« AnteriorContinuar »
Introductory Lines to Book the First.
TO CAPTAIN BH-, R.N.
WHILE Sovereigns-save our royal Sire,
Who justly has become the rageAre goods that have begun to tire
The humours of the ripening Age; While—thanks to whiskered peers*—the clown
In print, at least, can play the roverCross seas whose depth can never drown,
And shores untrod-in Truth discover ; While ermined “INFLUENCE” half forsakes
Her flock to no contemn’d attacks; While Pelham for his boroughs quakes,
And Jersey trembles for ' Almacks”; While thus the old world ;-Captain H
Writes foolish books about the new Weeps tears of ink when despots fall,
And damns poor Murray's lost Review.
* See a certain speech of Lord Wilton, in which the people are said to owe their knowledge to the Aristocracy. It is very true !-their knowledge of taxes !
O! model of the travelling tribe,
Though homage Satire always pays ill, She must, with great respect, inscribe
This book to you, Illustrious B-1! How well you scourge the Yankee race
Their codes uncouth, their garbs unsightly ;Should Yankees answer,-in their face
You smile your wise contempt politely.* How well you show, O sapient bore !
The curse from taxes to be free ;And
with one more Apt illustration from the sea.”+ If he be great who nobly dares
The greatest things with least resources, Oh! who, most learned H
", com With
courage—and his forces ? You ridicule a mighty state,
Without a grain of wit for satire ; On knottiest points, with ease debate,
Without one just thought on the matter ;
* * *
*“ In short, said I, unable to suppress a smile.”—Hall's Travels in North America, vol. iii. p. 411. I merely smiled, and said nothing."
“ The lady's suspicions instantly took fire, on seeing the expression of my countenance."-Ibid. vol. i. p. 110. A nice, agreeable fellow, for a disputant or a guest !
+ “To borrow one more illustration from the sea, I should say, that the Established Church may be compared to the rudder, and the country, with its multifarious arrangements of society, to the ship,” &c.—Ibid. vol. iii. p. 405.
This charming metaphor occurs in the most entertaining conversation
With scarce the Traveller's art to gaze,
You ape the Sage's to distinguish-
You quite forget the laws of English.
Sweeps gathering on—behold in all His might-on Murray's counter stands
And fires his popgun-Captain H-! 'Tis said when famed Alcides slew
The Earth's dread son—that Slumber bound him The Hero woke-attacked anew
And saw—the tribe of PIGMIES round him! So Truth some mighty victory gains
And, lo, the Dwarfs rush out to seize her! The Giant crushed-there still remains
Some tribe of H-_'s that can but teize her! But from the Traveller now we turn
One moment to address the Reader, imaginable. Captain H. resolved to prove the blessings of an aristocracy, rotten boroughs, tithes; and lord—I beg pardon—the devil knows what! sets up an unfortunate Yankee, by way of an argumentative nine pin. Away bowls the Captain, blunder after blunder, folly after folly, as glibly as possible ; and not a syllable of rational defence, ever by accident, comes out of the mouth of the nine pin. I cannot say whether a full-grown American could have answered Captain H.; but I know, that an English boy of ten years' old, with a tolerable private education would have been a great deal too much for him.
* There is an old tradition, that when Hercules (the great reformer of the ancient world) had conquered the giant Antæus—a sort of Charles the Tenth)—he fell asleep in the Lybian desert, and was suddenly awakened by an attack of the Pigmies.