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Politics & government

State of Great Briton [sic] or, a touch on the times, for 1841

(9) State of Great Briton [sic] or, a touch on the times, for 1841


          Or, a Touch at the Times, for 1841.

[NLS note: a graphic appears here - see image of page]

As old John Bull was walking,
One morn free from pain,
He heard the rose, the shamrock,
And thistle to complain;
An alteration must take place,
Together they did sing.
In the Corn Laws, and the Poor Law Bill,
And many other things.


Conversing on the present time together they did
range,                        [so very strange.
All classes through Great Britain now appear
That England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales,
must speedily have a change

The Railroads all through England,
Have great depression made,
Machinery of every kind,
Has put a stop to trade,
The innkeepers are weeping
In grief and agony,
And the ostlers swear they'll buy a rope,
And go to felo-de-se.

The steam boats to old Beelzebub,
The watermen do wish,
For they say they've nearly ruin'd them,
And drowned all the fish.
Of all their new inventions,
That We have lately seen,
There was none began or thought upon,
When Betty she was Queen.

The Poor Law Bill, now many say,
Are arbitrary laws,
But they are quickly going to alter,
Now the first and second clause,
The ninth, and tenth, and thirty first
But the forty-third does say,
Give old men and women beer and tea,
And a half-a-crown a day.

Behold the well-fed farmer,
How he can strut along,
Let the poor man do what'er he will
He is always in the wrong,
With hard labour and bad wages,
He hangs his drooping head,
For they wont allow him half enough,
To find his children bread.

The farmer's daughters out can ride,
Well clad and pockets full,
With a horse and saddle like a queen,
And a boa like a bull,
In their hand a flashy parasol,
And on their face a veil
And a bustle nearly seven times,
As a big as a milking pail.

The nobles from the pockets of
John Bull are all well paid,
Sometimes you hardly know the lady,
From the servant maid,
For now they get so very proud,
Silk stockings on their legs,
And ev'ry step they take you think,
They walk on pigeon's eggs.

The tradesman he can hardly pay,
His rent and keep his home;
And the labourer he has eighteen pence,
A day for breaking stones,
In former days the farmer rode,
A donkey or mule,
There never were such times before,
Since Adam went to school.

Some can live in luxury,
While others weep in woe,
There's a pretty difference 'tween now,
And a century ago,
The world will shortly move by steam,
And that appears quite strange,
So you must all acknowledge,
That England wants a change.

H. Paul Printer, 22, Brick Lane Spitalfie ds,

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