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The Cap and Bells, or, The Jealousies, Page 29
by John Keats (November-December, 1819).

    "'Stead of his anxious Majesty and court
    At the open doors, with wide saluting eyes,
    Congées and scrape-graces of every sort,
    And all the smooth routine of gallantries,
    Was seen, to our immoderate surprise,
    A motley crowd thick gather'd in the hall,
    Lords, scullions, deputy-scullions, with wild cries
    Stunning the vestibule from wall to wall,
Where the Chief Justice on his knees and hands doth crawl.

    "Counts of the palace, and the state purveyor
    Of moth's-down, to make soft the royal beds,
    The Common Council and my fool Lord Mayor
    Marching a-row, each other slipshod treads;
    Powder'd bag-wigs and ruffy-tuffy heads
    Of cinder wenches meet and soil each other;
    Toe crush'd with heel ill-natur'd fighting breeds,
    Frill-rumpling elbows brew up many a bother,
And fists in the short ribs keep up the yell and pother.

    "A Poet, mounted on the Court-Clown's back,
    Rode to the Princess swift with spurring heels,
    And close into her face, with rhyming clack,
    Began a Prothalamion;—she reels,
    She falls, she faints! while laughter peels
    Over her woman's weakness. 'Where!' cry'd I,
    'Where is his Majesty?' No person feels
    Inclin'd to answer; wherefore instantly
I plung'd into the crowd to find him or to die.

    "Jostling my way I gain'd the stairs, and ran
    To the first landing, where, incredible!
    I met, far gone in liquor, that old man,
    That vile imposter Hum,——"
                                                          So far so well,—
    For we have prov'd the Mago never fell
    Down stairs on Crafticanto's evidence;
    And therefore duly shall proceed to tell,
    Plain in our own original mood and tense,
The sequel of this day, though labour 'tis immense!
             *       *       *       *

PAGE 29 OF 29.

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