The Mohawks; a Satirical Poem with Notes.

Morgan, Sydney Owenson, Lady, 1783?-1859

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Copyright (c) British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
I.D. No. MorgSMohaw

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 24
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor

The Mohawks; a satirical poem with notes

[Morgan, Sydney Owenson, Lady]

Printed for Henry Colburn and Co.

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no: I:940. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:940mf.]

[Autograph note on title page reads To General Cockburn from his friend the author; manuscript notes in what appears to be the same hand amend text.]

Purchase of software has been made possible by a research grant from the Librarians' Association of the University of California, Davis chapter.

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Page [i]


     "Quid faciant leges ubi sola pecunia regnat
         "Aut ubi paupertas vincere nulla potest ?
     "Ipsi qui cynica traducunt tempora cæna
         "Nonnunquam nummis vendere verba solent;
     "Ergo judicium nihil est nisi publica merces
         "Atque eques in causâ qui sedet, empta probat."
Petronius Arbiter.     "The Stagyrite's dull rules in vain were made,
    "Since critics now give judgment--as they're paid.
    "Our self-denying saints with truth make bold,
    "And prize all doctrines only--as they're sold.
    "While Justice' self leans lightly on the scribe,
    "Who libels--on the right side --for a bribe."
Page [ii]


Page [iii]

"For this reason I could not forbear communicating to you some imperfect information of a set of men (if you will allow them a place in that species of being), who have lately erected themselves into a fraternity, under the title of the Mohawk-Club, a name borrowed, it seems, from a sort of cannibals in India, who subsist by plundering and devouring all the nations about them.

"Agreeable to their name, the avowed design of their institution is mischief; and upon this foundation all their rules and orders are framed.  An outrageous ambition of doing all possible hurt to their fellow creatures is the great cement of their assembly, and the only qualification required in the members."-- Spectator.

"Quelques pamphlétaires obscurs associés à des spéculateurs avides, vendaient leurs plumes pour servir bassement toutes les passions haineuses et honteuses; l'esprit de parti et l'esprit de cupidité s'emparaient d'un moyen facile d'exploiter,--la curiosité et la méchanceté des hommes; et les reputations les plus honorablés étaient livrées sans défense aux traits empoisonnés de la calomnie."

"Une déplorable impunité encourageait les éditeurs de ces productions monstrueuses; et quoique elles fussent justement signalées à l'opinion, comme indignes de toute croyance, elles trouvaient souvent accès auprès d'un certain nombre d'hommes.

"Dans ces honteux monumens de la licence et de la perversité humaines, le crime puissant est seul protégé par des ménagemens officieux, ou même il est erigé en vertu.  Le mérite modeste et solitaire, la vertu indépendante courageuse, qui n'appartiennent à aucun parti, à aucune coterie, mais à la justice, à la verité, à la patrie, sont abreuvés de calomnies et d'outrages." -- Revue Encyclopédique.

Page [iv]

Page [v]


The reader is requested to correct with his pen the following
Note 87* forgotten, page 106.
This invocation of a Catholic saint by a Protestant, may startle the reader; but the worthy divine had probably an eye to Acre's "oath allusive," and thought the patron of inquisitions (heterodox as he was) "germain to the matter;" and so swore accordingly.

Page [vi]

Page [1]



WHAT man or hero1 shall the Muse,
    Among the prime ones of the Nation,
To patronize her Poem choose,
    Fit subject for a Dedication ?
What God,2 the echo of whose name,
The proudest Whig to peace will tame ?

Page 2

Who'll stem the tide of Br--gh-m 's debate,3
And hush the storm of B-rd-tt 's hate;
Or, by his jesting, or his fiddling,4
    Long-ear'd majorities will lead,
When H-me with salaries is piddling,
    Or Van new taxes has decreed ?
Whom should she choose, but L-nd-nd-ry ?5
    Who o'er our Islands holds command,
From Dover, westward quite to Kerry,
    And north to John-a-Groat's far land.6

Page 3

Great in the Senate, great in Treaties,
All Europe at his mighty feet is.
Sov'reign distributor of Places,
Of Pensions, Sinecures, and Graces;
The friend of Emperors and Kings,
Lord of all men and of all things;
And (what our tongue is much the better for)
Great autocrat of words and metaphor.
Whene'er he can't effect by deed
    The purpose nearest to his heart,
He takes to talking, in his need,
    And works his way by subtlest art.
Not that, like Chatham, Fox, or Tully,
He captivates each list'ning cully;
No burst of light, no charm of diction,
Win or seduce us to conviction;
But mazy periods, never ending,
Parentheses together blending,

Page 4

The stoutest intellects astound,--
The bright, the subtle, the profound.
Thus, by fatiguing, not amusing,
Not by convincing, but confusing,
He makes unanswerable speeches,
And all his wayward ends he reaches;
And, while his auditors are dozing,
Tempers the world with hours7 of prosing;
Strikes Europe's balance with his tongue,
And rules the roast by force of lung.
'Tis this that justly marks his name,
The foremost in the lists of fame.8
A greater man was ne'er begotten,
Since British boroughs first were rotten;

Page 5

His like on earth was never known;
None e'er with second lustre shone,
When forced to sport their feeble ray
Within the sphere of C-stl-r-h .
As next in talent, next in rule
To our great chief,9 Lord Liv-rp--l,
The Muse shall not neglect to ask
Thy patronage to grace her task.
Oh ! let her pass from censure free,
Nor meddle with her currency;
And when you view her dire distresses,
Don't make bad worse, by hapless guesses:
Lest, as when humming the poor farmers,
    You made a speech (t' expose their case,
And put to silence all alarmers,)
    You but expose --your own disgrace.

Page 6

Next, in our list of Patrons rank,
My Muse, that marvellous Unthank,
Who, against Cas once dared to mutter,
And quarrel'd with his bread and butter;
Who deep remorseless hatred shew'd
Against the swinish multitude;10
And yet, to loyalty not faster,
Insulted too their Royal Master !
Let friends and foes alike beware,
    Nor cross the fiery youth, when hot,
Unless exempt from every fear
    Of epigram, or pistol-shot.11

Page 7

Next claim of Allsides 12 the support,
    Who veers by turns to Whigs and Tories;
Now for the Country, now the Court,
    Who in eternal shiftings glories,--
The mighty Duke of b--ms, whose weight
Inclines to either side the state;
Nor fail, in turn, to seek the quarters
Of t'other Duke13 of bombs and mortars,
To beg a share of that protection,
He lavish'd with so much affection,
On Louis, when, with force unknown,
He plump'd him once more on his throne;--
Producing that famed armistice,14
Which passes by the name of peace.
Nor yet go by the Doctor's door
(Though S-c-t-ry now no more),

Page 8

Famed for his short administration,
    And making up with Buonaparte ;
More famed for gagging the poor nation,
    And writing "circulars" so smart.15
Like plants close buried in the shade
Of some entangled murky glade,
Within the Adm'ralty's close bow'r,
Lay Lords in reputation soar;16
Where Cr-k-r, like the Queen of Night,
Fairly outshines each minor light.17

Page 9

Then ask the suffrage of each ass,
    Who studies state in Charing Cross;
Nor by the Secretary pass,
    Perhaps he'll in the bargain toss,
While resting from his labours nautical,
I' th' Quarterly "a clever article."
But when you've canvass'd all the Cabinet,
Put on a train of silk, or tabinet,
And, with these Patrons not contented,
Get to the K-- himself presented.
G--, to old G-- the Th-d succeeding,18
By praising you, will shew his breeding;
A praise which you should prize the rather,
Because he far outshines his father.

Page 10

Although for conquests fam'd in India,
O'er Hyder, Tippoo Saib, and Scindia,19
And for preserving from invasion
Of Frenchmen's politics the nation.
Still G-- knocks under to his Son,
Since Waterloo's great fight was won.
And (since K-ngs grow renown'd in story,
By taking to themselves the glory
Of all their Gen'rals do in arms,
    And all their Statesmen win by thinking,
While safe at home and free from harms,
    They pass their lives in love or drinking;
Yet, when Dame Fortune turns her tail,
And Generals or Statesmen fail,

Page 11

The M-narch leaves the wretched elves
To bear th' entire blame themselves;)
Great G-- the Fourth, all must allow,
Wears brighter laurels on his brow:
For C-stler--gh and W-ll-ngton
Raised a French Monarch to his throne;
While G-- the Th-d and Mr. Pitt,
    Amidst the revolution's shock,
Only contrived with all their wit
    To bring their Ally to the block.
Our present G-- made Europe wonder,
When he shook Flanders with his thunder;20
He made great Dandy Sandy gloat
With envy on his wig and coat;
But would you know his brightest deed,
What 'twas that made him K-- indeed,

Page 12

(The greatest K-- that e'er was seen)
'Twas his chaste triumph o'er his Q--.21

1.  Quem virum aut heroa, &c. 2.  Quem Deum, &c.

3.  Rapidos morantem
Fluminum lapsus celeresque ventos.

4.  Auritas fidibus canoris

5.  Quid priùs dicam solitis parentis

6.  Qui res hominum ac deorum
Qui mare et terras,

7.  Variisque mundum
Temperat horis.

8.  Unde nil majus generatur ipso
Nec viget quidquam simile aut secundum.

9.  Proximos illi tamen occupavit
Pallas honores.

10.  Sævis inimica virgo

11.  Metuende certâ
Phoebe sagittâ

12.  Dicam et Alciden.

13.  --         Puerosque Ledæ.

14.  Concidunt venti, fugiuntque nubes.

15.  Quietum
Pompilî regnum memorem, an superbos
Tarquinî fasces.

16.  Crescit occulto velut arbor ævo
Fama Marcelli.

17.  --     Micat inter omnes
Julium sidus, velut inter ignes
Luna minores.

18.  Tu secundo
Cæsare regnes.

19.  Ille seu Parthos Latio imminentes
Egerit justo domitos triumpho,
Sive subjectos Orientis oræ
Seras et Indos:
Te minor,
&c. &c.

20.  Tu gravi curru quaties Olympum.

21.  Tu parum castis inimica mittes
Fulmina lucis

Page [13]


Ad studium fallendi studio quæstus vocabantur. Cicero de lege Agrar.


IF e'er 'twere thought that man was born to reason,
    To vanquish ignorance, and spurn at lies,
That dogma, now grown stale and out of season,
    Is laugh'd at by the simple and the wise.
Truth, truth's alone the pregnant cause of treason,
    The rude relaxer of all "dearer ties;"
Spring of sedition, riot, and disorder,
And foe to Kings, and Priests, and "social order."--

Page 14


Ope where you will the babbling page of history,1
    You'll find that truth has mostly been "suspected;"
Churchmen abandon'd it to set up mystery
    (A trick for centuries by few detected):
And though with certain truths they still will pester ye,
    Complaining bitterly that they're neglected;
Yet louder they cry out, if for one moment,
Those truths you dare to scan--without a comment.


Truth from the Court was driven by servility,2
    Truth in the City's deem'd old Traffic's foe;
The lawyers found Truth's legal disability,
    And banish'd it their pleadings long ago:3
Diplomatists, to prove their great ability,
    Disdain of truth in all state matters shew;
While Judges, conscious Ministers to please,
Fine and imprison it for breach of peace.4

Page 15


Truth's a horse medicine,--and for man's use
    Too rough and potent; e'en a mod'rate dose,
The nation's brains, like opium, will confuse,
    And wring its nerves with most convulsive throes.
Diluted with much popular abuse,
    The smallest grain's enough to "stink i' th' nose."
Therefore wise Statesmen watch o'er the supplies,
And curb the import by a strict excise.


