In Popular Culture: Literary References

Frankenstein became very popular, particularly after Richard Brinsley Peake's dramatic adaptation in 1823. Throughout the nineteenth century, references to the novel appear in a great many novels and poems, sometimes in serious allusions, sometimes in facetious references. The following list is far from exhaustive.

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In my boyhood time long years ago,     
   When life was half divine,     
I read, with a horror you may not know,     
   The story of Frankenstein—

That student wild and deep who wrought     
   Alone in his silent room,     
Till the monster-man of his midnight thought     
   Took shape in the ghostly gloom.

Then when life woke up in each heavy limb,     
   And the pulses began to play,     
And its dull, blank eyes open'd up on him,     
   He rush'd from his work away.

But still through his life, when Hope held high     
   Her cup full to the brim,     
The demon whose life was his came by     
   And dash'd the bliss from him.

Ah! fearful story it was and seem'd     
   To wear little purpose then;     
But its deeper truths have upon me gleam'd     
   Since I look'd as a man on men.

For still in the hurry and fret of life,     
   When I see the brow bent down,     
And the hand stretch'd out for the straws of strife,     
   Instead of the golden crown,

Then I whisper—Here is one who moulds     
   In his heart, and knows it not,     
A monster that yet will burst its folds,     
   And haunt him from spot to spot—

Haunt him till life's frail powers grow weak,     
   And the hopes we keep to cheer     
Turn away from the deathlike brow and cheek,     
   And come no more anear.

Ah me! what wisdom this might teach,     
   If we lent but our ear and will;     
What inward things would rise up and preach,     
   For our better guidance still!

But this working world rolls on, and we shape     
   All things but the high divine;     
And still, far down in our heart, we ape     
   The story of Frankenstein.

Anderson likens the creation of the "fire engine" to that of "the monster of Frankenstein's."

"On fire-horses and wind-horses we career."     

Hurrah! for the mighty engine,     
   As he bounds along his track:     
Hurrah, for the life that is in him,     
   And his breath so thick and black.     
And hurrah for our fellows, who in their need     
   Could fashion a thing like him—     
With a heart of fire, and a soul of steel,     
   And a Samson in every limb.

Ho! stand from that narrow path of his,     
   Lest his gleaming muscles smite,     
Like the flaming sword the archangel drew     
   When Eden lay wrapp'd in night;     
For he cares, not he, for a paltry life     
   As he rushes along to the goal,     
It but costs him a shake of his iron limb,     
   And a shriek from his mighty soul.

Yet I glory to think that I help to keep     
   His footsteps a little in place,     
And he thunders his thanks as he rushes on     
   In the lightning speed of his race;     
And I think that he knows when he looks at me,     
   That, though made of clay as I stand,     
I could make him as weak as a three hours' child     
   With a paltry twitch of my hand.

But I trust in his strength, and he trusts in me,     
   Though made but of brittle clay,     
While he is bound up in the toughest of steel,     
   That tires not night or day;     
But for ever flashes, and stretches, and strives,     
   While he shrieks in his smoky glee—     
Hurrah for the puppets that, lost in their thoughts,     
   Could rub the lamp for me!

O that some Roman—when Rome was great—     
   Some quick, light Greek or two—     
Could come from their graves for one half-hour     
   To see what my fellows can do;     
I would take them with me on this world's wild steed,     
   And give him a little rein;     
Then rush with his clanking hoofs through space,     
   With a wreath of smoke for his mane.

I would say to them as they shook in their fear,     
   "Now what is your paltry book,     
Or the Phidian touch of the chisel's point,     
   That can make the marble look,     
To this monster of ours, that for ages lay     
   In the depths of the dreaming earth,     
Till we brought him out with a cheer and a shout,     
   And hammer'd him into birth?"

Clank, clank went the hammer in dusty shops,     
   The forge-flare went to the sky,     
While still, like the monster of Frankenstein's,     
   This great wild being was nigh;     
Till at length he rose up in his sinew and strength,     
   And our fellows could see with pride     
Their grimy brows and their bare, slight arms,     
   In the depths of his glancing side.

Then there rose to their lips a dread question of fear—     
   "Who has in him the nerve to start     
In this mass a soul that will shake and roll     
   A river of life to his heart?"     
Then a pigmy by jerks went up his side,     
   Flung a globe of fire in his breast,     
And cities leapt nearer by hundreds of miles     
   At the first wild snort from his chest.

Then away he rush'd to his mission of toil,     
   Wherever lay guiding rods,     
And the work he could do at each throb of his pulse     
   Flung a blush on the face of the gods.     
And Atlas himself, when he felt his weight,     
   Bent lower his quaking limb,     
Then shook himself free from this earth, and left     
   The grand old planet to him.

But well can he bear it, this Titan of toil,     
   When his pathway yields to his tread;     
And the vigour within him flares up to its height,     
   Till the smoke of his breath grows red;     
Then he shrieks in delight, as an athlete might,     
   When he reaches his wild desire,     
And from head to heel, through each muscle of steel,     
   Runs the cunning and clasp of the fire.

Or, see how he tosses aside the night,     
   And roars in his thirsty wrath,     
While his one great eye gleams white with rage     
   At the darkness that muffles his path;     
And lo! as the pent-up flame of his heart     
   Flashes out from behind its bars,     
It gleams like a bolt flung from heaven, and rears     
   A ladder of light to the stars.

Talk of the sea flung back in its wrath     
   By a line of unyielding stone,     
Or the slender clutch of a thread-like bridge,     
   That knits two valleys in one!     
Talk of your miracle-working wires,     
   And their world-embracing force,     
But himmel! give me the bits of steel     
   In the mouth of the thunder-horse!

Ay, give me the beat of his fire-fed breast,     
   And the shake of his giant frame,     
And the sinews that work like the shoulders of Jove     
   When he launches a bolt of flame;     
And give me that Lilliput rider of his,     
   Stout and wiry and grim,     
Who can vault on his back as he puffs his pipe,     
   And whisk the breath from him.

Then hurrah for our mighty engine, boys;     
   He may roar and fume along     
For a hundred years ere a poet arise     
   To shrine him in worthy song;     
Yet if one with the touch of the gods on his lips,     
   And his heart beating wildly and quick,     
Should rush into song at this demon of ours,     
   Let him sing, too, the shovel and pick.

Brydges's long meditation on Lake Geneva describes both its natural and its cultural associations, including Rousseau, Mme de Staël, Calvin, Voltaire, Byron, and the Shelleys. He recalls that "Beneath the roof that Diodati's name / Has consecrated to the Muses," Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein.

There are who think that under all the forms     
Of nature's scenery the mind of man     
Is still the same; that mountain, lake, and hill,     
And valley, and deep woods, and ocean broad,     
No more affect it; and give force no more     
And happiness, than the dull vapoury plain,     
Ever the same, on which the beams of Heaven     
Throw no variety of shapes and colours.     
Not so wise theory, not so experience     
Instructs us: we are children of the lights     
Of the blue sky, and as the spirits move,     
And the veins play, the intellect its hues,     
And motions takes! Thus poets on thy lake,     
O Leman, ought to live:—but yet 'tis rare!

Rousseau, though not in metre, was a poet     
In all the essences of his high genius!—     
Not so precisely eloquent De Stael!     
Tho sometimes in Corinne the Muse's hand     
And voice, and imagery, and emotion,     
Were hers! But round her cradle forms of life,     
And voices, and o'er-labour'd trains of thought,     
Too artificial, and the false results     
Of a luxurious capital, were ever     
Bending her quick and plastic intellect     
To wit, miscall'd the proof of force supreme     
Of the brain's operations, too much stirr'd     
By the collision of base rivalry;—     
Where the strife is for conquest,—not for wisdom;     
And where acuteness more than grandeur marks     
The struggle and the fruit. On Coppet's banks     
The Priestess liv'd impatient: her keen eyes     
Look'd on the tumbling waters, and the giant     
Heights that across them tower'd into the clouds,     
Clad with eternal snow; but yet whose tops     
Morning and evening shone with rosy beams     
O'th' blessed sun! She look'd; but sigh'd for mirrors     
Of artificial splendor, and the forms     
That social fashion ever dresses up     
In whimsical costume, and not the whispers     
Or louder noises of the wave-stirr'd breeze;     
But the pain'd murmurs of the soft coquette,     
Or studied mimickries of tone pretended     
Of beau, or statesman, or cramp'd orator,     
Where knowledge of an accidental state     
Of manners, and of feelings, and ambition,     
Was sillily mistaken for sagacity     
And wisdom.—Nature with her grandest voices     
And most magnificent shapes, and mightiest airs     
Of frame-invigorating elements,     
Was not to Coppet's Baroness so moving,     
As a saloon of Paris fill'd with wits,     
Beauties, coquettes, and nobles, and budge authors,     
Whose passion in the journals of the day     
To figure, prompted to a restless life,     
Full of ennui, and labour charlatanic,     
And feebleness of body, and regrets     
Of conscience for mis-spent abilities!

O strangely various is the human fate,     
And human occupation! How wast thou     
Employ'd, O learned Beza, on the banks     
Of this lov'd lake for a long glorious life     
Of intellectual energies, of taste,     
Thought, poetry, and forceful sentiment,     
And warm, heart-mellowing, and chaste Religion!     
Far different from thy master, Calvin's, was     
Thine heart: not dry, and hard, and in scholastic     
And controversial divinity     
Pent up, but with the captivating graces     
Of ornamental letters deep imbued,     
And joying to the last in the sweet studies     
Of thy gay days of youthful efflorescence.—     
Poet, and moralist, as elegant     
As erudite! when more than eighty years     
Had shook thy trembling hand, till scarce a stroke     
Distinctly it could make, thou didst again     
Freshen with dews these flowers, that in the garden     
Of thy young fancy were rear'd up to bloom,     
And flourish, and put forth their shining hues,     
Spotted with all rich colours, and with scents     
Vernal delighting. There they stand in pale     
And venerable spells, in those fond haunts,     
Where all thy worthies by the painter's skill,     
Geneva, live—and all the labour'd fruits     
Of their enlighten'd minds survive to teach     
Posterity:—and my enthusiast eyes     
Have dwelt upon them, and my feeble skill     
Has striven to decypher them, and mark,     
Compare, and contrast the slow-changing hues     
From over-flowing youth to waning age!

As thou wert champion of the Church Reform'd—     
So keen were Rome's foul myrmidons against thee;     
Then with incessant scandal did they stain     
Thy venerable age, and all the levities     
Brought of thy boyhood to reproach's aid.—     
But thou in conscious rectitude revivedst     
Those early blossoms; and they stand recorded     
In the best types of thy most learned printers;

And now the misty dawn of light begins     
To break upon me! But not yet the hour     
Of three has sounded from St. Peter's tower:     
Yet short the space that after midnight's calm     
Mantle had veil'd the skies, when all but I     
Were wrapt in slumbrous rest, the Muse awoke me,     
And I to my accustom'd toil applied,     
My promis'd task to execute; and now     
While I these lines am writing, quick the rays     
Of sweet Aurora pierce the vapoury gray     
That hastens off, as if affrighted, swifter     
Than birds, that in the heavens dart away     
From their strong-plum'd destroyers!

O how intense the brilliance and the beauty     
Of morning's golden dawn, that over Alpine     
Summits I daily see arise, since thirteen     
Months have near pass'd, and not e'en once have I     
Fail'd from my bed to gaze upon the picture!     
But thus our faculties their vigour gain,     
And I my daily, nightly, efforts ply     
T'approach to spirit! Thought, and words, and images     
Thus multiply, and more distinctly come!     
And on the verge of that extent of life,     
Which is man's common lot, and after sickness     
Of more than four much-troubled years, my brain,     
If I do not delude myself, has grown     
To strength and copiousness, before it knew not.     
But 'tis perchance the cheer!—The cheer has come     
At last, whose want I languish'd for, and now     
Its motions are all energy and hope!     
For nature made me timid: and timidity     
Sits like a vampire over the mind's efforts.

Coppet, when the Genevan Banker, risen     
From counting his dry figures, to the state     
Of Minister of mighty France, in times     
Which all a politician's wisest powers     
And most consummate arts call'd into play,—     
Possess'd thee,—little were thy master's habits,     
And trains of mind congenial to the fierce     
And chivalrous ambitions, that in days     
Of feudal splendor did for many ages     
Rule thee, as thy proud lords! O gallant Grandson,     
Burgundian chief, whose name is yet familiar     
Throughout old Jura's heights, and echoes yet     
Along Helvetian mountains, whose mail'd warrior     
Amid the Gothic wonders of Lausanne's     
Rich shrines in proud recumbent figure lies     
Sculptur'd in stone, full many a tale have I     
To tell of you; but the capricious Muse     
Must wait her time.—Wide and remote the current     
Of thy impetuous blood impelled thee on     
To distant regions, and among the Barons     
Of haughty England was thy stock establish'd;     
And from thy veins the proud ambitious Beauforts     
Sprung, and the saintly Margaret, the mother     
Of the seventh Harry, monarch of the Isles     
Whose swords, wealth, gallantries, and genius strong,     
Have ever held their sway puissant over     
The destinies of Europe:—monarch, sage and wily,     
And prudent, and to whom, albeit stern     
And avaricious, England much of vigour,     
And much advance in commerce and the arts     
Owes,—of the Tudor dynasty the chief—     
A dynasty whose reign was short, but mighty,     
And glorious—e'en though thou capricious king,—     
A tyrant in tyrannic times; a lover     
Of numerous wives, whom soon as sated with,     
Of blood regardless, thou didst to the scaffold     
With hatred merciless and savage humour     
Consign—e'en thou, detested despot, were     
Chief of the Line!—For from thee came a princess     
Splendid, as most that on the' historic page     
Have their reigns blazon'd! Yes, from Coppet's lords     
Part of thy blood came in a gallant stream!

O alter'd times! O good and evil mix'd,     
That changes have effected! O how different     
Was the wild splendor of thy board, De Stael,     
When in October's moody evenings, as     
The sobbing breeze drove the leaves on the Lake,     
And stripp'd the groves of their umbrageous honours,     
The gorgeous blaze of lamps the guests attracted,     
Of wit and genius, to thy table, spread     
With modern luxuries! Then converse bright     
Eclips'd the show of the Financier's wealth.—

And here again to thy fond name, O Byron,     
I must return! I see thee listening now     
To the conflict where at every dart flash forth     
Splendors thou canst not reach; and then half angry,     
Or envious, half delighted, thou dost shrink     
Moody into thyself, and as the blast     
By fits comes shrieking, or in deep hoarse roar     
Over the beating waters, of thy boat     
Think'st, and half risest to enjoy the battle     
Of more congenial elements without;—     
But then again to thy luxurious seat     
Thyself thou reconcilest, and wouldst yet     
Hope not eclips'd and vanquish'd to depart!     
O pride intolerable, yet with flashes     
Of generous submission and humility,     
And admiration of corrival powers,     
When not insulted, and the victory     
Borne with meek placidness, devoid of vain     
Arrogant triumph. But thy mind remains     
E'en now but half develop'd, firey Bard!

Perchance a poet only well can write     
A poet's life, and such the fate which thee,     
O Bard of Newsted, has awaited: Moore,     
England's Anacreon, has fulfill'd the task;     
But now and then it may be thought the strain     
Was not congenial;—the profundity     
Of the great poet's gloom was of the heart;     
His frolic levities were but assum'd!     
And sometines his companions seem'd th'effect     
Of chance more than of choice. Thus he who perish'd     
Upon the shores of Lirici so fatally,     
Whelm'd in the waves of the tempesturous Ocean—     
Himself also a bard,—but yet a bard     
Of mingled stars and clouds!—he touch'd the lyre     
Sometimes in happier hour with a light hand,     
That drew forth tones most exquisitely sweet;     
But then again he labour'd in confusion     
Dark, enigmatic, falsely gorgeous, struggling     
To grasp at monstrous unmatur'd conceptions,     
Unmanag'd, and unmanagable, mystic,     
Dangerous, sceptical, and fanciful.

Beneath the roof that Diodati's name     
Has consecrated to the Muses, he,     
The victim of the stormy billows, pass'd     
The autumn, to the noble poet big     
With such heart-swelling sorrows!—He whose tales     
Of Monks profane, and of hobgoblins dire,     
Won a false sensual taste, and a foul fame     
Of spurious wit,—a guest was also there;     
And she the genius deep of Frankenstein,     
And others known perchance, or thirstily     
Aspiring to be known,—a motley crew;—     
Not one congenial with his noble host!

Above thy banks, O Leman, to a point     
Where thy waves gather, at its western bound,     
And, issuing in a purple torrent, force     
Their passage thro the strait, on whose steep banks     
Stands thy fam'd city once the capital     
Of the Burgundian realm— now numerous     
On thy o'ershadowing heights the fair campaignes     
Glitter. Here d'Aubigné the fair abode     
Of his last days, the wreck of a long life     
Of busy conflicts and adventures bold,     
Fix'd;—while his plume as ready as his sword     
Told the long tale of many a feat of gallantry,     
And many a court intrigue, and many a danger,     
In the fierce wars of bigot zeal, which stain'd     
The bloody struggles for a pure religion.

O Bourbon, in whose generous character,     
The wit, the hero, the sagacious wordling,     
The chivalrous adventurer, the lover,     
The friend, th'abandon'd to luxurious pleasure,     
A many-colour'd web of brilliant hues     
Is woven, and whose threads of gloomier tint     
Were cut at last too short by the dire dagger     
Of an insane assassin, well has d'Aubigné     
Recorded the memorials, that still prove     
The truth of thy well-merited renown!

Here in his old age were the nuptials gaily     
A second time perform'd, and proud Geneva     
Received him to the bosom of a House,     
It cherished much—from Lucca's warmer skies     
Transplanted,—Burlamachi's race, long flourishing—     
Extinct at last. But from his veins descended     
Of his first issue one, who to the heir     
Of his great kingly friend, and to the court     
Of brilliant and ambitious France, nor less     
To Europe's wide-spread nations, was a star     
Of female brilliance, that eclips'd the lights     
Of other deep intriguers! Maintenon,     
Who does not know thy name; while yet thy character     
Remains an half enigma, which Saint-Simon's     
Piercing, acute, sincere, but somewhat tedious     
Pen, has not yet entirely clear'd from doubt?

Here Rohan's Duke, who fought so long with bravery     
The Protestant cause against the force of France,     
The remnant of his days, to seek for calm,     
And nature's tranquil but majestic scenes,     
Appointed, and in thy cathedral walls     
His relics, and the funeral memorial,     
Defil'd in latter years by hands profane     
Of revolutionary rabbles, still     
Beneath thy Gothic roofs, displays its broken     
Sculpture: but better were the history     
Of his field-active days, for prose than verse;     
And well has he himself the story given.

Here Bonnet on low Genthod's jutting point     
In philosophic studies, natural science,     
And expositions of the Power Divine,     
His long life of incessant study pass'd.     
If reader thou art curious, thou mayst read     
In the rich pages of historic Müller     
The record of his calm yet busy days,     
And virtuous simple life. Here Mallet vers'd     
In antiquarian lore, and philosophic     
Annals of Europe's politics, his labours     
Oft gather'd from the sources far remote     
Of other realms, beneath more northern skies     
Sometimes applied; tho from his native soil     
Distant, too much of his researchful life     
Was spent: but not on frozen themes, or rude;     
For curious are the sources he evolv'd     
Of the bold Runic Muse; and much our Gray,     
And much our Percy, of old poetry,     
The elegant and learned chronicler,     
Drew cups of inspiration from the fount!     
But richly-stor'd, and eloquently-gifted,     
Sismondi has a brief memorial given     
Of the learn'd annalist; and now his fame     
Rests undisturb'd. Here Stanhope from the councils     
Of Albion's ermin'd robes retir'd to nurse     
His scientific passions: here Mahon     
In his sire's dry philosophy imbued,     
Yet with the passion of an ardent mind,     
Drank in republican notions from his cradle,     
And in his manhood to his native land     
Returning, spent a life of usefulness     
In his laborious youth's profound pursuits     
Of science practical, and in the plain     
Habits by puritanic Calvin nurs'd.     
But he was wise and virtuous,—and, exempt     
From pride aristocratic, wide secur'd     
Love and respect, though sometimes intermingled     
With scorn dealt out by brother-peers, who thought     
Their ermine soil'd by puritanic manners.

So Pitt, his near alliance, though himself     
Of manners plain and simple, and absorb'd     
In intellect, yet deem'd: nor would allow     
The politics of a minute republic     
Well suited to a mighty kingdom's state:     
And surely wise and undeniable     
Was the great Minister's judgment: for the rule     
Of human beings lies upon the heart;     
And not in dry deductions from the mechanism     
Of reason plied to abstract sciences:—     
And the mere reasoner is a man who sees     
A distance short—nay shortest, while the lamp     
Of bright imagination, that has insight     
Of the dark passions working in man's bosom,     
And has sagacity and judicious choice,     
Alone can lay profound designs, adapted     
For government of man's mysterious character.     
Thus Burke,— of politicians of his age     
The nearest inspiration,— thought: and thus     
Immortal Bacon, the bright luminary     
Of science!—Thus endow'd have ever been     
The mighty statesmen of the world: thus Buckhurst,     
Clarendon, Somers, St. John, Pulteney, Carteret,     
And Chatham, high and bright above the highest.     
Thus Canning, latest dead, and most deplor'd     
In days of utmost need;— since which the glory     
Of Britain's radiant countenance has paled     
Her beams in darkness to the rival eye     
Of Europe,—envious then,—triumphant now,     
And most insulting! But a little while,     
And proudly shall she raise her head again,     
And bid defiance to her enemies!

But I am once more wandring,—ever flying     
Back to those native soils, which scarcely man     
Could ever from his bosom's depths eradicate;     
However like a stepmother she acted!

Geneva, cherish'd, lov'd, admir'd Geneva,     
I will resume thy tales gain, and bring     
Thy worthies back to view! Here the learn'd stock     
Of Stephens half a century pursued     
Their most enlightened toils, and hence sent forth     
The stores of ancient literature, to teach     
Reviving taste, and those enlighten'd strains,     
Whether in verse or prose, which Greece and Rome     
Had once instructed, and adorn'd the world with;     
And which for long long centuries inhum'd     
In monkish cells unnotic'd, now came forth     
By late-discover'd printing's aid, (decipher'd     
By erudition never rival'd since,)     
To the film-clear'd, and sharp enraptured eye     
Of Learning's sons, in types correctly plac'd,     
Text clear, and notes and comments, keen, profound,     
The fruits of talent, sedulously bent,     
And ardent deep research, incessantly     
Pursued, and never weary.—Son to son     
The erudite and happy zeal descended,     
In generations more than I can count:     
But in thy pages, classical Maittaire,     
The story may be found; and he who reads     
And feels no interest, is but a clown     
With a clod heart and head of barren wood.

Here Henry thou, of this Stephensian race     
The third,—but not the last,—didst carry on     
Thy erudite and most wreath-worthy works     
In moody humour, thou thyself a wit     
Of most capricious hues, sometimes in joy,     
But oftner in dark clouds and heart-consuming     
Adversity: and sometimes with thy brain     
Disorder'd by the troubles, and the restless     
Emotions of thine ever-busy spirit!

Then Casaubon, perchance by thine alliance     
Prompted, his days of unrelenting study     
Gave to pursuits congenial; and his name,     
And the ripe fruits of his assiduous culture,     
Live as of yesterday. Again my theme     
Leads me to native regions: England's Monarch     
Attracted by his learned reputation,     
Hence drew him, in the splendor of the throne     
Of Britain, recompence and patronage     
To seek; and thus the son, part-heritor     
Of his paternal arts, was plac'd a canon     
In Dorovernium's magnificent     
Structure, where Becket's archiepiscopal     
Blood purples yet the church's sacred stone,     
And, neighbouring Ickham, thou, whence last my sickly     
Frame I transported hither, didst receive     
The learned critic for thy church's pastor!

Hence, Stanley, thou of Greek celebrity,     
Perchance thine Æschylusian notes and comments     
In part mightst draw, for Casaubon in ties     
Of social vicinage might oft enjoy     
Thy conversation, where in bonds of union     
The travel'd and poetic Sandys, and Digges,     
Of fame historic in the civil broils     
Of those unhappy days, and many a name,     
In registers of learning yet preserv'd,     
Liv'd in alliance and kind neighbourhood:     
And thy descendants, Meric, yet remain     
In Durovernium's walls, and in its province!

Thus ever have thy sympathies and ties     
Of blood and friendship, O Geneva, been     
With England's children! Nor is Ickham's hamlet,     
Its ivied towers, and its rude antique rectory,     
And thy rich pastures, Lee, now first connected     
With the broad Lake, where mountainous Mont-Blanc     
Daily in majesty among the clouds     
Smiles, or frowns over the assembled torrents     
By Alpine fountains fed, and sends its waters     
By the circuitous Arve's impetuous channels     
To join the Rhone, that through the narrow gorge     
Of Alps and Jura met, in purple stain'd,     
Bursts with a fearful roar!—Yet distant countries     
Not then, as now, communication held     
By beaten tracks, and all the luxuries     
Of easy transit, while the missive charge     
Of the pen's register'd mirror of the mind     
Was slow and interrupted. Nations now     
Mingle almost as brothers of the same     
Stock, education, habits, morals, feelings!

Voltaire! I hear thy spirit vain reproach me,     
That I so long have thy proud name delay'd!     
Close to my window lies thine ancient haunt     
O'erlooking the blue waters, and the towers     
And cluster'd roofs of old Geneva's town,     
Once princely and imperial, now to other     
Glory political aspiring!—Here     
By appellation known, that well befits     
The purposes it sought, (for les Delices     
'Twas call'd, and still is call'd,) the accomplish'd Bard     
His captivating lures to the sour temper     
Of puritanic strictness dar'd display.     
Here the world by the drama's mirror he     
And all th' attractions of Parisian gaiety     
Shew'd! till th'insulted government assuming     
Its proper force, to Ferney's French domains     
Expell'd him! 'Tis a perilous adventure     
To draw the portrait of a genius, whom     
The world has for a century endeavour'd     
With all the force of critical acumen     
To paint in his true colours; who e'en now     
In popularity thro all the letter'd     
Society of nations still augments!     
For me against a sense so universal     
To lift my voice seems madness.—I have task'd     
My taste and judgment o'er and o'er again;—     
And yet I think the same!— I am not able     
This charm to pierce: in it there is to me     
But little merit, and still less attraction.     
It is a clear transparent stream of elegance,     
With a light bottom. Never does it rise     
To eloquence, or energy!—It has     
The art of throwing all vain accessaries     
Away, and seeming to extract the essence     
Of every subject:—it is in sooth a trick,     
If I may so express myself, of saying     
Trite things, adapted to the apprehension     
Of common minds, as if they were discoveries     
Of deep and philosophic genius; and     
A shrewd appeal to what the populace     
Calls common sense;—forever mingled with     
That jest and ridicule and irony     
And taunt, which are the unresisted masters     
Of vulgar intellects. But for the heart,—     
The generous feeling,—the emotion grand,—     
Never by chance is there a single spark!     
His proper motto is—"The world's a jest,     
"And all things shew it!"—But the world is not     
A jest! and therefore he's no sage or bard!     
Yet even in the apprehensions of     
The people will a witticism be     
The most consummate and resistless argument;     
And he who laughs;—and has th' ungenerous talent     
To see th' absurd, or make it, holds a rod,     
A spear—whose touch is instant victory.     
But I would never trust the bosom, which     
First sees th'incongruent in presented objects,     
Material or ideal!—It betrays     
A littleness of mind; a microscopic     
Habit of searching with ungenerous labour,     
Not for the good, but bad:—for combinations     
Invented ill; for failures, which may prove     
Man's being, and the Universe, a folly!—     
It soothes frail human envy to believe     
There is no greatness;—that pretended wisdom,     
Virtue, and magnanimity, cannot     
The sharp dissecting eye of wit withstand;     
And that the greatest sage is he, whose insight     
Can shew them all to be unsound delusions.

Thou wast, Voltaire, as I conceive, in midst     
Of all thy worldly elevation, ill     
At ease in thine own heart;—thy spirit working     
To carry thine own points by artifice,     
Mistrustful of intrinsic strength or greatness;     
Thinking that genius was, in truth, a farce;     
And in thine own art drowning all thy comfort;     
Seeking the plausible, and not the true;—     
Witty, not wise; and deeming grandeur, beauty,     
To lie i' the pictur'd image only;—not     
In the reality! the passions ever     
At work to crush thy rivals by deep artifice     
And living only in the vain applause     
Of loud capricious multitudes! In thee     
There was no genuine love of nature's charms;     
Of beauty no idolatry;—no fictions     
Of fairy lands; no heavenly visitings     
Involuntary of imagination.     
But ever the long studied combination     
Of forc'd, not forceful, art!—Then daily watchfulness     
Of rival power no peace within the bosom     
Left, and the rising genius of Rousseau     
Was poison thus to thy frail veteran breast.     
And thus in secret were the enmities

Of the all-morbid dreamer's fellow-citizens     
Nurs'd, and incessant by the insidious darts     
Of wit perverted the sad wanderer's step     
Prevented from return to the dear spot     
Of his inspir'd nativity! But ye,     
Who in these two dispute the palm of genius,     
First fix precisely that which constitutes     
True genius! If, as said, it be th'invention     
Of what is grand, or beautiful, or tender,     
And simpathises with the native movements     
That Heaven into the human breast instils,     
Then who will most abide this test? the rhymer     
In verse prosaic of dull Ferney's lord,     
Or he, the eloquent and passionate     
Dreamer of Heloise's melting bosom,     
The painter of the storm on Leman's Lake,     
The muse-enchanted wood-crownd rocks that hang     
Over the bright waves at La Meilleirai:     
If it were true, that Ferney's Lord has drawn     
Man as he is with more fidelity,     
'Tis man alone in his material essence,     
Mingled with earth's contaminating grossness.

Genius is better conversant with man's     
Feelings and thoughts than with his coarsest actions.     
O call not this delusion! Virtue lives     
More in the mind and heart than in the body,     
And all of grandeur we enjoy, and beauty,     
And love, and admiration, not the less     
Is genuine, if it only be ideal!—     
Without th'associations, which the mind     
To matter brings, it is a barren essence.

