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OR, THE FATE OF THE BRAUNS.
A POEM, IN FOUR CANTOS.
BY WILLIAM WASTLE, ESQUIRE. Member of the Dilettanti, Royal, and Antiquarian Societies, and of the Union and Ben Waters's Clubs of Edinburgh ; Honorary Member of the Kunst-und-alterthumsliebers Gesellschaft of Gottingen, and of the Phoenix Terrarum of Amsterdam, &c. &c. &c.
אשת־היל מי ומצש ורהק מפנינים מכרה : בטח בה לבבעלה ושלל לא יחסר
THOU AARON'S ROD OF CRITICS SMALL AND GREAT !
OF WHICS AND DEMOCRATS, THOU FEAR AND HATE!
TO THEE THE FOLLOWING LINES I DEDICATE.
IF YOU INSÉRT 'EM IN THE MONTH OF JULY.
* This Gentleman having at last dispensed with certain promises under which we had come, we feel ourselves at liberty to announce to our readers that they owe to his pen several poetical articles of distinguished merit, in some of the preceding numbers of our Miscellany. We reserve the full acknowledgment of our various obligations to his genius, till the Index Auctorum (which we are happy to say is in a state of considerable forwardness,) shall be ready for publication. But we may mention in the mean time, that the various Poetical Notices of this Magazine are among the number of his productions, and that we have received from him “ Two Probationary Odes, humbly dedicated to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.” The appearance of those humorous pieces depends entirely upon contingencies.-We may add, for the benefit of our Salt-foot readers, that Mr Wastle was lately served heir in general (the application of the phrase Filius Carnalis, being, in his case, waived,) to William Wastle, Esq. of that ilk, who died A. D. 1584.-A hero well known to the students of
« Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,” &c. A pedigree of W. W. may probably
ly number of our Work.
XIV. He is, I take it, if the truth were known,
People will say, it is queer confiteor, Merely the brother uterine of Nap.
Arguing a vulgar coarseness in my taste. Old Madame Mere, no doubt, would never own, But I am not a canting bard, like Beattie, or
Perhaps she knew not, who begot the chap; Cowper, or any of that set strait-laced ; But in the family he's quite alone,
Such prudishness, I think, is a mere meteor A worthy creature, ignorant of trap.
That leads to bogs of dulness, drear and waste. During his reign in Holland, the good body Our poets make a great display of nicety,Acquired a taste for smoking and gin toddy. I suspect some of them of much duplicity. VIII.
Some of the best of them are, to No more a monarch, Louis draws from these
Au fond most excellent, fine jolly dogs ;
To clubs, &c. like others going,
And scorning, manfully, prudential clogs. In stupid meditation's drowsy calm. Beneath the shadow of thy Switzer trees
And yet in poetry they're always shewing Sleep on, thou exiled lord of Amsterdam ! Off, as if they were mere domestic logs, In that long pipe a harmless sceptre find,
As if they took tea every night at eight, Enjoy your schnaps, give sorrow to the wind. And would not drink two bottles for their weight IX.
XVI. And if the stories that they tell be true,
In gold-Hypocrisy's a foe to merit, About your sterner brother and the queen,
And makes to me their genius less transporting, There's others as ill off, -aye, not a few;
I think it might be worthier of their spirit, In Italy the like has often been.
To scorn such modes of vulgar glory courting, Such doings seem most horrible to you,
The illustrious bards, whose fire their souls inherit, Chiefly because the world you have not seen.
More candid sentiments were fond of sporting. By studying the Poems of Leigh Hunt,
Homer, or if (as Voss says) that's a nullity,
The whole Homeridæ rejoiced in jollity!
And none of them would more than me haveboggled, In Amsterdam, there lived a certain widow, If Mrs Schlappsendal they e'er had seen, The relic of Mynheer Van Schlappsendal,
To own that with no little gout they ogled, Over whose bier two years agone shesighed, “Oh!”
Such dames as sat to Rubens and Jan Stein ; Altho’ she was not what genteel we call,
The sentiment, no doubt, had not been dogrelled, Dutch Virtuosi thought her quite the Dido ;
But still the sentiment the same had been, For she was a plump, jolly, juicy lady,
Dressed in ottava-rima or hexameter,
Laudation of the belles of large diameter.
There could not be a more delicious creature, The pictures of Rembrandt, or Gerard Douw; I speak my mind out, than my heroine; Of Van der Heyden, or of Van de Velde ;
I never saw a fairer face, or sweeter, Of Keyser, Jan Stein, Mieris, Metzu,
More melting, easy, gentleness of mein ; Vandyke, Frank Hals, or him that all excelled,
Good humour sat enthroned on every feature, In power, in luxury, and in beauty too,
Her eyes were rich, complacent and serene ;-The peerless Rubens will at once discover
Once on a washing-green I spied her slips, What charms inflame the Dutch or Flemish lover.
And found them full three yards about the hips. XII.
XIX. The slender waist, most delicate, most slim, Her arms were chubby, and her bosom plump, Into the gentle bosom swelling slow ;
And every thing upon a liberal scale, The airy elegance of the light limb;
Yet she could frisk about, hop-step-and-jump, The little feet, that twinkle as they go ;
And waltz it, or fandango without fail ; The small and tapering arm, compact and trim, In short, she was, though fat, as fine a romp These lovelinesses seem to him-SO SO ;
As e'er an English missy, slim and pale.
But settled long in Holland as a banker;
lank hair. Shemust have fists would knockabullock down,sir, The moment he beheld this charming female, The Μεγεθος και καλλος of the Greeks. .
Love in his heart infixed a triple anchor, If she sits down upon the grass, she leaves
And he resolved that instant, coute ce qui'l coute, A mark as broad as any of her beeves.
To give an ardent opening to his suit. 5
XXVIII. Dutch people are not over ceremonious,
Men that had whiskers of the genuine growth, So there was nothing to prevent Mynheer, Springing up daily in abundant crops ; No dread of cold rebuff or acrimonious ;
Whiskers that curled them when their lords waxed And to the lady boldly he drew near,
wroth, And in his Cleopatra's ear th' Antonius
Not tied with ribbons underneath the chops, Whispered,“ Mevrouw, 'tis claaren helder weer;" Apt to be falling among tea or broth, Which is as much in English as to say,
(But to be sure 'twas not the age for slops,) “Madam, your servant; there's a fine clear day." Blarney was one of these-perhaps you've met him,
The ladies about London used to pet him.
And got acquainted at the table d'hote;
Tucking in every thing that could be got ;
-Houses, and afterwards in the same boat,
Or coach, we travelled we were chums, in short,
From Amsterdam to Utrecht, Gouda, Dort.
And now from Dordrecht on to Amsterdam, 'Twas there the banker first espied his sweeting, Proceeding via Rotterdam, and Leyden,
'Twas there his pipe he from his lips withdrew, And Haarlem, we had chanced ourselves to cram Altho not half smoked out, to speak that greeting O'er the smooth surface, gentle as a lamb,
Into a snuggish treckschuit which was gliding Just criticised in stanza twenty-two ; That salutation brought them first together, Mid groves of willows green its brightness hiding, I mean that dull remark about the weather. When Mynheer Braun had the good sense to fall
In love with charming widow Schlappsendall. XXIV. in Yaw wohl, Mynheer," was Mrs S.'s answer :
Divided into cabins one, two, three;
At four miles in the hour, I think, it goes Chaldean, sorcerer, or necromancer,
On these canals, so smooth, so steadily. None could have managed it in higher style.
No sort of jolting troubles your repose, Touched by that charming simper of Mevrouw,
Or, if you're otherwise inclined, your glee ; The Memel broker's heart began to glow
You eat and drink as if in Paradise,
But take a pipe there with you, if you're wise. XXV.
XXXII. As if Vesuvius, Ætna, Strombolo,
My friend and I had made our resolutions Had been transferred with all their lava thither;
To be, in Holland, natives cap-a-pee ; And then his eyes began to twinkle so,
So there-our legs stretched out in velvet cushions, He looked a different mortal altogether ;
A bottle of old hock at either knee, And when he took her yielding hand of snow,
Amongst a crowd of Flemings, Dutchers, Prussians, And in the corner 'gan to flirt it with her,
Frenchmen, and Poles, and Austrians, there sat we, Says I at once, “ I'll lay you half-a-crown,
Uttering enormous puffs at every second This widow shall be wife to Master Braun."
(What nasty brutes we had at home been reckoned !) XXVI.
XXXIII. My friend agreed at once with the remark.---
There sat we, in oblivion of all labours, But I believe, I have forgot as yet,
And cares, and toils, and thoughts, fornumberone, Lector Benevole, to name the spark,
Encircled by the strangest group of neighbours I am an introduction in your debt,
That e'er was met, I take it, 'neath the sun. 'Twas Young Squire Blarney, heir to Blarney-park, Bobwigs and meerschaums, petticoats and sabres, As neat a gentleman as e'er you set
Burghers and Barons, Goth, and Celt, and Hun, Your eyes upon in Bond Street or Pall-mall,
A score of peoples, kindreds, tribes, and tongues, A proper Yorkshire cut, full six feet tall.
