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intended for a harmless pleasantry, has raised a literary controversy of wide dimensions. His verses were copied into serious French journals, and many well-informed foreigners believe the lines to have originated from a French source. Thus M. Octave Delepierre, in his Essai sur la Parodie (Trübner and Co., London, 1870), seems to have been entirely misled by the hoax. He gives part of the French version, and whilst stating that it is not a settled point, which was first written, he does not mention Father Prout's article, and seems entirely ignorant of the fictitious and humorous origin of the French imitation.
Singularly enough, The Atheneum, of July 1, 1871, in reviewing M. Delepierre's work, fell into the same error, and seriously argued against the French claim, forgetting all about Father Prout.
M. Delepierre's statement is (Essai sur la Parodie, p. 163) :-“ Lorsqu'elle fut publiée en 1824, elle parut assez belle pour que le Capitaine Medwin suggérat qu'elle était due à la muse de Byron. Sydney Taylor réfuta cette supposition, et restitua l'ode à son véritable auteur, le Rer. Charles IVolfi."
" Ce n'est pas seulement en Angleterre qu'on a discuté la paternité de cette ode célèbre. On trouve à ce sujet toute une discussion littéraire dans le journal L'Intermédiare des Chercheurs et Curieux, 5e année, page 693, et 6e année, pages 19 et 106.”
“D'après ces détails, il paraîtrait que cette pièce n'est que la traduction d'une ode Française, composée à l'occasion de la mort du Comte de Beaumanoir, tué en 1749, à la défense de Pondichery. L'une de ces deux odes est évidemment une traduction de l'autre; mais quel est l'original ? ”
The following is the note in the Intermediare, ! to which M. Delepierre refers :
the Arundines Devæ (Edinburgh, 1853); there is also a parody of it bythe late Mr. J. H. Dixon, which is highly spoken of, but, up till now, this has eluded the editor's researches.
The Rev. R. H. Barham's well known parody in “ The Ingoldsby Legends” is especially notable for its close imitation of the original; thus not only is the metre closely followed, but nearly all the lines are made to end with similar rhymes to those in the original.
Barham had a good excuse for this comical effusion, in the wish to expose and ridicule the pretensions of a certain soi-disant “ Doctor," a Durhain veterinary surgeon of the name of Marshall, on whose behalf a claim had been made, in 1824, for the authorship of the “ Ode." But this was afterwards said to have been a mere hoax, as this Marshall was more remarkable for convivial, than literary tastes.
NOTE,- In the autumn of 1824, Captain Medwin having hinted that certain beautiful lines on the burial of this gallant officer might have been the production of Lord Byron's muse, the late Mr. Sydney Taylor, somewhat indignantly, claimed them for their rightful owner, the late Rev. Charles Wolle. During the controversy a third claimant started up in the person of a soi-disant “Doctor Marshall,” who turned out to be a Durham blacksmith, and his pretensions a hoax. It was then that a certain “ Doctor Peppercorn" put forth his pretensions to what he averred was the only "true and original” version, viz. :
Not a sous had he got, not a guinea or note,
And he looked confoundedly furried, As he bolted away without paying his shot,
And the Landlady aster him hurried.
“The well-known verses on the death of Sir John Moore, attributed to the Rev. Charles Wolfe, but never acknowledged by him, are so similar to the above, that it is supposed Mr. Wolfe may have received the French stanzas from his relative, Mr. Wolfe Tone, asier his return from France."
The best answer to which is, that the French have never yet produced a genuine and authentic copy of the original version, of a date earlier than that of Wolfe.
The ode has been translated into German (by the Rev. E. C. Hawtrey); into Latin Elegiacs (by the Rev. J. Hildyard); and there is a Greek translation of it “By a Scottish Physician” in
We saw him again at dead of night,
When home from the Club returning,
Of the gas lamp brilliantly burning.
Reclined in the gutter we found him,
With his Marshall cloak around him.
And we managed a shutter to borrow; We raised him, and sigh’d at the thought that his head
Would consumedly ache on the morrow.