It may be said that Ferney's Bard is ever     
All intellect:—but then it is an intellect     
Applied to Man in his most artificial     
Condition in society; with manners,     
Passions, ambitions, toils, pursuits of pleasure,     
Of judgment rules, and estimates of merit,     
Conventional,—far more the close result     
Of nice observance, than of pure invention:     
Not the embodiment of abstract thoughts     
In living imagery, but itself abstraction,     
Subtle, unsimpathising with the heart,     
Calling forth only the keen faculties     
Of apprehension, judgment, memory!—

These are miscall'd delusions, which removed,     
Then all the charms of life dissolve away!     
It is not reason, which the callous give     
That sacred name! They stupidly call reason     
That which their hands can touch, and eyes can see,     
And ears can hear; and they are sceptical     
On all which is unseen, unheard, unknown,     
Save in the regions of imagination!     
So, when the heart at the sublime and fair     
In Man's conceptions to high rapture swells,     
They call it an irrational delusion!     
Thus reason is the damper and extinguisher,     
Which not produces fruit, but only blights it.

Far up among the mountain gorges lies     
The rude domain of craggy Faucigny.     
Its ancient feudal lords were sovereign princes;     
And high were their alliances, and rivals     
Of the Genevan Counts, and those of Savoy!     
Oft on the summits of its crags are perch'd     
The fragments of their castellated towers     
Among the clouds in most magnificent form;     
And in its narrow vallies green is view'd     
The loveliness of nature in her softest     
And sweetest hues and features. There, St.-Gervais,     
I pass'd an autumn month in thy abode,     
Since which twelve busy years have pass'd away,     
Bringing in their career full many a change     
To Europe, and to half the world besides!

Imagination cannot figure scenes     
More beautiful, more grand, of rural shapes     
And hues more full of ravishment,     
Than thine, St.-Gervais, in an autumn day     
Of splendor; nor a peasantry in childhood     
Of face more lovely, and seemingly more happy!     
Beneath th'incessant sound of the cascade,     
In foamy torrents of white spray descending     
From its precipitous heights, was plac'd th'abode,     
For congregated crews of strangers built,     
Who come the medical powers to seek of waters     
Sulphureous, bursting from its iron rocks!     
It is a strange concurrence, from all nations     
Deep in this mountainous solitude to meet     
The creatures of the busy social world,     
Soldiers, and politicians, lawyers, authors,     
Churchmen, and men of commerce, fluttering insects     
Of buzzing fashion;—most in morning rambles     
Seeking by air and exercise, and impulse     
Of viewing nature's wonders to beguile     
The loneliness and savage imagery,     
Which overcomes the feebleness of spirits     
Of artificial creatures bred in cities;     
A vain enervating and languid course     
Of days to seek a false enjoyment in!

Roving along the river's banks, or clambering     
The rocky summits by the brushwood twigs,     
Or by the circling or meandring paths     
Cut thro dwarf woods, hard labouring up the steeps     
To hamlets perch'd like eagle eyries high     
Among the snowy clouds, where yet the haunts     
Of mountain-peasantry at crowded marts     
Are found with human commerce babbling loud,     
And striking by the sight of wild costume,     
Of Alpine loneliness, where half the winter     
In snow immur'd they sleep their hours away!     
Yet here the busy passions, here the cunning     
Of bargain-makers, the pert vanity     
Of ogle-eyed coquets, in restless search     
Of admiration, the devices subtle     
Of craving avarice, and the dull obstinacy     
Of boors, from ignorant demand ne'er driven!

But, O how active in these mighty frolics     
Of nature is imagination's power!     
Here where the ruin'd turret, hanging still     
On heights of seeming inaccessibility,     
Impels the mind to work upon the hardihood     
Of feudal gallantry, yet richly dight     
With chivalrous adornments of grand feasts,     
The music and the dance, and beauty's eyes     
Reigning their influence,"— the heart-rousing tale     
Of damsels in distress, by giants held     
Imprison'd, and by fell enchanter's wands     
Kept in delusion's sense-distracting wiles,     
In danger to the pure fidelity,     
Sworn to some favour'd lover,—with a store     
Of fictions raising up the hair on end,—     
Visit thy poet's dreams, and daily musings:—     
And here with half-shut eyes he sits, absorb'd     
In visions, while the torrents roar, and sparkles     
Of upthrown spray awake him now and then;     
And from his seat he starts, and recollects     
He yet is mingled with the damping intercourse     
Of daily life, and groveling characters,     
Who lick the dust alone, and crawl the earth;     
And soon the bell will sound to summon him     
To crowded table of world-judging strangers.

Beneath the scorching sun too oft I rambled     
Over thy burning rocks; when fierce disease     
Rag'd in my veins, and made my painful footsteps     
Trembling and insecure; and thus when winter     
Came sharp at Florence over Arno's waves,     
Curdled my blood again, and I once more     
On the sad couch of sickness doom'd to linger,     
Pass'd many a month, while o'er me death his dart     
Held. Still I strove the mental flame to nurse,     
And with the visions of the moral fable,     
And curious rolls of antiquarian lore,     
Alternately my agonies I sooth'd:     
Nor yet are all the fruits of those fair studies     
Utterly faded and forgotten. Willoughby,     
Thy fiction, seemingly historic, draws     
Sometimes the thoughtful reader's eye, where shines     
Raleigh's adventrous spirit, mingled with     
Thy softer sufferings, sweet Arabella,     
Punish'd for too much royalty of blood!

And thus the genealogic lore work'd out     
From many a dry and uninviting source,     
Stands in fair types of thy illustrious city,     
O Florence, ancient seat of mighty genius,     
Of splendid arts and learning from the dust     
Of black oblivion to full life recall'd!     
Sometimes 'tis good that we should quit the world,     
And in earth's most magnificent solitudes     
New-plume our wings for contemplation.     
But th'intermixture of the odious puppets     
Of that world's most delusive stage, our steps     
Following, defeats the working of the spell.     
Strange mixtures in my mind did that month's residence     
Produce;—and not less strange, perchance, upon     
The morbid current of my heated veins,     
By force of the sulphureous waters, that     
The vapoury rocks threw forth. There, Coningsby,     
I clos'd thy tragic Tale: a tale neglected     
By the hard-hearted reading multitude;     
Yet, confident am I, not undeserving     
Of sensibility's abundant tears.

These Baths did for a time appease the tumults     
Raging within my being's purple streams:     
But much I doubt, if they did not repell,     
Rather than cure. For never from that year     
Has my blood rightly flow'd. And then the troubles     
Of mind and heart, without the added pangs     
Of a disorder'd body, were sufficient     
To overwhelm gigantic strength of spirit!

But Italy, O Italy, in charms     
Of Nature most profuse, would I could live     
With thee! The Alpine passage to thy realms     
Gave me new life by its stupendous grandeur.

And thou, O Florence, smiling then in warmth,     
Like spring, though dark November's clouds in other     
Climes were collecting o'er the misty sky!

But Winter came at last,—and with a vengeance,     
As sharp as in the dreaded North! And now     
I sunk once more, and bow'd to kiss the feet     
Of Death. In that forever-fam'd abode,     
My hours were doom'd to the sick chamber's bounds,     
And where adored poetry, and rich painting,     
And magic sculpture, reign'd o'er every scene,     
And shone on every wall; where history,     
And all the mellowest eloquence of learning,     
Haunted all sites; and Medicean splendor     
Was intertwined with every hallow'd object,     
All was a blank to me! For in the tortures     
Of my convulsed frame, and use of limbs     
Lost, my position was scarce more auspicious,     
Than in some dull unconsecrated haunt.

Then once more with the spring the fever'd blood     
Seem'd it's sad venomous bitterness to calm,     
And now where Virgil's holy relics lie,     
And o'er the Neapolitan Bay the summit     
Of proud Vesuvius vomits fluid flames,     
My destiny convey'd me. Pisa fam'd     
In all Italian annals, and of late     
To Britons dear for its most noble poet's     
Abode, in the hurried tempest-shaken days     
Preceding his heroic Grecian death,     
I pass'd, and at Livornia's busy port     
First cast my eyes on Mediterranean waves.

Thence round Italia's shores, and sea-gem'd isles,     
Elba, and Sarde, and many a name in story     
Familiar, for eleven long sunburnt days,     
We voyag'd—not without full many a peril     
Of tempest and of pirates; and with joy     
Laugh'd, and were near convuls'd, when that bright Bay     
Of glorious beauty and sublimity     
Mix'd, to whose shores our frail and crowded bark     
Was destin'd, open'd on our dazzled view.     
'Twas noon, the end of May:—the radiant sun     
Was on the bosom of the mighty waters,     
And on the tops of the unnumbered promontories,     
Towns, hamlets, castles, villas; and St.-Elmo     
Shew'd her magnificent summit. To the harbour,     
Crowded with ships of many a distant nation,     
Our prow in joy exulting cut its way.

The solar beams now with a flame intolerable     
Shot right upon our heads: and still we had     
T'endure the torments long of quarantine,     
Mid crowded vessels, filth, and stench, and noise,     
Lock'd closely side to side,—the suffering     
Was scarce endurable;—and then, to crown it,     
My passport was irregular,—and I     
Was threaten'd with a prison, and had nearly     
Incurr'd that order of a despot power.

Now in that beautiful and unrival'd city     
Hotels were crowded, and around the beds,     
And on the floors where we repos'd, were seen     
Scorpions disporting in dire multitudes.     
But soon, Chiaia, thy enchanting spot     
Receiv'd us, with Vesuvius on our left,     
The Bay before us—and upon the rock     
Of laurel to the right where Sannazaro     
Dwelt, the still worship'd tomb where Virgil sleeps!     
There six sweet months of nature's highest brilliance     
We whil'd away, though Carbonari troubles     
For a short moment clouded our fair joys     
With fear and peril, and at last the storm     
Blackening, and seemingly about to burst,     
Drove us away to Rome. It was an earthly     
Paradise, inasmuch as nature's charms     
Could make it one—and ill departed from!     
For Rome—the heavy air to me o'ercame     
All its attractions. Not a day of health     
There could I find, and gladly did I seek,     
After four months another change of climate.

Then thee, Ferrara, fam'd for Estè's house,     
And Tasso's amorous madness, and ye hills     
Of Euganean lustre, that the beams     
Of eve on Petrarch's holy age reflected;     
And Padua, thee; and most of all immortal     
Gem of the Adriatic, wave-clad Venice!

And then a roll of names which but to mention     
Awakens all the treasures of the mind     
Verona, Bergamo, Vicenza, Milan,     
Turin and Chambery, and steep Mont Cenis.

And then again we to thy Lake return'd,     
O subject of my song, and where an empress     
Had late resided, took up our abode.     
Intensely here my literary labours     
I plied, and clos'd the haunted Tale of Huntley     
And Alice Berkeley, and Sir Ambrose Grey,     
And shriek-fill'd Hellingsley's spoil-coverd hall:     
And here the Tale of Odo's Count went on,     
Where innocent and most angelic Bertha     
Bore on the scaffold an heroic death.

And now upon the dry and most perplex'd     
Question of Wealth of Nations, and the means     
Of wise and economic circulation,     
I meditated deeply, and thus clear'd     
To my own mind's conviction the enigma.

And then the Bibliomania, which had long     
Infected my researches, came again     
To occupy too many of my hours.     
And all the while the torments of affairs     
Of wretched business, and the wiles of cunning     
Extortion, wickedness, ingratitude,     
Audacious insult, inconceivable     
Perversion of the laws, meant for protection,     
To instruments of wrong and ravenous rapine!     
And during all, a heart by nature timid,     
Morbid, and rous'd with dangerous emotion     
At slightest cause for care, grief, or regret:     
And when they touch'd, losing the happy train     
Of those ideas to the Muses suited.     
But ever in my utmost agonies     
I struggled still the trembling pen to guide,     
And call'd the frighten'd Muse to calm my breast.

Yet what will not malignity pervert?     
This energy of stout resistance, which     
May fairly arrogate the name of virtue,     
Has oft-times by the cruelty of censure     
Been deem'd a reckless disregard of duties!     
As if the virtue were in brooding over     
Evils we cannot change! as if to smile,     
And live in regions of imagination,     
When coarse reality is unendurable     
Misery, were a crime to be reproach'd!     
"But when" it may be said, "your enchanted ears     
"Are listening to Elysian waterfalls,     
"You will not hearken to the trumpet's call,     
"When summon'd back to duty!" It may be,     
The Muse's votary is sometimes lost     
In this delirium: will he be the less     
In the wild depths of unresisted grief?

But now incessant were th'insulting calls     
On my most outrag'd spirit! Morns and nights     
Scarcely suffic'd for the exhausting tasks,     
Necessity and just defence impos'd     
On my worn pen. But my afflicted heart,     
Ah, far more than my pen, was work'd and worn.

It was an iron winter, most severe     
In its extremities of snow and storm.     
Right up against the roaring Lake the windows     
Of my abode, now far within the city,     
Lay. One dark morning in December's depth,     
As by the blazing fire on that romance     
Most magical above all others of     
The great Magician of the North, the Pirate,     
My eyes, imagination, heart, intent     
I sat, a shriek came down the Lake, the House     
Trembled and rock'd, and twice from my shook chair     
Was I near tumbled on the floor: the bells     
Through all the house rang, and St. Peter's sounded,     
And all the church bells thro the town were shaken,     
And also gave the signal. 'Twas an earthquake!—     
Slight—but appalling! Ah! how often since     
Have I on the portentous moment dwelt!     
In the same room, and by the self-same fire,     
After an interval of an hundred months,     
When I had dwelt in many a far abode,     
And once for eight and twenty months again     
My native soil inhabited, some sudden     
Convulsion struck upon my vital strings;     
And eight and forty hours I gasp'd for breath.

Then came the sleepless bed again; the appetite     
Gone; and the loss of limbs; and eighteen nights     
Of dangerous agony, and strange excitement     
Of intellect, beyond its natural power;     
Bursts of wild brilliance hitherto unknown     
To my weak faculties; unintermitted     
Toil of the intellect e'en for nineteen     
Successive hours; and still the body torn;     
Limbs paralis'd, and all the mortal part     
Of earthly mould, sick even to death's door!

Thus it appears, as if the soul can work,     
In bold defiance of the body's will:—     
And sometimes blazes most, when it is nearest     
To its departure. Much I've travel'd since     
In mind and heart; and in my own conceit     
Have far advanc'd. I cannot count the pages     
Of various matter I have written and printed     
Since that most perilous crisis,—poetry,     
And prose-romance, and politics, and memoirs;     
And dry antiquities, and moral essays,     
On which my busy pen is ever running.     
"Accursed scribbler!" cries the wretch, whose false     
Concoctions, like th'enchanter's forceful spear,     
My plume goes forth to pierce, and open lay     
His snares of dread destruction to the sun!     
"Scribendi cacoethes! odious passion!     
"Be fire to its relentless energies,     
"And light upon it quickly, and consume it!"

Not yet thou grand destroyer! O not yet     
Will be thy wish accomplish'd! I have slept     
At times, 'tis true, amid this morning's task,     
As if my strength was failing, and that weakness     
And age, not fire and violence, would consume me!     
There are, on whose enormous wickedness     
When I am call'd to meditate, the' emotion     
Exhausts my spirits more than other labour     
By day and night continued! My torn nerves     
Long tremble and distort, ere they subside     
Again, the calm idea to permit!     
I am the being but of impulses,     
And when my heart cannot direct, and light,     
My head is barren, and my hand is weak.     
I have no abstract intellect, and cannot     
Act by what cold dry reason calls a duty;—     
The worse for me! for I am told 'tis this     
Which only virtue constitutes! and feeling     
And grand emotion, though 'tis on the side     
Of virtuous sympathies, and love of beauty,     
And admiration of heroic conduct,     
Is but an impulse of involuntary     
Unconscience-sprung, and therefore valueless, passion!     
As for myself, I cannot comment thus     
In my severest and most self-condemning     
Moments! For impulses, if they are good,     
Must spring from virtue's fountains: a bad heart     
Can never pour forth pure and blessed waters!     
It may produce them mingled: but the taste,     
The scent, the penetrating eye, th'effect,     
After a moment's pause upon the bosom,     
Will the infusion of the ill discover:—     
The false bursts, murmurs, flashes, sparkles, dies!

If such are these effusions, if the vapour     
Of false emotion swells them, if the thoughts     
Come not direct and unsophisticate     
From the undrug'd and uninfected bosom,     
If the heart's fiat be not on their utterance,     
Then sweep them to the pit where they may perish,     
And never bubble, murmur, sparkle more!     
And may I be obedient to the doom     
That I shall then deserve, and hide my head     
In just obscurity, and linger out     
The little remnant of my days in silence,     
And sink into the grave, unwept, unknown!


Buchanan recounts Magellan's voyage, and likens "War, Superstition, Anarchy, Disease, / Monsters that Man has fashion'd" to Frankenstein.


Send no shaven monks to shrive me, close the doors against their cries;     
Liars all! ay, rogues and liars, like the Father of all lies;     
Nay, but open wide the casement, once more let me feast my gaze     
On the glittering signs of Heaven, on the mighty Ocean-ways!

Who's that knocking? Fra Ramiro? Left his wine-cup and arm-chair,     
Come again with book and ointment, to anoint me and prepare?     
Sacramento!— send him packing, with his comrades shaven-crown'd:     
Liars all! and the prince of liars is their Pope! The world is round!

See, the Ocean! like quicksilver, throbbing in the starry light!     
See the stars and constellations, strangely, mystically bright!     
Ah, but there, beyond our vision, other stars look brightly down,     
Other stars, and high among them, great Magellan's starry crown!

O Magellan! lord and master!— mighty soul no Pope could tame!     
On the seas and on the heavens you have left your radiant name;     
Brightly shall it burn for ever, o'er the waters without bound,     
Proving Pope and Priests still liars, while the sun-kist world is round.

Let the cowls at Salamanca cluster thick as rook and daw!     
Let the Pope, with right hand palsied, clutch his thunderbolts of straw!     
Heaven and Ocean, here and yonder, put their feeble dreams to shame;     
Earth is round, and high above it shines Magellan's starry name!

Have you vanish'd, O my Master? O my Captain, King of men,     
Shall I never more behold you standing at the mast again,     
Eagle-eyed, and stern and silent, never sleeping or at rest,     
Pallid as a man of marble, ever looking to the west?

As I lie and watch the heavens, once again I seem to be     
Out upon the waste of waters, sailing on from sea to sea. . . .     
Hark! what's that?— the monks intoning in the chapel close at hand?     
Nay, I hear but sea-birds screaming, round dark capes of lonely land.

Out upon the still equator, on a sea without a breath,     
Burning, blistering in the sunlight, we are tossing sick to death;     
Every night the sun sinks crimson on the water's endless swell,     
Every dawn he rises golden, fiery as the flames of Hell.

Seventy days our five brave vessels welter in the watery glare,     
O'er the bulwarks hang the seamen panting open-mouth'd for air;     
On the 'Trinitie' Magellan watches in a fierce unrest,     
Never doubting or despairing, ever looking to the west.

Then at last with fire and thunder open cracks the sultry sky,     
While the surging seas roll under, swift before the blast we fly,     
Westward, ever westward, plunging, while the waters wash and wail;     
Nights and days drift past in darkness while we sail, and sail, and sail.

Then the Tempest, like an eagle by a thunderbolt struck dead,     
With one last wild flap of pinions, droppeth spent and bloody-red,     
Purpling Heaven and Ocean lieth on the dark horizon's brink,     
While upon the decks we gather silently, and watch him sink.

Troublously the Ocean labours in a last surcease of pain,     
While a soft breath blowing westward wafts us softly on the main,— ;     
Nearer to the edge of darkness where the flat earth ends, men swear,     
Where the dark abysses open, gulf on gulf of empty air!

Creeping silently our vessels enter wastes of wondrous weed,     
Slimy growth that clings around them, tangle growing purple seed,     
Staining all the waste of waters, making isles of floating black,     
While the seamen, pointing fingers, shrink in dread, and cry, 'Turn back!'

On the 'Trinitie' Magellan stands and looks with fearless eyes — ;     
'Fools, the world is round!' he answers, 'onward still our pathway lies;     
Though the gulfs of Hell yawn'd yonder, though the Earth were ended there,     
I would venture boldly forward, facing Death and Death's despair.'

On their knees they kneel unto him, cross themselves and shriek afraid,     
Pallid as a man of marble stands the Captain undismayed,     
Claps on sail and leads us onward, while the ships crawl in his track,     
Slowly, scarcely moving, trailing monstrous weeds that hold them back.

On each vessel's prow a seaman stands and casts the sounding-lead,     
In the cage high up the foremast gather watchers sick with dread.     
Calmly on the poop Magellan marks the Heavens and marks the Sea,     
Darkness round and darkness o'er him, closing round the 'Trinitie.'

Days and nights of deeper darkness follow — ; then there comes the cry,     
'He is mad— ;Death waits before us— turn the ships and let us fly!'     
Storm of mutinous anger gathers round the Captain stern and true,     
Near the foremast, fiercely glaring, flash the faces of the crew.

One there is, a savage seaman, gnashing teeth and waving hands,     
Strides with curses to the Captain where with folded arms he stands,—     
'Turn, thou madman, turn!' he shrieketh— scarcely hath he spoke the word,     
Ere a bleeding log he falleth, slaughter'd by the Leader's sword!

'Fools and cowards!' cries Magellan, spurning him with armèd heel,     
'If another dreams of flying, let him speak— and taste my steel!'     
Like caged tigers when the Tamer enters calmly, shrink the band,     
While the Master strides among them, cloth'd in mail and sword in hand.

O Magellan! lord and leader!— only He whose fingers frame     
Twisted thews of pard or panther, knot them round their hearts of flame,     
Light the emeralds burning brightly in their eyeballs as they roll,     
Could have made that mightier marvel, thine inexorable soul!

Onward, ever on, we falter— till there comes a dawn of Day     
Creeping ghostly up behind us, mirror'd faintly far away,     
While across the seas to starboard loometh strangely land or cloud —     
'Land to starboard!' cries Magellan— 'Land!' the seamen call aloud.

Southward steering creep the vessels, while the lights of morning grow;     
Fades the land, while in our faces chilly fog and vapour blow;     
Colder grows the air, and clinging round the masts and stiffening sails     
Freezes into crystal dewdrops, into hanging icicles!

Suddenly arise before us, phantom-wise, as in eclipse,     
Icebergs drifting on the Ocean like innumerable ships—     
In the light they flash prismatic as among their throng we creep,     
Crashing down to overwhelm us, thundering to the thund'rous Deep!

Towering ghostly and gigantic, 'midst the steam of their own breath,     
Moving northward in procession in their snowy shrouds of Death,     
Rise the bergs, now overtoppling like great fountains in the air,     
While along their crumbling edges slips the seal and steals the bear.

With the frost upon his armour, like a skeleton of steel,     
Stands the Master, waiting, watching, clad in cold from head to heel;     
Loud his voice rings through the vapours, ordering all and leading on,     
Till the bergs, before his finger, fall back ghostlike, and are gone!

Once again before our vision sparkles Ocean wide and free,     
With the sun's red ball of crimson resting on the rim of sea;—     
'Lo, the sun!' he laughs exulting— 'still he beckons far away—     
Earth is round, and on its circle evermore we chase the Day!'

As he speaks the sunset blackens. Twilight trembles through the skies     
For a moment— then the heavens open all their starry eyes!     
Suddenly strange Constellations flash from out the fields of blue—     
Not a star that we remember, not a splendour priestcraft knew!

Sinking on his knee, Magellan prays: 'Now glory be to God!     
To the Christ who led us forward on His wondrous watery road!     
See, the heavens give attestation that our search shall yet be crowned,     
Proving Pope and Priests still liars, and the sun-kist world is round!'

Sparkling ruby-ray'd and golden round the dusky neck of Night     
Hangs the jewel'd Constellation, strangely, mystically bright—     
Pointing at it cries the Master, 'By the God we all adore,     
It shall bear my name, Magellan!' and it bears it, evermore.

Storms arising sweep us onward, but each night our courage grows,     
Newer portals of the Heavens seem to open and enclose,     
Showing in the blue abysm vistas luminously strange,     
Sphere on sphere, and far beyond them fainter lights that sparkle and change!

Presently once more we falter among pools of drifting scum,     
Weed and tangle— o'er the blackness curious sea-birds go and come—     
While to southward looms a darkness, as of land or gathering cloud,     
Northward too, another darkness, and a sound of breakers loud.

Once again they call in terror, 'Turn again, for Death is near!     
Once again he quells their tumult, smiting till they crouch in fear.     
On the darkness closing round them, land or cloud, our fleet is led,     
Fighting tides that sweep them backward, flowing from some gulf of dread.

Next, the Vision! next the Morning, after rayless nights and days,     
Twinkling on a great calm Ocean stretching far as eye can gaze,—     
Newer heavens and newer waters, solitary and profound,     
Rise before us, while behind us Day arises crimson-crown'd!

Turning we behold the shadows of the straits through which we sped,     
Then again our eyes look forward where the windless waters spread;     
Overhead the sun rolls golden, moving westward through the blue,     
Reddens down the far-off heavens, beckons bright, and we pursue.

On that vast and tranquil Ocean, folding wings the strong winds dwell,     
Sleeping softly or just stirring to the water's tranquil swell,     
Peaceful as the fields of heaven where the stars like bright flocks feed,—     
So that many dream they wander thro' the azure Heaven indeed!

Then Magellan, from its scabbard drawing forth his shining sword,     
Grasps the blade, and downward bending dips the bright hilt overboard—     
'By the holy Cross's likeness, mirror'd in this hilt!' cries he,     
'Be this Ocean called Pacific, since it sleeps eternallie!'

Pastured with a calm eternal, drawing down the clouds in dew,     
Sighing low with soft pulsations, darkly, mystically blue,     
Lies that long untrodden Ocean, while for months we sail it o'er;     
Ever dawns the sun behind us, ever swiftly sets before.

But like devils out of Tophet, as we sail with God for Guide,     
Rise the Spectres, Thirst and Hunger, hollow-cheek'd and cruel-eyed;     
Fierce and famish'd creep the seamen, while the tongues between their teeth     
Loll like tongues of hounds for water, dry as dust and black with death.

Many fall and die blaspheming, 'Give us food!' the living call—     
Pallid as a man of marble stands the Master gaunt and tall,     
Hunger fierce within him also, and his parch'd lips prest in pain,     
But a mightier thirst and hunger burning in his heart and brain!

Black decks blistering in the sunlight, sails and cordage dry as clay,     
Crawl the ships on those still waters night by night and day by day;     
Then the rain comes, and we lap it as upon the decks it flows—     
'Spread a sail!' calls out the Master, and we catch it ere it goes.

Now and then a lonely sea-bird hovers far away, and we     
Crouch with hungry eyes and watch it fluttering closer o'er the sea,     
Curse it if it flies beyond us, shoot it if it cometh nigh,     
Share the flesh and blood among us, underneath the Captain's eye.

Sometimes famish'd unto madness, fierce as wolves that shriek in strife,     
One man springs upon another, stabs him with the murderous knife;     
Then the Master, stalking forward where the murderer shrinks in dread,     
Bids him kneel, and as he kneeleth cleaves him down, and leaves him dead.

O Magellan! mighty Eagle, circling sunward lost in light,     
Wafting wings of power and striking meaner things that cross thy flight,     
God to such as thee gives never lambkin's love or dove's desire—     
Nay, but eyes that scatter terror from a ruthless heart of fire!

Give me wine. My pulses falter. . . So! . . . Confusion to the cowls!     
They who hooted at my Eagle, eyes of bats and heads of owls!     
Throw the casement open wider! There is something yet to tell—     
How we came at last to waters where the naked islesmen dwell.

Isles of wonder, fringed with coral, ring'd with shallows turquoise-blue,     
Where bright fish and crimson monsters flash'd their jewel'd lights and flew,     
Steeps of palm that rose to heaven out of purple depths of sea,     
While upon their sunlit summits stirr'd the tufted cocoa-tree—

Isles of cinnabar and spices, where soft airs for ever creep,     
Scenting Ocean all around them with strange odours soft as sleep—     
Isles about whose promontories danced the black man's light canoe,     
Isles where dark-eyed women beckon'd, perfumed like the breath they drew.

Drunken with the sight we landed, rush'd into the scented glades,     
Treading down the scented branches, seized the struggling savage maids.     
Ah, the orgy! Still it sickens!— blood of men bestrewed our path,     
Till the islesmen rose against us, thick as vultures shrieking wrath.

Then, the sequel! Nay, I know not how the damnëd deed could be—     
By some islesman's poisoned arrow or some Spaniard's treacherie;     
But one evening, as we struggled fighting to our boats on shore,     
In the shallows fell the Captain, foully slain, and rose no more!

O Magellan! O my Master! O my Captain, King of men!     
Was it fit thou so shouldst perish, though thy work was over then,     
Foully slain by foe or comrade, butcher'd like a common thing,     
Thou whose eagle flight had circled Earth upon undaunted wing!

Nay, but then my King had conquered! Earth and Ocean to his sight     
Open'd had their wondrous visions, shaming centuries of night;     
Nay, but even the shining Heavens kept the record of his fame—     
Earth was round, and high above it shone Magellan's starry name.

How our wondrous voyage ended? Nay, I know not,— all was done;     
Lying in my ship I sickened, moaning, hidden from the sun.     
Yea! the vessels drifted onward till they came to isles of calm,     
Where some savage monarch hail'd them, standing underneath a palm.

How the wanderers took these islands tributary to our King,     
Show'd the Cross, baptized the monarch, homeward crept on weary wing?     
Pshaw, 'tis nothing! All was over! He had staked his soul and gained,     
They but reaped the Master's sowing, they but crawl'd where he had reigned!

Hark! what sound is that? The chiming of the dreary vesper bell?     
Nay, I hear but Ocean sighing, feel the waters heave and swell.     
Earth is round, but sailing sunward with my Master still I fare—     
Other Heavens his ship is searching,— and I go to seek him there!

The wall of darkness round the rainy house     
Broke as I ended, and a watery beam     
Of sunshine struck the pane, and lingering on it,     
Became prismatic. Then with quiet smile     
Professor Mors, the truculent Irishman,     
Whose treatise on the origin of worlds     
Fluttered the Churches for a season, said:     
'Man conquers earth, and climbing yonder Heaven     
Pursues the baleful gods from throne to throne!     
Ah, but the strife was long, and even here     
It hath not ended yet. Each Phantom laid,     
Another rises, though on fearless wing     
We creep from world to world. Evil abides,     
And with her hideous mother, Ignorance,     
Scatters pollution!'

