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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

George Walter Thornbury (1828–1876)

The Jacobites’ Club

ONE threw an orange in the air,

And caught it on his sword;

Another crunched the yellow peel

With his red heel on the board;

A third man cried, “When Jackson comes

Into his large estate,

I’ll pave the old hall down in Kent

With golden bits of eight.”

One, turning with a meaning wink,

Fast double-locked the door,

Then held a letter to the fire—

It was all blank before,

But now it’s ruled with crimson lines,

And ciphers odd and quaint:

They cluster round, and nod, and laugh,

As one invokes a saint.

He pulls a black wig from his head—

He’s shaven like a priest;

He holds his finger to his nose,

And smiles,—“The wind blows east;

The Dutch canals are frozen, sirs;—

I don’t say anything,

But when you play at ombre next,

Mind that I lead a king.”—

“Last night at Kensington I spent;

’Twas gay as any fair:

Lord! how they stared to find that bill

Stuck on the royal chair.

Some fools cried ‘Treason!’ some, ‘A plot!’

I slipped behind a screen,

And when the guards came fussing in,

Sat chatting with the Queen.”

“I,” cried a third, “was printing songs

In a garret in St. Giles’s,

When I heard the watchman at the door,

And flew up on the tiles.

The press was lowered into the vault,

The types into a drain:

I think you’ll own, my trusty sirs,

I have a ready brain.”

A frightened whisper at the door,

A bell rings—then a shot:

“Shift, boys, the Orangers are come!—

Pity! the punch is hot.”

A clash of swords—a shout—a scream,

And all abreast in force;

The Jacobites, some twenty strong,

Break through and take to horse.