Back to the Index Page


A Hymn To The Mob by Daniel Defoe


The Preface.

If any Thing in this Work seems capable of double Construction, he hopes he shall be granted the Common License of Poets for a Latitude of Speech, and be treated in the Common Method of Christians, viz. to be constru'd in the best Sence; as to the Performance be leaves it to Censure.

            Hail! Ancient Gentry, Nature's Eldest Line,
            Of True Original Divine;
            Parent of Nations, Spring of Government,
            For Whom, and from Whom Governors were sent:
      First-born of all Antiquity,
            For all the Sons of Men began in thee;
            The First-made Man saw thy young blooming Face
      Among the Croud of his own Race.
            Adam, indeed, and Eve made up but One,
      The fame created Flesh and Bone,
          Ev'n when they had a Son they seem'd alone;
          When they had Two it look'd like Progeny,
      But 'twas a MOB when they had Three.
          Hark! how the Text displays the Ancient Tribe,
      And does the First Great Croud describe;
          A Few mark'd down for Genealogy,
          But Sons and Daughters do the rest supply,
      That is, the RABBLE of the Family.
          Hail! Fountain of Nobility and Birth,
          Thou art the Oldest Family on Earth;
      Here Dignity and High Degree began,
      Tho' it may still a Doubt remain,
          Whether 'twas Merit or Ambition first,
      That Men with Pride and Title curst.
          In thy great Self, and first deriv'd from thee
          Was form'd that gawdy Trifle Quality,
      A Toy to gratify Mens Pride,
      Only by Merit sanctify'd.
          Great Picture of Mankind's Original,
      In thee we know no Great or small,
          The diff'ring Form of Things which now we see,
      Is all a mighty Rape on thee;
          Time shall the mighty Injury repair,
      And place Mankind just where they were:
          Kingdoms and Empires to thy Center tend,
          In thee they all began, in thee they all shall end.
   Hail! Noun of Maltitude, of flagrant Fame,
          Who had'st a Being long before a Name;
          And since the World has known thy Monstrous Face,
          Hast often chang'd thy Name, and chang'd thy Voice;
      Still fluctuating as the Sea,
          No Man can judge of Good or Ill by thee;
          Or ought to pass a Censure from thy Cry,
          Whether't Hosanna be, or Crucify.
   Babel was the first Triumph of thy Fame,
          There all the World was Christen'd by thy Name;
          From thence dispers'd by Heaven's immediate Hand,
          A MOB of Lesser Mobs o'er-spread the Land,
      Over the Universe they roam,
          Each MOB had Kings and Emp'rors in its Womb,
      Gave Governmet itself a Name,
          And from themselves made Crowns where'er they came.
      Nimrod himself was born of thee,
      Who first invented Monarchy,
          He bound the early Yoke upon thy Lions,
      And made thee stoop to his Designs,
          Built Empire on thy ruin'd Liberty,
          And made them Slaves whom Deluge had set free.
             And what's the Thing the World calls Tyranny?
          'Tis nothing but Encroachments made on thee,
      Vile Usurpation on thy Right,
      Back'd with that wicked Thing call'd Might!

          This all was thine, for Power began with thee,
          And was but lent to guard thy Liberty;
          If when 'tis misapply'd, we grant it true,
          The Re-assumption has been thought thy Due.
      Arbaces in thy Name pull'd down
          Sardanapalus, and th' Assyrian Crown;
      The Tyrant thus dethron'd by thee,
          His Empire sunk in Median Liberty:
      Here Justice her first Sanction gain'd,
          And Law a Seat above the Throne obtain'd,
      Monarchs bow'd down, however Great,
          T' the Irreversible Decrees of State;
          Laws were by thy more Ancient Power first made
      Supreme,—and Magistrate obey'd.
                Yet (in thy Wits) thou always art content
          To yield to Justice and to Government;
      Nay, thou'rt a Friend to Monarchy,
      When Matters are not push'd too high;

          But in Extreams thou often claim'st a Right,
      Boldly t' Address, or Humbly Fight.
      In the first Ages of thy Reign,
          Thou didst a'most all Mankind's Race contain,
      'Twas Policy, and Roman Pride
          Did thy Great Self from thy Great Self divide;
      Plebeii and Patricit were no more
      Than New Mock-Names for Rich and Poor,
          And made Two Mobs of what was One before.
   Out of this Whimsy SENATE first arose
          A RABBLE, only dress'd in siner Cloaths;
          And by this Method 'gainst all Common Sense,
          Thou'st suffer'd numberless Invasions since:
      In which, as if past Sense of Shame,
          They kept the Thing, and only chang'd the Name ,
          In every Age they propagate the Cheat,
          For Men always grew proud, as they grew great .
   Thus Senates, and Assemblies of the State,
          Who formally usurp the Judgment-Seat;
        Thy Flesh and Bone out of thy Loins they grew,
      Just as our Parliaments do now.
        What are Great Titles? What is it we mean
        By Dyet, Cortez, States, and Sanhedrins of Men?
        They're all but thy Great Representatives,
      In whom thy Greater Self survives,
      Meer RABBLE drwn in Miniature,
      Whose Bus'ness 'tis thy Plagues to cure,
        And yet whose Power, sometimes, thou can'st not well endure.
   These all thy Senior Glory recognize,
        Bow to the very People they despise;
      Own thy Great Power Original,
        Prior, and so Superior to them all;
      From thy Great Suffrage they derive,
        And when they dye in thee, in thee they still revive.
        The Greatest HERO cringes to thy Name,
      The Breath of thy Great Mouth is Fame,
      And as thou ratest Men and Things,
        Thou mak'st Men Beggars, Beggars Kings.
        What's Glory? what that Gew-gaw call'd Renown ?
      Which Heroes wear, and think a Crown;
        'Tis all but thy Opinion of their Deeds,
        Thy Breath their Courage and Ambition feeds.
   In Ancient Rome when Heroes came to dye,
        On Thee they built their Immortality;
        The Pulpit for their Funeral-Praises stood,
      (Built always of Plebeian Wood)
        In the Great Forum—where the Common Wealth
        Did to their Lords the People annually appeal,
        There the Brib'd Orators coin'd Empty Fame,
        And told thee Lies to raise a Dead Man's Name.
   Here the Great Cæsar cring'd and bow'd,
        Sacheverell-like, he worship'd Thee the Croud;

        Pleaded vast Merit, and to be believ'd,
        Shew'd thee more Wounds and Scars than ever he receiv'd;
      'Till by the Force of Flatt'ry, he
        Chain'd thee, on meer Pretence of Liberty.
        To thee the Greatest Monarchs humbly bend,
      And covet to make thee their Friend:
        To thee make Manifesto's to declare,
        Their Ends and Reasons, when they would make War,
        Pull off their Cap, and ask thy Leave to fight,
      As Men say Grace before they eat.
              After Great Victories obtain'd,
        Some Conquest made, or Mighty Battle gain'd,
        The Fighting Hero for his full Reward,
        Obtain'd a Triumph, that is, thy Regard,
      Had Leave to make his Show to thee,
        And gain thy Great Assent to his Fidelity:
      If thou wert pleas'd to own his Cause,
        And give thy gracious Shout in his Applause,
      He went away more pleas'd and vain,
        Perhaps, than Nature could, in Bounds, contain.
              And thus far they are Right,
      For without thee they cou'd not fight.
      Thou art the Essence of the War,
        Without thee, who wou'd in the Field appear?
        'Tis all thy own, whoever gets the Praise,
        Thy Hands that fight, and 'tis thy Purse that pays
        How partial is the common Rate of Things,
        And how unjust the Fame of Emperors and Kings!
        Who when a Battle's fought, or Castle won,
      Boast of the mighty Things they've done;
        Receive the Compliments of Victory,
      When all the Work was done by thee.
   Thy Valour storm'd the Leaguer of Turin,
        Tho' all the Glory's giv'n to Great Eugene;
        Blenheim and Ramillies were fought by thee,
        Whoever claims the Crown of Victory,
        And all the Ancient Temples built to Fame,
        Should have been consecrated to thy Name.
   Thou art supream in Peace, as well as War,
        All Human Powers thy Great superior Self revere.

      Princes make Speeches, Commons vote,
        The Priest extends his double-sounding Throat;
        From the Leud Press 'tis labour'd o're again,
        THY mighty Approbation to obtain.
        When Froward Lords make Long Harangues of State,
        From thy Great Suffrage they receive their Fate ;
      To thy Great Sentence they submit,
        And recognize thy Right to Censure or Acquit.
   Ev'n Law itself owns thy Authority ,
        Justice sets open all her Doors to thee;
        Holds the Bright Ballance in the open Air,
      That thou may'st see her Scales are fair.
        Tryals are printed then, and all set down;
        That is, they appeal to thee in what they've done.
      Seek thy Great Sanction to their Power,
        And make thee judge of what they judg'd before.
      Nor is thy Judgment often wrong,
        Thou seldom are mistaken, never long;
        However wrong in Means thou may'st appear,
        Thou gener'ly art in thy Designs sincere;
      Just Government and Liberty

        Often's uphold, always belov'd by thee.
        If (as sometimes 't has prov'd) it is thy Fate

      To be deceiv'd in Tricks of State,
        When Party-Riders get upon thy Back,
      And thou hast kept thy Watch too slack,
        Tho' the Mistake may lead thee out of Course,
        Thou always turn'st again with double Force;
        Then how do's thy Great Inundation swell,
      Who can its Rapid Force repel?
        Not by its Former Guides to be withstood,
        They perish first, who first let loose the Flood;
      So an Unskilful Engineer,
        When to an ill-charg'd Mine he would give Fire,
        The Fierce Recoiling Blow by Nature forc't,
        Destroys its Ignorant Contriver first.
           Thou art th' Essential Being of a Crown,
        And many a Haughty Monarch hast pull'd down;
        KING without thee, is such an Empty Name,
      As every Beggar would disclaim,
        Abandon'd Crowns are Despicable Things,
        For Subjects only are the Strength of Kings.
      Justice and Law derive from thee,
      Their Recogniz'd Authority,
        And are the Land-Marks of thy Liberty;
        The Buts and Bounds of Right, with thy Consent,
        Declar'd by thine own Creature Parliament.
        To these thou'rt subject, yet compleatly free,
      For Legal Bounds make Liberty,
        The greatest Freedom Mankind e'er obtain'd,
        Is to be but from Doing ill restrain'd;
        In vain Unbounded Liberties we boast,
        We're all but Slaves when just Confinement's lost.
        When from thy Legal Bounds thou art set free,
      That Freedom's thy worst Slavery,
        From that first Hour thy Chastity's destroy'd,
        And all thy Right to Government made void,
        Nor can thy Claim to Common Sense remain,
        But Public Lunacy distracts thy Brain;
        The Glorious Name of MOB's no more thy Due,
      Monster becomes thy Title now,

        And to show how compleatly thou art curst,
      HYDRA, of Monsters sure the worst.
        Of all the Frenzies that possess Mankind,
      Street-Madness has the basest End;
        The Ravings here in strong Conjunction mixt,
        Are always upon Self-Destruction fixt;
        The Dangers too in their Proportion rise,
        Not Men, but Nations, feel the wild Surprize;
        Contagious Madness seizes every Head,
        And all Men follow, just as all Men lead.
      Let not Men wonder at their Fate,
      When MOB grows and beware the State

        Besides this Madness is of such a Kind,
        It leaves all Common Lunacy behind;
      Possest with willful Blindness here,
        They all in Arms against themselves appear,
        People and Government's the self-same Thing,
        The King's The Law, and every Law's The King;
        Something that's worse than Folly must prevail,
      And something more than Reason fail;
        When Men by Rage and Impotence possest,
        Themselves of their own Nature would divest,

      Since not the worst of Reasons Fools
        Would choose to live without Restraint and Rules.
      For thee to trample down the Law
        That keeps thy Tyrant Governours in Awe,
      Is just to draw the Murd'ring Knife
        Against the Civil Guardians of thy Life,
        And ev'ry Anti-Constitution Vote,
      Directs the Dagger to thy Throat,
        He that would Justice of her Sword divest,
      Plunges that Sword into thy Breast,
      That Rage that does thy Law o'rethrow,
        Assassinates thy self, and gives the Mortal Blow,
        For Justice is the Soul of Government,
      By Heav'n for Life and Motion sent:
        Nature the constant Ligament requires,
        When Justice dies all Government expires
      For Government's a Glorious Birth,
      Conceiv'd in Heav'n tho' born on Earth,
        The Beauteous Parts conjoyn'd make up a Frame,
      God-like and Glorious like its Name.

