Comic Annual 1834

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               OF wedded bliss
               Bards sing amiss,
I cannot make a song of it;
               For I am small,
               My wife is tall,
And that's the short and long of it!

               When we debate
               It is my fate
To always have the wrong of it;
               For I am small,
               And she is tall,
And that's the short and long of it!

               And when I speak
               My voice is weak,
But hers—she makes a gong of it;
               For I am small,
               And she is tall,
And that's the short and long of it!

               She has, in brief,
               Command in Chief,
And I'm but Aide-de-Camp of it;
               For I am small,
               And she is tall,
And that's the short and long of it!

               She gives to me
               The weakest tea,
And takes the whole Souchong of it;
               For I am small,
               And she is tall,
And that's the short and long of it!

               She'll sometimes grip
               My buggy whip,
And make me feel the thong of it;
               For I am small,
               And she is tall,
And that's the short and long of it!

               Against my life
               She'll take a knife,
Or fork, and dart the prong of it;
               For I am small,
               And she is tall,
And that's the short and long of it!

               I sometimes think
               I'll take to drink
And hector when I'm strong of it;
               For I am small,
               And she is tall,
And that's the short and long of it!

               O, if the bell
               Would ring her knell,
I'd make a gay ding dong of it;
               For I am small,
               And she is tall,
And that's the short and long of it!




Some months since a young lady was much surprised at receiving, from the Captain of a whaler, a blank sheet of paper, folded in the form of a letter, and duly sealed. At last, recollecting the nature of sympathetic ink, she placed the missive on a toasting-fork, and after holding it to the fire for a minute or two, succeeded in thawing out the following verses.


FROM seventy-two North latitude,
    Dear Kitty I indite;
But first I'd have you understand,
    How hard it is to write.

Of thoughts that breathe and words that burn,
    My Kitty do not think,—
Before I wrote these very lines
    I had to melt my ink.

Of mutual flames and lover's warmth,
    You must not be too nice;
The sheet that d am writing on
    Was once a sheet of ice!

The Polar cold is sharp enough
    To freeze with icy gloss
The genial current of the soul,
    E'en in a "Man of Ross."

Pope says that letters waft a sigh,
    From Indus to the Pole;
But here I really wish the post
    Would only "post the coal."

So chilly is the Northern, blast,
    It blows me through and through
A ton of Wallsend in a note
    Would be a billet-doux!

In such a frigid latitude,
    It scarce can be a sin,
Should Passion cool a little, where
    A Fury was iced in.

I'm rather tired of endless snow,
    And long for coals again;
And would give up a Sea of Ice,
    For some of Lambton's Main.

I'm sick of dazzling ice and snow,
    The sun itself I hate;
So very bright, so very cold,
    Just like a summer grate.

For opodeldoc I would kneel,
    My chilblains to anoint;
O Kate, the needle of the north
    Has got a freezing point.

Our food is solids,—ere we put
    Our meat into our crops,
We take sledge-hammers to our steaks,
    And hatchets to our chops.

So very bitter is the blast,
    So cutting is the air;
I never have been warm but once,
    When hugging with a bear.

One thing I know you'll like to hear,
    Th' effect of Polar snows,
I've left off snuff—one pinching day—
    From leaving off my nose.

I have no ear for music now;
    My ears both left together;
And as for dancing, I have cut
    My toes—it's cutting weather.

I've said that you should have my hand,
    Some happy day to come;
But, Kate, you only now can wed
    A finger and a thumb.

Don't fear that any Esquimaux
    Can wean me from my own;
The Girdle of the Queen of Love
    Is not the Frozen Zone.

At wives with large estates of snow
    My fancy does not bite;
I like to see a Bride—but not
    In such a deal of white.

Give me for home a house of brick,
    The Kate I love at Kew!
A hand unchopped—a merry eye;
    And not a nose, of blue!

To think upon the Bridge of Kew,
    To me a bridge of sighs;
Oh, Kate, a pair of icicles
    Are standing in my eyes!

God knows if I shall e'er return,
    In comfort to be lull'd;
But if I do get back to port,
    Pray let me have it mull'd.





