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The Famous Speech-Maker Of England Or Baron (Alias Barren) Lovel’s Charge At The Assizes At Exon, April 5, 1710

From London to Exon,
By special direction,
Came down the world's wonder,
Sir Salathiel Blunder,
With a quoif on his head
As heavy as lead;
And thus opened and said:

Gentlemen of the Grand Inquest,

Her majesty, mark it,
Appointed this circuit
For me and my brother,
Before any other;
To execute laws,
As you may suppose,
Upon such as offenders have been.
So then, not to scatter
More words on the matter,
We're beginning just now to begin.
But hold—first and foremost, I must enter a clause,
As touching and concerning our excellent laws;
Which here I aver,
Are better by far
Than them all put together abroad and beyond sea;
For I ne'er read the like, nor e'er shall, I fancy
The laws of our land
Don't abet, but withstand,
Inquisition and thrall,
And whatever may gall,
And fire withal;
And sword that devours
Wherever it scowers:
They preserve liberty and property, for which men pull and haul so,
And they are made for the support of good government also.
Her majesty, knowing
The best way of going
To work for the weal of the nation,
Builds on that rock,
Which all storms will mock,
Since Religion is made the foundation.
And, I tell you to boot, she
Resolves resolutely,
No promotion to give
To the best man alive,
In church or in state,
(I'm an instance of that,)
But only to such of a good reputation
For temper, morality, and moderation.
Fire! fire! a wild-fire,
Which greatly disturbs the queen's peace
Lies running about;
And if you don't put it out,
( That's positive) will increase:
And any may spy,
With half of an eye,
That it comes from our priests and Papistical fry.
Ye have one of these fellows,
With fiery bellows,
Come hither to blow and to puff here;
Who having been toss'd
From pillar to post,
At last vents his rascally stuff here:
Which to such as are honest must sound very oddly,
When they ought to preach nothing but what's very godly;
As here from this place we charge you to do,
As ye'll answer to man, besides ye know who.
Ye have a Diocesan,—
But I don't know the man;—
The man's a good liver,
They tell me, however,
And fiery never!
Now, ye under-pullers,
That wear such black colours,
How well would it look,
If his measures ye took,
Thus for head and for rump
Together to jump;
For there's none deserve places,
I speak't to their faces,
But men of such graces,
And I hope he will never prefer any asses;
Especially when I'm so confident on't,
For reasons of state, that her majesty won't
Know, I myself I
Was present and by,
At the great trial, where there was a great company,
Of a turbulent preacher, who, cursedly hot,
Turn'd the fifth of November, even the gun-powder plot,
Into impudent railing, and the devil knows what:
Exclaiming like fury—it was at Paul's, London—
How church was in danger, and like to be undone,
And so gave the lie to gracious Queen Anne;
And, which is far worse, to our parliament-men:
And then printed a book,
Into which men did look:
True, he made a good text;
But what follow'd next
Was nought but a dunghill of sordid abuses,
Instead of sound doctrine, with proofs to't, and uses.
It was high time of day
That such inflammation
should be extinguish'd without more delay:
But there was no engine could possibly do't,
Till the commons play'd theirs, and so quite put it out.
So the man was tried for't,
Before highest court:
Now it's plain to be seen,
It's his principles I mean,
Where they suffer'd this noisy and his lawyers to bellow:
Which over, the blade
A poor punishment had
For that racket he made.
By which ye may know
They thought as I do,
That he is but at best an inconsiderable fellow.
Upon this I find here,
And everywhere,
That the country rides rusty, and is all out of gear:
And for what?
May I not
In opinion vary,
And think the contrary,
But it must create
Unfriendly debate,
And disunion straight;
When no reason in nature
Can be given of the matter,
Any more than for shapes or for different stature?
If you love your dear selves, your religion or queen,
Ye ought in good manners to be peaceable men:
For nothing disgusts her
Like making a bluster:
And your making this riot,
Is what she could cry at,
Since all her concern's for our welfare and quiet.
I would ask any man
Of them all that maintain
Their passive obedience
With such mighty vehemence,
That damn'd doctrine, I trow!
What he means
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:06 min read
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Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. more…

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    "The Famous Speech-Maker Of England Or Baron (Alias Barren) Lovel’s Charge At The Assizes At Exon, April 5, 1710" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/24327/the-famous-speech-maker-of-england-or-baron-(alias-barren)-lovel’s-charge-at-the-assizes-at-exon,-april-5,-1710>.

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