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You had not intended to utter one word,
Where too much already, perhaps, has been heard ;
But yet, notwithstanding, you find that you must,
Or you would not discharge, as you should do, your
You have not a hope you can shed a new ray
Where suns have been shining so brightly all day;
You will not attempt it-you are not so silly,
As soon “gild the gold,” and as well "paint the lily;"
But you must be indulged, for a very short while,
Though your language be homely, and homely your
style; It is far from your purpose to make a long speech, You must scrape on your fiddle, although it should
Yes, promise the House, you will be very brief,
Just tell 'em so, man,-it will be a relief
Protest that in all which you now mean to say,
You mean to be govern’d by strict cour-te-
No member must think it-oh never-no, no,
That you mean to be cruel, and tread on his toe ;
'Tis not your intention to break through the rules,
Nor hint that all men but yourself are turn'd fools;
Each man has a right to maintain his opinion,
Long as Freedom shall reign in this Ancient Dominion ;
You mean not to breathe a suspicion—'od's life!!
No doubt they are chaste as was Cæsar*_his wife.
Having taken this dazzling and beautiful flight,
Your exordium is free, sir, from ev'ry thing trite.
Go on now, with all that you do not intend,
And this is a subject almost without end.
Be sure, notwithstanding, in doing the same,
That you say ev'ry thing you pretend to disclaim;
Then mention the field which you mean to explore,
Though you never should think of your promises more.
Go back to the days of old Adam and Eve,
With the world in a sling, you may laugh in your sleeve;
Fight over the "duel" of Cain and of Abel,*
Produce the confusion of Tower of Babel;
Let nothing deter you—but at 'em again,
Some brass you may borrow from one Tubal-cain ;t
Throw in, by the way of a passing remark,
The form and dimensions of old Noah's Ark;
Surveying the Flood, you may then talk of Moses;
All this, you observe, your research, man, exposes ;
Go down, Sir, to Egypt-set th' Israelites free,
And smother King Pharaoh and all in the sea;
Cephrænes and Cheops!—tell all that they did,
And settle the doubt of the great Py-ra-mid.
Pshaw! pay no attention to nodding and winks,
But mention the sands which half buried the Sphinx;
Be sure you remember the siege of old Troy,
Not many have heard of that business, my boy ;
I'd give a tenth part of an ephah—an omer, I
To see their
shut like the eyes of poor Homer; The great Trojan horse will be excellent now, With “a wreath of abstractions” encircling “his brow;" “Virginia must ride him”_some fellows rakehelly "Must jump with stilettoes § all sharp from his belly;" Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes Will come in so pat—the quotation quite spent is; But do not omit it on any account, sirLet Pegasus blow now—and then I'll remount, sir. So, Pegasus-now for a different gait, You've jolted me on at a terrible rateSir!-glance at the tale of the Golden Fleece, And give 'em the whole of Gillies' his Greece.
* In the debate on the duelling question, a distinguished orator contended that the first duel upon record was that between Cain and Abel.
+ And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass -Genesis.
| Now an Omer is the tenth part of an Ephah.—10 chap. Exodus, v. 36.
§ According to the best commentators upon the Niad, stilettoes were hardly in use at the siege of Troy, but the word must stand -it is so in the roll..See Debate on Convention.
The customs of Sparta, proceed to discuss,
And make 'em a drink of the “Nigrum jus ;'*
Ask if among them the bravest man
Would'nt glory to think of the "epitan.”[
Lycurgus of course bring in-because
Few ever heard of Lycurgus his laws;
Athens in order you'll add to these
And all the heroes that end in “es.”
Bring in the man with the oyster shell,
Who hated, but why-he could not tell;
Tell 'em old Socrates' head was bald,
Xantippe, his wife, a horrible scold;
That his nose was flat, and the poor old cock
Made away with himself with accurs’d hemlock;
What a pity he could'nt have worn a wig, I
Before he was driven to this last swig-
That the laws of Draco were written in blood,
But Solon's laws were uncommonly good;
That Plato's republic was theoretic,
And Aristotle a peripatetic;
That Diogenes lived in a sort of a tub,
And gave somebody a cynical rub.
Having gone thus far, you may throw in happily,
A sketch of the battle of old Thermopylæ ;
Then after a dash of war and slaughter,
You'll ask for a tumbler glass of water--
Having scoured up Greece, go over to Rome,
And there you will find nobody at home.
Remus and Romulus suck'd a she wolf,
And Curtius, the blockhead, jump'd into a gulf ;
A King cut a grindstone in two with a razor,
Cheer'd on by an Augur, who stood by a gazer ;
Porsenna came there, with a murderous band,
And a fool, they call’d Scævola, burnt off his hand.
The kingdom-republic-agrarian laws,
Press all of them into your glorious cause;
Sip more of the water-not porter-oh Tims,
And tell 'em the tale of the belly and limbs;
Show 'em the Capitol, rescued by geese,
And ask if the like will e’er happen in this;
The Tarpeian rock, and the overturn'd Gauls,
Compare them to Shockoe—and warn 'em of squalls ;
But time, sir, would fail me to go over grounds,
Where Pompey and Cæsar and other blood-hounds
Gave lessons to millions, who after should live,
That power's a thing 'tis imprudent to give;
So in short, that they lose not a word of it all,
Just read 'em Ned Gibbon's Declension and Fall.
By this they're impatient to moisten their throats,
And now is your time to unkennel your notes ;
Exhibit your papers-unfold your foolscap,
In place of their dinner, they'll all take a nap.
Now fancy yourself in a cyphering School,*
That nincom poop Cocker to you is a fool;
Come show 'em as plain as that men are alive,
That "five is a hondre," and "hondre is five;"+
Demonstrate by pounds, by shillings and pence,
'Tis nonsense to listen to old common sense ;
And tell 'em-yes, tell 'em-amaze the beholder,
The man who pays taxes, is not the Freeholder!!!!
Oh rattle away and "bother their gigs,"
No matter how much they may sigh for their swigs;
Then take in extenso, the statutes at large,
A volley of laws at the numskulls discharge,
And if they don't lustily halloo “enough,”
“Lay on" 'em, I beg you, “lay on” em,
Dyspepsia ! horrid fiend, away!
Nor dog my steps from day to day:
Where'er I go—wherever fly,
I meet that dim and sunken eye. That pallid and cadav'rous hue, Those bloodless lips, so coldly blue,
Thy tott'ring gait, and falt'ring breath
Proclaim thee, messenger of death. Behold thy work-my languid frame Its vigor wasted, blood grown tame,
Afraid of what, it cannot tell,
Is held in thy demoniac spell ; Dark shadows round, thou seem'st to fling; “My ears with hollow murni urs ring;'
My head grows giddy-eyesight dim,
My senses seem to reel and swim. At night I start from hideous dream; My pillow fly, with stifled scream;
Í dare not sleep-at early morn
I hear the huntsman's echoing horn; My burthened heart one instant bounds To spring to horse, and cheer the hounds
Alas! no more for me the chase!
Myself pursued, I fly thy face.
I cannot breathe the balmy air-
It cheers me not for thou art there;
I am not gladden'd by the sun
His course is glorious, mine is run. For me the flowers all vainly bloom, They seem but things which strew the tomb
All things that others seek, I shun
The earth a blank—the world undone.
Is there no power, this brow to cool,
And wash me in Siloam's pool ?
Bethesda's waters ! where are they?
The friendly hand to guide the way?