The poem is grounded upon the universal folly in mankind of mistaking their talents; by which the author does a great honour to his own species, almost equalling them with certain brutes; wherein, indeed, he is too partial, as he freely confesses: and yet he has gone as low as he well could, by specifying four animals; the wolf, the ass, the swine, and the ape; all equally mischievous, except the last, who outdoes them in the article of cunning: so great is the pride of man!
When beasts could speak, (the learned say They still can do so every day,) It seems, they had religion then, As much as now we find in men. It happen'd, when a plague broke out, (Which therefore made them more devout,) The king of brutes (to make it plain, Of quadrupeds I only mean) By proclamation gave command, That every subject in the land Should to the priest confess their sins; And thus the pious Wolf begins: Good father, I must own with shame, That often I have been to blame: I must confess, on Friday last, Wretch that I was! I broke my fast: But I defy the basest tongue To prove I did my neighbour wrong; Or ever went to seek my food, By rapine, theft, or thirst of blood. The Ass approaching next, confess'd, That in his heart he loved a jest: A wag he was, he needs must own, And could not let a dunce alone: Sometimes his friend he would not spare, And might perhaps be too severe: But yet the worst that could be said, He was a wit both born and bred; And, if it be a sin and shame, Nature alone must bear the blame: One fault he has, is sorry for't, His ears are half a foot too short; Which could he to the standard bring, He'd show his face before the king: Then for his voice, there's none disputes That he's the nightingale of brutes. The Swine with contrite heart allow'd, His shape and beauty made him proud: In diet was perhaps too nice, But gluttony was ne'er his vice: In every turn of life content, And meekly took what fortune sent: Inquire through all the parish round, A better neighbour ne'er was found; His vigilance might some displease; 'Tis true, he hated sloth like pease. The mimic Ape began his chatter, How evil tongues his life bespatter; Much of the censuring world complain'd, Who said, his gravity was feign'd: Indeed, the strictness of his morals Engaged him in a hundred quarrels: He saw, and he was grieved to see't, His zeal was sometimes indiscreet: He found his virtues too severe For our corrupted times to bear; Yet such a lewd licentious age Might well excuse a stoic's rage. The Goat advanced with decent pace, And first excused his youthful face; Forgiveness begg'd that he appear'd ('Twas Nature's fault) without a beard. 'Tis true, he was not much inclined To fondness for the female kind: Not, as his enemies object, From chance, or natural defect; Not by his frigid constitution; But through a pious resolution: For he had made a holy vow Of Chastity, as monks do now: Which he resolved to keep for ever hence And strictly too, as doth his reverence. Apply the tale, and you shall find, How just it suits with human kind. Some faults we own; but can you guess? —Why, virtue's carried to excess, Wherewith our vanity endows us, Though neither foe nor friend allows us. The Lawyer swears (you may rely on't) He never squeezed a needy client; And this he makes his constant rule, For which his brethren call him fool; His conscience always was so nice, He freely gave the poor advice; By which he lost, he may affirm, A hundred fees last Easter term; While others of the learned robe, Would break the patience of a Job. No pleader at the bar could match His diligence and quick dispatch; Ne'er kept a cause, he well may boast, Above a term or two at most. The cringing knave, who seeks a place Without success, thus tells his case: Why should he longer mince the matter? He fail'd, because he could not flatter; He had not learn'd to turn his coat, Nor for a party give his vote: His crime he quickly understood; Too zealous for the nation's good: He found the ministers resent it, Yet could not for his heart repent it. The Chaplain vows, he cannot fawn, Though it would raise him to the lawn: He pass'd his hours among his books; You find it in his meagre looks: He might, if he were worldly wise, Preferment get, and spare his eyes; But owns he had a stubborn spirit. That made him trust alone to merit; Would rise by merit to promotion; Alas! a mere chimeric notion. The Doctor, if you will believe him, Confess'd a sin; (and God forgive him!) Call'd up at midnight, ran to save A blind old beggar from the grave: But see how Satan spreads his snares; He quite forgot to say his prayers. He cannot help it, for his heart, Sometimes to act the parson's part: Quotes from the Bible many a sentence, That moves his patients to repentance; And, when his medicines do no good, Supports their minds with heavenly food: At which, however well intended, He hears the clergy are offended; And grown so bold behind his back, To call him hypocrite and quack. In his own church he keeps a seat; Says grace before and after meat; And calls, without affecting airs, His household twice a-day to prayers. He shuns apothecaries' shops, And hates to cram the sick with slops: He scorns to make his art a trade; Nor bribes my lady's favourite maid. Old nurse-keepers would never hire, To recommend him to the squire; Which others, whom he will not name, Have often practised to their shame. The Statesman tells you, with a sneer, His fault is to be too sincere; And having no sinister ends, Is apt to disoblige his friends. The nation's good, his master's glory, Without regard to Whig or Tory, Were all the schemes he had in view, Yet he was seconded by few: Though some had spread a thousand lies, 'Twas he defeated the excise. 'Twas known, though he had borne aspersion, That standing troops were his aversion: His practice was, in every station: To serve the king, and please the nation. Though hard to find in every case The fittest man to fill a place: His promises he ne'er forgot, But took memorials on the spot; His enemies, for want of charity, Said, he affected popularity: 'Tis true, the people understood, That all he did was for their good; Their kind affections he has tried; No love is lost on either side. He came to court with fortune clear, Which now he runs out every year; Must, at the rate that he goes on, Inevitably be undone: O! if his majesty would please To give him but a writ of ease, Would grant him license to retire, As it has long been his desire, By fair accounts it would be found, He's poorer by ten thousand pound. He owns, and hopes it is no sin, He ne'er was partial to his kin; He thought it base for men in stations, To crowd the court with their relations: His country was his dearest mother, And every virtuous man his brother; Through modesty or awkward shame, (For which he owns himself to blame,) He found the wisest man he could, Without respect to friends or blood; Nor ever acts on private views, When he has liberty to choose. The Sharper swore he hated play, Except to pass an hour away: And well he might; for, to his cost, By want of skill, he always lost; He heard there was a club of cheats, Who had contrived a thousand feats; Could change the stock, or cog a die, And thus deceive the sharpest eye: Nor wonder how his fortune sunk, His brothers fleece him when he's drunk. I own the moral not exact, Besides, the tale is false, in fact; And so absurd, that could I raise up, From fields Elysian, fabling AEsop, I would accuse him to his face, For libelling the four-foot race. Creatures of every kind but ours Well comprehend their natural powers, While we, whom reason ought to sway, Mistake our talents every day. The Ass was never known so stupid, To act the part of Tray or Cupid; Nor leaps upon his master's lap, There to be stroked, and fed with pap, As AEsop would the world persuade; He better understands his trade: Nor comes whene'er his lady whistles, But carries loads, and feeds on thistles. Our author's meaning, I presume, is A creature bipes et implumis; Wherein the moralist design'd A compliment on human kind; For here he owns, that now and then Beasts may degenerate into men.
[Footnote 1: Wigs with long black tails, at that time very much in fashion. It was very common also to call the wearers of them by the same name.—F.]
[Footnote 2: The priest, his confessor.—F.]
[Footnote 3: A bill was brought into the House of Commons of England, in March, 1733, for laying an excise on wines and tobacco, but so violent was the outcry against the measure, that when it came on for the second reading, 11th April, Walpole moved that it be postponed for two months, and thus it was dropped.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: See Gulliver's Travels; voyage to the country of the Houyhnhnms, "Prose Works," vol. viii.—W. E. B.]
THE PARSON'S CASE
That you, friend Marcus, like a stoic, Can wish to die in strains heroic, No real fortitude implies: Yet, all must own, thy wish is wise. Thy curate's place, thy fruitful wife, Thy busy, drudging scene of life, Thy insolent, illiterate vicar, Thy want of all-consoling liquor, Thy threadbare gown, thy cassock rent, Thy credit sunk, thy money spent, Thy week made up of fasting-days, Thy grate unconscious of a blaze, And to complete thy other curses, The quarterly demands of nurses, Are ills you wisely wish to leave, And fly for refuge to the grave; And, O, what virtue you express, In wishing such afflictions less! But, now, should Fortune shift the scene, And make thy curateship a dean: Or some rich benefice provide, To pamper luxury and pride; With labour small, and income great; With chariot less for use than state; With swelling scarf, and glossy gown, And license to reside in town: To shine where all the gay resort, At concerts, coffee-house, or court: And weekly persecute his grace With visits, or to beg a place: With underlings thy flock to teach, With no desire to pray or preach; With haughty spouse in vesture fine, With plenteous meals and generous wine; Wouldst thou not wish, in so much ease, Thy years as numerous as thy days?
THE HARDSHIP UPON THE LADIES 1733
Poor ladies! though their business be to play, 'Tis hard they must be busy night and day: Why should they want the privilege of men, Nor take some small diversions now and then? Had women been the makers of our laws, (And why they were not, I can see no cause,) The men should slave at cards from morn to night And female pleasures be to read and write.
A LOVE SONG IN THE MODERN TASTE. 1733
Fluttering spread thy purple pinions, Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart: I a slave in thy dominions; Nature must give way to art.
Mild Arcadians, ever blooming Nightly nodding o'er your flocks, See my weary days consuming All beneath yon flowery rocks.
Thus the Cyprian goddess weeping Mourn'd Adonis, darling youth; Him the boar, in silence creeping, Gored with unrelenting tooth.
Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers; Fair Discretion, string the lyre; Sooth my ever-waking slumbers: Bright Apollo, lend thy choir.
Gloomy Pluto, king of terrors, Arm'd in adamantine chains, Lead me to the crystal mirrors, Watering soft Elysian plains.
Mournful cypress, verdant willow, Gilding my Aurelia's brows, Morpheus, hovering o'er my pillow, Hear me pay my dying vows.
Melancholy smooth Meander, Swiftly purling in a round, On thy margin lovers wander, With thy flowery chaplets crown'd.
Thus when Philomela drooping Softly seeks her silent mate, See the bird of Juno stooping; Melody resigns to fate.
Pallas, a goddess chaste and wise Descending lately from the skies, To Neptune went, and begg'd in form He'd give his orders for a storm; A storm, to drown that rascal Hort, And she would kindly thank him for't: A wretch! whom English rogues, to spite her, Had lately honour'd with a mitre. The god, who favour'd her request, Assured her he would do his best: But Venus had been there before, Pleaded the bishop loved a whore, And had enlarged her empire wide; He own'd no deity beside. At sea or land, if e'er you found him Without a mistress, hang or drown him. Since Burnet's death, the bishops' bench, Till Hort arrived, ne'er kept a wench; If Hort must sink, she grieves to tell it, She'll not have left one single prelate: For, to say truth, she did intend him, Elect of Cyprus in commendam. And, since her birth the ocean gave her, She could not doubt her uncle's favour. Then Proteus urged the same request, But half in earnest, half in jest; Said he—"Great sovereign of the main, To drown him all attempts are vain. Hort can assume more forms than I, A rake, a bully, pimp, or spy; Can creep, or run, or fly, or swim; All motions are alike to him: Turn him adrift, and you shall find He knows to sail with every wind; Or, throw him overboard, he'll ride As well against as with the tide. But, Pallas, you've applied too late; For, 'tis decreed by Jove and Fate, That Ireland must be soon destroy'd, And who but Hort can be employ'd? You need not then have been so pert, In sending Bolton to Clonfert. I found you did it, by your grinning; Your business is to mind your spinning. But how you came to interpose In making bishops, no one knows; Or who regarded your report; For never were you seen at court. And if you must have your petition, There's Berkeley in the same condition; Look, there he stands, and 'tis but just, If one must drown, the other must; But, if you'll leave us Bishop Judas, We'll give you Berkeley for Bermudas. Now, if 'twill gratify your spight, To put him in a plaguy fright, Although 'tis hardly worth the cost, You soon shall see him soundly tost. You'll find him swear, blaspheme, and damn (And every moment take a dram) His ghastly visage with an air Of reprobation and despair; Or else some hiding-hole he seeks, For fear the rest should say he squeaks; Or, as Fitzpatrick did before, Resolve to perish with his whore; Or else he raves, and roars, and swears, And, but for shame, would say his prayers. Or, would you see his spirits sink? Relaxing downwards in a stink? If such a sight as this can please ye, Good madam Pallas, pray be easy. To Neptune speak, and he'll consent; But he'll come back the knave he went." The goddess, who conceived a hope That Hort was destined to a rope, Believed it best to condescend To spare a foe, to save a friend; But, fearing Berkeley might be scared, She left him virtue for a guard.
[Footnote 1: Josiah Hort was born about 1674, and educated in London as a Nonconformist Minister; but he soon conformed to the Church of England, and held in succession several benefices. In 1709 he went to Ireland as chaplain to Lord Wharton, when Lord Lieutenant; and afterwards became, in 1721, Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, and ultimately Archbishop of Tuam. He died in 1751.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Dr. Theophilus Bolton, afterwards Archbishop of Cashell.—F.]
[Footnote 3: Dr. George Berkeley, a senior fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, who became Dean of Derry, and afterwards Bishop of Cloyne.]
[Footnote 4: The Bishop had a project of a college at Bermuda for the propagation of the Gospel in 1722. See his Works, ut supra.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 5: Brigadier Fitzpatrick was drowned in one of the packet-boats in the Bay of Dublin, in a great storm.—F.]
ODE ON SCIENCE
O, heavenly born! in deepest dells If fairest science ever dwells Beneath the mossy cave; Indulge the verdure of the woods, With azure beauty gild the floods, And flowery carpets lave.
For, Melancholy ever reigns Delighted in the sylvan scenes With scientific light; While Dian, huntress of the vales, Seeks lulling sounds and fanning gales, Though wrapt from mortal sight.
Yet, goddess, yet the way explore With magic rites and heathen lore Obstructed and depress'd; Till Wisdom give the sacred Nine, Untaught, not uninspired, to shine, By Reason's power redress'd.
When Solon and Lycurgus taught To moralize the human thought Of mad opinion's maze, To erring zeal they gave new laws, Thy charms, O Liberty, the cause That blends congenial rays.
Bid bright Astraea gild the morn, Or bid a hundred suns be born, To hecatomb the year; Without thy aid, in vain the poles, In vain the zodiac system rolls, In vain the lunar sphere.
Come, fairest princess of the throng, Bring sweet philosophy along, In metaphysic dreams; While raptured bards no more behold A vernal age of purer gold, In Heliconian streams.
Drive Thraldom with malignant hand, To curse some other destined land, By Folly led astray: Ierne bear on azure wing; Energic let her soar, and sing Thy universal sway.
So when Amphion bade the lyre To more majestic sound aspire, Behold the madding throng, In wonder and oblivion drown'd, To sculpture turn'd by magic sound And petrifying song.
[Footnote 1: King of Thebes, and husband of Niobe; famous for his magical power with the lyre by which the stones were collected for the building of the city.—Hor., "De Arte Poetica," 394.—W. E. B.]
A YOUNG LADY'S COMPLAINT FOR THE STAY OF THE DEAN IN ENGLAND
Blow, ye zephyrs, gentle gales; Gently fill the swelling sails. Neptune, with thy trident long, Trident three-fork'd, trident strong: And ye Nereids fair and gay, Fairer than the rose in May, Nereids living in deep caves, Gently wash'd with gentle waves; Nereids, Neptune, lull asleep Ruffling storms, and ruffled deep; All around, in pompous state, On this richer Argo wait: Argo, bring my golden fleece, Argo, bring him to his Greece. Will Cadenus longer stay? Come, Cadenus, come away; Come with all the haste of love, Come unto thy turtle-dove. The ripen'd cherry on the tree Hangs, and only hangs for thee, Luscious peaches, mellow pears, Ceres, with her yellow ears, And the grape, both red and white, Grape inspiring just delight; All are ripe, and courting sue, To be pluck'd and press'd by you. Pinks have lost their blooming red, Mourning hang their drooping head, Every flower languid seems, Wants the colour of thy beams, Beams of wondrous force and power, Beams reviving every flower. Come, Cadenus, bless once more, Bless again thy native shore, Bless again this drooping isle, Make its weeping beauties smile, Beauties that thine absence mourn, Beauties wishing thy return: Come, Cadenus, come with haste, Come before the winter's blast; Swifter than the lightning fly, Or I, like Vanessa, die.
[Footnote 1: These verses, like the "Love Song in the Modern Taste" and the preceding one, seem designed to ridicule the commonplaces of poetry.—W. E. B.]
ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT
WRITTEN IN NOVEMBER, 1731 
Occasioned by reading the following maxim in Rochefoucauld, "Dans l'adversite de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons toujours quelque chose, qui ne nous deplait pas."
This maxim was No. 99 in the edition of 1665, and was one of those suppressed by the author in his later editions. In the edition published by Didot Freres, 1864, it is No. 15 in the first supplement. See it commented upon by Lord Chesterfield in a letter to his son, Sept. 5, 1748, where he takes a similar view to that expressed by Swift.—W. E. B.
