“’He hath a store
But ne’er was known to lend it;
He never helped his brother;
The poor he ne’er befriended;
He hath no need of property
Who knows not how to spend it.
knows but how to spend,
And thrifty Tom to hoard;
Let Thomas be the steward then,
And Edward be the lord;
And as the honest labourer
Is worthy his reward,
“’I pray Prince
Ned, my second son,
And my successor dear,
To pay to his intendant
Five hundred pounds a year;
And to think of his old father,
And live and make good cheer.’”
Such was old Brentford’s honest testament.
He did devise his moneys for the best,
And lies in Brentford church in peaceful rest.
Prince Edward lived, and money made and spent;
But his good sire was wrong, it is confess’d,
To say his son, young Thomas, never lent.
He did. Young Thomas lent at interest,
And nobly took his twenty-five per cent.
Long time the famous reign of Ned endured
O’er Chiswick, Fulham, Brentford, Putney, Kew,
But of extravagance he ne’er was cured.
And when both died, as mortal men will do,
’Twas commonly reported that the steward
Was very much the richer of the two.
BY J. BRUNTON STEPHENS.
Biggs was missing: Biggs had vanished; all the
town was in a ferment;
For if ever man was looked to for an edifying end,
With due mortuary outfit, and a popular interment,
It was Biggs, the universal guide, philosopher, and friend.
But the man had simply vanished; speculation wove
That would hold a drop of water; each new theory fell flat.
It was most unsatisfactory, and hanging on the issue
Were a thousand wagers ranging from a pony to a hat.
Not a trace could search discover in the township
or without it,
And the river had been dragged from morn till night with no avail.
His continuity had ceased, and that was all about it,
And there wasn’t ev’n a grease-spot left behind to tell the tale.
That so staid a man as Biggs was should be swallowed
up in mystery
Lent an increment to wonder—he who trod no doubtful paths,
But stood square to his surroundings, with no cloud upon his history,
As the much-respected lessee of the Corporation Baths.
His affairs were all in order; since the year the
With a startled river bather made attempt to coalesce,
The resulting wave of decency had greater grown and greater,
And the Corporation Baths had been a marvellous success.
Nor could trouble in the household solve the riddle
of his clearance,
For his bride was now in heaven, and the issue of the match
Was a patient drudge whose virtues were as plain as her appearance—
Just the sort whereto no scandal could conceivably attach.