Slike strani

Slowly and sadly we all walk'd down

From his room in the uppermost story;
A rushlight we placed on the cold hearth-stone,
And we left him alone in his glory.

Hos ego versiculos feci, tulit alter honores.- Virgil.
I wrote the verses,
claimed them-he told stories.
Thomas Ingoldsby.

The following parody is copied literally from an old ballad sheet in the British Museum, bearing the imprint :-"Printed and sold by J. Pitts, 6 Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials." No date is given, but that it was prior to 1830 is shown by the reference to the "Charleys," a nick-name for the old London watchmen, who were superseded by the new police towards the end of 1829. But the crimes of Body-snatching, and " Burking," were not finally put a stop to until, by the act of 1832, provision was made for the wants of surgeons by permitting, under certain regulations, the dissection of persons dying in workhouses, etc. :—

NOT a trap was heard, or a Charley's note

As our course to the churchyard we hurried,
Not a pigman discharg'd a pistol shot

As a corse from the grave we unburied.

We nibbled it slily at dead of night,

The sod with our pick-axes turning,
By the nosing moonbeam's chaffing light,
And our lanterns so queerly burning.
Few and short were the words we said,
And we felt not a bit of sorrow,

But we rubb'd with rouge the face of the dead
And we thought of the spoil for to-morrow.
The useless shroud we tore from his breast
And then in regimentals bound him,
And he looked like a swoddy taking his rest,
With his lobster togs around him.

We thought as we fill'd up his narrow bed,
Our snatching trick now no look sees;
But the bulk and the sexton will find him fled,
And we far away towards Brooks's.

Largely they'll cheek 'bout the body that's gone
And poor Doctor Brooks will upbraid him ;
But nothing we care if they leave him alone
In a place where a snatcher has laid him.

But half of our snatching job was o'er,

When a pal tipt the sign quick for shuffling,
And we heard by the distant hoarse Charley's roar
That the beaks would be 'mongst us soon scuffling.

Slily and slowly we laid him down,

In our cart famed for staching in story;
Nicely and neatly we done 'em brown,
For we bolted away in our glory.

At the time when the first Reform Bill was under discussion its opponents constantly asserted that, if it were carried, the ancient constitution of the country would be swept

away, and that ruin, revolution, and anarchy would result. The following parody appeared in a Liberal newspaper of the period:


"Who will not be alive to the merits of the following verses on the death of the British Constitution, which has been dying for the last four years at least. The lament of the Conservative party over his death and burial abounds in feeling and sentiment worthy of its prototype."

Not a moan was heard-not a funeral note,
As his corpse to the devil they hurried,
Not a speaker discharged his farewell shot,
O'er the grave where our idol was buried.
They buried him darkly at dead of night,
With their threats our remonstrance turning,
By the struggling Stephen's misty light,
In the brazen socket burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,

In a sheet of parchment they bound him,
And he lay with Old Sarum for ever at rest,
With schedule A around him.

Few and short were the speeches said,

And we spoke not a word of sorrow,

But we mournfully looked on the face of the dead,
And thought of the coming morrow.

We thought as they tumbled him into his bed,
And laid him at rest on his pillow,

That the Radical soon would step over our head,
And we be turned out by the bill-oh!
Lightly they talk of the spirit that's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him,

But England's destroyed if they let him sleep on,
In the grave where Lord Russell has laid him.

But half our heavy task was done,

When the time came for ending the session,
And we heard by the sound of the Tower gun,
That the King was now in procession,

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the further defence of the Tory,
We carved not a line on his funeral stone,
But we left him alone in his glory.

Figaro in London, 8th September, 1832.

There was another parody of these celebrated lines published just after Mr. John O'Connell had threatened to die on the floor of the House of Commons, a threat which, of course, gave rise to more laughter than dismay :—


Written on the threatened Death (on the Floor of the House) of John O'Connell.

Not a groan was heard, not a pitying note,
As down on the floor he hurried;
Not a member offered to lend his coat,
Or ask'd how he'd like to be buried.

We looked at him slily at dead of night,
Our backs adroitly turning,
That he might not see us laugh outright
By the lights so brightly burning.
No useless advice we on him press'd,
Nor in argument we wound him;
But we left him to lie, and take his rest,
With his Irish clique around him.

Few and short were the speeches made,

And we spoke not a word in sorrow;

But we thought, as we look'd, though we leave him
He'll be fresh as a lark to-morrow. [for dead,

We thought, we'll be careful where we tread,
And avoid him where he's lying;

For if we should tumble over his head,
"Twould certainly send us flying.

