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The Egyptians weren't at all partic'lar, | Sometimes, indeed, their neighbours'
So that their Kings had not red hair- faces This fault not even the greatest stickler Might strike them as more full of
For the blood-royal well could bear. A thousand more such illustrations More fresh than those in certain placesMight be adduced from various nations; But, Lord ! the very thought was But, 'mong the many tales they tell us, treason ! Touching the acquired or natural right
Besides, howe'er we love our neighbour, Which some men have to rule their
And take his face's part, 'tis known fellows,
We never half so earnest labour, There's ove which I shall here recite:
As when the face attacked 's our own.
So on they went—the crowd believing Fable.
(As crowds well governed always do); THERE was a land—to name the place
Their rulers, too, themselves deIs neither now my wish nor duty
ceivingWhere reigned a certain royal race,
So old the joke they thought it true. By right of their superior beauty. But jokes, we know, if they too far go, What was the cut legitimate
Must have an end; and so, one day, Of these great persons' chins and Upon that coast there was a cargo noses,
Of looking-glasses cast away. By right of which they ruled the state, 'Twas said some Radicals, somewhere, No history 1 have seen discloses.
Had laid their wicked heads together, But so it was-a settled case
And forced that ship to founder thereSome Act of Parliament, passed While some believeit was the weather.
snugly, Had yoted them a beauteous race,
However this might be, the freight And all their faithful subjects ugly. And from that hour historians date
Was landed without fees or duties; As rank, indeed, stood high or low, The downfall of the race of beauties.
Some change it made in visual organs;
And grew so common through the land, But all your common people gorgons! That scarce a tinker could walk out
Without a mirror in his hand. Of course, if any knave but hinted
That the King's nose was turned awry, Comparing faces, morning, noon, Or that the Queen (God save us !) And night, their constant occupa. squinted
tionThe judges doomed that knave to die. By dint of looking-glasses, soon
They grew a most reflecting pation. But rarely things like this occurred ; The people to their King were in vain the Court, aware of errors duteous,
In all the old established mazards, And took it, on his royal word,
Prohibited the use of mirrors, That they were frights and he was And tried to break them at all hazards: beauteous.
In vain-their laws might just The cause whereof, among all classes, Have been waste paperon the shelves
Was simply this :--These island elves That fatal freight had broke the spell; Had never yet seen looking-glasses, People had looked - and knew them.
And therefore did not know themselves. selves.
If chance a Duke, of birth sublime, When the fleet youths, in long array,
Presumed upon his ancient face Passed the bright torch triumphant (Some calf-head, ugly from all time), They popped a mirror to bis Grace
I saw the expectant nations stand, Just hinting, by that gentle sign,
To catch the coming flame in turn;How little Nature holds it true,
I saw, from ready hand to hand, That what is called an ancient line The clear, though struggling, glory Must be the line of Beauty too.
And oh, their joy, as it came ncar, From Dukes they passed to regal 'Twas in itself a joy to see ;phizzes,
While Fancy whispered in my ear, Compared them proudly with their
“That torch they pass is Liberty!' own, And cried, “How could such monstrous And each, as she received the flame, quizzes
Lighted her altar with its ray ; In Beauty's name usurp the throne!' Then, smiling to the next who came,
Speeded it on its sparkling way. They then wrote essays, pamphlets, books,
From Albion first, whose ancient shrine Upon cosmetical economy,
Was furnished with the fire already, Which made the King try various looks, Columbia caught the boon divine, But none improved his physiognomy.
And lit a flame, like Albion's, steady. And satires at the Court they levelled, The splendid gift then Gallia took, And small lampoons, so full of sly- The brand aloft, its sparkles shook,
And, like a wild Bacchante, raising nesses,
As she would set the world a-blazing! That soon, in short, they quite bedeviiled
And when she fired her altar high, Their Majesties and Royal High- It flashed into the reddening air
So fierce, that Albion, who stood nigh,
Shrunk, almost blinded by the glare! At length—but here I drop the veil,
To spare some loyal folks' sensations: Next, Spain, so new was light to her, Besides, what follows is the tale
Leaped at the torch-but, ere the Of all such late-enlightened nations ; spark
That fell upon her shrine could stir, Of all to whom old Time discloses 'Twas quenched-and all again was A truth they should have sooner dark. known
Yet, no--not quenched-a treasure, That Kings have neither rights nor noses worth A whit diviner than their own. So much to mortals, rarely dies :
Again her living light looked forth,
And shone, a beacon, in all eyes. FABLE III.