        The Inwards are the PEOPLE, every Part
        That live by, and that keep alive the Heart,
        Veins, Art'ries, Bowels, Vessels, which convey
      To all the Parts Vivacity.
        The Hands and Feet in their due Place appear,
        These are call'd Industry, and Those call'd War;
      Wealth is the Blood that swells the Veins,
        Law is the Life which all the Parts sustains,
      Power presides the Glorious Head,
        But Justice does that Power supersede;
      Vertue's the Crown for Glory meant,
        And Luxury and Vice the nautious Excrement.
   For thee to fly in Constitution's Face,
        Is rather Want of Sense, than Want of Grace;
        The wild Delirium rages in thy Head,
      Thou'rt no more Foolish then, but Mad,
        Raving at thine own Life, and that that's worse,
      Tak'st thy best Blessing for a Curse,
      Pulling thine own Defences down,
        And Cutting off the Legs thou stand'st upon.
   So a mad Dog, with blind, envenom'd Rage,
        The Anguish of his Fever to asswage,
      With boiling Blood and staggering Head,
      Wounds that Hand first that gave him Bread;
        Promiscuously at every Object flies,
        Then spent with foaming Rage, gnaws his own Flesh, and dies.
   And here that we may just Distinction make,
        And not assault thy Honour by Mistake;
        'Tis necessary to let Mankind know,
        Some Errors thou the MOB art subject to;
      For there's, no Doubt, a Juncture, when
      Nations go mad as well as Men;
      And were our Satyr more thy Friend,
        Yet thy Perfection no Man will pretend.
              Ye Sons of Cunning, and of Skill,
        Who Star-gaze Heaven, to bring us News from Hell;
        Tell us, what strange, malignant Planets rule,
        When Nations rave, and wise Men play the Fool?

        When General Lunacies possess the Kind,
        And Strange, Politick Frenzy rages in the Mind;
      To fee a Free-born People rise,
        And what before they fought for, now despise;
        To see their Ancient Madness so restor'd,
      Longing for what they once abhorr'd;
        Gorg'd with the Luscious Gust of being made Free,
        Grieving for Chains, and Sick for Slavery;
        It must be some Infernal Influence

        Can thus, at once, deprive them of their Sense.
        In wild, Despotick Climates, where the Crown
      May all Restraint of Laws disown;
      Where Power gives Right, and Will makes Law,
        And Knaves oppress the Fools they keep in Awe;
        There, 'tis no Wonder, the Uneasy Breast
        (Beyond the Power of Suff'ring more opprest)
        Swells with just Rage, and in Defence of Right,
        With Sword of Liberty resolves to fight.
    BUT HERE, where by thy own directed Hand
        Law reigns, and Justice triumphs o're the Land;
      Where Liberty the Scepter sways,
        And th' Sovereign's Self more Sovereign Law obeys ;
        Imperial Justice fills the Regal Seat,
        To which both Crown and Subjects, by Consent, submit.
        The Fabrick too by thine own Hand was built,
        Cemented with THY BLOOD by Ancient Tyrants spilt,
      Millions of Treasure it had cost,
        And none e're thought that Blood or Treasure lost;
      The Devil must sure be in thy Brain,
        That thou shou'dst wish to pull it down again;
        'Tis Pity Heaven should that wild Monster save,
        That takes up Arms to dye, and fights to be a Slave.
      Hold Sityr, and restrain thy Pen,
        MOB claims her Rights as well as Private Men;
        And e're with Modern Crimes we taint her Name,
        Let us do Justice to her Ancient Fame;

        First, Let Religion on her Stage appear,
        Rabble has never yet been wanting there,
        Tho' Ignorance and Error might prevail,
        She never has been charg'd with Want of Zeal;
        And first the Ephesian Goldsmiths rais'd her up,
      Their wild Idolatry to prop,
        For Gainful Craft their Saviour they defy'd,
      And High-Church for Diana cry'd.
      So Early, and with so much Zeal
      Has Rabble roar'd for Church's Weal,
        Nor is it any Scandal to her Name,
        That MOBS of all Religions are the same;
        Since this bright Character She always gain'd,
        Of Acting to the Light She has obtain'd;
        Possest with a Belief of being right,
        She does, what e're She does, with all her Might .
   If 'tis her Chance a Nation to reform,
        'Tis purg'd just as a Sea is purg'd, by Storm;
        But if mistaken Zeal makes her misconstrue,
        That Nation dyes in Child-bed, of a Monster.

