Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift

Jonathan Swift

Written 1731; Published 1739

Edited by Jack Lynch

In 1731, Swift wrote to his friend, John Gay, "I have been several months writing near five hundred lines on a pleasant subject, only to tell what my friends and enemies will say on me after I am dead." His poem was first published in a thoroughly edited and abridged version in London in 1739. This text is based on the Dublin edition of the same year, drawing on the manuscript evidence Harold Williams uses in his edition of the poems.

Death of Dr. Swift , D.S.P.D. 1 
By reading a Maxim in Rochefoucault.

Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis nous trouvons quelque chose, qui ne nous deplaist pas. 2 

[In the Adversity of our best Friends, we find something that doth not displease us.]

As Rochefoucault his Maxims drew
From Nature, I believe 'em true:
They argue no corrupted Mind
In him; the Fault is in Mankind.

   This Maxim more than all the rest [5]
Is thought too base for human Breast;
"In all Distresses of our Friends
We first consult our private Ends,
"While Nature kindly bent to ease us,
Points out some Circumstance to please us. [10]

   If this perhaps your Patience move
Let Reason and Experience prove.

   We all behold with envious Eyes,
Our Equal rais'd above our Size;
Who wou'd not at a crowded Show, [15]
Stand high himself, keep others low?
I love my Friend as well as you,
But would not have him stop my View;
Then let him have the higher Post;
I ask but for an Inch at most. [20]

   If in a Battle you should find,
One, whom you love of all Mankind,
Had some heroick Action done,
A Champion kill'd, or Trophy won;
Rather than thus be over-topt, [25]
Would you not wish his Lawrels 3  cropt?

   Dear honest Ned is in the Gout,
Lies rackt with Pain, and you without: 4 
How patiently you hear him groan!
How glad the Case is not your own! [30]

   What Poet would not grieve to see,
His Brethren write as well as he?
But rather than they should excel,
He'd wish his Rivals all in Hell.

   Her End when Emulation misses, [35]
She turns to Envy, Stings and Hisses:
The strongest Friendship yields to Pride,
Unless the Odds be on our Side.

   Vain human Kind! Fantastick Race!
Thy various Follies, who can trace? [40]
Self-love, Ambition, Envy, Pride,
Their Empire in our Hearts divide:
Give others Riches, Power, and Station,
'Tis all on me an Usurpation.
I have no Title to aspire; [45]
Yet, when you sink, I seem the higher.
In Pope, 5  I cannot read a Line,
But with a Sigh, I wish it mine:
When he can in one Couplet fix
More Sense than I can do in Six [50]
It gives me such a jealous Fit,
I cry, Pox take him, and his Wit.

   Why must I be outdone by Gay,
In my own hum'rous biting Way?

   Arbuthnot 6  is no more my Friend, [55]
Who dares to Irony pretend;
Which I was born to introduce,
Refin'd it first, and shew'd its Use.

   St. John, as well as Pultney 7  knows,
That I had some repute for Prose; [60]
And till they drove me out of Date,
Could maul a Minister of State:
If they have mortify'd my Pride,
And made me throw my Pen aside;
If with such Talents Heav'n hath blest 'em [65]
Have I not Reason to detest 'em?

   To all my Foes, dear Fortune, send
Thy Gifts, but never to my Friend:
I tamely can endure the first,
But, this with Envy makes me burst. [70]

   Thus much may serve by way of Proem, 8 
Proceed we therefore to our Poem.

   The Time is not remote, when I
Must by the Course of Nature dye:
When I foresee my special Friends, [75]
Will try to find their private Ends:
Tho' it is hardly 9  understood,
Which way my Death can do them good;
Yet, thus methinks, I hear 'em speak;
See, how the Dean begins to break: [80]
Poor Gentleman, he droops apace, 10 
You plainly find it in his Face:
That old Vertigo in his Head, 11 
Will never leave him, till he's dead:
Besides, his Memory decays, [85]
He recollects not what he says;
He cannot call his Friends to Mind;
Forgets the Place where last he din'd:
Plyes you with Stories o'er and o'er,
He told them fifty Times before. [90]
How does he fancy we can sit,
To hear his out-of-fashion'd Wit?
But he takes up with younger Fokes,
Who for his Wine will bear his Jokes:
Faith, he must make his Stories shorter, [95]
Or change his Comrades once a Quarter:
In half the Time, he talks them round;
There must another Sett be found.

