« ZurückWeiter »
The cryer was order'd to dismiss
Begin, my Muse. First from our bowers The court, so made his last yes!
We sally forth at different hours ; The goddess would no longer wait;
At seven the Dean in night-gown drest, But, rising from her chair of state,
Goes round the house to wake the rest; Left all below at six and seven,
At nine, grave Nim, and George facetious, Harness'd her doves, and flew to Heaven.
Go to the Dean, to read Lucretius;
And kisses George, and ends our lectures ;
And when she has him by the neck fast, ON THE DEATH OF DEMAR, THE USURER, Hauls him, and scolds us down to breakfast. Who died the 6th of July, 1720.
We squander there an hour or more,
And then all hands, boys, to the oar; Know all men by these presents, Death the tamer,
All, heteroclite Dan except, By mortgage, hath secur’d the corpse of Demar:
Who neither time nor order kept, Nor can four hundred thousand stirling pound
But, by peculiar whimsies drawn, Redeem him from his prison under ground.
Peeps in the ponds to look for spawn; His heirs might well, of all his wealth possessid,
O'ersees the work, or Dragon rows, Bestow to bury him one iron chest.
Or mars a text, or mends his hose ; Plutus the god of wealth will joy to know
Or- but proceed we in our journal His faithful steward in the shades below.
At two, or after, we return all : He walk'd the streets, and wore a threadbare cloak;
From the four elements ascending, He din’d and supp'd at charge of other folk:
Warn’d by the bell, all folks come trembling: And by his looks, had he held out his palms,
From airy garrets some descend, He might be thought an object fit for alms.
Some from the lake's remotest end; So, to the poor, if he refus'd his pelf,
My Lord and Dean the fire forsake ; He us'd them full as kindly as himself.
Dan leaves the earthly spade and rake: Where'er he went, he never saw his betters;
The loiterers quake, no corner hides them, Lords, knights, and squires, were all his humble
And Lady Betty soundly chides them. And under hand and seal the Irish nation (debtors;
Now water's brought, and dinner's done : Were forc'd to own to him their obligation.
With “ Church and King" the lady's gone; He that could once have half a kingdom bought,
(Not reckoning half an hour we pass In half a minute is not worth a groat.
In talking o'er a moderate glass).
Dan, growing drowsy, like a thief
Steals off to dose away his beef; A golden monument would not be right,
And this must pass for reading HammondBecause we wish the earth upon him light.
While George and Dean go to backgammon. Oh London tavern! thou hast lost a friend,
George, Nim, and Dean, set out at four, Though in thy walls he ne'er did farthing spend:
And then again, boys, to the oar. He touch'd the pence, when others touch'd the pot;
But when the sun goes to the deep, The hand that sign’d the mortgage paid the shot.
(Not to disturb him in his sleep, Old as he was, no vulgar known disease
Or make a rumbling o'er his head, On him could ever boast a power to seize;
His candle out and he a-bed) “ But, as he weigh'd his gold, grim Death in spite
We watch his motions to a minute, Cast in his dart, which made three moidores light;
And leave the flood when he goes in it. And, as he saw his darling money fail,
Now stinted in the shortening day, Blew his last breath, to sink the lighter scale.”
We go to prayers, and then to play, He who so long was current, 'twould be strange
Till supper comes; and after that If he should now be cry'd down since his change.
We sit an hour to drink and chat. The sexton shall green sods on thee bestow ;
'Tis late—the old and younger pairs, Alas, the sexton is thy banker now !
By Adam lighted, walk up stairs. A dismal banker must that banker be,
The weary Dean goes to his chamber;
And Nim and Dan to garret clamber.
The curtain falls, and all is done.
I might have mention'd several facts, PART OF A SUMMER SPENT AT GAULSTOWN-HOUSE.
Like episodes between the acts; Thalia, tell in sober lays,
And tell who loses and who wins, How George, Nim, Dan, Dean, pass their days; Who gets a cold, who breaks his shins; And, should our Gaulstown's art grow fallow, How Dan caught nothing in his net, Yet, Neget quis carmina Gallo?
And how the boat was overset. Here (by the way) by Gallus mean I
For brevity I have retrench'd Not Sheridan, but friend Delany.
How in the lake the Dean was drench'd:
It would be an exploit to brag on,
MARY THE COOK-MAID'S LETTER TO How valiant George rode o'er the Dragon ;
DR. SHERIDAN. 1723.