Whoe'er has seen a juggler's slight-of-hand,
    And mark'd the country folks' admiring faces,
Must know, the less the fellows understand,
    With more delight they throng to fill his places:
So those, o'er nations who would hold command,
    Find that deception ev'ry art embraces;
Hence the sound maxim, drawn from human nature,
     "Si vulgus decipi vult--decipiatur. "

Page 16


When earth was young, e'er by a curious wife
    Tempted--seduc'd, unhappy Adam fell,
(In our times, when the dev'l would breed a strife,
    He finds our neighbour's spouse a surer spell,)
While yet man led a good, though dullish life,
    And things in Paradise went passing well,
All arts unknown, all science uninvented,
He throve most ignorant and most contented.


But when his "ever new delight" grew prying,
    The devil saw some scope for an adventure;
Guessing the temper of her sex complying,
    He urged her on forbidden fruit to venture.
Too well the miscreant triumph'd in his lying,
    For Adam and his wife broke their indenture,--
And brought upon mankind all sorts of ill,
War, taxes, tithes, Jack Ketch, the doctor's pill.

Page 17


The moral hidden in this ancient tale5
    Needs not a forced and learned exposition:
The reader must discover without fail
    That knowledge is the engine of perdition;
That wit and wisdom tend but to a jail;
    That faith can't thrive without an Inquisition;
That free inquiry into sin seduces,
And thinking is the worst of all abuses.


Ah ! sure that mortal was the Prince of Fools,
    Who, bent upon a monstrous innovation,
Wilful and rash, first hit on Sunday Schools,
    And made on "ancient night" a fell invasion;
'Twas this departure from all antique rules
    That gave, to read Hone 's trash, the dire occasion:
England's declined since peasants learn'd to spell,
And treason suck from Lancaster and Bell .

Page 18


But still more curs'd the German, who invented
    The Press--dire enemy to Church and State !
That teaches nations to be discontented,
    And makes them Ministers and Taxes hate;
Filling the artisans, where not prevented,
    With radical, blasphemous, impious, prate;
Which renders useless all our best intentions,
Our spies, jails, gibbets, sinecures and pensions.


When few by gallows-verse6 were saved a caper,
    And greatest Princes only made their mark;
When knives and tallies served for ink and paper,
    And all look'd up with rev'rence to a clerk;
When priests alone outwatch'd the midnight taper,
    To keep the people more completely dark,
Then triumph'd in their might the sacred few,
And unrestrain'd, whate'er they pleased might do.

Page 19


Uncontradicted, Mother Church might tell
    (And gain belief from all), her wond'rous story;
Uncheck'd, uncensur'd, worthless relics sell,
    And drive a pretty trade in purgatory;
By nought disturb'd, save her own "sacring bell,"7
    In dozing day-dreams contemplate her glory;
Mistress to rule men's fortunes and their lives,
Their time, thoughts, actions, secrets, and their wives.


Then, uncontroll'd by general opinion,
    Kings rul'd exempt from ev'ry tie of law;
Loaded with wealth each male or female minion,
    Fined, flogg'd, imprison'd, banish'd for a straw
Whene'er against their wives they had a guignon ,
    Sent their heads spinning, like a schoolboy's taw;
And if the people grudg'd at these vexations,
Obtain'd most profitable confiscations.

Page 20


Not then, as now, when in their full career
    Of pleasure or revenge, they paus'd and doubted:
Of no vile newspaper they stood in fear,
    Nor by a City Orator were flouted.
No mob then dared discarded Queens to cheer,
    O'er a non-suited King they never shouted;
Nor dared a poet on his person fix,
And write him--"fledged and wing'd at fifty-six."8


Then, safe within his high embattled wall,
    Or sconsed, like lobster, in his scaly armour,
On his estate, as sov'reign lord of all,
    The feudal Baron taxed and starved the Farmer;
Forced him to follow on each idle call,
    To fight, when furious, and to work, when calmer:
A gibbet on the frontier mark'd his sway,
And frighten'd ev'ry--honest man away.

Page 21


To thieves and cut-throats 'twas a well-known sign,
    A guide-post to the general rendezvous ,
Where they might perpetrate each fell design,
    Rob for themselves, and for the Baron too.9
To peasants, 'twas a token to resign
    Their cash, withholding not the smallest due:
No tenant dare be slack in his solution.
Where landlords take the neck in execution.


Each feudal right 'twere tedious to mention,
    I've seen a list that occupied some pages:10
Some that are past the quickest comprehension
    Of our most learned antiquarian sages;
Some so absurd, they seem almost invention,
    Yet were maintain'd thro' "long succeeding ages;"
Rev'rend abuses of those good old times,
Which loyal poets boast of in their rhymes

Page 22


Thus, when a chieftain's wife was in the straw,
    Lest the young heir might suffer by a fright,
To keep his Lordship's frogs in silent awe,
    The vassals beat his ponds the live-long night;11
While in return (for fair and fair's good law)
    The lord avail'd him of another right,
Not to be told by Muse of chaste demeanor,
But call'd in joking France-- Le droit de Seigneur .12


Now, if my Lord should venture to be civil,
    And ask a favour of a tenant's mate,
The farmer roars and rages like the devil,
    Infuriate butting with his antler'd pate.
Juries of cuckolds estimate the evil,
    And bills of costs, though taxed, are ever great;
But if he's rude , and offers to assault her,
Like a plebeian brute he meets a halter.

Page 23


Oh ! those were glorious times ! the lordly Bishop,
    Arm'd with the double sword of earth and heaven,13
Back'd any claim his fertile mind could dish up,
    And with a troop of horse made matters even.
Like bold St. Peter, 14 (when no more he'd fish up
    His nets,) to fighting as to preaching given,
He smote his enemies without compunction,
And, having floor'd them, gave them extreme unction.


True, in these holy times some slight vexation
    Occasionally blighted high born pleasures;
A Bishop sometimes, by assassination,
    Disturb'd a brother Bishop's best laid measures;
Kings, too, were sometimes cut off, when the nation
    Found them more free than welcome with its treasures;
And Barons often got an ugly knock,
Or left their heads on the King's chopping-block.

Page 24


True, in these holy times, the lands, laid waste,
    And ravaged in the royal game of war,15
To yield a harvest were in no great haste,
    And good provisions often were by far
Too scarce, which caused involuntary fast;
    And pestilence, you know, where famines are
Soon follows;--now-a-days, 'tis call'd the typhus,
Which will of lords as well as churls deprive us.


The plague, in truth's a plaguy bad disease,
    Tainting alike the peasant and the peer;
On Kings and Queens, maugre their crowns, 'twill seize,
    And of a royal guardsman knows no fear,
Of palace and of hut with equal ease
    Knocks at the gate,16 nor lends a patient ear
To a Crown counsel's novelties in law,
Or to the rev'rend Churchman's wisest saw,

Page 25


These were slight drawbacks; but the aristocracy
    Still found a mighty pleasant game to play,
Lording it bravely over the democracy,
    They caged and gagg'd who dared but doubt their sway;
If to resist there lived a madman so crazy,
    Full soon the piper was he made to pay:--
To silence him some Sheriff had commission,
Or he was roasted by the Inquisition.


No wonder then they saw with evil eye
    The changes which succeeding ages knew;
And many strange expedients should try
    To keep the people in allegiance true,
Who, to secure a finger in the pye,
    Sported opinions perilous as new;
But long they guess'd not whence the storm was coming,
Destined to blow their hectoring and humming.

Page 26


Oh ! Westminster, within thy cloister'd abbey
     Caxton in England first set up a press;
And our best Kings have shewn themselves not shabby
    When call'd a zeal for learning to express;
Little they dream'd the imp they nursed, so crabby,
    Should cause their children's children such distress,
Else, like wise Austria, they'd restrain'd all breeding
    To the mere bounds of writing and of reading.17


First there came Luther to disturb their rest,
    Intent upon religion and--his spouse;
Next Cromwell fanatized from east to west,
    Cashier'd the monarch, and the upper house;
While wand'ring Charles, neglected and distress'd,18
    More than half starved, fared worse than a church mouse.
Next James the Second, that most zealous ass,
Barter'd three goodly kingdoms for a mass.19

Page 27


The license of the Press, at this most critical
    Juncture, brought Nassau,--then, the House of Hanover;
By publications anti-jacobitical
    Seduced the people to a wicked plan over,
Filling their brains with many new political
    Doctrines, while James to Louis boldly ran over,
And a most trait'rous impious convention20
Dismiss'd him from his place, without a pension.


Oh ! had not Satan first invented letters,
    Casting his type with Hell-concocted lead,
The people ne'er had quarrel'd with their betters,
    Nor with seditious science fill'd their head.
Bacon and Locke (of heresy abettors),
    And Newton many dang'rous tenets spread;
While Harvey, when he traced the circulation,
Set the pulse galloping of half the nation.

Page 28


Old Torricelli 's vacuum doubtless taught
    Certain discoveries in physiology,
Which royal heads in bad repute have brought;
    And Galileo 's tube spoil'd much theology,21
Inspiring doubts, like those by Tom Paine sought,
     So ably clear'd in Watson 's fam'd Apology;
While Franklin 's rods robb'd heav'n of its thunder,
And cured the people of much wholesome wonder.


Certes, 'twas Franklin 's skill in electricity
    Seduced the Bostoners to tar th' exciseman;
And made Lord North commit a multiplicity
    Of errors, proving he was not a wise man;
Franklin, a perfect monster of duplicity !
    Who first wrote books, to treason to entice
And then, least his M. S. should lie on shelf,
The double traitor--printed them himself.

Page 29


So, in old France, before the revolution,
    That arch, convicted heretic, Rousseau,
Threw its finances into much confusion,
    Whence ills, like waves on waves, incessant flow.
He practised on the King22 by such illusion,
    As made his moral character so so;
'Twas reading Julie set the people starving,
And hunger set them for themselves a carving.23


So, in old France, the Priests refused to pay
    Tax to the state, which made the people stare;
The Nobles also chose to run away,
    Leaving the King of friends and money bare;
And all this mischief certain wiseheads say
    Was brought upon the country by Voltaire .
Thus, now, when rents are low and farmers mob it,
Our English statesmen lay the blame to Cobbett .

Page 30


'Twas Voltaire brought about the coalition,
    And march'd the Duke of Brunswick into France
Rousseau at Coblentz wrought the King's perdition,
    By promising on Paris to advance;
Voltaire, that sanguinary politician,
    At Jemappe led the Germans a sad dance;
Twas he roused Robespierre to murd'rous passion,
And Rousseau wrote the guillotine in fashion.


But, as I said, it was the traitor Franklin
    Seduced the Yankees to kick up a row;
And France (a fact with Englishmen long rankling)
    Joined in the fray;--for which it suffers now.
For Frenchmen, when the English they'd done mangling,
    Came home, the democratic seed to sow.
The blow which kill'd their King (a deed not very gay),
Was struck--such is man's foresight--in America.

Page 31


This, in due time, call'd forth a Bonaparte
    To triumph o'er the democrats, and reign
In spite of all our ministerial party,
    Although we beat the Frenchmen out of Spain.
Millions were spent--for still John Bull was hearty
    (He will not quickly be so stout again);
This made the debt--the debt on landlords presses,
And landlords puzzle Van with their distresses.


What great effects from little causes spring !
    As consequence on consequence arises;
Some trifling fault makes many a felon swing,
    Which, early check'd, had spared him the assizes.
So all the ills, of which we feel the sting,
    (Ills which the minister in vain disguises),
Wars, revolutions, the finances' ruin,
Are one and all--a Printer's Devil's brewing.

