The History of Johnny Que Genus: The Little Foundling of the Late Doctor Syntax






What various views of our uncertain State

These playful, unassuming Rhymes relate!


[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_

















This Issue is founded on the Edition published by R. Ackermann in the

year 1822




The favour which has been bestowed on the different TOURS OF DOCTOR

SYNTAX, has encouraged the Writer of them to give a HISTORY OF THE

FOUNDLING, who has been thought an interesting Object in the latter of

those Volumes; and it is written in the same style and manner, with a

view to connect it with them.

This Child of Chance, it is presumed, is led through a track of Life

not unsuited to the peculiarity of his Condition and Character, while

its varieties, as in the former Works, are represented by the Pencil

of MR. ROWLANDSON with its accustomed characteristic Felicity.

The Idea of an English GIL BLAS predominated through the whole of this

Volume; which must be considered as fortunate in no common degree, if

its readers, in the course of their perusal, should be disposed to

acknowledge even a remote Similitude to the incomparable Work of _Le




This prolonged work is, at length, brought to a close.--It has grown

to this size, under rare and continuing marks of public favour; while

the same mode of Composition has been employed in the last, as in the

former Volumes. They are all equally indebted to MR. ROWLANDSON'S


It may, perhaps, be considered as presumption in me, and at my age, to

sport even with my own Dowdy Muse, but, from the extensive patronage

which DOCTOR SYNTAX has received, it may be presumed that, more or

less, he has continued to amuse: And I, surely, have no reason to be

dissatisfied, when Time points at my eightieth Year, that I can still

afford some pleasure to those who are disposed to be pleased.


_May 1, 1821._





The Foundling of Doctor Syntax


Johnny Quæ Genus! what a name

To offer to the voice of Fame!

(Though she 'tis hop'd may condescend

To act as Little Johnny's friend)

This may be said, when first the eye

Does, by a careless glance, descry

The striking range of marshall'd words

Which a gay TITLE-PAGE affords.

But what's a name, as SHAKESPEARE says,

It neither gives nor lessens praise;

Adds no fresh odour to the rose,

Nor any other flower that blows:

Whether with rare or common name

The fragrance will be just the same.

'Tis not a title can confer

The good or ill of character,

_HOWARDS_ have been both beat and bang'd,

And some with ancient names been hang'd:

Look at a ship with convicts stor'd

What noble names are oft on board!

It is the living, current course

Or of the better or the worse,

That stamps, whate'er may be the name,

Or with a good or evil fame.

But howsoe'er the thing we view

Our little Johnny's title's new:

Or for the child or for the man,

In an old phrase, 'tis _spick_ and _span_.

Besides, as most folk do agree

To find a charm in novelty,

'Tis the first time that Grammar rule

Which makes boys tremble when at school,

Did with the name an union crave

Which at the font a sponsor gave.

But whether 'twas in hum'rous mood

Or by some classic whim pursued,

Or as, in Eton's Grammar known,

It bore relation to his own,

Syntax, it was at Whitsuntide,

And a short time before he died,

In pleasant humour, after dinner,

Surnam'd, in wine, the little sinner.

And thus, amid the table's roar, }

Gave him from good, old _Lilly's_ store, }

A name which none e'er had before. }

--'Squire Worthy, who, perchance was there,

Promis'd the Doctor's wish to share,

That want, at least might not annoy

The progress of the Foundling Boy.

"--Syntax," He said, "We'll try between us

To make the fortune of QUÆ GENUS:

You feed his mind with learning's food,

And I'll protect him if he's good."

"While I," said smiling _Dickey Bend_,

"Will add my mite as _Johnny's_ friend;

Nor shall he want the scraps of knowledge

Which he can pick up at my College."

--Thus, as they did the bumper ply

To Johnny's future destiny,

The warm, almost parental heart

Of Mrs. Syntax bore its part;

And her cheek wore a smile of joy

As she beheld th' unconscious boy,

Who, careless of the kind debate,

Play'd with the cherries on his plate.

But such is life's uncertain hour,

And such is fate's tyrannic power,

That while our comforts smile around

The fatal dart inflicts the wound:

Thus e'er another month was past

Syntax, alas! had breath'd his last.

Whene'er he heard the widow sigh

QUÆ GENUS wept he scarce knew why:

Of a kind friend fate had bereft him,

And an odd name was all he left him.

His urchin fancy only thought

As his enquiring mind was taught,

That his adopted sire was gone

Where the good go to worlds unknown,

To happy regions plac'd on high

Above the blue and starry sky,

Where, he was with the hope endued,

That he should go, if he were good.

But the good lady took him home

And kept him many a year to come;

When he grew up a charming youth,

In whom simplicity and truth

Did o'er his ev'ry thought preside;

While, with such an anxious guide,

Life smil'd and seem'd to promise fair,

That it would answer to the care

Which her affection had bestow'd,

To set him on his future road:

But when she died poor John was hurl'd

Into a bustling, tricking world.

He had, 'tis true, all she could leave;

She gave him all there was to give;

Of all she had she made him heir,

But left it to a lawyer's care:

No wonder then that he was cheated

And her fond anxious hopes defeated:

So that instead of his possessing

The fruits of her last, dying blessing;

He had, as it turn'd out, to rue }

What foul rascality could do; }

And his own wild vagaries too. }

Here, gentle reader, here begins

The account of our young Hero's sins:

But all which thus far form'd his fate,

QUÆ GENUS will himself relate,

And what truth bids him to rehearse,

My hum-strum Muse records in verse.

Thus I proceed,--my humble strain }

Has hap'ly pleas'd.----I may be vain,-- }

But still it hopes to please again. }

* * * * *

In this great overwhelming town,

Certain receptacles are known,

Where both the sexes shew their faces

To boast their talents and get places:

Not such as kings and courts can give,

Not such as noble folk receive,

But those which yield their useful aid

To common wants or gen'ral trade,

Or finely furbish out the show

That fashion does on life bestow.

Here those who want them may apply

For toiling powers and industry,

On whom the nervous strength's bestow'd

To urge the wheel or bear the load.

Here all who want, may pick and chuse

Each service of domestic use:

The laundry, kitchen, chamber, dairy,

May always find an Ann or Mary,

While in th' accommodating room,

He who wants coachman, footman, groom,

Or butler staid, may come and have,

With such as know to dress and shave.

--The art and skill may here be sought

In ev'ry thing that's sold and bought,

In all the well spread counter tells

Of knowledge keen in yards and ells;

Adepts in selling and in buying

And perfect in the modes of lying;

Who flatter misses in their teens,

And harangue over bombazeens,

Can, in glib words, nor fear detection,

Arrange each colour to complexion:

Can teach the beau the neckcloth's tie,

With most becoming gravity;

Or with a consequential air,

Turn up the collar to a hair.

--Besides, your nice shop-women too,

May at a call be brought to view,

Who, with swift fingers, so bewitching,

Are skill'd in ev'ry kind of stitching;

Can trim the hat, arrange the bonnet,

And place the tasty ribbon on it.

In short, here all to service bound,

May in their various shapes be found.

--From such who may display their charms,

By smirking looks and active arms,

To those in kitchen under ground

Amid black pots and kettles found:

From such as teach the early rules,

Or in the male or female schools,

To those of an inferior breed,

Who ne'er have known to write or read:

From those who do the laws perplex

In toil at an attorney's desk,

To such as pass their busy lives

In cleaning shoes or cleaning knives.

To these, perhaps, an added score }

Might swell the tiresome list or more, }

But here description says, "give o'er." }

In such enregistering shop

One morn a figure chanc'd to pop;

(But here I beg it may be guess'd,

Of these same shops it was the best,

His hat was rather worse for wear, }

His clothing, too, was somewhat bare, }

His boots might say, "we've travell'd far." }

His left hand an umbrella bore

And something like a glove he wore:

Clean was his very sun-burnt skin

Without a long hair on his chin,

While his lank face, in ev'ry feature,

Proclaim'd a keen, discerning nature;

And when he spoke there was an air }

Of something not quite common there: }

His manner good, his language fair. }

A double cape of curious make,

Fell from his shoulders down his back,

As if art did the folds provide

A very awkward hump to hide;

But, if 'twere so, the cunning fail'd,

For still the treach'rous bunch prevail'd.

By chatting here and talking there,

He did his curious mind prepare

With all the means by which to gain

The end his wishes would obtain;--

Then with half-humble, solemn face,

He sought the ruler of the place,

Who boasted an establish'd fame,

And _Sharpsight_ was his well-known name.

But ere we in our way proceed

To tell of many a future deed,

It may, we doubt not, be as well,

To save all guess-work, just to tell,

Of the part now upon the stage

QUÆ GENUS was the personage.

Fortune's dark clouds, for some time past

That learned title had o'ercast,

And he had borrow'd names in plenty,

He might have gone by more than twenty;

But now arriv'd in this great town }

Without a fear of being known }

He thought he might assume his own: }

And he had weighty reasons too

For what he was about to do,

Which, we believe, a future page

Will reconcile as reasons sage.

At length his statement he began,

When thus the conversation ran.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_



"'Tis the first time I e'er applied

To ask your counsel for my guide:

But strange events have brought me here,

And at your desk I now appear,

But not without the means to pay,

For all you do and all you say.

And here, good Sir, there's no concealing

We must be cautious in our dealing:

I want employment that will give

Means to be honest and to live.

Such is my warm, heart-felt desire,

Such is the boon I now require,--

And if you do my wishes aid,

I tell you Sir,--_you shall be PAID_."

Sticking his pen behind his ear

And with a keen enquiring leer,

_Sharpsight_ the curious figure view'd,

And thus the important talk pursued.


"In answer to your just desire,

Permit me fairly to enquire,

Which to my ledger is transmitted,

For what your qualities are fitted?

And, in good faith, I wish to know,

What you have done, and what can do?

Nay, to whose word I may refer

For your good name and character.

Such is essential to the case,

Such are the first steps to a place,

Of whate'er kind that place may be,

Whether of high or low degree;

Without them no access to station,

No character, no situation.

--What you assert, you say is true,

I'm sure, my friend, I wish so too:

For what you ask, as you describe,

Is ask'd by all the serving tribe:

'Tis that to which they all pretend,

But those I never can commend

In honour to my own good name, }

And to this room's establish'd fame, }

But what the rigid truth may claim. }

Though as you look this place around,

But common folk are to be found:

Coachmen who sit without a whip;

Footmen, without a call to skip;

Gardeners who have lost their spade,

And Journeymen without a trade;

Clerks whose pens have long been idle;

With grooms quite dull, who ask a bridle;

Cooks who exclaim for roast and boil'd,

And nurs'ry-maids without a child;

Young, sprightly girls who long to clamber

From drawing-rooms to upper chamber,

Ready the drudg'ry to assail

Of scrubbing-brush, and mop and pail;

Stout porters who for places tarry,

Whose shoulders ache for loads to carry;

But character they must maintain,

Or here they come, and pay in vain.

In short, were I to count them o'er,

I could name twenty kinds or more,

Who patient and impatient wait

About this busy, crowded gate.

--But you might higher claimants see

Within this crowded registry,

Who do not at the desk appear,

Nor e'er are seen in person here;

But they are charged a larger fee,

Both for success and secrecy.

Thus you must see how much depends,

To gain your object and your ends,

That you should truly let me know

What you have done,--what you can do;

And I, once more, beg to refer

To your good name and character."


"I do profess I can engage

With noble, simple, and with sage.

Though young as yet, I've been so hurl'd

About what you would call the world,

That well I know it, yet 'tis true,

I can be very honest too.

--Of the good name which you demand,

I tell you--I've not one at hand.

Of friends, I once had ample store,

But those fair, prosp'rous days are o'er,

And I must mourn it to my cost

That friends are dead, and gone, and lost;

But if to conscience 'tis referr'd,

My conscience says, Sir, take his word.

--Of character, though I have none,

Perhaps, Sir, I can purchase one:

I, from a corner of my coat,

May just pluck out a pretty note;

Which, with a view to gain an end,

Might, in an urgent want, befriend.

Now, if to place me, you contrive, }

Where I may have a chance to thrive; }

I'll give this note, if I'm alive. }

It may be rather worth your while;

Perhaps it may awake a smile."

_Sharpsight_ appear'd to look astray,

But still he took a glance that way.

"I'm not," he said, "to be beguil'd;"

Though when he glanc'd that way, he _smil'd_,

And, turning to the other side,

In a calm, soften'd tone replied.


"Here money is not that way earn'd,

My reputation is concern'd;

But still I can my duty do,

And strive to be a friend to you.

_Sir Jeff'ry Gourmand_ you may suit;

A Knight renown'd, of high repute,

As all who know his name can tell,

For being rich and living well;

A gen'rous man, but full of whim,

And you may be the thing for him:

In such a way your case I'll mention

As shall awaken his attention.

And now, my worthy friend, I pray,

Mind well what I'm about to say:

Without a creature to refer

Or for good name or character,

And in a state which seems to be

Involv'd in awkward mystery;

And I shall add, with your excuse

For the remark which I must use,

That either accident or nature

Has, on your back, plac'd such a feature,

That were you e'en my dearest friend,

I dare not such an one commend

To any lady worth a groat,

Unless to serve the dame for nought.

--Just turn around, and you may see

A Lady in deep scrutiny,

With a nice quizzing-glass in hand,

Glancing across a liv'ried band;

And once a month she does appear

On this domestic errand here.

If of a maid she wants the use,

Her woman comes to pick and chuse;

But if a man,--she is so nice,

She comes herself to make the choice.

A widow rich, who gives high wages,

If they should please, whom she engages:

But he must be of such a size,

And look so well in her keen eyes,

That she scarce one in twenty sees

Fit to wear her rich liveries.

There's one who has a squinting eye--

I know full well she'll pass him by;

On one poor rogue she'll turn her back

Because his frightful beard is black;

Another will not eat her bread

Because his frizzled crop is red;

These are too weak,--and those too strong,

And some an inch too short or long:

She'll take the best-made of the bunch,

But would be fainting at a hunch.

--Thus then, according to my plan,

_Sir Jeff'ry Gourmand_ is the man;

But to his questions pray reply

Without the veil of mystery:

Your story from your very youth,

If he should ask it--tell the truth;

Your errors fail not to unfold--

In telling them be firm, be bold;

While you your better virtues own,

E'en let your mischiefs all be known,

But let not folly blazen forth

Whate'er you have of conscious worth;

Express the ill with down-cast eye,

And veil the good with modesty;

Though, if you can with prudence poke

Into your tale a funny joke,

Fear not, 'tis what his humour loves,

As his own daily chit-chat proves;

And while he does his bev'rage quaff,

At what he says--be sure you laugh.

But should you not his service suit,

He will not play the churlish brute;

And if not gone too far astray,

May serve you in some other way.

Thus you must see I do my best--

To Fortune I shall leave the rest:

But now I see _Sir Jeff'ry_ enter,

And I must leave you to your venture."

_Sharpsight_ then after humbly greeting

This huge man-mountain of good eating,

For a few minutes in his ear,

Told that which he alone could hear.

The Knight then cast a curious eye

On Johnny, who was standing by,

And just enquir'd from whence he came,

What was his age, and what his name;

Whom he had serv'd, and why he left

The place of which he was bereft?

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_



"If, Sir, it were not thought too free,

If I might take the liberty,

I would not wish you here to wait

While I my strange condition state,

As it would take an hour or more,

My various story to explore;

Tho' 'tis not such, that I should

fear The tale to tell or you to hear:

You, who will kind allowance make

For wants that press, and hearts that ache,

And passions that restraint disdain

When justice sues, and sues in vain;

And 'tis to that tale I refer

For name, for age and character,

Whom I have serv'd, and what the scene

Where my frail manhood's years have been:

And if you will but condescend

To my young hist'ry to attend,

And will not the fond hope deny me,

That you, good Sir, will take and try me,

And let my rude, misgotten shape

From your observance to escape,

You will command,--I will obey;

When you may see from day to day,

How far, Sir, I may make pretence

To your good grace and confidence."

"Then be it so," the Knight replied,

"I trust I may be satisfied.

I'm told there's something droll about you,

But droll'ry will not make me scout you;

Nor do I mind, my friend, the pack,

Which you now wear upon your back:

We're rather equal on that score--

Your's is behind, and mine's before;

Nay, when of both I take a view,

Mine is the larger of the two."

QUÆ GENUS, with a ready grace,

Lifted his hat to hide his face;

But still he so arrang'd the screen

That his gay visage might be seen;

Which seem'd to burst as from the hit

Of the fat Knight's spontaneous wit,

Who chuckled first, and then made known

His further will to laughing John.


"Be punctual;--at the hour of ten

We will, to-morrow, meet again;

When I will hear, without delay,

The whole which you have got to say:

But know, you will offend my feeling

If you should shuffle from plain dealing.

I'm serious now:--on that depends,

How far we may continue friends."

QUÆ GENUS fail'd not, at the hour,

To pass _Sir Jeff'ry's_ chamber door;

Where, seated in a cushion'd chair

As large as some post-chaises are,

And though it may be strange to tell,

The Knight contriv'd to fill it well;

He seem'd attentive to peruse

The pages of the daily news:

When, with a look and with a loll,

As if he thought on something droll,

And in a sort of pleasant glee,

He thus commenc'd the colloquy.--


"First, I must ask to know your name,

Your parentage, and whence you came;

And when these trifling things are past,

The master whom you liv'd with last."


"QUÆ GENUS, is the name I bear."


"QUÆ GENUS? 'tis a name so rare,

It never met my ear or eye,

If I can trust my memory.

I mean the surname that you own,

By which your family is known:

Not what your sponsor's pedant hammer

Beat into use from Lilly's grammar.

I want your father's name."--


"'Twere well!

If I that honour'd name could tell;

I must suppose that such a creature

Was form'd in her own way, by Nature!

That I had parents must be true;

A father and a mother too,

But who they were I never heard,

Nor has the secret yet appear'd:

They're known to Heaven,--but to me

My birth's a perfect mystery:

Though this I'm sure that I can tell--

It was not worth a miracle."


"By whom, then, was QUÆ GENUS given?"


"By one who is a saint in Heaven;

If ever mortal beings go

To bliss above, from ills below:

This I believe, nay I would swear,

That such is his allotment there;

And I would kiss the book I trow,

The holy book that tells me so.

A Grammar Title was his own,

And therefore 'twas--he gave me one:

'Twas DOCTOR SYNTAX, and I'm proud

That 'tis to him the name I ow'd."


"I knew him not, but this I know,

What pleasure to his works I owe;

And you will meet my partial whim--

Prove that you e'er belong'd to him.

Treasur'd within that curtain'd case,

His works possess a favour'd place;

And if the binding aught can tell,

They show that I respect them well.

Go, take a volume down, and look--

Perhaps, my friend, you know the book."


"I know it well, as you will see,

It tells my infant history:

This leaf will partly save the task

Of answ'ring what you're pleas'd to ask.

That little infant whom you see }

In basket laid,--that, Sir, is me, }

Now grown to sad maturity. }

--It was within an Inn of Court,

Where busy Lawyers plead and sport;

Upon those stairs and thus enclos'd,

My new-born figure was expos'd.

Of mercy they had little share }

Whose cruel purpose plac'd me there, }

And left me to the Lawyer's care; }

For, had th' Attorney been in town,

Who did those very chambers own,

I doubt what might have been my fate:

The thing was strange--the hour was late;

The work-house might be distant far,

And dubious been the nursings there.

But one, perchance, possess'd the floor

When I was laid beside the door,

Who would have felt a crying sin

Had he not ta'en the stranger in.

When I this pictur'd figure view,

So innocent--so helpless too,

A smile's contending with a tear,

On seeing what I now appear:

A pretty figure for a casket,--

A little Falstaff in the basket."


"Further of this you need not tell,

I know the curious story well;

At least as far as there appears

In what regards your infant years,

And all that did your fate betide,

Till your good friend the Doctor died.

--But now,--Of _Masters_ name the last

Whom you have serv'd for some time past."


"_Masters_, an' please you, I had none,

And _Mistresses_, I had but one:

Indeed, Sir, it may not be civil,

But O, she is a very devil,

Which I am sure you will allow

Soon as you come her name to know,

Tho' oft and oft, and o'er and o'er,

You must have heard it spoke before,

But not in any pressing hour

Have you been subject to her power.

It might not be a thing of course

But I her servant was perforce,

For sure as my name is QUÆ GENUS

There seem'd a contract made between us;

And her sad service I must rue,

If I come not to live with you;

With her I must continue still,

If it proves not your gen'rous will,

To receive me, Sir, from her

With what she gives of character,

For she sometimes can make pretence

To ask heart-felt benevolence."


"This is most strange, I do declare! }

But pray what figure did she bear }

While you th' unwilling servant were?" }


"An ever-varying form she wore,

As ever changeful Proteus bore:

But or in motion she, or still;

Her ev'ry hour is mark'd with ill.

She looks best pleas'd when sorrow flows,

She can disdain when virtue bows:

Labour and penury and pain

And sad disease compose her train,

While vain complaint and discontent

Form her pale-fac'd establishment."

SIR JEFF'RY now let loose a smile

As if some fancy did beguile

And play upon his easy thought,

With light, amusive mischief fraught;

And this sarcastic question prov'd

The pleasantry _Sir Jeff'ry_ lov'd.

"When she was in a spiteful humour,

What said she of that _pretty tumour_?

The which without a wish to pry,

Must sometimes meet her wand'ring eye.

Did she ne'er stroke your circling back,

Nor e'er salute it with a smack;

Or when she was dispos'd to sneer

Compare it to a Hemisphere,

Deck it with sun and moon and stars,

With Venus, Mercury and Mars,

Or cover with her liv'ry's robe

The Continents of half the Globe;

Or like an Atlas, did she flout you

As you bore half the world about you,

When you might show it as a sight,

And gain no common profit by't;

Blend with the Panorama's skill,

In all the pride of printed bill,

Deliver'd with a ready hand

Through Leic'ster-fields or in the Strand."

The Knight's loud laughter then succeeded,--

And Johnny laughing too, proceeded.

"How happy you who thus can joke

And wrap me in your funny cloak,

Nay, when your mirth, Sir, may think fit,

Can fill my crooked back with wit;

Can even make me almost proud,

Of that self-same prepost'rous load.

You may, perhaps, be not aware,

But 'tis the truth which I declare,

I would serve you for half the wages

Which common servitude engages,

Provided you would pay the rest

In such nice puns and merry jest;

I would with joy sign the receipt,

For half in cash, and half in wit."

"Well, well, go on," _Sir Jeff'ry_ said,

While his glad, twinkling eyes betray'd,

How much QUÆ GENUS pleas'd his fancy

At this so flatt'ring necromancy.

--While the Knight his cold coffee quaffing,

But still at his own fancies laughing,

Exclaim'd, "proceed, but be it known, }

I wish the lady's hist'ry done, }

And then you will conclude your own." }


"When she first knew me she could see

A form as strait as poplar tree,

Then I was ruddy, fair and plump,

Nor was my back crown'd with a hump,

Of which you may not be aware,

For hang the hag, she plac'd it there,

And you, good Sir, shall shortly know,

How to her power the gift I owe."


"The more I hear, the more I see,

The more you deal in mystery.

This Mistress, sure, of which you tell,


A widow she, or is she wedded?

Or e'er by blushing Hymen bedded?"


"O no, Sir, no.--She is more common

Than is the worst street-walking woman.

There's scarce a mortal about town

To whom this Mistress is not known;

And if the track I should pursue,

I might add in the country too.

But 'tis a keen wit that unravels

The wide extent of all her travels;

Nor time nor space has she to spare,

She's here and there and ev'ry where.

Though if I at a guess may venture

Beneath this roof she will not enter,

Unless, as you the chance may see,

The saucy minx comes here with me."


"But one more question I've to ask,

Ere you perform your promis'd task,

And tell me from all shuffling free,

The items of your history,

Up to the moment when you stand

A candidate for my command.

And now QUÆ GENUS tell the name

Of this same universal dame,

Whom you, poor fellow, have been serving,

And, as you state it, almost starving.

--If in your tale she does agree,

It is a tale of mystery;

Some fairy fable, I suppose,

That paints, in emblems, human woes,

And does in figur'd words, apply

To your peculiar history.

It is not in the usual way

That such as you their state display;

It is not in such borrow'd guise

That they unfold their histories,

With here and there a little bit

Of droll'ry to shew off their wit;

It is not in this form I see

Those who may wear my livery;

But your's I feel a diff'rent case

From those who come to seek a place;

Or when the register may send him,

With, 'Sir, we beg to recommend him.'

I now bethink me of the sage

Who lov'd you in your tender age;

And when I see you have a claim }

To share the page that marks his fame, }

SYNTAX, that highly honour'd name }

A passport is, my good QUÆ GENUS,

To the familiar talk between us.

From that relation which you share,

No longer stand, but take a chair,

And now proceed, without delay,

To close the tale in your own way.

"And once again, I ask the name

Of this so universal dame;

What is her fortune,--where she lives,

And the strange means by which she thrives?

Where she acquires her wond'rous power,

Which you describe, o'er ev'ry hour?

Where it began, my curious friend;

Then tell me, pray, when it will end."

With due respect, as was requir'd,

He took the chair for he was tir'd,

And calling truth to be his guide,

He thus in solemn tone replied.


"MISS-FORTUNE is the name she bears,

Her rent-roll's form'd of sighs and tears:

She doth not live or here or there,

I fear, Sir, she lives ev'ry where.

I'm sure that I know not the ground

Where her sad influence is not found;

But if a circle should appear }

Beyond her arbitrary sphere, }

I feel and hope, Sir, it is here. }

--This worn-out coat, Sir, which you see,

Is the kind Lady's livery:

I once was fat, but now am thin,

Made up of nought but bone and skin;

I once was large but now am small,

From feeding in her servants'-hall,

And the hump I shall ever bear

Is an example of her care.

As for the blessed Dame's beginning,

I've heard that it began in sinning,

And I have learn'd that she will end

When this vile world has learn'd to mend;

But if we guess when that may be,

We may guess to eternity."

"MISS-FORTUNE!! Heav'ns! O thus she's nam'd,"

The Knight, with uplift eyes exclaim'd.

"O the dull head, not to have seen

What the _Finale_ must have been!"

Then clasping hands and chuckling first

Into a bellowing laugh he burst,

Though not to his broad face confin'd,

But on each side, before, behind,

It seem'd as if his whimsies bound him,

In a joyous circle round him:

His belly trembles, his sides ache,

And the great-chair scarce stands the shake.

'Twas a hoarse, deep bass, note of mirth,

To which his fancy thus gave birth;

And Johnny fail'd not to come after

An octave higher in his laughter,

While his delight appear'd to speak

In somewhat of a treble squeak.--

Thus, for some minutes they enjoy'd

The _Duo_ which their nerves employ'd.

_Sir Jeff'ry_ shook his head awhile,

Then spoke with a complacent smile.

"Though in a diff'ring point of view, }

I know her just as well as you; }

And hang the hag she plagues me too. }

Need I, good fellow, need I tell ye,

She deck'd me out with this great belly;

'Tis she, by way of friendly treat,

Has given this pair of gouty feet;

Nay sometimes when her whim commands

_Miss-Fortune_ robs me of my hands:

'Tis she with her intention vile

That makes me overflow with bile;

And tho' my table's spread with plenty

Of ev'ry nice and costly dainty,

She sometimes envies me a bite,

And takes away my appetite.

She does not meddle with my wealth,

But then she undermines my health;

She never in my strong box looks,

Nor pries into my banker's books;

My ample fortune I contrive

To guard with care and make it thrive,

I check her power to destroy it,

But then she says, 'you sha'n't enjoy it;

I will take care you shall endure

The ills and pains gold cannot cure.'

Or leagu'd with wrinkled age at least,

She strives to interrupt the feast.

--But with her malice I contend,

Where she's a foe, I'm oft a friend,

And, with the weapons I can wield,

I sometimes drive her from the field.

Nay when she does the victim clasp,

I snatch it from her cruel grasp.

And thus you see, or more or less,

I make her prove my happiness."


"There was indeed a time when I

Knew her but by warm sympathy

With those who did her burthen bear,

Which I have since been forc'd to share;

But this, at least, I'm pleas'd to own,

And 'tis a truth to you well known,

Nay, this I'll say, in others' breast,

Where'er the virtue is possess'd,

She does, as I have felt, and see,

Awake benign Humanity."


"And she shall 'wake it now, QUÆ GENUS!

An instant contract's made between us.

I break that which she made with you,

And gladly you abjure it too.

I have no doubt, my friend, to venture;

Into my service you shall enter,

Your ills at present shall be o'er,

_Miss-Fortune_ you shall serve no more.

At least, I say, while you contrive

By your good deeds with me to live:

I'll save you from your late disaster

And change your mistress for a master.

I want no bowings, no grimaces,

No blessings that I've chang'd your places.

--I now remind you to relate

All that has been your various fate,

Nay, all that you have ever known,

Since time and freedom were your own.

--I tell you, _Johnny_, speak the truth;

I know what follies wait on youth:

I know where erring passion leads,

On what a slipp'ry ground it treads:

I can remember that I fail'd

When the gay, tempting world prevail'd;

Nor shall I now the thought conceal,

Which reason tells me to reveal.

What Heaven forgives should be forgiven

By all who look with hope tow'rds Heaven:

But I expect not faults alone, }

I trust in what you may have done, }

There may work out a little fun. }

--If I guess right your lively eye }

Was not exactly made to cry, }

But sometimes call forth pleasantry; }

Of diff'ring thoughts to ope the vein,

Let pleasure forth or lessen pain.

But still do not your mischiefs hide,

Throughout your tale, be truth your guide;

Nor make _Miss-Fortune_ though she starves,

Worse, by the bye, than she deserves,

For after all her misdeeds past,

The Dame may do you good at last.

--Deceive me, and you will offend,

Deceive me, and you lose a friend:

Try to deceive me and again

You'll join _Miss-Fortune's_ pale-fac'd train.

Proceed then, and, without a fear, }

Pour thy misdoings in my ear }

And I will with indulgence hear. }

I'll not discard you for the evil,

Though you should prove a little devil,

Though to your hump you should not fail,

To add your horns and hoofs and tail;

Though you should prove a bag of sin,

And hump'd without be hump'd within,

Here you shall have your home, your food;

Kick at _Miss-Fortune_, and be good."

He spoke, then rang the shrill-ton'd bell,

Which did its well-known message tell.--

A tray appear'd, and well prepar'd,

Which _Johnny_ with _Sir Jeff'ry_ shar'd.

When, waving his beflannell'd hand,

The knight thus utter'd his command.

"And now, thou little Imp of Sin,

Without a compliment begin."


"The Volume that now lies before ye,

Tells you thus far, Sir, of my story;

Which would be upon this occasion

A work of supererogation;

Though I shall beg leave to repeat,

I'm not the new-born of the street;

But as it never yet appear'd,

At least, as I have ever heard,

To such unknown, unfather'd heirs,

I am a Foundling of _the stairs_,

Without a mark upon the dress,

By which there might be form'd a guess,

Whether I should the offspring prove

Of noble or of vulgar love;

Whether thus left in Inn of Court

Where Lawyers live of ev'ry sort;

Love in a deep full-bottom clad,

Gave me a grave black-letter'd dad,

Who, if 'twere so, might not agree

To have a child without a fee;

And, therefore, would not plead my cause,

But left me to the vagrant laws

Of chance, who did not do amiss,

But sued in _Formâ Pauperis_,

And, in a Court where Mercy reign'd,

The little Foundling's cause was gain'd:

SYNTAX was judge, and pity's power

Sav'd me in that forsaken hour.

He with that truly Christian spirit,

Which Heaven gave him to inherit,

Fondly embrac'd me as his own;

But ere three transient years were gone,

I lost my friend, but found another,

A father he, and she, a mother;

For such at least they both have prov'd,

And as their child the stranger lov'd.

O, rest her soul!--to her 'tis given

To share his happy lot in Heaven.

I seem'd to be her utmost pride,

And Johnny trotting by her side,

Fill'd with delight her glancing eye

In warm affection's sympathy.

This fond, this kind, this fost'ring friend

Did to my ev'ry want attend;

Her only fault, she rather spoil'd

As he grew up, the darling child;

But though her care was not confin'd

Or to his body, or his mind,

Though, with a fond parental view,

She gave to both th' attention due,

Ne'er would she her displeasure fix

On his most wild, unlucky tricks.

So that at church he held grave airs,

Pronounc'd Amen, and said his pray'rs,

And on a Sunday evening read

A sermon ere they went to bed,

Throughout the week, he was quite free

For mischief with impunity.

--If on the folk I squirted water,

How she would shake her sides with laughter;

If the long-rotten eggs were thrown

At Mary, Sally, or at Joan;

If any stinging stuff was put

Into the hasty trav'ller's boot;

If the sly movement of the heel

Should overturn the spinning-wheel.

--If holly plac'd beside the rose

Should wound the gay sheep-shearer's nose,

Or 'neath the tail a thorn-bush pricking,

Should set Dame Dobbins' mare a kicking,

And overthrow the market load,

While beans and peas o'erspread the road,

If the poor injur'd made complaint

To Madam of her wily saint,

She would reply, 'pray cease your noise,

These are the tricks of clever boys,

It is my pleasant Johnny's fun,

Tell me the damage, and have done.'

--When I became a rosy boy,

My growth encreas'd her growing joy;

But now such gamesome hours were o'er

I play'd my childish tricks no more.

My little heart 'gan to beat high,

And with heroic ardor try

The tempting danger to pursue,

And do what others could not do:

I sought to climb the highest tree,

Where none would dare to follow me,

Or the gay sporting horse to ride,

Which no school-fellow dare bestride.

My feats were sometimes rather scaring,

But the Dame lov'd to see me daring;

As by my running, leaping, walking,

I us'd to set the parish talking,

And, to the good old women's wonder,

I fear'd not lightning nor thunder.

She thought, in future time, my name }

By some achievement bold, might claim }

A loud blast in the trump of fame. }

"When, as a youth, how great the charm

To lean upon his willing arm,

Or when she wish'd to take the air,

To guide her poney in the chair;

To fetch her book, to place her stool,

Or bear the _laden ridicule:_

To chat, to laugh, to sing, to read,

As whims or wishes might succeed:

And I am proud to make it known

Her ev'ry pleasure was my own;

And all to please her I could do,

Was joy, as it was duty too.

"Here now my better story ends--

So far, I trust, Sir, we are friends:

But I could almost wish me dumb,

When I must tell of what's to come."

_Sir Jeffery_, half-laughing, said,

"_Johnny_, I pray, be not afraid,

Whate'er your luckless wit has done,

I swear I will set down in fun;

By me, your sins shall be forgiven

As sure as Mercy is in Heaven."


