Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

-The Discovery

When wise Lord Berkeley first came here,[1]
  Statesmen and mob expected wonders,
Nor thought to find so great a peer
  Ere a week past committing blunders.
Till on a day cut out by fate,
  When folks came thick to make their court,
Out slipt a mystery of state
  To give the town and country sport.
Now enters Bush[2] with new state airs,
  His lordship's premier minister;
And who in all profound affairs,
  Is held as needful as his clyster.[2]
With head reclining on his shoulder,
  He deals and hears mysterious chat,
While every ignorant beholder
  Asks of his neighbour, who is that?
With this he put up to my lord,
  The courtiers kept their distance due,
He twitch'd his sleeve, and stole a word;
  Then to a corner both withdrew.
Imagine now my lord and Bush
  Whispering in junto most profound,
Like good King Phys and good King Ush,[3]
  While all the rest stood gaping round.
At length a spark, not too well bred,
  Of forward face and ear acute,
Advanced on tiptoe, lean'd his head,
  To overhear the grand dispute;
To learn what Northern kings design,
  Or from Whitehall some new express,
Papists disarm'd, or fall of coin;
  For sure (thought he) it can't be less.
My lord, said Bush, a friend and I,
  Disguised in two old threadbare coats,
Ere morning's dawn, stole out to spy
  How markets went for hay and oats.
With that he draws two handfuls out,
  The one was oats, the other hay;
Puts this to's excellency's snout,
  And begs he would the other weigh.
My lord seems pleased, but still directs
  By all means to bring down the rates;
Then, with a congee circumflex,
  Bush, smiling round on all, retreats.
Our listener stood awhile confused,
  But gathering spirits, wisely ran for't,
Enraged to see the world abused,
  By two such whispering kings of Brentford.[4]


[Footnote 1: To Ireland, as one of the Lords Justices.]

[Footnote 2: Who, by insinuating that the post of secretary was unsuitable for a clergyman, obtained it for himself, though it had been promised to Swift; and when Swift claimed the Deanery of Derry, in virtue of Lord Berkeley's promise of the "first good preferment that should fall in his gift," the earl referred him to Bush, who told him that it was promised to another, but that if he would lay down a thousand pounds for it he should have the preference. Swift, enraged at the insult, immediately left the castle; but was ultimately pacified by being presented with the Rectory of Agher and the Vicarages of Laracor and Rathbeggan. See Forster's "Life of Swift," p. 111; Birkbeck Hill's "Letters of Swift," and "Prose Works," vol. xi, 380.--W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Always taken before my lord went to council.--Dublin Edition.]

[Footnote 3: The usurping kings in "The Rehearsal"; the celebrated farce written by the Duke of Buckingham, in conjunction with Martin Clifford, Butler, Sprat, and others, in ridicule of the rhyming tragedies then in vogue, and especially of Dryden in the character of Bayes.--See Malone's "Life of Dryden," p. 95.--W. E. B.]

[Footnote 4: The usurping kings in "The Rehearsal," Act I, Sc. 1; Act II, Sc. 1; always whispering each other.--W. E. B.]


Jonathan Swift

Sorry, no summary available yet.