The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Comic Poems of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

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Title: The Comic Poems of Thomas Hood
       A New and Complete Edition

Author: Thomas Hood

Contributor: Thomas, Jr. Hood

Release Date: March 9, 2018 [EBook #56712]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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Ballantyne Press

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If the general public, acquainted only with the comic works of Thomas Hood, were taken by surprise when they found how he could handle serious and solemn themes; those who saw him in the flesh must have been equally astonished to learn how grave and melancholy a man the famous wit was to all appearance. The chronic ill health, which gave this expression to his countenance, was, however, powerless to affect the tone of his mind. “Here lies one who spat more blood and made more puns than any man living,” was the epitaph he half-jestingly proposed for himself. The connection between the disease and the comic faculty is not so unreasonable as it appears at first. The invalid, who could supply mirth for millions while he himself was propped up with pillows on the bed of sickness, was not a jester whose sole stock in trade consisted in mere animal spirits—which are too often mistaken for wit, but have in common with other spirits a tendency to evaporate somewhat rapidly. Hood’s wit was the fruit of an even temperament, a cheery and contented mind endowed with a keen appreciation of the ludicrous. This acute perception of what is ludicrous is the foundation of all wit, but it may influence the mind in two ways. It may render its possessor as indifferent to the {vi}feelings as it makes him alive to the failings of others. How often does the wit, delighting in the flash and report of his jest, forget the wound it may inflict!

But, on the other hand, the shrewd appreciation of the weaknesses of others assists a kindly and well-balanced mind to avoid the infliction of pain; and the wit of Thomas Hood was of this nature. It was all the brighter because it was never stained by a tear wantonly caused. Even the temptations of practical joking—and they have a strong influence on those who enjoy the comic side of things—never betrayed him into any freak that could give pain. He worked away industriously with wood, paint, and glue to send his friend Franck a new and killing bait for the early spring—a veritable Poisson d’Avril, constructed to come in half after a brief immersion, and reveal the inscription, “Oh, you April Fool!” He could gravely persuade his young wife, when she was first learning the mysteries of housekeeping, that she must never purchase plaice with red spots, for they were a proof that the fish were not fresh. But he was incapable of any of the cruel pleasantries for which Theodore Hook was famous: indeed, the only person he ever frightened, even, with a practical joke, was himself; when as a boy he traced with the smoke of a candle on the ceiling of a passage outside his bedroom a diabolical face, which was intended to startle his brother, but which so alarmed the artist himself, when he was going to bed forgetful of his own feat, that he ran down stairs—in a panic and in his night-dress—into the presence of his father’s guests assembled in the drawing-room. He used to enjoy so heartily and chuckle so merrily over his innocent practical jokes and hoaxes (he was never more delighted than when a friend of his was completely imposed on by a sham account of a survey of the Heavens through Lord Rosse’s “monster telescope”) that the tenderness he showed for the feelings of others is more remarkable. The same forbearance characterises his writings. In spite of many and great provocations, he seldom, or never, wrote a bitter word, though that he could have been severe is amply indicated in his “Ode to Rae Wilson,” or still more in certain{vii} letters on “Copyright and Copywrong,” which he was spurred on by injustice and ill-usage to address to the Athenæum. He was a Shandean, who carried out in his life as well as his writings the principles which Sterne confined to the latter.

The first appearance of Thomas Hood as a comic writer was in the year 1826, when he published the First Series of “Whims and Oddities.” The critics in many instances took offence at his puns, as might have been expected, for his style was new and startling. His book was full of word-play, and it is easy to conceive—as he wrote in his address to the Second Edition—“how gentlemen with one idea were perplexed with a double meaning.” However, the public approved if the critics did not, and called for a second and soon after a third edition. Finally, after the publication of a second series, a fourth issue, containing the two series in one volume, was demanded. “Come what may,” said Hood, “this little book will now leave four imprints behind it—and a horse could do no more!”

He had by this time commenced the Comic Annuals, a series which he carried on for many years, and by which he established his fame as the first wit and humourist of his day. When this publication ceased he wrote first for Colburn’s New Monthly, of which he was appointed Editor on Hook’s death; and subsequently, and up to the time of his death, in his own periodical, Hood’s Magazine.

Puns have been styled the lowest form of wit, and the critics have fallen foul of them from time immemorial until the present day. But a pun proper—and there should be a strict definition of a pun—is, it is humbly submitted, of so complicated a nature as to be anything but a low form of wit. A mere jingle of similar sounds, or a distortion of pronunciation does not constitute a pun—a double meaning is essential to its existence—a play of sense as well as of sound. That the latter was in Hood’s opinion the more important feature of the two is to be inferred from his statement that “a pun is something like a cherry: though there may be a slight outward indication of partition—of duplicity of mean{viii}ing, yet no gentleman need make two bites at it against his own pleasure.” In other words, the sense is complete without any reference to the second meaning. Tested by this rule, the majority of so-called puns, which have brought discredit on punning, would be immediately condemned, the only excuse for the form in which they are written being the endeavour to tack on a second meaning, or too often only an echo of sound without meaning.

Perhaps the best defence of punning is to be found in the following stanzas of “Miss Kilmansegg:”

“THERE’S strength in double joints, no doubt,
In double X Ale, and Dublin Stout,
That the single sorts know nothing about—
And the fist is strongest when doubled—
And double aqua-fortis, of course,
And double soda-water, perforce,
Are the strongest that ever bubbled!
“There’s double beauty whenever a Swan
Swims on a Lake, with her double thereon;
And ask the gardener, Luke or John,
Of the beauty of double-blowing—
A double dahlia delights the eye;
And it’s far the loveliest sight in the sky
When a double rainbow is glowing!
“There’s warmth in a pair of double soles;
As well as a double allowance of coals—
In a coat that is double-breasted—
In double windows and double doors;
And a double U wind is blest by scores
For its warmth to the tender-chested.
“There’s a twofold sweetness in double pipes;
And a double barrel and double snipes
Give the sportsman a duplicate pleasure;
There’s double safety in double locks;
And double letters bring cash for the box;
And all the world knows that double knocks
Are gentility’s double measure.
“There’s double sweetness in double rhymes,
And a double at Whist and a double Times
In profit are certainly double—
By doubling, the hare contrives to escape;
And all seamen delight in a doubled Cape,
And a double-reef’d topsail in trouble.{ix}
“There’s a double chuck at a double chin,
And of course there’s a double pleasure therein,
If the parties were brought to telling:
And however our Denises take offence,
A double meaning shows double sense;
And if proverbs tell truth,
A double tooth
Is Wisdom’s adopted dwelling!”

The reputation of Thomas Hood as a wit and humourist rests on his writings chiefly. His recorded sayings are few, for in general society he was shy and reserved, seldom making a joke, or doing it with so grave a face that the witticism seemed an accident, and was in many cases possibly allowed to pass unnoticed, for a great number of people do not recognise a joke that is not prefaced by a jingle of the cap and bells. When in the company of a few intimate friends, however, he was full of fun and good spirits. Unfortunately, on such occasions the good things were not “set in a note-book,” and so were for the most part lost; though at times an anecdote, well-authenticated, turns up to make us regret that more have not been preserved.

One such anecdote, which has not hitherto appeared in print, may not be out of place here. Hood and “Peter Priggins”—the Rev. Mr. Hewlett—went on a visit to a friend of the latter’s, residing near Ramsgate. As they drove out of the town they passed a board on which was printed in large letters


A glance at the premises which the announcement was intended to guard showed that the quadruped was not forthcoming, whereupon Hood jumped out of the gig, and, picking up a bit of chalk (plentiful enough in the neighbourhood), wrote under the warning—


These introductory remarks cannot be better wound-up than by a quotation from a preface to “Hood’s Own,” in{x} which is laid down the system of “Practical Cheerful Philosophy,” which is reflected in his writings, and which influenced his life. The reader will more thoroughly appreciate the comic writings of Thomas Hood after its perusal:

In the absence of a certain thin “blue and yellow” visage, and attenuated figure,—whose effigies may one day be affixed to the present work,—you will not be prepared to learn that some of the merriest effusions in the forthcoming numbers have been the relaxations of a gentleman literally enjoying bad health—the carnival, so to speak, of a personified Jour Maigre. The very fingers so aristocratically slender, that now hold the pen, hint plainly of the “ills that flesh is heir to:”—my coats have become great coats, my pantaloons are turned into trowsers, and, by a worse bargain than Peter Schemihl’s, I seem to have retained my shadow and sold my substance. In short, as happens to prematurely old port wine, I am of a bad colour with very little body. But what then? That emaciated hand still lends a hand to embody in words and sketches the creations or recreations of a Merry Fancy: those gaunt sides yet shake heartily as ever at the Grotesques and Arabesques and droll Picturesques that my good Genius (a Pantagruelian Familiar) charitably conjures up to divert me from more sombre realities. It was the whim of a late pleasant Comedian, to suppose a set of spiteful imps sitting up aloft, to aggravate all his petty mundane annoyances; whereas I prefer to believe in the ministry of kindlier Elves that “nod to me and do me courtesies.” Instead of scaring away these motes in the sunbeam, I earnestly invoke them, and bid them welcome; for the tricksy spirits make friends with the animal spirits, and do not I, like a father romping with his own urchins,—do not I forget half my cares whilst partaking in their airy gambols? Such sports are as wholesome for the mind as the other frolics for the body. For on our own treatment of that excellent Friend or terrible Enemy the Imagination, it depends whether we are to be scared and haunted by a Scratching Fanny, or tended by an affectionate Invisible Girl—like an unknown Love, blessing us with “favours secret, sweet, and precious,” and fondly stealing us from this worky-day world to a sunny sphere of her own.

This is a novel version, Reader, of “Paradise and the Peri,” but it is as true as it is new. How else could I have converted a serious illness into a comic wellness—by what other agency could{xi} I have transported myself, as a Cockney would say, from Dullage to Grinnage? It was far from a practical joke to be laid up in ordinary in a foreign land, under the care of Physicians quite as much abroad as myself with the case; indeed, the shades of the gloaming were stealing over my prospect; but I resolved, that, like the sun, so long as my day lasted, I would look on the bright side of everything. The raven croaked, but I persuaded myself that it was the nightingale! there was the smell of the mould, but I remembered that it nourished the violets. However my body might cry craven, my mind luckily had no mind to give in. So, instead of mounting on the black long-tailed coach horse, she vaulted on her old Hobby that had capered in the Morris-Dance, and began to exhort from its back. To be sure, said she, matters look darkly enough; but the more need for the lights. Allons! Courage! Things may take a turn, as the pig said on the spit. Never throw down your cards, but play out the game. The more certain to lose, the wiser to get all the play you can for your money. Come—give us a song! chirp away like that best of cricket-players, the cricket himself. Be bowled out or caught out, but never throw down the bat. As to Health, it’s the weather of the body—it hails, it rains, it blows, it snows, at present, but it may clear up by-and-bye. You cannot eat, you say, and you must not drink; but laugh and make believe, like the Barber’s wise brother at the Barmecide’s feast. Then, as to thinness, not to flatter, you look like a lath that has had a split with the carpenter and a fall out with the plaster; but so much the better: remember how the smugglers trim the sails of the lugger to escape the notice of the cutter. Turn your edge to the old enemy, and mayhap he won’t see you! Come—be alive! You have no more right to slight your life than to neglect your wife—they are the two better halves that make a man of you! Is not life your means of living? So stick to thy business, and thy business will stick to thee. Of course, continued my mind, I am quite disinterested in this advice—for I am aware of my own immortality—but for that very reason, take care of the mortal body, poor body, and give it as long a day as you can.

Now, my mind seeming to treat the matter very pleasantly as well as profitably, I followed her counsel, and instead of calling out for relief according to the fable, I kept along on my journey, with my bundle of sticks,—i.e., my arms and legs. Between ourselves, it would have been “extremely inconvenient,” as I once heard the opium-eater declare, to pay the debt of nature at that particular juncture; nor do I quite know, to be candid, when it would altogether suit me to settle it, so, like other persons in nar{xii}row circumstances, I laughed, and gossipped, and played the agreeable with all my might, and as such pleasant behaviour sometimes obtains a respite from a human creditor, who knows but that it may prove successful with the Universal Mortgagee? At all events, here I am, humming “Jack’s Alive!” and my own dear skilful native physician gives me hopes of a longer lease than appeared from the foreign reading of the covenants. He declares, indeed, that, anatomically, my heart is lower hung than usual—but what of that? The more need to keep it up!

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This new issue of Hood’s Poems has been completely revised, and will be found not only larger in size, but far richer in contents, than any previous edition. This, with the companion volume of “Serious Poems,” will be found to contain the entire poetical works of Thomas Hood. The volume has been, moreover, enriched by the addition of a large number of the highly humorous illustrations, in which Thomas Hood’s comic power was displayed.

July, 1876.{xv}{xiv}

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Reply to a Pastoral Poet1
A Tale of Temper2
The Captain’s Cow5
The Doves and the Crows9
A Tale of a Trumpet10
An Open Question32
The Turtles37
Town and Country41
The Lost Heir44
She is far from the Land48
The Forlorn Shepherd’s Complaint51
Huggins and Duggins52
Pain in a Pleasure-Boat55
Gog and Magog58
The Sweep’s Complaint60
The Carelesse Nurse Mayd63
Jarvis and Mrs. Cope64
A Lay of Real Life66
The Lark and the Rook68{xvi}
A Nocturnal Sketch69
Domestic Asides70
John Day71
Number One74
The Drowning Ducks76
Dibdin Modernized78
The Storm79
I’m not a Single Man80
The Ghost84
The Double Knock86
Our Village87
Pair’d not Matched89
The Boy at the Nore91
The Supper Superstition93
The Broken Dish95
Literary and Literal96
The Sub-Marine100
The Lament of Toby102
My Son and Heir104
The United Family110
The Dead Robbery115
A Parental Ode to my Son120
A Serenade121
An Incendiary Song122
A Butcher128
A Public Dinner129
A Charity Sermon133
The China Mender135
On a Picture of Hero and Leander138
Miss Fanny’s Farewell Flowers138{xvii}
The Stage-Struck Hero140
Ye Tourists and Travellers142
Rural Felicity143
The Doctor148
Laying down the Law150
A Black Job153
A Discovery in Astronomy159
The Sausage Maker’s Ghost159
To Joseph Hume, Esq., M.P.161
To Admiral Gambier, G.C.B.164
To Spencer Perceval, Esq., M.P.166
To Miss Kelly167
To Doctor Hahnemann168
To the Advocates for the Removal of Smithfield Market172
To Mary175
To Fanny177
To Mr. Malthus179
To St. Swithin182
To a Lady on her Departure for India185
Sir John Bowring186
To Mr. M‘Adam187
A Friendly Epistle to Mrs. Fry, in Newgate190
To Mr. Dymoke194
To Joseph Grimaldi, Senior196
To Sylvanus Urban, Esq.200
To W. Kitchener, M.D.202
To the Dean and Chapter of Westminster207
On an Unfavourable Review210
To Peace211
For Ninth November212
On the Celebration of Peace216
To Mr. Izaak Walton217
To Mary Housemaid221{xviii}
To a Bad Rider222
To a Critic222
The Sweets of Youth223
To Henrietta223
Hints to Paul Pry224
On Steam227
Allegory—A Moral Vehicle228
A Somnambulist228
To Vauxhall229
To a Scotch Girl washing Linen229
To a Decayed Seaman230
To Lord Wharncliffe230
Lieutenant Luff231
Love has not eyes232
A Happy New Year233
Sea Song236
Reflections on a New Year’s Day237
Written under the Fear of Bailiffs238
A Few Lines on completing Forty-seven238
A Bull239
On the Death of the Giraffe239
On the Removal of a Menagerie239
Her Majesty’s Visit to the City240
On the Queen’s Visit by a Cornhill Tradesman240
On the Trafalgar Square Statues240
On a Picture of Solomon Eagle240
Heart Springs240
Change of Ministry241
A Pig in a Poke241
On Reading a Diary241
The Pursuit of Letters241
A Reflection241
Laying the Dust242{xix}
On Lieutenant Eyre’s Narrative of the Disasters at Cabul242
Superiority of Machinery242
Party Spirit242
Lord B——242
Traitors’ Aims243
On a Certain Locality243
On the Art Unions243
A Morning Thought243
Wellington’s Statue244
On a Daguerreotype Portrait of a Lady244
Suggestions by Steam244
Punishment of Suicides245
Athol Brose245
On the Depreciated Money245
On Mrs. Parkes’s Pamphlet245
An Explanation246
On the New Half-farthings246
The Surplice Question246
The Epping Hunt247
Jack Hall261{xx}
Her Pedigree269
Her Birth271
Her Christening276
Her Childhood280
Her Education281
Her Accident285
Her Precious Leg289
Her Fame292
Her First Step294
Her Fancy Ball295
Her Dream303
Her Courtship307
Her Marriage311
Her Honeymoon318
Her Misery325
Her Last Will329
Her Death330
Her Moral334
John Trot334
The Widow337
“Don’t you smell Fire?”341
The Wee Man343
“The Last Man”344
Backing the Favourite351
The Ballad of “Sally Brown and Ben the Carpenter”352
As it fell upon a day356
A Fairy Tale356
The Fall of the Deer360
Tim Turpin361
The Monkey-Martyr364
A Sailor’s Apology for Bow-Legs371
The Stag-eyed Lady373
Faithless Nelly Gray378
The Sea-Spell380
The Demon-Ship384
Mary’s Ghost387
Ode to Mr. Brunel389
A Waterloo Ballad391
Cockle v. Cackle394
Playing at Soldiers398
“Napoleon’s Midnight Review”400
Ode to Dr. Kitchener402{xxi}
The Cigar404
An Ancient Concert405
A Report from Below408
The Last Wish410
The Devil’s Album411
A Valentine412
The Angler’s Farewell414
A Blow up416
The Schoolmaster’s Motto420
The Kangaroos422
I cannot bear a Gun424
Trimmer’s Exercise427
An Address to the Steam Washing Company428
The Blue Boar435
A Flying Visit442
A Row at the Oxford Arms450
A Table of Errata454
The Green Man457
Ben Bluff463
Sally Simpkin’s Lament465
I’m going to Bombay467
John Jones469
Pompey’s Ghost471
To Mr. Wrench at the English Opera House475
Love, with a Witness476
Lines by a School Boy477
Address to Maria Darlington477
Ode to R. W. Elliston, Esq.480
Shooting Pains482
The Duel485
Dog-grel Verses487
“Up the Rhine”490{xxii}
The Comet491
More Hullah-Baloo493
There’s no Romance in that499
The Painter Puzzled502
A True Story504
The Logicians510
Little O’P.513
The Assistant Draper’s Petition514
Symptoms of Ossification516
A Custom-House Breeze517
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Arthur’s Seat.
Fancy Portrait—Mrs. Trimmer.
Faults on Both Sides.
Son and Hair.
The Bottle Imp.
Overtaker and Undertaker.
See View—Broad Stairs.
A Public Dinner.
Death’s Door.
The Judgment of Solomon.
Accustomed to the care of Children.
A Hard Roe.
A Child’s Call to be disposed of.
The Duke of Well—— and Prince of Water——.
High and Low Born.
Sea Consumption—waisting away.
Due at Michaelmas.
A Minor Cannon.
The Top of his Profession.
Love and a Cottage.
The Judges of A-size.
A Total Eclipse of the Son.
Palmam qui Meruit Ferat.
War Dance—The Opening of the Ball.
The Buoy at the Nore.
The Ides of March are come.
The Bath Guide.
The Isle of Man.
A Day’s Sport on the Moors.
Barrister on Circuit.
Finding a May’r’s Nest.
I wish you may get it.
The Box Seat.
Does your Mother know you’re out?
To Ladies’s Eyes a round, Boys.
Wether Wise.
The Widow’s Mite.
A Plaster Cast.
A Strange Bird.
James’s Powder.
Joining in a Catch.
Single Blessedness.
Long Commons and Short Commons.
The Last Cut.


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TELL us not of bygone days!
Tell us not of forward times!
What’s the future—what’s the past—
Save to fashion rhymes?
Show us that the corn doth thrive!
Show us there’s no wintry weather!
Show us we may laugh and live—
(Those who love—together.)
Senses have we for sweet blossoms—
Eyes, which could admire the sun—
Passions blazing in our bosoms—
Hearts, that may be won!
But Labour doth for ever press us,
And Famine grins upon our board;
And none will help us, none will bless us,
With one gentle word!
None, none! our birthright or our fate,
Is hunger and inclement air—
Perpetual toil—the rich man’s hate—
Want, scorn—the pauper’s fare:{2}
We fain would gaze upon the sky,
Lie pensive by the running springs;
But if we stay to gaze or sigh,
We starve—though the cuckoo sings!
The moon casts cold on us below;
The sun is not our own;
The very winds which fragrance blow,
But blanch us to the bone;
The rose for us ne’er shows its bloom,
The violet its blue eye;
From cradle murmuring to the tomb,
We feel no beauty, no perfume,
But only toil—and die!


OF all cross breeds of human sinners,
The crabbedest are those who dress our dinners;
Whether the ardent fires at which they roast
And broil and bake themselves like Smithfield martyrs,
Are apt to make them crusty, like a toast,
Or drams, encouraged by so hot a post;
However, cooks are generally Tartars;
And altogether might be safely cluster’d
In scientific catalogues
Under two names, like Dinmont’s dogs,
Pepper and Mustard.
The case thus being very common,
It followed, quite of course, when Mr. Jervis
Engaged a clever culinary woman,
He took a mere Xantippe in his service—
In fact—her metal not to burnish,
As vile a shrew as Shrewsbury could furnish—
One who in temper, language, manners, looks,
In every respect
Might just have come direct
From him, who is supposed to send us cooks.{3}
The very day she came into her place
She slapp’d the scullion’s face;
The next, the housemaid being rather pert,
Snatching the broom, she “treated her like dirt”—
The third, a quarrel with the groom she hit on—
Cyrus, the page, had half-a-dozen knocks;
And John, the coachman, got a box
He couldn’t sit on.
Meanwhile, her strength to rally,
Brandy, and rum, and shrub she drank by stealth,
Besides the Cream of some mysterious Valley
That may, or may not, be the Vale of Health:
At least while credit lasted, or her wealth—
For finding that her blows came only thicker,
Invectives and foul names but flew the quicker,
The more she drank, the more inclined to bicker,
The other servants one and all,
Took Bible oaths whatever might befal,
Neither to lend her cash, nor fetch her liquor!
This caused, of course, a dreadful schism,
And what was worse, in spite of all endeavour,
After a fortnight of Tea-totalism,
The Plague broke out more virulent than ever!
The life she led her fellows down the stairs!
The life she led her betters in the parlour!
No parrot ever gave herself such airs,
No pug-dog cynical was such a snarler!
At woman, man, and child, she flew and snapp’d,
No rattlesnake on earth so fierce and rancorous—
No household cat that ever lapp’d
To swear and spit was half so apt—
No bear, sore-headed, could be more cantankerous—
No fretful porcupine more sharp and crabbed—
No wolverine
More full of spleen—
In short, the woman was completely rabid!
The least offence of look or phrase,
The slightest verbal joke, the merest frolic,{4}
Like a snap-dragon set her in a blaze,
Her spirit was so alcoholic!
And woe to him who felt her tongue!
It burnt like caustic—like a nettle stung,
Her speech was scalding—scorching—vitriolic!
And larded, not with bacon fat,
Or anything so mild as that,
But curses so intensely diabolic,
So broiling hot, that he, at whom she levell’d,
Felt in his very gizzard he was devill’d!
Often and often Mr. Jervis
Long’d, and yet feared, to turn her from his service;
For why? Of all his philosophic loads
Of reptiles loathsome, spiteful, and pernicious,
Stuff’d Lizards, bottled Snakes, and pickled Toads,
Potted Tarantulas, and Asps malicious,
And Scorpions cured by scientific modes,
He had not any creature half so vicious!
At last one morning
The coachman had already given warning,
And little Cyrus
Was gravely thinking of a new cockade,
For open War’s rough sanguinary trade,
Or any other service, quite desirous,
Instead of quarrelling with such a jade—
When accident explain’d the coil she made,
And whence her Temper had derived the virus!
Struck with the fever, called the scarlet,
The Termagant was lying sick in bed—
And little Cyrus, that precocious varlet,
Was just declaring her “as good as dead,”
When down the attic stairs the housemaid, Charlotte,
Came running from the chamber overhead,
Like one demented;
Flapping her hands, and casting up her eyes,
And giving gasps of horror and surprise,
Which thus she vented—
“O Lord! I wonder that she didn’t bite us!{5}
Or sting us like a Tantalizer,[1]
(The note will make the reader wiser,)
And set us all a dancing like St. Witus!
“Temper! No wonder that the creature had
A temper so uncommon bad!
She’s just confessed to Doctor Griper
That being out of Rum, and like denials,
Which always was prodigious trials,—
Because she couldn’t pay the piper,
She went one day, she did, to Master’s wials,
And drunk the spirit as preserved the Wiper!”



“Water, water everywhere,
But not a drop to drink.”—Coleridge.
IT is a jolly Mariner
As ever knew the billows’ stir,
Or battled with the gale;
His face is brown, his hair is black,
And down his broad gigantic back
There hangs a platted tail.
In clusters, as he rolls along,
His tarry mates around him throng,
Who know his budget well;
Betwixt Canton and Trinidad
No Sea-Romancer ever had
Such wondrous tales to tell!
Against the mast he leans a-slope,
And thence upon a coil of rope
Slides down his pitchy “starn;”
Heaves up a lusty hem or two,
And then at once without ado
Begins to spin his yarn:{6}
“As from Jamaica we did come,
Laden with sugar, fruit and rum,
It blew a heavy gale:
A storm that scar’d the oldest men
For three long days and nights, and then
The wind began to fail.
“Still less and less, till on the mast
The sails began to flap at last,
The breezes blew so soft;
Just only now and then a puff,
Till soon there was not wind enough
To stir the vane aloft.
“No, not a cat’s paw anywhere:
Hold up your finger in the air
You couldn’t feel a breath
For why, in yonder storm that burst,
The wind that blew so hard at first
Had blown itself to death.
“No cloud aloft to throw a shade;
No distant breezy ripple made
The ocean dark below.
No cheering sign of any kind;
The more we whistled for the wind
The more it did not blow.
“The hands were idle, one and all;
No sail to reef against a squall;
No wheel, no steering now!
Nothing to do for man or mate,
But chew their cuds and ruminate,
Just like the Captain’s Cow.
“Day after day, day after day,
Becalm’d the Jolly Planter lay,
As if she had been moor’d:
The sea below, the sky a-top
Fierce blazing down, and not a drop
Of water left aboard!{7}
“Day after day, day after day,
Becalm’d the Jolly Planter lay,
As still as any log;
The Parching seamen stood about,
Each with his tongue a-lolling out,
And panting like a dog—
“A dog half mad with summer heat
And running up and down the street,
By thirst quite overcome;
And not a drop in all the ship
To moisten cracking tongue and lip,
Except Jamaica rum!
“The very poultry in the coop
Began to pine away and droop—
The cock was first to go;
And glad we were on all our parts,
He used to damp our very hearts
With such a ropy crow.
“But worst it was, we did allow,
To look upon the Captain’s Cow,
That daily seemed to shrink:
Deprived of water hard or soft,
For, though we tried her oft and oft,
The brine she wouldn’t drink:
“But only turn’d her bloodshot eye,
And muzzle up towards the sky,
And gave a moan of pain,
A sort of hollow moan and sad,
As if some brutish thought she had
To pray to heav’n for rain;
“And sometimes with a steadfast stare
Kept looking at the empty air,
As if she saw beyond,
Some meadow in her native land,
Where formerly she used to stand
A-cooling in the pond.{8}
“If I had only had a drink
Of water then, I almost think
She would have had the half:
But as for John the Carpenter,
He couldn’t more have pitied her
If he had been her calf.
“So soft of heart he was and kind
To any creature lame, or blind,
Unfortunate, or dumb:
Whereby he made a sort of vow,
In sympathising with the Cow,
To give her half his rum;—
“An oath from which he never swerved,
For surely as the rum was serv’d
He shared the cheering dram;
And kindly gave one half at least,
Or more, to the complaining beast,
Who took it like a lamb.
“At last with overclouding skies
A breeze again began to rise,
That stiffen’d to a gale:
Steady, steady, and strong it blew;
And were not we a joyous crew,
As on the Jolly Planter flew
Beneath a press of sail!
“Swiftly the Jolly Planter flew,
And were not we a joyous crew,
At last to sight the land!
A glee there was on every brow,
That like a Christian soul the Cow
Appear’d to understand.
“And was not she a mad-like thing
To land again and taste the spring,
Instead of fiery glass:
About the verdant meads to scour,
And snuff the honey’d cowslip flower,
And crop the juicy grass!{9}
“Whereby she grew as plump and hale
As any beast that wears a tail,
Her skin as sleek as silk;
And through all parts of England now
Is grown a very famous Cow,
By giving Rum-and-Milk!”


COME all ye sable little girls and boys,
Ye coal-black Brothers—Sooty Sisters, come!
With kitty-katties make a joyful noise;
With snaky-snekies, and the Eboe drum!
From this day forth your freedom is your own:
Play, Sambo, play,—and, Obadiah, groan!
Ye vocal Blackbirds, bring your native pipes,
Your own Moor’s Melodies, ye niggers, bring;
To celebrate the fall of chains and stripes,
Sing “Possum up a gum-tree,”—roar and sing!
From this day forth your freedom is your own:
Chaunt, Sambo, chaunt,—and, Obadiah, groan!
Bring all your woolly pickaninnies dear—
Bring John Canoe and all his jolly gang:
Stretch ev’ry blubber-mouth from ear to ear,
And let the driver in his whip go hang!
From this day forth your freedom is your own:
Grin, Sambo, grin,—and, Obadiah, groan!
Your working garb indignantly renounce;
Discard your slops in honour of the day—
Come all in frill, and furbelow, and flounce,
Come all as fine as Chimney Sweeps in May—
From this day forth your freedom is your own:
Dress, Sambo, dress,—and, Obadiah, groan!
Come, join together in the dewy dance,
With melting maids in steamy mazes go;
Humanity delights to see you prance,{10}
Up with your sooty legs and jump Jim Crow—
From this day forth your freedom is your own:
Skip, Sambo, skip,—and, Obadiah, groan!
Kiss dark Diana on her pouting lips,
And take black Phœbe by her ample waist—
Tell them to-day is Slavery’s eclipse,
And Love and Liberty must be embraced—
From this day forth your freedom is your own:
Kiss, Sambo, kiss,—and, Obadiah, groan!
With bowls of sangaree and toddy come!
Bring lemons, sugar, old Madeira, limes,
Whole tanks and water-barrels full of rum,
To toast the whitest date of modern times—
From this day forth your freedom is your own:
Drink, Sambo, drink,—and, Obadiah, groan!
Talk, all together, talk! both old and young,
Pour out the fulness of the negro heart;
Let loose the now emancipated tongue,
And all your new-born sentiments impart—
From this day forth your freedom is your own:
Spout, Sambo, spout,—and, Obadiah, groan!
Huzza! for equal rights and equal laws;
The British parliament has doff’d your chain—
Join, join in gratitude your jetty paws,
And swear you never will be slaves again—
From this day forth your freedom is your own:
Swear, Sambo, swear,—and, Obadiah, groan!


“Old woman, old woman, will you go a-shearing?
Speak a little louder, for I’m very hard of hearing.”
Old Ballad.
OF all old women hard of hearing,
The deafest, sure, was Dame Eleanor Spearing!
On her head, it is true,
Two flaps there grew,
That served for a pair of gold rings to go through,{11}
But for any purpose of ears in a parley,
They heard no more than ears of barley.
No hint was needed from D. E. F.
You saw in her face that the woman was deaf:
From her twisted mouth to her eyes so peery,
Each queer feature ask’d a query;
A look that said in a silent way,
“Who? and What? and How? and Eh?
I’d give my ears to know what you say!”
And well she might! for each auricular
Was deaf as a post—and that post in particular
That stands at the corner of Dyott Street now,
And never hears a word of a row!
Ears that might serve her now and then
As extempore racks for an idle pen;
Or to hang with hoops from jewellers’ shops
With coral, ruby, or garnet drops;
Or, provided the owner so inclined,
Ears to stick a blister behind;
But as for hearing wisdom, or wit,
Falsehood, or folly, or tell-tale-tit,
Or politics, whether of Fox or Pitt,
Sermon, lecture, or musical bit,
Harp, piano, fiddle, or kit,
They might as well, for any such wish,
Have been butter’d, done brown, and laid in a dish!
She was deaf as a post,—as said before—
And as deaf as twenty similes more,
Including the adder, that deafest of snakes,
Which never hears the coil it makes.
She was deaf as a house—which modern tricks
Of language would call as deaf as bricks—
For her all human kind were dumb,
Her drum, indeed, was so muffled a drum,
That none could get a sound to come,
Unless the Devil who had Two Sticks!{12}
She was deaf as a stone—say, one of the stones
Demosthenes suck’d to improve his tones;
And surely deafness no further could reach
Than to be in his mouth without hearing his speech!
She was deaf as a nut—for nuts, no doubt,
Are deaf to the grub that’s hollowing out—
As deaf, alas! as the dead and forgotten—
(Gray has noticed the waste of breath,
In addressing the “dull, cold ear of death”),
Or the Felon’s ear that was stuff’d with Cotton—
Or Charles the First in statue quo;
Or the still-born figures of Madame Tussaud,
With their eyes of glass, and their hair of flax,
That only stare whatever you “ax,”
For their ears, you know, are nothing but wax.
She was deaf as the ducks that swam in the pond,
And wouldn’t listen to Mrs. Bond,—
As deaf as any Frenchman appears,
When he puts his shoulders into his ears:
And—whatever the citizen tells his son—
As deaf as Gog and Magog at one!
Or, still to be a simile-seeker,
As deaf as dogs’-ears to Enfield’s Speaker!
She was deaf as any tradesman’s dummy,
Or as Pharaoh’s mother’s mother’s mummy;
Whose organs, for fear of our modern sceptics,
Were plugg’d with gums and antiseptics.
She was deaf as a nail—that you cannot hammer
A meaning into, for all your clamour—
There never was such a deaf old Gammer!
So formed to worry
Both Lindley and Murray,
By having no ear for Music or Grammar!
Deaf to sounds, as a ship out of soundings,
Deaf to verbs, and all their compoundings,
Adjective, noun, and adverb, and particle,
Deaf to even the definite article—
No verbal message was worth a pin,
Though you hired an earwig to carry it in!{13}
In short, she was twice as deaf as Deaf Burke,
Or all the Deafness in Yearsley’s work,
Who in spite of his skill in hardness of hearing,
Boring, blasting, and pioneering,
To give the dummy organ and clearing,
Could never have cured Dame Eleanor Spearing.
Of course the loss was a great privation,
For one of her sex—whatever her station—
And none the less that the Dame had a turn
For making all families one concern,
And learning whatever there was to learn
In the prattling, tattling village of Tringham—
As who wore silk? and who wore gingham?
And what the Atkins’s shop might bring ’em?
How the Smiths contrived to live? and whether
The fourteen Murphys all pigg’d together?
The wages per week of the Weavers and Skinners,
And what they boil’d for their Sunday dinners?
What plates the Bugsbys had on the shelf,
Crockery, china, wooden, or delf?
And if the parlour of Mrs. O’Grady
Had a wicked French print, or Death and the Lady?
Did Snip and his wife continue to jangle?
Had Mrs. Wilkinson sold her mangle?
What liquor was drunk by Jones and Brown?
And the weekly score they ran up at the Crown?
If the Cobbler could read, and believed in the Pope?
And how the Grubbs were off for soap?
If the Snobbs had furnish’d their room up-stairs,
And how they managed for tables and chairs,
Beds, and other household affairs,
Iron, wooden, and Staffordshire wares?
And if they could muster a whole pair of bellows?
In fact, she had much of the spirit that lies
Perdu in a notable set of Paul Prys,
By courtesy call’d Statistical Fellows—
A prying, spying, inquisitive clan,
Who have gone upon much of the self-same plan,
Jotting the Labouring Class’s riches;
And after poking in pot and pan,
And routing garments in want of stitches,{14}
Have ascertain’d that a working man
Wears a pair and a quarter of average breeches!
But this alas! from her loss of hearing,
Was all a seal’d book to Dame Eleanor Spearing;
And often her tears would rise to their founts—
Supposing a little scandal at play
’Twixt Mrs. O’Fie and Mrs. Au Fait—
That she couldn’t audit the Gossips’ accounts.
’Tis true, to her cottage still they came,
And ate her muffins just the same,
And drank the tea of the widow’d Dame,
And never swallow’d a thimble the less
Of something the Reader is left to guess,
For all the deafness of Mrs. S.,
Who saw them talk, and chuckle, and cough,
But to see and not share in the social flow,
She might as well have lived, you know,
In one of the houses in Owen’s Row,
Near the New River Head, with its water cut off!
And yet the almond-oil she had tried,
And fifty infallible things beside,
Hot, and cold, and thick, and thin,
Dabb’d, and dribbled, and squirted in:
But all remedies fail’d; and though some it was clear
Like the brandy and salt
(We now exalt)
Had made a noise in the public ear,
She was just as deaf as ever, poor dear!
At last—one very fine day in June—
Suppose her sitting,
Busily knitting,
And humming she didn’t quite know what tune;
For nothing she heard but a sort of a whizz,
Which, unless the sound of the circulation,
Or of thoughts in the process of fabrication,
By a Spinning-Jennyish operation,
It’s hard to say what buzzing it is.
However, except that ghost of a sound,{15}
She sat in a silence most profound—
The cat was purring about the mat,
But her Mistress heard no more of that
Than if it had been a boatswain’s cat;
And as for the clock the moments nicking,
The Dame only gave it credit for ticking.
The bark of her dog she did not catch;
Nor yet the click of the lifted latch;
Nor yet the creak of the opening door;
Nor yet the fall of a foot on the floor—
But she saw the shadow that crept on her gown
And turn’d its skirt of a darker brown.
And lo! a man! a Pedlar! ay, marry,
With the little back-shop that such tradesmen carry
Stock’d with brooches, ribbons, and rings,
Spectacles, razors, and other odd things,
For lad and lass, as Autolycus sings;
A chapman for goodness and cheapness of ware,
Held a fair dealer enough at a fair,
But deem’d a piratical sort of invader
By him we dub the “regular trader,”
Who—luring the passengers in as they pass
By lamps, gay panels, and mouldings of brass,
And windows with only one huge pane of glass,
And his name in gilt characters, German or Roman,—
If he isn’t a Pedlar, at least he’s a Showman!
However, in the stranger came,
And, the moment he met the eyes of the Dame,
Threw her as knowing a nod as though
He had known her fifty long years ago;
And presto! before she could utter “Jack”—
Much less “Robinson”—open’d his pack—
And then from amongst his portable gear,
With even more than a Pedlar’s tact,—
(Slick himself might have envied the act)—
Before she had time to be deaf, in fact—
Popp’d a Trumpet into her ear.
“There, Ma’am! try it!
You needn’t buy it{16}
The last New Patent—and nothing comes nigh it
For affording the Deaf, at a little expense,
The sense of hearing, and hearing of sense!
A Real Blessing—and no mistake,
Invented for poor Humanity’s sake;
For what can be a greater privation
Than playing Dummy to all creation,
And only looking at conversation—
Great Philosophers talking like Platos,
And Members of Parliament moral as Catos,
And your ears as dull as waxy potatoes!
Not to name the mischievous quizzers,
Sharp as knives, but double as scissors,
Who get you to answer quite by guess
Yes for No, and No for Yes.”
(“That’s very true,” says Dame Eleanor S.)
“Try it again! No harm in trying—
I’m sure you’ll find it worth your buying,
A little practice—that is all—
And you’ll hear a whisper, however small,
Through an Act of Parliament party-wall,—
Every syllable clear as day,
And even what people are going to say—
I wouldn’t tell a lie, I wouldn’t,
But my Trumpets have heard what Solomon’s couldn’t;
And as for Scott he promises fine,
But can he warrant his horns like mine
Never to hear what a Lady shouldn’t—
Only a guinea—and can’t take less.”
(“That’s very dear,” says Dame Eleanor S.)
“Dear!—Oh dear, to call it dear!
Why it isn’t a horn you buy, but an ear;
Only think, and you’ll find on reflection
You’re bargaining, Ma’am, for the Voice of Affection;
For the language of Wisdom, and Virtue, and Truth,
And the sweet little innocent prattle of youth:
Not to mention the striking of clocks—
Cackle of hens—crowing of cocks—
Lowing of cow, and bull, and ox—
Bleating of pretty pastoral flocks{17}
Murmur of waterfall over the rocks—
Every sound that Echo mocks—
Vocals, fiddles, and musical-box—
And zounds! to call such a concert dear!
But I mustn’t ‘swear with my horn in your ear.’
Why in buying that Trumpet you buy all those
That Harper, or any trumpeter, blows
At the Queen’s Levees or the Lord Mayor’s Shows,
At least as far as the music goes,
Including the wonderful lively sound,
Of the Guards’ key-bugles all the year round:
Come—suppose we call it a pound!
“Come,” said the talkative Man of the Pack,
“Before I put my box on my back,
For this elegant, useful Conductor of Sound,
Come—suppose we call it a pound!
Only a pound! it’s only the price
Of hearing a Concert once or twice,
It’s only the fee
You might give Mr. C.
And after all not hear his advice,
But common prudence would bid you stump it;
For, not to enlarge,
It’s the regular charge
At a Fancy Fair for a penny trumpet.
Lord! what’s a pound to the blessing of hearing!
(“A pound’s a pound,” said Dame Eleanor Spearing.)
“Try it again! no harm in trying!
A pound’s a pound there’s no denying;
But think what thousands and thousands of pounds
We pay for nothing but hearing sounds:
Sounds of Equity, Justice, and Law,
Parliamentary jabber and jaw,
Pious cant and moral saw,
Hocus-pocus, and Nong-tong-paw,
And empty sounds not worth a straw;
Why it costs a guinea, as I’m a sinner,
To hear the sounds at a Public Dinner!
One pound one thrown into the puddle,{18}
To listen to Fiddle, Faddle, and Fuddle!
Not to forget the sounds we buy
From those who sell their sounds so high,
That, unless the Managers pitch it strong,
To get a Signora to warble a song,
You must fork out the blunt with a haymaker’s prong!
“It’s not the thing for me—I know it,
To crack my own Trumpet up and blow it;
But it is the best, and time will show it.
There was Mrs. F.
So very deaf,
That she might have worn a percussion-cap,
And been knock’d on the head without hearing it snap,
Well, I sold her a horn, and the very next day
She heard from her husband at Botany Bay!
Come—eighteen shillings—that’s very low,
You’ll save the money as shillings go,
And I never knew so bad a lot,
By hearing whether they ring or not!
“Eighteen shillings! it’s worth the price,
Supposing you’re delicate-minded and nice,
To have the medical man of your choice,
Instead of the one with the strongest voice—
Who comes and asks you, how’s your liver,
And where you ache, and whether you shiver,
And as to your nerves, so apt to quiver,
As if he was hailing a boat on the river!
And then, with a shout, like Pat in a riot,
Tells you to keep yourself perfectly quiet!
“Or a tradesman comes—as tradesmen will—
Short and crusty about his bill,
Of patience, indeed, a perfect scorner,
And because you’re deaf and unable to pay,
Shouts whatever he has to say,
In a vulgar voice, that goes over the way,
Down the street and round the corner!
Come—speak your mind—it’s ‘No or Yes.’
(“I’ve half a mind,” said Dame Eleanor S.){19}
“Try it again—no harm in trying,
Of course you hear me, as easy as lying;
No pain at all, like a surgical trick,
To make you squall, and struggle, and kick,
Like Juno, or Rose,
Whose ear undergoes
Such horrid tugs at membrane and gristle,
For being as deaf as yourself to a whistle!
“You may go to surgical chaps if you choose,
Who will blow up your tubes like copper flues,
Or cut your tonsils right away,
As you’d shell out your almonds for Christmas-day;
And after all a matter of doubt,
Whether you ever would hear the shout
Of the little blackguards that bawl about,
‘There you go with your tonsils out!’
Why I knew a deaf Welshman, who came from Glamorgan
On purpose to try a surgical spell,
And paid a guinea, and might as well
Have call’d a monkey into his organ!
For the Aurist only took a mug,
And pour’d in his ear some acoustical drug,
That, instead of curing, deafen’d him rather,
As Hamlet’s uncle served Hamlet’s father!
That’s the way with your surgical gentry!
And happy your luck
If you don’t get stuck
Through your liver and lights at a royal entry,
Because you never answer’d the sentry!
“Try it again, dear Madam, try it!
Many would sell their beds to buy it.
I warrant you often wake up in the night,
Ready to shake to a jelly with fright,
And up you must get to strike a light,
And down you go, in you know what,
Whether the weather is chilly or hot,—
That’s the way a cold is got,—
To see if you heard a noise or not!{20}
“Why, bless you, a woman with organs like yours
Is hardly safe to step out of doors!
Just fancy a horse that comes full pelt,
But as quiet as if he was ‘shod with felt,’
Till he rushes against you with all his force,
And then I needn’t describe the course,
While he kicks you about without remorse,
How awkward it is to be groom’d by a horse!
Or a bullock comes, as mad as King Lear,
And you never dream that the brute is near,
Till he pokes his horn right into your ear,
Whether you like the thing or lump it,—
And all for want of buying a trumpet!
“I’m not a female to fret and vex,
But if I belonged to the sensitive sex,
Exposed to all sorts of indelicate sounds,
I wouldn’t be deaf for a thousand pounds.
Lord! only think of chucking a copper
To Jack or Bob with a timber limb,
Who looks as if he was singing a hymn,
Instead of a song that’s very improper!
Or just suppose in a public place
You see a great fellow a-pulling a face,
With his staring eyes and his mouth like an O,—
And how is a poor deaf lady to know,—
The lower orders are up to such games—
If he’s calling ‘Green Peas,’ or calling her names?”
(“They’re tenpence a peck!” said the deafest of Dames.)
Tis strange what very strong advising,
By word of mouth, or advertising,
By chalking on walls, or placarding on vans,
With fifty other different plans,
The very high pressure, in fact, of pressing,
It needs to persuade one to purchase a blessing!
Whether the Soothing American Syrup,
A Safety Hat or a Safety Stirrup,—
Infallible Pills for the human frame,
Or Rowland’s O-don’t-o (an ominous name)!
A Doudney’s suit which the shape so hits{21}
That it beats all others into fits;
A Mechi’s razor for beards unshorn,
Or a Ghost-of-a-Whisper-Catching Horn!
“Try it again, Ma’am, only try!”
Was still the voluble Pedlar’s cry;
“It’s a great privation, there’s no dispute,
To live like the dumb unsociable brute,
And to hear no more of the pro and con,
And how Society’s going on,
Than Mumbo Jumbo or Prester John,
And all for want of this sine quâ non;
Whereas, with a horn that never offends,
You may join the genteelest party that is,
And enjoy all the scandal, and gossip, and quiz,
And be certain to hear of your absent friends;—
Not that elegant ladies, in fact,
In genteel society ever detract,
Or lend a brush when a friend is black’d,—
At least as a mere malicious act,—
But only talk scandal for fear some fool
Should think they were bred at charity school.
Or, maybe, you like a little flirtation,
Which even the most Don Juanish rake
Would surely object to undertake
At the same high pitch as an altercation.
It’s not for me, of course, to judge
How much a Deaf Lady ought to begrudge;
But half-a-guinea seems no great matter—
Letting alone more rational patter—
Only to hear a parrot chatter:
Not to mention that feather’d wit,
The Starling, who speaks when his tongue is slit;
The Pies and Jays that utter words,
And other Dicky Gossips of birds,
That talk with as much good sense and decorum,
As many Beaks who belong to the quorum.
Try it—buy it—say ten and six,
The lowest price a miser could fix:
I don’t pretend with horns of mine,{22}
Like some in the advertising line,
To ‘magnify sounds’ on such marvellous scales
That the sounds of a cod seem as big as a whale’s;
But popular rumours, right or wrong,—
Charity sermons, short or long,—
Lecture, speech, concerto, or song,
All noises and voices, feeble or strong,
From the hum of a gnat to the clash of a gong,
This tube will deliver distinct and clear;
Or, supposing by chance
You wish to dance,
Why, it’s putting a Horn-pipe into your ear!
Try it—buy it!
Buy it—try it!
The last New Patent, and nothing comes nigh it,
For guiding sounds to their proper tunnel:
Only try till the end of June,
And if you and the Trumpet are out of tune
I’ll turn it gratis into a funnel!”
In short, the pedlar so beset her,—
Lord Bacon couldn’t have gammon’d her better,—
With flatteries plump and indirect,
And plied his tongue with such effect,—
A tongue that could almost have butter’d a crumpet,—
The deaf old woman bought the Trumpet.
* * * * * *
* * * * * *
The pedlar was gone. With the horn’s assistance,
She heard his steps die away in the distance;
And then she heard the tick of the clock,
The purring of puss and the snoring of Shock;
And she purposely dropp’d a pin that was little,
And heard it fall as plain as a skittle!
’Twas a wonderful horn, to be but just!
Nor meant to gather dust, must and rust;
So in half a jiffy, or less than that,
In her scarlet cloak and her steeple-hat,
Like old Dame Trot, but without her cat,{23}
The gossip was hunting all Tringham through,
As if she meant to canvass the borough,
Trumpet in hand, or up to the cavity;—
And, sure, had the horn been one of those
The wild Rhinoceros wears on his nose,
It couldn’t have ripp’d up more depravity!
Depravity! mercy shield her ears!
’Twas plain enough that her village peers
In the ways of vice were no raw beginners;
For whenever she raised the tube to her drum
Such sounds were transmitted as only come
From the very Brass Band of human sinners!
Ribald jest and blasphemous curse
(Bunyan never vented worse),
With all those weeds, not flowers, of speech
Which the Seven Dialecticians teach;
Filthy Conjunctions, and Dissolute Nouns,
And Particles pick’d from the kennels of towns,
With Irregular Verbs for irregular jobs,
Chiefly active in rows and mobs,
Picking possessive Pronouns’ fobs,
And Interjections as bad as a blight,
Or an Eastern blast, to the blood and the sight;
Fanciful phrases for crime and sin,
And smacking of vulgar lips where Gin,
Garlic, Tobacco, and offals go in—
A jargon so truly adapted, in fact,
To each thievish, obscene, and ferocious act,
So fit for the brute with the human shape,
Savage Baboon, or libidinous Ape,
From their ugly mouths it will certainly come
Should they ever get weary of shamming dumb!
Alas! for the Voice of Virtue and Truth,
And the sweet little innocent prattle of Youth!
The smallest urchin whose tongue could tang,
Shock’d the Dame with a volley of slang,
Fit for Fagin’s juvenile gang;
While the charity chap,
With his muffin cap,{24}
His crimson coat, and his badge so garish,
Playing at dumps, or pitch in the hole,
Cursed his eyes, limbs, body and soul,
As if they didn’t belong to the Parish!
’Twas awful to hear, as she went along,
The wicked words of the popular song;
Or supposing she listen’d—as gossips will—
At a door ajar, or a window agape,
To catch the sounds they allow’d to escape,
Those sounds belong’d to Depravity still!
The dark allusion, or bolder brag
Of the dexterous “dodge,” and the lots of “swag,”
The plunder’d house—or the stolen nag—
The blazing rick, or the darker crime,
That quench’d the spark before its time—
The wanton speech of the wife immoral—
The noise of drunken or deadly quarrel,
With savage menace, which threaten’d the life,
Till the heart seem’d merely a strop “for the knife;”
The human liver, no better than that,
Which is sliced and thrown to an old woman’s cat;
And the head, so useful for shaking and nodding,
To be punch’d into holes, like “a shocking bad hat,”
That is only fit to be punch’d into wadding!
In short, wherever she turn’d the horn,
To the highly bred, or the lowly born,
The working man, who look’d over the hedge,
Or the mother nursing her infant pledge,
The sober Quaker, averse to quarrels,
Or the Governess pacing the village through,
With her twelve Young Ladies, two and two,
Looking, as such young ladies do,
Truss’d by Decorum and stuff’d with morals—
Whether she listen’d to Hob or Bob,
Nob or Snob,
The Squire on his cob,
Or Trudge and his ass at a tinkering job,
To the “Saint” who expounded at “Little Zion”—
Or the “Sinner” who kept “the Golden Lion”{25}
The man teetotally wean’d from liquor—
The Beadle, the Clerk, or the Reverend Vicar—
Nay, the very Pie in its cage of wicker—
She gather’d such meanings, double or single,
That like the bell,
With muffins to sell,
Her ear was kept in a constant tingle!
But this was nought to the tales of shame,
The constant runnings of evil fame,
Foul, and dirty, and black as ink,
That her ancient cronies, with nod and wink,
Pour’d in her horn like slops in a sink:
While sitting in conclave, as gossips do,
With their Hyson or Howqua, black or green,
And not a little of feline spleen
Lapp’d up in “Catty packages,” too,
To give a zest to the sipping and supping;
For still by some invisible tether,
Scandal and Tea are link’d together,
As surely as Scarification and Cupping;
Yet never since Scandal drank Bohea—
Or sloe, or whatever it happen’d to be,
For some grocerly thieves
Turn over new leaves,
Without much amending their lives or their tea—
No, never since cup was fill’d or stirr’d
Were such wild and horrible anecdotes heard,
As blacken’d their neighbours of either gender,
Especially that, which is called the Tender,
But, instead of the softness we fancy therewith,
Was harden’d in vice as the vice of a smith.
Women! the wretches! had soil’d and marr’d
Whatever to womanly nature belongs;
For the marriage tie they had no regard,
Nay, sped their mates to the sexton’s yard,
(Like Madame Laffarge, who with poisonous pinches
Kept cutting off her L by inches)—
And as for drinking, they drank so hard
That they drank their flat-irons, pokers, and tongs!{26}
The men—they fought and gambled at fairs;
And poach’d—and didn’t respect grey hairs—
Stole linen, money, plate, poultry, and corses;
And broke in houses as well as horses;
Unfolded folds to kill their own mutton,—
And would their own mothers and wives for a button;
But not to repeat the deeds they did,
Backsliding in spite of all moral skid,
If all were true that fell from the tongue,
There was not a villager, old or young,
But deserved to be whipp’d, imprison’d, or hung,
Or sent on those travels which nobody hurries,
To publish at Colburn’s, or Longman’s, or Murray’s.
Meanwhile the Trumpet, con amore,
Transmitted each vile diabolical story;
And gave the least whisper of slips and falls,
As that Gallery does in the Dome of St. Paul’s,
Which, as all the world knows, by practice or print,
Is famous for making the most of a hint.
Not a murmur of shame,
Or buzz of blame,
Not a flying report that flew at a name,
Not a plausible gloss, or significant note,
Not a word in the scandalous circles afloat,
Of a beam in the eye, or diminutive note,
But vortex-like that tube of tin
Suck’d the censorious particle in;
And, truth to tell, for as willing an organ
As ever listen’d to serpent’s hiss,
Nor took the viperous sound amiss,
On the snaky head of an ancient Gorgon!
The Dame, it is true, would mutter “shocking!”
And give her head a sorrowful rocking,
And make a clucking with palate and tongue,
Like the call of Partlett to gather her young,
A sound, when human, that always proclaims
At least a thousand pities and shames;
But still the darker the tale of sin,
Like certain folks, when calamities burst,{27}
Who find a comfort in “hearing the worst,”
The farther she poked the Trumpet in.
Nay, worse, whatever she heard, she spread
East and West, and North and South,
Like the ball which, according to Captain Z.,
Went in at his ear, and came out at his mouth.
What wonder between the Horn and the Dame,
Such mischief was made wherever they came,
That the parish of Tringham was all in a flame!
For although it required such loud discharges,
Such peals of thunder as rumbled at Lear,
To turn the smallest of table-beer,
A little whisper breathed into the ear
Will sour a temper “as sour as varges.”
In fact such very ill blood there grew,
From this private circulation of stories,
That the nearest neighbours the village through,
Look’d at each other as yellow and blue,
As any electioneering crew
Wearing the colours of Whigs and Tories.
Ah! well the Poet said, in sooth,
That “whispering tongues can poison Truth,”—
Yea, like a dose of oxalic acid,
Wrench and convulse poor Peace, the placid,
And rack dear Love with internal fuel,
Like arsenic pastry, or what is as cruel,
Sugar of lead, that sweetens gruel,—
At least such torments began to ring ’em
From the very morn
When that mischievous Horn
Caught the whisper of tongues in Tringham.
The Social Clubs dissolved in huffs,
And the Sons of Harmony came to cuffs,
While feuds arose and family quarrels,
That discomposed the mechanics of morals,
For screws were loose between brother and brother,
While sisters fasten’d their nails on each other;
Such wrangles, and jangles, and miff, and tiff,{28}
And spar, and jar—and breezes as stiff
As ever upset a friendship—or skiff!
The plighted lovers, who used to walk,
Refused to meet, and declined to talk;
And wish’d for two moons to reflect the sun,
That they mightn’t look together on one;
While wedded affection ran so low,
That the oldest John Anderson snubbed his Jo—
And instead of the toddle adown the hill,
Hand in hand,
As the song has plann’d,
Scratch’d her, penniless, out of his will!
In short, to describe what came to pass
In a true, though somewhat theatrical way,
Instead of “Love in a Village”—alas!
The piece they perform’d was “The Devil to Pay!”
However, as secrets are brought to light,
And mischief comes home like chickens at night;
And rivers are track’d throughout their course,
And forgeries traced to their proper source;—
And the sow that ought
By the ear is caught,—
And the sin to the sinful door is brought;
And the cat at last escapes from the bag—
And the saddle is placed on the proper nag—
And the fog blows off, and the key is found—
And the faulty scent is pick’d out by the hound—
And the fact turns up like a worm from the ground—
And the matter gets wind to waft it about;
And a hint goes abroad, and the murder is out—
And the riddle is guess’d—and the puzzle is known—
So the truth was sniff’d, and the Trumpet was blown!
* * * * * *
’Tis a day in November—a day of fog—
But the Tringham people are all agog;
Fathers, Mothers, and Mothers’ Sons,—
With sticks, and staves, and swords, and guns,—
As if in pursuit of a rabid dog;{29}
But their voices—raised to the highest pitch—
Declare that the game is “a Witch!—a Witch!”
Over the Green, and along by The George—
Past the Stocks, and the Church, and the Forge,
And round the Pound, and skirting the Pond,
Till they come to the whitewash’d cottage beyond,
And there at the door they muster and cluster,
And thump, and kick, and bellow, and bluster—
Enough to put Old Nick in a fluster!
A noise, indeed, so loud and long,
And mix’d with expressions so very strong,
That supposing, according to popular fame,
“Wise Woman” and Witch to be the same,
No hag with a broom would unwisely stop,
But up and away through the chimney-top;
Whereas, the moment they burst the door,
Planted fast on her sanded floor,
With her Trumpet up to her organ of hearing,
Lo and behold! Dame Eleanor Spearing!
Oh! then arises the fearful shout—
Bawl’d and scream’d, and bandied about—
“Seize her!—Drag the old Jezebel out!”
While the Beadle—the foremost of all the band,
Snatches the Horn from her trembling hand—
And after a pause of doubt and fear,
Puts it up to his sharpest ear.
“Now silence—silence—one and all!”
For the Clerk is quoting from Holy Paul!
But before he rehearses
A couple of verses,
The Beadle lets the Trumpet fall:
For instead of the words so pious and humble,
He hears a supernatural grumble.
Enough, enough! and more than enough;—
Twenty impatient hands and rough,
By arm, and leg, and neck, and scruff,
Apron, ‘kerchief, gown of stuff{30}
Cap, and pinner, sleeve, and cuff—
Are clutching the Witch wherever they can,
With the spite of Woman and fury of Man;
And then—but first they kill her cat,
And murder her dog on the very mat—
And crush the infernal Trumpet flat;—
And then they hurry her through the door
She never, never will enter more!
Away! away! down the dusty lane
They pull her, and haul her, with might and main;
And happy the hawbuck, Tom or Harry,
Dandy, or Sandy, Jerry, or Larry,
Who happens to get “a leg to carry!”
And happy the foot that can give her a kick,
And happy the hand that can find a brick—
And happy the fingers that hold a stick—
Knife to cut, or pin to prick—
And happy the Boy who can lend her a lick;—
Nay, happy the urchin—Charity-bred,
Who can shy very nigh to her wicked old head!
Alas! to think how people’s creeds
Are contradicted by people’s deeds!
But though the wishes that Witches utter
Can play the most diabolical rigs—
Send styes in the eye—and measle the pigs—
Grease horses’ heels—and spoil the butter;
Smut and mildew the corn on the stalk—
And turn new milk to water and chalk,—
Blight apples—and give the chickens the pip—
And cramp the stomach—and cripple the hip—
And waste the body—and addle the eggs—
And give a baby bandy legs;
Though in common belief a Witch’s curse
Involves all these horrible things, and worse—
As ignorant bumpkins all profess,
No bumpkin makes a poke the less
At the back or ribs of old Eleanor S.!
As if she were only a sack of barley!
Or gives her credit for greater might{31}
Than the Powers of Darkness confer at night
On that other old woman, the parish Charley!
Ay, now’s the time for a Witch to call
On her Imps and Sucklings one and all—
Newes, Pyewacket, or Peck in the Crown,
(As Matthew Hopkins has handed them down)
Dick, and Willet, and Sugar-and-Sack,
Greedy Grizel, Jarmara the Black,
Vinegar Tom, and the rest of the pack—
Ay, now’s the nick for her friend Old Harry
To come “with his tail” like the bold Glengarry,
And drive her foes from their savage job
As a mad Black Bullock would scatter a mob:—
But no such matter is down in the bond;
And spite of her cries that never cease,
But scare the ducks and astonish the geese,
The Dame is dragg’d to the fatal pond!
And now they come to the water’s brim—
And in they bundle her—sink or swim;
Though it’s twenty to one that the wretch must drown,
With twenty sticks to hold her down;
Including the help to the self-same end,
Which a travelling Pedlar stops to lend.
A Pedlar!—Yes!—The same!—the same!
Who sold the Horn to the drowning Dame!
And now is foremost amid the stir,
With a token only reveal’d to her;
A token that makes her shudder and shriek,
And point with her finger, and strive to speak—
But before she can utter the name of the Devil,
Her head is under the water level!


