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So clowns on scholars as on wizards look,
And take a folio for a conjuring book.
Swift had the fin of wit, no venial crime ;
Nay, 'tis affirm’d, he 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'd, with too much grace;
Nor shew'd the parson in his gait or face;
Despis'd luxurious wines and costly meat ;
Yet still was at the tables of the great ;
Frequented lords ; saw 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 laymens' gibes,
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 betier judgements willing to submit,
He turns to politicks his dangerous wit.
And now, the public interest to support,
By Harley Swift invited comes to court ;
In favour grows with ministers of state;
Admitted private, when superiors wait :
And Harley, not asham’d his choice to own,
Takes him to Windsor in his coach alone.
At Windsor Swift no sooner can appear,
But St. John comes and whispers in his ear:
* Coffee-houses much frequented by the Clergy.
The waiters stand in ranks; the yeomen cry,
Make room, as if a duke were passing by.
Now Finch * alarms the lords : he hears for certain This dangerous priest is got behind the curtain. Finch, fam’d for tedious elocution, proves That Swift oils many a spring which Harley moves. Walpole and Aillabie t, to clear the doubt, Inform the Commons, that the secret 's out : “ A certain doctor is observ'd of late “ To haunt a certain minister of state : “ From whence with half an eye we may discover “ The peace is made, and Perkin must come over."
York is from Lambeth sent, to thew the Queen
A dangerous treatise | writ against the spleen ;
Which, by the style, the matter, and the drift,
'Tis thought could be the work of none but Swift.
Poor York! the harmless tool of others hate រ
He sues for pardon ||, and repents too late.
Now, angry Somerset & her vengeance vows
On Swift's reproaches for her *****
From her red locks her mouth with venom fills;
And thence into the royal ear inftills.
The Queen incens’d, his services forgot;
Leaves him a victim to the vengeful Scots.
* The earl of Nottingham. See above, p. 76.
+ They both spoke against him in the H. of C.
I Tale of a Tub.
| He sent a message, to ask Swift's pardon.
See the Windsor Prophecy, p. 78. 4 The duke of Argyll.
Now through the realm a proclamation spread,
To fix a price on his devoted head *.
While innocent, he scorns ignoble flight;
His watchful friends preserve him by a sleight.
By Harley's favour once again he shines ;
Is now caress'd by candidate divines,
Who change opinions with the changing scene :
Lord ! how were they mistaken in the Dean!
Now Delawarr † again familiar grows ;
And in Swift's ear thrusts half his powder'd nose.
'The Scottish nation, whom he durft offend,
Again apply that Swift would be their friend 1.
By faction tir'd, with grief he waits a while,
His great contending friends to reconcile,
Performs what friendship, justice, truth, require:
What could he more, but decently retire ?
Τ Η Ε F A G G O T.
Written when the Ministry were at Variance, 1713.
BSERVE the dying father speak :
Try, lads, can you this bundle break ?
Then bids the youngest of the lix
up a well-bound heap of sticks.
For writing " The Public Spirit of the Whigs." of Then lord treasurer of the household, who cautiously avoided Swift whilft the proclamation was impending. He was visited by the Scotch lords more than ever.
They thought it was an old man's maggot;
And strove by turns to break the faggot :
In vain ; the complicated wands
Were inuch too strong for all :heir hands.
See, said the fire, how soon 'tis done :
Then took and broke them one by one.
So strong you ’ll be, in friendship ty’d;
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 sort
Appear with slender 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-fiaffs, instead of white;
Or constable with faf of peace
Should come and make the clattering cease ;
Which now difturbs the Queen and court,
And gives the Whigs and rabble sport.
In history we never found
The Confuls' Faíces 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'd the Prætor down!
Come, Courtiers : every man his stick!
Lord Treasurer, for once be quick :
And, that they may the closer cling,
"Take your blue ribbon for a string.
Come, trimming Harcourt **, 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 them.
To make the bundle strong and safe,
Great Ormond, lend thy General's staff:
And, if the Crofier could be cramm'd in,
A fig for Lechmere, King, and Hambden !
You 'll then defy the strongest Whig
With both his hands to bend a twig;
Though with united strength they all pull,
From Somers down to Craggs and Walpole.
CATULLUS DE LESBI A.
To talk of me she never fails.
Now, hang me but for all her art,
I find, that I have gain’d her heart.
My proof is thus : I plainly see,
The cafe is just the same with me ;
I curse her every hour sincerely,
Yet, hang me but I love her dearly.
* Lord Chancellor.
+ Sir Edward Northey, Attorney General.