"Then, at your pleasure I proceed,

Nor will I hide a single deed;

There is but one I doubt to own,

But that to you shall be made known,

And will with you securely rest

As in my own uneasy breast;

Though I'm afraid of vengeful laws

As I believe without a cause.

Indeed, I have contriv'd to play

The very fool for many a day,

But brief, be sure, I'll strive to be

In this my early history.

"And here, an' please you, Sir, begins

The tale of my mishaps--the chapter of my sins."


It may seem queer when 'tis the will

Of Fate, its wishes to fulfil,

To call the culprit to the bar,

One born beneath a luckless star,

And from his urging conscience tell

The truths that on his mem'ry dwell,

When, like a checquer they display

The black and white to open day.

Thus, as the truth he's bound to state,

The former may preponderate;

While, in a happy moment bold,

He may some conscious good unfold,

Nor can the awkward task refuse

Both to applaud and to accuse.

--Such thoughts as these might be the cause,

Why poor QUÆ GENUS made a pause.

"Well," said _Sir Jeff'ry_, "pray go on,

Or never will your tale have done:

I've told you, and you must attend;

You tell your story to a friend,

Who will, whatever may appear,

With kindness and compassion hear."


"Your pardon, Sir, I will proceed,

Nor stop till I've perform'd the deed.

--Thus, so far Fortune deck'd with smiles

The season which our youth beguiles,

And gave the hope of added measure

To gay delight and solid pleasure:

But while the merry song went round,

And to the tabor's lively sound,

The village did in cadence beat,

With all its many twinkling feet,

Pale Fate appear'd, in cypress wreath,

And call'd out for the DANCE OF DEATH:

When my dear friend, who gave the feast,

And cheer'd with smiles each happy guest,

Was borne away, I scarce knew why,

But I was told,--it was to die.

And soon, alas! I wond'ring saw

All govern'd by a man of law,

With whom she seldom converse held,

But when her private cares compell'd

Some petty, trifling, legal aid,

Which coolly she discharg'd and paid.

'Twas by this man's exulting side

I walk'd along and sobb'd and sigh'd

When she was carried to the bourne

From whence we mortals ne'er return.

--I was by all around approv'd,

And by the better neighbours lov'd,

While I in ev'ry eye could see

The pity that was felt for me.

By her death-bed he held the quill

That made him master of her will,

While a round sum was written there

To pay him for the tender care

Which he of her sweet boy would take,

For her's and her dear husband's sake.

Husband! whom this same man of law,

This forging rascal never saw:

Indeed by many it was thought

He put his name where he ought not.

It much surpriz'd each curious friend,

And quite astonish'd _Doctor Bend_,

Whose rev'rend titles should have been

Where the foul lawyer's name was seen.

Wrong was suspected, Counsel had,

But no objection could be made,

And by all forms of law allied,

The will was shap'd and testified:

The attorney to his duties swore,

So he became Executor.

'Tis true she left her all to me,

But here and there a legacy;

Though, such were this strange will's commands

Through _Lawyer Gripe-all's_ grasping hands,

All was to pass and there remain

Till I the age of man attain;

And if I chanc'd to die before,--

The lawyer was to take the store.

All saw, or all believ'd the cheat,

But the law veil'd the base deceit,

And when the doctor came to see

How justice might be done to me,

On due reflection, thought it fit,

As things were order'd, to submit;

Told me, at present, to be quiet,

To seem content, nor breed a riot,

But when I truely crav'd a friend,

I knew the home of _Dickey Bend_;

Then with affection's warmth caress'd me,

And, with a parent's blessing, bless'd me.

"From that dear cottage now I mov'd,

Where I such tender fondness prov'd;

From a calm scene of taste refin'd,

And all that could improve the mind;

Where daily blessings were bestow'd

From all the humble neighbourhood;

Where heart-felt goodness was employ'd,

And social harmony enjoy'd;--

From these QUÆ GENUS was transferr'd

To where the daily curse was heard,

Where the law's promise was delay'd,

And money for injustice paid;

Or a loud, base, malignant joy,

Which the law's triumphs might employ;--

To an old house that stood alone,

With ivy and with moss o'ergrown,

And where the practiser of laws

Did his foul deeds 'mid bats and daws;

Nay, which, as fame reports, was worse,

The house was saddled with a curse,

That _Gripe-all_, in the law's despite,

Had robb'd some widow of her right,

And, by his cutting and his carving,

Had got the house--and left her starving.

"Oft I my loss, in secret, wept,

And when my eyelids should have slept,

Nay, when those eyelids should have clos'd

And I in strength'ning sleep repos'd,

They remain'd wakeful oft and shed

Their dews upon my troubled bed.

Though Master _Gripe-all_, it was known

Shew'd me a kindness not his own;

And did with all indulgence treat me,

As the best means, at length, to cheat me.

He strove my early grief to soothe,

Call'd me his dear, delightful youth;

Gave me a pretty horse to ride,

With money in my purse beside;

Let me employ the taylor's art

To deck me out and make me smart,

Let me just study when I pleas'd,

Nor e'er my mind with learning teas'd.

But still a gnawing discontent

Prey'd on me wheresoe'er I went.

--Of Phillis too I was bereft,

One real pleasure that was left:

A fav'rite spaniel of my friend,

That did on all my steps attend,

At eve was frisking, fond and gay, }

But on the sad succeeding day, }

A poison'd, swollen form it lay. }

It might be chance, but while I griev'd,

The following letter I received,

Which was thrown o'er a hedge the while

I sat half weeping on a stile.

The writer I could never tell;

But he who wrote it meant me well;

And I've no doubt that it contain'd

The thoughts which through the country reign'd."


"_I'm a poor man, but yet can spell, }

And I lov'd Madam SYNTAX well: }

--But I've a sorry tale to tell. }

Young 'Squire you're in the Devil's hands,

Or one who yields to his commands,

And who, I'm certain, would be bold

In bloody deeds, if 'tis for gold.

Halters he fears, but the base wretch

Fears no one mortal but JACK KETCH:

Yet what with quirks and such like flaws,

He can contrive to cheat the laws_:

_Though Madam's hand the will might sign,

It is no more her will than mine.

Some say, as she lay on her bed,

The deed was sign'd when she was dead,

And I've heard some one say, whose name

I must not give to common fame,

He'd lay ten pounds and say, 'have done,'

You liv'd not on to twenty-one;

And if you die before, 'tis known,

That Madam's money's all his own.

Nay, how he did the will compose,

'Tis Beelzebub alone who knows!

He in a lonely mansion lives,

But there the cunning villain thrives:

Yes, he gets on, as it appears,

By setting people by the ears:

Though I have heard NAN MIDWIFE say,

Who sometimes travels late that way,

That 'neath the yew, near the house wall,

Where the dark ivy's seen to crawl,

A cat she once saw which was half

As big as any full-grown calf,

And with her tail beat down the bushes,

As if they were but slender rushes;

Has often felt sulphureous steam,

And seen bright lines of lightning gleam.

These things the good, old woman, swears

She sometimes smells and sees and hears,

While thus all trembling with affright,

She scarce can get her bald mare by't.

--Run off, young 'Squire, for much I fear

You'll be cut off, if you stay here.

My service thus I do commend,

From, Sir, your very humble friend:

And hope you will take in good part,

What comes from poor but honest heart!_"

"This plain epistle told no more

Than had been hinted at before;

But though I was too bold to fear

That danger of such kind was near,

Yet still the honest counsel brought

My mind to a new range of thought.

"One day as I was riding out,

Prowling the country round about,

A guide-post stood, in letter'd pride,

Close by the dusty high-road side:

With many towns for passage fam'd,

_Oxford_ upon its points was nam'd,

Which instant call'd me to attend

To my kind patron _Doctor Bend_:

And then there 'rose within my breast

A thought that reason did suggest,

And not th' effect of boyish whim,

'_Th' Attorney quit and fly to him_.'--

--Soon after, by a lucky chance,

I heard what made my heart to dance,

That _Cerberus_ would be from home,

At least for sev'ral days to come,

Though, when of me he took his leave,

He said, 'expect me home at eve,

But, as talk may the way beguile,'

He added, 'ride with me a mile.'

--This was the very thing I wish'd,

For now I felt the fox was dish'd.

He rode on first and bade me follow,

'Twas then that I began to hollow;

I had but one _white lie_ to tell

And all things would be going well.

I said it was my guardian's whim

That I should make the tour with him,

And ask'd for a clean shirt or so

As I had such a way to go.

Thus my great-coat, most closely roll'd,

Did all the useful package hold,

And to the saddle strongly tied

I was completely satisfied,

As nought appear'd, thus pack'd together,

But a protection from the weather,

So that the lawyer's lynx's eye

Was clos'd on curiosity:

For Madam Gripe-all's ready care

Did, to my wish, the whole prepare.

Indeed, whatever she might be,

Her kindness never fail'd to me.

She frequently would call me son,

And say she lov'd me as her own;

Nay, when the clock struck, she would say,

'Kiss me as often, dear, I pray

As that same clock is heard to strike,

And oft'ner, dearest, if you like.'

Though such favour ne'er was shown, }

But when we both were quite alone, }

And seldom when the clock struck one. }

Her fondness I could well have stinted,

For, to say truth, she smelt and squinted:

But I remember'd that she cried,

When my poor, little Phillis died.

"I felt my airing rather droll,

Jogging with _Gripe-all_ cheek-by-jowl,

And hearing him, with no great awe,

Expound the secrets of the law.

--When arriv'd at seven miles' end

He smil'd and said, 'Good bye, my friend:

Now homewards you will turn and tell,

That thus far you have left me well.'

I left him with a hope, how vain!

I ne'er might see his face again.

My spur did sprightly poney goad

Till I had got into the road

Which did to Oxford's city lead,

When I restrain'd my foaming steed,

And, calmly pacing on my way,

Ere _Great Tom_ toll'd the following day,

I had embrac'd my rev'rend friend

And kindest patron, _Doctor Bend_.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


"I told a simple, artless tale,

That seem'd completely to prevail,

As I beheld his face the while

Beam with a kind, approving smile.

''Tis a bold trick,' the Doctor said,

'Which you, my lively spark, have play'd,

But since to College you are come,

I'll try to make the place your home;

Where I should hope you need not fear

To be cut short in your career;

I think, at least, we may engage

To keep you safe till you're of age,

When I shall leave you to the struggling

With _Gripe-all's_ artifice and juggling:

But still the cunning lawyer knows

I have good friends 'mong some of those

Who lead the bar or have a seat

Where the keen eye detects a cheat.

He will, I doubt not, swear and curse,

Nay, he may say you've stole his horse;

But if he meets with no disaster,

In two days he shall see his master,

And John will have a strict command

To give a letter to his hand

Which I shall with due caution write

Before I seek my bed to-night,

And if my mental eye sees clear

Will fix my friend QUÆ GENUS here.'

John met the lawyer on the road,

Just as he reach'd his own abode,

And ere at home he could have heard

Of my escape a single word:

Told him at once all he could tell,

That I at Oxford was, and well,

Where as I stay'd, I had of course,

With many thanks return'd his horse,

John said, he rather look'd confus'd

As the epistle he perus'd.

--Whether it bore a kind request

I should with ALMA MATER rest,

Or any hint that might apply

To the High Court of Chancery:

If soothing it contain'd or threat, }

I never knew or I forget,-- }

With all submission it was met. }

To all it ask'd he did agree,

And sent his kind regards to me,

While he his counsel did commend

Not to run off from _Doctor Bend_,

Nor e'er be govern'd by the whim

That made me run away from him.

"Thus soon in Scholar's cap and gown, }

I was seen saunt'ring up and down }

The High-Street of fair Oxford Town. }

And though I stood not first in fame,

I never bore an idler's name.

I was content, nay 'twas my pride

The Doctor ne'er was heard to chide,

Which, as your Oxford youths can tell,

Was getting onward rather well.

My friends, the WORTHIES, near the Lake,

Lov'd me for DOCTOR SYNTAX' sake,

And, free from e'en a speck of care,

I pass'd a short-liv'd Summer there.

--But time, as it is us'd, roll'd on,

And I, at length, was twenty-one.

"I now became a man of cares

To bear the weight of my affairs,

To know my fortune's full amount,

And to arrange a clear account

Between the vile, rapacious elf,

The _Lawyer Gripe-all_ and myself.

--No sooner to the place I came, }

Soon as was heard my well-known name, }

The bells my coming did proclaim, }

And had I stay'd the following day,

I would have made the village gay!

Thus _Gripe-all_ was full well prepar'd

And put at once upon his guard.

I went unwittingly alone

To claim my right and ask my own,

Though arm'd, to cut the matter short,

With an enliv'ning dose of Port,

While he was ready to display

The spirit of the law's delay.

--A step, he said, he could not stir

Without Baptismal Register,

And many a proof he must receive,

Which well he knew I could not give;

And till these papers I could shew,

He must remain in _Statu quo_.

But still, as a kind, gen'rous friend,

And from respect to _Doctor Bend_,

He would, though cash did not abound,

Advance me then _four hundred pound_.

I took the notes and thought it best

To wait the settling of the rest;

But soon I saw, as I'm alive,

That I had sign'd receipt for _five_.

My fingers caught the fraudful paper,

At which he 'gan to fume and vapour,

And let loose language full of ire,

Such as 'you bastard, rascal, liar,'

On which I caught him by the nose,

And gave the wretch some heavy blows,

Nay, as the blood ran down his face,

I dash'd the ink all in his face,

So that his figure might have done

E'en for the pit of Acheron.

Inky black and bloody red

Was o'er his ghastly visage spread,

As he lay senseless on the floor,

And, as I then thought, breath'd no more.

--The office, now a scene of blood,

Most haply in the garden stood,

So that our scene of sanguine riot

Did not disturb domestic quiet:

The notes were in my pocket stor'd,

And the receipt was in the hoard;

But as I now believ'd him dead,

I thought of being hang'd--and fled.

Nor did I make the whisky wait

Which then stood at the garden gate.

The driver who there held the reins,

Took me through many secret lanes

And woodland roads, that might evade

Pursuit, if any should be made.

He had an humble play-mate been

When I was sportive on the green;

But now, like me, to manhood grown,

Was as a skilful driver known;

And would have gone to serve QUÆ GENUS

Though fire and water were between us.

I told him all the fears I felt,

And how I had with _Gripe-all_ dealt;

Nay, urg'd him, if I were pursued, }

To cheat the blood-hounds, if he could, }

All which he mainly swore he would. }

Nay, hop'd I'd given him such a drubbing,

As to send him Beelzebubbing;

Though, first or last, he sure would go

To his relations down below.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


"Thus as we talk'd a mail-coach pass'd,

And as I could not go too fast,

I found, perchance, an empty seat,

And thus I made a quick retreat;

Nay should, in eight and forty hours,

By the wheels' ever-rolling powers,

Have a secure retirement found,

Safe from pursuit, on Scottish ground.

But as Misfortune, it is said,

Calls in associates to her aid,

And, indeed, is seldom known

To pay her visits all alone;

So either from the sultry weather,

Or anxious thoughts, or both together,

I was stopp'd short in my career,

By intermitting fits severe

Of heat and cold: a Galen came,

And Julep was the good man's name,

For truly good he prov'd to me

In skill and in humanity.

''Tis not,' he said, 'disease alone,

Which various symptoms have made known,

But they're encreasing as I find,

By a disturb'd and anxious mind,

And if that cannot be subdued,

Med'cine will do but little good.'

I therefore, my distresses told,

In short, my story did unfold,

While, as I spoke, in his kind eye,

I saw the tear of sympathy,

And did beneath his roof receive

The care that pitying skill could give.

"The fever wag'd a painful strife,

A struggling chance 'tween Death and Life,

That play'd upon my yielding spine,

Which did to outward curve incline:

I felt the mark would ne'er forsake

Its cruel seat upon my back;

I bent beneath the foul disaster

That ne'er would yield to any plaister:

Nor medicine, nor knife can cure it,

And must struggle to endure it.

Thus when restor'd to health and vigour,

I was become a crook-back'd figure:

My former round and healthful face

Had lost its plump, its rosy grace,

And was reduc'd from this same cause

To pale and lean and lantern jaws,

That none who once QUÆ GENUS knew

Would recollect him on the view;

Nor e'en would recognition wait

Though he should pass by _Gripe-all's_ gate.

When in the glass I chanc'd to view, }

The figure I now scarcely knew, }

I shudder'd and despis'd it too. }

--'At length,' said _Julep_, 'I commend,

Ere you depart, a worthy friend,

A lawyer too, nay, do not start,

Whose well-stor'd head and honest-heart,

Throughout his life were ne'er disjoin'd,

And in his practice are combin'd

The cause of truth and right to aid;

Who ne'er has heard the poor upbraid

His conscious dealings, while 'tis known,

The wealthy do his virtues own.

Thus, as your fate has been accurs'd,

Of legal dealers, with the worst;

You now may, as by all confess'd,

Obtain good counsel from the best.

"On such a character intent,

To Lawyer _Make-peace_ thus I went,

And told my curious story o'er

As I have told it you before.

With a keen look my face he ey'd,

And in a gentle tone replied.

'If the good man you thus have bang'd,

You may contemplate being hang'd;

But, as the case to me appears,

I trust you may dismiss your fears;

For even now you do not know

What evil follow'd from the blow;

And though some blood may have been spill'd,

It follows not the man was kill'd:

Besides, whatever ill was done,

There was no witness, no not one

To prove which of you was in fault,

Who first provok'd or gave th' assault;

And if, my friend, you had not fled

You need not fear, though he were dead.

--No advertisement has appear'd

To state the crime, as I have heard,

And surely I've the means to know

If any measures had been so.

But still, remember, I advise

That you move under a disguise,

'Till time and chance have drawn aside

That veil that does these threat'nings hide,

Which, in your present dubious state,

May on your wary footsteps wait.

Change your dress and change your name,

For neither now must be the same.'


'My dress and name I'll do anon,

The fever all the rest has done;

For Doctor _Bend_ I would defy }

The fondled Foundling to descry, }

In his mis-shapen misery. }

JOHNNY QUÆ GENUS, now adieu!

JACK PAGE I substitute for you!'


'You have good friends whom you can trust,

Who to misfortune will be just,

They will, I doubt not, let you know,

How you must act and what to do.

And much I think you have been wrong,

To have with-held your pen so long.

Obey me now in all I've said;

Be secret and be not afraid.'

"He spoke, and, in the kindest way,

Urg'd me to make no more delay;

And when I sought to give the fee;

'No, no,' he said, 'to such as thee

For mere good words I'm never paid;--

This is my way of plying trade.

When you have made a fair escape

From this unlucky, wretched scrape,

And when you are again restor'd

To your own happy bed and board;

When from all thraldom you are free,

Then, if it suits, remember me.'

"My notes were sew'd up in my coat,

For JULEP would not take a groat.

'When you reach home,' he kindly said;

'Like his friend MAKE-PEACE, I'll be paid.'

Thus I set off, as was my plan,

Guis'd as a trudging, trav'lling man,

And in his journey going on

To seek his fate in London town.

My needfuls in an oil-cloth sack,

Were buckled to my wretched back,

And late at night when the full moon

In an unclouded brightness shone,

I left those gen'rous friends behind

Which such as me so seldom find:

A Galen, with that goodness fraught,

Who gave his skill and drugs for nought;

And an attorney, whose great aim

Was to put roguery to shame;

Nay, whose superior virtues tell

The Law can shew a _Miracle_.

"You must, _Sir Jeff'ry_, often see }

The strange effects of vanity; }

Another you will find in me. }

You'll scarce believe as I relate

The folly which I now must state:

That I've been such a silly elf

I now can scarce believe myself:

And I could wish I dare conceal

What duty bids me to reveal.

--Did not calm prudence whisper now

To my existing state to bow,

To tell it all to such a friend

As I had found in _Doctor Bend_,

Or a quick pilgrimage to make }

To Worthy-Hall beside the Lake, }

Where, for dear _Doctor Syntax'_ sake, }

The troubled _Foundling_ would receive

All that protecting care could give.

This was the counsel _Make-peace_ gave,

A lawyer who was not a knave;

Who would advise without a fee,

And felt for human misery.

--This Reason said in lessons strong,

As I pac'd my still way along,

When the dull sound of my own feet

And Philomela's sonnet sweet

Did on the gen'ral silence break,

And seem'd to keep the night awake.

Then VANITY sat pick-a-pack

Perch'd on the hump upon my back,

And whisper'd into either ear,

'Such humbling counsels do not hear.

Where poor QUÆ GENUS has been known

His alter'd form must ne'er be shown:

With this sad shape he never can

Hold himself forth a gentleman:

No art can furnish you a cloak

To hide from pity or from joke.

If passing on a river's ridge,

Or, perchance lolling o'er a bridge,

You gaze upon the stream below

Whose crystal mirror's seen to flow,

Would not the picture meet your eye

Of your own sad deformity?

At Oxford you would be the talk

Of the High-street or Christ-Church-walk,

While many quizzing fools look round

To view your rising back begown'd.

--How would you bear the wond'ring ken

Of the good folk of Sommerden,

While they with pitying looks lament

The once straight form, but now so bent!

Then leave the world where you have been,

Where I would be no longer seen,

Nor let the jealous eye compare,

What you once was with what you are.

Might I advise, I'd sooner die }

Unknown, in humble privacy, }

Again,' said whisp'ring vanity, }

'Than e'er appear where I was known

For graces which were then my own,

That pity or that scorn might point

At such a form, so out of joint.'

"I need not say how many days

I sought the bye and secret ways,

For ever list'ning to the tongue }

That whisper'd soft and pleaded strong, }

To set each better feeling wrong. }

Hence I resign'd myself to chance,

Left fortune, friends, inheritance,

And madly felt that I was hurl'd

Thus mark'd to wander through the world.

To snatch at, and at once receive,

Whate'er the world might chance to give.

'Twas not a whimsy of the brain, }

That did the idle scheme sustain, }

'Twas something which I can't explain. }

All feeling center'd in the pack

That had thus risen on my back;

And as I felt the burden there,

It seem'd the seat of ev'ry care,

Of ev'ry painful thought brimfull,

Like OLD PANDORA'S _Ridicule_.

But as every single note }

Which I from _Gripe-all's_ grasp had got, }

Was still secure within my coat, }

I had sufficient means and more

To travel all the kingdom o'er

With staff in hand, and well-shod feet, }

And oil'd umbrella form'd to meet }

The show'rs that might my passage greet. }

One pocket did a bible hold,

The other held the story told,

Which good Æneas did rehearse

To Dido, in immortal verse;

While from a loop before descended

A flute that oft my hours befriended:

Thus I with verse, with prose or fist,

Was scholar, fiddler, methodist.

As fit occasion might demand,

I could let Scripture Phrase off-hand,

Or fine re-sounding verses quote,

Or play a tune in lively note.

Thus qualified to cut and carve,

I need not fear that I should starve;

While in some future lucky stage

Of my uncertain pilgrimage,

I might have hopes, remov'd from strife,

To be a fixture for my life.

"Such was the wild, fantastic scheme

Such was the strange distracted dream,

That, stranger still, rose from the pack

Which chance had fix'd upon my back.

Of friends forgetful, 'twas my plot

That I by friends should be forgot.--

I seem'd to wish that I were thrown

Upon some island yet unknown,

Where crooked figure is the feature

Of all the living, reas'ning nature;

And where deformity would be

A shape of perfect symmetry;

Which SWIFT would not have fail'd to spare,

Had his bold fancy wander'd there,

And _Lemuel Gulliver_ had been

The visitor of such a scene.

"In this same state I wander'd on,

Grumbling and doubting and alone,

Though some encouragement I met

Which made me whilom cease to fret;

For, tales I hap'd by chance to know

And pleasant fancies I could show,

With which my active mind was stor'd,

Had sometimes paid my bed and board;

Nay, had prolong'd my welcome stay

Throughout a grave or lively day.

"One evening by a riv'let's side

That did in gentle murmurs glide,

Where the green turf its carpet spread,

And willow boughs wav'd o'er my head,

I sat reclin'd, nor was my flute,

As I could wake its music, mute:

When a huge waggon pass'd along,

And soon a chorus join'd the song.

Invited by the social strain,

I rose and sought the jocund train;

Men, women, children, all so gay,

Who loudly cheer'd the tedious way.

The cargo which the waggon bore

Were modern times and those of yore;

The image of each living scene,

And of such things as ne'er had been:

Witches and goblins, clouds and skies

Deck'd out in their varieties,

The river's flow, the ocean's waves,

The crowns of kings, the bonds of slaves,

Helmets and mitres, robes and arms,

Terrific forms, and beauty's charms,

All mov'd along, together hurl'd,

Th' outfittings of a mimic world:

When what with spouting, what with song,

As the procession trudg'd along,

No cunning was required to see,

It was a strolling company,

Who were proceeding to make known

Their talents in a neighb'ring town.

Here a strange thought occur'd that I

Might try my powers in Tragedy;

While the vain fancy was possess'd

I might appear among the best:

In short among them I display'd

An earnest of the acting trade.

The bills were blazon'd with my name,

A candidate for scenic fame,

And 'twas announc'd that Mr. Page

Would first appear on any stage.

The part which I of course preferr'd

Was SHAKESPEAR'S well known R. the THIRD.

I wanted not the wardrobe's aid,

My crook-back was already made;

My form disdain'd the aid of art,

And thus I play'd the tyrant's part:

But from my being thus disjoin'd,

To this same part I was confin'd.

Though by this outfit I must own

I could perform the awkward clown,

Or any other hunch-back fellow,

A Pantaloon, or Punchinello,

Where white and red be-mark'd my face,

And excellence was my disgrace:

For here I shrunk beneath the pack

That fate had nail'd upon my back.

"I wish'd to figure as Othello,

But he was a fine, straight-made fellow,

Whom, with a shape, so crook'd, so bent,

I could not dare to represent,

And though his face was olive brown,

No injury his form had known;

While mine, in its unseemly guise,

Fair Desdemona must despise:

Nor could it be a bard's design, }

That love-sick maids should e'er incline }

To such an outrag'd shape as mine. }

My voice possess'd a tender strain,

That could express a lover's pain;

But such a figure never yet

Was seen to win a _Juliet_.

Nay ladies lolling in a box,

Would think it a most curious hoax,

If through their glasses they should see

Lord Townly such an imp as me.

Thus for a month or more, JACK PAGE

Fretted and strutted on the stage,

Sometimes affording Richard's figure

In all its native twist and vigour;

Or bearing kick, or smack, or thump

From Harlequin upon his hump.

Though I say not, I was ill-paid

For the fine acting I display'd.

Nay, had I less mis-shapen been,

I might to the Theatric scene,

Have turn'd my strange life's future views,

And courted the Dramatic Muse.

"But as I could not smooth my shape

From the hips upwards to the nape,

And as to so confin'd a round

My imitative powers were bound,

My Genius I resolv'd to try

In writing Farce or Comedy,

In which I could exert my art

For my dear self to form a part

Wherein the keen, applauding eye

Might dwell on my deformity,

And where the picture might beguile

The judgement to afford a smile.

--When this same work I had perform'd

My vanity was rather warm'd.

'Humour,' 'twas said, 'the piece discovers,'

And it was call'd, 'The Crooked Lovers.'

"I think, _Sir Jeff'ry_ you may guess, }

The plot my Farce aims to possess,-- }

A kind of praise of ugliness; }

Where Beauty is not seen to charm,

Nor fill the heart with fond alarm;

Where finest eyes may gleam in vain,

May wake no joy, or give no pain:

And though the beaming smiles may grace

The rosy bloom of Delia's face,

Here they excite no am'rous passion,

Nor call forth tender inclination:

Such the desire, that ev'ry day,

Amuses Cupid when at play,

But other objects must engage

The scenes I offer'd to the stage:

Lame legs, club feet, and blinking eyes,

With such like eccentricities,

Call'd forth my amorous desire,

And set my actors all on fire.

With me no Damon longs to sip

The sweets of Cath'rine's pouting lip,

But smoke-dried Strephon seeks the bliss

Of a well-guarded, snuffy kiss,

Where the long nose, delightful wonder,

Scarce from the chin can keep asunder;

Where lovers' hearts ne'er feel a thump,

But when they view each other's hump.

"Now here again I was o'erthrown

By a crook-back, and not my own;

The May'rs gay wife, whose back appears

Upon a level with her ears,

Was pleas'd at first that I had prov'd

She was an object to be lov'd;

But as the Parish Parson too,

With a small form was quite askew,

And as, when it was pleasant weather,

This pair would take a walk together,

Would saunter through the winding glade,

Or sit beneath the beechen shade;

And, as it seem'd, were never cloy'd

With tender converse so enjoy'd;

It hap'd some Critic keen discovers

Whom I meant by 'The Crooked Lovers.'

The May'ress call'd th' obedient Mayor

To frown from magisterial chair,

And with the terrors of his mace

To drive my Hunch-back from the place;--

And on the high-road I once more

Was trav'lling as I did before.

"To you, Sir, it was never known

To feel the state which I must own:

No home, not knowing where to go,

How I should act and what to do.

Just as a ship whose rudder's lost,

Nor within sight of any coast;

Without the power to stand the shock

Of tempest, or to shun the rock.

From the strange nature of my birth,

I knew no relative on earth,

Nor to my giddy thoughts was given

To look with any hope to Heaven.

To London I propos'd to go,

Where not a being did I know:

To me it was an unknown shore,

Where I had never been before,

At least, since of all care bereft,

I was a helpless Foundling left.

Thus, as I thought, behold I stood,

Beside a mill-dam's spreading flood;

The waters form'd to drive the mill }

With its tremendous wheel, stood still, }

While evening glimmer'd on the hill. }

One plunge I said and all is o'er,

My hopes and fears will be no more;

An unknown child, an unknown man,

And I shall end as I began.

Nor can I say what would have follow'd,

I, and my hump, might have been swallow'd

In the deep, wat'ry gulph beneath,

Had I not heard a hautbois breath

A lively, but an uncouth strain,

As it appear'd from rustic swain,

Which, as it dwelt upon my ear,

Told me that merriment was near,

And did at once dispel the gloom

That might have sought a wat'ry tomb.

I turn'd my footsteps tow'rds the sound

That was now heard the valley round;

When soon upon the rural green,

The sight of busy mirth was seen.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


"With sights like these, I had been us'd

In early days to be amus'd

When I but wav'd my boyish hand

The rural groupes obey'd command,

When ev'ry rustic feast I grac'd

And was in highest station plac'd,

Though I did to no name aspire,

Yet I was nam'd the youthful 'Squire,

For Madam Syntax sake was shown

The honour which was not my own.

But now, such was my fortune's change,

A wand'rer I was left to range

I scarce knew where, and doom'd to wait

For what might be my future fate.

Thus I approach'd the busy throng,

And when I heard the joyous song,

Though, with a mingled sense of pain,

My flute pour'd forth a doubtful strain.

--'Twas a sheep-shearing that employ'd

The festive toil which all enjoy'd,

And I was welcom'd to receive

The bounties that the feast could give;

And while I did my carols play,

With flowers the maidens made me gay,

And as they gave my back a thump,

Each stuck a nosegay on my hump.

Here I must own, there's no concealing,

These compliments attack'd my feeling,

And I was deck'd out in a part,

Which on my back, was near my heart;

Yet, as sweet smiles shew'd the intent

That no offensive thought was meant,

I, with kind words and sprightly tune

Strove to repay the fragrant boon.

--The yeoman, master of the feast,

Was kind, and own'd me as his guest,

And as he view'd each added fleece

That did his summer wealth encrease,

He joyous made the toast go round

To the song's animating sound,

While the patient ewes grown light,

And eas'd of all their fleecy weight,

No more the shearer's hand restrain

But bound off to their hills again.

Such was the scene that did awhile

My bosom of its cares beguile,

For he must have a wretched heart

To whom those joys no joy impart,

Which others are beheld to feel

And to th' attentive eye reveal;

Nay, I must own that this night's pleasure,

Which revell'd in unbounded measure,

A kind, though short, oblivion shed

O'er my crook-back and thoughtful head:

Yes, brief it was, for soon again

My pleasure yielded to my pain,

And all the jocund, festive folly

Was then restor'd to melancholy.

The ale was good, my draughts were deep,

And, overcome by sudden sleep,

Upon a chair my head repos'd,

And soon my eyes were soundly clos'd.

Th' Exciseman, a smart, parish wit,

Thought he could make a funny hit,

And with his ochre red and black,

Drew a fierce face upon my back,

The thought, at least, was not quite civil,

With all the emblems of the devil.

He had display'd his humour's art

Upon a very tender part,

At least, my pride, as you must know,

Had to my fancy made it so.

When, by the roar caus'd by the joke,

I from the slumb'ring fit awoke;

Soon did I make th' Exciseman sick

Of such a mortifying trick:

His gauging-rod was heard to crack

In many a stroke upon his back,

Till, by his supplicating tone,

I found I had aveng'd my own.

But though the marks were brush'd with care,

By the same hand which trac'd them there;

And though I was most warmly prest,

By the kind master of the feast,

To pass another jovial day;

I felt offence and walk'd away.

"'Do what I can, go where I will,

This Hump's my evil genius still,

And serves in some odd way or other

My any sense of joy to smother.'

--Such was th' expression that my tongue

Would mutter as I trudg'd along.

--But REASON told me, cease your strife

With this companion of your life;

'Tis fix'd as fate, and you must wear it,

Therefore with resignation bear it.

It is, I own, an ugly tumour,

But you should treat it with good humour,

And still be pleas'd you cannot trace

Any mis-givings on your face.

The change you surely would not try

For a lame leg or squinting eye:

Though somewhat out of line your figure,

You still enjoy Health's active vigour:

All's right before, so never mind

A certain awkwardness behind;

For sure, when you present your front,

No eye can see a blemish on't.

With merry and good-humour'd folk,

Treat it, Oh treat it as a joke,

And if, by chance, you meet a fool

Who turns it into ridicule,

Tell him you'd rather have the feature,

Coarse as it is, than his ill-nature.

Take care that none who know you, find

An awkward hump within your mind:

Oh, let it be your constant care

To banish disproportion there,

And you will laugh with friends who crack

Chance-medley jokes upon your back!


"To Reason I attention lent; }

Th' advice was good,--and, strait or bent, }

I now resolv'd to be content. }

"Thus, as I urg'd my onward way,

In spirits rather growing gay,

With saddle bags and all alone, }

A sprightly horse came trotting on, }

As if he had his rider thrown. }

The beast I, with some trouble, caught,

And then its fallen master sought,

Whom, within half a mile I found

All pale and stretch'd upon the ground:

When I approach'd, as in surprise,

He gave a groan and op'd his eyes.

A crystal brook ran murm'ring by,

Its cooling fluid to supply,

And soon its sprinklings did afford

The power that banish'd strength restor'd.

