A LETTER to Sir ROBERT WALPOLE.
1 WHILE at the helm of state you ride,
2 Our nation's envy and its pride;
3 While foreign courts with wonder gaze,
4 And justly all your counsels praise,
5 Which, in contempt of faction's force,
6 Steer, tho' oppos'd, a steady course,
7 Wou'd you not wonder, Sir, to view
8 Your bard a greater man than you?
9 And yet the sequel proves it true.
10 You know, Sir, certain ancient fellows
11 Philosophers, and others tell us,
12 That no alliance e'er between
13 Greatness and happiness is seen;
14 If so, may heaven still deny
15 To you, to be as great as I.
16 Besides, we 're taught, it does behove us,
17 To think those greater who 're above us:
18 Another instance of my glory,
19 Who live above you twice two story,
20 And from my garret can look down,
21 As from an hill, on half the town.
22 Greatness by poets still is painted,
23 With many followers acquainted:
24 This too does in my favour speak,
25 Your levée is but twice a week,
26 From mine I can exclude but one day;
27 My door is quiet on a Sunday.
28 The distance too at which they bow,
29 Does my superior greatness shew.
30 Familiar you to admiration,
31 May be approach'd by all the nation,
32 While I, like Great Mogul in Indo,
33 Am never seen but at a window.
34 The family that dines the latest,
35 Is in our street esteem'd the greatest,
36 But greater him we surely call,
37 Who hardly deigns to dine at all.
38 If with my greatness you 're offended,
39 The fault is easily amended:
40 You have it, Sir, within your power
41 To take your humble servant lower.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): A LETTER to Sir ROBERT WALPOLE.
Author: Henry Fielding
Themes: politics; personal insults; patriotism; glory of the British nation
Genres: epistle; satire
References: DMI 27541
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.
Other works by Henry Fielding
- PLAIN TRUTH. ()