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How patiently you hear him groan !
What poct would not grieve to see
Her end when emulation misses,
To all my foes, clear fortune, send
Thus much may serve by way of proem ; Proceed we therefore to our poem.
The time is not remote, when I
For poetry, he's past his prime; He takes an hour to find a rhyme : His fire is out, his wit decayed, His fancy sunk, his muse a jade. 1 Lord Viscount Polingbroke. & William Pulteney, Esq., created Earl of Bath.
I'd have him throw away his pen-
And then their tenderness appears
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 coure, And servants answer,' Worse and worse !) Would please them better than to tell, That, God be praised ! the dean is well. Then he, who prophesied the best, Approves his foresight to the rest : 'You know I always feared the worst, And often told you so at first.' He'd rather choose that I should die, Than his prediction prove a lie. Not one foretells I shall recover, But all agree to give me over.
Yet, should 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 snivellers round my bed.
My good companions, nerer fear;
Behold the fatal day arrive!
Now Grub Street wits are all employed;
The doctors, tender of their fame,
And Lady Suffolk in the spleen
His time was come, he ran his race; Runs laughing up to tell the queen ;
We hope he's in a better place.' The queen so gracious, mild, and good,
Why do we grieve that friends should die! Cries, 'Is he gone ! 'tis time he should.
No loss more easy to supply. He's dead, you say, then let him rot !
One year is past; a different scene ! I'm glad the medals were forgot.
No further mention of the dean, I promised him, I own; but when ?
Who now, alas ! no more is missed, I only was the princess then;
Than if he never did exist. But now as consort of the king,
Where's now the favourite of Apollo? You know 'tis quite another thing."2
Departed: and his works must follow; Now Charteris,3 at Sir Robert'st leree,
Must undergo the common fate; Tells with a sneer the tidings heavy;
His kind of wit is out of date. "Why, if he died without his shoes
Some country squire to Lintot goes, (Cries Bob), I'm sorry for the news :
Inquires for Swift in verse and prose. Oh, were the wretch but living still,
Says Lintot, ' I have heard the name; And in his place my good friend Will 15
He died a year ago. The same.' Or had a mitre on his head,
He searches all the shop in vain. Provided Bolingbroke was dead !
“Sir, you may find them in Duck-Lane, 9 Now Curle6 his shop from rubbish drains :
I sent them, with a load of books, Three genuine tomes of Swift's Remains !
Last Monday to the pastry-cook’s. And then to make them pass the glibber,
To fancy they could live a year ! Revised by Tibbalds, Moore, and Cibber.
I find you're but a stranger here. He'll treat me, as he does my betters,
The dean was famous in his time, Publish my will, my life, my letters ;7
And had a kind of knack at rhyme. Revive the libels born to die,
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. Poor Pope will grieve a month, and Gay
Pray, but do give me leave to show 'em ; A week, and Arbuthnot a day.
Here's Colley Cibber's birth-day poem ; St John himself will scarce forbear
This ode you never yet have seen To bite his pen, and drop a tear.
By Stephen Duck upon the queen. The rest will give a shrug, and cry,
Then here's a letter finely penned
Against the Craftsman and his friend ;
It clearly shows that all reflection
On ministers is disaffection. For how can stony bowels melt
Next, here's Sir Robert's vindication, In those who never pity felt?
And Mr Henley's3 last oration. When we are lashed, they kiss the rod,
The hawkers have not got them yet;
Your honour please to have a set ?'
Suppose me dead ; and then suppose
A club assembled at the Rose,
Where, from discourse of this and that,
The dean, if we believe report,
Was never ill-received at court. Have better learned to act their parts,
Although ironically grave, Receive the news in doleful dumps :
He shamed the fool, and lashed the knave. • The dean is dead (pray, what is trumps ?)
To steal a hint was never known, Then, Lord, have mercy on his soul!
But what he writ was all his own.' (Ladies, l'll venture for the vole.)
“Sir, I have heard another story; Six deans, they say, must bear the pall.
He was a most confounded Tory, (I wish I knew what king to call.)
And grew, or he is much belied, Madam, your husband will attend
Extremely dull, before he died.' The funeral of so good a friend :
. Can we the Drapier then forget ? No, madam, 'tis a shocking sight;
Is not our nation in his debt ? And he's engaged to-morrow night:
'Twas he that writ the Drapier's letters ! My Lady Club will take it ill,
“He should have left them for his betters; If he should fail her at quadrille.
We had a hundred abler men, He loved the dean—(I lead a heart)
Nor need depend upon his pen.
