The Elder Brother. Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Centrick in London noise and London folliesA
Proud Covent Garden blooms in smoky gloryB
For chairmen coffee rooms piazzas dolliesA
Cabbages and comedians fame'd in storyB
On this gay spot upon a sober planC
Dwelt a right regular and staid young manC
Much did he early hours and quiet loveD
And was entitle'd Mr Isaac ShoveD
An Orphan he yet rich in expectationsA
Which nobody seem'd likely to supplantE
From that prodigious bore of all relationsA
A fusty canting stiff rump'd Maiden AuntE
The wealthy Miss Lucretia CloghortyE
Who had brought Isaac up and own'd to fortyE
Shove on this maiden's Will relied securelyE
Who vow'd she ne'er would wed to mar his richesA
Full often would she say of men demurelyE
I can't abide the filthy things in breechesA
He had Apartments up two pair of stairsA
On the first floor lodge'd Doctor CrowF
The Landlord was a torturer of hairsA
And made a grand display of wigs belowF
From the beau's Brutus to the parson's grizzleG
Over the door way was his name 'twas TwizzleG
Now you must knowF
This Doctor CrowF
Was not of Law nor Music nor DivinityE
He was obstetrick but the fact isA
He didn't in Lucina's turnpike practiseA
He took bye roads reducing Ladies' shapesA
Who had secure'd themselves from leading apesA
But kept the reputation of virginityE
Crow had a roomy tenement of brickH
Enclose'd with walls one mile from Hyde Park cornerI
Fir trees and yews were planted round it thickH
No situation was forlornerI
Yet notwithstanding folks might scout itE
It suited qualmish Spinsters who fell sickH
And didn't wish the world to know about itE
Here many a single gentlewoman cameJ
Pro tempore full tender of her fameJ
Who for a while took leave of friends in townK
Business forsooth to Yorkshire call'd her downK
Too weighty to be settle'd by AttorneyE
And in a month's or six weeks' time came backL
When every body cried Good lackL
How monstrous thin you've grown upon your journeyE
The Doctor knowing that a puff of ScandalG
Would blow his private trade to tattersA
Dreaded to give the smallest handleG
To those who dabble in their neighbours' mattersA
Therefore he wisely held it goodE
To hide his practice from the neighbourhoodE
And not appear there as a residentE
But merely one who casually wentE
To see the lodgers in the large brick houseA
To lounge and chat not minding time a souseA
Like one to whom all business was quite foreignM
And thus he visited his female sickH
Who lay as thickH
Within his tenement of brickH
As rabbits in a warrenM
He lodge'd in Covent Garden all the whileG
And if they sent in haste for his assistanceA
He soon was with 'em 'twas no mighty distanceA
From the town's end it was but a bare mileG
Now Isaac ShoveD
Living aboveD
This Doctor CrowI
And knowing Barber Twizzle live'd belowI
Thought it might be as wellG
Hearing so many knocks single and doubleG
To buy at his own cost a street door bellG
And save confusion in the house and troubleG
Whereby his Isaac's visitors might knowI
Without long waiting in the dirt and drizzleG
To ring for him at once and not to knock for CrowI
Nor TwizzleG
Besides he now began to feelG
The want of it was rather ungenteelG
For he had often thought it a disgraceA
To hear while sitting in his room aboveD
Twizzle's shrill maid on the first landing placeA
Screaming a man below vants Mister ShoveD
The bell was bought the wire was made to stealG
Round the dark stair case like a tortur'd eelG
Twisting and twiningN
The jemmy handle Twizzle's door post grace'dE
And just beneath a brazen plate was place'dE
Lacquer'd and shiningN
Graven whereon in characters full clearI
And legible did Mr Shove appearI
And furthermore which you might read right wellG
Was Please to ring the bellG
At half past ten precisely to a secondE
Shove every night his supper endedE
And sipp'd his glass of negus till he reckon'dE
By his stop watch exactly one more quarterI
Then as exactly he untied one garterI
A token 'twas that he for bed intendedE
Yet having still a quarter good before himO
He leisurely undress'd before the fireI
Contriving as the quarter did expireI
To be as naked as his mother bore himO
Bating his shirt and night cap on his headE
Then as the watchman bawl'd elevenM
He had one foot in bedE
More certainly than cuckolds go to HeavenM
Alas what pity 'tis that regularityE
Like Isaac Shove's is such a rarityE
But there are swilling Wights in London townK
Term'd Jolly dogs Choice Spirits alias SwineP
Who pour in midnight revel bumpers downK
Making their throats a thoroughfare for wineP
These spendthrifts who Life's pleasures thus out runM
Dozing with head aches till the afternoonQ
Lose half men's regular estate of SunM
By borrowing too largely of the MoonQ
One of this kidney Toby Tosspot hightE
Was coming from the Bedford late at nightE
And being Bacchi plenus full of wineP
Although he had a tolerable notionM
Of aiming at progressive motionM
'Twasn't direct 'twas serpentineP
He work'd with sinuosities alongR
