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Since the year 1845 Alfred Tennyson has been in the receipt of a civil list pension of £200 a year, so that, in round figures, he has received about £8,000 of the public money, besides drawing the annual salary of £100 since his appointment as Poet Laureate, November, 1850. The sale of his works, has also, of course, been greatly increased, owing to his official title, and the present fortunate holder of the laurels enjoys a fortune much in excess of that of any of his predecessors in office. From the days of Ben Jonson downwards, the Poets Laureate have been paid to sing the praises of the Royal Family; of these Laureates, Jonson, Dryden, Southey, and Wordsworth were true poets, but the others in the line of succession were mere rhymesters, whose very names are now all but forgotten. Eusden, Cibber, and Pye were unremitting in their production of New Year, and Birthday Odes, but Southey did little in this way, and Wordsworth would not stoop to compose any official poems whatever, although he wore the laurels for seven years.

It was reserved for Alfred Tennyson to revive the custom, and he has composed numerous adulatory poems on events in the domestic history of our Royal Family.

The smallest praise that can be bestowed on Tennyson's official poems is that they are immeasurably superior to any produced by former Laureates, and will probably long retain their popularity. The death of the Princess Charlotte (heiress presumptive to the throne) in 1817 was, no doubt, considered at the time a greater public loss than was the death of Prince Albert in 1861; yet who now reads Southey's poems in her praise? Whereas the beauty of Tennyson's Dedication of the Idylls. of the King will cause it to be remembered when people have forgotten the Prince to whom it was inscribed.

This Dedication commences thus:

"THESE to his Memory-since he held them dear,
Perhaps as finding there unconsciously
Some image of himself-I dedicate,

I dedicate,-I consecrate with tears-
These Idylls,

And indeed he seems to me

Scarce other than my own ideal knight." Continuing in this strain for another fifty lines,

NOTE.-Poets Laureate, with the dates of their appointment:-Benjamin Jonson, 1615-16; Sir William Davenant, 1638; John Dryden, 1670; Thomas Shadwell, 1688; Nahum Tate, 1692; Nicholas Rowe, 1715; Lawrence Eusden, 1718; Colley Cibber, 1730; William Whitehead 1757: Thomas Warton, 1785; Henry James Pye, 1790 Robert Southey, 1813; William Wordsworth, 1843; and Alfred Tennyson, 19th November, 1850.

Tennyson credits the Prince with every conceivable virtue, after which it is a relief to turn to a parody taken from The Coming K

THESE to his memory-since he held them dear,
Perchance as finding there unwittingly
Some picture of himself-I dedicate,

I dedicate-I consecrate with smiles-
These Idle Lays-

Indeed, He seemed to me

Scarce other than my own ideal liege,
Who did not muchly care to trouble take;
But his concern was, comfortable ease
To dress in well-cut tweeds, in doe-skin suits,
In pants of patterns marvellous to see;
To smoke good brands; to quaff rare vintages;
To feed himself with dainty meats withal;
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade;
To toy with what Nerea calls her hair;
And, in a general, way, to happy be,
If possible, and always debonair;

Who spake few wise things; did some foolish ones;
Who was good hearted, and by no means stiff;
Who loved himself as well as any man;

He who throughout his realms to their last isle
Was known full well, whose portraiture was found
In ev'ry album.

We have lost him; he is gone;
We know him now; ay, ay, perhaps too well,
For now we see him as he used to be,
How shallow, larky, genial-hearted,
With how much of self-satisfaction blessed-
Not swaying to this faction nor to that,
Because, perhaps, he neither understood;
Not making his high place a Prussian perch
Of War's ambition, but the vantage ground
Of comfort; and through a long tract of years,
Wearing a bouquet in his button-hole;
Once playing a thousand nameless little games,
Till communistic cobblers gleeful danced,
And democratic delvers hissed. "Ha! ha!"
Who dared foreshadow, then, for his own son
A looser life, one less distraught than his ?
Or how could Dilkland, dreaming of his sons,
Have hoped less for them than some heritance
Of such a life, a heart, a mind as thine,
Thou noble father of her kings to be,-
If fate so wills it, O most potent K-
The patron once of Polo and of Poole,
Of actors and leviathan "comiques ;'
Once dear to Science as to Art; once dear
To Sanscrit erudition as to either,
Dear to thy country in a double sense;
Dear to purveyors ; ay, a liege, indeed,
Beyond all titles, and a household name,
Hereafter, through all times, Guelpho the Gay!


