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224. Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog. From “The Vicar of Wakefield,” Chapter 17. Goldsmith had severely attacked the popular “plaintive elegies” of his day in the
Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe,” 1759. The ironical purpose of his own burlesque elegies is apparent. The epigrammatic conclusion of the stanzas in this and the “Mary Blaize elegy (p. 291), was imitated from the French. Goldsmith's model was “Le fameux La Galisse," each stanza of which ends with a ludicrous truism.”
225. Woman's Will. The same conceit is embodied in a couplet included in Adams's “ English Epigrams.” It is by one R. Hugman, and dates from about 1628. Is this a case of unconscious reminiscence on the part of the American humorist, or is it a pure coincidence ? Here is the couplet :
WHY WIVES CAN MAKE NO WILLS.
Because wives have their wills during their lives." Probably the jest is much older even than the seventeenth century.
225. A Lawyer's Daughter. This clever quatrain appeared some years ago in Life. The editor has been unable to learn anything regarding the author.
226. My Lord Tomnoddy. Robert B. Brough wrote successful comedies, which were produced at the Olympic and other theatres, and published “Songs of the Governing Classes,” in 1855.
240. Ould Doctor Mack. Appeared in the Spectator for November 9, 1889. Graves is an Irish writer, whose
Songs of Killarney," 1873, and other books of verse have been popular.
242. The White Squall. Surely one of the most graphic descriptions ever put into verse. Nothing written by Thackeray shows more plainly his power over words and rhymes.' He draws his picture without a line omitted or a line too much, saying with apparent facility all that he has to say, and so saying it that every word conveys its natural meaning." Anthony Trollope, in "Thackeray," Chapter 8 (English Men of Letters Series).
247. The Banished Bejant. Murray, the son of a Scotch clergyman, was born in New England, but was taken to Scotland in early boyhood. He lived in England and
Scotland, until his death in 1894. Educated at St. Andrews University. In 1890 published The Scarlet Gown,” a collection of clever parodies. This selection is, of course, a parody on Poe's “The Haunted Palace." Bejant (i. e. yellow-beak or fledgeling) is equivalent in the vernacular of St. Andrews and Aberdeen universities to freshman.
248. The Smack in School. Palmer was a graduate of Williams College, who studied medicine, but became a journalist. He wrote numerous poems, serious and comic, of which the rustic idyl which we quote seems to have the most tenacious lease of life.
251. Sary Fixes Up” Things. Mr. Paine is one of the editors of St. Nicholas. He has contributed to Scribner's, Century, and other magazines, and has published numerous books, mostly for children.
254. The Hunting of the Snark. Part of “ The Bellman's Speech," and The Baker's Tale," divisions of Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits.” The entire poem, an extraordinary example of fanciful comicality, has 137 stanzas.
257. Kentucky Philosophy. The author of this popular poem, which has been widely copied in school readers and elsewhere, lives in Louisville, Kentucky.
259. Bait of the Average Fisherman. Mr. Dodge is a facile writer of newspaper verse, much of which has seen the light in the Detroit Free Press.
260. On the Death of a Favorite Cat. These lines were sent by Gray in a letter to Horace Walpole, who had written to the poet that his “handsome cat had been drowned in a bowl of goldfishes. Gray's letter is delightfully humorous.
261. Here She Goes, and There She Goes. James Nack, a native of New York City, met with an accident in his ninth year which deprived him of speech and hearing. He was placed in the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in New York, where he showed great aptitude in the mastery of languages. He published four volumes of original verse.
265. In the Catacombs. Mr. Ballard was born in Ohio, is a graduate of Williams, and lives in Pittsfield, Mass. He is librarian of the Berkshire Athenæum, and president of the Agassiz Association, and has written severai books. This poem has long been a favorite in reading
and declamation books. A few alterations from the commonly known version have been made by the author, at his personal request, for the present compilation.
274. Mr. Molony's Account of the Ball. This poem is so like Barham's 'Coronation' in the account it gives of the guests that one would fancy it must be by the same hand.” Trollope. “Thackeray has made for himself a reputation by his writing of Irish. In this he has been so entirely successful that for many English readers he has established a new language which may not improperly be called Hybernico-Thackerayan.” Ibid. Line 43, troat. No Irishman would naturally use such a word, but, as Trollope points out, the visitor from Erin on coming to London finds that he is wrong with his “dhrink,” etc., and thus begins to leave out h's wherever he can.
276. Kitty of Coleraine. Lysaght was graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1782, and took his M. A. at Oxford in 1784. Practised law for many years at the English and Irish bars. Some compilations give this poem as anonymous, but there is small ground for doubting Lysaght's authorship.
277. Reasons for Drinking. Henry Aldrich, D. D., was dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and wrote several works on architecture, logic, etc.
