"The rich man has a kitchen, And cooks to dress his dinner; The poor who would roast, To the baker's must post, And thus becomes a sinner.
"The rich man's painted windows Hide the concerts of the quality; The poor can but share A crack'd fiddle in the air, Which offends all sound morality.
"The rich man has a cellar, And a ready butler by him; The poor must steer For his pint of beer Where the saint can't choose but spy him.
"This rich man is invisible In the crowd of his gay society; But the poor man's delight Is a sore in the sight And a stench in the nose of piety."
Against dandy footmen he is particularly severe. He hates idlers, pretenders, boasters, and punishes these fellows as best he may. Who does not recollect the famous picture, "What IS taxes, Thomas?" What is taxes indeed; well may that vast, over-fed, lounging flunky ask the question of his associate Thomas: and yet not well, for all that Thomas says in reply is, "I DON'T KNOW." "O beati PLUSHICOLAE," what a charming state of ignorance is yours! In the "Sketch-Book" many footmen make their appearance: one is a huge fat Hercules of a Portman Square porter, who calmly surveys another poor fellow, a porter likewise, but out of livery, who comes staggering forward with a box that Hercules might lift with his little finger. Will Hercules do so? not he. The giant can carry nothing heavier than a cocked-hat note on a silver tray, and his labors are to walk from his sentry-box to the door, and from the door back to his sentry-box, and to read the Sunday paper, and to poke the hall fire twice or thrice, and to make five meals a day. Such a fellow does Cruikshank hate and scorn worse even than a Frenchman.
The man's master, too, comes in for no small share of our artist's wrath. There is a company of them at church, who humbly designate themselves "miserable sinners!" Miserable sinners indeed! Oh, what floods of turtle-soup, what tons of turbot and lobster-sauce must have been sacrificed to make those sinners properly miserable. My lady with the ermine tippet and draggling feather, can we not see that she lives in Portland Place, and is the wife of an East India Director? She has been to the Opera over-night (indeed her husband, on her right, with his fat hand dangling over the pew-door, is at this minute thinking of Mademoiselle Leocadie, whom he saw behind the scenes)--she has been at the Opera over-night, which with a trifle of supper afterwards--a white-and-brown soup, a lobster- salad, some woodcocks, and a little champagne--sent her to bed quite comfortable. At half-past eight her maid brings her chocolate in bed, at ten she has fresh eggs and muffins, with, perhaps, a half- hundred of prawns for breakfast, and so can get over the day and the sermon till lunch-time pretty well. What an odor of musk and bergamot exhales from the pew!--how it is wadded, and stuffed, and spangled over with brass nails! what hassocks are there for those who are not too fat to kneel! what a flustering and flapping of gilt prayer-books; and what a pious whirring of bible leaves one hears all over the church, as the doctor blandly gives out the text! To be miserable at this rate you must, at the very least, have four thousand a year: and many persons are there so enamored of grief and sin, that they would willingly take the risk of the misery to have a life-interest in the consols that accompany it, quite careless about consequences, and sceptical as to the notion that a day is at hand when you must fulfil YOUR SHARE OF THE BARGAIN.
Our artist loves to joke at a soldier; in whose livery there appears to him to be something almost as ridiculous as in the uniform of the gentleman of the shoulder-knot. Tall life-guardsmen and fierce grenadiers figure in many of his designs, and almost always in a ridiculous way. Here again we have the honest popular English feeling which jeers at pomp or pretension of all kinds, and is especially jealous of all display of military authority. "Raw Recruit," "ditto dressed," ditto "served up," as we see them in the "Sketch-Book," are so many satires upon the army: Hodge with his ribbons flaunting in his hat, or with red coat and musket, drilled stiff and pompous, or at last, minus leg and arm, tottering about on crutches, does not fill our English artist with the enthusiasm that follows the soldier in every other part of Europe. Jeanjean, the conscript in France, is laughed at to be sure, but then it is because he is a bad soldier: when he comes to have a huge pair of mustachios and the croix-d'honneur to briller on his poitrine cicatrisee, Jeanjean becomes a member of a class that is more respected than any other in the French nation. The veteran soldier inspires our people with no such awe--we hold that democratic weapon the fist in much more honor than the sabre and bayonet, and laugh at a man tricked out in scarlet and pipe-clay.
That regiment of heroes is "marching to divine service," to the tune of the "British Grenadiers." There they march in state, and a pretty contempt our artist shows for all their gimcracks and trumpery. He has drawn a perfectly English scene--the little blackguard boys are playing pranks round about the men, and shouting, "Heads up, soldier," "Eyes right, lobster," as little British urchins will do. Did one ever hear the like sentiments expressed in France? Shade of Napoleon, we insult you by asking the question. In England, however, see how different the case is: and designedly or undesignedly, the artist has opened to us a piece of his mind. In the crowd the only person who admires the soldiers is the poor idiot, whose pocket a rogue is picking. There is another picture, in which the sentiment is much the same, only, as in the former drawing we see Englishmen laughing at the troops of the line, here are Irishmen giggling at the militia.