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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 smil'd 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 e A fine spoken customhouse officer he,

Who smil'd as he gaz'd on the venison and me.

d

•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.

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 friend!'

[wind, Thus, h snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.

What say you

y dear

Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf,

VARIATIONS.

f

make up the dinner, I'll take no denial you shall, and you must. g No words, my dear Goldsmith! my very good friend! h seizing

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And nobody with me at sea but myself ;'
Tho' I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty,
Yet Johnson and Burke, and a good venison pasty,
Were things that I never dislik’d in my life,
Though clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife.
So next day in due splendour to make my approach,
I drove to his door in my own hackney-coach.

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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 'would not

For I knew it,' he cried, 'both eternally fail, The one kwith his speeches, and t’other withThrale; 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.

VARIATIONS.

i could

at the house, 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, may this bit be my 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.' •0ho!' 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 !'

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