The Dublin Scuffle

DUBLIN Scussle,
The Hungry Poets
Humbly Dedicated
To a certain Great MAN.
Magister Artis ingeniique largitor
Venter, negatas artifex sequi Voces.
Thus English'd,
Necessiy (as AUTHORS mention)
Becomes the Mother of Invention:
And when the Brain-less Skull has no Wit;
The Hungry Belly makes the Poet.

By a Well-Wisher of the SOCIETY.
[Page 7]

1. THE
Hungry POETS, &c.

YE sober,sad, and merry Dames,
Of shady Goves and purling Streams
Provocatives of gentle Dreams and Slumbers;
Ye Graces Three, and MUSES Nine,
Guardians of WIT, and Lays DIVINE,
Inspire this humble Breast of mine with Numbers:
[Page 8]
While I endeavour to relate
Our POETS lamentable State,
And their Adventures at the Great Conollys
Our Authors now, with one conset,
With Famine,Toil, and Study spent
His L-dship to Petition went,all Moneyless
In hopes, that at their wretched Station,
Excited by Commiseration,
He wou'd, thro' Pity and Compassion, Reward'em
Attended with a Rabble-rout,
From all the Neighb'ring Streets about,
With Ballad-Singers stern and stot, to guard 'em
While mighty Hopes excite their Courage,
Not Leaving Breath to cool their Porridge,
They march like Soldiers out for Forage, or Plunder.
The gaping Crowd with hideous Cry
And Clamours, beat the distant Sky,
As if the Universe wou'd fly asunder.
[Page 9]
And charging home with Turnip tops,
Dead-Dogs, and Cats, as thick as Hops,
Hit one another o'er the Chops, and Gullets;
One flings a Brick, or rotten Egg,
Another gives a broken Leg,
With old crack'd Chamber-pots, or Beggars Bullets.
It were too tedious for my Muse,
To reckon all the blacks and blues
Of ev'ry honourable Bruise and Bang,Sir:
Wherefore left I shou'd make you cry,
At present I shall pass 'em by,
And tell you what befel our Rhyming Gang, Sir.
And now they had approach'd the Entry,
Where two in Armour stood as Centry,
That wou'd admit of none, but Gentry, to pass in:
These did our POETS much intreat,
But cou'd not get within the Gate,
For all their Equipage, and great Bard-dashing;
[Page 10]
Inshort they told 'em in a huff,
Looking(as Moore will have it)1 gruff,
They'd curry their Poetik Buff, or Hide,Sir:
Swearing as they were Sons of Mars's,
They'd turn their Tragedies to Farces,
And very fairly kick their Ar---s besides,Sir:
At this our Bards in woful wise,
With asking Hearts, and blubber'd Eyes,
Retreated, smitten with Surprize, together;
For Poets, tho' they often vapour,
They love no other Field, but Paper,
Using, instead of Bloody Rapier, a Feather
At last his L- having heard
Ventosa's Voice, his fav'rite Bard,
Sent orders quickly to the Guard T'admit 'em
And now they enter all apace,
When one begins to state their Case,
Who lately had,upon the Place, Beih---hin
[Page 11]
To YOU, tho' we can hardly crawl,
The Poets Great, and eke the Small,
As you may see without the call of Drum, SIR,
From writing Riddles,Puns and Farces,
Lampoons and Plays in scurvy Verses,
With Bums and Setters at our A- We come, Sir
With whining Bastards, craving Bitches,
With clouted Phizes, Scabs, and Itches,
And the Devil in the Britches to boot, SIR,
With Lice so white, and Fleas so black,
With scarce a tatter to our Back,
We look like Pharaoh's hungry Pack of Brutes,SIR,
With Hearts so heavy and so full,
With Heads so empty and so dull,
And Paunches hungry as a Gull, or Raven:
With many a Blessing and Good-day,
From Landlords, as a Man may say,
Directed all the backward way to Heaven
[Page 12]
With shaking Hands, and how-d'y'do's,
And many a plausible Excuse
To Brokers Wives, for Wigs and Shoes, so clever.
With Promises, in sober sorrow,