Thus, when re-mounted on his steed,

We did, in progress slow, proceed:

I cautious pac'd it by his side

With tighten'd rein the horse to guide;

And with attentive eye, prevent

Another downfall accident.

"We might have gone a mile or more,

When we beheld a lofty tower

That did in stately form arise,

A welcome sight to anxious eyes,

Marking a spot where might be found

Some styptic to a bleeding wound.

I shall be brief,--the Horseman's head }

Was soon repos'd on downy bed; }

The Surgeon came and he was bled: }

The lancet was by blisters follow'd,

And potions, in due order, swallow'd.

He look'd his thanks, then squeez'd my hand,

Bade me, what gold could pay, command;

Of all I wish'd to take my fill,

Enjoy myself, nor fear the bill.

I took my patient at his word,

And what the _Blue Bell_ could afford,

(An Inn of good repute and worth,

Well known to all who travel North,)

As it was his desire, enjoy'd,

Till with good living I was cloy'd.

But his sick bed I did amuse,

I told him tales and read the news;

So that with emphasis he swore

He almost griev'd his ills were o'er.

"As near, I think, as I can tell,

A fortnight pass'd ere he was well;

When he thus wish'd me to make known

How his best thanks could best be shown.--

"'I now may tell, my saddle-bags

Held a rich bundle of those rags

Which, from the Bank, are issued forth,

As we all know, of precious worth,

And might have been a certain prize

Had they been seen by knavish eyes.

A rogue would have possess'd the steed,

And with his mettle and his speed,

Have sought a spot, where, at his leisure,

He might have rummag'd all my treasure;

Nay, been in town before the post

Could have made known what I had lost,

And, on some artful trick's reliance,

Have set discovery at defiance:

When I, here sitting sad and stewing,

Might have been pond'ring o'er my ruin:

While, from your noble, gen'rous dealing,

I feel a joy there's no revealing.

"'A _Trav'ller_ is the name I bear,

A well-known, useful character,

Who, through the kingdom's wide-stretch'd bounds,

Ne'er fails to make his yearly rounds.

I for a London house of trade

Employ my necessary aid,

By which its commerce I extend

From Dover to the far Land's End.

Well mounted, or perhaps in chaise,

We quietly pursue our ways;

Lift our heads high, and look so grand

When we have payments to demand,

But bow, and handsome speeches give

When we have orders to receive:

Thus suiting manners, as you see

To our commercial policy.

Nay, when the busy day is o'er,

We meet at night, perhaps a score;

And, in return, give our commands

To humble host, who cringing stands,

In order to prepare the best

For the be-bagg'd and trav'lling guest,

And bring us wine to aid our cheer; }

While, with stump'd pens behind the ear, }

Good folks in town may drink their beer-- }

Nay, may be boasting of our labours

In smoking clubs of sober neighbours.

"'To what the London Mart supplies,

We give our wings and off it flies:

Thus knowledge, taste, and every fashion

Find a quick way throughout the nation,

And all the wants of high and low

We with a ready zeal bestow.

--The beauties of improving art

We scatter round in every part,

And diff'rent districts of the isle

In our communications smile.

To learning we distribute books,

And sauces to the country cooks:

Nay, none there are who will refuse

The town-made blacking for their shoes:

On Shetland legs its lustre glows

As on the boots of Bond-street beaux.

Where is the Miss, or where the Maid

Who does not ask our frequent aid?

At city ball or country fair

Our visits are apparent there;

And but for us, the summer races

Would be despoil'd of half their graces.

In short, as ev'ry eye may see,

The kingdom is one gallery;

That its abundant uses owes

To what the Traveller bestows.

Hence it is not a vain pretence

That we may make to consequence,

Who, by our turns and windings, strive

To make this flying commerce thrive:

Too happy when we carry home

Bags of Bank rags for which we roam:

Nay, I may think I owe to you,

That mine are safe within my view,

And any wish I will obey,

Which to my power you may convey.'

"I seiz'd the time and told my tale,

At least, as much as might avail

Some settlement in town to find,

That suited both my means and mind;

When by advice, and, which was better,

By a most urgent, friendly letter,

Arriv'd in London,--I soon found

I did not tread on hostile ground:

Nay, ere a week was pass'd and gone, }

Fortune, I hop'd had ceas'd to frown, }

As I did now a station own, }

With promis'd comfort by my side,

That gave me gains, nor hurt my pride.

But my misfortunes were not past,

Though this I hope will be my last,

Or I'll avenge me of the pack,

The foe I carry on my back;

From London Bridge I'll dash me plump,--

And drown th' incorrigible Hump.

"Now, the good lady of the house,

Who had an influence o'er her spouse,

Was in that interesting state

Which I can't otherwise relate

Than being such as loving wives

Think the great honour of their lives,

And she thought, if her daily eye

Should view my sad deformity,

It might the happy shape destroy

Of the expected girl or boy;

And ladies, in a certain trim,

Must be indulg'd in ev'ry whim.

Such danger did my form display,

Another hour I must not stay:

But gold was giv'n to heal my pride,

And bribe me to be satisfied.

'Tis true, kind words explain'd the cause;

Nay, much was said of Nature's laws;

And where that ruling pow'r thought fit,

To her caprice we must submit.

--Thus, once again, if not for ever,

I had to curse th' infernal fever

That did my upright form disgrace,

And rob me of my welcome place.

--At length, brimfull of discontent,

Half-mad, I to the Office went;

Where Fortune seem'd to change my view,

For there she made me known to you.

"Thus, Sir, I've told my tedious story,

And now a suppliant stand before you:

But in my story, right or wrong,

Truth was the rudder of my tongue.

--I've done, and, in all patience, wait,

To know how you may rule my fate;

And if my hist'ry will commend }

QUÆ GENUS, (such may be his end,) }

To you, _Sir Jeff'ry_, as his friend." }


Silence for some short time ensu'd,

Ere conversation was renew'd.

--_Sir Jeff'ry_ first strok'd down his chin, }

With something 'twixt a yawn and grin, }

And then thought proper to begin. }

"By a great writer it is said,

And one who seldom was betray'd,

When he employ'd his tongue or pen

On the known characters of men:

(And if, perchance, I'm not mistaken,

I think his famous name was BACON,)

That in the changeful scenes of life,

Which raise up enmity and strife,

He may 'gainst others hold his head,

Nor the wide world's opinion dread,

If, though he almost stands alone,

An honest heart maintains its own:

But that he is an arrant fool

Who yields to his own ridicule.

Now such a fool, as we have seen,

QUÆ GENUS, from weak pride, has been:

But, though I wonder at his folly,

I will not make him melancholy.

"Things at the worst, 'tis said, must mend,

And I will prove your real friend,

If you, hereafter, have the sense

To merit my full confidence:

And now, I think, you may prepare

To take my household to your care.

Your pride must not offended be

At putting on a livery,

As that will be the best disguise

To hide you from all prying eyes;

QUÆ GENUS, too, you now must yield,

That learned name should be conceal'd;

_Ezekiel_ will suspicion smother,

As well, I think, as any other,

Till I have due enquiry made

If _Gripe-all_ be alive or dead,

And how far I may recommend

The runaway to _Doctor Bend_.

Do what is right--and laugh at fear;

The mark you carry in your rear

Will never intercept the view

Fortune may have in store for you.

No more let vanity resent

The stroke by which your form is bent!

How many in the world's wide range

Would willingly their figures change

For such as yours, and give their wealth

To get your hump and all its health.

Look at my legs--my stomach see,

And tell me, would you change with me?

Nay, when your healthy form I view, }

Though all be-hump'd, I'd change with you, }

And give you half my fortune too. }

Lament no more your loss of beauty,

But give your thoughts to do that duty

Which my peculiar wants require,

And more you need not to desire.

I feel I cannot pay too high

For care and for fidelity:

Let me see that--my heart engages

To give you something more than wages

--Your duties will be found to vary,

As Steward, Nurse, and Secretary:

Thus you will soon my wants attend

Less as a servant than a friend.

You may suppose I little know

Of what is going on below;

My leading wishes are, to prove

That I am duly serv'd above,

And you, as may be daily seen,

Must play the active game between."

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


More pass'd, that needs not our repeating,

About the mystery of eating,

Which did these sage instructions close,

When good _Sir Jeff'ry_ 'gan to doze:

And, soon as he more soundly slept,

Downstairs _Ezekiel_ cautious crept,

(For by that name he now is known,

As fate has chang'd it for his own,)

To let th' expecting folk below

The nature of his office know.

To ev'ry man he gave his fist,--

The females, too, he warmly kiss'd;

Then to th' assembled kitchen spoke,

But not as if he thought a joke,

Or in a hypocritic glee,

But with a smiling gravity.

"_Sir Jeff'ry's_ household int'rests are

Committed to my faithful care;

And I must hope we all agree

To serve him with fidelity."

To this they all, in order due,

Gave their assent--and bound it too

By words which each one, in their station,

Gave as a solemn declaration.

The cook and housekeeper began,

And thus her red rag glibly ran;

While, from her knee unto her chin,

She wav'd the floured rolling pin.

"O, may the kettle never boil,

May butter always turn to oil,

And may the jack, the chimney's boast,

From time to time despoil the roast!

May soot fall on the ready stew,

And the cat lick the rich ragout!

May China dish with pie to bake,

While I am speaking, may it crack,

If I e'er took the offer'd bribe

From any of the market tribe,

Or e'er disgrac'd the name of cook

To falsify the kitchen book;

Nay, if I have touch'd or taken,

For my own use, one slice of bacon;

If ever I were such a sinner,

May I now spoil _Sir Jeff'ry's_ dinner;

And should I suffer such disgrace,

I instantly should lose my place!"


"May I be hang'd by some bell rope

If e'er I cribb'd an ounce of soap,

Or pocketed wax-candles' ends

To deal out slily to my friends;

Or, in the linen's gen'ral muster,

Made free with towel or with duster;

Or e'er did bribes from turners take,

The mops to spoil, or brooms to break;

Or in the bed-rooms made a stir

To call in the upholsterer,

As house-maids with dishonest view,

Are, as I've heard, so apt to do!

Or ever gave, in washing tub,

The linen a hard, tearing rub,

That might encrease the rags--a fee

Which household custom gives to me!

--That I speak truth, I here declare,

And Molly, too, the same will swear;

Who striking hard upon the dresser,

Hop'd Heaven itself would never bless her,

If, from whate'er she saw or knew

What had been promis'd was not true."


"Though I am rather in a flutter,

I vow I never turn'd the butter

Into the pot that might encrease

The perquisite of daily grease;

Nor sought for fat, no, not a bit,

But what dripp'd kindly from the spit,

Or from the plates and dishes came,

When I had daily clean'd the same;

Nor ever let a candle fall

To fill a gaping interval!

Nor did I e'er a doit receive

Which coal-merchants may sometimes give

To those who watch the kitchen-grate,

And keep it in a flaming state;

Who may the poker wield at will

And seldom leave its poking still,

Nor e'er the kitchen blaze controul

By being niggard of the coal:

Charges that are so often laid

To the hard-working, kitchen maid!"


"O may I never, never be

A servant out of livery,

Which is th' ambitious, hop'd-for lot

Of all who wear the shoulder knot!

O may I never quit my place }

Behind the chair, nor shew my face, }

The sideboard's glitt'ring show to grace, }

If, when my master ceas'd to dine,

I ever stole a glass of wine!

O, may my food be pitch and mustard,

If ever I took tart or custard,

If e'er I did my finger dip

In some nice sauce and rub my lip!

If turnpike tolls I e'er enlarg'd,--

May I this moment be discharg'd!"


"May I be flogg'd with thorny briars

If e'er I heard such cursed liars,

And should I venture now to say }

I ne'er purloin'd or corn or hay, }

I should be liar big as they! }

Nay, 'tis such folly to be lying,

And all these trifling tricks denying,

Which, ere a fortnight's past and over,

Mr. _Ezekiel_ must discover.

_Sir Jeff'ry's_ keen look never sees

What are but clever servants' fees,

And he would feel it to his sorrow,

Were he to change us all to-morrow;

For the new steward soon will see

No master's better serv'd than he.

There's not a carriage about town

That looks genteeler than our own;

Or horses with more sprightly air,

Trot through the street or round a square.

I say that we all do our duty,

And if we make a little booty,

We never hear _Sir Jeff._ complain:

And wherefore should one give him pain?

If better servants he should seek,

He must be changing ev'ry week;

And I am sure that kind of strife

Would spoil the quiet of his life:

Nay, as you know, there is no question

Would operate on his digestion;

And when that fails, it is a point

That puts the rest all out of joint.

Thus all our trifling, secret gains

Save him a multitude of pains:

And when our daily work is done,

If we kick up a little fun,

No harm proceeds--no ill is meant--

He's not disturb'd--and all's content.

--Nay, now my friends, I'll club my shilling,

And you, I'm sure, will be as willing

To drink--that bus'ness may go on

In the same temper it has done,

And, without any treach'rous bother,

That we may understand each other:

That, without boasting or denying,

We need not to continue lying;

And that, disdaining needless fuss,

_Ezekiel_ may be one of us."

The wine was brought, for vulgar beer

Was not thought proper to appear;

The cook a pigeon pie produc'd,

And other tit-bits that amus'd

The appetites of those who sought 'em,

With thanks to the fat dame who brought 'em.

--Thus the new steward was made free

Of kitchen hospitality;

And to be blind to what he saw,

He was bound down by kitchen law.

At length, in office thus install'd,

And each was gone where duty call'd,

He, with a pressing arm, embrac'd }

The busy cook's well-fatten'd waist, }

As with her pin she plied the paste; }

When from her active tongue he drew

The duties which he had to do,

And how he might their claims divide,

Nor lean too much to either side.

--Our hero, who now felt his ground,

Thought not of change in what he found;

And that to enter on reform

Would be but to excite a storm,

Disturb the Knight's desir'd repose

And fill a kitchen full of foes.

He plainly saw his station bound him

To be at peace with all around him:

But, as the diff'rent int'rests drew,

He rather trembled at the view.

Thus, if we may small things compare

With those which more important are,

We may _Ezekiel's_ state apply

To maxims of philosophy,

By which it seems life's changeful hours

Are subject to two adverse powers,

That govern as by time or chance,

Nay, struggle for predominance;

While each, at diff'rent hours, may be

Possess'd of short-liv'd victory,

As varying impulses may bind

The operations of the mind.

Here selfish int'rest will prevail--

There gen'rous feeling turns the scale;

So that he neither can be said

Strictly to be or good or bad;

But in the one or other sense,

Of that presiding influence

Which counteracting views may give,

And the complying mind receive.

Thus, subject to these adverse powers,

In diff'rent places--diff'rent hours--

Poor mortal man, by their constraint,

May be a sinner or a saint.

To day he's wading to the chin

In folly's stream, through thick and thin;

While, on the morrow, he may prove

What virtue's self delights to love.

'Twas in this case our hero stood:

He might be bad--he might be good;

If good, he must the kitchen sweep--

If bad, its tricks a secret keep;

But if he would preserve his cloth,

He must determine to be both.

Thus, as he took a thoughtful view, }

He saw, his int'rest to pursue, }

He must divide himself in two. }

Above to stick to rigid plan--

Below to join the lively clan:

In what _Sir Jeff'ry_ did entrust

To his sole province, to be just;

But ne'er to interrupt the show

That was kept up by friends below:

At least, he was resolv'd to try

This system of philosophy;

To be a favourite with all,

In drawing room and servants' hall.

From all that he at present view'd,

No other plan could be pursu'd;

No other method could he trace,

To be at ease and keep his place.

Up-stairs to serious care he went, }

Down-stairs to stolen merriment, }

And thus the day and night were spent. }

_Sir Jeff'ry_, in a tone of pleasure,

Talk'd of _Ezekiel_ as a treasure;

And, far as the good Knight could tell,

He merited the title well:

Nay, it is true, he never fail'd

To meet the humour that prevail'd;

And through the day, from morn till night,

_Sir Jeff'ry_ found that all was right.

But when he slumb'ring sought his bed,

And on the pillow laid his head,

Then did our hero quit his post

And pass away like midnight ghost;

Then did he from his virtue move,

The power that rul'd him when above,

And seek the lively sports below;

For what could puzzled hunch-back do?

Could he another course prefer?

No,--he must take things as they were.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


In this wide world, how oft is seen

A phantom with alluring mien,

Y'clep'd Temptation, whose sweet smiles

Too oft the stoutest heart beguiles.

Whate'er its forms, they seldom fail

Sooner or later to prevail.

If it assumes a golden shower,

Or sits in any seat of power,

How numerous the slavish band

Who offer to obey command:

Still, some examples may be shown

Of those whose virtues would disown

Its influence, and refuse to fly,

Or yield the palm of victory.

But where's the heart that e'er disdains

The pow'r that dwells where beauty reigns?

If such a question we propose,

_Ezekiel_ was not one of those;

And thus below-stairs he began

To break upon his up-stairs plan:

Nay, this same rigid rule of right, }

In his close duties to the Knight, }

He now thought might be drawn too tight; }

And that, in trifles, to his feeling,

He might be safe in double dealing,

And in the drawing-room apply

The aid of kitchen policy:

But he as soon would think of murther

As to proceed an atom further.

How he thus happen'd to decline

From his strict, philosophic line;

Why he relax'd from law severe

In the Knight's upper atmosphere,

Will not surprise one human creature

Who the world knows, or human nature,

Or recollects the joy or smart

When passion first invades the heart.

There were two objects most bewitching,

That sparkled all around the kitchen;

Though so bright was every kettle,

Or plate or pan of various metal,

That each might gaze upon a face

As if they peep'd into a glass:

Though fire-irons did reveal

The shining of the polish'd steel,--

Yet these superior pow'rs display'd,

Than aught by human artist made:

In short, to state what they could be,

And silence curiosity,

They were two eyes which lustre shed

Where'er the owner turn'd her head;

Though they gave not the only grace

That play'd on Molly's charming face.

But whether 'twas her lips or nose,

Or the fine curve of auburn brows,

That aided the commanding eye

In its well-play'd artillery,

Howe'er that be--in his warm heart

_Ezekiel_ had receiv'd the dart,

And as its ruling power he felt,

Each steady purpose 'gan to melt:--

For her he might his virtue stake }

And let his yielding conscience quake, }

Nay, cheat _Sir Jeff'ry_ for her sake. }

'Tis not the office of the Muse,

On slight suspicions, to accuse;

Nor does she now present to view

More than 'tis probable she knew:

But one day, and it may be more,

His constant meal of dainties o'er,

Dull nature did the Knight incline

To snore a little o'er his wine.

Our hero, seeing Molly pass,

He tempted her to take a glass;

For, in his state of tender feeling,

What gen'rous mind will call it stealing?

And scorn'd be they who think it treason

Against the better rules of reason,

If, in return, he sought a kiss;

But as he seiz'd the melting bliss,

Tall Margery was passing by

By chance or curiosity:

She glanc'd at all was onward going,

And what _Ezekiel_ was bestowing;

When, as she cast her leering eye,

Thus thought her rising jealousy.

"If, Sir, you give Miss Moll the glass,

I'll try to make a bottle pass;"

Then push'd her stout arm by the door,

The sideboard's juices to explore.

If 'twas by chance the action came,

Or if a purpos'd trick's to blame,

A smart kick caus'd the door to close

And caught the damsel by the nose.

The luckless nose was rather long,

And had its gristle not been strong,

Had not the door been edg'd with baize

To give its hurried motion ease,--

Had it been sharp, the wicked pinch

Might have cut short that nose an inch.

_Madge_ now scream'd out at her disaster, }

And swore that she would tell her master, }

But our _Ezekiel_ found a plaister; }

Though what the plaister was he found

To silence tongues and cure the wound,

We must not nice enquiry make

For virtue's and our hero's sake.

But we may tell, for this we know,

That all was still and calm below;

Though as the faithful verse will prove

He shap'd another plan above,

Form'd to controul all household feud,

And be as honest as he could;

Thus give to things another face

To live at ease and keep his place.

--Two int'rests into one were thrown,

Those of _Sir Jeff'ry_ and his own:

The former strictly to maintain,

Nor yet the latter to disdain;

The Knight's confiding grace to keep,

Nor let his own advantage sleep;

The kitchen's jovial mirth to boast,

But leave the cook to rule the roast;

To be of Molly's smiles possest,

Though never to offend the rest:

And here we fear is the beginning,

The first short lesson of his sinning.

So young, and with such little sense

Of what is call'd--experience;

And whom the world had not yet taught,

As it might do, to set at nought

What conscience tells us we should shun,

What we should do or leave undone;

Or, with a certain self-deceit,

The virtues of the heart to cheat,

He certainly appears to be

Envelop'd in perplexity,

And verging on a dang'rous scrape

From which he might not make escape

Without a loss which he would rue

Of the fair prospects in his view;

And thus be on a sudden hurl'd

Faithless and friendless on the world.

As in his plan this hasty change

Was, it may seem, so very strange,

It therefore may be well to know

From whence such awkward motives flow,

For awkward motives they must be

Which trench upon integrity.

It was not Molly's sparkling eyes

Which sought his virtue to surprise;

For though he might her heart beguile

To yield his wish a fav'ring smile,

She ne'er allow'd of a pretence

Beyond the claim of Innocence.

There is a proverb so well known

It would be ign'rance not to own

The having heard and felt its truth

E'en in the days of early youth,

That, if we chance with those to live

Whose lives a bad example give,

They will convey, as we shall find,

A foul contagion to the mind.

Thus for a time _Ezekiel_ stood

Firm as the tree that crowns the wood,

But, after mocking ev'ry blast,

Will sometimes bend and fall at last.

Though whether he began to shake,

Or only suffer'd twigs to break,

But still retain'd his fibres bound, }

In firm defiance to the ground, }

While the main trunk, tho' shook, was sound, }

Is what the curious mind shall know,

And no far distant page will show.

Thus the humble verse will trace

His future honour or disgrace;

As intermingled they must be

With scenes of household history.

When good _Sir Jeff'ry's_ gout was kind

And to his bed he was confin'd;

No dainty dinner to be got,

And nought but messes in the pot,

The kitchen folk, then quite at leisure,

Would think of more than common pleasure;

Then butlers of the higher station,

And valets to gay men of fashion,

Invited were, to join the ball

Now given in the servants' hall,

With ladies' maids who titles bore

Of mistresses--whose gowns they wore;

And sometimes a smart tradesman, too,

Would pop in to say--_how do ye do_.

--Here all home secrets were betray'd-- }

The various tricks which servants play'd, }

And how their fortunes could be made. }

When one grave man his silence broke,

And thus to our _Ezekiel_ spoke:--

"Had I," says he, "so fine a place,

As your superior manners grace;

Had I a rich man in my keeping,

Who passes half his time in sleeping;

Whose purse is always in your view,

And lets you pay his tradesmen too;

While, that he may enjoy his ease,

He makes you guardian of his keys,

My growing fortune soon should flow,

And in a way he ne'er should know.

If by his bed you are his nurse,

And have the jingling of his purse;

If, when the doctor comes to see him,

And you are calmly told to fee him,

You must be nam'd the veriest elf

If, then, you do not fee yourself:

Nay, when his fingers, cramp'd with gout,

Cannot well take a _sovereign_ out,

And he should bid you take out four,

Contrive to grapple five or more.

'Tis when he's sick with aches and ails,

When pain torments and mem'ry fails,

When the night's pass'd his bed beside,

Then Fortune tells you to provide

For future wants,--and bless the hour

That gives the means into your power:

Nor ever fail, on some pretence,

To rail against the rash expense

Which doctors and their varlets bring

To patients, sick and suffering,

Till you can get him to exclaim--

'Expense is a mere idle name;

Of cost let your complainings cease,

I care not so it gives me ease:'

Then offer up your thanks to Heaven

That to his fortune it is given

To be thus blest with ample wealth,

At any cost to purchase health.

This is your harvest; I shall tell

Another story when he's well:

That time's but short,--though let him see

That then you're all economy.

When he can settle an account,

And look into the just amount,

Then, then let ev'ry thing appear

Just as it ought--correct and clear.

Thus let your speculations rove

When well below, when sick above,

And all I'm worth I now would stake

You will, in time, a fortune make.

Rich as he is, and careless too,

With such a confidence in you,

_Sir Jeffery_ will never feel

Your happy turn in fortune's wheel."

"Hold, hold awhile," the list'ner said,

"This is too much," and shook his head;

"For still I feel, without offence,

I've not quite done with Conscience,

Nor can so boldly lay aside

The warnings of that faithful guide!

Am I this moment to forget

How much I'm in _Sir Jeff'ry's_ debt,

And thus, with chance of foul disgrace,

To play the rogue and risque my place?"

"No, no," his counsellor replied,

"Servants and masters are allied;

Each is to each a foster-brother,

And have their claims on one another.

An useful servant is a treasure,

Whose service masters seldom measure.

What I now from my heart commend,

As an experienc'd, willing friend,

Is not to rob or place your paw

On what is guarded by the law,

But such as are no more than fees

For all your extra services;

For duties which no pay engages,

Under the common name of wages;

For what your varied service grants

To all his fancied, sickly wants,

Which never can your toil requite

For all you do by day or night.

"When _Sir Jeffery_ fortune gain'd,

By contracts from the State obtain'd,

Think you he had a pious loathing

To crib a yard from soldiers' clothing?

And when he did his thousands touch,

To say--'my lord, I've got too much;

And I am ready to confess

I should have done the job for less.'

How could such men their fortunes make

Did they but fair advantage take!

And have you not an equal claim,

In a small way, to do the same?

--When the Knight took his daily range

From _Mincing Lane_ to the _Exchange_,

And calculated as he went,

How he should make his _Cent. per Cent._

Think you that he was over-nice

To fix his rate of merchandise?

When his ships sought some foreign strand,

Did he disdain the contraband,

If he could but with safety chouse

The sentries of the custom-house?

A little smuggling all allow,

But only mind the when and how:

Take your _per centage_, but with care;

And who will say it is not fair?

--I've serv'd the wealthy and the great,

Nay once a Minister of state,

And as I saw that in his station

He did not fail to rob the nation,

I thought I might indulge the whim,

As a turn serv'd, to pilfer him.

I courted too my Lady's maid,

For Charlotte understood her trade:

I form'd my plan and did espouse her,

Then started up a tonish grocer,

Kept butlers in my constant pay

Who serve me in the usual way,

And all the house-keepers around

With certain something in the pound.

Now hear the advantage which I share

From all my caution, all my care!

I have a genteel, pleasant home,

To ladies let my drawing-room,

And in a whisky I can ride

With Charlotte smiling by my side.

'Tis thus I offer to your view,

What I have done,--for you to do."

Here this fine conversation ended,

But not, perhaps, as was intended,

Which strong temptations might display

To lead th' unsettled mind astray;

And, for a time, as fancy play'd,

Now beaming light, now seeking shade,

_Ezekiel_ hover'd o'er the plan

Of specious rogue or honest man.

Perhaps a smart, neat, pleasant shop,

Did on his pericranium pop,

With his warm, faithful wish to crown,

The lovely Molly then his own:

Such interests might his purpose guide,

Till he was questioned by his pride;--

"--But can this be a proper plan

For one bred like a gentleman?

'Tis true I cannot change the show }

Of kitchen policy below, }

There I must yield, I'm bound to know: }

But, in the regions above,

The whole in rectitude shall move;

To the Knight's goodness I may trust,

And faithful will I be and just;

Nor ever take or e'en receive

But what his favour's pleas'd to give;

Nor shall reproach my mind disgrace

Whene'er I look him in the face."

Such were his thoughts,--the grocer fail'd.

Thus honesty at length prevail'd,

And sav'd him, as things shortly stood,

From baseness of ingratitude.

In a few days the parting gout

Gave the Knight leave to go about,

And one day in his arm-chair plac'd,

The table with its luncheon grac'd,

Smiling, as he luxurious sat,

He thus let loose his easy chat.

"This soup, my friend's a special treat,

Fit for an Emperor to eat,

And now, my pleasure to pursue,

I trust I have a treat for you.

I've spar'd no pains to know the fate

That on your future hopes may wait,

And what I shall proceed to tell

May altogether please you well,

Unless you are resolv'd to try

New whims and tricks of foolery,

On which, however will depend,

Whether your master is your friend.

If, at all points, the news I bring

May not be quite so flattering;

Yet surely it deserves at least,

To be thought good, if not the best.

--You need no longer stand in awe

Of any terrors of the law,

The beating you to _Gripe-all_ gave

Did little harm to that same knave,

For he surviv'd to play a prank,

By robbing of a country bank,

And fled, as his late neighbours say,

To flourish in America.

Thither your fortune too is gone,

But then your fears are also flown.

Time, it is hop'd may make amends,

Fortune and you may still be friends;

Nor shall I my best wishes smother

To introduce you to each other.

My growing favour you will see,

So lay aside your livery:

Hence you will need not a disguise

'Gainst curious thoughts and prying eyes:

Your former title you may claim,

Again QUÆ GENUS is your name:

Be faithful, and you soon shall know

The kindness I may yet bestow.

Nay, be but honest, while I live }

Your upright service shall receive }

All that my grateful hand should give: }

Nor doubt my purpose as sincere,--

More may be meant than meets the ear."

What heart, with the least sense of good,

That would not melt with gratitude,

When such a gen'rous friend was near

The clouded scenes of life to cheer,

And bid the drooping hopes pursue

A brighter prospect now in view!

And where's the heart that would not feel,

And where's the tongue that could conceal

The sense that virtue had withstood

Such specious efforts to delude!

QUÆ GENUS the sensation felt

That bade repenting thoughts to melt;

Nay, he e'en cast his eyes to Heaven,

With doubts that he should be forgiven

For having listen'd to deceit

And almost yielded to the cheat,

Whose principles had he obey'd

As in the grocer's scheme display'd,

All trembling he should now have stood

A monster of ingratitude.

What he had 'scap'd his heart confess'd,

And his moist eyes confirm'd the rest.

With ev'ry grateful feeling fraught

He spoke not, but 'twas thus he thought:--

"My ever-watchful care shall tend

To make me worthy such a friend,

And all my kindred virtues burn

To make that friend a due return."

The Knight, with kindness, view'd the feeling,

Which poor QUÆ GENUS was revealing;

When, to cut short the pleasing pain

Which words were failing to explain,

He smiling bade him take his way

To the known duties of the day.

Of words there was a mute hiatus,

And of the noon-tide apparatus

The table quickly was bereft,

While with some new-born pamphlet left,

_Sir Jeffery_ calmly was proceeding

To gratify his usual reading,

When our QUÆ GENUS bore away

The fragments of the lighten'd tray,

And sought his pantry's cool retreat,

Where, lolling on a welcome seat,

He let his busy fancy range

Throughout the unexpected change,

That did upon his fortune wait;

And still, though humble was his state,

Scarce could he think it a disaster

To wait the will of such a master;

Nor did his pride reluctant bend,

Since that same master was his friend.

All that indulgence could bestow

_Sir Jeff'ry_ did not fail to show;

And, when alone, it seem'd to please

The knight to set him at his ease,

And shrink the distance to a span

Between the master and the man.

--Nay, here it cannot be denied }

That it was soothing to his pride }

To lay the shoulder-knot aside. }

The liv'ried dress of red and brown

He thus was call'd on to disown:

In blue and buff, or buff and blue

He now appear'd to daily view.

The knight allow'd the taylor's art

By all its power to make him smart;

And Snip with his consummate skill,

In working drapery to his will,

By his contrivance gave the cape

A flow to soften down the shape,

So that the hump could scarce be said

His general figure to degrade,

Nor, to a common view, be seen

To indispose his pleasing mien.

Thus did he sit and calmly bless

The hopes of promis'd happiness.


The various, the uncertain views

Which the all-anxious world pursues,

While it directs its searching eye

To what is call'd prosperity,

Compose the gen'ral, pictur'd strife

That forms the daily scene of life;

And make up the uncertain measure

Of power, of riches, and of pleasure;

Which, whatsoe'er may be our state, }

Do on the varying projects wait }

Of lowly poor or princely great: }

For as all worldly things move on

We weigh them by comparison.

Thus he who boasts his little all

At a street-corner on a stall,

Tempting the gaze of wandering eyes

To view the transient merchandise,

Will look to Fortune's smile to bless

His humble trading with success,

As he whose freighted vessel sails

O'er distant seas with doubtful gales.

Nay, in Ambition's humble school

Perceive we not the love of rule,

O'er rustic swains to bear the rod

And be a village demi-god?

To gain command and take the lead

Where mean submission courts a head,

Does in the lowest class prevail

Of vulgar thoughts to turn the scale,

As that which on their wishes wait,

Whose object is to rule the state.

--Seek you for pleasure as it flows,

In ev'ry soil the flow'ret grows;

From the pale primrose of the dale

Nurs'd only by the vernal gale,

To the rich plant of sweets so rare }

Whose tints the rainbow colours share }

And drinks conservatorial air. }

But, 'tis so subject to the blast,

It cannot promise long to last;

Though still it 'joys the fragrant day,

Till nature bids it pass away.

The rude boy turns the circling rope,

Or flies a kite or spins a top,

When, a stout stripling, he is seen

With bat and ball upon the green;

The later pleasures then await

On humble life whate'er its state,

And are with equal ardor sought

As those with high refinement wrought,

Where birth and wealth and taste combine

To make the festive brilliance shine.

Thus the same passions govern all

Who creep on this terrestrial ball:

Their objects, truly, are the same,

However shap'd, whate'er their name.

What though the varying plan confounds

In giving sixpences or pounds,

In velvet or in home-spun cloth,

They may be base curmudgeons both.

Some are by charity enroll'd

On tablets proud in lines of gold,

While others, as by stealth, convey

The mite that shuns the light of day;

Though each performs a diff'rent part,

Each may possess a Christian heart.

It is not upon wealth alone

That happiness erects its throne:

How oft, alas! it is we see

The rich involv'd in misery;

How oft is view'd in reason's eye

The wants which wealth can ne'er supply!

The way to power may be betray'd,

Though 'tis with solid gold inlaid;

Nay, purchas'd pleasure prove deceit,

And be at length a very cheat.

--How weak, how vain is human pride,

Dares man upon himself confide:

The wretch who glories in his gain

Amasses heaps on heaps in vain.

Why lose we life, in anxious cares,

To lay in hoards for future years?

Can they, when tortur'd by disease,

Cheer our sick heart and purchase ease?

Can they prolong one gasp of breath,

Or calm the troubled hour of death?

What's man in all his boasted sway?

Perhaps the tyrant of a day.

Can he in all the pride of power

Ensure his honours for an hour?

Alike the laws of life take place

Through ev'ry branch of human race:

The monarch, of long regal line,

Was rais'd from dust as frail as mine.

Can he pour health into his veins

Or cool the fever's restless pains?

Can he worn down in nature's course

New brace his feebled nerves with force?

Can he, how vain is mortal power,

Stretch life beyond the destin'd hour?

