The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 8/Traulus, a Dialogue Between Tom and Robin

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TRAULUS.


A DIALOGUE


BETWEEN


TOM AND ROBIN[1]. 1730.


THE FIRST PART.


Tom. SAY, Robin, what can Traulus[2] mean
By bellowing thus against the dean?
Why does he call him paltry scribbler,
Papist, and Jacobite, and libeller:
Yet cannot prove a single fact?
Robin. Forgive him, Tom: his head is crackt.
T. What mischief can the dean have done him,
That Traulus calls for vengeance on him?
Why must he sputter, spawl, and slaver it
In vain against the people's favourite?
Revile that nation-saving paper,
Which gave the dean the name of Drapier?
R. Why, Tom, I think the case is plain;
Party and spleen have turn'd his brain.
T. Such friendship never man profess'd,
The dean was never so caress'd;
For Traulus long his rancour nurs'd,
Till, God knows why, at last it burst.
That clumsy outside of a porter,
How could it thus conceal a courtier?
R. I own, appearances are bad;
Yet still insist the man is mad.
T. Yet many a wretch in Bedlam knows
How to distinguish friends from foes;
And, though perhaps among the rout
He wildly flings his filth about,
He still has gratitude and sap'ence,
To spare the folks that give him ha'pence;
Nor in their eyes at random pisses,
But turns aside like mad Ulysses:
While Traulus all his ordure scatters
To foul the man he chiefly flatters.
Whence comes these inconsistent fits?
R. Why, Tom, the man has lost his wits.
T. Agreed: and yet, when Towzer snaps
At people's heels with frothy chaps,
Hangs down his head, and drops his tail,
To say he's mad will not avail;
The neighbours all cry, "Shoot him dead,
Hang, drown, or knock him on the head."
So Traulus, when he first harangu'd,
I wonder why he was not hang'd;
For of the two, without dispute,
Towzer's the less offensive brute.
R. Tom, you mistake the matter quite;
Your barking curs will seldom bite;
And though you hear him stut-tut-tut-er,
He barks as fast as he can utter.
He prates in spite of all impediment,
While none believes that what he said he meant;
Puts in his finger and his thumb
To grope for words, and out they come.
He calls you rogue; there's nothing in it,
He fawns upon you in a minute:
"Begs leave to rail, but, d—n his blood!
He only meant it for your good:
His friendship was exactly tim'd,
He shot before your foes were prim'd.
By this contrivance, Mr. dean;
By G—! I'll bring you off as clean —"
Then let him use you e'er so rough,
"'Twas all for love," and that's enough.
But, though he sputter through a session,
It never makes the least impression:
Whate'er he speaks for madness goes,
With no effect on friends or foes.
T. The scrubbiest cur in all the pack
Can set the mastiff on your back,
I own, his madness is a jest,
If that were all. But he's possest,
Incarnate with a thousand imps,
To work whose ends his madness pimps;
Who o'er each string and wire preside,
Fill every pipe, each motion guide;
Directing every vice we find
In Scripture to the Devil assign'd;
Sent from the dark infernal region,
In him they lodge, and make him legion.
Of brethren he's a false accuser;
A slanderer, traitor, and seducer;
A fawning, base, trepanning liar;
The marks peculiar of his sire.
Or, grant him but a drone at best;
A drone can raise a hornet's nest.
The dean had felt their stings before;
And must their malice ne'er give o'er?
Still swarm and buzz about his nose?
But Ireland's friends ne'er wanted foes.
A patriot is a dangerous post,
When wanted by his country most;
Perversely comes in evil times,
Where virtues are imputed crimes.
His guilt is clear, the proofs are pregnant;
A traitor to the vices regnant.
What spirit, since the world began,
Could always bear to strive with man?
Which God pronounc'd, he never would,
And soon convinc'd them by a flood.
Yet still the dean on freedom raves;
His spirit always strives with slaves.
'Tis time at last to spare his ink,
And let them rot, or hang, or sink.





TRAULUS.


THE SECOND PART.


TRAULUS, of amphibious breed,
Motley fruit of mungrel seed;
By the dam from lordlings sprung,
By the sire exhal'd from dung:
Think on every vice in both,
Look on him, and see their growth.
View them on the mother's side,
Fill'd with falsehood, spleen, and pride;
Positive and overbearing,
Changing still, and still adhering;
Spiteful, peevish, rude, untoward,
Fierce in tongue, in heart a coward;
When his friends he most is hard on,
Cringing comes to beg their pardon;
Reputation ever tearing,
Ever dearest friendship swearing;
Judgment weak, and passion strong,
Always various, always wrong;
Provocation never waits,
Where he loves, or where he hates;
Talks whate'er comes in his head;
Wishes it were all unsaid.
Let me now the vices trace,
From the father's scoundrel race.
Who could give the looby such airs?
Were they masons, were they butchers?
Herald, lend the muse an answer
From his atavus and grandsire:
This was dextrous at his trowel,
That was bred to kill a cow well:
Hence the greasy clumsy mien
In his dress and figure seen;
Hence the mean and sordid soul,
Like his body, rank and foul;
Hence that wild suspicious peep,
Like a rogue that steals a sheep;
Hence he learnt the butcher's guile,
How to cut your throat and smile;
Like a butcher, doom'd for life
In his mouth to wear his knife;
Hence he draws his daily food
From his tenants vital blood.
Lastly, let his gifts be try'd,
Borrow'd from the mason's side:
Some perhaps may think him able
In the state to build a Babel;
Could we place him in a station
To destroy the old foundation.
True indeed, I should be gladder
Could he learn to mount a ladder.
May he at his latter end
Mount alive, and dead descend!
In him tell me which prevail,
Female vices most, or male?
What produc'd him, can you tell?
Human race, or imps of Hell?

  1. Sons of Rev. Charles Lesley. See the next poem, p. 60.
  2. Lord Allen.