The Fudges In England by Thomas Moore

BEING A SEQUEL TO THE “FUDGE FAMILY IN PARIS.”

PREFACE.

The name of the country town, in England–a well-known fashionable watering-place–in which the events that gave rise to the following correspondence occurred, is, for obvious reasons, suppressed. The interest attached, however, to the facts and personages of the story, renders it independent of all time and place; and when it is recollected that the whole train of romantic circumstances so fully unfolded in these Letters has passed during the short period which has now elapsed since the great Meetings in Exeter Hall, due credit will, it is hoped, be allowed to the Editor for the rapidity with which he has brought the details before the Public; while, at the same time any errors that may have been the result of such haste will, he trusts, with equal consideration, be pardoned.

THE FUDGES IN ENGLAND

LETTER I. FROM PATRICK MAGAN, ESQ., TO THE REV. RICHARD —-; CURATE OF —-, IN IRELAND.

Who d’ ye think we’ve got here?–quite reformed from the giddy.
Fantastic young thing that once made such a noise–
Why, the famous Miss Fudge–that delectable Biddy,
Whom you and I saw once at Paris, when boys,
In the full blaze of bonnets, and ribands, and airs–
Such a thing as no rainbow hath colors to paint;
Ere time had reduced her to wrinkles and prayers,
And the Flirt found a decent retreat in the Saint.

Poor “Pa” hath popt off–gone, as charity judges,
To some choice Elysium reserved for the Fudges;
And Miss, with a fortune, besides expectations
From some much revered and much palsied relations,
Now wants but a husband, with requisites meet,–
Age, thirty, or thereabouts–stature six feet,
And warranted godly–to make all complete.
Nota bene–a Churchman would suit, if he’s high,
But Socinians or Catholics need not apply.

What say you, Dick? doesn’t this tempt your ambition?
The whole wealth of Fudge, that renowned man of pith.
All brought to the hammer, for Church competition,–
Sole encumbrance, Miss Fudge to be taken therewith.
Think, my boy, for a Curate how glorious a catch!
While, instead of the thousands of souls you now watch,
To save Biddy Fudge’s is all you need do;
And her purse will meanwhile be the saving of you.

You may ask, Dick, how comes it that I, a poor elf,
Wanting substance even more than your spiritual self,
Should thus generously lay my own claims on the shelf,
When, God knows! there ne’er was young gentleman yet
So much lackt an old spinster to rid him from debt,
Or had cogenter reasons than mine to assail her
With tender love-suit–at the suit of his tailor.

But thereby there hangs a soft secret, my friend,
Which thus to your reverend breast I commend:
Miss Fudge hath a niece–such a creature!–with eyes
Like those sparklers that peep out from summer-night skies
At astronomers-royal, and laugh with delight
To see elderly gentlemen spying all night.

While her figure–oh! bring all the gracefullest things
That are borne thro’ the light air by feet or by wings,
Not a single new grace to that form could they teach,
Which combines in itself the perfection of each;
While, rapid or slow, as her fairy feet fall,
The mute music of symmetry modulates all.

Ne’er in short was there creature more formed to bewilder
A gay youth like me, who of castles aerial
(And only of such) am, God help me! a builder;
Still peopling each mansion with lodgers ethereal,
And now, to this nymph of the seraph-like eye,
Letting out, as you see, my first floor next the sky.

But, alas! nothing’s perfect on earth–even she,
This divine little gipsy, does odd things sometimes;
Talks learning–looks wise (rather painful to see),
Prints already in two County papers her rhymes;
And raves–the sweet, charming, absurd little dear,
About Amulets, Bijous, and Keepsakes, next year.
In a manner which plainly bad symptoms portends
Of that Annual blue fit, so distressing to friends;
A fit which, tho’ lasting but one short edition,
Leaves the patient long after in sad inanition.

However, let’s hope for the best–and, meanwhile,
Be it mine still to bask in the niece’s warm smile;
While you, if you’re wise, Dick, will play the gallant
(Uphill work, I confess,) to her Saint of an Aunt.
Think, my boy, for a youngster like you, who’ve a lack,
Not indeed of rupees, but of all other specie.

What luck thus to find a kind witch at your back,
An old goose with gold eggs, from all debts to release ye!
Never mind, tho’ the spinster be reverend and thin,
What are all the Three Graces to her Three per Cents?
While her aeres!–oh Dick, it don’t matter one pin
How she touches the affections, so you touch the rents;
And Love never looks half so pleased as when, bless him, he
Sings to an old lady’s purse “Open, Sesame.”

By the way, I’ve just heard, in my walks, a report,
Which, if true, will insure for your visit some sport.
‘Tis rumored our Manager means to bespeak
The Church tumblers from Exeter Hall for next week;
And certainly ne’er did a queerer or rummer set
Throw, for the amusement of Christians, a summerset.
‘Tis feared their chief “Merriman,” C–ke, cannot come,
Being called off, at present, to play Punch at home;
And the loss of so practised a wag in divinity
Will grieve much all lovers of jokes on the Trinity;–
His pun on the name Unigenitus, lately
Having pleased Robert Taylor, the Reverend, greatly.
‘Twill prove a sad drawback, if absent he be,
As a wag Presbyterian’s a thing quite to see;
And, ‘mong the Five Points of the Calvinists, none of ’em
Ever yet reckoned a point of wit one of ’em.
But even tho’ deprived of this comical elf,
We’ve a host of buffoni in Murtagh himself.
Who of all the whole troop is chief mummer and mime,
And Coke takes the Ground Tumbling, he the
Sublime;[1]
And of him we’re quite certain, so pray come in time.

[1] In the language of the play-bills, “Ground and Lofty Tumbling.”

LETTER II. FROM MISS BIDDY FUDGE TO MRS. ELIZABETH —-.

Just in time for the post, dear, and monstrously busy,
With godly concernments–and worldly ones, too;
Things carnal and spiritual mixt, my dear Lizzy,
In this little brain till, bewildered and dizzy,
‘Twixt heaven and earth, I scarce know what I do.

First, I’ve been to see all the gay fashions from Town,
Which our favorite Miss Gimp for the spring has had down.
Sleeves still worn (which I think is wise), a la folle,
Charming hats, pou de soie–tho’ the shape rather droll.
But you can’t think how nicely the caps of tulle lace,
With the mentonnieres look on this poor sinful face;
And I mean, if the Lord in his mercy thinks right,
To wear one at Mrs. Fitz-wigram’s to-night.

The silks are quite heavenly:–I’m glad too to say
Gimp herself grows more godly and good every day;
Hath had sweet experience–yea, even doth begin
To turn from the Gentiles, and put away sin–
And all since her last stock of goods was laid in.
What a blessing one’s milliner, careless of pelf,
Should thus “walk in newness,” as well as one’s self!
So much for the blessings, the comforts of Spirit
I’ve had since we met, and they’re more than I merit!–
Poor, sinful, weak creature in every respect,
Tho’ ordained (God knows why) to be one of the Elect.
But now for the picture’s reverse.–You remember
That footman and cook-maid I hired last December;
He a Baptist Particular–she, of some sect
Not particular, I fancy, in any respect;
But desirous, poor thing, to be fed with the Word,
And “to wait,” as she said, “on Miss Fudge and the Lord.”

Well, my dear, of all men, that Particular Baptist
At preaching a sermon, off hand, was the aptest;
And, long as he staid, do him justice, more rich in
Sweet savors of doctrine, there never was kitchen.
He preached in the parlor, he preached in the hall,
He preached to the chambermaids, scullions and all.
All heard with delight his reprovings of sin,
But above all, the cook-maid:–oh, ne’er would she tire–
Tho’, in learning to save sinful souls from the fire,
She would oft let the soles she was frying fall in.
(God forgive me for punning on points thus of piety!–
A sad trick I’ve learned in Bob’s heathen society.)
But ah! there remains still the worst of my tale;
Come, Asterisks, and help me the sad truth to veil–
Conscious stars, that at even your own secret turn pale!
* * * * *
* * * * *
In short, dear, this preaching and psalm-singing pair,
Chosen “vessels of mercy,” as I thought they were,
Have together this last week eloped; making bold
To whip off as much goods as both vessels could hold–
Not forgetting some scores of sweet Tracts from my shelves,
Two Family Bibles as large as themselves,
And besides, from the drawer–I neglecting to lock it–
My neat “Morning Manna, done up for the pocket.”[1]
Was there e’er known a case so distressing, dear Liz?
It has made me quite ill:-and the worst of it is,
When rogues are all pious, ’tis hard to detect
Which rogues are the reprobate, which the elect.
This man “had a call,” he said–impudent mockery!
What call had he to my linen and crockery?

