1728 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Gay

Anonymous, "Tim and the Fables" The Intelligencer [Dublin] No 10 (1728) 6-8.



My meaning will be best unravell'd,
When I premise, that Tim has travell'd.
In Lucas's by chance there lay
The Fables writ by Mr. Gay,
Tim set the Volume on a Table,
Read over here and there a Fable,
And found, as he the pages twirl'd,
The Monkey, who has seen the World.
(For Tonson had, to help the Sale,
Prefixt a Cut to ev'ry Tale.)
The Monkey was compleatly drest,
The Beau in all his Ayrs exprest.
Tim with surprize and pleasure staring,
Ran to the Glass, and then comparing
His own sweet Figure with the Print,
Distinguish'd ev'ry Feature in't;
The Twist, the Squeeze, the Rump, the Fidge an' all,
Just as they lookt in the Original.
By — says Tim (and let a F—t)
This Graver understood his Art.
'Tis a true Copy, I'll say that for't,
I well remember when I sat fort.
My very Face, at first I knew it,
Just in this dress the Painter drew it.
Tim, with his likeness deeply smitten,
Wou'd read what underneath was written,
The merry Tale with moral Grave.
He now began to storm and rave;
The cursed Villain! now I see
This was a Libel meant at me;
These Scriblers grow so bold of late,
Against us Ministers of State!
Such Jacobites as he deserve,—
Dammee, I say, they ought to starve.
Dear Tim, no more such angry Speeches,
Unbutton and let down your Breeches,
Tare out the Tale, and wipe your A—
I know you love to act a Farce.