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•It ft 


JLyO q r /j 






Post Svo, cloth limp, 2s. 6d. per volume. 



H. Mallock. 

SON. By E. Lynn Linton. 


PUN I AN A. By the Hon. Hugh Rowley. 

MOREPUNIANA. By the Hon. Hugh Rowley. 

H. A. Page. 

BY STREAM AND SEA. By William Senior. 

JEUX D'ESPRIT. Collected and Edited by 

Henry S. Leigh. 


Cholmonoelry Pennell. 
PUCK ON PEGASUS. By H. Cholmondeley 

ORIGINAL PLAYS. By W. S. Gilbert. 


LIES, AND FROLICS. By W. T. Dobson. 

%* Other Volumes are in preparation. 




tVith graviiy foe graver folks 


IAU righlt rcservtd\ 



HERE the authorship of any of the ex- 
tracts given in this book is not acknow- 
ledged, it is not without search having 
been made for their source; The gathering to- 
gether of the materials incorporated has been the 
labour of years, and it is hoped that the work 
may not be without a certain degree of interest 
as well as amusement. 


















INDEX 285 



TILITY is not always the chief object 
of literary labour, neither is " value 
received " always its aim and end ; for 
in this kind of work, as in some others, difficulty 
and expected applause are frequently great incen- 
tives. With many writers, more particularly in 
former times, various curious styles of composi- 
tion were much in favour — one, for instance, 
would have a predilection for composing verses 
with the omission in each stanza of a particular 
letter ; others, again, would write verses in such a 
way as to enable their compositions to be read 
from the end to the beginning of the line, or vice 
versd, as the reader chose; while a third vexed 
himself in the composition of alliterative, or, per- 
haps, monosyllabic poetry. Some old writers also 
amused themselves in devising cott\htaa&^c& *& 


Latin words, which might be changed in their 
order and recombined, so as to form new sen- 
tences. Of one example of this species of literary 
trifling, a verse in honour of the Virgin Mary, it 
was asserted by its author that it would admit of 
twelve hundred changes, without suffering in sense 
or grammar. The verse was — 

" Tot tibi sunt dotes, virgo, quot sidera cceli \ " 

which means — 

" Virgin, thy virtues are as numerous as the stars of 
the heavens." 

The wonder is, in regard to these, how their 
indefatigable concocters found out the number of 
changes the words would admit; for, as regards 
another example, its author states that it would 
take ninety-one years and forty-nine days to per- 
form the changes, at the rate of twelve hundred 
daily — the total number of which the words are 
capable amounting to "thirty-nine million nine 
hundred and sixteen thousand eight hundred ! " 
This wonderful verse is as follows : 

" Lex, grex, rex, spes, res, jus, thus, sal, sol bona lux, laus! 
Mars, mors, sors, fraus, faex, Styx, nox, crux, pus, mala vis, lis ! " 

[hich may be rendered— 


" Law, flocks, kings, hopes, riches, right, incense, salt, sun good 
torch, praise to you ! 
Mars, death, destiny, fraud, impurity, Styx, night, the cross, bad 
humours and evil power, may you be condemned ! " 

Another class of literary triflers may be named 
here — those who chose to display a kind of micro- 
scopic skill by writing so small that their work 
appeared to the naked eye only as a mere wavy 
line. Laborious ingenuity of these various kinds, 
so far from being discouraged, was rather pleasur- 
ably indulged in by some of our ancient writers, 
of whom might have been expected other and 
better things. 

In relation to those who have chosen to exert 
themselves in the way of microscopic writ-" 
ing, apart from authorship, as feats of this kind 
hold no place in the following parts of this work, 
it may not be out of place to say a little here. 
The fact, as Pliny relates, that the "Iliad" of 
Homer, containing 15,000 verses, had been written 
in so small a compass as to be wholly enclosed in 
a nutshell, has often been referred to as one of 
those things which require to be seen to be 
believed; and yet, however doubtful such a feat 
may appear, it is certain that one Huet, who at 
first thought it impossible, demonstrated bv «.^xv- 


ment that it could be done. A piece of vellum 
10 inches in length and 8 wide would hold 250 
lines, each line containing 30 verses, and thus, filling 
both sides of the vellum, 15,000, the whole number 
of verses in the " Iliad," could be written upon it ; 
and this piece of vellum, folded compactly, would 
go easily into the shell of a walnut. Another 
ancient trifler of this kind is said to have written a 
distich in golden letters, which he enclosed in the 
rind of a grain of corn. 

Of these microscopic writers, Peter Bales, an 
eminent writing-master of his day, who kept a school 
near the Old Bailey during the time of Elizabeth, 
may be said to have been facile princeps. We are 
told in the Harleian MS. 530, of "a rare piece of 
work brought to pass" by him, this being the 
"whole Bible contained in a large English walnut 
no bigger than a hen's egg ; the nut holdeth the 
book ; there are as many leaves in his book as the 
great Bible, and he hath written as much in one of 
his little leaves as a great leaf of the Bible." This 
book, which certainly would be almost unreadable, 
and of which the paper or other material on which 
it was written must have been very thin, " was seen 
by many thousands." Another feat performed by 
Peter Bales was the writing of the Lord's Prayer, the 


Creed, the Ten Commandments, two short Latin 
prayers, and his own name, motto, day of month 
and year of our Lord and reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth, all within the circle of a penny, encased in a 
ring of gold, the whole so clearly done as to be 
perfectly readable. This work he presented to the 
Queen at Hampton Court, and she very graciously 
accepted the offering. It is nothing unusual now- 
adays to find writing of almost if not quite as 
minute character as this, seeing that the Ten 
Commandments have been written in a compass 
small enough to be covered by a fourpenny 
piece ! 

An account is preserved in an old "Monthly 
Magazine " of a beautiful specimen of penmanship 
executed by a Mr. Beedell of Ottery St. Mary's. 
This piece of workmanship was surrounded by an 
elegant border, — itself the labour of six weeks, 
— containing tastefully arranged within it the fol- 
lowing figures : — " Common hare, varying hare of 
the northern countries of Europe, pine martin, 
otter, wild cat; harrier (hunting piece); three 
foreign birds on a tree ; a correct representation of 
Ottery St. Mary's Church, surrounded by a beau- 
tiful border; ruins of a castle, encompassed by a 
very neat and pretty border." At the bottom oC^k 


this Mr. Beedell also wrote, as another specimen of 
minute penmanship, the Lord's Prayer, Belief, and 
two verses of the third Psalm, in the circumference 
of a common-sized pea. 

There is said to be a portrait of Queen Anne 
among the treasures of the British Museum on 
which appear a number of minute lines and 
scratches, which, when examined through a micro- 
scope, are discovered to be the entire contents of a 
small folio book in the library. A similar effort in 
the way of microscopic caligraphy was discovered 
some years ago by a gentleman who had bought 
at a sale a pen-and-ink portrait of Alexander 
Pope, surrounded by a design in scroll-work. 
Examining this through a glass, in order, if 
possible, to discover the artist's name, he was 
astonished to find that the fine lines in the 
surrounding scroll were nothing less that a Life of 
the poet, so minutely transcribed as only to be 
legible by the aid of a magnifier. This was 
believed to be an imitation of a similar effort in 
the way of portraiture which was at one time in 
the library of St. John's College at Oxford, where 
a head of Charles I. was drawn in minute char- 
acters, so fine as to resemble the lines of an 
engraving, but which, when closely examined, was 


found to be the Book of Psalms, the Creed, and 
the Lord's Prayer. One other instance of this 
kind of work has been recorded, that of a portrait 
of Richelieu, which appears on the title of a French 
book: the Cardinal's head is surrounded by a 
glory of forty rays, each ray containing the name 
of a French Academician. Of one person who was 
an adept at this kind of writing, the almost in- 
credible feat is recorded of placing the Lord's 
Prayer, the Creed, seven of the Commandments, 
the 103d, 133d, and 144th Psalms, with name and 
date, within the circumference of a sixpence ! while 
another is said to have written the whole Book of 
Malachi in a pyramid the size of a little finger. 

Without here noticing further any of the various 
kinds of Literary Frivolities contained in the 
following pages, — and of which, in many cases, the 
examples have been greatly limited, — we cannot 
conclude this Introduction without adverting to 
one which, it is hoped, is quite unique, for nothing 
approaching it in absurdity or inutility has come 
under our notice, or that of any one else we trust, as 
it might fairly be taken as an indication that some- 
thing was decidedly wrong with the mental condi- 
tion of the person who could throw away his time 
and labour upon so frivolous a pursuit : it is give*v 


here on the authority of an article which appears 
in the " Leisure Hour." The case referred to w; 
that of an unfortunate genius who had discovers d 
that there were 33,535 ways of spelling the word 
scissors! Imagine any sane person sitting down 
and laboriously following out the idea of writing 
any word, and this word in particular, 33,535 
times ! Imagine the frequent revisals necessary to 
ascertain the certainty of non-repetition — remind- 
ing one forcibly of the labours of Sisyphus, always 
pushing the stone up the hill, and then having 
immediately to descend and repeat the process 
when the stone had rolled down again ! Yet this 
was actually done — done in a neat and handsome 
manuscript volume, containing about three hundred 
pages of three columns each. The most patient 
man that ever lived might have been beaten in a 
trial of this nature — the crank were nothing in 
comparison ! 

( 17 ) 


HE curious phase of Literary Frivolity 
called Alliteration is the composition of 
sentences or lines of verse with words 
beginning with the same letter, and has been 
considered by some critics a " false ornament in 
poetry," by others has been looked upon as frivo- 
lous, while a third class have sanctioned its use as 
a worthy and impressive embellishment. It is a 
somewhat mechanical aid to the rhythm of verse, 
and in the reciting or reading of a long piece of 
poetry, the reciter or reader might find his organs 
of speech aided in some degree by the succession 
of similar sounds, and this might also have a plea- 
sant cadence to those who listened. However, this 
could only apply for a short time, as alliteration 
too long continued would weary and become ridi- 
culous, and suggest that a laborious effort had been 
made to keep up the alliterative strain, while the 
pleasure derived would only be as transitory as 

1 8 A LLITERA T10N. 

that derived from witnessing the clever feats of an 
acrobat, with a corresponding sigh of relief when 
the performance was over. 

" Tis not enough no harshness gives offence ; 
The words must seem an echo of the sense." 

Alliterative writing does not imply, however, 
that each word or syllable must commence with 
the same letter, it being sufficient that a repetition 
of similar or imitative sounds are produced, so as 
to give a certain degree of harmony and strength ; 
and in the sense of having utility in this way, 
alliteration has been used by the whole range of 
poets. In the early ages such a feature in poetry 
might have been welcome, and in some degree 
necessary, when, as in Scandinavian, Old German, 
and Icelandic verse, "the harmony neither de- 
pended' on the quantity of syllables^ like that of the 
ancient Greeks and Romans, nor on the rhymes at 
the end, as in modern poetry, but consisted alto- 
gether in alliteration, or a certain artful repetition 
of the sounds in the middle of the verses. This 
was adjusted according to certain rules of their 
prosody, one of which was that every distich 
should contain at least three words beginning with 
the same letter or sound. Two of these corre- 


spondent sounds might be placed either in the first 
or second line of the distich, and one in the other ; 
but all three were not regularly to be crowded into 
one line. This will be best understood by the 
following examples : 

' J/eire og -Mnne 
Jlfoga heimdaller. 

' Gab Cinunga 
Enn Gras huerge.' " * 

The writers of the early Teutonic and Celtic 
tongues revelled with great effect in this trick of 
speech— not only in solemn legal formularies, in 
spells of horror, as well as in the flights of the 
poet, but also in ordinary descriptions and in their 
common proverbs — the Celtic especially readily 
lending itself to this device of jingling repetition. 
Several early English poems, written in this kind 
of alliterative metre, without rhyme, are extant, 
among which that entitled "Piers Plowman's 
Visions" (written about 1350) is the one most 
generally known; but few readers except those 
whose delight is in musty tomes, and who are 
deep in the mysteries of black-letter lore, are 
acquainted with more than the name of that poem. 

" Percy's Reliques." 


When our more ancient poetry was, towards the 
end of last century, drawn forth from the oblivion 
to which it had been too long consigned, the 
public was seized with a kind of Gothic fever, and 
was so delighted with the novelty of the feast, that 
one and all declared everything was excellent — 
antiquity became a sufficient passport to praise, 
and much ingenuity was exercised in discover- 
ing fanciful beauties in even the most worthless 
productions. That excitement soon passed away, 
but it produced excellent effects ; and, freeing the 
mind from the shackles of a prevalent artificial 
style, gave a liberty to appreciate and enjoy the 
truer poetry of nature. But it must be granted 
that the* diction and style of many of our elder 
poets are so rude as to render the perusal of their 
works distasteful to modern readers. Few, we 
believe, except enthusiastic antiquaries, have had 
the courage to travel through " Piers Plowman," or 
would think their trouble repaid by the snatches 
of true poetry interspersed ; and yet in this poem, 
and many others equally rugged, passages of great 
poetical power and beauty are to be found, which 
deserve to be rescued from oblivion. 

The following lines are quoted by Dr. Percy 
from a manuscript supposed to be older than 


" Piers Plowman," and are descriptive of a vision 
wherein the poet sees a combat between "our 
lady Dame Life" and "the ugly fiend Dame 
Death." The lines portray Dame Life, and are 
a good example of the old style of alliteration as 
used in place of modern rhyme : 

" Shee was brighter of her £lee [colour] 

Then was the bright sonn ; 
Her rudd redder than the rose 

That on the rise [bough] hangeth ; 
J/eekly smiling with her wouth 

And merry in her lookes ; 
Ever /aughing for /ove 

As shee /ike would. 
And as shee came by the fonkes 

The foughes eche one 
They /owted to that /adye 

And /ayd forth their branches ; 
2?lossomes and £urgens [buds] 

breathed full sweete ; 
/'lowers /lourished in theyHth 

Where shee/orth stepped ; 
And the ^rasse, that was £ray, 

Greened belive [instantly]." 

An old Scottish poem by Dunbar (1465-1530), 
"The Twa Maryit Wemen and the Wedo," so 
indelicate as to place it outside the pale of all 


respectable homes, is remarkable for being com- 
posed in this alliterative blank verse, a style not 
known to have been used in Scotland previously. 

About the beginning of the sixteenth century 
this kind of versification began to change its form, 
and at length the old uncouth verse of the ancient 
writers was unfavourably looked upon when lack- 
ing the ornament of rhyme. Yet when this latter 
began to be superadded, all the niceties of allitera- 
tion were retained along with it, and the song of 
"Little John Nobody" exhibits the union very 
clearly. This old ballad will be found in " Percy's 
Reliques," and is a witty satire on the Reformation 
under King Edward VI. We give the first and 
last verses, it being too long to quote in its 
entirety : 

" In December, when the dayes draw to be short, 
After November, when the nights wax noysome and 

As I past by a place privily at a port, 
I saw one sit by himself making a song ; 
His last talk of trifles, who told with his tongue 
That few were fast i' the faith. I freyned that freak 
Whether he wanted wit, or some had done him wrong. 
He said, he was little John Nobody, that durst not 


Thus in no place, this Nobody, in no time I met, 
Where no man, ne nought was, nor nothing did 

Through the sound of a synagogue for sorrow I swett, 
That Aeolus through the eccho did cause me to hear. 
Then I drew me down into a dale, whereas the dumb- 
Did shiver for a shower ; but I shunted from a freyke : 
For I would no wight in this world wist who I were, 
But little John Nobody, that dare not once speake." 

By degrees the correspondence of final sounds 
engrossed the whole attention of the poet, and, 
fully satisfying the reader, the internal embellish- 
ment of alliteration was no longer studied exclu- 
sively, and has latterly been applied only to light 
and trivial subjects, to which it seems best adapted. 
The poet who sets himself sedulously nowadays to 
resuscitate this almost defunct limb of his art may 
behold his own probable fate in that of Rogers, 
a line of one of whose polished verses — 

" So up the tide of time I turn my sail," 

was at once unmercifully rendered by an irre- 
verent critic into — 

" So up the tide of time I turn my tail." 

Alliteration does, however, independently of its 
greater suitability to whatever is light and trivial^ 


when sparingly and discreetly used, add to the 
beauty of a poetical sentiment, and may also aid 
the force and piquancy of a witty remark. For 
the one, take an example from Sydney Smith, 
who, when contrasting the position of curates 
and the higher dignitaries of the English Church, 
spoke of them as " the Right Reverend Dives in 
the palace, and Lazarus in orders at the gate, 
doctored by dogs and comforted with crumbs;" 
for the other, take Pope's line — 

" Fields for ever fresh, and groves for ever green." 

Thus when an alliterative phrase presents itself 
with some degree of spontaneity, it adds to the 
expressiveness of the sentiment, and Pope has 
acknowledged this in a line which is itself alli- 
terative — 

" Apt alliteration's artful aid." 

Still, when this " aid " is hunted after and strained 
for, it is apt to become a deformity. 

The best proof of the value in which alliteration 
was formerly held is found in the fact that it has 
been used more or less by all the poets, ancient 
and modern, sacred and profane. The odes of 
Anacreon abound in specimens of it, and it has 


added grace and dignity to the lines of Homer and 
Virgil, has feathered the poetic shafts of Shake- 
speare and Gay, shown itself in the volatile genius 
of French poesy, and given emphasis and force 
to the lines of Schlegel and Burger — lending its 
" artful aid " to the poetry of almost every clime, 
and tinging the literature of almost every language. 
One of the earliest examples is the celebrated line 
of Virgil — 

"Quadrupedumque putrem sonitu quatit ungula campum" — 

a line which is admired by the best critics as 
illustrating, in a happy manner, "the measured 
gallop of the haughty war-horse." This line, as Sir 
Walter Scott says, " expressing a cavalry charge," 
was criticised severely by Scott's Triptolemus 
Yellowley, who "opined that the combatants, in 
their inconsiderate ardour, galloped over a new- 
manured ploughed field." The lines written by 
Virgil on the folding doors of the amphitheatre 
may serve as another example of his alliterative 
powers. He had written, anonymously, a couplet 
containing an elegant compliment to the Emperor 
Augustus, the authorship of which was claimed by 
one Bathyllus. Chagrined at this, Virgil re-wrote 
the original lines, with the following addition : 


" Hos ego versiculos feci, tulit alter honores 
Sic vos non vobis .... 
Sic vos non vobis .... 
Sic vos non vobis .... 
Sic vos non vobis .... 

Various attempts were made, but without success, 
to fill up the lines, when Virgil completed it him- 
self as follows : 

" Sic vos non vobis nidificatis aves ; 
Sic vos non vobis vellera fertis boves ; 
Sic vos non vobis, mellificatis apes ; 
Sic vos non vobis fertis aratra boves." 

The old English and Scottish ballads abound 
in alliteration, and in Weber's " Ballad of Flodden 
Field v — a poetical romance of the sixteenth cen- 
tury — there are a number of good examples, and 
here follow some extracts from it : 

" Most liver* lads in Lonsdale bred, 
With weapons of unwieldy weight ; 
All such as Tatham Fells had fed, 
Went under Stanley's streamer bright. 

From Bolland billmen bold were boun, 
With such as Bottom-Banks did hide ; 

From Wharemore up to Whittington, 
And all to Wenning Water side. 

* Nimble, active. 


From Silverdale to Kent-Sand side, 
Whose soil is sown with cockle-shells ; 

From Cartmel eke and Conny-side, 
With fellows fierce from Furney's fells. 

All Lancashire for the most part 

The lusty Stanley stout did lead ; 
A stock of striplings, strong of heart, 

Brought up from babes with beef and bread. 

From Warton unto Warrington, 

From Wigan unto Wiresdale, 
From Weddicar to Waddington, 

From old Ribchester to Ratchdale. 

From Poulton and Preston with pikes, 
They with the Stanley stout forth went ; 

From Pemberton and Pilling Dikes, 
For battle bilimen bold were bent. 

With fellows fresh and fierce in fight, 

Which Horton Fields turned out in scores ; 

With lusty lads, liver and light, 

From Blackburn and Bolton i' the Moors. 

With children chosen from Cheshire, 

In armour bold for battle drest ; 
And many a gentleman and squire 

Were under Stanley's streamer prest. 

Strike but three strokes with stomachs stout, 
And shoot each man sharp arrows three^ — 


And you shall see without all doubt 
The scoulding Scots begin to flee. 

• • • • • 

The master Scot did mark so right 

That he with bullet brast his brain, 
And hurled his heels his head above ; 

Then piped he such a peel again, 
The Scots he from their ordnance drave." 

Amongst our early poets, no one gives a better 
example of alliteration than Quarles in one of his 
Emblems (Book II. Emblem 2). Quarles was a 
poet who did not need the aid of alliteration to 
"lend liquidity to his lines," and though often 
queer, quaint, and querulous, is never prosy, 
prolix, or puling. The lines are as follow : 

" Oh, how our widened arms can over- stretch 
Their own dimensions ! How our hands can reach 
Beyond their distance ! How our yielding breast 
Can shrink to be more full and full possest 
Of this inferior orb ! How earth refined 
Can cling to sordid earth ! How kind to kind ! 
We gape, we grasp, we gripe, add store to store ; 
Enough requires too much ; too much craves more. 
• •••*•. 

The grave is sooner cloyed than men's desire : 
We cross the seas, and midst her waves we burn, 


Transporting lives, perchance that ne'er return ; 
We sack, we ransack to the utmost sands 
Of native kingdoms, and of foreign lands ; 
We travel sea and soil, we pry, we prowl, 
We progress, and we prog from pole to pole ; 
We spend our midday sweat, our midnight oil, 
We tire the night in thought, the day in toil." 

Spenser, Dryden, and Gray — the latter two 
professedly taking their style from the former — all 
dealt largely in alliteration. Gray especially gave 
particular heed to this embellishment, and in his 
odes' almost every strophe begins with an allitera- 
tive line — thus : 

" Ruin seize thee, ruthless king." 

" Weave the warp, weave the woof." 

" Eyes that glow, and fangs that grin." 

" Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." 

Spenser gives some very good examples : 

" In woods, in waves, in wars, she wonts to dwell — 
And will be found with peril and with pain." 

" They cheerly chaunt, and rhymes at random flung." 

"Still, when she slept, he kept both watch and ward, 
And when she waked, he waited diligent." 

" He used to slug, to sleep, in slothful shade." 

The early Scottish poets also used this feature 
— Gawain Douglas, Dunbar, and Alexander Sco^. 


especially. Dunbar's " Dance of the Seven Deadly 
Sins," a poem of animated picturesqueness not 
unlike Collins* "Ode to the Passions," contains 
the following : 

" Then Ire came in, with sturt and strife, 
His hand was aye upon his knife, 
He brandished like a bear ; 
Boasters, braggarts, and barganeris : * 
After him passit in pairs, 

All bodin in feir of weir, t 

• • * * • 

Next in the dance followed Envy, 
Filled full of feud and felony, 

Hid malice and despite." 

Alexander Scot, who has been called the Scottish 
Anacreon, sent " Ane New Year's Gift" to Queen 
Mary, which contains many alliterative lines, such 
as the following, when, speaking of the Reformers 
of his day, he says they go about — 

" Rugging and ryving up kirk rents like rooks ; 

and the Address concludes with a stanza begin- 

" Fresh, fulgent, flourist, fragrant flower formose, 
Lantern to love, of ladies lamp and lot, 
Cherry maist chaste, chief carbuncle and chose," &c. 

* Bullies. t Arrayed in trappings of war. 


Alexander Montgomery, another Scottish poet 
contemporary with Scot, wrote an allegorical poem 
entitled " The Cherry and the Slae," in which are 
some sweet and striking natural descriptions written 
in richly alliterative verse, of which we give two 
stanzas : 

" The cushat croods, the corbie cries, 
The cuckoo conks, the prattling pies 

To geek there they begin ; 
The jargon of the jangling jays, 
The cracking craws and keckling kays, 
They deav'd me with their din ; 
The painted pawn, with Argus eyes, 

Can on his May-cock call, 
The turtle wails on wither'd trees, 
And Echo answers all. 

Repeating, with greeting, 
How fair Narcissus fell, 
By lying and spying 
His shadow in the welL 

The air was sober, saft, and sweet, 
Nae misty vapours, wind, nor weet, 

But quiet, calm, and clear ; 
To foster Flora's fragrant flowers, 
Whereon Apollo's paramours 

Had trinkled mony a tear ; 


The which, like silver shakers, shined, 

Embroidering Beauty's bed, 
Wherewith their heavy heads declined 
In Mayfe's colours clad ; 

Some knopping, some dropping 

Of balmy liquor sweet, 
Excelling and smelling 
Through Phcebus , wholesome heat." 

Neither has Shakespeare omitted this feature, for, 
amid many others, we find this in " As You Like 
It : "— 

"The churlish chiding of the winter's wind." 

Again, in " Love's Labour's Lost," Master Holo- 
fernes says : — 

" I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility — 
The preyful princess pierced and pricked a pretty 
pleasing pricket." 

Shakespeare has also this other example : — 

" She sings so soft, so sweet, so soothing still, 
That through the throat ten thousand tones there thrill." 

The following couplet applies to the famous 
Cardinal Wolsey : — 

" Begot by butchers, but by bishops bred, 
How high his honour holds his haughty head ! " 


Lord North, at the court of James I., wrote a 
set of sonnets each beginning with a letter of the 
alphabet in regular succession ; and in the seven- 
teenth century the device of alliteration was 
carried to the verge of absurdity, when, even in 
the pulpit, the preacher would address his flock as 
the " chickens of the Church, the sparrows of the 
Spirit, and the sweet swallows of salvation." The 
old divines give many curious specimens of this 
peculiarity of composition. For instance, in 
Trapp's Commentary on the Bible, concerning the 
passage in Proverbs iv. 16, containing the words, 
"For they sleep not," the quaint old author 
remarks : " As empty stomachs can hardly sleep, 
so neither can graceless persons, till gorged and 
glutted with sweetmeats of sin, with the murdering 
morsels of mischief." Again, on Jeremiah xxviii. 
17, speaking of the death of the false prophet 
Hananiah, Trapp says : " Such a hoof is grown 
over some men's hearts, as neither ministry, nor 
misery, nor miracle, nor mercy,can possibly mollify." 
About the same time, also, books sometimes re- 
ceived curious alliterative titles, as " The Hiveful of 
Honey," "The Handful of Honeysuckles," "The 
Seven Sobs of a Sorrowful Soul for Sin," &c. 
Sir Thomas Browne gives another instance in the 


following sentence : " Even that vulgar and tavern 
music which makes one man merry, another mad, 
strikes in me a deep fit of devotion and a profound 
contemplation of the first composer," &c. 

Pope gives the idea of labour in the following 
line by the very difficulty of pronouncing the 
same recurring sound : 

" Up the high hill he heaves the huge round stone ; " 

and by the alliteration in the following he connects 
three similar things, and shows the contrast of two 
others : 

" Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux." 

Dean Peacock's " Life of Dr. Thomas Young " 
has this : 

" Medical men, my mood mistaking, 
Most mawkish monstrous messes making, 
Molest me much ; more manfully 
My mind might meet my malady ; 
Medicine's mere mockery murders me." 

Similar to the above are the following verses, 
which appeared some time ago in a volume of 
poems called "Songs of Singularity," by the 
London Hermit. They are supposed to be a 
Serenade in M flat, sung by Major Marmaduke 


Muttinhead to Mademoiselle Madeline Mendosa 
Marriott : 

" My Madeline ! my Madeline ! 

Mark my melodious midnight moans ; 
Much may my melting music mean, 
My modulated monoton&s. 

My mandolin's mild minstrelsy, t 

My mental music magazine, 
My mouth, my mind, my memory, 

Must mingling murmur * Madeline.' 

Muster 'mid midnight masquerades, 
Mark Moorish maidens', matrons' mien, 

'Mongst Murcia's most majestic maids 
Match me my matchless Madeline. 

Mankind's malevolence may make 

Much melancholy music mine ; 
Many my motives may mistake, 

My modest merits much malign. 

My Madeline's most mirthful mood 
Much mollifies my mind's machine ; 

My mournfulness' magnitude 

Melts — makes me merry — Madeline ! 

Match-making ma's may machinate, 
Manoeuvring misses me misween ; 

Mere money may make many mate ; 
My magic motto's, ' Madeline ! ' 


Melt, most mellifluous melody, 

Midst Murcia's misty mounts marine, 

Meet me 'mid moonlight — marry me, 
Madonna mia ! — my Madeline ! " 

The following is the 49th chapter of " Tusser's 
Husbandry" (1590), and is 

" A brief conclusion, where you may see 
Each word in the verse begin with a T." 

" The thrifty that teacheth the thriving to thrive, 
Teach timely to traverse the thing that thou 'trive 

Transferring thy toiling, to timeliness taught, 
Thus teaching thee temp'rance to temper thy thought. 
Take trusty (to trust to) that thinketh to thee, 
That trustily thriftiness trowleth to thee. 
Then temper thy travell to tarry the tide, 
This teacheth thee thriftiness, twenty times try'd. 
Take thankful thy talent, thank thankfully those 
That thriftily teacheth thy time to transpose. 
Troth twice to be teached, teach twenty times ten. 
This trade thou that taketh, take thrift to thee then." 

The song annexed is founded on the peculiarity 
known as the Newcastle burr, and first appeared 
in a provincial paper in December 1791 : 

" Rough rolled the roaring river's stream, 
And rapid ran the rain, 


When Robin Rutter dreamt a dream 
Which racked his heart with pain. 

He dreamt there was a raging bear 
Rushed from the rugged rocks, 

And strutting round with horrid stare 
Breathed terror to the brocks.* 

But Robin Rutter drew his sword, 

And rushing forward right, 
The horrid creature's throat he gored, 

And barred his rueful spite. 
Then, stretching forth his brawny arm 

To drag him to the stream, 
He grappled Grizzle, rough and warm, 

Which roused him from his dream." 

The subjoined advertisement appeared in a 
Manchester paper in 1829: 

Spanker : 
" The Property of O D . 

" Saturday, the 1 6th September next, will be sold, or 
set up for sale, at Skibbereen : 

"A strong, staunch, steady, sound, stout, safe, sinewy, 
serviceable, strapping, supple, swift, smart, sightly, 
sprightly, spirited, sturdy, shining, sure-footed, sleek, 
smooth, spunky, well-skinned, sized, and shaped sorrel 
steed, of superlative symmetry, styled Spanker; with 
small star and snip, square- sided, slender-shouldered, 



sharp-sighted, and steps singularly stately; free from 
strain, spavin, spasms, stringhalt, staggers, strangles, 
surfeit, seams, strumous swellings, scratches, splint, 
squint, scurf, sores, scattering, shuffling, shambling-gait, or 
sickness of any sort. He is neither stiff-mouthed, shabby- 
coated, sinew-shrunk, saddlebacked, shell-toothed, skin- 
scabbed, short-winded, splay-footed, or shoulder-slipped ; 
and is sound in the sword-point and stifle-joint. Has 
neither sick-spleen, sleeping-evil, snaggle-teeth, subcutan- 
eous sores, or shattered hoofs ; nor is he sour, sulky, surly, 
stubborn, or sullen in temper. Neither shy nor skittish, 
slow, sluggish, or stupid. He never slips, strips, strays, 
starts, stalks, stops, shakes, snivels, snaffles, snorts, 
stumbles, or stocks in his stall or stable, and scarcely or 
seldom sweats. Has a showy, stylish switch-tail, or 
stern, and a safe set of shoes on ; can feed on stubble, 
sainfoin, sheaf-oats, straw, sedge, or Scotch grass. Carries 
sixteen stone with surprising speed in his stroke over a 
six-foot sod or a stone wall. His sire was the Sly Sob- 
bersides, on a sister of Spindleshanks by Sampson, a 
sporting son of Sparkler, who won the sweepstakes and 
subscription plate last session at Sligo. His selling price is 
sixty-seven pounds, sixteen shillings and sixpence sterling." 

Our later poets have occasionally found a charm 
and aid in alliteration, and Coleridge in one of his 
poems gives a fine specimen : 

" The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, 
The furrow followed free." 


And Burns terms Tarn O' Shanter — 

" A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum ;" 

while he calls the ploughman's collie, in the " Twa 


A rhyming, ranting, roving billie." 

Sir Walter Scott gives the following verse : 

" St Magnus control thee ! that martyr of treason ; 
St. Ronan rebuke thee with rhyme and with reason ! 
By the mass of St. Martin, the might of St. Mary, 
Begone, or thy weird shall be worse if thou tarry ! 
Begone to thy stone, for thy coffin is scant of thee ; 
The worm, thy playfellow, wails for the want of thee ! 
Phantom, fly hence, take the cross for a token ! 
Hence pass till Hallowmass ! My spell is spoken ! " 

Lord Byron, in the opening stanzas of the 
" Curse of Minerva " gives this verse : 

" Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run, 
Along Morea's hills the setting sun ; 
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright, 
But one unclouded blaze of living light ; 
O'er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws, 
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows. 
On old iEgina's rock and Hydra's isle 
The god of gladness sheds his parting smile ; 
O'er his own regions lingering loves to shine, 
Though there his altars are no more divine. 


Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss 
Thy glorious gulf, unconquered Salamis ! 
Their azure arches through the long expanse, 
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance, 
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven, 
Mark his gay course and own the hues of heaven ; 
Till darkly shaded from the land and deep, 
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep. ,, 

A modern novel,* published lately, gives 
instances of how deftly similar sounds can be 
interwoven even in prose. Speaking of a certain 
bishop, the author says he has "the respect of 
rectors, the veneration of vicars, the admiration of 
archdeacons, and the cringing courtesy of curates." 
In another place, the bishop's wife says "there are 
regal rectors, vicious vicars, and captious curates." 

Lithgow, the eccentric traveller, wrote a poem 
in which every word began with the same letter, 
of which the first two lines are here given : 

" Glance, glorious Geneve, gospel-guiding gem, 
Great God, govern good Geneve's ghostly game." 

The following lines are by a Mr. Dunbar, and 
are descriptive of the five handsome daughters of 
the late Scroope Colquitt, Esq., of Green Bank, 
Liverpool : 

* " The Princess Clarice," by Mortuaei CoWvas. 


" Minerva-like, majestic Mary moves, 
Law, Latin, liberty, learned Lucy loves, 
Eliza's elegance each eye espies, 
Serenely silent Susan smiles surprise, 
From fops, fools, flattery, fairest Fanny flies. ,, 

The best of this class of poems, however, is said 
to be the following : 

The Siege of Belgrade. 

" Ardentem aspicio atque arrectis auribus asto."— Virgil. 

An Austrian army, awfully arrayed, 

Boldly by battery besieged Belgrade ; 

Cossack commanders cannonading come, 

Dealing destruction's devastating doom ; 

Every endeavour engineers essay 

For fame, for fortune, forming furious fray ; 

Gaunt gunners grapple, giving gashes good ; 

Heaves high his head heroic hardihood ; 

Ibrahim, Islam, Ismail, imps in ill, 

Jostle John, Jarovlitz, Jem, Joe, Jack, Jill, 

Kick kindling Kutosoff, kings' kingsmen kill ; 

Labour low levels loftiest, longest lines ; 

Men marched 'mid moles, 'mid mounds, 'mid mur- 

d'rous mines. 
Now nightfall's near, now needful nature nods, 
Opposed, opposing, overcoming odds. 
Poor peasants, partly purchased, partly ^csssrA^ 
Quite quaking, Quarter \ quartet \ ag&iSi^ ojassfc- 


Reason returns, recalls redundant rage, 

Saves sinking soldiers, softens seigniors sage. 

Truce, Turkey, truce ! truce, treach'rous Tartar train ! 

Unwise, unjust, unmerciful Ukraine, 

Vanish, vile vengeance ! vanish, victory vain ! 

Wisdom wails war — wails warring words. What were 

Xerxes, Xantippe, Ximenes, Xavier ? 

Yet Yassey's youth, ye yield your youthful yest, 

Zealously, zanies, zealously, zeal's zest 

The foregoing has been variously imitated, and 
here are a few specimens : 

Arthur asked Amy's affection ; 

Bet, being Benjamin's bride, 
Coolly cut Charlie's connection ; 

Deborah, Dicky denied. 
Eleanor's eye, efficacious, 

Frederick's fatality feels ; 
Giles gained Georgiana — good gracious ! 

Harry hates Helen's high heels. 
Isaac is Isabel's idol ; 

Jenny jeers Jonathan Jones ; 
Katherine knows knock-knee'd Kit Kriedal ; 

Love's leering Lucy's long bones. 
Mary meets mortifications ; 

Nicholas Nancy neglects ; 
Oliver's odd observations 

Proves Peter poor Patty protects. 


Quaker Quintilian's queer quibbles 

Red Rachel's reasons resist : 
Soft Simon's sympathy scribbles 

Tales to tall Tabitha Twist. 
Urs'la unthinking, undoing 

Volatile Valentine's vest ; 
William's wild wickeder wooing 

'Xceeds youthful Zelica's zest. 

An Artful and Amusing Attempt at Alphabetical 
Alliteration Addressing Aurora. 

Awake Aurora ! and across all airs 

By brilliant blazon banish boreal Bears, 

Crossing cold Canope's celestial crown, 

Deep darts descending dive delusive down. 

Entranced each eve Europa's every eye 

Firm fixed forever fastens faithfully, 

Greets golden guerdon gloriously grand ; 

How holy Heaven holds high His hollow hand ! 

Ignoble Ignorance, inapt indeed, 

Jeers jestingly just Jupiter's jereed ! 

Knavish Khamschatkans, knightly Kurdsmen know 

Long Labrador's light lustre looming low ; 

'Midst myriad multitudes majestic might 

No nature nobler numbers Neptune's night. 

Opal of Oxus, or old OpluVs ores, 

Pale Pyrrhic pyres prismatic purple pours — 

Quiescent quivering, quickly, quaintly queex.* 

Rich, rosy, regal rays iesp\exitag& xe» \ 


Strange shooting streamers, streaking starry skies, 
Trail their triumphant tresses — trembling ties. 
Unseen, unhonoured Ursa — underneath, 
Veiled, vanquished — vainly vying — vanisheth : 
Wild Woden, warning, watchful — whispers wan 
Xanthitic Xeres, Xerxes, Xenophon, 
Yet yielding yesternight, Yules yell yawns 
Zenith's zebraic zigzag, Zodiac zones. 

Exercise on the Alphabet. 

Andrew Airpump asked his aunt her ailment. 
Billy Button bought a buttered biscuit 
Captain Crackscull cracked a catchpoll's coxcomb. 
Davy Doldrum dreamt he drove a dragon. 
Enoch Elkrig eat an empty eggshell. 
Francis Fripple flogged a Frenchman's filly. 
Gaffer Gilpin got a goose and gander. 
Humphrey Hunchback had a hundred hedgehogs. 
Inigo Impey itched for an Indian image. 
Jumping Jackey jeered a jesting juggler. 
Kimbo Kemble kicked his kinsman's kettle. 
Lanky Lawrence lost his lass and lobster. 
Matthew Mendlegs missed a mangled monkey. 
Neddy Noodle nipped his neighbour's nutmegs. 
Oliver Oglethorpe ogled an owl and oyster. 
Peter Piper picked a peck of pepper. 
Quixote Quixite quizzed a queerish quidbox. 
Rawdy Rumpus rode a rawboned racer. 
Sammy Smellie smelt a smell of small coal. 


Tiptoe Tommy turned a Turk for twopence. 
Uncle Usher urged an ugly urchin. 
Villiam Veedy viped his vig and vaistcoat 
Walter Waddle won a walking wager. 
X, Y, Z have made my brains to crack O — 
X smokes, Y snuffs, Z chews too strong tobacco. 
Though oft by X, Y, Z much lore is taught, 
Still Peter Piper beats them all to naught 

The preceding is a literary folly indeed; and 
though the following is not much better, it is at 
least sensible : 

Alliterative Love Letter. 

Adored and angelic Amelia, accept an ardent and 
artless amourist's 'affection, alleviate an anguished 
admirer's alarms, and answer an amorous applicant's 
ardour. Ah, Amelia ! all appears an awful aspect. 
Ambition, avarice, and arrogance, alas ! are attractive 
allurements, and abuse an ardent attachment Appease 
an aching and affectionate adorer's alarms, and anon 
acknowledge affianced Albert's alliance as acceptable 
and agreeable. Anxiously awaiting an affectionate and 
affirmative answer, accept an admirer's aching adieu. 
Always angelic and adorable Amelia's affectionate 
amourist, Albert 

Xtravanganza Xtraordinary. 

Charles X., x-king of France, was xtravag,atitbj Y&&at&~ k 
but is xceedingly xecrated. Yte -&&&£& T&rasKfiksaa?* 


xcellence in xigency \ he was xemplary in xternals, but 
xtrinsic on xamination ; he was xtatic under xhortation, 
xtreme in xcitement, and xtraordinary in xtempore xpres- 
sion. He was xpatriated for his xcesses ; and, to xpiate 
his xtravagance, xisted and xpired in xile. 

Here is another kind of alliterative versification : 

To Mrs. Gee on her Marriage. 

Sure, madam, by your choice your taste we see ; 

What's ^ood, or ^reat, or ^rand, without a G ? 

A ^odly #low must sure on G depend, 

Or oddly low our righteous thoughts must end. 

The want of G all gratitude effaces ; 

And, without G, the Graces would run races ! 

