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POETICAL INGENUITIES AND ECCENTRICITIES.




_Post 8vo, cloth limp, 2s. 6d. per volume._

THE MAYFAIR LIBRARY.

THE NEW REPUBLIC. By W. H. MALLOCK.

THE NEW PAUL AND VIRGINIA. By W. H. MALLOCK.

THE TRUE HISTORY OF JOSHUA DAVIDSON. By E. LYNN LINTON.

OLD STORIES RE-TOLD. By WALTER THORNBURY.

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MORE PUNIANA. By the Hon. HUGH ROWLEY.

THOREAU: HIS LIFE AND AIMS. By H. A. PAGE.

BY STREAM AND SEA. By WILLIAM SENIOR.

JEUX D'ESPRIT. Collected and Edited by HENRY S. LEIGH.

GASTRONOMY AS A FINE ART. By BRILLAT-SAVARIN.

THE MUSES OF MAYFAIR. Edited by H. CHOLMONDELEY PENNEL.

PUCK ON PEGASUS. By H. CHOLMONDELEY PENNEL.

ORIGINAL PLAYS by W. S. GILBERT. FIRST SERIES. Containing - The Wicked
World, Pygmalion and Galatea, Charity, The Princess, The Palace of
Truth, Trial by Jury.

ORIGINAL PLAYS by W. S. GILBERT. SECOND SERIES. Containing - Broken
Hearts, Engaged, Sweethearts, Dan'l Druce, Gretchen, Tom Cobb, The
Sorcerer, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance.

CAROLS OF COCKAYNE. By HENRY S. LEIGH.

LITERARY FRIVOLITIES, FANCIES, FOLLIES, AND FROLICS. By W. T. DOBSON.

PENCIL AND PALETTE. By ROBERT KEMPT.

THE BOOK OF CLERICAL ANECDOTES. By JACOB LARWOOD.

THE SPEECHES OF CHARLES DICKENS.

THE CUPBOARD PAPERS. By FIN-BEC.

QUIPS AND QUIDDITIES. Selected by W. DAVENPORT ADAMS.

MELANCHOLY ANATOMISED: a Popular Abridgment of "Burton's Anatomy of
Melancholy."

THE AGONY COLUMN OF "THE TIMES," FROM 1800 TO 1870. Edited by ALICE
CLAY.

PASTIMES AND PLAYERS. By ROBERT MACGREGOR.

CURIOSITIES OF CRITICISM. By HENRY J. JENNINGS.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF HANDWRITING. By DON FELIX DE SALAMANCA.

LATTER-DAY LYRICS. Edited by W. DAVENPORT ADAMS.

BALZAC'S COMÉDIE HUMAINE AND ITS AUTHOR. With Translations by H. H.
WALKER.

LEAVES FROM A NATURALIST'S NOTE-BOOK. By ANDREW WILSON, F.R.S.E.

THE AUTOCRAT OF THE BREAKFAST-TABLE. By OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
Illustrated by J. G. THOMSON.

_Other Volumes are in preparation._

CHATTO AND WINDUS, PICCADILLY, W.




POETICAL INGENUITIES
AND ECCENTRICITIES


SELECTED AND EDITED BY
WILLIAM T. DOBSON
AUTHOR OF "LITERARY FRIVOLITIES," ETC.


London
CHATTO AND WINDUS, PICCADILLY
1882
[_All rights reserved_]




PREFACE.


The favourable reception of "Literary Frivolities" by the Press has led to
the preparation of this work as a Sequel, in which the only sin so far
charged against the "Frivolities" - that of omission - will be found fully
atoned for.

