Sir plausible as 'tis well known


Primary Text:

MS Welleseley, 87*.
Sir plausible as 'tis well known
Has no opinions of his own
But closes with each stander by
Now in a truth now in a lie
Fast as Camelions change their dye
Has still some applicable story
To gratify or Whig or Tory
And with a Jacobite in tatters
If met alone he smoothly fltters
Is full of service and accosts
Knows each man's interesests and his toasts
Uncivilly wou'd no one treat
To save his Honour or estate
Greets friend and foe with wises fervent
And lives and dies your humble servant

Secondary Eds:

Rpt of 1910 Dowden: 1987 Thompson, 79, lines 1-9. 14-5; 1988 Ellis d'Alessandro prints Wellesley text, 117; McGovern & Hinnant, 53.


1910 Dowden prints from Wellesley text, 248, lines 1-9, 14-5; 1992 McGovern, 207.


Pithy, terse epigram. Its general applicability recalls the "character types" of the 17th century. I have met many a Sir and Lady Plausible, not to omit their servants.


After 1716, winter (reference to "even a Jacobite in tatters"); when the "1715" was over (James III fled Scotland in February 1716), the government came down harshly against all Jacobites, and many were forced into exile or hounded in various ways.
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Page Last Updated 23 May 1999