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LXXXIII

"On those who first should violate Such sacred heralds in their state Rest the blood that must ensue, And it will not rest on you.

LXXXIV

"And if then the tyrants dare
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew,-
What they like, that let them do.

LXXXV

"With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away.

LXXXVI

46

'Then they will return with shame To the place from which they came, And the blood thus shed will speak In hot blushes on their cheek.

LXXXVII

"Every woman in the land
Will point at them as they stand—-
They will hardly dare to greet
Their acquaintance in the street.

LXXXVIII

"And the bold, true warriors
Who have hugged Danger in the wars
Will turn to those who would be free
Ashamed of such base company.

LXXXIX

"And that slaughter to the Nation Shall steam up like inspiration, Eloquent, oracular;

A volcano heard afar.

XC

"And these words shall then become Like oppression's thundered doom Ringing thro' each heart and brain, Heard again-again-again

XCI

"Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number-
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you—
Ye are many-they are few."

NOTE ON THE MASK OF ANARCHY, BY MRS. SHELLEY

THOUGH Shelley's first eager desire to excite his countrymen to resist openly the oppressions existent during "the good old times" had faded with early youth, still his warmest sympathies were for the people. He was a republican, and loved a democracy. He looked on all human beings as inheriting an equal right to possess the dearest privileges of our nature; the necessaries of life when fairly earned by labour, and intellectual instruction. His hatred of any despotism that looked upon the people as not to be consulted, or protected from want and ignorance, was intense. He was residing near Leghorn, at Villa Valsovano, writing The Cenci, when the news of the Manchester Massacre reached us; it roused in him violent emotions of indignation and compassion. The great truth that the many, if accordant and resolute, could control the few, as was shown some years after, made him long to teach his injured countrymen how to resist. Inspired by these feelings, he wrote the Masque of Anarchy, which he sent to his friend Leigh Hunt, to be inserted in the Examiner, of which he was then the Editor.

"I did not insert it," Leigh Hunt writes in his valuable and interesting preface to this poem, when he printed it in 1832, "because I thought that the public at large had not become sufficiently discerning to do justice to the sincerity and kind-heartedness of the spirit that walked in this flaming robe of verse." Days of outrage have passed away, and with them the exasperation that would cause such an appeal to the many to be injurious. Without being aware of them, they at one time acted on his suggestions,

"

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PETER BELL THE THIRD

BY MICHING MALLECHO, ESQ.

Is it a party in a parlour,
Crammed just as they on earth were crammed,
Some sipping punch-some sipping tea;
But, as you by their faces see,
All silent, and all--damned!

Peter Bell, by W. WORDSWORTH.
OPHELIA. What means this, my lord?
HAMLET.-Marry, this is Miching Mallecho; it
means mischief.
SHAKESPEARE.

"The world of all of us, and where

We find our happiness, or not at all." Let me observe that I have spent six or seven days in composing this sublime piece; the orb of my moon-like genius has made the fourth part of its revolution round the dull earth which you inhabit, driving you mad, while it has retained its

H.F.

TO THOMAS BROWN, ESQ., THE YOUNGER, calmness and its splendour, and I have been fitting this its last phase "to occupy a permanent station in the literature of my country."

DEDICATION

DEAR TOM-Allow me to request you to introduce Mr. Peter Bell to the respectable family of the Fudges. Although he may fall short of those very considerable personages in the more active properties which characterise the Rat and the Apostate, I suspect that even you, their historian, will confess that he surpasses them in the more peculiarly legitimate qualification of intolerable dulness.

presenting him to you, I have the satisfaction of being able to assure you that he is considerably the dullest of the three.

There is this particular advantage in an acquaintance with any one of the Peter Bells, that if you know one Peter Bell, you know three Peter Bells; they are not one, but three; not three, but one. An awful mystery, which, after having caused torrents of blood, and having been hymned by groans enough to deafen the music of the spheres, is at length illustrated to the satisfaction of all parties in the theological world, by the nature of Mr. Peter Bell.

