Printed by T. Davis, 192, Minories, London.
2. Juan Comes to London
Miss Haidee and Don Juan pleaded well;
At least my publisher of late
so tells me,3
Although the world he does not chuse to tell,
Yet, every body knows ‘tis he who sells me:
To sing what furthermore the pair befel,
(As he declines my book and thus compels me,
Because my "guinea trash" he will not own,)
I send this Canto into Mr. Hone.
I don’t know why Drab John so cavalierly,
Should manifest at large his timid organ;
I never baited women too severely,
Just see the Quarterly on Lady Morgan;
To call her 'worm' was using her but queerly,
They might as well at once have called her Gorgon:
I'm sure no one can say I've treated Haidee
did that lady.
John owes me much and need'nt have been ashamed
To put his name upon the title page,
Although he deemed my muse a little lamed,
And fitter to be warbling from a cage;
I'd have him know she is not yet so tamed,
Although she scorns to shew it by a rage,
As crouch to any one so ministerial:
Was it not I that lent him wings etherial?
You're witness here I don't get passionable,
I never yet was cooler in my life;
But all men know, Drab John was rendered fashionable
When my son Harold took the Muse to wife:
I flatter me I still am dash-on-able,
And so I scorn to lengthen out our strife:
I am a decent judge of Nerve and Bone
I'd rather try
Drab John than Mr. Hone.5
They say as folk grow older they get wiser,
And Juan in his wisdom thought so too;
But if his actions gave, or not, the lie Sir,
Unto this axiom shall be left to you;
He'd travelled in most lands6
aneath the sky, Sir,
France, Italy, and Spain had wandered thro',
And Germany and Holland scrambled over—
Until the Packet landed him at Dover.
But not to spy the bareness of the land,
Or quiz her laurelled Statesmen did he come;
To steal our Daughter's?—no—he'd some on hand;
Or kiss our Wives? oh! no! he'd one at home:
But occupations being at a stand
Upon the Continent, he swore he'd roam,
And find some folk so apt to cram a lie
That he might feed his wife and family.
For I've forgot to tell you until now,
That Miss Haidee (they're married by the bye,)
Had brought him, somewhat strange as I allow,
Six strapping boys as ever met the eye;
And young Haidees as many, for somehow,
Whether to tame his noted gallantry,
Or in strict retribution for his Sins,
For six successive years she brought him twins.
And twins can't live on air;— and no reliance
On life a moment can exist in Spain;
Since the exertions of our grand alliance
Have given the Spaniards their tenth plague again,7
Who sets all calculations at defiance
By the embroidery of his hand and brain:
So, twins not feeding as I said on air,
Thought Juan I must try my luck elsewhere.
And so he came to Dover in the Packet,
Losing no time in getting up to town;
But left, as he was wont to leave, a racket
Among the bright eyes black and blue and brown;
I vouch the fact8
, and Mrs. Payne will back it,
Who told it me the last time I was down:
Unless I'm sure of facts I ne'er advance 'em,—
Besides she said he was so very handsome.
Juan liked London well enough, 'twas winter;
In summer weather London's rather dull,
Unlike the brain, where hearty dinners centre,
Becoming gayer as the streets get full.
And forth he daily went that every inter-
-Esting sight of London he might cull:
A week or so all this was very well,
But as his purse grew low his spirits fell.
He saw the Devil's Houses, great and small,
Lounging to one or other every night;
He saw the Tower and Pidcocks9
and St. Paul,
And wondered how the streets were made so light;
And then he took to thinking after all,
He might present her not so rare a sight,
Yet one of greater Interest than any,
A man in London streets without a penny.
One day he thought of taking to the Law,
But that required both too much time and reading;
And then the Church, for every where he saw
Its followers exhibited high feeding;
Then a thought struck his pericranium—"pshaw!
For Church or Law I ne'er had College breeding,
I don't see how my family to fix
In London, better than by Politics."
3. Juan Establishes The Devilled Biscuit
Now, Juan left a mort of debts behind him,
In Judgment bonds and many post obit,
And, if his Creditors should ever find him,
He thought it equity, like William Cobbett,10
To allow no Incumbrances to bind him:
"As for my dear friend's purse I'll never rob it,"
Quoth he—"but then my family so motly
Must first be well established á la Botley."
This was a safe argument, let men deny it,
So Juan boldly set himself to work
At once, with all his might and main, to try it,—
And if he wrote no parodies on Kirk,11
And only could prevail on folks to buy it,
Himself a Pagan, Infidel or Turk,
He knew it matter'd not a silver Groat
Whate'er he printed, penned or said or thought.
He took an office, hard by the Change Gate,
Which had been tenanted, time immemorial,
By men who sit in all the pride of State,
And daily place in even ranks before ye—all
The scandal of the Little or the Great,
Both magisterial and senatorial,
But 7 pence charge (if up you want to scrape any,)
A short time since 'twas only Sixpence halfpenny[.]
