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Fifty Bab Ballads by William S. Gilbert

Part 3 out of 3

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As I've already told).

He carried Art, he often said,
To places where that timid maid
(Save by Colonial Bishops' aid)
Could never hope to roam.
The Payne-cum-Lauri feat he taught
As he had learnt it; for he thought
The choicest fruits of Progress ought
To bless the Negro's home.

And he had other work to do,
For, while he tossed upon the Blue,
The islanders of Rum-ti-Foo
Forgot their kindly friend.
Their decent clothes they learnt to tear -
They learnt to say, "I do not care,"
Though they, of course, were well aware
How folks, who say so, end.

Some sailors, whom he did not know,
Had landed there not long ago,
And taught them "Bother!" also, "Blow!"
(Of wickedness the germs).
No need to use a casuist's pen
To prove that they were merchantmen;
No sailor of the Royal N.
Would use such awful terms.

And so, when BISHOP PETER came
(That was the kindly Bishop's name),
He heard these dreadful oaths with shame,
And chid their want of dress.
(Except a shell--a bangle rare -
A feather here--a feather there
The South Pacific Negroes wear
Their native nothingness.)

He taught them that a Bishop loathes
To listen to disgraceful oaths,
He gave them all his left-off clothes -
They bent them to his will.
The Bishop's gift spreads quickly round;
In PETER'S left-off clothes they bound
(His three-and-twenty suits they found
In fair condition still).

The Bishop's eyes with water fill,
Quite overjoyed to find them still
Obedient to his sovereign will,
And said, "Good Rum-ti-Foo!
Half-way I'll meet you, I declare:
I'll dress myself in cowries rare,
And fasten feathers in my hair,
And dance the 'Cutch-chi-boo!'" {13}

And to conciliate his See
The youngest of his twenty-three,
Tall--neither fat nor thin.
(And though the dress he made her don
Looks awkwardly a girl upon,
It was a great improvement on
The one he found her in.)

The Bishop in his gay canoe
(His wife, of course, went with him too)
To some adjacent island flew,
To spend his honeymoon.
Some day in sunny Rum-ti-Foo
A little PETER'll be on view;
And that (if people tell me true)
Is like to happen soon.


AN actor--GIBBS, of Drury Lane -
Of very decent station,
Once happened in a part to gain
Excessive approbation:
It sometimes turns a fellow's brain
And makes him singularly vain
When he believes that he receives
Tremendous approbation.

His great success half drove him mad,
But no one seemed to mind him;
Well, in another piece he had
Another part assigned him.
This part was smaller, by a bit,
Than that in which he made a hit.
So, much ill-used, he straight refused
To play the part assigned him.

* * * * * * * *



In fighting with a robber band
(A thing he loved sincerely)
A sword struck GIBBS upon the hand,
And wounded it severely.
At first he didn't heed it much,
He thought it was a simple touch,
But soon he found the weapon's bound
Had wounded him severely.

To Surgeon COBB he made a trip,
Who'd just effected featly
An amputation at the hip
Particularly neatly.
A rising man was Surgeon COBB
But this extremely ticklish job
He had achieved (as he believed)
Particularly neatly.

The actor rang the surgeon's bell.
"Observe my wounded finger,
Be good enough to strap it well,
And prithee do not linger.
That I, dear sir, may fill again
The Theatre Royal Drury Lane:
This very night I have to fight -
So prithee do not linger."

"I don't strap fingers up for doles,"
Replied the haughty surgeon;
"To use your cant, I don't play roles
Utility that verge on.
First amputation--nothing less -
That is my line of business:
We surgeon nobs despise all jobs
Utility that verge on

"When in your hip there lurks disease"
(So dreamt this lively dreamer),
"Or devastating caries
In humerus or femur,
If you can pay a handsome fee,
Oh, then you may remember me -
With joy elate I'll amputate
Your humerus or femur."

The disconcerted actor ceased
The haughty leech to pester,
But when the wound in size increased,
And then began to fester,
He sought a learned Counsel's lair,
And told that Counsel, then and there,
How COBB'S neglect of his defect
Had made his finger fester.

"Oh, bring my action, if you please,
The case I pray you urge on,
And win me thumping damages
From COBB, that haughty surgeon.
He culpably neglected me
Although I proffered him his fee,
So pray come down, in wig and gown,
On COBB, that haughty surgeon!"

That Counsel learned in the laws,
With passion almost trembled.
He just had gained a mighty cause
Before the Peers assembled!
Said he, "How dare you have the face
To come with Common Jury case
To one who wings rhetoric flings
Before the Peers assembled?"

Dispirited became our friend -
Depressed his moral pecker -
"But stay! a thought!--I'll gain my end,
And save my poor exchequer.
I won't be placed upon the shelf,
I'll take it into Court myself,
And legal lore display before
The Court of the Exchequer."

He found a Baron--one of those
Who with our laws supply us -
In wig and silken gown and hose,
As if at Nisi Prius.
But he'd just given, off the reel,
A famous judgment on Appeal:
It scarce became his heightened fame
To sit at Nisi Prius.