The Latin language has also had its versifiers 
of this kind, for we find that one Hugbald, a monk, 
wrote an "Ecloga de Calvis," in which all the 
words begin with a c. So also in the "Nugae 
Venales," there is a Latin poem of a hundred lines 
called "Pugna Porcorum, per Publium Porcium, 
poetam," in which all the words begin with a /. 
Subjoined are a few lines of this curious effusion : 

" Propterea properans Proconsul, poplite prono, 
Prsecipitem Plebem, pro patrum pace proposeit. 
Persia paulisper, pubes preciosa ! precamur. 
Pensa profectum parvum pugna? peragendae. 
Plures plorabant, postquam prsecelsa premetur 


Praelatiira patrum, porcelli percutientur 
Passim, posteaquam pingues porci periere." 

A Latin poem in praise of William III. com- 
mences thus : 

" Agglomerata acies, addensans agminis alas, 
Advolat auxiliis, arvoque effulget aperto : 
Auriacusque ardens animis, animosior arte, 
Auctoratus adest, arma aureus, aureus arma 
Adfremit ; auratis armis accingitur armos. ,, 

Perhaps the most notable Latin example is a 
poem written by Christianus Pierius, called " Chris- 
tus Cruxifixus," said to extend to nearly one thou- 
sand lines, each word of which begins with c — 

" Consilebratulae cunctorum carmine certum," &c. 

Whatever beauty or utility may lie in allitera- 
tion, it is to be found largely in the proverbial 
expressions and common sayings of all countries. 
Thus, in our own, we frequently couple u hearts and 
hands," "hearths and homes/' "life and limb," "great 
and good ; " whilst in proverbs we have " Better buy 
than borrow," "Wilful waste makes woful want," 
" Love me little, love me long," " Like master like 
man," " Money makes the mare to go/' " A. *x*& 
tale never tines (loses) in \iv^ te^va^V %lc^%^~ 


Our last instance of alliteration is one picked up 
in a provincial newspaper, containing an account 
of a local fUe % and not only the words, but each 
syllable in the line, begins with the same letter : 

" Let lovely lilies line Lee's lonely lane." 

Alphabetic Curiosities— Single-Rhymed 


As a fitting pendant to alliteration, though only 
in a slight degree connected with it, we give here 
some alphabetic curiosities. 

Acrostic Verses on Writing {circa 1785). 

All letters even at the head and feet must stand ; 

Bear light your pen and keep a steady hand ; 

Carefully mind to mend in every line — 

Down strokes are black, but upper strokes are fine. 

Enlarge your writing if it be too small ; 

Full in proportion make your letters all ; 

Game not in school-time, when you ought to write ; 

Hold in your elbow, sit fair to the light. 

Join all your letters by a fine hair-stroke ; 

Keep free from blots your piece and writing-book. 

Learn the command of hand by frequent use 3 

Much practice doth to penmanship conduce. 


Never deny the lower boys assistance ; 
Observe from word to word an equal distance. 
Provide yourself of all things necessary ; 
Quarrel not in school though others dare you. 
Rule your lines straight and make them very fine ; 
Set stems of letters fair above the line, 
The tops above the stems — the tails below ; 
Use pounce to paper if the ink goes through. 
Veer well your piece, compare how much youVe 

mended ; 
Wipe clean your pen when all your task is ended. 
Your spelling mind — write each word true and well ; 
Zealously strive your fellows to excel. 

Life's Alphabet. 

Active in life's race we start, 
Bounding on with joyous heart, 
Counting neither cost nor pain, 
Dazzled with the hopes of gain ; 
Earthly pleasures, earthly joys, 
Flock around us merry boys. 

Gracefully we lead the van, 
Honours wait the "coming man," — 
Indian wealth and Grecian fame 
Join to raise an honoured name. 
Kingdoms tremble at our tread, 
Laurels wait to crown our head. 

Measured next our steady pace — 
Nothing wears so bright a. fec&. 


Oft we think our labours vain, 
Pleasures linger on the wane ; 
Quickly from our eager grasp 
Rush the phantoms of the past. 

Stooping, then, amid the strife, 
Tempest-tossed and tired of life, 
Unadorned with laurels rare, 
Vain the hope to do and dare ; 
Welcome now the lowly bed — 
Youthful visions all are fled. 

The following was originally published at the 
time of the Crimean War, each line being accom- 
panied by an appropriate illustration designed by 
R. B, Brough : 

The Turkish Alphabet. 

A was an Aberdeen wise in debates : 

B was a Bear taught to dance on hot plates ; 

C was a Czar who would whip round the world ; 

D the Defiance that at him was hurled. 

E was an Emperor struck with dismay ; 

F was a Frenchman in Besika Bay. 

G was the Greeks who for freedom would strike ; 

H was a Hospodar warranted like. 

I was an Insult that hurt the Porte's pride ; 

J was a Jassy by friends occupied. 

K was the Knife to which war was declared ; 

L was a Lion, and how much he cared. 

M was a Minister sniffing a row ; 

N was a Newspaper, Turkey's friend now. 


O was Own Correspondent so trusty ; 

P was a Port[e], old and thin and turned crusty. 

Q was a Question whose solving we all laugh at ; 

R was a Rout of the Russians at Kdlafat ; 

S was a Supplement telling it all ; 

T was a Tradesman who'd sold for a falL 

U was an Urquhart for foresight well vaunted ; 

V was the Vessels still ready if wanted. 

W was a Westmoreland — teach kings he used to ; 
X the 'Xtremities Russia's reduced to. 

Y was a Yell for the friends of the Czar ; and 
Z was the Zanies who're frightened at war. 

The following is taken from an old "Scots 
Almanac," and is supposed to be one of the toasts 
popular among the Jacobites, being known as 

Lord Duff's Toast. 

ABC . . A Blessed Change. 

D E F . . Down every Foreigner. 

G H J , . God Help James. 

KLM . . Keep Lord Mar. 

NOP . . Noble Ormond Preserve. 

QRS . . Quickly Resolve Stuart. 

T U V W . Truss up Vile Whigs. 

XYZ . . 'Xert Your Zeal. 

L E G on the Death of L X and R N S, 
Squire of the Coun T of S X. 

In S X once there lived M N, 
Who was Xceeditvg W \ 


But with so much OBCT 
It almost closed his 1 1. 

When from his chair E would R 1 1, 
U would have laughed to C 

The awkwardness his fat did cause 
To this old O D T. 

But barring that E was so fat, 
E was a right good fell O, 

And had such horror of XS 
U never saw him mell O. 

N O O so red E did not like, 
As that which wine will give, 

So did S A to keep from drink 
As long as E did live. 

Two daughters fair this old man had, 
Called Miss M A and L N, 

Who, when the old chap took his E E, 
Would try to T T the men. 

Over the C C, these maids to please, 
There came two gallants gay ; 

M A and L N ceased to T T, 
And with them ran away. 

These gallants did them so M U U, 
And used such an M N C T 

Of flattery, U must X Q Q 
Their fugitive propensity. 

The poor old man heaved many S 1 1, 
For frail M A and L N 5 


£ called each gallant gay a rogue, 
A rascal, and a villain. 

And all with half an I might C 

His gradual D K, 
Till M T was his old arm-chair, 

And E had passed away. 

Single-Rhymed Alphabets. 

Some years ago a writer who signed himself 
"Eighty-One" sent to "Notes and Queries " an 
alphabet, single-rhymed, and challenged the Eng- 
lish-speaking world to produce another. " Eighty- 
One's " production was the following : 

A was an Army to settle disputes ; 

B was a Bull, not the mildest of brutes ; 

C was a Cheque, duly drawn upon Coutts ; 

D was King David, with harps and with lutes ; 

E was an Emperor, hailed with salutes ; 

F was a Funeral, followed by mutes ; 

G was a Gallant in Wellington boots ; 

H was a Hermit, and lived upon roots ; 

I was Justinian his Institutes ; 

K was a Keeper, who commonly shoots ; 

L was a Lemon the sourest of fruits ; 

M was a Ministry — say Lord Bute's ; 

N was Nicholson, famous on flutes ; 

O was an Owl, that hisses and hoots ; 

P was a Pond, full of ieecl^ axA. Tks*\s>\ 


Q was a Quaker in whitey-brown suits ; 

R was a Reason, which Paley refutes ; 

S was a Sergeant with twenty recruits ; 

T was Ten Tories of doubtful reputes \ 
U was Uncommonly bad cheroots ; 

V Vicious motives, which malice imputes ; 
X an Ex-King driven out by emeutes ; 

Y is a Yawn ; then, the last rhyme that suits, 
Z is the Zuyder Zee, dwelt in by coots. 

The challenge of "Eighty-One" was taken up, 
and in a very short time a number of pieces were 
sent in to the Editor, of which only a few were 
selected and published. Mr. J. B. Workard sent 
two, of which we take the first : 

A 's the accusative ending in -am ; 

B was a Butcher, who slaughtered a lamb ; 

C was a candidate, " plucked " on exam — ; 

D was a Door that was shut with a slam ; 

E was an Error in Times telegram ; 

F was a foreigner come from Siam ; 

G was Guava — a breadfruit or yam ; 

H was a Hypocrite, Humbug, or sham ; 

I was an Infidel, sneering at " flam ; " 

J was a Jew — call him A&braham j 

K was King Cole, who was fond of a dram ; 

L was a Lady, accosted as Ma'am ; 

M was her Mother — we won't say her dam ; 

N was a noodle, his praenomen Sam ; 

O was an Omnibus slid on a tram ; 


P were some Praises, so faint as to damn \ 

Q was the Queen — ilia da gloriam ; 

R was a Rampant and Riotous Ram ; 

S was a Sinner, as you are and I am ; 

T was a Tort, or an action qui Tam ; 

U was the Univ — , on the banks of the Cam ; 

V was a Viscount — suppose we say Pam ; 
W a Woman addicted to jam ; 

X an exasperous letter to cram ; 

Y was a Yankee digesting a clam ; 
Z was a Zetlander curing a ham. 

The next is by Mr. Mortimer Collins : 

A is my Amy, so slender of waist ; 

B 's little Bet, who my button replaced ; 

C is good Charlotte, good maker of paste ; 

D is Diana, the forest who traced; 

E is plump Ellen, by Edward embraced ; 

F is poor Fanny, by freckles defaced ; 

G is Griselda, unfairly disgraced ; 

H is the Helen who Ilion effaced ; 

I is fair Ida, that princess strait-laced ; 

J is the Judy Punch finds to his taste \ 

K, Katty darling, by fond lovers chased ; 

L is Laurette, in coquetry encased ; 

M is pale Margaret, saintly and chaste ; 

N is gay Norah, o'er hills who has raced ; 

O is sweet Olive, a girl olive-faced ; 

P 's pretty Patty, so daintily-paced \ 

Q some fair Querist, in blue stockings placed ; 

R is frail Rose, from hei txufc s»\&m &£$&&£& \ 


S is brisk Sail, who a chicken can baste ; 
T is Theresa, at love who grimaced ; 
U is pure Una, that maid undebased ; 

V is Victoria, an empire who graced ; 
W is Winifred, time who will waste ; 

X is Xantippe, for scolding well-braced ; 

Y 's Mrs. Yelverton : ending in haste, 
Z is Zenobia, in panoply cased. 

The last we select bears the signature of 
E. A. D.: 

A stands for Apple, most useful of trees ; 

B for the busiest of creatures, the Bees ; 

C for a Cold, that will cause you to wheeze ; 

D for a Doctor, that will cure you for fees ; 

E for an Earwig, your hearing to tease ; 

F for a Fortune in lacs of rupees ; 

G for a Goblet of wine with its lees ; 

H for a Horse, but with two broken knees ; 

I for an Iceberg, on which you will freeze ; 

J for a Jumper, that hops like parched peas ; 

K for a Kirtle, worn over chemise ; 

L for a Lady, whose hand you may squeeze ; 

M for the Mineral called Manganese ; 

N for a Nun, among strict devotees ; 

O for an Octave in musical glees ; 

P for a Pope, with his crosses and keys ; 

Q for a Quilt, that will harbour the fleas ; 

R for Religion, where no one agrees ; 

S stands for Snuff, that will cause you to sneeze ; 

T for a Table of marriage degrees ; 


U for an Ulcer, a horrid disease ; 

V stands for Virtue, that nobody sees ; 
W for Welshman, fondest of cheese ; 
X for Xenodochy,* strangers to ease ; 

Y for a Yawl, just catching the breeze ; 

Z stands for Zenith — or Zeal — which you please. 

Xenodochy, "reception of strangers." 

( 53 ) 


IPOGRAM is the name applied to a species 
of verse in which a certain letter, either 
vowel or consonant, is altogether omitted 
— that is to say, the author in what he writes will 
avoid the use of one letter in particular ; a kind 
of literary work involving an amount of labour 
and ingenuity altogether inadequate to the result 
achieved ; and if to anything at all in this book 
the title of Literary Frivolity may be more specially 
applied, it is to this. 

One of the earliest who tried this kind of verse 
was the Greek poet Lasus (538 B.C.), who wrote an 
ode upon the Centaurs and a hymn to Ceres with- 
out inserting the letter s in the composition ; and 
it is recorded of another Greek, Tryphiodorus, also 
of the sixth century B.C., that he composed a poem 
on the destruction of Troy in twenty-four books, 
from each of which in succession was excluded one 
letter of the Greek alphabet : the first book had no 


a, the second no /8, the third no 7, and so on 
throughout. The works of Pindar also contain an 
ode in which the letter s does not appear ; so that 
if this kind of literary folly has little beauty, it has 
at least the sanction of antiquity. 

Several French poets have written works after 
this fashion, and some of those of Lope de Vega — 
works now little heard of, and perhaps better so, 
since many of these were of unworthy character — 
are lipogrammatic. The Spanish poet wrote no 
less than fifteen hundred plays; and among De 
Vega's other writings are five tales, from each of 
which one of the five vowels was excluded — a 
conceit which must have cost their author consi- 
derable labour. 

Gregorio Leti on one occasion wrote a discourse 
throughout which he omitted the letter r; and in 
the sixth century Fabius Fulgentius, a Christian 
monk, performed a similar feat to that of Tryphi- 
odorus. This fashion seems also to have ex- 
tended to the farther East, for Isaac Disraeli tells 
that " a Persian poet read to the celebrated Jami a 
'gazel' of his own composition, which Jami did not 
like ; but the writer replied it was notwithstanding 
a very curious sonnet, for the letter Aliffvras not to 
be found in any one of the words V Y&xe\ ^ax^asr 

60 L1P0GRAMS. 

tically replied, ' You can do a better thing yet : 
take away all the letters from every word you have 
written ! ' " 

The following example of a lipogrammatic song 
does not contain the letter s : 

Come, Love, Come. 

Oh ! come to-night : for naught can charm 

The weary time when thou'rt away. 
Oh ! come ; the gentle moon hath thrown 

O'er bower and hall her quivering ray. 
The heather-bell hath mildly flung 

From off her fairy leaf the bright 
And diamond dewdrop that had hung 

Upon that leaf — a gem of light. 

Then come, love, come. 

To-night the liquid wave hath not — 

Illumined by the moonlit beam 
Playing upon the lake beneath, 

Like frolic in an autumn dream — 
The liquid wave hath not, to-night, 

In all her moonlit pride, a fair 
Gift like to them that on thy lip 

Do breathe and laugh, and home it there. 

Then come, love, come. 

To-night ! to-night ! my gentle one, 

The flower-bearing Amra tree 
Doth long, with fragrant moan, to meet 

The love-lip of the honey-bee. 


But not the Amra tree can long 
To greet the bee, at evening light, 

With half the deep, fond love I long 
To meet my Nama here to-night 

Then come, love, come. 

Akin to this lipogrammatic trifling was the 
fashion of making all the lines of a piece of poetry 
begin or end with the same letter. Under Allite- 
ration reference has already been made to the 
set of sonnets written by Lord North, each of 
which began with a successive letter of the alpha- 
bet. Of the kind which makes each line end with 
the same letter is " The Moral Proverbs of Christine 
of Pisa," one of our earliest printed English works, 
having been translated into English by Earl Rivers, 
brother of the Lady Grey who married Edward IV. 
This work must have been one of considerable 
labour, but as these literary eccentricities were 
looked upon with much favour in those times, no 
doubt the noble author had his reward. The poem 
concludes with : 

" Of these sayings Christine was the authoresse, 
Which in making had such intelligence 
That thereof she was mirrour and mistresse ; 
Her works testifie the experience. 
In French language was written this sentence ; 
And thus Englished, does it rehearse 
Antoin Woodvylle, Eai\ of TLy*ere&" 


This curious work was printed in Westminster 
Abbey about 1477 by William Caxton, who added 
the following lines to the book : 

" Go now, thou little quire, and recommend me 
Unto the special grace of my good lorde, 
Th' Earl Ryvers, for I have imprinted thee, 
At his commandment, following every worde 
His copy, as his secretary can recorde, 
At Westminster of Februarie the XX daye, 
And of Kyng Edwarde the XVII yere vraye." 

It will be seen that neither the noble Earl nor 
his printer felt themselves in any way trammelled 
or hindered by the ordinary rules of spelling, and 
added the vowel when it suited them. 

There is little difficulty in finding specimens 
amongst our early poets of this peculiarity. Open- 
ing the " Faerie Queen " at random, we find the 
following stanza in Canto iv. : 

" Her life was nigh unto death's dore yplaste ; 
And thredbare cote, and cobled shoes, hee ware ; 
Ne scarse good morsell all his life did taste ; 
But both backe and belly still did spare, 
To fill his bags, and richesse to compare : 
Yet childe ne kinsman living had he none 
To leave them to ; but thorough daily care 
To get, and nightly feare to lose his owne, 
He led a wretched life, unto himself unknowne." 

Again, in the works of Gascoigne (died 1578), 

L1P0GRAMS. 6$ 

who is said by Warton to be the author of the first 
comedy written in English prose, the " Comedie of 
Supposes," from which, it is said by another literary 
historian, Shakespeare borrowed part of the plot 
and of the phraseology for his "Taming of the 
Shrew," we learn that " Alexander Neuile deliured 
him this theame, Sat cito si sat bene, wherevpon hee 
compiled these seuen Sonets in sequence," of which 
we give Sonnets iv. and v. : 

" To prinke me vp and make me higher plaste, 
All came to late that taryed any time, 
Pilles of prouision pleased not my taste, 
They made my heeles to heauie for to climbe : 
Mee thought it best that boughes of boystrous oake, 
Should first be shreade to make my feathers gaye. 
Tyll at the last a deadly dynting stroke, 
Brought downe the bulke with edgetooles of decaye : 
Of every farme I then let flye a lease, 
To feede the purse that payde for peeuishnesse, 
Till rente and all were falne in such disease, 
As scarse coulde serue to mayntayne cleanlynesse : 
They bought, the bodie, fine, ferme, lease, and lande, 
All were to little for the merchauntes haunde. 

All were to little for the merchauntes haunde, 
And yet my brauerye bigger than his booke : 
But when this hotte accompte was coldly scande, 
I thought highe time about me for to looke : 
With heauie cheare I caste my heade abacke, 
To see the fountaine of my furious racfe. 


Comparde my loss, my liuing, and my lacke, 

In equall balance with my iolye grace. 

And sawe expences grating on the grounde 

Like lumps of lead to presse my purse full ofte, 

When light rewarde and recompence were founde, 

Fleeting like feathers in the winde alofte : 

These thus comparde, I left the Courte at large, 

For why ? the gaines doth seldome quitte the charge." 

Churchyard literature furnishes another specimen 
of this species of versification, as found on a tomb- 
stone at Hadleigh in Suffolk : 

" The charnel mounted on the wall 
Lets to be seen in funeral 
A matron plain domesticall, 
In pain and care continual. 
Not slow, nor gay, nor prodigal, 
Yet neighbourly and hospital. 
Her children yet living all, 
Her sixty-seventh year home did call 
To rest her body natural 
In hope to rise spiritual." 

Another fashion allied to this is the resolute 
adoption of only one vowel throughout — univocalic 
trifling. This, however, is a very difficult matter, 
for the English language does not lend itself readily 
to univocalics, and few examples are to be had. 
Perhaps the following is among the best, in which 
the vowel e is the only one used : 


" Persevere, ye perfect men, 
Ever keep the precepts ten." 

An ingenious writer in "Notes and Queries" 
some years ago made an attempt at a series of 
verses, each of which contained only one vowel. 
The following was the result : 

The Russo-Turkish War. 

War harms all ranks, all arts, all crafts appal ; 
At Mars' harsh blast, arch, rampart, altar fall ! 
Ah ! hard as adamant a braggart Czar 
Arms vassal-swarms, and fans a fatal war ! 
Rampant at that bad call, a Vandal band 
Harass, and harm, and ransack Wallach-land. 
A Tartar phalanx Balkan's scarp hath past, 
And Allah's standard falls, alas ! at last. 

The Fall of Eve. 

Eve, Eden's empress, needs defended be ; 
The Serpent greets her when she seeks the tree. 
Serene she sees the speckled tempter creep ; 
Gentle he seems — perverted schemer deep — 
Yet endless pretexts, ever fresh, prefers, 
Perverts her senses, revels when she errs, 
Sneers when she weeps, regrets, repents she fell, 
Then, deep-revenged, reseeks the nether Hell ! 

The Approach of Evening. 

Idling I sit in this mild twilight dim, 

Whilst birds, in wild swift vi&ils, tvtcXvcv^ ^xsv. 


Light wings in sighing sink, till, rising bright, 
Night's Virgin Pilgrim swims in vivid light. 

Incontrovertible Facts. 

No monk too good to rob, or cog, or plot, 
No fool so gross to bolt Scotch collops hot. 
From Donjon tops no Oronooko rolls. 
Logwood, not lotos, floods Oporto's bowls. 
Troops of old tosspots oft to sot consort. 
Box tops our schoolboys, too, do flog for sport. 
No cool monsoons blow oft on Oxford dons, 
Orthodox, jog-trot, book- worm Solomons ! 
Bold Ostrogoths of ghosts no horror show. 
On London shop-fronts no hop-blossoms grow. 
To crocks of gold no Dodo looks for food. 
On soft cloth footstools no old fox doth brood. 
Long storm-tost sloops forlorn do work to port. 
Rooks do not roost on spoons, nor woodcocks snort. 
Nor dog on snowdrop or on coltsfoot rolls, 
Nor common frog concocts long protocols. 

The same subject continued. 

Dull humdrum murmurs lull, but hubbub stuns. 

Lucullus snuffs up musk, mundungus shuns. 

Puss purs, buds burst, bucks butt, luck turns up 

trumps ; 
But full cups, hurtful, spur up unjust thumps. 

This playing upon vowels is in a manner ri- 
valled by the following ingenious verses, in which 
a single word is held to throughout. They were 
written by Allain Chartier, a French poet of the 


sixteenth century, and are descriptive of a rope- 
maker : 

" Quand un cordier cordant 

Veut corder une corde, 
Trois cordons accordant 
A sa corde il accorde. 

Si Tun des trois cordons 
De la corde d^corde, 
Le cordon decordant 
Fait ddcorder la corde." 

Dr. Wallis put these lines into English, and, by 
adding two or three relative words, gave four 
additional lines : 

" When a twiner a twisting will twist him a twist, 
For the twining his twist he three twines doth entwist ; 
But if one of the twines of the twist do untwist, 
The twine that untwisteth, untwisteth the twist 

Untwirling the twine that untwisteth between, 
He twists with his twister the two in a twine ; 
Then twice having twisted the twines of the twine, 
He twisteth the twines he had twisted in vain. 

The twain that, in twisting before in the twine, 
As twines were entwisted, he now doth untwine, 
'Twixt the twain intertwisting a twine more between, 
He, twisting his twister, makes a twist of the twine." 

Cuthbert Bolton (1603) in a similar manner thus 
plays upon one word in one o{ h\s ^ootv5»\ 


" Fortune is sweet, Fortune is sour, 
Fortune will laugh, Fortune will lower ; 
The fading fruit of Fortune's flower 
Doth ripe and rot, both in an hour. 
Fortune can give, Fortune can take, 
Fortune can mar, Fortune can make ; 
When others sleep, poor I do wake, 
And all for unkind Fortune's sake. 
Fortune sets up, Fortune pulls down, 
Fortune soon loves, but hates as soon. 
Fortune, less constant than the moon, 
She'll give a groat and take a crown." 


( 69 ) 


OUTS RIM£S, or rhyming termina- 
tions, are verses of a light and trifling 
character, and, as their name shows, are of 
French origin, amongst which people for a genera- 
tion they were great favourites, and that at a time 
when wit and learning greatly flourished. They 
are words which rhyme to one another, and being 
given as a playful task for the purpose of amuse- 
ment at an evening-party, are generally composed 
into verse in an offhand manner — the verse being 
a kind of doggerel, catching up the rhyming words 
in the order given. The more uncommon the 
rhyming words, the more the amusement derived 
and the ingenuity displayed. Suppose the words 
to be— grant, ask, shan't, task, one of the party 
would produce : 

" If from good-nature you begin to grant 
Whatever favours folk may please to ask, 
'Twill grow more difficult to say I shan't, 
And courtesy will be a ^wear^ x&d&T 


While another would give — 

" Sweet one, I pant for what you can grant. 
What is it ? dost thou ask. 
'Tis a kiss that I want ; so don't say I shan't, 
When assent is an easier task." 

The first who brought Bouts Rim£s into any- 
thing like notoriety was one Dulot, a French poet- 
aster, who had a custom of preparing lists of rhym- 
ing words in this fashion, to be filled up with lines 
at leisure. On one occasion, having been robbed 
of his papers, Dulot was heard regretting the loss 
of several hundred sonnets; this loss somewhat 
astonished his friends, who were condoling with 
him on his misfortune, when he said, " They were 
blank sonnets," and explained the mystery by 
describing his Bouts Rimds. This curious habit 
of Dulot's appeared so entertaining to his friends, 
that not long after it became quite a fashionable 
amusement, and a favourite task of French ladies 
to their lovers. 

Much entertainment must evidently attend such 
an intellectual competition, where a company is 
gathered together capable in any degree of carry- 
ing it out, and some sharpening of the wits must 
be the consequence. On one such occasion the 
words given were brook, why, crook, I, and the 


following was the result, given by Horace Walpole, 
who was present : 

" I sit with my toes in a brook ; 
If any one asks me for why, — 
I hits' them a rap with my crook ; 
'Tis sentiment kills me, says I." 

But to better show the difference in composition 
which may result and the amusement to be derived 
from Bouts Rim^s, take the following lines written 
against the words wave, lie, brave, die: 

" Dark are the secrets of the gulfing wave, 

Where, wrapped in death, so many heroes lie ; 
Yet glorious death's the guerdon of the brave, 
And those who bravely live can bravely die." 

" Whenever I sail on the wave, 

Overcome with sea-sickness I lie ! 
I can sing of the sea, and look brave, 
When I feel it, I feel like to die ! " 

" High o'er the ship came on the 'whelming wave — 
One crash ! and on her beam I saw her lie ! 
Shrieked high the craven, silent stood the brave, 
But hope from all had fled, — 'twas only left to die." 

Soon after the introduction of Bouts Rim<£s 
into France they became fashionable in England 
also. Sir John and Lady Miller of Batheaston 
when on a tour in Italy procured an antique vase 
at Frascati, and this vase tYiey \>tou^i\\. Yiot&fe *»&> 


placed in their villa, which they on occasion turned 
into a temple of Apollo, Lady Miller being the 
high- priestess and the vase the shrine of the deity. 
General invitations were sent to all the fashion of 
Bath every Thursday. One week a series of Bouts 
Rim£s were given out, to be filled up and returned 
on the next day of meeting. As the company 
arrived they were ushered into a room where they 
found the old vase decorated with laurel, and as 
each lady or gentleman passed they deposited 
within it their version of the Rim£s given out the 
preceding Thursday. Having thus all contributed 
their offering to Apollo, a lady was selected to 
draw them out one by one and hand them to a 
gentleman to read aloud. After this a committee 
was appointed to award the prizes to the four best 
productions, whose authors were presented by the 
high -priestess with a fillet of myrtle, and crowned 
amidst the plaudits of the company. Only one of 
the prize-verses on these occasions, written by the 
then Duchess of Northumberland, has been pre- 
served, and it is given as a sample of the literary 
spirit which pervaded the upper classes towards 
the end of last century. The words given were 
brandish, standish, fatten, satin, olio, folio, puffing, 
■k txt/ffin, /east on, Batkeaston. 


" The pen which I now take and brandish, 
Has long lain useless in my standish. 
Know every maid, from her in patten 
To her who shines in glossy satin, 
That could they now prepare an olio, 
From best receipt of book in folio, 
Ever so fine, for all their puffing, 
I should prefer a buttered muffin : 
A muffin Jove himself might feast on, 
If eat with Miller at Batheaston." 

In the " Correspondence of Mrs. Delany r " the 
editor, Lady Llanover, refers to this amusement, 
and gives a specimen written by Mrs. Delany in 
reply to words which had been sent her — these 
being, bless, less, find, mind, grove, love. 

" When friendship such as yours our hours bless, 
It soothes our cares, and makes affliction less ; 
Oppressed by woes, from you I'm sure to find 
A sovereign cure for my distempered mind ; 
At court or play, in field or shady grove, 
No place can yield delight without your love." 

Not content with this, however, Mrs. Delany gave 
a second verse on the same words : 

" When me with your commands you bless, 
My time is yours, nor can I offer less ; 
There so much truth and love I find, 
That with content it fills my mind ; 
Happy to live in unfrequented grove, 
Assured of faithful Nanny s \on^" 


The following words were given out one evening 
at an entertainment : 

Darky around, hark, sound, shrill, still, 
Where, strife, drear, life, bright, night — 

which produced the subjoined verses : 

" 'Tis Night — the mourning vest of Nature — dark 
And gloomy is the starless sky ; around 
A melancholy stillness reigns ; but hark ! 
'Tis^ but the hooting owL A sound 
Again breaks on the silence ; 'tis a shrill 
Cry from some churchyard — all again is still. 

Where now the grandeur of creation ? Where 

The crowds that mingle in the busy strife ? 

All's now a dismal chaos, lone and drear, 

Rayless and black. And thus it is with life — 

Awhile the scene is beautiful and bright ; 

Then comes one deep, and dark, and cheerless night." 

On another occasion the words prove, why, love, 
calamity, gave birth to these : 

" Of Baxter I cannot ap-prove, 

And the reason is obvious why ; 
For the Church he'd nor favour nor love 
So him I'd with Calamy-tie." 

" In life we mingled joys and sorrows prove, 
Confused, and none can give a reason why ; 
Hate quickly treads upon the heels of love, 
And morning's bliss quells night's calamity." 

BOUTS R1M&S. 75 

The words doth, river, both, deliver, produced 
the next couple : 

"The Brahmin of the East, who doth 
Wash in the Ganges river, 
Thinks he doth soul and body both 
From future pains deliver." 

" Oh wretched is the man that doth 
Fall in a rocky river ; 
For why ? he's drowned and murdered both — 
No aid can him deliver." 

Other tasks produced the annexed verses : 

" Few things appear more sad 
Than to see an old man weep ; 
And few make the mind more glad 
Than a crying child asleep ! " 

" What is life ? 
What is death ? 
Continued strife — 
The want of breath ! " 

So prevalent did this amusement eventually 
become, that societies were formed to follow it 
up, and we extract here an account of a meeting 
of one of these which appeared in the columns of 
the Edinburgh Evening Courant in September 


76 BOUTS R1M&S. 

"Anstruther Musomanik Society. 

" On Friday last, the 29th September, was celebrated 
in the Hall of Apollo the second anniversary of the 
institution of the Musomanik Society of Anstruther. 
The votaries of that jolly and rejoicing deity rushed in 
to catch a glimpse of his golden countenance, and to 
partake, not only of those good things which the in- 
fluence of his inspiration had generated in heads and in 
brains, but of those better things which the influence of 
his beams had produced in valleys and on hills. Every 
blast blew in a bard ; every bard brought with him joy 
and good-humour. Their hall was profusely decorated 
with all the ornaments suitable to the occasion ; its walls 
were hung round as usual with prints of all the celebrated 
poets, adorned with sprigs of laureL Scott seemed to 
look down from his elevation near the roof with com- 
placency; Lord Byron appeared to lower, no longer a 
misanthrope, on the merriment ; and the manly eye of 
Burns seemed to kindle on the wall, and start into the 
scene, with its fiery and commanding flash. So richly 
were the roof and sides covered with flower and foliage, 
that the chamber was like one of those shady recesses 
of Tempe, into which the Muses were wont to retire to 
converse with Cupid and the Graces ; nor were forgotten 
the accustomed symbols and emblematic dishes, ex- 
pressive of the number, the poverty, the vanity, the 
irritability, the frivolity, and light-headedness of poets. 
The cod-roe which last year so finely typified the 
' numbers without number ' of the irritable genus, was 
somehow strangely forgotten ; but its place was supplied 
by a plateful of mushrooms, to denote the sudden 


appearance and rapid and total evanishment of our 
fungous, short-lived tribe. On the centre of the table a 
Parnassus of paste heaved up its baken mass, on whose 
top stood the god of the festival, holding in his hand 
the scroll of sanction, and shining in all his pride of 
pastry and glory of leaf-gold. The sides of the mountain 
appeared so horribly steep, rugged, and perpendicular, 
that not even a hobbler of paste could establish his feet 
upon them. Its base seemed to be strewed over with 
the broken limbs of pastry bards, that had rolled down 
in ruin from the insuperable ascent ; an evil omen for 
the brethren, and which might have excited in their 
breasts thoughts of dire foreboding, had not their natural 
unconquerable propensity to laughter been of use to 
them in converting the melancholic into the mirthful. 
But it would be tedious to relate all the pomp and 
preparation, and solemnity and jocundity of the festival ; 
all the toasts, songs, and jokes that enlivened and pro- 
longed the entertainment. Suffice it to say, that good- 
humour was never more conspicuous than in the hearts 
and faces of the brethren; that innocent and self- 
delighted vanity, that mighty mother of all poems and 
all books, was never more harmlessly gratified; and 
that the sour and hemlock visage of contumelious 
criticism herself would have gladly sweetened into joy, 
and shared, if not abetted, the festivity of the evening." 

These Fifeshire associated rhymesters ventured 
to publish a thin volume entitled " Bouts Rim£s ; 
or, Poetical Pastimes of a few Hobblers round the 
base of Parnassus," dedicated to tt\& Vww c>\ 


Rhyme, Fun, and Good-Fellowship throughout the 
British Empire. We give a few specimens from 
that book, and our readers will bear in mind that 
at every meeting of the Club, rhymes were given 
to each member which he was required to fill up 
at once. One evening the words given were — -petty 
scuffle, men, ruffle, and in a short time a number of 
verses were returned, of which three are here 

given : 

" One would suppose a silly pen 
A shabby weapon in a scuffle ; 
But yet the pen of critic men 
A very hero's soul would ruffle. " 

" I grant that some by tongue or pen 
Are daily, hourly in a scuffle ; 
But then we philosophic men 
Have placid tempers naught can ruffle." 

" Last night I left my desk and pen, 
For in the street I heard a scuffle, 
And there, torn off by drunken men, 
I left my coat-tails and shirt-ruffle." 

Again, the following rhymes were given — bubble, 
jig, stubble, zvkirligig, which were thus answered : 

" My heated brain begins to bubble, 
With joy I dance the airy jig ; 
My hair lies flat, once stiff as stubble, 
While round I fly — a whirligig ! " 


" What is this life ? a smoke, a bubble, 
In this gay world, a foolish jig, 
A joyless field of barren stubble, 
And what is man? — a whirligig." 

For the annual meeting of the Society, however, 
a somewhat different method was observed. 
About eight days previous the president gave 
out rhymes for an ode or poem of the length of 
twenty or thirty lines, leaving each rhymester to 
choose his own subject ; and at the festival, when 
from fifteen to twenty pieces were read after dinner, 
each piece closing with the same rhymes, it was 
amusing to note the different subjects, styles, and 
ideas chosen by the writers, and the productions 
afforded no small amount of pleasantry to the 
Society. A few specimens are here given : 

The Golden Age. 

Aid me, O Muse ! to laud in rhyme 
The golden and primeval time, 

Old Saturn's happy day, 
When Virtue over every clime 
Danced with young Pleasure in her prime, 
And chased, with joyful shoutings, crime 

And sorrow far away. 

Then free and happy, sinless man 
Exulting o'er earth's valleys ran, 

Whilst in the starry £tocc& 


His meditative eye began 
The finger of his God to scan, 
As, musing on the Almighty's plan, 

He felt devotion's flame. 

It seemed as if his sacred train 

Of thoughts, pure issue of the brain, 

To Virtue's lyre did chime ; 
It seemed as if, in lieu of rain, 
The skies dropped honey on each plain, 
Whilst grateful earth sent up again 

Hymns holy and sublime. 

Address to One of the Brethren. 

Dear Fowler, plague upon all rhyme ! 
'Tis nothing but a waste of time, 

And life's an April day, 
In this our peevish, plashy clime. 
Then let's improve our manhood's prime, 
No more commit the poet's crime, 

But throw the pen away. 

Thus said I — poor deluded man ! 
To court staid Prudence off I ran, 

And all at once to frame 
My ways with wisdom I began, 
Looked round with interested scan ; 
But lo ! the Muses marred the plan, 

Apollo fed the flame. 

Then, Phoebus, come with all thy train, 
And ope the portals of my brain, 

Give thoughts for every chime ; 


And as the clouds' soft dropping rain 
Cheers and revives the sterile plain, 
Fecundate this dull head again 

To reach the true sublime. 

The Last Day. 

How dread, methinks, how awfully sublime, 
When the last trump shall stop the march of time ! 
What shall avail on that tremendous day 
The hero's laurel or the poet's bay ? 
Methinks I see the rosy-fingered dawn ; 
Shed her last ray o'er every hill and lawn ; 
Never to rise hath sunk the fulgent moon ; 
The sun may rise, but never reach his noon. 
From earth — from heaven, with ripened force entire, 
Bursts the wild sweep of all-devouring fire ; 
From heaven's high arch to the infernal lake, 
Shall all creation to her centre shake ; 
Its fearful flight the trembling soul shall wing, 
And to its God each vice and virtue bring. 
Oh, may there then on earth be found but few 
Not well prepared to bid the world adieu. 

Morning on Arthur's Seat. 

On Arthur's lofty top sublime, 
Seamed by the iron hand of Time, 
I sit, and view the coming day, 
Smiling from Portobello Bay. 
On Abercorn the ruddy dawn 
Tinges each tower, and tree, and lawn ; 
On high the waning pale-faced moon 
Is lost ere she attains hex tvootv. 


But see, with radiant orb entire, 
Beaming, appears the god of fire ! 
O'er Duddingstone's enchanting lake, 
While scarce a leaf the breeze doth shake; 
The wild duck skirrs on rattling wing, 
Condolence to its mate to bring. 
Few are thy charms, Edina ! oh, how few ! 
With scenes like these content, I'd bid thee long 
adieu ! 

Johnnie Dowie's.* 

Though far from low, yet not sublime, 

Here we pass our joyous time ; 

Excluded from the light of day, 

Here sit the children of the bay. 

What care we for the orient dawn ? 

What care we for the dewy lawn ? 

What care we for the pale-faced moon ? 

What care we for the sun at noon ? 

Here sparkling foams Bell's best " entire ; " 

Here blazing burns John Dowie's fire. 

What care we for the breezy lake ? 

What care we though the mountain shake ? 

Fancy, begone on eagle wing ; 

Come, Meg, another bottle bring. 

Come, bring us bottles not a few ; 

A dozen yet well drink ere bidding John adieu ! 


An old-fashioned tavern, situated in a dark alley in Edinburgh ; 
only one room had a window, all the rest being lighted during the 
day by candles. It was a favourite haunt of Burns. Some years 
ago the march of city improvement swept this Bacchanalian temple 
away, and a roadway now passes over its site. 



O Love, 'twas thou that didst first insp-ire, 
And bade my numbers softly roll, 

Set all this youthful heart on fire, 
Arid tuned to harmony my soul. 

When Catherine did her charms dis-play, 
(The Loves and Graces in her train), 

Could I unconsious turn away, 
Nor feel love's poignant pleasing pain ? 

Her charms unlocked a precious store 
The hard of heart can never find : 

Earth seemed a sweet enchanted shore, 
Such pleasing dreams possessed my mind. 

Soft were my strains — Love bade them flow, 
While Hymen's torch began to burn ; 

No note e'er breathed the wail of woe, 
For "sweet's the love that meets re-turn." 

O woman ! Nature's fairest flower, 
Sweeter than rosebuds in the spring, 

May Care ne'er cloud thy passing hour, 
Nor pluck the down from Pleasure's wing. 

When called to blissful scenes above, 
Where joys in endless prospect rise, 

May virtue, innocence, and love, 
Attend thee to thy native sVies. 


Address to the Society. 

Dear Junta of Bards, whom I love and adm-ire, 
Whose hearts are so true, and whose heads are so d-roll, 

Now awake ye your glory, and, free in your fire, 
To-day let us skim off the cream of the soul. 

To-day, 'tis the season of jest and of play, 

When Phoebus, with grace and with mirth in his train, 
Hops down from Olympus to whistle away 

All mists from our heads — from our bosoms all pain. 

He comes — and his quiver is rattling with store 
Of arrows that burn to fly forth uncon-fin'd ; 

He comes — and the towns that engirdle our shore 
Gleam forth and rejoice in the splendour of mind. 

He hath shot at my heart, and my blood in its flow 
Bounds brisk with ideas that blaze and that burn ; 

Away, empty world ! with thy wealth and thy woe, 
And ne'er to disturb my dear dreamings re-turn. 

I dream that I walk among odour and flower, 

In the gardens of song where our amaranths spring, 

Where the leaves of the trees whisper verse, and each hour 
Waves the fragrance of joy from his fanciful wing. 

