1808 18

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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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The Morning Chronicle (November 7, 1808)

Now singing by the People, the Ministers, and the
Three Great Commanders!!!


Who let the French escape?[1] Was't you, Sir, or you!

                                 Sir ARTHUR.

Sir HEW let the French escape, Sir HEW, Sir HEW.

                                   Sir HEW.

What I, Sir? not I, Sir; you tell a cursed---, Sir,
Sir ARTHUR signed the Armistice you've all cause to rue.

                                 Sir ARTHUR.

What I, Sir? not I, Sir.


Of fighting you were shy, Sir.

                          Sir ARTHUR and Sir HEW.

'Twas you that let the French escape, 'twas you, Sir, you!


Come, come to trial; carry
Whoever let the French escape we'll make look blue.

                                  Sir HEW.

You'll discover at the Finis, Sirs,
'Twas Sir ARTHUR and the MINISTERS—
The MINISTERS let go the French! yes! you, Sirs, you!


What! we, Sir, we?
We'll hang you on a tree!
'Twas Hew that let the French escape—not Arthur, but Hew!


We heed you not a feather;
You're drivellers altogether!
And we'll hang you altogether up; yes, you,
                       Sirs, and you!

Oct. 26, 1808


1. The Convention of Cintra (August 30, 1808) enabled the French Army in Spain under Junot to escape with booty. The British military leaders in Spain, Sir Arthur Wellesley, Sir Hew Dalrymple, and Sir Harry Burrard all disclaimed responsibility, attributing The Convention to the orders of the Ministry. The Ministry ordered an investigation, and Sir Hew Dalrymple was made the scapegoat for the action.

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Original publication date


Published @ RC

September 2004