AS Rochefoucauld his maxims drew From nature, I believe 'em true: They argue no corrupted mind In him; the fault is in mankind. This maxim more than all the rest Is thought too base for human breast: "In all distresses of our friends, We first consult our private ends; While nature, kindly bent to ease us, Points out some circumstance to please us." If this perhaps your patience move, Let reason and experience prove. We all behold with envious eyes Our equal raised above our size. Who would not at a crowded show Stand high himself, keep others low? I love my friend as well as you: But why should he obstruct my view? Then let me have the higher post: Suppose it but an inch at most. If in battle you should find One whom you love of all mankind, Had some heroic action done, A champion kill'd, or trophy won; Rather than thus be overtopt, Would you not wish his laurels cropt? Dear honest Ned is in the gout, Lies rackt with pain, and you without: How patiently you hear him groan! How glad the case is not your own! What poet would not grieve to see His breth'ren write as well as he? But rather than they should excel, He'd wish his rivals all in hell. Her end when Emulation misses, She turns to Envy, stings and hisses: The strongest friendship yields to pride, Unless the odds be on our side. Vain human kind! fantastic race! Thy various follies who can trace? Self-love, ambition, envy, pride, Their empire in our hearts divide. Give others riches, power, and station, 'Tis all on me an usurpation. I have no title to aspire; Yet, when you sink, I seem the higher. In Pope I cannot read a line, But with a sigh I wish it mine; When he can in one couplet fix More sense than I can do in six; It gives me such a jealous fit, I cry, "Pox take him and his wit!" I grieve to be outdone by Gay In my own hum'rous biting way. Arbuthnot is no more my friend, Who dares to irony pretend, Which I was born to introduce, Refin'd it first, and shew'd its use. St. John, as well as Pultney, knows That I had some repute for prose; And, till they drove me out of date Could maul a minister of state. If they have mortify'd my pride, And made me throw my pen aside; If with such talents Heav'n has blest 'em, Have I not reason to detest 'em? To all my foes, dear Fortune, send Thy gifts; but never to my friend: I tamely can endure the first; But this with envy makes me burst. Thus much may serve by way of proem: Proceed we therefore to our poem. The time is not remote, when I Must by the course of nature die; When, I foresee, my special friends Will try to find their private ends: Tho' it is hardly understood Which way my death can do them good, Yet thus, methinks, I hear 'em speak: "See, how the Dean begins to break! Poor gentleman, he droops apace! You plainly find it in his face. That old vertigo in his head Will never leave him till he's dead. Besides, his memory decays: He recollects not what he says; He cannot call his friends to mind: Forgets the place where last he din'd; Plyes you with stories o'er and o'er; He told them fifty times before. How does he fancy we can sit To hear his out-of-fashion'd wit? But he takes up with younger folks, Who for his wine will bear his jokes. Faith! he must make his stories shorter, Or change his comrades once a quarter: In half the time he talks them round, There must another set be found. "For poetry he's past his prime: He takes an hour to find a rhyme; His fire is out, his wit decay'd, His fancy sunk, his Muse a jade. I'd have him throw away his pen;— But there's no talking to some men!" And then their tenderness appears, By adding largely to my years; "He's older than he would be reckon'd, And well remembers Charles the Second. He hardly drinks a pint of wine; And that, I doubt, is no good sign. His stomach too begins to fail: Last year we thought him strong and hale; But now he's quite another thing: I wish he may hold out till spring!" Then hug themselves, and reason thus: "It is not yet so bad with us!" In such a case, they talk in tropes, And by their fears express their hopes: Some great misfortune to portend, No enemy can match a friend. With all the kindness they profess, The merit of a lucky guess (When daily how d'ye's come of course, And servants answer, "Worse and worse!") Wou'd please 'em better, than to tell, That, "God be prais'd, the Dean is well." Then he, who prophecy'd the best, Approves his foresight to the rest: "You know I always fear'd the worst, And often told you so at first." He'd rather chuse that I should die, Than his prediction prove a lie. Not one foretells I shall recover; But all agree to give me over. Yet, shou'd some neighbour feel a pain Just in the parts where I complain; How many a message would he send! What hearty prayers that I should mend! Inquire what regimen I kept; What gave me ease, and how I slept? And more lament when I was dead, Than all the sniv'llers round my bed. My good companions, never fear; For though you may mistake a year, Though your prognostics run too fast, They must be verify'd at last. Behold the fatal day arrive! "How is the Dean?"—"He's just alive." Now the departing prayer is read; "He hardly breathes."—"The Dean is dead." Before the Passing-bell begun, The news thro' half the town has run. "O! may we all for death prepare! What has he left? and who's his heir?"— "I know no more than what the news is; 'Tis all bequeath'd to public uses."— "To public use! a perfect whim! What had the public done for him? Mere envy, avarice, and pride: He gave it all—but first he died. And had the Dean, in all the nation, No worthy friend, no poor relation? So ready to do strangers good, Forgetting his own flesh and blood!" Now, Grub-Street wits are all employ'd; With elegies the town is cloy'd: Some paragraph in ev'ry paper To curse the Dean, or bless the Drapier. The doctors, tender of their fame, Wisely on me lay all the blame: "We must confess, his case was nice; But he would never take advice. Had he been ruled, for aught appears, He might have lived these twenty years; For, when we open'd him, we found, That all his vital parts were sound." From Dublin soon to London spread, 'Tis told at court, "the Dean is dead." Kind Lady Suffolk, in the spleen, Runs laughing up to tell the queen. The queen, so gracious, mild, and good, Cries, "Is he gone! 'tis time he shou'd. He's dead, you say; why, let him rot: I'm glad the medals were forgot. I promised him, I own; but when? I only was a princess then; But now, as consort of a king, You know, 'tis quite a different thing." Now Chartres, at Sir Robert's levee, Tells with a sneer the tidings heavy: "Why, is he dead without his shoes," Cries Bob, "I'm sorry for the news: O, were the wretch but living still, And in his place my good friend Will! Or had a mitre on his head, Provided Bolingbroke were dead!" Now Curll his shop from rubbish drains: Three genuine tomes of Swift's remains! And then, to make them pass the glibber, Revised by Tibbalds, Moore, and Cibber. He'll treat me as he does my betters, Publish my will, my life, my letters: Revive the libels born to die; Which Pope must bear, as well as I. Here shift the scene, to represent How those I love my death lament. Poor Pope will grieve a month, and Gay A week, and Arbuthnot a day. St. John himself will scarce forbear To bite his pen, and drop a tear. The rest will give a shrug, and cry, "I'm sorry—but we all must die!" Indifference, clad in Wisdom's guise, All fortitude of mind supplies: For how can stony bowels melt In those who never pity felt! When we are lash'd, they kiss the rod, Resigning to the will of God. The fools, my juniors by a year, Are tortur'd with suspense and fear; Who wisely thought my age a screen, When death approach'd, to stand between: The screen removed, their hearts are trembling; They mourn for me without dissembling. My female friends, whose tender hearts Have better learn'd to act their parts, Receive the news in doleful dumps: "The Dean is dead: (and what is trumps?) Then, Lord have mercy on his soul! (Ladies, I'll venture for the vole.) Six deans, they say, must bear the pall: (I wish I knew what king to call.) Madam, your husband will attend The funeral of so good a friend. No, madam, 'tis a shocking sight: And he's engaged to-morrow night: My Lady Club wou'd take it ill, If he shou'd fail her at quadrille. He loved the Dean—(I lead a heart,) But dearest friends, they say, must part. His time was come: he ran his race; We hope he's in a better place." Why do we grieve that friends should die? No loss more easy to supply. One year is past; a different scene! No further mention of the Dean; Who now, alas! no more is miss'd, Than if he never did exist. Where's now this fav'rite of Apollo! Departed:—and his works must follow; Must undergo the common fate; His kind of wit is out of date. Some country squire to Lintot goes, Inquires for "Swift in Verse and Prose." Says Lintot, "I have heard the name; He died a year ago."—"The same." He searches all the shop in vain. "Sir, you may find them in Duck-lane; I sent them with a load of books, Last Monday to the pastry-cook's. To fancy they could live a year! I find you're but a stranger here. The Dean was famous in his time, And had a kind of knack at rhyme. His way of writing now is past; The town has got a better taste; I keep no antiquated stuff, But spick and span I have enough. Pray do but give me leave to show 'em; Here's Colley Cibber's birth-day poem. This ode you never yet have seen, By Stephen Duck, upon the queen. Then here's a letter finely penned Against the Craftsman and his friend: It clearly shows that all reflection On ministers is disaffection. Next, here's Sir Robert's vindication, And Mr. Henley's last oration. The hawkers have not got them yet: Your honour please to buy a set? "Here's Woolston's tracts, the twelfth edition; 'Tis read by every politician: The country members, when in town, To all their boroughs send them down; You never met a thing so smart; The courtiers have them all by heart: Those maids of honour (who can read), Are taught to use them for their creed. The rev'rend author's good intention Has been rewarded with a pension. He does an honour to his gown, By bravely running priestcraft down: He shows, as sure as God's in Gloucester, That Moses was a grand impostor; That all his miracles were cheats, Perform'd as jugglers do their feats: The church had never such a writer; A shame he has not got a mitre!" Suppose me dead; and then suppose A club assembled at the Rose; Where, from discourse of this and that, I grow the subject of their chat. And while they toss my name about, With favour some, and some without, One, quite indiff'rent in the cause, My character impartial draws: The Dean, if we believe report, Was never ill receiv'd at court. As for his works in verse and prose I own myself no judge of those; Nor can I tell what critics thought 'em: But this I know, all people bought 'em. As with a moral view design'd To cure the vices of mankind: And, if he often miss'd his aim, The world must own it, to their shame, The praise is his, and theirs the blame. "Sir, I have heard another story: He was a most confounded Tory, And grew, or he is much belied, Extremely dull, before he died." Can we the Drapier then forget? Is not our nation in his debt? 'Twas he that writ the Drapier's letters!— "He should have left them for his betters, We had a hundred abler men, Nor need depend upon his pen.— Say what you will about his reading, You never can defend his breeding; Who in his satires running riot, Could never leave the world in quiet; Attacking, when he took the whim, Court, city, camp—all one to him.