I’m now and have been for this week past in chase
Of some godly young couple this pair to replace.
The enclosed two announcements have just met my eyes
In that venerable Monthly where Saints advertise
For such temporal comforts as this world supplies;
And the fruits of the Spirit are properly made
An essential in every craft, calling and trade.
Where the attorney requires for his ‘prentice some youth
Who has “learned to fear God and to walk in the truth;”
Where the sempstress, in search of employment, declares
That pay is no object, so she can have prayers;
And the Establisht Wine Company proudly gives out
That the whole of the firm, Co. and all, are devout.

Happy London, one feels, as one reads o’er the pages,
Where Saints are so much more abundant than sages;
Where Parsons may soon be all laid on the shelf,
As each Cit can cite chapter and verse for himself,
And the serious frequenters of market and dock
All lay in religion as part of their stock.[2]
Who can tell to what lengths we may go on improving,
When thus thro’ all London the Spirit keeps moving,
And heaven’s so in vogue that each shop advertisement
Is now not so much for the earth as the skies meant?

P. S.

Have mislaid the two paragraphs–can’t stop to look,
But both describe charming–both Footman and Cook.
She, “decidedly pious”–with pathos deplores
The increase of French cookery and sin on our shores;
And adds–(while for further accounts she refers
To a great Gospel preacher, a cousin of hers,)
That “tho’ some make their Sabbaths mere matter-of-fun days,
She asks but for tea and the Gospel, on Sundays.”
The footman, too, full of the true saving knowledge;–
Has late been to Cambridge–to Trinity College;
Served last a young gentleman, studying divinity,
But left–not approving the morals of Trinity.

P. S.

I enclose, too, according to promise, some scraps
Of my Journal–that Day-book I keep of my heart;
Where, at some little items, (partaking, perhaps,
More of earth than of heaven,) thy prudery may start,
And suspect something tender, sly girl as thou art.
For the present, I’m mute–but, whate’er may befall,
Recollect, dear, (in Hebrews, xiii. 4,) St. Paul
Hath himself declared, “marriage is honorable in all.”

EXTRACTS FROM MY DIARY.

Monday.

Tried a new chaele gown on–pretty.
No one to see me in it–pity!
Flew in a passion with Fritz, my maid;–
The Lord forgive me!–she lookt dismayed;
But got her to sing the 100th Psalm,
While she curled my hair, which made me calm.
Nothing so soothes a Christian heart
As sacred music–heavenly art!

Tuesday

At two a visit from Mr. Magan–
A remarkably handsome, nice young man;
And, all Hibernian tho’ he be,
As civilized, strange to say, as we!
I own this young man’s spiritual state
Hath much engrossed my thoughts of late;
And I mean, as soon as my niece is gone,
To have some talk with him thereupon.
At present I naught can do or say,
But that troublesome child is in the way;
Nor is there, I think, a doubt that he
Would also her absence much prefer,
As oft, while listening intent to me,
He’s forced, from politeness, to look at her.

Heigho!–what a blessing should Mr. Magan
Turn out, after all, a “renewed” young man;
And to me should fall the task, on earth,
To assist at the dear youth’s second birth.
Blest thought! and ah! more blest the tie,
Were it Heaven’s high will, that he and I–
But I blush to write the nuptial word–
Should wed, as St. Paul says, “in the Lord”;
Not this world’s wedlock–gross, gallant,
But pure–as when Amram married his aunt.

Our ages differ–but who would count
One’s natural sinful life’s amount,
Or look in the Register’s vulgar page
For a regular twice-born Christian’s age,
Who, blessed privilege! only then
Begins to live when he’s born again?
And, counting in this way–let me see–
I myself but five years old shall be.
And dear Magan, when the event takes place,
An actual new-born child of grace–
Should Heaven in mercy so dispose–
A six-foot baby, in swaddling clothes.

Wednesday.

Finding myself, by some good fate,
With Mr. Magan left tete-a-tete,
Had just begun–having stirred the fire,
And drawn my chair near his–to inquire,
What his notions were of Original Sin,
When that naughty Fanny again bounced in;
And all the sweet things I had got to say
Of the Flesh and the Devil were whiskt away!

Much grieved to observe that Mr. Magan
Is actually pleased and, amused with Fan!
What charms any sensible man can see
In a child so foolishly young as she–
But just eighteen, come next Mayday,
With eyes, like herself, full of naught but play–
Is, I own, an exceeding puzzle to me.

[1] “Morning Manna, or British Verse-book, neatly done up for the pocket,” and chiefly intended to assist the members of the British Verse Association, whose design is, we are told, “to induce the inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland to commit one and the same verse of Scripture to memory every morning. Already, it is known, several thousand persons in Scotland, besides tens of thousands in America and Africa, are every morning learning the same verse.”

[2] According to the late Mr. Irving, there is even a peculiar form of theology got up expressly for the money-market, “I know how far wide,” he says, “of the mark my views of Christ’s work in the flesh will be viewed by those who are working with the stock-jobbing theology of the religious world.” “Let these preachers.” he adds, “(for I will not call them theologians), cry up, brother like, their article,”–Morning Watch.”– No. iii, 442. 443.

LETTER III. FROM MISS FANNY FUDGE, TO HER COUSIN, MISS KITTY —-.

STANZAS ENCLOSED.

TO MY SHADOW; OR, WHY?–WHAT?–HOW?

Dark comrade of my path! while earth and sky
Thus wed their charms, in bridal light arrayed,
Why in this bright hour, walkst thou ever nigh;
Blackening my footsteps, with thy length of shade–
Dark comrade, WHY?

Thou mimic Shape that, mid these flowery scenes,
Glidest beside me o’er each sunny spot,
Saddening them as thou goest–say, what means
So dark an adjunct to so bright a lot–
Grim goblin, WHAT?

Still, as to pluck sweet flowers I bend my brow,
Thou bendest, too–then risest when I rise;–
Say, mute, mysterious Thing! how is’t that thou
Thus comest between me and those blessed skies–
Dim shadow, HOW?

(ADDITIONAL STANZA, BY ANOTHER HAND.)

Thus said I to that Shape, far less in grudge
Than gloom of soul; while, as I eager cried,
Oh Why? What? How?–a Voice, that one might judge
To be some Irish echo’s, faint replied,
Oh fudge, fudge, fudge!

You have here, dearest Coz, my last lyric effusion;
And, with it, that odious “additional stanza,
Which Aunt will insist I must keep, as conclusion,
And which, you’ll at once see, is Mr. Magan’s;–a
Most cruel and dark-designed extravaganza,
And part of that plot in which he and my Aunt are
To stifle the flights of my genius by banter.

Just so ’twas with Byron’s young eagle-eyed strain,
Just so did they taunt him;–but vain, critics, vain
All your efforts to saddle Wit’s fire with a chain!
To blot out the splendor of Fancy’s young stream,
Or crop, in its cradle, her newly-fledged beam!!!
Thou perceivest, dear, that, even while these lines I indite,
Thoughts burn, brilliant fancies break out, wrong or right,
And I’m all over poet, in Criticism’s spite!

That my Aunt, who deals only in Psalms, and regards
Messrs. Sternhold and Co. as the first of all bards–
That she should make light of my works I can’t blame;
But that nice, handsome, odious Magan–what a shame!
Do you know, dear, that, high as on most points I rate him,
I’m really afraid–after all, I–must hate him,
He is so provoking–naught’s safe from his tongue;
He spares no one authoress, ancient or young.
Were you Sappho herself, and in Keepsake or Bijou
Once shone as contributor, Lord! how he’d quiz you!
He laughs at all Monthlies–I’ve actually seen
A sneer on his brow at The Court Magazine!–
While of Weeklies, poor things, there’s but one he peruses,
And buys every book which that Weekly abuses.
But I care not how others such sarcasm may fear,
One spirit, at least, will not bend to his sneer;
And tho’ tried by the fire, my young genius shall burn as
Uninjured as crucified gold in the furnace!
(I suspect the word “crucified” must be made “crucible,”
Before this fine image of mine is producible.)
And now, dear–to tell you a secret which, pray
Only trust to such friends as with safety you may–
You know and indeed the whole country suspects
(Tho’ the Editor often my best things rejects),
That the verses signed so,[symbol: hand], which you now and then see
In our County Gazette (vide last) are by me.
But ’tis dreadful to think what provoking mistakes
The vile country Press in one’s prosody makes.
For you know, dear–I may, without vanity, hint–
Tho’ an angel should write, still ’tis devils must print;
And you can’t think what havoc these demons sometimes
Choose to make of one’s sense, and what’s worse, of one’s rhymes.
But a week or two since, in my Ode upon Spring,
Which I meant to have made a most beautiful thing,
Where I talkt of the “dewdrops from freshly-blown roses,”
The nasty things made it “from freshly-blown noses!”
And once when to please my cross Aunt, I had tried
To commemorate some saint of her cligue, who’d just died,
Having said he “had taken up in heaven his position,”
They made it, he’d “taken up to heaven his physician!”

