Yours of the 12th received, just now--
Thanks, for the hint, my trusty brother!
'Tis truly pleasing to see how
We, FUDGES, stand by one another.
But never fear--I know my chap,
And he knows me too--verbum sap,
My Lord and I are kindred spirits,
Like in our ways as two young ferrets;
Both fashioned, as that supple race is,
To twist into all sorts of places;--
Creatures lengthy, lean and hungering,
Fond of blood and burrow-mongering.
As to my Book in 91,
Called "Down with Kings, or, Who'd have thought it?"
Bless you! the Book's long dead and gone,--
Not even the Attorney-General bought it.
And tho' some few seditious tricks
I played in '95 and '6,
As you remind me in your letter,
His Lordship likes me all the better;--
We proselytes, that come with news full,
Are, as he says, so vastly useful!
REYNOLDS and I--(you know TOM REYNOLDS--
Drinks his claret, keeps his chaise--
Lucky the dog that first unkennels
Traitors and Luddites now-a-days;
Or who can help to bag a few,
When SIDMOUTH wants a death, or two;)
REYNOLDS and I and some few more,
All men like us of information,
Friends whom his Lordship keeps in store,
As under-saviors of the nation--
Have, formed a Club this season, where
His Lordship sometimes takes the chair,
And gives us many a bright oration
In praise of our sublime vocation;
Tracing it up to great King MIDAS,
Who, tho' in fable typified as
A royal Ass, by grace, divine
And right of ears, most asinine,
Was yet no more, in fact historical,
Than an exceeding well-bred tyrant;
And these, his ears, but allegorical,
Meaning Informers, kept at high rent--
Gem'men, who touched the Treasury glisteners,
Like us, for being trusty listeners;
And picking up each tale and fragment,
For royal MIDAS'S Green Bag meant.
"And wherefore," said this best of Peers,
"Should not the REGENT too have ears,
"To reach as far, as long and wide as
"Those of his model, good King MIDAS?"
This speech was thought extremely good,
And (rare for him) was understood--
Instant we drank "The REGENT'S Ears,"
With three times three illustrious cheers,
Which made the room resound like thunder--
"The REGENT'S Ears, and may he ne'er
"From foolish shame, like MIDAS, wear
"Old paltry wigs to keep them under!"
This touch at our old friends, the Whigs,
Made us as merry all as grigs.
In short (I'll thank you not to mention
These things again), we get on gayly;
And thanks to pension and Suspension,
Our little Club increases daily.
CASTLES, and OLIVER, and such,
Who don’t as yet full salary touch,
Nor keep their chaise and pair, nor buy
Houses and lands, like TOM and I,
Of course don’t rank with us salvators,
But merely serve the Club as waiters,
Like Knights, too, we've our collar days,
(For us, I own, an awkward phrase,)
When, in our new costume adorned,--
The REGENT'S buff-and-blue coats turned--
We have the honor to give dinners
To the chief Rats in upper stations:
Your WEMYS, VAUGHANS,--half-fledged sinners,
Who shame us by their imitations;
Who turn, 'tis true--but what of that?
Give me the useful peaching Rat;
Not things as mute as Punch, when bought,
Whose wooden heads are all they've brought;
Who, false enough to shirk their friends,
But too faint-hearted to betray,
Are, after all their twists and bends,
But souls in Limbo, damned half way.
No, no, we nobler vermin are
A genus useful as we're rare;
Midst all the things miraculous
Of which your natural histories brag,
The rarest must be Rats like us,
Who let the cat out of the bag.
Yet still these Tyros in the cause
Deserve, I own, no small applause;
And they're by us received and treated
With all due honors--only seated
In the inverse scale of their reward,
The merely promised next my Lord;
Small pensions then, and so on, down,
Rat after rat, they graduate
Thro' job, red ribbon and silk gown,
To Chancellorship and Marquisate.
This serves to nurse the ratting spirit;
The less the bribe the more the merit.
Our music's good, you may be sure;
My Lord, you know, 's an amateur--
Takes every part with perfect ease,
Tho' to the Base by nature suited;
And, formed for all, as best may please,
For whips and bolts, or chords and keys,
Turns from his victims to his glees,
And has them both well executed.
