Oh! Mr Best You'Re Very Bad
By Jane Austen
Oh! Mr. Best, you're very bad
And all the world shall know it;
Your base behaviour shall be sung
By me, a tunefull Poet.--
You used to go to Harrowgate
Each summer as it came,
And why I pray should you refuse
To go this year the same?--
The way's as plain, the road's as smooth,
The Posting not increased;
You're scarcely stouter than you were,
Not younger Sir at least.--
If e'er the waters were of use
Why now their use forego?
You may not live another year,
All's mortal here below.--
It is your duty Mr Best
To give your health repair.
Vain else your Richard's pills will be,
And vain your Consort's care.
But yet a nobler Duty calls
You now towards the North.
Arise ennobled--as Escort
Of Martha Lloyd stand forth.
She wants your aid--she honours you
With a distinguished call.
Stand forth to be the friend of her
Who is the friend of all.--
Take her, and wonder at your luck,
In having such a Trust.
Her converse sensible and sweet
Will banish heat and dust.--
So short she'll make the journey seem
You'll bid the Chaise stand still.
T'will be like driving at full speed
From Newb'ry to Speen hill.--
Convey her safe to Morton's wife
And I'll forget the past,
And write some verses in your praise
As finely and as fast.
But if you still refuse to go
I'll never let your rest,
Buy haunt you with reproachful song
Oh! wicked Mr. Best!--
Extreme quickie as I ran late on everything on Monday but it was a very good day. Cheryl came up in the middle of the morning, we had brunch that Paul made together, then we went downtown with Paul and Maddy to the Folger Library to see Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity, the highlight of which is Colin Firth's (formerly) wet shirt from the BBC Pride and Prejudice -- you can see Susannah Harker's bonnet too -- though there are a lot of fun Shakespeare items including a playbill from a production of The Merchant of Venice that Austen saw, and many video clips of famous actors in films based on the writers' works.
From there we went to the superlative The Greeks: Agamemnon to Alexander the Great exhibit at the National Geographic Museum. Unfortunately we were in a parking spot that we had to vacate when rush hour started, because I could easily have stayed another hour (photos weren't allowed but I took one before I discovered that, of a Minoan labrys and ritual figurines). If you live anywhere near DC and can get there next weekend, do not miss this exhibit. We went to my parents' house for Rosh Hashanah dinner, where I ate way too much but the food was all awesome so I couldn't help myself. And we've just been watching the premiere of Timeless, which I quite liked!