Spoken by Mr Liston Riding on a Velocipede, at Covent-garden Theatre (1819)

Spoken by Mr Liston Riding on a Velocipede, at Covent-garden Theatre (1819)

Fresh from the Arcade, from Bond- Street, or the Lobby,
Behold me here, a dandy, with my hobby;
Horseman and horse equipped, a taking sight-
Two for a pair, both ultra-exquisite.
(As my friend Backbite sings in the play)
Who ever saw so elegant a pony?

Other horses are mere clowns, but this is a maccaroni.

The gentlest creature—pray, sir, venture near him;
No lady and no dandy need to fear him;
He never kicks:—and then his pedigree

Is quite heraldic — branching from a tree:—
Goes without spurring, gallops without whips;
And though not quite a high flyer, or Eclipse,
Could he descend to low-bred Epsom jokes,
Born in a wood, be sure had won the Oaks.

The living steed is what your jockey’s prize;
But, then, they are such violent exercise—
They shake the nerves enough to make one drop—
And do so gall the part that’s not one’s top!
The motion is excessive, past enduring—

The grief is past diachylon in curing.

Old Priam’s town (a ten years’ siege withstood)
Veiled her proud turrets to a horse of wood:

Our hobby had not been so long to seek,

Once seen, he’d take all Paris in a week.

Instead of Russian mountains, we should meet

A spruce cheval de bois in very street

The Fireside magazine; or, Monthly entertainer, 1819, Vol. 1, p. 279

 

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