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How To Make A Good Politician
by [?]


Whene’er you’re in doubt, said a Sage I once knew,
‘Twixt two lines of conduct which course to pursue,
Ask a woman’s advice, and, whate’er she advise,
Do the very reverse and you’re sure to be wise.

Of the same use as guides the Brunswicker throng;
In their thoughts, words and deeds, so instinctively wrong,
That whatever they counsel, act, talk or indite,
Take the opposite course and you’re sure to be right.

So golden this rule, that, had nature denied you
The use of that finger-post, Reason, to guide you–
Were you even more doltish than any given man is,
More soft than Newcastle, more twaddling than Van is.
I’d stake my repute, on the following conditions,
To make you the soundest of sound politicians.

Place yourself near the skirts of some high-flying Tory–
Some Brunswicker parson, of port-drinking glory,–
Watch well how he dines, during any great Question–
What makes him feel gayly, what spoils his digestion–
And always feel sure that his joy o’er a stew
Portends a clear case of dyspepsia to you.
Read him backwards, like Hebrew–whatever he wishes
Or praises, note down as absurd or pernicious.
Like the folks of a weather-house, shifting about,
When he’s out be an In-when he’s in be an Out.
Keep him always reversed in your thoughts, night and day,
Like an Irish barometer turned the wrong way:–
If he’s up you may swear that foul weather is nigh;
If he’s down you may look for a bit of blue sky.
Never mind what debaters or journalists say,
Only ask what he thinks and then think t’other way.
Does he hate the Small-note Bill? then firmly rely
The Small-note Bill’s a blessing, tho’ you don’t know why.
Is Brougham his aversion? then Harry’s your man.
Does he quake at O’Connell? take doubly to Dan.
Is he all for the Turks? then at once take the whole
Russian Empire (Tsar, Cossacks and all) to your soul.
In short, whatsoever he talks, thinks or is,
Be your thoughts, words and essence the contrast of his.
Nay, as Siamese ladies–at least the polite ones,–
All paint their teeth black, ’cause the devil has white ones-
If even by the chances of time or of tide
Your Tory for once should have sense on his side,
Even then stand aloof–for be sure that Old Nick
When a Tory talks sensibly, means you some trick.

Such my recipe is–and, in one single verse,
I shall now, in conclusion, its substance rehearse,
Be all that a Brunswicker is not nor could be,
And then–you’ll be all that an honest man should be.