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Then the babe was cross'd and bless'd amain !
But instead of the Kate, or Ann, or Jane,
Which the humbler female endorses-
Instead of one name, as some people prefix,
Kilmansegg went at the tails of six,
Like a carriage of state with its horses.
Oh, then the kisses she got and hugs!
The golden mugs and the golden jugs
That lent fresh rays to the midges!
The golden knives, and the golden spoons,
The gems that sparkled like fairy boons,
It was one of the Kilmansegg's own saloons,
But look'd like Rundell and Bridge's !
Golj! and gold ! the new and the old,
The company ate and drank from gold,
They revell’d, they sang, and were merry ;
And one of the Gold Sticks rose from his chair,
And toasted “the Lass with the golden hair"
In a bumper of Golden Sherry.
Gold ! still gold ! it rain'd on the nurse,
Who-un-like Danäe-was none the worse!
There was nothing but guineas glistening!
Fifty were given to Doctor James,
For calling the little Baby names,
And for saying, Amen!
The Clerk had ten,
And that was the end of the Christening.
HER CHILDHOOD. OUR youth ! our childhood ! that spring of springs ! 'Tis surely one of the blessedest things
That nature ever invented !
When the rich are wealthy beyond their wealth,
And the poor are rich in spirits and health,
And all with their lots contented !
There's little Phelim, he sings like a thrush,
In the selfsame pair of patchwork plush,
With the selfsame empty pockets,
That tempted his daddy so often to cut
His throat, or jump in the water-butt-
But what cares Phelim? an empty nut
Would sooner bring tears to their sockets.
Give him a collar without a skirt,
(That's the Irish linen for shirt)
And a slice of bread with a taste of dirt,
(That's Poverty's Irish butter),
And what does he lack to make him blest ?
Some oyster-shells, or a sparrow's nest,
A candle-end, and a gutter.
Born in wealth, and wealthily nursed,
Capp'd, papp'd, napp'd, and lapp'd from the first
On the knees of Prodigality,
ller childhood was one eternal round
of the game of going on Tickler's ground
Picking up gold-in reality.
With extempore cartes she never play'd,
Or the odds and ends of a Tinker's trade,
Or little dirt pies and puddings made,
Like children happy and squalid ;
The very puppet she had to pet,
Like a bait for the “Nix my Dolly" set,
Was a Dolly of gold—and solid !
Gold! and gold ! 'twas the burden still !
To gain the Heiress's early goodwill
There was much corruption and bribery-
The yearly cost of her golden toys
Would have given half London's Charity Boys
And Charity Girls the annual joys
Of a holiday dinner at Highbury.
Bon-bons she ate from the gilt cornet;
And gilded queens on St. Bartlemy's day ;
Till her fancy was tinged by her presents-
And first a Goldfinch excited her wish,
Then a spherical bowl with its Golden fish,
And then two Golden Pheasants.
Nay, once she squallid and scream'd like wild-
And it shows how the bias we give to a child
Is a thing most weighty and solemn :-
But whence was wonder or blame to spring
If little Miss K.-after such a swing-
Made a dust for the flaming gilded thing
On the top of the Fish Street column?
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-cart on golden castors.
Long before her A B and C,
They had taught her by heart her L. S. D.
And as 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 and Trimmer,
Teaching the worth of Virtue and Health,
All that she knew was the Virtue of Wealth,
Trovided 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 desert, like grapes, by the pound,
Till she had an idea from the very sound
That people with nought were naughty.
They praised-poor children with nothing at all!
Lord! how you twaddle and waddle and squall
Like common-bred geese and ganders !
What sad little bad little figures you make
To the rich Miss K., whose plainest seed-cake
Was stuff'd with corianders!
They praised her falls, 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 narse,
A Governess help'd to make still worse,