Saltbush Bill and other Verses

“In re a Gentleman, One”

Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

When an attorney is called before the Full Court to
answer for any alleged misconduct it is not usual to
publish his name until he is found guilty; until then.
the matter appears in the papers as “In re a Gentleman,
One of the Attorneys of the Supreme Court,” or, more
shortly, “In re a Gent., One.”

WE see it each day in the paper,
    And know that there’s mischief in store;
That some unprofessional caper
    Has landed a shark on the shore.
We know there’ll be plenty of trouble
    Before they get through with the fun,
Because he’s been coming the double
    On clients, has “Gentleman, One”.

Alas for the gallant attorney,
    Intent upon cutting a dash!
He starts on life’s perilous journey
    With rather more cunning than cash.
And fortune at first is inviting—
    He struts his brief hour in the sun—
But, lo! on the wall is the writing
    Of Nemesis, “Gentleman, One”.

For soon he runs short of the dollars,
    He fears he must go to the wall;
So Peters’ trust-money he collars
    To pay off his creditor, Paul;
Then robs right and left-for be goes it
    In earnest when once he’s begun.
Descensus Averni—he knows it;
    It’s easy for “Gentleman, One”.

The crash comes as sure as the seasons,
    He loses his coin in a mine,
Or booming in land, or for reasons
    Connected with women and wine.
Or maybe the cards or the horses
    A share of the damage have done—
No matter; the end of the course is
    The same: “Re a Gentleman, One.”

He struggles awhile to keep going,
    To stave off detection and shame;
But creditors, clamorous growing,
    Ere long put an end to the game.
At length the poor soldier of Satan
    His course to a finish has run—
And just think of Windeyer waiting
    To deal with “A Gentleman, One”!

And some face it boldly, and brazen
    The shame and the utter disgrace:
While others, more sensitive, hasten
    Their names and their deeds to efface.
They snap the frail thread which the Furies
    And Fates have so cruelly spun.
May the great Final Judge and His juries
    Have mercy on “Gentleman, One”!

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