The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside ballad entitled 'Peter's Picture for a Bawbee'





       SIR Peter Curlew?we maun reason wi' you,
            Ye meddle sae sair an' sae aft wi' the Frees,
       And were ye review'd and as keenly pursu'd,
          We'll tell you what we wad discern if ye please.
       Amidst a' your cunnin' an' science in punin',
            Your stock o' impudence an' columns o' lies,
       We come to the sequal?ye hinna an equal
            Mair greedy an gabby to gather Bawbees.

Pernicious your matter?vexatious your clatter,
Ye cultivate spite an' mak' sale o' your wrath,
Deprav'd is the spirit you seem to inherit,
How darin' your folly?how guilty your path.
The patrons who lead you, the organs who feed you,
Exhibit the malice an' rancour ye show,
They deem you a treasure, an object o' pleasure,
An' welcome are they to so hatefu' a foe.

The Press is degraded, its laurels hae faded,
When critics, an' printers appear as ye do,
To deal in deception, an' lost to reflection,
Wad foster an' flatter an ignoble crew.
Wi' hostile intention an' sorded invention,
Ye mock an' disturb monie faithfu' an' true,
Wi' matchless presumption ye shelter corruption,
What mair vicious course could the devil pursue '.

The kirk folk wha aid you, a play thing hae made you      
Their weekly amusement is socht frae your pen            
An' timely an' servile, ye still mak' them marvel,               
Wi' a' the dark news o' the Frees that ye ken.               
Ye madly appear in your noxious career,                        
Regardless altho' an' inflicter o' pain,                           
Your constant employment-malicious enjoyment,               
To bosoms as fause an' as foul as your ain.                  

Good men ye traduce wi' your fulsome abuse?               
Still jeerin' their object an' mokin' their toil,                  
Rejoice to dragoon them, delight to lampoon them,            
An' on their best efforts disdainfully smile.                     
Since printin' began, as a solace to man,                           
Was ever sic jargon in play to gie mirth,                     
But while ye defame, we indignant exclaim,                        
" Did e'er sic a Reptile dwell upon earth."                     

To deal in your scandal, what trifles you handle,               
What nonsense ye utter, what venom diffuse,                  
There is not in nature a more worthless creature,               
A spreader o' mischief? defiler o' news.                        
The truth ye deny sir, the law ye defy, sir,                           
Tho' aften ye tum'le an' fa' in the mire,                           
Debas'd your ambition, an' doom'd to perdition,                  
The gowd an' the gear that your meanness acquire.         

previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1843-1846   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(239)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Peter's Picture for a Bawbee'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland