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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, Nor need depend upon his pen. Say what you will about his reading, You never can defend his breeding; Who, in his satires running riot, Could never leave the world in quiet; Attacking when he took the whim, Court, city, camp—all one to him.— But why would he, except he slobber'd, Offend our patriot great Sir Robert, Whose counsels aid the sovereign power To save the nation every hour ! What scenes of evil he unravels In satires, libels, lying travels, Not sparing his own clergy cloth, But eats into it, like a moth !” “Perhaps I may allow the Dean Had too much satire in his vein, And seem’d determin’d not to starve it, Because no age could more deserve it. Yet malice never was his aim; He lash'd the vice, but spar'd the name. No individual could resent, Where thousands equally were meant: His satire points at no defect, But what all mortals may correct; For he abhor'd the senseless tribe Who call it humour when they gibe : He spar'd a hump or crooked nose, Whose owners set not up for beaux. True genuine dulness mov’d his pity, Unless it offer'd to be witty. Those who their ignorance confest, He ne'er offended with a jest; But laugh'd to hear an ideot quote A verse from Horace learn'd by rote. Vice, if it e'er can be abash'd, Must be or ridicul’d, or lash'd. If you resent it, who's to blame? He neither knows you, nor your name.
Should vice expect to 'scape rebuke, Because its owner is a duke * His friendships, still to few confin'd, Were always of the middling kind; No fools of rank, or mongrel breed, Who fain would pass for lords indeed: Where titles give no right or power, And peerage is a wither'd flower; He would have deem'd it a disgrace, If such a wretch had known his face. On rural squires, that kingdom's bane, He vented oft his wrath in vain: ******* squires to market brought, Who sell their souls and **** for nought: The * * * * * * * * go joyful back, To rob the church, their tenants rack; Go snacks with ***** justices, And keep the peace to pick up fees; In every job to have a share, A gaol or turnpike to repair; A turn “* * * * * * to public roads Commodious to their own abodes. “He never thought an honour done him, Because a peer was proud to own him; Would rather slip aside, and choose To talk with wits in dirty shoes; And scorn the tools with stars and garters, So often seen caressing Chartres. He never courted men in station, Nor persons held in admiration; Of no man's greatness was afraid, Because he sought for no man's aid. Though trusted long in great affairs, He gave himself no haughty airs: Without regarding private ends, Spent all his credit for his friends; And only chose the wise and good; No flatterers; no allies in blood: But succour'd virtue in distress, And seldom fail'd of good success; As numbers in their hearts must own, Who, but for him, had been unknown. “He kept with princes due decorum; Yet never stood in awe before 'em. He follow'd David's lesson just; In princes never put his trust: And, would you make him truly sour, Provoke him with a slave in power. The Irish senate if you nam’d, With what impatience he declaim'd? Fair Liberty was all his cry; For her he stood prepar'd to die; For her he boldly stood alone; For her he oft expos'd his own. Two kingdoms, just as faction led, Had set a price upon his head; But not a traitor could be found To sell him for six hundred pound. “Had he but spar'd his tongue and pen, He might have rose like other men: But power was never in his thought, And wealth he valued not a groat:
Ingratitude he often found,
And pity'd those who meant the wound;
But kept the tenor of his mind,
To merit well of human-kind;
Nor made a sacrifice of those
Who still were true, to please his foes.
He labour'd many a fruitless hour,
To reconcile his friends in power;
Saw mischief by a faction brewing,
While they pursued each other's ruin.
But, finding vain was all his care,
He left the court in mere despair.
“And, oh! how short are human schemes |
Here ended all our golden dreams.
What St. John's skill in state affairs,
What Ormond's valour, Oxford's cares,
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 horror, 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, norman 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 hir'd, 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:—
I say no more—because he's dead.—
What writings has he left behind "
“I hear they're of a different kind:
A few in verse; but most in prose—”
“Some high-flown pamphlets, I suppose:—
All scribbled in the worst of times,
To palliate his friend Oxford's crimes;
To praise Queen Anne, nay more, defend her,
As never favouring the Pretender:
Or libels yet conceal’d from sight,
Against the court to show his spite :
Perhaps his travels, part the third ;
A lie at every second word—
Offensive to a loyal ear:—
But—not one sermon, you may swear.”
