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But-whether the Ministers pawed them too much-
(And you know how they spoil whatsoever they touch)
Or whether Lord George (the young man about town)
Has, by dint of bad poetry, written them down-
One has certainly lost one's peninsular rage,
And the only stray patriot seen for an age
Has been at such places (think, how the fit cools)
As old Mrs. Vaughan's or Lord Liverpool's !
But, in short, my dear, names like Wintztschitstopschinzoudhoff
Are the only things now make an evening go smooth off-
So, get me a Russian-till death I'm your debtor-
If he brings the whole alphabet, so much the better.
And-Lord ! if he would but, in character, sup
Off his fish-oil and candles, he'd quite set me up!
Au revoir, my sweet girl-I must leave you in haste-
Little Gunter has brought me the liqueurs to taste.
By the bye, have you found any friend that can construe
That Latin account, t'other day, of a Monster ?*
If we can't get a Russian, and that thing in Latin
Be not too improper, I think I'll bring that in.
ABDALLAH,| IN LONDON, TO MOHASSAN, IN ISPAHAN.
Whilst thou, Mohassan, (happy thou !)
Dost daily bend thy loyal brow
Before our King- our Asia's treasure !
Nutmeg of Comfort ! Rose of Pleasure !--
And bear'st as many kicks and bruises
As the said Rose and Nutmeg chooses ; –
Thy head still near the bowstring's borders,
And but left on till further orders !-
Through London streets, with turban fair,
And caftan floating to the air,
I saunter on-the admiration
Of this short-coated population-
This sewed-up race—this buttoned nation--
Who, while they boast their laws so free,
Leave not one limb at liberty,
But live, with all their lordly speeches,
The slaves of buttons and tight breeches !
* Alluding, I suppose, to the Latin advertisement of a Lusus Naturæ in the newspapers lately.
Yet, though they thus their knee-pans fetter
(They're Christians, and they know no better). *
In some things they're a thinking nation-
And, on Religious Toleration,
I own I like their notions quite,
They are so Persian and so right!
You know our Sunnites, + hateful dogs!
Whom every pious Shiite flogs
Or longs to flog I-'tis true, they pray
To God, but in an ill-bred way;
With neither arms, nor legs, nor faces
Stuck in their right, canonic places ! 8
'Tis true they worship Ali's name || --
Their heaven and ours are just the same
(A Persian's heaven is easily made,
'Tis but-black eyes and lemonade).
Yet—though we've tried for centuries back-
We can't persuade the stubborn pack,
By bastinadoes, screws, or nippers,
To wear the established pea-green slippers !
Then-only think—the libertines !
They wash their toes--they comb their chins-
With many more such deadly sins!
And (what's the worst, though last I rank it)
Believe the Chapter of the Blanket !
Yet, spite of tenets so flagitious,
(Which must, at bottom, be seditious;
As no man living would refuse
Green slippers, but from treasonous views;
Nor wash his toes, but with intent
To overturn the Government !)
Such is our mild and tolerant way,
We only curse them twice a-day
(According to a form that's set),
And, far from torturing, only let
*“C'est un honnête homme,” said a Turkish governor, of De Ruyter, "c'est grand dommage qu'il soit Chrétien."
+ Sunnites and Shiites are the two leading sects into which the Mahometan world is divided ; and they have gone on cursing and persecuting each other, without any intermission, for about eleven hundred years. The Sunni is the established sect in Turkey, and the Shia in Persia : and the differences between them turn chiefly upon those important points which our pious friend Abdallah in the true spirit of Shiite ascendancy, reprobates in this letter.
“Les Sunnites, qui étoient comme les Catholiques de Musulmanisme. D'Herbelot.
$ " In contradistinction to the Sounis, who in their prayers cross their hands on the lower part of the breast, the Schiahs drop their arms in straight lines; and as the Sounis, at certain periods of the prayer, press their foreheads on the ground or carpet, the Schiahs,” &c., &c.-- Forster's Voyage.
"Les Turcs ne détestent pas Ali réciproquement; au contraire, ils le reconnoissent," &c., &c.-Chardin.
“The Shiites wear green slippers, which the Sunnites consider as a great abomination."Mariti,
All orthodox believers beat 'em,
And twitch their beards, where'er they meet 'em.
As to the rest, they're free to do
Whate'er their fancy prompts them to,
Provided they make nothing of it
Towards rank or honour, power or profit;
Which things, we naturally expect,
Belong to us, the Established sect,
Who disbelieve (the Lord be thanked !)
Th' aforesaid Chapter of the Blanket.
The same mild views of Toleration
Inspire, I find, this buttoned nation,
Whose Papists (full as given to rogue,
And only Sunnites with a brogue)
Fare just as well, with all their fuss,
As rascal Sunnites do with us.
The tender Gazel I enclose
Is for my love, my Syrian Rose-
Take it when night begins to fall,
And throw it o'er her mother's wall.
Rememberest thou the hour we passed,
That hour, the happiest and the last !
