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-The Storm: Minerva's Petition

Pallas, a goddess chaste and wise
Descending lately from the skies,
To Neptune went, and begg'd in form
He'd give his orders for a storm;
A storm, to drown that rascal Hort,[1]
And she would kindly thank him for't:
A wretch! whom English rogues, to spite her,
Had lately honour'd with a mitre.

The god, who favour'd her request, Assured her he would do his best: But Venus had been there before, Pleaded the bishop loved a whore, And had enlarged her empire wide; He own'd no deity beside. At sea or land, if e'er you found him Without a mistress, hang or drown him. Since Burnet's death, the bishops' bench, Till Hort arrived, ne'er kept a wench; If Hort must sink, she grieves to tell it, She'll not have left one single prelate: For, to say truth, she did intend him, Elect of Cyprus in commendam. And, since her birth the ocean gave her, She could not doubt her uncle's favour.

Then Proteus urged the same request, But half in earnest, half in jest; Said he--"Great sovereign of the main, To drown him all attempts are vain. Hort can assume more forms than I, A rake, a bully, pimp, or spy; Can creep, or run, or fly, or swim; All motions are alike to him: Turn him adrift, and you shall find He knows to sail with every wind; Or, throw him overboard, he'll ride As well against as with the tide. But, Pallas, you've applied too late; For, 'tis decreed by Jove and Fate, That Ireland must be soon destroy'd, And who but Hort can be employ'd? You need not then have been so pert, In sending Bolton[2] to Clonfert. I found you did it, by your grinning; Your business is to mind your spinning. But how you came to interpose In making bishops, no one knows; Or who regarded your report; For never were you seen at court. And if you must have your petition, There's Berkeley[3] in the same condition; Look, there he stands, and 'tis but just, If one must drown, the other must; But, if you'll leave us Bishop Judas, We'll give you Berkeley for Bermudas.[4] Now, if 'twill gratify your spight, To put him in a plaguy fright, Although 'tis hardly worth the cost, You soon shall see him soundly tost. You'll find him swear, blaspheme, and damn (And every moment take a dram) His ghastly visage with an air Of reprobation and despair; Or else some hiding-hole he seeks, For fear the rest should say he squeaks; Or, as Fitzpatrick[5] did before, Resolve to perish with his whore; Or else he raves, and roars, and swears, And, but for shame, would say his prayers. Or, would you see his spirits sink? Relaxing downwards in a stink? If such a sight as this can please ye, Good madam Pallas, pray be easy. To Neptune speak, and he'll consent; But he'll come back the knave he went." The goddess, who conceived a hope That Hort was destined to a rope, Believed it best to condescend To spare a foe, to save a friend; But, fearing Berkeley might be scared, She left him virtue for a guard.

[Footnote 1: Josiah Hort was born about 1674, and educated in London as a Nonconformist Minister; but he soon conformed to the Church of England, and held in succession several benefices. In 1709 he went to Ireland as chaplain to Lord Wharton, when Lord Lieutenant; and afterwards became, in 1721, Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, and ultimately Archbishop of Tuam. He died in 1751.--W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Dr. Theophilus Bolton, afterwards Archbishop of Cashell.--F.]

[Footnote 3: Dr. George Berkeley, a senior fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, who became Dean of Derry, and afterwards Bishop of Cloyne.]

[Footnote 4: The Bishop had a project of a college at Bermuda for the propagation of the Gospel in 1722. See his Works, ut supra.--W. E. B.]

[Footnote 5: Brigadier Fitzpatrick was drowned in one of the packet-boats in the Bay of Dublin, in a great storm.--F.]

Jonathan Swift

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