There lay the Chronicle, and there the Sun,12
The Globe, and once a week th' Examiner;
The Advertiser, the Republican,
The Herald and the Statesman and the Star;
The Courier too, enough to startle one,
The greatest Liar of the whole by far;
Besides the Times, and sheeted Evening Mail,
That issues from it like a double tail.
And Mr. Clements's Observer, and
A long string more, whose names I have forgotten,
But mostly published in or near the Strand,
Which were without them like a herring shotten.
Juan however thought it second hand
To deal in politics so rank and rotten,
And being, as he deemed, as good a Railer,
He cut the business of a News Retailer.
And sat up for himself as publisher
Of Rubbish on Reform; and no bad hit
Was this of Juan's, if, as I aver,
He had been dubbed in Scio for a Wit.
Then, prythee, wherefore should not Juan stir
About a Radical Reform a bit?
As well as Dons, with Sculls no atom fuller,
Sherwin, or Watson, Hunt, Carlile, or Wooler.13
Not but the last has certainly his Quantum
Of Courage, Nerve and Game, as well as brain;
And, tho'in ireful mood my Lord of Grantham,
Once flourished over him a whanghee cane,
The Dwarf's a tightish little Bit of Bantam:
Herein I merely venture to maintain,
That if he flock with birds of such a feather,
He can't complain if they get shot together.
I'll tell you what were some of Juan's Qualities,
(That are'nt possessed by every learned Editor,)
He'd pen you Sonnets on the day's realities,
Mislay the Contributions of Proveditor,
Write poems on Italian immoralities,
And mightily conceive himself your Creditor:
Then if you blamed his muse, for morals damning her,
He'd call his Wife, and bid you cross Examine her
Besides, I've reason to believe his Head
Of Classicalities a perfect Storehouse;
In very good Translations he had read
Whole heaps of such old bucks as Tryphiodorus.
Altho' he never was at college bred:
For instance if he talk'd to you of Moorhouse,
or any such reforming fellow,
He'd drag in Cataline or Massaniello.
With means like these if Juan didn't succeed,
And carry all before him like a charge
Of Yeomanry, it's very hard indeed,
Suppose we then, careering and at large,
Her anchor heaved, and from her moorings freed,
The Vessel, or for Rhyming sake, the Barge
Of all his hopes upon the treacherous sea
Of undisputed popularity.
It was the Time when England's robe was rent,
And famine's curse was blistering on the tongue;
When thro' her every limb strange shiverings went,
And suffering had her every nerve unstrung;
When passion vainly strove to find a vent,
When helplessly her maniac arms were flung
To Heaven, and Heaven allowed unscathed to go,
The monsters who had wrought such utter woe.
This was the hour our old friend Juan hit upon
To prop the pillars of a falling cause;
A cause degraded, hooted at, and spit upon
By all good subjects of our equal laws;
(That is by all who happen to have lit upon
Some good fat garbage for their hungry maws,)
And, tho' he had but little, chose to risk it
Upon a paper called THE DEVILLED BISCUIT.
And Juan called it so, because concocted
Of every hot or savoury Ingredient;
Upholding the principles the same as Locke did,
Who built a paper limit for the obedient:
Besides, with magisterial news he stocked it,
The measures mercifully deemed expedient,
The cutting, maiming, stabbing, slashing, hacking,
— 'Twas dedicated to their Worships' cracking.
Of old, when victories the Continental,
Arrived, and come they did I don't know how,
More regular than landlords get their rental,
The streets were in an uproar with the row
Of horns and roaring boys, and throats that spent all
Their breath to get a bit of bread, —but now
The newsman's voice is hoarse with thundering forth
Our glory-covered Heroes of the North.
But this was vulgar Juan thought, as was
Another scheme of modern innovation,
The sticking papers in the window glass
Of offices, in some conspicuous station,
To catch the eyes of travellers that pass,
Who'd otherwise ne'er think about the nation:
'Tis very well for common Grub Street Ballads,
But he disdained to pamper their rank palates.
This common editorial trick our Don,
Declining puffularity, avoided:
He ne'er his Daily Journal pasted on
His window, thus no idle man nor boy did
Impede the passengers, who stepping on,
Such noninpedimentum much enjoy did:
For He like Coleridge would with ready club lick
That million headed beast, a READING PUBLIC.
"'Tis very well, " said he, "shut up in study,
By Gas Light to be conning learned lore,
Or reading papers to our dearest Judy,
While she our breakfast from a teapot pour;
But horrible indeed, when streets are muddy,
To queer a mob that paper spelling o'er,
With visages no doubt for wise and grave meant,
And have to elbow them, or quit the pavement."
At that dread hour, the solemn hour of four,
When forth the beating hearts 'smoke dried and seared,
And shrivelled up,'16
from counting houses pour,
And change time comes desired by some, or feared;
As thronged the countless hundreds past his door,
Leaning against the door-post he appeared;
And thus with light guittar genteely swung,
His DEVILLED BISCUIT to the mob he sung.
