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(A PASSAGE IN A JOURNAL SENT BY MISS LETITIA BELLAMONT TO HER FRIEND
IN THE COUNTRY.)
Ou! what a curious world it is; this London world of fashion !
I really, though I'm rather bored, feel a sort of strange compassion
For the poor souls who keep climbing round, like squirrels in a cage,
Or people sent to the treadmill, not harder work I'll engage,
Than the racketing, fussing, shopping, and getting tickets for balls ;
And attending their evening parties, and making their morning calls,
And quarrelling with each other about a fancy quadrille,
Where somebody most invariably uses somebody else “so ill !”
And the little ladies struggling through their little season in town,
Watching great ladies' caprices, and bowing so lowly down,
Much humbler than the footmen, (whose wages are rarely paid,)
And ten times more obsequious than the saucy lady's maid,
I feel quite ashamed when my cousin stands, as if she waited to know
Whether it is, or is not, the pleasure of Lady Kingcob to bow;
Nor with all my London lessons, can I grow to care a jot,
Whether Lady Gooseberry asks us both to Gooseberry House or not.
I'm tired of watching Lady Clack, so noisy, angry, and proud, -
Almost imploring the eldest sons to marry Magnolia Loud;
And looking as if the younger sons should all be trampled to death,
Or drown'd, like a litter of puppies, who've no right to draw their breath,
Or like the wild-horse torture, in the former barbarous days,
Torn in pieces by four wild chaperons, all pulling different ways.
I begin to wish myself home again, in the country,—that I do!
I long to be in the shrubbery, where the quiet ringdoves coo;
Or the meadow, where the long sweet grass is toss’d for new-mown hay,
And the green lanes where the dogrose swings across the untrodden way.
I long for the blue lake, where the boat lies drawn up, on the beach;
And my little brother Alfred, so pleasant and quick to teach.
Poor dear! he'll go back sadly !—he'll not know a verb from a noun,
By the time the
is over, as they call the term in town. However, I ought to be happy, for my cousin is very kind, And-dear me, I'd quite forgotten! It's lucky I call’d to mind,
There's my fancy dress to think of, for the Paramount House great ball, How pleased my poor cousin was ! she thought, we might'nt be ask'd at all; But better late than never, we yesterday got our card, Though to get a fancy dress in time, we shall have to work rather hard. I must call my maid,-oh here she is,—with a letter in her hand : What upon earth is this about? I really don't understand. “The Marquis is bid by the Marchioness ” (Lucy, my hair is not curld) “The Marquis is bid by the Marchioness,” (is there but one in the world ?) “The Marquis is bid by the Marchioness, to say that she cannot conceive “ How Miss Letitia Bellamont could ever presume to believe “That the invitation her fool of a porter to Mrs. Bellamont sent, “Could be anything otherwise than a mistake, and for other parties meant. “The Marchioness thinks Miss Letitia had better have sent the card back; “But town folks have notions of etiquette, which country folks seem to lack. “And the Marchioness only wishes to add, -and don't care who may hear,“That she thinks the Bellamonts better not step out of their proper sphere. “The Bellamonts, of Bellamont Park, were the Bellamonts she invited, “Which gives the Marchioness the trouble of having this note indited : “And desires the servant may have the card, to be sent to the right address, “And not be kept back by other people, who want to intrude and press. “For the Marchioness asks who she likes, she hopes, to her dejeuner and ball, “And out of a certain circle or set, she does'nt invite at all. “And if she don't please, don't ask them twice, on any absurd pretence; “ And scratch'd her own Mother out of her list, for giving undue offence. “ So hopes Miss Letitia Bellamont will take this note as a warning, “ Which is all the Marchioness means to say--and wishes Miss B. good morning.'
Lucy, pray leave off curling my hair,—and look for the Paramount card.
Oh, my dear cousin ! your slavery is certainly rather hard.
I would'nt lead the life you lead-or bear the slights you bear,
Not for all the unpawn'd jewels the Paramount loves to wear.
What wonderful impertinence—and what wonderful bad grammar !
Why, Alfred could dictate a better note, with all his childish stammer.
And oh! what gross vulgarity, from people who think that they
Should rule and reign in the London world, and have it all their own way.
Why is it such an honour to go, to a house which all declare
Is the sauciest of the spangled booths that are built in Vanity Fair ?
Where the very pictures hanging up against the splendid wall,
Don't belong to the owners there, and never were theirs at all :
But to some German Count, whose wrongs are not worth while to tell,
Who hoped by those same pictures to portion his daughters well: