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The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IV: by Jonathan Swift

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alas! is quite another thing, either to learn, or, at least, be reminded
of our duty, to apply the doctrines delivered, compare the rules we hear
with our lives and actions, and find wherein we have transgressed. These
are the dispositions men should bring into the house of God, and then
they will be little concerned about the preacher's wit or eloquence, nor
be curious to enquire out his faults and infirmities, but consider how
to correct their own.

Another remedy against the contempt of preaching, is, that men would
consider, whether it be not reasonable to give more allowances for the
different abilities of preachers than they usually do; refinements of
style, and flights of wit, as they are not properly the business of any
preacher, so they cannot possibly be the talents of all. In most other
discourses, men are satisfied with sober sense and plain reason; and, as
understandings usually go, even that is not over frequent. Then why they
should be so over nice in expectation of eloquence,[2] where it is
neither necessary nor convenient, is hard to imagine.

[Footnote 2: Hawkesworth (1762 edit.) has "over nice and expecting for
sense"; but both the 4to and the 8vo of 1764 agree with Scott as above.

_Lastly:_ The scorners of preaching would do well to consider, that this
talent of ridicule, they value so much, is a perfection very easily
acquired, and applied to all things whatsoever; neither is anything at
all the worse, because it is capable of being perverted to burlesque:
Perhaps it may be the more perfect upon that score; since we know, the
most celebrated pieces have been thus treated with greatest success. It
is in any man's power to suppose a fool's cap on the wisest head, and
then laugh at his own supposition. I think there are not many things
cheaper than supposing and laughing; and if the uniting these two
talents can bring a thing into contempt, it is hard to know where it may

_To conclude:_ These considerations may, perhaps, have some effect while
men are awake; but what arguments shall we use to the sleeper? What
methods shall we take to hold open his eyes? Will he be moved by
considerations of common civility? We know it is reckoned a point of
very bad manners to sleep in private company, when, perhaps, the tedious
impertinence of many talkers would render it at least as excusable as at
the dullest sermon. Do they think it a small thing to watch four hours
at a play, where all virtue and religion are openly reviled; and can
they not watch one half hour to hear them defended? Is this to deal like
a judge, (I mean like a good judge) to listen on one side of the cause,
and sleep on the other? I shall add but one word more: That this
indecent sloth is very much owing to that luxury and excess men usually
practise upon this day, by which half the service thereof is turned to
sin; men dividing the time between God and their bellies, when after a
gluttonous meal, their senses dozed and stupefied, they retire to God's
house to sleep out the afternoon. Surely, brethren, these things ought
not so to be.

"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." And God give us all grace to
hear and receive His holy word to the salvation of our own souls.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****




"THE following manuscript was literally copied from the printed original
found in the library of Dr. J. Swift, Dean of St Patrick's, Dublin, in
the year 1745. The marginal notes and parodies were written by the
Dean's own hand, except such as are distinguished with this mark [O/]
with which I am only chargeable. Witness my hand, this 25th day of
February, 1745. WILLIAM DUNKIN.

"N.B.--The original was by me presented to his excellency Philip Dormer
Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, lord lieutenant general and general
governor of Ireland. W.D."

The manuscript to which Dr. Dunkin refers is in the library of Trinity
College, Dublin. The present text is taken from a transcript which is at
the South Kensington Museum, and which appears to be the identical
transcript used by Nichols for his reprint in the quarto edition, vol.
xiv. At the end of this MS. is the following note:

"The above was written from the manuscript mentioned in the first page,
now in the hands of Nicholas Coyne, Esq., being the only copy in the
kingdom of Ireland; he having purchased the original, and
afterwards generously given it to his friend Dr. Dunkin, finding the
doctor extremely uneasy at the disappointment the Earl of Chesterfield
was like to meet with, as he had promised the earl to attend the
auction, and procure it for him at any price; and is now transcribed by
Neale Molloy, of Dublin, Esq'r, by the favour of the said Nicholas
Coyne, his brother-in-law; and sent by him to his kinsman, and dear
friend, Charles Molloy, of London, Esq're.

"_Dublin, 26th, of May_, 1748."

The "Epistle Dedicatory" to Princess Anne, in Dr. Gibbs's volume, has
also been annotated, chiefly by Dr. Dunkin; but as these are mostly too
filthy to be published, I have omitted the few notes by Swift,
which consist merely of marginalia corrections of words and a few
satirical interpolations of no great consequence. I have corrected Dr.
Gibbs's text by the original edition of his "Paraphrase" (1701). The
corrections were necessary, since the transcript could not be absolutely
relied on.



On "The first Fifteen Psalms of David, translated into Lyric Verse:
Proposed as an Essay, supplying the Perspicuity and Coherence according
to the Modern Art of Poetry; not known to have been attempted before in
any Language. With a Preface containing some Observations of the great
and general Defectiveness of former Versions in Greek, Latin, and
English. By Dr. [James] Gibbs. London: printed by J. Mathews, for John
Hartley, over-against Gray's-Inn, in Holborn. MDCCI."


I. PSALM OF DAVID, (1) (1)I warn the reader that
_Comparing the different state of the this is a lie, both here
righteous and the wicked, both in this and all over the book;
and the next world._ for these are not Psalms
of David, but of Dr.

1 Thrice happy he! that does refuse. (2) But I suppose with
With _impious_ (2) _sinners_ to combine; _pious_ sinners a man may
Who ne'er their wicked way pursues, combine safely enough
And does the scorner's _seat_(3)_decline_
(3)What part of speech
is it?

2 But still to learn, and to obey (4) All.
The Law of God is his delight;
In that employs himself all day, (5) A man must have
And reads and thinks thereon at(4) some time to sleep; so
night.(5) that I will change the
verse thus:
"And thinks and dreams
thereon all night."

3 For as a tree, whose spreading root (6) Look ye; you must
By some prolific stream is fed, thin the boughs at the
Produces (6) fair and timely fruit, top, or your fruit will
And numerous boughs adorn its head: be neither fair or
Whose (7) very leaves, tho' storms descend, timely.
In lively verdure still appear
(7) Why, what other part
Whose (7) very leaves, tho' storms descend, of a tree appears in lively.
In lively verdure still appear; verdure, beside the
Such blessings always shall attend leaves?
The man that does the Lord revere. These very leaves on
which you penn'd
Your woeful stuff, may
serve for squibs:
Such blessings always
shall attend
The madrigals of Dr.

4 Like chaff with every wind disperst:(1) (1) "Disp_u_rst,"
[rhyming with "curst"] Pronounce this like a

6 And these to punishment may go. (2) (2) If they please.

["The above may serve for a tolerable specimen of Swift's remarks. The
whole should be given, if it were possible to make them intelligible,
without copying the version which is ridiculed; a labour for which our
readers would scarcely thank us. A few detached stanzas, however, with
the Dean's notes on them, shall be transcribed." Thus writes Scott; but
I have added a great many more, which deserve reprinting, if only for
their humour. [T.S.]]


II. PSALM OF DAVID. (1) I do not believe
that ever kings entered
1 Why do the heathen nations rise, into plots and
And in mad tumults join! confederacies against
the reign of God
2 Confederate kings vain plots (1) devise
Against the Almighty's reign:
His Royal Title they deny, (2) What word does
Whom God appointed Christ; that plural number
belong to?
3 Let us reject their (2) laws, they cry,
Their binding force resist.

7 And thus to Him was pleased to say, (3) An excellent drug-
As I His words declare; (3) german.

9 But those, that do thy laws refuse, (4) After a man is
In pieces thou shalt break; broken in pieces,
And with an iron sceptre bruise (4) 'tis no great matter
Their disobedient (5) _neck_. to have his neck

(5) Neak.

10 Ye earthly kings, the caution _hear_; (6) Rulers must _learn_
Ye rulers, _learn_ the same; (6) it, but kings may only
_hear_ it.