"Consider, man, weigh well thy frame;

The king, the beggar, is the same,

Dust form'd us all,--each breathes his day, }

Then sinks into his mortal clay." }

Thus wrote the fabling Muse of GAY. }

Such thoughts as these of moral kind

QUÆ GENUS weigh'd within his mind:

For wherefore should it not be thought }

That, as his early mind was taught, }

It might be with sage maxims fraught? }

--Thus seated, or as he stood sentry,

Sole guardian of the butler's pantry,

Which lock'd up all the household state,

The cumbrance rich of massy plate,

And all the honour that could grace

The power of superior place,

That did acknowledg'd rank bestow

O'er all the kitchen-folk below;

What wonder that his mind should range

On hopes that waited on the change

Which unexpected Fortune's power

Seem'd on his present state to shower.

Though while his wand'ring mind embrac'd

The present time as well as past,

The visions of the future too

Gave a fair prospect to his view.

But life this well-known feature bears,

Our _hopes_' associates are our _fears_,

And ever seem, in reason's eye,

As struggling for the mastery,

In which they play their various part,

To gain that citadel the heart.

Thus though our Hero's honest pride

Was, for the present, satisfied;

And did things, as they seem'd to show,

Promise to stay in _Statu Quo_,

He, surely, would have ask'd no more

For Fortune on his lot to pour,

And with all due contentment wait

For what might be his future fate:

But while the present hour beguiles

His cheerful mind with cheering smiles,

The forward thought would strive to sow

An awkward wrinkle on his brow.

Now, strange as the event appears,

The source of all his hopes and fears

Was on each settled point the same,

And _Jeff'ry Gourmand_ was its name.

The Knight most gen'rous was and free,

And kind as kindest heart could be,

So that QUÆ GENUS scarce could trace

The humbling duties of his place.

Whate'er he did was sure to please,

No fretful whims appear'd to tease;

And while with fond attention shown,

He did each willing duty own,

Sir _Jeff'ry_ frequent smiles bestow'd,

And many a kind indulgence show'd,

And oftentimes would wants repress

To make his fav'rite's labours less:

Nay, when he dawdled o'er his meat, }

Would nod and bid him take a seat }

To share the lux'ry of the treat. }

--He fancied, and it might be true,

That none about him e'er could do

What his peculiar wants required,

And in the way he most desired,

As _his_ QUÆ GENUS, thus he claim'd him,

Whene'er to other folk he nam'd him.

Indeed, he took it in his head

That no one else could warm his bed,

And give it that proportion'd heat

That gave due warmth to either sheet.

Our Hero rather lik'd the plan,

As Molly brought the warming-pan,

And having pass'd it through the door,

Waited without till all was o'er.

Thus, having rang'd the alarum-bell,

With other things I must not tell,

And seen Sir _Jeff'ry's_ pillow'd head

Turning to rest within his bed,

QUÆ GENUS bore the pan away

Where Molly fair was us'd to stay.

He was to honour firm, and she

The mirror bright of Chastity.

Thus half an hour was often spent

In interchange of sentiment,

Which doubtless was some tender theme:

A subject for a pleasing dream.

All this tells well,--nor was this all;

The sceptre of the servants'-hall

Was now committed to his hand;

O'er that he had supreme command,

But such his mild and smiling sway,

All felt a pleasure to obey;

And 'twas the kitchen's daily toast,

Long may QUÆ GENUS rule the roast.

Tradesmen did to his worth subscribe,

For bills were paid without a bribe;

And good Sir _Jeffery_ quite content

How the allotted income went,

At no accounts e'er gave a look,

But those which fill'd his Banker's book.

What could our Hero more desire,

What more his anxious wish require,

When with a calm and reas'ning eye

He ponder'd o'er his destiny,

As he unwound the tangled thread

That to his present comforts led,

And serv'd as a directing clue

In such strange ways to guide him through?

--To what new heights his hopes might soar,

It would be needless to explore:

For now the threat'ning time appears

When he is troubled with his fears.

His hopes have triumph'd o'er the past;

But then the present may not last;

And what succession he might find

Harass'd with doubts his anxious mind.

--Of the gross, cumbrous flesh the load

Sir _Jeffery_ bore did not forebode

Through future years a ling'ring strife

Between the powers of death and life;

The legs puff'd out with frequent swell,

Did symptoms of the dropsy tell;

The stiffen'd joints no one could doubt

Were children of a settled gout;

And humours redd'ning on the face,

Bespoke the Erysipelas.

Indeed, whene'er QUÆ GENUS view'd,

With rich and poignant sauce embued,

As dish to dish did there succeed,

Which seem'd by Death compos'd to feed

With fatal relishes to please

The curious taste of each disease,

That did Sir _Jeffery's_ carcase share

And riot on the destin'd fare:

When thus he watch'd th' insidious food,

He fear'd the ground on which he stood.

--Oft did he curse the weighty haunch

Which might o'ercharge Sir _Jeff'ry's_ paunch;

And to the turtle give a kick,

Whose callipash might make him sick.

He only pray'd Sir _Jeff'ry's_ wealth

Might keep on life and purchase health.

"Let him but live," he would exclaim,

"And fortune I will never blame."

Money is oft employ'd in vain,

To cure disease and stifle pain;

And though he hop'd yet still he fear'd

Whene'er grave Galen's self appear'd;

For when the solemn Doctor came,

(Sir MIDRIFF BOLUS was his name,)

He often in a whisper said,

"I wonder that he is not dead,

Nay, I must own, 'tis most surprising,

That such a length of gormandising

Has not ere this produc'd a treat

For hungry church-yard worms to eat,

And 'tis the skill by which I thrive

That keeps him to this hour alive.

Nay, though I now Sir _Jeffery_ see }

In spirits and such smiling glee, }

I tremble for to-morrow's fee." }

--When this brief tale he chose to tell

And ring his patient's fun'ral bell,

QUÆ GENUS fail'd not to exclaim,

As he call'd on the Doctor's name,

"O tell me not of the disaster

That I must feel for such a master,

Nay, I may add, for such a friend

Were I to go to the world's end,

Alas, my journey would be vain,

Another such I ne'er should gain!"

Sir MIDRIFF, member of the college,

And of high standing for his knowledge,

In lab'ring physic's mystic sense

And practical experience,

As common fame was pleas'd to say,

Expected more than common pay.

Now, as Sir _Jeff'ry_ never thought

His health could be too dearly bought,

Whene'er the healing Knight was seen,

Wrapt up within the Indian screen,

To shape the drugs that might becalm

Some secret pain or sudden qualm;

Or when there was a frequent question,

Of bile's o'erflow and indigestion,

Or some more serious want had sped

Sir _Jeff'ry Gourmand_ to his bed,

QUÆ GENUS fail'd not to convey

(For he had learn'd the ready way),

The two-fold fee, by strict command,

Into Sir _Midriff's_ ready hand.

Thus, in this kind of double dealing,

The Doctor had a pleasant feeling,

That seem'd to work up a regard

For him who gave the due reward,

And knew so well to shape the fee

From the sick chamber's treasury.

Thus when our Hero told his pain }

And did his future fears explain, }

_Galen_ replied,--"Those fears restrain, }

To this grave promise pray attend,

Sir _Midriff Bolus_ is your friend."

Such, when he touch'd the welcome fees,

Were the sly Doctor's promises:

QUÆ GENUS with good grace receiv'd 'em,

Though 'tis not said that he believ'd 'em.

--No, never was a visit past,

But it was hinted as the last,

Had they not been in lucky trim

To have sent off post-haste for him.

Whene'er the Knight's legs took to swelling,

All ears were bor'd with sad foretelling;

And if his chest was over-loaded,

Some dire disaster was foreboded,

But failing in prophetic story,

He gave his science all the glory.

A year, howe'er, was past and gone,

And all the household cares went on,

In active zeal and order too,

As all such matters ought to do,

With hours of leisure well employ'd,

And many a fantasy enjoy'd.

But something yet remains to know:--

To manage _two strings to your bow_,

A maxim is, which ev'ry age

Has rend'red venerably sage,

And forms a more than useful rule

In the world's universal school.

Sir _Jeffery_, we make no doubt,

In various ways had found it out:

It might have help'd him on to wealth,

And now to aid the wants of health,

He kept the adage in his view, }

And as one Doctor might not do, }

It now appears that he had two. }

The one, in order due, has been

Brought forth on the dramatic scene,

Ranks high in bright collegiate fame,

And M. D. decorates his name.

He never ventures to prescribe

But what is known to all the tribe,

Who hold the dispensarial reign

Beneath the dome of Warwick-Lane.

The other, steering from the track

Of learned lore, was styl'd a Quack;

Who, by a secret skill, composes

For many an ill his sovereign doses:

But whether right or wrong, the town

Had given his nostrums some renown.

Salves for all wounds, for each disease

Specifics that could give it ease,

Balsams, beyond all human praise,

That would prolong our mortal days.

All these, in many a puffing paper,

Are seen in striking forms to vapour,

As, in the Magazines they shine,

The boast of Doctor ANODYNE.

His office was advice to give

In his own house from morn till eve,

And a green door, within a court,

Mark'd out the place of snug resort,

Where patients could indulge the feeling

That might dispose them to concealing

The nervous hope, the sly desire

To eke out life's expiring fire,

Without the danger to expose

Their secret or to friends or foes.

Sir _Jeffery_ was one of these

Who thought it was no waste of fees,

Though they were toss'd about by stealth,

If he could think they purchas'd health:

But here, who will not say, it seems

He guarded life by two extremes.

Sir _Midriff_ told him he must starve,

And _Anodyne_ to cut and carve:

But though the first he nobly paid,

It was the latter he obey'd.

Full often was his _Merc'ry_ sent

To bring back med'cine and content;

Permission, what he wish'd, to eat, }

And physic to allay the heat }

Brought on by a luxurious treat; }

To give the stomach strength to bear it,

With some enliv'ning dose to cheer it.

But still our Hero's watchful eye

Saw that this sensuality

Was bringing matters to an end,

That he too soon should lose his friend;

And in what way he should supply

The loss when that same friend should die,

Did often o'er his senses creep

When he should have been fast asleep.

Sir _Midriff_ to his promise swore,

And _Anodyne_ had promis'd more,

Both had prescrib'd or more or less,

A future vision of success:

But time has still some steps to move,

Before they their engagements prove;

Ere our QUÆ GENUS we shall see

In a new line of history.

Sir _Jeffery_ now began to droop,

Nor was he eager for his soup:

He blunder'd on the wrong ragout, }

Nor harangu'd o'er a fav'rite stew, }

Scarce wild-duck from a widgeon knew. }

No longer thought it an abuse,

To see St. MICH: without a goose.

Unless prepar'd with cordial strong,

He hardly heard the jovial song,

Or hearing, had not strength to move

And strike the table to approve.

Nay, sometimes his unsteady hand

Could not the rubied glass command,

But forc'd him slowly to divide

The rosy bumper's flowing tide.

Beside him oft QUÆ GENUS sat

An hour, and not a word of chat;

And when he was in sleepy taking

The news would scarcely keep him waking.

--It was a melancholy showing,

But poor Sir _Jeffery_ was a-going.

"Indulge his gormandising swallow,

And apoplexy soon must follow,"

Such did Sir _Midriff's_ sage foreknowledge

Give as the doctrine of the College.

"--Now, if you dare to keep him low,

A dropsy gives the fatal blow.

Remember, my good friend, I pray,

What _Anodyne_ is pleas'd to say."

When, in a kind of solemn croak,

The Quack, with shaking noddle, spoke.

Thus did the differing doctors fail,

Nor could their varying skill prevail:

They neither could set matters right,

Or quicken a pall'd appetite.

More weak and weak Sir _Jeffery_ grew,

Nay, wasted to the daily view,

And, as his faithful servant found,

Between two stools he fell to ground.

But still he smelt the sav'ry meat, }

He sometimes still would eye the treat, }

And praise the dish he could not eat. }

One day, when in a sunshine hour,

To pick a bit he felt the power,

Just as he did his knife apply

To give a slice of oyster-pie,

Whether the effort was too great

To bear the morsel to his plate;

Or if, from any other cause,

His nature made a gen'ral pause,

He gave a groan, it was his last,

And life and oyster-pies were past.

Which of the Doctors did the deed,

The one who starv'd or he who fed,

Or whether Nature, nothing loth,

Laugh'd at the counsels of them both,

And, as they issued their commands,

Her victim took from both their hands,

I know not, but it seems to me,

To be the work of all the three.

Here it would be but idle folly

To call on fruitless melancholy,

To talk of blisters that in vain

Were spread to bring back life again;

Or all the lancet's power explore

To wake the breath that breath'd no more;

The stroke was struck, no human art

Could now withdraw the fatal dart.

Mutes marching on, in solemn pace,

With gladden'd heart and sorrowing face,

Who, clad in black attire, for pay

Let out their sorrows by the day:

The nodding plumes and 'scutcheon'd hearse

Would make a pretty show in verse;

But 'tis enough, Sir _Jeffery_ dead,

That his remains, enshrin'd in lead,

And, cloth'd in all their sad array,

To mingle with their native clay,

Were safe convey'd to that same bourne

From whence no travellers return.

--We must another track pursue, }

Life's varying path we have in view,-- }

Our way QUÆ GENUS is with you! }


As our enlighten'd reason ranges

O'er man and all his various changes,

What sober thoughts the scenes supply,

To hamper our philosophy;

To make the expanding bosom swell

With the fine things the tongue can tell!

And it were well, that while we preach,

We practice, what we're fain to teach.

O, here might many a line be lent,

To teach the mind to learn content,

And with a manly spirit bear

The stroke of disappointing care;

Awake a just disdain to smile

On muckworm fortune base and vile,

Look on its threatnings to betray,

As darksome clouds that pass away,

And call on cheering hope to see

Some future, kind reality.

--All who Sir _Jeffery_ knew could tell

Our Hero serv'd him passing well;

Nay to the care which he bestow'd }

The Knight a lengthen'd period ow'd, }

And such the thanks he oft avow'd. }

QUÆ GENUS never lost his views

Of duty and its faithful dues;

His honour no one could suspect,

Nor did he mark with cold neglect

Those services which intervene }

In a sick chamber's sickly scene: }

His duty thought no office mean, }

And to Sir _Jeffery's_ closing sigh

All, all was warm fidelity.

Nay, thus the Knight would frequent own

A grateful sense of service done;

And oft, in words like these, he said,

That duty shall be well repaid.

"QUÆ GENUS, know me for your friend,

I to your welfare shall attend;

Your friend while I retain my breath,

And when that's gone, your friend in death."

That death he felt as a disaster,

For, to speak truth, he lov'd his master,

Nor did he doubt that a reward

Would prove that master's firm regard.

'Tis nature, in life's worst vexation,

To look at least for consolation;

And he, 'tis true, had turn'd his eye

To a consoling legacy,

That might, at least, make some amends,

For losing this his best of friends;

But his ill luck we must not smother;

He lost the one, nor found the other.

The will was full of good intent,

And a warm legacy was meant

To poor QUÆ GENUS, there's no doubt,

But shuffling Fortune left it out;

'Twas she cut short the kind bequest,

Which was thus fatally express'd.

"To this my last and solemn Will

I add by way of Codicil,

My true and faithful servant's name,

Who to my care has every claim:

--To JOHN QUÆ GENUS I bequeath

One month posterior to my death,

The sum of

Here a blank ensued

Which has not yet been understood,

Or why the figures were delay'd

That would a sterling gift have made.

Whether a sudden twitch of gout

Caus'd him to leave the figures out;

Or visit of a chatt'ring friend

That did th' important words suspend,

And thus retard the kind design,

Until the 'morrow's sun should shine,

That 'morrow with its ha's and hums,

Which, often promis'd, never comes:

Howe'er the enquiring mind may guess

It cannot find the wish'd success:

In short, whatever cause prevail'd,

Too true, the gen'rous purpose fail'd.

In the Knight's mind the boon was will'd,

But still the blank was never fill'd,

And no more the said will engages

Than mourning suit and one year's wages,

Which all his household should inherit

Whate'er their station or their merit:

Here no distinction was display'd

'Tween high and low, 'tween man and maid,

And though QUÆ GENUS was the first,

He had his portion with the worst.

Our Hero thought it wond'rous hard

Thus to be foil'd of his reward,

That which, in ev'ry point of view,

He felt to be his honest due;

And both his master and his friend

Did to his services intend;

Which, as the sun at noontide clear,

Does by the codicil appear:

But when he ask'd Sir _Jeffery's_ heir }

(Who did so large a fortune share) }

The blank hiatus to repair, }

Which he with truth could represent

As an untoward accident,

The wealthy merchant shook his head

And bade him go and ask the dead.

QUÆ GENUS ventur'd to reply

While his breast heav'd a painful sigh,

"The dead, you know, Sir, cannot speak,

But could the grave its silence break,

I humbly ask your gen'rous heart,

Would not its language take my part,

Would it not utter, 'O fulfil

The purpose of the codicil?'

Would it not tell you to supply

The blank with a due legacy?"

The rich man, turning on his heel,

Did not the rising taunt conceal.

"All that the grave may please to say,

I promise, friend, I will obey."

What could be done with this high Cit,

But to look sad and to submit;

For it could answer no good end

Though indispos'd to be a friend,

That kind of discontent to show

Which might convert him to a foe.

But ere we altogether leave

Sir _Jeffery's_ grateful friends to grieve,

We mean all those which to the sight

Were clearly writ, in black and white,

Within the bound'ries of the will,

Nor left to _blundering Codicil_,

It may not be amiss to draw

The picture of the _Heir at Law_.

When on the 'Change he took his rounds,

He walk'd an hundred thousand pounds:

Not less was his acknowledg'd worth

When ev'ry morn he sallied forth,

With expectation grave, to meet

Fortune's fresh smiles in Lombard-Street.

Upright in all his worldly dealing:--

But that high sense of noble feeling,

The humane impulse to relieve,

To wipe the eye of those who grieve,

The wish of goodness to impart

The bounties of a gen'rous heart,

These were not his; and though the scroll

That may the charities enroll

Of gilded pride, upon the wall

In some conspicuous hospital,

Might his known name and title bear,

'Twas vanity that plac'd it there.

But though, perhaps, a plum or more

Was added to his former store,

If, by sad chance, with haggard mien,

An humble suppliant should be seen,

A mother sick, a father dead,

And children, left forlorn, unfed,

His hand ne'er ventur'd on his purse

To give relief, and, what was worse,

He would alarm the wretches' fears

With beadles fierce and overseers,

Or talk of laws for vagrants made,

Which call the scourge-man to their aid.

Thus nought was look'd for at his hands,

But justice strict to just demands:

No smiling, generous overflow

Of fair reward would he bestow;

No bounty did his thoughts prepare

For duty's overweening care;

While service, by affection wrought,

Was, in his reck'ning, set at nought.

QUÆ GENUS gave in his account;

Its justness own'd, the full amount

Was duly paid, but I'll forgive

The mind refusing to believe,

That, when the rich man should discover

That he had paid some nine-pence over,

He did, without a look of shame,

That pittance as a balance claim:

It may appear full passing strange,

But 'tis a fact, he took the change,

And did the jingling half-pence greet,

Like fish-women in open street.

E'en the worn wardrobe of the Knight,

Which is esteem'd the valet's right,

The gen'ral heir-loom of his place,

Was seiz'd by the curmudgeon base,

And borne away, a paltry gain,

To his own Store in Mincing-Lane:

But when, among the other dues,

Were order'd off the _Gouty Shoes_,

QUÆ GENUS, with contempt inflam'd,

Thus, in a hearty tone, exclaim'd,

"Away, to the mean merchant bear 'em!

Heaven grant he may be forc'd to wear 'em!"

--Thus things went on;--then came the time,

(The truth e'en shames my humble rhyme)

When the Executor and Heir,

For one did both the titles share,

Appear'd to pay, in legal guise,

The wages and the legacies.

QUÆ GENUS, who had lately been

A favour'd actor in the scene,

Could not have guess'd at such disaster

From such a friend and such a master:

And though he strove, he scarce could hide

The feelings of an honest pride,

When, from Sir _Jeffery's_ error, he

And those who wore a livery,

Nay even house and kitchen-maid

Were in the same proportions paid,--

When his allotted mourning bore

The same coarse stuff the coachman wore.

But how his heart began to beat

When he was charg'd for the _receipt_!

All his distinction now was lost,

And he who long had rul'd the roast,

Had, since Sir _Jeffery_ went to rest,

Been of his station dispossest;

Nay, not a common smile remain'd

Of all the favour he had gain'd,

While beggarly mistrust took place,

Which he must feel as foul disgrace:

For ev'ry key had been demanded;

One instant made him empty-handed

Dismiss'd from his late envied station

Without a nod of approbation,

He was preparing to depart

With downcast look and heavy heart;

Nor could e'en Molly's tender smile

Of one sad thought that heart beguile


"And now, I say, adieu, my friends,

For here our fellow-service ends.

You need not put on sorrowing faces;

You will soon meet with ready places;

'Tis me whose disappointing care,

Of cheering prospects, bids despair.

--You all, I'm sure can well believe,

I have most ample cause to grieve

That cruel Fortune thus should frown,

When I thought her fond smiles my own.

--Sir _Jeffery_ now is laid in dust,

But when alive, how good, how just!

And all who knew him well must know

He never wish'd to use me so.

Had he believ'd his end so nigh,

I should have had the legacy,

Which would have made me full amends

For loss of fortune, loss of friends.

Another day had he surviv'd,

To the next morning had he liv'd,

It might, perhaps, have been my fate

To know an independent state,

As he had told me, o'er and o'er,

I ne'er should go to service more.

When I did on his wants attend

He spoke as a familiar friend:

How often too we might be seen

Chatting within the Indian screen!

Whenever we were left alone,

We seem'd not two, but were as one.

I knew each tit-bit that he lov'd;

He always what I gave approv'd;

And as I stood beside his chair,

Attending with respectful air,

He oft would bid me sit and dine,

Fill up his glass and pour out mine.

--When thumb and finger he applied

To the gold snuff box by his side,

I shar'd the pinch, and he ne'er ceas'd

To say, 'God bless you,' when I sneez'd;

Nay, when my snortings I repeated,

He thus my awkward flurry greeted,

'My friend, familiarize your nose

To this exhilarating dose,

For sure as we together dine

This box, QUÆ GENUS, shall be thine!'

But that kind friend, alas! is dead,

And box and snuff and all are fled.

Nay, had I now a hope on earth,

And could engage in trifling mirth,

I here might my complainings close

With disappointments of my nose.

--His common purse I could command,

'Twas daily open to my hand;

You all well know I paid his bills,

And when, to ease his various ills,

Sir _Midriff_ came, I us'd to squeeze

Into his palm the welcome fees.

Whene'er I showed my weekly book,

He never gave the page a look;

And when I urg'd it the good Knight

Would smile and say, 'I'm sure 'tis right.'

Nay, I can say, in ev'ry sense,

I ne'er abus'd his confidence:

No, no, I never did purloin

An atom of the lowest coin,

And what I have to Heaven is known,

In honest truth, to be my own,

Then wonder not, I feel it hard,

To be depriv'd of my reward,

And, by such a chance, be hurl'd

Again to struggle with the world.

Reasons, besides, I must not tell,

Why the Knight treated me so well;

But I play'd no delusive part,

And they did honour to his heart:

Of that heart, had he left a share, }

As well as fortune to his heir, }

I need not now indulge despair." }

"Mr. QUÆ GENUS, never fear,"

The Coachman said, "your spirits cheer!

Dame Fortune has look'd down 'tis plain,

But the jade may look up again:

'Tis true that dev'lish oyster-pie

Fell souse upon the legacy:

E'en so it was, I cannot doubt it,

But I would think no more about it.

You so well know your P's and Q's,

That you have but to pick and chuse.

I speak the truth, there are but few

Mr. QUÆ GENUS, such as you:

And though the merchant will not give

The bounty which you should receive,

What though he would not spare a farthing

To save a soul of us from starving,

Good names he'll give us, as he ought,

For they we know will cost him nought;

'Twere better therefore to be civil,

And hold the candle to the Devil,

For we as servants cannot stir

Without a show of character.

--As you perceive, I'm not a chick,

And know enough to make one sick:

Nay, somewhat my experience lends,

To guess at this world's odds and ends.

I've been in many curious places;

I've serv'd my Lords,--and serv'd their Graces;

And, which gives work of more ado,

I've even serv'd my Ladies too:

I knew to shut or ope my eyes,

To see strange things, nor look surprise.

Sometimes good-luck has given a lift,

And sometimes, I've been turn'd adrift;

But should I live to Judgement-day,

No, I will never fail to say,

That I ne'er so much comfort knew,

As since this house was rul'd by you.

--Now, when you get an upper place,

Which soon, I'm sure, must be the case,

If then your favour will contrive,

I should my Lord or Lady drive,

For I the reins can handle true

Of pairs, of fours, and sixes too,

I promise, nay, my word engages

To give you poundage from my wages.

--I know you're gen'rous, kind and free,

But here you will accord with me,

That interest has a powerful weight

Both with the little and the great:

You see it well by what is past,

Since your fine plan is overcast.

I do not wish to give offence,

But interest is common sense,

And he who does not look to that,

Mr. QUÆ GENUS, is a FLAT."

The blunt, rough _Coachman_, said no more:

When _Molly's_ fine black eyes ran o'er:

The _Cook_ look'd grave, and _Betty_ sigh'd, }

The _Kitchen-maid_ sat still and cried, }

While _Thomas_ not a word replied.-- }

QUÆ GENUS, not to be remiss,

Gave to each maid a friendly kiss,

And when he whisper'd his adieu

To charming _Molly_, he gave two:

Perhaps, if they were counted o'er,

Her sweet lips might acknowledge more:

Then told her softly not to fear,

And kindly whisper'd in her ear,

"What e'er my lot, I will be true

To fond affection and to you."

Our gloomy Hero now departed,

And left the mansion heavy-hearted,

Where in such comfort he had liv'd,

Nor, till dismiss'd it, ever griev'd,

And, with a tardy step, retir'd

To a snug lodging he had hir'd.

Thus once again by Fortune thrown

On the wide world, and all alone,

Without th' appearance of a friend

On whose kind aid he could depend,

QUÆ GENUS pac'd his lonely floor

All to and fro and o'er and o'er,

Thinking what efforts might be made,

What stroke be struck, what game be play'd,

To place him in some active state

That promis'd to be fortunate.

One consolation he possest, }

Which, though it did not charm to rest }

The rising troubles of his breast, }

Yet still, whatever might confound him,

Gave him full time to look around him,

And, on whatever project bent,

To weigh its views, and wait th' event.

For, though his purse might not run o'er,

He had a snug, sufficient store,

To keep his anxious spirits free

From any dread of penury,

And guard him amidst toils and strife,

Against the insidious smiles of life,

That do so often tempt the mind

To cast discretion far behind,

Or make it fearful hazards try,

Impell'd by dire necessity.

--He had not yet unripp'd his coat, }

In which conceal'd lay every note }

Which he from _Gripe-all's_ clutches got: }

A hoard on which he might depend,

When he look'd round nor saw a friend.

Besides, he had no trifle gain'd,

While with Sir _Jeffery_ he remain'd;

For though, as has been lately said,

He never play'd a trick of trade;

Nor had he even thought it right

To take a valet's perquisite,

Nor e'er allow'd his hands to seize

The household steward's common fees,

But of the strict and rigid law

Of duty ever stood in awe.

--All this the Knight full well believ'd,

Nor could he think himself deceiv'd,

When once he answer'd to a friend,

Who did the young man's cares commend.

"That same QUÆ GENUS is so just

In all committed to his trust,

To his right notions such a slave,

He would not with a razor shave,

Nor use a strap, nor ply a hone,

He had not purchas'd as his own."--

Thus, as most worthy of his charge,

Sir _Jeffery's_ annual pay was large,

And when th' allotted quarter came,

Something was added to his claim,

Which with such gen'rous grace was given,

It seem'd like Manna sent from Heaven!--

Besides, his wages, being high,

Encreas'd the gen'ral legacy,

Which he with all the household shar'd;

The last, and now his sole reward.

Thus so far independence brought

A'gleam of comfort on his thought;

He was not left on ruin's brink

To sit and sigh, and swear and think.

_Two_ points alone he had in view,

He thought it hard they were but _two_;

Nor could he call his fortune kind

When they alone employ'd his mind:

These were the DOCTORS, won by fees

To make most bounteous promises;

And though these GALENS might deny 'em,

He was at least resolv'd to try 'em;

And, if Sir MIDRIFF should decline,

He would apply to ANODYNE.

--The _former_, if he pleas'd, could well,

And with strict truth, his value tell:

For none with such experience knew

That he was active, honest, true,

And to his patient, well or ill,

Did ev'ry duteous care fulfil.

Nay, that it was the Knight's good pleasure

To speak of him as of a treasure.

Now, on his serious purpose bent,

He to Sir MIDRIFF BOLUS went;

But then, alas! as we shall see,

His face did not forebode a fee:

Nor did the great man smiling meet him,

Or with a tone familiar greet him,

As his keen humour us'd to do

When _golden sovereigns_ were in view:

Nor did he take him by the hand,

As when it did the coin command.

He now put on a curious leer,

That said, "I pray, what brought _you_ here?"

"I'm come to hope you'll condescend

To prove yourself my promis'd friend,"

QUÆ GENUS said, "and with this view,

I now present myself to you.

You told me, 'when your master's gone,

Look on my friendship as your own.'

He's gone, alas, I too well know,

To me a most affecting blow:

But still, I trust, I may engage

Your kind, protecting patronage,

And, among those of rank and wealth

Who make you guardian of their health,

Your favour may smile on my fate,

And I renew an household state,

Like that which crown'd my better days,

When I enjoy'd your frequent praise."

The Doctor now his suppliant ey'd,

And thus in hasty tone replied.

"Indeed I've something else to do

Than thus to be employ'd by you:

I'm in great haste and must away,

My patients wait, I cannot stay,

To hear you, your fine story tell:--

So, honest friend, I wish you well."--

--Thus when Sir _Jeffery's_ fees were o'er

He thought not of QUÆ GENUS more.

Now, as he pac'd along the street, }

Thus did he to himself repeat, }

"Is this the fortune I must meet? }

Is this the merited reward

Which they receive who strive to guard

Their hearts against the tempting guise

Of int'rest and its sorceries;

And say to Virtue, 'Maid divine!

Behold thy slave, I'm wholly thine!'

--It is not that I now repent,

Or harbour selfish discontent,

That I should hesitate to seize

The golden opportunities

Which were presented to my power,

Not ev'ry day, but ev'ry hour,

While with Sir _Jeffery Gourmand_ I

Enjoy'd the means those arts to ply,

Which, by the curious eye unseen,

Might with such gains have pregnant been:

No, no, thank Heaven, I'm not embued

With that worst vice, Ingratitude;

An odious vice that is of kin

To every other mortal sin.

I felt his kindness, and where'er

My lot may be of pain and care,

Those kind reflections I possess

To make me smile in my distress,

That I ne'er for a moment swerv'd

From the best duties he deserv'd;

Nay, which he, to his closing days,

So often honour'd with his praise,--

And should it be my lot to find

Another master good and kind,

Whose gen'rous heart would condescend

To treat QUÆ GENUS as a friend,

This I may truly boast, that he }

Should find an humble friend in me, }

Whose soul is faithful loyalty! }

I would the path of truth pursue

As I have long been us'd to do;

And where, howe'er oblig'd to bend

To pressing views, my wishes tend.

But, in this world of chance and change,

As it appears, I'm doom'd to range,

And I may be oblig'd to treat it

As it will be my lot to meet it.

I will not rob nor will I steal, }

But from myself I'll not conceal }

The secret purpose which I feel. }

Commandments I will never break,

But when fair interest is at stake,

I'll follow in my future views

The conduct which the world pursues;

And when that principle I own,

The world will have no right to frown.

Thus whatsoe'er may be my station,

Where chance may fix my next vocation

I'll keep discretion in my view,

As prudent folk profess to do.

--But ere throughout the town at large

I look for some inviting charge,

Though with one Doctor I have fail'd,

Another now shall be assail'd;

Though brilliant prospects may not shine,

Yet I'll e'en go to ANODYNE.

The QUACK may prove a better friend

Than e'er Sir MIDRIFF might intend;

At all events, howe'er perverse,

'Tis plain he cannot prove a worse;

Howe'er that be, I can but try."--

--Thus clos'd his thoughts' soliloquy.

QUÆ GENUS now pass'd up the Court

The sickly patient's still resort,

Where, in a corner quite retired,

The mansion stood which he desired,

Whose door, bedight with darksome green

And mouldings edg'd with black, is seen;

While letter'd gold appears to shine

And tell the name of ANODYNE.

He touch'd the well-known tinkling-bell

That did some sickly presence tell,

When the door op'd with rapid force,

And patients glided in of course.

There was ne'er heard a knocker's sound,

To rouse the idle neighbours round,

Or to the windows call the eye

Of peeping curiosity.

The signal was not given twice;

QUÆ GENUS enter'd in a trice

And sought the solemn Doctor's nook,

Where he sat with a folio book,

Some ancient Galen's learned creed,

Which 'tis not certain he could read:

Alone, o'er this he gravely doz'd,

But when the sick arriv'd, he clos'd

The cumbrous volume, and gave ear

The tale of some distress to hear.

To JOHNNY this was no new scene,

For here he had full often been,

But as he _fee-less_ ne'er before

Had hasten'd through the well-known door,

He felt some doubts within his mind

What sort of welcome he should find.

Sir MIDRIFF'S conduct it appears,

Had chang'd his promis'd hopes to fears;

And when he felt such rude disdain

From one who rul'd in Warwick-Lane,

Who boasted of superior knowledge

To all the learned of the College;

Who from his frequent promise swerv'd,

To one who his kind smiles deserv'd;

Yet ev'ry day, and ev'ry hour,

Possess'd the patronising power,

With mere commending words to gain

The boon QUÆ GENUS ask'd in vain;--

What good then could his hopes supply

From the low pride of quackery,

From one who rested his pretence

On nostrums and on impudence.

But he had felt that in Life's dance,

We often owe to strokes of chance,

That unexpected good prevail'd

Where Reason's better hopes have fail'd.

Such thoughts the purpose did incline

To make his bows to ANODYNE.

The Doctor with a friendly air, }

'Rose from his dictatorial chair, }

And pleasure told to see him there: }

When thus QUÆ GENUS in reply,

Began the following Colloquy.


"Sir _Jeffery_, as, I trust, you know,

Is gone, Sir, where we all must go;

In spite of all your healing power,

Has reach'd, at length, his final hour,

Though had he trusted all to you, }

And to Sir MIDRIFF bade adieu, }

Which he was half inclin'd to do, }

Perhaps, my present visit here

Would not so penniless appear;

For I am come, as you must see,

Without the pass-port of a fee.

