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But when he heard th' affront the fellow gave,
Knew one a man of honour, one a knave;
The prudent general turn'd it to a jest,
And begg'd, he'd take the pains to kick the rest:
Which not at present having time to do
F. Hold, sir! for God's sake, where's th' affront to
Against your worship when had S-k writ?
Or P-ge pour'd forth the torrent of his wit?
Or grant the bard whose distich all commend
[In power a servant, out of power a friend]
To W-le guilty of some venial sin;
What's that to you who ne'er was out nor in?

The priest whose flattery bedropt the crown, How hurt he you, he only stain'd the gown. And how did, pray, the florid youth offend, Whose speech you took, and gave it to a friend? P. Faith, it imports not much from whom it came; Whoever borrow'd, could not be to blame, Since the whole house did afterwards the same. Let courtly wits to wits afford supply, As hog to hog in huts of Westphaly; If one, through Nature's bounty or his lord's, Has what the frugal, dirty soil affords, From him the next receives it, thick or thin, As pure a mess almost as it came in ; The blessed benefit, not there confin'd, Drops to the third, who nuzzles close behind; From tail to mouth, they feed and they carouse: The last full fairly gives it to the house.

F. This filthy simile, this beastly line Quite turns my stomach


P. So does flattery mine: And all your courtly civet-cats can vent, Perfume to you, to me is excrement. But hear me further-Japhet, 'tis agreed, Writ not, and Chartres scarce could write or read, Ir. all the courts of Pindus guiltless quite; But pens can forge, my friend, that cannot write; And must no egg in Japhet's face be thrown, Because the deed he forg'd was not my own? Must never patriot then declaim at gin, Unless, good man! he has been fairly in? No zealous pastor blame a failing spouse, Without a staring reason on his brows? And each blasphemer quite escape the rod, Because the insult's not on man, but God?

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To all but heaven-directed hands deny'd,
The Muse may give thee, but the gods nrust guide:
Reverent I touch thee! but with honest zeal;
To rouse the watchmen of the public weal,
To Virtue's work provoke the tardy hall,
And goad the prelate slumbering in his stall
Ye tinsel insects! whom a court maintains,
That counts your beauties only by your stains,
Spin all your cobwebs o'er the eye of day!
The Muse's wing shall brush you all away:
All his grace preaches, all his lordship sings,
All that makes saints of queens, and gods of kings.
All, all but truth, drops dead-born from the press,
Like the last gazette, or the last address. 227

Ver. 185, in the MS.

I grant it, sir; and further 'tis agreed,
Japhet writ not, and Chartres scarce could read.

When black ambition stains a public cause, A monarch's sword when mad vain-glory draws, Not Waller's wreath can hide the nation's scar, Not Boileau turn the feather to a star.

Not so, when, diadem'd with rays divine, Touch'd with the flame that breaks from Virtue's Her priestess Muse forbids the good to die, [shrine, And opes the temple of eternity. There, other trophies deck the truly brave, Than such as Anstis cast into the grave; Far other stars than * and ** wear, And may descend to Mordington from Stair; (Such as on Hough's unsully'd mitre shine, Or beam, good Digby, from a heart like thine) Let Envy howl, while Heaven's whole chorus sings, And bark at honour not conferr'd by kings; Let Flattery sickening see the incense rise, Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies: Truth guards the poet, sanctifies the line, And makes immortal, verse as mean as mine.

Yes, the last pen for Freedom let me draw, When Truth stands trembling on the edge of law; Here, last of Britons! let your names be read; Are none, none living? let me praise the dead, And for that cause which made your fathers shine, Fall by the votes of their degenerate line.

F. Alas, alas! pray end what you began, And write next winter more Essays on Man.



yours."Tis true, my lord, I gave my word,

I would be with you June the third,
Chang'd it to August, and (in short)
Have kept it as you do at court.



After ver. 227, in the MS.

Where's now the star that lighted Charles to rise?
-With that which follow'd Julius to the skies.
Angels that watch'd the royal oak so well,
How chanc'd ye nod, when luckless Sorel fell?
Hence, lying miracles! reduc'd so low
As to the regal touch and papal toe;
Hence haughty Edgar's title to the main,
Britain's to France, and thine to India, Spain!