Now in vision I mount with the Muses above, 
Heaven's turrets shine brighter in gold as I rise, 

While safe in the passport of song, wit, and love, 
I walk amid angels and skim through the skies. 

We conclude this notice of Bouts Rimis with 
an anecdote of a young American poet named 

BOUTS R1M&S. 85 

Bogart, who had an extraordinary facility for com- 
posing impromptu verses, so much so, that he was 
believed by some persons to prepare them before- 
hand. To test this, on one occasion at a literary 
party in New York, it was proposed to write down 
the letters forming the name of a beautiful lady 
called Lydia Kane, and as the letters afforded as 
many lines as a stanza in " Childe Harold," that 
book was to be opened at random, and the con- 
cluding words of the stanza were to form the 
Bouts Rim6s of an acrostic of Lydia Kane. To 
this singular proposition Bogart at once assented, 
saying that he should perform his task in ten 
minutes. The stanza in " Childe Harold " chanced 
to be the following : 

" And must they fall ? the young, the proud, the brave, 

To swell one bloated chiefs unwholesome reign ? 

No step between submission and a grave ? 

The rise of rapine and the fall of Spain ? 

And doth the Power that man adores ordain 

Their doom, nor heed the suppliant's appeal ? 

Is all that desperate valour acts in vain ? 

And counsel sage, and patriotic zeal, 
The veteran's skill, youth's fire, and manhood's heart of 

Bogart cleverly performed his task by producing 
the following verse within the stated \.vk\s.\ 



Zovely and loved, o'er the unconquered brave 
Four charms resistless, matchless girl, shall reign, 
/tear as the mother holds her infant's grave, 
In Love's warm regions, warm, romantic Spain. 
-4nd should your fate to courts your steps ordain, 
A'ings would in vain to regal pomp appeal, 
u4nd lordly bishops kneel to you in vain, 
A 7 ot Valour's fire, Love's power, nor Churchman's zeal 
Endure 'gainst Love's {time's uf) untarnished steeL" 

( 87 ) 


F all the curious kinds of literary compo- 
sition, the most difficult and the most 
humorous is that termed Macaronic, in 
which, along with Latin, words of other languages 
are introduced with Latin inflections, although the 
name has also been applied to verses which are 
merely a mixture of Latin and English, and it is 
thought that the idea of poetry of this nature was 
first suggested by the barbarous Monkish Latin. 
Teofilo Folengo, a learned and witty Benedictine, 
who was born at Mantua in 1484 and died in 1544, 
has been supposed by some to be the inventor of 
this style of verse ; other authorities, however, 
contend that he was only the first to apply the 
name, which he is said to have selected with 
reference to the mixture of ingredients in the 
dish called Macaroni. Octavius Gilchrist, in men- 
tioning Teofilo Folengo of Mantua as the sup- 
posed inventor, says, in his " Opus Ma.c.^oTCvc.xace^ 



(first printed in 1517), "He was preceded by the 
laureate Skelton, whose works were printed in 15 12, 
who was himself anticipated by the great genius 
of Scotland, Dunbar, in his ' Testament of Andro 
Kennedy/ * and the last must be considered as 
the reviver or introducer of macaronic or burlesque 
poetry." Folengo, under the name of Merlinus 
Cocaius, published a long satiric poem called 
4< Libriculum ludicrum et curiosum, partim latino, 
partim italiano sermone compositum." Since 
then he has had many imitators, but the art 
cannot be said to have been extensively culti- 
vated, although specimens are to be found in 
almost all European languages. In 1829, Genthe 
(Halle) gave to the literary world of Germany 
an excellent history of macaronic poetry, together 
with a collection of the principal works of this 
nature. In this country he has been followed by 
Mr. Sandys, who published in 183 1 an interesting 
work entitled " Specimens of Macaronic Poetry ; " t 
but the most agreeable and amusing book of this 

* First printed in 1508. 

t This little work contains only three or four macaronic poems, 
all of old date, and none of them of a very presentable nature. 
There are, however, some other literary curiosities in it which are 
worthy of attention, such as the " Pugna Porcorum," Hugbald's 


class is one published by M. Octave Delepierre 
(Paris, 1852). 

Dunbar's " Testament of Andro Kennedy," re- 
puted to be one of the oldest and best, is written 
in Latin and Old Scottish, and of this the following 
are the concluding lines : 

" I will na priestis for me sing, 
Dies ilia, Dies irae ; 
Na yet na bellis for me ring, 
Sicut semper solet fieri ; 

But a bagpipe to play a spring, 

Et unum ailwisp ante me ; 
Instead of banners for to bring 

Quatuor lagenas servisiae : 

Within the grave to set sic thing, 

In modum crucis juxta me. 
To flee the fiends, then hardily * sing 

De terra plasmati me." 

Lord Hailes remarks of the "Testament:" 
"This is a singular performance; it represents 
the character of a graceless, drunken scholar. 
The alternate lines are composed of shreds of 
the Breviary, mixed with what we call Dog Latin^ 
and the French Latin de Cuisine? 

Another of the early specimens of macaronic 
poetry was written by Drummond of Hawthorn- 

* With confidence* 


den (1585-1649), and is entitled " Polema Mid- 
dina," which, though it might then be considered a 
piece of exquisite drollery by the author's country- 
men, is almost wholly unintelligible to modern 
Latinists. Drummond, though his scene and 
subject be somewhat disagreeable, and hardly 
reproducible nowadays, yet shows in his poem 
a certain degree of dignity. Of Drummond's 
poem, another macaronic, " The Buggiados," pub- 
lished in 1788, is a manifest imitation, and in this 
latter, authors of the day are represented under 
the ludicrous imagery of bugs, fleas, and other 
pestilent "walkers in darkness." They are en- 
gaged in a general battle — the commanders-in- 
chief being, for the one side, the Rev. Dr. 
Priestley; and, on the other, Mr. Coleman of 
the Haymarket Theatre. Various heroes traverse 
the field, whom the poet characterises with bold 
if not discriminating touches — 

"Geometrical Hutton, 
Atque heavy-brain'd Gillies, and the reverend Arthur 

Tragicomic Jephson, et weak Dicky Cumberlandus ; 
Atque alter sapiens blockhead, the deep Jemie Beattie, 
Et Johnny Duncanus, than whom a stupider unquam 
Nullibi crawlavit Loussus, with thick Willy Thompson, 
Et silly Joe Watson, regis qui ticklitat aures." 


Heroines, too, are engaged in this war — Mes- 
dames Inchbald, Cowley, Seward, and More 
appear, with a ferocity disgraceful to their sex, 
using poisoned weapons and the language of 
Billingsgate ; and the extraordinary contest con- 
cludes in a curious manner, for Sir John Hawkins, 
with the five ponderous volumes of his " History 
of Music," overwhelmes and smashes the whole 
of the combatants into nothingness. 

One of the best of these older macaronics is the 
following diploma, written by William Meston, 
M.A., Professor of Philosophy in Marischal Col- 
lege, Aberdeen, about the beginning of last cen- 
tury, whose works are now rarely to be seen : 





Ubique gentium et terrarum, 

From Sutherland to Padanarum, 

From those who have six months of day, 

Ad Caput usque Bonae Spei, 

And farther yet, si forte tendat 

Ne ignorantiam quis praetendat, — 

We doctors of the Merry Meeting, 

To all and sundry do send greeting, 

Ut omnes habeant compertum, 

Per hanc praesentem Tvostaaxs\ O&axXaxe^ 


Gulielmum Sutherlandum Scotum 

At home per tiomen Bogsie notum, 

Who studied stoutly at our College, 

And gave good specimens of knowledge 

In multis artibus versatum, 

Nunc factum esse doctoratum. 

Quoth Preses, Strictum post examen, 

Nunc esto Doctor ; we said, Amen. 

So to you all hunc commendamus, 

Ut juvenem quern nos amamus, 

Qui multas habet qualitates, 

To please all humours and aetates. 

He vies, if sober, with Duns Scotus, 

Sed multo magis si sit potus. 

In disputando just as keen as 

Calvin, John Knox, or Tom Aquinas. 

In every question of theology, 

Versatus multum in trickology ; 

Et in catalogis librorum 

Fraser could never stand before him ; 

For he, by page and leaf, can quote 

More books than Solomon ere wrote. 

A lover of the mathematics 

He is, but hates the hydrostatics, 

Because he thinks it a cold study 

To deal in water, clear or muddy. 

Doctissimus est medicinae, 

Almost as Boerhaave or Bellini 

He thinks the diet of Cornaro 

In meat and drink too scrimp and narrow, 

And that the rules of Leonard Lessius 

Are good for nothing but to stress us. 


By solid arguments and keen 

He has confuted Doctor Cheyne, 

And clearly proved by demonstration 

That claret is a good collation, 

Sanis et segris, always better 

Than coffee, tea, or milk and water ; 

That cheerful company, cum risu, 

Cum vino forti, suavi visu, 

Gustatu dulci, still has been 

A cure for hyppo and the spleen ; 

That hen and capon, vervecina, 

Beef, duck and pasties, cum ferinl 

Are good stomachics, and the best 

Of cordials, probatum est. 
• • • • • 

A good French nightcap still has been, 

He says, a proper anodyne, 

Better than laudanum or poppy, 

Ut dormiamus like a toppy. 

Affirmat lusum alearum, 

Medicamentum esse clarum, 

Or else a touch at three-hand ombre 

When toil or care our spirits cumber, 

Which graft wings on our hours of leisure, 

And make them fly with ease and pleasure. 

Aucupium et venationem, 

Post longam nimis potationem, 

He has discovered to be good 

Both for the stomach and the blood. 


He clearly proves the cause of death 
Is nothing but the Yiaxvt otVsreaS&A 


And that indeed is a disaster 
When 'tis occasioned by a plaster 
Of hemp and pitch, laid closely on 

Somewhat above the collar-bone. 

• • • • • 

To this, and ten times more his skill 
Extends, when he could cure or kill 
Immensam cognitionem legum 
Ne prorsus hie silentio tegam, 
Cum sociis artis, grease his fist 
Torquebat illas as you list 
If laws for bribes are made, 'tis plain, 
They may be bought and sold again ; 
Spectando aurum, now we find 
That Madam Justice is stone-blind, 
So deaf and dull in both her ears, 
The clink of gold she only hears ; 
Nought else but a loud party shout 
Will make her start or look about. 
His other talents to rehearse, 
Brevissime in prose or verse, 
To tell how gracefully he dances, 
And artfully contrives romances ; 
How well he arches, and shoots flying 
(Let no man think that we mean lying), 
How well he fences, rides, and sings, 
And does ten thousand other things ; 
Allow a line, nay, but a comma, 
To each, turgeret hoc diploma ; 
Quare ; ut tandem concludamus, 
Qui brevitatem approbamus 


(For brevity is always good, 

Providing we be understood). 

In rerum omnium naturis, 

Non minus quam scientia juris 

Et medicinae, Doctoratum 

Bogsaeum novimus versatum ; 

Nor shall we here say more about him, 

But you may dacker if you doubt him. 

Addamus tamen hoc tantillum, 

Duntaxat nostrum hoc sigillum, 

Huic testimonio appensum, 

Ad confirmandum ejus sensum,* 

Junctis chirographis cunctorum, 

Blyth, honest, hearty sociorum. 

Dabamus at a large punch-bowl 

Within our proper common school, 

The twenty-sixth day of November, 

Ten years, the date we may remember, 

After the race of Sheriffmuir 

(Scotsmen will count from a black hour), 

Ab omni probo nunc signetur, 

Qui denegabit extrudetur. 


Eadem nos auctoritate, 

Reges memoriae beatae, 

Pontifices et papae laeti, 

Nam alii sunt a nobis spreti, 

Quam quondam nobis indulserunt, 

Quae privilegia semper erunt, 

Collegio nostro safe and sound, 

As long's the earth and cu\» %<a \crcxA. 



Te Bogsseum hie creamus, 
Statuimus et proclamamus, 
Artium Magistrum et Doctorem, 
Si libet etiam Professorem ; 
Tibique damus potestatem 
Potandi ad hilaritatem, 
Ludendi porro et jocandi, 
Et moestos vino medicandi, 
Ad risum etiam fabulandi ; 
In promissionis tuae signum 
Caput, honore tanto dignum 
Hoc cyatho condecoramus,* 
Ut tibi felix sit oramus ; 
Praeterea in manum damus 
Hunc calicem, ex quo potamus, 
Spumantem generoso vino, 
Ut bibas more Palatino. 
Sir, pull it off and on your thumb 
Cernamus supernaculum, 
Ut specimen ingenii 
Post studia decenniL 
( While he is drinking, the chorus sings) 
En calicem spumantem. 
Falerni epotantem ; 
En calicem spumantem, 
Io, io, io. 
(After he has drunk, and turned the glass on his thumbs 
they embrace him, and sing again.) 

Laudamus hunc Doctorem, 

Et fidum compotorem ; 

Laudamus hunc Doctorem, 
Io, io, io. 

* Here he was crowned with the ^xM&tawA.. 


One of the best modern specimens of macaronic 
poetry is attributed to Professor Porson, and is 
said to have owed its origin to the alarm of the 
French invasion : 

Lingo Drawn for the Militia. 

Ego nunquam audivi such terrible news, 
At this present tempus my sensus confuse ; 
I am drawn for a miles — I must go cum marte, 
And, concinnus esse, engage Bonaparte! 

Such tempora nunquam videbant majores, 
For then their opponents had different mores ; 
But we will soon prove to the Corsican vaunter, 
Though times may be changed — Britons never mu- 
tantur ! 

Mehercle ! this Consul non potest be quiet, 
His word must be lex, and when he says fiat, 
Quasi Deus, he thinks we must run at his nod, 
But Britons were ne'er good at running, by God ! 

Per mare, I rather am led to opine, 
To meet British naves he would not incline ; 
Lest he should in mare profundum be drowned, 
Et cum algi, non lauro, his caput be crowned. 

But allow that this boaster in Britain should land, 

Multis cum aliis at his command : 

Here are lads who will meet, ay, and properly work 

And speedily send 'em, ni fallow iw CVksmsu 



Nunc let us, amici, join corda et manus, 
And use well the vires Di Boni afford us : 
Then let nations combine, Britain never can fall, 
She's — multum in parvo — a match for them all ! 

The following belongs to the reign of Quee 
Elizabeth, and was written on the defeat of th 
Spanish Armada : 

" A Skeltonical salutation, 
Or condign gratulation, 
At the just vexation 
Of the Spanish nation, 
That in a bravado 
Spent many a crusado 
In setting forth an Armado 
England to invado. 
Pro cujus memoria 
Ye may well be soria, 
Full small may be your gloria, 
When ye shall hear this storia, 
Then will ye cry and roria, 
We shall see her no moria." 

A Macaronic 
By Tom Dishington, sometime Clerk of Craiu 

" Horrifero nivium nimbos Aquilone ruente, 
Sic tonuit Thoma Dishingtonos ore rotunda." 

Saccum cum sugaro, cum drammibus in a glasseo, 
In hoc vervece, est melius quam pipe o' tobacco. 
ALM cum bikero, cum pyibus out o' the oono, 
Cum pisce, Crelli nominato vulgo caponem, 


Quid melius, si sit ter unctus butyro ? 
Virides et beefum, cum nose-nippante sinapi ; 
O quam gustabunt ad Maria More's fyr-sydum ! 
Sin erimus drunki, Deil care ! aras dat medicinum 
Qui bibit ex lastis ex firstibus incipit ille. 

A work entitled "Wild Sports of the East," 
published many years ago, contained the following 
admirable specimen : 

" Arma virumque cano qui primo solebo peeping, 
Jam nunc cum tabbynox languet to button her eyelids, 
Cum pointers et spaniels campos sylvasque pererrant. 
Vos mihi — Brontothesi over arms small and great domi- 

Date spurs to dull poet qui dog Latin carmina condit, 
Artibus atque noyis audax dum sportsman I follow 
Per stubbles et turnips et tot discrimina rerum, 
Dum partridge with popping terrificare minantur 
Pauci, namque valent a feather tangere plumbo! 
Carmina si hang fire discharge them bag-piping Apollo. 
Te quoque, magne cleator, te memorande precamur. 
Jam nunc thy fame gallops super Garamantos et Indos, 
Nam nabobs nil nisi de brimstone et charcoal loquentur, 
Horriferiflzque * Tippoo' sulphurea, sustinet arma. 
Induit ecce shooter tunicam made of neat marble drugget, 
Quae bene convenient defluxit to the waistband of breeches, 
Nunc paper et powder et silices popped in the side-pocket, 
Immemor haud shot-bag graditur comitatus two pointers, 
Mellorian retinens tormentum dextra bibarelled : 
En stat staunch dog Dingo haud aliter quam steady guide 

Proximus atque Pero per stat si ponere juxta, 
With gun cocked and levelled et aeva lumine clauso, 
Nunc avicida resolves haud double slroTv^^xcwt^^sw^Rx, 


Vos teneri yelpers vos grandivique parentes 

Nunc palsy pate Jove orate to dress to the left hand, 

Et Veneri tip the wink like a shot to skim down ab alto 

Mingere per touch-hole totamque madescere priming. 

Nunc lugete dire nunc sportsman plangite palmas, 

Ex silis ecce lepus from box cum thistle aperto ! 

Bang bellowed both barrels, heu ! pronus sternitur each dog, 

Et puss in the interim creeps away sub tegmine thornbush. ,, 



One of the most celebrated English macaronics 
is a comedy entitled " Ignoramus," written by a 
clergyman named Ruggle, and performed before 
James I. at Cambridge in 1616. James expressed 
himself as highly delighted with it, and ordered it 
to be twice afterwards performed for his amuse- 
ment. The pedantic monarch, educated by Buch- 
anan, one of the purest of Latinists, well under- 
stood the witty production, which had an additional 
zest for the King in that it was a satire on the bar- 
barous Law- Latin used by the English jurists of 
the time — James being attached to the simpler 
forms and terms of Scotch law. The quotation 
given is part of one of the speeches of Ignoramus, 
a lawyer, showing how he will endow his mistress, 
Rosabella : 

" Si posem vellem pro te, Rosa, ponere pellum 
Quicquid tu qus crava, et habebis singula brava, 
Et dabo, fee simple, si monstras Love's pretty dimple, 
Gownos, silkcoatos, kirtellos, et petticoatos, 


Farthingales biggos, stomacheros, et perriwiggos, 
Buskos et soccos, tiffanas en cambricka smockos, 
Pantofflos, cuffos, garteros, Spanica ruffos, 
Wimpolos, pursos ; ad ludos ibis et ursos." 

Dean Swift was somewhat addicted to this style 
of composition, and the following three are his : 

A Love Song. 

Apud in is almi de si re, 
Mimi tres I ne ver re qui re, 
Alo veri findit a gestis, 
His miseri ne ver at restis. 

To My Mistress. 

mi de armis tres, 

1 mi na dis tres. 
Cantu disco ver 
Meas alo ver ? 


Mollis abuti, 
Has an acuti, ■ 
No lasso finis, 
Molli divinis. 

Geddes, a clergyman and translator of the Bible, 
was a prolific macaronic writer. One of his pieces 
is a poem of considerable length, describing a 
dinner of Protestant dissenters at the London 
Tavern. He thus writes of the tables : 

" Sedimus ad ternas tabulas longo ordine postas 
Et mappas mundi coveratas, et china-plattis, 
Spoonibus, et knivis sharpis, furcisque trisulcis 
Stratas ; cum largis glassis, vinoque repletis, 
Botellis, saltis, vinegarique cruetis" 



The following was written by S. W. Partridge, 
and appeared originally in Bentley's Miscellany 
about thirty years ago : 

Tonis ad Resto Mare. 

O Mare, aevi si forme, 

Forme ure tonitru, 
Iambecum as amandum, 

Olet Hymen promptu ! 
Mihi his vetas an ne se, 

As humano eribi. 
Olet mecum marito te, 

Or Eta, Beta, Pi ! 
Alas ! piano more meretrix, 

Mi ardor vel uno ; 
Inferiam ure art is base ; 

Tolerat me urebo. 
Ahm ! ve ara scillicet 

To laudu vimen thus ; 
Hiatu as arandum sex ; 

Illuc Ionicus. 
lieu ! sed heu ! vixen imago, 

Mi mises mara sta ; 
O cantu redit in mihi ! 

Hibemus arid a. 
A veri vafer heri si, 

Mihi resolves indu, 
Totius olet Hymen cum, 

Accepta tonitru. 

Tony's Address to Mary. 

Mary, heave a sigh for me, 
For me, your Tony true ; 

1 am become as a man dumb — 

Oh, let Hymen prompt you ! 
My eye is vet as any sea, 

As you may know hereby ; 
Oh, let me come, Mary, to tea, 

Or eat a bit o' pie ! 
Alas ! play no more merry tricks, 

My ardour vel you know ; 
In fear I am your heart is base ; 

Tolerate me, your beau ! 
Ah me ! ve are a silly set 

To laud you vimen thus ; 
I hate you as a random sex, 

Ill-luck I only curse. 
You said, you vixen, I may go ; 

My missus, Mary, stay ; 
Oh, can't you read it in my eye ? 

I burn as arid hay. 
A very vafer here I sigh, 

My eye resolves in dew ; 
To tie us, oh ! let Hymen come-»- 

Accept a Tony true. 

The next example comes from the columns of a 
newspaper : 

Epitaph on a Dog. 


Eheu ! hie jacet Crony, 
A dog of much renown ; 
ec fur, nee macaroni, 
Though born and bred in town. 

In war he was acerrimus, 
In dog-like arts perite ; 

In love, alas ! miserrimus, 
For he died of a rival's bite. 


His mistress struxit cenotaph, 

And as the verse comes pat in, 
Ego qui scribo epitaph, 

Indite it in dog-Latin. 

In a comedy by O'Keefe, an inebrious school- 
master gives a song commencing — 

" Amo, amas, 
I love a lass 
As cedar tall and slender ; 
Sweet cowslip's grace 
Is her nominative case, 
And she's of the feminine gender. 
(Chorus.). Horum corum 
Sunt divorum 
Harum scarum divo ; 
Tagrag, merry-deny, periwig and hatband, 
Hie hoc horum genitive" 

An extraordinary specimen of macaronic " puff- 
ing " appeared in a Liverpool newspaper some years 


Ad Kelliam. 

Parvum Buttyranum cano, 
Qui vivit in via Dawsoni, 
Sedit pulpito suo 
Avec ses Barnacles super nasum 
Et turndownibus collaris so natty, 
Ibi recipit argentum et aurum, 
Atque nova coppercoina distribuit 
Ad costomeri qui emunt Buttyram 
Suis. Tout le monde purchase 



Son beurre sel et son beurre frais ; 
Ambo sunt capital. Melle dulcis 
Et Buttyrii Kellii. 
Formosae sunt puellae quae milkent 
Les belles vaches qui donnent du lait 
Du quel Buttyrii Kellii formatur. 
Butterus yellowus quam vendit 
Octavorum pencium est trfes bon march£, 
Sed Buttyrus optimus uni shillingi 
Excellentissimum est. 

O Kellius, mi puer, tu es trumpus ! 
Brickus concentratus sublimatus, 
Et no mistake ! In " Loco " Butteryii 
Super longum counterums sunt all sorts dis- 
played — 
Tempting veritabile appetitum. 
Canamus et Laudamus Kellii 
Benefactorum toto Liverpudlio, 
Qui sells Butteryun cheap et bonum, 
Et omnibus dat capital weight ! 

The winter of 1837-38 is memorable in the 
annals of Edinburgh for a series of snowball riots 
which were only finally quelled by a detachment 
of the 79th Regiment. The defiance of all con- 
stituted authorities, more especially of town coun- 
cillors, was no new thing to the Edinburgh youth, 
and when, in the beginning of 1838, a simple 
snowball "bicker" merged into a bold and deter- 
tnlned opposition to all authority, it only followed 
the usual course of such dispVa^s, ^"Viex^ NJas. 


customary interference of the civic power tends 
to magnify a mere academical exercise into a 
serious public riot. Snow had fallen thickly on 
the evening of the 10th of January. Next morning 
the street in front of the University was thronged 
with boys and idlers, who began a short and com- 
paratively trifling disturbance by throwing snow- 
balls at the students going to and from their classes. 
The snowballing recommenced with greater fury 
in the afternoon, business was soon at a standstill 
and the streets impassable; the disturbance not 
being quelled until the students had learned to 
expect little protection from the police, and pos- 
sibly further annoyance from the public. The 
following day it began anew; a body of police 
sent for the protection of the students sided with 
the mob, and there ensued a succession of sallies 
from either side and hand-to-hand conflicts on the 
street and in the porches of the College, which 
lasted for several hours. Staffs, sticks, stones, 
and snowballs were plied in all directions — many 
severe wounds were inflicted, more especially on 
the hats and heads of the police; until at last 
matters seemed getting so serious that the Lord 
Provost and Bailies of the city thought themselves 
called upon to send to the Castle fox *a. 4^eas2eflSkKs&. 


of soldiers. The appearance of the Redcoats and 
the bayonets soon brought the riot to an end. In 
the course of the second day thirty-five students 
had been arrested and marched to the police-office. 
Many, indeed, were seized who had not been en- 
gaged in the tumult, and though all were remanded 
to a future day, the prosecution was finally directed 
against five only. Six weeks passed away before a 
trial could be arranged ; the case was at last heard 
before the Sheriff Court, occupied three days, and 
terminated in a full acquittal. During these six 
weeks squibs in all sorts of rhyme and measure were 
printed in broadsheets and handed about the 
streets. Of these, the best were written by Edward 
Forbes, then a student, but afterwards Professor 
of Natural History in Edinburgh, and amongst 
them was the following : 

Froste'idos. — Liber Solus. 

Frosty policeque cano, Reekie qui primus ab office 
In High Street, ad College venibant quellere riot, 
Regiment assistente novem et septuaginta, 
Bayonetibus fixis, shottisque et powdere multo ; 
Musa, mihi causas memora, what Student offended, 
Quidve dolens parentis Provosti, tot askere queries 
Insignem foolery Lord Rector, tot adire so much slang 
Impulerit. Tantaene animis Studentibus Irae ! 


Urbs antiqua fuit (Bailies tenuere coloni), 
Edina, Burntisland contra, Fortharenaque longa 
Ostia, very poor, Studisque asperrima physic, 
Hinc erat collegium, edificum very superbum ; 
Hinc erant Studentes, collected from every terra, 
De first-rate Magistros qui sapientia tucked in, 
Distincti juvenes amantes scienceque mischief, 
Spes Scotiae erant, spes atque Brittaniae magnse. 
Hinc etiam erant animalia batonibus ar-med, 
Studentes arrestere toujours et frangere pacem, 
" Policemen " Dii, " Charlies " qui homines vocant. 
Hinc erant Bailies, Frosty et alia mobbi. 

Anno incipiente happenabit, snowere multum 
Et gelu intensum streetas coverabit wi* slidas, 
Constanterque little boys, slided et pitched about snow- 
Quorum not-a-few bunged up the eyes of Studentes, 
Irritate, Studentes chargebant policemen to take up 
Little boyos, sed Charlies refusabant so for to do then, 
Contemptim Studentes appellabant " Pedica/ira." 
Studentes indignant, reverberant compliments 
Cum multi homines "blackguards" qui gentlemen 

Bakers, et Butchers, et Bullies, et Colliers, atres, 
Et alios, cessatores qui locus ecclessise frequent 
" Tron Church " et Cowgate cum its odoriferous abyss, 
Assaultant Studentes stickis et umberelibus. 
" Hit 'em hard 1 hit 'em hard ! " shoutant, " damnatos 

" Catamitos que torios " appellant et various vile terms, 
Studentes audiebant, sed devil an answer retur-ned. 
Mobbus Policeque runt downpullere $ottav> 


Studentes cudgellis thickheados populi crackunt, 
Et smashunt fenestras interim snowballs volitantes, 
Speroque metumque interdubii, on which side the 

Undique Policemen sinkunt sub whackibus stickum 
Undique Butchers, et Bakers, et Colliers floorabunt 
Thomsonus, bullyus in domus ill-famae Cowgatus, 
Armatus umbrello poket Studentes frustra, 
Umbrella shiverabunt, et Thomson cuts like the devil ; 
Veluti doggum cum little boys animal plagant 
Et tieunt ad talum tinkettlelum loudly clinkatum, 
Currit, et barkat, et bow-wow y b<rw-w<nu shoutat. 
Provost riot-acto cum Dymock quadrangulo rushet, 
Sed frustra endeavorat to put a stop to the rowam ; 
Studentes inquirant, " Si mater sua cognoscit 
Filum out-esse ? " Sed Frosty respondit nihil ! 
Concurrit ad shoppum Bailie cognominat Grievum 
(Asinus sed hominus) et cum boulanger Sawers, 
Ad Castrum militibus Major Young atque they sendunt, 
Militibus mille, annihilitare Studentes. 
Horribile dictu ! regimentum vite arrivat, 
Et in Quadrangulam ruit at double-quick time, 
Bayonetibus fixis, et musketis loaded cum shottis, 
Subito Policemen, qui nuper were sadly frightened 
Magnanimi fiunt, et right and left seize on Studentes. 
Arrestant Dalrymple et Kellat, fortissimos vires ; 
Arrestant Aikenhead, Skirving que, Westmacott aussi, 
Et luggant Studentes plures ad office in High Street, 
Oh pudor ! videre gentlemen very ill-treated ! 

The next example given is from Notes and 
Queries ; 


Ml Molle Anni. 

O pateo tulis aras cale fel O, 

Hebetis vivis id, an sed " Aio puer vello ! " 

Vittis nox certias in erebo de nota olim, — 

A mite grate sinimus tonitis ovem : 

" Prae sacer, do tellus, hausit," sese, 

" Mi Molle anni cano te ver aegre ? " 

Ure Molle anu cano te ver aegre. 

Vere truso aio puellis tento me ; 

Thrasonis piano " cum Hymen " (heu sedit), 

" Diutius toga thyrso " Hymen edidit ; — 

Stentior mari aget O mare nautis alter id alas ! 

Alludo isto terete ure daris pausas anas. 

" O pater hie, heu vix en," ses Molle, and vi ? 

Heu itera vere grates troche in heri. 

Ah Moliere arti fere procaciter intuitis ! 

Vos me ! for de parte da vas ure arbuteis. 

Thus thrasonis planas vel huma se, 

Vi ure Molle anu capo te ver aegre. 

Betce Molle indulgent an suetas agile, — 

Pares pector sex, uno vimen ars ille ; 

" Quietat ure servis lam," sato heras heu pater, 

" Audio do missus Molle, an vatis thema ter ? 

Ara mi honestatis, vetabit, diu se, — 

O mare, mi dare, cum specto me : 

Ago in a vae aestuare, vel uno more illic, 

O mare, mi dare, cum pacto ure pater hie" 

Beavi ad visu civile, an socia luse, 

Ure Molle an huma fore ver aegre. 

Which, being interpreted, is ; 


My Molly and L 

O Patty O'Toole is a rascally fellow, 

He beat his wife's head, and said, " I hope you are well, O ! " 

With his knocks, sir, she has in her body not a whole limb, — 

A mighty great sin I must own it is of him. 

" Pray, say, sir, do tell us, how is it, 9 says he, 

" My Molly and I cannot ever agree ? " 

Your Molly and you cannot ever agree : 

Very true, so I hope you will listen to me ; 

The rason is plain, u O come Hymen ? (you said it), 

u Do ye tie us together." So Hymen he did it 

Since your marriage to Mary now 'tis altered, alas ! 

All you do is to trate your dear spouse as an ass. 

" O Patrick ! you vixen," says Molly, and why ? 

You hit her a very great stroke in her eye. 

Ah Molly ! her heart I fear proke as 'twere in two it is ! 

Woes me ! for departed away sure her beauty is. 

Thus the rason is plain, as well you may see, 

Why your Molly and you cannot ever agree. 

Be to Molly indulgent and swate as a jelly, — 

Pay respect to her sex, you know women are silly : 

fi Quite at your service I am," say to her as you pat her, 

" How d'ye do, Missus Molly, and what is the matter ? 

Arah, my honey ! stay, 'tis wait a bit, d'ye see, 

O Mary, my dary, come spake to me : 

A-going away is't you are, well you no more 111 lick, 

O Mary, my dary, come pack to your Patrick." 

Behave, I advise you, and so you shall see, 

Your Molly and you may for ever agree. 

The following appeared in Punch some years 
ago, and, though not exactly macaronic, deserves 
a place as a literary curiosity : 



Gtj KO/jLTXifievr, ypear <rip, o razee, 
T/>e a j8/>uc, avb* vo fuffraxe ' 
Eve/u to KXkvr avd <f>v8ye t 
Tt/*€ to Oee I jvc'sp fieypvdye ' 
Ap5 I cure ro ffee vpe vajie 
$Q)pefiwrr ip Be \ktts (xf> <f>a/x€ 

Tofi 2/uO, Tpvp TtrpccT. 

A juvenile specimen may find room here : 

Little Jack Horner. 

Parvus Jacobus Horner 

Sedebat in corner, 
Edens a Christmas pie : 

Inferuit thumb, 

Extraherit plum — 
Clamans, " Quid sharp puer ami!" 

The " Breitmann Ballads " * of Mr. Charles G. 
Leland are of a very humorous nature, and many 
are also in a certain degree macaronic — in so far, 
at least, that they combine two languages. They 
are written in the curious broken English spoken 
by many thousands of Germans in America, and 
are all of them full of happy phrases and curious 
combinations of English words with German forms 
and idioms, as : 

• " Got well ge-cooked his goose." 
We give one short poem — not perhaps the best 

* Triibner & Co., London. 



macaronic specimen, but one showing well the 
author's humour and style : 

Love Song. 

O vere mine lofe a sugar-powl, 

De fery shmallest loomp 
Vouldt shveet de seas, from pole to pole, 

Und make de shildren shoomp. 
Und if she vere a clofer-field, 

I'd bet my only pence, 
It vouldn't pe no dime at all 

Pefore I'd shoomp the fence. 

Her heafenly foice, it drill me so, 

It oft-dimes seems to hoort, 
She is de holiest animale 

Dat roons oopon de dirt. 
De renpow rises vhen she sings, 

De sonnshine vhen she dalk ; 
De angels crow und flop deir wings 

Vhen she goes out to valk. 

So livin white, so carnadine, 

Mine lofe's gomblexion show ; 
It's shoost like Abendcarmosine, 

Rich gleamin on de shnow. 
Her soul makes plushes in her sheek 

Ash sommer reds de wein, 
Or sonnlight sends a fire life troo 

An blank Karfunkelstein. 

De uberschwengliche id£es 
Dis lofe poot in my mind, 


Vouldt make a foost-rate philosoph 

Of any human kind 
Tis schudderin schveet on eart to meet 

An himmlisch-hoellisch Qual ; 
Und treat mitwhiles to Kummel Schnapps 

De Schoenheitsid£aL 

Dein Fuss seind weiss wie Kreiden, 

Dein Ermlein Helfenbein, 
Dein ganzer Leib ist Seiden, 

Dein Brust wie Marmelstein — 
Ja — vot de older boet sang, 

I sing of dee — dou Fine ! 
Dou'rt soul und pody, heart und life : 

Glatt, zart, gelind, und rein.* 

Wendell Holmes, in the " Autocrat of the 
Breakfast Table," f gives a macaronic poem, which 
is thus introduced : "Your talking Latin reminds 
me of an odd trick of one of my old tutors. He 
read so much of that language, that his 
English half turned into it. He got caught in 
town, one hot summer, in pretty close quarters, 
and wrote, or began to write, a series of city 
pastorals. Eclogues, he called them, and meant 

* " Thy feet are white as chalk, my love, 
Thy arms are ivory bone, 
Thy body is all satin soft, 
Thy breast of marble stone. 

• • • • » 

Smooth, tender, pure, and fair." 
t London ; Routledge & Sons. 


to have published them by subscription. I re- 
member some of his verses, if you want to hear 
them. . . . The old man had a great deal to say 
about ' aestivation/ as he called it, in opposition, as 
one might say, to hibernation. Intra-mural aesti- 
vation, or town-life in summer, he would say, is a 
peculiar form of suspended existence or semi- 
asphyxia. One wakes up from it about the 
beginning of the last week in September. This is 
what I remember of his poem : 


In candent ire the solar splendor flames ; 
The foles, languescent, pend from arid rames ; 
His humid front the cive, anheling, wipes, 
And dreams of erring on ventiferous ripes. 

How dulce to vive occult to mortal eyes, 
Dorm on the herb with none to supervise, 
Carp the suave berries from the crescent vine, 
And bibe the flow from longicaudate kine ! 

To me, alas ! no verdurous visions come, 
Save yon exiguous pool's conferva-scum — 
No concave vast repeats the tender hue 
That laves my milk-jug with celestial blue. 

Me wretched ! let me curr to quercine shades ! 
Effund your albid hausts, lactiferous maids ! 
Oh, might I vole to some umbrageous clump, — 
Depart — be off, — excede, — evade, — erump ! 


We conclude the notice of Macaronic Verse with 
a ridiculous specimen of a hybrid language, written 
by Pinkerton the antiquary. It is a version of a 
portion of the beautiful " Vision of Mirza ," having 
Italian terminations to English words : 

"When I was ato Grand Cairo, I picked up several 
orientala manuscripta, whica I have still by me. Among 
othera, I met with one entitulen, Thea Visiona of Mirza, 
whica I have redd ove with great pleasure. I intend to 
give ito to the publico, when I have no other entertain, 
mento fo them : ando shall begin with the first vision, 
whico I have translaten wordo fo wordo az followeth : 

" On the fifth day of the moon, whico according to 
the customo of mya forefathera I always keep holi, aftero 
having washen myself, ando offeren up mya morninga 
devotiona, I ascended thea hia hilla of Bagdad, in 
ordero to pas the resto of the dayo in meditation. Az 
I waz here airing myself on thea topa of thea mountaina, 
I fell into a profound contemplation of the vanity of 
human life; ando passing fro one thote to anothero; 
surely, said I, man iz buto a shado ando life a dreamo. 
While I waz thuso muzing, I cast mea eyea towardo 
the summito of a roco, tha waz noto faro fro me, where 
I discovered one, in the habito of a shepherdo, with a 
litel musical instrument in hiz hando. Az I looked 
upo him, he applied ito to hiza lipa, ando began to play 
upo it Thea soundo of ito waz exceeding sweet, ando 
wrote into a variety of tuna tha were inexpressibly 
melodiouza, ando alto differenta fro any thinga I had, 
eve heard," &c 

( n6 ) 



NOTHER kind of puzzling ingenuity to 
which our ancestors were occasionally 
addicted was the indicating of dates in 
the manner known as Chronograms or Chrono- 
graphs. This was done by the device of capita- 
lising certain letters in the words of a sentence ; 
take, as a primary example, and as giving at once 
a key to the meaning of this kind of literary 
frivolity, the line from Horace : 

. . . . feriaM siDera Vertlce ; 

the capital letters here, MDVI, give the year 1506. 
As a source of amusement this fashion prevailed 
in some degree among the Romans, and more 
recently among the French literati — the epigram- 
matic qualities of the language of the latter being 
perhaps somewhat of an inducement to this literary 
frivolity. We all know such puzzles as XL, which 
will serve for either 40 or for " excel ; " and MIX, 
which answers alike for 1009 and for "mix." 


Shakespeare evidently knew something of Chrono- 
grams, for in " Love's Labour's Lost " (iv. sc. 2), 
Holofernes makes one of his quips in this way in 
conversation with Sir Nathaniel and Dull. He 
boasts : " This is a gift that I have, simple, simple ; 
a foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures, 
shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions, 
revolutions;" and in making letters serve as 
numerals, Holofernes says : 

'* If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores ; O sore L ! 
Of one sore I an hundred make, by adding but one more L." 


Chronograms have been more used in ecclesias- 
tical inscriptions than otherwise, and are to be 
found engraven plentifully in churches and cathe- 
drals in cities on the banks of the Rhine. The 
regular order of the letters composing the date 
frequently seems never to have been taken into 
account, the selection in many cases being some- 
what arbitrary. The following is one done in this 
way, and is made up from the Latinised name of 
George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham : 

"GeorgIVs DVX BVCklngaMIe," 

which gives MDCXVWIII (1628), the year of 
the Duke's assassination by Lieutenant Felton. It 
must be evident from this example tVvaX. ^&o ^^S- 


difficulty exists in indicating any date by capita- 
lising letters at intervals. 

There is an inscription on a church at Cologne, 
giving the date of 1722 — 

" pla VIrglnIs Marlae soDaLItas annos 
saeCVLarl renoVat" 

On the minster at Bonn is the following, chrono- 
graphically indicating the date of 161 1 : 

" glorifiCate # 


portate DeVM 

In Corpore Vestro 

1 Cor. 6." 

The close of the Seven Years' War is thus 
expressed : 

" Aspera beLLa sILent ; reDIIt bona gratia paCIs ; 
O si parta foret seMper In orbe qVIes." 

On a fountain near the Church of St. Francesco 

di Paola is this : 

" D. O. M. 
Imperante Carlo VI., Vicregente Comite de Palma, 
Gubernante Civitate Comite de Wallis. 

P. P. P. 
Vt aCtlonlbVs nostrls IVste proCeDaMVs." 

The last line gives VCIIVIIVCDMV, which, 
fc added tog-ether, is 1724. 


The following Chronogram is said to be in 
Albury Church, and gives the date of death in 
1646 of George Duncome of Weston, founder of 
that branch of the family in Surrey : 

"ResVrgent eX Isto pVLVere qVI Ibl sepVLtl DorMIVnt. 
My body, pawned to death, doth here remaine, 
As surety for the soul's return againe." 