Lightly they'll talk of him when they're gone,
And p'rhaps for his folly upbraid him;
But little he'll care, and again try it on,

Till the Serjeant-at-arms shall have stayed him.
But half of us asked, "What's now to be done?"
When the time arrived for retiring,
And we heard the door-keeper say, "It's no fun
Our attendance to watch him requiring."
Slowly and softly they shut the door,

After Radical, Whig, and Tory;
And muttering out, "We'll stop here no more,"
They left him alone in his glory.

Punch, December, 1847.



He looked glum when he heard, by a friendly note
Which, of course, his chum sent in a hurry,
That, alas! he had no testamur got;

And he felt in a deuce of a flurry.

He thought how he'd read at dead of night,
The page of Herodotus turning,

By the tallow-candle's flickering light,
Or the moderator burning.

No ruthless coughing arose from his chest,

Nor did indigestion wound him;

But he said-as the worry was breaking his rest"That Examiner-confound him!"

"What's the odds?" were the words that he said; But he choked not down his sorrow;

For he sadly remembered the hopes that were fled,
And pictured the "Governor's horror."
Then he thought, as he hurled himself into bed,
And dashed his head down on the pillow,
That his foe, the tailor, would want to be paid,
And would quickly be sending his bill, oh!
Very likely he thought (now his credit was gone),
"Oh! I wish with cold cash I had paid him ;
But nothing he'll get: I'll be off to Boulogne,"
And he went, out of Britain to shade him.

Just after his heavy sleep, each tone,

As the clock struck the hour, was mocking, And he fancied that many a ravenous dun

At the oak was sullenly knocking.

He cautiously put out his head, and looked down
From his room in the second story:
He saw but the quad, and its paving of stone;'
He was all alone,-in his glory (?)

JEREMY DIDDLER, Oxford. College Rhymes (T. & G. Shrimpton), Oxford, 1864.

"Not a laugh was heard, not a joyous note,
As our friend to the bridal we hurried;
Not a wit discharged his farewell shot,
As the bachelor went to be married.
"We married him quietly to save his fright,
Our heads from the sad sight turning;
And we sighed as we stood by the lamp's dim light,
To think he was not more discerning.
"To think that a bachelor free and bright,
And shy of the sex as we found him,
Should there at the altar, at dead of night,
Be caught in the snares that bound him.
"Few and short were the words that we said,
Though of wine and cake partaking;

We escorted him home from the scene of dread,
While his knees were awfully shaking.

"Slowly and sadly we marched him down,
From the first to the lowermost storey;
And we never have heard or seen the poor man
Whom we left alone in his glory.'

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These lines appeared in Notes and Queries June 27, 1868, and are said to have been written by Thomas Hood.


On two

"GENERAL O'NEILL, who, at the head of the Fenian forces recently invaded Canada, seems to combine, together with his love for Ireland, a certain amount of affection for the ordinary enjoyments of life; for one complaint against him is, that the morning of the attack, when awakened at three o'clock by a captain belonging to his quarters, he merely said, "All right!" and fell asleep again. subsequent occasions he was awakened with no more practical result, and on being called a fourth time, got up. Even then, however, he declined to proceed at once with the glorious work of liberating Ireland, but said, "He guessed he would wait till breakfast." After breakfast this great patriot advanced at the head of his forces, but being surprised by a party of Canadian Volunteers, who fired upon the Fenians, immediately retired to his quarters, where he was found very comfortably lodged, and was arrested by General Foster, the United States Marshal, for a breach of the neutrality laws."

Not a gun was heard, not a bugle note,
As over the border he hurried;
He took to his heels without firing a shot,
Only looking tremendously flurried.

No ridiculous scruples inspired his breast,
As over the ground he jolted;

Not caring a straw what became of the rest,
He unhesitatingly bolted.

And snug in his quarters, at dead of night,

The Yankee General found him;

His bed all ready, his candle alight,

And bottles of whisky around him.

And when at his door came the clanking and noise, His courage all sank to zero;

For, though at the head of the Fenian "bhoys," He wasn't exactly a hero.

When the Britishers find that he really is gone,
In impotent rage they upbraid him;
If Mr. O'NEILL they had laid hands upon

At that moment, they surely had flay'd him !

Few and short were the words they said-
They only expressed their sorrow
That they hadn't caught him, and put him to bed
Where he wouldn't wake up on the morrow.

But safe in New York, under FOSTER'S convoy,
He has gone to tell his own story;
Where "shut up" very much, this broth of a boy
Is at present alone in his glory!