"It beareth the name of Vanity Fair, because the town where it is kept is 'lighter than vanity;' and also because all that is there sold, or that cometh thither, is vanity. "—
"I named this place Boothia."


"A FANCY Fair," said my friend L., in his usual quaint style, "is a fair subject for fancy; take up your pen and try.  For instance, there was one held at the Mansion House.  Conceive a shambling shock-headed clodpole, familiar with the wakes of Bow, Barnet, and Bartlemy, elbowing his awkward way into the Egyptian Hall, his round eyes and mouth all a-gape in the ludicrous expectation of seeing the Lord Mayor standing on his very Worshipful head, the Lady Mayoress lifting a hundred weight by her Right Honourable hair, the Sword-Bearer swallowing his blade of state, the Recorder conjuring ribands from his learned and eloquent mouth, and the Senior Alderman with a painted York-and-Lancaster face, dancing a saraband a la Pierrot!  Or fancy Jolterhead at the fair of the Surrey Zoological, forcing his clumsy destructive course through groups of female fashionables, like a hog in a tulip bed, with the equally laughable intention of inspecting long horns and short horns, prime beasts and lean stock; of handling the porkers and coughing the colts.  Nay, imagine our bumpkin at the great Fancy Fair of all, blundering up to a stall kept by a Royal Duchess, and inquiring perseveringly for a gilt gingerbread King and, Queen—a long promised fairing to brother Bill at Leighton Buzzard!"

   Little did L. dream during this flourish of fancy, that his whimsical fiction had been forestalled by fact; and a deep shade of vexation passed over his features while he perused the following hints from Hants, as conveyed in a bona fide letter to the Editor of the Comic Annual.


            HONNORD SUR,

    DONT no if you Be a Hamshire man, or a man atacht to the fancy, but as Both such myself, have took the libberty to write about what is no joke.  Of coarse alude to being Hoaxt up to Lonnon, to sea a fair no fair at all and About as much fancy as you mite fancy on the pint of a pin.—

    Have follerd the Fancy, ever since cumming of Age, and bean to every Puglistical fite, from the Gaim Chicking down to the fite last weak.  Have bated Buls drawd Baggers, and Kild rats myself meening to say with my hone Dogs.  Ought to no wot Fancy his.  Self prays is no re-comendation.  But have bean at every Fair Waik or Revvle in England.  Ought to no then wot a Fare is.

   Has for the Lonnon job—could Sea nothin like Fancy and nothing like fare.  Only a Toy shop out of Town with a gals skool looking after it, without a Guvverness and all oglein like Winkin.  Lots of the fare sects but no thimbel rig, no priking in the garter no nothing.  Am blest if our hone little Fare down at Goes Grean dont lick it all to Styx.  Bulbeating, Baggerdrawing, Cuggleplaying, Rastlin, a Sopped pigtale, a Mane of Cox Jackasreacing jumpin in Sax and a Grand Sire Peal of Trouble Bobs puld by the Collige youths by way of givin a Bells Life to the hole.  Call that Fancy.  Too Wild Best Shoes, fore theaters besides a Horseplay a Dwarft a She Giant a fat Child a prize ox five carriboo savidges a lurned Pigg an Albany with wite Hares a real See Murmad a Fir Eater and lots of Punshes and Juddis.  Call that a Fare.

   Now for Lonnon. No Sanderses—no Richardsens no wumwills menageris no backy boxis to shy for—no lucky Box is.  No poster makin no jugling or Dancing.  Prest one yung laidy in ruge cheaks and trowsers verry civelly For a bit of a caper on the tite rop—But miss got on the hi rop, and calld for a conestubble.  Askt annother in a ridding habbit for the faver of a little horsmunship and got kicked out of her Booth.  Goos Grean for my munny!  Saw a yung laidy there that swallerd a Sord and wasnt too Partickler to jump threw a hoop.  Dutchesses look dull after that at a Fare.  Verry dignified, but Prefer the Wax Wurk, as a Show.  Dont sea anny think in Watch Pappers cut out by Countisses that have been born with all their harms and legs—not Miss Biffins.