Well, if ever I saw such another man since my How Nim (no hunter e'er could match him)
mother bound my head ! Still brings us hares when he can catch them:
You a gentleman! marry come up! I wonder where How skilfully Dan mends his nets ;
you were bred. How fortune fails him when he sets:
I'm sure such words do not become a man of your Or how the Dean delights to vex
cloth; The ladies, and lampoon their sex.
I would not give such language to a dog, faith and I might have told how oft Dean Percivale
troth. Displays his pedantry unmerciful;
Yes, you callid my master a knave: fie, Mr. SheHow haughtily he cocks his nose,
ridan! 'tis a shame To tell what every school-boy knows;
For' a parson, who should know better things, to And with his finger and his thumb,
come out with such a name. Explaining, strikes opposers dumb :
Knave in your teeth, Mr. Sheridan! 'tis both a But now there needs no more be said on't,
shame and a sin; Nor how his wife, that female pedant,
And the Dean, my master, is an honester man than Shows all her secrets of house-keeping;
you and all your kin: For candles how she trucks her dripping;
He has more goodness in his little finger, than you Was forc'd to send three miles for yeast,
have in your whole body: To brew her ale, and raise her paste;
My master is a parsonable man, and not a spindleTells every thing that you can think of,
shank'd hoddy-doddy. How she cur’d Charley of the chincough ;
And now, whereby I find you would fain make an What gave her brats and pigs the measles,
[goose ; And how her doves were kill'd by weasels :
Because my master one day, in anger, call'd you How Jowler howl'd, and what a fright
Which, and I am sure I have been his servant four She had with dreams the other night.
years since October, But now, since I have gone so far on,
And he never called me worse than sweet-heart A word or two of Lord Chief Baron;
drunk or sober: And tell how little weight he sets
Not that I know his reverence was ever concern'd On all Whig papers and Gazettes;
to my knowledge, But for the politics of Pue,
Though you and your come-rogues keep him out so Thinks every syllable is true.
late in your college. And since he owns the King of Sweden
You say you will eat grass on his grave: a chrisIs dead at last, without evading,
tian eat grass ! Now all his hopes are in the Czar:
Whereby you now confess yourself to be a goose Why, Mu-covy is not so far: Down the Black Sea, and up the Streights,
But that's as much as to say, that my master should And in a month he's at your gates ;
die before ye; Perhaps, from what the packet brings,
Well, well, that 's as God pleases; and I don't By Christmas we shall see strange things.”
believe that's a true story: Why should I tell of ponds and drains,
And so say I told you so, and you may go tell my What carps we met with for our pains ;
master; what care 1? Of sparrows tame, and nuts innumerable
And I don't care who knows it; 'tis all one to Mary. To choke the girls, and to consume a rabble ? Every body knows that I love to tell truth and But you, who are a scholar, know
shame the devil; How transient all things are below,
I am but a poor servant; but I think gentlefolks How prone to change is human life!
should be civil. Last night arriv'd Clem and his wife
Besides, you found fault with our victuals one day This grand event hath broke our measures ;
that Their reign began with cruel seizures:
I remember it was on a Tuesday of all days in the The Dean must with his quilt supply
year. The bed in which those tyrants lie:
And Saunders the man says you are always jesting Nim lost his wig-block, Dan bis jordan
and mocking: (My lady says she can't afford one):
Mary, said he, (one day as I was mending my George is half-scar'd out of his wits,
master's stocking) For Clem gets all the dainty bits.
My master is so fond of that minister that keeps the Henceforth expect a different survey,
schoolThis house will soon turn topsy-turvy:
I thought my master a wise man, but that man They talk of further alterations,
makes him a fool. Which causes many speculations.
Saunders, said I, I would rather than a quart of ale
or an ass:
you was here:
He would come into our kitchen, and I would pin And but neglects to warm her hair lace, a dish-clout to his tail.
She gets a cold as sure as death, And now I must go, and get Saunders to direct And vows she scarce can fetch her breath; this letter;
Admires how modest women can For I write but a sad scrawl; but my sister Marget, Be so robustious, like a man. she writes better.
