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The Thief's Apology

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, XXII - 6 December 1884



In these good days man's only end is a life of pipes and tabors,
So instead of paddling his own canoe he tries to scuttle his neighbour's.
As he pushes along he don't much care whose back he lays the lash on,
No more do we — no more do we — we wouldn't be out of the fashion!
    We don't much care
How others fare,
  But we mustn't be out of the fashion!

Your patriot for his country's weal would sell his own grandmother,
But on two wheels all countries run, and Fortune's wheel is the other.
Upon the latter he keeps his eye in his patriotic passion,
And so do we — and so do we — we wouldn't be out of the fashion!
    With Fortune's wheel
Alone we deal —
  We wouldn't be out of the fashion!

Your soldier draws his sword to kill whenever the word is spoken,
And when unusual quantities of enemies' heads are broken
I'm not aware he stops to shed the tear-drop of compassion,
No more do we — no more do we — we wouldn't be out of the fashion!
    We shed no tears
On dead men's biers —
  We wouldn't be out of the fashion!

Your author steals his plots and plays, so with him you may class us;
On somebody else's Pegasus he climbs a cheap Parnassus.
He don't much care whose brains he steals to fatten his native trash on,
No more do we — no more do we — we wouldn't be out of the fashion!
    Indeed we feel
That we must steal
  If we wouldn't be out of the fashion!

Your counsel sings your praises; then, at hostile instigation,
He'll do his best to hang you for a small remuneration.
He don't much care as long as he makes enough to cut a dash on,
No more do we — no more do we — we wouldn't be out of the fashion!
    We'll put you away
For half his pay,
  For we wouldn't be out of the fashion!

Where lawyer, patriot, soldier, author finds his game he strikes it,
For, oh, we live in a wicked world where dog eats dog, and likes it.
May all these worthy gentlemen have appetite for their ration,
And so may we — and so may we — we wouldn't be out of the fashion!
    For dog's the meat
That dog must eat
  If he wouldn't be out of the fashion!

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