But he still talked away, spite of coughs and of frowns,
So distracting all ears with his ups and his downs,
That a wag once, on hearing the orator say,
“My voice is for war,” asked him, “ Which of them, pray ?”

0! 0! Orator Puff,

One voice for an orator 's surely enough. Reeling homewards, one evening, top-heavy with gin,

And rehearsing his speech on the weight of the crown, He tripped near a saw-pit, and tumbled right in, “Sinking fund” the last words as his noddle came down.

0!0! Orator Puff,

One voice for an orator 's surely enough. “Help, help!” he exclaimed, in his he-and-she tones,

Help me out! help me out !- I have broken my bones !” Help you out !” said a Paddy, who passed ; " what a bother ! Why, there's two of you there; can't you help one another ?”

0! O! Orator Puff,
One voice for an orator's surely enough.


XII. — THE NEWCASTLE APOTHECARY. A MEMBER of the Æsculapian line lived at Newcastle-uponTyne : no man could better gild a pill, or make a bill, or mix a draught, or bleed, or blister ; or draw a tooth out of your head; or chatter scandal by your bed; or spread a plaster. His fame full six miles round the country ran; in short, in reputation he was solus : all the old women called him “a fine man!" His name was Bolus.

Benjamin Bolus, though in trade (which oftentimes will genius fetter), read works of fancy, it is said, and cultivated the « belles lettres." *

Bolus loved verse ; — and took so much delight in 't, all his prescriptions he resolved to write in 't. No opportunity he e'er let pass of writing the directions on his labels in dapper couplets, like Gay's Fables, or, rather, like the lines in Hudibras.

He had a patient lying at death's door, some three miles from the town,

it might be four, to whom, one evening, Bolus sent an article — in pharmacy that's called cathartical : and on the label of the stuff he wrote this verse, which one would think ras clear enough, and terse,

When taken,
To be well shaken."

* In both those French words tho o is unsounded.

[blocks in formation]

Next morning early Bolus rose, and to the patient's house he goes, upon his pad, who a vile trick of stumbling had : but he arrived, and gave a tap, between a single and a double rap. The servant lets him in, with dismal face, long as a courtier's out of place, — portending some disaster. John's countenance as rueful looked and grim, as if the apothecary had physicked him, and not his master.

"Well, how's the patient ?” Bolus said. John shook his head. * Indeed !- hum !- ha!- that 's very odd !- He took the draught?” — John gave a nod. - “ Well 7- how? — what then ?- speak out, you dunce !” “Why, then," says John, "we shook him once.”. -"Shook him! how ? how friend Bolus stammered out. We jolted him about.”

“What! shake the patient, man !- why, that won't do." “ No, sir,” quoth John, " and so we gave him two." “ Two shakes ! O, luckless verse! 'T would make the patient worse !” “It did so, sir, and so a third we tried." _“ Well, and what then ?”—“Then, sir, my master- died !"


A NERVOUS old gentleman, tired of trade,
By which, though, it seems, he a fortune had made,
Took a house 'twixt two sheds, at the skirts of the town,
Which he meant, at his leisure, to buy and pull down.
This thought struck his mind when he viewed the estate ;
But, alas ! when he entered he found it too late ;
For in each dwelt a smith; - a more hard-working two
Never doctored a patient, or put on a shoe.
At six in the morning, their anvils, at work,
Awoke our good squire, who raged like a Turk,
« These fellows," he cried, “such a clattering keep,
That I never can get above eight hours of sleep.”
From morning till night they keep thumping away, —
No sound but the anvil the whole of the day;
His afternoon's


and his daughter's new song Were banished and spoiled by their hammers' ding-dong. He offered each Vulcan to purchase his shop; · But, no! they were stubborn, determined to stop : · At length (both his spirits and health to improve) He cried, “ I'll give each fifty guineas to move."

“ Agreed !" said the pair ; “ that will make us amends." " Then come to my house, and let us part friends : You shall dine ; and we'll drink on this joyful occasion, That each may live long in his new habitation." He gave the two blacksmiths a sumptuous regale ; He spared not provisions, his wine, nor his ale; So much was he pleased with the thought that each guest Would take from him noise, and restore him to rest. “And now," said he, " tell me, where mean you to move ? I hope to some spot where your trade will improve." Why, sir,” replied one, with a grin on his phiz, "Tom Forge moves to my shop, and I move to his ! ”


One day, a rich man, flushed with pride and wine,

Sitting with guests at table, all quite merry, —
Conceived it would be vastly fine

To crack a joke upon his secretary. “ Young man,” said he, “by what art, craft, or trade,

Did your good father earn his livelihood ? " “ He was a saddler, sir,” the young man said,

“ And in his line was always reckoned good.”. “A saddler, eh ? and had you stufted with Greek,

Instead of teaching you like him to do!
And pray, sir, why did not your father make

A saddler, too, of you ?
At this each flatterer, as in duty bound,
The joke applauded, and the laugh went round.
At length, the secretary, bowing low,

Said (craving pardon if too free he made), “Sir, by your leave, I fain would know

Your father's trade." My father's trade? Why, sir, but that 's too bad !

My father's trade! Why, blockhead, art thou mad ? My father, sir, was never brought so low.

He was a gentleman, I'd have you know !” “ Indeed! excuse the liberty I take;

But, if your story 's true,
How happened it your father did not make
A gentleman of you?”

ANON. (alfured

[ocr errors]




T was the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring- not even a mouse :
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In the hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads,
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,

open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of midday to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick!
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name :

Now, Dasher ! now, Dancer ! now, Prancer! now, Vixen !
On, Comet! on, Cupid ! on, Dunder and Blixen !
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall !
Now, dash away! dash away! dash away,

As dry leaves, that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys - and St. Nicholas, too ;
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack ;
His eyes, how they twinkled ! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow ;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face, and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, - a right jolly old elf, -
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all his stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And, laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle ; But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”


In a bower a widow dwelt;
At her feet three suitors knelt;
Each adored the widow much,
Each essayed her heart to touch ;
One had wit, and one had gold,
And one was cast in beauty's mould;
Guess which was it won the prize,
Purse, or tongue, or handsome eyes ?
First appeared the handsome man,
Proudly peeping o'er her fan;
Red his lips, and white his skin,
Could such beauty fail to win ?
Then stepped forth the man of gold ;
Cash he counted, coin he told,
Wealth the burden of his tale, -
Could such golden projects fail ?

Then the man of wit and sense
Wooed her with his eloquence.
Now she blushed, she knew not why;
Now a tear was in her eye;
Then she smiled, to hear him speak;
Then the tear was on her cheek ;
Beauty, vanish! Gold, depart !
Wir has won the widow's heart!



« ForrigeFortsett »