It is self-interest, I fear,

Yes, I must own it, brings me here.

Since his departure I am hurl'd

To push my fortune in the world,

And may I now with courage say,

You will assist me on my way?

--Such is, alas! my alter'd case,

I'm seeking for another place,

Though e'en my visionary mind

Can never hope again to find

Such a so envied household post,

As that which I have lately lost.

With fortune I shall ne'er contend

But smile on that which she may send;

And of whatever state possest,

Be satisfied and act my best.

Now, as I've reason well to know,

Though 'tis not you have told me so,

That persons of superior worth,

The wealthy and of noble birth;

Who, tir'd of physic's settled rules,

As taught in colleges and schools,

Have sought your bold and fearless skill,

The potent drafts and secret pill,

Which your _Acumen_ can impart,

Beyond the reach of drudging art,

And I have heard will cure the pain,

When boasting science tries in vain:

Nor is this all, the tonish fair

Attend to seek your healing care.

When here I've for Sir _Jeffery_ been, }

Dames of high figure I have seen, }

Lolling behind your folding screen }

With all their gay caricatures

The lively eye's attractive lures.

Broad bonnets all beflower'd o'er,

Are often passing through your door,

And I have glanc'd at many a shawl

That glided through your gloomy hall.

When such grand visitors as these

Apply to you to give them ease;

And when your skill relieves their pain,

That is the time their grace to gain,

And then, good Doctor, you might see

If you could gain a grace for me;

While to some patient you commend

The service of your humble friend:

Nor will he fail returns to make,

Which you may condescend to take;

And grateful memory will repay

Your kindness to his dying day."

The modest suit was not denied,

And thus, th' assenting Don replied.

"QUÆ GENUS, my regards are thine,

As sure as my name's ANODYNE.

--If worth lay in a flatt'ring tongue,

You would not want a service long;

For if you do with caution use it,

Where is the ear that will refuse it?

'Tis but the art how to apply

The well-conceal'd artillery,

And, more or less, the well-told tale

Will o'er the pliant mind prevail.

Your int'rest, friend, I'll not neglect,

Perhaps do more than you expect;

Nay, I e'en may your mind surprise,

When I mark how that int'rest lies;--

But 'tis not where your hopes may look,

'Tis not that page in fortune's book.

--The higher folk who come to me

Are all involv'd in secrecy:

Those who can't walk employ a hack,

When they employ the humble quack:

Hence, no fine carriages resort

About the purlieus of my court,

For the rich owners, with their wealth,

Blush to pass this bye-way to health.

Such is proud fashion's powerful rule

O'er many a purse-proud, titled fool:

They tell me all their sickness claims,

But seem afraid to tell their names.

--There's an old man I sometimes see,

And faith he brings a handsome fee,

Whose hackney always drops his fare

Just by, in the adjoining Square:

Where, when we've clos'd our consultation,

He hobbles to regain his station.

In a loose coat of common wear,

This person chuses to appear;

With his round hat and dingy caxon,

He calls himself a Mr. Jackson;

Though still his manners and his words

Are such as highest rank affords:

And, sure as I e'er gave a puke,

I know the man to be a duke.--

But I, of course, the secret keep,

And let his splendid titles sleep.

--I have two ladies now in hand,

Whose whims and fancies I command:

They tell of humours on the skin,

But then they only shew their chin;

No other part they let me see,

Such is their bashful fantasy.

They seem to think I doubt their graces,

As veils o'erspread their pimpled faces,

So that where'er they chuse to show 'em,

I do not think that I should know 'em.

Yet by their chat they have betray'd,

That one's a wife, and one's a maid:

Nor from the names can they refrain

Of _Lady Bell_ and _Lady Jane_.

They never fail in their appointments,

And are fast curing by my ointments:

Thus, from their praise, I hope to claim

An added honour to my name.

Nor are these all; for many more }

Of wealth and rank pass through my door; }

Though still as I have said before, }

They to such aid as mine apply

All mask'd in fearful secrecy.

These whims I have explain'd, to prove

I cannot in this quarter move;

And where I could your worth commend

It would degrade you to attend.

But I shall now unfold to view,

Another chance I have for you:

And let your patience ope its ear

To all you are about to hear.

"'Tis not to breathe the tonish air }

Of Portland-Place, or Grosv'nor-Square, }

Or stand behind her Grace's chair: }

'Tis not to serve the titled beaux,

And flourish in your master' clothes:

'Tis not, as you are wont, to grace

Some peopled household's highest place,

Though well-accomplish'd as you are,

'Tis chance alone can place you there:

For, through your days, you may not boast

A master such as you have lost;

Nay, your precarious life may end

Before a master proves a friend;

And, after all, old age may come

Without an alms-house for a home.

Think, think in what a woeful plight

The man must live who's pocket's light!

Are not his hours by want depress'd?

Penurious care corrodes his breast;

Without respect, or love, or friends,

His solitary day descends.

O be not led away by pride,

But use the means that may provide

For future wants, when evils press,

And life is pregnant with distress!

Hear me, my friend, nor let surprise

With staring looks burst from your eyes,

When I, in language frank and free,--

Tell you to come and _live with me_.

"Think not I want you for a hack,

A serving menial to a quack;

If to my interests you attend, }

You will be treated as a friend. }

On this be sure you may depend, }

That you will find a better station,

In profit as in inclination,

Than were you hired to be solus

Behind the chair of Doctor BOLUS.

--Within a week, perhaps a day,

You'll see the part you have to play.

The man I had, whom you have seen,

Might still beneath this roof have been,

But he by coughing was worn down

To a poor gasping skeleton,

And 'twere not fit I should endure

One in my house I could not cure

He would not prove a tempting sign

To spread the fame of ANODYNE:

But in the time he here remain'd,

He had a little fortune gain'd.

--Your knowledge, which I well can trace, }

Is far above a servant's place, }

And would a higher station grace. }

The pleasing manners you possess,

Your winning speech and nice address,

Might call to your ambitious view,

An higher state than you pursue;

Though still your savings you might waste,

Before you're suited to your taste.

--Such aid as your's I long have wanted,

And if my warm proposal's granted,

You must at once grow wond'rous dull,

Or soon your pocket will be full:

Here, in one year, you will get more

Than with your noble lords in four.

Nay, on the honour of a friend,

Who no deception can intend,

You'll greatly err, if you decline

Such an official place as mine.

--I'll teach you how to cup and bleed;

These operations you will need;

The pulses' movements you shall know,

When they are either high or low:

While other symptoms of disease

I can communicate with ease.

All this, if I the truth discern,

Your ready mind will quickly learn.

Besides 'tis right to let you know

You'll have no nauseous work to do;

For the old woman spreads the blisters,

Rolls up the pills and stirs the clysters.

While 'tis my hand alone composes

The patients' necessary doses,

And your chief care is to dispense

These med'cines with your eloquence.

--But I have sick folk to attend,

So while away an hour, my friend:

And as I trust you'll stay and dine,

We'll close our bargain o'er our wine."


It often happens as we range

Through life, an unexpected change,

With sudden stroke may pain destroy

And turn our thoughts from grief to joy:

Or as some shock cuts off relief

May turn a flow of joy to grief.

Thus our days' varying system bears

Th' alternate play of hopes and fears:

Nay, when more pleasant views provoke,

May turn our gravity to joke.

Besides, as in the Drama's art,

The scene displays the varying part,

So apt are we to play the fool,

We serve for our own ridicule:

And when sly Fortune's pleas'd to vary

Our progress with some strange vagary,

We oft become such merry elves

To burst with laughter at ourselves.

Thus as QUÆ GENUS pac'd the room,

Reflecting on the time to come,

And all the heap of promis'd good

By ANODYNE to be bestow'd;

That he was to be cramm'd with wealth,

And turn all sickness into health;

His fancy, tickled at the thought,

He set each serious wish at nought,

And laugh'd till his sides seem'd to crack,

To think he should become a Quack.

But when he had indulg'd the joke

Which this idea might provoke,

He thought more gravely of the case

And vow'd to take the proffer'd place:

At all events, he could but try

This self-same scheme of quackery:

At least some knowledge he should gain,

And knowledge never comes in vain.

Indeed, what harm, if he succeed in

The arts of cupping and of bleeding?

The lancet's power to command

Might be of use in any hand,

And e'en in any hand might save

A forlorn suff'rer from the grave;

While he might well instructed be

In principles of Pharmacy.

He also felt that application

Might fit him for a better station;

That in some distant country town,

He might a _Galen's_ title own:

Where, if his fortune did not vary,

He might strut an Apothecary.

Thus between gravity and smile

Conceit play'd its full part the while,

Though not without a view to gains

Which might reward his present pains:

Indeed he knew the means that made 'em,

For he had for Sir _Jeffery_ paid 'em:

As while for potion, pill and plaister

A golden fee awaits the master;

He found it was a useful plan,

With lesser coin, to fee the man,

Who had the means to lift the latch

That did the secret wish dispatch;

And could th' impatience set to rest

Of the more eager, grumbling guest.

--Thus, with lively hope high-season'd,

QUÆ GENUS walk'd about and reason'd;

And, in his Pericranium fast,

This grave opinion fix'd at last:

If not in honour, yet in purse,

_He might go further and fare worse_,--

But if no other good were done,

There might be sure a world of fun.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


Patients that morning had been plenty,

Not less it seems than five-and-twenty;

This the old woman smiling stated,

And told him that the dinner waited.

The table shew'd a plenteous treat }

Of fish and fowl and sav'ry meat, }

But poor QUÆ GENUS scarce could eat. }

For, though prepar'd for any diet,

His hunger soon repos'd in quiet.

The Doctor fed, but talk'd the while,

Of gastric juice and flowing bile;

Of kidneys and o'ergrowing liver,

As of sore eyes now cur'd for ever;

What his fam'd _Nostrum_ had perform'd,

And how it had the bowels storm'd

Of guttling Gourmand with such force,

That it a passage made of course,

Which three great Doctors tried in vain,

With all their boasted skill to gain.

Besides our hero did not know

How cookery went on below,

And he might think, poor dainty sinner,

That the same hands had dress'd the dinner,

Which were entrusted with the care

Each daily med'cine to prepare;

To melt the salves and spread anon

The cerates and diacolon;

That did the drugs or grind or pound,

And dress the sore leg's running wound:

But so it was, a sick sensation

Check'd all his powers of mastication,

And caus'd his stomach to resent

The very taste of nutriment:

Nay his sad appetite approv'd

When all the dishes were remov'd.

--They therefore soon had ceas'd to dine }

And o'er the second pint of wine }

The bargain clos'd with ANODYNE. }

What that was, it is fit to know,

And the verse now will briefly show.

QUÆ GENUS had made up his mind

Not to his interest to be blind;

But in the game that path pursue

Which prudence says we ought to do,

Nor to let scruples overpower

Th' advantage of the passing hour,

And yet that artifice restrain

Whose daily efforts are for gain:

In short to take the middle plan, }

Which, as the world is us'd to scan, }

Marks what is call'd an _Honest Man_. }

He might not hesitate complying

With a small spice of useful lying

That idle questions might disarm,

Do some slight good, but never harm,

Afford a sentimental grace

To conversation's common place,

And give a customary aid

To all the retail slang of trade.

With mind thus settled and prepar'd

He ANODYNE'S first lecture heard.

And as it surely was the best,

We shall pass over all the rest.


"This the first rule that I shall trace:--

You must command a solemn face;

Nor suffer objects to beguile

Your features to familiar smile.

Here, I must own, you oft may see

What may court transient pleasantry;

For e'en 'midst misery and pain,

You'll find such whims and fancies reign,

Hear patients cough and grunt and sneeze

In such uncouth, discordant keys,

That without care, I should not wonder

Your muscles into laugh might blunder.

You have a speech runs off at score,

As rapid as a chaise and four,

But with my sickly folk be slow

As a stage-waggon's us'd to go;

And pray remember to apply

Your words with due solemnity.

I know you well can suit your tongue

To any age, to old or young;

Nor will the task your care perplex

In the complaints of either sex;

And bear in mind, whate'er you see,

To veil your thoughts with modesty:

But hear the great and leading rule

Of this my Esculapian school.

"I care not by what name you call

This spacious parlour, room or hall:

But here my daily patients range

Whose order you must never change:

Were I to take them one by one,

By Heaven I should ne'er have done;

And, therefore, govern'd by their feather

I thus assort my birds together.

Here, on the right, are duly seated

Those who for gouty freaks are treated,

Then comes the symptomatic fever,

And next the bilious and their liver:

Then follow others in their turn,

The chills which shake, the heats that burn;

The stomachs which will ne'er digest

The food their feeders love the best;

The wheesers too are not far off,

All those who hem and spit and cough,

With such, not of the happiest kind,

Whose bowels threat to crack with wind

The Hypochondres here repose

Impatient for the cordial dose,

And children on the carpet brawl,

Till my spice biscuits calm the squall.

"I first review th' assembled tribe

Then walk off stately and prescribe,

When I consign to your quick sense

Th' appropriate med'cines to dispense,

To all the classes in your view, }

With gentle tone and caution due: }

See then how much depends on you. }

Each case that asks superior art

I send into a room apart;

And _there_ I never feel alarm;

I play no tricks and do no harm.

When I a desp'rate illness see,

For patients must not die with me,

I recommend them to repair

To goat's-milk and the country air;

And when such counsel they receive

They do not fail to take their leave,

Full of my candour and disdain

Of any little paltry gain.

Deep cuts, sore legs and gummy eyes,

With all the common casualties,

I with my healing dame bestow,

In her snug, secret cell below:

Indeed I've sometimes star'd to see

The wonders of her surgery.

--'Tis true 'mong doctors I'm not famous,

But still I'm not an _Ignoramus_;

For I can play a skillfull part

In elements of chymic art;

I give the drafts a varying hue,

To-day so red, to-morrow blue,

And touch them with a diff'rent savour,

To give a worse or better flavour,

As it may suit, then change their name, }

Though they may be the very same, }

Both in their object and their aim. }

"It is with me a leading fashion

To play thus with imagination;

A symptom that doth never cease,

Or more or less in all disease.

There are sly shifts in ev'ry trade,

Which money calls in to its aid:

But here I'd have it understood,

If when my practice does no good,

My conscience never has the qualm,

That I do any real harm.

Nor are my various cures unknown

As placards tell of my renown!

My nostrums oft my hopes fulfil,

Nor do I know they ever kill.

Those cases which I've cause to doubt,

And cannot find their symptoms out,

I never fail to leave to nature,

Who is a wonder-working creature:

And my chief cures which make a stir,--

I e'en must own I owe to her.--

--Such the great object of my care.--

Fear not, you will th' advantage share.

But know, when all my sick are here,

You as _Inferior_ must appear;

But business o'er and they are gone,

Then good QUÆ GENUS, we are one!"

At length the compact was agreed, }

And all things promis'd to succeed: }

Our Hero soon could cup and bleed; }

And, with a kind, officious grace,

The med'cine gave in time and place;

Nay, as occasion might afford,

Bitters improve with sweet'ning word:

He had acquir'd the art to please

With welcome flatt'ries such as these.

"_How stout your legs appear to-day!

I trust you have walk'd all the way!

And ere that our brief work is done,

We shall have taught you how to run!_"

"_O madam! how I must rejoice,

That you have lost your husky voice;

Soon I doubt not that I shall find

Your tones are of the sweetest kind_!"

"_And that fine face I griev'd to view

When cloth'd in such a pallid hue;

But I have seen, this passing week,

The colour coming on your cheek.

And if some ill does not oppose,

We soon shall see the tender rose:

And hope's a friend that will supply

The prospect which, I trust, is nigh_."

Now sometimes he would give a scope

To his propensity to joke.

For 'mid this pale-fac'd, grumbling mess

'Twere well to stir some chearfulness:

For if a parson chose to squeeze

A lady on her crummy knees,

(For here a little play and prate

Might cheer a sickly _tête-à-tête_)

His whisper might perchance declare,

"Doctor, her pulses are not there."

--At all events, things went on well,

As the pleas'd verse may freely tell;

And the young Doctor ne'er complain'd

Of what he by his office gain'd.

But here we now shall change our road

And slip into an _Episode_;

It is a common way we know,

In which much better poets go:

Though pride will not suggest that we

Can be accus'd of _poetry_;

Yet we must own that, in our time,

We have stirr'd up some reams of _Rhyme_.

Howe'er that be, we now must come

To steer our Hero's walks from home.

Among the few who sought the aid

Of ANODYNE'S more secret trade,

Was one who sent a written case

Which did his various symptoms trace:

Thus, when the Quack prepar'd the dose,

QUÆ GENUS took it snug and close:

He only knew the cordial sent,

To whom address'd, and where it went:

Besides it was his daily task

Questions of import grave to ask.

How was his pulse? How had he slept?

If tremors o'er the system crept?

With such enquiries as our verse

Might feel it awkward to rehearse.

Of that no more, the patient's name

Was _Woodlands_, known in rural fame:

Through early years, a sportsman he,

The flower of hunting chivalry;

Was rich, and as he well was able,

Saw jovial sportsmen round his table,

Drank hard and lov'd the evening glee,

With those who drank as hard as he.

But gout, with other ills came on,

And jovial life was pass'd and gone:

Health's active season now was o'er,

When he could hunt and feast no more.

He sold his hounds and took a wife,

To soothe the latter years of life;

But they were few, as we shall see,

In spite of care and Quackery.

She was a _Belle_ of rural fame,

Who gave her troth and bore his name:

Whate'er had been her hopes and views

When she did an old husband chuse,

The knowledge we do not profess,

But leave the gen'rous mind to guess.

At all events, her outward mien,

As it should be had always been,

Nor had a jealous eye suspected

Her duty had been e'er neglected.

But as infirm he now was grown, }

At her desire, he came to town }

To seek Physicians of renown. }

He first had one, he then had two,

But their prescriptions did not do;

When still her care prevail'd, and she

Another sought, so he had three;

And no more good seem'd to be done,

Than if he had been seen by none.

--Thus matters stood, nay he grew worse

When an old busy, chattering nurse,

Talk'd of the cures, almost divine,

Of our friend Doctor ANODYNE.

The drowning catch at any reed,

And all is help in desp'rate need:

Thus the rich man propos'd to try

The boasted aid of Quackery,

And what he wish'd, Amelia said,

With anxious smile, must be obey'd.

--Thus then it is, as we have seen,

QUÆ GENUS has the attendant been;

But now we are about to see

What a snug _Proteus_ he can be.

The Lady, to his great surprise,

Oft view'd him with enquiring eyes,

And did a kind attention show

Which he thought queer she should bestow,

But he soon found the matter out;

Madam herself clear'd up the doubt,

As, in her _Boudoir's_ still recess,

She did her quiet thoughts express.

In a soft, pleasant tone she spoke,

As half in earnest half in joke;

But as she thus her mind unveil'd,

It might be seen what thought prevail'd.

"There's something in your air and face }

That tells me you will not disgrace }

The trust which I now wish to place }

In your obedience to my will;

And if you do that trust fulfil,

If you act up to my intent,

QUÆ GENUS never shall repent."

--His fingers on his lips he press'd,

He clos'd his hands upon his breast;

With most submissive air he bow'd,

And secresy he swore and vow'd;

When Madam _Woodlands_ thus proceeded:

(I scarce need add that she succeeded.)

"You do a Doctor's business ply;

Now do not stare,--for so do I:

There is a pale-fac'd patient too

Whose certain cure I have in view,

And I've a med'cine that will prove

Specific,--as he's sick of love;

It will, in time, set all at ease,

And cure the pangs of his disease;

For no prescription can be better

Than that contain'd within this letter,

Which you, my friend, must understand

To give into the patient's hand.

Believe me too, when you are told,

You'll find it worth its weight in gold.

--There is," she said, "a smile I see

Now stealing on your gravity;

But know, QUÆ GENUS I do nought

That is with base dishonour fraught;

My whims, though secret, common-sense

Will clothe in garb of innocence."--

In short, but not without a fee,

He took the balmy recipe,

And ev'ry time he bore a letter

The patient's case was growing better.

Thus fortune kindly did bestow

Two strings to our keen Hero's bow;

And to his wishes, in good troth,

He reap'd no common gains from both.

--But here, another lucky hour

Did on his hopes new promise pour:

For Madam _Woodlands_ more than hinted,

If, in his present projects stinted,

He should no longer wish to shine

With Quackery and ANODYNE,

He might, by her all-fav'ring grace,

Attain her household's highest place.

He saw, and not by way of whim,

This was the very place for him;

But still he felt he could not quit,

As in a momentary fit,

That state he to the Doctor ow'd,

And which such benefit bestow'd;

Then, without proper warning, leave him,

Or with some scurvy tale deceive him,

He saw in any point of view

That honour prompts, it would not do.

Thus, in a state of constant doubt,

He scarce knew what he was about,

And to the daily patients gave

Their med'cines just as chance would have.

To all diseases waiting there }

He did not e'en appear to care }

What was the complaint or where, }

If it was fever or the gout;

But left each dose to find it out.

--Thus strange indeed, but it appear'd

The healing shop would soon be clear'd,

The patients calmly pass'd away; }

Nay, some of them were rather gay, }

And fees forsook th' impoverish'd day. }

When this change our QUÆ GENUS saw,

He thought awhile and felt an awe,

When it struck sudden on his sense,

That his so wicked negligence,

Had caus'd, perhaps, the final doom

Of many an inmate of the room;

But, on a fearful search, he found,

Not one of them was under ground,

Nay, that by giving med'cines wrong,

He did their precious lives prolong;

At least no harm they had endur'd,

For by his blund'ring they were cur'd.

Shrewd ANODYNE, of course, suspected

That his prime bus'ness was neglected;

Indeed he clearly understood

QUÆ GENUS did more harm than good,

And therefore, without much delay,

Hinted in a good-humour'd way,

"You're tir'd, my friend, as it appears,

(Of which I've sometime had my fears)

You're tir'd of the _Galenic Art_;

'Twere better, therefore, that we part."

QUÆ GENUS made a calm reply,

With acquiescing modesty:

Nor was a harsh, unpleasant word

From these dissolving Doctors, heard.

In truth, each party was good-hearted;

So they shook hands and thus they parted.

Our _Proteus_ now is seen to grace

Another and a favour'd place;

The confidential servant he

In 'Squire _Woodlands'_ family:

But the poor 'Squire was hast'ning fast

To that sad hour which prov'd his last;

For soon, alas, the fatal gout

Got in his head, and let life out;

When Madam made a quick retreat

From town to the fine country seat

Which now was her's, with all the rest

Of the great wealth which he possess'd.

What tears the widow'd Lady shed

In sorrow o'er her husband dead,

Whether as they her cheeks bedew'd,

They flow'd from grief or gratitude;

How calm or poignant was her woe,

We tell not, for we do not know.

Yet this we can with safety tell,

Because we surely know it well,

That through her husband's sickly life

She was a tender nurse and wife.

--But now another scene appears,

Dispers'd her grief, dried up her tears;

Rich as she was and still a beauty,

She look'd to change her line of duty;

'Twas Nature's act, as all will see

Who read her little history.

In earlier years, ere she was led

By Hymen to the marriage bed,

VALCOUR and she each other lov'd,

But their fond passion hopeless prov'd.

--She was high-bred with fortune small,

And his Commission was his all:

For though he was of ancient line }

And did with noble virtues shine, }

He was the youngest child of nine; }

And ere her marriage rites were o'er

He sought renown on India's shore.

What he thus bravely sought he found,

And once more trod on British ground,

With that, but little else beside,

A month before Old Woodlands died.

He let her hear that still he lov'd,

She wrote, nor said she disapprov'd;

That was the recipe to cure

The doubts his bosom might endure;

In which QUÆ GENUS was employ'd,

And caus'd the good he now enjoy'd.

--But then she acted with discretion;

As her fond husband's sole possession

She would not, at his last, allow

The promise of a future vow:

She felt her tender inclination,

As a reversionary passion

She must not own for him she lov'd,

Till Death each hindrance had remov'd.

For due decorum she obey'd,

And the sage widow's period stay'd;

Nor till Time pull'd the Hatchment down,

Did she her _Valcour's_ wishes crown:

But crown'd they were; a splendid show

Did Fortune on the rites bestow,

When Hymen call'd on Love to shower

Its roses o'er the nuptial bower.

QUÆ GENUS did the sports contrive

Which kept the country-folk alive,

And all the scatter'd bounties flow'd

As his disposing hand bestow'd,

Nor did one over-curious mind

Suspect that any lurk'd behind.

Nay, it was order'd to his care }

The gen'ral figure to prepare }

That was to blaze in Portman-Square. }

He, who had sometime form'd the plan

To set up for a _Gentleman_,

Well knew the purse alone could aid

The progress of that pretty trade,

And now had learn'd, quite at his ease,

To take the upper servant's fees,

Which to fulfil his growing aim,

In a resistless plenty came.

--VALCOUR was grand, his _Eastern Taste_

Was not dispos'd to run to waste;

Madam had never yet made known

Her beauty to th' admiring town,

And ready wealth was now at hand

Their mutual wishes to command:

Plutus with Fashion standing by }

Impatient languish'd to supply }

Each wish of glowing luxury. }

The tonish trade display'd its store

Where our QUÆ GENUS kept the door;

In various forms, a numerous host

All strove who should affect him most,

And by what tempting means engage,

His trusty, promis'd patronage.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


Whene'er enquiry makes a stir

To trace the human character,

The strict and scrutinising eye

Must look for human frailty,

And will perceive as on we range,

Our dispositions prone to change,

Nor like the features of the face,

Fix'd on their first-born, native place.

So many tempting Sirens play

Their games to lead the heart astray,

So many gay temptations smile

The wav'ring prudence to beguile;

So many worldly interests wake

The pliant feelings to forsake

And wander from the beaten road

In which they hitherto have trod;

That reason from her judgement-seat

Must, with a tender rigour, treat

The venial errors of the mind,

And in severity be kind.

--Our Hero an example shews

To ask the candour we propose,

For he, we are compell'd to own,

Had given his thoughts a different tone.

As we have said, it was his plan

To be a _future Gentleman_,

And that he only could attain

By seizing all the means to gain

An added heap to that same store

Which luck'ly he possess'd before.

He, therefore, now had laid aside

Those scruples which his boasted pride

Maintain'd against the retail sense

Of the shrewd _Grocer's_ eloquence,

While, with Sir _Jeffery Gourmand_, he

Preserv'd such pure fidelity.

--And here it should not be forgot

That it was _Molly's_ happy lot,

By some keen plan which he had laid,

To be the Lady's fav'rite maid:

For _Molly_ he sincerely lov'd,

And was with gen'rous passion mov'd;

Nay, when his project he should carry,

He had engag'd the maid to marry:

Thus she was well prepar'd to join

In forwarding the main design;

Which as it may, perhaps, appear

From the surmises hinted here,

Was never, never to refuse

What custom offer'd as their dues,

And all the op'ning hand of chance

Might gather from extravagance.

How far this system may succeed

Will soon be seen by those who read.

This VALCOUR was a noble creature,

Splendid and gen'rous in his nature;

Nor had these feelings been decreas'd

By the profusion of the East,

Which he from well-earn'd station shar'd;

But honour was his chief reward.

He no amass'd Pagodas brought

Whence treasures are so often sought:

Yet he, the favour'd lot of few,

As they bright fortune's track pursue,

Though India gave him mod'rate store,

Found plenteous wealth on Britain's shore.

--Full many a well fought field he try'd,

And MARS beheld his course with pride,

Nay bade the wreath of triumph glow

The Hero's pride, upon his brow,

While Knighthood's pointed star express'd

The tinsel glitter on his breast.

But VENUS, who such things disposes

Chang'd all the laurel into roses;

And HYMEN did his state enfold

In saffron mantle, rich with gold.

As Nature in its fancies varies,

Sir CHARLES indulg'd in his vagaries,

With a wild love of shew and figure;

Yet still he was resolv'd with rigour,

A line of prudence to pursue

And keep discretion in his view.

Full droll indeed it may appear

But thus he chose to persevere:

Not to run out was all that he

Consider'd as oeconomy;

If his rents answer'd what he spent

He'd bless his stars and be content;

But never did his views appear

To look upon the coming year.

Nor e'er did he his mind distress

To know if he could live on less:

Nay at the thought how he would laugh,

When told that he could live on half,

And felt affront, if 'twere repeated

That by his servants he was cheated.

--Such a receipt to pamper ruin

Nay to hurry an undoing,

Has seldom given so queer a chance

To gratify extravagance.

--But so it was--QUÆ GENUS thought

Just as the rising fancy taught:

While, in mock fashion's borrow'd pride,

MOLLY was seated by his side.

Now as her needle made its way

Some 'broider'd figure to display,

Thinking, perhaps, how well her art

Gave semblance to a two-fold heart;

He fondly call'd her willing ear

With all attention due to hear.


"Plac'd as we are, it seems to be

The height of that prosperity

Which such as we can e'er enjoy;

And it becomes us to employ

The means it offers to possess

Our views of future happiness.

I doubt not, MOLLY, but you feel,

For your sweet lady, all the zeal,

Which flows alike from due regard

As the just hope of due reward:

But still, I think, it must appear

That we've a doubtful course to steer;

How we may keep within the line, }

Our great folks' interest to combine }

With what we know is yours and mine. }

They are with generous grace endued,

To us how kind they are and good.

But life with them is nought but pleasure;

Luxurious show fills up the measure

Of all their hours, as they run on

Through each meander of the Ton.

They sometimes talk of prudent schemes,

And reason's language veils the dreams;

But the incessant love of change

Invites the unreflecting range

'Neath ev'ry dome where pride resorts

And fashion holds her motley courts;

Though while they for their pleasures roam

We too well know their cost at home.

This proud parade can never last,

Their ready wealth will soon be past.

--Nay, when I bring the month's account,

And silent point to the amount;

He tells my Lady what I've done,

And she exclaims, ''tis precious fun!--

We need not for our ruin fear

With such a careful guardian near!'

When I point out the triple charge

In many a bill display'd at large,

She says, 'QUÆ GENUS, do not grieve,

Tradesmen, my honest friend, must live!

Nay, when from service you retire,

And sit all plodding by your fire

In thought what profits should repay

The labours of the closing day;--

When o'er some door we see your name, }

A dealer of great retail fame, }

You have our leave to do the same.' }

"I made my bow and answer'd nought,

But then I paid it off in thought;

And, as their gen'rous leave they give,

Like others to play tricks and live,

I may begin, perhaps, before

My name is painted on the door;

And, in good time, my fortune try

With that same prosp'ring honesty.

--I tell you, MOLLY, 'tis as clear

As we, dear girl, are sitting here,

That our great folks were both created

So rich, please fortune, to be cheated.

And we must aid them, as you see,

Thus to fulfil their destiny.

For trifles we'll not make a fuss,

They will not be the worse for us:

If we do not our pockets fill,

Others there are who quickly will,

But not by any paltry gains,

As pilfering of _Sovereigns_.

You must not crib a handsome shawl

And say 'twas lost at such a ball;

Nor will you in some corner place

A card or roll of costly lace,

That when you think she has forgot it,

You to your own use may allot it:--

Nor, when she gives a thrice-worn dress

Your vanity and wish to bless,

Do not within its wide folds smother,

As if by chance, just such another,

As she'd not miss it 'mid such plenty

A wardrobe of full five-and-twenty,

While others, 'mid the toilet's din

Are almost daily pouring in.

Can we such means as these pursue?--

Would it be just in me and you:

Though I guess by your waggish smile,

What you are thinking of the while.

But still I feel it is not right

That you should lose your perquisite;

Nor do I, my dear girl, incline

E'er to forego the claim to mine,

And tempting opportunity

May tell us what those claims should be,

As 'tis our right to seize the chance

That's furnish'd by extravagance,

When call'd upon to prove our taste

In saving what would run to waste;

For rumpled fin'ry, all thrown by,

Is safer in our custody.

--When t'other day the Knight bespoke

A new great-coat and Hussar cloak;

'Sure, Sir,' I said, 'you have forgot

Of these same coverings what a lot,

Neither be-spotted, scratch'd or torn

And some of them have scarce been worn,

Which are all hanging in the hall:'--

'They're old,' he said, 'so take them all.'

--I bow'd and took them to my keeping;

Snug in my wardrobe they are sleeping.

It is the same, I know it well,

You of your Lady have to tell:

I doubt not but your hoard encreases

Of Spencers, mantles and pelisses:

But let it be our mutual boast

That sage precaution rules the roast;

And take care that we never deal in

Any thing that looks like stealing.

My books are fair, accounts are right,

In them my honour's sound and tight:

Valet I am and Butler both,

A rare advantage to our cloth,

And there's no day, nay scarce an hour

But tempting profits court my power,

Yet may dread _Heaven_ above forsake me,

And _Old Nick_ in his fury take me,

If I the pilf'ring track pursue

Which hireling knaves so often do.

When from the shopmen we receive

The somethings they are us'd to give

As their long, bouncing bills are paid,

'Tis not our Knight is tax'd, but trade,

Though should we not our poundage claim

_Sum Totals_ would be just the same.

--E'en when, as if a boon, I crave

Some superfluity to save,

Perhaps he'll tell me I'm a fool,

Or threat to floor me with a stool.

--Last week, he said, 'at our next fête,

(Mind what I say and hold your prate)

Let the desert in splendour shine

With gay plateaus and many a pine.'

When as, to check the cost's encrease,

I hinted what they were a piece,

He ranted, 'if there are not _five_,

Thou slave, I'll cut you up alive.

Dare you look piteous? for then

You scurvy clown, I'll order _ten_.'

"These gay delusions cannot last,

The spendthrift scene will soon be past;

And, in another year or two

You'll see that what I say is true.

When Banker's checks, that easy pay

Like fancy's ghosts have pass'd away,

When the whole funded wealth is sold

Another story will be told;

When all the ready cash is flown,

The country-rents will change their tone,

Nor will the half-grown oaks supply

The means for one year's luxury.

Crabbed Entail will rise beside }

And dare the acres to provide }

The power to feed their needy pride, }

And Mortgage-deeds in vain will strive

To keep the piteous show alive.

While thus the vain folk whom we serve,

Do from each point of prudence swerve,

While thus they waste in such a way,

To Luxury the willing prey,

I know, my girl, what I've to do,

And faith, shall leave the rest to you!"


"My dearest friend, you are so clever,

That I could hear you talk for ever.

Let not QUÆ GENUS be afraid,

He ne'er shall want my ready aid;

For surely to his heart 'tis known, }

His ev'ry interest is my own, }

At least I feel that we are one. }

O yes, I comprehend him well!"

But now she heard her Lady's bell,

A summons that must be attended,--

So here the conversation ended.

