Treasure Island

Jonathan Swift

(30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745 / Dublin)

An Excellent New Song Being The Intended Speech Of A Famous Orator Against Peace


An orator dismal of Nottinghamshire,
Who has forty years let out his conscience to hire,
Out of zeal for his country, and want of a place,
Is come up, vi et armis, to break the queen's peace.
He has vamp'd an old speech, and the court, to their sorrow,
Shall hear him harangue against Prior to-morrow.
When once he begins, he never will flinch,
But repeats the same note a whole day like a Finch.
I have heard all the speech repeated by Hoppy,'
And, 'mistakes to prevent, I've obtained a copy.'


THE SPEECH


Whereas, notwithstanding I am in great pain,
To hear we are making a peace without Spain;
But, most noble senators, 'tis a great shame,
There should be a peace, while I'm Not-in-game.
The duke show'd me all his fine house; and the duchess
From her closet brought out a full purse in her clutches:
I talk'd of a peace, and they both gave a start,
His grace swore by G—d, and her grace let a f—t:
My long old-fashion'd pocket was presently cramm'd;
And sooner than vote for a peace I'll be damn'd.
But some will cry turn-coat, and rip up old stories,
How I always pretended to be for the Tories:
I answer; the Tories were in my good graces,
Till all my relations were put into places.
But still I'm in principle ever the same,
And will quit my best friends, while I'm Not-in-game.
When I and some others subscribed our names
To a plot for expelling my master King James,
I withdrew my subscription by help of a blot,
And so might discover or gain by the plot:
I had my advantage, and stood at defiance,
For Daniel was got from the den of the lions:
I came in without danger, and was I to blame?
For, rather than hang, I would be Not-in-game.
I swore to the queen, that the Prince of Hanover
During her sacred life would never come over:
I made use of a trope; that 'an heir to invite,
Was like keeping her monument always in sight.'
But, when I thought proper, I alter'd my note;
And in her own hearing I boldly did vote,
That her Majesty stood in great need of a tutor,
And must have an old or a young coadjutor:
For why; I would fain have put all in a flame,
Because, for some reasons, I was Not-in-game.
Now my new benefactors have brought me about,
And I'll vote against peace, with Spain or without:
Though the court gives my nephews, and brothers, and cousins,
And all my whole family, places by dozens;
Yet, since I know where a full purse may be found,
And hardly pay eighteen-pence tax in the pound:
Since the Tories have thus disappointed my hopes,
And will neither regard my figures nor tropes,
I'll speech against peace while Dismal's my name,
And be a true Whig, while I'm Not-in-game.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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