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Appendix G - ‘The Fate of a Broom: An Anticipation’ (1831, 1837)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2022

Freya Johnston
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Matthew Bevis
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

THESE lines, with an introductory comment from the author, were added by Peacock as a footnote to Chapter 18 in 1837.

I may here insert, as somewhat germane to the matter, some lines whichwerewritten byme, in March, 1831, and printed in The Examiner of August 14. 1831. They were then called ‘An Anticipation:’ they may now (1837), be fairly entitled ‘A Prophecy fulfilled.’

THE FATE OF A BROOM: AN ANTICIPATION.

Lo! in Corruption's lumber-room,

The remnants of a wondrous broom;

That walking, talking, oft was seen,

Making stout promise to sweep clean;

But evermore, at every push,

Proved but a stump without a brush.

Upon its handle-top, a sconce,

Like Brahma’s, looked four ways at once,

Pouring on king, lords, church, and rabble,

Long floods of favour-currying gabble;

From four-fold mouth-piece always spinning

Projects of plausible beginning,

Whereof said sconce did ne’er intend

That any one should have an end;

Yet still, by shifts and quaint inventions,

Got credit for its good intentions,

Adding no trifle to the store,

Wherewith the devil paves his floor.

Worn out at last, found bare and scrubbish,

And thrown aside with other rubbish,

We’ll e’en hand o’er the enchanted stick,

As a choice present for Old Nick,

To sweep, beyond the Stygian lake,

The pavement it has helped to make.

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Crotchet Castle , pp. 170 - 171
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2016

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