Our friend began, with easy wit,
That half concealed his terror:
"Pooh!" said the Judge, "I only sit
In Banco or in Error.
Can you suppose, my man, that I'd
O'er Nisi Prius Courts preside,
Or condescend my time to spend
On anything but Error?"

"Too bad," said GIBBS, "my case to shirk!
You must be bad innately,
To save your skill for mighty work
Because it's valued greatly!"
But here he woke, with sudden start.

* * * * * * * *

He wrote to say he'd play the part.
I've but to tell he played it well -
The author's words--his native wit
Combined, achieved a perfect "hit" -
The papers praised him greatly.


An excellent soldier who's worthy the name
Loves officers dashing and strict:
When good, he's content with escaping all blame,
When naughty, he likes to be licked.

He likes for a fault to be bullied and stormed,
Or imprisoned for several days,
And hates, for a duty correctly performed,
To be slavered with sickening praise.

No officer sickened with praises his corps
So little as MAJOR LA GUERRE -
No officer swore at his warriors more

Their soldiers adored them, and every grade
Delighted to hear their abuse;
Though whenever these officers came on parade
They shivered and shook in their shoes.

For, oh! if LA GUERRE could all praises withhold,
Why, so could MAKREDI PREPERE,
And, oh! if MAKREDI could bluster and scold,
Why, so could the mighty LA GUERRE.

"No doubt we deserve it--no mercy we crave -
Go on--you're conferring a boon;
We would rather be slanged by a warrior brave,
Than praised by a wretched poltroon!"

MAKREDI would say that in battle's fierce rage
True happiness only was met:
Poor MAJOR MAKREDI, though fifty his age,
Had never known happiness yet!

LA GUERRE would declare, "With the blood of a foe
No tipple is worthy to clink."
Poor fellow! he hadn't, though sixty or so,
Yet tasted his favourite drink!

They agreed at their mess--they agreed in the glass -
They agreed in the choice of their "set,"
And they also agreed in adoring, alas!
The Vivandiere, pretty FILLETTE.

Agreement, you see, may be carried too far,
And after agreeing all round
For years--in this soldierly "maid of the bar,"
A bone of contention they found!

It may seem improper to call such a pet -
By a metaphor, even--a bone;
But though they agreed in adoring her, yet
Each wanted to make her his own.

"On the day that you marry her," muttered PREPERE
(With a pistol he quietly played),
"I'll scatter the brains in your noddle, I swear,
All over the stony parade!"

"I cannot do THAT to you," answered LA GUERRE,
"Whatever events may befall;
But this I CAN do--IF YOU wed her, mon cher!
I'll eat you, moustachios and all!"

The rivals, although they would never engage,
Yet quarrelled whenever they met;
They met in a fury and left in a rage,
But neither took pretty FILLETTE.

"I am not afraid," thought MAKREDI PREPERE:
"For country I'm ready to fall;
But nobody wants, for a mere Vivandiere,
To be eaten, moustachios and all!

"Besides, though LA GUERRE has his faults, I'll allow
He's one of the bravest of men:
My goodness! if I disagree with him now,
I might disagree with him then."

"No coward am I," said LA GUERRE, "as you guess -
I sneer at an enemy's blade;
But I don't want PREPERE to get into a mess
For splashing the stony parade!"

One day on parade to PREPERE and LA GUERRE
And trembling all over, he prayed of them there
To give him the pretty FILLETTE.

"You see, I am willing to marry my bride
Until you've arranged this affair;
I will blow out my brains when your honours decide
Which marries the sweet Vivandiere!"

"Well, take her,' said both of them in a duet
(A favourite form of reply),
"But when I am ready to marry FILLETTE.
Remember you've promised to die!"

He married her then: from the flowery plains
Of existence the roses they cull:
He lived and he died with his wife; and his brains
Are reposing in peace in his skull.


EMILY JANE was a nursery maid,
JAMES was a bold Life Guard,
JOHN was a constable, poorly paid
(And I am a doggerel bard).

A very good girl was EMILY JANE,
JIMMY was good and true,
JOHN was a very good man in the main
(And I am a good man too).

Rivals for EMMIE were JOHNNY and JAMES,
Though EMILY liked them both;
She couldn't tell which had the strongest claims
(And _I_ couldn't take my oath).

But sooner or later you're certain to find
Your sentiments can't lie hid -
JANE thought it was time that she made up her mind
(And I think it was time she did).

Said JANE, with a smirk, and a blush on her face,
"I'll promise to wed the boy
Who takes me to-morrow to Epsom Race!"
(Which I would have done, with joy).

From JOHNNY escaped an expression of pain,
But Jimmy said, "Done with you!
I'll take you with pleasure, my EMILY JANE!"
(And I would have said so too).

JOHN lay on the ground, and he roared like mad
(For JOHNNY was sore perplexed),
And he kicked very hard at a very small lad
(Which _I_ often do, when vexed).

For JOHN was on duty next day with the Force,
To punish all Epsom crimes;
Young people WILL cross when they're clearing the course
(I do it myself, sometimes).

* * * * * * * *

The Derby Day sun glittered gaily on cads,
On maidens with gamboge hair,
On sharpers and pickpockets, swindlers and pads,
(For I, with my harp, was there).

