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Title: English Satires
Author: Various
Language: English
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With an Introduction by


The Gresham Publishing Company
34 Southampton Street


D.D., LL.D., F.S.A.



In the compilation of this volume my aim has been to furnish a work
that would be representative in character rather than exhaustive. The
restrictions of space imposed by the limits of such a series as this
have necessitated the omission of many pieces that readers might expect
to see included. As far as possible, however, the most typical satires
of the successive eras have been selected, so as to throw into relief
the special literary characteristics of each, and to manifest the trend
of satiric development during the centuries elapsing between Langland
and Lowell.

Acknowledgment is due, and is gratefully rendered, to Mrs. C.S.
Calverley for permission to print the verses which close this book; and
to Messrs. Macmillan & Co. for permission to print A.H. Clough's
"Spectator ab Extra".

To Professor C.H. Herford my warmest thanks are due for his careful
revision of the Introduction, and for many valuable hints which have
been adopted in the course of the work; also to Mr. W. Keith Leask,
M.A.(Oxon.), and the librarians of the Edinburgh University and
Advocates' Libraries.



INTRODUCTION                                               xiii

      I. Pilgrimage in Search of Do-well                      1

II. III. The Monk and the Friar                               6

     IV. The London Lackpenny                                10

      V. The Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins                  14

     VI. Satire on the Syde Taillis--Ane Supplicatioun
         directit to the Kingis Grace--1538                  19

    VII. On Simony                                           22
   VIII. The Domestic Tutor's Position                       23
     IX. The Impecunious Fop                                 24

      X. An Invective written by Mr. George Chapman
         against Mr. Ben Jonson                              26

     XI. The Character of the Bore                           29

    XII. The New Cry                                         34
   XIII. On Don Surly                                        35

    XIV. The Character of Hudibras                           36
     XV. The Character of a Small Poet                       43

    XVI. Nostradamus's Prophecy                              45

   XVII. The Scots Apostasie                                 47

  XVIII. Satire on the Dutch                                 49
    XIX. MacFlecknoe                                         50
     XX. Epistle to the Whigs                                57

    XXI. Introduction to the True born Englishman            63

   XXII. Satire on a Conceited Playwright                    65

  XXIII. Preface to John Bull and his Law suit               66
   XXIV. The History of John Bull                            70
    XXV. Epitaph upon Colonel Chartres                       76

   XXVI. Mrs Frances Harris' Petition                        77
  XXVII. Elegy on Partridge                                  81
 XXVIII. A Meditation upon a Broom stick                     85
   XXIX. The Relations of Booksellers and Authors            86
    XXX. The Epistle Dedicatory to His Royal Highness
         Prince Posterity                                    91

   XXXI. The Commonwealth of Lunatics                        97

  XXXII. Sir Roger de Coverley's Sunday                     101

 XXXIII. To the Right Hon. Mr. Dodington                    105

  XXXIV. The Quidnunckis                                    112

   XXXV. The Dunciad--The Description of Dulness            114
  XXXVI. Sandys' Ghost; or, a proper new ballad of
         the New Ovid's Metamorphoses, as it was
         intended to be translated by persons of
         quality                                            120
 XXXVII. Satire on the Whig Poets                           122
XXXVIII. Epilogue to the Satires                            131

  XXXIX. The Vanity of Human Wishes                         136
     XL. Letter to the Earl of Chesterfield                 147

    XLI. The Retaliation                                    149
   XLII. The Logicians Refuted                              154
  XLIII. Beau Tibbs, his Character and Family               156

   XLIV. The Journey                                        160

    XLV. To the King                                        164

   XLVI. Address to the Unco Guid, or the Rigidly
         Righteous                                          180
  XLVII. Holy Willie's Prayer                               182

 XLVIII. A Farewell to Tobacco                              186

   XLIX. Lines on Leigh Hunt                                191

      L. Epistle from Lord Boringdon to Lord Granville      192
     LI. Reformation of the Knave of Hearts                 194

    LII. The Friend of Humanity and the Knife-grinder       203
   LIII. Song by Rogero the Captive                         205

    LIV. The Devil's Walk                                   206

     LV. The Letters of Peter Plymley--on "No
         Popery"                                            208

    LVI. The Poet of Fashion                                216

   LVII. Bossuet and the Duchess of Fontanges               218

  LVIII. The Vision of Judgment                             226
    LIX. The Waltz                                          236
     LX. "The Dedication" in Don Juan                       243

    LXI. Cockle _v._ Cackle                                 249

   LXII. The Country Clergyman's Trip to Cambridge          253

  LXIII. The Red Fisherman; or, The Devil's Decoy           257
   LXIV. Mad--Quite Mad                                     264

    LXV. Popanilla on Man                                   270

   LXVI. Cristina                                           277
  LXVII. The Lost Leader                                    280

 LXVIII. Piscator and Piscatrix                             281
   LXIX. On a Hundred Years Hence                           283

    LXX. Spectator Ab Extra                                 292

   LXXI. "Hic Vir, Hic Est"                                 296


Satire and the satirist have been in evidence in well-nigh all ages of
the world's history. The chief instruments of the satirist's equipment
are irony, sarcasm, invective, wit, and humour. The satiric
denunciation of a writer burning with indignation at some social wrong
or abuse, is capable of reaching the very highest level of literature.
The writings of a satirist of this type, and to some extent of every
satirist who touches on the social aspects of life, present a picture
more or less vivid, though not of course complete and impartial, of the
age to which he belongs, of the men, their manners, fashions, tastes,
and prevalent opinions. Thus they have a historical as well as a
literary and an ethical value. And Thackeray, in speaking of the office
of the humorist or satirist, for to him they were one, says, "He
professes to awaken and direct your love, your pity, your kindness,
your scorn for untruth, pretension, imposture, your tenderness for the
weak, the poor, the oppressed, the unhappy. To the best of his means
and ability he comments on all the ordinary actions and passions of
life almost."[1]

Satire has, in consequence, always ranked as one of the cardinal
divisions of literature. Its position as such, however, is due rather
to the fact of it having been so regarded among the Romans, than from
its own intrinsic importance among us to-day. Until the closing decades
of the eighteenth century--so long, in fact, as the classics were
esteemed of paramount authority as models--satire proper was accorded a
definite place in letters, and was distinctively cultivated by men of
genius as a branch of literature. But with the rise of the true
_national_ spirit in the various literatures of Europe, and notably in
that of England, satire has gradually given place to other types of
composition. Slowly but surely it has been edged out of its prominent
position as a separate department, and has been relegated to the
position of a _quality of style_, important, beyond doubt, yet no
longer to be considered as a prime division of letters.[2]

Rome rather than Greece must be esteemed the home of ancient satire.
Quintilian, indeed, claims it altogether for his countrymen in the
words, _Satira tota nostra est_; while Horace styles it _Græcis
intactum carmen_. But this claim must be accepted with many
reservations. It does not imply that we do not discover the existence
of satire, together with favourable examples of it, long anterior to
the oldest extant works in either Grecian or Latin literature. The use
of what are called "personalities" in everyday speech was the probable
origin of satire. Conversely, also, satire, in the majority of those
earlier types current at various periods in the history of literature,
has shown an inclination to be personal in its character. De Quincey,
accordingly, has argued that the more personal it became in its
allusions, the more it fulfilled its specific function. But such a view
is based on the supposition that satire has no other mission than to
lash the vices of our neighbours, without recalling the fact that the
satirist has a reformative as well as a punitive duty to discharge. The
further we revert into the "deep backward and abysm of time" towards
the early history of the world, the more pronounced and overt is this
indulgence in broad personal invective and sarcastic strictures.

The earliest cultivators of the art were probably the men with a
grievance, or, as Dr. Garnett says, "the carpers and fault-finders of
the clan". Their first attempts were, as has been conjectured, merely
personal lampoons against those they disliked or differed from, and
were perhaps of a type cognate with the Homeric _Margites_. Homer's
character of Thersites is mayhap a lifelike portrait of some
contemporary satirist who made himself dreaded by his personalities.
But even in Thersites we see the germs of transition from merely
personal invective to satire directed against a class; and Greek
satire, though on the whole more personal than Roman, achieved
brilliant results. It is enough to name Archilochus, whom Mahaffy terms
the Swift of Greek Literature, Simonides of Amorgos (circ. 660 B.C.),
the author of the famous _Satire on Women_, and Hipponax of Ephesus,
reputed the inventor of the Scazon or halting iambic.

But the lasting significance of Greek satire is mainly derived from
its surpassing distinction in two domains--in the comico-satiric drama
of Aristophanes, and in the _Beast Fables_ of 'Æsop'. In later Greek
literature it lost its robustness and became trivial and effeminate
through expending itself on unworthy objects.

It is amongst the Romans, with their deeper ethical convictions and
more powerful social sense, that we must look for the true home of
ancient satire. The germ of Roman satire is undoubtedly to be found in
the rude Fescennine verses, the rough and licentious jests and
buffoonery of the harvest-home and the vintage thrown into
quasi-lyrical form. These songs gradually developed a concomitant form
of dialogue styled saturæ, a term denoting "miscellany", and derived
perhaps from the _Satura lanx_, a charger filled with the first-fruits
of the year's produce, which was offered to Bacchus and Ceres.[3] In
Ennius, the "father of Roman satire", and Varro, the word still
retained this old Roman sense.

Lucilius was the first Roman writer who made "censorious criticism" the
prevailing tone of satire, and his work, the parent of the satire of
Horace, of Persius, of Juvenal, and through that of the poetical satire
of modern times, was the principal agent in fixing its present
polemical and urban associations upon a term originally steeped in the
savour of rustic revelry. In the hands of Horace, Roman satire was to
be moulded into a new type that was not only to be a thing of beauty,
but, as far as one can yet see, to remain a joy for ever. The great
Venusian, as he informs us, set before himself the task of adapting the
satire of Lucilius to the special circumstances, the manners, the
literary modes and tastes of the Augustan age. Horace's Satires conform
to Addison's great rule, which he lays down in the _Spectator_, that
the satire which only seeks to wound is as dangerous as arrows that fly
in the dark. There is always an ethical undercurrent running beneath
the polished raillery and the good-natured satire. His genial
_bonhomie_ prevents him from ever becoming ill-natured in his

Of those manifold, kaleidoscopically-varied types of human nature which
in the Augustan age flocked to Rome as the centre of the known world,
he was a keen and a close observer. Jealously he noted the
deteriorating influence these foreign elements were exercising on the
grand old Roman character, and some of the bitterest home-thrusts he
ever delivered were directed against this alien invasion.[4] In those
brilliant pictures wherewith his satires are replete, Horace finds a
place for all. Sometimes he criticises as a far-off observer, gazing
with a sort of cynical amusement at this human raree-show; at others he
speaks as though he himself were in the very midst of the bustling
frivolity of the Roman Vanity Fair, and a sufferer from its follies.
Then his tone seems to deepen into a grave intensity of remonstrance,
as he exposes its hollowness, its heartlessness, and its blindness to
the absorbing problems of existence.

After the death of Horace (B.C. 8) no names of note occur in the
domain of satire until we reach that famous trio, contemporary with one
another, who adorned the concluding half of the first century of our
era, viz.:--Juvenal, Persius, and Martial. They are severally
representative of distinct modes or types of satire. Juvenal
illustrates rhetorical or tragic satire, of which he is at once the
inventor and the most distinguished master--that form of composition,
in other words, which attacks vice, wrongs, or abuses in a high-pitched
strain of impassioned, declamatory eloquence. In this type of satire,
evil is designedly painted in exaggerated colours, that disgust may
more readily be aroused by the loathsomeness of the picture. As a
natural consequence, sobriety, moderation, and truth to nature no
longer are esteemed so indispensable. In this style Juvenal has had
many imitators, but no superiors. His satires represent the final
development the form underwent in achieving the definite purpose of
exposing and chastising in a systematic manner the entire catalogue of
vices, public and private, which were assailing the welfare of the
state. They constitute luridly powerful pictures of a debased and
shamelessly corrupt condition of society. Keen contemptuous ridicule, a
sardonic irony that held nothing in reverence, a caustic sarcasm that
burned like an acid, and a vituperative invective that ransacked the
language for phrases of opprobrium--these were the agents enlisted by
Juvenal into the service of purging society of its evil.

Persius, on the other hand, was the philosophic satirist, whose
devotion to Stoicism caused him to see in it a panacea for all the
evils which Nero brought on the empire. The shortness of his life, his
studious tastes, and his exceptional moral purity all contributed to
keep him ignorant of that world of evil which, as Professor Sellar has
pithily remarked, it is the business of the satirist to know. Hence he
is purely a philosophic or didactic satirist. Only one of his poems,
the first, fulfils the special end of satire by representing any phase
whatever of the life of his time, and pointing its moral.

Finally, Martial exchanged the epic tirade for the epigram as the
vehicle of his satire, and handled this lighter missile with
unsurpassed brilliance and _verve_. Despite his sycophancy and his
fulsome flattery of prospective benefactors, he displays more of the
sober moderation and sane common-sense of Horace than either of his
contemporaries. There are few better satirists of social and literary
pretenders either in ancient or modern times. No ancient has more
vividly painted the manners of antiquity. If Juvenal enforces the
lesson of that time, and has penetrated more deeply into the heart of
society, Martial has sketched its external aspect with a much fairer
pencil, and from a much more intimate contact with it.

In the first and second centuries of our era two other forms of satire
took their rise, viz.:--the Milesian or "Satiric Tale" of Petronius and
Apuleius, and the "Satiric Dialogue" of Lucian. Both are admirable
pictures of their respective periods. The _Tales_ of the two first are
conceived with great force of imagination, and executed with a happy
blending of humour, wit, and cynical irony that suggests Gil Blas or
Barry Lyndon. _The Supper of Trimalchio_, by Petronius, reproduces with
unsparing hand the gluttony and the blatant vice of the Neronic epoch.
_The Golden Ass_ of Apuleius is a clever sketch of contemporary manners
in the second century, painting in vivid colours the reaction that had
set in against scepticism, and the general appetite that prevailed for
miracles and magic.

Finally, ancient satire may be said to close with the famous
_Dialogues_ of Lucian, which, although written in Greek, exhibited all
the best features of Roman satire. Certainly the ethical purpose and
the reformative element are rather implied than insistently expressed
in Lucian; but he affords in his satiric sketches a capital glimpse of
the ludicrous perplexity into which the pagan mind was plunged when it
had lost faith in its mythology, and when a callous indifference
towards the Pantheon left the Roman world literally without a rational
creed. As a satire on the old Hellenic religion nothing could be racier
than _The Dialogues of the Gods_ and _The Dialogues of the Dead_.

It is impossible in this brief survey to discuss at large the vast
chaotic epoch in the history of satire which lies between the end of
the ancient world and the dawn of humanism. For satire, as a literary
genre, belongs to these two. The mediæval world, inexhaustible in its
capacity and relish for abuse, full of rude laughter and drastic
humour--prompt, for all its superstition, to make a jest of the priest,
and, for all its chivalry, to catalogue the foibles of women--had the
satirical animus in abundance, and satirical songs, visions, fables,
fabliaux, ballads, epics, in legion, but no definite and recognised
school of satire. It is sufficient to name, as examples of the
extraordinary range of the mediæval satiric genius, the farce of
_Pathelin_, the beast-epic of _Renart_, the rhymes of Walter Map, and
the _Inferno_ of Dante.

Of these satirists before the rise of "satire", mediæval England
produced two great examples in Chaucer and Langland. They typify at the
outset the two classes into which Dryden divided English satirists--the
followers of Horace's way and the followers of Juvenal's--the men of
the world, who assail the enemies of common-sense with the weapons of
humour and sarcasm; and the prophets, who assail vice and crime with
passionate indignation and invective scorn. Since Dryden's time neither
line has died out, and it is still possible, with all reserves, to
recognise the two strains through the whole course of English
literature: the one represented in Chaucer, Donne, Marvell, Addison,
Arbuthnot, Swift, Young, Goldsmith, Canning, Thackeray, and Tennyson;
the others in Langland, Skelton, Lyndsay, Nash, Marston, Dryden, Pope,
Churchill, Johnson, Junius, Burns, and Browning.

Langland was a naïve mediæval Juvenal. The sad-visaged, world-weary
dreamer of the Malvern hills, sorrowing over the vice, the abuses, and
the social misery of his time, finding, as he tells us, no comfort in
any of the established institutions of his day, because confronted with
the fraud and falsehood that infected them all, is one of the most
pathetic figures in literature. As Skeat suggests, the object of his
great poem was to secure, through the latitude afforded by allegory,
opportunities of describing the life and manners of the poorer classes,
of inveighing against clerical abuses and the rapacity of the friars,
of representing the miseries caused by the great pestilences then
prevalent, and by the hasty and ill-advised marriages consequent
thereon; of denouncing lazy workmen and sham beggars, the corruption
and bribery then too common in the law-courts--in a word, to lash all
the numerous forms of falsehood, which are at all times the fit
subjects for satire and indignant exposure. Amid many essential
differences, is there not here a striking likeness to the work of the
Roman Juvenal? Langland's satire is not so fiery nor so rhetorically
intense as that of his prototype, but it is less profoundly despairing.
He satirizes evil rather by exposing it and contrasting it with good,
than by vehemently denouncing it. The colours of the pictures are
sombre, and the gloom is almost overwhelming, but still it is illumined
from time to time with the hope of coming amendment, when the great
reformer Piers the Plowman, by which is typified Christ,[5] should
appear, who was to remedy all abuses and restore the world to a right
condition. In this sustaining hope he differs from Juvenal, the
funereal gloom of whose satires is relieved by no gleam of hope for the

Contrast with this the humorous brightness, the laughter, and the light
of the surroundings associated with his great contemporary, Geoffrey
Chaucer. His very satire is kindly and quaint, like that of Horace,
rather than bitterly acidulous. He raps his age over the knuckles, it
is true, for its faults and foibles, but the censor's face wears a
genial smile. One of his chief attractions for us lies in his bright
objectivity. He never wears his heart on his sleeve like Langland. He
has touches of rare and profound pathos, but these notes of pain are
only like undertones of discord to throw the harmony into stronger
relief, only like little cloudlets momentarily flitting across the
golden sunshine of his humour.

We read Chaucer, as we read Horace, from love of his piquant
Epicureanism, and the scintillating satire wherewith he enlivens those
matchless pictures of his epoch which he has handed down to us.
Chaucer, as Professor Minto puts it, wrote largely for the court
circle. His verses were first read in tapestried chambers, and to the
gracious ear of stately lords and ladies. It was because he wrote for
such an audience that he avoids the introduction of any discordant
element in the shape of the deeper and darker social problems of the
time. The same reticence occurs in Horace, writing as he did for the
ear of Augustus and Mæcenas, and of the fashionable circle thronging
the great palace of his patron on the Esquiline. Is not the historic
parallel between the two pairs of writers still further verified?
Chaucer wisely chose the epic form for his greatest poem, because he
could introduce thereinto so many distinct qualities of composition,
and the woof of racy humour as well as of sprightly satire which he
introduces with such consummate art into the texture of his verse is of
as fine a character as any in our literature. In Langland's great
allegory, the satire is earnest, grave and solemn, as though with a
sense of deep responsibility; that in Chaucer's _Canterbury
Tales_--nay, in all his poems--is genial, laughing, and good-natured;
tolerant, like Horace's of human weaknesses, because the author is so
keenly conscious of his own.

Langland and Chaucer both died about the beginning of the fifteenth
century. But from that date until 1576--when Gascoigne's _Steel Glass_,
the first verse satire of the Elizabethan age, was published--we must
look mainly to Scotland and the poems of William Dunbar, Sir David
Lyndsay, and others, to preserve the apostolic succession of satire.
William Dunbar is one of the greatest of British satirists. His _Dance
of the Seven Deadly Sins_, in which the popular poetic form of the
age--allegory--is utilized with remarkable skill as the vehicle for a
scathing satire on the headlong sensuality of his time, produces by its
startling realism and terrible intensity an effect not unlike that
exercised by the overpowering creations of Salvator Rosa. The poem is a
bitter indictment of the utter corruption of all classes in the society
of his period. Like Juvenal, to whose school he belongs, he softens
nothing, tones down nothing. The evil is presented in all its native
hideousness. Lyndsay, on the other hand, would have been more vigorous
had he been less diffuse, and used the pruning-knife more unsparingly.
His finest satiric pictures often lose their point by verbosity and
tediousness. Brevity is the soul of satire as well as of wit.

The most vigorous English satire of this entire period was that which
we owe to the scurrilous pen of Skelton and the provocative personality
of Wolsey. With his work may be mentioned the rude and unpolished, yet
vigorous, piece bearing the rhyming title,

     "Rede me and be nott wrothe,
      For I saye no thing but trothe",

written by two English Observantine Franciscan friars, William Roy and
Jerome Barlowe;[6] a satire which stung the great cardinal so sharply
that he commissioned Hermann Rynck to buy up every available copy.
Alexander Barclay's imitation, in his _Ship of Fools_, of Sebastian
Brandt's _Narrenschiff_, was only remarkable for the novel satirical
device of the plan.

Bishop Latimer in his sermons is a vigorous satirist, particularly in
that discourse upon "The Ploughers" (1547). His fearlessness is very
conspicuous, and his attacks on the bishops who proved untrue to their
trust and allowed their dioceses to go to wreck and ruin, are outspoken
and trenchant:

    "They that be lords will ill go to plough. It is no meet office for
    them. It is not seeming for their state. Thus came up lording
    loiterers; Thus crept in unprechinge prelates, and so have they
    long continued. For how many unlearned prelates have we now at this
    day? And no marvel; For if the ploughmen that now be, were made
    lordes, they would clean give over ploughing, they would leave of
    theyr labour and fall to lording outright and let the plough
    stand. For ever since the Prelates were made lords and nobles, the
    plough standeth, there is no work done, the people starve. They
    hawke, they hunte, they carde, they dyce, they pastime in their
    prelacies with galaunt gentlemen, with their dauncing minions, and
    with their freshe companions, so that ploughing is set aside."[7]

But after Gascoigne's _Steel Glass_ was published, which professed to
hold a mirror or "steel glass" up to the vices of the age, we reach
that wonderful outburst of satiric, epigrammatic, and humorous
composition which was one of the characteristics, and certainly not the
least important, of the Elizabethan epoch. Lodge's _Fig for Momus_
(1593) contains certain satires which rank with Gascoigne's work as the
earliest compositions of that type belonging to the period. That they
were of no mean reputation in their own day is evident from the
testimony of Meres,[8] who says, "As Horace, Lucilius, Juvenal,
Persius, and Lucullus are the best for satire among the Latins, so with
us, in the same faculty, these are chiefe, Piers Plowman, Lodge, Hall
of Emanuel College, Cambridge, the author of _Pygmalion's Image and
Certain Satires_[9] and the author of _Skialethea_". This contemporary
opinion regarding the fact that _The Vision of Piers Plowman_ was
esteemed a satire of outstanding merit in those days, is a curious
commentary on Hall's boastful couplet describing himself as the
earliest English satirist.

To name all the writers who, in this fruitful epoch of our literature,
devoted themselves to this kind of composition would be impossible.
From 1598 until the death of James I. upwards of one hundred separate
satirists can be named, both in verse and prose. Of these Bishop Hall
is one of the greatest, and I have chosen him as the leading
representative of the period. To the study of Horace and Juvenal he had
devoted many years of his early manhood, and his imitation of these two
great Romans is close and consistent. Therefore, for vigour, grave
dignity, and incisiveness of thought, united to graphic pictures of his
age, Hall is undeniably the most important name in the history of the
Elizabethan satire, strictly so called. His exposures of the follies of
his age were largely couched in the form, so much affected by Horace,
of a familiar commentary on certain occurrences, addressed apparently
to an anonymous correspondent.

Contemporary with Hall was Thomas Nash, whose _Pierce Penilesse's
Supplication to the Devil_ was one of the most extraordinary onslaughts
on the social vices of the metropolis that the period produced. Written
in close imitation of Juvenal's earlier satires, he frequently
approaches the standard of his master in graphic power of description,
in scathing invective, and ironical mockery. In _Have with you to
Saffron Walden_ he lashed Gabriel Harvey for his unworthy conduct
towards the memory of Robert Greene. Both satires are written in prose,
as indeed are nearly all his works, inasmuch as Nash was more of a
pamphleteer than anything else. Other contemporaries of Hall were
Thomas Dekker, whose fame as a dramatist has eclipsed his reputation
as a satirist, but whose _Bachelor's Banquet--pleasantly discoursing
the variable humours of Women, their quickness of wits and unsearchable
deceits_, is a sarcastic impeachment of the gentler sex, while his
_Gull's Hornbook_ must be ranked with Nash's work as one of the most
unsparing castigations of social life in London. The latter is a volume
of fictitious maxims for the use of youths desirous of being considered
"pretty fellows". Other contemporaries were John Donne, John Marston,
Jonson, George Chapman, and Nicholas Breton--all names of men who were
conspicuous inheritors of the true Elizabethan spirit, and who united
virility of thought to robustness and trenchancy of sarcasm.

Marston and Breton were amongst the best of the group, though they are
not represented in these pages owing to the unsuitability of their
writings for extract. Here is a picture from one of the satires of
Marston which is instinct with satiric power. It is a portrait of a
love-sick swain, and runs as follows:--

     "For when my ears received a fearful sound
      That he was sick, I went, and there I found,
      Him laid of love and newly brought to bed
      Of monstrous folly, and a franticke head:
      His chamber hanged about with elegies,
      With sad complaints of his love's miseries,
      His windows strow'd with sonnets and the glasse
      Drawn full of love-knots. I approach'd the asse,
      And straight he weepes, and sighes some Sonnet out
      To his fair love! and then he goes about,
      For to perfume her rare perfection,
      With some sweet smelling pink epitheton.
      Then with a melting looke he writhes his head,
      And straight in passion, riseth in his bed,
      And having kist his hand, strok'd up his haire,
      Made a French _congé_, cryes 'O cruall Faire!'
      To th' antique bed-post."[10]

Marston manifests more vigour and nervous force in his satires than
Hall, but exhibits less elegance and ease in versification. In Charles
Fitz-geoffrey's _Affaniæ_, a set of Latin epigrams, printed at Oxford
in 1601, Marston is complimented as the "Second English Satirist", or
rather as dividing the palm of priority and excellence in English
satire with Hall. The individual characteristics of the various leading
Elizabethan satirists,--the vitriolic bitterness of Nash, the
sententious profundity of Donne, the happy-go-lucky "slogging" of
genial Dekker, the sledge-hammer blows of Jonson, the turgid
malevolence of Chapman, and the stiletto-like thrusts of George
Buchanan are worthy of closer and more detailed study than can be
devoted to them in a sketch such as this. I regret that Nicolas
Breton's _Pasquil's Madcappe_ proved too long for quotation in its
entirety,[11] but the man who could pen such lines as these was, of a
truth, a satirist of a high order:--

      But what availes unto the world to talke?
      Wealth is a witch that hath a wicked charme,
      That in the minds of wicked men doth walke,
      Unto the heart and Soule's eternal harme,
      Which is not kept by the Almighty arme:
      O,'tis the strongest instrument of ill
      That ere was known to work the devill's will.

      An honest man is held a good poore soule,
      And kindnesse counted but a weake conceite,
      And love writte up but in the woodcocke's soule,
      While thriving _Wat_ doth but on Wealth await:
      He is a fore horse that goes ever streight:
      And he but held a foole for all his Wit,
      That guides his braines but with a golden bit.

      A virgin is a vertuous kind of creature,
      But doth not coin command Virginitie?
      And beautie hath a strange bewitching feature,
      But gold reads so much world's divinitie,
      As with the Heavens hath no affinitie:
      So that where Beauty doth with vertue dwell,
      If it want money, yet it will not sell.

Of the satiric forms peculiar to the Elizabethan epoch there is no
great variety. The _Characters_ of Theophrastus supplied a model to
some of the writers. The close adherence also which the majority of
them manifest to the broadly marked types of "Horatian" and
"Juvenalian" satire, both in matter and manner, is not a little
remarkable. The genius for selecting from the classics those forms both
of composition and metre best suited to become vehicles for satire, and
adapting them thereto, did not begin to manifest itself in so
pronounced a manner until after the Restoration. The Elizabethan
mind--using the phrase of course in its broad sense as inclusive of the
Jacobean and the early Caroline epochs--was more engrossed with the
matter than the manner of satire. Perhaps the finest satire which
distinguished this wonderful era was the _Argenis_ of John Barclay, a
politico-satiric romance, or, in other words, the adaptation of the
"Milesian tale" of Petronius to state affairs.

During the Parliamentary War, satire was the only species of
composition which did not suffer more or less eclipse, but its
character underwent change. It became to a large extent a medium for
sectarian bitterness. It lost its catholicity, and degenerated in great
measure into the instrument of partisan antagonism, and a means of
impaling the folly or fanaticism, real or imagined, of special
individuals among the Cavaliers and Roundheads.[12] Of such a character
was the bulk of the satires produced at that time. In a few instances,
however, a higher note was struck, as, for example, when "dignified
political satire", in the hands of Andrew Marvell, was utilized to
fight the battle of freedom of conscience in the matter of the
observances of external religion. _The Rehearsal Transposed, Mr.
Smirke, or the Divine in Mode, and his Political Satires_ are
masterpieces of lofty indignation mingled with grave and ironical
banter. Among many others Edmund Waller showed himself an apt disciple
of Horace, and produced charming social satires marked by delicate wit
and raillery in the true Horatian mode; while the Duke of Buckingham,
in the _Rehearsal_, utilized the dramatic parody to travesty the plays
of Dryden. Abraham Cowley, in the _Mistress_, also imitated Horace, and
in his play _Cutter of Coleman Street_ satirized the Puritans'
affectation of superior sanctity and their affected style of
conversation. Then came John Oldham and John Cleiveland, who both
accepted Juvenal as their model. Cleiveland's antipathy towards
Cromwell and the Scots was on a par with that of John Wilkes towards
the latter, and was just as unreasonable, while the language he
employed in his diatribes against both was so extravagant as to lose
its sarcastic point in mere vulgar abuse. In like manner Oldham's
_Satires on the Jesuits_ afford as disgraceful a specimen of sectarian
bigotry as the language contains. Only their pungency and wit render
them readable. He displays Juvenal's violence of invective without his
other redeeming qualities. All these, however, were entirely eclipsed
in reputation by a writer who made the mock-epic the medium through
which the bitterest onslaught on the anti-royalist party and its
principles was delivered by one who, as a "king's man", was almost as
extreme a bigot as those he satirized. The _Hudibras_ of Samuel Butler,
in its mingling of broad, almost extravagant, humour and sneering
mockery has no parallel in our literature. Butler's characters are
rather mere "humours" or _qualities_ than real personages. There is no
attempt made to observe the modesty of nature. _Hudibras_, therefore,
is an example not so much of satire, though satire is present in rich
measure also, as of burlesque. The poem is genuinely satirical only in
those parts where the author steps in as the chorus, so to speak, and
offers pithy moralizings on what is taking place in the action of the
story. There is visible throughout the poem, however, a lack of
restraint that causes him to overdo his part. Were _Hudibras_ shorter,
the satire would be more effective. Though in parts often as terse in
style as Pope's best work, still the poem is too long, and it undoes
the force of its attack on the Puritans by its exaggeration.

All these writers, even Butler himself, simply prepared the way for the
man who is justly regarded as England's greatest satirist. The epoch of
John Dryden has been fittingly styled the "Golden Age of English
Satire".[13] To warrant this description, however, it must be held to
include the writers of the reign of Queen Anne. The Elizabethan period
was perhaps richer, numerically speaking, in representatives of certain
types of satirical composition, but the true perfection, the
efflorescence of the long-growing plant, was reached in that era which
extended from the publication of Dryden's _Absalom and Achitophel_
(Part I.) in 1681 to the issue of Pope's _Dunciad_ in its final form in
1742. During these sixty years appeared the choicest of English
satires, to wit, all Dryden's finest pieces, the _Medal_,
_MacFlecknoe_, and _Absalom and Achitophel_, Swift's _Tale of a Tub_,
and his _Miscellanies_--among which his best metrical satires appeared;
all Defoe's work, too, as well as Steele's in the _Tatler_, and
Addison's in the _Spectator_, Arbuthnot's _History of John Bull_,
Churchill's _Rosciad_, and finally all Pope's poems, including the
famous "Prologue" as well as the "Epilogue" to the _Satires_. It is
curious to note how the satirical succession (if the phrase be
permitted) is maintained uninterruptedly from Bishop Hall down to the
death of Pope--nay, we may even say down to the age of Byron, to whose
epoch one may trace something like a continuous tradition. Hall did
not die until Dryden was twenty-seven years of age. Pope delighted to
record that, when a boy of twelve years of age, he had met "Glorious
John", though the succession could be passed on otherwise through
Congreve, one of the most polished of English satirical writers, whom
Dryden complimented as "one whom every muse and grace adorn", while to
him also Pope dedicated his translation of the _Iliad_.[14] Bolingbroke,
furthermore, was the friend and patron of Pope, while the witty St.
John, in turn, was bound by ties of friendship to Mallet, who passed on
the succession to Goldsmith, Sheridan, Ellis, Canning, Moore, and
Byron. Thereafter satire begins to fall upon evil days, and the
tradition cannot be so clearly traced.

But satire, during this "succession", did not remain absolutely the
same. She changed her garb with her epoch. Thus the robust bludgeoning
of Dryden and Shadwell, of Defoe, Steele, D'Urfey, and Tom Brown, gave
place to the sardonic ridicule of Swift, the polished raillery of
Arbuthnot, and the double-distilled essence of acidulous sarcasm
present in the _Satires_ of Pope. There is as marked a difference
between the Drydenic and the Swiftian types of satire, between that of
Cleiveland and that of Pope, as between the diverse schools known as
the "Horatian" and the "Juvenalian". The cause of this, over and above
the effect produced by prolonged study of these two classical models,
was the overwhelming influence exercised on his age by the great French
critic and satirist, Boileau. Difficult indeed it is for us at the
present day to understand the European homage paid to Boileau. As
Hannay says, "He was a dignified classic figure supposed to be the
model of fine taste",[15] His word was law in the realm of criticism,
and for many years he was known, not alone in France, but throughout a
large portion of Europe, as "The Lawgiver of Parnassus". Prof. Dowden,
referring to his critical authority, remarks:--

    "The genius of Boileau was in a high degree intellectual, animated
    by ideas. As a moralist he is not searching or profound; he saw too
    little of the inner world of the heart, and knew too imperfectly
    its agitations. When, however, he deals with literature--and a just
    judgment in letters may almost be called an element in morals--all
    his penetration and power become apparent. To clear the ground for
    the new school of nature, truth, and reason was Boileau's first
    task. It was a task which called for courage and skill ... he
    struck at the follies and affectations of the world of letters, and
    he struck with force. It was a needful duty, and one most
    effectively performed.... Boileau's influence as a critic of
    literature can hardly be overrated; it has much in common with the
    influence of Pope on English literature, beneficial as regards his
    own time, somewhat restrictive and even tyrannical upon later

Owing to the predominance of French literary modes in England, this was
the man whose influence, until nearly the close of last century, was
paramount in England even when it was most bitterly disclaimed.
Boileau's _Satires_ were published during 1660-70, and he himself died
in 1711; but, though dead, he still ruled for many a decade to come.
This then was the literary censor to whom English satire of the
post-Drydenic epochs owed so much. Neither Swift nor Pope was ashamed
to confess his literary indebtedness to the great Frenchman; nay,
Dryden himself has confessed his obligations to Boileau, and in his
_Discourse on Satire_ has quoted his authority as absolute. Before
pointing out the differences between the Drydenic and post-Drydenic
satire let us note very briefly the special characteristics of the
former. Apart from the "matter" of his satire, Dryden laid this
department of letters under a mighty obligation through the splendid
service he rendered by the first successful application of the heroic
couplet to satire. Of itself this was a great boon; but his good deeds
as regards the "matter" of satiric composition have entirely obscured
the benefit he conferred on its manner or technical form. Dryden's four
great satires, _Absalom and Achitophel_, _The Medal_, _MacFlecknoe_,
and the _Hind and the Panther_, each exemplify a distinct and important
type of satire. The first named is the classical instance of the use of
"historic parallels" as applied to the impeachment of the vices or
abuses of any age. With matchless skill the story of Absalom is
employed not merely to typify, but actually to represent, the designs
of Monmouth and his Achitophel--Shaftesbury. _The Medal_ reverts to the
type of the classic satire of the Juvenalian order. It is slightly more
rhetorical in style, and is partly devoted to a bitter invective
against Shaftesbury, partly to an argument as to the unfitness of
republican institutions for England, partly to a satiric address to
the Whigs. The third of the great series, _MacFlecknoe_, is Dryden's
masterpiece of satiric irony; a purely personal attack upon his rival,
Shadwell, "Crowned King of Dulness, and in all the realms of nonsense
absolute". Finally, the _Hind and the Panther_ represents a new
development of the "satiric fable". Dryden gave to British satire the
impulse towards that final form of development which it received from
the great satirists of the next century. There is little that appears
in Swift, Addison, Arbuthnot, Pope, or even Byron, for which the way
was not prepared by the genius of "Glorious John".

Of the famous group which adorned the reign of Queen Anne, Steele lives
above all in his Isaac Bickerstaff Essays, the vehicle of admirably
pithy and trenchant prose satire upon current political abuses. But,
unfortunately for his own fame, his lot was to be associated with the
greatest master of this form of composition that has appeared in
literature, and the celebrity of the greater writer dimmed that of the
lesser. Addison in his papers in the _Tatler_ and the _Spectator_ has
brought what may be styled the Essay of Satiric Portraiture--in after
days to be developed along other lines by Praed, Charles Lamb, Leigh
Hunt, and R.L. Stevenson--to an unsurpassed standard of excellence.
Such character studies as those of Sir Roger de Coverley, his household
and friends, Will Honeycomb, Sir Andrew Freeport, Ned Softly, and
others, possess an endless charm for us in the sobriety and moderation
of the colours, the truth to nature, the delicate raillery, and the
polished sarcasm of their satiric animadversions. Addison has studied
his Horace to advantage, and to the great Roman's attributes has added
other virtues distinctly English.

Arbuthnot, the celebrated physician of Queen Anne, takes rank among the
best of English satirists by virtue of his famous work _The History of
John Bull_. The special mode or type employed was the "allegorical
political tale", of which the plot was the historic sequence of events
in connection with the war with Louis XIV. of France. The object of the
fictitious narrative was to throw ridicule on the Duke of Marlborough,
and to excite among the people a feeling of disgust at the protracted
hostilities. The nations involved are represented as tradesmen
implicated in a lawsuit, the origin of the dispute being traced to
their narrow and selfish views. The national characteristics of each
individual are skilfully hit off, and the various events of the war,
with the accompanying political intrigues, are symbolized by the stages
in the progress of the suit, the tricks of the lawyers, and the devices
of the principal attorney, Humphrey Hocus (Marlborough), to prolong the
struggle. His _Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus_--a satire on the abuses
of human learning,--in which the type of the fictitious biography is
adopted, is exceedingly clever.

Finally, we reach the pair of satirists who, next to Dryden, must be
regarded as the writers whose influence has been greatest in
determining the character of British satire. Pope is the disciple of
Dryden, and the best qualities of the Drydenic satire, in both form and
matter, are reproduced in his works accompanied by special attributes
of his own. Owing to the extravagant admiration professed by Byron for
the author of the _Rape of the Lock_, and his repeated assurances of
his literary indebtedness to him, we are apt to overlook the fact that
the noble lord was under obligations to Dryden of a character quite as
weighty as those he was so ready to acknowledge to Pope. But the
latter, like Shakespeare, so improved all he borrowed that he has in
some instances actually received credit for inventing what he only took
from his great master. Pope was more of a refiner and polisher of
telling satiric forms which Dryden had in the first instance employed,
than an original inventor.

To mention all the types of satire affected by this marvellously acute
and variously cultured poet would be a task of some difficulty. There
are few amongst the principal forms which he has not essayed. In spirit
he is more pungent and sarcastic, more acidulous and malicious, than
the large-hearted and generous-souled Dryden. Into his satire,
therefore, enters a greater amount of the element of personal dislike
and contempt than in the case of the other. While satire is present
more or less in nearly all Pope's verse, there are certain compositions
where it may be said to be the outstanding quality. These are his
_Satires_, among which should of course be included "The Prologue" and
"The Epilogue" to them, as well as the _Moral Essays_, and finally the
_Dunciad_. These comprise the best of his professed satires. His
_Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated_ are just what they claim to
be--an adaptation to English scenes, sympathies, sentiments, and
surroundings of the Roman poet's characteristic style. Though Pope has
quite as many points of affinity with Juvenal as with Horace, the
adaptation and transference of the local atmosphere from Tiber to
Thames is managed with extraordinary skill. The historic parallels,
too, of the personages in the respective poems are made to accord and
harmonize with the spirit of the time. The _Satires_ are written from
the point of view of opposition to Sir Robert Walpole, the great Whig
minister. They display the concentrated essence of bitterness towards
the ministerial policy. As Minto tersely puts it, we see gathered up in
them the worst that was thought and said about the government and court
party when men's minds were heated almost to the point of civil war.[17]
In the "Prologue" and the "Epilogue" are contained some of the most
finished satiric portraits drawn by Pope in any of his works. For
caustic bitterness, sustained but polished irony, and merciless
sarcastic malice, the characters of Atticus (Addison), Bufo, and Sporus
have never been surpassed in the literature of political or social

The _Dunciad_ is an instance of the mock-epic utilized for the purposes
of satire. Here Pope, as regards theme, possibly had the idea suggested
to him by Dryden's _MacFlecknoe_, but undoubtedly the heroic couplet,
which the latter had first applied to satire and used with such
conspicuous success, was still further polished and improved by Pope
until, as Mr. Courthope says, "it became in his hands a rapier of
perfect flexibility and temper". From the time of Pope until that of
Byron this stately measure has been regarded as the metre best suited
_par excellence_ for the display of satiric point and brilliancy, and
as the medium best calculated to confer dignity on political satire.
The _Dunciad_, while personal malice enters into it, must not be
regarded as, properly speaking, a malicious satire. From a literary
censor's point of view almost every lash Pope administered was richly
deserved. In this respect Pope has all Horace's fairness and
moderation, while at the same time he exhibits not a little of
Juvenal's depth of conviction that desperate diseases demand radical

By the side of Pope stands an impressive but a mournful figure, one of
the most tragic in our literature, to think of whom, as Thackeray says,
"is like thinking of the ruin of a great empire". As an all-round
satirist Jonathan Swift has no superior save Dryden, and he only by
virtue of his broader human sympathies. In the works of the great Dean
we have many distinct forms of satire. Scarce anything he wrote, with
the exception of his unfortunate _History of the Last Four Years of
Queen Anne_, but is marked by satiric touches that relieve the tedium
of even its dullest pages. He has utilized nearly all the recognized
modes of satiric composition throughout the range of his long list of
works. In the _Tale of a Tub_ he employed the vehicle of the satiric
tale to lash the Dissenters, the Papists, and even the Church of
England; in a word, the cant of religion as well as the pretensions of
letters and the shams of the world. In the _Battle of the Books_ the
parody or travesty of the Romances of Chivalry is used to ridicule the
controversy raging between Temple, Wotton, Boyle, and Bentley,
regarding the comparative merits of ancient and modern writers. In
_Gulliver's Travels_ the fictitious narrative or mock journal is
impressed into the service, the method consisting in adopting an absurd
supposition at the outset and then gravely deducing the logical effects
which follow. These three form the trio of great prose satires which
from the epoch of their publication until now have remained the wonder
and the delight of successive generations. Their realism, humorous
invention, ready wit, unsparing irony, and keen ridicule have exercised
as potent an attraction as their gloomy misanthropy has repelled. Among
minor satires are his scathing attacks in prose and verse on the war
party as a ring of Whig stock-jobbers, such as _Advice to the October
Club_, _Public Spirit of the Whigs, &c._, the _Virtues of Sid Hamet_,
_The Magician's Wand_ (directed against Godolphin); his _Polite
Conversations_ and _Directions to Servants_ are savage attacks on the
inanity of society small-talk and the greed of the menials of the
period. But why prolong the list? From the _Drapier's Letters_,
directed against a supposed fraudulent introduction of a copper
currency known as "Wood's Halfpence", to his skit on _The Furniture of
a Woman's Mind_, there were few topics current in his day, whether in
politics, theology, economics, or social gossip, which he did not
attack with the artillery of his wit and satire. Had he been less
sardonic, had he possessed even a modicum of the _bonhomie_ of his
friend Arbuthnot, Swift's satire would have exercised even more potent
an influence than it has been its fortune to achieve.

Pope died in 1744, Swift in 1745. During their last years there were
signs that the literary modes of the epoch of Queen Anne, which had
maintained their ascendency so long, were rapidly losing their hold on
the popular mind. A new literary period was about to open wherein new
literary ideals and new models would prevail. Satire, in common with
literature as a whole, felt the influence of the transitional era. As
we have seen, it concerned itself largely with ridiculing the follies
and eccentricities of men of letters and foolish pretenders to the
title; also in lashing social vices and abuses. The political enmity
existing between the Jacobites and the Hanoverians continued to afford
occasion for the exchange of party squibs and lampoons. The lengthened
popularity of Gay's _Beggars' Opera_, a composition wherein a new mode
was created, viz. the satiric opera (the prototype of the comic opera
of later days), affords an index to the temper of the time. It was the
age of England's lethargy.

After the defeat of Culloden, satire languished for a while, to revive
again during the ministry of the Earl of Bute, when everything Scots
came in for condemnation, and when Smollett and John Wilkes belaboured
each other in the _Briton_ and the _North Briton_, in pamphlet,
pasquinade, and parody, until at last Lord Bute withdrew from the
contest in disgust, and suspended the organ over which the author of
_Roderick Random_ presided. The satirical effusions of this epoch are
almost entirely worthless, the only redeeming feature being the fact
that Goldsmith was at that very moment engaged in throwing off those
delicious _morceaux_ of social satire contained in _The Citizen of the
World_. Johnson, a few years before, had set the fashion for some time
with his two satires written in free imitation of Juvenal--_London_,
and _The Vanity of Human Wishes_. But from 1760 onward until the close
of the century, when Ellis, Canning, and Frere opened what may be
termed the modern epoch of satire, the influence paramount was that of
Goldsmith. Fielding and Smollett were both satirists of powerful and
original stamp, but they were so much else besides that their influence
was lost in that of the genial author of the _Deserted Village_ and
_Retaliation_. His _Vicar of Wakefield_ is a satire, upon sober,
moderate principles, against the vice of the upper classes, as typified
in the character of Mr. Thornhill, while the sketch of Beau Tibbs in
_The Citizen of the World_ is a racy picture of the out-at-elbows,
would-be man of fashion, who seeks to pose as a social leader and
arbiter of taste when he had better have been following a trade.

The next revival of the popularity of satire takes place towards the
commencement of the third last decade of the eighteenth century, when,
using the vehicle of the epistolary mode, an anonymous writer, whose
identity is still in dispute, attacked the monarch, the government,
and the judicature of the country, in a series of letters in which
scathing invective, merciless ridicule, and lofty scorn were united to
vigour and polish of style, as well as undeniable literary taste.

After the appearance of the _Letters of Junius_, which, perhaps, have
owed the permanence of their popularity as much to the interest
attaching to the mystery of their authorship as to their intrinsic
merits, political satire may be said to have once more slumbered
awhile. The impression produced by the studied malice of the _Letters_,
and the epigrammatic suggestiveness which appeared to leave as much
unsaid as was said, was enormous, yet, strangely enough, they were
unable to check the growing influence of the school of satire whereof
Goldsmith was the chief founder, and from which the fashionable _jeux
d'esprit_, the sparkling _persiflage_ of the society _flâneurs_ of the
nineteenth century are the legitimate descendants.[20] The decade
1768-78, therefore--that decade when the plays of Goldsmith and
Sheridan were appearing,--witnessed the rise and the development of
that genial, humorous raillery, in prose and verse, of personal foibles
and of social abuses, of which the _Retaliation_ and the Beau Tibbs
papers are favourable examples. These were the distinguishing
characteristics of our satiric literature during the closing decade of
the eighteenth century until the horrors of the French Revolution, and
the sympathy with it which was apparently being aroused in England,
called political satire into requisition once more. Party feeling ran
high with regard to the principles enunciated by the so-called "friends
of freedom". The sentiments of the "Constitutional Tories" found
expression in the bitter, sardonic, vitriolic mockery visible in the
pages of the _Anti-Jacobin_,[21] which did more to check the progress of
nascent Radicalism and the movement in favour of political reform than
any other means employed. Chief-justice Mansfield's strictures and Lord
Braxfield's diatribes alike paled into insignificance beside these
deadly, scorching bombs of Juvenal-like vituperation, which have
remained unapproached in their specific line. As an example take
Ellis's _Ode to Jacobinism_, of which I quote two stanzas:--

     "Daughter of Hell, insatiate power!
      Destroyer of the human race,
      Whose iron scourge and maddening hour
      Exalt the bad, the good debase;
      When first to scourge the sons of earth,
      Thy sire his darling child designed,
      Gallia received the monstrous birth,
      Voltaire informed thine infant mind.
      Well-chosen nurse, his sophist lore,
      He bade thee many a year explore,
      He marked thy progress firm though slow,
      And statesmen, princes, leagued with their inveterate foe.
      Scared at thy frown terrific, fly
      The morals (antiquated brood),
      Domestic virtue, social joy,
      And faith that has for ages stood;
      Swift they disperse and with them go
      The friend sincere, the generous foe--
      Traitors to God, to man avowed,
      By thee now raised aloft, now crushed beneath the crowd."

Space only remains for a single word upon the satire of the nineteenth
century. In this category would be included the _Bæviad_ and the
_Mæviad_ by William Gifford (editor of the _Anti-Jacobin_), which,
though first printed in the closing years of the eighteenth century,
were issued in volume form in 1800. Written as they are in avowed
imitation of Juvenal, Persius, and Horace, they out-Juvenal Juvenal by
the violence of the language, besides descending to a depth of personal
scurrility as foreign to the nature of true satire as abuse is alien to
wit. They have long since been consigned to merited oblivion, though in
their day, from the useful and able work done by their author in other
fields of literature, they enjoyed no inconsiderable amount of fame.
Two or three lines from the _Bæviad_ will give a specimen of its

     "For mark, to what 'tis given, and then declare,
      Mean though I am, if it be worth my care.
      Is it not given to Este's unmeaning dash,
      To Topham's fustian, Reynold's flippant trash,
      To Andrews' doggerel where three wits combine,
      To Morton's catchword, Greathead's idiot line,
      And Holcroft's Shug-lane cant and Merry's Moorfields Whine?"[22]

The early years of the present century still felt the influence of the
sardonic ridicule which prevailed during the closing years of the
previous one, and the satirists who appeared during the first decades
of the former belonged to the robust or energetic order. Their names
and their works are well-nigh forgotten.

We now reach the last of the greater satirists that have adorned our
literature, one who is in many respects a worthy peer of Dryden, Swift,
and Pope. Lord Byron's fame as a satirist rests on three great works,
each of them illustrative of a distinct type of composition. Other
satires he has written, nay, the satiric quality is present more or
less in nearly all he produced; but _The Vision of Judgment_, _Beppo_,
and _Don Juan_ are his three masterpieces in this style of literature.
They are wonderful compositions in every sense of the word. The
sparkling wit, the ready raillery, the cutting irony, the biting
sarcasm, and the sardonic cynicism which characterize almost every line
of them are united to a brilliancy of imagination, a swiftness as well
as a felicity of thought, and an epigrammatic terseness of phrase which
even Byron himself has equalled nowhere else in his works. _The Vision
of Judgment_ is an example in the first instance of parody, and, in the
second, but not by any means so distinctly, of allegory. Its savage
ferocity of sarcasm crucified Southey upon the cross of scornful
contempt. Byron is not as good a metrist as a satirist, and the _Ottava
rima_ in his hands sometimes halts a little; still, the poem is a
notable example of a satiric parody written with such distinguished
success in a measure of great technical difficulty.

It is somewhat curious that all three of Byron's great satiric poems
should be written in the same measure. Yet so it is, for the poet,
having become enamoured of the metre after reading Frere's clever
satire, _Whistlecraft_, ever afterwards had a peculiar fondness for
it. Both _Beppo_ and _Don Juan_ are also excellent examples of the
metrical "satiric tale". The former, being the earlier satire of the
two, was Byron's first essay in this new type of satiric composition.
His success therein stimulated him to attempt another "tale" which in
some respects presents features that ally it to the mock-epic. _Beppo_
is a perfect storehouse of well-rounded satirical phrases that cleave
to the memory, such as "the deep damnation of his 'bah'" and the
description of the "budding miss",

     "So much alarmed that she is quite alarming,
      All giggle, blush, half pertness and half pout".

_Beppo_ leads up to _Don Juan_, and it is hard to say which is the
cleverer satire of the two. In both, the wit is so unforced and
natural, the fun so sparkling, the banter and the persiflage so bright
and scintillating, that they seem, as Sir Walter Scott said, to be the
natural outflow from the fountain of humour. Byron's earliest satire,
_English Bards and Scots Reviewers_, is a clever piece of work, but
compared with the great trio above-named is a production of his nonage.

Byron was succeeded by Praed, whose social pictures are instinct with
the most refined and polished raillery, with the true Attic salt of wit
united to a metrical deftness as graceful as it was artistic. During
Praed's lifetime, Lamb with his inimitable _Essays of Elia_, Southey,
Barham with the ever-popular _Ingoldsby Legends_, James and Horace
Smith with the _Rejected Addresses_, Disraeli, Leigh Hunt, Tom Hood,
and Landor had been winning laurels in various branches of social
satire which, consequent upon the influence of Byron and then of his
disciple, Praed, became the current mode. A favourable example of that
style is found in Leigh Hunt's _Feast of the Poets_ and in Edward
Fitz-Gerald's _Chivalry at a Discount_. Other writers of satire in the
earlier decades of the present century were Peacock, who in his novels
(_Crotchet Castle_, &c.) evolved an original type of satire based upon
the Athenian New Comedy. Miss Austen in her English novels and Miss
Edgeworth in her Irish tales employed satire to impeach certain crying
social abuses, as also did Dickens in _Oliver Twist_ and others of his
books. Douglas Jerrold's comedies and sketches are full of titbits of
gay and brilliant banter and biting irony. If _Sartor Resartus_ could
be regarded as a satire, as Dr. Garnett says, Carlyle would be the
first of satirists, with his thundering invective, grand rhetoric,
indignant scorn, grim humour, and satiric gloom in denouncing the shams
of human society and of human nature. An admirable American school of
satire was founded by Washington Irving, of which Judge Haliburton (Sam
Slick), Paulding, Holmes, Artemus Ward, and Dudley Warner are the chief

Since the third and fourth decades of our century, in other words,
since the epoch of the Reform Bill and the Chartist agitation, satire
has more and more tended to lose its acid and its venom, to slough the
dark sardonic sarcasm of past days and to don the light sportive garb
of the social humorist and epigrammist. Robustious bludgeoning has gone
out of fashion, and in its place we have the playful satiric wit,
sparkling as of well-drawn Moet or Clicquot, of Mortimer Collins, H.S.
Leigh, Arthur Locker and Frederick Locker-Lampson, W.S. Gilbert, Austin
Dobson, Bret Harte, F. Anstey, Dr. Walter C. Smith, and many other
graceful and delightful social satirists whose verses are household
words amongst us. From week to week also there appear in the pages of
that trenchant social censor, _Punch_, and the other high-class
comico-satiric journals, many pieces of genuine and witty social
satire. Every year the demand seems increasing, and yet the supply
shows no signs of running dry.

Political satire, in its metrical form, has had from time to time a
temporary revival of popularity in such compositions as James Russell
Lowell's inimitable _Biglow Papers_, as well as in more recent volumes,
of which Mr. Owen Seaman's verse is an example; while are not its prose
forms legion in the pages of our periodical press? It has, however, now
lost that vitriolic quality which made it so scorching and offensively
personal. The man who wrote nowadays as did Dryden, and Junius, and
Canning, or, in social satire, as did Peter Pindar and Byron, would be
forthwith ostracized from literary fellowship.

But what more need be said of an introductory character to these
selections that are now placed before the reader? English satire,
though perhaps less in evidence to-day as a separate department in
letters, is still as cardinal a quality as ever in the productions of
our leading authors. If satires are no longer in fashion, satire is
perennial as an attribute in literature, and we have every reason to
cherish it and welcome it as warmly as of old. The novels of Thackeray,
as I have already said, contain some of the most delicately incisive
shafts of satire that have been barbed by any writer of the present
century. "George Eliot", also, though in a less degree, has shown
herself a satirist of much power and pungency, while others of our
latter-day novelists manifest themselves as possessed of a faculty of
satire both virile and trenchant. It is one of the indispensable
qualities of a great writer's style, because its quarry is one of the
most widely diffused of existing things on the face of the globe. There
is no age without its folly, no epoch without its faults. So long,
therefore, as man and his works are imperfect, so long shall there be
existent among us abuses, social, political, professional, and
ecclesiastical, and so long, too, shall it be the province and the
privilege of those who feel themselves called upon to play the
difficult part of _censor morum_, to prick the bubbles of falsehood,
vanity, and vice with the shafts of ridicule and raillery.

