I much regret, dear Reverend Sir,
I could not come to * * * to meet you;
But this curst gout won’t let me stir--
Even now I but by proxy greet you;
As this vile scrawl, whate'er its sense is,
Owes all to an amanuensis.
Most other scourges of disease
Reduce men to extremities--
But gout won’t leave one even these.
From all my sister writes, I see
That you and I will quite agree.
I'm a plain man who speak the truth,
And trust you'll think me not uncivil,
When I declare that from my youth
I've wisht your country at the devil:
Nor can I doubt indeed from all
I've heard of your high patriot fame--
From every word your lips let fall--
That you most truly wish the same.
It plagues one's life out--thirty years
Have I had dinning in my ears,
"Ireland wants this and that and t'other,"
And to this hour one nothing hears
But the same vile, eternal bother.
While, of those countless things she wanted,
Thank God, but little has been granted,
And even that little, if we're men
And Britons, we'll have back again!
I really think that Catholic question
Was what brought on my indigestion;
And still each year, as Popery's curse
Has gathered round us, I've got worse;
Till even my pint of port a day
Can’t keep the Pope and bile away.
And whereas, till the Catholic bill,
I never wanted draught or pill,
The settling of that cursed question
Has quite unsettled my digestion.
Look what has happened since--the Elect
Of all the bores of every sect,
The chosen triers of men's patience,
From all the Three Denominations.
Let loose upon us;--even Quakers
Turned into speechers and lawmakers,
Who'll move no question, stiff-rumpt elves,
Till first the Spirit moves themselves;
And whose shrill Yeas and Nays, in chorus,
Conquering our Ayes and Noes sonorous,
Will soon to death's own slumber snore us.
Then, too, those Jews!--I really sicken
To think of such abomination;
Fellows, who won’t eat ham with chicken,
To legislate for this great nation!--
Depend upon't, when once they've sway,
With rich old Goldsmid at the head o' them,
The Excise laws will be done away,
And Circumcise ones past instead o' them!
In short, dear sir, look where one will,
Things all go on so devilish ill,
That, 'pon my soul, I rather fear
Our reverend Rector may be right,
Who tells me the Millennium's near;
Nay, swears he knows the very year,
And regulates his leases by 't;--
Meaning their terms should end, no doubt,
Before the world's own lease is out.
He thinks too that the whole thing's ended
So much more soon than was intended,
Purely to scourge those men of sin
Who brought the accurst Reform Bill in.
However, let's not yet despair;
Tho' Toryism's eclipst, at present.
And--like myself, in this old chair--
Sits in a state by no means pleasant;
Feet crippled--hands, in luckless hour,
Disabled of their grasping power;
And all that rampant glee, which revelled
In this world's sweets, be-dulled, be-deviled--
Yet, tho' condemned to frisk no more,
And both in Chair of Penance set,
There's something tells me, all's not o'er
With Toryism or Bobby yet;
That tho', between us, I allow
We've not a leg to stand on now;
Tho' curst Reform and colchicum
Have made us both look deuced glum,
Yet still, in spite of Grote and Gout,
Again we'll shine triumphant out!
Yes--back again shall come, egad,
Our turn for sport, my reverend lad.
And then, O'Mulligan--oh then,
When mounted on our nags again,
You, on your high-flown Rosinante,
Bedizened out, like Show-Gallantee
(Glitter great from substance scanty);--
While I, Bob Fudge, Esquire, shall ride
Your faithful Sancho, by your side;
Then--talk of tilts and tournaments!
* * * * *
'Squire Fudge's clerk presents
To Reverend Sir his compliments;
Is grieved to say an accident
Has just occurred which will prevent
The Squire--tho' now a little better--
From finishing this present letter.
Just when he'd got to "Dam'me, we'll"--
His Honor, full of martial zeal,
Graspt at his crutch, but not being able
To keep his balance or his hold,
Tumbled, both self and crutch, and rolled,
Like ball and bat, beneath the table.
All's safe--the table, chair and crutch;--
Nothing, thank God, is broken much,
But the Squire's head, which in the fall
Got bumped considerably--that's all.
At this no great alarm we feel,
As the Squire's head can bear a deal.
Squire much the same--head rather light--
Raved about "Barbers' Wigs" all night.
Our housekeeper, old Mrs. Griggs,
Suspects that he meant "barbarous Whigs."