The Bab Ballads, by W. S. Gilbert

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Title: The Bab Ballads

Author: W. S. Gilbert

Release Date: June, 1997  [EBook #931]
[This file was first posted on June 2, 1997]
[Most recently updated: May 20, 2003]

Edition: 10

Language: English

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Transcribed by David Price, email



Captain Reece
The Rival Curates
Only A Dancing Girl
General John
To A Little Maid—By A Policeman
John And Freddy
Sir Guy The Crusader
The Bishop And The `Busman
The Troubadour
Ferdinando And Elvira; Or, The Gentle Pieman
Lorenzo De Lardy
Disillusioned—By An Ex-Enthusiast
Babette’s Love
To My Bride—(Whoever She May Be)
The Folly Of Brown—By A General Agent
Sir Macklin
The Yarn Of The “Nancy Bell”
The Bishop Of Rum-Ti-Foo
The Precocious Baby.  A Very True Tale
To Phoebe
Baines Carew, Gentleman
Thomas Winterbottom Hance
The Reverend Micah Sowls
A Discontented Sugar Broker
The Pantomime “Super” To His Mask
The Force Of Argument
The Ghost, The Gallant, The Gael, And The Goblin
The Phantom Curate.  A Fable
The Sensation Captain
Tempora Mutantur
At A Pantomime.  By A Bilious One
King Borria Bungalee Boo
The Periwinkle Girl
Thomson Green And Harriet Hale
Bob Polter
The Story Of Prince Agib
Ellen McJones Aberdeen
Peter The Wag
Ben Allah Achmet;—Or, The Fatal Tum
The Three Kings Of Chickeraboo
Joe Golightly—Or, The First Lord’s Daughter
To The Terrestrial Globe.  By A Miserable Wretch
Gentle Alice Brown

Captain Reece

Of all the ships upon the blue,
No ship contained a better crew
Than that of worthy CAPTAIN REECE,
Commanding of The Mantelpiece.

He was adored by all his men,
For worthy CAPTAIN REECE, R.N.,
Did all that lay within him to
Promote the comfort of his crew.

If ever they were dull or sad,
Their captain danced to them like mad,
Or told, to make the time pass by,
Droll legends of his infancy.

A feather bed had every man,
Warm slippers and hot-water can,
Brown windsor from the captain’s store,
A valet, too, to every four.

Did they with thirst in summer burn,
Lo, seltzogenes at every turn,
And on all very sultry days
Cream ices handed round on trays.

Then currant wine and ginger pops
Stood handily on all the “tops;”
And also, with amusement rife,
A “Zoetrope, or Wheel of Life.”

New volumes came across the sea
From MISTER MUDIE’S libraree;
The Times and Saturday Review
Beguiled the leisure of the crew.

Kind-hearted CAPTAIN REECE, R.N.,
Was quite devoted to his men;
In point of fact, good CAPTAIN REECE
Beatified The Mantelpiece.

One summer eve, at half-past ten,
He said (addressing all his men):
“Come, tell me, please, what I can do
To please and gratify my crew.

“By any reasonable plan
I’ll make you happy if I can;
My own convenience count as nil:
It is my duty, and I will.”

Then up and answered WILLIAM LEE
(The kindly captain’s coxswain he,
A nervous, shy, low-spoken man),
He cleared his throat and thus began:

“You have a daughter, CAPTAIN REECE,
Ten female cousins and a niece,
A Ma, if what I’m told is true,
Six sisters, and an aunt or two.

“Now, somehow, sir, it seems to me,
More friendly-like we all should be,
If you united of ’em to
Unmarried members of the crew.

“If you’d ameliorate our life,
Let each select from them a wife;
And as for nervous me, old pal,
Give me your own enchanting gal!”

Good CAPTAIN REECE, that worthy man,
Debated on his coxswain’s plan:
“I quite agree,” he said, “O BILL;
It is my duty, and I will.

“My daughter, that enchanting gurl,
Has just been promised to an Earl,
And all my other familee
To peers of various degree.

“But what are dukes and viscounts to
The happiness of all my crew?
The word I gave you I’ll fulfil;
It is my duty, and I will.

“As you desire it shall befall,
I’ll settle thousands on you all,
And I shall be, despite my hoard,
The only bachelor on board.”

The boatswain of The Mantelpiece,
He blushed and spoke to CAPTAIN REECE:
“I beg your honour’s leave,” he said;
“If you would wish to go and wed,

“I have a widowed mother who
Would be the very thing for you—
She long has loved you from afar:
She washes for you, CAPTAIN R.”

The Captain saw the dame that day—
Addressed her in his playful way—
“And did it want a wedding ring?
It was a tempting ickle sing!

“Well, well, the chaplain I will seek,
We’ll all be married this day week
At yonder church upon the hill;
It is my duty, and I will!”

The sisters, cousins, aunts, and niece,
And widowed Ma of CAPTAIN REECE,
Attended there as they were bid;
It was their duty, and they did.

The Rival Curates

List while the poet trolls
Who had a cure of souls
At Spiffton-extra-Sooper.

He lived on curds and whey,
And daily sang their praises,
And then he’d go and play
With buttercups and daisies.

Wild croquêt HOOPER banned,
And all the sports of Mammon,
He warred with cribbage, and
He exorcised backgammon.

His helmet was a glance
That spoke of holy gladness;
A saintly smile his lance;
His shield a tear of sadness.

His Vicar smiled to see
This armour on him buckled:
With pardonable glee
He blessed himself and chuckled.

“In mildness to abound
My curate’s sole design is;
In all the country round
There’s none so mild as mine is!”

And HOOPER, disinclined
His trumpet to be blowing,
Yet didn’t think you’d find
A milder curate going.

A friend arrived one day
At Spiffton-extra-Sooper,
And in this shameful way
He spoke to Mr. HOOPER:

“You think your famous name
For mildness can’t be shaken,
That none can blot your fame—
But, HOOPER, you’re mistaken!

“Your mind is not as blank
Who holds a curate’s rank
At Assesmilk-cum-Worter.

He plays the airy flute,
And looks depressed and blighted,
Doves round about him ‘toot,’
And lambkins dance delighted.

He labours more than you
At worsted work, and frames it;
In old maids’ albums, too,
Sticks seaweed—yes, and names it!”

The tempter said his say,
Which pierced him like a needle—
He summoned straight away
His sexton and his beadle.

(These men were men who could
Hold liberal opinions:
On Sundays they were good—
On week-days they were minions.)

Your fare I will afford you—
 Deal him a deadly blow,
And blessings shall reward you.

“But stay—I do not like
Undue assassination,
And so before you strike,
Make this communication:

“I’ll give him this one chance—
If he’ll more gaily bear him,
Play croquêt, smoke, and dance,
I willingly will spare him.”

They went, those minions true,
To Assesmilk-cum-Worter,
And told their errand to

“What?” said that reverend gent,
“Dance through my hours of leisure?
Smoke?—bathe myself with scent?—
Play croquêt?  Oh, with pleasure!

“Wear all my hair in curl?
Stand at my door and wink—so—
At every passing girl?
My brothers, I should think so!

“For years I’ve longed for some
Excuse for this revulsion:
Now that excuse has come—
I do it on compulsion!!!”

He smoked and winked away—
The deuce there was to pay
At Assesmilk-cum-Worter.

And HOOPER holds his ground,
In mildness daily growing—
They think him, all around,
The mildest curate going.

Only A Dancing Girl

Only a dancing girl,
With an unromantic style,
With borrowed colour and curl,
With fixed mechanical smile,
With many a hackneyed wile,
With ungrammatical lips,
And corns that mar her trips.

Hung from the “flies” in air,
She acts a palpable lie,
She’s as little a fairy there
As unpoetical I!
I hear you asking, Why—
Why in the world I sing
This tawdry, tinselled thing?

No airy fairy she,
As she hangs in arsenic green
From a highly impossible tree
In a highly impossible scene
(Herself not over-clean).
For fays don’t suffer, I’m told,
From bunions, coughs, or cold.

And stately dames that bring
Their daughters there to see,
Pronounce the “dancing thing”
No better than she should be,
With her skirt at her shameful knee,
And her painted, tainted phiz:
Ah, matron, which of us is?

(And, in sooth, it oft occurs
That while these matrons sigh,
Their dresses are lower than hers,
And sometimes half as high;
And their hair is hair they buy,
And they use their glasses, too,
In a way she’d blush to do.)

But change her gold and green
For a coarse merino gown,
And see her upon the scene
Of her home, when coaxing down
Her drunken father’s frown,
In his squalid cheerless den:
She’s a fairy truly, then!

General John

The bravest names for fire and flames
And all that mortal durst,
Of the Sixty-seventy-first.

GENERAL JOHN was a soldier tried,
A chief of warlike dons;
A haughty stride and a withering pride

A sneer would play on his martial phiz,
Superior birth to show;
“Pish!” was a favourite word of his,
And he often said “Ho! ho!”

FULL-PRIVATE JAMES described might be,
As a man of a mournful mind;
No characteristic trait had he
Of any distinctive kind.

From the ranks, one day, cried PRIVATE JAMES,
I’ve doubts of our respective names,
My mournful mind upon.

“A glimmering thought occurs to me
(Its source I can’t unearth),
But I’ve a kind of a notion we
Were cruelly changed at birth.

“I’ve a strange idea that each other’s names
We’ve each of us here got on.
Such things have been,” said PRIVATE JAMES.
“They have!” sneered GENERAL JOHN.

“My GENERAL JOHN, I swear upon
My oath I think ’tis so—”
“Pish!” proudly sneered his GENERAL JOHN,
And he also said “Ho! ho!”

My GENERAL JOHN!” quoth he,
“This aristocratical sneer upon
Your face I blush to see!

“No truly great or generous cove
Deserving of them names,
Would sneer at a fixed idea that’s drove
In the mind of a PRIVATE JAMES!”

Said GENERAL JOHN, “Upon your claims
No need your breath to waste;
If this is a joke, FULL-PRIVATE JAMES,
It’s a joke of doubtful taste.

“But, being a man of doubtless worth,
If you feel certain quite
That we were probably changed at birth,
I’ll venture to say you’re right.”

Fell in, parade upon;
And PRIVATE JAMES, by change of names,

To A Little Maid—By A Policeman

Come with me, little maid,
Nay, shrink not, thus afraid—
I’ll harm thee not!
Fly not, my love, from me—
I have a home for thee—
A fairy grot,
Where mortal eye
Can rarely pry,
There shall thy dwelling be!

List to me, while I tell
The pleasures of that cell,
Oh, little maid!
What though its couch be rude,
Homely the only food
Within its shade?
No thought of care
Can enter there,
No vulgar swain intrude!

Come with me, little maid,
Come to the rocky shade
I love to sing;
Live with us, maiden rare—
Come, for we “want” thee there,
Thou elfin thing,
To work thy spell,
In some cool cell
In stately Pentonville!

John And Freddy

JOHN courted lovely MARY ANN,
So likewise did his brother, FREDDY.
FRED was a very soft young man,
While JOHN, though quick, was most unsteady.

FRED was a graceful kind of youth,
But JOHN was very much the strongest.
“Oh, dance away,” said she, “in truth,
I’ll marry him who dances longest.”

JOHN tries the maiden’s taste to strike
With gay, grotesque, outrageous dresses,
And dances comically, like
CLODOCHE AND Co., at the Princess’s.

But FREDDY tries another style,
He knows some graceful steps and does ’em—
A breathing Poem—Woman’s smile—
A man all poesy and buzzem.

Now FREDDY’S operatic pas
Now JOHNNY’S hornpipe seems entrapping:
Now FREDDY’S graceful entrechats—
Now JOHNNY’S skilful “cellar-flapping.”

For many hours—for many days—
For many weeks performed each brother,
For each was active in his ways,
And neither would give in to t’other.

After a month of this, they say
(The maid was getting bored and moody)
A wandering curate passed that way
And talked a lot of goody-goody.

“Oh my,” said he, with solemn frown,
“I tremble for each dancing frater,
Like unregenerated clown
And harlequin at some the-ayter.”

He showed that men, in dancing, do
Both impiously and absurdly,
And proved his proposition true,
With Firstly, Secondly, and Thirdly.

For months both JOHN and FREDDY danced,
The curate’s protests little heeding;
For months the curate’s words enhanced
The sinfulness of their proceeding.

At length they bowed to Nature’s rule—
Their steps grew feeble and unsteady,
Till FREDDY fainted on a stool,
And JOHNNY on the top of FREDDY.

“Decide!” quoth they, “let him be named,
Who henceforth as his wife may rank you.”
“I’ve changed my views,” the maiden said,
“I only marry curates, thank you!”

Says FREDDY, “Here is goings on!
To bust myself with rage I’m ready.”
“I’ll be a curate!” whispers JOHN—
“And I,” exclaimed poetic FREDDY.

But while they read for it, these chaps,
The curate booked the maiden bonny—
And when she’s buried him, perhaps,
She’ll marry FREDERICK or JOHNNY.

Sir Guy The Crusader

Sir GUY was a doughty crusader,
A muscular knight,
Ever ready to fight,
A very determined invader,
And DICKEY DE LION’S delight.

LENORE was a Saracen maiden,
Brunette, statuesque,
The reverse of grotesque,
Her pa was a bagman from Aden,
Her mother she played in burlesque.

A coryphée, pretty and loyal,
In amber and red
The ballet she led;
Her mother performed at the Royal,
LENORE at the Saracen’s Head.

Of face and of figure majestic,
She dazzled the cits—
Ecstaticised pits;—
Her troubles were only domestic,
But drove her half out of her wits.

Her father incessantly lashed her,
On water and bread
She was grudgingly fed;
Whenever her father he thrashed her
Her mother sat down on her head.

GUY saw her, and loved her, with reason,
For beauty so bright
Sent him mad with delight;
He purchased a stall for the season,
And sat in it every night.

His views were exceedingly proper,
He wanted to wed,
So he called at her shed
And saw her progenitor whop her—
Her mother sit down on her head.