— "But why should he, except he slobber't, Offend our patriot, great Sir Robert, Whose counsels aid the sov'reign power To save the nation every hour? What scenes of evil he unravels In satires, libels, lying travels! Not sparing his own clergy-cloth, But eats into it, like a moth!" His vein, ironically grave, Exposed the fool, and lash'd the knave. To steal a hint was never known, But what he writ was all his own. "He never thought an honour done him, Because a duke was proud to own him, Would rather slip aside and chuse To talk with wits in dirty shoes; Despised the fools with stars and garters, So often seen caressing Chartres. He never courted men in station, Nor persons held in admiration; Of no man's greatness was afraid, Because he sought for no man's aid. Though trusted long in great affairs He gave himself no haughty airs: Without regarding private ends, Spent all his credit for his friends; And only chose the wise and good; No flatterers; no allies in blood: But succour'd virtue in distress, And seldom fail'd of good success; As numbers in their hearts must own, Who, but for him, had been unknown. "With princes kept a due decorum, But never stood in awe before 'em. He follow'd David's lesson just; In princes never put thy trust: And would you make him truly sour, Provoke him with a slave in power. The Irish senate if you named, With what impatience he declaim'd! Fair LIBERTY was all his cry, For her he stood prepared to die; For her he boldly stood alone; For her he oft exposed his own. Two kingdoms, just as faction led, Had set a price upon his head; But not a traitor could be found, To sell him for six hundred pound. "Had he but spared his tongue and pen He might have rose like other men: But power was never in his thought, And wealth he valued not a groat: Ingratitude he often found, And pitied those who meant the wound: But kept the tenor of his mind, To merit well of human kind: Nor made a sacrifice of those Who still were true, to please his foes. He labour'd many a fruitless hour, To reconcile his friends in power; Saw mischief by a faction brewing, While they pursued each other's ruin. But finding vain was all his care, He left the court in mere despair. "And, oh! how short are human schemes! Here ended all our golden dreams. What St. John's skill in state affairs, What Ormond's valour, Oxford's cares, To save their sinking country lent, Was all destroy'd by one event. Too soon that precious life was ended, On which alone our weal depended. When up a dangerous faction starts, With wrath and vengeance in their hearts; By solemn League and Cov'nant bound, To ruin, slaughter, and confound; To turn religion to a fable, And make the government a Babel; Pervert the laws, disgrace the gown, Corrupt the senate, rob the crown; To sacrifice old England's glory, And make her infamous in story: When such a tempest shook the land, How could unguarded Virtue stand! With horror, grief, despair, the Dean Beheld the dire destructive scene: His friends in exile, or the tower, Himself within the frown of power, Pursued by base envenom'd pens, Far to the land of slaves and fens; A servile race in folly nursed, Who truckle most, when treated worst. "By innocence and resolution, He bore continual persecution; While numbers to preferment rose, Whose merits were, to be his foes; When ev'n his own familiar friends, Intent upon their private ends, Like renegadoes now he feels, Against him lifting up their heels. "The Dean did, by his pen, defeat An infamous destructive cheat; Taught fools their int'rest how to know, And gave them arms to ward the blow. Envy has own'd it was his doing, To save that hapless land from ruin; While they who at the steerage stood, And reap'd the profit, sought his blood. "To save them from their evil fate, In him was held a crime of state, A wicked monster on the bench, Whose fury blood could never quench; As vile and profligate a villain, As modern Scroggs, or old Tresilian: Who long all justice had discarded, Nor fear'd he God, nor man regarded; Vow'd on the Dean his rage to vent, And make him of his zeal repent: But Heaven his innocence defends, The grateful people stand his friends; Not strains of law, nor judge's frown, Nor topics brought to please the crown, Nor witness hired, nor jury pick'd, Prevail to bring him in convict. "In exile, with a steady heart, He spent his life's declining part; Where folly, pride, and faction sway, Remote from St. John, Pope, and Gay. Alas, poor Dean! his only scope Was to be held a misanthrope. This into gen'ral odium drew him, Which if he liked, much good may't do him. His zeal was not to lash our crimes, But discontent against the times: For had we made him timely offers To raise his post, or fill his coffers, Perhaps he might have truckled down, Like other brethren of his gown. For party he would scarce have bled: I say no more—because he's dead. What writings has he left behind? I hear, they're of a different kind; A few in verse; but most in prose— Some high-flown pamphlets, I suppose;— All scribbled in the worst of times, To palliate his friend Oxford's crimes, To praise Queen Anne, nay more, defend her, As never fav'ring the Pretender; Or libels yet conceal'd from sight, Against the court to show his spite; Perhaps his travels, part the third; A lie at every second word— Offensive to a loyal ear: But not one sermon, you may swear." His friendships there, to few confined Were always of the middling kind; No fools of rank, a mongrel breed, Who fain would pass for lords indeed: Where titles give no right or power, And peerage is a wither'd flower; He would have held it a disgrace, If such a wretch had known his face. On rural squires, that kingdom's bane, He vented oft his wrath in vain; [Biennial] squires to market brought; Who sell their souls and [votes] for nought; The [nation stripped,] go joyful back, To *** the church, their tenants rack, Go snacks with [rogues and rapparees,] And keep the peace to pick up fees; In every job to have a share, A gaol or barrack to repair; And turn the tax for public roads, Commodious to their own abodes. "Perhaps I may allow the Dean, Had too much satire in his vein; And seem'd determined not to starve it, Because no age could more deserve it. Yet malice never was his aim; He lash'd the vice, but spared the name; No individual could resent, Where thousands equally were meant; His satire points at no defect, But what all mortals may correct; For he abhorr'd that senseless tribe Who call it humour when they gibe: He spared a hump, or crooked nose, Whose owners set not up for beaux. True genuine dulness moved his pity, Unless it offer'd to be witty. Those who their ignorance confest, He ne'er offended with a jest; But laugh'd to hear an idiot quote A verse from Horace learn'd by rote. "Vice, if it e'er can be abash'd, Must be or ridiculed or lash'd. If you resent it, who's to blame? He neither knew you nor your name. Should vice expect to 'scape rebuke, Because its owner is a duke? "He knew an hundred pleasant stories, With all the turns of Whigs and Tories: Was cheerful to his dying day; And friends would let him have his way. "He gave the little wealth he had To build a house for fools and mad; And show'd by one satiric touch, No nation wanted it so much. That kingdom he hath left his debtor, I wish it soon may have a better." And, since you dread no farther lashes Methinks you may forgive his ashes.
[Footnote 1: This poem was first written about 1731 but was not then intended to be published; and having been shown by Swift to all his "common acquaintance indifferently," some "friend," probably Pilkington, remembered enough of it to concoct the poem called "The Life and Character of Dr. Swift, written by himself," which was published in London in 1733, and reprinted in Dublin. In a letter to Pope, dated 1 May, that year, the Dean complained seriously about the imposture, saying, "it shall not provoke me to print the true one, which indeed is not proper to be seen till I can be seen no more." See Swift to Pope, in Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope, vii, 307. The poem was subsequently published by Faulkner with the Dean's permission. It is now printed from a copy of the original edition, with corrections in Swift's hand, which I found in the Forster collection.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Var. "But would not have him stop my view."]
[Footnote 3: Var. "I ask but for an inch at most."]
[Footnote 4: Var. "Why must I be outdone by Gay."]
[Footnote 5: The author supposes that the scribblers of the prevailing party, which he always opposed, will libel him after his death; but that others will remember the service he had done to Ireland, under the name of M. B. Drapier, by utterly defeating the destructive project of Wood's halfpence, in five letters to the people of Ireland, at that time read universally, and convincing every reader.]
[Footnote 6: The Dean supposeth himself to die in Ireland.]
[Footnote 7: Mrs. Howard, afterwards Countess of Suffolk, then of the bedchamber to the queen, professed much favour for the Dean. The queen, then princess, sent a dozen times to the Dean (then in London), with her commands to attend her; which at last he did, by advice of all his friends. She often sent for him afterwards, and always treated him very graciously. He taxed her with a present worth L10, which she promised before he should return to Ireland; but on his taking leave the medals were not ready.
A letter from Swift to Lady Suffolk, 21st November, 1730, bears out this note.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 8: The medals were to be sent to the Dean in four months; but she forgot or thought them too dear. The Dean, being in Ireland, sent Mrs. Howard a piece of plaid made in that kingdom, which the queen seeing took it from her and wore it herself and sent to the Dean for as much as would clothe herself and children, desiring he would send the charge of it; he did the former, it cost L35, but he said he would have nothing except the medals; he went next summer to England, and was treated as usual, and she being then queen, the Dean was promised a settlement in England, but returned as he went, and instead of receiving of her intended favours or the medals, hath been ever since under Her Majesty's displeasure.]
[Footnote 9: Chartres is a most infamous vile scoundrel, grown from a footboy, or worse, to a prodigious fortune, both in England and Scotland. He had a way of insinuating himself into all ministers, under every change, either as pimp, flatterer, or informer. He was tried at seventy for a rape, and came off by sacrificing a great part of his fortune. He is since dead; but this poem still preserves the scene and time it was writ in.—Dublin Edition, and see ante, p. 191.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 10: Sir Robert Walpole, chief minister of state, treated the Dean in 1726 with great distinction; invited him to dinner at Chelsea, with the Dean's friends chosen on purpose: appointed an hour to talk with him of Ireland, to which kingdom and people the Dean found him no great friend; for he defended Wood's project of halfpence, etc. The Dean would see him no more; and upon his next year's return to England, Sir Robert, on an accidental meeting, only made a civil compliment, and never invited him again.]
[Footnote 11: Mr. William Pultney, from being Sir Robert's intimate friend, detesting his administration, became his mortal enemy and joined with my Lord Bolingbroke, to expose him in an excellent paper called the Craftsman, which is still continued.]
[Footnote 12: Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, Secretary of State to Queen Anne, of blessed memory. He is reckoned the most universal genius in Europe. Walpole, dreading his abilities, treated him most injuriously working with King George I, who forgot his promise of restoring the said lord, upon the restless importunity of Sir Robert Walpole.]
[Footnote 13: Curll hath been the most infamous bookseller of any age or country. His character, in part, may be found in Mr. Pope's "Dunciad." He published three volumes, all charged on the Dean, who never writ three pages of them. He hath used many of the Dean's friends in almost as vile a manner.]
[Footnote 14: Three stupid verse-writers in London; the last, to the shame of the court, and the highest disgrace to wit and learning, was made laureate. Moore, commonly called Jemmy Moore, son of Arthur Moore, whose father was jailor of Monaghan, in Ireland. See the character of Jemmy Moore, and Tibbalds [Theobald], in the "Dunciad."]
[Footnote 15: Curll is notoriously infamous for publishing the lives, letters, and last wills and testaments of the nobility and ministers of state, as well as of all the rogues who are hanged at Tyburn. He hath been in custody of the House of Lords, for publishing or forging the letters of many peers, which made the Lords enter a resolution in their journal-book, that no life or writings of any lord should be published, without the consent of the next heir-at-law or license from their House.]
[Footnote 16: The play by which the dealer may win or lose all the tricks. See Hoyle on "Quadrille."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 17: See post, p. 267.]
[Footnote 18: A place in London, where old books are sold.]
[Footnote 19: See ante "On Stephen Duck, the Thresher Poet," p. 192.]
[Footnote 20: Walpole hath a set of party scribblers, who do nothing but write in his defence.]
[Footnote 21: Henley is a clergyman, who, wanting both merit and luck to get preferment, or even to keep his curacy in the established church, formed a new conventicle, which he called an Oratory. There, at set times, he delivereth strange speeches, compiled by himself and his associates, who share the profit with him. Every hearer payeth a shilling each day for admittance. He is an absolute dunce, but generally reported crazy.]
[Footnote 22: See ante, p. 188.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 23: See ante, p. 188. There is some confusion here betwixt Woolston and Wollaston, whose book, the "Religion of Nature delineated," was much talked of and fashionable. See a letter from Pope to Bethell in Pope's correspondence, Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope, ix, p. 149.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 24: Denham's elegy on Cowley: "To him no author was unknown, Yet what he wrote was all his own."]
