, (Who now so impiously blasphemes Her ointments, daubs, and paints, and creams, Her washes, slops, and every clout, With which he makes so foul a rout;) He soon would learn to think like me, And bless his ravish'd sight to see Such order from confusion sprung, Such gaudy tulips raised from dung.

[Footnote 1: Var. "The bitch bequeath'd her when she died."—1732.]

[Footnote 2: Var. "marks of stinking toes."—1732.]

[Footnote 3: Milton, "Paradise Lost," ii, 890-1: "Before their eyes in sudden view appear The secrets of the hoary deep."—W. E. B.]


If neither brass nor marble can withstand The mortal force of Time's destructive hand; If mountains sink to vales, if cities die, And lessening rivers mourn their fountains dry; When my old cassock (said a Welsh divine) Is out at elbows, why should I repine?




Two college sophs of Cambridge growth, Both special wits and lovers both, Conferring, as they used to meet, On love, and books, in rapture sweet; (Muse, find me names to fit my metre, Cassinus this, and t'other Peter.) Friend Peter to Cassinus goes, To chat a while, and warm his nose: But such a sight was never seen, The lad lay swallow'd up in spleen. He seem'd as just crept out of bed; One greasy stocking round his head, The other he sat down to darn, With threads of different colour'd yarn; His breeches torn, exposing wide A ragged shirt and tawny hide. Scorch'd were his shins, his legs were bare, But well embrown'd with dirt and hair A rug was o'er his shoulders thrown, (A rug, for nightgown he had none,) His jordan stood in manner fitting Between his legs, to spew or spit in; His ancient pipe, in sable dyed, And half unsmoked, lay by his side. Him thus accoutred Peter found, With eyes in smoke and weeping drown'd; The leavings of his last night's pot On embers placed, to drink it hot. Why, Cassy, thou wilt dose thy pate: What makes thee lie a-bed so late? The finch, the linnet, and the thrush, Their matins chant in every bush; And I have heard thee oft salute Aurora with thy early flute. Heaven send thou hast not got the hyps! How! not a word come from thy lips? Then gave him some familiar thumps, A college joke to cure the dumps. The swain at last, with grief opprest, Cried, Celia! thrice, and sigh'd the rest. Dear Cassy, though to ask I dread, Yet ask I must—is Celia dead? How happy I, were that the worst! But I was fated to be curst! Come, tell us, has she play'd the whore? O Peter, would it were no more! Why, plague confound her sandy locks! Say, has the small or greater pox Sunk down her nose, or seam'd her face? Be easy, 'tis a common case. O Peter! beauty's but a varnish, Which time and accidents will tarnish: But Celia has contrived to blast Those beauties that might ever last. Nor can imagination guess, Nor eloquence divine express, How that ungrateful charming maid My purest passion has betray'd: Conceive the most envenom'd dart To pierce an injured lover's heart. Why, hang her; though she seem'd so coy, I know she loves the barber's boy. Friend Peter, this I could excuse, For every nymph has leave to choose; Nor have I reason to complain, She loves a more deserving swain. But, oh! how ill hast thou divined A crime, that shocks all human kind; A deed unknown to female race, At which the sun should hide his face: Advice in vain you would apply— Then leave me to despair and die. Ye kind Arcadians, on my urn These elegies and sonnets burn; And on the marble grave these rhymes, A monument to after-times— "Here Cassy lies, by Celia slain, And dying, never told his pain." Vain empty world, farewell. But hark, The loud Cerberian triple bark; And there—behold Alecto stand, A whip of scorpions in her hand: Lo, Charon from his leaky wherry Beckoning to waft me o'er the ferry: I come! I come! Medusa see, Her serpents hiss direct at me. Begone; unhand me, hellish fry: "Avaunt—ye cannot say 'twas I."[1] Dear Cassy, thou must purge and bleed; I fear thou wilt be mad indeed. But now, by friendship's sacred laws, I here conjure thee, tell the cause; And Celia's horrid fact relate: Thy friend would gladly share thy fate. To force it out, my heart must rend; Yet when conjured by such a friend— Think, Peter, how my soul is rack'd! These eyes, these eyes, beheld the fact. Now bend thine ear, since out it must; But, when thou seest me laid in dust, The secret thou shalt ne'er impart, Not to the nymph that keeps thy heart; (How would her virgin soul bemoan A crime to all her sex unknown!) Nor whisper to the tattling reeds The blackest of all female deeds; Nor blab it on the lonely rocks, Where Echo sits, and listening mocks; Nor let the Zephyr's treacherous gale Through Cambridge waft the direful tale; Nor to the chattering feather'd race Discover Celia's foul disgrace. But, if you fail, my spectre dread, Attending nightly round your bed— And yet I dare confide in you; So take my secret, and adieu: Nor wonder how I lost my wits: Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia sh—!

[Footnote 1: From "Macbeth," in Act III, Sc. iv: "Thou canst not say, I did it:" etc. "Avaunt, and quit my sight."]