    Must say one thing for Goos Grean.  Never got my pockit pict xcept at Lonnon—am sorry to say lost my Reader and Ticker and every Dump I had let alone a single sovran.  And lost the best part of that besides to a Yung Laidy that nevver gave change.  Greenish enuf says you for my Tim of Day but I was gammund by the baggidge to bye five shillin Pin Cushins. Wish Charrity had stayd at Hoam!  The ould Mare got a coald by waiting outside And the five Charrity pincushins hadn't Bran enuf in their hole boddys to make her a Mash.

    Am told the Hospittle don't clear anny grate proffits after all is dun and Like enuff.  A Fare should be a Fare and fokes at Room oght to do as Room does.  Have a notion Peeressis that keep Booths wood take moor Munny if they wasn't abuv having the dubble drums and speakin trumpets and gongs.  Theres nothin like goin the hole Hog!

    Shall be happy, sur, to sea You at Goos Green next Fare and pint out the Differince.  Maybe in Flurtashun, and blatchmacking and getting off Dorters along with the dolls we ar a littel cut out, but for Ginuen Fancy and Fun and Fair Play its a mear Green Goos to Goos Green.
                                                       Remain Sur,
                                                                  Your humbel tu command,
                                                                                                       JACOB GILES.

   P. S.  Think Vallintins day wood be a Good fixter for next Fancy Fare.  Shant say why.  Sniff sumthing of the kind goin on amung our hone Gals—Polly as just begd a sak of bran and she dont keap rabits.  Pincushins and nothin else.  Tother day cum across a large Watchpokit and suspect Mrs. G is at the Bottom of it.  No churnin.  buttur no packin egs no setten Hens and crammin Turkis—All sniping ribbins folding papper sowin up satten and splitting hole trusses of straw.  Am blest if its for litterin down Horsis.  Dont no how its all to be got to markit at Lonnon, the nine Gals and all 'xcept its by a Pickfurd Van.



"At certain seasons he makes a prodigious clattering with his bill."—SELBY.

"The bill is rather long, flat, and tinged with green."—B


O ANDREW FAIRSERVICE,—but I beg pardon,
You never labour'd in Di Vernon's garden,
On curly kale and cabbages intent,—
Andrew Churchservice was the thing I meant,—
You are a Christian—I would be the same,
Although we differ, and I'll tell you why,
Not meaning to make game,
I do not like my Church so very High!

When people talk, as talk they will,
            About your bill,
They say, among their other jibes and small jeers,
That, if you had your way,
You'd make the seventh day,
As overbearing as the Dey of Algiers.
Talk of converting Blacks—
            By your attacks,
You make a thing so horrible of one day,
Each nigger, they will bet a something tidy,
Would rather be a heathenish Man Friday,
            Than your Man Sunday!

            So poor men speak,
            Who, once a week,
P'rhaps, after weaving artificial flowers,
Can snatch a glance of Nature's kinder bowers,
            And revel in a bloom
            That is not of the loom,
Making the earth, the streams, the skies, the trees,
            A Chapel of Ease.
Whereas, as you would plan it,
Wall'd in with hard Scotch granite,
People all day should look to their behaviours
But though there be, as Shakspeare owns,
            "Sermons in stones,"
Zounds!  Would you have us work at them like

Spontaneous is pure devotion's fire;
And in a green wood many a soul has built
A new Church, with a fir-tree for its spire,
Where Sin has prayed for peace, and wept for guilt,
Better than if an architect the plan drew;
We know of old how medicines were back'd,
But true Religion needs not to be quack'd
            By an Un-merry Andrew!
Suppose a poor town-weary sallow elf
At Primrose-hill would renovate himself,
            Or drink (and no great harm)
Milk genuine at Chalk Farm,—
The innocent intention who would baulk,
And drive him back into St. Bennet Fink?
For my part, for my life, I cannot think
A walk on Sunday is "the Devil's Walk."

