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So have I seen, in black and white
A prating thing, a Magpie hight,

Majestically stalk ;
A stately, worthless animal,
That plies the tongue, and wags the tail,

All futter, pride, and talk.

Let the curious reader compare Fenton's Imitation of Dorset's manner with this of Pope :

“ Olivia's lewd, but looks devout,
And Scripture-proofs she throws about,

When first you try to win her;
But pull your fob of guineas out
Fee Jenny first, and never doubt
To find the saint a sinner.

Baxter by day is her delight
No chocolate must come in sight

Before two morning chapters ;
But lest the spleen should spoil her quite,
She takes a civil friend at night
To raise her holy raptures.

Thus oft we see a glow-worm gay,
At large his fiery tail display,

Encourag'd by the dark;
And yet the sullen thing all day
Snug in the lonely thicket lay,

And hid the native spark.”


PHRYNE had talents for mankind,
Open she was, and unconfin’d,

Like some free port of trade :
Merchants unloaded here their freight,
And Agents from each foreign state,

Here first their entry made.

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Her learning and good-breeding such,
Whether th' Italian or the Dutch,

Spaniards or French came to her :
To all obliging she'd appear :
'Twas Si Signior, 'twas Yaw Mynheer,

'Twas S'il vous plait, Monsieur.


Obscure by birth, renown'd by crimes,
Still changing names, religions, climes,

At length she turns a bride:
In diamonds, pearls, and rich brocades,
She shines the first of batter'd jades,

And Autters in her pride.


So have I known those Insects fair
(Which curious Germans hold so rare)

Still vary shapes and dies ;
Still gain new titles with new forms;
First grubs obscene, then wriggling worms,

Then painted butterflies.



The point of the likeness in this imitation consists in describing the objects as they really exist in life, like Hogarth's paintings, without heightening or enlarging them, by any imaginary circumstances. In this way of writing Swift excelled; witness his Description of a Morning in the City, of a City Shower, of the House of Baucis and Philemon, and the Verses on his own Death. In this also consists the chief beauty of Gay's Trivia ; a subject Swift desired him to write upon, and for which he furnished him with many hints. The character of Swift has been scrutinized in so many late writings, particularly by Hawksworth and Sheridan, that it is superfluous to enter upon it. Voltaire affirms, “that the famous Tale of a Tub is an imitation of the old story of the three invisible rings, which a father bequeathed to his three children. These three rings were, the Jewish, Christian, and Mahometan, religions. It is moreover an imitation of the history of Mero and Enegu, by Fontenelle. Mero was the anagram of Rome, and Enegu of Geneva. These two sisters claimed the succession to the throne of their fathers. Mero reigned first. Fontenelle represents her as a sorceress, who could convey away bread, and perform acts of conjuration with dead bodies. This is precisely the Lord Peter of Swift, who presents a piece of bread to his two brothers, and says to them, ' This, my good friends, is excellent Burgundy; these partridges have an admirable flavour !' The same Lord Peter, in Swift, performs throughout the very part that Mero plays in Fontenelle. Thus all is imitation. The idea of the Persian Letters is taken from the Turkish Spy. Boiardo has imitated Pulci, Ariosto has imitated Boiardo. The geniuses, apparently most original, borrow from each other.



Parson, these things in thy possessing
Are better than the Bishop's blessing.
A Wife that makes conserves ; a Steed
That carries double when there's need ;
October store, and best Virginia,
Tithe-Pig, and mortuary Guinea ;
Gazettes sent gratis down, and frank’d,
For which thy Patron's weekly thank’d;
A large Concordance, bound long since ;
Sermons to Charles the First, when Prince ;
A Chronicle of ancient standing;
A Chrysostom to smooth thy band in :
The Polyglott—three parts,—my text :
Howbeit — likewise—now to my next :
Lo here the Septuagint,—and Paul,
To sum the whole,—the close of all.



He that has these, may pass his life,
Drink with the 'Squire, and kiss his wife;
On Sundays preach, and eat his fill;
And fast on Fridays—if he will;
Toast Church and Queen, explain the News,
Talk with Church-Wardens about Pews,
Pray heartily for some new Gift,
And shake his head at Doctor S-t.

“Swift,” says Hume, “ has more humour than knowledge, more taste than judgment, and more spleen, prejudice, and passion, than any of those qualities.” Discourse v.

At the hazard of an imputation of partiality to the author, I venture to say, that I prefer a poem, called The Progress of Discontent, to any imitation of Swift, that ever has yet appeared. I shall just add, that the Baucis and Philemon of La Fontaine far excels that of Swift.

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