Corinna, pride of Drury-Lane, For whom no shepherd sighs in vain; Never did Covent-Garden boast So bright a batter'd strolling toast! No drunken rake to pick her up, No cellar where on tick to sup; Returning at the midnight hour, Four stories climbing to her bower; Then, seated on a three-legg'd chair, Takes off her artificial hair; Now picking out a crystal eye, She wipes it clean, and lays it by. Her eyebrows from a mouse's hide Stuck on with art on either side, Pulls off with care, and first displays 'em, Then in a play-book smoothly lays 'em. Now dext'rously her plumpers draws, That serve to fill her hollow jaws, Untwists a wire, and from her gums A set of teeth completely comes; Pulls out the rags contrived to prop Her flabby dugs, and down they drop. Proceeding on, the lovely goddess Unlaces next her steel-ribb'd bodice, Which, by the operator's skill, Press down the lumps, the hollows fill. Up goes her hand, and off she slips The bolsters that supply her hips; With gentlest touch she next explores Her chancres, issues, running sores; Effects of many a sad disaster, And then to each applies a plaster: But must, before she goes to bed, Rub off the daubs of white and red, And smooth the furrows in her front With greasy paper stuck upon't. She takes a bolus ere she sleeps; And then between two blankets creeps. With pains of love tormented lies; Or, if she chance to close her eyes, Of Bridewell[1] and the Compter[1] dreams, And feels the lash, and faintly screams; Or, by a faithless bully drawn, At some hedge-tavern lies in pawn; Or to Jamaica[2] seems transported Alone, and by no planter courted; Or, near Fleet-ditch's[3] oozy brinks, Surrounded with a hundred stinks, Belated, seems on watch to lie, And snap some cully passing by; Or, struck with fear, her fancy runs On watchmen, constables, and duns, From whom she meets with frequent rubs; But never from religious clubs; Whose favour she is sure to find, Because she pays them all in kind. Corinna wakes. A dreadful sight! Behold the ruins of the night! A wicked rat her plaster stole, Half eat, and dragg'd it to his hole. The crystal eye, alas! was miss'd; And puss had on her plumpers p—st, A pigeon pick'd her issue-pease: And Shock her tresses fill'd with fleas. The nymph, though in this mangled plight Must ev'ry morn her limbs unite. But how shall I describe her arts To re-collect the scatter'd parts? Or show the anguish, toil, and pain, Of gath'ring up herself again? The bashful Muse will never bear In such a scene to interfere. Corinna, in the morning dizen'd, Who sees, will spew; who smells, be poison'd.

[Footnote 1: See Cunningham's "Handbook of London." Bridewell was the Prison to which harlots were sent, and were made to beat hemp and pick oakum and were whipped if they did not perform their tasks. See the Plate in Hogarth's "Harlot's Progress." The Prison has, happily, been cleared away. The hall, court room, etc., remain at 14, New Bridge Street. The Compter, a similar Prison, was also abolished. For details of these abominations, see "London Past and Present," by Wheatley.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Jamaica seems to have been regarded as a place of exile. See "A quiet life and a good name," ante, p. 152.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: See ante, p. 78, "Descripton of a City Shower."—W. E. B.]


