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Her Pedigree
by [?]


Of signs and omens there was no dearth,
Any more than at Owen Glendower’s birth,
Or the advent of other great people
Two bullocks dropp’d dead,
As if knock’d on the head,
And barrels of stout
And ale ran about,
And the village bells such a peal rang out,
That they crack’d the village steeple.


In no time at all, like mushroom spawn,
Tables sprang up all over the lawn;
Not furnish’d scantly or shabbily,
But on scale as vast
As that huge repast,
With its loads and cargoes
Of drink and botargoes,
At the Birth of the Babe in Rabelais.


Hundreds of men were turn’d into beasts,
Like the guests at Circe’s horrible feasts,
By the magic of ale and cider:
And each country lass, and each country lad
Began to caper and dance like mad,
And ev’n some old ones appear’d to have had
A bite from the Naples Spider.


Then as night came on,
It had scared King John
Who considered such signs not risible,
To have seen the maroons,
And the whirling moons,
And the serpents of flame,
And wheels of the same,
That according to some were “whizzable.”


Oh, happy Hope of the Kilmanseggs!
Thrice happy in head, and body, and legs,
That her parents had such full pockets!
For had she been born of Want and Thrift,
For care and nursing all adrift,
It’s ten to one she had had to make shift
With rickets instead of rockets!


And how was the precious baby drest?
In a robe of the East, with lace of the West,
Like one of Croesus’s issue–
Her best bibs were made
Of rich gold brocade,
And the others of silver tissue.


And when the baby inclined to nap,
She was lull’d on a Gros de Naples lap,
By a nurse in a modish Paris cap,
Of notions so exalted,
She drank nothing lower than Curacoa
Maraschino, or pink Noyau,
And on principle never malted.


From a golden boat, with a golden spoon,
The babe was fed night, morning, and noon;
And altho’ the tale seems fabulous,
‘Tis said her tops and bottoms were gilt,
Like the oats in that Stable-yard Palace built
For the horse of Heliogabalus.


And when she took to squall and kick–
For pain will wring, and pins will prick,
E’en the wealthiest nabob’s daughter–
They gave her no vulgar Dalby or gin,
But a liquor with leaf of gold therein,
Videlicet,–Dantzic Water.


In short she was born, and bred, and nurst,
And drest in the best from the very first,
To please the genteelest censor–
And then, as soon as strength would allow,
Was vaccinated, as babes are now,
With virus ta’en from the best-bred cow
Of Lord Althorpe’s–now Earl Spencer.



Though Shakspeare asks us, “What’s in a name?”
(As if cognomens were much the same),
There’s really a very great scope in it.
A name?–why, wasn’t there Doctor Dodd,
That servant at once of Mammon and God,
Who found four thousand pounds and odd,
A prison–a cart–and a rope in it?


A name?–if the party had a voice,
What mortal would be a Bugg by choice?
As a Hogg, a Grubb, or a Chubb rejoice?
Or any such nauseous blazon?
Not to mention many a vulgar name,
That would make a door-plate blush for shame,
If door-plates were not so brazen!


A name?–it has more than nominal worth,
And belongs to good or bad luck at birth–
As dames of a certain degree know.
In spite of his Page’s hat and hose,
His Page’s jacket, and buttons in rows,
Bob only sounds like a page in prose
Till turn’d into Rupertino.