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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/Epigram from the French

EPIGRAM. From the French[1].


WHO can believe with common sense,
A bacon slice gives God offence;
Or, how a herring has a charm
Almighty vengeance to disarm?
Wrapp'd up in Majesty divine,
Does he regard on what we dine?


  1. A French gentleman dining with some company on a fastday, called for some bacon and eggs. The rest were very angry, and reproved him for so heinous a sin: whereupon he wrote the following lines extempore; which are translated above:

    Peut on croire avec bon sens
    Qu'un lardon le mit en colère,
    Ou, que manger un hareng,
    C'est un secret pour lui plaire?
    En sa gloire envelopé,
    Songe-t-il bien de nos soupés?