« EelmineJätka »
THE HAUNCH OF VENISON
THANKS, my lord, for your venison, for finer or
fatter Never rang'd in a forest, or smok’d in a platter;
The haunch was a picture for painters to study, * The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy ; Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help
regretting To spoil such a delicate picture by eating ; I had thoughts, in my chambers to place it in view, To be shown to my friends as a piece of virtù ; As in some Irish houses, where things are so-so, One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show; But, for eating a rasher of what they take pride in, They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fried in. But hold, — let me pause, — don't I hear you pro
nounce, This tale of the bacon a damnable bounce ? Well, suppose it a bounce—sure a poet may try, By a bounce, now and then, to get courage to fly. But, my lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my turn It's a truth, and your lordship may ask Mr. Byrne.
1 Lord Clare's nephew.
VARIATIONS (First Edition.) · The white was so white, and the red was so ruddy!
To go on with my tale: as I gaz’d on the baunch, I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch, So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undrest, To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best. Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose ; 'Twas a neck and a breast that might rival Monroe's: But in parting with these I was puzzled again, With the how, and the who, and the where, and
the when. * There's Howard, and Coley, and H-rth, and Hiff, I think they love venison -- I know they love beef. There's my countryman Higgins — oh! let him
alone For making a blunder, or picking a bone. But hang it—to poets 'who seldom can eat, Your very good mutton 's a very good treat; Such dainties to them atheir health it might hurt, It's like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt.
While thus I debated, in reverie center'd An acquaintance, a friend as he call’d himself,
enter'd; • An under-bred, fine spoken fellow was he, And he smild as he look’d at the venison and me.
VARIATIONS. b There's Coley, and Williams, and Howard, and Hiff-, c that
It would look like a flirt, Like sending 'em ruffles — 6 A fine spoken customhouse officer he,
Who smil'd as he gaz'd on the venison and me.
“What have we got here? Why, this is good eating! Your own, I suppose — or is it in waiting?' Why, whose should it be?' cried I with a flounce: 'I get these things often;'- but that was a bounce: "Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation, Are pleas’d to be kind—but I hate ostentation.'
• If that be the case, then,' cried he, very gay, * I'm glad I have taken this house in my way. To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me; No words — I insist on't — precisely at three: We'll have Johnson and Burke, all the wits will
be there; My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my lord Clare. And now that I think on't, as I am a sinner! We wanted this venison to make out the dinner. What say you — a pasty ?-it shall, and it must, And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust. Here, porter — this venison with me to Mile-end; 8 No stirring - I beg — my dear friend — my dear friend!'
[wind, Thus, snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.
Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf,
make up the dinner, I'll take no denial — you shall, and you must. 8 No words, my dear Goldsmith! my very good friend! h seizing
And nobody with me at sea but myself ;"2
When come to the place where we all were to dine (A chair-lumber'd closet just twelve feet by nine), My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb
[come; With tidings that Johnson and Burke i would not • For I knew it,' he cried, 'both eternally fail, The one kwith his speeches, and t'other with Thrale; But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up the party, With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty. The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew;
They're both of them merry, and authors like you; The one writes the Snarler, the other the Scourge; Some thinks he writes Cinna: he owns to Panurge.' While thus he describ’d them by trade and by name, They enter'd, and dinner was serv'd as they came.
2 See the letters that passed between his Royal Highness Henry Duke of Cumberland, and Lady Grosvenor,-12mo, 1769.
But, I warrant for me, we shall make up the party. | Who dabble and write in the papers—like you.
At the top, a fried liver and bacon were seen ; At the bottom was tripe, in a swingeing tureen; At the sides there was spinage and pudding made
hot; In the middle a place where the mpasty — was not. Now, my lord, as for tripe, it's my utter aversion, And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian ; So there I sat stuck, like a horse in a pound, While the bacon and liver went merrily round: But what vex'd me most was that damn'd Scottish
rogue, With his long-winded speeches, his smiles and his
brogue, And,‘Madam,'quoth he,ʻmay this bit bemy poison. " A prettier dinner I never set eyes on ; Pray a slice of your liver, though, may I be curst, But I've eat of your tripe till I'm ready to burst.' • The tripe!' quoth the Jew, with his chocolate
cheek, “I could dine on this tripe seven days in a week: I like these here dinners, so pretty and small; But your friend there, the doctor, eats nothing at
all.' •O—ho!'quoth my friend, 'he'll come on in a trice, He's keeping a corner for something that's nice :
VARIATIONS. m venison v If a prettier dinner I ever set eyes on! o Your tripe!' quoth the Jew, 'If the truth I may speak,
I could eat of this tripe seven days in the week!