Like Monsieur Corkscrew worming thro' a CorkS
Not straight like Corkscrew's proxy stiff Don ProngR
A ForkS
At length with near four bottles in his pateE
He saw the moon shining on Shove's brass plateE
When reading Please to ring the bellG
And being civil beyond measureI
Ring it says Toby very wellG
I'll ring it with a deal of pleasureI
Toby the kindest soul in all the townK
Gave it a jerk that almost jerk'd it downK
He waited full two minutes no one cameJ
He waited full two minutes more and thenT
Says Toby if he's deaf I'm not to blameJ
I'll pull it for the gentleman againT
But the first peal woke Isaac in a frightE
Who quick as lightning popping up his headE
Sat on his head's Antipodes in bedE
Pale as a parsnip bolt uprightE
At length he wisely to himself did sayA
Calming his fearsA
Tush 'tis some fool has rung and run awayA
When peal the second rattle'd in his earsA
Shove jump'd into the middle of the floorI
And trembling at each breath of air that stirr'dE
He grope'd down stairs and open'd the street doorI
While Toby was performing peal the thirdE
Isaac eye'd Toby fearfully askantE
And saw he was a strapper stout and tallG
Then put this question Pray Sir what d'ye wantE
Says Toby I want nothing Sir at allG
Want nothing Sir you've pull'd my bell I vowU
As if you'd jerk it off the wireI
Quoth Toby gravely making him a bowU
I pull'd it Sir at your desireI
At mine Yes yours I hope I've done it wellG
High time for bed Sir I was hast'ning to itE
But if you write up Please to ring the bellG
Common politeness makes me stop and do itE
Isaac now waxing wroth apaceA
Slamm'd the street door in Toby's faceA
With all his mightE
And Toby as he shut it sworeI
He was a dirty son of something moreI
Than delicacy suffers me to writeE
And lifting up the knocker gave a knockV
So long and loud it might have raise'd the deadE
Twizzle declares his house sustain'd a shockV
Enough to shake his lodgers out of bedE
Toby his rage thus vented in the rapW
Went serpentining home to take his napW
'Tis now high time to let you knowI
That the obstetrick Doctor CrowI
Awoke in the beginning of this matterI
By Toby's tintinnabulary clatterI
And knowing that the bell belong'd to ShoveD
He listen'd in his bed but did not moveX
He only did apostrophizeA
Sending to hellG
Shove and his bellG
That wouldn't let him close his eyesA
But when he heard a thundering knock says heE
That's certainly a messenger for meE
Somebody ill in the Brick House no doubtE
Then mutter'd hurrying on his dressing gownK
I wish my Ladies out of townK
Chose more convenient times for crying outE
Crow in the dark now reached the stair case headE
Shove in the dark was coming up to bedE
A combination of ideas flockingN
Upon the pericranium of CrowI
Occasion'd by the hasty knockingN
Succeeded by a foot he heard belowI
He did as many folks are apt to doE
Who argue in the dark and in confusionM
That is from the Hypothesis he drewE
A false conclusionM
Concluding Shove to be the person sentE
With an express from the brick tenementE
Whom Barber Twizzle torturer of hairsA
Had civilly let in and sent up stairsA
As Shove came up tho' he had long time keptE
His character for patience very laudablyI
He couldn't help at every step he stepp'dE
Grunting and grumbling in his gizzard audiblyI
For Isaac's mental feelings you must knowI
Not only were considerably hurtE
But his corporeal alsoI
Having no other clothing than a shirtE
A dress beyond all doubt most light and airyI
It being then a frost in JanuaryI
When Shove was deep down stairs the Doctor heardE
Being much nearer the stair topY
Just here and there a random wordE
Of the Soliloquies that Shove let dropY
But shortly by progression broughtE
To contact nearerI
The Doctor consequently heard him clearerI
And then the fag end of this sentence caughtE
Which Shove repeated warmly tho' he shiver'dE
Damn Twizzle's house and damn the BellI
And damn the fool who rang it WellI
From all such plagues I'll quickly be deliver'dE
What quickly be deliver'd echoes CrowI
Who is it Come be sharp reply replyI
Who wants to be deliver'd let me knowI
Recovering his surprise Shove answer'd II
You be deliver'd says the Doctor 'SbloodE
Hearing a man's gruff voice You lout you lobZ
You be deliver'd Come that's very goodE
Says Shove I will so help me BobZ
Fellow cried Crow you're drunk with filthy beerI
A drunkard fellow is a brute's next neighbourI
But Miss Cloghorty's time was very nearI
And I suppose Lucretia's now in labourI
Zounds bellows Shove with rage and wonder wildE
Why then my maiden Aunt is big with childE
Here was at once a sad discovery madeE
Lucretia's frolick now was past a jokeA2
Shove tremble'd for his Fortune Crow his TradeE
Both both saw ruin by one fatal strokeA2
But with his Aunt when Isaac did discussA
She hush'd the matter up by speaking thusA
Sweet Isaac said Lucretia spare my FameJ
Tho' for my babe I feel as should a motherI
Your Fortune will continue much the sameJ
For keep the Secret you're his Elder BrotherI

George Colman


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