A second Orpheus — there in mute amaze
Around him Bears, and Bulls, and Asses came,
And Ducks and Geese, to listen, or to gaze
Upon the stranger with a Spanish name.
He made a rare to-do for some few days,
Despite the cries of "bravo," "off," and "shame,"
From those who came to hiss, and those who cheered him:
And, thus, he sung the only day I heard him.
4. "THE DEVILLED BISCUIT"; Or, Juan Sings the News
ON Thursday last our hearts went a pit a' pat,
Our feet sans pattens as the streets were clean,
We found the west end of the town quo stat —
(You know what such old latin phrases mean.)
Altho' the Radicals were met to chat,
And Government's old eye was glancing green
With jealousy, yet gave them leave to talk,
And kept the soldiers in the Birdcage Walk17
Fine feathers make fine birds in any cage,
And Government 'tis said have got a few:
I hope the Coldstream wo'n't be in a rage,
And set the Thames on fire at a review:
I hope the Horse Guards will be cool and sage,
So "darkly, deeply, beautifully blue!"
I quote that line from Mr. Southey's 'Madoc,'18
Wherein he writes about a dying haddock.
So much for soldiers—I indeed ne'er saw them,
And take the Courier's word for matter o'fact,
I swear I never heard the rabble jaw them,
So I suppose they'd no command to act;
I saw no swords, or Yeomen sworn to draw them,
But I confess at window frame compact,
High over-head I saw a noble nob- -
They said the owner's name was Irish Bob.19
I often wish this Bob, like Bobadil,
(Who struts our stage the very prince of stormers)
Upon his plan would just contrive to kill
Some fifty thousand of these vile Reformers;
Or sabre them into a Surgeon's bill,
Your sabre is the best of all deformers:
Mens' felt is soft, and so are women's Dunstables,
Besides, he'd save the king some cash and constables.
And here I would particularly urge on
The circle grave to whom I sing aloud,
That I observed a solemn looking surgeon,
Studying a book unjostled by the crowd;
'Tis well thought I—I donned my best habergeon,
When Doctors come, of their profession proud,
And study 'Cross's Surgery
on the spot!
There's many a Radical will soon be shot.
I'm not a RADICAL myself, but that
Is neither here nor there; I've no ambition,
To have a brace of bullets thro my hat,
Or e'en adopt amphibious condition;
And to avoid the sabre, or brick-bat,
Swim the Thames river as a merry fish in,
That Palace Yard, you know is no bad place
For making Tritons of the populace.
I've heard that mobs are fickle, false and finnical,
But, tho' they be all that and radical
To boot, I do confess a hideous sin I call
The making them become so haddockal;
And should from hall of Westminster's high pinnacle
Be griev'd to hear them on their Daddie call
For mercy, since the King or good, or bad, he
In every nation is the people's daddie.
'Twas so at Rome, when Rome was giv'n to flattery,
Whenever any of her bold he-roes
Silenc'd the fire of Carthaginian battery,
Or took an old Numidian by the nose,
They dubb'd the daring villian PATER PATRIÆ, 22
And Livy penn'd a long Gazette in prose:
So Julius Caesar did arrive to be
His father's and his mother's own Daddie.
The consequence of such a scheme is plain:
The Daddy, well broke in by million slaughters,
Had not acquired his stoicism in vain,
But freely flogged unruly sons and daughters,
Until the silly urchins roared again;
And, sometimes, he prepared his axe and halters,
Witness Le Thière's
splash of the first Brutus:23
We'll call at Bullock's if the Guards wo'n't shoot us.
They stopped Lord Essex, tho', the other day;
But whether he was going to see that picture
I can't affirm; it struck me, by the way,
The guard that stopped him looked much like the Lictor:
On which, I heard some angry people say
"Altho' he'd been at Waterloo the victor,
He was not fully justified to tread all
People down, who did not wear a medal."
I'm but a man, but if I were a woman
I should not be so much afraid of Guards,
But like Eliza Gaunt I dread a Yeoman,24
And think him as immaculate as 'pards;
I don't say Leo-pards there's something Roman
Sticks to the Lion expletive which bards,
Or learned naturalists have given the beast
Which Yeoman doth not copy in the least.
Now, that I'm musing on this Betty Gaunt,
I wonder if she's lineally descended
By Father, Mother, Brother, Uncle, Aunt,
From him who Lusitanian Tower defended;25
O'er whom the scaling foe could never vaunt,
But toppled down each rascal that ascended?
I feel a thirst for Antiquarian Knowledge,
And mean to call some day at Heralds' College.
You used some Centuries past to have a phrase
For neat expression of some trifle petty,
I've often heard it in my younger days,
If I remember right,—"My Eye and Betty!"