The capitals taken in the order in which they 
stand, are VXIVLWIIIVLIDMIV, but rear- 
ranged in the order of their relative importance are 

Coins and medals were not unfrequently made 
the subject of chronographic inscriptions ; as, for 
example, after the opening of the gold mines at 
Fiume-di-Nisi in Sicily, the Messinese coins bore 
this : 

"eX VIsCerlbVs Mels haeC fVnDItVr" (1734?) 

Addison, in one of his pleasant papers (No. 60 
of the " Spectator "), has the following passage on 
this subject : " This kind of wit appears very often 
on modern medals, especially those of Germany, 
when they represent in the inscription the year in 
which they were coined. Thus we see on a medal 
of Gustavus Adolphus the following words; — 
' ChrlstVs DuX ergo triVMphVs/ U ^>\ V-*Ssa 


the pains to pick the figures out of the several 
words and range them in their proper order, you 
will find they amount to MDCXVWII, or 1627, 
the year in which the medal was stamped ; for, as 
some of the letters distinguish themselves from the 
rest and overtop their fellows, they are to be con- 
sidered in a double capacity, both as letters and as 
figures. Your laborious German wits will turn over 
a whole dictionary for one of these ingenious devices. 
A man would think they are searching after an apt 
classical term ; but instead of that, they are looking 
out a word that has an L, an M, or a D in it. 
When, therefore, we meet with any of these in- 
scriptions, we are not so much to look in them for 
the thought as for the year of our Lord." 

In Thomas Fuller's " Worthies " there is to be 
found a notice of the death of Bishop Prideaux, 
which indicates 1650 as the year of his death : 
" Iohannes PrIDeaVXVs EpIsCopVs WIgornlae 
MortVVs est." There are very few English 
Chronograms, and but one of any note, which 
gives the date of the death of Queen Elizabeth : 

" My Day Closed Is In Immortality." 

The capital letters in the above giving MDCIII 
fc| or 1603, the year the great Queen died. 


This brief notice of Chronograms — of which we 
have limited the examples — cannot be better con- 
cluded than by the following anecdote, related by 
Wheatley in his little book upon Anagrams. "A pas- 
sage of Scripture, arranged chronogramrrratically, 
was made the vehicle for a prophecy by Michael 
Stifelius, a Lutheran minister at Wirtemberg, who 
foretold that on the 3d of October 1533, at ten 
o'clock, the world would come to an end. The 
passage from which he elicited this wonderful, and, 
as it proved, inaccurate prediction, is in John xix. 
37 — ' They shall look on Him whom they pierced ' 
— VIDebVnt In qVeM transflXerVnt, making 
MDXVWVIII or 1533; but the month, the day, 
and the hour seem only to have existed in the 
excited imagination of the worthy Stifelius himself. 
There is a rider to this anecdote which may be 
thus related : On the day that Stifelius predicted 
the end of the world, a very violent storm arose 
while he was preaching to his congregation, who 
believed his prophecy was coming to pass, when 
lo! suddenly the clouds disappeared, the sky 
became clear, and all was calm except the people, 
whose indignation was aroused, and they dragged 
the prophet from his pulpit, and beat him. sorely 
for thus disappointing them," 

( 122 ) 



HE writing of Echo Verses was another of 
the methods in which our bygone poets 
often displayed an occasional poetical 
beauty, as well as a quaint ingenuity — the aim of 
such compositions being that the last syllable, 
when repeated as by an echo, should convey a 
different yet appropriate meaning. Butler seems 
to have been rather opposed to this literary fri- 
volity,for in the following extract from "Hudibras," 
in which Orsin is lamenting for his bear, he terms 
them " splay-foot " rhymes : 

" He beat his breast and tore his hair, 
For loss of his dear crony bear 
That Echo, from the hollow ground, 
His doleful wailings did resound 
More wistfully, by many times, 
Than in small poets' splay-foot rhymes. 
Quoth he, ' O whither, wicked bruin, 
Art thou fled ? to my ' — Echo, « Ruin? 
i I thought thou 'ads't scorned to budge a step 
For fear.' Quoth Echo, ' Marry quep.' 


' Am I not here to take thy part, 

Then what has quailed thy stubborn heart ? 

Have these bones rattled, and this head 

So often in thy quarrel bled ? 

Nor did I ever wince or trudge it 

For thy dear sake.' Quoth she, * Mum budget? 

' To run from those thou hadst o'ercome 

Thus cowardly.' Quoth Echo, i Mum I 

1 Yet shame and honour might prevail 

To keep thee thus from turning tail, 

For who would grudge to spend his blood in 

His honour's cause ? ' Quoth she, * A puddin ' / 

y » 

This kind of verse was at one time frequently 
used in political affairs, and the following was 
written by a Royalist during the struggle between 
Charles I. and the Parliamentarians : 

" What wantest thou, that thou art in this sad taking ? 

Echo — A king. 

What made him first remove hence his residing? 

Did any here deny him satisfaction ? 

Tell me wherein the strength of faction lies ? 

On lies. 
What didst thou when the king left his Parliament ? 

What terms wouldst give to gain his company ? 

What wouldst thou do if here thou mightst behold him ? 


But wouldst thou save him with thy best endeavour ? 

But if he comes not, what becomes of London ? 

Undone. " 

Another Royalist production of this nature is 

given by Disraeli in his " Curiosities," as having 

been recited at the end of a comedy played 

by the scholars of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 

March 1641 : 

The Echo. 

Now, Echo, on what's religion grounded ? 

Roundhead ! 
Whose its professors most considerable ? 

Rabble ! 

How do these prove themselves to be the godly ? 

But they in life are known to be the holy. 

Who are these preachers, men or women common ? 

Common ! 
Come they from any universitie ? 

Do they not learning from their doctrine sever ? 

Yet they pretend that they do edifie ; 

What do you call it then, to fructify ? 

What church have they, and what pulpits ? 

Pitts ! 


But now in chambers the Conventicle ; 

Tickle ! 
The godly sisters shrewdly are belied. 

Bellied ! 
The godly number then will soon transcend. 

As for the temples they with zeal embrace them. 

Rase them ! 
What do they make of bishop's hierarchy ? 

Archie ! * 

Are crosses, images, ornaments their scandall ? 

Nor will they leave us many ceremonies, 

Must even religion down for satisfaction, 

How stand they affected to the government civil ? 

But to the king they say they are most loyal 

Lye all ! 
Then God keep king and State from these same men. 

Amen ! 

The following belongs to the same period. All 
our readers, however, may not agree with the 
sentiments of the author, and, though not properly 

* " An allusion, probably, to Archibald Armstrong, the fool or 
privileged jester of Charles I., usually called Archy, who had a 
quarrel with Archbishop Laud, and of whom many arch things are 
on record : there is a little jest-book very high-priced and of little 
worth which bears the title of Archie* s Jests? — ZJisracCw 


belonging to the class of Echo Verses, the poem 
has generally been referred to as deserving a place 
amongst them : 

" O faithless world, and thy most faithless part, 

A woman's heart ; 
The true shop of variety, where sits 

Nothing but fits 
And fevers of desire, and pangs of love, 

Which toys remove. 
Why was she bom to please, or I to trust 

Words writ in dust ? 
Suffering her looks to govern my despair, 

My painful air ; 
And fruit of time rewarded with untruth, 

The food of youth. 
Untrue she was, yet I believed her eyes, 

Instructed spies ; 
Till I was taught that love is but a school 

To train a fooL 
Could it be absence that did make her strange, 

Base flower of change ? 
Or sought she more than triumph of denial ? 

To see a trial, 
How far her smile commanded on my weakness 

To yield and confess. 
Excuse not now the folly, nor her nature, 

Blush and endure 
As well thy shame, as passions that were vain, 

And think thy gain, 
To know that love, lodged in a woman's breast, 

Is but a guest" 


The next is a Dialogue between Glutton and 
Echo, taken from " Hygiasticon : or the Right 
Course of Preserving Life and Health unto extream 
old Age : together with soundnesse and integritie 
of the Senses, Judgement, and Memorie. Written 
in Latine by Leonard Lessius, and now done into 
Englishe. 24 mo , Cambridge. 1634." 

Dialogue between a Glutton and Echo. 

Glutton. My bellie I do deifie. 

Echo. Fie ! 

Gl. Who curbs his appetite's a fooL 

Echo. Ah fool ! 

Gl. I do not like this abstinence. 

Echo. Hence ! 

Gl. My joy's a feast, my wish is wine. 

Echo. Swine. 

Gl. We epicures are happie truly. 

Echo. You lie. 

Gl. Who's that which giveth me the lie ? 

Echo. I. 

Gl. What ! Echo, thou that mock'st a voice ? 

Echo. A voice. 

Gl. May I not, Echo, eat my fill ? 

Echo. 111. 

Gl. Wilt hurt me if I drink too much ? 

Echo. Much. 

Gl. Thou mock'st me, nymph ; I'll not believe it 

Echo. BelLe^t. 


GL Dost thou condemn then what I do ? 
Echo. I do. 

GL I grant it doth exhaust the purse. 
Echo. Worse. 

GL Is't this which dulls the sharpest wit ? 
Echo. Best wit. 

Gl. Is't this which brings infirmities ? 
Echo. It is. 

GL Whither wilPt bring my soul ? canst tell ? 
Echo. Thell. 

GL Dost thou no gluttons virtuous know ? 
Echo. No. 

GL Would'st have me temperate till I die ? 
Echo. Ay. 

GL Shall I therein finde ease and pleasure ? 
Echo. Yea, sure. 

GL But is f t a thing which profit brings ? 
Echo. It brings. 

GL To mind or body ? or to both ? 
Echo. To both. 

GL Will it my life on earth prolong? 
Echo. Oh long ! 

GL Will it make me vigorous until death ? 
Echo. Till death. 

GL Will't bring me to eternal blisse ? 
Echo. Yes. 

GL Then, sweetest Temperance, 111 love thee. 
Echo. I love thee. 

GL Then, swinish Gluttonie, I' leave thee. 
Echo. Ill leave thee. 

Gl. Ill be a belly-god no more. 
JZc/io. No more. 


Gl. If all be true which thou dost tell, 
They who fare sparingly, fare well. 
Echo. Farewell. 

At the time when Napoleon was supreme over 
Germany, in the spring of 1806, one Palm, a book- 
seller in Nuremberg, published a pamphlet entitled 
"Germany in its Deepest Humiliation," which 
contained some bitter truths concerning Napoleon, 
criticising his policy with considerable severity. 
Palm was seized by French gendarmes, and 
transferred to Brunau, where he was tried before 
an extraordinary court-martial for a libel on the 
Emperor of France, and condemned to death, 
without any advocate being heard in his defence. 
All intercession on his behalf failing, he was shot 
on August 26, in terms of his sentence — the very 
day of his trial ! The murder of this poor man, 
for such it literally was, whether immediately follow- 
ing from Napoleon's mandate, or the effect of the 
furious zeal of some of his officers, excited deep and 
universal indignation. Napoleon himself afterwards 
said regarding Palm's execution — "All that I recol- 
lect is, that Palm was arrested by order of Davoust, 
I believe, tried, condemned, and shot, for having, 
while the country was in possession of the French 
and under military occupation, not only excited 



rebellion amongst the inhabitants, and urged them 
to rise and massacre the soldiers, but also attemp- 
ted to instigate the soldiers themselves to refuse 
obedience to their orders, and to mutiny against 
their generals. / believe that he met with a fair 
trial" * An Echo Poem appeared with the pam- 
phlet, of which the following is a translation : 

Bonaparte and the Echo. 

Bon. Alone, I am in this sequestered spot not overheard. 

Echo. Heard ! 

Bon. 'Sdeath ! Who answers me ? What being is there nigh ? 

Echo. L 

Ban. Now I guess ! To report my accents Echo has made her task. 

Echo. Ask. 

Bon. Knowest thou whether London will henceforth continue to 

Echo. Resist 

Bon. Whether Vienna and other Courts will oppose me always ? 
Echo. Always. 

Bon. O Heaven ! what must I expect after so many reverses ? 
Echo. Reverses. 

Bon. What ! should I, like a coward vile, to compound be reduced ? 
Echo. Reduced. 

Bon. After so many bright exploits be forced to restitution ? 
Echo. Restitution. 

Bon. Restitution of what I've got by true heroic feats and martial 

Echo. Yes. 

Bon. What will be the fate of so much toil and trouble ? 
Echo. Trouble. 

Bon. What will become of my people, already too unhappy ? 
Echo. Happy. 

* " Voice from St. Helena," vol i. p. 432. 


Bon. What should I then be, that I think myself immortal ? 

Echo. Mortal 

Eon. The whole world is filled with the glory of my name, you 

Echo. No. 

Bon. Formerly its fame struck this vast globe with terror. 

Echo. Error. 

Bon. Sad Echo, begone ! I grow infuriate ! I die ! 

Echo. Die ! 

The next example is a Song by Addison : 

" Echo, tell me, while I wander 

O'er this fairy plain to prove him, 
If my shepherd still grows fonder, 
Ought I in return to love him ? 

Echo — Love him, love him ! 

If he loves, as is the fashion, 

Should I churlishly forsake him ? 
Or in pity to his passion, 
• Fondly to my bosom take him ? 

Echo — Take him, take him ! 

Thy advice then, I'll adhere to, 

Since in Cupid's chains I've led him ; 

And with Henry shall not fear to 
Marry, If you answer, ' Wed him ! ' 
Echo — Wed him, wed him ! " 

William Browne (1590-1645)^ poet of whom 
comparatively little is known, in one of his poems, 
" Britannia's Pastorals," introduces in his " Fifth 
Song" some Echo verses; apostrophising Heaven, 
Browne writes — 


" O sacred Essence, light'ning me this houre ! 
How may I rightly stile thy great power ? 

Echo — Power. 

Power ! but of whence ? under the greene-wood spray, 
Or hVst in Heaven ? say : 

Echo — In Heavens aye. 

In Heavens aye ! tell, may I it obtaine 
By almes, by fasting, prayer, by paine ? 

Echo — By paine. 

Show me the paine, it shall be undergone : 
I to mine end will still go on. 

Echo— Go on. 

But whither? On ! Show me the place, the time : 
What if the mountaine I do climbe ? 

Echo — Climbe. 

Is that the way to joyes which still endure ? 
Oh bid my soul of it be sure ! 

Echo — Be sure. 

Then, thus assured, doe I climbe the hill, 
Heaven be my guide in this Thy will. 

Echo— I will." 

The next is taken from an old newspaper 
{circa 1760) : 

" If I address the Echo yonder, 
What will its answer be, I wonder ? 

Echo — I wonder. 


O wondrous Echo, tell me, blessc, 
Am I for marriage or celibacy ? 

Echo — Silly Bessy. 

If then to win the maid I try, 
Shall I find her a property ? 

Echo — A proper tie. 

If neither being grave nor funny 
Will win the maid to matrimony ? 

Echo — Try money. 

If I should try to gain her heart, 
Shall I go plain, or rather smart ? 

Echo — Smart 

She mayn't love dress, and I, again, then 
May come too plain, and she'll complain then ? 

Echo — Come plain, then. 

To please her most, perhaps 'tis best 
To come as I'm in common dressed ? 

Echo — Come undressed. 

Then, if to marry me I tease her, 
What will she say if that should please her? 

Echo — Please, sir. 

When cross nor good words can appease her — 
What if such naughty whims should seize her ? 

Echo — You'd see, sir. 

When wed she'll change, for Love's no stickler, 
And love her husband less than liquor? 

Echo — Then lick her. 



To leave me then I can't compel her, 
Though every woman else excel her. 

Echo— Sell her. 

The doubting youth to Echo turned again, sir, 
To ask advice, but found it did not answer." 

The following appeared in an Edinburgh news- 
paper some years ago, and is of a similar nature to 
the preceding : 

Ego and Echo. 


I asked of Echo, t'other day, 
Whose words are few and often funny, 

What to a question she should say 
Of courtship, love, and matrimony. 

Quoth Echo, plainly, " Matter o* money. '* 

Whom should I marry ? Should it be 

A dashing damsel, gay and pert, 
A pattern of consistency, 

Or selfish, mercenary flirt ? 

Quoth Echo, sharply, " Nary flirt" 

What if, a-weary of the strife 

That long has lured the gay deceiver, 

She promised to amend her life 
And sin no more — can I believe her ? 

Quoth Echo, with decision, "Leave her." 

But if some maiden with a heart 
On me should venture to bestow it, 


Pray, should I act the wiser part, 
To take the treasure or forego it ? 

Quoth Echo, very promptly, "Go it" 

But what, if seemingly afraid 
To bind her fate in Hymen's fetter, 

She vows she means to die a maid, 
In answer to my loving letter ? 

Quoth Echo, very coolly, "Let her." 

What if, in spite of her disdain, 

I find my heart entwined about 
With Cupid's dear, delicious chain, 

So closely that I can't get out ? 

Quoth Echo, laughingly, "Get out." 

But if some maid with beauty blest, 
As pure and fair as Heaven can make her, 

Will share my labour and my rest 

Till envious Death shall overtake her ? 
Quoth Echo (sotto voce), "Take her." 

This appeared in a periodical but a short time 
ago, and is by R. E. Francillon : 

" Lady. Echo, what giveth maiden's best address ? 
Echo. A dress. 

Lady. And, of their songs, which is the best for tune ? 
Echo. Fortune. 

Lady. Whereto must trust poor maids to it ? 
Echo. To wit 

Lady. But if they be nor rich nor yet too wise ? 
Echo. To eyes.". 


An Echo Poem by good George Herbert runs 

as follows : 


O who wili show me those delights on high ? 

Echo— I. 

Thou, Echo ? Thou art mortal, all men know. 

Echo — No. 

Wert thou not born among the trees and leaves ? 

Echo — Leaves. 

And are there any leaves that still abide ? 

Echo — Bide. 

What leaves are they ? Impart the matter wholly. 

Echo — Holy. 

Are holy leaves the Echo then of bliss ? 

Echo — Yes. 

Then tell me, what is that supreme delight ? 

Echo — Light 

Light to the mind : what shall the will enjoy ? 

Echo — Joy. 

But are there cares and business with the pleasure ? 

Echo — Leisure. 

Light, joy, and leisure ! but shall they persever ? 

Echo — Ever ! 

The beautiful verses next given are taken from a 
volume entitled " The Changed Cross/ 1 * a collec- 

* London: Sampson Low & Co. 


tion of religious poems gathered chiefly from 
American sources, and bear the name of 

The Christian and his Echo. 

True faith, producing love to God and man, 
Say, Echo, is not this the Gospel plan ? 

The Gospel plan. 

Must I my faith and love to Jesus show, 
By doing good to all, both friend and foe ? 

Both friend and foe. 

But if a brother hates and treats me ill, 
Must I return him good, and love him still ? 

Love him still. 

If he my failings watches to reveal, 
Must I his faults as carefully conceal ? 

As carefully conceal. 

But if my name and character he blast, 
And cruel malice, too, a long time last ; 
And if I sorrow and affliction know, 
He loves to add unto my cup of woe ; 
In this uncommon, this peculiar case, 
Sweet Echo, say, must I still love and bless ? 

Still love and bless. 

Whatever usage ill I may receive, 
Must I be patient still, and still forgive ? 

Be patient still, and still forgive. 

Why, Echo, how is this ? thou'rt sure a dove ! 
Thy voice shall teach me nothing else but love ? 

Nothing else but love. 


Amen ! with all my heart, then be it so ; 
Tis all delightful, just, and good, I know ; 
And now to practise I'll directly go. 

Directly go. 

Things being so, whoever me reject, 
My gracious God me surely will protect 

Surely will protect. 

Henceforth I'll roll on Him my every care, 
And then both friend and foe embrace in prayer. 

Embrace in prayer. 

But after all those duties I have done, 
Must I, in point of merit, them disown, 
And trust for heaven through Jesus' blood alone ? 

Through Jesus' blood alone. 

Echo, enough ! thy counsels to mine ear 
Are sweeter than, to flowers, the dew-drop tear ; 
Thy wise instructive lessons please me well : 
I'll go and practise them. Farewell, farewell ! 

Practise them. Farewell, farewell ! 

The following beautiful poem has been ascribed 
to various authors — amongst others, to James I. 
and Bishop Andrewes. It is not an Echo Poem, 
but its composition being somewhat similar, it 
merits a place here. 

The Lord's Prayer. 

If any be distressed, and fain would gather 
Some comfort, let him haste unto 


Our Father, 
For we of hope and help are quite bereaven 
Except Thou succour us 

Who art in heaven. 
Thou showest mercy, therefore for the same 
We praise Thee, singing 

Hallowed be Thy name. 
Of all our miseries cast up the sum ; 
Show us Thy joys, and let 

Thy kingdom come. 
We mortal are, and alter from our birth ; 
Thou constant art. 

Thy will be done on earth. 
Thou mad'st the earth, as well as planets seven, 
Thy name be blessed here 

As 'tis in Heaven. 
Nothing we have to use or debts to pay, 
Except Thou give it us. 

Give us this day 
Wherewith to clothe us, wherewith to be fed, 
For without Thee we want — 

Our daily bread. 
We want, but want no faults, for no day passes 
But we do sin — 

Forgive us our trespasses. 
No man from sinning ever free did live, 
Forgive us, Lord, our sins 

As we forgive. 
If we repent our faults, Thou ne'er disdainest us ; 
We pardon them 

That trespass against us. 
Forgive us that is past, a new path tread >as>\ 


Direct us always in Thy faith, 

And lead us — 
We, Thine own people, and Thy chosen nation, 
Into all truth, but 

Not into temptation. 
Thou that of all good graces art the giver, 
Suffer us not to wander, 

But deliver 
Us from the fierce assaults of world and devil 
And flesh, so shalt Thou free us 

From all evil 
To these petitions let both Church and laymen, 
With one consent of heart and voice, say 


One of the most peculiar poems we have met 
with follows, and being the same in subject as the 
preceding, it is placed here, though properly 
belonging neither to this section nor any other. 
The initial letters of the lines form an acrostic of 
"My boast is in the glorious Cross of Christ" 
The words in Italics, when read on the left-hand 
side from top to bottom, and on the right hand 
from bottom to top, form the whole of the Lord's 

My Boast is in the Glorious Cross of Christ. 

Make known the gospel truth, our Father King ; 

Yield up Thy grace, dear Father, from above ; 
Bless us with hearts which feelingly can sing, 

" Our life Thou art for ever, God of love." 


Assuage our grief in love for Christ, we pray, 

Since the Prince of Heaven and glory died, 
Took away all sins, and hallowed the display, 

Infinite being, first man, and then was crucified. 
Stupendous God ! Thy grace and power make known ; 

In Jesus' name let all the world rejoice, 
Now labour in Thy heavenly kingdom own — 

That blessed kingdom, of Thy saints the choice. 
How vile to come to Thee, is all our cry ; 

Enemies to Thy self, and all that's Thine ; 
Graceless our will, we live /or vanity ; 

Loathing the very being, evil in design — 
O God, Thy will be done from earth to heaven ; 

Reclining on the gospel let us live, 
In earthy from sin delivered and forgiven, 

Oh, as Thyself, but teach us to forgive ; 
Unless its power temptation doth destroy. 

Sure is our fall into the depths of woe. 
Carnal in mind, we have not a glimpse of joy 

Raised against Heaven ; in us no hopes we know. 
Oh, give us grace, and lead us on the way ; 

Shine on us with Thy love, and give us peace. 
Self, and this sin that rise against us, slay. 

Oh, grant each day our trespasses may cease ; 
Forgive our evil deeds that oft we do ; 

Convince us daily of them to our shame ; 
Help us with heavenly bread, forgive us, too, 

Recurrent lusts ; and we'll adore Thy name. 
In Thy forgiveness we as saints can die, 

Since for us, and our trespasses so high, 
Thy Son, our Saviour, died on Calvary. 


Similar to the above is this verse by George 
Herbert : 

"Our life is hid with Christ in God." 

(Colos. Hi. 3.) 

My words and thoughts do both express this notion, 
That Life hath with the sun a double motion. 
The first Is straight, and our diurnal friend ; 
The other Hid y and doth obliquely bend. 
One life is wrapt In flesh, and tends to earth : 
The other winds toward Him, whose happy birth 
Taught me to live here so, That still one eye 
Should aim and shoot at that which Is on high ; 
Quitting with daily labour all My pleasure, 
To gain at harvest an eternal Treasure. 

( 143 ) 


ESUITICAL, or, as they are sometimes 
called, Equivocal Verses, had their origin 
very much in the political and religious 
feuds of our ancestors. They are designed to give 
two very different meanings, according as they are 
read downwards or across. Thus, the following 
lines, if read as they stand, must be admired for 
their loyalty, but if perused in the order of the 
figures prefixed, a very different result is obtained : 

i. I love my country — but the King 

3. Above all men his praise I sing, 
2. Destruction to his odious reign 

4. That plague of princes, Thomas Paine ; 

5. The royal banners are displayed 

7. And may success the standard aid 

6. Defeat and ruin seize the cause 

8. Of France, her liberty, and laws. 

The foregoing relic of a revolutionary period 
may be well followed by one pertaining to Refor- 


mation times, which may be read either across or 
down the columns : 

The Double-faced Creed. 

I hold for sound faith What England's church allows, 

What Rome's faith saith My conscience disavows, 

Where the king's head The flock can take no shame 

The flock's misled Who hold the Pope supreme. 

Where the altar's dressed The worship's scarce divine 

The people's blessed, Whose table's bread and wine, 

He's but an ass Who their communion flies 

Who shuns the mass Is catholic and wise. 

We find in another work the foregoing lines 
rendered into a kind of monkish Latin; thus 
lending an artful aid to the cause of anarchy : 

i. Pro fide teneo sana 

3. Quae docet Anglicana 
2. Affirmat quae Romana 

4. Videntur mihi vana 

5. Supremus quando rex est 

7. Turn plebs est fortunata 

6. Seductus ille grex est 

8. Cui Papa imperator. 

9. Altare cum ornatur 

1 1. Communio fit inanis 
10. Populus turn beatur 

1 2. Cum mensa, vinum, panis, 

13. Asini nomen meruit 

15. Hunc morem qui non capit 

14. Missam qui deseruit 

16. Catholicus est et sapit. 



These Equivocal Verses are mostly all of the 
same nature, and the next seems to have been 
composed during the Revolution period : 

" I love with all my heart 
The Hanoverian part 
And for the Settlement 
My conscience consent 
Most righteous in the cause 
To fight for George's laws 
It is my mind and heart 
Though none will take my part 

The Tory party here 
Most hateful do appear 
I ever have denied 
To be on James's side 
To fight for such a king 
Will England's ruin bring 
In this opinion I 
Resolve to live and die." 

The promulgation of the new constitution at the 
first French Revolution gave birth to the next 
Equivocal lines : 

" The newly-made law 
From my soul I abhor 
My faith to prove good 
I maintain the old code 
May God give you peace 
Forsaken Noblesse 
May He ever confound 
The Assembly all round 

'Tis my wish to esteem 

The ancient regime 

I maintain the new code 

Is opposed to'all good 

Messieurs Democrats 

To the Devil go hence 

All the Aristocrats 

Are the sole men of sense." 

At the beginning of the Civil War in the 
United States, the following curious production 
appeared in one of the newspapers, professedly 
arranged to suit all parties. The first column is 
the Secession, the second the Abolition Platform, 
read across it is the Democratic Platform, thus 
also representing the whole Union : . 



The Platform. 

Hurrah for 


We fight for 

The Confederacy 

We love 

The rebellion 

We glory in 


We fight not for 


We must succeed 

The Union 

We love not 

We never said 

We want 

Foreign intervention 

We cherish 

The stars and bars 

We venerate 

Southern chivalry 

Death to 

Abe Lincoln 

Down with 

Law and order 

The old Union 

Is a curse 

The Constitution 

Is a league with hell 

Free speech 

Is treason 

A free press 

Will not be tolerated 

The negro's freedom 

Must be obtained 

At every hazard 

We love 

The negro 

Let the Union slide 

The Union as it was 

Is played out 

The old flag 

Is a flaunting lie 

The habeas corpus 

Is hateful 

Jeff Davis 

Is'nt the Government 

Mob law 

Shall triumph. 


The next is not political, but is a curious speci- 
men of Equivocal Versification which may be 
read in several ways: 



Address to my Sweetheart. 

Your face, 

So fair, 
First bent, 

Mine eye, 

Mine eye, 

To like, 
Your face, 

Doth lead, 

Your face, 

With beams, 
Doth blind, 

Mine eye, 

Mine eye, 
With life, 

Your face, 
Doth feed, 

O face ! 

With frowns, 
Wrong not, 

Mine eye, 

This eye, 
Shall joy, 

Your face, 
To serve, 

your tongue, 
so sweet, 
then drew, 
mine ear, 

mine ear, 
to learn, 
your tongue, 
doth teach, 

your tongue, 
with sound, 
doth charm, 
mine ear, 

mine ear, 
with hope, 
your tongue, 
doth feast, 

O tongue ! 
with check, 
vex not, 
mine ear, 

this ear, 
shall bend, 
your tongue 
to trust, 

your wit, 
so sharp, 
then hit 
my heart. 

mine heart, 
to love, 
your wit, 
doth move. 

your wit, 
with art, 
doth rule 
mine heart. 

mine heart, 
with skill, 
your wit, 
doth fill 

O wit! 

with smart, 
wound not 
mine heart. 

this heart, 
shall swear, 
your wit 
to fear." 

Amongst various other ingenious contrivances 
^adopted by the proprietors of the rosoglio houses 



(Anglice, dram-shops) in Valetta, to attract the 
custom and patronage of the gallant red-jackets 
that occasionally swarm the streets, one individual 
distributed among the soldiers the following puzzle. 
A little study will suffice to master the mysterious 

The Invitation. 

Here's to Pand's Pea DASOCI. 
Alhou Rinha ? R. M. (Les Smirt) 
Ha ! N. D. F. Unlet frl Ends. 
HIPRE! ign. Beju ! Standk. 
Indan ! Devil's Peako ! F. N. 

We conclude with a " Panegyric on the Ladies," 
which may be read in two ways, giving totally 
different meanings, and we leave the reader to find 
out these for himself, premising that it is not at all 
difficult, after the examples already given. 

" That man must lead a happy life 

Who's free from matrimonial chains, 
Who is directed by a wife 
Is sure to suffer for his pains. 

Adam could find no solid peace 
When Eve was given for a mate ; 


Until he saw a woman's face 
Adam was in a happy state. 

In all the female race appear 

Hypocrisy, deceit, and pride ; 
Truth, darling of a heart sincere, 

In woman never did reside. 

What tongue is able to unfold 
The failings that in woman dwell ; 

The worth in woman we behold 
Is almost imperceptible. 

Confusion take the man, I say, 
Who changes from his singleness, 

Who will not yield to woman's sway, 
Is sure of earthly blessedness." 

( ISO ) 



NE of the most curious foibles of eighteenth 
century poets was their dislike to mono- 
syllables in their verses — a dislike strik- 
ingly antagonistic to the opinion entertained by 
poets of an earlier age. In the estimation of those 
of more modern days, however, monosyllables occa- 
sionally add to the force and rhythm of a passage. 
Pope, in speaking of their use, rather contemp- 
tuously exclaims in the " Dunciad : " 

" And ten low words creep on in one dull line." 

Churchill afterwards, in the " Rosciad," where he 
censures Mossop, the actor, hints also at something 
of this nature : 

" With studied impropriety of speech, 
He soars beyond the hackney'd critic's reach ; 
To epithets allots emphatic state, 
Whilst principals, ungraced, like lackeys wait ; 
In ways first trodden by himself excels, 
And stands alone in indeclinables ; 


Conjunction, preposition, adverb, join 

To stamp new vigour on the nervous line ; 

In monosyllables his thunders roll, 

He, she, it, and we, ye, they, affright the soul." 

Rogers and Moore thought somewhat more 
highly than either Pope or Churchill regarding this 
feature in poetry, and Lord Russell's "Life of 
Moore" records a conversation between Crowe 
(author of a book on the " Structure of English 
Verse "), Rogers, and Moore on the use of mono- 
syllables, and phrases like "He jests at scars," 
" Sigh on my lip/' " Give all thou canst," and many 
others, were referred to as most musical and vigo- 
rous. In the works of Moore himself there is a very 
fine specimen of the effective use of monosyllables, 
in a passage which occurs in the Fire-Worshippers 
in " Lalla Rookh "— 

" I knew, I knew it could not last — 
'Twas bright, 'twas heavenly, but 'tis past ! 
Oh ! ever thus, from childhood's hour, t 

I've seen my fondest hopes decay ; 
I never loved a tree or flower 

But 'twas the first to fade away. 
I never nursed a dear gazelle 

To glad me with its soft black eye, 
But when it came to know me well, 

And love me, it was sure to die ! 


Now, too — the joy most like divine 

Of all I ever dreamt or knew, 
To see thee, hear thee, call thee mine, — 

Oh misery ! must I lose that too ? 
Yet go ! On peril's brink we meet ; 

Those frightful rocks — that treach'rous sea — 
No, never come again — though sweet, 

Though Heaven, it may be death to thee!" 


This passage contains 126 words, no of which 
are monosyllables. 

The readers of "John Halifax, Gentleman," will 
easily recollect how highly Miss Muloch speaks in 
that work regarding the brothers Fletcher and their 
poetry. In the little-known poem of Phineas 
Fletcher (died about 1650) entitled "The Purple 
Island" — a work which, though grotesque and 
prolix, is smoothly versified, and has rich descrip- 
tive and moral passages — there is this fine specimen 
of monosyllabic and alliterative power in Canto 
I. stanza 7 : 

" New light new love, new love new life hath bred ; 
A life that lives by love, and loves by light ; 
A love to Him to whom all loves are wed ; 

A light to whom the sun is darkest night : 
Eye's light, heart's love, soul's only life He is ; 
Life, soul, love, heart, light, eye, and all are His ; 
He eye, light, heart, love, soul; He all my joy and 


Of the seventy words contained in this verse 
only two are of more than one syllable. Giles 
Fletcher, as well as his brother Phineas, furnishes 
numerous examples of monosyllabic versification, 
and one specimen is selected from him also, quoted 
from " Christ's Victory and Triumph in Heaven 
and Earth over and after Death/' a work which, 
though somewhat affected, rises occasionally into 
lofty imaginative poetry : 

" Love is the blossom where there blows 
Everything that lives or grows ; 
Love doth make the Heav'ns to move, 
And the Sun doth burn in love : 
Love the strong and weak doth yoke, 
And makes the ivy climb the oak ; 
Under whose shadows lions wild, 
Soften'd by love, grow tame and mild. 

Love no med'cine can appease, 
He burns the fishes in the seas ; 
Not all the skill his wounds can stench, 
Not all the sea his fire can quench : 
Love did make the bloody spear, 
Once a leafy coat to wear." 

From these two brothers many similar instances 
might be given, but to proceed to poets better 
known, we give two quotations from the " saintly " 
George Herbert : 



Sweet Day, so cool, so calm, so bright, 
The bridal of the earth and sky, 
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night ; 

For thou must die. 

Sweet Rose, whose hue angry and brave, 
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye, 
Thy root is ever in the grave, 

And thou must die. 

Sweet Spring, full of sweet days and roses, 
A box where sweets compacted lie, 
My music shows ye have your closes, 

And all must die. 

Only a sweet and virtuous soul, 
Like season'd timber, never gives ; 
But though the whole world turn to coal, 

Then chiefly lives. 

The Call. 

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life ; 
Such a Way, as gives us breath : 
Such a Truth, as ends all strife : 
Such a Life, as killeth death. 

Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength ; 
Such a Light, as shows a feast : 
Such a Feast, as mends in length : 
Such a Strength, as makes his guest 

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart ; 
Such a Joy, as none can move : 


Such a Love, as none can part : 
Such a Heart, as joys in love. 

Herbert's poems are full of similar passages. 
Shakespeare gives an instance which shows that 
the abrupt and broken language of passion is 
generally monosyllabic, as in " King John," when 
the widowed Constance says : 

" Thou may'st, thou shalt ; I will not go with thee : 
I will instruct my sorrows to be proud ; 
For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout 
To me, and to the state of my great grief, 
Let kings assemble ; for my griefs so great, 
That no supporter but the huge firm earth 
Can hold it up : here I and sorrow sit ; 
Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it." 

In this there are only six words of more than 
one syllable. 

In the Library of the British Museum there is a 
tract of great rarity, from which Shakespeare is 
said to have borrowed the plot of " As You Like 
It." The tract is entitled "Euphue's Golden 
Legacy/' by Thomas Lodge, a poet of the Eliza- 
bethan age, who was also the author of a variety 
of valuable productions both in prose and verse. 
Ellis, in his " Specimens of Early English Poets," 
gives three of Lodge's poems from the " Pleasant 


Historie of Glaucus and Scilla," but has omitted to 
mention the following madrigal, the most beautiful, 
perhaps, of all Lodge's compositions, and it is 
given here as an excellent illustration of mono- 
syllabic verse, few words of more than one syllable 
appearing in it. 


Love in my bosom, like a bee, 

Doth sucke his sweete ; 
Now with his wings he plays with me, 

Now with his feete. 

Within mine eyes he makes his nest, 
His bed amid my tender breast ; 
My kisses are his daily feast, 
And yet he robs me of my rest. 

Strike I my lute — he tunes the string, 
He music plays, if I do sing ; 
He lends me every living thing, 
Yet cruel he my heart doth sting. 

What, if I beat the wanton boy 

With many a rod, 
He will repay me with annoy, 

Because a god. 

Then sit thou safely on my knee, 
And let thy bower my bosom be ; 

Cupid ! so thou pity me, 

1 will not wish to part from thee. 


Coleridge considered that the most beautiful 
verse, and also the most sublime, in the Bible was 
that in the book of Ezekiel which says — "And He 
said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? 
And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest." 
Here are seventeen monosyllables, and only three 
words of two syllables. 

The author of the " Night Thoughts," also, in a 
very impressive passage, says — 

" The bell strikes one. We take no note of time 
Save by its loss ; to give it then a tongue 
Was wise in man." 

The following lines of Hall, satirising the vanity 
of those who take pleasure in adding house to 
house and field to field, — 

" Fond fool, six feet shall serve for all thy store, 
And he that cares for most shall find no more " — 

gave occasion for the historian Gibbon's apprecia- 
tive remark, " What harmonious monosylfables ! " 

( i5» ) 


|HE French had at one time a favourite and 
ingenious kind of versification called 
Amphigourie, or Nonsense Verse. The 
word is derived from two Greek words signifying 
about and circle^ and the object was to give verses 
the appearance of good sense and fine poetry, 
while in reality meaning nothing whatever ! The 
primary example given is richly-rhymed, elegantly 
expressed, but actual nonsense ! It is taken from 
Disraeli's " Curiosities of Literature." 


Qu'il est heureux de se dtfendre 
Quand le cceur ne s'est pas rendu ! 
Mais qu'il est ficheux de se rendre 
Quand le bonheur est suspendu ! 
Par un discours sans suite et tendre, 
£garez un cceur eperdu ; 
Souvent par un mal-entendu 
L'amant adroit se fait entendre. 



How happy' to defend our heart, 
When Love has never thrown a dart ! 
But ah ! unhappy when it bends, 
If pleasure her soft bliss suspends ! 
Sweet in a wild disordered strain, 
A lost and wandering heart to gain, 
Oft in mistaken language wooed 
The skilful lover's understood. 

The preceding was sung by the celebrated 
Madame Tencin one evening to Fontenelle, and 
they bore such a resemblance to meaning that 
Fontenelle requested they should be repeated. 
" Do you not perceive," said the witty authoress, 
"that they are nonsense?" "Ah," replied the 
poet, sarcastically, " they are so much like the fine 
verses I have heard here, that it is not surprising I 
should be for once mistaken ! " 

Pope furnishes the best English specimen of this 
kind of poetry — the " Song by a Person of Quality," 
and it is believed to have been written to ridicule 
certain namby-pamby poets of his day. The 
lines are as follow : 

Song, by a Person of Quality. 

Fluttering spread thy purple pinions, 
Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart, 


I a slave in thy dominions, 
Nature must give way to art. 

Mild Arcadians, ever blooming, 
Nightly nodding o'er your flocks, 

See my weary days consuming, 
All beneath yon flowery rocks. 

Thus the Cyprian goddess weeping, 
Mourned Adonis, darling youth : 

Him the boar, in silence creeping, 
Gored with unrelenting tooth. 

Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers ; 

Fair Discretion, tune the lyre ; 
Soothe my ever-waking slumbers ; 

Bright Apollo, lend thy choir. 

Gloomy Pluto, king of terrors, 
Armed in adamantine chains, 

Lead me to the crystal mirrors, 
Watering soft Elysian plains. 

Mournful Cypress, verdant willow, 
Gilding my Aurelia's brows, 

Morpheus, hovering o'er my pillow, 
Hear me pay my dying vows. 

Melancholy, smooth Maeander, 
Swiftly purling in a round, 

On thy margin lovers wander 
With thy flowery chaplets crowned. 

Thus when Philomela, drooping, 
Softly seeks her silent mate, 


So the bird of Juno stooping; 
Melody resigns to fate. 

Gilbert Wakefield, Pope's talented commentator, 
actually misapprehended the nature of the above 
composition, and wrote some pages of his Com- 
mentary to support his assertion that the poem 
was disjointed and obscure ! * 

Examples of true Nonsense Verse are not 
numerous, but we find the following two in the 
pages of " Fun." 

A Chronicle. . 

Once — but no matter when — 
There lived — no matter where — 

A man, whose name — but then 
I need not that declare. 