In party, furious to her power; Well, but I must run and make the bed, before my A bitter Whig, or Tory sour; master comes from prayers;
Her arguments directly tend And see now, it strikes ten, and I hear him coming Against the side she would defend; up stairs;
Will prove herself a Tory plain, Whereof I could say more to your verses, if I could From principles the Whigs maintain ; write written hand:
And to defend the Whiggish cause, And so I remain, in a civil way, your servant to Her topics from the Tories draws. command,
O yes! if any man can find
Let them be sent to Mrs. Harding;
She'll pay the charges to a farthing; THE FURNITURE OF A WOMAN'S MIND.
Take notice, she has my commission 1727.
To add them in the next edition ; A set of phrases learnt by rote ;
They may out-sell a better thing:
So, halloo, boys; God save the king!
ON CUTTING DOWN THE OLD THORN While all she prates has nothing in it;
AT MARKET-HILL. Whole hours can with a coxcomb sit,
At Market-hill, as well appears, And take his nonsense all for wit;
By chronicle of ancient date, Her learning mounts to read a song,
There stood for many hundred years
A spacious thorn before the gate.
Hither came every village maid,
And on the boughs her garland hung; On all occasions, cut and dry;
And here, beneath the spreading shade,
Secure from satyrs sat and sung.
Sir Archibald, that valorous knight,
The lord of all the fruitful plain, And, placing raillery in railing,
Would come and listen with delight; Will tell aloud your greatest failing ;
For he was fond of rural strain. Nor make a scruple to expose
(Sir Archibald, whose favourite name Your bandy leg, or crooked nose;
Shall stand for ages on record, Can at her morning tea run o'er
By Scottish bards of highest fame,
Wise Hawthornden and Stirling's lord.)
But time with iron teeth, I ween,
Has canker'd all its branches round; Knows to a groat the lowest price;
No fruit or blossom to be seen,
Its head reclining towards the ground.
This aged, sickly, sapless thorn,
Which must, alas! no longer stand, If chance a mouse creeps in her sight,
Behold the cruel Dean in scorn Can finely counterfeit a fright;
Cuts down with sacrilegious hand. So sweetly screams, if it comes near her,
Dame Nature, when she saw the blow, She ravishes all hearts to hear her.
Astonishid, gave a dreadful shriek; Can dextrously her husband teaze,
And mother Tellus trembled so,
She scarce recover'd in a week.
The sylvan powers, with fear perplex'd,
In prudence and compassion, sent At once creating love and pity.
(For none could tell whose turn was next) If Molly happens to be careless
Sad omens of the dire event.
The magpie, lighting on the stock,
“ When thou, suspended high in air, Stood chattering with incessant din ;
Dy'st on a more ignoble tree, And with her beak gave many a knock,
(For thou shalt steal thy landlord's mare), To rouse and warn the nymph within.
Then, bloody caitiff! think on me."
The owl foresaw, in pensive mood,
The ruin of her ancient seat;
To seek a more secure retreat.
Last trolled forth the gentle swine,
To ease her itch against the stump, And dismally was heard to whine,
All as she scrubb'd her measly rump.
The nymph who dwells in every tree,
(If all be true that poets chant) Condemn’d by fate's supreme decree,
Must die with her expiring plant.
Thus, when the gentle Spina found
The thorn committed to her care Receiv'd its last and deadly wound,
She fled, and vanish'd into air.
But from the root a dismal groan
First issuing struck the murderer's ears ; And, in a shrill revengeful tone,
This prophecy he trembling hears:
“ Thou chief contriver of my fall,
Relentless Dean, to mischief born ; My kindred ost thine hide shall gall,
Thy gown and cassock oft be torn.
“ And thy confederate dame, who brags
That she condemn'd me to the fire, Shall rend her petticoats to rags,
And wound her legs with every brier.
ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT. Occasioned by reading the following Maxim in Rochefou
CAULT, “ Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis, nous trou
vons toujours quelque chose qui ne nous déplait pas."
thing that doth not displease us."
This maxim more than all the rest
If this perhaps your patience move,
We all behold with envious eyes
What poet would not grieve to see
Her end when emulation misses,
“ Nor thou, Lord Arthur, shalt escape ;
To thee I often call'd in vain, Against that assassin iu crape ;
Yet thou couldst tamely see me slain.
“ Nor, when I felt the dreadful blow,
Or chid the Dean, or pinch'd thy spouse; Since you could see me treated so
(An old retainer to your house): “ May that fell Dean, by whose command
Was form'd this Machiavelian plot, Not leave a thistle on thy land;
Then who will own thee for a Scot?