Aye, "Betty Martin"—but Wordsworthian Rays
Of Genius now afford us one as pretty,
for our Martin—"Pshaw, 'tis all my aunt,
'Tis all my uncle's wife and Betty Gaunt!"
O Betty! fare thee well, and if for ever,27
I must an Exile part from Hunt and thee.
Let not the Manchester ‘Occurrence
The tender bond of our Triumviry:
You'll find that Hunt as shrewd a cove, and clever,—
I must be off to Palace Yard, and see
If they intend to poke the Brighton lances
Thro' Cartwright, Hobhouse, Walker or Sir Francis.29
Resuming then; — as near as I remember,
It was a day looked forward to by courtsmen,
Morning but twice
had kissed her dear September
(The day before, they were disturbed by sportsmen)
Upon the hustings, built of seasoned timber,
Were gathered a rare knot of keen reportsmen,
Prepared to note whate'er Sir F. should speak,
In characters, that's all, resembling Greek.
I saw, you're well aware I never lie,
With my own polypheman, sharp as sickle,
Their papers aspinate, their pencils fly,
And in the twinkling of a bedposticle,31
Catch words that lightened from the speaker's eye,
Before his teeth began his tongue to tickle:
For, in your English, from the teeth and tongue,
And the embrace of lips, is language sprung.
'Tis fit I tell you tho', all danger scorning,
That I was there reporter for myself,
And walked down with a friend on Thursday morning,
Leaving Haidee with bread and cheese on shelf,
A little milk to stay our children's yawning,
And sixpence halfpenny in copper pelf,
Queen of our baking, boiling, stewing, hashing,
And shutter-up, should guards that way be slashing.
We walked to Charing Cross with circumspection,
As well became us, after what had happed
To certain stout Reporters, whom the affection
Of Mother Fame had rather overpapped;
We did not wish for fifteen hours reflection
Within a prison, by constables kidnapped,
We thought of **** the Courier's—not so sly as
That Teucer-like manœuvering Mr. Tyas.32
Arrived, we found the meeting rather small,
But that in such a case is nothing strange;
A mob in town is like a great snow-ball,
Tho' not so clean about the centre range,
And does not in a moment gather all
Its rich ingredients; like a till of change,
Moments elapse ere its dimensions round,
Or ball becomes a heap — or till a pound.
I stood in Surry, on the bridge of Minster,33
West of St. Paul's, and saw the mob assemble;
Beside me stood an interesting spinster,
Against the balustrade, who leaned to tremble;
Perceiving of her laboring breast the in-stir,
I said "That mob in Palace yard resemble
Of harmless sheep th' innumerable flocks;"
"Good heaven," said she, "how disappointment shocks."
"Then will it all pass off without a Riot?"
Says I, "Miss, I believe in faith it will;"
"Shall we not have some soldier play to spy at?"
Says I, "the colonel, ma'am, is very ill!"
Says she, "excitement is the soul's high diet!"
Says I, "to day you'll not enjoy your fill;
And so adieu, poor trembler," then I bowed
Of course, and sought the hustings thro' the crowd.
My friend, meanwhile, had there procured a place,
And when I had attained his side I threw
My Spanish glance o'er all the populace,
Expanding in a broken square to view,
The greater part genteel in hat and face,
(My rule for judging what a mob will do,)
Which having glanced, I did address my friend,
And prophesied to him how all would end.
Then came the leader of our sports that day,
OLD ENGLAND'S HOPE, AND WESTMINSTER'S PRIDE.34
Besides him classic Hobhouse held his way,
Whose Roman Stylum hath so oft defied
Of armed power the sabre's lightning play:
And then a thousand acclamations vied
To lighten the full heart, that like a flood
Whelmed with its overflow the Great and Good.
'Tis meet I here should give you timely warning,
That all our newspapers have got a trick,
Their speeches for our public men adorning,
Of patching and of painting two inch thick,
The metaphors that fly at eve or morning,
Until exaggeration makes you sick;
For instance, there's the New right-liner Times,
That might as well be all set up in rhymes.
Even so that Evening Mail's eventful Ghost,
That's sold by twenties and by thirities; or
The Morning Chronicle, or Morning Post,
Or Morning Herald, or Advertiser,
Or Courier, that adorns, at England's cost,
Miss Constitution, and then dirties her,
By stumbling into some confounded sink,
And covering her with mud and printer's ink.
There is no Salt of Lemons will discharge
The iron-mould these cursed splashes leave;
They eat into her petticoats, enlarge,
And find their oily way up waist and sleeve;
The Blanchisseuse may work away in barge,
But no Reforming Laundress can relieve
That sullied hue, and there restore the true one,
The Constitution then must buy a new one.
