Female Emigration

Mr Vignoles

or The Five Honest Lawyers

Did you never ye scholars con over in history,
Nor ye, to whom reading continues a mystery,
Were you never inform’d by your fathers before ye,
Of a very antique and remarkable story:
How in a strange country, but if continental,
Or only islandic, is not circumstantial
To the story before us; or if ’twas the latter,
If in Afric, or Europe’s no very great matter;
Liv’d five honest lawyers; I see by your staring,
’Tis a story that never yet came to your hearing:
So ope wide your mouths, and let your eyes glisten,
Clap your ears in your necks, and with reverence listen.
These five honest lawyers of whom I now speak,
All Christians, and guiltless of vile heathen Greek,
It is said were suspected by ill-natur’d fellows,
(Of professional happiness damnably jealous);
For their own private good to be anxiously striving,
Not caring a damn for the national thriving:
Which the lawyers to prove was an infamous libel,
All swore on their thumbs, ’twixt their lips and the Bible;
Most truly to answer an interrogation,
Calculated to find if their love for the nation,
Was great as it ought be; which critical question,
This language, or language like this was expressed in:—

“Suppose o’ye lawyers, right learned and thrifty;
That ever woman, from fifteen to fifty:
Some morn when green peas are no longer in season;
Or for any, as good and substantial a reason,
Should determine to ship themselves out of the nation,
And like swallows combine, in a general migration:
Say what would you risk? and what pains would you take;
(The land’s population being thus set at stake;)
To dissuade the dear sex from so dangerous a schism,
And like honest lawyers shew true patriotism?”

The lawyers were sworn, and the first that arose
To reply, was the right learned Doctor Verbose.

“Should the ladies resolve in the dead of the night;
To take the next morn so unnatural a flight;
My principal bailiff precisely at ten,
(Supposing the ladies not ready till then);
With his mace should precede one, to where the fair rebels
Are ready to start, where I’d drown all their trebles,
With a very find story of silk and of satin;
(Such finical tales to the ladies com pat in);
And three hours, or four at the most, when I’ve spoken,
Not a fair disaffected’s bright eye shall be open:
Fast asleep will I lay them, with ease, ’tis my forte
Which I know to be true; for I’ve tried it in court:
And their heads clear’d with dozing, the gad-about beauties,
Might think better on’t, and return to their duties.
But should they be fixt, and my eloquent laudanum;
Not have due effect: with the blessing of God on ’em
I’ve other expedients, which might be tried a’ter
Which at least should succeed to prevent their departure;
Tho’ not save their love — which you’ll own when I’ve said,
I’d strengthen the dose, and so talk them all dead.
All this would I do for the good of the nation,
To punish revolt, or preserve population;
But ’sides talking them dead, or but making them dose,
I’ve ten more resources;” said the lawyer Verbose,
“The first is —— ”

    —— but it not appearing essential,
To take any more of his drugs eloquential;
And fearing he’d send all their senses a-swimming,
Like those of the fancied refractory women;
And thinking perhaps, that the doctor’s resources
Might prove everlasting, just like his discourses;
They begg’d he’d desist, and assur’d he’d prov’d
Next to making long speeches, the nation he lov’d.

To answer the query the next to appear,
Was that Syllabub Lawyer; call’d Doctor Smallbeer:—

“This case about women migrating like swallows;
Is a matter — from which — it most certainly follows —
Or at least — I submit — in my humble opinion
It should seem they intend — for — to change their dominion
But — Gentlemen — really, I have not had warning —
Sufficient to answer — but — next Friday morning —
If you’ll call at my house — eight o’clock is the hour;
I’ll reply without fee to the best of my power.”

The story continues, they went in a body
Next Friday, and found his grave worship a study:
Who told them; ——

  “——— he’d given due consideration,
To the question about the imagin’d migration;
But all he could do to prevent the mad frolic,
Was to minister that which had cured his cholic;
And therefore he’d give each refractory daughter,
A morsel of sugar diluted with water.”

They bow’d, and reply’d they were pleas’d with his answer;
Were sorry he’d ever come under their censure;
That as to the land, though he never could save it;
It was also as clear he would never enslave it.

Of these deep learned men to shew how the remainder,
Prov’d themselves free from every spot of attainder;
By swearing how much they would do for the nation,
In case of being threaten’d by female migration,
How shall I presume? since those ladies of quality
The Muses, De’el take ’em: have fled in reality.
The cause of their anger’s not hard to divine;
Having strangely forgot to invoke the fair Nine;
Which if poets omit at their very beginning,
Their Graces ne’er pardon so heinous a sinning:
But since they are fled to a measurable distance,
We’ll e’en as before, do without their assistance,
And trust to the notes of my own proper throttle,
Envigor’d by mutton, and clear’d with a bottle;
With such helps as these, we’ll proceed if we can sir,
To describe Lawyer Snail, ere we pen down his answer,
He (unlike his opponents unpractic’d and raw;)
Was an old and experience limb of the law,
Though none of the soundest; what gout and what cramp,
And was but a kind of professional tramp —
 Old Snail we shall call him, because, he ne’er crept till,
He’d made sure a house o’er his head like a reptile:
Or because, he still chose to reside in’t alone,
Without making room for the bone of his bone:
Not that we attribute him Horns to his brow,
Tho’ men less deserving have had ’em ere now;
His written reply for he could not come out,
Being laid up at home with a fit of the gout;

We shall in a jiffy proceed to rehearse,
First putting his prose, if we can into verse.

