The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 18/Bettesworth's Exultation, Upon Hearing that His Name Would Be Transmitted to Posterity in Dr. Swift's Works
UPON HEARING THAT HIS NAME WOULD BE TRANSMITTED TO POSTERITY IN DR. SWIFT'S WORKS.
WELL ! now, since the heat of my passion's abated,
That the dean hath lampoon'd me, my mind is elated: —
Lampoon'd did I call it? — No — what was it then!
What was it? — 'Twas fame to be lash'd by his pen:
For had he not pointed me out, I had slept till
E'en doomsday, a poor insignificant reptile,
Half lawyer, half actor, pert, dull, and inglorious,
Obscure, and unheard of — but now I'm notorious.
Fame has but two gates, a white and a black one,
The worst they can say is, I got in at the back one:
If the end be obtain'd 'tis equal what portal
I enter, since I'm to be render'd immortal:
So clysters applied to the anus, 'tis said,
By skilful physicians, give ease to the head —
Though my title be spurious, why should I be dastard,
A man is a man, though he should be a bastard.
Why sure 'tis some comfort that heroes should slay us,
If I fall, I would fall by the hand of Æneas;
And who, by the Drapier would not rather damn'd be,
Than demigoddized by madrigal Namby.
A man is no more, who has once lost his breath;
But poets convince us there's life after death.
They call from their graves the king or the peasant,
React our old deeds, and make what's past present;
And when they would study to set forth a like,
So the lines be well drawn, and the colours but strike,
Whatever the subject be, coward or hero,
A tyrant or patriot, a Titus or Nero,
To a judge 'tis all one which he fixes his eye on,
And a well-painted monkey's as good as a lion.
The scriptures affirm (as I heard in my youth,
For indeed I ne'er read them, to speak for once truth,)
That death is the wages of sin, but the just
Shall die not, although they be laid in the dust.
They say so, so be it, I care not a straw,
Although I be dead both in Gospel and law;
In verse I shall live, and be read in each climate;
What more can be said of prime sergeant or primate?
While Carter and Prendergast both may be rotten,
And damn'd to the bargain, and yet be forgotten.