   For Poetry, he's past his Prime,
He takes an Hour to find a Rhime: [100]
His Fire is out, his Wit decay'd,
His Fancy sunk, his Muse a Jade. 12 
I'd have him throw away his Pen;
But there's no talking to some Men.

   And, then their Tenderness appears, [105]
By adding largely to my Years:
"He's older than he would be reckon'd,
And well remembers Charles the Second. 13 

   "He hardly drinks a Pint of Wine;
And that, I doubt, 14  is no good Sign. [110]
His Stomach too begins to fail:
Last Year we thought him strong and hale;
But now, he's quite another Thing;
I wish he may hold out till Spring.

   Then hug themselves, and reason thus; [115]
"It is not yet so bad with us."

   In such a Case they talk in Tropes, 15 
And, by their Fears express their Hopes:
Some great Misfortune to portend,
No Enemy can match a Friend; [120]
With all the Kindness they profess,
The Merit of a lucky Guess,
(When daily Howd'y's come of Course,
And Servants answer; Worse and Worse)
Wou'd please 'em better than to tell, [125]
That, God be prais'd, the Dean is well.
Then he who prophecy'd the best,
Approves his Foresight to the rest:
"You know, I always fear'd the worst,
And often told you so at first": [130]
He'd rather chuse that I should dye,
Than his Prediction prove a Lye.
Not one foretels I shall recover;
But, all agree, to give me over.

   Yet shou'd some Neighbour feel a Pain, [135]
Just in the Parts, where I complain;
How many a Message would he send?
What hearty Prayers that I should mend?
Enquire what Regimen I kept;
What gave me Ease, and how I slept? [140]
And more lament, when I was dead,
Than all the Sniv'llers round my Bed.

   My good Companions, never fear,
For though you may mistake a Year;
Though your Prognosticks run too fast, [145]
They must be verify'd at last.

   "Behold the fatal Day arrive!
How is the Dean? He's just alive.
Now the departing Prayer is read:
He hardly breathes. The Dean is dead. [150]
Before the Passing-Bell 16  begun,
The News thro' half the Town has run.
O, may we all for Death prepare!
What has he left? And who's his Heir?
I know no more than what the News is, [155]
'Tis all bequeath'd to publick Uses. 17 
To publick Use! A perfect Whim!
What had the Publick done for him!
Meer Envy, Avarice, and Pride!
He gave it all: — But first he dy'd. [160]
And had the Dean, in all the Nation,
No worthy Friend, no poor Relation?
So ready to do Strangers good,
Forgetting his own Flesh and Blood?

   Now Grub-Street 18  Wits are all employ'd; [165]
With Elegies, the Town is cloy'd:
Some Paragraph in ev'ry Paper,
To curse the Dean, or bless the Drapier. 19 

   The Doctors tender of their Fame, 20 
Wisely on me lay all the Blame: [170]
"We must confess his Case was nice; 21 
But he would never take Advice:
Had he been rul'd, for ought appears,
He might have liv'd these Twenty Years:
For when we open'd him we found, [175]
That all his vital Parts were sound.

   From Dublin soon to London spread,
'Tis told at Court, the Dean is dead. 22 

   Kind Lady Suffolk 23  in the Spleen, 24 
Runs laughing up to tell the Queen. [180]
The Queen, so Gracious, Mild, and Good,
Cries, Is he gone? 'Tis time he shou'd.
He's dead you say; why let him rot
I'm glad the Medals were forgot. 25 
I promis'd them, I own; 26  but when? [185]
I only was the Princess then;
But now as Consort of the King,
You know 'tis quite a different Thing.

   Now, Chartres 27  at Sir Robert's Levee, 28 
Tells, with a Sneer, the Tidings heavy: [190]
"Why, is he dead without his Shoes? 29 
(Cries Bob 30 ) I'm Sorry for the News;
Oh, were the Wretch but living still,
And in his Place my good Friend Will; 31 
Or, had a Mitre 32  on his Head [195]
Provided Bolingbroke 33  were dead.

   Now Curl his Shop from Rubbish drains;
Three genuine Tomes of Swift's Remains. 34 
And then to make them pass the glibber, 35 
Revis'd by Tibbalds, Moore, and Cibber. 36  [200]
He'll treat me as he does my Betters.
Publish my Will, my Life, my Letters. 37 
Revive the Libels born to dye;
Which Pope must bear, as well as I.

