1735
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Teague's Orashion.

Gentleman's Magazine 5 (January 1735) 44.

Rev. Moses Browne


A verse character in the Irish dialect, not signed (wisely, perhaps). This is a companion piece to "Tavy's Speech" which had appeared the month before. Perhaps these two characters should be considered as contributions to the "local eclogues" becoming popular in the 1730s; while not explicitly pastoral they invoke pastoral themes in characterizing their simple speakers, in this case, the perplexity over hard words and astronomy. Apart from rehearsing the national stereotypes, Moses Browne is chiefly interested in recording habits of speech, which he may well have observed from his humble position in Grubstreet: "Arrah! my nation is so modesht! | The mosht of us when we come hither | Can get een nothing, not that neither: | But, e'er I'd beg my bread for money, | My shelf wou'd dresh the king's braave honey."



Arah, dear joy, saave all your faushes
I make mush reverensh to our graushes,
You seem to wonder — who you've got here;
Teague's own dear shelf the braave bogg-trotter.
I've rid o'er seas indeed on foot
My country's honour to dispute,
And come by chance on that design
My shelf alone with all the nine.
Think not my Irish crambo cramp
Because it wants your courtly stamp.
There's half the Mushes now in vogue,
All Irish — but they lack the brogue—

We're charg'd by some, a censure how hard,
With names, of blund'rer, sheat, and coward;
When, whatso'er vile rumour bellowsh
We're quite an other sort of fellowsh.
First then, to second my ashertion
And clear my country from aspershion
We're from the charge of blunder freed
Uphoo! we sheldome write or read.
Some faults are found in wiser scullsh
The pope, luck bless him! has his bullsh.
Then from impostor too we're clear,
Because we ne'er were yet sinsheere.
And how can sheat be that man's due
Who n'er pretended to be true.
For cowardish and such bravadoesh
In taking kicksh and bastinadoesh,
With which we're tax'd — the charge must fall,
Good lack! we never fight at all.
Our heroesh that at Figg's contesht,—
Cut noshes only off in jesht—
Thus have I now display'd my seneshe,
And made in short, a long defenshe.
The Irish orator, in fame,
Like that old Greek with the hard name,
De — moshtenes — I think — there's few know
His chreestian name, no matter, you know.
Your worships may persheive Appollor'sh,
Good graushe has made me born a schollarsh.
Inteed my father (happless lot)
Died since before I was begot.
And books to which I maake pretenshions
I learn'd all by my own invenshions.
My grammar soon cou'd undershtand,
And knew that domush was my hand.
Next Proper Marrow buss did enter,
Queen Janush and my Arshe present her.
My case and person both cou'd seek,
And write my own fair mark in Greek.
I know my lettersh all by shite
Tho' I've by name forgot 'em quite.
Sheven shience, does my art excell,
Inteed; — but I seven stars can tell;
Some 'stronomy can half explain,
The three great bears and Charles's wane,
Can tell when year bissextile leaps,
And when the moon has got her clypse;
I know all lossophy in part,
Can say mine almanack by heart.
And know within an hour or two,
What clock is by it at firsht view.
I'm fit at vershity for fellowr
To take Degreesh — of some booksheller;
Perhaps prize-fighter, or high stationsh
Where I amy serve mine own relationsh.
St. Patrick's beard! if e'er I rishe, man,
I'll maake my shister some excishe man.
I long to exercishe my tallent,
Laugh mush, and dresh like any gallant.
At seeking vermant I'm the oddest,
Arrah! my nation is so modesht!
The mosht of us when we come hither
Can get een nothing, not that neither:
But, e'er I'd beg my bread for money,
My shelf wou'd dresh the king's braave honey.
Ook! such great learning haave and starve on't,
Ay! — no indeed. — I've done, — your shervant.

[p. 44]