The Coming K-was published about twelve years ago as one of Beeton's Christmas Annuals, and created a sensation at the time, as it dealt with some social scandals then fresh in the public mind. After enjoying a rapid sale it was suddenly withdrawn in a mysterious manner from circulation, and is now rather scarce. Following the Dedication, just quoted, are parodies of the Idylls of the King, with the following titles:-The Coming of

Guelpho; Heraint and Shenid; Vilien; Loosealot and Delaine; the Glass of Ale; Silleas and Getarre; The last Carnival; and Goanveer. In each of these parts there are parodies well worthy of preservation, but space will only admit of the insertion of the following extracts, one taken from Vilien, the other from Goanveer.

In Vilien, the then prevalent crazes for Spiritualism, Table Rapping, and Cabinet séances are satirised; Vilien seeks out Herlin the Wizard, and thus begs him to reveal the one great secret of his art

"I EVER feared you were not wholly mine,
And see-you ask me what it is I want?
Yet people call you wizard-why is this?
What is it makes you seem so proud and cold?
Yet if you'd really know what boon I ask,
Then tell me, dearest Herlin, ere I go,

The charm with which you make your table rap;
What passes of the waving hand it needs
To make it tilt upon its ebon legs,
And rap out secrets to the listening world,
'Tis this I want to know; this must I know
As proof of trust.

O yield my boon, And grant my re-iterated wish,

Then will I love you, ay, and you shall kiss My grateful lips-you shall upon my word."

And Herlin took his hand from hers and said,
"O Vilien, ask not this, but aught beside,
Would'st know the bottle trick? I'll tell it thee,
The magic candles? Them will I explain
But as thou lov'st me, Vilien, do not ask
The way in which I make the table rap.
O ask it not !"

And Vilien, like the tenderest-hearted maid
That ever jilted swain or lover mocked,
Made answer, either eyelid wet with tears:
"Nay, Herlin, if you love me, say not so ;
You do but tease to talk to me like this.
Methinks you hardly know the tender rhyme
Of Trust me for all in all, or not at all.'
I heard a 'comique' sing the verses once,
And they shall answer for me. List the song :

'In love, 'tis as in trade; if trade were ours, Credit and cash could ne'er be equal powersGive trust to all, or don't give trust at all.

It is the little rift within the lute

That cracks the sound and makes the music mute, And leaves the banjo nothing worth at all.

It is the little moth within the suit,
It is the merry maggot in the fruit,
That worming surely, slowly ruins all.

It is the little leaven makes the lump,
It is the little piston works the pump;
And A-L-L spells ALL, and—all is all.'

O, Herlin, do you understand my rhyme?"
And Herlin coughed, and owned that he did not.

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And Vilien, naught abashed, replied again :

'Lo, now, how silly you must be, you know,

My simple stanzas not to understand;

'Tis thus our truest poets write their rhymes;
They try their sense and meaning to conceal;
But you should solve their riddles, though 'tis said
They don't the answers know themselves, sometimes.
However, be that as it may, I think

I'll give you one verse more. So Vilien sang:
"That sign, once mine, is thine, ay, closelier mine,
For what is thine is mine, and mine is thine,
And this, I much opine, is line on line;
So learn the obvious moral once for all.”
But Herlin looked aghast, as well he might,
Nor knew the teaching of her little song.

The last legend, that of Goanveer, tells how"FLEET Goanveer had lost the race, and stood There in the stable near to Epsom Downs."