But there's a sect of Deists, and their creed
Is D—ing other people to be d—d,—
Yea, all that are not of their saintly level,
They make a pious point
To send, with an "aroint,"
Down to that great Fillhellenist, the Devil.
To such, a ramble by the River Lea,
Is really treading on the "Banks of D—."

Go down to Margate, wisest of law-makers,
And say unto the sea, as Canute did,
            (Of course the sea will do as it is bid,)
"This is the Sabbath-let there be no Breakers!"
Seek London's Bishop, on some Sunday morn,
And try him with your tenets to inoculate,—
Abuse his fine souchong, and say in scorn,
"This is not Churchman's Chocolate!"

Or, seek Dissenters at their mid-day meal,
And read them from your Sabbath Bill some passages,
And while they eat their mutton, beef, and veal,
            Shout out with holy zeal,—
"These are not Chappel's sassages!"
Suppose your Act should act up to your will,
Yet how will it appear to Mrs. Grundy,
To hear you saying of this pious bill,
            "It works well—on a Sunday!"

To knock down apple-stalls is now too late,
Except to starve some poor old harmless madam;—
You might have done some good, and chang'd our fate,
Could you have upset that, which ruined Adam!
'Tis useless to prescribe salt-cod and eggs,
Or lay post-horses under legal fetters,
While Tattersall's on Sunday stirs its Legs,
Folks look for good examples from their Betters!

Consider,—Acts of Parliament may bind
A man to go where Irvings are discoursing—
But as for forcing "proper frames of mind,"
Minds are not framed, like melons, for such forcing!

Remember, as a Scottish legislator,
The Scotch Kirk always has a Moderator;
Meaning one need not ever be sojourning
In a long Sermon Lane without a turning.
Such grave old maids as Portia and Zenobia
May like discourses with a skein of threads,
And love a lecture for its many heads,
But as for me, I have the Hydra-phobia.

Religion one should never overdo:
Right glad I am no minister you be,
For you would say your service, sir, to me,
Till I should say, "My service, sir, to you."
Six days made all that is, you know, and then
Came that of rest—by holy ordination,
As if to hint unto the sons of men,
After creation should come re-creation.
Read right this text, and do not further search
To make a Sunday Workhouse of the Church.





"Take him up, says the master."—OLD SPELLING BOOK.

    My old Schoolmaster is dead.  He "died of a stroke;" and I wonder none of his pupils have ever done the same.  I have been flogged by many masters, but his rod, like Aaron's, swallowed up all the rest.  We have often wished that he whipt on the principle of Italian penmanship,—up strokes heavy and down strokes light; but he did it in English round hand, and we used to think with a very hard pen.  Such was his love of flogging, that for some failure in English composition, after having been well corrected I have been ordered to be revised.  I have heard of a road to learning, and he did justice to it; we certainly never went a stage in education without being well horsed.  The mantle of Dr. Busby descended on his shoulders, and on ours.  There was but one tree in the playground—a birch, but it never had a twig or leaf upon it.  Spring or summer it always looked as bare as if the weather had been cutting at the latter end of the year.  Pictures they say are incentives to learning, and certainly we never got through a page without cuts; for instance, I do not recollect a Latin article without a tail-piece.  All the Latin at that school might be comprised in one line

"Arma virumque cano."

    An arm, a man, and a cane.  It was Englished to me one day in school hours, when I was studying Robinson Crusoe instead of Virgil, by a storm of bamboo that really carried on the illusion, and made me think for the time that I was assaulted by a set of savages.  He seemed to consider a boy as a bear's cub, and set himself literally to lick him into shape.  He was so particularly fond of striking us with a leather strap on the flats of our hands that he never allowed them a day's rest.  There was no such thing as a Palm Sunday in our calendar.  In one word he was disinterestedly cruel, and used as industriously to strike for nothing as other workmen strike for wages.  Some of the elder boys, who had read Smollett, christened him Roderic, from his often hitting like Random, and being so partial to Strap.