QUINQUE dies tibi pollicitus me rure futurum,
Sextilem totum mendax desideror. atqui,
Si me vivere vis sanum recteque valentem;
Quam mihi das agro, dabis ægrotare timenti,


You humour me when I am sick,
Why not when I am splenetic ?
In town, what objects could I meet?
The shops shut up in every street,
And funerals blackening all the doors,
And yet more melancholy whores :
And what a dust in every place!
And a thin court that wants your face,
And fevers raging up and down,
And W✶ and H** both in town!

"The dog-days are no more the case." 'Tis true, but Winter comes apace: Then southward let your bard retire, Hold out some months 'twixt sun and fire, And you shall see, the first warm weather, Me and the butterflies together.

My lord, your favours well I know;
'Tis with distinction you bestow;
And not to every one that comes,
Just as a Scotsman does his plums.


Pray take them, sir-enough's a feast: Eat some, and pocket up the rest"What, rob your boys? those pretty rogues! "No, sir, you'll leave them to the hogs." Thus fools with compliments besiege ye, Contriving never to oblige ye. Scatter your favours on a fop, Ingratitude's the certain crop ; And 'tis but just, I'll tell you wherefore, You give the things you never care for. A wise man always is or should

Be mighty ready to do good;

But makes a difference in his thought
Betwixt a guinea and a groat.

Now this I'll say, you'll find in me
A safe companion and a free;
But if you'd have me always near-
A word, pray, in your honour's ear.
I hope it is your resolution
To give me back my constitution!
The sprightly wit, the lively eye,
Th' engaging smile, the gaiety,
That laugh'd down many a summer sun,
And kept you up so oft till one:

Mæcenas, veniam: dum ficus prima calorque
Designatorum decorat lictoribus atris:
Dum pueris omnis pater, et niatercula pallet;
Officiosaque sedulitas, et opella forensis
Adducit febres, et testamenta resignat
Quod si bruma nives Albanis illinet agris;
Ad mare descendet vates tuus, et sibi parcet,
Contractusque leget; te, dulcis amice, reviset
Cum Zephyris, si concedes, et hirundine prima.

Non, quo more pyris vesci Calaber jubet hospes,
Tu me fecisti locupletem.
Vescere sodes.
Jam satis est. At tu quantumvis tolle. Benigne.
Non invisa feres pueris munuscula parvis.
Tain teneor dono, quam si dimittar onustus.
I't libet: hæc porcis hodie comedenda relinques.
Prodigus et stultus donat quæ speruit et odit:
Hæc seges ingratos tulit et feret omnibus annis.
Vir bonus et sapiens, dignis ait esse paratum!
Nec tamen ignorat, quid distent æra lupinis ?
Dignum præstabo me, etiam pro laude merentis?
Quod si me noles usquain disccdere; reddes
Forte latus, nigros angusta fronte capillos:
Reddes dulce loqui: reddes ridere decorum, et
Inter vina fugani Cynara mærere protervæ.

Forte per angustam tenuis vulpecula rimam

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And all that voluntary vein,
As when Belinda rais'd my strain.

A weazel once made shift to siink
In at a corn-loft through a chink;
But having amply stuff'd his skin,
Could not get out as he got in;
Which one belonging to the house
('Twas not a man, it was a mouse).
Observing, cry'd, "You 'scape not so,
Lean as you came, sir, you must go."

Sir, you may spare your application, I'm no such beast, nor his relation; Nor one that temperance advance, Cramm'd to the throat with ortolans : Extremely ready to resign

All that may make me none of mine.
South-sea subscriptions take who please,
Leave me but liberty and ease.
'Twas what I said to Craggs and Child,
Who prais'd my modesty, and smil'd.
"Give me," I cry'd (enough for me)
"My bread, and independency!"
So bought an annual-rent or two,
And liv'd just as you see I do;
Near fifty, and without a wife,
I trust that sinking fund, my life.
Can I retrench? yes, mighty well,
Shrink back to my paternal cell,
A little house, with trees a-row,
And, like its master, very low.
There dy'd my father, no man's debtor,
And there I'll die, nor worse nor better.
To set this matter full before ye,
Our old friend Swift will tell his story."
"Harley, the nation's great support—”
But you may read it, I stop short.