11 Serve God with reverence, and with _fear_(7)
His joyful praise proclaim; (7) Very proper to make a
joyful proclamation with

12 Confess the Son, and own His (8) reign, (8) Of Blackmore's
Ere He to wrath inclines; reign.
And, so resenting your disdain,
Confound your vain designs: (9) (9) You with his lines

For should the madness of His foes (1) (1) For should the foes
Th' avenging God incense, of David's ape
Happy are they that can repose Provoke his grey
In Him their confidence. (2) goose quills,
Happy are they that
can escape
The vengeance of
his pills.

(2) Admirably reasoned
and connected!


_When he fled from his son Absalom._ To Dr. Gibbs, _ex aqua
in ignem_.

4 When to the Lord for help I cry, (3) Sec_o_ure.
He hears me from the Throne on high;
(4) By this I think it
5 And thus I sleep and wake secure, (3) is clear that he cries
Guarded by His almighty Power. (4) in his sleep.

6 No fears shall then my soul depress,* *Depre_a_se, Lo_a_rd,
Though thus my enemies increase; Scotice.

7 And (5) therefore, now arise, O Lord,* (5) He desires God's
And graciously thy help afford: help, because
he is not afraid of
his enemies; others,
I think, usually
desire it when they
_are_ afraid.

8 And _thus_ (6) to grant a sure defence, (6) The doctor hath a
Belongs to God's (7) omnipotence; mighty affection for the
particle _thus_: he uses
it four times in this
Psalm, and 100 times in
other places, and
always wrong.

(7) That is as much as
to say, he that can do
all things can defend a
man; which I take to be
an undoubted truth.


_Reproving and admonishing his enemies_. Not to burlesque
his Psalms.

1 As Thou hast always taken care A pretty phrase!
My sufferings to remove.

2 But you, my frail (1) malicious foes, (1) Are they malicious
Who do my power despise; out of frailty, or frail
Vainly how long will ye oppose, out of malice?
And (2) falsely calumnize!
(2) That is, they say
_false_ things

I will discover the
doctor's secret of
making the coherence
and connection, in
the Psalms that he
brags of in his title
and preface: he lays
violent hands on certain
particles,(such as _and,
when, since, for, but,
thus, so_, &c.) and
presses them to his
service on all occasions
sore against their wills,
and without any regard
whether the sense will
admit them or no.

3 Since those alone the Lord has blest, (3) 'Tis plain the doctor
That do from sin refrain; never requested to be a
He therefore grants what I request, (3) poet.
And hears when I (4) complain:

(4) If your requests be
granted, why do you

But of Thy face to us do Thou What is it, to
The favour still dispense; dispense the favour
of his face?

7 Then shall my soul with more divine (5) I have heard of a
And solid joys abound, crown or garland of corn,
Than they with stores of corn and wine, but a crown of wine is
Those earthly riches, crown'd: (5) new, and can hardly be
explained, unless we
suppose the wine to be
in icicles.

8 And thus confiding, Lord, in thee (6) And yet, to shew I
I take my calm repose; (6) tell no fibs,
For thou each night protectest me Thou hast left me in
From all my (7) treacherous foes thrall
To Hopkins, eke, and
Doctor Gibbs
The vilest rogue of all.

(7) Aye, and _open_ foes
too; or his repose would
not be very calm.


Trusting in God, he implores protection Especially Doctor
from his enemies._ Gibbs.

1 O Lord, receive my fervent prayer, (1) I suppose he
Relieve my soul opprest with care, thought it would be
And hear my loud (1) complaint; heard the better for
being loud.
[Greek: Oion aento mega
kekraigenai kai ochlaeson
einai.]--LUC. TIM.,

2 On Thee alone I can rely,
Do Thou, my God, to whom I fly,
My sad (2) petition grant: (2) My poor petition.
Ay, a sad one indeed.

5 They on thy favour can't rely, (3) Such vile poetry.
That practice such iniquity, (3) What is the meaning of
For Thou wilt punish those that word, _such_, in
this place?

6 That do malicious lies (4) invent, (4) Malicious lines.
And would to death the innocent
By treacherous means (5) expose. (5) By doggrel rhimes.

8 Lord, in Thy Laws (6) direct my ways, (6) He perseveres--not
Since those my watchful foe surveys, that he values the Laws,
And make me persevere: but because his foes
watch him. A good

9 They flatter to destroy:

10 But let, O Lord, the vengeance due (7) Horrid rhimes.
Those in their horrid crimes (7) pursue, (8) Def_o_y.
Who do Thy power defy: (8)


_Penitently complaining of his sufferings_. By this translator.

I Thy heavy hand restrain, (9) (9) Thy heavy hand
With mercy, Lord, correct; restrain;
Do not, (1) as if in high disdain, Have mercy, Dr. Gibbs:
My helpless soul reject: Do not, I pray thee,
paper stain
2 For how shall I sustain With rhymes retail'd in
(2)Those ills, which now I bear! dribbs.
My vitals are consumed with pain,
(3)My soul oppress'd with care: (1)That bit is a most
glorious botch.
(2)The squeaking of a

(3)To listen to
thy doggrel.

5 For in the silent grave, } Very true all that.
When there I lie obscure,
No gracious favours I can have,
Nor magnify Thy power:

6 Lord, I have pray'd in (1) vain (1)The doctor must
So long, so much opprest; mean himself, for I hope
My very (2) cries increase my pain, David never thought so.
And tears prevent my rest;
(2)Then he's a dunce
7 These do my sight impair, for crying.
My flowing eyes decay,
While to my enemies I fear
Thus (3) to become a prey. (3)That is, he is afraid
of becoming a prey to his
enemies while his eyes
are sore.

8 But, ye vain forces! fly, (4) (4)Fl_o_y.
For God, Whom I adore, Why then does he
tell us just before that
he has prayed in vain,
and is afraid of becoming
a prey to his enemies?

9 My impious foes does still destroy,
When I His aid implore.

10 O Lord, by Thy fierce hand repell'd,
With sudden shame retire (5) A very proper word
for a man that is repell'd
by a fierce hand.


_When unjustly persecuted,(6) and accused of (6) By Doctor Gibbs.
treachery against King Saul._

I O Lord my God, since I repose (7) By chance.
My trust in Thee alone, (7)

Save and defend me from my foes,
That furiously come on: (8) (8) Advance.

2 Lest, like a ravenous lion, they What sort of lions are
My captive soul devour, they that devour souls?

4 If I've not spared him though he's grown(9) (9) Gro_u_n.
My causeless (1) enemy,
(1) If he be grown his
_causeless_ enemy I presume
he is no longer _guiltless_.

5 Then let my life, and future (2) crown (2) He gives a thing
Become to him a prey: before he has it, and
gives it to him that has
it already; for Saul is
the person meant.

6 But, Lord, thy kind assistance (1) lend, (1) But why _lend?_
Arise in my defence; Does he design to return
According to Thy laws, (2) contend it back when he has done
For injured innocence: with it?

(2) Profane rascal! he
makes it a struggle and
contention between God
and the wicked.

7 That all the nations, that oppose, (3) (3) Opp_a_use.
May then confess Thy power:
Therefore assert my righteous cause,
That they may Thee adore: (4) (4) Ado_u_re.

8 For equal judgment, Lord, to Thee (5) Yet in the very
The nations (5) all submit; verse before he tells of
Be therefore (6) merciful to me. nations that _oppose_.
And my just soul acquit: (7)
(6) Because all nations
submit to God, therefore
God must be merciful to
Dr. Gibbs.

(7) Of what?

9 Destroy the wicked in their plots: Poor David never could
The just with blessings crown: acquit
For all the ways and secret thoughts (8) A criminal like thee,
Of both to Thee are known. Against his Psalms who
couldst commit
Such wicked poetry.

(8) Thots.

