Item of the Day: The New Book of Chronicles [1789]

Full Title: The New Book of Chronicles; Delineating in Eccentrical Sketches of the Times a Variety of Modern Characters of the Great and Small Vulgar. London: Printed for T. Massey, Snow-Hill, and Sold by all the Booksellers of Great Britain.

CHAPTER I.

ARGUMENT.

 

With odds and ends, and scanty scraps

The mystic muse begins; perhaps,

‘Tis, as descending from the sky,

Before her forded flashes fly,

She’s forc’d to touch the catching tinder,

Ere she can blaze like Peter Pindar.

 

IN those days there was no poet laureat in the land of Albion, and every bard began to rhyme right in his own eyes.

2. And I heard a voice from Parnesses, like a trumpet sounding, saying unto me; take up thy pen quickly and record the acts of Albion.

3. Now it came to pass, when George, the king of the isles had drank of the waters of Cheltenham, that, behold his spirit was troubled.

4. The report also of his death was spread abroad, about the regions of the great cities, none rejoiced at the rumour, save the mercers and woolen drapers.

5. Howbeit Death, when he saw that he could not aim his javelin against George,

6. On the first day of the first month drew his bow at a venture and smote a certain noble of the land, who afore time had been a knight of the order of Sir Bullface Doublesee, and also president of the lower Sanhedrim.

7. And on the morrow the same king of terrors, mounted on his white horse, knock’d at the door of Cornwall, even another president of the same assembly, and carried him, no mortal man knows where, even to this day.

8. Behold William sirnamed Windham Grenville was chosen in his stead.

9. On that day George, even the king’s son and the Prince of Patriots,

10. Was filled with compassion for the poor of the great city, and sent by his servant; twenty thousand pounds to relieve their affliction;

11. For which the poor praised him, yea the Recorder and certain of the elders blessed him in his new palace.

12. Now when the people of Albion and of Hibernia beheld that the king was not recovered,

13. They cried with one accord, saying, lo, let the Patriot Prince be declared Regent of the Realm.

14. Howbeit the Premier, and also the lord on whose hand the king had leaned,

15. Opposed the people, and strove with all their might to bind the Prince in chains, and his nobles in fetters of iron.

16. And the patriots cried aloud in the Sanhedrim, saying:

17. Why muzzle ye the ox that treadeth out the corn? Why require the prince to make bricks without straw?

18. For the premier had said go forth, I will put a barren sceptre into thy hand, which shall neither bud nor blossom; take with thee no money, nor Scrip, neither have two coats in they wardrobe.

20. But, behold, it came to pass, while the contention was waxing warm that the King arose, even as the sun after the rain, and gladened the islands of the sea

21. On the evening of the tenth day of the third month were all the windows of Westminster, and also of the great city and her suburbs illuminated.

22. And upon a certain day appointed, even the twenty and third day of the fourth month, the King presented himself before the Lord, in the great temple of Paul,

23. Even amidst the multitude of the nobles and the elders of the land: the citizens also with their dames and damsels.

24. On that day of thanksgiving many of the other temples remained empty, even from the great Abbey of the West city, to Little Zoar, as thou goest to the Barking Dogs.

25. For those people whom the great temple of Paul would not receive into its sacred porch,

26. Even the weavers, who deal in doves, and the money-changers, who fell sell strong drink,

27. Swarmed in the streets as the King passed to and from the Temple.

28. Many of the boys of Barrington also mingl’d with the multitude, while their chief Captain remained in ward, lamenting the loss of so glorious a day.

29. Howbeit many of the traders that day obtained much money of the people who hired their houses for the sight.

30. On that day a certain Seller of Sugar Plumbs sat on his triumphal Carr, his windows facing the holy temple, and his heart fixed on the Mammon of unrighteousness.

31. Lo, the ladies looked at his comely countenance, and smiling at the simple one, ran into the house of honey and it was filled with guests. . . .

 

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Filed under 1780's, George III, Great Britain, Political Commentary, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Satire

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