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But this I know, that we pronounced thee fine,
Seasoned with sage and onions, and port wine.

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One's estimate of Southey's humour would be considerably modified, no doubt, if one could be sure that he was the author of the verses on The Devil's Thoughts,' which figure in some editions of his works, just as they find a place in some editions of the works of Coleridge. Unfortunately the mystery of the authorship does not end here, for Porson has also been named frequently in connection with it. What, however, is perfectly clear, is that the verses, by whomsoever written, are particularly clever. Par exemple: From his brimstone bed at break of day A-walking the Devil is gone,

To visit his snug little farm the Earth,
And see how his stock goes on.

Over the hill and over the dale,

And he went over the plain,

And backward and forward he switched his long tail,
As a gentleman switches his cane.

And how then was the Devil drest?

O! he was in his Sunday's best;

His jacket was red and his breeches were blue,
And there was a hole where the tail came through.

He saw a lawyer killing a viper

On a dunghill hard by his own stable;

And the Devil smiled, for it put him in mind

Of Cain and his brother Abel.

He saw an apothecary on a white horse

Ride by on his own vocations;

And the Devil thought of his old friend
Death in the Revelations.

He saw a cottage with a double coach-house,

A cottage of gentility;

And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin

Is the pride that apes humility.

As he went through Cold-Bath Fields he saw
A solitary cell;

And the Devil was pleased, for it gave him a hint
For improving his prisons in hell.

General Gascoigne's burning face

He saw with consternation,

And back to hell his way did he take,
For the Devil thought by a slight mistake

It was a general conflagration.

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There is the less reason to be particular about the authorship of The Devil's Thoughts' that the real author of it-whoever he may have been-was unmistakedly indebted for the idea of the poem to an old piece of verse entitled 'The Devil's Progress on Earth, or Huggle-Duggle.' This is so curious that we give it in full :

Friar Bacon walks again,

And Doctor Faustus too;
Proserpine and Pluto,

And many a goblin crew.
With that, a merry Devil

To make the airing vowed;
Huggle-Duggle, Ha! ha! ha!
The Devil laughed aloud.

Why think you that he laughed?
For sooth he came from court;
And there amongst the gallants

Had spied such pretty sport;
There was such cunning juggling,
And ladies gone so proud;
Huggle-Duggle, Ha! ha! ha!
The Devil laughed aloud.

With that, into the City

Away the Devil went;

To view the merchants' dealings
It was his full intent.

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And there along the brave Exchange
He crept into the crowd.
Huggle-Duggle, Ha! ha ha!

The Devil laughed aloud.

He went into the City

To see all there was well;

Their scales were false, their weights were light,

Their conscience fit for hell;
And Pandars chosen magistrates,

And Puritans allowed.
Huggle-Duggle, Ha! ha! ha!

The Devil laughed aloud.

With that unto the country
Away the Devil goeth;
For there is all plain dealing,

For that the Devil knoweth.
But the rich man reaps the gains
For which the poor man ploughed.
Huggle-Duggle, Ha! ha ha!

The Devil laughed aloud.

With that the Devil in haste

Took post away to hell,

And called his fellow furies,

And told them all on earth was well :

That falsehoods there did flourish,

Plain dealing was in a cloud.

Huggle-Duggle, Ha! ha! ha!

The devils laughed aloud.

The Devil's Thoughts,' as we have quoted it, is from the version attributed to Coleridge, who has shown in many other ways his capacity for humorous and witty satire. He wrote, for instance, about his own Ancient Mariner :'

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Your poem must eternal be,—

Dear sir, it cannot fail;

For 'tis incomprehensible,

And wants both head and tail.

Again, he wrote of a bad singer :

Swans sing before they die: 'twere no bad thing

Did certain persons die before they sing.

Very amusing, too, is what he penned after partaking of a draught of Hockheimer whilst boating on the river Rhine :

In Spain, that land of monks and apes,

The thing called wine doth come from grapes;

But, on the noble River Rhine,

The thing called gripes doth come from wine.

His epigrams on Cologne and on German drinking, as personified in two German professors, need no quotation they are emphatically household words.'

Leigh Hunt was professedly neither a wit nor a humourist; yet he had a fair amount of the qualities of each. He showed in several of his poems a pleasing playfulness; whilst in two or three he rose to vivacity and sprightliness, though never to brilliance of satire. To tell the truth, his Feast of the Poets,' written in partial imitation of the critical squibs by Suckling and the rest, is very mildly written. The various poets in question are not unhappily characterised, but the lines have not much of the epigrammatic about them. Some run as follows:

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There was Campbell, for Hope and fine war-songs renowned,
With a wail underneath them of tenderer sound;
And Rogers, who follow'd, as Memory should;
And Scott, full of Scotland's old minstrelling mood
(The god overwhelmed him with thanks for his novels);
Then Crabbe, asking questions regarding Greek hovels;
And Byron, with eager indifference; and Moore,
With admiring glad eyes that came leaping before;
And Southey, with dust from the books on his shelf;
And Wordsworth, whose porcelain was taken for delf;
And Coleridge, whose poetry's poetry's self.

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There is more wit and humour than this in Blue-Stocking

Revels, or the Feast of the Violets,' a series of descriptions of, and criticisms on, the lady-writers of the day. Thus Madame D'Arblay is sketched :

And Madame D'Arblay, mighty grave all the while,
Yet at heart smitten still betwixt fun and a style,
And longing to tell us more ladies' distresses

"Twixt lords, and vulgarians, and debts for their dresses.
So deep was her curtsy, the hoop that she wore
Seemed fairly conveying her right through the floor.

And Lady Blessington:

As she swam through the doorway, like rain from a cloud,
I know not which most her face beamed with-fine creature!
Enjoyment, or judgment, or wit, or good nature.

Perhaps you have known what it is to feel longings
To pat silken shoulders at routs and such throngings;
Well, think what it was at a vision like that!

A Grace after dinner! A Venus grown fat!

Lady Morgan, too:

And dear Lady Morgan! Look, look how she comes
With her pulses all beating for freedom, like drums,—

So Irish, so modish, so mixtish, so wild,

So committing herself as she talks, like a child;

So trim yet so easy, polite yet bighearted,

That truth and she, try all she can, won't be parted.

Altogether, it must be confessed that Hunt's imitation or emulation of his great predecessors was not quite so successful as could be wished.

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