Twopenny Post-Bag, Intercepted Letters, Etc. Letter III.

A poem by Thomas Moore

FROM GEORGE PRINCE REGENT TO THE EARL OF YARMOUTH.[1]


We missed you last night at the "hoary old sinner's,"
Who gave us as usual the cream of good dinners;
His soups scientific, his fishes quite prime--
His pâtés superb, and his cutlets sublime!
In short, 'twas the snug sort of dinner to stir a
Stomachic orgasm in my Lord Ellenborough,
Who set to, to be sure, with miraculous force,
And exclaimed between mouthfuls, "a He-Cook, of course!--
"While you live--(what's there under that cover? pray, look)--
"While you live--(I'll just taste it)--ne'er keep a She-Cook.
"'Tis a sound Salic Law--(a small bit of that toast)--
"Which ordains that a female shall ne'er rule the roast;
"For Cookery's a secret--(this turtle's uncommon)--
"Like Masonry, never found out by a woman!"

The dinner you know was in gay celebration
Of my brilliant triumph and Hunt's condemnation;
A compliment too to his Lordship the Judge
For his Speech to the Jury--and zounds! who would grudge
Turtle soup tho' it came to five guineas a bowl,
To reward such a loyal and complaisant soul?
We were all in high gig--Roman Punch and Tokay
Travelled round till our heads travelled just the same way;
And we cared not for Juries or Libels--no--damme! nor
Even for the threats of last Sunday's Examiner!

More good things were eaten than said--but Tom Tyrrhitt
In quoting Joe Miller you know has some merit;
And hearing the sturdy Judiciary Chief
Say--sated with turtle--"I'll now try the beef"--
Tommy whispered him (giving his Lordship a sly hit)
"I fear 'twill be hung-beef, my Lord, if you try it!"

And Camden was there, who that morning had gone
To fit his new Marquis's coronet on;
And the dish set before him--oh! dish well-devised!--
Was what old Mother Glasse calls, "a calf's head surprised!"
The brains were near Sherry and once had been fine,
But of late they had lain so long soaking in wine,
That tho' we from courtesy still chose to call
These brains very fine they were no brains at all.

When the dinner was over, we drank, every one
In a bumper, "the venial delights of Crim. Con.;"
At which Headfort with warm reminiscences gloated,
And Ellenb'rough chuckled to hear himself quoted.

Our next round of toasts was a fancy quite new,
For we drank--and you'll own 'twas benevolent too--
To those well-meaning husbands, cits, parsons or peers,
Whom we've any time honored by courting their dears:
This museum of wittols was comical rather;
Old Headfort gave Massey, and I gave your father.
In short, not a soul till this morning would budge--
We were all fun and frolic, and even the Judge
Laid aside for the time his juridical fashion,
And thro' the whole night wasn't once in a passion!

I write this in bed while my whiskers are airing,
And Mac[2] has a sly dose of jalap preparing
For poor Tommy Tyrrhitt at breakfast to quaff--
As I feel I want something to give me a laugh,
And there's nothing so good as old Tommy kept close
To his Cornwall accounts after taking a dose.

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