There are folks about town—to name no names—
Who much resemble that deafest of Dames!
And over their tea, and muffins, and crumpets,
Circulate many a scandalous word,
And whisper tales they could only have heard
Through some such Diabolical Trumpets!


“It is the king’s highway, that we are in, and in this way it is that thou hast placed the lions.”—Bunyan.

WHAT! shut the gardens! lock the latticed gate!
Refuse the shilling and the fellow’s ticket!
And hang a wooden notice up to state,
“On Sundays no admittance at this wicket!”
The birds, the beasts, and all the reptile race
Denied to friends and visitors till Monday!
Now, really, this appears the common case
Of putting too much Sabbath into Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
The Gardens,—so unlike the ones we dub
Of Tea, wherein the artisan carouses,—
Mere shrubberies without one drop of shrub,—
Wherefore should they be closed like public-houses?
No ale is vended at the wild Deer’s Head,—
Nor rum—nor gin—not even of a Monday—
The Lion is not carved—or gilt—or red,
And does not send out porter of a Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
The bear denied! the leopard under locks!
As if his spots would give contagious fevers;
The beaver close as hat within its box;
So different from other Sunday beavers!
The birds invisible—the gnaw-way rats—
The seal hermetically seal’d till Monday—
The monkey tribe—the family of cats,—
We visit other families on Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
What is the brute profanity that shocks
The super-sensitively serious feeling?
The kangaroo—is he not orthodox
To bend his legs, the way he does, in kneeling?
Was strict Sir Andrew, in his sabbath coat,
Struck all a heap to see a Coati Mundi?{33}
Or did the Kentish Plumtree faint to note
The pelicans presenting bills on Sunday?—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
What feature has repulsed the serious set?
What error in the bestial birth or breeding,
To put their tender fancies on the fret?
One thing is plain—it is not in the feeding!
Some stiffish people think that smoking joints
Are carnal sins ’twixt Saturday and Monday—
But then the beasts are pious on these points,
For they all eat cold dinners on a Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
What change comes o’er the spirit of the place,
As if transmuted by some spell organic?
Turns fell hyæna of the ghoulish race?
The snake, pro tempore, the true Satanic?
Do Irish minds,—(whose theory allows
That now and then Good Friday falls on Monday)—
Do Irish minds suppose that Indian Cows
Are wicked Bulls of Bashan on a Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
There are some moody fellows, not a few,
Who, turn’d by Nature with a gloomy bias,
Renounce black devils to adopt the blue,
And think when they are dismal they are pious:
Is’t possible that Pug’s untimely fun
Has sent the brutes to Coventry till Monday—
Or p’rhaps some animal, no serious one,
Was overheard in laughter on a Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
What dire offence have serious fellows found
To raise their spleen against the Regent’s spinney?
Were charitable boxes handed round,
And would not guinea pigs subscribe their guinea?
Perchance the Demoiselle refused to moult
The feathers in her head—at least till Monday;
Or did the elephant unseemly, bolt
A tract presented to be read on Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?{34}
At whom did Leo struggle to get loose?
Who mourns through monkey tricks his damaged clothing?
Who has been hiss’d by the Canadian goose?
On whom did Llama spit in utter loathing?
Some Smithfield saint did jealous feelings tell
To keep the Puma out of sight till Monday,
Because he played extempore as well
As certain wild Itinerants on Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
To me it seems that in the oddest way
(Begging the pardon of each rigid Socius)
Our would-be keepers of the Sabbath-day
Are like the keepers of the brutes ferocious—
As soon the tiger might expect to stalk
About the grounds from Saturday till Monday
As any harmless man to take a walk,
If saints could clap him in a cage on Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
In spite of all hypocrisy can spin,
As surely as I am a Christian scion,
I cannot think it is a mortal sin—
(Unless he’s loose) to look upon a lion.
I really think that one may go, perchance,
To see a bear, as guiltless as on Monday—
(That is, provided that he did not dance)
Bruin’s no worse than baking on a Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
In spite of all the fanatic compiles,
I cannot think the day a bit diviner,
Because no children, with forestalling smiles,
Throng, happy, to the gates of Eden Minor—
It is not plain, to my poor faith at least,
That what we christen “Natural” on Monday,
The wondrous History of bird and beast,
Can be unnatural because it’s Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
Whereon is sinful fantasy to work?
The dove, the wing’d Columbus of man’s haven?{35}
The tender love-bird—or the filial stork?
The punctual crane—the providential raven?
The pelican whose bosom feeds her young?
Nay, must we cut from Saturday till Monday
That feather’d marvel with a human tongue,
Because she does not preach upon a Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
The busy beaver—that sagacious beast!
The sheep that owned an Oriental Shepherd—
That desert-ship the camel of the East,
The horn’d rhinoceros—the spotted leopard—
The creatures of the Great Creator’s hand
Are surely sights for better days than Monday—
The elephant, although he wears no band,
Has he no sermon in his trunk for Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
What harm if men who burn the midnight-oil,
Weary of frame, and worn and wan in feature,
Seek once a week their spirits to assoil,
And snatch a glimpse of “Animated Nature?”
Better it were if, in his best of suits,
The artisan, who goes to work on Monday,
Should spend a leisure hour amongst the brutes,
Than make a beast of his own self on Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
Why, zounds! what raised so Protestant a fuss
(Omit the zounds! for which I make apology)
But that the Papists, like some fellows, thus
Had somehow mixed up Dens with their theology?
Is Brahma’s bull—a Hindoo god at home—
A papal bull to be tied up till Monday—
Or Leo, like his namesake, Pope of Rome,
That there is such a dread of them on Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?
Spirit of Kant! have we not had enough
To make religion sad, and sour, and snubbish
But saints zoological must cant their stuff,{36}
As vessels cant their ballast—rattling rubbish!
Once let the sect, triumphant to their text,
Shut Nero[2] up from Saturday till Monday,
And sure as fate they will deny us next
To see the dandelions on a Sunday—
But what is your opinion, Mrs. Grundy?

Note.—There is an anecdote of a Scotch Professor who happened during a Sunday walk to be hammering at a geological specimen which he had picked up, when a peasant gravely accosted him, and said, very seriously, “Eh! Sir, you think you are only breaking a stone, but you are breaking the Sabbath.”

In a similar spirit, some of our over-righteous sectarians are fond of attributing all breakage to the same cause—from the smashing of a parish lamp, up to the fracture of a human skull;—the “breaking into the bloody house of life,” or the breaking into a brick-built dwelling. They all originate in the breaking of the Sabbath. It is the source of every crime in the country—the parent of every illegitimate child in the parish. The picking of a pocket is ascribed to the picking of a daisy—the robbery on the highway to a stroll in the fields—the incendiary fire to a hot dinner—on Sunday. All other causes—the want of education—the want of moral culture—the want of bread itself, are totally repudiated. The criminal himself is made to confess at the gallows that he owes his appearance on the scaffold to a walk with “Sally in our alley” on the “day that comes between a Saturday and Monday.”

Supposing this theory to be correct, and made like the law “for every degree,” the wonder of Captain Macheath that we haven’t “better company at Tyburn tree” (now the New Drop) must be fully shared by everybody who has visited the Ring in Hyde Park on the day in question. But how much greater must be the wonder of any person who has happened to reside, like myself, for a year or two in a continental city, inhabited, according to the strict construction of our Mawworms, by some fifteen or twenty thousand of habitual Sabbath-breakers, and yet, without hearing of murder and robbery as often as of blood-sausages and dollars! A city where the Burgomaster himself must have come to a bad end, if a dance upon Sunday led so inevitably to a dance upon nothing!

The “saints” having set up this absolute dependence of crime on Sabbath-breaking, their relative proportions become a fair statistical question; and, as such, the inquiry is seriously recommended to the rigid legislator, who acknowledges, indeed, that the Sabbath was “made for man,” but, by a singular interpretation, conceives that the man for whom it was made is himself!




“The rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle.”—Byron.
ONE day, it was before a civic dinner,
Two London Aldermen, no matter which,
Cordwainer, Girdler, Patten-maker, Skinner—
But both were florid, corpulent, and rich,
And both right fond of festive demolition,
Set forth upon a secret expedition.
Yet not, as might be fancied from the token,
To Pudding Lane, Pie Corner, or the Street
Of Bread, or Grub, or anything to eat,
Or drink, as Milk, or Vintry, or Portsoken,
But eastward to that more aquatic quarter,
Where folks take water,
Or bound on voyages, secure a berth
For Antwerp or Ostend, Dundee or Perth,
Calais, Boulogne, or any Port on earth!
Jostled and jostling, through the mud,
Peculiar to the Town of Lud,
Down narrow streets and crooked lanes they dived,
Past many a gusty avenue, through which
Came yellow fog, and smell of pitch,
From barge, and boat, and dusky wharf derived;
With darker fumes, brought eddying by the draught,
From loco-smoko-motive craft;
Mingling with scents of butter, cheese, and gammons,
Tea, coffee, sugar, pickles, rosin, wax,
Hides, tallow, Russia-matting, hemp and flax,
Salt-cod, red-herrings, sprats, and kipper’d salmons,
Nuts, oranges, and lemons,
Each pungent spice, and aromatic gum,
Gas, pepper, soaplees, brandy, gin, and rum;
Alamode-beef and greens—the London soil—
Glue, coal, tobacco, turpentine and oil,
Bark, assafœtida, squills, vitriol, hops,
In short, all whiffs, and sniffs, and puffs and snuffs,
From metals, minerals, and dyewood stuffs,
Fruits, victual, drink, solidities, or slops{38}
In flasks, casks, bales, trucks, waggons, taverns, shops,
Boats, lighters, cellars, wharfs, and warehouse-tops,
That, as we walk upon the river’s ridge,
Assault the nose—below the bridge.
A walk, however, as tradition tells,
That once a poor blind Tobit used to choose,
Because, incapable of other views,
He met with “such a sight of smells.”
But on, and on, and on,
In spite of all unsavoury shocks,
Progress the stout Sir Peter and Sir John,
Steadily steering ship-like for the docks—
And now they reach a place the Muse, unwilling,
Recalls for female slang and vulgar doing,
The famous Gate of Billing,
That does not lead to cooing—
And now they pass that House that is so ugly
A Customer to people looking “smuggley”—
And now along that fatal Hill they pass
Where centuries ago an Oxford bled,
And proved—too late to save his life, alas!—
That he was “off his head.”
At last before a lofty brick-built pile
Sir Peter stopp’d, and with mysterious smile
Tingled a bell that served to bring
The wire-drawn genius of the ring,
A species of commercial Samuel Weller—
To whom Sir Peter—tipping him a wink,
And something else to drink—
“Show us the cellar.”
Obsequious bow’d the man, and led the way
Down sundry flights of stairs, where windows small,
Dappled with mud, let in a dingy ray—
A dirty tax, if they were tax’d at all.
At length they came into a cellar damp,
With venerable cobwebs fringed around,{39}
A cellar of that stamp
Which often harbours vintages renown’d,
The feudal Hock, or Burgundy the courtly,
With sherry, brown or golden,
Or port, so olden,
Bereft of body ’tis no longer portly—
But old or otherwise—to be veracious—
That cobwebb’d cellar, damp, and dim, and spacious,
Held nothing crusty—but crustaceous.
Prone, on the chilly floor,
Five splendid Turtles—such a five!
Natives of some West Indian shore,
Were flapping all alive,
Late landed from the Jolly Planter’s yawl—
A sight whereon the dignitaries fix’d
Their eager eyes, with ecstacy unmix’d,
Like fathers that behold their infants crawl,
Enjoying every little kick and sprawl.
Nay—far from fatherly the thoughts they bred
Poor loggerheads from far Ascension ferried!
The Aldermen too plainly wish’d them dead
And Aldermanbury’d!
“There!” cried Sir Peter, with an air
Triumphant as an ancient victor’s,
And pointing to the creatures rich and rare,
“There’s picters!”
“Talk of Olympic Games! They’re not worth mention;
The real prize for wrestling is when Jack,
In Providence or Ascension,
Can throw a lively turtle on its back!”
“Aye!” cried Sir John, and with a score of nods,
Thoughtful of classical symposium,
“There’s food for Gods!
There’s nectar! there’s ambrosium!
There’s food for Roman Emperors to eat—
Oh, there had been a treat{40}
(Those ancient names will sometimes hobble us)
For Helio-gobble-us!”
“There were a feast for Alexander’s Feast!
The real sort—none of your mock or spurious!”
And then he mention’d Aldermen deceased,
And “Epicurius,”
And how Tertullian had enjoy’d such foison;
And speculated on that verdigrease
That isn’t poison.
“Talk of your Spring, and verdure, and all that!
Give me green fat!
As for your Poets with their groves of myrtles
And billing turtles,
Give me, for poetry, them Turtles there,
A-billing in a bill of fare!”
“Of all the things I ever swallow—
Good, well-dressed turtle beats them hollow—
It almost makes me wish, I vow,
To have two stomachs, like a cow!”
And lo! as with the cud, an inward thrill
Upheaved his waistcoat and disturb’d his frill,
His mouth was oozing and he work’d his jaw—
“I almost think that I could eat one raw!”
And thus, as “inward love breeds outward talk,”
The portly pair continued to discourse;
And then—as Gray describes of life’s divorce—
With “longing lingering look” prepared to walk,—
Having thro’ one delighted sense, at least,
Enjoy’d a sort of Barmecidal feast,
And with prophetic gestures, strange to see,
Forestall’d the civic Banquet yet to be,
Its callipash and callipee!
A pleasant prospect—but alack!
Scarcely each Alderman had turn’d his back,
When seizing on the moment so propitious,
And having learn’d that they were so delicious{41}
To bite and sup,
From praises so high flown and injudicious,—
And nothing could be more pernicious!
The turtles fell to work, and ate each other up!
Never, from folly or urbanity,
Praise people thus profusely to their faces,
Till quite in love with their own graces,
They’re eaten up by vanity!



O! Well may poets make a fuss
In summer time, and sigh “O rus!
Of London pleasures sick:
My heart is all at pant to rest
In greenwood shades—my eyes detest
This endless meal of brick!
What joy have I in June’s return?
My feet are parch’d, my eyeballs burn,
I scent no flowery gust:
But faint the flagging zephyr springs,
With dry Macadam on its wings,
And turns me “dust to dust.”
My sun his daily course renews
Due east, but with no Eastern dews;
The path is dry and hot!
His setting shows more tamely still,
He sinks behind no purple hill,
But down a chimney’s pot!
O! but to hear the milkmaid blithe,
Or early mower wet his scythe
The dewy meads among!—
My grass is of that sort, alas!
That makes no hay—called sparrow-grass
By folks of vulgar tongue!{42}
O! but to smell the woodbines sweet!
I think of cowslip cups—but meet
With very vile rebuffs!
For meadow-buds I get a whiff
Of Cheshire cheese,—or only sniff
The turtle made at Cuft’s.
How tenderly Rousseau reviewed
His periwinkles!—mine are stewed!
My rose blooms on a gown!—
I hunt in vain for eglantine,
And find my blue-bell on the sign
That marks the Bell and Crown:
Where are ye, birds! that blithely wing
From tree to tree, and gaily sing
Or mourn in thickets deep?
My cuckoo has some ware to sell,
The watchman is my Philomel,
My blackbird is a sweep!
Where are ye, linnet, lark, and thrush!
That perch on leafy bough and bush,
And tune the various song?
Two hurdigurdists, and a poor
Street-Handel grinding at my door,
Are all my “tuneful throng.”
Where are ye, early-purling streams,
Whose waves reflect the morning beams,
And colours of the skies?
My rills are only puddle-drains
From shambles, or reflect the stains
Of calimanco-dyes!
Sweet are the little brooks that run
O’er pebbles glancing in the sun,
Singing in soothing tones:—
Not thus the city streamlets flow;
They make no music as they go,
Though never “off the stones.”{43}
Where are ye, pastoral pretty sheep,
That wont to bleat, and frisk, and leap
Beside your woolly dams?
Alas! instead of harmless crooks,
My Corydons use iron hooks,
And skin—not shear—the lambs.
The pipe whereon, in olden day,
The Arcadian herdsman used to play
Sweetly, here soundeth not;
But merely breathes unwholesome fumes,
Meanwhile the city boor consumes
The rank weed—“piping hot.”
All rural things are vilely mock’d,
On every hand the sense is shock’d,
With objects hard to bear:
Shades—vernal shades!—where wine is sold!
And, for a turfy bank, behold
An Ingram’s rustic chair!
Where are ye, London meads and bowers,
And gardens redolent of flowers
Wherein the zephyr wons?
Alas! Moor Fields are fields no more.
See Hatton’s Gardens bricked all o’er,
And that bare wood—St. John’s.
No pastoral scenes procure me peace;
I hold no Leasowes in my lease,
No cot set round with trees:
No sheep-white hill my dwelling flanks;
And Omnium furnishes my banks
With brokers—not with bees.
O! well may poets make a fuss
In summer time, and sigh “O rus!
Of city pleasures sick:
My heart is all at pant to rest
In greenwood shades—my eyes detest
That endless meal of brick!{44}


No sun—no moon!
No morn—no noon—
No dawn—no dusk—no proper time of day—
No sky—no earthly view—
No distance looking blue—
No road—no street—no “t’other side the way”—
No end to any Row—
No indications where the Crescents go—
No top to any steeple—
No recognitions of familiar people—
No courtesies for showing ’em—
No knowing ’em!—
No travelling at all—no locomotion,
No inkling of the way—no notion—
“No go”—by land or ocean—
No mail—no post—
No news from any foreign coast—
No Park—no Ring—no afternoon gentility—
No company—no nobility—
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member—
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,—


“Oh, where, and oh where
Is my bonny laddie gone?”—Old Song
ONE day, as I was going by
That part of Holborn christened High,
I heard a loud and sudden cry
That chill’d my very blood;
And lo! from out a dirty alley,
Where pigs and Irish wont to rally,
I saw a crazy woman sally,
Bedaub’d with grease and mud.{45}
She turn’d her East, she turn’d her West,
Staring like Pythoness possest,
With streaming hair and heaving breast
As one stark mad with grief.
This way and that she wildly ran,
Jostling with woman and with man—
Her right hand held a frying pan,
The left a lump of beef.
At last her frenzy seem’d to reach
A point just capable of speech,
And with a tone almost a screech,
As wild as ocean birds,
Or female Ranter mov’d to preach,
She gave her “sorrow words.”
“Oh Lord! oh dear, my heart will break, I shall go stick stark staring wild!
Has ever a one seen anything about the streets like a crying lost-looking child?
Lawk help me, I don’t know where to look, or to run, if I only knew which way—
A child as is lost about London streets, and especially Seven Dials, is a needle in a bottle of hay.
I am all in a quiver—get out of my sight, do, you wretch, you little Kitty M’Nab!
You promised to have half an eye on him, you know you did, you dirty deceitful young drab.
The last time as ever I see him, poor thing, was with my own blessed Motherly eyes,
Sitting as good as gold in the gutter, a playing at making little dirt pies.
I wonder he left the court where he was better off than all the other young boys,
With two bricks, an old shoe, nine oyster-shells, and a dead kitten by way of toys.
When his father comes home, and he always comes home as sure as ever the clock strikes one,
He’ll be rampant, he will, at his child being lost; and the beef and the inguns not done!
La bless you, good folks, mind your own consarns, and don’t be making a mob in the street;{46}
Oh Serjeant M’Farlane! you have not come across my poor little boy, have you, in your beat?
Do, good people, move on! don’t stand staring at me like a parcel of stupid stuck pigs;
Saints forbid! but he’s p’r’aps been inviggled away up a court for the sake of his clothes by the prigs;
He’d a very good jacket, for certain, for I bought it myself for a shilling one day in Rag Fair;
And his trousers considering not very much patch’d, and red plush, they was once his Father’s best pair.
His shirt, it’s very lucky I’d got washing in the tub, or that might have gone with the rest;
But he’d got on a very good pinafore with only two slits and a burn on the breast.
He’d a goodish sort of hat, if the crown was sew’d in, and not quite so much jagg’d at the brim.
With one shoe on, and the other shoe is a boot, and not a fit, and you’ll know by that if it’s him.
Except being so well dress’d my mind would misgive, some old beggar woman in want of an orphan,
Had borrow’d the child to go a begging with, but I’d rather see him laid out in his coffin!
Do, good people, move on, such a rabble of boys! I’ll break every bone of ’em I come near,
Go home—you’re spilling the porter—go home—Tommy Jones, go along home with your beer.
This day is the sorrowfullest day of my life, ever since my name was Betty Morgan,
Them vile Savoyards! they lost him once before all along of following a Monkey and an Organ.
Oh my Billy—my head will turn right round—if he’s got kiddynapp’d with them Italians,
They’ll make him a plaster parish image boy, they will, the outlandish tatterdemalions.
Billy—where are you, Billy?—I’m as hoarse as a crow, with screaming for ye, you young sorrow!
And shan’t have half a voice, no more I shan’t, for crying fresh herrings to-morrow.
Oh Billy, you’re bursting my heart in two, and my life won’t be of no more vally,{47}
If I’m to see other folks’ darlins, and none of mine, playing like angels in our alley.
And what shall I do but cry out my eyes, when I looks at the old three-legged chair
As Billy used to make coach and horses of, and there an’t no Billy there!
I would run all the wide world over to find him, if I only know’d where to run,
Little Murphy, now I remember, was once lost for a month through stealing a penny bun,—
The Lord forbid of any child of mine! I think it would kill me raily
To find my Bill holdin’ up his little innocent hand at the Old Bailey.
For though I say it as oughtn’t, yet I will say, you may search for miles and mileses
And not find one better brought up, and more pretty behaved, from one end to t’other of St. Giles’s.
And if I call’d him a beauty, it’s no lie, but only as a Mother ought to speak;
You never set eyes on a more handsomer face, only it hasn’t been wash’d for a week;
As for hair, tho’ it’s red, it’s the most nicest hair when I’ve time to just show it the comb;
I’ll owe ’em five pounds, and a blessing besides, as will only bring him safe and sound home.
He’s blue eyes, and not to be call’d a squint, though a little cast he’s certainly got;
And his nose is still a good un, tho’ the bridge is broke, by his falling on a pewter pint pot;
He’s got the most elegant wide mouth in the world, and very large teeth for his age;
And quite as fit as Mrs. Murdockson’s child to play Cupid on the Drury Lane Stage.
And then he has got such dear winning ways—but oh I never never shall see him no more!
O dear! to think of losing him just after nursing him back from death’s door!
Only the very last month when the windfalls, hang ’em, was at twenty a penny!
And the threepence he’d got by grottoing was spent in plums, and sixty for a child is too many.{48}
And the Cholera man came and whitewash’d us all and, drat him, made a seize of our hog.
It’s no use to send the Crier to cry him about, he’s such a blunderin’ drunken old dog;
The last time he was fetch’d to find a lost child, he was guzzling with his bell at the Crown,
And went and cried a boy instead of a girl, for a distracted Mother and Father about Town.
Billy—where are you, Billy, I say? come Billy, come home, to your best of Mothers!
I’m scared when I think of them Cabroleys, they drive so, they’d run over their own Sisters and Brothers.
Or may be he’s stole by some chimbly sweeping wretch, to stick fast in narrow flues and what not,
And be poked up behind with a picked pointed pole, when the soot has ketch’d, and the chimbly’s red hot.
Oh I’d give the whole wide world, if the world was mine, to clap my two longin’ eyes on his face.
For he’s my darlin of darlins, and if he don’t soon come back, you’ll see me drop stone dead on the place.
I only wish I’d got him safe in these two Motherly arms, and wouldn’t I hug him and kiss him!
Lauk! I never knew what a precious he was—but a child don’t not feel like a child till you miss him.
Why there he is! Punch and Judy hunting, the young wretch, it’s that Billy as sartin as sin!
But let me get him home, with a good grip of his hair, and I’m blest if he shall have a whole bone in his skin!”


CABLES entangling her,
Shipspars for mangling her,
Ropes, sure of strangling her;
Blocks over-dangling her;
Tiller to batter her,
Topmast to shatter her,
Tobacco to spatter her;
Boreas blustering,{49}
Boatswain quite flustering,
Thunder clouds mustering
To blast her with sulphur—
If the deep don’t engulph her;
Sometimes fear’s scrutiny
Pries out a mutiny,
Sniffs conflagration,
Or hints at starvation:—
All the sea-dangers,
Buccaneers, rangers,
Pirates, and Sallee-men,
Algerine galleymen,
Tornadoes and typhons,
And horrible syphons,
And submarine travels
Thro’ roaring sea-navels;
Every thing wrong enough,
Long boat not long enough,
Vessel not strong enough;
Pitch marring frippery,
The deck very slippery,
And the cabin—built sloping,
The Captain a-toping,
And the Mate a blasphemer,
That names his Redeemer,—
With inward uneasiness;
The cook, known by greasiness,
The victuals beslubber’d,
Her bed—in a cupboard;
Things of strange christening,
Snatch’d in her listening,
Blue lights and red lights
And mention of dead lights,
And shrouds made a theme of,
Things horrid to dream of,—
And buoys in the water
To fear all exhort her;
Her friend no Leander,
Herself no sea gander,
And ne’er a cork jacket
On board of the packet;{50}
The breeze still a stiffening,
The trumpet quite deafening;
Thoughts of repentance,
And doomsday and sentence;
Everything sinister,
Not a church minister,—
Pilot a blunderer,
Coral reefs under her,
Ready to sunder her;
Trunks tipsy-topsy,
The ship in a dropsy;
Waves oversurging her,
Syrens a-dirgeing her;
Sharks all expecting her,
Sword-fish dissecting her,
Crabs with their hand-vices
Punishing land vices;
Sea-dogs and unicorns,
Things with no puny horns,
Mermen carnivorous—
“Good Lord deliver us!”



IT’S wery well to talk in praise
Of Tea and Water-drinking ways,
In proper time and place;
Of sober draughts, so clear and cool,
Dipp’d out of a transparent pool
Reflecting heaven’s face.
Of babbling brooks, and purling rills,
And streams as gushes from the hills,
It’s wery well to talk;—
But what becomes of all sich schemes,
With ponds of ice, and running streams
As doesn’t even walk?

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



When Winter comes with piercing cold,
And all the rivers, new or old,
Is frozen far and wide;
And limpid springs is solid stuff,
And crystal pools is hard enough
To skate upon and slide;—
What then are thirsty men to do,
But drink of ale, and porter too,
Champagne as makes a fizz;
Port, sherry, or the Rhenish sort,
And p’rhaps a drop of summut short—
The water-pipes is friz!



“WELL! Here I am—no Matter how it suits,
A-keeping Company with them dumb Brutes,
Old Park vos no bad Judge—confound his vig!
Of vot vood break the Sperrit of a Prig!
“The like of Me, to come to New Sow Wales
To go a-tagging arter Vethers’ Tails
And valk in Herbage as delights the Flock,
But stinks of Sweet Herbs vorser nor the Dock!
“To go to set this solitary Job
To Von whose Vork vos alvay in a Mob!
It’s out of all our Lines, for sure I am
Jack Shepherd even never kep a Lamb!
“I arn’t ashamed to say I sit and veep
To think of Seven Years of keepin Sheep,
The spooniest Beasts in Nater, all to Sticks,
And not a Votch to take for all their Ticks!
“If I’d fore-seed how Transports vood turn out
To only Baa! and Botanize about,{52}
I’d quite as leaf have had the t’other Pool,
And come to Cotton as to all this Vool!
“Von only happy moment I have had
Since here I come to be a Farmer’s Cad,
And then I cotch’d a vild Beast in a Snooze,
And pick’d her Pouch of three young Kangaroos!
“Vot chance have I to go to Race or Mill?
Or show a sneaking Kindness for a Till;
And as for Vashings, on a hedge to dry,
I’d put the Natives’ Linen in my Eye!
“If this whole Lot of Mutton I could scrag,
And find a fence to turn it into Swag,
I’d give it all in Lonnon Streets to stand,
And if I had my pick, I’d say the Strand!
“But ven I goes, as maybe vonce I shall,
To my old crib to meet with Jack, and Sal,
I’ve been so gallows honest in this Place,
I shan’t not like to show my sheepish Face.
“It’s wery hard for nothing but a Box
Of Irish Blackguard to be keepin’ Flocks,
‘Mong naked Blacks, sich Savages to hus,
They’ve nayther got a Poker nor a Pus.
“But Folks may tell their Troubles till they’re sick
To dumb brute Beasts,—and so I’ll cut my Stick!
And vot’s the Use a Feller’s Eyes to pipe
Vere von can’t borrow any Gemman’s Vipe?’



TWO swains or clowns—but call them swains—
While keeping flocks on Salisbury Plains,
For all that tend on sheep as drovers,
Are turned to songsters, or to lovers,{53}
Each of the lass he called his dear,
Began to carol loud and clear.
First Huggins sang, and Duggins then,
In the way of ancient shepherd men;
Who thus alternate hitch’d in song,
“All things by turns, and nothing long.”


Of all the girls about our place,
There’s one beats all in form and face,
Search through all Great and Little Bumpstead,
You’ll only find one Peggy Plumpstead.


To groves and streams I tell my flame,
I make the cliffs repeat her name:
When I’m inspired by gills and noggins,
The rocks re-echo Sally Hoggins!


When I am walking in the grove,
I think of Peggy as I rove.
I’d carve her name on every tree,
But I don’t know my A, B, C.


Whether I walk in hill or valley,
I think of nothing else but Sally.
I’d sing her praise, but I can sing
No song, except “God save the King.”


My Peggy does all nymphs excel,
And all confess she bears the bell,—
Where’er she goes swains flock together,
Like sheep that follow the bellwether.


Sally is tall and not too straight,—
Those very poplar shapes I hate;{54}
But something twisted like an S,—
A crook becomes a shepherdess.


When Peggy’s dog her arms imprison,
I often wish my lot was hisn;
How often I should stand and turn,
To get a pat from hands like hern.


I tell Sall’s lambs how blest they be,
To stand about and stare at she;
But when I look, she turns and shies,
And won’t bear none but their sheep’s-eyes?


Love goes with Peggy where she goes,—
Beneath her smile the garden grows;
Potatoes spring, and cabbage starts,
’Tatoes have eyes, and cabbage hearts!


Where Sally goes it’s always spring,
Her presence brightens every thing;
The sun smiles bright, but where her grin is,
It makes brass farthings look like guineas.


For Peggy I can have no joy,
She’s sometimes kind, and sometimes coy,
And keeps me, by her wayward tricks,
As comfortless as sheep with ticks.


Sally is ripe as June or May,
And yet as cold as Christmas day;
For when she’s asked to change her lot,
Lamb’s wool,—but Sally, she wool not.

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]




Only with Peggy and with health,
I’d never wish for state or wealth;
Talking of having health and more pence,
I’d drink her health if I had fourpence.


Oh, how that day would seem to shine,
If Sally’s banns were read with mine;
She cries, when such a wish I carry,
“Marry come up!” but will not marry.



“I apprehend you!”—School of Reform.


SHOVE off there!—ship the rudder, Bill—cast off! she’s under way!

Mrs. F.

She’s under what?—I hope she’s not! good gracious, what a spray!


Run out the jib, and rig the boom! keep clear of those two brigs!

Mrs. F.

I hope they don’t intend some joke by running of their rigs!


Bill, shift them bags of ballast aft—she’s rather out of trim!

Mrs. F.

Great bags of stones! they’re pretty things to help a boat to swim!


The wind is fresh—if she don’t scud, it’s not the breeze’s fault!

Mrs. F.

Wind fresh, indeed, I never felt the air so full of salt!


That schooner, Bill, harn’t left the roads, with oranges and nuts!

Mrs. F.

If seas have roads, they’re very rough—I never felt such ruts!


Its neap, ye see, she’s heavy lade, and couldn’t pass the bar.

Mrs. F.

The bar! what, roads with turnpikes too? I wonder where they are!


Ho! brig ahoy! hard up! hard up! that lubber cannot steer!

Mrs. F.

Yes, yes,—hard up upon a rock! I know some danger’s near!
Lord, there’s a wave! it’s coming in! and roaring like a bull!


Nothing, Ma’am, but a little slop! go large, Bill! keep her full!

Mrs. F.

What, keep her full! what daring work! when full, she must go down!


Why, Bill, it lulls! ease off a bit—it’s coming off the town!
Steady your helm! we’ll clear the Pint! lay right for yonder pink!

Mrs. F.

Be steady—well, I hope they can! but they’ve got a pint of drink!


Bill, give that sheet another haul—she’ll fetch it up this reach.

Mrs. F.

I’m getting rather pale, I know, and they see it by that speech!
I wonder what it is, now, but—I never felt so queer!


Bill, mind your luff—why Bill, I say, she’s yawing—keep her near!

Mrs. F.

Keep near! we’re going further off; the land’s behind our backs.


Be easy, Ma’am, it’s all correct, that’s only ‘cause we tacks:
We shall have to beat about a bit,—Bill, keep her out to sea.

Mrs. F.

Beat who about? keep who at sea?—how black they look at me!


It’s veering round—I knew it would! oft with her head! stand by!

Mrs. F.

Off with her head! whose? where? what with?—an axe I seem to spy!


She can’t not keep her own, you see; we shall have to pull her in!

Mrs. F.

They’ll drown me, and take all I have! my life’s not worth a pin!


Look out you know, be ready, Bill—just when she takes the sand!

Mrs. F.

The sand—O Lord! to stop my mouth! how every thing is plann’d!


The handspike, Bill—quick, bear a hand! now Ma’am, just step ashore!

Mrs. F.

What! an’t I going to be kill’d—and welter’d in my gore?
Well, Heaven be praised! but I’ll not go a-sailing any more!




Why, Gog, I say, it’s after One,
And yet no dinner carved;
Shall we endure this sort of fun,
And stand here to be starved?


I really think our City Lords
Must be a shabby set;
I’ve stood here since King Charles’s time,
And had no dinner yet!


I vow I can no longer stay;
I say, are we to dine to-day?


My hunger would provoke a saint,
I’ve waited till I’m sick and faint;
I’ll tell you what, they’ll starve us both,
I’ll tell you what, they’ll stop our growth.


I wish I had a round of beef
My hungry tooth to charm;
I’ve wind enough in my inside
To play the Hundredth Psalm.


And yet they feast beneath our eyes
Without the least remorse;
This very week I saw the Mayor
A feeding like a horse!


Such loads of fish, and flesh, and fowl,
To think upon it makes me growl!


I wonder where the fools were taught,
That they should keep a giant short!
They’ll stop our growth, they’ll stop our growth;
They’ll starve us both, they’ll starve us both!


They said, a hundred years ago,
That we should dine at One;
Why, Gog, I say, our meat by this
Is rather over-done.


I do not want it done at all,
So hungry is my maw,
Give me an Alderman in chains,
And I will eat him raw!


Of starving weavers they discuss,
And yet they never think of us.
I say, are we to dine to-day;
Are we to dine to-day?


Oh dear, the pang it is to feel
So mealy-mouthed without a meal!


I’ll tell you what, they’ll stop our growth!


I’ll tell you what, they’ll starve us both!


They’ll stop our growth, they’ll starve us both!


“I like to meet a sweep—such as come forth with the dawn, or somewhat earlier, with their little professional notes, sounding like the peep, peep of a young sparrow.”—Essays of Elia.

——“A voice cried Sweep no more!
Macbeth hath murdered sweep.”—Shakspeare.
ONE morning ere my usual time
I rose, about the seventh chime,
When little stunted boys that climb
Still linger in the street:
And as I walked, I saw indeed
A sample of the sooty breed,
Though he was rather run to seed,
In height about five feet.
A mongrel tint he seem’d to take,
Poetic simile to make,
Day through his Martin ‘gan to break,
Quite overcoming jet.
From side to side he cross’d oblique,
Like Frenchman who has friends to seek,
And yet no English word can speak,
He walk’d upon the fret:
And while he sought the dingy job,
His lab’ring breast appear’d to throb
And half a hiccup half a sob
Betray’d internal woe.
To cry the cry he had by rote
He yearn’d, but law forbade the note,
Like Chanticleer with roupy throat,
He gaped—but not a crow!
I watch’d him, and the glimpse I snatch’d
Disclosed his sorry eyelids patch’d
With red, as if the soot had catch’d
That hung about the lid;
And soon I saw the tear-drop stray,
He did not care to brush away;
Thought I the cause he will betray—
And thus at last he did.
Well, here’s a pretty go! here’s a Gagging Act, if ever there was a gagging!{61}
But I’m bound the members as silenced us, in doing it had plenty of magging.
They had better send us all off, they had, to the School for the Deaf and Dumb,
To unlarn us our mother tongues, and to make signs and be regularly mum.
But they can’t undo natur—as sure as ever the morning begins to peep,
Directly I open my eyes, I can’t help calling out Sweep
As natural as the sparrows among the chimbley-pots that say Cheep!
For my own part I find my suppress’d voice very uneasy,
And comparable to nothing but having your tissue stopt when you are sneezy.
Well, it’s all up with us! tho’ I suppose we mustn’t cry all up.
Here’s a precious merry Christmas, I’m blest if I can earn either bit or sup!
If crying Sweep, of mornings, is going beyond quietness’s border,
Them as pretends to be fond of silence oughtn’t to cry hear, hear, and order, order.
I wonder Mr. Sutton, as we’ve sut-on too, don’t sympathise with us
As a Speaker what don’t speak, and that’s exactly our own cus.
God help us if we don’t not cry, how are we to pursue our callings?
I’m sure we’re not half so bad as other businesses with their bawlings.
For instance, the general postmen, that at six o’clock go about ringing,
And wake up all the babbies that their mothers have just got to sleep with singing.
Greens oughtn’t to be cried no more than blacks—to do the unpartial job,
If they bring in a Sooty Bill, they ought to have brought in a Dusty Bob.
Is a dustman’s voice more sweet than ourn, when he comes a seeking arter the cinders,
Instead of a little boy like a blackbird in spring, singing merrily under your windows?
There’s the omnibus cads as plies in Cheapside, and keeps calling out Bank and City;{62}
Let his Worship, the Mayor, decide if our call of Sweep is not just as pretty.
I can’t see why the Jews should be let go about crying Old Close thro’ their hooky noses,
And Christian laws should be ten times more hard than the old stone laws of Moses.
Why isn’t the mouths of the muffin-men compell’d to be equally shut?
Why, because Parliament members eat muffins, but they never eat no sut.
Next year there won’t be any May-day at all, we shan’t have no heart to dance,
And Jack in the Green will go in black like mourning for our mischance;
If we live as long as May, that’s to say, through the hard winter and pinching weather,
For I don’t see how we’re to earn enough to keep body and soul together.
I only wish Mr. Wilberforce or some of them that pities the niggers,
Would take a peep down in our cellars, and look at our miserable starving figures,
A-sitting idle on our empty sacks, and all ready to eat each other,
And a brood of little ones crying for bread to a heart-breaking Father and Mother.
They haven’t a rag of clothes to mend, if their mothers had thread and needles,
But crawl naked about the cellars, poor things, like a swarm of common black beadles.
If they’d only inquired before passing the Act and taken a few such peeps,
I don’t think that any real gentleman would have set his face against sweeps.
Climbin’s an ancient respectable art, and if History’s of any vally,
Was recommended by Queen Elizabeth to the great Sir Walter Raleigh,
When he wrote on a pane of glass how I’d climb, if the way I only knew,
And she writ beneath, if your heart’s afeard, don’t venture up the flue.{63}
As for me I was always loyal, and respected all powers that are higher,
But how can I now say God save the King, if I an’t to be a Cryer?
There’s London milk, that’s one of the cries, even on Sunday the law allows,
But ought black sweeps, that are human beasts, to be worser off than black cows?
Do we go calling about, when it’s church time, like the noisy Billingsgate vermin,
And disturb the parson with “All alive O!” in the middle of a funeral sermon?
But the fish won’t keep, not the mackarel won’t, is the cry of the Parliament elves,
Every thing, except the sweeps I think, is to be allowed to keep themselves!
Lord help us! what’s to become of us if we mustn’t cry no more?
We shan’t do for black mutes to go a standing at a death’s door.
And we shan’t do to emigrate, no not even to the Hottentot nations,
For as time wears on, our black will wear off, and then think of our situations!
And we should not do, in lieu of black-a-moor footmen, to serve ladies of quality nimbly,
For when we’re drest in our sky-blue and silver, and large frills, all
clean and neat, and white silk stockings, if they pleased to
desire us to sweep the hearth, we couldn’t resist the chimbley.


I SAWE a Mayd sitte on a Bank,
Beguiled by Wooer fayne and fond;
And whiles His flatterynge Vowes She drank,
Her Nurselynge slipt within a Pond!
All Even Tide they Talkde and Kist,
For She was fayre and He was Kinde;
The Sunne went down before She wist
Another Sonne had sett behinde!{64}
With angrie Hands and frownynge Browe,
That deemed Her owne the Urchine’s Sinne,
She pluckt Him out, but he was nowe
Past being whipt for fallynge in.
She then begins to wayle the Ladde
With Shrikes that Echo answerde round—
O! foolishe Mayd to be soe sadde
The Momente that her Care was drownd!



IN Bunhill Row, some years ago,
There lived one Mrs. Cope;
A pious woman she was call’d,
As Pius as a Pope.
Not pious in its proper sense,
But chatt’ring like a bird
Of sin and grace—in such a case
Mag-piety’s the word.
Cries she, “The Reverend Mr. Trigg
This day a text will broach,
And much I long to hear him preach,
So, Betty, call a coach.”
A bargain though she wish’d to make,
Ere they began to jog—
“Now, Coachman, what d’ye take me for?”
Says Coachman, “for a hog.”
But Jarvis, when he set her down,
A second hog did lack—
Whereas she only offered him
One shilling and “a track.”
Said he, “There ain’t no tracks in Quaife,
You and your tracks be both—”

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



And, affidavit-like, he clench’d
Her shilling with an oath.
Said she, “I’ll have you fined for this,
And soon it shall be done,
I’ll have you up at Worship Street,
You wicked one, naught one!”
And sure enough at Worship Street
That Friday week they stood;
She said bad language he had used,
And thus she “made it good.”
“He said two shilling was his fare,
And wouldn’t take no less—
I said one shilling was enough,—
And he said C—U—S!
“And when I raised my eyes at that,
He swore again at them,
I said he was a wicked man,
And he said D—A—M.”
Now Jarvy’s turn was come to speak,
So he stroked down his hair,
“All what she says is false—cause why?
I’ll swear I never swear!
“There’s old Joe Hatch, the waterman,
Can tell you what I am;
I’m one of seven children, all
Brought up without a Dam!
“He’ll say from two year old and less
Since ever I were nust,
If ever I said C—U—S,
I wish I may be cust!
“At Sion Cottage I takes up,
And raining all the while,
To go to New Jerusalem,
A wery long two mile.{66}
“Well, when I axes for my fare,
She rows me in the street,
And uses words as is not fit
For coachmen to repeat!
“Says she,—I know where you will go,
You sinner! I know well,—
Your worship, it’s the P—I—T
Of E and double L;”
Now here his worship stopp’d the case—
Said he—I’ll fine you both!
And of the two—why Mrs. Cope’s
I think the biggest oath?”


“Some are born with a wooden spoon in their mouths, and some with a golden ladle.”—Goldsmith.

“Some are born with tin rings in their noses, and some with silver ones.”—Silversmith.

WHO ruined me ere I was born,
Sold every acre, grass or corn,
And left the next heir all forlorn?
My Grandfather.
Who said my mother was no nurse,
And physicked me and made me worse,
Till infancy became a curse?
My Grandfather.
Who left me in my seventh year,
A comfort to my mother dear,
And Mr. Pope, the overseer?
My Father.
Who let me starve, to buy her gin,
Till all my bones came through my skin,
Then called me “ugly little sin?”
My Mother.{67}
Who said my mother was a Turk,
And took me home—and made me work,
But managed half my meals to shirk?
My Aunt.
Who “of all earthly things” would boast,
“He hated other’s brats the most,”
And therefore made me feel my post?
My Uncle.
Who got in scrapes, an endless score,
And always laid them at my door,
Till many a bitter bang I bore?
My Cousin.
Who took me home when mother died,
Again with father to reside,
Black shoes, clean knives, run far and wide?
My Stepmother.
Who marred my stealthy urchin joys,
And when I played cried “What a noise!—
Girls always hector over boys—
My Sister.
Who used to share in what was mine,
Or took it all, did he incline,
‘Cause I was eight, and he was nine?
My Brother.
Who stroked my head, and said “Good lad,”
And gave me sixpence, “all he had;”
But at the stall the coin was bad?
My Godfather.
Who, gratis, shared my social glass,
But when misfortune came to pass,
Referr’d me to the pump? Alas!
My Friend.
Through all this weary world, in brief,
Who ever sympathised with grief,
Or shared my joy—my sole relief?



“Lo! hear the gentle lark!”—Shakespeare.

ONCE on a time—no matter where—
A lark took such a fancy to the air,
That though he often gazed beneath,
Watching the breezy down, or heath,
Yet very, very seldom he was found
To perch upon the ground.
Hour after hour,
Through ev’ry change of weather hard or soft,
Through sun and shade, and wind and show’r,
Still fluttering aloft;
In silence now, and now in song,
Up, up in cloudland all day long,
On weary wing, yet with unceasing flight,
Like to those Birds of Paradise, so rare,
Fabled to live, and love, and feed in air,
But never to alight.
It caused, of course, much speculation
Among the feather’d generation;
Who tried to guess the riddle that was in it—
The robin puzzled at it, and the wren,
The swallows, cock and hen,
The wagtail, and the linnet,
The yellowhammer, and the finch as well—
The sparrow ask’d the tit, who couldn’t tell,
The jay, the pie—but all were in the dark,
Till out of patience with the common doubt,
The Rook at last resolved to worm it out,
And thus accosted the mysterious Lark:—
“Friend, prithee, tell me why
You keep this constant hovering so high,
As if you had some castle in the air,
That you are always poising there,{69}
A speck against the sky—
Neglectful of each old familiar feature
Of Earth that nursed you in your callow state—
You think you’re only soaring at heaven’s gate,
Whereas you’re flying in the face of Nature!”
“Friend,” said the Lark, with melancholy tone,
And in each little eye a dewdrop shone,
“No creature of my kind was ever fonder
Of that dear spot of earth
Which gave it birth—
And I was nestled in the furrow yonder!
Sweet is the twinkle of the dewy heath,
And sweet that thymy down I watch beneath,
Saluted often with a living sonnet:
But Men, vile Men, have spread so thick a scurf
Of dirt and infamy about the Turf,
I do not like to settle on it!”


Alas! how Nobles of another race
Appointed to the bright and lofty way
Too willingly descend to haunt a place
Polluted by the deeds of Birds of Prey!


EVEN is come; and from the dark Park, hark,
The signal of the setting sun—one gun!
And six is sounding from the chime, prime time
To go and see the Drury-Lane Dane slain,—
Or hear Othello’s jealous doubt spout out,—
Or Macbeth raving at that shade-made blade,
Denying to his frantic clutch much touch;—
Or else to see Ducrow with wide stride ride
Four horses as no other man can span;
Or in the small Olympic Pit, sit split
Laughing at Liston, while you quiz his phiz.{70}
Anon Night comes, and with her wings brings things,
Such as, with his poetic tongue, Young sung;
The gas up-blazes with its bright white light,
And paralytic watchmen prowl, howl, growl,
About the streets and take up Pall-Mall Sal,
Who, hasting to her nightly jobs, robs fobs.
Now thieves to enter for your cash, smash, crash,
Past drowsy Charley, in a deep sleep, creep,
But frighten’d by Policeman B 3, flee,
And while they’re going, whisper low, “No go!”
Now puss, while folks are in their beds, treads leads,
And sleepers waking, grumble—“Drat that cat!”
Who in the gutter caterwauls, squalls, mauls
Some feline foe, and screams in shrill ill-will.
Now Bulls of Bashan, of a prize size, rise
In childish dreams, and with a roar gore poor
Georgy, or Charley, or Billy, willy-nilly;—
But Nursemaid in a nightmare rest, chest-press’d,
Dreameth of one of her old flames, James Games,
And that she hears—what faith is man’s—Ann’s banns
And his, from Reverend Mr. Rice, twice, thrice:
White ribbons flourish, and a stout shout out,
That upward goes, shows Rose knows those bows’ woes!


“I really take it very kind
This visit, Mrs. Skinner!
I have not seen you such an age—
(The wretch has come to dinner!)
“Your daughters, too, what loves of girls—
What heads for painters’ easels!
Come here and kiss the infant, dears,—
(And give it p’rhaps the measles!){71}
“Your charming boys I see are home
From Reverend Mr. Russel’s;
’Twas very kind to bring them both,—
(What boots for my new Brussels!)
“What! little Clara left at home?
Well, now, I call that shabby:
I should have loved to kiss her so,—
(A flabby, dabby babby!)
“And Mr. S., I hope he’s well;
Ah! though he lives so handy,
He never now drops in to sup,—
(The better for our brandy!)
“Come, take a seat—I long to hear
About Matilda’s marriage;
You’re come of course to spend the day!—
(Thank Heav’n, I hear the carriage!)
“What, must you go? next time I hope
You’ll give me longer measure;
Nay—I shall see you down the stairs—
(With most uncommon pleasure!)
“Good-bye! good-bye! remember all,
Next time you’ll take your dinners!
(Now, David, mind I’m not at home
In future to the Skinners!”)



“A Day after the Fair.”—Old Proverb.
JOHN DAY he was the biggest man
Of all the coachman-kind,
With back too broad to be conceived
By any narrow mind.{72}
The very horses knew his weight
When he was in the rear,
And wished his box a Christmas-box
To come but once a year.
Alas! against the shafts of love
What armour can prevail?
Soon Cupid sent an arrow through
His scarlet coat of mail.
The barmaid of the Crown he loved,
From whom he never ranged,
For tho’ he changed his horses there,
His love he never changed.
He thought her fairest of all fares,
So fondly love prefers;
And often, among twelve outsides,
Deemed no outside like hers.
One day as she was sitting down
Beside the porter-pump—
He came, and knelt with all his fat,
And made an offer plump.
Said she, my taste will never learn
To like so huge a man,
So I must beg you will come here
As little as you can.
But still he stoutly urged his suit,
With vows, and sighs, and tears,
Yet could not pierce her heart, altho’
He drove the Dart for years.
In vain he wooed, in vain he sued;
The maid was cold and proud,
And sent him off to Coventry,
While on his way to Stroud.{73}
He fretted all the way to Stroud,
And thence all back to town;
The course of love was never smooth,
So his went up and down.
At last her coldness made him pine
To merely bones and skin;
But still he loved like one resolved
To love through thick and thin.
Oh, Mary, view my wasted back,
And see my dwindled calf;
Tho’ I have never had a wife,
I’ve lost my better half.
Alas, in vain he still assail’d
Her heart withstood the dint;
Though he had carried sixteen stone
He could not move a flint.
Worn out, at last he made a vow
To break his being’s link;
For he was so reduced in size
At nothing he could shrink.
Now some will talk in water’s praise
And waste a deal of breath,
But John, tho’ he drank nothing else—
He drank himself to death.
The cruel maid that caused his love,
Found out the fatal close,
For, looking in the butt, she saw
The butt-end of his woes.
Some say his spirit haunts the Crown,
But that is only talk—
For after riding all his life,
His ghost objects to walk.