Say what you will about his reading,
Who, in his satires running riot,
Attacking, when he took the whim, ? Queen Caroline had, when princess, promised Swift a pre- Court, city, camp-all one to him. sent of medals, which promise was never fulfilled.
But why would he, except he slobbered, 3 Colonel Francis Charteris, of infamous character, on whom
Offend our patriot, great Sir Robert, an epitaph was written by Dr Arbuthnot.
Whose counsels aid the sovereign power 4 Sir Robert Walpole, then first minister of state, afterwards
To save the nation every hour ! Earl of Orford.
6 William Pulteney, Esq., the great rival of Walpole. 1 Bernard Lintot, a bookseller. See Pope's 'Dunciad' and
6 An infamous bookseller, who published things in the dean's Letters. name, which he never wrote.
2 A place where old books are sold. 1 For some of these practices he was brought before the a Commonly called Orator llenley, a quack preacher in Lon. House of Lords
don, of great notoriety in his day.
And, since you dread no further lashes, Methinks you may forgive his ashes.'
What scenes of evil he unravels,
Perhaps I may allow, the dean
He never thought an honour done him,
The Grand Question Debated : Whether Hamilton's Bawn should be turned into a Barrack
or a Malt-house. 1729.* Thus spoke to my lady the knight! full of care: Let me have your advice in a weighty affair. This Hamilton's Bawn, whilst it sticks on my hand, I lose by the house what I get by the land; But how to dispose of it to the best bidder, For a barrack or malt-house, we now must consider.
First, let me suppose I make it a malt-house, Here I have computed the profit will fall to us; There's nine hundred pounds for labour and grain, I increase it to twelve, so three hundred remain; A handsome addition for wine and good cheer. Three dishes a day, and three hogsheads a year: With a dozen large vessels my vault shall be stored; No little scrub joint shall come on my board : And you and the dean no more shall combine To stint me at night to one bottle of wine; Nor shall I, for his humour, permit you to purloin A stone and a quarter of beef from my sirloin. If I make it a barrack, the crown is my tenant; My dear, I have pondered again and again on't : In poundage and drawbacks I lose half my rent, Whatever they give me I must be content, Or join with the court in every debate; And rather than that I would lose my estate.
Thus ended the knight: thus began his meek wife; It must and shall be a barrack, my life. I'm grown a mere mopus; no company comes, But a rabble of tenants and rusty dull rums.3 With parsons what lady can keep herself clean! I'm all over daubed when I sit by the dean. But if you will give us a barrack, my dear, The captain, I'm sure, will always come here; I then shall not value his deanship a straw, For the captain, I warrant, will keep him in awe ; Or should he pretend to be brisk and alert, Will tell him that chaplains should not be so pert; That men of his coat should be minding their prayers, And not among ladies to give themselves airs.
Thus argued my lady, but argued in vain; The knight his opinion resolved to maintain.
But Hannah,' who listened to all that was past, And could not endure so vulgar a taste, As soon as her ladyship called to be drest, Cried, Madam, why, surely my master's possest. Sir Arthur the maitster! how fine it will sound! I'd rather the bawn were sunk under ground. But, madam, I guessed there would never come good, When I saw him so often with Darby and Wood.5 And now my dream's out; for I was a-dreamed That I saw a huge rat; O dear, how I screamed ! Aud after, methought, I had lost my new shoes; And Molly she said I should hear some ill news.
* Swift spent almost a whole year (1728-9) at Gosford, in the north of Ireland, the seat of Sir Arthur Acheson, assisting Sir Arthur in his agricultural improvements, and lecturing, as usual, the lady of the manor upon the improvement of her health by walking, and her mind by reading. The circum. stance of Sir Arthur letting a ruinous building called Hamilton's Bawn to the crown for a barrack, gave rise to one of the dean's most lively pieces of fugitive humour.- Scott's Life of Swih. A bawn is strictly a place near a house enclosed with mud or stone walls to keep the cattle.
Sir Arthur Acheson, an intimate friend of the poet. Sir Arthur was ancestor of the present Earl of Gosford,
2 A large old house belonging to Sir Arthur, two miles from his residence.
3 A cant word in Ireland for a poor country clergyman.
Dear madam, had you but the spirit to tease, To shorten my tale (for I hate a long story), You might have a barrack whenever you please : The captain at dinner appears in his glory; And, madam, I always believed you so stout, The dean and the doctor have humbled their pride, That for twenty denials you would not give out. For the captain's intreated to sit by your side ; If I had a husband like hima, I purtest,
And, because he's their betters, you carve for him 'Till he gave me my will, I would give him no rest;
first, But, madam, I beg you contrive and invent,
The parsons for envy are ready to burst; And worry him out, 'till he gives his consent.
