« PreviousContinue »
I tried to laugh, old care to tickle, yet could not “Tickle."
touch; And then, alack! I missed my Mickle,” — and surely Mickle's
• 'Tis quite enough my griefs to feed, my sorrows to excuse,
To think I cannot read my “Reid,” nor even use my “Hughes”;
My classics would not quiet lie, a thing so fondly hoped ;
Like Dr. Primrose, I may cry, my “Livy” has eloped.
My life is ebbing fast away; I suffer from these shocks,
And though I fix a lock on “ Gray,” there's gray upon my locks ;
I'm far from “Young,” am growing pale, I see my “ Butler” ily ;
And when they ask about my ail, ’tis "Burton" I reply.
They still have made me slight returns, and thus my griefs
For O! they cured me of my “Burns,” and eased my “Akenside."
But all I think I shall not say, nor let my anger burn,
For, as they never found me “Gay,” they have not left me “Sterne.”.
“Man wants but little here below."
Little I ask; my wants are few;
I only wish a hut of stone,
(A very plain brown stone will do,)
That I may call my own; —
And close at hand is such a one,
In yonder street that fronts the sun.
Plain food is quite enough for me ;
Three courses are as good as ten ;
If Nature can subsist on three,
Thank Heaven for three. Amen!
I always thought cold victual nice;
My choice would be vanilla-ice.
I care not much for gold or land;
Give me a mortgage here and there,
Some good bank stock,— some note of hand,
Or trifling railroad share,-
I only ask that Fortune send
A little more than I shall spend
Honors are silly toys, I know,
And titles are but empty names; I would, perhaps, be Plenipo,
But only near St. James; I'm very sure I would not care To fill our Gubernator's chair.
Jewels are bawbles ; 't is a sin
To care for such unfruitful things ;. One good-sized diamond in a pin,
Some, not 80 large, in rings, A ruby and a pearl, or so Will do for me;
- I laugh at show.
My dame should dress in cheap attire ;
(Good, heavy silks are never dear ;)I own perhaps I might desire
Some shawls of true Cashmere,Some marrowy crapes of China silk, Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk.
I would not have the horse I drive
So fast that folks must stop and stare ;
An easy gait-two, forty-five —
Suits me; I do not care;
Perhaps, for just a single spurt,
Some seconds less would do no hurt.
Of pictures, I should like to own
Titians and Raphaels three or four,I love so much their style and tone,
One Turner, and no more, (A landscape,- foreground golden dirt, The sunshine painted with a squirt.)
Of books but few,—some fifty score
For daily use, and bound for wear;
The rest upon an upper floor;-
Some little luxury there
Of red morocco's gilded gleam,
And vellum rich as country cream.
Busts, cameos, gems,— such things as these,
Which others often show for pride,
I value for their power to please,
And selfish churls deride;-
One Stradivarius, I confess,
Two Meerschaums, I would fain possess.
Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not learn,
Nor ape the glittering upstart fool ;
Shall not carved tables serve my turn,
But all must be of buhl ?
Give grasping pomp its double share,
I ask but one recumbent chair.
Thus humble let me live and die,
Nor long for Midas' golden touch ;
If Heaven more generous gifts deny,
I shall not miss them much, -
Too grateful for the blessing lent
Of simple tastes and mind content!
MISS KILMANSEGG'S EDUCATION.
According to metaphysical creed,
To the earliest books that children read
For much good or much bad they are debtors
But before with their A B C they start,
There are things in morals, as well as art,
That play a very important part-
“Impressions before the letters.”
Dame Education begins the pile,
Mayhap in the graceful Corinthian style,
But alas for the elevation !
If the Lady's maid or Gossip the Nurse
With a load of rubbish, or something worse,
Have made a rotten foundation.
Even thus with little Miss Kilmansegg,
Before she learnt her E for egg,
Ere her Governess came, or her masters –
Teachers of quite a different kind
Had “ cramm’d” her beforehand, and put her mind
In a go-cert on golden castors.
Long before her A B and C,
They had taught her by heart her L. S. D.
And how she was born a great Heiress ;
And as sure as London is built of bricks,
My Lord would ask her the day to fix,
To ride in a fine gilt coach and six,
Like Her Worship the Lady May-ress.
Instead of stories from Edgeworth's page,
The true golden lore for our golden age,
Or lessons from Barbauld or Trimmer,
Teaching the worth of Virtue and Health,
All that she knew was the Virtue of Wealth,
Provided by vulgar nursery stealth
With a book of Leaf Gold for a Primer.
The very metal of merit they told,
And praised her for being as “good as gold !”
Till she grew as a peacock haughty;
Of money they talk'd the whole day round,
And weigh'd dessert like grapes by the pound,
Till she had an ideą from the very sound
That people with'nought were naughty.
They praised her fålls, as well as her walk,
Flatterers make cream cheese of chalk,
They praised - how they praised - her very small talk,
As if it fell from a Solon;
Or the girl who at each pretty phrase let drop
A ruby comma, or pearl full-stop,
Or an emerald semi-colon.
They praised her spirit, and now and then,
The Nurse brought her own little “nevy” Ben,
To play with the future May’ress,
And when he got raps, and taps, and slaps,
Scratches, and pinches, snips, and snaps,
As if from a Tigress or Bearess,
They told him how Lords would court that hand,
And always gave him to understand,
While he rubb’d, poor soul,
His carroty poll,
That his hair had been pull’d by “a Hairess."
Such were the lessons from maid and nurse,
A Governess help'd to make still worse,
Giving an appetite so perverse
Fresh diet whereon to batten
Beginning with A B C to hold
Like a royal playbill printed in gold
On a square of pearl-white satin.
The books to teach the verbs and nouns,
And those about countries, cities, and towns,
Instead of their sober drabs and browns,
Were in crimson silk, with gilt edges; –
Her Butler, and Enfield, and Entick - in short
Her “ Early Lessons ” of every sort,
Look'd like Souvenirs, Keepsakes, and Pledges.
Old Johnson shone out in as fine array
As he did one night when he went to the play;
Chambaud like a beau of King Charles's day .
Lindley Murray in like conditions -
Each weary, unwelcome, irksome task,
Appear'd in a fancy dress and a mask —
If you wish for similar copies ask
For Howell and James's Editions.
Novels she read to amuse her mind,
But always the affluent, match-making kind
That ends with Promessi Sposi,
And a father-in-law so wealthy and grand
He could give cheque-mate to Coutts in the Strand;
So, along with a ring and posy,
He endows the Bride with Golconda off hand;
And gives the Groom Potosi.
Plays she perused - but she liked the best
Those comedy gentlefolks always possess’d
Of fortunes so truly romantic -
Of money so ready that right or wrong
It always is ready to go for a song,
Throwing it, going it, pitching it strong -
They ought to have purses as green and long
As the cucumber call’d the Gigantic.
Then Eastern Tales she loved for the sake
Of the purse of Oriental make,
And the thousand pieces they put in it-
But Pastoral Scenes on her heart fell cold,