You clearly comprehend my last long sentence,
I'm cautious now of what Cockade I wear,
I just observed an Oliver who went hence
To build Reforming Castles in the air;
And, tho' for ever in a dungeon pent hence,
He'd swear he saw me in St. James's Square
With Jumping M'Gregor, or Simon Bolivar,
And pike-armed Radicals—Oh Judas Oliver!35
I've made a Mem. to call as I go by
At Herald's College, and a moment hear
Of Betty Gaunt the glorious ancestry;
I'll fish out there too if this Olivier
Came in a right line from that noble fry,
That fell with 'brave King Charles and every peer,'36
Of Olivers one wishes (barring malice)
The last of them had fall'n at Roncesvalles.
Then mind, I said, that Mad'm'selle Constitution,
Would find it requisite to buy a garment,
To lace her stays with tape of Resolution,
And veil in muslin fresh her appas charmants:
You may construe my sentence to confusion,
But I on oath aver that I no harm meant;
I did not say she would be brought to bed,
And leave us Baby Governments instead.
Well then, altho' I scorn to crow at ye,
You'll not find my report so incorrect,
The other papers deal in poetry,
As you in every column may detect:
When I my DEVILLED BISCUIT throw at ye,
Truth is the only seasoning I affect. —
Sir Francis 37
doffed his hat, the people shouted,
And wide around flew every word he spouted.
5. Sir Francis Burdett Speaks
"Hail, friends and free-born Countrymen, all hail!
There'll be no day on earth so dear to me
As this, on which already 'gin to pale
The ineffectual fires of tyranny;
And broad and bright the People's majesty
Upriseth as the sun from Ocean's deep,
To gild the level flood of Liberty;
Or like a giant from his hour of sleep,
Prepared the Race to run, and the Reward to keep.
"Even with a glow so silent, soft, and calm,
May the true majesty of England rise,
Chasing our island fogs, and shower her balm
Upon our Land's convulsive agonies,
Stilling ripe manhood's groan, and orphan cries,
That startle from their sleep the Burghers' guard,
Where Justice to the stained tribunal flies,
With garments rent, and bosom idly bared,
To supplicate in vain for those the sword hath spared.
" ' Can such things be?' and have we rightly heard
These pigeon rumours winging from the North?
Even by the Region where our Percy spurred
The gallant steed so conscious of his worth,
And o'er his castle drawbridge thundered forth
Into the strife of men—was't there they drew—
Our modern Hotspurs, on their mother earth?
But bade the Percy's heart a long adieu,
In woman's gentle blood their falchions to imbrue!
" 'Corruption woke; — there was a cry 'they come
The trampling thousands in their banded might,'
With reedy music and irregular drum,
And banners glancing to the noonday bright;
Fair Freedom's mail — a consciousness of right,
The only armour of defence they wear;
But then, oh! God, it is a dreadful sight
To see the weaponshow of men's despair,—
Petition's fainting knee, and famine's faltering prayer.
"Alas! my Countrymen, to breathe at length
That prayer for bread but little time is given;
Ere yet the rising accents gain their strength
Adown the throat again complaint is driven,
And buried in the heart, — where long have striven
Conflicting hopes, and pride that grapples woe, —
Until the godlike veil of Man is riven,
And the immortal spirit, sinking low,
Kneel at the Tyrant's taunt, and fawn upon his blow?
"Even thus met Englishmen in peaceful guise
Upon the firm earth of that saintly38
Their council hall o'er-domed by rolling skies,
That spread, they rashly deemed, an ample shield,
For those that in the open day-light wield
Petition's olive branch, —the freeman's tongue, —
But ne'er to Speech did the oppressor yield, —
Already to their steeds the Yeoman sprung,
And note of maddening charge their hollow bugle rung.
"A moment, and the sword hath done it's duty.
And thro' unarmed thousands hacked a way;
And changed to pallid corse our mortal beauty,
And drenched in its own blood our mortal clay:
Dispersion was a reed that could not stay
The truster in his flight—again there rushed
With desperate heel fresh Hotspurs to the fray:
The sabre's edge hath every murmur hushed,
And charger's iron hoof the cells of reason crushed.
"Fast fell defenceless manhood in that hour,
And womanhood and childhood lost their charm,
Humanity her sceptre,—thought her power;
And justice was a bruised and broken arm,
Upon the rampant field of that alarm.
On every side was heard a fiendish cry,
Where slaughter's sickle reaped her crimson farm,
Wreathing the dead ears round her temples high,
As the REFORMER fell, —and saddening sunk to die.
"Sleep on—the stainless banner of Reform
Shall never more to thy applauses wave;—
THOU hast been wafted ere the rising storm
Hath massed its thunders, —to a freeman's grave,
To the repose that never pillowed slave:
The pinions of they children's prayer ascend
Dabbled in blood—from the absorbing cave
O'er which, in vengeful adjuration bend,
Their weapons half-unsheathed, — the groupe that
called thee friend.
