« AnteriorContinuar »
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,
Steals to her sleeping spouse to bed.
ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT.
OCCASIONED BY READING THE FOLLOWING MAXIM IN
Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons
toujours quelque chose qui ne nous déplaît pas. But pawns her snuff-box, rings, and keys: Ever with some new fancy struck,
“ In the adversity of our best friends, we always Tries twenty charms to mend her luck.
find something 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 founce,
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,
Lies rack’d with pain, and you without :
. Written in November, 1731. There are two I wish some folks would pare their nails." distinct poems on this subject, one of them containWhile thus they rail
, and scold, and storm, ing many spurious lines. In what is here printed, It passes but for common form:
the genuine parts of both are preserved. N.
How patiently you hear him groan !
“ For poetry, he's past his prime: How glad the case is not your own!
He takes an hour to find a rhyme; What poet would not grieve to see
His fire is out, his wit decay'd, His brother write as well as he ?
His fancy sunk, his Muse a jade. But, rather than they should excel,
I'd have him throw away his pen; Would wish his rivals all in hell ?
But there 's no talking to some men !" Her end when emulation misses,
And then their tenderness appears She turns to envy, stings, and hisses :
By adding largely to my years : The strongest friendship yields to pride,
“ He 's older than he would be reckon'd, Unless the odds be on our side.
And well remembers Charles the Second. Vain human-kind! fantastic race!
He hardly drinks a pint of wine; Thy various follies who can trace ?
And that, I doubt, is no good sign. Self-love, ambition, envy, pride,
His stomach too begins to fail ; Their empire in our heart divide.
Last year we thought him strong and hale ; Give others riches, power, and station,
But now he 's quite another thing: 'Tis all to me an usurpation.
I wish he may hold out till spring !" I have no title to aspire ;
They hug themselves and reason thus : Yet, when you sink, I seem the higher.
“ It is not yet so bad with us !" In Pope I cannot read a line,
In such a case they talk in tropes, But with a sigh I wish it mine :
And by their fears express their hopes. When he can in one couplet fix
Some great misfortune to portend, More sense than I can do in six ;
No enemy can match a friend. It gives me such a jealous fit,
With all the kindness they profess, I cry, “ Pox take him and his wit !”
The merit of a lucky guess I grieve to be outdone by Gay
(When daily how-d'ye's coine of course, In my own humorous biting way.
And servants answer, “ Worse and worse!") Arbuthnot is no more my friend,
Would please them better, than to tell, Who dares to irony pretend,
That, “God be prais'd, the Dean is well." Which I was born to introduce,
Then he who prophesy'd the best, Refin'd at first, and show'd its use.
Approves his foresight to the rest: St. John, as well as Pulteney, knows
“ You know I always fear'd the worst, That I had some repute for prose;
And often told you so at first.” And, till they drove me out of date,
He 'd rather choose that I should die, Could maul a minister of state.
Than his predictions prove a lie. If they have mortified my pride,
Not one foretells I shall recover ; And made me throw my pen aside ;
But, all agree to give me over. If with such talents Heaven hath bless'a 'em, Yet should some neighbour feel a pain Have I not reason to detest 'em ?
Just in the parts where I complain ; To all my foes, dear Fortune, send
How many a message would he send ! Thy gifts; but never to my friend :
What hearty prayers that I should mend! I tamely can endure the first;
Inquire what regimen I kept ? But this with envy makes me burst.
What gave me ease, and how I slept ? Thus much may serve by way of proem ;
And more lament when I was dead, Proceed we therefore to our poem.
Than all the snivellers round my bed. The time is not remote when I
My good companions, never fear; Must by the course of nature die;
For, though you may mistake a year, When, I foresee, my special friends
Though your prognostics run too fast, Will try to find their private ends :
They must be verify'd at last. And, though 'tis hardly understood
Behold the fatal day arrive! Which way my death can do them good,
“ How is the Dean?” -“ He's just alive." Yet thus, methinks, I hear them speak :
Now the departing prayer is read; “ See how the Dean begins to break !
He hardly breathes the Dean is dead Poor gentleman, he droops apace!
Before the passing-bell begun, You plainly find it in his face.
The news through half the town is run. That old vertigo in his head
“Oh! may we all for death prepare ! Will never leave him till he's dead.
What has he left? and who 's his heir ?" Besides, his memory decays :
“ I know no more than what the news is; He recollects not what he says;
'Tis all bequeath'd to public uses. He cannot call his friends to mind;
“ To public uses! there 's a whim ! Forgets the place where last he din'd;
What had the public done for him ? Plies you with stories o'er and o'er ;
Mere envy, avarice, and pride : He told them fifty times before.
He gave it all — but first he dy'd. How does he fancy we can sit
And had the Dean, in all the nation, To hear his out-of-fashion wit?
No worthy friend, no poor relation ? But he takes up with younger folks,
So ready to do strangers good, Who for his wine will bear his jokes.
