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Monsieur le Blond on London

Air — "Fall of Paris"

Fun, II - 3rd March 1866


I've spent three weeks, my SKETCHLEY, in your fog-enveloped Fatherland,
And really, sir, upon the shores of Tartarus I'd rather land.
I mean to show it up at home, so with the lying curtain hence!
That shrouds your wretched country and your insular impertinence.
I landed inside out, and asking, "Is it heels or is it head?"
And this decided fact from my condition I elicited.
  The sea around you shows,
When a strong sou'-wester blows,
That it never was intended that you Vandals should be visited.
  Creaking, squeaking, groaning, moaning,
Rolling, bowling, baggage-owning;
Agonising illness, culminating in a trance,
  You hurl, or 'twouldn't be you, sir,
At those who come to see you, sir, —
We manage all these little matters better far in France!

Your infamous outspoken press the emblem is of sinistry,
Abusing, as they please, the Opposition and the Ministry;
Of freedom of opinion in their minds there seems a drop or two,
For really they appear to say whatever they think proper to!
Your journals are absurdly cheap, and even the tip-topper ones
Are always to be had, I find, for prices that are copper ones;
  Which seems absurd to me,
And I really blush to see
That all their illustrations are ridiculously proper ones!
  Reading, weeding, selling, quelling,
Stopping, whopping, press-compelling,
Safety and continuance of kindgom to enhance;
  Publishing diurnal lists
Of too outspoken journalists,
Are matters that we always manage better far in France!

Your theatres suffer from a dullness which appears incurable;
Your actors and your actresses are simply unendurable;
The whole affair is dull, and melancholy, and dejectable;
The dresses, too, with hardly an exception, are respectable!
Then the idiotic words and songs your operas you fetter to,
Opera and ballad, comic song, and operetta, too.
  I go to see a play
That's original, you say,
And I've always seen it done at home, and done a great deal better, too!
  Laughing, chaffing, playing, saying,
Talking, walking, stage-arraying;
Opera, or vaudeville, or incidental dance:
  Paris in and out of it,
There cannot be a doubt of it,
We manage all these little matters better far in France!

I find my little pleasant ways entirely unsocketed;
The waiter tells me that the sugar isn't to be pocketed,
I answer him by looking with a noble air his face in full,
And when he isn't looking, sir, I stow away the basin-full!
But landlords, on the other hand, show foolish incongruity,
In giving soap to customers they lose a small annuity.
  You'll find our people will
Charge it extra in the bill,
For we always look upon it as a dainty superfluity!
  Splashing, dashing, scrubbing, rubbing,
Messing, dressing, drubbing, tubbing,
Taking hip or shower bath whenever you've a chance;
  It's shocking inhumanity,
Amounting to insanity, —
We manage all these little matters better far in France!

Your ladies must be beautiful, I grant you, for unless they were
They never could afford to walk out in the dreadful dress they wear.
But married dames and single girls all dress so very shady-like,
And all your ladies really are ridiculously ladylike.
As soon as they are married they prefer to stop all day at home,
And always take their dinners in a formal kind of way at home;
  A tedious affair,
And Parisian ladies stare,
And wonder what on earth can make your Englishwomen stay at home.
  Frizzing, quizzing, eyeing, sighing,
Painting, fainting, tresses-dyeing,
Giving you three volumes of a novel at a glance.
  Before they marry, dutiful,
Then flirty, oh it's beautiful!
Now that's the way our womankind behave themselves in France!

Page Created 29 July, 2011