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NOTHING TO WEAR.

501

I engage, the most bright and particular star

On the Stuckup horizon "--I stopped, for her eye, Notwithstanding this delicate onset of flattery, Opened on me at once a most terrible battery

Of scorn and amazement. She made no reply, But gave a slight turn to the end of her nose

(That pure Grecian feature), as much as to say, How absurd that any sane man should suppose That a lady would go to a ball in the clothes,

No matter how fine, that she wears every day!”

So I ventured again—“Wear your crimson brocade," (Second turn up of nose)—“ That's too dark, by a shade.” “ Your blue silk "_" That's too heavy ;” “Your pink”_" That's

too light.” “Wear tulle over satin "_“I can't endure white." “ Your rose-colored, then, the best of the batch ”“ I haven't a thread of point-lace to match." “ Your brown moire antique "_“ Yes, and look like a Quaker ; ” “The pearl-colored” _“I would, but that plaguey dress-maker Has had it a week "_" Then that exquisite lilac, In which you would melt the heart of a Shylock.” (Here the nose took again the same elevation) “I wouldn't wear that for the whole of creation."

“Why not? It's my fancy, there's nothing could strike it As more comme il faut-” “Yes, but, dear me, that lean

Sophronia Stuckup has got one just like it,
And I won't appear dressed like a chit of sixteen."
“ Then that splendid purple, that sweet Mazarine;
That superb point d'aiguille, that imperial green,
That zephyr-like tarletan, that rich grenadine”_
“ Not one of all which is fit to be seen,"
Said the lady, becoming excited and flushed.
“ Then wear,” I exclaimed, in a tone which quite crushed

Opposition, “ that gorgeous toilette which you sported
In Paris last spring, at the grand presentation,
When you quite turned the head of the head of the nation,

And by all the grand court were so very much courted."

502

NOTHING TO WEAR.

The end of tie nose was portentously tipped up,
And both the bright eyes shot forth indignation,
As she burst upon me with the fierce exclamation,
“I have worn it three times at the least calculation,

And that and the most of my dresses are ripped up;”
Here I ripped out something, perhaps rather rash,

Quite innocent, though; but, to use an expression More striking than classic, it “settled my hash,"

And proved very soon the last act of our session. “ Fiddlesticks, is it, Sir ? I wonder the ceiling Doesn't fall down and crush you—oh, you men have no feeling, You selfish, unnatural, illiberal creatures, Who set yourselves up as patterns and preachers. Your silly pretence-why, what a a mere guess it is ! Pray, what do you know of a woman's necessities? I have told you and shown you I've nothing to wear, And it's perfectly plain you not only don't care, But you do not believe me” (here the nose went still higher). “I suppose if you dared you would call me a liar. Our engagement is ended, Sir-yes, on the spot. You're a brute, and a monster, and I don't know what.” I mildly suggested the words--Hottentot, Pickpocket, and cannibal, Tartar, and thief, As gentle expletives which might give relief; But this only proyed as spark to the powder, And the storm I had raised came faster and louder; It blew and it rained, thundered, lightened, and hailed Interjections, verbs, pronouns, till language quite failed To express the abusive, and then its arrears Were brought up all at once by a torrent of tears, And my last faint, despairing attempt at an obsErvation was lost in a tempest of sobs.

Well, I felt for the lady and felt for my hat, too,
Improvised on the crown of the latter a tattoo,
Found myself in the entry--I hardly knew how-
On doorstep and sidewalk, past lamp-post and square,
At home and up-stairs, in my own easy-chair;

NOTHING TO WEAR.

503

Poked my feet into slippers, my fire into blaze,
And said to myself, as I lit my cigar,
Supposing a man had the wealth of the Czar

Of the Russias to boot, for the rest of his days,
On the whole, do you think he would have much to spare
If he married a woman with nothing to wear ?

Oh, ladies, dear ladies, the next sunny day,
Please trundle your hoops just out of Broadway,
From its whirl and its bustle, its fashion and pride,
And the temples of Trade which tower on each side,
To the alleys and lanes, where Misfortune and Guilt
Their children have gathered, their city have built;
Where Hunger and Vice, like twin beasts of prey,

Have haunted their victims to gloom and despair ;
Raise the rich, dainty dress, and the fine, broidered skirt,
Pick your delicate way through the dampness and dirt,

Grope through the dark dens, climb the rickety stair
To the garret, where wretches, the young and the old,
Half-starved and half-naked, lie crouched from the cold.
See those skeleton limbs, those frost-bitten feet,
All bleeding and bruised by the stones of the street;
Hear the sharp cry of childhood, the deep groans that swell

From the poor dying creature who writhes on the floor,
Hear the curses that sound like the echoes of Hell,

As you sicken and shudder and fly from the door ; Then home to your wardrobes, and say, if you dareSpoiled children of Fashion-you've nothing to wear!

And oh, if perchance there should be a sphere,
Where all is made right which so puzzles us here,
Where the glare, and the glitter, and tinsel of Time
Fade and die in the light of that region sublime,
Where the soul, disenchanted of flesh and of sense,
Unscreened by its trappings, and shows, and pretence,
Must be clothed for the life and the service above,
With purity, truth, faith, meekness, and love;
Oh, daughters of Earth! foolish virgins, beware!
Lest in that upper realm you have nothing to wear!

504

.

THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.

THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.-H. K. WHITE.
W HEN marshalled on the nightly plain

The glittering host bestud the sky,
One star alone, of all the train,

Can fix the sinner's wandering eye.
Hark! hark! to God the chorus breaks,

From every host, from every gem;
But one alone the Saviour speaks,-

It is the star of Bethlehem.

Once on the raging seas I rode;

The storm was loud, the night was dark,
The ocean yawned, and rudely blow'd

The wind that tossed my foundering bark.
Deep horror then my vitals froze;

Death-struck, I ceased the tide to stem;
When suddenly a star arose-

It was the star of Bethlehem.

It was my guide, my light, my all;

It bade my dark forebodings cease,
And through the storm and danger's thrall

It led me to the port of peace.
Now, safely moor’d, my perils o’er,

I'll sing, first in night's diadem,
Forever and forevermore,

The star, the star of Bethlehem!

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