Forgetting his own flesh and blood !" Faith! he must make his stories shorter,
Now Grub-street wits are all employ'd ; Or change his comrades once a quarter ;
With elegies the town is cloy'd : In half the time he talks them round,
Some paragraph in every paper, There must another set be found.
To curse the Dean, or bless the Drapier.
The doctors, tender of their fame,
Madam, your husband will attend Wisely on me lay all the blame.
The funeral of so good a friend ? “ We must confess, his case was nice;
No, madam, 'tis a shocking sight; But he would never take advice.
And he 's engag'd to-morrow night: Had he been rul'd, for aught appears,
My lady Club will take it ill, He might have liv'd these twenty years :
If he should fail her at quadrille. For, when we open'd him, we found
He lov'd the Dean — (I lead a heart :) That all his vital parts were sound.”
But dearest friends, they say, must part. From Dublin soon to London spread,
His time, was come; he ran his race; Tis told at court, “ the Dean is dead."
We hope he 's in a better place.” And lady Suffolk, in the spleen,
Why do we grieve that friends should die ? Runs laughing up to tell the queen.
No loss more easy to supply. The queen, so gracious, mild, and good,
One year is past; a different scene! Cries, “ Is he gone! 'tis time he should.
No farther mention of the Dean, He's dead, you say; then let him rot :
Who now, alas ! no more is miss'd, I'm glad the medals were forgot.
Than if he never did exist. I promis'd him, I own; but when ?
Where's now the favourite of Apollo ? I only was the princess then :
: - and his works must follow ; But now, as consort of the king,
Must undergo the common fate; You know, 'tis quite another thing."
His kind of wit is out of date. Now Chartres, at Sir Robert's levee,
Some country squire to Lintot goes, Tells with a sneer the tidings heavy:
Inquires for Swift in verse and prose. “ Why, if he dy'd without his shoes,”
Says Lintot, I have heard the name; Cries Bob, “ I'm sorry for the news :
He dy'd a year ago.”- “ The same. Oh, were the wretch but living still,
He searches all the shop in vain. And in his place my good friend Will!
“ Sir, you may find them in Duck-lane : Or had a mitre on his head,
I sent them, with a load of books, Provided Bolingbroke were dead !”
Last Monday to the pastry-cook's. Now Curll his shop from rubbish drains: To fancy they could live a year ! Three genuine tomes of Swift's remains !
I find you 're but a stranger here., And then, to make them pass the glibber,
The Dean was famous in his time, Revis’d by Tibbalds, Moore, and Cibber.
And had a kind of knack at rhyme. He 'll treat me as he does my betters,
His way of writing now is past : Publish my will, my life, my letters;
The town has got a better taste. Revive the libels born to die :
I keep no antiquated stuff; Which Pope must bear as well as I.
But spick and span I have enough. Here shift the scene to represent,
Pray, do but give me leave to show 'em : How those I love my death lament.
Here's Colley Cibber's birth-day poem. Poor Pope will grieve a month, and Gay
This ode you never yet have seen, A week, and Arbuthnot a day.
By Stephen Duck, upon the queen. St. John himself will scarce forbear
Then here 's a letter finely penn'd To bite his pen, and drop a tear.
Against the Craftsman and his friend : The rest will give a shrug, and cry,
It clearly shows that all reflection “ I'm sorry — but we all must die!"
On ministers is disaffection. Indifference, clad in wisdom's guise,
Next, here's Sir Robert's vindication, All fortitude of mind supplies :
And Mr. Henley's last oration. For how can stony bowels melt
The hawkers have not got them yet : In those who never pity felt!
Your honour please to buy a set? When we are lash'd, they kiss the rod,
“ Here's Wolston's tracts, the twelfth Resigning to the will of God.
edition; The fools, my juniors by a year,
'Tis read by every politician : Are tortur'd with suspense and fear;
The country-members, when in town, Who wisely thought my age a screen,
To all their boroughs send them down ;
You never met a thing so smart;
Those maids of honour who can read,
Are taught to use them for their creed. Have better learn'd to act their parts,
The reverend author's good intention Receive the news in doleful dumps :
Hath been rewarded with a pension * : “ The Dean is dead : (Pray what is trumps ?)
He doth an honour to his gown, Then, Lord have mercy on his soul !
By bravely running priest-craft down : (Ladies, I'll venture for the vole.)
He shows, as sure as God's in Gloucester, Six deans, they say, must bear the pall:
That Moses was a grand impostor ; (I wish I knew what king to call.)
That all his miracles were cheats,
Perform'd as jugglers do their feats : Mrs. Howard, at one time a favourite with the The church had never such a writer ; h. N.
A shame he hath not got a mitre !" Which the Dean in vain expected, in return for all present he had sent to the princess. N.
• Wolston is bere confounded with Woolaston. N.
Suppose me dead; and then suppose
He would have deem'd it a disgrace, A club assembled at the Rose ;
If such a wretch had known his face, Where, from discourse of this and that,
On rural squires, that kingdom's bane, I grow the subject of their chat.
