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To save their sinking country lent,
For party he would scarce have bled :Was all destroy'd by one event.
I say no more-because he's dead. T50 soon that precious life was ended,
What writings has he left behind ?" On which alone our weal depended.
“ I hear they're of a different kind : When up a dangerous faction starts,
A few in verse ; but most in prose" With wrath and vengeance in their hearts;
“ Some high-flown pamphlets, I suppose :By solemn league and covenant bound,
All scribbled in the worst of times, To ruin, slaughter, and confound;
To palliate his friend Oxford's crimes ; To turn religion to a fable,
To praise queen Anne, nay more, defend her, And make the government a Babel ;
As never favoring the Pretender: Pervert the laws, disgrace the gown,
Or libels yet conceal'd from sight, Corrupt the senate, rob the crown;
Against the court to show his spite : To sacrifice Old England's glory,
Perhaps his travels, part the third ; And make her infamous in story:
A lie at every second wordWhen such a tempest shook the land,
Offensive to a loyal ear:How could unguarded virtue stand!
But—not one sermon, you may swear." “ With horror, grief, despair, the Dean
"He knew an hundred pleasing stories, Beheld the dire destructive scene :
With all the turns of Whigs and Tories : His friends in exile, or the Tower,
Was cheerful to his dying day; Himself within the frown of power ;
And friends would let him have his way. Pursued by base envenom'd pens,
“ As for his works in verse or prose, Far to the land of sand fens;
I own myself no judge of those. A servile race in folly nurs'd,
Nor can I tell what critics thought them; Who truckle most, when treated worst.
But this I know, all people bought them, “By innocence and resolution,
As with a moral view design'd He bore continual persecution ;
To please and to reform mankind : While numbers to preferment rose,
And, if he often miss'd his aim, Whose merit was to be his foes ;
The world must own it to their shame, When ev’n his own familiar friends,
The praise is his, and theirs the blame. Intent upon their private ends,
He gave the little wealth he had Like renegadoes now he feels,
To build a house for fools and mad ; Against him lifting up their heels.
To show, by one satiric touch, “ The Dean did, by his pen, defeat
No nation wanted it so much. An infamous destructive cheat;
That kingdom he hath left his debtor; Taught fools their interest how to know,
I wish it soon may have a better. And gave them arms to ward the blow.
And, since you dread no further lashes,
Methinks you may forgive his ashes.”
“ To save them from their evil fate, In him was held a crime of state.
BAUCIS AND PHILEMON.
ON THE EVER-LAMENTED LOSS OF THE TWO As vile and profligate a villain,
YEW-TREES IN THE PARISH OF CHIL. As modern Scroggs, or old Tressilian;
Imitated from the Eighth Book of Ovid.
In ancient times, as story tells,
The saints would often leave their cells, But Heaven his innocence defends,
And stroll about, but hide their quality, The grateful people stand his friends;
To try good people's hospitality. Not strains of law, nor judges' frown,
It happen'd on a winter-night, Nor topics brought to please the crown,
As authors of the legend write, Nor witness hir'd, nor jury pick'd,
Two brother-hermits, saints by trade, Prevail to bring him in convict.
Taking their tour in masquerade, " In exile, with a steady heart,
Disguis'd in tatter'd habits, went He spent his life's declining part;
To a small village down in Kent; Where folly, pride, and faction sway,
Where, in the strollers' canting strain, Remote from St. John, Pope, and Gay."
They begg'd from door to door in vain, " Alas, poor Dean! his only scope
Tried every tone might pity win; Was to be held a misanthrope.
But not a soul would let them in.
Our wandering saints, in woful state,
Having through all the village past,
To a small cottage came at last; For, had we made him timely offers,
Where dwelt a good old honest ye'man, To raise his post, or fill his coffers,
Call'd in the neighborhood Philemon ; Perhaps he might have truckled down,
Who kindly did these saints invite Like other brethren of his gown ;
In his poor hut to pass the night;
And then the hospitable sire
The ballads, pasted on the wall, Bid Goody Baucis mend the fire ;
Of Joan of France, and English Moll, While he from out the chimney took
Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood, A flitch of bacon off the hook,
The Little Children in the Wood, And freely from the fattest side
Now seem'd to look abundance better, Cut out large slices to be fried ;
Improv'd in picture, size, and letter; Then stepp'd aside to fetch them drink,
And, high in order plac'd, describe Fill'd a large jug up to the brink,
The heraldry of every tribe.* And saw it fairly twice go round;
A bedstead of the antique mode, Yet (what is wonderful !) they found
Compact of timber many a load, "Twas still replenish'd to the top,
Such as our ancestors did use, As if they ne'er had touch'd a drop.