The Coming K had backed this mare heavily, but his trusted friend, Sir Looscalot, obtaining access to her stable the night before the race, had drugged her, so that on the day she hobbled sickly to the winning-post. By this evil trick Sir Loosealot wins much, whilst the Coming K- is a heavy loser. Guelpho visits the mare in her stable, and thus addresses her, in a parody of the celebrated passage in Guinevere, where Arthur parts from his faithless Queen :-

"AND all went well till on the turf I went,
Believing thou would'st fortune bring to me,
And place me higher yet in name and fame.
Then came the shameful act of Loosealot;
Then came thy breaking down in that great race;
And now my name's worth nil at Tattersall's,
And all my knights can curl their lips at me;
Can say 'I've come a cropper,' and the like,
And all through thee and he-and him, I mean-
But slips will happen at a time like this.
Canst wonder I am sad when thus I see
I am contemned amongst my chiefest knights?
When I am hinted at in public prints
As being a man who sold the people's race?
But think not, Goanveer, my matchless mare,
Thy lord has wholly lost his love for thee.
Yet must I leave thee to thy shame, for how
Couldst thou be entered for a race again?
The public would not hear of it; nay, more,
Would hoot and hound thee from the racing course,
Being one they had loved, yet one on whom they had

He paused, and in the pause the mare rejoiced.
For he relaxed the caresses of his arms;
And, thinking he had done, the mare did neigh,
As with delight; but Guelpho spake again :—

"Yet, think not that I come to urge thy faults;

I did not come to curse thee, Goanveer;
The wrath which first I felt when thou brok'st down
Is past-it never will again return.

I came to take my last fond leave of thee,
For I shall ne'er run mare or horse again.
O silky mane, with which I used to play
At Hampton! O most perfect equine form,

And points the like of which no mare yet had
Till thou was't bred! O fetlocks, neater far
Than many a woman's ankles ! O grand hocks
That faltered feebly on that fatal day!
O noble quarters! And O Goanveer !

Yet, Goanveer, I bid thee now good-bye,
And leave thee, feeling yet a love for thee,
As one who first my racing instinct stirred,
As one who taught me to abjure the turf.
Hereafter we may meet-I cannot tell ;
Thy future may be happy-so I wish.
But this I pray, on no account henceforth
Make mixture of your water-drink it neat ;
I charge thee this. And now I must go hence;
Through the thick night I hear the whistle blow
That tells me that my 'special' waits to start.
Thou wilt stay here awhile, so be at rest;
Bnt hither shall I never come again,
Or ever pat thy neck, or see thee more,

Take him, O attic, and rock him to sleep!
Strew a viceregal shakedown on the floor!
Welcome him, welcome him, all that is cheap!
Sing, Prima Donna, and fashion stare!
Scrape up your regiments, weak and few,
Hurry, ye Commons, and all be there,
To swell the pomp of the grand review!
Chuckle, Britannia! a Sultan? pooh!
A nobody? don't we know who's who,
Ismail Pasha!

Seeking quarters for change of air,
Come to us, love us (but pay your fare)—
Guests such us you we are happy to see;
Come to us, love us, and have we not shown,
In breakfast, and luncheon, and dinner, and tea,
Kindness to strangers as great as your own?
For Jacksons, O'Tooles, and McStunners we,
Viceroy, Khidevé, or whatever you be,

Yet thorough John Bulls in our welcome of thee,
Ismail Pasha !

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In 1869, Ismail Pasha, the Viceroy of Egypt, visited this country, and the following welcome appeared in The Tomahawk of July 10, 1869.

PLAGUE of Egypt from over the sea,
Ismail Pasha !
Viceroy, Khidevé, or whatever you be,
Jacksons, O'Tooles, and McStunners are we,
But all John Bulls in our welcome of thee,
Ismail Pasha!

Welcome him, blunder of escort and suite,
Mounted inspector, and mob in the street!
Call up the first cab his Highness to meet !
Throw his hat-box and Bradshaw and rug on the seat!
Welcome him! feast him with fourpenny treat,
One glass of old ale and a sandwich to eat!
Scatter, O Royalty, gold for his keep!
Dream, all ye tradesmen of harvests to reap!
The Palace is empty, our pockets are deep!
Fling wide, O menial, the grand back door!