He — well, he had been born, 

And so he was alive ; 
His age — I details scorn — 

Was somethingty and five. 

He lived — how many years 

I truly can't decide ; 
But this one fact appears 

He lived — until he died. 

" He died," I have averred, 
But cannot prove 'twas so, 

* This song, though generally attributed to Pope, is believed by 
some to have been the work of Swift, and it appears in some editions 
of his works. ( Vide Pickering's, 3 vols. 1833.) 


But that he was interred, 
At any rate, I know. 

I fancy he'd a son, 

I hear he had a wife : 
Perhaps he'd more than one, 

I know not, on my life ! 

But whether he was rich, 
Or whether he was poor, 

Or neither — both — or which, 
I cannot say, I'm sure. 

I can't recall his name, 

Or what he used to do : 
But then — well, such is fame ! 

'Twill so serve me and you. 

And that is why I thus, 
About this unknown man 

Would fain create a fuss, 
To rescue, if I can, 

From dark oblivion's blow, 

Some record of his lot : 
But, ah ! I do not know 

Who — where — when — why — or what 


In this brief pedigree 
A moral we should find — 

But what it ought to be 
Has quite escaped my mind ! 


Lines by a Medium 
/// communication with the late Z. Murray. 

I might not, if I could ; 

I should not, if I might ; 
Yet if I should I would, 

And, shoulding, I should quite ! 

I must not, yet I may ; 

I can, and still I must ; 
But ah ! I cannot— nay, 

To must I may not, just ! 

I shall, although I will, 

But be it understood, 
If I may, can, shall — still 

I might, could, would, or should ! 

Some authors, however, write Nonsense Verses 
without intending it — as, for instance, Stonihurst, 
in his translation of Virgil, rendered a really sub- 
lime passage into the followingextraordinary lines : 

" Then did he make Heaven's vault to rebound 
With rounce robble bobble, 
Of ruffee raffe roaring, 
With thicke thwacke thurly bouncing." 

The following curious verse is said to have been 
on a gravestone at one time in the churchyard 
of Homersfield, Suffolk, over the body of Rob^tt 



Crytoft, who died November 17, 18 10, and it is 
very like nonsense : 


As I walked by myself I talked to myself, 

And thus myself said to me, 
Look to thyself and take care of thyself, 

For nobody cares for thee. 
So I turned to myself, and I answered myself, 

In the self-same reverie, 
Look to myself or look not to myself, 

The self-same thing will it be. 

One of Theodore Hook's witty associates, the 
Rev. Edward Cannon, wrote the following piece 
of unparalleled nonsense : 


If down his throat a man should choose 

In fun, to jump or slide, 
He'd scrape his shoes against his teeth, 

Nor dirt his own inside. 

Or if his teeth were lost and gone, 
And not a stump to scrape upon, 
He'd see at once how very pat, 
His tongue lay there, by way of mat, 
And he would wipe his feet on that! 

There are strung together here a variety of curious 
nonsensical pieces, not in the sense of their being 
Amphigouries, but because they deserve a place 


for their excellence in some ludicrous point or 
feature. The first is credited to Alfred Crowquil : 

To My Nose. 

Knows he, who never took a pinch, 
Nosey ! the pleasure thence which flows ? 
Knows he the titillating joy 

That my nose knows ? 

nose ! I am as proud of thee, 
As any mountain of its snows ; 

1 gaze on thee, and feel that pride 

A Roman knows. 

The description here given of Bridget Brady 
by her lover, Thaddeus Ruddy, a bard who lived 
about the middle of the seventeenth century, is 
excellent : 

"She's as straight as a pine on the mountain of Kilmannon ; 
She's as fair as the lilies on the banks of the Shannon ; 
Her breath is as sweet as the blossoms of Drumcallan, 
And her breasts gently swell like the waves of Lough Allan ; 
Her eyes are as mild as the dews of Dunsany, 
Her veins are as pure as the blue bells of Slaney ; 
Her words are as smooth as the pebbles of Terwinny, 
And her hair flows adown like the streamlets of Finney." 

Our life-long friend, Mr. Punch, some years ago 

furnished his readers with this single-rhymed 

verse : 

A Word of Welcome. 

A Commissioner from Pondichetr^ t&s&&& <^fc£*^- 


bendalcadermarecar, has arrived in Paris, bringing a lac 
of rupees (125,000 francs) for the emigrants from Alsace- 

Come, Frenchmen, sound his fame afar, 

Checkabendalcadermarecar ! 

Due your best words of welcome are 

To Checkabendalcadermarecar ! 

Greet him with gittern or guitar, 

Checkabendalcadermarecar ! 

Let his long name be ne'er a bar, 

Checkabendalcadermarecar ! 

In brightest salons bid him star, 

Checkabendalcadermarecar ! 

He comes to heal the wounds of war, 

Checkabendalcadermarecar ! 

He helps to raise your funds to par, 

Checkabendalcadermarecar ! 

So let no cloud your welcome mar 

Of Checkabendalcadermarecar ! 

The custom of using compound words was very 
prevalent in Ben Jonson's time, and he called them 
" un-in-one-breath-utterable." This practice was 
also common among the Sophists, and Scaliger has 
an epigram satirising them as — 






Youth-cheaters, word-catchers, vain-glory-osophers, 
Such are your seekers-of-virtue philosophers." 

The following Jingling Rhymes deserve a place 
as a curiosity : 

" A fly got caught, once in a web, 
And soon the spider spied her. 
A donkey pricked her ears and brayed, 
Just to deride her rider. 
Quite oft a lady, when she's vexed, 
Will make a feint in fainting, 
She uses it but to deceive, — 
As she does paint in painting. 
If you will eat too much, 'tis plain, 
You sure will grow, sir, grosser : 
If you persist in drinking rum, 
'Twill paint your nose, sir, know, sir ! 
To sober keep, I signed the pledge — 
My sole design in signing ; 
Some men throw all their cash away, 
But I spend mine in mining. 
I must confess I love the weed, 
And when I choose, sir, chew, sir. 
I don't play cards — I find that I, 
When I play loo, sir, lose, sir. 
Although I'm tempted to transgress, 
Each day instead, I stead eye, 


Forswear gay pleasure's blandishments — ' 

Turn from the ready 'red eye.' 

I can't play billiards — when I miss 

I don't accuse a cue, sir. 

If you can play a better game 

111 take a view of you, sir. 

Some rhymes may more mellifluent sound, 

But you can't meet a metre 

Will puzzle you much more than this, 

Though quite as sweet or sweeter." 

There appears to be no end to the vagaries and 
nonsensical notions of poets, and the next ex- 
amples are from the- other side of the Atlantic — 
the first being a hit at the curious names of Ameri- 
can rivers, which, though with features in nature 
frequently excelling those of Europe in beauty and 
sublimity, yet have been named in the New World 
in a most unfortunate manner. Witness Bigmuddy 
River and Littlemuddy River, Little Shallow River, 
Good Woman River, Little Woman River, Blowing 
Fly Creek, and many others to the same tune. 
When the western parts of the United States shall 
have a full quota of civilised inhabitants, cities, 
scholars, and poets, how sweetly shall such names 
sound in their verse ! 

" Ye plains where sweet Bigmuddy rolls along, 
And Teapot, one day to be famed in song ; 


Where swans on Biscuit and on Grandstone glide, 

And willows wave on Good Woman's side ; 

How shall your happy streams in after time, 

Tune the soft lay and fill the sonorous rhyme ! 

Blest bards, who in your amorous verse will call 

On murmuring Pork and gentle Cannon Ball, 

Split Rock, and Stick Lodge, and Two Thousand Mile, 

White Lime, and Cupboard, and Bad Humoured Isle ! 

Flow, Little Shallow, flow, and be thy stream 

Their great example as 'twill be their theme ! 

Isis with Rum and Onion must not vie, 

Cam shall resign the palm to Blowing Fly, 

And Thames and Tagus yield to Big Little Dry ! " 

Lines to Miss Florence Huntingdon. 
(Passamaquoddy, Maine.) 

Sweet maiden of Passamaquoddy, 
Shall we seek for communion of souls 

Where the deep Mississippi meanders, 
Or the distant Saskatchewan rolls ? 

Ah no, — for in Maine I will find thee 

A sweetly sequestrated nook, 
Where the far-winding Skoodoowabskooksis 

Conjoins with the Skoodoowabskook. 

There wander two beautiful rivers, 

With many a winding and crook ; 
The one is the Skoodoowabskooksis, 

The other — the Skoodoowabskook. 

Ah, sweetest of haunts ! though unmentioned 
In geography, atlas, or book, 


How fair is the Skoodoowabskooksis, 
When joining the Skoodoowabskook ! 

Our cot shall be close by the waters 
Within that sequestrated nook — 

Reflected in Skoodoowabskooksis, 
And mirrored in Skoodoowabskook. 

You shall sleep to the music of leaflets, 
By zephyrs in wantonness shook, 

And dream of the Skoodoowabskooksis, 
And, perhaps, of the Skoodoowabskook. 

When awaked by the hens and the roosters, 
Each morn, you shall joyously look 

On the junction of Skoodoowabskooksis, 
With the soft gliding Skoodoowabskook. 

Your food shall be fish from the waters, 
Drawn forth on the point of a hook, 

From murmuring Skoodoowabskooksis, 
Or wandering Skoodoowabskook ! 

You shall quaff the most sparkling of water, 
Drawn forth from a silvery brook 

Which flows to the Skoodoowabskooksis, 
And then to the Skoodoowabskook ! 

And you shall preside at the banquet, 
And /will wait on thee as cook ; 

And we'll talk of the Skoodoowabskooksis, 
And sing of the Skoodoowabskook ! 

Let others sing loudly of Saco, 
^ O/Quoddy, and Tattamagouche, 


Of Kennebeccasis, and Quaco, 
Of Merigonishe, and Buctouche, 

Of Nashwaak, and Magaguadavique, 

Or Memmerimammericook,— 
There's none like the Skoodoowabskooksis, 

Excepting the Skoodoowabskook ! 

Autumn Days. 
{Manufactured by Peleg Wale's Machine!) 

The melancholy days have come, 

The saddest of the year ; 
Gone are the partridge and the plum, 

The falling leaves are sere ; 
The partridge now forgets to drum, 

The squirrel to uprear 
His merry tail, the brooks are glum : 

The angels disappear ; 
The crow pursues the vagrant crumb, 

Too grateful for the cheer ; 
The top has ceased its summer hum, 

The kites are out of gear ; 
O'er mother Earth a fierce autumn 

Inverts its icy spear. 
Each morning some imbibe their rum, 

And some absorb their beer ; 
Young soldiers mumble " fi-fo-fum," 

To drive away their fear. 
Blithe, happy, joyous school-girls thrum 

Pianos far and near, 


Or eat the cake of Sally Lunn, 

Or Clara Vere de Vere ; 
While others go to chewing gum, 

Or check the truant tear. 
A blind young man did once calum- 

Niate his precious dear, 
And railed, instead of being mum, 

Because he did not see her. 
Another man got deaf and dumb 

Because he could not hear ; 
But when with cold his feet got numb, 

He turned in his career, 
And danced a polka on his thumb, 

And walked off on his ear. 

{Something broken ^ plumb, 
in the V queer, 
machine ! ) tum-ti-tum • 

K-ch-k-r-r-r-r-r-r-e-er ! 

A Dr. Fitzgerald at one time wrote a poem upon 
his native village of Tipperary, in which occur these 
two lines — 

" And thou ! dear village, loveliest of the clime, 
Fain would I name thee, but I scant in rhyme." 

t)r. Fitzgerald's failure to find a rhyme for 
Tipperary drew forth the following curious com- 
position : 

" A poet there was in sad quandary, 
To find a rhyme for Tipperary. 


Long laboured he through January, 
Yet found no rhyme for Tipperary ; 
Toiled every day in February, 
But toiled in vain for Tipperary ; 
Searched Hebrew text and commentary, 
But searched in vain for Tipperary ; 
Bored all his friends in Inverary, 
To find a rhyme for Tipperary ; 
Implored the aid of ' Paddy Cary/ 
Yet still no rhyme for Tipperary ; 
He next besought his mother Mary 
To tell him rhyme for Tipperary ; 
But she, good woman, was no fairy, 
Nor witch, — though born in Tipperary ; 
Knew everything about her dairy, 
But not the rhyme for Tipperary ; 
The stubborn muse he could not vary, 
For still the lines would run contrary 
Whene'er he thought on Tipperary. 
And though of time he was not chary, 
'Twas thrown away on Tipperary. 
Till of his wild-goose chase most weary, 
He vowed he'd leave out Tipperary. 
But, no — the theme he might not vary, 
His longing was not temporary, 
To find meet rhyme for Tipperary. 
He sought among the gay and airy, 
He pestered all the military. 
Committed many a strange vagary, 
Bewitched, it seemed, by Tipperary. 
He wrote, post-haste, to Darby Leary, 
Besought with tears his Aunty Sairie \ 


But sought he far, or sought he near, he 

Ne'er found a rhyme for Tipperary. 

He travelled sad through Cork and Kerry, 

He drove like mad through sweet Dunleary, 

Kicked up a precious tantar-ara, 

But found no rhyme for Tipperary ; 

Lived fourteen weeks at Stan-ar-ara, 

Was well-nigh lost in Glenfegary, 

Then started slick for Demerara, 

In search of rhyme for Tipperary. 

Through Yankee-land, sick, solitary, 

He roamed by forest, lake, and prairie, 

He went per terram et per mare, 

But found no rhyme for Tipperary. 

Through orient climes on dromedary, 

On earners back through great Sahara ; 

His travels were extraordinary 

In search of rhyme for Tipperary. 

Fierce as a gorgon or chimsera, 

Fierce as Alecto or Megsera, 

Fiercer than e'er a love-sick bear, he 

Ranged through the * londe ' of Tipperary. 

His cheeks grew thin and wondrous hairy, 

His visage long, his aspect * eerie,' 

His tout ensemble, faith, would scare ye, 

Amidst the wilds of Tipperary. 

Becoming hypochon-dri-ary, 

He sent for his apothecary, 

Who ordered 'balm' and 'saponary,' 

Herbs rare to find in Tipperary. 

In his potations ever wary, 

His choicest drink was ' home gooseberry.' 


On swipes, skim-milk, and smallest beer, he 

Scanted rhyme for his Tipperary. 

Had he imbibed good old Madeira, 

Drank pottle-dccp of golden sherry, 

Of Falstaffs sack, or ripe Canary, 

No rhyme had lacked for Tipperary. 

Or had his tastes been literary, 

He might have found extemporary 

Without the aid of dictionary, 

Some fitting rhyme for Tipperary. 

Or had he been an antiquary, 

Burnt midnight oil in his library, 

Or been of temper less ' camstary,' 

Rhymes had not lacked for Tipperary. 

He paced about his aviary, 

Blew up, sky-high, his secretary, 

And then in wrath and anger sware he, 

There was no rhyme for Tipperary." 

( 176 ) 


CENTO is properly a piece of patchwork, 
and hence the term has been applied to 
poems composed of selected verses or 
passages from an author, or from different authors, 
strung together in such a way as to present an 
entirely new reading. This trick of verse-manu- 
facture was a favourite pastime in the Middle 
Ages, and popular among the Romans during the 
declining years of the Empire. Of the earliest of 
these were the " Homero-Centones," a patchwork 
of lines from Homer (edited by Teucher at Leipsic, 
1793), the " Cento Nuptialis" of Ausonius, and the 
" Cento Virgilianus " of Proba Falconia in the fourth 
century. Another early Cento was one of spiritual 
hymns made up from lines in the works of Horace 
and Virgil by a monk named Metillus in the twelfth 
century. The Cento of Proba Falconia is also 
selected from the works of Virgil, and contains the 
history oi Adam and Eve, together with a life of 


our Saviour. The authoress was the wife of a 
Roman proconsul, and belonged to the Anician 
family, one of the first in the senatorial rank to 
embrace the doctrines of Christianity in the days of 
Constantine. A brief notice of this lady will be 
found in the 31st chapter of Gibbon's " Decline and 
Fall of the Roman Empire." A passage from this 
Cento by Proba Falcon ia may be given : 


At juveni primlim saevus circumstetit horror, 
DiriguSre oculi, nee se celare tenebris 
Amplius, aut notas audire et reddere voces. 
Haud mora festinant jussi, rapidisque feruntur 
Passibus, et pariter gressi per opaca viarura, 
Corripiunt spatium medium, limenque relinquunt, 
Flentes, et paribus curis vestigia figunt. 
Tunc victum in sylvis baccas, lapidosaque corna 
Dant rami, et vulsis pascunt radicibus herbal 

The second part of Proba's work concludes with 

the following verse : 

Christus ascendit ad Ccelos. 

His demfcm exactis, spirantes dimovet auras 
Aera per tenuem, cceloque invectus aperto, 
Mortales visus medio in sermone reliquit, 
Infert se septus nebula (mirabile dictu) 
Atque ilium solio stellantis regia cceli 
Accipit, aeternumque tenet per saecula nomen. 

Those desirous of further information regardixv^ 


the work of Proba Falconia and of various others 
who "wrote" poems of this class in Latin, may 
consult a French work entitled " Tableau de la 


Litterature du Centon," by Octave Delepierre (2 
vols., Triibner & Co., 1875). In that work there is 
also mention of a Latin Cento by the Scottish 
poet, Alexander Ross (1590-1654), who wrote a 
number of works, most of which are entirely for- 
gotten. His Cento was called " Virgilius Evange- 
lizans," being a life of Christ, taken wholly from 
the works of Virgil; but Ross is perhaps best 
remembered by the lines in Butler's " Hudibras " : 

" There was an ancient sage philosopher, 
And he had read Alexander Ross over." 

What appears to be the earliest English Cento was 
communicated by Dodsley to his friend Berenger, 
as the composition of one of the members of a 
society which met annually to celebrate the birth of 

On the Birthday of Shakespeare. 

(A Cento taken from his Works.) 

Peace to this meeting, 
Joy and fair time, health and good wishes. 
Now, worthy friends, the cause why we are met, 
Is in celebration of the day that gave 


Immortal Shakespeare to this favoured isle, 

The most replenished sweet work of Nature 

Which from the prime creation e'er she framed. 

O thou, divinest Nature \ how thyself thou blazon'st 

In this thy son ! formed in thy prodigality 

To hold thy mirror up, and give the time 

Its very form and pressure ! When he speaks, 

Each aged ear plays truant at his tales, 

And younger hearings are quite ravished ; 

So voluble is his discourse. Gentle 

As zephyr blowing underneath the violet, 

Not wagging its sweet head — yet as rough 

His noble blood enchafed, as the rude wind, 

That by the top doth take the mountain pine, 

And make him stoop to the vale. 'Tis wonderful 

That an invisible instinct should frame him 

To loyalty, unlearned ; honour, untaught ; 

Civility, not seen in others ; knowledge, 

That wildly grows in him, but yields a crop 

As if it had been sown. What a piece of work ! 

How noble in faculty ! infinite in reason ! 

A combination and a form indeed, 

Where every god did seem to set his seal. 

Heaven has him now ! Yet let our idolatrous fancy 

Still sanctify his relics ; and this day 

Stand aye distinguished in the kalendar 

To the last syllable of recorded time : 

For if we take him but for all in all, 

We ne'er shall look upon his like again. 

English poems of this class are very scarce, and 
the exceeding difficulty of their production ^\V\A^. 


evident from the examples which follow. " Life " 
is said to have occupied a year s laborious search 
among the voluminous writings of thirty-eight 
leading poets of the past and present times. The 
compilation first appeared in the " San Francisco 
Times," and was the work of Mrs. H. A. Deming. 
The numbers prefixed to the lines refer to the 
authors from whom they are taken, their names 
being given at the end: 


i. Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour ? 

2. Life's a short summer, man a flower. 

3. By turns we catch the vital breath and die — 

4. The cradle and the tomb, alas ! so nigh. 

5. To be, is better far than not to be, 

6. Though all man's life may seen a tragedy ; 

7. But light cares speak when mighty griefs are dumb, 

8. The bottom is but shallow whence they come. 

9. Your fate is but the common lot of all : 

10. Unmingled joys here to no man befall, 

11. Nature to each allots his proper sphere ; 

12. Fortune makes folly her peculiar care ; 

13. Custom does often reason overrule, 

14. And throw a cruel sunshine on a fool. 

1 5. Live well ; how long or short, permit to Heaven ; 

16. They who forgive most, shall be most forgiven. 

17. Sin may be clasped so close that we cannot see its face — 

18. Vile intercourse where virtue has no place. 

19. Then keep each passion down, however dear ; 
20. Thou pendulum bewixt a smile and tear. 


21. Her sensual snares, let faithless pleasures lay, 

22. With craft and skill, to ruin and betray ; 

23. Soar not too high to fall, but stoop to rise, 

24. We masters grow of all that we despise. 

25. Oh, then, I renounce that impious self-esteem ; 

26. Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream. 

27. Think not ambition wise because 'tis brave, 

28. The paths of glory lead but to the grave. 

29. What is ambition ? — 'tis a glorious cheat . — 

30. Only destructive to the brave and great. 

31. What's all the gaudy glitter of a crown ? 

32. The way to bliss lies not on beds of down. 

33. How long we live, not years but actions tell ; 

34. That mantlives twice who lives the first life well. 

35. Make, then, while yet we may, your God your friend, 

36. Whom Christians worship yet not comprehend. 

37. The trust that's given guard, and to yourself be just ; 

38. For, live we how we can, yet die we must. 

I. Young ; 2. Dr. Johnson ; 3. Pope ; 4. Prior ; 5. Sewel ; 6. 
Spenser ; 7. Daniell ; 8. Sir Walter Raleigh ; 9. Longfellow ; 10. 
Southwell; 11. Congreve; 12. Churchill; 13. Rochester; 14. 
Armstrong ; 15. Milton ; 16. Bailey ; 17. Trench ; 18. Somerville ; 
19. Thomson; 20. Byron; 21. Smollett; 22. Crabbe; 23. 
Massinger ; 24. Cowley ; 25. Beattie ; 26. Cowper ; 27. Sir 
Walter Davenant; 28. Gray; 29. Willis; 3a Addison; 31. 
Dryden ; 32. Francis Quarles ; 33. Watkins ; 34. Herrick ; 35. 
William Mason ; 36. Hill ; 37. Dana ; 38. Shakespeare. 

The next Mosaic poem appeared some years ago 
in Notes and Queries, in a communication signed 
James Monk, and is entitled — 

The Poets' "Essay on Man." 

1. What strange infatuation rules mankind, 

2. What different spheres to human bliss assigned \ 


3. To loftier things your finer pulses burn, 

4. If man would but his finer nature learn ; 

5. What several ways men to their calling have, 

6. And grasp at life though sinking to the grave. 

7. Ask what is human life ? the sage replies, 

8. Wealth, pomp, and honour are but empty toys ; 

9. We trudge, we travel, but from pain to pain, 

10. Weak, timid landsmen, on life's stormy main ; 

1 1. We only toil who are the first of things, 

1 2. From labour health, from health contentment springs. 

13. Fame runs before us as the morning star, 

14. How little do we know that which we are ; 

15. Let none then here his certain knowledge boast, 

16. Of fleeting joys too certain to be lost ; 

1 7. For over all there hangs a cloud of fear, 

1 8. All is but change and separation here. 

19. To smooth life's passage o'er its stormy way, 

20. Sum up at night what thou hast done by day ; 

21. Be rich in patience if thou in gudes be poor ; 

22. So many men do stoope to sight unsure ; 

23. Choose out the man to* virtue best inclined, 

24. Throw envy, folly, prejudice behind ; 

25. Defer not till to-morrow to be wise, 

26. Wealth heaped on wealth, nor truth, nor safety buys; 

27. Remembrance worketh with her busy train. 

28. Care draws on care, woe comforts woe again ; 

29. On high estates huge heaps of care attend, 

30. No joy so great but runneth to an end ; 

31. No hand applaud what honour shuns to hear, 

32. Who casts off shame, should likewise cast off fear ; 


33. Grief haunts us down the precipice of years. 

34. Virtue alone no dissolution fears ; 

35. Time loosely spent will not again be won, 

36. What shall I do to be for ever known ? 

37. But now the wane of life comes darkly on, 

38. After a thousand mazes overgone ; 

39. In this brief state of trouble and unrest, 

40. Man never is, but always to be blest 

41. Time is the present hour, the past is fled, 

42. O thou Futurity, our hope and dread. 

43. How fading are the joys we dote upon, 

44. Lo ! while I speak the present moment's gone. 

45. O Thou Eternal Arbiter of things, 

46. How awful is the hour when conscience stings ! 

47. Conscience, stern arbiter in every breast, 

48. The fluttering wish on wing that will not rest. 

49. This above all, — To thine own self be true, 

50. Learn to live well, that thou may'st die so too. 

5 1 . To those that list the world's gay scenes I leave, 

52. Some ills we wish for, when we wish to live. 

I. Chatterton 5 2. Rogers ; 3. Sprague ; 4. Dana ; 5. Ben Jonson 
6. Falconer ; 7. Cowper ; 8. Ferguson ; 9. Quarles ; 10. Burns 

II. Tennyson ; 12. Beattie ; 13. Dryden ; 14. Byron ; 15. Pomfret 
16. Waller; 17. Hood; 18. Steele; 19. Dwight; 20. Herbert 
21. Dunbar; 22. Whitney; 23. Rowe ; 24. Langhorne; 25 
Congreve ; 26. Dr. Johnson ; 27. Goldsmith ; 28. Drayton ; 29 
Webster ; 30. Southwell ; 31. Thomson ; 32. Sheridan Knowles 
33. Landor ; 34. Edward Moore ; 35. Greene ; 36. Cowley ; 37 
Joanna Baillie ; 38. Keats ; 39. B. Barton ; 40. Pope ; 41. Marsden 
42. Elliot ; 43. Blair ; 44. Oldham ; 45. Akenside ; 46. Percival 
47. J. A. Hillhouse; 48. Mallet; 49. Shakespeare; 50. Sir J. 
Denham; 51. Spenser; 52. Young. 


The preceding was shortly after supplemented 
by another, professedly taken from a very scarce 
work called "The Lonsdale Magazine," and en- 


i. Marriage, if rightly understood, 
Gives to the tender and the good, 

2. The eye, where pure affection beams, 
The tear, from tenderness that streams — 

3. Whate'er a blooming world contains, 
That wings the air, that skims the plains. 

4. Go search among your idle dreams, 
Your busy or your vain extremes, 
And find a life of equal bliss, 

Or own the next begun in this. 

5. Cordial of life, thus marriage pours 
Her comfort on our heavier hours. 

6. The hour that rolls for ever on, 
Tells us years must soon be gone — 

7. Say, dost thou not at evening hour 
Feel some soft and secret power 
Gliding o'er thy yielding mind, 

8. Nor leave one wretched thought behind ? 

9. Come press my lips and lie with me, 

10. From avarice and ambition free ; 

11. Or say, what soft propitious hour, 

I best may choose to hail thy power ! 

12. Plain innocence, in white arrayed, 
Before us lifts her fearless head ; 


13. Whose yielding hearts and joining hands 
Find blessings twisted with our bands. 

14. If these delights thy mind can move, 
Come live with me and be my love. 

1. Cotton ; 2. Logan ; 3. Ogilvie ; 4. Parnell ; 5. Graves ; 6. 
Dwight ; 7. Langhorne ; 8. Montgomery ; 9. Kirke White ; 10. 
Cowper; 11. Barbauld ; 12. Thomson; 13. Watts; 14. Marlowe. 

Laman Blanchard, a number of years ago, in 
George Cruikshank's "Omnibus" published the 
following Mosaic pieces as "poems bearing no 
resemblance to anything ever before offered to the 
public." They are, to all intents and purposes — 
at least so far as a train of connected ideas go — 
utter absurdities, and properly should be classed 
as Nonsense Verses. Mr. Blanchard sarcastically 
states that he found these poems among the MSS. 
of one of Sir Fretful Plagiary's numerous descen- 
dants, and thinks that if any reader of the verses 
should be reminded of poets past and present, it 
can only be because the profusely-gifted bard has 
clustered together more remarkable and memor- 
able lines than any of his predecessors. "That 
poem," Mr. Blanchard goes on to say, "can be of 
no inferior order of merit, in which Milton would 
have been proud to have written one line, Pope 
would have been equally vain of the authorship o£ 


a second, Byron have rejoiced in a third, Campbell 
gloried in a fourth, Gray in a fifth, Cowper in a 
sixth, and so on to the end of the Ode ; which thus 
realises the poetical wealth of that well-known line 
of Sir Fretful's — 

6 Infinite riches in a little room.' " 

Among these productions of Mr. Blanchard's were 
the following three : 

Ode to the Human Heart. 

Blind Thamyris, and blind Maeonides, 
Pursue the triumph and partake the gale ! 

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees, 
To point a moral or adorn a tale. 

Full many a gem of purest ray serene, 
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears, 

Like angels' visits, few and far between, 
Deck the long vista of departed years. 

Man never is, but always to be blest ; 

The tenth transmitter of a foolish face, 
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest, 

And makes a sunshine in the shady place. 

For man the hermit sighed, till woman smiled, 
To waft a feather or to drown a fly, 

(In wit a man, simplicity a child,) 
With silent finger pointing to the sky. 


But fools rush in where angels fear to tread, 

Far out amid the melancholy main ; 
As when a vulture on Imaus bred, 

Dies of a rose in aromatic pain. 

Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, 
Look on her face, and you'll forget them all ; 

Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, 
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall. 

My way of life is fallen into the sere ; 

I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs, 
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear, 

Who sees through all things with his half-shut eyes. 

Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness ! 

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
Fine by degrees and beautifully less, 

And die ere man can say " Long live the Queen !" 

Whatever is, is Right. 

Lives there a man with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself has said, 

' Shoot folly as it flies ' ? 
Oh ! more than tears of blood can tell, 
Are in that word, farewell, farewell ! 
'Tis folly to be wise. 

And what is friendship but a name, 
That boils on Etna's breast of flame ? 
Thus runs the world away. 










Sweet is the ship that's under sail 
To where yon taper cheers the vale, 
With hospitable ray ! 

Drink to me only with thine eyes 
Through cloudless climes and starry skies ! 

My native land, good night ! 
Adieu, adieu, my native shore ; 
Tis Greece, but living Greece no more — 

Whatever is, is right ! 

On Life, et cetera. 

Know then, this truth, enough for man to know : 

Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow ; 

Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow. 

Retreating lightly with a lowly fear 

From grave to gay, from lively to severe, 

To err is human, to forgive divine, 

And wretches hang that jurymen may dine 

like quills upon the fretful porcupine. 

All are but parts oi one stupendous whole, 

The feast of reason and the flow of souL 

We ne'er shall look upon his like again, 

For panting time toils after him in vain, 

And drags, at each remove, a lengthening chain ; 

Allures to brighter worlds, and leads the way 

With sweet, reluctant, amorous delay ! 

Another attempt at this laborious trifling ap- 


peared in the People's Friend of May 1871, evincing 
great patience and research : 

1. A glorious devil, large in heart and brain, 

2. Doomed for a certain term to walk the night, 

3. The world forsaking with a calm disdain, 

4. Majestic rises on the astonished sight 

5. Type of the wise who soar, but never roam, — 

6. Mark how it mounts to man's imperial race ! 

7. High is his perch, but humble is his home, 

8. Fast anchored in the deep abyss of space. 

9. And oft the craggy cliff he loved to climb, 

10. Where Punch and Scaramouch aloft are seen ; 

1 1. Where Science mounts in radiant car sublime, 

12. And twilight fairies tread the circled green. 

13. And, borne aloft by the sustaining blast, 

14. Whom no man fully sees, and none can see ; 

15. 'Wildered and weary, sits him down at last, 

16. Beneath the shelter of an aged tree. 

1 7. I will not stop to tell how far he fled, 

18. To view the smile of evening on the sea ; 

19. He tried to smile, and, half succeeding, said, 

20. ( I smell a loller in the wind/ said he. 

21. * What if the lion in his rage I meet ? ' 

22. (The Muse interprets thus his tender thought.) 

23. The scourge of Heaven ! what terrors round him 


24. From planet whirled to planet more remote* 


25. Thence higher still, by countless steps conveyed, 

26. Remote from towns he ran his godly race ; 

27. He lectured every youth that round him played — 

28. The jostling tears ran down his honest face. 

29. ' Another spring ! ' his heart exulting cries. 

30. Vain are his weapons, vainer is his force ; 

31. A milk-white lion of tremendous size 

32. Lays him along the snows a stiffened corpse. 

33. The hay-cock rises, and the frequent rake 

34. Looks on the bleeding foe that made him bleed ; 

35. And the green lizard and the golden snake 

36. Pause at the bold irrevocable deed. 

37. Will ye cne transient ray of gladness dart, 

38. To bid the genial tear of pity flow ? 

39. By Heaven ! I would rather coin my heart, 

40. Or Mr. Miller's, commonly called Joe ! 

I. Tennyson ; 2. Shakespeare ; 3. Thomson ; 4. Taite ; 5. Words- 
worth ; 6. Pope ; 7. Grahame ; 8. Cowper ; 9. Beattie ; 10. Rogers ; 

II. Hemans ; 12. Collins; 13. Longfellow ; 14. Prior; 15. Beattie ; 
16. Burns; 17. Wordsworth; 18. Hemans; 19. Crabbe ; 20. 
Chancer; 21. Collins; 22. Beattie; 23. Gray; 24. Campbell; 
25. Bloomfield ; 26. Rogers ; 27. Goldsmith ; 28. Burns ; 29. 
Bloomfield; 30. Byron; 31. Falconer; 32. Thomson; 33. Joanna 
Baillie ; 34. Byron ; 35. Shelley ; 36. Euripides ; 37. Beattie ; 38 
Hemans ; 39. Shakespeare ; 40. Horace Smith. 

We conclude the Centones or Mosaics with the 
following, gathered from some of the most popular 


" The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, 
In every clime from Lapland to Japan ; 
To fix one spark of beauty's heavenly ray — 
The proper study of mankind is man. 

Tell, for you can, what is it to be wise, 

Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain ; 

1 The Man of Ross ! ' each lisping babe replies, 
And drags, at each remove, a lengthening chain. 

Ah ! who can tell how hard it is to climb, 
Far as the solar walk or milky way ? 

Procrastination is the thief of time, 
Let Hercules himself do what he may. 

'Tis education forms the common mind, 
The feast of reason and the flow of soul ; 

I must be cruel only to be kind, 
And waft a sigh from Indus to the pole. 

Syphax ! I joy to meet you thus alone, 
Where'er I roam, whatever lands I see ; 

A youth to fortune and to fame unknown, 
In maiden meditation fancy free. 

Farewell ! and wheresoe'er thy voice be tried, 
Why to yon mountain turns the gazing eye, 

With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side, 
That teach the rustic moralist how to die. 

Pity the sorrows of a poor old man, 

Whose beard descending swept his aged breast ; 
Laugh where we must, be candid where we can, 

Man never is, but always to be blest." 

( 192 ) 


N Anagram is formed by the transposition 
of the component letters of a word or 
phrase so as to give a new word or sen- 
tence, and though anagrams may be of small value 
in a literary point of view, yet they are not alto- 
gether devoid of a certain degree of interest. 
Originally anagrams signified simply a reversal 
of the order of the letters in a word, as in live, 
which when reversed becomes evil, but they have 
long borne the sense in which they are now used. 
Their interest is greatly enhanced when the trans- 
position is such as to give an appropriate signifi- 
cation or association of ideas relative to or consistent 
with the original or primary word from which the 
anagram has been formed, and there are words of 
this description which exhibit coincidences that 
are truly astonishing and almost incredible until 
proved by examination. This literary frivolity 
has at least the merit of antiquity, for we find that 


among the ancient Jewish cabalists the art of t/ie- 
murUy or transposition of the letters of words, was 
used by them for the purpose of discovering hidden 
meanings, and they also thought that the qualities 
of a man's mind and his future destiny could be 
guessed at by anagrammatising the letters of his 
name. The art prevailed, too, among the Greeks 
and Romans, and has continued through the 
Middle Ages down to comparatively modern 
times, chiefly, however, as a pastime. 

The French literati have always shown a predi- 
lection for anagrams, and the results of their 
labours in this way would fill volumes. Indeed, 
such was the estimation in which this " art " was 
held by them at one period, that it is said their 
kings were provided with a salaried anagrammatist 
in the same way that royalty in Britain is provided 
with a poet-laureate. The popularity of anagrams 
in France was so great two or three centuries ago, 
that a man sometimes made his fortune by framing 
a single happy transposition of the name of a king 
or other great person. Thus all France was de- 
lighted with the anagram on Francois de Valoys, 
which was converted into De /agon suis royal, 
indicating him to be of regal appearance. One 
French writer, Gabriel Antoine Joseph Hdcart> 



went the length of composing and • publishing a 
poem of 1 200 lines, every line of which contained 
an anagram, but it so happens that out of the 1200 
hardly one is worth quotation. 

The anagram was also popular in Britain at an 
early date, being looked upon as an agreeable and 
amusing relaxation, as well as a favourable method 
by which those who sought favour might flatter 
the great ones whose influence they coveted. So 
early as 1589 we find Puttenhame in his "Arte of 
English Poesie" speaking of the anagram thus: 
" They that use it for pleasure is to breed one word 
out of another, not altering any letter nor the 
number of them, but only transposing of the same, 
whereupon many times is produced some grateful 
newes or matter to them for whose pleasure and 
service it was intended ; and because there is much 
difficultie in it, and altogether standeth upon hap- 
hazard, it is compted for a courtly conceit." Put- 
tenhame himself was the author of two anagrams 
on the name of Queen Elizabeth, whose portrait 
adorns the original edition of his work. He uses 
the following words: — "Elissabet Anglorum Re- 
gina," which orthography, he contends, "is true 
and not mistaken, for the letter zeta of the 
Hebrews and Greeks and of all other toungs 


is in truth but a double s hardly uttered ; and 
h is but a note of aspiration onely and no letter, 
which therefore is by the Greeks omitted." The 
first anagram of these words is — 

" Multa regnabis ense gloria " 
(By the sword shalt thou reign in great renown). 

The second — 

" Multa regnabis sene gloria " 
(Aged and in much glory shall ye reign). 

These two the author made by the first mar- 
shalling of the letters, and although he "tossed 
and translaced them five hundreth times," he 
could find no other having reference to her 

Later on, we find Elizabeth's successor being 
flattered by another courtly writer, who sought 
favour for his book by dedicating it to King 
James, and discovering in the name of his royal 
patron, James Stuart, the anagram a just master. 
This literary gentleman no doubt thought he had 
found in this anagram what has been already 
pointed to as the best feature in this kind of 
writing, an appropriate signification and relation 
to the original words. So also with another on 
James I., by which some of his courtiers wished ^ 


prove his right to the British monarchy, as the 
descendant of King Arthur, from his name Charles 
James Stuart, which they rendered Claims Arthurs 

Anagrams were not only in use among courtiers, 
however, but even the Puritans found in them a 
modified worldly pastime, and some writers of 
that party actually commended their use as being 
of a good tendency. In New England, among 
the early Puritans there, puns and conceits of a 
laborious kind and uncouth fashion were much 
admired, and the death of any notable person was 
sure to call forth several elegies, almost certain 
to contain some curious play upon the deceased's 
name or other characteristic feature — thus, John 
Norton, a learned divine, wrote as follows upon 
the death of Anne Bradstreet : — 

" Her breast was a brave palace, a broad street, 
Where all heroic, ample thoughts did meet." 

In a similar manner, Cotton Mather, the well- 
known writer on Witchcraft, in an elegy upon 
the death of the above-named John Norton, says 
of him — 

" His care to guide his flock and feed his lambs, 
By words, works, prayers, psalms, alms, and anagrams." 


Addison gives a somewhat humorous descrip- 
tion of an anagrammatist, who shut himself up for 
some months for the purpose of twisting the name 
of his mistress into as many of these conceits as he 
possibly could, but was astonished to find, after all 
his mental throes, that he had misspelled her 
name, and that consequently his productions were 
all faulty and insufficient Some writers appear 
to have had a peculiar facility for composing 
anagrams, as a French poet one day sent his 
mistress no less than three dozen of them, all 
written on her name of Magdelaine. These con- 
ceits, however, were as frequently sarcastic as 
complimentary; and thus, though Scaliger may 
have felt the palpable hit in having his name 
rendered into sacrilege, Sir John Wiat would 
enjoy the anagram as a compliment which said 
that Wiat was a wit — this latter being a very 
simple example. The ingenious writer who dis- 
covered in Pilate's question, " Quid est Veritas ? " 
(What is truth?) its own answer, "Est vir qui 
adest" (It is the man who is here), found one of 
the best and neatest anagrams which has yet been 
written. Of those reckoned among the best of 
these literary trifles are the one upon the mistress 
of Charles IX. of France, Marie Touched Ie 


charme tout (I charm all) ; and another upon a 
lady named Eleanor Davies, who belonged to the 
court of Charles L, and pretended to supernatural 
and prophetic powers. To substantiate this claim 
on her part, she anagrammatised her name, 
Eleanor Davies, into Reveal, O Daniel! and this, 
though faulty in regard to having too much by 
a letter /, and too little by an s, was sufficient 
in her mind to justify the assumption. Arraigned 
before the Court of High Commission, the judges 
found that reasoning had no effect upon her — all 
attempts to disprove by Scripture her claims to 
inspiration being of no avail — till at length one of 
the deans took a pen and wrote another and more 
excellent anagram upon her name — Dame Eleanor 
Davies : Never so mad a ladie ! This had the 
desired effect — the engineer being hoist with his 
own petard — and put the prophetic lady into so 
despondent a state, that she never afterwards 
put forth a claim to supernatural gifts. 

