« ZurückWeiter »
(especially as years creep on) how faithful a depicter Laocoon struck the outside with his spear, of human nature, in its frailty and weakness, was And cach imprisoned hiero quaked for fear. the misanthropic dean of St Patrick's.
Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow, And bear their trophies with them as they go:
Filths of all hues and odours seem to tell [A Description of the Morning.]
What street they sailed from by their sight and smell. Now hardly here and there a hackney-coach
They, as each torrent drives, with rapid force, Appearing showed the ruddy morn's approach. From Smithfield or St ’Pulchre's shape their course, The slipshod 'prentice from his master's door
And in huge confluence joined at Snowhill ridge, Had pared the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor. Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn Bridge. Now Moll had whirled her mop with dexterous airs, Sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, and blood, Prepared to scrub the entry and the stairs.
Drowned puppies, stinking sprats, all drenched in mud, The youth with broomy stumps began to trace Dead cats, and turnip-tops, come tumbling down the The kennel's edge, where wheels had worn the place. flood. The small-coal man was heard with cadence deep, Till drown'd in shriller notes of chimney-sweep:
Baucis and Philemon. Duns at his lordship’s gate began to meet; And brick-dust Moll had screamed through half the (Imitated from the Eighth Book of Ovid.-Written about the street.
year 1708.) The turnkey now his flock returning sees, Duly let out a-nights to steal for fees;
In ancient times, as story tells, The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands,
The saints would often leave their cells, And schoolboys lag with satchels in their hands.
And stroll about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality. (A Description of a City Shower.]
It happened on a winter night
(As authors of the legend write), Careful observers may foretell the hour
I'wo brother hermits, saints by trade, (By sure prognostics) when to dread a shower.
Taking their tour in masquerade, While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er
Disguised in tattered habits, went Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more.
To a small village down in Kent; Returning home at night, you'll find the sink
Where, in the strollers' canting strain, Strike your offended sense with double stink.
They begged from door to door in vain; If you be wise, then go not far to dine;
Tried every tone might pity win, You'll spend in coach-hire more than save in wine. But not a soul would let them in. A coming shower your shooting corns presage,
Our wandering saints in woful state, Old aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage:
Treated at this ungodly rate, Sauntering in coffee-house is Dulman seen ;
Having through all the village past, He damns the climate, and complains of spleen.
To a small cottage came at last, Meanwhile the south, rising with dabbled wings,
Where dwelt a good old honest yeoman, A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings,
Called in the neighbourhood Philemon, That swilled more liquor than it could contain,
Who kindly did the saints invite And, like a drunkard, gives it up again.
In his poor hut to pass the night. Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope,
And then the hospitable sire While the first drizzling shower is borne aslope ;
Bid Goody Baucis mend the fire, Such is that sprinkling, which some careless quean
While he from out the chimney took Flirts on you from her mop-but not so clean :
A flitch of bacon off the hook, You fly, invoke the gods; then turning, stop
And freely from the fattest side To rail ; she, singing, still whirls on her mop.
Cut out large slices to be fried ; Not yet the dust had shunned the uncqual strife,
Then stepped aside to fetch them drink, But, aided by the wind, fought still for life,
Filled a large jug up to the brink, And wafted with its foe by violent gust,
And saw it fairly twice go round; 'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was dust. Yet (what was wonderful) they found Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid,
'Twas still replenished to the top, When dust and rain at once his coat invade?
As if they ne'er had touched a drop. Sole coat, where dust cemented by the rain
The good old couple were amazed, Erects the nap, and leaves a cloudy stain !
And often on each other gazed : Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down,
For both were frighted to the heart, Threatening with deluge this devoted town.
And just began to cry—'What art ?' To shops in crowds the daggled females fly,
Then softly turned aside to view, Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy.
Whether the lights were burning blue. The Teinplar spruce, while every spout's a-broach,
The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't,
Told them their calling and their errant:
No hurt shall come to you or yours;
But, for that pack of churlish boors, Triumphant Tories and desponding Whigs,
Not fit to live on Christian ground, Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs.
They and their houses shall be drowned : Boxed in a chair the beau impatient sits,
While you shall see your cottage rise, While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits ;
And grow a church before your eyes. And ever and anon with frightful din
They scarce had spoke, when fair and soft, The leather sounds; he trembles from within.
The roof began to mount aloft ; So when Troy chairmnen bore the wooden steed,
Aloft rose ever
beam and rafter, Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed
The heavy wall climbed slowly after. (Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do,
The chimney widened, and grew higher, instead of paying chairmen, run them through),
Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was boist,
A wooden jack, which had almost
The groaning chair was seen to crawl,
The porringers, that in a row
The ballads pasted on the wall,
A bedstead of the antique mode,
The cottage, by such feats as these,
Against dissenters would repine,
Thus having furbished up a parson,
Thus, happy in their change of life, Were several years the man and wife: When on a day, which proved their last, Discoursing o'er old stories past, They went by chance, amidst their talk, To the churchyard to fetch a walk; When Baucis hastily cried out, My dear, I see your forehead sprout ! Sprout, quoth the man, what's this you tell us I hope you don't believe me jealous ? But yet, methinks, I feel it true; And really yours is budding too Nay -now I cannot stir my foot ; It feels as if 'twere taking root.
Description would but tire my Muse;
Old Goodman Dobson, of the green,
[Verses on his own Death.]
This maxim more than all the rest
In all distresses of our friends We first consult our private ends; While nature, kindly bent to ease us, Points out some circumstance to please us.'
If this perhaps your patience move, Let reason and experience prove.
We all behold with envious eyes Our equal raised above our size. I love my friend as well as you ; But why should he obstruct my view ? Then let me have the higher post; Suppose it but an inch at most. If in a battle you should find One whom you love of all mankind, Had some heroic action done, A champion killed, or trophy won ; Rather than thus be overtopt, Would you not wish his laurels cropt 1 Dear honest Ned is in the gout, Lies racked with pain, and you without :
How patiently you hear him groan !
What poet would not grieve to see
Her end when emulation misses,
To all my foes, dear fortune, send
Thus much may serre by way of proem; Proceed we therefore to our poem.
The time is not remote, when I
For poetry, he's past his prime;
I'd have him throw away his pen-
And then their tenderness appears
In such a case they talk in tropes, And by their fears express their hopes. Some great misfortune to portend No enemy can match a friend. With all the kindness they profess, The merit of a lucky guess (When daily how-d'ye's come of course, And servants answer,' Worse and worse !") Would please them better than to tell, That, God be praised ! the dean is well. Then he, who prophesied the best, Approves his foresight to the rest : "You know I always feared the worst, And often told you so at first.' He'd rather choose that I should die, Than his prediction prove a lie. Not one foretells I shall recover, But all agree to give me over.
Yet, should some neighbour feel a pain Just in the parts where I complain, How many a message would he send ! What hearty prayers, that I should mend ! Inquire what regimen I kept ? What
gave me ease, and how I slept? And more lament when I was dead, Than all the snivellers round my bed.
My good companions, never fear; For, though you may mistake a year, Though your prognostics run too fast, They must be verified at last.
Behold the fatal day arrive! How is the dean ! he's just alive. Now the departing prayer is read; He hardly breathes. The dean is dead. Before the passing-bell begun, The news through half the town has run; Oh! may we all for death prepare ! What has he left ? and who's his heir ? I know no more than what the news is ; 'Tis all bequeathed to public uses. To public uses! there's a whim! What had the public done for him? Mere envy, avarice, and pride : He gave it all—but first he died. And had the dean in all the nation No worthy friend, no poor relation ? So ready to do strangers good, Forgetting his own flesh and blood!
Now Grub Street wits are all employed;
The doctors, tender of their fame,
And Lady Suffolk' in the spleen
Ilis time was come, he ran his race; Runs laughing up to tell the queen ;
We hope he's in a better place.' The queen so gracious, mild, and good,
Why do we grieve that friends should die Cries, 'Is he gone ! 'tis time he should.
No loss more easy to supply. He's dead, you say, then let him rot !
One year is past; a different scene ! l'ın glad the medals were forgot.
No further mention of the dean, I proinised him, I own; but when ?
Who now, alas! no more is missed, I only was the princess then;
Than if he never did exist. But now as consort of the king,
Where's now the favourite of Apollo ! You know 'tis quite another thing."?
Departed : and his works must follow ; Now Charteris,3 at Sir Robert'st leree,
Must undergo the common fate; Tells with a sneer the tidings heavy;
His kind of wit is out of date. Why, if he died without his shoes
Some country squire to Lintot goes,1 (Cries Bob), l'ın sorry for the news:
Inquires for Swift in verse and prose. Oh, were the wretch but living still,
Says Lintot, I have heard the name; And in his place my good friend Will!5
He died a year ago. The same.' Or had a mitre on his head,
He searches all the shop in vain. Provided Bolingbroke was dead !'
"Sir, you may find them in Duck-Lane, 9 Now Curleh his shop from rubbish drains :
I sent them, with a load of books, Three genuine tomes of Swift's Remains !
Last Monday to the pastry-cook's. And then to make them pass the glibber,
To fancy they could live a year! Revised by Tibbalds, Moore, and Cibber.
I find you're but a stranger here. He'll treat me, as he does my betters,
The dean was famous in his time, Publish my will, my life, my letters ;?
And had a kind of knack at rhyme. Revive the libels born to die,
His way of writing now is past;
The town has got a better taste.
I keep no antiquated stuff,
But spick-and-span I have enough. Poor Pope will grieve a month, and Gay
Pray, but do give me leave to show 'em ; A week, and Arbuthnot a day.
Here's Colley Cibber's birth-day poem ; St John himself will scarce forbear
This ode you never yet have seen To bite his pen, and drop a tear.
By Stephen Duck upon the queen. The rest will give a shrug, and cry,
Then here's a letter finely penned * I'm sorry—but we all must die!
Against the Craftsman and his friend; Indifference clad in wisdom's guise,
It clearly shows that all reflection All fortitude of mind supplies ;
On ministers is disaffection. For how can stony bowels melt
Next, here's Sir Robert's vindication, In those who never pity felt ?
And Mr Henley's last oration. When we are lashed, they kiss the rod,
The hawkers have not got them yet;
Your honour please to have a set ?'
Suppose me dead; and then suppose Who wisely thought my age a screen,
A club assembled at the Rose, When death approached, to stand between ;
Where, from discourse of this and that, The screen removed, their hearts are trembling, I grow the subject of their chat. They mourn for me without dissembling.
The dean, if we believe report, My female friends, whose tender hearts
Was never ill-received at court. Have better learned to act their parts,
Although ironically grave, Receive the news in doleful dumps :
He shamed the fool, and lashed the knave. • The dean is dead (pray, what is trumps ?)
To steal a hint was never known, Then, Lord, have mercy on his soul!
But what he writ was all his own.' (Ladies, I'll venture for the vole.)
“Sir, I have heard another story ; Six deans, they say, must bear the pall.
He was a most confounded Tory, (I wish I knew what king to call.)
And grew, or he is much belied, Madam, your husband will attend
Extremely dull, before he died.' The funeral of so good a friend :
. Can we the Drapier then forget! No, madam, 'tis a shocking sight;
Is not our nation in his debt ? And he's engaged to-morrow night:
'Twas he that writ the Drapier's letters !" My Lady Club will take it ill,
• He should have left them for his betters ; If he should fail her at quadrille.
We had a hundred abler men, He loved the dean-(I lead a heart)
Nor need depend upon his pen.
Say what you will about his reading,
Who, in his satires running riot, 1 The Countess of Suffolk (formerly Mrs Howard), a lady of Could never leave the world in quiet ; the queen's bed-chamber.
Attacking, when he took the whim, : Queen Caroline had, when princess, promised Swift a pre
Court, city, camp—all one to him. sent of medals, which promise was never fulfilled.
