Page images



Written in the year 1718.
HATE'er your predeceffors taught us,

I bave a great esteem for Plautus ;
And think your boys may gather there-hence
More wit and humour than from Terence.
But as to comic Aristophanes,

5 The rogue too bawdy and too profane is. I went in vain to look for Eupolis, Down in the Strand * just where the 'new pole is ; For I can tell you one thing, that I can, You will not find it in the Vatican. He and Cratinus used, as Horace fays, To take his greatest grandees for asses. Poets, in those days, ufed to venture high ; But these are loft full many a century.

Thus you may fee, dear friend, ex pede hence 15 My judgment of the old comedians.

i PROCEED to tragics, first Euripides.
(An author where I sometimes dip a-days)
Is rightly censur'd by the Stagirite,
Who says his numbers do not fadge aright.
A friend of mine that author despises
So much, he fwears the very best piece is,
For aught he knows, as bad as Thespis's ;
And that a woman, in those tragedies,
Commonly speaking, but a fad jade is.

At least, I'm well assur'd, that no folk lays
That weight on him, they do on Sophocles.
But above all I prefer Æschylus,
Whole moving touches, when they please, kill is.

[ocr errors]

* N. B. The Strand in London. The fact may be falle, but the skyme edat me lume trouble,


À G Go T.
And now I find my muse but ill able
To hold out longer in triffyllable. .
I chose these rhymes out, for their difficulty :
Will you return as hard ones if I call t’ye ?

[blocks in formation]

Written in the year 2713, when the Queen's mini

fters were quarrelling among themselves * OB Bserve the dying father speak :

Try, lads, can you this bundle break;
Then bids the youngest of the fix
Take up a well-bound heap of ficks.
They thought it was an old man's maggot ; 5.
And itrove by turns to break the faggot :
In vain : the complicated wands
Were much too Arong for all their hands.
See, faid the fire, how Toon 'tis done :
Then tock and broke them one by one.
So strong you'll be, in friendship tyd;
So quickly broke, if you divide. .
Keep close then, boys, and never quarrel.
Here ends the fable and the moral.

This tale may be apply'd in few words
To treasurers, comptrollers, stewards,
And others, who in folemn fort
Appear with flender wands at court:
Not firmly join'd to keep their ground,
But lashing one another round:
While wise men think they ought to fight
With quarter faves, instead of ubite ;
Or constable, with Paf of peace,
Should come and make the clate'ring cease;

See more of the author's endeavours 10 procure a reconcilement among them, in the letters to and from Dr Swift, in vob, iv. let. 6. 93.

See allu Free thonghts on the present state of affairs, in vol. ij




Which now difturbs the Queen and court,
And gives the W bigs and rabble sport.

In history we never found,
The Consul's* fafces were unbound;
Those Romans were too wise to think on't,
Except to lash some grand delinquent.
How would they blush to hear it said,
The Prætor broke the Consul's head;
Or Consul in his purple gown,
Came up and knock’& the Prætor down?

Come, courtiers : every man his stick:
Lord Treasurert, for once be quick ;
And that they may the closer cling,
Take your blue ribband for a string.
Come, trimming Harcourt I, bring your mace;
And squeeze it in, or quit your place :
Dispatch : or else that rascal Northey |
Will undertake to do it for thee:
And be assur'd the court will find him
Prepar'd to leap o'er flicks, or bind 'em.

To make the bundle strong and safe,
Great Ormond, lend thy gen'ral's ftaff:
And, if the crosier could be cramm'd in,
A fig for Lechmere, King, and Hambden. 1
You'll then defy the strongest Whig
With both his hands to bend a twig.
Tho' with united strength they all pull, :
From Somers down to Craggs and Walpole.



Fasces, a bundle of rods, or small Hicks carried before the consuls at Rome. + Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford.

Lord Chancellor. | Sir Edward Northey, Attorney-General, brought in by Lord Harcourt, yet very desirous of the great feat.





Written in the year 1713.

A few of the firft lines were wanting in the copy fent us

by a friend of the autbor's.



Y an old

A crazy prelate, and a royal prude ti
By dull divines, who look with envious eyes
On ev'ry genius that attempts to rise ;
And paufing o'er a pipe with doubtful nod, 5
Give hints, that poets ne'er believe in God;
So clowns on scholars as on wizards look,
And take a folio for a conj'ring book 1:

Swift, had, the fin of wit, no venial crime ;
Nay, 'tis affirm'd be sometimes dealt in rhyme:
Humour and mirth had place in all he writ;
He reconcil'd divinity and wit:

He mov'd, and bow'd, and talk with too much grace;
Nor shew'd the parfon in his gait or face ;
Despis'd luxurious wines, and cofly meat; 15.
Yet still was at the tables of the great ;,
Frequented Lords; Jaw those that saw the Queen ;
At Child's or Truby's || never once had been ;
Where town and country vicars flock in tribes,
Secur'd by numbers from the laymen's gibes,

Dr Sharp, Archbishop of York... + Her late Majefty Queen Anne.

Archbisbop Sharp, according to Swift's account, had reprefented him to the Queen as a person that was not a Chriftian; a great lady had supported the afperfion; and the Queen upon such affurances, had given away the bishoprick contrary to her Maje? fty's first intentions, which were in favour of Dr Swift. Orrery.

| A coffeehouse and tavera near St Paul's, at that time much frequented by the clergy.


[ocr errors]

And deal in vices of the graver sort,
Tobacco, censure, coffee, pride, and port.

But after sage monitions from his friends
His talents to employ for nobler ends;
To better judgments willing to submit,

25 He turns to politics his dang 'rous wit.

And now the public int'reft to support, By Harley Swift invited comes to court; In favour grows with ministers of late ; Admitted private, when superiors wait:

90 And Harley, not alham’d his choice to own, Takes him to Windsor in his coach alone. lis' At Windsor Swift no sooner can appear, But St John* comes and whispers in his ear : The waiters stand in ranks ; the yeomen cry, 35 Make room, as if a Duke were paffing by.

Now Finch t'alarms the Lords: he hears for certain This dang'rous priest is got behind the curtain. Finch fama for tedious elocation, proves That Swift oils many a spring which Harley moves. Walpole and Aislabie f; to clear the doubt, Inform the Commons, that the fecret's out: “ A certain doctor is observ'd of late « To haurt a certain minister of fåte : “ From hence with half an eye we may discover 45 peace

is made, and Perkin must come over.". York is from. Lambeth fent :to shew the Queen A dangerous treatise writ agaimt the spleen || ; Which, by the style, the matter, and the drift, 'Tis thought could be the work of none but Swift. 50

« The

Then Secretary of State, afterwards. Lord Bolingbroke. + The late Earl of Nottingham, who made a speech in the House of Lords against the author.

They both spoke against the author in the house of Com Boons, altho' Ailabie profelfed much friendhig, for him.

1 Tale of a Tube

« PreviousContinue »