   Here shift the Scene, to represent [205]
How those I love, my Death lament.
Poor Pope will grieve a Month; and Gay
A Week; and Arbuthnott a Day.

   St. John himself will scarce forbear,
To bite his Pen, and drop a Tear. [210]
The rest will give a Shrug and cry,
I'm sorry; but we all must dye.
Indifference clad in Wisdom's Guise,
All Fortitude of Mind supplies:
For how can stony Bowels 38  melt, [215]
In those who never Pity felt;
When We are lash'd, They kiss the Rod;
Resigning to the Will of God.

   The Fools, my Juniors by a Year,
Are tortur'd with Suspence and Fear. [220]
Who wisely thought my Age a Screen,
When Death approach'd, to stand between:
The Screen remov'd, their Hearts are trembling,
They mourn for me without dissembling. 39 

   My female Friends, whose tender Hearts [225]
Have better learn'd to act their Parts.
Receive the News in doleful Dumps,
"The Dean is dead, (and what is Trumps?)
Then Lord have Mercy on his Soul.
(Ladies I'll venture for the Vole 40 ). [230]
Six Deans they say must bear the Pall.
(I wish I knew what King to call.)
Madam, your Husband will attend
The Funeral of so good a Friend.
No Madam, 'tis a shocking Sight, [235]
And he's engag'd 41  To-morrow Night!
My Lady Club wou'd take it ill,
If he shou'd fail her at Quadrill. 42 
He lov'd the Dean. (I lead a Heart.)
But dearest Friends, they say, must part. [240]
His Time was come, he ran his Race;
We hope he's in a better Place.

   Why do we grieve that Friends should dye?
No Loss more easy to supply.
One Year is past; a different Scene; [245]
No further mention of the Dean;
Who now, alas, no more is mist,
Than if he never did exist.
Where's now this Fav'rite of Apollo?
Departed; and his Works must follow: [250]
Must undergo the common Fate;
His Kind of Wit is out of Date.
Some Country Squire to Lintot 43  goes,
Enquires for Swift in Verse and Prose:
Says Lintot, "I have heard the Name: [255]
"He dy'd a Year ago." The same.
He searcheth all his Shop in vain;
"Sir you may find them in Duck-lane: 44 
I sent them with a Load of Books,
Last Monday to the Pastry-cooks. 45  [260]
To fancy they cou'd live a Year!
I find you're but a Stranger here.
The Dean was famous in his Time;
And had a Kind of Knack at Rhyme:
His way of Writing now is past; [265]
The Town hath got a better Taste:
I keep no antiquated Stuff; 46 
But, spick and span 47  I have enough.
Pray, do but give me leave to shew 'em;
Here's Colley Cibber's Birth-day Poem. 48  [270]
This Ode you never yet have seen,
By Stephen Duck, 49  upon the Queen.
Then, here's a Letter finely penn'd
Against the Craftsman 50  and his Friend;
It clearly shews that all Reflection [275]
On Ministers, is disaffection.
Next, here's Sir Robert's Vindication, 51 
And Mr. Henly's 52  last Oration:
"The Hawkers have not got 'em yet,
Your Honour please to buy a Set? [280]

   Here's Wolston's Tracts, 53  the twelfth Edition;
'Tis read by ev'ry Politician:
The Country Members, 54  when in Town,
To all their Boroughs send them down:
You never met a Thing so smart; [285]
The Courtiers have them all by Heart:
Those Maids of Honour (who can read)
Are taught to use them for their Creed.
The Rev'rend Author's good Intention,
Hath been rewarded with a Pension: [290]
He doth an Honour to his Gown,
By bravely running Priest-craft down:
He shews, as sure as God's in Gloc'ster,
That Jesus was a Grand Impostor:
That all his Miracles were Cheats, [295]
Perform'd as Juglers do their Feats:
The Church had never such a Writer:
A Shame, he hath not got a Mitre! 55 

   Suppose me dead; and then suppose
A Club assembled at the Rose; 56  [300]
Where from Discourse of this and that,
I grow the Subject of their Chat:
And, while they toss my Name about,
With Favour some, and some without;
One quite indiff'rent in the Cause, [305]
My Character impartial draws:

   "The Dean, if we believe Report,
Was never ill receiv'd at Court:
As for his Works in Verse and Prose,
I own 57  my self no Judge of those: [310]
Nor, can I tell what Criticks thought 'em;
But, this I know, all People bought 'em;
As with a moral View design'd
To cure the Vices of Mankind:
His Vein, ironically grave, [315]
Expos'd the Fool, and lash'd the Knave:
To steal a Hint was never known,
But what he writ was all his own.