And JIMMY went down with his JANE that day,
And JOHN by the collar or nape
Seized everybody who came in his way
(And _I_ had a narrow escape).

He noticed his EMILY JANE with JIM,
And envied the well-made elf;
And people remarked that he muttered "Oh, dim!"
(I often say "dim!" myself).

JOHN dogged them all day, without asking their leaves;
For his sergeant he told, aside,
That JIMMY and JANE were notorious thieves
(And I think he was justified).

But JAMES wouldn't dream of abstracting a fork,
And JENNY would blush with shame
At stealing so much as a bottle or cork
(A bottle I think fair game).

But, ah! there's another more serious crime!
They wickedly strayed upon
The course, at a critical moment of time
(I pointed them out to JOHN).

The constable fell on the pair in a crack -
And then, with a demon smile,
Let JENNY cross over, but sent JIMMY back
(I played on my harp the while).

Stern JOHNNY their agony loud derides
With a very triumphant sneer -
They weep and they wail from the opposite sides
(And _I_ shed a silent tear).

And JENNY is crying away like mad,
And JIMMY is swearing hard;
And JOHNNY is looking uncommonly glad
(And I am a doggerel bard).

But JIMMY he ventured on crossing again
The scenes of our Isthmian Games -
JOHN caught him, and collared him, giving him pain
(I felt very much for JAMES).

JOHN led him away with a victor's hand,
And JIMMY was shortly seen
In the station-house under the grand Grand Stand
(As many a time I'VE been).

And JIMMY, bad boy, was imprisoned for life,
Though EMILY pleaded hard;
And JOHNNY had EMILY JANE to wife
(And I am a doggerel bard).


Old PETER led a wretched life -
Old PETER had a furious wife;
Old PETER too was truly stout,
He measured several yards about.

The little fairy PICKLEKIN
One summer afternoon looked in,
And said, "Old PETER, how de do?
Can I do anything for you?

"I have three gifts--the first will give
Unbounded riches while you live;
The second health where'er you be;
The third, invisibility."

"O little fairy PICKLEKIN,"
Old PETER answered with a grin,
"To hesitate would be absurd, -
Undoubtedly I choose the third."

"'Tis yours," the fairy said; "be quite
Invisible to mortal sight
Whene'er you please. Remember me
Most kindly, pray, to MRS. P."

Old MRS. PETER overheard
Wee PICKLEKIN'S concluding word,
And, jealous of her girlhood's choice,
Said, "That was some young woman's voice:

Old PETER let her scold and swear -
Old PETER, bless him, didn't care.
"My dear, your rage is wasted quite -
Observe, I disappear from sight!"

A well-bred fairy (so I've heard)
Is always faithful to her word:
Old PETER vanished like a shot,

For when conferred the fairy slim
Invisibility on HIM,
She popped away on fairy wings,
Without referring to his "things."

So there remained a coat of blue,
A vest and double eyeglass too,
His tail, his shoes, his socks as well,
His pair of--no, I must not tell.

Old MRS. PETER soon began
To see the failure of his plan,
And then resolved (I quote the Bard)
To "hoist him with his own petard."

Old PETER woke next day and dressed,
Put on his coat, and shoes, and vest,
His shirt and stock; BUT COULD NOT FIND
HIS ONLY PAIR OF--never mind!

Old PETER was a decent man,
And though he twigged his lady's plan,
Yet, hearing her approaching, he
Resumed invisibility.

"Dear MRS. P., my only joy,"
Exclaimed the horrified old boy,
"Now, give them up, I beg of you -
You know what I'm referring to!"

But no; the cross old lady swore
She'd keep his--what I said before -
To make him publicly absurd;
And MRS. PETER kept her word.

The poor old fellow had no rest;
His coat, his stick, his shoes, his vest,
Were all that now met mortal eye -
The rest, invisibility!

"Now, madam, give them up, I beg -
I've had rheumatics in my leg;
Besides, until you do, it's plain
I cannot come to sight again!

"For though some mirth it might afford
To see my clothes without their lord,
Yet there would rise indignant oaths
If he were seen without his clothes!"

But no; resolved to have her quiz,
The lady held her own--and his -
And PETER left his humble cot
To find a pair of--you know what.

But--here's the worst of the affair -
Whene'er he came across a pair
Already placed for him to don,
He was too stout to get them on!

So he resolved at once to train,
And walked and walked with all his main;
For years he paced this mortal earth,
To bring himself to decent girth.

At night, when all around is still,
You'll find him pounding up a hill;
And shrieking peasants whom he meets,
Fall down in terror on the peats!

Old PETER walks through wind and rain,
Resolved to train, and train, and train,
Until he weighs twelve stone' or so -
And when he does, I'll let you know.


Perhaps already you may know
A Captain in the Navy, he -
A Baronet and K.C.B.
You do? I thought so!
It was that Captain's favourite whim
(A notion not confined to him)
That RODNEY was the greatest tar
Who ever wielded capstan-bar.
He had been taught so.