IT’S very hard!—and so it is,
To live in such a row,
And witness this that every Miss
But me, has got a Beau.
For Love goes calling up and down,
But here he seems to shun;
I’m sure he has been asked enough
To call at Number One!
I’m sick of all the double knocks
That come to Number Four!
At Number Three, I often see
A Lover at the door:
And one in blue, at Number Two,
Calls daily like a dun,—
It’s very hard they come so near,
And not to Number One!
Miss Bell I hear has got a dear
Exactly to her mind,
By sitting at the window pane
Without a bit of blind;
But I go in the balcony,
Which she has never done,
Yet arts that thrive at Number Five
Don’t take at Number One!
’Tis hard with plenty in the street,
And plenty passing by,—
There’s nice young men at Number Ten,
But only rather shy;
And Mrs. Smith across the way
Has got a grown-up son,
But la! he hardly seems to know
There is a Number One!
There’s Mr. Wick at Number Nine,
But he’s intent on pelf,{75}
And though he’s pious, will not love
His neighbour as himself.
At Number Seven there was a sale—
The goods had quite a run!
And here I’ve got my single lot
On hand at Number One!
My mother often sits at work
And talks of props and stays,
And what a comfort I shall be
In her declining days.
The very maids about the house
Have set me down a nun;
The sweethearts all belong to them
That call at Number One!
Once only when the flue took fire,
One Friday afternoon,
Young Mr. Long came kindly in
And told me not to swoon:
Why can’t he come again without
The Phœnix and the Sun!
We cannot always have a flue
On fire at Number One!
I am not old! I am not plain!
Nor awkward in my gait—
I am not crooked, like the bride
That went from Number Eight:
I’m sure white satin made her look
As brown as any bun—
But even beauty has no chance,
I think, at Number One!
At Number Six they say Miss Rose
Has slain a score of hearts,
And Cupid, for her sake, has been
Quite prodigal of darts.
The Imp they show with bended bow,
I wish he had a gun!{76}
But if he had, he’d never deign
To shoot with Number One.
It’s very hard, and so it is,
To live in such a row!
And here’s a ballad singer come
To aggravate my woe.
Oh take away your foolish song
And tones enough to stun—
There is “Nae luck about the house,”
I know, at Number One!


AMONGST the sights that Mrs. Bond
Enjoyed, yet grieved at more than others—
Were little ducklings in the pond,
Swimming about beside their mothers—
Small things like living water lilies,
But yellow as the daffo-dillies.
“It’s very hard,” she used to moan,
“That other people have their ducklings
To grace their waters—mine alone
Have never any pretty chucklings.”
For why!—each little yellow navy
Went down—all downy—to old Davy!
She had a lake—a pond I mean—
It’s wave was rather thick than pearly—
She had two ducks, their napes were green—
She had a drake, his tail was curly,—
Yet spite of drake, and ducks, and pond,
No little ducks had Mrs. Bond!
The birds were both the best of mothers—
The nests had eggs—the eggs had luck—
The infant D.’s came forth like others—
But there, alas! the matter stuck!
They might as well have all died addle,
As die when they began to paddle!{77}
For when, as native instinct taught her,
The mother set her brood afloat,
They sank ere long right under water,
Like any overloaded boat;
They were web-footed too to see,
As ducks and spiders ought to be!
No peccant humour in a gander
Brought havoc on her little folks,—
No poaching cook—a frying pander
To appetite,—destroyed their yolks,—
Beneath her very eyes, Od’ rot ’em!
They went like plummets to the bottom.
The thing was strange—a contradiction
It seemed of nature and her works!
For little ducks, beyond conviction,
Should float without the help of corks:
Great Johnson it bewildered him!
To hear of chicks that could not swim.
Poor Mrs. Bond! what could she do
But change the breed—and she tried divers,
Which dived as all seemed born to do;
No little ones were e’er survivors—
Like those that copy gems, I’m thinking,
They all were given to die-sinking!
In vain their downy coats were shorn:
They floundered still;—Batch after batch went!
The little fools seemed only born
And hatched for nothing but a hatchment!
Whene’er they launched—oh sight of wonder!
Like fires the water “got them under!”
No woman ever gave their lucks
A better chance than Mrs. Bond did;
At last quite out of heart and ducks,
She gave her pond up and desponded;
For Death among the water lilies,
Cried “Duc ad me,” to all her dillies.{78}
But though resolved to breed no more,
She brooded often on this riddle—
Alas! twas darker than before!
At last, about the summer’s middle,
What Johnson, Mrs. Bond, or none did,
To clear the matter up the sun did!
The thirsty Sirius, dog-like, drank
So deep his furious tongue to cool,
The shallow waters sank and sank,
And lo, from out the wasted pool,
Too hot to hold them any longer,
There crawled some eels as big as conger!
I wish all folks would look a bit,
In such a case below the surface;
But when the eels were caught and split
By Mrs. Bond, just think of her face,
In each inside at once to spy
A duckling turned to giblet pie!
The sight at once explained the case,
Making the Dame look rather silly,
The tenants of that Eely Place
Had found the way to Pick a dilly,
And so by under-water suction,
Had wrought the little ducks abduction.


I steamed from the Downs in the Nancy,
My jib how she smoked through the breeze.
She’s a vessel as tight to my fancy
As ever boil’d through the salt seas.
* * * * * *
When up the flue the sailor goes
And ventures on the pot,
The landsman, he no better knows,
But thinks hard is his lot.{79}
Bold Jack with smiles each danger meets,
Weighs anchor, lights the log;
Trims up the fire, picks out the slates,
And drinks his can of grog.
* * * * * *
Go patter to lubbers and swabs, do you see,
‘Bout danger, and fear, and the like;
But a Boulton and Watt and good Wall’s end give me;
And it an’t too a little I’ll strike.
Though the tempest our chimney smack smooth shall down smite,
And shiver each bundle of wood;
Clear the wreck, stir the fire, and stow everything tight,
And boiling a gallop we’ll scud.



HARK, the boatswain hoarsely bawling,
By shovel, tongues, and poker stand;
Down the scuttle quick be hauling,
Down your bellows, hand, boys, hand;
Now it freshens,—blow like blazes;
Now unto the coal-hole go;
Stir, boys, stir, don’t mind black faces,
Up your ashes nimbly throw.
Ply your bellows, raise the wind, boys,
See the valve is clear of course;
Let the paddles spin, don’t mind, boys,
Though the weather should be worse.
Fore and aft a proper draft get,
Oil the engines, see all clear;
Hands up, each a sack of coal get,
Man the boiler, cheer, lads, cheer.
Now the dreadful thunder’s roaring,
Peal on peal contending clash;
On our heads fierce rain falls pouring,{80}
In our eyes the paddles splash.
One wide water all around us,
All above one smoke-black sky:
Different deaths at once surround us;
Hark! what means that dreadful cry?
The funnel’s gone! cries ev’ry tongue out,
The engineer’s washed off the deck;
A leak beneath the coal-hole’s sprung out
Call all hands to clear the wreck.
Quick, some coal, some nubbly pieces;
Come, my hearts, be stout and bold;
Plumb the boiler, speed decreases,
Four feet water getting cold.
While o’er the ship wild waves are beating,
We for wives or children mourn;
Alas! from hence there’s no retreating;
Alas! to them there’s no return.
The fire is out—we’ve burst the bellows,
The tinder-box is swamped below;
Heaven have mercy on poor fellows,
For only that can serve us now!


“Double, single, and the rub.”—Hoyle.
“This, this is Solitude.”—Byron.


WELL, I confess, I did not guess
A simple marriage vow
Would make me find all womenkind
Such unkind women now!
They need not, sure, as distant be
As Javo or Japan,—
Yet every Miss reminds me this—
I’m not a single man!


Once they made choice of my bass voice
To share in each duett;

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



So well I danced, I somehow chanced
To stand in every set:
They now declare I cannot sing,
And dance on Bruin’s plan;
Me draw!—me paint!—me anything!—
I’m not a single man!


Once I was asked advice, and task’d
What works to buy or not,
And “would I read that passage out
I so admired in Scott?”
They then could bear to hear one read;
But if I now began,
How they would snub “My pretty page,”
I’m not a single man!


One used to stitch a collar then,
Another hemmed a frill;
I had more purses netted then
Than I could hope to fill.
I once could get a button on,
But now I never can—
My buttons then were Bachelor’s—
I’m not a single man!


Oh how they hated politics
Thrust on me by papa:
But now my chat—they all leave that
To entertain mamma.
Mamma, who praises her own self,
Instead of Jane or Ann,
And lays “her girls” upon the shelf—
I’m not a single man!


Ah me, how strange it is the change,
In parlour and in hall!{82}
They treat me so, if I but go
To make a morning call.
If they had hair in papers once,
Bolt up the stairs they ran;
They now sit still in dishabille—
I’m not a single man!


Miss Mary Bond was once so fond
Of Romans and of Greeks;
She daily sought my cabinet,
To study my antiques.
Well, now she doesn’t care a dump
For ancient pot or pan,
Her taste at once is modernised—
I’m not a single man!


My spouse is fond of homely life,
And all that sort of thing;
I go to balls without my wife,
And never wear a ring:
And yet each Miss to whom I come,
As strange as Genghis Khan,
Knows by some sign, I can’t divine,—
I’m not a single man!


Go where I will, I but intrude;
I’m left in crowded rooms,
Like Zimmerman on Solitude,
Or Hervey at his tombs.
From head to heel, they make me feel
Of quite another clan;
Compelled to own, though left alone,
I’m not a single man!


Miss Towne the toast, though she can boast
A nose of Roman line,{83}
Will turn up even that in scorn
Of compliments of mine:
She should have seen that I have been
Her sex’s partisan,
And really married all I could—
I’m not a single man!


’Tis hard to see how others fare,
Whilst I rejected stand,—
Will no one take my arm because
They cannot have my hand?
Miss Parry, that for some would go
A trip to Hindostan,
With me don’t care to mount a stair—
I’m not a single man!


Some change, of course, should be in force
But, surely, not so much—
There may be hands I may not squeeze
But must I never touch?—
Must I forbear to hand a chair
And not pick up a fan?
But I have been myself picked up—
I’m not a single man!


Others may hint a lady’s tint
Is purest red and white—
May say her eyes are like the skies,
So very blue and bright,—
I must not say that she has eyes;
Or if I so began,
I have my fears about my ears,—
I’m not a single man!


I must confess I did not guess
A simple marriage vow,
Would make me find all women-kind{84}
Such unkind women now;—
I might be hash’d to death, or smash’d
By Mr. Pickford’s van,
Without, I fear, a single tear.
I’m not a single man!



“I’ll be your second.”—Liston.
IN Middle Row, some years ago,
There lived one Mr. Brown;
And many folks considered him
The stoutest man in town.
But Brown and stout will both wear out,
One Friday he died hard,
And left a widow’d wife to mourn
At twenty pence a yard.
Now widow B. in two short months
Thought mourning quite a tax;
And wished, like Mr. Wilberforce,
To manumit her blacks.
With Mr. Street she soon was sweet;
The thing thus came about:
She asked him in at home, and then
At church he asked her out!
Assurance such as this the man
In ashes could not stand;
So like a Phœnix he rose up
Against the Hand in Hand.
One dreary night the angry sprite
Appeared before her view;
It came a little after one,
But she was after two{85}
“Oh Mrs. B., oh Mrs. B.!
Are these your sorrow’s deeds,
Already getting up a flame,
To burn your widow’s weeds?
“It’s not so long since I have left
For aye the mortal scene;
My memory—like Rogers’s,
Should still be bound in green!
“Yet if my face you still retrace
I almost have a doubt—
I’m like an old Forget-Me-Not,
With all the leaves torn out!
“To think that on that finger-joint,
Another pledge should cling;
Oh Bess! upon my very soul,
It struck like ‘Knock and Ring.’
“A ton of marble on my breast
Can’t hinder my return;
Your conduct, Ma’am, has set my blood
A-boiling in my urn!
“Remember, oh! remember how
The marriage rite did run,—
If ever we one flesh should be,
’Tis now—when I have none!
“And you, Sir—once a bosom friend—
Of perjured faith convict,
As ghostly toe can give no blow,
Consider you are kick’d.
“A hollow voice is all I have,
But this I tell you plain,
Marry come up!—you marry, Ma’am,
And I’ll come up again.”
More he had said, but chanticleer
The spritely shade did shock
With sudden crow, and off he went,
Like fowling-piece at cock!


RAT-TAT it went upon the lion’s chin,
“That hat, I know it!” cried the joyful girl:
“Summer’s it is, I know him by his knock,
Comers like him are welcome as the day!
Lizzy! go down and open the street-door,
Busy I am to any one but him.
Know him you must—he has been often here;
Show him up stairs, and tell him I’m alone.”
Quickly the maid went tripping down the stair;
Thickly the heart of Rose Matilda beat;
“Sure he has brought me tickets for the play—
Drury—or Covent Garden—darling man!—
Kemble will play—or Kean who makes the soul
Tremble; in Richard or the frenzied Moor—
Farren, the stay and prop of many a farce
Barren beside—or Liston, Laughter’s Child—
Kelly the natural, to witness whom
Jelly is nothing to the public’s jam—
Cooper, the sensible—and Walter Knowles
Super, in William Tell—now rightly told.
Better—perchance, from Andrews, brings a box,
Letter of boxes for the Italian stage—
Brocard! Donzelli! Taglioni! Paul!
No card,—thank Heaven—engages me to-night!
Feathers, of course, no turban, and no toque—
Weather’s against it, but I’ll go in curls.
Dearly I dote on white—my satin dress,
Merely one night—it won’t be much the worse—
Cupid—the New Ballet I long to see—
Stupid! why don’t she go and ope the door?”
Glisten’d her eye as the impatient girl
Listen’d, low bending o’er the topmost stair.
Vainly, alas! she listens and she bends,
Plainly she hears this question and reply:
“Axes your pardon, Sir, but what d’ye want?”
“Taxes,” says he, “and shall not call again!”{87}


OUR village, that’s to say not Miss Mitford’s village, but our village of Bullock Smithy,
Is come into by an avenue of trees, three oak pollards, two elders, and a withy;
And in the middle, there’s a green of about not exceeding an acre and a half;
It’s common to all, and fed off by nineteen cows, six ponies, three horses, five asses, two foals, seven pigs, and a calf!
Besides a pond in the middle, as is held by a similar sort of common law lease,
And contains twenty ducks, six drakes, three ganders, two dead dogs, four drown’d kittens, and twelve geese.
Of course the green’s cropt very close, and does famous for bowling when the little village boys play at cricket;
Only some horse, or pig, or cow, or great jackass is sure to come and stand right before the wicket.
There’s fifty-five private houses, let alone barns and workshops, and pig-sties, and poultry huts, and such-like sheds;
With plenty of public-houses—two Foxes, one Green Man, three Bunch of Grapes, one Crown, and six King’s Heads.
The Green Man is reckon’d the best, as the only one that for love or money can raise
A postilion, a blue jacket, two deplorable lame white horses, and a ramshackled “neat post-chaise.”
There’s one parish church for all the people, whatsoever may be their ranks in life or their degrees,
Except one very damp, small, dark, freezing-cold, little Methodist chapel of Ease;
And close by the church-yard, there’s a stone-mason’s yard, that when the time is seasonable
Will furnish with afflictions sore and marble urns and cherubims very low and reasonable.
There’s a cage, comfortable enough; I’ve been in it with Old Jack Jeffrey and Tom Pike;
For the Green Man next door will send you in ale, gin, or any thing else you like.
I can’t speak of the stocks, as nothing remains of them but the upright post;{88}
But the pound is kept in repairs for the sake of Cob’s horse, as is always there almost.
There’s a smithy of course, where that queer sort of a chap in his way, Old Joe Bradley,
Perpetually hammers and stammers, for he stutters and shoes horses very badly.
There’s a shop of all sorts, that sells every thing, kept by the widow of Mr. Task;
But when you go there it’s ten to one she’s out of every thing you ask.
You’ll know her house by the swarm of boys, like flies, about the old sugary cask.
There are six empty houses, and not so well paper’d inside as out,
For bill-stickers won’t beware, but sticks notices of sales and election placards all about.
That’s the Doctor’s with a green door, where the garden pots in the windows is seen;
A weakly monthly rose that don’t blow, and a dead geranium, and a tea-plant with five black leaves and one green.
As for hollyoaks at the cottage doors, and honeysuckles and jasmines, you may go and whistle;
But the Tailor’s front garden grow two cabbages, a dock, a ha’porth of pennyroyal, two dandelions, and a thistle.
There are three small orchards—Mr. Busby’s the schoolmaster’s is the chief—
With two pear-trees that don’t bear; one plum and an apple, that every year is stripp’d by a thief.
There’s another small day-school too, kept by the respectable Mrs. Gaby;
A select establishment, for six little boys and one big, and four little girls and a baby.
There’s a rectory, with pointed gables and strange old chimneys that never smokes,
For the rector don’t live on his living like other Christian sort of folks;
There’s a barber’s once a week well filled with rough black-bearded shock-headed churls,
And a window with two feminine men’s heads, and two masculine ladies in false curls;
There’s a butcher’s and a carpenter’s and a plumber’s and a small green-grocer’s, and a baker{89}
But he won’t bake on a Sunday, and there’s a sexton that’s a coal-merchant besides, and an undertaker;
And a toy-shop, but not a whole one, for a village can’t compare with the London shops;
One window sells drums, dolls, kites, carts, bats, Clout’s balls, and the other sells malt and hops.
And Mrs. Brown, in domestic economy not to be a bit behind her betters,
Lets her house to a milliner, a watchmaker, a rat-catcher, a cobbler, lives in it herself, and it’s the post-office for letters.
Now I’ve gone through all the village—ay, from end to end, save and except one more house,
But I haven’t come to that—and I hope I never shall—and that’s the Village Poor-House!


OF wedded bliss
Bards sing amiss,
I cannot make a song of it;
For I am small,
My wife is tall,
And that’s the short and long of it.
When we debate
It is my fate
To always have the wrong of it;
For I am small,
And she is tall,
And that’s the short and long of it!
And when I speak
My voice is weak,
But hers—she makes a gong of it!
For I am small,
And she is tall,
And that’s the short and long of it!
She has, in brief,
Command in Chief,{90}
And I’m but Aide-de-camp of it;
For I am small,
And she is tall,
And that’s the short and long of it!
She gives to me
The weakest tea,
And takes the whole Souchong of it;
For I am small,
And she is tall,
And that’s the short and long of it!
She’ll sometimes grip
My buggy whip,
And make me feel the thong of it;
For I am small
And she is tall,
And that’s the short and long of it!
Against my life
She’ll take a knife,
Or fork, and dart the prong of it;
For I am small,
And she is tall,
And that’s the short and long of it!
I sometimes think
I’ll take to drink,
And hector when I’m strong of it;
For I am small,
And she is tall,
And that’s the short and long of it!
O, if the bell
Would ring her knell,
I’d make a gay ding-dong of it;
For I am small,
And she is tall,
And that’s the short and long of it!

[Image unavailable.]

The Buoy at the Nore.

[Image unavailable.]

Son and Hair.



“Alone I did it!—Boy!”—Coriolanus.
I SAY, little Boy at the Nore,
Do you come from the small Isle of Man?
Why, your history a mystery must be,—
Come tell us as much as you can,
Little Boy at the Nore!
You live it seems wholly on water,
Which your Gambier calls living in clover;—
But how comes it, if that is the case,
You’re eternally half seas over,—
Little Boy at the Nore?
While you ride—while you dance—while you float—
Never mind your imperfect orthography;—
But give us as well as you can,
Your watery auto-biography,
Little Boy at the Nore!


I’m the tight little Boy at the Nore,
In a sort of sea negus I dwells;
Half and half ’twixt saltwater and Port,
I’m reckon’d the first of the swells—
I’m the Boy at the Nore!
I lives with my toes to the flounders,
And watches through long days and nights;
Yet, cruelly eager, men look—
To catch the first glimpse of my lights—
I’m the Boy at the Nore.
I never gets cold in the head,
So my life on salt water is sweet,—
I think I owes much of my health
To being well used to wet feet—
As the Boy at the Nore.{92}
There’s one thing, I’m never in debt:
Nay!—I liquidates more than I oughtor;[3]
So the man to beat Cits as goes by,
In keeping the head above water,
Is the Boy at the Nore.
I’ve seen a good deal of distress,
Lots of Breakers in Ocean’s Gazette;
They should do as I do—rise o’er all;
Aye, a good floating capital get,
Like the Boy at the Nore!
I’m a’ter the sailor’s own heart,
And cheers him, in deep water rolling;
And the friend of all friends to Jack Junk,
Ben Backstay, Tom Pipes, and Tom Bowling,
Is the Boy at the Nore!
Could I e’er but grow up, I’d be off
For a week to make love with my wheedles;
If the tight little boy at the Nore
Could but catch a nice girl at the Needles,
We’d have two at the Nore!
They thinks little of sizes on water,
On big waves the tiny one skulks,—
While the river has Men of War on it—
Yes—the Thames is oppressed with Great Hulks,
And the Boy’s at the Nore!
But I’ve done—for the water is heaving
Round my body, as though it would sink it!
And I’ve been so long pitching and tossing,
That sea-sick—you’d hardly now think it—
Is the Boy at the Nore!



“Oh flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified!”—Mercutio.


’Twas twelve o’clock by Chelsea chimes,
When all in hungry trim,
Good Mister Jupp sat down to sup
With wife, and Kate, and Jim.


Said he, “Upon this dainty cod
How bravely I shall sup,”—
When whiter than the table-cloth,
A GHOST came rising up!


“O, father dear, O, mother dear,
Dear Kate, and brother Jim,—
You know when some one went to sea,—
Don’t cry—but I am him!


“You hope some day with fond embrace
To greet your absent Jack,
But oh, I am come here to say
I’m never coming back!


“From Alexandria we set sail,
With corn, and oil, and figs,
But steering ‘too much Sow,’ we struck
Upon the Sow and Pigs!


“The ship we pump’d till we could see
Old England from the tops;
When down she went with all our hands,
Right in the Channel’s Chops.


“Just give a look in Norey’s chart,
The very place it tells;
I think it says twelve fathom deep,
Clay bottom, mixed with shells.


“Well, there we are till ‘hands aloft,’
We have at last a call;
The pug I had for brother Jim,
Kate’s parrot too, and all.


“But oh, my spirit cannot rest,
In Davy Jones’s sod,
Till I’ve appear’d to you and said,—
Don’t sup on that ‘ere Cod!


“You live on land, and little think
What passes in the sea;
Last Sunday week, at 2 P.M.
That Cod was picking me!


“Those oysters too, that look so plump,
And seem so nicely done,
They put my corpse in many shells,
Instead of only one.


“O, do not eat those oysters then,
And do not touch the shrimps;
When I was in my briny grave,
They suck’d my blood like imps!


“Don’t eat what brutes would never eat,
The brutes I used to pat,
They’ll know the smell they used to smell;
Just try the dog and cat!{95}


The Spirit fled—they wept his fate,
And cried, Alack, alack!
At last up started brother Jim,
“Let’s try if Jack was Jack!”


They call’d the Dog, they call’d the Cat,
And little Kitten too,
And down they put the Cod and sauce,
To see what brutes would do.


Old Tray lick’d all the oysters up,
Puss never stood at crimps,
But munch’d the Cod—and little Kit
Quite feasted on the shrimps!


The thing was odd, and minus Cod
And sauce, they stood like posts;
O, prudent folks, for fear of hoax,
Put no belief in Ghosts!


WHAT’S life but full of care and doubt,
With all its fine humanities,
With parasols we walk about,
Long pigtails and such vanities.
We plant pomegranate trees and things
And go in gardens sporting,
With toys and fans of peacocks’ wings,
To painted ladies courting.
We gather flowers of every hue,
And fish in boats for fishes,
Build summer-houses painted blue,—
But life’s as frail as dishes.{96}
Walking about their groves of trees,
Blue bridges and blue rivers,
How little thought them two Chinese
They’d both be smash’d to shivers.


THE March of Mind upon its mighty stilts,
(A spirit by no means to fasten mocks on,)
In travelling through Berks, Beds, Notts, and Wilts,
Hants—Bucks, Herts, Oxon,
Got up a thing our ancestors ne’er thought on,
A thing that, only in our proper youth,
We should have chuckled at—in sober truth,
A Conversazione at Hog’s Norton!
A place whose native dialect, somehow,
Has always by an adage been affronted,
And that it is all gutturals, is now
Taken for grunted.
Conceive the snoring of a greedy swine,
The slobbering of a hungry Ursine Sloth—
If you have ever heard such creature dine—
And—for Hog’s Norton, make a mix of both!—
O shades of Shakspeare! Chaucer! Spenser!
Milton! Pope! Gray! Warton!
O Colman! Kenny! Planche! Poole! Peake!
Pocock! Reynolds! Morton!
O Grey! Peel! Sadler! Wilberforce! Burdett!
Hume! Wilmot Horton!
Think of your prose and verse, and worse—delivered in
Hog’s Norton!—
The founder of Hog’s Norton Athenæum
Framed her society
With some variety{97}
From Mr. Roscoe’s Liverpool museum;
Not a mere pic-nic, for the mind’s repast,
But tempting to the solid knife-and-forker,
It held its sessions in the house that last
Had killed a porker.
It chanced one Friday,
One Farmer Grayley stuck a very big hog,
A perfect Gog or Magog of a pig-hog,
Which made of course a literary high day,—
Not that our Farmer was a man to go
With literary taste—so far from suiting ’em,
When he heard mention of Professor Crowe,
Or Lalla-Rookh, he always was for shooting ’em!
In fact in letters he was quite a log,
With him great Bacon
Was literally taken.
And Hogg—the Poet—nothing but a Hog!
As to all others on the list of Fame,
Although they were discuss’d and mention’d daily,
He only recognised one classic name,
And thought that she had hung herself—Miss Baillie!
To balance this, our Farmer’s only daughter
Had a great taste for the Castalian water—
A Wordsworth worshipper—a Southey wooer,—
(Though men that deal in water-colour cakes
May disbelieve the fact—yet nothing’s truer)
She got the bluer
The more she dipped and dabbled in the Lakes.
The secret truth is, Hope, the old deceiver,
At future Authorship was apt to hint,
Producing what some call the Type-us Fever,
Which means a burning to be seen in print.
Of learning’s laurels—Miss Joanna Baillie—
Of Mrs. Hemans—Mrs. Wilson—daily
Dreamt Anne Priscilla Isabella Grayley;
And Fancy hinting that she had the better
Of L.E.L. by one initial letter,
She thought the world would quite enraptur’d see

Love Lays and Lyrics


A P I G.”

Accordingly, with very great propriety,
She joined the H. N. B. and double S.,
That is,—Hog’s Norton Blue Stocking Society;
And saving when her Pa his pigs prohibited,
Her pork and poetry towards the mess.
This feast, we said, one Friday was the case,
When farmer Grayley—from Macbeth to quote—
Screwing his courage to the “sticking place,”
Stuck a large knife into a grunter’s throat;—
A kind of murder that the law’s rebuke
Seldom condemns by shake of its peruke,
Showing the little sympathy of big-wigs
With pig-wigs!
The swine—poor wretch!—with nobody to speak for it,
And beg its life, resolved to have a squeak for it;
So—like the fabled swan—died singing out,
And, thus, there issued from the farmer’s yard
A note that notified without a card,
An invitation to the evening rout.
And when the time came duly,—“At the close of
The day,” as Beattie has it, “when the ham—”
Bacon and pork were ready to dispose of,
And pettitoes and chit’lings too, to cram,—
Walked in the H. N. B. and double S.’s,
All in appropriate and swinish dresses,
For lo! it is a fact, and not a joke,
Although the Muse might fairly jest upon it,
They came—each “Pig-faced Lady,” in that bonnet
We call a poke.
The Members all assembled thus, a rare woman
At pork and poetry was chosen chairwoman;—
In fact, the bluest of the Blues, Miss Ikey,
Whose whole pronunciation was so piggy,
She always named the authoress of “Psyche”—
As Mrs. Tiggey!{99}
And now arose a question of some moment,—
What author for a lecture was the richer,
Bacon or Hogg? there were no votes for Beaumont,
But some for Flitcher;
While others, with a more sagacious reasoning,
Proposed another work,
And thought their pork
Would prove more relishing from Thomson’s Season-ing!
But practised in Shakspearian readings daily,—
O! Miss Macaulay! Shakspeare at Hog’s Norton!—
Miss Anne Priscilla Isabella Grayley
Selected him that evening to snort on.
In short, to make our story not a big tale,
Just fancy her exerting
Her talents, and converting
The Winter’s Tale to something like a pig-tale!
Her sister auditory
All sitting round, with grave and learned faces,
Were very plauditory,
Of course, and clapped her at the proper places.
Till fanned at once by fortune and the Muse,
She thought herself the blessedest of Blues.
But Happiness, alas! has blights of ill,
And Pleasure’s bubbles in the air explode;—
There is no travelling through life but still
The heart will meet with breakers on the road!
With that peculiar voice
Heard only from Hog’s Norton throats and noses,
Miss G., with Perdita, was making choice
Of buds and blossoms for her summer posies,
When coming to that line, where Proserpine
Lets fall her flowers from the wain of Dis;
Imagine this—
Uprose on his hind legs old Farmer Grayley,
Grunting this question for the club’s digestion,
“Do Dis’s Waggon go from the Ould Bäaley?”


IT was a brave and jolly wight,
His cheek was baked and brown,
For he had been in many climes
With captains of renown,
And fought with those who fought so well
At Nile and Camperdown.
His coat it was a soldier coat,
Of red with yellow faced,
But (merman-like) he look’d marine
All downward from the waist;
His trowsers were so wide and blue,
And quite in sailor taste!
He put the rummer to his lips,
And drank a jolly draught;
He raised the rummer many times—
And ever as he quaff’d,
The more he drank the more the ship
Seem’d pitching fore and aft!
The ship seem’d pitching fore and aft,
As in a heavy squall;
It gave a lurch and down he went,
Head-foremost in his fall!
Three times he did not rise, alas!
He never rose at all!
But down he went, right down at once
Like any stone he dived,
He could not see, or hear, or feel—
Of senses all deprived!
At last he gave a look around
To see where he arrived!
And all that he could see was green,
Sea-green on every hand!
And then he tried to sound beneath,
And all he felt was sand!
There he was fain to lie, for he
Could neither sit nor stand!{101}
And lo! above his head there bent
A strange and staring lass;
One hand was in her yellow hair,
The other held a glass;
A mermaid she must surely be
If ever mermaid was!
Her fish-like mouth was open’d wide,
Her eyes were blue and pale,
Her dress was of the ocean green,
When ruffled by a gale;
Thought he “beneath that petticoat
She hides a salmon-tail!”
She look’d as siren ought to look,
A sharp and bitter shrew,
To sing deceiving lullabies
For mariners to rue,—
But when he saw her lips apart,
It chill’d him through and through!
With either hand he stopp’d his ears
Against her evil cry;
Alas, alas, for all his care,
His doom it seem’d to die,
Her voice went ringing through his head
It was so sharp and high!
He thrust his fingers farther in
At each unwilling ear,
But still in very spite of all,
The words were plain and clear;
“I can’t stand here the whole day long,
To hold your glass of beer!”
With open’d mouth and open’d eyes,
Up rose the Sub-marine,
And gave a stare to find the sands
And deeps where he had been:
There was no siren with her glass
No waters ocean-green!
The wet deception from his eyes
Kept fading more and more,{102}
He only saw the bar-maid stand
With pouting lip before—
The small green parlour of the Ship,
And little sanded floor.



“A little learning is a dangerous thing.”—Pope.
O HEAVY day! O day of woe!
To misery a poster,
Why was I ever farrow’d—why
Not spitted for a roaster?
In this world, pigs, as well as men,
Must dance to fortune’s fiddlings,
But must I give the classics up,
For barley-meal and middlings?
Of what avail that I could spell
And read, just like my betters,
If I must come to this at last,
To litters, not to letters?
O, why are pigs made scholars of?
It baffles my discerning,
What griskens, fry, and chitterlings
Can have to do with learning.
Alas! my learning once drew cash,
But public fame’s unstable,
So I must turn a pig again,
And fatten for the table.
To leave my literary line
My eyes get red and leaky;
But Giblett doesn’t want me blue,
But red and white, and streaky.
Old Mullins used to cultivate
My learning like a gard’ner;{103}
But Giblett only thinks of lard,
And not of Doctor Lardner!
He does not care about my brain
The value of two coppers,
All that he thinks about my head
Is, how I’m off for choppers.
Of all my literary kin
A farewell must be taken,
Good-bye to the poetic Hogg!
The philosophic Bacon!
Day after day my lessons fade,
My intellect gets muddy;
A trough I have, and not a desk,
A sty—and not a study!
Another little month, and then
My progress ends like Bunyan’s;
The seven sages that I loved
Will be chopp’d up with onions!
Then over head and ears in brine
They’ll souse me, like a salmon,
My mathematics turn to brawn,
My logic into gammon.
My Hebrew will all retrograde,
Now I’m put up to fatten;
My Greek, it will all go to grease;
The Dogs will have my Latin!
Farewell to Oxford!—and to Bliss!
To Milman, Crowe, and Glossop,—
I now must be content with chats,
Instead of learned gossip!
Farewell to “Town!” farewell to “Gown!”
I’ve quite outgrown the latter,—
Instead of Trencher-cap my head
Will soon be in a platter!{104}
O why did I at Brazen-Nose
Rout up the roots of knowledge?
A butcher that can’t read will kill
A pig that’s been to college!
For sorrow I could stick myself,
But conscience is a clasher;
A thing that would be rash in man,
In me would be a rasher!
One thing I ask when I am dead,
And past the Stygian ditches—
And that is, let my schoolmaster
Have one of my two flitches:
’Twas he who taught my letters so
I ne’er mistook or miss’d ’em,
Simply by ringing at the nose,
According to Bell’s system.



MY mother bids me bind my heir,
But not the trade where I should bind;
To place a boy—the how and where—
It is the plague of parent-kind!


She does not hint the slightest plan,
Nor what indentures to endorse;
Whether to bind him to a man,—
Or, like Mazeppa, to a horse.


What line to choose of likely rise,
To something in the Stocks at last,—
“Fast bind, fast find,” the proverb cries,
I find I cannot bind so fast!


A Statesman James can never be;
A Tailor?—there I only learn
His chief concern is cloth, and he
Is always cutting his concern.


A Seedsman?—I’d not have him so;
A Grocer’s plum might disappoint;
A Butcher?—no, not that—although
I hear “the times are out of joint!”


Too many of all trades there be,
Like Pedlars, each has such a pack;
A merchant selling coals?—we see
The buyer send to cellar back.


A Hardware dealer?—that might please,
But if his trade’s foundation leans
On spikes and nails, he won’t have ease
When he retires upon his means.


A Soldier?—there he has not nerves;
A Sailor seldom lays up pelf:
A Baker?—no, a baker serves
His customer before himself.


Dresser of hair?—that’s not the sort;
A joiner jars with his desire—
A Churchman?—James is very short,
And cannot to a church aspire.


A Lawyer?—that’s a hardish term!
A Publisher might give him ease,
If he could into Longman’s firm
Just plunge at once “in medias Rees.{106}


A shop for pot, and pan, and cup,
Such brittle Stock I can’t advise;
A Builder running houses up,
Their gains are stories—maybe lies!


A Coppersmith I can’t endure—
Nor petty Usher A, B, C-ing;
A Publican? no father, sure,
Would be the author of his being!


A Paper-maker?—come he must
To rags before he sells a sheet—
A Miller?—all his toil is just
To make a meal—he does not eat.


A Currier?—that by favour goes—
A Chandler gives me great misgiving—
An Undertaker?—one of those
That do not hope to get their living!


Three Golden Balls?—I like them not;
An Auctioneer I never did—
The victim of a slavish lot,
Obliged to do as he is bid!


A Broker watching fall and rise
Of Stock?—I’d rather deal in stone,—
A Printer?—there his toils comprise
Another’s work beside his own.


A Cooper?—neither I nor Jem
Have any taste or turn for that,—
A fish-retailer?—but with him,
One part of trade is always flat.


A Painter?—long he would not live,—
An Artist’s a precarious craft—
In trade Apothecaries give,
But very seldom take, a draught.


A Glazier?—what if he should smash!
A Crispin he shall not be made—
A Grazier may be losing cash,
Although he drives a “roaring trade.”


Well, something must be done! to look
On all my little works around—
James is too big a boy, like book,
To leave upon the shelf unbound.


But what to do?—my temples ache
From evening’s dew till morning’s pearl,
What course to take my boy to make—
Oh could I make my boy—a girl!



“Clubs! Clubs! part ’em! part ’em! Clubs! Clubs!”—Ancient Cries of London.

OF all the modern schemes of Man,
That time has brought to bear,
A plague upon the wicked plan
That parts the wedded pair!
My female friends they all agree
They hardly know their hubs;
And heart and voice unite with me,
“We hate the name of Clubs!”
One selfish course the Wretches keep;
They come at morning chimes,{108}
To snatch a few short hours of sleep—
Rise—breakfast—read the Times—
Then take their hats, and post away,
Like Clerks or City scrubs,
And no one sees them all the day,—
They live, eat, drink, at Clubs!
On what they say, and what they do,
They close the Club-House gates;
But one may guess a speech or two,
Though shut from their debates:
“The Cook’s a hasher—nothing more—
The Children noisy grubs—
A Wife’s a quiz, and home’s a bore”—
Yes,—that’s the style at Clubs!
With Rundle, Dr. K., or Glasse,
And such Domestic Books,
They once put up—but now, alas!
It’s hey! for foreign cooks!
“When will you dine at home, my Dove?”
I say to Mister Stubbs,—
“When Cook can make an omelette, love,—
An omelette like the Clubs!”
Time was, their hearts were only placed
On snug domestic schemes,
The book for two—united taste,—
And such connubial dreams,—
Friends dropping in at close of day
To singles, doubles, rubs,—
A little music—then the tray—
And not a word of Clubs!
But former comforts they condemn;
French kickshaws they discuss,
They take their wine, the wine takes them,
And then they favour us:—
From some offence they can’t digest,
As cross as bears with cubs,
Or sleepy, dull, and queer, at best—
That’s how they come from Clubs!{109}
It’s very fine to say “Subscribe
To Andrews’—can’t you read?”
When Wives, the poor neglected tribe,
Complain how they proceed!
They’d better recommend at once
Philosophy and tubs,—
A woman need not be a dunce
To feel the wrong of Clubs.
A set of savage Goths and Picts,
Would seek us now and then—
They’re pretty pattern-Benedicts
To guide our single men!
Indeed my daughters both declare
“Their Beaux shall not be subs.
To White’s, or Black’s, or anywhere,—
They’ve seen enough of Clubs!”
They say, “without the marriage ties,
They can devote their hours
To catechize or botanize—
Shells, Sunday Schools, and flow’rs—
Or teach a Pretty Poll new words,
Tend Covent-Garden shrubs,
Nurse dogs and chirp to little birds—
As Wives do since the Clubs.”
Alas! for those departed days
Of social wedded life,
When married folks had married ways,
And lived like Man and Wife!
Oh! Wedlock then was pick’d by none—
As safe a lock as Chubb’s!
But couples, that should be as one,
Are now the Two of Clubs!
Of all the modern schemes of man
That time has brought to bear,
A plague upon the wicked plan
That parts the wedded pair!
My female friends they all allow{110}
They meet with slights, and snubs,
And say, “They have no husbands now,—
They’re married to their Clubs!”


“We stick at nine.”—Mrs. Battle.
“Thrice to thine
And thrice to mine,
And thrice again,
To make up nine.”
The Weird Sisters in Macbeth.
HOW oft in families intrudes
The demon of domestic feuds,
One liking this, one hating that,
Each snapping each, like dog and cat,
With divers bents and tastes perverse,
One’s bliss, in fact, another’s curse.
How seldom anything we see
Like our united family!
Miss Brown of chapels goes in search,
Her sister Susan likes the church;
One plays at cards, the other don’t;
One will be gay, the other won’t:
In pray’r and preaching one persists,
The other sneers at Methodists;
On Sundays ev’n they can’t agree
Like our united family.
There’s Mr. Bell, a Whig at heart,
His lady takes the Tories’ part,
While William, junior, nothing loth,
Spouts Radical against them both.
One likes the News, one takes the Age,
Another buys the unstamped page;
They all say I, and never we,
Like our united family.
Not so with us;—with equal zeal
We all support Sir Robert Peel;

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



Of Wellington our mouths are full,
We dote on Sundays on John Bull,
With Pa and Ma on selfsame side,
Our house has never to divide—
No opposition members be
In our united family.
Miss Pope her “Light Guitar” enjoys,
Her father “cannot bear the noise,”
Her mother’s charm’d with all her songs,
Her brother jangles with the tongs.
Thus discord out of music springs,
The most unnatural of things,
Unlike the genuine harmony
In our united family!
We all on vocal music dote;
To each belongs a tuneful throat,
And all prefer that Irish boon
Of melody—“The Young May Moon”—
By choice we all select the harp,
Nor is the voice of one too sharp,
Another flat—all in one key
Is our united family.
Miss Powell likes to draw and paint,
But then it would provoke a saint,
Her brother takes her sheep for pigs,
And says her trees are periwigs.
Pa praises all, black, blue, or brown;
And so does Ma—but upside down!
They cannot with the same eye see,
Like our united family.
Miss Patterson has been to France,
Her heart’s delight is in a dance;
The thing her brother cannot bear,
So she must practise with a chair.
Then at a waltz her mother winks;
But Pa says roundly what he thinks,
All dos-à-dos, not vis-à-vis,
Like our united family.{112}
We none of us that whirling love,
Which both our parents disapprove,
A hornpipe we delight in more,
Or graceful Minuet de la Cour—
A special favourite with Mamma,
Who used to dance it with Papa,
In this we still keep step, you see,
In our united family.
Then books—to bear the Cobb’s debates!
One worships Scott—another hates,
Monk Lewis Ann fights stoutly for,
And Jane likes “Bunyan’s Holy War.”
The father on Macculloch pores,
The mother says all books are bores;
But blue serene as heav’n are we,
In our united family.
We never wrangle to exalt
Scott, Banim, Bulwer, Hope, or Galt,
We care not whether Smith or Hook,
So that a novel be the book,
And in one point we all are fast,
Of novels we prefer the last,—
In that the very heads agree
Of our united family!
To turn to graver matters still,
How much we see of sad self-will!
Miss Scrope, with brilliant views in life,
Would be a poor lieutenant’s wife.
A lawyer has her Pa’s good word,
Her Ma has looked her out a Lord,
What would they not all give to be
Like our united family!
By one congenial taste allied,
Our dreams of bliss all coincide,
We’re all for solitudes and cots,
And love, if we may choose our lots.
As partner in the rural plan{113}
Each paints the same dear sort of man;
One heart alone there seems to be
In our united family.
One heart, one hope, one wish, one mind,—
One voice, one choice, all of a kind,—
And can there be a greater bliss—
A little heav’n on earth—than this?
The truth to whisper in your ear,
It must be told!—we are not near
The happiness that ought to be
In our united family!
Alas! ’tis our congenial taste
That lays our little pleasures waste—
We all delight, no doubt, to sing,
We all delight to touch the string,
But where’s the heart that nine may touch?
And nine “May Moons” are eight too much—
Just fancy nine, all in one key,
Of our united family!
The play—Oh how we love a play,
But half the bliss is shorn away;
On winter nights we venture nigh,
But think of houses in July!
Nine crowded in a private box,
Is apt to pick the stiffest locks—
Our curls would all fall out, though we
Are one united family!
In art the self-same line we walk,
We all are fond of heads in chalk,
We one and all our talent strain
Adelphi prizes to obtain;
Nine turban’d Turks are duly sent,
But can the royal Duke present
Nine silver palettes—no, not he—
To our united family.
Our eating shows the very thing,
We all prefer the liver-wing,{114}
Asparagus when scarce and thin,
And peas directly they come in,
The marrow-bone—if there be one—
The ears of hare when crisply done,
The rabbit’s brain—we all agree
In our united family.
In dress the same result is seen,
We all so doat on apple-green;
But nine in green would seem a school
Of charity to quizzing fool—
We cannot all indulge our will
With “that sweet silk on Ludgate Hill,”
No remnant can sufficient be
For our united family.
In reading hard is still our fate,
One cannot read o’erlooked by eight,
And nine “Disowned”—nine “Pioneers,”
Nine “Chaperons,” nine “Buccaneers,”
Nine “Maxwells,” nine “Tremaines,” and such,
Would dip into our means too much—
Three months are spent o’er volumes three,
In our united family.
Unhappy Muses! if the Nine
Above in doom with us combine,—
In vain we breathe the tender flame,
Our sentiments are all the same,
And nine complaints address’d to Hope
Exceed the editorial scope,
One in, and eight put out, must be
Of our united family!
But this is nought—of deadlier kind,
A ninefold woe remains behind.
O why were we so art and part?
So like in taste, so one in heart?
Nine cottages may be to let,
But here’s the thought to make us fret,
We cannot each add Frederick B.
To our united family.


“Here’s that will sack a city.”—Henry the IVth.
OF all the causes that induce mankind
To strike against themselves a mortal docket,
Two eminent above the rest we find—
To be in love, or to be out of pocket:
Both have made many melancholy martyrs,
But p’rhaps, of all the felonies de se,
By ponds, and pistols, razors, ropes, and garters,
Two-thirds have been through want of £. s. d.!
Thus happen’d it with Peter Bunce;
Both in the dumps and out of them at once,
From always drawing blanks in Fortune’s lottery,
At last, impatient of the light of day,
He made his mind up to return his clay
Back to the pottery.
Feigning a raging tooth that drove him mad,
From twenty divers druggists’ shops
He begg’d enough of laudanum by drops
T’ effect the fatal purpose that he had;
He drank them, died, and while old Charon ferried him,
The Coroner convened a dozen men,
Who found his death was phial-ent—and then
The Parish buried him!
Unwatch’d, unwept,
As commonly a Pauper sleeps, he slept;
There could not be a better opportunity
For bodies to steal a body so ill kept,
With all impunity.
In fact, when Night o’er human vice and folly
Had drawn her very necessary curtains,
Down came a fellow with a sack and spade,
Accustom’d many years to drive a trade,
With that Anatomy more Melancholy
Than Burton’s!
The Watchman in his box was dozing;
The Sexton drinking at the Cheshire Cheese;
No fear of any creature interposing,{116}
The human Jackal work’d away at ease:
He toss’d the mould to left and right,
The shabby coffin came in sight,
And soon it open’d to his double-knocks,—
When lo! the stiff’un that he thought to meet,
Starts sudden up, like Jacky-in-a-box,
Upon his seat!
Awaken’d from his trance,
For so the laudanum had wrought by chance,
Bunce stares up at the moon, next looking level,
He spies a shady Figure, tall and bony,
Then shudders out these words “Are—you—the—Devil?”
“The Devil a bit of him,” says Mike Mahoney,
“I’m only com’d here, hoping no affront,
To pick up honestly a little blunt—”
“Blunt!” echoes Bunce, with a hoarse croak of laughter,—
“Why, man, I turn’d life’s candle in the socket,
Without a rap in either pocket,
For want of that same blunt you’re looking after!”
“That’s true,” says Mike, “and many a pretty man
Has cut his stick upon your very plan,
Not worth a copper, him and all his trumps,
And yet he’s fetch’d a dacent lot of stuff,
Provided he was sound and fresh enough,
And dead as dumps.”
“I take,” quoth Bunce, with a hard wink, “the fact is,
You mean a subject for a surgeon’s practice,—
I hope the question is not out of reason,
But just suppose a lot of flesh and bone,
For instance, like my own,
What might it chance to fetch now, at this season?”
“Fetch, is it?” answers Mike, “why prices differ,—
But taking this same small bad job of ours,
I reckon, by the pow’rs!
I’ve lost ten pound by your not being stiffer!”
“Ten pounds!” Bunce echoes in a sort of flurry,
“Odd zounds!
Ten pounds,
How sweet it sounds,
Ten pounds!{117}
And on his feet upspringing in a hurry—
It seem’d the operation of a minute—
A little scuffle—then a whack—
And then he took the Body Snatcher’s sack
And poked him in it!
Such is this life!
A very pantomime for tricks and strife!
See Bunce, so lately in Death’s passive stock,
Invested, now as active as a griffin,
Walking—no ghost—in velveteens and smock,
To sell a stiff’un!
A flash of red, then one of blue,
At last, like lighthouse, came in view;
Bunce rang the nightbell; wiped his highlows muddy;
His errand told; the sack produced;
And by a sleepy boy was introduced
To Dr. Oddy, writing in his study
The bargain did not take long time to settle,
“Ten pounds,
Odd zounds!
How well it sounds,
Ten pounds,”
Chink’d into Bunce’s palm in solid metal.
With joy half-crazed,
It seem’d some trick of sense, some airy gammon,
He gazed and gazed,
At last, possess’d with the old lust of Mammon,
Thought he, “With what a very little trouble,
This little capital I now might double——”
Another scuffle of its usual brevity,—
And Doctor Oddy, in his suit of black,
Was finishing, within the sack,
His “Thoughts upon Longevity!”
The trick was done.    Without a doubt,
The sleepy boy let Bunce and burthen out;
Who coming to a lone convenient place,
The body stripp’d; hid all the clothes; and then,
Still favoured by the luck of evil men,
Found a new customer in Dr. Case.{118}
All more minute particulars to smother,
Let it suffice,
Nine guineas was the price
For which one doctor bought the other;
As once I heard a Preacher say in Guinea,
“You see how one black sin bring on anudder,
Like little nigger pickaninny,
A-riding pick-a-back upon him mudder!”
“Humph!” said the Doctor, with a smile sarcastic,
Seeming to trace
Some likeness in the face,
“So death at last has taken old Bombastic!”
But in the very middle of his joking,—
The subject, still unconscious of the scoff—
Seized all at once with a bad fit of choking,
He too was taken of!
Leaving a fragment “On the Hooping Cough.”
Satan still sending luck,
Another body found another buyer:
For ten pounds ten the bargain next was struck,
Dead doctors going higher.
“Here,” said the purchaser, with smile quite pleasant,
Taking a glimpse at his departed brother,
“Here’s half a guinea in the way of present—
Subjects are scarce, and when you get another,
Let me be first.”—Bunce took him at his word,
And suddenly his old atrocious trick did,
Sacking M.D. the third,
Ere he could furnish “Hints to the Afflicted.”
Flush’d with success,
Beyond all hope or guess,
His new dead robbery upon his back,
Bunce plotted—such high flights ambition takes,—
To treat the Faculty like ducks and drakes,
And sell them all ere they could utter “Quack!”
But fate opposed. According to the schools,
When men become insufferably bad,
The gods confer to drive them mad;
March hairs upon the heads of April fools!{119}
Tempted by the old demon avaricious,
Bunce traded on too far into the morning;
Till nods, and winks, and looks, and signs suspicious,
Ev’n words malicious,
Forced on him rather an unpleasant warning.
Glad was he to perceive, beside a wicket,
A porter, ornamented with a ticket,
Who did not seem to be at all too busy—
“Here, my good man,
Just show me, if you can,
A doctor’s—if you want to earn a tizzy!”
Away the porter marches,
And with grave face, obsequious precedes him,
Down crooked lanes, round corners, under arches;
At last, up an old-fashion’d staircase leads him,
Almost impervious to the morning ray,
Then shows a door—“There, that’s a doctor’s reckon’d,
A rare Top-Sawyer, let who will come second—
Good day.”
“I’m right,” thought Bunce, “as any trivet;
Another venture—and then up I give it!”
He rings—the door, just like a fairy portal,
Opens untouch’d by mortal——
He gropes his way into a dingy room,
And hears a voice come growling through the gloom,
“Well—eh?—Who? What?—Speak out at once!”
“I will,” says Bunce.
“I’ve got a sort of article to sell;
Medical gemmen knows me very well—”
But think Imagination how it shock’d her
To hear the voice roar out, “Death! Devil! d—n!
Confound the vagabond, he thinks I am
A rhubarb-and-magnesia Doctor!”
“No Doctor!” exclaim’d Bunce, and dropp’d his jaw,
But louder still the voice began to bellow,
“Yes,—yes,—odd zounds!—I am a Doctor, fellow,
At law!”
The word sufficed.—Of things Bunce feared the most
(Next to a ghost){120}
Was law,—or any of the legal corps,—
He dropp’d at once his load of flesh and bone,
And, caring for no body, save his own,
Bolted,—and lived securely till fourscore,
From never troubling Doctors any more!


THOU happy, happy elf!
(But stop,—first let me kiss away that tear)—
Thou tiny image of myself!
(My love, he’s poking peas into his ear!)
Thou merry, laughing sprite!
With spirits feather-light,
Untouch’d by sorrow, and unsoil’d by sin—
(Good heavn’s! the child is swallowing a pin!)
Thou little tricksy Puck!
With antic toys so funnily bestuck,
Light as the singing bird that wings the air—
(The door! the door! he’ll tumble down the stair!)
Thou darling of thy sire!
(Why, Jane! he’ll set his pinafore a-fire!)
Thou imp of mirth and joy!
In Love’s dear chain so strong and bright a link,
Thou idol of thy parents—(Drat the boy!
There goes my ink!)
Thou cherub—but of earth;
Fit playfellow for Fays, by moonlight pale,
In harmless sport and mirth,
(That dog will bite him if he pulls its tail!)
Thou human humming-bee, extracting hone
From ev’ry blossom in the world that blows,
Singing in Youth’s Elysium ever sunny,
(Another tumble!—that’s his precious nose!)
Thy father’s pride and hope!
(He’ll break the mirror with that skipping-rope!)

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



With pure heart newly stamp’d from Nature’s mint—
(Where did he learn that squint?)
Thou young domestic dove!
(He’ll have that jug off, with another shove!)
Dear nurseling of the hymeneal nest!
(Are those torn clothes his best?)
Little epitome of man!
(He’ll climb upon the table, that’s his plan!)
Touched with the beauteous tints of dawning life—
(He’s got a knife!)
Thou enviable being!
No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky foreseeing,
Play on, play on,
My elfin John!
Toss the light ball—bestride the stick—
(I knew so many cakes would make him sick!)
With fancies, buoyant as the thistle-down,
Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk,
With many a lamb-like frisk,
(He’s got the scissors, snipping at your gown!)
Thou pretty opening rose!
(Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose!)
Balmy and breathing music like the South,
(He really brings my heart into my mouth!)
Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star,—
(I wish that window had an iron bar!)
Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove,
(I tell you what, my love,
I cannot write unless he’s sent above!)


“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!”
Thus I heard a father cry,
“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
The brat will never shut an eye;
Hither come, some power divine!
Close his lids or open mine!{122}
“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!”
What the devil makes him cry?
“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!”
Still he stares—I wonder why?
Why are not the sons of earth
Blind, like puppies, from the birth?
“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!”
Thus I heard the father cry;
“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Mary, you must come and try!—
Hush, oh, hush, for mercy’s sake—
The more I sing, the more you wake!”
“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Fie, you little creature, fie;
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Is no poppy-syrup nigh?
Give him some, or give him all,
I am nodding to his fall!”
“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Two such nights, and I shall die!
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
He’ll be bruised, and so shall I,—
How can I from bedposts keep,
When I’m walking in my sleep?”
“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Sleep his very looks deny—
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Nature soon will stupify—
My nerves relax,—my eyes grow dim—
Who’s that fallen—me or him?”


COME, all conflagrating fellows,
Let us have a glorious rig:
Sing old Rose, and burn the bellows!
Burn me, but I’ll burn my wig!{123}
Christmas time is all before us:
Burn all puddings, north and south.
Burn the Turkey—Burn the Devil!
Burn snap-dragon! burn your mouth!
Burn the coals! they’re up at sixty!
Burn Burn’s Justice—burn Old Coke.
Burn the chestnuts! Burn the shovel!
Burn a fire, and burn the smoke!
Burn burnt almonds. Burn burnt brandy.
Let all burnings have a turn.
Burn Chabert, the Salamander,—
Burn the man that wouldn’t burn!
Burn the old year out, don’t ring it;
Burn the one that must begin.
Burn Lang Syne; and, whilst you’re burning,
Burn the burn he paidled in.
Burn the boxing! Burn the Beadle!
Burn the baker! Burn his man!
Burn the butcher—Burn the dustman,
Burn the sweeper, if you can!
Burn the Postman! burn the postage,
Burn the knocker—burn the bell!
Burn the folks that come for money!
Burn the bills—and burn ’em well.
Burn the Parish! Burn the rating!
Burn all taxes in a mass.
Burn the Paving! Burn the lightning!
Burn the burners! Burn the gas!
Burn all candles, white or yellow—
Burn for war, and not for peace;
Burn the Czar of all the Tallow!
Burn the King of all the Greece!
Burn all canters—burn in Smithfield.
Burn Tea-Total hum and bug.{124}
Burn his kettle, burn his water,
Burn his muffin, burn his mug!
Burn the breeks of meddling vicars,
Picking holes in Anna’s Urns!
Burn all Steers’s Opodeldoc,
Just for being good for burns.
Burn all Swindlers! Burn Asphaltum!
Burn the money-lenders down—
Burn all schemes that burn one’s fingers!
Burn the Cheapest House in town!
Burn all bores and boring topics;
Burn Brunel—aye, in his hole!
Burn all subjects that are Irish!
Burn the niggers black as coal!
Burn all Boz’s imitators!
Burn all tales without a head!
Burn a candle near the curtain!
Burn your Burns, and burn your bed!
Burn all wrongs that won’t be righted,
Poor poor Soup, and Spanish claims—
Burn that Bell, and burn his Vixen!
Burn all sorts of burning shames!
Burn the Whigs! and burn the Tories!
Burn all parties, great and small!
Burn that everlasting Poynder—
Burn his Suttees once for all!
Burn the fop that burns tobacco.
Burn a Critic that condemns.—
Burn Lucifer and all his matches!
Burn the fool that burns the Thames!
Burn all burning agitators—
Burn all torch-parading elves!
And oh! burn Parson Stephen’s speeches,
If they haven’t burnt themselves.