This is very disheartening;–but brighter days shine,
I rejoice, love, to say both for me and the Nine;
For what do you think?–so delightful! next year,
Oh, prepare, dearest girl, for the grand news prepare–
I’m to write in “The Keepsake”–yes, Kitty, my dear.
To write in “The Keepsake,” as sure as you’re there!!
T’ other night, at a Ball, ’twas my fortunate chance
With a very nice elderly Dandy to dance,
Who, ’twas plain, from some hints which I now and then caught.
Was the author of something–one couldn’t tell what;
But his satisfied manner left no room to doubt
It was something that Colburn had lately brought out.

We conversed of belles-lettres thro’ all the quadrille,–
Of poetry, dancing, of prose, standing still;
Talkt of Intellect’s march–whether right ’twas or wrong–
And then settled the point in a bold en avant.
In the course of this talk ’twas that, having just hinted
That I too had Poems which–longed to be printed,
He protested, kind man! he had seen, at first sight,
I was actually born in “The Keepsake” to write.
“In the Annals of England let some,” he said, “shine,
“But a place in her Annuals, Lady, be thine!
“Even now future ‘Keepsakes‘ seem brightly to rise,
“Thro’ the vista of years, as I gaze on those eyes,–
“All lettered and prest, and of large-paper size!”
How unlike that Magan, who my genius would smother,
And how we true geniuses find out each other!

This and much more he said with that fine frenzied glance
One so rarely now sees, as we slid thro’ the dance;
Till between us ’twas finally fixt that, next year,
In this exquisite task I my pen should engage;
And, at parting, he stoopt down and lispt in my ear
These mystical words, which I could but just hear,
“Terms for rhyme–if it’s prime–ten and sixpence per page.”
Think, Kitty, my dear, if I heard his words right,
What a mint of half-guineas this small head contains;
If for nothing to write is itself a delight,
Ye Gods, what a bliss to be paid for one’s strains!

Having dropt the dear fellow a courtesy profound,
Off at once, to inquire all about him, I ran;
And from what I could learn, do you know, dear, I’ve found
That he’s quite a new species of literary man;
One, whose task is–to what will not fashion accustom us?–
To edit live authors, as if they were posthumous.
For instance–the plan, to be sure, is the oddest!–
If any young he or she author feels modest
In venturing abroad, this kind gentleman-usher
Lends promptly a hand to the interesting blusher;
Indites a smooth Preface, brings merit to light,
Which else might, by accident, shrink out of sight,
And, in short, renders readers and critics polite.
My Aunt says–tho’ scarce on such points one can credit her–
He was Lady Jane Thingumbob’s last novel’s editor.
‘Tis certain the fashion’s but newly invented;
And quick as the change of all things and all names is,
Who knows but as authors like girls are presented,
We girls may be edited soon at St. James’s?

I must now close my letter–there’s Aunt, in full screech,
Wants to take me to hear some great Irvingite preach.
God forgive me, I’m not much inclined, I must say,
To go and sit still to be preached at to-day.
And besides–’twill be all against dancing, no doubt,
Which my poor Aunt abhors with such hatred devout,
That so far from presenting young nymphs with a head,
For their skill in the dance, as of Herod is said,
She’d wish their own heads in the platter instead.
There again–coming, Ma’am!–I’ll write more, if I can,
Before the post goes,
Your affectionate Fan.

Four o’clock.

Such a sermon!–tho’ not about dancing, my dear;
‘Twas only on the end of the world being near.
Eighteen Hundred and Forty’s the year that some state
As the time for that accident–some Forty Eight[1]
And I own, of the two, I’d prefer much the latter,
As then I shall be an old maid, and ‘twon’t matter.
Once more, love, good-by–I’ve to make a new cap;
But am now so dead tired with this horrid mishap
Of the end of the world that I must take a nap.

[1] With regard to the exact time of this event, there appears to be a difference only of about two or three years among the respective calculators. M. Alphonse Nicole, Docteur en Droit. et Avocat, merely doubts whether it is to be in 1846 or 1847.

LETTER IV. FROM PATRICK MAGAN, ESQ., TO THE REV. RICHARD —-.

He comes from Erin’s speechful shore
Like fervid kettle, bubbling o’er
With hot effusions–hot and weak;
Sound, Humbug, all your hollowest drums,
He comes, of Erin’s martyrdoms
To Britain’s well-fed Church to speak.

Puff him, ye Journals of the Lord,[1]
Twin prosers, Watchman and Record!
Journals reserved for realms of bliss,
Being much too good to sell in this,
Prepare, ye wealthier Saints, your dinners,
Ye Spinsters, spread your tea and crumpets;
And you, ye countless Tracts for Sinners,
Blow all your little penny trumpets.
He comes, the reverend man, to tell
To all who still the Church’s part take,
Tales of parsonic woe, that well
Might make even grim Dissenter’s heart ache:–
Of ten whole bishops snatched away
For ever from the light of day;
(With God knows, too, how many more,
For whom that doom is yet in store)–
Of Rectors cruelly compelled
From Bath and Cheltenham to haste home,
Because the tithes, by Pat withheld,
Will not to Bath or Cheltenham come;
Nor will the flocks consent to pay
Their parsons thus to stay away;–
Tho’ with such parsons, one may doubt
If ’tisn’t money well laid out;–
Of all, in short, and each degree
Of that once happy Hierarchy,
Which used to roll in wealth so pleasantly;
But now, alas! is doomed to see
Its surplus brought to nonplus presently!

Such are the themes this man of pathos,
Priest of prose and lord of bathos,
Will preach and preach t’ye, till you’re dull again;
Then, hail him, Saints, with joint acclaim,
Shout to the stars his tuneful name,
Which Murtagh was, ere known to fame,
But now is Mortimer O’Mulligan!

All true, Dick, true as you’re alive–
I’ve seen him, some hours since, arrive.
Murtagh is come, the great Itinerant–
And Tuesday, in the market-place,
Intends, to every saint and sinner in’t,
To state what he calls Ireland’s Case;
Meaning thereby the case of his shop,-
Of curate, vicar, rector, bishop,
And all those other grades seraphic,
That make men’s souls their special traffic,
Tho’ caring not a pin which way
The erratic souls go, so they pay.–
Just as some roguish country nurse,
Who takes a foundling babe to suckle,
First pops the payment in her purse,
Then leaves poor dear to–suck its knuckle:
Even so these reverend rigmaroles
Pocket the money–starve the souls.
Murtagh, however, in his glory,
Will tell, next week, a different story;
Will make out all these men of barter,
As each a saint, a downright martyr,
Brought to the stake–i.e. a beef one,
Of all their martyrdoms the chief one;
Tho’ try them even at this, they’ll bear it,
If tender and washt down with claret.

Meanwhile Miss Fudge, who loves all lions.
Your saintly, next to great and high ‘uns–
(A Viscount, be he what he may,
Would cut a Saint out any day,)
Has just announced a godly rout,
Where Murtagh’s to be first brought out,
And shown in his tame, week-day state:–
“Prayers, half-past seven, tea at eight.”
Even so the circular missive orders–
Pink cards, with cherubs round the borders.

Haste, Dick–you’re lost, if you lose time;–
Spinsters at forty-five grow giddy,
And Murtagh with his tropes sublime
Will surely carry off old Biddy,
Unless some spark at once propose,
And distance him by downright prose.
That sick, rich squire, whose wealth and lands
All pass, they say, to Biddy’s hands,
(The patron, Dick, of three fat rectories!)
Is dying of angina pectoris;–
So that, unless you’re stirring soon.
Murtagh, that priest of puff and pelf,
May come in for a honey-moon,
And be the man of it, himself!

As for me, Dick–’tis whim, ’tis folly,
But this young niece absorbs me wholly.
‘Tis true, the girl’s a vile verse-maker–
Would rhyme all nature, if you’d let her;–
But even her oddities, plague take her,
But made me love her all the better.
Too true it is, she’s bitten sadly
With this new rage for rhyming badly,
Which late hath seized all ranks and classes,
Down to that new Estate, “the masses “;
Till one pursuit all tastes combines–
One common railroad o’er Parnassus,
Where, sliding in those tuneful grooves,
Called couplets, all creation moves,
And the whole world runs mad in lines.
Add to all this–what’s even still worse,
As rhyme itself, tho’ still a curse,
Sounds better to a chinking purse–
Scarce sixpence hath my charmer got,
While I can muster just a groat;
So that, computing self and Venus,
Tenpence would clear the amount between us.
However, things may yet prove better:–
Meantime, what awful length of letter!
And how, while heaping thus with gibes
The Pegasus of modern scribes,
My own small hobby of farrago
Hath beat the pace at which even they go!

