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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
Page 290
 
 
Jonathan Swift. (1667–1745) (continued)
 
3126
    Where Young must torture his invention
To flatter knaves, or lose his pension.
          Poetry, a Rhapsody.
3127
    Hobbes clearly proves that every creature
Lives in a state of war by nature.
          Poetry, a Rhapsody.
3128
    So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite ’em;
And so proceed ad infinitum. 1
          Poetry, a Rhapsody.
3129
    Libertas et natale solum:
Fine words! I wonder where you stole ’em.
          Verses occasioned by Whitshed’s Motto on his Coach.
3130
    A college joke to cure the dumps.
          Cassinus and Peter.
3131
    ’T is an old maxim in the schools,
That flattery ’s the food of fools;
Yet now and then your men of wit
Will condescend to take a bit.
          Cadenus and Vanessa.
3132
    Hail fellow, well met. 2
          My Lady’s Lamentation.
3133
    Big-endians and small-endians. 3
          Gulliver’s Travels. Part i. Chap. iv. Voyage to Lilliput.
3134
    And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
          Gulliver’s Travels. Part ii. Chap. vii. Voyage to Brobdingnag.
 
Note 1.
Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.
De Morgan: A Budget of Paradoxes, p. 377. [back]
Note 2.
Rowland: Knave of Hearts (1612). Ray: Proverbs. Tom Brown: Amusement, viii. [back]
Note 3.
As the political parties of Whig and Tory are pointed out by the high and low heels of the Lilliputians (Framecksan and Hamecksan), those of Papist and Protestant are designated under the Big-endians and Small-endians. [back]
 

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