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And, madam, there's my lady Spade,
And studied Affectation came, Hath sent this letter by her maid.”
Each limb and feature out of frame; “ Well, I remember what she won;
While Ignorance, with brain of lead, And hath she sent so soon lo dun?
Flew hovering o'er each female lead. Here, carry down those ten pistoles
Why should I ask of thee, my Muse, My husband left to pay for coals :
An hundred tongues, as poets-use, I thank my stars, they all are light;
When, to give every dame her due, And I may have revenge to-night.”
An hundred thousand were too few? Now, loitering o'er her tea and cream,
Or how shall I, alas! relate She enters on her usual theme;
The sum of all their senseless prate, Her last night's ill success repeats,
Their innuendoes, hints, and slanders, Calls lady Spade a hundred cheats :
Their meanings lewd, and double entendres i “She slipt spadillo in her breast,
Now comes the general scandal-charge ; Then thought to turn it to a jest :
What some invent, the rest enlarge ; There's Mrs. Cut and she combine,
And, “ Madam, if it be a lie, And to each other give the sign."
You have the tale as cheap as I: Through every game pursues her tale,
I must conceal my author's name; Like hunters o'er their evening ale.
But now 'tis known to common fame." Now to another scene give place :
Say, foolish females, bold and blind, Enter the folks with silks and lace :
Say, by what fatal turn of mind. Fresh matter for a world of chat,
Are you on vices most severe, Right Indian this, right Mechlin that:
Wherein yourselves have greatest share ? “Observe this pattern; there's a stuff;
Thus every fool herself deludes; I can have customers enough.
The prudes condemn the absent prudes : Dear madam, you are grown so hard
Mopsa, who stinks her spouse to death, This lace is worth twelve pounds a yard :
Accuses Chloe's tainted breath; Madam, if there be truth in man,
Hircina, rank with sweat, presumes I never sold so cheap a fan."
To censure Phyllis for perfumes ; This business of importance o'er,
While crooked Cynthia, sneering, says And madam almost dress'd by four;
That Florimel wears iron stays : The footman, in his usual phrase,
Chloe, of every coxcomb jealous, Comes up with, “Madam, dinner stays.”
Admires how girls can talk with fellows; She answers in her usual style,
And, full of indignation, frets, “ The cook must keep it back awhile :
That women should be such coquettes : I never can have time to dress;
Iris, for scandal most notorious, (No woman breathing takes up less ;)
Cries, “ Lord, the world is so censorious !" I'm hurried so it makes me sick;
And Rufa, with her combs of lead, I wish the dinner at Old Nick.”
Whispers that Sappho's hair is red: A: table now she acts her part,
Aura, whose tongue you hear a mile hence, Has all the dinner-cant by heart :
Talks half a day in praise of silence ; “I thought we were to dine alone,
And Sylvia, full of inward guilt, My dear; for sure, if I had known
Calls Amoret an arrant jilt. This company would come to-day
Now voices over voices rise, But really 'tis my spouse's way!
While each to be the loudest vies : He's so unkind, he never sends
They contradict, affirm, dispute, To tell when he invites his friends :
No single tongue one moment mute; I wish ye may but have enough!”
All mad to speak, and none to hearken, And while with all this paltry stuff
They set the very lap-dog barking; She sits tormenting every guest,
Their chattering makes a louder din Nor gives her tongue one moment's rest,
Than fish-wives o'er a cup of gin: In phrases batter'd, stale, and trite,
Not school-boys at a barring-out Which modern ladies call polite;
Rais'd ever such incessant rout; You see the booby husband sit
The jumbling particles of matter In admiration at her wit.
In chaos made not such a clatter; But let me now awhile survey
Far less the rabble roar and rail, Our madam o'er her evening-tea;
When drunk with sour election ale. Surrounded with her noisy clans
Nor do they trust their tongues alone, Of prudes, coquettes, and harridans ;
But speak a language of their own; When, frighted at the clamorous crew,
Can read a nod, a shrug, a look, Away the god of Silence flew,
Far better than a printed book; And fair Discretion left the place,
Convey a libel in a frown, And Modesty with blushing face :
And wink a reputation down; Now enters overweening Pride,
Or, by the tossing of the fan, And Scandal ever gaping wide;
Describe the lady and the man. Hypocrisy with frown severe,
But see, the female club disbands, Scurrility with gibing air;
Each twenty visits on her hands. Rude Laughter seeming like to burst,
Now all alone poor madam sits And Malice always judging worst;
In vapors and hysteric fits : And Vanity with pocket-glass,
“And was not Tom this morning sent ? And Impndence with front of brass ;
I'd lay my life he never went:
Past six, and not a living soul!