“So pretty,” said he, “and so trusting!
You brute of a dad,
You unprincipled cad,
Your conduct is really disgusting,
Come, come, now admit it’s too bad!

“You’re a turbaned old Turk, and malignant—
Your daughter LENORE
I intensely adore,
And I cannot help feeling indignant,
A fact that I hinted before;

“To see a fond father employing
A deuce of a knout
For to bang her about,
To a sensitive lover’s annoying.”
Said the bagman, “Crusader, get out.”

Says GUY, “Shall a warrior laden
With a big spiky knob,
Sit in peace on his cob
While a beautiful Saracen maiden
Is whipped by a Saracen snob?

“To London I’ll go from my charmer.”
Which he did, with his loot
(Seven hats and a flute),
And was nabbed for his Sydenham armour

SIR GUY he was lodged in the Compter,
Her pa, in a rage,
Died (don’t know his age),
His daughter, she married the prompter,
Grew bulky and quitted the stage.


Haunted?  Ay, in a social way
By a body of ghosts in dread array;
But no conventional spectres they—
Appalling, grim, and tricky:
I quail at mine as I’d never quail
At a fine traditional spectre pale,
With a turnip head and a ghostly wail,
And a splash of blood on the dickey!

Mine are horrible, social ghosts,—
Speeches and women and guests and hosts,
Weddings and morning calls and toasts,
In every bad variety:
Ghosts who hover about the grave
Of all that’s manly, free, and brave:
You’ll find their names on the architrave
Of that charnel-house, Society.

Black Monday—black as its school-room ink—
With its dismal boys that snivel and think
Of its nauseous messes to eat and drink,
And its frozen tank to wash in.
That was the first that brought me grief,
And made me weep, till I sought relief
In an emblematical handkerchief,
To choke such baby bosh in.

First and worst in the grim array-
Ghosts of ghosts that have gone their way,
Which I wouldn’t revive for a single day
For all the wealth of PLUTUS—
Are the horrible ghosts that school-days scared:
If the classical ghost that BRUTUS dared
Was the ghost of his “Caesar” unprepared,
I’m sure I pity BRUTUS.

I pass to critical seventeen;
The ghost of that terrible wedding scene,
When an elderly Colonel stole my Queen,
And woke my dream of heaven.
No schoolgirl decked in her nurse-room curls
Was my gushing innocent Queen of Pearls;
If she wasn’t a girl of a thousand girls,
She was one of forty-seven!

I see the ghost of my first cigar,
Of the thence-arising family jar—
Of my maiden brief (I was at the Bar,
And I called the Judge “Your wushup!”)
Of reckless days and reckless nights,
With wrenched-off knockers, extinguished lights,
Unholy songs and tipsy fights,
Which I strove in vain to hush up.

Ghosts of fraudulent joint-stock banks,
Ghosts of “copy, declined with thanks,”
Of novels returned in endless ranks,
And thousands more, I suffer.
The only line to fitly grace
My humble tomb, when I’ve run my race,
Is, “Reader, this is the resting-place
Of an unsuccessful duffer.”

I’ve fought them all, these ghosts of mine,
But the weapons I’ve used are sighs and brine,
And now that I’m nearly forty-nine,
Old age is my chiefest bogy;
For my hair is thinning away at the crown,
And the silver fights with the worn-out brown;
And a general verdict sets me down
As an irreclaimable fogy.

The Bishop And The ’Busman

It was a Bishop bold,
And London was his see,
He was short and stout and round about
And zealous as could be.

It also was a Jew,
Who drove a Putney ’bus—
For flesh of swine however fine
He did not care a cuss.

His name was HASH BAZ BEN,
This ’bus-directing Jew.

The Bishop said, said he,
“I’ll see what I can do
To Christianise and make you wise,
You poor benighted Jew.”

So every blessed day
That ’bus he rode outside,
From Fulham town, both up and down,
And loudly thus he cried:

“His name is HASH BAZ BEN,
This ’bus-directing Jew.”

At first the ’busman smiled,
And rather liked the fun—
He merely smiled, that Hebrew child,
And said, “Eccentric one!”

And gay young dogs would wait
To see the ’bus go by
(These gay young dogs, in striking togs),
To hear the Bishop cry:

“Observe his grisly beard,
His race it clearly shows,
He sticks no fork in ham or pork—
Observe, my friends, his nose.

“His name is HASH BAZ BEN,
This ’bus-directing Jew.”

But though at first amused,
Yet after seven years,
This Hebrew child got rather riled,
And melted into tears.

He really almost feared
To leave his poor abode,
His nose, and name, and beard became
A byword on that road.

At length he swore an oath,
The reason he would know—
“I’ll call and see why ever he
Does persecute me so!”

The good old Bishop sat
On his ancestral chair,
The ’busman came, sent up his name,
And laid his grievance bare.

“Benighted Jew,” he said
(The good old Bishop did),
“Be Christian, you, instead of Jew—
Become a Christian kid!

“I’ll ne’er annoy you more.”
“Indeed?” replied the Jew;
“Shall I be freed?”  “You will, indeed!”
Then “Done!” said he, “with you!”

The organ which, in man,
Between the eyebrows grows,
Fell from his face, and in its place
He found a Christian nose.

His tangled Hebrew beard,
Which to his waist came down,
Was now a pair of whiskers fair—

He wedded in a year
That prelate’s daughter JANE,
He’s grown quite fair—has auburn hair—
His wife is far from plain.

The Troubadour

A TROUBADOUR he played
Without a castle wall,
Within, a hapless maid
Responded to his call.

“Oh, willow, woe is me!
Alack and well-a-day!
If I were only free
I’d hie me far away!”

Unknown her face and name,
But this he knew right well,
The maiden’s wailing came
From out a dungeon cell.

A hapless woman lay
Within that dungeon grim—
That fact, I’ve heard him say,
Was quite enough for him.

“I will not sit or lie,
Or eat or drink, I vow,
Till thou art free as I,
Or I as pent as thou.”

Her tears then ceased to flow,
Her wails no longer rang,
And tuneful in her woe
The prisoned maiden sang:

“Oh, stranger, as you play,
I recognize your touch;
And all that I can say
Is, thank you very much.”

He seized his clarion straight,
And blew thereat, until
A warden oped the gate.
“Oh, what might be your will?”

“I’ve come, Sir Knave, to see
The master of these halls:
A maid unwillingly
Lies prisoned in their walls.”’

With barely stifled sigh
That porter drooped his head,
With teardrops in his eye,
“A many, sir,” he said.

He stayed to hear no more,
But pushed that porter by,
And shortly stood before

SIR HUGH he darkly frowned,
“What would you, sir, with me?”
The troubadour he downed
Upon his bended knee.

“I’ve come, DE PECKHAM RYE,
To do a Christian task;
You ask me what would I?
It is not much I ask.

“Release these maidens, sir,
Whom you dominion o’er—
Particularly her
Upon the second floor.

“And if you don’t, my lord”—
He here stood bolt upright,
And tapped a tailor’s sword—
“Come out, you cad, and fight!”

SIR HUGH he called—and ran
The warden from the gate:
“Go, show this gentleman
The maid in Forty-eight.”

By many a cell they past,
And stopped at length before
A portal, bolted fast:
The man unlocked the door.

He called inside the gate
With coarse and brutal shout,
“Come, step it, Forty-eight!”
And Forty-eight stepped out.

“They gets it pretty hot,
The maidens what we cotch—
Two years this lady’s got
For collaring a wotch.”

“Oh, ah!—indeed—I see,”
The troubadour exclaimed—
“If I may make so free,
How is this castle named?

The warden’s eyelids fill,
And sighing, he replied,
“Of gloomy Pentonville
This is the female side!”

The minstrel did not wait
The Warden stout to thank,
But recollected straight
He’d business at the Bank.

Ferdinando And Elvira; Or, The Gentle Pieman


At a pleasant evening party I had taken down to supper
One whom I will call ELVIRA, and we talked of love and TUPPER,

MR. TUPPER and the Poets, very lightly with them dealing,
For I’ve always been distinguished for a strong poetic feeling.

Then we let off paper crackers, each of which contained a motto,
And she listened while I read them, till her mother told her not to.

Then she whispered, “To the ball-room we had better, dear, be walking;
If we stop down here much longer, really people will be talking.”

There were noblemen in coronets, and military cousins,
There were captains by the hundred, there were baronets by dozens.

Yet she heeded not their offers, but dismissed them with a blessing,
Then she let down all her back hair, which had taken long in dressing.

Then she had convulsive sobbings in her agitated throttle,
Then she wiped her pretty eyes and smelt her pretty smelling-bottle.

So I whispered,  “Dear ELVIRA, say,—what can the matter be with you?
Does anything you’ve eaten, darling POPSY, disagree with you?”

But spite of all I said, her sobs grew more and more distressing,
And she tore her pretty back hair, which had taken long in dressing.

Then she gazed upon the carpet, at the ceiling, then above me,
And she whispered, “FERDINANDO, do you really, really love me?”

“Love you?” said I, then I sighed, and then I gazed upon her sweetly—
For I think I do this sort of thing particularly neatly.

“Send me to the Arctic regions, or illimitable azure,
On a scientific goose-chase, with my COXWELL or my GLAISHER!

“Tell me whither I may hie me—tell me, dear one, that I may know—
Is it up the highest Andes? down a horrible volcano?”

But she said, “It isn’t polar bears, or hot volcanic grottoes:
Only find out who it is that writes those lovely cracker mottoes!”


Do you write the bon bon mottoes my ELVIRA pulls at supper?”

But HENRY WADSWORTH smiled, and said he had not had that honour;
And ALFRED, too, disclaimed the words that told so much upon her.

“MISTER MARTIN TUPPER, POET CLOSE, I beg of you inform us;”
But my question seemed to throw them both into a rage enormous.

MISTER CLOSE expressed a wish that he could only get anigh to me;
And MISTER MARTIN TUPPER sent the following reply to me:

“A fool is bent upon a twig, but wise men dread a bandit,”—
Which I know was very clever; but I didn’t understand it.

Seven weary years I wandered—Patagonia, China, Norway,
Till at last I sank exhausted at a pastrycook his doorway.

There were fuchsias and geraniums, and daffodils and myrtle,
So I entered, and I ordered half a basin of mock turtle.

He was plump and he was chubby, he was smooth and he was rosy,
And his little wife was pretty and particularly cosy.

And he chirped and sang, and skipped about, and laughed with laughter hearty—
He was wonderfully active for so very stout a party.

And I said, “O gentle pieman, why so very, very merry?
Is it purity of conscience, or your one-and-seven sherry?”

But he answered, “I’m so happy—no profession could be dearer—
If I am not humming ‘Tra! la! la!’ I’m singing ‘Tirer, lirer!’

“First I go and make the patties, and the puddings, and the jellies,
Then I make a sugar bird-cage, which upon a table swell is;

“Then I polish all the silver, which a supper-table lacquers;
Then I write the pretty mottoes which you find inside the crackers.”—

“Found at last!” I madly shouted.  “Gentle pieman, you astound me!”
Then I waved the turtle soup enthusiastically round me.

And I shouted and I danced until he’d quite a crowd around him—
And I rushed away exclaiming, “I have found him!  I have found him!”

And I heard the gentle pieman in the road behind me trilling,
“‘Tira, lira!’ stop him, stop him!  ‘Tra! la! la!’ the soup’s a shilling!”

But until I reached ELVIRA’S home, I never, never waited,
And ELVIRA to her FERDINAND’S irrevocably mated!

Lorenzo De Lardy

The very correctest of cards,
He was one of Her Majesty’s Guards.

(No doubt in the world about that)
But DALILAH DE DARDY had gold.

The flower of maidenly pets,
Young ladies would love at his call,
But LORENZO DE LARDY had debts.

His money-position was queer,
And one of his favourite freaks
Was to hide himself three times a year,
In Paris, for several weeks.

Many days didn’t pass him before
He fanned himself into a flame,
For a beautiful “DAM DU COMPTWORE,”
And this was her singular name:


She booked all the orders and tin,
Accoutred in showy fal-lal,
At a two-fifty Restaurant, in
The glittering Palais Royal.

He’d gaze in her orbit of blue,
Her hand he would tenderly squeeze,
But the words of her tongue that he knew
Were limited strictly to these:

Houp là!  Je vous aime, oui, mossoo,
Combien donnez moi aujourd’hui
Bonjour, Mademoiselle, parlez voo.”

Was a witty and beautiful miss,
Extremely correct in her ways,
But her English consisted of this:

“Oh my! pretty man, if you please,
Blom boodin, biftek, currie lamb,
Bouldogue, two franc half, quite ze cheese,
Rosbif, me spik Angleesh, godam.”

A waiter, for seasons before,
Had basked in her beautiful gaze,
And burnt to dismember MILOR,

He said to her, “Méchante THÉRÈSE,
Avec désespoir tu m’accables.
Ses intentions sont honorables?

“Flirtez toujours, ma belle, si tu ôses—
Je me vengerai ainsi, ma chère,
Je lui dirai de quoi l’on compose
Vol au vent à la Financière

LORD LARDY knew nothing of this—
The waiter’s devotion ignored,
But he gazed on the beautiful miss,
And never seemed weary or bored.

The waiter would screw up his nerve,
His fingers he’d snap and he’d dance—
And LORD LARDY would smile and observe,
“How strange are the customs of France!”

Well, after delaying a space,
His tradesmen no longer would wait:
Returning to England apace,
He yielded himself to his fate.

LORD LARDY espoused, with a groan,
MISS DARDY’S developing charms,
And agreed to tag on to his own,
Her name and her newly-found arms.

The waiter he knelt at the toes
Of an ugly and thin coryphée,
Who danced in the hindermost rows
At the Théatre des Variétés.

Didn’t yield to a gnawing despair
But married a soldier, and plays
As a pretty and pert Vivandière.

Disillusioned—By An Ex-Enthusiast

Oh, that my soul its gods could see
As years ago they seemed to me
When first I painted them;
Invested with the circumstance
Of old conventional romance:
Exploded theorem!

