Don't knight him yet! He read it through
From end to end and back again—
He was the only person who
Could stand beneath the fearful strain;
And this, so far as he discerns,
Is what the Indian Public learns:—
'Cheer up my fellow-countrymen!'
Writes C–lv–n of the Silver Pen,
'If Two and Two were always Four
We might a Deficit deplore;
But since, with some success, I strive
To write them down, at least, for Five,
I may assert with modest pride
We have a Surplus on our side.'
Still, entre nous, I quite admit
The suit financial does not fit.
But if I shear the pants away
And use them for the waistcoat, say;
Or, Decency forbidding, deck
With coat-tail ends your tattered neck,
Or stitch across your manly breast
Some trifling fragments from the vest;
Or deftly take the seat to trim
Your wideawake's much-fingered brim
(I trust I make my meaning clear)
That suit will serve another year,
Nay further—as my Statement shows—
Leave wherewithal to wipe your nose.
A certain widely-spread desire
To, reverently of course, inquire
Into that wild and whirling dance
Which vulgar herds have dubbed 'Finance',
Is not unnatural, and I
Will meet your curiosity.
Intelligence like yours will seize
At once such patent facts as these:—
The Estimated Surplus lies
Co-ordinate with my Revise.
The Budget Estimate, you see,
Makes up the working Trinity.
Whereas—the simplest mind may judge it—
Deductions from the Previous Budget
Bring, ipso facto, in their train
The Surplus Estimates again.
But next year's Surplus keeps in view
The Deficit of '82
Which, when transferred to Loan Account,
Links on the last Revised amount
For Sterling Loans which, per se, range
In inverse ratio to Exchange,
And, ex necessitate, call
For next year's Budget Scheme. That's all.
N.B.—I merely pause to mention
I haven't got the chee—intention
To raise your Income-Tax, as yet.
The fish may wait for next year's net.
Meantime, accept five hundred quid
On paper. Pay as you are bid.
Don't mind the scrappy, patchy dressing—
It looks all right in front. My blessing
And this advice;—abstain from solvin'
The ways and works of