[Footnote 1: _The English Humorists of the Eighteenth Century_.]

[Footnote 2: Cf. Lenient, _History of French Satire_.]

[Footnote 3: Thomson's _Ante-Augustan Latin Poetry_.]

[Footnote 4: Cf. Mackail; Paten, _Études sur la Poésie latine_.]

[Footnote 5: See Skeat's "Langland" in _Encyclop. Brit._]

[Footnote 6: See Arber's Reprints for 1868.]

[Footnote 7: Arber's Select Reprints.]

[Footnote 8: _Palladis Tamia: Wits Treasury_.]

[Footnote 9: This, of course, was Marston.]

[Footnote 10: From the Fifth Satire in _The Metamorphosis of
Pygmalion's Image and Certain Satyres_, by John Marston. 1598.]

[Footnote 11: _Pasquil's Madcappe: Thrown at the Corruption of these
Times_--1626. Breton, to be read at all, ought to be studied in the two
noble volumes edited by Dr. A.B. Grosart. From his edition I quote.]

[Footnote 12: _English Literature_, by Prof. Craik. Hannay's _Satires
and Satirists_.]

[Footnote 13: _Life of Dryden_, by Sir Walter Scott. Saintsbury's _Life
of Dryden_.]

[Footnote 14: Thackeray's _English Humorists_. Hannay's _Satires and

[Footnote 15: _Satire and Satirists_, by James Hannay. Lecture III.]

[Footnote 16: Dowden's _French Literature_.]

[Footnote 17: Minto's _Characteristics of English Poets_.]

[Footnote 18: Cf. Saintsbury's _Life of Dryden_.]

[Footnote 19: Cf. Gosse, _Eighteenth Century Literature_.]

[Footnote 20: Thackeray's _English Humorists_.]

[Footnote 21: _The Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin_--Carisbrooke Library,

[Footnote 22: _The Bæviad and the Mæviad_, by W. Gifford, Esq., 1800.]





    This opening satire constitutes the whole of the Eighth _Passus_ of
    _Piers Plowman's Vision_ and the First of Do-Wel. The "Dreamer"
    here sets off on a new pilgrimage in search of a person who has not
    appeared in the poem before--Do-Well. The following is the argument
    of the _Passus_.--"All Piers Plowman's inquiries after Do-Well are
    fruitless. Even the friars to whom he addresses himself give but a
    confused account; and weary with wandering about, the dreamer is
    again overtaken by slumber. Thought now appears to him, and
    recommends him to Wit, who describes to him the residence of
    Do-Well, Do-Bet, Do-Best, and enumerates their companions and

  Thus y-robed in russet · romed I aboute
  Al in a somer seson · for to seke Do-wel;
  And frayned[23] full ofte · of folk that I mette
  If any wight wiste · wher Do-wel was at inne;
  And what man he myghte be · of many man I asked.
  Was nevere wight, as I wente · that me wisse kouthe[24]
  Where this leode lenged,[25] · lasse ne moore.[26]
  Til it bifel on a Friday · two freres I mette
  Maisters of the Menours[27] · men of grete witte.
  I hailsed them hendely,[28] · as I hadde y-lerned.
  And preède them par charité, · er thei passed ferther,
  If thei knew any contree · or costes as thei wente,
  "Where that Do-wel dwelleth · dooth me to witene".
  For thei be men of this moolde · that moost wide walken,
  And knowen contrees and courtes, · and many kynnes places,
  Bothe princes paleises · and povere mennes cotes,[29]
  And Do-wel and Do-yvele · where thei dwelle bothe.
  "Amonges us" quod the Menours, · "that man is dwellynge,
  And evere hath as I hope, · and evere shal herafter."
  "_Contra_", quod I as a clerc, · and comsed to disputen,
  And seide hem soothly, · "_Septies in die cadit justus_".
  "Sevene sithes,[30] seeth the book · synneth the rightfulle;
  And who so synneth," I seide, · "dooth yvele, as me thynketh;
  And Do-wel and Do-yvele · mowe noght dwelle togideres.
  Ergo he nis noght alway · among you freres:
  He is outher while ellis where · to wisse the peple."
  "I shal seye thee, my sone" · seide the frere thanne,
  "How seven sithes the sadde man, · on a day synneth;
  By a forbisne"[31] quod the frere, · "I shal thee faire showe.
  Lat brynge a man in a boot, · amydde the brode watre;
  The wynd and the water · and the boot waggyng,
  Maketh the man many a tyme · to falle and to stonde;
  For stonde he never so stif, · he stumbleth if he meve,
  Ac yet is he saaf and sound, · and so hym bihoveth;
  For if he ne arise the rather, · and raughte to the steere,
  The wynd wolde with the water · the boot over throwe;
  And thanne were his lif lost, · thorough lackesse of hymselve[32].
  And thus it falleth," quod the frere, · "by folk here on erthe;
  The water is likned to the world · that wanyeth and wexeth;
  The goodes of this grounde arn like · to the grete wawes,
  That as wyndes and wedres · walketh aboute;
  The boot is likned to oure body · that brotel[33] is of kynde,
  That thorough the fend and the flesshe · and the frele worlde
  Synneth the sadde man · a day seven sithes.
  Ac[34] dedly synne doth he noght, · for Do-wel hym kepeth;
  And that is Charité the champion, · chief help ayein Synne;
  For he strengtheth men to stonde, · and steereth mannes soule,
  And though the body bowe · as boot dooth in the watre,
  Ay is thi soul saaf, · but if thou wole thiselve
  Do a deedly synne, · and drenche so thi soule,
  God wole suffre wel thi sleuthe[35] · if thiself liketh.
  For he yaf thee a yeres-gyve,[36] · to yeme[37] wel thiselve,
  And that is wit and free-wil, · to every wight a porcion,
  To fleynge foweles, · to fisshes and to beastes:
  Ac man hath moost thereof, · and moost is to blame,
  But if he werch wel therwith, · as Do-wel hym techeth."
  "I have no kynde knowyng,"[38] quod I, · "to conceyven alle your wordes:
  Ac if I may lyve and loke, · I shall go lerne bettre."
  "I bikenne thee Christ,"[39] quod he, · "that on cros deyde!"
  And I seide "the same · save you fro myschaunce,
  And gyve you grace on this grounde · goode men to worthe!"[40]
  And thus I wente wide wher · walkyng myn one,[41]
  By a wilderness, · and by a wodes side:
  Blisse of the briddes.[42] · Broughte me a-slepe,
  And under a lynde upon a launde[43] · lened I a stounde[44],
  To lythe the layes · the lovely foweles made,
  Murthe of hire mowthes · made me ther to slepe;
  The merveillouseste metels[45] · mette me[46] thanne
  That ever dremed wight · in worlde, as I wene.
  A muche man, as me thoughte · and like to myselve,
  Cam and called me · by my kynde name.
  "What artow," quod I tho, · "that thow my name knowest."
  "That woost wel," quod he, · "and no wight bettre."
  "Woot I what thou art?" · "Thought," seide he thanne;
  "I have sued[47] thee this seven yeer, · seye[48] thou me no rather."[49]
  "Artow Thought," quod I thoo, · "thow koudest me wisse,
  Where that Do-wel dwelleth, · and do me that to knowe."
  "Do-wel and Do-bet, · and Do-best the thridde," quod he,
  "Arn thre fair vertues, · and ben noght fer to fynde.
  Who so is trewe of his tunge, · and of his two handes,
  And thorugh his labour or thorugh his land, · his liflode wynneth,[50]
  And is trusty of his tailende, · taketh but his owene,
  And is noght dronklewe[51] ne dedeynous,[52] · Do-wel hym folweth.
  Do-bet dooth ryght thus; · ac he dooth much more;
  He is as lowe as a lomb, · and lovelich of speche,
  And helpeth alle men · after that hem nedeth.
  The bagges and the bigirdles, · he hath to-broke hem alle
  That the Erl Avarous · heeld and hise heires.
  And thus with Mammonaes moneie · he hath maad hym frendes,
  And is ronne to religion, · and hath rendred the Bible,
  And precheth to the peple · Seint Poules wordes:
  _Libenter suffertis insipientes, cum sitis ipsi sapientes_:
  'And suffreth the unwise' · with you for to libbe
  And with glad will dooth hem good · and so God you hoteth.
  Do-best is above bothe, · and bereth a bisshopes crosse,
  Is hoked on that oon ende · to halie men fro helle;
  A pik is on that potente,[53] · to putte a-down the wikked
  That waiten any wikkednesse · Do-wel to tene.[54]
  And Do-wel and Do-bet · amonges hem han ordeyned,
  To crowne oon to be kyng · to rulen hem bothe;
  That if Do-wel or Do-bet · dide ayein Do-best,
  Thanne shal the kyng come · and casten hem in irens,
  And but if Do-best bede[55] for hem, · thei to be there for evere.
  Thus Do-wel and Do-bet, · and Do-best the thridde,
  Crouned oon to the kyng · to kepen hem alle,
  And to rule the reme · by hire thre wittes,
  And noon oother wise, · but as thei thre assented."
  I thonked Thoght tho, · that he me thus taughte.
  "Ac yet savoreth me noght thi seying. · I coveit to lerne
  How Do-wel, Do-bet, and Do-best · doon among the peple."
  "But Wit konne wisse thee," quod Thoght, · "Where tho thre dwelle,
  Ellis woot I noon that kan · that now is alyve."
  Thoght and I thus · thre daies we yeden,[56]
  Disputyng upon Do-wel · day after oother;
  And er we were war, · with Wit gonne we mete.[57]
  He was long and lene, · lik to noon other;
  Was no pride on his apparaille · ne poverte neither;
  Sad of his semblaunt, · and of softe chere,
  I dorste meve no matere · to maken hym to jangle,
  But as I bad Thoght thoo · be mene bitwene,
  And pute forth som purpos · to preven his wittes,
  What was Do-wel fro Do-bet, · and Do-best from hem bothe.
  Thanne Thoght in that tyme · seide these wordes:
  "Where Do-wel, Do-bet, · and Do-best ben in londe,
  Here is Wil wolde wite, · if Wit koude teche him;
  And whether he be man or woman · this man fayn wolde aspie,
  And werchen[58] as thei thre wolde, · thus is his entente"

[Footnote 23: questioned.]

[Footnote 24: could tell me.]

[Footnote 25: Where this man dwelt.]

[Footnote 26: mean or gentle.]

[Footnote 27: of the Minorite order.]

[Footnote 28: I saluted them courteously.]

[Footnote 29: and poor men's cots.]

[Footnote 30: times.]

[Footnote 31: example.]

[Footnote 32: through his own negligence.]

[Footnote 33: weak, unstable.]

[Footnote 34: But.]

[Footnote 35: sloth.]

[Footnote 36: a year's-gift.]

[Footnote 37: to rule, guide, govern.]

[Footnote 38: mother-wit.]

[Footnote 39: I commit thee to Christ.]

[Footnote 40: to become.]

[Footnote 41: by myself.]

[Footnote 42: The charm of the birds.]

[Footnote 43: under a linden-tree on a plain.]

[Footnote 44: a short time.]

[Footnote 45: a most wonderful dream.]

[Footnote 46: I dreamed.]

[Footnote 47: followed.]

[Footnote 48: sawest.]

[Footnote 49: sooner.]

[Footnote 50: gains his livelihood.]

[Footnote 51: drunken.]

[Footnote 52: disdainful.]

[Footnote 53: club staff.]

[Footnote 54: to injure.]

[Footnote 55: pray.]

[Footnote 56: journeyed.]

[Footnote 57: we met Wit.]

[Footnote 58: work.]





    The following complete portraits of two of the characters in
    Chaucer's matchless picture of the Canterbury Pilgrims are taken
    from the Prologue to the _Canterbury Tales_.


  A monk ther was, a fayre for the maistríe,[59]
  An outrider, that loved venerie;[60]
  A manly man, to ben an abbot able.
  Ful many a deintè[61] hors hadde he in stable:
  And whan he rode, men might his bridel here
  Gingeling in a whistling wind as clere,
  And eke as loude, as doth the chapell belle,
  Ther as this lord was keeper of the celle.
    The reule of Seint Maure and of Seint Beneit,
  Because that it was olde and somdele streit,
  This ilkè monk lette oldè thingès pace,[62]
  And held after the newè world the space.
  He yaf not of the text a pulled hen,[63]
  That saith, that hunters ben not holy men;
  Ne that a monk, whan he is reckèles,[64]
  Is like to a fish that is waterles;
  That is to say, a monk out of his cloistre.
  This ilkè text held he not worth an oistre.
  And I say his opinion was good.
  What? shulde he studie, and make himselven wood[65]
  Upon a book in cloistre alway to pore,
  Or swinken[66] with his hondès, and laboùre,
  As Austin bit?[67] how shal the world be served?
  Let Austin have his swink to him reserved.
  Therfore he was a prickasoure[68] a right:
  Greihoundes he hadde as swift as foul of flight:
  Of pricking[69] and of hunting for the hare
  Was all his lust, for no cost wolde he spare.
    I saw his sleves purfiled[70] at the hond
  With gris,[71] and that the finest of the lond.
  And for to fasten his hood under his chinne,
  He hadde of gold ywrought a curious pinne;
  A love-knotte in the greter end ther was.
  His hed was balled,[72] and shone as any glas,
  And eke his face, as it hadde ben anoint.
  He was a lord ful fat and in good point.
  His eyen stepe,[73] and rolling in his hed,
  That stemed as a forneis of led.[74]
  His bootès souple, his hors in gret estat:
  Now certainly he was a fayre prelát.
  He was not pale as a forpined[75] gost.
  A fat swan loved he best of any rost,
  His palfrey was as broune as is a bery.


  A Frere[76] ther was, a wanton and a mery,
  A Limitour,[77] a ful solempnè man.
  In all the ordres foure is none that can
  So muche of daliance and fayre langáge.
  He hadde ymade ful many a mariáge
  Of yongè wimmen, at his owen cost.
  Until[78] his ordre he was a noble post.
  Ful wel beloved, and familier was he
  With frankeleins[79] over all in his contrèe,
  And eke with worthy wimmen of the toun:
  For he had power of confessioun,
  As saide himselfè, more than a curát,
  For of his ordre he was a licenciat.
  Ful swetely herde he confession,
  And plesant was his absolution.
  He was an esy man to give penaunce,
  Ther as he wiste[80] to han[81] a good pitaunce:
  For unto a poure[82] ordre for to give
  Is signè that a man is wel yshrive.[83]
  For if he gaf, he dorstè make avaunt,[84]
  He wistè that a man was repentaunt.
  For many a man so hard is of his herte,
  He may not wepe although him sorè smerte.
  Therfore in stede of weping and praieres,
  Men mote[85] give silver to the pourè freres.
    His tippet was ay farsed[86] ful of knives,
  And pinnès, for to given fayrè wives.
  And certainly he hadde a mery note.
  Wel coude he singe and plaien on a rote.[87]
  Of yeddinges[88] he bar utterly the pris.
  His nekke was white as the flour de lis.
  Therto he strong was as a champioun,
  And knew wel the tavérnes in every toun,
  And every hosteler and tappestere,
  Better than a lazar or a beggestere,
  For unto swiche a worthy man as he
  Accordeth not, as by his facultè,
  To haven[89] with sike lazars acquaintànce.
  It is not honest, it may not avànce,[90]
  As for to delen with no swiche pouràille,[91]
  But all with riche, and sellers of vitàille.
  And over all, ther as profit shuld arise,
  Curteis he was, and lowly of servise.
  Ther nas no man no wher so vertuous.
  He was the beste begger in his hous:
  [And gave a certain fermè[92] for the grant,
  Non of his bretheren came in his haunt.]
  For though a widewe haddè but a shoo,
  (So plesant was his _in principio_)
  Yet wold he have a ferthing or[93] he went.
  His pourchas was wel better than his rent.[94]
  And rage he coude as it hadde ben a whelp,
  In lovèdayes,[95] ther coude he mochel help.
  For ther he was nat like a cloisterere,
  With thredbare cope, as is a poure scolere,
  But he was like a maister or a pope.
  Of double worsted was his semicope,[96]
  That round was as a belle out of the presse.
  Somwhat he lisped, for his wantonnesse,
  To make his English swete upon his tonge;
  And in his harping, whan that he hadde songe,
  His eyen twinkeled in his hed aright,
  As don the sterrès in a frosty night.
  This worthy limitour was cleped Hubèrd.

[Footnote 59: a fair one for the mastership.]

[Footnote 60: hunting.]

[Footnote 61: dainty.]

[Footnote 62: pass.]

[Footnote 63: did not care a plucked hen for the text.]

[Footnote 64: careless; removed from the restraints of his order and

[Footnote 65: mad.]

[Footnote 66: toil.]

[Footnote 67: biddeth.]

[Footnote 68: hard rider.]

[Footnote 69: spurring.]

[Footnote 70: wrought on the edge.]

[Footnote 71: a fine kind of fur.]

[Footnote 72: bald.]

[Footnote 73: bright.]

[Footnote 74: Shone like a furnace under a cauldron.]

[Footnote 75: tormented.]

[Footnote 76: Friar.]

[Footnote 77: A friar with a licence to beg within certain limits.]

[Footnote 78: Unto.]

[Footnote 79: country gentlemen.]

[Footnote 80: knew.]

[Footnote 81: have.]

[Footnote 82: poor.]

[Footnote 83: shriven.]

[Footnote 84: durst make a boast.]

[Footnote 85: must.]

[Footnote 86: stuffed.]

[Footnote 87: a stringed instrument.]

[Footnote 88: story telling.]

[Footnote 89: have.]

[Footnote 90: profit.]

[Footnote 91: poor people.]

[Footnote 92: farm. This couplet only appears in the Hengwrt MS. As Mr.
Pollard says, it is probably Chaucer's, but may have been omitted by
him as it interrupts the sentence. Cf. _Globe_ Chaucer.]

[Footnote 93: ere.]

[Footnote 94: The proceeds of his begging exceeded his fixed income.]

[Footnote 95: Days appointed for the amicable settlement of

[Footnote 96: half cloak.]




    This is an admirable picture of London life early in the fifteenth
    century. The poem first appeared among Lydgate's fugitive pieces,
    and has been preserved in the Harleian MSS.

  To London once my steps I bent,
  Where truth in no wise should be faint;
  To Westminster-ward I forthwith went,
  To a man of Law to make complaint.
  I said, "For Mary's love, that holy saint,
  Pity the poor that would proceed!"[97]
  But for lack of money, I could not speed.

  And, as I thrust the press among,
  By froward chance my hood was gone;
  Yet for all that I stayed not long
  Till to the King's Bench I was come.
  Before the Judge I kneeled anon
  And prayed him for God's sake take heed.
  But for lack of money, I might not speed.

  Beneath them sat clerks a great rout,[98]
  Which fast did write by one assent;
  There stood up one and cried about
  "Richard, Robert, and John of Kent!"
  I wist not well what this man meant,
  He cried so thickly there indeed.
  But he that lacked money might not speed.

  To the Common Pleas I yode tho,[99]
  There sat one with a silken hood:
  I 'gan him reverence for to do,
  And told my case as well as I could;
  How my goods were defrauded me by falsehood;
  I got not a mum of his mouth for my meed,[100]
  And for lack of money I might not speed.

  Unto the Rolls I gat me from thence,
  Before the clerks of the Chancery;
  Where many I found earning of pence;
  But none at all once regarded me.
  I gave them my plaint upon my knee;
  They liked it well when they had it read;
  But, lacking money, I could not be sped.

  In Westminster Hall I found out one,
  Which went in a long gown of ray;[101]
  I crouched and knelt before him; anon,
  For Mary's love, for help I him pray.
  "I wot not what thou mean'st", 'gan he say;
  To get me thence he did me bid,
  For lack of money I could not speed.

  Within this Hall, neither rich nor yet poor
  Would do for me aught although I should die;
  Which seing, I gat me out of the door;
  Where Flemings began on me for to cry,--
  "Master, what will you copen[102] or buy?
  Fine felt hats, or spectacles to read?
  Lay down your silver, and here you may speed."

  To Westminster Gate I presently went,
  When the sun was at high prime;
  Cooks to me they took good intent,[103]
  And proffered me bread, with ale and wine,
  Ribs of beef, both fat and full fine;
  A fairé cloth they 'gan for to spread,
  But, wanting money, I might not then speed.

  Then unto London I did me hie,
  Of all the land it beareth the prize;
  "Hot peascodes!" one began to cry;
  "Strawberries ripe!" and "Cherries in the rise!"[104]
  One bade me come near and buy some spice;
  Pepper and saffrone they 'gan me bede;[105]
  But, for lack of money, I might not speed.

  Then to the Cheap I 'gan me drawn,[106]
  Where much people I saw for to stand;
  One offered me velvet, silk, and lawn;
  Another he taketh me by the hand,
  "Here is Paris thread, the finest in the land";
  I never was used to such things indeed;
  And, wanting money, I might not speed.

  Then went I forth by London stone,
  Throughout all the Canwick Street;
  Drapers much cloth me offered anon;
  Then comes me one cried, "Hot sheep's feet!"
  One cried, "Mackarel!" "Rushes green!" another 'gan greet;[107]
  One bade me buy a hood to cover my head;
  But for want of money I might not be sped.

  Then I hied me into East Cheap:
  One cries "Ribs of beef and many a pie!"
  Pewter pots they clattered on a heap;
  There was harpé, pipe, and minstrelsy:
  "Yea, by cock!" "Nay, by cock!" some began cry;
  Some sung of "Jenkin and Julian" for their meed;
  But, for lack of money, I might not speed.

  Then into Cornhill anon I yode
  Where there was much stolen gear among;
  I saw where hung my owné hood,
  That I had lost among the throng:
  To buy my own hood I thought it wrong;
  I knew it as well as I did my creed;
  But, for lack of money, I could not speed.

  The Taverner took me by the sleeve;
  "Sir," saith he, "will you our wine assay?"
  I answered, "That cannot much me grieve;
  A penny can do no more than it may."
  I drank a pint, and for it did pay;
  Yet, sore a-hungered from thence I yede;
  And, wanting money, I could not speed.

  Then hied I me to Billings-gate,
  And one cried, "Ho! go we hence!"
  I prayed a bargeman, for God's sake,
  That he would spare me my expense.
  "Thou 'scap'st not here," quoth he, "under twopence;
  I list not yet bestow any almsdeed."
  Thus, lacking money, I could not speed.

  Then I conveyed me into Kent;
  For of the law would I meddle no more.
  Because no man to me took intent,
  I dight[108] me to do as I did before.
  Now Jesus that in Bethlehem was bore[109],
  Save London and send true lawyers their meed!
  For whoso wants money with them shall not speed.

[Footnote 97: go to law.]

[Footnote 98: crowd.]

[Footnote 99: went then.]

[Footnote 100: reward.]

[Footnote 101: striped stuff.]

[Footnote 102: exchange.]

[Footnote 103: notice.]

[Footnote 104: on the bough.]

[Footnote 105: offer.]

[Footnote 106: approach.]

[Footnote 107: call.]

[Footnote 108: set.]

[Footnote 109: born.]




    One of Dunbar's most telling satires, as well as one of the most
    powerful in the language.


  Of Februar the fiftene nicht
  Full lang before the dayis licht
  I lay intill a trance
  And then I saw baith Heaven and Hell
  Me thocht, amang the fiendis fell
  Mahoun gart cry ane dance
  Of shrews that were never shriven,[110]
  Agains the feast of Fastern's even,[111]
    To mak their observance.
  He bad gallants gae graith a gyis,[112]
  And cast up gamountis[113] in the skies,
    As varlets do in France.


  Helie harlots on hawtane wise,[114]
  Come in with mony sundry guise,
    But yet leuch never Mahoun,
  While priests come in with bare shaven necks;
  Then all the fiends leuch, and made gecks,
    Black-Belly and Bawsy Brown.[115]


  Let see, quoth he, now wha begins:
  With that the foul Seven Deadly Sins
    Begoud to leap at anis.
  And first of all in Dance was Pride,
  With hair wyld back, and bonnet on side,
    Like to make vaistie wanis;[116]
  And round about him, as a wheel,
  Hang all in rumples to the heel
    His kethat for the nanis:[117]
  Mony proud trumpour[118] with him trippit;
  Through scalding fire, aye as they skippit
    They girned with hideous granis.[119]


  Then Ire came in with sturt and strife;
  His hand was aye upon his knife,
    He brandished like a beir:[120]
  Boasters, braggars, and bargainers,[121]
  After him passit in to pairs,
    All bodin in feir of weir;[122]
  In jacks, and scryppis, and bonnets of steel,
  Their legs were chainit to the heel,[123]
    Frawart was their affeir:[124]
  Some upon other with brands beft,[125]
  Some jaggit others to the heft,
    With knives that sharp could shear.


  Next in the Dance followit Envy,
  Filled full of feud and felony,
    Hid malice and despite:
  For privy hatred that traitor tremlit;
  Him followit mony freik dissemlit,[126]
    With fenyeit wordis quhyte:[127]
  And flatterers in to men's faces;
  And backbiters in secret places,
    To lie that had delight;
  And rownaris of false lesings,[128]
  Alace! that courts of noble kings
    Of them can never be quit.


  Next him in Dance came Covetyce,
  Root of all evil, and ground of vice,
    That never could be content:
  Catives, wretches, and ockeraris,[129]
  Hudpikes,[130] hoarders, gatheraris,
    All with that warlock went:
  Out of their throats they shot on other
  Het, molten gold, me thocht, a futher[131]
    As fire-flaucht maist fervent;
  Aye as they toomit them of shot,
  Fiends filled them new up to the throat
    With gold of all kind prent.[132]


  Syne Sweirness, at the second bidding,
  Came like a sow out of a midding,
    Full sleepy was his grunyie:[133]
  Mony swear bumbard belly huddroun,[134]
  Mony slut, daw, and sleepy duddroun,
    Him servit aye with sonnyie;[135]
  He drew them furth intill a chain,
  And Belial with a bridle rein
    Ever lashed them on the lunyie:[136]
  In Daunce they were so slaw of feet,
  They gave them in the fire a heat,
    And made them quicker of cunyie.[137]


  Then Lechery, that laithly corpse,
  Came berand like ane baggit horse,[138]
    And Idleness did him lead;
  There was with him ane ugly sort,
  And mony stinking foul tramort,[139]
    That had in sin been dead:
  When they were enterit in the Dance,
  They were full strange of countenance,
    Like torches burning red.


  Then the foul monster, Gluttony,
  Of wame insatiable and greedy,
    To Dance he did him dress:
  Him followit mony foul drunkart,
  With can and collop, cup and quart,
    In surfit and excess;
  Full mony a waistless wally-drag,
  With wames unweildable, did furth wag,
    In creesh[140] that did incress:
  Drink! aye they cried, with mony a gaip,
  The fiends gave them het lead to laip,
    Their leveray was na less.[141]


  Nae minstrels played to them but doubt,[142]
  For gleemen there were halden out,
    Be day, and eke by nicht;
  Except a minstrel that slew a man,
  So to his heritage he wan,
    And enterit by brieve of richt.[143]
  Then cried Mahoun for a Hieland Padyane:[144]
  Syne ran a fiend to fetch Makfadyane,
    Far northwast in a neuck;
  Be he the coronach[145] had done shout,
  Ersche men so gatherit him about,
    In hell great room they took:
  Thae tarmigants, with tag and tatter,
  Full loud in Ersche begoud to clatter,
  And roup like raven and rook.[146]
  The Devil sae deaved[147] was with their yell;
  That in the deepest pot of hell
  He smorit[148] them with smoke!

[Footnote 110: Mahoun, or the devil, proclaimed a dance of sinners that
had not received absolution.]

[Footnote 111: The evening before Lent, usually a festival at the
Scottish court.]

[Footnote 112: go prepare a show in character.]

[Footnote 113: gambols.]

[Footnote 114: Holy harlots (hypocrites), in a haughty manner. The term
harlot was applied indiscriminately to both sexes.]

[Footnote 115: Names of spirits, like Robin Goodfellow in England, and
Brownie in Scotland.]

[Footnote 116: Pride, with hair artfully put back, and bonnet on side:
"vaistie wanis" is now unintelligible; some interpret the phrase as
meaning "wasteful wants", but this seems improbable, considering the
locality or scene of the poem.]

[Footnote 117: His cassock for the nonce or occasion.]

[Footnote 118: a cheat or impostor.]

[Footnote 119: groans.]

[Footnote 120: bear.]

[Footnote 121: Boasters, braggarts, and bullies.]

[Footnote 122: Arrayed in the accoutrements of war.]

[Footnote 123: In coats of armour, and covered with iron network to the

[Footnote 124: Wild was their aspect.]

[Footnote 125: brands beat.]

[Footnote 126: many strong dissemblers.]

[Footnote 127: With feigned words fair or white.]

[Footnote 128: spreaders of false reports.]

[Footnote 129: usurers.]

[Footnote 130: Misers.]

[Footnote 131: a great quantity.]

[Footnote 132: gold of every coinage.]

[Footnote 133: his grunt.]

[Footnote 134: Many a lazy glutton.]

[Footnote 135: served with care.]

[Footnote 136: loins.]

[Footnote 137: quicker of apprehension.]

[Footnote 138: neighing like an entire horse.]

[Footnote 139: corpse.]

[Footnote 140: grease.]

[Footnote 141: Their reward, or their desire not diminished.]

[Footnote 142: No minstrels without doubt--a compliment to the poetical
profession: there were no gleemen or minstrels in the infernal

[Footnote 143: letter of right.]

[Footnote 144: Pageant.]

[Footnote 145: By the time he had done shouting the coronach or cry of
help, the Highlanders speaking Erse or Gaelic gathered about him.]

[Footnote 146: croaked like ravens and rooks.]

[Footnote 147: deafened.]

[Footnote 148: smothered.]




    The specimen of Lyndsay cited below--this satire on long trains--is
    by no means the most favourable that could be desired, but it is
    the only one that lent itself readily to quotation. The archaic
    spelling is slightly modernized.

  Schir! though your Grace has put gret order
  Baith in the Hieland and the Border
  Yet mak I supplicatioun
  Till have some reformatioun
  Of ane small falt, whilk is nocht treason
  Though it be contrarie to reason.
  Because the matter been so vile,
  It may nocht have ane ornate style;
  Wherefore I pray your Excellence
  To hear me with great patience:
  Of stinking weedis maculate
  No man nay mak ane rose-chaplet.
  Sovereign, I mean of thir syde tails,
  Whilk through the dust and dubis trails
  Three quarters lang behind their heels,
  Express again' all commonweals.
  Though bishops, in their pontificals,
  Have men for to bear up their tails,
  For dignity of their office;
  Richt so ane queen or ane empress;
  Howbeit they use sic gravity,
  Conformand to their majesty,
  Though their robe-royals be upborne,
  I think it is ane very scorn,
  That every lady of the land
  Should have her tail so syde trailand;
  Howbeit they been of high estate,
  The queen they should nocht counterfeit.

  Wherever they may go it may be seen
  How kirk and causay they soop[149] clean.
  The images into the kirk
  May think of their syde taillis irk;[150]
  For when the weather been maist fair,
  The dust flies highest in the air,
  And all their faces does begarie.
  Gif they could speak, they wald them warie...[151]
  But I have maist into despite
  Poor claggocks[152] clad in raploch-white,
  Whilk has scant twa merks for their fees,
  Will have twa ells beneath their knees.
  Kittock that cleckit[153] was yestreen,
  The morn, will counterfeit the queen:
  And Moorland Meg, that milked the yowes,
  Claggit with clay aboon the hows,[154]
  In barn nor byre she will not bide,
  Without her kirtle tail be syde.
  In burghs, wanton burgess wives
  Wha may have sydest tailis strives,
  Weel borderéd with velvet fine,
  But followand them it is ane pyne:
  In summer, when the streetis dries,
  They raise the dust aboon the skies;
  Nane may gae near them at their ease,
  Without they cover mouth and neese...
  I think maist pane after ane rain,
  To see them tuckit up again;
  Then when they step furth through the street,
  Their fauldings flaps about their feet;
  They waste mair claith, within few years,
  Nor wald cleid fifty score of freirs...
  Of tails I will no more indite,
  For dread some duddron[155] me despite:
  Notwithstanding, I will conclude,
  That of syde tails can come nae gude,
  Sider nor may their ankles hide,
  The remanent proceeds of pride,
  And pride proceeds of the devil,
  Thus alway they proceed of evil.

  Ane other fault, sir, may be seen--
  They hide their face all but the een;
  When gentlemen bid them gude-day,
  Without reverence they slide away...
  Without their faults be soon amended,
  My flyting,[156] sir, shall never be ended;
  But wald your Grace my counsel tak,
  Ane proclamation ye should mak,
  Baith through the land and burrowstouns,[157]
  To shaw their face and cut their gowns.

  Women will say this is nae bourds,[158]
  To write sic vile and filthy words.
  But wald they clenge[159] their filthy tails
  Whilk over the mires and middens trails,
  Then should my writing clengit be;
  None other mends they get of me.

[Footnote 149: sweep.]

[Footnote 150: be annoyed.]

[Footnote 151: curse or cry out.]

[Footnote 152: draggle-tails.]

[Footnote 153: hatched.]

[Footnote 154: houghs.]

[Footnote 155: slut.]

[Footnote 156: scolding, brawling.]

[Footnote 157: burgh towns.]

[Footnote 158: scoffs.]

[Footnote 159: cleanse.]




    This satire levels a rebuke at the Simoniacal traffic in livings,
    then openly practised by public advertisement affixed to the door
    of St. Paul's. "Si Quis" (if anyone) was the first word of these
    advertisements. Dekker, in the _Gull's Hornbook_, speaks of the
    "Siquis door of Paules", and in Wroth's _Epigrams_ (1620) we read,
    "A Merry Greek set up a _Siquis_ late". This satire forms the Fifth
    of the Second Book of the _Virgidemiarum_.

  Saw'st thou ever Siquis patcht on Pauls Church door
  To seek some vacant vicarage before?
  Who wants a churchman that can service say,
  Read fast and fair his monthly homily?
  And wed and bury and make Christen-souls?[160]
  Come to the left-side alley of St. Paules.
  Thou servile fool, why could'st thou not repair
  To buy a benefice at Steeple-Fair?
  There moughtest thou, for but a slendid price,
  Advowson thee with some fat benefice:
  Or if thee list not wait for dead mens shoon,
  Nor pray each morn the incumbents days were doone:
  A thousand patrons thither ready bring,
  Their new-fall'n[161] churches, to the chaffering;
  Stake three years stipend: no man asketh more.
  Go, take possession of the Church porch door,
  And ring thy bells; luck stroken in thy fist
  The parsonage is thine, or ere thou wist.
  Saint Fool's of Gotam[162] mought thy parish be
  For this thy base and servile Simony.

[Footnote 160: baptize.]

[Footnote 161: newly fallen in, through the death of the incumbent.]

[Footnote 162: Referring to Andrew Borde's book, _The Merry Tales of
the Mad Men of Gotham_.]


    This satire forms the Sixth of Book II. of the _Virgidemiarum_, and
    is regarded as one of Bishop Hall's best. See the _Return from
    Parnassus_ and Parrot's _Springes for Woodcocks_ (1613) for
    analogous references to those occurring in this piece.

  A gentle squire would gladly entertain
  Into his house some trencher chapelain;
  Some willing man that might instruct his sons,
  And that would stand to good conditions.
  First, that he lie upon the truckle-bed
  Whiles his young master lieth o'er his head.
  Second that he do on no default
  Ever presume to sit above the salt.
  Third that he never change his trencher twice.
  Fourth that he use all common courtesies:
  Sit bare at meals and one half rise and wait.
  Last, that he never his young master beat,
  But he must ask his mother to define,
  How many jerks she would his breech should line.
  All these observed, he could contented be,
  To give five marks and winter livery.


    This satire constitutes Satire Seven of Book III. The phrase of
    dining with Duke Humphrey, which is still occasionally heard,
    originated in the following manner:--In the body of old St. Paul's
    was a huge and conspicuous monument of Sir John Beauchamp, buried
    in 1358, son of Guy, and brother of Thomas, Earl of Warwick. This
    by vulgar mistake was called the tomb of Humphrey, Duke of
    Gloucester, who was really buried at St. Alban's. The middle aisle
    of St. Paul's was therefore called "The Duke's Gallery". In
    Dekker's _Dead Terme_ we have the phrase used and a full
    explanation of it given; also in Sam Speed's _Legend of His Grace
    Humphrey, Duke of St. Paul's Cathedral Walk_ (1674).

  See'st thou how gaily my young master goes,
  Vaunting himself upon his rising toes;
  And pranks his hand upon his dagger's side;
  And picks his glutted teeth since late noon-tide?
  'Tis Ruffio: Trow'st thou where he dined to-day?
  In sooth I saw him sit with Duke Humphrey.
  Many good welcomes, and much gratis cheer,
  Keeps he for every straggling cavalier;
  An open house, haunted with great resort;
  Long service mixt with musical disport.
  Many fair younker with a feathered crest,
  Chooses much rather be his shot-free guest,
  To fare so freely with so little cost,
  Than stake his twelvepence to a meaner host.
  Hadst thou not told me, I should surely say
  He touched no meat of all this livelong day;
  For sure methought, yet that was but a guess,
  His eyes seemed sunk for very hollowness,
  But could he have--as I did it mistake--
  So little in his purse, so much upon his back?
  So nothing in his maw? yet seemeth by his belt
  That his gaunt gut no too much stuffing felt.
  See'st thou how side[163] it hangs beneath his hip?
  Hunger and heavy iron makes girdles slip.
  Yet for all that, how stiffly struts he by,
  All trapped in the new-found bravery.
  The nuns of new-won Calais his bonnet lent,
  In lieu of their so kind a conquerment.
  What needed he fetch that from farthest Spain,
  His grandame could have lent with lesser pain?
  Though he perhaps ne'er passed the English shore,
  Yet fain would counted be a conqueror.
  His hair, French-like, stares on his frighted head,
  One lock[164] Amazon-like dishevelled,
  As if he meant to wear a native cord,
  If chance his fates should him that bane afford.
  All British bare upon the bristled skin,
  Close notched is his beard, both lip and chin;
  His linen collar labyrinthian set,
  Whose thousand double turnings never met:
  His sleeves half hid with elbow pinionings,
  As if he meant to fly with linen wings.
  But when I look, and cast mine eyes below,
  What monster meets mine eyes in human show?
  So slender waist with such an abbot's loin,
  Did never sober nature sure conjoin.
  Lik'st a strawn scarecrow in a new-sown field,
  Reared on some stick, the tender corn to shield,
  Or, if that semblance suit not every deal,
  Like a broad shake-fork with a slender steel.
  Despised nature suit them once aright,
  Their body to their coat both now disdight.
  Their body to their clothes might shapen be,
  That will their clothës shape to their bodie.
  Meanwhile I wonder at so proud a back,
  Whiles the empty guts loud rumblen for long lack.

[Footnote 163: long.]

[Footnote 164: the love-locks which were so condemned by the Puritan
Prynne. Cf. Lyly's _Midas_ and Sir John Davies' Epigram 22, _In




    This satire was discovered in a "Common-place Book" belonging to
    Chapman, preserved among the Ashmole MSS. in the Bodleian Library,

  Great, learned, witty Ben, be pleased to light
  The world with that three-forked fire; nor fright
  All us, thy sublearned, with luciferous boast
  That thou art most great, most learn'd, witty most
  Of all the kingdom, nay of all the earth;
  As being a thing betwixt a human birth
  And an infernal; no humanity
  Of the divine soul shewing man in thee.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Though thy play genius hang his broken wings
  Full of sick feathers, and with forced things,
  Imp thy scenes, labour'd and unnatural,
  And nothing good comes with thy thrice-vex'd call,
  Comest thou not yet, nor yet? O no, nor yet;
  Yet are thy learn'd admirers so deep set
  In thy preferment above all that cite
  The sun in challenge for the heat and light
  Of heaven's influences which of you two knew
  And have most power in them; Great Ben, 'tis you.
  Examine him, some truly-judging spirit,
  That pride nor fortune hath to blind his merit,
  He match'd with all book-fires, he ever read
  His dusk poor candle-rents; his own fat head
  With all the learn'd world's, Alexander's flame
  That Cæsar's conquest cow'd, and stript his fame,
  He shames not to give reckoning in with his;
  As if the king pardoning his petulancies
  Should pay his huge loss too in such a score
  As all earth's learned fires he gather'd for.
  What think'st thou, just friend? equall'd not this pride
  All yet that ever Hell or Heaven defied?
  And yet for all this, this club will inflict
  His faultful pain, and him enough convict
  He only reading show'd; learning, nor wit;
  Only Dame Gilian's fire his desk will fit.
  But for his shift by fire to save the loss
  Of his vast learning, this may prove it gross:
  True Muses ever vent breaths mixt with fire
  Which, form'd in numbers, they in flames expire
  Not only flames kindled with their own bless'd breath
  That gave th' unborn life, and eternize death.
  Great Ben, I know that this is in thy hand
  And how thou fix'd in heaven's fix'd star dost stand
  In all men's admirations and command;
  For all that can be scribbled 'gainst the sorter
  Of thy dead repercussions and reporter.
  The kingdom yields not such another man;
  Wonder of men he is; the player can
  And bookseller prove true, if they could know
  Only one drop, that drives in such a flow.
  Are they not learned beasts, the better far
  Their drossy exhalations a star
  Their brainless admirations may render;
  For learning in the wise sort is but lender
  Of men's prime notion's doctrine; their own way
  Of all skills' perceptible forms a key
  Forging to wealth, and honour-soothed sense,
  Never exploring truth or consequence,
  Informing any virtue or good life;
  And therefore Player, Bookseller, or Wife
  Of either, (needing no such curious key)
  All men and things, may know their own rude way.
  Imagination and our appetite
  Forming our speech no easier than they light
  All letterless companions; t' all they know
  Here or hereafter that like earth's sons plough
  All under-worlds and ever downwards grow,
  Nor let your learning think, egregious Ben,
  These letterless companions are not men
  With all the arts and sciences indued,
  If of man's true and worthiest knowledge rude,
  Which is to know and be one complete man,
  And that not all the swelling ocean
  Of arts and sciences, can pour both in:
  If that brave skill then when thou didst begin
  To study letters, thy great wit had plied,
  Freely and only thy disease of pride
  In vulgar praise had never bound thy [hide].




    From Donne's _Satires_, No. IV.; first published in the quarto
    edition of the "Poems" in 1633. See Dr. Grosart's interesting Essay
    on the Life and Writings of Donne, prefixed to Vol. II. of that
    scholar's excellent edition.

  Well; I may now receive and die. My sin
  Indeed is great, but yet I have been in
  A purgatory, such as fear'd hell is
  A recreation, and scant map of this.
  My mind neither with pride's itch, nor yet hath been
  Poison'd with love to see or to be seen.
  I had no suit there, nor new suit to shew,
  Yet went to court: but as Glare, which did go
  To mass in jest, catch'd, was fain to disburse
  The hundred marks, which is the statute's curse,
  Before he 'scap'd; so't pleas'd my Destiny
  (Guilty of my sin of going) to think me
  As prone to all ill, and of good as forget-
  Ful, as proud, lustful, and as much in debt,
  As vain, as witless, and as false as they
  Which dwell in court, for once going that way,
  Therefore I suffer'd this: Towards me did run
  A thing more strange than on Nile's slime the sun
  E'er bred, or all which into Noah's ark came;
  A thing which would have pos'd Adam to name:
  Stranger than seven antiquaries' studies,
  Than Afric's monsters, Guiana's rarities;
  Stranger than strangers; one who for a Dane
  In the Danes' massacre had sure been slain,
  If he had liv'd then, and without help dies
  When next the 'prentices 'gainst strangers rise;
  One whom the watch at noon lets scarce go by;
  One t' whom th' examining justice sure would cry,
  Sir, by your priesthood, tell me what you are.
  His clothes were strange, though coarse, and black, though bare;
  Sleeveless his jerkin was, and it had been
  Velvet, but 'twas now (so much ground was seen)
  Become tufftaffaty; and our children shall
  See it plain rash a while, then nought at all.
  The thing hath travail'd, and, faith, speaks all tongues,
  And only knoweth what t' all states belongs.
  Made of th' accents and best phrase of all these,
  He speaks one language. If strange meats displease,
  Art can deceive, or hunger force my taste;
  But pedant's motley tongue, soldier's bombast,
  Mountebank's drug-tongue, nor the terms of law,
  Are strong enough preparatives to draw
  Me to hear this, yet I must be content
  With his tongue, in his tongue call'd Compliment;
  In which he can win widows, and pay scores,
  Make men speak treason, cozen subtlest whores,
  Outflatter favourites, or outlie either
  Jovius or Surius, or both together.
  He names me, and comes to me; I whisper, God!
  How have I sinn'd, that thy wrath's furious rod,
  This fellow, chooseth me? He saith, Sir,
  I love your judgment; whom do you prefer
  For the best linguist? and I sillily
  Said, that I thought Calepine's Dictionary.
  Nay, but of men? Most sweet Sir! Beza, then
  Some Jesuits, and two reverend men
  Of our two academies, I nam'd. Here
  He stopt me, and said; Nay, your apostles were
  Good pretty linguists; so Panurgus was,
  Yet a poor gentleman; all these may pass
  By travel. Then, as if he would have sold
  His tongue, he prais'd it, and such wonders told,
  That I was fain to say, If you had liv'd, Sir,
  Time enough to have been interpreter
  To Babel's bricklayers, sure the tower had stood.
  He adds, If of court-life you knew the good,
  You would leave loneness. I said, Not alone
  My loneness is, but Spartan's fashion,
  To teach by painting drunkards, doth not last
  Now; Aretine's pictures have made few chaste;
  No more can princes' courts, though there be few
  Better pictures of vice, teach me virtue.
  He, like to a high-stretch'd lute-string, squeakt, O, Sir!
  'Tis sweet to talk of kings! At Westminster,
  Said I, the man that keeps the Abbey-tombs,
  And for his price doth, with who ever comes,
  Of all our Harrys and our Edwards talk,
  From king to king, and all their kin can walk:
  Your ears shall hear naught but kings; your eyes meet
  Kings only; the way to it is King's street.
  He smack'd, and cry'd, He's base, mechanic coarse;
  So're all our Englishmen in their discourse.
  Are not your Frenchmen neat? Mine, eyes you see,
  I have but one, Sir; look, he follows me.
  Certes, they're neatly cloth'd. I of this mind am,
  Your only wearing is your grogaram.
  Not so, Sir; I have more. Under this pitch
  He would not fly. I chaf'd him; but as itch
  Scratch'd into smart, and as blunt iron ground
  Into an edge, hurts worse; so I (fool!) found
  Crossing hurt me. To fit my sullenness,
  He to another key his style doth dress,
  And asks, What news? I tell him of new plays:
  He takes my hand, and, as a still which stays
  A semibrief 'twixt each drop, he niggardly
  As loth to enrich me, so tells many a lie,
  More than ten Hollensheads, or Halls, or Stows,
  Of trivial household trash he knows. He knows
  When the queen frown'd or smil'd; and he knows what
  A subtile statesman may gather of that:
  He knows who loves whom, and who by poison
  Hastes to an office's reversion;
  He knows who hath sold his land, and now doth beg
  A license old iron, boots, shoes, and egg-
  Shells to transport. Shortly boys shall not play
  At span-counter, or blow-point, but shall play
  Toll to some courtier; and, wiser than us all,
  He knows what lady is not painted. Thus
  He with home-meats cloys me. I belch, spue, spit,
  Look pale and sickly, like a patient, yet
  He thrusts on more; and as he had undertook
  To say Gallo-Belgicus without book,
  Speaks of all states and deeds that have been since
  The Spaniards came to th' loss of Amyens.
  Like a big wife, at sight of loathed meat,
  Ready to travail, so I sigh and sweat
  To hear this makaron[165] talk in vain; for yet,
  Either my humour or his own to fit,
  He, like a privileg'd spy, whom nothing can
  Discredit, libels now 'gainst each great man:
  He names a price for every office paid:
  He saith, Our wars thrive ill, because delay'd;
  That offices are entail'd, and that there are
  Perpetuities of them lasting as far
  As the last day; and that great officers
  Do with the pirates share and Dunkirkers.
  Who wastes in meat, in clothes, in horse, he notes;
  Who loves whores, who boys, and who goats.
  I, more amaz'd than Circe's prisoners, when
  They felt themselves turn beasts, felt myself then
  Becoming traitor, and methought I saw
  One of our giant statues ope his jaw
  To suck me in for hearing him: I found
  That as burnt venomous leachers do grow sound
  By giving others their sores, I might grow
  Guilty, and be free; therefore I did show
  All signs of loathing; but since I am in,
  I must pay mine and my forefathers' sin
  To the last farthing: therefore to my power
  Toughly and stubbornly I bear this cross; but th' hour
  Of mercy now was come: he tries to bring
  Me to pay a fine to 'scape his torturing,
  And says, Sir, can you spare me? I said, Willingly.
  Nay, Sir, can you spare me a crown? Thankfully I
  Gave it as ransom. But as fiddlers still,
  Though they be paid to be gone, yet needs will
  Thrust one more jigg upon you; so did he
  With his long complimented thanks vex me.
  But he is gone, thanks to his needy want,
  And the prerogative of my crown. Scant
  His thanks were ended when I (which did see
  All the court fill'd with such strange things as he)
  Ran from thence with such or more haste than one
  Who fears more actions doth haste from prison.
  At home in wholesome solitariness
  My piteous soul began the wretchedness
  Of suitors at court to mourn, and a trance
  Like his who dreamt he saw hell did advance
  Itself o'er me: such men as he saw there
  I saw at court, and worse, and more. Low fear
  Becomes the guilty, not th' accuser; then
  Shall I, none's slave, of high born or rais'd men
  Fear frowns, and my mistress, Truth! betray thee
  To th' huffing braggart, puft nobility?
  No, no; thou which since yesterday hast been
  Almost about the whole world, hast thou seen,
  O Sun! in all thy journey vanity
  Such as swells the bladder of our court? I
  Think he which made your waxen garden, and
  Transported it from Italy, to stand
  With us at London, flouts our courtiers; for
  Just such gay painted things, which no sap nor
  Taste have in them, ours are!

[Footnote 165: fop, early form of macaroni.]



    These two pieces are taken from Jonson's _Epigrams_. The first of
    them was exceedingly popular in the poet's own lifetime.


  Ere cherries ripe, and strawberries be gone;
    Unto the cries of London I'll add one;
  Ripe statesmen, ripe: they grow in ev'ry street;
    At six-and-twenty, ripe. You shall 'em meet,
  And have him yield no favour, but of state.
    Ripe are their ruffs, their cuffs, their beards, their gate,
  And grave as ripe, like mellow as their faces.
    They know the states of Christendom, not the places:
  Yet have they seen the maps, and bought 'em too,
    And understand 'em, as most chapmen do.
  The counsels, projects, practices they know,
    And what each prince doth for intelligence owe,
  And unto whom; they are the almanacks
    For twelve years yet to come, what each state lacks.
  They carry in their pockets Tacitus,
    And the Gazetti, or Gallo-Belgicus:
  And talk reserv'd, lock'd up, and full of fear;
    Nay, ask you how the day goes, in your ear.
  Keep a Star-chamber sentence close twelve days:
    And whisper what a Proclamation says.
  They meet in sixes, and at ev'ry mart,
    Are sure to con the catalogue by heart;
  Or ev'ry day, some one at Rimee's looks,
    Or bills, and there he buys the name of books.
  They all get Porta, for the sundry ways
    To write in cypher, and the several keys,
  To ope the character. They've found the slight
    With juice of lemons, onions, piss, to write;
  To break up seals and close 'em. And they know,
    If the states make peace, how it will go
  With England. All forbidden books they get,
    And of the powder-plot, they will talk yet.
  At naming the French king, their heads they shake,
    And at the Pope, and Spain, slight faces make.
  Or 'gainst the bishops, for the brethren rail
    Much like those brethren; thinking to prevail
  With ignorance on us, as they have done
    On them: and therefore do not only shun
  Others more modest, but contemn us too,
    That know not so much state, wrong, as they do.


  Don Surly to aspire the glorious name
    Of a great man, and to be thought the same,
  Makes serious use of all great trade he knows.
    He speaks to men with a rhinocerote's nose,
  Which he thinks great; and so reads verses too:
    And that is done, as he saw great men do.
  He has tympanies of business, in his face,
    And can forget men's names, with a great grace.
  He will both argue, and discourse in oaths,
    Both which are great. And laugh at ill-made clothes;
  That's greater yet: to cry his own up neat.
    He doth, at meals, alone his pheasant eat,
  Which is main greatness. And, at his still board,
    He drinks to no man: that's, too, like a lord.
  He keeps another's wife, which is a spice
    Of solemn greatness. And he dares, at dice,
  Blaspheme God greatly. Or some poor hind beat,
    That breathes in his dog's way: and this is great.
  Nay more, for greatness' sake, he will be one
    May hear my epigrams, but like of none.
  Surly, use other arts, these only can
    Style thee a most great fool, but no great man.




    This extract is taken from the first canto of Hudibras, and
    contains the complete portrait of the Knight, Butler's aim in the
    presentation of this character being to satirize those fanatics and
    pretenders to religion who flourished during the Commonwealth.

  When civil dudgeon first grew high,
  And men fell out they knew not why;
  When hard words, jealousies and fears,
  Set folks together by the ears,
  And made them fight like mad or drunk,
  For Dame Religion as for punk:
  Whose honesty they all durst swear for,
  Though not a man of them knew wherefore:
  When gospel-trumpeter surrounded
  With long-ear'd rout to battle sounded,
  And pulpit, drum ecclesiastic,
  Was beat with fist, instead of a stick:
  Then did Sir Knight abandon dwelling,
  And out he rode a-colonelling,
    A wight he was, whose very sight wou'd
  Intitle him, _Mirrour of Knighthood_;
  That never bow'd his stubborn knee
  To any thing but chivalry;
  Nor put up blow, but that which laid
  Right Worshipful on shoulder-blade:
  Chief of domestic knights and errant,
  Either for chartel or for warrant:
  Great in the bench, great in the saddle,
  That could as well bind o'er as swaddle:
  Mighty he was at both of these,
  And styl'd of _war_, as well as _peace_,
  (So some rats, of amphibious nature,
  Are either for the land or water).
  But here our authors make a doubt,
  Whether he were more wise or stout.
  Some hold the one, and some the other:
  But howsoe'er they make a pother,
  The diff'rence was so small his brain
  Outweigh'd his rage but half a grain;
  Which made some take him for a tool
  That knaves do work with, call'd a _fool_.
  For 't has been held by many, that
  As Montaigne, playing with his cat,
  Complains she thought him but an ass,
  Much more she would Sir Hudibras,
  (For that the name our valiant Knight
  To all his challenges did write)
  But they're mistaken very much,
  'Tis plain enough he was no such.
  We grant although he had much wit,
  H' was very shy of using it;
  As being loth to wear it out,
  And therefore bore it not about
  Unless on holidays, or so,
  As men their best apparel do.
  Besides, 'tis known he could speak Greek
  As naturally as pigs squeak:
  That Latin was no more difficile,
  Than for a blackbird 'tis to whistle.
  B'ing rich in both, he never scanted
  His bounty unto such as wanted;
  But much of either would afford
  To many that had not one word.
  For Hebrew roots, although they're found
  To flourish most in barren ground,
  He had such plenty as suffic'd
  To make some think him circumcis'd:
  And truly so he was, perhaps,
  Not as a proselyte, but for claps,
    He was in logic a great critic,
  Profoundly skill'd in analytic;
  He could distinguish, and divide
  A hair 'twixt south and south west side;
  On either which he could dispute,
  Confute, change hands, and still confute;
  He'd undertake to prove by force
  Of argument, a man's no horse;
  He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl,
  And that a lord may be an owl;
  A calf an alderman, a goose a justice,
  And rooks committee-men and trustees,
  He'd run in debt by disputation,
  And pay with ratiocination:
  All this by syllogism, true
  In mood and figure, he would do.
    For rhetoric, he could not ope
  His mouth, but out there flew a trope;
  And when he happened to break off
  I' th' middle of his speech, or cough,
  H' had hard words, ready to show why,
  And tell what rules he did it by:
  Else when with greatest art he spoke,
  You'd think he talk'd like other folk,
  For all a rhetorician's rules
  Teach nothing but to name his tools.
  But, when he pleas'd to show't his speech
  In loftiness of sound was rich;
  A Babylonish dialect,
  Which learned pedants much affect:
  It was a party-coloured dress
  Of patch'd and pye-ball'd languages;
  'Twas English cut on Greek and Latin,
  Like fustian heretofore on satin.
  It had an odd promiscuous tone,
  As if h' had talk'd three parts in one;
  Which made some think when he did gabble,
  Th' had heard three labourers of Babel;
  Or Cerberus himself pronounce
  A leash of languages at once.
  This he as volubly would vent
  As if his stock would ne'er be spent;
  And truly, to support that charge,
  He had supplies as vast as large:
  For he could coin or counterfeit
  New words with little or no wit:
  Words so debas'd and hard, no stone
  Was hard enough to touch them on:
  And when with hasty noise he spoke 'em,
  The ignorant for current took 'em,
  That had the orator who once
  Did fill his mouth with pebble-stones
  When he harangu'd but known his phrase,
  He would have us'd no other ways.
  In mathematics he was greater
  Then Tycho Brahe, or Erra Pater:
  For he, by geometric scale,
  Could take the size of pots of ale;
  Resolve by sines and tangents, straight,
  If bread and butter wanted weight;
  And wisely tell what hour o' th' day
  The clock does strike by algebra.
  Beside, he was a shrewd philosopher,
  And had read ev'ry text and gloss over;
  Whate'er the crabbed'st author hath,
  He understood b' implicit faith:
  Whatever sceptic could inquire for,
  For every _why_ he had a _wherefore_,
  Knew more than forty of them do,
  As far as words and terms could go.
  All which he understood by rote,
  And as occasion serv'd, would quote:
  No matter whether right or wrong,
  They must be either said or sung.
  His notions fitted things so well,
  That which was which he could not tell;
  But oftentimes mistook the one
  For th' other, as great clerks have done.
  He cou'd reduce all things to acts,
  And knew their natures by abstracts;
  Where entity and quiddity,
  The ghosts of defunct bodies, fly;
  Where Truth in persons does appear,
  Like words congeal'd in northern air.
  He knew what's what, and that's as high
  As metaphysic wit can fly.
  In school divinity as able,
  As he that hight, Irrefragable;
  A second Thomas, or at once
  To name them all, another Duns:
  Profound in all the Nominal
  And Real ways beyond them all;
  For he a rope of sand could twist
  As tough as learned Sorbonist:
  And weave fine cobwebs, fit for scull;
  That's empty when the moon is full:
  Such as lodgings in a head
  That's to be let unfurnished.
  He could raise scruples dark and nice,
  And after solve 'em in a trice,
  As if divinity had catch'd
  The itch, on purpose to be scratch'd;
  Or, like a mountebank, did wound
  And stab herself with doubts profound,
  Only to show with how small pain
  The sores of faith are cur'd again;
  Although by woful proof we find,
  They always leave a scar behind.
  He knew the seat of paradise,
  Cou'd tell in what degree it lies;
  And, as he was dispos'd could prove it,
  Below the moon, or else above it.
  What Adam dream'd of when his bride
  Came from her closet in his side;
  Whether the devil tempted her
  By a High-Dutch interpreter;
  If either of them had a navel;
  Who first made music malleable;
  Whether the serpent, at the fall,
  Had cloven feet, or none at all;
  All this without a gloss or comment,
  He could unriddle in a moment,
  In proper terms such as men smatter,
  When they throw out and miss the matter.
    For his religion it was fit
  To match his learning and his wit;
  'Twas Presbyterian true blue,
  For he was of that stubborn crew
  Of errant saints, whom all men grant
  To be the true church militant:
  Such as do build their faith upon
  The holy text of pike and gun;
  Decide all controversies by
  Infallible artillery;
  And prove their doctrine orthodox
  By apostolic blows and knocks;
  Call fire, and sword, and desolation,
  A godly thorough reformation,
  Which always must be carried on,
  And still be doing, never done:
  As if religion were intended
  For nothing else but to be mended.
  A sect whose chief devotion lies
  In odd perverse antipathies:
  In falling out with that or this,
  And finding somewhat still amiss
  More peevish, cross, and splenetic,
  Than dog distract, or monkey sick
  That with more care keep holiday
  The wrong, than others the right way:
  Compound for sins they are inclin'd to,
  By damning those they have no mind to.
  Still so perverse and opposite,
  As if they worshipp'd God for spite.
  The self-same thing they will abhor
  One way, and long another for.
  Free-will they one way disavow,
  Another, nothing else allow.