The bard who could, all men above,
Inflame my soul with songs of love,
And, with his verse, inspire
The craven soul who feared to die
With all the glow of chivalry
And old heroic fire;

I found him in a beerhouse tap
Awaking from a gin-born nap,
With pipe and sloven dress;
Amusing chums, who fooled his bent,
With muddy, maudlin sentiment,
And tipsy foolishness!

The novelist, whose painting pen
To legions of fictitious men
A real existence lends,
Brain-people whom we rarely fail,
Whene’er we hear their names, to hail
As old and welcome friends;

I found in clumsy snuffy suit,
In seedy glove, and blucher boot,
Uncomfortably big.
Particularly commonplace,
With vulgar, coarse, stockbroking face,
And spectacles and wig.

My favourite actor who, at will,
With mimic woe my eyes could fill
With unaccustomed brine:
A being who appeared to me
(Before I knew him well) to be
A song incarnadine;

I found a coarse unpleasant man
With speckled chin—unhealthy, wan—
Of self-importance full:
Existing in an atmosphere
That reeked of gin and pipes and beer—
Conceited, fractious, dull.

The warrior whose ennobled name
Is woven with his country’s fame,
Triumphant over all,
I found weak, palsied, bloated, blear;
His province seemed to be, to leer
At bonnets in Pall Mall.

Would that ye always shone, who write,
Bathed in your own innate limelight,
And ye who battles wage,
Or that in darkness I had died
Before my soul had ever sighed
To see you off the stage!

Babette’s Love

BABETTE she was a fisher gal,
With jupon striped and cap in crimps.
She passed her days inside the Halle,
Or catching little nimble shrimps.
Yet she was sweet as flowers in May,
With no professional bouquet.

JACOT was, of the Customs bold,
An officer, at gay Boulogne,
He loved BABETTE—his love he told,
And sighed, “Oh, soyez vous my own!”
But “Non!” said she, “JACOT, my pet,
Vous êtes trop scraggy pour BABETTE.

“Of one alone I nightly dream,
An able mariner is he,
And gaily serves the Gen’ral Steam-
Boat Navigation Companee.
I’ll marry him, if he but will—
His name, I rather think, is BILL.

“I see him when he’s not aware,
Upon our hospitable coast,
Reclining with an easy air
Upon the Port against a post,
A-thinking of, I’ll dare to say,
His native Chelsea far away!”

“Oh, mon!” exclaimed the Customs bold,
“Mes yeux!” he said (which means “my eye”)
“Oh, chère!” he also cried, I’m told,
“Par Jove,” he added, with a sigh.
“Oh, mon! oh, chère! mes yeux! par Jove!
Je n’aime pas cet enticing cove!”

The Panther’s captain stood hard by,
He was a man of morals strict
If e’er a sailor winked his eye,
Straightway he had that sailor licked,
Mast-headed all (such was his code)
Who dashed or jiggered, blessed or blowed.

He wept to think a tar of his
Should lean so gracefully on posts,
He sighed and sobbed to think of this,
On foreign, French, and friendly coasts.
“It’s human natur’, p’raps—if so,
Oh, isn’t human natur’ low!”

He called his BILL, who pulled his curl,
He said, “My BILL, I understand
You’ve captivated some young gurl
On this here French and foreign land.
Her tender heart your beauties jog—
They do, you know they do, you dog.

“You have a graceful way, I learn,
Of leaning airily on posts,
By which you’ve been and caused to burn
A tender flame on these here coasts.
A fisher gurl, I much regret,—
Her age, sixteen—her name, BABETTE.

“You’ll marry her, you gentle tar—
Your union I myself will bless,
And when you matrimonied are,
I will appoint her stewardess.”
But WILLIAM hitched himself and sighed,
And cleared his throat, and thus replied:

“Not so: unless you’re fond of strife,
You’d better mind your own affairs,
I have an able-bodied wife
Awaiting me at Wapping Stairs;
If all this here to her I tell,
She’ll larrup you and me as well.

“Skin-deep, and valued at a pin,
Is beauty such as VENUS owns—
Her beauty is beneath her skin,
And lies in layers on her bones.
The other sailors of the crew
They always calls her ‘Whopping Sue!’”

“Oho!” the Captain said, “I see!
And is she then so very strong?”
“She’d take your honour’s scruff,” said he
“And pitch you over to Bolong!”
“I pardon you,” the Captain said,
“The fair BABETTE you needn’t wed.”

Perhaps the Customs had his will,
And coaxed the scornful girl to wed,
Perhaps the Captain and his BILL,
And WILLIAM’S little wife are dead;
Or p’raps they’re all alive and well:
I cannot, cannot, cannot tell.

To My Bride—(Whoever She May Be)

Oh! little maid!—(I do not know your name
Or who you are, so, as a safe precaution
I’ll add)—Oh, buxom widow! married dame!
(As one of these must be your present portion)
Listen, while I unveil prophetic lore for you,
And sing the fate that Fortune has in store for you.

You’ll marry soon—within a year or twain—
A bachelor of circa two and thirty:
Tall, gentlemanly, but extremely plain,
And when you’re intimate, you’ll call him “BERTIE.”
Neat—dresses well; his temper has been classified
As hasty; but he’s very quickly pacified.

You’ll find him working mildly at the Bar,
After a touch at two or three professions,
From easy affluence extremely far,
A brief or two on Circuit—“soup” at Sessions;
A pound or two from whist and backing horses,
And, say three hundred from his own resources.

Quiet in harness; free from serious vice,
His faults are not particularly shady,
You’ll never find him “shy”—for, once or twice
Already, he’s been driven by a lady,
Who parts with him—perhaps a poor excuse for him—
Because she hasn’t any further use for him.

Oh! bride of mine—tall, dumpy, dark, or fair!
Oh! widow—wife, maybe, or blushing maiden,
I’ve told your fortune; solved the gravest care
With which your mind has hitherto been laden.
I’ve prophesied correctly, never doubt it;
Now tell me mine—and please be quick about it!

You—only you—can tell me, an’ you will,
To whom I’m destined shortly to be mated,
Will she run up a heavy modiste’s bill?
If so, I want to hear her income stated
(This is a point which interests me greatly).
To quote the bard, “Oh! have I seen her lately?”

Say, must I wait till husband number one
Is comfortably stowed away at Woking?
How is her hair most usually done?
And tell me, please, will she object to smoking?
The colour of her eyes, too, you may mention:
Come, Sibyl, prophesy—I’m all attention.

The Folly Of Brown—By A General Agent

I knew a boor—a clownish card
(His only friends were pigs and cows and
The poultry of a small farmyard),
Who came into two hundred thousand.

Good fortune worked no change in BROWN,
Though she’s a mighty social chymist;
He was a clown—and by a clown
I do not mean a pantomimist.

It left him quiet, calm, and cool,
Though hardly knowing what a crown was—
You can’t imagine what a fool
Poor rich uneducated BROWN was!

He scouted all who wished to come
And give him monetary schooling;
And I propose to give you some
Idea of his insensate fooling.

I formed a company or two—
(Of course I don’t know what the rest meant,
I formed them solely with a view
To help him to a sound investment).

Their objects were—their only cares—
To justify their Boards in showing
A handsome dividend on shares
And keep their good promoter going.

But no—the lout sticks to his brass,
Though shares at par I freely proffer:
Yet—will it be believed?—the ass
Declines, with thanks, my well-meant offer!

He adds, with bumpkin’s stolid grin
(A weakly intellect denoting),
He’d rather not invest it in
A company of my promoting!

“You have two hundred ‘thou’ or more,”
Said I.  “You’ll waste it, lose it, lend it;
Come, take my furnished second floor,
I’ll gladly show you how to spend it.”

But will it be believed that he,
With grin upon his face of poppy,
Declined my aid, while thanking me
For what he called my “philanthroppy”?

Some blind, suspicious fools rejoice
In doubting friends who wouldn’t harm them;
They will not hear the charmer’s voice,
However wisely he may charm them!

I showed him that his coat, all dust,
Top boots and cords provoked compassion,
And proved that men of station must
Conform to the decrees of fashion.

I showed him where to buy his hat
To coat him, trouser him, and boot him;
But no—he wouldn’t hear of that—
“He didn’t think the style would suit him!”

I offered him a county seat,
And made no end of an oration;
I made it certainty complete,
And introduced the deputation.

But no—the clown my prospect blights—
(The worth of birth it surely teaches!)
“Why should I want to spend my nights
In Parliament, a-making speeches?

“I haven’t never been to school—
I ain’t had not no eddication—
And I should surely be a fool
To publish that to all the nation!”

I offered him a trotting horse—
No hack had ever trotted faster—
I also offered him, of course,
A rare and curious “old master.”

I offered to procure him weeds—
Wines fit for one in his position—
But, though an ass in all his deeds,
He’d learnt the meaning of “commission.”

He called me “thief” the other day,
And daily from his door he thrusts me;
Much more of this, and soon I may
Begin to think that BROWN mistrusts me.

So deaf to all sound Reason’s rule
This poor uneducated clown is,
You cannot fancy what a fool
Poor rich uneducated BROWN is.

Sir Macklin

Of all the youths I ever saw
None were so wicked, vain, or silly,
So lost to shame and Sabbath law,
As worldly TOM, and BOB, and BILLY.

For every Sabbath day they walked
(Such was their gay and thoughtless natur)
In parks or gardens, where they talked
From three to six, or even later.

SIR MACKLIN was a priest severe
In conduct and in conversation,
It did a sinner good to hear
Him deal in ratiocination.

He could in every action show
Some sin, and nobody could doubt him.
He argued high, he argued low,
He also argued round about him.

He wept to think each thoughtless youth
Contained of wickedness a skinful,
And burnt to teach the awful truth,
That walking out on Sunday’s sinful.

“Oh, youths,” said he, “I grieve to find
The course of life you’ve been and hit on—
Sit down,” said he, “and never mind
The pennies for the chairs you sit on.

“My opening head is ‘Kensington,’
How walking there the sinner hardens,
Which when I have enlarged upon,
I go to ‘Secondly’—its ‘Gardens.’

“My ‘Thirdly’ comprehendeth ‘Hyde,’
Of Secresy the guilts and shameses;
My ‘Fourthly’—‘Park’—its verdure wide—
My ‘Fifthly’ comprehends ‘St. James’s.’

“That matter settled, I shall reach
The ‘Sixthly’ in my solemn tether,
And show that what is true of each,
Is also true of all, together.

“Then I shall demonstrate to you,
According to the rules of WHATELY,
That what is true of all, is true
Of each, considered separately.”

In lavish stream his accents flow,
TOM, BOB, and BILLY dare not flout him;
He argued high, he argued low,
He also argued round about him.

“Ha, ha!” he said, “you loathe your ways,
You writhe at these my words of warning,
In agony your hands you raise.”
(And so they did, for they were yawning.)

To “Twenty-firstly” on they go,
The lads do not attempt to scout him;
He argued high, he argued low,
He also argued round about him.

“Ho, ho!” he cries, “you bow your crests—
My eloquence has set you weeping;
In shame you bend upon your breasts!”
(And so they did, for they were sleeping.)

He proved them this—he proved them that—
This good but wearisome ascetic;
He jumped and thumped upon his hat,
He was so very energetic.

His Bishop at this moment chanced
To pass, and found the road encumbered;
He noticed how the Churchman danced,
And how his congregation slumbered.

The hundred and eleventh head
The priest completed of his stricture;
“Oh, bosh!” the worthy Bishop said,
And walked him off as in the picture.

The Yarn Of The “Nancy Bell”

’Twas on the shores that round our coast
From Deal to Ramsgate span,
That I found alone on a piece of stone
An elderly naval man.

His hair was weedy, his beard was long,
And weedy and long was he,
And I heard this wight on the shore recite,
In a singular minor key:

“Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo’sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain’s gig.”

And he shook his fists and he tore his hair,
Till I really felt afraid,
For I couldn’t help thinking the man had been drinking,
And so I simply said:

“Oh, elderly man, it’s little I know
Of the duties of men of the sea,
And I’ll eat my hand if I understand
However you can be

“At once a cook, and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo’sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain’s gig.”

Then he gave a hitch to his trousers, which
Is a trick all seamen larn,
And having got rid of a thumping quid,
He spun this painful yarn:

“’Twas in the good ship Nancy Bell
That we sailed to the Indian Sea,
And there on a reef we come to grief,
Which has often occurred to me.

“And pretty nigh all the crew was drowned
(There was seventy-seven o’ soul),
And only ten of the Nancy’s men
Said ‘Here!’ to the muster-roll.

“There was me and the cook and the captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And the bo’sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain’s gig.

“For a month we’d neither wittles nor drink,
Till a-hungry we did feel,
So we drawed a lot, and, accordin’ shot
The captain for our meal.

“The next lot fell to the Nancy’s mate,
And a delicate dish he made;
Then our appetite with the midshipmite
We seven survivors stayed.

“And then we murdered the bo’sun tight,
And he much resembled pig;
Then we wittled free, did the cook and me,
On the crew of the captain’s gig.

“Then only the cook and me was left,
And the delicate question, ‘Which
Of us two goes to the kettle?’ arose,
And we argued it out as sich.

“For I loved that cook as a brother, I did,
And the cook he worshipped me;
But we’d both be blowed if we’d either be stowed
In the other chap’s hold, you see.

“‘I’ll be eat if you dines off me,’ says TOM;
‘Yes, that,’ says I, ‘you’ll be,—
‘I’m boiled if I die, my friend,’ quoth I;
And ‘Exactly so,’ quoth he.

“Says he, ‘Dear JAMES, to murder me
Were a foolish thing to do,
For don’t you see that you can’t cook me,
While I can—and will—cook you!’

“So he boils the water, and takes the salt
And the pepper in portions true
(Which he never forgot), and some chopped shalot.
And some sage and parsley too.

“‘Come here,’ says he, with a proper pride,
Which his smiling features tell,
‘’T will soothing be if I let you see
How extremely nice you’ll smell.’

“And he stirred it round and round and round,
And he sniffed at the foaming froth;
When I ups with his heels, and smothers his squeals
In the scum of the boiling broth.