All exercising in one way their lungs.
A number of our countrymen were there : A specimen of that old English breed
An Oxford parson in black stocking gaiters ; That used to drink such lots of ale and sack, An Irish quack without one pile of hair, And on whole barons of roast beef to feed,
Whose nose and chin were like a nutmeg grater's; Whom Mounseers scarce durst, three to one, attack, A lean Scots scribe, the type of craft and care,
Of stays and all such trash that had no need ; Very much sneezed at every where by waiters, Fellows that had no calves done up in rollers,
A native of the town of Aberdeen, No patent stiffeners--no erect shirt-collars ; With two light gogling'eyes 'twixt gray and green;
And here and there, amid the fearful gabble Three or four tutors, and as many minors ; Pupils and pedagogues upon a par
Of coarser notes, commingling gruff and shrill,
From out the centre of this second Babel,
Was heard the voice of wooing, small and still; Horn ignorant, God knows, but all good diners,
Soft as the magic lute of Tasso's fable, Travelling on the conclusion of the war,
Clear as the
gurgling of an Highland rill.
O Nature ! what mysterious power is thine, Staring about as if they'd got upon
Even in Low Dutch thy echoes are divine.
People may say whatever things they please
About the os rotundum of the Greeks, Their younkers all through Italy, and France,
Of Latian elegance, of Tuscan ease, And Germany, and Holland. As a friend,
And of the
Gothic linguos' grunts and squeaks ; One word of wholesome counsel I'll advance :
I've noticed, both at home and over seas, Raw lubber lads are not much like to mend,
That when of love or man or woman speaks, Capering about like heroes of Romance,
There comes a music to the listener's ears, Picking acquaintances with foreign belles,
Delicious as the music of the spheres.
But sentiment—(Heu! cæcis nil refulget!) About the streets at home they're quite a drug. As all my friends observe, will be my ruin,
These gentlemen that have performed the tour, If any more occur, I'll not indulge it, You'll recognise them by a constant shrug,
I'll be a plain narrator of this wooing. An awkward copy of a Gascon boor ;
Alas ! how little has my muse divulg’d yet, Or, it may be, that at their heels they lug
Of this most intricate Dædalean doing ! Some Naples grayhound-pretty to be sure, But, to be sure, as far's we yet have come, But chiefly prized by its Signor Inglese,
And on a bit, the story is humdrum.
It is, I think, as ancient as the hills,
The saying that, except the happy two, A little paltry store of broken French is
Love scenes in general, are but dull pills, The principal acquirement of the beau,
Ere they go down they must be gilt a few. Patch work, which to all purposes he wrenches,
I hate to see folks swallow 'gainst their wills; In shewing off before the untravelled low; Two or three stories of Venetian wenches,
Upon my honour, 'tis my wish to do
The best I can-I rather think my strength is in A few false medals purchased on the Pom
Diversifying dullness-per parenthesin. e One so provided, to our home-spun nation Is certainly a blessed importation.
But passe pour ça-long, long before we reached XXXIX.
The busy Haarlem-gate of Amsterdam, These long digressions are the very devil ;
The Memel Banker had in form beseeched, But to return from this my disquisition,
With oaths and vows, the hand of fair Madame, Touching the bad effects of foreign travel
The cynosure of Dutchmen double-breeched; Upon young gentlemen of good condition,
She, lovely innocence, unskilled to sham, To things more strictly on my muse's level Started, blushed, ogled, dimpled, and looked queer,
(Observe how modest is my disposition), And breathed a soft consent to her Mynheer. At once, in short, to plump the reader down On the Dutch treckschuyt and the loves of Braun.
The fashionable way to make a poem, Throughout the upper regions of the boat,
Like other fashions, has seen may changes; That 'twas in vain for any man to seek
Readers are now contented if you show 'em To trace minutely the erotic plot,
The mere elite of what within your range is; Through all its windings, twistings, turns oblique, In short, without apology or proem, On to the fair solution of the knot ;
No rule of modern gout your muse infringes, 'Twas only now and then, without a joke,
Although wholedays, weeks, years, she hurries by That we got glimpses of them through the smoke.
Scott, Byron, Wordsworth, Wilson-why not lo
In dalliance linked, of an intenser quality ; Of writing—of describing every thing;
Like high-road hackney brutes, of journeying Was now our banker's fingers squeezed between, Through many a weary, dusty, viewless mile.
With all the signs of warmth and cordiality. O'er open downs and wilds he now may filing, Nay, his one arm was folded round her waist, Shake his long mane in the free mountain breezes, Without exciting symptoms of distaste.