    From Butler's "Characters", a series of satirical portraits akin to
    those of Theophrastus.

The Small Poet is one that would fain make himself that which nature
never meant him; like a fanatic that inspires himself with his own
whimsies. He sets up haberdasher of small poetry, with a very small
stock and no credit. He believes it is invention enough to find out
other men's wit; and whatsoever he lights upon, either in books or
company, he makes bold with as his own. This he puts together so
untowardly, that you may perceive his own wit as the rickets, by the
swelling disproportion of the joints. You may know his wit not to be
natural, 'tis so unquiet and troublesome in him: for as those that have
money but seldom, are always shaking their pockets when they have it,
so does he, when he thinks he has got something that will make him
appear witty. He is a perpetual talker; and you may know by the freedom
of his discourse that he came lightly by it, as thieves spend freely
what they get. He is like an Italian thief, that never robs but he
murders, to prevent discovery; so sure is he to cry down the man from
whom he purloins, that his petty larceny of wit may pass unsuspected.
He appears so over-concerned in all men's wits, as if they were but
disparagements of his own; and cries down all they do, as if they were
encroachments upon him. He takes jests from the owners and breaks them,
as justices do false weights, and pots that want measure. When he meets
with anything that is very good, he changes it into small money, like
three groats for a shilling, to serve several occasions. He disclaims
study, pretends to take things in motion, and to shoot flying, which
appears to be very true, by his often missing of his mark. As for
epithets, he always avoids those that are near akin to the sense. Such
matches are unlawful and not fit to be made by a Christian poet; and
therefore all his care is to choose out such as will serve, like a
wooden leg, to piece out a maimed verse that wants a foot or two, and
if they will but rhyme now and then into the bargain, or run upon a
letter, it is a work of supererogation. For similitudes, he likes the
hardest and most obscure best; for as ladies wear black patches to make
their complexions seem fairer than they are, so when an illustration is
more obscure than the sense that went before it, it must of necessity
make it appear clearer than it did; for contraries are best set off
with contraries. He has found out a new sort of poetical Georgics--a
trick of sowing wit like clover-grass on barren subjects, which would
yield nothing before. This is very useful for the times, wherein, some
men say, there is no room left for new invention. He will take three
grains of wit like the elixir, and, projecting it upon the iron age,
turn it immediately into gold. All the business of mankind has
presently vanished, the whole world has kept holiday; there has been no
men but heroes and poets, no women but nymphs and shepherdesses: trees
have borne fritters, and rivers flowed plum-porridge. When he writes,
he commonly steers the sense of his lines by the rhyme that is at the
end of them, as butchers do calves by the tail. For when he has made
one line, which is easy enough, and has found out some sturdy hard word
that will but rhyme, he will hammer the sense upon it, like a piece of
hot iron upon an anvil, into what form he pleases. There is no art in
the world so rich in terms as poetry; a whole dictionary is scarce able
to contain them; for there is hardly a pond, a sheep-walk, or a
gravel-pit in all Greece, but the ancient name of it is become a term
of art in poetry. By this means, small poets have such a stock of able
hard words lying by them, as dryades, hamadryades, aönides, fauni,
nymphæ, sylvani, &c. that signify nothing at all; and such a world of
pedantic terms of the same kind, as may serve to furnish all the new
inventions and "thorough reformations" that can happen between this and
Plato's great year.




    From _Political Satires and other Pieces_. It is curious to note
    how much of the prophecy was actually fulfilled.

  For faults and follies London's doom shall fix,
  And she must sink in flames in "sixty-six";
  Fire-balls shall fly, but few shall see the train,
  As far as from Whitehall to Pudding-Lane;
  To burn the city, which again shall rise,
  Beyond all hopes aspiring to the skies,
  Where vengeance dwells. But there is one thing more
  (Tho' its walls stand) shall bring the city low'r;
  When legislators shall their trust betray,
  Saving their own, shall give the rest away;
  And those false men by th' easy people sent,
  Give taxes to the King by Parliament;
  When barefaced villains shall not blush to cheat
  And chequer doors shall shut up Lombard Street.
  When players come to act the part of queens,
  Within the curtains, and behind the scenes:
  When no man knows in whom to put his trust,
  And e'en to rob the chequer shall be just,
  When declarations, lies and every oath
  Shall be in use at court, but faith and troth.
  When two good kings shall be at Brentford town,
  And when in London there shall not be one:
  When the seat's given to a talking fool,
  Whom wise men laugh at, and whom women rule;
  A minister able only in his tongue
  To make harsh empty speeches two hours long
  When an old Scots Covenanter shall be
  The champion for the English hierarchy:
  When bishops shall lay all religion by,
  And strive by law to establish tyranny,
  When a lean treasurer shall in one year
  Make himself fat, his King and people bare:
  When the English Prince shall Englishmen despise,
  And think French only loyal, Irish wise;
  When wooden shoon shall be the English wear
  And Magna Charta shall no more appear:
  Then the English shall a greater tyrant know,
  Than either Greek or Latin story show:
  Their wives to 's lust exposed, their wealth to 's spoil,
  With groans to fill his treasury they toil;
  But like the Bellides must sigh in vain
  For that still fill'd flows out as fast again;
  Then they with envious eyes shall Belgium see,
  And wish in vain Venetian liberty.
  The frogs too late grown weary of their pain,
  Shall pray to Jove to take him back again.




    From _Poems and Satires_, posthumously published in 1662.

  Is't come to this? What shall the cheeks of fame
  Stretch'd with the breath of learned Loudon's name,
  Be flogg'd again? And that great piece of sense,
  As rich in loyalty and eloquence,
  Brought to the test be found a trick of state,
  Like chemist's tinctures, proved adulterate;
  The devil sure such language did achieve,
  To cheat our unforewarned grand-dam Eve,
  As this imposture found out to be sot
  The experienced English to believe a Scot,
  Who reconciled the Covenant's doubtful sense,
  The Commons argument, or the City's pence?
  Or did you doubt persistence in one good,
  Would spoil the fabric of your brotherhood,
  Projected first in such a forge of sin,
  Was fit for the grand devil's hammering?
  Or was't ambition that this damnéd fact
  Should tell the world you know the sins you act?
  The infamy this super-treason brings.
  Blasts more than murders of your sixty kings;
  A crime so black, as being advisedly done,
  Those hold with these no competition.
  Kings only suffered then; in this doth lie
  The assassination of monarchy,
  Beyond this sin no one step can be trod.
  If not to attempt deposing of your God.
  O, were you so engaged, that we might see
  Heav'ns angry lightning 'bout your ears to flee,
  Till you were shrivell'd to dust, and your cold land
  Parch't to a drought beyond the Libyan sand!
  But 'tis reserv'd till Heaven plague you worse;
  The objects of an epidemic curse,
  First, may your brethren, to whose viler ends
  Your power hath bawded, cease to be your friends;
  And prompted by the dictate of their reason;
  And may their jealousies increase and breed
  Till they confine your steps beyond the Tweed.
  In foreign nations may your loathed name be
  A stigmatizing brand of infamy;
  Till forced by general hate you cease to roam
  The world, and for a plague live at home:
  Till you resume your poverty, and be
  Reduced to beg where none can be so free
  To grant: and may your scabby land be all
  Translated to a generall hospital.
  Let not the sun afford one gentle ray,
  To give you comfort of a summer's day;
  But, as a guerdon for your traitorous war,
  Love cherished only by the northern star.
  No stranger deign to visit your rude coast,
  And be, to all but banisht men, as lost.
  And such in heightening of the indiction due
  Let provok'd princes send them all to you.
  Your State a chaos be, where not the law,
  But power, your lives and liberties may give.
  No subject 'mongst you keep a quiet breast
  But each man strive through blood to be the best;
  Till, for those miseries on us you've brought
  By your own sword our just revenge be wrought.
  To sum up all ... let your religion be
  As your allegiance--maskt hypocrisie
  Until when Charles shall be composed in dust
  Perfum'd with epithets of good and just.
  He saved--incenséd Heaven may have forgot--
  To afford one act of mercy to a Scot:
  Unless that Scot deny himself and do
  What's easier far--Renounce his nation too.




    Originally printed in broadside form, being written in the year
    1662. It was bitterly resented by the Dutch.

  As needy gallants, in the scriv'ner's hands,
  Court the rich knaves that gripe their mortgag'd lands;
  The first fat buck of all the season'd sent,
  And keeper takes no fee in compliment;
  The dotage of some Englishmen is such,
  To fawn on those, who ruin them, the Dutch.
  They shall have all, rather than make a war
  With those, who of the same religion are.
  The Straits, the Guinea-trade, the herrings too;
  Nay, to keep friendship, they shall pickle you.
  Some are resolv'd, not to find out the cheat,
  But, cuckold-like, love them that do the feat.
  What injuries soe'er upon us fall,
  Yet still the same religion answers all.
  Religion wheedl'd us to civil war,
  Drew English blood, and Dutchmen's now wou'd spare.
  Be gull'd no longer; for you'll find it true,
  They have no more religion, faith! than you.
  Int'rest's the God they worship in their state,
  And we, I take it, have not much of that.
  Well monarchies may own religion's name,
  But states are atheists in their very frame.
  They share a sin; and such proportions fall,
  That, like a stink, 'tis nothing to them all.
  Think on their rapine, falsehood, cruelty,
  And that what once they were, they still wou'd be.
  To one well-born th' affront is worse and more,
  When he's abus'd and baffl'd by a boor.
  With an ill grace the Dutch their mischiefs do;
  They've both ill nature and ill manners too.
  Well may they boast themselves an ancient nation;
  For they were bred ere manners were in fashion:
  And their new commonwealth has set them free
  Only from honour and civility.
  Venetians do not more uncouthly ride,
  Than did their lubber state mankind bestride.
  Their sway became 'em with as ill a mien,
  As their own paunches swell above their chin.
  Yet is their empire no true growth but humour,
  And only two kings' touch can cure the tumour.
  As Cato did in Africk fruits display;
  Let us before our eyes their Indies lay:
  All loyal English will like him conclude;
  Let Cæsar live, and Carthage be subdu'd.


    This satire was written in reply to a savage poem by the dramatist,
    Thomas Shadwell, entitled "The Medal of John Dayes". Dryden and
    Shadwell had been friends, but the enmity begotten of political
    opposition had separated them. Flecknoe, who gives the name to this
    poem, and of whom Shadwell is treated as the son and heir, was a
    dull poet who had always laid himself open to ridicule. It is not
    known (says W.D. Christie in the _Globe_ Dryden) whether he had
    ever given Dryden offence, but it is certain that his "Epigrams",
    published in 1670, contain some lines addressed to Dryden of a
    complimentary character.

  All human things are subject to decay,
  And, when fate summons, monarchs must obey;
  This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young
  Was call'd to empire, and had govern'd long;
  In prose and verse, was own'd, without dispute,
  Through all the realms of Nonsense, absolute
  This aged prince, now flourishing in peace,
  And blest with issue of a large increase;
  Worn out with business, did at length debate
  To settle the succession of the state:
  And, pond'ring, which of all his sons was fit
  To reign, and wage immortal war with wit,
  Cry'd, "'Tis resolv'd; for Nature pleads, that he
  Should only rule, who most resembles me.
  Shadwell alone my perfect image bears,
  Mature in dulness from his tender years:
  Shadwell alone, of all my sons, is he,
  Who stands confirm'd in full stupidity.
  The rest to some faint meaning make pretence,
  But Shadwell never deviates into sense.
  Some beams of wit on other souls may fall,
  Strike through, and make a lucid interval;
  But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray,
  His rising fogs prevail upon the day.
  Besides, his goodly fabrick fills the eye,
  And seems design'd for thoughtless majesty:
  Thoughtless as monarch oaks, that shade the plain
  And, spread in solemn state, supinely reign.
  Heywood and Shirley were but types of thee,
  Thou last great prophet of tautology.
  Even I, a dunce of more renown than they,
  Was sent before but to prepare thy way;
  And, coarsely clad in Norwich drugget, came
  To teach the nations in thy greater name.
  My warbling lute, the lute I whilom strung,
  When to King John of Portugal I sung,
  Was but the prelude to that glorious day,
  When thou on silver Thames didst cut thy way,
  With well-tim'd oars before the royal barge.
  Swell'd with the pride of thy celestial charge;
  And big with hymn, commander of an host,
  The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets tost.
  Methinks I see the new Arion fail,
  The lute still trembling underneath thy nail.
  At thy well-sharpened thumb, from shore to shore,
  The trebles squeak with fear, the basses roar:
  Echoes from Pissing-Alley Shadwell call,
  And Shadwell they resound from Aston-Hall.
  About thy boat the little fishes throng
  As at the morning toast, that floats along.
  Sometimes, as prince of thy harmonious band,
  Thou wield'st thy papers in thy threshing hand.
  St. Andre's feet ne'er kept more equal time,
  Not ev'n the feet of thy own Psyche's rime:
  Though they in number as in sense excel;
  So just, so like tautology, they fell,
  That, pale with envy, Singleton forswore
  The lute and sword which he in triumph bore,
  And vow'd he ne'er would act Villerius more."
    Here stopt the good old sire, and wept for joy,
  In silent raptures of the hopeful boy.
  All arguments, but most his plays, persuade,
  That for anointed dulness he was made.
    Close to the walls which fair Augusta bind,
  (The fair Augusta much to fears inclin'd)
  An ancient fabric, rais'd t' inform the sight
  There stood of yore, and Barbican it hight:
  A watch-tower once; but now so fate ordains,
  Of all the pile an empty name remains:
  From its old ruins brothel-houses rise,
  Scenes of lewd loves, and of polluted joys,
  Where their vast courts the mother-strumpets keep,
  And, undisturb'd by watch, in silence sleep.
  Near these a nursery erects its head
  Where queens are form'd, and future heroes bred;
  Where unfledg'd actors learn to laugh and cry,
  Where infant punks their tender voices try,
  And little Maximins the gods defy.
  Great Fletcher never treads in buskins here,
  Nor greater Jonson dares in socks appear;
  But gentle Simkin just reception finds
  Amidst this monument of vanish'd minds:
  Poor clinches the suburbian Muse affords,
  And Panton waging harmless war with words.
  Here Flecknoe, as a place to fame well known,
  Ambitiously design'd his Shadwell's throne.
  For ancient Dekker prophesy'd long since,
  That in this pile should reign a mighty prince,
  Born for a scourge of wit, and flail of sense:
  To whom true dulness should some Psyches owe,
  But worlds of misers from his pen should flow;
  Humorists and hypocrites it should produce,
  Whole Raymond families, and tribes of Bruce.
    Now Empress Fame had publish'd the renown
  Of Shadwell's coronation through the town.
  Rous'd by report of fame, the nations meet,
  From near Bunhill, and distant Watling-street.
  No Persian carpets spread th' imperial way,
  But scatter'd limbs of mangled Poets lay;
  From dusty shops neglected authors come,
  Martyrs of pies, and reliques of the bum.
  Much Heywood, Shirley, Ogleby there lay,
  But loads of Shadwell almost chok'd the way.
  Bilk'd stationers for yeomen stood prepar'd,
  And Herringman was captain of the guard.
  The hoary prince in majesty appear'd,
  High on a throne of his own labours rear'd.
  At his right hand our young Ascanius sate,
  Rome's other hope, and pillar of the state.
  His brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace,
  And lambent dulness play'd around his face.
  As Hannibal did to the altars come,
  Swore by his sire a mortal foe to Rome;
  So Shadwell swore, nor should his vow be vain,
  That he till death true dulness would maintain;
  And, in his father's right, and realm's defence,
  Ne'er to have peace with wit, nor truce with sense.
  The king himself the sacred unction made,
  As king by office, and as priest by trade.
  In his sinister hand, instead of ball,
  He plac'd a mighty mug of potent ale;
  Love's kingdom to his right he did convey,
  At once his sceptre, and his rule of sway;
  Whose righteous lore the prince had practis'd young,
  And from whose loins recorded Psyche sprung.
  His temples, last, with poppies were o'erspread
  That nodding seem'd to consecrate his head.
  Just at the point of time, if Fame not lie,
  On his left hand twelve reverend owls did fly.
  So Romulus, 'tis sung, by Tiber's brook,
  Presage of sway from twice six vultures took.
  Th' admiring throng loud acclamations make,
  And omens of his future empire take.
  The sire then shook the honours of his head,
  And from his brows damps of oblivion shed
  Full on the filial dulness: Long he stood,
  Repelling from his breast the raging god:
  At length burst out in this prophetic mood.
    "Heav'ns! bless my son! from Ireland let him reign
  To far Barbadoes on the western main;
  Of his dominion may no end be known,
  And greater than his father's be his throne;
  Beyond Love's kingdom let him stretch his pen!--"
  He paus'd, and all the people cry'd "Amen".
  Then thus continu'd he: "My son, advance
  Still in new impudence, new ignorance.
  Success let others teach, learn thou from me
  Pangs without birth, and fruitless industry.
  Let Virtuosos in five years be writ;
  Yet not one thought accuse thy toil of wit.
  Let gentle George in triumph tread the stage,
  Make Dorimant betray, and Loveit rage;
  Let Cully, Cockwood, Fopling, charm the pit,
  And in their folly show the writer's wit.
  Yet still thy fools shall stand in thy defence,
  And justify their authors' want of sense.
  Let 'em be all by thy own model made
  Of dulness, and desire no foreign aid;
  That they to future ages may be known,
  Not copies drawn, but issue of thy own.
  Nay, let thy men of wit too be the same,
  All full of thee, and diff'ring but in name.
  But let no alien Sedley interpose,
  To lard with wit thy hungry Epsom prose.
  And when false flowers of rhetorick thou would'st cull,
  Trust Nature, do not labour to be dull;
  But write thy best, and top; and, in each line,
  Sir Formal's oratory will be thine:
  Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill,
  And does thy Northern Dedications fill.
  Nor let false friends seduce thy mind to fame,
  By arrogating Jonson's hostile name.
  Let father Flecknoe fire thy mind with praise,
  And uncle Ogleby thy envy raise.
  Thou art my blood, where Jonson has no part:
  What share have we in Nature or in Art?
  Where did his wit on learning fix a brand,
  And rail at arts he did not understand?
  Where made he love in Prince Nicander's vein,
  Or swept the dust in Psyche's humble strain?
  Where sold he bargains, whip-stitch, kiss my arse,
  Promis'd a play, and dwindled to a farce?
  When did his muse from Fletcher scenes purloin,
  As thou whole Eth'ridge dost transfuse to thine?
  But so transfus'd, as oil and waters flow,
  His always floats above, thine sinks below.
  This is thy province, this thy wondrous way,
  New humours to invent for each new play:
  This is that boasted bias of thy mind,
  By which, one way, to dulness 'tis inclin'd:
  Which makes thy writings lean on one side still,
  And, in all changes, that way bends thy will.
  Nor let thy mountain-belly make pretence
  Of likeness; thine's a tympany of sense.
  A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ,
  But sure thou'rt but a kilderkin of wit.
  Like mine, thy gentle numbers feebly creep;
  Thy tragic muse gives smiles, thy comic sleep.
  With whate'er gall thou set'st thyself to write,
  Thy inoffensive satires never bite.
  In thy felonious heart though venom lies,
  It does but touch thy Irish pen, and dies.
  Thy genius calls thee not to purchase fame
  In keen Iambics, but mild Anagram.
  Leave writing plays, and choose for thy command
  Some peaceful province in acrostic land,
  There thou may'st wings display and altars raise,
  And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.
  Or if thou would'st thy different talents suit,
  Set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute."
    He said: But his last words were scarcely heard:
  For Bruce and Longvil had a trap prepar'd,
  And down they sent the yet declaiming bard.
  Sinking he left his drugget robe behind,
  Borne upwards by a subterranean wind.
  The mantle fell to the young prophet's part,
  With double portion of his father's art.


    This excellent specimen of Dryden's prose satire was prefixed to
    his satiric poem "The Medal", published in March, 1682. It was
    inspired by the striking of a medal to commemorate the rejection by
    the London Grand Jury, on November 24, 1681, of a Bill of High
    Treason presented against Lord Shaftesbury. This event had been a
    great victory for the Whigs and a discomfiture for the Court.

For to whom can I dedicate this poem, with so much justice, as to you?
'Tis the representation of your own hero: 'Tis the picture drawn at
length, which you admire and prize so much in little. None of your
ornaments are wanting; neither the landscape of the tower, nor the
rising sun; nor the Anno Domini of your new sovereign's coronation.
This must needs be a grateful undertaking to your whole party;
especially to those who have not been so happy as to purchase the
original. I hear the graver has made a good market of it: all his Kings
are bought up already; or the value of the remainder so enhanced, that
many a poor Polander, who would be glad to worship the image, is not
able to go to the cost of him; but must be content to see him here. I
must confess, I am no great artist; but sign-post-painting will serve
the turn to remember a friend by, especially when better is not to be
had. Yet, for your comfort, the lineaments are true: and though he sat
not five times to me, as he did to B. yet I have consulted history; as
the Italian painters do, when they would draw a Nero or a Caligula;
though they have not seen the man, they can help their imagination by a
statue of him, and find out the colouring from Suetonius and Tacitus.
Truth is, you might have spared one side of your medal: the head would
be seen to more advantage, if it were placed on a spike of the tower; a
little nearer to the sun; which would then break out to better purpose.
You tell us, in your preface to the _No-Protestant Plot_, that you
shall be forced hereafter to leave off your modesty. I suppose you mean
that little, which is left you: for it was worn to rags when you put
out this medal. Never was there practised such a piece of notorious
impudence in the face of an established Government. I believe, when he
is dead, you will wear him in thumb-rings, as the Turks did Scanderbeg;
as if there were virtue in his bones to preserve you against monarchy.
Yet all this while, you pretend not only zeal for the public good, but
a due veneration for the person of the king. But all men, who can see
an inch before them, may easily detect those gross fallacies. That it
is necessary for men in your circumstances to pretend both, is granted
you; for without them there could be no ground to raise a faction. But
I would ask you one civil question: What right has any man among you,
or any association of men (to come nearer to you) who, out of
Parliament cannot be consider'd in a public capacity, to meet, as you
daily do, in factious clubs, to vilify the Government in your
discourses, and to libel it in all your writings? Who made you judges
in Israel? Or how is it consistent with your zeal for the public
welfare, to promote sedition? Does your definition of _loyal_, which is
to serve the King according to the laws, allow you the licence of
traducing the executive power, with which you own he is invested? You
complain, that his Majesty has lost the love and confidence of his
people; and, by your very urging it, you endeavour, what in you lies,
to make him lose them. All good subjects abhor the thought of
arbitrary power, whether it be in one or many; if you were the patriots
you would seem, you would not at this rate incense the multitude to
assume it; for no sober man can fear it, either from the King's
disposition or his practice; or even, where you would odiously lay it,
from his ministers. Give us leave to enjoy the Government, and the
benefit of laws, under which we were born, and which we desire to
transmit to our posterity. You are not the trustees of the public
liberty; and if you have not right to petition in a crowd, much less
have you to intermeddle in the management of affairs, or to arraign
what you do not like; which in effect is everything that is done by the
King and Council. Can you imagine, that any reasonable man will believe
you respect the person of his Majesty, when 'tis apparent that your
seditious pamphlets are stuffed with particular reflections on him? If
you have the confidence to deny this, 'tis easy to be evinced from a
thousand passages, which I only forbear to quote because I desire they
should die and be forgotten. I have perused many of your papers; and to
show you that I have, the third part of your _No-Protestant Plot_ is
much of it stolen from your dead author's pamphlet called the _Growth
of Popery_; as manifestly as Milton's defence of the English people is
from Buchanan, _de jure regni apud Scotos_; or your first covenant, and
new association, from the holy league of the French Guisards. Anyone,
who reads Davila, may trace your practices all along. There were the
same pretences for reformation and loyalty, the same aspersions of the
King, and the same grounds of a rebellion. I know not whether you will
take the historian's word, who says, it was reported, that Poltrot a
Huguenot murder'd Francis Duke of Guise, by the instigations of
Theodore Beza; or that it was a Huguenot minister, otherwise called a
Presbyterian (for our Church abhors so devilish a tenet) who first
writ a treatise of the lawfulness of deposing and murdering Kings, of a
different persuasion in religion. But I am able to prove from the
doctrine of Calvin, and principles of Buchanan, that they set the
people above the magistrate; which, if I mistake not, is your own
fundamental; and which carries your loyalty no farther than your
liking. When a vote of the House of Commons goes on your side, you are
as ready to observe it, as if it were passed into a law: but when you
are pinch'd with any former, and yet unrepealed, Act of Parliament, you
declare that in some cases you will not be obliged by it. The passage
is in the same third part of the _No-Protestant Plot_; and is too plain
to be denied. The late copy of your intended association you neither
wholly justify nor condemn: but as the Papists, when they are
unoppos'd, fly out into all the pageantries of worship, but, in times
of war, when they are hard pressed by arguments, lie close intrenched
behind the Council of Trent; so, now, when your affairs are in a low
condition, you dare not pretend that to be a legal combination; but
whensover you are afloat, I doubt not but it will be maintained and
justified to purpose. For indeed there is nothing to defend it but the
sword: 'Tis the proper time to say anything, when men have all things
in their power.

In the meantime, you would fain be nibbling at a parallel betwixt this
association, and that in the time of Queen Elizabeth. But there is this
small difference betwixt them, that the ends of the one are directly
opposite to the other: one with the Queen's approbation and
conjunction, as head of it; the other, without either the consent or
knowledge of the King, against whose authority it is manifestly
design'd. Therefore you do well to have recourse to your last evasion,
that it was contriv'd by your enemies, and shuffled into the papers
that were seized; which yet you see the nation is not so easy to
believe, as your own jury. But the matter is not difficult, to find
twelve men in Newgate, who would acquit a malefactor.

I have one only favour to desire of you at parting; that, when you
think of answering this poem, you would employ the same pens against
it, who have combated with so much success against Absalom and
Achitophel: for then you may assure yourselves of a clear victory,
without the least reply. Rail at me abundantly; and, not to break a
custom, do it without wit. By this method you will gain a considerable
point, which is, wholly to waive the answer of my argument. Never own
the bottom of your principles, for fear they should be treason. Fall
severely on the miscarriages of Government; for if scandal be not
allowed, you are no free-born subjects. If GOD has not blessed you with
the talent of rhyming, make use of my poor stock and welcome; let your
verses run upon my feet: and for the utmost refuge of notorious
blockheads, reduced to the last extremity of sense, turn my own lines
upon me, and, in utter despair of your own satire, make me satirize
myself. Some of you have been driven to this bay already; but above all
the rest, commend me to the Non-conformist parson, who writ _The Whip
and Key_. I am afraid it is not read so much as the piece deserves,
because the bookseller is every week crying Help, at the end of his
Gazette, to get it off. You see I am charitable enough to do him a
kindness, that it may be published as well as printed; and that so much
skill in Hebrew derivations may not lie for waste-paper in the shop.
Yet I half suspect he went no farther for his learning, than the index
of Hebrew names and etymologies, which is printed at the end of some
English bibles. If Achitophel signify the brother of a fool, the author
of that poem will pass with his readers for the next of kin. And,
perhaps, 'tis the relation that makes the kindness. Whatever the verses
are, buy them up, I beseech you, out of pity; for I hear the
conventicle is shut up, and the brother of Achitophel out of service.

Now footmen, you know, have the generosity to make a purse, for a
member of their society, who has had his livery pulled over his ears:
and even Protestant flocks are brought up among you, out of veneration
to the name. A dissenter in poetry from sense and English, will make as
good a Protestant rhymer, as a dissenter from the Church of England a
Protestant parson. Besides, if you encourage a young beginner, who
knows but he may elevate his style a little, above the vulgar epithets
of profane and saucy Jack, and atheistic scribbler, with which he
treats me, when the fit of enthusiasm is strong upon him? By which
well-manner'd and charitable expressions, I was certain of his sect,
before I knew his name. What would you have more of a man? He has
damned me in your cause from Genesis to the Revelations; and has half
the texts of both the Testaments against me, if you will be so civil to
yourselves as to take him for your interpreter, and not to take them
for Irish witnesses. After all, perhaps, you will tell me, that you
retained him only for the opening of your cause, and that your main
lawyer is yet behind. Now, if it so happen he meet with no more reply
than his predecessors, you may either conclude, that I trust to the
goodness of my cause, or fear my adversary, or disdain him, or what you
please; for the short on it is, it is indifferent to your humble
servant, whatever your party says or thinks of him.




    "The True-born Englishman" was a metrical satire designed to defend
    the king, William III., against the attacks made upon him over the
    admission of foreigners into public offices and posts of

  Speak, satire; for there's none can tell like thee
  Whether 'tis folly, pride, or knavery
  That makes this discontented land appear
  Less happy now in times of peace than war?
  Why civil feuds disturb the nation more
  Than all our bloody wars have done before?
    Fools out of favour grudge at knaves in place,
  And men are always honest in disgrace;
  The court preferments make men knaves in course,
  But they which would be in them would be worse.
  'Tis not at foreigners that we repine,
  Would foreigners their perquisites resign:
  The grand contention's plainly to be seen,
  To get some men put out, and some put in.
  For this our senators make long harangues,
  And florid members whet their polished tongues.
  Statesmen are always sick of one disease,
  And a good pension gives them present ease:
  That's the specific makes them all content
  With any king and any government.
  Good patriots at court abuses rail,
  And all the nation's grievances bewail;
  But when the sovereign's balsam's once applied,
  The zealot never fails to change his side;
  And when he must the golden key resign,
  The railing spirit comes about again.
    Who shall this bubbled nation disabuse,
  While they their own felicities refuse,
  Who the wars have made such mighty pother,
  And now are falling out with one another:
  With needless fears the jealous nation fill,
  And always have been saved against their will:
  Who fifty millions sterling have disbursed,
  To be with peace and too much plenty cursed:
  Who their old monarch eagerly undo,
  And yet uneasily obey the new?
  Search, satire, search; a deep incision make;
  The poison's strong, the antidote's too weak.
  'Tis pointed truth must manage this dispute,
  And downright English, Englishmen confute.
    Whet thy just anger at the nation's pride,
  And with keen phrase repel the vicious tide;
  To Englishmen their own beginnings show,
  And ask them why they slight their neighbours so.
  Go back to elder times and ages past,
  And nations into long oblivion cast;
  To old Britannia's youthful days retire,
  And there for true-born Englishmen inquire.
  Britannia freely will disown the name,
  And hardly knows herself from whence they came:
  Wonders that they of all men should pretend
  To birth and blood, and for a name contend.
  Go back to causes where our follies dwell,
  And fetch the dark original from hell:
  Speak, satire, for there's none like thee can tell.




    The person against whom this attack was directed was Edward Howard,
    author of _The British Princess_.

  Thou damn'd antipodes to common-sense,
  Thou foil to Flecknoe, pr'ythee tell from whence
  Does all this mighty stock of dulness spring?
  Is it thy own, or hast it from Snow-hill,
  Assisted by some ballad-making quill?
  No, they fly higher yet, thy plays are such,
  I'd swear they were translated out of Dutch.
  Fain would I know what diet thou dost keep,
  If thou dost always, or dost never sleep?
  Sure hasty-pudding is thy chiefest dish,
  With bullock's liver, or some stinking fish:
  Garbage, ox-cheeks, and tripes, do feast thy brain,
  Which nobly pays this tribute back again.
  With daisy-roots thy dwarfish Muse is fed,
  A giant's body with a pigmy's head.
  Canst thou not find, among thy numerous race
  Of kindred, one to tell thee that thy plays
  Are laught at by the pit, box, galleries, nay, stage?
  Think on't a while, and thou wilt quickly find
  Thy body made for labour, not thy mind.
  No other use of paper thou shouldst make
  Than carrying loads and reams upon thy back.
  Carry vast burdens till thy shoulders shrink,
  But curst be he that gives thee pen and ink:
  Such dangerous weapons should be kept from fools,
  As nurses from their children keep edg'd tools:
  For thy dull fancy a muckinder is fit
  To wipe the slobberings of thy snotty wit:
  And though 'tis late, if justice could be found,
  Thy plays like blind-born puppies should be drown'd.
  For were it not that we respect afford
  Unto the son of an heroic lord,
  Thine in the ducking-stool should take her seat,
  Drest like herself in a great chair of state;
  Where like a Muse of quality she'd die,
  And thou thyself shalt make her elegy,
  In the same strain thou writ'st thy comedy.




    First published as a political pamphlet, this piece had an
    extraordinary run of popularity. It was originally issued in four
    parts, but these afterwards were reduced to two, without any
    omission, however, of matter. They appeared during the years
    1712-13, and the satire was finally published in book form in 1714.
    The author was the intimate friend of Swift, Pope, and Gay. The
    volume was exceedingly popular in Tory circles. The examples I have
    selected are "The Preface" and also the opening chapters of the
    history, which I have made to run on without breaking them up into
    the short divisions of the text.

When I was first called to the office of historiographer to John Bull,
he expressed himself to this purpose: "Sir Humphrey Polesworth[166], I
know you are a plain dealer; it is for that reason I have chosen you
for this important trust; speak the truth and spare not". That I might
fulfil those his honourable intentions, I obtained leave to repair to,
and attend him in his most secret retirements; and I put the journals
of all transactions into a strong box, to be opened at a fitting
occasion, after the manner of the historiographers of some eastern
monarchs: this I thought was the safest way; though I declare I was
never afraid to be chopped[167] by my master for telling of truth. It
is from those journals that my memoirs are compiled: therefore let not
posterity a thousand years hence look for truth in the voluminous
annals of pedants, who are entirely ignorant of the secret springs of
great actions; if they do, let me tell them they will be nebused.[168]

With incredible pains have I endeavoured to copy the several beauties
of the ancient and modern historians; the impartial temper of
Herodotus, the gravity, austerity, and strict morals of Thucydides, the
extensive knowledge of Xenophon, the sublimity and grandeur of Titus
Livius; and to avoid the careless style of Polybius, I have borrowed
considerable ornaments from Dionysius Halicarnasseus, and Diodorus
Siculus. The specious gilding of Tacitus I have endeavoured to shun.
Mariana, Davila, and Fra. Paulo, are those amongst the moderns whom I
thought most worthy of imitation; but I cannot be so disingenuous, as
not to own the infinite obligations I have to the _Pilgrim's Progress_
of John Bunyan, and the _Tenter Belly_ of the Reverend Joseph Hall.

From such encouragement and helps, it is easy to guess to what a degree
of perfection I might have brought this great work, had it not been
nipped in the bud by some illiterate people in both Houses of
Parliament, who envying the great figure I was to make in future ages,
under pretence of raising money for the war,[169] have padlocked all
those very pens that were to celebrate the actions of their heroes, by
silencing at once the whole university of Grub Street. I am persuaded
that nothing but the prospect of an approaching peace could have
encouraged them to make so bold a step. But suffer me, in the name of
the rest of the matriculates of that famous university, to ask them
some plain questions: Do they think that peace will bring along with it
the golden age? Will there be never a dying speech of a traitor? Are
Cethegus and Catiline turned so tame, that there will be no opportunity
to cry about the streets, "A Dangerous Plot"? Will peace bring such
plenty that no gentleman will have occasion to go upon the highway, or
break into a house? I am sorry that the world should be so much imposed
upon by the dreams of a false prophet, as to imagine the Millennium is
at hand. O Grub Street! thou fruitful nursery of towering geniuses! How
do I lament thy downfall? Thy ruin could never be meditated by any who
meant well to English liberty. No modern lyceum will ever equal thy
glory: whether in soft pastorals thou didst sing the flames of pampered
apprentices and coy cook-maids; or mournful ditties of departing
lovers; or if to Mæonian strains thou raisedst thy voice, to record the
stratagems, the arduous exploits, and the nocturnal scalade of needy
heroes, the terror of your peaceful citizens, describing the powerful
Betty or the artful Picklock, or the secret caverns and grottoes of
Vulcan sweating at his forge, and stamping the queen's image on viler
metals which he retails for beef and pots of ale; or if thou wert
content in simple narrative, to relate the cruel acts of implacable
revenge, or the complaint of ravished virgins blushing to tell their
adventures before the listening crowd of city damsels, whilst in thy
faithful history thou intermingledst the gravest counsels and the
purest morals. Nor less acute and piercing wert thou in thy search and
pompous descriptions of the works of nature; whether in proper and
emphatic terms thou didst paint the blazing comet's fiery tail, the
stupendous force of dreadful thunder and earthquakes, and the
unrelenting inundations. Sometimes, with Machiavelian sagacity, thou
unravelledst intrigues of state, and the traitorous conspiracies of
rebels, giving wise counsel to monarchs. How didst thou move our terror
and our pity with thy passionate scenes between Jack Catch and the
heroes of the Old Bailey? How didst thou describe their intrepid march
up Holborn Hill? Nor didst thou shine less in thy theological capacity,
when thou gavest ghostly counsels to dying felons, and didst record the
guilty pangs of Sabbath-breakers. How will the noble arts of John
Overton's[170] painting and sculpture now languish? where rich
invention, proper expression, correct design, divine attitudes, and
artful contrast, heightened with the beauties of clar. obscur.,
embellished thy celebrated pieces, to the delight and astonishment of
the judicious multitude! Adieu, persuasive eloquence! the quaint
metaphor, the poignant irony, the proper epithet, and the lively
simile, are fled for ever! Instead of these, we shall have, I know not
what! The illiterate will tell the rest with pleasure.

I hope the reader will excuse this digression, due by way of condolence
to my worthy brethren of Grub Street, for the approaching barbarity
that is likely to overspread all its regions by this oppressive and
exorbitant tax. It has been my good fortune to receive my education
there; and so long as I preserved some figure and rank amongst the
learned of that society, I scorned to take my degree either at Utrecht
or Leyden, though I was offered it gratis by the professors in those

And now that posterity may not be ignorant in what age so excellent a
history was written (which would otherwise, no doubt, be the subject
of its inquiries), I think it proper to inform the learned of future
times, that it was compiled when Louis XIV. was King of France, and
Philip, his grandson, of Spain; when England and Holland, in
conjunction with the Emperor and the Allies, entered into a war against
these two princes, which lasted ten years under the management of the
Duke of Marlborough, and was put to a conclusion by the Treaty of
Utrecht, under the ministry of the Earl of Oxford, in the year 1713.

Many at that time did imagine the history of John Bull, and the
personages mentioned in it, to be allegorical, which the author would
never own. Notwithstanding, to indulge the reader's fancy and
curiosity, I have printed at the bottom of the page the supposed
allusions of the most obscure parts of the story.

[Footnote 166: A Member of Parliament, eminent for a certain cant in
his conversation, of which there is a good deal in this book.]

[Footnote 167: A cant word of Sir Humphrey's.]

[Footnote 168: Another cant word, signifying deceived.]

[Footnote 169: Act restraining the liberty of the press, &c.]

[Footnote 170: The engraver of the cuts before the Grub Street papers.]


    The Occasion of the Law-suit.

I need not tell you of the great quarrels that have happened in our
neighbourhood since the death of the late Lord Strutt[171]; how the
parson[172] and a cunning attorney got him to settle his estate upon
his cousin Philip Baboon, to the great disappointment of his cousin
Esquire South. Some stick not to say that the parson and the attorney
forged a will; for which they were well paid by the family of the
Baboons. Let that be as it will, it is matter of fact that the honour
and estate have continued ever since in the person of Philip Baboon.

You know that the Lord Strutts have for many years been possessed of a
very great landed estate, well-conditioned, wooded, watered, with coal,
salt, tin, copper, iron, &c., all within themselves; that it has been
the misfortune of that family to be the property of their stewards,
tradesmen, and inferior servants, which has brought great incumbrances
upon them; at the same time, their not abating of their expensive way
of living has forced them to mortgage their best manors. It is credibly
reported that the butcher's and baker's bill of a Lord Strutt that
lived two hundred years ago are not yet paid.

When Philip Baboon came first to the possession of the Lord Strutt's
estate, his tradesmen,[173] as is usual upon such occasion, waited upon
him to wish him joy and bespeak his custom. The two chief were John
Bull,[174] the clothier, and Nic. Frog,[175] the linen-draper. They
told him that the Bulls and Frogs had served the Lord Strutts with
drapery-ware for many years; that they were honest and fair dealers;
that their bills had never been questioned, that the Lord Strutts lived
generously, and never used to dirty their fingers with pen, ink, and
counters; that his lordship might depend upon their honesty that they
would use him as kindly as they had done his predecessors. The young
lord seemed to take all in good part, and dismissed them with a deal of
seeming content, assuring them he did not intend to change any of the
honourable maxims of his predecessors.

    How Bull and Frog grew jealous that the Lord Strutt intended to
    give all his custom to his grandfather, Lewis Baboon.

It happened unfortunately for the peace of our neighbourhood that
this young lord had an old cunning rogue, or, as the Scots call it,
a false loon of a grandfather, that one might justly call a
Jack-of-all-Trades.[176] Sometimes you would see him behind his
counter selling broadcloth, sometimes measuring linen; next day he
would be dealing in mercery-ware. High heads, ribbons, gloves, fans,
and lace he understood to a nicety. Charles Mather could not bubble a
young beau better with a toy; nay, he would descend even to the selling
of tape, garters, and shoe-buckles. When shop was shut up he would go
about the neighbourhood and earn half-a-crown by teaching the young men
and maids to dance. By these methods he had acquired immense riches,
which he used to squander[177] away at back-sword, quarter-staff, and
cudgel-play, in which he took great pleasure, and challenged all the
country. You will say it is no wonder if Bull and Frog should be
jealous of this fellow. "It is not impossible," says Frog to Bull, "but
this old rogue will take the management of the young lord's business
into his hands; besides, the rascal has good ware, and will serve him
as cheap as anybody. In that case, I leave you to judge what must
become of us and our families; we must starve, or turn journeyman to
old Lewis Baboon. Therefore, neighbour, I hold it advisable that we
write to young Lord Strutt to know the bottom of this matter."

    A Copy of Bull and Frog's Letter to Lord Strutt.

My Lord,--I suppose your lordship knows that the Bulls and the Frogs
have served the Lord Strutts with all sorts of drapery-ware time out of
mind. And whereas we are jealous, not without reason, that your
lordship intends henceforth to buy of your grandsire old Lewis Baboon,
this is to inform your lordship that this proceeding does not suit with
the circumstances of our families, who have lived and made a good
figure in the world by the generosity of the Lord Strutts. Therefore we
think fit to acquaint your lordship that you must find sufficient
security to us, our heirs, and assigns that you will not employ Lewis
Baboon, or else we will take our remedy at law, clap an action upon you
of £20,000 for old debts, seize and distrain your goods and chattels,
which, considering your lordship's circumstances, will plunge you into
difficulties, from which it will not be easy to extricate yourself.
Therefore we hope, when your lordship has better considered on it, you
will comply with the desire of

Your loving friends,


Some of Bull's friends advised him to take gentler methods with the
young lord, but John naturally loved rough play. It is impossible to
express the surprise of the Lord Strutt upon the receipt of this
letter. He was not flush in ready money either to go to law or clear
old debts, neither could he find good bail. He offered to bring matters
to a friendly accommodation, and promised, upon his word of honour,
that he would not change his drapers; but all to no purpose, for Bull
and Frog saw clearly that old Lewis would have the cheating of him.

    How Bull and Frog went to law with Lord Strutt about the premises,
    and were joined by the rest of the tradesmen.

All endeavours of accommodation between Lord Strutt and his drapers
proved vain. Jealousies increased, and, indeed, it was rumoured abroad
that Lord Strutt had bespoke his new liveries of old Lewis Baboon. This
coming to Mrs. Bull's ears, when John Bull came home, he found all his
family in an uproar. Mrs. Bull, you must know, was very apt to be
choleric. "You sot," says she, "you loiter about ale-houses and
taverns, spend your time at billiards, ninepins, or puppet-shows, or
flaunt about the streets in your new gilt chariot, never minding me nor
your numerous family. Don't you hear how Lord Strutt has bespoke his
liveries at Lewis Baboon's shop? Don't you see how that old fox steals
away your customers, and turns you out of your business every day, and
you sit like an idle drone, with your hands in your pockets? Fie upon
it. Up, man, rouse thyself; I'll sell to my shift before I'll be so
used by that knave."[178] You must think Mrs. Bull had been pretty well
tuned up by Frog, who chimed in with her learned harangue. No further
delay now, but to counsel learned in the law they go, who unanimously
assured them both of justice and infallible success of their lawsuit.

I told you before that old Lewis Baboon was a sort of a
Jack-of-all-trades, which made the rest of the tradesmen jealous, as
well as Bull and Frog; they, hearing of the quarrel, were glad of an
opportunity of joining against old Lewis Baboon, provided that Bull and
Frog would bear the charges of the suit. Even lying Ned, the
chimney-sweeper of Savoy, and Tom, the Portugal dustman, put in their
claims, and the cause was put into the hands of Humphry Hocus, the

A declaration was drawn up to show "That Bull and Frog had undoubted
right by prescription to be drapers to the Lord Strutts; that there
were several old contracts to that purpose; that Lewis Baboon had taken
up the trade of clothier and draper without serving his time or
purchasing his freedom; that he sold goods that were not marketable
without the stamp; that he himself was more fit for a bully than a
tradesman, and went about through all the country fairs challenging
people to fight prizes, wrestling and cudgel-play, and abundance more
to this purpose".

    The true characters of John Bull, Nic. Frog, and Hocus.[179]

For the better understanding the following history the reader ought to
know that Bull, in the main, was an honest, plain-dealing fellow,
choleric, bold, and of a very unconstant temper; he dreaded not old
Lewis either at back-sword, single falchion, or cudgel-play; but then
he was very apt to quarrel with his best friends, especially if they
pretended to govern him. If you flattered him you might lead him like a
child. John's temper depended very much upon the air; his spirits rose
and fell with the weather-glass. John was quick, and understood his
business very well, but no man alive was more careless in looking into
his accounts, or more cheated by partners, apprentices, and servants.
This was occasioned by his being a boon companion, loving his bottle
and his diversion; for, to say truth, no man kept a better house than
John, nor spent his money more generously. By plain and fair dealing
John had acquired some plums, and might have kept them had it not been
for his unhappy lawsuit.

Nic. Frog was a cunning, sly fellow, quite the reverse of John in many
particulars; covetous, frugal, minded domestic affairs, would pinch his
belly to save his pocket, never lost a farthing by careless servants or
bad debtors. He did not care much for any sort of diversion, except
tricks of high German artists and legerdemain. No man exceeded Nic. in
these; yet it must be owned that Nic. was a fair dealer, and in that
way acquired immense riches.

Hocus was an old cunning attorney, and though this was the first
considerable suit that ever he was engaged in, he showed himself
superior in address to most of his profession. He kept always good
clerks, he loved money, was smooth-tongued, gave good words, and seldom
lost his temper. He was not worse than an infidel, for he provided
plentifully for his family, but he loved himself better than them all.
The neighbours reported that he was henpecked, which was impossible, by
such a mild-spirited woman as his wife was.

[Footnote 171: late King of Spain.]

[Footnote 172: Cardinal Portocarero.]

[Footnote 173: The first letters of congratulation from King William
and the States of Holland upon King Philip's accession to the crown of

[Footnote 174: The English.]

[Footnote 175: The Dutch.]

[Footnote 176: The character and trade of the French nation.]

[Footnote 177: The King's disposition to war.]

[Footnote 178: The sentiments and addresses of the Parliament at that

[Footnote 179: Characters of the English and Dutch, and the General,
Duke of Marlborough.]


    Swift was reported to have had a hand in this piece, and indeed for
    some time it was ascribed to him. But there is now no doubt that it
    was entirely the work of Arbuthnot.

Here continueth to rot the body of Francis Chartres; who, with an
inflexible constancy and inimitable uniformity of life, persisted, in
spite of age and infirmities, in the practice of every human vice
excepting prodigality and hypocrisy: his insatiable avarice exempted
him from the first, his matchless impudence from the second.

Nor was he more singular in the undeviating pravity of his manners,
than successful in accumulating wealth.

For, without trade or profession, without trust of public money, and
without bribe-worthy service, he acquired, or more properly created, a
ministerial estate.

He was the only person of his time who could cheat without the mask of
honesty, retain his primeval meanness when possessed of ten thousand a
year; and, having daily deserved the gibbet for what he did, was at
last condemned to it for what he could not do.

O indignant reader, think not his life useless to mankind, providence
connived at his execrable designs, to give to after-ages a conspicuous
proof and example of how small estimation is exorbitant wealth in the
sight of God, by his bestowing it on the most unworthy of all mortals.

      _Joannes jacet hic Mirandula--cætera norunt
      Et Tagus et Ganges forsan et Antipodes_.

                Applied to F. C.

      Here Francis Chartres lies--be civil!
      The rest God knows--perhaps the devil.




    Written in the year 1701. The Lord Justices addressed were the
    Earls of Berkeley and of Galway. The "Lady Betty" mentioned in the
    piece was the Lady Betty Berkeley. "Lord Dromedary", the Earl of
    Drogheda, and "The Chaplain", Swift himself. The author was at the
    time smarting under a sense of disappointment over the failure of
    his request to Lord Berkeley for preferment to the rich deanery of


  That I went to warm myself in Lady Betty's chamber, because I was cold,
  And I had in a purse seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence,
          besides farthings, in money and gold:
  So, because I had been buying things for my lady last night,
  I was resolved to tell my money, and see if it was right.
  Now you must know, because my trunk has a very bad lock,
  Therefore all the money I have, which God knows, is a very small stock,
  I keep in my pocket, tied about my middle, next my smock.
  So, when I went to put up my purse, as luck would have it,
          my smock was unript,
  And instead of putting it into my pocket, down it slipt:
  Then the bell rung, and I went down to put my lady to bed;
  And, God knows, I thought my money was as safe as my stupid head!
  So, when I came up again, I found my pocket feel very light:
  But when I search'd and miss'd my purse, law! I thought I should have
          sunk outright.
  "Lawk, madam," says Mary, "how d'ye do?" "Indeed," says I, "never worse:
  But pray, Mary, can you tell what I've done with my purse?"
  "Lawk, help me!" said Mary; "I never stirred out of this place:"
  "Nay," said I, "I had it in Lady Betty's chamber, that's a plain case."
  So Mary got me to bed, and cover'd me up warm:
  However, she stole away my garters, that I might do myself no harm.
  So I tumbled and toss'd all night, as you may very well think,
  But hardly ever set my eyes together, or slept a wink.
  So I was a-dream'd, methought, that I went and search'd the folks round,
  And in a corner of Mrs. Dukes's box, tied in a rag the money was found.
  So next morning we told Whittle, and he fell a-swearing:
  Then my dame Wadger came: and she, you know, is thick of hearing:
  "Dame," said I, as loud as I could bawl, "do you know what a loss
          I have had?"
  "Nay," said she, "my Lord Colway's folks are all very sad;
  For my Lord Dromedary comes a Tuesday without fail."
  "Pugh!" said I, "but that's not the business that I ail."
  Says Cary, says he, "I've been a servant this five-and-twenty years
          come spring,
  And in all the places I lived I never heard of such a thing."
  "Yes," says the Steward, "I remember, when I was at my Lady Shrewsbury's,
  Such a thing as this happen'd, just about the time of gooseberries."
  So I went to the party suspected, and I found her full of grief,
  (Now, you must know, of all things in the world I hate a thief,)
  However, I was resolved to bring the discourse slily about:
  "Mrs. Dukes," said I, "here's an ugly accident has happen'd out:
  'Tis not that I value the money three skips of a mouse;
  But the thing I stand upon is the credit of the house.
  'Tis true, seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence, makes a
          great hole in my wages:
  Besides, as they say, service is no inheritance in these ages.
  Now, Mrs. Dukes, you know, and everybody understands,
  That tho' 'tis hard to judge, yet money can't go without hands."
  "The devil take me," said she (blessing herself), "if ever I saw't!"
  So she roar'd like a Bedlam, as tho' I had called her all to nought.
  So you know, what could I say to her any more?
  I e'en left her, and came away as wise as I was before.
  Well; but then they would have had me gone to the cunning man:
  "No," said I, "'tis the same thing, the chaplain will be here anon."
  So the chaplain came in. Now the servants say he is my sweetheart,
  Because he's always in my chamber, and I always take his part.
  So, as the devil would have it, before I was aware, out I blunder'd,
  "Parson," said I, "can you cast a nativity when a body's plunder'd?"
  (Now you must know, he hates to be called _parson_, like the devil.)
  "Truly," says he, "Mrs. Nab, it might become you to be more civil;
  If your money be gone, as a learned divine says, d'ye see:
  You are no text for my handling; so take that from me:
  I was never taken for a conjuror before, I'd have you to know."
  "Law!" said I, "don't be angry, I am sure I never thought you so;
  You know I honour the cloth; I design to be a parson's wife,
  I never took one in your coat for a conjuror in all my life."
  With that, he twisted his girdle at me like a rope, as who should say,
  "Now you may go hang yourself for me!" and so went away.
  Well: I thought I should have swoon'd, "Law!" said I, "what shall I do?
  I have lost my money, and shall lose my true love too!"
  Then my Lord called me: "Harry," said my Lord, "don't cry,
  I'll give you something towards your loss;" and, says my Lady,
          "so will I."
  "O, but," said I, "what if, after all, the chaplain won't come to?"
  For that, he said, (an't please your Excellencies), I must petition you.
  The premises tenderly consider'd, I desire your Excellencies' protection,
  And that I may have a share in next Sunday's collection:
  And, over and above, that I may have your Excellencies' letter,
  With an order for the chaplain aforesaid, or, instead of him, a better:
  And then your poor petitioner both night and day,
  Or the chaplain (for 'tis his trade), as in duty bound, shall ever pray.


    This was written to satirize the superstitious faith placed in the
    predictions of the almanac-makers of the period. Partridge was the
    name of one of them--a cobbler by profession. Fielding also
    satirized the folly in _Tom Jones_. The elegy is upon "his
    supposed death", which drew from Partridge an indignant denial.