Compared with RODNEY"--he would say -
"No other tar is worth a rap!
The great LORD RODNEY was the chap
The French to polish!
"Though, mind you, I respect LORD HOOD;
CORNWALLIS, too, was rather good;
BENBOW could enemies repel,
LORD NELSON, too, was pretty well -
That is, tol-lol-ish!"

SIR BLENNERHASSET spent his days
In learning RODNEY'S little ways,
And closely imitated, too,
His mode of talking to his crew -
His port and paces.
An ancient tar he tried to catch
Who'd served in RODNEY'S famous batch;
But since his time long years have fled,
And RODNEY'S tars are mostly dead:
Eheu fugaces!

But after searching near and far,
At last he found an ancient tar
Who served with RODNEY and his crew
Against the French in 'Eighty-two,
(That gained the peerage).
He gave him fifty pounds a year,
His rum, his baccy, and his beer;
And had a comfortable den
Rigged up in what, by merchantmen,
Is called the steerage.

"Now, JASPER"--'t was that sailor's name -
"Don't fear that you'll incur my blame
By saying, when it seems to you,
That there is anything I do
That RODNEY wouldn't."
The ancient sailor turned his quid,
Prepared to do as he was bid:
"Ay, ay, yer honour; to begin,
You've done away with 'swifting in' -
Well, sir, you shouldn't!

"Upon your spars I see you've clapped
Peak halliard blocks, all iron-capped.
I would not christen that a crime,
But 'twas not done in RODNEY'S time.
It looks half-witted!
Upon your maintop-stay, I see,
You always clap a selvagee!
Your stays, I see, are equalized -
No vessel, such as RODNEY prized,
Would thus be fitted!

"And RODNEY, honoured sir, would grin
To see you turning deadeyes in,
Not UP, as in the ancient way,
But downwards, like a cutter's stay -
You didn't oughter;
Besides, in seizing shrouds on board,
Breast backstays you have quite ignored;
Great RODNEY kept unto the last
Breast backstays on topgallant mast -
They make it tauter."

Turned deadeyes up, and lent a fin
To strip (as told by JASPER KNOX)
The iron capping from his blocks,
Where there was any.
With selvagees from maintop-stay;
And though it makes his sailors stare,
He rigs breast backstays everywhere -
In fact, too many.

One morning, when the saucy craft
Lay calmed, old JASPER toddled aft.
"My mind misgives me, sir, that we
Were wrong about that selvagee -
I should restore it."
"Good," said the Captain, and that day
Restored it to the maintop-stay.
Well-practised sailors often make
A much more serious mistake,
And then ignore it.

Next day old JASPER came once more:
"I think, sir, I was right before."
Well, up the mast the sailors skipped,
The selvagee was soon unshipped,
And all were merry.
Again a day, and JASPER came:
"I p'r'aps deserve your honour's blame,
I can't make up my mind," said he,
"About that cursed selvagee -
It's foolish--very.

"On Monday night I could have sworn
That maintop-stay it should adorn,
On Tuesday morning I could swear
That selvagee should not be there.
The knot's a rasper!"
"Oh, you be hanged," said CAPTAIN P.,
"Here, go ashore at Caribbee.
Get out--good bye--shove off--all right!"
Old JASPER soon was out of sight -
Farewell, old JASPER!


"Come, collar this bad man -
Around the throat he knotted me
Till I to choke began -
In point of fact, garotted me!"

To JAMES, Policeman Thirty-two -
All ruffled with his fight
SIR HERBERT was, and dirty too.

Policeman nothing said
(Though he had much to say on it),
But from the bad man's head
He took the cap that lay on it.

Impossible to take him up.
This man is honest quite -
Wherever did you rake him up?

"For Burglars, Thieves, and Co.,
Indeed, I'm no apologist,
But I, some years ago,
Assisted a Phrenologist.

"Observe his various bumps,
His head as I uncover it:
His morals lie in lumps
All round about and over it."

"Now take him," said SIR WHITE,
"Or you will soon be rueing it;
Bless me! I must be right, -
I caught the fellow doing it!"

Policeman calmly smiled,
"Indeed you are mistaken, sir,
You're agitated--riled -
And very badly shaken, sir.

"Sit down, and I'll explain
My system of Phrenology,
A second, please, remain" -
(A second is horology).

Policeman left his beat -
(The Bart., no longer furious,
Sat down upon a seat,
Observing, "This is curious!")

"Oh, surely, here are signs
Should soften your rigidity:
This gentleman combines
Politeness with timidity.

"Of Shyness here's a lump -
A hole for Animosity -
And like my fist his bump
Of Impecuniosity.

"Just here the bump appears
Of Innocent Hilarity,
And just behind his ears
Are Faith, and Hope, and Charity.

He of true Christian ways
As bright example sent us is -
This maxim he obeys,
'Sorte tua contentus sis.'

"There, let him go his ways,
He needs no stern admonishing."
The Bart., in blank amaze,
Exclaimed, "This is astonishing!

"I MUST have made a mull,
This matter I've been blind in it:
Examine, please, MY skull,
And tell me what you find in it."

That Crusher looked, and said,
With unimpaired urbanity,
"SIR HERBERT, you've a head
That teems with inhumanity.

