KNOW ME next time when you see me, won’t you, old smarty?
Oh, I mean you, old figger-head,—just the same party!
Take out your pensivil, d—n you; sharpen it, do!
Any complaints to make? Lots of ’em—one of ’em’s you.
You! who are you, anyhow, goin’ round in that sneakin’ way?
Never in jail before, was you, old blatherskite, say?
Look at it; don’t it look pooty? Oh, grin, and be d—d to you, do!
But if I had you this side o’ that gratin,’ I’d just make it lively for you.
How did I get in here? Well what ’ud you give to know?
’Twasn’t by sneakin’ round where I hadn’t no call to go;
’Twasn’t by hangin’ round a-spyin’ unfortnet men.
Grin! but I’ll stop your jaw if ever you do that agen.
Why don’t you say suthin, blast you? Speak your mind if you dare.
Ain’t I a bad lot, sonny? Say it, and call it square.
Hain’t got no tongue, hey, hev ye? Oh, guard! here’s a little swell
A cussin’ and swearin’ and yellin’, and bribin’ me not to tell.
There! I thought that ’ud fetch ye! And you want to know my name?
“Seventy-nine” they call me, but that is their little game;
For I’m werry highly connected, as a gent, sir, can understand,
And my family hold their heads up with the very furst in the land.
For ’twas all, sir, a put-up job on a pore young man like me;
And the jury was bribed a puppos, and at furst they couldn’t agree;
And I sed to the judge, sez I,—Oh, grin! it’s all right, my son!
But you’re a werry lively young pup, and you ain’t to be played upon!
Wot’s that you got?—tobacco? I’m cussed but I thought ’twas a tract.
Thank ye! A chap t’other day—now, lookee, this is a fact—
Slings me a tract on the evils o’ keepin’ bad company,
As if all the saints was howlin’ to stay here along o’ we.
No, I hain’t no complaints. Stop, yes; do you see that chap,—
Him standin’ over there, a-hidin’ his eyes in his cap?
Well, that man’s stumick is weak, and he can’t stand the pris’n fare;
For the coffee is just half beans, and the sugar it ain’t nowhere.
Perhaps it’s his bringin’ up; but he’s sickenin’ day by day,
And he doesn’t take no food, and I’m seein’ him waste away.
And it isn’t the thing to see; for, whatever he’s been and done,
Starvation isn’t the plan as he’s to be saved upon.
For he cannot rough it like me; and he hasn’t the stamps, I guess,
To buy him his extry grub outside o’ the pris’n mess.
And perhaps if a gent like you, with whom I’ve been sorter free,
Would—thank you! But, say! look here! Oh, blast it! don’t give it to me!
Don’t you give it to me; now, don’t ye, don’t ye, don’t!
You think it’s a put-up job; so I’ll thank ye, sir, if you won’t.
But hand him the stamps yourself: why, he isn’t even my pal;
And, if it’s a comfort to you, why, I don’t intend that he shall.