  Well; 'tis as Bickerstaff has guess'd,
  Though we all took it for a jest:
  Partridge is dead; nay more, he died
  Ere he could prove the good 'squire lied.
  Strange, an astrologer should die
  Without one wonder in the sky!
  Not one of his crony stars
  To pay their duty at his hearse!
  No meteor, no eclipse appear'd!
  No comet with a flaming beard!
  The sun has rose, and gone to bed,
  Just as if Partridge were not dead;
  Nor hid himself behind the moon
  To make a dreadful night at noon.
  He at fit periods walks through Aries,
  Howe'er our earthly motion varies;
  And twice a year he'll cut the equator,
  As if there had been no such matter.
    Some wits have wonder'd what analogy
  There is 'twixt cobbling and astrology;
  How Partridge made his optics rise
  From a shoe-sole to reach the skies.
    A list the cobbler's temples ties,
  To keep the hair out of his eyes;
  From whence 'tis plain, the diadem
  That princes wear derives from them:
  And therefore crowns are nowadays
  Adorn'd with golden stars and rays:
  Which plainly shows the near alliance
  'Twixt cobbling and the planets science.
    Besides, that slow-pac'd sign Bootes,
  As 'tis miscall'd, we know not who 'tis:
  But Partridge ended all disputes;
  He knew his trade, and call'd it boots.
    The horned moon, which heretofore
  Upon their shoes the Romans wore,
  Whose wideness kept their toes from corns,
  And whence we claim our shoeing-horns,
  Shows how the art of cobbling bears
  A near resemblance to the spheres.
    A scrap of parchment hung by geometry
  (A great refinement in barometry)
  Can, like the stars, foretell the weather;
  And what is parchment else but leather?
  Which an astrologer might use
  Either for almanacs or shoes.
    Thus Partridge by his wit and parts
  At once did practise both these arts:
  And as the boding owl (or rather
  The bat, because her wings are leather)
  Steals from her private cell by night,
  And flies about the candle-light;
  So learned Partridge could as well
  Creep in the dark from leathern cell,
  And in his fancy fly as far
  To peep upon a twinkling star.
    Besides, he could confound the spheres,
  And set the planets by the ears;
  To show his skill, he Mars could join
  To Venus in aspect malign;
  Then call in Mercury for aid,
  And cure the wounds that Venus made.
    Great scholars have in Lucian read,
  When Philip king of Greece was dead,
  His soul and spirit did divide,
  And each part took a different side:
  One rose a star; the other fell
  Beneath, and mended shoes in hell.
    Thus Partridge still shines in each art,
  The cobbling and star-gazing part,
  And is install'd as good a star
  As any of the Cæsars are.
    Triumphant star! some pity show
  On cobblers militant below,
  Whom roguish boys in stormy nights
  Torment by pissing out their lights,
  Or thro' a chink convey their smoke
  Inclos'd artificers to choke.
    Thou, high exalted in thy sphere,
  May'st follow still thy calling there.
  To thee the Bull will lend his hide,
  By Phoebus newly tann'd and dry'd:
  For thee they Argo's hulk will tax,
  And scrape her pitchy sides for wax;
  Then Ariadne kindly lends
  Her braided hair to make thee ends;
  The point of Sagittarius' dart
  Turns to an awl by heav'nly art;
  And Vulcan, wheedled by his wife,
  Will forge for thee a paring-knife.
  For want of room by Virgo's side,
  She'll strain a point, and sit astride,
  To take thee kindly in between;
  And then the signs will be thirteen.


  Here, five foot deep, lies on his back
  A cobbler, star-monger, and quack;
  Who to the stars in pure good-will
  Does to his best look upward still.
  Weep, all you customers that use
  His pills, his almanacs, or shoes:
  And you that did your fortunes seek,
  Step to his grave but once a week:
  This earth, which bears his body's print,
  You'll find has so much virtue in't,
  That I durst pawn my ears 't will tell
  Whate'er concerns you full as well,
  In physic, stolen goods, or love,
  As he himself could, when above.


    The remainder of the title is "According to the Style and Manner of
    the Honourable Robert Boyle's _Meditations_", and is intended as a
    satire on the style of that philosopher's lucubrations.

This single stick, which you now behold ingloriously lying in that
neglected corner, I once knew in a nourishing state in a forest: it was
full of sap, full of leaves, and full of boughs: but now, in vain does
the busy art of man pretend to vie with nature, by tying that withered
bundle of twigs to its sapless trunk. 'Tis now at best but the reverse
of what it was, a tree turned upside down, the branches on the earth,
and the root in the air: 'tis now handled by every dirty wench,
condemned to do her drudgery, and, by a capricious kind of fate,
destined to make other things clean, and be nasty itself. At length,
worn to the stumps in the service of the maids, 'tis either thrown out
of doors, or condemned to the last use of kindling a fire. When I
beheld this, I sighed and said within myself, surely mortal man is a
broom-stick; nature sent him into the world strong and lusty, in a
thriving condition, wearing his own hair on his head, the proper
branches of this reasoning vegetable, till the axe of intemperance has
lopped off his green boughs, and left him a withered trunk. He then
flies to art, and puts on a periwig, valuing himself upon an unnatural
bundle of hairs, all covered with powder, that never grew on his head.
But now should this our broomstick pretend to enter the scene, proud of
those birchen spoils it never bore, and all covered with dust, though
the sweepings of the finest lady's chamber, we should be apt to
ridicule and despise its vanity. Partial judges that we are of our own
excellencies, and other men's defaults!

But a broom-stick, perhaps you will say, is an emblem of a tree
standing on its head; and pray what is man, but a topsy-turvy creature,
his animal faculties perpetually mounted on his rational, his head
where his heels should be, grovelling on the earth! And yet, with all
his faults, he sets up to be an universal reformer and corrector of
abuses, a remover of grievances, rakes into every sluts' corner of
nature, bringing hidden corruptions to the light, and raises a mighty
dust where there was none before, sharing deeply all the while in the
very same pollutions he pretends to sweep away. His last days are spent
in slavery to women, and generally the least deserving; till, worn to
the stumps, like his brother bezom, he is either kicked out of doors,
or made use of to kindle flames, for others to warm themselves by.


    This piece constitutes Section X. of _The Tale of a Tub_.

It is an unanswerable argument of a very refined age the wonderful
civilities that have passed of late years between the nation of authors
and that of readers. There can hardly pop out a play, a pamphlet, or a
poem, without a preface full of acknowledgments to the world for the
general reception and applause they have given it, which the Lord knows
where, or when, or how, or from whom it received. In due deference to
so laudable a custom, I do here return my humble thanks to His Majesty
and both Houses of Parliament, to the Lords of the King's most
honourable Privy Council, to the reverend the Judges, to the Clergy,
and Gentry, and Yeomanry of this land: but in a more especial manner to
my worthy brethren and friends at Will's Coffee-house, and Gresham
College, and Warwick Lane, and Moorfields, and Scotland Yard, and
Westminster Hall, and Guildhall; in short, to all inhabitants and
retainers whatsoever, either in court, or church, or camp, or city, or
country, for their generosity and universal acceptance of this divine
treatise. I accept their approbation and good opinion with extreme
gratitude, and to the utmost of my poor capacity shall take hold of all
opportunities to return the obligation.

I am also happy that fate has flung me into so blessed an age for the
mutual felicity of booksellers and authors, whom I may safely affirm to
be at this day the two only satisfied parties in England. Ask an author
how his last piece has succeeded, "Why, truly he thanks his stars the
world has been very favourable, and he has not the least reason to
complain". And yet he wrote it in a week at bits and starts, when he
could steal an hour from his urgent affairs, as it is a hundred to one
you may see further in the preface, to which he refers you, and for the
rest to the bookseller. There you go as a customer, and make the same
question, "He blesses his God the thing takes wonderful; he is just
printing a second edition, and has but three left in his shop". You
beat down the price; "Sir, we shall not differ", and in hopes of your
custom another time, lets you have it as reasonable as you please; "And
pray send as many of your acquaintance as you will; I shall upon your
account furnish them all at the same rate".

Now it is not well enough considered to what accidents and occasions
the world is indebted for the greatest part of those noble writings
which hourly start up to entertain it. If it were not for a rainy day,
a drunken vigil, a fit of the spleen, a course of physic, a sleepy
Sunday, an ill run at dice, a long tailor's bill, a beggar's purse, a
factious head, a hot sun, costive diet, want of books, and a just
contempt of learning,--but for these events, I say, and some others too
long to recite (especially a prudent neglect of taking brimstone
inwardly), I doubt the number of authors and of writings would dwindle
away to a degree most woeful to behold. To confirm this opinion, hear
the words of the famous troglodyte philosopher. "It is certain," said
he, "some grains of folly are of course annexed as part in the
composition of human nature; only the choice is left us whether we
please to wear them inlaid or embossed, and we need not go very far to
seek how that is usually determined, when we remember it is with human
faculties as with liquors, the lightest will be ever at the top."

There is in this famous island of Britain a certain paltry scribbler,
very voluminous, whose character the reader cannot wholly be a stranger
to. He deals in a pernicious kind of writings called "Second Parts",
and usually passes under the name of "The Author of the First". I
easily foresee that as soon as I lay down my pen this nimble operator
will have stole it, and treat me as inhumanly as he has already done
Dr. Blackmore, Lestrange, and many others who shall here be nameless. I
therefore fly for justice and relief into the hands of that great
rectifier of saddles and lover of mankind, Dr. Bentley, begging he will
take this enormous grievance into his most modern consideration; and if
it should so happen that the furniture of an ass in the shape of a
second part must for my sins be clapped, by mistake, upon my back, that
he will immediately please, in the presence of the world, to lighten me
of the burden, and take it home to his own house till the true beast
thinks fit to call for it.

In the meantime, I do here give this public notice that my resolutions
are to circumscribe within this discourse the whole stock of matter I
have been so many years providing. Since my vein is once opened, I am
content to exhaust it all at a running, for the peculiar advantage of
my dear country, and for the universal benefit of mankind. Therefore,
hospitably considering the number of my guests, they shall have my
whole entertainment at a meal, and I scorn to set up the leavings in
the cupboard. What the guests cannot eat may be given to the poor, and
the dogs under the table may gnaw the bones.[180] This I understand for
a more generous proceeding than to turn the company's stomachs by
inviting them again to-morrow to a scurvy meal of scraps.

If the reader fairly considers the strength of what I have advanced in
the foregoing section, I am convinced it will produce a wonderful
revolution in his notions and opinions, and he will be abundantly
better prepared to receive and to relish the concluding part of this
miraculous treatise. Readers may be divided into three classes, the
superficial, the ignorant, and the learned, and I have with much
felicity fitted my pen to the genius and advantage of each. The
superficial reader will be strangely provoked to laughter, which clears
the breast and the lungs, is sovereign against the spleen, and the most
innocent of all diuretics. The ignorant reader (between whom and the
former the distinction is extremely nice) will find himself disposed to
stare, which is an admirable remedy for ill eyes, serves to raise and
enliven the spirits, and wonderfully helps perspiration. But the reader
truly learned, chiefly for whose benefit I wake when others sleep, and
sleep when others wake, will here find sufficient matter to employ his
speculations for the rest of his life. It were much to be wished, and I
do here humbly propose for an experiment, that every prince in
Christendom will take seven of the deepest scholars in his dominions
and shut them up close for seven years in seven chambers, with a
command to write seven ample commentaries on this comprehensive
discourse. I shall venture to affirm that, whatever difference may be
found in their several conjectures, they will be all, without the
least distortion, manifestly deducible from the text. Meantime it is my
earnest request that so useful an undertaking may be entered upon (if
their Majesties please) with all convenient speed, because I have a
strong inclination before I leave the world to taste a blessing which
we mysterious writers can seldom reach till we have got into our
graves, whether it is that fame being a fruit grafted on the body, can
hardly grow and much less ripen till the stock is in the earth, or
whether she be a bird of prey, and is lured among the rest to pursue
after the scent of a carcass, or whether she conceives her trumpet
sounds best and farthest when she stands on a tomb, by the advantage of
a rising ground and the echo of a hollow vault.

It is true, indeed, the republic of dark authors, after they once found
out this excellent expedient of dying, have been peculiarly happy in
the variety as well as extent of their reputation. For night being the
universal mother of things, wise philosophers hold all writings to be
fruitful in the proportion they are dark, and therefore the true
illuminated (that is to say, the darkest of all) have met with such
numberless commentators, whose scholiastic midwifery hath delivered
them of meanings that the authors themselves perhaps never conceived,
and yet may very justly be allowed the lawful parents of them, the
words of such writers being like seed, which, however scattered at
random, when they light upon a fruitful ground, will multiply far
beyond either the hopes or imagination of the sower.

And therefore, in order to promote so useful a work, I will here take
leave to glance a few innuendos that may be of great assistance to
those sublime spirits who shall be appointed to labour in a universal
comment upon this wonderful discourse. And first, I have couched a very
profound mystery in the number of o's multiplied by seven and divided
by nine. Also, if a devout brother of the Rosy Cross will pray
fervently for sixty-three mornings with a lively faith, and then
transpose certain letters and syllables according to prescription, in
the second and fifth section they will certainly reveal into a full
receipt of the _opus magnum_. Lastly, whoever will be at the pains to
calculate the whole number of each letter in this treatise, and sum up
the difference exactly between the several numbers, assigning the true
natural cause for every such difference, the discoveries in the product
will plentifully reward his labour. But then he must beware of Bythus
and Sigè, and be sure not to forget the qualities of Acamoth; _a cujus
lacrymis humecta prodit substantia, à risu lucida, à tristitiâ solida,
et à timoré mobilis_, wherein Eugenius Philalethes[181] hath committed
an unpardonable mistake.

[Footnote 180: The bad critics.]

[Footnote 181: A name under which Thomas Vaughan wrote.]


    The following is the famous dedication of _The Tale of a Tub_. The
    description of "the tyranny of Time" was regarded by Goethe as one
    of the finest passages in Swift's works.


I here present your Highness with the fruits of a very few leisure
hours, stolen from the short intervals of a world of business, and of
an employment quite alien from such amusements as this; the poor
production of that refuse of time which has lain heavy upon my hands
during a long prorogation of Parliament, a great dearth of foreign
news, and a tedious fit of rainy weather. For which, and other reasons,
it cannot choose extremely to deserve such a patronage as that of your
Highness, whose numberless virtues in so few years, make the world look
upon you as the future example to all princes. For although your
Highness is hardly got clear of infancy, yet has the universal learned
world already resolved upon appealing to your future dictates with the
lowest and most resigned submission, fate having decreed you sole
arbiter of the productions of human wit in this polite and most
accomplished age. Methinks the number of appellants were enough to
shock and startle any judge of a genius less unlimited than yours; but
in order to prevent such glorious trials, the person, it seems, to
whose care the education of your Highness is committed, has resolved,
as I am told, to keep you in almost an universal ignorance of our
studies, which it is your inherent birthright to inspect.

It is amazing to me that this person should have assurance, in the face
of the sun, to go about persuading your Highness that our age is almost
wholly illiterate and has hardly produced one writer upon any subject.
I know very well that when your Highness shall come to riper years, and
have gone through the learning of antiquity, you will be too curious to
neglect inquiring into the authors of the very age before you; and to
think that this insolent, in the account he is preparing for your view,
designs to reduce them to a number so insignificant as I am ashamed to
mention; it moves my zeal and my spleen for the honour and interest of
our vast flourishing body, as well as of myself, for whom I know by
long experience he has professed, and still continues, a peculiar

It is not unlikely that, when your Highness will one day peruse what I
am now writing, you may be ready to expostulate with your governor upon
the credit of what I here affirm, and command him to show you some of
our productions. To which he will answer--for I am well informed of
his designs--by asking your Highness where they are, and what is become
of them? and pretend it a demonstration that there never were any,
because they are not then to be found. Not to be found! Who has mislaid
them? Are they sunk in the abyss of things? It is certain that in their
own nature they were light enough to swim upon the surface for all
eternity; therefore, the fault is in him who tied weights so heavy to
their heels as to depress them to the centre. Is their very essence
destroyed? Who has annihilated them? Were they drowned by purges or
martyred by pipes? Who administered them to the posteriors of ----. But
that it may no longer be a doubt with your Highness who is to be the
author of this universal ruin, I beseech you to observe that large and
terrible scythe which your governor affects to bear continually about
him. Be pleased to remark the length and strength, the sharpness and
hardness, of his nails and teeth; consider his baneful, abominable
breath, enemy to life and matter, infectious and corrupting, and then
reflect whether it be possible for any mortal ink and paper of this
generation to make a suitable resistance. Oh, that your Highness would
one day resolve to disarm this usurping _maître de palais_ of his
furious engines, and bring your empire _hors du page_!

It were endless to recount the several methods of tyranny and
destruction which your governor is pleased to practise upon this
occasion. His inveterate malice is such to the writings of our age,
that, of several thousands produced yearly from this renowned city,
before the next revolution of the sun there is not one to be heard of.
Unhappy infants! many of them barbarously destroyed before they have so
much as learnt their mother-tongue to beg for pity. Some he stifles in
their cradles, others he frights into convulsions, whereof they
suddenly die, some he flays alive, others he tears limb from limb,
great numbers are offered to Moloch, and the rest, tainted by his
breath, die of a languishing consumption.

But the concern I have most at heart is for our Corporation of Poets,
from whom I am preparing a petition to your Highness, to be subscribed
with the names of one hundred and thirty-six of the first race, but
whose immortal productions are never likely to reach your eyes, though
each of them is now an humble and an earnest appellant for the laurel,
and has large comely volumes ready to show for a support to his
pretensions. The never-dying works of these illustrious persons your
governor, sir, has devoted to unavoidable death, and your Highness is
to be made believe that our age has never arrived at the honour to
produce one single poet.

We confess immortality to be a great and powerful goddess, but in vain
we offer up to her our devotions and our sacrifices if your Highness's
governor, who has usurped the priesthood, must, by an unparalled
ambition and avarice, wholly intercept and devour them.

To affirm that our age is altogether unlearned and devoid of writers in
any kind, seems to be an assertion so bold and so false, that I have
been sometimes thinking the contrary may almost be proved by
uncontrollable demonstration. It is true, indeed, that although their
numbers be vast and their productions numerous in proportion, yet are
they hurried so hastily off the scene that they escape our memory and
delude our sight. When I first thought of this address, I had prepared
a copious list of titles to present your Highness as an undisputed
argument for what I affirm. The originals were posted fresh upon all
gates and corners of streets; but returning in a very few hours to take
a review, they were all torn down and fresh ones in their places. I
inquired after them among readers and booksellers, but I inquired in
vain; the memorial of them was lost among men, their place was no more
to be found; and I was laughed to scorn for a clown and a pedant,
devoid of all taste and refinement, little versed in the course of
present affairs, and that knew nothing of what had passed in the best
companies of court and town. So that I can only avow in general to your
Highness that we do abound in learning and wit, but to fix upon
particulars is a task too slippery for my slender abilities. If I
should venture, in a windy day, to affirm to your Highness that there
is a large cloud near the horizon in the form of a bear, another in the
zenith with the head of an ass, a third to the westward with claws like
a dragon; and your Highness should in a few minutes think fit to
examine the truth, it is certain they would be all changed in figure
and position, new ones would arise, and all we could agree upon would
be, that clouds there were, but that I was grossly mistaken in the
zoography and topography of them.

But your governor, perhaps, may still insist, and put the question,
What is then become of those immense bales of paper which must needs
have been employed in such numbers of books? Can these also be wholly
annihilated, and so of a sudden, as I pretend? What shall I say in
return of so invidious an objection? It ill befits the distance between
your Highness and me to send you for ocular conviction to a jakes or an
oven, to the windows of a bawdyhouse, or to a sordid lantern. Books,
like men their authors, have no more than one way of coming into the
world, but there are ten thousand to go out of it and return no more.

I profess to your Highness, in the integrity of my heart, that what I
am going to say is literally true this minute I am writing; what
revolutions may happen before it shall be ready for your perusal I can
by no means warrant; however, I beg you to accept it as a specimen of
our learning, our politeness, and our wit. I do therefore affirm, upon
the word of a sincere man, that there is now actually in being a
certain poet called John Dryden, whose translation of Virgil was lately
printed in large folio, well bound, and if diligent search were made,
for aught I know, is yet to be seen. There is another called Nahum
Tate, who is ready to make oath that he has caused many reams of verse
to be published, whereof both himself and his bookseller, if lawfully
required, can still produce authentic copies, and therefore wonders why
the world is pleased to make such a secret of it. There is a third,
known by the name of Tom Durfey, a poet of a vast comprehension, an
universal genius, and most profound learning. There are also one Mr.
Rymer and one Mr. Dennis, most profound critics. There is a person
styled Dr. Bentley, who has wrote near a thousand pages of immense
erudition, giving a full and true account of a certain squabble of
wonderful importance between himself and a bookseller; he is a writer
of infinite wit and humour, no man rallies with a better grace and in
more sprightly turns. Further, I avow to your Highness that with these
eyes I have beheld the person of William Wotton, B.D., who has written
a good-sized volume against a friend of your governor, from whom, alas!
he must therefore look for little favour, in a most gentlemanly style,
adorned with utmost politeness and civility, replete with discoveries
equally valuable for their novelty and use, and embellished with traits
of wit so poignant and so apposite, that he is a worthy yoke-mate to
his fore-mentioned friend.

Why should I go upon farther particulars, which might fill a volume
with the just eulogies of my contemporary brethren? I shall bequeath
this piece of justice to a larger work, wherein I intend to write a
character of the present set of wits in our nation; their persons I
shall describe particularly and at length, their genius and
understandings in miniature.

In the meantime, I do here make bold to present your Highness with a
faithful abstract drawn from the universal body of all arts and
sciences, intended wholly for your service and instruction. Nor do I
doubt in the least, but your Highness will peruse it as carefully and
make as considerable improvements as other young princes have already
done by the many volumes of late years written for a help to their

That your Highness may advance in wisdom and virtue, as well as years,
and at last outshine all your royal ancestors, shall be the daily
prayer of,

Your Highness's most devoted, &c.
_Decem_. 1697.




    This paper forms No. 125 of _The Tatler_, January 26th, 1709.

From my own apartment, _January_ 25.

There is a sect of ancient philosophers, who, I think, have left more
volumes behind them, and those better written, than any other of the
fraternities in philosophy. It was a maxim of this sect, that all those
who do not live up to the principles of reason and virtue are madmen.
Everyone who governs himself by these rules is allowed the title of
wise, and reputed to be in his senses: and everyone, in proportion as
he deviates from them, is pronounced frantic and distracted. Cicero,
having chosen this maxim for his theme, takes occasion to argue from
it very agreeably with Clodius, his implacable adversary, who had
procured his banishment. A city, says he, is an assembly distinguished
into bodies of men, who are in possession of their respective rights
and privileges, cast under proper subordinations, and in all its parts
obedient to the rules of law and equity. He then represents the
government from whence he was banished, at a time when the consul,
senate, and laws had lost their authority, as a commonwealth of
lunatics. For this reason he regards his expulsion from Rome as a man
would being turned out of Bedlam, if the inhabitants of it should drive
him out of their walls as a person unfit for their community. We are
therefore to look upon every man's brain to be touched, however he may
appear in the general conduct of his life, if he has an unjustifiable
singularity in any part of his conversation or behaviour; or if he
swerves from right reason, however common his kind of madness may be,
we shall not excuse him for its being epidemical; it being our present
design to clap up all such as have the marks of madness upon them, who
are now permitted to go about the streets for no other reason but
because they do no mischief in their fits. Abundance of imaginary great
men are put in straw to bring them to a right sense of themselves. And
is it not altogether as reasonable, that an insignificant man, who has
an immoderate opinion of his merits, and a quite different notion of
his own abilities from what the rest of the world entertain, should
have the same care taken of him as a beggar who fancies himself a duke
or a prince? Or why should a man who starves in the midst of plenty be
trusted with himself more than he who fancies he is an emperor in the
midst of poverty? I have several women of quality in my thoughts who
set so exorbitant a value upon themselves that I have often most
heartily pitied them, and wished them for their recovery under the same
discipline with the pewterer's wife. I find by several hints in ancient
authors that when the Romans were in the height of power and luxury
they assigned out of their vast dominions an island called Anticyra as
an habitation for madmen. This was the Bedlam of the Roman empire,
whither all persons who had lost their wits used to resort from all
parts of the world in quest of them. Several of the Roman emperors were
advised to repair to this island: but most of them, instead of
listening to such sober counsels, gave way to their distraction, until
the people knocked them on the head as despairing of their cure. In
short, it was as usual for men of distempered brains to take a voyage
to Anticyra in those days as it is in ours for persons who have a
disorder in their lungs to go to Montpellier.

The prodigious crops of hellebore with which this whole island abounded
did not only furnish them with incomparable tea, snuff, and Hungary
water, but impregnated the air of the country with such sober and
salutiferous steams as very much comforted the heads and refreshed the
senses of all that breathed in it. A discarded statesman that, at his
first landing, appeared stark, staring mad, would become calm in a
week's time, and upon his return home live easy and satisfied in his
retirement. A moping lover would grow a pleasant fellow by that time he
had rid thrice about the island: and a hair-brained rake, after a short
stay in the country, go home again a composed, grave, worthy gentleman.

I have premised these particulars before I enter on the main design of
this paper, because I would not be thought altogether notional in what
I have to say, and pass only for a projector in morality. I could quote
Horace and Seneca and some other ancient writers of good repute upon
the same occasion, and make out by their testimony that our streets are
filled with distracted persons; that our shops and taverns, private and
public houses, swarm with them; and that it is very hard to make up a
tolerable assembly without a majority of them. But what I have already
said is, I hope, sufficient to justify the ensuing project, which I
shall therefore give some account of without any further preface.

1. It is humbly proposed, That a proper receptacle or habitation be
forthwith erected for all such persons as, upon due trial and
examination, shall appear to be out of their wits.

2. That, to serve the present exigency, the college in Moorfields be
very much extended at both ends; and that it be converted into a
square, by adding three other sides to it.

3. That nobody be admitted into these three additional sides but such
whose frenzy can lay no claim to any apartment in that row of building
which is already erected.

4. That the architect, physician, apothecary, surgeon, keepers, nurses,
and porters be all and each of them cracked, provided that their frenzy
does not lie in the profession or employment to which they shall
severally and respectively be assigned.

_N.B._ It is thought fit to give the foregoing notice, that none may
present himself here for any post of honour or profit who is not duly

5. That over all the gates of the additional buildings there be figures
placed in the same manner as over the entrance of the edifice already
erected, provided they represent such distractions only as are proper
for those additional buildings; as of an envious man gnawing his own
flesh; a gamester pulling himself by the ears and knocking his head
against a marble pillar; a covetous man warming himself over a heap of
gold; a coward flying from his own shadow, and the like.

Having laid down this general scheme of my design, I do hereby invite
all persons who are willing to encourage so public-spirited a project
to bring in their contributions as soon as possible; and to apprehend
forthwith any politician whom they shall catch raving in a
coffee-house, or any free-thinker whom they shall find publishing his
deliriums, or any other person who shall give the like manifest signs
of a crazed imagination. And I do at the same time give this public
notice to all the madmen about this great city, that they may return to
their senses with all imaginable expedition, lest, if they should come
into my hands, I should put them into a regimen which they would not
like; for if I find any one of them persist in his frantic behaviour I
will make him in a month's time as famous as ever Oliver's porter was.




    This piece represents the complete paper, No. 112 of _The
    Spectator_, July 9th, 1711.

I am always very well pleased with a country Sunday, and think, if
keeping holy the seventh day were only a human institution, it would be
the best method that could have been thought of for the polishing and
civilizing of mankind. It is certain the country people would soon
degenerate into a kind of savages and barbarians, were there not such
frequent returns of a stated time in which the whole village meet
together with their best faces and in their cleanliest habits to
converse with one another upon indifferent subjects, hear their duties
explained to them, and join together in adoration of the supreme Being.
Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week, not only as it refreshes
in their minds the notions of religion, but as it puts both the sexes
upon appearing in their most agreeable forms and exerting all such
qualities as are apt to give them a figure in the eye of the village. A
country fellow distinguishes himself as much in the churchyard as a
citizen does upon the Change, the whole parish politics being generally
discussed in that place either after sermon or before the bell rings.

My friend Sir Roger, being a good churchman, has beautified the inside
of his church with several texts of his own choosing; he has likewise
given a handsome pulpit-cloth, and railed in the communion table at his
own expense. He has often told me that at his coming to his estate he
found his parishioners very irregular; and that in order to make them
kneel and join in the responses he gave every one of them a hassock and
a common-prayer book: and at the same time employed an itinerant
singing-master, who goes about the country for that purpose, to
instruct them rightly in the tunes of the psalms, upon which they now
very much value themselves, and indeed out-do most of the country
churches that I have ever heard.

As Sir Roger is landlord to the whole congregation, he keeps them in
very good order, and will suffer nobody to sleep in it besides himself;
for if by chance he has been surprised into a short nap at sermon, upon
recovering out of it he stands up and looks about him, and if he sees
anybody else nodding either wakes them himself or sends his servants to
them. Several other of the old knight's particularities break out upon
these occasions: sometimes he will be lengthening out a verse in the
singing-psalms half a minute after the rest of the congregation have
done with it: sometimes, when he is pleased with the matter of his
devotion, he pronounces Amen three or four times to the same prayer;
and sometimes stands up when everybody else is upon their knees, to
count the congregation or see if any of his tenants are missing.

I was yesterday very much surprised to hear my old friend, in the midst
of the service, calling out to one John Matthews to mind what he was
about and not disturb the congregation. This John Matthews it seems is
remarkable for being an idle fellow, and at that time was kicking his
heels for his diversion. This authority of the knight, though exerted
in that odd manner which accompanies him in all circumstances of life,
has a very good effect upon the parish, who are not polite enough to
see anything ridiculous in his behaviour; besides that the general good
sense and worthiness of his character makes his friends observe these
little singularities as foils that rather set off than blemish his good

As soon as the sermon is finished nobody presumes to stir till Sir
Roger is gone out of the church. The knight walks down from his seat in
the chancel between a double row of his tenants, that stand bowing to
him on each side; and every now and then inquires how such an one's
wife, or mother, or son, or father do, whom he does not see at church,
which is understood as a secret reprimand to the person that is absent.

The chaplain has often told me that upon a catechizing day, when Sir
Roger has been pleased with a boy that answers well, he has ordered a
Bible to be given him next day for his encouragement; and sometimes
accompanies it with a flitch of bacon to his mother. Sir Roger has
likewise added five pounds a year to the clerk's place; and that he may
encourage the young fellows to make themselves perfect in the church
service, has promised upon the death of the present incumbent, who is
very old, to bestow it according to merit.

The fair understanding between Sir Roger and his chaplain, and their
mutual concurrence in doing good, is the more remarkable because the
very next village is famous for the differences and contentions that
rise between the parson and the squire, who live in a perpetual state
of war. The parson is always preaching at the squire, and the squire to
be revenged on the parson never comes to church. The squire has made
all his tenants atheists and tithe-stealers; while the parson instructs
them every Sunday in the dignity of his order, and insinuates to them
in almost every sermon that he is a better man than his patron. In
short, matters are come to such an extremity that the squire has not
said his prayers either in public or private this half year; and that
the parson threatens him, if he does not mend his manners, to pray for
him in the face of the whole congregation.

Feuds of this nature, though too frequent in the country, are very
fatal to the ordinary people, who are so used to be dazzled with riches
that they pay as much deference to the understanding of a man of an
estate as of a man of learning, and are very hardly brought to regard
any truth, how important soever it may be, that is preached to them
when they know there are several men of five hundred a year who do not
believe it.




    This is justly regarded as one of the finest satires in the English
    language. It is taken from Dr. Young's _Series of Satires_
    published in collected form in 1750. Dodington was the famous "Bubb
    Dodington", satirized as Bubo by Pope in the "Prologue to the

  Long, Dodington, in debt, I long have sought
  To ease the burden of my graceful thought:
  And now a poet's gratitude you see:
  Grant him two favours, and he'll ask for three:
  For whose the present glory, or the gain?
  You give protection, I a worthless strain.
  You love and feel the poet's sacred flame,
  And know the basis of a solid fame;
  Though prone to like, yet cautious to commend,
  You read with all the malice of a friend;
  Nor favour my attempts that way alone,
  But, more to raise my verse, conceal your own.
    An ill-tim'd modesty! turn ages o'er,
  When wanted Britain bright examples more?
  Her learning, and her genius too, decays;
  And dark and cold are her declining days;
  As if men now were of another cast,
  They meanly live on alms of ages past,
  Men still are men; and they who boldly dare,
  Shall triumph o'er the sons of cold despair;
  Or, if they fail, they justly still take place
  Of such who run in debt for their disgrace;
  Who borrow much, then fairly make it known,
  And damn it with improvements of their own.
  We bring some new materials, and what's old
  New cast with care, and in no borrow'd mould;
  Late times the verse may read, if these refuse;
  And from sour critics vindicate the Muse.
  "Your work is long", the critics cry. 'Tis true,
  And lengthens still, to take in fools like you:
  Shorten my labour, if its length you blame:
  For, grow but wise, you rob me of my game;
  As haunted hags, who, while the dogs pursue,
  Renounce their four legs, and start up on two.

    Like the bold bird upon the banks of Nile
  That picks the teeth of the dire crocodile,
  Will I enjoy (dread feast!) the critic's rage,
  And with the fell destroyer feed my page.
  For what ambitious fools are more to blame,
  Than those who thunder in the critic's name?
  Good authors damn'd, have their revenge in this,
  To see what wretches gain the praise they miss.

    Balbutius, muffled in his sable cloak,
  Like an old Druid from his hollow oak,
  As ravens solemn, and as boding, cries,
  "Ten thousand worlds for the three unities!"
  Ye doctors sage, who through Parnassus teach,
  Or quit the tub, or practise what you preach.

    One judges as the weather dictates; right
  The poem is at noon, and wrong at night:
  Another judges by a surer gage,
  An author's principles, or parentage;
  Since his great ancestors in Flanders fell,
  The poem doubtless must be written well.
  Another judges by the writer's look;
  Another judges, for he bought the book:
  Some judge, their knack of judging wrong to keep;
  Some judge, because it is too soon to sleep.
  Thus all will judge, and with one single aim,
  To gain themselves, not give the writer, fame.
  The very best ambitiously advise,
  Half to serve you, and half to pass for wise.

    Critics on verse, as squibs on triumphs wait,
  Proclaim the glory, and augment the state;
  Hot, envious, noisy, proud, the scribbling fry
  Burn, hiss, and bounce, waste paper, stink, and die.
  Rail on, my friends! what more my verse can crown
  Than Compton's smile, and your obliging frown?

    Not all on books their criticism waste:
  The genius of a dish some justly taste,
  And eat their way to fame; with anxious thought
  The salmon is refus'd, the turbot bought.
  Impatient art rebukes the sun's delay
  And bids December yield the fruits of May;
  Their various cares in one great point combine
  The business of their lives, that is--to dine.
  Half of their precious day they give the feast;
  And to a kind digestion spare the rest.
  Apicius, here, the taster of the town,
  Feeds twice a week, to settle their renown.

    These worthies of the palate guard with care
  The sacred annals of their bills of fare;
  In those choice books their panegyrics read,
  And scorn the creatures that for hunger feed.
  If man by feeding well commences great,
  Much more the worm to whom that man is meat.

    To glory some advance a lying claim,
  Thieves of renown, and pilferers of fame:
  Their front supplies what their ambition lacks;
  They know a thousand lords, behind their backs.
  Cottil is apt to wink upon a peer,
  When turn'd away, with a familiar leer;
  And Harvey's eyes, unmercifully keen,
  Have murdered fops, by whom she ne'er was seen.
  Niger adopts stray libels; wisely prone,
  To cover shame still greater than his own.
  Bathyllus, in the winter of threescore,
  Belies his innocence, and keeps a ----.
  Absence of mind Brabantio turns to fame,
  Learns to mistake, nor knows his brother's name;
  Has words and thoughts in nice disorder set,
  And takes a memorandum to forget.
  Thus vain, not knowing what adorns or blots
  Men forge the patents that create them sots.

    As love of pleasure into pain betrays,
  So most grow infamous through love of praise.
  But whence for praise can such an ardour rise,
  When those, who bring that incense, we despise?
  For such the vanity of great and small,
  Contempt goes round, and all men laugh at all.
  Nor can even satire blame them; for 'tis true,
  They have most ample cause for what they do
  O fruitful Britain! doubtless thou wast meant
  A nurse of fools, to stock the continent.
  Though Phoebus and the Nine for ever mow,
  Rank folly underneath the scythe will grow
  The plenteous harvest calls me forward still,
  Till I surpass in length my lawyer's bill;
  A Welsh descent, which well-paid heralds damn;
  Or, longer still, a Dutchman's epigram.
  When, cloy'd, in fury I throw down my pen,
  In comes a coxcomb, and I write again.

    See Tityrus, with merriment possest,
  Is burst with laughter, ere he hears the jest:
  What need he stay? for when the jest is o'er,
  His teeth will be no whiter than before.
  Is there of thee, ye fair! so great a dearth,
  That you need purchase monkeys for your mirth!

    Some, vain of paintings, bid the world admire;
  Of houses some; nay, houses that they hire:
  Some (perfect wisdom!) of a beauteous wife;
  And boast, like Cordeliers, a scourge for life.

    Sometimes, through pride, the sexes change their airs;
  My lord has vapours, and my lady swears;
  Then, stranger still! on turning of the wind,
  My lord wears breeches, and my lady's kind.

    To show the strength, and infamy of pride,
  By all 'tis follow'd, and by all denied.
  What numbers are there, which at once pursue,
  Praise, and the glory to contemn it, too?
  Vincenna knows self-praise betrays to shame,
  And therefore lays a stratagem for fame;
  Makes his approach in modesty's disguise,
  To win applause; and takes it by surprise.
  "To err," says he, "in small things, is my fate."
  You know your answer, "he's exact in great".
  "My style", says he, "is rude and full of faults."
  "But oh! what sense! what energy of thoughts!"
  That he wants algebra, he must confess;
  "But not a soul to give our arms success".
  "Ah! that's an hit indeed," Vincenna cries;
  "But who in heat of blood was ever wise?
  I own 'twas wrong, when thousands called me back
  To make that hopeless, ill-advised attack;
  All say, 'twas madness; nor dare I deny;
  Sure never fool so well deserved to die."
  Could this deceive in others to be free,
  It ne'er, Vincenna, could deceive in thee!
  Whose conduct is a comment to thy tongue,
  So clear, the dullest cannot take thee wrong.
  Thou on one sleeve wilt thy revenues wear;
  And haunt the court, without a prospect there.
  Are these expedients for renown? Confess
  Thy little self, that I may scorn thee less.

    Be wise, Vincenna, and the court forsake;
  Our fortunes there, nor thou, nor I, shall make.
  Even men of merit, ere their point they gain,
  In hardy service make a long campaign;
  Most manfully besiege the patron's gate,
  And oft repulsed, as oft attack the great
  With painful art, and application warm.
  And take, at last, some little place by storm;
  Enough to keep two shoes on Sunday clean,
  And starve upon discreetly, in Sheer-Lane.
  Already this thy fortune can afford;
  Then starve without the favour of my lord.
  'Tis true, great fortunes some great men confer,
  But often, even in doing right, they err:
  From caprice, not from choice, their favours come:
  They give, but think it toil to know to whom:
  The man that's nearest, yawning, they advance:
  'Tis inhumanity to bless by chance.
  If merit sues, and greatness is so loth
  To break its downy trance, I pity both.

    Behold the masquerade's fantastic scene!
  The Legislature join'd with Drury-Lane!
  When Britain calls, th' embroider'd patriots run,
  And serve their country--if the dance is done.
  "Are we not then allow'd to be polite?"
  Yes, doubtless; but first set your notions right.
  Worth, of politeness is the needful ground;
  Where that is wanting, this can ne'er be found.
  Triflers not even in trifles can excel;
  'Tis solid bodies only polish well.

    Great, chosen prophet! for these latter days,
  To turn a willing world from righteous ways!
  Well, Heydegger, dost thou thy master serve;
  Well has he seen his servant should not starve,
  Thou to his name hast splendid temples raised
  In various forms of worship seen him prais'd,
  Gaudy devotion, like a Roman, shown,
  And sung sweet anthems in a tongue unknown.
  Inferior offerings to thy god of vice
  Are duly paid, in fiddles, cards, and dice;
  Thy sacrifice supreme, an hundred maids!
  That solemn rite of midnight masquerades!

    Though bold these truths, thou, Muse, with truths like these,
  Wilt none offend, whom 'tis a praise to please;
  Let others flatter to be flatter'd, thou
  Like just tribunals, bend an awful brow.
  How terrible it were to common-sense,
  To write a satire, which gave none offence!
  And, since from life I take the draughts you see.
  If men dislike them, do they censure me?
  The fool, and knave, 'tis glorious to offend,
  And Godlike an attempt the world to mend,
  The world, where lucky throws to blockheads fall,
  Knaves know the game, and honest men pay all.
    How hard for real worth to gain its price!
  A man shall make his fortune in a trice,
  If blest with pliant, though but slender, sense,
  Feign'd modesty, and real impudence:
  A supple knee, smooth tongue, an easy grace.
  A curse within, a smile upon his face;
  A beauteous sister, or convenient wife,
  Are prizes in the lottery of life;
  Genius and Virtue they will soon defeat,
  And lodge you in the bosom of the great.
  To merit, is but to provide a pain
  For men's refusing what you ought to gain.

    May, Dodington, this maxim fail in you,
  Whom my presaging thoughts already view
  By Walpole's conduct fired, and friendship grac'd,
  Still higher in your Prince's favour plac'd:
  And lending, here, those awful councils aid,
  Which you, abroad, with such success obey'd!
  Bear this from one, who holds your friendship dear;
  What most we wish, with ease we fancy near.




    The following piece was originally claimed for Swift in the edition
    of his works published in 1749. But it was undoubtedly written by
    Gay, being only sent to Swift for perusal. This explains the fact
    of its being found amongst the papers of the latter. The poem is
    suggested by the death of the Duke Regent of France.

  How vain are mortal man's endeavours?
  (Said, at dame Elleot's,[182] master Travers)
  Good Orleans dead! in truth 'tis hard:
  Oh! may all statesmen die prepar'd!
  I do foresee (and for foreseeing
  He equals any man in being)
  The army ne'er can be disbanded.
  --I with the king was safely landed.
  Ah friends! great changes threat the land!
  All France and England at a stand!
  There's Meroweis--mark! strange work!
  And there's the Czar, and there's the Turk--
  The Pope--An India-merchant by
  Cut short the speech with this reply:
    All at a stand? you see great changes?
  Ah, sir! you never saw the Ganges:
  There dwells the nation of Quidnunckis
  (So Monomotapa calls monkeys:)
  On either bank from bough to bough,
  They meet and chat (as we may now):
  Whispers go round, they grin, they shrug,
  They bow, they snarl, they scratch, they hug;
  And, just as chance or whim provoke them,
  They either bite their friends, or stroke them.
    There have I seen some active prig,
  To show his parts, bestride a twig:
  Lord! how the chatt'ring tribe admire!
  Not that he's wiser, but he's higher:
  All long to try the vent'rous thing,
  (For power is but to have one's swing).
  From side to side he springs, he spurns,
  And bangs his foes and friends by turns.
  Thus as in giddy freaks he bounces,
  Crack goes the twig, and in he flounces!
  Down the swift stream the wretch is borne;
  Never, ah never, to return!
    Zounds! what a fall had our dear brother!
  Morbleu! cries one; and damme, t'other.
  The nation gives a general screech;
  None cocks his tail, none claws his breech;
  Each trembles for the public weal,
  And for a while forgets to steal.
    Awhile all eyes intent and steady
  Pursue him whirling down the eddy:
  But, out of mind when out of view,
  Some other mounts the twig anew;
  And business on each monkey shore
  Runs the same track it ran before.

[Footnote 182: Coffee-house near St. James's.]




    One of the most scathing satires in the history of literature. Pope
    in the latest editions of it rather spoilt its point by
    substituting Colley Gibber for Theobald as the "hero" of it. Our
    text is from the edition of 1743. The satire first appeared in
    1728, and other editions, greatly altered, were issued in 1729,
    1742, 1743.

  The mighty mother, and her son, who brings
  The Smithfield muses[183] to the ear of kings,
  I sing. Say you, her instruments the great!
  Called to this work by Dulness, Jove, and fate:
  You by whose care, in vain decried and curst,
  Still Dunce the second reigns like Dunce the first;
  Say, how the goddess bade Britannia sleep,
  And poured her spirit o'er the land and deep.
    In eldest time, ere mortals writ or read,
  Ere Pallas issued from the Thunderer's head,
  Dulness o'er all possessed her ancient right,
  Daughter of chaos and eternal night:
  Fate in their dotage this fair idiot gave,
  Gross as her sire, and as her mother grave
  Laborious, heavy, busy, bold, and blind,
  She ruled, in native anarchy, the mind.
    Still her old empire to restore she tries,
  For, born a goddess, Dulness never dies.
  O thou! whatever title please thine ear,
  Dean, Drapier, Bickerstaff, or Gulliver!
  Whether thou choose Cervantes' serious air,
  Or laugh and shake in Rabelais' easy chair,
  Or praise the court, or magnify mankind,[184]
  Or thy grieved country's copper chains unbind;
  From thy Boeotia though her power retires,
  Mourn not, my Swift, at aught our realm acquires,
  Here pleased behold her mighty wings outspread
  To hatch a new Saturnian age of lead.
    Close to those walls where folly holds her throne,
  And laughs to think Monroe would take her down,
  Where o'er the gates, by his famed father's hand,[185]
  Great Cibber's brazen, brainless brothers stand;
  One cell there is, concealed from vulgar eye,
  The cave of poverty and poetry,
  Keen, hollow winds howl through the bleak recess,
  Emblem of music caused by emptiness.
  Hence bards, like Proteus long in vain tied down,
  Escape in monsters, and amaze the town.
  Hence miscellanies spring, the weekly boast
  Of Curll's chaste press, and Lintot's rubric post:[186]
  Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lines,[187]
  Hence journals, medleys, mercuries, magazines;
  Sepulchral lies, our holy walls to grace,
  And new-year odes,[188] and all the Grub Street race.
    In clouded majesty here Dulness shone;
  Four guardian virtues, round, support her throne:
  Fierce champion fortitude, that knows no fears
  Of hisses, blows, or want, or loss of ears:
  Calm temperance, whose blessings those partake
  Who hunger, and who thirst for scribbling sake:
  Prudence, whose glass presents the approaching jail:
  Poetic justice, with her lifted scale,
  Where, in nice balance, truth with gold she weighs,
  And solid pudding against empty praise.
    Here she beholds the chaos dark and deep,
  Where nameless somethings in their causes sleep,
  Till genial Jacob,[189] or a warm third day,
  Call forth each mass, a poem, or a play:
  How hints, like spawn, scarce quick in embryo lie,
  How new-born nonsense first is taught to cry,
  Maggots half-formed in rhyme exactly meet,
  And learn to crawl upon poetic feet.
  Here one poor word an hundred clenches makes,
  And ductile dulness new meanders takes
  There motley images her fancy strike,
  Figures ill paired, and similes unlike.
  She sees a mob of metaphors advance,
  Pleased with the madness of the mazy dance;
  How tragedy and comedy embrace;
  How farce and epic get a jumbled race;
  How Time himself[190] stands still at her command,
  Realms shift their place, and ocean turns to land.
  Here gay description Egypt glads with showers,
  Or gives to Zembla fruits, to Barca flowers;
  Glittering with ice here hoary hills are seen,
  There painted valleys of eternal green;
  In cold December fragrant chaplets blow,
  And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.
    All these and more the cloud-compelling queen
  Beholds through fogs, that magnify the scene.
  She, tinselled o'er in robes of varying hues,
  With self-applause her wild creation views;
  Sees momentary monsters rise and fall,
  And with her own fools-colours gilds them all.
    'Twas on the day when Thorold rich and grave,[191]
  Like Cimon, triumphed both on land and wave:
  (Pomps without guilt, of bloodless swords and maces,
  Glad chains, warm furs, broad banners, and broad faces)
  Now night descending, the proud scene was o'er,
  But lived in Settle's numbers one day more.[192]
  Now mayors and shrieves all hushed and satiate lay,
  Yet ate, in dreams, the custard of the day;
  While pensive poets painful vigils keep,
  Sleepless themselves, to give their readers sleep.
  Much to the mindful queen the feast recalls
  What city swans once sung within the walls;
  Much she revolves their arts, their ancient praise,
  And sure succession down from Heywood's[193] days.
  She saw, with joy, the line immortal run,
  Each sire impressed, and glaring in his son:
  So watchful Bruin forms, with plastic care,
  Each growing lump, and brings it to a bear.
  She saw old Prynne in restless Daniel[194] shine,
  And Eusden eke out[195] Blackmore's endless line;
  She saw slow Philips creep like Tate's poor page,
  And all the mighty mad[196] in Dennis rage.
    In each she marks her image full exprest,
  But chief in Bays's monster-breeding breast,
  Bays, formed by nature stage and town to bless,
  And act, and be, a coxcomb with success.
  Dulness, with transport eyes the lively dunce,
  Remembering she herself was pertness once.
  Now (shame to fortune!) an ill run at play
  Blanked his bold visage, and a thin third day:
  Swearing and supperless the hero sate,
  Blasphemed his gods, the dice, and damned his fate;
  Then gnawed his pen, then dashed it on the ground,
  Sinking from thought to thought, a vast profound!
  Plunged for his sense, but found no bottom there;
  Yet wrote and floundered on in mere despair.
  Round him much embryo, much abortion lay,
  Much future ode, and abdicated play;
  Nonsense precipitate, like running lead,
  That slipped through cracks and zigzags of the head;
  All that on folly frenzy could beget,
  Fruits of dull heat, and sooterkins of wit,
  Next, o'er his books his eyes began to roll,
  In pleasing memory of all he stole,
  How here he sipped, how there he plundered snug,
  And sucked all o'er, like an industrious bug.
  Here lay poor Fletcher's half-eat scenes, and here
  The frippery of crucified Molière;
  There hapless Shakespeare, yet of Tibbald sore,
  Wished he had blotted for himself before.
  The rest on outside merit but presume,
  Or serve (like other fools) to fill a room;
  Such with their shelves as due proportion hold,
  Or their fond parents dressed in red and gold;
  Or where the pictures for the page atone,
  And Quarles is saved by beauties not his own.
  Here swells the shelf with Ogilby the great;
  There, stamped with arms, Newcastle shines complete:
  Here all his suffering brotherhood retire,
  And 'scape the martyrdom of jakes and fire:
  A Gothic library! of Greece and Rome
  Well purged, and worthy Settle, Banks, and Broome.

[Footnote 183: Smithfield is the place where Bartholomew Fair was kept,
whose shows and dramatical entertainments were, by the hero of this
poem and others of equal genius, brought to the theatres of Covent
Garden, Lincolns-Inn-Fields, and the Haymarket, to be the reigning
pleasures of the court and town. This happened in the reigns of King
George I. and II.]

[Footnote 184: _Ironicé_, alluding to Gulliver's representations of
both.--The next line relates to the papers of the Drapier against the
currency of Wood's copper coin in Ireland, which, upon the great
discontent of the people, his majesty was graciously pleased to

[Footnote 185: Mr. Caius Gabriel Cibber, father of the poet laureate.
The two statues of the lunatics over the gates of Bedlam Hospital were
done by him, and (as the son justly says of them) are no ill monuments
of his fame as an artist.]

[Footnote 186: Two booksellers. The former was fined by the Court of
King's Bench for publishing obscene books; the latter usually adorned
his shop with titles in red letters.]

[Footnote 187: It was an ancient English custom for the malefactors to
sing a psalm at their execution at Tyburn; and no less customary to
print elegies on their deaths, at the same time or before.]

[Footnote 188: Made by the poet laureate for the time being, to be sung
at court on every New Year's Day.]

[Footnote 189: Jacob Tonson the bookseller.]

[Footnote 190: Alluding to the transgressions of the unities in the
plays of such poets.]

[Footnote 191: Sir George Thorold, Lord Mayor of London in the year
1720. The procession of a Lord Mayor was made partly by land, and
partly by water.--Cimon, the famous Athenian general, obtained a
victory by sea, and another by land, on the same day, over the Persians
and barbarians.]

[Footnote 192: Settle was poet to the city of London. His office was to
compose yearly panegyrics upon the Lord Mayors, and verses to be spoken
in the pageants: but that part of the shows being at length abolished,
the employment of the city poet ceased; so that upon Settle's death
there was no successor appointed to that place.]

[Footnote 193: John Heywood, whose "Interludes" were printed in the
time of Henry VIII.]

[Footnote 194: The first edition had it,--

     "She saw in Norton all his father shine":

Daniel Defoe was a genius, but Norton Defoe was a wretched writer, and
never attempted poetry. Much more justly is Daniel himself made
successor to W. Pryn, both of whom wrote verses as well as politics.
And both these authors had a semblance in their fates as well as
writings, having been alike sentenced to the pillory.]

[Footnote 195: Laurence Eusden, poet laureate before Gibber. We have
the names of only a few of his works, which were very numerous.

Nahum Tate was poet laureate, a poor writer, of no invention; but who
sometimes translated tolerably when assisted by Dryden. In the second
part of Absalom and Achitophel there are about two hundred lines in all
by Dryden which contrast strongly with the insipidity of the rest.]

[Footnote 196: John Dennis was the son of a saddler in London, born in
1657. He paid court to Dryden; and having obtained some correspondence
with Wycherley and Congreve he immediately made public their letters.]


    This satire owed its origin to the fact that Sir Samuel Garth was
    about to publish a new translation of Ovid's _Metamorphoses_.
    George Sandys--the old translator--died in 1643.

  Ye Lords and Commons, men of wit,
    And pleasure about town;
  Read this ere you translate one bit
    Of books of high renown.

  Beware of Latin authors all!
    Nor think your verses sterling,
  Though with a golden pen you scrawl,
    And scribble in a Berlin:

  For not the desk with silver nails,
    Nor bureau of expense,
  Nor standish well japanned avails
    To writing of good sense.

  Hear how a ghost in dead of night,
    With saucer eyes of fire,
  In woeful wise did sore affright
    A wit and courtly squire.

  Rare Imp of Phoebus, hopeful youth,
    Like puppy tame that uses
  To fetch and carry, in his mouth,
    The works of all the Muses.

  Ah! why did he write poetry
    That hereto was so civil;
  And sell his soul for vanity,
    To rhyming and the devil?

  A desk he had of curious work,
    With glittering studs about;
  Within the same did Sandys lurk,
    Though Ovid lay without.

  Now as he scratched to fetch up thought,
    Forth popped the sprite so thin;
  And from the key-hole bolted out,
    All upright as a pin.

  With whiskers, band, and pantaloon,
    And ruff composed most duly;
  The squire he dropped his pen full soon,
    While as the light burnt bluely.

  "Ho! Master Sam," quoth Sandys' sprite,
    "Write on, nor let me scare ye;
  Forsooth, if rhymes fall in not right,
    To Budgell seek, or Carey.

  "I hear the beat of Jacob's drums,
    Poor Ovid finds no quarter!
  See first the merry P---- comes[197]
    In haste, without his garter.

  "Then lords and lordlings, squires and knights,
    Wits, witlings, prigs, and peers!
  Garth at St. James's, and at White's,
    Beats up for volunteers.

  "What Fenton will not do, nor Gay,
    Nor Congreve, Rowe, nor Stanyan,
  Tom Burnett or Tom D'Urfey may,
    John Dunton, Steele, or anyone.

  "If Justice Philips' costive head
    Some frigid rhymes disburses;
  They shall like Persian tales be read,
    And glad both babes and nurses.

  "Let Warwick's muse with Ashurst join,
    And Ozell's with Lord Hervey's:
  Tickell and Addison combine,
    And Pope translate with Jervas.

  "Lansdowne himself, that lively lord,
    Who bows to every lady,
  Shall join with Frowde in one accord,
    And be like Tate and Brady.

  "Ye ladies too draw forth your pen,
    I pray where can the hurt lie?
  Since you have brains as well as men,
    As witness Lady Wortley.

  "Now, Tonson, 'list thy forces all,
    Review them, and tell noses;
  For to poor Ovid shall befall
    A strange metamorphosis.

  "A metamorphosis more strange
    Than all his books can vapour;"
  "To what" (quoth squire) "shall Ovid change?"
    Quoth Sandys: "To waste paper".

[Footnote 197: The Earl of Pembroke, probably.--_Roscoe_.]


    This is practically the whole of Pope's famous Epistle to
    Arbuthnot, otherwise the _Prologue to the Satires_. The only
    portion I have omitted, in order to include in this collection one
    of the greatest of his satires, is the introductory lines, which
    are frequently dropped, as the poem really begins with the line
    wherewith it is represented as opening here.

