Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 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 MacBride,
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 (f 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 baughty 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 Ailey ! Twas little condolence she had, I wot, From her 66 stroops 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 6 reverse

Was truly a dismal feature;

[ocr errors]

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 ;
s« 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!”

[ocr errors]

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. Feel. ing 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 in flection ; 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,

6. 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 inflection; as,

“Would you make men trustworthy ?' Trust them. Would you make them true?' Believe them. We win by tenderness; we conquer by forgiveness.” Robertson.

When the sense of a member is suspended, and depends for completion on the succeeding member, the rising inflection is required; as,

" The worst is not, So long as we can say,' This is the worst." - Shakespeare. A parenthetical clause generally closes with the same inflection as that used in the preceding member (usually, the rising); as,

“He (the American scholar) must be a perpetual inspiration of freedom in politics. He must recognize that the intelligent exercise of political rights, which is a privilege in a monarchy,' is a duty in a republic.” — G.W. Curtis.

The parenthetical clause, it should be remembered, is generally read in a lower tone, and with a quicker movement than the rest of the sentence.

Contrasted sentences, or words expressing contrasted ideas, generally close with contrasted inflections ; the more important member (generally the second) requiring the falling inflection ; as,

“He who undertakes to note the defects of an art, must carry with his censure, a knowledge of its perfections!.” - Rush.

A concession closes with the rising in flection; as,

“Every man loves his ease' - loves to please his taste.' But into how many homes along this lovely valley came the news of Lexington and Bunker Hill, eighty years ago

If it clash with his ease, his retirement, his taste, his study, let it clash, but let him do his duty. The course of events is incessant, and when the good deed is slighted, the bad deed is done.” Curtis.

Exceptions to the application of rules for the rising inflection occur in cases of peculiar force or emphasis. In such instances, the falling inflection supersedes the rising; as the former is the invariable indication of energetic expression, and the ruie of force displaces every other, in the utterance of thought.

It will be observed that the inflection used at the close of a sentence is usually the same as that placed on the principal emphatic word ; the

« PreviousContinue »