    His death was characteristic.  After making his will he sent for Mr. Taddy, the head usher, and addressed him as follows: "It is all over, Mr. Taddy—I am sinking fast—I am going from the terrestrial globe—to the celestial—and have promised Tomkins a flogging—mind he has it—and don't let him pick off the buds—I have asked Aristotle"—(here his head wandered)—"and he says I cannot live an hour—I don't like that black horse grinning at me—cane him soundly for not knowing his verbs—Castigo te, non quod odio habeam—Oh, Mr. Taddy, it's breaking up with me—the vacation's coming—There is that black horse again—Dulcis moriens reminiscitur—we are short of canes—Mr. Taddy, don't let the school get into disorder when I am gone—I'm afraid through my illness—the boys have gone back in their flogging—I feel a strange feeling all over me—Is the new pupil come?—I trust I have done my duty—and have made my will—and left all"—(here his head wandered again)—"to Mr. Souter, the school bookseller—Mr. Taddy, I invite you to my funeral—make the boys walk in good order—and take care at the crossings.—My sight is getting dim—write to Mrs. B. at Margate—and inform her—we break up on the 21st.—The school-door is left open—I am very cold—where is my ruler gone—I will make him feel—John, light the school lamps—I cannot see a line—Oh, Mr. Taddy—venit hora—my hour is come—I am dying—thou art dying—he—is dying.—We—are—dying—you—are—dy"—The voice ceased.  He made a feeble motion with his hands, as if in the act of ruling a copy-book—"the ruling passion strong in death"—and expired.

    An epitaph, composed by himself, was discovered in his desk,—with an unpublished pamphlet against Tom Paine.  The Epitaph was so stuffed with quotations from Homer and Virgil, and almost every Greek or Latin author beside, that the mason who was consulted by the Widow declined to lithograph it under a Hundred Pounds.  The Dominie consequently reposes under no more Latin than HIC JACET;—and without a single particle of Greek though he is himself a Long Homer.



"Oh where, and oh where
 Is my bonny laddie gone?"



ONE day, as I was going by
That part of Holborn christened High,
I heard a loud and sudden cry,
That chill'd my very blood;
And lo! from out a dirty alley,
Where pigs and Irish wont to rally,
I saw a crazy woman sally,
Bedaub'd with grease and mud.
She turn'd her East, she turn'd her West,
Staring like Pythoness possest,
With streaming hair and heaving breast,
As one stark mad with grief.
This way and that she wildly ran,
Jostling with woman and with man—
Her right hand held a frying pan,
The left a lump of beef.
At last her frenzy seem'd to reach
A point just capable of speech,
And with a tone almost a screech,
As wild as ocean bird's,
Or female Ranter mov'd to preach,
She gave her "sorrow words...."



"O Lord!   O dear, my heart will break, I shall go stick
      stark staring wild!
Has ever a one seen any thing about the streets like a
      crying lost-looking child?
Lawk help me, I dont know where to look, or to run,
      if I only knew which way—
A Child as is lost about London streets, and especially
      Seven Dials, is a needle in a bottle of hay.
I am all in a quiver—get out of my sight, do, you
      wretch, you little Kitty McNab!
You promised to have half an eye to him, you know
      you did, you dirty deceitful young drab.
The last time as ever I see him, poor thing, was with
      my own blessed Motherly eyes,
Sitting as good as gold in the gutter, a playing at
      making little dirt pies.
I wonder he left the court where he was better off
      than all the other young boys,
With two bricks, an old shoe, nine oyster-shells, and
      a dead kitten by way of toys.
When his Father comes home, and he always comes
      home as sure as ever the clock strikes one,
He'll be rampant, he will, at his child being lost; and
      the beef and inguns not done!
La bless you, good folks, mind your own consarns,
      and dont be making a mob in the street;
O Serjeant McFarlane? you have not come across my
      poor little boy, have you, in your beat?
Do, good people, move on! dont stand staring at me
      like a parcel of stupid stuck pigs;
Saints forbid! but he's p'r'aps been inviggled away
      up a court for the sake of his clothes by the prigs;
He'd a very good jacket, for certain, for I bought it
      myself for a shilling one day in Rag Fair;
And his trowsers considering not very much patch'd,
      and red plush, they was once his Father's best pair.

