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the Cardinal's chair !
Bishop, and abbot, and
prior were there ;
Many a monk, and many a friar,
Many a knight, and many a
With a great many more of lesser degree, —
In sooth, a goodly company ;
And they served the Lord Primate
on bended knee.
Never, I ween,
Was a prouder seen,
Read of in books, or dreamt of in dreams.
Than the Cardinal Lord Archbishop of Rheims!
Through the motley rout,
That Uttle Jackdaw kept
hopping about ;
Here and there,
Like a dog in a fair.
Over comfits and cates,
And dishes and plates.
Cowl and cope, and rochet and pall.
Mitre and crosier ! he hopp'd upon all !
JLGjlI a saucy air,
He perch'd on the chair
Where, in state, the great
Lord Cardinal sat
^ In the great Lord Cardinal's
great red hat;
And he peer'd in the face
Of his Lordship's Grace
With a satisfied look, as if he would say,
" We Two are the greatest folks here to-day ! "
And the priests, with awe,
As such freaks they saw.
Said, " The Devil must be in that little
Jackdaw ! ! "
£I& r&lHS'5 Was over,
the board was clear'd,
The flawns and the custards
had all disappear'd,
And six little Singing-boys, —
dear little souls !
In nice clean faces, and nice white stoles,
Came, in order due,
Two by two,
Marching that grand refectory through !
A nice little boy held a golden ewer,
Emboss'd, and fiU'd with water, as pure
As any that flows between Rheims and
Which a nice little boy stood ready to catch
In a fine golden hand-basin made to match.
"^OKICfe Little boys,
rather more grown,
Carried lavender-water, and
eau de Cologne ;
[ And a nice little boy had a
nice cake of soap,
Worthy of washing the hands of the Pope.
One little boy more
A napkin bore,
Of the best white diaper, fringed with pink.
And a Cardinal's Hat, mark'd in *' permanent
Cardinal turns at the sight
Of these nice little boys
dress'd all in white:
From his finger he draws
His costly turquoise ;
And, not thinking at all about little Jackdaws,
Deposits it straight
By the side of his plate,
While the nice little boys on his Eminence
Till, when nobody 's dreaming of any such
That little Jackdaw hops off with the ring !
5alH&RV&-fl CK2 And a
^ f shout,
And a deuce of a rout,
And nobody seems to know
what they 're about,
•' "^ But the monks have their
pockets all turn'd inside out;
The friars are kneeling.
And hunting, and feeling
The carpet, the floor, and the walls, and the
The Cardinal drew
Off each plum-colour'd shoe,
And left his red stockings exposed to the view ;
O* X & %> Jt 5p^ And he
In the toes and the heels ;
They turn up the dishes,
— they turn up the
1 ^ ^w i J ,,m^^ ^ plates, —
They take up the poker and poke out the
— They turn up the rugs,
They examine the mugs : —
But, no ! — no such thing ; —
They can't find THE RING !
And the Abbot declared that, " when nobody
Some rascal or other had popp'd in, and
prigg'd it ! "
[ 15 1
S[& CaSS>mtrk Rose
with a dignified look,
He call'd for his candle, his
bell, and his book !
[ In holy anger, and pious
He solemnly cursed that rascally thief!
He cursed him at board, he cursed him in bed ;
From the sole of his foot to the crown of his
He cursed him in sleeping, that every night
He should dream of the devil, and wake in
a fright ;
He cursed him in eating, he cursed him in
He cursed him in coughing, in sneezing, in
He cursed him in sitting, in standing, in lying ;
He cursed him in walking, in riding, in flying.
He cursed him living, he cursed him dying ! —
Never was heard such a terrible curse ! !
But, what gave rise
To no little surprise,
Nobody seem'd one penny the worse !
That's him. .
iit> ^jfVS Was gone,
^f The night came on,
The Monks and the Friars
i. ' ' they search'd till dawn ;
When the Sacristan saw,
* On crumpled claw,
Come limping a poor little lame Jackdaw !
No longer gay.
As on yesterday ;
His feathers all seem'd to be turn'd the wrong
His pinions droop'd, — he could hardly
His head was as bald as the palm of your
His eye so dim.
