748. Philadelphia Commentaries on the Boston Procession
19 February–26 March 1788

748-A. Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 19 February1

The motion for ratifying [in the Massachusetts Convention] was declared in the affirmative, by a majority of nineteen.

In consequence of which the Boston folks had a GRAND Procession—

There they went up, up, up,

And there they went down, down, downy,

There they went backwards and forwards,

And poop for Boston towny!

This grand intelligence reached Philadelphia, on Saturday evening last, when the bells of Christ Church were rung—

Here they rung, rung, rung,

And here they bobb’d about, abouty.

Here were doubles and majors and bobs,

And heigh for 'delphia city!

748-B. A Yankee
Pennsylvania Mercury, 21 February1

Mr. HUMPHREYS, The Independent Gazetteer has been long famous for its Attic salt; and it now lays a claim to Parnassian wit. I am sorry, however, that an Hibernian muse should be invoked to give an account of the proceedings at Boston; for, however meritorious Dean Swift’s “O my kitten, my kitten, my deary,” may be, yet Yankee doodle seems best adapted to this country, and you know we ought to encourage our own spiritu as well as manu factures. So please to accept the following from A YANKEE.

The 'Vention did in Boston meet,

But State-house could not hold 'em,

So then they went to Fed’ral-street,

And there the truth was told 'em—

Yankee doodle, keep it up!

Yankee doodle, dandy,

Mind the music and the step,

And with the girls be handy.

They ev’ry morning went to prayer,

And then began disputing,

’Till opposition silenc’d were,

By arguments refuting.

Yankee doodle, keep it up! &c.

Then 'squire Hancock like a man,

Who dearly loves the nation,

By a concil’atry plan,

Prevented much vexation.

Yankee doodle, &c.

He made a woundy fed’ral speech,

With sense and elocution;

And then the 'Vention did beseech

T’ adopt the Constitution.

Yankee doodle, &c.

The question being outright put,

(Each voter independent)

The Fed’ralists agreed t’ adopt,

And then propose amendment.

Yankee doodle, &c.

The other party seeing then

The people were against 'em,

Agreed like honest, faithful men,

To mix in peace amongst 'em.

Yankee doodle, &c.

The Boston folks are deucid lads,

And always full of notions;

The boys, the girls, their mams and dads,

Were fill’d with joy’s commotions.

Yankee doodle, &c.

So straightway they procession made,

Lord! how nation fine, Sir!

For ev’ry man of ev’ry trade

Went with his tools—to dine, Sir.

Yankee doodle, &c.

JOHN FOSTER WILLIAMS in a ship,

Join’d in the social band, Sir,

And made the lasses dance and skip,

To see him sail on land, Sir.

Yankee doodle, &c.

Oh then a whapping feast begun,

And all hands went to eating;

They drank their toasts, shook hands and sung,

Huzza! for 'Vention meeting.

Yankee doodle, &c.

Now Politicians of all kinds,

Who are not yet decided;

May see how Yankees speak their minds;

And yet are not divided.

Yankee doodle, &c.

Then from this 'sample let 'em cease,

Inflammatory writing,

For FREEDOM, HAPPINESS, and PEACE,

Is better far than fighting.

Yankee doodle, &c.

So here I end my fed’ral song,

Compos’d of thirteen verses,

May agriculture flourish long,

And commerce fill our purses!

Yankee doodle, keep it up!

Yankee doodle, dandy,

Mind the music and the step,

And with the girls be handy.

748-C. Pennsylvania Mercury, 21 February1

The FEDERAL SHIP—A SONG.

Tune Yankee Doodle: Or, my Daddy was in the rebellion.

What think you of the Yankees now,

Malicious sons of slaughter?

Go to your trades—go to the plough,

Nor makes us burst with laughter.

Let Centinel lay down his arms,

Likewise Philadelphiensis,

Give over drinking of raw drams,

For much we fear your senses.

Now strike your topsails, imps of war,

Vile screaming owls of faction,

The fed’ral ship ne’er think to mar,

Before she comes to action.

But have a care, ye sons of strife,

Her ammunition’s ready,

The drums, the trumpets, and the fife,

Call up her men all steady.

Steady—nor let a broadside fly,

There’s nought but old wives bawling—

Just view them in the white o’ th’ eye,

They’ll on their backs be sprawling.

Come, come my lads, send round the can,

And drink to Boston city—

They are the boys began the plan—

How beautiful! how pretty!

Philadelphia, Feb. 19, 1788.

748-D. Francis Hopkinson: A Satire on the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 26 March1

LITERARY INTELLIGENCE

EXTRAORDINARY.

On the first of January, 1788, it was determined in a certain Seminary of Learning [i.e., the University of Pennsylvania] to institute a Professorship of Poetry & Belle Lettres.

As this was intended to be only an honorary Appointment (the Gratuity being only a Barrel of Strong Beer per Quarter to the Professor) it was left to the present Faculty to determine which of their Members should fill the new Chair.

The Faculty, having conven’d for the Purpose, it was moved & agreed to that the Candidates should compose probationary Odes to be exhibited on Monday the 18th of February, & that this new Professorship should be awarded to the author of the most approved Performance.

