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Fables from Ancient Authors, or Old Saws with Modern Instances. No V. The Peacock and the Magpie

1832: Representation of the People Acts

Author: Anon [Peter Pilpay]

Publication: The Ten Pounder

Publisher: Peter Brown

Published: 6 October 1832

Place of publication: Lady Stair's Close, Edinburgh, Scotland

Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical

A full copy of this poem is available.

Further information:

Archive/Library: Glasgow University Library
Classmark(s): Sp Coll Mu56-e.12
Pages(s): 79-80

The editor of this journal, Peter Brown, was a ‘ten pounder’: ‘one of those who have been called into political existence, as it were, by the great measure which has lately given a new character to public affairs’.  Despite this, he was against those calling for more reform.  This cryptic poem states that there is someone elected in Edinburgh, 'a rhetorician, smart and wity', like the peacock who is depicted in the poem, by the magpie, as a 'coxcomb' and feeble.  It is not clear who the peacock and the magpie represent though.