Thus VALCOUR and his brilliant dame

Attain'd their folly's highest aim,

To scale the ladder of the Ton

As many wealthy fools have done,

And laugh, if they should hear the call,

"Your foot may slip and you may fall."

They did in every thing agree,

With the same eye each object see.

"Whate'er you fancy must appear

So very right my dearest dear!--

And whatsoe'er you do approve,

Cannot be wrong, my sweetest love!"

--Such was their billing and their cooing,

As they were hast'ning on to ruin;

Nor did they see that _Fashion_ laugh'd,

While she their costly nectar quaff'd;

Or 'mid the crowds that might attend

Their banquets, they had not a friend.

But such too often is the case

Where Folly takes the highest place;

And upstart fortune fain would be

The ape of rank and family.

There vulgar wealth pays dear for places

With Lordships, Ladyships and Graces,

Who at its table may appear }

Or once or twice or thrice a year, }

When luxury does the feast prepare; }

And yet their host but coldly greet,

If they should meet him in the street.

--But true or not, howe'er that be,

In this career of vanity,

Winter's fine pleasures pass'd away

And Summer made the country gay,

While fashion now set out to grace

The Country seat and Wat'ring place,

VALCOUR and MADAME now were seen

Parading on the Brighton Stein,

But where, though envied and admir'd,

With the same scenes they soon were tir'd:

Besides 'twas decent to retreat

And give life to their ancient seat.

Thus while th' astonish'd Natives stare

_Woodlands_ receiv'd the tonish pair;

While they the rural 'Squires surprise }

With splendid hospitalities; }

And even here the money flies. }

The Knight when sporting in the East,

Was wont to hunt the brindled beast,

Or the long, pointed jav'lin plant

From castled back of elephant,

In the fierce tiger's spotted side,

And gloried when the savage died:

He therefore would not deign to share

The conquest o'er a tim'rous hare;

Nor push on in a break-neck pace

Through all his wiles the fox to chace.

But when the sportsmen left their game,

And weary to his mansion came,

Which they were always glad to do,

Whene'er that mansion was in view,

QUÆ GENUS heard the orders gay

To be fulfill'd without delay,

As the loud and welcome brawl

Re-echoed through the lofty hall,--

"Prepare, that my good friends may dine,

The turkey and the smoking chine,

The pasty and whate'er is best

To furnish out an instant feast!

Be sure 'tis your attentive task, }

To give them all that they may ask, }

The bowl, the tankard and the flask;" }

But then the Knight in whispers hinted,

"When you perceive my time is stinted,

And both my deafen'd ears no more

Can bear the Bacchanalian roar;

When it appears the stupid asses

Scarce know the bottles from the glasses,

Nor can perceive, 'mid boosing laughter,

That I am only sipping water;

When I shall unperceiv'd retire, }

Remember it is my desire, }

_They do not set the house on fire_." }

--Thus, when o'erwhelm'd with sporting guest,

Sir CHARLES his constant wish express'd,

And, after many a vain essay,

Contriv'd at last to steal away,

With something like an aching head,

To seek the refuge of his bed.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


In drunken freaks QUÆ GENUS knew

Sense was oft gone and feeling too;

That legs might tables overturn,

And fallen lights would flare and burn;

Nay, flaming mischief might attend

On lighted snuff and candle's end.

Thus to be safe, without delay

The threat'ning lights he bore away,

And, to avoid a falling spark,

Left parties snoring in the dark.

Thus stretching as their limbs were able,

On chair, on floor or on table,

QUÆ GENUS did not own a fear

That there was any danger near,

So left them till the day should break

And fev'rish nature bid them wake;

When, yawning round the sporting closet,

Some groom brought in their morning posset;

And, hobbling off as they were able

To mount their horses at the stable,

They left the Knight their humble thanks,

Hop'd Madam would excuse their pranks,

And sought their homes, perhaps, to hear

A wife talk loud in either ear.

Such were the jovial sportsmen's meetings

And these their hospitable greetings;

But rural dames who were received

With kindness while old _Woodlands_ liv'd,

As they found such an alter'd state

Ne'er enter'd twice the mansion gate:

The 'Squires' wives would ne'er resort

To one so chang'd to pay their court;

And, though she was with title crown'd,

The proud acquaintance they disown'd.

Brimful of town conceits and folly,

My Lady now grew melancholy;

And when the sporting season came

Her daily looks were not the same:

That time of noisy, jovial joy,

Did ev'ry lively sense annoy,

Nor would she any reas'ning hear.--

"To Town we'll haste away, My Dear!

Let us be gone without delay:

To London let us haste away!

These rooms where staring figures sprawl

In ancient hangings on the wall,

Nay, where at noon, the shaded light

Gives dimness of approaching night,

Which nought can chearful make and gay,

Or give the semblance bright of day,

But that well-dress'd, high-minded glee

That here, alas, we never see,

Which could alone from this dull room,

Snatch the grim likeness of a tomb!

Let us be gone without delay,

To London let us haste away!"

--She gave a piteous look and sigh'd,

When, with soft grace, Sir CHARLES replied.

"As such is your desire, My Love,

To Town we quickly will remove;

If it will soothe my charmer's sorrow,

We will set out for Town to-morrow.

But have you thought, my dearest Dear,

That not a creature will be there?

Will you not find we shall be hurl'd

Into a lifeless, empty world;

Where, till the winter near approaches

You will see nought but Hackney coaches?

I'm sure you'll think yourself quite undone,

If you're a month alone in London.

To your gay spirit Oh how dull

On a soft window-seat to loll,

And count with your half-sleeping eye

How many _Nobodies_ go by!

While mothers with their babies tell,

What sick'ning stuff they have to sell,

When from their ceaseless screaming noises,

You ask for what Heaven gave them voices:

Till like the fiddler in a rage,

Which you have seen in Hogarth's page,

You stop your ears, with anger burn,

And cry 'to _Woodlands_, let's return.'

I'd rather sit and yawn, I own,

Here in the country than in town,

Where to dull club-rooms I must go, }

E'en in the streets no creature know, }

And ride alone in Rotten-Row. }

But be it as you wish."--"Then I,"

The Dame delay'd not to reply,

"Desire such orders you will give

That we, with prompt dispatch, may leave

This stupid spot and hurry strait

With post horse gallop through the gate,

And when we've got a dozen mile,

I then will thank you, Love, and smile.

Yes, I will bid adieu to care, }

Though not a soul in Portman-Square, }

When once I see that I am there. }

Believe me I would rather hear

As sounds more pleasing to my ear,

Fishwomen's cries along the street,

Than noisy sportsmen when they meet,

Whose noisy, vulgar, drunken brawl

So often echoed in our Hall.

The Town, perhaps, is not so full,

But London never can be dull:

Thin as it may be, or e'en thinner,

We shall find folk to eat our dinner,

And though no crowd will throng at present,

Our little parties will be pleasant.

The Drama too presents its play

To make the evening pass away;

Blue hills delight and lawns so green

When they are painted on the scene;

O how I like the woods and rocks

When I can view them from a box!--

I'm charm'd with such a rural sight

When it is seen by candle-light.

We shall to pass our time contrive,

And keep our pretty selves alive,

Till the world rolls to Town amain:--

Then we shall be ourselves again."

--They were themselves, and suffer'd pride

Still to remain their fatal guide,

And to bring on that period near,

When Folly claim'd its full arrear.

It is not needful for our rhyme

To tell how long or short the time

Which the vain Spendthrift Genius thought

Was fit to bring their schemes to nought.

All we shall say is, with the song,

"The days of pleasure ne'er are long."

And, if to proverbs we resort,

"The days of sorrow ne'er are short."

And here it is but truth to tell,

That our QUÆ GENUS acted well.

For never, as his duty call'd,

When home affairs were so enthrall'd,

That ere the Winter months would end

There would be no more coin to spend,

Nor credit found to give the swing

To gay manoeuvres through the Spring,

He did not from his master's ears

Conceal the state of his affairs;

And though, too oft receiv'd with scorn,

Gave hints, but still they fail'd to warn.

--At length, howe'er, the period came

From fashion's list to blot their name;

When it was vain for pride to look

In the card-rack or porter's book,

While the old guard might sit and snore,

But rarely summon'd to the door;

That door, of late, so seldom quiet

From lounging call or pleasure's riot,

Unless it, with less noisy stir,

Announc'd some threat'ning visiter.

--Encreasing wants began to press,

And all things threaten'd that distress

Which vanity knows not to bear, }

That pride contemplates with despair, }

Yet spurns regenerating care; }

And a pale demon seems to see

In form of sage oeconomy.

The scene thus drawing to a close, }

Friends, aye, and faithful ones arose, }

With their best aid to interpose, }

And VALCOUR found, when least expected,

That falling he was not neglected.

For he was lov'd by all who knew

The virtues whence his follies grew;

And some of these so active were

As to preserve him from the snare

Of Us'rer's gripe and Lawyer's strife,

That seem'd to threat his future life.

They did with counsel sage persuade

And brought the ready, golden aid,

Which check'd the powers that did enslave him,

Before it was too late to save him.

The well-weigh'd scheme which prudence chose

Was rather an unsav'ry dose:

Madam, at first, declar'd it treason;

But humbled pride was taught to reason.

Enough was spar'd to share the dance

And gay festivities of France;

With promise, when five years were o'er,

They should regain the British shore;

And, on repassing _Woodlands_ gate,

Would find a noble, freed estate;

And, from their follies past remov'd,

Reside respected and belov'd.

Now, all this serious bustle over,

They sought, and soon set sail from, Dover,

And, in the common period, found

Their footsteps meas'ring Gallic ground.

QUÆ GENUS saw them to the sea,

Then gave a look of sympathy,

And, with respectful rev'rence said,

"When you again Old England tread,

To re-enjoy my happy station

I will quit any situation,

And I dare boast you will receive me,

As true and faithful as you leave me!"

--To France he was not quite inclin'd,

And MOLLY chose to stay behind;

So both brush'd up their sep'rate graces,

To go in search of _other places_.--

For, 'twas not yet our Hero's plan

To set up for a GENTLEMAN.


In the world's ever varying range

There scarce can be a greater change

Than from the hourly means of carving

Without reserve, to hints of starving;

From the men-cooks' superior waste

To fireless kitchen's cold repast;

From ham and fowl and beef and veal,

To a lean shoulder's third day meal,

From well-skimm'd broths, to greasy pot,--

But this was now our Hero's lot:

And here, perhaps, it may be fair

To ask what chance could bring him there;

For expectation sure might think

That he would rather soar than sink,

At least, he would his rank maintain

Among High-Life's domestic train,

And still display the priggish air,

In some fine street or splendid square,

Instead of opening the door

In _Humbug-Buildings_, Number FOUR;

Well known, as we shall shortly see,

For weighty scenes of Usury.

--How he this curious post obtain'd,

Without reserve will be explain'd.

My Lady VALCOUR, as 'tis known

To hap sometimes to Dames of Ton,

When sudden wants were set on edge

Might look a precious stone to pledge,

To raise a hasty sum or so

She did not wish Sir CHARLES to know;

For little systems of disguise }

Are seldom seen to cause surprise }

In the best order'd families. }

MOLLY she fail'd not to employ

In care of any glittering toy,

Which might so very useful be

In moments of necessity:

But this strange, awkward kind of trade

Was far from pleasant to the maid,

As she, to 'scape from prying eyes

Was told to change her air and size,

And, to perform her work complete,

To be a perfect counterfeit:

In short, as was not uncommon,

To make herself another woman.

She therefore, thought it best to ask

QUÆ GENUS to perform the task;

And old John SQUEEZE was recommended,

Who kindly to such wants attended:

Though some who lov'd a joke to crack,

Would laugh, and call him _Squeezing JACK_.

In a snug corner of the town,

To nameless spendthrifts too well known,

The miser liv'd, if life it be

Whose meat and drink was usury;

For the old Hunx was ne'er content,

Unless he gain'd his _Cent. per Cent._;

And as all traffic with this Elf

Was secret interchange of pelf,

He fear'd not the rapacious paw

Of daily violated law.--

Diamonds that did 'mong ringlets blaze,

And caught the night's admiring gaze;

The necklace that from snowy neck

Did in its cluster'd fashions break

On swelling bosom, plac'd to share

The beauty nature planted there;

The rows of pearl that gave a charm

To the round grace of taper arm:

The bright drops which each sister ear

Does with an equal splendour bear;

And dazzling circles that are seen

Of rubies red, of em'ralds green,

And sapphires blue, whose blended rays

The rainbow to the hand conveys,

All these, at times, are forc'd to rest

Within the miser's gloomy chest:

In iron darkness there to wait

A longer or a shorter date,

Till gold's redeeming power shall say,

Come and re-brighten on the day.

On errands of this grave intent,

QUÆ GENUS now and then was sent,

And how he did his plans arrange,

Or in what shape place the exchange;

How he contriv'd these sly affairs,

Paid soon, or lengthen'd the arrears,

Of this we know not more nor less, }

For we ne'er heard his tongue confess, }

And 'twould be wasting time to guess. }

But, somehow, he contriv'd to please,

By grace or guile, old Master SQUEEZE,

And by some strange, peculiar art,

He gain'd upon the Us'rer's heart,

If an heart such a being owns,

Who chuckles when misfortune moans,

At least, when that is understood

To be a vessel fraught with good.

But to proceed, the mind's keen eye

Of _Squeezing Jack_, thought he could spy

In our QUÆ GENUS that quick sense,

Which might reward his confidence;

That wary, penetrating thought,

Which could not be too dearly bought,

And in his present, sickly trim,

Would be of golden use to him:

For he grew old and wanted aid,

In his nice calculating trade.

In short, in every point of view, }

As one who certain fancies knew, }

The old man felt that he would do, }

And that he could his interest make

A station at the desk to take.

Not the first time on business bent, }

Though 'twas the last by MOLLY sent, }

Our Hero to the office went, }

With his redeeming coin to pay

And fav'rite gems to bear away,

He was desir'd to give an ear

To the proposal he should hear,

When _Squeezing John_ in cautious strain

Did thus his secret wish explain.

"--From what I know and all I see,

You soon will be at liberty,

The gentry to whom you belong

Will not require your service long;

And 'twould be well were you to take

The offer which I now shall make:

That is, as you already see,

To come, my friend, and live with me.

I hope no thought your mind engages,

About such petty things as wages,

I would not wish you to receive

What common spendthrift masters give;

I exercise a better way

All such as serve me well to pay:

Your bed and board will lib'ral be, }

For you will live as well as me, }

Such is my home oeconomy. }

As for the service you will find

Its profits fully to your mind;

If you my interests understand,

Your own will follow hand in hand;

Nay, I my promise shall maintain,

That you a pretty fortune gain.

All I ask is, that you will be

The pattern of fidelity,

Which my observing eye has seen

To others you have lately been;

I have, my friend, but one word more,

And then my speechifying's o'er:

'Twill answer ev'ry purpose better

And I shall hold myself your debtor,

For reasons you shall plainly see,

If you will wear your livery,

For that can never be disgrace

Which soon will gain superior place."

QUÆ GENUS thought he could but try,

If but from curiosity,

Though some have said that then he view'd

The future freaks that he pursued.

Thus at the desk he soon was seated

To learn how folly could be cheated,

And to consent to play the rogue

With any spendthrift vice in vogue,

That did in pleasure's round perplex

In any form, in either sex.

The gains were great, nay almost certain,

While pride so slyly drew the curtain,

Indeed, it was so nicely clos'd,

That the rich schemes were ne'er expos'd.

--At first, a kind of gen'rous feeling,

A sense of honourable dealing,

Dispos'd him, with some doubts, to look

Into the Broker's daily book,

While he oft dipp'd his pen and thought,

Ere he the huge per-centage wrote:

Nay, he could pity the distress

Which did upon their bosoms press,

When, thus to pay for ill-bought pleasure,

They yielded up their gayest treasure.

--But then he mutter'd, "Where's the shame?

Others, like us, would do the same:

If we were now to shut up shop,

Others into the place would pop;

Extravagance would have its run

And fools speed on to be undone.

And their sad wants would be supplied, }

If _John_ had laid his schemes aside, }

Or had turn'd Methodist and died." }

Thus interest to our Hero clung

To stifle sense of right and wrong;

And so at once he bade adieu

To Conscience for a year or two:

But, when attain'd the wish'd for store,

It should resume its former power.

Thus, at the opening of his trade,

He a most curious bargain made

With the Divinity within,

To help him on through thick and thin.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


But now, a Fair One will appear,

About her four-and-twentieth year;

Though, whatsoe'er may be her age,

She must be brought upon the stage,

Blooming and gay and form'd to please,

By the old man was call'd his niece,

And, though there were some doubts we know,

It turn'd out she was truly so.

All saw that he was fond of Miss,

Would often give and take a kiss,

And even with his money part,

To purchase smiles and make her smart.

Abroad she was not us'd to roam

But Novels read and stay'd at home.

The pantry's boon, so lean and spare,

Was forc'd on her unwilling care;

For when Old Avarice complain'd

Of the great cost his life sustain'd,

He ne'er forgot, 'mong human ills,

The baker's and the butcher's bills:

But 'twas her interest to be

The slave of his oeconomy.

--An errand-man and one poor maid,

Were all who gave the household aid:

They were to am'rous purpose bent

So fed on love and were content;

And as QUÆ GENUS touch'd the _Money_,

Which was his fount of _Milk_ and _Honey_;

His easy stomach never car'd

How lean the joint on which he far'd.

--It was his interest to agree,

In all things with Miss EMILY,

As she could humour Uncle SQUEEZE,

And now and then possess the keys:

Nor could she shape her main design

Unless QUÆ GENUS would combine

The hobbling _Old One_ to deceive,

And let in _Friends_ without his leave.

She gave him physic, tuck'd his bed,

The pillow smooth'd to rest his head;

Then all around the curtains drew,

And having spoke the night's adieu,

Would gaily hasten down below

To smile upon the favour'd beau

Whom her commanding Billet-doux

Had summon'd to an interview.

From Uncle JOHN's great hoard of wealth,

And the old man's declining health,

'Twas thought she soon would be a prize

Which smart young men might idolize;

That a great fortune Miss would be

From heirdom or by legacy:

While lovers, therefore, not a few,

Had pass'd before her in review,

Her kind warm heart might not disown

That she had fix'd her thoughts on one;

And he it was who had the power

To share with her an evening hour.

But to the point, which even love

Could not from her keen thoughts remove:

The Lady did not long delay

Thus the prime secret to convey,

"I have a precious plan, QUÆ GENUS,

And if 'tis manag'd well between us,

We may, as I know how, contrive,

To make our mutual int'rests thrive.

I have already something done,

As you will hear, for _Number ONE_,

And there's another scheme will do,

As you will know, for _Number TWO_.

My uncle's wealth is that of _Croesus_,

But how he'll leave it, Heaven bless us,

I know not, nay, the trembling elf,

May not as yet be sure himself;

Though he, perhaps, may leave the whole

To Charity, to save his soul.--

Some folk have thought to make a will,

Is signal given for Death to kill,

But should he an intestate, die,

The long expecting family,

Will feed the greedy, gaping maw,

Of griping, grinding, hungry Law.

For though I am the next of kin,

Such various claimants will rush in,

Such troops of distant, country cousins,

Will haste by scores, at least by dozens;

So many Lawyers may appear,

To promise each an ample share,

That in what way these things may end,

If fortune be my foe or friend,

I wish, by all means, to ensure

Some independent sinecure,

And as you must the labour bear,

You will a just advantage share.

But not an atom of his wealth

Must we attempt to take by stealth,

No, though we could this night convey,

As a sure, undiscover'd prey,

His iron chest with all the gold

And brilliant treasure it may hold.

I only ask my views to aid

But a small portion of his trade,

And while above his riches flow,

We may make mod'rate gains below,

And what of that by us is done,

Must be from funds which are our own."

--The parties were at once agreed,

And the scheme fail'd not to succeed:

Nay, had stern fate the stroke delay'd,

A decent fortune they had made;

But as it was, their transient gain

Gave them no reason to complain.

--Now, ere twelve months or more were past,

JOHN SQUEEZE, alas! had breath'd his last;

And though they search'd the mansion round,

A Will was no where to be found;

And relatives in numbers came,

Their rights to prove, their shares to claim;

While the shrewd Miss AMELIA SQUEEZE

Lock'd ev'ry box and kept the keys.

--With angry threats the house resounded,

It was confusion worse confounded;

While she secure in prudent savings,

Calmly beheld their idle ravings,

As different ways they did pursue,

Which diff'rent Lawyers bade them do.

--And here we cannot overlook

The wary way the lady took.

Her favourite swain, it must be known,

A Pleader was of some renown;

To whom this offer she propos'd,

With which the learned Lawyer clos'd.

"If of the wealth of Old JOHN SQUEEZE,

Of whom you know I am the Niece,

You prove me to be lawful Heir,

My charms and fortune you shall share."

--Thus she was left amid the paws

Of Lawyers and the tardy Laws,

With chance that when ten years were past,

A husband she might get at last.

--Not as such union often ends,

She and QUÆ GENUS parted friends:

But ere Old SQUEEZE'EM was dispos'd,

Ere the cold marble o'er him clos'd,

Our Hero had a gracious tender

From _JACOB LEVI, Money-Lender_.

He, having had some kind of feeling

With JOHN in his usurious dealing,

Observ'd QUÆ GENUS, who had been

Just such an useful go-between,

As would find favour in the sight

Of the keen, cautious Israelite,

Who, therefore, with inviting grace,

Offered him his vacant place.

The proverb says it is a curse

To go at once from bad to worse,

And though, at first, he did not feel it,

Time was determin'd to reveal it.

--Of late, or more or less, 'tis true,

Distress was in his frequent view,

But then in its prevailing feature,

It was but of a transient nature.

A proud man for a whole week's date

Might cease, perhaps, to eat off plate,

Still, Dresden service could supply

A varying scene of luxury:

Or vanity might not resort

To aid the splendour of a Court,

From absent state of decoration,

Required by certain rank and station:

But, for a time, well-fram'd excuses

Custom or fashion ne'er refuses;

When soon again the plate is seen,

The silver-smith has made it clean,

And in a week, or month, or so,

It will resume its usual show.

Again the glitt'ring gems display

At the gay Fête the dazzling ray,

On having done the appointed duty

To ease the wants of pride and beauty.

But now another scene succeeds, }

The pledge is turn'd from glitt'ring beads }

To mortgages and title-deeds; }

The short-liv'd search of ready-rhino

By imps of Loo or of Cassino;

Or to stop short a lawyer's threats,

And dunning for a tradesman's debts;

These yield to frightful views of ruin,

Which threaten absolute undoing;

That grasp at family estates

Of honour'd name and ancient dates,

And hasten on the heirs in fee

To gallop fast to beggary.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


QUÆ GENUS, was brimful of zeal

To seize each turn of Fortune's wheel,

And eager to fulfil his plan

Of rising to a gentleman:

But though gold roll'd beneath his eye,

Though fees were paid and bribes were high,

His heart, which had not lost its feeling,

Shrunk from the base, remorseless dealing,

That gloating avarice employ'd

O'er the rich ruins it enjoy'd.

While, therefore, some kind, gen'rous sense

His heart felt of benevolence,

And ere of honour quite bereft,

He the rapacious LEVI left,

In hope he might obtain a place

He should not think as a disgrace;

Nor of success had he to fear

From VALCOUR'S written character;

Where all his virtues were pourtray'd,

In such a view that he was made

In every domestic sense

A paragon of excellence.

But sad to tell, it was not long

Before temptations, more than strong,

Were urg'd by a kind, zealous friend,

Who us'd on bus'ness to attend

Old LEVI'S Levees: He display'd

In artful whisper, the sure trade,

Which, manag'd as he could define,

Would shortly prove a golden mine.

"Think not," he said, "that I am canting;

Money, my friend, is all that's wanting.

A certain sum could I command,

I soon would purchase house and land.

Ere a short time had onward run,

I would strut forth a BUCK OF TON;

The world, with its dull pride, defy,

And jostle fools of quality."

QUÆ GENUS felt his brooding plan

To be a finish'd GENTLEMAN,

At that same word his spirit started,

And instantly he grew great hearted.

"Your scheme," he said, "at once explain:

If gainful, you shall share the gain."

"But hear me out," it was replied,

"And then you will be satisfied.

Know, you must an assistant be

At a club's gaming revelry.

O check, I pray, your staring eyes,

From looking on me with surprise;

Let not the scheme I offer freeze you,

Hear, and then do as it may please you!

Think not I would your hand entice

To deal the card or shake the dice;

You must employ a knowing friend,

And such a one I can commend;

He's wary, and suspicion guards,

By shrewdly managing his cards;

Whate'er he does is done with ease,

And heaps his gains by slow degrees,

Till he has such a sum attain'd

By which his object may be gain'd,

Then one successful effort make,

And seize a fortune in the stake.

He watches those who love to drink,

And sticks to such as cannot think:

He turns his skilful inclination

To young men who are prone to passion;

He has cool words for those who're heated,

Whose pride will not believe they're cheated;

In short, he can a card entice,

And fix good-fortune on the dice.

With him you may your money trust;

He will be generous as he's just:

Proceed at once on manly ground

And trust him with five hundred pound;

With that, my friend, let him alone,

He'll use it as it were his own."

QUÆ GENUS enter'd on his place

And acted with becoming grace;

But with his keen, suspicious eye

He saw what look'd like treachery,

Which wak'd the fancy to be thrifty,

So, of his pounds he gave but fifty.

--On his official duties bound,

He pac'd the hubbub-table round,

And with attentive leering kenn'd

His trusty, confidential friend,

Whose frequent nods and silent grinning

Full plainly told, he had been winning;

But, when QUÆ GENUS ask'd th' amount,

His friend thus settled the account.

"It does my very heart-strings grieve

That you have nothing to receive:

Two hours ago my luck was crost,

And then your fifty pounds were lost;

For when with your advance I play'd

Fortune became an arrant jade:

Though since 'tis true that I have won,

But then the risk was all my own;

And, if you had but ventur'd more,

Your purse might now be running o'er.

With a round sum to-morrow night,

Fortune may set all matters right:

As 'tis in war, so 'tis with gold,

She fails not to protect the bold."

Our Hero was not such a _Flat_

As to sit down content with that:

He first determin'd to resist

Or with a cudgel or a fist:

But on reflection, felt an awe

Of the grim, prosecuting law:

Besides, had he enrag'd the room,

It might have prov'd his final doom:

Still he for vengeance inly cried

And he was shortly satisfied.

--The _Bow-street_ folk he happ'd to know

Were walking that way to and fro,

And when more closely on the watch,

He mov'd the door's unwilling latch,

The myrmidons rush'd rudely in,

And all above was noise and din.

Candles and lamps were all put out,

When it became a mingled rout,

While for the money on the table

Each grasp'd as much as he was able;

And our QUÆ GENUS had engross'd

More than by _Humbug_ he had lost;

Then nimbly made a safe retreat

To lodgings in no distant street.

Here, for some time he pac'd the room,

To dissipate th' oppressive gloom

That did upon his spirits light

From the proceedings of the night.

"Indeed," he said, "what then was done

I do not wish to look upon,

Nay I would from my mem'ry cast

My curious ways for some time past,

But certain, busy reasons tell

Such effort is impossible.

All therefore, that I now can do

Is the forthcoming time to woo

With those endearments which may prove

QUÆ GENUS worthy of its love:

With that just sense of what is right,

That makes the moral lamp burn bright."

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


Such pensive musings on him wrought

Till he his welcome pillow sought,

When, as absorb'd in sleep he lay,

Fancy did on his spirits play,

And in a strange and fearful dream

A form did on his vision beam,

With ghastly look as it were come

From the pale confines of the tomb.

He seem'd with one uplifted hand

Instant attention to command,

The other, as he solemn stood,

Folded around the flowing shroud;

And thus QUÆ GENUS seem'd to hear

The hollow voice that pierc'd his ear.

"I am thy foster-parent's shade, }

Who, in the earth, has long been laid, }

And let his counsels be obey'd. }

'Tis SYNTAX who before thee stands,

And wait with awe his grave commands.

Fool as thou art, in thy misdoing

Art thou not hast'ning to thy ruin?

Am I call'd hither to accuse

Thy erring ways, and idle views?

Do I the wretched agent see

Of gambling fraud and usury?

And is it thus you form the plan

To vault into a Gentleman?

SYNTAX thy memory must own

As the sole parent thou hast known,

Whose mercy did the Foundling save

From menace of an infant's grave.

Better, perhaps, his fond regard

Had not thy sad condition spar'd,

If what of future life may last,

Wakes no contrition for the past.

Hear me, and tremble as I speak,

Though you may human laws escape;

The life you lead is not forgiven

By the offended laws of Heaven.

If such your doings, I can ne'er

Petition for your pardon there.

The present means which you possess,

If rightly us'd, will give success;

Nay, if you cease to roam abroad,

And turn from folly's wand'ring road;

If you keep all things right at home,

Much unexpected good may come.

QUÆ GENUS, to my words attend,

The errors of your life amend;

Resist the world's seducing power,

Or fear me at the midnight hour."

--Thus as he thought the vision spake,

The curtains round him seem'd to shake;

And frowning, as in angry mood,

At the bed's foot the figure stood,

When, in a misty gleam of light,

It seem'd to vanish from his sight.

He woke in such an agitation

His night-cap stream'd with perspiration;

He started with a fearful stare,

Not knowing if to pray or swear.

He did from further sleep refrain

As he perhaps should dream again,

And Sommerden's departed Rector

Might read another curtain-lecture.

But when as through the shutter's crack

He saw the beams of Phoebus break,

Up he arose, the bell he rung,

And, "Breakfast," issued from his tongue:

The loud command was soon obey'd,

And morning meal in order laid.

On sofa stretch'd, he munch'd the toast,

And sipp'd the Bohea, doubly dos'd

With cordial drops, we won't say gin,

Which he pour'd plentifully in,

And did his trem'rous nerves redeem }

By power of the reviving stream, }

From the dire horrors of the dream. }

--His spirits thus with strength recruited,

He turn'd his mind to what was suited

To the condition chance had bound him,

And perils which might still surround him:

Of his late playmates what became

When power broke up the midnight game;

And if pursued by any danger,

To which as yet he was a stranger.

But soon he found, enquiry made,

The Bow-street spirits all were laid;

Nor was it to the party known,

By whom the mischief had been done.--

Thus, from all legal threat secure,

He felt determin'd to abjure

The course of life he had pursued,

Nor suffer knav'ry to delude

His conduct into any plan

That might disgrace a Gentleman;

The character which his fond thought

Had to a flatt'ring crisis brought,

When he might try, and not in vain,

The wish'd for honour to maintain.

Besides, in favour of his scheme,

He felt the warnings of the dream,

As he their meaning understood

Foreboded much of future good.

At length his boasting fancies tired

Of all to which his pride aspired;

And, having nothing else to do,

He sauntered forth to take a view

Of what a saunter might present

For serious thought or merriment;

When, as he careless stroll'd along,

Half-humming some new-fangled song,

He heard a voice that did proclaim

His own but too familiar name.

'Twas Mr. CARMINE, who was known

An artist of the first renown

For portraiture of living faces,

Whose pencil gave and heighten'd graces,

Who, 'mid the hurry of the street,

Did sauntering QUÆ GENUS greet:

When, having sought a place of quiet,

Free from the passing, bustling riot,

In civil tones the man of art

Began his Queries to impart.

"Your family, I hope, are well,

And will you Lady VALCOUR tell,

If it so please her you may come

And fetch her fine resemblance home:

Nay she may have forgot, I fear,

That the last sitting's in arrear:

Give but the hint as I demand

And you shall feel my grateful hand."

--QUÆ GENUS hasten'd to reply

With the gay VALCOURS' history,

And fear'd that, for a year or two,

The picture must _in statu quo_

Within his gallery remain,

At least, till they came home again.

"Well then," said CARMINE, "tell me friend,

What fortunes on your steps attend."

"Sir," he replied, "'tis Fortune's pleasure

I should enjoy a state of leisure.

Sir CHARLES, so generous and kind,

Wish'd not that I should stay behind,

Nay, would have paid me high to go,

As I've a paper that will shew:

But certain schemes play'd on my brain

Which fix'd my purpose to remain,

And yet, with all my honest care,

I have not brought one scheme to bear."

"My friend," the artist said, "if you

Have not a better scheme in view,

My place, unless I greatly err,

Would suit your turn and character

'Tis but to know and to make known

The beauties by my pencil shewn,

And lard, as you the occasion see,

With strokes of modest flattery.

Take care you manage well your tongue

To please the old as well as young,

And study the expressive grace

That's seen to beam on any face;

When, in fair words and cautious mood

You may mark the similitude

Between the charms that smiling live,

And such as art like mine can give.

Nor to the sex your hints confine,

The ermin'd sage and grave divine,

The chubby face of childhood too

Attention must be made to woo,

While I shall to your mind impart

The nomenclature of my art;--

And if, as I presume you will,

Display the show with ready skill,

From Misses, Beaux, Old Dames and Sages,

You'll gain, Good Fellow, three-fold wages.

--Now turn the offer in your mind,

And, if your prudence is inclin'd

To take it, you will let me know

To-morrow how your wishes flow."

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


What though it was his warm desire

From days of service to retire;

Though he now hop'd the time drew nigh

To change his humble destiny,

He ask'd permission of his pride

That one more service might be tried,

As in the class he hop'd to move

It might a source of knowledge prove.

--Where could he such examples see

As in an artist's gallery?

For while he look'd at forms and faces

He might learn all the tonish graces,

Whatever manners could bestow, }

What attitudes were best to show; }

In short, all that he sought to know. }

For the fine folk who visit there

Come deck'd with all becoming care,

That the chaste pencil may not err

From truth of form and character,

Which not alone, while yet they live,

The canvas may be proud to give,

But offer to the admiring eye

Of an unborn posterity!

"O," he exclaim'd, "this is the plan, }

I all its various merits scan, }

'Tis HALF-WAY to a _Gentleman_!" }

--Nay, to be brief, the following day

Beheld him all in due array,

And soon alert, submissive, smart, }

Well vers'd in all the slang of art; }

He to perfection play'd his part. }

In mildest tone would just express

The charms a canvas may possess,

Where Loves and Graces seem to smile

And do th' enchanted eye beguile.

Though still he ne'er forgot his duty

To one who might have been a beauty,

There he did not throw out his hints

Of charming smiles and rosy tints,

But to her portrait would refer

For force and grace of character.

Still his own thoughts ne'er went astray, }

He rather told what others say, }

What my Lord B. prais'd yesterday. }

Thus he contriv'd, it seems, to please

CARMINE's fine folk, of all degrees,

And what he gain'd, he now might say,

He got it in an honest way.

From all he did the Artist thought

He had a real treasure got;

Nor had QUÆ GENUS any cause

To grumble at domestic laws;

For all who serv'd them were content

With the well-rang'd establishment.