Authors long ago were occasionally given to 

" Torture one poor word a thousand ways," 

as Dryden says, especially with a view to conceal 
their authorship from the critics, and thus we find 
the names of several anagrammatised — for instance, 


Calvinus into Alcuinus, and Rabelais spitefully 
turned Calvin into jan cul, somewhat equivalent to 
the English jackass ; friends of Calvin, however, 
adopted other fashions, as Lucanius and Lttcianns. 
John Taylor, the "Water Poet," turned his into 
Thorny Ailo ; and Bunyan, in the conclusion of 
the "advertisement" to the " Holy War," has these 
two lines — 

" Witness my name, if anagram'd to thee, 
The letters make, l Nu hony in a B. y " 

One half the disguises adopted by French 
anonymous writers are in the shape of anagrams 
formed from their names, and with some of our 
own modern authors we find among them that 
Sydney Dobell used his first name and anagram- 
matised it for a second, thus — Sydney Yendys. 
So with Barry Cornwall, poet, which is, with the 
omission of the letter r, a version of his real name* 
Bryan Waller Proctor. 

An old Latin book has this written upon the fly- 

Andreas Rivetus. 

Veritas res nuda, 
Sed naturi es vir, 
Vir naturi sedes, 
E naturi es rudis^ 


Sed es vit& rarus, 
Sed rure vanitas, 
In terri su& Deus, 
Veni, sudas terra. 

Taylor's "Suddaine Turne of Fortune's Wheel" 
contains this — 

" Supremus Pontifex Romanus, 
O non sum super petr am fixus" 

The first line is " Supreme Pontiff of Rome ; " and 
the second, "Alas! I am not founded upon a 

There are several anagrams upon King Charles 
II., of which we select the following, — the first 
being also by Taylor : — 

" Charles Stetfart, 
Calls true hearts. 
Brave prince, thy name, thy fame, thy selfe, and all, 
With love and service all true hearts doth call ; 
So royally include with princely parts, 
Thy reall virtues alwaies calls true hearts" 

The negotiations relative to the match between 

Charles and the Infanta of Spain (1624) led to 

this — 

" Charles, Prince of Wales, 

Will choose France's pearl" 

While Charle5 Peacham's " Compleat Gentleman " 
contains — 


" Charles, Prince of Wales, 
All France cries, help us ! 

On a visit to Newton Hall in Derbyshire, Charles 
II. is said himself to have written on one of the 
windows — Cras ero lux (To-morrow I shall be 
light), the anagram of Carolus Rex. The next 
was found written upon a fly-leaf of an old book 
at Cologne, bearing the date of 1653, supposed to 
have belonged at one time to one of the English 
who accompanied Charles II. in his exile — 

" Carolus Stuartus, Angliae, Scotiae, et Hiberniae Rex — 
Auld, siatfiy regno exueris, ac hostili arte necaberis" 

One Mistress Mary Fage, who lived in the time of 
Charles L, was perhaps the most prolific anagram- 
matist England ever produced. She published 
a volume of anagrams combined with acrostics 
under the title of " Fame's Rowle" (Roll), in which 
the names of many notable persons in the three 
kingdoms were dealt with, to the number of no less 
than four hundred and twenty. One may serve as 
a specimen of the rest — 

" To the Right Hon. John Earl of Weymes. 

John Weymes. 
Shew men joy. 
In your great honour, free from all alloy, 
O truly noble Weymes, you s^ 4 ™ men 3°3 % * 


having your virtues in their clearer sight, 
iVbthing there is can breed them more delight. 

With joy your wisdome, so doth men contente ; 
isver we pray it might be permanent ; 
Four virtuous life doth breed so great delight ; 
Men wish you endless joy you to requite ; 
internal joy may unto you succeede, 
.Shewing men joy who do your comfort breede." 

Randle Holmes, who wrote an extraordinary 
book upon Heraldry, was complimented by an 
expressive anagram on his name — 

" Lo, men's herald I " 

In the "Bengal Mofussil Miscellany," repub- 
lished in London in 1837 as "Indian Reminis- 
cences," there is the following curious anecdote : — 
"When young Stanislaus, afterwards King of 
Poland, returned home from his travels, all the 
illustrious family of Leczinki assembled at Lissa 
to congratulate him on his arrival. Festivals, 
shows, rejoicings of every kind took place ; but 
the most ingenious compliment that graced the 
occasion was one paid by the College of Lissa. 
There appeared on the stage thirteen dancers, 
dressed as youthful warriors; each held in his 
hand a shield, on which was engraved in char- 
acters of gold one of the thirteen letters which 


compose the two words c Domus Lescinia.' They 
then commenced their dance, and so arranged it 
that at each turn their row of bucklers formed 
different anagrams. At the first pause they 
presented them in the natural order — 

At the second 
At the third 
At the fourth 
At the fifth 
At the last 

" Domus Lescinia 
Ades Incolumis 
Omnis es lucida 
Mane Sidus loci 
Sis columna Dei 
I, scande Solium." 

The following may be accepted as an approach to 
the different renderings : — 

O (heir to the) House of Lescinius, 
Thou art present with us still unimpaired — 
Thou art all that is wonderful 
Stay with us, O sun of our land ! 
. Thou art one of God's supporters — 
Come, ascend thy regal throne. 

Ben Jonson, in a u Masque," has this anagram 
on the name of Juno — 

"And see where Juno, whose great name 
Is Unto in the anagram, 
Displays her glistening state and chaire, 
As she enlightened all the ayre." 

Throughout the masque there is a continual ^Wj 


upon the words Union and Juno y as relating to 

In one of Taylor's poems, " The Life and Death 
of Virgin Mary," there are these lines — 

" I doe not heere impute this deede of shame 
On Judas, because Judas was his name : 
For of that name there have been men of might 
Who the great battles of the Lord did fight, 
And others more. But sure this impure blot 
Stickes to him, as he's named Iskarriott ; 
For in an anagram Iskarriott is,* 
By letters transposition, Traitor kis." 

Iskarriott) anag. Traitor kis. 

Kisse, traytor, kisse, with an intent to kill, 
And cry all haile ! when thou dost mean all ill ; 
And for thy fault no more shall Judas be 
A name of treason and false infamie ; 
But all that fault I'll on Iskarriott throw, 
Because the anagram explains it so. 
Iskarriott for a bribe, and with a kisse, 
Betrayed his Master, the blest King of Blisse." 

All men have their enemies, and Taylor had his — 
amongst these there was one who took a pitiful 
way of showing his dislike by twisting Taylor's 
name in this fashion — 

" John Talour the poet, 
Art thou in Bet, O poet ? " 


One Car was an intimate and loving friend of 
the poet Crawshavve, and on the poet's death Car 
found some consolation in discovering that Craw- 
shawe could be transposed into the words, He was 
Car, and wrote the following lines accordingly — 

11 Was Car then Crawshawe, or was Crawshawe Car, 

Since both within one name combined are ? 

Yes, Car's Crawshawe, he Car ; 'tis love alone 

Which melts two hearts, of both composing one ; 

So Crawshawe's still the same — so much desired 

By strongest wits, so honoured, so admired ; 

Car was but he that entered as a friend, 

With whom he shared his thoughts, and did commend 

(While yet he lived) this work ; they loved each other : 

Sweet Crawshawe was his friend ; he Crawshawe's brother : 

So Car had title then ; 'twas his intent 

That what his riches penned poor Car should print ; 

Nor fears he check, praising that happy one 

Who was beloved by all, dispraised by none. 

To wit, being pleased with all things, he pleased all ; 

Nor would he give nor take offence ; befall 

What might, he would possess himself, and live 

As dead (devoid of all int'rest) t'all might give 

Disease t'his well-composed mind, forestalled 

With heavenly riches, which had wholly called 

His thoughts from earth, to live above in th' air, 

A very bird of Paradise. No care 

Had he of earthly trash. What might suffice 

To fit his soul to heavenly exercise 

Sufficed him ; and, may we guess his heart 

By what his lips bring forth, Vus ot^ ^ax\ 


Is God and godly thoughts. Leaves doubt to none 

But that to whom one God is all, all's one. 

What he might eat or wear he took no thought, 

His needful food he rather found than sought. 

He seeks no downs, no sheets, his bed's still made 

If he can find a chair or stool, he's laid ; 

When day peeps in, he quits his restless rest, 

And still, poor soul, before he's up he's drest. 

Thus dying did he live, yet lived to die 

In the Virgin's lap, to whom he did apply 

His virgin thoughts and words, and thence wast styled 

By foes, the chaplain of the Virgin mild, 

While yet he lived without : his modesty 

Imparted this to some, and they to me. 

Live happy then, dear soul ; enjoy thy rest 

Eternally by pains thou purchasedst, 

While Car must live in care, who was thy friend ; 

Nor cares he how he live, so in the end 

He may enjoy his dearest Lord and thee, 

And sit and sing more skilful songs eternally. " 

George Herbert gives several anagrams, among 
which is the following : — 

" Mary 
How well her name an Army doth present, 
In whom the Lord of Hosts did pitch His tent ! " 

The Latin language furnishes a number of 
anagrams, among which the one subjoined is a 
good example — 


4 Roma dabit oram, Maro, 
Ramo, armo, mora, et amor. 
Roma tuum nomen quam non pertransiit Oram 

Cum Latium ferrent saecula prisca jugum ? 
Non deerat vel fama tibi, vel carmina famae, 

Unde Maro laudes duxit ad astra tuas. 
At nunc exsucco similis tua gloria Ramo 

A veteri trunco et nobilitate cadit. 
Laus antiqua et honor perierunt, te velut Armo 

Jam deturbarunt tempora longa suo. 
Quin tibi jam desperatae Mora nulla medetur ; 

Qua Fabio quondam sub duce nata salus. 
Hinc te olim gentes miratae odere vicissim ; 

Et cum sublata laude recidit Amor" 

Cleaveland's Works contain the next — 

Definition of a Protector. 

What's a Protector ? He's a stately thing, 

That apes it in the non-age of a king. 

A tragic actor — Caesar in a clown, 

He's a brass farthing stamped with a crown. 

A bladder blown, with other breaths puffed full, 

Not the Pertllusy but Perillus Bull. 

^sop's proud ass, veil'd in the lion's skin, 

An outward saint lined with a devil within. 

An echo whence the royal sound doth come, 

But just as barrel-head sounds like a drum. 

Fantastic image of the royal head, 

The Brewers' with the king's arms quartered ; 

He is a counterfeited piece, that shows 

Charles his effegies with a copper nose. 


In fine, he's one we must Protector call, 
From whom the King of kings protect us all. 
Protector = O Porttt, C. R. 

Tombstones occasionally in former times gave 
instances of anagrams, as it was not an uncommon 
belief that a person's character and fortune were 
hidden in his name. Of this kind are the two 
following examples. At Ashby Canons, North- 
ampton, there is one of the date of 1639, on 

Sarai Grime, 
Is marriage. 

A virgin's death, we say, her marriage is, 
Spectators viewe as pregnant proofe in this ; 
Her suitor's Christ, to Him her troth she plights, 
Being both agreed, then to the nuptial's rites. 
Virtue's her tire, prudence her wedding ring, 
Angels the bridesmen in the heavenly quire ; 
Her joynture's blisse, what more could she desire ? 
Noe wonder hence soe soon she sped away, 
Her husband call'd, she must not make delay. 
Not dead, but married shee, her progenye, 
The stem of grace, that lives eternally." 

The second of these obituary anagrams is to be 
found at Bletchley, dated 1657, on — 

Mrs. Faieth Walker 
Walke by Faith. 

Well did thy life, word, anagram agree, 
To will and walke aright was all to thee. 

A KA GRAMS. 209 

Thy tender years were gracious ; all thy life 
Was virtuous, while a virgin, when a wife ; 
Here thou didst walke by faith, but now above 
By light with Him thy soul did dearly love. 
A happy change, thy life now full of blisse, 
Thy Christ thy Husband, Heaven thy jointure is. 

The assassin of Henry III. of France had his 
name rendered in this way — 

" Frfere Jacques Clement, 
Cest Venfer qui m'a crSS. 

LL if 

The celebrated Holy Alliance was thus traves- 
tied — 

" La Sainte Alliance, 

La Sainte Canaille" 

Dr. Burney has the credit of the following ex- 
cellent anagram, written on receipt of the news 
of the victory of the Nile : — 

" Horatio Nelson, 
Honor est a IVilo" 

The words, " Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Welling- 
ton," have been transposed into Let well-foil'd 
Gaul sekure thy r(e)nown — an imperfect but not 
inappropriate example. One on the lamented 
Princess Charlotte wa& thought to be particularly 
happy — the words, " Princess Charlotte Augusta 
of Wales," were transposed into P. C. Her august 


race is lost, fatal news ! The following is very 
apt : — 

" When / cry that 1 sin is transposed, it is clear, 
My resource, Christianity, soon will appear." 

The celebrated Dr. Abernethy, as much remem- 
bered perhaps for his eccentricity and brusqueness 
as for his skill, had his name of John Abernethy 
turned into Johnny the Bear. The annexed is an 
excellent instance of this laborious trifling : — 

A Telegram Anagrammatised. 

Though but a late germ, with a wondrous elation, 

Yet like a great elm it o'ershadows each station, 

Et malgrd the office is still a large fee mart, 

So joyous the crowd was, you'd thought it a. glee mart; 

But they raged at no news from the nations belligerent, 

And I said, Let 'm rage, since the air is refrigerant. 

I then met large numbers, whose drink was not sherbet, 

Who scarce could look up when their eyes the gas-glare met; 

So when I had learned from commercial adviser, 

That mere gait for sand was the great fertiliser, 

I bade Mr, Eaglet, although 'twas ideal, 

Get some from the clay-pit, and so get *m real; 

Then, just as my footstep was leaving the portal, 

I met an elm targe on a great Highland mortal, 

With the maid he had wooed by the loch's flowery margelet^ 

And rowed in his boat, which for rhyme's sake call bargetet, 

And blithe to the breeze would have set the sail daily, 

But it blew at that rate which our sailors term gale, aye ; 

I stumbled against the fair bride he had married, 

When a merle gat at large from a cage that she carried ; 


She gave a loud screech ! and I could not well blame her, 

But lame as I was, I'd no wish to get lamer; 

So I made my escape — ne'er an antelope fleeter, 

Lest my verse, like the poet, should limp through lag metre. 

The following appeared in an Edinburgh news- 
paper some years ago : — 

The Lent Oars. 

Illustrating Fifty different Renderings of the Letters 
composing the Word " Monastery." 

I am a boatman on the Lago Maggiore, but, fool that 
I am, I lent my oars to the Monks of St. Thomas's, who 
used to cross the lake in their own boat, and who, on 
my inquiring about them, vowed they never had got 
them. I spoke to the mayor of the canton, who trans- 
mitted a letter my dear Mary had written, and promised 
he would send for an answer himself. Having waited 
for some time rather impatiently, I set off to the monas- 
tery to inquire if the mayor sent or not for the answer to 
Mary's note about my ten oars. The abbot had gone on 
a visit to the adjoining convent, and I was informed that 
the letter was sent there, and they thought it likely my 
oars were there too. I went thither, and on gaining 
admission, I inquired if the answer had been sent for. 
"Ay, monster/' said she, "though ten mayors had sent 
they would not have got one." "Come, come, no 
mastery over me ; may no rest be mine here or hereafter 
if I do not have my oars ! Yes, matron, there is one St. 
Mary to whom I shall pray for interference." "See 
your stone Mary there," said she, pointing to an taco^ 


of the blessed Virgin set in the walL I prostrated my- 
self before it, saying, " O my one star, my Mary ! look 
down on my tears, and try means to get me back my 
oars. May my soul, which has met no rays of thine for 
long, store many favours now. Oh ! Mary, do so try, 
amen" On rising I was astounded on hearing the 
matron exclaim, " My ! treason ! " Woman though she 
was, I could have smitten her to the ground, for here 
came the abbot angrily and anxiously inquiring, " What 
treason ? " Taking me for a French spy, he approached 
cautiously, but seeing as yet no arms about me, he grew 
bolder, and caused me to be searched for army notes or 
papers. Though he found nothing, I could scarce 
prevail upon him to grant a truce or amnesty till I could 
explain my errand. " Ay, no terms with the villain," said 
he, threatening to tan my sore hide for me. I remon- 
strated, " Stay, Ermon, be not hasty ; I trump you no 
mean story in showing you this ; " and here I showed him 
my torn, seamy coat, as evidence that no government 
had favoured me with a degree in money arts. " Yet 
/tomans," said he, " call Rome nasty, and I was suspicious 
you were one of that kind." " No, my senator, I am 
nothing great, but I am not so bad as that" I was glad 
to get off without further mentioning my oars, and so 
left the place. 

I was terribly vexed, however, at the way affairs had 
turned out, so that I could not help telling my care to 
an old woman I met not far off, and whom I knew. 
" Do you see yon stream on this side of the lake?" said 
I ; " many tears have I shed there ; I never refused to 
lend an oar when asked, but no one sent my oar back, 
till now I have lost them all." "Dear me, that's 


scandalous ; take a rest on my bundle for a short time ; 
I am sure I saw Tom N. Sayer with some of them, and 
I'll just run over and see." I did as she said, and had 
not long to wait for her return. " Ye ran most nimbly, 
but how sped you ? " At no great rate, my son ; he has 
some, but he ran away." " Ran away ! " I exclaimed. 
" Yes, Tom ran, though I told him you meant to say no 
term of payment for the bother you had been put to." 
" May he rot — yes, man, rot — for his roguery ; by all the 
bloody heroes, from Mars to Ney, were I a tailor I would 
try no seam till I found him ; and then — . But I am no 
tailor, I am but a boatman ; so I see no way to make up 
my loss but by laying a little on my rates of passage or 
smuggling a trifle of Mbrnfs tea" " If a tear, my son, 
would avail thee anything, I would shed plenty ; but you 
may rest on my doing what I can for you, so neither 
hinder nor stay meywsX now, as I must away." "Good- 
bye," said I ; " but may Old Davy tar my nose for me if 
I don't watch that chap. Fine way for a poor tar's money 
to go, always buying oars. Yes, Tom, I'll be down smart 
on ye some of these days." 

Thoroughly disgusted, I turned my toes, ran swiftly 
home, and vowed myself a snore at my ease, unless my 
mentor say me nay. 

We conclude with the following selection of these 
conceits : — 

Florence Nightingale, Penitentiary, French Revolution, 

Flit on, cheering angel. Nay, I repent it, Violence run forth. 

Revolution, Presbyterian, Masquerade, 

Love to ruin. Best in prayer. Queer as Mad. 

Parliament, Midshipman, Sweetheart, 

Partial men. Mind his map. There we saL 



Got as a clue. 
Sly ware. 
Nine thumps. 
Old England, 
Golden land. 

Paradise lost, 
Reap sad toils. 
Paradise regained, 
Dead respire again. 
Great help. 
Moon starers. 

I hire parsons. 
Comical trade. 
All great sin. 
Tim in a pet. 

( 215 ) 


jALINDROMIC, or Reciprocal Verses (Gr. 
palitty backwards; dromos, a running) is 
the name given to verses which read the 
same either backwards or forwards. They are the 
most difficult of all the literary frivolities we have 
yet met with — their composition requiring con- 
siderable skill and invention, yet having no useful 
purpose. The English language is not very well 
adapted for this kind of Jump-Jim-Crowism, and 
only a few examples are to be met with ; it is more 
common, however, in Latin and Greek, and there 
are a number in these languages. There is, indeed, 
a curious and rare volume in Greek of this nature, 
being a poem by "Ambrose Hieromonachus 
Pamperes, with Scholia and all the Histories 
contained in it; being of great use to those 
who study it deeply. Now first published, 1802, 
at Vienna in Austria, at the Greek printing press 
of George Bendotes." This work consists of one 


hundred and sixty pages, the first eight containing 
the dedication to the Emperor of All the Russias, 
Alexander I. There is also an Introduction, 
giving directions how the book is to be read, 
also an epigram praising the Greek writers, 
affirming that in all of them will be found wisdom. 
Then comes the poem itself, consisting of 416 
verses, and an equal number of scholia on these 
verses — each verse being explained by a com- 
mentary, introducing notices of great men, kings, 
poets, mythological characters, and others. The 
arrangement of the words is of course frequently 
forced, the allusions obscure, and the sense difficult 
to discover, but they are by no means what are 
called nonsense verses, for by close attention, and 
with the aid of the notes, every one of them may 
be construed. The poem, each line of which is a 
complete palindrome, commences thus — 

"Onax es o, ethete te Theos ex ano," 

signifying — 

" O King, who was thus placed by God from above." 

This poem by Pamperes was written on the words 
the Empress Catherine uttered when some of her 
chief officers were put to death, and her troops 
destroyed by the Poles. On hearing the unex- 


pected news she was in the deepest grief and could 
not rest. She immediately called together her 
counsellors, and began her speech — 

"Rypara, anomata, ata mona, ara pyr," &c. 

" How cruel, mean, and unlawful are these things that 
I have heard. How full of impiety is this unexpected 
and unlawful loss. Nothing else is required for revenge 
except fire," &c. 

Of the few palindromes in the English language, 
one represents our first parent introducing himself 
to Eve in these words — 

" Madam, I'm Adam." 

Taylor, the Water Poet, made several attempts at 
constructing palindromes, but could arrive at 
nothing better than — 

" Lewd did I live, & evil did I dwel "— 

not altogether perfect, however, inasmuch as if the 
last word was properly written, the reciprocity 
would fail. Something similar is this other — 

" Live was I ere I saw evil." 

Another English one has reference to Napoleon, 
who is supposed to say — 

"Able was I ere I saw Elba." 


These last two are very complete, as each word 
remains intact, which in palindromic verses is not 
always the case — the component letters frequently 
running into different words in the reverse reading. 
The following Latin example preserves this kind 
of completeness : — 

" Sator arepo tenet opera rotas." 

There are a number of names which are palin- 
dromic in the English language, and it is some- 
what curious that they are mostly feminine, as — 
Eve, Anna, Hannah, Ada, Madam, and others. 
The following enigma is founded on like words : — 

" First find out a word that doth silence proclaim, 
And backwards and forwards is always the same ; 
Then, next, you must find out a feminine name, 
That backwards and forwards is always the same ; 
An act, or writing, or parchment, whose name 
Both backwards and forwards is always the same ; 
A fruit that is rare, whose botanical name 
Read backwards and forwards is always the same ; 
A note used in music, which time doth proclaim, 
And backwards and forwards is always the same ; 
The initials or terminals equally frame 
A title that's due to the fair married dame, 
Which backwards and forwards is always the same." 

The words sought for are — Mum, Anna, Deed, 
Anana, Minim, whose initials and endings equally 


form Madam, "the title that's due to the fair 
married dame." 
A Roman lawyer chose this for his motto — 

" Si nummi immunis " — 

which has been freely translated — 

" Give me my fee, and I warrant you free." 

A Latin elegiac verse gives in every line a com- 
plete palindrome: — 

"Salta, tu levis es ; summus se si velut Atlas, 

(Omina ne sinimus,) suminis es animo. 
Sin, oro, caret arcand cratera coronis 

Unam areas, animes semina sacra manu. 
Angere regnato, mutatum, o tangere regna, 

Sana tero, tauris si ruat oret anas : 
Milo subi rivis, summus si viribus olim, 

Muta sedes ; animal lamina sede satum. 
Tangeret, i videas, illisae divite regnat ; 

Aut atros ubinam manibus orta tua ! 
O tu casurus, rem non mersurus acuto 

Telo, sis-ne, tenet ? non tenet ensis, olet." 

In the time of Queen Elizabeth, a lady who had 
been forbidden to appear at court on account of 
some suspicions against her, the truth of which 
she denied, took for the device on her seal, the 
moon, partly obscured, with the motto — 



" Ablata at alba." 
{Retired but pure.) 

The following is supposed to be written to a young 
man detained at Rome on a love affair, and is 
founded upon an older and unproducible verse, 
which gave a dreadful picture of the state of 
morals at Rome in ancient times : — 

" Roma, ibi tibi sedes— ibi tibi Amor ; 
Rorni etsi te terret et iste Amor, 
Ibi etsi vis te non esse — sed es ibi, 
Roma te tenet et Amor." 

Thus rendered into English — 

" At Rome you live — at Rome you love ; 
From Rome that love may you affright, 
Although you'd leave — you never move, 
For love and Rome both bar your flight. " 

The older and unproducible verse referred to as 
the origin of the preceding example, was the work 
of Sotades, a Roman poet who lived 250 years B.C., 
and has the credit of having invented this kind of 
literary folly. Sotades having degraded his muse 
by devoting his verse to obscenity, Sotadea Car- 
tnina became the general name for verse of that 
character. The few of his lines which are cited by 
Quintilian are well known. 


In various churches in the East this line is to be 
seen engraved on baptismal fonts — 

" N/%ov dvofifjfia, fit) fifaat 8%h " 
" Wash away my sins, not my face only." 

There is one which is applied to the "Witches' 
Sabbath," which runs thus — 

" In girum imus noctu, non ut consumimur igni " — 

" We go round in a circle at night, not to be consumed by fire." 

The following surrounds a figure of the sun in 
the mosaic pavement at Sa Maria del Fiori at 
Florence : — 

t: En giro torte sol ciclos et rotor igne." 

Camden gives us this example — 

" Odo tenet mulum, madidam mappam tenet Anna. 
Anna tenet mappam, madidam, mulum tenet Odo." 

The following, in which the words only read back- 
wards, is said to express, in the first form, the 
sentiments of a Roman Catholic : — 

" Patrum dicta probo, nee sacris belligerabo ; " 

read backwards, we have the sentiments of a 
Protestant : — 

" Belligerabo sacris, nee probo dicta patrum." 


Another of this kind is one which refers to the 
sacrifice of Abel — 


Sacrum pingue dabo, nee macrum sacrificabo ; 

and in the second way is applicable to that of 
Cain : 


Sacrificabo macrum nee dabo pingue sacrum." 

The following Latin verse also affords two opposite 

meanings :- 


Prospicimus modo, quod durabunt tempore longo 
Fcedera, nee patriae pax cito diffugiet." 

u Diffugiet cito pax patriae, nee fcedera longo 
Tempore durabunt, quod modo prospicimus." 

Another Latin poem of about sixty lines begins in 
this way — 

" Sumere tironem si vis, me norit eremus : 
Jurem non animo nomina non menu. 

Aspice : nam raro mittet timor arma, nee ipsa 
Si se mente reget, non tegeret Nemesis. 

Me turn animat recte, me dem, et certamina mutem, 
Si res ana velit utile, vanus eris." 

A German example runs — 

" Bei Leid lieh stets Heil die Lieb" 
(In trouble, comfort is lent by love.) 

Those which follow are also good examples — 


" Si bene te tua laus taxat sua lautfe tenebis." 
" Acide me malo, sed non desola me, medica." 

Mr. H. Campkin some years ago sent the following 
piece to " Notes and Queries," and stated that it 
was written to please a youthful group, and ? 
though nonsensical enough, the lines serve to show 
that the English language is capable of being 
twisted into uncouth ways if any one will take the 
trouble : — 

" One winter's eve around the fire, a cosy group, we sat, 
\ Engaged, as was our custom old, in after-dinner chat : 
Small talk it was, no doubt, because the smaller folk were there, 
And they, the young monopolists ! absorbed the lion's share. 
Conundrums, riddles, rebuses, cross-questions, puns atrocious, 
Taxed all their ingenuity, till Peter the precocious — 
Old head on shoulders juvenile — cried, 'Now for a new task, 
Let's try our hand at Palindromes 1 ' ' Agreed ! But first,' we ask, 
' Pray, Peter, what are Palindromes ? The forward imp replied, 
' A Palindrome's a string of words, of sense or meaning void, 
Which reads both ways the same ; and here, with your permission, 
I'll cite some half-a-score of samples, lacking all precision, 
( But held together by loose rhymes) to test my definition ! ' 

A milksop jilted by his lass, or wandering in his wits, 
Might murmur, Stiff, O dairyman, in a myriad of fits ! 
A limner, by photography dead beat in competition, 
Thus grumbled : No, it is opposed, art sees trade* s opposition I 
A nonsense-loving nephew might his soldier uncle dun, 
With Now stop, Major-general, are negro jam pots won / 
A supercilious grocer, if inclined that way, might snub 
A child with, But Ragusa store 9 babe, rots a sugar tub I 
Thy sceptre, Alexander, is a fortress, cried Hephaestion : 
Great A. said, No, it's a bar of gold, a bad log for a bastion I 


A timid creature fearing rodents — mice, and such small fry — 

Stop, Syrian, I start at rats in airy spots, might cry. 

A simple soul, whose wants are few, might say with hearty rest, 

Desserts I desire not, so long no lost one rise distressed. 

A stern Canadian parent might — in earnest, not in fun — 

Exclaim, No sot nor Ottawa law at Toronto, son ! 

A crazy dentist might declare, as something strange or new, 

That Paget saw an Irish tooth, sir, in a waste-gap ! True ! 

A surly student, hating sweets, might answer with elan, 

Name tarts, no, medieval slave, I demonstrate man f 

He who in Nature's bitters findeth sweet food every day, 

Eureka / till I pull up ill I lake rue, well might say." 

There is an old legendary story that his Satanic 
Majesty was an adept at this kind of versification, 
and the subjoined account of one of his attempts 
is taken from Hone's "Every-day Book." "St. 
Martin having given up the profession of a soldier, 
and being elected Bishop of Tours, when prelates 
neither kept horses, carriages, nor servants, had 
occasion to go to Rome to consult His Holiness 
upon some important ecclesiastical matter. As he 
was walking gently along the road he met the 
devil, who politely accosted him, and ventured 
to observe how fatiguing and indecorous it was to 
perform so long a journey on foot, like the com- 
monest of cockle-shell chaperoned .pilgrims. The 
saint knew well the drift of Old Nick's address, 
and commanded him to become immediately a 
beast of burden or jumentum ; which the devil did 


in a twinkling, by assuming the shape of a mule. 
The saint jumped upon the fiend's back, who at 
first trotted cheerfully along, but soon slacked his 
pace. The bishop of course had neither whip nor 
spurs, but was possessed of a much more powerful 
stimulus, for, says the legend, he made the sign 
of the Cross, and the smarting devil instantly 
galloped away. Soon, however, and naturally 
enough, the father of sin returned to sloth and 
obstinacy, and Martin hurried him again with 
repeated signs of the Cross, till, twitched and 
stung to the quick by those crossings so hateful to 
him, the vexed and tired reprobate uttered the 
following distich in a rage : — 

c Signa te, signa ; temere me tangis et angis ; 
Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor.' 

That is — ' Cross, cross thyself ; thou plaguest and vexest 
me without necessity ; for, owing to my exertions, Rome, 
the object of thy wishes, will soon be near.' " 

Hardly akin to this palindromic dexterity, but 
which may be mentioned here, is the attempt to 
construct a verse which shall contain the whole of 


the letters in the alphabet. The English version 
of the Bible has one passage which does this, with 
the exception of the letter /(Ezra vii. 21); and 
here are four lines as an example — 

" God gives the grazing ox his meat, 
And quickly hears the sheep's low cry, 
But man, who tastes His finest wheat, 
Should joy to lift His praises high." 

The greater feat, however, would be to have a line 
containing all the letters, but these only occurring 
once. The late Professor De Morgan frequently 
relieved the severity of his mathematical studies 
by composing puzzles of this kind, but could make 
nothing of it, till he made use of the poetical 
license of employing u for v and i for j. The 
result was — 

" I, quartz pyx, who fling muck beds." 

The professor's line encouraged others to try 
something better, resulting in 

" Quiz my black whigs ; export fund ; " 

and another — 

" Dumpy Quiz, whirl back fogs next : " 
all alike having the duplication of letters — u for v 9 


and i for/. De Morgan, in sending these oddities 
to " Notes and Queries," decided that the nearest 
approach to good sense was in the following : — 

" Get nymph ; quiz sad brow ; fix luck." 

< 228 ) 


N old countryman, on the occasion of a 
recent visit to a printing-office for the 
first time, casually remarked to one of 
the compositors that he did not understand how 
they all came to be such good " spellers." Having 
been told they generally considered it as easy 
to spell correctly as not, and that from long 
practice it was unusual to make a mistake, he 
remarked further that he supposed them con- 
versant with every language they might be called 
upon to put in type. This fact, for it is one, is 
quite reconcilable with the idea of another equally 
verdant visitor — that a phonetic system of spelling 
would be an advantage, where each compositor 
would be left to the freedom of his own will. 
Others, again, even in these enlightened times, 
are so ignorant of the actual labour and various 
processes required in the production of books, 
that they think nothing can be easier. Instance 


the old lady who called at a bookseller's shop in 
the North, asking for a "big prent" Bible. After 
being shown several, none of which appeared of 
large enough type to satisfy her, she very coolly 
remarked, "I'm gaun up the toon to buy some 
bits of things, an* ye can jist pit your stampm' 
aims in the fire, an' hae ane ready for me as I 
come back." Poor old lady! her ignorance was 
manifest enough ; but there are plenty of authors 
nearly as unreasonable in their demands at the 
hands of the printer — the misspelling of a proper 
name, or the omission of a comma, throwing them 
into a state of mental agitation, which may 
perhaps beget a letter animadverting in strong 
terms upon the mistake to the publisher or editor 
of the work in question. 

Mistakes will happen in the best works, in spite 
of all the care which can be taken by the printers 
in the getting-up of the books, and Dr. Hill 
Burton, in his "Book-Hunter," would seem to 
infer that blunders have occasionally subserved 
a very important purpose. " One curious service 
of printers' blunders," he says, "of a character 
quite distinct from their bibliographical influence, 
is their use in detecting plagiarisms. It may seem 
strange that there should be any difficulty ux 



critically determining this question, when the 
plagiarism is so close as to admit of this test; 
but there are pieces of very hard work in science — 
tables of reference, and the like — where, if two 
people go through the same work, they will come 
to the same conclusion. In such cases, the prior 
worker has sometimes identified his own by a 
blunder, as he would a stolen china vase by a 
crack. Peignot complains that some thirty or 
forty pages of his € Dictionnaire Bibliographique ' 
were incorporated in the ' Sidcles Litt^raires de la 
France/ 'avec une exactitude si admirable, qu'on 
y a pr^cieusement conserve toutes les fautes typo- 
graphies/ " 

The printers are not always in fault, however, as 
regards the origin of errors, for the author fre- 
quently leads them astray by carelessly- written 
"copy," both in punctuation and spelling. One 
well-known American writer recommended that 
all authors should work for a time in a printing- 
office, as a means of reforming a diffuse style and 
incorrect punctuation — compositors becoming 
critically aware, in the picking up letter by letter 
of a long and complex sentence, of the best means 
of curtailing and strengthening sentences, and being 
quick at detecting repetitions, to say nothing of the 


art of correct punctuation. It is part of the 
Proof-Reader's duty to mark a note of interroga- 
tion against any passage in a book preparing for 
press which he does not think is right, or when a 
sentence is incomplete. Authors profit by these 
quiet estimates of their meaning, and many a 
weak point, which might have marred a writer's 
reputation, has been set right by attention being 
drawn to it by the unobtrusive (?) of the Proof- 
Reader. Though not exactly perfect, the Reader 
generally bestows much time and patience over 
his work, and the general correctness of the many 
books now published evidences that their labour 
is not in vain, though seldom or never is he com- 
plimented for his care — freedom from censure may 
be said to be the only praise he ever gets. And 
what an amount of knowledge he is supposed to 
possess in all departments of literature! He 
should know all about the Constitutions of Claren- 
don, the Statute of Provisors, Pragmatic Sanctions, 
Development Theories, the Bangorian Controversy, 
&c, and besides Latin and French, a knowledge of 
Greek and Hebrew will not come amiss, though it 
may not benefit him pecuniarily. He should be 
able to tell whether the perisome in the Brisingidae 
is coriaceous or not, or consists of an ectodex^ v& 



ciliated cuticle and a mesoderm of calcareous 
skeletal ossicula with a ciliated epithelium — in 
fact, he would require to be a walking encyclo- 
paedia, a living Dictionary of Phrase and Fable ! 
The Reader is generally attended by a satellite, 
redolent of ink and paste — the P.D. — who reads 
over the author's MS. to him while he looks on 
the proof and notes the errors, and this youthful 
genius will supply words or travesty them in the 
most ingenious and outrageous manner. We have 
known of one who read off the copy, "The Leg 
end of the Kid" for Legend of the Cid, and 
another travestied the line — wilfully, we suspect — 

" His soul was like a star, and dwelt apart," 

into the burlesque — 

" His sole was like a skate, and smelt afar ! " 

A third boy read "Paul's Epistle to the Cale- 
donians " instead of Corinthians. 

Many a good work is sadly disfigured by the 
negligence of authors in correcting their proofs ; 
while other writers, again, are extremely diligent 
in making unnecessary alterations. Cases have 
occurred where one volume has grown into two by 
means of corrections, and others have had their 


price considerably heightened in consequence. It 
is recorded that both Milton and Addison were 
solicitous regarding the correction of their works 
while passing through the press. Savage was 
most scrupulous in correcting his proofs, and the 
poet Gray would not unfrequently spend weeks 
over them, revising and re-revising. The satirical 
poet Churchill expressed himself rather energeti- 
cally on this point, when he said " that it was like 
cutting away one's own flesh ; " while Julius 
Scaliger so carefully prepared his MS. that it 
seldom needed correction, and the print frequently 
corresponded with it page for page and line for 
line. "Easy composition, but laborious cor- 
recting," was Burns' own description of his work. 
Ben Jonson was once requested to revise a sermon 
full of typographical and other errors, but he 
declined the task, and recommended that it should 
be sent to the House of Correction. Burke, the 
celebrated orator, was careless in regard to his 
MS., and one of his effusions received so many 
corrections and interlineations that the compositors 
refused to correct it, but took down the types and 
reset the whole. Dr. Johnson was most assiduous 
over his proofs, and between the original publica- 
tion of his essays in the "Rambler," and thelc 


collection and reprint in the form of a book, there 
were thousands of alterations made. 

Errors and misfortunes do not proceed only 
from the many who write and publish, but the few 
who occupy the highest position in the literary 
world are equally to blame, chiefly owing to the 
hurried way in which much of their MS. is pre- 
pared for press. Good penmanship, as a branch 
of education, in many cases would seem to have 
been greatly neglected, and we have heard of 
instances where the signature of a letter has been 
so completely unintelligible as to involve the 
necessity of the writer's name being cut from the 
missive and gummed on to the envelope of the 
answer. This may be looked upon as an extreme 
case, perhaps, but that such a necessity may occa- 
sionally arise is quite within the experience of 
many persons whose correspondence is at all 
extensive. We have seen MS. from a well-known 
author which could be likened to nothing better 
than the autograph of a dying spider which had 
paid a surreptitious visit to an ink-bottle. Lawyers 
of high standing send their MS. to the printers 
with technical phrases misspelled and legal terms 
abbreviated, and expect the compositor to decipher 
and set it up in a readable condition. Divines of 


known ability leave their "copy" without points 
or even " caps " to mark the end or beginning of 
sentences — thus giving much additional labour, 
and causing thereby much loss of time and temper. 
Were their works left in the same state as that in 
which they are frequently written, no one would 
attribute the fault to the author — the printer alone 
would be held responsible. Some writers have 
asserted, however, by way of excuse for themselves, 
that printers, when they get extra-bad MS., pay 
more attention to it, and that therefore there are 
fewer errors in proofs from that which is ill-written 
than in that which is well-written. A learned dean 
— we think it was Dr. Hook — is reported to have 
said -that the worse the penmanship the cleaner 
the proof! The compositor may well wish to put 
what Dean Alford calls a shriek (!) after that 

Carelessness in style is another cause of errors, 
and often, by the misuse of pronouns, renders 
what might have been intelligible enough, doubtful 
and false in meaning. As an example of this kind 
of obscurity, take the following sentence from a 
scientific work published some years ago : — "When 
we say, in astronomy, that the earth revolves round 
the sun, or that the moon revolves round tb^. 


earth, we do not speak with absolute correctness, 
for in all such cases both bodies are revolving 
round the common centre of inertia of the two. 
In the case of the sun and the earth, as the former 
is a million times larger than the latter, the 
common centre of the two being so much nearer 
its centre than to the centre of the earth, is really 
within its body or circumference." To which of 
the nouns do these its apply ? One of the lead- 
ing London papers on one occasion produced the 
following. The " old man " of the statement is old 
Mr. Fleming of Glasgow, who figured some years 
ago in a noted criminal case there. " There, after 
a while, during Mrs. M'Lachlan's temporary 
absence, the old man murdered her with a cleaver. 
He then made her swear to tell no one, and gave 
her the property, that the blame might be laid 
upon robbers." Having first murdered the woman 
in her absence, he then makes her swear to tell no 
one — very extraordinary altogether. 