[1] “Our anxious desire is to be found on the side of the Lord.”–Record
Newspaper
.

LETTER V. FROM LARRY O’BRANIGAN, IN ENGLAND, TO HIS WIFE JUDY, AT MULLINAFAD.

Dear Judy, I sind you this bit of a letther,
By mail-coach conveyance–for want of a betther–
To tell you what luck in this world I have had
Since I left the sweet cabin, at Mullinafad.
Och, Judy, that night!–when the pig which we meant
To dry-nurse in the parlor, to pay off the rent,
Julianna, the craythur–that name was the death of her–[1]
Gave us the shlip and we saw the last breath of her!
And there were the childher, six innocent sowls,
For their nate little play-fellow turning up howls;
While yourself, my dear Judy (tho’ grievin’s a folly),
Stud over Julianna’s remains, melancholy–
Cryin’, half for the craythur and half for the money,
“Arrah, why did ye die till we’d sowled you, my honey?”

But God’s will be done!–and then, faith, sure enough,
As the pig was desaiced, ’twas high time to be off.
So we gothered up all the poor duds we could catch,
Lock the owld cabin-door, put the kay in the thatch,
Then tuk laave of each other’s sweet lips in the dark,
And set off, like the Chrishtians turned out of the Ark;
The six childher with you, my dear Judy, ochone!
And poor I wid myself, left condolin’ alone.

How I came to this England, o’er say and o’er lands,
And what cruel hard walkin’ I’ve had on my hands,
Is, at this present writin’, too tadious to speak,
So I’ll mintion it all in a postscript, next week:–
Only starved I was, surely, as thin as a lath,
Till I came to an up-and-down place they call Bath,
Where, as luck was, I managed to make a meal’s meat,
By dhraggin’ owld ladies all day thro’ the street–
Which their docthors (who pocket, like fun, the pound starlins,)
Have brought into fashion to plase the owld darlins.
Divil a boy in all Bath, tho’ I say it, could carry
The grannies up hill half so handy as Larry;
And the higher they lived, like owld crows, in the air,
The more I was wanted to lug them up there.

But luck has two handles, dear Judy, they say,
And mine has both handles put on the wrong way.
For, pondherin’, one morn, on a drame I’d just had
Of yourself and the babbies, at Mullinafad,
Och, there came o’er my sinses so plasin’ a flutther,
That I spilt an owld Countess right clane in the gutther,
Muff, feathers and all!–the descint was most awful,
And–what was still worse, faith–I knew’twas unlawful:
For, tho’, with mere women, no very great evil,
‘Tupset an owld Countess in Bath is the divil!
So, liftin’ the chair, with herself safe upon it,
(for nothin’ about her–was kilt, but her bonnet,)
Without even mentionin’ “By your lave, ma’am,”
I tuk to my heels and–here, Judy, I am!

What’s the name of this town I can’t say very well,
But your heart sure will jump when you hear what befell
Your own beautiful Larry, the very first day,
(And a Sunday it was, shinin’ out mighty gay,)
When his brogues to this city of luck found their way.
Bein’ hungry, God help me and happenin’ to stop,
Just to dine on the shmell of a pasthry-cook’s shop,
I saw, in the window, a large printed paper.
And read there a name, och! that made my heart caper–
Though printed it was in some quare ABC,
That might bother a schoolmaster, let alone me.
By gor, you’d have laughed Judy, could you’ve but listened,
As, doubtin’, I cried, “why is it!–no, it isn’t:”
But it was, after all–for, by spellin’ quite slow,
First I made out “Rev. Mortimer”–then a great “O”;
And, at last, by hard readin’ and rackin’ my skull again,
Out it came, nate as imported, “O’Mulligan!”

Up I jumpt like a sky-lark, my jewel, at that name,–
Divil a doubt on my mind, but it must be the same
“Master Murthagh, himself,” says I, “all the world over!
My own fosther-brother–by jinks, I’m in clover.
Tho’ there, in the play-bill, he figures so grand,
One wet-nurse it was brought us both up by hand,
And he’ll not let me shtarve in the inemy’s land!”

Well, to make a long hishtory short, niver doubt
But I managed, in no time, to find the lad out:
And the joy of the meetin’ bethuxt him and me,
Such a pair of owld cumrogues–was charmin’ to see.
Nor is Murthagh less plased with the evint than I am,
As he just then was wanting a Valley-de-sham;
And, for dressin’ a gintleman, one way or t’other,
Your nate Irish lad is beyant every other.

But now, Judy, comes the quare part of the case;
And, in throth, it’s the only drawback on my place.
‘Twas Murthagh’s ill luck to be crost, as you know,
With an awkward mishfortune some short time ago;
That’s to say, he turned Protestant–why, I can’tlarn;
But, of coorse, he knew best, an’ it’s not my consarn.
All I know is, we both were good Catholics, at nurse,
And myself am so still–nayther better not worse.
Well, our bargain was all right and tight in a jiffy,
And lads more contint never yet left, the Liffey,
When Murthagh–or Morthimer, as he’s now chrishened,
His name being convarted, at laist, if he isn’t–
Lookin’ sly at me (faith, ’twas divartin’ to see)
Of coorse, you’re a Protestant, Larry,” says he.
Upon which says myself, wid a wink just as shly,
“Is’t a Protestant?–oh yes, I am, sir,” says I;–
And there the chat ended, and divil a more word
Controvarsial between us has since then occurred.

What Murthagh could mane, and, in troth, Judy dear,
What I myself meant, doesn’tseem mighty clear;
But the truth is, tho’ still for the Owld Light a stickler,
I was just then too shtarved to be over partic’lar:–
And, God knows, between us, a comic’ler pair
Of twin Protestants couldn’t be seen any where.

Next Tuesday (as towld in the play-bills I mintioned,
Addrest to the loyal and godly intintioned,)
His Riverence, my master, comes forward to preach,–
Myself doesn’tknow whether sarmon or speech,
But it’s all one to him, he’s a dead hand at each;
Like us Paddys in gin’ral, whose skill in orations
Quite bothers the blarney of all other nations.

But, whisht!–there’s his Riverence, shoutin’ out “Larry,”
And sorra a word more will this shmall paper carry;
So, here, Judy, ends my short bit of a letther,
Which, faix, I’d have made a much bigger and betther.
But divil a one Post-office hole in this town
Fit to swallow a dacent sized billy-dux down.
So good luck to the childer!–tell Molly, I love her;
Kiss Oonagh’s sweet mouth, and kiss Katty all over–
Not forgettin’ the mark of the red-currant whiskey
She got at the fair when yourself was so frisky.
The heavens be your bed!–I will write, when I can again,
Yours to the world’s end,

LARRY O’BRANIGAN.

[1] The Irish peasantry are very fond of giving fine names to their pigs. I have heard of one instance in which a couple of young pigs were named, at their birth, Abelard and Eloisa.

LETTER VI. FROM MISS BIDDY FUDGE, TO MRS. ELIZABETH —-.

How I grieve you’re not with us!–pray, come, if you can,
Ere we’re robbed of this dear, oratorical man,
Who combines in himself all the multiple glory
Of, Orangeman, Saint, quondam Papist and Tory;–
(Choice mixture! like that from which, duly confounded,
The best sort of brass was, in old times, compounded.)–
The sly and the saintly, the worldly and godly,
All fused down, in brogue so deliciously oddly!
In short, he’s a dear–and such audiences draws,
Such loud peals of laughter and shouts of applause,
As can’t but do good to the Protestant cause.

Poor dear Irish Church!–he today sketched a view
Of her history and prospect, to me at least new,
And which (if it takes as it ought) must arouse
The whole Christian world her just rights to espouse.
As to reasoning–you know, dear, that’s now of no use,
People still will their facts and dry figures produce,
As if saving the souls of a Protestant flock were
A thing to be managed “according to Cocker!”
In vain do we say, (when rude radicals hector
At paying some thousands a year to a Rector,
In places where Protestants never yet were,)
“Who knows but young Protestants may be born there?”
And granting such accident, think, what a shame,
If they didn’t find Rector and Clerk when they came!
It is clear that, without such a staff on full pay,
These little Church embryos must go astray;
And, while fools are computing what Parsons would cost,
Precious souls are meanwhile to the Establishment lost!