       Calmly answered him     
Dan Paumanok, the Yankee pantheist:     
'Friend, I have dwelt on earth as long as you,     
And found all evil here but forms of good!'     
Whereat some laughed, and cried, 'A paradox!'     
But, gravely leaning back in his arm-chair,     
The greybeard cried, 'Knowledge and Ignorance,     
I calculate, are sisters— otherwise     
Named Good and Evil. Hand in hand they walk,     
So like, that even those who know them best     
Scarcely distinguish their identities!     
Thro' the dark places of the troubled earth     
The first walks radiant and the last gropes blind;     
But when they come upon the mountaintops,     
In the night's stillness, underneath the stars,     
The last it is that ofttimes leads the first     
And points her upward to the heavenly way!'

'If this be so,' the grim Professor cried,     
Shrugging his shoulders with impatient sneer,     
'Then wrong is every whit as good as right,     
The Darkness is no better than the Light     
It comprehends not!' 'Certainly,' exclaimed     
The melancholy transcendentalist;     
'One is the tally of the other, friend;     
Nay more, they intermingle, and are one!     
The morning dew, that scarcely bends the flowers,     
Exhaled to heaven becomes the thunderbolt     
That strikes and slays at noon.'

            But Mors replied     
With cold superior smile: 'A cheerful creed!     
And comfortable,— since, whate'er befalls,     
No matter if the foemen sack the city,     
No matter if the plague-cart comes and goes,     
No matter if the starving cry for bread,     
The sleepy watchman calmly cries "All's well!"     
For my poor part, as one whose youth was spent,     
Not in pursuit of vain delusive dreams,     
But in the halls of Science, whom I serve,     
I fail to find in Evil any form     
My mistress would be brought to christen good;     
Nay, on my life,' he added, gathering zeal,     
'Than such a pantheistic lotus-flower     
I'd rather choose those husks and shells of grace     
John Calvin found when, prone on hands and knees,     
He searched the garbage of Original Sin!     
And rather than believe that Hell was Heaven,     
People my Hell once more with soot-black fiends!     
For Fever, Pestilence, and Ignorance     
No angels are, fall'n from some high estate,     
But devilish shapes indeed, beneath the heel     
Of Hermes, god of healing and of light,     
Soon to be trampled down and vanquishëd.     
And other hideous things that waste the world,     
War, Superstition, Anarchy, Disease,     
Monsters that Man has fashion'd, like to that     
Framed in the poet's tale by Frankenstein —     
These shall be slain by their creator's hand,     
Their Master's, even Man's. Survey the earth;     
And see the sunrise of our saner creed     
Scattering the darkness and the poisonous fumes     
Which eighteen hundred weary years ago     
Came from the sunless sepulchre of Christ.     
Where Fever poisoned the pellucid wel     
The drinking-fountain clear as crystal flows;     
Where the marsh thicken'd and miasma spread,     
Cities arise, with clean and shining streets     
And sewers transmuting garbage into gold;     
Where the foul blood-stained Altar once was set,     
Stand the Museum and Laboratory;     
The Library, the Gymnasium, and the Bath     
Replace the palace; Manufactories,     
Gathering together precious gifts for man,     
Supplant the Monolith and Pyramid.     
Thus everywhere the light of human love     
Brightens a wondering convalescent world     
Just rising from the spectre-haunted bed     
Whereon it sickened of a long disease,     
Attended by the false physician, Christ.'

He paused; the fever of his eager words     
Flash'd on from face to face until it reached     
The face of Verity, the priest of Art;     
But there it faded, for with pallid frown     
And lifted hands, the gentle prophet cried:     
'Light? Sunrise? Sunlight? I who speak have eyes,     
And yet I see but darkness visible!     
Lost is the azure in whose virgin depths     
The filmy cirrus turn'd to Shapes divine,     
Goddess and god, soft-vestured, white as wool!     
Faded the sun, which, striking things of stone,     
Turn'd them to statues which like Memnon's sang,     
And palpitating over domes and walls,     
Cover'd them o'er with forms miraculous,     
Prismatic, which the hand of genius touch'd     
And fixed in colour ere the forms could fade!     
The world, you say, is heal'd; to me, it seems     
Just smitten with the plague, and everywhere     
The foul cloud gathers, shutting out the sun.     
And that faint sound we deem the sweet church chimes,     
Is but the death-bell tinkling, while the cart     
Comes for its load of dark disfigured dead.     
Meantime, within the foul dissecting-room     
The form of Man, which, ere our plague-time came,     
Was reverenced in shapes of loveliness,     
Rosy in flesh, or snowy white in stone,     
Lies desecrated, hideous, horrible,     
Pois'ning the air and sickening the soul!     
And on the slab, beneath the torturer's knife,     
Man's gentle friend, the hound, shrieks piteously,     
Answer'd by all the bleeding flocks of Pan!     
And everywhere the fume of Anarchy,     
And hideous monsters of machinery     
Toiling for ever in their own thick breath,     
Blends with the plague-smoke, blotting out the sun,     
Whereby alone all shapes of beauty live!'

'Nay, nay,' cried Barbara, 'though it rains to-day     
The lift will clear to-morrow. I believe     
You all are partly right and partly wrong,     
For surely many things in life that seem     
Most evil are but blessings in disguise?     
And difficult 'tis, maybe, to discern     
Where Knowledge ends and Ignorance begins.     
But then, again, what soul rejoices not     
To see yon mailéd Perseus, Science, stand     
Bruising the loathsome hydra of Disease,     
Ay, often slaying Sin and conquering Death?     
And yet, again, the counter-plea is true,     
That Science, though she heals the wounds of life,     
Whiles heals them cruelly and uncannily, —     
Just shuts the sufferer in a sunless room,     
And changes the old merry tunes of time     
To daft mechanic discord, such as that     
Which issues from the throats of mine and mill,     
With sough of poisonous reek and flames more sad     
Than ever came from Tophet!'

            As she ceased,     
Professor Mors, the pallid pessimist,     
Outstretched his lean and skeletonian hand,     
Pointing out sunward:— 'See!' he cried, 'the God,     
Last-born and first-born, Nature's microcosm,     
Who, sitting on his mighty throne of graves,     
Murmurs the death-dirge of Humanity!     
Had ye but ears, methinks that you might catch     
The burthen of his melancholy song,     
As I myself have heard it oftentimes     
When wandering weary underneath the stars.     
'Twas thus, methinks, it ran, or something thus,     
Full of a burthen strange and sad as ever     
Was heard beside the wave-wash'd shores of Time.

Chapter XV     

What thoughtful heart can look into this gulf That darkly yawns 'twixt rich and poor, And not find food for saddest meditation! Can see, without a pang of keenest grief, Them fiercely battling (like some natural foes) Whom God hath made, with help and sympathy, To stand as brothers, side by side, united! Where is the wisdom that shall bridge this gulf, And bind them once again in trust and love?     

We must return to John Barton. Poor John! He never got over his disappointing journey to London. The deep mortification he then experienced (with, perhaps, as little selfishness for its cause as mortification ever bad) was of no temporary nature; indeed few of his feelings were.

Then came a long period of bodily privation; of daily hunger after food; and though he tried to persuade himself he could bear want himself with stoical indifference, and did care about it as little as most men, yet the body took its revenge for its uneasy feelings. The mind became soured and morose, and lost much of its equipoise. It was no longer elastic, as in the days of youth, or in times of comparative happiness; it ceased to hope. And it is hard to live on when one can no longer hope.

The same state of feeling which John Barton entertained, if belonging to one who had had leisure to think of such things, and physicians to give names to them would have been called monomania; so haunting, so incessant, were the thoughts that pressed upon him. I have somewhere read a forcibly described punishment among the Italians, worthy of a Borgia. The supposed or real criminal was shut up in a room, supplied with every convenience and luxury; and at first mourned little over his imprisonment. But day by day he became aware that the space between the walls of his apartment was narrowing, and then he understood the end. Those painted walls would come into hideous nearness, and at last crush the life out of him.

And so day by day, nearer and nearer, came the diseased thoughts of John Barton. They excluded the light of heaven, the cheering sounds of earth. They were preparing his death.

It is true much of their morbid power might be ascribed to the use of opium. But before you blame too harshly this use, or rather abuse, try a hopeless life, with daily cravings of the body for food. Try, not alone being without hope yourself, but seeing all around you reduced to the same despair, arising from the same circumstances; all around you telling (though they use no words or language), by their looks and feeble actions, that they are suffering and sinking under the pressure of want. Would you not be glad to forget life, and its burdens? And opium gives forgetfulness for a time.

It is true they who thus purchase it pay dearly for their oblivion; but can you expect the uneducated to count the cost of their whistle? Poor wretches! They pay a heavy price. Days of oppressive weariness and languor, whose realities have the feeble sickliness of dreams; nights, whose dreams are fierce realities of agony; sinking health, tottering frames, incipient madness, and worse, the consciousness of incipient madness; this is the price of their whistle. But have you taught them the science of consequences?

John Barton's overpowering thought, which was to work out his fate on earth, was rich and poor; why are they so separate, so distinct, when God has made them all? It is not His will that their interests are so far apart. Whose doing is it?

And so on into the problems and mysteries of life, until, bewildered and lost, unhappy and suffering, the only feeling that remained clear and undisturbed in the tumult of his heart, was hatred to the one class, and keen sympathy with the other.

But what availed his sympathy? No education had given him wisdom; and without wisdom, even love, with all its effects, too often works but harm. He acted to the best of his judgement, but it was a widely erring judgement.

The actions of the uneducated seem to me typified in those of Frankenstein, that monster of many human qualities, ungifted with a soul, a knowledge of the difference between good and evil.

The people rise up to life; they irritate us, they terrify us, and we become their enemies. Then, in the sorrowful moment of our triumphant power, their eyes gaze on us with mute reproach. Why have we made them what they are; a powerful monster, yet without the inner means for peace and happiness?

John Barton became a Chartist, a Communist; all that is commonly called wild and visionary. Aye! but being visionary is something. It shows a soul, a being not altogether sensual; a creature who looks forward for others, if not for himself.

And with all his weakness he had a sort of practical power, which made him useful to the bodies of men to whom he belonged. He had a ready kind of rough Lancashire eloquence, arising out of the fulness of his heart, which was very stirring to men similarly circumstanced, who liked to hear their feelings put into words. He had a pretty clear head at times, for method and arrangement; a necessary talent to large combinations of men. And what perhaps more than all made him relied upon and valued, was the consciousness which every one who came in contact with him felt, that he was actuated by no selfish motives; that his class, his order, was what he stood by, not the rights of his own paltry self. For even in great and noble men, as soon as self comes into prominent existence, it becomes a mean and paltry thing.

A little time before this, there had come one of those occasions for deliberation among the employed, which deeply interested John Barton, and the discussions concerning which bad caused his frequent absence from home of late.

I am not sure if I can express myself in the technical terms of either masters or workmen, but I will try simply to state the case on which the latter deliberated.

An order for coarse goods came in from a new foreign market. It was a large order, giving employment to all the mills engaged in that species of manufacture; but it was necessary to execute it speedily, and at as low prices as possible, as the masters had reason to believe that a duplicate order had been sent to one of the continental manufacturing towns, where there were no restrictions on food, no taxes on building or machinery, and where consequently they dreaded that the goods could be made at a much lower price than they could afford them for; and that, by so acting and charging, the rival manufacturers would obtain undivided possession of the market. It was clearly their interest to buy cotton as cheaply, and to beat down wages as low as possible. And in the long run the interests of the workmen would have been thereby benefited. Distrust each other as they may, the employers and the employed must rise or fall together. There may be some difference as to chronology, none as to fact.

But the masters did not choose to make all these facts known. They stood upon being the masters, and that they had a right to order work at their own prices, and they believed that in the present depression of trade, and unemployment of hands, there would be no difficulty in getting it done.

Now let us turn to the workmen's view of the question. The masters (of the tottering foundation of whose prosperity they were ignorant) seemed doing well, and, like gentlemen, "lived at home in ease," while they were starving, gasping on from day to day; and there was a foreign order to be executed, the extent of which, large as it was, was greatly exaggerated; and it was to be done speedily. Why were the masters offering such low wages under these circumstances? Shame upon them! It was taking advantage of their workpeople being almost starved; but they would starve entirely rather than come into such terms. It was bad enough to be poor, while by the labour of their thin hands, the sweat of their brows, the masters were made rich; but they would not be utterly ground down to dust. No! they would fold their hands and sit idle, and smile at the masters, whom even in death they could baffle. With Spartan endurance they determined to let the employers know their power, by refusing to work.

So class distrusted class, and their want of mutual confidence wrought sorrow to both. The masters would not be bullied, and compelled to reveal why they felt it wisest and best to offer only such low wages; they would not be made to tell that they were even sacrificing capital to obtain a decisive victory over the continental manufacturers. And the workmen sat silent and stern with folded hands refusing to work for such pay. There was a strike in Manchester.

Of course it was succeeded by the usual consequences. Many other Trades' Unions, connected with different branches of business, supported with money, countenance, and encouragement of every kind, the stand which the Manchester power-loom weavers were making against their masters. Delegates from Glasgow, from Nottingham, and other towns, were sent to Manchester, to keep up the spirit of resistance; a committee was formed, and all the requisite officers elected; chairman, treasurer, honorary secretary:—among them was John Barton.

The masters, meanwhile, took their measures. They placarded the walls with advertisements for power-loom weavers. The workmen replied by a placard in still larger letters, stating their grievances. The masters met daily in town, to mourn over the time (so fast slipping away) for the fulfilment of the foreign orders; and to strengthen each other in their resolution not to yield. If they gave up now, they might give up always. It would never do. And amongst the most energetic of the masters, the Carsons, father and son, took their places. It is well known, that there is no religionist so zealous as a convert; no masters so stern, and regardless of the interests of their workpeople, as those who have risen from such a station themselves. This would account for the elder Mr Carson's determination not to be bullied into yielding; not even to be bullied into giving reasons for acting as the masters did. It was the employers' will, and that should be enough for the employed. Harry Carson did not trouble himself much about the grounds for his conduct. He liked the excitement of the affair. He liked the attitude of resistance. He was brave, and he liked the idea of personal danger, with which some of the more cautious tried to intimidate the violent among the masters.

Meanwhile, the power-loom weavers living in the more remote parts of Lancashire, and the neighbouring counties, heard of the masters' advertisements for workmen; and in their solitary dwellings grew weary of starvation, and resolved to come to Manchester. Foot-sore, way-worn, half-starved looking men they were, as they tried to steal into town in the early dawn, before people were astir, or in the dusk of the evening. And now began the real wrong-doing of the Trades' Unions. As to their decision to work, or not, at such a particular rate of wages, that was either wise or unwise; all error of judgement at the worst. But they had no right to tyrannize over others, and tie them down to their own Procrustean bed. Abhorring what they considered oppression in the masters, why did they oppress others? Because, when men get excited, they know not what they do. Judge, then, with something of the mercy of the Holy One, whom we all love.

In spite of policemen, set to watch over the safety of the poor country weavers—in spite of magistrates, and prisons, and severe punishments—the poor depressed men tramping in from Burnley, Padiham, and other places, to work at the condemned "Starvation Prices," were waylaid, and beaten, and left almost for dead by the road-side. The police broke up every lounging knot of men:—they separated quietly, to reunite half-a-mile further out of town.

Of course the feeling between the masters and workmen did not improve under these circumstances.

Combination is an awful power. It is like the equally mighty agency of steam; capable of almost unlimited good or evil. But to obtain a blessing on its labours, it must work under the direction of a high and intelligent will; incapable of being misled by passion or excitement. The will of the operatives had not been guided to the calmness of wisdom.

So much for generalities. Let us now return to individuals.

A note, respectfully worded, although its tone of determination was strong, had been sent by the power-loom weavers, requesting that a "deputation" of them might have a meeting with the masters, to state the conditions they must have fulfilled before they would end the turn-out. They thought they had attained a sufficiently commanding position to dictate. John Barton was appointed one of the deputation.

The masters agreed to this meeting, being anxious to end the strife, although undetermined among themselves how far they should yield, or whether they should yield at all. Some of the old, whose experience had taught them sympathy, were for concession. Others, white-headed men too, had only learnt hardness and obstinacy from the days of the years of their lives, and sneered at the more gentle and yielding. The younger men were one and all for an unflinching resistance to claims urged with so much violence. Of this party Harry Carson was the leader.

But like all energetic people, the more he had to do the more time he seemed to find. With all his letter-writing, his calling, his being present at the New Bailey when investigations of any case of violence against knob-sticks was going on, he beset Mary more than ever. She was weary of her life for him. From blandishments he had even gone to threats—threats that whether she would or not she should be his; she showed an indifference that was almost insulting to everything which might attract attention and injure her character.

And still she never saw Jem. She knew he had returned home. She heard of him occasionally through his cousin, who roved gaily from house to house, finding and making friends everywhere. But she never saw him. What was she to think? Had he given her up? Were a few hasty words, spoken in a moment of irritation, to stamp her lot through life? At times she thought that she could bear this meekly, happy in her own constant power of loving. For of change or of forgetfulness she did not dream. Then at other times her state of impatience was such, that it required all her self-restraint to prevent her from going and seeking him out, and (as man would do to man, or woman to woman) begging him to forgive her hasty words, and allow her to retract them, and bidding him accept of the love that was filling her whole heart. She wished Margaret had not advised her against such a manner of proceeding; she believed it was her friend's words that seemed to make such a simple action impossible, in spite of all the internal urgings. But a friend's advice is only thus powerful, when it puts into language the secret oracle of our souls. It was the whisperings of her womanly nature that caused her to shrink from any unmaidenly action, not Margaret's counsel.

All this time, this ten days or so, of Will's visit to Manchester, there was something going on which interested Mary even now, and which, in former times, would have exceedingly amused and excited her. She saw as clearly as if told in words, that the merry, random, boisterous sailor had fallen deeply in love with the quiet, prim, somewhat plain Margaret: she doubted if Margaret was aware of it, and yet, as she watched more closely, she began to think some instinct made the blind girl feel whose eyes were so often fixed upon her pale face; that some inner feeling made the delicate and becoming rose-flush steal over her countenance. She did not speak so decidedly as before; there was a hesitation in her manner, that seemed to make her very attractive; as if something softer, more loveable than excellent sense, were coming in as a motive for speech; her eyes had always been soft, and were in no ways disfigured by her blindness, and now seemed to have a new charm, as they quivered under their white downcast lids. She must be conscious, thought Mary—heart answering to heart.

Will's love had no blushings, no downcast eyes, no weighing of words; it was as open and undisguised as his nature; yet he seemed afraid of the answer its acknowledgment might meet with. It was Margaret's angelic voice that had entranced him, and which made him think of her as a being of some other sphere, that he feared to woo. So he tried to propitiate Job in all manner of ways. He went over to Liverpool to rummage in his great sea-chest for the flying-fish (no very odorous resent, by the way). He hesitated over a child's caul for some time, which was, in his eyes, a far greater treasure than any Exocetus. What use could it be of to a landsman? Then Margaret's voice rang in his ears: and he determined to sacrifice it, his most precious possession, to one whom she loved as she did her grandfather.

It was rather a relief to him, when having put it and the flying-fish together in a brown paper parcel, and sat upon them for security all the way in the railroad, he found that Job was so indifferent to the precious caul, that he might easily claim it again. He hung about Margaret, till he had received many warnings and reproaches from his conscience in behalf of his dear aunt Alice's claims upon his time. He went away, and then he bethought him of some other little word with Job. And he turned back, and stood talking once more in Margaret's presence, door in hand, only waiting for some little speech of encouragement to come in and sit down again. But as the invitation was not given, he was forced to leave at last, and go and do his duty.

Four days had Jem Wilson watched for Mr. Harry Carson without success; his hours of going and returning to his home were so irregular, owing to the meetings and consultations among the masters, which were rendered necessary by the turn-out. On the fifth, without any purpose on Jem's part, they met.

It was the workman's dinner hour, the interval between twelve and one; when the streets of Manchester are comparatively quiet, for a few shopping ladies, and lounging gentlemen, count for nothing in that busy, bustling, living place. Jem had been on an errand for his master, instead of returning to his dinner; and in passing along a lane, a road (called, in compliment to the intentions of some future builder, a street), he encountered Harry Carson, the only person, as far as he saw, beside himself, treading the unfrequented path. Along one side ran a high broad fence, blackened over by coal-tar, and spiked and stuck with pointed nails at the top, to prevent any one from climbing over into the garden beyond. By this fence was the footpath. The carriage-road was such as no carriage, no, not even a cart, could possibly have passed along, without Hercules to assist in lifting it out of the deep clay ruts. On the other side of the way was a dead brick wall; and a field after that, where there was a sawpit, and joiner's shed.

Jem's heart beat violently, when he saw the gay, handsome young man approaching, with a light buoyant step. This, then, was he whom Mary loved. It was, perhaps, no wonder; for he seemed to the poor smith so elegant, so well appointed, that he felt the superiority in externals, strangely and painfully, for an instant. Then something uprose within him, and told him, that "a man's a man for a' that, for a' that, and twice as much as a' that." And be no longer felt troubled by the outward appearance of his rival.

Harry Carson came on, lightly bounding over the dirty places with almost a lad's buoyancy. To his surprise the dark, sturdy-looking artisan stopped him, by saying respectfully,

"May I speak a word wi' you, sir?"

"Certainly, my good man," looking his astonishment; then finding that the promised speech did not come very quickly, he added, "But make haste, for I'm in a hurry."

Jem had cast about for some less abrupt way of broaching the subject uppermost in his mind than he now found himself obliged to use. With a husky voice that trembled as he spoke, he said,

"I think, sir, yo're keeping company wi' a young woman called Mary Barton."

A light broke in upon Henry Carson's mind, and he paused before he gave the answer for which the other waited.

Could this man be a lover of Mary's? And (strange stinging thought) could be be beloved by her, and so have caused her obstinate rejection of himself? He looked at Jem from head to foot, a black, grimy mechanic, in dirty fustian clothes, strongly built, and awkward (according to the dancing master); then he glanced at himself, and recalled the reflection he had so lately quitted in his bedroom. It was impossible. No woman with eyes could choose the one when the other wooed. It was Hyperion to a Satyr. That quotation came aptly; he forgot, "The man's a man for a' that." And yet here was a clue, which he had often wanted, to her changed conduct towards him. If she loved this man. If—he hated the fellow, and longed to strike him. He would know all.

"Mary Barton! let me see. Aye, that is the name of the girl. An arrant flirt the little hussy is; but very pretty. Aye, Mary Barton is her name."

Jem bit his lips. Was it then so; that Mary was a flirt; the giddy creature of whom he spoke? He would not believe it, and yet now he wished the suggestive words unspoken. That thought must keep now, though even if she were, the more reason for there being some one to protect her; poor faulty darling.

"She's a good girl, sir, though maybe a bit set up with her beauty; but she's her father's only child, sir, and"—he stopped; he did not like to express suspicion, and yet he was determined he would be certain there was ground for none. What should he say.

"Well, my fine fellow, and what have I to do with that! It's but loss of my time, and yours, too, if you've only stopped me to tell me Mary Barton is very pretty; I know that well enough."

He seemed as though he would have gone on, but Jem put his black, working, right hand upon his arm to detain him. The haughty young man shook it off, and with his glove pretended to brush away the sooty contamination that might be left upon his light greatcoat sleeve. The little action aroused Jem.

"I will tell you, in plain words, what I have got to say to you, young man. It's been telled me by one as knows, and has seen, that you walk with this same Mary Barton, and are known to be courting her; and her as spoke to me about it, thinks as how Mary loves you. That may be, or may not. But I'm an old friend of hers and her father's; and I just wished to know if you mean to marry the girl. Spite of what you said of her lightness, I ha' known her on enough to be sure she'll make a noble wife for any one let him be what he may; and I mean to stand by her like a brother; and if you mean rightly, you'll not think the worse on me for what I've now said; and if—but no, I'll not say what I'll do to the man who wrongs a hair of her head. He shall rue it to the longest day he lives, that's all. Now, sir, what I ask of you is this. If you mean fair and honourable by her, well and good; but if not, for your own sake as well as hers, leave her alone, and never speak to her more." Jem's voice quivered with the earnestness with which he spoke, and he eagerly waited for some answer.

Harry Carson, meanwhile, instead of attending very particularly to the purpose the man had in addressing him, was trying to gather from his speech what was the real state of the case. He succeeded so far as to comprehend that Jem inclined to believe that Mary loved his rival; and consequently, that if the speaker were attached to her himself, he was not a favoured admirer. The idea came into Mr Carson's mind, that perhaps, after all, Mary loved him in spite of her frequent and obstinate rejections; and that she had employed this person (whoever he was) to bully him into marrying her. He resolved to try and ascertain more correctly the man's relation to her. Either be was a lover, and if so, not a favoured one (in which case Mr Carson could not at all understand the man's motives for interesting himself in securing her marriage); or he was a friend, an accomplice, whom she had employed to bully him. So little faith in goodness have the mean and selfish!

"Before I make you into my confidant, my good man," said Mr Carson, in a contemptuous tone, "I think it might be as well to inquire your right to meddle with our affairs. Neither Mary nor I, as I conceive, called you in as a mediator." He paused; he wanted a distinct answer to this last supposition. None came; so he began to imagine he was to be threatened into some engagement, and his angry spirit rose.

"And so, my fine fellow, you will have the kindness to leave us to ourselves, and not to meddle with what does not concern you. If you were a brother or father of hers, the case might have been different. As it is, I can only consider you an impertinent meddler."

Again he would have passed on, but Jem stood in a determined way before him, saying,

"You say if I had been her brother, or her father, you'd have answered me what I ask. Now, neither father nor brother could love her as I have loved her—aye, and as I love her still; if love gives a right to satisfaction, it's next to impossible any one breathing can come up to my right. Now, sir, tell me! do you mean fair by Mary or not? I've proved my claim to know, and, by G—, I will know."

"Come, come, no impudence," replied Mr Carson, who, having discovered what he wanted to know (namely, that Jem was a lover of Mary's, and that she was not encouraging his suit), wished to pass on.

"Father, brother, or rejected lover" (with an emphasis on the word rejected), "no one has a right to interfere between my little girl and me. No one shall. Confound you, man! get out of my way, or I'll make you," as Jem still obstructed his path with dogged determination.

"I won't then, till you've given me your word about Mary," replied the mechanic, grinding his words out between his teeth, and the livid paleness of the anger he could no longer keep down covering his face till he looked ghastly.

"Won't you?" (with a taunting laugh), "then I'll make you." The young man raised his slight cane, and smote the artisan across the face with a stinging stroke. An instant afterwards he lay stretched in the muddy road, Jem standing over him, panting with rage. What he would have done next in his moment of ungovernable passion, no one knows; but a police man from the main street, into which this road led, had been sauntering about for some time, unobserved by either of the parties, and expecting some kind of conclusion like the present to the violent discussion going on between the two young men. In a minute he had pinioned Jem, who sullenly yielded to the surprise.

Mr Carson was on his feet directly, his face glowing with rage or shame.

"Shall I take him to the lock-ups for assault, sir?" said the policeman.

"No, no," exclaimed Mr Carson; "I struck him first. It was no assault on his side; though," he continued, hissing out his words to Jem, who even bated freedom procured for him, however justly, at the intervention of his rival, "I will never forgive or forget your insult. Trust me," he gasped the words in excess of passion, "Mary shall fare no better for your insolent interference." He laughed, as if with the consciousness of power.

Jem replied with equal excitement—

"And if you dare to injure her in the least, I will await you where no policeman can step in between. And God shall judge between us two."

The policeman now interfered with persuasions and warnings. He locked his arm in Jem's to lead him away in an opposite direction to that in which he saw Mr Carson was going. Jem submitted, gloomily, for a few steps, then wrenched himself free. The policeman shouted after him.

"Take care, my man! there's no girl on earth worth what you'll be bringing on yourself, if you don't mind."

But Jem was out of hearing.

Our "Frankenstein" of Brain compact! No beat     
Of heart, no fancy, twinkle of the eye,     
No human weaknesses, false notes, belie     
Our New Prometheus; sheer from crown to feet     
Cast-steel'd, in brain-proof panoply complete!     
No tribute of a tear, no passing sigh     
For victims claimed by stern Philosophy;     
Hers the sole altar, hers the incense sweet!     
Pluck "the old woman" out! Broomstick and cat     
Were sent to the Devil long ago, I trow;     
Let "Devil" follow suit, with owl and bat!     
No hankering for Old Egypt's flesh-pots; vow     
And prayer to gods of clay! Reason holds at     
The Temple's gates the keys, not Peter now!

Evans calls the prospect that a painting has a life independent of its artist mere "Frankenstein nonsense."

So, once more, my redoubtable painting,     
   We'll battle it out, you and I!     
In spite of your fencing and feinting,     
   I swear to be master or die!

What! your cunning shall baffle me? Shall it?     
   Set your back to the easel and see!     
Mark me! War to the knife—of the palette!     
   No Frankenstein nonsense for me!

No, my picture, I mean to achieve you,     
   Yea, sell you, perhaps—and buy shares,     
If indeed, I don't royally leave you,     
   Encodicilled safe from my heirs,

To the Gallery whence in defiance     
   Pepper-Castor and Pollux astare     
Look askant on the column and lions     
   Through the haze of the squirts of the Square.

Oh, I know all your tricks, to my sorrow,     
   How you gird at your maker, and grin!     
Well, it mayn't be to-day nor to-morrow;     
   Who cares? I can wait and can win.

Yet I own that a spirit more tricksy     
   No wizard e'er spelled from the spheres:     
Never Will-o'-the-Wisp, Puck or Pixie     
   Led a thornier dance through the breres.

Talk of spirits departed, out raking,     
   Invading our ceilings and floors;     
Not a whole neck-and-cropolis waking     
   Could play me such antics as yours!

One day, o'er my matins Manilla,     
   I see through the smoke-eddies' curl     
How you show me a skinless gorilla     
   Where I fancied I painted a girl!

On the limbs of my gracious she-presence     
   I had dreamed I caught splendour and sun;     
You display me the blue iridescence     
   Of muscular veal, underdone!

I wax wroth: 'tis the pestilent weather!     
   This fog would make saffron look blue!     
I re-glaze you: there's nothing like leather?     
   Saint Luke, but there is! and 'tis you!