Of Chloe all the town has rung, By ev'ry size of poets sung: So beautiful a nymph appears But once in twenty thousand years; By Nature form'd with nicest care, And faultless to a single hair. Her graceful mien, her shape, and face, Confess'd her of no mortal race: And then so nice, and so genteel; Such cleanliness from head to heel; No humours gross, or frouzy steams, No noisome whiffs, or sweaty streams, Before, behind, above, below, Could from her taintless body flow: Would so discreetly things dispose, None ever saw her pluck a rose.[1] Her dearest comrades never caught her Squat on her hams to make maid's water: You'd swear that so divine a creature Felt no necessities of nature. In summer had she walk'd the town, Her armpits would not stain her gown: At country dances, not a nose Could in the dog-days smell her toes. Her milk-white hands, both palms and backs, Like ivory dry, and soft as wax. Her hands, the softest ever felt, [2] Though cold would burn, though dry would melt. Dear Venus, hide this wond'rous maid, Nor let her loose to spoil your trade. While she engrosses ev'ry swain, You but o'er half the world can reign. Think what a case all men are now in, What ogling, sighing, toasting, vowing! What powder'd wigs! what flames and darts! What hampers full of bleeding hearts! What sword-knots! what poetic strains! What billets-doux, and clouded canes! But Strephon sigh'd so loud and strong, He blew a settlement along; And bravely drove his rivals down, With coach and six, and house in town. The bashful nymph no more withstands, Because her dear papa commands. The charming couple now unites: Proceed we to the marriage rites. Imprimis, at the Temple porch Stood Hymen with a flaming torch: The smiling Cyprian Goddess brings Her infant loves with purple wings: And pigeons billing, sparrows treading, Fair emblems of a fruitful wedding. The Muses next in order follow, Conducted by their squire, Apollo: Then Mercury with silver tongue; And Hebe, goddess ever young. Behold, the bridegroom and his bride Walk hand in hand, and side by side; She, by the tender Graces drest, But he, by Mars, in scarlet vest. The nymph was cover'd with her flammeum[3], And Phoebus sung th'epithalamium[4]. And last, to make the matter sure, Dame Juno brought a priest demure. [5]Luna was absent, on pretence Her time was not till nine months hence. The rites perform'd, the parson paid, In state return'd the grand parade; With loud huzzas from all the boys, That now the pair must crown their joys. But still the hardest part remains: Strephon had long perplex'd his brains, How with so high a nymph he might Demean himself the wedding-night: For, as he view'd his person round, Mere mortal flesh was all he found: His hand, his neck, his mouth, and feet, Were duly wash'd, to keep them sweet; With other parts, that shall be nameless, The ladies else might think me shameless. The weather and his love were hot; And, should he struggle, I know what— Why, let it go, if I must tell it— He'll sweat, and then the nymph may smell it; While she, a goddess dyed in grain, Was unsusceptible of stain, And, Venus-like, her fragrant skin Exhaled ambrosia from within. Can such a deity endure A mortal human touch impure? How did the humbled swain detest His prickly beard, and hairy breast! His night-cap, border'd round with lace, Could give no softness to his face. Yet, if the goddess could be kind, What endless raptures must he find! And goddesses have now and then Come down to visit mortal men; To visit and to court them too: A certain goddess, God knows who, (As in a book he heard it read,) Took Col'nel Peleus[6] to her bed. But what if he should lose his life By vent'ring on his heavenly wife! (For Strephon could remember well, That once he heard a school-boy tell, How Semele,[7] of mortal race, By thunder died in Jove's embrace.) And what if daring Strephon dies By lightning shot from Chloe's eyes! While these reflections fill'd his head, The bride was put in form to bed: He follow'd, stript, and in he crept, But awfully his distance kept. Now, "ponder well, ye parents dear;" Forbid your daughters guzzling beer; And make them ev'ry afternoon Forbear their tea, or drink it soon; That, ere to bed they venture up, They may discharge it ev'ry sup; If not, they must in evil plight Be often forc'd to rise at night. Keep them to wholesome food confin'd, Nor let them taste what causes wind: 'Tis this the sage of Samos means, Forbidding his disciples beans.[8] O! think what evils must ensue; Miss Moll, the jade, will burn it blue; And, when she once has got the art, She cannot help it for her heart; But out it flies, even when she meets Her bridegroom in the wedding-sheets. Carminative and diuretic[9] Will damp all passion sympathetic; And Love such nicety requires, One blast will put out all his fires. Since husbands get behind the scene, The wife should study to be clean; Nor give the smallest room to guess The time when wants of nature press; But after marriage practise more Decorum than she did before; To keep her spouse deluded still, And make him fancy what she will. In bed we left the married pair; 'Tis time to show how things went there. Strephon, who had been often told That fortune still assists the bold, Resolved to make the first attack; But Chloe drove him fiercely back. How could a nymph so chaste as Chloe, With constitution cold and snowy, Permit a brutish man to touch her? Ev'n lambs by instinct fly the butcher. Resistance on the wedding-night Is what our maidens claim by right; And Chloe, 'tis by all agreed, Was maid in thought, in word, and deed. Yet some assign a different reason; That Strephon chose no proper season. Say, fair ones, must I make a pause, Or freely tell the secret cause? Twelve cups of tea (with grief I speak) Had now constrain'd the nymph to leak. This point must needs be settled first: The bride must either void or burst. Then see the dire effects of pease; Think what can give the colic ease. The nymph oppress'd before, behind, As ships are toss'd by waves and wind, Steals out her hand, by nature led, And brings a vessel into bed; Fair utensil, as smooth and white As Chloe's skin, almost as bright. Strephon, who heard the fuming rill As from a mossy cliff distil, Cried out, Ye Gods! what sound is this? Can Chloe, heavenly Chloe,——? But when he smelt a noisome steam Which oft attends that lukewarm stream; (Salerno both together joins,[10] As sov'reign med'cines for the loins:) And though contriv'd, we may suppose, To slip his ears, yet struck his nose; He found her while the scent increast, As mortal as himself at least. But soon, with like occasions prest He boldly sent his hand in quest (Inspired with courage from his bride) To reach the pot on t'other side; And, as he fill'd the reeking vase; Let fly a rouser in her face. The little Cupids hov'ring round, (As pictures prove) with garlands crown'd, Abash'd at what they saw and heard, Flew off, nor ever more appear'd. Adieu to ravishing delights, High raptures, and romantic flights; To goddesses so heav'nly sweet, Expiring shepherds at their feet; To silver meads and shady bowers, Dress'd up with amaranthine flowers. How great a change! how quickly made! They learn to call a spade a spade. They soon from all constraint are freed; Can see each other do their need. On box of cedar sits the wife, And makes it warm for dearest life; And, by the beastly way of thinking, Find great society in stinking. Now Strephon daily entertains His Chloe in the homeliest strains; And Chloe, more experienc'd grown, With int'rest pays him back his own. No maid at court is less asham'd, Howe'er for selling bargains fam'd, Than she to name her parts behind, Or when a-bed to let out wind. Fair Decency, celestial maid! Descend from Heaven to Beauty's aid! Though Beauty may beget desire, 'Tis thou must fan the Lover's fire; For Beauty, like supreme dominion, Is best supported by Opinion: If Decency bring no supplies, Opinion falls, and Beauty dies. To see some radiant nymph appear In all her glitt'ring birth-day gear, You think some goddess from the sky Descended, ready cut and dry: But ere you sell yourself to laughter, Consider well what may come after; For fine ideas vanish fast, While all the gross and filthy last. O Strephon, ere that fatal day When Chloe stole your heart away, Had you but through a cranny spy'd On house of ease your future bride, In all the postures of her face, Which nature gives in such a case; Distortions, groanings, strainings, heavings, 'Twere better you had lick'd her leavings, Than from experience find too late Your goddess grown a filthy mate. Your fancy then had always dwelt On what you saw and what you smelt; Would still the same ideas give ye, As when you spy'd her on the privy; And, spite of Chloe's charms divine, Your heart had been as whole as mine. Authorities, both old and recent, Direct that women must be decent; And from the spouse each blemish hide, More than from all the world beside. Unjustly all our nymphs complain Their empire holds so short a reign; Is, after marriage, lost so soon, It hardly lasts the honey-moon: For, if they keep not what they caught, It is entirely their own fault. They take possession of the crown, And then throw all their weapons down: Though, by the politician's scheme, Whoe'er arrives at power supreme, Those arts, by which at first they gain it, They still must practise to maintain it. What various ways our females take To pass for wits before a rake! And in the fruitless search pursue All other methods but the true! Some try to learn polite behaviour By reading books against their Saviour; Some call it witty to reflect On ev'ry natural defect; Some shew they never want explaining To comprehend a double meaning. But sure a tell-tale out of school Is of all wits the greatest fool; Whose rank imagination fills Her heart, and from her lips distils; You'd think she utter'd from behind, Or at her mouth was breaking wind. Why is a handsome wife ador'd By every coxcomb but her lord? From yonder puppet-man inquire, Who wisely hides his wood and wire; Shows Sheba's queen completely drest, And Solomon in royal vest: But view them litter'd on the floor, Or strung on pegs behind the door; Punch is exactly of a piece With Lorrain's duke, and prince of Greece. A prudent builder should forecast How long the stuff is like to last; And carefully observe the ground, To build on some foundation sound. What house, when its materials crumble, Must not inevitably tumble? What edifice can long endure Raised on a basis unsecure? Rash mortals, ere you take a wife, Contrive your pile to last for life: Since beauty scarce endures a day, And youth so swiftly glides away; Why will you make yourself a bubble, To build on sand with hay and stubble? On sense and wit your passion found, By decency cemented round; Let prudence with good-nature strive, To keep esteem and love alive. Then come old age whene'er it will, Your friendship shall continue still: And thus a mutual gentle fire Shall never but with life expire.

[Footnote 1: A delicate way of speaking of a lady retiring behind a bush in a garden.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: "Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull Strong without rage, without o'erflowing, full." DENHAM, Cooper's Hill.]

[Footnote 3: A veil with which the Roman brides covered themselves when going to be married.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 4: Marriage song, sung at weddings.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 5: Diana.]

