Loud complaints being made in these quick-reading times,
Of too slack a supply both of prose works and rhymes,
A new Company, formed on the keep-moving plan,
First proposed by the great firm of Catch-'em-who-can,
Beg to say they've now ready, in full wind and speed,
Some fast-going authors, of quite a new breed--
Such as not he who runs but who gallops may read--
And who, if well curried and fed, they've no doubt,
Will beat even Bentley's swift stud out and out.
It is true in these days such a drug is renown,
We've "Immortals" as rife as M.P.s about town;
And not a Blue's rout but can offhand supply
Some invalid bard who's insured "not to die."
Still let England but once try our authors, she'll find
How fast they'll leave even these Immortals behind;
And how truly the toils of Alcides were light,
Compared with his toil who can read all they write.
In fact there's no saying, so gainful the trade,
How fast immortalities now may be made;
Since Helicon never will want an "Undying One,"
As long as the public continues a Buying One;
And the company hope yet to witness the hour.
When, by strongly applying the mare-motive power,
A three-decker novel, midst oceans of praise,
May be written, launched, read and--forgot, in three days!
In addition to all this stupendous celerity,
Which--to the no small relief of posterity--
Pays off at sight the whole debit of fame,
Nor troubles futurity even with a name
(A project that won’t as much tickle Tom Tegg as us,
Since 'twill rob him of his second-priced Pegasus);
We, the Company--still more to show how immense
Is the power o'er the mind of pounds, shillings, and pence;
And that not even Phoebus himself, in our day,
Could get up a lay without first an out-lay--
Beg to add, as our literature soon may compare,
In its quick make and vent, with our Birmingham ware,
And it doesn’t at all matter in either of these lines,
How sham is the article, so it but shines,--
We keep authors ready, all perched, pen in hand,
To write off, in any given style, at command.
No matter what bard, be he living or dead,
Ask a work from his pen, and 'tis done soon as said:
There being on the establishment six Walter Scotts,
One capital Wordsworth and Southeys in lots;--
Three choice Mrs. Nortons, all singing like syrens,
While most of our pallid young clerks are Lord Byrons.
Then we've ***s and ***s (for whom there's small call),
And ***s and ***s (for whom no call at all).
In short, whosoe'er the last "Lion" may be,
We've a Bottom who'll copy his roar to a T,
And so well, that not one of the buyers who've got 'em
Can tell which is lion, and which only Bottom.
N. B.--The company, since they set up in this line,
Have moved their concern and are now at the sign
Of the Muse's Velocipede, Fleet Street, where all
Who wish well to the scheme are invited to call.