Who next received the flame? alas, THE TORCH OF LIBERTY.
Unworthy Naples-shame of shares,
That ever through such hands should I saw it all in Fancy's glass
pass Herself, the fair, the wild magician, That brightest of all earthly flames ! Who bid this splendid day dream pass, Scarce had her fingers touched the torch, And named each gliding apparition.
When, frighted by the sparks it shed, 'Twas like a torch-race-such as they Nor waiting even to feel the scorch, Of Greece performed, in ages gone,
She dropped it to the earth-and fed.
And fallen it might have long remained ! Nay, even to see it in a vision,
Of course, knew all about the matterAnd waved it round her beauteous · Both men and beasts love monarchy;' brow.
Which proves how rational — the
latter. And Fancy bade me mark where, o’er Sidney, indeed, we know, had quite
Her altar, as its flame ascended, A different notion from the knight; Fair, laurelled spirits seemed to soar, Nay, hints a King may lose his head Who thus insong their voices blended : By slipping awkwardly his bridle:
But this is Jacobin, ill-bred, Shine, shine for ever, glorious Flame, And (now-a-days, when Kings are led Divinest gift of gods to men !
In patent snaffles) downright idle. From Greece thy earliest splendour came,
No, no—it isn't foolish Kings
Bores paramount, by right of birth) • Take, Freedom, take thy radiant That move my wrath, but your pre. round,
tenders, When dimmed, revive-when lost, Your mushroom rulers, sons of earth, return
Who, not like t'others, crowned Till not a shrine through earth be found, offenders On which thy glories sball not burn!' (Regular gratia Dei blockheads,
Born with three kingdoms in their
Nor leaving, on the scale of mind,
These royal Zeros far behind,
Push up into the loftiest stations,
And, though too dull to manage shops,
Presume, the dolts, to manage Of all that, to the sage's survey,
nations ! This world presents of topsy-turvey, There's nought so much disturbs his This class it is that moves my gall, patience
And stirs up spleen, and bile, and all. As little minds in lofty stations. While other senseless things appear "Tis like that sort of painful wonder To know the limits of their sphereWhich slight and pigmy columns under While not a cow on earth romances
Enormous arches give beholders ; So much as to conceit she dances Or those poor Caryatides,
While the most jumping Frog we Condemned to smile and stand at ease, know of, With a whole house upon their would scarce at Astley's hope to show shoulders.
sand s dare, If, as in some few royal cases,
Pigmy as are their minds, to set them Small minds are born into such places-To any business, any where, If they are there by right Divine, At any time that fools will let them.
Or any such sufficient reason, But leave we here these upstart thingsWhy-Heaven forbid we should re- My business is, just now, with Kings ; pine !
To whom, and to their right-line glory, To wish it otherwise were treason; I dedicate the following story :
THE FLY AND THE BULLOCK.
CHURCH AND STATE.
That Fly on the shrine is Legitimate The wise men of Egypt were secret as
And that Bullock the people that's And, even when they most con
sacrificed to it.' descended to teach, They packed up their meaning, as they did their mummies,
FABLE V. In so many wrappers, 'twas out of one's reach.
Proem. They were also, good people, much given to Kings
*The moment any religion becomes national, Fond of monarchs and crocodiles, because it is then impossible to keep it uncon
or established, its purity must certainly be lost, monkeys and mystery,
nected with men's interests; and, if connected, Bats, hieraphants, blue-bottle flies, and it must evidently be perverted by them.'-Soamé
Jenyns. such thingsAs will partly appear in this
Thus did Soame Jenyns — though a
very short history.
A Lord of Trade and the Planta. A Scythian philosopher (nephew, they tionssay,
Feel how Religion's simple glory
Appealed to the benign Divinity, To have a short peep at their mystical Made fractions of their very souls:
Then cut them up in protocols, farces.
