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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/A Pastoral Dialogue between Richmond Lodge and Marble Hill

A PASTORAL DIALOGUE


WRITTEN AFTER THE NEWS OF THE KING'S[1] DEATH.


Richmond Lodge is a house with a small park belonging to the Crown. It was usually granted by the Crown for a lease of years. The duke of Ormond was the last who had it. After his exile, it was given to the Prince of Wales by the King. The Prince and Princess usually passed their summer there. It is within a mile of Richmond.


Marble Hill is a house built by Mrs. Howard, then of the bedchamber, afterward countess of Suffolk, and groom of the stole to the Queen. It is on the Middlesex side, near Twickenham, where Mr. Pope lived, and about two miles from Richmond lodge. Mr. Pope was the contriver of the gardens, lord Herbert the architect, the dean of St. Patrick's chief butler and keeper of the Ice house. Upon King George's death, these two houses met, and had the following dialogue.


IN spite of Pope, in spite of Gay,
And all that he or they can say;
Sing on I must, and sing I will
Of Richmond Lodge and Marble Hill.
Last Friday night, as neighbours use,
This couple met to talk of news:
For, by old proverbs it appears,
That walls have tongues, and hedges ears.


MARBLE HILL.

Quoth Marble Hill, right well I ween,
Your mistress now is grown a queen:
You'll find it soon by woeful proof;
She'll come no more beneath your roof.


RICHMOND LODGE.

The kingly prophet well evinces,
That we should put no trust in princes:
My royal master promis’d me
To raise me to a high degree;
But now he's grown a king, God wot,
I fear I shall be soon forgot.
You see, when folks have got their ends,
How quickly they neglect their friends;
Yet I may say, 'twixt me and you,
Pray God, they now may find as true!


MARBLE HILL.

My house was built but for a show,
My lady's empty pockets know;
And now she will not have a shilling,
To raise the stairs, or build the ceiling;
For all the courtly madams round
Now pay four shillings in the pound;
'Tis come to what I always thought:
My dame is hardly worth a groat.
Had you and I been courtiers born,
We should not thus have lain forlorn:
For those we dextrous courtiers call,
Can rise upon their masters' fall.
But we, unlucky and unwise,
Must fall because our masters rise.


RICHMOND LODGE.

My master, scarce a fortnight since,
Was grown as wealthy as a prince;
But now it will be no such thing,
For he'll be poor as any king:
And by his crown will nothing get,
But like a king to run in debt.


MARBLE HILL.

No more the dean, that grave divine,
Shall keep the key of my no — wine;
My ice house rob, as heretofore,
And steal my artichokes no more;
Poor Patty Blount no more be seen
Bedraggled in my walks so green:
Plump Johnny Gay will now elope:
And here no more will dangle Pope.


RICHMOND LODGE.

Here wont the dean, when he's to seek,
To spunge a breakfast once a week;
To cry the bread was stale, and mutter
Complaints against the royal butter.
But now I fear it will be said,
No butter sticks upon his bread.
We soon shall find him full of spleen,
For want of tattling to the queen;
Stunning her royal ears with talking;
His reverence and her highness walking:
While lady Charlotte[2], like a stroller,
Sits mounted on the garden-roller.
A goodly sight to see her ride
With ancient Mirmont[3] at her side.
In velvet cap his head lies warm;
His hat for show beneath his arm.


MARBLE HILL.

Some South Sea broker from the city
Will purchase me, the more's the pity;
Lay all my fine plantations waste,
To fit them to his vulgar taste;
Chang'd for the worse in every part,
My master Pope will break his heart.


RICHMOND LODGE.

In my own Thames may I be drownded,
If e'er I stoop beneath a crown'd head:
Except her majesty prevails
To place me with the prince of Wales;
And then I shall be free from fears,
For he'll be prince these fifty years.
I then will turn a courtier too,
And serve the times, as others do.
Plain loyalty, not built on hope,
I leave to your contriver, Pope:
None loves his king and country better,
Yet none was ever less their debtor.


MARBLE HILL.

Then let him come and take a nap
In summer on my verdant lap:
Prefer our villas, where the Thames is,
To Kensington, or hot St. James's;
Nor shall I dull in silence sit;
For 'tis to me he owes his wit;
My groves, my echoes, and my birds,
Have taught him his poetick words.
We gardens, and you wildernesses,
Assist all poets in distresses.
Him twice a week I here expect,
To rattle Moody[4] for neglect;
An idle rogue, who spends his quartridge
In tippling at the Dog and Partridge;
And I can hardly get him down
Three times a week to brush my gown.


RICHMOND LODGE.

I pity you, dear Marble Hill;
But hope to see you flourish still.
All happiness — and so adieu.


MARBLE HILL.

Kind Richmond Lodge, the same to you.



  1. George I, who died after a short sickness by eating a melon, at Osnabrug, in his way to Hanover, June 11, 1727. — The poem was carried to court, and read to king George II and queen Caroline.
  2. Lady Charlotte de Roussy, a French lady.
  3. Marquis de Mirinont, a Frenchman of quality.
  4. The gardener.