  Soft were my numbers; who could take offence,
  While pure description held the place of sense?
  Like gentle Fanny's was my flowery theme,
  A painted mistress, or a purling stream.
  Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill;--
  I wished the man a dinner, and sat still.
  Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret;
  I never answered,--I was not in debt.
  If want provoked, or madness made them print,
  I waged no war with Bedlam or the Mint.
    Did some more sober critic come abroad;
  If wrong, I smiled; if right, I kissed the rod.
  Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence,
  And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense.
  Commas and points they set exactly right,
  And 'twere a sin to rob them of their mite.
  Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel graced these ribalds,
  From slashing Bentley down to pidling Tibalds:
  Each wight, who reads not, and but scans and spells,
  Each word-catcher, that lives on syllables,
  Even such small critic some regard may claim,
  Preserved in Milton's or in Shakespeare's name.
  Pretty! in amber to observe the forms
  Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms!
  The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,
  But wonder how the devil they got there.
    Were others angry: I excused them too;
  Well might they rage, I gave them but their due.
  A man's true merit 'tis not hard to find;
  But each man's secret standard in his mind,
  That casting-weight pride adds to emptiness,
  This, who can gratify? for who can guess?
  The bard whom pilfered pastorals renown,
  Who turns a Persian tale for half-a-crown,[198]
  Just writes to make his barrenness appear,
  And strains, from hard-bound brains, eight lines a-year;
  He, who still wanting, though he lives on theft,
  Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left:
  And he, who now to sense, now nonsense leaning,
  Means not, but blunders round about a meaning:
  And he, whose fustian's so sublimely bad,
  It is not poetry, but prose run mad:
  All these, my modest satire bade translate,
  And owned that nine such poets made a Tate.[199]
  How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and chafe!
  And swear, not Addison himself was safe.
    Peace to all such! but were there one whose fires
  True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires;
  Blest with each talent and each art to please,
  And born to write, converse, and live with ease:
  Should such a man, too fond to rule alone,
  Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne.
  View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
  And hate for arts that caused himself to rise;
  Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
  And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
  Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
  Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
  Alike reserved to blame, or to commend,
  A timorous foe, and a suspicious friend;
  Dreading even fools, by flatterers besieged,
  And so obliging, that he ne'er obliged;
  Like Cato, give his little senate laws,
  And sit attentive to his own applause;
  While wits and templars every sentence raise,
  And wonder with a foolish face of praise:--
  Who but must laugh, if such a man there be?
  Who would not weep, if Atticus[200] were he?
    Who though my name stood rubric on the walls,
  Or plaistered posts, with claps, in capitals?
  Or smoking forth, a hundred hawkers' load,
  On wings of winds came flying all abroad?[201]
  I sought no homage from the race that write;
  I kept, like Asian monarchs, from their sight:
  Poems I heeded (now be-rhymed so long)
  No more than thou, great George! a birthday song.
  I ne'er with wits or witlings passed my days,
  To spread about the itch of verse and praise;
  Nor like a puppy, daggled through the town,
  To fetch and carry sing-song up and down;
  Nor at rehearsals sweat, and mouthed, and cried,
  With handkerchief and orange at my side;
  But sick of fops, and poetry, and prate,
  To Bufo left the whole Castillan state.
    Proud as Apollo on his forked hill,
  Sat full-blown Bufo, puffed by every quill;[202]
  Fed with soft dedication all day long,
  Horace and he went hand in hand in song.
  His library (where busts of poets dead
  And a true Pindar stood without a head),
  Received of wits an undistinguished race,
  Who first his judgment asked, and then a place:
  Much they extolled his pictures, much his seat,
  And flattered every day, and some days eat:
  Till grown more frugal in his riper days,
  He paid some bards with port, and some with praise
  To some a dry rehearsal was assigned,
  And others (harder still) he paid in kind,
  Dryden alone (what wonder?) came not nigh,
  Dryden alone escaped this judging eye:
  But still the great have kindness in reserve,
  He helped to bury whom he helped to starve.
    May some choice patron bless each gray goose quill!
  May every Bavias have his Bufo still!
  So, when a statesman wants a day's defence,
  Or envy holds a whole week's war with sense,
  Or simple pride for flattery makes demands,
  May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands!
  Blest be the great! for those they take away,
  And those they left me; for they left me Gay;
  Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
  Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb:
  Of all thy blameless life the sole return
  My verse, and Queensbury weeping o'er thy urn!
    Oh, let me live my own, and die so too!
  (To live and die is all I have to do:)
  Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,
  And see what friends, and read what books I please;
  Above a patron, though I condescend
  Sometimes to call a minister my friend.
  I was not born for courts or great affairs;
  I pay my debts, believe, and say my prayers;
  Can sleep without a poem in my head;
  Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead.
    Why am I asked what next shall see the light?
  Heavens! was I born for nothing but to write?
  Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave)
  Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save?
  "I found him close with Swift"--"Indeed? no doubt,"
  (Cries prating Balbus) "something will come out."
  'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will.
  No, such a genius never can lie still;
  And then for mine obligingly mistakes
  The first lampoon Sir Will,[203] or Bubo[204] makes.
  Poor guiltless I! and can I choose but smile,
  When every coxcomb knows me by my style?
    Cursed be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
  That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
  Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
  Or from the soft-eyed virgin steal a tear!
  But he who hurts a harmless neighbour's peace,
  Insults fallen worth, or beauty in distress,
  Who loves a lie, lame slander helps about,
  Who writes a libel, or who copies out:
  That fop, whose pride affects a patron's name,
  Yet absent, wounds an author's honest fame:
  Who can your merit selfishly approve,
  And show the sense of it without the love;
  Who has the vanity to call you friend,
  Yet wants the honour, injured, to defend;
  Who tells whate'er you think, whate'er you say,
  And, if he lie not, must at least betray:
  Who to the Dean, and silver bell can swear,[205]
  And sees at canons what was never there;
  Who reads, but with a lust to misapply,
  Make satire a lampoon, and fiction, lie.
  A lash like mine no honest man shall dread,
  But all such babbling blockheads in his stead.
    Let Sporus[206] tremble--
    _A_.                   What? that thing of silk,
  Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
  Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
  Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?
    _P_. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
  This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stings;
  Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
  Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys:
  So well-bred spaniels civilly delight
  In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
  Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,
  As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.
  Whether in florid impotence he speaks,
  And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks
  Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad,
  Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad,
  In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,
  Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies.
  His wit all see-saw, between that and this,
  Now high, now low, now master up, now miss,
  And he himself one vile antithesis.
  Amphibious thing! that acting either part,
  The trifling head or the corrupted heart,
  Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board,
  Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
  Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have exprest,
  A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest;
  Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust;
  Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
    Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool,
  Not lucre's madman, nor ambition's tool,
  Not proud, nor servile;--be one poet's praise,
  That, if he pleased, he pleased by manly ways:
  That flattery, even to kings, he held a shame,
  And thought a lie in verse or prose the same.
  That not in fancy's maze he wandered long,
  But stooped to truth, and moralized his song:
  That not for fame, but virtue's better end,
  He stood the furious foe, the timid friend,
  The damning critic, half-approving wit,
  The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit;
  Laughed at the loss of friends he never had,
  The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad;
  The distant threats of vengeance on his head,
  The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed;
  The tale revived, the lie so oft o'erthrown,
  The imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
  The morals blackened when the writings scape,
  The libelled person, and the pictured shape;
  Abuse, on all he loved, or loved him, spread,
  A friend in exile, or a father, dead;
  The whisper, that to greatness still too near,
  Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear:--
  Welcome for thee, fair virtue! all the past;
  For thee, fair virtue! welcome even the last!
    _A_. But why insult the poor, affront the great?
    _P_. A knave's a knave, to me, in every state:
  Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail,
  Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail,
  A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer,
  Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire;
  If on a pillory, or near a throne,
  He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.
    Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit,
  Sappho can tell you how this man was bit;
  This dreaded satirist Dennis will confess
  Foe to his pride, but friend to his distress;
  So humble, he has knocked at Tibbald's door,
  Has drunk with Cibber, nay, has rhymed for Moore.
  Full ten years slandered, did he once reply?
  Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie.
  To please a mistress one aspersed his life;
  He lashed him not, but let her be his wife.
  Let Budgel charge low Grub Street on his quill,
  And write whate'er he pleased, except his will.
  Let the two Curlls of town and court, abuse
  His father, mother, body, soul, and muse
  Yet why? that father held it for a rule,
  It was a sin to call our neighbour fool:
  That harmless mother thought no wife a whore:
  Hear this, and spare his family, James Moore!
  Unspotted names, and memorable long!
  If there be force in virtue, or in song.
    Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause,
  While yet in Britain honour had applause)
  Each parent sprung--
    _A_.             What fortune, pray?--
    _P_.                                 Their own,
  And better got, than Bestia's from the throne.
  Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,
  Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
  Stranger to civil and religious rage,
  The good man walked innoxious through his age,
  No courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
  Nor dared an oath, nor hazarded a lie.
  Unlearned, he knew no schoolman's subtle art,
  No language, but the language of the heart.
  By nature honest, by experience wise,
  Healthy by temperance, and by exercise;
  His life, though long, to sickness passed unknown,
  His death was instant, and without a groan.
  O, grant me, thus to live, and thus to die!
  Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.
    O, friend! may each domestic bliss be thine!
  Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:
  Me, let the tender office long engage,
  To rock the cradle of reposing age,
  With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
  Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death,
  Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
  And keep awhile one parent from the sky!
  On cares like these if length of days attend,
  May heaven, to bless those days, preserve my friend,
  Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
  And just as rich as when he served a queen.
    _A_. Whether that blessing be denied or given,
  Thus far was right, the rest belongs to heaven.

[Footnote 198: Ambrose Philips translated a book called the _Persian

[Footnote 199: Nahum Tate, the joint-author with Brady of the version
of the Psalms.]

[Footnote 200: Addison.]

[Footnote 201: Hopkins, in the 104th Psalm.]

[Footnote 202: Lord Halifax.]

[Footnote 203: Sir William Yonge.]

[Footnote 204: Bubb Dodington.]

[Footnote 205: Meaning the man who would have persuaded the Duke of
Chandos that Pope meant to ridicule him in the Epistle on _Taste_.]

[Footnote 206: Lord Hervey.]


    The following piece represents the first dialogue in the Epilogue
    to the Satires. Huggins mentioned in the poem was the jailer of the
    Fleet Prison, who had enriched himself by many exactions, for which
    he was tried and expelled. Jekyl was Sir Joseph Jekyl, Master of
    the Rolls, a man of great probity, who, though a Whig, frequently
    voted against the Court, which drew on him the laugh here
    described. Lyttleton was George Lyttleton, Secretary to the Prince
    of Wales, distinguished for his writings in the cause of liberty.
    Written in 1738, and first published in the following year.

  _Fr_[_iend_]. Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in print,
  And when it comes, the court see nothing in 't.
  You grow correct, that once with rapture writ,
  And are, besides, too moral for a wit.
  Decay of parts, alas! we all must feel--
  Why now, this moment, don't I see you steal?
  'Tis all from Horace; Horace long before ye
  Said, "Tories called him Whig, and Whigs a Tory";
  And taught his Romans, in much better metre,
  "To laugh at fools who put their trust in Peter".
    But Horace, sir, was delicate, was nice;
  Bubo observes, he lashed no sort of vice:
  Horace would say, Sir Billy served the crown,
  Blunt could do business, Huggins knew the town;
  In Sappho touch the failings of the sex,
  In reverend bishops note some small neglects,
  And own, the Spaniard did a waggish thing,
  Who cropped our ears, and sent them to the king.
  His sly, polite, insinuating style
  Could please at court, and make Augustus smile:
  An artful manager, that crept between
  His friend and shame, and was a kind of screen.
  But 'faith your very friends will soon be sore:
  Patriots there are, who wish you'd jest no more--
  And where's the glory? 'twill be only thought
  The great man never offered you a groat.
  Go see Sir Robert--
    P[_ope_].       See Sir Robert!--hum--
  And never laugh--for all my life to come?
  Seen him I have, but in his happier hour
  Of social pleasure, ill exchanged for power;
  Seen him, uncumbered with the venal tribe,
  Smile without art, and win without a bribe.
  Would he oblige me? let me only find,
  He does not think me what he thinks mankind.
  Come, come, at all I laugh he laughs, no doubt;
  The only difference is, I dare laugh out.
    _F_. Why yes: with Scripture still you may be free:
  A horse-laugh, if you please, at honesty;
  A joke on Jekyl, or some odd old Whig
  Who never changed his principle or wig.
  A patriot is a fool in every age,
  Whom all Lord Chamberlains allow the stage:
  These nothing hurts; they keep their fashion still,
  And wear their strange old virtue, as they will.
  If any ask you, "Who's the man, so near
  His prince, that writes in verse, and has his ear?"
  Why, answer, Lyttleton, and I'll engage
  The worthy youth shall ne'er be in a rage;
  But were his verses vile, his whisper base,
  You'd quickly find him in Lord Fanny's case.
  Sejanus, Wolsey, hurt not honest Fleury,[207]
  But well may put some statesmen in a fury.
    Laugh then at any, but at fools or foes;
  These you but anger, and you mend not those.
  Laugh at your friends, and, if your friends are sore,
  So much the better, you may laugh the more.
  To vice and folly to confine the jest,
  Sets half the world, God knows, against the rest;
  Did not the sneer of more impartial men
  At sense and virtue, balance all again.
  Judicious wits spread wide the ridicule,
  And charitably comfort knave and fool.
    _P_. Dear sir, forgive the prejudice of youth:
  Adieu distinction, satire, warmth, and truth!
  Come, harmless characters, that no one hit;
  Come, Henley's oratory, Osborne's wit!
  The honey dropping from Favonio's tongue,
  The flowers of Bubo, and the flow of Yonge!
  The gracious dew of pulpit eloquence,
  And all the well-whipped cream of courtly sense,
  That first was H----vy's, F----'s next, and then
  The S----te's and then H----vy's once again.[208]
  O come, that easy Ciceronian style,
  So Latin, yet so English all the while,
  As, though the pride of Middleton[209] and Bland,
  All boys may read, and girls may understand!
  Then might I sing, without the least offence,
  And all I sung shall be the nation's sense;
  Or teach the melancholy muse to mourn,
  Hang the sad verse on Carolina's[210] urn,
  And hail her passage to the realms of rest,
  All parts performed, and all her children blest!
  So--satire is no more--I feel it die--
  No gazetteer more innocent than I--
  And let, a' God's name, every fool and knave
  Be graced through life, and flattered in his grave.
    _F_. Why so? if satire knows its time and place,
  You still may lash the greatest--in disgrace:
  For merit will by turns forsake them all;
  Would you know when? exactly when they fall.
  But let all satire in all changes spare
  Immortal Selkirk[211], and grave De----re.
  Silent and soft, as saints remove to heaven,
  All ties dissolved and every sin forgiven,
  These may some gentle ministerial wing
  Receive, and place for ever near a king!
  There, where no passion, pride, or shame transport,
  Lulled with the sweet nepenthe of a court;
  There, where no father's, brother's, friend's disgrace
  Once break their rest, or stir them from their place:
  But passed the sense of human miseries,
  All tears are wiped for ever from all eyes;
  No cheek is known to blush, no heart to throb,
  Save when they lose a question, or a job.
    _P_. Good heaven forbid, that I should blast their glory,
  Who know how like Whig ministers to Tory,
  And, when three sovereigns died, could scarce be vext,
  Considering what a gracious prince was next.
  Have I, in silent wonder, seen such things
  As pride in slaves, and avarice in kings;
  And at a peer, or peeress, shall I fret,
  Who starves a sister, or forswears a debt?[212]
  Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast;
  But shall the dignity of vice be lost?
  Ye gods! shall Gibber's son, without rebuke,
  Swear like a lord, or Rich out-whore a duke?
  A favourite's porter with his master vie,
  Be bribed as often, and as often lie?
  Shall Ward draw contracts with a statesman's skill?
  Or Japhet pocket, like his grace, a will?
  Is it for Bond, or Peter (paltry things),
  To pay their debts, or keep their faith, like kings?
  If Blount dispatched himself, he played the man,
  And so mayest thou, illustrious Passeran!
  But shall a printer, weary of his life,
  Learn, from their books, to hang himself and wife?
  This, this, my friend, I cannot, must not bear;
  Vice thus abused, demands a nation's care;
  This calls the Church to deprecate our sin,
  And hurls the thunder of the laws on gin.
    Let modest Foster, if he will, excel
  Ten metropolitans in preaching well;
  A simple Quaker, or a Quaker's wife,
  Outdo Llandaff in doctrine,--yea in life:
  Let humble Allen, with an awkward shame,
  Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.
  Virtue may choose the high or low degree,
  'Tis just alike to virtue, and to me;
  Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king,
  She's still the same, beloved, contented thing.
  Vice is undone, if she forgets her birth,
  And stoops from angels to the dregs of earth:
  But 'tis the fall degrades her to a whore;
  Let greatness own her, and she's mean no more;
  Her birth, her beauty, crowds and courts confess;
  Chaste matrons praise her, and grave bishops bless;
  In golden chains the willing world she draws,
  And hers the gospel is, and hers the laws,
  Mounts the tribunal, lifts her scarlet head,
  And sees pale virtue carted in her stead.
  Lo! at the wheels of her triumphal car,
  Old England's genius, rough with many a scar,
  Dragged in the dust! his arms hang idly round,
  His flag inverted trails along the ground!
  Our youth, all liveried o'er with foreign gold,
  Before her dance: behind her crawl the old!
  See thronging millions to the Pagod run,
  And offer country, parent, wife, or son!
  Hear her black trumpet through the land proclaim,
  That not to be corrupted is the shame.
  In soldier, churchman, patriot, man in power,
  'Tis avarice all, ambition is no more!
  See, all our nobles begging to be slaves!
  See, all our fools aspiring to be knaves!
  The wit of cheats, the courage of a whore,
  Are what ten thousand envy and adore;
  All, all look up, with reverential awe,
  At crimes that 'scape, or triumph o'er the law;
  While truth, worth, wisdom, daily they decry--
  "Nothing is sacred now but villainy ".
    Yet may this verse (if such a verse remain)
  Show, there was one who held it in disdain.

[Footnote 207: Cardinal: and Minister to Louis XV.]

[Footnote 208: This couplet alludes to the preachers of some recent
Court Sermons of a florid panegyrical character; also to some speeches
of a like kind, some parts of both of which were afterwards
incorporated in an address to the monarch.]

[Footnote 209: Dr. Conyers Middleton, author of the _Life of Cicero_.]

[Footnote 210: Queen Consort to King George II. She died in 1737.]

[Footnote 211: A title given to Lord Selkirk by King James II. He was
Gentleman of the Bed-chamber to William III., to George I., and to
George II. He was proficient in all the forms of the House, in which he
comported himself with great dignity.]

[Footnote 212: Referring to Lady M.W. Montagu and her sister, the
Countess of Mar.]




    Published in January, 1749, in order, as was reported, to excite
    interest in the author's tragedy of _Irene_. The poem is written in
    imitation of the Tenth Satire of Juvenal.

  Let observation, with extensive view,
  Survey mankind from China to Peru;
  Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
  And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;
  Then say, how hope and fear, desire and hate,
  O'erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate,
  Where way'ring man, betray'd by vent'rous pride,
  To tread the dreary paths without a guide,
  As treach'rous phantoms in the mist delude,
  Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good;
  How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
  Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice;
  How nations sink, by darling schemes oppress'd,
  When Vengeance listens to the fool's request.
  Fate wings with ev'ry wish th' afflictive dart,
  Each gift of nature, and each grace of art;
  With fatal heat impetuous courage glows,
  With fatal sweetness elocution flows;
  Impeachment stops the speaker's pow'rful breath,
  And restless fire precipitates on death.
    But, scarce observ'd, the knowing and the bold
  Fall in the gen'ral massacre of gold;
  Wide wasting pest! that rages unconfin'd,
  And crowds with crimes the records of mankind:
  For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws,
  For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws:
  Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys,
  The dangers gather as the treasures rise.
    Let Hist'ry tell where rival kings command,
  And dubious title shakes the madded land.
  When statutes glean the refuse of the sword,
  How much more safe the vassal than the lord;
  Low skulks the hind beneath the rage of power,
  And leaves the wealthy traitor in the Tower,
  Untouch'd his cottage, and his slumbers sound,
  Though Confiscation's vultures hover round.
    The needy traveller, serene and gay,
  Walks the wild heath, and sings his toil away.
  Does envy seize thee? crush th' upbraiding joy;
  Increase his riches, and his peace destroy;
  Now fears in dire vicissitude invade,
  The rustling brake alarms, and quiv'ring shade;
  Nor light nor darkness bring his pain relief,
  One shows the plunder, and one hides the thief.
    Yet still one gen'ral cry the skies assails,
  And pain and grandeur load the tainted gales;
  Few know the toiling statesman's fear or care,
  Th' insidious rival and the gaping heir.
    Once more, Democritus, arise on earth,
  With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth,
  See motley life in modern trappings dress'd,
  And feed with varied fools th' eternal jest:
  Thou who could'st laugh where want enchain'd caprice,
  Toil crush'd conceit, and man was of a piece;
  Where wealth, unlov'd, without a mourner dy'd;
  And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride;
  Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate,
  Or seen a new-made mayor's unwieldy state;
  Where change of fav'rites made no change of laws,
  And senates heard before they judg'd a cause;
  How would'st thou shake at Britain's modish tribe,
  Dart the quick taunt, and edge the piercing gibe?
  Attentive truth and nature to descry,
  And pierce each scene with philosophic eye,
  To thee were solemn toys, or empty show,
  The robes of pleasure and the veils of woe:
  All aid the farce, and all thy mirth maintain,
  Whose joys are causeless, and whose griefs are vain.
    Such was the scorn that fill'd the sage's mind,
  Renew'd at ev'ry glance on human kind;
  How just that scorn ere yet thy voice declare,
  Search ev'ry state, and canvass ev'ry pray'r:
    Unnumber'd suppliants crowd Preferment's gate,
  A thirst for wealth, and burning to be great;
  Delusive Fortune hears th' incessant call,
  They mount, they shine, evaporate, and fall.
  On ev'ry stage the foes of peace attend,
  Hate dogs their flight, and insult mocks their end.
  Love ends with hope, the sinking statesman's door
  Pours in the morning worshipper no more;
  For growing names the weekly scribbler lies,
  To growing wealth the dedicator flies,
  From ev'ry room descends the painted face,
  That hung the bright palladium of the place:
  And, smok'd in kitchens, or in auctions sold,
  To better features yields the frame of gold;
  For now no more we trace in ev'ry line
  Heroic worth, benevolence divine:
  The form distorted, justifies the fall,
  And detestation rides th' indignant wall.
    But will not Britain hear the last appeal,
  Sign her foes' doom, or guard her fav'rites' zeal?
  Through Freedom's sons no more remonstrance rings,
  Degrading nobles, and controlling kings;
  Our supple tribes repress their patriot throats,
  And ask no questions but the price of votes;
  With weekly libels and septennial ale,
  Their wish is full to riot and to rail.
    In full-blown dignity, see Wolsey stand,
  Law in his voice, and fortune in his hand:
  To him the church, the realm, their pow'rs consign.
  Through him the rays of regal bounty shine,
  Turn'd by his nod the stream of honour flows,
  His smile alone security bestows:
  Still to new heights his restless wishes tow'r,
  Claim leads to claim, and pow'r advances pow'r:
  Till conquest unresisted ceas'd to please,
  And rights submitted, left him none to seize.
  At length his sov'reign frowns--the train of state
  Mark the keen glance, and watch the sign to hate.
  Where'er he turns, he meets a stranger's eye,
  His suppliants scorn him, and his followers fly;
  Now drops at once the pride of awful state,
  The golden canopy, the glitt'ring plate,
  The regal palace, the luxurious board,
  The liv'ried army, and the menial lord.
  With age, with cares, with maladies oppress'd,
  He seeks the refuge of monastic rest.
  Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings,
  And his last sighs reproach the faith of kings.
    Speak thou, whose thoughts at humble peace repine,
  Shall Wolsey's wealth, with Wolsey's end, be thine?
  Or liv'st thou now, with safer pride content,
  The wisest justice on the banks of Trent?
  For, why did Wolsey, near the steeps of fate,
  On weak foundations raise th' enormous weight?
  Why but to sink beneath misfortune's blow,
  With louder ruin to the gulfs below?
    What gave great Villiers to th' assassin's knife,
  And fix'd disease on Harley's closing life?
  What murder'd Wentworth, and what exil'd Hyde,
  By kings protected, and to kings ally'd?
  What but their wish indulg'd in courts to shine,
  And pow'r too great to keep, or to resign?
    When first the college rolls receive his name,
  The young enthusiast quits his ease for fame;
  Resistless burns the fever of renown,
  Caught from the strong contagion of the gown:
  O'er Bodley's dome his future labours spread,
  And Bacon's mansion[213] trembles o'er his head.
  Are these thy views? Proceed, illustrious youth,
  And Virtue guard thee to the throne of Truth!
  Yet, should thy soul indulge the gen'rous heat
  Till captive Science yields her last retreat;
  Should Reason guide thee with her brightest ray,
  And pour on misty Doubt resistless day;
  Should no false kindness lure to loose delight,
  Nor praise relax, nor difficulty fright;
  Should tempting Novelty thy cell refrain,
  And Sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain;
  Should beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart,
  Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart;
  Should no disease thy torpid veins invade,
  Nor Melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade;
  Yet hope not life from grief or danger free,
  Nor think the doom of man revers'd for thee:
  Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes,
  And pause awhile from Letters, to be wise;
  There mark what ills the scholar's life assail,
  Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.
  See nations, slowly wise, and meanly just,
  To buried merit raise the tardy bust.
  If dreams yet flatter, once again attend,
  Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end.
    Nor deem, when Learning her last prize bestows,
  The glitt'ring eminence exempt from woes;
  See, when the vulgar 'scape, despis'd or aw'd,
  Rebellion's vengeful talons seize on Laud.
  From meaner minds though smaller fines content,
  The plunder'd palace, or sequester'd rent;
  Mark'd out by dang'rous parts, he meets the shock,
  And fatal Learning leads him to the block:
  Around his tomb let Art and Genius weep,
  But hear his death, ye blockheads, hear and sleep.
    The festal blazes, the triumphal show,
  The ravish'd standard, and the captive foe,
  The senate's thanks, the Gazette's pompous tale,
  With force resistless o'er the brave prevail.
  Such bribes the rapid Greek o'er Asia whirl'd,
  For such the steady Romans shook the world;
  For such in distant lands the Britons shine,
  And stain with blood the Danube or the Rhine;
  This pow'r has praise that virtue scarce can warm,
  Till fame supplies the universal charm.
  Yet Reason frowns on War's unequal game,
  Where wasted nations raise a single name;
  And mortgag'd states their grandsires' wreaths regret,
  From age to age in everlasting debt;
  Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right convey,
  To rust on medals, or on stones decay.
    On what foundation stands the warrior's pride,
  How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide;
  A frame of adamant, a soul of fire,
  No dangers fright him, and no labours tire;
  O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain,
  Unconquer'd lord of pleasure and of pain;
  No joys to him pacific sceptres yield,
  War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field;
  Behold surrounding kings their pow'r combine,
  And one capitulate, and one resign;
  Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in vain;
  "Think nothing gain'd," he cries, "till nought remain,
  On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly,
  And all be mine beneath the polar sky".
  The march begins in military state,
  And nations on his eye suspended wait;
  Stern Famine guards the solitary coast,
  And Winter barricades the realm of Frost;
  He comes, nor want nor cold his course delay;
  Hide, blushing Glory, hide Pultowa's day:
  The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken bands,
  And shows his miseries in distant lands;
  Condemn'd a needy supplicant to wait,
  While ladies interpose, and slaves debate.
  But did not Chance at length her error mend?
  Did no subverted empire mark his end?
  Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound?
  Or hostile millions press him to the ground?
  His fall was destin'd to a barren strand,
  A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;
  He left the name, at which the world grew pale
  To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
    All times their scenes of pompous woes afford,
  From Persia's tyrant to Bavaria's lord.
  In gay hostility and barb'rous pride,
  With half mankind embattled at his side,
  Great Xerxes comes to seize the certain prey
  And starves exhausted regions in his way;
  Attendant Flatt'ry counts his myriads o'er,
  Till counted myriads soothe his pride no more;
  Fresh praise is try'd till madness fires his mind,
  The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind,
  New pow'rs are claim'd, new pow'rs are still bestow'd,
  Till rude Resistance lops the spreading god;
  The daring Greeks deride the martial show,
  And heap their valleys with the gaudy foe;
  Th' insulted sea with humbler thoughts he gains,
  A single skiff to speed his flight remains;
  Th' incumber'd oar scarce leaves the dreaded coast,
  Through purple billows and a floating host.
    The bold Bavarian, in a luckless hour,
  Tries the dread summits of Cæsarian pow'r,
  With unexpected legions bursts away,
  And sees defenceless realms receive his sway;
  Short sway! fair Austria spreads her mournful charms,
  The queen, the beauty, sets the world in arms;
  From hill to hill the beacon's rousing blaze
  Spreads wide the hope of plunder and of praise;
  The fierce Croatian, and the wild Hussar,
  With all the sons of ravage crowd the war;
  The baffled prince, in honour's flatt'ring bloom
  Of hasty greatness, finds the fatal doom;
  His foes' derision, and his subjects' blame,
  And steals to death from anguish and from shame.
    Enlarge my life with multitude of days!
  In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays:
  Hides from himself his state, and shuns to know,
  That life protracted is protracted woe.
  Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy,
  And shuts up all the passages of joy:
  In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour,
  The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flow'r;
  With listless eyes the dotard views the store,
  He views, and wonders that they please no more:
  Now pall the tasteless meats and joyless wines,
  And Luxury with sighs her slave resigns.
  Approach, ye minstrels, try the soothing strain,
  Diffuse the tuneful lenitives of pain:
  No sounds, alas! would touch th' impervious ear,
  Though dancing mountains witness'd Orpheus near;
  Nor lute nor lyre his feeble pow'rs attend,
  Nor sweeter music of a virtuous friend;
  But everlasting dictates crowd his tongue,
  Perversely grave, or positively wrong.
  The still returning tale, and ling'ring jest,
  Perplex the fawning niece and pamper'd guest.
  While growing hopes scarce awe the gath'ring sneer,
  And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear;
  The watchful guests still hint the last offence;
  The daughter's petulance the son's expense,
  Improve his heady rage with treach'rous skill,
  And mould his passions till they make his will.
    Unnumber'd maladies his joints invade,
  Lay siege to life, and press the dire blockade;
  But unextinguish'd Av'rice still remains,
  And dreaded losses aggravate his pains;
  He turns, with anxious heart and crippled hands,
  His bonds of debt, and mortgages of lands;
  Or views his coffers with suspicious eyes,
  Unlocks his gold, and counts it till he dies.
    But grant, the virtues of a temp'rate prime
  Bless with an age exempt from scorn or crime;
  An age that melts in unperceiv'd decay,
  And glides in modest innocence away;
  Whose peaceful day Benevolence endears,
  Whose night congratulating Conscience cheers;
  The gen'ral fav'rite as the gen'ral friend;
  Such age there is, and who shall wish its end?
    Yet ev'n on this her load Misfortune flings,
  To press the weary minutes' flagging wings;
  New sorrow rises as the day returns,
  A sister sickens, or a daughter mourns.
  Now kindred Merit fills the sable bier,
  Now lacerated Friendship claims a tear;
  Year chases year, decay pursues decay,
  Still drops some joy from with'ring life away;
  New forms arise, and diff'rent views engage,
  Superfluous lags the vet'ran on the stage,
  Till pitying Nature signs the last release,
  And bids afflicted worth retire to peace.
    But few there are whom hours like these await,
  Who set unclouded in the gulfs of Fate.
  From Lydia's monarch should the search descend,
  By Solon caution'd to regard his end,
  In life's last scene what prodigies surprise,
  Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise!
  From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of dotage flow,
  And Swift expires a driv'ller and a show.
    The teeming mother, anxious for her race,
  Begs for each birth the fortune of a face;
  Yet Vane could tell what ills from beauty spring;
  And Sedley curs'd the form that pleas'd a king.
  Ye nymphs of rosy lips and radiant eyes,
  Whom Pleasure keeps too busy to be wise;
  Whom joys with soft varieties invite,
  By day the frolic, and the dance by night;
  Who frown with vanity, who smile with art,
  And ask the latent fashion of the heart;
  What care, what rules, your heedless charms shall save,
  Each nymph your rival, and each youth your slave?
  Against your fame with fondness hate combines,
  The rival batters, and the lover mines.
  With distant voice neglected Virtue calls,
  Less heard and less, the faint remonstrance falls;
  Tir'd with contempt, she quits the slipp'ry reign,
  And Pride and Prudence take her seat in vain.
  In crowd at once, where none the pass defend,
  The harmless freedom, and the private friend.
  The guardians yield, by force superior ply'd,
  To Int'rest, Prudence; and to Flatt'ry, Pride.
  Here Beauty falls betray'd, despis'd, distress'd,
  And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest.
    Where then shall Hope and Fear their objects find?
  Must dull suspense corrupt the stagnant mind?
  Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
  Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?
  Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise,
  No cries invoke the mercies of the skies?
  Inquirer, cease; petitions yet remain
  Which Heav'n may hear, nor deem Religion vain.
  Still raise for good the supplicating voice,
  But leave to Heav'n the measure and the choice.
  Safe in his pow'r, whose eyes discern afar
  The secret ambush of a specious pray'r;
  Implore his aid, in his decisions rest,
  Secure, whate'er he gives, he gives the best.
  Yet, when the sense of sacred presence fires,
  And strong devotion to the skies aspires,
  Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind,
  Obedient passions and a will resigned;
  For love, which scarce collective man can fill;
  For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill;
  For faith, that, panting for a happier seat,
  Counts death kind Nature's signal of retreat:
  These goods for man the laws of Heav'n ordain,
  These goods he grants, who grants the pow'r to gain;
  With these celestial Wisdom calms the mind,
  And makes the happiness she does not find.

[Footnote 213: There is a tradition, that the study of Friar Bacon,
built on an arch over the bridge, will fall when a man greater than
Bacon shall pass under it. To prevent so shocking an accident, it was
pulled down many years since.]


    Though perhaps scarcely a professedly satirical production in the
    proper sense of the word, there are few more pungent satires than
    the following letter. In Boswell's _Life of Johnson_ we read, "When
    the Dictionary was on the eve of publication. Lord Chesterfield,
    who, it is said, had flattered himself with expectations that
    Johnson would dedicate the work to him, attempted in a courtly
    manner to soothe and insinuate himself with the sage, conscious, as
    it would seem, of the cold indifference with which he had treated
    its learned author, and further attempted to conciliate him by
    writing two papers in the _World_ in recommendation of the work....
    This courtly device failed of its effect. Johnson despised the
    honeyed words, and he states 'I wrote him a letter expressed in
    civil terms, but such as might show him that I did not mind what he
    said or wrote, and that I had done with him'."

February 7, 1755.


"I have been lately informed by the proprietor of _The World_ that two
papers, in which my Dictionary is recommended to the public, were
written by your lordship. To be so distinguished is an honour which,
being very little accustomed to favours from the great, I know not well
how to receive, or in what terms to acknowledge.

"When, upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your lordship, I
was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment of your
address, and could not forbear to wish that I might boast myself _Le
vainqueur du vainqueur de la terre_;--that I might obtain that regard
for which I saw the world contending; but I found my attendance so
little encouraged that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to
continue it. When I had once addressed your lordship in public, I had
exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly scholar
can possess. I had done all that I could; and no man is well pleased to
have his all neglected, be it ever so little.

"Seven years, my lord, have now past since I waited in your outward
rooms or was repulsed from your door; during which time I have been
pushing on my work through difficulties of which it is useless to
complain, and have brought it, at last, to the verge of publication,
without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile
of favour. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never had a patron

"The shepherd in Virgil grew at last acquainted with Love, and found
him a native of the rocks.

"Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man
struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground,
encumbers him with help? The notice which you have been pleased to take
of my labours, had it been early, had been kind; but it has been
delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary,
and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is
no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit
has been received, or to be unwilling that the public should consider
me as owing that to a patron which Providence has enabled me to do for

"Having carried on my work thus far with so little obligation to any
favourer of learning, I shall not be disappointed though I should
conclude it, if less be possible, with less; for I have been long
wakened from that dream of hope in which I once boasted myself with so
much exultation.


"Your lordship's most humble, most obedient servant,





    The origin of the following satire is told by Boswell (who was
    prejudiced against Goldsmith) in this wise: "At a meeting of a
    company of gentlemen who were well known to each other and
    diverting themselves among other things with the peculiar oddities
    of Dr. Goldsmith, who would never allow a superior in any art, from
    writing poetry down to dancing a hornpipe, Goldsmith, with great
    eagerness, insisted on matching his epigrammatic powers with
    Garrick's. It was determined that each should write the other's
    epitaph. Garrick immediately said his epitaph was finished, and
    spoke the following distich extempore:

         "'Here lies Nolly Goldsmith, for shortness called Noll,
          Who wrote like an angel, but talked like poor Poll'.

    "Goldsmith would not produce his at the time, but some weeks after,
    read to the company this satire in which the characteristics of
    them all were happily hit off."

  Of old, when Scarron his companions invited,
  Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united;
  If our landlord supplies us with beef and with fish,
  Let each guest bring himself, and he brings a good dish:
  Our Dean shall be venison, just fresh from the plains;
  Our Burke shall be tongue, with a garnish of brains;
  Our Will shall be wild fowl, of excellent flavour;
  And Dick with his pepper shall heighten their savour;
  Our Cumberland's sweet-bread its place shall obtain,
  And Douglas is pudding, substantial and plain:
  Our Garrick a salad, for in him we see
  Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree:
  To make out the dinner, full certain I am
  That Ridge is anchovy, and Reynolds is lamb;
  That Hickey's a capon; and, by the same rule,
  Magnanimous Goldsmith a gooseberry-fool.
    At a dinner so various, at such a repast,
  Who'd not be a glutton, and stick to the last?
  Here, waiter, more wine, let me sit while I'm able,
  Till all my companions sink under the table;
  Then, with chaos and blunders encircling my head,
  Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.
    Here lies the good Dean, reunited to earth,
  Who mix'd reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth;
  If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt,
  At least in six weeks I could not find them out;
  Yet some have declared, and it can't be denied them,
  That Slyboots was cursedly cunning to hide them.
    Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such,
  We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much;
  Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind,
  And to party gave up what was meant for mankind:
  Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat
  To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote:
  Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
  And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining;
  Tho' equal to all things, for all things unfit,
  Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit;
  For a patriot too cool; for a drudge disobedient;
  And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient.
  In short, 'twas his fate, unemploy'd or in place, sir,
  To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
    Here lies honest William, whose heart was a mint,
  While the owner ne'er knew half the good that was in't;
  The pupil of impulse, it forced him along,
  His conduct still right, with his argument wrong;
  Still aiming at honour, yet fearing to roam,
  The coachman was tipsy, the chariot drove home:
  Would you ask for his merits? alas, he had none!
  What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his own.
    Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh at,
  Alas, that such frolic should now be so quiet!
  What spirits were his, what wit and what whim,
  Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb!
  Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball,
  Now teasing and vexing, yet laughing at all!
  In short, so provoking a devil was Dick,
  That we wish'd him full ten times a day at Old Nick,
  But, missing his mirth and agreeable vein,
  As often we wish'd to have Dick back again.
    Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,
  The Terence of England, the mender of hearts;
  A flattering painter, who made it his care
  To draw men as they ought to be, not what they are.
  His gallants are all faultless, his women divine,
  And Comedy wonders at being so fine;
  Like a tragedy-queen he has dizen'd her out,
  Or rather like tragedy giving a rout.
  His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd
  Of virtues and feelings, that folly grows proud;
  And coxcombs, alike in their failings alone,
  Adopting his portraits, are pleased with their own.
  Say, where has our poet this malady caught?
  Or wherefore his characters thus without fault?
  Say, was it, that vainly directing his view
  To find out men's virtues, and finding them few,
  Quite sick of pursuing each troublesome elf,
  He grew lazy at last, and drew from himself?
    Here Douglas retires from his toils to relax,
  The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks.
  Come, all ye quack bards, and ye quacking divines,
  Come, and dance on the spot where your tyrant reclines
  When satire and censure encircled his throne,
  I fear'd for your safety, I fear'd for my own:
  But now he is gone, and we want a detector,
  Our Dodds shall be pious, our Kenricks shall lecture;
  Macpherson write bombast, and call it a style;
  Our Townshend make speeches, and I shall compile;
  New Lauders and Bowers the Tweed shall cross over,
  No countryman living their tricks to discover:
  Detection her taper shall quench to a spark,
  And Scotchman meet Scotchman and cheat in the dark.
    Here lies David Garrick, describe him who can?
  An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man;
  As an actor, confessed without rival to shine;
  As a wit, if not first, in the very first line;
  Yet with talents like these, and an excellent heart,
  The man had his failings, a dupe to his art;
  Like an ill-judging beauty his colours he spread,
  And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red.
  On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting:
  'Twas only that when he was off he was acting;
  With no reason on earth to go out of his way,
  He turn'd and he varied full ten times a day:
  Tho' secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick
  If they were not his own by finessing and trick;
  He cast off his friends as a huntsman his pack,
  For he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back.
  Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came,
  And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame;
  Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
  Who pepper'd the highest was surest to please.
  But let us be candid, and speak out our mind:
  If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind.
  Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, and Woodfalls so grave,
  What a commerce was yours, while you got and you gave!
  How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts that you raised,
  When he was be-Roscius'd and you were bepraised!
  But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,
  To act as an angel, and mix with the skies!
  Those poets who owe their best fame to his skill,
  Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will;
  Old Shakespeare receive him with praise and with love,
  And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.
    Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt, pleasant creature,
  And Slander itself must allow him good-nature:
  He cherish'd his friend, and he relish'd a bumper:
  Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper.
  Perhaps you may ask if the man was a miser?
  I answer, no, no, for he always was wiser.
  Too courteous, perhaps, or obligingly flat?
  His very worst foe can't accuse him of that.
  Perhaps he confided in men as they go,
  And so was too foolishly honest? Ah no!
  Then what was his failing? Come, tell it, and burn ye,--
  He was, could he help it? a special attorney.
    Here Reynolds is laid, and to tell you my mind,
  He has not left a wiser or better behind:
  His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand:
  His manners were gentle, complying, and bland;
  Still born to improve us in every part,
  His pencil our faces, his manners our heart:
  To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering,
  When they judged without skill he was still hard of hearing:
  When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff,
  He shifted his trumpet, and only took snuff.


    This piece was first printed in _The Busy Body_ in 1759, in direct
    imitation of the style of Swift. It was, therefore, improperly
    included in the Dublin edition of Swift's works, and in the edition
    of Swift edited by Sir Walter Scott.

  Logicians have but ill defined
  As rational the human mind,
  Reason they say belongs to man,
  But let them prove it if they can,
  Wise Aristotle and Smiglesius
  By ratiocinations specious
  Have strove to prove with great precision,
  With definition and division,
  _Homo est ratione preditum_;
  But for my soul I cannot credit 'em.
  And must in spite of them maintain,
  That man and all his ways are vain:
  And that this boasted lord of nature
  Is both a weak and erring creature.
  That instinct is a surer guide
  Than reason, boasting mortals' pride;
  And that brute beasts are far before 'em,
  _Deus est anima brutorum_.
  Who ever knew an honest brute
  At law his neighbour prosecute.
  Bring action for assault and battery,
  Or friend beguile with lies and flattery?
  O'er plains they ramble unconfin'd.
  No politics disturb the mind;
  They eat their meals, and take their sport,
  Nor know who's in or out at court;
  They never to the levee go
  To treat as dearest friend, a foe;
  They never importune his Grace,
  Nor ever cringe to men in place;
  Nor undertake a dirty job,
  Nor draw the quill to write for Bob:
  Fraught with invective they ne'er go
  To folks at Pater-Noster Row:
  No judges, fiddlers, dancing-masters,
  No pickpockets, or poetasters,
  Are known to honest quadrupeds,
  No single brute his fellows leads.
  Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
  Nor cut each other's throats for pay.
  Of beasts, it is confess'd, the ape
  Comes nearest us in human shape.
  Like man he imitates each fashion,
  And malice is his ruling passion;
  But both in malice and grimaces,
  A courtier any ape surpasses.
  Behold him humbly cringing wait
  Upon the minister of state;
  View him soon after to inferiors
  Aping the conduct of superiors:
  He promises with equal air,
  And to perform takes equal care.
  He in his turn finds imitators,
  At court, the porters, lacqueys, waiters,
  Their master's manners still contract,
  And footmen, lords and dukes can act,
  Thus at the court both great and small
  Behave alike, for all ape all.


    Johnson always maintained that there was a great deal of
    Goldsmith's own nature and eccentricities portrayed in the
    character of Beau Tibbs. The following piece constitutes Letter 54
    of the _Citizen of the World_.

I am apt to fancy I have contracted a new acquaintance, whom it will be
no easy matter to shake off. My little beau yesterday overtook me again
in one of the public walks, and slapping me on the shoulder, saluted me
with an air of the most perfect familiarity. His dress was the same as
usual, except that he had more powder in his hair, wore a dirtier
shirt, a pair of temple spectacles, and his hat under his arm.

As I knew him to be an harmless, amusing little thing, I could not
return his smiles with any degree of severity: so we walked forward on
terms of the utmost intimacy, and in a few minutes discussed all the
usual topics preliminary to particular conversation.

The oddities that marked his character, however, soon began to appear;
he bowed to several well-dressed persons, who, by their manner of
returning the compliment, appeared perfect strangers. At intervals he
drew out a pocket-book, seeming to take memorandums before all the
company, with much importance and assiduity. In this manner he led me
through the length of the whole walk, fretting at his absurdities, and
fancying myself laughed at not less than him by every spectator.

When we were got to the end of our procession, "Blast me," cries he,
with an air of vivacity, "I never saw the park so thin in my life
before; there's no company at all to-day; not a single face to be
seen." "No company," interrupted I, peevishly; "no company where there
is such a crowd! why man, there's too much. What are the thousands
that have been laughing at us but company!" "Lard, my dear," returned
he, with the utmost good-humour, "you seem immensely chagrined; but
blast me, when the world laughs at me, I laugh at all the world, and so
we are even. My Lord Trip, Bill Squash, the Creolian, and I sometimes
make a party at being ridiculous; and so we say and do a thousand
things for the joke. But I see you are grave, and if you are a fine
grave sentimental companion, you shall dine with me and my wife to-day,
I must insist on't; I'll introduce you to Mrs. Tibbs, a lady of as
elegant qualifications as any in nature; she was bred, but that's
between ourselves, under the inspection of the Countess of All-night. A
charming body of voice, but no more of that, she will give us a song.
You shall see my little girl too, Carolina Wilhelma Amelia Tibbs, a
sweet pretty creature; I design her for my Lord Drumstick's eldest son,
but that's in friendship, let it go no farther; she's but six years
old, and yet she walks a minuet, and plays on the guitar immensely
already. I intend she shall be as perfect as possible in every
accomplishment. In the first place I'll make her a scholar; I'll teach
her Greek myself, and learn that language purposely to instruct her;
but let that be a secret."

Thus saying, without waiting for a reply, he took me by the arm, and
hauled me along. We passed through many dark alleys and winding ways;
for, from some motives, to me unknown, he seemed to have a particular
aversion to every frequented street; at last, however, we got to the
door of a dismal-looking house in the outlets of the town, where he
informed me he chose to reside for the benefit of the air.

We entered the lower door, which ever seemed to lie most hospitably
open, and I began to ascend an old and creaking staircase, when, as he
mounted to show me the way, he demanded whether I delighted in
prospects, to which answering in the affirmative, "Then," says he, "I
shall show you one of the most charming in the world out of my windows;
we shall see the ships sailing, and the whole country for twenty miles
round, tip top, quite high. My Lord Swamp would give ten thousand
guineas for such an one; but as I sometimes pleasantly tell him, I
always love to keep my prospects at home, that my friends may see me
the oftener."

By this time we were arrived as high as the stairs would permit us to
ascend, till we came to what he was facetiously pleased to call the
first floor down the chimney; and knocking at the door, a voice from
within demanded, who's there? My conductor answered that it was him.
But this not satisfying the querist, the voice again repeated the
demand: to which he answered louder than before; and now the door was
opened by an old woman with cautious reluctance.

When we were got in, he welcomed me to his house with great ceremony,
and turning to the old woman, asked where was her lady? "Good troth,"
replied she, in a peculiar dialect, "she's washing your two shirts at
the next door, because they have taken an oath against lending out the
tub any longer." "My two shirts," cries he in a tone that faltered with
confusion, "what does the idiot mean!" "I ken what I mean well enough,"
replied the other, "she's washing your two shirts at the next door,
because--" "Fire and fury! no more of thy stupid explanations," cried
he. "Go and inform her we have got company. Were that Scotch hag to be
for ever in the family, she would never learn politeness, nor forget
that absurd poisonous accent of hers, or testify the smallest specimen
of breeding or high life; and yet it is very surprising too, as I had
her from a parliament man, a friend of mine, from the highlands, one
of the politest men in the world; but that's a secret."

We waited some time for Mrs. Tibbs' arrival, during which interval I
had a full opportunity of surveying the chamber and all its furniture;
which consisted of four chairs with old wrought bottoms, that he
assured me were his wife's embroidery; a square table that had been
once japanned, a cradle in one corner, a lumbering cabinet in the
other; a broken shepherdess, and a mandarin without a head, were stuck
over the chimney; and round the walls several paltry, unframed
pictures, which, he observed, were all his own drawing. "What do you
think, sir, of that head in a corner, done in the manner of Grisoni?
There's the true keeping in it; it's my own face, and though there
happens to be no likeness, a countess offered me an hundred for its
fellow. I refused her, for, hang it, that would be mechanical, you

The wife at last made her appearance, at once a slattern and a
coquette; much emaciated, but still carrying the remains of beauty. She
made twenty apologies for being seen in such odious dishabille, but
hoped to be excused, as she had stayed out all night at the gardens
with the countess, who was excessively fond of the horns. "And, indeed,
my dear," added she, turning to her husband, "his lordship drank your
health in a bumper." "Poor Jack," cries he, "a dear good-natured
creature, I know he loves me; but I hope, my dear, you have given
orders for dinner; you need make no great preparations neither, there
are but three of us, something elegant, and little will do; a turbot,
an ortolan, or a--" "Or what do you think, my dear," interrupts the
wife, "of a nice pretty bit of ox-cheek, piping hot, and dressed with a
little of my own sauce."--"The very thing," replies he, "it will eat
best with some smart bottled beer: but be sure to let's have the sauce
his grace was so fond of. I hate your immense loads of meat, that is
country all over; extreme disgusting to those who are in the least
acquainted with high life."

By this time my curiosity began to abate, and my appetite to increase;
the company of fools may at first make us smile, but at last never
fails of rendering us melancholy; I therefore pretended to recollect a
prior engagement, and after having shown my respect to the house,
according to the fashion of the English, by giving the old servant a
piece of money at the door, I took my leave; Mr. Tibbs assuring me that
dinner, if I stayed, would be ready at least in less than two hours.




    Churchill devoted himself principally to satirical attacks upon
    actors and the stage as a whole. His _Rosciad_ created quite a
    panic among the disciples of Thespis, even the mighty Garrick
    courting this terrible _censor morum_. His own morals were but

  Some of my friends (for friends I must suppose
  All, who, not daring to appear my foes,
  Feign great good-will, and not more full of spite
  Than full of craft, under false colours fight)
  Some of my friends (so lavishly I print)
  As more in sorrow than in anger, hint
  (Tho' that indeed will scarce admit a doubt)
  That I shall run my stock of genius out,
  My no great stock, and, publishing so fast,
  Must needs become a bankrupt at the last.
    Recover'd from the vanity of youth,
  I feel, alas! this melancholy truth,
  Thanks to each cordial, each advising friend,
  And am, if not too late, resolv'd to mend,
  Resolv'd to give some respite to my pen,
  Apply myself once more to books and men,
  View what is present, what is past review,
  And my old stock exhausted, lay in new.
  For twice six moons (let winds, turn'd porters, bear
  This oath to Heav'n), for twice six moons, I swear,
  No Muse shall tempt me with her siren lay,
  Nor draw me from Improvement's thorny way;
  Verse I abjure, nor will forgive that friend,
  Who in my hearing shall a rhyme commend.
    It cannot be--Whether I will, or no,
  Such as they are, my thoughts in measure flow.
  Convinc'd, determin'd, I in prose begin,
  But ere I write one sentence, verse creeps in,
  And taints me thro' and thro': by this good light,
  In verse I talk by day, I dream by night;
  If now and then I curse, my curses chime,
  Nor can I pray, unless I pray in rhyme,
  E'en now I err, in spite of common-sense,
  And my confession doubles my offence.
  Here is no lie, no gall, no art, no force;
  Mean are the words, and such as come of course,
  The subject not less simple than the lay;
  A plain, unlabour'd Journey of a day.
    Far from me now be ev'ry tuneful Maid,
  I neither ask, nor can receive their aid.
  Pegasus turn'd into a common hack,
  Alone I jog, and keep the beaten track,
  Nor would I have the Sisters of the Hill
  Behold their bard in such a dishabille.
  Absent, but only absent for a time,
  Let them caress some dearer son of rhyme;
  Let them, as far as decency permits,
  Without suspicion, play the fool with wits,
  'Gainst fools be guarded; 'tis a certain rule,
  Wits are false things, there's danger in a fool.
    Let them, tho' modest, Gray more modest woo;
  Let them with Mason bleat, and bray, and coo;
  Let them with Franklin, proud of some small Greek,
  Make Sophocles disguis'd, in English speak;
  Let them with Glover o'er Medea doze;
  Let them with Dodsley wail Cleone's woes,
  Whilst he, fine feeling creature, all in tears,
  Melts, as they melt, and weeps with weeping peers;
  Let them with simple Whitehead, taught to creep
  Silent and soft, lay Fontenelle asleep;[214]
  Let them with Browne contrive, to vulgar trick,
  To cure the dead, and make the living sick;[215]
  Let them in charity to Murphy give
  Some old French piece, that he may steal and live;
  Let them with antic Foote subscriptions get,
  And advertise a Summer-house of Wit.
    Thus, or in any better way they please,
  With these great men, or with great men like these,
  Let them their appetite for laughter feed;
  I on my Journey all alone proceed.
    If fashionable grown, and fond of pow'r,
  With hum'rous Scots let them disport their hour:
  Let them dance, fairy-like, round Ossian's tomb;
  Let them forge lies, and histories for Hume;
  Let them with Home, the very prince of verse,
  Make something like a Tragedy in Erse;
  Under dark Allegory's flimsy veil
  Let them with Ogilvie spin out a tale
  Of rueful length; Let them plain things obscure,
  Debase what's truly rich, and what is poor
  Make poorer still by jargon most uncouth;
  With ev'ry pert, prim prettiness of youth
  Born of false Taste, with Fancy (like a child
  Not knowing what it cries for) running wild,
  With bloated style, by affectation taught,
  With much false colouring, and little thought,
  With phrases strange, and dialect decreed
  By reason never to have pass'd the Tweed,
  With words which Nature meant each other's foe,
  Forc'd to compound whether they will or no;
  With such materials let them, if they will,
  To prove at once their pleasantry and skill,
  Build up a bard to war 'gainst Common-Sense,
  By way of compliment to Providence;
  Let them with Armstrong, taking leave of Sense,
  Read musty lectures on Benevolence,
  Or con the pages of his gaping Day,
  Where all his former fame was thrown away,
  Where all but barren labour was forgot,
  And the vain stiffness of a letter'd Scot;
  Let them with Armstrong pass the term of light,
  But not one hour of darkness; when the night
  Suspends this mortal coil, when Memory wakes,
  When for our past misdoings Conscience takes
  A deep revenge, when by Reflection led,
  She draws his curtain, and looks Comfort dead,
  Let ev'ry Muse be gone; in vain he turns
  And tries to pray for sleep; an Etna burns,
  A more than Etna in his coward breast,
  And Guilt, with vengeance arm'd, forbids him rest:
  Tho' soft as plumage from young zephyr's wing,
  His couch seems hard, and no relief can bring.
  Ingratitude hath planted daggers there,
  No good man can deserve, no brave man bear.
    Thus, or in any better way they please,
  With these great men, or with great men like these,
  Let them their appetite for laughter feed
  I on my Journey all alone proceed.

[Footnote 214: See _The School for Lovers_, by Mr. Whitehead, taken
from Fontenelle.]

[Footnote 215: See _The Cure of Saul_, by Dr. Browne.]




    The following is the famous letter which appeared in the _Public
    Advertiser_ for December 20th, 1769. This is also the one on which
    the advocates of the theory that George, Lord Sackville, was the
    writer of the _Letters of Junius_ lay such stress.

_To the Printer of the "Public Advertiser_".

December 19, 1769.


When the complaints of a brave and powerful people are observed to
increase in proportion to the wrongs they have suffered, when, instead
of sinking into submission, they are roused to resistance, the time
will soon arrive at which every inferior consideration must yield to
the security of the sovereign, and to the general safety of the state.
There is a moment of difficulty and danger at which flattery and
falsehood can no longer deceive, and simplicity itself can no longer be
misled. Let us suppose it arrived; let us suppose a gracious,
well-intentioned prince, made sensible at last of the great duty he
owes to his people, and of his own disgraceful situation; that he looks
round him for assistance, and asks for no advice but how to gratify the
wishes and secure the happiness of his subjects. In these
circumstances, it may be matter of curious _speculation_ to consider,
if an honest man were permitted to approach a king, in what terms he
would address himself to his sovereign. Let it be imagined, no matter
how improbable, that the first prejudice against his character is
removed; that the ceremonious difficulties of an audience are
surmounted; that he feels himself animated by the purest and most
honourable affections to his king and country; and that the great
person whom he addresses has spirit enough to bid him speak freely, and
understanding enough to listen to him with attention. Unacquainted with
the vain impertinence of forms, he would deliver his sentiments with
dignity and firmness, but not without respect.