“He knew an hundred pleasing stories,
With all the turns of Whigs and Tories:
Was cheerful to his dying-day;
And friends would let him have his way.
“As for his works in verse or prose,
I own myself no judge of those.
Nor can I tell what critics thought them;
But this I know, all people bought them,
As with a moral view design'd,
To please and to reform mankind:
And, if he often miss'd his aim,
The world must own it to their shame,
The praise is his, and theirs the blame.
He gave the little wealth he had
To build a house for fools and mad;
To show, by one satiric touch,
No nation wanted it so much.
That kingdom he hath left his debtor,
I wish it soon may have a better.
And, since you dread no further lashes,
Methinks you may forgive his ashes.”
A CHARACTER, PANEGFRIC, AND DESCRIPTION OF THE LEGION-CLUB. 1736.
As I stroll the city, oft I See a building large and lofty, Not a bow-shot from the college; Half the globe from sense and knowledge: By the prudent architect, Plac'd against the church direct, Making good thy grandame's jest, “Near the church”—you know the rest. Tell us, what the pile contains? Many a head that holds no brains. These demoniacs let me dub With the name of Legion-club. Such assemblies, you might swear, Meet when butchers bait a bear; Such a noise, and such haranguing, When a brother thief is hanging: Such a rout and such a rabble Run to hear Jack-pudding gabble; Such a crowd their ordure throws On a far less villain's nose. Could I from the building's top Hear the rattling thunder drop, While the devil upon the roof (If the devil be thunder-proof) Should with poker fiery red Crack the stones, and melt the lead; Drive them down on every skull, While the den of thieves is full; Quite destroy the harpies' nest: How might then our isle be blest For divines allow that God Sometimes makes the devil his rod; And the gospel will inform us, He can punish sins enormous. Yet should Swift endow the schools, For his lunatics and fools, With a rood or two of land, I allow the pile may stand. You perhaps will ask me, Why so? But it is with this proviso: Since the house is like to last, Let the royal grant be pass'd, That the club have right to dwell Each within his proper cell, With a passage left to creep in, And a hole above for peeping. Let them when they once get in, Sell the nation for a pin; While they sit a-picking straws, Let them rave at making laws; While they never hold their tongue, Let them dabble in their dung: Let them form a grand committee, How to plague and starve the city: Let them stare, and storm, and frown, When they see a clergy gown; Let them, ere they crack a louse, Call for th' orders of the house;
Let them, with their gosling quills, Scribble senseless heads of bills. We may, while they strain their throats, Wipe our a-s with their votes. Let Sir Tom, that rampant ass, Stuff his guts with flax and grass; But, before the priest he fleeces, Tear the bible all to pieces: At the parsons, Tom, halloo, boy, Worthy offspring of a shoe-boy, Footman, traitor, vile seducer, Perjur'd rebel, brib'd accuser, Lay thy paltry privilege aside, Sprung from papists, and a regicide; Fall a-working like a mole, Raise the dirt about your hole. Come, assist me, Muse obedient! Let us try some new expedient; Shift the scene for half an hour, Time and place are in thy power. Thither, gentle Muse, conduct me; I shall ask, and you instruct me. See, the Muse unbars the gate 1 Hark, the monkeys, how they prate All ye gods who rule the soul! Styx, through hell whose waters roll! Let me be allow'd to tell What I heard in yonder hell. Near the door an entrance gapes, Crowded round with antic shapes, Poverty, and grief, and care, Causeless joy, and true despair; Discord, periwigg'd with snakes, See the dreadful strides she takes : By this odious crew beset, I began to rage and fret, And resolv'd to break their pates, Ere we enter'd at the gates; Had not Clio in the nick Whisper'd me, “Lay down your stick.” What, said I, is this the mad-house? These, she answer'd, are but shadows, Phantoms bodiless and vain, Empty visions of the brain. In the porch Briareus stands, Shows a bribe in all his hands; Briareus the secretary, But we mortals call him Carey. When the rogues their country fleece, They may hope for pence a-piece. Clio, who had been so wise To put on a fool's disguise, To bespeak some approbation, And be thought a near relation, When she saw three hundred brutes All involv’d in wild disputes, Roaring till their lungs were spent, Privilege of Parliament: Now a new misfortune feels, Dreading to be laid by th' heels. Never durst the Muse before Enter that infernal door.