Was metamorphos'd into pews; The good old couple were amaz'd,
Which still their ancient nature keep And often on each other gaz'd;
By lodging folks dispos’d to sleep. For both were frighten’d to the heart,
The cottage by such feats as these And just began to cry,—“ What ar't?”
Grown to a church by just degrees, Then softly turn'd aside to view
The hermits then desir'd their host Whether the lights were burning blue.
To ask for what he fancied most. The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't,
Philemon, having paus’d awhile, Told them their calling, and their errand : Return'd them thanks in homely style: “Good folks, you need not be afraid,
Then said, “My house is grown so fine, We are but saints,” the hermits said :
Methinks I still would call it mine : “ No hurt shall come to you or yours :
I'm old, and fain would live at ease; But for that pack of churlish boors,
Make me the parson, if you please." Not fit to live on Christian ground,
He spoke, and presently he feels They and their houses shall be drown'd; His grazier's coat fall down his heels : Whilst you shall see your cottage rise,
He sees, yet hardly can believe, And grow a church before your eyes.”
About each arm a pudding-sleeve ; They scarce had spoke, when fair and soft His waistcoat to a cassock grew, The roof began to mount aloft ;
And both assum'd a sable hue ; Aloft rose every beam and rafter;
But, being old, continued just The heavy wall climb'd slowly after.
As thread bare, and as full of dust. The chimney widen'd, and grew higher, His talk was now of tithes and dues : Became a steeple with a spire.
He smok'd his pipe, and read the news ; . The kettle to the top was hoist,
Knew how to preach old sermons next, And there stood fasten'd to a joist,
Vamp'd in the preface and the text; But with the upside down, to show
At christenings well could act his part, Its inclination for below :
And had the service all by heart; In vain; for a superior force,
Wish'd women might have children fast, Applied at bottom, stops its course;
And thought whose sow had farrow'd last; Doom'd ever in suspense to dwell,
Against dissenters would repine, 'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
And stood up firm for right divine ; A wooden jack, which had almost
Found his head fill'd with many a system; Lost by disuse the art to roast,
But classic authors,—he ne'er miss'd'em. A sudden alteration feels,
Thus having furbish'd up a parson, Increas'd by new intestine wheels ;
Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on And, what exalts the wonder more,
Instead of home-spun coifs, were seen The number made the motion slower:
Good pinners edg’d with colberteen ;
Her petticoat, transform'd apace,
Plain Goody would no longer down ;
'Twas Madam, in her grogram gown. The jack and chimney near allied,
Philemon was in great surprise, Had never left each other's side :
And hardly could believe his eyes, The chimney to a steeple grown,
Amaz’d to see her look so prim; The jack would not be left alone;
And she admir'd as much at him. But, up against the steeple fear'd,
Thus happy in their change of life, Became a clock, and still adher'd ;
Were several years this man and wife ; And still its love to household cares,
When, on a day, which prov'd their last, By a shrill voice at noon, declares,
Discoursing o'er old stories past, Warning the cook-maid not to burn
They went by chance, amidst their talk, That roast meat which it cannot turn.
To the church-yard to take a walk; The groaning chair began to crawl,
When Baucis hastily cried out, Like a huge snail, along the wall ;
“My dear, I see your forehead sprout!" There stuck aloft in public view,
“Sprout!" quoth the man; “what's this you And, with small change, a pulpit grew.
tell us ? The porringers, that in a row
I hope you don't believe me jealous ?
The tribes of Israel are sometimes distinguished in Were now but leathern buckets rang'd. country churches by the ensigns given to them by Jacob But yet, methinks, I feel it true;
There's nine hundred pounds for labor and grain. And really yours is budding too :
I increase it to twelve, so three hundred remain, Nay-now I cannot stir my foot;
A handsome addition for wine and good cheer, It feels as if 'twere taking root."
Three dishes a day, and three hogsheads a year : Description would but tire my Muse ; With a dozen large vessels my vault shall be stor'd; In short, they both were turn'd to yeus. No little scrub joint shall come on my board ;
Old Goodman Dobson of the green And you and the Dean no more shall combine Remembers, he the trees has seen :
To stint me at night to one bottle of wine ; He'll talk of them from noon till night, Nor shall I, for his humor, permit you to purloin And goes with folks to show the sight: A stone and a quarter of beef from my sirloin. On Sundays, after evening prayer,
If I make it a barrack, the crown is my tenant ! He gathers all the parish there ;
My dear, I have ponder'd again and again on 't: Points out the place of either yew;
In poundage and drawbacks I lose balf my rent; Here Baucis, there Philemon, grew: Whatever they give me, I must be content, Till once a parson of our town,
Or join with the court in every debate; To mend his barn, cut Baucis down;
And rather than that, I would lose my estate." At which, 'tis hard to be believ'd
Thus ended the knight; thus began his meek wife :
With parsons what lady can keep herself clean?