Page 32


Oh ! had it pleased Heav'n's providence to make
    The swinish multitude without their eyes;
Or given eyes only to those few, who take
    A bribe, to act the useful part of spies;
The rest like moles left blind, their shins to break
    Then had the great, secure from a surprize,
Not fear'd a revolutionary crash
From Hunt 's Examiner, or penny trash.


I can't help thinking what a sweet collection
    Of books had then been printed, for the use
Of those quintessences of all perfection
    The great, so very difficult t' amuse,--
Sland'rous memoirs, to lie without detection,
    Verses like those which flow from Th-- 's muse,
The cream of good Lord L-nd-n-ry 's speeches,
Or W-lb-rf-ce 's intellectual riches.

Page 33


The Morning Post had still supplied us news,
    The Courier still had ruled the afternoon;
(There'd been no need of Quarterly Reviews,
    Where authors were all set to the right tune;
"John Bull" might then have rested in the stews,
    From which it came, for its own friends too soon,
Despised, disown'd, while its poor men of straw
Suffer vicariously the scourge of law).


Then, twice as lengthy, almost twice as dull,
    If that were possible, his laureate strains
S--thy had pour'd, whene'er the moon was full,
    And gain'd another pension for his pains.24
But C--ly with a somewhat thicker scull,
    Had still contented been with smaller gains;
While G--ff--d, lacking subjects for his hate,
Had stung himself, and met the scorpion's fate.

Page 34


Those tomes, whose sale we're told is so immense,
    Indited by the fluent muse of Waverly,
Where pure description holds the place of sense,
    And ghosts and warlocks visit us so neighbourly,--
Where Whigs to malice ever are prepense,
    And Tories preach their abject creed so cleverly,
Might still have had their vogue: spite of abusing,
We needs must own the novels are amusing.


Yes, to the heav'n-born few these works are level,
    Guiltless of moral, quite devoid of thinking;
Save when they teach a credence in the devil,
    Or vaunt the virtues of excessive drinking.
Their maudlin heroes, neither good nor evil,
    Are pretty models of the art of sinking;
Infirm of purpose, into nothings tamed,
They'd never make the merest lord ashamed.

Page 35


Not so Childe Harold,--he no place should find
    Among the race of wits aristocratic;
His daring, deep intensity of mind,
    Has something in it much too democratic;
Quite diff'rent from those intellects refined,
    So polish'd, so demure, so sweet, so attic,
Which rouse no fire, with no strong feeling tease,
"The mob of gentlemen, who write with ease."


Byron, there are, who think some strange anomaly,
    Fitted thy head upon a Noble's shoulders;
Just as if that of poor Sir Samuel Romilly
    On L-v-p-l 's were fixed to pose beholders;
Or just as if a drawling, stale, dry homily,
    Which on the shelf in some old College moulders,
Were, by the magic of Sir Humphry 's lore,
Amalgamated with the wit of Moore .

Page 36


Yet, thanks to England's home-bred institutions,
    The case is not so absolutely new;
Our nobles cross their breed;--their constitutions
    Are not so purely noble:--hence a few,
Breaking the sphere of pride and wealth's illusions,
    Like meteors in night's ebon concave shew--
Besides,--their being obliged to speak i' th' House,
Draws forth, if they possess it, all their [nu][omicron][upsilon][sigma, final] .


Maugre our Bishops' decency and gravity,
    And certain Law-Lords' rather tiresome prosing,
Maugre each well-bred Noble's unmov'd suavity,
    Which calms too much the jaded mind to dozing;
Maugre that ton , which censures as depravity,
    The speech, too much of light or heat disclosing:
Still Britain boasts a few of noble name,
Whom freedom, genius, worth, and wisdom claim.

Page 37


Grey, Holland, Lansdowne, 24 would to heav'n that Fate
    Had given you less brains, or else less blood;
So, undisturb'd, the dullness of debate,
    Unruffled, had preserved its drowsy flood,
Save when some College coxcomb's maiden prate
    Call'd forth the wonder of each "noble Lud,"--
Or when the Ch-nc-ll-r's infectious weeping
Roused up the rev'rend Bishops from their sleeping.


Enough of Nobles,--of the books they write,--
    Enough too of the books they're fond of reading:
Urged by the pleasing theme, I've wander'd quite
    Beyond all decent bounds,--digression leading
Still to digression:--like some errant knight
    Who strays through forests, meat and drink not needing;
Or like V-ns-tt-rt, talking on finance,--
Or thy invectives, Ch-n-vix, on France.25

Page 38


Return we now our too discursive pen
    Back to the subject we've so long forgotten;--
The Press (as we were telling you, Sir, when
    We were by something a new scent thus put on),
The Press has made a furious change in men,
    Our ancestors we don't regard a button;
Losing our dullness, gravity, aud schoolishness,
We deem their wisdom little more than foolishness.


We can't conceive, in this age, the vast merit
    Of being born to title and estate;
For virtue, wit, and courage men inherit
    But seldom; and 'tis certainly more great
To earn distinction by our sense and spirit,26
    Than to receive it at the hands of Fate;
Though, through a pedigree of noble blood,
Derived from ev'ry Baron since the Flood.27

Page 39


Nor do we think, as wise men thought of yore,
    The people fixtures, parcel of the land;
But deem, in spite of lawyers' antique lore,
    The soil for man was made at heav'n's command.
Hence sprung that doctrine (to all ills a door),
    That Kings committed to their people stand,
First Magistrates a nation's laws to keep,
And not the masters of a flock of sheep.


'Tis marvellous how great's the education
    Derived from newspapers and magazines;
What lots of facts are spread throughout the nation,
    From which the dullest ideot something gleans.
Their Editors, in my imagination,
    Like brokers operate upon our means.
Those help the public mind in abstruse cases,
By giving change for thoughts, as these for "Hases ."

Page 40


'Tis very much the fashion to revile
    The smaller journals, and to call them "trash,"
Because they're not too polish'd in their style,
    And love at Kings and Ministers to slash.
(Though they shew infinitely less of bile
    Than their more loyal rivals, when they lash).
Yet this same trash, when ev'ry thing is said,
Hits frequently the right nail on the head.


Compare the most ill-managed Sunday paper,
    That fills our "rude mechanicals" with rage;
For argument and sense, with Dean Swift 's draper,28
    Or the best pamphlets of a former age.
(Howe'er Attornies-General may vapour,
    Or Judges fume, like mountebanks on stage,
At its perverse and wicked capability),
You needs must own 'tis written with ability.

Page 41


Cobbett of Gaffer Gooch makes curious fun,
    His "Gridi'on" frighten'd Jews and money-lenders;
And Hunt 's Examiner is apt to run
    Successfully a-tilt 'gainst all offenders.
The "Slap at Slop" a victory has won,
    From L-nd-nd-r-y 's hireling, fee'd defenders;
And there are highborn faces that look sadder,
When hoisted on Hone's matrimonial ladder.29


Cobbett, vile rogue, whom law's restraints can't teach
    To treat the Powers that be, with due respect;
Cobbett will criticise a royal speech,
    And loves its faults in grammar to detect;
Sticks to his prey as eager as a leech,
    Anxious to jibe, and bitter to reflect;
St--t, St-dd-rt, G-ff-d, Cr-k-r, how he'd distance ye,
But that the fitful fellow wants consistency.

Page 42


Each day, week, month, and quarter, in collision
    With all the Tory phalanx of inditers;
Now holding up a blockhead to derision,
    And now contending with their abler writers,
These journals force e'en mobs with some precision
    To judge between them, as between prize fighters;
And thus the rascals pick up sundry notions,
As parsons tell us, pregnant with commotions:--


Now on the Paper System some shrewd guesses,
    And now, a thought or two about the Trinity;
A stray idea on country folks distresses,
    Or on our Bishops' Church-and-State divinity;
Now pithy arguments for their addresses,
    Or on the laws of conjugal affinity,
Doubts on immense Taxation's vast utility;30
Or hints upon the Sinking Fund's futility.31

Page 43


But, worst of all, they've set the people storming
    'Gainst rotten boroughs and intriguing p--rs;
Made them adopt the fashion of reforming,
    Unmov'd by W-rtl-y 's wrath, or C-nn-ng 's jeers;
At public meetings in great numbers swarming,
     C-rtwr--t and H--t they greet with rapt'rous cheers;
While not a traitor of the whole remembers
That rotten boroughs send the best of Members.


Corruption, British Statesmen all agree,
    Serves in the national machine as grease,
Keeps the wheels going, all their motions free,
    And makes the springs and levers act with ease.
Corruption offers to each heart a key,
    Gives force in war and dignity in peace:
Assists the Minister in all he's planning
And purchases the aid of Mr. C-nn-g .

Page 44


Without Corruption, there may be some doubt,
    That C-nn-g ne'er had found his way to Lisbon, 31
By honest Ministers from home sent out,
    Charged with the health of her, the bone of his bone.
Sent out, they cry, who choose to make a rout,
    For nothing !--which, indeed, were not amiss done;
But, on inquiry, 'twill, I think, be found
He went for--about fifteen thousand pound !


I vow to heav'n; men too much undervalue
    That useful art in states, the art of joking;32
Grave, rev'rend blockheads33 are too apt to call you
    All sorts of names, their own mere dullness cloaking,
(It's very well if they don't sometimes maul you,
    Should you but clap a solitary joke in.)
But Ministers know better.  In their need
They find the friend who jokes, a friend indeed !

Page 45


When they behold themselves in a quandary,
    Without a stale pretext to cloak their tricks,
'Tis a sound rule from which they seldom vary,
    To sport a mountebank, men's minds to fix;
To cheer the dogged, to mislead the wary,
    And hit the Opposition a few licks:
Thus, when you read "The H--se convuls'd with laughter ,"
It's odds some desp'rate vote will follow after.


Hence 'tis not strange the people should detest,
     C-nn-g, to hear you in your mood so gay;
Since they have learn'd to know, whene'er you jest,
    Pilgarlick for the merriment must pay.
Like the poor frogs, they cannot find a zest
    In being pelted, though it be in play;
And you yourself may live t' approve the rules,
Which teach how ill 'tis jesting with edged tools.

Page 46


Without corruption never could the war
    Have found so great and glorious a conclusion;
High in the east Legitimacy's star,
    King Louis Octroyant a constitution,
Confed'rate Monarchs close allied, to mar
    Their subjects' dispositions to confusion,
While their deep Ministers, as sly as foxes,
Make interchange of kingdoms and--snuff boxes.


Without corruption, ne'er had been invented
    That basis of an equal-balanc'd power,
Where Monarchs to each other stand indented,
    And kingdoms flank to kingdoms, just like tow'r,
Bastion, and barbican; while thus, prevented,
     None but the strongest can the rest devour;
By ames and demiames the world's divided,
Least it should navigate the heavens lop-sided.

Page 47


By this most wise and permanent arrangement
    ( Humano capiti cervic' equinam )
The map of Europe's suffer'd some derangement,
    Where states discordant into one entwine'm;
Where ancient brethren, by a wide estrangement,
    Join distant realms--as congresses assign 'em.
Thus was the gen'ral work of restoration
Made perfect by a gen'ral innovation.34


But, to confine more close to home our views,
    Without corruption Ministers might want
The Gr-nvl-s' weighty aid,35 who aye refuse
    To join that cause whose patronage is scant.
Wide in the sea of politics they cruize,
    As interest guides, with either side they haunt.
Tory or Whig--no matter which the case is,
Like Aristippus36 still they're in their places .

