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vere reflection on Mr. B. in his poem on the words Brother Pro testants and fellow-christians *. The provocation given by Swift
, was, certainly, very great; but not so great as the Lawyer's indiscretion, in his manner of resenting it. It is in general, knowa that he paid the Dean a visit, on this occasion, and that he behaved somewhat boisterously towards him; but the particulars of what paffed between them will best appear from the Dean's own account of that matter, in a letter to the Duke of Dorset to dated January, 1733-4:--of which the following is an extra&t:
On Monday lait week, towards evening, there came to the deanry one Mr. Bettesworth ; who, being told by the servants that I was gone to a friend's house, went thither to enquire for me, and was admitted into the street-parlour. I left my company in the back room, and went to him. He began with alking me, whether I were author of certain verses, wherein he was reñected on? The fingularity of the man, in his countenance, manner, action, style, and tone of 'voice, made me call to mind that I had once seen him, about two or three years ago, at Mr. Ludlow's country house. But I could not recollect his name; and of what calling he might be I had never heard. I therefore desired to know who, and what he was; said I had heard of some such verses, but knew no more. He then fignified to me, that he was a serjeant at law, and a member of parliament. After which he repeated the lines that concerned him, with great emphasis; said, I was mistaken in one thing, for he assured me he was no booby, but owned himself to be a coxcomb. However, that being a point of controversy wherein I had no concern, I let it drop. As to the verfes,' he infilted, that, by his taste and skill in poetry, he was as sure I writ them as if he had seen them fall from my pen. But I found the chief weight of his argument lay upon two words that rhymed to his name, which he knew could come from none but me. He then told me, That, since I would not own the verses, and that since he could not get satisfaction by any course of law, he would get it by his pen, and thew the world what a man i was. When he began to grow over-warm and eloquent, I called in the gentleman of the house, from the room adjoining; and the Serjeant
, going on with less turbulence, went away. He had a footman in the hall during all his talk, who was to have opened the door for one or more fellows, as he hath since reported; and, likewife, that he had a sharp knife in his pocket, ready to stab or
Thus at the bar that bonby Bett'sworih,
+ The Duke was then Lord Lieutenant of Ircland.
maim me* But the master and mistress of the house, who knew his character, and could hear every word from the room they were in, had prepared a sufficient defence in such a cale, as they afterwards told me. He hath since related to five hundred perfons of all ranks, above five hundred falsehoods of this converTation, of my fears and his own brutalities, against all probability as well as fact; and some of them, as I have been affured, even in the presence of your Grace. His meanings and his movements were indeed peevish enough, but his words were not. He threatened me with nothing but his pen, yet owned he had no pretence to wit, And indeed I am heartily glad, for his own fake, that he proceeded no further; for, the least uproar would have called his nearest neighbours first to my asistance, and next, to the manifest danger of his life. And I would not wilJingly have even a dog killed upon my account. Ever since he hath amused himself with declaring, in all companies, especially before Bishops, and Lords, and members of parliament, his resolutions for vengeance, and the feveral manners by which he will put it in execution.
. It is only to the advice of some judicious friends that your grace owes the trouble of this letter. For, though I may be dispirited enough by sickness and years, yet I have little rea'on to apprehend any danger from that man; and thofe who feem to have most regard for my safety, are no more apprehensive than myself, especially such as best know his character. For his very enemies, and even his ridiculers, who are, of the two, by far the greater number, allow him to be a peaceable man in all things except his words, his rhetorical action, his looks, and his hatred to the clergy; which however are all known, by abundance of experience, to be perfectly harmless; and particularly as to the clergy.'
After all, Betterworth's great fault, and what rendered him particularly obnoxious to Swift, was his being a very zealous Whig, and an active man among the leaders of that party, at a time when party animofities ran high in Ireland; and, indeed, in both kingdoms.
We come now to the poctical articles contained in this posthumous publication; the first of which is a poem by Dr. Parnell, addressed to Swift, on his birth-day, November 30, 1713. Parnell's poetical talents are well known ; and therefore we shall pass immediately to the next article, which is a congratulatory Epistle from Swift to Lord Harley, on the marriage of the latter. These verses abound in wit and compliment; but will interest few Readers in these days. Next follow two small pieces, one by Bishop Atterbury, the other by Parnells, and then we
It is pretty obvious that Swift has here endeavoured to place Mr. B's behaviour rot only in the most absurd and ridiculous, but in the wordt light that he poaby could.
come to a pretty long poem of the Dean's, entitled diredions for making a birth-day long, 1729. This is so severe a satire on the royal family, that we do not wonder it was not printed in the late reign. The whole house of Hanover is most infolently abused in it; but it must be owned the piece, considered merely as a poem, is excellent: yet after the just character we have given of it, it would not be decent or proper for us to make extračts from such a virulent lampoon.
The last-mentioned article is succeeded by about a dozen pieces of inferior note ; after which we have a poem to Mr. * Delany, on the talents fit for conversation ; an extract from which will serve to enrich our miscellany :
Talents for conversation fit,
Our conversation to refine,
But, as a poor pretending beav,
Such is the clan of boift'rous Bcars,
The mettled and the vicious steed
If what you said, I wish unspoke,
What use in life to make men fret,
You wonder now to see me write
When jefts are carried on too far,
They love a jest that is their own. About half a dozen other pieces, of various merit, follow next; turning over which, we come to DAPHNE ; a satire on some female character: a character which (begging pardon of the lovely
Sex) may be pretty generally applied ; for which reason we shall
Daphne knows, with equal ease,
Send me hence ten thousand miles,
No--that scheme will ne'er succeed,