Swift's Last Lines
In one of those lucid intervals which varied the course of Swift's
unhappy lunacy, his guardians or physicians took him out to give him an
airing. When they came to the Phoenix park, Swift remarked a new building
which he had never seen, and asked what it was designed for? Dr.
Kingsbury answered, That, Mr. Dean, is the magazine for arms and
powder, for the security of the city. Oh! oh! says the dean, pulling
out his pocket-book, let me take an item of that. This is worth
remarking; my tablets, as Hamlet says, my tablets--memory, put down
that. He then produced the following lines, being the last he ever
Behold! a proof of Irish sense!
Here Irish wit is seen,
When nothing's left for our defence,
We build a magazine.
The Dean then put up his pocket-book, laughing heartily at the conceit,
and clenching it with, After the steed's stolen, shut the stable