1828
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

An Imitation of Cunningham's Pastoral Elegy on the Death of Shenstone.

The Age (20 July 1828) 227.

Anonymous


A burlesque pastoral in four double-quatrain stanzas "On the much-talked-of Elevation of an eminent Whig M.P. and Barrister to a Judicial Situation in Chancery-lane." The barrister in question is the Whig Henry Brougham (1778-1868), who had defended Queen Caroline during her trial in 1820. The Age, a weekly paper, took a strong Tory line, and seems to have objected to reform and reformers of whatever kind. It wickedly attributes this parody of John Cunningham's "Corydon, a Pastoral to the Memory of William Shenstone" (1763) to "Samuel Rogers," who was a friend and political sympathizer of Brougham.



Come, Radicals! haste to the Rolls,
Let us see what our Henry is made;
Let us go not with sorrowful souls,
For see how, at last, he is is paid.
They call'd him the pride of the Bar;
In truth, he could speechify well;
With the Judge though he did not go far,
With the Jury he often would tell.

What though, in the course of a cause,
He a witness would bully and fright;
And, as counsel all learned in the laws,
Say that which no other man might.
Howe'er he might slander or joke,
He never was fond of a quarrel;
"They were privileged words that he spoke,"
And would cite you the case of Mackerril.

No more shall long speeches prevail,
In St. Stephens no faults shall appear;
All mischiefs and grievances fail,
And our Chancery system be clear;
No tongue its abuses shall tell—
(Abuses so flagrant before)—
For he who could paint them so well
Will talk of abuses no more.

Queen Caroline, fond of his praise,
And the character bright that he gave her,
Once swore she was lost in amaze
That he should so humbug and palaver.
But, ye Radicals! trust him no more,
For your Henry has turned out a fudge,
And the high-minded patriot of yore,
Is transform'd to an Equity Judge.

[p. 227]