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Littell's Living Age/Volume 169/Issue 2187/An Unpublished Correspondence

My dear Mr. Gl-dst-ne,
                         In willing response
     To your letter my views on your project inviting,
I take up my pen to address you at once,
     And reduce, as you wish, my objections to writing.

They mainly repose, you will see, on the fact
     That the scheme of Home Rule your proposals prefigure
Appears to be that which I've always attacked
     With whate'er I possess of rhetorical vigor.

I have banned and denounced it, as every one know,
     I have called it "betrayal" of England, if granted;
I have talked with dismay of "a nation of foes
     Within some thirty miles of our shores" being planted.

And with such declarations as these in my rear,
     With such flouts of Parnell and his "cynical offer,"
To concur in your plan would expose me, I fear,
     To the gibes of the Whig or Conservative scoffer.


My dear Mr. Ch-mb-rl-n,
                         Much as I feel
     That your scruples become you, forgive the suggestion
That some -acquaintance they seem to reveal
     With what I've been saying myself on the question.

For I think you will find, on examining well
     My political speeches before I decided
To go for the programme of Mr- Parnell,
     That no one denounced it more fiercely than I did

I was wont against "rapine," you know, to exclaim;
     I inveighed against tactics of sheer spoliation
Pursued to achieve a political aim,
     Which I said was directed to "disintegration."

And thus your punctilios appear to my mind
     Just the least in the world - you'll excuse - fantastic;
I expect, if I swallow my pledges, to find
     My lieutenant's œsophagus no less elastic.

And, in short, I'm compelled to withhold my belief
     From the reasons alleged your defection to cover
So must beg you more frankly to deal with your chief,
     And explain your true motive for throwing me over.


My dear Mr. Gl-dst-ne,
                         I cheerfully loose
     At so blunt a request all restraints on my candor;
My doubt, then, is this, whether sauce for the goose
     Musts be always and everywhere sauce for the gander.

For though into training you possibly may
     Your young party, a thus far undisciplined cub, lick,
Still, granting they dance to your piping, I say,
     I don't feel so sure you'll bamboozle the public.

You'll risk it? Your years such a hazard befits,
     But you seem to forget of my birth what the date is,
And I don't see why I should play double or quits
     At the wish of a man who is nearing the eighties.


My dear Mr. Ch-mb-rl-n,
                         Caution, no doubt,
     Stands for wisdom in some people's sole definition;
Your shrewd calculations perhaps might work out,
     Were it not for one force you neglect - competition.

You forget that you risk being passed in the race
     Nor would aught, I imagine, disgust you so sorely,
As finding the fence that you dared not to face
     Had been cleared, and in triumph, by one Mr. M-rl-y.


My dear Mr. Gl-dst-ne,
                         I don't think I need,
     On a point I've so fully considered, address you.


My dear Mr. Ch-mb-rl-n,
                         Don't you, indeed?
     Then I've only to bid you good-bye, and God bless you!