The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/Parody on a Character of Dean Smedley

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THE very reverend dean Smedley,
Of dullness, 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 laconick 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,
Ahd 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 à 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 cheats,
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 pedlar went he.
Ye Fates, when all he gets is spent,
Return him beggar as he went!

  1. See the Latin Inscription in the Eighteenth Volume of this Collection.