Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,359 pages of information about Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete.

RAILWAY DIRECTORS.

DEAR SIMON,

         If I were a Parliament man,
  I’d make a long speech, and I’d bring in a plan,
  And prevail on the House to support a new clause
  In the very first chapter of Criminal Laws! 
  But, to guard against getting too nervous or low
  (For my speech you’re aware would be then a no-go),
  I’d attack, ere I went, some two bottles of Sherry,
  And chaunt all the way Row di-dow di-down-derry![1]
  Then having arrived (just to drive down the phlegm),
  I’d clear out my throat and pronounce a loud “Hem!”
  (So th’ appearance of summer’s preceded by swallows,)
  Make my bow to the House, and address it as follows:—­
  “Mr. Speaker! the state of the Criminal Laws”
  (Thus, like Cicero, at once go right into the cause)
  Is such as demands our most serious attention,
  And strong reprobation, and quick intervention.” 
  (This rattling of words, which is quite in the fashion,
  Shows the depth of my zeal, and the force of my passion.)
  “Though the traitor’s obligingly eased of his head—­
  Though a Wilde[2] to the dark-frowning gallows is led—­
  Tho’ the robber, when caught, is most kindly sent hence
  Beyond the blue wave, at his country’s expense!—­
  Yet so bad, so disgracefully bad, seems to me
  The state of the law in this ‘Land of the free’”—­
  (Speak these words in a manner most zealous and fervid)—­
  That there’s no law for those who most richly deserve it! 
  Yes, Sir, ’tis a fact not less true than astounding—­
  A fact—­to the wise with instruction abounding,
  That those who the face of the country destroy,
  And hurl o’er the best scenes of Nature alloy—­
  Who Earth’s brightest portions cut through at a dash—­
  Who mix beauty and beastliness all in one hash”—­
  (I don’t dwell upon deaths, since a reason so brittle
  Is but worthy of minds unpoetic and little)—­
  “Base scum of the Earth, and sweet Nature’s dissectors,
  Meet with no just reward—­these same Railway Directors!”
  I’ve not mentioned the “Laughters,” the “Bravos,” the “Hears,”
  “Agitations,” “Sensations,” and “Deafening Cheers,”
  Which of course would attend a speech so patriotic,
  So truly exciting, and anti-narcotic! 
  In this style I’d proceed, ’till I’d proved to the House
  That these railways, in fact, were a national chouse,
  And the best thing to do for poor Earth, to protect her,
  Would be—­to hang daily a Railway Director!
  Of course the Hon. Members could ne’er have a thought
  Of opposing a motion with kindness so fraught;
  But would welcome with fervent and loud acclamation }
  A project so teeming with consideration, }
  As a model of justice, a boon to the nation! }

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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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