Page 48


When gold was high, and paper a mere drug,
    Corruption voted that a note and shilling
Were worth a guinea;--Jacobins might shrug,
    But loyal pensioners were very willing
To take these substitutes for the King's mug,
    Their pockets on the public credit filling.
Just so it voted that the state's convulsion,
Was but "from war to peace, a slight revulsion."


Corruption sold the Irish independency,
    While votes were bought like porkers in a stall;
Corruption raised the Protestant ascendancy, 38
    Which raised rebellion and the devil and all;
Corruption raised taxation (in dependency
    Raising both tithes and rents which farmers gall)
This raised a clam'rous threatening of knocks,
Which raised but little, I should think, the stocks.

Page 49


Corruption raised in time of peace the army,
    But found it difficult to raise the wind;
Therefore it raises false reports t' alarm ye,
    And, to submission, tame the public mind;
With tales of radicals prepared to harm ye,
    It raises fears which all your senses bind;
News of the spreading of some strange new heresy,
Or else, perhaps, a Cato Street conspiracy.


Thus have I prov'd to general satisfaction,
    Corruption forms a "feature fundamental"
Of th' English system:--'tis the merest faction
    To cry it down as being detrimental;
For this reform, which has such strange attraction
    For pseudo-patriots, when they're sentimental,
Would make so large a hole i' th' Constitution,
That 'twould be evidently revolution;

Page 50


And therefore, to return back to my thesis,
    Down with the Habeas ! up with the Six Acts !
No more let each man write just as he pleases;
    Suppress opinions, and remodel facts;
Whene'er a pamphleteer or newsman teazes,
    Bring down th' Attorney Gen'ral on their tracts
And should all other modes to punish fail ye,
Force them to hear a speech from Justice B-l-y .39


Nothing's so clear as, what at first I hinted,
    That unrestricted truth is full of danger;
The mind of man requires to be well stinted,
    Too prone to wander, an unlicensed ranger,
Throughout the universe: and when he's printed
    (For in his thoughts he is no dog in manger)
The wild vagaries which he calls philosophy,
He fills the people with his own morosophy.

Page 51


Balaam, according to the Scripture tale,
    Was sadly puzzled by a talking Ass;
Well might the prophet's noble spirit quail,
    Though in our times 'tis a more common case.
The Ass, I think, did wiser to turn tail,
    Than Rome's gull'd Consuls in the Caudine pass.
True, he saved Balaam's life by what he said,
But then 'tis pleasanter to be obey'd.


Well may we judge from such a fair example,
    How ill with our intentions it would suit,
If Nature, in her precious gifts too ample,
    Had granted speech and reason to each brute;
If horses (just by way of a slight sample)
    Should hint 'tis wholesomer to go on foot.
For sure our pleasures it would much disparage,
If they harangued, when they should draw the carriage.

Page 52


Think, if the ox, when he should go to plough,
    Should stipulate for so much oats and barley !
Think, when you took her farrow, if the sow
    Should flatly tell you, you don't use her fairly !
Or if your dogs, when flogg'd, should make a row,
    And tip it you in Baralipton rarely !
In this case man might tremble, I suppose,
Lest they should soon proceed from words to blows.


Hence, though they talk so well in Æsop 's fables,
    Giving us morsels of such choice morality,
I think it more convenient that, in stables,
    Our horses should preserve the useful quality
Of dumbness; since their master it enables
    To do without the troublesome formality
Of gagging the poor beasts: a kick o' th' side
Serves just as well as speech, when we would ride.

Page 53


Now this same argument, in greater force,
    Applies to Government; but since the rabble,
Like men of more nobility, discourse,
    (By Providence allow'd, alas ! to squabble,
To find in reason's treach'rous light resource,
    Of "laws," "equality," and "rights" to babble:)
No course remains, to save a state from sinking,
But passing laws to keep the poor from thinking.


Ye statesmen, would ye have the people tame,
    Patient to bear much work, and empty belly,
In ev'ry hardship and restraint the same
    As if they fed on oysters, eggs, and jelly,
Be sure you suffer nobody to name
    Such naughty books as those of Percy Shelley,
Paine, Byron, Bentham, Burdon, Ensor, Hone, 49
Volney, Voltaire, or Chenier --no not one.

Page 54


Don't let them read a word that Gibbon wrote,
    Nor Fox 's fragment; don't let them be peeping
In Hume on Miracles; nor let them gloat
    O'er Rousseau 's Contract,- that's quite out of keeping.
In short, admit no book that's worth a groat,
    But only such as set the reader sleeping.
Print new editions of worn-out theology,
And drag once more to daylight old astrology.


The danger we incur from too much light,
    Is not in these our times a new discovery;
In earliest days it was a maxim trite,
    Long e'er reforming mobs began to bother ye:
Though in our age we've carried to their height
    The means from too much reason to recover ye,
The dread of thinkers is no innovation,
But, as I said, began with the creation.

Page 55


All must allow the case is too provoking
    To find one's-self weigh'd down by argument,
Or to endure a sly opponent's joking,
    And be like schoolboy, to one's lesson sent.
'Tis difficult one's malice to be cloaking,
    And look calm dignity, when harshly shent.
Instead of answering a book that blames,
'Tis easier to commit it to the flames.


This practice much prevail'd in former times,41
     Tiberius chasten'd thus fair Clio 's pages,42
Because not complaisant to great men's crimes;
    But Christian priests in more enlighten'd ages
Grown wise, condemn'd the poet with his rhymes,43
    And with their dang'rous tenets grill'd the sages,
To burn his book an author feels a bore,--
But burn himself, you'll hurt his feelings more.

Page 56


But now-a-days, since printing was invented,
    Authors, alas ! have grown so very numerous,
Their crimes are not so easily prevented,
    Which makes the scoundrels finical and humorous.
They rule opinion now, nor are contented
    In these our roasting fantasies to humour us;
While burning books improves not our condition,
Since it but serves to puff a new edition.


Although times change, yet man remains the same,
    His appetites and passions never vary:
Thus politicians still play the same game,
    And still watch truth with jealous eye so wary.
But other methods they employ to tame,
    Compell'd of human life to be more chary,
In France the Censor keeps the journals quiet;
None but the Government Gazettes run riot.

Page 57


At home, we've not arrived at this perfection,
    Though by enormous strides we're fast approaching,
Still have we some good means to curb affection,
    And moderate a pamphleteer's reproaching.
The law of libel circumscribes th' infection
    Of ticklish truths, when "on the peace" encroaching.[*]
That truth's a libel puzzles soundest moralists,
But lawyers make it daily good on journalists.


Libel, bless'd term ! of such choice ambiguity,
    Its ev'ry thing, or nothing, as you please.
To our Crown Lawyers 'tis a snug annuity,
    Source inexhaustible of coming fees;
While each conflicting judgment's incongruity
    Gives scope to sconce the printer with more ease;
The pater might for blasphemy be fined,44
    And he who prints the decalogue confined.

Page 58


How hard the fate, and how unjust to merit,
    That he (whose truly legal stupefaction
First had the vast profundity to ferret
    The law's prime maxim, scourge to the whole faction
Of publishers, which bridles their proud spirit,
    Subjecting truth, like falsehood, to an action,)
Should die, unhonor'd and unknown his name,
Without one blast o' th' nether trump of fame.


He, who th' Ephesian Dian 's temple burn'd,
    Lives, and will live through time, in deathless story;
While he, who endless reputation earn'd,
    If real worth had ought to do with glory,
In no fond lawyer's tuneful verse is mourn'd,
    Nor celebrated by one grateful Tory !
For what's a temple burned, however beautiful,
To rendering a stiff-neck'd people dutiful ?

Page 59


None but a thorough quintessential brain,45
    Impregnated with ev'ry legal quiddity,
Accustom'd to uphold all sides for gain,
    And prone to puzzle facts from sheer stupidity
Traitor to common-sense and all that's plain,
    With impudence to equal his cupidity,
Had plung'd in such a labyrinth of nonsense;
And then, to utter it had found the conscience.46


Arm'd with this maxim and a Special Jury,
    Cull'd by a knowing hand, with sound discretion,--
A Barrister inflam'd with loyal fury,
    Skill'd in each art to torture plain expression,--
A Judge, who knows to play his part demurely,
    It is not difficult, in every session
To give examples of the force of quibbling,
Might sure the most invet'rate itch for scribbling.47

Page 60


Yet so perverse and blind is human nature,
    That libels are esteem'd "your only" reading;48
And prosecutions often make a creature
    Enhance his price, insuring his succeeding.
Give to your book this most enticing feature,
    And all upon its poison will be feeding:
Indict it, and I'll lay an even bet,
Folks e'en would read the Lit'rary Gazette.49


Hence besides hosts of men at arms to chain us,
    And hosts of Parsons giving good advice,
With hosts of Lawyers in our faith to train us,50
    And the Society for curbing Vice,
"The Constitutional," meant to restrain us
    From all enquiries which are deem'd too nice;
We've hosts of hireling authors for supplying,
To keep things tranquil, a strong dose of lying.

Page 61


But à propos to these far-famed societies,
    These new inventions of our times so pious,
We have them now in manifold varieties;
    Some with their "cheap and nasty" tracts supply us;
Some too suppress our moral improprieties,
    Others our Sunday's weekly fun deny us.
There are who overhawl our print-shop windows,
And some conspire to spoil good Jews and Hindoos.


Their various toils pursue one common end,
    One common spirit animates their motions;
Whether the people's politics they mend,
    Or regulate their soup-shops or--devotions,
Whether the Sabbath's ennui they defend,
    Or hunt through pamphlets for forbidden notions;
Suborning perjury with grave formality,
And tempting men to sin,--to serve morality.

Page 62


The lust of sway, the fondness for dictation,
    Inherent in each narrow, selfish mind,
Works most in those who, void of occupation,
    Leisure to look into their neighbours find:
'Tis thus the idlers of each rank and station
    Are for the most part "very, very kind;"
To cottage housewives now imparting rules,
And now inspecting b-m brushings in schools.


Look to the names which fill up each subscription,
    (Auxiliary, branch, and supplementary,)
For putting into force its own presciptions,--
    You'll find of strenuous idlers an inventory;
Idlers of ev'ry possible description
    Array'd to hector, drill, control, and Mentor ye,
Squires, Bishops, Bankrupts, maid and married fusties
All loyal, pious foll'wers of Procrustes !

Page 63


Of subtler spirits, these are the fit tools,
    Who labour hard to prop the falling system;
Who deem the public work, begun by fools,
    By fools must be completed,--so inlist them,
A sort of fourth estate of sumpter mules,
    I'th' march t'wards wealth and greatness, to assist them,
To lend fair names to gild each foul disgrace,
And help them on their devious way to place.


The Constitution (grown the worse for wear),
    By the addition of this curious piece,
Is once more put into some slight repair,
    And, if well oil'd, performs its task with ease.
Kings, Lords, and Commons are not worth our care,
    Unless supported by this new police;
Law, Church, and Army, influence o' th' crown,
Are not enough to put sedition down.

Page 64


E'en all together, with the kind assistance
    Of the aforesaid mystified subscribers,
Scarce hope the Whigs and Radicals to distance,
    Or keep afloat the cause of bribed and bribers,
Against reform to make a stout resistance,
    Confound the dull, and baulk the wit of gibers,
To hold by prosecutions, scribblers quiet,
And starving hinds with tracts and sermons diet.