With the tints of a tea-rosy dawn, I     
   Re-glaze you again before dusk:     
Next day you're a fine foxy-tawny,     
   With a skin like a husk or a rusk!

Yet again, with my model to study,     
   Fighting shy of the yellows and blues;     
You are clear of them both. You're pure muddy,     
   With a patch on your cheek like a bruise!

Well, who cares? Ere I finish the figure,     
   My chameleon turn-coat, at last,     
Spot of leopard and swartness of nigger     
   Shall be printed in colours less fast!

No, my Proteus, you quit not my fingers     
   Till you tell Aristæus the whole:     
Till you chant the last secret that lingers     
   Untold in the deeps of your soul:

Till you sing me how Art hath a story     
   For all, yet for each one alone;     
Like a rainbow, for all shedding glory,     
   Though each sees a bow of his own!

I can wait till I win. All the trouble     
   Shall bloom in repose at the end;     
All the glazing and scumbling thrice double     
   I grudge not, to make you or mend.

He did it, my Titian did it!     
   He glazed, painting into the glaze;     
Glazed again, again painted, and hid it     
   Yet again with a radiant haze;

Working on, till he showed you like Nature     
   Life's flame shining out through the skin,     
All the outlines and forms of the creature     
   Lit up by the spirit within.

Not the trick of the trowel and plaster     
   To prove that his handling was free,     
But the trick of the genuine master,     
   The trick that no mortal can see.

Aye, the deftest of all cheiromancy     
   Is a Titian's sleight with the brush;     
But the "handling" your critics so fancy     
   He valued at less than a rush.

Yes, for all that is greatest in painting     
   The secret of secrets is work:     
'Tis your little Great Master, who, fainting,     
   Casts about how to seem not to shirk.

True, the rudest of strokes tells you clearly     
   The artist who can from who can't:     
But in Art, 'tis the master not merely     
   Who can, but who does, that we want!

Was it wrong, when old Fubsey, the dealer,     
   Came ferreting over my way,     
To leave you about as a feeler,     
   To hear what mine ancient would say?

"Har," quoth F, "going in for the Grecian?     
   Classic, hay? Well, your model ain't bad:     
And your colour—a shy at Venetian?     
   You always was fond of a fad!"

Was it wrong to explain: "This young person     
   Is Calypso, once reckoned divine:     
Highly mentioned by Homer, whose verse on     
   The subject is thought rather fine.

"This is how she appeared when she parted     
   From an elderly gent in the Guards,     
Whom she kept seven years, and then started     
   To his wife with her kindest regards.

"Poor young thing, you can see how acutely     
   She feels it, her happiness wreckt!     
Homer gives the costume, too, minutely,     
   Which vastly improves the effect!"

"Hm!" says Fubsey, "Next time you're a-doing     
   A pot-boiler, take my advice,     
And don't go a-fretting and stewing     
   On subjects as won't fetch the price.

"But you're always for fads! They don't answer:     
   They're all well enough for mere lads:     
But for you? I'm a practical man, sir,     
   The market's too risky for fads!"

Was it wrong to respond: "Yes, precisely,     
   But suppose I've an object in view?     
My Fubsey, thou reasonest wisely,     
   But what's a poor devil to do?

"Suppose, now, I wish to be famous?     
   Don't you think I should get my R.A.?     
I allow I'm a mere ignoramus,     
   But isn't this picture the way?"

"Har," says he, "well, I know what you are at, now,     
   Though I don't see your way over clear:—     
The R.A.—Yes, there's something in that, now,     
   As good as two thousand a-year!

"I like a young feller to hanker     
   For fame as will help him to sell:     
When fame is hard cash with your banker,     
   Why, in course, to be famous is well.

"It's your grand, high-falutin' vagaries,     
   Your Haydons and that, as I hate:     
Fools as fancy the world out o' square is     
   Because it don't reckon them great.

"There's yourself, now, at times. What a bother     
   You make with your Titian and such!     
Michael Angelo, this, that, and t'other,     
   High bosh of high art in High Dutch.

"Lord! It ain't as I don't understand your     
   Tall talking: He's great, Michael A!     
But I tell you, his grimness and grandeur     
   Aren't articles likely to pay!

"Look'ee here! Since I first took to dealing,     
   There's a dozen at least made a name:     
I don't paint, but I've got the right feeling,     
   And I've noticed they all did the same.

"It's the manner, sir! Manner's the ticket     
   That brings in the grist to their mills:     
Why, all over their pictures they stick it     
   As plain as the stamp on Parr's pills.

"Never mind what it is! Don't be queasy!     
   Only yours let it be,—no mistake!     
And, mind! It must come to you easy,     
   Or you can't do the work that you'll take!

"Ev'ry canvas as comes from your easel     
   Must speak in the clearest of tones;     
So that even the 'bus-cad who sees'll     
   Say straight without book, 'That's a Jones!'

"Look you, Tibbs—he can't paint worth a copper,     
   But he's just got the manner as pays;     
Why, he's twice as much grist in his hopper     
   As he'll grind all the rest of his days!"

Wouldst thou teach me, my Fubsey, what Art is?     
   Nay, prithee, the lesson forbear!     
I can dine, I can dance at thy parties,     
   And learn the last Shibboleth there!

Why, Miss A. can expound me all Ruskin     
   As we swing from the whirl of a waltz;     
Lady B., of the statelier buskin,     
   Teach me Blake through the lancers by halts;

Miss de C., like a seraph, but more so,     
   O'er a spoonful of pine-apple ice     
Can in confidence tell me the Torso     
   Isn't Theseus at all—but so nice!

My superfluous Fubsey! The manner,     
   Past doubt, is the point to achieve.—     
But which shall we follow—the banner     
   Of Doing, or Making Believe?

I opine, if I puzzled my cranium,     
   Keeping always an eye on the till,     
I could hit on a fine succedaneum     
   More paying, my Fubsey, than skill.

Say, for instance, I grandly demolish     
   Chiaroscuro itself, thick and thin:     
From my canvas all shadow abolish     
   As a note of original sin?

Bibbs has done it, and finds that it answers     
   In quasi-Greek figure and group;     
And a score or so young necromancers     
   Follow Peter Schlemihl in a troop!

Or suppose, with old Fibbs, the prodigious,     
   I leave Nature and Art in the lurch     
For sham sentiment, semi-religious?     
   Why, the game is as safe as a church!

Or with Nibbs, drop a tiny oasis     
   Of plot in a desert of scene?     
Or with Cribbs, grind eternal pink faces,     
   Like as sausages made by machine?

Ah, my Croesus! The butter and honey,     
   I grant you, are excellent cheer!     
I profoundly respect ready money—     
   But why should I buy it so dear?

God forgive thee, old Fubsey! Poor sinner!     
   What a life! Yet he fancies it sweet!     
Nay, perhaps he may wake after dinner,     
   Musing, "Jones hasn't got such Lafite!"

A mere puff-ball existence, divulging     
   No hint of leaf, flower, or fruit;     
Just a bulb of white fungus-pulp, bulging     
   Over wrinkles which serve for a root.

Yet, a gull not a whit less than guller,     
   Poor soul, he's a creed of his own;     
He believes that a pigment is colour,     
   That a varnish—God bless him!—is tone.

For the rest—tut! he cares not a fico:     
   If he does, he prefers, I should say,     
Mister Tibbs's fine gooseberry Cliquot     
   To the cream of my Titian's Tokay.

How politely the creature applauded     
   My novel devotion to Fame!     
He was hardly more kind when he lauded     
   My "Two in Arquà"—for the frame!

Think of Fame viâ Fubsey! How grateful     
   The glory reserved for the brave!     
What is life worth, compared with a plateful     
   Of puffs from the fool and the knave?

Fame at best! Would you know what she is? Mark     
   Yon photographs there in the shop:     
Patti, Darwin, Anonyma, Bismark,     
   And the Siamese Twins up at top.

What! You say, "Just a fugitive fashion;     
   Notoriety, merely, not Fame?"     
Well, but stripped of all temporal passion,     
   How you will, the result is the same.

What of Homer's serene High-and-mighties     
   Whom he packed off to glory pell-mell?     
What's Achilles, pray, more than Thersites?     
   Penelope better than Nell?

Homer's self—was he one? Was he many?     
   Or compiled by some politic muse?     
True, the poems are greater than any,     
   But their greatest of glory is—whose?

Yet he's greatest, we say. Who's to know it,     
   Grant him greatest that lives to be read?     
'Tis most like, the authentic Arch-poet     
   Lies forgot, with the rest of the dead.

Fame, forsooth! A curator of dummies,     
   She herself but a dummy as dumb!     
A Sphinx dropt asleep o'er her mummies,     
   Who will sleep though Belzoni may come.

In her dreams she can mumble of Pharaohs,     
   One Ramses, she stammers, was there: --     
But the Titians, the Mozarts, the Maros     
   Of Memphis and Thebes—they are—where?

With the River-drift Euripideses,     
   The Cavern-age Byrons and Scotts:     
Reindeer milk-maiden Nilssens and Grisis,     
   The Pfahlbauten Smeatons and Watts!

Foot of stag, ear of hare, eye of vulture,     
   Nose of bloodhound once justly were fame:     
Whose fame? In the "progress of culture"     
   The gifts, too, are lost with the name.

Who's your Phidias palæolithic     
   Sketching mammoth from dawn to the dusk,     
In an artist's fine frenzy pre-mythic,     
   With a flint on a fragment of tusk?

Who, ah, who was the Pleistocene Milton,     
   Not inglorious, surely, nor mute,     
When he pegged the first mutton-skin kilt on,     
   Singing "Man was not always a brute?"

Aye, or later, what Norseman Beethoven     
   Sang his love-staves in Opslö at Yule,     
Till the Hard-i'-rede Harold, heart-cloven,     
   Drank tears in his wine of Stamboul?

True, your Giotto wrought one campanile:     
   What Giottos, not Fame's, wrought the rest?     
Yet a Lincoln, a Wells, or an Ely     
   Had their Giottos as good as the best.

But, allow that the fleet-winged Romancer     
   Sifts at last the false work from the true:     
Grant her trumpetings Gospel:—I answer,     
   'Tis greater to be than to do!

Yes, but being, you tell me, is doing,     
   None great, but he acts what he is: --     
True, but Shaksperes when baking or brewing,     
   Don't achieve such a glory as his!

You may act, say, in this form or that form;     
   You who act are not greater nor less:     
But it lies in your choice of a platform     
   Whether Fame will ignore or caress.

Our Shakspere himself:—what we rave on     
   Isn't Shakspere—'tis only his robe.     
He was greater at rest by the Avon,     
   Than at work in Bankside at the Globe.

No! The Fame I should care for is only     
   When my hand has forgotten its art,     
If some stout fellow-worker as lonely     
   Shall see what I've done and take heart.

Some wrestler, who, fighting it single,     
   Shall look on my work and find cheer:     
Shall muse, all his pulses a-tingle:     
   "Aha, brother mine, art thou here?"

So shall gird him again to his fighting,     
   With a dominant plait of the brow:     
"Brother mine, thou hast dealt me my knighting,     
   For this—to do better than thou!"

That's Fame! What the deuce does it matter     
   Who does what there is to be done?     
Heaven bless us! Why make such a clatter     
   Whether Tom, Dick, or I be the one?

Well, and what if I'm known not for ever?     
   'Tis a pity, perhaps—not for me!     
Not for me! I have done my endeavour,     
   Did I do it for gossips to see?

Look you yonder! A lion-heart Viking     
   Will win if he may to the Pole:     
North, North! ever dodging and tricking     
   The traps of the pack and the shoal.

North, North! But the second December     
   Hears his tread never more on the deck;     
There he sits o'er the flickering ember,     
   By the snow-covered wrecks of his wreck.

His own gallant schooner, his darling,     
   Has been cracked like a nut by the floe;     
The bears, his sole neighbours, are snarling     
   O'er a comrade half-scraped from the snow.

All alone by the gnash of the surges     
   In the creeks of the caverns beneath,     
Where the world from its uttermost verges     
   Looks out evermore upon death;

And close, in the ice-fog abysmal,     
   As the last flicker dies to a spark,     
Comes that snarl through the clash cataclysmal     
   Of icebergs atilt in the dark;

He piles him a cairn from the lumber     
   To tell that he once has been there,     
Gives his soul back to God ere he slumber,     
   And yields up his bones to the bear.

Let his peers follow North with their navies!     
   'Tis well, though they follow and fall!     
Well for them if they find where his grave is,     
   For himself—he was there! That was all!

He was there! Yes, he wished they should find him,     
   As he died ere he deigned to despond:     
He was there! Might his brothers behind him     
   See his tomb, and go venture beyond!

And what, say his death-bed has drifted     
   Far South as he lay there asleep;     
That the thaws of the Gulf-stream have sifted     
   His bones on the floor of the deep?

He was there! Yea, though none through all ages     
   Shall know of his venture again:     
He was there! safe at least from the sage's     
   "Poor fool, to go thither in vain!"

Yes; he did what he meant to do duly,     
   For he meant but to do what he could:     
A Plus Ultra in Ultima Thule     
   He raised—hath it perished or stood!

He was there! Will ye seek in the Sistine     
   The cairn of a like lion-heart,     
Builded high on the peaks amethystine     
   That point to the Pole-star of Art?

Such an one, too, was there! Do ye know him --     
   That soul who was taught of the Star?     
Him, who pictured that terrible poem     
   Up there with its burden: "Thus far!"

Him, the Thaumaturge, shaping his will in     
   High riddles on ceiling and wall;     
Oracular, mystic, Sibylline,     
   The secrets of Life and the Fall?

Him, Prometheus, the Titan, the fearless,     
   And his work—as of days ere the Flood,     
Wrought in agony speechless and tearless,     
   And splashed with a sweat as of blood?

Do ye know him, the man Buonaroti,     
   Him who watched by his Art as she fell,     
With a brow that long since had grown knotty     
   Over eyes that had stared into Hell?

Prate of Fame to that prophet of sorrow?     
   For his toil promise glory untold?     
Nay! As soon might the Sorcerer borrow     
   The gifts of a Peter for gold!

Not for him nor his like shall the Circe     
   Mix madness and blood with her wine!     
She hath wooers enough at her mercy;     
   Shall Odysseus go herd with her swine?

Ha! Come hither, Odysseus! Calypso     
   Lives here on my easel again!     
Thus she looked when she grudged you a ship so,     
   And wept when you talked of the main!

O Love! Not the passion, the madness,     
   Stamping eld on the brow of the youth,     
But the quiet, the calm, and the gladness,     
   Making eld ever young with the truth!

O rainbow, so subtle and tender,     
   Conjured up from the days that are done:     
Thou that cheerest me still with thy splendour     
   When my path lies away from the sun:

Love of Beauty, for ever that heapest     
   Fresh flame on the shrine of the heart,     
At thine altars the highest and deepest     
   Unveiling of Nature and Art!

In thy mysteries, Nature for ever     
   Is maiden in beauty and youth;     
Yea, though Art, overshadowing, leave her     
   Divinely the Mother of Truth!

Tush! A truly terrestrial pigment     
   Is this on my canvas the while!     
I must fain shut my eyes on my figment,     
   Would I see how Calypso can smile.

Now I see her, at home in her valleys,     
   Not a bird nor a blossom more free:     
Singing sweet in the green hazel alleys:     
   Laughing out, catching sight of the sea:

Now she stops: 'tis the black-caps that whistle;     
   Now she stoops: 'tis the plume of a jay,     
Nigh a humble-bee drunk on a thistle,     
   Who gladdens her heart for a day.

My Calypso! My maiden of maidens!     
   Fair as e'er was May-morn and as fresh:     
All the grace and the glory that gladdens     
   In the roses revealed in the flesh!

O Voice up in Heaven, that greetest     
   The day till thy carol unborn!     
O Sovran of all that is sweetest     
   In song of the springtide and morn!

O reverend Chaucer! O hymner     
   All peerless of beauty and race!     
O master! O cunningest limner     
   Of joyance, and girlhood, and grace!

O Poet of youth! Could I dip so     
   My brush in thy colour divine,     
I would paint thee a canvas Calypso     
   As deathless as Homer's or thine!

My Calypso! My girl at all issues!     
   My beauty, my passion, my dread!     
If I paint thee, a fig for Odysseus!     
   Thou shalt make me immortal instead!

Hood describes the anonymous author of the "Waverley Novels" (popularly known as "the great Unknown") as "A Some One made in every man's presumption, / Frankenstein's monster—but instinct with gumption."

"O breathe not his name!"


Thou Great Unknown     
I do not mean Eternity nor Death,     
That vast incog!     
For I suppose thou hast a living breath,     
Howbeit we know not from whose lungs 'tis blown,     
Thou man of fog!     
Parent of many children—child of none!     
Nobody's son!     
Nobody's daughter—but a parent still!     
Still but an ostrich parent of a batch     
Of orphan eggs,—left to the world to hatch.     
Superlative Nil!     
A vox and nothing more,—yet not Vauxhall;     
A head in papers, yet without a curl!     
Not the Invisible Girl!     
No hand—but a hand-writing on a wall—     
A popular nonentity,     
Still call'd the same,—without identity!     
A lark, heard out of sight,—     
A nothing shined upon,—invisibly bright,     
"Dark with excess of light!"     
Constable's literary John-a-Nokes—     
The real Scottish wizard—and not which,     
Nobody—in a niche;     
Every one's hoax!     
Maybe Sir Walter Scott—     
Perhaps not!     
Why dost thou so conceal, and puzzle curious folks?

Thou,—whom the second-sighted never saw,     
The Master Fiction of fictitious history!     
Chief Nong-tong-paw!     
No mister in the world—and yet all mystery!     
The "tricksy spirit" of a Scotch Cock Lane—     
A novel Junius puzzling the world's brain—     
A man of magic—yet no talisman!     
A man of clair obscure—not he o' the moon!     
A star—at noon.     
A non-descriptus in a caravan,     
A private—of no corps—a northern light     
In a dark lantern,—Bogie in a crape—     
A figure—but no shape;     
A vizor—and no knight;     
The real abstract hero of the age;     
The staple Stranger of the stage;     
A Some One made in every man's presumption,     
Frankenstein's monster—but instinct with gumption     
Another strange state captive in the north,     
Constable-guarded in an iron mask—     
Still let me ask,     
Hast thou no silver platter,     
No door-plate, or no card—or some such matter,     
To scrawl a name upon, and then cast forth?

Thou Scottish Barmecide, feeding the hunger     
Of Curiosity with airy gammon!     
Thou mystery-monger,     
Dealing it out like middle cut of salmon,     
That people buy, and can't make head or tail of it;     
(Howbeit that puzzle never hurts the sale of it;)     
Thou chief of authors mystic and abstractical,     
That lay their proper bodies on the shelf—     
Keeping thyself so truly to thyself,     
Thou Zimmerman made practical!     
Thou secret fountain of a Scottish style,     
That, like the Nile,     
Hideth its source wherever it is bred,     
But still keeps disemboguing     
(Not disembroguing)     
Thro' such broad sandy mouths without a head     
Thou disembodied author—not yet dead,—     
The whole world's literary Absentee!     
Ah! wherefore hast thou fled,     
Thou learned Nemo—wise to a degree,     
Anonymous L. L. D.!

Thou nameless captain of the nameless gang     
That do—and inquests cannot say who did it!     
Wert thou at Mrs. Donatty's death-pang?     
Hast thou made gravy of Weare's watch—or hid it?     
Hast thou a Blue-Beard chamber? Heaven forbid it!     
I should be very loth to see thee hang!     
I hope thou hast an alibi well plann'd,     
An innocent, altho' an ink-black hand.     
Tho' thou hast newly turn'd thy private bolt on     
The curiosity of all invaders—     
I hope thou art merely closeted with Colton,     
Who knows a little of the Holy Land,     
Writing thy next new novel—The Crusaders!

Perhaps thou wert even born     
To be Unknown.—Perhaps hung, some foggy morn,     
At Captain Coram's charitable wicket,     
Pinn'd to a ticket     
That Fate had made illegible, foreseeing     
The future great unmentionable being.—     
Perhaps thou hast ridden     
A scholar poor on St. Augustine's Back,     
Like Chatterton, and found a dusty pack     
Of Rowley novels in an old chest hidden;     
A little hoard of clever simulation,     
That took the town—and Constable has bidden     
Some hundred pounds for a continuation—     
To keep and clothe thee in genteel starvation.

I liked thy Waverly—first of thy breeding;     
I like its modest "sixty years ago,"     
As if it was not meant for ages' reading.     
I don't like Ivanhoe,     
Tho' Dymoke does—it makes him think of clattering     
In iron overalls before the king,     
Secure from battering, to ladies flattering,     
Tuning his challenge to the gauntlets' ring—     
Oh better far than all that anvil clang     
It was to hear thee touch the famous string     
Of Robin Hood's tough bow and make it twang,     
Rousing him up, all verdant, with his clan,     
Like Sagittarian Pan!

I like Guy Mannering—but not that sham son     
Of Brown.—I like that literary Sampson,     
Nine-tenths a Dyer, with a smack of Porson.     
I like Dick Hatteraick, that rough sea Orson     
That slew the Gauger;     
And Dandie Dinmont, like old Ursa Major;     
And Merrilies, young Bertram's old defender,     
That Scottish Witch of Endor,     
That doom'd thy fame. She was the Witch, I take it,     
To tell a great man's fortune—or to make it!

I like thy Antiquary. With his fit on,     
He makes me think of Mr. Britton,     
Who has—or had—within his garden wall,     
A miniature Stone Henge, so very small     
The sparrows find it difficult to sit on;     
And Dousterswivel, like Poyais' M'Gregor;     
And Edie Ochiltree, that old Blue Beggar,     
Painted so cleverly,     
I think thou surely knowest Mrs. Beverly!     
I like thy Barber—him that fired the Beacon—     
But that's a tender subject now to speak on!

I like long-arm'd Rob Roy.—His very charms     
Fashion'd him for renown!—In sad sincerity,     
The man that robs or writes must have long arms,     
If he's to hand his deeds down to posterity!     
Witness Miss Biffin's posthumous prosperity,     
Her poor brown crumpled mummy (nothing more)     
Bearing the name she bore,     
A thing Time's tooth is tempted to destroy!     
But Roys can never die—why else, in verity,     
Is Paris echoing with "Vive le Roy!"     
Aye, Rob shall live again, and deathless Die—     
(Vernon, of course) shall often live again—     
Whilst there's a stone in Newgate, or a chain,     
Who can pass by     
Nor feel the Thief's in prison and at hand?     
There be Old Bailey Jarvies on the stand!

I like thy Landlord's Tales!—I like that Idol     
Of love and Lammermoor—the blue-eyed maid     
That led to church the mounted cavalcade,     
And then pull'd up with such a bloody bridal!     
Throwing equestrian Hymen on his haunches—     
I like the family—(not silver) branches     
That hold the tapers     
To light the serious legend of Montrose.—     
I like M'Aulay's second-sighted vapours,     
As if he could not walk or talk alone,     
Without the devil—or the Great Unknown,—     
Dalgetty is the nearest of Ducrows!

I like St. Leonard's Lily—drench'd with dew!     
I like thy Vision of the Covenanters,     
That bloody-minded Graham shot and slew.     
I like the battle lost and won,     
The hurly burly's bravely done,     
The warlike gallops and the warlike canters!     
I like that girded chieftain of the ranters,     
Ready to preach down heathens, or to grapple,     
With one eye on his sword,     
And one upon the Word,—     
How he would cram the Caledonian Chapel!     
I like stern Claverhouse, though he doth dapple     
His raven steed with blood of many a corse—     
I like dear Mrs. Headrigg, that unravels     
Her texts of scripture on a trotting horse—     
She is so like Rae Wilson when he travels!

I like thy Kenilworth—but I'm not going     
To take a Retrospective Re-Review     
Of all thy dainty novels—merely showing     
The old familiar faces of a few,     
The question to renew,     
How thou canst leave such deeds without a name,     
Forego the unclaim'd dividends of fame,     
Forego the smiles of literary houris—     
Mid Lothian's trump, and Fife's shrill note of praise,     
And all the Carse of Gowrie's,     
When thou might'st have thy statue in Cromarty—     
Or see thy image on Italian trays,     
Betwixt Queen Caroline and Buonaparté,     
Be painted by the Titian of R.A.'s,     
Or vie in sign-boards with the Royal Guelph     
Perhaps have thy bust set cheek by jowl with Homer's,     
Perhaps send out plaster proxies of thyself     
To other Englands with Australian roamers—     
Mayhap, in Literary Owhyhee     
Displace the native wooden gods, or be     
The China-Lar of a Canadian shelf!

It is not modesty that bids thee hide—     
She never wastes her blushes out of sight:     
It is not to invite     
The world's decision, for thy fame is tried,—     
And thy fair deeds are scatter'd far and wide,     
Even royal heads are with thy readers reckon'd,—     
From men in trencher caps to trencher scholars     
In crimson collars,     
And learned serjeants in the forty-second!     
Whither by land or sea art thou not beckon'd?     
Mayhap exported from the Frith of Forth,     
Defying distance and its dim control;     
Perhaps read about Stromness, and reckon'd worth     
A brace of Miltons for capacious soul—     
Perhaps studied in the whalers, further north,     
And set above ten Shakspeares near the pole!

Oh, when thou writest by Aladdin's lamp,     
With such a giant genius at command,     
For ever at thy stamp,     
To fill thy treasury from Fairy Land,     
When haply thou might'st ask the pearly hand     
Of some great British Vizier's eldest daughter,     
Tho' princes sought her,     
And lead her in procession hymeneal,     
Oh, why dost thou remain a Beau Ideal!     
Why stay, a ghost, on the Lethean Wharf,     
Envelop'd in Scotch mist and gloomy fogs?     
Why, but because thou art some puny Dwarf,     
Some hopeless Imp, like Riquet with the Tuft,     
Fearing, for all thy wit, to be rebuff'd,     
Or bullied by our great reviewing Gogs?

What in this masquing age     
Maketh Unknowns so many and so shy?     
What but the critic's page?     
One hath a cast, he hides from the world's eye;     
Another hath a wen,—he won't show where;     
A third has sandy hair,     
A hunch upon his back, or legs awry,     
Things for a vile reviewer to espy!     
Another hath a mangel-wurzel nose,—     
Finally, this is dimpled,     
Like a pale crumpet face, or that is pimpled,     
Things for a monthly critic to expose—     
Nay, what is thy own case—that being small,     
Thou choosest to be nobody at all!

Well, thou art prudent, with such puny bones—     
E'en like Elshender, the mysterious elf,     
That shadowy revelation of thyself—     
To build thee a small hut of haunted stones—     
For certainly the first pernicious man     
That ever saw thee, would quickly draw thee     
In some vile literary caravan—     
Shown for a shilling     
Would be thy killing,     
Think of Crachami's miserable span!     
No tinier frame the tiny spark could dwell in     
Than there it fell in—     
But when she felt herself a show—she tried     
To shrink from the world's eye, poor dwarf! and died!

O since it was thy fortune to be born     
A dwarf on some Scotch Inch, and then to flinch     
From all the Gog-like jostle of great men,     
Still with thy small crow pen     
Amuse and charm thy lonely hours forlorn—     
Still Scottish story daintily adorn,     
Be still a shade—and when this age is fled,     
When we poor sons and daughters of reality     
Are in our graves forgotten and quite dead,     
And Time destroys our mottoes of morality—     
The lithographic hand of Old Mortality     
Shall still restore thy emblem on the stone,     
A featureless death's head,     
And rob Oblivion ev'n of the Unknown!

In this tribute to the great comic actor Hood satirically invokes "Joe Frankenstein," who can "compile / The vegetable man complete."

"This fellow's wise enough to play the fool,     
And to do that well craves a kind of wit."     
                                                                                       —Twelfth Night

Joseph! they say thou'st left the stage,     
To toddle down the hill of life,     
And taste the flannell'd ease of age,     
Apart from pantomimic strife—     
"Retired—[for Young would call it so]—     
The world shut out"—in Pleasant Row!

And hast thou really wash'd at last     
From each white cheek the red half-moon     
And all thy public Clownship cast,     
To play the private Pantaloon?     
All youth—all ages yet to be     
Shall have a heavy miss of thee!

Thou didst not preach to make us wise—     
Thou hadst no finger in our schooling—     
Thou didst not "lure us to the skies"—     
Thy simple, simple trade was—Fooling!     
And yet, Heav'n knows! we could—we can     
Much "better spare a better man!"

Oh, had it pleased the gout to take     
The reverend Croly from the stage,     
Or Southey, for our quiet's sake,     
Or Mr. Fletcher, Cupid's sage,     
Or, damme! namby pamby Pool,—     
Or any other clown or fool!

Go, Dibdin—all that bear the name,     
Go Byeway Highway man! go! go!     
Go, Skeffy—man of painted fame,     
But leave thy partner, painted Joe!     
I could bear Kirby on the wane,     
Or Signor Paulo with a sprain!

Had Joseph Wilfred Parkins made     
His grey hairs scarce in private peace—     
Had Waithman sought a rural shade—     
Or Cobbett ta'en a turnpike lease—     
Or Lisle Bowles gone to Balaam Hill—     
I think I could be cheerful still!

Had Medwin left off, to his praise,     
Dead lion kicking, like—a friend!—     
Had long, long Irving gone his ways     
To muse on death at Ponder's End—     
Or Lady Morgan taken leave     
Of Letters—still I might not grieve!

But, Joseph—everybody's Jo!—     
Is gone—and grieve I will and must!     
As Hamlet did for Yorick, so     
Will I for thee (though not yet dust),     
And talk as he did when he miss'd     
The kissing-crust that he had kiss'd!

Ah, where is now thy rolling head!     
Thy winking, reeling, drunken eyes,     
(As old Catullus would have said,)     
Thy oven-mouth, that swallow'd pies—     
Enormous hunger—monstrous drowth!—     
Thy pockets greedy as thy mouth!

Ah, where thy ears, so often cuff'd!—     
Thy funny, flapping, filching hands!—     
Thy partridge body, always stuff'd     
With waifs, and strays, and contrabands!—     
Thy foot—like Berkeley's Foote—for why?     
'Twas often made to wipe an eye!

Ah, where thy legs—that witty pair!     
For "great wits jump"—and so did they!     
Lord! how they leap'd in lamplight air!     
Caper'd—and bounced—and strode away!—     
That years should tame the legs—alack!     
I've seen spring through an Almanack!

