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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/The Discovery


WHEN wise lord Berkeley first came here[1],
Statesmen and mob expected wonders,
Nor thought to find so great a peer
Ere a week past committing blunders.
Till on a day cut out by fate,
When folks came thick to make their court,
Out slipt a mystery of state,
To give the town and country sport.
Now enters Bush[2] with new state airs,
His lordship's premier minister;
And who, in all profound affairs,
Is held as needful as his clyster[3].
With head reclining on his shoulder,
He deals and hears mysterious chat,
While every ignorant beholder,
Asks of his neighbour, who is that?
With this he put up to my lord,
The courtiers kept their distance due,
He twitch'd his sleeve, and stole a word;
Then to a corner both withdrew.
Imagine now, my lord and Bush
Whispering in junto most profound,
Like good king Phyz and good king Ush[4],
While all the rest stood gaping round.
At length a spark not too well bred,
Of forward face and ear acute,
Advanc'd on tiptoe, lean'd his head,
To overhear the grand dispute;
To learn what Northern kings design,
Or from Whitehall some new express,
Papists disarm'd, or fall of coin;
For sure (thought he) it can't be less.
My lord, said Bush, a friend and I,
Disguis'd in two old threadbare coats,
Ere morning's dawn, stole out to spy
How markets went for hay and oats.
With that he draws two handfuls out,
The one was oats, the other hay;
Puts this to's excellency's snout,
And begs he would the other weigh.
My lord seems pleas'd, but still directs
By all means to bring down the rates;
Then, with a conjée circumflex,
Bush, smiling round on all retreats.
Our listener stood a while confus'd,
But gathering spirits, wisely ran for 't,
Enrag'd to see the world abus'd,
By two such whispering kings of Brentford.

  1. To Ireland, as one of the lords justices.
  2. Bush, by some underhand insinuation, obtained the post of secretary; which had been promised to Swift.
  3. Always taken before my lord went to council.
  4. See "The Rehearsal."