Hence, while societies the truth suppress,
    With Ort-n, Sh-rp, and M-rr-y on th' alert,51
The M-n-st-rs take up the silenced press,
    Feeing whole swarms of scribes, for flinging dirt.
Scribes skill'd to fib and colour with address,
    And bold, at need, a bare-fac'd lie t' assert:
So Cornish wreckers trust not to dark nights,
But make all sure, by hanging out false lights.--52

Page 65


Curtius, to save old Rome, as Livy tells,
    Jump'd in the riven earth, and stopp'd its gaping;
And Mutius Scævola its annals swells,
    On his own hands a desp'rate vengeance taking;
While Regulus met tortures fierce as hell's,
    Rather than hurt his honor by escaping;
But none of these, according to my notion,
Surpass'd our loyal scribes in their devotion;


For they gain'd glory by their splendid deeds,
    And sacrificed their persons to their name;
For smaller cause the common soldier bleeds,
    And bravely breathes his last, unknown to fame:
But the true hireling spurns at glory's needs,
    And in the cause he follows, welcomes shame;
Encounters ev'ry freeman's scorn and hate,
And lives in infamy--to serve the state.

Page 66


Let no base, envious Jacobin suppose
    That all is suffer'd for the sake of money;
Or that a turncoat love of "order" grows,
    Out of an hank'ring for the milk or honey,
Which in the ministerial Eden flows,
    As certain wits imagine, when they're funny:
'Tis all pure patriotism;--should you doubt it,
I'd not advise you to say much about it.


If in an hundred mouths, an hundred tongues
    (I name an hundred for that Virgil 's choice is)53
Vibrating like an hundred Chinese gongs,
    Making at once an hundred diff'rent noises;
Fed by an hundred pair of brazen lungs,
    Gave utt'rance to an hundred iron voices;
Those voices all would fail, those tongues grow tired,
E'er they could count the number of the hired.54

Page 67


What region of the empire could I mention,
    Free from the echo of their various toils ?
Nay, there are some, whose mental comprehension
    Embraces too our neighbours' civil broils;
So vast the sources of their quick invention,
    So fierce their raging indignation boils,
Not all the Opposition of one nation
Can find them scope enough, nor occupation.


Sometimes on France they make their wild attacks,
    Or sing the praises of the Côté droit ;55
Now lay the sprawling Spaniards on their backs,
    And swear the Cortes are not worth a doit;
The Portuguese perhaps with treason tax,
    Or scourge the Greeks for being too adroit;56
But still their censure fails with most severity
Upon the curs'd United States' prosperity.

Page 68


For first, the Yankees are a standing proof
    Of what by a good government we gain;
(Have we not found th' example a behoof
    To Naples, Piedmont,57 Portugal and Spain ?
Teaching from Feudal bonds to keep aloof,
    And seize their long-lost liberties again;)
And then, they pay, to carry the great farce on,
And prop the government, not one state parson.


Besides, they are so barbarous and rude !
    So totally divested of civility !
Their country is so overrun with wood !
    And in the arts they shew such small nobility !

[Last word in 4th line corrected from nobility to ability in manuscript hand, possibly author's.]

They have no op'ras and their style's so crude !
    And then the savages have no ability !

[Last word in 6th line corrected from ability to nobility in manuscript hand, possibly author's.]

But most each loyal Briton's anger waxes,
Against their want of sinecures and taxes !58

Page 69


No wonder, then, our hireling scribes, so furious,
    America incessantly revile;
For if the English nation, who are curious,
    Should take it in their heads for a short while,
Just for experiment, to grow penurious,
    And vote supplies in the true Yankee style,--
Burke 's fam'd "Corinthian capital" 'twould tumble,
And the State's "decent splendour" too much humble.59


Not Proteus takes all forms with so much ease
    As your true, loyal, pious, hireling hack;
Now his pure panegyrics, tuned to please,
    Proclaim him master of the--butt of sack.
Anon his north-east sentences will freeze
    The trembling victim of his fierce attack;
While still more wild he plies his scourge, because
Himself once own'd the persecuted cause.

Page 70


But most at home the recreant of the muse,
    When, shelter'd in anonymous obscurity,60
He points his venom'd periods for reviews,
    Foments his fest'ring malice to maturity;
Deals out, unknown, the language of the stews,
    And wings his poison'd arrows in security:
Woe to the noble, gen'rous, brave, and free,
If such can suffer aught from calumny !


Time was, when our reviewers, something critical,
    Talk'd about books, and really read their pages;
Gave too of their contents an analytical
    Account--the faithful mirrors of their ages:
But now, more bold, or else less hypocritical,
    He who reviews directer warfare wages;
Not 'gainst the book be strings denunciations,
But 'gainst the author, or his near relations.

Page 71


Finds some defect,--not in his style, or writing,
    But in the ill-made features of his face;
Not 'gainst his arguments and reasons fighting,
    Builds on his personal defects a case;
His gait and gesture, not his wisdom slighting,
    Censures, not wit, but shoulders out of place;
Or, if all these be critic-proof, the cur,
Rather than fail, attacks the publisher.


But, if his eye should glance upon the sheets,
    What's good or pleasant there he never tells;
Seldom on what the author writes he treats,
    But on supposed intentions boldly dwells.
Pounces triumphant, when a fault he meets,
    And ev'ry venial lapse to the utmost swells;
Misquotes to make an error, if there's none,
And, for the author's folly, puts his own:

Page 72


While base revilings trickle from his pen,61
    In terms unfit to meet a modest ear,
Such as in Bedlam's halls, from frantic men,
    Fill the by-stander with unwonted fear;
Such as in fish markets are frequent, when
    The old wives yield their tongues to rage and beer,
Or such as give its vent to G-ff-d 's spleen,
And in his notes on "rare old Ben " are seen.62


God help the writer, then, whom Church and State
    Delight not; who refuses to acknowledge
Dogmas which now are somewhat out of date,
    Or dares to doubt of Van 's financial knowledge;
Who ventures of the Greeks or Spain to prate,
    Or wishes to reform St. Stephen's College;
In such a case the hireling pities no man,
But falls with double vengeance on a woman.

Page 73


Sometimes in solemn, grave, imposing tone,
    Big with importance, and brimful of learning,
In Quarterly Review, with bagpipe drone
    (The fervour of his zeal less brightly glowing ),

[Last word in 4th line corrected from glowing to burning in manuscript hand, possibly author's.]

He proses, like some ancient fire-side crone,
    O'er the same point returning and returning,
Not deep, but muddy; tiresome, though not full;
Nauseous, not sweet, and though not gentle, dull.


Sometimes beneath the churchman's close disguise,
    As "British Critic " will he lull his readers;
Claiming assent from all, to all his lies,
    In dire hostility to all seceders.
To reach a meaning when in vain he tries,
    He rails against sectarian misleaders,
Pert, pompous, dull, the fellow 63 shews his feeding
Is very much superior to his breeding.

Page 74


Sometimes descending to a lower key
    (For in the lowest deep there's still a deeper),
"My grandmother's review,"64 he writes for thee,
    And grows an almost apoplectic sleeper,
A driveller, from sense and reason free,
    Who, only that he's harmless, wants a keeper;
The merest twice-skimm'd milk of all that write,
Flat, foolish, feeble, false and--hypocrite.


Sudden awaking from Lethean slumbers,
    All sparks and tinsel, noisy as a rattle,
He pours his Antijacobinic numbers,
    And, brisk as bottled beer, he wages battle.
No sense of shame his skittish muse encumbers,
    Wisdom and wit he treats, as butchers cattle:
Nor pain nor grief are sacred ;--for his art,
To raise an idle laugh, would break a heart.

Page 75


Again, as changeful as a maniac's dream,
    Through the "New Times" he wends his weary way,
Pours forth his wordy prose, through many a ream
    Distilling drops of thought, from day to day;
By cumberous abuse he seeks to seem
    In downright earnest; though old cronies say,
A true Swiss soldier, deep within his breast
His early principles unalter'd rest.


In "Morning Post" he chatters like a daw,
    On routs and runaways would feign be witty,
Phrase twines with phrase, all jargon and gewgaw,
    "Very good senseless," frothy, smart, and pretty;
Too pert for satire, still he gives the law
    To female goosecaps, both in Court and City;
Imparting topics for each coterie ,
As weak and washy as their thrice-drawn tea.

Page 76


But for the Courier when he wields the quill,
The Atlas to uphold a sinking state,
A Bobadil, his "twenty more" to kill,
And armed alike for journal or debate;65
With double impudence he backs his skill,
And drugs his paragraphs with triple hate,--
With insolence for wit, and rage for sting,
Malice for sense, and lies for every thing.


Official insolence, too often tried
    On the brave tar, the guardian of our isle;
A rage, not art itself attempts to hide,
    That breaks confess'd through his sarcastic smile;66
Malice to slander nations, and to stride
    O'er prostrate millions; and a subtle wile
To worm to confidence its treach'rous way,
Through friendship's heart of heart, and then betray.67

Page 77


Now in the northern Beacon (dang'rous light,
    The pole-star of the Scottish Tory's choice)
He vents his spleen against some Whiggish wight,
    Making, like emptiest barrel, loudest noise;
But long the man of song and legal knight,
    Like giants, in their course could not rejoice:
The bond discover'd, dragg'd to day each name,
They've only to divide the costs and shame.


Mourn, all ye Muses ! veil your conscious tears,
    Lo ! the scorch'd laurel feels the lightning's blast !
How fades that glory, nurseling of your cares !
    How sinks that name which should for ever last !
In vain thy son his hundred triumphs bears,
    Disgrace and vengeance hold their victim fast.
"Who but must laugh, if such a man there be,
Who would not weep, if Marmion were he ?"68

Page 78


Now drunk with anger, lost to self-respect,
    We trace the hireling in fell Bl-ckw--d 's page;
Eager all sense of virtue to reject,
    And wild as the Malay's his murd'rous rage;
So venemous not snakes their crests erect,
    None rave so fierce in Bedlam's closest cage;
Wilful as famish'd tigers in their mood,
He writes with daggers, and he prints in blood.


Haply, John Bull, beneath thy honor'd name,
    He strives to steal his way to notoriety,--
John Bull for centuries exempt from blame,
    Though now for treason censured and impiety.
Spite of a shameless Cabinet's foul shame
    And frequent diplomatic impropriety,
Thy fame is still too fair, for him to pass
His stuff for thine, e'en on the merest ass.69

Page 79


No, in those miscall'd pages, stand in view,
    Reflected, all the vices of the faction;70
Each wish and passion of the desp'rate crew,
    The ruling wherefore of their ev'ry action.
There L-nd-nd-rry 's system we review,
    And estimate the Doctor to a fraction;
The Irish hanging, picketings, and hewings,
And Manchester 's too famed, and murd'rous doings.71


There C-nn-g 's ill timed jests at human woe;
    There, Eld-n 's double superfine hypocrisy;
There, L-ch 's honesty at once we know,
    And W-ll-ngt-n 's contempt for the Democracy;
There, B-th-st 's wit and wisdom brightly glow,
    And S-th-y 's fawning on the Aristocracy;
There, H-- 's morality at large we find,72
And C-r 's malice against all mankind.

Page 80


There, shine their joint tenacity of place,
    Their hatred against all that's great and free,
Their partiality for what's most base,
    And thorough-paced in its subserviency;
There, too, the conscious fear of the whole race,
    At the stern, steady march of liberty;
There doubts, misgivings, tremblings, apprehensions,
For despots, loans, finances, necks, and pensions.