"For Thee, thy hope — thy cause — thy cause and
This day indignant thousands lift their voice,
The children of reform and lineal heirs
Of spirit at which the buried great rejoice,
And, here confirm the unhesitating choice
Of Freedom, who hath chosen their peerless bride,
Unawed and unseduced by counterpoise
Of heartless gold, —or exofficial pride,
Even to the edge of doom her fortunes to abide."
6. The Reformists' Meeting Continues with Resolutions and Hobhouse's Speech
Thus far the Baronet, with patriot frown,—
When, from St. Margaret's railing to the wave,
Uprose o'er Palace Yard a cry of "down,"
Than ran the timid, and stood still the brave;
And those who paid their halfpence, or half crown,
For good positions, ready opening gave
To the encreasing thousands, whose reproaches
Fell fast and furious on the line of Coaches.
And scarcely had attention bent to hear
From every point of reassembling station,
When music thrilled upon the general ear,
And wands and banners with self-salutation
Came waving on, renewing empty fear,
Of agitation the reundulation:
(That phrase is like the one your Cicero thunder'd
On men's impatience)—Hail to the Two Hundred!
And, thus, a stir of fresh confusion rose,
Just as Sir Francis did his speech retether;
And people for a moment deemed their foes
This Committee, who wore presumptuous feather,
But I'm obliged, and here abruptly close,
As it may seem, my notice altogether
Of this Harangue—you have the pith already
Of all his speech,—whatever further said he.
The usual Resolutions then were read,
Which Hobhouse seconded with might and main:
"Is this," he shouted, "England that we tread,
Or is it but the slavish soil of Spain?
Shall the petition for diurnal bread
Be answered here by sabre or by chain?
Commended to the GOD OF BATTLES be
Our hope of vengeance and of victory."
"Is liberty become a mere Pretender,
That Ministers insult her, downright flat?
As bully Falstaff did his worship,—'Slender
I broke your head, I know, well! what of that?
I'll do't again because I find it tender!39
(The mob thought this quotation very pat, —
A Frenchman near me whispered, nothing takes here
So well as low vulgarity from Shakespeare.)
"And is our English pride beyond all hope,
Fled from her rock, her altar, and her home,
To pawn her honor for a hangman's rope,
And sign her warrant in Corruption's tome?
Must we like ministerial hirelings grope
Amid the dusty sepulchres of Rome,
To borrow for our Regent's hour mysterious
The cast off domino of old Tiberius?
"Even at the moment of its wildest flood
The ocean hath its limit, so hath power,
'Tis chartered for the universal good,
And tho' its ravage waste for one brief hour,—
And tho' it ebb in the waves of civil blood,—
It is at length dashed back by some stern tower,
On which our mortal energies uprear
The streaming standard of its future fear.
"Come then! the furious flood hath reached its height,—
The tower is undermined, —the standard fallen,—
The tenth black wave that may o'erwhelm in sight,—
The timid by its curling ridge appallen,—
Come then! in harness to the battle dight,
Come ye, who freedom's knighthood have installen,
The buttresses of her crumbling fort repair,
And raise Her banner to the kindred air.["]
Hereon, a shout arose that soon subsided,
And, as the stentor read each resolution,
A cautious concourse left the crowd, as I did,
Aware in time of breaking up confusion;
Tho' quite as many in the crowd abided,
For there was spouting up to the conclusion:
The said Gale Jones40
was inkling to address them,
But as they wouldn't hear—he did'nt press them.
Then as to Mr. Clarke and Mr. Walker,
who was there—altho' that day
He did not condescend to be a talker,
I'd heard some fifty times what they could say,
So I preferred at once to be a stalker,
And with my friend marched manfully away,
To get by guess their several speeches up,
Before Haidee and I sat down to sup.
7. The Radical Meeting Broken up; Juan Arrested
Oh! it was great and glorious to behold, —
As we beheld it from an eminence,—
That mass of population, as it rolled
In all its density of numbers thence;
New vigor braced the sinews of the old,
Warmed by the fire of that day's eloquence.
And hope went dancing onward with the young—
Thus Juan spoke—that is I mean, he sung.
And longer had he sung, but with a frown
A City Marshalman impatient rose,
Who flung on either side the rabble down,
And seized our street Musician by the nose.
In vain did Juan tip him half a crown,
He took the fee—and kept his prisoner close:
Not suffering him to wash, or comb his hair,
Until he'd carried him before the Mayor.42
Think not that I intend with pen profane
That civi-classic mansion43
Emerging darkly from Bearbinder Lane,—
Be that reserved for worthier pen than mine:
Tho' scarce my glowing spirit can refrain
From entering on the task, it looks so fine,
And for an annual residence so fit—all
Cased in smoke, half prison, half hospital.—
They say Stocks Market grew upon its site,—
(Remember that I call no one a blockhead,)
I only say, that wishing to be right,
I always carry Johnson44
in my pocket,
And think Stocks Market it may still be hight,
Considering the way in which they stock it,
Considering too, among its other oddities,
'Tis mostly stocked with saleable commodities.