10 Thus by God's gracious providence (9) (9) Observe the
I'm still preserved secure, (1) connection.
Who all the good and just defends (1) Sec_ou_re.
With a resistless (2) power.
(2) That's right, doctor;
but then there will
be no _contending_, as
you desired a while ago.

'Tis wonderful that
Should save thee from the
Who hast in numbers
without sense
Burlesqued the holy

11 All men He does with justice view, (1) That's no great
And their iniquity mark of viewing them
With direful vengeance can pursue, with justice. God has
Or patiently (1) pass by: wiser ends for passing by
His vengeance on the
wicked, you profane

13 For He the artillery directs, What's that charge? it
The sudden charge ordains, must allude to a charge
of gunpowder, or it is

15 Lo! now th'inflictions (2) they design'd (2) Ay, but what sort of
By others to be borne, things are these
Even all the mischiefs (3) in their mind inflictions?
Do on themselves return: (4)
(3) If the mischiefs be
in their mind, what need
they return on
themselves? are they not
there already?

(4) Ret_o_rn.

16 By their own treachery betray'd (5) Pills
To the same ills, (5) that they
Invented, and with those essay'd (6) Rich.
To make the poor (6) their prey:
Does this verse end
according to the more
modern art of poetry, as
the author speaks in his

17 O Lord, how glorious are the ways Do not these verses end
Of Thy good Providence! very sublimely?
Thou, Lord, Whose blessed Name I
True justice dost dispense


1 The mighty powers, that celebrate That's a lie; for if
Thy endless praises, can't relate they
The glory they in Heaven survey: can survey it they can
easily relate it.

2 _Young_ helpless _infants_ at the breast Young younglings.
Their great Creator have confest, [The italics are
And in their weakness spoke Thy pow'r, Swift's.] This stanza
is just upon the purlieus
between sense and

4 Lord, what is wretched (7) man, I cry, (7) A very proper epithet
Or all his sinful progeny, for those who are scarce
That thou to them dost prove so kind! inferior to angels.

5 To honour Thou dost them prefer, A fine cadence that.
To angels scarce inferior,

6 They over all Thy works command:

7 The flocks and herds o'er every field (1) That's a lie, for
To their just lords obedience yield, sometimes they trespass
And all (1) in full subjection stand: on other men's grounds.

8 O'er all the birds, that mount the air, (2) App_ai_r.
And fish, that in the floods appear,(2)
Man bears an arbitrary sway: Those, I think, are
not very many: they are
caught, but till then we
have no great sway over


3 Confounded at the sight of Thee (3) The doctor's mistaken;
My foes are put to flight; (3) for, when people are
confounded, they cannot

4 Thus thou, great God of equity, (4) Against Sternhold
Dost still assert my right. (4) and Hopkins.

6 Insulting foes, how long can ye (5) b_o_st.
Of ruin'd cities boast! (5) Blunderings, _Siccorrige
Your plunderings now as well as they meo periculo_. That's a
Are in oblivion lost: lie, for Gibbs remembers

7 But God eternally remains (6) (6) That's false and
Fixt in His throne on high, profane; God is not fixed

8 And to the world from thence ordains (7) Did anybody ever
Impartial equity:(7) hear of _partial_ equity?

9 And for their injured souls extend That extending a refuge,
A refuge most secure. is pretty.

12 He hears the injured poor, and then _i.e._ is angry at their
Does all their cries resent. cries.

13 And thus consider still, O Lord, (8) Nothing is restored
The justice of my cause; but what has been taken
Who often hast my life (8) restor'd away; so that he has been
From death's devouring jaws: often raised from the
dead, if this be true.

15 The heathen nations are dismay'd (9) (9) We heard a while
They're all to ruin brought, ago their very names were
For in the treacherous nets, they laid, dead,[1] now (it seems)
Ev'n they themselves are caught: they're only dismay'd.

[Footnote 1: Ver. 5. "They and their very names are dead."]

16 Lo, thus the Lord to execute
True judgment still inclines; This is profane, as if
it were only an
inclination in God to be


1 Lord, why in times of deep distress If the woes require aid
Dost Thou from us retire, it is to increase them,
When dismal woes our souls oppress, they cannot require it
And Thy kind aid require! against themselves.

2 The wicked do with lawless pride (1) (1) Proide. Pronounce
The helpless persecute; it like the Scotch.
But let them be themselves destroy'd,
And fall in their pursuit: Ay, let them!

3 For still they triumph, when success I cannot crock this
Does their designs attend, stave.
And then their ways, who thus oppress,
Profanely they commend:

* * * * *

5 And from the barbarous (2) paths they tread,(2) The author should
No acts of Providence first have premised what
Can e'er oblige them to recede, sort of paths were
Or stop (3) their bold offence; properly barbarous. I
suppose they must be
very deep and dirty, or
very rugged and stony;
both which I myself
have heard travellers
call barbarous roads.

(3) Which is the way to
stop an offence?
Would you have it
stopped like a bottle,
or a thief?
For what end? is it
to catch a louse, better
lay wait for the rich by

8 And for the poor in secret they
Do treacherously lay wait:
As a lion observes with
9 As hungry lions do their prey watchful eyes, just so a
Observe with watchful eyes, wicked man surprises
So heedless innocents would they with sudden force--a very
With sudden force surprise; just simile.
And then, like lions merciless, They surprise them like
Their trembling souls devour; lions, but then they devour
And thus the helpless do oppress (4) devour them [like] lions.
When captives to their power;

(4) This line is dry
nonsense or false grammar
and will bear no jest.

13 no more No mo_u_r. Pronounce
[rhyming with pow'r.] this like my lady's

14 deserts Des_a_rts. Pronounce
[rhyming with hearts.] this like my lady's


1 come on, Come _u_n. Pronounce
[rhyming with shun.] this like a

The force of his argument
lies here: he does
3 For if the Power, in which they trust, not fear his enemies,
Should fail, how helpless are the just! because if God's power
should fail he has no

6 And on their impious heads will pour (1) A shower of snares
Of snares (1) and flames a dismal shower; on a man's head would
And this their bitter cup must be do wonderful execution.
(2) To drink to all eternity: However, I grant it is a
scurvy thing enough to
swallow them.

(2) To taste the doctor's


1 O Lord, some help for me provide, He can confide in but
For in but few I can confide, few because all are.
All men are so perfidious grown; perfidious. Smoke

2 True mutual kindness they pretend, Did ever any man
pretend mutual
kindness to another?

3 But God those flatterers will confound, Qu: whether flatterers
That with abusive lies abound, usually abound with
And proudly boast their vicious ways, abusive lies?

4 That say, with our deceitful tongues If they say thus they
are silly flatterers.

6 And since He thus was pleased to say, That comparison is
Like gold refined from base alloy, well applied.
His promise never can deceive; (3)
(3) Deceive. Pronounce
this like a beau.

7 And therefore will their cause assert, Examine well the grammar
Who thus are pure and true of heart, and sense and the
And save them from the enemy; elegance of this

8 For, when th' ungodly meet success, Here the author separates
The wicked more and more increase,(1) the wicked from
And proudly all their foes defy. the ungodly.

(1) Incr_ess_.


1 How long wilt Thou neglect, A civil question that!
O Lord, to hear me pray!

3 Attend, and hear my cries, Mind me, Sir!
Some comfort now disclose,
E'er grief has shut my weeping eyes Which would be nonsense,
In death's obscure repose: put in prose.

4 Lest my proud enemy,
If now my trust should fail,
And those that persecute me cry;
See, thus we still prevail: A pretty speech that!


1 Hence virtue in the world declines, Without question virtue
And all men vicious grow. declines with a vengeance
when all men
grow vicious.

2 And see who would His being own, What other way is
And Him, as God, adore: there of adoring?

3 (2) But they were all perverted grown, (2) But they were all
Polluted all with blood, perverted grown,
And other impious crimes; not one In spite of Dr. Gibbs
Was either just (3) or good. his blood:
Of all his impious
rhimes not one
Was either just or good.