IF I were used to writing verse,
And had a Muse not so perverse,
But prompt at Fancy’s call to spring
And Carol like a bird in Spring;
Or like a Bee, in summer time,
That hums about a bed of thyme,
And gathers honey and delights
From ev’ry blossom where it ‘lights;
If I, alas! had such a Muse,
To touch the Reader or amuse,
And breathe the true poetic vein,
This page should not be fill’d in vain!
But ah! the power was never mine
To dig for gems in Fancy’s mine:
Or wander over land and main
To seek the Fairies’ old domain—
To watch Apollo while he climbs
His throne in oriental climes;
Or mark the “gradual dusky veil”
Drawn over Tempé’s tuneful vale,
In classic lays remembered long—
Such flights to bolder wings belong;
To Bards who on that glorious height,
Of sun and song, Parnassus hight,
Partake the fire divine that burns,       }
In Milton, Pope, and Scottish Burns,  }
Who sang his native braes and burns. }
For me a novice strange and new,
Who ne’er such inspiration knew,
But weave a verse with travail sore,
Ordain’d to creep and not to soar,
A few poor lines alone I write,
Fulfilling thus a friendly rite,
Not meant to meet the Critic’s eye,
For oh! to hope from such as I,
For anything that’s fit to read,
Were trusting to a broken reed!

1st of April, 1840. E. M. G.



LITTLE Children skip,
The rope so gaily gripping,
Tom and Harry,
Jane and Mary,
Kate, Diana,
Susan, Anna,
All are fond of skipping!
The Grasshoppers all skip,
The early dew-drop sipping,
Under, over,
Bent and clover,
Daisy, sorrel,
Without quarrel,
All are fond of skipping!
The tiny Fairies skip,
At midnight softly tripping;
Puck and Peri,
Never weary,
With an antic,
Quite romantic,
All are fond of skipping!
The little Boats they skip,
Beside the heavy Shipping,
While the squalling
Winds are calling,
Falling, rising,
Rising, falling,
All are fond of skipping!
The pale Diana skips,
The silver billows tipping,
With a dancing
Lustre glancing
To the motion
Of the ocean—
All are fond of skipping!{127}
The little Flounders skip,
When they feel the dripping;
Scorching, frying,
Jumping, trying
If there is not
Any shying,
All are fond of skipping!
The very Dogs they skip,
While threatened with a whipping,
Wheeling, prancing,
Learning dancing,
To a measure,
What a pleasure!
All are fond of skipping!
The little Fleas they skip,
And nightly come a nipping,
Lord and Lady,
Jude and Thady,
In the night
So dark and shady—
All are fond of skipping!
The Autumn Leaves they skip;
When blasts the trees are stripping;
Bounding, whirling,
Sweeping, twirling,
And in wanton
Mazes curling,
All are fond of skipping!
The Apparitions skip,
Some mortal grievance ripping,
Thorough many
A crack and cranny,
And the keyhole
Good as any—
Are all fond of skipping!
But oh! how Readers skip,
In heavy volumes dipping!{128}
* * * * * and * * * * *
* * * * and * * * * *
* * * and * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
All are fond of skipping!


WHOE’ER has gone thro’ London Street,
Has seen a Butcher gazing at his meat,
And how he keeps
Gloating upon a sheep’s
Or bullock’s personals, as if his own;
How he admires his halves,
And quarters—and his calves,
As if in truth upon his own legs grown;—
His fat! his suet!
His kidneys peeping elegantly thro’ it!
His thick flank!
And his thin!
His shank!
His shin!
Skin of his skin, and bone too of his bone!
With what an air
He stands aloof, across the thoroughfare
Gazing—and will not let a body by,
Tho’ buy! buy! buy! be constantly his cry;
Meanwhile his arms a-kimbo, and a pair
Of Rhodian legs, he revels in a stare
At his Joint Stock—for one may call it so,
Howbeit without a Co.
The dotage of self-love was never fonder
Than he of his brute bodies all a-row.
Narcissus in the wave did never ponder,
With love so strong,
On his “portrait charmant,”
As our vain butcher on his carcass yonder.{129}
Look at his sleek round skull!
How bright his cheek, how rubicund his nose is!
His visage seems to be
Ripe for beef-tea;
Of brutal juices the whole man is full—
In fact, fulfilling the metempsychosis,
The Butcher is already half a Bull.


“Sit down and fall to, said the Barmecide.”—Arabian Nights.
AT seven you just nick it,
Give card—get wine ticket;
Walk round through the Babel,
From table to table,
To find—a hard matter—
Your name in a platter;
Your wish was to sit by
Your friend Mr. Whitby,
But Steward’s assistance
Has placed you at distance,
And, thanks to arrangers,
You sit among strangers;
But too late for mending;
Twelve sticks come attending
A stick of a Chairman,
A little dark spare man,
With bald shining nob,
‘Mid Committee swell-mob;
In short, a short figure,
You thought the Duke bigger;
Then silence is wanted,
Non Nobis is chanted;
Then Chairman reads letter,
The Duke’s a regretter,
A promise to break it,
But chair he can’t take it;
Is grieved to be from us,
But sends friend Sir Thomas,{130}
And what is far better,
A cheque in the letter.
Hear! hear! and a clatter,
And there ends the matter.
Now soups come and fish in,
And C—— brings a dish in;
Then rages the battle,
Knives clatter, forks rattle,
Steel forks with black handles,
Under fifty wax candles;
Your soup-plate is soon full,
You sip just a spoonful.
Mr. Roe will be grateful
To send him a plateful;
And then comes the waiter,
“Must trouble for tater;”
And then you drink wine off
With somebody—nine off;
Bucellas made handy,
With Cape and bad Brandy,
Or East India Sherry,
That’s very hot—very.
You help Mr. Myrtle,
Then find your mock-turtle
Went off, while you lingered,
With waiter light-fingered.
To make up for gammon,
You order some salmon,
Which comes to your fauces
With boats without sauces.
You then make a cut on
Some Lamb big as Mutton;
And ask for some grass too,
But that you must pass too;
It served the first twenty,
But toast there is plenty.
Then, while lamb gets coldish,
A goose that is oldish—
At carving not clever—
You’re begged to dissever,{131}
And when you thus treat it,
Find no one will eat it.
So, hungry as glutton,
You turn to your mutton,
But—no sight for laughter—
The soup it’s gone after.
Mr. Green then is very
Disposed to take Sherry,
And then Mr. Nappy
Will feel very happy;
And then Mr. Conner
Requests the same honour;
Mr. Clarke, when at leisure,
Will really feel pleasure;
Then waiter leans over
To take off a cover
From fowls which all beg of,
A wing or a leg of;
And while they all peck bone,
You take to a neck bone,
But even your hunger
Declares for a younger.
A fresh plate you call for,
But vainly you bawl for:
Now taste disapproves it,
No waiter removes it.
Still hope, newly budding,
Relies on a pudding;
But critics each minute
Set fancy agin it—
“That’s queer Vermicelli.”
“I say, Vizetelly,
There’s glue in that jelly.”
“Tarts bad altogether;
That crust’s made of leather.”
“Some custard, friend Vesey?”
“No—batter made easy.”
“Some cheese, Mr. Foster?”
“—Don’t like single Glo’ster.”
Meanwhile, to top table,
Like fox in the fable,{132}
You see silver dishes,
With those little fishes,
The whitebait delicious
Borne past you officious;
And hear rather plainish
A sound that’s champaignish,
And glimpse certain bottles
Made long in the throttles:
And sniff—very pleasant!
Grouse, partridge, and pheasant,
And see mounds of ices
For patrons and vices,
Pine-apple, and bunches
Of grapes for sweet munches,
And fruits of all virtue
That really desert you.
You’ve nuts, but not crack ones,
Half empty, and black ones;
With oranges sallow—
They can’t be called yellow—
Some pippins well wrinkled,
And plums almond sprinkled,
Some rout cakes, and so on,
Then with business to go on;
Long speeches are stutter’d,
And toasts are well buttered,
While dames in the gallery,
All dressed in fallallery,
Look on at the mummery:
And listen to flummery.
Hip, hip! and huzzaing,
And singing and saying,
Glees, catches, orations,
And lists of donations.
Hush! a song, Mr. Tinney—
“Mr. Benbow, one guinea;
Mr. Frederick Manual,
One guinea—and annual.”
Song—Jockey and Jenny—
“Mr. Markham one guinea.”
“Have you all filled your glasses?{133}
Here’s a health to good lasses.
The subscription still skinny—
“Mr. Franklin—one guinea.”
Franklin looks like a ninny;
“Mr. Boreham, one guinea—
Mr. Blogg, Mr. Finney,
Mr. Tempest—one guinea,
Mr. Merrington—twenty,”
Rough music, in plenty.
Away toddles Chairman,
The little dark spare man,
Not sorry at ending,
With white sticks attending,
And some vain Tomnoddy
Votes in his own body
To fill the void seat up,
And get on his feet up,
To say, with voice squeaking,
“Unaccustomed to speaking,”
Which sends you off seeking
Your hat, number thirty—
No coach—very dirty.
So, hungry and fevered,
Wet-footed, spoilt beavered,
Eyes aching in socket,
Ten pounds out of pocket,
To Brook-street the Upper
You haste home to supper.


I would have walked many a mile to have communed with you; and, believe me, I will shortly pay thee another visit; but my friends, I fancy, wonder at my stay; so let me have the money immediately.’ Trulliber then put on a stern look, and cried out, ‘Thou dost not intend to rob me?’

* * * * * *

‘I would have thee know, friend,’ addressing himself to Adams, ‘I shall not learn my duty from such as thee. I know what charity is, better than to give to vagabonds.’Joseph Andrews.

I’m an extremely charitable man—no collar and long hair, though a little carrotty;
Demure, half-inclined to the unknown tongues, but I never gain’d anything by Charity.{134}
I got a little boy into the Foundling, but his unfortunate mother was traced and baited,
And the overseers found her out—and she found me out—and the child was affiliated.
Oh, Charity will come home to roost—
Like curses and chickens is Charity.
I once, near Whitehall’s very old wall, when ballads danced over the whole of it,
Put a bad five-shilling-piece into a beggar’s hat, but the old hat had got a hole in it;
And a little boy caught it in his little hat, and an officer’s eye seem’d to care for it,
As my bad crown piece went through his bad crown piece, and they took me up to Queen’s Square for it.
Oh, Charity, &c.
I let my very old (condemn’d) old house to a man, at a rent that was shockingly low,
So I found a roof for his ten motherless babes—all defunct and fatherless now;
For the plaguy one-sided party wall fell in, so did the roof, on son and daughter,
And twelve jurymen sat on eleven bodies, and brought in a very personal verdict of Manslaughter.
Oh, Charity, &c.
I pick’d up a young well-dress’d gentleman, who had fallen in a fit in St. Martin’s Court,
And charitably offer’d to see him home—for charity always seem’d to be my forte,
And I’ve had presents for seeing fallen gentlemen home, but this was a very unlucky job—
Do you know, he got my watch—my purse—and my handkerchief—for it was one of the swell mob.
Oh, Charity, &c.
Being four miles from Town, I stopt a horse that had run away with a man, when it seem’d that they must be dash’d to pieces,
Though several kind people were following him with all their might—but such following a horse his speed increases;{135}
I held the horse while he went to recruit his strength; and I meant to ride it home, of course;
But the crowd came up and took me up—for it turn’d out the man had run away with the horse.
Oh, Charity, &c.
I watch’d last month all the drovers and drivers about the suburbs, for it’s a positive fact,
That I think the utmost penalty ought always to be enforced against everybody under Mr. Martin’s act;
But I couldn’t catch one hit over the horns, or over the shins, or on the ears, or over the head;
And I caught a rheumatism from early wet hours, and got five weeks of ten swell’d fingers in bed.
Oh, Charity, &c.
Well, I’ve utterly done with Charity, though I used so to preach about its finest fount;
Charity may do for some that are more lucky, but I can’t turn it to any account—
It goes so the very reverse way—even if one chirrups it up with a dust of piety;
That henceforth let it be understood, I take my name entirely out of the List of Subscribers to the Humane Society.
Oh, Charity, &c.


GOOD morning, Mr. What-d’ye-call! Well! here’s another pretty job!
Lord help my Lady!—what a smash!—if you had only heard her sob!
It was all through Mr. Lambert: but for certain he was winey,
To think for to go to sit down on a table full of Chiney.
“Deuce take your stupid head!” says my Lady to his very face;
But politeness, you know, is nothing, when there’s Chiney in the case;
And if ever a woman was fond of Chiney to a passion
It’s my mistress, and all sorts of it, whether new or old fashion.{136}
Her brother’s a sea-captain, and brings her home shiploads—
Such bonzes, and such dragons, and nasty, squatting things like toads;
And great nidnoddin’ mandarins, with palsies in the head:
I declare I’ve often dreamt of them, and had nightmares in my bed.
But the frightfuller they are—lawk! she loves them all the better:
She’d have Old Nick himself made of Chiney if they’d let her.
Lawk-a-mercy! break her Chiney, and it’s breaking her very heart;
If I touch’d it, she would very soon say, “Mary, we must part.”
To be sure she is unlucky: only Friday comes Master Randall,
And breaks a broken spout, and fresh chips a tea-cup handle:
He’s a dear, sweet little child, but he will so finger and touch,
And that’s why my Lady doesn’t take to children much.
Well! there’s stupid Mr. Lambert, with his two great coat flaps,
Must go and sit down on the Dresden shepherdesses’ laps,
As if there was no such things as rosewood chairs in the room;
I couldn’t have made a greater sweep with the handle of the broom.
Mercy on us! how my mistress began to rave and tear!
Well! after all, there’s nothing like good ironstone ware for wear.
If ever I marry, that’s flat, I’m sure it won’t be John Dockery,—
I should be a wretched woman in a shop full of crockery.
I should never like to wipe it, though I love to be neat and tidy,
And afraid of mad bulls on market-days every Monday and Friday.
I’m very much mistook if Mr. Lambert’s will be a catch;
The breaking the Chiney will be the breaking-off of his own match.
Missis wouldn’t have an angel, if he was careless about Chiney;
She never forgives a chip, if it’s ever so small and tiny.
Lawk! I never saw a man in all my life in such a taking;
I could find in my heart to pity him for all his mischief-making.
To see him stand a-hammering and stammering, like a zany;
But what signifies apologies, if they won’t mend old Chaney!
If he sent her up whole crates full, from Wedgwood’s and Mr. Spode’s,
He couldn’t make amends for the crack’d mandarins and smash’d toads.{137}
Well! every one has their tastes, but, for my part, my own self,
I’d rather have the figures on my poor dear grandmother’s old shelf:
A nice pea-green poll-parrot, and two reapers with brown ears of corns,
And a shepherd with a crook after a lamb with two gilt horns,
And such a Jemmy Jessamy in top boots and sky-blue vest,
And a frill and flower’d waistcoat, with a fine bowpot at the breast.
God help her, poor old soul! I shall come into ’em at her death,
Though she’s a hearty woman for her years, except her shortness of breath.
Well! you think the things will mend—if they won’t, Lord mend us all!
My Lady will go in fits, and Mr. Lambert won’t need to call:
I’ll be bound in any money, if I had a guinea to give,
He won’t sit down again on Chiney the longest day he has to live.
Poor soul! I only hope it won’t forbid his bans of marriage,
Or he’d better have sat behind on the spikes of my Lady’s carriage.
But you’ll join ’em all of course, and stand poor Mr. Lambert’s friend;
I’ll look in twice a day, just to see, like, how they mend.
To be sure it is a sight that might draw tears from dogs and cats;
Here’s this pretty little pagoda, now, has lost four of its cocked hats:
Be particular with the pagoda: and then here’s this pretty bowl—
The Chinese Prince is making love to nothing because of this hole;
And here’s another Chinese man, with a face just like a doll—
Do stick his pigtail on again, and just mend his parasol.
But I needn’t tell you what to do; only do it out of hand,
And charge whatever you like to charge—my Lady won’t make a stand.
Well! good morning, Mr. What-d’ye-call; for it’s time our gossip ended:
And you know the proverb, the less as is said, the sooner the Chiney’s mended.


WHY, Lover, why
Such a water rover?
Would she love thee more
For coming half seas over?
Why, Lady, why,
So in love with dipping?
Must a lad of Greece
Come all over dripping?
Why, Cupid, why
Make the passage brighter?
Were not any boat
Better than a lighter?
Why, Madam, why
So intrusive standing?
Must thou be on the stair
When he’s on the landing?


Not “the posie of a ring.”
Shakespeare (all but the not).
I CAME to town a happy man:
I need not now dissemble
Why I return so sad at heart—
It’s all through Fanny Kemble:
Oh! when she threw her flowers away,
What urged the tragic slut on
To weave in such a wreath as that,
Ah me! a bachelor’s button.
None fought so hard, none fought so well,
As I to gain some token—
When all the pit rose up in arms,
And heads and hearts were broken;
“Huzza!” said I, “I’ll have a flower
As sure as my name’s Dutton;{139}”—
I made a snatch—I got a catch—
By Jove! a bachelor’s button!
I’ve lost my watch—my hat is smashed—
My clothes declare the racket;
I went there in a full dress coat,
And came home in a jacket.
My nose is swell’d—my eye is black—
My lip I’ve got a cut on!
Odds buds!—and what a bud to get—
The deuce! a bachelor’s button!
My chest’s in pain; I really fear
I’ve somewhat hurt my bellows,
By pokes and punches in the ribs
From those herb-strewing fellows.
I miss two teeth in my front row;
My corn has had a fut on;
And all this pain I’ve had to gain
This cursed bachelor’s button.
Had I but won a rose—a bud—
A pansy—or a daisy—
A periwinkle—anything—
But this—it drives me crazy!
My very sherry tastes like squills,
I can’t enjoy my mutton;
And when I sleep I dream of it—
Still—still——a bachelor’s button
My place is book’d per coach to-night,
But oh, my spirit trembles
To think how country friends will ask
Of Knowleses and of Kembles.
If they should breathe about the wreath,
When I go back to Sutton,
I shall not dare to show my share,
That all!—a bachelor’s button!
My luck in life was never good,
But this my fate will burden:
I ne’er shall like my farming more,—
I know I shan’t the Garden.{140}
The turnips all may have the fly,
The wheat may have the smut on,
I care not,—I’ve a blight at heart,—
Ah me!—a bachelor’s button!


‘It must be. So Plato?—Thou reasonest?—Well.”
School Cato.
IT’S very hard! oh, Dick, my boy,
It’s very hard one can’t enjoy
A little private spouting;
But sure as Lear or Hamlet lives,
Up comes our master, bounce! and gives
The tragic muse a routing!
Ay, there he comes again! be quick!
And hide the book—a playbook, Dick,
He must not set his eyes on!
It’s very hard, the churlish elf
Will never let one stab one’s self
Or take a bowl of p’ison!
It’s very hard, but when I want
To die—as Cato did—I can’t,
Or go non compos mentis
But up he comes, all fire and flame;—
No doubt he’d do the very same
With Kemble for a ‘prentice!
Oh, Dick! Oh, Dick! it was not so
Some half a dozen years ago!
Melpomene was no sneaker,
When, under Reverend Mister Poole,
Each little boy at Enfield School
Became an Enfield speaker!
No cruel master-tailor’s cane
Then thwarted the theatric vein;{141}
The tragic soil had tillage.
O dear dramatic days gone by!
You, Dick, were Richard then—and I
Play’d Hamlet to the village,
Or, as Macbeth, the dagger clutch’d,
Till all the servant-maids were touch’d—
Macbeth, I think, my pet is;
Lord, how we spouted Shakespeare’s works—
Dick, we had twenty little Burkes,
And fifty Master Betties!
Why, there was Julius Cæsar Dunn,
And Norval, Sandy Philip,—one
Of Elocution’s champions—
Genteelly taught by his mamma
To say, not father, but papa,
Kept sheep upon the Grampians!
Coriolanus Crumpe—and Fig
In Brutus, with brown-paper wig,
And Huggins great in Cato;
Only he broke so often off,
To have a fit of whooping-cough,
While reasoning with Plato.
And Zangra too,—but I shall weep,
If longer on this theme I keep,
And let remembrance loose, Dick;
Now forced to act—it’s very hard—
“Measure for Measure” with a yard—
You Richard, with a goose, Dick!
Zounds! Dick, it’s very odd our dads
Should send us there when we were lads
To learn to talk like Tullies;
And now, if one should just break out,
Perchance, into a little spout,
A stick about the skull is.
Why should stage-learning form a part
Of schooling for the tailor’s art?{142}
Alas! dramatic notes, Dick,
So well record the sad mistake
Of him who tried at once to make
Both Romeo and Coates, Dick!


YE Tourists and Travellers, bound to the Rhine,
Provided with passport, that requisite docket,
First listen to one little whisper of mine—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
Don’t wash or be shaved—go like hairy wild men,
Play dominoes, smoke, wear a cap, and smock-frock it,
But if you speak English, or look it, why then—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
You’ll sleep at great inns, in the smallest of beds,
Find charges as apt to mount up as a rocket,
With thirty per cent. as a tax on your heads,—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
You’ll see old Cologne,—not the sweetest of towns,—
Wherever you follow your nose you will shock it;
And you’ll pay your three dollars to look at three crowns,—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
You’ll count seven Mountains, and see Roland’s Eck,
Hear legends veracious as any by Crockett;
But oh! to the tone of romance what a check,—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
Old Castles you’ll see on the vine-covered hill,—
Fine ruins to rivet the eye in its socket—
Once haunts of Baronial Banditti, and still—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
You’ll stop at Coblenz, with its beautiful views,
But make no long stay with your money to stock it,{143}
Where Jews are all Germans, and Germans all Jews,—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!—
A Fortress you’ll see, which, as people report,
Can never be captured, save famine should block it—
Ascend Ehrenbreitstein—but that’s not their forte,—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
You’ll see an old man who’ll let off an old gun,
And Lurley, with her hurly-burly, will mock it;
But think that the words of the echo thus run,—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
You’ll gaze on the Rheingau, the soil of the Vine!
Of course you will freely Moselle it and Hock it—
P’raps purchase some pieces of Humbugheim wine—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
Perchance you will take a frisk off to the Baths—
Where some to their heads hold a pistol and cock it;
But still mind the warning, wherever your paths—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
And Friendships you’ll swear, most eternal of pacts,
Change rings, and give hair to be put in a locket;
But still, in the most sentimental of acts—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!
In short, if you visit that stream or its shore,
Still keep at your elbow one caution to knock it,
And where Schinderhannes was Robber of yore,—
Take care of your pocket!—take care of your pocket!


WELL, the country’s a pleasant place, sure enough, for people that’s country born,
And useful, no doubt, in a natural way, for growing our grass and our corn.{144}
It was kindly meant of my cousin Giles, to write and invite me down.
Tho’ as yet all I’ve seen of a pastoral life only makes me more partial to town.
At first I thought I was really come down into all sorts of rural bliss,
For Porkington Place, with its cows and its pigs, and its poultry, looks not much amiss;
There’s something about a dairy farm, with its different kinds of live stock,
That puts one in mind of Paradise, and Adam, and his innocent flock;
But somehow the good old Elysium fields have not been well handed down,
And as yet I have found no fields to prefer to dear Leicester Fields up in town.
To be sure it is pleasant to walk in the meads, and so I should like for miles,
If it wasn’t for clodpoles of carpenters that put up such crooked stiles;
For the bars jut out, and you must jut out, till you’re almost broken in two,
If you clamber you’re certain sure of a fall, and you stick if you try to creep through.
Of course, in the end, one learns how to climb without constant tumbles-down,
But still as to walking so stylishly, it’s pleasanter done about town.
There’s a way, I know, to avoid the stiles, and that’s by a walk in a lane,
And I did find a very nice shady one, but I never dared go again;
For who should I meet but a rampaging bull, that wouldn’t be kept in the pound,
A trying to toss the whole world at once, by sticking his horns in the ground?
And that, by-the-bye, is another thing, that pulls rural pleasures down,
Ev’ry day in the country is cattle-day, and there’s only two up in town.{145}
Then I’ve rose with the sun, to go brushing away at the first early pearly dew,
And to meet Aurory, or whatever’s her name, and I always got wetted through;
My shoes are like sops, and I caught a bad cold, and a nice draggle-tail to my gown,
That’s not the way that we bathe our feet, or wear our pearls, up in town!
As for picking flowers, I have tried at a hedge, sweet eglantine roses to snatch,
But, mercy on us! how nettles will sting, and how the long brambles do scratch;
Beside hitching my hat on a nasty thorn that tore all the bows from the crown,
One may walk long enough without hats branching off, or losing one’s bows about town.
But worse than that, in a long rural walk, suppose that it blows up for rain,
And all at once you discover yourself in a real St. Swithin’s Lane;
And while you’re running all duck’d and drown’d, and pelted with sixpenny drops,
“Fine weather,” you hear the farmers say; “a nice growing shower for the crops!”
But who’s to crop me another new hat, or grow me another new gown?
For you can’t take a shilling fare with a plough as you do with the hackneys in town.
Then my nevys too, they must drag me off to go with them gathering nuts,
And we always set out by the longest way and return by the shortest cuts.
Short cuts, indeed! But it’s nuts to them, to get a poor lustyish aunt
To scramble through gaps, or jump over a ditch, when they’re morally certain she can’t,—
For whenever I get in some awkward scrape, and it’s almost daily the case,
Tho’ they don’t laugh out, the mischievous brats, I see the “hooray!” in their face.{146}
There’s the other day, for my sight is short, and I saw what was green beyond,
And thought it was all terry firmer and grass, till I walked in the duckweed pond:
Or perhaps when I’ve pully-hauled up a bank they see me come launching down,
As none but a stout London female can do as is come a first time out of town.
Then how sweet, some say, on a mossy bank a verdurous seat to find,
But for my part I always found it a joy that brought a repentance behind;
For the juicy grass with its nasty green has stained a whole breadth of my gown—
And when gowns are dyed, I needn’t say, it’s much better done up in town.
As for country fare, the first morning I came I heard such a shrill piece of work!
And ever since—and it’s ten days ago—we’ve lived upon nothing but pork;
One Sunday except, and then I turn’d sick, a plague take all countrified cooks!
Why didn’t they tell me, before I had dined, they made pigeon pies of the rooks?
Then the gooseberry wine, tho’ it’s pleasant when up, it doesn’t agree when it’s down,
But it served me right, like a gooseberry, fool to look for champagne out of town?
To be sure cousin G. meant it all for the best when he started this pastoral plan,
And his wife is a worthy domestical soul and she teaches me all that she can,
Such as making of cheese, and curing of hams, but I’m sure that I never shall learn,
And I’ve fetch’d more back-ache than butter as yet by chumping away at the churn;
But in making hay, tho’ it’s tanning work, I found it more easy to make,
But it tries one’s legs, and no great relief when you’re tired to sit down on the rake.{147}
I’d a country dance, too, at harvest home, with a regular country clown,
But, Lord! they don’t hug one round the waist and give one such smacks in town:
Then I’ve tried to make friends with the birds and the beasts, but they take to such curious rigs,
I’m always at odds with the turkey-cock, and I can’t even please the pigs.
The very hens pick holes in my hand when I grope for the new-laid eggs,
And the gander comes hissing out of the pond on purpose to flap at my legs.
I’ve been bump’d in a ditch by the cow without horns, and the old sow trampled me down,
The beasts are as vicious as any wild beasts—but they’re kept in cages in town!
Another thing is the nasty dogs—thro’ the village I hardly can stir
Since giving a bumpkin a pint of beer just to call off a barking cur;
And now you would swear all the dogs in the place were set on to hunt me down,
But neither the brutes nor the people I think are as civilly bred as in town.
Last night about twelve I was scared broad awake, and all in a tremble of fright,
But instead of a family murder it proved an owl, that flies screeching at night.
Then there’s plenty of ricks and stalks all about, and I can’t help dreaming of Swing—
In short, I think that a pastoral life is not the most happiest thing;
For, besides all the troubles I’ve mentioned before, as endured for rurality’s sake,
I’ve been stung by the bees, and I’ve set among ants, and once—ugh! I trod on a snake!
And as to mosquitoes, they tortured me so, for I’ve got a particular skin,
I do think it’s the gnats coming out of the ponds, that drives the poor suicides in!
And after all an’t there new-laid eggs to be had upon Holborn Hill?{148}
And dairy-fed pork in Broad St. Giles, and fresh butter wherever you will?
And a covered cart that brings Cottage Bread quite rustical-like and brown?
So one isn’t so very uncountrified in the very heart of the town.
Howsomever my mind’s made up, and although I’m sure cousin Giles will be vext,
I mean to book me an inside place up to town upon Saturday next,
And if nothing happens, soon after ten, I shall be at the Old Bell and Crown,
And perhaps I may come to the country again, when London is all burnt down.



“Whatever is, is right.”—Pope.
THERE once was a Doctor,
(No foe to the proctor,)
A physic concocter,
Whose dose was so pat,
However it acted,
One speech it extracted,—
“Yes, yes,” said the doctor,
“I meant it for that!”
And first, all “unaisy,”
Like woman that’s crazy,
In flies Mistress Casey,
“Do come to poor Pat
The blood’s running faster!
He’s torn off the plaster—”
“Yes, yes,” said the Doctor,
“I meant it for that!”
Anon, with an antic,
Quite strange and romantic,
A woman comes frantic{149}
“What could you be at?
My darling dear Aleck,
You’ve sent him oxalic!”
“Yes, yes,” said the Doctor,
“I meant it for that!”
Then in comes another,
Dispatch’d by his mother,
A blubbering brother,
Who gives a rat-tat—
“Oh, poor little sister
Has lick’d off a blister!”
“Yes, yes,” said the Doctor,
“I meant it for that!”
Now home comes the flunkey,
His own powder-monkey,
But dull as a donkey—
With basket and that—
“The draught for the Squire, Sir,
He chuck’d in the fire, Sir—”
“Yes, yes,” said the Doctor,
“I meant it for that!”
The next is the pompous
Head Beadle, old Bumpus—
“Lord! here is a rumpus:
That pauper, Old Nat,
In some drunken notion
Has drunk up his lotion—”
“Yes, yes,” said the Doctor,
“I meant it for that!”
At last comes a servant,
In grief very fervent:
“Alas! Doctor Derwent,
Poor Master is flat!
He’s drawn his last breath, Sir—
That dose was his death, Sir.”
“Yes, yes,” said the Doctor,
“I meant it for that!{150}


——“I am Sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips let no dog bark.”
Merchant of Venice.

“If thou wert born a Dog, remain so; but if thou wert born a Man, resume thy former shape.”—Arabian Nights.

A POODLE, Judge-like, with emphatic paw,
Dogmatically laying down the law,—
A batch of canine Counsel round the table,
Keen-eyed, and sharp of nose, and long of jaw,
At sight, at scent, at giving tongue, right able:
O, Edwin Landseer, Esquire, and R.A.,
Thou great Pictorial Æsop, say,
What is the moral of this painted fable?
O, say, accomplished artist!
Was it thy purpose, by a scene so quizzical,
To read a wholesome lesson to the Chartist,
So over partial to the means called Physical,
Sticks, staves, and swords, and guns, the tools of treason?
To show, illustrating the better course,
The very Brutes abandoning Brute Force,
The worry and the fight,
The bark and bite,
In which, says Doctor Watts, the dogs delight,
And lending shaggy ears to Law and Reason,
As uttered in that Court of high antiquity
Where sits the Chancellor, supreme as Pope,
But works—so let us hope—
In equity, not iniquity?
Or was it but a speculation
On transmigration,
How certain of our most distinguished Daniels,
Interpreters of Law’s bewildering book,
Would look
Transformed to mastiffs, setters, hounds, and spaniels
(As Brahmins in their Hindoo code advance)
With that great lawyer of the Upper House
Who rules all suits by equitable nous,
Become—like vile Armina’s spouse{151}
A Dog, called Chance?[4]
Methinks, indeed, I recognise
In those deep-set and meditative eyes
Engaged in mental puzzle,
And that portentous muzzle,
A celebrated judge, too prone to tarry
To hesitate on devious ins and outs,
And, on preceding doubts, to build re-doubts
That regiments could not carry—
Prolonging even Law’s delays, and still
Putting a skid upon the wheel up-hill,
Meanwhile the weary and desponding client
Seem’d—in the agonies of indecision—
In Doubting Castle, with that dreadful Giant
Described in Bunyan’s Vision!
So slow, indeed, was justice in its ways,
Beset by more than customary clogs,
Going to law in those expensive days
Was much the same as going to the Dogs!
But possibly I err,
And that sagacious and judicial creature,
So Chancellor-like in feature,
With ears so wig-like, and a cap of fur,
Looking as grave, responsible, and sage,
As if he had the guardianship, in fact,
Of all poor dogs, or crackt,
And puppies under age—
It may be that the Creature was not meant
Any especial Lord to represent,
Eldon or Erskine, Cottenham or Thurlow,
Or Brougham (more like him whose potent jaw
Is holding forth the letter of the law),
Or Lyndhurst, after the vacation’s furlough,
Presently sitting in the House of Peers,
On wool he sometimes wishes in his ears,
When touching Corn Laws, Taxes, or Tithe-piggery,
He hears a fierce attack,
And, sitting on his sack,
Listens in his great wig to greater Whiggery!{152}
So, possibly, those others,
In coats so various, or sleek, or rough,
Aim not at any of the legal brothers,
Who wear the silken robe, or gown of stuff.
Yet who that ever heard or saw
The Counsel sitting in that solemn Court,
Who, having passed the Bar, are safe in port,
Or those great Sergeants, learned in the Law,—
Who but must trace a feature now and then
Of those forensic men,
As good at finding heirs as any harrier,
Renown’d like greyhounds for long tales—indeed,
At worrying the ear as apt as terriers,—
Good at conveyance as the hairy carriers
That bear our gloves, umbrellas, hats, and sticks,
Books, baskets, bones, or bricks,
In Deeds of Trust as sure as Tray the trusty,—
Acute at sniffing flaws on legal grounds,—
And lastly—well the catalogue it closes!—
Still following their predecessors’ noses,
Through ways however dull or dusty,
As fond of hunting precedents, as hounds
Of running after foxes more than musty.
However slow or fast,
Full of urbanity, or supercilious,
In temper wild, serene, or atrabilious,
Fluent of tongue, or prone to legal saw,
The Dogs have got a Chancellor, at last,
For Laying down the Law!
And never may the canine race regret it,
With whinings and repinings loud or deep,—
Ragged in coat, and shortened in their keep,
Worried by day, and troubled in their sleep,
With cares that prey upon the heart and fret it—
As human suitors have had cause to weep—
For what is Law, unless poor Dogs can get it


“No doubt the pleasure is as great,
Of being cheated as to cheat.”—Hudibras.
THE history of human-kind to trace,
Since Eve—the first of dupes—our doom unriddled,
A certain portion of the human race
Has certainly a taste for being diddled.
Witness the famous Mississippi dreams!
A rage that time seems only to redouble—
The Banks, Joint-Stocks, and all the flimsy schemes,
For rolling in Pactolian streams,
That cost our modern rogues so little trouble.
No matter what,—to pasture cows on stubble,
To twist sea-sand into a solid rope,
To make French bricks and fancy bread of rubble,
Or light with gas the whole celestial cope—
Only propose to blow a bubble,
And Lord! what hundreds will subscribe for soap!
Soap!—it reminds me of a little tale,
Tho’ not a pig’s, the hawbuck’s glory,
When rustic games and merriment prevail—
But here’s my story:
Once on a time—no matter when—
A knot of very charitable men
Set up a Philanthropical Society,
Professing on a certain plan,
To benefit the race of man,
And in particular that dark variety,
Which some suppose inferior—as in vermin,
The sable is to ermine,
As smut to flour, as coal to alabaster,
As crows to swans, as soot to driven snow,
As blacking, or as ink to “milk below,”
Or yet a better simile, to show,
As ragman’s dolls to images in plaster!
However, as is usual in our city,
They had a sort of managing Committee{154}
A board of grave responsible Directors—
A Secretary, good at pen and ink—
A Treasurer, of course, to keep the chink,
And quite an army of collectors!
Not merely male, but female duns,
Young, old, and middle-aged—of all degrees—
With many of those persevering ones,
Who mite by mite would beg a cheese!
And what might be their aim?
To rescue Afric’s sable sons from fetters—
To save their bodies from the burning shame
Of branding with hot letters—
Their shoulders from the cowhide’s bloody strokes,
Their necks from iron yokes?
To end or mitigate the ills of slavery,
The Planter’s avarice, the Driver’s knavery?
To school the heathen Negroes and enlighten ’em,
To polish up and brighten ’em,
And make them worthy of eternal bliss?
Why, no—the simple end and aim was this—
Reading a well-known proverb much amiss—
To wash and whiten ’em!
They look’d so ugly in their sable hides:
So dark, so dingy, like a grubby lot
Of sooty sweeps, or colliers, and besides,
However the poor elves
Might wash themselves,
Nobody knew if they were clean or not—
On Nature’s fairness they were quite a blot!
Not to forget more serious complaints
That even while they join’d in pious hymn,
So black they were and grim,
In face and limb,
They look’d like Devils, though they sang like Saints!
The thing was undeniable!
They wanted washing! not that slight ablution
To which the skin of the White Man is liable,
Merely removing transient pollution{155}
But good, hard, honest, energetic rubbing
And scrubbing,
Sousing each sooty frame from heels to head
With stiff, strong, saponaceous lather,
And pails of water—hottish rather,
But not so boiling as to turn ’em red!
So spoke the philanthropic man
Who laid, and hatch’d, and nursed the plan—
And oh! to view its glorious consummation!
The brooms and mops,
The tubs and slops,
The baths and brushes in full operation!
To see each Crow, or Jim, or John,
Go in a raven and come out a swan!
While fair as Cavendishes, Vanes, and Russels,
Black Venus rises from the soapy surge,
And all the little Niggerlings emerge
As lily-white as mussels.
Sweet was the vision—but alas!
However in prospectus bright and sunny,
To bring such visionary scenes to pass
One thing was requisite, and that was—money;
Money, that pays the laundress and her bills,
For socks and collars, shirts and frills,
Cravats and kerchiefs—money, without which
The negroes must remain as dark as pitch;
A thing to make all Christians sad and shivery,
To think of millions of immortal souls
Dwelling in bodies black as coals,
And living—so to speak—in Satan’s livery!
Money—the root of evil,—dross, and stuff!
But oh! how happy ought the rich to feel,
Whose means enable them to give enough
To blanch an African from head to heel!
How blessed—yea, thrice blessed—to subscribe
Enough to scour a tribe!
While he whose fortune was at best a brittle one,
Although he gave but pence, how sweet to know
He helped to bleach a Hottentot’s great toe,
Or little one!{156}
Moved by this logic (or appall’d)
To persons of a certain turn so proper,
The money came when call’d,
In silver, gold, and copper,
Presents from “Friends to blacks,” or foes to whites,
“Trifles,” and “offerings,” and “widow’s mites,”
Plump legacies, and yearly benefactions,
With other gifts
And charitable lifts,
Printed in lists and quarterly transactions.
As thus—Elisha Brettel,
An iron kettle.
The Dowager Lady Scannel,
A piece of flannel.
Rebecca Pope,
A bar of soap.
The Misses Howels,
Half-a-dozen towels.
The Master Rush’s,
Two scrubbing-brushes.
Mr. T. Groom,
A stable broom,
And Mrs. Grubb,
A tub.
Great were the sums collected!
And great results in consequence expected.
But somehow, in the teeth of all endeavour,
According to reports
At yearly courts,
The blacks, confound them! were as black as ever!
Yes! spite of all the water sous’d aloft,
Soap, plain and mottled, hard and soft,
Soda and pearlash, huckaback and sand,
Brooms, brushes, palm of hand,
And scourers in the office strong and clever,
In spite of all the tubbing, rubbing, scrubbing,
The routing and the grubbing,
The blacks, confound them! were as black as ever!
In fact in his perennial speech,
The Chairman own’d the niggers did not bleach,{157}
As he had hoped,
From being washed and soaped,
A circumstance he named with grief and pity;
But still he had the happiness to say,
For self and the Committee,
By persevering in the present way
And scrubbing at the Blacks from day to day,
Although he could not promise perfect white,
From certain symptoms that had come to light,
He hoped in time to get them gray!
Lull’d by this vague assurance,
The friends and patrons of the sable tribe
Continued to subscribe,
And waited, waited on with much endurance—
Many a frugal sister, thrifty daughter—
Many a stinted widow, pinching mother—
With income by the tax made somewhat shorter,
Still paid implicitly her crown per quarter,
Only to hear as ev’ry year came round,
That Mr. Treasurer had spent her pound;
And as she loved her sable brother,
That Mr. Treasurer must have another!
But, spite of pounds or guineas,
Instead of giving any hint
Of turning to a neutral tint,
The plaguy negroes and their piccaninnies
Were still the colour of the bird that caws—
Only some very aged souls
Showing a little gray upon their polls,
Like daws!
However, nothing dashed
By such repeated failures, or abashed,
The Court still met;—the Chairman and Directors,
The Secretary, good at pen and ink,
The worthy Treasurer, who kept the chink,
And all the cash Collectors;
With hundreds of that class, so kindly credulous,
Without whose help, no charlatan alive,
Or Bubble Company could hope to thrive,{158}
Or busy Chevalier, however sedulous—
Those good and easy innocents in fact,
Who willingly receiving chaff for corn,
As pointed out by Butler’s tact,
Still find a secret pleasure in the act
Of being pluck’d and shorn!
However, in long hundreds there they were,
Thronging the hot, and close, and dusty court,
To hear once more addresses from the Chair,
And regular Report.
Alas! concluding in the usual strain,
That what with everlasting wear and tear,
The scrubbing-brushes hadn’t got a hair—
The brooms—mere stumps—would never serve again—
The soap was gone, the flannels all in shreds,
The towels worn to threads,
The tubs and pails too shatter’d to be mended—
And what was added with a deal of pain,
But as accounts correctly would explain,
Tho’ thirty thousand pounds had been expended—
The Blackamoors had still been wash’d in vain!
“In fact, the negroes were as black as ink,
Yet, still as the Committee dared to think,
And hoped the proposition was not rash,
A rather free expenditure of cash—”
But ere the prospect could be made more sunny—
Up jump’d a little, lemon-coloured man,
And with an eager stammer, thus began,
In angry earnest, though it sounded funny:
“What! More subscriptions! No—no—no,—not I!
You have had time—time—time enough to try!
They WON’T come white! then why—why—why—why—why
More money?”
“Why!” said the Chairman, with an accent bland,
And gentle waving of his dexter hand,
“Why must we have more dross, and dirt, and dust,
More filthy lucre, in a word, more gold—
The why, sir, very easily is told,{159}
Because Humanity declares we must!
We’ve scrubb’d the negroes till we’ve nearly killed ’em,
And finding that we cannot wash them white,
But still their nigritude offends the sight,
We mean to gild ’em?”


ONE day—I had it from a hasty mouth,
Accustom’d to make many blunders daily,
And therefore will not name, precisely, South,
Herschell, or Baily—
But one of those great men who watch the skies,
With all their rolling, winking eyes,
Was looking at that Orb whose ancient God
Was patron of the Ode, and Song, and Sonnet,
When thus he musing cried—“It’s very odd
That no Astronomer of all the squad
Can tell the nature of those spots upon it!
“Lord, master!” muttered John, a liveried elf,
“To wonder so at spots upon the sun!
I’ll tell you what he’s done—
Freckled himself!”



SOMEWHERE in Leather Lane—
I wonder that it was not Mincing,
And for this reason most convincing,
That Mr. Brain
Dealt in those well-minced cartridges of meat
Some people like to eat—
However, all such quibbles overstepping,
In Leather Lane he lived; and drove a trade
In porcine sausages, though London made,
Call’d “Epping.{160}
Right brisk was the demand,
Seldom his goods stay’d long on hand,
For out of all adjacent courts and lanes,
Young Irish ladies and their swains—
Such soups of girls and broths of boys!—
Sought his delicious chains,
Preferr’d to all polonies, saveloys,
And other foreign toys—
The mere chance passengers
Who saw his “sassengers,”
Of sweetness undeniable,
So sleek, so mottled, and so “friable,”
Stepp’d in, forgetting ev’ry other thought,
And bought.
Meanwhile a constant thumping
Was heard, a sort of subterranean chumping—
Incessant was the noise!
But though he had a foreman and assistant,
With all the tools consistent,
(Besides a wife and two fine chopping boys)
His means were not yet vast enough
For chopping fast enough
To meet the call from streets, and lanes, and passages,
For first-chop “sassages.”
However, Mr. Brain
Was none of those dull men and slow,
Who, flying bird-like by a railway train,
Sigh for the heavy mails of long ago;
He did not set his face ‘gainst innovations
For rapid operations,
And therefore in a kind of waking dream
Listen’d to some hot-water sprite that hinted
To have his meat chopp’d, as the Times was printed,
By steam!
Accordingly in happy hour,
A bran-new Engine went to work
Chopping up pounds on pounds of pork
With all the energy of Two-Horse-Power,
And wonderful celerity—

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



When lo! when ev’rything to hope responded,
Whether his head was turn’d by his prosperity,
Whether he had some sly intrigue, in verity,
The man absconded!
His anxious Wife in vain
Placarded Leather Lane,
And all the suburbs with descriptive bills,
Such as are issued when from homes and tills
Clerks, dogs, cats, lunatics, and children roam;
Besides advertisements in all the journals,
Or weeklies or diurnals,
Beginning “Left his Home”—
The sausage-maker, spite of white and black,
Never came back.
Never, alive!—But on the seventh night,
Just when the yawning grave its dead releases,
Filling his bedded wife with sore affright
In walk’d his grisly Sprite,
In fifty thousand pieces!
“O Mary!” so it seem’d
In hollow melancholy tone to say,
Whilst thro’ its airy shape the moonlight gleam’d
With scarcely dimmer ray—
“O Mary! let your hopes no longer flatter,
Prepare at once to drink of sorrow’s cup—
It ain’t no use to mince the matter—
The Engine’s chopp’d me up!”


“I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came.”
OH, Mr. Hume, thy name
Is travelling post upon the road to fame,
With four fast horses and two sharp postilions;
Thy reputation
Has friends by numeration,{162}
Units, Tens, Hundreds, Thousands, Millions.
Whenever public men together dine,
They drink to thee
With three times three—
That’s nine.
And oft a votary proposes then
To add unto the cheering one cheer more—
Nine and One are Ten;
Or somebody, for thy honour still more keen,
Insists on four times four—
In Parliament no star shines more or bigger,
And yet thou dost not care to cut a figure;
Equally art thou eloquent and able,
Whether in showing how to serve the nation
Or laying its petitions on the Table
Of Multiplication.
In motion thou art second unto none,
Though fortune on thy motions seems to frown,
For though you set a number down
You seldom carry one.
Great at speech thou art, though some folks cough,
But thou art greatest at a paring off.
But never blench,
Although in stirring up corruption’s worms
You make some factions
Vulgar as certain fractions,
Almost reduced unto their lowest terms.
Go on, reform, diminish, and retrench;
Go on, for ridicule not caring;
Sift on from one to nine with all their noughts,
And make state cyphers eat up their own orts,
And only in thy saving be unsparing;
At soldiers’ uniforms make awful rackets,
Don’t trim though, but untrim their jackets.
Allow the tin mines no tin tax,
Cut off the Great Seal’s wax!
Dock all the dock-yards, lower masts and sails,
Search foot by foot the Infantry’s amounts,{163}
Look into all the Cavalry’s accounts,
And crop their horses’ tails.
Look well to Woolwich and each Money-vote,
Examine all the cannons’ charges well,
And those who found th’ Artillery compel
To forge twelve-pounders for a five-pound note.
Watch Sandhurst too, its debts and its Cadets—
Those Military pets.
Take army—no, take Leggy Tailors
Down to the Fleet, for no one but a nincum
Out of our nation’s narrow income
Would furnish such wide trousers to the Sailors.
Next take, to wonder him,
The Master of the Horse’s horse from under him;
Retrench from those who tend on Royal ills
Wherewith to gild their pills.
And tell the Stag-hound’s Master he must keep
The deer, &c., cheap.
Close as new brooms
Scrub the Bed Chamber Grooms;
Abridge the Master of the Ceremonies
Of his very monies;
In short, at every salary have a pull,
And when folks come for pay
On quarter-day,
Stop half and make them give receipts in full.
Oh, Mr. Hume, don’t drink,
Or eat, or sleep, a wink,
Till you have argued over each reduction:
Let it be food to you, repose and suction;
Though you should make more motions by one half
Than any telegraph,
Item by item all these things enforce,
Be on your legs till lame, and talk till hoarse;
Have lozenges—mind, Dawson’s—in your pocket,
And swing your arms till aching in their socket;
Or if awake you cannot keep,
Talk of retrenchment in your sleep;
Expose each Peachum, and show up each Lockit—
Go down to the M.P.’s before you sup,{164}
And while they’re sitting blow them up,
As Guy Fawkes could not do with all his nous;
But now we live in different Novembers,
And safely you may walk into the House,
First split its ears and then divide its members!


“Well, if you reclaim such as Hood, your Society will deserve the thanks of the country.”—Temperance Society’s Herald, vol. 1, No. 1, p. 8.

“My father, when last I from Guinea
Came home with abundance of wealth,
Said, ‘Jack, never be such a ninny
As to drink—’ says I, ‘Father, your health?’
Nothing like Grog.
OH! Admiral Gam—I dare not mention bier
In such a temperate ear—
Oh! Admiral Gam—an admiral of the Blue,
Of course to read the Navy List aright,
For strictly shunning wine of either hue,
You can’t be Admiral of the Red or White:—
Oh, Admiral Gam! consider ere you call
On merry Englishmen to wash their throttles
With water only; and to break their bottles,
To stick, for fear of trespass, on the wall
Of Exeter Hall!
Consider, I beseech, the contrariety
Of cutting off our brandy, gin, and rum,
And then, by tracts, inviting us to come
And “mix in your society!”
In giving rules to dine, or sup, or lunch,
Consider Nature’s ends before you league us
To strip the Isle of Rum of all its punch—
To dock the Isle of Mull of all its negus—
Or doom—to suit your milk and water view—
The Isle of Skye to nothing but sky-blue!
Consider—for appearance’ sake—consider
The sorry figure of a spirit-ridder,
Going on this crusade against the suttler;
A sort of Hudibras—without a Butler!{165}
Consider—ere you break the ardent spirits
Of father, mother, brother, sister, daughter;
What are your beverage’s washy merits?
Gin may be low—but I have known low-water!
Consider well, before you thus deliver,
With such authority, your sloppy cannon;
Should British tars taste nothing but the river,
Because the Chesapeake once fought the Shannon!
Consider, too—before all Eau-de-vie,
Schiedam, or other drinkers, you rebut—
To bite a bitten dog all curs agree;
But who would cut a man because he’s cut?
Consider—ere you bid the poor to fill
Their murmuring stomach with the “murmuring rill”—
Consider that their streams are not like ours,
Reflecting heaven, and margined by sweet flowers;
On their dark pools by day no sun reclines,
By night no Jupiter, no Venus shines;
Consider life’s sour taste, that bids them mix
Their rum with Acheron, or Gin with Styx;
If you must pour out water to the poor, oh!
Let it be aqua d’ oro!
Consider—ere as furious as a griffin,
Against a glass of grog you make such work,
A man may like a stiff’un,
And yet not be a Burke!
Consider, too, before you bid all skinkers
Turn water-drinkers,
What sort of fluid fills their native rivers;
Their Mudiboos, and Niles, and Guadalquivirs.
How should you like, yourself, in glass or mug,
The Bog—the Bug—
The Maine—the Weser—or that freezer, Neva?
Nay, take the very rill of classic ground—
Lord Byron found
Even Castaly better for Geneva.{166}
Consider—if, to vote Reform’s arrears,
His Majesty should please to make you peers,
Your titles would be very far from trumps,
To figure in a book of blue and red:—
The Duke of Draw-well—what a name to dread!
Marquis of Main-pipe! Earl New-River-Head!
And Temperance’s chief, the Prince of Pumps!


OH, Mr. Spencer!
I mean no offence, sir—
Retrencher of each trencher—man or woman’s;
Maker of days of ember,
Eloquent Member
Of the House of Com—I mean to say short commons—
Thou Long Tom Coffin singing out, “Hold Fast”—
Oh, Mr. Perceval! I’ll bet a dollar, a
Great growth of Cholera,
And new deaths reckon’d,
Will mark thy Lenten twenty-first and second.
The best of our physicians, when they con it,
Depose the malady is in the air:
Oh, Mr. Spencer! if the ill is there,
Why should you bid the people live upon it?
Why should you make discourses against courses,
While doctors, though they bid us rub and chafe,
Declare, of all resources,
The man is safest who gets in the safe?
And yet you bid poor suicidal sinners
Discard their dinners,
Thoughtless how Heaven above will look upon’t,
For man to die so wantonly of want!
By way of a variety,
Think of the ineffectual piety
Of London’s Bishop, at St. Faith’s or Bride’s,
Lecturing such chamelion insides,{167}
Only to find
He’s preaching to the wind.
Whatever others do,—or don’t,
I cannot—dare not—must not fast, and won’t,
Unless by night your day you let me keep,
And fast asleep;
My constitution can’t obey such censors:
I must have meat
Three times a-day to eat;
My health’s of such a sort,—
To say the truth, in short,
The coats of my stomach are not Spencers!



O BETTY—I beg pardon—Fanny K.
(I was just thinking of your Betty Finnikin)—
Permit me this to say,
In quite a friendly way—
I like your theatre, though but a minnikin;
For though small stages Kean dislikes to spout on,
Renounce me if I don’t agree with Dowton,
The Minors are the Passions’ proper schools
For me, I never can
Find wisdom in the plan
That keeps large reservoirs for little Pooles.
I like your boxes where the audience sit
A family circle; and your little pit;
I like your little stage, where you discuss
Your pleasant bill of fare,
And show us passengers so rich and rare,
Your little stage seems quite an omnibus.
I like exceedingly your Parthian dame,
Dimly remembering dramatic codgers,
The ghost of Memory—the shade of Fame!—
Lord! what a housekeeper for Mr. Rogers!
I like your savage, of a one-horse power;{168}
And Terence, done in Irish from the Latin;
And Sally—quite a kitchen-garden flower;
And Mrs. Drake, serene in sky-blue satin!
I like your girl as speechless as a mummy—
It shows you can play dummy!—
I like your boy, deprived of every gleam
Of light for ever—a benighted being!
And really think—though Irish it may seem—
Your blindness is worth seeing.
I like your Governess; and there’s a striking
Tale of Two Brothers, that sets tears a-flowing—
But I’m not going
All through the bill to tell you of my liking.
Suffice it, Fanny Kelly! with your art
So much in love, like others I have grown,
I really mean myself to take a part
In “Free and Easy”—at my own bespeak—
And shall three times a week
Drop in and make your pretty house my own!