In vain do we put the case sensibly thus;–
They’ll still with their figures and facts make a fuss,
And ask “if, while all, choosing each his own road,
Journey on, as we can, towards the Heavenly Abode,
It is right that seven eighths of the travellers should pay
For one eighth that goes quite a different way?”–
Just as if, foolish people, this wasn’t, in reality,
A proof of the Church’s extreme liberality,
That tho’ hating Popery in other respects,
She to Catholic money in no way objects;
And so liberal her very best Saints, in this sense,
That they even go to heaven at the Catholic’s expense.

But tho’ clear to our minds all these arguments be,
People cannot or will not their cogency see;
And I grieve to confess, did the poor Irish Church
Stand on reasoning alone, she’d be left in the lurch.
It was therefore, dear Lizzy, with joy most sincere,
That I heard this nice Reverend O’something we’ve here,
Produce, from the depths of his knowledge and reading,
A view of that marvellous Church, far exceeding,
In novelty, force, and profoundness of thought,
All that Irving himself in his glory e’er taught.

Looking thro’ the whole history, present and past,
Of the Irish Law Church, from the first to the last;
Considering how strange its original birth–
Such a thing having never before been on earth–
How opposed to the instinct, the law and the force
Of nature and reason has been its whole course;
Thro’ centuries encountering repugnance, resistance,
Scorn, hate, execration–yet still in existence!
Considering all this, the conclusion he draws
Is that Nature exempts this one Church from her laws–
That Reason, dumb-foundered, gives up the dispute,
And before the portentous anomaly stands mute;
That in short ’tis a Miracle! and, once begun,
And transmitted thro’ ages, from father to son,
For the honor of miracles, ought to go on.

Never yet was conclusion so cogent and sound,
Or so fitted the Church’s weak foes to confound.
For observe the more low all her merits they place,
The more they make out the miraculous case,
And the more all good Christians must deem it profane
To disturb such a prodigy’s marvellous reign.

As for scriptural proofs, he quite placed beyond doubt
That the whole in the Apocalypse may be found out,
As clear and well-proved, he would venture to swear,
As anything else has been ever found there:–
While the mode in which, bless the dear fellow, he deals
With that whole lot of vials and trumpets and seals,
And the ease with which vial on vial he strings,
Shows him quite a first-rate at all these sort of things.

So much for theology:–as for the affairs
Of this temporal world–the light drawing-room cares
And gay toils of the toilet, which, God knows, I seek,
From no love of such things, but in humbleness meek,
And to be, as the Apostle, was, “weak with the weak,”
Thou wilt find quite enough (till I’m somewhat less busy)
In the extracts inclosed, my dear news-loving Lizzy.

EXTRACTS FROM MY DIARY.

Thursday.

Last night, having naught more holy to do,
Wrote a letter to dear Sir Andrew Agnew,
About the “Do-nothing-on-Sunday-club,”
Which we wish by some shorter name to dub:–
As the use of more vowels and Consonants
Than a Christian on Sunday really wants,
Is a grievance that ought to be done away,
And the Alphabet left to rest, that day.

Sunday.

Sir Andrew’s answer!–but, shocking to say,
Being franked unthinkingly yesterday.
To the horror of Agnews yet unborn,
It arrived on this blessed Sunday morn!!–
How shocking!–the postman’s self cried “shame on’t,”
Seeing the immaculate Andrew’s name on’t!!
What will the Club do?–meet, no doubt.
‘Tis a matter that touches the Class Devout,
And the friends of the Sabbath must speak out.

Tuesday.

Saw to-day, at the raffle–and saw it with pain–
That those stylish Fitzwigrams begin to dress plain.
Even gay little Sophy smart trimmings renounces–
She who long has stood by me thro’ all sorts of flounces,
And showed by upholding the toilet’s sweet rites,
That we girls may be Christians without being frights.
This, I own, much alarms me; for tho’ one’s religious,
And strict and–all that, there’s no need to be hideous;
And why a nice bonnet should stand in the way
Of one’s going to heaven, ’tisn’t easy to say.

Then, there’s Gimp, the poor thing–if her custom we drop,
Pray what’s to become of her soul and her shop?
If by saints like ourselves no more orders are given,
She’ll lose all the interest she now takes in heaven;
And this nice little “fire-brand, pluckt from the burning,”
May fall in again at the very next turning.

Wednesday.

Mem.–To write to the India Mission Society;
And send L20–heavy tax upon piety!

Of all Indian luxuries we now-a-days boast,
Making “Company’s Christians” perhaps costs the most.
And the worst of it is, that these converts full grown,
Having lived in our faith mostly die in their own,[1]
Praying hard, at the last, to some god who, they say,
When incarnate on earth, used to steal curds and whey.[2]
Think, how horrid, my dear!–so that all’s thrown away;
And (what is still worse) for the rum and the rice
They consumed, while believers, we saints pay the price.

Still ’tis cheering to find that we do save a few–
The Report gives six Christians for Cunnangcadoo;
Doorkotchum reckons seven, and four Trevandrum,
While but one and a half’s left at Cooroopadum.
In this last-mentioned place ’tis the barbers enslave ’em,
For once they turn Christians no barber will shave ’em.[3]

To atone for this rather small Heathen amount,
Some Papists, turned Christians,[4] are tackt to the account.
And tho’ to catch Papists, one needn’t go so far,
Such fish are worth hooking, wherever they are;
And now, when so great of such converts the lack is,
One Papist well caught is worth millions of Blackies.

Friday.

Last night had a dream so odd and funny,
I cannot resist recording it here.–
Methought that the Genius of Matrimony
Before me stood with a joyous leer,
Leading a husband in each hand,
And both for me, which lookt rather queer;–
One I could perfectly understand,
But why there were two wasn’t quite so clear.
T’was meant however, I soon could see,
To afford me a choice–a most excellent plan;
And–who should this brace of candidates be,
But Messrs. O’Mulligan and Magan:–
A thing, I suppose, unheard of till then,
To dream, at once, of two Irishmen!–
That handsome Magan, too, with wings on his shoulders
(For all this past in the realms of the Blest.)
And quite a creature to dazzle beholders;
While even O’Mulligan, feathered and drest
As an elderly cherub, was looking his best.
Ah Liz, you, who know me, scarce can doubt
As to which of the two I singled out.
But–awful to tell–when, all in dread
Of losing so bright a vision’s charms,
I graspt at Magan, his image fled,
Like a mist, away, and I found but the head
Of O’Mulligan, wings and all, in my arms!
The Angel had flown to some nest divine.
And the elderly Cherub alone was mine!

Heigho!–it is certain that foolish Magan
Either can’tor won’t see that he might be the man;
And, perhaps, dear–who knows?–if naught better befall
But–O’Mulligan may be the man, after all.

N. B.

Next week mean to have my first scriptural rout,
For the special discussion of matters devout;–
Like those soirees, at Powerscourt, so justly renowned,
For the zeal with which doctrine and negus went round;
Those theology-routs which the pious Lord Roden,
That pink of Christianity, first set the mode in;
Where, blessed down-pouring[5]from tea until nine,
The subjects lay all in the Prophecy line;–
Then, supper–and then, if for topics hard driven,
From thence until bed-time to Satan was given;
While Roden, deep read in each topic and tome,
On all subjects (especially the last) was at home.

[1] Of such relapses we find innumerable instances in the accounts of the Missionaries.

[2] The god Krishna, one of the incarnations of the god Vishnu. “One day [says the Bhagavata] Krishna’s playfellows complained to Tasuda that he had pilfered and ate their curds.”

[3] “Roteen wants shaving; but the barber here will not do it. He is run away lest he should be compelled. He says he will not shave Yesoo Kreest’s people.”–Bapt. Mission Society, vol. ii., p. 498.

[4] In the Reports of the Missionaries, the Roman Catholics are almost always classed along with the Heathen.

[5] “About eight o’clock the Lord began to pour down his spirit copiously upon us–for they had all by this time assembled in my room for the purpose of prayer. This down-pouring continued till about ten o’clock.”– Letter from Mary Campbell to the Rev. John Campbell, of Row, dated Feruicary, April 4, 1830, giving an account of her “miraculous cure.”

LETTER VII. FROM MISS FANNY FUDGE, TO HER COUSIN, MISS KITTY —-.

IRREGULAR ODE.

Bring me the slumbering souls of flowers,
While yet, beneath some northern sky,
Ungilt by beams, ungemmed by showers,
They wait the breath of summer hours,
To wake to light each diamond eye,
And let loose every florid sigh!