(3) For a man (it seems)
may be good and not

4 Are they so stupid (4) then, said (5) God, (4) The fault was not_
Who thus My (6) saints devour! that they devoured__
These (7) crimes have they not understood, saints,_ but that they
Nor thought upon My power! were stupid.
Qu: Whether stupidity
makes men devour saints,
or devouring saints
makes a man stupid? I
believe the latter,
because they may be apt
to lie heavy in one's

(5) Clod.

(6) Strains.

(7) Rhimes.

7 (1) O, that His aid we now might have (1) And O that every
From Sion's holy hill, parish clerk,
That God the captive just would save, Who hums what Brady cribs
And glad all Israel. From Hopkins, would read
this work,
And glad the
heart with Gibbs.


_Representing the character of a good man_. And a bad poet.

2 Sincere, and just, who never lie;_

3 And so their neighbour ne'er deceive, How _so_?

5 All those that lead a life like this (2) And so the doctor
Shall reign in everlasting bliss. (2) now may kiss----!


Fiddling Impudent Nauseous Illiterate Scoundrel
oolish dle onsensical gnorant cot











"Insani sanus nomen ferat, aequus iniqui,
Ultra quam satis est, virtutem si petat ipsam."

HOR. Epist. 1. vi. 16.

This "Proposal," which has not been included in the editions of Swift's
Works issued by Scott, Faulkner, or Hawkesworth, appeared originally,
but in a shorter form, in the "Tatler" (No. 220, September 4th, 1710).
In this form the whole of the first portion, from the beginning to the
paragraph commencing "The Church thermometer," is omitted, as are also
the last paragraphs of the essay, including the "Advertisement." The
text of the present reprint I have taken from the "Miscellanies," vol.
viii., 1745 (pp. 217-229). In all modern editions of the "Tatler" this
paper is ascribed to Addison; but the style and the subject are so
characteristic of Swift that, although I am not in a position to say
definitely that it is by him, I think it deserves a place in the form of
an Appendix. The date of its appearance in the "Tatler" is somewhat
against Swift having written it, since he was at that time on his way to
London; and of the few contributions he sent to the "Tatler" it is agreed
by all editors that the first is the paper on the same subject as the
letter to the Lord High Treasurer, which appeared in No. 230 (September
28th, 1710).




Having, with great sorrow of heart, observed the increase of Popery
among us of late years, and how ineffectual the penal laws and statutes
of this realm have been, for near forty years last past, towards
reclaiming that blind and deluded people from their errors,
notwithstanding the good intentions of the legislators, and the pious
and unwearied labours of the many learned divines of the Established
Church, who have preached to them without ceasing, although hitherto
without success:

Having also remarked, in his Grace's speech to both Houses of
Parliament, most kind offers of his Grace's good offices towards
obtaining such further laws as shall be thought necessary towards
bringing home the said wandering sheep into the fold of the Church, as
also a good disposition in the parliament to join in the laudable work,
towards which every good Protestant ought to contribute at least his
advice: I think it a proper time to lay before the public a scheme which
was writ some years since, and laid by to be ready on a fit occasion.

That, whereas the several penal laws and statutes now in being against
Papists, have been found ineffectual, and rather tend to confirm, than
reclaim men from their errors, as calling a man coward, is a ready way
to make him fight; It is humbly proposed,

I. That the said penal laws and statutes against Papists, except the law
of Gavelkind, and that which disqualifies them for places, be repealed,
abrogated, annulled, destroyed, and obliterated, to all intents and

II. That, in the room of the said penal laws and statutes, all
ecclesiastical jurisdiction be taken from out of the hands of the clergy
of the established Church, and the same be vested in the several popish
archbishops, bishops, deans and arch-deacons; nevertheless so as such
jurisdiction be exercised over persons of the Popish religion only.

III. That a Popish priest shall be settled by law in each and every
parish in Ireland.

IV. That the said Popish priest shall, on taking the oath of allegiance
to his majesty, be entitled to a tenth part or tithe of all things
tithable in Ireland, belonging to the papists, within their respective
parishes, yet so as such grant of tithes to such Popish priests, shall
not be construed, in law or equity, to hinder the Protestant clergyman
of such parish from receiving and collecting his tithes in like manner
as he does at present.

V. That, in case of detention or subtraction of tithes by any Papist,
the parish priest do have his remedy at law in any of his majesty's
courts, in the same manner as now practised by the clergy of the
Established Church; together with all other ecclesiastical dues. And,
for their further discovery to vex their people at law, it might not be
amiss to oblige the solicitor-general, or some other able king's
counsel, to give his advice, or assistance to such priests gratis, for
which he might receive a salary out of the Barrack Fund, Military
Contingencies, or Concordatum; having observed the exceedings there
better paid than of the army, or any other branch of the establishment;
and I would have no delay in payment in a matter of this importance.

VI. That the archbishops and bishops have power to visit the inferior
clergy, and to extort proxies, exhibits, and all other perquisites usual
in Popish and Protestant countries.

VII. That the convocation having been found, by long experience, to be
hurtful to true religion, be for ever hereafter abolished among

VIII. That, in the room thereof, the Popish archbishops, bishops,
priests, deans, arch-deacons, and proctors, have liberty to assemble
themselves in convocation, and be impowered to make such canons as they
shall think proper for the government of the Papists in Ireland:

IX. And that, the secular arm being necessary to enforce obedience to
ecclesiastical censure, the sheriffs, constables, and other officers, be
commanded to execute the decrees and sentences of the said popish
convocation, with secrecy and dispatch, or, in lieu thereof, they may be
at liberty to erect an inquisition, with proper officers of their own.

X. That, as Papists declare themselves converts to the Established
Church, all spiritual power over them shall cease.

XI. That as soon as any whole parish shall renounce the Popish religion,
the priest of such parish shall, for his good services, have a pension
of L200 per ann. settled on him for life, and that he be from such time
exempt from preaching and praying, and other duties of his function, in
like manner as protestant divines, with equal incomes, are at present.

XII. That each bishop, so soon as his diocese shall become protestants,
be called, My Lord, and have a pension of two thousand pounds per annum
during life.

XIII. That when a whole province shall be reclaimed, the archbishop
shall be called His Grace, and have a pension of three thousand pounds
per ann. during life, and be admitted a member of his majesty's most
honourable privy council.

The good consequences of this scheme, (which will execute itself without
murmurings against the government) are very visible: I shall mention a
few of the most obvious.

I. The giving the priest a right to the tithe would produce law-suits
and wrangles; his reverence, being entituled to a certain income at all
events, would consider himself as a legal incumbent, and behave
accordingly, and apply himself more to fleecing than feeding his flock;
his necessary attendance on the courts of justice would leave his people
without a spiritual guide; by which means protestant curates, who have
no suits about tithes, would be furnished with proper opportunities for
making converts, which is very much wanted.

II. The erecting a spiritual jurisdiction amongst them would, in all
probability, drive as many out of that communion, as a due execution of
such jurisdiction hath hitherto drove from amongst ourselves.

III. An inquisition would still be a further improvement, and most
certainly would expedite the conversion of Papists.

I know it may be objected to this scheme, and with some shew of reason,
that, should the Popish princes abroad pursue the same methods, with
regard to their protestant subjects, the Protestant interest in Europe
would thereby be considerably weakened: but as we have no reason to
suspect Popish counsels will ever produce so much moderation, I think
the objection ought to have but little weight.

A due execution of this scheme will soon produce many converts from
Popery; nevertheless, to the end may it be known, when they shall be of
the true Church, I have ordered a large parcel of ecclesiastical or
Church thermometers to be made, one of which is to be hung up in each
parish church, the description and use of which take as follows, in the
words of the ingenious Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.