Those curious in regard to the historical and literary accounts of several
of the various phases of composition exemplified in this work, will find
these fully enough noticed in "Literary Frivolities," in which none of the
examples were strictly original, and had been gathered from many outlying
corners of the world of literature. In the present work, however, will be
found a number of pieces which have not hitherto been "glorified in type,"
and these have been furnished by various literary gentlemen, among whom
may be named Professor E. H. Palmer and J. Appleton Morgan, LL.D., of New
York. Assistance in "things both new and old" has also been given by
Charles G. Leland, Esq. (Hans Breitmann), W. Bence Jones, Esq., J. F.
Huntingdon, Esq. (Cambridge, U.S.); whilst particular thanks are due to
Mr. Lewis Carroll for a kindly and courteous permission to quote from his
works.

With regard to a few of the extracts, the difficulty of finding their
authors has been a bar to requesting permission to use them; but in every
case endeavour has been made to acknowledge the source whence they are
derived.




CONTENTS.


PAGE

THE PARODY 9

CHAIN OR CONCATENATION VERSE 53

MACARONIC VERSE 59

LINGUISTIC VERSE 115

TECHNICAL VERSE 146

SINGLE-RHYMED VERSE 169

ANAGRAMS 188

THE ACROSTIC 198

ALLITERATIVE AND ALPHABETIC VERSE 204

NONSENSE VERSE 214

LIPOGRAMS 220

CENTONES OR MOSAICS 224

ECHO VERSES 229

WATCH-CASE VERSES 232

PROSE POEMS 238

MISCELLANEOUS 245

INDEX 252




POETICAL INGENUITIES AND ECCENTRICITIES.




_THE PARODY._


Parody is the name generally given to a humorous or burlesque imitation of
a serious poem or song, of which it so far preserves the style and words
of the original as that the latter may be easily recognised; it also may
be said to consist in the application of high-sounding poetry to familiar
objects, should be confined within narrow limits, and only adapted to
light and momentary occasions. Though by no means the highest kind of
literary composition, and generally used to ridicule the poets, still many
might think their reputation increased rather than diminished by the
involuntary applause of imitators and parodists, and have no objection
that their works afford the public double amusement - first in the
original, and afterwards in the travesty, though the parodist may not
always be intellectually up to the level of his prototype. Parodies are
best, however, when short and striking - when they produce mirth by the
happy imitation of some popular passage, or when they mix instruction with
amusement, by showing up some latent absurdity or developing the disguises
of bad taste.

The invention of this humoristic style of composition has been attributed
to the Greeks, from whose language the name itself is derived (_para_,
beside; _ode_, a song); the first to use it being supposed to be Hegemon
of Thasos, who flourished during the Peloponnesian War; by others the
credit of the invention is given to Hipponax, who in his picture of a
glutton, parodies Homer's description of the feats of Achilles in fighting
with his hero in eating. This work begins as follows:

"Sing, O celestial goddess, Eurymedon, foremost of gluttons,
Whose stomach devours like Charybdis, eater unmatched among mortals."

The Battle of the Frogs and Mice (The "Batrachomyomachia"), also a happy
specimen of the parody is said to be a travesty of Homer's "Iliad," and
numerous examples will be found in the comedies of Aristophanes. Among the
Romans this form of literary composition made its appearance at the period
of the Decline, and all the power of Nero could not prevent Persius from
parodying his verses. The French among modern nations have been much given
to it, whilst in the English language there are many examples, one of the
earliest being the parodying of Milton by John Philips, one of the most
artificial poets of his age (1676-1708). He was an avowed imitator of
Milton, and certainly evinced considerable talent in his peculiar line.
Philips wrote in blank verse a poem on the victory of Blenheim, and
another on Cider, the latter in imitation of the Georgics. His best work,
however, is that from which there follows a quotation, a parody on
"Paradise Lost," considered by Steele to be the best burlesque poem
extant.

THE SPLENDID SHILLING.

"'Sing, heavenly muse!
Things unattempted yet, in prose or rhyme,'
A shilling, breeches, and chimeras dire.