But, conscious that they all speak true, I might by this have won a vole."
And give each other but their due, A dreadful interval of spleen!
It never interrupts the game, How shall we pass the time between?
Or makes them sensible of shame. "Here, Betty, let me take my drops ;
The time too precious now to waste, And feel my pulse, I know it stops :
The supper gobbled up in haste ; This head of mine, Lord, how it swims!
Again afresh to cards they run, And such a pain in all my limbs!"
As if they had but just begun. “Dear madam, try to take a nap."
But I shall not again repeat, But now they hear a footman's rap:
How oft they squabble, snarl, and cheat. “Go, run, and light the ladies up:
At last they hear the watchman knock. It must be one before we sup.”
“A frosty morn—past four o'clock." The table, cards, and counters, set,
The chairmen are not to be found, And all the gamester-ladies met,
“Come, let us play the other round.” Her spleen and fits recover'd quite,
Now all in haste they huddle on Our madam can sit up all night :
Their hoods, their cloaks, and get them gone, “Whoever comes, I'm not within.”—
But, first, the winner must invite Quadrille's the word, and so begin.
The company to-morrow night. How can the Muse her aid impart,
Unlucky madam, left in tears, Unskill'd in all the terms of art?
(Who now again quadrille forswears) Or in harmonious numbers put
With empty purse, and aching head,
The deal, the shuffle, and the cut ?
Steals to her sleeping spouse to bed.
The superstitious whims relate,
That fill a female gamester's pate ?
What agony of soul she feels
To see a knave's inverted heels!
She draws up card by card, to find
Good-fortune peeping from behind;
ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT.*
With panting heart, and earnest eyes,
In hope to see spadillo rise :
OCCASIONED BY READING THE FOLLOWING In vain, alas! her hope is fed ;
MAXIM IN ROCHEFOUCAULT: She draws an ace, and sees it red ;
Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons In ready counters never pays,
toujours quelque chose qui ne nous déplait pas. But pawns her snuff-box, rings, and keys: Ever with some new fancy struck,
"In the adversity of our best friends, we always find someTries twenty charms to mend her luck.
thing that doth not displease us.” “This morning, when the parson came, I said I should not win a game.
As Rochefoucault his maxims drew This odious chair, how came I stuck in't? From nature, I believe them true : I think I never had good luck in't.
They argue no corrupted mind I'm so uneasy in my stays;
In him : the fault is in mankind. Your fan a moment, if you please.
This maxim more than all the rest Stand further, girl, or get you gone;
Is thought too base for human breast : I always lose when you look on.”
“In all distresses of our friends, “Lord! madam, you have lost codille !
We first consult our private ends ; I never saw you play so ill."
While nature, kindly bent to ease us, “ Nay, madam, give me leave to say,
Points out some circumstance to please us." 'Twas you that threw the game away :
If this perhaps your patience move, When lady Tricksey play'd a four,
Let reason and experience prove. You took it with a mattadore;
We all behold with envious eyes I saw you touch your wedding-ring
Our equals rais'd above our size. Before my lady call'd a king;
Who would not at a crowded show You spoke a word began with H,
Stand high himself, keep others low? And I know whom you meant to teach,
I love my friend as well as you : Because you held the king of hearts ;
But why should he obstruct my view ? Fie, madam, leave these little arts.”
Then let me have the higher post ; “That's not so bad as one that rubs
Suppose it but an inch at most. Her chair, to call the king of clubs;
If in a battle you should find And makes her partner understand
One, whom you love of all mankind, A mattadore is in her hand."
Had some heroic action done, “Madam, you have no cause to flounce,
A champion kill'd, or trophy won; I swear I saw you thrice renounce."
Rather than thus be over-topt, “And truly, madam, I know when,
Would you not wish his laurels cropt ? Instead of five, you scor'd me ten.
Dear honest Ned is in the gout, Spadillo here has got a mark;
Lies rack'd with pain, and you without : A child may know it in the dark: I guess'd the hand : it seldom fails:
* Written in November, 1731.—There are two distinc: I wish some folks would pare their nails."
poems on this subject, one of them containing many spa. While thus they rail, and scold, and storm, rious lines. In what is here printed, the genuine parts It passes but for common form:
of both are preserved. N.
How patiently you hear him groan!
How glad the case is not your own!
What poet would not grieve to see
His brother write as well as he ?
But, rather than they should excel,
Would 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 heart divide.
Give others riches, power, and station,
'Tis all to 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 humorous biting way.
Arbuthnot is no more my friend,
Who dares to irony pretend,
Which I was born to introduce,
Refin'd at first, and show'd its use.