282. False Love and True Logic. Laman Blanchard was an English littérateur who was associated with Bulwer as editor of The New Monthly Magazine, in 1831, and subsequently assisted in editing several other prominent journals. His poetical works were published with a memoir in 1876.
291. An Elegy on Mrs. Mary Blaize. From The Bee, 1759; Number 4. Gray's “ Elegy” (1751) gave rise to a mass of imitations, and it was apparently Goldsmith's purpose in his different satirical elegies to ridicule this fashionable kind of sentimentalism.
297. Casey at the Bat. This lively ballad, a masterpiece of its kind, was a great favorite with the late Charles A. Dana, of the New York Sun. Few American poems have been so widely copied in the press.
301. Old Grimes. Judge Greene was one of the founders of the Providence Athenæum, and was president of the Rhode Island Historical Society, 1854 - 1868. He was
a graduate of Brown University. His poems have never been collected.
303. Widow Bedott to Elder Sniffles. “ The Widow Bedott Papers,” by Mrs. Frances Miriam (Berry) Whitcher, were introduced to public notice through Neal's Saturday Gazette, edited by Joseph C. Neal, author of Charcoal Sketches,” and were subsequently published in New York by Mason, Baker, & Pratt, with an introduction by Mrs. Alice B. Neal. The lines quoted are from the thirteenth chapter of the “ Papers.”
305. Home They Brought Her Lap-dog Dead. This and the following poem are parodies on Tennyson's Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead.” Mr. Brooks was editor of Punch, 1870 — 1874.
306. The Recognition. Mr. Sawyer is an English versifier who has written much successful comic poetry for the pages of Funny Folks and other periodicals.
312. The Jumblies. “I shall place Mr. Edward Lear first of my hundred authors' so Mr. Ruskin has said, and the saying is by no means the least wise of his literary judgments. To write inspired nonsense is a gift vouchsafed to few, and to no man was it given in more lavish measure than to Edward Lear. Lear is in his way as consummate an artist as Shelley or Coleridge are in theirs." Walter Whyte, in “The Poets and Poetry of the Century," Vol. ix.
314. My Angeline. Mr. Smith is the author of librettos for numerous successful comic operas, among others
Robin Hood,” “Rob Roy,” The Fencing Master,” etc. He published * Lyrics and Sonnets in 1894, and Stage Lyrics,” 1901.
317. The Ideal Husband to His Wife. The two last stanzas are omitted.
319. The Confession. Barham's original reads, in last line:
“I've eat, and can't digest."
320. The Editor's Wooing. Appeared in the “Orpheus C. Kerr Papers,” 1862, Series I., Letter 15.
321. Our Traveller. Mr. Pennell entered the public service (of Great Britain) in 1853, has been Inspector of Fisheries, and has held other official appointments. He has written numerous works on angling, as well as “Puck
on Pegasus," and several other books of successful vers de société.
326. Epitaph Intended for His Wife. This epigram has been frequently paraphrased. The following, for example, is cited in Adams's “English Epigrams":
Here lies my wife poor Molly; let her lie,
326. A Farewell to Tobacco. Sent in a letter to Wordsworth and his sister in September, 1805. Published in The Reflector, No. iv., 1811. The metre was Lamb's favorite, as well as that of George Wither, whom Lamb admired and imitated. The poet's “alternate praise and abuse of his theme is borrowed from the ‘Author's Abstract of Melancholy,' prefixed to Burton's ‘Anatomy'' (Ainger).
326. On Hearing a Lady, etc. George Outram was a Scotch lawyer and journalist. Author of “Lyrics, Legal and Miscellaneous.”
326. Dido. Doctor Porson was a graduate of Trinity, Cambridge, and was elected Greek professor in that university in 1785. He wrote this epigram on the Latin gerunds in proof of the assertion that he could rhyme upon anything suggested. See his Life by Watson (1861), also Adams's “ English Epigrams.”
330, If I Should Die To-night. These clever lines are a parody on “If I Should Die To-night,” by Belle E. Smith, to be found in Warner's “Library of the World's Best Literature," Volume xxviii. The parody is from “Ben King's Verse," Boston: Forbes & Co.
333. The Walrus and the Carpenter. From “Through the Looking Glass.” Mr. W. D. Adams, in his “Witty and Humorous Side of the English Poets,” calls this poem “the best possible subject that could be chosen as the test of any person's humorous capacity. If this did not excite his risible faculties, then he would be in a bad way.”
339. Sympathy. Almost the only excursion into the province of humorous composition of this distinguished English prelate and hymnist.
340. The Millennium. Mr. Stephen (not to be confounded with J. B. Stephens) was born in London, and educated at Eton and Cambridge. Athlete, tutor, journalist, poet, public official, his short career was one of brilliant promise. He published two volumes of verse. This selection is