“And I eat that cook in a week or less,
And—as I eating be
The last of his chops, why, I almost drops,
For a wessel in sight I see!

* * * *

“And I never larf, and I never smile,
And I never lark nor play,
But sit and croak, and a single joke
I have—which is to say:

“Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo’sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain’s gig!’”

The Bishop Of Rum-Ti-Foo

From east and south the holy clan
Of Bishops gathered to a man;
To Synod, called Pan-Anglican,
In flocking crowds they came.
Among them was a Bishop, who
Had lately been appointed to
The balmy isle of Rum-ti-Foo,
And PETER was his name.

His people—twenty-three in sum—
They played the eloquent tum-tum,
And lived on scalps served up, in rum—
The only sauce they knew.
When first good BISHOP PETER came
(For PETER was that Bishop’s name),
To humour them, he did the same
As they of Rum-ti-Foo.

His flock, I’ve often heard him tell,
(His name was PETER) loved him well,
And, summoned by the sound of bell,
In crowds together came.
“Oh, massa, why you go away?
Oh, MASSA PETER, please to stay.”
(They called him PETER, people say,
Because it was his name.)

He told them all good boys to be,
And sailed away across the sea,
At London Bridge that Bishop he
Arrived one Tuesday night;
And as that night he homeward strode
To his Pan-Anglican abode,
He passed along the Borough Road,
And saw a gruesome sight.

He saw a crowd assembled round
A person dancing on the ground,
Who straight began to leap and bound
With all his might and main.
To see that dancing man he stopped,
Who twirled and wriggled, skipped and hopped,
Then down incontinently dropped,
And then sprang up again.

The Bishop chuckled at the sight.
“This style of dancing would delight
A simple Rum-ti-Foozleite.
I’ll learn it if I can,
To please the tribe when I get back.”
He begged the man to teach his knack.
“Right Reverend Sir, in half a crack!
Replied that dancing man.

The dancing man he worked away,
And taught the Bishop every day—
The dancer skipped like any fay—
Good PETER did the same.
The Bishop buckled to his task,
With battements, and pas de basque.
(I’ll tell you, if you care to ask,
That PETER was his name.)

“Come, walk like this,” the dancer said,
“Stick out your toes—stick in your head,
Stalk on with quick, galvanic tread—
Your fingers thus extend;
The attitude’s considered quaint.”
The weary Bishop, feeling faint,
Replied, “I do not say it ain’t,
But ‘Time!’ my Christian friend!”

“We now proceed to something new—
Dance as the PAYNES and LAURIS do,
Like this—one, two—one, two—one, two.”
The Bishop, never proud,
But in an overwhelming heat
(His name was PETER, I repeat)
Performed the PAYNE and LAURI feat,
And puffed his thanks aloud.

Another game the dancer planned—
“Just take your ankle in your hand,
And try, my lord, if you can stand—
Your body stiff and stark.
If, when revisiting your see,
You learnt to hop on shore—like me—
The novelty would striking be,
And must attract remark.”

“No,” said the worthy Bishop, “no;
That is a length to which, I trow,
Colonial Bishops cannot go.
You may express surprise
At finding Bishops deal in pride—
But if that trick I ever tried,
I should appear undignified
In Rum-ti-Foozle’s eyes.

“The islanders of Rum-ti-Foo
Are well-conducted persons, who
Approve a joke as much as you,
And laugh at it as such;
But if they saw their Bishop land,
His leg supported in his hand,
The joke they wouldn’t understand—
’T would pain them very much!”

The Precocious Baby.  A Very True Tale

(To be sung to the Air of the “Whistling Oyster.”)

An elderly person—a prophet by trade—
With his quips and tips
On withered old lips,
He married a young and a beautiful maid;
The cunning old blade!
Though rather decayed,
He married a beautiful, beautiful maid.

She was only eighteen, and as fair as could be,
With her tempting smiles
And maidenly wiles,
And he was a trifle past seventy-three:
Now what she could see
Is a puzzle to me,
In a prophet of seventy—seventy-three!

Of all their acquaintances bidden (or bad)
With their loud high jinks
And underbred winks,
None thought they’d a family have—but they had;
A dear little lad
Who drove ’em half mad,
For he turned out a horribly fast little cad.

For when he was born he astonished all by,
With their “Law, dear me!”
“Did ever you see?”
He’d a pipe in his mouth and a glass in his eye,
A hat all awry—
An octagon tie—
And a miniature—miniature glass in his eye.

He grumbled at wearing a frock and a cap,
With his “Oh, dear, oh!”
And his “Hang it! ’oo know!”
And he turned up his nose at his excellent pap—
“My friends, it’s a tap
Dat is not worf a rap.”
(Now this was remarkably excellent pap.)

He’d chuck his nurse under the chin, and he’d say,
With his “Fal, lal, lal”—
“’Oo doosed fine gal!”
This shocking precocity drove ’em away:
“A month from to-day
Is as long as I’ll stay—
Then I’d wish, if you please, for to toddle away.”

His father, a simple old gentleman, he
With nursery rhyme
And “Once on a time,”
Would tell him the story of “Little Bo-P,”
“So pretty was she,
So pretty and wee,
As pretty, as pretty, as pretty could be.”

But the babe, with a dig that would startle an ox,
With his “C’ck!  Oh, my!—
Go along wiz ’oo, fie!”
Would exclaim, “I’m afraid ’oo a socking ole fox.”
Now a father it shocks,
And it whitens his locks,
When his little babe calls him a shocking old fox.

The name of his father he’d couple and pair
(With his ill-bred laugh,
And insolent chaff)
With those of the nursery heroines rare—
Virginia the Fair,
Or Good Goldenhair,
Till the nuisance was more than a prophet could bear.

“There’s Jill and White Cat” (said the bold little brat,
With his loud, “Ha, ha!”)
“’Oo sly ickle Pa!
Wiz ’oo Beauty, Bo-Peep, and ’oo Mrs. Jack Sprat!
I’ve noticed ’oo pat
My pretty White Cat—
I sink dear mamma ought to know about dat!”

He early determined to marry and wive,
For better or worse
With his elderly nurse—
Which the poor little boy didn’t live to contrive:
His hearth didn’t thrive—
No longer alive,
He died an enfeebled old dotard at five!


Now, elderly men of the bachelor crew,
With wrinkled hose
And spectacled nose,
Don’t marry at all—you may take it as true
If ever you do
The step you will rue,
For your babes will be elderly—elderly too.

To Phoebe

“Gentle, modest little flower,
Sweet epitome of May,
Love me but for half an hour,
Love me, love me, little fay.”
Sentences so fiercely flaming
In your tiny shell-like ear,
I should always be exclaiming
If I loved you, PHOEBE dear.

“Smiles that thrill from any distance
Shed upon me while I sing!
Please ecstaticize existence,
Love me, oh, thou fairy thing!”
Words like these, outpouring sadly
You’d perpetually hear,
If I loved you fondly, madly;—
But I do not, PHOEBE dear.

Baines Carew, Gentleman

Of all the good attorneys who
Have placed their names upon the roll,
But few could equal BAINES CAREW
For tender-heartedness and soul.

Whene’er he heard a tale of woe
From client A or client B,
His grief would overcome him so
He’d scarce have strength to take his fee.

It laid him up for many days,
When duty led him to distrain,
And serving writs, although it pays,
Gave him excruciating pain.

He made out costs, distrained for rent,
Foreclosed and sued, with moistened eye—
No bill of costs could represent
The value of such sympathy.

No charges can approximate
The worth of sympathy with woe;—
Although I think I ought to state
He did his best to make them so.

Of all the many clients who
Had mustered round his legal flag,
No single client of the crew
Was half so dear as CAPTAIN BAGG.

Now, CAPTAIN BAGG had bowed him to
A heavy matrimonial yoke—
His wifey had of faults a few—
She never could resist a joke.

Her chaff at first he meekly bore,
Till unendurable it grew.
“To stop this persecution sore
I will consult my friend CAREW.

“And when CAREW’S advice I’ve got,
Divorce a mensâ I shall try.”
(A legal separation—not
A vinculo conjugii.)

“Oh, BAINES CAREW, my woe I’ve kept
A secret hitherto, you know;”—
To hear that BAGG had any woe.)

“My case, indeed, is passing sad.
My wife—whom I considered true—
With brutal conduct drives me mad.”
“I am appalled,” said BAINES CAREW.

“What! sound the matrimonial knell
Of worthy people such as these!
Why was I an attorney?  Well—
Go on to the saevitia, please.”

“Domestic bliss has proved my bane,—
A harder case you never heard,
My wife (in other matters sane)
Pretends that I’m a Dicky bird!

“She makes me sing, ‘Too-whit, too-wee!’
And stand upon a rounded stick,
And always introduces me
To every one as ‘Pretty Dick’!”

“Oh, dear,” said weeping BAINES CAREW,
“This is the direst case I know.”
“I’m grieved,” said BAGG, “at paining you—

“To COBB’S cold, calculating ear,
My gruesome sorrows I’ll impart”—
“No; stop,” said BAINES, “I’ll dry my tear,
And steel my sympathetic heart.”

“She makes me perch upon a tree,
Rewarding me with ‘Sweety—nice!’
And threatens to exhibit me
With four or five performing mice.”

“Restrain my tears I wish I could”
(Said BAINES), “I don’t know what to do.”
Said CAPTAIN BAGG, “You’re very good.”
“Oh, not at all,” said BAINES CAREW.

“She makes me fire a gun,” said BAGG;
“And, at a preconcerted word,
Climb up a ladder with a flag,
Like any street performing bird.

“She places sugar in my way—
In public places calls me ‘Sweet!’
She gives me groundsel every day,
And hard canary-seed to eat.”

“Oh, woe! oh, sad! oh, dire to tell!”
(Said BAINES).  “Be good enough to stop.”
And senseless on the floor he fell,
With unpremeditated flop!

Said CAPTAIN BAGG, “Well, really I
Am grieved to think it pains you so.
I thank you for your sympathy;
But, hang it!—come—I say, you know!”

But BAINES lay flat upon the floor,
Convulsed with sympathetic sob;—
The Captain toddled off next door,
And gave the case to MR. COBB.

Thomas Winterbottom Hance

In all the towns and cities fair
On Merry England’s broad expanse,
No swordsman ever could compare

The dauntless lad could fairly hew
A silken handkerchief in twain,
Divide a leg of mutton too—
And this without unwholesome strain.

On whole half-sheep, with cunning trick,
His sabre sometimes he’d employ—
No bar of lead, however thick,
Had terrors for the stalwart boy.

At Dover daily he’d prepare
To hew and slash, behind, before—
Which aggravated MONSIEUR PIERRE,
Who watched him from the Calais shore.

It caused good PIERRE to swear and dance,
The sight annoyed and vexed him so;
He was the bravest man in France—
He said so, and he ought to know.

“Regardez donc, ce cochon gros—
Ce polisson!  Oh, sacré bleu!
Son sabre, son plomb, et ses gigots
Comme cela m’ennuye, enfin, mon Dieu!

“Il sait que les foulards de soie
Give no retaliating whack—
Les gigots morts n’ont pas de quoi—
Le plomb don’t ever hit you back.”

But every day the headstrong lad
Cut lead and mutton more and more;
And every day poor PIERRE, half mad,
Shrieked loud defiance from his shore.

HANCE had a mother, poor and old,
A simple, harmless village dame,
Who crowed and clapped as people told
Of WINTERBOTTOM’S rising fame.

She said, “I’ll be upon the spot
To see my TOMMY’S sabre-play;”
And so she left her leafy cot,
And walked to Dover in a day.

PIERRE had a doating mother, who
Had heard of his defiant rage;
His Ma was nearly ninety-two,
And rather dressy for her age.

At HANCE’S doings every morn,
With sheer delight his mother cried;
And MONSIEUR PIERRE’S contemptuous scorn
Filled his mamma with proper pride.

But HANCE’S powers began to fail—
His constitution was not strong—
And PIERRE, who once was stout and hale,
Grew thin from shouting all day long.

Their mothers saw them pale and wan,
Maternal anguish tore each breast,
And so they met to find a plan
To set their offsprings’ minds at rest.

Said MRS. HANCE, “Of course I shrinks
From bloodshed, ma’am, as you’re aware,
But still they’d better meet, I thinks.”
“Assurément!” said MADAME PIERRE.

A sunny spot in sunny France
Was hit upon for this affair;
The ground was picked by MRS. HANCE,
The stakes were pitched by MADAME PIERRE.

Said MRS. H., “Your work you see—
Go in, my noble boy, and win.”
“En garde, mon fils!” said MADAME P.
“Allons!”  “Go on!”  “En garde!”  “Begin!”

(The mothers were of decent size,
Though not particularly tall;
But in the sketch that meets your eyes
I’ve been obliged to draw them small.)

Loud sneered the doughty man of France,
“Ho! ho!  Ho! ho!  Ha! ha!  Ha! ha!
“The French for ‘Pish’” said THOMAS HANCE.
Said PIERRE, “L’Anglais, Monsieur, pour ‘Bah.’”

Said MRS. H., “Come, one! two! three!—
We’re sittin’ here to see all fair.”
“C’est magnifique!” said MADAME P.,
“Mais, parbleu! ce n’est pas la guerre!”

“Je scorn un foe si lache que vous,”
Said PIERRE, the doughty son of France.
“I fight not coward foe like you!”
Said our undaunted TOMMY HANCE.

“The French for ‘Pooh!’” our TOMMY cried.
“L’Anglais pour ‘Va!’” the Frenchman crowed.
And so, with undiminished pride,
Each went on his respective road.

The Reverend Micah Sowls

He shouts and yells and howls,
He screams, he mouths, he bumps,
He foams, he rants, he thumps.

His armour he has buckled on, to wage
The regulation war against the Stage;
And warns his congregation all to shun
“The Presence-Chamber of the Evil One,”

The subject’s sad enough
To make him rant and puff,
And fortunately, too,
His Bishop’s in a pew.