So wasted each limb,
That, heedless of grammar, they all cried,
"That's him! —
that has done this scandalous
\ That 's the thief that has got
my Lord Cardinal's Ring! " —
^ The poor little Jackdaw,
When the monks he saw,
Feebly gave vent to the ghost of a caw ;
And turn'd his bald head, as much as to say,
*' Pray, be so good as to walk this way ! "
He limp'd on before,
Till they came to the back of
Where the first thing they
Midst the stocks and the straw.
Was the RING, in the nest of that little
^ I Lord Cardinal call'd for his
And off that terrible curse he
The mute expression
Served in lieu of confession,
And, being thus coupled with full restitution,
The Jackdaw got plenary absolution !
— When those words were heard,
That poor little bird
Was so changed in a moment, 't was really
t^ (5R^^rW Sleek, and
In addition to that,
A fresh crop of feathers came
thick as a mat!
His tail waggled more
Even than before ;
But no longer it wagg'd with an impudent air,
No longer he perch'd on the Cardinal's chair.
& JlOPP*i> Now
With a gait devout ;
At Matins, at Vespers, he
never was out ;
And, so far from any more
He always seem'd telling the Confessor's
If any one lied, — or if any one swore, —
Or slumber'd in pray'r-time and happen'd
That good Jackdaw
Would give a great "Caw! "
As much as to say, " Don't do so any more ! "
While many remark'd, as his manners they
That they " never had known such a pious
Jackdaw ! "
Of that country side,
And at last in the odour of
K sanctity died ;
""^ When, as words were too
His merits to paint,
The Conclave determined to make him a
And on newly-made Saints and Popes, as you
It 's the custom, at Rome, new names to
So they canonized him by the name of Jem
The story of the Jackdaw of Rheims is to be found in
"Johan. Wolfi Lectionum Memorabilium Centenarii,"
vol. 1, p. 216. The same volume contains the original
story of Southey's " Pilgrims of Compostella " ; and on
the same page with the latter there is given a legend of
St. Patrick, who, when a man had stolen some mut-
ton, detected the thief by making the sheep bleat in
his inside. (T. L.)
In writing to Mrs. Hughes on the 29th of April, 1837,
Mr. Barham refers to this, probably the most popular
of legends, in the following terms: " I have no time to do
more for this number [of " Bentley's Miscellany "] than
scratch off a doggerel version of an old Catholic legend
that I picked up out of a high Dutch author. I am
afraid the poor 'Jackdaw ' will be sadly pecked at. Had
I more time I meant to have engrafted on it a story I
have heard Cannon tell of a magpie of his acquaint-
ance." The story is given at length in the " Life and
Letters," vol, 2, p. 21.
In a subsequent letter to Mr. Bentley he says: "I
am glad you like the 'Jackdaw ' ; it was struck off at a
heat and almost in despair, when I found it impossible
to finish the other article [ "The Spectre of Tapping-
ton" ?] in time."
Happily for the present generation, the memory of
Mr. Rice, the great American comedian, and his in-
terminable "nigger" song, "Jim Crow," has passed
away. The time was, some thirty years ago, when this
fearful composition seemed to pervade all space. It was
sung, shouted, howled, and danced — semper ubique
et ab omnibus ! A certain clever scholar of the Father
Prout variety pronounced it a plagiarism, and pro-
fessed to have discovered the original in a French
chanson, which is given at length in "Bentley's Mis-
cellany," April, 1839. A stanza may suffice as a speci-
En Amerique j'ai fait des sauts,
En Angleterre aussi;
En France j'irai s'il le faut,
Pour sauter quand je cris, —
Je tourne, re-toume, je caracole,
Je fais des sauts;
Chacque fois je fais la tour,
Je saute "Jim Crow."
The audacity of the famous Jackdaw of Rheims has
been equalled if not excelled at Monkton in Kent. Dur-
ing the divine service a jackdaw (now belonging to Mr.
Stapleton Cotton) made its way into the church with
the other portion of the congregation, and not only
took a lively part in the responses, but also became
exceedingly talkative at other times. The whole con-
gregation were disposed to explode with merriment;
the clergyman himself with difficulty kept a serious
face; while the school children present broke out into
open laughter. Things became so bad that the clergy-
man had to order the children out of the church. Then
an effort was made to capture the intruder, who
had perched himself boldly upon the reading-desk.
The bird, however, was not to be caught, and
flew to the rafters above, where it remained
until the end of the service, still continu-
ing to deliver itself of more or less
pertinent expressions of opinion.
(" St. James's Gazette," 25th
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