His shirt, it's very lucky I'd got washing in the tub, or
      that might have gone with the rest;
But he'd got on a very good pinafore with only two
      slits and a burn on the breast.
He'd a goodish sort of hat, if the crown was sew'd in,
      and not quite so much jagg'd at the brim,
With one shoe on, and the other shoe is a boot, and
      not a fit, and, you'll know by that if it's him.
Except being so well dress'd, my mind would misgive,
      some old beggar woman in want of an orphan,
Had borrow'd the child to go a begging with, but I'd
      rather see him laid out in his coffin!
Do, good people, move on, such a rabble of boys!   I'll
      break every bone of 'em I come near,
Go home—you're spilling the porter—go home—
      Tommy Jones go along home with your beer.
This day is the sorrow fullest day of my life, ever
      since my name was Betty Morgan,
Them vile Savoyards! they lost him once before all
      along of following a Monkey and an Organ:
O my Billy—my head will turn right round—if he's got
      kiddynapp'd with them Italians,
They'll make him a plaster parish image boy, they will,
      the outlandish tatterdemallions.
Billy—where are you, Billy—I'm as hoarse as a crow;
      with screaming for ye, you young sorrow!
And shan't have half a voice, no more I shan't, for
      crying fresh herrings to-morrow.
O Billy you're bursting my heart in two, and my life
      won't be of no more vally,
If I'm to see other folk's darlins, and none of mine,
      playing like angels in our alley,
And what shall I do but cry out my eyes, when I
      looks at the old three legged chair,
As Billy used to make coaches and horses of, and
      there a'n't no Billy there!
I would run all the wide world over to find him, if I
      only know'd where to run,
Little Murphy, now I remember, was once lost for a
      month through stealing a penny bun,—
The Lord forbid of any child of mine!   I think it would
      kill me raily,
To find my Bill holdin up his little innocent hand at
      the Old Bailey.

For though I say it as oughtn't, yet I will say, you may
      search for miles and mileses
And not find one better brought up, and more pretty
      behaved, from one end to t'other of St. Giles's.
And if I called him a beauty, it's no lie, but only as a
      Mother ought to speak;
You never set eyes on a more handsomer face, only
      it hasn't been washed for a week;
As for hair, tho' its red, its the most nicest hair when
      I've time to just show it the comb;
I'll owe 'em five pounds, and a blessing besides, as
      will only bring him safe and sound home.
He's blue eyes, and not to be call'd a squint, though
      a little cast he's certainly got;
And his nose is still a good un, tho' the bridge is
      broke, by his falling on a pewter pint pot;
He's got the most elegant wide mouth in the world,
      and very large teeth for his age;
And quite as fit as Mrs. Murdockson's child to play
      Cupid on the Drury Lane Stage.
And then he has got such dear winning ways—but O
      I never never shall see him no more!
O dear! to think of losing him just after nussing him
      back from death's door!
Only the very last month when the windfalls, hang 'em,
      was at twenty a penny!
And the threepence he'd got by grottoing was spent in
      plums, and sixty for a child is too many.
And the Cholera man came and whitewash'd us all and,
      drat him, made a seize of our hog,—
It's no use to send the Cryer to cry him about, he's such
      a blunderin drunken old dog;
The last time he was fetched to find a lost child, he was
      guzzling with his bell at the Crown,
And went and cried a boy instead of a girl, for a distracted
      Mother and Father about Town.
Billy—where are you, Billy, I say? come Billy, come home,
      to your best of Mothers!
I'm scared when I think of them Cabroleys, they drive so,
      they'd run over their own Sisters and Brothers.
Or may be he's stole by some chimbly sweeping wretch,
      to stick fast in narrow flues and what not,
And be poked up behind with a picked pointed pole, when
      the soot has ketch'd, and the chimbly's red hot.
Oh I'd give the whole wide world, if the world was mine, to
      clap my two longin eyes on his face,
For he's my darlin of darlins, and if he don't soon come back,
      you'll see me drop stone dead on the place.
I only wish I'd got him safe in these two Motherly arms and
      wouldn't I hug him and kiss him!
Lauk! I never knew what a precious he was—but a child
      don't not feel like a child till you miss him.
Why there he is! Punch and Judy hunting, the young wretch,
      it's that Billy as sartin as sin!
But let me get him home, with a good grip of his hair, and
      I'm blest if he shall have a whole bone in his skin!