“Should the women as stated determine to wander,
’Twould highly become me to speak on’ with candour:
Nor reproach them with gadding since men have the freedom,
To run from their wives when no longer they need ’em:
But when there’s at stake every hope of the nation,
I’d surely do much to preserve population;
For the good of the country, use ev’ry exertion,
And hinder if possible female desertion,
And all roving thoughts to drive out of each head,
Most heartily wish ’em the gout in my stead.”

By this his integrity seem’d very clear;
And nobody doubted his wish was sincer;
So ease to his toes, to his gout speedy cure,
So much for Old Snail, who tho’ slow, was quite sure.

The next that was call’d on to answer the query,
Was an ill-thriven weazel, call’d Lawyer Sucksherry;
Who reeling advanc’d to resolve the enquiry,
With his face all aghast, save it index so fiery;
The state of his wig was a little uncouth,
The fore part behind, and the tail in his mouth;
His small clothes all loose, and his whole exhibition;
Shew’d his haste to remove the ungenerous suspicion.

“By the oath I have taken, I swear that this hot land;
Stands in my affection next to my own Scotland;
But should the dear creature call’d women forsake it;
There’s wine enough left to console us — I take it:
But still, I’d do more to prevent their migration;
Than either of those who have spoke o’ the occasion:
With their silks, and their satins, just talking like Stoics;
On a theme, which should raise their cold thoughts to heroics:
(Like a sky-mending god, that rides high on the red-blast;
And fixes the planets itinerant stedfast.)
Of these wandering stars I would check the career,
But hold — for you don’t understand me I fear:
Down! down! with the heavens no more be a meddler;
But sink from a god to a humble Scotch pedlar;
With my pack on my back, to the rebels I’d trudge it,
And beg them to stay, till I’d open’d my budget.
Not with silks, and with satins, tape, thread, or twist laden;
(Let Doctor Verbose in these articles trade in:)
Not with sugar and water, that bev’rage insipid;
(Fit for Doctor Smallbeer but for no other biped,)
But like Johnny Gilpin be laden my pack,
With port, or with sherry, madeira, or sack;
Then spreading my wares, all so tempting before ’em;
I’d kneel to the girls as I meant to adore ’em:
’Tis a posture persuasive; altho’ I’ve a notion,
To the wine, more than they, would be meant my devotion.
Then drinking their healths; with a hearty God bless ’em;
(On my knees as I told you;) thus would I address ’em;—
Fair creatures ——”

—— when lo! in despite of good breeding,
Lawyer Nix, interrupted Sucksherry’s proceeding;
Saying: ——

“ —— Drinking’s your pleasure, and wrangling your trade is,
Yours is not the art to prevail on the ladies,
You may be adapted for soaking or reasoning,
But mine is the voice for a fair lady’s list’ning;
Am not I Lawyer Nix; the chief partner tho’ sleeping,
In the lucrative office of record book keeping;
Though it’s known I can’t write, and is equally clear,
That for nothing at all I’ve two thousand a year:
We sinecure holders whose gen’manly fate is,
T’have money for nothing, should do something gratis:—
Stand aside, or they’ll laugh at your figure you oddity;
Give’s hold of you pack; and I’ll sell your commodity:
Go set your peruke right, and button your breeches,
And be taught Sir by me, what truly fine speech is.
Sweet angels of light! when old Nick prais’d the pippin,
To your Grandmother Eve: (by this nectar I’m sipping,
Her eyes could no more a comparing sustain,
With yours, than his cider would with my champagne.)
His advice she approv’d and sure you’ll be as civil
To me, who am handsome, compar’d to the Devil.
(Nay blush not Sucksherry for though I am speaking,
In your Name I am not for Compliment seeking.)
Princesses! partake of my wine ere you fly hence,
You cannot, like Eve, by too quick a compliance
Lose heaven: since none but an atheist, can doubt ye
Your paradise carry securely about ye:
That loss will be ours, if you fly form our quarters;
And to hell we must go tho’ a noose in our garters.”

Here Lawyer Suckshery, who long had been chewing,
The cud of impatience, a dreadful rage flew in:

“In my name Master Nix, do you utter that too;
Go to hell in a noose! I’ll be damn’d if I do;
Go there Sir yourself, as you ought for such speeches,
Sink me if I’ll ever be damn’d for the witches:
I would not do more for the Devil a gipsey,
Than set the example, and make them all tipsey:
Make them drink, till they lost all the use of their feet
And thereby cut off the sole means of retreat ——”

“Lord! Lord!” resumes Nix, “when will scholars be wise;
And make proper use of their ears, and their eyes;
Did it never occur in your worship’s great reading,
O’ the poor hen-peck’d husband’s unlucky proceeding
With his wife; when he found it was useless to strap her,
Thought of making sure work; and so cut out her clapper;
Which serv’d but to heighten her clamorous song,
And she chid him to death, for extracting her tongue.
If women are bless’d with the curious knack,
Of talking the most when depriv’d of their clack;
Your benumbing their feet, would but shew little cunning;
Since cutting them off, would but set them a-running.
In short, I expected a much better plan;
From the wisdom and wit, of so learned a man.
(But tippling’s a method a little uncommon
Of keeping in bounds a refractory woman.)
The way you should act in so awful a case;
Is as plain as the sun, or the nose in your Face:—
E’en let them alone till they get aboard ship,
Then follow them close in the crack of a whip:
And not staying to ask what port they are bound,
Clap your nose under water, and leave them aground:
It would stop their career; and more good would come from it:
You’d have fish ready fried, by the great Northern Comet.

Bravo! Lawyer Nix, long long live the nose;” all
The company cried: “what a brilliant proposal.”

And to put it in practice, if found necessary;
By his silence consented great Doctor Sucksherry:
And nobody knew which the most to admire,
Lawyer Nix’s invention, or Sucksherry’s fire.