Before adverting to the literary misfortunes 
peculiar to the newspaper press, we shall notice a 
few which have occurred in books, some of which 
may as fairly be attributed to the writer as to the 
printer. We may premise that the similarity in 
the spelling of some words, others with the differ- 


ence of only a letter, and the comparative resem- 
blance of the written conformation of many words, 
are the most fruitful causes — the mistakes often 
having a fitness of themselves which, independently 
of the amusement they afford, is sometimes superior 
to that of mere incongruity. Thomas Moore, in 
the "Fudges in England," happily hits off the 
liability of printers to commit errors, when he 
makes Fanny say — 

" But a week or two since, in my ' Ode to the Spring,' — 
Which I meant to have made a most beautiful thing, — 
Where I talked of the 'dew-drops from freshly-blown roses, 
The nasty things made it * freshly-blown noses ! ' 
And once when, to please my cross aunt, I had tried 
To commem'rate some saint of her clique who had died, 
Having said he ' had taken up in heaven his position/ 
They made it, he ' had taken up to heaven his physician !' * 

Mr. H. Martin of Halifax some years ago adverted • 
to an error which occurred in a communication of 
his to one of the journals, and said : " Upwards of 
thirty years' experience in connection with the 
press has taught me to be very lenient towards 
misprints. The difficulty of detecting typogra- 
phical errors is much greater that the uninitiated 
are inclined to believe. I have often observed 
that, even if the spelling be correct, a wrong word 
is very apt to remain undetected." He thea 


notices an instance in an edition of Shakespeare's 
" Merchant of Venice," where the lines — 

" Young Alcides, when he did redeem 
The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy " — 

were made into nonsense by the conversion of 
Troy into Tory. Mr. Martin says further : "In a 
short biographical notice of Pope which I compiled 
for an edition of his poems, I briefly enumerated 
his prose works, among which I named his 
'Memoirs of a Parish Priest;' when, the proof 
came before me, I found the compositor had set 
it, ' Memoirs of a Paint Brush! " 

To which of the two, author or compositor, are 
we indebted for this vile misquotation of a line 
from Burns ? — 

" Now Tam, O Tam ! had they been queens / " 

Queens never were plentiful in Ayrshire, but it 
could turn out many a bevy of 

" Queans, 
A' strapping hizzies in their teens." 

In a cheap edition of Burns there is this error — 

" O gin my love were yon red nose ; n 
-And in another edition still — 


" But hark ! Ill tell ye o' a plot, 
Though dinna ye be speakin* o't ; 
I'll nail the self-conceited Scot 
As dead's a herein* ! " 

There is a certain association sometimes between 
the colour of a rose and a nose, and perhaps to 
some people there is a similar link between a Scot 
and a sot. 

A book was published some years ago, in which 
a modern example of public spirit and good citizen- 
ship was brought into comparison with the con- 
duct of Cato and Brutus. This was the end of a 
paragraph, and no doubt was intended for a good 
finishing effect, but unfortunately the two Roman 
names were printed Cats and Brutes ! 

Mr. Pyecroft, in his " Ways and Words of Men 
of Letters," relates the following conversation : — 
'" Really/ said a printer to him, 'gentlemen should 
not place such unlimited confidence in the eyesight 
of our hard-worked and half-blinded reader of 
proofs ; for I am ashamed to say that we utterly 
ruined one poet through a ludicrous misprint/ 
'Indeed! And what was the unhappy line?' 
' Why, sir, the poet intended to say — 

" See the pale martyr in a sheet of fire ! " 


instead of which the line appeared — 

" See the pale martyr with his shirt on fire ! " 

The reviewers of course made the most of so 
entertaining a blunder, and the poor poet was 
never heard of more in the field of literature.' " 
The same gentleman also notices another singular 
error, in the passage quoted by Dr. Johnson as an 
authority under the verb "to sit." "Asses are ye 
that sit in judgment" (Judg. v. 10). The verse 
is, " Speak ! ye that ride on white asses, ye that 
sit in judgment, and walk by the way." 

In Pope's notes on " Measure for Measure," he 
says the story was taken from " Cinthio," dec. 8, 
nov. S — meaning 8th decade and 5th novel. One 
of the many emendators of Shakespeare, however, 
thought fit to fill out these abbreviations, and we 
therefore read December 8, November 5 ! Pope 
has also been misquoted on another occasion by 
some prosaic compositor, who sought to bring the 
poet's idea within the limits of his own understand- 
ing, thus — 

" Who could take offence, 
When pure description held the place of sauce ? " 

instead of " the place of sense" 
In one of the many Christmas books published 


nowadays at that festive season, there was a 
passage to the effect that, though young ladies 
sometimes affected through coyness a dislike to 
be kissed under the misletoe, " they did not object 
to it under the nose" — which we would charitably 
understand to have been meant for " under the 
rose!" We forget in what Radcliffian romance 
the following occurred — the passage was a vigorous 
one, the scene well wrought up ; the heroine was 
on the point of being sacrificed to the revenge of 
the villain of the story, when opportune aid arrived 
to the rescue of the fair damsel in the person of a 
knight riding on a warehouse! We fancy "war- 
horse " was here meant. The omission of the letter 
y gave a curious turn to the following line : — 

" My years flow back, I'm young again." 

A monkish writer of a work published in 1561, 
called the " Anatomy of the Mass," and consisting 
of 172 pages of text and 15 of errata, attributed 
the many mistakes in the book to the "artifices 
of Satan." He "supposes that the devil, to ruin 
the fruit of this work, employed two very malicious 
frauds: the first before it was printed, by drench- 
ing the manuscript in a kennel, and having reduced 
it to a most pitiable state, rendered several parts 


illegible ; the second, in obliging the printers to 
commit such numerous blunders, never yet equalled 
in so small a work." The Bible itself has not 
escaped from these misfortunes. One edition, 
printed by John Basket at Oxford, is known as 
the " Vinegar Bible," from the fact that the Parable 
of the Vineyard is therein styled the Parable of the 
Vinegar. A printer's wife in Germany, while an 
edition of the Bible was printing at her house, one 
night took an opportunity of stealing into the office, 
to alter that sentence of subjection to her husband 
pronounced upon Eve in Genesis. She took out 
the first two letters of the word Herr (lord), and sub- 
stituted Na in their place, thus altering the passage 
from " and he shall be thy lord " {Herr) to " and he 
shall be thy fool" (Narr). In a Cambridge Bible 
published some years back, appears " I shall never 
forgive (forget) thy precepts." John Field, a Cam- 
bridge printer, published an edition of the Bible in 
1653, containing a great number of errors, of which 
the following is an example : — " Know ye not that 
the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God ? " 
(1 Cor. vi. 9), for " shall not inherit." Disraeli, in 
his " Curiosities," gives an account of a similar 
scandalous omission of the important negative 
in the Seventh Commandment. The printers 


were summoned before the Court of High Com- 
mission ; and this "not" served to bind them in a 
fine of £3000. A prior circumstance had occurred 
which induced the Government at that time to be 
very vigilant regarding the Biblical press: the 
learned Bishop Usher, going one day to preach at 
St. Paul's Cross, entered a booksellers shop on his 
way and procured a Bible of the London edition. 
When he came to look for his text, to his astonish- 
ment he discovered that the verse was altogether 
omitted from the copy he had purchased. 

Such errors in the Bible cannot easily occur 
nowadays, as all editions are subjected to severe 
scrutiny. But there are many curious discrep- 
ancies between the English and Scotch Bibles, 
chiefly in the spelling of various words — all the 
usual marks of punctuation, however, are employed 
in both, with the exception of what printers call the 
" dash " ( — ), and this is not used at all either in 
Old or New Testament, with one solitary excep- 
tion, which the reader will find by turning to 
Exodus xxxii. 32. Jeremiah xxxi. 15 in Scotch 
Bibles has " Rachel weeping for her children," in 
English Bibles it is " Rahel weeping." English 
Bibles have caterpillar, hungred, houshold, &c, 
Scotch have caterpillar, household, hung^red^ &c. % 


One English Bible spells cheerful in the Old 
Testament cheerful (Prov. xv. 13; Zech. viii. 19, 
ix. 17, &c), while in the New Testament it is 
clwrful throughout — this latter edition comes from 
the well-known house of Eyre and Spottiswoode. 

The similarity of the written conformation of 
two letters has led occasionally to awkward mis- 
takes, as the author of a temperance novel found 
to his astonishment when he saw that where he 
meant to say, "drunkenness is folly," it was 
rendered " drunkenness is jolly ! " A very popular 
authoress, speaking of her heroine as "enjoying 
more indulgence than usually falls to the lot of her 
sex/- wrote so illegibly that it appeared as " falls 
to the lot of horses? Audubon's " Ornithology " 
contains this sentence, which shows that authors 
occasionally make strange slips — " The earth was 
rent asunder in several places ; one or two islands 
sank for ever, and the inhabitants fled in dismay 
towards the eastern shores? And Bulwer some- 
where says, " I hear the vain shadows glide? One 
of the most curious blunders made by an author 
was that of Thackeray, when collecting materials 
for his "Irish Sketch Book." Driving along a 
road, he saw at intervals posts set up with the 
letters G. P. O. upon them. Overtaking a peasant, 


he inquired the meaning of the initials, and was 
gravely informed that they stood for "God Pre- 
serve O'Connell ! w Out came the tourist's note- 
book, in which a memorandum was jotted down of 
the curious statement. In the first edition of the 
" Sketch Book " the fact was duly mentioned ; but 
it was suppressed in all subsequent issues, owing 
to the tardy discovery that the letters represented 
" General Post-Office," indicating that the highway 
was a post-road. During the agitation some years 
ago upon the Marriage Affinity Bill, a circular was 
prepared by some clerical opponents of the measure 
in which a curious error was passed in proof by the 
whole of these gentlemen, that " a man should not 
be allowed to marry the "wife of a deceased sister" 
— fortunately the blunder was discovered before 
the circulars were issued. 

The Dean of Westminster some .years ago 
presided at the anniversary of the Printers' Pension 
Society, and in the course of his address, referring 
to the general correctness aimed at by printers, 
made the following remarks : — " He thought people 
hardly knew how curious was the feeling that 
arose in authors when they received back their 
proof-sheets. He said a feeling of shame, because 
he was sure that authors must feel how great an 


infliction they imposed on the ingenuity and on 
the patience of the printer. They were always 
conscious of the difficulty which was taken off 
their hands by the interpretation of the printer, 
who deciphered that which was committed to him ; 
and he said, also amusement, because nothing 
enlivened an author so much, when plodding 
through the weary pages he had written, as the 
ingenious conjectures made by the printer to 
decipher what he (the author) had written. He 
remembered on one occasion receiving some 
anonymous correspondence, seeking to know what 
was meant in a passage in one of his works — 
namely, 'the horn of the burning beast.' He 
looked at the passage, and was himself in some 
perplexity to know what was the meaning of ' the 
horn of the burning beast.' Perhaps some of them 
might discover, in the extraordinary sagacity they 
possessed, that the passage referred to resolved 
itself into 'the thorn of the burning bush.' He 
had also heard it asked whether indeed some of 
those mistakes laid to the charge of authors did 
not really proceed from the humour of those who 
set up the type. Doubtless some of them remem- 
bered that famous passage in the 'History of. 
urope/ where the late Sir Archibald Alison 


described the funeral of the Duke of Wellington, 
in which he spoke of the pall-bearers, including 
among other distinguished officers the name of 
' Sir Peregrine Pickle.' He had often heard that 
quoted as an instance of the extraordinary ignor- 
ance of that learned historian. But he confessed 
that he thought it was not so much an instance of 
ignorance on the part of Sir Archibald Alison as 
it was of the humour of some compositor, in whom 
the memory of Sir Peregrine Pickle was more fami- 
liar than the memory of Sir Peregrine Acton." 

Even the want of a comma may lead to strange 
results, as in a bill which was presented to a farmer, 
which ran — " To hanging two barn-doors and my- 
self seven hours, 4s. 6d ." There is also the famous 
blunder in the contract for lighting the town of 
Liverpool in 18 19, the words of which were — "The 
lamps to be in number 4050, of two spouts each, 
composed of twenty threads of cotton." The con- 
tractor would have proceeded to furnish each lamp 
with the said twenty threads, but this being only 
half the usual quantity, the commissioner disco- 
vered that the difference arose from the misplacing 
of the comma, which should have preceded, instead 
. of followed, the word each. The contract was 
annulled to prevent a lawsuit. A good example 


of the effect of misplacing a comma is to be found 
in the ancient oracle — " Thou shalt go thou shalt 
return never by war shalt thou perish." By one 
way of placing the commas, the consulter of the 
oracle was forbidden to go upon the purposed 
expedition; by reading it his own way, he went 
and perished. Then there was that unlucky 
Bishop of Asello, who suffered the loss of his 
bishopric through the blunder of a stupid painter 
who was employed to trace an inscription over the 
gate of the bishop's palace. The legend ran 
thus — 

" Porta patens esto nulli, claudaris honesto." 

(" Gate, be thou open to nobody, be shut to an honest 


The placing of the comma after esto would have 
set it all right, as — 

"Gate, be thou open, not shut to an honest man." 

A recent critique upon a performance of Othello 
has the following, showing how much the want of a 
comma may mar the sense of a passage : — " The 
Moor, seizing a bolster full of rage and jealousy, 
smothers her." This reminds us of the very Irish 
epitaph, which places the brother of flie deceased 


in an awkward position : "Erected to the memory 
of John Phillips, accidentally shot as a mark of 
affection by his brother." Another from the sister 
isle is a remark which appeared in an article in a 
newspaper upon Robespierre, which said " that he 
left no children behind him, except a brother, who 
was killed at the same time." A printer, meddling 
with the verdict of a coroner's jury, struck out a 
comma after the word " apoplexy," making it read 
— " Deceased came to his death by excessive 
drinking, producing apoplexy in the minds of the 
jury." A correspondent sent a piece of poetry to a 
newspaper with the following introduction : — " The 
following lines were written more than fifty years 
ago, by one who has for many years slept in his 
grave merely for his own amusement." There are 
sometimes words quaintly put together, when the 
meaning is purposely disguised by forced pointing, 
as in the nursery rhyme — 

" Every lady in the land 
Has twenty nails on each hand, 
Five and twenty on hands and feet ; 
This is true without deceit." 

This is rather puzzling, till a comma is placed 
after nails, Jive, and feet, omitting the one after 


In all works hurriedly produced, such as news- 
papers, there is, of course, a greater liability to 
commit errors; but, all things considered, news- 
papers are marvels of correct typography, and it 
cannot be doubted that the careful and painstaking 
method of reading over the proof slips alone pro- 
duces this result. These proofs frequently contain 
curious errors — such as Paper-families for Pater- 
familias, or " Eh ! the Brute ! " for " Et tu, Brute ! " 
But these are generally set right before printing by 
the Reader comparing the proof with the author's 
MS. — supposing that this is in itself correct, 
which is not always the case; and then it is the 
duty of the Reader to see that there are no incon- 
sistencies in spelling, punctuation, abbreviations, 
&c. In "making-up" newspapers — or the piecing 
together of different paragraphs into columns — 
the jumbling together of two separate items will 
occasionally occur, and a good specimen of this 
kind of mixture appeared some time ago in a French 
newspaper: "Dr. X. has been appointed head 
physician to the Hdpital de la Charitd. Orders 
have been issued by the authorities for the immedi- 
ate extension of the Cimetiere de Parnasse. ,, This 
confusion was perhaps better illustrated in the report 
of a. public meeting in the United States, at which 


one of the "strong-minded" females of the day 
appeared on the same platform with Mr. Train, 
and the lady wrote as follows to the paper regarding 
its report : — u By some fantastic trick of your type- 
setter, my speech in St. James's Hall on Saturday 
evening, is suddenly terminated, and so linked to 
that of Mr. Train, that I am made to run off in 
an entirely new vein of eloquence. Among many 
other exploits, I am made to boast that I neither 
smoke, nor chew, nor drink, nor lie, nor steal, nor 
swear, as if such accomplishments were usual 
among American women ; and wherever I refer to 
my honoured countrymen as white males, I am 
reported as having addressed them as 'white 
mules.' All these are very good jokes if credited 
to the printer's devil, but not to those who repre- 
sent an unpopular idea, and carefully weigh their 
words." The New Haven (U. S.) Journal and 
Courier lately produced a curious jumble in report- 
ing two items which had somehow got mixed. 
One read — "A large cast-iron wheel, revolving 
nine hundred times per minute, exploded in that 
city yesterday, after a long and painful illness. 
Deceased was a prominent thirty-second degree 
Mason." The other paragraph detailed how 
"John Fadden, the well-known florist and 


real-estate broker, of Newport, R. I., died in 
Wardner and Russell's sugar-mill at Crystal Lake, 
111., on Saturday, doing $3000 damage to the 
building, and injuring several workmen and Lor- 
enzo Wilcox fatally." 

Of errors of other kinds we give the following. 
In an article upon the short-time agitation it was 
stated that "a factory boy had been shaved to 
death" (slaved). George Stephenson, the cele- 
brated engineer, when examined before the Com- 
mons' C<?mmittee upon Railways, was asked by a 
member what would happen to the train supposing 
a cow chanced to stray upon the line. Stephenson's 
reply was that he did not know what might be the 
result to the train, but that " it would be unco bad 
for the coo." An accident of this kind recently 
occurred, and a local newspaper reported, " As the 
safest way, the engineer put on full steam, dashed 
up against the cow, and literally cut it into calves! " 
This rather astonishing statement created some 
surprise, which was, however, put an end to by the 
next issue of the paper, which stated that "the 
cow was cut into halves." Darwin may assert 
strange things, but the following does not enter 
into his list of affinities: — that "ants reside in 
subterranean taverns;" or this: "A live surgeon 


was caught in the Thames, and was sold to 
the inhabitants (!) at sixpence a pound." The 
" Literary Gazette " once made the following 
apology : — " By the breaking of the head of an A, 
or the misprint of the letter //, a very tempting 
advertisement to invest in certain lines, was entitled 
' Purchase of Railway Snares' " Those who com- 
plain of the mismanagement of the great water 
companies might not be displeased to read that 
" the scheme proposed by Government is to bung 
up the existing companies," — what should have 
been stated was that there was an intention of 
" buying up " the monopolists. The Directors of 
the Indigent Old Men's Society of Edinburgh, on 
looking for the report of one of their annual meet- 
ings in the next morning's paper, were no doubt 
astonished to find it reported as the Indignant 
Old Men's Society. So with a learned bishop, 
who had been viewing the antiquities of an old 
church : he was stated to have expressed himself 
gratified with its iniquities ! A correspondent of 
a daily paper recently suggested a remedy for the 
crowded state of towns by proposing the erection 
of submarine dwellings for the working classes — 
suburban residences would be quite as comfortable, 
and freer from damp ! The animadversion oC ^ 


newspaper upon a public officer — some parochial 
Bumble — which said he had been "tried in the 
balance and found panting? was as likely to be 
correct as if it had said he had been " found want- 
ing." A child was once reported as having died 
from eating a large quantity of piers — well, stone 
fruit is said to be rather indigestible. An American 
paper, describing a political demonstration, averred 
that the procession was very fine, and nearly two 
miles long, as was also the prayer of the chaplain. 
Another American paper reporting the speeches 
at a Burns' festival, made one of the orators say — 

" O Caledonia ! stern and wild ! 
Wet nurse for a poetic child." 

It must have taxed the ingenuity of the compositor, 
who set up the paragraph in which we are told 
" the Christian religion strictly enjoins mahogany? 
instead of "monogamy." A serious fight took 
place lately in a public-house in the Cowgate of 
Edinburgh, on the occasion of a painting being 
disposed of by Raphael — " raffle " was the mode 
adopted. A provincial paper speaks of the excite- 
ment caused by a recent highway bobbery ; and 
another, in printing the report of a Life Insurance 
Society, congratulated the members on the low rate 


of morality during the past year. Considerable 

annoyance was caused at a public meeting by 

a lady having taken an historical fit — " hysteria " 

was the nature of the attack. In criticising the 

plan of a public building, the beauty of the edifice 

was represented as much marred by the number of 

acute angels introduced — " acute angles " being no 

doubt the object of disapproval. Many confusions 

of the limbs took place at a recent railway accident. 

In the giving of the surgeon's statement of the 

post-mortem examination of the body of a lady 

supposed to have been poisoned, it was incidentally 

mentioned that a great deal of anatomy had been 

found — it should have been "antimony." This 

latter word crops up again in another place where 

it is not wanted — as in a recent criticism of a 

speech by Mr. Gladstone : " What, then, by way of 

novelty, does Mr. Gladstone propose ? Simply the 

extension to the other Christian powers of Turkey 

of the antimony now enjoyed by Roumania." Of 

course, the word should have been "autonomy." 

Again, " Mr. Gladstone dwelt on the right which 

England had earned by expenditure of blood and 

treasure to interfere in Turkish provinces ; but 

now, with a leopard and a hound, he has formulated 

a plan for making the Christian provinces practi- 


cally autonomous " — a " leap and a bound " was 
meant here. These two last examples are " first- 
proof" faults, and were corrected before publication. 
One or two more, and we have done. In the 
Times report of Disraeli's speech upon the causes 
of the rebellion in India, that usually exception- 
ally correct paper made him refer to the law which 
"permitted Hindoo windows to marry." A still 
more curious instance occurred in the same paper in 
connection with the Jamaica prosecutions. Mr. 
Stephens was reported to have said that he had 
treated Mr. Eyre as he had often treated obscene 
and uninteresting criminals. It was easy to see 
that this was a misprint for "obscure/' but the 
editor insisted that the error was in the manuscript. 
Towards the close of the American Civil War, a 
newspaper contained a strong leader upon the 
failure of the Southern States to establish their 
independence, and contained the curious statement 
that since General Lee had capitulated, the other 
divisions of the Confederate armies " would, in all 
likelihood, now commence a gorilla warfare" — 
guerilla, of course, was here meant. About the 
same time, there appeared a report of the seizure 
of the goods of a certain refractory gentleman for 
^ the non-payment of a local tax which had been 


the occasion of much trouble in one of our northern 
cities, and mention was made of one article which 
had been seized among the rest, and this was 
characterised as "an eloquent chest of drawers." 
In complimenting a soldier as a "battle-scarred 
veteran," a paper gave him the character of a 
" battle-scared veteran/' and in afterwards inserting 
an erratum and apology, made matters worse by 
styling him a " &?#Ze-scarred veteran !" 

( 2 5 8 ) 


IGURATE or Shaped Poems have consi- 
derable antiquity, and several in Greek, 
attributed to Theocritus, Simmias of 
Rhodes, and others, have come down to us ; while 
mediaeval Latin poetry also furnishes many of these 
curious versifications. The minor poets of Dryden's 
time were much given to this literary folly, though 
it sometimes required a little aid from the imagi- 
nation to trace the resemblance to the object 
indicated, and greater attention was frequently 
paid to the shape of the verse than to its sense or 
rhythm. Ben Jonson satirised these early poets 
for their facility in this pattern-cutting style, saying 
they could fashion 

" A pair of scissors and a comb in verse." 

Bottles, glasses, axes, fans, hearts, wings, true-love 

knots, ladies' gowns, flying angels, trumpets of fame, 

&c, were all favourite forms; and, with another 

class of poets, pulpits, altars, and tombstones were 


the mode ; whilst Gabriel Harvey is reputed to 
have been an adept at verses " in the form of a pair 
of gloves, a pair of spectacles, and a pair of pot- 
hooks." Butler also speaks severely regarding this 
literary folly; referring in the "Character of a 
Small Poet" to Edward Benlowes, called in his 
day "the excellently learned," he says of him: 
" There is no feat of activity, nor gambol of wit, 
that ever was performed by man, from him that 
vaults on Pegasus, to him that tumbles through the 
hoop of an anagram, but Benlowes has got the 
mastery of it, whether it be high-rope wit or low- 
rope wit. He has all sorts of echoes, rebuses, 
chronograms, &c. As for altars and pyramids in 
poetry, he has outdone all men that way ; for he 
has made a gridiron and a frying-pan in verse, that 
besides the likeness in shape, the very tone and 
sound of the words did perfectly represent the 
noise that is made by these utensils. When he 
was a captain, he made all the furniture of his 
horse, from the bit to the crupper, in the beaten 
. poetry, every verse being fitted to the proportion 
of the thing; as the bridle of moderation^ the 
saddle of content ', and the crupper of co?istancy ; so 
that the same thing was to the epigram and 
emblem even as the mule is both horse and ass." 



Verses in such fantastic and grotesque shapes 
were also common in France at one time — the poet 
Pannard (1640) tortured his agreeable vein into 
such forms, making his Bacchanalian songs take 
the form of bottles and glasses, this being done by 
lengthening or shortening the lines as required, 
though with sad detriment to the verse. Pannard's 
method will be best understood from the following 
two examples of his verse : 

Nous ne pouvons rien trouver sur la terre 

qui soit si bon ni si beau que le verre. 

Du tendre amour berceau charmant, 

c'est toi, champetre fougere, 

c'est toi qui sers a faire 

l'heureux instrument 

ou souvent petille, 

mousse, et brille 

le jus qui rend 

gai, riant, 


Quelle douceur 

il porte au coeur ! 




Qu'on m'en donne 

vite et comme il faut 




qu'on m'en donne 

vite et comme il faut 

L'on y voit sur ses riots cheris 

nager l'allegresse et les ris. 


Que mon 

fl a c o n 

me semble bon ! 

Sans lui 


me nuit, 

me suit ; 

je sens 

mes sens 



Quand je le tiens, 

Dieux ! que je suis bien ! 

que son aspect est agreable ! 

que je fais cas de ses divins presens ! 

C'est de son sein fecond, c'est de ses heureux flancs 

que coule ce nectar si doux, si delectable, 

qui rend tous les esprits, tous les cceurs satisfaits ! 

Cher objet de mes vceux, tu fais toute ma gloire. 

Tant que mon cceur vivra, de tes charmants bienfaits 

il saura conserver la fidele memoire. 

Both in China and Japan such literary feats are 
held in great esteem even in the present day ; in 
the latter country the poet not unfrequently 
arranges his verses in the shape of a man's head — 
thus perhaps giving a facial outline of the subject 
of his verse; and though the Chinese may not 
make so good a choice, taking perhaps a cow or 
some other animal for the design, they display 
greater ingenuity by so doing. 

William Browne, an old English poet % ia bl^ 


" Britannia's Pastorals," has the following verse 
done up in a true-love knot : 

" This is love and worth commending, 
Still beginning, never ending ; 
Like a wilie net ensnaring, 
In a round shuts up all squaring, 
In and out, whose every angle 
More and more doth still entangle ; 
Keeps a measure still in moving, 
And is never light but loving. 
Twining arms, exchanging kisses, 
Each partaking other's blisses ; 
Laughing, weeping, still together, 
Bliss in one is mirth in either. 
Never breaking, ever bending ; 
This is love and worth commending." 

Of Browne it has been said that "to few authors 
has it chanced to be so enthusiastically lauded 
by one age and so thoroughly neglected by the 

Puttenhame, in his " Art of Poesie," has defended 
earnestly this species of literary trifling, and gives 
specimens of poems in the form of lozenges, pillars, 
&c. ; one of these being in honour of Queen Eliza- 
beth, in the form of two pillars, each of which 
consists of a base of lines of eight syllables, the 



shafts of lines of four syllables, the capitals being 
the same as the bases — one pillar reading up, the 
other down. 

Of these Figurate verses we give only a few 
examples, as being of little interest, giving the 
first place to one by George Herbert : 

The Altar. 

A Broken Altar, Lord, Thy servant rears, 
Made of a heart, and cemented with tears : 

Whose parts are as Thy hand did frame ; 

No workman's tool hath touch'd the 


A Heart alone 
Is such a stone, 
As nothing but 
Thy power doth cut. 
Wherefore each part 
Of my hard heart 
Meets in this frame, 
To praise Thy name : 

That, if I chance to hold my peace, 
These stones to praise Thee may not 

Oh, let Thy blessed Sacrifice be mine, 
And sanctify this Altar to be Thine. 

The "next is also from the same author : 



Loiio ' wh ^r7^^ — — ___ 

\ ^ ro6u££***m and store 

Afos tpoor; 

^ Ob let »e rise 

^^ As laxW. n atones . 
^^ ^ «n* tbis day iny ». M in me. 

T^eti snavi ^ . — 

Most thi n- 

V/ith thee 

ljett 06 


111 * 

~«— victory- 



^ And feel -—^ on 



Quaint as may be the construction of the next 
example, yet never has the story been told with 
more truthful simplicity : 


Blest they who seek, 

While in their youth, 

With spirit meek, 

The way of tnith; 
To them the sacred Scriptures now display 
Christ, as the only true and living way. 
His precious blood on Calvary was given 
To make them heirs of endless bliss in Heaven ; 
And e'en on earth the child of God can trace 
The glorious blessings of his Saviour's grace. 

For them He bore 

His Father's frown ; 

For them He wore 

The thorny Crown ; 

Nailed to the Cross, 

Endured its pain, 

That His life's loss 

Might be their gain. 

Then haste to choose 

That better part, 

Nor e'en dare refuse 

The Lord thy heart, 

Lest He declare, 

"I know you not," 

And deep despair 

Should be your lot. 

Now look to Jesus, who on Calvary died, 

And trust on Him alone who there was crucified. 

The next couple come appropriately together, and 
may gratify the disciples of Sir Wilfrid Lawson : 



There was an old decan- 
ter, and its mouth was 
gaping wide ; the 
rosy wine had 
ebbed away 
and left 
its crys- 
tal side : 
and the wind 
went humming — 
up and 
down : the 
wind it blew, 
aud through the 
hollow neck 
the wildest notes it 
blew. I placed it in the 
window, where the blast was 
blowing free, and fancied that its 
pale mouth sang the queerest strains to 
. me. " They tell me — puny conquerors ! the 
Plague has slain his ten, and war his hundred 
thousand of the very best of men ; but I " — t'was 
thus the Bottle spake — " but I have conquered 
more than all your famous conquerors, so 
feared and famed of yore. Then come, ye 
youths and maidens all, come drink from 
out my cup, the beverage that dulls the 
brain and burns the spirits up ; that puts 
to shame your conquerors that slay their 
scores below ; for this has deluged mil- 
lions with the lava tide of woe. Tho' 
in the path of battle darkest streams 
of blood may roll ; yet while I killed 
the body, I have damn'd the very 
soul. The cholera, the plague, 
the sword, such ruin never wro't, 
as I in mirth or malice on the 
innocent have brought. And 
still I breathe upon them, and 
they shrink before my breath, 
and year by year my thousands 
tread the dusty way of death." 



Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow ? Who 

hath contentions ? Who hath wounds 

without cause? Who hath redness 

of eyes? They that tarry long 

at the wine ! they that 

go to seek mixed wine ! 

Look not thou upon the 

wine when it is red, 

when it giveth 

its colour 

in the 


when it 

moveth itself 



the last it 

biteth like a serpent, 

and stingeth like an adder ! 

The next is not exactly Figurate : — 

Earth goes to \ /As mould to mould, 

j^artn goes 10 \ / /\s mouia 10 moui 

Earth treads on ( , J Glittering in gold, 

Earth as to ( ' J Return ne'er should, 

Earth shall be ' ^ Goe where he would. 

Earth upon x / Consider may, 

Earth goes to \ , J Naked away, 

Earth though on J J Be stout and gay, 

Earth shall on * ' Pass poor away. 

Be merciful and charitable, 
Relieve the poor as thou art able. 
A shroud to thy grave, 
Is all thou shalt have. 


We have here an — 


Oppress'd, I mourn f 
Three-quarters mad ! 
Money gone, 
Credit none ; 
Duns at door, 
Half a score ; 
Head in pain, 
Rack'd again ; 
Children ailing, 
Mother ratling, 
Billy whooping, 
Betsy croup ing, 
Besides poor Joe 
With festered toe. 
Come, then, my fiddle, 
Come, my time-worn friend, 
With gay and brilliant sounds 
Me sweet though transient solace lend. 
Thy polished neck in close embrace 
I clasp while joy illumes my face. 
When o'er thy strings I draw my bow, 
My drooping spirit pants to rise ; 
A lively strain I touch, — and Jo I 
I seem to mount above the skies. 
There on Fancy's wings I soar, 
Heedless of the dims at door. 
Oblivious all ! I feel my woes no more ; 
But skip o'er the strings, 
As my old fiddle sings, 
"Cheerily, O merrily go I 
Presto ! good master, 
You very well know, 
I will find music, 
If you will find bow, 
From b up in alto, to c down below." 
Fatigued, I pause to change the time 
For some adagio solemn and sublime. 
With graceful action moves the sinuous arm ; 
My heart* responsive to the soothing charm, 
Throbs equally, whilst every health-corroding care 
Lies prostrate, vanquished, by the mellifluous air. 
More and more plaintive grown, my eyes with tears o'erflow, 
And Resignation mild soon smooths my wrinkled brow. 
Reedy Hautboy may squeak, wailing Fiauto may squall, 
The Serpent may grunt, and the Trombone may bawl ; 
But thou, my old Fiddle, art prince of them all. 
Could e'en Drydcn return thy praise to rehearse, 
His Ode to Cecilia would seem rugged verse, 
Now to thy case, in flannel warm to lie, 
Till called again to pipe thy master's 


The following is said to be engraved on an old 
monument in one of the London city churches: 

Qu an tris di c vul stra 

os guis ti ro um nere vit. 
H san chris mi t mu la 

In this verse the last syllable of each word in 
the top line is the same as that of each correspond- 
ing word in the bottom line, and is to be found in 
the centre. It reads thus : 

Quos anguis tristi diro cum vulnere stravit 
Hos sanguis christi miro turn munere lavit. 

Translated thus : 

Those who have felt the serpent's venomed wound 
In Christ's miraculous blood have healing found. 

The next is by Christopher Harvie, a great friend 
of George Herbert, and the last is by Herbert 


Hail Vail 

Holy Wholly 

King of days, To thy praise, 

The Emperor, For evermore 

Or Universal Must the rehearsal 

Monarch of time, the week's Of all, that honour seeks, 

Perpetual Dictator. Under the World's Creator, 

Thy My 

Beauty Duty 

Far exceeds Yet must needs 

The reach of art, Yield thee mine heart, 

To blazon fully ; And that not dully : 


And I thy light eclipse, Spirits of souls, not lips 

When I most strive to raise thee. Alone, are fit to praise thee, 

What That 

Nothing Slow thing 

Else can be, Time by thee 

Thou only art ; Hath got the start, 

Th' extracted spirit And doth inherit 

Of all Eternity, That immortality 

By favour antedated. Which sin anticipated. 


That I 

Could lay by 

This body so, 

That my soul might be 

Incorporate with thee, 

And no more to six days owe. 


I BLESS Thee, Lord, because I grow 
Among Thy trees, which in a row 
To Thee both fruit and order ow. 

What open force, or hidden charm, 
Can blast my fruit, or bring me harm, 
While the enclosure is Thine arm? 

Enclose me still, for fear I start. 
Be to me rather sharp and tart, 
Than let me want Thy hand and art. 

When Thou dost greater judgments spare, 
And with Thy knife but prune and pare, 
Even fruitful trees more fruitful are. 

Such sharpness shows the sweetest friend : 
Such cuttings rather heal than rend : 
And such beginnings touch their end. 

( 271 ) 


|N many of the prose works of our modern 
authors there are to be found specimens 
* tCTT ^ of accidental versification and uninten- 
tionally measured strains, as well as passages of such 
a nature as to lead to the supposition that a certain 
degree of rhythmical writing and rugged blank 
verse had been sought after. It would be difficult, 
however, to collect examples of this ; but in the 
writings of Charles Dickens we find two excellent 
illustrations. The first is from the " Old Curiosity 
Shop," where the funeral of Little Nell is de- 
scribed : 

" And now the bell — 

The beli she had so often heard by night 
And day, and listened to with solemn 
Pleasure, almost as a living voice — 
Rung its remorseful toll for her, so young, 
So beautiful, so good. Decrepit age, 
And vigorous life, and blooming youth, and 
Helpless infancy, poured forth — on crutches, 
In the pride of strength and health, in the full 


Blush of promise, in the mere dawn of life — 
To gather round her tomb. Old men were there, 
Whose eyes were dim and senses failing ; 
Grandmothers, who might have died ten years ago 
And still been old ; the deaf, the blind, the lame, 
The palsied, the living dead in many 
Shapes and forms ; to see the closing of that 
Early grave. What was the death it would shut 
In, to that which still could crawl and creep 
Above it ? Along the crowded path they 
Bore her now ; pure as the newly-fallen 
Snow that covered it, whose days on earth had 
Been as fleeting. Under that porch where she 
Had sat when Heaven in its mercy brought 
Her to that peaceful spot, she passed again, 
And the old church received her in its quiet shade." 

Again, some will no doubt be surprised to recognise 
in the next example the Song of the Kettle from 
the " Cricket on the Hearth " — evidently an unin- 
tentional outburst on the part of the author, in 
which the lines not only preserve their symmetry, 
but also rhyme with each other : 

•' It's a dark night, sang the kettle, and the rotten leaves are lying 
by the way ; 
And above, all is mist and darkness, and below, all is mire and clay ; 
And there is only one relief in all the sad and murky air, 
And I don't know that it is one, for it's nothing but a glare 
Of deep and angry crimson, where the sun and wind together 
Set a brand upon the clouds for being guilty of such weather ; 
And the widest open country is a long dull streak of black ; 
And there's hoarfrost on the finger-post, and thaw upon the track ; 


And the ice it isn't water, and the water isn't free ; 

And you couldn't say that anything is what it ought to be ; 

But he's coming, coming, coming ! " 

Our friends across the Atlantic, however, have 
a peculiar way of their own in regard to poetical 
prose, in which they travesty some of the best 
poems in the English language in a very amusing 
way. Yankee philology has been a source of much 
discussion in many periodicals — their peculiar go- 
ahead idiosyncrasies finding vent in the concoction 
of new phrases and words which are not only apt 
but very expressive. This is not the place to enter 
into any lengthened discussion on the point, but 
by way of introduction to the peculiar prose poems 
which have been produced in the States, we may 
refer shortly to the " high-falutin' " style of their 
metaphors and similes. This tendency has often 
been noticed in respect to American literature, 
and readers of Mark Twain, Artemus Ward, and 
other writers, will easily remember many instances 
of these curiosities, in which are produced the 
effects of wit by twisting a phrase from its figura- 
tive to its literal meaning. For example, we are 
told of a man who made a hat for the head of a 
discourse, and a shoe for the foot of a mountain. 
We learn of a gentleman who sat down on the 


spur of the moment ; of a young lady who fainted 
at a bare idea, who wore spectacles over her 
naked eyes, who refused to sit in the lap of luxury, 
blushing at the mention of the lapse of ages (for- 
getting that lapse is not the plural of lap), and who 
would not sit on the sea-shore lest her waist might 
be encircled by an arm of the sea. Among others 
may be noted "the hook and line with which a 
fisherman caught a cold ; the hammer which broke 
up a meeting ; a fluke from the anchor of hope ; 
one of the spurs of the Rocky Mountains ; a hinge 
from the gates of death ; a story which melted 
a heart of oak; buttons from a coat of paint; 
spectacles for the eyes of a potato ; braces for a 
shoulder of mutton ; dye for the beard of an 
oyster ; ear-rings for an ear of corn ; cheese from 
the milk of human kindness; butter from the 
cream of a joke, and eggs from a nest of thieves." 

Of these Prose Poems we limit ourselves to the 
following selection : — 

A Ravening Reverie. 

Once upon a midnight stormy a lone bachelor attorney 
pondered many a curious volume of his heart's forgotten 
lore ; while he nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there 
came a tapping, as of some one gently rapping— rapping 
at his chamber-door. " Tis the spirits," and he started, 


" rapping at my chamber-door. Oh, for help ! I am 
frightened sore ! n Then into his chamber flitting (not 
even one permitting him to fly into the closet or to get 
behind the door), came the ghosts of fond hearts broken 
(with many a ring and other token), and they sat them 
down beside him, on the dusty, book-strewn floor — sat 
amidst the volumes of most venerable lore. Quoth the 
lawyer, " What a bore ! It must be something serious ; 
this is certainly mysterious, quite an advent of the spirits 
— resurrection con amore. But I understand them 
mostly ! " — here there came a rap so ghostly, that he could 
no more dissemble as he had done heretofore, and his 
face grew pale and paler, as he started for the door — 
down he fell upon the floor. Then there came a clatter, 
clatter, and his teeth began to chatter, as the spirits 
gathered round him, and accused him very sore, how 
with gladsome face all smiling, and with winning words 
beguiling, he had charmed away the senses of fair 
maidens by the score ; and each lass had fondly fancied 
'twas her he did adore. Quoth the lawyer, " Never 
more ! " Startled at the stillness broken by reply so 
aptly spoken, for the answer, strange enough, quite a 
relevancy bore; they began a noisy rapping — sort of 
spiritual clapping, which the lawyer thought would be 
but a fashionable encore — and again, as if his soul in 
that word he would outpour, did he groan out, " Never 
more ! " Presently his soul grew stronger ; hesitating 
then no longer — " Oh, oh ! " said he, " sweet spirits, 
your forgiveness I implore ; on my knees to every ghostess, 
who to love has played the hostess, I will recant the 
many faithless things I swore ! Will you promise then to 
leave me?" here he pointed to the door. Ra.^\A& ^a 


spirits, " Never more ! " "Be that word our sign of 
parting," said the hapless wight upstarting, " hie ye hence 
into the darkness, seek ye out some distant shore. In 
the noisy camp or forum, in the lonely sane sanctorum — 
such ghastly, grim, ungainly guests were never seen before. 
Leave my loneliness unbroken," here he opened wide the 
door. Rapped the spirits, "Never more!" So these 
vixen spirits of evil — spirits still, though most uncivil — 
they will never leave the lawyer, though in tears he may 
implore. At his false heart they are tapping, they are 
rapping, rapping, and he wishes, oh, how vainly ! that 
his haunted life were o'er ; and he often sighs : " Oh, 
could I but recall the days of yore, I would flirt — oh, 
never more ! " 

A Maiden's " Psalm of Life." 

