1693 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Congreve

Jonathan Swift, in "To Mr. Congreve" 1693; Swift, Works, ed. Nichols (1801) 18:412.



As a fresh miss, by fancy, face, and gown,
Render'd the topping beauty of the town,
Draws ev'ry rhyming, prating, dressing sot,
To boast of favours that he never got;
Of which, whoe'er lacks confidence to prate,
Brings his good parts and breeding in debate;
And not the meanest coxcomb you can find,
But thanks his stars, that Phillis has been kind;
Thus prostitute my Congreve's name is grown
To ev'ry lewd pretender of the town.
'Troth I could pity you; but this is it,
You find, to be the fashionable wit;
These are the slaves whom reputation chains,
Whose maintenance requires no help from brains.