So REVEREND MICAH claps on extra steam,
His eyes are flashing with superior gleam,
He is as energetic as can be,
For there are fatter livings in that see.

The Bishop, when it’s o’er,
Goes through the vestry door,
Where MICAH, very red,
Is mopping of his head.

“Pardon, my Lord, your SOWLS’ excessive zeal,
It is a theme on which I strongly feel.”
(The sermon somebody had sent him down
From London, at a charge of half-a-crown.)

The Bishop bowed his head,
And, acquiescing, said,
“I’ve heard your well-meant rage
Against the Modern Stage.

“A modern Theatre, as I heard you say,
Sows seeds of evil broadcast—well it may;
But let me ask you, my respected son,
Pray, have you ever ventured into one?”

“My Lord,” said MICAH, “no!
I never, never go!
What!  Go and see a play?
My goodness gracious, nay!”

The worthy Bishop said, “My friend, no doubt
The Stage may be the place you make it out;
But if, my REVEREND SOWLS, you never go,
I don’t quite understand how you’re to know.”

“Well, really,” MICAH said,
“I’ve often heard and read,
But never go—do you?”
The Bishop said, “I do.”

“That proves me wrong,” said MICAH, in a trice:
“I thought it all frivolity and vice.”
The Bishop handed him a printed card;
“Go to a theatre where they play our Bard.”

The Bishop took his leave,
Rejoicing in his sleeve.
The next ensuing day
SOWLS went and heard a play.

He saw a dreary person on the stage,
Who mouthed and mugged in simulated rage,
Who growled and spluttered in a mode absurd,
And spoke an English SOWLS had never heard.

For “gaunt” was spoken “garnt,”
 And “haunt” transformed to “harnt,”
 And “wrath “ pronounced as “rath,”
 And “death” was changed to “dath.”

For hours and hours that dismal actor walked,
And talked, and talked, and talked, and talked,
Till lethargy upon the parson crept,
And sleepy MICAH SOWLS serenely slept.

He slept away until
The farce that closed the bill
Had warned him not to stay,
And then he went away.

“I thought my gait ridiculous,” said he—
My elocution faulty as could be;
I thought I mumbled on a matchless plan—
I had not seen our great Tragedian!

“Forgive me, if you can,
O great Tragedian!
I own it with a sigh—
You’re drearier than I!”

A Discontented Sugar Broker

A GENTLEMAN of City fame
Now claims your kind attention;
East India broking was his game,
His name I shall not mention:
No one of finely-pointed sense
Would violate a confidence,
And shall I go
And do it?  No!
His name I shall not mention.

He had a trusty wife and true,
And very cosy quarters,
A manager, a boy or two,
Six clerks, and seven porters.
A broker must be doing well
(As any lunatic can tell)
Who can employ
An active boy,
Six clerks, and seven porters.

His knocker advertised no dun,
No losses made him sulky,
He had one sorrow—only one—
He was extremely bulky.
A man must be, I beg to state,
Exceptionally fortunate
Who owns his chief
And only grief
Is—being very bulky.

“This load,” he’d say, “I cannot bear;
I’m nineteen stone or twenty!
Henceforward I’ll go in for air
And exercise in plenty.”
Most people think that, should it come,
They can reduce a bulging tum
To measures fair
By taking air
And exercise in plenty.

In every weather, every day,
Dry, muddy, wet, or gritty,
He took to dancing all the way
From Brompton to the City.
You do not often get the chance
Of seeing sugar brokers dance
From their abode
In Fulham Road
Through Brompton to the City.

He braved the gay and guileless laugh
Of children with their nusses,
The loud uneducated chaff
Of clerks on omnibuses.
Against all minor things that rack
A nicely-balanced mind, I’ll back
The noisy chaff
And ill-bred laugh
Of clerks on omnibuses.

His friends, who heard his money chink,
And saw the house he rented,
And knew his wife, could never think
What made him discontented.
It never entered their pure minds
That fads are of eccentric kinds,
Nor would they own
That fat alone
Could make one discontented.

“Your riches know no kind of pause,
Your trade is fast advancing;
You dance—but not for joy, because
You weep as you are dancing.
To dance implies that man is glad,
To weep implies that man is sad;
But here are you
Who do the two—
You weep as you are dancing!”

His mania soon got noised about
And into all the papers;
His size increased beyond a doubt
For all his reckless capers:
It may seem singular to you,
But all his friends admit it true—
The more he found
His figure round,
The more he cut his capers.

His bulk increased—no matter that—
He tried the more to toss it—
He never spoke of it as “fat,”
But “adipose deposit.”
Upon my word, it seems to me
Unpardonable vanity
(And worse than that)
To call your fat
An “adipose deposit.”

At length his brawny knees gave way,
And on the carpet sinking,
Upon his shapeless back he lay
And kicked away like winking.
Instead of seeing in his state
The finger of unswerving Fate,
He laboured still
To work his will,
And kicked away like winking.

His friends, disgusted with him now,
Away in silence wended—
I hardly like to tell you how
This dreadful story ended.
The shocking sequel to impart,
I must employ the limner’s art—
If you would know,
This sketch will show
How his exertions ended.


I hate to preach—I hate to prate—
- I’m no fanatic croaker,
But learn contentment from the fate
Of this East India broker.
He’d everything a man of taste
Could ever want, except a waist;
And discontent
His size anent,
And bootless perseverance blind,
Completely wrecked the peace of mind
Of this East India broker.

The Pantomime “Super” To His Mask

Vast empty shell!
Impertinent, preposterous abortion!
With vacant stare,
And ragged hair,
And every feature out of all proportion!
Embodiment of echoing inanity!
Excellent type of simpering insanity!
Unwieldy, clumsy nightmare of humanity!
I ring thy knell!

To-night thou diest,
Beast that destroy’st my heaven-born identity!
Nine weeks of nights,
Before the lights,
Swamped in thine own preposterous nonentity,
I’ve been ill-treated, cursed, and thrashed diurnally,
Credited for the smile you wear externally—
I feel disposed to smash thy face, infernally,
As there thou liest!

I’ve been thy brain:
I’ve been the brain that lit thy dull concavity!
The human race
Invest my face
With thine expression of unchecked depravity,
Invested with a ghastly reciprocity,
I’ve been responsible for thy monstrosity,
I, for thy wanton, blundering ferocity—
But not again!

’T is time to toll
Thy knell, and that of follies pantomimical:
A nine weeks’ run,
And thou hast done
All thou canst do to make thyself inimical.
Adieu, embodiment of all inanity!
Excellent type of simpering insanity!
Unwieldy, clumsy nightmare of humanity!
Freed is thy soul!

(The Mask respondeth.)

Oh! master mine,
Look thou within thee, ere again ill-using me.
Art thou aware
Of nothing there
Which might abuse thee, as thou art abusing me?
A brain that mourns thine unredeemed rascality?
A soul that weeps at thy threadbare morality?
Both grieving that their individuality
Is merged in thine?

The Force Of Argument

Lord B. was a nobleman bold
Who came of illustrious stocks,
He was thirty or forty years old,
And several feet in his socks.

To Turniptopville-by-the-Sea
This elegant nobleman went,
For that was a borough that he
Was anxious to rep-per-re-sent.

At local assemblies he danced
Until he felt thoroughly ill;
He waltzed, and he galoped, and lanced,
And threaded the mazy quadrille.

The maidens of Turniptopville
Were simple—ingenuous—pure—
And they all worked away with a will
The nobleman’s heart to secure.

Two maidens all others beyond
Endeavoured his cares to dispel—
The one was the lively ANN POND,
The other sad MARY MORELL.

ANN POND had determined to try
And carry the Earl with a rush;
Her principal feature was eye,
Her greatest accomplishment—gush.

And MARY chose this for her play:
Whenever he looked in her eye
She’d blush and turn quickly away,
And flitter, and flutter, and sigh.

It was noticed he constantly sighed
As she worked out the scheme she had planned,
A fact he endeavoured to hide
With his aristocratical hand.

Old POND was a farmer, they say,
And so was old TOMMY MORELL.
In a humble and pottering way
They were doing exceedingly well.

They both of them carried by vote
The Earl was a dangerous man;
So nervously clearing his throat,
One morning old TOMMY began:

“My darter’s no pratty young doll—
I’m a plain-spoken Zommerzet man—
Now what do ’ee mean by my POLL,
And what do ’ee mean by his ANN?

Said B., “I will give you my bond
I mean them uncommonly well,
Believe me, my excellent POND,
And credit me, worthy MORELL.

“It’s quite indisputable, for
I’ll prove it with singular ease,—
You shall have it in ‘Barbara’ or
‘Celarent’—whichever you please.

‘You see, when an anchorite bows
To the yoke of intentional sin,
If the state of the country allows,
Homogeny always steps in—

“It’s a highly aesthetical bond,
As any mere ploughboy can tell—”
“Of course,” replied puzzled old POND.
“I see,” said old TOMMY MORELL.

“Very good, then,” continued the lord;
“When it’s fooled to the top of its bent,
With a sweep of a Damocles sword
The web of intention is rent.

“That’s patent to all of us here,
As any mere schoolboy can tell.”
POND answered, “Of course it’s quite clear”;
And so did that humbug MORELL.

“Its tone’s esoteric in force—
I trust that I make myself clear?”
MORELL only answered, “Of course,”
While POND slowly muttered, “Hear, hear.”

“Volition—celestial prize,
Pellucid as porphyry cell—
Is based on a principle wise.”
“Quite so,” exclaimed POND and MORELL.

“From what I have said you will see
That I couldn’t wed either—in fine,
By Nature’s unchanging decree
Your daughters could never be mine.

“Go home to your pigs and your ricks,
My hands of the matter I’ve rinsed.”
So they take up their hats and their sticks, .
And exeunt ambo, convinced.

The Ghost, The Gallant, The Gael, And The Goblin

O’er unreclaimed suburban clays
Some years ago were hobblin’
An elderly ghost of easy ways,
And an influential goblin.
The ghost was a sombre spectral shape,
A fine old five-act fogy,
The goblin imp, a lithe young ape,
A fine low-comedy bogy.

And as they exercised their joints,
Promoting quick digestion,
They talked on several curious points,
And raised this delicate question:
“Which of us two is Number One—
The ghostie, or the goblin?”
And o’er the point they raised in fun
They fairly fell a-squabblin’.

They’d barely speak, and each, in fine,
Grew more and more reflective:
Each thought his own particular line
By chalks the more effective.
At length they settled some one should
By each of them be haunted,
And so arrange that either could
Exert his prowess vaunted.

“The Quaint against the Statuesque”—
By competition lawful—
The goblin backed the Quaint Grotesque,
The ghost the Grandly Awful.
“Now,” said the goblin, “here’s my plan—
In attitude commanding,
I see a stalwart Englishman
By yonder tailor’s standing.

“The very fittest man on earth
My influence to try on—
Of gentle, p’r’aps of noble birth,
And dauntless as a lion!
Now wrap yourself within your shroud—
Remain in easy hearing—
Observe—you’ll hear him scream aloud
When I begin appearing!

The imp with yell unearthly—wild—
Threw off his dark enclosure:
His dauntless victim looked and smiled
With singular composure.
For hours he tried to daunt the youth,
For days, indeed, but vainly—
The stripling smiled!—to tell the truth,
The stripling smiled inanely.

For weeks the goblin weird and wild,
That noble stripling haunted;
For weeks the stripling stood and smiled,
Unmoved and all undaunted.
The sombre ghost exclaimed, “Your plan
Has failed you, goblin, plainly:
Now watch yon hardy Hieland man,
So stalwart and ungainly.

“These are the men who chase the roe,
Whose footsteps never falter,
Who bring with them, where’er they go,
A smack of old SIR WALTER.
Of such as he, the men sublime
Who lead their troops victorious,
Whose deeds go down to after-time,
Enshrined in annals glorious!

“Of such as he the bard has said
‘Hech thrawfu’ raltie rorkie!
Wi’ thecht ta’ croonie clapperhead
And fash’ wi’ unco pawkie!’
He’ll faint away when I appear,
Upon his native heather;
Or p’r’aps he’ll only scream with fear,
Or p’r’aps the two together.”

The spectre showed himself, alone,
To do his ghostly battling,
With curdling groan and dismal moan,
And lots of chains a-rattling!
But no—the chiel’s stout Gaelic stuff
Withstood all ghostly harrying;
His fingers closed upon the snuff
Which upwards he was carrying.

For days that ghost declined to stir,
A foggy shapeless giant—
For weeks that splendid officer
Stared back again defiant.
Just as the Englishman returned
The goblin’s vulgar staring,
Just so the Scotchman boldly spurned
The ghost’s unmannered scaring.

For several years the ghostly twain
These Britons bold have haunted,
But all their efforts are in vain—
Their victims stand undaunted.
This very day the imp, and ghost,
Whose powers the imp derided,
Stand each at his allotted post—
The bet is undecided.

The Phantom Curate.  A Fable

A BISHOP once—I will not name his see—
Annoyed his clergy in the mode conventional;
From pulpit shackles never set them free,
And found a sin where sin was unintentional.
All pleasures ended in abuse auricular—
The Bishop was so terribly particular.

Though, on the whole, a wise and upright man,
He sought to make of human pleasures clearances;
And form his priests on that much-lauded plan
Which pays undue attention to appearances.
He couldn’t do good deeds without a psalm in ’em,
Although, in truth, he bore away the palm in ’em.

Enraged to find a deacon at a dance,
Or catch a curate at some mild frivolity,
He sought by open censure to enhance
Their dread of joining harmless social jollity.
Yet he enjoyed (a fact of notoriety)
The ordinary pleasures of society.

One evening, sitting at a pantomime
(Forbidden treat to those who stood in fear of him),
Roaring at jokes, sans metre, sense, or rhyme,
He turned, and saw immediately in rear of him,
His peace of mind upsetting, and annoying it,
A curate, also heartily enjoying it.

Again, ’t was Christmas Eve, and to enhance
His children’s pleasure in their harmless rollicking,
He, like a good old fellow, stood to dance;
When something checked the current of his frolicking:
That curate, with a maid he treated lover-ly,
Stood up and figured with him in the “Coverley!”