WELL, Doctor,
Great concoctor
Of medicines to help in man’s distress;
Diluting down the strong to meek,
And making even the weak more weak,
“Fine by degrees, and beautifully less”—
Founder of a new system economic,
To druggists anything but comic;
Framed the whole race of Ollapods to fret,
At profits, like thy doses, very small;
To put all Doctors’ Boys in evil case,
Thrown out of bread, of physic, and of place,—
And show us old Apothecaries’ Hall
“To Let.”
How fare thy Patients? are they dead or living,
Or, well as can expected be, with such{169}
A style of practice, liberally giving
“A sum of more to that which had too much?”
Dost thou preserve the human frame, or turf it?
Do thorough draughts cure thorough colds or not?
Do fevers yield to anything that’s hot?
Or hearty dinners neutralise a surfeit?
Is’t good advice for gastronomic ills,
When Indigestion’s face with pain is crumpling,
To cry “Discard those Peristaltic Pills,
Take a hard dumpling!”
Tell me, thou German Cousin,
And tell me honestly without a diddle,
Does an attenuated dose of rosin
Act as a tonic on the old Scotch fiddle?
Tell me, when Anhalt-Coethen babies wriggle,
Like eels just caught by sniggle,
Martyrs to some acidity internal,
That gives them pangs infernal,
Meanwhile the lip grows black, the eye enlarges;
Say, comes there all at once a cherub-calm,
Thanks to that soothing homœopathic balm,
The half of half, of half, a drop of “varges?”
Suppose, for instance, upon Leipzig’s plain,
A soldier pillowed on a heap of slain,
In urgent want both of a priest and proctor;
When lo! there comes a man in green and red,
A featherless cocked-hat adorns his head,
In short a Saxon military doctor—
Would he, indeed, on the right treatment fix,
To cure a horrid gaping wound,
Made by a ball that weighed a pound,
If he well peppered it with number six?
Suppose a felon doomed to swing
Within a rope,
Might friends not hope
To cure him with a string?
Suppose his breath arrived at a full stop,
The shades of death in a black cloud before him,{170}
Would a quintillionth dose of the New Drop
Restore him?
Fancy a man gone rabid from a bite,
Snapping to left and right,
And giving tongue like one of Sebright’s hounds,
Terrific sounds,
The pallid neighbourhood with horror cowing,
To hit the proper homœopathic mark;
Now, might not “the last taste in life” of bark,
Stop his bow-wow-ing?
Nay, with a well-known remedy to fit him,
Would he not mend, if with all proper care,
He took “a hair
Of the dog that bit him?”
Picture a man—we’ll say a Dutch Meinheer—
In evident emotion,
Bent o’er the bulwark of the Batavier,
Owning those symptoms queer—
Some feel in a Sick Transit o’er the ocean,
Can anything in life be more pathetic
Than when he turns to us his wretched face?—
But would it mend his case
To be decillionth-dosed
With something like the ghost
Of an emetic?
Lo! now a darkened room!
Look through the dreary gloom,
And see that coverlet of wildest form,
Tost like the billows in a storm,
Where ever and anon, with groans, emerges
A ghastly head!
While two impatient arms still beat the bed,
Like a strong swimmer’s struggling with the surges;
There Life and Death are on their battle-plain,
With many a mortal ecstasy of pain—
What shall support the body in its trial,
Cool the hot blood, wild dream, and parching skin,
And tame the raging malady within—
A sniff of Next-to-Nothing in a phial?{171}
Oh! Doctor Hahnemann, if here I laugh,
And cry together, half and half,
Excuse me, ’tis a mood the subject brings,
To think, whilst I have crowed like chanticleer,
Perchance, from some dull eye the hopeless tear
Hath gushed, with my light levity at schism,
To mourn some Martyr of Empiricism!
Perchance, on thy own system, I have given
A pang superfluous to the pains of Sorrow,
Who weeps with Memory from morn till even;
Where comfort there is none to lend or borrow,
Sighing to one sad strain,
“She will not come again,
To-morrow, nor to-morrow, nor to-morrow!”
Doctor, forgive me, if I dare prescribe
A rule for thee thyself, and all thy tribe,
Inserting a few serious words by stealth;
Above all price of wealth
The Body’s Jewel,—not for minds profane,
Or hands, to tamper with in practice vain—
Like to a Woman’s Virtue is Man’s Health.
A heavenly gift within a holy shrine!
To be approached and touched with serious fear,
By hands made pure, and hearts of faith severe,
Even as the priesthood of the ONE divine!
But, zounds! each fellow with a suit of black,
And, strange to fame,
With a diploma’d name,
That carries two more letters pick-a-back,
With cane, and snuff-box, powdered wig, and block,
Invents his dose, as if it were a chrism,
And dares to treat our wondrous mechanism,
Familiar as the works of old Dutch clock;
Yet, how would common sense esteem the man,
Oh how, my unrelated German cousin,
Who having some such time-keeper on trial,
And finding it too fast, enforced the dial
To strike upon the Homœopathic plan
Of fourteen to the dozen?{172}
Take my advice, ’tis given without a fee,
Drown, drown your book ten thousand fathoms deep
Like Prospero’s beneath the briny sea,
For spells of magic have all gone to sleep!
Leave no decillionth fragment of your works,
To help the interests of quacking Burkes;
Aid not in murdering even widow’s mites,—
And now forgive me for my candid zeal,
I had not said so much, but that I feel
Should you take ill what here my Muse indites,
An Ode-ling more will set you all to rights.


“Sweeping our flocks and herds.”—Douglas.
For this address I need not make apology—
Who aim at clearing out the Smithfield pen,
And planting further off its vile Zoology—
Permit me thus to tell,
I like your efforts well,
For routing that great nest of Hornithology!
Be not dismay’d although repulsed at first,
And driven from their Horse, and Pig, and Lamb parts,
Charge on!—you shall upon their hornworks burst,
And carry all their Bull-warks and their Ram-parts.
Go on, ye wholesale drovers!
And drive away the Smithfield flocks and herds!
As wild as Tartar-Curds,
That come so fat, and kicking, from their clovers,
Off with them all!—those restive brutes, that vex
Our streets, and plunge, and lunge, and butt, and battle;
And save the female sex
From being cow’d—like Iö—by the cattle!
Fancy,—when droves appear on
The hill of Holborn, roaring from its top,{173}
Your ladies—ready, as they own, to drop,
Taking themselves to Thomson’s with a Fear-on!
Or, in St. Martin’s Lane,
Scared by a Bullock, in a frisky vein,—
Fancy the terror of your timid daughters
While rushing souse
Into a coffee-house,
To find it—Slaughter’s.
Or fancy this:—
Walking along the street, some stranger Miss,
Her head with no such thought of danger laden,
When suddenly ’tis “Aries Taurus Virgo!”
You don’t know Latin, I translate it ergo,
Into your Areas a Bull throws the Maiden!
Think of some poor old crone
Treated, just like a penny, with a toss!
At that vile spot now grown
So generally known
For making a Cow Cross!
Nay, fancy your own selves far off from stall,
Or shed, or shop—and that an Ox infuriate
Just pins you to the wall,
Giving you a strong dose of Oxy-Muriate!
Methinks I hear the neighbours that live round
The Market-ground
Thus make appeal unto their civic fellows—
Tis well for you that live apart—unable
To hear this brutal Babel,
But our firesides are troubled with their bellows.
“Folks that too freely sup
Must e’en put up
With their own troubles if they can’t digest;
But we must needs regard
The case as hard
The others’ victuals should disturb our rest,
That from our sleep your food should start and jump us!{174}
We like, ourselves, a steak,
But, Sirs, for pity’s sake!
We don’t want oxen at our doors to rump-us!
“If we do doze—it really is too bad!
We constantly are roar’d awake or rung,
Through bullocks mad
That run in all the ‘Night Thoughts’ of our Young!”
Such are the woes of sleepers—now let’s take
The woes of those that wish to keep a Wake.
Oh think! when Wombell gives his annual feasts,
Think of these “Bulls of Basan,” far from mild ones;
Such fierce tame beasts,
That nobody much cares to see the Wild ones!
Think of the Show woman, “what shows a Dwarf,”
Seeing a red Cow come
To swallow her Tom Thumb,
And forc’d with broom of birch to keep her off!
Think, too, of Messrs. Richardson and Co.,
When looking at their public private boxes,
To see in the back row
Three live sheep’s heads, a porker’s and an Ox’s!
Think of their Orchestra, when two horns come
Through, to accompany the double drum!
Or, in the midst of murder and remorses,
Just when the Ghost is certain,
A great rent in the curtain,
And enter two tall skeletons—of Horses!
Great philanthropics! pray urge these topics!
Upon the solemn Councils of the Nation,
Get a Bill soon, and give, some noon,
The Bulls, a Bull of Excommunication!
Let the old Fair have fair-play as its right,
And to each show and sight
Ye shall be treated with a Free List latitude;
To Richardson’s Stage Dramas,{175}
Dio—and Cosmo—ramas,
Giants and Indians wild,
Dwarf, Sea Bear, and Fat Child,
And that most rare of Shows—a Show of gratitude!



Favoured by Mr. Wontner.

O MARY, I believ’d you true,
And I was blest in so believing;
But till this hour I never knew—
That you were taken up for thieving!
Oh! when I snatch’d a tender kiss
Or some such trifle when I courted,
You said, indeed, that love was bliss,
But never owned you were transported!
But then to gaze on that fair face—
It would have been an unfair feeling,
To dream that you had pilfered lace—
And Flints had suffered from your stealing!
Or when my suit I first preferr’d,
To bring your coldness to repentance,
Before I hammer’d out a word,
How could I dream you’d heard a sentence!
Or when with all the warmth of youth
I strove to prove my love no fiction,
How could I guess I urged a truth
On one already past conviction!
How could I dream that ivory part,
Your hand—where I have look’d and linger’d,
Altho’ it stole away my heart,
Had been held up as one light-finger’d!
In melting verse your charms I drew,
The charms in which my muse delighted{176}
Alas! the lay I thought was new,
Spoke only what had been indicted!
Oh! when that form, a lovely one,
Hung on the neck its arms had flown to,
I little thought that you had run
A chance of hanging on your own too.
You said you pick’d me from the world,
My vanity it now must shock it—
And down at once my pride is hurl’d,
You’ve pick’d me—and you’ve pick’d a pocket.
Oh! when our love had got so far,
The bans were read by Dr. Daley,
Who asked if there was any bar
Why did not some one shout “Old Bailey?”
But when you rob’d your flesh and bones
In that pure white that angel garb is,
Who could have thought you, Mary Jones,
Among the Joans that link with Darbies?
And when the parson came to say,
My goods were yours, if I had got any,
And you should honour and obey,
Who could have thought—“O Bay of Botany.”
But, oh,—the worst of all your slips
I did not till this day discover—
That down in Deptford’s prison ships,
Oh, Mary! you’ve a hulking lover!

No. II.

“Love, with a witness.”
He has shaved off his whiskers and blacken’d his brows,
Wears a patch and a wig of false hair,—
But it’s him—Oh it’s him!—we exchanged lovers’ vows,
When I lived up in Cavendish Square.
He had beautiful eyes, and his lips were the same,
And his voice was as soft as a flute—

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



Like a Lord or a Marquis he look’d when he came,
To make love in his master’s best suit.
If I lived for a thousand long years from my birth,
I shall never forget what he told;
How he lov’d me beyond the rich women of earth,
With their jewels and silver and gold!
When he kissed me and bade me adieu with a sigh,
By the light of the sweetest of moons,
Oh how little I dreamt I was bidding good-bye
To my Missis’s tea-pot and spoons!

No. III.

“I’d be a Parody.”—Bailey.
We met—’twas in a mob—and I thought he had done me—
I felt—I could not feel—for no watch was upon me;
He ran—the night was cold—and his pace was unalter’d,
I too longed much to pelt—but my small-boned legs falter’d.
I wore my bran new boots—and unrivall’d their brightness,
They fit me to a hair—how I hated their tightness!
I call’d, but no one came, and my stride had a tether;
Oh thou hast been the cause of this anguish, my leather!
And once again we met—and an old pal was near him,
He swore a something low—but ’twas no use to fear him;
I seized upon his arm, he was mine and mine only,
And stept—as he deserv’d—to cells wretched and lonely;
And there he will be tried—but I shall ne’er receive her,
The watch that went too sure for an artful deceiver;
The world may think me gay,—heart and feet ache together,
Oh thou hast been the cause of this anguish, my leather.


“Gay being, born to flutter!”—Sale’s Glee.
IS this your faith, then, Fanny!
What, to chat with every Dun?
I’m the one, then, but of many,
Not of many, but the One!{178}
Last night you smil’d on all, Ma’am,
That appear’d in scarlet dress;
And your Regimental Ball, Ma’am,
Look’d a little like a Mess.
I thought that of the Sogers
(As the Scotch say) one might do;
And that I, slight Ensign Rogers,
Was the chosen man and true.
But ‘Sblood! your eye was busy
With that ragamuffin mob;—
Colonel Buddell—Colonel Dizzy—
And Lieutenant-Colonel Cobb.
General Joblin, General Jodkin,
Colonels—Kelly, Felly, with
Majors—Sturgeon, Truffle, Bodkin
And the Quarter-master Smith.
Major Powderum—Major Dowdrum—
Major Chowdrum—Major Bye—
Captain Tawney—Captain Fawney,
Captain Any-one—but I!
Deuce take it! when the regiment
You so praised, I only thought
That you lov’d it in abridgement,
But I now am better taught!
I went, as loving man goes,
To admire thee in quadrilles;
But Fan, you dance fandangoes
With just any fop that wills!
I went with notes before us,
On the lay of Love to touch;
But with all the Corps in chorus,
Oh! it is indeed too much!
You once—ere you contracted
For the Army—seem’d my own;{179}
But now you laugh with all the Staff,
And I may sigh alone!
I know not how it chances,
When my passion ever dares,
But the warmer my advances,
Then the cooler are your airs.
I am, I don’t conceal it,
But I am a little hurt;
You’re a Fan, and I must feel it,
Fit for nothing but a Flirt!
I dreamt thy smiles of beauty
On myself alone did fall;
But alas! “Cosi Fan Tutti!”
It is thus, Fan, thus with all!
You have taken quite a mob in
Of new military flames;—
They would make a fine Round Robin
If I gave you all their names!


MY dear, do pull the bell,
And pull it well,
And send those noisy children all up stairs,
Now playing here like bears—
You George, and William, go into the grounds,
Charles, James, and Bob are there,—and take your string,
Drive horses, or fly kites, or anything,
You’re quite enough to play at hare and hounds,—
You little May, and Caroline, and Poll,
Take each your doll,
And go, my dears, into the two-back pair,
Your sister Margaret’s there—
Harriet and Grace, thank God, are both at school,
At far off Ponty Pool{180}
I want to read, but really can’t get on—
Let the four twins, Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John,
Go—to their nursery—go—I never can
Enjoy my Malthus among such a clan!
Oh Mr. Malthus, I agree
In everything I read with thee!
The world’s too full, there is no doubt,
And wants a deal of thinning out,—
It’s plain—as plain as Harrow Steeple—
And I agree with some thus far,
Who say the Queen’s too popular,
That is,—she has too many people.
There are too many of all trades,
Too many bakers,
Too many every-thing-makers,
But not too many undertakers,—
Too many boys,—
Too many hobby-de-hoys,—
Too many girls, men, widows, wives and maids,—
There is a dreadful surplus to demolish,
And yet some Wrongheads,
With thick not long heads,
Poor Metaphysicians!
Sign petitions
Capital punishment to abolish;
And in the face of censuses such vast ones
New hospitals contrive,
For keeping life alive,
Laying first stones, the dolts! instead of last ones!
Others, again, in the same contrariety,
Deem that of all Humane Society
They really deserve thanks,
Because the two banks of the Serpentine,
By their design,
Are Saving Banks.
Oh! were it given but to me to weed
The human breed,
And root out here and there some cumbering elf,
I think I could go through it,{181}
And really do it
With profit to the world and to myself,—
For instance, the unkind among the Editors,
My debtors, those I mean to say
Who cannot or who will not pay
And all my creditors.
These, for my own sake, I’d destroy;
But for the world’s, and every one’s,
I’d hoe up Mrs. G—’s two sons,
And Mrs. B—’s big little boy,
Call’d only by herself an “only joy.”
As Mr. Irving’s chapel’s not too full,
Himself alone I’d pull—
But for the peace of years that have to run,
I’d make the Lord Mayor’s a perpetual station,
And put a period to rotation,
By rooting up all Aldermen but one,—
These are but hints what good might thus be done!
But ah! I fear the public good
Is little by the public understood,—
For instance—if with flint, and steel, and tinder,
Great Swing, for once a philanthropic man
Proposed to throw a light upon thy plan,
No doubt some busy fool would hinder
His burning all the Foundling to a cinder.
Or, if the Lord Mayor, on an Easter Monday,
That wine and bun-day,
Proposed to poison all the little Blue-coats
Before they died by bit or sup,
Some meddling Marplot would blow up,
Just at the moment critical,
The economy political
Of Saving their fresh yellow plush and new coats.
Equally ’twould be undone,
Suppose the Bishop of London,
On that great day
In June or May,
When all the large small family of charity,
Brown, black, or carroty,
Walk in their dusty parish shoes{182}
In too, too many two-and-twos,
To sing together till they scare the walls
Of old St. Paul’s,
Sitting in red, grey, green, blue, drab, and white,
Some say a gratifying sight,
Tho’ I think sad—but that’s a schism—
To witness so much pauperism—
Suppose, I say, the Bishop then, to make
In this poor overcrowded world more room,
Proposed to shake
Down that immense extinguisher, the dome—
Some humane Martin in the charity Gal-way
I fear would come and interfere,
Save beadle, brat, and overseer,
To walk back in their parish shoes,
In too, too many two-and-twos,
Islington—Wapping—or Pall Mall way!
Thus people hatch’d from goose’s egg,
Foolishly think a pest a plague,
And in its face their doors all shut,
On hinges oil’d with cajeput—
Drugging themselves with drams well spiced and cloven,
And turning pale as linen rags,
At hoisting up of yellow flags,
While you and I are crying “Orange Boven!”
Why should we let precautions so absorb us,
Or trouble shipping with a quarantine—
When if I understand the thing you mean,
We ought to import the Cholera Morbus!


“The rain it raineth every day.”

THE Dawn is overcast, the morning low’rs,
On ev’ry window-frame hang beaded damps
Like rows of small illumination lamps,
To celebrate the Jubilee of Show’rs!{183}
A constant sprinkle patters from all leaves,
The very Dryads are not dry, but soppers,
And from the Houses’ eaves
Tumble eaves-droppers.
The hundred clerks that live along the street,
Bondsmen to mercantile and City schemers,
With squashing, sloshing and galoching feet,
Go paddling, paddling, through the wet, like steamers,
Each hurrying to earn the daily stipend—
Umbrellas pass of every shade of green,
And now and then a crimson one is seen,
Like an Umbrella ripen’d.
Over the way a waggon
Stands with six smoking horses, shrinking, blinking,
While in the George and Dragon
The man is keeping himself dry—and drinking!
The Butcher’s boy skulks underneath his tray,
Hats shine—shoes don’t—and down droop collars,
And one blue Parasol cries all the way
To school, in company with four small scholars!
Unhappy is the man to-day who rides,
Making his journey sloppier, not shorter;
Aye, there they go, a dozen of outsides,
Performing on “a Stage with real water!”
A dripping Pauper crawls along the way,
The only real willing out-of-doorer
And says, or seems to say,
“Well, I am poor enough—but here’s a pourer!”
The scene in water colours thus I paint,
Is your own Festival, you Sloppy Saint!
Mother of all the Family of Rainers!
Saint of the Soakers!
Making all people croakers,
Like frogs in swampy marshes, and complainers!
And why you mizzle forty days together,
Giving the earth your water-soup to sup,
I marvel—Why such wet, mysterious weather?
I wish you’d clear it up!{184}
Why cast such cruel dampers
On pretty Pic Nics, and against all wishes
Set the cold ducks a-swimming in the hampers,
And volunteer, unask’d, to wash the dishes?
Why drive the Nymphs from the selected spot,
To cling like lady-birds around a tree—
Why spoil a Gipsy party at their tea,
By throwing your cold water upon hot?
Cannot a rural maiden, or a man,
Seek Hornsey-Wood by invitation, sipping
Their green with Pan,
But souse you come, and show their Pan, all dripping!
Why upon snow-white table-cloths and sheets,
That do not wait, or want a second washing,
Come squashing?
Why task yourself to lay the dust in streets,
As if there were no Water-Cart contractors,
No pot-boys spilling beer, no shop-boys ruddy
Spooning out puddles muddy,
Milkmaids, and other slopping benefactors!
A Queen you are, raining in your own right,
Yet oh! how little flatter’d by report!
Even by those that seek the Court,
Pelted with every term of spleen and spite.
Folks rail and swear at you in every place;
They say you are a creature of no bowel;
They say you’re always washing Nature’s face,
And that you then supply her,
With nothing drier,
Than some old wringing cloud by way of towel!
The whole town wants you duck’d, just as you duck it,
They wish you on your own mud porridge supper’d,
They hope that you may kick your own big bucket,
Or in your water-butt go sous! heels up’ard!
They are, in short, so weary of your drizzle,
They’d spill the water in your veins to stop it—
Be warn’d! You are too partial to a mizzle—
Pray drop it!


GO where the waves run rather Holborn-hilly,
And tempests make a soda-water sea,
Almost as rough as our rough Piccadilly,
And think of me!
Go where the mild Madeira ripens her juice,—
A wine more praised than it deserves to be!
Go pass the Cape, just capable of ver-juice,
And think of me!
Go where the Tiger in the darkness prowleth,
Making a midnight meal of he and she;
Go where the Lion in his hunger howleth,
And think of me!
Go where the serpent dangerously coileth,
Or lies along at full length like a tree,
Go where the Suttee in her own soot broileth,
And think of me!
Go where with human notes the Parrot dealeth
In mono-polly-logue with tongue as free,
And like a woman, all she can revealeth,
And think of me!
Go to the land of muslin and nankeening,
And parasols of straw where hats should be,
Go to the land of slaves and palankeening,
And think of me!
Go to the land of Jungles and of vast hills,
And tall bamboos—may none bamboozle thee!
Go gaze upon their Elephants and Castles,
And think of me!
Go where a cook must always be a currier,
And parch the pepper’d palate like a pea,
Go where the fierce musquito is a worrier,
And think of me!{186}
Go where the maiden on a marriage plan goes,
Consign’d for wedlock to Calcutta’s quay,
Where woman goes for mart, the same as mangoes,
And think of me!
Go where the sun is very hot and fervent,
Go to the land of pagod and rupee,
Where every black will be your slave and servant,
And think of me!


TO Bowring, man of many tongues,
(All over tongues like rumour)
This tributary verse belongs
To paint his learned humour;
All kinds of gabs he talks, I wis,
From Latin down to Scottish;
As fluent as a parrot is,
But far more Polly-glottish!
No grammar too abstruse he meets
However dark and verby,—
He gossips Greek about the streets,
And often Russ—in urbe—:
Strange tongues whate’er you do them call,
In short the man is able
To tell you what’s o’clock in all
The dialects of Babel.
Take him on ‘Change; try Portuguese,
The Moorish and the Spanish,
Polish, Hungarian, Tyrolese,
The Swedish and the Danish;
Try him with these and fifty such,
His skill will ne’er diminish,
Although you should begin in Dutch
And end (like me) in Finnish.


“Let us take to the road!”—Beggar’s Opera.
MADAM, hail!
Hail, Roadian! hail, Collossus! who dost stand
Striding ten thousand turnpikes on the land!
Oh universal Leveller! all hail!
To thee, a good, yet stony-hearted man,
The kindest one, and yet the flintiest going,—
To thee,—how much for thy commodious plan,
Lanark Reformer of the Ruts, is Owing!
The Bristol mail
Gliding o’er ways, hitherto deem’d invincible,
When carrying Patriots, now shall never fail
Those of the most “unshaken public principle.”
Hail to thee, Scot of Scots!
Thou northern light, amid those heavy men!
Foe to Stonehenge, yet friend to all beside,
Thou scatter’st flints and favours far and wide,
From palaces to cots;—
Dispenser of coagulated good!
Distributor of granite and of food!
Long may thy fame its even path march on,
E’en when thy sons are dead!
Best benefactor! though thou giv’st a stone
To those who ask for bread!
Thy first great trial in this mighty town
Was, if I rightly recollect, upon
That gentle hill which goeth
Down from “the County” to the Palace gate,
And, like a river, thanks to thee, now floweth
Past the Old Horticultural Society,—
The chemist Cobb’s, the house of Howell and James,
Where ladies play high shawl and satin games—
A little Hell of lace!
And past the Athenæum, made of late,
Severs a sweet variety
Of milliners and booksellers who grace
Waterloo Place,
Making division, the Muse fears and guesses,{188}
’Twixt Mr. Rivington’s and Mr Hessey’s.
Thou stood’st thy trial, Mac! and shaved the road
From Barber Beaumont’s to the King’s abode
So well, that paviours threw their rammers by,
Let down their tuck’d shirt sleeves, and with a sigh
Prepared themselves, poor souls, to chip or die!
Next, from the palace to the prison, thou
Didst go, the highway’s watchman, to thy beat,—
Preventing though the rattling in the street,
Yet kicking up a row,
Upon the stones—ah! truly watchman-like,
Encouraging thy victims all to strike,
To further thy own purpose, Adam, daily;—
Thou hast smoothed, alas, the path to the Old Bailey!
And to the stony bowers
Of Newgate, to encourage the approach,
By caravan or coach,—
Hast strewed the way with flints as soft as flowers.
Who shall dispute thy name!
Insculpt in stone in every street,
We soon shall greet
Thy trodden down, yet all unconquered fame!
Where’er we take, even at this time, our way,
Nought see we, but mankind in open air,
Hammering thy fame, as Chantrey would not dare;—
And with a patient care
Chipping thy immortality all day!
Demosthenes, of old,—that rare old man,—
Prophetically followed, Mac! thy plan:—
For he, we know,
(History says so,)
Put pebbles in his mouth when he would speak
The smoothest Greek!
It is “impossible, and cannot be,”
But that thy genius hath,
Besides the turnpike, many another path
Trod, to arrive at popularity.
O’er Pegasus, perchance, thou hast thrown a thigh,
Nor ridden a roadster only;—mighty Mac!
And ‘faith I’d swear, when on that wingèd hack,{189}
Thou hast observed the highways in the sky!
Is the path up Parnassus rough and steep,
And “hard to climb,” as Dr. B. would say?
Dost think it best for Sons of Song to keep
The noiseless tenor of their way? (see Gray.)
What line of road should poets take to bring
Themselves unto those waters, loved the first!—
Those waters which can wet a man to sing!
Which, like thy fame, “from granite basins burst,
Leap into life, and, sparkling, woo the thirst?”
That thou’rt a proser, even thy birthplace might
Vouchsafe;—and Mr. Cadell may, God wot,
Have paid thee many a pound for many a blot,—
Cadell’s a wayward wight!
Although no Walter, still thou art a Scot,
And I can throw, I think, a little light
Upon some works thou hast written for the town,—
And published, like a Lilliput Unknown!
“Highways and Byeways” is thy book, no doubt,
(One whole edition’s out,)
And next, for it is fair
That Fame,
Seeing her children, should confess she had ’em;—
“Some Passages from the life of Adam Blair,”—
(Blair is a Scottish name,)
What are they, but thy own good roads, M‘Adam?
O! indefatigable labourer
In the paths of men! when thou shalt die, ’twill be
A mark of thy surpassing industry,
That of the monument, which men shall rear
Over thy most inestimable bone,
Thou didst thy very self lay the first stone!—
Of a right ancient line thou comest,—through
Each crook and turn we trace the unbroken clue,
Until we see thy sire before our eyes,—
Rolling his gravel walks in Paradise!
But he, our great Mac Parent, erred, and ne’er
Have our walks since been fair?
Yet Time, who, like the merchant, lives on ‘Change,{190}
For ever varying, through his varying range,
Time maketh all things even!
In this strange world, turning beneath high heaven,
He hath redeemed the Adams, and contrived,—
(How are time’s wonders hived!)
In pity to mankind, and to befriend ’em,—
(Time is above all praise,)
That he, who first did make our evil ways,
Reborn in Scotland, should be first to mend ’em!


“Sermons in stones.”—As You Like It.
“Out! out! damned spot!”—Macbeth.
I LIKE you, Mrs. Fry! I like your name!
It speaks the very warmth you feel in pressing
In daily act round Charity’s great flame—
I like the crisp brown way you have of dressing,
Good Mrs. Fry! I like the placid claim
You make to Christianity,—professing
Love, and good works—of course you buy of Barton,
Beside the young fry’s bookseller, Friend Darton!
I like, good Mrs. Fry, your brethren mute—
Those serious, solemn gentlemen that sport—
I should have said, that wear, the sober suit
Shaped like a court dress—but for heaven’s court.
I like your sisters too,—sweet Rachel’s fruit—
Protestant nuns! I like their stiff support
Of virtue—and I like to see them clad
With such a difference—just like good from bad!
I like the sober colours—not the wet;
Those gaudy manufactures of the rainbow—
Green, orange, crimson, purple, violet—
In which the fair, the flirting, and the vain, go—
The others are a chaste, severer set,
In which the good, the pious, and the plain, go—
They’re moral standards, to know Christians by—
In short, they are your colours, Mrs. Fry!{191}
As for the naughty tinges of the prism—
Crimson’s the cruel uniform of war—
Blue—hue of brimstone! minds no catechism;
And green is young and gay—not noted for
Goodness, or gravity, or quietism,
Till it is saddened down to tea-green, or
Olive—and purple’s given to wine, I guess;
And yellow is a convict by its dress!
They’re all the devil’s liveries, that men
And women wear in servitude to sin—
But how will they come off; poor motleys, when
Sin’s wages are paid down, and they stand in
The Evil presence? You and I know, then
How all the party colours will begin
To part—the Pittite hues will sadden there,
Whereas the Foxite shades will all show fair!
Witness their goodly labours one by one!
Russet makes garments for the needy poor—
Dove-colour preaches love to all—and dun
Calls every day at Charity’s street-door—
Brown studies scripture, and bids woman shun
All gaudy furnishing—olive doth pour
Oil into wounds: and drab and slate supply
Scholar and book in Newgate, Mrs. Fry!
Well! Heaven forbid that I should discommend
The gratis, charitable, jail-endeavour!
When all persuasions in your praises blend—
The Methodist’s creed and cry are, Fry for ever!
No—I will be your friend—and, like a friend,
Point out your very worst defect—Nay, never
Start at that word!—But I must ask you why
You keep your school in Newgate, Mrs. Fry?
Too well I know the price our mother Eve
Paid for her schooling: but must all her daughters
Commit a petty larceny, and thieve—
Pay down a crime for “entrance” to your “quarters?”
Your classes may increase, but I must grieve
Over your pupils at their bread-and-waters!{192}
Oh, tho’ it cost you rent—(and rooms run high!)
Keep your school out of Newgate, Mrs. Fry!
O save the vulgar soul before it’s spoiled!
Set up your mounted sign without the gate—
And there inform the mind before ’tis soiled!
’Tis sorry writing on a greasy slate!
Nay, if you would not have your labours foiled,
Take it inclining tow’rds a virtuous state,
Not prostrate and laid flat—else, woman meek!
The upright pencil will but hop and shriek!
Ah, who can tell how hard it is to drain
The evil spirit from the heart it preys in,—
To bring sobriety to life again,
Choked with the vile Anacreontic raisin,—
To wash Black Betty when her black’s ingrain,—
To stick a moral lacquer on Moll Brazen,
Of Suky Tawdry’s habits to deprive her;
To tame the wild-fowl-ways of Jenny Diver!
Ah, who can tell how hard it is to teach
Miss Nancy Dawson on her bed of straw—
To make Long Sal sew up the endless breach
She made in manners—to write heaven’s own law
On hearts of granite.—Nay, how hard to preach,
In cells, that are not memory’s—to draw
The moral thread, through the immoral eye
Of blunt Whitechapel natures, Mrs. Fry!
In vain you teach them baby-work within:
’Tis but a clumsy botchery of crime;
’Tis but a tedious darning of old sin—
Come out yourself, and stitch up souls in time—
It is too late for scouring to begin
When virtue’s ravelled out, when all the prime
Is worn away, and nothing sound remains;
You’ll fret the fabric out before the stains!
I like your chocolate, good Mrs. Fry!
I like your cookery in every way;
I like your shrove-tide service and supply;

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



I like to hear your sweet Pandeans play;
I like the pity in your full-brimmed eye;
I like your carriage, and your silken grey,
Your dove-like habits, and your silent preaching;
But I don’t like your Newgatory teaching.
Come out of Newgate, Mrs. Fry! Repair
Abroad, and find your pupils in the streets.
O, come abroad into the wholesome air,
And take your moral place, before Sin seats
Her wicked self in the Professor’s chair.
Suppose some morals raw! the true receipt’s
To dress them in the pan, but do not try
To cook them in the fire, good Mrs. Fry!
Put on your decent bonnet, and come out!
Good lack! the ancients did not set up schools
In jail—but at the Porch! hinting, no doubt,
That Vice should have a lesson in the rules
Before ’twas whipt by law.—O come about,
Good Mrs. Fry! and set up forms and stools
All down the Old Bailey, and thro’ Newgate-street,
But not in Mr. Wontner’s proper seat!
Teach Lady Barrymore, if, teaching, you
That peerless Peeress can absolve from dolour;
Teach her it is not virtue to pursue
Ruin of blue, or any other colour;
Teach her it is not Virtue’s crown to rue,
Month after month, the unpaid drunken dollar;
Teach her that “flooring Charleys” is a game
Unworthy one that bears a Christian name.
O come and teach our children—that ar’n’t ours
That heaven’s straight pathway is a narrow way,
Not Broad St. Giles’s, where fierce Sin devours
Children, like Time—or rather they both prey
On youth together—meanwhile Newgate low’rs
Ev’n like a black cloud at the close of day,
To shut them out from any more blue sky:
Think of these hopeless wretches, Mrs. Fry!{194}
You are not nice—go into their retreats,
And make them Quakers, if you will.—’Twere best
They wore straight collars, and their shirts sans pleats;
That they had hats with brims,—that they were drest
In garbs without lappels—than shame the streets
With so much raggedness.—You may invest
Much cash this way—but it will cost its price,
To give a good, round, real cheque to Vice!
In brief,—Oh teach the child its moral rote,
Not in the way from which ’twill not depart,—
But out—out—out! Oh, bid it walk remote!
And if the skies are closed against the smart,
Ev’n let him wear the single-breasted coat,
For that ensureth singleness of heart.—
Do what you will, his every want supply,
Keep him—but out of Newgate, Mrs. Fry!



“—— Arma Virumque cano!”—Virgil.
MR. DYMOKE! Sir Knight! if I may be so bold—
(I’m a poor simple gentleman just come to town,)
Is your armour put by, like the sheep in a fold?—
Is your gauntlet ta’en up, which you lately flung down?
Are you—who that day rode so mail’d and admired,
Now sitting at ease in a library chair?
Have you sent back to Astley the war-horse you hired,
With a cheque upon Chambers to settle the fare?
What’s become of the cup? Great tin-plate worker! say!
Cup and ball is a game which some people deem fun!
Oh: three golden balls haven’t lured you to play
Rather false, Mr. D., to all pledges but one?
How defunct is the show that was chivalry’s mimic!
The breastplate—the feathers—the gallant array!
So fades, so grows dim, and so dies, Mr. Dymoke!
The day of brass breeches! as Wordsworth would say!{195}
Perchance in some village remote, with a cot,
And a cow, and a pig, and a barndoor, and all;—
You show to the parish that peace is your lot,
And plenty,—though absent from Westminster Hall!
And of course you turn every accoutrement now
To its separate use, that your wants may be well-met;—
You toss in your breastplate your pancakes, and grow
A salad of mustard and cress in your helmet.
And you delve the fresh earth with your falchion, less bright
Since hung up in sloth from its Westminster task;
And you bake your own bread in your tin; and, Sir Knight,
Instead of your brow, put your beer in the casque!
How delightful to sit by your beans and your peas,
With a goblet of gooseberry gallantly clutched,
And chat of the blood that had deluged the Pleas
And drenched the King’s Bench,—if the glove had been touched!
If Sir Columbine Daniel, with knightly pretensions
Had snatched your “best doe,”—he’d have flooded the floor;—
Nor would even the best of his crafty inventions,
“Life Preservers,” have floated him out of his gore!
Oh, you and your horse! what a couple was there!
The man and his backer,—to win a great fight!
Though the trumpet was loud,—you’d an undisturbed air!
And the nag snuffed the feast and the fray sans affright!
Yet strange was the course which the good Cato bore
When he waddled tail-wise with the cup to his stall;—
For though his departure was at the front door,
Still he went the back way out of Westminster Hall.
He went,—and ’twould puzzle historians to say,
When they trust Time’s conveyance to carry your mail,—
Whether caution or courage inspired him that day,
For though he retreated, he never turned tail.
By my life, he’s a wonderful charger!—The best!
Though not for a Parthian corps!—yet for you!{196}
Distinguished alike at a fray and a feast,
What a horse for a grand Retrospective Review!
What a creature to keep a hot warrior cool
When the sun’s in the face, and the shade’s far aloof!—
What a tailpiece for Bewick!—or piebald for Poole,
To bear him in safety from Elliston’s hoof!
Well! hail to old Cato! the hero of scenes
May Astley or age ne’er his comforts abridge;—
Oh, long may he munch Amphitheatre beans,
Well “pent up in Utica” over the Bridge!
And to you, Mr. Dymoke, Cribb’s rival, I keep
Wishing all country pleasures, the bravest and best!
And oh! when you come to the Hummums to sleep,
May you lie “like a warrior taking his rest!”


“This fellow’s wise enough to play the fool,
And to do that well craves a kind of wit.”
Twelfth Night.
JOSEPH! they say thou’st left the stage,
To toddle down the hill of life,
And taste the flannell’d ease of age,
Apart from pantomimic strife—
“Retired—[for Young would call it so]—
The world shut out”—in Pleasant Row!
And hast thou really wash’d at last
From each white cheek the red half-moon!
And all thy public Clownship cast,
To play the private Pantaloon?
All youth—all ages yet to be
Shall have a heavy miss of thee!
Thou didst not preach to make us wise—
Thou hadst no finger in our schooling—
Thou didst not “lure us to the skies”—
Thy simple, simple trade was—Fooling!{197}
And yet, Heav’n knows! we could—we can
Much “better spare a better man!”
Oh, had it pleased the gout to take
The reverend Croly from the stage,
Or Southey, for our quiet’s sake,
Or Mr. Fletcher, Cupid’s sage,
Or, damme! namby pamby Poole,—
Or any other clown or fool!
Go, Dibdin—all that bear the name,
Go Byeway Highway man! go! go!
Go, Skeffy—man of painted fame,
But leave thy partner, painted Joe!
I could bear Kirby on the wane,
Or Signor Paulo with a sprain!
Had Joseph Wilfred Parkins made
His grey hairs scarce in private peace—
Had Waithman sought a rural shade—
Or Cobbett ta’en a turnpike lease—
Or Lisle Bowles gone to Balaam Hill—
I think I could be cheerful still!
Had Medwin left off, to his praise,
Dead-lion-kicking, like—a friend!—
Had long, long Irving gone his ways
To muse on death at Ponder’s End
Or Lady Morgan taken leave
Of Letters—still I might not grieve!
But, Joseph—everybody’s Joe!—
Is gone—and grieve I will and must!
As Hamlet did for Yorick, so
Will I for thee (though not yet dust),
And talk as he did when he miss’d
The kissing-crust that he had kiss’d!
Ah, where is now thy rolling head!
Thy winking, reeling, drunken eyes,
(As old Catullus would have said,)
Thy oven-mouth, that swallow’d pies{198}
Enormous hunger—monstrous drouth!—
Thy pockets greedy as thy mouth!
Ah, where thy ears, so often cuff’d!—
Thy funny, flapping, filching hands!—
Thy partridge body, always stuff’d
With waifs, and strays, and contrabands!—
Thy foot—like Berkeley’s Foote—for why?
’Twas often made to wipe an eye!
Ah, where thy legs—that witty pair!
For “great wits jump”—and so did they!
Lord! how they leap’d in lamplight air!
Caper’d—and bounced—and strode away!—
That years should tame the legs—alack!
I’ve seen spring through an Almanack!
But bounds will have their bound—the shocks
Of Time will cramp the nimblest toes;
And those that frisk’d in silken clocks
May look to limp in fleecy hose—
One only—(Champion of the ring)
Could ever make his Winter—Spring!
And gout, that owns no odds between
The toe of Czar and toe of Clown,
Will visit—but I did not mean
To moralize, though I am grown
Thus sad,—Thy going seem’d to beat
A muffled drum for Fun’s retreat!
And, may be—’tis no time to smother
A sigh, when two prime wags of London
Are gone—thou, Joseph, one,—the other,
A Joe!—“sic transit gloria Munden!”
A third departure some insist on,—
Stage-apoplexy threatens Liston!—
Nay, then, let Sleeping Beauty sleep
With ancient “Dozey” to the dregs,—
Let Mother Goose wear mourning deep,
And put a hatchment o’er her eggs!{199}
Let Farley weep—for Magic’s man
Is gone—his Christmas Caliban!
Let Kemble, Forbes, and Willet rain,
As though they walk’d behind thy bier,—
For since thou wilt not play again,
What matters,—if in heav’n or here!
Or in thy grave, or in thy bed!—
There’s Quick might just as well be dead!
Oh, how will thy departure cloud
The lamplight of the little breast!
The Christmas child will grieve aloud
To miss his broadest friend and best,—
Poor urchin! what avails to him
The cold New Monthly’s Ghost of Grimm?
For who like thee could ever stride!
Some dozen paces to the mile!
The motley, medley coach provide—
Or like Joe Frankenstein compile
The vegetable man complete!—
A proper Covent Garden feat!
Oh, who like thee could ever drink,
Or eat,—swill—swallow—bolt—and choke!
Nod, weep, and hiccup—sneeze and wink?—
Thy very yawn was quite a joke!
Though Joseph, Junior, acts not ill,
“There’s no Fool like the old Fool” still!
Joseph, farewell! dear funny Joe!
We met with mirth,—we part in pain!
For many a long, long year must go
Ere Fun can see thy like again—
For Nature does not keep great stores
Of perfect Clowns—that are not Boors!



“Dost thou not suspect my years?”—Much Ado about Nothing.
OH! Mr. Urban! never must thou lurch
A sober age made serious drunk by thee;
Hop in thy pleasant way from church to church,
And nurse thy little bald Biography.
Oh, my Sylvanus! what a heart is thine!
And what a page attends thee! Long may I
Hang in demure confusion o’er each line
That asks thy little questions with a sigh!
Old tottering years have nodded to their falls,
Like pensioners that creep about and die;—
But thou, Old Parr of periodicals,
Livest in monthly immortality!
How sweet!—as Byron of his infant said,—
“Knowledge of objects” in thine eye to trace;
To see the mild no-meanings of thy head,
Taking a quiet nap upon thy face!
How dear through thy Obituary to roam,
And not a name of any name to catch!
To meet thy Criticism walking home
Averse from rows, and never calling “Watch!”
Rich is thy page in soporific things,—
Composing compositions,—lulling men,—
Faded old posies of unburied rings,—
Confessions dozing from an opiate pen:—
Lives of Right Reverends that have never lived,—
Deaths of good people that have really died,—
Parishioners,—hatched,—husbanded,—and wived,—
Bankrupts and Abbots breaking side by side!
The sacred query,—the remote response,—
The march of serious mind, extremely slow,{201}
The graver’s cut at some right agèd sconce,
Famous for nothing many years ago!
B. asks of C. if Milton e’er did write
“Comus,” obscured beneath some Ludlow lid;—
And C., next month, an answer doth indite,
Informing B. that Mr. Milton did!
X. sends the portrait of a genuine flea,
Caught upon Martin Luther years agone;—
And Mr. Parkes, of Shrewsbury, draws a bee,
Long dead, that gathered honey for King John.
There is no end of thee,—there is no end,
Sylvanus, of thy A, B, C, D-merits!
Thou dost, with alphabets, old walls attend,
And poke the letters into holes, like ferrets.
Go on, Sylvanus!—Bear a wary eye,
The churches cannot yet be quite run out!
Some parishes must yet have been passed by,—
There’s Bullock-Smithy has a church no doubt!
Go on—and close the eyes of distant ages!
Nourish the names of the undoubted dead!
So Epicures shall pick thy lobster-pages,
Heavy and lively, though but seldom red.
Go on! and thrive! Demurest of odd fellows!
Bottling up dulness in an ancient binn!
Still live! still prose!—continue still to tell us
Old truths! no strangers, though we take them in!



“I rule the roast, as Milton says!”—Caleb Quotem.
HAIL! multifarious man!
Thou Wondrous, Admirable Kitchen Crichton!
Born to enlighten
The laws of Optics, Peptics, Music, Cooking—
Master of the Piano—and the Pan—
As busy with the kitchen as the skies!
Now looking
At some rich stew through Galileo’s eyes,—
Or boiling eggs—timed to a metronome—
As much at home
In spectacles as in mere isinglass—
In the art of frying brown—as a digression
On music and poetical expression,—
Whereas, how few, of all our cooks, alas!
Could tell Calliope from “Callipee!”
How few there be
Could cleave the lowest for the highest stories,
And turn, like thee, Diana’s calculator,
However cook’s synonymous with Kater![5]
Alas! still let me say,
How few could lay
The carving knife beside the tuning fork,
Like the proverbial Jack ready for any work!
Oh, to behold thy features in thy book!
Thy proper head and shoulders in a plate,
How it would look!
With one raised eye watching the dial’s date,
And one upon the roast, gently cast down—
Thy chops—done nicely brown{203}
The garnish’d brow—with “a few leaves of bay”—
The hair—“done Wiggy’s way!”
And still one studious finger near thy brains,
As if thou wert just come
From editing of some
New soup—or hashing Dibdin’s cold remains!
Or, Orpheus-like,—fresh from thy dying strains
Of music,—Epping luxuries of sound,
As Milton says, “in many a bout
Of linkëd sweetness long drawn out,”
While all thy tame stuff’d leopards listen’d round!
Oh, rather thy whole proper length reveal,
Standing like Fortune,—on the jack—thy wheel.
(Thou art, like Fortune, full of chops and changes,
Thou hast a fillet too before thine eye!)
Scanning our kitchen, and our vocal ranges,
As though it were the same to sing or fry—
Nay, so it is—hear how Miss Paton’s throat
Makes “fritters” of a note!
And how Tom Cook (Fryer and Singer born
By name and nature) oh! how night and morn
He for the nicest public taste doth dish up
The good things from that Pan of music—Bishop!
And is not reading near akin to feeding,
Or why should Oxford Sausages be fit
Receptacles for wit?
Or why should Cambridge put its little, smart,
Minced brains into a Tart?
Nay, then, thou wert but wise to frame receipts,
Equally to instruct the Cook and cram her—
Receipts to be devour’d, as well as read,
The Culinary Art in gingerbread—
The Kitchen’s Eaten Grammar!
Oh, very pleasant is thy motley page—
Aye, very pleasant in its chatty vein—
So—in a kitchen—would have talk’d Montaigne.
That merry Gascon—humourist, and sage!
Let slender minds with single themes engage,{204}
Like Mr. Bowles with his eternal Pope,—
Or Haydon on perpetual Haydon,—or
Hume on—“Twice three make four.”
Or Lovelass upon Wills,—Thou goest on
Plaiting ten topics, like Tate Wilkinson!
Thy brain is like a rich Kaleidoscope,
Stuff’d with a brilliant medley of odd bits,
And ever shifting on from change to change,
Saucepans—old Songs—Pills—Spectacles—and Spits!
Thy range is wider than a Rumford range!
Thy grasp a miracle!—till I recall
Th’ indubitable cause of thy variety—
Thou art, of course, th’ Epitome of all
That spying—frying—singing—mix’d Society
Of Scientific Friends, who used to meet
Welsh Rabbits—and thyself—in Warren Street!
Oh, hast thou still those Conversazioni,
Where learnëd visitors discoursed—and fed?
There came Belzoni,
Fresh from the ashes of Egyptian dead—
And gentle Poki—and that Royal Pair,
Of whom thou didst declare—
“Thanks to the greatest Cooke we ever read—
They were—what Sandwiches should be—half bred?”
There famed M‘Adam from his manual toil
Relax’d—and freely own’d he took thy hints
On “making Broth with Flints”—
There Parry came, and show’d thee polar oil
For melted butter—Combe with his medullary
Notions about the Skullery,
And Mr. Poole, too partial to a broil—
There witty Rogers came, that punning elf!
Who used to swear thy book
Would really look
A Delphic “Oracle,” if laid on Delf
There, once a month, came Campbell and discuss’d
His own—and thy own—“Magazine of Taste”—
There Wilberforce the Just
Came, in his old black suit, till once he traced
Thy sly advice to Poachers of Black Folks,{205}
That “do not break their yolks,”—
Which huff’d him home, in grave disgust and haste!
There came John Clare, the poet, nor forbore
Thy Patties—thou wert hand-and-glove with Moore,
Who call’d thee “Kitchen Addison”—for why?
Thou givest rules for Health and Peptic Pills,
Forms for made dishes, and receipts for Wills,
Teaching us how to live and how to die?”
There came thy Cousin-Cook, good Mrs. Fry—
There Trench, the Thames Projector, first brought on
His sine Quay non,—
There Martin would drop in on Monday eves,
Or Fridays, from the pens, and raise his breath
‘Gainst cattle days and death,—
Answer’d by Mellish, feeder of fat beeves,
Who swore that Frenchmen never could be eager
For fighting on soup meagre—
“And yet (as thou wouldst add) the French have seen
A Marshal Tureen?”
Great was thy Evening Cluster!—often graced
With Dollond—Burgess—and Sir Humphry Davy!
’Twas there M’Dermot first inclined to Taste,—
There Colburn learn’d the art of making paste
For puffs—and Accum analysed a gravy.
Colman—the Cutter of Coleman Street, ’tis said,
Came there,—and Parkins with his Ex-wise-head,
(His claim to letters)—Kater, too, the Moon’s
Crony,—and Graham, lofty on balloons,—
There Croly stalked with holy humour heated,
(Who wrote a light-horse play, which Yates completed)—
And Lady Morgan, that grinding organ,
And Brasbridge telling anecdotes of spoons,—
Madame Valbrèque thrice honour’d thee, and came
With great Rossini, his own bow and fiddle,—
The Dibdins,—Tom, Charles, Frognall, came with tuns
Of poor old books, old puns!
And even Irving spared a night from fame,
And talk’d—till thou didst stop him in the middle,
To serve round Tewah-diddle! [6] {206}
Then all the guests rose up, and sighed good-bye!
So let them:—thou thyself art still a Host!
Dibdin—Cornaro—Newton—Mrs. Fry!
Mrs. Glasse, Mr. Spec!—Lovelass and Weber,
Mathews in Quot’em—Moore’s fire-worshipping Gheber—
Thrice-worthy Worthy! seem by thee engross’d!
Howbeit the Peptic Cook still rules the roast,
Potent to hush all ventriloquial snarling,—
And ease the bosom pangs of indigestion!
Thou art, sans question,
The Corporation’s love—its Doctor Darling!
Look at the Civic Palate—nay, the Bed
Which set dear Mrs. Opie on supplying
“Illustrations of Lying!”
Ninety square feet of down from heel to head
It measured, and I dread
Was haunted by a terrible night Mare,
A monstrous burthen on the corporation!—
Look at the Bill of Fare for one day’s share,
Sea-turtles by the score—oxen by droves.
Geese, turkeys, by the flock—fishes and loaves
Countless, as when the Lilliputian nation
Was making up the huge man-mountain’s ration!
Oh! worthy Doctor! surely thou hast driven
The squatting Demon from great Garratt’s breast—
(His honour seems to rest!—)
And what is thy reward?—Hath London given
Thee public thanks for thy important service?
Alas! not even
The tokens it bestow’d on Howe and Jervis!—
Yet could I speak as Orators should speak
Before the Worshipful the Common Council
(Utter my bold bad grammar and pronounce ill,)
Thou shouldst not miss thy Freedom for a week,
Richly engross’d on vellum:—Reason urges
That he who rules our cookery—that he
Who edits soups and gravies, ought to be
A Citizen, where sauce can make a Burgess!


“Sure the Guardians of the Temple can never think they get enough.”—
Citizen of the World.
OH, very reverend Dean and Chapter,
Exhibitors of giant men,
Hail to each surplice-back’d adapter
Of England’s dead, in her stone den!
Ye teach us properly to prize
Two-shilling Grays, and Gays, and Handels,
And, to throw light upon our eyes,
Deal in Wax Queens like old wax candles.
Oh, reverend showmen, rank and file,
Call in your shillings, two and two;
March with them up the middle aisle,
And cloister them from public view.
Yours surely are the dusty dead,
Gladly ye look from bust to bust,
And set a price on each great head,
And make it come down with the dust.
Oh, as I see you walk along
In ample sleeves and ample back,
A pursy and well-order’d throng,
Thoroughly fed, thoroughly black!
In vain I strive me to be dumb,—
You keep each bard like fatted kid,
Grind bones for bread like Fee-faw-fum!
And drink from skulls as Byron did!
The profitable Abbey is
A sacred ‘Change for stony stock,
Not that a speculation ’tis—
The profit’s founded on a rock.
Death and the Doctors in each nave
Bony investments have inurn’d,
And hard ’twould be to find a grave
From which “no money is returned!”
Here many a pensive pilgrim, brought
By reverence for those learnëd bones,{208}
Shall often come and walk your short
Two-shilling fare upon the stones—[7]
Ye have that talisman of Wealth
Which puddling chemists sought of old
Till ruin’d out of hope and health—
The Tomb’s the stone that turns to gold!
Oh, licensed cannibals, ye eat
Your dinners from your own dead race,
Think Gray, preserved—a “funeral meat,”
And Dryden, devil’d—after grace,
A relish;—and you take your meal
From Rare Ben Jonson underdone,
Or, whet your holy knives on Steele,
To cut away at Addison!
Oh say, of all this famous age,
Whose learnëd bones your hopes expect,
Oh have ye number’d Rydal’s sage,
Or Moore among your Ghosts elect?
Lord Byron was not doom’d to make
You richer by his final sleep—
Why don’t ye warn the Great to take
Their ashes to no other heap!
Southey’s reversion have ye got?
With Coleridge, for his body, made
A bargain?—has Sir Walter Scott,
Like Peter Schlemihl, sold his shade?
Has Rogers haggled hard, or sold
His features for your marble shows,
Or Campbell barter’d ere he’s cold,
All interest in his “bone repose?”
Rare is your show, ye righteous men!
Priestly Politos,—rare, I ween;
But should ye not outside the Den
Paint up what in it may be seen?{209}
A long green Shakspeare, with a deer
Grasp’d in the many folds it died in,—
A Butler stuff’d from ear to ear,
Wet White Bears weeping o’er a Dryden!
Paint Garrick up like Mr. Paap,
A Giant of some inches high;
Paint Handel up, that organ chap,
With you, as grinders, in his eye;
Depict some plaintive antique thing,
And say th’ original may be seen;—
Blind Milton with a dog and string
May be the Beggar o’ Bethnal Green!
Put up in Poet’s Corner, near
The little door, a platform small;
Get there a monkey—never fear,
You’ll catch the gapers, one and all!
Stand each of ye a Body Guard,
A Trumpet under either fin,
And yell away in Palace Yard
“All dead! All dead! Walk in! Walk in!”
(But when the people are inside,
Their money paid—I pray you, bid
The keepers not to mount and ride
A race around each coffin lid.—
Poor Mrs. Bodkin thought, last year,
That it was hard—the woman clacks—
To have so little in her ear—
And be so hurried through the Wax!—)
“Walk in! two shillings only! come!
Be not by country grumblers funk’d!—
Walk in, and see th’ illustrious dumb,
The Cheapest House for the defunct!”
Write up, ’twill breed some just reflection,
And every rude surmise ’twill stop—
Write up, that you have no connection
(In large)—with any other shop!
And still, to catch the Clowns the more,
With samples of your shows in Wax,{210}
Set some old Harry near the door
To answer queries with his axe.—
Put up some general begging-trunk—
Since the last broke by some mishap,
You’ve all a bit of General Monk,
From the respect you bore his Cap!


“I’ll give him dash for dash.”
JERDAN, farewell! farewell to all
Who ever praised me, great or small
Your poet’s course is run!
A weekly—no, an every-day
Reviewer takes my fame away,
And I am all undone!
I cannot live an author long!
When I did write, O I did wrong
To aim at being great;
A Diamond Poet in a pin
May twinkle on in peace, and win
No diamond critic’s hate!
No small inditer of reviews
Will analyse his tiny muse,
Or lay his sonnets waste;
Who strives to prove that Richardson,
That calls himself a diamond one,
Is but a bard of paste?
The smallest bird that wings the sky
May tempt some sparrow shot, and die;
But midges still go free!
The peace that shuns my board and bed
May settle on a lowlier head,
And dwell, “St. John, with thee!”
I aimed at higher growth; and now
My leaves are withered on the bough,{211}
I’m choked by bitter shrubs!
O Mr. F. C. W.!
What can I christen thy review
But one of “Wormwood Scrubs?”
The very man that sought me once—
(Can I so soon be grown a dunce?)
He now derides my verse;
But who, save me, will fret to find
The editor has changed his mind,—
He can’t have got a worse.