It is the misfortune of your life, and originally the cause of every
reproach and distress which has attended your government, that you
should never have been acquainted with the language of truth until you
heard it in the complaints of your people. It is not, however, too late
to correct the error of your education. We are still inclined to make
an indulgent allowance for the pernicious lessons you received in your
youth, and to form the most sanguine hopes from the natural benevolence
of your disposition. We are far from thinking you capable of a direct,
deliberate purpose to invade those original rights of your subjects on
which all their civil and political liberties depend. Had it been
possible for us to entertain a suspicion so dishonourable to your
character, we should long since have adopted a style of remonstrance
very distant from the humility of complaint. The doctrine inculcated by
our laws, _That the king can do no-wrong_, is admitted without
reluctance. We separate the amiable, good-natured prince from the folly
and treachery of his servants, and the private virtues of the man from
the vices of his government. Were it not for this just distinction, I
know not whether your Majesty's condition, or that of the English
nation, would deserve most to be lamented. I would prepare your mind
for a favourable reception of truth by removing every painful,
offensive idea of personal reproach. Your subjects, Sir, wish for
nothing but that, as _they_ are reasonable and affectionate enough to
separate your person from your government, so _you_, in your turn,
should distinguish between the conduct which becomes the permanent
dignity of a king and that which serves only to promote the temporary
interest and miserable ambition of a minister.

You ascended the throne with a declared--and, I doubt not, a
sincere--resolution of giving universal satisfaction to your subjects.
You found them pleased with the novelty of a young prince whose
countenance promised even more than his words, and loyal to you, not
only from principle, but passion. It was not a cold profession of
allegiance to the first magistrate, but a partial, animated attachment
to a favourite prince, the native of their country. They did not wait
to examine your conduct nor to be determined by experience, but gave
you a generous credit for the future blessings of your reign, and paid
you in advance the dearest tribute of their affections. Such, Sir, was
once the disposition of a people who now surround your throne with
reproaches and complaints.--Do justice to yourself. Banish from your
mind those unworthy opinions with which some interested persons have
laboured to possess you.--Distrust the men who tell you that the
English are naturally light and inconstant; that they complain without
a cause. Withdraw your confidence equally from all parties--from
ministers, favourites, and relations; and let there be one moment in
your life in which you have consulted your own understanding.

When you affectedly renounced the name of Englishman, believe me, Sir,
you were persuaded to pay a very ill-judged compliment to one part of
your subjects at the expense of another. While the natives of Scotland
are not in actual rebellion, they are undoubtedly entitled to
protection; nor do I mean to condemn the policy of giving some
encouragement to the novelty of their affections for the House of
Hanover. I am ready to hope for everything from their new-born zeal,
and from the future steadiness of their allegiance, but hitherto they
have no claim to your favour. To honour them with a determined
predilection and confidence, in exclusion of your English subjects, who
placed your family, and, in spite of treachery and rebellion, have
supported it, upon the throne, is a mistake too gross even for the
unsuspecting generosity of youth. In this error we see a capital
violation of the most obvious rules of policy and prudence. We trace
it, however, to an original bias in your education, and are ready to
allow for your inexperience.

To the same early influence we attribute it that you have descended to
take a share, not only in the narrow views and interests of particular
persons, but in the fatal malignity of their passions. At your
accession to the throne the whole system of government was altered, not
from wisdom or deliberation, but because it had been adopted by your
predecessor. A little personal motive of pique and resentment was
sufficient to remove the ablest servants of the Crown; but it is not in
this country, Sir, that such men can be dishonoured by the frowns of a
king. They were dismissed, but could not be disgraced. Without entering
into a minuter discussion of the merits of the peace, we may observe,
in the imprudent hurry with which the first overtures from France were
accepted, in the conduct of the negotiation, and terms of the treaty,
the strongest marks of that precipitate spirit of concession with which
a certain part of your subjects have been at all times ready to
purchase a peace with the natural enemies of this country. On _your_
part we are satisfied that everything was honourable and sincere; and,
if England was sold to France, we doubt not that your Majesty was
equally betrayed. The conditions of the peace were matter of grief and
surprise to your subjects, but not the immediate cause of their present

Hitherto, Sir, you had been sacrificed to the prejudices and passions
of others. With what firmness will you bear the mention of your own?

A man, not very honourably distinguished in the world, commences a
formal attack upon your favourite, considering nothing but how he might
best expose his person and principles to detestation, and the national
character of his countrymen to contempt. The natives of that country,
Sir, are as much distinguished by a peculiar character as by your
Majesty's favour. Like another chosen people, they have been conducted
into the land of plenty, where they find themselves effectually marked
and divided from mankind. There is hardly a period at which the most
irregular character may not be redeemed. The mistakes of one sex find a
retreat in patriotism, those of the other in devotion. Mr. Wilkes
brought with him into politics the same liberal sentiments by which his
private conduct had been directed, and seemed to think that, as there
are few excesses in which an English gentleman may not be permitted to
indulge, the same latitude was allowed him in the choice of his
political principles, and in the spirit of maintaining them. I mean to
state, not entirely to defend, his conduct. In the earnestness of his
zeal he suffered some unwarrantable insinuations to escape him. He said
more than moderate men would justify, but not enough to entitle him to
the honour of your Majesty's personal resentment. The rays of royal
indignation, collected upon him, served only to illuminate, and could
not consume. Animated by the favour of the people on the one side, and
heated by persecution on the other, his views and sentiments changed
with his situation. Hardly serious at first, he is now an enthusiast.
The coldest bodies warm with opposition, the hardest sparkle in
collision.--There is a holy, mistaken zeal in politics as well as
religion. By persuading others, we convince ourselves. The passions are
engaged, and create a material affection in the mind, which forces us
to love the cause for which we suffer. Is this a contention worthy of a
king? Are you not sensible how much the meanness of the cause gives an
air of ridicule to the serious difficulties into which you have been
betrayed? The destruction of one man has been now, for many years, the
sole object of your government; and, if there can be anything still
more disgraceful, we have seen, for such an object, the utmost
influence of the executive power, and every ministerial artifice,
exerted without success. Nor can you ever succeed, unless he should be
imprudent enough to forfeit the protection of those laws to which you
owe your crown, or unless your minister should persuade you to make it
a question of force alone, and try the whole strength of government in
opposition to the people. The lessons he has received from experience
will probably guard him from such excess of folly, and in your
Majesty's virtues we find an unquestionable assurance that no illegal
violence will be attempted.

Far from suspecting you of so horrible a design, we would attribute his
continued violation of the laws, and even the last enormous attack upon
the vital principles of the constitution, to an ill-advised, unworthy,
personal resentment. From one false step you have been betrayed into
another, and, as the cause was unworthy of you, your ministers were
determined that the prudence executed should correspond with the
wisdom and dignity of the design. They have reduced you to the
necessity of choosing out of a variety of difficulties; to a situation
so unhappy that you can neither do wrong without ruin, nor right
without affliction. These worthy servants have undoubtedly given you
many singular proofs of their abilities. Not contented with making Mr.
Wilkes a man of importance, they have judiciously transferred the
question from the rights and interests of one man to the most important
rights and interests of the people, and forced your subjects from
wishing well to the cause of an individual to unite with him in their
own. Let them proceed as they have begun, and your Majesty need not
doubt that the catastrophe will do no dishonour to the conduct of the

The circumstances to which you are reduced will not admit of a
compromise with the English nation. Undecisive, qualifying measures
will disgrace your government still more than open violence, and,
without satisfying the people, will excite their contempt. They have
too much understanding and spirit to accept of an indirect satisfaction
for a direct injury. Nothing less than a repeal, as formal as the
resolution itself, can heal the wound which has been given to the
constitution, nor will anything less be accepted. I can readily believe
that there is an influence sufficient to recall that pernicious vote.
The House of Commons undoubtedly consider their duty to the Crown as
paramount to all other obligations. To us they are only indebted for an
accidental existence, and have justly transferred their gratitude from
their parents to their benefactors, from those who gave them birth to
the minister from whose benevolence they derive the comforts and
pleasure of their political life, who has taken the tenderest care of
their infancy and relieves their necessities without offending their
delicacy. But if it were possible for their integrity to be degraded
to a condition so vile and abject that, compared with it, the present
estimation they stand in is a state of honour and respect, consider,
Sir, in what manner you will afterwards proceed. Can you conceive that
the people of this country will long submit to be governed by so
flexible a House of Commons? It is not in the nature of human society
that any form of government, in such circumstances, can long be
preserved. In ours, the general contempt of the people is as fatal as
their detestation. Such, I am persuaded, would be the necessary effect
of any base concession made by the present House of Commons, and, as a
qualifying measure would not be accepted, it remains for you to decide
whether you will, at any hazard, support a set of men who have reduced
you to this unhappy dilemma, or whether you will gratify the united
wishes of the whole people of England by dissolving the Parliament.

Taking it for granted, as I do very sincerely, that you have personally
no design against the constitution, nor any view inconsistent with the
good of your subjects, I think you cannot hesitate long upon the choice
which it equally concerns your interests and your honour to adopt. On
one side you hazard the affection of all your English subjects, you
relinquish every hope of repose to yourself, and you endanger the
establishment of your family for ever. All this you venture for no
object whatsoever, or for such an object as it would be an affront to
you to name. Men of sense will examine your conduct with suspicion,
while those who are incapable of comprehending to what degree they are
injured afflict you with clamours equally insolent and unmeaning.
Supposing it possible that no fatal struggle should ensue, you
determine at once to be unhappy, without the hope of a compensation
either from interest or ambition. If an English king be hated or
despised, he _must_ be unhappy; and this, perhaps, is the only
political truth which he ought to be convinced of without experiment.
But if the English people should no longer confine their resentment to
a submissive representation of their wrongs; if, following the glorious
example of their ancestors, they should no longer appeal to the
creature of the constitution, but to that high Being who gave them the
rights of humanity, whose gifts it were sacrilege to surrender, let me
ask you, Sir, upon what part of your subjects would you rely for

The people of Ireland have been uniformly plundered and oppressed. In
return they give you every day fresh marks of their resentment. They
despise the miserable governor you have sent them, because he is the
creature of Lord Bute, nor is it from any natural confusion in their
ideas that they are so ready to confound the original of a king with
the disgraceful representation of him.

The distance of the colonies would make it impossible for them to take
an active concern in your affairs, if they were as well affected to
your government as they once pretended to be to your person. They were
ready enough to distinguish between you and your ministers. They
complained of an act of the legislature, but traced the origin of it no
higher than to the servants of the Crown; they pleased themselves with
the hope that their sovereign, if not favourable to their cause, at
least was impartial. The decisive personal part you took against them
has effectually banished that first distinction from their minds. They
consider you as united with your servants against America, and know how
to distinguish the sovereign and a venal parliament on one side from
the real sentiments of the English people on the other. Looking forward
to independence, they might possibly receive you for their king; but,
if ever you retire to America, be assured they will give you such a
covenant to digest as the presbytery of Scotland would have been
ashamed to offer to Charles the Second. They left their native land in
search of freedom, and found it in a desert. Divided as they are into a
thousand forms of policy and religion, there is one point in which they
all agree: they equally detest the pageantry of a king and the
supercilious hypocrisy of a bishop.

It is not, then, from the alienated affections of Ireland or America
that you can reasonably look for assistance; still less from the people
of England, who are actually contending for their rights, and in this
great question are parties against you. You are not, however, destitute
of every appearance of support: you have all the Jacobites, Non-jurors,
Roman Catholics, and Tories of this country, and all Scotland, without
exception. Considering from what family you are descended, the choice
of your friends has been singularly directed; and truly, Sir, if you
had not lost the Whig interest of England, I should admire your
dexterity in turning the hearts of your enemies. Is it possible for you
to place any confidence in men who, before they are faithful to you,
must renounce every opinion and betray every principle, both in church
and state, which they inherit from their ancestors and are confirmed in
by their education; whose numbers are so inconsiderable that they have
long since been obliged to give up the principles and language which
distinguish them as a party, and to fight under the banners of their
enemies? Their zeal begins with hypocrisy, and must conclude in
treachery. At first they deceive, at last they betray.

As to the Scotch, I must suppose your heart and understanding so
biassed from your earliest infancy in their favour that nothing less
than _your own_ misfortunes can undeceive you. You will not accept of
the uniform experience of your ancestors; and, when once a man is
determined to believe, the very absurdity of the doctrine confirms him
in his faith. A bigoted understanding can draw a proof of attachment to
the House of Hanover from a notorious zeal for the House of Stuart, and
find an earnest of future loyalty in former rebellions. Appearances
are, however, in their favour: so strongly, indeed, that one would
think they had forgotten that you are their lawful king, and had
mistaken you for a pretender to the crown. Let it be admitted, then,
that the Scotch are as sincere in their present professions as if you
were in reality, not an Englishman, but a Briton of the North. You
would not be the first prince of their native country against whom they
have rebelled, nor the first whom they have basely betrayed. Have you
forgotten, Sir, or has your favourite concealed from you, that part of
our history when the unhappy Charles (and he, too, had private virtues)
fled from the open, avowed indignation of his English subjects, and
surrendered himself at discretion to the good faith of his own
countrymen? Without looking for support in their affections as
subjects, he applied only to their honour as gentlemen for protection.
They received him, as they would your Majesty, with bows and smiles and
falsehood, and kept him until they had settled their bargain with the
English parliament, then basely sold their native king to the vengeance
of his enemies. This, Sir, was not the act of a few traitors, but the
deliberate treachery of a Scotch parliament representing the nation. A
wise prince might draw from it two lessons of equal utility to himself.
On one side he might learn to dread the undisguised resentment of a
generous people who dare openly assert their rights, and who in a just
cause are ready to meet their sovereign in the field. On the other side
he would be taught to apprehend something far more formidable: a
fawning treachery against which no prudence can guard, no courage can
defend. The insidious smile upon the cheek would warn him of the canker
in the heart.

From the uses to which one part of the army has been too frequently
applied, you have some reason to expect that there are no services they
would refuse. Here, too, we trace the partiality of your understanding.
You take the sense of the army from the conduct of the guards, with the
same justice with which you collect the sense of the people from the
representations of the ministry. Your marching regiments, Sir, will not
make the guards their example either as soldiers or subjects. They feel
and resent, as they ought to do, that invariable, undistinguishing
favour with which the guards are treated, while those gallant troops,
by whom every hazardous, every laborious service is performed, are left
to perish in garrisons abroad, or pine in quarters at home, neglected
and forgotten. If they had no sense of the great original duty they owe
their country, their resentment would operate like patriotism, and
leave your cause to be defended by those on whom you have lavished the
rewards and honours of their profession. The Prætorian bands, enervated
and debauched as they were, had still strength enough to awe the Roman
populace, but when the distant legions took the alarm they marched to
Rome and gave away the empire.

On this side, then, whichever way you turn your eyes, you see nothing
but perplexity and distress. You may determine to support the very
ministry who have reduced your affairs to this deplorable situation;
you may shelter yourself under the forms of a parliament, and set the
people at defiance; but be assured, Sir, that such a resolution would
be as imprudent as it would be odious. If it did not immediately shake
your establishment, it would rob you of your peace of mind for ever.

On the other, how different is the prospect! How easy, how safe and
honourable, is the path before you! The English nation declare they are
grossly injured by their representatives, and solicit your Majesty to
exert your lawful prerogative, and give them an opportunity of
recalling a trust which they find has been scandalously abused. You are
not to be told that the power of the House of Commons is not original,
but delegated to them for the welfare of the people, from whom they
received it. A question of right arises between the constituent and the
representative body. By what authority shall it be decided? Will your
Majesty interfere in a question in which you have, properly, no
immediate concern? It would be a step equally odious and unnecessary.
Shall the Lords be called upon to determine the rights and privileges
of the Commons? They cannot do it without a flagrant breach of the
constitution. Or will you refer it to the judges? They have often told
your ancestors that the law of parliament is above them. What part then
remains but to leave it to the people to determine for themselves? They
alone are injured, and since there is no superior power to which the
cause can be referred, they alone ought to determine.

I do not mean to perplex you with a tedious argument upon a subject
already so discussed that inspiration could hardly throw a new light
upon it. There are, however, two points of view in which it
particularly imports your Majesty to consider the late proceedings of
the House of Commons. By depriving a subject of his birthright they
have attributed to their own vote an authority equal to an act of the
whole legislature, and, though perhaps not with the same motives, have
strictly followed the example of the Long Parliament, which first
declared the regal office useless, and soon after, with as little
ceremony, dissolved the House of Lords. The same pretended power which
robs an English subject of his birthright may rob an English king of
his crown. In another view, the resolution of the House of Commons,
apparently not so dangerous to your Majesty, is still more alarming to
your people. Not contented with divesting one man of his right, they
have arbitrarily conveyed that right to another. They have set aside a
return as illegal, without daring to censure those officers who were
particularly apprised of Mr. Wilkes' incapacity, not only by the
declaration of the House, but expressly by the writ directed to them,
and who, nevertheless, returned him as duly elected. They have rejected
the majority of votes, the only criterion by which our laws judge of
the sense of the people; they have transferred the right of election
from the collective to the representative body; and by these acts,
taken separately or together, they have essentially altered the
original constitution of the House of Commons. Versed as your Majesty
undoubtedly is in the English history, it cannot escape you how much it
is your interest as well as your duty to prevent one of the three
estates from encroaching upon the province of the other two, or
assuming the authority of them all. When once they have departed from
the great constitutional line by which all their proceedings should be
directed, who will answer for their future moderation? Or what
assurance will they give you that, when they have trampled upon their
equals, they will submit to a superior? Your Majesty may learn
hereafter how nearly the slave and tyrant are allied.

Some of your council, more candid than the rest, admit the abandoned
profligacy of the present House of Commons, but oppose their
dissolution, upon an opinion, I confess, not very unwarrantable, that
their successors would be equally at the disposal of the treasury. I
cannot persuade myself that the nation will have profited so little by
experience. But if that opinion were well founded, you might then
gratify our wishes at an easy rate, and appease the present clamour
against your government, without offering any material injury to the
favourite cause of corruption.

You have still an honourable part to act. The affections of your
subjects may still be recovered. But before you subdue their hearts you
must gain a noble victory over your own. Discard those little, personal
resentments which have too long directed your public conduct. Pardon
this man the remainder of his punishment; and, if resentment still
prevails, make it what it should have been long since--an act, not of
mercy, but of contempt. He will soon fall back into his natural
station, a silent senator, and hardly supporting the weekly eloquence
of a newspaper. The gentle breath of peace would leave him on the
surface, neglected and unremoved. It is only the tempest that lifts him
from his place.

Without consulting your minister, call together your whole council. Let
it appear to the public that you can determine and act for yourself.
Come forward to your people. Lay aside the wretched formalities of a
king, and speak to your subjects with the spirit of a man and in the
language of a gentleman. Tell them you have been fatally deceived. The
acknowledgment will be no disgrace, but rather an honour, to your
understanding. Tell them you are determined to remove every cause of
complaint against your government, that you will give your confidence
to no man who does not possess the confidence of your subjects, and
leave it to themselves to determine, by their conduct at a future
election, whether or no it be in reality the general sense of the
nation that their rights have been arbitrarily invaded by the present
House of Commons, and the constitution betrayed. They will then do
justice to their representatives and to themselves.

These sentiments, Sir, and the style they are conveyed in, may be
offensive, perhaps, because they are new to you. Accustomed to the
language of courtiers, you measure their affections by the vehemence of
their expressions, and when they only praise you indifferently, you
admire their sincerity. But this is not a time to trifle with your
fortune. They deceive you, Sir, who tell you that you have many
friends, whose affections are founded upon a principle of personal
attachment. The first foundation of friendship is not the power of
conferring benefits, but the equality with which they are received and
may be returned. The fortune which made you a king forbade you to have
a friend. It is a law of nature which cannot be violated with impunity.
The mistaken prince who looks for friendship will find a favourite, and
in that favourite the ruin of his affairs.

The people of England are loyal to the House of Hanover, not from a
vain preference of one family to another, but from a conviction that
the establishment of that family was necessary to the support of their
civil and religious liberties. This, Sir, is a principle of allegiance
equally solid and rational, fit for Englishmen to adopt, and well
worthy of your Majesty's encouragement. We cannot long be deluded by
nominal distinctions. The name of Stuart, of itself, is only
contemptible; armed with the sovereign authority, their principles are
formidable. The prince who imitates their conduct should be warned by
their example, and, while he plumes himself upon the security of his
title to the crown, should remember that, as it was acquired by one
revolution, it may be lost by another.




        My son, these maxims make a rule,
          And lump them aye thegither;
        The Rigid Righteous is a fool,
          The Rigid Wise anither;
        The cleanest corn that ere was dight
          May ha'e some pyles o' caff in;
        So ne'er a fellow-creature slight
          For random fits o' daffin'.--_Solomon_.--Eccles. vii. 16.

    This undoubtedly ranks as one of the noblest satires in our
    literature. It was first published as a broadside, and afterwards
    incorporated in the Kilmarnock and Edinburgh editions.

  Oh ye wha are sae guid yoursel',
    Sae pious an' sae holy,
  Ye've nought to do but mark an' tell
    Your neebour's fauts an' folly!
  Whase life is like a weel-gaun[216] mill,
    Supplied wi' store o' water,
  The heaped happer's[217] ebbing still,
    An' still the clap plays clatter.

  Hear me, ye venerable core,
    As counsel for poor mortals,
  That frequent pass douce Wisdom's door,
    For glaiket[218] Folly's portals;
  I, for their thoughtless, careless sakes,
    Would here propone defences,
  Their donsie[219] tricks, their black mistakes
    Their failings an' mischances.

  Ye see your state wi' theirs compar'd,
    An' shudder at the niffer[220],
  But cast a moment's fair regard,
    What mak's the mighty differ?
  Discount what scant occasion gave
    That purity ye pride in,
  An' (what's aft mair than a' the lave)
    Your better art o' hiding.

  Think, when your castigated pulse
    Gi'es now an' then a wallop,
  What ragings must his veins convulse,
    That still eternal gallop.
  Wi' wind an' tide fair i' your tail,
    Right on ye scud your sea-way;
  But in the teeth o' baith to sail,
    It makes an unco lee-way.

  See social life an' glee sit down,
    All joyous an' unthinking,
  Till, quite transmugrified, they're grown
    Debauchery an' drinking:
  Oh would they stay to calculate
    Th' eternal consequences;
  Or your more dreaded hell to state,
    Damnation of expenses!

  Ye high, exalted, virtuous dames,
    Tied up in godly laces,
  Before ye gi'e poor frailty names,
    Suppose a change o' cases;
  A dear loved lad, convenience snug,
    A treacherous inclination--
  But, let me whisper i' your lug[221],
    Ye'er aiblins[222] nae temptation.

  Then gently scan your brother man,
    Still gentler sister woman;
  Though they may gang a kennin' wrang,
    To step aside is human:
  One point must still be greatly dark,
    The moving why they do it:
  An' just as lamely can ye mark,
    How far perhaps they rue it.

  Who made the heart, 'tis He alone
    Decidedly can try us,
  He knows each chord--its various tone,
    Each spring--its various bias:
  Then at the balance let's be mute,
    We never can adjust it;
  What's done we partly may compute,
    But know not what's resisted.

[Footnote 216: well-going.]

[Footnote 217: hopper.]

[Footnote 218: idle.]

[Footnote 219: unlucky.]

[Footnote 220: exchange.]

[Footnote 221: ear.]

[Footnote 222: perhaps.]


    The hero of this daring exposition of Calvinistic theology was
    William Fisher, a farmer in the neighbourhood of Mauchline, and an
    elder in Mr. Auld's session. He had signalized himself in the
    prosecution of Mr. Hamilton, elsewhere alluded to; and Burns
    appears to have written these verses in retribution of the rancour
    he had displayed on that occasion. Fisher was afterwards convicted
    of appropriating the money collected for the poor. Coming home one
    night from market in a state of intoxication, he fell into a ditch,
    where he was found dead next morning. The poem was first published
    in 1801, along with the "Jolly Beggars".

  Oh Thou, wha in the heavens dost dwell,
  Wha, as it pleases best thysel',
  Sends ane to heaven, an' ten to hell,
            A' for thy glory,
  An' no for ony guid or ill
            They've done afore thee!

  I bless an' praise thy matchless might,
  Whan thousands thou hast left in night,
  That I am here afore thy sight,
            For gifts an' grace
  A burnin' and a shinin' light
            To a' this place.

  What was I, or my generation,
  That I should get sic exaltation,
  I wha deserve sic just damnation,
            For broken laws,
  Five thousand years 'fore my creation,
            Thro' Adam's cause?

  When frae my mither's womb I fell,
  Thou might ha'e plunged me deep in hell,
  To gnash my gums, to weep an' wail,
            In burnin' lake,
  Whare damned devils roar an' yell,
            Chain'd to a stake.

  Yet I am here, a chosen sample;
  To show thy grace is great an' ample;
  I'm here a pillar in thy temple,
            Strong as a rock,
  A guide, a buckler, an example,
            To a' thy flock.

  But yet, oh Lord! confess I must,
  At times I'm fash'd[223] wi' fleshly lust;
  An' sometimes, too, wi' warldly trust,
            Vile self gets in:
  But Thou remembers we are dust,
            Defil'd in sin.

  Maybe thou lets this fleshly thorn
  Beset thy servant e'en an' morn
  Lest he owre high an' proud should turn,
            'Cause he's sae gifted;
  If sae, Thy ban' maun e'en be borne,
            Until Thou lift it.

  Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place,
  For here Thou hast a chosen race:
  But God confound their stubborn face,
            And blast their name,
  Wha bring Thy elders to disgrace
            And public shame.

  Lord, mind Cawn Hamilton's deserts,
  He drinks, and swears, and plays at cartes[224],
  Yet has sae mony takin' arts,
            Wi' grit an' sma'[225],
  Frae God's ain priests the people's hearts
            He steals awa'.

  And whan we chasten'd him therefore,
  Thou kens how he bred sic a splore[226],
  As set the warld in a roar
            O' laughin' at us,--
  Curse Thou his basket and his store,
            Kail and potatoes.

  Lord, hear my earnest cry and pray'r
  Against the Presbyt'ry of Ayr;
  Thy strong right hand, Lord, mak' it bare
            Upo' their heads,
  Lord, weigh it down, and dinna spare,
            For their misdeeds.

  Oh Lord my God, that glib-tongu'd Aiken,
  My very heart and saul are quakin',
  To think how we stood groanin', shakin',
            And swat wi' dread,
  While he wi' hingin' lips and snakin',
            Held up his head.

  Lord, in the day of vengeance try him,
  Lord, visit them wha did employ him,
  And pass not in thy mercy by 'em,
            Nor hear their pray'r;
  But for thy people's sake destroy 'em,
            And dinna spare,

  But, Lord, remember me and mine,
  Wi' mercies temp'ral and divine,
  That I for gear[227] and grace may shine,
            Excell'd by nane,
  And a' the glory shall be thine,
            Amen, amen!


  Here Holy Willie's sair-worn clay
    Tak's up its last abode;
  His saul has ta'en some ither way,
    I fear the left-hand road.

  Stop! there he is, as sure's a gun,
    Poor, silly body, see him;
  Nae wonder he's as black's the grun',
    Observe wha's standing wi' him.

  Your brunstane[228] devilship, I see,
    Has got him there before ye;
  But haud your nine-tail cat a wee,
    Till ance you've heard my story.

  Your pity I will not implore,
    For pity ye ha'e nane;
  Justice, alas! has gi'en him o'er,
    And mercy's day is gane.

  But hear me, sir, de'il as ye are,
    Look something to your credit;
  A coof[229] like him wad stain your name,
    If it were kent ye did it.

[Footnote 223: troubled.]

[Footnote 224: cards.]

[Footnote 225: great and small.]

[Footnote 226: row.]

[Footnote 227: wealth.]

[Footnote 228: brimstone.]

[Footnote 229: fool.]




    Published originally in 1811 in _The Reflector_, No. 4. As Lamb
    himself states, it was meditated for two years before it was
    committed to paper in 1805, but not published until six years

  May the Babylonish curse
  Straight confound my stammering verse,
  If I can a passage see
  In this word-perplexity,
  Or a fit expression find,
  Or a language to my mind
  (Still the phrase is wide or scant),
  To take leave of thee, Great Plant!
  Or in any terms relate
  Half my love, or half my hate:
  For I hate yet love thee so,
  That, whichever thing I show,
  The plain truth will seem to be
  A constrained hyperbole,
  And the passions to proceed
  More from a mistress than a weed.

  Sooty retainer to the vine,
  Bacchus' black servant, negro fine;
  Sorcerer, that mak'st us dote upon
  Thy begrimed complexion,
  And, for thy pernicious sake,
  More and greater oaths to break
  Than reclaimèd lovers take
  'Gainst women: thou thy siege dost lay
  Much too in the female way,
  While thou suck'st the lab'ring breath
  Faster than kisses or than death.

  Thou in such a cloud dost bind us,
  That our worst foes cannot find us,
  And ill fortune, that would thwart us,
  Shoots at rovers, shooting at us;
  While each man, through thy heightening steam,
  Does like a smoking Etna seem,
  And all about us does express
  (Fancy and wit in richest dress)
  A Sicilian fruitfulness

  Thou through such a mist dost show us,
  That our best friends do not know us,
  And, for those allowed features,
  Due to reasonable creatures,
  Liken'st us to fell Chimeras--
  Monsters that, who see us, fear us;
  Worse than Cerberus or Geryon,
  Or, who first loved a cloud, Ixion.

  Bacchus we know, and we allow
  His tipsy rites. But what art thou,
  That but by reflex canst show
  What his deity can do,
  As the false Egyptian spell
  Aped the true Hebrew miracle?
  Some few vapours thou may'st raise,
  The weak brain may serve to amaze.
  But to the reins and nobler heart
  Canst nor life nor heat impart.

  Brother of Bacchus, later born,
  The old world was sure forlorn
  Wanting thee, that aidest more
  The god's victories than before
  All his panthers, and the brawls
  Of his piping Bacchanals.
  These, as stale, we disallow,
  Or judge of _thee_ meant: only thou
  His true Indian conquest art;
  And, for ivy round his dart,
  The reformèd god now weaves
  A finer thyrsus of thy leaves.

  Scent to match thy rich perfume
  Chemic art did ne'er presume
  Through her quaint alembic strain,
  None so sovereign to the brain.
  Nature, that did in thee excel,
  Framed again no second smell.
  Roses, violets, but toys
  For the smaller sort of boys,
  Or for greener damsels meant;
  Thou art the only manly scent.

  Stinking'st of the stinking kind,
  Filth of the mouth and fog of the mind,
  Africa, that brags her foison,
  Breeds no such prodigious poison,
  Henbane, nightshade, both together,
  Hemlock, aconite--
                    Nay, rather,
  Plant divine, of rarest virtue;
  Blisters on the tongue would hurt you.
  'Twas but in a sort I blamed thee;
  None e'er prospered who defamed thee;
  Irony all, and feigned abuse,
  Such as perplexed lovers use
  At a need, when, in despair
  To paint forth their fairest fair,
  Or in part but to express
  That exceeding comeliness
  Which their fancies doth so strike,
  They borrow language of dislike,
  And, instead of Dearest Miss,
  Jewel, Honey, Sweetheart, Bliss,
  And those forms of old admiring,
  Call her Cockatrice and Siren,
  Basilisk, and all that's evil,
  Witch, Hyena, Mermaid, Devil,
  Ethiop, Wench, and Blackamoor,
  Monkey, Ape, and twenty more;
  Friendly Trait'ress, Loving Foe,--
  Not that she is truly so,
  But no other way they know
  A contentment to express,
  Borders so upon excess,
  That they do not rightly wot
  Whether it be pain or not.

  Or as men, constrained to part
  With what's nearest to their heart,
  While their sorrow's at the height,
  Lose discrimination quite,
  And their hasty wrath let fall,
  To appease their frantic gall,
  On the darling thing whatever
  Whence they feel it death to sever,
  Though it be, as they, perforce
  Guiltless of the sad divorce.

  For I must (nor let it grieve thee,
  Friendliest of plants, that I must) leave thee.
  For thy sake, Tobacco, I
  Would do anything but die,
  And but seek to extend my days
  Long enough to sing thy praise.
  But, as she who once hath been
  A king's consort is a queen
  Ever after, nor will bate
  Any title of her state,
  Though a widow or divorced,
  So I, from thy converse forced,
  The old name and style retain,
  A right Katherine of Spain;
  And a seat, too, 'mongst the joys
  Of the blest Tobacco Boys;
  Where, though I, by sour physician,
  Am debarred the full fruition
  Of thy favours, I may catch
  Some collateral sweets, and snatch
  Sidelong odours, that give life
  Like glances from a neighbour's wife;
  And still live in the byplaces
  And the suburbs of thy graces,
  And in thy borders take delight,
  An unconquered Canaanite.




    Suggested by Hunt's _Byron and his Contemporaries_.

  Next week will be published (as "Lives" are the rage)
    The whole Reminiscences, wondrous and strange,
  Of a small puppy-dog that lived once in the cage
    Of the late noble lion at Exeter 'Change.

  Though the dog is a dog of the kind they call "sad",
    'Tis a puppy that much to good breeding pretends;
  And few dogs have such opportunities had
    Of knowing how lions behave--among friends.

  How that animal eats, how he moves, how he drinks,
    Is all noted down by this Boswell so small;
  And 'tis plain, from each sentence, the puppy-dog thinks
    That the lion was no such great things after all.

  Though he roar'd pretty well--this the puppy allows--
    It was all, he says, borrow'd--all second-hand roar;
  And he vastly prefers his own little bow-wows
    To the loftiest war-note the lion could pour.

  'Tis indeed as good fun as a cynic could ask,
    To see how this cockney-bred setter of rabbits
  Takes gravely the lord of the forest to task,
    And judges of lions by puppy-dog habits.

  Nay, fed as he was (and this makes it a dark case)
    With sops every day from the lion's own pan,
  He lifts up his leg at the noble beast's carcase,
    And--does all a dog, so diminutive, can.

  However the book's a good book, being rich in
    Examples and warnings to lions high-bred,
  How they suffer small mongrelly curs in their kitchen,
    Who'll feed on them living, and foul them when dead.




    Published in _Fugitive Verses_, and thence included among Canning's

  Oft you have ask'd me, Granville, why
  Of late I heave the frequent sigh?
  Why, moping, melancholy, low,
  From supper, commons, wine, I go?
  Why bows my mind, by care oppress'd,
  By day no peace, by night no rest?
  Hear, then, my friend, and ne'er you knew
  A tale so tender, and so true--
  Hear what, tho' shame my tongue restrain,
  My pen with freedom shall explain.
    Say, Granville, do you not remember,
  About the middle of November,
  When Blenheim's hospitable lord
  Received us at his cheerful board;
  How fair the Ladies Spencer smiled,
  Enchanting, witty, courteous, mild?
  And mark'd you not, how many a glance
  Across the table, shot by chance
  From fair Eliza's graceful form,
  Assail'd and took my heart by storm?
  And mark'd you not, with earnest zeal,
  I ask'd her, if she'd have some veal?
  And how, when conversation's charms
  Fresh vigour gave to love's alarms,
  My heart was scorch'd, and burnt to tinder,
  When talking to her at the _winder_?
  These facts premised, you can't but guess
  The cause of my uneasiness,
  For you have heard, as well as I,
  That she'll be married speedily;
  And then--my grief more plain to tell--
  Soft cares, sweet fears, fond hopes,--farewell!
  But still, tho' false the fleeting dream,
  Indulge awhile the tender theme,
  And hear, had fortune yet been kind,
  How bright the prospect of the mind.
  O! had I had it in my power
  To wed her--with a suited dower--
  And proudly bear the beauteous maid
  To Saltrum's venerable shade,--
  Or if she liked not woods at Saltrum,
  Why, nothing easier than to alter 'em,--
  Then had I tasted bliss sincere,
  And happy been from year to year.
  How changed this scene! for now, my Granville,
  Another match is on the anvil.
  And I, a widow'd dove, complain,
  And feel no refuge from my pain--
  Save that of pitying Spencer's sister,
  Who's lost a lord, and gained a Mister.


    This is an exquisite satire on the attempts at criticism which were
    current in _pre-Edinburgh Review_ days, when the majority of the
    journals were mere touts for the booksellers. The papers in
    question are taken from Nos. 11 and 12 of the _Microcosm_,
    published on Monday, February 12th, 1787--when Canning was
    seventeen years of age.

The epic poem on which I shall ground my present critique has for its
chief characteristics brevity and simplicity. The author--whose name I
lament that I am, in some degree, prevented from consecrating to
immortal fame, by not knowing what it is--the author, I say, has not
branched his poem into excrescences of episode, or prolixities of
digression; it is neither variegated with diversity of unmeaning
similitudes, nor glaring with the varnish of unnatural metaphor. The
whole is plain and uniform; so much so, indeed, that I should hardly be
surprised if some morose readers were to conjecture that the poet had
been thus simple rather from necessity than choice; that he had been
restrained, not so much by chastity of judgment, as sterility of

Nay, some there may be, perhaps, who will dispute his claim to the
title of an epic poet, and will endeavour to degrade him even to the
rank of a ballad-monger. But I, as his commentator, will contend for
the dignity of my author, and will plainly demonstrate his poem to be
an epic poem, agreeable to the example of all poets, and the consent of
all critics heretofore.

First, it is universally agreed that an epic poem should have three
component parts--a beginning, a middle, and an end; secondly, it is
allowed that it should have one grand action or main design, to the
forwarding of which all the parts of it should directly or indirectly
tend, and that this design should be in some measure consonant with,
and conducive to, the purposes of morality; and thirdly, it is
indisputably settled that it should have a hero. I trust that in none
of these points the poem before us will be found deficient. There are
other inferior properties which I shall consider in due order.

Not to keep my readers longer in suspense, the subject of the poem is
"The Reformation of the Knave of Hearts". It is not improbable that
some may object to me that a knave is an unworthy hero for an epic
poem--that a hero ought to be all that is great and good. The objection
is frivolous. The greatest work of this kind that the world has ever
produced has "the Devil" for its hero; and supported as my author is by
so great a precedent, I contend that his hero is a very decent hero,
and especially as he has the advantage of Milton's, by reforming, at
the end, is evidently entitled to a competent share of celebrity.

I shall now proceed to the more immediate examination of the poem in
its different parts. The beginning, say the critics, ought to be plain
and simple--neither embellished with the flowers of poetry, nor turgid
with pomposity of diction. In this how exactly does our author conform
to the established opinion! He begins thus:

     "The Queen of Hearts
      She made some tarts".

Can anything be more clear! more natural! more agreeable to the true
spirit of simplicity? Here are no tropes, no figurative expressions,
not even so much as an invocation to the Muse. He does not detain his
readers by any needless circumlocution, by unnecessarily informing them
what he _is_ going to sing, or still more unnecessarily enumerating
what he _is not_ going to sing; but, according to the precept of

                           _In médias res,
      Non secus ac notas, auditorem rapit--_

That is, he at once introduces us and sets us on the most easy and
familiar footing imaginable with her Majesty of Hearts, and interests
us deeply in her domestic concerns. But to proceed--

     "The Queen of Hearts
      She made some tarts,
      All on a summer's day".

Here indeed the prospect brightens, and we are led to expect some
liveliness of imagery, some warmth of poetical colouring; but here is
no such thing. There is no task more difficult to a poet than that of
rejection. Ovid among the ancients, and Dryden among the moderns, were
perhaps the most remarkable for the want of it. The latter, from the
haste in which he generally produced his compositions, seldom paid much
attention to the _limæ labor_, "the labour of correction", and seldom,
therefore, rejected the assistance of any idea that presented itself.
Ovid, not content with catching the leading features of any scene or
character, indulged himself in a thousand minutiæ of description, a
thousand puerile prettinesses, which were in themselves uninteresting,
and took off greatly from the effect of the whole; as the numberless
suckers and straggling branches of a fruit-tree, if permitted to shoot
out unrestrained, while they are themselves barren and useless,
diminish considerably the vigour of the parent stock. Ovid had more
genius but less judgment than Virgil; Dryden more imagination but less
correctness than Pope; had they not been deficient in these points the
former would certainly have equalled, the latter infinitely outshone
the merits of his countryman. Our author was undoubtedly possessed of
that power which they wanted, and was cautious not to indulge too far
the sallies of a lively imagination. Omitting, therefore, any mention
of sultry Sirius, sylvan shade, sequestered glade, verdant hills,
purling rills, mossy mountains, gurgling fountains, &c., he simply
tells us that it was "All on a summer's day". For my own part I confess
that I find myself rather flattered than disappointed, and consider the
poet as rather paying a compliment to the abilities of his readers,
than baulking their expectations. It is certainly a great pleasure to
see a picture well painted; but it is a much greater to paint it well
oneself. This, therefore, I look upon as a stroke of excellent
management in the poet. Here every reader is at liberty to gratify his
own taste, to design for himself just what sort of "summer's day" he
likes best; to choose his own scenery, dispose his lights and shades as
he pleases, to solace himself with a rivulet or a horse-pond, a shower
or a sunbeam, a grove or a kitchen-garden, according to his fancy. How
much more considerate this than if the poet had, from an affected
accuracy of description, thrown us into an unmannerly perspiration by
the heat of the atmosphere, forced us into a landscape of his own
planning, with perhaps a paltry good-for-nothing zephyr or two, and a
limited quantity of wood and water. All this Ovid would undoubtedly
have done. Nay, to use the expression of a learned brother
commentator--_quovis pignore decertem_, "I would lay any wager", that
he would have gone so far as to tell us what the tarts were made of,
and perhaps wandered into an episode on the art of preserving cherries.
But _our_ poet, above such considerations, leaves every reader to
choose his own ingredients, and sweeten them to his own liking; wisely
foreseeing, no doubt, that the more palatable each had rendered them to
his own taste, the more he would be affected at their approaching loss.

     "All on a summer's day."

I cannot leave this line without remarking that one of the Scribleri, a
descendant of the famous Martinus, has expressed his suspicions of the
text being corrupted here, and proposes instead of "all on" reading
"alone", alleging, in favour of this alteration, the effect of solitude
in raising the passions. But Hiccius Doctius, a high Dutch commentator,
one nevertheless well versed in British literature, in a note of his
usual length and learning, has confuted the arguments of Scriblerus. In
support of the present reading he quotes a passage from a poem written
about the same period with our author's, by the celebrated Johannes
Pastor[230], intituled "An Elegiac Epistle to the Turnkey of Newgate",
wherein the gentleman declares that, rather indeed in compliance with
an old custom than to gratify any particular wish of his own, he is

     "All hanged for to be
      Upon that fatal Tyburn tree ".

Now, as nothing throws greater light on an author than the concurrence
of a contemporary writer, I am inclined to be of Hiccius' opinion, and
to consider the "All" as an elegant expletive, or, as he more aptly
phrases it _elegans expletivum_. The passage therefore must stand

     "The Queen of Hearts
      She made some tarts
      All on a summer's day."

And thus ends the first part, or beginning, which is simple and
unembellished, opens the subject in a natural and easy manner, excites,
but does not too far gratify our curiosity, for a reader of accurate
observation may easily discover that the hero of the poem has not, as
yet, made his appearance.

I could not continue my examination at present through the whole of
this poem without far exceeding the limits of a single paper. I have
therefore divided it into two, but shall not delay the publication of
the second to another week, as that, besides breaking the connection of
criticism, would materially injure the unities of the poem.

Having thus gone through the first part, or beginning of the poem, we
may, naturally enough, proceed to the consideration of the second.

The second part, or middle, is the proper place for bustle and
business, for incident and adventure:--

     "The Knave of Hearts
      He stole those tarts".

Here attention is awakened, and our whole souls are intent upon the
first appearance of the hero. Some readers may perhaps be offended at
his making his _entree_ in so disadvantageous a character as that of a
thief. To this I plead precedent.

The hero of the Iliad, as I observed in a former paper, is made to
lament very pathetically that "life is not like all other possessions,
to be acquired by theft". A reflection, in my opinion, evidently
showing that, if he _did_ refrain from the practice of this ingenious
art, it was not from want of an inclination that way. We may remember,
too, that in Virgil's poem almost the first light in which the pious
Æneas appears to us is a deer-stealer; nor is it much excuse for him
that the deer were wandering without keepers, for however he might,
from this circumstance, have been unable to ascertain whose property
they were, he might, I think, have been pretty well assured that they
were not his.

Having thus acquitted our hero of misconduct, by the example of his
betters, I proceed to what I think the master-stroke of the poet.

     "The Knave of Hearts
      He stole those tarts,
   And--took them--quite away!!"

Here, whoever has an ear for harmony and a heart for feeling must be
touched! There is a desponding melancholy in the run of the last line!
an air of tender regret in the addition of "quite away!" a something so
expressive of irrecoverable loss! so forcibly intimating the _Ad
nunquam reditura!_ "They never can return!" in short, such an union of
sound and sense as we rarely, if ever, meet with in any author, ancient
or modern. Our feelings are all alive, but the poet, wisely dreading
that our sympathy with the injured Queen might alienate our affections
from his hero, contrives immediately to awaken our fears for him by
telling us that--

     "The King of Hearts
      Called for those tarts".

We are all conscious of the fault of our hero, and all tremble with
him, for the punishment which the enraged monarch may inflict:

     "And beat the Knave full sore!"

The fatal blow is struck! We cannot but rejoice that guilt is justly
punished, though we sympathize with the guilty object of punishment.
Here Scriblerus, who, by the by, is very fond of making unnecessary
alterations, proposes reading "score" instead of "sore", meaning
thereby to particularize that the beating bestowed by this monarch
consisted of twenty stripes. But this proceeds from his ignorance of
the genius of our language, which does not admit of such an expression
as "full score", but would require the insertion of the particle "a",
which cannot be, on account of the metre. And this is another great
artifice of the poet. By leaving the quantity of beating indeterminate,
he gives every reader the liberty to administer it, in exact proportion
to the sum of indignation which he may have conceived against his hero,
that by thus amply satisfying their resentment they may be the more
easily reconciled to him afterwards.

       "The King of Hearts
        Called for those tarts,
     And beat the Knave full sore."

Here ends the second part, or middle of the poem, in which we see the
character and exploits of the hero portrayed with the hand of a master.

Nothing now remains to be examined but the third part, or end. In the
end it is a rule pretty well established that the work should draw
towards a conclusion, which our author manages thus:--

     "The Knave of Hearts
      Brought back those tarts".

Here everything is at length settled; the theft is compensated, the
tarts restored to their right owner, and poetical justice, in every
respect, strictly and impartially administered.

We may observe that there is nothing in which our poet has better
succeeded than in keeping up an unremitted attention in his readers to
the main instruments, the machinery of his poem, viz. the _tarts_;
insomuch that the afore-mentioned Scriblerus has sagely observed that
"he can't tell, but he doesn't know, but the tarts may be reckoned the
heroes of the poem". Scriblerus, though a man of learning, and
frequently right in his opinion, has here certainly hazarded a rash
conjecture. His arguments are overthrown entirely by his great
opponent, Hiccius, who concludes by triumphantly asking, "Had the tarts
been eaten, how could the poet have compensated for the loss of his

We are now come to the _dénouement_, the setting all to rights: and our
poet, in the management of his moral, is certainly superior to his
great ancient predecessors. The moral of their fables, if any they
have, is so interwoven with the main body of their work, that in
endeavouring to unravel it we should tear the whole. Our author has
very properly preserved his whole and entire for the end of his poem,
where he completes his main design, the reformation of his hero, thus--

     "And vowed he'd steal no more".

Having in the course of his work shown the bad effects arising from
theft, he evidently means this last moral reflection to operate with
his readers as a gentle and polite dissuasive from stealing.

       "The Knave of Hearts
        Brought back those tarts,
      And vowed he'd steal no more!"

Thus have I industriously gone through the several parts of this
wonderful work, and clearly proved it, in every one of these parts, and
in all of them together, to be a "due and proper epic poem", and to
have as good a right to that title, from its adherence to prescribed
rules, as any of the celebrated masterpieces of antiquity. And here I
cannot help again lamenting that, by not knowing the name of the
author, I am unable to twine our laurels together, and to transmit to
posterity the mingled praises of genius and judgment, of the poet and
his commentator.

[Footnote 230: More commonly known, I believe, by the appellation of
Jack Shepherd.]




    The _Anti-Jacobin_ was planned by George Canning when he was
    Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He secured the
    collaboration of George Ellis, John Hookham Frere, William Gifford,
    and some others. The last-named was appointed working editor. The
    first number appeared on the 20th November, 1797, with a notice
    that "the publication would be continued every Monday during the
    sitting of Parliament". A volume of the best pieces, entitled _The
    Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin_, was published in 1800. It is almost
    impossible to apportion accurately the various pieces to their
    respective authors, though more than one attempt has been made so
    to do. The following piece is designed to ridicule the extravagant
    sympathy for the lower classes which was then the fashion.

  _Friend of Humanity_.

  Needy knife-grinder! whither are you going?
  Rough is the road, your wheel is out of order--
  Bleak blows the blast; your hat has got a hole in't,
                              So have your breeches!

  Weary knife-grinder! little think the proud ones,
  Who in their coaches roll along the turnpike-
  Road, what hard work 'tis crying all day, "Knives and
                              Scissors to grind O!"

  Tell me, knife-grinder, how you came to grind knives?
  Did some rich man tyrannically use you?
  Was it the squire? or parson of the parish?
                              Or the attorney?

  Was it the squire for killing of his game? or
  Covetous parson for his tithes distraining?
  Or roguish lawyer made you lose your little
                              All in a lawsuit?

  (Have you not read the _Rights of Man_, by Tom Paine?)
  Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids,
  Ready to fall as soon as you have told your
                              Pitiful story.


  Story! God bless you! I have none to tell, sir,
  Only last night a-drinking at the Chequers,
  This poor old hat and breeches, as you see, were
                              Torn in the scuffle.

  Constable came up for to take me into
  Custody; they took me before the Justice,
  Justice Oldmixon put me in the parish
                              Stocks for a vagrant.

  I should be glad to drink your honour's health in
  A pot of beer, if you would give me sixpence;
  But, for my part, I never love to meddle
                              With politics, sir.

  _Friend of Humanity_.

  _I_ give thee sixpence! I will see thee damned first--
  Wretch! whom no sense of wrong can rouse to vengeance--
  Sordid, unfeeling, reprobate, degraded,
                              Spiritless outcast!

[_Kicks the knife-grinder, overturns his wheel, and exit in a transport
of republican enthusiasm and universal philanthropy_.]


    This is a satirical imitation of many of the songs current in the
    romantic dramas of the period. It is contained in the _Rovers, or
    the Double Arrangement_, act i. sc. 2, a skit upon the dramatic
    literature of the day.

  Whene'er with haggard eyes I view
    This dungeon, that I'm rotting in,
  I think of those companions true
  Who studied with me in the U-
     -niversity of Gottingen--
     -niversity of Gottingen.
    [_Weeps, and pulls out a blue 'kerchief, with which
      he wipes his eyes; gazing tenderly at it, he

  Sweet 'kerchief check'd with heavenly blue,
    Which once my love sat knotting in,
  Alas, Matilda then was true,
  At least I thought so at the U-
     -niversity of Gottingen--
     -niversity of Gottingen.
    [_At the repetition of this line Rogero clanks
      his chain in cadence_.

  Barbs! barbs! alas! how swift ye flew,
    Her neat post-waggon trotting in!
  Ye bore Matilda from my view;
  Forlorn I languish'd at the U-
     -niversity of Gottingen--
     -niversity of Gottingen.

  This faded form! this pallid hue!
    This blood my veins is clotting in,
  My years are many--they were few
  When I first entered at the U-
     -niversity of Gottingen--
     -niversity of Gottingen.

  There first for thee my passion grew,
    Sweet; sweet Matilda Pottingen!
  Thou wast the daughter of my tutor,
  Law Professor at the U-
     -niversity of Gottingen--
     -niversity of Gottingen

  Sun, moon, and thou vain world, adieu,
    That kings and priests are plotting in;
  Here doom'd to starve on water-gruel,
  never shall I see the U-
     -niversity of Gottingen!--
     -niversity of Gottingen!

    [_During the last stanza Rogero dashes his head
      repeatedly against the walls of his prison;
      and, finally, so hard as to produce a visible
      contusion. He then throws himself on the
      floor in an agony. The curtain drops--the
      music still continuing to play till it is wholly


(1772-1834.)  (1774-1843.)


    Originally written in an album belonging to one of the Misses
    Fricker, the ladies whom the two poets married. What was the extent
    of the collaboration of the respective writers in the poem is
    unknown, but the fact is beyond a doubt that it was written by them
    in conjunction.

  From his brimstone bed at break of day
  A-walking the Devil is gone,
  To visit his snug little farm upon earth,
  And see how his stock goes on.

  Over the hill and over the dale,
  And he went over the plain,
  And backward and forward he switched his long tail,
  As a gentleman switches his cane.

  And how, then, was the Devil drest?
  Oh, he was in his Sunday best;
  His jacket was red, and his breeches were blue,
  And there was a hole where his tail came through.

  He saw a lawyer killing a viper
  On a dunghill hard by his own stable;
  And the Devil smiled, for it put him in mind
  Of Cain and his brother Abel.

  He saw an apothecary on a white horse
  Ride by on his own vocations;
  And the Devil thought of his old friend
  Death in the Revelations.

  He saw a cottage with a double coach-house,
  A cottage of gentility;
  And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
  Is the pride that apes humility.

  He went into a rich bookseller's shop,
  Quoth he! we are both of one college,
  For I myself sate like a cormorant once,
  Fast by the tree of knowledge.

  Down the river there plied, with wind and tide,
  A pig, with vast celerity,
  And the Devil looked wise as he saw how the while
  It cut its own throat. There! quoth he, with a smile,
  Goes "England's commercial prosperity".

  As he went through Cold-Bath Fields he saw
  A solitary cell;
  And the Devil was pleased, for it gave him a hint
  For improving his prisons in hell.

  General Gascoigne's burning face
  He saw with consternation;
  And back to hell his way did take,
  For the Devil thought by a slight mistake
  It was a general conflagration.




    In 1807 the _Letters of Peter Plymley_ to his brother Abraham on
    the subject of the Irish Catholics were published. "The letters",
    as Professor Henry Morley says, "fell like sparks on a heap of
    gunpowder. All London, and soon all England, were alive to the
    sound reason recommended by a lively wit." The example of his
    satiric force and sarcastic ratiocination cited below is the Second
    Letter in the Series.


The Catholic not respect an oath! why not? What upon earth has kept him
out of Parliament, or excluded him from all the offices whence he is
excluded, but his respect for oaths? There is no law which prohibits a
Catholic to sit in Parliament. There could be no such law; because it
is impossible to find out what passes in the interior of any man's
mind. Suppose it were in contemplation to exclude all men from certain
offices who contended for the legality of taking tithes: the only mode
of discovering that fervid love of decimation which I know you to
possess would be to tender you an oath "against that damnable doctrine,
that it is lawful for a spiritual man to take, abstract, appropriate,
subduct, or lead away the tenth calf, sheep, lamb, ox, pigeon, duck",
&c., and every other animal that ever existed, which of course the
lawyers would take care to enumerate. Now this oath I am sure you would
rather die than take; and so the Catholic is excluded from Parliament
because he will not swear that he disbelieves the leading doctrines of
his religion! The Catholic asks you to abolish some oaths which oppress
him; your answer is that he does not respect oaths. Then why subject
him to the test of oaths? The oaths keep him out of Parliament; why,
then, he respects them. Turn which way you will, either your laws are
nugatory, or the Catholic is bound by religious obligations as you are;
but no eel in the well-sanded fist of a cook-maid, upon the eve of
being skinned, ever twisted and writhed as an orthodox parson does when
he is compelled by the gripe of reason to admit anything in favour of a

I will not dispute with you whether the Pope be or be not the Scarlet
Lady of Babylon. I hope it is not so; because I am afraid it will
induce His Majesty's Chancellor of the Exchequer to introduce several
severe bills against popery, if that is the case; and though he will
have the decency to appoint a previous committee of inquiry as to the
fact, the committee will be garbled, and the report inflammatory.
Leaving this to be settled as he pleases to settle it, I wish to inform
you, that, previously to the bill last passed in favour of the
Catholics, at the suggestion of Mr. Pitt, and for his satisfaction, the
opinions of six of the most celebrated of the foreign Catholic
universities were taken as to the right of the Pope to interfere in the
temporal concerns of any country. The answer cannot possibly leave the
shadow of a doubt, even in the mind of Baron Maseres; and Dr. Rennel
would be compelled to admit it, if three Bishops lay dead at the very
moment the question were put to him. To this answer might be added also
the solemn declaration and signature of all the Catholics in Great

I should perfectly agree with you, if the Catholics admitted such a
dangerous dispensing power in the hands of the Pope; but they all deny
it, and laugh at it, and are ready to abjure it in the most decided
manner you can devise. They obey the Pope as the spiritual head of
their Church; but are you really so foolish as to be imposed upon by
mere names? What matters it the seven-thousandth part of a farthing who
is the spiritual head of any Church? Is not Mr. Wilberforce at the head
of the Church of Clapham? Is not Dr. Letsom at the head of the Quaker
Church? Is not the General Assembly at the head of the Church of
Scotland? How is the government disturbed by these many-headed
Churches? or in what way is the power of the Crown augmented by this
almost nominal dignity?