The captain, I'm sure, will always come here; A DESCRIPTION OF THE MORNING. I then shall not value his Deanship a straw, 1709.
For the captain, I warrant, will keep him in awe;
Or should he pretend to be brisk and alert, Now hardly here and there an hackney-coach Will tell him that chaplains should not be so pert, Appearing, show'd the ruddy Morn's approach. That men of his coat should be minding their prayers, Now Betty from her master's bed had flown, And not among ladies to give themselves airs.” And softly stole to discompose her own;
Thus argued my lady, but argued in vain; The slipshod 'prentice from his master's door The knight his opinion resolv'd to maintain. Had par'd the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor. But Hannah,ll who listen'd to all that was past, Now Moll had whirl'd her mop with dextrous airs, And could not endure so vulgar a taste, Prepar'd to scrub the entry and the stairs. As soon as her ladyship call’d to be drest, The youth with broomy stomps began to trace
Cried, “ Madam, why surely my master's possest! The kennel's edge, where wheels had worn the place. Sir Arthur the malster! how fine it will sound ! The small-coal-man was heard with cadence deep, I'd rather the bawn were sunk under ground. Till drown'd in shriller notes of chimney-sweep. But madam, I guess'd there would never come good, Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet; When I saw him so often with Darby and Wood. T And brick-dust Moll had scream'd through half the And now my dream's out; for I was a-dream'd
That I saw a huge rat- dear, how I scream'd! The turnkey now his flock returning sees, And after, methought, I had lost my new shoes ; Duly let out a-nights to steal for fees :
And Molly, she said, I should hear some ill news. The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands,
Dear madam, had you but the spirit to tease, And school-boys lag with satchels in their hands. You might have a barrack whenever you please :
And, madam, I always believ'd you so stout,
Till he gave me my will, I would give him no rest;
And, rather than come in the same pair of sheets
With such a cross man, I would lie in the streets ; WHETHER HAMILTON'S BAWN SHOULD BE TURNED But, madam, I beg you contrive and invent,
And worry him out, till he gives his consent. INTO A BARRACK OR A MALT-HOUSE. 1729.
Dear madam, whene'er of a barrack I think, Thus spoke to my lady the knight* full of care :
An I were to be hang'd, I can't sleep a wink: “Let me have your advice in a weighty affair.
For if a new crotchet comes into my brain, This Hamilton's bawn,t whilst it sticks on my hand, I can't get it out, though I'd never so fain. I lose by the house what I get by the land ;
I fancy already a barrack contriv'd But how to dispose of it to the best bidder,
At Hamilton's bawn, and the troop is arriv'd; For a barrackt or malt-house, we now must consider. Of this, to be sure, Sir Arthur has warning, “First, let me suppose I make it a malt-house,
And waits on the captain betimes the next morning. Here I have computed the profit will fall i'us ;
Now see, when they meet, how their honors behave • Noble captain, your servant'— Sir Arthur, your
* Sir Arthur Acheson, at whose seat this was written.
| A large old house, two miles from Sir Arthur's seat. § A cant word in Ireland for a poor country clergyman. F.
F. 1 The army in Ireland is lodged in strong buildings,
| My lady's waiting.woman. F. over the whole kingdom, called barracks. F.
Two of Sir Arthur's managers. N.
You honor me much'— The honor is mine.' The servants amaz'd are scarce ever able • 'Twas a sad rainy night— But the morning is To keep off their eyes, as they wait at the table; fine.'
[service.'— And Molly and I have thrust in our nose Pray how does my lady?'—My wife's at your To peep at the captain all in his fine clo'es. • I think I have seen her picture by Jervas.'— Dear madam, be sure he's a fine-spoken man, *Good-morrow, good captain. I'll wait on you Do but hear on the clergy how glib his tongue ran; down.'