The[1] Church thermometer, which I am now to treat of, is supposed have
been invented in the reign of Henry the Eighth, about the time when that
religious prince put some to death for owning the Pope's supremacy, and
others for denying transubstantiation. I do not find, however, any great
use made of this instrument till it fell into the hand of a learned and
vigilant priest or minister, (for he frequently wrote himself both the
one and the other) who was some time Vicar of Bray. This gentleman lived
in his vicarage to a good old age; and after having seen several
successions of his neighbouring clergy either burnt or banished,
departed this life with the satisfaction of having never deserted his
flock, and died Vicar of Bray. As this glass was first designed to
calculate the different degrees of heat in religion, as it raged in
Popery, or as it cooled, and grew temperate in the Reformation, it was
marked at several distances, after the manner our ordinary thermometer
is to this day, viz. extreme hot sultry hot, very hot, hot, warm,
temperate, cold, just freezing, frost, hard frost, great frost, extreme

[Footnote 1: In the "Tatler" this paragraph is preceded by the
following: "_From my own apartment, Sept. 4._--Having received many
letters filled with compliments and acknowledgments for my late useful
discovery of the political barometer, I shall here communicate to the
publican account of my ecclesiastical thermometer, the latter giving as
manifest prognostications of the changes and revolutions in Church, as
the former does of those in State, and both of them being absolutely
necessary for every prudent subject who is resolved to keep what he has,
and get what he can." [T.S.]]

It is well known, that Torricellius,[2] the inventor of the common
weather-glass, made the experiment of a long tube which held thirty-two
foot of water; and that a more modern virtuoso finding such a machine
altogether unwieldly and useless, and considering that thirty-two inches
of quicksilver weighed as much as so many foot of water in a tube of the
same circumference, invented that sizeable instrument which is now in
use. After this manner, that I might adapt the thermometer I am now
speaking of to the present constitution of our Church, as divided into
High and Low, I have made some necessary variations both in the tube and
the fluid it contains. In the first place I ordered a tube to be cast in
a planetary hour, and took care to seal it hermetically, when the sun
was in conjunction with Saturn. I then took the proper precautions about
the fluid, which is a compound of two different liquors; one of them a
spirit drawn out of a strong heady wine; the other a particular sort of
rock-water, colder than ice, and clearer than crystal. The spirit is of
a red, fiery colour, and so very apt to ferment, that, unless it be
mingled with a proportion of the water, or pent up very close, it will
burst the vessel that holds it, and fly up in a fume and smoke. The
water, on the contrary, is of such a subtile, piercing cold, that,
unless it be mingled with a proportion of the spirits, it will sink
almost through every thing it is put into, and seems to be of the same
nature as the water mentioned by Quintus Curtius, which says the
historian, could be contained in nothing but in the hoof, or (as the
Oxford Manuscript has it) the skull of an ass. The thermometer is marked
according to the following figure, which I set down at length, not only
to give my reader a clear idea of it, but also to fill up my paper.

[Footnote 2: Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647) was assistant to
Galileo, and is famous as the discoverer of the phenomena on which he
made the barometer. In 1644 he published "Opera Geometrica." [T.S.]]


The reader will observe, that the Church is placed in the middle point
of the glass between Zeal and Moderation, the situation in which she
always flourishes, and in which every good Englishman wishes her, who is
a friend to the constitution of his country. However, when it mounts to
Zeal, it is not amiss; and, when it sinks to Moderation, it is still in
admirable temper. The worst of it is, that when once it begins to rise,
it has still an inclination to ascend, insomuch that it is apt to climb
from Zeal to Wrath, and from Wrath to Persecution, which often ends in
Ignorance, and very often proceeds from it. In the same manner it
frequently takes its progress through the lower half of the glass; and,
when it has a tendency to fall, will gradually descend from Moderation
to Lukewarmness, and from Lukewarmness to Infidelity, which very often
terminates in Ignorance, and always proceeds from it.

It is a common observation, that the ordinary thermometer will be
affected by the breathing of people who are in the room where it stands,
and indeed it is almost incredible to conceive how the glass I am now
describing, will fall by the breath of the multitude crying Popery; or,
on the contrary, how it will rise when the same multitude (as it
sometimes happens) cry out in the same breath, _The Church is in

As soon as I have finished this my glass, and adjusted it to the
above-mentioned scale of religion, that I might make proper experiments
with it, I carried it under my cloak to several coffee-houses, and other
places of resort, about this great city. At Saint James's Coffee-house
the liquor stood at Moderation; but at Will's, to my extreme surprise,
it subsided to the very lowest mark of the glass. At the Grecian it
mounted but just one point higher; at the Rainbow it still ascended two
degrees; Child's fetched it up to Zeal, and other adjacent coffee-houses
to Wrath.

It fell in the lower half of the glass as I went further into the City,
till at length it settled at Moderation, where it continued all the time
I stayed about the Change, as also whilst I passed by the Bank. And here
I cannot but take notice, that, through the whole course of my remarks,
I never observed my glass to rise at the same time that the stocks did.

To complete the experiment, I prevailed upon a friend of mine, who works
under me in the occult sciences, to make a progress with my glass
through the whole Island of Great Britain; and, after his return, to
present me with a register of his observations. I guessed beforehand at
the temper of several places he passed through, by the characters they
have had time out of mind. Thus that facetious divine, Dr. Fuller,[3]
speaking of the town of Banbury near a hundred years ago, tells us, it
was a place famous for cakes and zeal, which I find by my glass is true
to this day, as to the latter part of his description; though I must
confess, it is not in the same reputation for cakes that it was in the
time of that learned author; and thus of other places. In short, I have
now by me, digested in an alphabetical order, all the counties,
corporations, and boroughs in Great Britain, with their respective
tempers, as they stand related to my thermometer. But this I shall keep
to myself, because I would by no means do any thing that may seem to
influence any ensuing election.

[Footnote 3: Thomas Fuller, D.D. (1608-1661) was the author of "History
of the Worthies of England," "History of the Holy War," and many other
works distinguished for their humour and style. [T.S.]]

The point of doctrine which I would propagate by this my invention, is
the same which was long ago advanced by that able teacher Horace, out of
whom I have taken my text for this discourse: We should be careful not
to over-shoot ourselves in the pursuits even of virtue. Whether zeal or
moderation be the point we aim at, let us keep fire out of the one, and
frost out of the other. But, alas! the world is too wise to want such a
precaution. The terms High-Church and Low-Church, as commonly used, do
not so much denote a principle, as they distinguish a party. They are
like words of battle, they have nothing to do with their original
signification, but are only given out to keep a body of men together,
and to let them know friends from enemies.

I must confess I have considered, with some attention, the influence
which the opinions of these great national sects have upon their
practice; and do look upon it as one of the unaccountable things of our
times, that multitudes of honest gentlemen, who entirely agree in their
lives, should take it in their heads to differ in their religion.[4]

[Footnote 4: Here the "Tatler" paper ends. [T.S.]]

I shall conclude this paper with an account of a conference which
happened between a very excellent divine (whose doctrine was easy, and
formerly much respected) and a lawyer.

* * * * *

And behold a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master,
what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou?

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all
thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my

And Jesus answering, said; A certain man went down from Jerusalem to
Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and
wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and, when he
saw him, he passed by on the other side.

And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him,
and passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and, when
he saw him, he had compassion on him.

And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine; and
set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of

And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave
them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him, and whatsoever
thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that
fell among the thieves?

And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go,
and do thou likewise. Luke x. 25 to 38.

