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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 fometimes 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
Nor fhew'd the parfon in his gait or face;
Defpis'd luxurious wines and coftly meat;
Yet ftill was at the tables of the
Frequented lords; faw thofe that faw 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 fort,
Tobacco, cenfure, coffee, pride, and port.
. But, after fage monitions from his friends,
His talents to employ for nobler ends;
To better judgements willing to fubmit,
He turns to politicks his dangerous wit.
And now, the public intereft to fupport,
By Harley Swift invited comes to court;
In favour grows with minifters of state;
Admitted private, when fuperiors wait :
And Harley, not afham'd his choice to own,
Takes him to Windfor in his coach alone.
At Windfor Swift no fooner can appear,
But St. John comes and whifpers in his ear:
*Coffee-houfes much frequented by the Clergy.
The waiters stand in ranks; the yeomen cry,
Make room, as if a duke were paffing by.
Now Finch alarms the lords: he hears for certain
This dangerous prieft is got behind the curtain.
Finch, fam'd for tedious elocution, proves
That Swift oils many a spring which Harley moves.
Walpole and Aislabie †, to clear the doubt,
Inform the Commons, that the fecret 's out:
"A certain doctor is observ'd of late
"To haunt a certain minifter of state:
"From whence with half an eye we may discover
"The peace is made, and Perkin must come over."
York is from Lambeth fent, to fhew the Queen
A dangerous treatise I 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;
He fues 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 fervices forgot,
Leaves him a victim to the vengeful Scot ¶.
* The earl of Nottingham. See above, p. 76.
They both spoke against him in the H. of C.
Tale of a Tub.
He fent a meffage, to afk Swift's pardon. § See the Windfor Prophecy, p. 78.
Now through the realm a proclamation spread,
To fix a price on his devoted head *.
While innocent, he fcorns ignoble flight;
His watchful friends preferve him by a fleight.
By Harley's favour once again he fhines;
Is now carefs'd by candidate divines,
Who change opinions with the changing fcene:
Lord! how were they mistaken in the Dean!
Now Delawarr† again familiar grows;
And in Swift's ear thrufts half his powder'd nofe.
The Scottish nation, whom he durft offend,
Again apply that Swift would be their friend .
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?
Written when the Ministry were at Variance, 1713.
OBSERVE 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 fticks.
For writing "The Public Spirit of the Whigs." + Then lord treasurer of the household, who cautiously avoided Swift whilft the proclamation was impending.
He was vifited by the Scotch lords more than ever.
They thought it was an old man's maggot;
And ftrove by turns to break the faggot :
In vain; the complicated wands
Were much too strong for all their hands.
See, faid the fire, how foon 'tis done :
Then took and broke them one by one.
So ftrong you'll be, in friendship ty'd;
So quickly broke, if you divide.
Keep clofe then, boys, and never quarrel:
Here ends the fable and the moral.
This Tale may be apply'd in few words
To treasurers, comptrollers, ftewards;
And others who in folemn fort
Appear with flender wands at court;
Not firmly join'd to keep their ground,
But lafhing one another round:
While wife men think they ought to fight
With quarter-Staffs, inftead of white;
Or conftable with faff of peace
Should come and make the clattering cease;
Which now difturbs the Queen and court,
And gives the Whigs and rabble sport.
In hiftory we never found
The Confuls' Fafces were unbound:
Thofe Romans were too wife to think on 't,
Except to lafh fome grand delinquent.
How would they blush to hear it said,
The Prætor broke the Conful's head!
Or Conful, 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 fqueeze it in, or quit your place :
Difpatch, or elfe that rafcal Northey +
Will undertake to do it for thee :
And, be affur'd, the Court will find him
Prepar'd to leap o'er fticks, or bind them.
To make the bundle ftrong and fafe,
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 ftrongest Whig
With both his hands to bend a twig ;
Though with united ftrength they all pull,
From Somers down to Craggs and Walpole.
CATULLUS DE LESBIA.
LESBIA for ever on me rails,
To talk of me the never fails.
Now, hang me but for all her art,
1 find, that I have gain'd her heart.
My proof is thus: I plainly fee,
The cafe is juft the fame with me;
I curfe her every hour fincerely,
Yet, hang me but I love her dearly.
Sir Edward Northey, Attorney General.