LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism
[Thomas Dibdin]
Literary Gazette  Vol. 2  No. 69  (16 May 1818)  315.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

Journal of Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences &c.

No. 69. SATURDAY,  MAY  18,  1818. PRICE 1s.



By an admirer of men that are no egotists.
Vide Examiner, 30th last November.

The Writer of this article, no other,
Had, by some sort of accident, a mother;
She was a woman, and ’tis ten to one
The Writer of this paper was, her son.
Dear Hampsteadizing critic, Johnny Hunt,
Whose wits, as Shakespeare says, are not so blunt
But that he can with ease remember
(Because he can’t forget it very well)
The circumstance which he’s about to tell
Happen’d one day in August or November,
Or maybe ’twas about this time of year,
At least, if he’s not very wrong,
When days were either getting short, or long,
No matter which, but with his mother dear,
Hand link’d in hand, like bridegroom new with bride,
He walk’d Blackfriar’s Road—the right-hand side,
But whether as you come from town, or go,
The Writer of this article don’t know.
The Writer’s mother’s visage had an eye,
And it was wet whene’er she didn’t cry:
Better are tears supprest than shed, by half,
Because “the less we cry the more we laugh.”
The Writer’s mother held the writer’s hand,
And squeez’d it when she’d have him understand
Something she hadn’t language to explain.
Then Johnny squeez’d, then Mother squeez’d,
and Johnny squeez’d again.
While walking, squeezing, sentimentalizing,
They met (which in that road is not surprising)
A sturdy beggar of terrific mien,
Bepatch’d, where any patch of clothes was seen,
With grey, blue, yellow, scarlet, white and green,
And where no patches were, the vagrant’s hide
Exhibited all colours else beside.
Give me, quoth she.  The Writer’s mother cried
I’ve nought to give; have you no business, say?
What business is that of yours, Ma’am, prey?
Can you make nought?—No, madam, nor I shan’t!
And can’t you mend? No, cried the Mend I cant,
And now the eye
That didn’t cry
Did wetter still appear.
And near a stable yard the Writer felt a squeeze
(’Twas near the Cat and Fiddle)
Which seem’d to say, my Johnny, if you please
I want to go up here.
And so did I, I wanted to unriddle
What might be next the Writer’s mother’s plan
When she turn’d up the gateway like a man.
On her dear mem’ry still I doat
To think. Her flannel petticoat,
Somehow detaching from her taper middle,
She did contrive to drop,
Bidding the beggar stop,
And as she let the votive drap’ry fall,
Cried, while not crying, Take my little all.
Nor can the Writer of this article
Of what he felt express a particle,
While with sob, stiffled, sticking in his throat,
He saw the stranger’s hand,
At her command,
Take up the Writer’s mother’s petticoat.
Virtue (if virtue be not all a dream
More beautiful may to the virtuous seem
Than colours thro’ a prism,)
Sometimes forgets to give her friends a lift,
And thus she sent the Writer’s dame adrift,
Whose flannel dickey gone, she made a shift
To catch the rheumatism.

Therefore I wouldn’t here advise
Ladies with wet unweeping eyes
To strip themselves behind a stable door,
And give their clothes
To no one knows
Who folks may be they never saw before.