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Bow to the March of Intellect!
That march--which, to the right about
Sends Truth-puts Reason to the rout;
Bids Virtue halt—(rare tactics these !)
And cries to Morals—“ Stand at ease !"
Behold a tribe, unknown to Phoebus, Contributors of rhyme and rebus ; Old Ladies, Misses in their teens, That warble in the magazines. And then, the little flock of males, That flutter, frisk, and cock their tails; Major Journalists, and minors, Versemen, Prosemen, Penny-a-liners; Gentlemen, who live by guess, Call’d facetiously, “ The Press.” The novelist aristocratic, That starves the author in his attic, And takes his manuscript to Colburn, When he in pity should the whole burnWhich is the readiest scribe, whose books Go fastest to the pastry-cook’s, Or quietly give up the ghost, He best can tell, who prints the most!
Now damn'd be he who hears thee puff, And cries, " Hal Colburn, hold, enough!"
For since the first-born Puffer, down
To Packwood's strops, for half-a-crown;
Rowland's Macassar, Wright's Champagne,
Hunt's patent roasted—(rogue in grain !
Whose Blacking makes our leather soon shine,)
Thou art the very prince of moonshine !
Blest as th' immortal Gods is he,
The lucky scribe, who prints with thee
His waste demy, in volumes three !
For through the town thy trumpet blows
The merits of his verse and prose,
Then how he struts, and frets, and crows !
And shines (where Fame would blush to enter,)
Of ev'ry little group the centre.
Cards, what mortal can resist?
Loo unlimited, and whist-
Shuffle, cut—the man of bumps
Takes the lead; the wit, the trumps !
Laura hopes her Heart to save,
But, how absolute the Knave !
See it falls a glorious prize ;
And captive next, her Honour lies !
Thus Fortune, in a pack of cards,
Each diff'rent character regards;
The Tricks she gives to Punster Hood,
And the Philosopher is loo'd !
Hark, the Music ! quiv'ring, quaking,
Voices tuning, elbows shaking ;
Treble, base-each throws a hum in,
Some folks out of tune, and some in;
How they snuffle, squeak, and snort it,
Duet, Trio, Quintett, Quartett.
Supper past—the hour approaches
(Hark! I hear the sound of coaches,)
When the little group must sever,
Cruel fate! but not for ever.
Laura, by the silver moon,
Drops a tear, but wipes it soon ;
Edwin writes an ode upon it,
L-a rebus, E- a sonnet !
Softly pillow'd, be their slumbers
Sweet and pleasant as their numbers ;
Sound, as ev'ry Member's doze
When Joe Hume, or Bowring prose;
Or, when Science, in a panic,
Lulls intelligent Mechanic ;*
* At a recent distribution of prizes at the London Mechanics’ Institution, one of the premiums, for “ An Essay on Education !” was triumphantly carried off by an intellectual journeyman smith and bell-banger! These Pundits, though they cannot break the head of Priscian, contrive at least to puzzle their own!
Or, at Presbyterian Synod,
Where the Elders low and high, nod!
Morn appearing-Ladies, Bards,
Welcome Invitation cards-
The Philosopher-no stickler-
In religion not partic'lar-
Hopes on Sunday next to see
All its lib'ral friends to tea!
When 'twill prove beyond denial,
Heav'n and Providence a lie all.
Afterwards 'twill bring to view
Old Society, and New-
In the first, what roguish priestcraft!
In the latter, not the least craft!
Halcyon days! when lusty Hymen
Shall no more to women tie men;
But when each shall choose a dear,
Like an Annual"-ev'ry year!
Up, disorder! down, decorum!
When the Fair shall mount the Forum;
Pass their judgments, give their votes,
Lycurguses in petticoats !
When--but like the Bear and Fiddle,
We must break off in the middle-
--Sunday next shall solve the riddle.