“ Pigs and fanatics, cows, and teagues,
Through all thy empire I foresee, To tear thy hedges, join in leagues,
Sworn to revenge my thorn and me. “ And now, thou wretch ordain'd by fate,
Neal Gahagen, Hibernian clown, With hatchet blunter than thy pate,
To hack my hallow'd timber down;
It gives me such a jealous fit,
But now he's quite another thing: I cry, “ Pox take him and his wit!”
I wish he may hold out till spring!" I grieve to be outdone by Gay
They hug themselves, and reason thus: In my own humorous biting way.
“ It is not yet so bad with us!” Arbuthnot is no more my friend,
In such a case, they talk in tropes, Who dares to irony pretend,
And by their fears express their hopes. Which I was born to introduce,
Some great misfortune to portend, Refin'd it first, and show'd its use.
No enemy can match a friend. St. John, as well as Pulteney, knows
With all the kindness they profess, That I had some repute for prose;
The merit of a lucky guess And, till they drove me out of date,
(When daily how-d'ye's come of course, Could maul a minister of state.
And servants answer, “ Worse and worse !") If they have mortified my pride,
Would please them better, than to tell, And made me throw my pen aside ;
That, “ God be prais'd, the Dean is well." If with such talents beaven hath bless'd 'em, Then he who prophesy'd the best, Have I not reason to detest 'em?
Approves his foresight to the rest: To all my foes, dear fortune, send
“ You know I always fear'd the worst, Thy gifts; but never to my friend :
And often told you so at first." I tamely can endure the first;
He'd rather choose that I should die, But this with envy makes me burst.
Than his predictions prove a lie. Thus much may serve by way of proem;
Not one foretells I shall recover; Proceed we therefore to our poem.
But all agree to give me over. The time is not remote when I
Yet, should some neighbour feel a pain Must by the course of nature die;
Just in the parts where I complain; When, I foresee, my special friends
How many a message would he send ! Will try to find their private ends :
What hearty prayers that I should mend! And, though 'tis hardly understood
Inquire what regimen I kept; Which way my death can do them good,
What gave me ease, and how I slept? Yet thus, methirks, I hear them speak:
And more lament when I was dead, “ See how the Dean begins to break!
Than all the snivellers round my bed. Poor gentleman, he droops apace!
My good companions, never fear; You plainly find it in his face.
For, though you may mistake a year, That old vertigo in his head
Though your prognostics run too fast, Will never leave him, till he's dead.
They must be verify'd at last. Besides, his memory decays:
Behold the fatal day arrive! He recollects not what he says;
“ How is the Dean?"-"He's just alive." He cannot call his friends to mind;
Now the departing prayer is read; Forgets the place where last he din'd;
He hardly breathes—The Dean is dead. Plies you with stories o'er and o'er;
Before the passing-bell begun, He told them fifty times before.
The news through half the town is run. How does he fancy we can sit
“ Oh! may we all for death prepare ! To hear his out-of-fashion wit?
What has he left ? and who's his heir " But he takes up with younger folks,
“ I know no more than what the news is; Who for his wine will bear his jokes.
'Tis all bequeath'd to public uses." Faith! he must make his stories shorter,
“ To public uses ! there's a whim! Or change his comrades once a quarter:
What had the public done for him? In half the time he talks them round,
Mere envy, avarice, and pride : There must another set be found.
He gave it all—but first he dy'd. “ For poetry, he's past his prime:
And had the Dean, in all the nation, He takes an hour to find a rhyme;
No worthy friend, no poor relation ? His fire is out, his wit decay'd,
So ready to do strangers good, His fancy sunk, his Muse a jade.
Forgetting his own flesh and blood !” I'd have him throw away his pen ;
Now Grub-street wits are all employ’d; But there's no talking to some men !"
With elegies the town is cloy'd: And then their tenderness appears
Some paragraph in every paper, By adding largely to my years:
To curse the Dean, or bless the Drapier. “ He's older than he would be reckon'd,
The doctors, tender of their fame, And well remembers Charles the Second.
Wisely on me lay all the blame. He hardly drinks a pint of wine ;
* We must confess, his case was nice; And that, I doubt, is no good sign.
But he would never take advice. His stomach too begins to fail :
Had he been rul’d, for aught appears, Last year we thought him strong and hale;
He might have liv'd these twenty years: