Page images
PDF
EPUB

Expressed in the ancient Scottish saw,

“A Mickle may come to be May'r!”

Alack! for many ambitious beaux !
She hung their hopes upon her nose,

(The figure is quite Horatian !)
Until from habit the member grew
As queer a thing as ever you knew

Turn up to observation!

A thriving tailor begged her hand,
But she gave “the fellow" to understand,

By a violent manual action,
She perfectly scorned the best of his clan,
And reckoned the ninth of any man

An exceedingly Vulgar Fraction!

Another, whose sign was a golden boot,
Was mortified with a bootless suit,

In a way that was quite appalling:
For though a regular suitor by trade,
He was n't a suitor to suit the maid,
Who cut him off with a saw,- and bade

“The cobbler keep to his calling."

(The Muse must let a secret out,-
There is n't the faintest shadow of doubt,
That folks who oftenest sneer and fout

At “the dirty low mechanicals,”
Are they whose sires, by pounding their knees,
Or coiling their legs, or trades like these,
Contrived to win their children ease

From poverty's galling manacles.)

A rich tobacconist comes and sues,
And, thinking the lady would scarce refuse
A man of his wealth and liberal views,-
Began, at once, with “ If you choose,

And could you really love him —”.
But the lady spoiled his speech in a huff,
With an answer rough and ready enough,
To let him know she was up to snuff,

And altogether above him.

A young attorney of winning grace,
Was scarce allowed to "open his face,”
Ere Miss MacBride had closed his case

With true judicial celerity;
For the lawyer was poor, and "seedy" to boot,
And to say the lady discarded his suit,

Is merely a double verity.

The last of those who came to court
Was a lively beau of the dapper sort,
“Without any visible means of support,"

A crime by no means flagrant
In one who wears an elegant coat,
But the very point on which they vote

A ragged fellow "a vagrant.”

A courtly fellow was Dapper Jim,
Sleek and supple, and tall and trim,
And smooth of tongue as neat of limb;

And maugre his meagre pocket,
You'd say, from the glittering tales he told,
That Jim had slept in a cradle of gold,

With Fortunatus to rock it!

Now Dapper Jim his courtship plied, (I wish the fact could be denied,) With an eye to the purse of the Old MacBride,

And really is nothing shorter!" For he said to himself, in his greedy lust, “Whenever he dies, – as die he must, — And yields to Heaven his vital trust, He's very sure to come down with his dust,'

In behalf of his only daughter."
And the very magnificent Miss MatBride,
Half in love and half in pride,

Quite graciously relented ;
And tossing her head, and turning her back,
No token of proper pride to lack, —
To be a Bride without the “ Mac,”

With much disdain, consented !

Alas! that people who've got their box
Of cash beneath the best of locks,

Secure from all financial shocks,
Should stock their fancy with fancy stocks,
And madly rush upon “Wall-street rocks,"

Without the least apology!
Alas! that people whose money affairs
Are sound beyond all need of repairs,
Should ever tempt the bulls and bears

Of Mammon's fierce Zoology!

Old John MacBride, one fatal day,
Became the unresisting prey

Of Fortune's undertakers;
And staking his all on a single die,
His foundered bark went high and dry

Among the brokers and breakers!

At his trade again in the very shop
Where, years before, he let it drop,

He follows his ancient calling,
Cheerily, too, in poverty's spite,
And sleeping quite as sound at night,
As when at fortune's giddy height,
He used to wake with a dizzy fright

From a dismal dream of falling.

But alas ! for the haughty Miss MacBride! 'Twas such a shock to her precious pride! She could n't recover, although she tried

Her jaded spirits to rally; 'Twas a dreadful change in human affairs, From a Place “Up Town,” to a nook “Up Stairs,''

From an Avenue down to an Alley! Twas little condolence she had, I wot, From her “troops of friends,” who had n't forgot

The airs she used to borrow;
They had civil phrases enough, but yet
'Twas plain to see that their “deepest regret”

Was a different thing from Sorrow!
They owned it could n't have well been worse,
To go from a full to an empty purse,
To expect a reversion, and get a “reverse"

Was truly a dismal feature;

But it was n't strange, — they whispered, — at all; That the Summer of pride should have its Fall,

Was quite according to Nature!

And some of those chaps who make a pun,
As if it were quite legitimate fun
To be blazing away at every one,
With a regular double-loaded gun, -

Remarked that moral transgression
Always brings retributive stings
To candle-makers, as well as kings:
And making light of cereous things,

Was a very wicked profession!

And vulgar people, the saucy churls,
Inquired about “the price of Pearls,"

And mocked at her situation ;
“She was n't ruined,- they ventured to hope, -
Because she was poor, she need n't mope,
Few people were better off for soap,

And that was a consolation!”

And to make her cup of woe run over,
Her elegant, ardent, plighted lover,

Was the very first to forsake her ; " He quite regretted the step, 'twas true,

The lady had pride enough for two,'
But that alone would never do

To quiet the butcher and baker! "
And now the unhappy Miss MacBride,
The merest ghost of her early pride,

Bewails her lonely position; Cramped in the very narrowest niche, Above the poor, and below the rich,

Was ever a worse condition ?

. MORAL. Because you flourish in worldly affairs, Don't be haughty, and put on airs,

With insolent pride of station! Don't be proud, and turn up your nose At poorer people in plainer clo’es,

But learn, for the sake of your soul's repose,
That wealth 's a bubble, that comes — and goes!
And that all Proud Flesh, wherever it grows,

Is subject to irritation !

INFLECTIONS, Continued. The two great principles regulating the use of the falling inflection are force and completeness of expression.

So far as the rising inflection is addressed to the understanding, the circumstance of incompleteness or expectation is the governing principle determining its use. Feeling and harmony give significance to all other rules for its application.

A simple affirmative sentence, or member of a sentence, generally closes with the falling inflection ; as,

“ Language is part of a man's character!.” Landor.

“Nature is conquered by obeying her!” Bacon. A simple negative sentence, or member of a sentence, generally closes with the rising inflection ; as,

“Spirits are not finely touched

But to fine issues'.” — Shakespeare. The falling inflection terminates a forcible interrogation, or any form of question, which does not admit of being answered by yes or no; therefore,

Interrogative sentences beginning with a pronoun or adverb, generally close with the falling in flection; as,

“Who knows not that Truth is strong, next to the Almighty'! She needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings, to make her victorious. . . . Let Truth and Falsehood grapple: whoever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter' ? ” — Milton.

Forms of speech which excite expectation of farther expression, whether they occur in the form of question, or of incomplete thought, and suspension of sense, - raise or suspend the voice by the rising in flection; therefore —

Interrogative sentences beginning with a verb generally close with the rising in flection ; as,

« PreviousContinue »