But why would he, except he slobbered, 3 Colonel Franc's Charteris, of infamous character, on whom
Offend our patriot, great Sir Robert, an epitaph was written by Dr Arbuthnot.
Whose counsels aid the sovereign power * Sir Robert Walpole, then first minister of state, afterwards
To save the nation every hour ! Earl of Orford. 6 William Pulteney, Esq., the great rival of Walpole.
i Bernard Lintot, a bookseller. See Pope's Dunciad' and 6 An infamous bookseller, who published things in the dean's Letters. name, which he never wrote.
2 A place where old books are sold. 7 For some of these practices he was brought before the 3 Commonly called Orator Ilenley, a quack preacher in Lon. House of Lords
don, of great notoriety in his day.
And, since you dread no further lashes, Methinks you may forgive his ashes.'
What scenes of evil he unravels,
He never thought an honour done him,
As for his works in verse or prose,
The Grand Question Debated : Whether Hamilton's Bawn should be turned into a Barrack
or a Malt-house. 1729.* Thus spoke to my lady the knight1 full of care: Let me have your advice in a weighty affair. This Hamilton's Bawn, whilst it sticks on my hand, I lose by the house what I get by the land; But how to dispose of it to the best bidder, For a barrack or malt-house, we now must consider.
First, let me suppose I make it a malt-house, Here I have computed the profit will fall to us; There's nine hundred pounds for labour and grain, I increase it to twelve, so three hundred remain; A handsome addition for wine and good cheer. Three dishes a day, and three hogsheads a year: With a dozen large vessels my vault shall be stored ; No little scrub joint shall come on my board: And you and the dean no more shall combine To stint me at night to one bottle of wine; Nor shall I, for his humour, permit you to purloin A stone and a quarter of beef from my sirloin. If I make it a barrack, the crown is my tenant; My dear, I have pondered again and again on't : In poundage and drawbacks I lose half my rent, Whatever they give me I must be content, Or join with the court in every debate; And rather than that I would lose my estate.
Thus ended the knight : thus began his meek wife; It must and shall be a barrack, my life. I'm grown a mere mopus; no company comes, But a rabble of tenants and rusty dull rums.3 With parsons what lady can keep herself clean! I'm all over daubed when I sit by the dean. But if you will give us a barrack, my dear, The captain, I'm sure, will always come here; I then shall not value his deanship a straw, For the captain, I warrant, will keep him in awe; Or should he pretend to be brisk and alert, Will tell him that chaplains should not be so pert; That men of his coat should be minding their prayers, And not among ladies to give themselves airs.
Thus argued my lady, but argued in vain; The knight his opinion resolved to maintain.
But Hannah, who listened to all that was past, And could not endure so vulgar a taste, As soon as her ladyship called to be drest, Cried, Madam, why, surely my master's possest. Sir Arthur the maltster! how fine it will sound! I'd rather the bawn were sunk under ground. But, madam, I guessed there would never come good, When I saw him so often with Darby and Wood.5 And now my dream's out; for I was a-dreamed That I saw a huge rat; O dear, how I screamed ! And after, methought, I had lost my new shoes ; And Molly she said I should hear some ill news.
* Swift spent almost a whole year (1728-9) at Gosford, in the north of Ireland, the seat of Sir Arthur Acheson, assisting Sir Arthur in his agricultural improvements, and lecturing, as usual, the lady of the manor upon the improvement of her health by walking, and her mind by reading. The circumstance of Sir Arthur letting a ruinous building called Hamilton's Bawn to the crown for a barrack, gave rise to one of the dean's most lively pieces of fugitive humour.-Scott's Life of Suih. A bawn is strictly a place near a house enclosed with mud or stone walls to keep the cattle.
| Sir Arthur Acheson, an intimate friend of the poet. Sir Arthur was ancestor of the present Earl of Gosford.
2 A large old house belonging to Sir Arthur, two miles from his residence.
3 A cant word in Ireland for a poor country clergyman.