« PreviousContinue »
A race unnumber'd as unknown,
Whom town or suburb calls her own;
Of vagrant love the various spawn,
and filth, from lace and lawn, Sons of Fleet-ditch, of bulks, of benches, Where
and porter meet their wenches, For neither health nor shame can wean us, From mixing with the midnight Venus.
Nor let my cits be here forgot :
They know to fin, as well as fot.
When Night demure walks forth, array'd
In hier thin negligée of fhade,
Late-risen from their long regale
Of beef and beer, and bawdy tale,
Abroad the common-council fally,
To poach for game in lane or alley;
This gets a fon, whose first essay
Will filch his father's till away ;
A daughter that, who may retire,
Some few years hence, with her own fire:
And, while his hand is on her placket,
The filial virtue picks his pocket.
Change-alley, too, is grown so nice,
A broker dares refine on vice :
With lord-like fcorn of marriage-vows,
In her own arms he cuckolds spouse ;
young and fresh while he would with her,
His loose thought glows with Kitty Fisher ;
Or, after nobler quarry running,
Profanely paints her out a Gunning.
Now these, of each degree and fort,
At Wapping dropp'd, perhaps at Court,
up for me, to swear and lie,
To laugh at hell, and heaven defy;
These, Tyburn's regimented train,
Who risk their necks to spread my reign,
From age to age, by right divine,
Hereditary rogues; were mine :
And each, by discipline severe,
Improv'd beyond all fame and fear,
From guilt to guilt advancing daily,
My constant friend the good Old Bailey
To me made over, late or foon ;
I think, at latest, once
But, by your interloping care,
Not one in ten shall be
Ere 'tis too late your error see,
You foes to Britain, and to me.
To me : agreed-But to the nation ?--
I prove it thus by demonftation.
First, that there is much good in ill,
My great apostle Mandevile
Has made most clear. Read, if you please,
His moral fable of the bees.
Our reverend clergy next will ownl,
Were all men good, their trade were gone;
That were it not for useful vice,
Their learned pains would bear no price :
Nay, we should quickly bid defiance
To their demonstrated alliance.
Next, kingdoms are compos'd, we know,
Of individuals, Jack and Joe.
Now these, our sovereign lords the rabble,
For ever prone to growl and squabble,
The monstrous many-headed beast,
Whom we muft not offend, but feast,
Like Cerberus, Mould liave their sop :
And what is that, but trufling up ?
How happy were their hearts, and gay,
At each return of hanging-day!
To see * Page swinging they admire,
Beyond ev'n * Madox on his wire !
No baiting of a bull or bear,
To * Perry dangling in the air !
And then, the being drunk a week,
For joy, some * Sheppard would not squeak!
But now that those good times are o'er,
How will they mutiny and roar!
Your scheme abfurd of fobor rules
Will sink the race of men to mules;
For ever drudging, sweating, broiling,
For ever for the public toiling:
Hard masters ! who, just when they need 'ers,
With a few thistles deign to feed ’ein.
Yet more--for it is seldom known
That fault or folly stands alone-
*** As these are all persons of note, and well known to our readers, we think any more particular mention of them unnecessary. MALLET.
You next debauch their infant-mind
With fumes of honourable wind;
Which must beget, in heads untry'd,
That worst of human vices, pride.
All who my humble paths forsake,
Will reckon, each, to be a Blake!
There, on the deck, with arms a-kimbo,
Already struts the future Bembow !
By you bred up to take delight in
No earthly thing but oaths and fighting.
These sturdy fons of blood and blows,
By pulling Monsieur by the nose,
By making kicks and cuffs the fashion,
Will put all Europe in a paflion.
The grand alliance, now quadruple,
Will pay us home, “ jusqu'au centuple :"
So the French King was heard to cry-
And can a king of Frenchmen lie?
These, and more mischiefs I foresee
From fondling brats of base degree.
As mushrooms that on dunghills rise,
The kindred-weeds beneath despise ;
So these their fellows will contemn,
Who, in revenge, will rage at thein :
For, through each rank, what more offends,
Than to behold the rise of friends ?
Still when our équals grow too great,
We may applaud, but we must hate.
Then, will it be endur'd, when John
Has put my hempen -ribbon on,
To see his ancient mess-mate Cloud,
By you made turbulent and proud,
And early taught my tree to bilk,
Pass in another all of silk?
Yet, one more mournful case to put :
A hundred mouths at once you shut !
Half Grub-ftreet, silenc'd in an hour,
Must curse your interposing power !
If my lost fons no longer Iteal,
What son of hers can earn a meal ?
You ruin many a gentle bard,
Who liv'd by heroes that die hard !
Their brother-hawkers too! that sung
How great from world to world they swung;
And by fad fonnets, quaver'd loud,
Drew tears and half-pence from the crowd!
Blind Fielding too-a mischief on him!
I with my sons would meet and stone him !
Sends his black squadrons up and down,
Who drive my best boys back to town.
They find that travelling now abroad,
To ease rich rascals on the road,
Is grown a calling much unfase;
That there are surer ways by half,
To which they have their equal claim,
Of earning daily food and fame :
So down, at home, they sit, and think
How best to rob, with pen and ink.
Hence, red-hot letters and essays,
By the John Lilburn of these days ;