Bring me the first-born ocean waves,
From out those deep primeval caves,
Where from the dawn of Time they’ve lain–
THE EMBRYOS OF A FUTURE MAIN!–
Untaught as yet, young things, to speak
The language of their PARENT SEA
(Polyphlysbaean named, in Greek),
Tho’ soon, too soon, in bay and creek,
Round startled isle and wondering peak,
They’ll thunder loud and long as HE!

Bring me, from Hecla’s iced abode,
Young fires–

I had got, dear, thus far in my ODE
Intending to fill the whole page to the bottom,
But, having invoked such a lot of fine things,
Flowers, billows and thunderbolts, rainbows and wings,
Didn’t know what to do with ’em, when I had got ’em.
The truth is, my thoughts are too full, at this minute,
Of Past MSS. any new ones to try.
This very night’s coach brings my destiny in it–
Decides the great question, to live or to die!
And, whether I’m henceforth immortal or no,
All depends on the answer of Simpkins and Co.!

You’ll think, love, I rave, so ’tis best to let out
The whole secret, at once–I have publisht a book!!!
Yes, an actual Book:–if the marvel you doubt,
You have only in last Monday’s Courier to look,
And you’ll find “This day publisht by Simpkins and Co.
A Romaunt, in twelve Cantos, entitled ‘Woe Woe!’
By Miss Fanny F—-, known more commonly so [symbol: hand].”
This I put that my friends mayn’t be left in the dark
But may guess at my writing by knowing my mark.

How I managed, at last, this great deed to achieve,
Is itself a “Romaunt” which you’d scarce, dear believe;
Nor can I just now, being all in a whirl,
Looking out for the Magnet,[1] explain it, dear girl.
Suffice it to say, that one half the expense
Of this leasehold of fame for long centuries hence–
(Tho’ “God knows,” as aunt says my humble ambition
Aspires not beyond a small Second Edition)–
One half the whole cost of the paper and printing,
I’ve managed, to scrape up, this year past, by stinting
My own little wants in gloves, ribands, and shoes,
Thus defrauding the toilet to fit out the Muse!

And who, my dear Kitty; would not do the same?
What’s eau de Cologne to the sweet breath of fame?
Yards of riband soon end–but the measures of rhyme,
Dipt in hues of the rainbow, stretch out thro’ all time.
Gloves languish and fade away pair after pair,
While couplets shine out, but the brighter for wear,
And the dancing-shoe’s gloss in an evening is gone,
While light-footed lyrics thro’ ages trip on.

The remaining expense, trouble, risk–and, alas!
My poor copyright too–into other hands pass;
And my friend, the Head Devil of the “County Gazette”
(The only Mecaenas I’ve ever had yet),
He who set up in type my first juvenile lays,
Is now see up by them for the rest of his days;
And while Gods (as my “Heathen Mythology” says)
Live on naught but ambrosia, his lot how much sweeter
To live, lucky devil, on a young lady’s metre!

As for puffing–that first of all literary boons,
And essential alike both to bards and balloons,
As, unless well supplied with inflation, ’tis found
Neither bards nor balloons budge an inch from the ground;–
In this respect, naught could more prosperous befall;
As my friend (for no less this kind imp can I call)

Knows the whole would of critics–the hypers and all.
I suspect he himself, indeed, dabbles in rhyme,
Which, for imps diabolic, is not the first time;
As I’ve heard uncle Bob say, ’twas known among Gnostics,
That the Devil on Two Sticks was a devil at Acrostics.

But hark! there’s the Magnet just dasht in from Town–
How my heart, Kitty, beats! I shall surely drop down.
That awful Court Journal, Gazette Athenaeum,
All full of my book–I shall sink when I see ’em.
And then the great point–whether Simpkins and Co.
Are actually pleased with their bargain or no!–

Five o’clock.

All’s delightful–such praises!–I really fear
That this poor little head will turn giddy, my dear,
I’ve but time now to send you two exquisite scraps–
All the rest by the Magnet, on Monday, perhaps.

FROM THE “MORNING POST.”

‘Tis known that a certain distinguisht physician
Prescribes, for dyspepsia, a course of light reading;
And Rhymes by young Ladies, the first, fresh edition
(Ere critics have injured their powers of nutrition,)
Are he thinks, for weak stomachs, the best sort of feeding.
Satires irritate–love-songs are found calorific;
But smooth, female sonnets he deems a specific,
And, if taken at bedtime, a sure soporific.
Among works of this kind, the most pleasing we know,
Is a volume just published by Simpkins and Co.,
Where all such ingredients–the flowery, the sweet,
And the gently narcotic–are mixt per receipt,
With a hand so judicious, we’ve no hesitation
To say that–‘bove all, for the young generation–
‘Tis an elegant, soothing and safe preparation.

Nota bene–for readers, whose object’s to sleep,
And who read, in their nightcaps, the publishers keep
Good fire-proof binding, which comes very cheap.

ANECDOTE–FROM THE “COURT JOURNAL.”

T’ other night, at the Countess of ***’s rout,
An amusing event was much whispered about.
It was said that Lord —, at the Council, that day,
Had, move than once, jumpt from his seat, like a rocket,
And flown to a corner, where–heedless, they say,
How the country’s resources were squandered away–
He kept reading some papers he’d brought in his pocket.
Some thought them despatches from Spain or the Turk,
Others swore they brought word we had lost the Mauritius;
But it turned out ’twas only Miss Fudge’s new work,
Which his Lordship devoured with such zeal expeditious–
Messrs. Simpkins and Co., to avoid all delay,
Having sent it in sheets, that his Lordship might say,
He had distanced the whole reading world by a day!

[1] A day-coach of that name.

LETTER VIII. FROM BOB FUDGE, ESQ., TO THE REV. MORTIMER O’MULLIGAN.

Tuesday evening,

I much regret, dear Reverend Sir,
I could not come to * * * to meet you;
But this curst gout won’t let me stir–
Even now I but by proxy greet you;
As this vile scrawl, whate’er its sense is,
Owes all to an amanuensis.
Most other scourges of disease
Reduce men to extremities
But gout won’t leave one even these.

From all my sister writes, I see
That you and I will quite agree.
I’m a plain man who speak the truth,
And trust you’ll think me not uncivil,
When I declare that from my youth
I’ve wisht your country at the devil:
Nor can I doubt indeed from all
I’ve heard of your high patriot fame–
From every word your lips let fall–
That you most truly wish the same.
It plagues one’s life out–thirty years
Have I had dinning in my ears,
“Ireland wants this and that and t’other,”
And to this hour one nothing hears
But the same vile, eternal bother.
While, of those countless things she wanted,
Thank God, but little has been granted,
And even that little, if we’re men
And Britons, we’ll have back again!

I really think that Catholic question
Was what brought on my indigestion;
And still each year, as Popery’s curse
Has gathered round us, I’ve got worse;
Till even my pint of port a day
Can’t keep the Pope and bile away.
And whereas, till the Catholic bill,
I never wanted draught or pill,
The settling of that cursed question
Has quite unsettled my digestion.

Look what has happened since–the Elect
Of all the bores of every sect,
The chosen triers of men’s patience,
From all the Three Denominations.
Let loose upon us;–even Quakers
Turned into speechers and lawmakers,
Who’ll move no question, stiff-rumpt elves,
Till first the Spirit moves themselves;
And whose shrill Yeas and Nays, in chorus,
Conquering our Ayes and Noes sonorous,
Will soon to death’s own slumber snore us.
Then, too, those Jews!–I really sicken
To think of such abomination;
Fellows, who won’t eat ham with chicken,
To legislate for this great nation!–
Depend upon’t, when once they’ve sway,
With rich old Goldsmid at the head o’ them,
The Excise laws will be done away,
And Circumcise ones past instead o’ them!

In short, dear sir, look where one will,
Things all go on so devilish ill,
That, ‘pon my soul, I rather fear
Our reverend Rector may be right,
Who tells me the Millennium’s near;
Nay, swears he knows the very year,
And regulates his leases by ‘t;–
Meaning their terms should end, no doubt,
Before the world’s own lease is out.
He thinks too that the whole thing’s ended
So much more soon than was intended,
Purely to scourge those men of sin
Who brought the accurst Reform Bill in.