And, madam,' says he, if such dinners you give, • You shan't stir a foot.' —You 'll think me a clown:'You'll ne'er wani for parsons as long as you live. . For all the world, captain-'~ Not half an inch I ne'er knew a parson without a good nose ; farther.'-
But the Devil's as welcome wherever he goes : • You must be obey'd !— Your servant, Sir Arthur! G4dn me! they bid us reform and repent, My humble respects to my lady unknown.'— But, 2-s! by their looks they never keep Lent. •I hope you will use my house as your own.'" Mister curate, for all your grave looks, I'm afraid
“Go bring me my smock, and leave off your prate, You cast a sheep's eye on her ladyship's maid : Thou hast certainly gotten a cup in thy pate." I wish she would lend you her pretty white hand
" Pray, madam, be quiet; what was it I said ? In mending your cassoc, and smoothing your band. You had like to have put it quite out of my head. (For the Dean was so shabby, and look'd like a ninny, Next day, to be sure, the captain will come, That the captain suppos’d he was curate to Jinny.) At the head of his troops, with trumpet and drum. Whenever you see a cassoc and gown, Now, madam, observe how he marches in stale : A hundred to one but it covers a clown. The man with the kettle-drum enters the gate : Observe how a parson comes into a room ; Dub, dub, adub, dub. The trumpeters follow, G-d-n me! he hobbles as bad as my groom ; Tantara, tantara ; while all the boys hollow. A scholard, when just from his college broke loose, See now comes the captain all daub'd with gold lace: Can hardly tell how to cry bo to a goose ; O la! the sweet gentleman! look in his face; Your Noveds, and Bluturcks, and Omurst and stuff And see how he rides like a lord of the land, By G-, they don't signify this pinch of snuff. With the fine flaming sword that he holds in his hand; To give a young gentleman right education, And his horse, the dear creter, it prances and rears; The army's the only good school in the nation : With ribbons in knots at its tail and its ears : My schoolmaster calld me a dunce and a fool, At last comes the troop by the word of command, But al cuffs I was always the cock of the school; Drawn up in our court; when the captain cries, I never could take to my book for the blood o' me, STAND!
And the puppy confess'd he expected no good o' me. Your ladyship lists up the sash to be seen He caught me one morning coquetting his wife ; (For sure I had dizend you out like a queen). But he maul'd me, I ne'er was so maul'd in my life : The captain, to show he is proud of the favor, So I took to the road, and what's very odd, Looks up to your window, and cocks up his beaver. The first man I robb'd was a parson, by G(His beaver is cock'd; pray, madam, mark that, Now, madam, you'll think it a strange thing to say, For a captain of horse never takes off his hat, But the sight of a book makes me sick to this day.' Because he has never a hand that is idle;
“ Never since I was born did I hear so much wit, For the right holds the sword, and the left holds the And, madam, I laugh 'd till I thought I should split. bridle :)
So then you look'd scornful, and snift at the Dean, Then flourishes thrice his sword in the air, As who should say, Now, am I skinny and lean ?1 As a compliment due to a lady so fair;
But he durst not so much as once open his lips, (How I tremble to think of the blood it hath spilt.) And the doctor was plaguily down in the hips." Then he lowers down the point, and kisses the hill. Thus merciless Hannah ran on in her talk, Your ladyship smiles, and thus you begin: Till she heard the Dean call, “ Will your ladyship • Pray, captain, be pleas'd to alight and walk in.'
walk ?" The captain salutes you with congee profound, Her ladyship answers, “I'm just coming down :" And your ladyship curtsies half-way to the ground. Then, turning to Hannah, and forcing a frown, •Kit, run to your master, and bid him come to us; Although it was plain in her heart she was glad, I'm sure he'll be proud of the honor you do us. Cried, “ Hussy, why sure the wench is gone mad! And, captain, you'll do us the favor to stay, How could these chimeras get into your brains ?And take a short dinner here with us to-day : Come hither, and take this old gown for your pains. You 're heartily welcome ; but as for good cheer, But the Dean, if this secret should come to his ears You come in the very worst time of the year : Will never have done with his gibes and his jeers. If I had expected so worthy a guest
For your life, not a word of the matter, I charge ye. • Lord ! madam! your ladyship sure is in jest : Give me but a barrack, a fig for the clergy." You banter me, madam; the kingdom must grant You officers, captain, are so complaisant!
** Hist, hussy, I think I hear somebody coming" “ No, madam; 'tis only Sir Arthur a-humming.
ON POETRY: A RHAPSODY. 1733. To shorten my tale (for I hate a long story),
All human race would fain be wits, The captain at dinner appears in his glory;
And millions miss for one that hits. The Dean and the doctor* have humbled their pride,
Young's universal passion, pride, For the captain 's entreated to sit by your side ;
Was never known to spread so wide. And, because he's their betters, you carve for him
Say, Britain, could you ever boast,
Three poets in an age at most ? The parsons for envy are ready to burst.