Above, was all that taste could show,

And ease and comfort reign'd below;

For CARMINE sought not cost to spare,

And splendid plenty revell'd there.

--O Discretion, what thy powers,

To watch o'er life's fantastic hours,

To check warm nature's glowing heat

When passions in the bosom beat,

And whim and fancy's busy train

Play their vagaries through the brain!

But that comptroller of the will,

That sober judge 'tween good and ill,

Or from his folly or his pride

QUÆ GENUS seem'd to throw aside.

This was the spot where he might stay, }

Where duty was improving play, }

Till hope should paint the wish'd-for way. }

But whimsies did his wits employ

The play-game of an idle boy,

For which if, at his earliest school,

Thus he had dared to play the fool,

He would have felt the smarting fate

That does on thoughtless culprit wait.

--The easy, morning duties done,

The after-day was all his own,

When, as it surely may be thought

He might have some improvement sought:

But no, his genius seem'd to chuse

His luckless leisure to amuse,

In changing, when brimfull of glee,

The system of the Gallery;

Would make the pictures change their places,

And with his chalk deform their faces,

(For, from a boy, whate'er he saw,

With a rude outline, he could draw,)

Turn down the portraits in their frames,

And look and laugh and call them names.

Though if no other harm were done,

Unknown he might have had his fun:

But hence the mischief did ensue,

The names he call'd were written too:

In short, he turn'd the painter's school

Completely into ridicule,

And, by a TITLE or a SCROLL,

He strove to stigmatize the whole.

--He would a _Lawn-rob'd Prelate_ place

As if he ogled _Cælia's_ face,

Exclaiming "There's no greater bliss,

No, not in Heaven, than _Cælia's Kiss_;"

While _Cælia_ might be made to say

"_Hands off, my pious Lord, I pray!

Remember what you ought to feel--

The good book says you must not steal;

And steal you will, if you receive it,

For hang me, FUSTY, if I give it_."

--He then, perhaps, would run his rig,

With _Cap and Bells_ on _Judge's Wig_;

When thus his fancy might indite,

And in a well turn'd label write,--

"_Now should MY LORD be in a fury,

And shake that WIG_, he'd fright the JURY_."

--The portrait of an AGED DAME

Might have this added to her name,--

"_Your Crutch-stick tells you scarce can walk,

But still you bore all ears with talk;

A most incorrigible Hag,

Who nothing but your TONGUE can wag_."

--A MARRIED PAIR together plac'd,

And with their household emblems grac'd,

Though looking in each other's faces,

He would remove to sep'rate places,

And then contrive to make them say,

"_How shall we, Sir, this act repay?

Our Home Cabals we now shall smother,

At this nice distance from each other;

Thus far removed we shall agree,--

'Tis just as we both wish to be._"

--A LORD MAYOR's brow he would adorn

With honours of a double Horn;

Then from a long scroll make him cry,

"_Make room for Cuckolds, here comes I_."

--A LAWYER, clad in wig and band,

With briefs and papers in his hand,

QUÆ GENUS would contrive to trace

A JANUS with a _Double Face_,

And each face with a ready tongue

To plead the cause or right or wrong,

Exclaiming in both scrolls--"_'Tis We,

And waiting for a Double Fee_."

Such was his wit, which sometimes told

Its thoughts in flashes far too bold:

Which the Muse knows would not be meet

For her Chaste Spirit to repeat.

--Thus when the Monkey's hand had done

With this display of idle fun,

And in his vacant hour of sense

Had triumph'd in Impertinence;

He would repair his saucy tricks,

The pictures in their places fix,

Wipe out the mischief of the chalk

And bid the portraits cease to talk;

Then with a military air,

Aloud command them--"AS YOU WERE."--

--Now it, at least, was once a week,

He did this gay amusement seek,

When CARMINE'S absence gave the power

Thus to pass off his leisure hour,

As different faces might present

Fresh subjects for his merriment.

But those foul imps who oft molest,

With awkward thoughts, the human breast,

(As the expression's not so civil,

We will not hint it is the devil,)

Will, as their trade is to deceive,

Fast in the lurch their vot'ries leave;

And soon QUÆ GENUS was betray'd

Into the trap his folly laid.

One vernal eve, he had o'erflow'd

With chalk and chatter ill-bestow'd,

When call'd off for we know not what,

The unfinish'd mischief was forgot;

And in the morning, ere the clout

Had duly wip'd his folly out,

A party, who from town were going,

Came, just to pay what might be owing:

At the same time to represent

Where all their portraits might be sent.

--One _Elder Lady_ rubb'd her eyes,

With equal anger and surprize,

While she could scarce believe she read,

The _Witch_ of _Endor_ o'er her head.

--Another, not of younger age,

Could not restrain her glowing rage,

When _Mother RED CAP_ was the name

Which chalk had given to the Dame;

And then she scream'd aloud,--"_Forsooth,

A Pipe is put into my mouth,

Whose nauseous fumes around me fly

To stamp me with vulgarity_!"

--With them there was a sweet young lady,

In beauty's bloom and vernal gay day;

Her portrait in all stature stood,

With all the grace of attitude,

And charms to turn, though not of stone,

A _Carmine_ to _Pygmalion_.

But she, in all her beauty's pride,

A _Wheel-barrow_ was made to guide,

While ruby lips were seen to cry,

"_Sheep's hearts for those who want to buy_!"

The marble urn which stood behind her,

Was turn'd into a rude _Knife-Grinder_,

And at no very far approach

Was seen a passing _Hackney Coach_,

While all the lawns and groves so sweet

Were scrawl'd into a _London Street_.

--Anger in diff'rent tones were heard,

And when CARMINE in haste appear'd,

Aghast he stood, then vengeance vow'd,

Declar'd his innocence--and bow'd;

But in a few short minutes prov'd

The wicked lines might be remov'd.

If water is not just at hand,

_Saliva's_ always at command,

Which gives the tints a brighter glow,

And leaves a kind of varnish too.

This, with his handkerchief applied,

Soon wip'd the saucy chalk aside.

The Dame exclaim'd,--"_Pray look, d'ye see,

Still more affronts, my Lady B----:

This is the height of all disgrace,

The Painter's spitting in my face_."

CARMINE, without a word, went on,

And when his cleansing skill was shown,

When witticisms disappear'd,

And each offending line was clear'd,

The sudden change appear'd to please,

And angry words began to cease.

But still he thought he ought to show

The threat'ning terms he could bestow.

The maids, each answ'ring to her name,

Aloud their innocence proclaim:

The housekeeper and sturdy cook

Propose to swear on HOLY BOOK,

They could not do it:--Heaven forbid it!

And then they told,--QUÆ GENUS _did it_:

On which, the solemn Dames insist

Such Impudence should be dismiss'd.

But though they saw the alter'd show }

Restor'd to all its pristine glow, }

They let th' astonish'd artist know }

Th' insulted portraits should not stay

Where they then were another day.

Thus porters, order'd to the door, }

Away each fine resemblance bore, }

That they might be defac'd no more.-- }

--The Dames departed in a huff,

With _fanning_ cool'd,--consol'd with _snuff_:

While Miss, beneath her bonnet's poke,

Smil'd as if _she_ enjoy'd the joke.

Our Hero now was seen to wait

The threat'nings of impending fate:

That fate, but in the mildest tone,

CARMINE delay'd not to make known.

"As you vie with me in my art,

'Tis clear, my friend, that we must part:

Your genius is so full of sport

That you must go,--I'm sorry for't!

Such tricks will bring, as you must see,

Disgrace upon the Gallery;

Indeed, by your confounded fun,

Mischief may be already done!

You talk'd of schemes when you came here,

But, faith, this scheme may cost me dear.

As tricks like these you chuse to play,

'Twere well that you should march away;

So go, where, spite of common sense,

Your jokes may pass without offence.

Few words are best,--my mind to tell:

Pack up your Chalk,--and so farewell!"

--QUÆ GENUS the command obey'd,

As pleas'd to go as if he stay'd.

Here then his _final Service_ ends:--

But MAN and MASTER parted friends.


Life, as a witty Bard has shewn,

Who dealt in just comparison,[1]

Is but a busy pantomime,

Whose actions vary with the time;

Where they who turn from side to side,

According to the wind and tide,

Are more ingenious in their art

Than such as act but one grave part;

Who, as their years pass onward, seem

To glide along one gentle stream.

But here we stop not to contend

Whether, to answer Life's great end,

'Tis best from place to place to range,

Or fix to one, and never change.

Suffice it, that, from choice or chance,

QUÆ GENUS hurried through some dance

Of early life, and, as we see,

Not knowing what the next would be:

But now, disdaining future tricks,

He felt a firm resolve to fix

Upon a steady, better plan,

Of living like a _Gentleman_.

Whether he knew to calculate

The means required for such a state,

The curious eye will shortly see,

In his approaching History.

[1] BUTLER, the Author of HUDIBRAS.

It has been well observ'd by some,

"All countries are a wise man's home."

As it is said of diff'rent nations,

The same is true of various stations

Which man is destin'd to fulfil,

Or with, or e'en against his will;

If Reason happens to provide

A steersman who is fit to guide

The vessel o'er life's flowing main,

And sure at last the port to gain.

How much our Hero had amass'd,

By ways and means now gone and pass'd,

We know not, as we never heard

The hoarded sums he had prepar'd;

But as he had a sense of craving,

And with it, too, a knack of saving,

He must have got a heap of Cash,

Which, for a time, would make a dash.

The _Valcour_ wardrobe almost new, }

The gifts of service, laid _perdu_, }

Would serve him for a year or two; }

And by some _Snip's_ contriving art,

Would fit him well and make him smart:

But stumbling-blocks were found to lay

Before him, and impede his way.

Manners and matter he possest,

His early life had given the best;

And while he as a servant mov'd,

His knowledge of the world improv'd:

But still his face and form were known

In certain quarters of the town,

And the first object to his fame

Was to discard his present name;

For he ne'er did a Father know,

The source from whence a name should flow;

And by QUÆ GENUS nought was meant--

It was a boon by accident,

Which he might, if he pleas'd, disuse,

And any other title chuse.

Through the _Directory_ he waded,

Till his poor eyes were sadly jaded;

Then in the finer streets he stroll'd

Where Names on _Door Plates_ are enroll'd:

But then he fear'd a name to own,

Which would, perhaps, be too well known,

And cause enquiries, that might be

The source of some perplexity.

Reason, at length, rous'd the intention

Of yielding to his own invention,

To eke out from the alphabet,

A name he never heard of yet;

And which his fancy might suggest

As one to suit his project best.

FREE-BORN he thought would do as well

As any other he could tell,

When, his right Christian name of JOHN

Form'd the becoming union;

Then nothing more he could desire

Than trim these names with an ESQUIRE;

And to let the report be spread,

That some rich relative was dead,

And 'twas his Fortune and his Fate

To get the name and an estate.

Should it be ask'd where _that_ might lay,

He had prepar'd himself to say,

(As if half earnest--half in joke,

The smiling answer might be spoke,)

"'Tis here, 'tis there, 'tis everywhere,

Or in some country in the air;

But should you come to _number three_

In such a street, you there will see

How that estate appears to thrive:

On _Thursday_ next I dine at _five_."

Thus he would find none to suspect him,

Or, dinners given, to neglect him.

He now to Coffee Houses went,

With looks assuming calm content,

And such as those are seen to wear,

Who easy independence share.

At reading-rooms he frequent sat,

And read or join'd in social chat;

Acquaintance made, no arduous task,

Of those he did to dinner ask.

In gay apartments then he shone

In a good quarter of the town,

But distant, as we may conceive,

From where his masters us'd to live.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


_Miss Emily_, the blooming niece }

Of the old Broker, Master _Squeeze_, }

Who made some figure in the piece, }

And, at no very distant page,

Was seen to figure on the stage;

The Lady all her points had carried,

Was rich, and had the _Pleader_ married;

Had chang'd her uncle's name of _Squeeze'em_

To her shrewd husband's, Lawyer _Seize'em_:

Who, by his cunning and his skill,

Had brought all contests to her will,

When he had got his promis'd fee

Of Beauty, Wealth and Luxury.

To her, with smiles of gay content,

The _'Squire_ his eager footsteps bent,

And did in lofty tone proclaim

His change of fortune as of name;

And told her it would be his pride,

At a small Fête would she preside,

Which he propos'd in style to give,

Where he would all her friends receive;

For this was now the only way

He had to make his party gay:

And the first flourish of his plan

To figure as a _Gentleman_.

--She smil'd and said she'd bring him plenty,

Then ask'd at once his cards for twenty.

--The fête was given,--the dance, the song,

And feasting did the night prolong,

Which pleasure gave to full two score,

Whom he had never seen before;--

But, his great object to maintain,

These he must strive to see again;

At all their doors his cards present,

And thus, by various compliment,

To form a circle of such friends

As would secure his serious ends,

In social ease to pass the day,

And often find an evening gay.

--But _'Squire Free-born_ quickly found

He did not tread on solid ground,

And 'gan to fear he should not see

The way to that society,

Which forms of life the happiest measure:

By mutual interchange of pleasure.

--'Twas but slight chat if he should meet

His new acquaintance in the street;

He seldom found, or more or less,

But gen'ral forms of _politesse_,

And that, too often, at the best,

Was but in flimsy style exprest.

--Ladies would ask him to the play,

To take his arm and let him pay;

And when to cards, he always lost

More than the wine and biscuits cost.

He found, as yet, but little done--

'Twas neither common sense nor fun,

Where kind regard would ne'er encrease,

And int'rest wak'd the wish to please;

Where words were either cold or hearty,

As he propos'd to give a party;

And a good supper was the charm

That did to transient friendship warm,

For that, alas, no longer lasted,

Than while they thought on what they tasted.

_'Squire Free-born_ soon began to feel

A relaxation in his zeal

To push away that class among

Who did his evening parties throng,

From whom no fair return was made,

And mod'rate fashion was display'd.

Manners were ap'd, but in a way

That did vulgarity betray;

And the best show that he might see,

Was dash of awkward finery:--

Besides, a rude and rough event

Gave spirit to his discontent.

--He call'd, one day, where, on admission,

The parties were in sad condition;

It was a scene of mutual flame,

'Tween _Start-up_ and his lovely dame.

He was a clerk on public duty,

And she a most conceited beauty:

When, as he enter'd, her sharp tongue

Began in tones both harsh and strong,--

"_Pray, FREE-BORN, do you think it breeding,

That he should thus be always reading?_

_When he does from his office come

'Tis thus he sits hum-drum at home,

As if he thought so low my wit

I'm not for conversation fit;

Nor does he seem to rate me higher

Than to trace figures in the fire!"

--"Call you, hum-drum, that information

So suited to official station_,"

He sternly said, "_which now engages

Attention to these curious pages_!"

--"_My mind_," she cried, "_was in the dark

When I was married to a Clerk:--

O had I join'd a fool instead

Of one to office breeding bred!

He, who in honour should protect me,

You see, Sir, how he dares neglect me!_"

--In terms polite to praise and blame,

_Free-born_ now hop'd to quench the flame,

And therefore offer'd, nothing loth,

To give a little spice of both.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


"Madam, by persons of discerning,

My friend is known for store of learning;

While you are bless'd with those rare charms,

A Prince might wish to fill his arms."

He gently smil'd and so did she,

At this same two-fold flattery,

Which, in a moment, seem'd to smother

The flames of anger 'gainst each other:

He therefore ventur'd to proceed,

But did not now so well succeed.

"You ask me to unfold my thought,

Which is with truth and friendship fraught.

We all well know, in life's great stake,

There's such a Rule as _give and take_;

A maxim, with your good in view,

I recommend to both of you.

On this, for peace, fix your reliance,

And learn to practise kind compliance.

If he is haughty, soothe his pride,

Nor with disdainful glances chide.

When you are angry, he must chase }

All frownings from that lovely face, }

With tender words and soft embrace. }

Both of you now are in the wrong,

_He_ with his BOOK,--_you_ with your TONGUE."

But, ere he could his speech conclude,

With scornful look and accents rude,

Again the furious Dame began:--

"_What Impudence is in the Man!

Thus, 'gainst his betters, to let loose

His vulgar tongue in such abuse.

My husband to be thus belied,

Who is my love, my boast, my pride!_"

When _Start-up_ foam'd,--"_You risk your life,

In treating thus my darling wife;

Who, I proclaim, as 'tis my duty,

Has charms superior to her beauty!_"

Then each gave each a warm embrace,

And both star'd in poor _Free-born's_ face,

The one as if _he_ wish'd to beat him,

The other as if _she_ could have eat him.

He then, as suiting her desire,

Threw the base volume in the fire,

When she----"_Thus ends a petty fuss

Which may cross those who love like us;

Though I might wish it had not been

By such a saucy booby seen_."

--_Free-born_, but not from sense of fear,

Now thought it best to disappear;

And as they rang the clam'rous bell,

He heard them both the servant tell--

"Discharg'd you shall be, if the door

Is open'd to that varlet more."

--Such vulgar threat the _'Squire_ amus'd,

For he no more would be refus'd

By those whose silly actions prove

That they could scold, and lie, and love:

But still he rather felt the wrongs

Which had proceeded from the tongues

Of those who had no fair pretence

At what he said to take offence:

A pretty way to make amends

For having treated them as friends;

In short, he thought it best to fly

His late acquir'd society:

Pert Lawyers and such busy men

As in some office wield the pen;

Who, when their daily labour's done,

Put their best coats and faces on;

Leave home, where tallow dimly lights 'em,

For wax, when some dull fool invites 'em,

The plenteous evening to prolong

In lively glee or tender song,

Or in some funny tale to shine,

And give a current to the wine.

There, too, their wives and sisters flow, }

Gay, scanty finery to show, }

In gawdy trim and furbelow; }

Who can, perhaps, the music play,

And scream the carol of the day;

Nay, work a waltz, while staring eyes

Proclaim their gentle ecstasies.

At length the shawls and wrappers come,

When in their hacks they trundle home.

--Though, after all, whate'er his aim,

Whate'er his fancy chose to claim,

'Twas not amiss;--this _first degree_

In what is call'd society,

Where step by step he must advance

To higher place in fashion's dance:

But with the folk, he 'gan to find,

Who din'd with him, he never din'd,

And got no more than casual tea

For what his guests thought luxury;

And, in a snug, familiar way,

For all they gave, they made him pay.

Besides, he sometimes felt offence,

At what he thought impertinence:

Such as they were, both great and small,

He cut acquaintance with them all.

His purse had thus indulg'd his whim,

But they ne'er heard again from him.

He now suspected that his plan,

Of turning to a _Gentleman_,

Was not so easy to be brought

To such success as he had thought.

But still he ventur'd to turn over

New plans by which he might discover

Some means to realize his scheme, }

But it, at times, began to seem }

Somewhat, indeed, too like a dream. }

To thinking minds it is not strange

That man is seen so soon to change,

And, when he gets on random chace,

To move so quick from place to place.

If no fix'd principles he trust

Which Reason says are true and just,

The busy world will not restrain him,

Nor in one beaten path maintain him.

Now here, now there, he is as oft

Seen to sink low as rise aloft.

As he moves on, how he will vary

From sober thought to gay vagary;

Nay, seem the tempers to unite

Of Dons 'bout whom historians write;

The one whose name our laughter cheers,

And he who pass'd his time in tears.

What wonder then that we should see

In _Free-born_, that variety,

Which, in his disappointed mind,

Nature may bid us look and find:

Though he must guess profoundly well,

Who could th' approaching change foretell.

He long since felt it as a folly

To think again on _pretty Molly_,

But when his project seem'd to fail,

Her image did again prevail;

And humbler views began to find

A passage to his wav'ring mind.

Instead of striving to pursue

What he now fear'd would never do,

He fancied that a tender wife

Might give a charm to rural life.

_Molly_ he fear'd not he could move

To bless a home with married Love,

And that a cottage might be found,

With garden green and meadow ground;

Where he might form his fragrant bowers,

And deck the pretty lawn with flowers;

Beneath a beech-tree read his book, }

And sometimes angle in the brook: }

Nay, even wield a shepherd's crook. }

Money he had, and so had she,

And, with a due economy,

Far from the noisy world remov'd,

And by each other fondly lov'd,

They might pass on in plenteous ease,

And lead a life of smiling peace.

He slept, and, in a dream, he swore, }

He saw his _Parent-Friend_, once more-- }

Not looking as he did before, }

But all so smirking, blithe and gay;

When, sitting on a cock of hay,

The prong and rake he seem'd to wield,

As he were master of the field:

He spoke not, but he seem'd to speak,--

"_This is the life, boy, you must seek_."

--Such was another strong emotion

To aid the new, romantic notion,

And think of nought but Cottage Life,

With pretty MOLLY for his Wife.

He turn'd this over in his mind,

And ev'ry hour felt more inclin'd

To take the Maiden by surprize,

And this fond dream to realize.

Sweet MOLLY now was gone from town

As waiting-maid to _Lady Brown_,

Who lives a portion of the year

At her fine place in Devonshire;

Nor did _fond Corydon_ delay

To write his mind another day:

While, to amuse th' impatient hours,

He fill'd his room with shrubs and flowers:

Branching _Geraniums_ were seen

To make his ev'ry window green,

And something like a picture wear

Of future scenery he might share.

Our time does like our watches go

Sometimes too fast,--sometimes too slow;

But to the _'Squire_, for he was still

A _'Squire_, though now against his will,

Old _Bald-Pate_ mov'd with tardy tread,

As if his feet were hung with lead;

But he went on:--An answer came,

Sign'd MOLLY, with no other name!

He thought it odd, but did not wait

To make it matter of debate,

So quick his hurry to be shown

The passion which the page would own.

He read,--"_I've heard, bless Heav'n, my friend! }

(With thanks for what you might intend,) }

Your serving days are at an end: }

Thus I believ'd, and find it true,

I could no longer think of you.

It seems to be your prosp'rous fate

To come into a great estate;

And so I thought it Heaven's decree,

You ought no more to think of me.

Besides, as you have never wrote,

I fancied Molly was forgot;

When soon a tender lover came,

A learned man, of preaching fame;

He press'd me,--I was not obdurate,

And so, I'm married to a CURATE!

The match my Lady much approv'd,

And my good Husband's so belov'd,

Our kind SIR JOHN has given his word

That he shall shortly be preferr'd._

* * * * *

Poor _Corydon_ could read no more, }

But, in a rage the letter tore, }

And kick'd the fragments round the floor: }

Toss'd some things up, and some things down,

Curs'd both the _Country_ and the _Town_;

With pots and pans did battle rage--

Drove the geraniums from the stage,

And wish'd no object now to see

_Of ruralized felicity_.

The country letter turn'd the tide

To rush upon his wounded pride:

At once he thought it more than folly

Thus to have offer'd love to _Molly_.

Nay, he began to smile at length;

And, to regain becoming strength,

He took to the well-known resort

Of season'd dish and good _Old Port_:

When as he sat, with uplift eyes, }

And, thro' the window, view'd the skies, }

He ventur'd to soliloquize. }

"My _genteel folk_ I have declin'd,

At least, the sort which I could find;

And just as much dispos'd to sneeze

At all my _Rural Deities_:

But still I've got a heap of _Cash_,

And, while it lasts, will make a _Dash_!

But here one firm resolve I make,--

_I never will my Elbow shake_;

And if I take care not to _play_, }

I shall get something for my pay: }

It will not _all_ be thrown away! }

Who knows what CUPID, too, may do?

For I may _win_ if I should _woo_;

And e'en, in spite of this same _Hump_,

_Fortune_ may turn me up a trump.

--My standard now shall be unfurl'd,

And I will rush into the world:

Nay, when I have the world enjoy'd,

With emptied purse and spirits cloy'd,

I then can trip it o'er the main:

VALCOUR will take me back again;

Once more his humble friend receive,

With all the welcome he can give:

We know not what from ill may screen us,

And I, once more, shall be QUÆ GENUS."

--He spoke, and seem'd to close his plan

Of keeping up the _Gentleman_.

The Sun had sunk beneath the west,

To go to bed and take his rest,

As Poets feign, in THETIS lap,

Where he ne'er fails to have a nap;

When, with his second bottle rallied,

Our Hero rose, and out he sallied

In search of any lively fun,

That he, perchance, might hit upon.

--As through a court he chanc'd to pass,

He saw a gay, well-figur'd lass,

Who, in her floating fripp'ry shone,

With all the trim of fashion on.

She had descended from a coach,

And did a certain door approach,

With tripping step and eager haste,

When soon th' illumin'd arch she pass'd:

And still he saw, in height of feather,

Small parties enter there together,

While jovial gentlemen appear'd,

Who, as they came, each other cheer'd.

--He asked, where these fine Ladies went?

The watchman said,--"For merriment;

And should a little dancing fit you,

A crown, your honour, will admit you."

--The 'Squire then rapp'd, the door was op'd,

He gave his coin, and in he popp'd:

The music sounded in the hall,

And smiling faces grac'd the ball,

Where, as he lov'd a merry trip

With some _gay Miss_ he chose to skip,

But as they _Waltz'd_ it round in pairs

A noise was heard upon the stairs,

And strait a magistrate appear'd

With solemn aspect; while, uprear'd,

Official staves in order stand,

To wait the laws' so rude command.

--Sad hurry and confusion wait

On this their unexpected state;

When there broke forth, as it might seem,

From snow-white throats, a fearful scream;

Nor, to add horror, was there wanting

Some strong appearances of fainting:

But Justice, with its iron brow

Unfeeling scowl'd on all the show.

In shriller tones the ladies cried,

In diff'rent key the beaux replied,

Though some consoling bev'rage quaff,

Give a smart twirl, nor fear to laugh:

While coarser voices,--"hold your tongue,

Pack up your alls and come along."

Then, of fair culprits full a score,

And of their dancing partners more,

Beneath stern power's relentless rod,

Were rang'd, and order'd off to QUOD.

They march'd away in long procession

To take the fruits of their transgression:--

Staffmen did at their head appear,

And watchmen lighted up the rear.

Our Hero felt the ridicule

Of having idly play'd the fool,

And, as he handed on his _Belle_,

He could not but compare the smell

That rotten root and trodden leaf

Do to th' offended senses give

Of those who, by the lamp's pale light,

Through Covent-Garden stroll at night,

With all the garlands which he weav'd

Ere Molly's letter was receiv'd:

And all the fragrance of the flowers

He thought to cull in Molly's bowers;

Nay, which, but the preceding morning,

His promis'd hopes had been adorning.

It was indeed a noisome change,

O it was strange, 'twas passing strange!

But still the watch-house made amends,

Such as they were, they gave him friends.

Which here, I'm not suppos'd to think

Were such as save from ruin's brink;

But lively sprites who have a taste

To hurry on the stream to waste.

Thus, when the welcome morn was come,

And Justice sent the party home;

He and two blades of certain feather

Propos'd to pass the day together:

The one, more grave, declar'd his breed,

Famous on t'other side the _Tweed_,

The other lively, brisk and airy,

Boasted his birth in _Tipperary_;

Though whether this were truly so,

'Tis from their words alone we know:

But they were easy, free and jolly,

Decided foes to melancholy,

And seem'd well-form'd to aid a day

In passing pleasantly away.

--But first the TRIO thought it best

To snatch some hours' refreshing rest,

When, as it was in Summer's pride, }

They pass'd their jovial hours beside }

The crystal _Thames_ imperial tide; }

And as the river roll'd along,

Made the banks echo with their song.

--At length it was a rival jest

Who of the three could sing the best.

--The sturdy Scot the song began,

And thus th' harmonious contest ran.

WALLACE, who fought and bled, he sung,

Whose name dwells on a nation's tongue.

The 'SQUIRE, in boist'rous tone declar'd,

And neither lungs nor quavering spar'd,

That Britain triumph'd o'er the waves

And Britons never would be slaves.

Then ERIN'S SON, with sweeter voice,

Exclaim'd, "I'll make you both rejoice;

O with a famous song I'll treat you,

And then you both shall say I've beat you

Your verses are old-fashion'd prosing,

My song is of my own composing;

And though 'tis to lov'd ERIN'S fame,

To all three Kingdoms 'tis the same."

The hearers both politely bow'd, }

When he, of his fam'd subject proud, }

Pour'd forth his accents deep and loud. }

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_

QUÆ GENUS committed, with a riotous dancing Party, to the Watch-House.]


It has long been agreed by all persons of learning

Who in stories of old have a ready discerning,

That in every country which travellers paint,

There has always been found a protector or saint.

Derry down, etc.

St. George for Old England, with target and lance,

St. Andrew for Scotland, St. Denis for France,

St. David o'er Wales, so long known to preside,

And St. Patrick, Hibernia's patron and pride.

Derry down, etc.

He was gallant and brave as a saint ought to be,

For St. George was not braver or better than he,

He would drink and would sing and would rattle like thunder,

Though 'twas said, he was, now and then given to blunder.

Derry down, etc.

But the jests of his friends he took in good part,

For his blunders were nought but th' excess of his heart;

Though there was but one blunder he ever would own,

And that was when he saw all the claret was gone.

Derry down, etc.

He'd fight for his country's religion and laws,

And when beauty was injur'd he took up the cause,

For the gallant St. Patrick, as ev'ry one knows,

Was fond of a pretty girl under the rose.

Derry down, etc

So many his virtues, it would be too long

To rehearse them at once in a ballad or song;

Then with laughter and mirth let us hallow his shrine,

And drown all his Bulls in a bumper of wine.

Derry down, etc.

Then St. _Patrick_, St. _George_ and St. _Andrew_ shall be

The Protectors of Kingdoms so brave and so free:

Thus in vain will the thunders of _Denis_ be hurl'd,

For our _Trio of Saints_ shall give laws to the world.

Derry down, etc.

Hard went the hands upon the board,

And ERIN'S praises were _encor'd_.

Thus when the pleasant song was heard,

HIBERNIA'S minstrel was preferr'd;

Nor from the voice or in the eye

Was there a hint of jealousy:

Nay, while they took their parting glass,

These sentiments were heard to pass.

"The Thistle, Shamrock and the Rose

May challenge all the world at blows:

_English_ and _Irish_ names are known,--

There's _Marlborough_ and _Wellington_;

And O, what men of glorious name

Do _Scotia's_ annals give to Fame!"

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_

QUÆ GENUS engaged with jovial Friends: Or ... Who sings best?]

With friends like these the 'Squire began

His new career, and thus it ran,

With others whom he chanc'd to light on

In trips to _Tunbridge_ or to _Brighton_,

SWELLS at most public places known

And as gay triflers 'bout the town;

Who might, perhaps, at times resort

To _Billiard-rooms_ or _Tennis-court_,

Where lively grace, and easy skill

Might flatter Fortune to their will.

_Freeborn_ these gay companions sought,

Who soon their brisk disciple taught

How to direct his lively course

By the snug compass in his purse;

In short, who tutor'd his quick sense }

In the gay world to make pretence }

By modest, well-dress'd impudence. }

--Ye _Dandies_, _Bucks_ or by what name

_Bond Street_ re-echoes with your fame;

Whether in _Dennet_, _Gig_ or _Tandem_,

In five-cap'd coats you bang at random,

With such nice skill that you may break

Your own, or _Dulcinea's_ neck:

Or, when lock'd arm in arm you meet,

From the plain causeway to the street,

Drive Ladies in their morning walk,

While you enjoy your lounging talk:

Then saunter off to pass your hours

In roving through those gaudy bowers

Where purchas'd pleasure seems design'd

To occupy the thoughtless mind:

And, having idled through the day, }

To quicken dull night's weary way, }

You seek the mask, the dance or play;-- }

With you our Hero did contrive

To keep himself and time alive;

But now and then too prone to trace

Those scrapes that border on disgrace,

And threat the unreflecting plan

Of the best would-be Gentleman!

From such as these he was not free, }

As we, I fear, shall shortly see, }

In this so busy history. }

--To him no social life was known,

His home, his friends were through the town

Who were seen wand'ring here and there,

Caring for no one, no one's care;

Prepared no pleasures to receive

But coin could buy or chance might give;

And would prove lively or were dull,

As the silk purse was drain'd or full.

For though deck'd out with all the art

That Fashion's journeymen impart,

They never pass'd the tonish wicket

Of High-life, but by purchas'd ticket

Obtain'd by the resistless bribe

To Traitors of the livried tribe,

Which, by some bold disguise to aid,

Might help them through a masquerade;

Or, with some sly, well-fram'd pretence

And varnish'd o'er with impudence,

A proud admittance might obtain

With chance to be turn'd out again:

Nor was the luckless _Freeborn_ spar'd,

When he the saucy trial dar'd.

--One night, the hour we need not tell,

Into a trap the coxcomb fell.

As through the streets he rattled on

Lamps with inviting brilliance shone;

The music's sound, the portal's din

Told 'twas a joyous scene within:

The second bottle of the night,

Might have produced a double sight,

And two-fold courage to pursue

The splendid prospect in his view,

He, therefore bade the Hack approach,

And at the door present the coach;

Then made a push, got through the hall,

And quickly mingled with the ball.

--Whether his face was too well known

Among the dashers of the town,

Who do not an admittance gain

Among the more distinguish'd train,

Whose social habits will exclude

The mere street-trampling multitude,

Who, like the insects of a day,

Make a short buzz and pass away:

Or whether the intruding sinner

Eat as he seem'd to want a dinner;

Or if it did his fancy suit

To line his pocket with the fruit;

Or if he let some signal fly,

Not usual in such company,

Or if his spirits were so loud

As to alarm the polish'd crowd;

Whatever was the Spell that bound him,

Suspicion more than hover'd round him;

For, he replied with silent stare, }

As he was taken unaware, }

When he was ask'd how he came there. }

Nor did he show a visage bold

When, in a whisper, he was told,

But still with steady look express'd

By the stern Master of the feast,

If he wish'd not to play a farce

To make his pretty figure scarce.

--That such a part he might not play }

Which menac'd e'en the least delay, }

He thought it best to glide away; }

And, to avoid the threat'ning rout,

As he push'd in, he darted out.

A tonish Matron who ne'er fail'd

Where she was ask'd and cards prevail'd,

My Lady Dangle was her name,

And 'twas the fancy of the dame

Still to retain the antique plan

At night to dance in a _Sedan

Sedans_, so known the fair to coop,

When clad in the expanding hoop,

Snug chairs borne on by sturdy feet,

Once seen in ev'ry courtly street;

And one a most uncommon sight,

Was waiting at the door to-night;

Which, in all due array, was come,

To bear my _Lady Dangle_ home.

The Chairmen lifted up the top,

When _Freeborn_, with a sprightly hop,

And his cloak wrapp'd around his face,

Made bold to seize the vacant place:

The bearers, not intent to know,

Whether it were a _Belle_ or _Beau_,

Went on--a cheary footman bore

A flambeau, blund'ring on before:

While, ere the 'Squire, in this sad scrape,

Had time to plan his next escape,

A heap of Paviour's stones which lay

Directly in the Chairmen's way,

Gave them a fall upon the road,

With their alarm'd, mistaken load.

