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A Curious Fact
by [?]


The present Lord Kenyon (the Peer who writes letters,
For which the waste-paper folks much are his debtors)
Hath one little oddity well worth reciting,
Which puzzleth observers even more than his writing.
Whenever Lord Kenyon doth chance to behold
A cold Apple-pie–mind, the pie must be cold–
His Lordship looks solemn (few people know why),
And he makes a low bow to the said apple-pie.
This idolatrous act in so “vital” a Peer,
Is by most serious Protestants thought rather queer–
Pie-worship, they hold, coming under the head
(Vide Crustium, chap, iv.) of the Worship of Bread.
Some think ’tis a tribute, as author he owes
For the service that pie-crust hath done to his prose;–
The only good things in his pages, they swear,
Being those that the pastry-cook sometimes put there.
Others say, ’tis a homage, thro’ piecrust conveyed,
To our Glorious Deliverer’s much-honored shade;
As that Protestant Hero (or Saint, if you please)
Was as fond of cold pie as he was of green pease,[1]
And ’tis solely in loyal remembrance of that,
My Lord Kenyon to apple-pie takes off his hat.
While others account for this kind salutation;”–
By what Tony Lumpkin calls “concatenation;”
A certain good-will that, from sympathy’s ties,
‘Twixt old Apple-women and Orange-men lies.

But ’tis needless to add, these are all vague surmises,
For thus, we’re assured, the whole matter arises:
Lord Kenyon’s respected old father (like many
Respected old fathers) was fond of a penny;
And loved so to save,[2] that–there’s not the least question–
His death was brought on by a bad indigestion,
From cold apple-pie-crust his Lordship would stuff in
At breakfast to save the expense of hot muffin.
Hence it is, and hence only, that cold apple-pies
Are beheld by his Heir with such reverent eyes–
Just as honest King Stephen his beaver might doff
To the fishes that carried his kind uncle off–
And while filial piety urges so many on,
‘Tis pure apple-pie-ety moves my Lord Kenyon.

NOTES:
[1] See the anecdote, which the Duchess of Marlborough relates in her Memoirs, of this polite hero appropriating to himself one day, at dinner, a whole dish of green peas–the first of the season–while the poor Princess Anne, who was then in a longing condition, sat by vainly entreating with her eyes for a share.

[2] The same prudent propensity characterizes his descendant, who (as is well known) would not even go to the expense of a diphthong on his father’s monument, but had the inscription spelled, economically, thus:–“mors janua vita”