Fragment of a Character

Here lies Factotum Ned at last;
Long as he breath'd the vital air,
Nothing throughout all Europe pass'd,
In which Ned hadn't some small share.

Whoe'er was in, whoe'er was out,
Whatever statesmen did or said,
If not exactly brought about,
'Twas all, at least, contriv'd by Ned.

With Nap, if Russia went to war,
'Twas owing, under Providence,
To certain hints Ned gave the Czar--
(Vide his pamphlet--price, sixpence.)

If France was beat at Waterloo--
As all but Frenchmen think she was--
To Ned, as Wellington well knew,
Was owing half that day's applause.

Then for his news--no envoy's bag
E'er pass'd so many secrets through it;
Scarcely a telegraph could wag
Its wooden finger, but Ned knew it.

Such tales he had of foreign plots,
With foreign names, one's ear to buzz in!
From Russia, chefs and ofs in lots,
From Poland, owskis by the dozen.

When George, alarm'd for England's creed,
Turn'd out the last Whig ministry,
And men ask'd--who advis'd the deed?
Ned modestly confess'd 'twas he.

For though, by some unlucky miss,
He had not downwright seen the King,
He sent such hints through Viscount This,
To Marquis That, as clench'd the thing.

The same it was in science, arts,
The Drama, Books, MS. and printed--
Kean learn'd from Ned his cleverest parts,
And Scott's last work by him was hinted.

Childe Harold in the proofs he read,
And, here and there, infus'd some soul in't--
Nay, Davy's Lamp, till seen by Ned,
Had--odd enough--an awkward hole in't.

'Twas thus, all-doing and all-knowing,
Wit, statesman, boxer, chymist, singer,
Whatever was the best pye going,
In that Ned--trust--had his finger.
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