If from a thousand forc'd to borrow,
To pay 'em faithfully to Morrow-come never.
From Garrets high, with pockets low,
Behold us marching in a row,
To entertain you with a Show, so new,SIR,
In hopes you'll listen t'our Petition,
And look upon our poor Condition,
As in all merited Submission we sue,SIR.
Thus having made our Application,
We fly-a Mournful Congregation!
To your Divine Illumination, and Wing,SIR,
I've laid the Principles before y'e,
But now, My L- for greater glory,
Let ev'ry POET tell his Story, Or Sing,SIR.
[Page 13]
This said, not having time to dally,
Ventoso's Wit began to fally,
and vent itself Heroically Deceitful:
My Blood exults thro' ev'ry Vein,
To see my Patron once again,
No Pudding cou'd afford a Scene so grateful.
Tis since I wrought my Dedication,
An Age, upon my Reputation,
(According to my Calculation,)at least,SIR,
But see how Things will up and down!
I once the darling of the Town,
Am us'd no better than a Clown, or Beast,SIR,
O! Glory whither art thou fled?
No Lawrels now to crown my Head,
Nor( what is worse) to buy me Bread, a Shilling!2
The CRITICKS like a Flock of Geese,
And Fortune now together hiss;
Such usage certainly as this is killing
[Page 14]
Oft has my Father, Good Man, said,
that Poetry's barren trade,
When he was minded to disswade me from
But I wou'd sooner lose my Blood,
Alas! he row'd against the Flood,
I loath'd his Counsel, as i wou'd a Vomit
Wherefore we justly may agree,
As Hanging goes by Destiny
And Marriage; so does Poetry for certain
In Vain we fly from Fate, as Bums,
We live like Lazarus on crumbs,
And in the End, a Jayl becomes Our Fortune
Time was when sweet Poetick Forces,
Tam'd Tygers fell, like modern Horses,
And stop'd the rage of Water-courses full often
But now we have a race of Men,
More cruel than the Tygers then,
Whom neither Fiddle, Tongue nor Pen can soften.
[Page 15]
[...] us having fought upon her Stumps,
[...]Clio to her Patron jumps,
[...] ter so many bangs, and thumps in Battery;
As Horace says, I once was mellow,
A merry, sprightly, gallant Fellow,
Nunc arma defunctumq; bello et caetera.3
Scarce had he finished his Oration,
When H---w---t fir'd with Emulation,
Begins his pitiful Narration with trembling:
First having grinn'd and flar'd about,
[...]canting wise, he thus breaks out,
In't please your Excellence, without Dissembling,
I am the only Son of Phoebus,
For writing Riddles, Puns and Rebus;
But what is Merit his Diebus Alas! SIR:
I am the Hector of the City,
Forscribling Tragi-Farcick Ditty,
And yet they call me,( more's the pity An Ass;SIR;
[Page 16]
But if they treat me so demurely,
And still continue to be surly,
To stop their senseless hurly-burly,D'y'mind [...]
By Jupiter I'll never stay,
To write the Dogs another Play,
And I'll not leave my Match that Day behind me
Nay wer the CRITICKS e'er so civil,
Mine Hostess is a running Evil,
And he must gallop, whom the Devil do's drive, SIR.
My Candle's wasted to the Socket,
If I've a Stiver in my Pocket,
I'm certainly the greatest Blockhead alive, SIR.
But if you're for the Propagation,
Of English Wit, in th' Irish Nation;
Come, let me speak in Moderation and Measure
Allow me only Meat and Drink,
A Garret, Paper, Pen and Ink,
This may raise me ; but never sink your Treasury.
[Page 17]
Nor shall it be a gift of Thine,
I'll pay thee in Poetick Coin,
And make thy deathless Virtues shine in Pages;
Place all thy Deeds in open view,
Nor shall thy Lady want her due,
her Glory shall descend to future Ages.
Scarce had he chatter'd out his Note,
When one, who wore a petticoat,
Began to open wide her Throat for Honour;