Happy the man, who, void of care and strife,
In silken or in leathern purse retains
A Splendid Shilling: he nor hears with pain
New oysters cried, nor sighs for cheerful ale;
But with his friends, when nightly mists arise,
To Juniper's _Magpie_, or _Town-hall_[1] repairs:
Where, mindful of the nymph, whose wanton eye
Transfixed his soul, and kindled amorous flames,
Chloe or Phillis, he each circling glass
Wishes her health, and joy, and equal love.
Meanwhile he smokes, and laughs at merry tale,
Or pun ambiguous, or conundrum quaint.
But I, whom griping penury surrounds,
And hunger, sure attendant upon want,
With scanty offals, and small acid tiff,
Wretched repast! my meagre corpse sustain:
Then solitary walk, or doze at home
In garret vile, and with a warming puff
Regale chilled fingers; or from tube as black
As winter chimney, or well-polished jet,
Exhale mundungus, ill-perfuming scent:
Not blacker tube, nor of a shorter size,
Smokes Cambro-Briton (versed in pedigree,
Sprung from Cadwallader and Arthur, kings
Full famous in romantic tale) when he
O'er many a craggy hill and barren cliff,
Upon a cargo of famed Cestrian cheese,
High over-shadowing rides, with a design
To vend his wares, or at th' Avonian mart,
Or Maridunum, or the ancient town
Yclep'd Brechinia, or where Vaga's stream
Encircles Ariconium, fruitful soil!
Whence flows nectareous wines, that well may vie
With Massic, Setin, or renowned Falern.
Thus, while my joyless minutes tedious flow
With looks demur, and silent pace, a dun,
Horrible monster! hated by gods and men,
To my aërial citadel ascends:
With vocal heel thrice thundering at my gate;
With hideous accent thrice he calls; I know
The voice ill-boding, and the solemn sound.
What should I do? or whither turn? Amazed,
Confounded, to the dark recess I fly
Of wood-hole; straight my bristling hairs erect
Through sudden fear: a chilly sweat bedews
My shuddering limbs, and (wonderful to tell!)
My tongue forgets her faculty of speech;
So horrible he seems! His faded brow
Intrenched with many a frown, and conic beard,
And spreading band, admired by modern saints,
Disastrous acts forebode; in his right hand
Long scrolls of paper solemnly he waves,
With characters and figures dire inscribed,
Grievous to mortal eyes (ye gods, avert
Such plagues from righteous men!) Behind him stalks
Another monster, not unlike himself,
Sullen of aspect, by the vulgar called
A catchpoll, whose polluted hands the gods
With force incredible, and magic charms,
First have endued: if he his ample palm
Should haply on ill-fated shoulder lay
Of debtor, straight his body, to the touch
Obsequious (as whilom knights were wont),
To some enchanted castle is conveyed,
Where gates impregnable, and coercive chains
In durance strict detain him, till, in form
Of money, Pallas sets him free.
Beware, ye debtors! when ye walk, beware,
Be circumspect; oft with insidious ken
This caitiff eyes your steps aloof, and oft
Lies perdue in a nook or gloomy cave,
Prompt to enchant some inadvertent wretch
With his unhallowed touch. So (poets sing)
Grimalkin, to domestic vermin sworn
An everlasting foe, with watchful eye
Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky gap,
Portending her fell claws, to thoughtless mice
Sure ruin. So her disembowelled web
Arachne, in a hall or kitchen, spreads
Obvious to vagrant flies: she secret stands
Within her woven cell; the humming prey,
Regardless of their fate, rush on the toils
Inextricable; nor will aught avail
Their arts, or arms, or shapes of lovely hue:
The wasp insidious, and the buzzing drone,
And butterfly, proud of expanded wings
Distinct with gold, entangled in her snares,
Useless resistance make: with eager strides
She towering flies to her expected spoils:
Then, with envenomed jaws, the vital blood
Drinks of reluctant foes, and to her cave
Their bulky carcasses triumphant drags."...