[Footnote 25: See ante, pp. 192 and 252.]
[Footnote 26: In the year 1713, the late queen was prevailed with, by an address of the House of Lords in England, to publish a proclamation, promising L300 to whatever person would discover the author of a pamphlet called "The Public Spirit of the Whigs"; and in Ireland, in the year 1724, Lord Carteret, at his first coming into the government, was prevailed on to issue a proclamation for promising the like reward of L300 to any person who would discover the author of a pamphlet, called "The Drapier's Fourth Letter," etc., writ against that destructive project of coining halfpence for Ireland; but in neither kingdom was the Dean discovered.]
[Footnote 27: Queen Anne's ministry fell to variance from the first year after their ministry began; Harcourt, the chancellor, and Lord Bolingbroke, the secretary, were discontented with the treasurer Oxford, for his too much mildness to the Whig party; this quarrel grew higher every day till the queen's death. The Dean, who was the only person that endeavoured to reconcile them, found it impossible, and thereupon retired to the country about ten weeks before that event: upon which he returned to his deanery in Dublin, where for many years he was worryed by the new people in power, and had hundreds of libels writ against him in England.]
[Footnote 28: In the height of the quarrel between the ministers, the queen died.]
[Footnote 29: Upon Queen Anne's death, the Whig faction was restored to power, which they exercised with the utmost rage and revenge; impeached and banished the chief leaders of the Church party, and stripped all their adherents of what employments they had; after which England was never known to make so mean a figure in Europe. The greatest preferments in the Church, in both kingdoms, were given to the most ignorant men. Fanaticks were publickly caressed, Ireland utterly ruined and enslaved, only great ministers heaping up millions; and so affairs continue, and are likely to remain so.]
[Footnote 30: Upon the queen's death, the Dean returned to live in Dublin at his Deanery House. Numberless libels were written against him in England as a Jacobite; he was insulted in the street, and at night he was forced to be attended by his servants armed.]
[Footnote 31: Ireland.]
[Footnote 32: One Wood, a hardware-man from England, had a patent for coining copper halfpence in Ireland, to the sum of L108,000, which, in the consequence, must leave that kingdom without gold or silver. See The Drapier's Letters, "Prose Works," vol. vi.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 33: Whitshed was then chief justice. He had some years before prosecuted a printer for a pamphlet writ by the Dean, to persuade the people of Ireland to wear their own manufactures. Whitshed sent the jury down eleven times, and kept them nine hours, until they were forced to bring in a special verdict. He sat afterwards on the trial of the printer of the Drapier's Fourth Letter; but the jury, against all he could say or swear, threw out the bill. All the kingdom took the Drapier's part, except the courtiers, or those who expected places. The Drapier was celebrated in many poems and pamphlets. His sign was set up in most streets of Dublin (where many of them still continue) and in several country towns. This note was written in 1734.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 34: Scroggs was chief justice under King Charles II. His judgement always varied in state trials according to directions from Court. Tresilian was a wicked judge hanged above three hundred years ago.]
[Footnote 35: In Ireland, which he had reason to call a place of exile; to which country nothing could have driven him but the queen's death, who had determined to fix him in England, in spite of the Duchess of Somerset.]
[Footnote 36: In Ireland the Dean was not acquainted with one single lord, spiritual or temporal. He only conversed with private gentlemen of the clergy or laity, and but a small number of either.]
[Footnote 37: The peers of Ireland lost their jurisdiction by one single act, and tamely submitted to this infamous mark of slavery without the least resentment or remonstrance.]
[Footnote 38: The Parliament, as they call it in Ireland, meet but once in two years, and after having given five times more than they can afford, return home to reimburse themselves by country jobs and oppressions of which some few are mentioned.]
[Footnote 39: The highwaymen in Ireland are, since the late wars there, usually called Rapparees, which was a name given to those Irish soldiers who, in small parties, used at that time to plunder Protestants.]
[Footnote 40: The army in Ireland are lodged in barracks, the building and repairing whereof and other charges, have cost a prodigious sum to that unhappy kingdom.]
ON POETRY A RHAPSODY. 1733
All human race would fain be wits, And millions miss for one that hits. Young's universal passion, pride, Was never known to spread so wide. Say, Britain, could you ever boast Three poets in an age at most? Our chilling climate hardly bears A sprig of bays in fifty years; While every fool his claim alleges, As if it grew in common hedges. What reason can there be assign'd For this perverseness in the mind? Brutes find out where their talents lie: A bear will not attempt to fly; A founder'd horse will oft debate, Before he tries a five-barr'd gate; A dog by instinct turns aside, Who sees the ditch too deep and wide. But man we find the only creature Who, led by Folly, combats Nature; Who, when she loudly cries, Forbear, With obstinacy fixes there; And, where his genius least inclines, Absurdly bends his whole designs. Not empire to the rising sun By valour, conduct, fortune won; Not highest wisdom in debates, For framing laws to govern states; Not skill in sciences profound So large to grasp the circle round, Such heavenly influence require, As how to strike the Muse's lyre. Not beggar's brat on bulk begot; Not bastard of a pedler Scot; Not boy brought up to cleaning shoes, The spawn of Bridewell or the stews; Not infants dropp'd, the spurious pledges Of gipsies litter'd under hedges; Are so disqualified by fate To rise in church, or law, or state, As he whom Phoebus in his ire Has blasted with poetic fire. What hope of custom in the fair, While not a soul demands your ware? Where you have nothing to produce For private life, or public use? Court, city, country, want you not; You cannot bribe, betray, or plot. For poets, law makes no provision; The wealthy have you in derision: Of state affairs you cannot smatter; Are awkward when you try to flatter; Your portion, taking Britain round, Was just one annual hundred pound; Now not so much as in remainder, Since Cibber brought in an attainder; For ever fix'd by right divine (A monarch's right) on Grub Street line. Poor starv'ling bard, how small thy gains! How unproportion'd to thy pains! And here a simile comes pat in: Though chickens take a month to fatten, The guests in less than half an hour Will more than half a score devour. So, after toiling twenty days To earn a stock of pence and praise, Thy labours, grown the critic's prey, Are swallow'd o'er a dish of tea; Gone to be never heard of more, Gone where the chickens went before. How shall a new attempter learn Of different spirits to discern, And how distinguish which is which, The poet's vein, or scribbling itch? Then hear an old experienced sinner, Instructing thus a young beginner. Consult yourself; and if you find A powerful impulse urge your mind, Impartial judge within your breast What subject you can manage best; Whether your genius most inclines To satire, praise, or humorous lines, To elegies in mournful tone, Or prologue sent from hand unknown. Then, rising with Aurora's light, The Muse invoked, sit down to write; Blot out, correct, insert, refine, Enlarge, diminish, interline; Be mindful, when invention fails, To scratch your head, and bite your nails. Your poem finish'd, next your care Is needful to transcribe it fair. In modern wit all printed trash is Set off with numerous breaks and dashes. To statesmen would you give a wipe, You print it in Italic type. When letters are in vulgar shapes, 'Tis ten to one the wit escapes: But, when in capitals express'd, The dullest reader smokes the jest: Or else perhaps he may invent A better than the poet meant; As learned commentators view In Homer more than Homer knew. Your poem in its modish dress, Correctly fitted for the press, Convey by penny-post to Lintot, But let no friend alive look into't. If Lintot thinks 'twill quit the cost, You need not fear your labour lost: And how agreeably surprised Are you to see it advertised! The hawker shows you one in print, As fresh as farthings from the mint: The product of your toil and sweating; A bastard of your own begetting. Be sure at Will's, the following day, Lie snug, and hear what critics say; And, if you find the general vogue Pronounces you a stupid rogue, Damns all your thoughts as low and little, Sit still, and swallow down your spittle; Be silent as a politician, For talking may beget suspicion; Or praise the judgment of the town, And help yourself to run it down. Give up your fond paternal pride, Nor argue on the weaker side: For, poems read without a name We justly praise, or justly blame; And critics have no partial views, Except they know whom they abuse: And since you ne'er provoke their spite, Depend upon't their judgment's right. But if you blab, you are undone: Consider what a risk you run: You lose your credit all at once; The town will mark you for a dunce; The vilest dogg'rel Grub Street sends, Will pass for yours with foes and friends; And you must bear the whole disgrace, Till some fresh blockhead takes your place. Your secret kept, your poem sunk, And sent in quires to line a trunk, If still you be disposed to rhyme, Go try your hand a second time. Again you fail: yet Safe's the word; Take courage and attempt a third. But first with care employ your thoughts Where critics mark'd your former faults; The trivial turns, the borrow'd wit, The similes that nothing fit; The cant which every fool repeats, Town jests and coffeehouse conceits, Descriptions tedious, flat, and dry, And introduced the Lord knows why: Or where we find your fury set Against the harmless alphabet; On A's and B's your malice vent, While readers wonder whom you meant: A public or a private robber, A statesman, or a South Sea jobber; A prelate, who no God believes; A parliament, or den of thieves; A pickpurse at the bar or bench, A duchess, or a suburb wench: Or oft, when epithets you link, In gaping lines to fill a chink; Like stepping-stones, to save a stride, In streets where kennels are too wide; Or like a heel-piece, to support A cripple with one foot too short; Or like a bridge, that joins a marish To moorlands of a different parish. So have I seen ill-coupled hounds Drag different ways in miry grounds. So geographers, in Afric maps, With savage pictures fill their gaps, And o'er unhabitable downs Place elephants for want of towns. But, though you miss your third essay, You need not throw your pen away. Lay now aside all thoughts of fame, To spring more profitable game. From party merit seek support; The vilest verse thrives best at court. And may you ever have the luck To rhyme almost as ill as Duck; And, though you never learn'd to scan verse Come out with some lampoon on D'Anvers. A pamphlet in Sir Bob's defence Will never fail to bring in pence: Nor be concern'd about the sale, He pays his workmen on the nail. Display the blessings of the nation, And praise the whole administration. Extol the bench of bishops round, Who at them rail, bid —— confound; To bishop-haters answer thus: (The only logic used by us) What though they don't believe in —— Deny them Protestants—thou lyest. A prince, the moment he is crown'd, Inherits every virtue round, As emblems of the sovereign power, Like other baubles in the Tower; Is generous, valiant, just, and wise, And so continues till he dies: His humble senate this professes, In all their speeches, votes, addresses. But once you fix him in a tomb, His virtues fade, his vices bloom; And each perfection, wrong imputed, Is fully at his death confuted. The loads of poems in his praise, Ascending, make one funeral blaze: His panegyrics then are ceased, He grows a tyrant, dunce, or beast. As soon as you can hear his knell, This god on earth turns devil in hell: And lo! his ministers of state, Transform'd to imps, his levee wait; Where in the scenes of endless woe, They ply their former arts below; And as they sail in Charon's boat, Contrive to bribe the judge's vote; To Cerberus they give a sop, His triple barking mouth to stop; Or, in the ivory gate of dreams, Project excise and South-Sea schemes; Or hire their party pamphleteers To set Elysium by the ears. Then, poet, if you mean to thrive, Employ your muse on kings alive; With prudence gathering up a cluster Of all the virtues you can muster, Which, form'd into a garland sweet, Lay humbly at your monarch's feet: Who, as the odours reach his throne, Will smile, and think them all his own; For law and gospel both determine All virtues lodge in royal ermine: I mean the oracles of both, Who shall depose it upon oath. Your garland, in the following reign, Change but the names, will do again. But, if you think this trade too base, (Which seldom is the dunce's case) Put on the critic's brow, and sit At Will's, the puny judge of wit. A nod, a shrug, a scornful smile, With caution used, may serve a while. Proceed no further in your part, Before you learn the terms of art; For you can never be too far gone In all our modern critics' jargon: Then talk with more authentic face Of unities, in time and place: Get scraps of Horace from your friends, And have them at your fingers' ends; Learn Aristotle's rules by rote, And at all hazards boldly quote; Judicious Rymer oft review, Wise Dennis, and profound Bossu. Read all the prefaces of Dryden, For these our critics much confide in; Though merely writ at first for filling, To raise the volume's price a shilling. A forward critic often dupes us With sham quotations peri hupsous: And if we have not read Longinus, Will magisterially outshine us. Then, lest with Greek he overrun ye, Procure the book for love or money, Translated from Boileau's translation, And quote quotation on quotation. At Will's you hear a poem read, Where Battus from the table head, Reclining on his elbow-chair, Gives judgment with decisive air; To whom the tribe of circling wits As to an oracle submits. He gives directions to the town, To cry it up, or run it down; Like courtiers, when they send a note, Instructing members how to vote. He sets the stamp of bad and good, Though not a word be understood. Your lesson learn'd, you'll be secure To get the name of connoisseur: And, when your merits once are known, Procure disciples of your own. For poets (you can never want 'em) Spread through Augusta Trinobantum, Computing by their pecks of coals, Amount to just nine thousand souls: These o'er their proper districts govern, Of wit and humour judges sovereign. In every street a city bard Rules, like an alderman, his ward; His undisputed rights extend Through all the lane, from end to end; The neighbours round admire his shrewdness For songs of loyalty and lewdness; Outdone by none in rhyming well, Although he never learn'd to spell. Two bordering wits contend for glory; And one is Whig, and one is Tory: And this, for epics claims the bays, And that, for elegiac lays: Some famed for numbers soft and smooth, By lovers spoke in Punch's booth; And some as justly fame extols For lofty lines in Smithfield drolls. Bavius in Wapping gains renown, And Maevius reigns o'er Kentish town: Tigellius placed in Phooebus' car From Ludgate shines to Temple-bar: Harmonious Cibber entertains The court with annual birth-day strains; Whence Gay was banish'd in disgrace; Where Pope will never show his face; Where Young must torture his invention To flatter knaves or lose his pension. But these are not a thousandth part Of jobbers in the poet's art, Attending each his proper station, And all in due subordination, Through every alley to be found, In garrets high, or under ground; And when they join their pericranies, Out skips a book of miscellanies. Hobbes clearly proves, that every creature Lives in a state of war by nature. The greater for the smaller watch, But meddle seldom with their match. A whale of moderate size will draw A shoal of herrings down his maw; A fox with geese his belly crams; A wolf destroys a thousand lambs; But search among the rhyming race, The brave are worried by the base. If on Parnassus' top you sit, You rarely bite, are always bit: Each poet of inferior size On you shall rail and criticise, And strive to tear you limb from limb; While others do as much for him. The vermin only teaze and pinch Their foes superior by an inch. So, naturalists observe, a flea Has smaller fleas that on him prey; And these have smaller still to bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum. Thus every poet, in his kind, Is bit by him that comes behind: Who, though too little to be seen, Can teaze, and gall, and give the spleen; Call dunces, fools, and sons of whores, Lay Grub Street at each other's doors; Extol the Greek and Roman masters, And curse our modern poetasters; Complain, as many an ancient bard did, How genius is no more rewarded; How wrong a taste prevails among us; How much our ancestors outsung us: Can personate an awkward scorn For those who are not poets born; And all their brother dunces lash, Who crowd the press with hourly trash. O Grub Street! how do I bemoan thee, Whose graceless children scorn to own thee! Their filial piety forgot, Deny their country, like a Scot; Though by their idiom and grimace, They soon betray their native place: Yet thou hast greater cause to be Ashamed of them, than they of thee, Degenerate from their ancient brood Since first the court allow'd them food. Remains a difficulty still, To purchase fame by writing ill. From Flecknoe down to Howard's time, How few have reach'd the low sublime! For when our high-born Howard died, Blackmore alone his place supplied: And lest a chasm should intervene, When death had finish'd Blackmore's reign, The leaden crown devolved to thee, Great poet of the "Hollow Tree." But ah! how unsecure thy throne! A thousand bards thy right disown: They plot to turn, in factious zeal, Duncenia to a common weal; And with rebellious arms pretend An equal privilege to descend. In bulk there are not more degrees From elephants to mites in cheese, Than what a curious eye may trace In creatures of the rhyming race. From bad to worse, and worse they fall; But who can reach the worst of all? For though, in nature, depth and height Are equally held infinite: In poetry, the height we know; 'Tis only infinite below. For instance: when you rashly think, No rhymer can like Welsted sink, His merits balanced, you shall find The Laureate leaves him far behind. Concanen, more aspiring bard, Soars downward deeper by a yard. Smart Jemmy Moore with vigour drops; The rest pursue as thick as hops: With heads to point the gulf they enter, Link'd perpendicular to the centre; And as their heels elated rise, Their heads attempt the nether skies. O, what indignity and shame, To prostitute the Muses' name! By flattering kings, whom Heaven design'd The plagues and scourges of mankind; Bred up in ignorance and sloth, And every vice that nurses both. Perhaps you say, Augustus shines, Immortal made in Virgil's lines, And Horace brought the tuneful quire, To sing his virtues on the lyre; Without reproach for flattery, true, Because their praises were his due. For in those ages kings, we find, Were animals of human kind. But now, go search all Europe round Among the savage monsters —— With vice polluting every throne, (I mean all thrones except our own;) In vain you make the strictest view To find a —— in all the crew, With whom a footman out of place Would not conceive a high disgrace, A burning shame, a crying sin, To take his morning's cup of gin. Thus all are destined to obey Some beast of burthen or of prey. 'Tis sung, Prometheus, forming man, Through all the brutal species ran, Each proper quality to find Adapted to a human mind; A mingled mass of good and bad, The best and worst that could be had; Then from a clay of mixture base He shaped a —— to rule the race, Endow'd with gifts from every brute That best the * * nature suit. Thus think on ——s: the name denotes Hogs, asses, wolves, baboons, and goats. To represent in figure just, Sloth, folly, rapine, mischief, lust; Oh! were they all but Neb-cadnezers, What herds of ——s would turn to grazers! Fair Britain, in thy monarch blest, Whose virtues bear the strictest test; Whom never faction could bespatter, Nor minister nor poet flatter; What justice in rewarding merit! What magnanimity of spirit! What lineaments divine we trace Through all his figure, mien, and face! Though peace with olive binds his hands, Confess'd the conquering hero stands. Hydaspes, Indus, and the Ganges, Dread from his hand impending changes. From him the Tartar and Chinese, Short by the knees, entreat for peace. The consort of his throne and bed, A perfect goddess born and bred, Appointed sovereign judge to sit On learning, eloquence, and wit. Our eldest hope, divine Iuelus, (Late, very late, O may he rule us!) What early manhood has he shown, Before his downy beard was grown, Then think, what wonders will be done By going on as he begun, An heir for Britain to secure As long as sun and moon endure. The remnant of the royal blood Comes pouring on me like a flood. Bright goddesses, in number five; Duke William, sweetest prince alive. Now sing the minister of state, Who shines alone without a mate. Observe with what majestic port This Atlas stands to prop the court: Intent the public debts to pay, Like prudent Fabius, by delay. Thou great vicegerent of the king, Thy praises every Muse shall sing! In all affairs thou sole director; Of wit and learning chief protector, Though small the time thou hast to spare, The church is thy peculiar care. Of pious prelates what a stock You choose to rule the sable flock! You raise the honour of the peerage, Proud to attend you at the steerage. You dignify the noble race, Content yourself with humbler place. Now learning, valour, virtue, sense, To titles give the sole pretence. St. George beheld thee with delight, Vouchsafe to be an azure knight, When on thy breast and sides Herculean, He fix'd the star and string cerulean. Say, poet, in what other nation Shone ever such a constellation! Attend, ye Popes, and Youngs, and Gays, And tune your harps, and strew your bays: Your panegyrics here provide; You cannot err on flattery's side. Above the stars exalt your style, You still are low ten thousand mile. On Lewis all his bards bestow'd Of incense many a thousand load; But Europe mortified his pride, And swore the fawning rascals lied. Yet what the world refused to Lewis, Applied to George, exactly true is. Exactly true! invidious poet! 'Tis fifty thousand times below it. Translate me now some lines, if you can, From Virgil, Martial, Ovid, Lucan. They could all power in Heaven divide, And do no wrong on either side; They teach you how to split a hair, Give George and Jove an equal share. Yet why should we be laced so strait? I'll give my monarch butter-weight. And reason good; for many a year Jove never intermeddled here: Nor, though his priests be duly paid, Did ever we desire his aid: We now can better do without him, Since Woolston gave us arms to rout him. Caetera desiderantur.
