19. A New-Comer -

" Good echoes, echo it! Ho, chant
'Tis penalty we sinners want:
By all means, penalty!"
What man
Thus struck in here so consonant?
They turn them, and a stranger scan.
As through the rigging of some port
Where cheek by jowl the ships resort —
The sea-beat hulls of briny oak —
Peereth the May-day's jocund sun;
So through his inlaced wrinkles broke
A nature bright, a beaming one.

" Hidalgos, pardon! Strolling here
These fine old villa-sites to see,
I caught that good word penalty ,
And could not otherwise than cheer
Pray now, here be — two, four, six, eight —
Ten legs; I 'll add one more, by leave,
And eke an arm."
In hobbling state
He came among them, with one sleeve
Loose flying, and one wooden limb,
A leg. All eyes the cripple skim;
Each rises, and his seat would give:
But Derwent in advance: " Why, Don —
My good Don Hannibal, I mean;
Senor Don Hannibal Rohon
Del Aquaviva — a good e'en!"
" Ha, thou, is 't thou?" the other cried,
And peered and stared not unamazed;
Then flung his one arm round him wide:
Then at arm's length: " St. James be praised,
With all the calendar!"
" But, tell:
What wind wafts here Don Hannibal?
When last I left thee at " The Cock "
In Fleet Street, thou wert like a rock
For England — bent on anchoring there."
" Oh, too much agitation; yes,
Too proletarian it proved.
I 've stumped about since; no redress;
Norway 's too cold; Egypt 's all glare;
And everywhere that I removed
This cursed Progress still would greet.
Ah where (thought I) in Old World view
Some blest asylum from the New!
At last I steamed for Joppa's seat,
Resolved on Asia for retreat.
Asia for me, Asia will do.
But just where to pitch tent — invest —
Ah, that 's the point; I 'm still in quest,
Don Derwent. — Look, the sun falls low;
But lower the funds in Mexico
Whereto he 's sinking."
" Gentlemen,"
Said Derwent, turning on them then;
" I introduce and do commend
To ye Don Hannibal Rohon;
He is my estimable friend
And well beloved. Great fame he 's won
In war. Those limbs — — "
" St. James defend!"
Here cried Don Hannibal; " stop! stop!
Pulled down is Montezuma's hall! —
Hidalgos, I am, as ye see,
Just a poor cripple — that is all;
A cripple, yet contrive to hop
Far off from Mexic liberty,
Thank God! I lost these limbs for that;
And would that they were mine again,
And all were back to former state —
I, Mexico, and poor Old Spain
And for Don Derwent here, my friend —
You know his way. And so I end,
Poor penitent American:
Oh, 'tis the sorriest thing! In me
A reformado reformed ye see."

Ungar, a very Indian here,
Too serious far to take a jest,
Or rather, who no sense possessed
Of humour; he, for aye austere,
Took much in earnest; and a light
Of attestation over-bright
Shot from his eyes, though part suppressed.
" But penalties, these penalties ,"
Here cried the crippled one again;
" Proceed, hidalgo; name you these
Same capital good penalties:
They 're needed."
" Hold, let me explain,"
Cried Derwent: " We, as meek as worms —
Oh, far from taking any pique
As if the kind but formed a clique —
Have late been hearing in round terms
The sore disparagement of man,
Don Hannibal." " You think I 'll ban?
Disparage him with all my heart!
What villain takes the rascal's part?
Advance the argument."
" But stay:
'Tis too much odds now; it won't do,
Such reinforcement come. Nay, nay,
I of the Old World, all alone
Maintaining hope and ground for cheer
'Gainst ye, the offspring of the New?
Ah, what reverses time can own!"
So Derwent light. But earnest here,
Ungar: " Old World? if age's test
Be this — advanced experience,
Then, in the truer moral sense,
Ours is the Old World. You, at best,
In dreams of your advanced Reform,
Adopt the cast skin of our worm."
" Hey, hey?" exclaimed Don Hannibal;
" Not cast yet quite; the snake is sick —
Would wriggle out. 'Tis pitiful!
But brave times for the empirie. —
You spake now of Reform. For me,
Among reformers in true way
There 's one — the imp of Semele;
Ay, and brave Raleigh too, we 'll say.
Wine and the weed! blest innovations,
How welcome to the weary nations!
But what 's in this Democracy?
Eternal hacking! Woe is me,
She lopped these limbs, Democracy."
" Ah, now, Don Hannibal Rohon
Del Aquaviva!" Derwent cried;
" I knew it: two upon a side!"
But Ungar, earnest in his plea —
Intent, nor caring to have done;
And turning where suggestion led
At tangent: " Ay, Democracy
Lops, lops; but where 's her planted bed?
The future, what is that to her
Who vaunts she 's no inheritor?
'Tis in her mouth, not in her heart
The Past she spurns, though 'tis the Past
From which she gets her saving part —
That Good which lets her Evil last.
Behold her whom the panders crown,
Harlot on horseback, riding down
The very Ephesians who acclaim
This great Diana of ill fame!
Arch-strumpet of an impious age,
Upstart from ranker villanage,
'Tis well she must restriction taste,
Nor lay the world's broad manor waste:
Asia shall stop her at the least,
That old inertness of the East.
She 's limited; lacking the free
And genial catholicity
Which in Christ's pristine scheme unfurled
Grace to the city and the world."
" By Cotopaxi, a brave vent!"
(And here he took a pinch of snuff,
Flapping the spill off with loose cuff)
" Good excellenza — excellent!
But, pardon me," in altered tone;
" I'm sorry, but I must away";
And, setting crutch, he footing won;
" We 're just arrived in cloister there,
Our little party; and they stay
My coming for the convent-fare.
Adieu: we 'll meet anon — we 'll meet,
Don Derwent. Nay, now, never stir;
Nor I would such a group unseat;
But happy the good rein and spur
That brought thee where once more we greet.
Good e'en, Don Derwent — not good-bye;
And, cavaliers, the evil eye
Keep far from ye!" He limped away,
Rolling a wild ranchero lay:
" House your cattle and stall your steed:
Stand by, stand by for the great stampede!"
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