Speaking within compass, as to fabulousness I prefer Southcote
to Northcote.



ONE day, or night, no matter where or when,
    Sly Reynard, like a foot-pad, laid his pad
Right on the body of a speckled Hen,
    Determined upon taking all she had;
        And like a very bibber at his bottle,
        Began to draw the claret from her throttle;
Of course it put her in a pretty pucker,
        And with a scream as high
    As she could cry,
She call'd for help—she had enough of sucker.

    Dame Partlet's scream
Waked, luckily, the house-dog from his dream,
        And, with a savage growl
        In answer to the fowl,
He bounded forth against the prowling sinner,
And, uninvited, came to the Fox Dinner.

Sly Reynard heedful of the coming doom,
        Thought, self-deceived,
        He should not be perceived,
Hiding his brush within a neighbouring broom;
But quite unconscious of a Poacher's snare,
                And caught in copper noose,
                And looking like a goose,
Found that his fate had "hung upon a hare;"
His tricks and turns were render'd of no use to him,
And worst of all he saw old surly Tray
                Coming to play
                Tray-Deuce with him.

Tray, an old Mastiff bred at Dunstable,
Under his Master, a most special constable,
Instead of killing Reynard in a fury,
Seized him for legal trial by a Jury;
But Juries—Æsop was a sheriff then—
Consisted of twelve Brutes and not of Men.

But first the Elephant sat on the body—
I mean the Hen—and proved that she was dead,
                To the veriest fool's head
                Of the Booby and the Noddy.

Accordingly, the Stork brought in a bill
                Quite true enough to kill,
And then the Owl was call'd,—for, mark,
The Owl can witness in the dark.
To make the evidence more plain,
The Lynx connected all the chain.
In short there was no quirk or quibble
At which a legal Rat could nibble;
The Culprit was as far beyond hope's bounds,
As if the Jury had been packed—of hounds.
Reynard, however, at the utmost nick,
Is seldom quite devoid of shift and trick;
        Accordingly our cunning Fox,
Through certain influence, obscurely channel'd,
A friendly Camel got into the box,
When 'gainst his life the Jury was impannel'd.

Now, in the Silly Isles such is the law,
        If Jurors should withdraw,
They are to have no eating and no drinking,
Till all are starved into one way of thinking.

Thus Reynard's Jurors, who could not agree,
Were lock'd up strictly, without bit or mummock,
Till every Beast that only had one stomach,
Bent to the Camel, who was blest with three.
To do them justice, they debated
From four till ten, while dinner waited,
When thirst and hunger got the upper,
And each inclin'd to mercy, and hot supper,
"Not Guilty" was the word, and Master Fox
Was freed to murder other hens and cocks.


What moral greets us by this tale's assistance
        But that the Solon is a sorry Solon,
Who makes the full stop of a Man's existence
        Depend upon a Colon?



"Life is but a kittle cast."

    THE time is not yet come—but come it will—when the masts of our Royal Navy shall be unshipped, and huge unsightly chimneys be erected in their place.  The trident will be taken out of the hand of Neptune, and replaced by the effigy of a red hot poker; the Union Jack will look like a smokejack; and Lambtons, Russels, and Adairs, will be made Admirals of the Black; the forecastle will be called the Newcastle, and the cockpit will be termed the coal-pit; a man-of-war's tender will be nothing but a Shields' collier; first-lieutenants will have to attend lectures on the steam-engine, and midshipmen must take lessons as climbing boys in the art of sweeping flues.  In short, the good old tune of "Rule Britannia" will give way to "Polly Put the Kettle on;" while the Victory, the Majestic, and the Thunderer of Great Britain will "paddle in the burn," like the Harlequin, the Dart, and the Magnet of Margate.

