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THE ASSISTANT DRAPERS PETITION.
“Now's the time, and now's the hour."-BUBN8.
Of all the agitations of the time--and agitation is useful in disturbing the duckweed that is apt to gather on the surface of human affairs—the ferment of the assistantshopmen in the metropolis is perhaps the most beneficial. Many vital queries have lately disturbed the public mind; for instance, ought the fleet of the Thames Yacht Club to be reinforced, in the event of a war with Russia, or should the Little Pedlington Yeomanry be called out, in case of a rupture with Prussia ?
But these are merely national questions; whereas the Drapers' movement suggests an inquiry of paramount importance to mankind in generalnamely, “When ought we to leave off ?''
It is the standard complaint against jokers, and histplayers, and children, whether playing or crying--that they
never know when to leave off.”
It is the common charge against English winters and flannel waistcoats—it is occasionally hinted of rich and elderly relations—it is constantly said of snuff-takers, and gentlemen who enjoy a glass of good wine-that they “do not know when to leave off.”
It is the fault oftenest found with certain preachers, sundry poets, and all prosers, scolds, parliamentary orators, superannuated story-tellers, she-gossips, morning-callers, and some leave-takers, that they “ do not know when to leave off.” It is insinuated as to gowns and coats, of which waiting-men and waiting-women have the reversion.
It is the characteristic of a Change Alley speculator—of a beaten boxer--of a builder's row, with his own name to
it-of Hollando-Belgic protocols—of German metaphysics -of works in numbers-of buyers and sellers on credit of a theatrical cadence- of a shocking bad hat-and of the Gentleman's Magazine, that they “do not know when to leave off.”
A romp—all Murphy's frosts, showers, storms, and hurricanes—and the Wandering Jew, are in the same predicament.
As regards the Assistant Drapers, they appear to have arrived at a very general conclusion, that their proper period for leaving off is at or about seven o'clock in the evening; and it seems by the following poetical address that they have rhyme, as well as reason, to offer in support of their resolution.
THE DRAPERS' PETITION.
Pity the sorrows of a class of men,
Who, though they bow to fashion and frivolity,
But wrongs ell-wide, and of a lasting quality.
Among the clamorous we take our station ;
One piece of Irish in our agitation.
We venerate our Glorious Constitution,
And only want a Counter Revolution.
'Tis not Lord Melbourne's counsel to the throne, 'Tis not this bill or that gives us displeasure,
The measures we dislike are all our own.
The Cash Law the “Great Western” loves to name,
The tone our foreign policy pervading;
Our evils we refer to over-trading.
By Tax or Tithe our murmurs are not drawn ;
We reverence the Church--but bang the cloth! We love her ministers—but curse the lawn !
We have, alas ! too much to do with both !
We love the sex ;—to serve them is a bliss !
We trust they find us civil, never surly ; All that we hope of female friends is this,
That their last linen may be wanted early.
Ah! who can tell the miseries of men
That serve the very cheapest shops in town? Till, faint and weary, they leave off at ten,
Knocked up by ladies beating of 'em down!
But has not Hamlet his opinion given
O Hamlet had a heart for Drapers' servants ! “That custom is”—say custom after seven
"More honored in the breach than the observance."
O come then, gentle ladies, come in time,
O’erwhelm our counters, and unload our shelves Torment us all until the seventh chime,
But let us have the remnant to ourselves !
We wish of knowledge to lay in a stock,
And not remain in ignorance incurable;
And other fabrics that have proved so durable.
We long for thoughts of intellectual kind,
And not to go bewildered to our beds ;
And pins and needles running in our heads !
For oh! the brain gets very dull and dry,
Selling from morn till night for cash or credit;
Watching cheap prints that Knight did never edit.
Till sick with toil, and lassitude extreme,
We often think, when we are dull and vapory,
Because that Adam did not deal in drapery.
WELL, the country's a pleasant place, sure enough, for
people that's country born, And useful, no doubt, in a natural way, for growing our
grass and our corn. It was kindly meant of my cousin Giles, to write and invite
me down, Though as yet all I've seen of a pastoral life only makes
one more partial to town.
At first I thought I was really come down into all sorts of
rural bliss, For Porkington Place, with its cows and its pigs, and its
poultry, looks not much amiss ; There's something about a dairy farm, with its different
kinds of live stock,
That puts one in mind of Paradise, and Adam and his in
nocent flock; But somehow the good old Elysian fields have not been
well handed down, And as yet I have found no fields to prefer to dear Leicester fields
To be sure it is pleasant to walk in the meads, and so I
should like for miles, If it wasn't for clodpoles of carpenters that put up such
crooked stiles; For the bars jut out, and you must jut out, till you're
almost broken in two; If you clamber you're certain sure of a fall, and you
stick if you try to creep through. Of course, in the end, one learns how to climb without
constant tumbles down, But still, as to walking so stylishly, it's pleasanter done
about town. There's a way, I know, to avoid the stiles, and that's by a
walk in a lane, And I did find a very nice shady one, but I never dared go
again; For who should I meet but a rampaging bull, that wouldn't
be kept in the pound, A trying to toss the whole world at once, by sticking his
horns in the ground. And that, by-the-by, is another thing, that pulls rural
pleasures down, Every day in the country is cattle-day, and there's only
two up in town. Then I've rose with the sun, to go brushing away at the
first early pearly dew,