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

A poem by Thomas Moore


I've just had time to look
Into your very learned Book,
Wherein--as plain as man can speak.
Whose English is half modern Greek--
You prove that we can ne'er intrench
Our happy isles against the French,
Till Royalty in England's made
A much more independent trade;--
In short until the House of Guelph
Lays Lords and Commons on the shelf,
And boldly sets up for itself.

All that can well be understood
In this said Book is vastly good;
And as to what's incomprehensible,
I dare be sworn 'tis full as sensible.

But to your work's immortal credit
The Prince, good Sir, the Prince has read it
(The only Book, himself remarks,
Which he has read since Mrs. Clarke's).
Last levee-morn he lookt it thro',
During that awful hour or two
Of grave tonsorial preparation,
Which to a fond, admiring nation
Sends forth, announced by trump and drum,
The best-wigged Prince in Christendom.

He thinks with you, the imagination
Of partnership in legislation
Could only enter in the noddles
Of dull and ledger-keeping twaddles,
Whose heads on firms are running so,
They even must have a King and Co.,
And hence most eloquently show forth
On checks and balances and so forth.

But now, he trusts, we're coming near a
Far more royal, loyal era;
When England's monarch need but say,
"Whip me those scoundrels, Castlereagh!"
Or, "Hang me up those Papists, Eldon,"
And 'twill be done--ay, faith, and well done.

With view to which I've his command
To beg, Sir, from your travelled hand,
(Round which the foreign graces swarm)[1]
A Plan of radical Reform;
Compiled and chosen as best you can,
In Turkey or at Ispahan,
And quite upturning, branch and root,
Lords, Commons, and Burdett to boot.

But, pray, whate'er you may impart, write
Somewhat more brief than Major Cartwright:
Else, tho' the Prince be long in rigging,
'Twould take at least a fortnight's wigging,--
Two wigs to every paragraph--
Before he well could get thro' half.

You'll send it also speedily--
As truth to say 'twixt you and me,
His Highness, heated by your work,
Already thinks himself Grand Turk!
And you'd have laught, had you seen how
He scared the Chancellor just now,
When (on his Lordship's entering puft) he
Slapt his back and called him "Mufti!"

The tailors too have got commands
To put directly into hands
All sorts of Dulimans and Pouches,
With Sashes, Turbans and Paboutches,
(While Yarmouth's sketching out a plan
Of new Moustaches à l'Ottomane)
And all things fitting and expedient
To turkify our gracious Regent!

You therefore have no time to waste--
So, send your System.--
Yours in haste.


Before I send this scrawl away,
I seize a moment just to say
There's some parts of the Turkish system
So vulgar 'twere as well you missed 'em.
For instance--in Seraglio matters--
Your Turk whom girlish fondness flatters,
Would fill his Haram (tasteless fool!)
With tittering, red-cheekt things from school.
But here (as in that fairy land,
Where Love and Age went hand in hand;[2]
Where lips, till sixty, shed no honey,
And Grandams were worth any money,)
Our Sultan has much riper notions--
So, let your list of she-promotions
Include those only plump and sage,
Who've reached the regulation-age;
That is, (as near as one can fix
From Peerage dates) full fifty-six.

This rule's for favorites--nothing more--
For, as to wives, a Grand Signor,
Tho' not decidedly without them,
Need never care one curse about them.

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