All in the name of the blessed Trinity; He saw a brisk blue-bottle Fly on an Or when her grandson, Alexander, altar,
That mighty northern salamander Made much of, and worshipped as Whose icy touch, felt all about, something divine ;
Puts every fire of Freedom outWhile a large handsome Bullock, led When he, too, winds up his Ukases there in an halter,
With God and the Panagia's praises – Before it lay stabbed at the foot of When he, of royal saints the type, the shrine.
In holy water dips the sponge,
With which, at one imperial wipe, Surprised at such doings, he whispered
He would all human rights expunge ! his teacher
When *If 'tisn't impertinent, may I ask
(whom, as King and eater, Some name
and some why
--) Should a Bullock, that useful and
Calls down · Saint Louis' God' to powerful creature,
witness Be thus offered up to a blue-bottle fly?
The right, humanity, and fitness
Of sending eighty thousand Solons'No wonder,' said t'other, 'you stare Sages with muskets and laced coatsat the sight,
To cram instruction, nolens volens, But we as a symbol of monarchy view Down the poor struggling Spaniards’ it :
i According to Ælian, it was in the island of 4 An allusion to a play on the sound of Leucadia they practised this ceremony-BUELV words made at the time in France, by which Bovy tals uviais.--De Animal, lib. ii. cap. 8. Louis dix-huit (18th) was called des huitres (of the 2 Ames, demi-âmes, etc.
oysters), in ridicule of his taste for the pleasures of 3 Louis
I can't help thinking (though to Kings | The qualms, the fumes of sect and
I must, of course, like othermen, bow) sceptic, That when a Christian monarch brings And all that Reason, grown dyspeptic Religion's name to gloss these things, By swallowing forced or noxious creeds, Such blasphemy out-Benbows Ben- From downright indigestion breeds ; bow !
Till, 'twixt old bigotry and new,
'Twixt Blasphemy and Cant--the two Or-not so far for facts to roam, Rank ills with which this age is cursed Having a few much nearer home
We can no more tell which is worst, When we see churchmen, who, if asked, Than erst could Egypt, when so rich • Must Ireland's slaves be tithed and In various plagues, determine which tasked,
She thought most pestilent and vileAnd driven, like negroes or Croats, Her frogs, like Benbow and Carlile, That you may roll in wealth and Croaking their native mud-notes loud, bliss ?
Or her fat locusts, like a cloud Look from beneath their shovel hats
Of pluralists, obesely lowering, With all due pomp, and answer At once benighting and devouring !
· Yes!' But then, if questioned, "Shall the This—this it is--and here I pray brand
Those sapient wits of the Reviews, Intolerance flings throughout that land, who make us poor, dull authors say, Betwixt her palaces and hovels,
Not what we mean, but what they Suffering nor peace nor love to grow,
choose ; Be ever quenched ?-—from the same Who to our most abundant shares shovels
Of nonsense add still more of theirs, Look grandly forth, and answer ‘No! And are to poets just such evils Alas, alas ! have these a claim
As caterpillars find those flies,” To merciful Religion's name?
That, not content to sting like devils, If more you want, go, see a bevy
Lay eggs upon their backs likewise –
To guard against such foul deposits, Of bowing parsons at a levee
Of others' meanings in my rhymes (Choosing your time, when straw's
(A thing more needful here, because it's before
A subject ticklish in these times), Some apoplectic bishop's door) :
I here to all such wits make known, There, if thou canst with life escape
Monthly and weekly, Whig and Tory, That sweep of lawn, that press of crape, 'Tis this Religion-this aloneJust watch their reverences and graces,
I aim at in the following story : Shouldering their way on, at all risks, And say, if those round ample faces
Fable. To heaven or earth most turn their disks?
When Royalty was young and bold,
Ere, touched by Time, he had be. This, this it is, Religion, made,
come-'Twixt Church and State, a truck, a If ’tis not civil to say oldtrade
At least, a ci-devant jeune homme. This most ill-matched unholy mo. From whence the ills we witness flow-One evening, on some wild pursuit, The war of many creeds with one, Driving along, he chanced to see The extremes of too much faith, and Religion, passing by on foot,
And took him in his ris à-vis.
A publisher of infidel works.
and darting at different intervals their stings into 2 * The greatest number of theichneumon tribe its body-at every dart they depose an egg.'are seen settling upon the back of the caterpillar, Goldsmith.