The Fudge Family In Paris Letter IX. Prom Phil. Fudge, Esq., To The Lord Viscount Castlereagh.

A poem by Thomas Moore

My Lord, the Instructions, brought to-day,
"I shall in all my best obey."
Your Lordship talks and writes so sensibly!
And--whatsoe'er some wags may say--
Oh! not at all incomprehensibly.

I feel the inquiries in your letter
About my health and French most flattering;
Thank ye, my French, tho' somewhat better,
Is, on the whole, but weak and smattering:--
Nothing, of course, that can compare
With his who made the Congress stare
(A certain Lord we need not name),
Who, even in French, would have his trope,
And talk of "batir un systême
"Sur l'équilibre de l'Europe!"
Sweet metaphor!--and then the Epistle,
Which bid the Saxon King go whistle,--
That tender letter to "Mon Prince"[1]
Which showed alike thy French and sense;--
Oh no, my Lord--there's none can do
Or say un-English things like you:
And, if the schemes that fill thy breast
Could but a vent congenial seek,
And use the tongue that suits them best,
What charming Turkish wouldst thou speak!
But as for me, a Frenchless grub,
At Congress never born to stammer,
Nor learn like thee, my Lord, to snub
Fallen Monarchs, out of CHAMBAUD'S grammar--
Bless you, you do not, can not, know
How far a little French will go;
For all one's stock, one need but draw
On some half-dozen words like toese--
Comme ça--par-là--là-bas--ah ha!
They'll take you all thro' France with ease.
Your Lordship's praises of the scraps
I sent you from my Journal lately,
(Enveloping a few laced caps
For Lady C,) delight me greatly.
Her flattering speech--"What pretty things
"One finds in Mr. FUDGE's pages!"
Is praise which (as some poet sings)
Would pay one for the toils of ages.

Thus flattered, I presume to send
A few more extracts by a friend;
And I should hope they'll be no less
Approved of than my last MS.--
The former ones, I fear, were creased,
As BIDDY round the caps would pin them;
But these will come to hand, at least
Unrumpled, for there's--nothing in them.

Extracts from Mr. Fudge's Journal, addressed to Lord C.

August 10.

Went to the Mad-house--saw the man[2]
Who thinks, poor wretch, that, while the Fiend
Of Discord here full riot ran,
He, like the rest, was guillotined;--
But that when, under BONEY'S reign,
(A more discreet, tho' quite as strong one,)
The heads were all restored again,
He, in the scramble, got a wrong one.
Accordingly, he still cries out
This strange head fits him most unpleasantly;
And always runs, poor devil, about,
Inquiring for his own incessantly!

While to his case a tear I dropt,
And sauntered home, thought I--ye Gods!
How many heads might thus be swopt,
And, after all, not make much odds!
For instance, there's VANSITTART'S head--
("Tam carum" it may well be said)
If by some curious chance it came
To settle on BILL SOAMES'S[3] shoulders,
The effect would turn out much the same
On all respectable cash-holders;
Except that while, in its new socket,
The head was planning schemes to win
A zig-zag way into one's pocket,
The hands would plunge directly in.

Good Viscount SIDMOUTH, too, instead
Of his own grave, respected head,
Might wear (for aught I see that bars)
Old Lady WILHELMINA FRUMP'S--
So while the hand signed Circulars,
The head might lisp out "What is trumps?"--
The REGENT'S brains could we transfer
To some robust man-milliner,
The shop, the shears, the lace, and ribbon
Would go, I doubt not, quite as glib on;
And, vice versa, take the pains
To give the PRINCE the shopman's brains,
One only change from thence would flow,
Ribbons would not be wasted so.

'Twas thus I pondered on, my Lord;
And, even at night, when laid in bed,
I found myself, before I snored,
Thus chopping, swopping head for head.
At length I thought, fantastic elf!
How such a change would suit myself.
'Twixt sleep and waking, one by one,
With various pericraniums saddled,
At last I tried your Lordship's on,
And then I grew completely addled--
Forgot all other heads, od rot 'em!
And slept, and dreamt that I was--BOTTOM.