But bounds will have their bound—the shocks     
Of Time will cramp the nimblest toes;     
And those that frisk'd in silken clocks     
May look to limp in fleecy hose—     
One only—(Champion of the ring)     
Could ever make his Winter,—Spring!

And gout, that owns no odds between     
The toe of Czar and toe of Clown,     
Will visit—but I did not mean     
To moralize, though I am grown     
Thus sad,—Thy going seem'd to beat     
A muffled drum for Fun's retreat!

And, may be—'tis no time to smother     
A sigh, when two prime wags of London     
Are gone—thou, Joseph, one,—the other,     
A Joe!—"sic transit gloria Munden!"     
A third departure some insist on,—     
Stage-apoplexy threatens Liston! —

Nay, then, let Sleeping Beauty sleep     
With ancient "Dozey" to the dregs—     
Let Mother Goose wear mourning deep,     
And put a hatchment o'er her eggs!     
Let Farley weep—for Magic's man     
Is gone—his Christmas Caliban!

Let Kemble, Forbes, and Willet rain,     
As though they walk'd behind thy bier,—     
For since thou wilt not play again,     
What matters,—if in heav'n or here!     
Or in thy grave, or in thy bed!—     
There's Quick might just as well be dead!

Oh, how will thy departure cloud     
The lamplight of the little breast!     
The Christmas child will grieve aloud     
To miss his broadest friend and best,—     
Poor urchin! what avails to him     
The cold New Monthly's Ghost of Grimm?

For who like thee could ever stride!     
Some dozen paces to the mile!—     
The motley, medley coach provide—     
Or like Joe Frankenstein compile     
The vegetable man complete!—     
A proper Covent Garden feat!

Oh, who like thee could ever drink,     
Or eat,—swill—swallow—bolt—and choke!     
Nod, weep, and hiccup—sneeze and wink?—     
Thy very yawn was quite a joke!     
Though Joseph, Junior, acts not ill,     
"There's no Fool like the old Fool" still!

Joseph, farewell! dear funny Joe!     
We met with mirth,—we part in pain!     
For many a long, long year must go     
Ere Fun can see thy like again—     
For Nature does not keep great stores     
Of perfect Clowns—that are not Boors!

Luttrell uses Frankenstein's Monster to represent a suffering and hated everyman, one who "Must be fed, when once created."

Rouse your spirits, Muse of mine.     
Though the feeblest of the Nine,     
There's no saying how 'twould hurt me,     
Goddess, should you now desert me.     
Since so lovingly we've travelled     
On together, don't be gravelled,     
But conduct a grateful friend     
Safely to his journey's end;     
Clear awhile your clouded brow,     
And, if ever, help me now.

In some tiny shape again     
Settle on my Bramah-pen,     
Or, still kinder, near me stand,     
Large as life, and there command     
All the motions of my hand,     
Lest the bard's unworthy song     
Do the matchless Hero wrong.

Tell me, when o'erweening pride     
Lured him to a scene untried,     
When it hurried him astray     
From a safe and noiseless way,     
To the dangerous heights of Play,     
Tell me what the valiant Cid     
Of St. James's, Crockford, did.     
How he spurred his desperate soul     
Onward to the destined goal.

Thanks to many a luckless caster,     
Houses four now called him master.     
Still (since never mortal gained     
All he wished) a fifth remained,     
Where the men of rub-a-dub,     
Left without a foe to drub,     
Long had held their peaceful club;     
And, disdaining to be sold,     
Spurned our Hero's proffered gold.

Strange, when soldiers disobey,     
And refuse to move for pay!     
Crockford, in a case so new,     
Puzzled felt what next to do;     
But, though formed for soft persuasion     
More than open bold invasion,     
Driven at last to change his course,     
Foiled at fair means, took to force.     
As some "losel," to possess     
Her who scorns his soft caress,     
Long in vain of money lavish,     
Wickedly resolves to ravish.

Thus he on the luckless building     
Forced the pill without the gilding.     
Baffled and enraged to find it     
Curbed his fancy, and confined it,     
He attacked and undermined it.     
Armed with pickaxe, crow, and spade,     
Such a rent this Casca made,     
That, as dawned the wintry day,     
Rocked awhile with side-long sway,     
Joists, and floors, and beams gave way.     
Every story, every wall,     
Nodding, tottered to its fall,     
Ousting husbands, children, wives,     
Just in time to save their lives.

Many a neighbour by the shock     
Startled, woke at seven o'clock,     
Many a stranger heard from far, a     
Sound like that of Niagara.     
Haunts beloved of fife and drum,     
Down, in thunder, down you come,     
And with ruin far and wide     
Strew the gulf on every side!

Passenger, I need not ask,     
Would it be an easy task     
Now, to trace a feature clubbish,     
In yon heap of dust and rubbish.     
Ne'er before had household-gods     
Struggled with such fearful odds;     
By the sudden revolution,     
Worse than sheriff's execution,     
Scarce was left within the house     
Shelter for a man or mouse;     
Reft of every stick within it,     
'Twas unfurnished in a minute;     
While, perchance, some broker sly     
Marked the goods, in passing by,     
Thus projected, with amazement,     
Longing for a fair appraisement.     
While, in spite of many a prop,     
Hoby trembled for the shop     
Where his matchless boots are sold,     
Nearly for their weight in gold!

Is it thus that Fate rewards     
Deeds like yours, ye dauntless Guards?     
Must you, bearded in your camp     
By a foe of Crockford's stamp,     
See him in your quarters dwell,     
In your very citadel?     
Must your trials never cease,     
Spared in war, to fall in peace?

Yet, while, club-less, you bemoan     
Walls so suddenly o'erthrown,     
Gratitude should check your tongue;     
For, had such a mine been sprung     
At an earlier hour or later,     
By that merciless Abater,     
Had the Fates, his will obeying,     
Caught you dining, supping, playing,     
Neither fortitude nor flight     
Had availed you—Men of might,     
'Twould have sealed your doom outright!     
All had perished, flesh and bones,     
Maimed and lifeless, on the stones,     
All from cards or billiards hurled     
Headlong to another world!

Thalaba, thou Arch-destroyer,     
Do, consult a clever lawyer.     
Let him be an able varlet,     
For the Red-coats must have Scarlet.     
Therefore, to avert your doom,     
Be advised, and "buy a Brougham."     
One who's never to be bought     
But in cases where he ought,     
Where, I fancy, those who try him     
Find it well worth while to buy him.

You may laugh at such a trespass,     
But 'twill never with the Mess pass.     
Law, like war, affords an action;     
Guards-men, though a fighting faction,     
May contrive to calm their fury     
With the verdict of a Jury.     
Mischief done there's no undoing;     
Vengeance in their breast is brewing,     
And, whatever you may say for't,     
Ten to one, they'll make you pay for't.

Still, though awkward is the scrape,     
There's a loop-hole to escape     
From its trouble and vexation.     
End the suit by arbitration,     
Might I venture to advise;     
For a sudden compromise,     
Breaking out between the parties,     
Wormwood to the' Attorney's heart is.

But if you are over-bold     
For my counsel,—if you hold     
That submission in a hero     
Lowers him, at once, to Zero,     
Luckily there yet a charm is,     
(Though, in trespass vi et armis     
Damages are often heavy),     
Ere the Sheriff makes his levy,     
There's a charm to save you still—     
Crockford, you may file a bill.     
Law to equity must yield;     
Equity, that Gorgon-shield,     
To the liveliest suitor shewn,     
Stiffens him at once to stone.

Bring the haughty warriors down,     
Make them truckle to the Gown;     
Folks like you have no compunction,     
Only move for an injunction,     
And with charges so involve it,     
That no answer can dissolve it.     
If they stir an atom faster,     
Have them up before a Master,     
Ply them well with forms for fudge meant,     
Never let them hope for judgment;     
And if, eager in the suit,     
On they rush to seize the fruit,     
As on cattle does a lion,     
As on Juno did Ixion,     
Let their arms, in vain held out,     
Only clasp a cloud of doubt,     
Raised, to check their daring love     
Of dispatch, by Chancery's Jove;     
While the' avenging pangs they feel     
Of his slow-revolving wheel.

Think what anguish and surprise,     
Mingled, in their bosoms rise,     
Chill their hearts, and glaze their eyes,     
When my Lord, to cure their vapours,     
Talks of taking home the papers,     
Where, perchance, his Lordship weighs them,     
Reads perchance,—perchance mislays them!

Term by term, and day by day,     
Wear their patience thus away,     
Till arrives that consummation     
Of their woe, the long Vacation.     
Drained by sums already lost,     
Scared by dreams of future cost,     
You may curb these men of war     
With their own Solicitor;     
Or, if Fortitude endures     
Aught more terrible, with yours.     
Think, if these should charge together     
On the baffled suitors, whether     
Proof there'd be in gun or blade     
'Gainst two Chancery-bills unpaid!

Thus tormented let them be;     
Feeing ever, still to fee,     
For a lingering last decree;     
While till doomsday off you stave it     
With a special affidavit.     
Think in oaths what magic spells lie!     
Think of Beaufort versus Wellesley!

Friends and foes you may defy,     
Thus intrenched in Chancery.     
'Tis like Doubting-Castle, where     
Dwelt that giant-form, Despair,     
Save that all the luckless clients,     
Though his namesakes, are not giants,     
But, by heavy fees exacted,     
Into pigmy-forms contracted.     
Can a standard here be planted?     
Hence, avaunt!—The ground's enchanted.     
Warlike engines are in vain,     
Storm, or sap, or coup-de-main.     
Guards, you might with less ado,     
Win a second Waterloo,     
Than a victory achieve     
Here, without the Conjuror's leave.

He can keep you all at bay     
With one magic word—Delay.     
Send you to the right about     
By two syllables—I doubt.     
So impregnable a fort     
Ne'er held out as Eldon's court.     
Europe's armies would be beat     
Matched with Eldon, and—the Fleet!

But it matters not a straw     
Whether Equity or Law,     
(Blessings both, but somewhat dear)     
Conquers, or is conquered here;     
If the Man of dice and cards     
Proves too many for the Guards;     
Or if they, of life and limb     
Prodigal, should master him;     
If, in short, the case that's strongest     
Triumphs, or the purse that's longest.

These are trifles, light as air,     
Little worth our Hero's care.     
Crockford, conscious of the ready,     
To his darling purpose steady,     
Nay, each hour determined more,     
Having ruined, to restore,     
Hastes to be a man or mouse,     
Made or marred, at Crockford-House.

See, the destined ground is cleared!     
See, the scaffolding is reared!     
Carts on carts the gulf environ,     
Fraught with timber, stone, and iron.     
Piles of bricks from every quarter     
Pay their court to hods of mortar,     
And, in spite of wintry weather,     
Lovingly are linked together.     
Welcome (here's a fig for lawyers)     
Masons, carpenters, and sawyers,     
Heaving, pulleying, chipping, craning,     
Thumping, hammering, and planing,     
Never grudging, night or day,     
Double tasks for double pay.

Soon shall spring (for Crockford dashes),     
Like a phenix from its ashes,     
Like a rising exhalation,     
Such a plan, and elevation!     
Such a fabric, such a building,     
Rich in marble, stucco, gilding,     
Pannels varnished, mouldings burnished;     
All so fitted up, and furnished;     
Monstrous hive for making honey!     
Tempting trap for catching money!

But while, mushroom-like, it grows,     
Folks get frightened, and suppose     
That, for ends so full of evil,     
Crockford's dealing with the Devil;     
And, from greediness of pelf,     
To that fiend has sold himself     
Who will, at no distant day,     
Claim, and carry him away!

They down-face you that his master     
Scarcely for himself built faster,     
When he of metallic scum     
Fashioned Pandemonium,     
Than his slave, they can't tell how,     
Builds, as if by magic, now;     
So that any one may spy     
Satan's finger in the pye.

Thus, they add, as if they'd seen'em     
Sign the deed, it runs between'em.     
That of masonry or brick-work,     
(Being anxious to make quick work)     
Crockford covenants to lay     
Certain cubits every day;     
Stipulating so, they guess,     
Just to save appearances;     
While the Devil, maturely weighing     
What the house is meant for—playing,     
And that then and there, the guests     
Most perform his high behests,     
And promote his interests,     
Duly promises to lay,     
(Reckoning on the' aforesaid Play),     
Every night, in order true,     
For each Crockford-cubit, two.     
Both performing thus in turn,     
To complete the whole concern,     
As agreed, if not so soon     
As the end of May, in June.

To the contract, as it stood,     
Crockford set his hand in blood;     
Satan, with a pen of flame     
Dipped in sulphur, did the same.     
"Sealed," quoth Satan. Crockford shivered     
As he stammered forth "delivered."     
And his terror scarce was banished     
When the other party—vanished!

Such the tale, of little credit.     
'Twas a burning shame to spread it;     
To encourage a report     
So malicious ev'n in sport.     
'Twas a calumny for spite meant,     
And, if dealt with by indictment,     
Though 'twere true as is the Bible,     
More, on that account, a libel,     
Say the jury, on their oath,     
'Gainst the Devil and Crockford both.     
I, for one, though some receive it     
All for gospel, don't believe it;     
Or that any sprite but Mammon     
Helps him on.—The rest is gammon.

Yet, my friend, though he and you     
Never had an interview;     
And hereafter, as I pray     
Most devoutly, never may;     
Though no demon-spell has bound you,     
Dangers here, on earth, surround you.     
Pause a moment, Crockford, pause—     
Break, but do not brave the laws;     
Out-manoeuvre, or out-buy them;     
But 'tis madness to defy them.

Though their silence, long and deep,     
Plainly shews them fast asleep,     
Be not by their slumbers led     
To imagine they are dead.     
Fear their renovated vigour,     
Fear their threatened "utmost rigour,"     
Which, near covers and preserves,     
Frowns aloft, to try the nerves     
Of those pestilent encroachers     
On all rural bliss, the poachers,     
In the yearly war which peasants     
Wage with gentlemen, for pheasants.

If the legal lion rouses,     
How you'll mourn your vanished houses!     
When th' expounders of the Laws     
Grant a rule for shewing cause,     
And to court you trembling go,     
Conscious you have none to shew,     
How you'll wish yourself again     
Safe within that modest den     
Where your dextrous course you shaped     
So discreetly, and escaped     
From such perils as, in print,     
'Twere ungracious ev'n to hint!     
Now, pursuit may well grow warmer;     
Now, you are your own informer.

Wherefore all this fuss and flourish?     
Friends are lukewarm, foes are currish.     
Those would hardly stir to right you;     
These move heaven and earth to spite you.     
Make not such a noise and shew:     
If so loud your trumpets blow,     
Dread the fate of Jericho.     
At their sounding, every wall     
Of your citadel may fall.

Take my counsel, do not brag;     
Keep your cat within her bag;     
Comely whiskers, velvet paws,     
Ill conceal her teeth and claws.     
Nought avails her coat and purring,     
If she keeps the mice from stirring.

With so nourishing a diet     
Can't you chew the cud in quiet?     
Unmolested would you eat     
Never, never, cry roast meat;     
Nor, at meals, proclaim aloud     
Plenty to a hungry crowd,     
Who begin, perhaps, by staring,     
But, at last, insist on sharing.     
While you summon many a guest     
In your pompous halls to feast,     
Tremble at the Bow-Street Harpies,     
With their nails unclean, and sharp eyes,     
Birds obscene, whose sight and touch     
May not please you over-much.

Here, I fancy you replying     
By a truth there's no denying,     
"Men have gambled, and they will,     
Spite of lectures, gamble still.     
So that any speculation     
Has, in Play, a sure foundation."     
Granted.—But in every case,     
Pray consider time and place:     
If you weigh not manners, men,     
Where you lay your traps, and when,     
Your conclusion's not exact.—     
Still, by long experience backed,     
Still, your major is a fact.

Wise and simple, grave and gay,     
Have been lured and led away     
Captives, by the charms of Play.     
There's no punishing or shaming     
Certain people out of gaming;     
'Tis among the plagues that ravage     
Countries civilized and savage,     
In its blind, impartial rage     
Sparing neither sex nor age.     
Here, 'tis a resistless passion,     
There, a pastime or a fashion.     
Some it maddens and bewitches     
With the hope of sudden riches:     
Some would fain, because too well off,     
Stave Ennui, that demon-spell, off;     
And by Play's excitement strive     
Just to keep themselves alive.     
Moralists may preach or wonder;     
'Tis as ancient quite as thunder.

Nor imagine that the vice     
Is confined to cards and dice;     
That its power is felt or shewn     
In saloons or clubs alone.     
Practised our desires to move     
In as various forms as Love,     
Shifting to a hundred shapes,     
Here some grave pursuit it apes;     
Here performs some sordid task     
In a domino and mask.

All who, dashing, over-trade,     
All by whom a wager's laid;     
All who deal in those affairs     
Called, from sharing nothing,—shares,     
(As a grove all classic men do     
Lucus term, a non lucendo);     
All who would their incomes double,     
By some specious two-faced bubble,     
And secure, by hums on hums,     
Bonuses and premiums;     
All the bulls and bears that range,     
Shaped like men, the Stock-exchange,     
And, without remorse, would martyr     
Half mankind for half a quarter;     
All who, preying on the nation,     
Call their rapine speculation;     
Who by accident advance,     
And in all things trust to chance;     
Scheme-contrivers, money-scramblers,     
All are errant downright gamblers.

Who, but smiling, hears and sees     
Folks like some at least of these;     
Thus untouched by love of gold,     
Thus "in conscious virtue bold,"     
With uplifted hands and eyes     
Feigning anger, or surprise;     
With severe and Spartan air     
Sitting in the moral chair;     
When at others' motes they scream,     
With their own enormous beam;     
When they dare the lash to lay     
So relentlessly on Play,     
And to wonder what retards     
God's revenge on dice and cards!

Softly, Stoics, if you please.     
Truth, profaned by lips like these,     
Sounds but like a lottery-puff.     
Play, we own, is bad enough,     
With its see-saw loss and gain;—     
Every mischief's in its train.     
In the human breast, we grant     
'Tis a poisonous deadly plant,     
One whose growth is sure to smother     
And o'ershadow every other;     
As for miles round Java's Upas,     
('Twont among us, now, for true pass)     
Nothing, as the fable goes,     
Either moves, or breathes, or grows.

Arm against it Woman's beauty,     
Love, Ambition, Fame, and Duty,     
Play, unconquered since the Fall,     
Play will triumph o'er them all!     
'Tis no easier to defend it,     
Than by any law to end it;     
Vain attempt, and sure to fail. 'Tis     
Like a host of other frailties,     
Which, if rooted up, no doubt,     
We should better be without.

But are Doctors such as these     
Fit to combat the disease?     
Men who, in a different form,     
Hug the vice at which they storm?     
May n't we whisper to these elves,     
Sage physicians, cure yourselves?     
Others justly may condemn     
Who offend not, but in them     
'Tis, whatever the pretence,     
Sheer, unblushing impudence,     
If its real name you want:—     
Sheer hypocrisy and cant!

Be it then as you contend.—     
Play, no doubt, my venturous friend,     
Is an universal passion;     
Still be cautious, while you dash on,     
What a scheme you risk your cash on.     
Freely, we confess, you bleed,     
And would, ten to one, succeed,     
Were the' adventure French or Flemish;     
But, at home, we're somewhat squeamish;     
Not what is, but what appears,     
Here, alarms our eyes and ears.

While the question we are blinking,     
And, as is our custom, winking     
Hard, though manifest the case is     
As the nose on all our faces,     
Crockford, are you not a ninny, an     
Errant, reckless Carthaginian,     
Thus our Roman eyelids paring,     
At your deeds to set us staring,     
When, through indolence or kindness,     
We've so long been shamming blindness?

If you, for your strange vocation,     
Not content with toleration,     
Aim at full emancipation,     
If you from the monster, Play,     
Rashly tear the veil away,     
As the' impostor-prophet cast     
His, in triumph, off at last;     
(So 'tis written in that book     
Of enchantment, Lalla Rookh);     
Should you, to unseal the eyes     
Of its abject votaries,     
Treat them even to a glance     
Of its hideous countenance,     
Crockford, while you ape Mokanna,     
Dread the Acts of George and Anna!

Wherefore hurry up a mansion     
Of such splendour and expansion,     
Wherefore build so proud a fane     
To the greedy God of gain?     
Nursed in darkness, scared by light,     
Play should, here, play least in sight,     
And, ensconced behind a screen,     
If it blushes, "blush unseen."

Though, from policy or chance,     
It has thriven, and thrives in France,     
Where unbroken custom backs it,     
Law permits, and statesmen tax it;     
Crockford, even you must grant,     
Here, 'tis but a sickly plant,     
Stunted oft, and oft laid low,     
By the nipping squalls that blow,     
Fitful, from the Street of Bow.

Ev'n our darling shares and tickets,     
Long afflicted with the rickets,     
Lingering, spite of many a vote,     
With the rattles in the throat,     
After all their struggles past,     
Calmly have expired at last;     
And there's left not breath enough     
In the Lottery—for a puff!

Wherefore conjure up accusers     
In the testy tribe of losers,     
Who compose, your annals say,     
Just nine-tenths of those who play?     
Why instruct the thickest skull     
In the secret of the pull?     
Are your customers so dull?     
Who can doubt, but Nature's fools,     
From the value of the tools,     
And the instruments they see,     
What the precious work must be?     
Something you were known to touch,     
But we never dreamed how much,     
Nor, till such a pile was shewn us,     
Guessed the value of your bonus.

Every brick and stone that's laid,     
Whispers of your prosperous trade:     
When we see yon walls aspire     
Higher every day and higher;     
When we view that stately front,     
Ominous to those who punt,     
Parting, by some scores of feet,     
Hoby's boots from Bennet-Street,     
This, at once, the veil withdraws;     
From th' effect we judge the cause,     
Sure that all the boundless cost,     
Gained by you, by us was lost.

He, the Chief, whose armies went     
Rough-shod o'er the Continent,     
Who, insatiate of renown,     
Thrones and Kingdoms crumbled down,     
Deeming he had nothing gained     
While unconquered aught remained,     
By the flames of Moscow crossed     
Mourned his fame and empire lost.     
You, though all confess your sway,     
Sovereign o'er the realms of Play,     
Crockford, if you're wise, refrain     
From this dangerous new campaign.     
Spite of your achievements, tremble     
Lest your fate his fate resemble,     
Lest the Palace in our view     
Should a Kremlin prove to you.     
What though, beaten, you surrender?     
We are ruthless and untender,     
And have Forts, within a mile,     
Strong as St. Helena's isle.

Mighty Man of cards and dice,     
Take a real friend's advice;     
One who, though he never threw in,     
Fain would shelter you from ruin.     
Mine's a maxim soon expressed,     
Loss the first is loss the best.     
Don't, or I shall think you mad,     
Throw good money after bad;     
Don't, thou prodigal of purse,     
Farther go, to fare the worse;     
On the precipice's brink     
Still you've time to pause and think.     
If your noddle be not too dense     
For a single grain of prudence,     
Now, your self-command recover,     
One step more, and all is over.

Haste, ere Winter yield to Spring,     
Haste, and strike your scaffolding.     
Though you've set the World a gazing     
At the structure you are raising,     
Though so proud an elevation     
Makes what's called—a strong sensation,     
Keeping, like the Funds of late,     
People in a "feverish state,"     
Let it, like the Bear and Fiddle,     
Off be broken in the middle;     
Let the speculation drop;     
Bid your swarming workmen stop;     
They may grumble, sneer, or scoff,     
Never mind, but pay them off.

Or, should pausing here, perchance,     
Cost as much as to advance,     
'Twould be easy to diminish     
Your expenses, ere you finish     
What you rashly mean to build—     
Ere its destiny's fulfilled,     
Ere to such a size you swell it,     
Un-bedevil, and un-hell it,     
From a Play-devoted cavern     
To a club, hotel, or tavern.     
Crowning thus St. James's heights,     
'Twill be popular; and White's,     
If you delicately break it     
To the Managers, and make it     
Worth their while, perhaps may take it.

Not intending to distress you,     
Not in malice I address you.     
Little wisdom lies in scorning     
Mine, a well-meant friendly warning.     
Dread yon treacherous hollow sea,     
Dread the breakers on your lea;     
If you would not be the sport     
Of foul weather, make for port;     
Or, in plainer words, retire     
To your snug domestic fire;     
To your safe and tight-built ark,     
Anchored in the Régent's Park.

Wherefore dread too still a life?     
You have children, and a wife;     
Can't you trust to her for strife?     
And to little girls and boys,     
Romping up and down, for noise?     
Scarce, amid these "natural shocks,"     
Need you miss the dice and box,     
Or, in scenes so little dull,     
Murmur, though you lose the pull.

There, aloof from tradesmen's bills,     
Gaze upon the Sister-hills;     
Musing, as you lift the sash,     
On M`Adam, and on Nash.     
And when Eastern fogs and blights     
Mar these innocent delights,     
When encroaching smoke from Town     
Bids you pull the window down,     
Then, for sweet discourse you'll find,     
With a neighbour to your mind,     
Subjects tempting to dilate on;     
Such as we can all debate on.

Sheltered then from wind and rain,     
Talk of Portugal and Spain;     
Of that driveller in command     
Over bigots, Ferdinand;     
Of the Lisbon-constitution,     
Problem of no quick solution;     
And at your discretion mix     
These with corn and Catholics;     
With protections, prohibitions,     
Fierce debates, and strong petitions.     
Next, discuss, for a cephalic,     
Notes and currency metallic;     
Or the crisis which portends     
War 'twixt rents and dividends;     
War, where moneyed men or landed     
Must be scratched, and may be stranded.     
Hopeful topics such as these     
You may handle at your ease;     
Topics, on which every mother's     
Son may bore himself—and others.

Or, if later in the year,     
Posting down to Cambridgeshire,     
On whose plains, by Fortune's care,     
You've another pied-à-terre,     
Lay your bets, and hedge, and lark it     
With the jockeys of Newmarket;     
With your wonted welcome greeting,     
Every Spring and Autumn-meeting,     
All the dear familiar faces     
Seldom missed at any races.     
So no Big-wigs shall alarm you,     
And no information harm you;     
So shall duns unpaid forbear you;     
So shall nothing ill come near you;     
So, whate'er you spend or save,     
Peace and safety shall you have.

Lay no longer on, Macduff,     
Prudence whispers, "hold—enough!"     
Do what every creature tries     
To accomplish—realize;     
And, intent on winding up,     
Take no heed how people sup.     
Let them bet, and win, and lose,     
How, and when, and where they choose;     
Let them celebrate their orgies     
In St. James's, or St. George's;     
Be they many, be they few,     
So they harbour not with you.

Muse, the rambling course we've run     
Might be lengthened, but I've done     
Gently, as I hope, my task;—     
And if sterner critics ask,     
Deeming, in a case like this,     
Whips and scorpions not amiss,     
Why I have not thought it fitter     
For my purpose to be bitter;     
Have not opened every sluice     
Of all possiblé abuse     
(Since good counsel's thrown away)     
On the votaries of Play—     
Hear my answer. Nought reclaims     
People less than calling names,     
Be it with the pen or tongue,     
Be it written, said, or sung.     
Since, could any vice or failing     
Have been rooted out by railing,     
We, though men in outward shew,     
Had been angels long ago.     
They who deal in "speaking daggers"     
Have no reason to be braggers     
Of success in what they do;     
What's so very easy too     
Has no chance of being new.     
Every one can be abusive:     
There's no privilege exclusive     
To protect their hopeful labours,     
Who, in shewing up their neighbours,     
Mingle truth enough with lies,     
In their batch of calumnies,     
Just to make the ferment rise.     
None can fail, and none excells     
On that paltry peal of bells     
Through whose belfry he who ranges,     
In a trice, may ring the changes.

Reader, if you're not with me,     
Listen to another plea.     
Could I sweep, from Earth, away     
Every Proteus-form of Play;     
Could I wield, in such a cause,     
All the thunder of the laws,     
And to death, or stripes, or fetters,     
Doom its aiders and abettors,     
Hunted so through every shape,     
That no culprit should escape,     
Think what ruin would be hurled     
On the heads of half the World!

No, if justice must be done,     
Let it be on all, or none.     
I, averse to kill so many,     
Point no blunderbuss at any;     
But, contented to resort     
To less murderous arms, for sport,     
Pepper, since they can't be all shot,     
Those that crow the most, with small shot.

Wherefore should I scold and rate,     
Like some nymph of Billingsgate,     
Those who, slaves to cards and dice,     
Revel in their favorite vice?     
Wherefore, by so fierce a tone,     
Spoil their temper and my own?—     
Can I thus reform produce?     
Who grows moral from abuse     
Destined, now-a-days, to fall,     
Like th'impartial rain, on all;     
Like the evils every creature     
Suffers from our common nature.     
Whether innocent or not,     
Every one must stand that shot;     
Must an epidemy bear     
"General as the casing air."

Wherefore, when the laws are broken,     
Brand the' offender with a token,     
Who, like old Astolpho's groom,     
Shorn, and trembling for his doom,     
Comes, and slyly, in the dark,     
Sets on all the self-same mark?

To be vilified and hissed     
You have only to exist.     
'Tis the atmosphere we breathe in;     
'Tis a cauldron all must seeth in;     
'Tis a plague-spot in the Land; all     
Suffer from, or deal in scandal.     
For, since Avarice first and Spite     
Bred that wolfish Appetite,     
Stalking through the world 'tis seen     
Like the Monster Frankenstein,     
And, however loathed and hated,     
Must be fed, when once created.

Libelled, on pretence of news,     
Scourged by critics in reviews,     
Each is in his turn a martyr     
By the day, the week, or quarter.     
Once you hardly felt their lashes,     
Screened by friendly stars and dashes,     
Or, what cloked the mischief better,     
Only here and there a letter.     
While the meaning thus was muzzled,     
Many a Beau was sorely puzzled     
Whether 'twas a word to say,     
Or a Sum in Algebra.     
"Plastered rubric on the walls,     
Now, you stand in Capitals."     
There, your name, no lustre lacking,     
Shines like Hunt's or Warren's blacking,     
Or like him of cures so speedy     
Safe and secret—Dr. Eady.

Since these Heroes of the pen     
War with women thus, and men,     
Since their viewless arrows strike     
Every head and heart alike,     
Why should they have power to vex,     
Grieve, or injure either sex?     
Thus from post to pillar hunted,     
Patience tired, and feelings blunted,     
Say, what armour of defence     
Have we but—indifference?     
But to live unhurt in slander,     
As, in fire, the Salamander?

