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His clothes to keep I'll take the greatest pains;
But you must show me to erase the stains
And spots of grease, or wine, or drops of oil,
That oft the tablecloth and linen soil.
The silver-plate and glasses well I'll keep—
None knows the good his Lordship then will reap.
The wines to sort, you know I've got the brain,
For well I know both Claret and Champagne;
I'll keep the liquors with a saving hand,
A leader being of that worthy band,
The Barbers' Koyals, to their colours true,
And like their noble president, true blue,
Backbone Teetotallers, eternal foes
Of every potion, save the stream that flows.
But should my creed here any difference make,
My pledge I'll swallow gladly, for its sake,
Renounce the sect, and deprecate their zeal,
Though in their eyes my ruin I should seal.
The last accomplishment I now shall state—
Oh give attention while I it relate—
It is then, sir, that I excel in prayer,
As every Sunday morning I repair,
In haste and zeal, to meet the pious few,
And to receive that merit which is due
To such unheard-of talents, gifts, and grace,
My loving labours in that sacred place.
I am ' a burning and a shining light'
Among my neighbours, sunk in deepest night.
My league-spun prayers and graces of a mile,
Prove me all worthy of my Author's smile;
But even, sir, while at the throne of grace,
My dearest wish was oft the Butler's place;
This phrase for blessing, oft could I have said—
This, oh for this, I secret homage paid!
Yet should this canting of the praying kind
Awake objections in your honest mind,
I'll give it over, and my stand I'll take
Among the fash'nables, for interest's sake.
Nought, sir, shall stand between my God and me;
My soul's desire 's a butler now to be.
This I declare in boldness, without fear—
Behold as proof my wish-expressing tear."
The Barber done, the Butler now replied—
"You're surely mad; it cannot be denied,
Like you a fool accomplished and upright,
A finished novice never met my sight.
What you inspired, or, rather, thus misled,
And with such frenzy crammed your vacant head?
You must confess, and own you surely must,
The people's censure and their views were just.
With all they said I frankly acquiesce.
For you I feel not, neither can redress;
Puffed up with arrogance and vain conceit,
You thought your hopes would full fruition meet.
Presumptuous oaf, what may I call you not!
The maddest barber ever was begot;
For if you had one grain of common sense
Could ever you have come on this pretence 1
That you are qualified I much dispute,
And fiat deny as butler you will suit.
Who would a blockhead trust with such a place 1
Your very name his Lordship would disgrace;
Hence Heaven forbid I thus should be so blind,
Now to insult a master good and kind,
By recommending such a turncoat cool,
A crazy barber, fanatic, and fool.
And blame me not, my hero bold and brave—
Well you deserve this dry and soapless shave."
Up spoke the Barber—"Please your censure spare:
Such pointed insult well I cannot bear;
For on a Barber's solemn asseveration,
I never shared like grief and defamation.
And has a shaver, sir, of my degree,
The smallest right thus to insulted be 1
Mind who I am—the ground whereon you stand—
Dread my resentment, and beware my hand.
I'm sure my story calmly did I tell!
Whence this abuse—this dialect of hell—
This pungent ridicule with such disdain,
Enough to drive this occult head insane,
About a project reasonable and right—
Fruit of intelligence and genius bright 1
Praiseworthy, honourable, profoundly just,
The scion of no base, avaricious lust,
Which I abhor, and ever must declaim,
For, told the truth, none with it can me blame.
I am a barber of a nobler kind.
Stern foe of mammon is my worthy mind;
Presumption, arrogance, conceit and pride,
Are qualities I innately deride;
But meek and humble, grave, and choked with grace,
Moved with a tender feeling for our race,
Possessed of pathos deep for human woe—
Though all deny in me this generous glow—
But known to wretchedness and homeless need,
For oft the hungry tender would I feed.
The cause I knew not often I out sought,
And Destitution's blessing found me out.
Self-praise I spurn, and speak the naked truth,
And vile hypocrisy detest, forsooth.
In me it is not ere to play the rogue,
Though contradicted much by my physog—
So much the case that thousands flat deny
All this as false, and rudely it decry.
But since my pleading with you seems in vain,
From further statements now I will refrain.
You seem determined nothing here to do
My scheme to aid, and realize my view;
I'll see my Lord myself another day,
And state my wishes—hear what he will say.
He is a man who will behave more civil
Than you, ye scandalous, domineering devil."
To quash the quarrel, and no more provoke,
The Butler ended thus the well-known joke—
"See, there's my hand, hence doubly be insured
That yesterday, in fact, my Lord procured
A butler fit, possessed of every grace,
Else sure would I bespoke for you the place.
You've been too long, and have this opening missed,
Hence for the present must you now desist;
But mind the future, for you sure will shine
A star of magnitude yet in our line."
Pleased grew the Barber, and him bade " Good-day;"
But, disappointed, homeward found his way,
To tell his sorrows to the feeling wife,
And mourn this hapless crisis of his life;
To bear the censure, mock, and cutting jest,
Till time, in mercy, set the fray at rest.
OUR VISIT TO THE WEST OF
JAIL, land of mountains, streams and floods,