   Hail! Lystrian Mob! the First of all thy Kind,
        In Zeal how bright, in Judgment yet how blind ,
        The God-like Gospel-Preacher to revere,
        (Happy's that Ignorance that's so sincere;)
        Thou brought'st thy Garlands out for Sacrifice,
        And what thou couldst not know wouldst idolize;
      Such honest Zeal's so near to Heaven,
        The Thought may be accepted, and the Crime forgiv'n.
   While the Athenian Mob Opinion-wise,
        The Preaching, and the Preacher too, despise;
        Philosophy, too Learned to digest
        The Sacred Myst'ries, turn'd them all to Jest,
      Heard them attentively as News,
        The Tale receive, th' Instructive Part refuse ;
      The full Display of Heavenly Light,
      However Clear, however Bright,
        They curst with too much Judgment to discern,
        Too dark to know, and yet too wise to learn;

        With Grave, Athenian Ignorance, despise,
        And Rabble-like, 'gainst Heaven they close their Eyes.
      But all these Mobs were Fools to them,
        That mobb'd St. Paul in Old Jerusalem;
        Enrag'd, his Unresisted Truths to hear,
      The Mad-men threw the Earth i'th' Air,
        Mixing the Elements, to note how far
        Madness, when mix'd with Mob, with Heav'n makes War.
        The Venom of their Passions grew so high,
      They threw the Earth against the Sky,
        Confounded by their own inveterate Rage,
        With GOD Himself, and with themselves engage,
      So Dogs, provok'd by something thrown,
        That cannot bite the Hand, will bite the Stone.
      MOB seldom runs to wild Ferment,
        But for Religion, or for Government;
        These touch with keenest Force the People's Sense,
      Here, all their Discontents commence;

        Nor is there any Difference to them,
        Between the Things that are, and Things that seem ;
        This makes their Schemes be like themselves confus'd,
      With Dreams and Whimsies soon amus'd,
      To every Share with Ease drawn in,
        And often easily drawn out again.
        Of all the MOBS with which this Land is curst,
      Mobs for Religion are the worst;
        For Zeal, by Ignorant Devotion fir'd,
      Is the worst Way of being inspir'd;
        The Heat turns round the Head, misguides the Eyes,
        And all the Passions up to Fury rise;
      In which they neither hold it good
        To understand, or to be understood;
        Clamour comes next, when Rage lifts up the Voice,
        And what they want in Sense, supply with Noise ;
      'Till growing on to Multitude,
      They ravish Power, and end in Blood.
        But hold! Dear Satyr, Bow thy humble Head,
      And let one Debt to MOB be paid;
      Hail! General Voice! from Heav'n inspir'd,
        A General Voice, indeed, the Work requir'd;
        Europe must in the just Concession join,
        The Glory of the Reformation's THINE:
        Luther and Calvin, Knox and Cranmer, we
        Own for THY SONS, and all were own'd by thee;
        I Query still, who shall that Doubt define,
        Thee by their Help reform'd, or they by THINE.
        Since that, To every Reformation True

        Our MOBS the Reformation still persue,
        And seldom have been in the Wrong 'till Now.
      How it comes to be thy Fate,
      Distracted and Infatuate,
        To be, by Party Whitch Craft, so far doz'd,
        As to have all thy Nakedness expos'd;
        Should in this Roll of Wonderfuls be plac'd,
        Never, no, not by Time itself, to be defac'd

      Memento Mori, let it stand
      Vox Populi's Eternal Brand,
      To show what Follies were in Fashion,
        And what Strange Madness once possess'd the Nation.
   Of all the MOBS in Days of Yore,
        There never were but Two like this before;
        The First mob'd God Himself, to bring
      Themselves in Slavery to a King;
        And were the First in Spight of Prophecy,
        That beg'd for Bondage, when they might be free:
        The Prophet their Absurdity abhorr'd,
      And left their Folly on Record,
        Told them where their Destruction would begin,
        That in the Sentence they might read their Sin .
   The Second cry'd aloud to Crucifie,
        And mob'd the Lord of Life, and Liberty,
        His Blood on their Posterity entail'd,
        Left the Hereditary Curse should chance to 've fail'd.