August 21.

Walked out with daughter BID--was shown
The House of Commons and the Throne,
Whose velvet cushion's just the same
NAPOLEON sat on--what a shame!
Oh! can we wonder, best of speechers,
When LOUIS seated thus we see,
That France's "fundamental features"
Are much the same they used to be?
However,--God preserve the Throne,
And cushion too--and keep them free;
From accidents, which have been known
To happen even to Royalty![4]

August 28.

Read, at a stall (for oft one pops
On something at these stalls and shops,
That does to quote and gives one's Book
A classical and knowing look.--
Indeed, I've found, in Latin, lately,
A course of stalls improves me greatly)--
'Twas thus I read that in the East
A monarch's fat's a serious matter;
And once in every year, at least,
He's weighed--to see if he gets fatter:[5]
Then, if a pound or two he be
Increased, there's quite a jubilee![6]
Suppose, my Lord--and far from me
To treat such things with levity--
But just suppose the Regent's weight
Were made thus an affair of state;
And, every sessions, at the close,--
'Stead of a speech, which, all can see, is
Heavy and dull enough, God knows--
We were to try how heavy he is.
Much would it glad all hearts to hear--
That, while the Nation's Revenue
Loses so many pounds a year,
The PRINCE, God bless him! gains a few.
With bales of muslin, chintzes, spices,
I see the Easterns weigh their Kings;--
But, for the REGENT, my advice is,
We should throw in much heavier things:
For instance-----'s quarto volumes,
Which, tho' not spices, serve to wrap them;
Dominie STODDART'S Daily columns,
"Prodigious!"--in, of course, we'd clap them--
Letters, that CARTWRIGHT'S[7] pen indites,
In which, with logical confusion,
The Major like a Minor writes,
And never comes to a Conclusion:--
Lord SOMERS'S pamphlet--or his head--
(Ah! that were worth its weight in lead!)
Along with which we in may whip, sly,
The Speeches of Sir JOHN COX HIPPISLY;
That Baronet of many words,
Who loves so, in the House of Lords,
To whisper Bishops--and so nigh
Unto their wigs in whispering goes,
That you may always know him by
A patch of powder on his nose!--
If this won’t do, we in must cram
The "Reasons" of Lord BUCKINGHAM;
(A Book his Lordship means to write,
Entitled "Reasons for my Ratting":)
Or, should these prove too small and light,
His rump's a host--we'll bundle that in!
And, still should all these masses fail
To stir the REGENT'S pondrous scale,
Why, then, my Lord, in heaven's name,
Pitch in, without reserve or stint,
The whole of RAGLEY'S beauteous Dame--
If that won’t raise him, devil's in it!

August 31.

Consulted MURPHY'S TACITUS
About those famous spies at Rome,[8]
Whom certain Whigs--to make a fuss--
Describe as much resembling us,
Informing gentlemen, at home.
But, bless the fools, they can't be serious,
To say Lord SIDMOUTH'S like TIBERIUS!
What! he, the Peer, that injures no man,
Like that severe, blood-thirsty Roman!--
'Tis true, the Tyrant lent an ear to
All sorts of spies--so doth the Peer, too.
'Tis true, my Lord's elect tell fibs,
And deal in perjury--ditto TIB's.
'Tis true, the Tyrant screened and hid
His rogues from justice--ditto SID.
'Tis true the Peer is grave and glib
At moral speeches--ditto TIB.
'Tis true the feats the Tyrant did
Were in his dotage--ditto SID.

So far, I own, the parallel
'Twixt TIB and SIB goes vastly well;
But there are points in TIB that strike
My humble mind as much more like
Yourself, my dearest Lord, or him,
Of the India Board--that soul of whim!
Like him, TIBERIUS loved his joke,
On matters, too, where few can bear one;
E. g. a man cut up, or broke
Upon the wheel--a devilish fair one!
Your common fractures, wounds and fits,
Are nothing to such wholesale wits;
But, let the sufferer gasp for life,
The joke is then, worth any money;
And, if he writhe beneath a knife,--
Oh dear, that's something quite too funny.
In this respect, my Lord, you see
The Roman wag and ours agree:
Now as to your resemblance--mum--
This parallel we need not follow:
Tho' 'tis, in Ireland, said by some
Your Lordship beats TIBERIUS hollow;
Whips, chains--but these are things too serious
For me to mention or discuss;
Whene'er your Lordship acts TIBERIUS,
PHIL. FUDGE'S part is Tacitus!

September 2.

Was thinking, had Lord SIDMOUTH got
Any good decent sort of Plot
Against the winter-time--if not,
Alas, alas, our ruin's fated;
All done up and spiflicated!
Ministers and all their vassals,
Down from CASTLEREAGH to CASTLES,--
Unless we can kick up a riot,
Ne'er can hope for peace or quiet!
What's to be done?--Spa-Fields was clever;
But even that brought gibes and mockings
Upon our heads--so, mem.--must never
Keep ammunition in old stockings;
For fear some wag should in his curst head
Take it to say our force was worsted.
Mem. too--when SID an army raises,
It must not be "incog." like Bayes's:
Nor must the General be a hobbling
Professor of the art of cobbling;
Lest men, who perpetrate such puns,
Should say, with Jacobinic grin,
He felt, from soleing Wellingtons,[9]
A Wellington's great soul within!
Nor must an old Apothecary
Go take the Tower, for lack of pence,
With (what these wags would call, so merry,)
Physical force and phial-ence!
No--no--our Plot, my Lord, must be
Next time contrived more skilfully.
John Bull, I grieve to say, is growing
So troublesomely sharp and knowing,
So wise--in short, so Jacobin--
'Tis monstrous hard to take him in.

September 6.

Heard of the fate of our Ambassador
In China, and was sorely nettled;
But think, my Lord, we should not pass it o'er
Till all this matter's fairly settled;
And here's the mode occurs to me:--
As none of our Nobility,
Tho' for their own most gracious King
(They would kiss hands, or--anything),
Can be persuaded to go thro'
This farce-like trick of the Ko-tou;
And as these Mandarins won't bend,
Without some mumming exhibition,
Suppose, my Lord, you were to send
GRIMALDI to them on a mission:
As Legate, JOE could play his part,
And if, in diplomatic art,
The "volto sciolto"'s meritorius,[10]
Let JOE but grin, he has it, glorious!

A title for him's easily made;
And, by the by, one Christmas time,
If I remember right, he played
Lord MORLEY in some pantomime:--[1]
As Earl of Morley then gazette him,
If t'other Earl of MORLEY'll let him,
(And why should not the world be blest
"With two such stars, for East and West?)
Then, when before the Yellow Screen
He's brought--and, sure, the very essence
Of etiquette would be that scene
Of JOE in the Celestial Presence!--

He thus should say:--"Duke Ho and Soo,
"I'll play what tricks you please for you,
"If you'll, in turn, but do for me
"A few small tricks you now shall see.
"If I consult your Emperor's liking,
"At least you'll do the same for my King."

He then should give them nine such grins,
As would astound even Mandarins;
And throw such somersets before
The picture of King GEORGE (God bless him!)
As, should Duke Ho but try them o'er,
Would, by CONFUCIUS, much distress him!

I start this merely as a hint,
But think you'll find some wisdom in't;
And, should you follow up the job,
My son, my Lord (you know poor BOB),
Would in the suite be glad to go
And help his Excellency, JOE:--
At least, like noble AMHERST'S son,
The lad will do to practise on.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Fudge Family In Paris Letter IX. Prom Phil. Fudge, Esq., To The Lord Viscount Castlereagh.' by Thomas Moore

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy