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tell that?" “Lord love you, sir, I can tell it by the look on 'em ; I've had hundreds o' parrots in my time. I'll just tell you how it ware. You must know that in a ship I was in the skipper couldn't abide a monkey, and wouldn't allow a single one aboard-one of the wonders o' Natur' not to like a monkey, but so it ware. Well-in revenge for not allowing us to have monkeys, he let us have as many parrots as ever we liked. I had got five to my own share, meaning to bring 'em home, for you see I cultiwated 'em to sell. Well-three on 'em died ; of the other two, I got one in Afriky and t'other on the Spanish Main. I got that in change for two pound o' baccy--that ware his origin. Ah! that ware the bird ! There warn't a man aboard as had got more brains in his head than that parrot, -as true as I'm telling you, sir. But the birds as come from the Spanish Main beats all the others clean. Why, he'd sing out Pipe down hammocks,' Pipe for grog,' 'Turn up the hands, ' — I'm blest if I haven't seen the chaps come scampering up the hatchways at that. But that warn't all: there warn't an order that he had heard guv by the officers, from the first letenant down'ards, that he couldn't repeat it; he were more like a human creetur than a bird ; and I've sometimes thought, if they had but tried him, he could ha' sailed the ship-hows'ever that wouldn't ha' been quite according to the Articles of War, and so they didn't. To be sure, besides all that, he would now and then say something that warn't very purlite; but then he meant no harin, and that's how I look at it. As to t'other parrot - that's to say the Afriky parrot-never an improper word comed out of his mouth : he ware purlite, and uncommon genteel into the bargain; but then he ware precious stupid ! He could only say one thing-only one, that's the blessed truth-he had only one speech to his back, like. Whatever Spanish Main used to say, if it were only * Helm a-port,' or Reef topsails,' Afriky would sing out, Don't be so wulgar~ I'm shock'd at you!” Well--now only see the upshot on it. When we came into Plymouth to be paid off, the skipper guv me fifteen guineas for the clever bird, while nobody wouldn't buy the genteel parrot at no price. So as I couldn't get nothing for it, and, moreover, had promised to bring my poor old mother home a parrot, why I guv it to she."
Now, had the African parrot thought less of the gentility of the tunes he should dance to, not only would he have been a much more agreeable member of society, but he would have added considerably to his own personal comfort; whilst, also, he might possibly have achieved a much more respectable station in life than that to which he was ultimately consigned.
A FRAGMENTARY ODE.
"My dear Editor, " In looking over some papers last evening, I discovered the following lines, which I would fain consider worthy of preservation. They are the production of my valued friend, Mr. Bob Whyte, of whom your readers have already had some account. I took them down in short-hand from his lips one evening, at the sign of 'The Labour in Vain,' in the city of Soandso, shortly before we both left the medical school there. From some unsteadiness of hand, the stenography is not so clear as what I used to produce at lecture, and several of the lines on that account cannot, I am afraid, be deciphered—a fact which occasions here and there among them a hiatus valde deflendus,' as Swift would say.
“ I regret exceedingly, Mr. Editor, that I could not present this singularly beautiful and original poem' in a more complete state to your readers. I trust, however, that what has been preserved will give them a favourable idea of my friend Mr. Whyte's genius,
“I am, my dear Editor,
“ A MedicaL STUDENT.'
I stumbled by chance o'er a jolly good soul,
I happed in the kennel beside him to roll ;
His hat o'er his eyes, and his coat minus tail ;
Blythe was my smile-my head the while upon my shoulders danced,
out my swimming head-
Here my pen would seem to have carried away its rudder also, for the short-hand appears a mere series of unmeaniny scratches. After a few lines, however, comes one a little plainer.
Words to crush no more were able through my crowded throttle, which I presume must have rhymed to “bottle."
In some lines more he goes on to say how in this speechless and unspeakable condition, he raised his eyes to the jet of gas that illumined the apartment-1 can then decipher very clearly the following passage:
But guess my botheration.
After the above sublime bit of descriptive I regret to say that there are three lines irretrievably lost The Ode thereafter proceeds:
Their master-will my limbs denied, and senseless, powerless hung
Thus far the minstrel had woven his lay,
Spectre-like toward us wending their way.
as a stern look our phizzes they cast to.
“ If them 'ere young chaps arn't muzzy I'm—” “ Past two!" Into a wheelbarrow they speedily bundled us,
Our heads to the front and our feet to the rear,
Blubbering together in sympathy queer.
And after a yarn about folly and sin he
While I, by the mass, had to fork out a guinea.
RECEIPT FOR A NOBLEMAN.
A MODEST DEFENCE OF THE CUSTOM-HOUSE FRAUDS.
HERE's a clatter and a coil, and a puritanical upturning of eyes, and a horrified heaving of the humeral bones, at the fraudulent practices of those landing-waiters, tradesmen, and others, who have merely been exemplifying Dryden's lines
Customs to steal is such a trivial thing,
That 'tis their charter to defraud their king. But even if theirs were a legal offence instead of a charter, might they not plead that they do not come within the statute, inasmuch as they have not cheated any king, but the queen.
"I have not committed perjury,” said an arraigned party; “we are forbidden to bear false witness against our neighbours, but I have borne false witness for my neighbour.”
Tell not me that this is chicanery and quibbling; object to the use of sophistry, indeed! What! was Mr. Gully, the quondam prizefighter, deemed an unworthy member of parliament because, as it was illiberally urged by one of his opponents, his arguments would naturally be so-fistical? Shall we sanction pettifoggers and special pleaders, whose profession it is to discover and to practise modes by which the law may be evaded, justice defeated, the widow and the orphan impoverished, and themselves enriched ; and shall we pour forth the phials of our wrath upon their humble imitators in Thames-street, because they wear no black gowns, and are not admitted as regular practitioners in the courts of legal trickery? If we want proof of the adage that one man may steal a horse while another may not look over the hedge, we shall find it in comparing the recognised frauds of customs with the much vituperated Customs' frauds.
How can these tide-waiters be said to have cheated government, when it is palpable that they were not held under any governmentthat the commissioners forgot their commission--that their nominal comptrollers exercised no control over them? A bishop (episcopos) is literally an overseer, instead of which it is notorious that some of them are overlookers of their duties, and blind to the state of their diocese, though they call it their see.
Tide-waiters are overseers of the customs duties, therefore it is their duty to overlook the customs. This is precisely what they have done in particular instances; this is the whole head and front of their offending; and yet what a rabid outcry against these poor fellows looking! over the hedge, while the horse-stealer is allowed to ride quietly away.
Custom, say the Jurists, is unwritten law, and a practice may be termed a custom when it can be proved to have lasted for a hundred years. Now, can any man doubt that the custom of defrauding the Customs has endured more than a hundred years? Then the practice has become a law, and for observing this law, which, it seems, is one of our time-revered institutions, and a profitable proof of the wisdom of our ancestors, landing-waiters and tradesmen are to be prosecuted and punished. Monstrous injustice !!
Poor Theodore Hook used to say that nothing changed so much in