"Here's Murder, Envy, Strife
(Propensity to kill any),
And Lies as large as life,
And heaps of Social Villany.

"Here's Love of Bran-New Clothes,
Embezzling--Arson--Deism -
A taste for Slang and Oaths,
And Fraudulent Trusteeism.

"Here's Love of Groundless Charge -
Here's Malice, too, and Trickery,
Unusually large
Your bump of Pocket-Pickery--"

"Stop!" said the Bart., "my cup
Is full--I'm worse than him in all;
Policeman, take me up -
No doubt I am some criminal!"

That Pleeceman's scorn grew large
(Phrenology had nettled it),
He took that Bart. in charge -
I don't know how they settled it.


Once a fairy
Light and airy
Married with a mortal;
Men, however,
Never, never
Pass the fairy portal.
Slyly stealing,
She to Ealing
Made a daily journey;
There she found him,
Clients round him
(He was an attorney).

Long they tarried,
Then they married.
When the ceremony
Once was ended,
Off they wended
On their moon of honey.
Twelvemonth, maybe,
Saw a baby
(Friends performed an orgie).
Much they prized him,
And baptized him
By the name of GEORGIE,

GEORGIE grew up;
Then he flew up
To his fairy mother.
Happy meeting -
Pleasant greeting -
Kissing one another.
"Choose a calling
Most enthralling,
I sincerely urge ye."
"Mother," said he
(Rev'rence made he),
"I would join the clergy.

"Give permission
In addition -
Pa will let me do it:
There's a living
In his giving -
He'll appoint me to it.
Dreams of coff'ring,
Easter off'ring,
Tithe and rent and pew-rate,
So inflame me
(Do not blame me),
That I'll be a curate."

She, with pleasure,
Said, "My treasure,
'T is my wish precisely.
Do your duty,
There's a beauty;
You have chosen wisely.
Tell your father
I would rather
As a churchman rank you.
You, in clover,
I'll watch over."
GEORGIE said, "Oh, thank you!"

GEORGIE scudded,
Went and studied,
Made all preparations,
And with credit
(Though he said it)
Passed examinations.
(Do not quarrel
With him, moral,
Scrupulous digestions -
'Twas his mother,
And no other,
Answered all the questions.)

Time proceeded;
Little needed
GEORGIE admonition:
He, elated,
Clergyman's position.
People round him
Always found him
Plain and unpretending;
Kindly teaching,
Plainly preaching,
All his money lending.

So the fairy,
Wise and wary,
Felt no sorrow rising -
No occasion
For persuasion,
Warning, or advising.
He, resuming
Fairy pluming
(That's not English, is it?)
Oft would fly up,
To the sky up,
Pay mamma a visit.

* * * * * * * *

Time progressing,
GEORGIE'S blessing
Grew more Ritualistic -
Popish scandals,
Tonsures--sandals -
Genuflections mystic;
Gushing meetings -
Bosom-beatings -
Heavenly ecstatics -
Broidered spencers -
Copes and censers -
Rochets and dalmatics.

This quandary
Vexed the fairy -
Flew she down to Ealing.
"GEORGIE, stop it!
Pray you, drop it;
Hark to my appealing:
To this foolish
Papal rule-ish
Twaddle put an ending;
This a swerve is
From our Service
Plain and unpretending."

He, replying,
Answered, sighing,
Hawing, hemming, humming,
"It's a pity -
They're so pritty;
Yet in mode becoming,
Mother tender,
I'll surrender -
I'll be unaffected--"
But his Bishop
Into HIS shop
Entered unexpected!

"Who is this, sir, -
Ballet miss, sir?"
Said the Bishop coldly.
"'T is my mother,
And no other,"
GEORGIE answered boldly.
"Go along, sir!
You are wrong, sir;
You have years in plenty,
While this hussy
(Gracious mussy!)
Isn't two and twenty!"

(Fairies clever
Never, never
Grow in visage older;
And the fairy,
All unwary,
Leant upon his shoulder!)
Bishop grieved him,
Disbelieved him;
GEORGE the point grew warm on;
Changed religion,
Like a pigeon, {14}
And became a Mormon!


A maiden sat at her window wide,
Pretty enough for a Prince's bride,
Yet nobody came to claim her.
She sat like a beautiful picture there,
With pretty bluebells and roses fair,
And jasmine-leaves to frame her.
And why she sat there nobody knows;
But this she sang as she plucked a rose,
The leaves around her strewing:
"I've time to lose and power to choose;
'T is not so much the gallant who woos,
But the gallant's WAY of wooing!"

A lover came riding by awhile,
A wealthy lover was he, whose smile
Some maids would value greatly -
A formal lover, who bowed and bent,
With many a high-flown compliment,
And cold demeanour stately,
"You've still," said she to her suitor stern,
"The 'prentice-work of your craft to learn,
If thus you come a-cooing.
I've time to lose and power to choose;
'T is not so much the gallant who woos,
As the gallant's WAY of wooing!"

