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A Tale Of A Trumpet
by [?]

However, in the stranger came, And, the moment he met the eyes of the Dame, Threw her as knowing a nod as though He had known her fifty long years ago; And presto! before she could utter “Jack”– Much less “Robinson”–open’d his pack– And then from amongst his portable gear, With even more than a Pedlar’s tact,– (Slick himself might have envied the act)– Before she had time to be deaf, in fact– Popp’d a Trumpet into her ear.

“There, Ma’am! try it! You needn’t buy it– The last New Patent–and nothing comes nigh it For affording the Deaf, at a little expense, The sense of hearing, and hearing of sense! A Real Blessing–and no mistake, Invented for poor Humanity’s sake; For what can be a greater privation Than playing Dummy to all creation, And only looking at conversation– Great Philosophers talking like Platos, And Members of Parliament moral as Catos, And your ears as dull as waxy potatoes! Not to name the mischievous quizzers, Sharp as knives, but double as scissors, Who get you to answer quite by guess Yes for No, and No for Yes.” (“That’s very true,” says Dame Eleanor S.)

“Try it again! No harm in trying– I’m sure you’ll find it worth your buying, A little practice–that is all– And you’ll hear a whisper, however small, Through an Act of Parliament party-wall,– Every syllable clear as day, And even what people are going to say– I wouldn’t tell a lie, I wouldn’t, But my Trumpets have heard what Solomon’s couldn’t; And as for Scott he promises fine, But can he warrant his horns like mine Never to hear what a Lady shouldn’t– Only a guinea–and can’t take less.” (“That’s very dear,” says Dame Eleanor S.)

“Dear!–Oh dear, to call it dear! Why it isn’t a horn you buy, but an ear; Only think, you’ll find on reflection You’re bargaining, Ma’am, for the Voice of Affection; For the language of Wisdom, and Virtue, and Truth, And the sweet little innocent prattle of youth: Not to mention the striking of clocks–, Cackle of hens–crowing of cocks– Lowing of cow, and bull, and ox– Bleating of pretty pastoral flocks– Murmur of waterfall over the rocks– Every sound that Echo mocks– Vocals, fiddles, and musical-box– And zounds! to call such a concert dear! But I musn’t swear with my horn in your ear. Why, in buying that Trumpet you buy all those That Harper, or any trumpeter, blows At the Queen’s Levees or the Lord Mayor’s Shows, At least as far as the music goes, Including the wonderful lively sound, Of the Guards’ keg-bugles all the year round: Come–suppose we call it a pound! “Come,” said the talkative Man of the Pack, “Before I put my box on my back, For this elegant, useful Conductor of Sound, Come–suppose we call it a pound!

“Only a pound! it’s only the price Of hearing a Concert once or twice, It’s only the fee You might give Mr. C. And after all not hear his advice, But common prudence would bid you stump it; For, not to enlarge, It’s the regular charge At a Fancy Fair for a penny trumpet. Lord! what’s a pound to the blessing of hearing!” (“A pound’s a pound,” said Dame Eleanor Spearing.)

“Try it again! no harm in trying! A pound’s a pound there’s no denying; But think what thousands and thousands of pounds We pay for nothing but hearing sounds: Sounds of Equity, Justice, and Law, Parliamentary jabber and jaw, Pious cant and moral saw, Hocus-pocus, and Nong-tong-paw, And empty sounds not worth a straw; Why it costs a guinea, as I’m a sinner, To hear the sounds at a Public Dinner! One pound one thrown into the puddle, To listen to Fiddle, Faddle, and Fuddle! Not to forget the sounds we buy From those who sell their sounds so high, That, unless the Managers pitch it strong, To get a Signora to warble a song, You must fork out the blunt with a haymaker’s prong!