[Footnote 6: Who married Thetis, the Nereid, by whom he became the father of Achilles.—Ovid, "Metamorph.," lib. xi, 221, seq.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 7: See Ovid, "Metamorph.," lib. iii.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 8: A precept of Pythagoras. Hence, in French argot, beans, as causing wind, are called musiciens.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 9: Provocative of perspiration and urine.]

[Footnote 1: "Mingere cum bombis res est saluberrima lumbis." A precept to be found in the "Regimen Sanitatis," or "Schola Salernitana," a work in rhyming Latin verse composed at Salerno, the earliest school in Christian Europe where medicine was professed, taught, and practised. The original text, if anywhere, is in the edition published and commented upon by Arnaldus de Villa Nova, about 1480. Subsequently above one hundred and sixty editions of the "Schola Salernitana" were published, with many additions. A reprint of the first edition, edited by Sir Alexander Croke, with woodcuts from the editions of 1559, 1568, and 1573, was published at Oxford in 1830.—W. E. B.]


Apollo, god of light and wit, Could verse inspire, but seldom writ, Refined all metals with his looks, As well as chemists by their books; As handsome as my lady's page; Sweet five-and-twenty was his age. His wig was made of sunny rays, He crown'd his youthful head with bays; Not all the court of Heaven could show So nice and so complete a beau. No heir upon his first appearance, With twenty thousand pounds a-year rents, E'er drove, before he sold his land, So fine a coach along the Strand; The spokes, we are by Ovid told, Were silver, and the axle gold: I own, 'twas but a coach-and-four, For Jupiter allows no more. Yet, with his beauty, wealth, and parts, Enough to win ten thousand hearts, No vulgar deity above Was so unfortunate in love. Three weighty causes were assign'd, That moved the nymphs to be unkind. Nine Muses always waiting round him, He left them virgins as he found them. His singing was another fault; For he could reach to B in alt: And, by the sentiments of Pliny,[1] Such singers are like Nicolini. At last, the point was fully clear'd; In short, Apollo had no beard.

[Footnote 1: "Bubus tantum feminis vox gravior, in alio omni genere exilior quam maribus, in homine etiam castratis."—"Hist. Nat.," xi, 51. "A condicione castrati seminis quae spadonia appellant Belgae," ib. xv.—W. E. B.]


All folks who pretend to religion and grace, Allow there's a HELL, but dispute of the place: But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined The place of the damn'd—I'll tell you my mind. Wherever the damn'd do chiefly abound, Most certainly there is HELL to be found: Damn'd poets, damn'd critics, damn'd blockheads, damn'd knaves, Damn'd senators bribed, damn'd prostitute slaves; Damn'd lawyers and judges, damn'd lords and damn'd squires; Damn'd spies and informers, damn'd friends and damn'd liars; Damn'd villains, corrupted in every station; Damn'd time-serving priests all over the nation; And into the bargain I'll readily give you Damn'd ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy. Then let us no longer by parsons be flamm'd, For we know by these marks the place of the damn'd: And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome. How happy for us that it is not at home!


With a whirl of thought oppress'd, I sunk from reverie to rest. An horrid vision seized my head; I saw the graves give up their dead! Jove, arm'd with terrors, bursts the skies, And thunder roars and lightning flies! Amaz'd, confus'd, its fate unknown, The world stands trembling at his throne! While each pale sinner hung his head, Jove, nodding, shook the heavens, and said: "Offending race of human kind, By nature, reason, learning, blind; You who, through frailty, stepp'd aside; And you, who never fell—through pride: You who in different sects were shamm'd, And come to see each other damn'd; (So some folk told you, but they knew No more of Jove's designs than you;) —The world's mad business now is o'er, And I resent these pranks no more. —I to such blockheads set my wit! I damn such fools!—Go, go, you're bit."

[Footnote 1: This Poem was sent in a letter from Lord Chesterfield to Voltaire, dated 27th August, 1752, in which he says: "Je vous envoie ci-jointe une piece par le feu Docteur Swift, laquelle je crois ne vous deplaira pas. Elle n'a jamais ete imprimee, vous en devinerez bien la raison, roais elle est authentique. J'en ai l'original, ecrit de sa propre main."—W. E. B.]

JUDAS. 1731

By the just vengeance of incensed skies, Poor Bishop Judas late repenting dies. The Jews engaged him with a paltry bribe, Amounting hardly to a crown a-tribe; Which though his conscience forced him to restore, (And parsons tell us, no man can do more,) Yet, through despair, of God and man accurst, He lost his bishopric, and hang'd or burst. Those former ages differ'd much from this; Judas betray'd his master with a kiss: But some have kiss'd the gospel fifty times, Whose perjury's the least of all their crimes; Some who can perjure through a two inch-board, Yet keep their bishoprics, and 'scape the cord: Like hemp, which, by a skilful spinster drawn To slender threads, may sometimes pass for lawn. As ancient Judas by transgression fell, And burst asunder ere he went to hell; So could we see a set of new Iscariots Come headlong tumbling from their mitred chariots; Each modern Judas perish like the first, Drop from the tree with all his bowels burst; Who could forbear, that view'd each guilty face, To cry, "Lo! Judas gone to his own place, His habitation let all men forsake, And let his bishopric another take!"


