Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Are edible ; and Mrs. W.’s thrift,

She had a thrifty vein,-
Destined one pair for supper to make shift,—
Supper as usual at the hour of ten :
But ten o'clock arrived and quickly passed,
Eleven — twelve and one o'clock at last,
Without a sign of supper "even then !
At length, the speed of cookery to quicken,
Betty was called, and with reluctant feet,

Came up at a white heat “ Well, never I see chicken like them chicken! My saucepans, they have been a pretty while in

'em ! Enough to stew them, if it comes to that, To flesh and bones, and perfect rags; but drat Those Anti-biling Pills ! there is no bile in ’em !”

THE SWEEP'S COMPLAINT.

“I like to meet a sweep- such as come forth with the dawn, or somewhat earlier, with their little professional notes, sounding like the peep, peep, of a young sparrow."ESSAYS OF ELIA.

A voice cried Sweep no more!
Macbeth hath murdered sweep."— SHAKSPEARE.

One morning ere my usual time
I rose, about the seventh chime,
When little stanted boys that climb

Still linger in the street;

And as I walked, I saw indeed
A sample of the sooty breed,
Though he was rather run to seed,

In height above five feet.
A mongrel tint he seemed to take;
Poetic simile to make,
Day through his MARTIN ’gan to break,

White overcoming jet.
From side to side he crossed oblique,
Like Frenchman who has friends to seek,
And yet no English word can speak,

He walked upon the fret:
And while he sought the dingy job,
His laboring breast appeared to throb,
And half a hiccup half a sob

Betrayed internal woe.
To
cry
the
cry

he had by rote
He yearned, but law forbade the note,
Like Chanticleer, with roupy throat,
He gaped

but not a crow !
I watched him, and the glimpse I snatched
Disclosed his sorry eyelids patched
With red, as if the soot had catched

That hung about the lid;
And soon

I saw the tear-drop stray,
He did not care to brush

away ;
Thought I the cause he will betray —

And thus at last he did.

Well, here's a pretty go ! here's a Gagging Act,

if ever there was a gagging !

But I'm bound the members as silenced us, in

doing it had plenty of magging. They had better send us all off, they had, to

the School for the Deaf and Dumb, To unlarn us our mother tongues, and to make

signs and be regularly mum.

musn't cry

But they can't undo natur as sure as ever the

morning begins to peep, Directly I open my eyes, I can't help calling out

Sweep As natural as the sparrows among the chimbley

pots that say Cheep ! For my own part I find my suppressed voice

very uneasy, And comparable to nothing but having your

tissue stopt when you are sneezy. Well, it's all up with us ! tho' I suppose we

all

up. Here's a precious merry Christmas, I'm blest if

I can earn either bit or sup ! If crying Sweep, of mornings, is going beyond

quietness's border, Them as pretends to be fond of silence oughn't to

cry hear, hear, and order, order. I wonder Mr. Sutton, as we've sut-on too, don't

sympathize with us As a Speaker what don't speak, and that's exact

ly our own cus. God help us if we don't not cry, how are we

to pursue our callings?

I'm sure we're not half so bad as other businesses

with their bawlings. For instance, the general postmen, that at six

o'clock go about ringing, And wake

up

all the babbies that their mothers have just got to sleep with singing. Greens oughtn't to be cried no more than blacks

to do the unpartial job, If they bring in a Sooty Bill, they ought to have

brought in a Dusty Bob. Is a dustman's voice more sweet than ourn, when

he comes a seeking arter the cinders, Instead of a little boy like a blackbird in spring,

singing merrily under your windows ? There 's the omnibus cads as plies in Cheapside,

and keeps calling out Bank and City ; Let his Worship, the Mayor, decide if our call of

Sweep is not just as pretty. I can't see why the Jews should be let go about

crying Old Close thro' their hooky noses, And Christian laws should be ten times more hard

than the old stone laws of Moses. Why isn't the mouths of the muffin-men com

pelled to be equally shut ? Why, because Parliament members eat muffins,

but they never eat no sut. Next

year there won't be any May-day at all, we

shan't have no heart to dance, And Jack in the Green will go in black like

mourning for our mischance ;

If we live as long as May, that 's to say, through

the hard winter and pinching weather, For I don't see how we're to earn enough to keep

body and soul together. I only wish Mr. Wilberforce or some of them that

pities the niggers, Would take a peep down in our cellars, and look

at our miserable starving figures, A-sitting idle on our empty sacks, and all ready to

eat each other. And a brood of little ones crying for bread to a

heart-breaking Father and Mother. They haven't a rag of clothes to mend, if their

mothers had thread and needles, But crawl naked about the cellars, poor things,

like a swarm of common black beadles. If they 'd only inquired before passing the Act

and taken a few such peeps, I don't think that any real gentleman would have

set his face against sweeps. Climbing 's an ancient respectable art, and if His

tory's of any vally, Was recommended by Queen Elizabeth to the

great Sir Walter Raleigh, When he wrote on a pane of glass how I'd climb,

if the way I only knew, And she writ beneath, if your heart 's afeared,

don't venture up the flue. As for me I was always loyal, and respected all

powers that are higher,

« ForrigeFortsett »