Judy, 22nd June, 1870.


By a Good Templar in the Force. A groan was heard, like a funeral note,

From a toper in mud half-buried,

And our Serjeant "Drunk and incapable" wrote, When his form to the station we hurried.

We hurried him swiftly at dead of night, And oft with our truncheons spurning, Under many a gas-lamp's flickering light, Through alley and crooked turning.

In rags and tatters the toper was dressed, For in poverty drink had bound him. And he lay like a pig in a gutter at rest, With little pigs squeaking around him.

We lifted him up, but he fell as one dead,
And we tumbled him into a barrow;
And the idle spectators shouted and said,

"He'll be fined, with a caution, to-morrow!"

Lightly they talk of the spirit that's gone,
And o'er empty bottles upbraid him;
But little he'll reck, as they let him sleep on
In the cell where the constables laid him.

No curtains had he to his lonely bed,

And a rough deal plank was his pillow;

He will wake with parched throat and an aching head, And thirst that would drink up a billow.

Roughly, yet sadly, we laid him down,

That toper, worn, haggard, and hoary,

And wished that the dissolute youth of the town A warning might take from his story.

Funny Folks.


Not a hiss was heard, not an angry yell,
Though of both 'twas surely deserving-
When, cruelly murdered, Macbeth fel
By the hand of the eminent Irving.
He murdered him, lengthily, that night,
With his new and original reading.
Till his efforts left him in sorry plight,

And the sweat on his brow was bleeding.
Five different garments enclosed his breast,
Five brand-new dresses were found him,
Though in never a one did he look at rest,

Though the people might sleep around him.
Many and long were the words he said,
Till we wished in fervent sorrow,

We could only get home to our welcome bed,
And we vowed not to come on the morrow.

We thought as he quivered, and gasped, and strode,
And made us long for our pillow,

That a taste of his tragic genius he owed

To our cousins far over the billow.

Even there, though his fame before has gone;
He may find it melt in a minute;

But little he'll reck, if they let him act on
In a play with a murderer in it.

But half the heavy play was o'er

When we seized the chance for retiring,
And left him grovelling about on the floor,
With his friends all madly admiring,

Sadly we thought as we went away,
From his acting so dreary and gory,
That the eminent I, if he's wise will not play,
Macbeth any more, if for glory.

The Figaro, 16th October, 1875.

This critic, who left the theatre before the tragedy was half over, was, of course, eminently qualified to point out the shortcomings of Mr. Irving in the part of Macbeth. But perhaps the critic had forgotten that the leading character has one, or two, rather strong situations towards the end of the play, which he should have witnessed before condemning the actor.

Not a cheer was heard, not a joyous note,
As the Bill to the tellers we hurried;
So solemn and dread is the midnight vote
When a title has to be buried.

We rolled up our sleeve and took off our coat,
To make it a question burning;
We strained every nerve to set it afloat,
The hate of all Englishmen earning.

They hurled at us gibe, and mud so foul
(There's much of it still adhering),

And we knew by the distant and random growl That the foe was sullenly sneering.

Oh, little we reck of the name that's fled

(That Lowe's a most impudent monkey);

For "Empreth" sounds sweetly when lispingly said By the lips of some courtly flunkey.

'Twas fondly imagined a title of might,
Renowned in an ancient story;

But we dug a deep hole and rammed it in tight,
And left it alone in its glory!

The Figaro, April 8, 1876.

One of the arguments against Mr. Disraeli's Titles Bill, was that Empress was likely altogether to supersede the older, and more constitutional, title of Queen. The lapse of but a few years has shown how groundless was this apprehension, for except in state documents or Daily Telegraph leaders, the title of Empress is never employed.

In November, 1879, The Weekly Dispatch (a high-class London Liberal newspaper) commenced a series of Prize Competitions, the subjects, and methods of treatment, being indicated by the Prize Editor. On April 18, 1880, the prize of Two Guineas was for the best Poem on the Downfall of the Beaconsfield Government, in the form of a parody of "The Burial of Sir John Moore." It was awarded to Mr. D. Evans, 63, Talma Road, Brixton, S. E., for the following:

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(From a Tory point of view.)

Not a hum was heard, not a jubilant note,
As away from the House we all scurried-
Not a Liberal's tear bedewed the spot,

The grave where our hopes were buried.

We buried them sadly and deep that night,
For we had no hope of returning,

By Reason's bright returning light,

And our hearts were sadly yearning.

Few indeed were the words we said,

But though few they were pregnant with sorrow,

As we all in search of Benjamin fled

To inspire us with hope for the morrow.