And probably had borne the Bell
From all the rest, as one may tell,
But that a certain Poet fell upon her.
Quoth he, Miss4 Cr--ly, dear Pug-nasty,
I pray thee, be not over-hasty,
You'll have no Finger in the Pasty, per fidem;
These Female Wits are dang'rous cattle,
They are s kind of Snakes; that rattle,
I can no more than blood and battel abide 'em.
[Page 18]
Our Poetess no longer cou'd
Restrain the current of her Blood,
Like Sybil in the prophetic Mood, or Beldam,
Of Words she ratt'll'd out a Peal,
At exercise of Head or Tail,
As Woman-kind, is found to fail but seldom :-
Your humble Servant, Mr.Eyre,
You've taken a peculiar care,
To powder and perfume your Hair, in sadness;
But you had better taken pains,
To find the Receipts or proper Means,
That might supply your lack of Brains, and Madness:
YouRagga-muffin, cou'd you hope,
In POETRY, with me to cope?
You're Mad, and shou'd be ty'd by Rope or Tether:
Your Skull is like an empty Butt,
And never cou'd support thy Gut,
You talk [...] who cannot Spell and put Together;
[Page 19]
Witness thy5 News from Fairy-Land,
Printed by D--cks---n under-hand,
What Man alive cou'd understand such Nonsense?
Hence to thy Garret, there Endite,
Prologues for Actors to recite,
Such Ones as Cossey us'd to write not long-since;
Against the Ladies in the Pit,
Or Beaux that in the Boxes fit;
There vent thy excrements of Wit and Raillery,
In hopes that you may some times sup
With under-Actors, cock-a-whoop
And be exalted to the up-per Gallery.
This made our Poet so uneasy,
He look'd as if he had been crazy,
Quoth he, thou scribbling, dirty, grazy Trug-mullion;
Wou'dst thou my Reputation stab,
With tongue of brass, and Face of crab.
Though scoldest like an Oyster-Drab, or Scullion:
[Page 20]
Altho' you owe my Muse a grutch,
Your Malice can't offend me much,
Nor will his Lordship credit such a Strumpet.
There's hardly one, that writes and reads
But knows of my Poetic Deeds,
So that, I think, my Glory needs no Trumpet.
Thou art a Plague to Men of Sense,
So, Madam, get thee quickly hence,
No more of thy Impertinence, and Moaping;-
Elsewhere a Jobb, you now may find,
Perhaps there's something in the wind,
So that I'd have you go and mind your Groaping.
Whereat our Poets 'gan to hiss,
And banter poor Poetic Miss;
So she departed full of Discontentment
But flood a while, as in amaze,
Thrice shook her Head, then went her ways,
Her very Eyes did seem to blaze Resentment.
[Page 21]
Our Author being puff'd, I wot,
With Victory, now piping hot,
His witty Speeches well cou'd not contain, SIR;
Quoth he, my L-d,I am a Wit,
As natural as ever writ;
I'm always in a rhyming Fit, or Strain, SIR:
There's not a Labour, good or ill,
That is belonging to the Quill,
But I my Genius,Art and Skill have try'd in;
In lofty Flights or Tragedy,
As you and all the World may see,
I equal Shakespear,Otway, Lee, or Dryden:
I've Praise's Laurel, Satyre's Rod,
Apollo's Condescending Nod;
My PARTS are Universal, God be thanked;
For jingle, shou'd i once begin,
Namby, I wou'd not reck a Pin,
For6 Blank, I wou'd toss MILTON in a Blanket:
[Page 22]
Which you will grant, if you look
Into this little Pocket-book;
Altho' it was from him I took my Model.
'Twere endless now, to give a full
Account of all the merry dull,
And bright Productions of my Skull, or Noddle.
Had you but seen the heavy number
Of POEMS, lying round like Lumber,
And only serving to incumber my Study;
You never cou'd imagine, that
So much cou'd come from one Man's Pate,
And not to make his Senses flat and muddy:-
And yet for all these mighty Matters,
My Sonnets, Elegies and Satyres,