Tell us not in idle jingle "marriage is an empty 
dream ! " for the girl is dead that's single, and things are 
not what they seem. Life is real ! life is earnest ! single 
blessedness a fib ; " Man thou art, to man returnest ! " 
has been spoken of the rib. Not enjoyment, and not 
sorrow, is our destined end or way, but to act that each 
to-morrow finds us nearer marriage day. Life is long 
and youth is fleeting, and our hearts, though light and gay, 
still like pleasant drums are beating wedding marches 
all the way. In the world's broad field of battle, in the 
bivouac of life, be not like dumb driven cattle ! — be a 
heroine— a wife ! Trust no future, howe'er pleasant, 
let the dead Past bury its dead ! act — act to the living 
Present ! heart within and hope ahead ! Lives of married 
folks remind us we can live our lives as well, and, 
departing, leave behind us such examples as shall " tell ! " 


Such examples, that another, wasting time in idle sport, 
a forlorn unmarried brother, seeing, shall take heart and 
court Let us, then, be up and doing, with a heart on 
triumph set ; still contriving, still pursuing, and each one 
a husband get. 

After Kingsley — A Long Way. 

Three women went shopping out in the west, out into 
the West End of London town. Each had on the bonnet 
she kept for her best ; and they ordered things wholesale, 
and had 'em put down. For men must work, and women 
must waste ; and what's earned at leisure is spent in 
haste, though the husbands all are moaning. Three men 
sat up at a latesome hour, and trimmed their accounts 
as the sun went down. They looked for a squall, and 
they looked sad and sour, and their coat sleeves were 
rolled up all ragged and brown. For men must work, and 
women must waste, and be dressed in the height of the 
fashion and taste, though the husbands all are moaning. 
Three writs they are out in the bailiff's hands, on the 
suing of one who wants money down. But the debtors, 
poor devils, can't meet their demands ; so they go to a 
sponging-house kept in the town. For men must work, 
and women must waste ; and the parents are beggared, 
the children disgraced, and good-bye to papa and his 

The Song of the " Reb." 

'Neath a ragged Palmetto a Southerner sat, a-twisting 
the band of his Panama hat, and trying to lighten his 
mind of a load, by humming the words of the following 
ode : — Oh ! for a darkey, oh ! for a whip, oh ! for a 


cocktail, and oh ! for a nip ; oh ! for a shot at old 
Greeley and Beecher, oh ! for a crack at a Yankee school- 
teacher ; oh ! for a captain, and oh ! for a ship, oh I for 
a cargo of darkies each trip. And so he kept ohing for 
what he had not, not content with owing for all that 
he'd got 

A Little More. 

(At thirty.) Five hundred guineas I have saved — a 
rather moderate store. No matter ; I shall be content 
when I've a little more. (At* forty!) Well, I can count 
ten thousand now — that's better than before ; and I may 
well be satisfied when Fve a little more. (At fifty.) 
Some fifty thousand — pretty well; but I have earned it 
sore. However, I shall not complain when I've a little 
more. (At sixty.) One hundred thousand — sick and 
old ; ah ! life is half a bore, yet I can be content to live 
when I've a little more. (At seventy.) He dies — and 
to his greedy heirs he leaves a countless store. His 
wealth has purchased him a tomb, and very little more ! 

A Tale of a Dog. 

A lady with a crinoline was walking down a street — 
her feathers fluttered in the air, her hoops stuck out 
some feet. She walked the earth as if she felt of it she 
was no part, and proudly did she step along, for pride 
was in her heart She did not see a curly dog which 
walked close by her side, all save the curly tail of which 
her crinoline did hide. His tail the dog with pleasure 
shook — it fluttered in the wind, and from the lady's 
crinoline stuck out a foot behind. A crowd the tail did 
soon espy as it waved to and fro, and like a rudder 


seemed to point the way the maid must go. The curly 
dog right pleased was he the quarters he had got, and 
walked beside the lady in a kind of doggish trot Each 
step the lady now did take served to increase her train, 
while those who followed in her wake roared out with 
might and main. Some held their sides, they laughed 
so hard, and others fairly cried, while many even still 
confess that they'd "like to died." But still the lady 
sailed along in crinoline and pride, unmindful of the 
crowd behind or dog close by her side. But soon 
another dog espied the tail which fluttered free, it so 
provoked the doggish ire he could not let it be. But 
with a deep ferocious growl, for battle straight he went, 
and 'neath the lady's crinoline both dogs were quickly 
pent. They fought, 'tis said, one hour or more — the 
lady nothing knew — but with her head erect sailed on, 
and did her way pursue. Some say she never would 
have known at all about the fight, had not one dog 
mistook and gave her "limb" an awful bite. But since 
that day, I've heard it said, that lady ne'er was seen 
upon the street with so much pride and such a crinoline. 

The Editor. 

With fingers blackened with ink, with eyelids heavy 
and red, the local editor sat in his chair, writing for 
daily bread. The small boy was by his side, the foreman 
grumbled and swore, and the office boy, like an " Oliver 
Twist," constantly cried for "more." He had told of 
a broken leg that had never been broken at all, he had 
killed off the nearest friend he had, and torn up a house 
in a squall. And now he was at an end, he hadtv't 'asv 


item left ; and he bowed his head to the small boy's 
scorn like a fellow of hope bereft. They found him a 
corpse that night in streets so drear and sloppy, with 
the foreman whispering into his ear and the small boy 
waiting for copy. 

A Novelette. 

Sweet Margaret Fane came up the lane from picking 
the ripe-red berries, and met young Paul, comely and 
tall, going to market with cherries. Stopping, she 
blushed, and he looked flushed, perhaps 'twas the 
burdens they carried ; when they passed on, their 
burdens were one, and at Christmas they were married. 

"My Pretty Jane." 

It is many years since I fell in love with Jane Jerusha 
Skeggs, the handsomest country girl by far that ever 
went on legs. By meadow, creek, and wood, and dell, 
so often we did walk, and the moonlight smiled on her 
melting lips, and the night winds learned our talk. Jane 
Jerusha was all to me, for my heart was young and true, 
and loved with a double and twisted love, and a love 
that was honest, too. I roamed all over the neighbours' 
farms, and I robbed the wildwood bowers, and tore my 
trousers and scratched my hands in search of choicest 
flowers. In my joyous love I brought all these to my 
Jerusha Jane ; but I wouldn't be so foolish now, if I 
were a boy again. A city chap then came along, all 
dressed up in fine clothes, with a shiny hat and shiny 
vest and a moustache under his nose. He talked to her 
of singing-schools (for her father owned a farm), and she 
left me, the country love, and took the new chap's arm. 


And all that night I never slept, nor could I eat next 
day, for I loved that girl with a fervent love that nought 
could drive away. I strove to win her back to me, but 
it was all in vain; the city chap with the hairy lip 
married Jerusha Jane. And my poor heart was sick and 
sore until the thought struck me, that just as good fish 
still remained as ever was caught in the sea. So I went 
to the Methodist church one night, and saw a dark brown 
curl peeping from under a gipsy hat, and I married that 
very girL And many years have passed and gone, and 
I think my loss my gain ; and I often bless that hairy 
chap that stole Jerusha Jane. 

The Old Oak. 

Old Mr. Fuddle fell down in a puddle, just as a 
runaway horse and shay came dashing and splashing 
and tearing that way. In helpless plight he roared with 
fright ; the horse came quick, all gallop and kick, when 
the old man raised his old oak stick ; the horse then 
shied a little aside, for sticks were no friends to his well- 
fed hide. Within a foot of Fuddle's toes, within an inch 
of his ruby nose, the wheel comes whizzing, and on it 
goes. Up rises Fuddle from out the puddle, and stands 
on the road with a staggering stride, then wheeling away 
from the scene of the fray, he flourished his stick with a 

hero's pride. 

Norah O'Neil. 

You say you are lonely without me, that you sigh for 
one glance of my eye ; you're blarneying always about 
me — Oh ! why don't you to papa apply ? You men are 
so very deceiving, I can't believe aught that you say; 
your love I will only believe in when my jointure is mad& 


out au fait. This trash about eyes, voice, and glances 
may do for a miss in her teens ; but he who to me makes 
advances must talk of his bank-stock and means. You 
beg me to go galavanting, to meet you at the foot of the 
lane — with a kiss, too ! why, man, you're ranting ! do 
you think that I'm wholly insane ? When you meet a 
young lady of sense, sir, don't whine about sorrow and 
tears ; it's a matter of shillings and pence, sir ; no tale of 
romance interferes. Oh, poverty's not at all funny (my 
style I will never conceal) ; if I can't get a husband with 
money, then I'll live and die Norah O'NeiL 

A Moonlight Walk. 

On a quiet day, in leafy June, when bees and birds 
were all in tune, two lovers walked beneath the moon. 
The night was fair — so was the maid ; they walked and 
talked beneath the shade, with none to harm or make 
afraid. Her name was Sue, and his was Jim ; and he 
was fat and she was slim ; he took to her and she to him. 
Says Jim to Sue, " By all the snakes that squirm among 
the bush and brakes, I love you better than oatmeal 
cakes." Says Sue to Jim, " Since you've begun it, and 
been and come and gone and done it, I like you next 
to a new bonnet." Says Jim to Sue, " My heart you've 
busted ; but I have always girls mistrusted." Says Sue 
to Jim, " I will be true ; if you love me as I love you, 
no knife can cut our love in two." Says Jim to Sue, 
" Through thick and thin, for your true love count me 
in; I'll court no other girl ag'in." Jim leaned to Sue ; 
Sue leaned to Jim ; his nose just touched her straw hat 
brim : four lips met — went ahem ! ahem 1 And then — 


and then — and then — then ! Oh girls, beware of men 

in June, and underneath the silver moon, when frogs and 

crickets are in tune, lest you get your names in the papers 


The Gingham Gown. 

I met her in the sunset bright, her gingham gown was 
blue ; her eyes, that danced with pure delight, were of 
the same dear hue. And always, when the sun goes 
down, I think of the girl in the gingham gown. 

An Editorial. 

'Tis sweet, on winter's night, at home to sit by fire and 
taper; but ah, it is a wiser thing, by far, to read our 
paper. Won't you take our paper ? Can't you take our 
paper ? The joys of earth are little worth unless you take 
our paper. Maidens waiting lovers true, you must take 
our paper. Swains, who would not idle woo, you must 
take our paper. Won't you take our paper ? Can't you 
take our paper ? Love's joys below you'll never know, 
unless you take our paper. 

" Good-bye, Sweetheart, Good-bye ! " 

" Farewell, farewell ! " I cried. " When I return thou'lt 
be my bride — till then be faithful — sweet, adieu— in 
silence oft I'll think of you." The glistening tears strained 
her bright eyes — her thickening breath is choked with 
sighs — her tongue denies her bosom's sway — " Farewell ! " 
— I tore myself away. "One moment stay," she 
stammered out ; as quick as thought I wheeled about 
" My angel, speak ! can aught be done to comfort thee 
when I am gone ? I'll send thee specimens of art from 
every European mart ; I'll sketch for thee each Alpine 


scene, to let thee see where I have been. A stone from 
Simplon's dreadful height shall gratify thy curious sight 
I'll climb the fiery Etna's side to bring home treasures 
for my bride ; and oh ! my life, each ship shall bear a 
double letter for my fair ! " " Ah, George ! " the weep- 
ing angel said, and on my shoulder fell her head, " for 
constancy, my tears are hostage — but when you write, 
please pay the postage ! " 

Something like Poetry. 

Tennyson claims to be a great poet, and yet he may 
fret and study and tear about for a week, and then can't 
yank an ode to a sawmill, while the sweet singer of 
Michigan only gave two minutes to whacking up one 
beginning : " All hail to thee, most terrible invention, 
Which chews up trees to any wished dimension, And 
when something distracts a man's attention, Will break 
him up so that a gov'ment pension Won't do him any 
good. Oh, fierce devourer thou of men and wood ! " 

A Printer's Litany. 

From want of gold, from wives that scold, from 
maidens old, by sharpers " sold " — preserve us ! 

From foppish sneers, mock auctioneers, and woman's 
tears — deliver us ! 

From stinging flies, from coal-black eyes, and babies' 
cries — deliver us ! 

From seedy coats, protested notes, and leaky boats — 
protect us ! 

From creaking doors, a wife that snores, confounded 
bores, and dry-goods stores — protect us ! 

Fom shabby hats, and torn cravats, and flying brick- 
bats — save us! 

After Kingsley, 177 

Albriry '.huiLh, chronogram at, U9 
AlcxLirnl^r I. of Russia, 316 
Alliteration, 17 
AI|ih:i:>eLi(.: curiosities, 48 
Altar, the, 363 

An.i.-re'jr.'. .:■„ >.'-.AO-V-. w 
Anagram by Herbert, jofi 

Anne, Queen, portra.toQii 

Approach of Evening, 65 
Arte of English IWsie, to 4 

Authors' 11. :iies, anagrams on, i« 
Aiif crat of the llrealtfast Table, the,: 
Autumn day* .71 

Balks, Peter, i» 
Beerlcll, Mr., .3 

JtibltTni in ia Mrs , ' IS 

Jlihle. e,.„«inihe, 343 

Birthday of Shalte.npeare, on the, 178 

Blair chard, La man. tS s 

];.,;;,,[. ;.„ A„,-,i,-..:i |.,cr,S 4 
l'-.l...-i. Cur.hbert.6j 

Bonn, chroiioarjui irL'iit, jjS 

liridget Brady, «Sj 

Cannon, Rev. Kdwart 
n? William, 6a 

Clement, J.itques, TOO 

Coins ,n-i.-| nieJii-, ohronographic, 110 

Coleridge, 38, . S7 

Collins, Mortimer, 40; jingle-rhymed 

alphabet by, 55 
Cologne, church at, chronogram from. 



Combinations of Latin words, 9, 10 
Comedie of Supposes, the, 63 
Commentary, Trapp's, 33 
Come, love, come, a lipogrammatic song, 

Cotton Mather, 196 
Crawshawe, anagram on, 905 
Cross, the, 365 
Curiosities, alphabetic, 48 
Curious advertisement, 37 
Curse of Minerva, the, 39 

Dame Life and Dame Death, ai 
Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins, 30 
Davies, Dame Eleanor, 198 
Dean of Westminster, the, 245 
Delany, Mrs., lines by, 73 
Delepierre, M. Octave, 89, 178 
Deming, Mrs. H. A., 180 
De Morgan, Professor, 226 
Dialogue between Glutton and Echo, 

Dickens, Charles, 271 
Diploma, macaronic, 91-96, 
Dishingtap, Tom, macaronic, 98 
Disraeli, Isaac, 59 
Dobell, Sydney, 199 
Double-faced Creed, the, 144 
Drummond of Hawthornden, 89, 90 
Duchess of Northumberland, lines by, 

Dufot, a French poetaster, 70 
Dunbar, 19, 29, 30, 88 

Easter Wings, 264 

Echo, the, 124 ^ 

Ecloga de Calvis, 46 

Edinburgh, snowball riot at, 104 

Editor, the, 279 

Ego and Echo, 134 

Elegy, an, «x 

Elizabeth, Queen, chronogram on, 120 ; 

anagram on, 194 
Epigram from Scaliger, 166 
Epitaph on a dog, X02 
Epitaphs, curious, 64, 267 
Equivocal verses, 143 
Essay on man, the poets', 181 
Euphue's Golden Legacy, 155 
Exercise on the Alphabet, 44 
Expulsio Adami et Evae, 177 

Faerie Queene, the, 62 

Fage, Mistress Mary, 201 

Fall of Eve, the, 65 

Fame's Rowle, 20X 

Field, the Cambridge printer, 242 

Fitzgerald, Dr., lines on, 172 

Fletcher, the brothers, 152 

Flodden Field, ballad of, 26, 27 

Florence Huntingdon, lines to Mi>s, 169 

Folengo, Teofilo, 87, 88 

Fontenelle, 159 

Fortune, lines on, 68 

Francillon, R. E., echo verse by, 135 

Francois de Valoys, anagram on, 193 

Frosteldos, :o6 

Gbddes, a macaronic writer, ioz 

Gee, Mrs., to, 46 

German palindrome, 222 

Gilchrist, Octavius, 87 

Gingham Gown, the, 283 

Golden Age, the, 79 

Good-bye, Sweetheart, Good-bye, 283 

Gray, 29 

Grime, Sarai, anagram on, 208 

Hailes, Lord, 89 

Hall, 157 

Harvie, Christopher, 269 

Heaven, 136 

Hecart, Gabriel, A. J., 193 

Herbert, George, 136, 142, 154, 206, 263, 

265, 270 
Holmes, Randle, 202 
Holmes, Wendell, 113 
Holy Alliance, the, anagram on, 209 
Homero-Centones, the, 176 
Hone's Every-day Book, 224 
Horace, chronogram from, 1x6 
Hubibras, extract from, 122 
Huet, xz 

Hugbald's Ecloga, 46 
Human Heart, ode to the, 186 

Icelandic verse, 18 

Ignoramus, comedy of, xoo 

Iliad of Homer, the, in a nutshell, xx 

Impromptu, 164 

Incontrovertible Facts, 66 

Inscription, monumental, 269 

Invitation, the, 148 

Iskarriot, anagram on, 204 

James, King, anagram on, 195 
Jingling rhymes, 167 
Johnnie Dowie's, 82 
Jonson, Ben, 203 

Kettle, Song of the, 272 

Ladies, Panegyric on the, 148 
Lai la Rookh, Tines from, 151 
Last Day, the, 81 
Lasus, the Greek poet, 58 
Latin anagrams, 199, 907 
Latin combinations, 9, xo 
Latin palindromes, 220-223 
Leland, Charles G., xix 
Lent Oars, the, 211 
Lessius, Leonard, 127 

( 271 ) 


^|N many of the prose works of our modern 

authors there are to be found specimens 

ur " :T: of accidental versification and uninten- 

tionally measured strains, as well as passages of such 
a nature as to lead to the supposition that a certain 
degree of rhythmical writing and rugged blank 
verse had been sought after. It would be difficult, 
however, to collect examples of this ; but in the 
writings of Charles Dickens we find two excellent 
illustrations. The first is from the " Old Curiosity 
Shop," where the funeral of Little Nell is de- 
scribed : 

" And now the bell — 

The beU she had so often heard by night 
And day, and listened to with solemn 
Pleasure, almost as a living voice — 
Rung its remorseful toll for her, so young, 
So beautiful, so good. Decrepit age, 
And vigorous life, and blooming youth, and 
Helpless infancy, poured forth — on crutches, 
In the pride of strength and health, in the full 



spirits, " Never more ! * "Be that word our sign of 
parting," said the hapless wight upstarting, " hie ye hence 
into the darkness, seek ye out some distant shore. In 
the noisy camp or forum, in the lonely sane sanctorum — 
such ghastly, grim, ungainly guests were never seen before. 
Leave my loneliness unbroken," here he opened wide the 
door. Rapped the spirits, " Never more ! " So these 
vixen spirits of evil — spirits still, though most uncivil — 
they will never leave the lawyer, though in tears he may 
implore. At his false heart they are tapping, they are 
rapping, rapping, and he wishes, oh, how vainly ! that 
his haunted life were o'er ; and he often sighs : " Oh, 
could I but recall the days of yore, I would flirt — oh, 
never more ! " 

A Maiden's " Psalm of Life." 

Tell us not in idle jingle "marriage is an empty 
dream ! " for the girl is dead that's single, and things are 
not what they seem. Life is real ! life is earnest ! single 
blessedness a fib ; " Man thou art, to man returnest ! " 
has been spoken of the rib. Not enjoyment, and not 
sorrow, is our destined end or way, but to act that each 
to-morrow finds us nearer marriage day. Life is long 
and youth is fleeting, and our hearts, though light and gay, 
still like pleasant drums are beating wedding marches 
all the way. In the world's broad field of battle, in the 
bivouac of life, be not like dumb driven cattle ! — be a 
heroine— a wife ! Trust no future, howe'er pleasant, 
let the dead Past bury its dead ! act — act to the living 
Present ! heart within and hope ahead ! Lives of married 
folks remind us we can live our lives as well, and 
departing, leave behind us such examples as shall " tell ! " 


Such examples, that another, wasting time in idle sport, 
a forlorn unmarried brother, seeing, shall take heart and 
court. Let us, then, be up and doing, with a heart on 
triumph set ; still contriving, still pursuing, and each one 
a husband get. 

After Kingsley — A Long Way. 

Three women went shopping out in the west, out into 
the West End of London town. Each had on the bonnet 
she kept for her best ; and they ordered things wholesale, 
and had 'em put down. For men must work, and women 
must waste; and what's earned at leisure is spent in 
haste, though the husbands all are moaning. Three men 
sat up at a latesome hour, and trimmed their accounts 
as the sun went down. They looked for a squall, and 
they looked sad and sour, and their coat sleeves were 
rolled up all ragged and brown. For men must work, and 
women must waste, and be dressed in the height of the 
fashion and taste, though the husbands all are moaning. 
Three writs they are out in the bailiff's hands, on the 
suing of one who wants money down. But the debtors, 
poor devils, can't meet their demands ; so they go to a 
sponging-house kept in the town. For men must work, 
and women must waste ; and the parents are beggared, 
the children disgraced, and good-bye to papa and his 

The Song of the " Reb." 

'Neath a ragged Palmetto a Southerner sat, a-twisting 
the band of his Panama hat, and trying to lighten his 
mind of a load, by humming the words of the following 
ode : — Oh ! for a darkey, oh ! for a whip, oh ! for a 


cocktail, and oh ! for a nip ; oh ! for a shot at old 
Greeley and Beecher, oh ! for a crack at a Yankee school- 
teacher ; oh ! for a captain, and oh ! for a ship, oh ! for 
a cargo of darkies each trip. And so he kept ohing for 
what he had not, not content with owing for all that 
he'd got 

A Little More. 

(At thirty.) Five hundred guineas I have saved — a 
rather moderate store. No matter ; I shall be content 
when I've a little more. (At- forty.) Well, I can count 
ten thousand now — that's better than before ; and I may 
well be satisfied when I've a little more. (At fifty.) 
Some fifty thousand — pretty well; but I have earned it 
sore. However, I shall not complain when I've a little 
more. (At sixty.) One hundred thousand — sick and 
old ; ah I life is half a bore, yet I can be content to live 
when Fve a little more. (At seventy.) He dies — and 
to his greedy heirs he leaves a countless store. His 
wealth has purchased him a tomb, and very little more ! 

A Tale of a Dog. 

A lady with a crinoline was walking down a street — 
her feathers fluttered in the air, her hoops stuck out 
some feet. She walked the earth as if she felt of it she 
was no part, and proudly did she step along, for pride 
was in her heart She did not see a curly dog which 
walked close by her side, all save the curly tail of which 
her crinoline did hide. His tail the dog with pleasure 
shook — it fluttered in the wind, and from the lady's 
crinoline stuck out a foot behind. A crowd the tail did 
soon espy as it waved to and fro, and like a rudder 


seemed to point the way the maid must go. The curly 
dog right pleased was he the quarters he had got, and 
walked beside the lady in a kind of doggish trot. Each 
step the lady now did take served to increase her train, 
while those who followed in her wake roared out with 
might and main. Some held their sides, they laughed 
so hard, and others fairly cried, while many even still 
confess that they'd " like to died." But still the lady 
sailed along in crinoline and pride, unmindful of the 
crowd behind or dog close by her side. But soon 
another dog espied the tail which fluttered free, it so 
provoked the doggish ire he could not let it be. But 
with a deep ferocious growl, for battle straight he went, 
and 'neath the lady's crinoline both dogs were quickly 
pent. They fought, 'tis said, one hour or more — the 
lady nothing knew — but with her head erect sailed on, 
and did her way pursue. Some say she never would 
have known at all about the fight, had not one dog 
mistook and gave her " limb " an awful bite. But since 
that day, I've heard it said, that lady ne'er was seen 
upon the street with so much pride and such a crinoline. 

The Editor. 

With fingers blackened with ink, with eyelids heavy 
and red, the local editor sat in his chair, writing for 
daily bread. The small boy was by his side, the foreman 
grumbled and swore, and the office boy, like an " Oliver 
Twist," constantly cried for "more." He had told of 
a broken leg that had never been broken at all, he had 
killed off the nearest friend he had, and torn up a house 
in a squall. And now he was at an end, he hadn't aa 


item left ; and he bowed his head to the small boy's 
scorn like a fellow of hope bereft. They found him a 
corpse that night in streets so drear and sloppy, with 
the foreman whispering into his ear and the small boy 
waiting for copy. 

A Novelette. 

Sweet Margaret Fane came up the lane from picking 
the ripe-red berries, and met young Paul, comely and 
tall, going to market with cherries. Stopping, she 
blushed, and he looked flushed, perhaps 'twas the 
burdens they carried ; when they passed on, their 
burdens were one, and at Christmas they were married. 

"My Pretty Jane." 

It is many years since I fell in love with Jane Jerusha 
Skeggs, the handsomest country girl by far that ever 
went on legs. By meadow, creek, and wood, and dell, 
so often we did walk, and the moonlight smiled on her 
melting lips, and the night winds learned our talk. Jane 
Jerusha was all to me, for my heart was young and true, 
and loved with a double and twisted love, and a love 
that was honest, too. I roamed all over the neighbours' 
farms, and I robbed the wildwood bowers, and tore my 
trousers and scratched my hands in search of choicest 
flowers. In my joyous love I brought all these to my 
Jerusha Jane ; but I wouldn't be so foolish now, if I 
were a boy again. A city chap then came along, all 
dressed up in fine clothes, with a shiny hat and shiny 
vest and a moustache under his nose. He talked to her 
of singing-schools (for her father owned a farm), and she 
left me, the country love, and took the new chap's aim 


And all that night I never slept, nor could I eat next 
day, for I loved that girl with a fervent love that nought 
could drive away. I strove to win her back to me, but 
it was all in vain; the city chap with the hairy lip 
married Jerusha Jane. And my poor heart was sick and 
sore until the thought struck me, that just as good fish 
still remained as ever was caught in the sea. So I went 
to the Methodist church one night, and saw a dark brown 
curl peeping from under a gipsy hat, and I married that 
very girl. And many years have passed and gone, and 
I think my loss my gain ; and I often bless that hairy 
chap that stole Jerusha Jane. 

The Old Oak. 

Old Mr. Fuddle fell down in a puddle, just as a 
runaway horse and shay came' dashing and splashing 
and tearing that way. In helpless plight he roared with 
fright ; the horse came quick, all gallop and kick, when 
the old man raised his old oak stick ; the horse then 
shied a little aside, for sticks were no friends to his well- 
fed hide. Within a foot of Fuddle's toes, within an inch 
of his ruby nose, the wheel comes whizzing, and on it 
goes. Up rises Fuddle from out the puddle, and stands 
on the road with a staggering stride, then wheeling away 
from the scene of the fray, he flourished his stick with a 
hero's pride. 

Norah O'Neil. 

You say you are lonely without me, that you sigh for 
one glance of my eye ; you're blarneying always about 
me — Oh ! why don't you to papa apply? You men are 
so very deceiving, I can't believe aught that you say; 
your love I will only believe in when my jointure is made 


out aufait This trash about eyes, voice, and glances 
may do for a miss in her teens ; but he who to me makes 
advances must talk of his bank-stock and means. You 
beg me to go galavanting, to meet you at the foot of the 
lane — with a kiss, too ! why, man, you're ranting ! do 
you think that I'm wholly insane ? When you meet a 
young lady of sense, sir, don't whine about sorrow and 
tears ; it's a matter of shillings and pence, sir ; no tale of 
romance interferes. Oh, poverty's not at all funny (my 
style I will never conceal) ; if I can't get a husband with 
money, then I'll live and die Norah O'NeiL 

A Moonlight Walk. 

On a quiet day, in leafy June, when bees and birds 
were all in tune, two lovers walked beneath the moon. 
The night was fair — so was the maid ; they walked and 
talked beneath the shade, with none to harm or make 
afraid. Her name was Sue, and his was Jim ; and he 
was fat and she was slim ; he took to her and she to him. 
Says Jim to Sue, " By all the snakes that squirm among 
the bush and brakes, I love you better than oatmeal 
cakes." Says Sue to Jim, " Since you've begun it, and 
been and come and gone and done it, I like you next 
to a new bonnet." Says Jim to Sue, " My heart you've 
busted ; but I have always girls mistrusted." Says Sue 
to Jim, " I will be true ; if you love me as I love you, 
no knife can cut our love in two." Says Jim to Sue, 
" Through thick and thin, for your true love count me 
in; I'll court no other girl ag'in." Jim leaned to Sue ; 
Sue leaned to Jim ; his nose just touched her straw hat 
brim : four lips met — went ahem ! ahem ! And then — 


and then — and then — then ! Oh girls, beware of men 

in June, and underneath the silver moon, when frogs and 

crickets are in tune, lest you get your names in the papers 


The Gingham Gown. 

I met her in the sunset bright, her gingham gown was 
blue ; her eyes, that danced with pure delight, were of 
the same dear hue. And always, when the sun goes 
down, I think of the girl in the gingham gown. 

An Editorial. 

'Tis sweet, on winter's night, at home to sit by fire and 
taper; but ah, it is a wiser thing, by far, to read our 
paper. Won't you take our paper ? Can't you take our 
paper ? The joys of earth are little worth unless you take 
our paper. Maidens waiting lovers true, you must take 
our paper. Swains, who would not idle woo, you must 
take our paper. Won't you take our paper ? Can't you 
take our paper ? Love's joys below you'll never know, 
unless you take our paper. 

" Good-bye, Sweetheart, Good-bye ! " 

" Farewell, farewell ! " I cried. " When I return thou'lt 
be my bride — till then be faithful — sweet, adieu— in 
silence oft I'll think of you." The glistening tears strained 
her bright eyes — her thickening breath is choked with 
sighs — her tongue denies her bosom's sway — " Farewell ! " 
— I tore myself away. "One moment stay," she 
stammered out; as quick as thought I wheeled about 
" My angel, speak ! can aught be done to comfort thee 
when I am gone ? I'll send thee specimens of art from 
every European mart ; I'll sketch for thee each Alpine 


scene, to let thee see where I have been. A stone from 
Simplon's dreadful height shall gratify thy curious sight 
111 climb the fiery Etna's side to bring home treasures 
for my bride ; and oh ! my life, each ship shall bear a 
double letter for my fair ! " " Ah, George ! " the weep- 
ing angel said, and on my shoulder fell her head, " for 
constancy, my tears are hostage — but when you write, 
please pay the postage ! " 

Something like Poetry. 

Tennyson claims to be a great poet, and yet he may 
fret and study and tear about for a week, and then can't 
yank an ode to a sawmill, while the sweet singer of 
Michigan only gave two minutes to whacking up one 
beginning : " All hail to thee, most terrible invention, 
Which chews up trees to any wished dimension, And 
when something distracts a man's attention, Will break 
him up so that a gov'ment pension Won't do him any 
good. Oh, fierce devourer thou of men and wood ! " 

A Printer's Litany. 

From want of gold, from wives that scold, from 
maidens old, by sharpers " sold " — preserve us ! 

From foppish sneers, mock auctioneers, and woman's 
tears — deliver us ! 

From stinging flies, from coal-black eyes, and babies' 
cries — deliver us ! 

From seedy coats, protested notes, and leaky boats — 
protect us ! 

From creaking doors, a wife that snores, confounded 
bores, and dry-goods stores — protect us ! 

Fom shabby hats, and torn cravats, and flying brick- 
bats — save us ! 


Abrrnrthy, Dr., 210 ( 
Acrostic verses on writing, 48 
Addison on chronograms, z 19 ; echo 

song by, 131 
Address to my Sweetheart, 147 
Address to one of the Brethren, 80 
Address to Queen Mary, 30 
Advertisement, macaronic, 103 
./Estivation, 114 
After Kingsley, 277 
Albury church, chronogram at, 1 19 
Alexander I. of Russia, 216 
Alliteration, 17 
Alphabetic curiosities, 48 
Altar, the, 263 

American rivers, names of, 168 - 
Amphigourie, 158 
Anacreon, the Odes of, 24 
Anacreon, the Scottish, 30 
Anagram by Herbert, 206 
Anagrams, selection of, 213 
Andreas Rivetus, 199 
An editorial, 283 
Ane New Year's gift, 30 
Anne, Queen, portrait of, 14 
Anstruther Musomanik Society, 74 
Approach of Evening, 65 
Arte of English Poesie, 194 
Aurora, alliterative address to, 43 
Authors' names, anagrams on, 190 
Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, the, 133 
Autumn days, 171 

Bales, Peter, 12 

Beedell, Mr., 13 

Benlowes, Edward, 259 

Bible, a miniature, 12 

Bible, errors in the, 242 

Birthday of Shakespeare, on the, 178 

Blanchard, Laman, 185 

Bogart, an American poet, 84 

Bolton, Cuthbert, 67 

Bonaparte and the Echo, 130 

Bonn, chronogram from, zi8 

Book-titles, alliterative, 33 
Bradstreet, Anne, 196 
Breitmann Ballads, the, m 
Bridget Brady, 165 
Britannia's Pastorals, 131 
Browne, William, 131, 261 
Buggiados, the, 90, 91 
Burns, 39 

Burton, Dr. Hill, 229 
Butler on echo verses, 122 
Byron, Lord, 39 

Call, the, 154 

Camden, palindromic lines from, 221 

Campkin, Mr. H., palindromes by, 223 

Cannon, Rev. Edward, 164 

Car, 205 

Caxton, William, 62 

Celtic verse, 19 

Cento from popular poets, 191 

Cento- Virgifianus, the, 176 

Charles I., portrait of, 14 

Charles II., King, anagrams on, 200, 

Charlotte, Princess, anagram on, 209 
Chartier, Allain, verses by, 67 
Cherry and the Slae, the, 31 
Chinese versification, 261 
Christian and his Echo, the, 137 
Christianity, anagram on the word, 210 
Christine of Pisa, Moral Proverbs of, 61 
Christ's Victory and Triumph, lines from, 

Christus ascendit ad coelos, 177 

Christus Cruxifixus, 47 

Chronicle, a, 161 

Churchill, 150 

Clement, Jacques, 209 

Coins and medals, chronographic, 119 

Coleridge, 38, Z57 

Collins, Mortimer, 40; single-rhymed 

alphabet by, 55 
Cologne, church at, chronogram from, 



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THE OASE OF MR. LTJORAFT. By W. Besant and James Rice. 
THIS SON OF VULCAN. By W. Besant and James Rice. 
WITH HARP AND GROWN. By W. Besant and James Rice. 
THE GOLDEN BUTTERFLY. By W. Besant and James Rice. 

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BY OELIA'S ARBOUR. By W. Besant and James Rice. 
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BASIL. By Wilkie Collins. Illustrated by Sir John Gilbert 

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HIDE AND SEEK. By Wilkie Collins. Illustrated by Sir 
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THE MOONSTONE. By Wilkie Collins. Illustrated by G. 
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MAN AND WIFE. By Wilkie Collins. Illust. by Wm. Small. 

POOR MISS FINCH. By Wilkie Collins. Illustrated by G. 
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MISS OR MRS. P By Wilkie Collins. Illustrated by S. L. 

Fildbs and Henry Woods. 

THE NEW MAGDALEN. By Wilkie Collins. Illustrated by 
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THE FROZEN DEEP. By Wilkie Collins. Illustrated by G, 

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THE LAW AND THE LADY. By Wilkie Collins. Illus- 
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THE HAUNTED HOTEL. By Wilkie Collins. Illustrated by 
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DECEIVERS EVER. By Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron. 

JULIET'S GUARDIAN. By Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron. Illus- 
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FELICIA. By M. Betham -Edwards. Frontispiece by W. Bowles. 

OLYMPIA. By R. E. Francillon. 

GARTH. By Julian Hawthorne. 

IN LOVE AND WAR. By Charles Gibbon. 


FOR THE KING. By Charles Gibbon. 

IN HONOUR BOUND. By Charles Gibbon. 



FATED TO BE FREE. By Jean Ingelow. 


THE DARE COLLEEN. By Harriett Jay. 

NUMBER SEVENTEEN. By Henry Kingsley. 

OAX8HOTT CASTLE. By Henry Kingsley. With a Frontis- 
piece by Shirley Hodson. 

THE WORLD WELL LOST. By E. Lynn Linton. Illustrated 
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Linton. With a Frontispiece by Henry Woods. 

PATRICIA KEMBALL. By E. Lynn Linton. With a Frontis- 
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MY ENEMY'S DAUGHTER. By Justin McCarthy. 

UNLEY ROOHFORD. By Justin McCarthy. 

A FAIR SAXON. By Justin McCarthy. 

DEAR LADY DISDAIN. By Justin McCarthy. 

MISS MISANTHROPE. By Justin McCarthy. Illustrated by 
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LOST ROSE. By Katharine S. Macquoid. 

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OPEN I SESAME! By Florence Marryat. Illustrated by 

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TOXTOH AND GO. By Jean Middlemass. 

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THE BEST OF HUSBANDS. By James Payn. Illustrated by 
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WALTER'S WORD. By James Payn. Illust. by J. Moyr Smith. 

WHAT HE OOST HER. By James Payn. 


BY PROXY. By James Payn. Illustrated by Arthur Hopkins. 

UNDER ONE ROOF. By James Payn. 

HEB MOTHER'S DARLING. By Mrs. J. H. Riddell. 

BOUND TO THE WHEEL. By John Saunders. 

GUY WATERMAN. By John Saunders. 


THE LION IN THE PATH. By John Saunders. 

THE WAY WE LIVE NOW. By Anthony Trollops. Illust. 

THE AMERICAN SENATOR. By Anthony Trollops. 


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Popular Novels, Cheap Editions of. 

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Maid, Wife, or Widow P By I By Celia's Arbour. By Walter 

Mrs. Alexander. 

Beady-Money Mortlboy. By 
Walter Besant and Jambs Rice. 

The Golden Butterfly. By Au- 
thors of " Ready-Money MorUboy." 

This Son of Vulcan. By the same. 
My Little Girl. By the same. 
The Case of Mr. Lucraft By 

Authors of "Ready-MoneyMortiboy." 

With Harp and Crown. By 

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Besant and James Rice. 

'Twas in Trafalgar's Bay. By 

Walter Besant and James Rice. 

Juliet's Guardian. By Mrs. H. 
Lovett Cameron. 

Surly Tim. By F. H. Burnett. 

The Cure of Souls. By Mac- 
laren Cobban. 

The Woman in White. By 
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Antonina. By Wilkie Collins. 

The Monks of Thelema. By BaflU - B ? Wilkie Collins. 
Walter Besant and James Rice. I Hide and Seek. By the same. 



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The Queen of Hearts. By 

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The Dead Secret. By the same. 
My Miscellanies. By the same. 
The Moonstone. By the same. 
Man and Wife. By the same. 
Poor Miss Finch. By the same. 
Miss or Mrs. P By the same. 
TheNewMagdalen. By the same. 
The Frozen Deep. By the same. 
The Law and the Lady. By 

Wilkib Collins. 

The Two Destinies. By Wilkib 


The Haunted Hotel. By Wilkib 


Boxy. By Edward Egglbston. 
Felicia. M. Bbtham-Edwards. 
Filthy Lucre. By Albany db 


Olympia. By R. E. Francillon. 

Dick Temple. By Jambs 


Under the Greenwood Tree. 

By Thomas Hardy. 

An Heiress of Bed Dog. By 

Bret Harth. 

The Luck of Roaring Gamp. 

By Bret Harte. 

Gabriel Conroy. Bret Harte. 
Fated to be Free. By Jean 


Confidence. By Henry James, 


The Queen of Oonnaught. By 

Harriett Jay. 

The Dark Colleen. By Har- 
riett Jay. 
Number Seventeen. By Henry 


Oakflhott Castle. By the same. 

Patricia KembalL By E.Lynn 

The Atonement of LeamDundas 

By E. Lynn Linton. 

The World Well Lost By E. 
Lynn Linton. 

The Waterdale Neighbours. 

By Justin McCarthy. 

My Enemy's Daughter. By 

Justin McCarthy. 
Linley Roohford. By the same. 
A Fair Saxon. By the same. 

DearLady Disdain. By the same. 
Miss Misanthrope. By Justin 


Lost Rose. By Katharine S. 


The Evil Eye. By Katharine 

S. Macquoid. 

Open ! Sesame ! By Florence 

Whiteladies. Mrs. Olifhant. 
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Strathmore, By Ouida. 
Chandos. By Ouida. 
Under Two Flags. By Ouida. 
Idalia. By Ouida. 
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Puck. By Ouida. 
Folle Farine. By Ouida. 
Dog of Flanders. By Ouida. 
Pasoarel. By Ouida. 
Two Little Wooden Shoes. By 

Signa. By Ouida. 
In a Winter Oity. By Ouida. 
Ariadne. By Ouida. 
Fallen Fortunes. By J. Payn. 
Halves. By James Payn. 
What He Cost Her. By ditto. 
By Proxy. By James Payn. 
Less Black than We're Painted. 

By Jambs Payn. 

The Best of Husbands. By 

Jambs Payn. 


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Walter*! Word. By J. Payn. 
The Mystery of Marie Boget 

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Her Mother '■ Darling. By Mrs. 


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Bound to the WheeL By John 


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One Against the World. By 
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The Lion in the Path. By John 

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Tales for the Marines. By 

Walter Thornbury. 

The Way we Live Now. By 

. Anthony Trollops. 


The American Senator. 

Anthony Trollops. 

Diamond Cut Diamond. 

T. A. Trollops. . 

An Idle Excursion. By Mark 


Adventures of Tom Sawyer. 

By Mask Twain. 

A Pleasure Trip on the Conti- 
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Lindsay's Luck. By the Author of " That Lass o' Lowrie's." 
Pretty Polly Pemberton. By Author of " That Lass o' Lowrie's." 
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" Secret Out" Series, The. 

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The Art of Amusing: 

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