2S2 TYLNEY HALL. to ascend from the grounds : he planned an exhibition of fire-works worthy of a Hengler or Southby, and invented a sudden illumination, which forestalled the discovery of gas. In fact, the Squire was allowed to have out-done himself ; hut it was a labour of love, for the festival was in honour of his adopted son, and he halted to and fro, lent a maimed hand to every thing, and inspected the whole with his one eye as vigilantly and critically as any other overseer could have done with two. He even took up his pen, with him a very rare implement, and made out a list of healths and sentiments to be given after dinner, some of the latter being equally original and energetic ; nay, he actually attempted the composition of a song appropriate to the occasion, but his muse broke down in the very first verse, probably distressed and puzzled by his habitual elisions of the personal pronouns. Another bard, however, volunteered to supply the de- ficiency an idle, dissipated fellow, formerly under usher at the free-school, from which he had been expelled for his bacchanalian propensities, and, turning village laureate, he wandered from tap to tap roaring original ballads, for which he was rewarded with gin and porter in lieu of sack. But, although he served nine mistresses, they could jointly afford him but a very shabby suit of black livery, and the fluttering state of his rags procured him the popular nickname of Tom Tatters. This dilapidated Dryden com- posed a Birth-day Ode for the festival, and remembering the proverb about " a day after the Fair," he took care to recite it a day or two beforehand, and rambled all over the parish with a mob of boys at his heels, ranting his provincial Pindarics. A torn and soiled MS. copy, still extant, serves to show that besides a characteristic mixture of the ex-usher and the Bacchanalian, it united the absurd combinations of the celebrated " Groves of Blarney," with satirical allusions and pointed personalities. As it was popular orally, it may be tried in print. " Come all you jolly dogs, in the Grapes, and King's Head, and Green Man, and Bell taps, And shy up your hats if you haven't hats, your paper and woollen caps, Shout with me and cry Eureka ! by the sweet Parnassian river, While Echo, in Warner's Wood, replies, Huzza ! the young Squire for ever !
TYLNEY HALL. 283 ***** ***** " And Vulcan, Mars, and Hector of Troy, and Jupiter and his wife, And Phoebus, from his forked hill, coming down to take a knife, And Mercury, and piping Pan, to the tune of ' Old King Cole,' And Venus, the Queen of Love, to eat an ox that was roasted whole. " Sir Mark, God bless him ! loves good old times, when beards wag, and every thing goes merry, There'll be drinking out of gracecups, and a Boar's head chewing rosemary, Maid Marian, and a Morris dance, and acting of quaint Moralities, Doctor Bellamy, and a Hobby horse, and many other Old Formalities. " But there won't be any Psalm-singing saints, to make us sad of a Monday, But Bacchus will preach to us out of a barrel, instead of that methodist Bundy. We'll drink to the King in good strong ale, like souls that are true and loyal, And a fig for Mrs. Hanway, camomile, sage, and penny-royal ; And a fig for Master Gregory, that takes tipsy folks into custody, He was a wise man to-morrow, and will be a wiser man yesterday. ***** " Come fill a bumper up, my boys, and toss off every drop of it ! Here's young Squire Ringwood's health, and may he live as long as Jason, Before Atropos cuts his thread, and Dick Tablet, the bungling mason, Chips him a marble tea-table, with a marble tea-urn a-top of it! Quoth Tom in Tatters." Extraordinary, indeed, was the excitement that was produced throughout the parish, and almost throughout the county, by the announcement of the intended merrymaking at Tylney Hall. It would be intruding unwisely intruding on the peculiar province of Miss Mitford, to attempt to describe the commotion of the village ; how rustic flirts and coquettes ogled their own pretty faces in round, oval, triangular, square, and nine-bob-square look- ing-glasses, or pieces of looking-glass ; and how Polly Hicks discovered that yellow suited a brown complexion, and Peggy Bland, that pink ribbons looked well among carroty curls. Dear Mary Russell only could correctly enumerate what country cosmetics came into request, such as buttermilk for tan and freckles honey dew, gathered at sunrise, for red hands and arms, and home-made pomatum, for refractory stubble hair. She, alone, who distin- guishes with fine discriminative touches the genuine natural pastoral barn-door Rosina, from the Rosina that is townmade, she only could pourtray worthily the workings of feminine hopes, fears, jealousies, and vanities which kept all the rural maids, wives, and widows of * * * in a fer- ment. Faded satins were dipped in turmeric and logwood rusty gauzes were refreshed with vinegar and stale tablebeer. Female dresses were bought, sold, and exchanged cleaned, dyed and altered. Tall mothers, figurativel