O charming noons! and nights divine!
Or when I sup, or when I dine,
My friends above, my folks below,
Chatting and laughing all-a-row,
The beans and bacon set before 'em,
The grace-cup serv'd with all decorum :
Each willing to be pleas'd, and please,
And even the very dogs at case!
Here no man prates of idle things,
How this or that Italian sings,

Repserat in cumeram frumenti: pastaque, rursus
Ire foras pleno tendebat corpore frustra,
Cui mustela procul, si vis, ait, effugere istine,
Macra cavum repetes arctum, quem macra subisti.
Hac ego si compellar imagine, cuncta resigno;
Nec somnum plebis laudo tatur altilium, nec
Otia divitiis Arabum liberrima muto.
Sæpe verecundum laudasti: Rexque, paterque
Audisti coram, nec verbo parcius absens!
Inspice, si possum donatur reponere lætus.






Parvum parva decent. mihi jam non regia Roma, Sed vacuum Tibur placet, aut imbelle Tarentum. Strenuus et fortis, causisque Philippus agendis Clarus, &c.








* * *

O noctes cœnæque Deûm! quibus ipse meique, Ante larem proprium vescor, vernasque procaces Pasco libatis dapibus: cum, ut cuique libido est Siccat inæquales calices conviva. solutus

See the first part in Swift's poeins,

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A neighbour's madness, or his spouse's,
Or what's in either of the houses:

But something much more our concern,
And quite a scandal not to learn :
Which is the happier, or the wiser,
A man of merit, or a miser?
Whether we ought to chuse our friends,
For their own worth, or our own ends?
What good, or better, we may call,
And what, the very best of all?

Our friend Dan Prior told (you know)
A tale extremely
66 à
Name a town life, and in a trice
He had a story of two mice.
Once on a time (so runs the fable)
A country mouse, right hospitable,
Receiv'd a town mouse at his board,
Just as a farmer might a lord.
A frugal mouse, upon the whole,
Yet lov'd his friend, and had a soul,
Knew what was handsome, and would do't,
On just occasion, "coûte qui coûte."
He brought him bacon (nothing lean);
Pudding, that might have pleas'd a dean ;
Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make,
But wish'd it Stilton for his sake;
Yet, to his guest though no way sparing,
He eat himself the rind and paring.
Our courtier scarce could touch a bit,
But show'd his breeding and his wit;
He did his best to seem to eat,

And cry'd, "I vow you're mighty neat.
But Lord, my friend, this savage scene!
For God's sake, come, and live with men:
Consider, mice, like men, must die,
Both small and great, both you and I:
Then spend your life in joy and sport;
(This doctrine, friend, I learn'd at court.)"

The veriest hermit in the nation
May yield, God knows, to strong temptation.

Legibus insanis: seu quis capit acria fortis
Pocula; seu modicis uvescit lætius. ergo
Sermo oritur, non de villis domibusve alienis, [nos
Nec male necne Lepos saltet: sed quod magis ad
Pertinet, et nescire malum est, agitamus; utrumne
Divitiis homines, an sint virtute beati :
Quidve ad amicitias, usus rectumme, trahat nos:
Et quæ sit natura boni, summumque quid ejus.
Cervius hæc inter vicinus garrit aniles
Ex re fabellas. si quis nam laudat Arellî
Solicitas ignarus opes; sic incipit: Olim
Rusticus urbanum murem mus paupere fertur
Accepisse cavo, veterem vetus hospes amicum;
Asper, et attentus quæsitis; ut tamen arctum
Solveret hospitiis animuin, quid multa? neque illi
Sepositi ciceris, nec longæ invidit avenæ :
Aridum et ore ferens acinum, semesaque lardi
Frusta dedit, cupiens varia fastidia cœna
Vincere tangentis male singula dente superbo:
Cum pater ipse domus palea porrectus in horna
Esset ador loliumque, dapis meliora relinquens.
Tandem urbanus ad hunc; quid te juvat, inquit,
Prærupti nemoris patientem vivere dorso? [amice,
Vin' tu homines urbemque feris præponere sylvis
Carpe viam (mihi crede) comes: terrestria quando
Mortales animas vivunt sortita, neque ulla est,
Aut magno aut parvo, leti fuga, quo, bone, circa,
Dum licet, in rebus jucundis vive beatus:
Vive memor quam sis ævi brevis. Hæc ubi dicta

Away they came, through thick and thin,
To a tall house near Lincoln's-inn:
('Twas on the night of a debate,
When all their lordships had sate late.)