* * * * *


There is now in the press a proposal for raising a fund towards paying
the National Debt by the following means: The author would have
commissioners appointed to search all the public and private libraries,
booksellers shops and warehouses, in this kingdom, for such books as are
of no use to the owner, or to the public, viz. all comments on the Holy
Scriptures, whether called sermons, creeds, bodies of divinity, tomes of
casuistry, vindications, confutations, essays, answers, replies,
rejoinders, or sur-rejoinders, together with all other learned treatises
and books of divinity, of what denomination or class soever; as also all
comments on the laws of the land, such as reports, law-cases, decrees,
guides for attorneys and young clerks, and, in fine, all the books now
in being in this kingdom (whether of divinity, law, physic, metaphysics,
logics or politics) except the pure text of the Holy Scriptures, the
naked text of the laws, a few books of morality, poetry, music,
architecture, agriculture, mathematics, merchandise and history; the
author would have the aforesaid useless books carried to the several
paper-mills, there to be wrought into white paper, which, to prevent
damage or complaints, he would have performed by the commentators,
critics, popular preachers, apothecaries, learned lawyers, attorneys,
solicitors, logicians, physicians, almanac-makers, and others of the
like wrong turn of mind; the said paper to be sold, and the produce
applied to discharge the National Debt; what should remain of the said
debt unsatisfied, might be paid by a tax on the salaries or estates of
bankers, common cheats, usurers, treasurers, embezzelers of public
money, general officers, sharpers, pensioners, pick-pockets, &c.



The _rencontre_ with Serjeant Bettesworth, to which reference has
already been made in the note prefixed to "The Presbyterians' Plea of
Merit," is further illustrated by the Resolution which the inhabitants
of the Liberty of St. Patrick's passed, and which they presented to the
Dean. Bettesworth, as a note in the thirteenth volume of Swift's works
(1762) states, "engaged his footman and two ruffians to attend him, in
order to secure the dean wherever they met him, until he had gratified
his resentment either by maiming or stabbing him." Accordingly, he went
directly to the deanery, and hearing the Dean was at a friend's house
(Rev. Mr. John Worrall's in Big Ship Street), followed him thither,
charged him with writing the said verses, but had not courage enough to
put his bloody design in execution. However, as he had the assurance to
relate this affair to several noblemen and gentlemen, the inhabitants of
the Liberty of St. Patrick's waited upon the Dean, and presented the
following paper, signed by above thirty of them, in the name of
themselves, and the rest of their neighbourhood:

"We the inhabitants of the Liberty of the Dean and Chapter of St
Patrick's Dublin, and the neighbourhood of the same, having been
informed, by universal report, that a certain man of this city hath
openly threatened, and sworn before many hundred people, as well persons
of quality as others, that he resolves upon the first opportunity, by
the help of several ruffians, to murder or maim the Reverend the Dean of
St. Patrick, our neighbour, benefactor, and the head of the Liberty of
St Patrick, upon a frivolous unproved suspicion of the said Dean's
having written some lines in verse reflecting on the said man.

"Therefore, we, the said inhabitants of the said Liberty, and in the
neighbourhood thereof, from our great love and respect to the said Dean,
to whom the whole kingdom hath so many obligations, as well as we of the
Liberty, do unanimously declare, that we will endeavour to defend the
life and limbs of the said Dean against the said man, and all his
ruffians and murderers, as far as the law will allow, if he or any of
them presume to come into the said Liberty with any wicked malicious
intent against the house, or family, or person, or goods of the said
Dean. To which we have cheerfully, sincerely, and heartily set our

Swift, at the time of receiving this Resolution lay very ill in bed, and
was unable to receive the deputation in person. He, however, dictated
the following reply:


"I receive, with great thankfulness, these many kind expressions of your
concern for my safety, as well as your declared resolution to defend me
(as far as the laws of God and man will allow) against all murderers and
ruffians, who shall attempt to enter into the liberty with any bloody or
wicked designs upon my life, my limbs, my house, or my goods. Gentlemen,
my life is in the hand of God, and whether it may be cut off by
treachery or open violence, or by the common way of other men; as long
as it continueth, I shall ever bear a grateful memory for this favour
you have shewn, beyond my expectation, and almost exceeding my wishes.

"The inhabitants of the liberty, as well as those of the neighbourhood,
have lived with me in great amity for near twenty years; which I am
confident will never diminish during my life. I am chiefly sorry, that
by two cruel disorders of deafness and giddiness, which have pursued me
for four months, I am not in condition either to hear, or to receive
you, much less to return my most sincere acknowledgements, which in
justice and gratitude I ought to do. May God bless you and your families
in this world, and make you for ever happy in the next."

The poem itself to which Bettesworth took exception is herewith
reprinted, as well as three others occasioned by the Bettesworth action.



IRELAND. 1733.

"An inundation, says the fable,
Overflow'd a farmer's barn and stable;
Whole ricks of hay and sacks of corn
Were down the sudden current borne;
While things of heterogeneous kind
Together float with tide and wind.
The generous wheat forgot its pride,
And sail'd with litter side by side;
Uniting all, to shew their amity,
As in a general calamity.
A ball of new-dropp'd horse's dung,
Mingling with apples in the throng,
Said to the pippin plump and prim,
'See brother, how we apples swim.'
Thus Lamb, renown'd for cutting corns,
An offer'd fee from Radcliff scorns,
'Not for the world--we doctors, brother,
Must take no fees of one another.'
Thus to a dean some curate sloven
Subscribes, 'Dear sir, your brother loving.'
Thus all the footmen, shoeboys, porters,
About St James's cry, 'We courtiers.'
Thus Horace in the house will prate,
'Sir, we, the ministers of state.'
Thus at the bar the booby Bettesworth,
Though half a crown o'erpays his sweat's worth;
Who knows in law nor text nor margent,
Calls Singleton[1] his brother sergeant.[2]
And thus fanatic saints, though neither in
Doctrine nor discipline our brethren,
Are brother Protestants and Christians,
As much as Hebrews and Philistines:
But in no other sense, than nature
Has made a rat our fellow-creature.
Lice from your body suck their food;
But is a louse your flesh and blood?
Though born of human filth and sweat, it
As well may say man did beget it.
And maggots in your nose and chin
As well may claim you for their kin.
Yet critics may object, why not?
Since lice are brethren to a Scot:
Which made our swarm of sects determine
Employments for their brother vermin.
But be they English, Irish, Scottish,
What Protestant can be so sottish,
While o'er the church these clouds are gathering,
To call a swarm of lice his brethren?
"As Moses, by divine advice,
In Egypt turn'd the dust to lice;
And as our sects, by all descriptions,
Have hearts more harden'd than Egyptians;
As from the trodden dust they spring,
And, turn'd to lice, infest the king:
For pity's sake, it would be just,
A rod should turn them back to dust.
Let folks in high or holy stations
Be proud of owning such relations;
Let courtiers hug them in their bosom,
As if they were afraid to lose 'em:
While I, with humble Job, had rather
Say to corruption--'Thou 'rt my father.'
For he that has so little wit
To nourish vermin, may be bit."

[Footnote 1: Henry Singleton, Esq., then prime sergeant, afterwards
lord-chief-justice of the common pleas, which he resigned, and was some
time after made master of the rolls. [F.]]

[Footnote 2: These lines occasioned the personal attack upon the Dean.



"In your indignation what mercy appears.
While Jonathan's threaten'd with loss of his ears;
For who would not think it a much better choice,
By your knife to be mangled than rack'd with your voice.
If truly you [would] be revenged on the parson,
Command his attendance while you act your farce on;
Instead of your maiming, your shooting, or banging,
Bid _Povey_[2] secure him while you are haranguing.
Had this been your method to torture him, long since,
He had cut his own ears to be deaf to your nonsense."

[Footnote 1: Now first published from a copy in the Dean's handwriting;
in possession of J. Connill, Esq. [S.]]

[Footnote 2: Povey was sergeant-at-arms to the House of Commons.]



_To the Tune of "Derry Down."_

"Jolley boys of St Kevan's,[4] St Patrick's, Donore,
And Smithfield, I'll tell you, if not told before,
How Bettesworth, that booby, and scoundrel in grain,
Has insulted us all by insulting the Dean.
Knock him down, down, down, knock him down.