OH Peace! oh come with me and dwell—
But stop, for there’s the bell.
Oh Peace! for thee I go and sit in churches,
On Wednesday, when there’s very few
In loft or pew—
Another ring, the tarts are come from Birch’s.
Oh Peace! for thee I have avoided marriage—
Hush! there’s a carriage.
Oh Peace! thou art the best of earthly goods—
The five Miss Woods.
Oh Peace! thou art the Goddess I adore—
There come some more.
Oh Peace! thou child of solitude and quiet—
That’s Lord Drum’s footman, for he loves a riot.
Oh Peace!
Knocks will not cease.
Oh Peace! thou wert for human comfort plann’d—
That’s Weippert’s band.
Oh Peace! now glad I welcome thy approaches—
I hear the sound of coaches.
Oh Peace! oh Peace!—another carriage stops—
It’s early for the Blenkinsops.{212}
Oh Peace! with thee I love to wander,
But wait till I have show’d up Lady Squander,
And now I’ve seen her up the stair,
Oh Peace!—but here comes Captain Hare.
Oh Peace! thou art the slumber of the mind,
Untroubled, calm and quiet, and unbroken,—
If that is Alderman Guzzle from Portsoken,
Alderman Gobble won’t be far behind;
Oh Peace! serene in worldly shyness,—
Make way there for his Serene Highness!
Oh Peace! if you do not disdain
To dwell amongst the menial train,
I have a silent place, and lone,
That you and I may call our own;
Where tumult never makes an entry—
Susan, what business have you in my pantry?
Oh Peace! but there is Major Monk,
At variance with his wife—Oh Peace!
And that great German, Vander Trunk,
And that great talker, Miss Apreece;
Oh Peace! so dear to poets’ quills—
They’re just beginning their quadrilles—
Oh Peace! our greatest renovator;—
I wonder where I put my waiter—
Oh Peace!—but here my Ode I’ll cease;
I have no peace to write of Peace.


O LUD! O Lud! O Lud!
I mean of course that venerable town,
Mention’d in stories of renown,
Built formerly of mud;—
O Lud, I say, why didst thou e’er
Invent the office of a Mayor,
An office that no useful purpose crowns,
But to set Aldermen against each other,{213}
That should be Brother unto Brother,—
Sisters at least, by virtue of their gowns?
But still if one must have a Mayor
To fill the Civic chair,
O Lud, I say,
Was there no better day
To fix on, than November Ninth so shivery
And dull for showing off the Livery’s livery?
Dimming, alas!
The Brazier’s brass,
Soiling th’ Embroiderers and all the Saddlers,
Sopping the Furriers,
Draggling the Curriers,
And making Merchant Tailors dirty paddlers:
Drenching the Skinners’ Company to the skin,
Making the crusty Vintner chiller,
And turning the Distiller
To cold without instead of warm within;—
Spoiling the bran-new beavers
Of Wax-chandlers and Weavers,
Plastering the Plasterers and spotting Mercers,
Hearty November-cursers—
And showing Cordwainers and dapper Drapers
Sadly in want of brushes and of scrapers;
Making the Grocer’s company not fit
For Company a bit;
Dying the Dyers with a dingy flood,
Daubing incorporated Bakers,
And leading the Patten-makers,
Over their very pattens in the mud,—
O Lud! O Lud! O Lud!
“This is a sorry sight,”
To quote Macbeth—but oh, it grieves me quite
To see your Wives and Daughters in their plumes—
White plumes not white—
Sitting at open windows catching rheums,
Not “Angels ever bright and fair,”
But angels ever brown and sallow,
With eyes—you cannot see above one pair,
For city clouds of black and yellow{214}
And artificial flowers, rose, leaf, and bud,
Such sable lilies
And grim daffodilies
Drooping, but not for drought, O Lud! O Lud!
I may as well, while I’m inclined,
Just go through all the faults I find:
O Lud! then, with a bitter air, say June,
Could’st thou not find a better tune
To sound with trumpets, and with drums,
Than “See the Conquering Hero comes,”
When he who comes ne’er dealt in blood?
Thy May’r is not a War Horse, Lud,
That ever charged on Turk or Tartar,
And yet upon a march you strike
That treats him like—
A little French if I may martyr—
Lewis Cart-Horse or Henry Carter!
O Lud! I say
Do change your day
To some time when your Show can really show;
When silk can seem like silk, and gold can glow.
Look at your Sweepers, how they shine in May
Have it when there’s a sun to gild the coach,
And sparkle in tiara—bracelet—brooch—
Diamond—or paste—of sister, mother, daughter;
When grandeur really may be grand—
But if thy Pageant’s thus obscured by land—
O Lud! it’s ten times worse upon the water!
Suppose, O Lud, to show its plan,
I call, like Blue Beard’s wife, to sister Anne,
Who’s gone to Beaufort Wharf with niece and aunt
To see what she can see—and what she can’t;
Chewing a saffron bun by way of cud,
To keep the fog out of a tender lung,
While perch’d in a verandah nicely hung
Over a margin of thy own black mud,
O Lud!
Now Sister Anne, I call to thee,
Look out and see:{215}
Of course about the bridge you view them rally
And sally,
With many a wherry, sculler, punt, and cutter;
The Fishmongers’ grand boat, but not for butter,
The Goldsmiths’ glorious galley,—
Of course you see the Lord Mayor’s coach aquatic,
With silken banners that the breezes fan,
In gold all glowing,
And men in scarlet rowing,
Like Doge of Venice to the Adriatic;
Of course you see all this, O Sister Anne?
“No, I see no such thing!
I only see the edge of Beaufort Wharf,
With two coal lighters fasten’d to a ring:
And, dim as ghosts,
Two little boys are jumping over posts;
And something farther off,
That’s rather like the shadow of a dog,
And all beyond is fog.
If there be any thing so fine and bright,
To see it I must see by second sight.
Call this a Show? It is not worth a pin!
I see no barges row,
No banners blow;
The show is merely a gallanty-show,
Without a lamp or any candle in.”
But sister Anne, my dear,
Although you cannot see, you still may hear?
Of course you hear, I’m very sure of that,
The “Water parted from the Sea” in C,
Or “Where the Bee sucks,” set in B;
Or Huntsman’s chorus from the Freyschutz frightful,
Or Handel’s Water Music in A flat.
Oh music from the water comes delightful!
It sounds as no where else it can:
You hear it first,
In some rich burst,
Then faintly sighing,{216}
Tenderly dying
Away upon the breezes, Sister Anne.
“There is no breeze to die on;
And all their drums and trumpets, flutes and harps,
Could never cut their way with ev’n three sharps
Through such a fog as this, you may rely on.
I think, but am not sure, I hear a hum,
Like a very muffled double drum,
And then a something faintly shrill,
Like Bartlemy Fair’s old buz at Pentonville.
And now and then hear a pop,
As if from Pedley’s Soda Water shop.
I’m almost ill with the strong scent of mud,
And, not to mention sneezing,
My cough is, more than usual, teasing;
I really fear that I have chill’d my blood,
O Lud! O Lud! O Lud! O Lud! O Lud!”



AND is it thus ye welcome Peace,
From Mouths of forty-pounding Bores?
Oh cease, exploding Cannons, cease!
Lest Peace, affrighted, shun our shores!
Not so the quiet Queen should come;
But like a Nurse to still our Fears,
With Shoes of List, demurely dumb,
And Wool or Cotton in her Ears!
She asks for no triumphal Arch;
No Steeples for their ropy Tongues;
Down, Drumsticks, down, She needs no March,
Or blasted Trumps from brazen Lungs.
She wants no Noise of mobbing Throats
To tell that She is drawing nigh:{217}
Why this Parade of scarlet Coats,
When War has closed his bloodshot Eye?
Returning to Domestic Loves,
When War has ceased with all its Ills,
Captains should come like sucking Doves,
With Olive Branches in their Bills.
No need there is of vulgar Shout,
Bells, Cannons, Trumpets, Fife, and Drum,
And Soldiers marching all about,
To let Us know that Peace is come.
Oh mild should be the Signs and meek,
Sweet Peace’s Advent to proclaim!
Silence her noiseless Foot should speak,
And Echo should repeat the same.
Lo! where the Soldier walks, alas!
With Scars received on Foreign Grounds;
Shall we consume in Coloured Glass
The Oil that should be pour’d in Wounds?
The bleeding Gaps of War to close,
Will whizzing Rocket-Flight avail?
Will Squibs enliven Orphans’ Woes?
Or Crackers cheer the Widow’s Tale?



MR. WALTON, it’s harsh to say it, but as a Parent I can’t help wishing
You’d been hung before you publish’d your book, to set all the young people a fishing!
There’s my Robert, the trouble I’ve had with him it surpasses a mortal’s bearing,
And all thro’ those devilish angling works—the Lord forgive me for swearing!{218}
I thought he were took with the Morbus one day, I did with his nasty angle!
For “oh dear,” says he, and burst out in a cry, “oh my gut is all got of a tangle!”
It’s a shame to teach a young boy such words—whose blood wouldn’t chill in their veins
To hear him, as I overheard him one day, a-talking of blowing out brains?
And didn’t I quarrel with Sally the cook, and a precious scolding I give her,
“How dare you,” says I, “for to stench the whole house by keeping that stinking liver?”
Twas enough to breed a fever, it was! they smelt it next door at the Bagots’,—
But it wasn’t breeding no fever—not it! ’twas my son a breeding of maggots!
I declare that I couldn’t touch meat for a week, for it all seemed tainting and going,
And after turning my stomach so, they turned to blueflies, all buzzing and blowing;
Boys are nasty enough, goodness knows, of themselves, without putting live things in their craniums;
Well, what next? but he pots a whole cargo of worms along with my choice geraniums.
And another fine trick, tho’ it wasn’t found out, till the housemaid had given us warning,
He fished at the golden fish in the bowl, before we were up and down in the morning.
I’m sure it was lucky for Ellen, poor thing, that she’d got so attentive a lover,
As bring her fresh fish when the others deceas’d, which they did a dozen times over!
Then a whole new loaf was short! for I know, of course, when our bread goes faster,—
And I made a stir with the bill in my hand, and the man was sent off by his master;
But, oh dear, I thought I should sink thro’ the earth, with the weight of my own reproaches,
For my own pretty son had made away with the loaf, to make pastry to feed the roaches!{219}
I vow I’ve suffered a martyrdom—with all sorts of frights and terrors surrounded!
For I never saw him go out of the doors but I thought he’d come home to be drownded.
And, sure enough, I set out one fine Monday to visit my married daughter,
And there he was standing at Sadler’s Wells, a-performing with real water,
It’s well he was off on the further side, for I’d have brain’d him else with my patten,
For I thought he was safe at school, the young wretch! a studying Greek and Latin,
And my ridicule basket he had got on his back, to carry his fishes and gentles;
With a belt I knew he’d made from the belt of his father’s regimentals—
Well, I poked his rods and lines in the fire, and his father gave him a birching,
But he’d gone too far to be easy cured of his love for chubbing and perching.
One night he never came home to tea, and altho’ it was dark and dripping,
His father set off to Wapping, poor man! for the boy had a turn for shipping;
As for me I set up, and I sobbed and I cried for all the world like a babby,
Till at twelve o’clock he rewards my fears with two gudging from Waltham Abbey!
And a pretty sore throat and fever he caught, that brought me a fortnight’s hard nussing,
Till I thought I should go to my grey-hair’d grave, worn out with the fretting and fussing;
But at last he was cur’d, and we did have hopes that the fishing was cured as well,
But no such luck! not a week went by before we’d have another such spell.
Tho’ he never had got a penny to spend, for such was our strict intentions,
Yet he was soon set up in tackle agin, for all boys have such quick inventions:{220}
And I lost my Lady’s Own Pocket Book, in spite of all my hunting and poking,
Till I found it chuck full of tackles and hooks, and besides it had got a good soaking.
Then one Friday morning, I gets a summoning note from a sort of a law attorney,
For the boy had been trespassing people’s grounds while his father was gone a journey,
And I had to go and hush it all up by myself, in an office at Hatton Garden;
And to pay for the damage he’d done, to boot, and to beg some strange gentleman’s pardon.
And wasn’t he once fished out himself, and a man had to dive to find him,
And I saw him brought home with my motherly eyes and a mob of people behind him?
Yes, it took a full hour to rub him to life—whilst I was a-screaming and raving,
And a couple of guineas it cost us besides, to reward the humane man for his saving,
And didn’t Miss Crump leave us out of her will, all along of her taking dudgeon?
At her favourite cat being chok’d, poor Puss, with a hook sow’d up in a gudgeon?
And old Brown complain’d that he pluck’d his live fowls, and not without show of reason,
For the cocks looked naked about necks and tails, and it wasn’t their moulting season;
And sure and surely, when we came to enquire, there was cause for their screeching and cackles,
For the mischief confess’d he had picked them a bit, for I think he called them the hackles.
A pretty tussle we had about that! but as if it wasn’t picking enough,
When the winter comes on, to the muff-box I goes, just to shake out my sable muff—
“O mercy!” thinks I, “there’s the moth in the house!” for the fur was all gone in patches;
And then at Ellen’s chinchilly I look, and its state of destruction just matches{221}
But it wasn’t no moth, Mr. Walton, but flies—sham flies to go trolling and trouting,
For his father’s great coat was all safe and sound, and that first set me a-doubting.
A plague, say I, on all rods and lines, and on young or old watery danglers!
And after all that you’ll talk of such stuff as no harm in the world about anglers!
And when all is done, all our worry and fuss, why, we’ve never had nothing worth dishing;
So you see, Mister Walton, no good comes at last of your famous book about fishing.
As for Robert’s, I burnt it a twelvemonth ago; but it turned up too late to be lucky,
For he’d got it by heart, as I found to the cost of
Your servant,
Jane Elizabeth Stuckey.



MARY, you know I’ve no love-nonsense,
And, though I pen on such a day,
I don’t mean flirting, on my conscience,
Or writing in the courting way.
Though Beauty hasn’t form’d your feature,
It saves you, p’rhaps, from being vain,
And many a poor unhappy creature
May wish that she was half as plain.
Your virtues would not rise an inch,
Although your shape was two foot taller,
And wisely you let others pinch
Great waists and feet to make them smaller.
You never try to spare your hands
From getting red by household duty,
But, doing all that it commands,
Their coarseness is a moral beauty.{222}
Let Susan flourish her fair arms
And at your old legs sneer and scoff,
But let her laugh, for you have charms
That nobody knows nothing of.



WHY, Mr. Rider, why
Your nag so ill indorse, man?
To make observers cry,
You’re mounted, but no horseman?


With elbows out so far,
This thought you can’t debar me—
Though no Dragoon—Hussar—
You’re surely of the army!


I hope to turn M.P.
You have not any notion,
So awkward you would be
At “seconding a motion!”


O CRUEL One! How littel dost thou knowe
How manye poetes with Unhappyenesse
Thou mayest have slaine; are they beganne to blowe
Like to yonge Buddes in theyre firste sappyenesse!
Even as Pinkes from littel Pipinges growe
Great Poetes yet maye come of singinges smalle,
Which, if an hungrede Worme doth gnawe belowe,
Fold up theyre strypëd leaves, and dye withalle.
Alake, that pleasaunt Flowre must fayde and falle
Because a Grubbe hath ete into yts Hede,—
That els had growne soe fayre and eke soe talle
To-wardes the Heaven, and opened forthe and sprede
Its blossomes to the Sunne for Menne to rede
In soe brighte hues of Lovelinesse indeede!


“Sweets to the sweet—farewell.”—Hamlet.

TIME was I liked a cheesecake well enough—
All human children have a sweetish taste;
I used to revel in a pie, or puff;
Or tart—we all were Tartars in our youth
To meet with jam or jelly was good luck,
All candies most complacently I crumped,
A stick of liquorice was good to suck,
And sugar was as often liked as lumped!
On treacle’s “linkèd sweetness long drawn out,”
Or honey I could feast like any fly;
I thrilled when lollipops were hawked about;
How pleased to compass hard-bake or bull’s-eye;
How charmed if Fortune in my power cast
Elecampane—but that campaign is past.



WHEN little people go abroad, wherever they may roam,
They will not just be treated as they used to be at home;
So take a few promiscuous hints, to warn you in advance,
Of how a little English girl will perhaps be served in France.
Of course you will be Frenchified; and first, it’s my belief,
They’ll dress you in their foreign style as à-la-mode as beef,
With a little row of beehives, as a border to your frock,
And a pair of frilly trousers, like a little bantam cock.
But first they’ll seize your bundle (if you have one) in a crack,
And tie it with a tape by way of bustle on your back;
And make your waist so high or low, your shape will be a riddle,
For anyhow you’ll never have your middle in the middle.{224}
Your little English sandals for a while will hold together,
But woe betide you when the stones have worn away the leather;
For they’ll poke your little pettitoes (and there will be a hobble!)
In such a pair of shoes as none but carpenters can cobble!
What next?—to fill your head with French to match the native girls
In scraps of Galignani they’ll screw up your little curls;
And they’ll take their nouns and verbs, and some bits of verse and prose,
And pour them in your ears that you may spout them through your nose.
You’ll have to learn a chou is quite another sort of thing
To that you put your foot in; that a belle is not to ring;
That a corne is not the nubble that brings trouble to your toes;
Nor peut-être a potato, as some Irish folks suppose.
No, no, they have no murphies there, for supper or for lunch,
But you may get in course of time a pomme de terre to munch,
With which, as you perforce must do as Calais folks are doing,
You’ll maybe have to gobble up the frog that went a wooing!
But pray at meals, remember this, the French are so polite,
No matter what you eat or drink, “whatever is, is right!”
So when you’re told at dinner-time that some delicious stew
Is cat instead of rabbit, you must answer “Tant mi—eux!
For little folks who go abroad, wherever they may roam,
They cannot just be treated as they used to be at home;
So take a few promiscuous hints, to warn you in advance,
Of how a little English girl will perhaps be served in France!


OH, pleasing, teasing, Mr. Pry,
Dear Paul—but not Virginia’s Paul,
As some might haply deem, to spy
The umbrella thou art arm’d withal,
Cool hat, and ample pantaloons,
Proper for hot and tropic noons;{225}
Oh no! for thou wert never born
To watch the barren sea and cloud
In any desert isle forlorn—
Thy home is always in a crowd
Drawn nightly, such is thy stage luck,
By Liston—that dramatic Buck.
True as the evening’s primrose flower,
True as the watchman to his beat,
Thou dost attend upon the hour
And house, in old Haymarket Street.
Oh, surely thou art much miscall’d,
Still Paul—yet we are never pall’d!
Friend of the keyhole and the crack,
That lets thee pry within and pore,
Thy very nose betrays the knack—
Upturn’d through kissing with the door;
A peeping trick that each dear friend
Sends thee to Coventry, to mend!
Thy bended body shows thy bent,
Inclined to news in every place;
Thy gossip mouth and eyes intent,
Stand each a query in thy face;
Thy hat a curious hat appears,
Pricking its brims up like thy ears;
Thy pace, it is an ambling trot,
To post thee sooner here and there,
To every house where thou shouldst not;
In gait, in garb, in face, and air,
The true eavesdropper we perceive,
Not merely dropping in at eve,—
But morn and noon, through all the span
Of day,—to disconcert and fret,
Unwelcome guest to every man,
A kind of dun, without a debt,
Well cursed by porter in the hall,
For calling when there is no call.{226}
Harm-watching, harm thou still dost catch—
That rule should save thee many a sore;
But watch thou wilt, and, like a watch,
A box attends thee at the door—
The household menials e’en begin
To show thee out ere thou art in!
Old Grasp regards thee with a frown,
Old Hardy marks thee for a shot,
Young Stanley longs to knock thee down,
And Subtle mourns her ruin’d plot,
And bans thy bones—alas! for why!
A tender curiosity!
Oh leave the Hardys to themselves—
Leave Mrs. Subtle to her dreams—
’Tis true that they were laid on shelves—
Leave Stanley, junior, to his schemes;
More things there are, the public sigh
To know the rights of, Mr. Pry!
There’s Lady L—— the late Miss P——,
Miss P—— and lady both were late,
And two in ten can scarce agree,
For why the title had to wait;
But thou mightst learn from her own lips
What wind detain’d the lady-ship?
Or Mr. P.!—the sire that nursed
Thy youth, and made thee what thou art,
Who form’d thy prying genius first—
(Thou wottest his untender part),
’Twould be a friendly call and fit,
To know “how soon he hopes to sit.”
Some people long to know the truth
Whether Miss T. does mean to try
For Gibbon once again—in sooth,
Thou mightst indulge them, Mr. Pry;
A verbal extract from the brief
Would give some spinsters great relief!{227}
Suppose, dear Pry, thou wert to dodge
The porter’s glance, and just drop in
At Windsor’s shy sequester’d lodge,
(Thou wilt, if any man can win
His way so far)—and kindly bring
Poor Cob’s petition to the king.
There’s Mrs. Coutts—hath she outgrown
The compass of a prying eye?
And, ah! there is the Great Unknown,
A man that makes the curious sigh;
’Twere worthy of your genius quite
To bring that lurking man to light.
O, come abroad, with curious hat,
And patch’d umbrella, curious too—
To poke with this, and pry with that—
Search all our scandal through and through,
And treat the whole world like a pie
Made for thy finger, Mr. Pry!



I WISH I livd a Thowsen year Ago
Wurking for Sober six and Seven milers
And dubble Stages runnen safe and slo
The Orsis cum in Them days to the Bilers
But Now by means of Powers of Steam forces
A-turning Coches into Smoakey Kettels
The Bilers seam a Cumming to the Orses
And Helps and naggs Will sune be out of Vittels
Poor Bruits I wunder How we bee to Liv
When sutch a change of Orses is our Faits
No nothink need Be sifted in a Siv
May them Blowd ingins all Blow up their Grates
And Theaves of Oslers crib the Coles and Giv
Their blackgard Hannimuls a Feed of Slaits!



I HAD a Gig-Horse, and I called him Pleasure,
Because on Sundays, for a little jaunt,
He was so fast and showy, quite a treasure;
Although he sometimes kicked, and shied aslant.
I had a Chaise, and christened it Enjoyment,
With yellow body, and the wheels of red,
Because ’twas only used for one employment,
Namely, to go wherever Pleasure led.
I had a wife, her nickname was Delight;
A son called Frolic, who was never still:
Alas! how often dark succeeds to bright!
Delight was thrown, and Frolic had a spill,
Enjoyment was upset and shattered quite,
And Pleasure fell a splitter on Paine’s Hill!


“A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.”—Byron.
METHOUGHT—for Fancy is the strangest gadder
When sleep all homely Mundane ties hath riven—
Methought that I ascended Jacob’s ladder,
With heartfelt hope of getting up to Heaven:
Some bell, I knew not whence, was sounding seven
When I set foot upon that long one-pair;
And still I climbed when it had chimed eleven,
Nor yet of landing-place became aware;
Step after step in endless flight seem’d there;
But on, with steadfast hope, I struggled still,
To gain that blessed haven from all care,
Where tears are wiped, and hearts forget their ill,
When, lo! I wakened on a sadder stair—
Tramp—tramp—tramp—tramp—upon the Brixton Mill!


“The English Garden.”—Mason.

THE cold transparent ham is on my fork—
It hardly rains—and hark the bell!—ding-dingle—
Away! Three thousand feet at gravel work,
Mocking a Vauxhall shower!—Married and Single
Crush—rush;—Soak’d Silks with wet white Satin mingle.
Hengler! Madame! round whom all bright sparks lurk,
Calls audibly on Mr. and Mrs. Pringle
To study the Sublime, &c.—(vide Burke)
All Noses are upturn’d!—Whish—ish—! On high
The rocket rushes—trails—just steals in sight—
Then droops and melts in bubbles of blue light—
And Darkness reigns—Then balls flare up and die—
Wheels whiz—smack crackers—serpents twist—and then
Back to the cold transparent ham again!



WELL done and wetly, thou Fair Maid of Perth,
Thou mak’st a washing picture well deserving
The pen and pencilling of Washington Irving:
Like dripping Naiad, pearly from her birth,
Dashing about the water of the Firth,
To cleanse the calico of Mrs. Skirving,
And never from thy dance of duty swerving
As there were nothing else than dirt on earth!
Yet what is thy reward? Nay, do not start!
I do not mean to give thee a new damper,
But while thou fillest this industrious part
Of washer, wearer, mangler, presser, stamper,
Deserving better character—thou art
What Bodkin would but call—“a common tramper.{230}


HAIL! seventy-four cut down! Hail, Top and Lop!
Unless I’m much mistaken in my notion,
Thou wast a stirring Tar, before that hop
Became so fatal to thy locomotion;—
Now, thrown on shore, like a mere weed of ocean,
Thou readest still to men a lesson good,
To King and Country showing thy devotion,
By kneeling thus upon a stump of wood!
Still is thy spirit strong as alcohol;
Spite of that limb, begot of acorn-egg,—
Methinks,—thou Naval History in one Vol.—
A virtue shines, e’en in that timber leg,
For unlike others that desert their Poll,
Thou walkest ever with thy “Constant Peg!”


I’m fond of partridges, I’m fond of snipes,
I’m fond of black cocks, for they’re very good cocks—
I’m fond of wild ducks, and I’m fond of woodcocks—
And grouse that set up such strange moorish pipes.
I’m fond of pheasants with their splendid stripes—
I’m fond of hares, whether from Whig or Tory—
I’m fond of capercailzies in their glory,—
Teal, widgeons, plovers, birds in all their types:
All these are in your care, Law-giving Peer,
And when you next address your Lordly Babel,
Some clause put in your Bill, precise and clear,
With due and fit provision to enable
A man that holds all kinds of game so dear
To keep, like Crockford, a good Gaming Table.

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]





ALL you that are too fond of wine,
Or any other stuff,
Take warning by the dismal fate
Of one Lieutenant Luff.
A sober man he might have been,
Except in one regard,
He did not like soft water,
So he took to drinking hard!
Said he, “Let others fancy slops,
And talk in praise of Tea,
But I am no Bohemian,
So do not like Bohea.
If wine’s a poison, so is Tea,
Though in another shape;
What matter whether one is kill’d
By canister or grape!”
According to this kind of taste
Did he indulge his drouth,
And being fond of Port, he made
A port-hole of his mouth!
A single pint he might have sipp’d
And not been out of sorts,
In geologic phrase—the rock
He split upon was quarts!
To “hold the mirror up to vice”
With him was hard, alas!
The worse for wine he often was,
But not “before a glass.”
No kind and prudent friend had he
To bid him drink no more,—
The only chequers in his course
Were at a tavern door!
Full soon the sad effects of this
His frame began to show,
For that old enemy the gout
Had taken him in toe!{232}
And join’d with this an evil came
Of quite another sort,—
For while he drank, himself, his purse
Was getting “something short.”
For want of cash he soon had pawn’d
One half that he possess’d,
And drinking show’d him duplicates
Beforehand of the rest!
So now his creditors resolved
To seize on his assets;
For why,—they found that his half-pay
Did not half-pay his debts.
But Luff contrived a novel mode
His Creditors to chouse;
For his own execution he
Put into his own house!
A pistol to the muzzle charged
He took devoid of fear;
Said he, “This barrel is my last,
So now for my last bier!”
Against his lungs he aimed the slugs,
And not against his brain,
So he blew out his lights—and none
Could blow them in again!
A Jury for a Verdict met
And gave it in these terms:—
“We find as how as certain slugs
Has sent him to the worms!”


OF all the poor old Tobits a-groping in the street,
A Lover is the blindest that ever I did meet,
For he’s blind, he’s blind, he’s very blind,—
He’s as blind as any mole!
He thinks his love the fairest that ever yet was clasp’d,
Though her clay is overbaked, and it never has been rasp’d.
For he’s blind, {233}&c.
He thinks her face an angel’s, although it’s quite a frump’s,
Like a toad a-taking physic, or a monkey in the mumps.
For he’s blind, &c.
Upon her graceful figure then how he will insist,
Though she’s all so much awry, she can only eat a twist!
For he’s blind, &c.
He’ll swear that in her dancing she cuts all others out,
Though like a Gal that’s galvanised, she throws her legs about.
For he’s blind, &c.
If he should have a letter in answer to his sighs,
He’ll put it to his lips up, instead of to his eyes.
For he’s blind, &c.
Then if he has a meeting the question for to put,
In suing for her hand he’ll be kneeling at her foot.
For he’s blind, &c.
Oh Love is like a furnace wherein a Lover lies,
And like a pig before the fire, he scorches out his eyes.
Till he’s blind, &c.


“If the affairs of this world did not make us so sad,
’Twould be easy enough to be merry.”—Old Song.
THERE is nothing but plague in this house!
There’s the turbot is stole by the cat,
The Newfoundland has eat up the grouse,
And the haunch has been gnawed by a rat!
It’s the day of all days when I wish
That our friends should enjoy our good cheer;
Mr. Wiggins—our dinner is dished—
But I wish you a happy New Year!
Mr. Fudge has not called, but he will,
For his Rates, Church, and Highway, and Poor;
And the butcher has brought in his bill—
Twice as much as the quarter before.{234}
Little Charles is come home with the mumps,
And Matilda with measles, I fear;
And I’ve taken two sov’reigns like dumps—
But I wish you a happy New Year!
Your poor brother is in the Gazette,
And your banker is off to New York;
Mr. Bigsby has died in your debt,
And the “Wiggins” has foundered near Cork.
Mr. Merrington’s bill is come back;
You are chosen to serve overseer;
The new wall is beginning to crack—
But I wish you a happy New Year!
The best dinner-set’s fallen to the ground;
The militia’s called out, and you’re drawn;
Not a piece of our plate can be found,
And there’s marks of men’s feet on the lawn:
Two anonymous letters have come,
That declare you shall die like a Weare;
And it may—or may not—be a hum—
But I wish you a happy New Year!
The old law-suit with Levy is lost;
You are fined for not cleansing the street;
And the water-pipe’s burst with the frost,
And the roof lets the rain in and sleet.
Your old tenant at seventy-four
Has gone off in the night with his gear,
And has taken the key of the door—
But I wish you a happy New Year!
There’s the “Sun” and the “Phœnix” to pay,
For the chimney has blazed like Old Nick;
The new gig has been jammed by a dray,
And the old horse has taken to kick.
We have hardly a bushel of small,
And now coal is extravagant dear;
Your great coat is stole out of the hall—
But I wish you a happy New Year!{235}
The whole greenhouse is smashed by the hail,
And the plants have all died in the night;
The magnolia’s blown down by the gale,
And the chimney looks far from upright;
And—the deuce take the man from the shop,
That hung up the new glass chandelier!—
It has come, in the end, to one drop—
But I wish you a happy New Year!
There’s misfortune wherever we dodge—
It’s the same in the country and town;
There’s the porter has burned down his lodge,
While he went off to smoke at the Crown.
The fat butler makes free with your wine,
And the footman has drunk the strong beer,
And the coachman can’t walk in a line—
But I wish you a happy New Year!
I have doubts if your clerk is correct—
There are hints of a mistress at Kew,
And some day he’ll abscond, I expect;
Mr. Brown has built out your back view;
The new housemaid’s the greatest of flirts—
She has men in the house, that is clear;
And the laundress has pawned all your shirts—
But I wish you a happy New Year!
Your “Account of a Visit to Rome”
Not a critic on earth seems to laud;
And old Huggins has lately come home,
And will swear that your Claude isn’t Claude;
Your election is far from secure,
Though it’s likely to cost very dear;
You’re come out in a caricature—
But I wish you a happy New Year!
You’ve been christened an ass in the Times,
And the Chronicle calls you a fool;
And that dealer in boys, Dr. Ghrimes,
Has engaged the next house for a school;{236}
And the playground will run by the bower
Which you took so much trouble to rear;
We shall never have one quiet hour—
But I wish you a happy New Year!
Little John will not take to his book,
He’s come home black and blue from the cane;
There’s your uncle is courting his cook,
And your mother has married again!
Jacob Jones will be tried with his wife,
And against them you’ll have to appear;
If they’re hung you’ll be wretched for life—
But I wish you a happy New Year!



PURE water it plays a good part in
The swabbing the decks and all that—
And it finds its own level for sartin—
For it sartinly drinks very flat:—
For my part a drop of the creatur
I never could think was a fault,
For if Tars should swig water by nature
The sea would have never been salt!—
Then off with it into a jorum,
And make it strong, sharpish, or sweet,
For if I’ve any sense of decorum
It never was meant to be neat!—
One day when I was but half sober,—
Half measures I always disdain—
I walk’d into a shop that sold Soda,
And ax’d for some Water Champagne;—
Well, the lubber he drew and he drew, boys,
Till I’d shipped my six bottles or more,
And blow off my last limb but it’s true, boys,
Why, I warn’t half so drunk as afore!{237}
Then off with it into a jorum,
And make it strong, sharpish, or sweet,
For if I’ve any sense of decorum
It never was meant to be neat.


YES, yes, it’s very true, and very clear!
By way of compliment and common chat,
It’s very well to wish me a New Year;
But wish me a new hat!
Although not spent in luxury and ease,
In course a longer life I won’t refuse;
But while you’re wishing, wish me, if you please,
A newer pair of shoes!
Nay, while new things and wishes are afloat,
I own to one that I should not rebut—
Instead of this old rent, to have a coat
With more of the New Cut!
O yes, ’tis very pleasant, though I’m poor,
To hear the steeple make that merry din;
Except I wish one bell was at the door,
To ring new trousers in.
To be alive is very nice indeed,
Although another year at last departs;
Only with twelve new months I rather need
A dozen of new shirts.
Yes, yes, it’s very true, and very clear,
By way of compliment and common chat,
It’s very well to wish me a New Year,
But wish me a new hat!


ALAS! of all the noxious things
That wait upon the poor,
Most cruel is that Felon-Fear
That haunts the “Debtor’s Door!”
Saint Sepulchre’s begins to toll,
The Sheriffs seek the cell—
So I expect their officers,
And tremble at the bell!
I look for beer, and yet I quake
With fright at every tap;
And dread a double-knock, for oh!
I’ve not a single rap!


WHEN I reflect with serious sense,
While years and years run on,
How soon I may be summon’d hence—
There’s cook a-calling John.
Our lives are built so frail and poor,
On sand and not on rocks,
We’re hourly standing at Death’s door—
There’s some one double-knocks.
All human days have settled terms,
Our fates we cannot force;
This flesh of mine will feed the worms—
They’re come to lunch of course.
And when my body’s turn’d to clay
And dear friends hear my knell,
O let them give a sigh and say—
I hear the up-stairs bell.


ONE day, no matter where or when,
Except ’twas after some Hibernian revel,
For why? an Irishman is ready then
“To play the Devil”—
A Pat, whose surname has escaped the Bards,
Agreed to play with Nick a game at cards.
The stake, the same that the old Source of Sin
From German Faustus and his German Cousins
Had won by dozens;
The only one in fact he cares a pin
To win.
By luck or roguery of course Old Nick
Won ev’ry trick:
The score was full, the last turn-up had done it—
“Your soul—I’ve won it!”
“It’s true for you I’ve lost that same,”
Said Pat a little hazy in his wits—
“My soul is yours—but come, another game—
Double, or quits!”


They say, God wot!
She died upon the spot:
But then in spots she was so rich,—
I wonder which?


Let Exeter Change lament its change,
Its beasts and other losses—
Another place thrives by its case,
Now Charing has two Crosses.


We’ve heard of comets, blazing things,
With “fear of change” perplexing Kings;
But, lo! a novel sight and strange,
A Queen who does not fear a ‘Change!



Sure the measure is strange
And all Commerce so stops,
And, to open a ‘Change,
Make us shut up our shops.


If Nelson looks down on a couple of Kings,
However it pleases the Loyals;
’Tis after the fashion of nautical things,
A sky-scraper over the Royals.


Sir, let me just your tasteful eye enveigle
To yonder Painting, of the Madman Eagle.[9]
Which, that by Poole? Excuse me, sir, I beg,
I really have no wish to catch “The Plague.”


My heart’s wound up just like a watch,
As far as springs will take—
It wants but one more evil turn,
And then the cords will break.


As human fashions change about,
The reign of Fools should now begin,
For when the Wigs are going out
The Naturals are coming in.


A Lord bought of late an outlandish estate,
At its Wild Boars to Chevy and dig;
So some people purchase a pig in a poke,
And others, a poke in a pig.


That flesh is grass is now as clear as day,
To any but the merest purblind pup;
Death cuts it down, and then, to make her hay,
My Lady B—— comes and rakes it up.


The Germans for Learning enjoy great repute;
But the English make Letters still more a pursuit;
For a Cockney will go from the banks of the Thames
To Cologne for an O, and to Nassau for M’s.


When Eve upon the first of Men
The apple press’d with specious cant,
Oh! what a thousand pities then
That Adam was not Adamant!


After such years of dissension and strife,
Some wonder that Peter should weep for his wife:
But his tears on her grave was nothing surprising,—
He’s laying her dust, for fear of its rising.


A sorry tale, of sorry plans,
Which this conclusion grants,
That Affghan clans had all the Khans
And we had all the cant’s.


A Mechanic his labour will often discard
If the rate of his pay he dislikes;
But a clock—and its case is uncommonly hard—
Will continue to work, tho’ it strikes!


“Why did you not dine,” said a Lord to a Wit,
“With the Whigs, you political sinner?”
“Why really I meant, but had doubts how the Pit
Of my stomach would bear a Fox Dinner.”


’Tis said of Lord B., none is keener than he
To spit a Wild Boar with éclât;
But he never gets near to the Brute with his spear,
He gives it so very much law.


Three traitors, Oxford—Francis—Bean,
Have missed their wicked aim;
And may all shots against the Queen,
In future do the same:
For why, I mean no turn of wit,
But seriously insist,
That if Her Majesty were hit,
No one would be so miss’d.


Of public changes, good or ill,
I seldom lead the mooters,
But really Constitution Hill
Should change its name with Shooter’s!


That Picture-Raffles will conduce to nourish
Design, or cause good colouring to flourish,
Admits of logic-chopping and wise sawing,
But surely Lotteries encourage Drawing!


No more, no more will I resign
My couch so warm and soft,
To trouble trout with hook and line,
That will not spring aloft.
With larks appointments one may fix
To greet the dawning skies,
But hang the getting up at six,
For fish that will not rise!


Whoever has looked upon Wellington’s breast,
Knows well that he’s not so full in the chest;
But the sculptor, to humour the Londoners partial,
Has turn’d the lean Duke to a plump City Marshal.


Yes, there are her features! her brow, and her hair,
And her eyes, with a look so seraphic,
Her nose, and her mouth, with the smile that is there,
Truly caught by the Art Photographic!
Yet why should she borrow such aid of the skies,
When by many a bosom’s confession,
Her own lovely face, and the light of her eyes,
Are sufficient to make an impression?


When Woman is in rags and poor,
And sorrow, cold, and hunger tease her,
If man would only listen more
To that small voice that crieth—“Ease her!”
Without the guidance of a friend,
Though legal sharks and screws attack her,
If man would only more attend
To that small voice that crieth—“Back her!”
So oft it would not be his fate
To witness some despairing dropper
In Thames’s tide, and run too late
To that small voice that crieth—“Stop her!{245}


When would-be Suicides in purpose fail,
Who could not find a morsel though they needed—
If Peter sends them for attempts to jail,
What would he do to them if they succeeded?


Charm’d with a drink which Highlanders compose,
A German traveller exclaim’d with glee,—
“Potztausend! sare, if dis is Athol Brose,
How goot dere Athol Boetry must be!”


They may talk of the plugging and sweating,
Of our coinage that’s minted of gold,
But to me it produces no fretting
Of its shortness of weight to be told:
All the sov’reigns I’m able to levy
As to lightness can never be wrong,
But must surely be some of the heavy,
For I never can carry them long.


Such strictures as these
Could a learned Chinese
Only read on some fine afternoon,
He would cry with pale lips,
“We shall have an Eclipse,
For a Dragon has seized on the Moon!{246}



Says Blue-and-Buff, to Drab-and-Pink,
“I’ve heard the hardest word I think,
That ever posed me since my teens,
I wonder what As-best-os means!”
Says Drab-and-Pink, to Blue-and-Buff,
“The word is clear, and plain enough.
It means a Nag wot goes the pace,
And so as best os wins the race.”


“Too small for any marketable shift,
What purpose can there be for coins like these?”
Hush, hush, good Sir!—Thus charitable Thrift
May give a Mite to him who wants a cheese!



A very pretty public stir
Is making, down at Exeter,
About the surplice fashion:
And many bitter words and rude
Have been bestowed upon the feud,
And much unchristian passion.
For me, I neither know nor care
Whether a Parson ought to wear
A black dress or a white dress;
Fill’d with a trouble of my own,—
A Wife who preaches in her gown,
And lectures in her night-dress!



“On Monday they began to hunt.”—Chevy Chase.

JOHN HUGGINS was as bold a man
As trade did ever know,
A warehouse good he had, that stood
Hard by the church of Bow.
There people bought Dutch cheeses round
And single Glos’ter flat;
And English butter in a lump,
And Irish—in a pat.
Six days a week beheld him stand,
His business next his heart,
At counter, with his apron tied
About his counter-part.
The seventh, in a Sluice-house box
He took his pipe and pot;
On Sundays, for eel-piety,
A very noted spot.
Ah, blest if he had never gone
Beyond its rural shed!
One Easter-tide, some evil guide
Put Epping in his head!
Epping, for butter justly famed,
And pork in sausage popp’d;
Where, winter time or summer time,
Pig’s flesh is always chopp’d.
But famous more as annals tell,
Because of Easter chase;
There every year, ’twixt dog and deer,
There is a gallant race.{248}
With Monday’s sun John Huggins rose,
And slapped his leather thigh,
And sang the burden of the song,
“This day a stag must die.”
For all the live-long day before,
And all the night in bed,
Like Beckford, he had nourished “Thoughts
On Hunting” in his head.
Of horn and morn, and hark and bark,
And echo’s answering sounds,
All poets’ wit hath ever writ
In dog-rel verse of hounds.
Alas! there was no warning voice
To whisper in his ear,
Thou art a fool in leaving Cheap
To go and hunt the dear.
No thought he had of twisted spine,
Or broken arms or legs;
Not chicken-hearted he, although
’Twas whispered of his eggs!
Ride out he would, and hunt he would,
Nor dreamt of ending ill;
Mayhap with Dr. Ridout’s fee,
And Surgeon Hunter’s bill.
So he drew on his Sunday boots,
Of lustre superfine;
The liquid black they wore that day
Was Warren-ted to shine.
His yellow buckskins fitted close,
As erst upon a stag;
Thus well equipped he gayly skipped,
At once upon his nag.
But first to him that held the rein
A crown he nimbly flung;{249}
For holding of the horse!—why, no,
For holding of his tongue.
To say the horse was Huggins’ own
Would only be a brag;
His neighbour Fig and he went halves,
Like Centaurs, in a nag.
And he that day had got the gray,
Unknown to brother cit;
The horse he knew would never tell,
Although it was a tit.
A well-bred horse he was, I wis,
As he began to show,
By quickly “rearing up within
The way he ought to go.”
But Huggins, like a wary man,
Was ne’er from saddle cast;
Resolved, by going very slow,
On sitting very fast.
And so he jogged to Tot’n’am Cross,
An ancient town well known,
Where Edward wept for Eleanor
In mortar and in stone.
A royal game of fox and goose,
To play on such a loss;
Wherever she set down her orts
Thereby he put a cross.
Now Huggins had a crony here,
That lived beside the way;
One that had promised sure to be
His comrade for the day.
Whereas the man had changed his mind
Meanwhile upon the case!
And meaning not to hunt at all,
Had gone to Enfield Chase!{250}
For why, his spouse had made him vow
To let a game alone,
Where folks that ride a bit of blood,
May break a bit of bone.
“Now, be his wife a plague for life!
A coward sure is he!”
Then Huggins turned his horse’s head,
And crossed the bridge of Lea.
Thence slowly on through Laytonstone,
Past many a Quaker’s box—
No Friends to hunters after deer,
Though followers of a Fox.
And many a score behind—before—
The self-same rout inclined;
And, minded all to march one way,
Made one great march of mind.
Gentle and simple, he and she,
And swell, and blood, and prig;
And some had carts, and some a chaise,
According to their gig.
Some long-eared jacks, some knacker’s hacks
(However odd it sounds),
Let out that day to hunt, instead
Of going to the hounds!
And some had horses of their own,
And some were forced to job it;
And some, while they inclined to Hunt,
Betook themselves to Cob-it.
All sorts of vehicles and vans,
Bad, middling, and the smart;
Here rolled along the gay barouche,
And there a dirty cart!
And lo! a cart that held a squad
Of costermonger line;{251}
With one poor hack, like Pegasus,
That slaved for all the Nine!
Yet marvel not at any load
That any horse might drag;
When all, that morn, at once were drawn
Together by a stag.
Now when they saw John Huggins go
At such a sober pace;
“Hallo!” cried they; “come trot away,
You’ll never see the chase!”
But John, as grave as any judge,
Made answer quite as blunt;
“It will be time enough to trot,
When I begin to hunt!”
And so he paced to Woodford Wells,
Where many a horseman met,
And letting go the reins of course,
Prepared for heavy wet.
And lo! within the crowded door,
Stood Rounding, jovial elf;
Here shall the Muse frame no excuse,
But frame the man himself.
A snow-white head, a merry eye,
A cheek of jolly blush;
A claret tint laid on by health,
With master Reynard’s brush;
A hearty frame, a courteous bow,
The prince he learned it from;
His age about threescore and ten,
And there you have Old Tom.
In merriest key I trow was he,
So many guests to boast;
So certain congregations meet,
And elevate the host.{252}
“Now welcome lads,” quoth he, “and prads,
You’re all in glorious luck:
Old Robin has a run to-day,
A noted forest buck.
“Fair Mead’s the place, where Bob and Tom,
In red already ride;
’Tis but a step, and on a horse,
You soon may go a-stride.”
So off they scampered, man and horse,
As time and temper pressed—
But Huggins, hitching on a tree,
Branched off from all the rest.
Howbeit he tumbled down in time
To join with Tom and Bob,
All in Fair Mead, which held that day
Its own fair meed of mob.
Idlers to wit—no Guardians some,
Of Tattlers in a squeeze;
Ramblers in heavy carts and vans,
Spectators up in trees.
Butchers on backs of butchers’ hacks,
That shambled to and fro!
Bakers intent upon a buck,
Neglectful of the dough!
Change Alley Bears to speculate,
As usual for a fall;
And green and scarlet runners, such
As never climbed a wall!
’Twas strange to think what difference
A single creature made;
A single stag had caused a whole
Stagnation in their trade.
Now Huggins from his saddle rose,
And in the stirrups stood;{253}
And lo! a little cart that came
Hard by a little wood.
In shape like half a hearse—though not
For corpses in the least;
For this contained the deer alive,
And not the dear deceased!
And now began a sudden stir,
And then a sudden shout,
The prison doors were opened wide,
And Robin bounded out!
His antlered head shone blue and red,
Bedecked with ribbons fine;
Like other bucks that come to ‘list
The hawbucks in the line.
One curious gaze of wild amaze,
He turned and shortly took:
Then gently ran adown the mead,
And bounded o’er the brook.
Now Huggins, standing far aloof,
Had never seen the deer,
Till all at once he saw the beast
Come charging in his rear.
Away he went, and many a score
Of riders did the same,
On horse and ass—like High and Low
And Jack pursuing game!
Good Lord! to see the riders now,
Thrown off with sudden whirl,
A score within the purling brook,
Enjoyed their “early purl.”
A score were sprawling on the grass,
And beavers fell in showers;
There was another Floorer there,
Beside the Queen of Flowers!{254}
Some lost their stirrups, some their whips,
Some had no caps to show:
But few, like Charles at Charing Cross
Rode on in Statue quo.
“O dear! O dear!” now might you hear,
“I’ve surely broke a bone;”
“My head is sore”—with many more
Such Speeches from the Thrown.
Howbeit their wailings never moved
The wide Satanic clan,
Who grinned, as once the Devil grinned,
To see the fall of Man.
And hunters good that understood,
Their laughter knew no bounds,
To see the horses “throwing off”
So long before the hounds.
For deer must have due course of law,
Like men the Courts among;
Before those Barristers the dogs
Proceed to “giving tongue.”
But now Old Robin’s foes were set
That fatal taint to find,
That always is scent after him,
Yet always left behind.
And here observe how dog and man
A different temper shows:
What hound resents that he is sent
To follow his own nose?
Towler and Jowler—howlers all,
No single tongue was mute;
The stag had led a hart, and lo!
The whole pack followed suit.
No spur he lacked; fear stuck a knife
And fork in either haunch;{255}
And every dog he knew had got
An eye-tooth to his paunch!
Away, away! he scudded like
A ship before the gale;
Now flew to hills we know not of,
Now, nun-like, took the vale.
Another squadron charging now,
Went off at furious pitch;—
A perfect Tam O’Shanter mob,
Without a single witch.
But who was he with flying skirts,
A hunter did endorse,
And, like a poet, seemed to ride
Upon a wingèd horse?
A whipper-in? no whipper-in:
A huntsman? no such soul:
A connoisseur, or amateur?
Why, yes—a horse patrol.
A member of police, for whom
The county found a nag,
And, like Actæon in the tale,
He found himself in stag!
Away they went, then, dog and deer,
And hunters all away;
The maddest horses never knew
Mad staggers such as they!
Some gave a shout, some rolled about,
And anticked as they rode;
And butchers whistled on their curs,
And milkmen Tally-ho’d!
About two score there were, or more,
That galloped in the race;
The rest, alas! lay on the grass,
As once in Chevy Chase!{256}
But even those that galloped on
Were fewer every minute;
The field kept getting more select,
Each thicket served to thin it.
For some pulled up, and left the hunt,
Some fell in miry bogs,
And vainly rose and “ran a muck,”
To overtake the dogs.
And some, in charging hurdle stakes,
Were left bereft of sense;
What else could be premised of blades
That never learned to fence?
But Roundings, Tom and Bob, no gate,
Nor hedge, nor ditch could stay;
O’er all they went, and did the work
Of leap-years in a day!
And by their side see Huggins ride,
As fast as he could speed;
For, like Mazeppa, he was quite
At mercy of his steed.
No means he had, by timely check,
The gallop to remit,
For firm and fast, between his teeth,
The biter held the bit.
Trees raced along, all Essex fled
Beneath him as he sate;
He never saw a county go
At such a county rate!
“Hold hard! hold hard! you’ll lame the dogs!”
Quoth Huggins, “so I do;
I’ve got the saddle well in hand,
And hold as hard as you!”
Good Lord! to see him ride along,
And throw his arms about,{257}
As if with stitches in the side
That he was drawing out!
And now he bounded up and down,
Now like a jelly shook;
Till bumped and galled—yet not where Gall
For bumps did ever look!
And rowing with his legs the while,
As tars are apt to ride;
With every kick he gave a prick
Deep in the horse’s side!
But soon the horse was well avenged
For cruel smart of spurs,
For, riding through a moor, he pitched
His master in a furze!
Where, sharper set than hunger is,
He squatted all forlorn;
And, like a bird, was singing out
While sitting on a thorn!
Right glad was he, as well might be,
Such cushion to resign;
“Possession is nine points,” but his
Seems more than ninety-nine.
Yet worse than all the prickly points
That entered in his skin,
His nag was running off the while
The thorns were running in!
Now had a Papist seen his sport,
Thus laid upon the shelf,
Although no horse he had to cross,
He might have crossed himself.
Yet surely still the wind is ill
That none can say is fair;
A jolly wight there was, that rode
Upon a sorry mare!{258}
A sorry mare, that surely came
Of pagan blood and bone;
For down upon her knees she went
To many a stock and stone!
Now seeing Huggins’ nag adrift,
This farmer, shrewd and sage,
Resolved, by changing horses here,
To hunt another stage!
Though felony, yet who would let
Another’s horse alone,
Whose neck is placed in jeopardy
By riding on his own?
And yet the conduct of the man
Seemed honest-like and fair;
For he seemed willing, horse and all,
To go before the mare!
So up on Huggins’ horse he got,
And swiftly rode away,
While Huggins mounted on the mare
Done brown upon a bay!
And off they set in double chase,
For such was fortune’s whim,
The farmer rode to hunt the stag,
And Huggins hunted him!
Alas! with one that rode so well
In vain it was to strive;
A dab was he, as dabs should be—
All leaping and alive.
And here of Nature’s kindly care
Behold a curious proof,
As nags are meant to leap, she puts
A frog in every hoof!
Whereas the mare, although her share
She had of hoof and frog,{259}
On coming to a gate stopped short
As stiff as any log;
While Huggins in the stirrup stood
With neck like neck of crane,
As sings the Scottish song—“to see
The gate his hart had gane.”
And, lo! the dim and distant hunt
Diminished in a trice:
The steeds, like Cinderella’s team,
Seemed dwindling into mice;
And, far remote, each scarlet coat
Soon flitted like a spark—
Though still the forest murmured back
An echo of the bark!
But sad at soul John Huggins turned:
No comfort could he find;
While thus the “Hunting Chorus” sped,
To stay five bars behind.
For though by dint of spur he got
A leap in spite of fate—
Howbeit there was no toll at all—
They could not clear the gate.
And, like Fitzjames, he cursed the hunt,
And sorely cursed the day,
And mused a New Gray’s elegy
On his departed gray.
Now many a sign at Woodford town
Its Inn-vitation tells:
But Huggins, full of ills, of course
Betook him to the Wells,
Where Rounding tried to cheer him up
With many a merry laugh:
But Huggins thought of neighbour Fig,
And called for half-and-half.{260}
Yet, spite of drink, he could not blink
Remembrance of his loss;
To drown a care like his, required
Enough to drown a horse.
When thus forlorn, a merry horn
Struck up without the door—
The mounted mob were all returned;
The Epping Hunt was o’er!
And many a horse was taken out
Of saddle, and of shaft;
And men, by dint of drink, became
The only “beasts of draught.”
For now begun a harder run
On wine, and gin, and beer;
And overtaken men discussed
The overtaken deer.
How far he ran, and eke how fast,
And how at bay he stood,
Deerlike, resolved to sell his life
As dearly as he could:—
And how the hunters stood aloof,
Regardful of their lives,
And shunned a beast, whose very horns
They knew could handle knives!
How Huggins stood when he was rubbed
By help and ostler kind,
And when they cleaned the clay before,
How worse “remained behind.”
And one, how he had found a horse
Adrift—a goodly gray!
And kindly rode the nag, for fear
The nag should go astray;
Now Huggins, when he heard the tale,
Jumped up with sudden glee;

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



“A goodly gray! why, then, I say,
That gray belongs to me!
“Let me endorse again my horse,
Delivered safe and sound;
And gladly I will give the man
A bottle and a pound!”
The wine was drunk—the money paid,
Though not without remorse,
To pay another man so much
For riding on his horse;—
And let the chase again take place
For many a long, long year—
John Huggins will not ride again
To hunt the Epping Deer!


Thus pleasure oft eludes our grasp
Just when we think to grip her:
And hunting after Happiness,
We only hunt the slipper.