Behold the place, where if a poet
Shin'd in description, he might show it
Tell how the moon-beam trembling falls,
And tips with silver all the walls;
Palladian walls, Venetian doors,
Grotesco roofs, aud stucco floors:
But let it (in a word) be said,
The Moon was up, and men a-bed,
The napkins white, the carpet red :
The guests withdrawn had left the treat,
And down the mice sate, "tête à tête.”

Our courtier walks from dish to dish, Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish; Tells all their names, lays down the law. "Que ça est bon! Ah goûtez ça ! “That jelly's rich, this malmsey healing, Pray dip your whiskers and your tail in." Was ever such a happy swain? He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again. "I'm quite asham'd-'tis mighty rude To eat so much-but all's so good. I have a thousand thanks to giveMy lord alone knows how to live." No sooner said, but from the ball Rush chaplain, butler, dogs and all: "A rat, a rat! clap to the door"The cat comes bouncing on the floor. O for the heart of Homer's mice, Or gods to save them in a trice! (It was by Providence they think, For your damn'd stucco has no chink.) "An't please your honour," quoth the peasant, "This same dessert is not so pleasant: Give me again my hollow tree, A crust of bread, and liberty!"





AGAIN? new tumults in my breast?

Ah spare me, Venus! let me, let me rest!
Agrestem pepulere, domo levis exsilit: inde
Ambo propositum peragunt iter, urbis aventes
Mania nocturni subrepere. jamque tenebat
Nox medium cœli spatium, cum ponit uterque
In locuplete domo vestigia: rubro ubi cocco
Tincta super lectos canderet vestis eburnos ;
Multaque de magna superessent fercula cœna,
Quæ procul extructis inerant hesterna canistris.
Ergo ubi purpurea porrectum in veste locavit
Agrestem; veluti succinctus cursitat hospes,
Continuatque dapes: nec non verniliter ipsis
Fungitur officiis, prælambens omne quod affert.
Ille cubans gaudet mutata sorte, bonisque
Rebus agit lætum convivam: cum subito ingens
Valvarum strepitus lectis excussit utrumque.
Exanimes trepidare, simul domus alta molossis
Currere per totum pavidi conclave; magisque
Personuit canibus. tum rusticus, Haud mihi vita
Tutus ab insidiis tenui solabitur ervo.
Est opus hac, ait, et valeas: me sylva, cavusque


INTERMISSA, Venus, diu

Rursus bella moves? parce precor, precor,

I am not now, alas! the man

As in the gentle reign of my queen Anne. Ah sound no more thy soft alarms,

Nor circle sober fifty with thy charms! Mother too fierce of dear desires!

Turn, turn to willing hearts your wanton fires. To number five direct your doves,


There spread round Murray all your blooming Noble and young, who strikes the heart

With every sprightly, every decent part; Equal, the injur'd to defend,

To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend. He, with a hundred arts refin'd,

Shall stretch thy conquests over half the kind : To him each rival shall submit,

Make but his riches equal to his wit. Then shall thy form the marble grace,

(Thy Grecian form) and Chloe lend the face; His house, embosom'd in the grove,

Sacred to social life and social love, Shall glitter o'er the pendant green,

Where Thames reflects the visionary scene: Thither the silver-sounding lyres

Shall call the smiling Loves, and young Desires; There, every Grace and Muse shall throng,

Exalt the dance, or animate the song ; There youths and nymphs, in consort gay,

Shall hail the rising, close the parting day. With me, alas! those joys are o'er ;

For me the vernal garlands bloom no more. Adieu! fond hope of mutual fire,

The still-believing, still renew'd desire; Adieu! the heart-expanding bowl,

And all the kind deceivers of the soul! But why? ah tell me, ah too dear!