How could you, Gay, disgrace the Muse's train, To serve a tasteless court twelve years in vain![2] Fain would I think our female friend [3] sincere, Till Bob,[4] the poet's foe, possess'd her ear. Did female virtue e'er so high ascend, To lose an inch of favour for a friend? Say, had the court no better place to choose For triee, than make a dry-nurse of thy Muse? How cheaply had thy liberty been sold, To squire a royal girl of two years old: In leading strings her infant steps to guide, Or with her go-cart amble side by side![5] But princely Douglas,[6] and his glorious dame, Advanced thy fortune, and preserved thy fame. Nor will your nobler gifts be misapplied, When o'er your patron's treasure you preside: The world shall own, his choice was wise and just, For sons of Phoebus never break their trust. Not love of beauty less the heart inflames Of guardian eunuchs to the sultan's dames, Their passions not more impotent and cold, Than those of poets to the lust of gold. With Paean's purest fire his favourites glow, The dregs will serve to ripen ore below: His meanest work: for, had he thought it fit That wealth should be the appanage of wit, The god of light could ne'er have been so blind To deal it to the worst of human kind. But let me now, for I can do it well, Your conduct in this new employ foretell. And first: to make my observation right, I place a statesman full before my sight, A bloated minister in all his gear, With shameless visage and perfidious leer: Two rows of teeth arm each devouring jaw, And ostrich-like his all-digesting maw. My fancy drags this monster to my view, To shew the world his chief reverse in you. Of loud unmeaning sounds, a rapid flood Rolls from his mouth in plenteous streams of mud; With these the court and senate-house he plies, Made up of noise, and impudence, and lies. Now let me show how Bob and you agree: You serve a potent prince,[7] as well as he. The ducal coffers trusted to your charge, Your honest care may fill, perhaps enlarge: His vassals easy, and the owner blest; They pay a trifle, and enjoy the rest. Not so a nation's revenues are paid; The servant's faults are on the master laid. The people with a sigh their taxes bring, And, cursing Bob, forget to bless the king. Next hearken, Gay, to what thy charge requires, With servants, tenants, and the neighbouring squires, Let all domestics feel your gentle sway; Nor bribe, insult, nor flatter, nor betray. Let due reward to merit be allow'd; Nor with your kindred half the palace crowd; Nor think yourself secure in doing wrong, By telling noses [8] with a party strong. Be rich; but of your wealth make no parade; At least, before your master's debts are paid; Nor in a palace, built with charge immense, Presume to treat him at his own expense.[9] Each farmer in the neighbourhood can count To what your lawful perquisites amount. The tenants poor, the hardness of the times, Are ill excuses for a servant's crimes. With interest, and a premium paid beside, The master's pressing wants must be supplied; With hasty zeal behold the steward come By his own credit to advance the sum; Who, while th'unrighteous Mammon is his friend, May well conclude his power will never end. A faithful treasurer! what could he do more? He lends my lord what was my lord's before. The law so strictly guards the monarch's health, That no physician dares prescribe by stealth: The council sit; approve the doctor's skill; And give advice before he gives the pill. But the state empiric acts a safer part; And, while he poisons, wins the royal heart. But how can I describe the ravenous breed? Then let me now by negatives proceed. Suppose your lord a trusty servant send On weighty business to some neighbouring friend: Presume not, Gay, unless you serve a drone, To countermand his orders by your own. Should some imperious neighbour sink the boats, And drain the fish-ponds, while your master dotes; Shall he upon the ducal rights intrench, Because he bribed you with a brace of tench? Nor from your lord his bad condition hide, To feed his luxury, or soothe his pride. Nor at an under rate his timber sell, And with an oath assure him, all is well; Or swear it rotten, and with humble airs [10] Request it of him, to complete your stairs; Nor, when a mortgage lies on half his lands, Come with a purse of guineas in your hands. Have Peter Waters [11] always in your mind; That rogue, of genuine ministerial kind, Can half the peerage by his arts bewitch, Starve twenty lords to make one scoundrel rich: And, when he gravely has undone a score, Is humbly pray'd to ruin twenty more. A dext'rous steward, when his tricks are found, Hush-money sends to all the neighbours round; His master, unsuspicious of his pranks, Pays all the cost, and gives the villain thanks. And, should a friend attempt to set him right, His lordship would impute it all to spite; Would love his favourite better than before, And trust his honesty just so much more. Thus families, like realms, with equal fate, Are sunk by premier ministers of state. Some, when an heir succeeds, go bodily on, And, as they robb'd the father, rob the son. A knave, who deep embroils his lord's affairs, Will soon grow necessary to his heirs. His policy consists in setting traps, In finding ways and means, and stopping gaps; He knows a thousand tricks whene'er he please, Though not to cure, yet palliate each disease. In either case, an equal chance is run; For, keep or turn him out, my lord's undone. You want a hand to clear a filthy sink; No cleanly workman can endure the stink. A strong dilemma in a desperate case! To act with infamy, or quit the place. A bungler thus, who scarce the nail can hit, With driving wrong will make the panel split: Nor dares an abler workman undertake To drive a second, lest the whole should break. In every court the parallel will hold; And kings, like private folks, are bought and sold. The ruling rogue, who dreads to be cashler'd, Contrives, as he is hated, to be fear'd; Confounds accounts, perplexes all affairs: For vengeance more embroils, than skill repairs. So robbers, (and their ends are just the same,) To 'scape inquiries, leave the house in flame. I knew a brazen minister of state,[12] Who bore for twice ten years the public hate. In every mouth the question most in vogue Was, when will they turn out this odious rogue? A juncture happen'd in his highest pride: While he went robbing on, his master died.[13] We thought there now remain'd no room to doubt; The work is done, the minister must out. The court invited more than one or two: Will you, Sir Spencer?[14] or will you, or you? But not a soul his office durst accept; The subtle knave had all the plunder swept: And, such was then the temper of the times, He owed his preservation to his crimes. The candidates observed his dirty paws; Nor found it difficult to guess the cause: But, when they smelt such foul corruptions round him, Away they fled, and left him as they found him. Thus, when a greedy sloven once has thrown His snot into the mess, 'tis all his own.

[Footnote 1: The Dean having been told by an intimate friend that the Duke of Queensberry had employed Mr. Gay to inspect the accounts and management of his grace's receivers and stewards (which, however, proved to be a mistake), wrote this Epistle to his friend.—H. Through the whole piece, under the pretext of instructing Gay in his duty as the duke's auditor of accounts, he satirizes the conduct of Sir Robert Walpole, then Prime Minister.—Scott.]

[Footnote 2: See the "Libel on Dr. Delany and Lord Carteret," post.]

[Footnote 3: The Countess of Suffolk.—H.]

[Footnote 4: Sir Robert Walpole.—Faulkner.]

[Footnote 5: The post of gentleman-usher to the Princess Louisa was offered to Gay, which he and his friends considered as a great indignity, her royal highness being a mere infant.—Scott.]

[Footnote 6: The Duke and Duchess of Queensberry.]

[Footnote 7: A title given to every duke by the heralds.—Faulkner.]

[Footnote 8: Counting the numbers of a division. A horse dealer's term.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 9: Alluding to the magnificence of Houghton, the seat of Sir Robert Walpole, by which he greatly impaired his fortune. "What brought Sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste? Some Demon whispered, 'Visto! have a Taste.'" POPE, Moral Essays, Epist. iv.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 10: These lines are thought to allude to some story concerning a vast quantity of mahogany declared rotten, and then applied by somebody to wainscots, stairs, door-cases, etc.—Dublin edition.]

[Footnote 11: He hath practised this trade for many years, and still continues it with success; and after he hath ruined one lord, is earnestly solicited to take another.—Dublin edition. Properly Walter, a dexterous and unscrupulous attorney. "Wise Peter sees the world's respect for gold, And therefore hopes this nation may be sold." POPE, Moral Essays, Epist. iii. And see his character fully displayed in Sir Chas. Hanbury Williams' poem, "Peter and my Lord Quidam," Works, with notes, edit. 1822. Peter was the original of Peter Pounce in Fielding's "Joseph Andrews."—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 12: Sir Robert Walpole, who was called Sir Robert Brass.]

[Footnote 13: King George I, who died on the 12th June, 1727.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 14: Sir Spencer Compton, Speaker of the House of Commons, afterwards created Earl of Wilmington. George II, on his accession to the throne, intended that Compton should be Prime Minister, but Walpole, through the influence of the queen, retained his place, Compton having confessed "his incapacity to undertake so arduous a task." As Lord Wilmington, he is constantly ridiculed by Sir Chas. Hanbury Williams. See his Works, with notes by Horace Walpole, edit. 1822.—W. E. B.]


After venting all my spite, Tell me, what have I to write? Every error I could find Through the mazes of your mind, Have my busy Muse employ'd, Till the company was cloy'd. Are you positive and fretful, Heedless, ignorant, forgetful? Those, and twenty follies more, I have often told before. Hearken what my lady says: Have I nothing then to praise? Ill it fits you to be witty, Where a fault should move your pity. If you think me too conceited, Or to passion quickly heated; If my wandering head be less Set on reading than on dress; If I always seem too dull t'ye; I can solve the diffi—culty. You would teach me to be wise: Truth and honour how to prize; How to shine in conversation, And with credit fill my station; How to relish notions high; How to live, and how to die. But it was decreed by Fate— Mr. Dean, you come too late. Well I know, you can discern, I am now too old to learn: Follies, from my youth instill'd, Have my soul entirely fill'd; In my head and heart they centre, Nor will let your lessons enter. Bred a fondling and an heiress; Drest like any lady mayoress: Cocker'd by the servants round, Was too good to touch the ground; Thought the life of every lady Should be one continued play-day— Balls, and masquerades, and shows, Visits, plays, and powder'd beaux. Thus you have my case at large, And may now perform your charge. Those materials I have furnish'd, When by you refined and burnish'd, Must, that all the world may know 'em, Be reduced into a poem. But, I beg, suspend a while That same paltry, burlesque style; Drop for once your constant rule, Turning all to ridicule; Teaching others how to ape you; Court nor parliament can 'scape you; Treat the public and your friends Both alike, while neither mends. Sing my praise in strain sublime: Treat me not with dogg'rel rhyme. 'Tis but just, you should produce, With each fault, each fault's excuse; Not to publish every trifle, And my few perfections stifle. With some gifts at least endow me, Which my very foes allow me. Am I spiteful, proud, unjust? Did I ever break my trust? Which of all our modern dames Censures less, or less defames? In good manners am I faulty? Can you call me rude or haughty? Did I e'er my mite withhold From the impotent and old? When did ever I omit Due regard for men of wit? When have I esteem express'd For a coxcomb gaily dress'd? Do I, like the female tribe, Think it wit to fleer and gibe? Who with less designing ends Kindlier entertains her friends; With good words and countenance sprightly, Strives to treat them more politely? Think not cards my chief diversion: 'Tis a wrong, unjust aspersion: Never knew I any good in 'em, But to dose my head like laudanum. We, by play, as men, by drinking, Pass our nights to drive out thinking. From my ailments give me leisure, I shall read and think with pleasure; Conversation learn to relish, And with books my mind embellish. Now, methinks, I hear you cry, Mr. Dean, you must reply. Madam, I allow 'tis true: All these praises are your due. You, like some acute philosopher, Every fault have drawn a gloss over;[1] Placing in the strongest light All your virtues to my sight. Though you lead a blameless life, Are an humble prudent wife, Answer all domestic ends: What is this to us your friends? Though your children by a nod Stand in awe without a rod; Though, by your obliging sway, Servants love you, and obey; Though you treat us with a smile; Clear your looks, and smooth your style; Load our plates from every dish; This is not the thing we wish. Colonel ***** may be your debtor; We expect employment better. You must learn, if you would gain us, With good sense to entertain us. Scholars, when good sense describing, Call it tasting and imbibing; Metaphoric meat and drink Is to understand and think; We may carve for others thus; And let others carve for us; To discourse, and to attend, Is, to help yourself and friend. Conversation is but carving; Carve for all, yourself is starving: Give no more to every guest, Than he's able to digest; Give him always of the prime; And but little at a time. Carve to all but just enough: Let them neither starve nor stuff: And, that you may have your due, Let your neighbours carve for you. This comparison will hold, Could it well in rhyme be told, How conversing, listening, thinking, Justly may resemble drinking; For a friend a glass you fill, What is this but to instil? To conclude this long essay; Pardon if I disobey, Nor against my natural vein, Treat you in heroic strain. I, as all the parish knows, Hardly can be grave in prose: Still to lash, and lashing smile, Ill befits a lofty style. From the planet of my birth I encounter vice with mirth. Wicked ministers of state I can easier scorn than hate; And I find it answers right: Scorn torments them more than spight. All the vices of a court Do but serve to make me sport. Were I in some foreign realm, Which all vices overwhelm; Should a monkey wear a crown, Must I tremble at his frown? Could I not, through all his ermine, 'Spy the strutting chattering vermin; Safely write a smart lampoon, To expose the brisk baboon? When my Muse officious ventures On the nation's representers: Teaching by what golden rules Into knaves they turn their fools; How the helm is ruled by Walpole, At whose oars, like slaves, they all pull; Let the vessel split on shelves; With the freight enrich themselves: Safe within my little wherry, All their madness makes me merry: Like the waterman of Thames, I row by, and call them names; Like the ever-laughing sage,[2] In a jest I spend my rage: (Though it must be understood, I would hang them if I could;) If I can but fill my niche, I attempt no higher pitch; Leave to d'Anvers and his mate Maxims wise to rule the state. Pulteney deep, accomplish'd St. Johns, Scourge the villains with a vengeance; Let me, though the smell be noisome, Strip their bums; let Caleb[3] hoise 'em; Then apply Alecto's[4] whip Till they wriggle, howl, and skip. Deuce is in you, Mr. Dean: What can all this passion mean? Mention courts! you'll ne'er be quiet On corruptions running riot. End as it befits your station; Come to use and application; Nor with senates keep a fuss. I submit; and answer thus: If the machinations brewing, To complete the public ruin, Never once could have the power To affect me half an hour; Sooner would I write in buskins, Mournful elegies on Blueskins.[5] If I laugh at Whig and Tory; I conclude a fortiori, All your eloquence will scarce Drive me from my favourite farce. This I must insist on; for, as It is well observed by Horace,[6] Ridicule has greater power To reform the world than sour. Horses thus, let jockeys judge else, Switches better guide than cudgels. Bastings heavy, dry, obtuse, Only dulness can produce; While a little gentle jerking Sets the spirits all a-working. Thus, I find it by experiment, Scolding moves you less than merriment. I may storm and rage in vain; It but stupifies your brain. But with raillery to nettle, Sets your thoughts upon their mettle; Gives imagination scope; Never lets your mind elope; Drives out brangling and contention. Brings in reason and invention. For your sake as well as mine, I the lofty style decline. I should make a figure scurvy, And your head turn topsy-turvy. I who love to have a fling Both at senate-house and king: That they might some better way tread, To avoid the public hatred; Thought no method more commodious, Than to show their vices odious; Which I chose to make appear, Not by anger, but by sneer. As my method of reforming, Is by laughing, not by storming, (For my friends have always thought Tenderness my greatest fault,) Would you have me change my style? On your faults no longer smile; But, to patch up all our quarrels, Quote you texts from Plutarch's Morals, Or from Solomon produce Maxims teaching Wisdom's use? If I treat you like a crown'd head, You have cheap enough compounded; Can you put in higher claims, Than the owners of St. James? You are not so great a grievance, As the hirelings of St. Stephen's. You are of a lower class Than my friend Sir Robert Brass. None of these have mercy found: I have laugh'd, and lash'd them round. Have you seen a rocket fly? You would swear it pierced the sky: It but reach'd the middle air, Bursting into pieces there; Thousand sparkles falling down Light on many a coxcomb's crown. See what mirth the sport creates! Singes hair, but breaks no pates. Thus, should I attempt to climb, Treat you in a style sublime, Such a rocket is my Muse: Should I lofty numbers choose, Ere I reach'd Parnassus' top, I should burst, and bursting drop; All my fire would fall in scraps, Give your head some gentle raps; Only make it smart a while; Then could I forbear to smile, When I found the tingling pain Entering warm your frigid brain; Make you able upon sight To decide of wrong and right; Talk with sense whate'er you please on; Learn to relish truth and reason! Thus we both shall gain our prize; I to laugh, and you grow wise.