   "He never thought an Honour done him,
Because a Duke was proud to own him: [320]
Would rather slip aside, and chuse
To talk with Wits in dirty Shoes:
Despis'd the Fools with Stars and Garters, 58 
So often seen caressing Chartres: 59 
He never courted Men in Station, [325]
Nor Persons had in Admiration; 60 
Of no Man's Greatness was afraid,
Because he sought for no Man's Aid.
Though trusted long in great Affairs,
He gave himself no haughty Airs: [330]
Without regarding private Ends,
Spent all his Credit for his Friends:
And only chose the Wise and Good;
No Flatt'rers; no Allies in Blood;
But succour'd Virtue in Distress, [335]
And seldom fail'd of good Success;
As Numbers in their Hearts must own,
Who, but for him, had been unknown.

   "With Princes kept a due Decorum,
But never stood in Awe before 'em: [340]
He follow'd David's Lesson just, 61 
In Princes never put thy Trust. 62 
And, would you make him truly sower; 63 
Provoke him with a slave in Power:
The Irish Senate, if you nam'd, [345]
With what Impatience he declaim'd!
Fair LIBERTY was all his Cry;
For her he stood prepar'd to die;
For her he boldly stood alone;
For her he oft expos'd his own. [350]
Two Kingdoms, just as Faction led,
Had set a Price upon his Head;
But, not a Traytor cou'd be found,
To sell him for Six Hundred Pound. 64 

   "Had he but spar'd his Tongue and Pen, [355]
He might have rose like other Men:
But, Power was never in his Thought;
And, Wealth he valu'd not a Groat: 65 
Ingratitude he often found,
And pity'd those who meant the Wound: [360]
But, kept the Tenor 66  of his Mind,
To merit well of human Kind:
Nor made a Sacrifice of those
Who still 67  were true, to please his Foes.
He labour'd many a fruitless Hour [365]
To reconcile his Friends in Power;
Saw Mischief by a Faction brewing,
While they pursu'd each others Ruin.
But, finding vain was all his Care,
He left the Court in meer Despair. 68  [370]

   "And, oh! how short are human Schemes!
Here ended all our golden Dreams.
What St. John's Skill in State Affairs,
What Ormond's Valour, Oxford's Cares,
To save their sinking Country lent, [375]
Was all destroy'd by one Event.
Too soon that precious Life was ended, 69 
On which alone, our Weal depended.
When up a dangerous Faction starts,
With Wrath and Vengeance in their Hearts: 70  [380]
By solemn League and Cov'nant bound, 71 
To ruin, slaughter, and confound;
To turn Religion to a Fable,
And make the Government a Babel:
Pervert the Law, disgrace the Gown, [385]
Corrupt the Senate, rob the Crown;
To sacrifice old England's Glory,
And make her infamous in Story.
When such a Tempest shook the Land,
How could unguarded Virtue stand? [390]

   "With Horror, Grief, Despair the Dean
Beheld the dire destructive Scene:
His Friends in Exile, or the Tower,
Himself within the Frown of Power;
Pursu'd by base envenom'd Pens, 72  [395]
Far to the Land of Slaves and Fens; 73 
A servile Race in Folly nurs'd,
Who truckle 74  most, when treated worst.

   "By Innocence and Resolution,
He bore continual Persecution; [400]
While Numbers to Preferment rose;
Whose Merits were, to be his Foes.
When, ev'n his own familiar Friends
Intent upon their private Ends;
Like Renegadoes now he feels, [405]
Against him lifting up their Heels.

   "The Dean did by his Pen defeat
An infamous destructive Cheat. 75 
Taught Fools their Int'rest how to know;
And gave them Arms to ward the Blow. [410]
Envy hath own'd it was his doing,
To save that helpless Land from Ruin,
While they who at the Steerage stood,
And reapt the Profit, sought his Blood.

