McGonagall in Excelsis

MacGonnagall in Excelsis

Trades’ Hall, King’s Road

Friday, the 26th, at 8.30 P.M.

PROSE and Poetical Extracts from the Foreign Press.— “No other poet in the universe can extract laughter from the solemn pageantry of a funeral.” – Madagascar Murderer.
“But he stood like a modest tobacconist’s sign, with his tartan curtain around him.” – Delhi Thug

Come early and bring Sixpence

The famous “Poet” of the Tay Bridge made another public appearance last night, which was more successful in a financial point of view than his last “spec” in the Thistle Hall. The scene of the “Poet’s” triumph this time was the Trades Hall, King’s Road, where about two hundred ardent admirers assembled, fully prepared to give him a warm reception. When we reached the door a few minutes late we found it besieged by a band of rough and roystering youths, who were bent on having a share of the fun for nothing, but the money-taker had taken the precaution to bar the door on the inside, and kept them out in the cold. It was therefore with some difficulty that we gained admittance, and when we were at last ushered into the crowded hall we found the audience laughing heartily at the Chairman’s speech. The fun and frolic began in right earnest, however, when the “Poet” rose at the call of the Chairman and began to read from sheet of foolscap his notorious poem on Gilfillan’s funeral, which was followed by “The Tay Bridge Disaster.” Both these pieces might truly be characterised as “sublimely ridiculous.” One of the audience inquired pertinently if this was a “new disaster,” but the Chairman quietly informed him that it was the old affair. The “Poet” was greeted at the close of these pieces with a volley and a shower of green peas. This last salute called forth an impromptu couplet from the gifted Bard which deserves to be immortalised. Smarting under the shower of eatables he exclaimed–

“Gentlemen, if you please,
Stop throwing pease.”

When “Bannockburn” was announced the “gods” sounded the charge on a toy drum, accompanied by a mimic “crawmill.” The cheering when the celebrated charge was made was perfectly deafening. The warrior “Poet” was encored, and had to fight the battle all over again. An interval of five minutes was allowed to give the “Poet” time to recover his breath, during which his son appeared on the platform and mumbled some incoherent jargon in a weak, squeaking voice, which was completely drowned by the shouts and laughter of the audience. A gentleman remarked that the foolishness of the father was more perfectly developed in the son – a remark which all present fully endorsed. “The Rattling Boy” concluded the entertainment, and the “Poet” rattled away at the rattling song, amidst a rattling chorus, and rattling fire of green peas by the audience. At the close, the Chairman invited the “Poet’s” friends to shake hands with him, when there was a general rush to the anteroom. The pressure of admiring spirits proved rather obnoxious to the “Poet,” who lost his temper, and, to rid him of his tormentors he drew his broadsword, and drove the mob into the hall like a flock of frightened sheep. So ended the “Poet’s” famous levee.

From a Dundee newspaper, 26th November 1880

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