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Full Online Book HomePoemsDennis' Invitation To Steele; Horace, Book I, Ep. V
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Dennis' Invitation To Steele; Horace, Book I, Ep. V Post by :rona1 Category :Poems Author :Jonathan Swift Date :August 2011 Read :724

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Dennis' Invitation To Steele; Horace, Book I, Ep. V



Fit to be bound up with "The Crisis"

If thou canst lay aside a spendthrift's air,
And condescend to feed on homely fare,
Such as we minters, with ragouts unstored,
Will, in defiance of the law, afford:
Quit thy patrols with Toby's Christmas box,(1)
And come to me at The Two Fighting Cocks;
Since printing by subscription now is grown
The stalest, idlest cheat about the town;
And ev'n Charles Gildon, who, a Papist bred,
Has an alarm against that worship spread,
Is practising those beaten paths of cruising,
And for new levies on proposals musing.
'Tis true, that Bloomsbury-square's a noble place:
But what are lofty buildings in thy case?
What's a fine house embellish'd to profusion,
Where shoulder dabbers are in execution?
Or whence its timorous tenant seldom sallies,
But apprehensive of insulting bailiffs?
This once be mindful of a friend's advice,
And cease to be improvidently nice;
Exchange the prospects that delude thy sight,
From Highgate's steep ascent and Hampstead's height,
With verdant scenes, that, from St. George's Field,
More durable and safe enjoyments yield.
Here I, even I, that ne'er till now could find
Ease to my troubled and suspicious mind,
But ever was with jealousies possess'd,
Am in a state of indolence and rest;
Fearful no more of Frenchmen in disguise,
Nor looking upon strangers as on spies,(2)
But quite divested of my former spleen,
Am unprovoked without, and calm within:
And here I'll wait thy coming, till the sun
Shall its diurnal course completely run.
Think not that thou of sturdy bub shalt fail,
My landlord's cellar stock'd with beer and ale,
With every sort of malt that is in use,
And every country's generous produce.
The ready (for here Christian faith is sick,
Which makes us seldom trespass upon tick)
Instantly brings the choicest liquors out,
Whether we ask for home-brew'd or for stout,
For mead or cider, or, with dainties fed,
Ring for a flask or two of white or red,
Such as the drawer will not fail to swear
Was drunk by Pilkington(3)when third time mayor.
That name, methinks, so popularly known
For opposition to the church and crown,
Might make the Lusitanian grape to pass,
And almost give a sanction to the glass;
Especially with thee, whose hasty zeal
Against the late rejected commerce bill
Made thee rise up, like an audacious elf,
To do the speaker honour, not thyself.
But if thou soar'st above the common prices,
By virtue of subscription to thy Crisis,
And nothing can go down with thee but wines
Press'd from Burgundian and Campanian vines,
Bid them be brought; for, though I hate the French,
I love their liquors, as thou lovest a wench;
Else thou must humble thy expensive taste,
And, with us, hold contentment for a feast.
The fire's already lighted; and the maid
Has a clean cloth upon the table laid,
Who never on a Saturday had struck,
But for thy entertainment, up a buck.
Think of this act of grace, which by your leave
Susan would not have done on Easter Eve,
Had she not been inform'd over and over,
'Twas for th'ingenious author of The Lover.(4)
Cease, therefore, to beguile thyself with hopes,
Which is no more than making sandy ropes,
And quit the vain pursuit of loud applause,
That must bewilder thee in faction's cause.
Pr'ythee what is't to thee who guides the state?
Why Dunkirk's demolition is so late?
Or why her majesty thinks fit to cease
The din of war, and hush the world to peace?
The clergy too, without thy aid, can tell
What texts to choose, and on what topics dwell;
And, uninstructed by thy babbling, teach
Their flocks celestial happiness to reach.
Rather let such poor souls as you and I,
Say that the holidays are drawing nigh,
And that to-morrow's sun begins the week,
Which will abound with store of ale and cake,
With hams of bacon, and with powder'd beef,
Stuff d to give field-itinerants relief.
Then I, who have within these precincts kept,
And ne'er beyond the chimney-sweeper's stept,
Will take a loose, and venture to be seen,
Since 'twill be Sunday, upon Shanks's green;
There, with erected looks and phrase sublime,
To talk of unity of place and time,
And with much malice, mix'd with little satire,
Explode the wits on t'other side o' th' water.
Why has my Lord Godolphin's special grace
Invested me with a queen's waiter's place,
If I, debarr'd of festival delights,
Am not allow'd to spend the perquisites?
He's but a short remove from being mad,
Who at a time of jubilee is sad,
And, like a griping usurer, does spare
His money to be squander'd by his heir;
Flutter'd away in liveries and in coaches,
And washy sorts of feminine debauches.
As for my part, whate'er the world may think,
I'll bid adieu to gravity, and drink;
And, though I can't put off a woful mien,
Will be all mirth and cheerfulness within:
As, in despight of a censorious race,
I most incontinently suck my face.
What mighty projects does not he design,
Whose stomach flows, and brain turns round with wine?
Wine, powerful wine, can thaw the frozen cit,
And fashion him to humour and to wit;
Makes even Somers to disclose his art
By racking every secret from his heart,
As he flings off the statesman's sly disguise,
To name the cuckold's wife with whom he lies.(5)
Ev'n Sarum, when he quaffs it'stead of tea,
Fancies himself in Canterbury's see,
And S****, when he carousing reels,
Imagines that he has regain'd the seals:
W****, by virtue of his juice, can fight,
And Stanhope of commissioners make light.
Wine gives Lord Wingham aptitude of parts,
And swells him with his family's deserts:
Whom can it not make eloquent of speech;
Whom in extremest poverty not rich?
Since, by the means of the prevailing grape,
Th***n can Lechmere's warmth not only ape,
But, half seas o'er, by its inspiring bounties,
Can qualify himself in several counties.
What I have promised, thou may'st rest assured
Shall faithfully and gladly be procured.
Nay, I'm already better than my word,
New plates and knives adorn the jovial board:
And, lest you at their sight shouldst make wry faces
The girl has scour'd the pots, and wash'd the glasses
Ta'en care so excellently well to clean 'em,
That thou may'st see thine own dear picture in 'em.
Moreover, due provision has been made,
That conversation may not be betray'd;
I have no company but what is proper
To sit with the most flagrant Whig at supper.
There's not a man among them but must please,
Since they're as like each other as are pease.
Toland and Hare have jointly sent me word
They'll come; and Kennet thinks to make a third,
Provided he's no other invitation
From men of greater quality and station.
Room will for Oldmixon and J--s be left:
But their discourses smell so much of theft,
There would be no abiding in the room,
Should two such ignorant pretenders come.
However, by this trusty bearer write,
If I should any other scabs invite;
Though, if I may my serious judgment give,
I'm wholly for King Charles's number five:
That was the stint in which that monarch fix'd,
Who would not be with noisiness perplex'd:
And that, if thou'lt agree to think it best,
Shall be our tale of heads, without one other guest.
I've nothing more, now this is said, to say,
But to request thou'lt instantly away,
And leave the duties of thy present post,
To some well-skill'd retainer in a host:
Doubtless he'll carefully thy place supply,
And o'er his grace's horses have an eye.
While thou, who slunk thro' postern more than once,
Dost by that means avoid a crowd of duns,
And, crossing o'er the Thames at Temple Stairs,
Leav'st Phillips with good words to cheat their ears.

(Footnote 1: Allusion to a pamphlet written against Steele, under the name of Toby (Edward King), Abel Roper's kinsman and shopman.)

(Footnote 2: Dennis had a notion, that he was much dreaded by the French for his writings, and actually fled from the coast, on hearing that some unknown strangers had approached the town, where he was residing, never doubting that they were the messengers of Gallic vengeance. At the time of the peace of Utrecht, he was anxious for the introduction of a clause for his special protection, and was hardly consoled by the Duke of Marlborough's assurances, that he did not think such a precaution necessary in his own case, although he had been almost as obnoxious to France as Mr. Dennis.--_Scott_.)

(Footnote 3: Sir Thomas Pilkington, a leading member of the Skinners' Company, and a staunch Whig. He was elected Lord Mayor for the third time In 1690, and died in 1691.--_W. E. B._)

(Footnote 4: A comedy by Steele.)

(Footnote 5: See the Examiner, "Prose Works," ix, 171 _n._, for the grounds of this charge.--_W. E. B._)

(The end)
Jonathan Swift's poem: Dennis' Invitation To Steele; Horace, Book I, Ep. V

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In Sickness In Sickness

In Sickness
WRITTEN IN OCTOBER, 1714Soon after the author's coming to live in Ireland, upon the Queen's death.(1)--_Swift_.'Tis true--then why should I repineTo see my life so fast decline?But why obscurely here alone,Where I am neither loved nor known?My state of health none care to learn;My life is here no soul's concern:And those with whom I now converseWithout a tear will tend my hearse.Removed from kind Arbuthnot's aid,Who knows his art, but not his trade,Preferring his regard for meBefore his credit, or his fee.Some formal visits, looks, and words,What mere humanity affords,I meet perhaps from three or four,From whom I once expected more;Which

Horace, Book Ii, Ode I, Paraphrased Addressed To Richard Steele, Esq Horace, Book Ii, Ode I, Paraphrased Addressed To Richard Steele, Esq

Horace, Book Ii, Ode I, Paraphrased Addressed To Richard Steele, Esq
1714 Dick, thou'rt resolved, as I am told,Some strange arcana to unfold,And with the help of Buckley's(1) pen,To vamp the good old cause again:Which thou (such Burnet's shrewd advice is)Must furbish up, and nickname Crisis.Thou pompously wilt let us knowWhat all the world knew long ago,(E'er since Sir William Gore was mayor,And Harley fill'd the commons' chair,)That we a German prince must own,When Anne for Heaven resigns her throne.But, more than that, thou'lt keep a rout,With--who is in--and who is out;Thou'lt rail devoutly at the peace,And all its secret causes trace,The bucket-play 'twixt Whigs and Tories,Their ups and downs, with