On the Day of Decision it appeared that none of the Professors, except Dr. D—— had enter’d the Lists, & that he had only two of the Tutors for his Competitors. So that there were but three probationary Odes produced on this Occasion. These being read & considered, the Ballots were taken, & Dr. D——’s Performance was declared to be the most worthy, by a very decided Majority. And on the Day following his admirable Ode was given to the impatient Public.(a)

The Doctor had chosen for his Subject the grand Procession made at Boston on the Adoption & Ratification of the proposed federal Constitution by the State of Massachusetts. This judicious Choice gave the Doctor Room for a full Display of his truly sublime & extensive Genius, & he has exerted himself accordingly as will fully appear by exhibiting the Ode itself, verbatim & literatim

STROPHE.

“There they went up, up, up,

And there they went Down, Down, Downy,

And there they went backwards & forwards

And poop for Boston Towny.

ANTI-STROPHE.

Here they rung, rung, rung

And here they bob’d about, abouty

Here were Doubles, & Majors, & Bobs

And heigh for 'delphia City.”

Notes,

by the learned Scriblerers.

“There they went up, up, up”—In this Line the Poet seems to aim at a topographical Description of the City of Boston, where there are (or if there are not there ought to be) three Hills; for he positively asserts that the grand Procession went up, up, up—three Times. It must be confest however, that it is still doubtful whether they went up three different Hills or only three Times up one & the same Hill, for the Text will admit of either Construction—but what seems to favour the Idea of three Hills is that, otherwise, the Line would probably have been thus There they went up & down, up & down, up & down, because if there is but one Hill, they must certainly have come down after the first going up, before they could go up again a second Time—& so also of the third Time.

“And there they went down, down, downy”

To be sure, if they went up, they must necessarily come Down again.

“There they went backwards & forwards”

That is, on the level Ground. The Author keeps his Procession constantly in action, & gives them every possible rectilinear Direction, viz: Up & Down, Backwards & Forwards. Some Commentators have observed that it must have been very difficult for so large a Body of People to walk backwards, that is, with their Faces looking contrary to the Line of their march; but this Criticism arises merely from a misunderstanding of the Word backwards as applied by the sublime Doctor in this place. Its purport here is exactly the same as if one should ask—where is Mr. Such a One?—& the Answer should be, he is just gone backwards—This Construction is fully supported by the second word in the next Line

“And poop for Boston Towny”

This fundamental Stroke of Wit is pop’d so suddenly upon the courteous Reader, that it cannot but afford him the most unexpected and agreeable Surprize. The ingenious author, hath by a single word not only converted this sublime Stanza into a genuine Epigram, but himself also—for the Characteristic Mark of an Epigram is that it carries it’s wit in it’s Tail.

“Here they rung, rung, rung”

Who can read this beautiful Line, wherein the Sound is truly an Echo to the Sense, without fancying that he hears the College Bell in full Swing—rung & rung—rung, rung—&c.

“And here they bob’d about, abouty”

Still ingenuously descriptive; for the ringing of a Bell cannot properly be called Music, neither can this Line properly be called Poetry—a kind of bobbing Line—beautiful beyond the Rules of Art.

“Here were Doubles, & Majors & Bobs”

The Doctor’s high learning in Steeple Harmony is here display’d—& surely none will dispute his Right to an exalted Station amongst the Brethren of the Rope.

“And heigh for 'delphia City”

Delphia poetice pro Philadelphia. The abbreviation of lengthy & troublesome Words is a License claim’d by Poets ancient & modern. The Elision in this place was not only necessary to the Rhythmus of the Verse, but elegant beyond Conception.—

The Promotion of the worthy Doctor to so respectable a Chair did not fail to produce Epistles of Congratulation from his grateful Pupils, in English & in Latin, in Prose & in Verse. The following address in the Latin Language will serve for a Sample of these Performances.

“Spectabili et venerando Viro Domino I.D. Preceptori et Professori in Universitate, Saluten tot, quod sunt in Delio Sextarii, et etiam plusculum.

Gaudeo, Magister singularissime noster multum gaudeo, quod Doctores et Professores, nowtri learnedissimi, in Sapientia profundissima Universitatia, promoverunt Dominationem vestram ad Cathedram Poesis et Litevarii.

Triennium est quod fui sub Virga vestra cum multa patientia; reminiscens Proverbium, castigo quia amo; et nunc, licet indignus, volo gratulari tibi supra novam vestram Dignitatem.

Nos Discipuli vestri expectamus, et in Expectatione, gavisi sumus, quod nunc Divitia et Dilectamentum Poesis patefacerunt nobis, et quod in future decebis nobis tussire, sternutare, sputare, et etiam bombizare, vel crepitare, vel potius poopare, secundum vestram Dictionem potice et ryhthmetice, ut sape nudivimus te, Magister venerande, poopare in Schola nostra.

Quando legi Carmina elegantissima quo composinitis, supra Processionem Bostonicusem, quomado fui admirations repletus! et dici in Corde meo, hic est, equidem, Ingenium ingens hic est Homo cunctos trancendeus

Lege, lege—Lector candide verba hoc pretioso

‘Hic iverunt sursum, sursum, sursum,

Ibi iverunt deorsum, deorsum, deorsum,

Et poos pro Civitate Bostonicusis’

Oh elegantissime et sublimisissime Vir! Nec Homerus, nec Pindarus, nec Virgilius, nec non Horatius Flacuus unguem scripserunt similios versiculos.

Vita longa, Honores Laureati, Corevia primaria in magna abundantia, et Ventrem capasissimun, abundantiam illem magnam continere, tibi optamus.

Datum ex Universitate

Mar. 26, 1788.

(a) See Mr. Oswald’s impartial Gazateer of the 19th February.