And we told his wife and his daughter
Herrings, with soda water.
And his Lady began to upbraid him ;
Neath the counterpane just as we laid him.
When, beneath the window calling,
Of a watchman, “One o'clock,” bawling.
Slowly and sadly we all walk'd down .
From his room in the uppermost story ;
And we left him alone in his glory.
The following parody is copied literally from an old ballad sheet in the British Museum, bearing the imprint :-“Printed and sold by J: Pitts, 6 Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials." No date is given, but that it was prior to 1830 is shown by the reference to the “Charleys," a nick-name for the old London watchmen, who were superseded by the new police towards the end of 1829. But the crimes of Body-snatching, and “Burking," were not finally put a stop to until, by the act of 1832, provision was made for the wants of surgeons by permitting, under certain regulations, the dissection of persons dying in workhouses, etc. :
Not a trap was heard, or a Charley's note
As our course to the churchyard we hurried,
As a corse from the grave we unburied.
The sod with our pick-axes turning,
And our lanterns so queerly burning.
And we felt not a bit of sorrow,
And we thought of the spoil for to-morrow.
And then in regimentals bound him,
With his lobster togs around him.
Our snatching trick now no look sees ;
And we far away towards Brooks's.
And poor Doctor Brooks will upbraid him ;
In a place where a snatcher has laid him.
When a pal tipt the sign quick for shuffling,
That the beaks would be 'mongst us soon scuffling.
In our cart famed for staching in story;
For we bolted away in our glory.
away, and that ruin, revolution, and anarchy would result. The following parody appeared in a Liberal newspaper of the period : ODE ON THE DEATH AND BURIAL OF THE
CONSTITUTION. "Who will not be alive to the merits of the following verses on the death of the British Constitution, which has been dying for the last four years at least. The lament of the Conservative party over his death and burial abounds in feeling and sentiment worthy of its prototype.”
Not a moan was heard-not a suneral note,
As his corpse to the devil they hurried,
O'er the grave where our idol was buried.
With their threats our remonstrance turning,
In the brazen socket burning.
In a sheet of parchment they bound him,
With schedule A around him.
And we spoke not a word of sorrow,
And thought of the coming morrow.
And laid him at rest on his pillow,
And we be turned out by the bill--oh !
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid hin,
In the grave where Lord Russell has laid him.
When the time came for ending the session,
That the King was now in procession,
From the further defence of the Tory,
But we left him alone in his glory.
There was another parody of these celebrated lines published just after Mr. John O'Connell had threatened to die on the floor of the House of Commons, a threat which, of course, gave rise to more laughter than dismay :
(AFTER WOLFE) Written on the threatened Death (on the floor of the House)
of John O'Connell.
As down on the floor he hurried ;
At the time when the first Reform Bill was under discussion its opponents constantly
asserted that, if it were carried, the ancient · constitution of the country would be swept
od Taska nOWne (TIKe Lo De OLTICO.
He cautiously put out his head, and looked down
From his room in the second story :
JEREMY DIDDLER, Oxford. College Rhymes (T. & G. Shrimpton), Oxford, 1864.
We looked at him slily at dead of night,
Our backs adroitly turning,
By the lights so brightiy burning.
Nor in argument we wound him ;
With his Irish clique around him.
And we spoke not a word in sorrow;
He'll be fresh as a lark to-morrow. [for dead, We thought, we'll be careful where we tread,
And avoid him where he's lying ; For if we should tumble over his head,
'Twould certainly send us flying. Lightly they'll talk of him when they're gone,
Ani p'rhaps for his lolly upbraid him ; But little he'll care, and again try it on,
Till the Serjeant-at-arms shall have stayed him.
When the time arrived for retiring.
Our attendance to watch him requiring.”
After Radical, Whig, and Tory ;
Punch, December, 1847.
PARODY ON "THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE.”
“Not a laugh was heard, not a joyous note,
As our friend to the bridal we hurried ;
As the bachelor went to be married.