The servants amazed are scarce ever able Dear madam, whene'er of a barrack I think, To keep off their eyes, as they wait at the table; An I were to be hanged I can't sleep a wink : And Molly and I have thrust in our nose For if a new crotchet comes into my brain,
To peep at the captain in all his fine clothes ; I can't get it out, though I'd never so fain.
Dear madam, be sure he's a fine spoken man, I fancy already a barrack contrived,
Do but hear on the clergy how glib his tongue ran ; At Hamilton's Bawn, and the troop is arrived; • And madam,' says he, ‘if such dinners you give, Of this, to be sure, Sir Arthur has warning,
You'll never want parsons as long as you live; And waits on the captain betimes the next morning. I ne'er knew a parson without a good nose,
Now see when they meet how their honours behave, But the devil's as welcome wherever he goes ; Noble captain, your servant-Sir Arthur, your slave; G-d-me, they bid us reform and repent, You honour me much--the honour is mine- But, 2-9, by their looks they never keep lent; 'Twas a sad rainy night-but the morning is fine. Mister curate, for all your grave looks, I'm afraid Pray how does my lady!—my wife's at your service. You cast a sheep's eye on her ladyship's maid ; I think I have seen her picture by Jervis.
I wish she would lend you her pretty white hand Good morrow, good captain—I'll wait on you down, In mending your cassock, and smoothing your band; You shan't stir a foot--you'll think me a clown- (For the dean was so shabby, and looked like a ninny, For all the world, captain, not half an inch farther That the captain supposed he was curate to Jenny). You must be obeyed-your servant, Sir Arthur ; Whenever you see a cassock and gown, My humble respects to my lady unknown
A hundred to one but it covers a clown; I hope you will use my house as your own.
Observe how a parson comes into a roorn, Go bring me my smock, and leave off your prate, G-d-me, he hobbles as bad as my groom ; Thou hast certainly gotten a cup in thy pate.' A scholar, when just from his college broke loose, Pray madam, be quiet: what was it I said?
Can hardly tell how to cry bo to a goose ; You had like to have put it quite out of my head. Your Noveds, and Bluturks, and Omurs, and stuff,
Next day, to be sure, the captain will come By G-, they don't signify this pinch of snuff. At the head of his troop, with trumpet and drum; To give a young gentleman right education, Now, madam, observe how he marches in state; The army's the only good school of the nation; The man with the kettle-drum enters the gate; My schoolmaster called me a dunce and a fool, Dub, dub, adub, dub. The trumpeters follow, But at cuffs I was always the cock of the school; Tantara, tantara, while all the boys hollow.
I never could take to my book for the blood o'me, see now comes the captain all daubed with gold And the puppy confessed he expected no good o' me. lace;
He caught me one morning coquetting his wife, O, la! the sweet gentleman, look in his face ; But he mauled me; I ne'er was so mauled in my life; And see how he rides like a lord of the land,
So I took to the road, and what's very odd, With the fine flaming sword that he holds in his hand; The first man I robbed was a parson by GAnd his horse, the dear ceter, it prances and rears, Now, madam, you'll think it a strange thing to say, With ribbons in knots at its tail and its ears; But the sight of a book makes me sick to this day.' At last comes the troop, by the word of command, Never since I was born did I hear so much wit, Drawn up in our court, when the captain cries, Stand. And, madan, I laughed till I thought I should split. Your ladyship lifts up the sash to be seen
So then you looked scornful, and snift at the dean, (For sure I had dizened you out like a queen), As who should say, Nou, am I skinny and lean 13 The captain, to show he is proud of the favour, But he durst not so much as once open his lips, Looks up to your window, and cocks up his beaver. And the doctor was plaguily down in the hips. (His beaver is cocked; pray, madam, mark that, Thus merciless Hannah ran on in her talk, For a captain of horse never takes off his hat; Till she heard the dean call, Will your ladyship walk ! Because he has never a hand that is idle,
Her ladyship answers, I'm just coming down. For the right holds the sword, and the left holds the Then turning to Hannah and forcing å frown, bridle);
Although it was plain in her heart she was glad, Then flourishes thrice his sword in the air,
Cried, ' Hussy, why sure the wench is gone mad; As a compliment due to a lady so fair;
How could these chimeras get into your brains ? (How I tremble to think of the blood it hath spilt !) Come hither, and take this old gown for your pains. Then he lowers down the point, and kisses the hilt. But the dean, if this secret should come to his ears, Your ladyship smiles, and thus you begin :
Will never have done with his jibes and his jeers. Pray captain, be pleased to alight and walk in. For your life not a word of the matter, I charge ye; The captain salutes you with congee profound, Give me but a barrack, a fig for the clergy.' And your ladyship curtsies half way to the ground.