Your L-dship sees me here in tatters array'd, SIR;
Wherefore I humbly do request,
You'd spare me an old Coat and Vest,
For which in Stuff you shall be drest and paid, SIR.
[Page 23]
Our Author having told his Story;
[...]ffey, to gain immortal Glory,
Succeeds, with all his Oratory,His Cur-ship;
And putting on a jolly Face,
That he might better tell his Case,
He thus accosts, with comely Grace, his Worship.
My L- Your Servant--- You must know it,
Tas been my Fate to be a Poet,
As my Immortal Labours shew it at large, Sir;
Few Men have better play'd the Fool,
The World's indebted to my Skull,
And Phaebus now may draw my full Discharge, Sir.
Altho' I am of Pigmy size;
I make my Opticks reach the Skies,
Nor can the greatest equalize my chyming:
I've summon'd 7Bacchus in a Lecture,
To drink Small-beer instead of Nectar,
And made him drunk as any Hector, by Rhyming.
[Page 24]
Nay Jove himself, the thunder thumper,
Descend to take a gentle Bumper
And be as blythe as Parson 8Crump, or Magee, Sir.
But still we Poets being crost,
Make others merry at our Cost,
And find our Labour only lost, No Fee,Sir.
Moreover such a drove of Asses,
Are daily grazing on Paroassus,
'Tis like a Common, where no grass is, all barren.
So that to fill our hungry Paunches,
We're glad to barter Lawrel Branches,
With Butchers-wives, for sides and haunches, of Carren.
And for our Books, our only props,
They often flye as thick as Hops,
To Custard-men, and Grocers Shops, about, Sir.
While we are playing least in fight,
In Effigy, thus Martyr'd quite,
And dare not shew in open light our Snouts, Sir:
[Page 25]
To purchase one good Belly filling,
To beg your Worship wou'd be willing
To drop your Country-man a Shilling, or two,Sir;
And your Petitioner will pray,
Like Hopkins ever and for ay,
And Dedicate to Thee a Play span new, Sir.
My L- there needs no farther pumping,
You know my meaning, by my mumping,
But if to give a Purse to Bumpkin you grumble,
At least, to guard me from Reflection,
And snarling Criticks Insurrection,
I beg Your L---rdship's kind Protection: Your humble-
As Cossey ended his Oration,
Arbuckle, full of Indignation,
Breaks out, who was by reputation a Scholar,
First having scratched his Head, and then
Proceeded to fanatick [...]ent,
As if he had been stuff'd with Phle'm, or Choler:-
[Page 26]
And I, if I were set upon it,
My L-d, can write as good a Sonnet,
9As any Lad, that wears a Bonnet, or Trowse,SIR
And I can weite a Panegyrick,
In Prose, Heroic, or in Lyrick,
Be Gentle, Surly, or Satyrick, I vow, SIR.
I am the Pindar of the Times,
For the Magnificence of Rhimes,
And variation of my Chimes and Feet, SIR.
Whenever I vouchsafe to traffick,
In swift Iambick, or in Saphick,
JOHN HOPKINS is not so Seraphick, or Sweet, SIR:
Whenever I hold- [...] in Journal,
(According to my form Diurnal)
My Brethren read it in their turn All and Vaunting
Each of 'em says,( and cracks his Knuckle,)
An unco Chield is this Arbuckle!
I wot nae Preecher, that's sae muckle In Canting.
[Page 27]
Not aene of a2 our gifted Sparks,
Lay-Aulders, Saints, and Parish Clerks,
Caun cope with him in Hauly Warks, at weel, Sir,
Raight weel he kens the10Meetre-Beuk,
With Paiety therein to leuk,
And sraighten with his Shapherd's Crook, the Deel,Sir,
And, faith! I'd like to let it pass,
Tho' many take me for an Ass,
Full four Years Study'd I in Glasgow College;
There twisted many a sandy Rope,
To hang the Devil and the Pope,
And all by New-enlighten'd scope of Knowledge.
Damn'd Loyalty, and its Inventors,
And set all People on the Tenters,
That had Dissented from Dissenters, for Atheists;