Oh! not so sweet the Siha thorn
To summer bees, at break of morn,
Not half so sweet, through dale and dell,
To camels' ears the tinkling bell,
As is the soothing memory
Of that one precious hour to me!
How can we live, so far apart?
Oh! why not rather, heart to heart,
United live and die-
Like those sweet birds that fly together,
With feather always touching feather,
Linked by a hook and eye! *
* This will appear strange to an English reader, but it is literally translated from Abdallah's Persian, and the curious bird to which he alludes is the Juftak, of which I find the following account in Richardson :-“A sort of bird, that is said to have but one wing ; on the opposite side to which the male has a hook and the female a ring, so that, when they fly, they are fastened together."
† From motives of delicacy, and indeed, of fellow.feeling, I suppress the name of the author, whose reiected manuscript was inclosed in this letter
Clever work, sir !-would get up prodigiously well-
Its only defect is-it never would sell !
And though Statesmen may glory in being unbought,
In an Author, we think, sir, that's rather a fault.
Hard times, sir,-most books are too dear to be read-
Though the gold of Good Sense and Wit's small change are fled,
Yet the paper we publishers pass, in their stead,
Rises higher each day, and ('tis frightful to think it)
Not even such names as Fitzgerald's can sink it !
However, sir-if you're for trying again,
And at somewhat that's vendible—we are your men.
Since the Chevalier Carr took to marrying lately,
The trade is in want of a Traveller greatly-
No job, sir, more easy—your Country once planned,
A month aboard ship and a fortnight on land
Puts your quarto of Travels, sir, clean out of hand.
An East-India pamphlet's a thing that would tell-
And a lick at the Papists is sure to sell well.
Or-supposing you've nothing original in you-
Write Parodies, sir, and such fame it will win you
You'll get to the Blue-stocking Routs of Albinia ! *
(Mind- not to her dinners-a second-hand Muse
Mustn't think of aspiring to mess with the Blues.)
Or-in case nothing else in this world you can do-
The deuce is in't, sir, if you cannot review!
Should you feel any touch of poetical glow,
We've a scheme to suggest-Mr. Scott, you must know,
(Who, we're sorry to say it, now works for the Row),
Having quitted the borders, to seek new renown,
Is coming, by long quarto stages, to town;
And beginning with Rokeby (the job's sure to pay)
Means to do ail the gentlemen's seats on the way.
Now, the scheme is (though none of our hackneys can beat him)
To start a fresh poet through Highgate to meet him ;
Who, by means of quick proofs-no revises, long coaches-
May do a few villas, before Scott approaches--
Indeed, if our Pegasus be not cursed shabby,
He'll reach, without foundering, at least Woburn Abbey.
Such, sir, is our plan- if you're up to the freak,
'Tis a match! and we'll put you in training next week-
At present, no more—in reply to this letter, a
Line will oblige very much
Yours, et cetera.
TEMPLE OF THE MUSES.
* This alludes, I believe, to a curious correspondence, which is said to have passed lately between Albinia, Countess of Buckinghainshire, and a certain ingenious parodist.
FROM COLONEL THOMAS TO - - , ESQ
COME to our fête,* and bring with thee
Thy newest, best embroidery!
Come to our fête, and show again
That pea-green coat, thou pink of men !
Which charmed all eyes, that last surveyed it ;
When Brummel's self inquired “who made it?”-
When cits came wondering, from the East,
And thought thee Poet Pye at least!
Oh! come-(if haply 'tis thy week
For looking pale) —with paly cheek;
Though more we love thy roseate days,
When the rich rouge-pot pours its blaze
Full o'er thy face, and, amply spread,
Tips e'en thy whisker-tops with red-
Like the last tints of dying day
That o'er some darkling grove delay!
Bring thy best lace, thou gay Philander!
(That lace, like Harry Alexander,
Too precious to be washed !)—thy rings,
Thy seals-in short, thy prettiest things!
Put all thy wardrobe's glories on,
And yield, in frogs and fringe, to none
But the great Regent's self alone!
Who—by particular desire-
For that night only, means to hire
A dress from Romeo C--tes, Esquire-
Something between ('twere sin to hack it)
The Romeo robe and Hobby jacket!
Hail, first of actors ! + best of Regents !
Born for each other's fond allegiance !
Both gay Lotharios—both good dressers-
Of Serious Farce both learned Professors,
Both circled round, for use or show,
With cock's-combs, wheresoe'er they go!
Thou know'st the time, thou man of lore!
It takes to chalk a ball-room floor--
Thou know'st the time too, well-a-day!
* This letter inclosed a card for the grand fête on the 5th of February.
+ “Quem tu, Melpomene, semel
Nascentem placido lumine videris,” &c.-Horace.
The Man upon whom thou hast deigned to look funny,
Thou great Tragic Muse! at the hour of his birth
Let them say what they will, that's the Man for my money,
Give others thy tears, but let me have thy mirth!
The assertion that follows, however, is not verified in the instance before us :
non equus impiger Curru ducet Achaico."