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"What!" cried the stranger, "wh-wh-what! D'ye mock me? t-take you that!" "Huh! mock me!" quoth Hob, amain,

"So t-t-take you that again!"

Then to't they fell, in furious plight,

While each one thought himself in th' right;
And, if you dare believe my song,

They likewise thought each other wrong.
The battle o'er, and somewhat cool,
Each half suspects himself a fool;
For when to choler folks incline 'em,
Your argumentum baculinum,
Administer'd in dose terrific,

Was ever held a grand specific!

Each word the combatants now utter'd Conviction brought that both dolts stutter'd, Each scratch'd his silly head, and thought He'd argue ere again he fought.

Hence I this moral shall deduce-
Would anger deign to sign a truce
Till reason could discover truly
Why this mad madam were unruly,
So well she would explain their words,
Men little use would find for swords.


The Burning of Brury Lane Theatre'.

As CHAOS which, by heavenly doom,
Had slept in everlasting gloom,
Started with terror and surprise,

When light first flash'd upon



So London's sons in night-cap woke,

In bed-gown woke her dames,

For shouts were heard 'mid fire and smoke,
And twice ten hundred voices spoke,

"The playhouse is in flames."

And lo! where Catherine Street extends,
A fiery tail its lustre lends

Το every window pane;

1 Forty-four years have elapsed since these lines were written; and some of our very young readers may, therefore, be fairly excused not being quite au fait to the circumstances under which they originally appeared, and of which for their benefit we give an outline. The present theatre of Drury Lane had been just rebuilt on the site of the former building, which had been burned down. The committee (for the rebuilding) in order to inaugurate the opening of the new theatre with due éclat, had issued an advertisement, throwing open to competition the address to be spoken on the occasion. Two brothers, Horace and James Smith, conceived the idea of making a group of such addresses-supposed to have been sent in to the committee, and rejected-the vehicle for a set of humourous parodies on the works of the most eminent authors. The result was a little volume of some 139 pages, containing capital imitations of Byron, Coleridge, Southey, Wordsworth, Dr. Johnson, Cobbett, and others. The lines selected above are from one of the best, "A Tale of Drury Lane," by W. S. (Sir Walter Scott).

Blushes each spout in Martlet Court,
And Barbican, moth-eaten fort,
And Covent Garden kennels sport,
A bright ensanguin'd drain;
Meux's new brewhouse shows the light,
Rowland Hill's chapel, and the height
Where patent shot they sell:
The Tennis Court, so fair and tall,
Partakes the ray, with Surgeons' Hall,
The ticket porter's house of call,
Old Bedlam, close by London Wall,
Wright's shrimp and oyster shop withal,
And Richardson's Hotel.

Nor these alone, but far and wide
Across red Thames's gleaming tide.
To distant fields the blaze was borne,
And daisy white and hoary thorn
In borrow'd lustre seem'd to sham
The rose or red sweet Wil-li-am.

To those who on the hills around Beheld the flames from Drury's mound, As from a lofty altar rise;

It seem'd that nations did conspire,
To offer to the god of fire

Some vast stupendous sacrifice!
The summon'd firemen woke at call,
And hied them to their stations all.
Starting from short and broken snooze,
Each sought his pond'rous hobnail'd shoes,
But first his worsted hosen plied,
Plush breeches next in crimson dyed,

His nether bulk embraced;

Then jacket thick of red or blue,
Whose massy shoulder gave to view
The badge of each respective crew,
In tin or copper traced.

The engines thunder'd through the street,
Fire-hook, pipe, bucket, all complete,
And torches glared, and clattering feet
Along the pavement paced.

And one, the leader of the band,
From Charing Cross along the Strand,
Like stag by beagles hunted hard,
Ran till he stopp'd at Vin'gar Yard.
The burning badge his shoulder bore,
The belt and oil-skin hat he wore,
The cane he had, his men to bang,
Show'd foreman of the British gang.
His name was Higginbottom; now
'Tis meet that I should tell you

The others came in view:


The Hand-in-Hand the race begun,
Then came the Phoenix and the Sun,
Th' Exchange, where old insurers run,
The Eagle, where the new;
With these came Rumford, Bumford, Cole,
Robins from Hockley in the Hole,
Lawson and Dawson, cheek by jowl,

Crump from St. Giles's Pound:

Whitford and Mitford join'd the train, Huggins and Muggins from Chick Lane, And Clutterbuck, who got a sprain

Before the plug was found.

Hobson and Jobson did not sleep,
But ah! no trophy could they reap,
For both were in the Donjon Keep
Of Bridewell's gloomy mound!

E'en Higginbottom now was posed,
For sadder scene was ne'er disclosed;
Without, within, in hideous show,
Devouring flames resistless glow,
And blazing rafters downward go,
And never halloo "Heads below!"
Nor notice give at all:

The firemen terrified are slow

To bid the pumping torrent flow,
For fear the roof should fall.
Back, Robins, back! Crump, stand aloof!
Whitford, keep near the walls!

Huggins, regard your own behoof,
For lo! the blazing, rocking roof
Down, down in thunder falls!

An awful pause succeeds the stroke,
And o'er the ruins volumed smoke,
Rolling around its pitchy shroud,

Conceal'd them from the astonish'd crowd.
At length the mist awhile was clear'd,
When lo! amid the wreck uprear'd,
Gradual a moving head appear'd,

And Eagle firemen knew

'Twas Joseph Muggins, name revered, The foreman of their crew.

Loud shouted all in signs of woe,

"A Muggins to the rescue, ho!"

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