« PreviousContinue »
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His kind of wit is out of date.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 'en.:
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!"
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,
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 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 travels;
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 malice 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 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 ridicul'd 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 few 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 a 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 **** tor 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
Commodious 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 private ends,
Spent all his credit for his friends;
And only chose the wise and good;
No flatterers; no allies in blood:
But succor'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.
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 spar'd 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,
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 covenant 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 s and fens;
A servile race in folly nurs'd,
Who truckle most, when treated worst.
"By innocence and resolution,
He bore continual persecution;
While numbers to preferment rose,
Whose merit was 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 interest how to know,
And gave them arms to ward the blow.
Envy hath 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 Tressilian;
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 judges' frown,
Nor topics brought to please the crown,
Nor witness hir'd, 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 general odium drew him,
Which if he lik'd, 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 favoring 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."
"He knew an hundred pleasing stories, With all the turns of Whigs and Tories: Was cheerful to his dying day;
And friends would let him have his way.
"As for his works in verse or prose,
I own myself no judge of those.
Nor can I tell what critics thought them;
But this I know, all people bought them,
As with a moral view design'd
To please and to reform 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.
He gave the little wealth he had
To build a house for fools and mad;
To show, 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 further lashes,
Methinks you may forgive his ashes."
ON THE EVER-LAMENTED LOSS OF THE TWO YEW-TREES IN THE PARISH OF CHIL THORNE, SOMERSET.-1708.
Imitated from the Eighth Book of Ovid.
In ancient times, as story tells,
The saints would often leave their cells,
And stroll about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.
It happen'd on a winter-night,
As authors of the legend write,
Two brother-hermits, saints by trade,
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Disguis'd in tatter'd habits, went
To a small village down in Kent;
Where, in the strollers' canting strain,
They begg'd from door to door in vain,
Tried every tone might pity win;
But not a soul would let them in.
Our wandering saints, in woful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,
Having through all the village past,
To a small cottage came at last;
Where dwelt a good old honest ye'man,
Call'd in the neighborhood Philemon;
Who kindly did these saints invite
In his poor hut to pass the night;
And then the hospitable sire
Bid Goody Baucis mend the fire;
While he from out the chimney took
A flitch of bacon off the hook,
And freely from the fattest side
Cut out large slices to be fried;
Then stepp'd aside to fetch them drink,
Fill'd a large jug up to the brink,
And saw it fairly twice go round;
Yet (what is wonderful!) they found
"Twas still replenish'd to the top,
As if they ne'er had touch'd a drop.
The good old couple were amaz'd,
And often on each other gaz'd;
For both were frighten'd to the heart,
And just began to cry,-" What ar't?"
Then softly turn'd aside to view
Whether the lights were burning blue.
The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't,
Told them their calling, and their errand:
"Good folks, you need not be afraid,
We are but saints," the hermits said:
"No hurt shall come to you or yours:
But for that pack of churlish boors,
Not fit to live on Christian ground,
They and their houses shall be drown'd;
Whilst you shall see your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes."
They scarce had spoke, when fair and soft
The roof began to mount aloft;
Aloft rose every beam and rafter;
The heavy wall climb'd slowly after.
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher,
Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was hoist,
And there stood fasten'd to a joist,
But with the upside down, to show
Its inclination for below:
In vain; for a superior force,
Applied at bottom, stops its course;
Doom'd ever in suspense to dwell,
"Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
A wooden jack, which had almost
Lost by disuse the art to roast,
A sudden alteration feels,
Increas'd by new intestine wheels;
And, what exalts the wonder more,
The number made the motion slower:
The flier, though 't had leaden feet,
Turn'd round so quick, you scarce could see 't;
But, slacken'd by some secret power,
Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
The jack and chimney near allied,
Had never left each other's side:
The chimney to a steeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone;
But, up against the steeple fear'd,
Became a clock, and still adher'd ;
And still its love to household cares,
By a shrill voice at noon, declares,
Warning the cook-maid not to burn
That roast meat which it cannot turn.
The groaning chair began to crawl,
Like a huge snail, along the wall;
There stuck aloft in public view,
And, with small change, a pulpit grew.
The porringers, that in a row
Hung high, and made a glittering show,
To a less noble substance chang'd,
Were now but leathern buckets rang'd.
The ballads, pasted on the wall,
Of Joan of France, and English Moll,
Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood,
The Little Children in the Wood,
Now seem'd to look abundance better,
Improv'd in picture, size, and letter;
And, high in order plac'd, describe
The heraldry of every tribe.*
A bedstead of the antique mode,
Compact of timber many a load,
Such as our ancestors did use,
Was metamorphos'd into pews;
Which still their ancient nature keep
By lodging folks dispos'd to sleep.