Perhaps the best English examples of the true parody - the above being more
of an imitation - are to be found in the "Rejected Addresses" of the
brothers James and Horace Smith. This work owed its origin to the
reopening of Drury Lane Theatre in 1812, after its destruction by fire.
The managers, in the true spirit of tradesmen, issued an advertisement
calling for Addresses, one of which should be spoken on the opening night.
Forty-three were sent in for competition. Overwhelmed by the amount of
talent thus placed at their disposal, the managers summarily rejected the
whole, and placed themselves under the care of Lord Byron, whose
composition, after all, was thought by some to be, if not unworthy, at
least ill-suited for the occasion. Mr. Ward, the secretary of the Theatre,
having casually started the idea of publishing a series of "Rejected
Addresses," composed by the most popular authors of the day, the brothers
Smith eagerly adopted the suggestion, and in six weeks the volume was
published, and received by the public with enthusiastic delight. They were
principally humorous imitations of eminent authors, and Lord Jeffrey said
of them in the _Edinburgh Review_: "I take them indeed to be the very best
imitations (and often of difficult originals) that ever were made; and,
considering their great extent and variety, to indicate a talent to which
I do not know where to look for a parallel. Some few of them descend to
the level of parodies; but by far the greater part are of a much higher
description." The one which follows is in imitation of Crabbe, and was
written by James Smith, and Jeffrey thought it "the best piece in the
collection. It is an exquisite and masterly imitation, not only of the
peculiar style, but of the taste, temper, and manner of description of
that most original author." Crabbe himself said regarding it, that it "was
admirably done."

THE THEATRE.

"'Tis sweet to view, from half-past five to six,
Our long wax candles, with short cotton wicks,
Touched by the lamplighter's Promethean art,
Start into light, and make the lighter start;
To see red Phoebus through the gallery-pane
Tinge with his beam the beams of Drury Lane;
While gradual parties fill our widen'd pit,
And gape, and gaze, and wonder, ere they sit.
At first, while vacant seats give choice and ease,
Distant or near, they settle where they please;
But when the multitude contracts the span,
And seats are rare, they settle where they can.
Now the full benches to late-comers doom
No room for standing, miscalled _standing-room_.
Hark! the check-taker moody silence breaks,
And bawling 'Pit full!' gives the check he takes;
Yet onward still the gathering numbers cram,
Contending crowders shout the frequent damn,
And all is bustle, squeeze, row, jabbering, and jam.