However, let’s not yet despair;
Tho’ Toryism’s eclipst, at present.
And–like myself, in this old chair–
Sits in a state by no means pleasant;
Feet crippled–hands, in luckless hour,
Disabled of their grasping power;
And all that rampant glee, which revelled
In this world’s sweets, be-dulled, be-deviled–

Yet, tho’ condemned to frisk no more,
And both in Chair of Penance set,
There’s something tells me, all’s not o’er
With Toryism or Bobby yet;
That tho’, between us, I allow
We’ve not a leg to stand on now;
Tho’ curst Reform and colchicum
Have made us both look deuced glum,
Yet still, in spite of Grote and Gout,
Again we’ll shine triumphant out!

Yes–back again shall come, egad,
Our turn for sport, my reverend lad.
And then, O’Mulligan–oh then,
When mounted on our nags again,
You, on your high-flown Rosinante,
Bedizened out, like Show-Gallantee
(Glitter great from substance scanty);–
While I, Bob Fudge, Esquire, shall ride
Your faithful Sancho, by your side;
Then–talk of tilts and tournaments!
Dam’me, we’ll–

* * * * *

‘Squire Fudge’s clerk presents
To Reverend Sir his compliments;
Is grieved to say an accident
Has just occurred which will prevent
The Squire–tho’ now a little better–
From finishing this present letter.
Just when he’d got to “Dam’me, we’ll”–
His Honor, full of martial zeal,
Graspt at his crutch, but not being able
To keep his balance or his hold,
Tumbled, both self and crutch, and rolled,
Like ball and bat, beneath the table.

All’s safe–the table, chair and crutch;–
Nothing, thank God, is broken much,
But the Squire’s head, which in the fall
Got bumped considerably–that’s all.
At this no great alarm we feel,
As the Squire’s head can bear a deal.

Wednesday morning

Squire much the same–head rather light–
Raved about “Barbers’ Wigs” all night.

Our housekeeper, old Mrs. Griggs,
Suspects that he meant “barbarous Whigs.”

LETTER IX. FROM LARRY O’BRANIGAN, TO HIS WIFE JUDY.

As it was but last week that I sint you a letther,
You’ll wondher, dear Judy, what this is about;
And, throth, it’s a letther myself would like betther,
Could I manage to lave the contints of it out;
For sure, if it makes even me onaisy,
Who takes things quiet, ’twill dhrive you crazy.

Oh! Judy, that riverind Murthagh, bad scran to him!
That e’er I should come to’ve been sarvant-man to him,
Or so far demane the O’Branigan blood,
And my Aunts, the Diluvians (whom not even the Flood
Was able to wash away clane from the earth)[1]
As to sarve one whose name, of mere yestherday’s birth,
Can no more to a great O, before it, purtend,
Than mine can to wear a great Q at its end.

But that’s now all over–last night I gev warnin,’
And, masth’r as he is, will discharge him this mornin’.
The thief of the world!–but it’s no use balraggin'[2]–
All I know is, I’d fifty times rather be draggin’
Ould ladies up hill to the ind of my days,

Than with Murthagh to rowl in a chaise, at my aise,
And be forced to discind thro’ the same dirty ways.
Arrah, sure, if I’d heerd where he last showed his phiz,
I’d have known what a quare sort of monsthsr he is;
For, by gor, ’twas at Exether Change, sure enough,
That himself and his other wild Irish showed off;
And it’s pity, so ’tis, that they hadn’t got no man
Who knew the wild crathurs to act as their showman–
Sayin’, “Ladies and Gintlemen, plaze to take notice,
“How shlim and how shleek this black animal’s coat is;
“All by raison, we’re towld, that the natur o’ the baste
“Is to change its coat once in its lifetime, at laste;
“And such objiks, in our counthry, not bein’ common ones,
“Are bought up, as this was, by way of Fine Nomenons.
“In regard of its name–why, in throth, I’m consarned
“To differ on this point so much with the Larned,
“Who call it a ‘Morthimer,’ whereas the craythur
“Is plainly a ‘Murthagh,’ by name and by nathur.”

This is how I’d have towld them the righst of it all.
Had I been their showman at Exether Hail–
Not forgettin’ that other great wondher of Airin
(Of the owld bitther breed which they call Prosbetairin),
The famed Daddy Coke–who, by gor, I’d have shown ’em
As proof how such bastes may be tamed, when you’ve thrown ’em
A good frindly sop of the rale Raigin Donem.[3]
But throth, I’ve no laisure just now, Judy dear,
For anything, barrin’ our own doings here,
And the cursin’ and dammin’ and thund’rin like mad,
We Papists, God help us, from Murthagh have had.
He says we’re all murtherers–divil a bit less–
And that even our priests, when we go to confess,
Give us lessons in murthering and wish us success!

When axed how he daared, by tongue or by pen,
To belie, in this way, seven millions of men,
Faith, he said’twas all towld him by Docthor Den![4]
“And who the divil’s he?” was the question that flew
From Chrishtian to Chrishtian–but not a sowl knew.
While on went Murthagh, in iligant style,
Blasphaming us Cath’lics all the while,
As a pack of desaivers, parjurers, villains,
All the whole kit of the aforesaid millions;–
Yourself, dear Judy, as well as the rest,
And the innocent craythur that’s at your breast,
All rogues together, in word and deed,
Owld Den our insthructor and Sin our creed!

When axed for his proofs again and again,
Divil an answer he’d give but Docthor Den.
Couldn’the call into coort some livin’ men?
“No, thank you”–he’d stick to Docthor Den–
An ould gintleman dead a century or two,
Who all about us, live Catholics, knew;
And of coorse was more handy, to call in a hurry,
Than Docthor MacHale or Docthor Murray!

But, throth, it’s no case to be jokin’ upon,
Tho’ myself, from bad habits, is makin’ it one.
Even you, had you witnessed his grand climactherics,
Which actially threw one owld maid in hysterics–
Or, och! had you heerd such a purty remark as his,
That Papists are only “Humanity’s carcasses,
Risen”–but, by dad, I’m afeared I can’t give it ye–
Risen from the sepulchre of–inactivity;
And, like owld corpses, dug up from antikity,
Wandrin’ about in all sorts of inikity!!”–[5]
Even you, Judy, true as you are to the Owld Light,
Would have laught, out and out, at this iligant flight
Of that figure of speech called the Blatherumskite.
As for me, tho’ a funny thought now and then came to me,
Rage got the betther at last–and small blame to me,
So, slapping my thigh, “by the Powers of Delf,”
Says I bowldly “I’ll make a noration myself.”
And with that up I jumps–but, my darlint, the minit
I cockt up my head, divil a sinse remained in it.
Tho’, saited, I could have got beautiful on,
When I tuk to my legs, faith, the gab was all gone:–
Which was odd, for us, Pats, who, whate’er we’ve a hand in,
At laste in our legs show a sthrong understandin’.

Howsumdever, detarmined the chaps should pursaive
What I thought of their doin’s, before I tuk lave,
“In regard of all that,” says I–there I stopt short–
Not a word more would come, tho’ I shtruggled hard for’t.
So, shnapping my fingers at what’s called the Chair,
And the owld Lord (or Lady, I believe) that sat there–
“In regard of all that,” says I bowldly again–
“To owld Nick I pitch Mortimer–and Docthor Den”;–
Upon which the whole company cried out “Amen”;
And myself was in hopes ’twas to what I had said,
But, by gor, no such thing–they were not so well bred:
For, ’twas all to a prayer Murthagh just had read out,
By way of fit finish to job so devout:
That is–afther well damning one half the community,
To pray God to keep all in pace an’ in unity!

This is all I can shtuff in this letter, tho’ plinty
Of news, faith, I’ve got to fill more–if ’twas twinty.
But I’ll add, on the outside, a line, should I need it,
(Writin’ “Private” upon it, that no one may read it,)
To tell you how Mortimer (as the Saints chrishten him)
Bears the big shame of his sarvant’s dismisshin’ him.

(Private outside.)

Just come from his riv’rence–the job is all done–
By the powers, I’ve discharged him as sure as a gun!
And now, Judy dear, what on earth I’m to do
With myself and my appetite–both good as new–
Without even a single traneen in my pocket,
Let alone a good, dacent pound–starlin’, to stock it–
Is a mysht’ry I lave to the One that’s above,
Who takes care of us, dissolute sawls, when hard dhrove!

[1] “I am of your Patriarchs, I, a branch of one of your antediluvian families–fellows that the Flood could not wash away.”–CONGREVE, “Love for Love.”

[2] To balrag is to abuse–Mr. Lover makes it ballyrag, and he is high authority: but if I remember rightly, Curran in his national stories used to employ the word as above.–See Lover’s most amusing and genuinely Irish work, the “Legends and Stories of Ireland.”

[3] Larry evidently means the Regium Donum;–a sum contributed by the government annually to the support of the Presbyterian churches in Ireland.

[4]Correctly, Dens–Larry not being very particular in his nomenclature.