Once, yielding to an universal choice
(The company’s demand was an emphatic one,
For the old Bishop had a glorious voice),
In a quartet he joined—an operatic one.
Harmless enough, though ne’er a word of grace in it,
When, lo! that curate came and took the bass in it!

One day, when passing through a quiet street,
He stopped awhile and joined a Punch’s gathering;
And chuckled more than solemn folk think meet,
To see that gentleman his Judy lathering;
And heard, as Punch was being treated penalty,
That phantom curate laughing all hyaenally.

Now at a picnic, ’mid fair golden curls,
Bright eyes, straw hats, bottines that fit amazingly,
A croquêt-bout is planned by all the girls;
And he, consenting, speaks of croquêt praisingly;
But suddenly declines to play at all in it—
The curate fiend has come to take a ball in it!

Next, when at quiet sea-side village, freed
From cares episcopal and ties monarchical,
He grows his beard, and smokes his fragrant weed,
In manner anything but hierarchical—
He sees—and fixes an unearthly stare on it—
That curate’s face, with half a yard of hair on it!

At length he gave a charge, and spake this word:
“Vicars, your curates to enjoyment urge ye may;
To check their harmless pleasuring’s absurd;
What laymen do without reproach, my clergy may.”
He spake, and lo! at this concluding word of him,
The curate vanished—no one since has heard of him.

The Sensation Captain

No nobler captain ever trod
So good—so wise—so brave, he!
But still, as all his friends would own,
He had one folly—one alone—
This Captain in the Navy.

I do not think I ever knew
A man so wholly given to
Creating a sensation,
Or p’raps I should in justice say—
To what in an Adelphi play
Is known as “situation.”

He passed his time designing traps
To flurry unsuspicious chaps—
The taste was his innately;
He couldn’t walk into a room
Without ejaculating “Boom!”
Which startled ladies greatly.

He’d wear a mask and muffling cloak,
Not, you will understand, in joke,
As some assume disguises;
He did it, actuated by
A simple love of mystery
And fondness for surprises.

I need not say he loved a maid—
His eloquence threw into shade
All others who adored her.
The maid, though pleased at first, I know,
Found, after several years or so,
Her startling lover bored her.

So, when his orders came to sail,
She did not faint or scream or wail,
Or with her tears anoint him:
She shook his hand, and said “Good-bye,”
With laughter dancing in her eye—
Which seemed to disappoint him.

But ere he went aboard his boat,
He placed around her little throat
A ribbon, blue and yellow,
On which he hung a double-tooth—
A simple token this, in sooth—
’Twas all he had, poor fellow!

“I often wonder,” he would say,
When very, very far away,
“If ANGELINA wears it?
A plan has entered in my head:
I will pretend that I am dead,
And see how ANGY bears it.”

The news he made a messmate tell.
His ANGELINA bore it well,
No sign gave she of crazing;
But, steady as the Inchcape Rock,
His ANGELINA stood the shock
With fortitude amazing.

She said, “Some one I must elect
Poor ANGELINA to protect
From all who wish to harm her.
Since worthy CAPTAIN TODD is dead,
I rather feel inclined to wed
A comfortable farmer.”

A comfortable farmer came
(BASSANIO TYLER was his name),
Who had no end of treasure.
He said, “My noble gal, be mine!”
The noble gal did not decline,
But simply said, “With pleasure.”

When this was told to CAPTAIN TODD,
At first he thought it rather odd,
And felt some perturbation;
But very long he did not grieve,
He thought he could a way perceive
To such a situation!

“I’ll not reveal myself,” said he,
“Till they are both in the Ecclesiastical arena;
Then suddenly I will appear,
And paralysing them with fear,
Demand my ANGELINA!”

At length arrived the wedding day;
Accoutred in the usual way
Appeared the bridal body;
The worthy clergyman began,
When in the gallant Captain ran
And cried, “Behold your TODDY!”

The bridegroom, p’raps, was terrified,
And also possibly the bride—
The bridesmaids were affrighted;
But ANGELINA, noble soul,
Contrived her feelings to control,
And really seemed delighted.

“My bride!” said gallant CAPTAIN TODD,
“She’s mine, uninteresting clod!
My own, my darling charmer!”
“Oh dear,” said she, “you’re just too late—
I’m married to, I beg to state,
This comfortable farmer!”

“Indeed,” the farmer said, “she’s mine:
You’ve been and cut it far too fine!”
“I see,” said TODD, “I’m beaten.”
And so he went to sea once more,
“Sensation” he for aye forswore,
And married on her native shore
A lady whom he’d met before—
A lovely Otaheitan.

Tempora Mutantur

Letters, letters, letters, letters!
Some that please and some that bore,
Some that threaten prison fetters
(Metaphorically, fetters
Such as bind insolvent debtors)—
Invitations by the score.

My attorneys, off the Strand;
One from COPPERBLOCK, my tailor—
My unreasonable tailor—
One in FLAGG’S disgusting hand.

One from EPHRAIM and MOSES,
Wanting coin without a doubt,
I should like to pull their noses—
Their uncompromising noses;
One from ALICE with the roses—
Ah, I know what that’s about !

Time was when I waited, waited
For the missives that she wrote,
Humble postmen execrated—
Loudly, deeply execrated—
When I heard I wasn’t fated
To be gladdened with a note!

Time was when I’d not have bartered
Of her little pen a dip
For a peerage duly gartered—
For a peerage starred and gartered—
With a palace-office chartered,
Or a Secretaryship.

But the time for that is over,
And I wish we’d never met.
I’m afraid I’ve proved a rover—
I’m afraid a heartless rover—
Quarters in a place like Dover
Tend to make a man forget.

Bills for carriages and horses,
Bills for wine and light cigar,
Matters that concern the Forces—
News that may affect the Forces—
News affecting my resources,
Much more interesting are!

And the tiny little paper,
With the words that seem to run
From her little fingers taper
(They are very small and taper),
By the tailor and the draper
Are in interest outdone.

And unopened it’s remaining!
I can read her gentle hope—
Her entreaties, uncomplaining
(She was always uncomplaining),
Her devotion never waning—
Through the little envelope!

At A Pantomime.  By A Bilious One

An Actor sits in doubtful gloom,
His stock-in-trade unfurled,
In a damp funereal dressing-room
In the Theatre Royal, World.

He comes to town at Christmas-time,
And braves its icy breath,
To play in that favourite pantomime,
Harlequin Life and Death.

A hoary flowing wig his weird
Unearthly cranium caps,
He hangs a long benevolent beard
On a pair of empty chaps.

To smooth his ghastly features down
The actor’s art he cribs,—
A long and a flowing padded gown.
Bedecks his rattling ribs.

He cries, “Go on—begin, begin!
Turn on the light of lime—
I’m dressed for jolly Old Christmas, in
A favourite pantomime!”

The curtain’s up—the stage all black—
Time and the year nigh sped—
Time as an advertising quack—
The Old Year nearly dead.

The wand of Time is waved, and lo!
Revealed Old Christmas stands,
And little children chuckle and crow,
And laugh and clap their hands.

The cruel old scoundrel brightens up
At the death of the Olden Year,
And he waves a gorgeous golden cup,
And bids the world good cheer.

The little ones hail the festive King,—
No thought can make them sad.
Their laughter comes with a sounding ring,
They clap and crow like mad!

They only see in the humbug old
A holiday every year,
And handsome gifts, and joys untold,
And unaccustomed cheer.

The old ones, palsied, blear, and hoar,
Their breasts in anguish beat—
They’ve seen him seventy times before,
How well they know the cheat!

They’ve seen that ghastly pantomime,
They’ve felt its blighting breath,
They know that rollicking Christmas-time
Meant Cold and Want and Death,—

Starvation—Poor Law Union fare—
And deadly cramps and chills,
And illness—illness everywhere,
And crime, and Christmas bills.

They know Old Christmas well, I ween,
Those men of ripened age;
They’ve often, often, often seen
That Actor off the stage!

They see in his gay rotundity
A clumsy stuffed-out dress—
They see in the cup he waves on high
A tinselled emptiness.

Those aged men so lean and wan,
They’ve seen it all before,
They know they’ll see the charlatan
But twice or three times more.

And so they bear with dance and song,
And crimson foil and green,
They wearily sit, and grimly long
For the Transformation Scene.

King Borria Bungalee Boo

Was a man-eating African swell;
His sigh was a hullaballoo,
His whisper a horrible yell—
A horrible, horrible yell!

Four subjects, and all of them male,
To BORRIA doubled the knee,
They were once on a far larger scale,
But he’d eaten the balance, you see
(“Scale” and “balance” is punning, you see).

There was haughty PISH-TUSH-POOH-BAH,
There was lumbering DOODLE-DUM-DEY,
Despairing ALACK-A-DEY-AH,
And good little TOOTLE-TUM-TEH—

One day there was grief in the crew,
For they hadn’t a morsel of meat,
Was dying for something to eat—
“Come, provide me with something to eat!

“ALACK-A-DEY, famished I feel;
Oh, good little TOOTLE-TUM-TEH,
Where on earth shall I look for a meal?
For I haven’t no dinner to-day!—
Not a morsel of dinner to-day!

“Dear TOOTLE-TUM, what shall we do?
Come, get us a meal, or, in truth,
If you don’t, we shall have to eat you,
Oh, adorable friend of our youth!
Thou beloved little friend of our youth!”

And he answered, “Oh, BUNGALEE BOO,
For a moment I hope you will wait,—
Is the Queen of a neighbouring state—
A remarkably neighbouring state.

She would pickle deliciously cold—
And her four pretty Amazons, too,
Are enticing, and not very old—
Twenty-seven is not very old.

“There is neat little TITTY-FOL-LEH,
There is rollicking TRAL-THE-RAL-LAH,
There is jocular WAGGETY-WEH,
There is musical DOH-REH-MI-FAH—
There’s the nightingale DOH-REH-MI-FAH!”

So the forces of BUNGALEE BOO
Marched forth in a terrible row,
And the ladies who fought for QUEEN LOO
Prepared to encounter the foe—
This dreadful, insatiate foe!

But they sharpened no weapons at all,
And they poisoned no arrows—not they!
They made ready to conquer or fall
In a totally different way—
An entirely different way.

With a crimson and pearly-white dye
They endeavoured to make themselves fair,
With black they encircled each eye,
And with yellow they painted their hair
(It was wool, but they thought it was hair).

And the forces they met in the field:-
And the men of KING BORRIA said,
“Amazonians, immediately yield!”
And their arrows they drew to the head—
Yes, drew them right up to the head.

But jocular WAGGETY-WEH
Ogled DOODLE-DUM-DEY (which was wrong),
And neat little TITTY-FOL-LEH
Said, “TOOTLE-TUM, you go along!
You naughty old dear, go along!”

And rollicking TRAL-THE-RAL-LAH
Tapped ALACK-A-DEY-AH with her fan;
And musical DOH-REH-MI-FAH
Said, “PISH, go away, you bad man!
Go away, you delightful young man!”

And the Amazons simpered and sighed,
And they ogled, and giggled, and flushed,
And they opened their pretty eyes wide,
And they chuckled, and flirted, and blushed
(At least, if they could, they’d have blushed).

Said, “ALACK-A-DEY, what does this mean?”
And despairing ALACK-A-DEY-AH
Said, “They think us uncommonly green!
Ha! ha! most uncommonly green!”

Even blundering DOODLE-DUM-DEY
Was insensible quite to their leers,
And said good little TOOTLE-TUM-TEH,
“It’s your blood we desire, pretty dears—
We have come for our dinners, my dears!”

And the Queen of the Amazons fell
In a mouthful he gulped, with a yell,

And neat little TITTY-FOL-LEH
Was eaten by PISH-POOH-BAH,
And light-hearted WAGGETY-WEH
By dismal ALACK-A-DEY-AH—
Despairing ALACK-A-DEY-AH.

And rollicking TRAL-THE-RAL-LAH
Was eaten by DOODLE-DUM-DEY,
And musical DOH-REH-MI-FAH
By good little TOOTLE-DUM-TEH—

The Periwinkle Girl

I’ve often thought that headstrong youths
Of decent education,
Determine all-important truths,
With strange precipitation.

The ever-ready victims they,
Of logical illusions,
And in a self-assertive way
They jump at strange conclusions.

Now take my case: Ere sorrow could
My ample forehead wrinkle,
I had determined that I should
Not care to be a winkle.

“A winkle,” I would oft advance
With readiness provoking,
“Can seldom flirt, and never dance,
Or soothe his mind by smoking.”

In short, I spurned the shelly joy,
And spoke with strange decision—
Men pointed to me as a boy
Who held them in derision.

But I was young—too young, by far—
Or I had been more wary,
I knew not then that winkles are
The stock-in-trade of MARY.

I had not watched her sunlight blithe
As o’er their shells it dances—
I’ve seen those winkles almost writhe
Beneath her beaming glances.

Of slighting all the winkly brood
I surely had been chary,
If I had known they formed the food
And stock-in-trade of MARY.

Both high and low and great and small
Fell prostrate at her tootsies,
They all were noblemen, and all
Had balances at COUTTS’S.

Dukes with the lovely maiden dealt,
Who ate her winkles till they felt
Exceedingly uncomfy.

DUKE BAILEY greatest wealth computes,
And sticks, they say, at no-thing,
He wears a pair of golden boots
And silver underclothing.

DUKE HUMPHY, as I understand,
Though mentally acuter,
His boots are only silver, and
His underclothing pewter.

A third adorer had the girl,
A man of lowly station—
A miserable grov’ling Earl
Besought her approbation.

This humble cad she did refuse
With much contempt and loathing,
He wore a pair of leather shoes
And cambric underclothing!

“Ha! ha!” she cried.  “Upon my word!
Well, really—come, I never!
Oh, go along, it’s too absurd!
My goodness!  Did you ever?

“Two Dukes would Mary make a bride,
And from her foes defend her”—
“Well, not exactly that,” they cried,
“We offer guilty splendour.