The King appoints a fast-day once a year, and he makes the bishops: and
if the government would take half the pains to keep the Catholics out
of the arms of France that it does to widen Temple Bar, or improve Snow
Hill, the King would get into his hands the appointments of the titular
Bishops of Ireland. Both Mr. C----'s sisters enjoy pensions more than
sufficient to place the two greatest dignitaries of the Irish Catholic
Church entirely at the disposal of the Crown. Everybody who knows
Ireland knows perfectly well that nothing would be easier, with the
expenditure of a little money, than to preserve enough of the
ostensible appointment in the hands of the Pope to satisfy the scruples
of the Catholics, while the real nomination remained with the Crown.
But, as I have before said, the moment the very name of Ireland is
mentioned, the English seem to bid adieu to common feeling, common
prudence, and common sense, and to act with the barbarity of tyrants
and the fatuity of idiots.

Whatever your opinion may be of the follies of the Roman Catholic
religion, remember they are the follies of four millions of human
beings, increasing rapidly in numbers, wealth, and intelligence, who,
if firmly united with this country, would set at defiance the power of
France, and if once wrested from their alliance with England, would in
three years render its existence as an independent nation absolutely
impossible. You speak of danger to the Establishment: I request to know
when the Establishment was ever so much in danger as when Hoche was in
Bantry Bay, and whether all the books of Bossuet, or the arts of the
Jesuits, were half so terrible? Mr. Perceval and his parsons forget all
this, in their horror lest twelve or fourteen old women may be
converted to holy water and Catholic nonsense. They never see that,
while they are saving these venerable ladies from perdition, Ireland
may be lost, England broken down, and the Protestant Church, with all
its deans, prebendaries, Percevals, and Rennels, be swept into the
vortex of oblivion.

Do not, I beseech you, ever mention to me again the name of Dr.
Duigenan. I have been in every corner of Ireland, and have studied its
present strength and condition with no common labour. Be assured
Ireland does not contain at this moment less than 5,000,000 people.
There were returned in the year 1791 to the hearth tax 701,000 houses,
and there is no kind of question that there were about 50,000 houses
omitted in that return. Taking, however, only the number returned for
the tax, and allowing the average of six to a house (a very small
average for a potato-fed people), this brings the population to
4,200,000 people in the year 1791: and it can be shown from the
clearest evidence (and Mr. Newenham in his book shows it), that Ireland
for the last 50 years has increased in its population at the rate of
50,000 or 60,000 per annum; which leaves the present population of
Ireland at about 5,000,000, after every possible deduction for
_existing circumstances, just and necessary wars, monstrous and
unnatural rebellions_, and all other sources of human destruction. Of
this population, two out of ten are Protestants; and the half of the
Protestant population are dissenters, and as inimical to the Church as
the Catholics themselves. In this state of things thumbscrews and
whipping--admirable engines of policy as they must be considered to
be--will not ultimately avail. The Catholics will hang over you; they
will watch for the moment, and compel you hereafter to give them ten
times as much, against your will, as they would now be contented with,
if it were voluntarily surrendered. Remember what happened in the
American war, when Ireland compelled you to give her everything she
asked, and to renounce, in the most explicit manner, your claim of
sovereignty over her. God Almighty grant the folly of these present men
may not bring on such another crisis of public affairs!

What are your dangers which threaten the Establishment? Reduce this
declamation to a point, and let us understand what you mean. The most
ample allowance does not calculate that there would be more than twenty
members who were Roman Catholics in one house, and ten in the other, if
the Catholic emancipation were carried into effect. Do you mean that
these thirty members would bring in a bill to take away the tithes from
the Protestant, and to pay them to the Catholic clergy? Do you mean
that a Catholic general would march his army into the House of Commons,
and purge it of Mr. Perceval and Dr. Duigenan? or, that the
theological writers would become all of a sudden more acute or more
learned, if the present civil incapacities were removed? Do you fear
for your tithes, or your doctrines, or your person, or the English
Constitution? Every fear, taken separately, is so glaringly absurd,
that no man has the folly or the boldness to state it. Everyone
conceals his ignorance, or his baseness, in a stupid general panic,
which, when called on, he is utterly incapable of explaining. Whatever
you think of the Catholics, there they are--you cannot get rid of them;
your alternative is to give them a lawful place for stating their
grievances, or an unlawful one: if you do not admit them to the House
of Commons, they will hold their parliament in Potatoe Place, Dublin,
and be ten times as violent and inflammatory as they would be in
Westminster. Nothing would give me such an idea of security as to see
twenty or thirty Catholic gentlemen in Parliament, looked upon by all
the Catholics as the fair and proper organ of their party. I should
have thought it the height of good fortune that such a wish existed on
their part, and the very essence of madness and ignorance to reject it.
Can you murder the Catholics? Can you neglect them? They are too
numerous for both these expedients. What remains to be done is obvious
to every human being--but to that man who, instead of being a Methodist
preacher, is, for the curse of us and our children, and for the ruin of
Troy and the misery of good old Priam and his sons, become a legislator
and a politician.

A distinction, I perceive, is taken by one of the most feeble noblemen
in Great Britain, between persecution and the deprivation of political
power; whereas, there is no more distinction between these two things
than there is between him who makes the distinction and a booby. If I
strip off the relic-covered jacket of a Catholic, and give him twenty
stripes ... I persecute; if I say, Everybody in the town where you live
shall be a candidate for lucrative and honourable offices, but you, who
are a Catholic ... I do not persecute! What barbarous nonsense is this!
as if degradation was not as great an evil as bodily pain or as severe
poverty: as if I could not be as great a tyrant by saying, You shall
not enjoy--as by saying, You shall suffer. The English, I believe, are
as truly religious as any nation in Europe; I know no greater blessing;
but it carries with it this evil in its train, that any villain who
will bawl out, "_The Church is in danger!_" may get a place and a good
pension; and that any administration who will do the same thing may
bring a set of men into power who, at a moment of stationary and
passive piety, would be hooted by the very boys in the streets. But it
is not all religion; it is, in great part, the narrow and exclusive
spirit which delights to keep the common blessings of sun and air and
freedom from other human beings. "Your religion has always been
degraded; you are in the dust, and I will take care you never rise
again. I should enjoy less the possession of an earthly good by every
additional person to whom it was extended." You may not be aware of it
yourself, most reverend Abraham, but you deny their freedom to the
Catholics upon the same principle that Sarah, your wife, refuses to
give the receipt for a ham or a gooseberry dumpling: she values her
receipts, not because they secure to her a certain flavour, but because
they remind her that her neighbours want it:--a feeling laughable in a
priestess, shameful in a priest; venial when it withholds the blessings
of a ham, tyrannical and execrable when it narrows the boon of
religious freedom.

You spend a great deal of ink about the character of the present prime
minister. Grant you all that you write--I say, I fear he will ruin
Ireland, and pursue a line of policy destructive to the true interest
of his country: and then you tell me, he is faithful to Mrs. Perceval,
and kind to the Master Percevals! These are, undoubtedly, the first
qualifications to be looked to in a time of the most serious public
danger; but somehow or another (if public and private virtues must
always be incompatible), I should prefer that he destroyed the domestic
happiness of Wood or Cockell, owed for the veal of the preceding year,
whipped his boys, and saved his country.

The late administration did not do right; they did not build their
measures upon the solid basis of facts. They should have caused several
Catholics to have been dissected after death by surgeons of either
religion; and the report to have been published with accompanying
plates. If the viscera, and other organs of life, had been found to be
the same as in Protestant bodies; if the provisions of nerves,
arteries, cerebrum, and cerebellum, had been the same as we are
provided with, or as the dissenters are now known to possess; then,
indeed, they might have met Mr. Perceval upon a proud eminence, and
convinced the country at large of the strong probability that the
Catholics are really human creatures, endowed with the feelings of men,
and entitled to all their rights. But instead of this wise and prudent
measure, Lord Howick, with his usual precipitation, brings forward a
bill in their favour, without offering the slightest proof to the
country that they were anything more than horses and oxen. The person
who shows the lama at the corner of Piccadilly has the precaution to
write up--_Allowed by Sir Joseph Banks to be a real quadruped_, so his
Lordship might have said--_Allowed by the bench of Bishops to be real
human creatures_.... I could write you twenty letters upon this
subject; but I am tired, and so I suppose are you. Our friendship is
now of forty years' standing; you know me to be a truly religious man;
but I shudder to see religion treated like a cockade, or a pint of
beer, and made the instrument of a party. I love the king, but I love
the people as well as the king; and if I am sorry to see his old age
molested, I am much more sorry to see four millions of Catholics
baffled in their just expectations. If I love Lord Grenville and Lord
Howick, it is because they love their country; if I abhor ... it is
because I know there is but one man among them who is not laughing at
the enormous folly and credulity of the country, and that he is an
ignorant and mischievous bigot. As for the light and frivolous jester,
of whom it is your misfortune to think so highly, learn, my dear
Abraham, that this political Killigrew, just before the breaking up of
the last administration, was in actual treaty with them for a place;
and if they had survived twenty-four hours longer, he would have been
now declaiming against the cry of No Popery! instead of inflaming it.
With this practical comment on the baseness of human nature, I bid you




    From the famous _Rejected Addresses_.

  His book is successful, he's steeped in renown,
  His lyric effusions have tickled the town;
  Dukes, dowagers, dandies, are eager to trace
  The fountain of verse in the verse-maker's face:
  While, proud as Apollo, with peers _tête-à-tête_,
  From Monday till Saturday dining off plate,
  His heart full of hope, and his head full of gain,
  The Poet of Fashion dines out in Park Lane.

  Now lean-jointured widows who seldom draw corks,
  Whose tea-spoons do duty for knives and for forks,
  Send forth, vellum-covered, a six-o'clock card,
  And get up a dinner to peep at the bard;
  Veal, sweetbread, boiled chickens, and tongue crown the cloth,
  And soup _à la reine_, little better than broth.
  While, past his meridian, but still with some heat,
  The Poet of Fashion dines out in Sloane Street,

  Enrolled in the tribe who subsist by their wits,
  Remember'd by starts, and forgotten by fits,
  Now artists and actors, the bardling engage,
  To squib in the journals, and write for the stage.
  Now soup _à la reine_ bends the knee to ox-cheek,
  And chickens and tongue bow to bubble-and-squeak.
  While, still in translation employ'd by "the Row"
  The Poet of Fashion dines out in Soho.

  Pushed down from Parnassus to Phlegethon's brink,
  Toss'd, torn, and trunk-lining, but still with some ink,
  Now squat city misses their albums expand,
  And woo the worn rhymer for "something off-hand";
  No longer with stinted effrontery fraught,
  Bucklersbury now seeks what St. James's once sought,
  And (O, what a classical haunt for a bard!)
  The Poet of Fashion dines out in Barge-yard.




    This is taken from Landor's _Imaginary Conversations_, and is one
    of the best examples of his light, airy, satiric vein.

_Bossuet_. Mademoiselle, it is the King's desire that I compliment you
on the elevation you have attained.

_Fontanges_, O monseigneur, I know very well what you mean. His Majesty
is kind and polite to everybody. The last thing he said to me was,
"Angélique! do not forget to compliment Monseigneur the Bishop on the
dignity I have conferred upon him, of almoner to the Dauphiness. I
desired the appointment for him only that he might be of rank
sufficient to confess you, now you are Duchess. Let him be your
confessor, my little girl."

_Bossuet_. I dare not presume to ask you, mademoiselle, what was your
gracious reply to the condescension of our royal master.

_Fontanges_. Oh, yes! you may. I told him I was almost sure I should be
ashamed of confessing such naughty things to a person of high rank, who
writes like an angel.

_Bossuet_. The observation was inspired, mademoiselle, by your goodness
and modesty.

_Fontanges_. You are so agreeable a man, monseigneur, I will confess to
you, directly, if you like.

_Bossuet_. Have you brought yourself to a proper frame of mind, young

_Fontanges_. What is that?

_Bossuet_. Do you hate sin?

_Fontanges_. Very much.

_Bossuet_. Are you resolved to leave it off?

_Fontanges_. I have left it off entirely since the King began to love
me. I have never said a spiteful word of anybody since.

_Bossuet_. In your opinion, mademoiselle, are there no other sins than

_Fontanges_. I never stole anything; I never committed adultery; I
never coveted my neighbour's wife; I never killed any person, though
several have told me they should die for me.

_Bossuet_. Vain, idle talk! Did you listen to it?

_Fontanges_. Indeed I did, with both ears; it seemed so funny.

_Bossuet_. You have something to answer for, then?

_Fontanges_. No, indeed, I have not, monseigneur. I have asked many
times after them, and found they were all alive, which mortified me.

_Bossuet_. So, then! you would really have them die for you?

_Fontanges_. Oh, no, no! but I wanted to see whether they were in
earnest, or told me fibs; for, if they told me fibs, I would never
trust them again.

_Bossuet_. Do you hate the world, mademoiselle?

_Fontanges_. A good deal of it: all Picardy, for example, and all
Sologne; nothing is uglier--and, oh my life! what frightful men and

_Bossuet_. I would say, in plain language, do you hate the flesh and
the devil?

_Fontanges_. Who does not hate the devil? If you will hold my hand the
while, I will tell him so.--I hate you, beast! There now. As for flesh,
I never could bear a fat man. Such people can neither dance nor hunt,
nor do anything that I know of.

_Bossuet_. Mademoiselle Marie-Angélique de Scoraille de Rousille,
Duchess de Fontanges! do you hate titles and dignities and yourself?

_Fontanges_. Myself! does anyone hate me? Why should I be the first?
Hatred is the worst thing in the world: it makes one so very ugly.

_Bossuet_. To love God, we must hate ourselves. We must detest our
bodies, if we would save our souls.

_Fontanges_. That is hard: how can I do it? I see nothing so detestable
in mine. Do you? To love is easier. I love God whenever I think of him,
he has been so very good to me; but I cannot hate myself, if I would.
As God hath not hated me, why should I? Beside, it was he who made the
King to love me; for I heard you say in a sermon that the hearts of
kings are in his rule and governance. As for titles and dignities, I do
not care much about them while His Majesty loves me, and calls me his
Angélique. They make people more civil about us; and therefore it must
be a simpleton who hates or disregards them, and a hypocrite who
pretends it. I am glad to be a duchess. Manon and Lizette have never
tied my garter so as to hurt me since, nor has the mischievous old La
Grange said anything cross or bold; on the contrary, she told me what a
fine colour and what a plumpness it gave me. Would not you rather be a
duchess than a waiting-maid or a nun, if the King gave you your choice?

_Bossuet_. Pardon me, mademoiselle, I am confounded at the levity of
your question.

_Fontanges_. I am in earnest, as you see.

_Bossuet_. Flattery will come before you in other and more dangerous
forms: you will be commended for excellences which do not belong to
you; and this you will find as injurious to your repose as to your
virtue. An ingenuous mind feels in unmerited praise the bitterest
reproof. If you reject it, you are unhappy; if you accept it, you are
undone. The compliments of a king are of themselves sufficient to
pervert your intellect.

_Fontanges_. There you are mistaken twice over. It is not my person
that pleases him so greatly: it is my spirit, my wit, my talents, my
genius, and that very thing which you have mentioned--what was it? my
intellect. He never complimented me the least upon my beauty. Others
have said that I am the most beautiful young creature under heaven; a
blossom of Paradise, a nymph, an angel; worth (let me whisper it in
your ear--do I lean too hard?) a thousand Montespans. But His Majesty
never said more on the occasion than that I was _imparagonable_! (what
is that?) and that he adored me; holding my hand and sitting quite
still, when he might have romped with me and kissed me.

_Bossuet_. I would aspire to the glory of converting you.

_Fontanges_. You may do anything with me but convert me: you must not
do that; I am a Catholic born. M. de Turenne and Mademoiselle de Duras
were heretics: you did right there. The King told the chancellor that
he prepared them, that the business was arranged for you, and that you
had nothing to do but get ready the arguments and responses, which you
did gallantly--did not you? And yet Mademoiselle de Duras was very
awkward for a long while afterwards in crossing herself, and was once
remarked to beat her breast in the litany with the points of two
fingers at a time, when everyone is taught to use only the second,
whether it has a ring upon it or not. I am sorry she did so; for people
might think her insincere in her conversion, and pretend that she kept
a finger for each religion.

_Bossuet_. It would be as uncharitable to doubt the conviction of
Mademoiselle de Duras as that of M. le Maréchali.

_Fontanges_. I have heard some fine verses, I can assure you,
monseigneur, in which you are called the conqueror of Turenne. I should
like to have been his conqueror myself, he was so great a man. I
understand that you have lately done a much more difficult thing.

_Bossuet_. To what do you refer, mademoiselle?

_Fontanges_. That you have overcome quietism. Now, in the name of
wonder, how could you manage that?

_Bossuet_. By the grace of God.

_Fontanges_. Yes, indeed; but never until now did God give any preacher
so much of his grace as to subdue this pest.

_Bossuet_. It has appeared among us but lately.

_Fontanges_. Oh, dear me! I have always been subject to it dreadfully,
from a child.

_Bossuet_. Really! I never heard so.

_Fontanges_. I checked myself as well as I could, although they
constantly told me I looked well in it.

_Bossuet_. In what, mademoiselle?

_Fontanges_. In quietism; that is, when I fell asleep at sermon-time. I
am ashamed that such a learned and pious man as M. de Fénélon should
incline to it, as they say he does.

_Bossuet_. Mademoiselle, you quite mistake the matter.

_Fontanges_. Is not then M. de Fénélon thought a very pious and learned

_Bossuet_. And justly.

_Fontanges_. I have read a great way in a romance he has begun, about a
knight-errant in search of a father. The King says there are many such
about his court; but I never saw them nor heard of them before. The
Marchioness de la Motte, his relative, brought it to me, written out in
a charming hand, as much as the copybook would hold; and I got through,
I know not how far. If he had gone on with the nymphs in the grotto, I
never should have been tired of him; but he quite forgot his own
story, and left them at once: in a hurry (I suppose) to set out upon
his mission to Saintonge in the _pays de d'Aunis_, where the King has
promised him a famous _heretic-hunt_. He is, I do assure you, a
wonderful creature: he understands so much Latin and Greek, and knows
all the tricks of the sorceresses. Yet you keep him under.

_Bossuet_. Mademoiselle, if you really have anything to confess, and if
you desire that I should have the honour of absolving you, it would be
better to proceed in it, than to oppress me with unmerited eulogies on
my humble labours.

_Fontanges_. You must first direct me, monseigneur: I have nothing
particular. The King assures me there is no harm whatever in his love
toward me.

_Bossuet_. That depends on your thoughts at the moment. If you abstract
the mind from the body, and turn your heart toward heaven--

_Fontanges_. O monseigneur, I always did so--every time but once--you
quite make me blush. Let us converse about something else, or I shall
grow too serious, just as you made me the other day at the funeral
sermon. And now let me tell you, my lord, you compose such pretty
funeral sermons, I hope I shall have the pleasure of hearing you preach

_Bossuet_. Rather let us hope, mademoiselle, that the hour is yet far
distant when so melancholy a service will be performed for you. May he
who is unborn be the sad announcer of your departure hence![231] May he
indicate to those around him many virtues not perhaps yet full-blown in
you, and point triumphantly to many faults and foibles checked by you
in their early growth, and lying dead on the open road you shall have
left behind you! To me the painful duty will, I trust, be spared: I am
advanced in age; you are a child.

_Fontanges_. Oh, no! I am seventeen.

_Bossuet_. I should have supposed you younger by two years at least.
But do you collect nothing from your own reflection, which raises so
many in my breast? You think it possible that I, aged as I am, may
preach a sermon on your funeral. We say that our days are few; and
saying it, we say too much. Marie Angélique, we have but one: the past
are not ours, and who can promise us the future? This in which we live
is ours only while we live in it; the next moment may strike it off
from us; the next sentence I would utter may be broken and fall between
us.[232] The beauty that has made a thousand hearts to beat at one
instant, at the succeeding has been without pulse and colour, without
admirer, friend, companion, follower. She by whose eyes the march of
victory shall have been directed, whose name shall have animated armies
at the extremities of the earth, drops into one of its crevices and
mingles with its dust. Duchess de Fontanges! think on this! Lady! so
live as to think on it undisturbed!

_Fontanges_. O God! I am quite alarmed. Do not talk thus gravely. It is
in vain that you speak to me in so sweet a voice. I am frightened even
at the rattle of the beads about my neck: take them off, and let us
talk on other things. What was it that dropped on the floor as you
were speaking? It seemed to shake the room, though it sounded like a
pin or button.

_Bossuet_. Leave it there!

_Fontanges_. Your ring fell from your hand, my Lord Bishop! How quick
you are! Could not you have trusted me to pick it up?

_Bossuet_. Madame is too condescending: had this happened, I should
have been overwhelmed with confusion. My hand is shrivelled: the ring
has ceased to fit it. A mere accident may draw us into perdition; a
mere accident may bestow on us the means of grace. A pebble has moved
you more than my words.

_Fontanges_. It pleases me vastly: I admire rubies. I will ask the King
for one exactly like it. This is the time he usually comes from the
chase. I am sorry you cannot be present to hear how prettily I shall
ask him: but that is impossible, you know; for I shall do it just when
I am certain he would give me anything. He said so himself; he said but

     'Such a sweet creature is worth a world':

and no actor on the stage was more like a king than His Majesty was
when he spoke it, if he had but kept his wig and robe on. And yet you
know he is rather stiff and wrinkled for so great a monarch; and his
eyes, I am afraid, are beginning to fail him, he looks so close at

_Bossuet_. Mademoiselle, such is the duty of a prince who desires to
conciliate our regard and love.

_Fontanges_. Well, I think so too, though I did not like it in him at
first. I am sure he will order the ring for me, and I will confess to
you with it upon my finger. But first I must be cautious and particular
to know of him how much it is his royal will that I should say.

[Footnote 231: Bossuet was in his fifty-fourth year; Mademoiselle de
Fontanges died in child-bed the year following; he survived her
twenty-three years.]

[Footnote 232: Though Bossuet was capable of uttering and even of
feeling such a sentiment, his conduct towards Fénélon, the fairest
apparition that Christianity ever presented, was ungenerous and unjust.

While the diocese of Cambray was ravaged by Louis, it was spared by
Marlborough, who said to the Archbishop that, if he was sorry he had
not taken Cambray, it was chiefly because he lost for a time the
pleasure of visiting so great a man. Peterborough, the next of our
generals in glory, paid his respects to him some years afterward.]




    _The Vision of Judgment_ appeared in 1822, and created a great
    sensation owing to its terrible attack on George III., as well as
    its ridicule of Southey, of whose long-forgotten _Vision of
    Judgment_ this is a parody.


  Saint Peter sat by the celestial gate;
    His keys were rusty, and the lock was dull,
  So little trouble had been given of late:
    Not that the place by any means was full,
  But since the Gallic era "eighty-eight",
    The devils had ta'en a longer, stronger pull,
  And "a pull all together", as they say
  At sea--which drew most souls another way.


  The angels all were singing out of tune,
    And hoarse with having little else to do,
  Excepting to wind up the sun and moon,
    Or curb a runaway young star or two,
  Or wild colt of a comet, which too soon
    Broke out of bounds o'er the ethereal blue,
  Splitting some planet with its playful tail,
  As boats are sometimes by a wanton whale.


  The guardian seraphs had retired on high,
    Finding their charges past all care below;
  Terrestrial business fill'd nought in the sky
    Save the recording angel's black bureau;
  Who found, indeed, the facts to multiply
    With such rapidity of vice and woe,
  That he had stripp'd off both his wings in quills,
  And yet was in arrear of human ills.


  His business so augmented of late years,
    That he was forced, against his will no doubt
  (Just like those cherubs, earthly ministers),
    For some resource to turn himself about,
  And claim the help of his celestial peers,
    To aid him ere he should be quite worn out
  By the increased demand for his remarks:
  Six angels and twelve saints were named his clerks.


  This was a handsome board--at least for heaven;
    And yet they had even then enough to do,
  So many conquerors' cars were daily driven,
    So many kingdoms fitted up anew;
  Each day, too, slew its thousands six or seven,
    Till at the crowning carnage, Waterloo,
  They threw their pens down in divine disgust,
  The page was so besmear'd with blood and dust.


  This by the way; 'tis not mine to record
    What angels shrink from: even the very devil
  On this occasion his own work abhorr'd,
    So surfeited with the infernal revel:
  Though he himself had sharpen'd every sword,
    It almost quench'd his innate thirst of evil.
  (Here Satan's sole good work deserves insertion--
  'Tis that he has both generals in reversion.)


  Let's skip a few short years of hollow peace,
    Which peopled earth no better, hell as wont,
  And heaven none--they form the tyrant's lease,
    With nothing but new names subscribed upon't:
  'Twill one day finish: meantime they increase,
    "With seven heads and ten horns", and all in front,
  Like Saint John's foretold beast; but ours are born
  Less formidable in the head than horn.


  In the first year of freedom's second dawn
    Died George the Third; although no tyrant, one
  Who shielded tyrants, till each sense withdrawn
    Left him nor mental nor external sun:
  A better farmer ne'er brush'd dew from lawn,
    A worse king never left a realm undone!
  He died--but left his subjects still behind,
  One half as mad--and t'other no less blind.


  He died! his death made no great stir on earth:
    His burial made some pomp: there was profusion
  Of velvet, gilding, brass, and no great dearth
    Of aught but tears--save those shed by collusion.
  For these things may be bought at their true worth;
    Of elegy there was the due infusion--
  Bought also; and the torches, cloaks, and banners,
  Heralds, and relics of old Gothic manners,


  Form'd a sepulchral mélodrame. Of all
    The fools who flock'd to swell or see the show,
  Who cared about the corpse? The funeral
    Made the attraction, and the black the woe,
  There throbb'd not there a thought which pierced the pall;
    And when the gorgeous coffin was laid low,
  It seem'd the mockery of hell to fold
  The rottenness of eighty years in gold.


  So mix his body with the dust! It might
    Return to what it _must_ far sooner, were
  The natural compound left alone to fight
    Its way back into earth, and fire, and air,
  But the unnatural balsams merely blight
    What nature made him at his birth, as bare
  As the mere million's base unmummied clay--
  Yet all his spices but prolong decay.


  He's dead--and upper earth with him has done;
    He's buried; save the undertaker's bill,
  Or lapidary's scrawl, the world has gone
    For him, unless he left a German will.
  But where's the proctor who will ask his son?
    In whom his qualities are reigning still,
  Except that household virtue, most uncommon,
  Of constancy to a bad, ugly woman.


  "God save the King!" It is a large economy
    In God to save the like; but if He will
  Be saving, all the better; for not one am I
    Of those who think damnation better still;
  I hardly know, too, if not quite alone am I
    In this small hope of bettering future ill
  By circumscribing, with some slight restriction,
  The eternity of hell's hot jurisdiction.


  I know this is unpopular; I know
    'Tis blasphemous; I know one may be damn'd
  For hoping no one else may e'er be so;
    I know my catechism: I know we 're cramm'd
  With the best doctrines till we quite o'erflow;
    I know that all save England's church have shamm'd;
  And that the other twice two hundred churches
  And synagogues have made a _damn'd_ bad purchase.


  God help us all! God help me too! I am,
    God knows, as helpless as the devil can wish,
  And not a whit more difficult to damn,
    Than is to bring to land a late-hooked fish,
  Or to the butcher to purvey the lamb;
    Not that I'm fit for such a noble dish,
  As one day will be that immortal fry
  Of almost everybody born to die.


  Saint Peter sat by the celestial gate,
    And nodded o'er his keys; when lo! there came
  A wondrous noise he had not heard of late--
    A rushing sound of wind, and stream, and flame;
  In short, a roar of things extremely great,
    Which would have made all save a saint exclaim;
  But he, with first a start and then a wink,
  Said, "There's another star gone out, I think!"


  But ere he could return to his repose,
    A cherub flapp'd his right wing o'er his eyes--
  At which Saint Peter yawn'd and rubb'd his nose;
    "Saint porter," said the angel, "prithee rise!"
  Waving a goodly wing, which glow'd, as glows
    An earthly peacock's tail, with heavenly dyes;
  To which the Saint replied, "Well, what's the matter?
  Is Lucifer come back with all this clatter?"


  "No," quoth the cherub; "George the Third is dead."
    "And who _is_ George the Third?" replied the apostle;
  "_What George? What Third?_" "The King of England," said
    The angel. "Well, he won't find kings to jostle
  Him on his way; but does he wear his head?
    Because the last we saw here had a tussle,
  And ne'er would have got into heaven's good graces,
  Had he not flung his head in all our faces.


  "He was, if I remember, King of France,
    That head of his, which could not keep a crown
  On earth, yet ventured in my face to advance
    A claim to those of martyrs--like my own.
  If I had had my sword, as I had once
    When I cut ears off, I had cut him down;
  But having but my _keys_, and not my brand,
  I only knock'd his head from out his hand.


  "And then he set up such a headless howl,
    That all the saints came out and took him in;
  And there he sits by St. Paul, cheek by jowl;
    That fellow Paul--the parvenu! The skin
  Of Saint Bartholomew, which makes his cowl
    In heaven, and upon earth redeem'd his sin
  So as to make a martyr, never sped
  Better than did that weak and wooden head.


  "But had it come up here upon its shoulders,
    There would have been a different tale to tell;
  The fellow-feeling in the saints' beholders
    Seems to have acted on them like a spell;
  And so this very foolish head heaven solders
    Back on its trunk: it may be very well,
  And seems the custom here to overthrow
  Whatever has been wisely done below."


  The angel answer'd, "Peter! do not pout:
    The king who comes has head and all entire,
  And never knew much what it was about--
    He did as doth the puppet--by its wire,
  And will be judged like all the rest, no doubt:
    My business and your own is not to inquire
  Into such matters, but to mind our cue--
  Which is to act as we are bid to do."


  While thus they spake, the angelic caravan,
    Arriving like a rush of mighty wind,
  Cleaving the fields of space, as doth the swan
    Some silver stream (say Ganges, Nile, or Inde,
  Or Thames, or Tweed), and 'midst them an old man
    With an old soul, and both extremely blind,
  Halted before the gate, and in his shroud
  Seated their fellow-traveller on a cloud.


  But bringing up the rear of this bright host,
    A Spirit of a different aspect waved
  His wings, like thunder-clouds above some coast
    Whose barren beach with frequent wrecks is paved;
  His brow was like the deep when tempest-toss'd;
    Fierce and unfathomable thoughts engraved
  Eternal wrath on his immortal face,
  And _where_ he gazed, a gloom pervaded space.


  As he drew near, he gazed upon the gate
    Ne'er to be enter'd more by him or Sin,
  With such a glance of supernatural hate,
    As made St. Peter wish himself within:
  He patter'd with his keys at a great rate,
    And sweated through his apostolic skin:
  Of course his perspiration was but ichor,
  Or some such other spiritual liquor.


  The very cherubs huddled all together,
    Like birds when soars the falcon; and they felt
  A tingling to the tip of every feather,
    And form'd a circle like Orion's belt
  Around their poor old charge; who scarce knew whither
    His guards had led him, though they gently dealt
  With royal manes (for by many stories,
  And true, we learn the angels all are Tories).


  As things were in this posture, the gate flew
    Asunder, and the flashing of its hinges
  Flung over space an universal hue
    Of many-color'd flame, until its tinges
  Reach'd even our speck of earth, and made a new
    Aurora Borealis spread its fringes
  O'er the North Pole, the same seen, when ice-bound,
  By Captain Perry's crew, in "Melville's Sound".


  And from the gate thrown open issued beaming
    A beautiful and mighty Thing of Light,
  Radiant with glory, like a banner streaming
    Victorious from some world-o'erthrowing fight:
  My poor comparisons must needs be teeming
    With earthly likenesses, for here the night
  Of clay obscures our best conceptions, saving
  Johanna Southcote, or Bob Southey raving.


  'Twas the archangel Michael: all men know
    The make of angels and archangels, since
  There's scarce a scribbler has not one to show,
    From the fiends' leader to the angels' prince.
  There also are some altar-pieces, though
    I really can't say that they much evince
  One's inner notions of immortal spirits;
  But let the connoisseurs explain _their_ merits.


  Michael flew forth in glory and in good,
    A goodly work of Him from whom all glory
  And good arise: the portal pass'd--he stood
    Before him the young cherubs and saints hoary--
  (I say _young_, begging to be understood
    By looks, not years, and should be very sorry
  To state, they were not older than St. Peter,
  But merely that they seem'd a little sweeter).


  The cherubs and the saints bow'd down before
    That archangelic hierarch, the first
  Of essences angelical, who wore
    The aspect of a god; but this ne'er nursed
  Pride in his heavenly bosom, in whose core
    No thought, save for his Maker's service, durst
  Intrude, however glorified and high;
  He knew him but the viceroy of the sky.


  He and the sombre silent Spirit met--
    They knew each other both for good and ill;
  Such was their power that neither could forget
    His former friend and future foe; but still
  There was a high, immortal, proud regret
    In either's eye, as if't were less their will
  Than destiny to make the eternal years
  Their date of war, and their _champ clos_ the spheres.


  But here they were in neutral space: we know
    From Job, that Satan hath the power to pay
  A heavenly visit thrice a year or so;
    And that "the sons of God", like those of clay,
  Must keep him company; and we might show
    From the same book, in how polite a way
  The dialogue is held between the powers
  Of Good and Evil--but 'twould take up hours.


  And this is not a theologic tract,
    To prove with Hebrew and with Arabic,
  If Job be allegory or a fact,
    But a true narrative; and thus I pick
  From out the whole but such and such an act,
    As sets aside the slightest thought of trick.
  'Tis every tittle true, beyond suspicion,
  And accurate as any other vision.


    Published in 1813 and described by its author as an "Apostrophic

  Muse of the many-twinkling feet! whose charms
  Are now extended up from legs to arms;
  Terpsichore!--too long misdeem'd a maid--
  Reproachful term--bestow'd but to upbraid--
  Henceforth in all the bronze of brightness shine,
  The least a vestal of the virgin Nine.
  Far be from thee and thine the name of prude;
  Mock'd, yet triumphant; sneer'd at, unsubdued;
  Thy legs must move to conquer as they fly,
  If but thy coats are reasonably high;
  Thy breast, if bare enough, requires no shield:
  Dance forth--_sans armour_ thou shalt take the field,
  And own--impregnable to _most_ assaults,
  Thy not too lawfully begotten "Waltz".

  Hail, nimble nymph! to whom the young huzzar,
  The whisker'd votary of waltz and war,
  His night devotes, despite of spurs and boots;
  A sight unmatch'd since Orpheus and his brutes:
  Hail, spirit-stirring Waltz! beneath whose banners
  A modern hero fought for modish manners;
  On Hounslow's heath to rival Wellesley's fame,
  Cock'd, fired, and miss'd his man--but gain'd his aim:
  Hail, moving muse! to whom the fair one's breast
  Gives all it can, and bids us take the rest.
  Oh, for the flow of Busby or of Fitz,
  The latter's loyalty, the former's wits,
  To "energize the object I pursue",
  And give both Belial and his dance their due!

  Imperial Waltz! imported from the Rhine
  (Famed for the growth of pedigree and wine),
  Long be thine import from all duty free,
  And hock itself be less esteem'd than thee;
  In some few qualities alike--for hock
  Improves our cellar--_thou_ our living stock.
  The head to hock belongs--thy subtler art
  Intoxicates alone the heedless heart:
  Through the full veins thy gentler poison swims,
  And wakes to wantonness the willing limbs.

  O Germany! how much to thee we owe,
  As heaven-born Pitt can testify below.
  Ere cursed confederation made thee France's,
  And only left us thy d--d debts and dances!
  Of subsidies and Hanover bereft,
  We bless thee still--for George the Third is left!
  Of kings the best, and last not least in worth,
  For graciously begetting George the Fourth.
  To Germany, and highnesses serene,
  Who owe us millions--don't we owe the queen?
  To Germany, what owe we not besides?
  So oft bestowing Brunswickers and brides:
  Who paid for vulgar, with her royal blood,
  Drawn from the stem of each Teutonic stud;
  Who sent us--so be pardon'd all our faults--
  A dozen dukes, some kings, a queen--and Waltz.

  But peace to her, her emperor and diet,
  Though now transferr'd to Bonaparte's "fiat!"
  Back to thy theme--O Muse of motion! say,
  How first to Albion found thy Waltz her way?

  Borne on thy breath of hyperborean gales
  From Hamburg's port (while Hamburg yet had _mails_),
  Ere yet unlucky Fame, compelled to creep
  To snowy Gottenburg was chill'd to sleep;
  Or, starting from her slumbers, deign'd arise,
  Heligoland, to stock thy mart with lies;
  While unburnt Moscow yet had news to send,
  Nor owed her fiery exit to a friend.
  She came--Waltz came--and with her certain sets
  Of true despatches, and as true gazettes:
  Then flamed of Austerlitz the blest despatch,
  Which _Moniteur_ nor _Morning Post_ can match;
  And, almost crush'd beneath the glorious news,
  Ten plays, and forty tales of Kotzebue's;
  One envoy's letters, six composers' airs,
  And loads from Frankfort and from Leipsic fairs:
  Meiner's four volumes upon womankind,
  Like Lapland witches to ensure a wind;
  Brunck's heaviest tome for ballast, and, to back it,
  Of Heynè, such as should not sink the packet.

  Fraught with this cargo, and her fairest freight,
  Delightful Waltz, on tiptoe for a mate,
  The welcome vessel reach'd the genial strand,
  And round her flock'd the daughters of the land.
  Not decent David, when, before the ark,
  His grand _pas-seul_ excited some remark,
  Not love-lorn Quixote, when his Sancho thought
  The knight's fandango friskier than it ought;
  Not soft Herodias, when, with winning tread,
  Her nimble feet danced off another's head;
  Not Cleopatra on her galley's deck,
  Display'd so much of _leg_, or more of _neck_,
  Than thou ambrosial Waltz, when first the moon
  Beheld thee twirling to a Saxon tune!

  To you, ye husbands of ten years whose brows
  Ache with the annual tributes of a spouse;
  To you of nine years less, who only bear
  The budding sprouts of those that you _shall_ wear,
  With added ornaments around them roll'd
  Of native brass, or law-awarded gold:
  To you, ye matrons, ever on the watch
  To mar a son's, or make a daughter's match;
  To you, ye children of--whom chance accords--
  _Always_ the ladies, and _sometimes_ their lords;
  To you, ye single gentlemen, who seek
  Torments for life, or pleasures for a week;
  As Love or Hymen your endeavours guide,
  To gain your own, or snatch another's bride;--
  To one and all the lovely stranger came,
  And every ball-room echoes with her name.

  Endearing Waltz! to thy more melting tune
  Bow Irish jig and ancient rigadoon.
  Scotch reels, avaunt! and country dance forego
  Your future claims to each fantastic toe!
  Waltz, Waltz alone, both legs and arms demands,
  Liberal of feet, and lavish of her hands;
  Hands which may freely range in public sight
  Where ne'er before--but--pray "put out the light".
  Methinks the glare of yonder chandelier
  Shines much too far, or I am much too near;
  And true, though strange, Waltz whispers this remark,
  "My slippery steps are safest in the dark!"
  But here the Muse with due decorum halts,
  And lends her longest petticoat to Waltz.

  Observant travellers of every time!
  Ye quartos publish'd upon every clime!
  Oh, say, shall dull Romaika's heavy round,
  Fandango's wriggle, or Bolero's bound;
  Can Egypt's Almas--tantalizing group--
  Columbia's caperers to the warlike whoop--
  Can aught from cold Kamschatka to Cape Horn
  With Waltz compare, or after Waltz be borne?
  Ah, no! from Morier's pages down to Galt's,
  Each tourist pens a paragraph for "Waltz".

  Shades of those belles whose reign began of yore,
  With George the Third's--and ended long before!--
  Though in your daughters' daughters yet you thrive,
  Burst from your lead, and be yourselves alive!
  Back to the ball-room speed your spectred host;
  Fools' Paradise is dull to that you lost.
  No treacherous powder bids conjecture quake;
  No stiff-starch'd stays make meddling fingers ache
  (Transferr'd to those ambiguous things that ape
  Goats in their visage, women in their shape):
  No damsel faints when rather closely press'd,
  But more caressing seems when most caress'd;
  Superfluous hartshorn and reviving salts;
  Both banished, by the sovereign cordial, "Waltz".

  Seductive Waltz!--though on thy native shore
  Even Werter's self proclaim'd thee half a whore:
  Werter--to decent vice though much inclined,
  Yet warm, not wanton; dazzled, but not blind--
  Though gentle Genlis, in her strife with Staël,
  Would even proscribe thee from a Paris ball;
  The fashion hails--from countesses to queens,
  And maids and valets waltz behind the scenes;
  Wide and more wide thy witching circle spreads,
  And turns--if nothing else--at least our _heads_;
  With thee even clumsy cits attempt to bounce,
  And cockneys practise what they can't pronounce.
  Gods! how the glorious theme my strain exalts,
  And rhyme finds partner rhyme in praise of "Waltz!"

  Blest was the time Waltz chose for her _début_:
  The court, the Regent, like herself, were new,
  New face for friends, for foes some new rewards;
  New ornaments for black and royal guards;
  New laws to hang the rogues that roar'd for bread;
  New coins (most new) to follow those that fled;
  New victories--nor can we prize them less,
  Though Jenky wonders at his own success;
  New wars, because the old succeed so well,
  That most survivors envy those who fell;
  New mistresses--no, old--and yet 'tis true,
  Though they be _old_, the _thing_ is something new;
  Each new, quite new--(except some ancient tricks),
  New white-sticks, gold-sticks, broom-sticks, all new sticks!
  With vests or ribbons, deck'd alike in hue,
  New troopers strut, new turncoats blush in blue;
  So saith the muse! my ----, what say you?
  Such was the time when Waltz might best maintain
  Her new preferments in this novel reign;
  Such was the time, nor ever yet was such:
  Hoops are _no more_, and petticoats _not much_:
  Morals and minuets, virtue and her stays,
  And tell-tale powder--all have had their days.
  The ball begins--the honours of the house
  First duly done by daughter or by spouse,
  Some potentate--or royal or serene--
  With Kent's gay grace, or sapient Glo'ster's mien,
  Leads forth the ready dame, whose rising flush
  Might once have been mistaken for a blush,
  From where the garb just leaves the bosom free,
  That spot where hearts were once supposed to be;
  Round all the confines of the yielded waist,
  The stranger's hand may wander undisplaced;
  The lady's in return may grasp as much
  As princely paunches offer to her touch.
  Pleased round the chalky floor how well they trip,
  One hand reposing on the royal hip:
  The other to the shoulder no less royal
  Ascending with affection truly loyal!
  Thus front to front the partners move or stand,
  The foot may rest, but none withdraw the hand;
  And all in turn may follow in their rank,
  The Earl of--Asterisk--and Lady--Blank;
  Sir--Such-a-one--with those of fashion's host,
  For whose blest surnames--_vide Morning Post_
  (Or if for that impartial print too late,
  Search Doctors' Commons six months from my date)--
  Thus all and each, in movement swift or slow,
  The genial contact gently undergo;
  Till some might marvel, with the modest Turk,
  If "nothing follows all this palming work".
  True, honest Mirza!--you may trust my rhyme--
  Something does follow at a fitter time;
  The breast thus publicly resign'd to man
  In private may resist him--if it can.

  O ye who loved our grandmothers of yore,
  Fitzpatrick, Sheridan, and many more!
  And thou, my prince! whose sovereign taste and will
  It is to love the lovely beldames still!
  Thou ghost of Queensbury! whose judging sprite
  Satan may spare to peep a single night,
  Pronounce--if ever in your days of bliss
  Asmodeus struck so bright a stroke as this;
  To teach the young ideas how to rise,
  Flush in the cheek, and languish in the eyes;
  Rush to the heart, and lighten through the frame,
  With half-told wish and ill-dissembled flame;
  For prurient nature still will storm the breast--
  _Who_, tempted thus, can answer for the rest?

  But ye, who never felt a single thought,
  For what our morals are to be, or ought;
  Who wisely wish the charms you view to reap,
  Say--would you make those beauties quite so cheap?
  Hot from the hands promiscuously applied,
  Round the slight waist, or down the glowing side,
  Where were the rapture then to clasp the form
  From this lewd grasp and lawless contact warm?
  At once love's most endearing thought resign,
  To press the hand so press'd by none but thine;
  To gaze upon that eye which never met
  Another's ardent look without regret;
  Approach the lip which all, without restraint,
  Come near enough--if not to touch--to taint;
  If such thou lovest--love her then no more,
  Or give--like her--caresses to a score;
  Her mind with these is gone, and with it go
  The little left behind it to bestow.

  Voluptuous Waltz! and dare I thus blaspheme?
  The bard forgot thy praises were his theme.
  Terpsichore, forgive!--at every ball
  My wife _now_ waltzes--and my daughters _shall_;
  _My_ son--(or stop--'tis needless to inquire--
  These little accidents should ne'er transpire;
  Some ages hence our genealogic tree
  Will wear as green a bough for him as me)--
  Waltzing shall rear, to make our name amends,
  Grandsons for me--in heirs to all his friends.


    Southey as Poet Laureate was a favourite target for satirical quips
    and cranks on the part of Byron. This "Dedication" was not
    published until after the author's death.


  Bob Southey! You're a poet--Poet-laureate,
    And representative of all the race;
  Although 'tis true that you turn'd out a Tory
    Last--yours has lately been a common case--
  And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at?
    With all the Lakers, in and out of place?
  A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye
  Like "four-and-twenty Blackbirds in a pie;


  "Which pie being open'd they began to sing"
    (This old song and new simile holds good),
  "A dainty dish to set before the King",
    Or Regent, who admires such kind of food--
  And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing,
    But like a hawk encumber'd with his hood--
  Explaining metaphysics to the nation--
  I wish he would explain his Explanation.


  You, Bob, are rather insolent, you know
    At being disappointed in your wish
  To supersede all warblers here below,
    And be the only blackbird in the dish;
  And then you overstrain yourself, or so,
    And tumble downward like the flying fish
  Gasping on deck, because you soar too high, Bob,
  And fall, for lack of moisture quite a-dry, Bob!


  And Wordsworth, in a rather long "Excursion"
    (I think the quarto holds five hundred pages),
  Has given a sample from the vasty version
    Of his new system to perplex the sages;
  'Tis poetry--at least by his assertion,
    And may appear so when the dog-star rages--
  And he who understands it would be able
  To add a story to the Tower of Babel.


  You--Gentlemen! by dint of long seclusion
    From better company, have kept your own
  At Keswick, and, through still continued fusion
    Of one another's minds, at last have grown
  To deem as a most logical conclusion,
    That Poesy has wreaths for you alone;
  There is a narrowness in such a notion,
  Which makes me wish you'd change your lakes for ocean.


  I would not imitate the petty thought,
    Nor coin my self-love to so base a vice,
  For all the glory your conversion brought,
    Since gold alone should not have been its price,
  You have your salary; was't for that you wrought?
    And Wordsworth has his place in the Excise!
  You're shabby fellows--true--but poets still,
  And duly seated on the immortal hill.


  Your bays may hide the baldness of your brows--
    Perhaps some virtuous blushes, let them go--
  To you I envy neither fruit nor boughs,
    And for the fame you would engross below,
  The field is universal, and allows
    Scope to all such as feel the inherent glow;
  Scott, Rogers, Campbell, Moore, and Crabbe, will try
  'Gainst you the question with posterity.


  For me, who, wandering with pedestrian Muses,
    Contend not with you on the winged steed,
  I wish your fate may yield ye, when she chooses,
    The fame you envy and the skill you need;
  And recollect a poet nothing loses
    In giving to his brethren their full meed
  Of merit, and complaint of present days
  Is not the certain path to future praise.


  He that reserves his laurels for posterity
    (Who does not often claim the bright reversion)
  Has generally no great crop to spare it, he
    Being only injured by his own assertion;
  And although here and there some glorious rarity
    Arise like Titan from the sea's immersion,
  The major part of such appellants go
  To--God knows where--for no one else can know.


  If, fallen in evil days on evil tongues,
    Milton appealed to the Avenger, Time,
  If Time, the Avenger, execrates his wrongs,
    And makes the word "Miltonic" mean "_sublime_",
  _He_ deign'd not to belie his soul in songs,
    Nor turn his very talent to a crime;
  _He_ did not loathe the sire to laud the son,
  But closed the tyrant-hater he begun.


  Think'st thou, could he--the blind old man--arise,
    Like Samuel from the grave, to freeze once more
  The blood of monarchs with his prophecies,
    Or be alive again--again all hoar
  With time and trials, and those helpless eyes,
    And heartless daughters--worn--and pale--and poor:
  Would _he_ adore a sultan? _he_ obey
  The intellectual eunuch Castlereagh?


  Cold-blooded, smooth-faced, placid miscreant!
    Dabbling its sleek young hands in Erin's gore,
  And thus for wider carnage taught to pant,
    Transferr'd to gorge upon a sister shore,
  The vulgarest tool that Tyranny could want,
    With just enough of talent, and no more,
  To lengthen fetters by another fix'd.
  And offer poison long already mix'd.


  An orator of such set trash of phrase
    Ineffably--legitimately vile,
  That even its grossest flatterers dare not praise,
    Nor foes--all nations--condescend to smile;
  Not even a sprightly blunder's spark can blaze
    From that Ixion grindstone's ceaseless toil,
  That turns and turns to give the world a notion
  Of endless torments and perpetual motion.


  A bungler even in its disgusting trade,
    And botching, patching, leaving still behind
  Something of which its masters are afraid,
    States to be curb'd, and thoughts to be confined,
  Conspiracy or Congress to be made--
    Cobbling at manacles for all mankind--
  A tinkering slave-maker, who mends old chains,
  With God and man's abhorrence for its gains.


  If we may judge of matter by the mind,
    Emasculated to the marrow _It_
  Hath but two objects, how to serve, and bind,
    Deeming the chain it wears even men may fit,
  Eutropius of its many masters,--blind
    To worth as freedom, wisdom as to wit,
  Fearless--because _no_ feeling dwells in ice,
  Its very courage stagnates to a vice.


  Where shall I turn me not to _view_ its bonds,
    For I will never _feel_ them:--Italy!
  Thy late reviving Roman soul desponds
    Beneath the lie this State-thing breathed o'er thee--
  Thy clanking chain, and Erin's yet green wounds,
    Have voices--tongues to cry aloud for me.
  Europe has slaves--allies--kings--armies still,
  And Southey lives to sing them very ill.


  Meantime, Sir Laureate, I proceed to dedicate,
    In honest simple verse, this song to you.
  And if in flattering strains I do not predicate,
    'Tis that I still retain my "buff and blue";
  My politics as yet are all to educate:
    Apostasy's so fashionable, too,
  To keep _one_ creed's a task grown quite Herculean:
  Is it not so, my Tory, Ultra-Julian?

VENICE, September 16, 1818.




    This is not meant as a "cut" at that standard medicine named
    therein which has wrought such good in its day; but is a satire on
    quack advertising generally. The more worthless the nostrum, the
    more universal the advertising of it, such is the moral of Hood's

  Those who much read advertisements and bills,
  Must have seen puffs of Cockle's Pills,
      Call'd Anti-bilious--
  Which some physicians sneer at, supercilious,
  But which we are assured, if timely taken,
      May save your liver and bacon;
  Whether or not they really give one ease,
      I, who have never tried,
      Will not decide;
  But no two things in union go like these--
  Viz.--quacks and pills--save ducks and pease.
  Now Mrs. W. was getting sallow,
  Her lilies not of the white kind, but yellow,
  And friends portended was preparing for
      A human pâté périgord;
  She was, indeed, so very far from well,
  Her son, in filial fear, procured a box
  Of those said pellets to resist bile's shocks,
  And--tho' upon the ear it strangely knocks--
  To save her by a Cockle from a shell!
  But Mrs. W., just like Macbeth,
  Who very vehemently bids us "throw
  Bark to the Bow-wows", hated physic so,
  It seem'd to share "the bitterness of Death":
  Rhubarb--Magnesia--Jalap, and the kind--
  Senna--Steel--Assa-foetida, and Squills--
  Powder or Draught--but least her throat inclined
  To give a course to boluses or pills;
  No--not to save her life, in lung or lobe,
  For all her lights' or all her liver's sake,
  Would her convulsive thorax undertake,
  Only one little uncelestial globe!

  'Tis not to wonder at, in such a case,
  If she put by the pill-box in a place
  For linen rather than for drugs intended--
  Yet for the credit of the pills let's say
      After they thus were stow'd away,
      Some of the linen mended;
  But Mrs. W. by disease's dint,
  Kept getting still more yellow in her tint,
  When lo! her second son, like elder brother,
  Marking the hue on the parental gills,
  Brought a new charge of Anti-tumeric Pills,
  To bleach the jaundiced visage of his mother--
  Who took them--in her cupboard--like the other.

      "Deeper and deeper still", of course,
      The fatal colour daily grew in force;
  Till daughter W. newly come from Rome,
  Acting the self-same filial, pillial, part,
  To cure Mamma, another dose brought home
  Of Cockles;--not the Cockles of her heart!
      These going where the others went before,
      Of course she had a very pretty store;
  And then--some hue of health her cheek adorning,
      The medicine so good must be,
      They brought her dose on dose, which she
  Gave to the up-stairs cupboard, "night and morning".
  Till wanting room at last, for other stocks,
  Out of the window one fine day she pitch'd
  The pillage of each box, and quite enrich'd
  The feed of Mister Burrell's hens and cocks,--
      A little Barber of a by-gone day,
      Over the way
  Whose stock in trade, to keep the least of shops,
  Was one great head of Kemble,--that is, John,
  Staring in plaster, with a Brutus on,
  And twenty little Bantam fowls--with crops.
  Little Dame W. thought when through the sash
      She gave the physic wings,
      To find the very things
  So good for bile, so bad for chicken rash,
  For thoughtless cock, and unreflecting pullet!
  But while they gathered up the nauseous nubbles,
  Each peck'd itself into a peck of troubles,
  And brought the hand of Death upon its gullet.
  They might as well have addled been, or ratted,
  For long before the night--ah woe betide
  The Pills! each suicidal Bantam died

      Think of poor Burrel's shock,
  Of Nature's debt to see his hens all payers,
  And laid in death as Everlasting Layers,
  With Bantam's small Ex-Emperor, the Cock,
  In ruffled plumage and funereal hackle,
  Giving, undone by Cockle, a last Cackle!
  To see as stiff as stone, his un'live stock,
  It really was enough to move his block.
  Down on the floor he dash'd, with horror big,
  Mr. Bell's third wife's mother's coachman's wig;
  And with a tragic stare like his own Kemble,
  Burst out with natural emphasis enough,
      And voice that grief made tremble,
  Into that very speech of sad Macduff--
  "What!--all my pretty chickens and their dam,
      At one fell swoop!--
      Just when I'd bought a coop
  To see the poor lamented creatures cram!"

      After a little of this mood,
      And brooding over the departed brood,
  With razor he began to ope each craw,
  Already turning black, as black as coals;
  When lo! the undigested cause he saw--
      "Pison'd by goles!"

  To Mrs. W.'s luck a contradiction,
  Her window still stood open to conviction;
  And by short course of circumstantial labour,
  He fix'd the guilt upon his adverse neighbour;--
  Lord! how he rail'd at her: declaring how,
  He'd bring an action ere next Term of Hilary,
  Then, in another moment, swore a vow,
  He'd make her do pill-penance in the pillory!
  She, meanwhile distant from the dimmest dream
  Of combating with guilt, yard-arm or arm-yard,
  Lapp'd in a paradise of tea and cream;
  When up ran Betty with a dismal scream--
  "Here's Mr. Burrell, ma'am, with all his farmyard!"
  Straight in he came, unbowing and unbending,
      With all the warmth that iron and a barbe
      Can harbour;
  To dress the head and front of her offending,
  The fuming phial of his wrath uncorking;
  In short, he made her pay him altogether,
  In hard cash, very _hard_, for ev'ry feather,
  Charging of course, each Bantam as a Dorking;
  Nothing could move him, nothing make him supple,
  So the sad dame unpocketing her loss,
  Had nothing left but to sit hands across,
  And see her poultry "going down ten couple".

  Now birds by poison slain,
  As venom'd dart from Indian's hollow cane,
  Are edible; and Mrs. W.'s thrift,--
  She had a thrifty vein,--
  Destined one pair for supper to make shift,--
  Supper as usual at the hour of ten:
  But ten o'clock arrived and quickly pass'd,
  Eleven--twelve--and one o'clock at last,
  Without a sign of supper even then!
  At length the speed of cookery to quicken,
  Betty was called, and with reluctant feet,
      Came up at a white heat--
  "Well, never I see chicken like them chicken!
  My saucepans, they have been a pretty while in 'em!
  Enough to stew them, if it comes to that,
  To flesh and bones, and perfect rags; but drat
  Those Anti-biling Pills! there is no bile in 'em!"




    This is one of the numerous _jeux d'esprit_ in which Macaulay, in
    his earlier years, indulged at election times. It was written in

  As I sate down to breakfast in state,
    At my living of Tithing-cum-Boring,
  With Betty beside me to wait,
    Came a rap that almost beat the door in.
  I laid down my basin of tea,
    And Betty ceased spreading the toast,
  "As sure as a gun, sir," said she,
    "That must be the knock of the Post".

