kangaroo court

The story I read was that “kangaroo courts” were British courts in the 19th century all too prone to give a guilty verdict to provide convicts for transport to the colonies. I can’t find the book right now but it was about the origins of phrases


LINK TO COLUMN: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/491/whats-the-origin-of-kangaroo-court

This year I found evidence that even geniuses do err (not Cecil, of course). One of the most famous poems in the English language is John Keats’ “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” which includes the lines “Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes / He stared at the Pacific—and all his men/Looked at each other with a wild surmise—/Silent, upon a peak in Darien.” Keats should have said Balboa, but when informed of his error declined to change the poem (perhaps because Balboa ruins the meter). I guess it’s too late to ask that Darien be changed to Panama.

This argument was given by an anonymous writer who had said on effect " ya jerk it wasn’t cortez it was bilboa wodehouse replied that as far as he was concerned the pacific was open to any due that voted to fisher it.

Since Keats pronounced it COR-tez, obviously
he could have changed “stout Cortez” to “Balboa”
and lost no metric value in the exchange.
But “stout” is something that the poem needs:
“Balboa” is no more than history,
but “stout Cortez” has come from Märchenland.