Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

THE PROGRESS OF CURIOSITY;

OR A ROYAL VISIT TO WHITBREAD'S BREWERY.

PETER PINDAR.
Sic transit gloria mundi !-Old Sun Dials.
From House of Buckingham, in grand parade,
To Whitbread's Brewhouse, moved the cavalcade.

THE ARGUMENT.-Peter's loyalty.--He suspecteth Mr. Warton* of joking.-Complimenteth the poet Laureate. ---Peter differeth in opinion from Mr. Warton.Taketh up the cudgels for King Edward, King IIarry V., and Queen Bess.---Feats on Blackheath and Wimbledon performed by our most gracious sovereign.-King Charies the Second half damned by Peter, yet praised for koeping company with gentlemen.--Peter praiseth himself.---Peter reproved by Mr. Warton.--Desireth Mr. Warton's prayers.-A fine simile. ---Peter still suspecteth the Laureate of ironical dealings---Peter expostulateth with Mr. Warton.---Mr. Warton replieth.-Peter administereth bold advice.---Wittily calleth death and physicians poachers.--Praiseth the king for parental tenderness.-Peter maketh a natural simile.--Peter furthermore telleth Thomas Warton what to say.--Peter giveth a beautiful example of ode-writing.

THE CONTENTS OF THE ODE.-IIis Majesty'st love for the arts and sciences, even in quadrupeds.-llis resolution to know the history of brewing beer. --Billy Ramus sent ambassador to Chiswell street-Interview between Messrs. Ramus and Whitbread.-Mr. Whitbread's bow, and compliments to Majesty.--Mr. Ramus's return from his embassy.-Mr. Whitbread's terrors described to Majesty by Mr. Ramus.--Tho King's pleasure thereat.--Description of people of worship. --Account of the Whitbread preparation.--The royal cavalcade to Chiswell-street. ---The arrival at the brewhoure.-Great joy of Mr. Whitbread.---His Majesty's nod, the Queen's dip, and a number of questions.-A West India simile.--The marvelings of the draymen described.-IIis Majesty peepeth into a pump.Beautifully compared to a magpie peeping into a marrow-bone.-The minule cu rio-ity of the King.-Mr. Whitbread endeavoreth to surprise Majesty.-His Majesty puzzleth Mr. Whitbread.-Mr. Whitbread's horse expresseth wonder. - Also Mr. Whitbread's dog. -Ilis Majesty maketh laudable ivquiry about Porter.Again puzzleth Mr. Whitbread.-King noteth notable things.--Profound questions proposed by Majesty.-As profoundly answered by Mr. Whitbread.—Majesty in a mistake.-Corrected by the brewer, -A nose simile.--Vijesty's admiration of the bell.--Good manners of the bell.- Fine appearance of Mr. Whitbread's pigs.- Majesty proposeth questions, but benevolently waiteth pot for answers.Peter telleth the duty of Kinga.--Discovereth one of his shrewd maxims.-Sublime sympathy of a water-spout and a king.--The great use of asking questions. The habitation of truth.- The collation.--The wonders performed by the Royal Visitors.-- Majesty proposeth to take leave.-Ofereth knighthood to Whitbread.-Mr. Whitbread's objections. The king runneth a rig on his host.--Mr. Whitbread thauketh Majesty.—Miss Whitbread curtsieth.—The queeu dippeth.-The Cavalcade departeth.

Peter triumpheth-Admonisheth the Laureate.--Peter croweth over the Laureate.-Discovereth deep knowledge of kings, and surgeons, and men who have lost their legs.-Peter reasoneth.-Vaunteth.--Even insulteth the Laureate.-Pe

The Poet Laureate.

† George III.

ter proclaimeth his peaceable disposition.-Praiseth Majesty, and concludeth with . prayer for curious kings.

Tom, soon as e'er thou strik'st thy golden lyre,
Thy brother Peter's muse is all on fire,

To sing of kings and queens, and such rare folk :
Yet, 'midst thy heap of compliments so fine,
Say, may we venture to believe a line ?

You Oxford wits most dearly love a joke.

Son of the Nine, thou writest well on naught;
Thy thundering stanza, and its pompous thought,

I think, must put a dog into a laugh:
Edward and Harry were much braver men
Than this new-christened hero of thy pen.

Yes, laurelled Odeman, braver far by half;

Though on Blackheath and Wimbledon's wide plain,
George keeps his hat off in a shower of rain;
Sees swords and bayonets without a dread,
Nor at a volley winks, nor ducks his head:

Although at grand reviews he seems so blest,

And leaves at six o'clock his downy nest,
Dead to the charms of blanket, wife, and bolster;

Unlike his officers, who, fond of cramming,

And at reviews afraid of thirst and famine,
With bread and cheese and brandy fill their holsters.

