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Can I retrench? Yes, mighty well,
Shrink back to my paternal cell,
A little house, with trees a-row,
And, like its master, very low.
There dy'd my father, no man's debtor,
And there I'll die, nor worse nor better.
To set this matter full before

ye, Our old friend Swift will tell his story.

“ Harley, the nation's great support," But you may read it, I stop short.




The first part imitated in the rear 1714, by Dr.

SWIFT ; the latter Part added afterwards.
I'VE often wish'd that I had clear

For life, six hundred pounds a year,
A handsome house to lodge a friend,
A river at my garden's end,
A terras-walk, and half a rood

S Of land, set out to plant a wood.

Well, now I have all this and more, I ask not to encrease my store ; • But here a grievance seems to lie, • All this is mine but till I die; • I can't but think 'twould sound more clever, • To me and to my heirs for ever.

• If I ne'er got or lost a groat, • By any trick, or any fault ; • And if I pray by reason's rules,

15 • And not like forty other fools : • As thus, “ Vouchsafe, oh gracious Maker ! “ To grant me this and t’other acre: • Or, if it be thy will and pleasure, “ Direct my plow to find a treasure :"

6 But


• But only what my station fits,
« And to be kept in my right wits,
• Preserve, Almighty Providence !
• Just what you gave me, Competence :
And let me in these shades compose

25 Something in verse as true as prose ; • Remov'd from all th' ambitious scene, • Nor puff’d by pride, nor sunk by spleen.'

In short, I'm perfectly content, Let me but live on this side Trent ;

30 Nor cross the Channel twice a year, To spend six months with statesmen here.

I must by all means come to town, "Tis for the service of the Crown. • Lewis, the Dean will be of use,

35 “ Send for him up, take no excuse. The toil, the danger of the seas ; Great ministers ne'er think of these ; Or let it cost five hundred pound, No matter where the money's found.

40 It is but so much more in debt, And that they ne'er consider'd yet.

“ Good Mr. Dean, go change your gown, " Let

my Lord know you're come to town.” I hurry me in haste away,

45 Not thinking it is Levee-day; And find his Honour in a pound, Hemm'd by a triple circle round,

Chequerid 50


Chequer'd with ribbons blue and green:
How should I thrust myself between?

observes me thus perplext,
And smiling, whispers to the next,
“ I thought the Dean had been too proud,
“ To justle here among a croud.”
Another in a surly fit,
Tells me I have more zeal than wit,
“ So eager to express your love,
“ You ne'er consider whom you shove,
« But rudely press before a Duke.”
I own, I'm pleas'd with this rebuke,

60 And take it kindly meant to show What I desire the world should know.

I get a whisper, and withdraw : When twenty fools I never saw Come with petitions fairly penn'd,

65 Desiring I would stand their friend.

This, humbly offers me his case -
That, begs my int'rest for a place --
A hundred other men's affairs,
Like bees, are humming in my ears.

70 To-morrow my appeal comes on,

Without your help the cause is gone”-
The Duke expects my Lord and you,
About some great affair, at Two-
“ Put my Lord Bolingbroke in mind,

75 “ To get my warrant quickly sign’d:

“ Consider and more,


• Consider 'tis my

first request.” Be satisfy'd, I'll do my best :Then presently he falls to teaze, “ You may for certain, if you please ;

80 “ I doubt not, if his Lordship knew “ And, Mr. Dean, one word from you”.

'Tis (let me see) three years (October next it will be four) Since HARLEY bid me first attend, And chose me for an humble friend ; Would take me in his coach to chat, And question me of this and that ; As, “ What's o'clock ?" And, “How's the wind ?” 66 Who's chariot's that we left behind ?"

go Or gravely try to read the lines Writ underneath the country signs ; Or, “ Have you nothing new to-day “ From Pope, from Parnel, or from Gay?" Such tattle often entertains

95 My Lord and me as far as Stains, As once a week we travel down To Windsor, and again to town, Where all that passes, inter nos, Might be proclaim'd at Charing-cross.

100 Yet some I know with

envy swell, Because they see me us'd so well : “ How think you of our friend the Dean? “ I wonder what some people mean;

« My


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