See to their desks Apollo's sons repair -
Swift rides the rosin o'er the horse's hair!
In unison their various tones to tune,
Murmurs the hautboy, growls the hoarse bassoon;
In soft vibration sighs the whispering lute,
Tang goes the harpsichord, too-too the flute,
Brays the loud trumpet, squeaks the fiddle sharp,
Winds the French horn, and twangs the tingling harp;
Till, like great Jove, the leader, figuring in,
Attunes to order the chaotic din.
Now all seems hushed; but no, one fiddle will
Give, half ashamed, a tiny flourish still.
Foiled in his crash, the leader of the clan
Reproves with frowns the dilatory man:
Then on his candlestick thrice taps his bow,
Nods a new signal, and away they go.
Perchance, while pit and gallery cry 'Hats off!'
And awed Consumption checks his chided cough,
Some giggling daughter of the Queen of Love
Drops, reft of pin, her play-bill from above;
Like Icarus, while laughing galleries clap,
Soars, ducks, and dives in air the printed scrap;
But, wiser far than he, combustion fears,
And, as it flies, eludes the chandeliers;
Till, sinking gradual, with repeated twirl,
It settles, curling, on a fiddler's curl,
Who from his powdered pate the intruder strikes,
And, for mere malice, sticks it on the spikes.
Say, why these Babel strains from Babel tongues?
Who's that calls 'Silence!' with such leathern lungs!
He who, in quest of quiet, 'Silence!' hoots,
Is apt to make the hubbub he imputes.
What various swains our motley walls contain! -
Fashion from Moorfields, honour from Chick Lane;
Bankers from Paper Buildings here resort,
Bankrupts from Golden Square and Riches Court;
From the Haymarket canting rogues in grain,
Gulls from the Poultry, sots from Water Lane;
The lottery-cormorant, the auction shark,
The full-price master, and the half-price clerk;
Boys who long linger at the gallery-door,
With pence twice five - they want but twopence more;
Till some Samaritan the twopence spares,
And sends them jumping up the gallery-stairs.
Critics we boast who ne'er their malice balk,
But talk their minds - we wish they'd mind their talk;
Big-worded bullies, who by quarrels live -
Who give the lie, and tell the lie they give;
Jews from St. Mary Axe, for jobs so wary,
That for old clothes they'd even axe St. Mary;
And bucks with pockets empty as their pate,
Lax in their gaiters, laxer in their gait;
Who oft, when we our house lock up, carouse
With tippling tipstaves in a lock-up house.
Yet here, as elsewhere, Chance can joy bestow
Where scowling fortune seem'd to threaten woe.
John Richard William Alexander Dwyer
Was footman to Justinian Stubbs, Esquire;
But when John Dwyer listed in the Blues,
Emanuel Jennings polished Stubbs's shoes;
Emanuel Jennings brought his youngest boy
Up as a corn-cutter - a safe employ;
In Holywell Street, St. Pancras, he was bred
(At number twenty-seven, it is said),
Facing the pump, and near the Granby's head;
He would have bound him to some shop in town,
But with a premium he could not come down.
Pat was the urchin's name - a red-haired youth,
Fonder of purl and skittle-grounds than truth.
Silence, ye gods! to keep your tongues in awe,
The Muse shall tell an accident she saw.
Pat Jennings in the upper gallery sat,
But, leaning forward, Jennings lost his hat;
Down from the gallery the beaver flew,
And spurned the one to settle in the two.
How shall he act? Pay at the gallery-door
Two shillings for what cost, when new, but four?
Or till half-price, to save his shilling, wait,
And gain his hat again at half-past eight?
Now, while his fears anticipate a thief,
John Mullens whispered, 'Take my handkerchief.'
'Thank you,' cries Pat; 'but one won't make a line.'
'Take mine,' cried Wilson; and cried Stokes, 'Take mine.'
A motley cable soon Pat Jennings ties,
Where Spitalfields with real India vies.
Like Iris' bow down darts the painted clue,
Starred, striped, and spotted, yellow, red, and blue,
Old calico, torn silk, and muslin new.
George Green below, with palpitating hand,
Loops the last 'kerchief to the beaver's band -
Upsoars the prize! The youth, with joy unfeigned,
Regained the felt, and felt what he regained;
While to the applauding galleries grateful Pat
Made a low bow, and touched the ransomed hat!"

From the same work is taken this parody on a beautiful passage in
Southey's "Kehama:"

"Midnight, yet not a nose
From Tower Hill to Piccadilly snored!
Midnight, yet not a nose
From Indra drew the essence of repose.
See with what crimson fury,
By Indra fann'd, the god of fire ascends the walls of Drury!
The tops of houses, blue with lead,
Bend beneath the landlord's tread;
Master and 'prentice, serving-man and lord,
Nailor and tailor,
Grazier and brazier,
Through streets and alleys poured,
All, all abroad to gaze,
And wonder at the blaze.
Thick calf, fat foot, and slim knee,
Mounted on roof and chimney;
The mighty roast, the mighty stew
To see,
As if the dismal view
Were but to them a mighty jubilee."

The brothers Smith reproduced Byron in the familiar "Childe Harold"
stanza, both in style and thought:

"For what is Hamlet, but a hare in March?
And what is Brutus but a croaking owl?
And what is Rolla? Cupid steeped in starch,
Orlando's helmet in Augustin's cowl.
Shakespeare, how true thine adage, 'fair is foul!'
To him whose soul is with fruition fraught,
The song of Braham is an Irish howl,
Thinking is but an idle waste of thought,
And nought is everything, and everything is nought."

