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His meanest work : for, had he thought it fit,
That wealth should be the appanage of wit,
The god of light could ne'er have been so blind
To deal it to the worst of humankind.
But let me now, for I can do it well,
Your conduct in this now employ foretel.
And first: to make my observation right,
I place a statesman full before my sight,
A bloated minister in all his gear,
With shameless visage and perfidious leer;
Two rows of teeth arm each devouring jaw,
And ostrich-like his all-digesting maw.
My fancy drags this monster to my view,
To show the world his chief reverse in you.
Of loud unmeaning sounds a rapid flood
Rolls from his mouth in plenteous streams of mud;
With these the court and senatehouse be plies,
Made up of noise, and impudence, and lies.
Now let me show how Bob and you agree:
You serve a potent prince, as well as he.
The ducal coffers, trusted to your charge,
Your honest care may fill, perhaps enlarge:
His vassals easy, and the owner blest;
They pay a trifle, and enjoy the rest.
Not so a nation's revenues are paid :
The servant's faults are on the master laid.
The people with a sigh their taxes bring;
And, cursing Bob, forget to bless the king.
Next hearken, Gay, to what thy charge requires,
With servants, tenants, and the neighbouring squires.
Let all domesticks feel your gentle sway;
Nor bribe, insult, nor flatter, nor betray.
Let due reward to merit be allow'd;
Nor with your kindred half the palace crowd;
Nor think yourself secure in doing wrong,
By telling noses with a party strong.
Be rich; but of your wealth make no parade; At least, before your master's debts are paid;
Nor in a palace, built with charge immense,
Presume to treat him at his own expense,
Each farmer in the neighbourhood can count
To what your lawful perquisites amount.
The tenants poor, the hardness of the times,
Are ill excuses for a servant's crimes.
With interest, and a premium paid beside,
The master's pressing wants must be supplied ;
With hasty zeal behold the steward come
By his own credit to advance the sum;
Who, while th' unrighteous Mammon is bis friend,
May well conclude his power will never end.
A faithful treasurer! what could he do more?.
He lends my lord what was my lord's before.
The law so strictly guards the monarch's health,
That no physician dares prescribe by stealth:
The council sit; approve the doctor's skill;
And give advice, before he gives the pill.
But the state empirick acts a safer part;
And, while he poisons, wins the royal heart,
But how can I describe the ravenous breed ? Then let me now by negatives proceed.
Suppose your lord a trusty servant send On weighty business to some neighbouring friend : Presume not, Gay, unless you serve a drone, To countermánd his orders by your own.
Should some imperious neighbour sink the boats,
And drain the fish-ponds, while your master dotes:
Shall be upon the ducal rights intrench,
Because he brib'd you with a brace of tench?
Nor from your lord his bad condition hide, !,
To feed his luxury, or sooth his pride..
Nor at an underrate his timber sell, :
And with an oath assure him, all is well;
Or swear it rotten; and with humble airs
Request it of him to complete your stairs ;
Nor, when a mortgage lies on half his laods,
Come with a purse of guineas in your hands,
Have Peter Waters always in your miod; That rogue, of genuine ministerial kind, Can half the peerage by his arts bewitch, Starve twenty lords to make one scoundrel rich : And, when he gravely has undone a score, Is humbly pray'd to ruin twenty more.
A dex'trous steward, when his tricks are found, Hushmoney sends to all the neighbours round; His master, unsuspicious of his pranks, Pays all the cost, and gives the villain thanks. And, should a friend attempt to set him right, His lordship would impute it all to spite ; Would love his favourite better than before, And trust his honesty just so much more. Thus families, like realms, with equal fate, Are sunk by premier ministers of state.
Some, when an 'heir succeeds, go boldly on, And, as they'robb’d the father, rob the son. A knave, who deep embroils his lord's affairs, Will soon grow necessary to his heirs. His policy consists in setting traps, In finding ways and means, and stopping gaps; He knows a thousand tricks whene'er he please, Though not to cure, yet palliate each disease. In either case, an equal chance is run; For, keep or turn him out, my lord's undone. You want a hand to clear a filthy sink; No cleanly workman can endure the stink. A strong dilemma in a desperate case! To act with infamy, or quit the place.
A bungler thus, who scarce the nail can hit, With driving wrong will make the pannel split: Nor dares an abler workman undertake To drive a second, lest the whole should break.
In every court the parallel will hold; Aad. kings, like private folks, are bought and sold. The ruling rogue, wbo dreads to be cashier'd, Contrives, as he is hated, to be fear'd:
Confounds accounts, perplexes all affairs :
For vengeance more embroils, than skill repairs.
So robbers (and their ends are just the same)
To 'scape inquiries, leave the house in flame,
I knew a brazen minister of state,
Who bore for twice ten years the publick hate,
In every mouth the question most in vogue
Was, When will they turn out this odious rogue?
A juncture happend in his highest pride:
While he went robbing on, old master died.
We thought there now remain'd no room to doubt;
His work is done, the minister must out,
The court invited more than one or two:
Will you, sir Spencer? or, Will you, or you?
But not a soul his office durst accept;
The subtle knave had all the plunder swept: ,
And, such was then the temper of the times,
He ow'd his preservation to his crimes.
The candidate observd his dirty paws;
Nor found it difficult to guess the cause :
But, wben they smelt such
foulcorruptions round him, A way they filed, and left him as they found him.
Thus, when a greedy sloven once has thrown His snot into the mess, 'tis all his own,
ON THE IRISH BISHOPS *. 1731.
Old Latimer preaching did fairly describe
A bishop, who rul'd all the rest of his tribe;
And who is this bishop? and where does he dwell?
Why truly 'tis Satan, archbishop of Hell.
* Occasioned by their endeavouring to get an act to divide the church-livings; which bill was rejected by the Irish house of commons. F,
And He was a primate, and He wore a mitre
Surrounded with jewels of sulphur and nitre.
How nearly this bishop our bishops resembles !
But he has the odds, who believes and who trembles.
Could his grim grace, for a pound to a penny,
You'd swear it must be the baboon of Kilkenny:
Poor Satan will think the comparison odious;
I wish I could find him out one more commodious,
But, this I am sure, the most reverend old dragon
Has got on the bench many bishops suffragan;
And all men believe he resides there incog.
To give them by turns an invisible jog.
Our bishops, puft up with wealth and with pride,
To Hell on the backs of the clergy would ride.
They mounted and labour'd with whip and with spur,
In vain-for the devil a parson would stir.
So the commons unhors'd them; and this was their
On their crosiers to ride, like a witch on a broom. Though they gallop'd so fast, on the road you may find
'em, And have left us but three out of twenty behind 'em. Lord Bolton's good grace, lord Carr,andlord Howard *, In spite of the devil would still be untoward : They came of good kindred, and could not endure Their former companions should beg at their door.
When Christ was betray'd to Pilate the prætor, Of a dozen apostles but one prov'd a traitor : One traitor alone, and faithful eleven; But we can afford you six traitors in seven. What a clutter with clippings, dividings, and
cleavings! And the clergy forsooth must take up with their
leavings. # Dr. Theophilus Bolton was archbishop of Cashell from 1929 to 1744; Dr. Charles Carr bishop of Killaloe from 1716 ta 1739; and Dr. Robert Howard bishop of Elphin, from 1729 to