A second lover came ambling by -
A timid lad with a frightened eye
And a colour mantling highly.
He muttered the errand on which he'd come,
Then only chuckled and bit his thumb,
And simpered, simpered shyly.
"No," said the maiden, "go your way;
You dare but think what a man would say,
Yet dare to come a-suing!
I've time to lose and power to choose;
'T is not so much the gallant who woos,
As the gallant's WAY of wooing!"

A third rode up at a startling pace -
A suitor poor, with a homely face -
No doubts appeared to bind him.
He kissed her lips and he pressed her waist,
And off he rode with the maiden, placed
On a pillion safe behind him.
And she heard the suitor bold confide
This golden hint to the priest who tied
The knot there's no undoing;
With pretty young maidens who can choose,
'T is not so much the gallant who woos,
As the gallant's WAY of wooing!"


The sun was setting in its wonted west,
When HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores,
Met MAHRY DAUBIGNY, the Village Rose,
Under the Wizard's Oak--old trysting-place
Of those who loved in rosy Aquitaine.

They thought themselves unwatched, but they were not;
For HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores,
A rival, envious and unscrupulous,
Who thought it not foul scorn to dodge his steps,
And listen, unperceived, to all that passed
Between the simple little Village Rose
And HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores.

A clumsy barrack-bully was DUBOSC,
Quite unfamiliar with the well-bred tact
That animates a proper gentleman
In dealing with a girl of humble rank.
You'll understand his coarseness when I say
He would have married MAHRY DAUBIGNY,
And dragged the unsophisticated girl
Into the whirl of fashionable life,
For which her singularly rustic ways,
Her breeding (moral, but extremely rude),
Her language (chaste, but ungrammatical),
Would absolutely have unfitted her.
How different to this unreflecting boor
Was HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores.

Contemporary with the incident
Related in our opening paragraph,
Was that sad war 'twixt Gallia and ourselves
That followed on the treaty signed at Troyes;
(Brave soldier, he, with all his faults of style)
And HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores,
Were sent by CHARLES of France against the lines
Of our Sixth HENRY (Fourteen twenty-nine),
To drive his legions out of Aquitaine.

When HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores,
Returned, suspecting nothing, to his camp,
After his meeting with the Village Rose,
He found inside his barrack letter-box
A note from the commanding officer,
Requiring his attendance at head-quarters.

"Young HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores,
This night we shall attack the English camp:
Be the 'forlorn hope' yours--you'll lead it, sir,
And lead it too with credit, I've no doubt.
As every man must certainly be killed
(For you are twenty 'gainst two thousand men),
It is not likely that you will return.
But what of that? you'll have the benefit
Of knowing that you die a soldier's death."

Obedience was young HONGREE'S strongest point,
But he imagined that he only owed
Allegiance to his MAHRY and his King.
"If MAHRY bade me lead these fated men,
I'd lead them--but I do not think she would.
If CHARLES, my King, said, 'Go, my son, and die,'
I'd go, of course--my duty would be clear.
But MAHRY is in bed asleep, I hope,
And CHARLES, my King, a hundred leagues from this.
How know I that our monarch would approve
The order he has given me to-night?
My King I've sworn in all things to obey -
I'll only take my orders from my King!"
Thus HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores,
Interpreted the terms of his commission.

And HONGREE, who was wise as he was good,
Disguised himself that night in ample cloak,
Round flapping hat, and vizor mask of black,
And made, unnoticed, for the English camp.
He passed the unsuspecting sentinels
(Who little thought a man in this disguise
Could be a proper object of suspicion),
And ere the curfew bell had boomed "lights out,"
He found in audience Bedford's haughty Duke.

"Your Grace," he said, "start not--be not alarmed,
Although a Frenchman stands before your eyes.
I'm HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores.
My Colonel will attack your camp to-night,
And orders me to lead the hope forlorn.
Now I am sure our excellent KING CHARLES
Would not approve of this; but he's away
A hundred leagues, and rather more than that.
So, utterly devoted to my King,
Blinded by my attachment to the throne,
And having but its interest at heart,
I feel it is my duty to disclose
All schemes that emanate from COLONEL JOOLES,
If I believe that they are not the kind
Of schemes that our good monarch would approve."

"But how," said Bedford's Duke, "do you propose
That we should overthrow your Colonel's scheme?"
And HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores,
Replied at once with never-failing tact:
"Oh, sir, I know this cursed country well.
Entrust yourself and all your host to me;
I'll lead you safely by a secret path
Into the heart of COLONEL JOOLES' array,
And you can then attack them unprepared,
And slay my fellow-countrymen unarmed."

The thing was done. The DUKE of BEDFORD gave
The order, and two thousand fighting men
Crept silently into the Gallic camp,
And slew the Frenchmen as they lay asleep;
And Bedford's haughty Duke slew COLONEL JOOLES,
And gave fair MAHRY, pride of Aquitaine,
To HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores.

Ballad: ETIQUETTE. {15}

The Ballyshannon foundered off the coast of Cariboo,
And down in fathoms many went the captain and the crew;
Down went the owners--greedy men whom hope of gain allured:
Oh, dry the starting tear, for they were heavily insured.

