Hat Versus Wig.

A poem by Thomas Moore

"At the interment of the Duke of York, Lord Eldon, in order to guard against the effects of the damp, stood upon his hat during the whole of the ceremony."

--metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis

'Twixt Eldon's Hat and Eldon's Wig
There lately rose an altercation,--
Each with its own importance big,
Disputing which most serves the nation.

Quoth Wig, with consequential air,
"Pooh! pooh! you surely can't design,
"My worthy beaver, to compare
"Your station in the state with mine.

"Who meets the learned legal crew?
"Who fronts the lordly Senate's pride?
"The Wig, the Wig, my friend--while you
"Hang dangling on some peg outside.

"Oh! 'tis the Wig, that rules, like Love,
"Senate and Court, with like ├ęclat--
"And wards below and lords above,
"For Law is Wig and Wig is Law!

"Who tried the long, Long WELLESLEY suit,
"Which tried one's patience, in return?
"Not thou, oh Hat!--tho' couldst thou do't,
"Of other brims[1] than thine thou'dst learn.

"'Twas mine our master's toil to share;
"When, like 'Truepenny,' in the play,[2]
"He, every minute, cried out 'Swear,'
"And merrily to swear went they;--[3]

"When, loath poor WELLESLEY to condemn, he
"With nice discrimination weighed,
"Whether 'twas only 'Hell and Jemmy,'
Or 'Hell and Tommy' that he played.

"No, no, my worthy beaver, no--
"Tho' cheapened at the cheapest hatter's,
"And smart enough as beavers go
"Thou ne'er wert made for public matters."

Here Wig concluded his oration,
Looking, as wigs do, wondrous wise;
While thus, full cockt for declamation,
The veteran Hat enraged replies:--

"Ha! dost thou then so soon forget
"What thou, what England owes to me?
"Ungrateful Wig!--when will a debt,
"So deep, so vast, be owed thee?

"Think of that night, that fearful night,
"When, thro' the steaming vault below,
"Our master dared, in gout's despite,
"To venture his podagric toe!

"Who was it then, thou boaster, say
"When thou hadst to thy box sneaked off,
"Beneath his feet protecting lay,
"And saved him from a mortal cough?

"Think, if Catarrh had quenched that sun,
"How blank this world had been to thee!
"Without that head to shine upon,
"Oh Wig, where would thy glory be?

"You, too, ye Britons,--had this hope
"Of Church and State been ravisht from ye,
"Oh think, how Canning and the Pope
"Would then have played up 'Hell and Tommy'!

"At sea, there's but a plank, they say,
"'Twixt seamen and annihilation;
"A Hat, that awful moment, lay
"'Twixt England and Emancipation!


At this "Oh!!!" The Times Reporter
Was taken poorly, and retired;
Which made him cut Hat's rhetoric shorter,
Than justice to the case required.

On his return, he found these shocks
Of eloquence all ended quite;
And Wig lay snoring in his box,
And Hat was--hung up for the night.

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