Our heads from the sad sight turning ;
To think he was not more discerning.
And shy of the sex as we found him,
Be caught in the snares that bound him.
Though of wine and cake partaking;
While his knees were awfully shaking.
From the first to the lowermost storey ;
Whom we left alone in his glory."
“GRAVE SENTIT ARATRUM.”
“A GRIEVOUS THING HE FEELS IT TO BE PLOUGHED."
He looked glum when he heard, by a friendly note
Which, of course, his chum sent in a hurry,
And he felt in a deuce of a flurry.
The page of Herodotus turning,
Or the moderator burning.
Nor did indigestion wound him ;
“That Examiner-confound him !” “What's the odds?" were the words that he said ;
But he choked not down his sorrow;
And pictured the “ Governor's horror.”
And dashed his head down on the pillow,
And would quickly be sending his bill, oh! Very likely he thought (now his credit was gone),
"Oh! I wish with cold cash I had paid him ; But nothing he'll get : I'll be off to Boulogne,"
And he went, out of Britain to shade him. Just after his heavy sleep, each tone,
As the clock struck the hour, was mocking, And he fancied that many a ravenous dun
At the oak was sullenly knocking.
The FLIGHT OF O'NEILL, THE INVADER OF
CANADA, “ GENERAL O'NEILL, who, at the head of the Fenian forces recently invaded Canada, seems to combine, together with his love for Ireland, a certain amount of affection for the ordinary enjoyments of life ; for one complaint against him is, that the morning of the attack, when awakened at three o'clock by a captain belonging to his quarters, he merely said, “ All right!” and fell asleep again. On two subsequent occasions he was awakened with no more practical result, and on being called a fourth time, got up. Even then, however, he declined to proceed at once with the glorious work of liberating Ireland, but said, “He guessed he would wait till breakfast." After breakfast this great patriot advanced at the head of his forces, but being surprised by a party of Canadian Volunteers, who fired upon the Fenians, immediately retired to his quarters, where he was found very comfortably lodged, and was arrested by General Foster, the United States Marshal, for a breach of the neutrality laws.”
Not a gun was heard, not a bugle note,
As over the border he hurried ;
Only looking tremendously furried.
As over the ground he jolted ;
He unhesitatingly bolted.
THE MURDER OF “ MACBETH."
And snug in his quarters, at dead of night,
The Yankee General found him ; His bed all ready, his candle alight,
And bottles of whisky around him.
And when at his door came the clanking and noise, · His courage all sank to zero; For, though at the head of the Fenian “bhoys,"
He wasn't exacıly a hero.
Not a hiss was heard, not an angry yell,
Though of both 'twas surely deserving When, cruelly murdered, Macbeth fell
By the hand of the entinent Irving. He murdered him, lengthily, that night,
With his new and original reading. Till his efforts left him in sorry plight,
And the sweat on his brow was bleeding.
When the Britishers find that he really is gone,
In impotent rage they upbraid him;
At that moment, they surely had May'd him !
Few and short were the words they said
They only expressed their sorrow That they hadn't caught him, and put him to bed
Where he wouldn't wake up on the morrow.
But safe in New York, under FOSTER's convoy,
He has gone to tell his own story; Where “shut up” very much, this broth of a boy Is at present alone in his glory!
Judy, 22nd June, 1870.
“RUNNING HIM IN."
By a Good Templar in the Forre. A groan was heard, like a suneral note,
From a toper in mud half-buried, And our Serjeant “Drunk and incapable” wrote,
When his form to the station we hurried.
Five different garments enclosed his breast,
Five brand-new dresses were found him,
Though the people might sleep around him.
Till we wished in fervent sorrow,
And we vowed not to come on the morrow.
And made us long for our pillow,
To our cousins far over the billow.
He may find it meit in a minute ;
In a play with a murderer in it.
When we seized ile chance for retiring,
With his friends all madly admiring.
