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WRITTEN IN LATIN BY HIMSELF
The very reverend Dean Smedley, Of dulness, pride, conceit, a medley, Was equally allow'd to shine As poet, scholar, and divine; With godliness could well dispense, Would be a rake, but wanted sense; Would strictly after Truth inquire, Because he dreaded to come nigh her. For Liberty no champion bolder, He hated bailiffs at his shoulder. To half the world a standing jest, A perfect nuisance to the rest; From many (and we may believe him) Had the best wishes they could give him. To all mankind a constant friend, Provided they had cash to lend. One thing he did before he went hence, He left us a laconic sentence, By cutting of his phrase, and trimming To prove that bishops were old women. Poor Envy durst not show her phiz, She was so terrified at his. He waded, without any shame, Through thick and thin to get a name, Tried every sharping trick for bread, And after all he seldom sped. When Fortune favour'd, he was nice; He never once would cog the dice; But, if she turn'd against his play, He knew to stop a quatre trois. Now sound in mind, and sound in corpus, (Says he) though swell'd like any porpoise, He hies from hence at forty-four (But by his leave he sinks a score) To the East Indies, there to cheat, Till he can purchase an estate; Where, after he has fill'd his chest, He'll mount his tub, and preach his best, And plainly prove, by dint of text, This world is his, and theirs the next. Lest that the reader should not know The bank where last he set his toe, 'Twas Greenwich. There he took a ship, And gave his creditors the slip. But lest chronology should vary, Upon the ides of February, In seventeen hundred eight-and-twenty, To Fort St. George, a pedler went he. Ye Fates, when all he gets is spent, RETURN HIM BEGGAR AS HE WENT!
[Footnote 1: INSCRIPTION, BY DEAN SMEDLEY, 1729.
Reverendus Decanus, JONATHAN SMEDLEY, Theologia instructus, in Poesi exercitatus, Politioribus excultus literis; Parce pius, impius minime; Veritatis Indagator, Libertatis Assertor; Subsannatus multis, fastiditus quibusdam, Exoptatus plurimis, omnibus amicus, Auctor hujus sententiae, PATRES SUNT VETULAE. Per laudem et vituperium, per famam atque infamiam; Utramque fortunam, variosque expertus casus, Mente Sana, sano corpore, volens, laetusque, Lustris plus quam XI numeratis, Ad rem familiarem restaurandam augendamque, Et ad Evangelium Indos inter Orientales praedicandum, Grevae, idibus Februarii, navem ascendens, Arcemque Sancti petens Georgii, vernale per aequinoxium, Anno Aerae Christianae MDCCXXVIII, Transfretavit. Fata vocant--revocentque precamur.]
THE END OF THE POEMS OF JONATHAN SWIFT, VOLUME I (OF 2).
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