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The Emperor, seeing himself in a mess,
And a method of safety unable to guess,

On his Ministers threw

(As sovereigns do When they've got themselves into a terrible scrape) The onus of finding the means of escape.

So the Mandarins were called together,
To consult how best the storm to weather ;

And all day they sat
In a learned chat,

Upon this and that,
And then they resolved at last,
To meet the danger by loud bombast;
Or, in other words, to “cut it fat.'
“We hereby order and ordain,
That all barbarians shall be slain ;

That opium sha'n't be sold again;
That any English who remain,
In the celestial domain,
Shall instantly be cut in twain ;
That all entreaties will be vain
To spare the wicked foe from pain,
Since any one must be insane
Who'd let the notion cross his brain,
That the celestial troops would fain
Their warlike energy restrain.”

It was also decreed,

And in council agreed,

To mourn for those

Unfortunate foes,

Whose wretched blood the Chinese nation

Intended to shed;

And considered them therefore dead

By anticipation.
The people were ordered in public to weep,
And, fearing a flood from the national eye
(For three hundred millions were going to cry),

Some drains were constructed exceedingly deep, To keep the Celestial Empire dry.

Together they met,

And to blubbering set.
Oh! never in China

Was so much whine, or

Such a lot of heavy wet.
The gentlemen alone

In conclave came,

and moan;

To sigh and cry,

and groan
The ladies did the same;
And nowhere was a dry


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With two peacock's eyes

Placed side by side together (Though talking of plumage, he'd shewn no right

To any feather but the white).
The English, being quite content
For an amicable settlement,

The valiant Admiral Kwang,

Upon consideration, thought he Might venture hostilities slap-bang; And cheers through the Chinese squadron rang,

When English vessels two

Came right in view Of the gallant Chinese band,

Amounting in all

To an army small
Of but three thousand soldiers, sea and land.
The Chinese opened a vigorous fire,

But deuce a bit

An Indian envoy sent,

Who bowed and smiled wherever he went;


Could they any one hit, Or fear in the foe inspire.

At length, almost in fun,
The English let off a single gun.
At the first bang,
Down on the deck went Admiral Kwang,
For mercy his forces lustily sang,
While some of them overboard sprang.
The Admiral then went home like a shot

To ruminate on the affair ; and he thought it, On the whole, decidedly better not

Just as it happened to report it. For the Emperor 's a sort of man Who, whether they can't or whether they can, Expects the troops who receive his pay, On all occasions to win the day ;

And so he was told,

In language glorious,
That his admiral bold

Had been victorious.

So the Chinese guards took him in state
To the city of Canton's gate,
And shewed him politely in
To Commissioner Lin;
And the English merchants remonstrance made
Against interrupting the opium trade.

By way of a prize
For his thundering lies,

He received a feather

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The finny tribe that did partake of it
Could not imagine what to make of it.

Salmon and cod

Became in their manner exceedingly odd;
Flat-fish and plaice
Floundered about in the awkwardest case;
Eels and soles

Tumbled and reeled about in shoals ;

Whales and sharks

Frightened old Neptune himself with their larks.
Such a drunken set
Of fishes ne'er was heard of yet :
'Tis a pity they were n't within the reach

Of the wholesome regulation
That would have fined them five shillings each

For their intoxication.

But, quitting the sea, let's understand
How matters were going on upon

The British, no longer permitted to stay,
From Canton most rudely were hurried away.


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