“We do not offer marriage rite,
So please dismiss the notion!”
“Oh dear,” said she, “that alters quite
The state of my emotion.”

The Earl he up and says, says he,
“Dismiss them to their orgies,
For I am game to marry thee
Quite reg’lar at St. George’s.”

(He’d had, it happily befell,
A decent education,
His views would have befitted well
A far superior station.)

His sterling worth had worked a cure,
She never heard him grumble;
She saw his soul was good and pure,
Although his rank was humble.

Her views of earldoms and their lot,
All underwent expansion—
Come, Virtue in an earldom’s cot!
Go, Vice in ducal mansion!

Thomson Green And Harriet Hale

(To be sung to the Air of “An ’Orrible Tale.”)

Oh list to this incredible tale
Its truth in one remark you’ll sum—
“Twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twum!”

Oh, THOMSON GREEN was an auctioneer,
And made three hundred pounds a year;
And HARRIET HALE, most strange to say,
Gave pianoforte lessons at a sovereign a day.

Oh, THOMSON GREEN, I may remark,
Met HARRIET HALE in Regent’s Park,
Where he, in a casual kind of way,
Spoke of the extraordinary beauty of the day.

They met again, and strange, though true,
He courted her for a month or two,
Then to her pa he said, says he,
“Old man, I love your daughter and your daughter worships me!”

Their names were regularly banned,
The wedding day was settled, and
I’ve ascertained by dint of search
They were married on the quiet at St. Mary Abbot’s Church.

Oh, list to this incredible tale
Its truth in one remark you’ll sum—
“Twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twum!”

That very self-same afternoon
They started on their honeymoon,
And (oh, astonishment!) took flight
To a pretty little cottage close to Shanklin, Isle of Wight.

But now—you’ll doubt my word, I know—
In a month they both returned, and lo!
Astounding fact! this happy pair
Took a gentlemanly residence in Canonbury Square!

They led a weird and reckless life,
They dined each day, this man and wife
(Pray disbelieve it, if you please),
On a joint of meat, a pudding, and a little bit of cheese.

In time came those maternal joys
Which take the form of girls or boys,
And strange to say of each they’d one—
A tiddy-iddy daughter, and a tiddy-iddy son!

Oh, list to this incredible tale
Its truth in one remark you’ll sum—
“Twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twum!”

My name for truth is gone, I fear,
But, monstrous as it may appear,
They let their drawing-room one day
To an eligible person in the cotton-broking way.

Whenever THOMSON GREEN fell sick
His wife called in a doctor, quick,
From whom some words like these would come—
Fiat mist. sumendum haustus, in a cochleyareum.

For thirty years this curious pair
Hung out in Canonbury Square,
And somehow, wonderful to say,
They loved each other dearly in a quiet sort of way.

Well, THOMSON GREEN fell ill and died;
For just a year his widow cried,
And then her heart she gave away
To the eligible lodger in the cotton-broking way.

Oh, list to this incredible tale
Its truth in one remark you’ll sum—
“Twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twum!”

Bob Polter

BOB POLTER was a navvy, and
His hands were coarse, and dirty too,
His homely face was rough and tanned,
His time of life was thirty-two.

He lived among a working clan
(A wife he hadn’t got at all),
A decent, steady, sober man—
No saint, however—not at all.

He smoked, but in a modest way,
Because he thought he needed it;
He drank a pot of beer a day,
And sometimes he exceeded it.

At times he’d pass with other men
A loud convivial night or two,
With, very likely, now and then,
On Saturdays, a fight or two.

But still he was a sober soul,
A labour-never-shirking man,
Who paid his way—upon the whole
A decent English working man.

One day, when at the Nelson’s Head
(For which he may be blamed of you),
A holy man appeared, and said,
“Oh, ROBERT, I’m ashamed of you.”

He laid his hand on ROBERT’S beer
Before he could drink up any,
And on the floor, with sigh and tear,
He poured the pot of “thruppenny.”

“Oh, ROBERT, at this very bar
A truth you’ll be discovering,
A good and evil genius are
Around your noddle hovering.

“They both are here to bid you shun
The other one’s society,
For Total Abstinence is one,
The other, Inebriety.”

He waved his hand—a vapour came—
A wizard POLTER reckoned him;
A bogy rose and called his name,
And with his finger beckoned him.

The monster’s salient points to sum,—
His heavy breath was portery:
His glowing nose suggested rum:
His eyes were gin-and-wortery.

His dress was torn—for dregs of ale
And slops of gin had rusted it;
His pimpled face was wan and pale,
Where filth had not encrusted it.

“Come, POLTER,” said the fiend, “begin,
And keep the bowl a-flowing on—
A working man needs pints of gin
To keep his clockwork going on.”

BOB shuddered: “Ah, you’ve made a miss
If you take me for one of you:
You filthy beast, get out of this—
BOB POLTER don’t wan’t none of you.”

The demon gave a drunken shriek,
And crept away in stealthiness,
And lo! instead, a person sleek,
Who seemed to burst with healthiness.

“In me, as your adviser hints,
Of Abstinence you’ve got a type—
Of MR. TWEEDIE’S pretty prints
I am the happy prototype.

“If you abjure the social toast,
And pipes, and such frivolities,
You possibly some day may boast
My prepossessing qualities!”

BOB rubbed his eyes, and made ’em blink:
“You almost make me tremble, you!
If I abjure fermented drink,
Shall I, indeed, resemble you?

“And will my whiskers curl so tight?
My cheeks grow smug and muttony?
My face become so red and white?
My coat so blue and buttony?

“Will trousers, such as yours, array
Extremities inferior?
Will chubbiness assert its sway
All over my exterior?

“In this, my unenlightened state,
To work in heavy boots I comes;
Will pumps henceforward decorate
My tiddle toddle tootsicums?

“And shall I get so plump and fresh,
And look no longer seedily?
My skin will henceforth fit my flesh
So tightly and so TWEEDIE-ly?”

The phantom said, “You’ll have all this,
You’ll know no kind of huffiness,
Your life will be one chubby bliss,
One long unruffled puffiness!”

“Be off!” said irritated BOB.
“Why come you here to bother one?
You pharisaical old snob,
You’re wuss almost than t’other one!

“I takes my pipe—I takes my pot,
And drunk I’m never seen to be:
I’m no teetotaller or sot,
And as I am I mean to be!”

The Story Of Prince Agib

Strike the concertina’s melancholy string!
Blow the spirit-stirring harp like anything!
Let the piano’s martial blast
Rouse the Echoes of the Past,

Of AGIB, who, amid Tartaric scenes,
Wrote a lot of ballet music in his teens:
His gentle spirit rolls
In the melody of souls—
Which is pretty, but I don’t know what it means.

Of AGIB, who could readily, at sight,
Strum a march upon the loud Theodolite.
He would diligently play
On the Zoetrope all day,
And blow the gay Pantechnicon all night.

One winter—I am shaky in my dates—
Came two starving Tartar minstrels to his gates;
Oh, ALLAH be obeyed,
How infernally they played!
I remember that they called themselves the “Oüaits.”

Oh! that day of sorrow, misery, and rage,
I shall carry to the Catacombs of Age,
Photographically lined
On the tablet of my mind,
When a yesterday has faded from its page!

Alas! PRINCE AGIB went and asked them in;
Gave them beer, and eggs, and sweets, and scent, and tin.
And when (as snobs would say)
They had “put it all away,”
He requested them to tune up and begin.

Though its icy horror chill you to the core,
I will tell you what I never told before,—
The consequences true
Of that awful interview,
For I listened at the keyhole in the door!

They played him a sonata—let me see!
Medulla oblongata”—key of G.
Then they began to sing
That extremely lovely thing,
Scherzando! ma non troppo, ppp.”

He gave them money, more than they could count,
Scent from a most ingenious little fount,
More beer, in little kegs,
Many dozen hard-boiled eggs,
And goodies to a fabulous amount.

Now follows the dim horror of my tale,
And I feel I’m growing gradually pale,
For, even at this day,
Though its sting has passed away,
When I venture to remember it, I quail!

The elder of the brothers gave a squeal,
All-overish it made me for to feel;
“Oh, PRINCE,” he says, says he,
If a Prince indeed you be,
I’ve a mystery I’m going to reveal!

“Oh, listen, if you’d shun a horrid death,
To what the gent who’s speaking to you saith:
No ‘Oüaits’ in truth are we,
As you fancy that we be,
For (ter-remble!) I am ALECK—this is BETH!”

Said AGIB, “Oh! accursed of your kind,
I have heard that ye are men of evil mind!”
BETH gave a dreadful shriek—
But before he’d time to speak
I was mercilessly collared from behind.

In number ten or twelve, or even more,
They fastened me full length upon the floor.
On my face extended flat,
I was walloped with a cat
For listening at the keyhole of a door.

Oh! the horror of that agonizing thrill!
(I can feel the place in frosty weather still).
For a week from ten to four
I was fastened to the floor,
While a mercenary wopped me with a will

They branded me and broke me on a wheel,
And they left me in an hospital to heal;
And, upon my solemn word,
I have never never heard
What those Tartars had determined to reveal.

But that day of sorrow, misery, and rage,
I shall carry to the Catacombs of Age,
Photographically lined
On the tablet of my mind,
When a yesterday has faded from its page

Ellen McJones Aberdeen

Was the son of an elderly labouring man;
You’ve guessed him a Scotchman, shrewd reader, at sight,
And p’r’aps altogether, shrewd reader, you’re right.

From the bonnie blue Forth to the lovely Deeside,
Round by Dingwall and Wrath to the mouth of the Clyde,
There wasn’t a child or a woman or man

No other could wake such detestable groans,
With reed and with chaunter—with bag and with drones:
All day and ill night he delighted the chiels
With sniggering pibrochs and jiggety reels.

He’d clamber a mountain and squat on the ground,
And the neighbouring maidens would gather around
To list to the pipes and to gaze in his een,

All loved their McCLAN, save a Sassenach brute,
Who came to the Highlands to fish and to shoot;
He dressed himself up in a Highlander way,
Tho’ his name it was PATTISON CORBY TORBAY.

TORBAY had incurred a good deal of expense
To make him a Scotchman in every sense;
But this is a matter, you’ll readily own,
That isn’t a question of tailors alone.

A Sassenach chief may be bonily built,
He may purchase a sporran, a bonnet, and kilt;
Stick a skeän in his hose—wear an acre of stripes—
But he cannot assume an affection for pipes.

CLONGLOCKETY’S pipings all night and all day
Quite frenzied poor PATTISON CORBY TORBAY;
The girls were amused at his singular spleen,

With pibrochs and reels you are driving me mad.
If you really must play on that cursed affair,
My goodness! play something resembling an air.”

Boiled over the blood of MACPHAIRSON McCLAN—
The Clan of Clonglocketty rose as one man;
For all were enraged at the insult, I ween—

“Let’s show,” said McCLAN, “to this Sassenach loon
That the bagpipes can play him a regular tune.
Let’s see,” said McCLAN, as he thoughtfully sat,
“’In my Cottage’ is easy—I’ll practise at that.”

He blew at his “Cottage,” and blew with a will,
For a year, seven months, and a fortnight, until
(You’ll hardly believe it) McCLAN, I declare,
Elicited something resembling an air.

It was wild—it was fitful—as wild as the breeze—
It wandered about into several keys;
It was jerky, spasmodic, and harsh, I’m aware;
But still it distinctly suggested an air.

The Sassenach screamed, and the Sassenach danced;
He shrieked in his agony—bellowed and pranced;
And the maidens who gathered rejoiced at the scene—

“Hech gather, hech gather, hech gather around;
And fill a’ ye lugs wi’ the exquisite sound.
An air fra’ the bagpipes—beat that if ye can!

The fame of his piping spread over the land:
Respectable widows proposed for his hand,
And maidens came flocking to sit on the green—

One morning the fidgety Sassenach swore
He’d stand it no longer—he drew his claymore,
And (this was, I think, in extremely bad taste)
Divided CLONGLOCKETTY close to the waist.

Oh! loud were the wailings for ANGUS McCLAN,
Oh! deep was the grief for that excellent man;
The maids stood aghast at the horrible scene—

To find them “take on” in this serious way;
He pitied the poor little fluttering birds,
And solaced their souls with the following words:

“Oh, maidens,” said PATTISON, touching his hat,
“Don’t blubber, my dears, for a fellow like that;
Observe, I’m a very superior man,
A much better fellow than ANGUS McCLAN.”

They smiled when he winked and addressed them as “dears,”
And they all of them vowed, as they dried up their tears,
A pleasanter gentleman never was seen—

Peter The Wag

Policeman PETER forth I drag
From his obscure retreat:
He was a merry genial wag,
Who loved a mad conceit.
If he were asked the time of day,
By country bumpkins green,
He not unfrequently would say,
“A quarter past thirteen.”

If ever you by word of mouth
Inquired of MISTER FORTH
The way to somewhere in the South,
He always sent you North.
With little boys his beat along
He loved to stop and play;
He loved to send old ladies wrong,
And teach their feet to stray.

He would in frolic moments, when
Such mischief bent upon,
Take Bishops up as betting men—
Bid Ministers move on.
Then all the worthy boys he knew
He regularly licked,
And always collared people who
Had had their pockets picked.

He was not naturally bad,
Or viciously inclined,
But from his early youth he had
A waggish turn of mind.
The Men of London grimly scowled
With indignation wild;
The Men of London gruffly growled,
But PETER calmly smiled.

Against this minion of the Crown
The swelling murmurs grew—
From Camberwell to Kentish Town—
From Rotherhithe to Kew.
Still humoured he his wagsome turn,
And fed in various ways
The coward rage that dared to burn,
But did not dare to blaze.

Still, Retribution has her day,
Although her flight is slow:
One day that Crusher lost his way
Near Poland Street
, Soho.
The haughty boy, too proud to ask,
To find his way resolved,
And in the tangle of his task
Got more and more involved.