From his acting so dreary and gory,
The Figaro, 16th October, 1875. This critic, who left the theatre before the tragedy was half over, was, of course, eminently qualified to point out the shortcomings of Mr. Irving in the part of Macbeth. But perhaps the critic had forgotten that the leading character has one, or two, rather strong situations towards the end of the play, which he should have witnessed before condemning the actor.
We hurried him swistly at dead of night,
And ost with our truncheons spurning, Under many a gas-lamp's flickering light,
Through alley and crooked turning.
In rags and tatters the toper was dressed,
For in poverty drink had bound him. And he lay like a pig in a gutter at rest,
With little pigs squeaking around him.
We listed him up, but he sell as one dead,
And we tumbled him into a barrow ; And the idle spectators shouted and said,
“ He'll be fined, with a caution, to-morrow!'
The BIRIAL OF THE TITLE, “ QUEEN."
Lightly they talk of the spirit that's gone,
And o'er empty bottles upbraid him ; But linte he'll reck, as they let him sleep on
In the cell where the constables laid him.
No curtains had he to his lonely bed,
And a rough deal plank was his pillow; Ile will wake with parched throat and an aching head,
And thirst that would drink up a billow.
Not a cheer was heard, not a joyous note,
As the Bill to the tellers we hurried ; So solemn and dread is the midnight vote
When a title has to be buried.
To make it a question burning ;
The hate of all Englishmen earning.
(There's much of it still adhering), And we knew by the distant and random growl
That the foe was sullenly sneering.
Roughly, yet sadly, we laid him down,
That toper, worn, haggard, and hoary,
With a “ brilliant” lie we bedecked its breast,
In a “cloak of deceit” we wound it, So it lay like a hypocrite taking its rest,
With its weapons all around it.
In November, 1879, The IVeekly Dispatch (a high-class London Liberal newspaper) commenced a series of Prize Competitions, the subjects, and methods of treatment, being indicated by the Prize Editor. On April 18, 1880, the prize of Two Guineas was for the best Poem on the Downfall of the Beaconsfield Government, in the form of a parody of “The Burial of Sir John Moore." It was awarded to Mr. D. Evans, 63, Talma Road, Brixton, S.E., for the following:
Brief and stern was the service said,
In its own peculiar lingo) ; By a Hebrew scribe was a chapter read
From the gospel according to Jingo.
Lighuy we'll speak of the Ministry gone.
Nor o'er its cold ashes upbraid it, We'll forgive a good deal if it only sleeps on
In the dishonoured past where we've laid it.
The Editor added the following remarks :
“ Among the numerous parodies of “The Burial of Sir John Moore' there are some, faulty in parts, in which there are remarkably vigorous verses. One competitor, for in. stance, treating Jingo as a personality, says :
No well-bunged beer-cask confined his breast,
Nor in cerement white we bound him ; But he lay 'neath a water-butt, taking his rest,
With a pool of that liquid around him.'
(From a Tory point of view.) Not a hum was heard, not a jubilant note,
As away from the House we all scurriedNot a Liberal's tear bedewed the spot,
The grave where our hopes were buried. We buried them sadly and deep that night,
For we had no hope of returning, By Reason's bright returning light,
And our hearts were sadly yearning. Few indeed were the words we said,
But though sew they were pregnant with sorrow, As we all in search of Benjamin tled
To inspire us with hope for the morrow. No gaudy star was upon his breast,
No ermine cloak was around him, Yet he stood like a man who had feathered his nest;
And he smiled at us all, confound him ! We thought, as we left with a silent tread,
of Cross and his dreadful Water, That the Liberals would soon be seen there instead,
And we far away from that quarter.
And of course they've a right to abuse us ;
In our places and wouldn't refuse us.
Another winds up thus :
“Smiling and gladly we toppled him down,
That image of humbug so gory;
Lies bombast, false glitter, and glory.''
And a third is particularly energetic in his speculations as to the behaviour of the Premier on hearing of the defeat of his policy :
“He thought, as he holloa'd aloud in bed,
And pommelled bis lonely pillow,
And his sury was like the billow.'"