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Past six, and not a living soul | I might by this have won a vole.” A dreadful interval of spleen How shall we pass the time between 2 “Here, Betty, let me take my drops; And feel my pulse, I know it stops: This head of mine, Lord, how it swims? And such a pain in all my limbs" “Dear madam, try to take a nap.” – But now they hear a footman's rap: “Go, run, and light the ladies up: It must be one before we sup.” The table, cards, and counters, set, And all the gamester-ladies met, Her spleen and fits recover'd quite, Our madam can sit up all night: “Whoever comes, I'm not within.” – Quadrille's the word, and so begin. How can the Muse her aid impart, Unskill'd in all the terms of art? Or in harmonious numbers put The deal, the shuffle, and the cut? 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; With panting heart, and earnest eyes, In hope to see spadillo rise: In vain, alas! her hope is fed ; She draws an ace, and sees it red; In ready counters never pays, But pawns her snuff-box, rings, and keys: Ever with some new fancy struck, Tries twenty charms to mend her luck. “This morning, when the parson came, I said I should not win a game. This odious chair, how came I stuck in 't 2 I think I never had good luck in 't. I'm so uneasy in my stays; Your fan a moment, if you please. Stand further, girl, or get you gone; I always lose when you look on.” “Lord! madam, you have lost codille / I never saw you play so ill.” “Nay, madam, give me leave to say, 'Twas you that threw the game away: When lady Tricksey play’d a four, You took it with a mattadore, I saw you touch your wedding-ring Before my lady call'd a king; You spoke a word began with H, And I know whom you meant to teach, Because you held the king of hearts; Fie, madam, leave these little arts.” “That's not so bad as one that rubs Her chair, to call the king of clubs; And makes her partner understand A mattadore is in her hand.” “Madam, you have no cause to flounce, I swear I saw you thrice renounce.” ** And truly, madam, I know when, Instead of five, you scor'd me ten. Spadillo here has got a mark; A child may know it in the dark: I guess'd the hand: it seldom fails: I wish some folks would pare their nails.” While thus they rail, and scold, and storm, It passes but for common form :
But, conscious that they all speak true,
ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT. *
occASIONED BY READING THE Following MAxiM IN Rochefoucault:
Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis, nous troupons toujours quelque chose qui ne mous displast pas.
“In the adversity of our best friends, we always find something that doth not displease us.”
As Rochefoucault his maxims drew
* Written in November, 1731. – There are two distinct poems on this subject, one of them containing many spurious lines. In what is here printed, the genuine parts 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;
Have I not reason to detest 'em 2
“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 reckon'd, 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 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 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 prophesy'd 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 neighbour feel a pain Just in the parts where I complain; How many a message would he send 1 What hearty prayers that I should mend! Inquire what regimen I kept2 What gave me ease, and how Islept? 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 verify'd 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 2" “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 dy'd. 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, 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 2 Where's now the favourite of Apollo? I only was the princess then: Departed: — 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 2 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; When death approach'd, to stand between : You never met a thing so smart; The screen remov’d, their hearts are trembling; The courtiers have them all by healt: They mourn for me without dissembling. Those maids of honour who can read, My female friends, whose tender hearts 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; Dean. N. A shame he hath not got a mitre!" t Which the Dean in vain expected, in return for **mall present he had sent to the princess. N. * Wolston is here conso 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 favour some, 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 bely'd, Extremely dull, before he dy'd.”
“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,
He would have deem'd it a disgrace,
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 horrour, 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 hird, 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 : —
BAUCIS AND PHILEMON.
ON THE EveR-LAMENTED Loss of Tim E Two Y Ew
TREES IN The PA Rish or chii.THORNE, SOMERSET. 1708.
Imtated from the Eighth Book of Ovid.
IN ancient times, as story tells,