But who shall sing the hireling, when for Pat
    To point his virgin quill he first essays,
More meanly fawning, more profoundly flat,
    More wild in malice, and more fade in praise;
More scurrilous, and yet more prone to rat,
    His early inexperience he betrays;
While yet too weak for British transplantation,73
He writes in Dublin for a proclamation.74

Page 81


With smaller merit than the least can boast,
    Who plod their path obscure in London journals,--
Too coarse for St-d-rt 's ultra-loyal host,
    Too vulgar for the Courier's diurnals,--
By much too foolish for the Morning Post,
    Too blackguard even for "John Bull 's" infernals,
To emigrate he feels were vain presumption;
And manufactures wares for home consumption.


But different occasions make demand
    For diff'rent means and different appliances,
Therefore, as seasons, time, and place command,
    We find 'twixt men and things some strange affiances;
And words themselves are seen, if closely scann'd,
    To change their sense, when forced in new alliances.
Thus 'tis, the Dublin hireling's venal prating
For London readers may require translating.

Page 82


In London, talking of the great Nassau,
    Or naming sixteen hundred eighty eight,
May subject you to feel the Courier's paw,
    As being thought unfriendly to the State;
For though expelling James is deem'd good law,
    The precedent is not approved of late;
And certain views of things make some folks tender
Of censuring too harshly the Pretender .


Not so in Ireland,--there the ready glass
    Drank to the Dutchman, speaks well for your creed:
For though great folks now smile upon the mass,
    Coquet it with the Romans, and indeed
Vote ev'ry Orangeman a mulish ass,
    Ill-treating him of whom they've no more need,
Yet their old friends they use like malefactors,
Not as bad politicians, but bad actors.

Page 83


Then deem not, when they swell the frantic cry,
    Pledging "The glorious Mem'ry" in their drink,
The Irish bigots dream of liberty,
    Or of man's right of freely thinking think;
They look but to their sect's supremacy,
    And Nassau to a factious tyrant sink.
Thus when the hireling boasts the Constitution,
'Tis but in terms a Babelish confusion.


Methinks I hear some sour old crab, didactic,
    Rail in round terms against the loyal Press,
Abusing like a pickpocket their tactic,
    His "blasphemy and treason" to express,--
(Treason, 'gainst which I know no prophylactic,
    Save gaols and gibbets); and 'tis thus, I guess,
He'd give in words his unborn

[Sixth word in 7th line corrected from unborn to inborn in manuscript hand, possibly author's.]

malice vent,
And slander merit to his heart's content.

Page 84


    CURSE of our realms, and scandal of the age,
Ye slaves ! whence springs this more than wonted rage ?
Whence this vast confidence ?  this lust of shame ?
This eagerness to earn a sullied name ?
Dead to all honor, lost to wholesome fear,
Behold the literary Buccaneer
Stalks forth in day to boast his hateful trade,
And makes it his distinction that he's paid.
    Is there a man affecting airs of state,
More easy and familiar with the great,
More insolent in office to inferiors,
More arrogant and coarse with his superiors ?
Who climbs to place, yet cannot reach respect,
Whom, yet, no Minister shall dare neglect ?

Page 85

Who, unreproved, by dint of impudence,
Attains to heights unreach'd by worth and sense ?
Be sure his mighty service to the nation,
The source of his success, is defamation.
Is there, whose turncoat zeal more fiercely glows,
Whose renegado rage no measure knows,
Whose wild intolerance, whose new born grace
(Flashing conviction, when it gave him place),
More impiously insults an outraged God,
Than the worst scoffers, who have felt his rod ?
Be sure this saint to wealth and dignity
Has sought the ready path through calumny.
    Who slanders with his pen would wield a knife,
And he who stabs your fame, would take your life,75
But that, of wholesome law's restraints afraid,
He sticks to lying as the safer trade:--
Lying, the ready talent of a race
Of wretches, whom no other talents grace;

Page 86

The liberty of slaves, the great excise,
From which the worthless cheaply raise supplies.
    Yet not, as erst, the venal, venom'd crew
Slink to their garrets from the public view;--
Through M-rr-y 's porch triumphant see them pour,
Nor seek the shelter of a snug back-door;
The Pulpit, Senate, Treasury invade,
Assume all forms, and ev'ry form degrade.
Malignant, they pursue with ranc'rous hate
The virtues, which they cannot imitate;
Pounce on their prey,--and if they can't destroy,
Make it at least their boast that they annoy.
Invoking peace, they fill the world with strife,
Invade the secrets of domestic life;
And when unsullied worth, and high desert
Stand inaccessible, they fling their dirt
'Gainst all relations to the fourth degree,
And not the dead from their attacks are free.76

Page 87

Nothing's too mighty, nothing too obscure,
The onslaught of their malice to endure;
Whole nations they revile; and now are seen
Stooping to strike a persecuted Queen.
Now against M-ck-nt-sh or Br--gh-m they rail,
And now calumniate Carlile in jail;
Now 'gainst Sir R-bert raise some sland'rous lie,
Now against Waddington their vengeance ply;
Now, envious, nibble Byron 's mighty fame,
Now make some nameless pamphleteer their game.
    Proceed, bold cowards, follow your career,
Th' anonymous can know no check from fear;
Or if, perchance, in some unguarded hour,
You fall within the law's insulted pow'r,--
If quibbling sophistry can't set you free,
Nor yet corruption dictate a decree,--
If Juries do their duty, and the law
Admits no equivoque, no slight, no flaw,

Page 88

Some needy wretch shall lend, or sell his name,
And fed in jail, contented bear your shame.
    Proceed; the times require your utmost aid,
And ply with fiercer zeal your wonted trade.
Lo ! upstart Reason, most audacious grown,
Lifts her two searching eyes, and scans the throne;
And in her equal balance dares to weigh
The altar--thinking when she ought to pray.
Proceed; a stiffneck'd race refuse to fall,
With prostrate intellects at L-nd-n 's call;77
While persecution forces none t' obey,
But calls neglected deists forth to day;
And gaols no longer journalists affright,
But add increace of weight to all they write.
Proceed; for influenced by the fall of rents,
E'en Peers change sides and swell the non-contents;
Deserting pensioners like Cobbett storm,
And trimming Tories bellow for reform;

Page 89

While starving farmers join the gen'ral cry,
And G--ch and H--ll are sent to Coventry.
Proceed; for though confed'rate Kings have sworn
To parcel Europe, from Napoleon torn;
To trample upon human rights and laws,
Making against mankind a common cause;
Though Louis mocks the Charte himself has giv'n,
And Ultras "play such pranks before high heav'n,
As make the angels"--laugh instead of weep,
And missionaries preach the French to sleep;
Though hapless Italy, again subdued,
Sees all her ancient servitude renew'd;
And leaden Austria, by its own dead weight,
Maintains unvex'd and undisturb'd its state
(Like planets which preserve their destined place,
By gravitating, in the realms of space);
Though Europe be one gen'ral fortress made,
And soldiers penetrate its loneliest glade;

Page 90

Though the vast prison-house of all that lives,
To persecuted worth no rest it gives;
Though "the play's over," and "the game is up,"
Though the world's chiefs once more "in safety up;"78
Though Metternich and Pozzo are now able
To make and keep their state-arrangements stable;
And, what's more wonderful than all they've plann'd,
Thy French, oh ! Cast--h, they understand;79
Yet, spite of Congress, visit, and convention,
Of Kings united in one firm intention,
Freedom survives, and calls to all around,
And waking nations hail the sacred sound.
Hark ! from the Tagus peels the joyous cry,
And answ'ring Ebro echoes "Liberty !"
While the pale crescent, hast'ning t'wards its wane,
In darkness sets, and Greece is free again !
And through America's extended shore,
Throne after throne sinks down, to rise no more.

Page 91

    Proceed then, hirelings, point the ready lie,
And give new doubles to each sophistry.
Freedom to all, to you brings loss of place,
A nation's triumph is your band's disgrace,
With deadlier malice drug the sland'rous tale,
With greater boldness patriot worth assail;
Assume, more free from shame, the saintly air,
And, arm'd in impudence, more greatly dare;
Pour forth invective without stint or pause,
Distort, malign, pursue;--and in your cause,
Think all the thousand shafts you speed too few,
Think nothing done, while ought remains to do.80
"Cursed be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,"
Which works no mischief on the common foe;
And cursed the idle day, as spent in vain,
That passes o'er their heads unmark'd by pain.
What though fresh tempests the worn vessel rock,
And ev'ry bending plank scarce bides the shock;

Page 92

What though the breakers speak with tongue too plain
The fatal shallows--in the Premier's brain,
And county meetings, by distress made bold,
Proclaim the water rising in the hold;
What, though reluctant, in each new debate
Your friends, sore press'd to 'scape their coming fate,
Part with some portion of corruption's hoard,
And place on place, compell'd, fling over board,
Still 'tis some comfort, if by art or wile,
Ye raise against your enemies a smile;
If P--l, in love with wit, and turning railer,
Forget his jennies to call H-me a tailor;
Or if to give him transient vexation,
Cr-k-r can fancy a miscalculation;
Then, letting slip your dogs of paper war,
Proclaim the mighty triumph wide and far;
Puff, distich, epigram and squib let fly,
And Tories with a nine hours' laugh supply;

Page 93

So shall the nation feel not its distress,
But all "collective wisdom's" worth confess.
    Great is his merit who can pen a squib,
Or with an air of plain rough candour fib;
Nor less his skill, whose wordy, lengthy prose,
With true no meaning, can completely pose;81
Can place a subject in all points of view,
Present all phases, yet shew nothing true.
Well he deserves, who with remorseless rage
Spares neither virtue, genius, sex nor age;
Whom no warm sympathies, no ties withhold,
Who'd slander father, sister, wife, for gold;
But better he who, doubly arm'd, can write,
And if occasion serve, by turns can fight;
Or he, from all compunctious scruples free,
Who shoots the man he's mark'd--by deputy.
What though some stiff old Whig, of other times,
May brand perhaps such useful deeds as crimes,

Page 94

And, harshly judging them, too nicely shy,
Such "worshipful society" may fly,
Yet saintly W-lb-rf--ce must needs approve
All done or suffer'd for a Premier's love;
While zealot S--they (whose fine sense can tell
All who are doom'd to find their way to hell;
Who deals damnation with no sparing hand
On all the Opposition of the land)
Will yet find out some clause, for heav'n to win
The holy man, who slays a Jacobin.
    All are not giv'n such mighty worth to shew,
All are not giv'n such high-prized deeds to do;
All cannot gain renown "by field and flood,"
Let those shed ink, who cannot wade in blood.
Let him, on death who wants the heart to look,
Murder a reputation, or a book;
Stab with an epigram, to raise a laugh,
Or poison safely--in a paragraph.

