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Who rules in Cornwall, or who rules in Berks :
Or if your life be one continued treat; 110
Or shall we every decency confound; Through taverns, stews, and bagnios take our
round; Go dine with Chartres, in each vice outdo 120 K-l's lewd cargo, or Ty--y's crew; From Latian sirens, French Circean feasts, Return well travell’d, and transform’d to beasts; Or for a titled punk, or foreign flame, Renounce our country, and degrade our name.
If, after all, we must with Wilmot own, 126 The cordial drop of life is love alone ; And Swift cry wisely, · Vive la bagatelle ! The man that loves and laughs, must sure do
104 Bowles conceives this to allude to lord Falmouth, once a powerful arbiter of Cornish representation.
126 Wilmot. The earl of Rochester, 128 Swift cry wisely. Swift, in the whim of believing that
Adieu ! If this advice appear the worst,
virtue and wisdom depend on location, and that he was thrown away in Ireland, in his latter years affected to study waste of time. I read,' says one of his letters to Pope, “the most triling books I can find; and, whenever I write, it is on the most trifling subjects. *** I love la bagatelle. I am always writing bad prose or bad verses, either of rage or raillery.' He was idly fond of repeating the sentiment. He writes to Gay—My rule is, Vive la bagatelle !'
Harris (Philological Inquiries) is solemnly angry with Swift for this carelessness; and, in bis anger, even enrages himself into the absurdity of saying, that the story of the Houyhnhnms and Yahoos ‘is a worse book to peruse than those which we forbid as the most profligate. But this overstrained indignation defeats itself. The grossness of the story is palpable : but to assert, as Harris does, that it 'saps the very foundations of morality and religion,' is only to prove that the critic mistook both, and that he equally mistook bombast for fine writing.