  A letter--and free--bring it here,
    I have no correspondent who franks.
  No! yes! can it be? Why, my dear,
    'Tis our glorious, our Protestant Bankes.
  "Dear sir, as I know you desire
    That the Church should receive due protection
  I humbly presume to require
    Your aid at the Cambridge election.

  "It has lately been brought to my knowledge,
    That the Ministers fully design
  To suppress each cathedral and college,
    And eject every learned divine.
  To assist this detestable scheme
    Three nuncios from Rome are come over;
  They left Calais on Monday by steam,
    And landed to dinner at Dover.

  "An army of grim Cordeliers,
    Well furnish'd with relics and vermin,
  Will follow, Lord Westmoreland fears,
    To effect what their chiefs may determine.
  Lollards' tower, good authorities say,
    Is again fitting up as a prison;
  And a wood-merchant told me to-day
    'Tis a wonder how faggots have risen.

  "The finance-scheme of Canning contains
    A new Easter-offering tax:
  And he means to devote all the gains
    To a bounty on thumb-screws and racks.
  Your living, so neat and compact--
    Pray, don't let the news give you pain?
  Is promised, I know for a fact,
    To an olive-faced padre from Spain."

  I read, and I felt my heart bleed,
    Sore wounded with horror and pity;
  So I flew, with all possible speed,
    To our Protestant champion's committee.
  True gentlemen, kind and well bred!
    No fleering! no distance! no scorn!
  They asked after my wife who is dead,
    And my children who never were born.

  They then, like high-principled Tories,
    Called our Sovereign unjust and unsteady,
  And assailed him with scandalous stories,
    Till the coach for the voters was ready.
  That coach might be well called a casket
    Of learning and brotherly love:
  There were parsons in boot and in basket;
    There were parsons below and above.

  There were Sneaker and Griper, a pair
    Who stick to Lord Mulesby like leeches;
  A smug chaplain of plausible air,
    Who writes my Lord Goslingham's speeches.
  Dr. Buzz, who alone is a host,
    Who, with arguments weighty as lead,
  Proves six times a week in the _Post_
    That flesh somehow differs from bread.

  Dr. Nimrod, whose orthodox toes
    Are seldom withdrawn from the stirrup.
  Dr. Humdrum, whose eloquence flows,
    Like droppings of sweet poppy syrup;
  Dr. Rosygill puffing and fanning,
    And wiping away perspiration;
  Dr. Humbug, who proved Mr. Canning
    The beast in St. John's Revelation.

  A layman can scarce form a notion
    Of our wonderful talk on the road;
  Of the learning, the wit, and devotion,
    Which almost each syllable show'd:
  Why, divided allegiance agrees
    So ill with our free constitution;
  How Catholics swear as they please,
    In hope of the priest's absolution:

  How the Bishop of Norwich had barter'd
    His faith for a legate's commission;
  How Lyndhurst, afraid to be martyr'd,
    Had stooped to a base coalition;
  How Papists are cased from compassion
    By bigotry, stronger than steel;
  How burning would soon come in fashion,
    And how very bad it must feel.

  We were all so much touched and excited
    By a subject so direly sublime,
  That the rules of politeness were slighted,
    And we all of us talked at a time;
  And in tones, which each moment grew louder,
    Told how we should dress for the show,
  And where we should fasten the powder,
    And if we should bellow or no.

  Thus from subject to subject we ran,
    And the journey pass'd pleasantly o'er,
  Till at last Dr. Humdrum began:
    From that time I remember no more.
  At Ware he commenced his prelection,
    In the dullest of clerical drones:
  And when next I regained recollection
    We were rumbling o'er Trumpington stones.




    Published in Knight's _Annual_.

  The Abbot arose, and closed his book,
    And donned his sandal shoon,
  And wandered forth alone, to look
    Upon the summer moon:
  A starlight sky was o'er his head,
    A quiet breeze around;
  And the flowers a thrilling fragrance shed
    And the waves a soothing sound:
  It was not an hour, nor a scene, for aught
    But love and calm delight;
  Yet the holy man had a cloud of thought
    On his wrinkled brow that night.
  He gazed on the river that gurgled by,
    But he thought not of the reeds
  He clasped his gilded rosary,
    But he did not tell the beads;
  If he looked to the heaven, 'twas not to invoke
    The Spirit that dwelleth there;
  If he opened his lips, the words they spoke
    Had never the tone of prayer.
  A pious priest might the Abbot seem,
    He had swayed the crozier well;
  But what was the theme of the Abbot's dream,
    The Abbot were loth to tell.

  Companionless, for a mile or more,
  He traced the windings of the shore.
  Oh beauteous is that river still,
  As it winds by many a sloping hill,
  And many a dim o'erarching grove,
  And many a flat and sunny cove,
  And terraced lawns, whose bright arcades
  The honeysuckle sweetly shades,
  And rocks, whose very crags seem bowers,
  So gay they are with grass and flowers!
  But the Abbot was thinking of scenery
    About as much, in sooth,
  As a lover thinks of constancy,
    Or an advocate of truth.
  He did not mark how the skies in wrath
    Grew dark above his head;
  He did not mark how the mossy path
    Grew damp beneath his tread;
  And nearer he came, and still more near,
    To a pool, in whose recess
  The water had slept for many a year,
    Unchanged and motionless;
  From the river stream it spread away
    The space of half a rood;
  The surface had the hue of clay
    And the scent of human blood;
  The trees and the herbs that round it grew
    Were venomous and foul,
  And the birds that through the bushes flew
    Were the vulture and the owl;
  The water was as dark and rank
    As ever a Company pumped,
  And the perch that was netted and laid on the bank
    Grew rotten while it jumped;
  And bold was he who thither came
    At midnight, man or boy,
  For the place was cursed with an evil name,
    And that name was "The Devil's Decoy"!

  The Abbot was weary as abbot could be,
  And he sat down to rest on the stump of a tree:
  When suddenly rose a dismal tone,--
  Was it a song, or was it a moan?--
          "O ho! O ho!
  Lightly and brightly they glide and go!
  The hungry and keen on the top are leaping,
  The lazy and fat in the depths are sleeping;
  Fishing is fine when the pool is muddy,
  Broiling is rich when the coals are ruddy!"--
  In a monstrous fright, by the murky light,
  He looked to the left and he looked to the right;
  And what was the vision close before him
  That flung such a sudden stupor o'er him?
  'Twas a sight to make the hair uprise,
    And the life-blood colder run:
  The startled Priest struck both his thigh,
    And the abbey clock struck one!

  All alone, by the side of the pool,
  A tall man sat on a three-legged stool,
  Kicking his heels on the dewy sod,
  And putting in order his reel and rod;
  Red were the rags his shoulders wore,
  And a high red cap on his head he bore;
  His arms and his legs were long and bare;
  And two or three locks of long red hair
  Were tossing about his scraggy neck,
  Like a tattered flag o'er a splitting wreck.
  It might be time, or it might be trouble,
  Had bent that stout back nearly double,
  Sunk in their deep and hollow sockets
  That blazing couple of Congreve rockets,
  And shrunk and shrivelled that tawny skin,
  Till it hardly covered the bones within.
  The line the Abbot saw him throw
  Had been fashioned and formed long ages ago,
  And the hands that worked his foreign vest
  Long ages ago had gone to their rest:
  You would have sworn, as you looked on them,
  He had fished in the flood with Ham and Shem!

  There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
  As he took forth a bait from his iron box.
  Minnow or gentle, worm or fly,--
  It seemed not such to the Abbot's eye;
  Gaily it glittered with jewel and jem,
  And its shape was the shape of a diadem.
  It was fastened a gleaming hook about
  By a chain within and a chain without;
  The Fisherman gave it a kick and a spin,
  And the water fizzed as it tumbled in!

  From the bowels of the earth,
  Strange and varied sounds had birth;
  Now the battle's bursting peal,
  Neigh of steed, and clang of steel;
  Now an old man's hollow groan
  Echoed from the dungeon stone;
  Now the weak and wailing cry
  Of a stripling's agony!--
  Cold by this was the midnight air;
    But the Abbot's blood ran colder,
  When he saw a gasping knight lie there,
  With a gash beneath his clotted hair,
    And a hump upon his shoulder.
  And the loyal churchman strove in vain
    To mutter a Pater Noster;
  For he who writhed in mortal pain
  Was camped that night on Bosworth plain--
    The cruel Duke of Glo'ster!

  There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
  As he took forth a bait from his iron box.
  It was a haunch of princely size,
  Filling with fragrance earth and skies.
  The corpulent Abbot knew full well
  The swelling form, and the steaming smell;
  Never a monk that wore a hood
  Could better have guessed the very wood
  Where the noble hart had stood at bay,
  Weary and wounded, at close of day.

  Sounded then the noisy glee
  Of a revelling company,--
  Sprightly story, wicked jest,
  Rated servant, greeted guest,
  Flow of wine, and flight of cork,
  Stroke of knife, and thrust of fork:
  But, where'er the board was spread,
  Grace, I ween, was never said!--
  Pulling and tugging the Fisherman sat;
    And the Priest was ready to vomit,
  When he hauled out a gentleman, fine and fat,
  With a belly as big as a brimming vat,
    And a nose as red as a comet.
  "A capital stew," the Fisherman said,
    "With cinnamon and sherry!"
  And the Abbot turned away his head,
  For his brother was lying before him dead,
    The Mayor of St. Edmund's Bury!

  There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
  As he took forth a bait from his iron box.
  It was a bundle of beautiful things,--
  A peacock's tail and a butterfly's wings,
  A scarlet slipper, an auburn curl,
  A mantle of silk, and a bracelet of pearl,
  And a packet of letters, from whose sweet fold
  Such a stream of delicate odours rolled,
  That the Abbot fell on his face, and fainted,
  And deemed his spirit was half-way sainted.

  Sounds seemed dropping from the skies,
  Stifled whispers, smothered sighs,
  And the breath of vernal gales,
  And the voice of nightingales:
  But the nightingales were mute,
  Envious, when an unseen lute
  Shaped the music of its chords
  Into passion's thrilling words:
  "Smile, Lady, smile!--I will not set
  Upon my brow the coronet,
  Till thou wilt gather roses white
  To wear around its gems of light.
  Smile, Lady, smile!--I will not see
  Rivers and Hastings bend the knee,
  Till those bewitching lips of thine
  Will bid me rise in bliss from mine.
  Smile, Lady, smile!--for who would win
  A loveless throne through guilt and sin?
  Or who would reign o'er vale and hill,
  If woman's heart were rebel still?"

  One jerk, and there a lady lay,
    A lady wondrous fair;
  But the rose of her lip had faded away,
  And her cheek was as white and as cold as clay,
    And torn was her raven hair.
  "Ah ha!" said the Fisher, in merry guise,
    "Her gallant was hooked before;"
  And the Abbot heaved some piteous sighs,
  For oft he had blessed those deep blue eyes,
    The eyes of Mistress Shore!

  There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
  As he took forth a bait from his iron box.
  Many the cunning sportsman tried,
  Many he flung with a frown aside;
  A minstrel's harp, and a miser's chest,
  A hermit's cowl, and a baron's crest,
  Jewels of lustre, robes of price,
  Tomes of heresy, loaded dice,
  And golden cups of the brightest wine
  That ever was pressed from the Burgundy vine.
  There was a perfume of sulphur and nitre
  As he came at last to a bishop's mitre!

  From top to toe the Abbot shook,
  As the Fisherman armed his golden hook,
  And awfully were his features wrought
  By some dark dream or wakened thought.
  Look how the fearful felon gazes
  On the scaffold his country's vengeance raises,
  When the lips are cracked and the jaws are dry
  With the thirst which only in death shall die:
  Mark the mariner's frenzied frown
  As the swaling wherry settles down,
  When peril has numbed the sense and will
  Though the hand and the foot may struggle still:
  Wilder far was the Abbot's glance,
  Deeper far was the Abbot's trance:
  Fixed as a monument, still as air,
  He bent no knee, and he breathed no prayer
  But he signed--he knew not why or how--
  The sign of the Cross on his clammy brow.

  There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
  As he stalked away with his iron box.
          "O ho! O ho!
          The cock doth crow;
  It is time for the Fisher to rise and go.
  Fair luck to the Abbot, fair luck to the shrine!
  He hath gnawed in twain my choicest line;
  Let him swim to the north, let him swim to the south,
  The Abbot will carry my hook in his mouth!"

  The Abbot had preached for many years
    With as clear articulation
  As ever was heard in the House of Peers
    Against Emancipation;
  His words had made battalions quake,
    Had roused the zeal of martyrs,
  Had kept the Court an hour awake
    And the King himself three quarters:
  But ever from that hour, 'tis said,
    He stammered and he stuttered
  As if an axe went through his head
    With every word he uttered.
  He stuttered o'er blessing, he stuttered o'er ban,
    He stuttered, drunk or dry;
  And none but he and the Fisherman
    Could tell the reason why!


    Originally published in the _Morning Post_ for 1834; afterwards
    included in his _Essays_.

      Great wits are sure to madness near allied.--_Dryden_.

It has frequently been observed that genius and madness are nearly
allied; that very great talents are seldom found unaccompanied by a
touch of insanity, and that there are few Bedlamites who will not,
upon a close examination, display symptoms of a powerful, though ruined
intellect. According to this hypothesis, the flowers of Parnassus must
be blended with the drugs of Anticyra; and the man who feels himself to
be in possession of very brilliant wits may conclude that he is within
an ace of running out of them. Whether this be true or false, we are
not at present disposed to contradict the assertion. What we wish to
notice is the pains which many young men take to qualify themselves for
Bedlam, by hiding a good, sober, gentlemanlike understanding beneath an
assumption of thoughtlessness and whim. It is the received opinion
among many that a man's talents and abilities are to be rated by the
quantity of nonsense he utters per diem, and the number of follies he
runs into per annum. Against this idea we must enter our protest; if we
concede that every real genius is more or less a madman, we must not be
supposed to allow that every sham madman is more or less a genius.

In the days of our ancestors, the hot-blooded youth who threw away his
fortune at twenty-one, his character at twenty-two, and his life at
twenty-three, was termed "a good fellow", "an honest fellow", "nobody's
enemy but his own". In our time the name is altered; and the
fashionable who squanders his father's estate, or murders his best
friend--who breaks his wife's heart at the gaming-table, and his own
neck at a steeple-chase--escapes the sentence which morality would pass
upon him, by the plea of lunacy. "He was a rascal," says Common-Sense.
"True," says the World; "but he was mad, you know--quite mad."

We were lately in company with a knot of young men who were discussing
the character and fortunes of one of their own body, who was, it seems,
distinguished for his proficiency in the art of madness. "Harry," said
a young sprig of nobility, "have you heard that Charles is in the
King's Bench?" "I heard it this morning," drawled the Exquisite; "how
distressing! I have not been so hurt since poor Angelica (his bay mare)
broke down. Poor Charles has been too flighty." "His wings will be
clipped for the future!" observed young Caustic. "He has been very
imprudent," said young Candour.

I inquired of whom they were speaking. "Don't you know Charles Gally?"
said the Exquisite, endeavouring to turn in his collar. "Not know
Charles Gally?" he repeated, with an expression of pity. "He is the
best fellow breathing; only lives to laugh and make others laugh:
drinks his two bottles with any man, and rides the finest mare I ever
saw--next to my Angelica. Not know Charles Gally? Why, everybody knows
him! He is so amusing! Ha! ha! And tells such admirable stories! Ha!
ha! Often have they kept me awake"--a yawn--"when nothing else could."
"Poor fellow!" said his lordship; "I understand he's done for ten
thousand!" "I never believe more than half what the world says,"
observed Candour. "He that has not a farthing," said Caustic, "cares
little whether he owes ten thousand or five." "Thank Heaven!" said
Candour, "that will never be the case with Charles: he has a fine
estate in Leicestershire." "Mortgaged for half its value," said his
lordship. "A large personal property!" "All gone in annuity bills,"
said the Exquisite. "A rich uncle upwards of fourscore!" "He'll cut him
off with a shilling," said Caustic.

"Let us hope he may reform," sighed the Hypocrite; "and sell the pack,"
added the Nobleman; "and marry," continued the Dandy. "Pshaw!" cried
the Satirist, "he will never get rid of his habits, his hounds, or his
horns." "But he has an excellent heart," said Candour. "Excellent,"
repeated his lordship unthinkingly. "Excellent," lisped the Fop
effeminately. "Excellent," exclaimed the Wit ironically. We took this
opportunity to ask by what means so excellent a heart and so bright a
genius had contrived to plunge him into these disasters. "He was my
friend," replied his lordship, "and a man of large property; but he was
mad--quite mad. I remember his leaping a lame pony over a stone wall,
simply because Sir Marmaduke bet him a dozen that he broke his neck in
the attempt; and sending a bullet through a poor pedlar's pack because
Bob Darrell said the piece wouldn't carry so far." "Upon another
occasion," began the Exquisite, in his turn, "he jumped into a
horse-pond after dinner, in order to prove it was not six feet deep;
and overturned a bottle of eau-de-cologne in Lady Emilia's face, to
convince me that she was not painted. Poor fellow! The first experiment
cost him a dress, and the second an heiress." "I have heard," resumed
the Nobleman, "that he lost his election for ---- by lampooning the
mayor; and was dismissed from his place in the Treasury for challenging
Lord C----." "The last accounts I heard of him," said Caustic, "told me
that Lady Tarrel had forbid him her house for driving a sucking-pig
into her drawing-room; and that young Hawthorn had run him through for
boasting of favours from his sister!" "These gentlemen are really too
severe," remarked young Candour to us. "Not a jot," we said to

"This will be a terrible blow for his sister," said a young man who had
been listening in silence. "A fine girl--a very fine girl," said the
Exquisite. "And a fine fortune," said the Nobleman; "the mines of Peru
are nothing to her." "Nothing at all," observed the Sneerer; "she has
no property there. But I would not have you caught, Harry; her income
was good, but is dipped, horribly dipped. Guineas melt very fast when
the cards are put by them." "I was not aware Maria was a gambler,"
said the young man, much alarmed. "Her brother is, sir," replied his
informant. The querist looked sorry, but yet relieved. We could see
that he was not quite disinterested in his inquiries. "However,"
resumed the young Cynic, "his profusion has at least obtained him many
noble and wealthy friends." He glanced at his hearers, and went on: "No
one that knew him will hear of his distresses without being forward to
relieve them. He will find interest for his money in the hearts of his
friends." Nobility took snuff; Foppery played with his watch-chain;
Hypocrisy looked grave. There was long silence. We ventured to regret
the misuse of natural talents, which, if properly directed, might have
rendered their possessor useful to the interests of society and
celebrated in the records of his country. Everyone stared, as if we
were talking Hebrew. "Very true," said his lordship, "he enjoys great
talents. No man is a nicer judge of horseflesh. He beats me at
billiards, and Harry at picquet; he's a dead shot at a button, and can
drive his curricle-wheels over a brace of sovereigns." "Radicalism,"
says Caustic, looking round for a laugh. "He is a great amateur of
pictures," observed the Exquisite, "and is allowed to be quite a
connoisseur in beauty; but there," simpering, "everyone must claim the
privilege of judging for themselves." "Upon my word," said Candour,
"you allow poor Charles too little. I have no doubt he has great
courage--though, to be sure, there was a whisper that young Hawthorn
found him rather shy; and I am convinced he is very generous, though I
must confess that I have it from good authority that his younger
brother was refused the loan of a hundred when Charles had pigeoned
that fool of a nabob but the evening before. I would stake my existence
that he is a man of unshaken honour--though, when he eased Lieutenant
Hardy of his pay, there certainly was an awkward story about the
transaction, which was never properly cleared up. I hope that when
matters are properly investigated he will be liberated from all his
embarrassments; though I am sorry to be compelled to believe that he
has been spending double the amount of his income annually. But I trust
that all will be adjusted. I have no doubt upon the subject." "Nor I,"
said Caustic. "We shall miss him prodigiously at the Club," said the
Dandy, with a slight shake of the head. "What a bore!" replied the
Nobleman, with a long yawn. We could hardly venture to express
compassion for a character so despicable. Our auditors, however,
entertained very different opinions of right and wrong! "Poor fellow!
he was much to be pitied: had done some very foolish things--to say the
truth was a sad scoundrel--but then he was always so mad." And having
come unanimously to this decision, the conclave dispersed.

Charles gave an additional proof of his madness within a week after
this discussion by swallowing laudanum. The verdict of the coroner's
inquest confirmed the judgment of his four friends. For our own parts
we must pause before we give in to so dangerous a doctrine. Here is a
man who has outraged the laws of honour, the ties of relationship, and
the duties of religion: he appears before us in the triple character of
a libertine, a swindler, and a suicide. Yet his follies, his vices, his
crimes, are all palliated or even applauded by this specious _façon de
parler_--"He was mad--quite mad!"




    This racy piece of satire is taken from Lord Beaconsfield's
    mock-heroic romance--written in imitation of _Gulliver's
    Travels,--The Voyage of Captain Popanilla_, of which it forms the
    fourth chapter.

Six months had elapsed since the first chest of the cargo of Useful
Knowledge destined for the fortunate Maldives had been digested by the
recluse Popanilla; for a recluse he had now become. Great students are
rather dull companions. Our Fantasian friend, during his first studies,
was as moody, absent, and querulous as are most men of genius during
that mystical period of life. He was consequently avoided by the men
and quizzed by the women, and consoled himself for the neglect of the
first and the taunts of the second by the indefinite sensation that he
should, some day or other, turn out that little being called a great
man. As for his mistress, she considered herself insulted by being
addressed by a man who had lost her lock of hair. When the chest was
exhausted, Popanilla was seized with a profound melancholy. Nothing
depresses a man's spirits more completely than a self-conviction of
self-conceit; and Popanilla, who had been accustomed to consider
himself and his companions as the most elegant portion of the visible
creation, now discovered, with dismay, that he and his fellow-islanders
were nothing more than a horde of useless savages.

This mortification, however, was soon succeeded by a proud
consciousness that he, at any rate, was now civilized; and that proud
consciousness by a fond hope that in a short time he might become a
civilizer. Like all projectors, he was not of sanguine temperament; but
he did trust that in the course of another season the Isle of Fantaisie
might take its station among the nations. He was determined, however,
not to be too rapid. It cannot be expected that ancient prejudices can
in a moment be eradicated, and new modes of conduct instantaneously
substituted and established. Popanilla, like a wise man, determined to
conciliate. His views were to be as liberal as his principles were
enlightened. Men should be forced to do nothing. Bigotry and
intolerance and persecution were the objects of his decided
disapprobation; resembling, in this particular, all the great and good
men who have ever existed, who have invariably maintained this opinion
so long as they have been in the minority.

Popanilla appeared once more in the world.

"Dear me! is that you, Pop?" exclaimed the ladies. "What have you been
doing with yourself all this time? Travelling, I suppose. Everyone
travels now. Really you travelled men get quite bores. And where did
you get that coat, if it be a coat?"

Such was the style in which the Fantasian females saluted the
long-absent Popanilla; and really, when a man shuts himself up from the
world for a considerable time, and fancies that in condescending to
re-enter it he has surely the right to expect the homage due to a
superior being, the salutations are awkward. The ladies of England
peculiarly excel in this species of annihilation; and while they
continue to drown puppies, as they daily do, in a sea of sarcasm, I
think no true Englishman will hesitate one moment in giving them the
preference for tact and manner over all the vivacious French, all the
self-possessing Italian, and all the tolerant German women. This is a
clap-trap, and I have no doubt will sell the book.

Popanilla, however, had not re-entered society with the intention of
subsiding into a nonentity, and he therefore took the opportunity, a
few minutes after sunset, just as his companions were falling into the
dance, to beg the favour of being allowed to address his sovereign only
for one single moment.

"Sire!" said he, in that mild tone of subdued superciliousness with
which we should always address kings, and which, while it vindicates
our dignity, satisfactorily proves that we are above the vulgar passion
of envy. "Sire!" But let us not encourage that fatal faculty of oratory
so dangerous to free states, and therefore let us give the "substance
of Popanilla's speech".[233] He commenced his address in a manner
somewhat resembling the initial observations of those pleasing
pamphlets which are the fashion of the present hour, and which, being
intended to diffuse information among those who have not enjoyed the
opportunity and advantages of study, and are consequently of a gay and
cheerful disposition, treat of light subjects in a light and polished
style. Popanilla, therefore, spoke of man in a savage state, the origin
of society, and the elements of the social compact, in sentences which
would not have disgraced the mellifluous pen of Bentham. From these he
naturally digressed into an agreeable disquisition on the Anglo-Saxons;
and, after a little badinage on the Bill of Rights, flew off to an airy
_aperçu_ of the French Revolution. When he had arrived at the Isle of
Fantaisie he begged to inform His Majesty that man was born for
something else besides enjoying himself. It was, doubtless, extremely
pleasant to dance and sing, to crown themselves with chaplets, and to
drink wine; but he was "free to confess" that he did not imagine that
the most barefaced hireling of corruption could for a moment presume to
maintain that there was any utility in pleasure. If there were no
utility in pleasure, it was quite clear that pleasure could profit no
one. If, therefore, it were unprofitable, it was injurious, because
that which does not produce a profit is equivalent to a loss; therefore
pleasure is a losing business; consequently pleasure is not pleasant.

He also showed that man was not born for himself, but for society; that
the interests of the body are alone to be considered, and not those of
the individual; and that a nation might be extremely happy, extremely
powerful, and extremely rich, although every individual member of it
might at the same time be miserable, dependent, and in debt. He
regretted to observe that no one in the island seemed in the slightest
degree conscious of the object of his being. Man is created for a
purpose; the object of his existence is to perfect himself. Man is
imperfect by nature, because if nature had made him perfect he would
have had no wants; and it is only by supplying his wants that utility
can be developed. The development of utility is therefore the object of
our being, and the attainment of this great end the cause of our
existence. This principle clears all doubts, and rationally accounts
for a state of existence which has puzzled many pseudo-philosophers.

Popanilla then went on to show that the hitherto received definitions
of man were all erroneous; that man is neither a walking animal, nor a
talking animal, nor a cooking animal, nor a lounging animal, nor a
debt-incurring animal, nor a tax-paying animal, nor a printing animal,
nor a puffing animal, but a _developing animal_. Development is the
discovery of utility. By developing the water we get fish; by
developing the earth we get corn, and cash, and cotton; by developing
the air we get breath; by developing the fire we get heat. Thus the
use of the elements is demonstrated to the meanest capacity. But it was
not merely a material development to which he alluded; a moral
development was equally indispensable. He showed that it was impossible
for a nation either to think too much or to do too much. The life of
man was therefore to be passed in a moral and material development
until he had consummated his perfection. It was the opinion of
Popanilla that this great result was by no means so near at hand as
some philosophers flattered themselves, and that it might possibly
require another half-century before even the most civilized nation
could be said to have completed the destiny of the human race. At the
same time, he intimated that there were various extraordinary means by
which this rather desirable result might be facilitated; and there was
no saying what the building of a new University might do, of which,
when built, he had no objection to be appointed Principal.

In answer to those who affect to admire that deficient system of
existence which they style simplicity of manners, and who are
perpetually committing the blunder of supposing that every advance
towards perfection only withdraws man further from his primitive and
proper condition, Popanilla triumphantly demonstrated that no such
order as that which they associated with the phrase "state of nature"
ever existed. "Man", said he, "is called the masterpiece of nature; and
man is also, as we all know, the most curious of machines. Now, a
machine is a work of art; consequently the masterpiece of nature is the
masterpiece of art. The object of all mechanism is the attainment of
utility; the object of man, who is the most perfect machine, is utility
in the highest degree. Can we believe, therefore, that this machine was
ever intended for a state which never could have called forth its
powers, a state in which no utility could ever have been attained, a
state in which there are no wants, consequently no demand, consequently
no supply, consequently no competition, consequently no invention,
consequently no profits; only one great pernicious monopoly of comfort
and ease? Society without wants is like a world without winds. It is
quite clear, therefore, that there is no such thing as Nature; Nature
is Art, or Art is Nature; that which is most useful is most natural,
because utility is the test of nature; therefore a steam-engine is in
fact a much more natural production than a mountain.

"You are convinced, therefore," he continued, "by these observations,
that it is impossible for an individual or a nation to be too
artificial in their manners, their ideas, their laws, or their general
policy; because, in fact, the more artificial you become, the nearer
you approach that state of nature of which you are so perpetually
talking." Here observing that some of his audience appeared to be a
little sceptical, perhaps only surprised, he told them that what he
said must be true, because it entirely consisted of first principles.

After having thus preliminarily descanted for about two hours,
Popanilla informed His Majesty that he was unused to public speaking,
and then proceeded to show that the grand characteristic of the social
action of the Isle of Fantaisie was a total want of development. This
he observed with equal sorrow and surprise; he respected the wisdom of
their ancestors; at the same time, no one could deny that they were
both barbarous and ignorant; he highly esteemed also the constitution,
but regretted that it was not in the slightest degree adapted to the
existing want of society; he was not for destroying any establishments,
but, on the contrary, was for courteously affording them the
opportunity of self-dissolution. He finished by re-urging, in strong
terms, the immediate development of the island. In the first place, a
great metropolis must be instantly built, because a great metropolis
always produces a great demand; and, moreover, Popanilla had some legal
doubts whether a country without a capital could in fact be considered
a state. Apologizing for having so long trespassed upon the attention
of the assembly, he begged distinctly to state that he had no wish to
see His Majesty and his fellow-subjects adopt these new principles
without examination and without experience. They might commence on a
small scale; let them cut down their forests, and by turning them into
ships and houses discover the utility of timber; let the whole island
be dug up; let canals be cut, docks be built, and all the elephants be
killed directly, that their teeth might yield an immediate article for
exportation. A short time would afford a sufficient trial. In the
meanwhile, they would not be pledged to further measures, and these
might be considered "only as an experiment". Taking for granted that
these principles would be acted on, and taking into consideration the
site of the island in the map of the world, the nature and extent of
its resources, its magnificent race of human beings, its varieties of
the animal creation, its wonderfully fine timber, its undeveloped
mineral treasures, the spaciousness of its harbours, and its various
facilities for extended international communication, Popanilla had no
hesitation in saying that a short time could not elapse ere, instead of
passing their lives in a state of unprofitable ease and useless
enjoyment, they might reasonably expect to be the terror and
astonishment of the universe, and to be able to annoy every nation of
any consequence.

Here, observing a smile upon His Majesty's countenance, Popanilla told
the king that he was only a chief magistrate, and he had no more right
to laugh at him than a parish constable. He concluded by observing
that although what he at present urged might appear strange,
nevertheless, if the listeners had been acquainted with the characters
and cases of Galileo and Turgot, they would then have seen, as a
necessary consequence, that his system was perfectly correct, and he
himself a man of extraordinary merit.

Here the chief magistrate, no longer daring to smile, burst into a fit
of laughter, and, turning to his courtiers, said: "I have not an idea
what this man is talking about, but I know that he makes my head ache.
Give me a cup of wine, and let us have a dance."

All applauded the royal proposition; and pushing Popanilla from one to
another, until he was fairly hustled to the brink of the lagoon, they
soon forgot the existence of this bore; in one word, he was cut. When
Popanillo found himself standing alone, and looking grave while all the
rest were gay, he began to suspect that he was not so influential a
personage as he previously imagined. Rather crestfallen, he sneaked
home; and consoled himself for having nobody to speak to by reading
some amusing "Conversations on Political Economy".

[Footnote 233: _Substance of a speech_, in Parliamentary language,
means a printed edition of an harangue which contains all that was
uttered in the House, and about as much again.]




    From _Dramatic Lyrics_; written in 1842.


  She should never have looked at me if she meant I should not love her.
  There are plenty ... men, you call such, I suppose ... she may discover.
  All her soul to, if she pleases, and yet leave much as she found them;
  But I'm not so, and she knew it when she fixed me, glancing round them.


  What? To fix me thus meant nothing? But I can't tell (there's my
  What her look said!--no vile cant, sure, about "need to strew the
  Of some lone shore with its pearl-seed, that the sea feels"--no
          "strange yearning
  That such souls have, most to lavish where there's chance of least


  Oh, we're sunk enough here, God knows! but not quite so sunk that
  Sure tho' seldom, are denied us, when the spirit's true endowments
  Stand out plainly from its false ones, and apprise it if pursuing
  Or the right way or the wrong way, to its triumph or undoing.


  There are flashes struck from midnights, there are fire-flames
          noondays kindle,
  Whereby piled-up honours perish, whereby swollen ambitions dwindle,
  While just this or that poor impulse, which for once had play unstifled,
  Seems the sole work of a life-time that away the rest have trifled.


  Doubt you if, in some such moment, as she fixed me, she felt clearly,
  Ages past the soul existed, here an age 'tis resting merely,
  And hence fleets again for ages: while the true end, sole and single,
  It stops here for is, this love-way, with some other soul to mingle?


  Else it loses what it lived for, and eternally must lose it;
  Better ends may be in prospect, deeper blisses (if you choose it),
  But this life's end and this love-bliss have been lost here. Doubt you
  This she felt as, looking at me, mine and her souls rushed together?


  Oh, observe! Of course, next moment, the world's honours, in derision,
  Trampled out the light for ever. Never fear but there's provision
  Of the devil's to quench knowledge, lest we walk the earth in rapture!
  --Making those who catch God's secret, just so much more prize their


  Such am I: the secret's mine now! She has lost me, I have gained her;
  Her soul's mine: and thus, grown perfect, I shall pass my life's
  Life will just hold out the proving both our powers, alone and blended:
  And then, come next life quickly! This world's use will have been ended.


    From _Dramatic Lyrics_; written in 1845.


  Just for a handful of silver he left us,
    Just for a riband to stick in his coat--
  Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,
    Lost all the others, she lets us devote;
  They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver,
    So much was theirs who so little allowed:
  How all our copper had gone for his service!
    Rags--were they purple, his heart had been proud!
  We that had loved him so, followed him, honoured him,
    Lived in his mild and magnificent eye,
  Learned his great language, caught his clear accents,
    Made him our pattern to live and to die?
  Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us,
    Burns, Shelley, were with us,--they watch from their graves!
  He alone breaks from the van and the freemen,
    He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves!


  We shall march prospering,--not thro' his presence;
    Songs may inspirit us,--not from his lyre;
  Deeds will be done,--while he boasts his quiescence,
    Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire.
  Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,
    One task more declined, one more footpath untrod,
  One more devil's-triumph and sorrow for angels,
    One wrong more to man, one more insult to God!
  Life's night begins: let him never come back to us!
    There would be doubt, hesitation and pain,
  Forced praise on our part--the glimmer of twilight,
    Never glad confident morning again!
  Best fight on well, for we taught him--strike gallantly,
    Menace our heart ere we master his own;
  Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us
    Pardoned in heaven, the first by the throne!




    Published among Thackeray's "Ballads" under the sub-heading "Lines
    written to an Album Print".

  As on this pictured page I look,
  This pretty tale of line and hook,
  As though it were a novel-book,
    Amuses and engages:
  I know them both, the boy and girl;
  She is the daughter of the Earl,
  The lad (that has his hair in curl)
    My lord the County's page is.

  A pleasant place for such a pair!
  The fields lie basking in the glare;
  No breath of wind the heavy air
    Of lazy summer quickens.
  Hard by you see the castle tall;
  The village nestles round the wall,
  As round about the hen its small
    Young progeny of chickens.

  It is too hot to pace the keep;
  To climb the turret is too steep;
  My lord the Earl is dozing deep,
    His noonday dinner over:
  The postern warder is asleep
  (Perhaps they've bribed him not to peep):
  And so from out the gate they creep;
    And cross the fields of clover.

  Their lines into the brook they launch;
  He lays his cloak upon a branch,
  To guarantee his Lady Blanche
    's delicate complexion:
  He takes his rapier from his haunch,
  That beardless, doughty champion staunch;
  He'd drill it through the rival's paunch
    That question'd his affection!

  O heedless pair of sportsmen slack!
  You never mark, though trout or jack,
  Or little foolish stickleback,
    Your baited snares may capture.
  What care has _she_ for line and hook?
  She turns her back upon the brook,
  Upon her lover's eyes to look
    In sentimental rapture.

  O loving pair! as thus I gaze
  Upon the girl who smiles always,
  The little hand that ever plays
    Upon the lover's shoulder;
  In looking at your pretty shapes,
  A sort of envious wish escapes
  (Such as the Fox had for the Grapes)
    The Poet, your beholder.

  To be brave, handsome, twenty-two;
  With nothing else on earth to do,
  But all day long to bill and coo:
    It were a pleasant calling.
  And had I such a partner sweet;
  A tender heart for mine to beat,
  A gentle hand my clasp to meet;--
  I'd let the world flow at my feet,
    And never heed its brawling.


    This is one of the most popular of the famous Roundabout Papers
    written by Thackeray for the _Cornhill Magazine_, of which he was
    the first editor.

Where have I just read of a game played at a country house? The party
assembles round a table with pens, ink, and paper. Some one narrates a
tale containing more or less incidents and personages. Each person of
the company then writes down, to the best of his memory and ability,
the anecdote just narrated, and finally the papers are to be read out.
I do not say I should like to play often at this game, which might
possibly be a tedious and lengthy pastime, not by any means so amusing
as smoking a cigar in the conservatory; or even listening to the young
ladies playing their piano-pieces; or to Hobbs and Nobbs lingering
round the bottle and talking over the morning's run with the hounds;
but surely it is a moral and ingenious sport. They say the variety of
narratives is often very odd and amusing. The original story becomes so
changed and distorted that at the end of all the statements you are
puzzled to know where the truth is at all. As time is of small
importance to the cheerful persons engaged in this sport, perhaps a
good way of playing it would be to spread it over a couple of years.
Let the people who played the game in '60 all meet and play it once
more in '61, and each write his story over again. Then bring out your
original and compare notes. Not only will the stories differ from each
other, but the writers will probably differ from themselves. In the
course of the year the incidents will grow or will dwindle strangely.
The least authentic of the statements will be so lively or so
malicious, or so neatly put, that it will appear most like the truth. I
like these tales and sportive exercises. I had begun a little print
collection once. I had Addison in his nightgown in bed at Holland
House, requesting young Lord Warwick to remark how a Christian should
die. I had Cambronne clutching his cocked hat, and uttering the
immortal _La Garde meurt et ne se rend pas_. I had the _Vengeur_ going
down, and all the crew hurraying like madmen. I had Alfred toasting the
muffin: Curtius (Haydon) jumping into the gulf; with extracts from
Napoleon's bulletins, and a fine authentic portrait of Baron

What man who has been before the public at all has not heard similar
wonderful anecdotes regarding himself and his own history? In these
humble essaykins I have taken leave to egotize. I cry out about the
shoes which pinch me, and, as I fancy, more naturally and pathetically
than if my neighbour's corns were trodden under foot. I prattle about
the dish which I love, the wine which I like, the talk I heard
yesterday--about Brown's absurd airs--Jones's ridiculous elation when
he thinks he has caught me in a blunder (a part of the fun, you see, is
that Jones will read this, and will perfectly well know that I mean
him, and that we shall meet and grin at each other with entire
politeness). This is not the highest kind of speculation, I confess,
but it is a gossip which amuses some folks. A brisk and honest
small-beer will refresh those who do not care for the frothy
outpourings of heavier taps. A two of clubs may be a good handy little
card sometimes, and able to tackle a king of diamonds, if it is a
little trump. Some philosophers get their wisdom with deep thought, and
out of ponderous libraries; I pick up my small crumbs of cogitation at
a dinner-table; or from Mrs. Mary and Miss Louisa, as they are
prattling over their five-o'clock tea.

Well, yesterday at dinner, Jucundus was good enough to tell me a story
about myself, which he had heard from a lady of his acquaintance, to
whom I send my best compliments. The tale is this. At nine o'clock on
the evening of the 31st of November last, just before sunset, I was
seen leaving No. 96 Abbey Road, St. John's Wood, leading two little
children by the hand, one of them in a nankeen pelisse, and the other
having a mole on the third finger of his left hand (she thinks it was
the third finger, but is quite sure it was the left hand). Thence I
walked with them to Charles Boroughbridge's, pork and sausage man, No.
29 Upper Theresa Road. Here, whilst I left the little girl innocently
eating a polony in the front shop, I and Boroughbridge retired with the
boy into the back parlour, where Mrs. Boroughbridge was playing
cribbage. She put up the cards and boxes, took out a chopper and a
napkin, and we cut the little boy's little throat (which he bore with
great pluck and resolution), and made him into sausage-meat by the aid
of Purkis's excellent sausage-machine. The little girl at first could
not understand her brother's absence, but, under the pretence of taking
her to see Mr. Fechter in _Hamlet_, I led her down to the New River at
Sadler's Wells, where a body of a child in a nankeen pelisse was
subsequently found, and has never been recognized to the present day.
And this Mrs. Lynx can aver, because she saw the whole transaction with
her own eyes, as she told Mr. Jucundus.

I have altered the little details of the anecdote somewhat. But this
story is, I vow and declare, as true as Mrs. Lynx's. Gracious goodness!
how do lies begin? What are the averages of lying? Is the same amount
of lies told about every man, and do we pretty much all tell the same
amount of lies? Is the average greater in Ireland than in Scotland, or
_vice versâ_--among women than among men? Is this a lie I am telling
now? If I am talking about you, the odds are, perhaps, that it is. I
look back at some which have been told about me, and speculate on them
with thanks and wonder. Dear friends have told them of me, have told
them to me of myself. Have they not to and of you, dear friend? A
friend of mine was dining at a large dinner of clergymen, and a story,
as true as the sausage story above given, was told regarding me, by one
of those reverend divines in whose frocks sit some anile chatterboxes,
as any man who knows this world knows. They take the privilege of their
gown. They cabal, and tattle, and hiss, and cackle comminations under
their breath. I say the old women of the other sex are not more
talkative or more mischievous than some of these. "Such a man ought not
to be spoken to", says Gobemouche, narrating the story--and such a
story! "And I am surprised he is admitted into society at all." Yes,
dear Gobemouche, but the story wasn't true: and I had no more done the
wicked deed in question than I had run away with the Queen of Sheba.

I have always longed to know what that story was (or what collection of
histories), which a lady had in her mind to whom a servant of mine
applied for a place, when I was breaking up my establishment once, and
going abroad. Brown went with a very good character from us, which,
indeed, she fully deserved after several years' faithful service. But
when Mrs. Jones read the name of the person out of whose employment
Brown came, "That is quite sufficient", says Mrs. Jones. "You may go. I
will never take a servant out of _that_ house." Ah, Mrs. Jones, how I
should like to know what that crime was, or what that series of
villainies, which made you determine never to take a servant out of my
house! Do you believe in the story of the little boy and the sausages?
Have you swallowed that little minced infant? Have you devoured that
young Polonius? Upon my word you have maw enough. We somehow greedily
gobble down all stories in which the characters of our friends are
chopped up, and believe wrong of them without inquiry. In a late serial
work written by this hand, I remember making some pathetic remarks
about our propensity to believe ill of our neighbours--and I remember
the remarks, not because they were valuable, or novel, or ingenious,
but because, within three days after they had appeared in print, the
moralist who wrote them, walking home with a friend, heard a story
about another friend, which story he straightway believed, and which
story was scarcely more true than that sausage fable which is here set
down. _O mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!_ But though the preacher trips,
shall not the doctrine be good? Yea, brethren! Here be the rods. Look
you, here are the scourges. Choose me a nice, long, swishing, buddy
one, light and well-poised in the handle, thick and bushy at the tail.
Pick me out a whip-cord thong with some dainty knots in it--and now--we
all deserve it--whish, whish, whish! Let us cut into each other all

A favourite liar and servant of mine was a man I once had to drive a
brougham. He never came to my house, except for orders, and once when
he helped to wait at dinner, so clumsily that it was agreed we would
dispense with his further efforts. The (job) brougham horse used to
look dreadfully lean and tired, and the livery-stable keeper complained
that we worked him too hard. Now, it turned out that there was a
neighbouring butcher's lady who liked to ride in a brougham; and
Tomkins lent her ours, drove her cheerfully to Richmond and Putney,
and, I suppose, took out a payment in mutton-chops. We gave this good
Tomkins wine and medicine for his family when sick--we supplied him
with little comforts and extras which need not now be remembered--and
the grateful creature rewarded us by informing some of our tradesmen
whom he honoured with his custom, "Mr. Roundabout? Lor' bless you! I
carry him up to bed drunk every night in the week". He, Tomkins, being
a man of seven stone weight and five feet high; whereas his employer
was--but here modesty interferes, and I decline to enter into the
avoirdupois question.

Now, what was Tomkin's motive for the utterance and dissemination of
these lies? They could further no conceivable end or interest of his
own. Had they been true stories, Tomkin's master would, and reasonably,
have been still more angry than at the fables. It was but suicidal
slander on the part of Tomkins--must come to a discovery--must end in a
punishment. The poor wretch had got his place under, as it turned out,
a fictitious character. He might have stayed in it, for of course
Tomkins had a wife and poor innocent children. He might have had bread,
beer, bed, character, coats, coals. He might have nestled in our little
island, comfortably sheltered from the storms of life; but we were
compelled to cast him out, and send him driving, lonely, perishing,
tossing, starving, to sea--to drown. To drown? There be other modes of
death whereby rogues die. Good-bye, Tomkins. And so the night-cap is
put on, and the bolt is drawn for poor T.

Suppose we were to invite volunteers amongst our respected readers to
send in little statements of the lies which they know have been told
about themselves: what a heap of correspondence, what an exaggeration
of malignities, what a crackling bonfire of incendiary falsehoods,
might we not gather together! And a lie once set going, having the
breath of life breathed into it by the father of lying, and ordered to
run its diabolical little course, lives with a prodigious vitality. You
say, _Magna est veritas et proevalebit_. Psha! great lies are as great
as great truths, and prevail constantly, and day after day. Take an
instance or two out of my own little budget. I sit near a gentleman at
dinner, and the conversation turns upon a certain anonymous literary
performance which at the time is amusing the town. "Oh," says the
gentleman, "everybody knows who wrote that paper: it is Momus's." I was
a young author at the time, perhaps proud of my bantling: "I beg your
pardon," I say, "it was written by your humble servant." "Indeed!" was
all that the man replied, and he shrugged his shoulders, turned his
back, and talked to his other neighbour. I never heard sarcastic
incredulity more finely conveyed than by that "Indeed". "Impudent
liar," the gentleman's face said, as clear as face could speak. Where
was Magna Veritas, and how did she prevail then? She lifted up her
voice, she made her appeal, and she was kicked out of court. In New
York I read a newspaper criticism one day (by an exile from our shores
who has taken up his abode in the Western Republic), commenting upon a
letter of mine which had appeared in a contemporary volume, and wherein
it was stated that the writer was a lad in such and such a year, and in
point of fact, I was, at the period spoken of, nineteen years of age.
"Falsehood, Mr. Roundabout," says the noble critic: "you were then not
a lad; you were six-and-twenty years of age." You see he knew better
than papa and mamma and parish register. It was easier for him to think
and say I lied, on a twopenny matter connected with my own affairs,
than to imagine he was mistaken. Years ago, in a time when we were very
mad wags, Arcturus and myself met a gentleman from China who knew the
language. We began to speak Chinese against him. We said we were born
in China. We were two to one. We spoke the mandarin dialect with
perfect fluency. We had the company with us; as in the old, old days,
the squeak of the real pig was voted not to be so natural as the squeak
of the sham pig. O Arcturus, the sham pig squeaks in our streets now to
the applause of multitudes, and the real porker grunts unheeded in his

I once talked for some little time with an amiable lady: it was for the
first time; and I saw an expression of surprise on her kind face which
said as plainly as face could say, "Sir, do you know that up to this
moment I have had a certain opinion of you, and that I begin to think I
have been mistaken or misled?" I not only know that she had heard evil
reports of me, but I know who told her--one of those acute fellows, my
dear brethren, of whom we spoke in a previous sermon, who has found me
out--found out actions which I never did, found out thoughts and
sayings which I never spoke, and judged me accordingly. Ah, my lad!
have I found _you_ out? _O risum teneatis_. Perhaps the person I am
accusing is no more guilty than I.

How comes it that the evil which men say spreads so widely and lasts so
long, whilst our good kind words don't seem somehow to take root and
bear blossom? Is it that in the stony hearts of mankind these pretty
flowers can't find a place to grow? Certain it is that scandal is good
brisk talk, whereas praise of one's neighbour is by no means lively
hearing. An acquaintance grilled, scored, devilled, and served with
mustard and cayenne pepper, excites the appetite; whereas a slice of
cold friend with currant jelly is but a sickly, unrelishing meat.

Now, such being the case, my dear worthy Mrs. Candour, in whom I know
there are a hundred good and generous qualities: it being perfectly
clear that the good things which we say of our neighbours don't
fructify, but somehow perish in the ground where they are dropped,
whilst the evil words are wafted by all the winds of scandal, take root
in all soils, and flourish amazingly--seeing, I say, that this
conversation does not give us a fair chance, suppose we give up
censoriousness altogether, and decline uttering our opinions about
Brown, Jones, and Robinson (and Mesdames B., J., and R.) at all. We may
be mistaken about every one of them, as, please goodness, those
anecdote-mongers against whom I have uttered my meek protest have been
mistaken about me. We need not go to the extent of saying that Mrs.
Manning was an amiable creature, much misunderstood; and Jack Thurtell
a gallant unfortunate fellow, not near so black as he was painted; but
we will try and avoid personalities altogether in talk, won't we? We
will range the fields of science, dear madam, and communicate to each
other the pleasing results of our studies. We will, if you please,
examine the infinitesimal wonders of nature through the microscope. We
will cultivate entomology. We will sit with our arms round each other's
waists on the _pons asinorum_, and see the stream of mathematics flow
beneath. We will take refuge in cards, and play at "beggar my
neighbour", not abuse my neighbour. We will go to the Zoological
Gardens and talk freely about the gorilla and his kindred, but not talk
about people who can talk in their turn. Suppose we praise the High
Church? we offend the Low Church. The Broad Church? High and Low are
both offended. What do you think of Lord Derby as a politician? And
what is your opinion of Lord Palmerston? If you please, will you play
me those lovely variations of "In a cottage near a wood"? It is a
charming air (you know it in French, I suppose? _Ah! te dirai-je,
maman?_) and was a favourite with poor Marie Antoinette. I say "poor",
because I have a right to speak with pity of a sovereign who was
renowned for so much beauty and so much misfortune. But as for giving
any opinion on her conduct, saying that she was good or bad, or
indifferent, goodness forbid! We have agreed we will not be censorious.
Let us have a game at cards--at _écarté_, if you please. You deal. I
ask for cards. I lead the deuce of clubs....

What? there is no deuce! Deuce take it! What? People _will_ go on
talking about their neighbours, and won't have their mouths stopped by
cards, or ever so much microscopes and aquariums? Ah, my poor dear Mrs.
Candour, I agree with you. By the way, did you ever see anything like
Lady Godiva Trotter's dress last night? People _will_ go on chattering,
although we hold our tongues; and, after all, my good soul, what will
their scandal matter a hundred years hence?




  As I sat at the Café I said to myself,
  They may talk as they please about what they call pelf,
  They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking,
  But help it I cannot, I cannot help thinking
      How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      How pleasant it is to have money.

  I sit at my table _en grand seigneur_,
  And when I have done, throw a crust to the poor,
  Not only the pleasure itself of good living,
  But also the pleasure of now and then giving:
      So pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      So pleasant it is to have money.

  They may talk as they please about what they call pelf,
  And how one ought never to think of one's self,
  How pleasures of thought surpass eating and drinking,
  My pleasure of thought is the pleasure of thinking
      How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      How pleasant it is to have money.


  Come along, 'tis the time, ten or more minutes past,
  And he who came first had to wait for the last;
  The oysters ere this had been in and been out;
  While I have been sitting and thinking about
      How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      How pleasant it is to have money.

  A clear soup with eggs; _voilà tout_; of the fish
  The _filets de sole_ are a moderate dish
  _À la Orly_, but you're for red mullet, you say:
  By the gods of good fare, who can question to-day
      How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      How pleasant it is to have money.

  After oysters, Sauterne; then Sherry; Champagne,
  Ere one bottle goes, comes another again;
  Fly up, thou bold cork, to the ceiling above,
  And tell to our ears in the sound that we love
      How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      How pleasant it is to have money.

  I've the simplest of palates; absurd it may be,
  But I almost could dine on a _poulet-au-riz_,
  Fish and soup and omelette and that--but the deuce--
  There were to be woodcocks, and not _Charlotte Russe_!
      So pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      So pleasant it is to have money.

  Your Chablis is acid, away with the hock,
  Give me the pure juice of the purple Médoc;
  St. Peray is exquisite; but, if you please,
  Some Burgundy just before tasting the cheese.
      So pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      So pleasant it is to have money.

  As for that, pass the bottle, and hang the expense--
  I've seen it observed by a writer of sense,
  That the labouring classes could scarce live a day,
  If people like us didn't eat, drink, and pay.
      So useful it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      So useful it is to have money.

  One ought to be grateful, I quite apprehend,
  Having dinner and supper and plenty to spend,
  And so suppose now, while the things go away,
  By way of a grace we all stand up and say
      How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      How pleasant it is to have money.


  I cannot but ask, in the park and the streets,
  When I look at the number of persons one meets,
  Whate'er in the world the poor devils can do
  Whose fathers and mothers can't give them a _sous_.
      So needful it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      So needful it is to have money.

  I ride, and I drive, and I care not a d--n,
  The people look up and they ask who I am;
  And if I should chance to run over a cad,
  I can pay for the damage, if ever so bad.
      So useful it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      So useful it is to have money.

  It was but this winter I came up to town,
  And already I'm gaining a sort of renown;
  Find my way to good houses without much ado,
  Am beginning to see the nobility too.
      So useful it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      So useful it is to have money.

  O dear what a pity they ever should lose it,
  Since they are the people who know how to use it;
  So easy, so stately, such manners, such dinners;
  And yet, after all, it is we are the winners.
      So needful it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      So needful it is to have money.

  It is all very well to be handsome and tall,
  Which certainly makes you look well at a ball,
  It's all very well to be clever and witty.
  But if you are poor, why it's only a pity.
      So needful it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      So needful it is to have money.

  There's something undoubtedly in a fine air,
  To know how to smile and be able to stare,
  High breeding is something, but well bred or not,
  In the end the one question is, what have you got?
      So needful it is to have money, heigh-ho!
      So needful it is to have money.

  And the angels in pink and the angels in blue,
  In muslins and moirés so lovely and new,
  What is it they want, and so wish you to guess,
  But if you have money, the answer is yes.
      So needful, they tell you, is money, heigh-ho!
      So needful it is to have money.




    The subtle mingling of pathos and satire in this poem evoked the
    warm admiration of Mr. J. Russell Lowell. This is published by
    special permission of Messrs. G. Bell & Sons, to whom thanks are

  Often, when o'er tree and turret,
    Eve a dying radiance flings,
  By that ancient pile I linger,
    Known familiarly as "King's".
  And the ghosts of days departed
    Rise, and in my burning breast
  All the undergraduate wakens,
    And my spirit is at rest.

  What, but a revolting fiction,
    Seems the actual result
  Of the Census's inquiries,
    Made upon the 15th ult.?
  Still my soul is in its boyhood;
    Nor of year or changes recks,
  Though my scalp is almost hairless,
    And my figure grows convex.

  Backward moves the kindly dial;
    And I'm numbered once again
  With those noblest of their species
    Called emphatically "Men";
  Loaf, as I have loafed aforetime,
    Through the streets, with tranquil mind,
  And a long-backed fancy-mongrel
    Trailing casually behind.

  Past the Senate-house I saunter,
    Whistling with an easy grace;
  Past the cabbage stalks that carpet
    Still the beefy market-place;
  Poising evermore the eye-glass
    In the light sarcastic eye,
  Lest, by chance, some breezy nursemaid
    Pass, without a tribute, by.

  Once, an unassuming Freshman,
    Thro' these wilds I wandered on,
  Seeing in each house a College,
    Under every cap a Don;
  Each perambulating infant
    Had a magic in its squall,
  For my eager eye detected
    Senior Wranglers in them all.

  By degrees my education
    Grew, and I became as others;
  Learned to blunt my moral feelings
    By the aid of Bacon Brothers;
  Bought me tiny boots of Mortlock,
    And colossal prints of Roe;
  And ignored the proposition,
    That both time and money go.

  Learned to work the wary dogcart,
    Artfully thro' King's Parade;
  Dress, and steer a boat, and sport with
    Amaryllis in the shade:
  Struck, at Brown's, the dashing hazard;
    Or (more curious sport than that)
  Dropped, at Callaby's, the terrier
    Down upon the prisoned rat.

  I have stood serene on Fenner's
    Ground, indifferent to blisters,
  While the Buttress of the period
    Bowled me his peculiar twisters:
  Sung, "We won't go home till morning";
    Striven to part my backhair straight;
  Drunk (not lavishly) of Miller's
    Old dry wines at 78/:--

  When within my veins the blood ran,
    And the curls were on my brow,
  I did, oh ye undergraduates,
    Much as ye are doing now.
  Wherefore bless ye, O beloved ones:--
    Now into mine inn must I,
  Your "poor moralist", betake me,
    In my "solitary fly".

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