Page 95

But if perchance, in roguishness and sport,
He's robb'd the Government, in whose support
He plies the wilting quill,-- if a defaulter,
He merits from the law a whip or halter,
Let not that thought his daring spirit move,
Such liberties but--"shew the more of love."
    Or if a sudden light conviction brings
On one, who long has hated priests and kings,
Reflected from the pocket to the brain,
Proving the mighty "godliness of gain,"
Effecting rapid change, like that sweet call
Which saves the Methodist from Adam 's fall,
To place him with psalm-singing saints for ever;
Or like the healing crisis of a fever,--
Let no remembrance of his former life
Hold him from joining in the wordy strife;
Boldly his former thoughts let him disown,
Nor fear to strike, in other's faults, his own:

Page 96

Let him with zeal pursue his new-sought ends,
Unmoved by recollections of old friends;
Or rather let him with more active hate,
Because they were his friends, his vengeance sate:
For he, who steadily still holds the same,
Whom gold can't tempt, nor persecution tame,
Who strong in reason, and in virtue bold,
Is, was, and will be constant and unsold,
Marking the renegade's apostacy
By contrast, more becomes his enemy;
Deserves one blow, because himself is true,
And, that he shames the traitor, merits two,
Then let no memory of former sin
Awake the latent charities within;
Let no bright visions of that guileless youth,
When all was plain simplicity and truth,
No fond regrets for hearts' ease, ill exchanged
For all, that falling virtue e'er deranged,

Page 97

No thoughts of that sweet intercourse of soul,
When friendship's confidence knew no control;
When, from all selfish calculations free,
Heart beat with heart in gen'rous sympathy,
Frustrate the purpose, or arrest the pen,--
Friendship is but a name, and men are men;
Or, if distinctions from such bonds arise,
They only serve t' exalt the sacrifice.--
    'Tis said by gownsmen that the sorest woe
Which demons midst eternal burnings know,
Springs from a constant thought of that bright sphere,
From which they fell, to dwell in pain and fear,--
From contemplation of eternal bliss,
In dreadful contrast with the realms of Dis,
And from a jealous hate they're doom'd to bear
To virtue, and to all that virtuous are.
So in the hireling renegado's breast,
By many a wild and fev'rish thought oppress'd,

Page 98

The greatest pang, by which his peace is cross'd,
Springs from the thought of independence lost;
From envy of that worth and that good name,
To which himself has forfeited all claim.
So Burke (to Fox and freedom lost), enraged,
A fiercer war against his species waged;
Rail'd with more fury 'gainst the French, to vent
The storm within his burning bosom pent.
So S--y grows a bitterer reviler,
Whene'er the turncoat thinks upon W-t T-ler ;
And so, too, St--t more outrageous raves,
Judgment and decency more desp'rate braves,
When stung by mem'ry that he once was free,
The loudest champion of French liberty.
So L-nd-n-d-rry 's self, whose placid air
Rarely betrays a sense of fear or care,
Whose mazy words but seldom smack of bile,
Who ruins nations with a simp'ring smile,

Page 99

When sometimes moved to speak with slight vexation,
Of "ignorant impatience of taxation,"
To let his deep dislike of Brougham appear,
Or put down Hume 's d--d figures with a sneer,
Perhaps remembers how his life began,
A patriot and United Irishman,82
So all the coals which heap'd on Byron 's head,
Shew sense, and wit, and modesty are fled,--
Bespeaking an instinctive, brutal wrath,
Which, blindly wild, itself alone can scath--
So the invectives impotent and base,
The ages and the country's last disgrace,
Which G--d, with an eunuch's fury fir'd,
And with a more than Tory's rage inspir'd,
Launch'd 'gainst a woman's name, as false as foul,
The black reflections of his own dark soul,
Betray the fierce, intolerable smart
Which envy kindles in the hireling's heart.

Page 100

'Twas not alone the hated tale she told,
'Twas not the fearful truth her books unfold,
'Twas not the contrast of the Frenchman's ease,
Untax'd, unworn, (though that might well displease)
'Twas not the story of Italia's woes,
Of the false promise of her juggling foes,--
No, 'twas that spirit which disdain'd all fear,
Which, strong in conscious innocence, could dare,
Scorning all compromise with fraud or vice,
The hireling's wrath and vengeance to despise:
No, 'twas the frankness, which spoke forth the mind,
No paltry interest conceal'd behind;
Which made no pause to think how truth might tell,
Or whether better buried in her well;
These were the causes made the monster spew
A blacker stream of bile o'er his review;
With more than wonted insolence revile,
And load with more of Billingsgate his style;

Page 101

Dare all contempt, all character defy,
Expose the cause he serves to infamy,--
Forget all prudence, and o'erstep all bound,
The woman, author, wife, and wit to wound.
    But little boots it ev'ry cause to tell
Which serves the tide of calumny to swell;
No spring of action pow'r has left untried,
And ev'ry spring its quota has supplied;--
Hate, rage and envy, jealousy, and fear,
Ambition, avarice, and pride are there.
Mitres suspended o'er the parson's brow,
In dreams of promised recompenses glow.
And D-rh-m 's conclave fancy, ev'ry man,
They clutch the crozier metropolitan.
Hence visitation charges, thick as hail,
And sermons at assizes never fail,
Denouncing e'en by name the great and free,
Reviling all that strive for liberty;

Page 102

Invoking 'gainst the people, ropes, and axes,
To strike at once the foes of tythes and taxes !83
Hopes less sublime might Bl-c-w 's soul beguile,
Bl-c-w, who rail'd himself to durance vile.
(Parsons, by his example taught, beware,
In slandering 'tis not enough to dare;
A Churchman's hate, alone, may answer well,
The hireling's malice certainly will tell;
But both united sublimate the lie,
Outstep the modesty of calumny;
The o'ercharg'd weapon on themselves recoils,
And gaols, not mitres, pay their useless toils.)
Lo ! C-n-g, glutted with the people's wealth,
Thinks upon India, and still writes by stealth.
Str-t, whose long efforts to support the State
The K-- rewarded with a gift of plate,
Unsatisfied, still looks for favours new,
And wants, like harlequin, "the partridge too."84

Page 103

S--ft keeps the jewels and the royal crown,
And grateful, freedom and reform writes down.
While, seated on the Admiralty steerage,
C----r still rails--perhaps to get a peerage.
    Proceed, great masters! all resistance crush,
Divide to reign, and isolate to crush;85
Our nation's frankness to court flatt'ry turn,
And ev'ry thought of independence spurn;
Rave 'gainst blasphemers through th' astounded land,
And eulogize th' informer's deadly band;
On Reynolds, Oliver, and Castles doat,
On Peterloo 's blood-letting fondly gloat;
Traduce the living, mock the mighty dead,
E'en from the tomb they fill your souls with dread;
Fox still inspires, and rallies Freedom's friends,
And Romilly his strength to justice lends;
Sydney still rules in many a Briton's breast,
And Hampden, in Burdett, stands full confest.

Page 104

Pursue them, then, with all your wildest flame,
And add another glory to their name;
Make the isle ring with ultra-loyal cries,
And frighten children with conspiracies.
In your Redeemer's name, t' avert confusion,
Call down the fiery sword of persecution,
And, vaunting Christian charity, conspire
To torture all, who to free thought aspire.
Let none on Ministers unpunish'd rail,
Let none their country's liberty bewail;
Make all who hold their bosom's quiet dear,
And an unspotted reputation, fear !
They, who would lend their willing hands to chains,
May dread a wounded name's unwonted pains;
And they who'd die with courage in the field,
In fear of calumny, may tamely yield.
So frighted Truth shall fly the darken'd land,
And Liberty forsake her fav'rite strand !
England, on Austria's model work'd, shall know,
No laws, save those from loyal lips which flow;86

Page 105

So C--t--bury, deck'd with triple crown,
Shall keep, a second Pope, Sectarians down;
On bayonets and gibbets propp'd, the throne
A sway unlimited and sure shall own:
While pensions, sinecures, and rank shall grace,
Beyond their utmost hopes, the sons of place:--
The people, slaves, their revels shall supply,
Pay tax and tithe, and paying, starve and die !


"A flourish, trumpets ! strike alarum, drums !
    Let not the heavens hear this tell-tale rail !
This wretch, too vile to live upon the crumbs,
    Which fall from Placemen's boards when they regale.
By Jove ! he envies us our scanty sums
    (So small they scarce can keep us from a jail);87
Unless we find some gag to stop such railleries,
Adieu to pensions, perquisites, and salaries !"

Page 106


"Oh ! Dominic !87* what wicked times are these !
    Hark ! how the wretch blasphemes his King and God !
These ravings of the Press, which still increase,
    The near approach of Antichrist forebode.
Yes, the rogue envies us our surplice fees,
    Great and small tithes, and all that heav'n bestow'd !
Where is its thunder ?  where, oh law !  thy sting ?
Who cries no Bishop, means no God; no King.--88


"Yes, pass more acts, fine, banish, flog, and hang
    Our glorious Constitution is invaded.
The saucy traitor, one of Cartwright 's gang,
    Would feign persuade us that our freedom's faded.
Would on close boroughs lay reforming fang,--
    Trust him, and we shall soon be all Jack-Caded--
Reform !  why Lord John Russell 's was complete !
Did he not drive Manasseh from his seat ?"

Page 107


Thus would "the crab" have sung, and thus replied
    Priests, placeman, and corruptionists in fury;
"The Constitutional" would have him tried,
    And smuggle their own members on the Jury;
Two years in Ilchester he might abide,89
    (For libel, that's the time they now immure ye);
The sheriff seize his goods, and by so doing,
Obtain five pounds, and--the defendant's ruin.90


This makes me very glad to find, I made
    The crab's diatribe quite hypothetical,
Or else, perhaps, he'd paid for what he said,
    And left his satire to become pathetical.
In his shoes standing, I should be afraid
    Lest the Attorney's prose should pay my metrical
Ill-speaking of the hyper-loyal crew,
Who write the State's opponents black and blue.

Page 108


Yes, I'm well peased in safety to resume
    The playful muse's easy slip-shod measure;
Which, though it serves us not to fret and fume,
    To play the fool in, is a perfect treasure.
Placemen and priests I'll leave to Mr. Hume,
    Who gives to Ministers but little leisure;
And that's the reason why they cheer and hoot him,
And why they want some Tory friend to shoot him.


In all political and state affairs.
    There's nothing like a pistol for deciding;
When Opposition chiefs are shewing airs,
    A ball will stop the harshest censors chiding.
It is not ev'ry idle talker dares
    The close debate (twelve paces off) be tried in;
In county contests, too, like bribe or treat,
A ball will certainly vacate the seat.

Page 109


But à propos to Hume and his dry summing,
    His frequent calls for papers and economy;
Night after night on th' estimates still drumming,
    Or censuring the guardsmen for gastronomy;
If he's not silenced, spite of all our mumming,
    He'll lengthen ev'ry placeman's physiognomy;
With sinecures and pensions toppling down,
"The necessary influence o' th' crown."--


Yes, this retrenching plan of late admired,
    I own it makes me sometimes quite uneasy;
For should the House, of low'ring rentals tired,
    Adopt it (and it seems a little queasy),
How could ye then contrive to pay the hired,
    Who keep in awe the wits, that else might tease ye ?
Think, P--l, how, dock'd of cash, they'd look askance,
And cry, "no longer pipe, no longer dance."

Page 110


Have you not mark'd when Sirius rules the sky,.
    And parching droughts exhale the scanty dew,
When silenced rills withhold the stream's supply,
    The mill stands still, the miller nought can do ?
Have you not seen, when winds from heaven die,
    Th' inconstant vane, no longer pointing true ?
So hirelings pause, or rat, when guineas vanish;
Their muse and inspiration are--the Spanish,9l


Methinks I hear the Poet's voice decline
    "To piping treble," as the sack runs low;
St--t once more to Jacobins incline,
    The Courier hot and cold alternate blow.
Less virulent, I see the smug divine,
    Some slight respect for independence shew;
The Quarterly the time's distresses feel,
And as supplies diminish, grow genteel.

Page 111


No, the imagination there runs wild,
    The Quarterly can never reach gentility;
Starvation makes not the hyena mild,
    Nor gives refinement to a base nobility.
G--d remains detraction's fav'rite child,
    True to his calling with the rock's stability;
Come what come may, while life shall hold, the creature
Shall still hiss on;--it is the reptile's nature.