St. John, as well as Pulteney, 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 mortified my pride,
And made me throw my pen aside ;
If with such talents Heaven hath bless'd '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 :
And, though 'tis hardly understood
Which way my death can do them good,
Yet thus, methinks, I hear them 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;
Plies 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 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 reckond,
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!"
They hug themselves, and reason thus :
“ It is not yet so bad with us!"
In such a case they talk in tropes,
And by their fear 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 !")
Would please them better, than to tell,
That, “God be prais'd, the Dean is well.”
Then he who prophesied 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 choose that I should die,
Than his predictions prove a lie.
Not one foretells I shall recover;
But, all agree to give me over.
Yet should some neighbor 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, never fear;
For, though you may mistake a year,
Though your prognostics run too fast,
They must be verified 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 through half the town is run.
“Oh! 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 uses ! there's a 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 every 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.
Flad he been rul'd, for aught appears,
He might have liv'd 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."
And 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 should.
He's dead, you say; then let him rot:
I'm glad the medalst were forgot.
I promis'd him, I own; but when ?
I only was the princess then :
But now, as consort of the king,
You know, 'tis quite another thing."
Now Chartres, at Sir Robert's levee,
Tells with a sneer the tidings heavy:
" Why, if he died without his shoes,"
Cries Bob, “I'm sorry for the news :
Oh, 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,
Revis'd 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
so 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 remov'd, 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 : (Pray 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 engag'd to-morrow night :
My lady Club will take it ill,
If he should fail her at quadrille.
He lov'd 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 farther mention of the Dean,
Who now, alas! no more is miss'd,
Than if he never did exist.
Where's now the favorite 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 penn'd
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 honor, please to buy a set ?
“Here's Wolston'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 honor who can read,
Are taught to use them for their creed.
The reverend author's good intention
Hath been rewarded with a pension :*
He doth an honor 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 hath not got a mitre!"
* Mrs. Howard, at one time a favorite with the Dean. N.
Which the Dean in vain expected, in return for a small present he had sent to the princess. N.
* Wolston is here confounded with Woolaston. N.
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 favor sume, and some without; One, quite indifferent in the cause, My character impartial draws. “The Dean, if we believe report, Was never ill receiv'd at court, Although, ironically grave, He sham'd the fool, and lash'd the knave; To steal a hint was never known, But what he writ was all his own."
“Sir, I have heard another story; He was a most confounded Tory, And grew, or he is much belied, Extreraely 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 nerer leave the world in quiet;
Attacking, when he took the whim,
Court, city, camp-all one to him.-
But why would he, except he slobber'd,
Offend our patriot, great Sir Robert,
Whose counsels aid the sovereign power
To save the nation every hour!
What scenes of evil he unravels,
In satires, libels, lying Iravels ;
Not sparing his own clergy cloth,
But eats into it, like a moth!”
“ Perhaps I may allow the Dean
Had too much satire in his vein,
And seem'd determin'd not to starve it,
Because no age could more deserve it.
Yet inalice never was his aim;
He lash'd the vice, but spar'd 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 the senseless tribe
Who call it humor when they gibe:
He spar'd a hump, or crooked nose,
Whose owners set not up for beaux.
True genuine dullness mov'd his pily,
Unless it offer'd to be witly.
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 ridiculd or lash'd.
If you resent it, who's to blame?
He neither knows you, nor your name.
Should vice expect to 'scape rebuke,
Because its owner is a duke?
His friendships, still to sew confin'd,
Were always of the middling kind;
No fools of rank, or 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 deem'd it à disgrace,
If such a wretch had known his face.
On rural squires, that kingdom's bane,
He vented oft his wrath in vain :
******* squires to market brought,
Who sell their souls and **** for nought:
The **** ****
go joyful back.
To rob the church, their tenants rack;
Go snacks with ***** justices,
And keep the peace to pick up fees;
In every job to have a share,
A gaol or turnpike to repair;
And turn ******* to public roads
Cominodious to their own abodes.
“He never thought an honor done him,
Because a peer was proud to own him;
Would rather slip aside, and choose
To talk with wits in dirty shoes ;
And scorn the tools 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 privale ends,
Spent all his credit for his friends;
And only chose the wise and good ;
No flatterers; no allies in blood :
But succord virtue in distress,
And seldom fail'd of good success;
As numbers in their hearts must own,
Who, but for him, had been unknown.
“He kept with princes due decorum;
Yet never stood in awe before 'em,
He follow'd David's lesson just;
In princes never put his trust;
And, would you make him truly sour,
Provoke him with a slave in power.
The Irish senate if you nam'd,
With what impatience he declaim'd!
Fair LIBERTY was all his cry;
For her he stood prepar'd to die;
For her he boldly stood alone;
For her he oft expos'd 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 spard 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 labor'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 valor, Oxford's cares,