[Footnote 1: "Beside, he was a shrewd Philosopher, And had read ev'ry Text and Gloss over." Hudibras.]

[Footnote 2: Democritus, the Greek philosopher, one of the founders of the atomic theory.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: Caleb d'Anvers was the name assumed by Nicholas Amhurst, the ostensible editor of the celebrated journal, entitled "The Craftsman," written by Bolingbroke and Pulteney. See "Prose Works," vii, p. 219.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 4: One of the three Furies—Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera, the avenging deities.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 5: The famous thief, who, while on his trial at the Old Bailey, stabbed Jonathan Wild. See Fielding's "Life of Jonathan Wild," Book iv, ch. i.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 6: "Ridiculum acri Fortius et melius magnas plerumque secat res."—Sat. I, x, 14.]


"Sic siti laetantur docti."

With honour thus by Carolina placed, How are these venerable bustoes graced! O queen, with more than regal title crown'd, For love of arts and piety renown'd! How do the friends of virtue joy to see Her darling sons exalted thus by thee! Nought to their fame can now be added more, Revered by her whom all mankind adore.[2]

[Footnote 1: Newton, Locke, Clarke, and Woolaston.]

[Footnote 2: Queen Caroline's regard for learned men was chiefly directed to those who had signalized themselves by philosophical research. Horace Walpole alludes to this her peculiar taste, in his fable called the "Funeral of the Lioness," where the royal shade is made to say: "... where Elysian waters glide, With Clarke and Newton by my side, Purrs o'er the metaphysic page, Or ponders the prophetic rage Of Merlin, who mysterious sings Of men and lions, beasts and kings." Lord Orford's Works, iv, 379.—W. E. B.]


Louis the living learned fed, And raised the scientific head; Our frugal queen, to save her meat, Exalts the heads that cannot eat.



Since Anna, whose bounty thy merits had fed, Ere her own was laid low, had exalted thy head: And since our good queen to the wise is so just, To raise heads for such as are humbled in dust, I wonder, good man, that you are not envaulted; Prithee go, and be dead, and be doubly exalted.


Her majesty never shall be my exalter; And yet she would raise me, I know, by a halter!