The cottage by such feats as these
Grown to a church by just degrees,
The hermits then desir'd their host
To ask for what he fancied most.
Philemon, having paus'd awhile,
Return'd them thanks in homely style:
Then said, "My house is grown so fine,
Methinks I still would call it mine:
I'm old, and fain would live at ease;
Make me the parson, if you please."
He spoke, and presently he feels
His grazier's coat fall down his heels:
He sees, yet hardly can believe,
About each arm a pudding-sleeve;
His waistcoat to a cassock grew,
And both assum'd a sable hue;
But, being old, continued just
As threadbare, and as full of dust.
His talk was now of tithes and dues :
He smok'd his pipe, and read the news;
Knew how to preach old sermons next,
Vamp'd in the preface and the text;
At christenings well could act his part,
And had the service all by heart;
Wish'd women might have children fast,
And thought whose sow had farrow'd last;
Against dissenters would repine,
And stood up firm for right divine;
Found his head fill'd with many a system;
But classic authors,-he ne'er miss'd'em.
Thus having furbish'd up a parson,
Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on
Instead of home-spun coifs, were seen
Good pinners edg'd with colberteen;
Her petticoat, transform'd apace,
Became black satin, flounc'd with lace.
Plain Goody would no longer down;
"Twas Madam, in her grogram gown.
Philemon was in great surprise,
And hardly could believe his eyes,
Amaz'd to see her look so prim;
And she admir'd as much at him.
Thus happy in their change of life,
Were several years this man and wife;
When, on a day, which prov'd their last,
Discoursing o'er old stories past,
They went by chance, amidst their talk,
To the church-yard to take a walk;
When Baucis hastily cried out,
"My dear, I see your forehead sprout!"
"Sprout!" quoth the man; "what's this you
I hope you don't believe me jealous?
The tribes of Israel are sometimes distinguished in country churches by the ensigns given to them by Jacob
A DESCRIPTION OF THE MORNING. 1709.
Now hardly here and there an hackney-coach
Appearing, show'd the ruddy Morn's approach.
Now Betty from her master's bed had flown,
And softly stole to discompose her own;
The slipshod 'prentice from his master's door
Had par'd the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor.
Now Moll had whirl'd her mop with dextrous airs,
Prepar'd to scrub the entry and the stairs.
The youth with broomy stumps began to trace
The kennel's edge, where wheels had worn the place.
The small-coal-man was heard with cadence deep,
Till drown'd in shriller notes of chimney-sweep.
Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet;
And brick-dust Moll had scream'd through half the
The turnkey now his flock returning sees,
Duly let out a-nights to steal for fees:
The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands,
And school-boys lag with satchels in their hands.
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,t 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 t'us;
* Sir Arthur Acheson, at whose seat this was written. A large old house, two miles from Sir Arthur's seat.
The army in Ireland is lodged in strong buildings, over the whole kingdom, called barracks. F.
There's nine hundred pounds for labor 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 stor'd;
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 humor, 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 ponder'd 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 it shall be a barrack, my life.
I'm grown a mere mopus; no company comes,
But a rabble of tenants, and rusty dull Rums.§
With parsons what lady can keep herself clean?
I'm all over daub'd 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 resolv'd to maintain.
But Hannah, who listen'd to all that was past, And could not endure so vulgar a taste, As soon as her ladyship call'd to be drest, Cried, "Madam, why surely my master's possest! Sir Arthur the malster! how fine it will sound! I'd rather the bawn were sunk under ground. But madam, I guess'd there would never come good, When I saw him so often with Darby and Wood.T And now my dream's out; for I was a-dream'd That I saw a huge rat-O dear, how I scream'd! And after, methought, I had lost my new shoes; And Molly, she said, I should hear some ill news.
"Dear madam, had you but the spirit to tease, You might have a barrack whenever you please: And, madam, I always believ'd you so stout, That for twenty denials you would not give out. If I had a husband like him, I purtest, 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; But, madam, I beg you contrive and invent, And worry him out, till he gives his consent. Dear madam, whene'er of a barrack I think, An I were to be hang'd, I can't sleep a wink: For if a new crotchet comes into my brain, I can't get it out, though I'd never so fain. I fancy already a barrack contriv'd At Hamilton's bawn, and the troop is arriv'd; Of this, to be sure, Sir Arthur has warning, And waits on the captain betimes the next morning. Now see, when they meet, how their honors behave Noble captain, your servant'-Sir Arthur, your slave;