Elio, stifled with the smell,
nto spleen and vapours fell,
By the Stygian streams that flew
From the dire infectious crew.
Not the stench of Lake Avernus
Could have more offended her nose;
Had she flown but o'er the top,
She had felt her pinions drop,
And by exhalations dire,
Though a goddess, must expire.
In a fright she crept away;
Bravely I resolv'd to stay.
When I saw the keeper frown,
Tipping him with half a crown,
Now, said I, we are alone,
Name your heroes one by one.
Who is that hell-featur’d brawler?
Is it Satan? No, 'tis Waller.
In what figure can a bard dress
Jack the grandson of Sir Hardress
Honest keeper, drive him further,
In his looks are hell and murther;
See the scowling visage drop,
Just as when he murder'd T-p.
Keeper, show me where to fix
On the puppy pair of Dicks;
By their lantern jaws and leathern,
You might swear they both are brethren:
Dick Fitzbaker, Dick the player,
Old acquaintance, are you there
Dear companions hug and kiss,
Toast Old Glorious in your –:
Tie them, keeper, in a tether,
Let them starve and stink together;
Both are apt to be unruly,
Lash them daily, lash them duly;
Though 'tis hopeless to reclaim them,
Scorpion rods perhaps may tame them.
Keeper, yon old dotard smoke,
Sweetly snoring in his cloak;
Who is he * 'tis humdrum Wynne,
Half encompass'd by his kin:
There observe the tribe of Bingham,
For he never fails to bring 'em ;
While he sleeps the whole debate,
They submissive round him wait;
Yet would gladly see the hunks
In his grave, and search his trunks.
See, they gently twitch his coat,
Just to yawn and give his vote,
Always firm in his vocation,
For the court, against the nation.
Those are A–s, Jack and Bob,
First in every wicked job,
Son and brother to a queer
Brain-sick brute, they call a peer.
We must give them better quarter,
For their ancestor trod mortar,
And H-th, to boast his fame,
On a chimney cut his name.
There sit Clements, D–ks, and Harrison:
How they swagger from their garrison!
Such a triplet could you tell
Where to find on this side hell ?
Harrison, and D–ks, and Clements,
Keeper, see they have their payments;
Every mischief's in their hearts;
If they fail, 'tis want of parts.
Bless us, Morgan art thou there, man
Bless mine eyes! art thou the chairman
Chairman to your damn’d committee :
Yet I look on thee with pity.
Dreadful sight ! what! learned Morgan
Metamorphos'd to a Gorgon?
For thy horrid looks, I own,
Half convert me to a stone.
Hast thou been so long at school,
Now to turn a factious tool :
Alma Mater was thy mother,
Every young divine thy brother.
Thou, a disobedient varlet,
Treat thy mother like a harlot!
Thou ungrateful to thy teachers,
Who are all grown reverend preachers!
Morgan, would it not surprise one!
Turn thy nourishment to poison!
When you walk among your books,
They reproach you with their looks:
Bind them fast, or from their shelves
They will come and right themselves;
Homer, Plutarch, Virgil, Flaccus,
All in arms prepare to back us.
Soon repent, or put to slaughter
Every Greek and Roman author.
Will you in your faction's phrase,
Send the clergy all to graze,
And, to make your project pass,
Leave them not a blade of grass
How I want thee, humorous Hogarth!
Thou, I hear, a pleasing rogue art.
Were but you and I acquainted,
Every monster should be painted:
You should try your graving-tools
On this odious group of fools:
Draw the beasts as I describe them
From their features, while I gibe them;
Draw them like ; for I assure you
You will need no car'catura;
Draw them so, that we may trace
All the soul in every face.
Keeper, I must now retire,
You have done what I desire :
But I feel my spirits spent
With the noise, the sight, the scent.
