The Honourable George Fitz-Forward, my new master, was a younger brother of small means and large pretensions. He had been quartered at Kil-mac-squabble with a detachment, where he had passed the winter in still-hunting, quelling ructions, shooting grouse and rebels, spitting over the bridge, and smoking cigars; and having obtained leave of absence, pour se d’ecrasser, was on his way to London for the ensuing season. We travelled in the cab by easy stages, and halted only at great houses on the road, beginning with Plas Newyd, and ending at Sion House. My master’s rank, and my talents, were as good as board wages to us; and as the summer was not yet sufficiently advanced for the London winter, we found every body at home, and had an amazingly pleasant time. My master was enchanted with his acquisition. I made the frais of every society; and my repartees and bonmots furnished the Lord Johns and Lady Louisas with subjects for whole reams of pink and blue note-paper. My master frequently said, “That bird is wonderful! he is a great catch!”—and my fame had spread over the whole west end of the town a full week before our arrival in London.
The Metropolitan, No. I.
* * * * *
My good Aunt Bridget, spite of age,
Versed in Valerian, Dock, and Sage,
Well knew the Virtues of herbs;
But Proverbs gain’d her chief applause,
“Child,” she exclaimed, “respect old saws,
And pin your faith on Proverbs.”
Thus taught, I dubb’d my lot secure;
And, playing long-rope, “slow and sure,”
Conceived my movement clever;
When lo! an urchin by my side
Push’d me head foremost in, and cried—
“Keep Moving,” “Now or Never,”
At Melton, next, I join’d the hunt,
Of bogs and bushes bore the brunt,
Nor once my courser held in;
But when I saw a yawning steep,
I thought of “Look before you leap,”
And curb’d my eager gelding.
While doubtful thus I rein’d my
Willing to save a fractured bone,
Yet fearful of exposure,
A sportsman thus my spirit stirr’d—
“Delays are dangerous;”—I spurr’d
My steed, and leap’d th’ enclosure.