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In re a Gentleman One

Written by: Andrew Barton Paterson | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 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 he goes it 
In earnest when once he's begun. 
Descensus Averni -- he knows it; 
It's easy for "Gentleman, One". 

The crash comes as soon 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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