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The Abode of Genius

1 Sir John Rupee from India sails.
2 Richer than any King of Wales.
3 Enormous diamonds, pearls untold,
4 With many a pound of powder'd gold.
5 Enrich his store; here, painted glass.
6 There, muslins lay; a weighty mass!
7 Besides of many curious things,
8 Fit only for the use of Kings.
9 With heavy ballots, great and small,
10 But he, the heaviest of them all,
11 Look'd up, and smil'd, with self-applause,
12 "'Tis well the Nabobs have no laws;
13 Soon shall these shining trifles bear
14 A whisper to my sov'reign's ear,
15 That John Rupee would be a peer.
16 These too shall bring me cooks from France,
17 These too shall teach me how to dance,
18 These too" must yield in this same hour,
19 Cries Death, to my superior power.
20 For while the Knight laid out his wealth
21 In projects to destroy his health,
22 Death soon, in habit apoplectic,
23 Took care the Knight should not be left sick,
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24 And thus his grand designs were soil'd
25 By death were spoilers ever spoil'd.
26 An heir, the only one he had,
27 In circumstances rather bad,
28 Was selling, at a country fair,
29 Tape, candles, snuff, and such-like ware;
30 When the glad tidings reach'd his ears,
31 Turns colour, hems, and 'round him stares,
32 Cries, "Bet our Bet, what must we do
33 With all those things, for I don't know?"
34 "Why, law," she answered, "there's the vicar,
35 " Wull tell us for a drap of lequor. "
36 " No, no, "says Tim," I understand
37 "That had I genius at command
38 " Why, fetch him then, you sorry elf; "
39 " That's right, "says Tim," I'll go myself. "
40 The story runs, that France and Spain
41 Sent Tim, sans genius, home again.
42 And there a friend, one lucky day,
43 Advis'd him quite another way:
44 " Go north, "he cried," the air is keen
45 "And clear, where Genius may be seen."
46 Now Tim and Bet, in hack post chaise,
47 Set out for Scotland in two days;
48 Resolv'd to travel day and night,
49 To find this Genius, clever spright!
50 Who was to set all matters right.
51 Without one broken wheel or bone,
52 From Kent to Coventry, jog on
53 The clumsy pair; but Fortune's smile
54 Which can far wiser heads beguile,
55 There quickly chang'd it to a frown,
56 As they, their horses at the Crown.
57 'Twas Sunday; and the boys never fail,
58 To keep the Sabbath strict with ale.
59 Ah luckless man, in Warwickshire,
60 Whose lot is to be driven in by Beer.
61 (Says Prudence, whisp'ring in my ear,
62 And dost not thou, gay trifler, fear
63 Thy muse so weak, so young, should now
64 Be stuck, or smother'd in a slough?
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65 Pshaw; prithee friend, I cry, begone,
66 And let me with my tale have done.)
67 The roads were bad, the ways were deep,
68 Both Bet and Tim were fast asleep,
69 Night long had taken place of day,
70 The driver long had lost his way,
71 When some most awkward bank or ditch,
72 'Twas dark, and so they knew not which,
73 O'erturned the sleepers in the dirt,
74 The chaise was broke, but they not hurt,
75 Soon scrambled out, but where to go
76 They could not think, they did not know
77 Bet cried, because she could not see;
78 Tim soon crept half way up a tree,
79 From whence a glimm'ring light he spied
80 Sure, that's a house, our Bet, he cried;
81 Then, arm in arm, they walk together,
82 To seek a shelter from the weather
83 Some fifty yards they go and find
84 A small brick house, a wood behind,
85 A field before, a garden gate,
86 Secur'd with care, a garden gate,
87 Secur'd with care, for now 'twas late:
88 They call a female voice replies who's there?
89 With stick and lantern then draws near.
90 And lets the trembling travellers in:
91 My master, Sir, is not within.
92 Says Mrs. Mary, for 'twas she,
93 A house-keeper of fifty-three.
94 Quickly their downfall they recite.
95 "Oh dear! you must sleep here to-night,"
96 Adds Mrs. Mary; "walk in here;"
97 Then leaves them, and with friendly care
98 Returns with ham, cold chicken, cheese,
99 And any wine that you shall please.
100 Now round the room with scorn Tim gaz'd,
101 High on a desk was music rais'd,
102 Here books in burly chaos laid,
103 And there some poems lately made;
104 With these, an inkhorn and a fiddle,
105 An half writ eclogue, and a riddle.
106 No stucco, glass, nor gilding seen,
107 But all was plain, and neat, and clean.
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108 Tim swore at all delays, but eat,
109 While Bet sat grumbling o'er her meat:
110 "'Twas hard they were no farther got;
111 To be detain'd too in a cot,
112 Where Genius never shew'd his face,
113 'Twas sure a mortal cruel case!
114 Why maybe, Tim, we may not get
115 To Mr. Genius three days yet;
116 I wonder where this Genius is,
117 Will he be yours, and you be his?"
118 When lo! a voice, sweet, shrill, and clear,
119 Cries "Who wants Genius? I am here."
120 They stare, amaz'd where where why here,
121 Laid snug in Jenner's elbow chair.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The Abode of Genius
Genres: satire

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Source edition

Craven, Elizabeth, 1750–1828. The Beautiful Lady Craven: the Original Memoirs of Elizabeth Baroness Craven afterwards Margravine of Anspach and Bayreuth and Princess Berkeley of the Holy Roman Empire (1750-1828). Edited with Notes and a Biographical and Historical Introduction containing much unpublished matter by A. M. Broadley & Lewis Melville. With 48 Illustrations. In Two Vols. London: John Lane The Bodley Head, 1914, pp. 245-248. 

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.