[Footnote 3: "Grub Street Journal," No. 189, August 9th, 1734.--"In
December last, Mr. Bettesworth of the city of Dublin, serjeant-at-law,
and member of parliament, openly swore, before many hundreds of people,
that, upon the first opportunity, by the help of ruffians, he would
murder or maim the Dean of St. Patrick's, (Dr. Swift). Upon which
thirty-one of the principal inhabitants of that liberty signed a paper
to this effect: 'That, out of their great love and respect to the Dean,
to whom the whole kingdom hath so many obligations, they would endeavour
to defend the life and limbs of the said Dean against a certain man and
all his ruffians and murderers.' With which paper they, in the name of
themselves and all the inhabitants of the city, attended the Dean on
January 8, who being extremely ill in bed of a giddiness and deafness,
and not able to receive them, immediately dictated a very grateful
answer. The occasion of a certain man's declaration of his villainous
design against the Dean, was a frivolous unproved suspicion that he had
written some lines in verse reflecting upon him."]

[Footnote 4: Kevan Bayl was a cant expression for the mob of this
district of Dublin.]

"The Dean and his merits we every one know,
But this skip of a lawyer, where the de'il did he grow?
How greater his merit at Four Courts or House,
Than the barking of Towzer, or leap of a louse!
Knock him down, &c.

"That he came from the Temple, his morals do show;
But where his deep law is, few mortals yet know:
His rhetoric, bombast, silly jests, are by far
More like to lampooning, than pleading at bar.
Knock him down, &c.

"This pedlar, at speaking and making of laws,
Has met with returns of all sorts but applause;
Has, with noise and odd gestures, been prating some years,
What honester folk never durst for their ears.
Knock him down, &c.

"Of all sizes and sorts, the fanatical crew
Are his brother Protestants, good men and true;
Red hat, and blue bonnet, and turban's the same,
What the de'il is't to him whence the devil they came.
Knock him down, &c.

"Hobbes, Tindal, and Woolston, and Collins, and Nayler,
And Muggleton, Toland, and Bradley the tailor,
Are Christians alike; and it may be averr'd,
He's a Christian as good as the rest of the herd.
Knock him down, &c.

"He only the rights of the clergy debates;
Their rights! their importance! We'll set on new rates
On their tithes at half-nothing, their priesthood at less;
What's next to be voted with ease you may guess.
Knock him down, &c.

"At length his old master, (I need not him name,)
To this damnable speaker had long owed a shame;
When his speech came abroad, he paid him off clean,
By leaving him under the pen of the Dean.
Knock him down, &c.

"He kindled, as if the whole satire had been
The oppression of virtue, not wages of sin:
He began, as he bragg'd, with a rant and a roar;
He bragg'd how he bounced, and he swore how he swore.[5]
Knock him down, &c.

[Footnote 5: See the Dean's letter to the Duke of Dorset, in which he
gives an account of his interview with Bettesworth, about which he
alleges the serjeant had spread abroad five hundred falsehoods. [S.]]

"Though he cringed to his deanship in very low strains,
To others he boasted of knocking out brains,
And slitting of noses, and cropping of ears,
While his own ass's zags were more fit for the shears.
Knock him down, &c.

"On this worrier of deans whene'er we can hit,
We'll shew him the way how to crop and to slit;
We'll teach him some better address to afford
To the dean of all deans, though he wears not a sword.
Knock him down, &c.

"We'll colt him through Kevan, St Patrick's, Donore,
And Smithfield, as rap was ne'er colted before;
We'll oil him with kennel, and powder him with grains,
A modus right fit for insulters of deans.
Knock him down, &c.

"And, when this is over, we'll make him amends,
To the Dean he shall go; they shall kiss and be friends:
But how? Why, the Dean shall to him disclose
A face for to kiss, without eyes, ears, or nose.
Knock him down, &c.

"If you say this is hard on a man that is reckon'd
That sergeant-at-law whom we call Kite the Second,
You mistake; for a slave, who will coax his superiors,
May be proud to be licking a great man's posteriors.
Knock him down, &c.

"What care we how high runs his passion or pride?
Though his soul he despises, he values his hide;
Then fear not his tongue, or his sword, or his knife;
He'll take his revenge on his innocent wife.
Knock him down, down, down, keep him down."


"Dear Dick, pr'ythee tell by what passion you move?
The world is in doubt whether hatred or love;
And, while at good Cashel you rail with such spite,
They shrewdly suspect it is all but a bite.
You certainly know, though so loudly you vapour,
His spite cannot wound who attempted the Drapier.
Then, pr'ythee, reflect, take a word of advice;
And, as your old wont is, change sides in a trice:
On his virtues hold forth; 'tis the very best way;
And say of the man what all honest men say.
But if, still obdurate, your anger remains,
If still your foul bosom more rancour contains,
Say then more than they, nay, lavishly flatter;
'Tis your gross panegyrics alone can bespatter;
For thine, my dear Dick, give me leave to speak plain,
Like very foul mops, dirty more than they clean."

[Footnote 1: Dr. Theophilus Bolton. [T.S.]]

The letter to the Earl of Dorset, containing Swift's version of the
story is as follows:

"January, 1734.


"It has been my great misfortune that since your grace's return to this
kingdom I have not been able to attend you, as my duty and gratitude for
your favours as well as the honour of having been so many years known to
you obliged me to do. I have been pursued by two old disorders, a
giddiness and deafness, which used to leave me in three or four weeks,
but now have continued four months. Thus I am put under a necessity to
write what I would rather have chosen to say in your grace's presence.

"On Monday last week towards evening there came to the deanery one Mr.
Bettesworth; who, being told by the servants that I was gone to a
friend's house,[1] went thither to inquire for me, and was admitted into
the street parlour. I left my company in the back room and went to him.
He began with asking me 'whether I were the author of certain verses
wherein he was reflected on.' The singularity of the man, in his
countenance, manner, action, style, and tone of voice, made me call to
mind that I had once seen him about two or three years ago at Mr.
Ludlow's country-house. But I could not recollect his name; and of what
calling he might be I had never heard. I therefore desired to know who
and what he was; said 'I had heard of some such verses, but knew no
more.' He then signified to me 'that he was a serjeant-at-law and a
member of parliament.' After which he repeated the lines that concerned
him with great emphasis; said 'I was mistaken in one thing, for he
assured me he was no booby, but owned himself to be a coxcomb.' However,
that being a point of controversy wherein I had no concern, I let it
drop. As to the verses, he insisted, 'that by his taste and skill in
poetry he was as sure I wrote them as if he had seen them fall from my
pen.' But I found the chief weight of his argument lay upon two words
that rhymed to his name, which he knew could come from none but me. He
then told me 'that, since I would not own the verses, and that since he
could not get satisfaction by any course of law, he would get it by his
pen, and show the world what a man I was.' When he began to grow
over-warm and eloquent I called in the gentleman of the house from the
room adjoining; and the serjeant, going on with less turbulence, went
away. He had a footman in the hall during all his talk, who was to have
opened the door for one or more fellows, as he has since reported; and
likewise that he had a sharp knife in his pocket, ready to stab or maim
me. But the master and mistress of the house, who knew his character and
could hear every word from the room they were in, had prepared a
sufficient defence in such a case, as they afterward told me. He has
since related to five hundred persons of all ranks about five hundred
falsehoods of this conversation, of my fears and his own brutalities,
against all probability as well as fact; and some of them, as I have
been assured, even in the presence of your grace. His meanings and his
movements were indeed peevish enough, but his words were not. He
threatened me with nothing but his pen, yet owned he had no pretence to
wit. And indeed I am heartily glad for his own sake that he proceeded no
farther, for the least uproar would have called his nearest neighbours
first to my assistance, and next to the manifest danger of his life; and
I would not willingly have even a dog killed upon my account. Ever since
he has amused himself with declaring in all companies, especially before
bishops and lords and members of parliament, his resolutions for
vengeance and the several manners by which he will put it in execution.

[Footnote 1: The Rev. Mr. Worrall's. [T.S.]]

"It is only to the advice of some judicious friends that your grace owes
the trouble of this letter; for though I may be dispirited enough by
sickness and years, yet I have little reason to apprehend any danger
from that man; and those who seem to have most regard for my safety are
no more apprehensive than myself, especially such as best know his
character; for his very enemies and even his ridiculers, who are of the
two by far the greater number, allow him to be a peaceable man in all
things except his words, his rhetorical actions, his looks, and his
hatred to the clergy; which however are all known by abundance of
experience to be perfectly harmless, and particularly as to the clergy.
I do not doubt but, if he will be so good to continue steadfast in his
principles and practices, he may at proper junctures contribute very
much to the honour and interests of that reverend body, as well as
employ and improve the wit of many young gentlemen in the city, the
university, and the rest of the kingdom.

"What I have said to your grace is only meant as a poor endeavour to
preserve myself in your good opinion and in the continuance of your
favour. I am, with the highest respect, etc."






WILLIAM WHISTON (1667-1752), born at Norton, Leicestershire, was
educated at Tamworth School and Clare College, Cambridge. He resigned
the living at Lowestoft, presented to him by his patron and friend,
Bishop Moore, of Norwich, on accepting the Professorship of Mathematics,
vacated by Sir Isaac Newton. He was a profound scholar and
mathematician, but obtained a somewhat harassing fame by his propagation
of Arianism. Indeed, his public lectures and sermons, as well as his
publications vindicating his attitude, forced the authorities to deprive
him of his lectureship, and expel him from the university. In 1717
Whiston founded a Society for Promoting Primitive Christianity, and its
meetings were held at his house in Cross Street, Hatton Garden. But the
society lived only for two years. In that curious medley, "Memoirs of
the Life of Mr. William Whiston, by himself," we are told that he had a
model made of the original Tabernacle of Moses from his own plans, and
toured the country giving lectures on the coming of the Messiah, the
restoration of the Jews to their own country, and the rebuilding of the
Temple according to the model. The Millennium he foretold would commence
in 1766.

He wrote a prodigious number of tracts, pamphlets, commentaries, and
biblical expositions in support of his particular view of Christianity;
but the works for which he is now remembered are his astronomical and
mechanical papers and his well-known translation of Josephus's "History
of the Jews."

The pamphlet which follows is written in ridicule of Whiston's prophetic
pronouncements. Scott ascribes its authorship to Swift; but the
"Miscellanies" of 1747 and Hawkesworth in the edition of 1766 of Swift's
Works place it in the list of "Contents," with other pieces, under the
heading, "By Mr. Pope and Mr. Gay."

The present text is practically that given by Scott, which is based on
that in the third edition of the "Miscellanies" of 1732.




_What passed in_ London, _during the General Consternation
of all Ranks and Degrees of Mankind_;

FRIDAY _last_.

On Tuesday the 13th of October, Mr. Whiston held his lecture, near the
Royal Exchange, to an audience of fourteen worthy citizens, his
subscribers and constant hearers. Besides these, there were five chance
auditors for that night only, who had paid their shillings a-piece. I
think myself obliged to be very particular in this relation, lest my
veracity should be suspected; which makes me appeal to the men who were
present; of which number I myself was one. Their names are,

Henry Watson, _Haberdasher_.
George Hancock, _Druggist_.
John Lewis, _Dry-Salter._
William Jones, _Corn-Chandler._
Henry Theobald, _Watchmaker_.
James Peters, _Draper_.
Thomas Floyer, _Silver-Smith._
John Wells, _Brewer_.
Samuel Greg, _Soap-Boiler_.
William Cooley, _Fish-monger_.
James Harper, _Hosier_.
Robert Tucker, _Stationer_.
George Ford, _Iron-monger_.
Daniel Lynch, _Apothecary_.

William Bennet, }
David Somers, }
Charles Lock, } _Apprentices_.
Leonard Daval, }
Henry Croft, }

Mr. Whiston began by acquainting us, that (contrary to his advertisement)
he thought himself in duty and conscience obliged to change the subject
matter of his intended discourse. Here he paused, and seemed, for a
short space, as it were, lost in devotion and mental prayer; after
which, with great earnestness and vehemence, he spake as follows:

"Friends and fellow-citizens, all speculative science is at an end: the
period of all things is at hand; on Friday next this world shall be no
more. Put not your confidence in me, brethren; for to-morrow morning,
five minutes after five, the truth will be evident; in that instant the
comet shall appear, of which I have heretofore warned you. As ye have
heard, believe. Go hence, and prepare your wives, your families, and
friends, for the universal change."

At this solemn and dreadful prediction, the whole society appeared in
the utmost astonishment: but it would be unjust not to remember, that Mr.
Whiston himself was in so calm a temper, as to return a shilling a-piece
to the youths, who had been disappointed of their lecture, which I
thought, from a man of his integrity, a convincing proof of his own
faith in the prediction.

As we thought it a duty in charity to warn all men, in two or three
hours the news had spread through the city. At first, indeed, our report
met with but little credit; it being, by our greatest dealers in stocks,
thought only a court artifice to sink them, that some choice favourites
might purchase at a lower rate; for the South Sea, that very evening,
fell five _per cent._, the India, eleven, and all the other funds in
proportion. But, at the Court end of the town, our attestations were
entirely disbelieved, or turned into ridicule; yet nevertheless the news
spread everywhere, and was the subject matter of all conversation.

That very night, (as I was credibly informed) Mr. Whiston was sent for to
a great lady, who is very curious in the learned sciences, and addicted
to all the speculative doubts of the most able philosophers; but he was
not now to be found; and since, at other times, he has been known not to
decline that honour, I make no doubt he concealed himself to attend the
great business of his soul: but whether it was the lady's faith, or
inquisitiveness, that occasioned her to send, is a point I shall not
presume to determine. As for his being sent for to the secretary's
office by a messenger, it is now known to be a matter notoriously false,
and indeed at first it had little credit with me, that so zealous and
honest a man should be ordered into custody, as a seditious preacher,
who is known to be so well-affected to the present happy establishment.

'Twas now I reflected, with exceeding trouble and sorrow, that I had
disused family prayers for above five years, and (though it has been a
custom of late entirely neglected by men of any business or station) I
determined within myself no longer to omit so reasonable and religious a
duty. I acquainted my wife with my intentions: But two or three
neighbours having been engaged to sup with us that night, and many hours
being unwarily spent at cards, I was prevailed upon by her to put it off
till the next day; she reasoning, that it would be time enough to take
off the servants from their business (which this practice must
infallibly occasion for an hour or two every day) after the comet had
made its appearance.

Zachery Bowen, a Quaker, and my next neighbour, had no sooner heard of
the prophecy, but he made me a visit. I informed him of everything I had
heard, but found him quite obstinate in his unbelief; for, said he, be
comforted, friend, thy tidings are impossibilities; for, were these
things to happen, they must have been foreseen by some of our brethren.
This indeed (as in all other spiritual cases with this set of people)
was his only reason against believing me; and, as he was fully persuaded
that the prediction was erroneous, he in a very neighbourly manner
admonished me against selling my stock at the present low price, which,
he said, beyond dispute, must have a rise before Monday, when this
unreasonable consternation should be over.

But on Wednesday morning (I believe to the exact calculation of Mr.
Whiston) the comet appeared; for, at three minutes after five by my own
watch, I saw it. He indeed foretold, that it would be seen at five
minutes after five; but, as the best watches may be a minute or two too
slow, I am apt to think his calculation just to a minute.

In less than a quarter of an hour, all Cheapside was crowded with a vast
concourse of people, and notwithstanding it was so early, it is thought
that, through all that part of the town, there was not man, woman, or
child, except the sick or infirm, left in their beds. From my own

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