Be that however as it may, therein
A silence all portentous reigned that day;
The clatter of the cooks had seized45
And every heart was trembling with dismay;
For it was prophecied that men of sin
In some old worsted stocking Plot would lay,
Which o'er the city, ere to-morrow broke,
Would burst abroad in kindling fire and smoke.46
And there was whispering low and swearing hard
Of special constables, thro'out the long
And weary day, until the civic guard
Amounted to at least six thousand strong;
From Candlewick they came, and Cornhill ward,
A very worthy, tho' a motley throng,
Prepared to stand a siege, or make a sally
Up Lombard Street, and back thro' Pope's Head Alley.
By these our presents be it amply known
To England's ministers, and all whom most
It may concern, —that there almost alone
The pink of Magistrates47
was at his post;
Like eastern despot on his worshipped throne,
His eye glanced wildly joyous o'er the host
Of loyalty, that round his musnud48
Desirous to fulfil his high behest.
'Twas not yet dusk, but hark, what means that shout,
As tho' to crack our very eardrums sent?
"To arms!—to arms! the foe's already out,
Man every gallery and battlement,
Some trusty spy go join the rabble rout,
And if they're gone, observe which way they went,
What damage they've already done the Town,
And if the Tower's blown up, St. Michael's down."
Thus spake the Magistrate, and as he spake,
I only sing what those who saw him said,
Like one afflicted with the belly ache,
He shrugged his shoulders, and he shook his head,
Then forward leaned, as tho' he wished to take
The earliest glimpse of what he seemed to dread,
When lo! no other popped before him, than
Our old friend Juan and the marshalman.
8. Juan in Court
I've given of Juan no description yet,
Except the Greek one in my second Canto,
So reader mind I'm something in your debt
For that's too distant to refer a man to;
Besides, since then, his thewes are much more set,
And matrimony some time since began to
Affix her claws upon his cheeks, and twist him
With strange derangements of his nervous system.
I shall postpone my picture of him that
In case you happened to be in the court,
You may not think my long description flat,
But enter freely into all the sport;
How gravely there Bashaw Majore sat,
And, like the Syracusan49
in his fort,
Thought he could move whate'er he lay his hand upon
Could he obtain a borough but to stand upon.
And then how self-possessed the Spanish Callant,
(Whom I have just described so accurately,)
Exhibited that most annoying talent,
Evinced by most placarding statesmen lately,
Of treating with indifference non chalant
The queries put by magistrate so stately,
And then—(excuse me if I don't say why, Sir,)
Turning the tables on his catechiser.50
The warrant, like most warrants, was directed
To all good subjects and to any true one,
That he do bring—no matter how detected,—
Before the Mayor a Spaniard called Don Juan,
Of crimes and treasonous practices suspected,
Securing thus the presence of the buon
Cavaliero, and the marshalman:—
When thus the city Solomon began.
"Your name?" "Don Juan"—Well! your country?" "Spain,"—
"A Spaniard, are you!—well you must be taught here,
What never seems to have disturbed your brain,
How folks like you are treated when they're caught here;
Why came you here Sir?"—quoth the Mayor again,
Quoth Juan cooly, "wherefore was I brought here?"
And kept his countenance—a sin so flagrant,
'Twas thought he'd been committed for a vagrant.
"We've heard enough already of your pranks,
There's not a town in Europe does not scout you;
Expatriated first, the very Franks
Have branded you, you bear the marks about you;
To pour your venom thro' our lower ranks
You've now come here, —but they can do without you;
Altho' you think in London here to winter
What's your profession?—tell me Sir?" "a Printer!"—
"Know you of any plot to burn the City?"
"I've heard it said your Lordships' self has heard of it."
"You've heard it said,—and that you mean for witty,
There's treason and reform in full the third51
And such as you are traitors," "more's the pity!"
Said Juan, "but I don't believe a word of it."
"But, I believe it sir,—and mean to save it.52
The information is on affidavit."
"My Lord, you'll name th' informer if on oath,"
"Sir I shall not," — "my Lord that's rank oppression;
You I defy and your informer both;"
"Sir," quoth the mayor, "I ask for no confession,
But I'm by duty bound, tho' very loth;
To bind you over to the Quarter Session,
With two good honest bail that must be bound
With you in sureties for Five Hundred Pound."
So Juan looked about, and there were two
Stepped from the crowd who happened to be there,
Two men of wealth whom every body knew,
Except unluckily the worthy Mayor,
A pair of sturdy men of business, who
Resolved to see the stranger treated fair,
But, they were not admitted bail, altho' 'tis
Usual without the twenty four hours notice.
"My Lord, " said Juan, seemingly astonished,
"Is then all justice from your Lordship fled?
If you persist, illegally I'm punished,
The peril then be on your Lordship's head!"53
But not much liking so to be admonished,
Thus of his speech the Mayor snapped off the thread;
"Guards seize the traitor! to the Compter54
There let him learn obedience, we'll not spare him!"
And so the Don was marching off to prison,
(First having penned a note to dear Haidee;)
When like the great Lord Keeper's Scottish bison
Dabbled in blood and horrible to see,
A six-foot Butcher
with his steel uprisen,55
Rushed into court—familiar, frank and free,
With loud vociferation of expression
Startling the DIG of that supernal session.
And 'ere the Mayor, recovering from the pop,
Of such an apparition asked the reason,
The Butcher cried, "deserving Newgate drop,
Is every fool that circulates such treason!
Here have I been, your Worship, in my shop,
Arguing these three hours, in the melting season,
With half a dozen butchers who declare
There is a fool that fills a civic chair."
" 'A fool, a fool, we met a fool," said they,
(With senseless clamour to the charge returning)
'A motly fool,' that swore the other day
He smelt the brimstone some Guy Fawkes was burning;
Beneath the street gunpowder puncheons lay,
That would to heaven Bow steeple soon be spurning.
Besides a million pikes, with double edges,
Hid up for Radicals in Shoreditch hedges.
"At which, your Worship, with a Belcher stride,
I just stept up to one, and on my block
Pummelled his ORGANS,56
telling him he lied;
That I would answer for your noble stock,
That in a drove of such would be my pride;
But then because I fib, my hearty Cock,
Don't think of cooler argument I shy am,—
I say the Mayor's no more a fool than I am.
"And so I said, as loud as I could bellow,
And tell your Worship, to your Lordship's face,
I think you are by far the cleverest fellow
That ever occupied your Worship's place.
I told them so, the Raffs! with faces yellow,
Like their own tallow, a degenerate race!
They blustered about Russel, Hampden, Sydney,57
Say what you like, says I, the Mayor's a Lad of Kidney."
Uprose the Mayor with gratulating phiz,
"Butcher! we thank thee for thy kind defence;
We thank thee that thou didst exhibit Wis-
-Dom and disinterested Eloquence;
But prithee, as our advocate, dismiss
The force of English blows for English sense:
In one word, (misinterpretation barring)
Be bold my friend, —but, mitigate your sparring?"
Thereat, the noble Butcher's eyes struck fire,
Flashing like powder-pan both right and left,
And rose his leg of mutton fist in ire,
As if he would the Mayor in twain have cleft.
"Fought I for you!" quoth he, "and called a liar,
The scoundrels who your character bereft?
I s'pose from Gratitude as much you'd winced,
Had I the Radicals by wholesale minced!"
Then forth the Champion rushed—the Mayor uprose,
And for the day his myrmidons dismissed;
And went to seek the Mayoress I suppose,
The while a few disloyal varlets hissed;
I longed to see, I must confess it, those
With each a trusty handcuff on his wrist,
Awaiting quiz from that theatric jester
And pattern of humanity Sylvester
Daggerwood as played by Mr. Kean,58
Who had it for his benefit at Drury,
And hacked and slashed away thro' every scene
Upon our muscles risible like fury;
These hissing ragamuffins had they been,
As I was, in the pit that night I'm sure he
Would not have left one hissing sympton visible,—
I saved my life by being anti-risible.—
Meanwhile what happened in the night, and what
Became of all the bustle and the stirrage,
To counteract the mischief of the plot,
That had aroused such lots of zeal and courage,
And whether ever brought to light, or not,
I only know 'twas cause of much demurrage,
When gravely wiser men, and baldermen
Discussed it in the learned Court of Aldermen.
But Juan soundly slept within his cell,
Whereto the despot's mandate had consigned him;
I only hope his Lordship slept as well,
Who in the teeth of usage had confined him,
But being married, 'tis not fit I tell
What harrowing regrets he left behind him,—
And whether much he took the day in dudgeon—
I rather thought he did—but there's no judging.—
However, there he lay. And now suppose,
While Juan tranquilly his nap is taking,
We gently draw this Canto to a close—
(I think we need not dread his early waking)
I feel besides that I begin to prose,
My eyes being tired and my fingers aching
Which (be we Cantabrigians, or Oxonians,)
Is very fatal to us Heliconians59
But should not our 'Lieutenant of Police,'
With hand irreverent disturb my leisure,
And send the instruments of his caprice,
On Canto Three to make illegal seizure,
Its possible that I may still increase
With Canto Four your literary treasure;
That is, if Juan should'nt die in jail
Whilst the Lord Mayor's considering his bail.
Now, should the reader ask me in what age
This Juan lived, when all these things befel him,
And who were those I brought upon the stage,
If he can't find it out I won't compel him;
But, pondering deeply over every page,
I think he'll find—and least I that can tell him—
'Twas when Alphonso filled the Spanish throne,
And in the Mayoralty of Whittington.60
END OF CANTO III.
Printed by T. DAVIS, 102, Minories.