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we shall select is a clever skit upon the Cambridge Prize Poem, as follows :
TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SNOB."
SIR, Though your name be "Snob," I trust you will not refuse this tiny “Poem of a Gownsman," which was unluckily not finished on the day appointed for delivery of the several copies of verses on Timbuctoo. I thought, Sir, it would be a pity that such a poem should be lost to the world; and conceiving "The Snob" to be the most widely-circulated periodical in Europe, I have taken the liberty of submitting it for insertion or approbation.
I am, Sir, yours, &c. &c. &c.
TIMBUCTOO. — PART I.
In Africa (a quarter of the world),
Men's skins are black, their hair is crisp and curl'd,
The natural history.
There stalks the tiger,
Lines 1 and 2. — See Guthrie's Geography.
To jackals, vultures, dogs, cats, kites, and crows ;
And then lies down 'neath trees called cocoa-nuts. 10
The site of Timbuctoo is doubtful; the Author has neatly expressed this in the
poem, at the same time giving us some slight hints relative to its situation.
So Horace: "leonum arida nutrix."
ελώρια τεύχε κύνεσσιν
Οιωνοισι τε πᾶσι.
Lines 5-10. How skillfully introduced are the animal and vegetable productions of Africa! It is worthy to remark the various garments in which the Poet hath clothed the lion. He is called, 1st, the "Lion"; 2d, the "Monster" (for he is very large); and 3d, the "Forest Monarch," which undoubtedly he is
The lion hunt.
Quick issue out, with musket, torch, and brand,
At home their lives in pleasure always flow,
They're often caught, and sold as slaves, alas !
Thus men from highest joys to sorrow pass.
Lines 11-14. The author confesses himself under peculiar obligations to Denham's and Clapperton's Travels, as they suggested to him the spirited description contained in these lines.
Line 13.- <C Pop goes the musketoons." A learned friend suggested" Bang" as a stronger expression, but as African gunpowder is notoriously bad, the Author thought "Pop" the better word.
Lines 15-18. A concise but affecting description is here given of the domestic habits of the people. The infamous manner in which they are entrapped and sold as slaves is described, and the whole ends with an appropriate moral sentiment. The Poem might here finish, but the spirit of the bard penetrates the veil of futurity, and from it cuts off a bright piece for the hitherto unfortunate Africans, as the following beautiful lines amply exemplify.
It may perhaps be remarked that the Author has here "changed his hand." He answers that it was his intention to do so. Before it was his endeavor to be elegant and concise, it is now his wish to be enthusiastic and magnificent. He trusts the Reader will perceive the aptness with which he has changed his style; when he narrated facts he was calm, when he enters on prophecy he is fervid.
The enthusiasm which he feels is beautifully expressed in lines 25 and 26. He thinks he has very successfully imitated in the last six lines the best manner of Mr. Pope; and in lines 12-26, the pathetic elegance of the author of "Australasia and Athens."
The Author cannot conclude without declaring that his aim in writing this Poem will be fully accomplished, if he can infuse into the breasts of Englishmen a sense of the danger in which they lie. Yes Africa! If he can awaken one particle of sympathy for thy sorrows, of love for thy land, of admiration for thy virtue, he shall sink into the grave with the proud consciousness that he has raised esteem, where before there was contempt, and has kindled the flame of hope on the mouldering ashes of despair!
One heart yet beats which ne'er thee shall forget.
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no!
It shall not, must not, cannot, e'er be so.
And sell their sugars on their own account;
While round her throne the prostrate nations come,
This concludes with a little vignette in the "Titmarsh" manner, representing an Indian smoking a pipe of the type once commonly seen in the shape of a small carved image at the doors of tobacconists' shops. In another paper we find the following pretended
This day is published, price 3s. 6d., “An Essay on the Great Toe," together with the nature and properties of Toes in general, with many sagacious inquiries why the Great Toes are bigger than the Little, and why the Little are less than the Great. Proving also that Gout is not the Dropsy, and that a Gentleman may have a swelled Face without a pain in his Back. Also a Postscript to establish that a Chilblain is very unlike a Lock-jaw. Translated from the original Chaldee.
N. B. A few light summer lectures on Phrenology to be disposed of; inquire of Mr. Smith.
A little further we come upon an exercise in Malapropisms,1 under the form of a letter from Mrs.
RAMSBOTTOM IN CAMBRIDGE.
Radish Ground Buildings. — DEAR SIR,—I was surprised to see my name in Mr. Bull's paper, for I give you my word I have not written a syllabub to him since I came to reside here,
1 Signed "Dorothea Julia Ramsbottom," after Theodore Hook's Paris Correspondent.
that I might enjoy the satiety of the literary and learned world.
I have the honor of knowing many extinguished persons. am on terms of the greatest contumacy with the Court of Alderman, who first recommended your weekly dromedary to my notice, knowing that I myself was a great literati. When I am at home, I make Lavy read it to me, as I consider you the censure of the anniversary, and a great upholder of moral destruction.
When I came here, I began reading Mechanics (written by that gentleman whose name you whistle). I thought it would be something like the "Mechanics' Magazine,” which my poor dear Ram used to make me read to him, but I found them very foolish. What do I want to know about weights and measures and bull's eyes, when I have left off trading. I have, therefore, begun a course of ugly physics, which are very odd, and written by the Marquis of Spinningtoes.
I think the Library of Trinity College is one of the most admiral objects here. I saw the busks of several gentlemen whose statutes I had seen at Room, and who all received their edification at that College. There was Aristocracy who wrote farces for the Olympic Theatre, and Democracy who was a laughing philosophy.
I forgot to mention that my son George Frederick is entered at St. John's, because I heard that they take most care of their morals at that College. I called on the tutor, who received myself and son very politely, and said he had no doubt my son would be a tripod, and he hoped perspired higher than polly, which I did not like. I am going to give a tea at my house, when I shall be delighted to see yourself and children.
Believe me, dear Sir,
Your most obedient and affectionate,
Further still, we have an example of droll errors in orthography similar to those in which Thackeray afterwards learned to revel in the characters of "Yellowplush," and "Jeames of Buckley Square." This is entitled :
A STATEMENT ON FAX RELATIVE TO THE
By D. J. RAMSBOTTOM.
"Come I to speak in Cæsar's funeral."
On Wednesday, the 3rd of June as I was sitting in my back parlor taking tea, young Frederick Tudge entered the room; I reserved from his disevelled hair and vegetated appearance, that something was praying on his vittles. When I heard from him the cause of his vegetation, I was putrified! I stood transfigured! His father, the editor of "The Snob," had been macerated in the most sanguine manner. The drops of compassion refused my eyes, for I thought of him whom I had lately seen high in health and happiness; that ingenuous indivisable, who often and often when seated alone with me has "made the Table roar," as the poet has it, and whose constant aim in his weakly dromedary, was to delight as well as to reprove. His son Frederick, too young to be acquainted with the art of literal imposition, has commissioned me to excommunicate the circumstances of his death, and call down the anger of the Proctors and Court of Aldermen on the phlogitious perforators of the deed.
It appears he was taking his customary rendezvous by the side of Trumpington Ditch, he was stopped by some men in under-gravy dresses, who put a pitch-plaister on him, which completely developed his nose and eyes, or, as Shakspeare says, "his visible ray." He was then dragged into a field, and the horrid deed was replete ! Such are the circumstances of his death; but Mr. Tudge died like Wriggle-us, game to the last; or like Cæsar in that beautiful faction of the poet, with which I have headed my remarks, I mean him who wanted to be Poop of Room, but was killed by two Brutes, and the fascinating hands of a perspiring Senate.