   The Third's this English MOB, who draw
        The Civil Sword 'gainst their own Life the Law:
      Nor is the Simily unjust,
        The Sin's alike, alike the End's accurst;
        The former National Destruction drew,
        Like Actions always like Events pursue;
        For he that mobs the Laws, the vile Intent,
        Aims not at Governors, but Government;
        The strong Foundation strives to undermine,
        And meer Destruction is his true Design.
        'Tis not that he would Grievances redress,
      Or Pull down those that do Oppress;
        The Law's his Grievance, Justice his worst Plague ,
        And General Plunder his profess'd Intriegue;
        Just Government his grand Complaint,
        And Legal Bonds his most abhorr'd Restraint;
        And thus to rise, is in the truest Sense,
      To fight against Omnipotence,
        Such MOBS are rais'd to rabble Providence.
        Dear MOB, To place thee now in perfect View,
      We must be to thy Failings true
      Not daub thee like a painted Whore;
        But view thee all behind, and all before,
      Blindness sometimes affects thy Sight,
        Sometimes for Want of, sometimes by too much Light ;
        A Double Curse, as 'tis from Heaven sent
        Both for thy Sin, and for thy Punishment;
        And when the Filmy Catracts spread thy Sight,
        'Tis strange! Thy very Soul's depriv'd of Light:
        Reason affected with the strong Surprise,
      Thy Mind grows blinder than thy Eyes.
        Then upon every Precipice thou'lt run,
      In Passion to be soon undone;
        At every Shadow start, at every Noise
        Turn surious, and all just Restraint despise;
        Excess of Rage deprives thee of thy Wits,
        Raises thy Vapours, throws thee into Fits;
        Boundless thy Rage, and nothing can restrain
      The strong Convulsions of thy Brain,

        Then thou regardest neither Means or Ends,
        Fall'st upon all, and first upon thy Friends,
        Wilt upon every real Danger run,
      Imaginary Ones to shun.
        If in this wild Delirium, 'tis thy Lot
      To be drawn in by Party-Plot,
        By vile designing Traytors to be led
        To wound thy Body, and perhaps thy Head;
        Nothing's so gross, but thou art fit to do;
        What may not Lunaticks be prompted to!
      But if the Scales fall off thy Eyes,
        And Heavenly Light again thy Soul supplies;
        Let all the Engines of Deceit stand clear,
        Nothing's so fatal but they ought to fear;
        Whene're thou wak'st it will be in a Fright,
      As Men that dream, and walk by Night;
        They that thy Passion rais'd, and Temper forc'd,
      Will feel thy fierce Resentment first.
           Next, MOB, for thou hast more Diseases still,
        There are Distempers seated in thy Will,
        Whether 'tis by Injection, or by Fate,
      Thou'rt Credulous and Obstinate;
        Apt on the Surfaces of Things to pore,
        And rather look behind thee than before,
      Subject'st thy Brain to every Cheat,
        And let thy Sense be govern'd by thy Heat;
      From whence, too often, 'tis thy Fate
        To wound thy Friends, and see the Hurt too late;
        In vain thy better Counsellors advise
        What's Counsel? where there's neither Ears or Eyes:
        MOB, when enrag'd by Party Influence,
      Hear nothing but Experience,
        And that's a Voice so low, and so remote,
        It's like a Surgeon when y've cut your Throat.
              In these Excesses 'tis not strange,
      To see thy Ancient Humour change;
        To see that Pulse which lately beat so high
        For Freedom,— Turn and rage for Slavery ;

      No Man that judges of the Case,
        But sees thou'rt lab'ring in a strong Disease;
        Sees the high Fever has possess'd thy Head,
        That thou'rt Delirious, and wilt soon be MAD;
      And while the strong Convulsion lasts,
        No Wonder thou to Self-Destruction hasts;
        For MOB, by neither Law or Sense confin'd,
      Will run a Muck at all Mankind;
      With Party Pestilence infected,
      Pull Houses down to Heav'n erected;
        Nothing can its Envenom'd Rage restrain,
      It fights with GOD, and fights with Men,
      And would, if not restrain'd by Power,
        Feed on its Vital Laws, and its own Life devour;
   And now Heaven guard us from our Fate,
        Let's speak of Party-Mobs, and Mobs of State;
        When Politicians stand in need of Fools,
        And use the Mob as Workmen use their Tools;
        To Drive, to Draw, to Build, and to pull Down,
        And toss about that Foot Ball, call'd a Crown;

