Richard The Fourth

(From the Morning Post)

SCENE.—The Anti-Corn Law League Laboratory.  Agitators, Hireling Orators, Inventors of False Reports, and Mercenary Agents of divers denominations at work in the background.   Writers for the Chronicle, Globe, Despatch, Carlisle Journal, and other free-plundering journals, taking notes.

RICHARD (Cobden) apart, soliloquizing in forty-horse power exultation—

A hundred thousand pounds I've this year sacked;

THE MORNING POST I've muzzled, tired and gagged;

Round PEEL and GLADSTONE I have thrown my net;

And RUSSELL'S mine, beyond all stepping back.

The farmer's half destroyed; the Yankee grain—

The foreign stock—pours in, and soon will crush him.

Then gains, that owe no 'legiance to the soil,

Are mine, to carry from this ruined land.

          (Enter Dr. Bowring, in great trepidation.)

   Richard— Good news or bad, that thou com'st in so wildly?

   Bowring— Bad new, by G—!  BAKER is up in Essex;

And BUCKINGHAM, with all his yeomen at his back,

Shouts "Down with all who are not farmers' friends!"

   Richard— Essex aroused, and Buckingham in arms!

Phsaw! They're but clodpoles—they've no mettle in 'em.

But, come, dangers RETREAT, WHEN BOLDLY THEY'RE CONFRONTED.

Send to Lord SPENCER, let him now come forward,

Command Lord WESTMINSTER to pay his tribute;

Give out that VILLIERS and BUCCLEUCH are with us.

Get cash, tell lies, bribe, threaten, stop at nothing;

We must be quick, since thus the lion's roused.

   (Enter Bright, buttonless and unbaptised, and out of breath with running.)

   Richard—- How now, Friend BRIGHT?

   Bright—Most potent Leaguer, LINCOLNSHIRE is up;

And WARWICK, under BROOKE and NEWDIGATE,

With NOTTS and LEICESTERSHIRE, have just pronounced;

SUSSEX, I fear, with RICHMOND at its head.

Ere this is marshaled with our enemies.

   Richard—So, so; but pooh!   They never can combine.

Who ever heard of farmers linked in action!

Come hither, BOWRING, HAVE YOU HAD REPORTED

That VILLIERS and BUCCLEUCH are free trade Leaguers?

   BOWRING—I have; our organs have sung P??ans on it.

          (Enter PATTISON, big with dismay.)

Pattison—Pulssant Dick, they've risen in NORTHHAPTONSHIRE.

Where Duke BUCCLEUCH has given us all the lie;

And, as I've heard, In OXFORDSHIRE, Lord VILLIERS

Has loud disclaimed us for a pack of villains.

   (Enter Warburton, in his philosopoical traveling night gown, and cap.)

   Warburton—In Cumberland the farmers are in power;

And, as I passed through Derry, there I saw

Thousands arrayed, with COLVILLE at their head,

Against "pretended friends and open enemies."

          (Enter Hume, puffing and blowing.)

   Hume—KENT, with Sir Edward DERING, shouts, "to arms!"

   Richard—Out on ye, ye owls!  Nothing but songs of death.

          (Enter C.P. VILLIERS, pale as a ghost.)

   Villier—DEVON and FORSET have declared against us:

And HADDINTON is banded with our foes;

COPLAND denounces our deep laid designs,

And BRICKWELL calls the farmers to the field;

From KENT to CORNWALL the cry's obeyed,

From JOHN O'GROAT'S to SUSSEX they're arrayed.

   Richard—Why, aye; this looks like action.

By Heaven, this news alarms my quaking soul;

But come, I must seem plucky, else I'm done.

Conscience lie still; by lies my all I've gained!

Seats got with lies, must be lies maintained.  [ Exeunt.