[Footnote 1: See Young's "Satires," and "Life" by Johnson.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: The prison or house of correction to which harlots were often consigned. See Hogarth's "Harlot's Progress," and "A beautiful young Nymph," ante, p. 201.—W. R. B.]
[Footnote 3: Colley Cibber, born in 1671, died in 1757; famous as a comedian and dramatist, and immortalized by Pope as the hero of the "Dunciad"; appointed Laureate in December, 1730, in succession to Eusden, who died in September that year. See Cibber's "Apology for his Life"; Disraeli's "Quarrels of Authors," edit. 1859.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: Barnaby Bernard Lintot, publisher and bookseller, noted for adorning his shop with titles in red letters. In the Prologue to the "Satires" Pope says: "What though my name stood rubric on the walls"; and in the "Dunciad," book i, "Lintot's rubric post." He made a handsome fortune, and died High Sheriff of Sussex in 1736, aged sixty-one.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 5: The coffee-house most frequented by the wits and poets of that time.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 6: See ante, p. 192, "On Stephen Duck, the Thresher Poet."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 7: Allusion to the large sums paid by Walpole to scribblers in support of his party.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 8: "Sunt geminae Somni portae: quarum altera fertur Cornea; qua veris facilis datur exitus Vmbris: Altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto; Sed falsa ad coelum mittunt insomnia Manes." VIRG., Aen., vi.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 9: See the "South Sea Project," ante, p. 120.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 10: Thomas Rymer, archaeologist and critic. The allusion is to his "Remarks on the Tragedies of the last Age," on which see Johnson's "Life of Dryden" and Spence's "Anecdotes," p. 173. Rymer is best known by his work entitled "Foedera," consisting of leagues, treaties, etc., made between England and other kingdoms.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 11: John Dennis, born 1657, died 1734. He is best remembered as "The Critic." See Swift's "Thoughts on various subjects," "Prose Works," i, 284; Disraeli, "Calamities of Authors: Influence of a bad Temper in Criticism"; Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope, passim.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 12: Highly esteemed as a French critic by Dryden and Pope.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 13: By Leonard Welsted, who, in 1712, published the work of "Longinus on the Sublime," stated to be "translated from the Greek." He is better known through his quarrel with Pope. See the "Prologue to the Satires."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 14: Dryden, whose armed chair at Will's was in the winter placed by the fire, and in the summer in the balcony. Malone's "Life of Dryden," p. 485. Why Battus? Battus was a herdsman who, because he Betrayed Mercury's theft of some cattle, was changed by the god into a Stone Index. Ovid, "Metam.," ii, 685.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 15: The ancient name of London, also called Troynovant. See Journal to Stella, "Prose Works," ii, 249; and Cunningham's "Handbook of London," introduction.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 16: The two bad Roman poets, hateful and inimical to Virgil and Horace: Virg., "Ecl." iii, 90; Horat., "Epod." x. The names have been well applied in our time by Gifford in his satire entitled "The Baviad and Maeviad."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 17: A musician, also a censurer of Horace. See "Satirae," lib. 1. iii, 4.——W. E. B.]
[Footnote 18: In consequence of "Polly," the supplement to the "Beggar's Opera," but which obtained him the friendship of the Duke and Duchess of Queensberry.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 19: The grant of two hundred a year, which he obtained from the Crown, and retained till his death in 1765.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 20: See "Leviathan," Part I, chap, xiii.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 21: Richard Flecknoe, poet and dramatist, died 1678, of whom it has been written that "whatever may become of his own pieces, his name will continue, whilst Dryden's satire, called 'Mac Flecknoe,' shall remain in vogue." Dryden's Poetical Works, edit. Warton, ii, 169.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 22: Hon. Edward Howard, author of some indifferent plays and poems. See "Dict. Nat. Biog."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 23: Richard Blackmore, physician and very voluminous writer in prose and verse. In 1697 he was appointed physician to William III, when he was knighted. See Pope, "Imitations of Horace," book ii, epist. 1, 387.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 24: Lord Grimston, born 1683, died 1756. He is best known by his play, written in 1705, "The Lawyer's Fortune, or Love in a Hollow Tree," which the author withdrew from circulation; but, by some person's malice, it was reprinted in 1736. See "Dict. Nat. Biog.," Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope, iii, p. 314.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 25: Matthew Concanen, born in Ireland, 1701, a writer of miscellaneous works, dramatic and poetical. See the "Dunciad," ii, 299, 304, ut supra.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 26: James Moore Smythe, chiefly remarkable for his consummate assurance as a plagiarist. See the "Dunciad," ii, 50, and notes thereto, Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope, iv, 132.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 27: "Fertur Prometheus, addere principi Limo coactus particulam undique Desectam, et insani leonis Vim stomacho apposuisse nostro." HORAT., Carm. I, xvi.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 28: "—— super et Garamantas et Indos, Proferet imperium; —— —— jam nunc et Caspia regna Responsis horrent divom." Virg., Aen., vi.]
[Footnote 29: "—— genibus minor."]
[Footnote 30: Son of Aeneas, here representing Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of George III.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 31: "Unus qui nobis cunctando restituis rem." Virg., Aen., vi, 847.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 32: "Divisum imperium cum Jove Caesar habet."]
VERSES SENT TO THE DEAN ON HIS BIRTH-DAY, WITH PINE'S HORACE, FINELY BOUND. BY DR. J. SICAN
You've read, sir, in poetic strain, How Varus and the Mantuan swain Have on my birth-day been invited, (But I was forced in verse to write it,) Upon a plain repast to dine, And taste my old Campanian wine; But I, who all punctilios hate, Though long familiar with the great, Nor glory in my reputation, Am come without an invitation; And, though I'm used to right Falernian, I'll deign for once to taste Iernian; But fearing that you might dispute (Had I put on my common suit) My breeding and my politesse, I visit in my birth-day dress: My coat of purest Turkey red, With gold embroidery richly spread; To which I've sure as good pretensions, As Irish lords who starve on pensions. What though proud ministers of state Did at your antichamber wait; What though your Oxfords and your St. Johns, Have at your levee paid attendance, And Peterborough and great Ormond, With many chiefs who now are dormant, Have laid aside the general's staff, And public cares, with you to laugh; Yet I some friends as good can name, Nor less the darling sons of fame; For sure my Pollio and Maecenas Were as good statesmen, Mr. Dean, as Either your Bolingbroke or Harley, Though they made Lewis beg a parley; And as for Mordaunt, your loved hero, I'll match him with my Drusus Nero. You'll boast, perhaps, your favourite Pope; But Virgil is as good, I hope. I own indeed I can't get any To equal Helsham and Delany; Since Athens brought forth Socrates, A Grecian isle, Hippocrates; Since Tully lived before my time, And Galen bless'd another clime. You'll plead, perhaps, at my request, To be admitted as a guest, "Your hearing's bad!"—But why such fears? I speak to eyes, and not to ears; And for that reason wisely took The form you see me in, a book. Attack'd by slow devouring moths, By rage of barbarous Huns and Goths; By Bentley's notes, my deadliest foes, By Creech's rhymes, and Dunster's prose; I found my boasted wit and fire In their rude hands almost expire: Yet still they but in vain assail'd; For, had their violence prevail'd, And in a blast destroy'd my frame, They would have partly miss'd their aim; Since all my spirit in thy page Defies the Vandals of this age. 'Tis yours to save these small remains From future pedant's muddy brains, And fix my long uncertain fate, You best know how—"which way?"—TRANSLATE.
[Footnote 1: This ingenious young gentleman was unfortunately murdered in Italy.—Scott.]
[Footnote 2: See verses to the Earl of Peterborough, ante, p. 48.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: The translator and editor of Lucretius and Horace.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: Who put forth, in 1710, the "Satyrs and Epistles of Horace, done into English," of which a second edition was published in 1717, with the addition of the "Art of Poetry." His versions were well satirized by the wits of the time, one of whom, Dr. T. Francklin, wrote: "O'er Tibur's swan the Muses wept in vain, And mourned their bard by cruel Dunster slain." Dict. Nat. Biog.—W. E. B.]
EPIGRAM BY MR. BOWYER INTENDED TO BE PLACED UNDER THE HEAD OF GULLIVER. 1733
"Here learn from moral truth and wit refined, How vice and folly have debased mankind; Strong sense and humour arm in virtue's cause; Thus her great votary vindicates her laws: While bold and free the glowing colours strike; Blame not the picture, if the picture's like."
At two afternoon for our Psyche inquire, Her tea-kettle's on, and her smock at the fire: So loitering, so active; so busy, so idle; Which has she most need of, a spur or a bridle? Thus a greyhound outruns the whole pack in a race, Yet would rather be hang'd than he'd leave a warm place. She gives you such plenty, it puts you in pain; But ever with prudence takes care of the main. To please you, she knows how to choose a nice bit; For her taste is almost as refined as her wit. To oblige a good friend, she will trace every market, It would do your heart good, to see how she will cark it. Yet beware of her arts; for, it plainly appears, She saves half her victuals, by feeding your ears.