        When Tricks and Stratagems begin to fail,
        And Men have nothing left for't, but to rail;
        The Baffled Party always fly to thee,
        Always cry out, The Church and Liberty;
      Let which Side will be up or down,
      To thee the Loosers always run;
        And be they in the Right or in the Wrong,
        The Church and Liberty concludes the Song:
        Unhappy Church! Unhappy Liberties!
        How often have we been undone for these;
      When Knaves and Fools espouse their Cause,
        And play our Liberties against our Laws;
      Leave Light and Conscience in the Lurch,
        And sink Religion to keep up the Church.
      When City Crouds on Day appointed,
      Vote who shall be the Lord's Anointed,
        (For Heaven, when Man his Suffrage brings,
        Anoints Lord Mayors, as well as Kings;)
      When Liv'ry Men with horrid Yell,
        Who they would have for Mayors or Sheriffs tell.

      And when 'tis Doubtful, bring the Roll

        To take the certain Number by the Poll;
        They that upon their real Votes depend,
        And think the God of Numbers is their Friend;
        See how with Shouts they croud up to the Books,
      With Satisfaction in their Looks,
        Inspect the Writers, keep the Passage clear,
      That all Things may be Just and Fair,
        Not doubting but when ev'ry Roll's summ'd up,
      The End will answer all their Hope.
           But if on th' other Hand their Numbers fail,
        And th' Adverse Party's likely to prevail,
      To MOBS and TUMULTS then they fly,
        That Violence may Want of Votes supply;
      With Rage and Fury in their Looks,
      They seize th' Avenues to the Books,
        Insult the Voters, fright Men from the Poll,
        If possible, to slack the Swelling Roll;
      The Reason of the Case is known,
        For those we can Out-vote we ne're Knock down .

   Ill-fare that Cause, which, doubtful and afraid
        Of its own Merit, seeks to thee for Aid;
        And ev'ry Cause that to thy Refuge flies,
      Justice and Equity defies.
      To deny Principles is vain,
        Or Facts, which their own Evidence contain;
      If Things go on in Legal Course,
        What Need of Tumult, Noise, and Force?
        It must some undiscover'd Guilt conceal,
        When Men from Justice to the Street appeal.
        MOB's never useful but when Tyrants reign,
      When Pray'rs and Tears are spent in vain;
      When Legal Methods fully try'd,
        Redress, with Fury and Disdain, deny'd:
        When the Crown'd Youth, with Fury in his Veins,
        The Counsel of the Elder Heads disdains;
        With Cruelty and hasty Counsel joins,
        And makes his Finger heavier than his Father's Loins.
      The MOB possess'd with Party-Spleen ,
        Is like the Devil in the Herd of Swine;
        The Quiet Hogs fed on their Native Spot,
        And Satan's Neighbourhood disturb'd them not;
        What tho' he did possess the Upper Room

        Of a poor, raving Wretch among the Tombs,
        The Passive Herd, who Nature's Laws obey'd,
      And from their Keepers never stray'd,
        Fed Unconcern'd and Undisorder'd by,
      Enjoy'd their Right and Property,
        The Fiend might all the Men on Earth possess,
      If they had not an Acorn less,
        No Dreams of Higher Things their Heads possest,
        To interrupt their Business, or their Rest.
              But when the Devil was unhous'd,
        His Tether lengthen'd, or his Fetters loss'd,
        From his old human Tenement expell'd,
      And Sovereign high Restraint with-held,
        He quickly got Possession of the Swine,
      GO, was the Word that let him in;

        Unchain'd a While, set free by Heav'n's high Hand,
      He took Permission for Command.
      The Herd, by Legion, then possest,
      Delirious grown and Mad,
      In their own Ruin seek for Rest,
        And from their Safety, and their Guardians fled,
        Run headlong down the Precipice of Fate,
        And choak'd with their own Rage a sure Destruction meet.
   Instinct, that mighty Something from on high,
        Which should the Offices of Soul supply,
        Had it been left to Act, wou'd not have fail'd
        By Sense of Danger soon to have prevail'd;
        But Now, divested of their Power to Act,
      The Means of Safety they reject,
        Eurag'd, from Hell, they seek out Certain Death,
        And quench at once their Frenzy, and their Breath ;
        In short, as soon as once the Devil got in,
      He rais'd the RABBLE among the Swine.