’Tis very hard when men forsake
This melancholy world, and make
A bed of turf, they cannot take
A quiet doze,
But certain rogues will come and break
Their “bone” repose.
’Tis hard we can’t give up our breath,
And to the earth our earth bequeath,
Without Death-Fetches after death,
Who thus exhume us;
And snatch us from our homes beneath,
And hearths posthumous.{262}
The tender lover comes to rear
The mournful urn, and shed his tear—
Her glorious dust, he cries, is here!
Alack! alack!
The while his Sacharissa dear
Is in a sack!
’Tis hard one cannot lie amid
The mould, beneath a coffin-lid,
But thus the Faculty will bid
Their rogues break through it,
If they don’t want us there, why did
They send us to it?
One of these sacrilegious knaves,
Who crave as hungry vulture craves,
Behaving as the ghoul behaves,
‘Neath church-yard wall—
Mayhap because he fed on graves,
Was named Jack Hall.
By day it was his trade to go
Tending the black coach to and fro;
And sometimes at the door of woe,
With emblems suitable,
He stood with brother Mute, to show
That life is mutable.
But long before they pass’d the ferry,
The dead that he had help’d to bury,
He sack’d—(he had a sack to carry
The bodies off in)
In fact, he let them have a very
Short fit of coffin.
Night after night, with crow and spade,
He drove this dead but thriving trade,
Meanwhile his conscience never weigh’d
A single horsehair;
On corses of all kinds he prey’d,
A perfect corsair!{263}
At last—it may be, Death took spite,
Or, jesting only, meant to fright—
He sought for Jack night after night
The churchyards round;
And soon they met, the man and sprite,
In Pancras’ ground.
Jack, by the glimpses of the moon,
Perceiv’d the bony knacker soon,
An awful shape to meet at noon
Of night and lonely;
But Jack’s tough courage did but swoon
A minute only.
Anon he gave his spade a swing
Aloft, and kept it brandishing,
Ready for what mishaps might spring
From this conjunction;
Funking indeed was quite a thing
Beside his function.
“Hollo!” cried Death, “d’ye wish your sands
Run out? the stoutest never stands
A chance with me,—to my commands
The strongest truckles;
But I’m your friend—so let’s shake hands,
I should say—knuckles.”
Jack, glad to see th’ old sprite so sprightly
And meaning nothing but uprightly,
Shook hands at once, and, bowing slightly,
His mull did proffer:
But Death, who had no nose, politely
Declin’d the offer.
Then sitting down upon a bank,
Leg over leg, shank over shank,
Like friends for conversation frank,
That had no check on:
Quoth Jack unto the Lean and Lank,
“You’re Death, I reckon.{264}
The Jaw-bone grinn’d:—“I am that same,
You’ve hit exactly on my name;
In truth it has some little fame
Where burial sod is.”
Quoth Jack (and wink’d), “of course ye came
Here after bodies.”
Death grinn’d again and shook his head:—
“I’ve little business with the dead;
When they are fairly sent to bed
I’ve done my turn:
Whether or not the worms are fed
Is your concern.
“My errand here, in meeting you,
Is nothing but a ‘how-d’ye-do;’
I’ve done what jobs I had—a few
Along this way;
If I can serve a crony too,
I beg you’ll say.”
Quoth Jack, “Your Honour’s very kind:
And now I call the thing to mind,
This parish very strict I find;
But in the next ‘un
There lives a very well-inclined
Old sort of sexton.”
Death took the hint, and gave a wink
As well as eyelet holes can blink;
Then stretching out his arm to link
The other’s arm,—
“Suppose,” says he, “we have a drink
Of something warm.”
Jack nothing loth, with friendly ease
Spoke up at once:—“Why, what ye please,
Hard by there is the Cheshire Cheese,
A famous tap.”
But this suggestion seem’d to tease
The bony chap.{265}
“No, no—your mortal drinks are heady,
And only make my hand unsteady;
I do not even care for Deady,
And loathe your rum;
But I’ve some glorious brewage ready,
My drink is—Mum!”
And off they set, each right content—
Who knows the dreary way they went?
But Jack felt rather faint and spent,
And out of breath;
At last he saw, quite evident,
The Door of Death.
All other men had been unmann’d
To see a coffin on each hand,
That served a skeleton to stand
By way of sentry;
In fact, Death has a very grand
And awful entry.
Throughout his dismal sign prevails,
His name is writ in coffin nails;
The mortal darts make area rails;
A skull that mocketh,
Grins on the gloomy gate, and quails
Whoever knocketh.
And lo! on either side, arise
Two monstrous pillars—bones of thighs;
A monumental slab supplies
The step of stone,
Where waiting for his master lies
A dog of bone.
The dog leapt up, but gave no yell,
The wire was pull’d, but woke no bell,
The ghastly knocker rose and fell,
But caused no riot;
The ways of Death, we all know well,
Are very quiet.{266}
Old Bones stept in; Jack stepp’d behind;
Quoth Death, I really hope you’ll find
The entertainment to your mind,
As I shall treat ye—
A friend or two of goblin kind,
I’ve asked to meet ye.
And lo! a crowd of spectres tall,
Like jack-a-lanterns on a wall,
Were standing—every ghastly ball—
An eager watcher.
“My friend,” says Death—“friends, Mr. Hall,
The body-snatcher.”
Lord, what a tumult it produced,
When Mr. Hall was introduced!
Jack even, who had long been used
To frightful things,
Felt just as if his back was sluic’d
With freezing springs!
Each goblin face began to make
Some horrid mouth—ape—gorgon—snake;
And then a spectre-hag would shake
An airy thigh-bone;
And cried, (or seem’d to cry,) I’ll break
Your bone, with my bone!
Some ground their teeth—some seem’d to spit—
(Nothing, but nothing came of it,)
A hundred awful brows were knit
In dreadful spite.
Thought Jack—“I’m sure I’d better quit
Without good-night.”
One skip and hop and he was clear,
And running like a hunted deer,
As fleet as people run by fear
Well spurr’d and whipp’d,
Death, ghosts, and all in that career
Were quite outstripp’d.{267}
But those who live by death must die;
Jack’s soul at last prepared to fly;
And when his latter end drew nigh,
Oh! what a swarm
Of doctors came,—but not to try
To keep him warm.
No ravens ever scented prey
So early where a dead horse lay,
Nor vulture sniff’d so far away
A last convulse:
A dozen “guests” day after day
Were “at his pulse.”
’Twas strange, altho’ they got no fees,
How still they watch’d by twos and threes,
But Jack a very little ease
Obtain’d from them;
In fact he did not find M. D.’s
Worth one D——M.
The passing bell with hollow toll
Was in his thought—the dreary hole!
Jack gave his eyes a horrid roll,
And then a cough:—
“There’s something weighing on my soul
I wish was off;
“All night it roves about my brains,
All day it adds to all my pains,
It is concerning my remains
When I am dead:”
Twelve wigs and twelve gold-headed canes
Drew near his bed.
“Alas!” he sigh’d, “I’m sore afraid
A dozen pangs my heart invade;
But when I drove a certain trade
In flesh and bone,
There was a little bargain made
About my own.{268}
Twelve suits of black began to close,
Twelve pair of sleek and sable hose,
Twelve flowing cambric frills in rows,
At once drew round;
Twelve noses turn’d against his nose,
Twelve snubs profound.
“Ten guineas did not quite suffice,
And so I sold my body twice;
Twice did not do—I sold it thrice,
Forgive my crimes!
In short I have received its price
A dozen times!”
Twelve brows got very grim and black,
Twelve wishes stretched him on the rack,
Twelve pair of hands for fierce attack
Took up position,
Ready to share the dying Jack
By long division.
Twelve angry doctors wrangled so,
That twelve had struck an hour ago,
Before they had an eye to throw
On the departed;
Twelve heads turn’d round at once, and lo!
Twelve doctors started.
Whether some comrade of the dead,
Or Satan took it in his head
To steal the corpse—the corpse had fled!
’Tis only written,
That “there was nothing in the bed,
But twelve were bitten!{269}



Her Pedigree.

TO trace the Kilmansegg pedigree
To the very root of the family tree
Were a task as rash as ridiculous:
Through antedilvian mists as thick
As London fog such a line to pick
Were enough, in truth, to puzzle old Nick,—
Not to name Sir Harris Nicolas.
It wouldn’t require much verbal strain
To trace the Kil-man, perchance, to Cain,
But, waiving all such digressions,
Suffice it, according to family lore,
A Patriarch Kilmansegg lived of yore,
Who was famed for his great possessions.
Tradition said he feather’d his nest
Through an Agricultural Interest
In the Golden Age of farming;
When golden eggs were laid by the geese,
And Colchian sheep wore a golden fleece,
And golden pippins—the sterling kind
Of Hesperus—now so hard to find—
Made Horticulture quite charming!
A Lord of Land, on his own estate,
He lived at a very lively rate,
But his income would bear carousing;
Such acres he had of pasture and heath,
With herbage so rich from the ore beneath,
The very ewe’s and lambkin’s teeth
Were turn’d into gold by browsing.
He gave, without any extra thrift,
A flock of sheep for a birthday gift
To each son of his loins, or daughter:{270}
And his debts—if debts he had—at will
He liquidated by giving each bill
A dip in Pactolian water.
’Twas said that even his pigs of lead,
By crossing with some by Midas bred,
Made a perfect mine of his piggery.
And as for cattle, one yearling bull
Was worth all Smithfield-market full
Of the Golden Bulls of Pope Gregory.
The high-bred horses within his stud,
Like human creatures of birth and blood,
Had their Golden Cups and flagons:
And as for the common husbandry nags,
Their noses were tied in money-bags,
When they stopp’d with the carts and waggons.
Moreover, he had a Golden Ass,
Sometimes at stall, and sometimes at grass,
That was worth his own weight in money—
And a golden hive, on a Golden Bank,
Where golden bees, by alchemical prank,
Gather’d gold instead of honey.
Gold! and gold! and gold without end!
He had gold to lay by, and gold to spend,
Gold to give, and gold to lend,
And reversions of gold in futuro.
In wealth the family revell’d and roll’d,
Himself and wife and sons so bold;—
And his daughters sang to their harps of gold
“O bella eta del’ oro!”
Such was the tale of the Kilmansegg Kin,
In golden text on a vellum skin,
Though certain people would wink and grin,
And declare the whole story a parable—
That the Ancestor rich was one Jacob Ghrimes,
Who held a long lease, in prosperous times,
Of acres, pasture and arable.{271}
That as money makes money, his golden bees
Were the Five per Cents, or which you please
When his cash was more than plenty—
That the golden cups were racing affairs;
And his daughters, who sang Italian airs,
Had their golden harps of Clementi.
That the Golden Ass, or Golden Bull,
Was English John, with his pockets full,
Then at war by land and water:
While beef, and mutton, and other meat,
Were almost as dear as money to eat,
And Farmers reaped Golden Harvests of wheat
At the Lord knows what per quarter!

Her Birth.

What different dooms our birthdays bring
For instance, one little manikin thing
Survives to wear many a wrinkle;
While Death forbids another to wake,
And a son that it took nine moons to make
Expires without even a twinkle!
Into this world we come like ships,
Launch’d from the docks, and stocks, and slips,
For fortune fair or fatal;
And one little craft is cast away
In its very first trip in Babbicome Bay,
While another rides safe at Port Natal.
What different lots our stars accord!
This babe to be hail’d and woo’d as a Lord!
And that to be shunn’d like a leper!
One, to the world’s wine, honey, and corn,
Another, like Colchester native, born
To its vinegar, only, and pepper.
One is litter’d under a roof
Neither wind nor waterproof{272}
That’s the prose of Love in a Cottage—
A puny, naked, shivering wretch,
The whole of whose birthright would not fetch,
Though Robins himself drew up the sketch,
The bid of “a mess of pottage.”
Born of Fortunatus’s kin,
Another comes tenderly ushered in
To a prospect all bright and burnish’d:
No tenant he for life’s back slums—
He comes to the world, as a gentleman comes
To a lodging ready furnish’d.
And the other sex—the tender—the fair—
What wide reverses of fate are there!
Whilst Margaret, charm’d by the Bulbul rare,
In a garden of Gul reposes—
Poor Peggy hawks nosegays from street to street
Till—think of that, who find life so sweet!—
She hates the smell of roses!
Not so with the infant Kilmansegg!
She was not born to steal or beg,
Or gather cresses in ditches;
To plait the straw, or bind the shoe,
Or sit all day to hem and sew,
As females must—and not a few—
To fill their insides with stitches!
She was not doom’d, for bread to eat,
To be put to her hands as well as her feet—
To carry home linen from mangles—
Or heavy-hearted, and weary-limb’d,
To dance on a rope in a jacket trimm’d
With as many blows as spangles.
She was one of those who by Fortune’s boon
Are born, as they say, with a silver spoon
In her mouth, not a wooden ladle:
To speak according to poet’s wont,
Plutus as sponsor stood at her font,
And Midas rock’d the cradle.

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



At her first debut she found her head
On a pillow of down, in a downy bed,
With a damask canopy over.
For although, by the vulgar popular saw,
All mothers are said to be “in the straw,”
Some children are born in clover.
Her very first draught of vital air,
It was not the common chameleon fare
Of plebeian lungs and noses,—
No—her earliest sniff
Of this world was a whiff
Of the genuine Otto of Roses!
When she saw the light, it was no mere ray
Of that light so common—so everyday—
That the sun each morning launches—
But six wax tapers dazzled her eyes,
From a thing—a gooseberry bush for size—
With a golden stem and branches.
She was born exactly at half-past two,
As witnessed a time-piece in or-molu
That stood on a marble table—
Showing at once the time of day,
And a team of Gildings running away
As fast as they were able,
With a golden God, with a golden Star,
And a golden Spear, in a golden Car,
According to Grecian fable.
Like other babes, at her birth she cried;
Which made a sensation far and wide—
Ay, for twenty miles around her:
For though to the ear ’twas nothing more
Than an infant’s squall, it was really the roar
Of a Fifty-thousand Pounder!
It shook the next heir
In his library chair,
And made him cry, “Confound her!{274}
Of signs and omens there was no dearth,
Any more than at Owen Glendower’s birth,
Or the advent of other great people:
Two bullocks dropp’d dead,
As if knock’d on the head,
And barrels of stout
And ale ran about,
And the village-bells such a peal rang out,
That they crack’d the village-steeple.
In no time at all, like mushroom spawn,
Tables sprang up all over the lawn;
Not furnish’d scantly or shabbily,
But on scale as vast
As that huge repast,
With its loads and cargoes
Of drink and botargoes,
At the birth of the Babe in Rabelais.
Hundreds of men were turn’d into beasts,
Like the guests at Circe’s horrible feasts,
By the magic of ale and cider:
And each country lass, and each country lad,
Began to caper and dance like mad,
And ev’n some old ones appear’d to have had
A bite from the Naples Spider.
Then as night came on,
It had scared King John
Who considered such signs not risible,
To have seen the maroons,
And the whirling moons,
And the serpents of flame,
And wheels of the same,
That according to some were “whizzable.”
Oh, happy Hope of the Kilmanseggs!
Thrice happy in head, and body, and legs,
That her parents had such full pockets!
For had she been born of Want and Thrift,
For care and nursing all adrift,{275}
It’s ten to one she had had to make shift
With rickets instead of rockets!
And how was the precious baby drest?
In a robe of the East, with lace of the West,
Like one of Crœsus’ issue—
Her best bibs were made
Of rich gold brocade,
And the others of silver tissue.
And when the Baby inclined to nap
She was lull’d on a Gros de Naples lap,
By a nurse in a modish Paris cap,
Of notions so exalted,
She drank nothing lower than Curaçoa,
Maraschino, or pink Noyau,
And on principle never malted.
From a golden boat, with a golden spoon,
The babe was fed night, morning, and noon;
And although the tale seems fabulous,
’Tis said her tops and bottoms were gilt,
Like the oats in that Stable-yard Palace built
For the Horse of Heliogabalus.
And when she took to squall and kick—
For pain will ring, and pins will prick,
E’en the wealthiest nabob’s daughter—
They gave her no vulgar Dalby or gin,
But a liquor with leaf of gold therein,
Videlicet,—Dantzic Water.
In short, she was born, and bred, and nurst,
And drest in the best from the very first,
To please the genteelest censor—
And then, as soon as strength would allow
Was vaccinated, as babes are now,
With virus ta’en from the best-bred cow
Of Lord Althorpe’s—now Earl Spencer.

Her Christening.

Though Shakespeare asks us, “What’s in a name?”
(As if cognomens were much the same),
There’s really a very great scope in it.
A name?—why, wasn’t there Doctor Dodd,
That servant at once of Mammon and God,
Who found four thousand pounds and odd,
A prison—a cart—and a rope in it?
A name?—if the party had a voice,
What mortal would be a Bugg by choice?
As a Hogg, a Grubb, or a Chubb rejoice?
Or any such nauseous blazon?
Not to mention many a vulgar name,
That would make a door-plate blush for shame,
If door-plates were not so brazen!
A name?—it has more than nominal worth,
And belongs to good or bad luck at birth—
As dames of a certain degree know.
In spite of his Page’s hat and hose,
His Page’s jacket, and buttons in rows,
Bob only sounds like a page in prose
Till turned into Rupertino.
Now to christen the infant Kilmansegg,
For days and days it was quite a plague,
To hunt the list in the Lexicon:
And scores were tried, like coin, by the ring,
Ere names were found just the proper thing
For a minor rich as a Mexican.
Then cards were sent the presence to beg
Of all the kin of Kilmansegg,
White, yellow, and brown relations:
Brothers, Wardens of City Halls,
And Uncles—rich as three Golden Balls
From taking pledges of nations.
Nephews, whom Fortune seem’d to bewitch,
Rising in life like rockets{277}
Nieces, whose doweries knew no hitch—
Aunts, as certain of dying rich
As candles in golden sockets—
Cousins German and Cousins’ sons,
All thriving and opulent—some had tons
Of Kentish hops in their pockets!
For money had stuck to the race through life
(As it did to the bushel when cash so rife
Posed Ali Baba’s brother’s wife)—
And down to the Cousins and Coz-lings,
The fortunate brood of the Kilmanseggs,
As if they had come out of golden eggs,
Were all as wealthy as “Goslings.”
It would fill a Court Gazette to name
What East and West End people came
To the rite of Christianity:
The lofty Lord, and the titled Dame,
All di’monds, plumes, and urbanity:
His Lordship the May’r with his golden chain,
And two Gold Sticks, and the Sheriffs twain,
Nine foreign Counts, and other great men
With their orders and stars, to help “M. or N.”
To renounce all pomp and vanity.
To paint the maternal Kilmansegg
The pen of an Eastern Poet would beg,
And need an elaborate sonnet;
How she sparkled with gems whenever she stirr’d,
And her head niddle-noddled at every word,
And seem’d so happy, a Paradise Bird
Had nidificated upon it.
And Sir Jacob the Father strutted and bow’d,
And smiled to himself, and laugh’d aloud,
To think of his heiress and daughter—
And then in his pockets he made a grope,
And then, in the fulness of joy and hope,
Seem’d washing his hands with invisible soap
In imperceptible water.{278}
He had roll’d in money like pigs in mud,
Till it seem’d to have entered into his blood
By some occult projection:
And his cheeks instead of a healthy hue
As yellow as any guinea grew,
Making the common phrase seem true,
About a rich complexion.
And now came the nurse, and during a pause,
Her dead-leaf satin would fitly cause
A very autumnal rustle—
So full of figure, so full of fuss,
As she carried about the babe to buss,
She seem’d to be nothing but bustle.
A wealthy Nabob was Godpapa,
And an Indian Begum was Godmamma,
Whose jewels a Queen might covet—
And the Priest was a Vicar, and Dean withal
Of that Temple we see with a Golden Ball,
And a Golden Cross above it.
The Font was a bowl of American gold,
Won by Raleigh in days of old,
In spite of Spanish bravado;
And the Book of Pray’r was so overrun
With gilt devices, it shone in the sun
Like a copy—a presentation one—
Of Humboldt’s “El Dorado.”
Gold! and gold! and nothing but gold!
The same auiferous shine behold
Wherever the eye could settle!
On the walls—the sideboard—the ceiling-sky—
On the gorgeous footmen standing by,
In coats to delight a miner’s eye
With seams of the precious metal.
Gold! and gold! and besides the gold,
The very robe of the infant told
A tale of wealth in every fold,
It lapp’d her like a vapour!{279}
So fine! so thin! the mind at a loss
Could compare it to nothing except a cross
Of cobweb with bank-note paper.
Then her pearls—’twas a perfect sight, forsooth,
To see them, like “the dew of her youth,”
In such a plentiful sprinkle.
Meanwhile, the Vicar read through the form,
And gave her another, not overwarm,
That made her little eyes twinkle.
Then the babe was cross’d and bless’d amain!
But instead of the Kate, or Ann, or Jane,
Which the humbler female endorses—
Instead of one name, as some people prefix,
Kilmansegg went at the tails of six,
Like a carriage of state with its horses.
Oh, then the kisses she got and hugs!
The golden mugs and the golden jugs
That lent fresh rays to the midges!
The golden knives, and the golden spoons,
The gems that sparkled like fairy boons,
It was one of the Kilmansegg’s own saloons,
But look’d like Rundell and Bridge’s!
Gold! and gold! the new and the old,
The company ate and drank from gold,
They revell’d, they sang, and were merry;
And one of the Gold Sticks rose from his chair,
And toasted “the Lass with the golden hair”
In a bumper of Golden Sherry.
Gold! still gold! it rain’d on the nurse,
Who—un-like Danäe—was none the worse!
There was nothing but guineas glistening!
Fifty were given to Doctor James,
For calling the little Baby names,
And for saying, Amen!
The Clerk had ten,
And that was the end of the Christening.

Her Childhood.

Our youth! our childhood! that spring of springs!
’Tis surely one of the blessedest things
That nature ever invented!
When the rich are wealthy beyond their wealth,
And the poor are rich in spirits and health,
And all with their lots contented!
There’s little Phelim, he sings like a thrush,
In the selfsame pair of patchwork plush,
With the selfsame empty pockets,
That tempted his daddy so often to cut
His throat, or jump in the water-butt—
But what cares Phelim? an empty nut
Would sooner bring tears to their sockets.
Give him a collar without a skirt,
(That’s the Irish linen for shirt)
And a slice of bread with a taste of dirt,
(That’s Poverty’s Irish butter),
And what does he lack to make him blest?
Some oyster-shells, or a sparrow’s nest,
A candle-end, and a gutter.
But to leave the happy Phelim alone,
Gnawing, perchance, a marrowless bone,
For which no dog would quarrel—
Turn we to little Miss Kilmansegg
Cutting her first little toothy-peg
With a fifty-guinea coral—
A peg upon which
About poor and rich
Reflection might hang a moral.
Born in wealth, and wealthily nursed,
Capp’d, papp’d, napp’d, and lapp’d from the first
On the knees of Prodigality,
Her childhood was one eternal round
Of the game of going on Tickler’s ground
Picking up gold—in reality.{281}
With extempore cartes she never play’d,
Or the odds and ends of a Tinker’s trade,
Or little dirt pies and puddings made,
Like children happy and squalid;
The very puppet she had to pet,
Like a bait for the “Nix my Dolly” set,
Was a Dolly of gold—and solid!
Gold! and gold! ’twas the burden still!
To gain the Heiress’s early goodwill
There was much corruption and bribery—
The yearly cost of her golden toys
Would have given half London’s Charity Boys
And Charity Girls the annual joys
Of a holiday dinner at Highbury.
Bon-bons she ate from the gilt cornet;
And gilded queens on St. Bartlemy’s day;
Till her fancy was tinged by her presents—
And first a Goldfinch excited her wish,
Then a spherical bowl with its Golden fish,
And then two Golden Pheasants.
Nay, once she squall’d and scream’d like wild—
And it shows how the bias we give to a child
Is a thing most weighty and solemn:—
But whence was wonder or blame to spring
If little Miss K.—after such a swing—
Made a dust for the flaming gilded thing
On the top of the Fish Street column?

Her Education.

According to metaphysical creed,
To the earliest books that children read
For much good or much bad they are debtors—
But before with their A B C they start,
There are things in morals, as well as art,
That play a very important part—
“Impressions before the letters.”
Dame Education begins the pile,
Mayhap in the graceful Corinthian style,{282}
But alas for the elevation!
If the Lady’s maid or Gossip the Nurse
With a load of rubbish, or something worse,
Have made a rotten foundation.
Even thus with little Miss Kilmansegg,
Before she learned her E for egg,
Ere her Governess came, or her masters—
Teachers of quite a different kind
Had “cramm’d” her beforehand, and put her mind
In a go-cart on golden castors.
Long before her A B and C,
They had taught her by heart her L. S. D.
And as how she was born a great Heiress;
And as sure as London is built of bricks,
My Lord would ask her the day to fix,
To ride in a fine gilt coach and six,
Like Her Worship the Lady May’ress.
Instead of stories from Edgeworth’s page,
The true golden lore for our golden age,
Or lessons from Barbauld and Trimmer,
Teaching the worth of Virtue and Health,
All that she knew was the Virtue of Wealth,
Provided by vulgar nursery stealth
With a Book of Leaf Gold for a Primer.
The very metal of merit they told,
And praised her for being as “good as gold!”
Till she grew as a peacock haughty;
Of money they talk’d the whole day round,
And weigh’d desert, like grapes, by the pound,
Till she had an idea from the very sound
That people with nought were naughty.
They praised—poor children with nothing at all!
Lord! how you twaddle and waddle and squall
Like common-bred geese and ganders!
What sad little bad little figures you make
To the rich Miss K., whose plainest seed-cake
Was stuff’d with corianders!{283}
They praised her falls, as well as her walk,
Flatterers made cream cheese of chalk,
They praised—how they praised—her very small talk,
As if it fell from a Solon;
Or the girl who at each pretty phrase let drop
A ruby comma, or pearl full-stop,
Or an emerald semi-colon.
They praised her spirit, and now and then
The Nurse brought her own little “nevy” Ben,
To play with the future May’ress,
And when he got raps, and taps, and slaps,
Scratches, and pinches, snips, and snaps,
As if from a Tigress, or Bearess,
They told him how Lords would court that hand,
And always gave him to understand
While he rubb’d, poor soul,
His carroty poll,
That his hair had been pull’d by “a Hairess.”
Such were the lessons from maid and nurse,
A Governess help’d to make still worse,
Giving an appetite so perverse
Fresh diet whereon to batten—
Beginning with A B C to hold
Like a royal playbill printed in gold
On a square of pearl-white satin.
The books to teach the verbs and nouns,
And those about countries, cities, and towns,
Instead of their sober drabs and browns,
Were in crimson silk, with gilt edges;—
Her Butler, and Enfield, and Entick—in short
Her “Early Lessons” of every sort,
Look’d like Souvenirs, Keepsakes, and Pledges.
Old Johnson shone out in as fine array
As he did one night when he went to the play;
Chambaud like a beau of King Charles’s day—
Lindley Murray in like conditions—
Each weary, unwelcome, irksome task,
Appear’d in a fancy dress and a mask;{284}
If you wish for similar copies, ask
For Howell and James’s Editions.
Novels she read to amuse her mind,
But always the affluent match-making kind
That ends with Promessi Sposi,
And a father-in-law so wealthy and grand,
He could give cheque-mate to Coutts in the Strand;
So, along with a ring and posy,
He endows the Bride with Golconda off-hand,
And gives the Groom Potosi.
Plays she perused—but she liked the best
Those comedy gentlefolks always possess’d
Of fortunes so truly romantic—
Of money so ready that right or wrong
It always is ready to go for a song,
Throwing it, going it, pitching it strong—
They ought to have purses as green and long
As the cucumber call’d the Gigantic.
Then Eastern Tales she loved for the sake
Of the Purse of Oriental make,
And the thousand pieces they put in it—
But Pastoral scenes on her heart fell cold,
For Nature with her had lost its hold,
No field but the Field of the Cloth of Gold
Would ever have caught her foot in it.
What more? She learnt to sing, and dance,
To sit on a horse, although he should prance,
And to speak a French not spoken in France
Any more than at Babel’s building—
And she painted shells, and flowers, and Turks,
But her great delight was in Fancy Works
That are done with gold or gilding.
Gold! still gold!—the bright and the dead,
With golden beads, and gold lace, and gold thread
She work’d in gold, as if for her bread;
The metal had so undermined her,
Gold ran in her thoughts and fill’d her brain,{285}
She was golden-headed as Peter’s cane
With which he walk’d behind her.


The horse that carried Miss Kilmansegg,
And a better never lifted leg,
Was a very rich bay, call’d Banker—
A horse of a breed and a mettle so rare,—
By Bullion out of an Ingot mare,—
That for action, the best of figures, and air,
It made many good judges hanker.
And when she took a ride in the Park,
Equestrian Lord, or pedestrian Clerk,
Was thrown in an amorous fever,
To see the Heiress how well she sat,
With her groom behind her, Bob or Nat,
In green, half smother’d with gold, and a hat
With more gold lace than beaver.
And then when Banker obtain’d a pat,
To see how he arch’d his neck at that!
He snorted with pride and pleasure!
Like the Steed in the fable so lofty and grand,
Who gave the poor Ass to understand,
That he didn’t carry a bag of sand,
But a burden of golden treasure.
A load of treasure?—alas! alas!
Had her horse but been fed upon English grass,
And shelter’d in Yorkshire spinneys,
Had he scour’d the sand with the Desert Ass,
Or where the American whinnies—
But a hunter from Erin’s turf and gorse,
A regular thorough-bred Irish horse,
Why, he ran away, as a matter of course,
With a girl worth her weight in guineas!
Mayhap ’tis the trick of such pampered nags,—
To shy at the sight of a beggar in rags,{286}
But away, like the bolt of a rabbit,—
Away went the horse in the madness of fright,
And away went the horsewoman mocking the sight—
Was yonder blue flash a flash of blue light,
Or only the skirt of her habit?
Away she flies, with the groom behind,—
It looks like a race of the Calmuck kind,
When Hymen himself is the starter,
And the Maid rides first in the four-footed strife,
Riding, striding, as if for her life,
While the Lover rides after to catch him a wife,
Although it’s catching a Tartar.
But the Groom has lost his glittering hat!
Though he does not sigh and pull up for that—
Alas! his horse is a tit for Tat
To sell to a very low bidder—
His wind is ruin’d, his shoulder is sprung,
Things, though a horse be handsome and young,
A purchaser will consider.
But still flies the Heiress through stones and dust,
Oh, for a fall, if fall she must,
On the gentle lap of Flora!
But still, thank Heaven! she clings to her seat—
Away! away! she could ride a dead heat
With the Dead who ride so fast and fleet,
In the Ballad of Leonora!
Away she gallops,—it’s awful work!
It’s faster than Turpin’s ride to York,
On Bess that notable clipper!
She has circled the Ring!—she crosses the Park!
Mazeppa, although he was stripp’d so stark,
Mazeppa couldn’t outstrip her!
The fields seem running away with the folks!
The Elms are having a race for the Oaks
At a pace that all Jockeys disparages!
All, all is racing! the Serpentine
Seems rushing past like the “arrowy Rhine,{287}
The houses have got on a railway line,
And are off like the first-class carriages!
She’ll lose her life! she is losing her breath!
A cruel chase, she is chasing Death,
As female shriekings forewarn her:
And now—as gratis as blood of Guelph—
She clears that gate, which has clear’d itself
Since then, at Hyde Park Corner!
Alas! for the hope of the Kilmanseggs!
For her head, her brains, her body, and legs,
Her life’s not worth a copper!
In Piccadilly,
A hundred hearts turn sick and chilly,
A hundred voices cry, “Stop her!”
And one old gentleman stares and stands,
Shakes his head and lifts his hands,
And says, “How very improper!”
On and on!—what a perilous run!
The iron rails seem all mingling in one,
To shut out the Green Park scenery!
And now the Cellar its dangers reveals.
She shudders—she shrieks—she’s doom’d, she feels,
To be torn by powers of horses and wheels,
Like a spinner by steam machinery!
Sick with horror she shuts her eyes,
But the very stones seem uttering cries,
As they did to that Persian daughter,
When she climb’d up the steep vociferous hill,
Her little silver flagon to fill
With the magical Golden Water!
“Batter her! shatter her!
Throw and scatter her!”
Shouts each stony-hearted chatterer!
“Dash at the heavy Dover!
Spill her! kill her! tear and tatter her!
Smash her! crash her!” (the stones didn’t flatter her!){288}
“Kick her brains out! let her blood spatter her!
Roll on her over and over!”
For so she gather’d the awful sense
Of the street in its past unmacadamized tense,
As the wild horse overran it,—
His four heels making the clatter of six,
Like a Devil’s tattoo, play’d with iron sticks
On a kettle-drum of granite!
On! still on! she’s dazzled with hints
Of oranges, ribbons, and colour’d prints,
A Kaleidoscope jumble of shapes and tints,
And human faces all flashing,
Bright and brief as the sparks from the flints,
That the desperate hoof keeps dashing!
On and on! still frightfully fast!
Dover-street, Bond-street, all are past!
But—yes—no—yes!—they’re down at last!
The Furies and Fates have found them!
Down they go with sparkle and crash,
Like a Bark that’s struck by the lightning flash—
There’s a shriek—and a sob—
And the dense dark mob
Like a billow closes around them!
* * * * * *
* * * * * *
“She breathes!”
“She don’t!”
“She’ll recover!”
“She won’t!”
“She’s stirring! she’s living, by Nemesis!”
Gold, still gold! on counter and shelf!
Golden dishes as plenty as delf;
Miss Kilmansegg’s coming again to herself
On an opulent Goldsmith’s premises!
Gold! fine gold!—both yellow and red,
Beaten, and molten—polish’d, and dead—

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]



To see the gold with profusion spread
In all forms of its manufacture!
But what avails gold to Miss Kilmansegg,
When the femoral bone of her dexter leg
Has met with a compound fracture?
Gold may soothe Adversity’s smart;
Nay, help to bind up a broken heart;
But to try it on any other part
Were as certain a disappointment,
As if one should rub the dish and plate,
Taken out of a Staffordshire crate—
In the hope of a Golden Service of State—
With Singleton’s “Golden Ointment.”

Her Precious Leg.

“As the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined,”
Is an adage often recall’d to mind,
Referring to juvenile bias:
And never so well is the verity seen,
As when to the weak, warp’d side we lean,
While Life’s tempests and hurricanes try us.
Even thus with Miss K. and her broken limb:
By a very, very remarkable whim,
She show’d her early tuition:
While the buds of character came into blow
With a certain tinge that served to show
The nursery culture long ago,
As the graft is known by fruition!
For the King’s Physician, who nursed the case,
His verdict gave with an awful face,
And three others concurr’d to egg it;
That the Patient to give old Death the slip,
Like the Pope, instead of a personal trip,
Must send her Leg as a Legate.
The limb was doom’d—it couldn’t be saved!
And like other people the patient behaved,
Nay, bravely that cruel parting braved,{290}
Which makes some persons so falter,
They rather would part, without a groan,
With the flesh of their flesh, and bone of their bone,
They obtain’d at St. George’s altar.
But when it came to fitting the stump
With a proxy limb—then flatly and plump
She spoke, in the spirit olden;
She couldn’t—she shouldn’t—she wouldn’t have wood
Nor a leg of cork, if she never stood,
And she swore an oath, or something as good,
The proxy limb should be golden!
A wooden leg! what, a sort of peg,
For your common Jockeys and Jennies!
No, no, her mother might worry and plague—
Weep, go down on her knees, and beg,
But nothing would move Miss Kilmansegg!
She could—she would have a Golden Leg,
If it cost ten thousand guineas!
Wood indeed, in Forest or Park,
With its sylvan honours and feudal bark,
Is an aristocratic article:
But split and sawn, and hack’d about town,
Serving all needs of pauper or clown,
Trod on! stagger’d on! Wood cut down
Is vulgar—fibre and particle.
And Cork!—when the noble Cork Tree shades
A lovely group of Castilian maids,
’Tis a thing for a song or sonnet!—
But cork, as it stops the bottle of gin,
Or bungs the beer—the small beer—in,
It pierced her heart like a corking-pin,
To think of standing upon it!
A Leg of Gold—solid gold throughout,
Nothing else, whether slim or stout,
Should ever support her, God willing!
She must—she could—she would have her whim,{291}
Her father, she turn’d a deaf ear to him—
He might kill her—she didn’t mind killing!
He was welcome to cut off her other limb—
He might cut her all off with a shilling!
All other promised gifts were in vain,
Golden Girdle, or Golden Chain,
She writhed with impatience more than pain,
And utter’d “pshaws!” and “pishes!”
But a Leg of Gold as she lay in bed,
It danced before her—it ran in her head!
It jump’d with her dearest wishes!
“Gold—gold—gold! Oh, let it be gold!”
Asleep or awake that tale she told,
And when she grew delirious;
Till her parents resolved to grant her wish,
If they melted down plate, and goblet, and dish,
The case was getting so serious.
So a Leg was made in a comely mould,
Of Gold, fine virgin glittering gold,
As solid as man could made it—
Solid in foot, and calf, and shank,
A prodigious sum of money it sank;
In fact ’twas a Branch of the family Bank,
And no easy matter to break it.
All sterling metal—not half-and-half,
The Goldsmith’s mark was stamp’d on the calf—
’Twas pure as from Mexican barter!
And to make it more costly, just over the knee,
Where another ligature used to be,
Was a circle of jewels, worth shillings to see,
A new-fangled Badge of the Garter!
’Twas a splendid, brilliant, beautiful Leg,
Fit for the Court of Scander-Beg,
That Precious Leg of Miss Kilmansegg!
For, thanks to parental bounty,
Secure from Mortification’s touch,
She stood on a Member that cost as much
As a Member for all the County!

Her Fame.

To gratify stern ambition’s whims,
What hundreds and thousands of precious limbs
On a field of battle we scatter!
Sever’d by sword, or bullet, or saw,
Off they go, all bleeding and raw,—
But the public seems to get the lock-jaw
So little is said on the matter!
Legs, the tightest that ever were seen,
The tightest, the lightest, that danced on the green,
Cutting capers to sweet Kitty Clover;
Shatter’d, scatter’d, cut, and bowl’d down,
Off they go, worse off for renown,
A line in the Times, or a talk about town,
Than the leg that a fly runs over!
But the Precious Leg of Miss Kilmansegg,
That gowden, goolden, golden leg,
Was the theme of all conversation!
Had it been a Pillar of Church and State,
Or a prop to support the whole Dead Weight,
It could not have furnish’d more debate
To the heads and tails of the nation!
East and west, and north and south,
Though useless for either hunger or drouth,—
The Leg was in everybody’s mouth,
To use a poetical figure,
Rumour, in taking her ravenous swim,
Saw, and seized on the tempting limb,
Like a shark on the leg of a nigger.
Wilful murder fell very dead;
Debates in the House were hardly read;
In vain the Police Reports were fed
With Irish riots and rumpuses
The Leg! the Leg! was the great event,
Through every circle in life it went,
Like the leg of a pair of compasses.{293}
The last new Novel seem’d tame and flat,
The Leg, a novelty newer than that,
Had tripp’d up the heels of Fiction!
It Burked the very essays of Burke,
And, alas! how Wealth over Wit play’s the Turk!
As a regular piece of goldsmith’s work,
Got the better of Goldsmith’s diction.
“A leg of gold! what of solid gold!”
Cried rich and poor, and young and old,—
And Master and Miss and Madam—
’Twas the talk of ‘Change—the Alley—the Bank—
And with men of scientific rank,
It made as much stir as the fossil shank
Of a Lizard coeval with Adam!
Of course with Greenwich and Chelsea elves,
Men who had lost a limb themselves,
Its interest did not dwindle—
But Bill, and Ben, and Jack, and Tom
Could hardly have spun more yarns therefrom
If the leg had been a spindle.
Meanwhile the story went to and fro,
Till, gathering like the ball of snow,
By the time it got to Stratford-le-Bow,
Through Exaggeration’s touches,
The Heiress and Hope of the Kilmanseggs
Was propp’d on two fine Golden Legs,
And a pair of Golden Crutches!
Never had a Leg so great a run!
’Twas the “go” and the “Kick” thrown into one!
The mode—the new thing under the sun,
The rage—the fancy—the passion!
Bonnets were named, and hats were worn,
A la Golden Leg instead of Leghorn,
And stockings and shoes,
Of golden hues,
Took the lead in the walks of fashion!
The Golden Leg had a vast career,
It was sung and danced—and to show how near{294}
Low folly to lofty approaches,
Down to society’s very dregs,
The Belles of Wapping wore “Kilmanseggs,”
And St. Giles’s Beaux sported Golden Legs
In their pinchbeck pins and brooches!

Her First Step.

Supposing the Trunk and Limbs of Man
Shared, on the allegorical plan,
By the Passions that mark Humanity,
Whichever might claim the head, or heart,
The stomach, or any other part,
The Legs would be seized by Vanity.
There’s Bardus, a six-foot column of fop,
A lighthouse without any light atop,
Whose height would attract beholders
If he had not lost some inches clear
By looking down at his kerseymere,
Ogling the limbs he holds so dear,
Till he got a stoop in his shoulders.
Talk of Art, of Science, or Books,
And down go the everlasting looks,
To his crural beauties so wedded!
Try him, wherever you will, you find
His mind in his legs, and his legs in his mind,
All prongs and folly—in short a kind
Of fork—that is fiddle-headed.
What wonder, then, if Miss Kilmansegg,
With a splendid, brilliant, beautiful leg,
Fit for the court of Scander-Beg,
Disdain’d to hide it like Joan or Meg,
In petticoats stuff’d or quilted?
Not she! ’twas her convalescent whim
To dazzle the world with her precious limb,—
Nay, to go a little high-kilted.
So cards were sent for that sort of mob
Where Tartars and Africans hob-and-nob,{295}
And the Cherokee talks of his cab and cob
To Polish or Lapland lovers—
Cards like that hieroglyphical call
To a geographical Fancy Ball
On the recent Post-Office covers.
For if Lion-hunters—and great ones too—
Would mob a savage from Latakoo,
Or squeeze for a glimpse of Prince Lee Boo,
That unfortunate Sandwich scion—
Hundreds of first-rate people, no doubt,
Would gladly, madly, rush to a rout,
That promised a Golden Lion!

Her Fancy Ball.

Of all the spirits of evil fame,
That hurt the soul or injure the frame,
And poison what’s honest and hearty,
There’s none more needs a Matthew to preach
A cooling antiphlogistic speech,
To praise and enforce
A temperate course,
Than the Evil Spirit of Party.
Go to the House of Commons, or Lords,
And they seem to be busy with simple words
In their popular sense or pedantic—
But, alas! with their cheers, and sneers, and jeers,
They’re really busy, whatever appears,
Putting peas in each other’s ears,
To drive their enemies frantic!
Thus Tories like to worry the Whigs,
Who treat them in turn like Schwalbach pigs,
Giving them lashes, thrashes, and digs,
With their writhing and pain delighted—
But after all that’s said, and more,
The malice and spite of Party are poor
To the malice and spite of a party next door,
To a party not invited.{296}
On with the cap and out with the light,
Weariness bids the world good night,
At least for the usual season;
But hark! a clatter of horses’ heels!
And Sleep and Silence are broken on wheels,
Like Wilful Murder and Treason!
Another crash—and the carriage goes—
Again poor Weariness seeks the repose
That Nature demands, imperious;
But Echo takes up the burden now,
With a rattling chorus of row-de-dow-dow,
Till Silence herself seems making a row,
Like a Quaker gone delirious!
’Tis night—a winter night—and the stars
Are shining like winkin’—Venus and Mars
Are rolling along in their golden cars
Through the sky’s serene expansion—
But vainly the stars dispense their rays,
Venus and Mars are lost in the blaze
Of the Kilmanseggs’ luminous mansion!
Up jumps Fear in a terrible fright!
His bedchamber windows look so bright,—
With light all the Square is glutted!
Up he jumps, like a sole from the pan,
And a tremor sickens his inward man,
For he feels as only a gentleman can,
Who thinks he’s being “gutted.”
Again Fear settles, all snug and warm,
But only to dream of a dreadful storm
From Autumn’s sulphurous locker;
But the only electrical body that falls,
Wears a negative coat, and positive smalls,
And draws the peal that so appals
From the Kilmanseggs’ brazen knocker!
’Tis Curiosity’s Benefit night—
And perchance ’tis the English-Second-Sight,
But whatever it be, so be it{297}
As the friends and guests of Miss Kilmansegg
Crowd in to look at her Golden Leg,
As many more
Mob round the door,
To see them going to see it!
In they go—in jackets, and cloaks,
Plumes, and bonnets, turbans, and toques,
As if to a Congress of Nations:
Greeks and Malays, with daggers and dirks,
Spaniards, Jews, Chinese, and Turks—
Some like original foreign works,
But mostly like bad translations.
In they go, and to work like a pack,
Juan, Moses, and Shacabac—
Tom, and Jerry, and Springheel’d Jack,—
For some of low Fancy are lovers—
Skirting, zigzagging, casting about,
Here and there, and in and out,
With a crush, and a rush, for a full-bodied rout
In one of the stiffest of covers.
In they went, and hunted about,
Open-mouth’d like chub and trout,
And some with the upper lip thrust out,
Like that fish for routing, a barbel—
While Sir Jacob stood to welcome the crowd,
And rubb’d his hands, and smiled aloud,
And bow’d, and bow’d, and bow’d, and bow’d,
Like a man who is sawing marble.
For Princes were there, and Noble Peers;
Dukes descended from Norman spears;
Earls that dated from early years;
And Lords in vast variety—
Besides the Gentry both new and old—
For people who stand on legs of gold,
Are sure to stand well with society.
“But where—where—where?” with one accord
Cried Moses and Mufti, Jack and my Lord,{298}
Wang-Fong and Il Bondocani—
When slow, and heavy, and dead as a dump,
They heard a foot begin to stump,
Thump! lump!
Lump! thump!
Like the Spectre in “Don Giovanni!”
And lo! the Heiress, Miss Kilmansegg,
With her splendid, brilliant, beautiful leg,
In the garb of a Goddess olden—
Like chaste Diana going to hunt,
With a golden spear—which of course was blunt,
And a tunic loop’d up to a gem in front,
To show the Leg that was Golden!
Gold! still gold; her Crescent behold,
That should be silver, but would be gold;
And her robe’s auriferous spangles!
Her golden stomacher—how she would melt!
Her golden quiver, and golden belt,
Where a golden bugle dangles!
And her jewell’d Garter! Oh, Sin, oh, Shame!
Let Pride and Vanity bear the blame,
That bring such blots on female fame!
But to be a true recorder,
Besides its thin transparent stuff,
The tunic was loop’d quite high enough
To give a glimpse of the Order!
But what have sin or shame to do
With a Golden Leg—and a stout one too?
Away with all Prudery’s panics!
That the precious metal, by thick and thin,
Will cover square acres of land or sin,
Is a fact made plain
Again and again,
In Morals as well as Mechanics.
A few, indeed, of her proper sex,
Who seem’d to feel her foot on their necks,
And fear’d their charms would meet with checks{299}
From so rare and splendid a blazon—
A few cried “fie!—and “forward”—and “bold!”
And said of the Leg it might be gold,
But to them it look’d like brazen!
’Twas hard they hinted for flesh and blood,
Virtue and Beauty, and all that’s good,
To strike to mere dross their topgallants—
But what were Beauty, or Virtue, or Worth,
Gentle manners, or gentle birth,
Nay, what the most talented head on earth
To a Leg worth fifty Talents!
But the men sang quite another hymn
Of glory and praise to the precious Limb—
Age, sordid Age, admired the whim,
And its indecorum pardon’d—
While half of the young—ay, more than half—
Bow’d down and worshipp’d the Golden Calf,
Like the Jews when their hearts were harden’d.
A Golden Leg!—what fancies it fired!
What golden wishes and hopes inspired!
To give but a mere abridgment—
What a leg to leg-bail Embarrassment’s serf
What a leg for a Leg to take on the turf!
What a leg for a marching regiment!
A golden Leg!—whatever Love sings,
’Twas worth a bushel of “Plain Gold Rings”
With which the Romantic wheedles.
’Twas worth all the legs in stockings and socks—
’Twas a leg that might be put in the Stocks,
N.B.—Not the parish beadle’s!
And Lady K. nid-nodded her head,
Lapp’d in a turban fancy-bred,
Just like a love-apple, huge and red,
Some Mussul-womanish mystery;
But whatever she meant
To represent,
She talk’d like the Muse of History.{300}
She told how the filial leg was lost;
And then how much the gold one cost,
With its weight to a Trojan fraction:
And how it took off, and how it put on;
And call’d on Devil, Duke, and Don,
Mahomet, Moses, and Prester John,
To notice its beautiful action.
And then of the Leg she went in quest;
And led it where the light was best;
And made it lay itself up to rest
In postures for painter’s studies.
It cost more tricks and trouble by half,
Than it takes to exhibit a six-legg’d Calf
To a boothful of country Cuddies.
Nor yet did the Heiress herself omit
The arts that help to make a hit,
And preserve a prominent station,
She talk’d and laugh’d far more than her share;
And took a part in “Rich and Rare
Were the gems she wore”—and the gems were there
Like a Song with an Illustration.
She even stood up with a Count of France
To dance—alas!—the measures we dance
When Vanity plays the Piper!
Vanity, Vanity, apt to betray,
And lead all sorts of legs astray,
Wood, or metal, or human clay,—
Since Satan first play’d the Viper!
But first she doff’d her hunting gear,
And favour’d Tom Tug with her golden spear
To row with down the river—
A Bonze had her golden bow to hold;
A Hermit her belt and bugle of gold;
And an Abbot her golden quiver.
And then a space was clear’d on the floor,
And she walk’d the Minuet de la Cour,
With all the pomp of a Pompadour,{301}
But although she began andante,
Conceive the faces of all the Rout,
When she finished off with a whirligig bout,
And the Precious Leg stuck stiffly out
Like the leg of a Figuranté.
So the courtly dance was goldenly done,
And golden opinions, of course, it won
From all different sorts of people—
Chiming, ding-dong, with flattering phrase,
In one vociferous peal of praise,
Like the peal that rings on Royal days
From Loyalty’s parish-steeple.
And yet, had the leg been one of those
That danced for bread in flesh-colour’d hose,
With Rosina’s pastoral bevy,
The jeers it had met,—the shouts! the scoff!
The cutting advice to “take itself off,”
For sounding but half so heavy.
Had it been a leg like those, perchance,
That teach little girls and boys to dance,
To set, poussette, recede, and advance,
With the steps and figures most proper,—
Had it hopp’d for a weekly or quarterly sum,
How little of praise or grist would have come
To a mill with such a hopper!
But the Leg was none of those limbs forlorn—
Bartering capers and hops for corn—
That meet with public hisses and scorn,
Or the morning journal denounces—
Had it pleased to caper from morn till dusk,
There was all the music of “Money Musk”
In its ponderous bangs and bounces.
But hark;—as slow as the strokes of a pump,
Lump, thump!
Thump, lump!
As the Giant of Castle Otranto might stump,
To a lower room from an upper{302}
Down she goes with a noisy dint,
For taking the crimson turban’s hint,
A noble Lord at the Head of the Mint
Is leading the Leg to supper!
But the supper, alas! must rest untold,
With its blaze of light and its glitter of gold,
For to paint that scene of glamour,
It would need the Great Enchanter’s charm
Who waves over Palace, and Cot, and Farm,
An arm like the Goldbeater’s Golden Arm
That wields a Golden Hammer.
He—only He—could fitly state
The Massive Service of Golden Plate,
With the proper phrase and expansion—
The Rare Selection of Foreign Wines—
The Alps of Ice and Mountains of Pines,
The punch in Oceans and sugary shrines,
The Temple of Taste from Gunter’s Designs—
In short, all that Wealth with A Feast combines,
In a Splendid Family Mansion.
Suffice if each mask’d outlandish guest
Ate and drank of the very best,
According to critical conners—
And then they pledged the Hostess and Host,
But the Golden Leg was the standing toast,
And as somebody swore,
Walk’d off with more
Than its share of the “Hips!” and honours!
“Miss Kilmansegg!—
Full glasses I beg!—
Miss Kilmansegg and her Precious Leg!”
And away went the bottle careering!
Wine in bumpers! and shouts in peals!
Till the clown didn’t know his head from his heels;
The Mussulman’s eyes danced two-some reels,
And the Quaker was hoarse with cheering!

Her Dream.

Miss Kilmansegg took off her leg,
And laid it down like a cribbage-peg,
For the Rout was done and the riot:
The Square was hush’d; not a sound was heard;
The sky was gray, and no creature stirr’d,
Except one little precocious bird,
That chirp’d—and then was quiet.
So still without,—so still within;—
It had been a sin
To drop a pin—
So intense is silence after a din,
It seem’d like Death’s rehearsal!
To stir the air no eddy came;
And the taper burnt with as still a flame,
As to flicker had been a burning shame,
In a calm so universal.
The time for sleep had come at last;
And there was the bed, so soft, so vast,
Quite a field of Bedfordshire clover;
Softer, cooler, and calmer, no doubt,
From the piece of work just ravell’d out,
For one of the pleasures of having a rout
Is the pleasure of having it over.
No sordid pallet, or truckle mean,
Of straw, and rug, and tatters unclean;
But a splendid, gilded, carved machine,
That was fit for a Royal Chamber.
On the top was a gorgeous golden wreath;
And the damask curtains hung beneath,
Like clouds of crimson and amber;
Curtains, held up by two little plump things,
With golden bodies and golden wings,—
Mere fins for such solidities—
Two Cupids, in short,
Of the regular sort,
But the housemaid call’d them “Cupidities.{304}
No patchwork quilt, all seams and scars,
But velvet, powder’d with golden stars,
A fit mantle for Night-Commanders!
And the pillow, as white as snow undimm’d
And as cool as the pool that the breeze has skimm’d,
Was cased in the finest cambric, and trimm’d
With the costliest lace of Flanders.
And the bed—of the Eider’s softest down,
’Twas a place to revel, to smother, to drown
In a bliss inferr’d by the Poet;
For if Ignorance be indeed a bliss,
What blessed ignoaance equals this,
To sleep—and not to know it?
Oh, bed! oh, bed! delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head;
But a place that to name would be ill-bred,
To the head with a wakeful trouble—
’Tis held by such a different lease!
To one, a place of comfort and peace,
All stuff’d with the down of stubble geese,
To another with only the stubble!
To one, a perfect Halcyon nest,
All calm, and balm and quiet, and rest,
And soft as the fur of the cony—
To another, so restless for body and head,
That the bed seems borrow’d from Nettlebed,
And the pillow from Stratford the Stony!
To the happy, a first-class carriage of ease,
To the Land of Nod, or where you please;
But alas! for the watchers and weepers,
Who turn, and turn, and turn again,
But turn, and turn, and turn in vain,
With an anxious brain,
And thoughts in a train,
That does not run upon sleepers!
Wide awake as the mousing owl,
Night-hawk, or other nocturnal fowl,—
But more profitless vigils keeping,{305}
Wide awake in the dark they stare,
Filling with phantoms the vacant air,
As if that Crook-back’d Tyrant Care
Had plotted to kill them sleeping.
And oh! when the blessed diurnal light
Is quench’d by the providential night,
To render our slumber more certain!
Pity, pity the wretches that weep,
For they must be wretched, who cannot sleep
When God himself draws the curtain!
The careful Betty the pillow beats,
And airs the blankets, and smooths the sheets,
And gives the mattress a shaking—
But vainly Betty performs her part,
If a ruffled head and a rumpled heart,
As well as the couch, want making.
There’s Morbid, all bile, and verjuice, and nerves,
Where other people would make preserves,
He turns his fruits into pickles:
Jealous, envious, and fretful by day,
At night, to his own sharp fancies a prey,
He lies like a hedgehog roll’d up the wrong way,
Tormenting himself with his prickles.
But a child—that bids the world good night,
In downright earnest and cuts it quite—
A Cherub no Art can copy,—
’Tis a perfect picture to see him lie
As if he had supp’d on a dormouse pie,
(An ancient classical dish, by the by)
With a sauce of syrup of poppy.
Oh, bed! bed! bed! delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head,
Whether lofty or low its condition!
But instead of putting our plagues on shelves,
In our blankets how often we toss ourselves,
Or are toss’d by such allegorical elves
As Pride, Hate, Greed, and Ambition!{306}
The independent Miss Kilmansegg
Took off her independent Leg
And laid it beneath her pillow,
And then on the bed her frame she cast,
The time for repose had come at last,
But long, long, after the storm is past
Rolls the turbid, turbulent billow.
No part she had in vulgar cares
That belong to common household affairs—
Nocturnal annoyances such as theirs,
Who lie with a shrewd surmising,
That while they are couchant (a bitter cup!)
Their bread and butter are getting up,
And the coals, confound them, are rising.
No fear she had her sleep to postpone,
Like the crippled Widow who weeps alone
And cannot make a doze her own,
For the dread that mayhap on the morrow,
The true and Christian reading to baulk,
A broker will take up her bed and walk
By way of curing her sorrow.
No cause like these she had to bewail,
But the breath of applause had blown a gale,
And winds from that quarter seldom fail
To cause some human commotion;
But whenever such breezes coincide
With the very spring-tide
Of human pride,
There’s no such swell on the ocean!
Peace, and ease, and slumber lost,
She turn’d, and roll’d, and tumbled and toss’d
With a tumult that would not settle:
A common case, indeed, with such
As have too little, or think too much,
Of the precious and glittering metal.
Gold!—she saw at her golden foot
The Peer whose tree had an olden root,{307}
The Proud, the Great, the Learned to boot,
The handsome, the gay, and the witty—
The Man of Science—of Arms—of Art,
The man who deals but at Pleasure’s mart,
And the man who deals in the City.
Gold, still gold—and true to the mould!
In the very scheme of her dream it told;
For, by magical transmutation,
From her Leg through her body it seem’d to go,
Till, gold above, and gold below,
She was gold, all gold, from her little gold toe
To her organ of Veneration!
And still she retain’d through Fancy’s art,
The Golden Bow and Golden Dart,
With which she had play’d a Goddess’s part,
In her recent glorification:
And still, like one of the self-same brood,
On a Plinth of the self-same metal she stood
For the whole world’s adoration.
And hymns and incense around her roll’d,
From Golden Harps and Censers of Gold,—
For Fancy in dreams is as uncontroll’d
As a horse without a bridle:
What wonder, then, from all checks exempt,
If, inspired by the Golden Leg, she dreamt
She was turn’d to a Golden Idol?

Her Courtship.

