"That boy will be the death of me."
Matthews at Home.
Ah, Tories dear, our ruin is near,
With Stanley to help us, we can’t but fall;
Already a warning voice I hear,
Like the late Charles Matthews' croak in my ear,
"That boy--that boy'll be the death of you all."
He will, God help us!--not even Scriblerius
In the "Art of Sinking" his match could be;
And our case is growing exceeding serious,
For, all being in the same boat as he,
If down my Lord goes, down go we,
Lord Baron Stanley and Company,
As deep in Oblivion's swamp below
As such "Masters Shallow," well could go;
And where we shall all both low and high,
Embalmed in mud, as forgotten lie
As already doth Graham of Netherby!
But that boy, that boy!--there's a tale I know,
Which in talking of him comes àpropos.
Sir Thomas More had an only son,
And a foolish lad was that only one,
And Sir Thomas said one day to his wife,
"My dear, I can’t but wish you joy.
"For you prayed for a boy, and you now have a boy,
"Who'll continue a boy to the end of his life."
Even such is our own distressing lot,
With the ever-young statesman we have got;
Nay even still worse; for Master More
Wasn't more a youth than he'd been before,
While ours such power of boyhood shows,
That the older he gets the more juvenile he grows,
And at what extreme old age he'll close
His schoolboy course, heaven only knows;--
Some century hence, should he reach so far,
And ourselves to witness it heaven condemn,
We shall find him a sort of cub Old Parr,
A whipper-snapper Methusalem;
Nay, even should he make still longer stay of it,
The boy'll want judgment, even to the day of it!
Meanwhile, 'tis a serious, sad infliction;
And day and night with awe I recall
The late Mr. Matthews' solemn prediction,
"That boy'll be the death, the death of you all."