: Popular Rhymes And Nursery Tales

The inhabitants of Shropshire, and, it is said, especially Shrewsbury,

have an unfortunate habit of misplacing the letter h. It is scarcely

necessary to say that the failing is by no means peculiar to that

county. I am unable to vouch for the antiquity of the following lines on

the subject, but they have become proverbial, and are therefore worth


The petition of the letter H to the inhabitants of


Whereas I have by you been driven,

From house, from home, from hope, from heaven,

And plac'd by your most learn'd society

In exile, anguish, and anxiety,

And used, without one just pretence,

With arrogance and insolence;

I here demand full restitution,

And beg you'll mend your elocution.

To this was returned the following answer from the Shrewsburians:

Whereas we've rescued you, Ingrate,

From handcuff, horror, and from hate,

From hell, from horse-pond, and from halter,

And consecrated you in altar;

And placed you, where you ne'er should be,

In honour and in honesty;

We deem your pray'r a rude intrusion,

And will not mend our elocution.