Reader, be what you appear.     
Keep your fame and conscience clear,     
And, regardless of their frown     
Laugh, or rather live them down.     
If encompassed with a skin     
Somewhat sensitive and thin,     
At their stripes you ever winced,     
Steeled at length, at length convinced     
That, with many faults or few,     
(Since whate'er you say or do     
They are certain to condemn)     
You've no chance of pleasing them,     
Scorn to taste the poisoned chalice     
Lifted to your lips by Malice;     
Let no slanderer stir your bile,     
Read his libels with a smile,     
Or unheeded on the shelf     
Let them lie, and—please yourself.

This late-Victorian satire invokes Frankenstein as an analogue for the politician Northcote, "shrink[ing] from the monster he made."

Dame Nature, perusing the newspaper page,     
Jumped out of her bed in a deuce of a rage;     
And swore by all Saints to the Calendar known,     
She would prove on the spot she'd a will of her own.     
"I have waited and waited," quoth she, "by the Mass,     
In the hope things might come to a likelier pass;     
When sham 'Peace and Honour' were kicked out o' door,     
I swore to give England a chance or two more.     
In return for that kicking, I gave her a year     
To the heart of the Briton I thought might be dear;     
With a warm sun above him, a kind earth below,     
And seasons as true as the ocean at flow—     
When crops might all flourish, and harvest increase,     
And Trade lift her head for a worthier peace;     
When Zulus and Afghans might rest on their oars,     
And B-rtle be fêted on civilised shores;     
I drank power to his elbow, though under the sun     
B-rtle's elbow had wrought all the harm to be done—     
Believing, at least, the small reason of men     
Would prevent him from shaking that elbow again.     
I bowed out my D-zzy, nor grudged him the while     
Of my sister, Dame Fortune, the kindliest smile,     
(For though Truth in the end should compel us to flee him     
We both of us know a big man when we see him):     
I bowed in my Gl-dst-n-, right worthy to share     
By Tories created, by Tories deplored,     
In the Queen's House of Commons mere Brass is the lord;     
Sleek N-rthc-t- calls angels and saints to his aid,     
And like Frankenstein shrinks from the monster he made,     
And while his poor hands he in humbleness rubs,     
The Tory bear-leader is led by his cubs;     
St. Stephen's still echoes the infantine Ch-rch-ll     
(Whose pedagogues, surely, used ruler and birch ill,     
When they fostered the pea in its juvenile pod,     
And ruined the child by avoiding the rod).     
While S-l-sbr-y utters his figments serene,     
Still Anarchy stalks o'er the desolate scene;     
Nor Br-ght, nor M-nd-lla, nor D-lke, has pretence     
To infuse in the mixture one tittle of sense.

The O'shine, the O'Paque, the O'Brian Boru,     
Give the best of bad brains their own land to undo;     
O'Tongs and MacHammer keep pounding away,     
The first half the night, and the second all day,     
With never a glimmer of wit to the fore,     
All powerless to speak, and all-powerful to bore—     
Till Ireland's dead Currans indignant disclaim     
The darkness of dulness now linked with her name.

Historic McC-rthy, on history nursed,     
Tries to make of his 'own times' the weakest and worst;     
P-rn-ll plays the stalest of demagogue play,     
To be called 'King P-rn-ll' talks his country away;     
And while England, awake to the wrongs of the past,     
The mantle of Love over Erin would cast,     
Bad landlords would banish, good tenants would bless,     
And kiss a loved sister with sister's caress,     
These self-seeking weaklings, of Pigmydom born,     
Make Ireland a desert, and England a scorn.

If there's not in the wide world a valley so sweet     
As that in whose bosom the bright waters meet,     
Oh! sad was that valley when luckless she fell     
To thee and to thine, cattle-maiming P-rn-ll!

What differs the past from the present, I pray?     
Wherein, please, is yesterday worse than to-day?     
The floor of your Commons is held by the men     
Who held it before, and now hold it again;     
Dishonour the master, and honour trod down,     
And N-rthc-t- submissive to S-l-sb-ry's frown,     
The country, o'erweary, o'erpatient, o'erworn,     
Uprising in murmurs of infinite scorn,     
And asking wherein, to those that have eyes,     
Between 'Whig' and 'Tory' the difference lies.     
I am weary of all of you—weary and sad—     
Where weak beyond weak seems the best to be had;     
Since for Right and for Reason no strength ye have got,     
By the Lord of Creation, I'll 'Boycott' the lot!"

Dame Nature arose, in her infinite strength,     
In the depths of her spirit outwearied at length;     
The East wind and North wind she summoned to throw     
Over Earth, Sea, and Heaven her masterful snow:     
She "boycotted" London from Kew to Mile End,     
Bade Thames to the tempest his armoury lend,     
She locked up two Judges forlorn and alone,     
And forced on the House a clôture of her own:     
She blocked the steel rails man-invented to prove     
That man was the master of force from above;     
She laughed at his mission, she mocked at his word,     
And through the loud storm-drift her warning was heard:     
"Ay! speak from the West, and foretell to a day     
When the storm-cloud shall break, and the lightning shall play;     
Foretelling is folly, and knowledge for fools,     
For the wisest of men keep the oldest of rules:     
Ye fret me, ye stir me, ye move me to mirth,     
At your Lownesses crawling 'twixt Heaven and Earth.     
My tide it shall gather, my storm it shall burst,     
In their own thoughts alone, sirs, your last shall be first:     
In an hour of the tempest, a frown of the cloud,     
I stoop to the humble, I threaten the proud."

Montgomery's satire of the contemporary scene includes a swipe at "The monster Frankenstein, from Shelley's brain," which "Enjoyed, like other trash, a spurious reign."

   I mean to show things really as they are,     
Not as they ought to be: for I avow,     
   That, till we see what's what,—we're far     
From much improvement with that virtuous plough     
   Which skims the surface, leaving scarce a scar     
Upon the black loam, long manured by Vice,     
   Or to keep its corn at the old price."     

---- thrasu moi tod' eipein     
[. . .]     
Malaka men phroneon eslois     
Traxus de paligkotois ephedros     
                                                                                 Pind. Nem. VII.—4.

Have mercy Smith!—what novels bend the shelves,     
In fat octavoes and in flimsy twelves!     
Those printed gew-gaws to defile the crude,     
Where Fashion yearns to cuckold or be woo'd;     
And sentimental misses and coquettes,     
Like sucking pigs, whine out their soft regrets:—     
Here school girls learn the load-stone of their eyes,     
The flush of feeling and exchange of sighs;     
Each heart-felt twitch romantic love endures,     
Till passion tickles,—and elopement cures!     
E'en sluttish housemaids crib a farthing light,     
To whimper o'er the novel's page by night;     
And then, like heroines, scorning to be wed,     
Next night make John the hero of their bed!

How sweetly tempting, flounce the florid troop     
Of pleasing sinners in the novel group,     
While sensual mewlings charm the easy ear,     
Till every crime is worshipped with a tear!     
A wanton maid, voluptuous, sweet as May,     
Shaped like a Venus from the ocean spray,     
Is doomed, (frail thing!) to pluck her virgin flower,     
For some young rake, within a moonlit bower:—     
Severe to judge, such simple nature there!     
"Bewail! sobs Léfanú—an injured fair!"

Each week turns out a garbled lump of shame,—     
Some pand'ring novel with a far-fetched name,—     
Or wind-blow from disorder'd craniums blown,     
The filthy brain-work of the small "Unknown:"     
High-pric'd the venal grubs their varnish sell,     
'Twill warm old maids and titillate the belle;     
From them will Jerdan peck, and Colburn puff,     
Till all but author cry out,—"quantum suff!"

Thou book-worn hack of Swansea, cease to write,     
May each vile volume wither from our sight;     
And with thee, Helme, and all the junto end,     
That live by lech'ry, and for sluggards vend.

The season buds with boundless book-supply,     
New hacks to barter, and new fools to buy;     
Lo! on the fly-leaf of each awful page,     
What pen-born wonders to astound the age!     
Now for a harvest of seven-shilling dowers,—     
Now for the puff whose promise overpowers!     
Select old bundles of remember'd lies,     
A genteel plan for making mutton pies;—     
The tales of vagabonds, on land and sea,     
And rhyme by furlongs,—treatises on tea:—     
But oh! turn liquid all ye mouths of ton!—     
What nice new novel prate the times upon?     
'Tis buzzed by blues from Bond Street to May Fair,—     
The papers hint,—the novel-shops declare—     
A flashy hodge-podge, by a certain dame     
Of ancient kennel and reputed fame,     
From Colburn's winter stock, will straight appear,—     
Ye wittals tremble, and ye beldames fear!     
'Tis out!—the sland'rous tattle of each room,—     
Belinda's ancle, and Theresa's plume,—     
The sweet soft mewlings of each luckless bawd,     
The eye that melted and the frown that awed;     
All the stewed malice of each flirt-famed street,—     
Within three tomes of scribble most complete!     
The gifted parent of this heavenly lore?—     
D'Israeli,—Hook,—or any vain-struck bore.

Dull Vivian Grey, that fluster'd for awhile,     
Tremaine, whose vapours made the Deist smile;     
Cosnétt's fine trump'ry, furbished for the fop,     
Approved Matilda—smelling of the shop:—     
The monster Frankenstein, from Shelley's brain,     
Enjoyed, like other trash, a spurious reign:     
But bungling blasphemy concealed in "Truth,"     
Came, culled by Hunt, to taint unheedful youth!     
Thou cankered Pagan! never may'st thou win     
By impious sneers, one convert to thy sin.

One word to thee, whose cheap-bought brains supply     
The lettered garbage for each reading stye:     
Will not the hoarded heaps within thy chest     
Feed the vile cravings of a selfish breast?     
Go, monger,—all thy manufact'ry stop,     
And drive the novel-panders from thy shop;     
Yet, ere thou leave the fetid mass of lies     
The minion of thy Pallas press supplies;     
Think on the taintless hearts thy dross defiled,—     
Think on the youthful ones thy hacks have wiled!     
In thy lewd leaves how many pens have taught,     
The filth of fancy, and the lust of thought;     
The cackled wailings of lascivious lore,—     
The heart to perjure, and the tact to whore.

Since Harriet's terse aristocratic tale,     
Improved the ton with memoirs of the frail,     
Lo, grey-haired vanity has mimed the dame,     
By printing records of forgotten shame.     
Now, gouty dramatists, whose brains run o'er,     
Concoct for sale an egotistic store;—     
Some prime bon mots, or puns of Adam's time,     
Some sweet remembrances of youthful crime;—     
Thus handsome Reynolds in two prurient tomes,     
Reveals his black-eyed strumpet, plots and homes;     
Next, Keefe, at fourscore, piles loquacious chaft,     
In praise of jorums, green rooms, self, and raff;     
While vapid Craven, though a Margravine,     
Pourtrays her phiz—not all that she has been!     
The last mean vamper of recorded trash,     
Comes sleepy Boaden—sniffing for the cash.

Columbian deeds in story scarcely reign,     
E'en Cook and Otaheite are on the wane;     
So fast learn'd vagabonds defame the earth,     
So fast their blund'ring quartos spring to birth!     
Pleased with the Pole, brave Parry sticks in ice,     
Where Behring Straits and shaggy bears entice,     
Awhile, with grog and whiskey, warms the year—     
Can John Bull deem a three-pound quarto dear?

Disturbed at Parry's fame, a moon-struck race,     
Forsake at once their creditors and place;—     
To measure pyramids,—descend a tomb,     
And filch a mummy from its catacomb;—     
Or traverse deserts on a camel's back,     
And prove that China's walls kept Tartars back!—     
Dispose the Nile, and hear a sea-pig roar,     
Convert a Mussulman, or shoot a boar:

Sail over Dover's Straits, with book to note,     
Observe each sign-post,—get each inn by rote,     
With Denham's glance, survey the land and sky,     
How gluttons gobble, and how French cooks fry,     
Ransack the Louvre, yawn at classic plays,     
Depict Parisian modes, and Sabbath-days,     
Mark priest-blind Charles his ivory cross adore,     
Contrive three volumes, and denote them "Tour,"     
"A Tour to France!" the crazy public cries,     
Reviewers gape—and Prince Puff Colburn buys.

There are who scribble till their brain is sore,     
And filter folly from their dregs of yore;     
And such art thou, now lagging through the scene,     
Mighty in talent, and in moral mean!     
Acute in books, yet blund'ring at the heart,     
Prating on truth, yet acting falsehood's part:     
Misguided, miserably gifted man,     
Be wisely free, a patriot if thou can!     
What! hath not sad experience raised thy soul     
From passion's sink, to purity's control?     
Hath not Affliction's adamantine rod     
Burst every bolt that barred thee from thy God?     
In vain—in vain—like an uneasy door,     
Thou creak'st, and harp'st upon the times of yore,     
When blood and blasphemy defiled mankind,     
And France became an image of thy mind.     
Then wipe pollution from thy weary pen,     
Refine, and not debase, thy fellow-men;     
If not,—then know, though England sullied be,     
She's good and wise enough to laugh at thee!

But, who art thou, that with lascivious eye,     
Stand'st looking on, with neck and nose awry?     
Off!—off!—debased, defiled, and truly dear     
To those alone who'd plant Rebellion here:     
Out on thee! unsex'd, unbelieving jade,     
For blasphemy and revolution made;     
And shame upon that highly-gifted mind,     
That ought to be a bulwark for mankind;     
But now degraded to the dirty task     
Of cloaking meanness with a patriot's mask:     
And scrawling volumes on Hibernian eyes,     
To swell imagination's harlot sighs!

Pierce Egan!—thou, whose polished pen can throw     
Round bulls and asses a descriptive glow;     
Poetic painter of the proud delight,     
When ruby noses rattle at the fight,—     
While lords and lubbers emulate their grooms,     
Thy name on every hunting bonnet blooms!     
When dead, thine image hung on "Pussy's" tail,     
Will raise the jehu's sob, and jockey's wail;     
To thy clean page of never-hidden sense,     
Our Berkley blossoms owe each fine pretence;     
There, dung-rear'd minions learn manuring lore,     
And giggling Jerries to be Toms no more!

From authors, turn we to the critic tribe,     
Well panoplied with serpent eye and gibe;     
The canine, noisome, unrepenting herd,     
That snarl, like bull-dogs, o'er each luckless word;     
Skilled but to jeer, or like poltroons assault,     
Commit the blunder, and create the fault;—     
Save frown and censure softly sink away     
In the full languishment of balmy pay!

Who reads to trust?—who dreams the dies of heaven     
Will last unchanged from morning to the even?     
Who thinks to split a rainbow with a straw,     
Or find a gem in every goose's maw?     
Such puling puppets are the critics turned,     
By craft and perjury, their bread is earn'd;     
Lurked back, like spiders in their dismal holes,     
They mangle merit, and belie their souls.     
To mark the glow of fancy on the page,     
The lucid picture and conception sage,     
Those genial graces of vivacious style,     
That deck the subject while the truths beguile;     
To trace the fearless beauties of each line,     
Dissect the parts, and then the whole combine;     
Unwarped by hate or parasitic zeal,     
Chastise all faults, and yet all merits feel,—     
Thus should the critic o'er the book preside,     
While taste selects, and wisdom leads the guide.

The Quarter's Oracle,—of Whigs the fear,     
Where Tories fumble, and apostates sneer;     
What fawning fools compose the scribbling crew,     
What brainless bantams strut in John's Review!     
Three-fourths o'erspread with ministerial fume,     
And only one to knell the author's doom!     
Here, cackling noodles tuned to Lockhart's croak,     
At sixteen pounds per sheet, the Whigs provoke;     
Or vap'ry vengeance on some victim wreak,     
And wither genius for a paltry pique;     
Minions to Lockhart and to Murray's wink,     
For hire, they hack and howl, and forge and think!

Ram of the flock, apostate Southey there,     
For fifty pounds purveys a double share;—     
Sometimes a lump of Gifford's fiendish hate,     
Completes a volume, and upholds the state;     
Next Milman, cresting up his full-blown self,     
Defames for envy, and reviews for pelf;     
And grins, like Croker, when his curse o'erthrows     
The minds that rival his ten-footed prose:     
Coleridge and Barrow, in their equal turn,     
For proper dabs the Murray stipend earn.

Let Croker now depicting notice share,     
That Aristarchian prig from Russell Square;     
So orthodox in apish Brummell's creed,     
His virgin eye can scarce another read!     
If frothy pertness and presuming taste,     
Ironic venom and resentful haste,     
Create the critic now—then thou art he;     
In these, smug Croker, who can rival thee?

Was Pope ne'er wanton,—peevishly impure,     
Desire too raging for his strength to cure?     
Did Blount not dawdle with the "thinking rake,"     
And Wortley's naked limbs his transport wake;     
Or send, when asked, the fair "Circassian" girl?     
Did Pope chicane not with contracting Curl?

With jargon framed by folly and by spite,     
And all his hatred stealing into light;     
This pouncing scribbler, in a fulsome rage,     
Raked up perverting lies for Roscoe's page;     
And mauled the dregs that Gilchrist left behind,     
To squeeze the innate poison from his mind!     
Alack, for Roscoe! when so base a pen     
Protects that Cruscan bard of "wooden men,"     
Who, beat by Bowles, bemoan'd for critic strength,     
And sneaked, and cring'd, till Croker whin'd at length!     
Delicious task!—to wipe pollution clean,     
And mete the moral by the verse obscene;     
To pile up slanders on a virtuous head,     
And stab the living to support the dead!

While genius flowing from a source refined,     
And all the gentler graces of the mind;     
While spotless age, more reverend as more grey,     
Adorn our isle, and consecrate their day,—     
Thy honours, Bowles, shall wear perennial bloom,     
And Fame her halo shed around thy tomb:     
When all this bribe-fed gang shall sleep forgot,     
And dust unhonour'd strew their burial spot,     
Relenting Time shall pay its just arrears,     
Thy soul in heaven, thy memory in our tears!

That bloated reveller on poor Longman's purse,     
Reviewing laird of English prose and verse,     
Self-loving Jeffrey,—butchers still content,     
Pleased with his hire, and proud of his descent:     
Around him crawl the insects of his will,     
With blushless zeal to prostitute their quill;     
Or torture talent, and profanely hack     
The hunted victims of their pen and pack.     
Though all the knaves of Edinburgh confess,     
Their Scotch Review the censor of the press,     
The froth and fury of this reckless league,     
Betray the infamies of Whig intrigue:     
Whose heath'nish tongue praised Europe's murd'ring foe,     
Who wiped the blood-stains of his frequent blow;     
And, linked with Jacobins, have vilely sneer'd     
At England's glories, and her rites revered?     
Whose Jesuistic rant has tried to fan,     
And raise up rebels from the vulgar clan?—     
The Scotch Review!—th' accursed vamp for all     
That surly Brougham, or simpering Sidney scrawl,     
For all the inebriate lies of party rage,     
And dunghill democrats that soil the age;—     
Oh! might discerning Truth her foes surpass,     
And fling from England's isle, this vip'rous mass!     
Blest is the bard, who far from J--'s frown,     
Secures a column for a week's renown;     
How "grand,"—"delightful,"—"beautiful,"—"divine,"—     
"Most charming,"—"rich,"—"surpassing,"—"superfine:"—     
All, all the epithets to poets dear,     
Pour from his quill, and melt the reader's ear:     
Ye precious darlings, whose ingenuous stuff     
Has winged upon the pinions of a puff,     
Be cautious, careful, how and where you write,     
Some little truth which should not see the light!     
Or else the fury of his vial flames!     
Woe to your drivel, and your ding-dong claims!     
Hark!—hark!—his Aristarchian thunders roar,     
And ye are damned for ever—evermore!

But who is he that with sardonic smile,     
And jealous eye, and lip weighed down with guile,     
Sneaks by, with pedlar sketches at his back?     
The monarch of the small-beer poet pack!     
The mighty would-be cock of prose and rhyme,     
Like Balaam's donkey, moaning the sublime!—     
Alike so hated by his friend and foe,     
That they applaud who would not dare the blow:     
Then, let the truth be heard, although on me     
He dash his thunderbolts of obloquy!     
For friend, and printer, artist,—all aver     
Thee, Alaric, a true poetic cur:     
Delighted, when revengeful envy throws     
Thy bilious drivel, on some verse, or prose,—     
Entranced, if Jerdan yield a barter'd page,     
Where, on young merit thou canst vomit rage,—     
In heaven itself, when callous lies can doom,     
Emerging talent to thy former gloom!     
Did Byron's laurels feel thy blackening slime,     
And forged detection of his thought and rhyme?     
Did Wisdom thank thee for the fierce lampoon,     
Or dub thee, "Pasquin," and a worse poltroon?     
How well the grov'ling task adorn'd thy fame,—     
To link a Byron to piratic shame!     
For this dull deed, may ne'er thy rhyme again     
Crawl through a page, or hobble in a strain;     
But injured genius blast thy venal muse,     
And drive thee, snarler, to thy fostering blues;     
Remorseful there, dissect thy feeble line,     
And print us all the tinsel, purely thine.

We hail that day, when Romish fetters ceased     
To slave the press,—and candid powers released,     
Allowed each Briton honest truth to cite,     
And strength and weakness, their alternate right;     
But now, the press with lawless sway outgoes,     
Denouncing private, more than public foes;     
The good and great, the noble and the mean,     
Alike endure the arrows of its spleen.

Lord of the squib, and primate of the pun,     
Fat Theodore, thy wreaths for these are won!     
The ton's hired Comus thou,—thy brains each week     
Can void in columns, puns thou dar'st not speak;     
Who, prompt, like thee, can hatch an unclean joke,     
Or give to bawdy wit the master stroke?     
So meaningly, who throw the smutty hint,—     
Thou punning improvisator in print?     
May George enrol thee for his Windsor fool,     
A dinner wit, surpassing Villiers' school!

The meanest carle that vends a Sunday sheet,     
Whose pen can perjure till the lie's complete,     
Lampooning Hunt,—with fiendish growl appeals,     
And licks the refuse shook from Cobbett's heels;     
Traducive hack! still vent, perversely vile,     
Each feeling fester'd with malignant bile;     
In slang and bawd'ry vomit forth abuse,     
Too virulently vile for London stews,—     
Invigorate each Pagan joke that's stale,     
And trim the musty filthiness of Bayle;     
Re-mould the sceptic dust of dead Voltaire,     
And in his vileness trace thy portrait there;     
Be all, and more, than Virtue can detest,—     
The rabble's patron, and the empire's pest!

Are bards and editorial tools alone,     
To malice pliant, and to trick'ry prone?     
Let crews that comment on the classic page,     
Approve their claim—book-harpies of the age!     
Or, breeding man-moths, with eternal notes,—     
Whose purging mania ev'ry line devotes:     
Heaven help the scholar, whom their frauds allure     
To read the author, cleans'd by texts impure!     
No Roman poet now,—no useless piece     
Of mouldy nonsense filch'd from ancient Greece;     
Creeps forth in print,—without a turgid mass     
Of notes, from English, or from German ass:

To graduate, the hopeful firstling flies     
To Cam, or where Oxonia's turrets rise;—     
There quaffs his "Massic," drives a borrowed gig,     
Games high, and bows before each powder'd wig;     
Reads Ovid's Loves, Petronius, the Unclean,     
And rivals Flaccus in his midnight scene;     
Then leaves his girl for Plato's ethic sweets,     
Or else, in Longus half his fellow greets;—     
Till primed with metre's true constructive laws,     
And all the lore of "ictus" and of "pause,"—     
The sharp-eyed pedant clears the college nooks,     
And foists purgations into perfect books!

Ye insect Porsons! whose defrauding plan     
Re-binds each blunder of confus'd Hermánn;     
Look round, and see your classic tomes perplex'd,     
With darkening comments, and corrupted text!     
And thou, dear Valpy, whose Delphinic trade,     
Through Bloomfield's critic crash, began to fade,—     
No more such variorum'd lumber vamp,     
But, sated with thy present gains, decamp;     
Let Priestley's pickled notes awhile succeed,     
And gain, as thine did,—surreptitious meed.

Shall none be praised,—no all-presiding mind     
Illum'd by Heaven, to better human kind?—     
Let powerful Turner's philosophic page     
Still teach his country, and this letter'd age;     
And prigs, and dunces, rank from Greece or Rome,     
To leave their ancients, and observe at home:     
Unequalled Irving, with pathetic art,     
Still, chaste describer, melt the British heart;     
And Scott, thy fame undying as thy soul,     
Blest is the feeling struck by thy control!

Look where we please, there is a sad decline,     
From human, to realities divine;     
Religion, morals,—all but vice, decay,     
And Fashion leads, while Folly blinds the day.     
No more the Thespian art's improving power,     
Lights up the mind, and lures a vacant hour;     
Nor forceful talent sway with Passion's rod,     
Where Kemble spoke, and Shakspeare's heroes trod!     
Ere patch-work dramas, and their tawdry train,     
Prologued the mumm'ries of an impure reign,—     
Our stage was evening bliss, where Britons sought     
The flash of Genius and the fire of thought,—     
Where guilt was imag'd to the musing eye,     
And dread example drew the gentle sigh,     
Till worth triumphant breath'd its hallowed prayer,     
And Virtue smiled to see her semblance there!

While fumbling dramatists employ their pen,     
Sublimely careless of the where and when,     
Let Britain blush for her degraded stage,—     
The scenic fripp'ries of a bloated age:     
A flag far-streaming, with coruscant sheen,     
The rose-wreath'd trees to dance along the scene,—     
A pensive fountain lolling on a rock,     
A squirt of lightning, and a copper shock;—     
The clash of pewter, and the raw recruit,     
Whose gilded scabbard dangles to his foot;     
And then, the lean procession's limping throng,     
Like white-wash'd puppets, wheeling slow along;—     
All these,—with clouds to fatten up the sky,     
And mid-day moons to ope the sawney's eye,—     
Drawl out the ling'ring life of plays purvey'd,     
And hash'd-up melodrams to serve the trade!

But most, the clap-trap's heart-convulsive cant,     
Conducive "damns," and well-timed mouthing rant;     
With smutty meanings, wrapt in puns and grins,     
The hand's wide sweep, the shoulder-work, and shins—     
Prelude the music of a gall'ry squall,—     
Well-earn'd applause for Beazely, Pool or Ball!

The Comic vein has ceased its merry flow,     
And Satire aims no more th' instructive blow;     
Though faithful guardians of the moral spell,     
Forbid a Shakspeare for a Marmontel!—     
Look back on proud Eliza's peerless reign,     
And will not our dramatic contrast pain?     
Then playful Congreve kindled humour's fire,     
And Beaumont sparkled in the wit's attire;     
While Massinger, with eloquential charm,     
And Forde pathetic, forced the sweet alarm;—     
But, these are exiled for a sullied verse,     
Indecent niceness proves their genius coarse!—     
Yes!—"Hallers" mourning for a kindred whore,     
Hook their nice noses at the taste of yore!—     
When false decorum takes a hoaxing trip,     
And flies the heart, to shelter in the lip.

Awake thee, Kemble, from thy sluggish trance,     
And drive dramatic flumm'ry to France;     
No more, let poachers of exotic trash,     
For Farce and trick, monopolize thy cash;     
Shall fustian flourish, where thy brother paced,     
And Shakspeare's boards, by mummers be disgraced!     
Shall piping Roscius represent his king,     
And tragic bull dogs bay the crowded ring!     
Though emptied buckets mimic Ocean's fall,     
And sooty jugglers whirl the brazen ball,—     
While ragged scenes, refresh'd with horn and drum,     
Secure the shillings of the London scum,—     
These mean buffoon'ries blot thy Thespian name,     
And barter genius for a worthless fame;     
O, yet revive the Drama's purer part,     
And scout each mess of pantomimic art;     
Let no dull toaders wheedle off thy pay,     
While baffled talent shrinks unseen away;—     
Not cawing Kenny's everlasting quill,     
Or plund'ring Pocock's, more eternal still.

Our manufactur'd plays,—peruse, who list!     
The worst abortions audience ever hissed;     
From Egan's hundred heaps of dross obscene,     
To all the trump'ry plaster'd up by Green.

Peep forth! thou son of genius, prying Pool,     
Unrivalled filcher from the witless school;     
Though kicked behind, prolific as before,     
To gull each season with thy smutty store;     
While driv'ling colloquies, and borrowed jokes,     
A baseless plot, and vulgar equivoques,—     
While hems, and funny squints, and calf-like nods     
Delight the doltish, and transport the "gods,"—     
Our stage shall hail thee her amusive scribe,     
And critic boobies puff thee for a bribe.

Enchanting master of the wry grimace,     
How well thy pieces suit an ugly face!     
O'er all the kingdom mark thy glories fly,     
See, shops and buggies bear immortal "Pry"!—     
His nose cocked up with pertinacious pride,     
And bagged in breeches, clinging round his side,—     
The goggling puppet served for Liston's use,     
And limped, like Poole, from Elliston let loose,—     
It met no frown—no truth-awakening sneer,     
For "Pry" incessant ding'd the nation's ear!

Alas! for Waverly's discover'd bays,     
When Pocock minces novels into plays!     
With dull contrivance, murd'ring sense and plot,     
To stew a melodrame from Walter Scott;     
Or, operatic mess of tinsel caps, and coats,     
To live on Sapio's, or on Stephens' notes:—     
Though Horne, nor clumsy Serle, could save his "Peake,"     
An unwept death, to close its gaudy week!

Of equal fame, melodious Plànchè's quill,     
Purloins his hum-drum to swell out the bill;     
And, hir'd by managers for French bombast,     
He cribs each play, more owlish than the last.

Kind friend to Laureate Southey's epic fame,     
Prolific Ball,—in nonsense, half as tame,—     
Dramatic patron to rejected verse,     
Try thou some wonder from "Kehama's Curse;"     
Then, borne on "Hunchbacks," bid the stage adieu,     
And with thee take thy whole be-devil'd crew.

Sure, all the tribe by Beazely was outdone,     
Who made, for novelty, a midnight sun!     
The purblind cocknies liked this wond'rous spell,     
So plenteous plaudits greeted Avenel:—     
O! would that Satire's lash, "at one fell swoop,"     
Might level all this play-supplying troop,     
Then should the fanes of Thespis cease to groan,     
With dross from Farren, or with trash from Soane.

