Moonshine, a magazine established in 1879, published the following parody of Edward Lear’s “Akond of Swat” on 1 January 1898 (p. 2); it was prompted by the leading dramatic critic of its age Clement Scott’s assertion that “it was practically impossible for any woman to remain on the stage and retain her womanly modesty,” a statement which “aroused great excitement among theatrical people, and great indignation.” (R.A. Torrey, The Power of Prayer and the Prayer of Power, pp. 86-7).
The Ladies and Scott.
(With apologies to the shade of Edward Lear.)
[“Much amusement and some indignation have been excited in theatrical circles by the strictures passed (in an interview) by Mr. Clement Scott on the morals of actresses.” — Daily Paper.]
Where, or which, or whoever, or what
Are the ladies acquainted with Mister Scott?
Are the critic’s friends such a shady lot?
Or where on earth were such thoughts begot?
Of the ladies, by Scott?
Has he lost his temper for once, or got
A touch of the gout, or an aching “dot,”
Or whereon does he base his views? and what
Have they done to catch it so passing hot –
The ladies — from Scott?
Have they dragged him forth from his virtuous cot
At night, and caused him to blush a lot,
Our virtuous Scott?
Do they ride a bike (as a girl should not)
In the rational dress — or perchance culottes –
The ladies of Scott?
Did they teach him tennis and make him “swot”
When the sun was here, and the pace was hot,
Or cricket, and sai he should field like Trott,
And not stand still like the wife of Lot,
The ladies and Scott?
Or take him sailing and make him squat
In a sea-sick state on the bows of a yatch –
Or is the interview tommy-rot,
And did someone go and invent a lot,
And traduce our Scott?
We cannot tell, but we fancy not,
And we think it time it was all forgot;
Though it’s odds the ladies won’t care a jot
For the strange opinions of Mr. Scott,
For they know what’s what!