'Tis not enough, a people should be happy,
    Victorious, wealthy, prosp'rous, great and free,92
A discontented set of Whigs might trap ye
    To doubt the wisdom of the Ministry,
Unless state Journals with their bladders flap ye,
    And offer you their spectacles to see.
'Tis they alone, our thoughts in order dressing,
Convince us debts and taxes are a blessing.93

Page 112


Left to their own plain sense, no more directed,
    On the "Pitt system" folks might change their mind;
The Opposition speeches, undissected,
    The people to their interest might blind:
While certain men, their daily faults detected,
    Might find the nation something less than kind,
The "jolterheads," averse to vote supplies,
And landlords open to their tenants' cries.


Without the Treas'ry Journals, who could guess
    The vast prosperity of our finances ?
Or dream that Agricultural Distress,
    And falling rents, are little more than fancies ?
Though Lond-nd-ry ev'ry subject press,
    On which his "poet's eye in frenzy glances;"
While jarring metaphors, in chaos hurl'd,
Reknitting, form his new ideal world;94

Page 113


Or though the Doctor, having first suspended
    The Habeas Corpus ,--to preserve things quiet,
Had ev'ry gloomy fellow apprehended,
    Who by petitioning might breed a riot,
And (when in gaol to have his manners mended)
    Doom him to close confinement by his fiat ;
For gagg'd and pinion'd, when folks ar'n't complaining,
That they're contented, may still want explaining;95


Without the Treas'ry Journals, who'd believe
    That Turkish allies mend our Christianity ?
And that, by butchering the Greeks, they give
    An edifying lesson of humanity !
While Moslem tyrants all our aid receive,
    Would not folks deem our missionaries vanity ?
Zeal for religion mere hypocrisy,
And vice-suppressing meetings--all my eye ?

Page 114


Who would not judge, by things abroad they do,
    Our M-n-st-rs rank Papists in their heart ?
Their love of the Establishment a go ?
    So warmly they defend each priestly art !
One almost sees them kissing the Pope's toe
    (Faith I'd near said a more ignoble part);
But Courtly Journals teach that this same Pope,
Is "vital Christianity's" last hope.


'Tis they alone can prove to us so wittily
    That, though in Ireland Catholics are bad,
Monks and Inquisitors may do in Italy,
    The best friends that religion ever had.
Abroad, they teach the people very prettily,
    Though here, they make them with their Sov'reign mad.
Therefore, at home, we shun emancipation,
But force the Pope on ev'ry foreign nation.96

Page 115


I own I should be puzzled to discover
    The deep designs of L-nd-nd-rry 's pate,
(Though, of his Ministry an ardent lover,
    I've followed all he's said and done of late,
While on the Continent he dwelt a rover,
    And while at home engaged in close debate:)
Did not the Treas'ry Scribes, so close and clever,
Give us the reason of each new endeavour.


Else had I often deem'd the M-rq-s thought
    Sufficient for the coming day its ill;
That only, as occasion rose, he sought
    By fresh expedients the new gap to fill;
So that, when time the quarter-day had brought,
    He might not want the grist to work his mill.
But journals prove at ev'ry new convention,
His flounderings still miss the same intention.

Page 116


Since, then, our British brains are grown so dull,
    Since we can only go in leading strings,
Since we are so inclined to play the fool,
    A court newspaper is the best of things;
For if the Courier, Morning Post, John Bull,
    With all our loyal Poet Laureate sings,
Should cease to keep us from each false delusion,
What's to prevent us from a revolution ?


Folks would no more be found to go to church,
    They'd all be running to the play and alehouse;
The fundlords would be all left in the lurch,
    We "look'd for ", and have nobody to bail us.
The schoolboys get possession of the birch,
    And radicals successfully assail us;
While population, pressing each day harder,
Would eat up all the victuals in the larder.

Page 117


The Bible, though of God the revelation,
    Containing all things needful to the soul,
To lead us in the right way to salvation,
    And guide, just as the bias bends the bowl,
Framed e'en by heav'n to last the world's duration,
    Were useless, if the press we don't control;
Should hirelings cease to prove its doctrines true,
Though penn'd by heav'n itself, 'twould never do.


Is then the work, the product of infinity,
    Composed so ill, and with so much obscurity,
That, not explain'd by Doctors in Divinity,
    We lose the chance it offers of futurity ?
Stands safety in our Hebrew, Greek, Latinity ?
    Must man bring heav'n's intentions to maturity ?
And must we think (which certainly seems odd)
That Carlile can undo the works of God?

Page 118


I own I never could indulge such fears:
    In this dilemma placed, we have to choose,
Either the book, inspired, needs not our cares,
    Or not inspired, assent we may refuse.
A zeal to punish sceptics, too much bares
    Doubts of our own, and apprehension shews;
But, as the Church says otherwise, I yield,
And place my faith beneath the law's broad shield.97


This, though, I know (and let who will deny)
    But for the hirelings who uphold the throne,
Who all the Opposition's arts defy,
    The best metaphysicians ever known,
The people right from wrong could not descry:
    Men are but children to full stature grown;
And how should children know, without instruction,
What does them good, or what leads to destruction ?

Page 119


Therefore, once more I say, should cash run fine,
    And Ministers no more afford to pay,--
Should hirelings, thus unfeed, become supine,
    Nor dole their doctrines out, from day to day,--
The Courier from its loyalty decline,
    The Chronicle, uncheck'd, have its own way,
Actum est ! ilicet ! the game is over !
No M-n-stry can longer--live in clover !


The bread no more would rise in bakers' ovens,
    (What's worse) it would not rise so much in price,
Our sprucest Dandies would be turn'd to slovens,
    The butchers' shops would teem with large blue flies,98
Our tender maids would all be changed to tough ones,
    Places would fail in Customs and Excise;
Danger would fall both upon church and steeple,
And gaols hold M-n-st-rs, and not the people.

Page 120


In short, I cannot think on the disorder,
    Which from this revolution must ensue;
Morality, religion, social order,
    Our glorious Constitution 'twould undo:
Each churl would cock his hat before a lord,
    Knock down his hares--provided he aims true;
Our ports would all fill up, our ships lie idle,
And rebel horses would refuse the bridle.


Turn'd out of office, and deprived of place,
    I wonder how the M-n-st-rs would eat !
Or how bestir them in their hopeless case;
    I fear they've hardly [nu][omicron][upsilon][sigma, final] to earn their meat;
Accustom'd long to take , they'd want the face
    To beg; and, pow'rless, nobody would treat.
Though used to serve, yet service would forsake them,
For, with their characters , pray who would take them ?

Page 121


Methinks V--s-tt--t, turn'd upon the world,
    By picking pockets, might attain renown;
And, L-nd-nd-rry from his greatness hurl'd,
    As auctioneer might prose, and pose the town,99
Great W-ll-ngt-on, his conqu'ring standard furled,
    Might wander, a prize-fighter, up and down;
And should all arts escape the doctor's reach,
His taste he still might humour--as Jack Ketch .


A decent college tutor P--l might turn,
    And L-v-rp--l write pamphlets for "the Row;"
Eld-n a pretty livelihood might earn,
    By weeping at an Irish Ulaloo.
B-th-rst in vain would try new trades to learn,
    His years too many, and his wits too few;
C-n--g as Buffo still might run his rigs,
And L--d L--t--nt T-lb-t still--feed pigs.

Page 122


But from such times, as these good Lord deliver us !
    The common folks alone are made for work,
Placemen, we know, though animals omnivorous,
    Are less disposed to bus'ness than a Turk;100
Sooner may heav'n send lightning down to shiver us,
    Than give us to the multitud'nous pork101
Who on the altar and the throne would trample,
And set all Europe a most foul example.


Sooner than so, come Fate into the field102
    And champion us to th' utterance, say I;
Is it for this, we made Napoleon yield
    And sent him to that barren isle to die ?
Is it for this, with taxes we were peel'd
    The better to defend our property ?
Is it for this, we bid the world defiance,
And join'd with despots in unbless'd alliance ?

Page 123


For this, hatch'd treason, ending all in smoke ?
     Kydd, Bonney, Thelwall, and the rest indicting
While Pitt th' immaculate , to hang Horne Tooke,
    Scarcely remember'd e'en his own hand-writing:
For this, once tried Burdett 's seditious book,
    And Hone 's three times, for parodies too biting ?
Pass'd the Six Acts, and Minister's indemnity ?
And forgers hung by troops with such solemnity ?


Is it for this, as Cruickshank 's print displays,
    We turn'd the Constitution upside down ?
(A pyramid reversed, unfix'd it sways
    By guns and sword supported on its crown);
And coax'd the soldiers in so many ways,
    While a post captain's treated like a clown ?
Gave spies such honorable notoriety ?
And sent our pound notes to the Vice Society ?

Page 124


Is it for this, from servants taking pence,
    We buy so many Bibles to distribute ?
Which being pawn'd, the money taken thence
    Is to the gin-shop paid, a ready tribute.
Thus, of religion giving folks a sense,
    We make a man superior to a he-brute;
For asses, as we know, are driv'n by blows,
But your good Christian's better led by th' nose.


Is it for this, in short, in ev'ry clime
    The foes of liberty, we're rarely hated ?
Condemn'd to be recorded through all time,
    The veriest suicides G-d e'er created ?
Attacking reason with a rage sublime,
    Just as by mastiff dogs a bull is baited:
In Holland, Parga, Genoa, or Saxony,
To strengthen tyrants, spending all our tax-money.

Page 125


No, though the nation sink beneath its load,
    Though ploughs be left to trace no more their furrows,
Though manufacture quit her loved abode,
    And no trade thrive, save that in rotten boroughs;
Though Radicals, by loyal yeomen mow'd,
    Find in our swords a cure for all their sorrows,
And gibbets end the few our soldiers spare,--
To save the system, this and more we'll dare.103


If to ourselves but constant we behave us,
    In "the stern path of duty" firmly tread,
Our "pilot" from this second "storm" shall save us,
    And knock all opposition on the head.
The rabble, with petitions though they brave us,
    Shall soon be taught to know when they're well fed;
The poor we still will drive, the rich we'll pigeon,
Huzza ! God bless old England, and religion !

Page 126


Cheer up, cheer up once more, ye venal crew,
    Let not vain fears your firm intentions warp,
With gall additional your ink fresh brew,
    And point your quill as the stiletto sharp;
Teem forth each day, each hour, with venom new,
    And with more sophistry at freedom carp;
Storm, rage, cajole, snarl, fawn, crawl, scratch, and bite,
Cant, slander, and revile,--in one word,--write.


What though our navy wholly be reduced,
    The sailors to America retreated,
Still must the Opposition be traduced,
    Still must the friends of freedom be defeated;
Still must Reformers daily be abused,
    The Q--n, though dead, be libell'd and ill-treated:
For hireling scribblers still we'll keep our pence,
A nation's surest, cheapest, best defence.

Page 127


What though our clerks, at fifty pounds a year
    Be turn'd adrift, to beg or starve i' th' streets,
He who can write a pamphlet need not fear,
    Who pens reviews a certain market meets.
From the poor printer's devil to the peer,
    All who contribute to the Treas'ry sheets,
While loans can be procured or taxes laid,
The bulwarks of the State, shall still be paid.


So shall all principles become unfixed,
    All words detach'd, and loose from certain meaning;
Virtue and vice,--all contraries--be mixed,
    And all reality be lost in seeming;
Tory and Whig the sole criterions fix'd,
    Of right and wrong, and thought be turn'd to dreaming;
Sense, wit, and spirit shall be contraband,
And universal darkness rule the land.

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