    It will be well for our song writers to bear a wary eye to the Fleet, if they would prosper as Marine Poets.  Some sea Gurney may get a seat at the Admiralty Board, and then farewell, a long farewell, to the old ocean imagery; marine metaphor will require a new figure-head.  Flowing sheets, snowy wings, and the old comparison of a ship to a bird, will become obsolete and out of date!  Poetical topsails will be taken aback, and all such things as reefs and double reefs will be shaken out of song.  For my own part, I cannot be sufficiently thankful that I have not sought a Helicon of salt water; or canvassed the Nine Muses as a writer for their Marine Library; or made Pegasus a sea-horse, when sea-horses as well as land-horses are equally likely to be superseded by steam.  After such a consummation, when the sea service, like the tea service, will depend chiefly on boiling water, it is very doubtful whether the Fleet will be worthy of any thing but plain prose.  I have tried to adapt some of our popular blue ballads to the boiler, and Dibdin certainly does not steam quite so well as a potato.  However, if his Sea Songs are to be in immortal use, they will have to be revised and corrected in future editions thus:—

I steamed from the Downs in the Nancy,
My jib how she smoked through the breeze;
She's a vessel as tight to my fancy
As ever boil'd through the salt seas.
                *        *        *        *

When up the flue the sailor goes
    And ventures on the pot,
The landsman, he no better knows,
    But thinks hard is his lot.

Bold Jack with smiles each danger meets,
    Weighs anchor, lights the log;
Trims up the fire, picks out the slates
    And drinks his can of grog.

Go patter to lubbers and swabs do you see,
    'Bout danger, and fear, and the like;
But a Boulton and Watt and good Wall's-end
                give me;
And it an't to a little I'll strike.

Though the tempest our chimney smack smooth
                shall down smite,
    And shiver each bundle of wood;
Clear the wreck, stir the fire, and stow every thing
    And boiling a gallop we'll scud.

    I have cooked Stevens's, or rather Incledon's Storm in the same way; but the pathos does not seem any the tenderer for stewing.

Hark, the boatswain hoarsely bawling,
    By shovel, tongs, and poker, stand;
Down the scuttle quick be hauling,
    Down your bellows, hand, boys, hand.
Now it freshens,—blow like blazes;
    Now unto the coal-hole go;
Stir, boys, stir, don't mind black faces,
    Up your ashes nimbly throw.

Ply your bellows, raise the wind, boys;
    See the valve is clear of course;
Let the paddles spin, don't mind, boys,
    Though the weather should be worse.
Fore and aft a proper draft get,
    Oil the engines, see all clear;
Hands up, each a sack of coal get,
    Man the boiler, cheer, lads, cheer.

Now the dreadful thunder's roaring,
    Peal on peal contending clash;
On our heads fierce rain falls pouring,
    In our eyes the paddles splash.
One wide water all around us,
    All above one smoke-black sky:
Different deaths at once surround us;
    Hark! what means that dreadful cry.

The funnel's gone! cries ev'ry tongue out;
    The engineer's washed off the deck;
A leak beneath the coal-hole's sprung out,
    Call all hands to clear the wreck.
Quick, some coal, some nubbley pieces;
    Come, my hearts, be stout and bold;
Plumb the boiler, speed decreases,
    Four feet water getting cold.

While o'er the ship wild waves are beating,
    We for wives or children mourn;
Alas! from hence there's no retreating;
    Alas! to them there's no return.
The fire is out—we've burst the bellows,
    The tinder-box is swamped below;
Heaven have mercy on poor fellows,
    For only that can serve us now!

    Devoutly do I hope that the kettle, though a great vocalist, will never thus appropriate the old Sea Songs of England.  In the words of an old Greenwich pensioner—"Steaming and biling does very well for Urn Bay, and the likes;" but the craft does not look regular and shipshape to the eye of a tar who has sailed with Duncan, Howe, and Jarvis—and who would rather even go without port than have it through a funnel.



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