1 Ovids, Plutarchs, Homers. • Dr. Jinny, a clergyman in the neighborhood. E.
Nicknames for my lady.
Our chilling climate hardly beans
Consult yourself; and if you find A sprig of bays in fifty years ;
A powerful impulse urge your mind, While every fool his claim alleges,
Impartial judge within your breast As if it grew in common hedges.
What subject you can manage best ; What reason can there be assign'd
Whether your genius most inclines For this perverseness in the mind ?
To satire, praise, or humorous lines, Brutes find out where their talents lie :
To elegies in mournful tone, A bear will not attempt to fly;
Or prologue sent from hand unknown. A founder'd horse will oft debate,
Then, rising with Aurora's light, Before he tries a five-barr'd gate ;
The Muse invok'd, sit down to write; A dog by instinct turns aside,
Blot out, correct, insert, refine, Who sees the ditch too deep and wide.
Enlarge, diminish, interline; But man we find the only creature
Be mindful, when invention fails, Who, led by folly, combats nature;
To scratch your head, and bite your nails. Who, when she loudly cries, forbear,
Your poem finish’d, next your care With obstinacy fixes there;
Is needful to transcribe it fair. And, where his genius least inclines,
In modern wit, all printed trash is Absurdly bends his whole designs.
Set off with numerous breaks and dashes. Not empire to the rising Sun
To statesmen would you give a wipe, By valor, conduct, fortune won;
You print it in italic type. Not highest wisdom in debates
When letters are in vulgar shapes, For framing laws to govern states ;
'Tis ten to one the wit escapes : Not skill in sciences profound,
But, when in capitals exprest, So large to grasp the circle round;
The dullest reader smokes the jest : Such heavenly influence require,
Or else perhaps he may invent As how to strike the Muse's lyre.
A better than the poet meant; Not beggar's brat on bulk begot;
As learned commentators view Not bastard of a pedler Scot;
In Homer more than Homer knew. Not boy brought up to cleaning shoes,
Your poem in its modish dress, The spawn of Bridewell or the stews;
Correctly fitted for the press, Not infants dropt, the spurious pledges
Convey by penny-post to Lintot, Of gypsies littering under hedges;
But let no friend alive look into 't Are so disqualified by fate
If Lintot thinks 'twill quit the cost, To rise in church, or law, or state,
You need not fear your labor lost : As he whom Phæbus in his ire
And how agreeably surpris'd Hath blasted with poetic fire.
Are you to see it advertis'd! What hope of custom in the fair,
The hawker shows you one in print, While not a soul demands your ware?
As fresh as farthings from the mint: Where you have nothing to produce
The product of your toil and sweating; For private life, or public use?
A bastard of your own begetting. Court, city, country, want you not ;
Be sure at Will's, the following day, You cannot bribe, betray, or plot.
Lie snug, and hear what critics say ; For poets, law makes no provision ;
And, if you find the general vogue The wealthy have you in derision :
Pronounces you a stupid rogue, of state affairs you cannot smatter;
Damns all your thoughts as low and little, Are awkward when you try to flatter:
Sit still, and swallow down your spittle. Your portion, taking Britain round,
Be silent as a politician, Was just one annual hundred pound;
For talking may beget suspicion. Now not so much as in remainder,
Or praise the judgment of the town, Since Cibber brought in an attainder ;
And help yourself to run it down. For ever fix'd by right divine
Give up your fond paternal pride, (A monarch's right) on Grub-street line.
Nor argue on the weaker side : Poor starveling bard, how small thy gains ! For puems read without a name How unproportion'd to thy pains !
We justly praise, or justly blame; And here a simile comes pat in:
And critics have no partial views, Though chickens take a month to falten,
Except they know whom they abuse : The guests in less than half an hour
And, since you ne'er provoke their spite, Will more than half a score devour.
Depend upon't, their judgment's right. So, after toiling twenty days
But if you blab, you are undone : To earn a stock of pence and praise,
Consider what a risk you run : Thy labors, grown the critic's prey,
You lose your credit all at once ; Are swallow'd o'er a dish of tea;
The town will mark you for a dunce; Gone to be never heard of more,
The vilest doggrel Grub-street sends, Gone where the chickens went before.
Will pass for yours with foes and friends; How shall a new attempter learn
And you must bear the whole disgrace, Of different spirits to discern,
Till some fresh blockhead takes your slace. And how distinguish which is which,
Your secret kept, your poem sunk The poet's vein, or scribbling itch ?
And sent in quires to line a trunk, Then hear an old experienc'd sinner
If still you be dispos’d to rhyme, Instructing thus a young beginner.
Go try your hand a second time.