And Icap as many ditches as he plcases.
X. Had I been born a rhymester of the breed
I much approve the Continental fashion, Of tragic Vondel, or Bucolic Noot,
Of having two beds rather in one room ; 'Tis very true I should have had no need
"Tis near enough, heaven knows, for conversation ; To these new-fangled modes my lyre to suit ; And it prevents a pair from many a fume, Poets in Holland seem to be agreed,
From many a most unpleasant altercation, That 'tis a treasonous heinous sin to shoot
In which my wife and I much time consume. Farther than their old fathers shot before 'em, Domnestic tyranny (my fate is hard !) Fine spirits ! the Primitiæ Batavorum !
Leaves free the muse, but sorely binds the bard. IV.
XI. If e'er you chance on the Exchange to go,
And Braun was debtor to his wife, per annum, At Amsterdam or Rotterdam I mean,
At least one child
sometimes she book'd him two. You'll easily gather why it should be so ;
The first was Moll, the namesake of her grannum; All poets copy the surrounding scene;
The second was called Kari; the third was Hoogh; 'Tis for those lumbering quizzes' taste must flow The fourth was Girzzy (after Mrs Manheim,
Thy stream ! O Netherlandish Hippocrene ! An aunt that lived not far from Waterloo). Those big-breech'd burgers, I regret it much, Braun might give all the provinces defiance, Compose the Reading Public of the Dutch. To shew a comelier, healthier crop of scions. V.
XII. A large full Ramillies, with curls most hideous, It would, I swear, have done the readers good, Diverging o'er the back in many a sweep,
To see the pair to kerk or kirmis going ; A single breasted coat, with skirts prodigious,
Braun and his spouse with all the rising brood, Containing pockets lodgeable and deep,
With well-combed hair, and countenancesglowing Breeches and vest to match.-King William's lieges Fresh from the basin--How erect they stood !
Still to that old costume with caution keep. How patriarchal ʼmid the circle growing !
It must have greatly gratified his stomach,
Particularly if he likes what's comic.
A child there an't at all like yours, oh, reader ! Appear in equally absurd apparel ;
At least it is in no respect like mine. Their gowns fly off in an enormous train,
A Dutch boy looks as glum's a special pleader, Their waists are padded out as big's a barrel ; Or conveyancer, long before he's nine; To shew the buckle is considered vain,
His prudent parents perfectly agreed are, To shew the ancle would produce a quarrel ;
To check the natural bias infantine, Nay worse and worse, Mevrouw must wear a mutch, They teach their cu with gravity to straddle, (That old Scotch word's still used in Nether Dutch.) The very moment that he leaves his cradle. VII.
XIV. But to return, and to exemplify
They dress the infant out in solemn suits The modern license of the English poet :
Of customary snuff or quaker-colour ; Braun married his fair widow by and bye, From stiff cravat the whimpering visage shoots ;
And lodged her at his lust-huis, near Helvoet, Knee breeches are ta’en down to whip the scholar. A pretty Villa in a Dutchman's eye,
I hate to see the little chubby brutes For a few stivers any time they shew it
Looking as sour as they were four feet taller, A comfortable, warm, snug house withal,
Their nasty dwindling gummy legs exposing, And built within six yards of the canal.
Great heavy floundering silk or worsted hose in. VIII.
XV. The joyous couple spent for several years,
How would our young M‘Alisters or Campbells, In this commodious, most aquatic Eden,
Used to their native luxury of kilts, A life entirely destitute of fears
Be horrified if put into such trammels, And miseries-much of it consumed in feeding ; Compelled to strut for ever on such stilts, First breakfast, luncheon second, third appears Hips from the breezes barred, and legs from gambols!
A copious dinner, each in turn succeeding ; With what long faces would the little Celts And then the tea and coffee, supper then ;
Sigh from their fusty breeches at the Hague, In short it was hot work from ten till ten.
“ Ochon Lochaber and the philabeg !” IX.
XVI. And then to bed they went, but not together ; Nor is young Mademoiselle's set out-less queer ; Upon the whole it seems a plan sagacious,
At four years old she's clad with meikle pother, Excepting just in the severest weather,
In Mutch, gown, petticoat, and all such gear, * Or in huge beds, cool, airy, and capacious, Enough a very elephant to smother; Especially for folks that fill their leather,
A foreigner's struck dumb when he draws near, Dutch folks, for instance, all with paunches spa- And sees Meyongvrouw dressed like her grandcious,
mother Not under the same coverlid to bask,
Her little baby countenance, smooth and prim, And stew o’nights, like herrings in a cask. Looks odd in such a venerable trim.