Hat Versus Wig

'T WIXT Eldon's Hat and Eldon's Wig
There lately rose an altercation, —
Each with its own importance big,
Disputing which most serves the nation.

Quoth Wig, with consequential air,
" Pooh! pooh! you surely can't design,
" My worthy beaver, to compare
" Your station in the state with mine.

" Who meets the learned legal crew?
" Who fronts the lordly Senate's pride?
" The Wig, the Wig, my friend — while you
" Hang dangling on some peg outside.

" Oh! 't is the Wig, that rules, like Love,
" Senate and Court, with like eclat —
" And wards below and lords above,
" For Law is Wig and Wig is Law!

" Who tried the long, Long W ELLESLEY suit,
" Which tried one's patience, in return?
" Not thou, oh Hat! — tho' couldst thou do 't,
" Of other brims than thine thou 'dst learn.

" 'Twas mine our master's toil to share;
" When, like " Truepenny," in the play,
" He, every minute, cried out " Swear,"
" And merrily to swear went they; —

" When, loath poor W ELLESLEY to condemn, he
" With nice discrimination weighed,
" Whether 't was only " Hell and Jemmy,"
" Or " Hell and Tommy" that he played.

" No, no, my worthy beaver, no —
" Tho' cheapened at the cheapest hatter's,
" And smart enough as beavers go
" Thou ne'er wert made for public matters. "

Here Wig concluded his oration,
Looking, as wigs do, wondrous wise;
While thus, full cockt for declamation,
The veteran Hat enraged replies: —

" Ha! dost thou then so soon forget
" What thou, what England owes to me?
" Ungrateful Wig! — when will a debt,
" So deep, so vast, be owed thee?

" Think of that night, that fearful night,
" When, thro' the steaming vault below,
" Our master dared, in gout's despite,
" To venture his podagric toe!

" Who was it then, thou boaster, say
" When thou hadst to thy box sneaked off,
" Beneath his feet protecting lay,
" And saved him from a mortal cough?

" Think, if Catarrh had quenched that sun,
" How blank this world had been to thee!
" Without that head to shine upon,
" Oh Wig, where would thy glory be?

" You, too, ye Britons, — had this hope
" Of Church and State been ravisht from ye,
" Oh think, how Canning and the Pope
" Would then have played up " Hell and Tommy"!

" At sea, there 's but a plank, they say,
" 'Twixt seamen and annihilation;
" A Hat, that awful moment, lay
" 'Twixt England and Emancipation!
" Oh! ! ! — "

At this " Oh! ! ! " The Times Reporter
Was taken poorly, and retired;
Which made him cut Hat's rhetoric shorter,
Than justice to to the case required.

On his return, he found these shocks
Of eloquence all ended quite;
And Wig lay snoring in his box,
And Hat was — hung up for the night.
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