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but Apollo, enraged that a javelin flung by the assistance of so foul a goddess should pollute his fountain, put on the shape of

and softly came to young Boyle, who then accompanied Temple : he pointed first to the lance, then to the distant modern that flung it, and commanded the young hero to take immediate revenge. Boyle, clad in a suit of armour which had been given him by all the gods, immediately advanced against the trembling foe, who now fled before him. As a young lion in the Libyan plains or Araby desert, sent by his aged sire to hunt for prey, or health, or exercise, he scours along, wishing to meet some tiger from the mountains, or a furious boar; if chance a wild ass, with brayings importune, affronts his ear, the generous beast, though loathing to distain his claws with blood so vile, yet, much provoked at the offensive noise, which Echo, foolish nymph, like her ill-judging sex, repeats much louder and with more delight than Philomela's song, he vindicates the honour of the forest, and hunts the noisy long-eared animal. So Wotton fled, so Boyle pursued. But Wotton, heavy-armed and slow of foot, began to slack his course, when his lover Bentley appeared, returning laden with the spoils of the two sleeping ancients. Boyle observed him well, and soon discovering the helmet and shield of Phalaris his friend, both which he had lately with his own hands new polished and gilt, rage sparkled in his eyes, and, leaving his pursuit after Wotton, he furiously rushed on against this new approacher. Fain would he be revenged on both ; but both now fed different ways : and, as a woman in a little house, that gets a painful livelihood by spinning, if chance her geese be scattered

F

o'er the common, she courses round the plain from side to side, compelling here and there the stragglers to the flock ; they cackle loud, and flutter o'er the champaign : so Boyle pursued, so fled this pair of friends ; finding at length their flight was vain, they bravely joined, and drew themselves in phalanx. First Bentley threw a spear with all his force, hoping to pierce the enemy's breast ; but Pallas came unseen, and in the air took off the point, and clapped on one of lead, which, after a dead bang against the enemy's shield, fell blunted to the ground. Then Boyle, observing well his time, took up a lance of wondrous length and sharpness; and, as this pair of friends compacted stood close side to side, he wheeled him to the right, and, with unusual force, darted the weapon. Bentley saw his fate approach, and flanking down his arms close to his ribs, hoping to save his body, in went the point, passing through arm and side, nor stopped or spent its force till it had also pierced the valiant Wotton, who, going to sustain his dying friend, shared his fate. As when a skilful cook has trussed a brace of woodcocks, he with iron skewer pierces the tender sides of both, their legs and wings close pinioned to the ribs ; so was this pair of friends transfixed, till down they fell, joined in their lives, joined in their deaths ; so closely joined that Charon would mistake them both for one, and waft them over Styx for half his fare. Farewell, beloved, loving pair ; few equals have you left behind : and happy and immortal shall you be, if all my wit and eloquence can make you, And now

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AN ARGUMENT TO PROVE

THAT THE ABOLISHING

OF CHRISTIANITY IN

ENGLAND

MAY, AS THINGS NOW STAND, BE ATTENDED WITH

SOME INCONVENIENCES, AND PERHAPS NOT

PRODUCE THOSE MANY GOOD EFFECTS

PROPOSED THEREBY,

The Tale of a Tub had offended the orthodox, not perhaps THE ABOLISHING OF CHRISTIANITY

without reason, and Swift now tried to undo the effect he had produced in his former work by defending Christianity with the same weapon which he had before wielded against certain historical perversions of it. The tract was written and published in 1708,

IN ENGLAND

I

AM very sensible what a weakness and presumption

it is to reason against the general humour and disposition of the world. I remember it was, with great justice and due regard to the freedom both of the public and the press, forbidden upon several penalties to write, or discourse, or lay wagers, against the Union, even before it was confirmed by parliament; because that was looked upon as a design to oppose the current of the people, which, beside the folly of it, is a manifest breach of the fundamental law that makes this majority of opinion the voice of God. In like manner, and for the very same reasons, it may perhaps be neither safe nor prudent to argue against the abolishing of Christianity at a juncture when all parties appear so unanimously determined upon the point, as we cannot but allow from their actions, their discourses, and their writings. However, I know not how, whether from the affectation of singularity or the perverseness of human nature, but so it unhappily falls out, that I cannot be entirely of this opinion. Nay, though I were sure an order were issued for my immediate prosecution by the attorney-general, I should still confess that, in the present posture of our affairs at home or

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