1807 6

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Tilsit Fair
The Gentleman's Magazine, LXXVII (August 1807), p. 756

From Tilsit[1] have you heard the news
    Of a confounded racket,
Where the Great Bear durst not refuse
    To wear the Fidler's jacket?

A Corsican Usurper base,
    A conqueror, yet a donor,
Diffus'd insignia of disgrace
    And badges of dishonour.

This Conjurer play'd such a tune
    As set mad Europe dancing;
And in the august month of June
    Set many monarchs prancing.

Thus to the Fair with speed they went,
    And all got drunk together;
A motley crew that evening spent,
    All ty'd like sticks in tether.

There crouch'd around the servile tree
    Queens, Emperors, and Kings,
With slaves of every degree,
    Quell'd sycophantic things.

Oh Europe, where is now thy blush?
    Must Nations thus depart?
Must all fall, like a broken rush,
    To base-born Buonapart?

No! Britain's Empire's on the Sea
    Begirt by rocks and waves;
Ships are her walls, her people free,
    And never will be slaves.


1. France defeated Prussia and Russia in June, and the Treaties of Tilsit were signed July 7-9, 1807.

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