Sure, Tom, we should do justice to Queen Bess:

His present majesty, whom Ileaven long bless
With wisdom, wit, and art of choicest quality,

Will never get, I fear, so fine a niche

As that old queen, though often called old b-ch,
In fame's colossal house of immortality.

As for John Dryden's Charles--that king

Indeed was never any mighty thing;
He merited few honors from the pen:

And yet he was a devilish hearty fellow,

Enjoyed his beef, an:l bottle, and got mellow,
And mind--kept company with gentlemen :

For, like some kings, in hobby grooms,

Knights of the manger, curry-combs, and brooms, Lost to all glory, Charles did not delight

Nor joked by day with pages, servant-maids,

Large, red-polled, blowzy, hard two-handed jades: Indeed I know not what Charles did by night.

Thomas, I am of candor a great lover;

In short, I'm candor's self all over; Sweet as a candied cake from top to toe;

Make it a rule that Virtue shall be praised,

And humble Merit from the ground be raised: What thinkest thou of Peter now?

Thou cryest“Oh! how false! behold thy king,

Of whom thou scarcely say'st a handsome thing; That king has virtues that should make thee stare.”

Is it so ?- Then the sin 's in me

'Tis my vile optics that can't see; Then pray for them when next thou sayest a prayer.

But, p’rhaps aloft on his imperial throne,
So distant, О ye gods! from every one,
The royal virtues are like many a star,
From this our pigmy system rather far:
Whose light, though flying ever since creation,
Has not yet pitched upon our nation.*
Then may the royal ray be soon explored-

And Thomas, if thou 'lt swear thou art not humming, I'll take my spying-glass and bring thee word

The instant I behold it coming.
But, Thomas Warton, without joking,
Art thou, or art thou not, thy sovereign smoking ?

How canst thou seriously declare,

That George the Third
With Cressy's Edward can compare,

Or Harry ?—'Tis too bad, upon my word:
George is a clever king, I needs must own,
And cuts a jolly figure on the throne.

[ocr errors]

* Such was the sublime opinion of the Dutch astronomer, Huygens.

Now thou exclaim’st, "God rot it! Peter, pray
What to the devil shall I sing or say ?"

[ocr errors]

I'll tell thee what to say, 0 tuneful Tom:

Sing how a monarch, when his son was dying,

His gracious eyes and ears was edifying,
By abbey company and kettle drum:
Leaving that son to death and the physician,
Between two fires—a forlorn-hope condition;
Two poachers, who make man their game,
And, special marksmen! seldom miss their aim.

Say, though the monarch did not see his son,

He kept aloof through fatherly affection; Determined nothing should be done,

To bring on useless tears, and dismal recollection, For what can tears avail, and piteous sighs ? Death heeds not howls nor dripping eyes; And what are sighs and tears but wind and water, That show the leakiness of feeble nature ?

Tom, with my simile thou wilt mot quarrel;

Like air and any sort of drink,

Whizzing and oozing through each chink, That proves the weakness of the barrel.

Say-for the prince, when wet was every eye,
And thousands poured to heaven the pitying sigh

Devout;
Say how a King, unable to dissemble,
Ordered Dame Siddons to his house, and Kemble,

To spout:

[ocr errors]

Gave them ice creams and wines, so dear!
Denied till then a thimble full of beer;
For which they ’ve thanked the author of this meter,
Videlicet, the moral mender, Peter
Who, in his Ode on Ode, did dare exclaim,
And call such royal avarice, a shame.

Say—but I'll teach thee how to make an ode;
Thus shall thy labors visit fame's abode,

In company with my immortal lay;
And look, Tom—thus I fire away-

BIRTH-DAY ODE.

This day, this very day, gave birth,
Not to the brightest monarch upon earth,
Because there are some brighter and as big;

Who love the arts that man exalt to heaven,

George loves them also, when they 're given
To four-legged Gentry, christened dog and pig*
Whose deeds in this our wonder-hunting nation
Prove what a charming thing is education.

Full of the art of brewing beer,

The monarch heard of Mr. Whitbread's fame :
Quoth he unto the queen “My dear, my dear,

Whitbread hath got a marvelous great name;
Charly, we must, must, must see Whitbread brew-
Rich as us, Charly, richer than a Jew:
Shame, shame, we have not yet his brewhouse seen!"
Thus sweetly said the king unto the queen'

Red-hot with novelty's delightful rage,
To Mr. Whitbread forth he sent a page,

To say that majesty proposed to view,
With thirst of wondrous knowledge deep inflamed,
His vats, and tubs, and hops, and hogsheads famed,

And learn the noble secret how to brew.

Of such undreamt-of honor proud,
Most reverently the brewer bowed;
So humbly (so the humble story goes,)
He touched even terra firma with his nose;

Then said unto the page, hight Billy Ramus,
“Happy are we that our great king should name us,
As worthy unto majesty to show,

How we poor Chiswell people brew." * The dancing dogs and wise pig have formed a considerable part of the royal amusement.

« PredošláPokračovať »