When leaving Eden’s happy land
The grieving Angel led by the hand
Our banish’d Father and Mother,
Forgotten amid their awful doom,
The tears, the fears, and the future’s gloom,
On each brow was a wreath of Paradise bloom,
That our Parents had twined for each other.
It was only while sitting like figures of stone,
For the grieving angel had skyward flown,{308}
As they sat, those Two in the world alone,
With disconsolate hearts nigh cloven,
That scenting the gust of happier hours,
They look’d around for the precious flow’rs,
And lo!—a last relic of Eden’s dear bow’rs—
The chaplet that Love had woven!
And still, when a pair of Lovers meet,
There’s a sweetness in air, unearthly sweet,
That savours still of that happy retreat
Where Eve by Adam was courted:
Whilst the joyous Thrush, and the gentle Dove,
Woo’d their mates in the boughs above,
And the Serpent, as yet, only sported.
Who hath not felt that breath in the air,
A perfume and freshness strange and rare,
A warmth in the light, and a bliss everywhere,
When young hearts yearn together?
All sweets below, and all sunny above,
Oh! there’s nothing in life like making love,
Save making hay in fine weather!
Who hath not found amongst his flow’rs
A blossom too bright for this world of ours,
Like a rose among snows of Sweden?
But to turn again to Miss Kilmansegg,
Where must Love have gone to beg,
If such a thing as a Golden Leg
Had put its foot in Eden!
And yet—to tell the rigid truth—
Her favour was sought by Age and Youth—
For the prey will find a prowler!
She was follow’d, flatter’d, courted, address’d,
Woo’d, and coo’d, and wheedled, and press’d,
By suitors from North, South, East, and West,
Like that Heiress, in song, Tibbie Fowler!
But, alas! alas! for the Woman’s fate,
Who has from a mob to choose a mate!{309}
’Tis a strange and painful mystery!
But the more the eggs, the worse the hatch;
The more the fish, the worse the catch;
The more the sparks, the worse the match;
Is a fact in Woman’s history.
Give her between a brace to pick,
And mayhap, with luck to help the trick,
She will take the Faustus, and leave the Old Nick—
But her future bliss to baffle,
Amongst a score let her have a voice,
And she’ll have as little cause to rejoice,
As if she had won the “Man of her choice”
In a matrimonial raffle!
Thus, even thus, with the Heiress and Hope,
Fulfilling the adage of too much rope,
With so ample a competition,
She chose the least worthy of all the group,
Just as the vulture makes a stoop,
And singles out from the herd or troop
The beast of the worst condition.
A Foreign Count—who came incog.,
Not under a cloud, but under a fog,
In a Calais packet’s fore-cabin,
To charm some lady British-born,
With his eyes as black as the fruit of the thorn,
And his hooky nose, and his beard half-shorn,
Like a half-converted Rabbin.
And because the Sex confess a charm
In the man who has slash’d a head or arm,
Or has been a throat’s undoing,
He was dress’d like one of the glorious trade,
At least when Glory is off parade,
With a stock, and a frock, well trimm’d with braid
And frogs—that went a-wooing.
Moreover, as Counts are apt to do,
On the left-hand side of his dark surtout,{310}
At one of those holes that buttons go through,
(To be a precise recorder,)
A ribbon he wore, or rather a scrap,
About an inch of ribbon mayhap,
That one of his rivals, whimsical chap,
Described as his “Retail Order.”
And then—and much it help’d his chance—
He could sing, and play first fiddle, and dance,
Perform charades, and Proverbs of France—
Act the tender, and do the cruel;
For amongst his other killing parts,
He had broken a brace of female hearts,
And murder’d three men in duel!
Savage at heart, and false of tongue,
Subtle with age, and smooth to the young,
Like a snake in his coiling and curling—
Such was the Count—to give him a niche—
Who came to court that Heiress rich,
And knelt at her foot—one needn’t say which—
Besieging her castle of Sterling.
With pray’rs and vows he open’d his trench,
And plied her with English, Spanish, and French,
In phrases the most sentimental:
And quoted poems in High and Low Dutch,
With now and then an Italian touch,
Till she yielded, without resisting much,
To homage so continental.
And then—the sordid bargain to close—
With a miniature sketch of his hooky nose,
And his dear dark eyes, as black as sloes,
And his beard and whiskers as black as those,
The lady’s consent he requited—
And instead of the lock that lovers beg,
The count received from Miss Kilmansegg
A model, in small, of her Precious leg—
And so the couple were plighted!{311}
But, oh! the love that gold must crown!
Better—better, the love of the clown,
Who admires his lass in her Sunday gown,
As if all the fairies had dress’d her!
Whose brain to no crooked thought gives birth,
Except that he never will part on earth
With his true love’s crooked tester!
Alas! for the love that’s linked with gold!
Better—better a thousand times told—
More honest, happy, and laudable,
The downright loving of pretty Cis,
Who wipes her lips, though there’s nothing amiss,
And takes a kiss, and gives a kiss,
In which her heart is audible!
Pretty Cis, so smiling and bright,
Who loves—as she labours—with all her might,
And without any sordid leaven!
Who blushes as red as haws and hips,
Down to her very finger-tips,
For Roger’s blue ribbons—to her, like strips
Cut out of the azure of Heaven!

Her Marriage.

’Twas morn—a most auspicious one!
From the Golden East, the Golden Sun
Came forth his glorious race to run,
Through clouds of most splendid tinges;
Clouds that lately slept in shade,
But now seem’d made
Of gold brocade,
With magnificent golden fringes.
Gold above, and gold below,
The earth reflected the golden glow,
From river, and hill, and valley
Gilt by the golden light of morn,
The Thames—it look’d like the Golden Horn,
And the Barge, that carried coal or corn,
Like Cleopatra’s Galley!{312}
Bright as clusters of Golden-rod,
Suburban poplars began to nod,
With extempore splendour furnish’d;
While London was bright with glittering clocks,
Golden dragons, and Golden cocks,
And above them all,
The dome of St. Paul,
With its Golden Cross and its Golden Ball,
Shone out as if newly burnish’d!
And lo! for Golden Hours and Joys,
Troops of glittering Golden Boys
Danced along with a jocund noise,
And their gilded emblems carried!
In short, ’twas the year’s most Golden Day,
By mortals call’d the First of May,
When Miss Kilmansegg,
Of the Golden Leg,
With a Golden Ring was married!
And thousands of children, women, and men,
Counted the clock from eight till ten,
From St. James’s sonorous steeple;
For next to that interesting job,
The hanging of Jack, or Bill, or Bob,
There’s nothing so draws a London mob
As the noosing of very rich people.
And a treat it was for the mob to behold
The Bridal Carriage that blazed with gold!
And the Footman tall and the Coachman bold,
In liveries so resplendent—
Coats you wonder’d to see in place,
They seem’d so rich with golden lace,
That they might have been independent.
Coats, that made those menials proud
Gaze with scorn on the dingy crowd,
From their gilded elevations:
Not to forget that saucy lad
(Ostentation’s favourite cad),{313}
The Page, who look’d so splendidly clad,
Like a Page of the “Wealth of Nations.”
But the Coachman carried off the state,
With what was a Lancashire body of late
Turn’d into a Dresden Figure;
With a bridal Nosegay of early bloom,
About the size of a birchen broom,
And so huge a White Favour, had Gog been Groom,
He need not have worn a bigger.
And then to see the Groom! the Count!
With Foreign Orders to such an amount,
And whiskers so wild—nay, bestial;
He seem’d to have borrow’d the shaggy hair
As well as the Stars of the Polar Bear,
To make him look celestial!
And then—Great Jove!—the struggle, the crush,
The screams, the heaving, the awful rush,
The swearing, the tearing, the fighting,—
The hats and bonnets smash’d like an egg—
To catch a glimpse of the Golden Leg,
Which between the steps and Miss Kilmansegg
Was fully display’d in alighting!
From the Golden Ankle up to the Knee
There it was for the mob to see!
A shocking act had it chanced to be
A crooked leg or a skinny:
But although a magnificent veil she wore,
Such as never was seen before,
In case of blushes, she blush’d no more
Than George the First on a guinea!
Another step, and lo! she was launched!
All in white, as Brides are blanched
With a wreath of most wonderful splendour—
Diamonds, and pearls, so rich in device,
That, according to calculation nice,
Her head was worth as royal a price,
As the head of the Young Pretender.{314}
Bravely she shone—and shone the more
As she sail’d through the crowd of squalid and poor,
Thief, beggar, and tatterdemalion—
Led by the Count, with his sloe-black eyes
Bright with triumph, and some surprise,
Like Anson on making sure of his prize
The famous Mexican Galleon!
Anon came Lady K., with her face
Quite made up to act with grace,
But she cut the performance shorter;
For instead of pacing stately and stiff,
At the stare of the vulgar she took a miff,
And ran, full speed, into Church, as if
To get married before her daughter.
But Sir Jacob walk’d more slowly, and bow’d
Right and left to the gaping crowd,
Wherever a glance was seizable:
For Sir Jacob thought he bow’d like a Guelph,
And therefore bow’d to imp and elf,
And would gladly have made a bow to himself,
Had such a bow been feasible.
And last—and not the least of the sight,
Six “Handsome Fortunes,” all in white,
Came to help in the marriage rite,—
And rehearse their own hymneals;
And then the bright procession to close,
They were followed by just as many Beaux
Quite fine enough for Ideals.
Glittering men, and splendid dames,
Thus they enter’d the porch of St. James’,
Pursued by a thunder of laughter;
For the Beadle was forced to intervene,
For Jim the Crow, and his Mayday Queen,
With her gilded ladle, and Jack i’ the Green,
Would fain have follow’d after!
Beadle-like he hush’d the shout;
But the temple was full “inside and out,{315}
And a buzz kept buzzing all round about
Like bees when the day is sunny—
A buzz universal, that interfered
With the right that ought to have been revered,
As if the couple already were smear’d
With Wedlock’s treacle and honey!
Yet Wedlock’s a very awful thing!
’Tis something like that feat in the ring,
Which requires good nerve to do it—
When one of a “Grand Equestrian Troop”
Makes a jump at a gilded hoop,
Not certain at all
Of what may befall
After his getting through it!
But the count he felt the nervous work
No more than any polygamous Turk,
Or bold piratical skipper,
Who, during his buccaneering search,
Would as soon engage a hand in church
As a hand on board his clipper!
And how did the Bride perform her part?
Like any bride who is cold at heart,
Mere snow with the ice’s glitter;
What but a life of winter for her!
Bright but chilly, alive without stir,
So splendidly comfortless,—just like a Fir
When the frost is severe and bitter.
Such were the future man and wife!
Whose bale or bliss to the end of life
A few short words were to settle—
“Wilt thou have this woman?”
“I will”—and then,
“Wilt thou have this man?”
“I will,” and “Amen”—
And those Two were one Flesh, in the Angels’ ken,
Except one Leg—that was metal.{316}
Then the names were sign’d—and kiss’d the kiss:
And the Bride, who came from her coach a Miss,
As a Countess walk’d to her carriage—
Whilst Hymen preen’d his plumes like a dove,
And Cupid flutter’d his wings above,
In the shape of a fly—as little a Love
As ever look’d in at a marriage!
Another crash—and away they dash’d,
And the gilded carriage and footman flash’d
From the eyes of the gaping people—
Who turn’d to gaze at the toe-and-heel
Of the Golden Boys beginning a reel,
To the merry sound of a wedding-peal
From St. James’s musical steeple.
Those wedding-bells! those wedding-bells!
How sweetly they sound in pastoral dells
From a tow’r in an ivy-green jacket!
But town-made joys how dearly they cost;
And after all are tumbled and tost,
Like a peal from a London steeple, and lost
In town-made riot and racket.
The wedding-peal, how sweetly it peals
With grass or heather beneath our heels,—
For bells are Music’s laughter!
But a London peal, well mingled, be sure,
With vulgar noises and voices impure,—
What a harsh and discordant overture
To the Harmony meant to come after!
But hence with Discord—perchance, too soon
To cloud the face of the honeymoon
With a dismal occultation!—
Whatever Fate’s concerted trick,
The Countess and Count, at the present nick,
Have a chicken, and not a crow, to pick
At a sumptuous Cold Collation.
A Breakfast—no unsubstantial mess,
But one in the style of Good Queen Bess,{317}
Who,—hearty as hippocampus,—
Broke her fast with ale and beef,
Instead of toast and the Chinese leaf,
And—in lieu of anchovy—grampus.
A breakfast of fowl, and fish, and flesh,
Whatever was sweet, or salt, or fresh;
With wines the most rare and curious—
Wines, of the richest flavour and hue;
With fruits from the worlds both Old and New;
And fruits obtain’d before they were due
At a discount most usurious.
For wealthy palates there be, that scout
What is in season, for what is out,
And prefer all precocious savour:
For instance, early green peas, of the sort
That costs some four or five guineas a quart;
Where the Mint is the principal flavour.
And many a wealthy man was there,
Such as the wealthy City could spare,
To put in a portly appearance—
Men, whom their fathers had help’d to gild:
And men, who had had their fortunes to build,
And—much to their credit—had richly fill’d
Their purses by pursy-verance.
Men, by popular rumour at least,
Not the last to enjoy a feast!
And truly they were not idle!
Luckier far than the chestnut tits,
Which, down at the door, stood champing their bits,
At a different sort of bridle.
For the time was come—and the whisker’d Count
Help’d his Bride in the carriage to mount,
And fain would the Muse deny it,
But the crowd, including two butchers in blue,
(The regular killing Whitechapel hue,)
Of her Precious Calf had as ample a view
As if they had come to buy it!{318}
Then away! away! with all the speed
That golden spurs can give to the steed,—
Both Yellow Boys and Guineas, indeed,
Concurr’d to urge the cattle—
Away they went, with favours white,
Yellow jackets, and panels bright,
And left the mob, like a mob at night,
Agape at the sound of a rattle.
Away! away! they rattled and roll’d,
The Count, and his Bride, and her Leg of Gold—
That faded charm to the charmer!
Away, through old Brentford rang the din,
Of wheels and heels, on their way to win
That hill, named after one of her kin,
The Hill of the Golden Farmer!
Gold, still gold—it flew like dust!
It tipp’d the post-boy, and paid the trust;
In each open palm it was freely thrust;
There was nothing but giving and taking!
And if gold could ensure the future hour,
What hopes attended that Bride to her bow’r,
But alas! even hearts with a four-horse pow’r
Of opulence end in breaking!

Her Honeymoon.

The moon—the moon, so silver and cold,
Her fickle temper has oft been told,
Now shady—now bright and sunny—
But of all the lunar things that change,
The one that shows most fickle and strange,
And takes the most eccentric range
Is the moon—so call’d—of honey!
To some a full-grown orb reveal’d,
As big and as round as Norval’s shield,
And as bright as a burner Bude-lighted;
To others as dull, and dingy, and damp,
As any oleaginous lamp,
Of the regular old parochial stamp,
In a London fog benighted.{319}
To the loving, a bright and constant sphere,
That makes earth’s commonest things appear
All poetic, romantic, and tender:
Hanging with jewels a cabbage-stump,
And investing a common post, or a pump,
A currant-bush or a gooseberry-clump,
With a halo of dreamlike splendour.
A sphere such as shone from Italian skies,
In Juliet’s dear, dark liquid eyes,
Tipping trees, with its argent braveries—
And to couples not favour’d with Fortune’s boons
One of the most delightful of moons,
For it brightens their pewter platters and spoons
Like a silver service of Savory’s!
For all is bright, and beauteous, and clear,
And the meanest thing most precious and dear
When the magic of love is present:
Love, that lends a sweetness and grace,
To the humblest spot and the plainest face—
That turns Wilderness Row into Paradise Place,
And Garlic Hill to Mount Pleasant!
Love that sweetens sugarless tea,
And makes contentment and joy agree
With the coarsest boarding and bedding:
Love, that no golden ties can attach,
But nestles under the humblest thatch,
And will fly away from an Emperor’s match
To dance at a Penny Wedding!
Oh, happy, happy, thrice happy state,
When such a bright Planet governs the fate
Of a pair of united lovers!
’Tis theirs, in spite of the Serpent’s hiss,
To enjoy the pure primeval kiss,
With as much of the old original bliss
As mortality ever recovers!
There’s strength in double joints, no doubt,
In double X Ale, and Dublin Stout,{320}
That the single sorts know nothing about—
And the fist is strongest when doubled—
And double aqua-fortis of course,
And double soda-water, perforce,
Are the strongest that ever bubbled!
There’s double beauty whenever a Swan
Swims on a Lake with a double thereon;
And ask the gardener, Luke or John,
Of the beauty of double-blowing—
A double dahlia delights the eye;
And it’s far the loveliest sight in the sky
When a double rainbow is glowing!
There’s warmth in a pair of double soles;
As well as a double allowance of coals—
In a coat that is double-breasted—
In double windows and double doors;
And a double U wind is blest by scores
For its warmth to the tender-chested.
There’s a twofold sweetness in double pipes;
And a double barrel and double snipes
Give the sportsman a duplicate pleasure:
There’s double safety in double locks;
And double letters bring cash for the box;
And all the world knows that double knocks
Are gentility’s double measure.
There’s double sweetness in double rhymes,
And a double at Whist and a double Times
In profit are certainly double—
By doubling, the Hare contrives to escape;
And all seamen delight in a doubled Cape,
And a double-reef’d topsail in trouble.
There’s a double chuck at a double chin,
And of course there’s a double pleasure therein,
If the parties were brought to telling:
And however our Dennises take offence,
A double meaning shows double sense;{321}
And if proverbs tell truth,
A double tooth
Is Wisdom’s adopted dwelling!
But double wisdom, and pleasure, and sense,
Beauty, respect, strength, comfort and thence
Through whatever the list discovers,
They are all in the double blessedness summ’d,
Of what was formerly double-drumm’d,
The Marriage of two true Lovers!
Now the Kilmansegg Moon, it must be told—
Though instead of silver it tipp’d with gold—
Shone rather wan, and distant, and cold,
And before its days were at thirty,
Such gloomy clouds began to collect,
With an ominous ring of ill effect,
As gave but too much cause to expect
Such weather as seamen call dirty!
And yet the moon was the “Young May Moon,”
And the scented hawthorn had blossom’d soon,
And the thrush and the blackbird were singing—
The snow-white lambs were skipping in play,
And the bee was humming a tune all day
To flowers, as welcome as flowers in May,
And the trout in the stream was springing!
But what were the hues of the blooming earth,
Its scents—its sounds—or the music and mirth
Of its furr’d or its feather’d creatures,
To a Pair in the world’s last sordid stage,
Who had never look’d into Nature’s page,
And had strange ideas of a Golden Age,
Without any Arcadian features?
And what were joys of the pastoral kind
To a Bride—town-made—with a heart and a mind
With simplicity ever at battle?
A bride of an ostentatious race,
Who, thrown in the Golden Farmer’s place,
Would have trimm’d her shepherds with golden lace,
And gilt the horns of her cattle.{322}
She could not please the pigs with her whim,
And the sheep wouldn’t cast their eyes at a limb
For which she had been such a martyr:
The deer in the park, and the colts at grass,
And the cows unheeded let it pass;
And the ass on the common was such an ass,
That he wouldn’t have swapp’d
The thistle he cropp’d
For her Leg, including the Garter!
She hated lanes and she hated fields—
She hated all that the country yields—
And barely knew turnips from clover;
She hated walking in any shape,
And a country stile was an awkward scrape,
Without the bribe of a mob to gape
At the Leg in clambering over!
O blessed nature, “O rus! O rus!”
Who cannot sigh for the country thus,
Absorb’d in a worldly torpor—
Who does not yearn for its meadow-sweet breath,
Untainted by care, and crime, and death,
And to stand sometimes upon grass or heath—
That soul, spite of gold, is a pauper!
But to hail the pearly advent of morn,
And relish the odour fresh from the thorn,
She was far too pamper’d a madam,
Or to joy in the daylight waxing strong,
While, after ages of sorrow and wrong,
The scorn of the proud, the misrule of the strong,
And all the woes that to man belong,
The Lark still carols the self-same song
That he did to the uncurst Adam!
The Lark! she had given all Leipsic’s flocks
For a Vauxhall tune in a musical box;
And as for the birds in the thicket,
Thrush or ousel in leafy niche,
The linnet or finch, she was far too rich
To care for a Morning Concert, to which
She was welcome without any ticket.{323}
Gold, still gold, her standard of old,
All pastoral joys were tried by gold,
Or by fancies golden and crural—
Till ere she had pass’d one week unblest,
As her agricultural Uncle’s guest,
Her mind was made up, and fully imprest,
That felicity could not be rural!
And the Count?—to the snow-white lambs at play
And all the scents and the sights of May,
And the birds that warbled their passion,
His ears and dark eyes, and decided nose,
Were as deaf and as blind and as dull as those
That overlooked the Bouquet de Rose,
The Huille Antique,
And Parfum Unique,
In a Barber’s Temple of Fashion.
To tell, indeed, the true extent
Of his rural bias so far it went
As to covet estates in ring fences—
And for rural lore he had learn’d in town
That the country was green, turn’d up with brown,
And garnish’d with trees that a man might cut down
Instead of his own expenses.
And yet had that fault been his only one,
The Pair might have had few quarrels or none,
For their tastes thus far were in common;
But faults he had that a haughty bride
With a Golden Leg could hardly abide—
Faults that would even have roused the pride
Of a far less metalsome woman!
It was early days indeed for a wife,
In the very spring of her married life,
To be chill’d by its wintry weather—
But instead of sitting as Love-Birds do,
On Hymen’s turtles that bill and coo—
Enjoying their “moon and honey for two”
They were scarcely seen together!{324}
In vain she sat with her Precious Leg
A little exposed, à la Kilmansegg,
And roll’d her eyes in their sockets!
He left her in spite of her tender regards,
And those loving murmurs described by bards,
For the rattling of dice and the shuffling of cards,
And the poking of balls into pockets!
Moreover he loved the deepest stake
And the heaviest bets the players would make;
And he drank—the reverse of sparely,—
And he used strange curses that made her fret;
And when he played with herself at piquet,
She found, to her cost,
For she always lost,
That the Count did not count quite fairly.
And then came dark mistrust and doubt,
Gather’d by worming his secrets out,
And slips in his conversations—
Fears, which all her peace destroy’d,
That his title was null—his coffers were void—
And his French Château was in Spain, or enjoy’d
The most airy of situations.
But still his heart—if he had such a part—
She—only she—might possess his heart,
And hold his affections in fetters—
Alas! that hope, like a crazy ship,
Was forced its anchor and cable to slip
When, seduced by her fears, she took a dip
In his private papers and letters.
Letters that told of dangerous leagues;
And notes that hinted as many intrigues
As the Count’s in the “Barber of Seville”—
In short such mysteries came to light,
That the Countess-Bride, on the thirtieth night,
Woke and started up in affright,
And kick’d and scream’d with all her might,
And finally fainted away outright,
For she dreamt she had married the Devil!

Her Misery.

Who hath not met with home-made bread,
A heavy compound of putty and lead—
And home-made wines that rack the head,
And home-made liqueurs and waters?
Home-made pop that will not foam,
And home-made dishes that drive one from home,
Not to name each mess,
For the face or dress,
Home-made by the homely daughters?
Home-made physic that sickens the sick;
Thick for thin and thin for thick;
In short each homogeneous trick
For poisoning domesticity?
And since our Parents, call’d the First,
A little family squabble nurst,
Of all our evils the worst of the worst
Is home-made infelicity.
There’s a Golden Bird that claps its wings,
And dances for joy on its perch, and sings
With a Persian exultation:
For the Sun is shining into the room,
And brightens up the carpet-bloom,
As if it were new, bran new, from the loom,
Or the lone Nun’s fabrication.
And thence the glorious radiance flames
On pictures in massy gilded frames—
Enshrining, however, no painted Dames,
But portraits of colts and fillies—
Pictures hanging on walls, which shine,
In spite of the bard’s familiar line,
With clusters of “Gilded lilies.”
And still the flooding sunlight shares
Its lustre with gilded sofas and chairs,
That shine as if freshly burnish’d—
And gilded tables, with glittering stocks{326}
Of gilded china, and golden clocks,
Toy, and trinket, and musical box,
That Peace and Paris have furnish’d.
And lo! with the brightest gleam of all
The glowing sunbeam is seen to fall
On an object as rare as splendid—
The golden foot of the Golden Leg
Of the Countess—once Miss Kilmansegg—
But there all sunshine is ended.
Her cheek is pale, and her eye is dim,
And downward cast, yet not at the limb,
Once the centre of all speculation;
But downward drooping in comfort’s dearth,
As gloomy thoughts are drawn to the earth—
Whence human sorrows derive their birth—
By a moral gravitation.
Her golden hair is out of its braids,
And her sighs betray the gloomy shades
That her evil planet revolves in—
And tears are falling that catch a gleam
So bright as they drop in the sunny beam,
That tears of aqua regia they seem,
The water that gold dissolves in;
Yet, not filial grief were shed
Those tears for a mother’s insanity;
Nor yet because her father was dead,
For the bowing Sir Jacob had bow’d his head
To Death—with his usual urbanity;
The waters that down her visage rill’d
Were drops of unrectified spirit distill’d
From the limbeck of Pride and Vanity.
Tears that fell alone and uncheckt,
Without relief, and without respect,
Like the fabled pearls that the pigs neglect,
When pigs have that opportunity—
And of all the griefs that mortals share,
The one that seems the hardest to bear
Is the grief without community.{327}
How bless’d the heart that has a friend
A sympathising ear to lend
To troubles too great to smother!
For as ale and porter, when flat, are restored
Till a sparkling bubbling head they afford,
So sorrow is cheer’d by being pour’d
From one vessel into another.
But friend or gossip she had not one
To hear the vile deeds that the Count had done,
How night after night he rambled;
And how she had learnt by sad degrees
That he drank, and smoked, and worse than these,
That he “swindled, intrigued, and gambled.”
How he kiss’d the maids, and sparr’d with John!
And came to bed with his garments on;
With other offences as heinous—
And brought strange gentlemen home to dine,
That he said were in the Fancy Line,
And they fancied spirits instead of wine,
And call’d her lap-dog “Wenus.”
Of “making a book” how he made a stir
But never had written a line to her,
Once his idol and Cara Sposa;
And how he had storm’d, and treated her ill,
Because she refused to go down to a mill,
She didn’t know where, but remember’d still
That the Miller’s name was Mendoza.
How often he waked her up at night,
And oftener still by the morning light,
Reeling home from his haunts unlawful;
Singing songs that shouldn’t be sung,
Except by beggars and thieves unhung—
Or volleying oaths that a foreign tongue
Made still more horrid and awful!
How oft, instead of otto of rose,
With vulgar smells he offended her nose,
From gin, tobacco, and onion!
And then how wildly he used to stare!
And shake his fist at nothing, and swear,{328}
And pluck by the handful his shaggy hair,
Till he look’d like a study of Giant Despair
For a new Edition of Bunyan!
For dice will run the contrary way,
As well is known to all who play,
And cards will conspire as in treason;
And what with keeping a hunting-box,
Following fox—
Friends in flocks,
Burgundies, Hocks,
From London Docks;
Stultz’s frocks,
Manton and Nock’s
Barrels and locks,
Shooting blue rocks,
Trainers and jocks,
Buskins and socks,
Pugilistical knocks,
And fighting cocks,
If he found himself short in funds and stocks
These rhymes will furnish the reason!
His friends, indeed, were falling away—
Friends who insist on play or pay—
And he fear’d at no very distant day
To be cut by Lord and by cadger,
As one, who has gone, or is going, to smash,
For his checks no longer drew the cash,
Because, as his comrades explain’d in flash,
“He had overdrawn his badger.”
Gold, gold—alas! for the gold
Spent where souls are bought and sold,
In Vice’s Walpurgis revel!
Alas! for muffles, and bulldogs, and guns,
The leg that walks, and the leg that runs,—
All real evils, though Fancy ones,
When they lead to debt, dishonour, and duns,
Nay, to death, and perchance the devil!
Alas! for the last of a Golden race!
Had she cried her wrongs in the market-place,{329}
She had warrant for all her clamour—
For the worst of rogues, and brutes, and rakes,
Was breaking her heart by constant aches,
With as little remorse as the Pauper, who breaks
A flint with a parish hammer!

Her Last Will.

Now the Precious Leg while cash was flush,
Or the Count’s acceptance worth a rush,
Had never excited dissension;
But no sooner the stocks began to fall,
Than, without any ossification at all,
The limb became what people call
A perfect bone of contention.
For alter’d days brought alter’d ways,
And instead of the complimentary phrase,
So current before her bridal—
The Countess heard, in language low,
That her Precious Leg was precious slow,
A good ‘un to look at but bad to go,
And kept quite a sum lying idle.
That instead of playing musical airs,
Like Colin’s foot in going up-stairs—
As the wife in the Scottish ballad declares—
It made an infernal stumping.
Whereas a member of cork, or wood,
Would be lighter and cheaper and quite as good,
Without the unbearable thumping.
P’rhaps she thought it a decent thing
To show her calf to cobbler and king,
But nothing could be absurder—
While none but the crazy would advertise
Their gold before their servants’ eyes,
Who of course some night would make it a prize,
By a Shocking and Barbarous Murder.
But spite of hint, and threat, and scoff,
The Leg kept its situation.{330}
For legs are not to be taken off,
By a verbal amputation.
And mortals when they take a whim,
The greater the folly the stiffer the limb
That stand upon it or by it—
So the Countess, then Miss Kilmansegg,
At her marriage refused to stir a peg,
Till the Lawyers had fasten’d on her Leg
As fast as the Law could tie it.
Firmly then—and more firmly yet—
With scorn for scorn, and with threat for threat,
The Proud One confronted the Cruel:
And loud and bitter the quarrel arose
Fierce and merciless—one of those,
With spoken daggers, and looks like blows,
In all but the bloodshed a duel!
Rash, and wild, and wretched, and wrong,
Were the works that came from Weak and Strong,
Till madden’d for desperate matters,
Fierce as tigress escaped from her den,
She flew to her desk—’twas open’d—and then,
In the time it takes to try a pen,
Or the clerk to utter his slow Amen,
Her Will was in fifty tatters!
But the Count, instead of curses wild,
Only nodded his head and smiled,
As if at the spleen of an angry child;
But the calm was deceitful and sinister!
A lull like the lull of the treacherous sea—
For Hate in that moment had sworn to be
The Golden Leg’s sole Legatee,
And that very night to administer!

Her Death.

’Tis a stern and startling thing to think
How often mortality stands on the brink
Of its grave without any misgiving;
And yet in this slippery world of strife,{331}
In the stir of human bustle so rife,
There are daily sounds to tell us that Life
Is dying, and Death is living!
Ay, Beauty the Girl, and Love the Boy,
Bright as they are with hope and joy,
How their souls would sadden instanter,
To remember that one of those wedding bells,
Which ring so merrily through the dells,
Is the same that knells
Our last farewells,
Only broken into a canter!
But breath and blood set doom at nought—
How little the wretched Countess thought,
When at night she unloosed her sandal,
That the Fates had woven her burial-cloth,
And that Death, in the shape of a Death’s Head Moth,
Was fluttering round her candle!
As she look’d at her clock of or-molu,
For the hours she had gone so wearily through,
At the end of a day of trial—
How little she saw in her pride of prime
The dart of Death in the Hand of Time—
That hand which moved on the dial!
As she went with her taper up the stair,
How little her swollen eye was aware
That the Shadow which follow’d was double!
Or when she closed her chamber door,
It was shutting out, and for evermore,
The world—and its worldly trouble.
Little she dreamt, as she laid aside
Her jewels—after one glance of pride—
They were solemn bequests to Vanity—
Or when her robes she began to doff,
That she stood so near to the putting off
Of the flesh that clothes humanity.
And when she quench’d the taper’s light,
How little she thought as the smoke took flight,{332}
That her day was done—and merged in a night
Of dreams and duration uncertain—
Or along with her own,
That a Hand of Bone
Was closing mortality’s curtain!
But life is sweet, and mortality blind,
And youth is hopeful, and Fate is kind
In concealing the day of sorrow;
And enough is the present tense of toil—
For this world is, to all, a stiffish soil—
And the mind flies back with a glad recoil
From the debts not due till to-morrow.
Wherefore else does the Spirit fly
And bid its daily cares good-bye,
Along with its daily clothing?
Just as the felon condemn’d to die—
With a very natural loathing—
Leaving the Sheriff to dream of ropes,
From his gloomy cell in a vision elopes
To a caper on sunny gleams and slopes,
Instead of the dance upon nothing.
Thus, even thus, the Countess slept,
While Death still nearer and nearer crept,
Like the Thane who smote the sleeping—
But her mind was busy with early joys,
Her golden treasures and golden toys:
That flash’d a bright
And golden light
Under lids still red with weeping.
The golden doll that she used to hug!
Her coral of gold, and the golden mug!
Her godfather’s golden presents!
The golden service she had at her meals,
The golden watch, and chain, and seals,
Her golden scissors, and thread, and reels,
And her golden fishes and pheasants!
The golden guineas in silken purse—
And the Golden Legends she heard from her nurse{333}
Of the Mayor in his gilded carriage—
And London streets that were paved with gold—
And the Golden Eggs that were laid of old—
With each golden thing
To the golden ring
At her own auriferous Marriage?
And still the golden light of the sun
Through her golden dreams appear’d to run,
Though the night, that roared without, was one
To terrify seamen or gipsies—
While the moon, as if in malicious mirth,
Kept peeping down at the ruffled earth,
As though she enjoy’d the tempest’s birth,
In revenge of her old eclipses.
But vainly, vainly, the thunder fell,
For the soul of the Sleeper was under a spell
That time had lately embitter’d—
The Count, as once at her foot he knelt—
That foot, which now he wanted to melt!
But—hush!—’twas a stir at her pillow she felt—
And some object before her glitter’d.
’Twas the Golden Leg!—she knew its gleam!
And up she started and tried to scream,—
But ev’n in the moment she started—
Down came the limb with a frightful smash,
And lost, in the universal flash
That her eyeballs made at so mortal a crash,
The Spark, call’d Vital, departed!
* * * * * *
Gold, still gold! hard, hard yellow, and cold,
For gold she had lived, and she died for gold—
By a golden weapon—not oaken;
In the morning they found her all alone—
Stiff, and bloody, and cold as stone—
But her Leg, the Golden Leg, was gone,
And the “Golden Bowl was broken!”
Gold—still gold! it haunted her yet—
At the Golden Lion the Inquest met{334}
Its foreman a carver and gilder—
And the Jury debated from twelve till three
What the Verdict ought to be,
And they brought it in as Felo de Se,
“Because her own Leg had kill’d her!”

Her Moral.

Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!
Bright and yellow, hard and cold,
Molten, graven, hammer’d and roll’d;
Heavy to get, and light to hold;
Hoarded, barter’d, bought, and sold,
Stolen, borrow’d, squander’d, doled:
Spurn’d by the young, but hugg’d by the old
To the very verge of the churchyard mould;
Price of many a crime untold;
Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!
Good or bad a thousand-fold!
How widely its agencies vary—
To save—to ruin—to curse—to bless—
As even its minted coins express,
Now stamp’d by the image of Good Queen Bess,
And now of a Bloody Mary.




JOHN TROT he was as tall a lad
As York did ever rear—
As his dear Granny used to say,
He’d make a grenadier.


A serjeant soon came down to York,
With ribbons and a frill;
My lads, said he, let broadcast be,
And come away to drill.

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]




But when he wanted John to ‘list,
In war he saw no fun,
Where what is call’d a raw recruit,
Gets often over-done.


Let others carry guns, said he,
And go to war’s alarms,
But I have got a shoulder-knot
Impos’d upon my arms.


For John he had a footman’s place
To wait on Lady Wye—
She was a dumpy woman, tho’
Her family was high.


Now when two years had past away,
Her Lord took very ill,
And left her to her widowhood,
Of course more dumpy still.


Said John, I am a proper man,
And very tall to see;
Who knows, but now her Lord is low,
She may look up to me?


A cunning woman told me once,
Such fortune would turn up;
She was a kind of sorceress,
But studied in a cup!


So he walk’d up to Lady Wye,
And took her quite amazed,—
She thought, tho’ John was tall enough,
He wanted to be raised.


But John—for why? she was a dame
Of such a dwarfish sort—
Had only come to bid her make
Her mourning very short.


Said he, your Lord is dead and cold,
You only cry in vain;
Not all the Cries of London now,
Could call him back again!


You’ll soon have many a noble beau,
To dry your noble tears—
But just consider this, that I
Have follow’d you for years.


And tho’ you are above me far,
What matters high degree,
When you are only four feet nine
And I am six foot three.


For tho’ you are of lofty race,
And I’m a low-born elf;
Yet none among your friends could say
You matched beneath yourself.


Said she, such insolence as this
Can be no common case;
Though you are in my service, sir,
Your love is out of place.


O Lady Wye! O Lady Wye!
Consider what you do;
How can you be so short with me,
I am not so with you?


Then ringing for her serving men,
They show’d him to the door:
Said they, you turn out better now,
Why didn’t you before?


They stripp’d his coat, and gave him kicks
For all his wages due;
And off, instead of green and gold,
He went in black and blue.


No family would take him in,
Because of this discharge;
So he made up his mind to serve
The country all at large.


Huzza! the Serjeant cried, and put
The money in his hand,
And with a shilling cut him off
From his paternal land.


For when his regiment went to fight
At Saragossa town,
A Frenchman thought he look’d too tall
And so he cut him down!


ONE widow at a grave will sob
A little while, and weep, and sigh!
If two should meet on such a job,
They’ll have a gossip by and by.
If three should come together—why,
Three widows are good company!
If four should meet by any chance,{338}
Four is a number very nice,
To have a rubber in a trice—
But five will up and have a dance!
Poor Mrs. C—— (why should I not
Declare her name!—her name was Cross)
Was one of those the “common lot”
Had left to weep “no common loss;”—
For she had lately buried then
A man, the “very best of men,”
A lingering truth, discover’d first
Whenever men “are at the worst.”
To take the measure of her woe,
It was some dozen inches deep—
I mean in crape, and hung so low,
It hid the drops she did not weep:
In fact, what human life appears,
It was a perfect “veil of tears.”
Though ever since she lost “her prop
And stay,”—alas! he wouldn’t stay—
She never had a tear to mop,
Except one little angry drop,
From Passion’s eye, as Moore would say;
Because, when Mister Cross took flight,
It looked so very like a spite—
He died upon a washing-day!
Still Widow Cross went twice a week,
As if “to wet a widow’s cheek,”
And soothe his grave with sorrow’s gravy,—
’Twas nothing but a make-believe,
She might as well have hoped to grieve
Enough of brine to float a navy;
And yet she often seem’d to raise
A cambric kerchief to her eye—
A duster ought to be the phrase,
Its work was all so very dry.
The springs were lock’d that ought to flow—
In England or in widow-woman—
As those that watch the weather know,
Such “backward Springs” are not uncommon.{339}
But why did Widow Cross take pains,
To call upon the “dear remains,”—
Remains that could not tell a jot,
Whether she ever wept or not,
Or how his relict took her losses?
Oh! my black ink turns red for shame—
But still the naughty world must learn,
There was a little German came
To shed a tear in “Anna’s Urn,”
At the next grave to Mr. Cross’s!
For there an angel’s virtues slept,
“Too soon did Heaven assert its claim!”
But still her painted face he kept,
“Encompass’d in an angel’s frame.”
He look’d quite sad and quite deprived,
His head was nothing but a hat-band;
He look’d so lone, and so unwived,
That soon the Widow Cross contrived
To fall in love with even that band;
And all at once the brackish juices
Came gushing out thro’ sorrow’s sluices—
Tear after tear too fast to wipe,
Tho’ sopp’d, and sopp’d, and sopp’d again—
No leak in sorrow’s private pipe,
But like a bursting on the main!
Whoe’er has watch’d the window-pane—
I mean to say in showery weather—
Has seen two little drops of rain,
Like lovers very fond and fain,
At one another creeping, creeping,
Till both, at last, embrace together:
So far’d it with that couple’s weeping!
The principle was quite as active—
Tear unto tear,
Kept drawing near,
Their very blacks became attractive.
To cut a shortish story shorter,
Conceive them sitting tête à tête—
Two cups,—hot muffins on a plate,—
With “Anna’s Urn” to hold hot water!{340}
The brazen vessel for a while,
Had lectured in an easy song,
Like Abernethy—on the bile—
The scalded herb was getting strong;
All seem’d as smooth as smooth could be,
To have a cosey cup of tea;
Alas! how often human sippers
With unexpected bitters meet,
And buds, the sweetest of the sweet,
Like sugar, only meet the nippers!
The Widow Cross, I should have told,
Had seen three husbands to the mould;
She never sought an Indian pyre,
Like Hindoo wives that lose their loves,
But with a proper sense of fire,
Put up, instead, with “three removes:”
Thus, when with any tender words
Or tears she spoke about her loss,
The dear departed, Mr. Cross,
Came in for nothing but his thirds;
For, as all widows love too well,
She liked upon the list to dwell,
And oft ripp’d up the old disasters—
She might, indeed, have been supposed
A great ship owner, for she prosed
Eternally of her Three Masters!
Thus, foolish woman! while she nursed
Her mild souchong, she talk’d and reckon’d
What had been left her by her first,
And by her last, and by her second.
Alas! not all her annual rents
Could then entice the little German,—
Not Mr. Cross’s Three Per Cents,
Or Consols, ever make him her man;
He liked her cash, he liked her houses,
But not that dismal bit of land
She always settled on her spouses.
So taking up his hat and band,
Said he “You’ll think my conduct odd{341}
But here my hopes no more may linger;
I thought you had a wedding-finger,
But oh!—it is a curtain-rod!”



RUN!—run for St. Clement’s engine!
For the Pawnbroker’s all in a blaze,
And the pledges are frying and singing—
Oh! how the poor pawners will craze!
Now where can the turncock be drinking?
Was there ever so thirsty an elf?—
But he still may tope on, for I’m thinking
That the plugs are as dry as himself.


The engines!—I hear them come rumbling;
There’s the Phœnix! the Globe! and the Sun!
What a row there will be, and a grumbling
When the water don’t start for a run!
See! there they come racing and tearing,
All the street with loud voices is fill’d;
Oh! its only the firemen a-swearing
At a man they’ve run over and kill’d!


How sweetly the sparks fly away now,
And twinkle like stars in the sky;
It’s a wonder the engines don’t play now,
But I never saw water so shy!
Why there isn’t enough for a snipe,
And the fire is fiercer, alas!
Oh! instead of the New River pipe,
They have gone—that they have—to the gas!


Only look at the poor little P——’s
On the roof—is there anything sadder?{342}
My dears, keep fast hold, if you please,
And they won’t be an hour with the ladder!
But if any one’s hot in their feet,
And in very great haste to be saved,
Here’s a nice easy bit in the street,
That M‘Adam has lately unpaved!


There is some one—I see a dark shape
At that window, the hottest of all,—
My good woman, why don’t you escape?
Never think of your bonnet and shawl:
If your dress isn’t perfect, what is it
For once in a way to your hurt?
When your husband is paying a visit
There, at Number Fourteen, in his shirt!


Only see how she throws out her chaney!
Her basons, and teapots, and all
The most brittle of her goods—or any,
But they all break in breaking their fall:
Such things are not surely the best
From a two-story window to throw—
She might save a good iron-bound chest,
For there’s plenty of people below!


O dear! what a beautiful flash!
How it shone thro’ the window and door;
We shall soon hear a scream and a crash,
When the woman falls thro’ with the floor!
There! there! what a volley of flame,
And then suddenly all is obscured!—
Well—I’m glad in my heart that I came;—
But I hope the poor man is insured!

[Image unavailable.]



[Image unavailable.]





It was a merry company,
And they were just afloat,
When lo! a man, of dwarfish span,
Came up and hail’d the boat.
“Good morrow to ye, gentle folks,
And will you let me in?—
A slender space will serve my case,
For I am small and thin.”
They saw he was a dwarfish man,
And very small and thin;
Not seven such would matter much,
And so they took him in.
They laugh’d to see his little hat,
With such a narrow brim;
They laugh’d to note his dapper coat
With skirts so scant and trim.
But barely had they gone a mile,
When, gravely, one and all,
At once began to think the man
Was not so very small.
His coat had got a broader skirt,
His hat a broader brim,
His leg grew stout, and soon plump’d out
A very proper limb.
Still on they went, and as they went,
More rough the billows grew,—
And rose and fell, a greater swell,
And he was swelling too!
And lo! where room had been for seven,
For six there scarce was space!
For five!—for four!—for three!—not more
Than two could find a place!{344}
There was not even room for one!
They crowded by degrees—
Aye—closer yet, till elbows met,
And knees were jogging knees.
“Good sir, you must not sit a-stern,
The wave will else come in!”
Without a word he gravely stirr’d,
Another seat to win.
“Good sir, the boat has lost her trim,
You must not sit a-lee!”
With smiling face, and courteous grace,
The middle seat took he.
But still, by constant quiet growth,
His back became so wide,
Each neighbour wight, to left and right,
Was thrust against the side.
Lord! how they chided with themselves,
That they had let him in;
To see him grow so monstrous now,
That came so small and thin.
On every brow a dew-drop stood,
They grew so scared and hot,—
“I’ the name of all that’s great and tall,
Who are ye, sir, and what?”
Loud laugh’d the Gogmagog, a laugh
As loud as giant’s roar—
“When first I came, my proper name
Was Little—now I’m Moore!”


’Twas in the year two thousand and one,
A pleasant morning of May,
I sat on the gallows-tree all alone,
A-chanting a merry lay,{345}
To think how the pest had spared my life,
To sing with the larks that day!
When up the heath came a jolly knave,
Like a scarecrow, all in rags:
It made me crow to see his old duds
All abroad in the wind, like flags:—
So up he came to the timbers’ foot
And pitch’d down his greasy bags.—
Good Lord! how blithe the old beggar was!
At pulling out his scraps,—
The very sight of his broken orts
Made a work in his wrinkled chaps:
“Come down,” says he, “you Newgate-bird,
And have a taste of my snaps!”——
Then down the rope, like a tar from the mast,
I slided, and by him stood;
But I wished myself on the gallows again
When I smelt that beggar’s food,
A foul beef-bone and a mouldy crust;
“Oh!” quoth he, “the heavens are good!”
Then after this grace he cast him down:
Says I, “You’ll get sweeter air
A pace or two off, on the windward side,”
For the felons’ bones lay there.
But he only laugh’d at the empty skulls,
And offered them part of his fare.
“I never harm’d them, and they won’t harm me:
Let the proud and the rich be cravens!”
I did not like that strange beggar man,
He look’d so up at the heavens.
Anon he shook out his empty old poke;
“There’s the crumbs,” saith he, “for the ravens!”
It made me angry to see his face,
It had such a jesting look;
But while I made up my mind to speak,
A small case-bottle he took:{346}
Quoth he, “though I gather the green water-cress
My drink is not of the brook!”
Full manners-like he tender’d the dram;
Oh, it came of a dainty cask!
But, whenever it came to his turn to pull,
“Your leave, good Sir, I must ask;
But I always wipe the brim with my sleeve,
When a hangman sups at my flask!”
And then he laugh’d so loudly and long,
The churl was quite out of breath;
I thought the very Old One was come
To mock me before my death,
And wish’d I had buried the dead men’s bones
That were lying about the heath!
But the beggar gave me a jolly clap—
“Come, let us pledge each other,
For all the wide world is dead beside,
And we are brother and brother—
I’ve a yearning for thee in my heart,
As if we had come of one mother.
“I’ve a yearning for thee in my heart
That almost makes me weep,
For as I pass’d from town to town
The folks were all stone-asleep,—
But when I saw thee sitting aloft,
It made me both laugh and leap!”
Now a curse (I thought) be on his love,
And a curse upon his mirth,—
An’ it were not for that beggar man
I’d be the King of the earth,—
But I promis’d myself an hour should come
To make him rue his birth—
So down we sat and bous’d again
Till the sun was in mid-sky,
When, just as the gentle west-wind came,
We hearken’d a dismal cry;{347}
“Up, up, on the tree,” quoth the beggar man,
“Till these horrible dogs go by!”
And, lo! from the forest’s far off skirts,
They came all yelling for gore,
A hundred hounds pursuing at once,
And a panting hart before,
Till he sunk adown at the gallows’ foot,
And there his haunches they tore!
His haunches they tore, without a horn
To tell when the chase was done;
And there was not a single scarlet coat
To flaunt it in the sun!—
I turn’d, and look’d at the beggar man,
And his tears dropt one by one!
And with curses sore he chid at the hounds
Till the last dropt out of sight,
Anon, saith he, “let’s down again,
And ramble for our delight,
For the world’s all free, and we may choose
A right cozie barn for to-night!”
With that, he set up his staff on end,
And it fell with the point due West;
So we far’d that way to a city great,
Where the folks had died of the pest—
It was fine to enter in house and hall,
Wherever it liked me best;
For the porters all were stiff and cold,
And could not lift their heads;
And when we came where their masters lay,
The rats leapt out of the beds;
The grandest palaces in the land
Were as free as workhouse sheds.
But the beggar man made a mumping face,
And knock’d at every gate:
It made me curse to hear how he whin’d,
So our fellowship turn’d to hate,{348}
And I bade him walk the world by himself,
For I scorn’d so humble a mate!
So he turn’d right and I turn’d left,
As if we had never met;
And I chose a fair stone house for myself,
For the city was all to let;
And for three brave holydays drank my fill
Of the choicest that I could get.
And because my jerkin was coarse and worn,
I got me a properer vest;
It was purple velvet, stitch’d o’er with gold,
And a shining star at the breast!—
’Twas enough to fetch old Joan from her grave
To see me so purely drest!—
But Joan was dead and under the mould,
And every buxom lass;
In vain I watch’d, at the window pane,
For a Christian soul to pass!
But sheep and kine wander’d up the street,
And browz’d on the new-come grass.—
When lo! I spied the old beggar man,
And lustily he did sing!—
His rags were lapp’d in a scarlet cloak,
And a crown he had like a King;
So he stept right up before my gate
And danc’d me a saucy fling!
Heaven mend us all!—but, within my mind,
I had kill’d him then and there;
To see him lording so braggart-like
That was born to his beggar’s fare;
And how he had stol’n the royal crown
His betters were meant to wear.
But God forbid that a thief should die
Without his share of the laws!
So I nimbly whipt my tackle out,
And soon tied up his claws,{349}
I was judge myself, and jury, and all,
And solemnly tried the cause.
But the beggar man would not plead, but cried
Like a babe without its corals,
For he knew how hard it is apt to go,
When the law and a thief have quarrels,—
There was not a Christian soul alive
To speak a word for his morals.
Oh, how gaily I doff’d my costly gear,
And put on my work-day clothes;
I was tired of such a long Sunday life,—
And never was one of the sloths;
But the beggar man grumbled a weary deal,
And made many crooked mouths.
So I haul’d him off to the gallows’ foot,
And blinded him in his bags;
’Twas a weary job to heave him up,
For a doom’d man always lags;
But by ten of the clock he was off his legs
In the wind, and airing his rags!
So there he hung, and there I stood,
The LAST MAN left alive,
To have my own will of all the earth:
Quoth I, now I shall thrive!
But when was ever honey made
With one bee in a hive!
My conscience began to gnaw my heart,
Before the day was done,
For other men’s lives had all gone out,
Like candles in the sun!—
But it seem’d as if I had broke, at last,
A thousand necks in one!
So I went and cut his body down
To bury it decentlie;
God send there were any good soul alive
To do the like by me!{350}
But the wild dogs came with terrible speed,
And bay’d me up the tree!
My sight was like a drunkard’s sight,
And my head began to swim,
To see their jaws all white with foam,
Like the ravenous ocean brim;—
But when the wild dogs trotted away
Their jaws were bloody and grim!
Their jaws were bloody and grim, good Lord!
But the beggar man, where was he?—
There was nought of him but some ribbons of rags
Below the gallow’s tree!—
I know the Devil, when I am dead,
Will send his hounds for me!—
I’ve buried my babies one by one,
And dug the deep hole for Joan,
And cover’d the faces of kith and kin,
And felt the old churchyard stone
Go cold to my heart, full many a time,
But I never felt so lone!
For the lion and Adam were company,
And the tiger him beguil’d;
But the simple kine are foes to my life,
And the household brutes are wild.
If the veriest cur would lick my hand,
I could love it like a child!
And the beggar man’s ghost besets my dream,
At night to make me madder,—
And my wretched conscience within my breast,
Is like a stinging adder:—
I sigh when I pass the gallows’ foot,
And look at the rope and ladder!—
For hanging looks sweet,—but alas! in vain
My desperate fancy begs,—
I must turn my cup of sorrows quite up,
And drink it to the dregs,{351}
For there’s not another man alive,
In the world, to pull my legs!


OH a pistol, or a knife!
For I’m weary of my life,—
My cup has nothing sweet left to flavour it;
My estate is out at nurse,
And my heart is like my purse—
And all through backing of the Favourite!
At dear O’Neil’s first start,
I sported all my heart,—
Oh, Becher, he never marr’d a braver hit!
For he cross’d her in her race,
And made her lose her place,
And there was an end of that Favourite!
Anon, to mend my chance,
For the Goddess of the Dance[10]
I pin’d and told my enslaver it;
But she wedded in a canter,
And made me a Levanter,
In foreign lands to sigh for the Favourite!
Then next Miss M. A. Tree
I adored, so sweetly she
Could warble like a nightingale and quaver it;
But she left that course of life
To be Mr. Bradshaw’s wife,
And all the world lost on the Favourite!
But out of sorrow’s surf
Soon I leap’d upon the turf,
Where fortune loves to wanton it and waver it;{352}
But standing on the pet,
“Oh my bonny, bonny Bet!”
Black and yellow pull’d short up with the Favourite!
Thus flung by all the crack,
I resolved to cut the pack,—
The second-raters seem’d then a safer hit!
So I laid my little odds
Against Memnon! Oh, ye Gods!
Am I always to be floored by the Favourite!



I have never been vainer of any verses than of my part in the following Ballad. Dr. Watts, amongst evangelical nurses, has an enviable renown—and Campbell’s Ballads enjoy a snug genteel popularity. “Sally Brown” has been favoured, perhaps, with as wide a patronage as the Moral Songs, though its circle may not have been of so select a class as the friends of “Hohenlinden.” But I do not desire to see it amongst what are called Elegant Extracts. The lamented Emery, drest as Tom Tug, sang it at his last mortal Benefit at Covent Garden;—and, ever since, it has been a great favourite with the watermen of Thames, who time their oars to it, as the wherry-men of Venice time theirs to the lines of Tasso. With the watermen, it went naturally to Vauxhall:—and, over land, to Sadler’s Wells. The Guards, not the mail coach, but the Life Guards,—picked it out from a fluttering hundred of others—all going to one air—against the dead wall at Knightsbridge. Cheap Printers of Shoe Lane, and Cowcross, (all pirates!) disputed about the Copyright, and published their own editions,—and, in the meantime, the Authors, to have made bread of their song, (it was poor old Homer’s hard ancient case!) must have sung it about the streets. Such is the lot of Literature! the profits of “Sally Brown” were divided by the Ballad Mongers:—it has cost, but has never brought me, a half-penny.




YOUNG BEN he was a nice young man,
A carpenter by trade;
And he fell in love with Sally Brown,
That was a lady’s maid.


But as they fetch’d a walk one day,
They met a press-gang crew;
And Sally she did faint away,
While Ben he was brought to.


The Boatswain swore with wicked words,
Enough to shock a saint,
That though she did seem in a fit,
’Twas nothing but a feint.


“Come, girl,” said he, “hold up your head,
He’ll be as good as me;
For when your swain is in our boat,
A boatswain he will be.”


So when they’d made their game of her,
And taken off her elf,
She rous’d, and found she only was
A coming to herself.


“And is he gone, and is he gone?”
She cried, and wept outright:
“Then I will to the water side,
And see him out of sight.”


A waterman came up to her,—
“Now, young woman,” said he,
“If you weep on so, you will make
Eye-water in the sea.”


“Alas! they’ve taken my beau Ben
To sail with old Benbow;”
And her woe began to run afresh,
As if she’d said, Gee woe!


Says he, “They’ve only taken him
To the Tender-ship, you see;{354}
“The Tender-ship,” cried Sally Brown,
“What a hard-ship that must be!


“Oh! would I were a mermaid now,
For then I’d follow him;
But oh!—I’m not a fish-woman,
And so I cannot swim.


“Alas! I was not born beneath
The virgin and the scales,
So I must curse my cruel stars,
And walk about in Wales.”


Now Ben had sail’d to many a place
That’s underneath the world;
But in two years the ship came home
And all her sails were furl’d.


But when he call’d on Sally Brown,
To see how she got on,
He found she’d got another Ben,
Whose Christian-name was John.


“O Sally Brown, O Sally Brown,
How could you serve me so?
I’ve met with many a breeze before,
But never such a blow!”


Then reading on his ‘bacco box,
He heav’d a bitter sigh,
And then began to eye his pipe,
And then to pipe his eye.


And then he tried to sing “All’s Well,”
But could not though he tried;{355}
His head was turn’d and so he chew’d
His pigtail till he died.


His death, which happen’d in his birth,
At forty-odd befell:
They went and told the sexton, and
The sexton toll’d the bell.


O LOVE! what art thou, Love? the ace of hearts,
Trumping earth’s kings and queens, and all its suits;
A player, masquerading many parts
In life’s odd carnival;—a boy that shoots,
From ladies’ eyes, such mortal woundy darts;
A gardener pulling heart’s-ease up by the roots;
The Puck of Passion—partly false—part real—
A marriageable maiden’s “beau ideal.”
O Love! what art thou, Love? a wicked thing,
Making green misses spoil their work at school;
A melancholy man, cross-gartering?
Grave ripe-fac’d wisdom made an April fool?
A youngster, tilting at a wedding ring?
A sinner, sitting on a cuttie stool?
A Ferdinand de Something in a hovel,
Helping Matilda Rose to make a novel?
O Love! what art thou, Love? one that is bad
With palpitations of the heart—like mine—
A poor bewilder’d maid, making so sad
A necklace of her garters&mda