BETA

The Visit to the Lions.

Her Majesty, struck with the great skill of Van Amburgh in managing
those tremendous animals, expressed a wish to see them nearer ; and accord-
ingly, after the audience had retired, she, with several of the ladies of the
Court and the Lords in Waiting, came upon the stage.” — Newspaper
paragraph
.
Scene, Drury-Lane Theatre — Time, Midnight.
LION loquitur.
So, the curtain has dropt,1
And Van Amburgh is gone :2
Well, for one night at least3
All our floggings are done.4
But, by Jove ! here come women,5
And players, and pages,6
If I play twice a-night7
I must strike for more wages.8
LIONESS.
I wonder what brings9
All those odd people here ;10
All bowing and scraping,11
And looking so queer.12
I insist that they leave us13
Alone in our straw,14
Or I’ll tell them my mind15
With a touch of my paw.16
LION.
Yet the young ones are passable17
Smart-looking things,18
Though too slim for my taste—19
Too much giblets and wings.20
But they’ll plump up, and finish21
Their tonnage in time,22
And to wish for a change23
In our diet’s no crime.24
LIONESS.
Lie still, you old dotard,25
And shut your fool’s eyes ;26
Those flirts are tough morsels—27
So sleep, if you’re wise.28
Do you wish for a mouthful29
Of muslin and lace ;30
Or a tongue that would frighten31
The nose from your face ?32
LION.
I must own, love, I feel33
An aversion to bones,34
I’m weary of sawdust35
And lying on stones.36
I’d but eat half-a dozen,37
My appetite’s mild,38
’Tis but a bonne bouche,39
I’d begin by the child.40
LIONESS.
By the child ! why, you fool,41
By the ghost of my dam !42
Do you know who she is,43
With her favourite lamb ?44
’Twere better you gulp’d45
All those bedchamber lords,46
And digested their breeches,47
Their bagwigs, and swords.48
LION.
Well, let me but sup,49
Just to send me to sleep,50
On that plump-visaged dangler51
Who looks like a sheep.52
He’s fat, full, and fifty,53
He’ll never be miss’d ;54
Besides, he’ll disburden55
The Queen’s civil list.56
LIONESS.
Oh Africa ! land of my heart,57
How I grieved,58
That I e’er from your dinners59
And suppers was thieved ;60
Where I lived on the choicest61
Of fat and of lean ;62
Now swallow’d a bullock,63
Now bolted a queen.64
LION.
Or see that thin marquis65
Who shuffles along ;66
Now sporting a snuff-box,67
Now humming a song.68
A thing of bon ton,69
Who talks nonsense for bread ;70
With his purse like his heart,71
And his heart like his head.72
LIONESS.
I’ll pluck in with my paw73
That small thing in the hat,74
With the squeak of a weasel,75
The soul of a rat.76
Not a man in the nation77
Will wish to bring back,78
From the pit of my stomach,79
My little Lord Jack.80
LION.
Yes, my dear, I’m quite wrong,81
And you’re always quite right,82
Yet those girls are so rosy,83
Their shoulders so white,84
That I feel my heart melting—85
Now, don’t pull my ears86
I’ve seen no such skins87
Since I lunch’d in Algiers.88
LIONESS.
Why, you villain ! What ! flirting ?89
Pray look at these claws :90
Lie down in your den,91
Or I’ll soon give you cause.92
So—you like maids of honour !93
Look well to your hide94
Sir, I have the same claws95
That I had when a bride.96
LION.
Well, I give up the question—97
My love, I knock under ;98
So spare me a peal99
Of the family thunder.100
Let the Bagwigs and Bedchambers101
Prattle and laugh ;102
I’m resign’d, and had rather103
Eat sawdust by half.104
LIONESS.
Have done with your nonsense ;105
Still licking your jaws106
At those girls—Why, you might107
As well dine upon straws.108
Grand Chorus of Lions, Tigers, and
Panthers.
And now, please your Majesty,109
Having display’d110
Such feats as throw all111
Human brutes in the shade ;112
Having caper’d such capers113
As put on the shelf114
Lord Normanby’s leg,115
Or the Premier himself ;116
Having bellow’d like Lansdowne,117
And fairly devour’d118
A meal that might almost119
Astonish Duke Howard ;120
Having growl’d like grim Morpeth,121
And lain on our back122
To be dragg’d by the paws123
Round our den, like Lord Jack ;124
Having shown to your ladies125
Our heads and our tails,126
We beg but one favour—127
Pray, knock down these rails.128
We’ll be honest as Whigs129
When we get on the floor ;130
So pull down those bars,131
The Bar’s always a bore.132
We’ll pluck out our teeth133
And our talons—and then134
You’ll have only to whistle us135
Back to our den.136