HERTFORD, who, tho' no Rat himself,
Delights in all such liberal arts,
Drinks largely to the House of Guelph,
And superintends the Corni parts.
While CANNING, who'd be first by choice,
Consents to take an under voice;
And GRAVES, who well that signal knows,
Watches the Volti Subitos.
In short, as I've already hinted,
We take of late prodigiously;
But as our Club is somewhat stinted
For Gentlemen, like TOM and me,
We'll take it kind if you'll provide
A few Squireens from t'other side;--
Some of those loyal, cunning elves
(We often tell the tale with laughter),
Who used to hide the pikes themselves,
Then hang the fools who found them after.
I doubt not you could find us, too,
Some Orange Parsons that might do:
Among the rest, we've heard of one,
Who stuft a figure of himself
(Delicious thought!) and had it shot at,
To bring some Papists to the shelf,
That couldn't otherwise be got at--
If he'll but join the Association,
We'll vote him in by acclamation.
And now, my brother, guide and friend,
This somewhat tedious scrawl must end.
I've gone into this long detail,
Because I saw your nerves were shaken
With anxious fears lest I should fail
In this new, loyal, course I've taken.
But, bless your heart! you need not doubt--
We FUDGES know what we're about.
Look round and say if you can see
A much more thriving family.
There's JACK, the Doctor--night and day
Hundreds of patients so besiege him,
You'd swear that all the rich and gay
Fell sick on purpose to oblige him.
And while they think, the precious ninnies,
He's counting o'er their pulse so steady,
The rogue but counts how many guineas
He's fobbed for that day's work already.
I'll ne'er forget the old maid's alarm,
When, feeling thus Miss Sukey Flirt, he
Said, as he dropt her shrivelled arm,
"Damned bad this morning--only thirty!"
Your dowagers, too, every one,
So generous are, when they call him in,
That he might now retire upon
The rheumatisms of three old women.
Then whatsoe'er your ailments are,
He can so learnedly explain ye'em--
Your cold of course is a catarrh,
Your headache is a hemi-cranium:--
His skill too in young ladies' lungs,
The grace with which, most mild of men,
He begs them to put out their tongues.
Then bids them--put them in again;
In short, there's nothing now like JACK!--
Take all your doctors great and small,
Of present times and ages back,
Dear Doctor FUDGE is worth them all.
So much for physic--then, in law too,
Counsellor TIM, to thee we bow;
Not one of us gives more éclat to
The immortal name of FUDGE than thou.
Not to expatiate on the art
With which you played the patriot's part,
Till something good and snug should offer;--
Like one, who, by the way he acts
The enlightening part of candle-snuffer,
The manager's keen eye attracts,
And is promoted thence by him
To strut in robes, like thee, my TIM!--
Who shall describe thy powers of face,
Thy well-fed zeal in every case,
Or wrong or right--but ten times warmer
(As suits thy calling) in the former--
Thy glorious, lawyer-like delight
In puzzling all that's clear and right,
Which, tho' conspicuous in thy youth,
Improves so with a wig and band on,
That all thy pride's to waylay Truth,
And leave her not a leg to stand on.
Thy patent prime morality,--
Thy cases cited from the Bible--
Thy candor when it falls to thee
To help in trouncing for a libel;--
"God knows, I, from my soul, profess
"To hate all bigots and be-nighters!
"God knows, I love, to even excess,
"The sacred Freedom of the Press,
"My only aim's to--crush the writers."
These are the virtues, TIM, that draw
The briefs into thy bag so fast;
And these, oh TIM--if Law be Law--
Will raise thee to the Bench at last.
I blush to see this letter's length--
But 'twas my wish to prove to thee
How full of hope, and wealth, and strength,
Are all our precious family.
And, should affairs go on as pleasant
As, thank the Fates, they do at present--
Should we but still enjoy the sway
Of SIDMOUTH and of CASTLEREAGH,
I hope, ere long, to see the day
When England's wisest statesmen, judges,
Lawyers, peers, will all be--FUDGES!
Good-by--my paper's out so nearly,
I've room only for