No gaudy star was upon his breast,

No ermine cloak was around him,

Yet he stood like a man who had feathered his nest ; And he smiled at us all, confound him!

We thought, as we left with a silent tread,

Of Cross and his dreadful Water,

That the Liberals would soon be seen there instead,
And we far away from that quarter.

Lightly they'll talk of us when we have gone,
And of course they've a right to abuse us;
But little we'd care if they'd let us keep on

In our places and wouldn't refuse us.

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"Mr. Burnand's good-natured but well-directed chaff in 'Blue Beard,' at the Gaiety, may be said to have ridiculed that curious product of modern civilisation, the Masher, out of existence. His continued life now seems to be impossible." -Daily Paper.

NOT a laugh was heard, not a cheery sound,
As the song to an encore was hurried;
Not a man in the stalls to cheer was found,
On the night that the Masher was buried.

He'd come before to a parlous pass,

Sore stricken by TRUTH'S endeavour;
But "Blue Beard" gave him his coup de grace,
And finished him once for ever!

It killed and buried him sitting there,
By ridicule on him turning;

'Neath the shifting lime-light's brilliant glare, With the footlights brightly burning.

His wired gardenia graced his breast,
And sodden in scent one found him,

As he sat there sucking his stick with zest,
With his three-inch collar around him.

A deep red groove in his puffy throat,

That collar's starched edge was flaying;

And the bow trimmed pumps, on which youths now dote, Were the clocks of his hose displaying.

Pearl-headed pins kept his tie in place,

And his shirt-front's wealth of whiteness

Made yet more sallow his pasty face,

More dazzling his chest-stud's brightness.

No thought worth thinking was in his breast,
Nor on his dull brain was flashing,
But he sat encased in his board-like vest,
Equipped for the evening's mashing.

But few and short were the leers he gave
At the chorus-girls singing before him;
For cold and swift as an ocean wave,

The chaff of Purnand swept o'er him.

And vainly he turn'd, sore at heart and sick,
Some hope from the "Johnnies" to borrow;
For they steadfastly sucked every one his stick,
And most bitterly thought of the morrow.

They thought, as the dramatist chaffed them to death,
And foreshadowed their doom so plainly,

That they next morning, with feverish breath,
Might demand devilled prawns all vainly;

That their faith in the curried egg might go,
And a cayenne salad not serve them,

Nor champagne cheer when their "tone" was low,
Nor a fricassee'd oyster nerve them!

They felt that the power to attention gain
Would surely henceforth evade them,

And that public contempt would let them remain

In the grave where a "Blue Beard" had laid them.

And so, when Burnand his task had done,

And received a right warm ovation,

Of all the Mashers was left not one;

'Twas complete annihilation.

And they buried them there, where they first were born,
With gardenias on them clustered-

In the mashing garbs that they long had worn-
Near the stalls where they'd nightly mustered.

Blithely and gaily they laid them down,

Nor heard was a sob nor a sigh there;

And they carved not a line and they raised not a stoneFor the Mashers were worthy of neither!

Truth, March 22, 1883.

NEVER JOHN MOORE; OR, THE REJECTED SUITOR. (An old story by an Old Bachelor.}

(With sincere apologies to the Rev. Charles Wolfe--for the sheep's clothing.)


He felt highly absurd, as he put on his coat,
And, of course, exceedingly worried;
He swore he'd never return to the spot,
As out of the front door he scurried.


He tried to banish her face from his sight,
She for whom he was yearning;
Hadn't Fred said, he knew he was right,
And that she was fond of spurning.


But who'd have thought-ah, even guessedThat after she had caught and bound him;

It was to be but a flirting jest,

An impartia! joke to sound him.


Few and short were the words he had said,
Only this-only this, "love be mine."
She gave him a rap with her fan on his head,
And laughingly left him to pine.


What was he to do? should he hate her instead?
Or weeping wail, waly willow;

Or wiping away the tears he had shed,
Launch in some fresh peccadillo?


Lightly they'd talked in the days that were gone,

In arbours and in kitchen gardens;

Only to find his poor heart torn

By devotion, which her hard heart hardens.


The moral of this I hope you won't shun,
Don't be in your mind too enquiring,
Don't fall in love, or as sure as a gun,
You're not cared for by her you're admiring.


Talk to them civilly and leave them alone,
And this is the end of my story,

And as I don't mean to alter my tone,

I drink to all flirts "con amore."

From Cribblings from the Pocts (Jones & Piggott), Cambridge, 1883.

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