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"The promise of May' was a little bit late, And a fox jumped over a parson's gate,

And he had my cochins, too, if you please, With a cat to the cream, which was not the cheese; And a guinea a line is about the rate

You must pay for what flows from the poet's pate

When the blue fire wakes up the whole of the town; And I'm sure I don't know what to say about Brown. But whatever I say and whatever I sing Will be worth to an obulus what it will bring!

The Referee, September, 1883.

It is generally admitted that Tennyson's recent official poetry has added little to his fame, and, of late, his adulatory poems have frequently been ascribed to interested motives. As soon as it was definitely announced that he was to be ennobled,

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The following parody appeared in a Dublin newspaper a few days later. Dr. Waller, who is mentioned in it, was then the Chairman of the Connoree Copper and Sulphur Mines, in the Vale of Avoca, which were also visited by the Engineers.


"HALF-PAST nine, August threeHalf-past nine-onward ! Off to the Vartry Works

Went some two hundred. Off to the Vartry Works, Where the good water lurks, Down on the Wicklow line, Thinking of how they'd dine; Toasting with best of wine, Off-with the weather fine

Went the two hundred,

"""Forward!' said Sir John Gray,
On to the station, Bray,
There, there was some delay.
Some of the party said

'Waller has blundered.'

But they were wrong to doubt-
Forty-three cars set out,

On from the station there,
Into the mountain air-
Through Wicklow's mountain air-

Drove the two hundred.

"Arrived at the Vartry stream, Inspected each each shaft and beam; Saw how the men with spade Embankments and puddle made; Crowds there of every grade

Admired and wondered. Gray, like an engineer

Explained what was strange or queer; All the works, far and near,

He showed the two hundred.

"Then through the Vartry pipes As niggers bend to stripes,

Right through these monster pipes,
Like string through a bodkin,

Sir John led a lot of us,
Making small shot of us;
The first man he caught of us,

Was our London Times-Godkin,

"Done with the Vartry Works,
Flashed all our knives and forks;
To work, like some hungry Turks,'
Went the two hundred.
Soup, fish, meat, fowl, and ham,
Ice, jellies, pies, and jam;
At this wild mountain cram

All the guests wondered.
'Champagne to the right of them,
Champagne to the left of them,
Champagne around them,

Popping and spurting.

Toasts then came from the chair,
Toasting the ladies fair,
But not a female there,

Therefore no flirting.

"Good wine of every sort, Speeches with joke and sport ; Then they went back again,

But not the two hundred. Some of them went astray, O'er hills and far away, But, getting home next day, Made up the two hundred."

W. S.

The initials "W. S.," probably stand for the name of the late Mr. William Smith, a gentleman wellknown in Dublin literary circles, as the author of many clever parodies which appeared over the nom de plume of "Billy Scribble.


A good way after A. Tennyson's "Six Hundred,"

Up the stairs, up the stairs,
Up the stairs, onward!
Joe took, all out of breath,
Coals, half a hundred !
Up he went, still as death,
Lest they had wondered
That I, with a cellar large,

Bought by the "Hundred !" "Forward! the light evade! Let 'em not know," I said; "Glide up as still as death,

With the Half-hundred !' Let them be gently laid! No sound as by earthquake made When the ground's sunder'd! You here, if one should spy, Wondering the reason why? I with the shame should die ! So crawl up as still as death, With the Half-hundred !'"


A cat on the right of him!
Cat on the left of him!
Cat at the front of him!

What if he blundered?
Slipt his foot! clean he fell!
Came then a horrid yell!
Joe looked as pale as death,
As down they came pell mell,

All the "Half-hundred

Out popt the "party" there!
Wondering what meant that ere
Noise on the landing stair!

All stood and wonder'd!
Dust-clouds of coal and coke!
Made them all nearly choke !
Oh! such a dreadful smoke!
As from the second floor

Rolled the "Half-hundred !"

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