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GENERAL LAUGHTER.

Then instant, wide, the fire-sheet spread,
Wide, instant was the havoc dread,
The dying fighting 'midst the dead,
A bold and bloody spectre made,

Of furious, fruitless victory!
Night veils the sulph'rous welkin, torn
With cannon's roar and bugle-horn;-
From watch to watch the hum is borne,
While warriors wait the ling'ring morn,
All eager for their enemy!
And now dawn streaks the eastern dun,
Slow Night her sulky course has run;
Deep peals the adamantine gun,
And Britons welcome up the sun

That lights to laurell'd victory!
On they speed as the lightning's course;
On they sweep with the tempest's force;
The foe that stood, soon sunk a corse;
The foe that fled, the trampling horse

Trode down in dreadful revelry!
Ye British lions! bravely done!
Great Talavera's day 's your own;
And England, on her sea-girt throne,
Amongst her brightest days will own
Great Talavera's victory * !

GENERAL LAUGHTER.
[From the same, Aug. 18]

215

MR. EDITOR,

AS S I am one of those timid animals who do not see all the brilliant prospects arising from the present war, which dance before the eyes of my neighbours, I partake but little of that propensity to laughter which seems to be at present a national characteristic. Instead of any of those reasonable fears and cool apprehensions which used to mark a state of warfare, we appear to be in search of nothing but subjects for humour and ridicule; and instead of asking, What news? *We now ask, with a sigh, Cui boro?

the

216

-GENERAL LAUGHTER.

the favourite question is, What is there to laugh at today? And such is the encouragement held out to the authors of bon mots and satirical strokes, that I have known a repartee engraven and published, both plain and coloured, within four-and-twenty hours. Even a certain worthy and facetious Alderman, who graced our expedition with his presence, was actually in the printshops before he lost sight of land.

The Four-in-hand Club too, they, forsooth, must come in for a share of public ridicule, although a more harmless, nay useful set of beings, cannot easily be imagined; nor can I point out any description of men who are more closely following the intentions of nature in their creation, or more assiduously rectifying that blunder by which they were born the representatives of illustrious families, and put to school and college to study learning and the polite arts, when it is most obvious that they were intended for the coach-box. I have no doubt that if any of them were seriously asked what is the chief end of man, and why was such a being created, he would readily and conscientiously answer, To drive four-in-hand!

And, Sir, are such men to be laughed at? Are men to be laughed at who have found out what they are fit for, at a time when we see so many thrusting themselves into situations of trust and importance, for which they have not one single qualification? If we wish for subjects of ridicule, if the discharge of peals of laughter be necessary for our health, or for the good of the nation, let us leave the stables and the coach-houses, and go to the boards and the public offices, and then say whether, if we diminish the number of statesmen, we might not make a very comfortable addition to our list of coachmen and postillions. Let us calmly consider, whether ham and tongue under the seat, be not a wiser appointment than an army with empty knapsacks; and whether drivers, with good boots, are not * See p. 43, 95, and 201.

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LORD Castlereagh and siR WM, CURTIS. 217 more likely to perform what is expected, than soldiers without shoes.

Sir, I have no objection to bursts of laughter, nor even, occasionally, to the pursed-up smile of satire; but I could wish that the subjects for these risible delights were chosen with a little more discrimination. For the present I say no more.

DEMOCRITUS PRUDENS,

LORD CASTLEREAGH AND SIR WM. CURTIS. [From the same, Aug. 19.]

MANY persons of sensibility were much affected at the parting interview between Lord Castlereagh and Sir Wm. Curtis, when the worthy Alderman sailed with the expedition. Since Gay's "Black-eyed Susan," there has scarcely occurred a more pleasing subject for lyric poetry; and a parody on that beautiful composition has been prettily attempted by Mr. Dent.

The simile of the skylark and Mr. Hawkins Browne is one of Mr. Dent's happiest efforts.

ALL in the Downs the fleet was moor'd,
The streamers waving in the wind,
When Castlereagh appear'd on board,

"Ah! where shall I my Curtis find?
Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true,
If my fat William sails among your crew?"
William, who high upon the poop,
Rock'd by the billows to and fro,
Heard, as he supp'd his turtle-soup,

The well-known Viscount's voice below;
The spoon drops greasy from his savoury hands,
And quick as lightning on the deck he stands.

So Isaac Hawkins Browne at prayer,
Shuts close his hymn-book to his breast,
If Perceval's shrill note he hear,

And drops into the Treasury nest.
The noblest biscuit-baker in the fleet

Might envy William's ear that call so sweet.

VOL. XIII.

L

"O Castlereagh,

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218

ALARMING disorder.

"O Castlereagh, thou spotless Peer,
My vote shall ever true remain,
Let me wipe off that Union tear:
We only part to meet again.
Change Ministers about!-my vote shall be
The faithful compass that still points to thee!
"Believe not what reformers say,

Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind;
They swear contractors, when away,
Two strings to ev'ry bow can find:
Yes, yes; believe them when they tell thee so;
Thine are my only strings and only bow.
"Though Flushing claim this face to-day,
Let not a paler statesman mourn ;
Though cannon roar, yet Castlereagh
Shall see his Alderman return

All safe and sound, though forc'd-meat-balls should fly,
And claret still shall wet his civic eye.",
Tremendous Chatham gave the word,

Sir Home his swelling topsails spread,
No longer Castlereagh 's on board,

Sir William wept, and went to bed.
The Viscount's boat unwilling rows to land,
"A Jew!" he cried, and wav'd his lily hand.

ALARMING DISORDER, BY WHICH HUNDREDS HAVE BEEN LATELY CARRIED OFF. [From the General Evening Post.]

WE E are extremely sorry to announce to our readers the very alarming progress of a. disorder which has made its appearance within these few days in the metropolis, especially in the city. Although not, strictly speaking, of the kind called a consumption, it is attended with many of the symptoms of that dreadful -scourge; such as a tickling cough, a teasing complaint not only upon the lungs, but even the organs of speech, a weariness upon the smallest fatigue, and a sensation as if the parties could not breathe.

The

ALARMING DISORDER.

219

The faculty who have been called in have, in general, recommended an immediate removal from the air of London to that of Kent or Sussex; and such is the number of persons affected, that stage-coaches and chaises have been put in requisition, while small vessels, called packets and hoys, are provided for the poorer sort, or for large families who prefer that mode of conveyance.

We are sorry to add, that this disorder, as on former occasions, is very prevalent among shopkeepers, and sometimes goes through a whole family with wonderful rapidity. It generally begins with the younger branches, especially if females, who are supposed to have caught it at boarding-schools. The mother is very soon affected; and the males of the family either take it of course, or by way of preventive are removed to the coasts of Kent and Sussex, where they may breathe a purer air than in shops and counting-houses.

The course of medicines recommended to the patients, when they arrive at the place of their destination, are very simple. Besides bathing and walking, they are enjoined to take a raffle, or a pig-race, once or twice a week, with a suitable quantity of hops and pools. Breakfasting in public is likewise found to be very efficacious, especially if followed by a canter upon a jackIn general, medicines that have a tendency to open the chest, and lower that plethora of yellow stuff, which is contracted behind the counter, are found to effect a cure in a very short time.

ass.

We have only to remark on this increasing disorder, that if the patients are not removed as soon as they show an inclination (which they are apt to do by fits and tears), we cannot be answerable for the consequences. Whether from any alteration in our climate, we shall leave to the consideration of Dr. Herschel : but it is certain, that, at this season of the year, it is not possible for the patients we have been describing to

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