So long have melo-drame, and pilfer'd farce,     
Made taste corrupted, and true genius scarce,     
That classic models win no patron's eye,     
And outlawd tragedies forgotten lie;     
To win the president of Drury's fane,     
Could any but his bloated hirelings deign?—     
Compound some proverbs of obscurest growth,     
The mouldy remnants of the dust and moth;     
Add quantums due, of powder, flash, and smoke,     
The scenic whistle, and the poinard's stroke,—     
With all appliances of fort and gun,     
Dish up five acts—the tragedy is done!     
Six times, shall thund'ring sticks and hired huzzas,     
Force the vile stuff, and wake the slow applause.

Ye managerial knaves, whose nod decides,     
Whose pocket judges, and whose whim provides;     
Before whose glance the manuscript must shake,     
And shirtless authors feel a fellow quake,—     
While throned on high, by British boobies paid,     
Let no mean tricks reveal the trust betrayed,—     
Though patronage e'er be a blind-struck dupe,     
And sotted thousands to your verdict stoop!—     
Renounce all greedy arts, that end in shame,     
Refine the Drama, and its force reclaim;     
No more, let thick-brained poachers, dull and crude,     
Their scribbled bantlings on the stage protrude;     
Or ape Mazurier climb the box, from France,—     
Or Ducrow's stud on scenic stables prance;     
Nor bribe your bawling mouths to aid a cheat,     
And fill with riff-raff ev'ry vacant seat;—     
Dramatic dignity and wit restore,     
Till Genius reign, and Mumm'ry be no more!

Why should the pertly vulgar cry with scorn,     
"Thank heaven, I'm not a paltry player born!"     
Why should the sleek-mouth'd saint appoint his doom,     
And moral prophets damn him round the room?     
There may be virtue in an actor's heart,     
Beyond the reach of pharasaic art;—     
He often does, what "saints dare seldom do,"     
Display the bad, and keep the good from view.

Not unremember'd now, shall genius bide,—     
Arouse thee, Kean! be still the drama's pride,     
From nature fresh, with spirit in each vein,     
To thrill with pleasure, or delight with pain;—     
Though modest England drove thee from her shore,     
While favour'd strumpets footed on thy floor:     
Next princely Kemble, Young, with heart-deep voice,     
And proud Macready first of classic choice,—     
Three mighty masters, still supremely great,     
Long grace the boards,—our stage-triumvirate!

'Tis not their art, but its professors, soil,     
By low debauch, the triumphs of their toil;     
Transplanting parts with all an actor's rage,     
To play their whoredoms on a worldly stage!     
Here, turned Lotharian pests, in midnight crews,     
They strut the bright aristocrats of stews;     
Or, more select, some buskined heroes burn     
For peeresses, and city wives, by turn:—     
One plucks a darling from the lower row,     
Whence plumes and billet-doux procure a beau;     
And frowsy beldames eye their fav'rite face,     
Till boundless bribes hush up a foul disgrace!

No Moorish taste voluptuous, hath divined     
More harem bliss than waits the scenes behind,     
Where waddling dotards, unresisted, get     
Sweet virgin flow'rs to grace their coronet,—     
And glimm'ring belles, ere all their bloom is past,     
Roll the wild gaze, and yield the ghost at last!     
That vouch for all the eye hereafter sees;     
These, blazon'd well, with scientific sighs,     
Attract the noble, and lead off the prize;—     
Though, now and then an Amazonian belle,     
Flogs back the victim of her beauty's spell.

Who blames the actor, when rich harlots pay,     
Or beastly Colonels bribe the maid away?     
Let the rank country fester in its shame,     
When prov'd impures partake the highest fame,     
And mothers, steeled against parental fears,     
Unblushing, feast the prostitutes of peers!     
Thus, still ye, Cyprians,—still be splendid whores,     
And stalk our stage, amid triumphant roars!—

Now to the Opera turn, where ballets please,     
And foppish Fashion fumes away at ease;     
There, what fine ear can list the lewd-breath'd sounds,     
What decent eye survey the wanton bounds,     
The passion-swelling breast, denuded—     
And gauzy robe to fix the straining eyes,—     
Each warm lascivious twirl of panting lust,     
Nor feel the burning fever of disgust?     
Bedaub'd with paint, here jewell'd herds compose,     
Their pustul'd persons in the steamy rows;     
Pile luscious fancies on transparent limbs,     
Move with each form, and languish as it swims;     
Patrons of vice, from dunghill or from court,     
In mercy, cease such Operatic sport!     
Caress no Boschas in your costly home,     
No whisker'd knave, no eunuch scamp'd from Rome;     
O! let the lavish'd millions feed the poor,     
The wan-eyed paupers fainting at your door,—     
With pity mark, what home-bred mis'ries stare,     
Let Britons born, an unask'd bounty share,—     
Then sickness, want, and woe, would bless the gift,     
And orphan babes, their tear-moist hands uplift.

What line shall Fashion paint?—that creed of fools     
Whose flighty doctrine, half the empire rules:—     
Queen of the rich,—Minerva of the vain,     
Begot by Folly,—cleav'd from Falsehood's brain?     
'Tis Fashion dies the beldame's blister'd cheek,     
Lives in her errant gaze, and kitten squeak;     
'Tis Fashion rolls the lech'ry of the eye,     
Breathes in the tone, and wantons in the sigh,—     
Deals with the gambler, pilfers with the rogue,     
And gives to wealth, a new-made decalogue!

Shall satire dread the judgment of a frown,     
When monsters brave, and villains lead the town!—     
When foreign strumpets dare the public gaze,     
And English mothers think they grace our plays!     
The times are come, when arts Parisian please,     
And Britons, to be Englishmen must cease:     
To Gallic shores our demi-reps resort,—     
Return again—and all their filth import;     
Then like French apes, these scented mongrels talk,     
Feast like the French, and like the Frenchmen walk.

And can it be, that Albion's deemed no more     
A fairer, nobler clime, than Gallia's shore?—     
Must England stoop to be the mime of France,     
Beget her toaders, and adopt her dance?     
For novel crimes, need English spendthrifts roam     
And kindly teach them to us boors at home?

What morals mark that blood-presuming rank,     
Where cultured villains emulate each prank!—     
Who best can guzzle down the nineteenth glass,     
Denounce a wittal, and select a lass;     
Genteely damn, or sprawl a low lampoon.     
And pipe the bawdry of a stable tune;     
Or, growl in cock-pits, shuffle at the "Hell,"     
Supply a harem, and proclaim it well!     
E'en women patronize the vice in vogue,     
And hail the triumphs of a rakish rogue;     
Or pat his cheek, in love-resenting play,     
While oglings ask, what lips would blush to say.

A mother's love,—resistless speaks that claim,     
When first the cherub lisps her gentle name!     
And looking up, it moves its little tongue,     
In passive dalliance to her bosom clung;—     
'Tis sweet to view the sinless baby rest,     
To drink its life-spring from her nursing breast;     
And mark the smiling mother's mantling eyes,     
While hush'd beneath, the helpless infant lies;—     
How fondly pure that unobtruding pray'r,     
Breathed gently o'er the listless sleeper there!     
'Tis nature this!—the forest beast can hug,     
And cubs are nestled 'neath its milky dug;     
But Fashion petrifies the human heart,     
Scar'd at her nod, see ev'ry love depart!

In Rome's majestic days, long fleeted by,     
Did not her mighty dames sing lullaby?—     
No mean-bred hags then nurs'd the guiltless child,     
No kitchen slang its innocence despoiled;     
'Twas deem'd a glory, that the babe should rest     
In slumb'ring beauty, on the mother's breast;—     
But England's mighty dame is too genteel,     
To nurse, and guard, and like the mother feel!

Fond bands of love,—how seldom can they bind,     
When sordid wishes rankle in the mind!     
The fret of av'rice soon distempers all,     
Till peevish languor bursts the sullen thrall:     
Not so, when Love, the child of Fondness born,     
Breathes on, to its own parent faithful sworn;     
Weaving for wedded hearts a mystic chain,     
That feel the sorrow, and partake the pain;     
Each true to each, as echo to the sound,—     
One changeless two, through life's precarious round:     
Oh, happy pair! thus link'd for smiles and tears,     
Whom absence binds, and grief but more endears;     
'Tis your's, one common hope and fear to know,     
Through the long pilgrimage of joy and woe.

Miss Prostitution, hail! now buck and rake,     
From female marts such ready fair may take,     
As mothers bred up from a ripe eighteen,     
To pant for wooers, and their husbands glean;     
Or chant love-lies, and curtsey with a grace,     
While lust meanders through each bloodless face;—     
Then, like their dams, arrayed in patch and plume,     
To blaze the leading strumpets of the room!

Train'd by some venal, match-contriving jade,     
In palsied arms what lovely maidens fade!     
Like flowers transplanted to a sandy heath,     
Where vapours wither, and pollutions breathe:     
Great heaven!—and must youth's summer fleet away,     
In cheerless union with the bald and grey?     
Must blooming forms, and stainless bosoms press,     
Where passion mocks, and nature cannot bless!     
What eye can such a loathsome scene behold,     
Nor curse the rottenness preserv'd in gold?

To marry wealth, what anguish will be borne?     
A crooked log by night—a child by morn!     
His parchment sealed?—the wife attends each whim,     
Starts at his groan, and chafes the flannell'd limb;     
Hangs round his knee, and whimpers at his wrath,     
Secures his tucker, and spoons out his broth;     
A vigil, down to periwig and cap,     
She prays for death,—and sees it in his nap!

O Love!—exhaustless theme for print and pen,     
Thou dream of women, and thou joke of men,     
We will not curse thee for thy cruel crimes,     
In distant regions, or in darker times,—     
But turn to Britain, blessed with blooming arts,     
And hear her tearful tales of stricken hearts;     
Of beauty, blemish'd by seduction's stain,     
Of with'ring sorrow, and unpitied pain:     
Where mailed in rank, seducers boast the deed,     
While female lechers smile applausive meed,     
And ticklish flirts a pretty pardon grant,     
Or fusty dow'gers on the tale descant!

O, I have seen, the young and trusting maid,     
By love beguil'd—enraptured—and betrayed,     
Fade day by day, in unregarded gloom,     
And greet the shelter of an early tomb:     
To virtue lost,—her sex's chilling frown,     
Forbad the smile, and awed her spirit down;     
Abandoned thus, oh, where could hope appear?     
None felt her throb—none wiped the mourner's tear!

When blushing Love first breathes its virgin sigh,     
And fond devotion glitters in the eye;     
How soon it steals an unsuspecting mind,     
That melts away, like perfume on the wind!     
Not half so fondly does the bud repose,     
Its drooping beauty on the parent rose;     
Not half so tenderly the dew-lit gem     
At morning, hang upon the languid stem,—     
As woman's maiden love,—when true and warm,     
Rests on the plighted vow, and lover's charm:     
How base the bosom then, with treach'ry fraught,     
For her who claims the homage of each thought!

England, full rare thy decent matrons now,     
Though Time has delved his wrinkles on the brow!     
Shame on't!—to see thine unrepenting jades,     
The female blacklegs,—filch like "Hell"-taught blades,     
When fourscore years have bronz'd their mummied face,     
And ev'ry furrow is a theme's disgrace:—     
Mark! at their table, how the beldames sigh,     
Turn their brown neck, and blink the sunken eye;     
Anon, their wither'd carcase heave and puff,—     
With pustuled cheeks, and lips befouled with snuff;     
Squat round the pack, they gamble and they grin,     
Rub their lean hands, and sweat their brows to win!

In wint'ry age, how sadly drear the lot     
Of Fashion's hack, by Fashion's host forgot!—     
Bowed down by crippled age, impurely grey,     
To mental throes, and peevish qualms a prey:     
Dimm'd now the youthful gleams of love-lit eyes,     
And cold the filmy lid that o'er them lies;     
O, where are they that throng'd her matin court,     
Plann'd out the day's intrigue, and shared its sport,—     
Who praised her plumes, her love-attracting gait,     
And ball-room glance, that bade the proudest wait?     
Alas! the parasites of youth have fled,     
Some mope like her, some fill their wormy bed.

How rank has lost by condescending crimes,     
That birth-right influence felt in purer times,     
When titled greatness won respectful awe,     
And lowly ranks a worthy peerage saw;     
While lineal honours bloomed without disgrace,     
And every heir begat a better race;—     
Now, rank bequeath'd to high-begotten shame,     
But hands the mirror to degen'rate fame.

Review thy thickening peerage, Albion, now,     
And rare the peer, that lifts an honoured brow!     
Where spring such crimes of undecaying growth,     
Such innate vileness, and voluptuous sloth?—     
The bestial panders of Domitian's reign,     
Now mark, thy mindless,—bloated,—titled train!     
St. Giles and Billingsgate are horrid holes,     
And Newgate shelters some atrocious souls;     
But scour out England's most polluted spots,     
Convene her bullies, and select her sots,—     
And let presiding Truth, unmoved, declare,     
Will not our peerage match the vilest there?—     
Peers of the realm—the autocrats that shine,     
With lineage reckon'd up to Cæsar's line!

But still, though vile,—the peerage read some books,     
To smooth their manners and refine their looks;     
Soft Little's verse—or any am'rous chime,     
To tickle fancy, and toy off the time:     
While now and then, to train both fop and peer,     
And furnish scandal to enlive the year,     
Select confessions of exemplive cast,     
From first-rate hacks, whose hour of glory's past;     
Come forth, and meet a most abundant sale,—     
For what so pleasing as a harlot's tale?

Contrast the hour of Fashion's brief delight,     
With that, of fearful Death's unhallow'd night;     
When life and time are ebbing to their close,     
And martyr'd pleasure dreads the tomb's repose:—     
Alone and fever'd, on his sleepless bed,     
Yon dying libertine supports his head;     
There is an awe—a silence in the gloom,     
As if the fiend were cow'ring o'er the room:     
A faintly-glimm'ring taper flickers there,     
Tinting his livid cheek with hectic glare;     
While throbs of guilt are quivering thro' each limb:—     
Thus Folly consummates her reign in him!

Days were, when beauty, love, saloon and ball,     
Found him the gayest, wildest, rake of all;     
Unmanly wreck! all blanch'd and blighted now,     
With hollow cheek, and anguish-moisten'd brow,     
Oft turns he round, to feel his throbbing brain,     
Grind his dark teeth, and root his locks for pain;—     
Then tears the garment from his heated breast,     
And lifts in vain, his pale-clench'd hands, for rest;     
No tears of sad remorse bedew his face,     
But penitential woe is in each trace;     
Those burning lips that breathe a dismal sigh,     
The phrenzies flashing from his fretful eye,     
That wild convulsion through each feature spread,—     
All speak of pangful guilt, and hopeless dread!

And thou, Religion, heaven-descended maid,     
What crews molest thee, and thy shrine invade?     
Where all thy pristine grace unsoiled with art,—     
The offer'd incense of a glowing heart?     
On most, how toilsome steals the Sabbath day,     
How few can worship, though their fingers pray!     
Sabbatic rites are deemed but prudish ties,     
While penitence contents itself with sighs.     
A lolling bliss where scented loungers meet,     
And lip-wide grins all round the velvet seat;     
The fretful mumbling of an unfelt prayer,     
Or snoozing godsend in a padded chair,—     
These, with the practice of the Sunday moan,     
Are Fashion's off'rings at Jehovah's throne!

Fresh Christian locusts, whose unfetter'd cant,     
Provides the fuel for deistic rant,—     
Arise each day,—besotted, wild, or mad,     
To craze the holy, and augment the bad;     
Who trace the Godhead in each trick of life,     
And hear his thunders rolling for their strife!     
First, see the addle-headed Ranters, try     
To wake St. Peter, with a hideous cry;     
Sublime their doctrines, when unloosen'd jaws     
Are baying heaven, like congregate Macaws!—     
While, sprightlier still, the jolly Jumper squalls;     
For God inspires high-leaping Bacchanals!!—     
What more! Yes;—here they creep with psalm and song,     
The dipping Baptist, and Moravian throng.

Last, Huntingdon's cold, pharasaic herd,     
Self-loving dolers of the grace and word,—     
Pourtray the gospel in their sour grimace,     
Or prove its pureness by a smutty face;     
Election swells their puritanic breast,—     
For them, salvation smiles the soul to rest:     
Cant in each word, and "Bible" for each boast,     
They paint "Old Nick"—as if they loved him most!

With lanky locks upon a sheepish head,     
And visage stolen from the mould'ring dead,     
While ghostly terrors bend the bile-ting'd brow,—     
His black chin lolled in sleepy lump below,—     
The methodistic preacher heads his clan,     
A precious sample of angelic man:     
Perch'd in the pulpit, how he frowns beneath,     
What heavenly phrenzies wet his clatt'ring teeth!     
His chisell'd features, seem but granite stone,—     
And snivel sanctifies each grunted moan;     
The saintly curl upon his quiv'ring lip,     
Whence awful threats in rich saliva drip,—     
That pharasaic rankness in his sneer,     
And donkey voice, betrayful of the seer,—     
All prove him dropp'd from heaven, the world to save.     
To picture Hell, and realise the grave!

How loathes the eye! to see the babbler preach,     
And shoot his neck, to frighten and to teach;     
To mark him spread about his clammy palms,     
And sputter forth in cant, celestial qualms,     
Now, wild-struck, turning to the chapel's roof,—     
Now down to Hades for sublimer proof:     
Great God!—and should Religion's awful aim,     
Be thus unravell'd by the fool's acclaim,—     
Or, hoaxing zealots, pluck'd from shop or cell,     
Rant forth, like mountebanks, on "heaven and hell!"     
Since venalism rules both head and heart,     
The Church hath dwindled to Ambition's mart,     
And av'rice soils that fane, supposed to be     
The earthly temple of the Deity:     
Some stick the righteous "Rev'rend" to their name,     
To prop its meanness, and obtrude its fame:     
While others, drawl an unpresuming strain,     
While lawn and mitres dance about their brain:—     
Who knows, when powder'd well, and stol'd in white,     
If God, or livings form their best delight?     
Next, see the Rectors, whose ancestral worth,     
Secures a "good fat" living, at their birth;     
From college ripe, they chaunt the hunter's song,     
Drink, chase, and shoot the wood's wild "feather'd throng"     
Let the lean Curate, in his white-wash'd room,     
Gulp the small beer, and preach the sinner's doom,—     
With foggy throat three sermons growl a day,     
And, thankful, feast on sixty pounds for pay!

What now is Irving,—he who heav'd his tongue,     
As if a world upon its ravings hung?     
He gave a trinket to redeem the Jews,—     
(Sure, such a Scotchman, Heav'n will not refuse!)     
And nobly vow'd, his pious craft should make,     
His best orations for the bauble's sake:     
Wo! to Isaiah,—and his rostrum too,     
Deserted now, but by the cockney few!—     
There, let the vaunter pant, and puff, and sneer,     
And rattle doctrines through the splitting ear.

More honest, and less stern, wags merry Hill,     
A grey-locked joker, in the pulpit still,     
Whose John Bull sermons wake the chapel's grin,     
When smiling Conscience owns her tickled sin:     
How tender he, to Adam's recreant race,     
When "putrid sores" depict our need for grace,—     
While softly wiling off each hungry grief,     
He carves the gospel into rounds of "beef!"     
O Rowland, Rowland!—cease thy wink and nod,     
Nor be a pulpit punch, to joke for God.

Not preaching Bedlamites alone arise,     
To force the gospel, and astound with cries,—     
But rank revilers, headed by Carlile,     
Blaspheming, pour their poison through the isle;     
While foul-mouth'd Ign'rance spits her impious gibes,     
And London swarms with Atheistic tribes!

Now for the apex of polluted souls,     
No shame subdues, no reverence controuls,     
Puff'd into pertness, pand'ring to the time,     
Two pinnacles of blasphemy and crime;—     
Come, godless, blushless—England's vilest pair,     
Blots on her land, and pestful to the air,—     
C--- and T---!—may each kindred name,     
Be linked to one eternity of shame!

First, thou, the cap'ring coxcomb of the two,     
With head upshooting from thy coat of blue,—     
Say, what has "Reverend" to do with thee,     
Though big and bloated with effrontery?     
Wert Reverend, when round thee lolled a gang,     
To drink the poison of thine impious slang;     
And on Heav'n's book, thy cursed feet then trod,     
To foam thy foulness at the throne of God?—     
Wert Reverend, when from the pot-house turn'd,     
And drunken fevers through thy bosom burn'd,—     
Mean to the larc'ny of a paltry pot,     
At once a rogue, an Atheist, and a sot!     
Or, Reverend,—when to each Christian fane,     
Thou lead'st the barking bull-dogs of thy train,     
In mean and native brutishness of mind,     
To growl thy dogmas, and pervert the blind?—     
Go, caitiff!—put a mask upon that face,     
The staring mirror of thy soul's disgrace,     
Go, seek some dunghill to harangue thy breed,     
And there enjoy the dark satannic creed:—     
Though stiff in port, and stately with thy glass,     
May good men frown, whene'er they see thee pass,     
Till even infant tongues shall lisp thee, "vile,"     
And Britons hoot thee from their tainted isle!

The base we've had, of ev'ry kind and hue,     
The bloody, lech'rous, and unnat'ral too—     
But never, yet, the wretch that equall'd thee,     
Thou synonyme of all depravity;     
Thy mind as canker'd as thy columns vile,—     
Thou pois'nous, poor polluted thing,—C—!     
For thee, must heaven's empyreal portals close,     
And Hope be buried in her dead repose!—     
For thee must glorious aspirations cease,     
Nor Faith, still vision, out her heav'n of peace,     
And minds no longer dare to feel divine,     
But turn distorted, fester'd, lewd as thine!—     
If yet within thee dwell one thought of shame,     
If the least true feeling for thy country's claim,     
And common nature but preserve her right,—     
Then tear thy hellish pictures from our sight;     
If vile thou must be,—hie thee to some den,     
To feast the fancies of thy fellow-men;     
But stand not forth to Britain's public eye,     
The monger-fiend of painted blasphemy;     
Now go!—and quickly end thy course perverse,     
Hung on the gibbet of a nation's curse!

Ascendant God, still let unslumb'ring love,     
Gaze down from thine all-glorious throne above;     
Expel illusion from each erring mind,     
Thine be the judgment, ours the will resigned;     
O, long from Britain keep that fearful hour,     
When unrelenting crime shall curse thy power;—     
When hearts shall cease to plead to be forgiv'n,     
And banished Faith unveil no future heav'n!

Thou flower of cities, Earth's imperial mart,     
Unequal'd London!—Britain's mighty heart;     
That, like our blood-spring with reversive tide,     
Receiving, pour'st to empires far and wide,—     
To thee, the nations look, like Magi bowed     
Before their fire-god, in his burning shroud:     
There is a living spell around thee spread,     
That wakes the shadows of thy peerless dead;—     
Within thy walls, we tread enchanted ground,     
By sages, poets, martyrs,—made renowned!     
What heroes here, what kings have sprung to birth,     
What martyr'd minds of unexhausted worth,—     
What gifted ones of heaven's congenial sphere,     
Have liv'd and struggl'd—starv'd and triumph'd here!     
O, never can I press one stone of thine,     
Nor think of feet that trod, where now tread mine,—     
Of unforgotten greatness that hath been,     
Of genius weeping, perhaps, where I am seen.

While bagatelles in ev'ry distant clime,     
Receive the sacrifice of prose and rhyme,     
And gaping pilgrims leave their English home,     
With wonder-searching eye for Greece and Rome;—     
Must London share no patriot's glowing theme?—     
Can none sing ancient Thamis' freighted stream;     
Meand'ring far through sun-bright meads, and rifts;     
'Neath beetling hills, and Henley's chalky clifts,     
With grass-green banks, where cluster'd villas peep,     
In sylvan beauty, from their laurel'd steep?—     
Her piles of glory, and her pillar'd halls,     
Her tow'ring mansions and historic walls?

While speeds the crowd, how oft I pause to view,     
The fairy scene from thy Bridge, Waterloo!—     
And rest my arms upon the massy stone,     
Till spell-blind fancy dreams I stand alone;     
Soft whisp'ring flows thy spread of infant waves,     
While far along the dizzy sunshine laves,—     
Dancing as light and mellow on the stream,     
As Hope's first glimmer on a youthful dream!—     
Fleet down the river skip the careless boats,     
While o'er its bosom tremble flute-breath'd notes;     
Or, light barks cluster near its heaving side,     
Whose tangled oars are imaged in the tide;—     
Upraise the glance,—majestic to the eyes,     
Above the amber'd stream, the bridges rise;     
While slumb'ring near, with unpartaking smile,     
Behold the massive, many-windowed pile.

For thoughts sublime, aloft the Abbey rears     
Its towers, in all the majesty of years;     
Unawed, no British patriots here can tread,     
The dim cold fane where sleep the mighty dead;—     
But, while each dome and ancient fane conspire,     
To rouse the poet, and attune his lyre;     
Compel'd, we mark, where London scenes entice,     
This queen of cities in the sink of vice!

To London—now so Babylonian grown,     
That half is scarce to genuine cocknies known;—     
What errant mongrels of exotic breed,     
What motly knaves from Ganges to the Tweed,—     
Advent'rous tramp, with mother, brat, and spouse,     
Quite scripless all, as to some pauper house?     
From Ludgate Hill,—see myriads throng in view,—     
Turk, Swiss, and Gaul, John Bull and howling Jew;     
The world assembled from each far-off clime,     
All passing swiftly to the goal of time;     
Here, as the buzzing crowds collected meet,     
Behold the living drama of the street!—     
The greasy trader paddling with his arms,     
The rustic monarch furious for his farms,     
The hawk-eyed bailiff, clerk, and jobber grey,     
With currish boobies, fumbling for their way,—     
The flying porters, and the ballad throng,     
That pick the pocket with a venal song,     
With all the melody of whips and wheels,     
Of bellmen, pawing hoofs, and mud-splash'd heels;—     
No melodrames, though hash'd by Pool or Peake,     
Such mingled droll'ry, and true pathos speak!

Parade the streets!—what countless wonders rise,     
Eternal changing to the changing eyes!     
Fresh sights unrival'd by Niag'ra's Fall,—     
Miverva pigs, and tigers from Bengal,     
Brobdignag heroes,—Lilliputian dwarfs,     
And breeches languishing near ladies' scarfs!     
The lame in dog-cars—giants on their stilts,     
And matrons fing'ring out the ruffled quilts!—     
Here, Hunt turns shoe-black to his dear-lov'd land,     
And poisonous Eady dirts the lazy hand;     
Here, round some pander's lust-purveying shop,     
The peering urchins strain their necks, and stop,—     
While coal-hole sermons, when the walls are bare,     
With smug enticement catch the lounger's stare.

From vulgar scenes, sometimes a gilded change,     
When paunchy shrieves enjoy their wat'ry range;     
Now bells are cracked! and fat the turtle flames,—     
For proudly sails the charlatan of Thames!     
The sinking river sweats beneath its weight,     
And bubbles anger at the capon'd freight;     
While wond'ring ideots stare along the shore,     
Sigh for the soup, or watch the dipping oar.

When decent nonsense lures the listless throng,     
Small Waithman's speech, or blund'ring Beazeley's song     
Repugnant Sense, disdainful of the town,     
Collects her censure in a passing frown;     
When tumbling Gilchrist tortures men and girls,     
To twist their bodies for gymnastic twirls,     
All laugh, to think that morning streets are left,     
And wives, through humbug, of their mates bereft,—     
But shall we smile, when filthy imports bless     
A nation's eye with bony nakedness?—     
How flocked the ton, and curious virgin clan,     
To view the skinless mirror of a man,     
Shipped off from Gaul—where skeletons abound—     
To show its beastly zone on British ground!     
Lascivious Gaul! in mercy send no more     
Disgustful sweepings, from thy baleful shore;     
Keep all such filth, to please thine own foul race,     
Mean without shame, and lewd without disgrace!

But while the rich, the vicious, and the vain,     
Pursue their pleasure till it turn to pain,—     
While Rank rolls on, and Pride upturns her eye,     
What hapless, houseless, wretches wander by,—     
From babes, whose tongue cannot repeat their woe,     
To Age, that totters on with locks of snow!     
Where'er we move, some wailings strike the ear,     
And melt humanity into a tear!—     
My countrymen,—though famished, friendless, poor,     
Or trembling tatter'd, at the spurner's door,—     
Like Stoics, bear an uncomplaining grief,     
Till Government shall bring its slow relief!

Will Pity aid?—oh, here are pangless hearts,     
Where sympathy no tender pain imparts;     
Eyes, that can mark, like dead ones, fixed as glass,     
The tearful Britons, fainting as they pass!—     
Unnoticed here, the pauper lorn and pale,     
With bleeding feet, may shiver to his tale,—     
Unfed, the sailor with his quiv'ring lip     
Recal the ocean, by a painted ship,—     
Unwept, a suckling Niobé may plead,     
While clinging infants lisp their early need!     
And sadly faint, the shredless and unknown,     
May chalk their fortunes on their bed of stone.

To this huge capital,—the dream of youth,     
That paradise till Fancy melt in truth,—     
The young advent'rer, kindling for a name,     
Repairs to offer at the shrine of Fame:     
Parental lips have sealed their parting kiss,     
And fond farewells have omen'd future bliss,—     
Then proudly pure, his panting bosom glows,     
While Hope around him all her magic throws;     
Thus comes he to the crowded capital,     
Where toil-worn genius fades, and talents fall;     
And hate and rivalship alike conspire,     
To crush the spirit, and exhale its fire.

Deluding weakness! here did Goldsmith roam,     
And Chatterton could share no shelt'ring home;     
Here, martyred Otway hunger'd to his grave,     
And toiling Johnson drudg'd a printer's slave!     
The lurking satire of each stranger's eye,     
The bribe-fed sycophants that swagger by,—     
The knaves that cozen, and the fools that goad,     
With all the thorns on life's precarious road,—     
Commingled, these oft balk the firstling thrown     
On life, to steer his little bark alone:     
How many a flower of dear domestic pride,     
In wasted fragrance here, has drooped and died!