Besides the captain and the mate, the owners and the crew,
The passengers were also drowned excepting only two:
Young PETER GRAY, who tasted teas for BAKER, CROOP, AND CO.,
And SOMERS, who from Eastern shores imported indigo.

These passengers, by reason of their clinging to a mast,
Upon a desert island were eventually cast.
They hunted for their meals, as ALEXANDER SELKIRK used,
But they couldn't chat together--they had not been introduced.

For PETER GRAY, and SOMERS too, though certainly in trade,
Were properly particular about the friends they made;
And somehow thus they settled it without a word of mouth -
That GRAY should take the northern half, while SOMERS took the

On PETER'S portion oysters grew--a delicacy rare,
But oysters were a delicacy PETER couldn't bear.
On SOMERS' side was turtle, on the shingle lying thick,
Which SOMERS couldn't eat, because it always made him sick.

GRAY gnashed his teeth with envy as he saw a mighty store
Of turtle unmolested on his fellow-creature's shore.
The oysters at his feet aside impatiently he shoved,
For turtle and his mother were the only things he loved.

And SOMERS sighed in sorrow as he settled in the south,
For the thought of PETER'S oysters brought the water to his mouth.
He longed to lay him down upon the shelly bed, and stuff:
He had often eaten oysters, but had never had enough.

How they wished an introduction to each other they had had
When on board the Ballyshannon! And it drove them nearly mad
To think how very friendly with each other they might get,
If it wasn't for the arbitrary rule of etiquette!

One day, when out a-hunting for the mus ridiculus,
GRAY overheard his fellow-man soliloquizing thus:
"I wonder how the playmates of my youth are getting on,

These simple words made PETER as delighted as could be,
Old chummies at the Charterhouse were ROBINSON and he!
He walked straight up to SOMERS, then he turned extremely red,
Hesitated, hummed and hawed a bit, then cleared his throat, and

I beg your pardon--pray forgive me if I seem too bold,
But you have breathed a name I knew familiarly of old.
You spoke aloud of ROBINSON--I happened to be by.
You know him?" "Yes, extremely well." "Allow me, so do I."

It was enough: they felt they could more pleasantly get on,
For (ah, the magic of the fact!) they each knew ROBINSON!
And Mr. SOMERS' turtle was at PETER'S service quite,
And Mr. SOMERS punished PETER'S oyster-beds all night.

They soon became like brothers from community of wrongs:
They wrote each other little odes and sang each other songs;
They told each other anecdotes disparaging their wives;
On several occasions, too, they saved each other's lives.

They felt quite melancholy when they parted for the night,
And got up in the morning soon as ever it was light;
Each other's pleasant company they reckoned so upon,
And all because it happened that they both knew ROBINSON!

They lived for many years on that inhospitable shore,
And day by day they learned to love each other more and more.
At last, to their astonishment, on getting up one day,
They saw a frigate anchored in the offing of the bay.

To PETER an idea occurred. "Suppose we cross the main?
So good an opportunity may not be found again."
And SOMERS thought a minute, then ejaculated, "Done!
I wonder how my business in the City's getting on?"

"But stay," said Mr. PETER: "when in England, as you know,
I earned a living tasting teas for BAKER, CROOP, AND CO.,
I may be superseded--my employers think me dead!"
"Then come with me," said SOMERS, "and taste indigo instead."

But all their plans were scattered in a moment when they found
The vessel was a convict ship from Portland, outward bound;
When a boat came off to fetch them, though they felt it very kind,
To go on board they firmly but respectfully declined.

As both the happy settlers roared with laughter at the joke,
They recognized a gentlemanly fellow pulling stroke:
'Twas ROBINSON--a convict, in an unbecoming frock!
Condemned to seven years for misappropriating stock!!!

They laughed no more, for SOMERS thought he had been rather rash
In knowing one whose friend had misappropriated cash;
And PETER thought a foolish tack he must have gone upon
In making the acquaintance of a friend of ROBINSON.

At first they didn't quarrel very openly, I've heard;
They nodded when they met, and now and then exchanged a word:
The word grew rare, and rarer still the nodding of the head,
And when they meet each other now, they cut each other dead.

To allocate the island they agreed by word of mouth,
And PETER takes the north again, and SOMERS takes the south;
And PETER has the oysters, which he hates, in layers thick,
And SOMERS has the turtle--turtle always makes him sick.


An Actor sits in doubtful gloom,
His stock-in-trade unfurled,
In a damp funereal dressing-room
In the Theatre Royal, World.

He comes to town at Christmas-time,
And braves its icy breath,
To play in that favourite pantomime,
Harlequin Life and Death.

A hoary flowing wig his weird
Unearthly cranium caps,
He hangs a long benevolent beard
On a pair of empty chaps.

To smooth his ghastly features down
The actor's art he cribs, -
A long and a flowing padded gown.
Bedecks his rattling ribs.

He cries, "Go on--begin, begin!
Turn on the light of lime -
I'm dressed for jolly Old Christmas, in
A favourite pantomime!"

The curtain's up--the stage all black -
Time and the year nigh sped -
Time as an advertising quack -
The Old Year nearly dead.