Moore, also, was imitated in the same way, as in these verses:

"The apples that grew on the fruit-tree of knowledge
By women were plucked, and she still wears the prize,
To tempt us in theatre, senate, or college -
I mean the love-apples that bloom in the eyes.

There, too, is the lash which, all statutes controlling,
Still governs the slaves that are made by the fair;
For man is the pupil who, while her eye's rolling,
Is lifted to rapture or sunk in despair."

From the parody on Sir Walter Scott, it is difficult to select, being all
good; calling from Scott himself the remark, "I must have done this
myself, though I forget on what occasion."

A TALE OF DRURY LANE.

BY W. S.

"As Chaos which, by heavenly doom,
Had slept in everlasting gloom,
Started with terror and surprise,
When light first flashed upon her eyes:
So London's sons in nightcap woke,
In bedgown woke her dames,
For shouts were heard mid fire and smoke,
And twice ten hundred voices spoke,
'The playhouse is in flames.'
And lo! where Catherine Street extends,
A fiery tail its lustre lends
To every window pane:
Blushes each spout in Martlet Court,
And Barbican, moth-eaten fort,
And Covent Garden kennels sport
A bright ensanguined drain;
Meux's new brewhouse shows the light,
Rowland Hill's chapel, and the height
Where patent shot they sell:
The Tennis Court, so fair and tall,
Partakes the ray, with Surgeons' Hall,
The ticket porters' house of call,
Old Bedlam, close by London Wall,
Wright's shrimp and oyster shop withal,
And Richardson's hotel.
Nor these alone, but far and wide,
Across the Thames's gleaming tide,
To distant fields the blaze was borne;
And daisy white and hoary thorn,
In borrowed lustre seemed to sham
The rose or red Sweet Wil-li-am.
To those who on the hills around
Beheld the flames from Drury's mound,
As from a lofty altar rise;
It seemed that nations did conspire,
To offer to the god of fire
Some vast stupendous sacrifice!
The summoned firemen woke at call,
And hied them to their stations all.
Starting from short and broken snooze,
Each sought his ponderous hobnailed shoes;
But first his worsted hosen plied,
Plush breeches next in crimson dyed,
His nether bulk embraced;
Then jacket thick of red or blue,
Whose massy shoulders gave to view
The badge of each respective crew,
In tin or copper traced.
The engines thundered through the street,
Fire-hook, pipe, bucket, all complete,
And torches glared and clattering feet
Along the pavement paced.

* * * * *

E'en Higginbottom now was posed,
For sadder scene was ne'er disclosed;
Without, within, in hideous show,
Devouring flames resistless glow,
And blazing rafters downward go,
And never halloo 'Heads below!'
Nor notice give at all:
The firemen, terrified, are slow
To bid the pumping torrent flow,
For fear the roof should fall.
Back, Robins, back! Crump, stand aloof!
Whitford, keep near the walls!
Huggins, regard your own behoof,
For, lo! the blazing rocking roof
Down, down in thunder falls!
An awful pause succeeds the stroke,
And o'er the ruins volumed smoke,
Rolling around its pitchy shroud,
Concealed them from the astonished crowd.
At length the mist awhile was cleared,
When lo! amid the wreck upreared
Gradual a moving head appeared,
And Eagle firemen knew
'Twas Joseph Muggins, name revered,
The foreman of their crew.
Loud shouted all in signs of woe,
'A Muggins to the rescue, ho!'
And poured the hissing tide:
Meanwhile the Muggins fought amain,
And strove and struggled all in vain,
For, rallying but to fall again,
He tottered, sunk, and died!
Did none attempt, before he fell,
To succour one they loved so well?
Yes, Higginbottom did aspire
(His fireman's soul was all on fire)
His brother chief to save;


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