Yet better far, to languish on and die,     
Than live to pen the page of infamy,     
Like those dull tools that browse on mean-got pay,     
And furbish libels to supply the day,—     
Too vain to labour where their fathers did,     
Turned letter'd dolts in gloomy garrets hid;     
Where, unbeheld, their fev'rish lungs can drink,     
The smoky airs that whistle through each chink:     
A bed, whose bronzing blankets sweep the ground,     
Amid dismember'd chattels mourning round;     
One fusty board, where rare the grub is placed,     
A desk, and shelf with mildew'd volumes graced—     
And lamp and filth—complete the stenching room,     
Where Cockney paper-minions mope and fume.     
Fine rapes and murders—acted in the brain,—     
And sudden fires quenched out by sudden rain;     
A magic quill, for pand'ring party lies,     
To heap on virtuous heads foul calumnies;     
The art to wrench a pun, or slimy bit     
Of cobbled nonsense clench'd up into wit,     
Or, pinch a puff—indite a paragraph,     
Or Tookish squib to make the Tookites laugh,—     
Insures a living where detraction's fed,     
A "free admission," and a lousy bed.     
The skinny lip, moist eye, and thread-worn dress,     
And lean long visage, soap can seldom bless,—     
Announcing mark, like Cain's base-branded brow,     
These plodding elves, from Grub-street to the Row.

Sure, England's climate more diseaseful grows,     
And every gust a fresh distemper blows!     
Since Æsculapians now, like mushrooms rise,     
And physic sickens on the sated eyes.     
No art is quackless now;—from College skill,     
To Lambert's Balm, and Abernethy's pill:     
What lives are ravag'd by the baleful craft,     
Of canker'd powders, and blood-pois'ning draught!     
Who knows what hapless victims yearly fall,     
By lancing lubbers, and cathartic ball;—     
Hack'd, swill'd, and purg'd, till physic stifle breath,—     
Though such mistakes ne'er hap till after death!

Our flesh seems priceless after parted life,     
And feeling shudders at the murd'rous knife;     
That worms should feast upon primeval earth,—     
This doctrine Nature speaks, to mark our birth;     
But human thieves, to mawl th' uncoffin'd clay,     
And tear men up before the judgment day!—     
Such putrid horrors for the Christian dead,     
Become a cannibal's,—or Cooper's head;     
Though Abernethy sniff his awful nose,     
And College puppies plant their bloody blows!

"An honest man's the noblest work of God;"     
So lectur'd Pope, who swayed the critic's rod;—     
He's prais'd by matron, moralist and don,     
Though seen more rarely than the coal-black swan!     
True Honesty!—where is it in these days,     
When rogues repeat, and villains beg their praise?—     
Not in the full-blown unassuming face,     
Where honesty is but a smiling grace;     
Nor in the glossy candour of their tones,     
Who pule and gabble what the heart disowns;—     
Nor in prim proverbs daub'd with moral paint,     
Where unfelt goodness whimpers from the saint,     
Or mumbling drones, that foster secret vice,     
But blazon Virtue, and define her nice:     
In truth, the honest man scarce lives at all,     
The last I saw, was on a church-yard wall!—     
If ev'ry knave must have his reprimand,     
Then take a rope, and gibbet half the land.

A tribe there is,—the tribe of every street,     
That steal unhang'd, yet help to hang the cheat;     
A plague so direful, Egypt never saw,—     
The money-gulping vermin of the law:     
The perjur'd banes to aught sincere and good,     
Who prowl for jobs, and filch for daily food:     
No doubt, if Satan roams his kindred earth,     
He finds a lawyer's cranium for his birth!

Down that long lane, whose time-encrusted porch     
Leads care-worn clients to a dubious lurch,     
In woeful wigs, and wavy robes resort,     
Our budding Eldons, to beseige the court;     
With fretful step, and circumambient glance,     
And wrinkled brow, and bag, all slow advance;     
Grim, lean, and hunger'd,—pond'ring on their cause,     
And prompt to spy the loop-holes of the laws.     
But see! what dapper caitiffs bustling come,     
Whose teeth-grip'd lips compress the mutter'd hum?     
A savage grin plays on the sallow cheek,     
While knitting eye-brows, augur'd pillage speak;     
Beneath their hugging arms, tied briefs repose,     
And free behind, the ruby tape-string flows:     
These are the scurvy minions of a breed,     
Whose sateless mouths on thwarted justice feed,—     
A cringing, tricky, over-bearing host,     
Whose law is quibble, and whose cheat's a boast;     
Who twist fair reason to a crooked shape     
Teach fraud to flourish, and the rogue to'scape,     
Conceal a contract deed, from orphans wrench,     
And help the thief, both in and out the bench;     
A baser tribe, three kingdoms cannot nurse,     
To well-stocked clients, bowing, sneaking, terse;     
To lowlier ones, presumptive braggarts they,—     
Tap-room Moguls, and despots of the day:     
E'en round the cup they'll pant to twine the laws,     
And plot a quarrel, to create a cause!

Now leave the law, for that which must allure,—     
For modesty—so docile and so pure!     
Marked in the gait, and seated on the front,     
And just now gallicised to, mauvaise honte,—     
Of ev'ry home and ev'ry clime a part,     
But rarely templed in the taintless heart:     
The French (a southern clime is apt to warm,)     
Perceive its presence in each filthy charm:—     
Their wanton beauties daunt the bravest eye,     
Nor blush, when petticoats ascend too high,     
No further,—'tis but artlessness revealed,—     
Their honour's guarded by the stoic shield:     
In Britain, (were she, faithful to her name,     
Un-French in manner, as un-French in fame!)     
True modesty and love are threadbare themes,     
For moral mouths, and sanctimonious dreams;—     
Yes! here behold it in a wax-doll maid,     
With minc'd palaver, and a step delayed,—     
In squeaks of sentiment, and lips that sigh     
A dismal death-dirge o'er a bleeding fly,—     
Or eyes that dribble buckets full of tears,     
And heads that droop down like dead donkies' ears!     
How modest too, those plaintive mouths that share     
No bliss colloquial, save 'tis simpering there?—     
How modest Coutts! that with an awkward shame,     
Does good by stealth, and frowns to find it fame.

Now titles seldom shine without a spot,     
Start not, to find distinctive rank forgot;     
That pert Intrusion levels all the town,     
And ev'ry rascal wears a kingly frown:     
Securely panoplied in birth-right brass,     
Our spurious "gentles" undiscover'd pass;     
And swagger on with autocratic sneer,     
The first to babble, and the last to hear.—     
"What titled Nabob he, that quizzes there,     
With braided bosom, and Macassar'd hair?     
The creamy glove, and supercilious shoe,     
That glossy garment of imperial blue,—     
Those taper'd fingers, and unwholesome skin,     
Betray patrician spirit shrined within?"—     
O, that's a tailor, kneaded to a fop,     
Obliged Sir T. with loans,—and left his shop!     
"And who is he, with punchy cheek, and nose,     
Whose vermeil tip with pompous grandeur glows?"—     
A bouncing huckster,—in the Commons now,     
Who piles his honour on a brazen brow.

Revealing day has fled;—and foggy Night,     
With mist, and lamp-light, claims alternate right:     
Now, perch'd in coaches, whirl to see the play,     
The stiff-neck'd traders, weary of their day;     
Clad in the motley hues of dressy skill,     
How sweet to lose the meanness of a till!     
Alack! each grumble, posture, gabbling flow,     
Announce the shop,—though in the lower row;     
The frowsy Hottentots that puff and stare,     
The snip that paws his chin, and ruffs his hair,     
The sleek apprentice, balancing his side,     
And fumbling hucksters, big with watch-chain pride,     
Poor mimics!—show amid their "bran new" dress,     
The direful struggles of vain littleness.

How time must lag, where Fashion sits the queen,     
Nor heart, nor soul, commingles with the scene;     
Where each succeeding hour is but the last,     
And Folly stagnates, by herself surpass'd:—     
To scribble, leave the card's diurnal lie,     
Watch Christie's grin, or pinch a noon-tide pie,     
Create importance in a matin call,     
Unpack a tradesman's shop—nor buy at all,—     
Crawl forth each morn, and so yawn out the day,     
Growl, smile, and guzzle,—sorrowing, to be gay;     
Thus, Fashion dupes her addle-headed slaves,     
Until, like dogs, they shrivel to their graves!

How sweet those hours! where beldames, fine and fat,     
Enjoy the curtsey, and the thumb-worn hat;     
Now, fools assembled for a tongue-born strife,     
In nimble nonsense talk away their life;     
What Miss elop'd?—Whose paroquet has died?—     
The mighty trash a solemn hint implied;     
How gross Duke D—! how famine thins the land!     
What future "Boleyn" groans 'neath Milman's hand?     
Of C—m's amours, Fitzherbert's right,—     
What new-made whore shall kick the stage to-night?     
Here, tender Wellesley and enamour'd Bligh,     
With kid-napp'd Turner, rouse each Wakefield's sigh;     
Here pug-like Brummells wince, and Berkleys walk,     
While eager Pagets linger as they talk;     
And holy Clóghers preach of skies above,     
Or wink a lecture on illegal love:     
Old maids are prim'd—the coxcombs cough perfume,     
And belles and albums please the fool-cramm'd room,     
While naked Cupids, frisking on a screen,     
Make staring widows pant for what has been!

When chilling mists, within a yellow cloud,     
Creep on the Strand, and dense the street enshroud,     
And floating filth, from each Mac Adam's road,     
Lights on the cheek, as swift the drivers goad,—     
Then London, like a chrysalis, unrolls,     
And dark December greets her winter souls:     
Fleet rush the chariots,—flash the whisker'd host,     
Poole loads the wall, and Hafiz daubs the "Post"—     
Returning gadders soon the tour-race run,     
And Margate follies thrive at Kensington.

While tawdry Fashion struts her idle way,     
Let's pause, and sketch some models of the day:     
First stalks the coxcomb, flimsy,—frothy—vain,     
In step a Brummell, and in look a Hayne;     
"From head to toe," perfum'd like Rowland shops,     
He's every inch the paragon of fops!     
A porkish whiteness pales his plastic skin,     
And muslin halters hold the pimpl'd chin;     
A gleaming spy-glass dangles from his neck,     
And ev'ry honor hangs upon his beck!     
A goatish thing—he lives on ogling eyes,     
On scented handkerchiefs, and woman's sighs!     
Its door-acquirements, and revolving limb,     
Its luscious prate, and bawdy hints so trim,—     
Secure each beldame's patronizing smile,     
And feast the Bacchanals of lewd Argyle!

The foppish soldier, pining for a ball,     
Comes clinking next, the cynosure of all:     
Though boastless he of W--'s war-nose,     
Like him, in uniform, his valour glows;     
For him, will titled Harriets melt and frown,     
And rank him darling puppy of the town:     
Big lips, and clanking chains, and polished spurs,     
And sword—that rarely from its scabbard stirs,     
The war-like foot fall, and the hairy glue,     
All fit him for another Waterloo!—     
Although from blood and smoke his hands are clean,     
And all his actions fought on Brighton Steyne.

While these bedizen'd fools in daylight pass,     
And even Wisdom peeps in Fashion's glass,     
Pray not, ye Brummells, for King Charles' times,     
We have far sleeker knaves, and courtly crimes;     
Our tom-fool Haynes, our Theodores for wits,     
The court-bred bevy, and the whore-famed cits,—     
His gilded puppies, when the wars are o'er,     
His heroes whimp'ring at a strumpet's door!

As blinded Fortune's artful wheel went round,     
And crafty Bish made prize or blank abound,     
So Fashion's umpires plot their doubtful sway,     
Now puppies rule—now grooms command the day;     
Still, let them take due rank and place,     
Now modest Berkely lends them all his grace!     
And spitting Harb'rough cracks the heated stone,     
While ling'ring Stanhope sighs to share his throne;—     
O! mark the red nosed Jehu, awe the street,     
With file-thinn'd teeth, and "benjamin" complete;     
His balanc'd hat, and far equestrian gaze,     
The val'rous spume that round his muzzle plays;     
That cock-pit air, and fine Herculean fist,     
Where Belcher science turns the flexile wrist;     
The look from Tatterstall's,—the snorted "hail,"—     
All shew him tallied for the horse's tail:     
Had heaven, in pity, doomed the vulgar fool     
In fitter rank the whip and wheel to rule,     
How would his stable mien adorn the place,     
And add new dignity to coachee's grace!

Be proud, be greatly proud of Jehu's fame,     
Great Albion, worthy now of Argos' name:     
Each high-born ass—each "bit of blood" can breed,     
Or whip with critic lash, the glossy steed;     
Far round the world thy titled greatness blooms,     
Thy barons whips, thy peerage raised to grooms!

There are some brutal dolts of Huntish schools,     
Who deem all women born for sensual tools;     
As if no chasteness hallowed female breasts,     
And love and constancy but liv'd in jests!—     
Some colder tastes approve the priggish Blues,     
Who shift their sex, and snarl like quack reviews,     
Blight every gentle grace that Nature gave,     
And stifle loveliness in learning's grave;—     
But, where's the heart, that has not said farewell     
To each pure feeling—that approves the "belle"?     
That living lie, to wanton and decoy,     
The puppy's play-thing, and the ball-room toy;     
The one whom flippant thousands dream their own,     
The love of all, and yet a friend in none!     
Such now the Frenchy belles of Britain's isle,     
Begot to dress, to dazzle, and beguile,—     
Or slabber royal palms, and gaily flaunt,     
At steamy Bath,—that Bedlamitish haunt;     
There, taught by swaddled demireps, she blooms,     
The twirling, would-be bawd of Nash's Rooms;     
Each year, the tourist of sea-water'd towns,     
Till virgin simpers change to spousal frowns:—     
When we survey these flimsy dolls deck'd out,     
By trick maternal, for the evening rout,     
Their inane flutter, and illusive gaze,     
Or hear the gabblings of their selfish praise;     
Vain seems the form, without its gem, the soul,—     
That priceless charm which beautifies the whole!

Now to the Sabbath turn—by Heav'n design'd     
To solace labour, and becalm the mind;     
It dawns on London, but for dress and art,     
When pride, for six days kept, relieves the heart.     
What! though the time-hoar'd steeples point sublime,     
And, from the belfry rolls the far-swell'd chime,     
Though mingled peals, by ling'ring breezes driv'n,     
Still sound like deep mementos knell'd from heav'n;     
How rare the homage, kindled by the day,     
Within the fane, or on the wheel-worn way!     
The lifted hands, and felt responsive tone,     
The knee's low bend before the viewless throne,—     
That heart-born worship pictur'd in the gaze,     
And deep seclusion of the soul that prays—     
Few fanes ere hallow now—though Fashion there,     
Opes her vile lip, and deems the mock'ry, pray'r.

To flaunt a boddice, or a fine peruke,     
Survey a rival, and a dropsied duke,—     
Review their skins, and realize the noon,     
Turn the light head, and lisp a pew lampoon,     
Or mete the mincing parson's plastic neck,     
And close each "hear us!" with a nod or beck,—     
For this, the ton, in George's genteel fane     
From parks, and Thames' stream, an hour refrain!     
Some too, are holy round their Sunday fire,     
Where, baffled doctrines like its smoke expire;     
Discuss polemics o'er their tea and toast,     
Doubt fast—and smile away the Holy Ghost.

While thus Religion, and each rev'rend truth,     
Are scoff'd by dotards, and contemn'd by youth,     
Presiding Vice, with all her hell-born train,     
Pervades the city, and pollutes the plain:     
What styes of lewdness,—cells for covert crime,     
What holes to suit all age, all rank, and time,     
Are London's modern haunts—where bevies swarm,     
And vice is bliss, and infamy, a charm!—     
Her pits, where meet the beggar'd and the great,     
St. Giles' scroff, with helmsmen of the state,—     
Her dark retreats for link-boys, cheats, and sots,     
Who celebrate their orgies round their pots,—     
Her masquerades, where dress'd debauchers wile,     
And bevied harlots straddle through Argyle.

Argyle!—fir'd at the sound, my muse shall light     
In honest vengeance on humbugging W—     
That vinous Colburn, whose accursed rhymes,     
Delude the country, and disgrace the times:     
Poetic rogue!—will not the day-light gain     
Enough poor victims for thy false champagne?     
That drug-compounded mess of gooseberry juice,     
Corked into froth, and coloured for our use;—     
Must the pale drunkards of the midnight hour,     
Buy off the stale, the rotten, and the sour,     
Each lot too rancid for the day's broad sale,     
With all the mess of porter and of ale?     
O what a heaven is thine own Masquerade!     
Now for the velvet cap, and rich brocade,     
The clown to tumble, with his plaster'd face,     
Eunuchs with belts,—and harlots in their lace!     
The knave as polished as his heart is black,—     
The whole foul orgies of an Argyle pack!     
What then?—the minstrel slyly creeps his round,     
The pastry lessens, and the corks abound!—     
Though each trick'd virgin should return a w—e,     
No matter,—— has sunk his cellar'd store!     
Oh, Fie! Mayor Brown—to suffer such a troop,     
Forsake awhile the turtle and the soup;     
Go, send your red-fringed bullies to Argyle,—     
No "hell" so monstrous, and no den so vile!     
Break up this glittering bedlam of the night,     
Protect the sawney, and empale C—!     
To London, too, what rustic maids decoy'd     
From those sweet homes, their infant years enjoy'd,     
By courteous villains are beset and wil'd,     
Till, left undone,—defenceless,—and defil'd!     
If One there be, that sees sublime o'er all,     
"A hero perish, or a sparrow fall"—     
His judgment-curse repay the trait'rous arts,     
That wither up the innocence of hearts,—     
In secret stews, that slaughter trusting love,     
And blast the spirits that should reign above!

To blazon London vice, need Satire's muse     
Descend to cock-pits, "Finish," and the stews,—     
Root out the Drury styes and oyster-shops,     
Their hoggish keepers, and maintaining fops?     
To fill the house, e'en Managers purvey     
Saloon and bawd, that cater for the play!     
Here, 'tween each act the Cyprian dames retreat,     
And swagg'ring coxcombs fellow souls may meet;     
Here, lordlings flourish forth colloquial ire,     
Till the long mirrors steam with lust-breath'd fire;     
While oft around the glaring punks entice,     
And flutt'ring freshmen hand the creamy ice:     
Warm thanks to managers, let fathers raise,     
Ye tender mothers, join their glowing praise,     
For where can wanton youth such wisdom learn,     
And kindled lewdness through the bosom burn—     
As in saloons,—where mix'd enchantments fill     
At once young folly's cup, and play-house till?

Proud spreads the feast, and richly flows the wine,     
In yon tall club-house, where the knaves combine;     
Congenial villains—firmly all unite     
To dazzle, glut, and gamble out the night:     
'Tis sweet, through Fashion's round to darken all,     
Out-deck the peer, and startle at the ball;     
'Tis sweet, to strut the nabobs of the day,     
Tho' cheats conspired, and gambling grip'd their pay!     
True to their trade, these clubbing swindlers swear     
To pluck the fortunes of each silly heir;     
Then crawl away, like spiders fat with blood,—     
Fools for their game, and ruin for their food!

How oft is beggar'd affluence forced to roam     
Far from its peace, and once respected home,     
While all its honours droop forgot away,     
And palaces become a blackleg's prey?     
No tie the gambler from his conclave tears,     
Himself, nor dearer self, his passion spares;     
When wretched Av'rice weaves her deadly plot,     
See kindred, heaven, and hell itself forgot!

Great God! how hearts must welter in their vice,     
When blighted happiness supports the dice,     
And gamblers with convivial smiles can meet,     
Sit face to face, and triumph in the cheat!     
Within St. James' Hells, what bilks resort,—     
Both young and hoary, to pursue their sport!     
'Tis Mis'ry revels here!—the haggard mien     
And lips that quiver with the curse obscene,     
The hollow cheeks that faintly fall and rise,     
While silent madness flashes from the eyes,     
Those fever'd hands, the darkly-knitting brow,     
Where mingling passions delve their traces now—     
Denote the ruined,—whose bewilder'd air,     
Is one wild vengeful throbbing of despair!     
Deserted homes, and mothers' broken hearts,     
Forsaken offspring,—crime's unfathomed arts,     
The suicide,—and ev'ry sad farewell,—     
These are the triumphs of a London Hell!

Can titles dignify a cunning cheat?—     
Not though C--- swear the debt complete,     
When he, O'N--- , and P--- conjoin,     
Bamboozle A---o, and divide the coin:     
For such a bandit, famed Chalk Farm uprears     
Its battle-field,—where base or brutish peers,     
And touchy boobies, fire away their dread,     
And thick-skulls blunt, the disappointed lead:     
Lo! there the heroes stand,—the pistols roar!—     
Heaven sweep from Britain's isle one villain more!     
Here L--- and G--- their prowess try,     
Till gentle smoke-clouds fumigate their eye;     
And tender Dick, whose philanthropic pride     
Can drop a tear on ev'ry donkey's side,—     
His duellistic fools can here surpass,     
And shoot the blackleg, though he guard the ass:

The last fine haunt for Fashion's bloated dames,     
To pamper pride, and furbish up their names,—     
Is proud "Almacks," where rival quarterings rear,     
And harridans select their fav'rite peer;     
Fair S---'s luring smile, and S---d's frown,     
Soft H---'s smirk, and B---y's book renown,—     
All serve the myst'ries of this dread conclave     
While Willis toils, their sneakup and their slave:     
O peerless senate!—ye who here decree,     
And trace beyond the flood, a pedigree,     
Illumined rulers of a wax-lit stye,     
Where passion twirls the leg, and rolls the eye,—     
Let your mean pride ascend to decent aim,     
Outlaw the bosom's lust-creating shame,     
Loose the tight breech, [. . .]     
[. . .]     
Though H--- arm her cold-condemning gaze,     
And lip-flush'd L--- pine for other days—     
Untempted Virtue might o'ersway the ball,     
And lech'ry burn within a safer thrall!

The ball commences—rich the music flows,     
Melts on the heart, and vivifies the toes;     
Wide o'er the room, behold the chalky round,     
Where light the foot-beat floor begins to bound;     
Awak'ning pleasure each red face illumes,     
And flirting misses toss their crested plumes;—     
Warm streams the blood within each thrilling vein,     
Tints the bright cheek, and rushes on the brain.

Now anxious ideots in their pomps appear,     
From city banker up to lean jaw'd peer;     
Here a huge beldame swells within her stays,     
Smirks at each beau—and flaps him for his praise;     
Here Bond Street puppies, rank with eau Cologne,     
Limp round the room, and whimper to the ton;     
While peevish beldames by their daughters watch,     
Glance in their eyes, and pray—"God send a match!"

Connubial Waltz! 'tis thine our sight to charm,     
Wake the sweet thrill, and kindle all the form—     
'Tis thine to shed soft dreams as on we trip,     
Unbind the bosom,—     
In longing eyes to pour a lech'rous flame,     
And hide indecent motions in thy name!

The doleful thunder of the deep-mouth'd bell,     
Hath roll'd to heav'n the dying day's farewell;     
And, like a death-groan from a tomb in air,     
The echo bounds with dismal mutter there;—     
'Tis midnight hour:—through England's city Queen     
Her countless lamps throw out their glitt'ring sheen;     
And oft, some pensive pilgrims trace awhile,     
The far faint lustre of their twinkling file,—     
Then turning, look, where more serenely bright,     
Smile the sweet spirit stars of list'ning Night.

The city slumbers, like a dreary heart,     
Whose chaining sorrows tremblingly depart;     
And now, what victims are within her walls,     
Whom changeful Fortune martyrs, guides and thralls!     
The pale-cheek'd mourner in the dungeon's tomb,     
The glad ones tripping o'er the wax-lit room,—     
The proud and mean—the wealthy and the poor,     
The free to spend—the miser at his ore,     
All now, from ev'ry shade of woe and joy,     
In changeful moods their midnight hour employ:     
How many pillows bear some fev'rish head,     
Damp with the weepings on their downy spread;     
How many eyes, in sealing slumber hid,     
With tear-drops quivering on their wan-cold lid!

A day of thought, and mingled labour past,     
Unwatch'd,—unknown,—with dreamy front o'ercast,     
Won by the starry time, I've lov'd to walk     
The silent city, and with feeling talk;     
While on the languor of a fever'd frame,     
The vesper calm of cooling midnight came:     
The glistening choir around their Dian Queen,     
The heaven of azure, mellow'd and serene;     
With all the blended musings of the heart,—     
Then told me, Night, how eloquent thou art!     
Here, while I paced along the shrub-crown'd square,     
Between whose laurels flit the lamp's faint glare,     
And watchlights from illumined windows played,     
Athwart the quiet street their flick'ring braid,—     
Re-calling Mem'ry bade her spells disclose,     
And rev'rend visions on my fancy rose:     
Each matchless vet'ran of true English days,     
With all the story of their tears and praise,—     
The peerless spirits of our glorious clime,     
Seemed hov'ring near to consecrate the time!

Now from the Op'ra's widened portals stream     
A shiv'ring concourse,—wide the torches gleam,—     
And fling cadav'rous hues upon each face,     
Where palled Delight has left her pale-worn trace;     
Perturbed mark, the blinking chap'rons guard,     
Wrapt in her gather'd silks—their dainty ward;     
While flutt'ring near, gallants obtrusive try     
To read the twinkling promise of her eye:     
Within the crush-room fretful throngs parade,     
And lisping puppies quizz each well-laced maid;     
Some round the fire-place chafe their chilly hands,     
Smooth their wild locks, and fold their silken bands:     
Here, too, the rival flirt with whispers loud,     
Hung on a suitor's arm, attracts the crowd;     
While borne with crutches to the creaking door,     
The snarling cuckolds for their cars implore:     
Without,—a Pandemonium seems to sound,     
Where busy foot-falls beat along the ground;     
The bouncing coachman's sky-ascending bawl,     
And loud-mouthed lacquies elbowing through all,—     
The cracking stones beneath each fire-eyed steed,     
All eager pawing till the course is freed,     
Commingled—greet the concourse hastening home,     
To dream of neat-legg'd eunuchs fresh from Rome!

With tott'ring step and motion of a beast,     
Next come the rev'llers, sotted from their feast;     
Quick of affront, they growl some cockney strain,     
Or stutter oaths to ease the swimming brain;     
While bustling by, shop-puppies whiff cigars,     
Clink their nail'd heels, and swagger at the stars!—     
But who art thou, whose passion-wither'd face     
Sheds mournful beauty through the netted lace?     
Those radiant orbs, that so obtrusive shine     
Like stars, beneath thine eyebrow's arching line,     
That lip's vermillion,—brow of lucid snow,     
Can these betray thee, child of sin and woe?     
Alas, that ever woman's gentle soul     
Should sink to glutted passion's base controul!     
But still, around thine air there lurks a grief     
That longs, yet will not ask a pure relief;     
Perchance, ere villains taught thee thence to roam,     
A mother clasped thee in her cottage home,     
Some grey-locked sire sat round his evening hearth,     
Hung on thy neck, and blessed thy happy birth!

But list! huge wheels roll o'er the jarring stones,     
I hear the clatt'ring hoofs, and rabble's tones!     
Before yon dome the creaking engines wait,     
Where shield-mark'd firemen empt their liquid freight,     
While, grandly awful to the startled sight,     
Rear the red columns of resistless light!     
The windows deepen into dreadful glow,     
Till the hot glass bursts shatt'ring down below;     
While darting fires around their wood-work blaze,     
And lick the water, hissing as it plays;     
Above the crackling roof fierce flames arise,     
And whirl their sparks, careering to the skies;     
Triumphantly the ravenous blazes mount,     
As if they started from a fiery fount,     
Now, cloud-like, piling up in billowy fire,     
Now quiv'ring sunk, to re-collect their ire:—     
But see! again whirl up the blood-red flames,     
In vain the rushing flood their fury tames;     
Like burning mountain-peaks, aloft they raise,     
Their jagged columns of unequal blaze,     
Till the loose beams, and flaking rafters fall,     
And like a thund'ring earthquake, bury all!

And now, farewell!—and if a forceful line     
Hath injured virtue,—let the blame be mine:     
But if one vice hath borne its proper name,     
Conceit its brand, and fopp'ry its shame;—     
If reckless follies, and unblushing crimes,     
And all the polished vileness of the times,     
Are stamped with iron hate, severely true,—     
Unmasked, unspared, and lash'd beneath the view—     
Then, not desertless will the patriot deem     
The censor's page, and widely-travelled theme.

And thou, lorn Wisdom's child, where'er thou art—     
That mark'st each May-morn dream of hope depart,     
The knave and parasite on Fortune's throne,     
Whilst thou hast only thought to call thine own;     
Still nobly live the solitary sage,     
And soar in mind above this venal age;     
Rich in thyself, partake the best content,—     
A heart well governed, and a life well spent!


Moore's riddle likens the national debt to Frankenstein's Monster.

Monstrum nulla virtute redemptum.

      Come, riddle-me-ree, come, riddle-me-ree,     
      And tell me what my name may be.     
I am nearly one hundred and thirty years old,     
   And therefore no chicken, as you may suppose;—     
Though a dwarf in my youth (as my nurses have told),     
   I have, ev'ry year since, been outgrowing my clothes;     
Till, at last, such a corpulent giant I stand,     
   That, if folks were to furnish me now with a suit,     
It would take ev'ry morsel of scrip in the land     
   But to measure my bulk from the head to the foot.     
Hence, they who maintain me, grown sick of my stature,     
   To cover me nothing but rags will supply;     
And the doctors declare that, in due course of nature,     
   About the year 30 in rags I shall die.     
Meanwhile, I stalk hungry and bloated around,     
   An object of int'rest, most painful, to all;     
In the warehouse, the cottage, the palace I'm found,     
   Holding citizen, peasant, and king in my thrall.     
      Then riddle-me-ree, oh riddle-me-ree,     
      Come, tell me what my name may be.

When the lord of the counting-house bends o'er his book,     
   Bright pictures of profit delighting to draw,     
O'er his shoulders with large cipher eyeballs I look,     
   And down drops the pen from his paralyz'd paw!     
When the Premier lies dreaming of dear Waterloo,     
   And expects through another to caper and prank it,     
You'd laugh did you see, when I bellow out "Boo!"     
   How he hides his brave Waterloo head in the blanket.     
When mighty Belshazzar brims high in the hall     
   His cup, full of gout, to the Gaul's overthrow,     
Lo, "Eight Hundred Millions" I write on the wall,     
   And the cup falls to earth and—the gout to his toe!     
But the joy of my heart is when largely I cram     
   My maw with the fruits of the Squirearchy's acres,     
And, knowing who made me the thing that I am,     
   Like the monster of Frankenstein, worry my makers.     
      Then riddle-me-ree, come, riddle-me-ree,     
      And tell, if thou know'st, who I may be.