The wand of Time is waved, and lo!
Revealed Old Christmas stands,
And little children chuckle and crow,
And laugh and clap their hands.

The cruel old scoundrel brightens up
At the death of the Olden Year,
And he waves a gorgeous golden cup,
And bids the world good cheer.

The little ones hail the festive King, -
No thought can make them sad.
Their laughter comes with a sounding ring,
They clap and crow like mad!

They only see in the humbug old
A holiday every year,
And handsome gifts, and joys untold,
And unaccustomed cheer.

The old ones, palsied, blear, and hoar,
Their breasts in anguish beat -
They've seen him seventy times before,
How well they know the cheat!

They've seen that ghastly pantomime,
They've felt its blighting breath,
They know that rollicking Christmas-time
Meant Cold and Want and Death, -

Starvation--Poor Law Union fare -
And deadly cramps and chills,
And illness--illness everywhere,
And crime, and Christmas bills.

They know Old Christmas well, I ween,
Those men of ripened age;
They've often, often, often seen
That Actor off the stage!

They see in his gay rotundity
A clumsy stuffed-out dress -
They see in the cup he waves on high
A tinselled emptiness.

Those aged men so lean and wan,
They've seen it all before,
They know they'll see the charlatan
But twice or three times more.

And so they bear with dance and song,
And crimson foil and green,
They wearily sit, and grimly long
For the Transformation Scene.

Ballad: HAUNTED.

Haunted? Ay, in a social way
By a body of ghosts in dread array;
But no conventional spectres they -
Appalling, grim, and tricky:
I quail at mine as I'd never quail
At a fine traditional spectre pale,
With a turnip head and a ghostly wail,
And a splash of blood on the dickey!

Mine are horrible, social ghosts, -
Speeches and women and guests and hosts,
Weddings and morning calls and toasts,
In every bad variety:
Ghosts who hover about the grave
Of all that's manly, free, and brave:
You'll find their names on the architrave
Of that charnel-house, Society.

Black Monday--black as its school-room ink -
With its dismal boys that snivel and think
Of its nauseous messes to eat and drink,
And its frozen tank to wash in.
That was the first that brought me grief,
And made me weep, till I sought relief
In an emblematical handkerchief,
To choke such baby bosh in.

First and worst in the grim array-
Ghosts of ghosts that have gone their way,
Which I wouldn't revive for a single day
For all the wealth of PLUTUS -
Are the horrible ghosts that school-days scared:
If the classical ghost that BRUTUS dared
Was the ghost of his "Caesar" unprepared,
I'm sure I pity BRUTUS.

I pass to critical seventeen;
The ghost of that terrible wedding scene,
When an elderly Colonel stole my Queen,
And woke my dream of heaven.
No schoolgirl decked in her nurse-room curls
Was my gushing innocent Queen of Pearls;
If she wasn't a girl of a thousand girls,
She was one of forty-seven!

I see the ghost of my first cigar,
Of the thence-arising family jar -
Of my maiden brief (I was at the Bar,
And I called the Judge "Your wushup!")
Of reckless days and reckless nights,
With wrenched-off knockers, extinguished lights,
Unholy songs and tipsy fights,
Which I strove in vain to hush up.

Ghosts of fraudulent joint-stock banks,
Ghosts of "copy, declined with thanks,"
Of novels returned in endless ranks,
And thousands more, I suffer.
The only line to fitly grace
My humble tomb, when I've run my race,
Is, "Reader, this is the resting-place
Of an unsuccessful duffer."

I've fought them all, these ghosts of mine,
But the weapons I've used are sighs and brine,
And now that I'm nearly forty-nine,
Old age is my chiefest bogy;
For my hair is thinning away at the crown,
And the silver fights with the worn-out brown;
And a general verdict sets me down
As an irreclaimable fogy.


{1} A version of this ballad is published as a Song, by Mr.
Jeffreys, Soho Square.

{2} This ballad is published as a Song, under the title "If," by
Messrs. Cramer and Co.

{3} "Go with me to a Notary--seal me there
Your single bond."--Merchant of Venice, Act I., sc. 3.

{4} "And there shall she, at Friar Lawrence' cell,
Be shrived and married."--Romeo and Juliet, Act II., sc. 4.

{5} "And give the fasting horses provender."--Henry the Fifth, Act
IV., sc. 2.

{6} "Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares."--Troilus and
Cressida, Act I., sc. 3.

{7} "Then must the Jew be merciful."--Merchant of Venice, Act IV.,
sc. 1.

{8} "The spring, the summer,
The chilling autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries."--Midsummer Night Dream, Act IV., sc. 1.

{9} "In the county of Glo'ster, justice of the peace and coram."
Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I., sc. 1.

{10} "What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us?"--King John, Act V.,
sc. 2.

{11} "And I'll provide his executioner."--Henry the Sixth (Second
Part), Act III., sc. 1.

{12} "The lioness had torn some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled."--As You Like It, Act IV., sc. 3.

{13} Described by MUNGO PARK.

{14} "Like a bird."--Slang expression.

{15} Reprinted from the "The Graphic," by permission of the

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