Alledging th' only Gospel work,
That was entail'd upon the Kirk,
Is but to curse the muckle Turk, and Papists.
[Page 28]
Moreover,prov'd by demonstration;
RELIGION do's undo a Nation;
And that there is Predestination, indeed,Sir.
That any Presbyterian Block,
With Head as hard as any Rock,
May be the Father of a Flock, and Read,SIR.
That any drunken, ranting Fellow,
With double Chin of Punchinello,
May be entitled to Prunello, and Lawn,SIR;
That PIETY shou'd be abolish'd,
That Outward Men alone be polish'd,
EPISCOPACY Hang'd, Demolish'd, and Drawn, SIR.
That PRAYER-BOOKS shou'd be laid by,
The Low-Church Rule, instead of HIGH, And none, but They, have Liberty of Conscience.
That we shou'd banish ARISTOCRACY,
And fed-up in its stead Democracy
Clearing the way for cant, hypocricy, and non
[Page 29]
Whilom when * Snuff on Scotia's Plains;
In frequent Clouds inspir'd my Brains,
I wrote a Piece in Epick Strains, so clever;
It rais'd the Snuff-rate, I'll be bound,
To twice the value in the pound,
And made the Poet's Glory found for Ever:-
But if you value not my Ditty,
Nor yet my Arguments, so Witty.
Ah! let the Cripple move your Pity, and Sue,SIR.
I'm in a miserable Posture:
Well Faith! I find my Labour lost here:
No penny-then no Pater noster- Adieu, SIR.
Arbuckle said,- and blew his Nose,
Looking(as you may well suppose)
As if he meant to drop the Crows, a Pudding:
A ghastly dye of white and yellow
Besmear'd his Face, resembling tallow,
With Tye-Wig, black, upon his shallow- Pate, plodding:
[Page 30]
And as a Frog, that drags along
Its wounded Limbs, he limpt among
The Crowd; scarce were his Crutches strong to prop him
Yet others were among the Gang,
That were preparing to Harangue-
When from his Chair his Lordship sprang, to stop him.
Your humble Servant, Gentlemen,
I thank ye for this Visit then,-
And stigmatizing with your Pen, this sad Age:-
But there's a saying long has stood,
Nor is it proper that I shou'd
Disprove, or Contradict so good an Adage:
Our Men of Parts and merry Wags,
Appear in Poverty and Rags,
But Wit is press'd beneath full Bags of Money:
As when a Bee has lost its sting,
Neglects the Flowers of the Spring;
Incapable of gathering more Honey;
[Page 31]
Riches retard a Poet's Flight,
But when he feels his Pockets Light,
His Fancy is serene and bright, to flow, SIRS,
HOMER, in days of yore, the Prince
Of all the POETS, ever-since,
Sung Ballads up and down, for pence, you know, SIRS:
The Founder of the Cynic-Club,
DIOGENES, lodg'd in a Tub-
And as I am a Man of pub-lick Spirit,
And as you're Men of wit and Sense,
'Twou'd be a very great Offence,
To th' Publick, shou'd I recompence your Merit.
This said- perceiving that their Wit'
And Rhetorick cou'd never hit,
They look'd as if they had besh-t their Breeches,
And yet possess'd with thirst of Fame,
March'd to the Place, from whence they came,
To scribble Poetry,and dream of Riches.
This is a selection from the original text


famine, hunger, poor, poverty, rich

Source text

Title: The Dublin Scussle

Subtitle: or, The Hungry Poets Petition, Humbly Dedicated to a Certain Great Man

Author: A Wellwisher of the Society

Publisher: by E. Waters

Publication date: 1729

Edition: 1st Edition

Place of publication: Dublin

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Eighteenth Century Collections Online:

Digital edition

Original author(s): A Wellwisher of the Society

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) pages 7 to 31


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > pamphlets

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.