   "To save them from their evil Fate, [415]
In him was held a Crime of State.
A wicked Monster on the Bench,
Whose Fury Blood could never quench; 76 
As vile and profligate a Villain,
As modern Scroggs, or old Tressilian; 77  [420]
Who long all Justice had discarded,
Nor fear'd he GOD, nor Man regarded;
Vow'd on the Dean his Rage to vent,
And make him of his Zeal repent;
But Heav'n his Innocence defends, [425]
The grateful People stand his Friends:
Not Strains of Law, nor Judges Frown,
Nor Topicks brought to please the Crown,
Nor Witness hir'd, nor Jury pick'd,
Prevail to bring him convict. [430]

   In Exile 78  with a steady Heart,
He spent his Life's declining Part;
Where, Folly, Pride, and Faction sway,
Remote from St. John, Pope, and Gay.

   His Friendship there to few confin'd, [435]
Were always of the midling Kind: 79 
No Fools of Rank, a mungril Breed,
Who fain would pass for Lords indeed:
Where Titles give no Right or Power,
And Peerage is a wither'd Flower, 80  [440]
He would have held it a Disgrace,
If such a Wretch had known his Face.
On Rural Squires, that Kingdom's Bane,
He vented oft his Wrath in vain:
Biennial Squires, 81  to Market brought; [445]
Who sell their Souls and Votes for Naught;
The Nation stript go joyful back,
To rob the Church, their Tenants rack, 82 
Go Snacks 83  with Thieves and Rapparees, 84 
And, keep the Peace, to pick up Fees: [450]
In every Jobb to have a Share,
A Jayl or Barrack 85  to repair;
And turn the Tax for publick Roads
Commodious to their own Abodes.

   "Perhaps I may allow, the Dean [455]
Had too much Satyr in his Vein;
And seem'd determin'd not to starve it,
Because no Age could more deserve it.
Yet, Malice never was his Aim;
He lash'd the Vice but spar'd the Name. [460]
No Individual could resent,
Where Thousands equally were meant.
His Satyr points at no Defect,
But what all Mortals may correct;
For he abhorr'd that senseless Tribe, [465]
Who call it Humour when they jibe:
He spar'd a Hump or crooked Nose,
Whose Owners set not up for Beaux.
True genuine Dulness mov'd his Pity,
Unless it offer'd to be witty. [470]
Those, who their Ignorance confess'd,
He ne'er offended with a Jest;
But laugh'd to hear an Idiot quote,
A Verse from Horace, learn'd by Rote.

   "He knew an hundred pleasant Stories, [475]
With all the Turns of Whigs and Tories:
Was chearful to his dying Day,
And Friends would let him have his Way.

   "He gave the little Wealth he had,
To build a House for Fools and Mad: 86  [480]
And shew'd by one satyric Touch,
No Nation wanted it so much:
That Kingdom 87  he hath left his Debtor,
I wish it soon may have a Better.


1. D.S.P.D.: Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin.

2. Dans l'adversité . . . deplaist pas: From La Rochefoucauld's Maxims.

3. Lawrels (or laurels), the laurel wreath that crowns the victor.

4. Without, "outside."

5. Pope: Alexander Pope was among Swift's close friends, as were John Gay and John Arbuthnot (see lines 53 and 55).

6. Arbuthnot: John Arbuthnot (1667-1735), a physician, writer, and friend of Swift.

7. Pultney: See Swift's note on line 194.

8. Proem, "introduction."

9. Hardly, "with difficulty."

10. Apace, "quickly."

11. Vertigo in his Head: Swift suffered from a disorder of the inner ear which made him subject to bouts of vertigo.

12. Jade, "A horse of no spirit; a hired horse; a worthless nag" (Johnson).

13. Well remembers Charles the Second: King Charles died in 1685; Swift was eighteen at the time.

14. Doubt, "To fear; to be apprehensive" (Johnson).

15. Tropes, "figures of speech" — that is, they don't speak literally.

16. Passing-Bell, "death knell."

17. Bequeath'd to publick Uses: Swift's will gave much of his property to set up a house for the insane.

18. Grub-Street: "Originally the name of a street in Moorfields in London, much inhabited by writers of small histories, dictionaries, and temporary poems; whence any mean production is called grubstreet" (Johnson).

19. The Drapier: "The Author imagines, that the Scriblers of the prevailing Party, which he always opposed, will libel him after his Death; but that others will remember him under the name of M. B. Drapier, by utterly defeating the destructive Project of Wood's Half-pence, in five Letters to the People of Ireland, at that Time read universally, and convincing every Reader" — Swift's note. Swift alludes to his role in defeating an English plan to introduce copper half-pence in Ireland; his Drapier's Letters made him an Irish national hero. See Swift's note on line 408.