“Pray be patient; you shall find
Half the best are still behind:
You have hardly seen a score;
I can show two hundred more.”
Keeper, I have seen enough—
Taking then a pinch of snuff,
I concluded, looking round them,
“May their god, the devil, confound them "
EXTRACTS FROM THE SEASONS.
The North-east spends his rage; he now shut up
Within his iron cave, th’ effusive South
Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heav'n
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers distent.
At first a dusky wreath they seem to rise,
Scarce staining ether, but by swift degrees
In heaps on heaps the doubled vapour sails
Along the loaded sky, and, mingling deep,
Sits on the horizon round, a settled gloom ;
Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed,
Oppressing life, but lovely, gentle, kind,
And full of ev'ry hope, of ev'ry joy,
The wish of Nature. Gradual sinks the breeze
Into a perfect calm, that not a breath
Is heard to quiver through the closing woods,
Or rustling turn the many twinkling leaves
Of aspin tall. Th'uncurling floods, diffus'd
In glassy breadth seem through delusive lapse
Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all,
And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks
Drop the dry sprig, and, mute-imploring, eye
The falling verdure. Hush'd in short suspense,
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off,
And wait th’ approaching sign to strike at once
Into the gen'ral choir. Ev’n mountains, vales,
And forests seem impatient to demand
The promis'd sweetness. Man superior walks
Amid the glad creation musing praise,
And looking lively gratitude. At last
The clouds consign their treasures to the fields,
And, softly shaking on the dimpled pool
Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow
In large effusion o'er the freshen'd world.
The stealing show'r is scarce to patter heard
By such as wander through the forest walks,
Beneath th' umbrageous multitude of leaves.
Now when the first foul torrent of the brooks,
Swell'd with the vernal rains, is ebb’d away,
And, whit'ning, down their mossy-tinctur'd stream
Descends the billowy foam, now is the time,
While yet the dark-brown water aids the guile,
To tempt the trout. The well-dissembled fly,
The rod, fine tap'ring with elastic spring,
Snatch'd from the hoary steed the floating line,
And all thy slender wat'ry stores prepare;—
When with his lively ray the potent sun
Has pierc'd the streams, and rous’d the finny race:
Then, issuing cheerful, to thy sport repair;
Chief, should the western breezes curling play,
And light o'er ether bear the shadowy clouds.
High to their fount, this day, amid the hills
And woodlands warbling round, trace up the brooks;
The next, pursue their rocky channel'd maze
Down to the river, in whose ample wave
Their little Naiads love to sport at large.
Just in the dubious point, where with the pool
Is mix'd the trembling stream, or where it boils
Around the stone, or from the hollow'd bank
Reverted plays in undulating flow,
There throw, nice judging, the delusive fly,
And, as you lead it round in artful curve,
With eye attentive mark the springing game.
Straight as above the surface of the flood
They wanton rise, or urg'd by hunger leap.
Then fix with gentle twitch the barbed hook;
Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank,
And to the shelving shore slow-dragging some,
With various hand proportion'd to their force.
If yet too young, and easily deceiv'd,
A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod,
Him, piteous of his youth, and the short space
He has enjoy'd the vital light of heav'n,
Soft disengage, and back into the stream
The speckled captive throw, but should you lure
From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots
Of pendant trees, the monarch of the brook,
Behoves you then to ply your finest art.
Long time he, following cautious, scans the fly,
And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft
The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear;
At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun
Passes a cloud, he desp'rate takes the death
With sullen plunge: at once he darts along,
Deep-struck, and runs out all the lengthen’d line;
Then seeks the farthest ooze, the shelt’ring weed,
The cavern'd bank, his old secure abode,
And flies aloft, and flounces round the pool,
Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand
That feels him still, yet to his furious course
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now,
Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage,
Till floating broad upon his breathless side,
And to his fate abandon'd, to the shore
You gaily drag your unresisting prize.
Thus pass the temp'rate hours; but when the sun
Shakes from his noondaythrone the scatt’ring clouds,
Ev’n shooting listless languor through the deeps,
Then seek the bank where flow'ring elders crowd,