He vented oft his wrath in vain : And while they toss my name about,
squires to market brought, With favour some, and some without;
Who sell their souls and **** for nought : One, quite indifferent in the cause,
The **** **** go joyful back, My character impartial draws.
To rob the church, their tenants rack; “ The Dean, if we believe report,
Go snacks with ***** justices, Was never ill receiv'd at court,
And keep the peace to pick up fees; Although, ironically grave,
In every job to have a share, He sham'd the fool, and lash'd the knave;
A gaol or turnpike to repair ; To steal a hint was never known,
to public roads But what he writ was all his own.
Commodious to their own abodes. “ Sir, I have heard another story;
“ He never thought an honour done him, He was a most confounded Tory,
Because a peer was proud to own him; And grew, or he is much bely'd,
Would rather slip aside, and choose Extremely dull, before he dy'd.”
To talk with wits in dirty shoes; “ Can we the Drapier then forget ?
And scorn the tools with stars and garters, Is not our nation in his debt ?
So often seen caressing Chartres. 'Twas he that writ the Drapier's letters !".
He never courted men in station, “ He should have left them for his betters : Nor persons held in admiration ; We had a hundred abler men,
Of no man's greatness was afraid,
Because he sought for no man's aide
Though trusted long in great atfairs, You never can defend his breeding ;
He gave himself no haughty airs : Who, in his satires running riot,
Without regarding private ends, Could never leave the world in quiet ;
Spent all his credit for his friends; Attacking, when he took the whim,
And only chose the wise and good; Court, city, camp all one to him.
No flatterers; no allies in blood : But why would he, except he slobber'd,
But succour'd virtue in distress, Offend our patriot, great Sir Robert,
And seldom fail'd of good success; Whose counsels aid the sovereign power
As numbers in their hearts must own, To save the nation every hour!
Who, but for him, had been unknown. What scenes of evil he unravels,
“ He kept with princes due decorum; In satires, libels, lying travels ;
Yet never stood in awe before 'em. Not sparing his own clergy cloth,
He follow'd David's lesson just; But eats into it, like a moth !"
In princes never put his trust : “ Perhaps I may allow the Dean
And, would you make him truly sour, Had too much satire in his vein,
Provoke him with a slave in power. And seem'd determin'd not to starve it,
The Irish senate if you nam'd, Because no age could more deserve it.
With what impatience he declaim'd! Yet malice never was his aim ;
Fair LIBERTY was all his cry; He lash'd the vice, but spar'd the name.
For her he stood prepar'd to die; No individual could resent,
For her he boldly stood alone; Where thousands equally were meant :
For her he oft expos’d his own. His satire points at no defect,
Two kingdoms, just as faction led, But what all mortals may correct;
Had set a price upon his head ; For he abhorr'd the senseless tribe
But not a traitor could be found, Who call it humour when they gibe :
To sell him for six hundred pound He spar'd a hump, or crooked nose,
“ Had he but spar'd his tongue and pen, Whose owners set not up for beaux.
He might have rose like other men: True genuine dulness mov'd his pity,
But power was never in his thought, Unless it offer'd to be witty.
And wealth he valued not a groat : Those who their ignorance confest,
Ingratitude he often found, He ne'er offended with a jest;
And pity'd those who meant the wound; But laugh’d to hear an idiot quote
But kept the tenour of his mind, A verse from Horace learn'd by rote.
To merit well of human-kind; Vice, if it e'er can be abash'd,
Nor made a sacrifice of those Must be or ridicul'd or lash'd.
Who still were true, to please his foes. If you resent it, who 's to blame?
He labour'd many a fruitless hour, He neither knows you, nor your name.
To reconcile his friends in power; Should rice expect to 'scape rebuke,
Saw mischief by a faction brewing, Because its owner is a duke?
While they pursued each other's ruin. His friendships, still to few confin'd,
But, finding vain was all his care, Were always of the middling kind;
He left the court in mere despair. No fools of rank, or mongrel breed,
“ And, oh! how short are human schemes! Who fain would pass for lords indeed :
Here ended all our golden dreams. Where titles give no right or power,
What St. John's skill in state affairs, And peerage is a wither'd flower ;
What Ormond's valour, Oxford's cares,
To save their sinking country lent,
For party he would scarce liave bled : Was all destroy'd by one event.
I say no more — because he's dead. Too 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 favouring 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 sprite : To sacrifice Old England's glory,
Perhaps his travels, part the third ; And make her infamous in story :
A lie at every second word When such a tempest shook the land,
Offensive to a loyal ear :How could unguarded virtue stand !
- not one sermon, you may swear. “ With horrour, 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.
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. A wicked monster on the bench,
ON THE EVER-LAMENTED LOSS OF THE TWO YEWWhose fury blood could never quench;
TREES IN THE PARISH OF CHILTHORNE, SOMERSET. As vile and profligate a villain,
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 vai s 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. This into general odium drew him,
Our wandering saints, in woeful state, Which if he lik’d, much good may 't do him. Treated at this ungodly rate, His real was not to lash our crimes,
Having through all the village past, But discontent against the times :
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 neighbourhood 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;