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THE FIRST PART IMITATED IN THE YEAR 1714, BY DR. SWIFT;
I'VE often wish'd that I had clear
I ask not to increase my store;
All this is mine but till I die;
I can't but think 'twould sound more clever,
To me and to my heirs for ever.
If I ne'er got or lost a groat,
By any trick, or any fault;
And not like forty other fools:
As thus, "Vouchsafe, oh gracious Maker!
To grant me this and t'other acre:
Or, if it be thy will and pleasure,
Autumnusque gravis, Libitinæ quæstus acerbæ.
Ver. 30. on this side Trent;] He was perpetually expressing his discontent at his Irish preferment, and forming schemes for exchanging it for a smaller in England; and courted Queen Caroline and Sir Robert Walpole to effect such a change. A negotiation had nearly taken place between the Dean and a Mr. Talbot for the living of Burfield, in Berkshire. Mr. Talbot himself informed me of this negotiation. Burfield is in the neighbourhood of Bucklebery, Lord Bolingbroke's seat.-Warton.
In short, I'm perfectly content,
Let me but live on this side Trent;
Nor cross the Channel twice a-year,
To spend six months with statesmen here.
I must by all means come to town,
It is but so much more in debt,
And that they ne'er consider'd yet.
"Good Mr. Dean, go change your gown,
Let my Lord know you're come to town."
Not thinking it is Levee-day;
And find his Honour in a pound,
Chequer'd with ribbons blue and green :
"I thought the Dean had been too proud, To justle here among a crowd.”
Another in a surly fit,
Tells me I have more zeal than wit,
You ne'er consider whom you shove,
I get a whisper, and withdraw:
When twenty fools I never saw
Ad Mæcenatem memori si mente recurras.
Hoc juvat, et melli est; ne mentiar: at simul atras
Per caput et circa saliunt latus. Ante secundam
Hoc genus: Hora quota est? Thrax est Gallina Syro par?
Matutina parum cautos jam frigora mordent:
Et quæ rimosâ benè deponuntur in aure.
Ver. 82. And, Mr. Dean,] Very happily turned from Si vis potes.— Warton.
Ver. 85. Since HARLEY bid me] The rise and progress of Swift's intimacy with Lord Oxford is minutely detailed in his very interesting Journal to Stella. And the reasons why a man, that served a ministry so effectually, was so tardily, and so difficultly, and so poorly rewarded, are well explained in Sheridan's Life of Swift, and arose principally from the insuperable aversion the Queen had conceived to the author of a Tale of a Tub as a profane book; which aversion was kept alive, and increased by the Duchess of Somerset, against whom Swift had written a severe lampoon. It appears from this life that Lords Oxford and Bolingbroke always kept concealed from Swift their inability to serve him. With whatever secrets Swift might have been trusted, it does not appear he knew any thing of a design to bring in the Pretender. Swift was a true Whig. His political principles are amply unfolded in an excellent letter written to Pope, Jan. 20, 1721; and indeed they had been sufficiently displayed, many years before, in The Sentiments of a Church of England Man; a treatise replete with strong sense, sound principles, and clear reasoning.— Warton.
The real cause of Swift's disappointment in his hopes of preferment, is explained in Coxe's Memoirs of Walpole. Both Gay and Swift conceived every thing was to be gained by the interest of Mrs. Howard, to whom they paid incessant court. This has been before explained.—
Come with petitions fairly penn'❜d,
'Tis (let me see) three years and more,
As, "What's o'clock?" And "How's the wind?"
"Who's chariot's that we left behind?"
Or gravely try to read the lines
Writ underneath the country signs;
Or, "Have you nothing new to-day
From Pope, from Parnelle, or from Gay?"
Such tattle often entertains
My Lord and me as far as Staines,
As once a week we travel down
To Windsor, and again to town,
Where all that passes, inter nos,