To thee, dear Swift, these spotless leaves I send; Small is the present, but sincere the friend. Think not so poor a book below thy care; Who knows the price that thou canst make it bear? Tho' tawdry now, and, like Tyrilla's face, The specious front shines out with borrow'd grace; Tho' pasteboards, glitt'ring like a tinsell'd coat, A rasa tabula within denote: Yet, if a venal and corrupted age, And modern vices should provoke thy rage; If, warn'd once more by their impending fate, A sinking country and an injur'd state, Thy great assistance should again demand, And call forth reason to defend the land; Then shall we view these sheets with glad surprise, Inspir'd with thought, and speaking to our eyes; Each vacant space shall then, enrich'd, dispense True force of eloquence, and nervous sense; Inform the judgment, animate the heart, And sacred rules of policy impart. The spangled cov'ring, bright with splendid ore, Shall cheat the sight with empty show no more; But lead us inward to those golden mines, Where all thy soul in native lustre shines. So when the eye surveys some lovely fair, With bloom of beauty graced, with shape and air; How is the rapture heighten'd, when we find Her form excell'd by her celestial mind!

[Footnote 1: It was occasioned by an annual custom, which I found pursued among his friends, of making him a present on his birth-day. Orrery's "Remarks," p. 202.—W. E. B.]


Hither from Mexico I came, To serve a proud Iernian dame: Was long submitted to her will; At length she lost me at quadrille. Through various shapes I often pass'd, Still hoping to have rest at last; And still ambitious to obtain Admittance to the patriot Dean; And sometimes got within his door, But soon turn'd out to serve the poor:[1] Not strolling Idleness to aid, But honest Industry decay'd. At length an artist purchased me, And wrought me to the shape you see. This done, to Hermes I applied: "O Hermes! gratify my pride; Be it my fate to serve a sage, The greatest genius of his age; That matchless pen let me supply, Whose living lines will never die!" "I grant your suit," the God replied, And here he left me to reside.

[Footnote 1: Alluding to sums lent by the Dean, without interest, to assist poor tradesmen.—W. E. B.]


A paper book is sent by Boyle, Too neatly gilt for me to soil. Delany sends a silver standish, When I no more a pen can brandish. Let both around my tomb be placed: As trophies of a Muse deceased; And let the friendly lines they writ, In praise of long-departed wit, Be graved on either side in columns, More to my praise than all my volumes, To burst with envy, spite, and rage, The Vandals of the present age.

VERSES SENT TO THE DEAN WITH AN EAGLE QUILL, ON HEARING OF THE PRESENTS BY THE EARL OF ORRERY AND DR. DELANY. BY MRS. PILKINGTON Shall then my kindred all my glory claim, And boldly rob me of eternal fame? To every art my gen'rous aid I lend, To music, painting, poetry, a friend. 'Tis I celestial harmony inspire, When fix'd to strike the sweetly warbling wire.[1] I to the faithful canvas have consign'd Each bright idea of the painter's mind; Behold from Raphael's sky-dipt pencils rise Such heavenly scenes as charm the gazer's eyes. O let me now aspire to higher praise! Ambitious to transcribe your deathless lays: Nor thou, immortal bard, my aid refuse, Accept me as the servant of your Muse; Then shall the world my wondrous worth declare, And all mankind your matchless pen revere.

[Footnote 1: Quills of the harpsichord.]


Mighty Thomas, a solemn senatus[1] I call, To consult for Sapphira;[2] so come one and all; Quit books, and quit business, your cure and your care, For a long winding walk, and a short bill of fare. I've mutton for you, sir; and as for the ladies, As friend Virgil has it, I've aliud mercedis; For Letty,[3] one filbert, whereon to regale; And a peach for pale Constance,[4] to make a full meal; And for your cruel part, who take pleasure in blood, I have that of the grape, which is ten times as good: Flow wit to her honour, flow wine to her health: High raised be her worth above titles or wealth.[5]

[Footnote 1: To correct Mrs. Barber's poems; which were published at London, in 4to, by subscription.]

[Footnote 2: The name by which Mrs, Barber was distinguished by her friends.—N.]

[Footnote 2: Mrs. Pilkington.—N.]

[Footnote 3: Mrs. Constantia Grierson, a very learned young lady, who died in 1733, at the age of 27.—N.]

[Footnote 4: Mrs. Van Lewen, Mrs. Pilkington's mother. Swift had ultimately good reason to regret his intimacy with the Pilkingtons, and the favours he showed them. See accounts of them in the "Dictionary of National Biography."—. W. E. B.]



I have been long of opinion, that there is not a more general and greater mistake, or of worse consequences through the commerce of mankind, than the wrong judgments they are apt to entertain of their own talents. I knew a stuttering alderman in London, a great frequenter of coffeehouses, who, when a fresh newspaper was brought in, constantly seized it first, and read it aloud to his brother citizens; but in a manner as little intelligible to the standers-by as to himself. How many pretenders to learning expose themselves, by choosing to discourse on those very parts of science wherewith they are least acquainted! It is the same case in every other qualification. By the multitude of those who deal in rhymes, from half a sheet to twenty, which come out every minute, there must be at least five hundred poets in the city and suburbs of London: half as many coffeehouse orators, exclusive of the clergy, forty thousand politicians, and four thousand five hundred profound scholars; not to mention the wits, the railers, the smart fellows, and critics; all as illiterate and impudent as a suburb whore. What are we to think of the fine-dressed sparks, proud of their own personal deformities, which appear the more hideous by the contrast of wearing scarlet and gold, with what they call toupees[1] on their heads, and all the frippery of a modern beau, to make a figure before women; some of them with hump-backs, others hardly five feet high, and every feature of their faces distorted: I have seen many of these insipid pretenders entering into conversation with persons of learning, constantly making the grossest blunders in every sentence, without conveying one single idea fit for a rational creature to spend a thought on; perpetually confounding all chronology, and geography, even of present times. I compute, that London hath eleven native fools of the beau and puppy kind, for one among us in Dublin; besides two-thirds of ours transplanted thither, who are now naturalized: whereby that overgrown capital exceeds ours in the articles of dunces by forty to one; and what is more to our farther mortification, there is no one distinguished fool of Irish birth or education, who makes any noise in that famous metropolis, unless the London prints be very partial or defective; whereas London is seldom without a dozen of their own educating, who engross the vogue for half a winter together, and are never heard of more, but give place to a new set. This has been the constant progress for at least thirty years past, only allowing for the change of breed and fashion.

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