Steals down my cheek th' involuntary tear? Why words so flowing, thoughts so free, Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glance of thee?

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Secure the radiant weapons wield; This golden lance shall guard desert, And if a vice dares keep the field,

This steel shall stab it to the heart." Aw'd, on my bended knees I fell,

Receiv'd the weapons of the sky; And dipp'd them in the sable well, The fount of fame or infamy.


"What well? what weapon?" (Flavia cries) "A standish, steel and golden pen! It came from Bertrand's, not the skies; I gave it you to write again.

"But, friend, take heed whom you attack; You'll bring a house (I mean of peers) Red, blue, and green, nay white and black, L and all about your ears. "You'd write as smooth again on glass, And run, on ivory, so glib, As not to stick at fool or ass,

Nor stop at flattery or fib. "Athenian queen! and sober charms!

I tell you, fool, there's nothing in't : 'Tis Venus, Venus gives these arms;

In Dryden's Virgil see the print. "Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,

That dares tell neither truth nor lies, I'll list you in the harmless roll

Of those that sing of these poor eyes."



SUCH were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung,
Till Death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue.
Oh just beheld, and lost! admir'd, and mourn'd!
With softest manners, gentlest arts adorn'd!
Blest in each science, blest in every strain!
Dear to the Muse! to Harley dear-in vain!
For him, thou oft hast bid the world attend,
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend;
For Swift and him, despis'd the farce of state,
The sober follies of the wise and great;
Dextrous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit,
And pleas'd to 'scape from flattery to wit.

Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
(A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear)
Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days,
Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays,
Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate;
Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great;
Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.

And sure, if aught below the seats divine Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine: A soul supreme, in each hard instance try'd, Above all pain, and passion, and all pride, The rage of power, the blast of public breath, The lust of lucre, and the dread of Death.

In vain to deserts thy retreat is made; The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade : 'Tis her's, the brave inan's latest steps to trace, Re-judge his acts, and dignify disgrace.

When interest calls off all her sneaking train,
And all th' oblig'd desert, and all the vain;
She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell,
When the last lingering friend has bid farewell.
Ev'n now she shades thy evening-walk with bays
(No hireling she, no prostitute to praise);
Ev'n now, observant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm sun-set of thy various day,
Through Fortune's cloud one truly great can see
Nor fears to tell, that Mortimer is he.




A SOUL as full of worth, as void of pride,
Which nothing seeks to show, or needs to hide;
Which nor to guilt, nor fear, its caution owes,
And boasts a warmth that from no passion flows:
A face untaught to feign; a judging eye,
That darts severe upon a rising lie,

And strikes a blush through frontless flattery:
All this thou wert; and being this before,
Know, kings and fortune cannot make thee more.
Then scorn to gain a friend by servile ways,
Nor wish to lose a foe these virtues raise;
But candid, free, sincere, as you began,
Proceed-a minister, but still a man.
Be not (exalted to whate'er degree)
Asham'd of any friend, not ev'n of me:
The patriot's plain, but untrod, path pursue;
If not, 'tis I must be asham'd of you.




This Epistle, and the two following, were written some years before the rest, and originally printed in 1717.

THIS verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
This, from no venal or ungrateful Muse.
Whether thy hand strike out some free design,
Where life awakes, and dawns at every line;
Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass,
And from the canvass call the mimic face:
Read these instructive leaves, in which conspire
Fresnoy's close art, and Dryden's native fire:
And reading wish, like theirs, our fate and fame,
So mix'd our studies, and so join'd our name;
Like them to shine through long succeeding age,
So just thy skill, so regular my rage.

Sinit with the love of sister-arts we came,
And met congenial, mingling flame with flame;
Like friendly colours found them both unite,
And each from each contract new strength and light,
How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day,
While summer-suns roll unperceiv'd away!
How oft our slowly-growing works impart,
While images reflect from art to art!
How oft review; each finding like a friend
Something to blame, and something to commend
What flattering scenes our wandering fancy

Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought!

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