[5] “But she (Popery) is no longer the tenant of the sepulchre of inactivity. She has come from the burial-place, walking forth a monster, as if the spirit of evil had corrupted the carcass of her departed humanity; noxious and noisome an object of abhorrence and dismay to all who are not leagued with her in iniquity.”–Report of the Rev. Gentleman’s Speech, June 20, in the Record Newspaper.

LETTER X. FROM THE REV. MORTIMER O’MULLIGAN, TO THE REV. —-.

These few brief lines, my reverend friend,
By a safe, private hand I send
(Fearing lest some low Catholic wag
Should pry into the Letter-bag),
To tell you, far as pen can dare
How we, poor errant martyrs, fare;–
Martyrs, not quite to fire and rack,
As Saints were, some few ages back.
But–scarce less trying in its way–
To laughter, wheresoe’er we stray;
To jokes, which Providence mysterious
Permits on men and things so serious,
Lowering the Church still more each minute,
And–injuring our preferment in it.

Just think, how worrying ’tis, my friend,
To find, where’er our footsteps bend,
Small jokes, like squibs, around us whizzing;
And bear the eternal torturing play
Of that great engine of our day,
Unknown to the Inquisition–quizzing!
Your men of thumb-screws and of racks
Aimed at the body their attack;
But modern torturers, more refined,
Work their machinery on the mind.
Had St. Sebastian had the luck
With me to be a godly rover,
Instead of arrows, he’d be stuck
With stings of ridicule all over;
And poor St. Lawrence who was killed
By being on a gridiron grilled,
Had he but shared my errant lot,
Instead of grill on gridiron hot,
A moral roasting would have got.

Nor should I (trying as all this is)
Much heed the suffering or the shame–
As, like an actor, used to hisses,
I long have known no other fame,
But that (as I may own to you,
Tho’ to the world it would not do,)
No hope appears of fortune’s beams
Shining on any of my schemes;
No chance of something more per ann,
As supplement to Kellyman;
No prospect that, by fierce abuse
Of Ireland, I shall e’er induce
The rulers of this thinking nation
To rid us of Emancipation:
To forge anew the severed chain,
And bring back Penal Laws again.

Ah happy time! when wolves and priests
Alike were hunted, as wild beasts;
And five pounds was the price, per head,
For bagging either, live or dead;–[1]
Tho’ oft, we’re told, one outlawed brother
Saved cost, by eating up the other,
Finding thus all those schemes and hopes
I built upon my flowers and tropes
All scattered, one by one, away,
As flashy and unsound as they,
The question comes–what’s to be done?
And there’s but one course left me–one.
Heroes, when tired of war’s alarms,
Seek sweet repose in Beauty’s arms.
The weary Day-God’s last retreat is
The breast of silvery-footed Thetis;
And mine, as mighty Love’s my judge,
Shall be the arms of rich Miss Fudge!

Start not, my friend,–the tender scheme,
Wild and romantic tho’ it seem,
Beyond a parson’s fondest dream,
Yet shines, too, with those golden dyes,
So pleasing to a parson’s eyes
That only gilding which the Muse
Can not around her sons diffuse:–
Which, whencesoever flows its bliss,
From wealthy Miss or benefice,
To Mortimer indifferent is,
So he can only make it his.
There is but one slight damp I see
Upon this scheme’s felicity,
And that is, the fair heroine’s claim
That I shall take her family name.
To this (tho’ it may look henpeckt),
I can’t quite decently object,
Having myself long chosen to shine
Conspicuous in the alias[2] line;
So that henceforth, by wife’s decree,
(For Biddy from this point won’t budge)
Your old friend’s new address must be
The Rev. Mortimer O’Fudge
The “O” being kept, that all may see
We’re both of ancient family.

Such, friend, nor need the fact amaze you,
My public life’s a calm Euthanasia.
Thus bid I long farewell to all
The freaks of Exeter’s old Hall–
Freaks, in grimace, its apes exceeding,
And rivalling its bears in breeding.
Farewell, the platform filled with preachers–
The prayer given out, as grace, by speechers,
Ere they cut up their fellow-creatures:–
Farewell to dead old Dens’s volumes,
And, scarce less dead, old Standard’s columns:–
From each and all I now retire,
My task, henceforth, as spouse and sire,
To bring up little filial Fudges,
To be M.P.s, and Peers, and Judges–
Parsons I’d add too, if alas!
There yet were hope the Church could pass
The gulf now oped for hers and her,
Or long survive what Exeter
Both Hall and Bishop, of that name–
Have done to sink her reverend fame.
Adieu, dear friend–you’ll oft hear from me,
Now I’m no more a travelling drudge;
Meanwhile I sign (that you may judge
How well the surname will become me)
Yours truly,
MORTIMER O’FUDGE.

[1] “Among other amiable enactments against the Catholics at this period (1649), the price of five pounds was set on the head of a Romish priest–being exactly the same sum offered by the same legislators for the head of a wolf.”–Memoirs of Captain Rock, book i., chap. 10.

[2] In the first edition of his Dictionary, Dr. Johnson very significantly exemplified the meaning of the word “alias” by the instance of Mallet, the poet, who had exchanged for this more refined name his original Scotch patronymic, Malloch. “What other proofs he gave [says Johnson] of disrespect to his native country, I know not; but it was remarked of him that he was the only Scot whom Scotchmen did not commend.”–Life of Mallet.

LETTER XI. FROM PATRICK MAGAN, ESQ., TO THE REV. RICHARD —-.——, IRELAND.

Dear Dick–just arrived at my own humblegite,
I enclose you, post-haste, the account, all complete,
Just arrived, per express, of our late noble feat.

[Extract from the “County Gazette.”]

This place is getting gay and full again.

* * * * *

Last week was married, “in the Lord,”
The Reverend Mortimer O’Mulligan,
Preacher, in Irish, of the Word,
He, who the Lord’s force lately led on–
(Exeter Hall his Armagh-geddon,)[1]
To Miss B. Fudge of Pisgah Place,
One of the chosen, as “heir of grace,”
And likewise heiress of Phil. Fudge,
Esquire, defunct, of Orange Lodge.

Same evening, Miss F. Fudge, ’tis hinted–
Niece of the above, (whose “Sylvan Lyre,”
In our Gazette, last week, we printed).
Eloped with Pat. Magan, Esquire.
The fugitives were trackt some time,
After they’d left the Aunt’s abode,
By scraps of paper scrawled with rhyme,
Found strewed along the Western road;–
Some of them, ci-devant curlpapers,
Others, half burnt in lighting tapers.
This clew, however, to their flight,
After some miles was seen no more;
And, from inquiries made last night,
We find they’ve reached the Irish shore.

Every word of it true, Dick–the escape from Aunt’s thrall–
Western road–lyric fragments–curl-papers and all.
My sole stipulation, ere linkt at the shrine
(As some balance between Fanny’s numbers and mine),
Was that, when we were one, she must give up the Nine;
Nay, devote to the Gods her whole stock of MS.
With a vow never more against prose to transgress.
This she did, like a heroine;–smack went to bits
The whole produce sublime of her dear little wits–
Sonnets, elegies, epigrams, odes canzonets–
Some twisted up neatly, to form allumettes,
Some turned into papillotes, worthy to rise
And enwreathe Berenice’s bright locks in the skies!
While the rest, honest Larry (who’s now in my pay),
Begged, as “lover of po’thry,” to read on the way.

Having thus of life’s poetry dared to dispose,
How we now, Dick, shall manage to get thro’ its prose,
With such slender materials for style, Heaven knows!
But–I’m called off abruptly–another Express!
What the deuce can it mean?–I’m alarmed, I confess.

P.S.

Hurrah, Dick, hurrah, Dick, ten thousand hurrahs!
I’m a happy, rich dog to the end of my days.
There–read the good news–and while glad, for my sake,
That Wealth should thus follow in Love’s shining wake,
Admire also the moral–that he, the sly elf,
Who has fudged all the world, should be now fudged himself!

EXTRACT FROM LETTER ENCLOSED.

With pain the mournful news I write,
Miss Fudge’s uncle died last night;
And much to mine and friends’ surprise,
By will doth all his wealth devise–
Lands, dwellings–rectories likewise–
To his “beloved grand-niece,” Miss Fanny,
Leaving Miss Fudge herself, who many
Long years hath waited–not a penny!
Have notified the same to latter,
And wait instructions in the matter.
For self and partners, etc.

[1] The rectory which the Rev. gentleman holds is situated in the county of Armagh!–a most remarkable coincidence–and well worthy of the attention of certain expounders of the Apocalypse.