20. Fame, "Celebrity; renown" (Johnson).

21. Nice, "Requiring scrupulous exactness" (Johnson).

22. The Dean is dead: "The Dean supposeth himself to dye in Ireland" — Swift's note. He did.

23. Lady Suffolk: "Mrs. Howard, afterwards Countess of Suffolk, then of the Bed-chamber to the Queen, professed much Friendship for the Dean. The Queen then Princess, sent a dozen times to the Dean (then in London) with her Command to attend her; which at last he did, by Advice of all his Friends. She often sent for him afterwards, and always treated him very Graciously. He taxed her with a Present worth Ten Pounds, which she promised before he should return to Ireland, but on his taking Leave, the Medals were not ready" — Swift's note.

24. Spleen, "Melancholy; hypochondriacal vapours" (Johnson).

25. The Medals were forgot: "The Medals were to be sent to the Dean in four Months, but she forgot them, or thought them too dear. The Dean, being in Ireland, sent Mrs. Howard a Piece of Indian Plad made in that Kingdom: which the Queen seeing took from her, and wore it herself, and sent to the Dean for as much as would cloath herself and Children, desiring he would send the Charge of it. He did the former. It cost thirty-five Pounds, but he said he would have nothign except the Medals. He was the Summer following in England, was treated as usual, and she being then Queen, the Dean was promised a Settlement in England, but returned as he went, and, instead of Favour or Medals, hath been ever since under her Majesty's Displeasure" — Swift's note.

26. Own, "To confess; not to deny" (Johnson).

27. Chartres: "Chartres is a most infamous, vile Scoundrel, grown from a Foot-Boy, or worse, to a prodigious Fortune both in England and Scotland: He had a Way of insinuating himself into all Minsters under every Change, either as Pimp, Flatterer, or Informer. He was Tryed at Seventy for a Rape, and came off by sacrificing a great Part of his Fortune (he is since dead, but this Poem still preserves the Scene and Time it was writ in)" — Swift's note.

28. Levee, "The concourse of those who croud round a man of power in a morning" (Johnson).

29. Without his Shoes: "To die in one's shoes" meant to die violently.

30. Bob: "Sir Robert Walpole, Chief Minister of State, treated the Dean in 1726, with great Distinction, invited him to Dinner at Chelsea, with the Dean's Friends chosen on Purpose; appointed an Hour to talk with him of Ireland, to which Kingdom and People the Dean found him no great Friend; for he defended Wood's Project of Half-pence, &c. The Dean would see him no more; and upon his next Year's return to England, Sir Robert on an accidental Meeting, only made a civil Compliment, and never invited him again" — Swift's note.

31. Will: "Mr. William Pultney, from being Mr. Walpole's intimate Friend, detesting his Administratino, opposed his Measures, and joined with my Lord Bolingbroke, to represent his Conduct in an excellent Paper, called the Craftsman, which is still continued" — Swift's note.

32. Mitre: The hat of a bishop.

33. Bolingbroke: "Henry St. John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke, Secretary of State to Queen Anne of blessed Memory. He is reckoned the most Universal Genius in Europe; Walpole dreading his Abilities, treated him most injuriously, working with King George, who forgot his Promise of restoring the said Lord, upon the restless Importunity of Walpole" — Swift's note.

34. Swift's Remains: "Curl hath been the most infamous Bookseller of any Age or Country: His CHaracter in Part may be found in Mr. Pope's Dunciad. He published three Volumes all charged on the Dean, who never writ three Pages of them: He hath used many of the Dean's Friends in almost as vile a Manner" — Swift's note.

35. Glibber, "more saleable."

36. Tibbalds, Moore, and Cibber: "Three stupid Verse Writers in London, the last to the Shame of the Court, and the highest Disgrace to Wit and Learning, was made Laureat. Moore, commonly called Jemmy Moore, Son of Arthur Moore, whose Father was Jaylor of Monaghan in Ireland. See the Character of Jemmy Moore, and Tibbalds, Theobald in the Dunciad" — Swift's note.

37. My Letters: "Curl is notoriously infamous for publishing the Lives, Letters, and last Wills and Testaments of the Nobility and Ministers of State, as well as of all the Rogues, who are hanged at Tyburn. He hath been in Custody of the House of Lords for publishing or forging the Letters of many Peers; which hath made the Lords enter a Resolution in their Journal Book, that no Life or Writings of any Lord should be published without the Consent of the next Heir at Law, or Licence from their House" — Swift's note.

