[Page 372]


Out of Pliny Nat. Hist. L. 10. C. 67 and L. 29 C. 4.

Anno. 1705.

1 As Mastive Dogs in Modern Phrase are
2 Call'd Pompey, Scipio and Cæsar;
3 As Pies and Daws are often stil'd
4 With Christian Nick-names like a Child;
5 As we say, Monsieur, to an Ape
6 Without offence to Human Shape:
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7 So men have got from Bird and Brute
8 Names that would best their Natures suit:
9 The Lyon, Eagle, Fox and Bear
10 Were Hero's Titles heretofore,
11 Bestow'd as Hi'roglyphicks fit
12 T'express their Valor, Strength or Wit.
13 For, what is understood by Fame
14 Beside the getting of a Name?
15 But e're since Men invented Guns,
16 A different way their Fancy runs;
17 To paint a Hero, we enquire
18 For something that will conquer Fire,
19 Would you describe Turenne or Trump
20 Think of a Bucket or a Pump.
21 Are these too low? then find out grander,
22 Call my Lord C— a Salamander.
23 'Tis well. But since we live among
24 Detractors with an evil Tongue,
25 Who may object against the Term,
26 Pliny shall prove what we affirm:
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27 Pliny shall prove, and we'll apply,
28 And I'll be judg'd by standers-by.
29 FIRST then, our Author has defin'd
30 This Reptil, of the Serpent kind,
31 With gawdy Coat, and shining Train,
32 But loathsom Spots his Body stain:
33 Out from some Hole obscure he flies
34 When Rains descend, and Tempests rise,
35 Till the Sun clears the Air; and then
36 Crawls back neglected to his Den.
37 SO when the War has rais'd a Storm
38 I've seen a Snake in human Form,
39 All stain'd with Infamy and Vice,
40 Leap from the Dunghill in a trice,
41 Burnish and make a gaudy show,
42 Become a General, Peer and Beau,
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43 Till Peace hath made the Sky serene,
44 Then shrink into it's Hole again.
45 All this we grant why, then look yonder
46 Sure that must be a Salamander!
47 FARTHER, we are by Pliny told
48 This Serpent is extreamly cold,
49 So cold, that put it in the Fire,
50 'Twill make the very Flames expire,
51 Beside, it Spues a filthy Froth,
52 (Whether thro' Rage or Love, or both)
53 Of Matter Purulent and white
54 Which happ'ning on the Skin to light,
55 And there corrupting to a Wound
56 Spreads Leprosy and Baldness round.
57 SO have I seen a batter'd Beau
58 By Age and Claps grown cold as Snow,
59 Whose Breath or Touch, where e'er he came,
60 Blew out Love's Torch or chill'd the Flame:
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61 And should some Nymph who ne'er was cruel,
62 Like Carleton cheap, or fam'd Duruel,
63 Receive the Filth which he ejects,
64 She soon would find, the same Effects,
65 Her tainted Carcase to pursue,
66 As from the Salamander's Spue;
67 A dismal shedding of her Locks
68 And, if no Leprosy, a Pox.
69 Then I'll appeal to each By-stander,
70 Whether this ben't a Salamander.


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Title (in Source Edition): THE DESCRIPTION OF A Salamander. Out of Pliny Nat. Hist. L. 10. C. 67 and L. 29 C. 4.
Themes: corruption; politics; social order; manners; science; illness; injury
Genres: satire; answer/reply

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Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745. Miscellanies in PROSE and VERSE [poems only]. London: printed for John Morphew, near Stationers Hall, 1711, pp. 372-376. [14],416p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T39454) (Page images digitized from microfilm of a copy in the English Faculty Library, Oxford [XL77.1[Mis]].)

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