Kit, run to your master, and bid him come to us. I'm sure he'll be proud of the honour you do us; And, captain, you'll do us the favour to stay,
United with Swift in friendship and in fame, but And take a short dinner here with us to-day; possessing far higher powers as a poet, and more You're heartily welcome; but as for good cheer, refined taste as a satirist, was ALEXANDER POPE, You come in the very worst time of the year. born in London May 22, 1688. His father, a linenIf I had expected so worthy a guest
draper, having acquired an independent fortune, Lord, madam! your ladyship sure is in jest ;
retired to Binfield, in Windsor Forest. He was a You banter me, madam, the kingdom must grant- Roman Catholic, and the young poet was partly You officers, captain, are so complaisant.
Hist, hussy, I think I hear somebody coming' 1 Dr Jenny, a clergyman in the neighbourhood. No, madam, 'tis only Sir Arthur a-humming.
Ovids, Plutarchs, Homers.
8 Nicknames for my lady.
educated by the fa nily priest. He was afterwards machinery of the poem, founded upon the Rosicrucian sent to a Catholic seminary at Twyford, near Win. theory, that the elements are inhabited by spirita,
which they called sylphs, gnomes, nymphs, and
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings: chester, where he lampooned his teacher, was Short is his joy, he feels the fiery wound, severely punished, and afterwards taken home by Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground. his parents. He educated himself, and attended no Ah! what avail his glossy varying dyes, school after his twelfth year! The whole of his His purple crest and scarlet-circled eyes; early life was that of a severe student. He was a The vivid green his shining plumes unfold, poet in his infancy.
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold : As yet a child, and all unknown to fame, Another fine painting of external nature, as pic
I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came. turesque as any to be found in the purely descripThe writings of Dryden became the more particular Fame' –
tive poets, is the winter piece in the Temple of object of his admiration, and he prevailed upon a friend to introduce him to Will's coffeehouse, which So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost) Dryden then frequented, that he might have the gra- Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast; tification of seeing an author whom he so enthusias- Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away, tically admired. Pope was then not more than twelve And on the impassive ice the lightnings play; years of age. He wrote, but afterwards destroyed, External snows the growing mass supply, various dramatic pieces, and at the age of sixteen Till the bright mountains prop the incumbent sky: composed his Pastorals, and his imitations of Chaucer. As Atlas fixed, each hoary pile appears, He soon became acquainted with most of the eminent The gathered winter of a thousand years. persons of the day both in politics and literature. In 1711 appeared his Essay on Criticism, unquestion
Pope now commenced his translation of the Iliad. ably the finest piece of argumentative and reasoning At first the gigantic task oppressed him with its poetry in the English language. The work is said difficulty, but he grew more familiar with Homer's to have been composed two years before publication, images and expressions, and in a short time was when Pope was only twenty-one. The ripeness of able to despatch fifty verses a-day. Great part of judgment which it displays is truly marvellous. the manuscript was written upon the backs and Addison commended the “Essay' warmly in the covers of letters, evincing that it was not withSpectator, and it instantly rose into great popu- out reason he was called paper-sparing Pope. The larity. The style of Pope was now formed and com- poet obtained a clear sum of £5320, 4s. by this plete. His versification was that of his master, translation : his exclamationDryden, but he gave the heroic couplet a peculiar
And thanks to Homer, since I live and thrive, terseness, correctness, and melody. The essay was
Indebted to no prince or peer alive shortly afterwards followed by the Rape of the Lock. The stealing of a lock of hair from a beauty of the was, however, scarcely just, if we consider that this day, Miss Arabella Fermor, by her lover, Lord large sum was in fact a benevolence' from the upper Petre, was taken seriously, and caused an estrange- classes of society, good-naturedly designed to reward ment between the families, and Pope wrote his his literary merit. The fame of Pope was not advanced poem to make a jest of the affair, and laugh them in an equal degree with his fortune by his labours together again. In this he did not succeed, but he as a translator. The .fatal facility' of his rhyme, added greatly to his reputation by the effort. The the additional false ornaments which he imparted