38. Bowels, "Tenderness; compassion" (Johnson).

39. Dissemble, "To play the hypocrite" (Johnson).

40. The Vole, "all the tricks."

41. Engag'd, "busy."

42. Quadrill (or quadrille), "A game at cards" (Johnson).

43. Lintot: "Bernard Lintot, a Bookseller in London. Vide Mr. Pope's Dunciad" — Swift's note. Lintot (1675-1736) published many of the works of Pope, Gay, and Steele.

44. Duck-lane: "A Place in London where old Books are sold" — Swift's note.

45. Pastry-cooks would use the pages from worthless books to line their pie-tins.

46. Stuff, "Matter or thing. In contempt. It is now seldom used in any sense but in contempt or dislike" (Johnson).

47. Spick and span, "Quite new; now first used" (Johnson, who quotes this couplet from Swift in the Dictionary).

48. Colley Cibber's Birth-day Poem: Cibber (1671-1757) became Poet Laureate in 1730. One of the laureate's duties was to write celebratory poems on the king's birthday.

49. Stephen Duck: Duck (1705-56), the "thresher poet," began life as a manual laborer. When his poetic talents were discovered, he became a celebrity, patronized by Queen Caroline. Swift ridiculed him in several publications.

50. The Craftsman: A journal begun by the Opposition in December 1726; it regularly attacked Walpole and his government.

51. Sir Robert's Vindication: "Walpole hires a Set of Party Scriblers, who do nothing else but write in his Defence" — Swift's note.

52. Henly: "Henly is a Clergyman who wanting both Merit and Luck to get Preferment, or even to keep his Curacy in the Established Church, formed a new Conventicle, which he calls an Oratory. There, at set Times, he delivereth strange Speeches compiled by himself and his Associates, who share the Profit with him: Every Hearer pays a Shilling each Day for Admittance. He is an absolute Dunce, but generally reputed crazy" — Swift's note.

53. Wolston's Tracts: "Wolston was a Clergyman, but for want of Bread, hath in several Treaties, in the most blasphemous Manner, attempted to turn Our Saviour and his Miracles into Ridicule. He is much caressed by many great Courtiers, and by all the Infidels, and his Books read generally by the Court Ladies" — Swift's note. In fact Swift confuses two people with similar names, Thomas Wollston (1670-1733), who was convicted of blasphemy, and William Woolaston (1660-1724), the moral philosopher.

54. Country Members: Members of Parliament who represent the "Country Party," that is, the Opposition to Walpole.

55. Mitre, a bishop's hat.

56. The Rose: A tavern in Covent Garden, London.

57. Own, "To avow" (Johnson).

58. Stars and Garters: Marks of two orders of knighthood.

59. Chartres: "See the Notes before on Chartres" — Swift's note. See line 189.

60. Admiration, "awe."

61. Just, "exactly."

62. In Princes never put thy Trust: Psalms 146:3, "Put not your trust in princes."

63. Sower, that is, sour.

64. Two Kingdoms . . . Six Hundred Pound: "In the Year 1713, the late Queen was prevailed with by an Address of the House of Lords in England, to publish a Proclamation, promising Three Hundred Pounds to whatever Person would discover the Author of a Pamphlet called, The Publick Spirit of the Whiggs; and in Ireland, in the Year 1724, my Lord Carteret at his first coming into the Government, was prevailed on to issue a Proclamation for promising the like Reward of Three Hundred Pounds, to any Person who could discover the Author of a Pamphlet called, The Drapier's Fourth Letter, &c. writ against that destructive Project of coining Half-pence for Ireland; but in neither Kingdoms was the Dean discovered" — Swift's note.

65. Groat, a small coin worth four pence.

66. Tenor, "even keel."

67. Still, "always."

68. He left the Court in meer Despair: "Queen ANNE's Ministry fell to Variance from the first Year after their Ministry began: Harcourt the Chancellor, and Lord Bolingbroke the Secretary, were discontented with the Treasurer Oxford, for his too much Mildness to the Whig Party; this Quarrel grew higher every Day till the Queen's Death: The Dean, who was the only Person that endeavoured to reconcile them, found it impossible; and thereupon retired to the Country about ten Weeks before that fatal Event: Upon which he returned to his Deanry in Dublin, where for many Years he was worryed by the new People in Power, and had Hundreds of Libels writ against him in England" — Swift's note.

