I have a dress that is long and moves like its weightless. bright red and orange... the hem is made of flames and I have to move like I'm dancing to keep from burning my legs. my hair floats around my head like I'm under water. the air is dry and the... Read more of red and orange at My Dreams.caInformational Site Network Informational
  Home Stories Jokes Joke Topics Jokes Riddles Anecdotes Irish Humour Jests Canadian Humour Puns Animal Anecdotes Free Jokes Humour Scenes

Most Viewed

Grace After Dinner
A Dog's Religion
His Duel With Captain D'esterre
The Upstart
His Birth
A Certificate Of Marriage
A Mistaken Frenchman
The Serenading Lover
A Courtier's Retort

Least Viewed

His Birth
His Defence Of Archibald Hamilton Rowan
His Reception At The Rotundo By The Volunteers
O'leary Versus Curran
His First Client
Curran At A Debating Society
His Interview With Daniel Danser
Dr Sacheverell
Mr Pulteney
His Duel With Bully Egan

Random Irish Humour

An Insolent Judge
Grace After Dinner
O'leary And The Rector
The Prince Of Wales
Curran And The Banker
Paddy And The Parson
His Triumph Over Dr Johnson
Swift's Political Principles
Cossing A Dog
Dr O'leary And Father Callanan

Swift And Bettesworth

Irish Humour Home

Dean Swift having taken a strong dislike to Sergeant Bettesworth,
revenged himself by the following lines in one of his poems:

So at the bar the booby Bettesworth,
Tho' half-a-crown outpays his sweat's worth,

Who knows in law nor text nor margent,
Calls Singleton his brother sergeant.

The poem was sent to Bettesworth, when he was in company with some of
his friends. He read it aloud, till he had finished the lines relating
to himself. He then flung it down with great violence, trembled and
turned pale. After some pause, his rage for a while depriving him of
utterance, he took out his penknife, and swore he would cut off the
Dean's ears with it. Soon after he went to seek the Dean at his house;
and not finding him at home, followed him to a friend's, where he had an
interview with him. Upon entering the room, Swift desired to know his
commands. Sir, says he, I am Sergeant Bet-tes-worth; in his usual
pompous way of pronouncing his name in three distinct syllables. Of
what regiment, pray? says Swift. O, Mr. Dean, we know your powers of
raillery; you know me well enough, that I am one of his majesty's
sergeants-at-law. What then, sir? Why then, sir, I am come to demand
of you, whether you are the author of this poem (producing it), and the
villanous lines on me? at the same time reading them aloud with great
vehemence of emphasis, and much gesticulation. Sir, said Swift, it
was a piece of advice given me in my early days by Lord Somers, never to
own or disown any writing laid to my charge; because, if I did this in
some cases, whatever I did not disown afterwards would infallibly be
imputed to me as mine. Now, sir, I take this to have been a very wise
maxim, and as such have followed it ever since; and I believe it will
hardly be in the power of all your rhetoric, as great a master as you
are of it, to make me swerve from that rule. Bettesworth replied,
Well, since you will give me no satisfaction in this affair, let me
tell you, that your gown is alone your protection, and then left the

The sergeant continuing to utter violent threats against the Dean, there
was an association formed and signed by all the principal inhabitants of
the neighborhood, to stand by and support their generous benefactor
against any one who should attempt to offer the least injury to his
person or fortune. Besides, the public indignation became so strong
against the sergeant, that although he had made a considerable figure at
the bar, he now lost his business, and was seldom employed in any suit

Next: Swift Among The Lawyers

Previous: The Dean's Contributory Dinner

Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network

Viewed 2243