   Then against all their Keepers they took Arms,
        As if afraid They shou'd prevent their Harms;
        The Keepers fled, What cou'd the Keepers do?
        Unless they'd be in-gulph'd in Ruin too;
        For when the Devil do's once the MOB possess,
        The Power of Magistrates and Keepers cease;
      To talk of Laws and Peace to them,
        Is to preach Gospel to a Kettle-Drum;
      They neither judge by Eyes or Ears,
        Neither by what's imply'd, or what appears;
        But as the wild Possession first took Place,
      In Spight of Sense, in Spight of Grace,
        Headlong with strong impetuous Haste they go,
        Meerly by their own Weight, as Waters flow.
      Be the First Notions ne'er so bad,
        The Steps they are to take Preposterous and Mad ,
      If once an Entrance is but made,
        And the Delirious Vapour takes the Head,
      You may call Mid-night back to Noon,
      Invert the Chariot of the Sun,

        Bid Fire cease to burn, or Winds to blow,
        And swelling Tides of Tyber cease to flow;
        These, and the Mob together will obey,
        Together listen to the wisest Things you say.
      Would else This Nation now submit
        To bear the New Dictators of the Street,
      And hear them tell us What is Law,
        The Mob to keep the Magistrate in Awe;
        To hear them threaten to demolish Towns,
      Will they not next demolish Crowns?
        It must not be, it is too Course a Jest,
      The Rabble must be dispossest,
        The Devil's got in,—Why then that Devil must OUT,
      Nor is the Manner how a Doubt,
        Perswasion must attempt to make them still,
        And if Perswasion wo'n't, The GALLOWS will.
        What ails the People? Whence is all this Rage?
      For What? and Who would they engage?

      Is this the MOB of Eighty Eight,
        That put King James and Pop'ry in a Fright?
        And is the Revolution grown our Sin,
      That now we'd fain revolve again;
        The Hearty Work of Twenty Years undo,
      And damn the Work and Workmen too.
        Are we grown sick of being too free,
      And surfeited with Liberty?
        Sure some New Frenzy has possess'd our Brains,
        For Nations may, when strong Delusion reigns,
        As Women long for Poyson, long for Chains.
   But 'tis a Sign of Fierce Disease, indeed,
        And that 't has seiz'd the Heart, and seiz'd the Head,
      For Slavery cannot be entail'd,
        'Till Slavish Principles have first prevail'd;
        And Criminals can never be carest,
        But by a Nation with their Crimes possest;
        But if the Devil once possess'd the Swine,
        No Wonder if to Madness all the Brutes encline;
        When Hell has once the Mastery of a Nation,
        No Wonder all Distruction grow in Fashion,

        Frenzies of every kind must needs prevail,
        Where Passions govern, and the Senses fail.
        For Shame, your Mobs and Rabbles now withdraw,
      Leave Men of Crime to Men of Law,
        If Innocence and Honesty appear,
        The Innocent and Honest never fear,
        Such never seek to MOBS, and which is more,
        They neither ask your Aid, or bless your Power ;
      Ev'n to the Guilty MOB's a Curse,
        And makes the blackest Cause look blacker still , and worse;
        Nay, it prompts Justice, Haftens on the Fate
      Of those that are Unfortunate,
        And makes their Fall more needful to the State;
        Locks up the Doors of Clemency and Grace,
        That Mercy cannot safely shew her Face;
      For while the MOB without Doors rail,
        How should the Suppliant Criminal prevail?

        While Tumult rages Princes must resent,
        For Justice is upheld by Punishment;
      And still the louder Rabbles roar,
        The Nation's just Resentment rises more;
        Then let the Friends of Rabble, Rabble shun,
      Lest with them they are all undone. FINIS .


Back to the Index Page