69. Too soon that precious Life was ended: "In the Height of the Quarrel between the Ministers, the Queen died" — Swift's note.

70. When up . . . their Hearts: "Upon Queen ANNE's Death the Whig Faction was restored to Power, which they exercised with the utmost Rage and Revenge; impeached and banished the Chief Leaders of the Church Party, and stripped all their Adherents of what Employments they had, after which England was never known to make so mean a Figure in Europe. The greatest Preferments in the Church in both Kingdoms were given to the most ignorant Men, Fanaticks were publickly caressed, Ireland utterly ruined and enslaved, only great Ministers heaping up Millions, and are likely to go on in the same Manner" — Swift's note.

71. By solemn League and Cov'nant bound: In 1643, Scotland entered into a covenant to become a Presbyterian nation. Swift, an Anglican, resented their rejection of episcopacy.

72. Pursu'd by base envenom'd Pens: "Upon the Queen's Death, the Dean returned to live in Dublin, at his Deanry-House: Numberless Libels were writ against him in England, as a Jacobite; he was insulted in the Street, and at Nights was forced to be attended by his Servants armed" — Swift's note.

73. The Land of Slaves and Fens: "The Land of Slaves and Fens, is Ireland" — Swift's note.

74. Truckle, "to be servile."

75. An infamous destructive Cheat: "One Wood, a Hardware-man from England, had a Patent for coining Copper Half-pence in Ireland, to the Sum of 108,000l. which in the Consequence, must leave that Kingdom without Gold or Silver" — Swift's note.

76. Wicked Monster . . . never quench: "One Whitshed was then Chief Justice: He had some Years before prosecuted a Printer for a Pamphlet writ by the Dean, to perswade the People of Ireland to wear their own Manufactures. Whitshed sent the Jury down elevent Times, and kept them nine Hours, until they were forced to bring in a special Verdict. He sat as Judge afterwards on the Tryal of the Printer of the Drapier's Fourth Letter; but the Jury, against all he could say or swear, threw out the Bill: All the Kingdom took the Drapier's Part, except the Courtiers, or those who expected Places. His Signw as set up in most Streets of Dublin (where many of them still continue" and in several Country Towns" — Swift's note.

77. Scroggs . . . Tressilian: "Scroggs was Chief Justice under King Charles the Second: His Judgment always varied in State Tryals, according to Directions from Court. Tressilian was a wicked Judge, hanged above three hundred Years ago" — Swift's note. Sir William Scroggs (c. 1623-83) was impeached in 1680; Sir Robert Tresilian, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, was impeached in 1387 and hanged in 1388.

78. Exile: "In Ireland, which he had Reason to call a Place of Exile; to which Country nothing could have driven him, but the Queen's Death, who had determined to fix him in England, in Spight of the Dutchess of Somerset, &c." — Swift's note.

79. His Friendship . . . midling Kind: "In Ireland the Dean was not acquainted with one single Lord Spiritual [bishop] or Temporal [member of the House of Lords]. He only conversed with private Gentlemen of the Clergy or Laity, and but a small Number of either" — Swift's note.

80. Where Titles . . . wither'd Flower: "The Peers of Ireland lost a great Part of their Jurisdiction by one single Act, and tamely submitted to this infamous Mark of Slavery without the least Resentment, or Remonstrance" — Swift's note.

81. Biennial Squires: "The Parliament (as they call it) in Ireland meet but once in two Years; and, after giving five Times more than they can afford, return Home to reimburse themselves by all the Country Jobs, and Oppressions, of which some few only are here mentioned" — Swift's note.

82. Their Tenants rack: They raise the rents on their tenants.

83. Snacks, "A share; a part taken by compact" (Johnson). To go snacks meant to divide the money into shares.

84. Rapparees: "The Highway-Men in Ireland are, since the late Wars there, usually called Rapparees, which was a Name given to those Irish Soldiers who in small Parties used, at that Time, to plunder the Protestants" — Swift's note.

85. Barrack: "The Army in Ireland is lodged in Barracks, the building and repairing whereof, and other Charges, have cost a prodigious Sum to that unhappy Kingdom" — Swift's note.

86. A House for Fools and Mad: See the note on line 156.

87. That Kingdom: "Meaning Ireland, where he now lives, and probably may dye" — Swift's note.