[Footnote 1: Mrs. Sican, a very ingenious lady, mother to the author of the "Verses" with Pine's Horace; and a favourite with Swift and Stella.—W. E. B.]
THE DEAN AND DUKE 1734
James Brydgesand the Dean had long been friends; James is beduked; of course their friendship ends: But sure the Dean deserves a sharp rebuke, For knowing James, to boast he knows the duke. Yet, since just Heaven the duke's ambition mocks, Since all he got by fraud is lost by stocks, His wings are clipp'd: he tries no more in vain With bands of fiddlers to extend his train. Since he no more can build, and plant, and revel, The duke and dean seem near upon a level. O! wert thou not a duke, my good Duke Humphry, From bailiffs claws thou scarce couldst keep thy bum free. A duke to know a dean! go, smooth thy crown: Thy brother(far thy better) wore a gown. Well, but a duke thou art; so please the king: O! would his majesty but add a string!
[Footnote 1: James Brydges, who was created Duke of Chandos in 1719, and built the magnificent house at Canons near Edgware, celebrated by Pope in his "Moral Essays," Epistles iii and iv. For a description of the building, see De Foe's "Tour through Great Britain," cited in Carruthers' edition of Pope, vol. i, p. 482. At the sale of the house by the second Duke in 1747, Lord Chesterfield purchased the hall pillars for the house he was then building in May Fair, where they still adorn the entrance hall of Chesterfield House. He used to call them his Canonical pillars.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: In allusion to the Duke's difficulties caused by the failure of his speculative investments.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: The Hon. Henry Brydges, Archdeacon of Rochester.—N.]
WRITTEN BY DR. SWIFT ON HIS OWN DEAFNESS, IN SEPTEMBER, 1734
Vertiginosus, inops, surdus, male gratus amicis; Non campana sonans, tonitru non ab Jove missum, Quod mage mirandum, saltem si credere fas est, Non clamosa meas mulier jam percutit aures.
THE DEAN'S COMPLAINT, TRANSLATED AND ANSWERED
DOCTOR. Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone. ANSWER. Except the first, the fault's your own. DOCTOR. To all my friends a burden grown. ANSWER. Because to few you will be shewn. Give them good wine, and meat to stuff, You may have company enough. DOCTOR. No more I hear my church's bell, Than if it rang out for my knell. ANSWER. Then write and read, 'twill do as well. DOCTOR. At thunder now no more I start, Than at the rumbling of a cart. ANSWER. Think then of thunder when you f—t. DOCTOR. Nay, what's incredible, alack! No more I hear a woman's clack. ANSWER. A woman's clack, if I have skill, Sounds somewhat like a throwster's mill; But louder than a bell, or thunder: That does, I own, increase my wonder.
THE DEAN'S MANNER OF LIVING
On rainy days alone I dine Upon a chick and pint of wine. On rainy days I dine alone, And pick my chicken to the bone; But this my servants much enrages, No scraps remain to save board-wages. In weather fine I nothing spend, But often spunge upon a friend; Yet, where he's not so rich as I, I pay my club, and so good b'ye.
EPIGRAM BY MR. BOWYER
"IN SYLLABAM LONGAM IN VOCE VERTIGINOSUS A. D. SWIFT CORREPTAM"
Musarum antistes, Phoebi numerosus alumnus, Vix omnes numeros Vertiginosus habet. Intentat charo capiti vertigo ruinam: Oh! servet cerebro nata Minerva caput. Vertigo nimium longa est, divina poeta; Dent tibi Pierides, donet Apollo, brevem.
VERSES MADE FOR FRUIT-WOMEN
Come buy my fine wares, Plums, apples, and pears. A hundred a penny, In conscience too many: Come, will you have any? My children are seven, I wish them in Heaven; My husband a sot, With his pipe and his pot, Not a farthing will gain them, And I must maintain them.
Ripe 'sparagrass Fit for lad or lass, To make their water pass: O, 'tis pretty picking With a tender chicken!
Come, follow me by the smell, Here are delicate onions to sell; I promise to use you well. They make the blood warmer, You'll feed like a farmer; For this is every cook's opinion, No savoury dish without an onion; But, lest your kissing should be spoil'd, Your onions must be thoroughly boil'd: Or else you may spare Your mistress a share, The secret will never be known: She cannot discover The breath of her lover, But think it as sweet as her own.
Charming oysters I cry: My masters, come buy, So plump and so fresh, So sweet is their flesh, No Colchester oyster Is sweeter and moister: Your stomach they settle, And rouse up your mettle: They'll make you a dad Of a lass or a lad; And madam your wife They'll please to the life; Be she barren, be she old, Be she slut, or be she scold, Eat my oysters, and lie near her, She'll be fruitful, never fear her.
Be not sparing, Leave off swearing. Buy my herring Fresh from Malahide, Better never was tried. Come, eat them with pure fresh butter and mustard, Their bellies are soft, and as white as a custard. Come, sixpence a-dozen, to get me some bread, Or, like my own herrings, I soon shall be dead.
[Footnote 1: Malahide, a village five miles from Dublin, famous for oysters.—F.]
Come buy my fine oranges, sauce for your veal, And charming, when squeezed in a pot of brown ale; Well roasted, with sugar and wine in a cup, They'll make a sweet bishop when gentlefolks sup.
ON ROVER, A LADY'S SPANIEL
INSTRUCTIONS TO A PAINTER
Happiest of the spaniel race, Painter, with thy colours grace: Draw his forehead large and high, Draw his blue and humid eye; Draw his neck so smooth and round, Little neck with ribbons bound! And the muscly swelling breast, Where the Loves and Graces rest; And the spreading even back, Soft, and sleek, and glossy black; And the tail that gently twines, Like the tendrils of the vines; And the silky twisted hair, Shadowing thick the velvet ear; Velvet ears, which, hanging low, O'er the veiny temples flow. With a proper light and shade, Let the winding hoop be laid; And within that arching bower, (Secret circle, mystic power,) In a downy slumber place Happiest of the spaniel race; While the soft respiring dame, Glowing with the softest flame, On the ravish'd favourite pours Balmy dews, ambrosial showers. With thy utmost skill express Nature in her richest dress, Limpid rivers smoothly flowing, Orchards by those rivers blowing; Curling woodbine, myrtle shade, And the gay enamell'd mead; Where the linnets sit and sing, Little sportlings of the spring; Where the breathing field and grove Soothe the heart and kindle love. Here for me, and for the Muse, Colours of resemblance choose, Make of lineaments divine, Daply female spaniels shine, Pretty fondlings of the fair, Gentle damsels' gentle care; But to one alone impart All the flattery of thy art. Crowd each feature, crowd each grace, Which complete the desperate face; Let the spotted wanton dame Feel a new resistless flame! Let the happiest of his race Win the fair to his embrace. But in shade the rest conceal, Nor to sight their joys reveal, Lest the pencil and the Muse Loose desires and thoughts infuse.
[Footnote 1: A parody of Ambrose Phillips's poem on Miss Carteret, daughter of the Lord Lieutenant. Phillips stood high in Archbishop Boulter's regard. Hence the parody. "Does not," says Pope, "still to one Bishop Phillips seem a wit?" It is to the infantine style of some of Phillips' verse that we owe the term, Namby Pamby.—W. E. B.]
EPIGRAMS ON WINDOWS
SEVERAL OF THEM WRITTEN IN 1726
I. ON A WINDOW AT AN INN
We fly from luxury and wealth, To hardships, in pursuit of health; From generous wines, and costly fare, And dozing in an easy-chair; Pursue the goddess Health in vain, To find her in a country scene, And every where her footsteps trace, And see her marks in every face; And still her favourites we meet, Crowding the roads with naked feet. But, oh! so faintly we pursue, We ne'er can have her full in view.
II. AT AN INN IN ENGLAND
The glass, by lovers' nonsense blurr'd, Dims and obscures our sight; So, when our passions Love has stirr'd, It darkens Reason's light.
III. ON A WINDOW AT THE FOUR CROSSES IN THE WATLING-STREET ROAD, WARWICKSHIRE
Fool, to put up four crosses at your door, Put up your wife, she's CROSSER than all four.
IV. ANOTHER, AT CHESTER
The church and clergy here, no doubt, Are very near a-kin; Both weather-beaten are without, And empty both within.
V. ANOTHER, AT CHESTER
My landlord is civil, But dear as the d—l: Your pockets grow empty With nothing to tempt ye; The wine is so sour, 'Twill give you a scour, The beer and the ale Are mingled with stale. The veal is such carrion, A dog would be weary on. All this I have felt, For I live on a smelt.
VI. ANOTHER, AT CHESTER
The walls of this town Are full of renown, And strangers delight to walk round 'em: But as for the dwellers, Both buyers and sellers, For me, you may hang 'em, or drown 'em.
VII. ANOTHER WRITTEN UPON A WINDOW WHERE THERE WAS NO WRITING BEFORE
Thanks to my stars, I once can see A window here from scribbling free! Here no conceited coxcombs pass, To scratch their paltry drabs on glass; Nor party fool is calling names, Or dealing crowns to George and James.
VIII. ON SEEING VERSES WRITTEN UPON WINDOWS AT INNS
The sage, who said he should be proud Of windows in his breast, Because he ne'er a thought allow'd That might not be confest; His window scrawl'd by every rake, His breast again would cover, And fairly bid the devil take The diamond and the lover.
[Footnote 1: See on this "Notes and Queries," 10th S., xii, 497.—W. E. B.]
By Satan taught, all conjurors know Your mistress in a glass to show, And you can do as much: In this the devil and you agree; None e'er made verses worse than he, And thine, I swear, are such.
That love is the devil, I'll prove when required; Those rhymers abundantly show it: They swear that they all by love are inspired, And the devil's a damnable poet.