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A Tale Of A Trumpet
by [?]

“It’s not the thing for me–I know it, To crack my own Trumpet up and blow it; But it is the best, and time will show it, There was Mrs. F. So very deaf, That she might have worn a percussion-cap, And been knock’d on the head without hearing it snap. Well, I sold her a horn, and the very next day She heard from her husband at Botany Bay! Come–eighteen shillings–that’s very low, You’ll save the money as shillings go, And I never knew so bad a lot, By hearing whether they ring or not!

“Eighteen shillings! it’s worth the price, Supposing you’re delicate-minded and nice, To have the medical man of your choice, Instead of the one with the strongest voice– Who comes and asks you, how’s your liver, And where you ache, and whether you shiver, And as to your nerves, so apt to quiver, As if he was hailing a boat in the river! And then with a shout, like Pat in a riot, Tells you to keep yourself perfectly quiet! Or a tradesman comes–as tradesmen will– Short and crusty about his bill, Of patience, indeed, a perfect scorner, And because you’re deaf and unable to pay, Shouts whatever he has to say, In a vulgar voice, that goes over the way, Down the street and round the corner! Come–speak your mind–it’s ‘No or Yes,'” (“I’ve half a mind,” said Dame Eleanor S.)

“Try it again–no harm in trying, Of course you hear me, as easy as lying; No pain at all, like a surgical trick, To make you squall, and struggle, and kick, Like Juno, or Rose, Whose ear undergoes Such horrid tugs at membrane and gristle, For being as deaf as yourself to a whistle!

“You may go to surgical chaps if you choose, Who will blow up your tubes like copper flues, Or cut your tonsils right away, As you’d shell out your almonds for Christmas-day; And after all a matter of doubt, Whether you ever would hear the shout: Of the little blackguards that bawl about, ‘There you go with your tonsils out!’ Why I knew a deaf Welshman, who came from Glamorgan On purpose to try a surgical spell, And paid a guinea, and might as well Have call’d a monkey into his organ! For the Aurist only took a mug, And pour’d in his ear some acoustical drug, That, instead of curing, deafen’d him rather, As Hamlet’s uncle served Hamlet’s father! That’s the way with your surgical gentry! And happy your luck If you don’t get stuck Through your liver and lights at a royal entry, Because you never answer’d the sentry!

“Try it again, dear Madam, try it! Many would sell their beds to buy it. I warrant you often wake up in the night, Ready to shake to a jelly with fright, And up you must get to strike a light, And down you go, in you know what, Whether the weather is chilly or hot,– That’s the way a cold is got,– To see if you heard a noise or not!”

“Why, bless you, a woman with organs like yours Is hardly safe to step out of doors! Just fancy a horse that comes full pelt, But as quiet as if he was ‘shod with felt,’ Till he rushes against you with all his force, And then I needn’t describe the course, While he kicks you about without remorse, How awkward it is to be groom’d by a horse! Or a bullock comes, as mad as King Lear, And you never dream that the brute is near, Till he pokes his horn right into your ear, Whether you like the thing or lump it,– And all for want of buying a trumpet!

“I’m not a female to fret and vex, But if I belonged to the sensitive sex, Exposed to all sorts of indelicate sounds, I wouldn’t be deaf for a thousand pounds. Lord! only think of chucking a copper To Jack or Bob with a timber limb, Who looks as if he was singing a hymn, Instead of a song that’s very improper! Or just suppose in a public place You see a great fellow a-pulling a face, With his staring eyes and his mouth like an O,– And how is a poor deaf lady to know,– The lower orders are up to such games– If he’s calling ‘Green Peas,’ or calling her names?” (“They’re tenpence a peck!” said the deafest of Dames.)