The Men of London, overjoyed,
Came there to jeer their foe,
And flocking crowds completely cloyed
The mazes of Soho.
The news on telegraphic wires
Sped swiftly o’er the lea,
Excursion trains from distant shires
Brought myriads to see.

For weeks he trod his self-made beats
Through Newport- Gerrard- Bear-
Greek- Rupert- Frith- Dean- Poland- Streets,
And into Golden Square.
But all, alas! in vain, for when
He tried to learn the way
Of little boys or grown-up men,
They none of them would say.

Their eyes would flash—their teeth would grind—
Their lips would tightly curl—
They’d say, “Thy way thyself must find,
Thou misdirecting churl!”
And, similarly, also, when
He tried a foreign friend;
Italians answered, “Il balen”—
The French, “No comprehend.”

The Russ would say with gleaming eye
“ Sevastopol!” and groan.
The Greek said, Τυπτω, τυπτομαι,
Τυπτω, τυπτειν, τυπτων.”
To wander thus for many a year
That Crusher never ceased—
The Men of London dropped a tear,
Their anger was appeased

At length exploring gangs were sent
To find poor FORTH’S remains—
A handsome grant by Parliament
Was voted for their pains.
To seek the poor policeman out
Bold spirits volunteered,
And when they swore they’d solve the doubt,
The Men of London cheered.

And in a yard, dark, dank, and drear,
They found him, on the floor—
It leads from Richmond Buildings—near
The Royalty stage-door.
With brandy cold and brandy hot
They plied him, starved and wet,
And made him sergeant on the spot—
The Men of London’s pet!

Ben Allah Achmet;—Or, The Fatal Tum

I once did know a Turkish man
Whom I upon a two-pair-back met,
His name it was EFFENDI KHAN

A DOCTOR BROWN I also knew—
I’ve often eaten of his bounty;
The Turk and he they lived at Hooe,
In Sussex, that delightful county!

I knew a nice young lady there,
And though she wore another’s hair,
She was an interesting person.

The Turk adored the maid of Hooe
(Although his harem would have shocked her).
But BROWN adored that maiden too:
He was a most seductive doctor.

They’d follow her where’er she’d go—
A course of action most improper;
She neither knew by sight, and so
For neither of them cared a copper.

BROWN did not know that Turkish male,
He might have been his sainted mother:
The people in this simple tale
Are total strangers to each other.

One day that Turk he sickened sore,
And suffered agonies oppressive;
He threw himself upon the floor
And rolled about in pain excessive.

It made him moan, it made him groan,
And almost wore him to a mummy.
Why should I hesitate to own
That pain was in his little tummy?

At length a doctor came, and rung
(As ALLAH ACHMET had desired),
Who felt his pulse, looked up his tongue,
And hemmed and hawed, and then inquired:

“Where is the pain that long has preyed
Upon you in so sad a way, sir?”
The Turk he giggled, blushed, and said:
I don’t exactly like to say, sir.”

“Come, nonsense!” said good DOCTOR BROWN.
“So this is Turkish coyness, is it?
You must contrive to fight it down—
Come, come, sir, please to be explicit.”

The Turk he shyly bit his thumb,
And coyly blushed like one half-witted,
“The pain is in my little tum,”
He, whispering, at length admitted.

“Then take you this, and take you that—
Your blood flows sluggish in its channel—
You must get rid of all this fat,
And wear my medicated flannel.

“You’ll send for me when you’re in need—
My name is BROWN—your life I’ve saved it.”
“My rival!” shrieked the invalid,
And drew a mighty sword and waved it:

“This to thy weazand, Christian pest!”
Aloud the Turk in frenzy yelled it,
And drove right through the doctor’s chest
The sabre and the hand that held it.

The blow was a decisive one,
And DOCTOR BROWN grew deadly pasty,
“Now see the mischief that you’ve done—
You Turks are so extremely hasty.

“There are two DOCTOR BROWNS in Hooe—
He’s short and stout, I’m tall and wizen;
You’ve been and run the wrong one through,
That’s how the error has arisen.”

The accident was thus explained,
Apologies were only heard now:
“At my mistake I’m really pained—
I am, indeed—upon my word now.

“With me, sir, you shall be interred,
A mausoleum grand awaits me.”
“Oh, pray don’t say another word,
I’m sure that more than compensates me.

“But p’r’aps, kind Turk, you’re full inside?”
“There’s room,” said he, “for any number.”
And so they laid them down and died.
In proud Stamboul they sleep their slumber,

The Three Kings Of Chickeraboo

There were three niggers of Chickeraboo—
Exclaimed, one terribly sultry day,
“Oh, let’s be kings in a humble way.”

The first was a highly-accomplished “bones,”
The next elicited banjo tones,
The third was a quiet, retiring chap,
Who danced an excellent break-down “flap.”

“We niggers,” said they, “have formed a plan
By which, whenever we like, we can
Extemporise kingdoms near the beach,
And then we’ll collar a kingdom each.

“Three casks, from somebody else’s stores,
Shall represent our island shores,
Their sides the ocean wide shall lave,
Their heads just topping the briny wave.

“Great Britain’s navy scours the sea,
And everywhere her ships they be;
She’ll recognise our rank, perhaps,
When she discovers we’re Royal Chaps.

“If to her skirts you want to cling,
It’s quite sufficient that you’re a king;
She does not push inquiry far
To learn what sort of king you are.”

A ship of several thousand tons,
And mounting seventy-something guns,
Ploughed, every year, the ocean blue,
Discovering kings and countries new.

Commanding that magnificent ship,
Perceived one day, his glasses through,
The kings that came from Chickeraboo.

“Dear eyes!” said ADMIRAL PIP, “I see
Three flourishing islands on our lee.
And, bless me! most remarkable thing!
On every island stands a king!

“Come, lower the Admiral’s gig,” he cried,
“And over the dancing waves I’ll glide;
That low obeisance I may do
To those three kings of Chickeraboo!”

The Admiral pulled to the islands three;
The kings saluted him graciouslee.
The Admiral, pleased at his welcome warm,
Unrolled a printed Alliance form.

“Your Majesty, sign me this, I pray—
I come in a friendly kind of way—
I come, if you please, with the best intents,
And QUEEN VICTORIA’S compliments.”

The kings were pleased as they well could be;
The most retiring of the three,
In a “cellar-flap” to his joy gave vent
With a banjo-bones accompaniment.

Embarked on board his jolly big ship,
Blue Peter flew from his lofty fore,
And off he sailed to his native shore.

ADMIRAL PIP directly went
To the Lord at the head of the Government,
Who made him, by a stroke of a quill,

The College of Heralds permission yield
That he should quarter upon his shield
Three islands, vert, on a field of blue,
With the pregnant motto “Chickeraboo.”

Ambassadors, yes, and attachés, too,
Are going to sail for Chickeraboo.
And, see, on the good ship’s crowded deck,
A bishop, who’s going out there on spec.

And let us all hope that blissful things
May come of alliance with darky kings,
And, may we never, whatever we do,
Declare a war with Chickeraboo!

Joe Golightly—Or, The First Lord’s Daughter

A tar, but poorly prized,
Long, shambling, and unsightly,
Thrashed, bullied, and despised,
Was wretched JOE GOLIGHTLY.

He bore a workhouse brand;
No Pa or Ma had claimed him,
The Beadle found him, and
The Board of Guardians named him.

P’r’aps some Princess’s son—
A beggar p’r’aps his mother.
He rather thought the one,
I rather think the other.

He liked his ship at sea,
He loved the salt sea-water,
He worshipped junk, and he
Adored the First Lord’s daughter.

The First Lord’s daughter, proud,
Snubbed Earls and Viscounts nightly;
She sneered at Barts. aloud,
And spurned poor Joe Golightly.

Whene’er he sailed afar
Upon a Channel cruise, he
Unpacked his light guitar
And sang this ballad (Boosey):


The moon is on the sea,
The wind blows towards the lee,
But though I sigh and sob and cry,
No Lady Jane for me,

She says, “’Twere folly quite,
For me to wed a wight,
Whose lot is cast before the mast”;
And possibly she’s right,

His skipper (CAPTAIN JOYCE),
He gave him many a rating,
And almost lost his voice
From thus expostulating:

“Lay aft, you lubber, do!
What’s come to that young man, JOE?
Belay!—’vast heaving! you!
Do kindly stop that banjo!

“I wish, I do—O lor’!—
You’d shipped aboard a trader:
Are you a sailor or
A negro serenader?”

But still the stricken lad,
Aloft or on his pillow,
Howled forth in accents sad
His aggravating “Willow!”

Stern love of duty bad
Been JOYCE’S chiefest beauty;
Says he, “I love that lad,
But duty, damme! duty!

“Twelve months’ black-hole, I say,
Where daylight never flashes;
And always twice a day
A good six dozen lashes!”

But JOSEPH had a mate,
A sailor stout and lusty,
A man of low estate,
But singularly trusty.

Says he, “Cheer hup, young JOE!
I’ll tell you what I’m arter—
To that Fust Lord I’ll go
And ax him for his darter.

“To that Fust Lord I’ll go
And say you love her dearly.”
And JOE said (weeping low),
“I wish you would, sincerely!”

That sailor to that Lord
Went, soon as he had landed,
And of his own accord
An interview demanded.

Says he, with seaman’s roll,
“My Captain (wot’s a Tartar)
Guv JOE twelve months’ black-hole,
For lovering your darter.

(I own she is his betters),
But if you’ll jine them twain,
They’ll free him from his fetters.

“And if so be as how
You’ll let her come aboard ship,
I’ll take her with me now.”
“Get out!” remarked his Lordship.

That honest tar repaired
To JOE upon the billow,
And told him how he’d fared.
JOE only whispered, “Willow!”

And for that dreadful crime
(Young sailors, learn to shun it)
He’s working out his time;
In six months he’ll have done it.

To The Terrestrial Globe.  By A Miserable Wretch

Roll on, thou ball, roll on!
Through pathless realms of Space
Roll on!
What though I’m in a sorry case?
What though I cannot meet my bills?
What though I suffer toothache’s ills?
What though I swallow countless pills?
Never you mind!
Roll on!

Roll on, thou ball, roll on!
Through seas of inky air
Roll on!
It’s true I’ve got no shirts to wear;
It’s true my butcher’s bill is due;
It’s true my prospects all look blue—
But don’t let that unsettle you!
Never you mind!
Roll on!

[It rolls on.

Gentle Alice Brown

It was a robber’s daughter, and her name was ALICE BROWN,
Her father was the terror of a small Italian town;
Her mother was a foolish, weak, but amiable old thing;
But it isn’t of her parents that I’m going for to sing.

As ALICE was a-sitting at her window-sill one day,
A beautiful young gentleman he chanced to pass that way;
She cast her eyes upon him, and he looked so good and true,
That she thought, “I could be happy with a gentleman like you!”

And every morning passed her house that cream of gentlemen,
She knew she might expect him at a quarter unto ten;
A sorter in the Custom-house, it was his daily road
(The Custom-house was fifteen minutes’ walk from her abode).

But ALICE was a pious girl, who knew it wasn’t wise
To look at strange young sorters with expressive purple eyes;
So she sought the village priest to whom her family confessed,
The priest by whom their little sins were carefully assessed.

“Oh, holy father,” ALICE said, “’t would grieve you, would it not,
To discover that I was a most disreputable lot?
Of all unhappy sinners I’m the most unhappy one!”
The padre said, “Whatever have you been and gone and done?”

“I have helped mamma to steal a little kiddy from its dad,
I’ve assisted dear papa in cutting up a little lad,
I’ve planned a little burglary and forged a little cheque,
And slain a little baby for the coral on its neck!”

The worthy pastor heaved a sigh, and dropped a silent tear,
And said, “You mustn’t judge yourself too heavily, my dear:
It’s wrong to murder babies, little corals for to fleece;
But sins like these one expiates at half-a-crown apiece.

“Girls will be girls—you’re very young, and flighty in your mind;
Old heads upon young shoulders we must not expect to find:
We mustn’t be too hard upon these little girlish tricks—
Let’s see—five crimes at half-a-crown—exactly twelve-and-six.”

“Oh, father,” little Alice cried, “your kindness makes me weep,
You do these little things for me so singularly cheap—
Your thoughtful liberality I never can forget;
But, oh! there is another crime I haven’t mentioned yet!

“A pleasant-looking gentleman, with pretty purple eyes,
I’ve noticed at my window, as I’ve sat a-catching flies;
He passes by it every day as certain as can be—
I blush to say I’ve winked at him, and he has winked at me!”

“For shame!” said FATHER PAUL, “my erring daughter!  On my word
This is the most distressing news that I have ever heard.
Why, naughty girl, your excellent papa has pledged your hand
To a promising young robber, the lieutenant of his band!

“This dreadful piece of news will pain your worthy parents so!
They are the most remunerative customers I know;
For many many years they’ve kept starvation from my doors:
I never knew so criminal a family as yours!

“The common country folk in this insipid neighbourhood
Have nothing to confess, they’re so ridiculously good;
And if you marry any one respectable at all,
Why, you’ll reform, and what will then become of FATHER PAUL?”

The worthy priest, he up and drew his cowl upon his crown,
And started off in haste to tell the news to ROBBER BROWN—
To tell him how his daughter, who was now for marriage fit,
Had winked upon a sorter, who reciprocated it.

Good ROBBER BROWN he muffled up his anger pretty well:
He said, “I have a notion, and that notion I will tell;
I will nab this gay young sorter, terrify him into fits,
And get my gentle wife to chop him into little bits.

“I’ve studied human nature, and I know a thing or two:
Though a girl may fondly love a living gent, as many do—
A feeling of disgust upon her senses there will fall
When she looks upon his body chopped particularly small.”

He traced that gallant sorter to a still suburban square;
He watched his opportunity, and seized him unaware;
He took a life-preserver and he hit him on the head,
And MRS. BROWN dissected him before she went to bed.

And pretty little ALICE grew more settled in her mind,
She never more was guilty of a weakness of the kind,
Until at length good ROBBER BROWN bestowed her pretty hand
On the promising young robber, the lieutenant of his band.


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