Peter is a polyhedric Peter, or a Peter with many sides. He changes colours like a chameleon, and his coat like a snake. He is a Proteus of a Peter. He was at first sublime, pathetic, impressive, profound; then dull; then prosy and dull; and now dull-oh so very dull! it is an ultra-legitimate dulness.

You will perceive that it is not necessary to consider Hell and the Devil as supernatural machinery. The whole scene of my epic is in "this world which is ". SO Peter informed us before his conversion to White Obi

You know Mr. Examiner Hunt; well -it was he who presented me to two of the Mr. Bells. My intimacy with the younger Mr. Bell naturally sprung from this introduction to his brothers. And in

Your works, indeed, dear Tom, sell better; but mine are far superior. The public is no judge; posterity sets all to rights.

Allow me to observe that so much has been written of Peter Bell, that the present history can be considered only, like the Iliad, as a continuation of that series of cyclic poems, which have already been candidates for bestowing immortality upon, at the same time that they receive it from, his character and adventures. In this point of view I have violated no rule of

syntax in beginning my composition with a conjunction; the full stop which closes the poem continued by me being, like the full stops at the end of the Iliad and Odyssey, a full stop of a very qualified import.

Hoping that the immortality which you have given to the Fudges, you will receive from them; and in the firm expectation, that when London shall be an habitation of bitterns; when St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey shall stand, shapeless and nameless ruins, in the midst of an unpeopled marsh; when the piers of Water-To loo Bridge shall become the nuclei of islets of reeds and osiers, and cast the jagged shadows of their broken arches on the solitary stream, some transatlantic com. mentator will be weighing in the scales of some new and now unimagined system of criticism, the respective merits of the Bells and the Fudges, and their historians. I remain, dear Tom, yours sincerely, MICHING MALLECHO.

December 1, 1819.

P.S.-Pray excuse the date of place; so soon as the profits of the publication come in, I mean to hire lodgings in a more respectable street.

PROLOGUE

PETER BELLS, one, two and three,
O'er the wide world wandering be.
First, the antenatal Peter,
Wrapt in weeds of the same metre,
The so long predestined raiment
Clothed in which to walk his way meant
The second Peter; whose ambition
Is to link the proposition,

As the mean of two extremes—

Without which the rest would seem
Ends of a disjointed dream.—
And the Third is he who has
O'er the grave been forced to pass
To the other side, which is,-
Go and try else,—just like this.
Peter Bell the First was Peter
Smugger, milder, softer, neater,
Like the soul before it is
Born from that world into this.
The next Peter Bell was he,
Predevote, like you and me,

good or evil as may come;
His was the severer doom,--
For he was an evil Cotter,
And a polygamic Potter.1
And the last is Peter Bell,
Damned since our first parents fell,
Damned eternally to Hell-
Surely he deserves it well!

(This was learnt from Aldric's themes)
Shielding from the guilt of schism
The orthodoxal syllogism;
The First Peter-he who was
Like the shadow in the glass
Of the second, yet unripe,
His substantial antitype.-
Then came Peter Bell the Second,
Who henceforward must be reckoned
The body of a double soul,
And that portion of the whole

PART THE FIRST

DEATH
I

AND Peter Bell, when he had been

With fresh-imported Hell-fire warmed,
Grew serious-from his dress and mien
'Twas very plainly to be seen
Peter was quite reformed.

II

His eyes turned up, his mouth turned
down;

His accent caught a nasal twang;
He oiled his hair,2 there might be heard
The grace of God in every word
Which Peter said or sang.

1 The oldest scholiasts read-
A dodecagamic Potter.

This is at once more descriptive and more mega-
lophonous, but the alliteration of the text had
captivated the vulgar ear of the herd of later

commentators.

2 To those who have not duly appreciated the distinction between Whale and Russia oil, this attribute might rather seem to belong to the Dandy than the Evangelic. The effect, when to the windward, is indeed so similar, that it requires a subtle naturalist to discriminate the animals. They belong, however, to distinct

genera.

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