Each Watchman sprang his rousing rattle,

But as no voices call'd for battle,

They did the best without delay

To set the party on their way:

While the attendants on the chair,

Half-blinded by the flambeau's glare,

First rais'd their weighty forms and then

Set the _Sedan_ upright again:

Nor e'er attempted to explore

The hapless head that burst the door.

But such was _Freeborn's_ falling fate,

Which such confusion did create

Within the region of his brain,

He did not know his home again:

Nay, when the wearied Chairmen stopp'd,

Into the house he stagg'ring popp'd;

Then to and fro got up the stairs,

And, straddling o'er opposing chairs,

He star'd, but knew not he was come }

To Lady Dangle's Drawing Room, }

But wildly thought himself at home. }

Then on a sofa threw his length,

Thus to regain exhausted strength,

And grunted, groan'd and drew his breath,

As if it were the hour of death.

Sir David Dangle, whom the gout

Had kept that night from going out,

Was sitting in all sick-man's quiet,

Nor dreaming of a scene of riot

When, waken'd into wild amaze,

He did on the strange vision gaze,

While the bold reprobate intrusion

Threw all the house into confusion.

In rush'd domestics one and all,

Who heard the bell's alarming call;

While stamping crutch and roaring voice

Encreas'd the Knight's awak'ning noise

That he might quick assistance stir

Against this unknown visiter.

But while the household struggled hard

To keep him still, and be his guard,

Till he thought fit to lay before 'em

The cause of all his indecorum;

My Lady came to set all right

And check the hurry of the night:

She then, to soothe his rude alarms

Clasp'd her dear Knight within her arms,

Those arms which, for full forty years,

As from tradition it appears,

Had sometimes strok'd his chin and coax'd him,

And now and then had soundly box'd him.

"It is," she said, "some heated rake,

Who has occasion'd the mistake.

But loose your hands, I do protest,

To be thus us'd, he's too well drest

For though his face I do not know }

He does some air of fashion show, }

Playing his pranks incognito." }

--"It may be so," the Knight replied,

And then he shook his head and sigh'd:

"I'm not a stranger to the game,

When I was young, I did the same."

--Beside Sir David, Madam sat:

To charm his flurry with her chat

Her tongue pour'd forth its ready store

And talk'd the busy evening o'er;

Their biscuits took and, nothing loth,

Moisten'd them well with cordial broth;

Thus, till bed call'd, enjoy'd their quaffing,

He with hoarse chuckle--she with laughing.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


As he his innocence had vow'd,

Our Hero press'd his hands and bow'd,

Nay look'd, with humble, downcast eye,

The Mirror of Apology.

Besides, he well knew how to bribe

The service of the liv'ried tribe;

So, without fear of ill to come,

He was convey'd in safety home.

--With the next noon his morning came,

And serious thoughts began to claim

Attention to the Life he past,

And how much longer it might last:

For the hard blow he had receiv'd,

By the chair's fall, had so aggriev'd

The Pericranium's tend'rest part

That it requir'd a Surgeon's art,

Who, to relieve the threat'ning pains

Applied the leeches to his veins,

He then with blistering proceeded,

The strong Cathartic next succeeded,

With light debarr'd to either eye,

And undisturb'd tranquillity:

Such was the system to restore

His health to what it was before.

Thus bound to silence and confin'd

It was a period for the mind

To yield to those reflecting powers

Which flow from solitary hours.

'Tis said by one, no chattering dunce

That changes seldom come at once;

And to those changes we refer

Which work in human character.

Reason at once does not disown us,

Nor instant folly seize upon us;

It is by a progressive course

That habit sinks from bad to worse,

And thus the happier impulse moves

By which the character improves:

The struggle that controuls the will

From ill to good, from good to ill,

Is not a contest for the power

That lasts but through a transient hour.

Virtue's fine ardor does not yield

But after many a well-fought field;--

Nor do the baser passions cool

Till they despair to overule,

By secret spell or Virtue's fire,

The glowing of the heart's desire.

Thus, as through pictur'd life we range,

We see the varying landscape change,

But, as the diff'rent scenes we view,

If we have hearts we feel them too:

And then, how charming is the sight

When Virtue rises to its height

And triumphs o'er the conquer'd foe

That flaps its baffled wing below.

What though such images as these

May look to Eccentricities

Beyond the reach of those whose claim

Is shelter'd by a borrow'd name:

Yet still our system may apply

The force of its philosophy

To ev'ry track of human life,

Where the heart feels conflicting strife;

In short, where 'tis the painful lot,

And in what bosom is it not,

To struggle in the certain feud

Between the evil and the good,

That in our mortal nature lies

With all its known propensities:

Nor shall we on our Hero trample

As an inadequate example.

He'll serve as well as brighter tools

To give an edge to moral rules,

And _Freeborn's_ frolics may prevail

To give a spirit to the tale

Which in its fashion and its feature

Bears, as we trust, the stamp of nature.

--Besides, it surely has appear'd,

He was at first in virtue rear'd,

Nor do we fear, however cross'd,

His Virtue has been wholly lost:

Nor will our kind and honest muse

The hope, nay the belief refuse,

That, after all his follies past,

Much good may still remain at last

Which might, with Reason's aid, at length,

Be felt in more than former strength.

How this may happen we shall see

In our progressive history.

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_

QUÆ GENUS turned out of a house which he mistakes for his own.]

Thus he, for many a night and day,

In strict, prescriptive silence lay,

For he all talking was forbid

No friends must visit, if they did,

All Galen's efforts would be vain

For the re-settling of his brain;

And when acquaintance chanc'd to come

It must be said, "He's not at home:"

Nay, his kind friends, when it appear'd,

That e'en his life was rather fear'd,

And that his hospitable fare

Might quickly vanish into air:

Though as the knocker still was tied,

They just ask'd if he liv'd or died.

But other reasons soon prevail

That made his vain pretensions fail

To ask them now and then to dine,

And prove their welcome by his wine.

For when they left him others came,

More constant in their wish and aim;

Who, while the Doctor order'd pills,

Would call, perhaps, to leave their bills;

And sometimes in the way of trade

Might ask the favour to be paid.

These things, as he lay still in bed,

Would sometimes tease his shaken head,

And force him to consult his hoard, }

To know what hopes that might afford }

When he to health should be restor'd. }

--That time arriv'd and he was free

From offering another fee,

But then he found more clumsy hands

Ready to grasp enlarg'd demands.

--In all the playgames he had sought

He found, at last, as might be thought,

In worst of scrapes he now was left,

Our 'Squire, alas, was deep in debt,

And which was worse, of the amount,

He could not pay the full account:

Nor were his drooping spirits cheer'd

When ev'ry day a Dun appear'd.

There were no frolics now to charm

The mind from feeling the alarm,

At thought so painful to endure

Th' afflicting thought of being poor.

But though Discretion oft had fail'd him,

And Folly's Gim-crack schemes assail'd him

Though his whole conduct might not bear

The scrutinizing eye severe:

Yet honour was not dispossest

Of a snug corner in his breast,

Which there an influence did maintain,

And, call'd to speak, spoke not in vain;

For he refus'd, at once, to hear

What smiling Knaves pour'd in his ear,

To scrape the relics of his hoard,

Make a long skip and get abroad;

Seize the first favourable wind,

And laugh at those he left behind.

--The counsel given, was given in vain;

He met it with a just disdain,

Bore with mild humour each sly sneer,

And smil'd when Folly chose to jeer;

Resolv'd to pay to his last groat,

Though standing in his only coat.

--'Twas thus he thought in temper cool,

"I may be call'd vain, silly fool,

And something more I might deserve,

But I would dig or almost starve,

Rather than in that concert join,

Which sprightly vagabonds design."

--Suspicion may be sometimes led

To doubt the vows which, on the bed

Of pain and sickness, may be made, }

When, by a trait'rous world betray'd }

Hope's future prospects sink and fade. }

For when Contrition views the past,

Because the passing day's o'ercast

Yet does no more its place retain

When smiling hours return again,

'Tis but an hypocritic art

To mock the world and cheat the heart.

But our sick Hero, as the verse

Will, with unvarnish'd truth, rehearse,

An eye of tearful sorrow threw }

O'er some past years' reproachful view, }

And trembling at the future too. }

Thus, of some awkward fears possess'd,

He held a council in his breast,

And felt the way to be pursued

Was now to do the best he could,

And call on Justice to receive

The only tribute he could give.

Thus, at once, honest and discreet,

He call'd his Creditors to meet

To hear proposals which he thought

They would receive as just men ought:

Nay, fancied, when he told his tale,

That lib'ral notions would prevail;

Nor could his gen'rous mind foresee

The fruits of his integrity:

For when he walk'd into the room

He found th' invited guests were come,

Who soon began in hideous measure,

To play away their loud displeasure,

Not unlike _Andrews_ at a fair

Who to make gaping rustics stare,

Expand their lanky, lanthern jaws

That fire may issue from their maws.

One darted forth revengeful looks,

Another pointed to his books

Wherein a charge was never made, }

That did not honour to his trade; }

And curs'd th' accounts which were not paid, }

Nor fail'd to wish he could convey them,

We'll not say where, who did not pay them.

A _third_, as hard as he was able,

Struck his huge fist upon the table.

While, beastly names from many a tongue,

Around the room resounding rung.

As _Freeborn_ had not quite possest

The hope that he should be carest,

He rather look'd with down-cast eye,

To win by his humility,

And put on a repentant face

As suited to the awkward place:

Nay, his high spirits he prepar'd

And call'd discretion for their guard

In case, though it was not expected,

Decorum should be quite neglected:--

But when the Butcher strok'd his sleeve, }

Brandish'd his steel and call'd him thief, }

Belching forth mutton, veal and beef; }

When touch'd by such a market sample

They join'd to follow his example;

When stead of praise for honest doing }

And the fair course he was pursuing }

They loos'd their banter on his ruin; }

His prudence then was thrown aside

From sense of irritated pride,

And, patient bearing quite exhausted,

He thus the angry circle roasted.--

"You all in your abuse may shine,

But know--_Abuse will never coin_!

Remember you have had my trade,

For some few years, and always paid;

While for your charges you must own,

I let them pass, nor cut them down,

And Customers, such fools like me

Are Prizes in your Lottery.

Put but your loss and gain together,

I should deserve your favour, rather

Than this rude and unseemly treating,

As if I gain'd my bread by cheating.

You know, you set of thankless calves,

You are well paid if paid by halves;

And spite of knowing nods and blinking,

I have been told, and can't help thinking,

All that now may remain to pay

The claims which bring me here to-day,

A just Arithmetic would tell

Will pay your honours very well!

But I have done--nay, I shall burst

If I say more----so do your worst.----"

[Illustration: _Drawn by Rowlandson_


He threw himself into a chair,

While each at each began to stare;

When, from a corner of the room,

A milder voice appear'd to come,

And, without prefatory art,

Was heard opinions to impart

Which as he spoke them, did not fail

O'er the loud rancour to prevail.


"I cannot but refuse

My honest vote to your abuse;

And had I thought it was your plan

Thus to foul-mouth a _Gentleman_,

(And such he is, I'll boldly say,

By all he has propos'd to-day)

I would have stay'd and minded home,

Nor to this boist'rous Meeting come!

You could not give a harder banging

To one whose deeds had call'd for hanging.

What I've to say there's no denying--

Nor will I please you now by lying.

For no short time, you all can tell,

We each charg'd high and he paid well;

Nay, now that he is gone to pot

He gives us all that he has got,

And with a pittance is content

To take him to the Continent:

Nor by sly tricks does he deceive ye

But gives you all that he can give you;

And, if again of wealth possest,

I doubt not but he'll pay the rest;

Now he who does the best he can,

I'm certain he's a _Gentleman_.

For me, whate'er may be your will,

I'll take his terms and trust him still;

And my best judgement recommends

The same right conduct to my friends."

Much more the lib'ral tradesman said

And still continued to persuade

With arguments that bore the test

From that known power call'd Interest,

Which, by degrees, becalm'd the riot,

And clos'd the scene in gen'ral quiet.

Thus, grumb'ling o'er, with parting glass,

The settling hour was seen to pass,

And soon dismiss'd our _Freeborn_ home

To meditate on times to come,

_With the first pleasure man can know,

Of doing what he ought to do_.

Whether it was his ready way,

As we know not, we cannot say--

But as he saunter'd through a court,

A passage of no small resort,

Well known to Lawyer's daily tread,

As to the _King's-Bench Walks_ it led,

A Placard of no common size

Compell'd the gaze of passing eyes:

When, as he read, he saw it bore

The well-known name he whilom bore,

While there was forc'd upon his view

The _Rev'rend_ DOCTOR SYNTAX too;

Nay, as he thought, it seem'd to be

A Brief of his own History:

Nor was it sure an idle whim

To think that it belong'd to him.

The Advertisement did address,

In all the pomp of printing press,

Th' important loss which was sustain'd

And the reward that might be gain'd

By those who should the loss restore

To those who did th' event deplore.

Then o'er and o'er he read the paper

That set his spirits in a caper;

For when he trac'd the pedigree,

He whisper'd to himself--"'_Tis_ ME."

Nor do I from the hope refrain, }

Nor do I think I boast in vain,-- }

QUÆ GENUS is _Himself again_!" }

But here it may become the verse,

The Placard's purpose to rehearse,

This ADVERTISEMENT courts regard


* * * * *

"_Upwards of TWENTY YEARS ago,

Or more or less it may be so,

Some one had ventur'd to expose

In clean and decent swaddling clothes,

An INFANT, laid before the door

Mark'd number THREE in number FOUR,

Of Chambers which distinction claim,

And Paper Buildings is their name:

Now any one who can but give }

Assurance that He still doth live, }

The above reward will then receive. }

QUÆ GENUS is the Foundling's name,

Which, if alive, he best can claim,

For now at least it is not known

That he can any other own.

The kind_ Protector _of his_ Birth }

_Was a Divine of highest worth-- }

Who held preferment in the North_-- }

_SYNTAX was his much-honour'd name,

Nor is he now unknown to Fame.

But time has long since laid his head

On his last low and silent bed;

And search has hitherto been vain,

The Foundling's present state to gain.

A Laundress now is still alive

Who can some information give,

And BETTY BROOM is the known name

Of the communicating Dame

To whose kind care deliver'd first,

The Babe was given to be nurs'd.

Th' exposure she can well display

As if it were but yesterday,

But further knowledge is requir'd

And what events may have conspir'd

To shape his Life--If he should live,

'Tis what this paper asks to give.

Who has such tidings and will tell 'em,

With all due proofs, to Mr. VELLUM,

Or sent by Post to his abode,

Near_ Shoreditch Church _in_ Hackney Road,

_Will the remuneration prove

That's fully stated as above._"

Again he read the paper o'er,

Resolv'd its purport to explore,

And strait to _Number_ THREE repairs

When hobbling down the ancient stairs,

He met the Matron whom he sought,

And told his story as he ought,

A rapid sketch--nor did it fail

To be an interesting Tale:

Which when she heard, against the wall

The broom she held was seen to fall,

And scarce her old arms could prevail

To bear the burthen of her pail.

Her glasses then she sought to place

On the _Proboscis_ of her face;

Not that a likeness she should see

'Tween riper years and infancy.

But now her heart began to melt

At _Recollections_ that she felt,

And thus she wish'd to tell them o'er,

As she had often done before.

"What, though so many years are gone,

And you to man's estate are grown,

Since I, in all its infant charms,

Dandled the Foundling in my arms,

Were I but certain it was _you_,

Yes I would hug--and kiss you too."

--But though he vow'd and did exclaim

He was the very--very same;

And though he put forth ev'ry grace }

With which his words could gild his face, }

He could not gain a kind embrace; }

Though twenty-five don't often sue

To claim a kiss from sixty-two:

But some suspicions had possess'd

The avenues to _Betty's_ breast;

For she liv'd where her open ear

Was practis'd ev'ry day to hear

Of art array'd in fairest guise

And truth o'erthrown by artifice.

Thus what could the old Matron do?

She fear'd him false, and wish'd him true:

Then turn'd him round, but look'd aghast,

As at his back her eye she cast;

When she thus spoke, and heav'd a sigh,

"I hope it is not treachery!

Before that door the child lay sprawling,

And mov'd the Doctor with its squalling:

But, before Heaven I can swear,

It then was as a Cherub fair;

Strait as a little arrow he,

In perfect form and symmetry;

And from its neck unto its rump,

Believe me, he had no such hump

As that, though hid with every care,

Your injur'd form is seen to bear;

And cannot but appear to be

A natural deformity.

How this change came of course you know,--

With the poor child it was not so;--

Prepare its Hist'ry to explain,

Or you will visit here in vain.

--My good young man, strive not to cheat,

Nor think to profit by deceit:

You have with knowing folk to do,

Not to be foil'd by such as you.

I own you tell a moving tale,

But Facts alone will now prevail:

You will be sifted up and down

Till e'en your marrow-bones are known.

--I've not another word to say;

To _Master Vellum_ take your way,

You'll find him at his snug abode

Near _Shoreditch Church_, in _Hackney Road_:

For, when the infant first was left,

Of all parental care bereft,

The Bookseller and I, between us,

Had much to do with dear QUÆ GENUS:

For to his shop I us'd to go

'Twas then in _Paternoster Row_,

As he the money did supply

For the poor Foundling's nursery.

--O, if he finds your story true, }

It will, indeed, be well for you! }

I will then hug and kiss you too!" }

He took his leave--she gave a blessing

As good, perhaps, as her caressing.

In haste, and on his great intent

To _Vellum_ He his footsteps bent;

Who had long since left off the trade

By which he had a fortune made:

But why we do the old Man see

A figure in this history,

Becomes a duty to explain,

Nor shall it be employ'd in vain:

And now, as brief as can be told,

We must the Mystery unfold;

And, since so many years are o'er,

Why it was not explain'd before.

Though he who length of life has seen,

Must have a cold observer been;

Whose languid or incurious eye

Has not the power to descry,

On what a chain of odds and ends

The course of Human Life depends.

But now we quit the beaten road

And turn into an _Episode_,

Nor fear the track, though we shall draw

The picture of a _Man of Law_;

For we have seldom had to do

With one so gen'rous, just and true;

So he was thought by grateful fame,

And _Fairman_ was the good man's name.

If in that long-suspected trade

An honest fortune e'er was made

'Twas that he could in Honour boast

As Justice always tax'd the cost.

'Twas his to bid Contention cease

And make the Law a Friend to peace:

He strove to silence rising feud,

And all his practice led to good:

By mildest means it was his aim

To silence each opposing claim;

To take Injustice by the brow

And make it to right reason bow:

Nay, where in courts he must contend,

He saw no foe, and knew no friend.

He fail'd not by his utmost power

To wing with speed Law's ling'ring hour;

A busy foe to dull delay,

He spurr'd each process on its way;

Nor were his words, by skill made pliant,

Arrang'd to flatter any Client:

Whene'er he claim'd his well-earn'd Fee,

_Justice_ and _Law_ would answer--_Yea_.

And when Oppression knit its brow

And said, _proceed_,--He answer'd--_No_.

--When summon'd to the great _Assize_,

Held in the Court above the skies,

He will not be afraid to hear

The VERDICT which awaits him _there_.

--Such was the Man who soon would own

QUÆ GENUS as his darling Son.


The man of pure and simple heart

Through Life disdains a double part,

Nor does he need a mean device

His inward bosom to disguise:

Thus as he stands before mankind

His actions prove an honest mind.

But though 'gainst Reason's rigid rule

He may have play'd the early fool,

As wise men may, perhaps, have done

In the long race which they have run;

For Passion, which will act its part

In the best regulated heart,

Is, as we may too often see

Beset with Nature's frailty.

Yet Virtue in its course prevails; }

The better impulse seldom fails }

When smiling Conscience holds the scales: }

Nay, through the venial errors past,

Maintains its influence to the last,

And thus, with righteous hope endued,

Rests on _predominating good_.

Something like this we hope to see

In our progressive History.

One morn as worthy _Fairman_ lay

Courting his pillow's soft delay,

Enjoying, in his mind's fair view,

Good he had done, or meant to do;

A Letter came, as it appear'd,

Sign'd by a name, he'd never heard,

To beg he instant would attend

An old and long-forgotten friend,

Matter of import to unfold

Which could by her alone be told,

Whose trembling hand in Nature's spite

Had strove the wretched scrawl to write.

She wish'd into his ear to pour

The tidings of a dying hour,

Which she was anxious to impart

To the recesses of his heart.

This Summons the good man obey'd

And found upon, a sick-bed laid,

A female form, whose languid eye

Seem'd to look bright when he drew nigh.

--"Listen," she said, "I humbly pray,

Though short the time, I've much to say.

My features now no longer bear

The figure when you thought them fair:

MARIA was my borrow'd name }

When passion shook my early claim }

To woman's glory, that chaste fame }

Which when once lost, no power should give,

But to repent--the wish to live.

A mother's lab'ring pangs I knew,

And the child ow'd its life to you.

Though ever gen'rous, just and kind

Here doubt perplex'd your noble mind,

And had dispos'd you to believe

That I was false, and could deceive:

But now, if solemn oaths can prove,

And if my dying words can move,

Should he be living, I'll make known

The Babe I bore to be _your own_.

Scarce was it born, but 'twas my care

That you a parent's part should bear.

My quiv'ring hands then wrapp'd it o'er, }

I trembling plac'd it on the floor }

And gave a signal at the door: }

When I, my eyes bedimm'd with tears,

And flurried by alarming fears,

In a dark night mistook the stair

And left it to a stranger's care.

Such was my error, as I thought

The child was harbour'd where it ought;

And, O my friend, how well I knew

The helpless would be safe with YOU:--

And when, by secret means, I heard

It was receiv'd and would be rear'd,

I doubted not you did prepare

The blessings of a parent's care.

--I was content, and join'd the train

Of warring men who cross'd the main;

And since, for twenty years or more,

I've follow'd Camps on India's shore;

But when, how chang'd by years of pain,

I saw my native land again,

I look'd, how vainly, for the joy

Of seeing my deserted Boy!

Think how my disappointment grew, }

When, from a strict research, I knew }

He never had been known to you! }

But, favour'd by the will of Heaven,

To Mercy's hand he has been given;

Though of his first or latter years

No record of him yet appears:

At least, beyond the earliest day

As in his cot the Infant lay,

And when his smiling place of rest

Was on a fondling nurse's breast!

I the child's story, but in vain,

Have strove with anxious heart to gain;

For she who gave him milk still lives

And tells all that her mem'ry gives.

But of your child what is become,

Whether he has a house or home,

Whether he sails the ocean o'er }

Or wanders on some desert shore, }

Whether he lives or breathes no more, }

If you've the heart that once I knew

May shortly be made known to you:

For, with the means which you possess,

He may be found your age to bless.

I only ask of Heaven to live

To see him your embrace receive;

And, dare I hope the joy, to join

A mother's fond embrace with thine:

Then may my pilgrim wanderings cease,

And I, at length, shall die in peace!

--Thus I have my last duty done,

And may kind Heaven restore your Son!--"

--She spoke--the tale she did impart

Sunk deep into the good man's heart;

For, as he said, there did not live

To close his eyes one relative.

He then in eager speech declar'd

No cost, no labour should be spar'd

The Boy to find, and should he be

What his fond eyes might wish to see,

His Father's name he soon would bear,

And of his fortune be the Heir.

--No time was lost--what could be done,

To give her ease and find her Son,

Was soon employ'd in ev'ry way

That public notice could display.

The good man now the subject weigh'd,

Then call'd in VELLUM to his aid,

And did, with anxious wish commend

The office to his long-known friend,

To set afloat enquiry due

If what MARIA told were true;

Nor did he think of pains or cost

To find the stray-sheep that was lost.

"To you," he said, "I give the task,

The greatest favour I can ask,

To trace, if 'tis in any power,

The _Foundling_ from that favor'd hour

When DOCTOR SYNTAX first receiv'd

The child and all its wants reliev'd;

And you, at once, call'd in to share

The wishes of his guardian care.

Believe me that my high-wrought feeling,

Which you must see there's no concealing,"

(For the tear glisten'd in his eye,

And his breast spoke the long-drawn sigh)

"Disdains at once all sordid sense

Which hesitates at recompence:

O what would I refuse to give

Should he be blest with worth and live!

Indulge my whims--nor let me know }

Or what you've done or what you do, }

Till you can answer--_Yea_ or _No_. }

Till your grave voice attests my claim

To bear a parent's tender name:

Nor let the claimant here be shown,

Till he is prov'd to be my own."

VELLUM began by exercising

His well-known zeal in advertising;

Nay, did, from _Kent_, to the _Land's-End_,

QUÆ GENUS and his birth extend,

And as the _King's Bench Walks_ had been

Of his first days the curious scene,

Within those environs were spread

The grand _Placards_ which he had read;

And did a forc'd attention call

To many a window, many a wall,

Whose tempting story to rehearse

Has wak'd an effort in our verse.

QUÆ GENUS' plain, consistent tale

Seem'd with old VELLUM to prevail;

And rather tallied with the view

Of what, in former times, he knew:

But, that same _Hump_ his shoulders bore,

And oft had been his foe before,

Forbad the Laundress to bestow

A favouring opinion now;

The want of which kept things aloof

From certain and substantial proof.

For though the Doctors in the North, }

Men of acknowledg'd skill and worth, }

Were ready to confirm on oath, }

That, 'twas disease which gave the blow

And bent the strait back to a bow;

Yet this same Hump of direful note

Still stuck in _Betty's_ doubtful throat,

For all that she would say or swear

Was, when the Child was in her care,

To the most, keen, observing eye,

His back bore no deformity;

And thus continued the suspense

From want of better evidence.

--_Vellum_ was not without a fear,

That, from the Gout's attack severe,

The anxious Father's self might die

Before truth clear'd the Mystery,

And had, from doubt reliev'd, made known

The Child as his begotten Son--

Besides on his discovery bent,

To _Oxford_ when kind _Vellum_ went,

To seek his venerable Friend,

The well-known Rev'rend DOCTOR BEND,

Who would have set all matters right,

He died on the preceding night.

But still, as we pass on our way,

What changes mark life's transient day;

The sun-beams gild the o'erhanging cloud,

The mists the glitt'ring rays enshroud;

And, while from storms of beating rain }

We strive some shelter to obtain, }

The scene is chang'd--'tis bright again. }

Hence 'tis we share th' uncertain hour

Of joys that smile, of cares that lour.

Thus, while Enquiry seem'd to wear

The very aspect of Despair,

A sudden instantaneous thought

Was to OLD BETTY'S mem'ry brought,

That a _Ripe_ STRAWBERRY, blushing red,

As it grew on its verdant bed,

By Nature's whimsey, was impress'd

Not on the cheek or on the breast

But _Betty_ said, "'Tis I know where, }

And could I once but see it there, }

On Bible Book, ay, I would swear, }

The young man is the child who left,

And, of a mother's care bereft,

Was by the Doctor given to me

To nurse his tender Infancy."

--QUÆ GENUS now was call'd to tell

What he knew of this secret spell.

When he without delay declar'd

What of the mark he oft had heard

By gamesome play-fellows at school

When he was bathing in the pool;

And though he sometimes strove to feel it,

Its strange position did conceal it

From his own eyes, though, as a joke,

It often did a laugh provoke.

Then did he to her wish display,

What the verse hides from open day;

But _Betty Broom_ was not so shy }

To turn away her curious eye }

From this same blushing STRAWBERRY. }

Nay, when she saw the mark, she swore

She oft had kiss'd it o'er and o'er;

And, were he not to manhood grown,

She'd do what she so oft had done.

O she exclaim'd with tears of joy,

QUÆ GENUS is the very boy

Whom their so anxious wishes sought

And was to full discovery brought.

--Nor was this all, at the strange show

Old VELLUM wip'd his moisten'd brow,

And said, with an uplifted eye,

"Here ends this curious Mystery."

When he again, the Symbol saw

In its right place without a flaw,

At once he did remember well,

SYNTAX would smiling oft foretell,

This mark might to _the Foundling_ show

To whom he did existence owe.

"'Tis all fulfill'd, the proof is shewn,--

The FATHER may embrace _his Son_!"

As _Vellum_, thought another hour

Should not delay that darling power

He to his friend's impatient ear

In all due substance did declare

The Hist'ry of QUÆ GENUS past,

With all the proofs from first to last,

As on his own conviction shone

That he was truly _Fairman's_ Son:

When the good man, with brighten'd eye,

And the heart's tend'rest sympathy,

As he look'd upwards thus express'd

The joy that revell'd in his breast.

"From all I've heard and you have shown

With zeal and friendship rarely known,

To the fond truth I'm reconcil'd

That poor QUÆ GENUS is my Child,

Confirm'd by all his Mother said,

As I sat by her dying bed;

And ere another sun shall shine,

I'll prove, at least, I think him mine,

By giving him a rightful claim

To share my fortune and my name.

You then, my friend, may bring him here,

'Tis a strange task, but do not fear,

At this so unexpected hour,

My firmness will relax its power,--

Though I'm beneath a certain course

Of medicine, of promis'd force

On which I have a firm reliance

To bid the tort'ring Gout defiance,

My vig'rous spirits will sustain

The shock of joy as well as pain."

--_Vellum_, with pleasure now withdrew

To shape the approaching Interview,--

And suit QUÆ GENUS to a change:

So unexpected and so strange;

But how can we relate the scene

That is about to intervene

Where we shall see in different parts

The weeping eyes, the melting hearts,

Affection's warm and yielding sense

And looks of cold indifference,

While Reason yields, with ample fee,

To be the dupe of Quackery.

This to describe with all the rest

The verse, we trust, will do its best;

But if the labour it refuses

We'll scout OLD POLL and his NINE MUSES,

And leave our JOHN TROT lines to tell

The Story and, we hope, as well.

An _Empiric_ had hither bent

His journey from the Continent,

Who boasted, by his Chymic skill,

Disease was subject to his will;

And that his cunning had found out

A _Panacea_ for the _Gout_.

It seems this wonderful receipt

Form'd a warm-bath for legs and feet;

And ev'ry day, for a full hour,

The period might be less or more,

The Patient sat, but ill at ease

His legs immers'd up to his knees,

Each in a pail just plac'd before him

Fill'd with a fluid to restore him.

_Fairman_, who dup'd by Quack'ry's lures,

Had often sought for promis'd cures

Thought it would be no harm to try

The efforts of this Remedy.

--But _Vellum_ eager to make known

This curious pair as SIRE and SON.

Did not consult his better reason

Respecting the right place and season,

But a most heedless moment sought

When he QUÆ GENUS trembling brought,

While the Old Man up to his knees

Was bathing for expected ease,

And thought of nothing but the ails

He hop'd to drown within the pails.

Then _Vellum_ said, my Duty's done

Behold, my friend and see your Son!

QUÆ GENUS, kneeling on the floor,

Began a blessing to implore!

The good man said, I ask of Heaven

That its protection may be given

To this my long-lost, darling Boy

Of coming time my only joy!

'Twas then he press'd the frizzled hair

And sunk back senseless in his chair.

The good old _Bookseller_ amaz'd

On the strange, motley picture gaz'd,

And _Betty Broom_ began to vow

"'Twere pity he should die just now."

While the staid Cook, whose ev'ry feature

Scarce knew a change from sober nature,

Was to expression ne'er beguil'd,

Who never wept nor ever smil'd

Then calmly said, but said no more,

"I never saw him so before:"--

While, "look! behold! see he revives!"

QUÆ GENUS cried--"my Father lives!"

Wonder and Gratitude and Fainting

Were there combin'd--what could be wanting

To make the melting scene complete,

But coffin and a winding-sheet?

Nor were those symbols long to seek,

For, in a short and happy week,

Which was in warm affection past,

The exulting Father breath'd his last.


Here then we make a pause to ask

How Fortune will achieve its task,

And, to indulge the curious view,

What track the Fancy must pursue,

From such a change in the affairs

Of the poor Foundling on the stairs.

Whether the passions active strife

Will check repose and trouble life;

Whether the inmate of his breast

Will lead to turbulence or rest,

Make him repose beneath the shade

At ease and indolently laid;

Whether the mind will yield to pleasure

In that seducing form and measure,

Which strews temptations ev'ry hour

And gold commands with ready power:

--But other notions we had brought

The proofs of our prophetic thought;

That, not without a gleam of pride,

He would chuse Reason for his guide.

When with a plenteous income arm'd

And hospitable bosom warm'd,

He from the gay world would retire

And turn into a Country 'Squire;

Then, with those charms which heighten life,

And blossom in a pleasing wife,

Enjoy that calm and tranquil state }

That does on Independence wait, }

Nor spurns the low, nor courts the great: }

And though not from those frailties free

The Lot of man's infirmity,

He might pass on to rev'rend age,

And die a Christian and a sage.

--Thus we our Hero's picture drew

As hope inspir'd, for future view,

Such as the coming years might see,

Such as we hop'd that he would be.

But soon appear'd a threat'ning storm

That did the expected scene deform,

And many a cloud began to lour

That veils the intellectual hour,

Though gleams of light would oft controul

The darksome chaos of the soul:

And a bright, instantaneous ray

Would gild a cloud and chear the day;

And now and then a serious thought

Was to its proper object brought.

Whene'er, oppress'd with sudden gloom,

In solemn steps he pac'd the room;

Then, his looks beaming with content,

He turn'd to Joy and Merriment,

And Reason, for a wav'ring hour,

Would seem to re-assume its power.

Yet social habits he disclaim'd,

Wept when he prais'd, laugh'd when he blam'd,

And, sometimes frowning, would declare

Life was not worth the liver's care.

--Whether it was the sudden change,

So unexpected and so strange,

Or the accession large of wealth

Broke in upon his reason's health,

Or the concussion of his brain }

Which the night's frolic did sustain, }

Our science knows not to explain. }

Old _Betty_ thought it must be Love,

Which she would undertake to prove,

As in his freaks that seem'd like folly

He sung and danc'd and talk'd of _Molly_,

And frequently was seen to scrawl

Figures in chalk upon the wall,

Then fancy that he scatter'd flowers

And sat in gay and fragrant bowers.

--Whate'er the hidden cause might be, }

No sage experience could foresee }

A cure for his Infirmity. }

He now grew worse from day to day,

And Nature hasten'd to decay:

It soon was seen, no art could save

QUÆ GENUS from an early grave.

--Old _Vellum_ did not quit his care

And _Betty Broom_ was always there.

The FOUNDLING'S Life she had attended,

As it began, and as it ended:

His earliest days her cares embrac'd,

Her aged eyes wept o'er his last:

They did his dying hour behold!

--Reader Farewell,----The Story's told!