From The Hon. Henry, To Lady Emma.


You bid me explain, my dear angry Ma'amselle,
How I came thus to bolt without saying farewell;
And the truth is,--as truth you will have, my sweet railer,--
There are two worthy persons I always feel loath
To take leave of at starting,--my mistress and tailor,--
As somehow one always has scenes with them both;
The Snip in ill-humor, the Syren in tears,
She calling on Heaven, and he on the attorney,--
Till sometimes, in short, 'twixt his duns and his dears,
A young gentleman risks being stopt in his journey.

But to come to the point, tho' you think, I dare say.
That 'tis debt or the Cholera drives me away,
'Pon honor you're wrong;--such a mere bagatelle
As a pestilence, nobody now-a-days fears;
And the fact is, my love, I'm thus bolting, pell-mell,
To get out of the way of these horrid new Peers;
This deluge of coronets frightful to think of;
Which England is now for her sins on the brink of;
This coinage of nobles,--coined all of 'em, badly,
And sure to bring Counts to a dis-count most sadly.

Only think! to have Lords over running the nation,
As plenty as frogs in a Dutch inundation;
No shelter from Barons, from Earls no protection,
And tadpole young Lords too in every direction,--
Things created in haste just to make a Court list of,
Two legs and a coronet all they consist of!
The prospect's quite frightful, and what Sir George Rose
(My particular friend) says is perfectly true,
That, so dire the alternative, nobody knows,
'Twixt the Peers and the Pestilence, what he's to do;
And Sir George even doubts,--could he choose his disorder,--
'Twixt coffin and coronet, which he would order.
This being the case, why, I thought, my dear Emma,
'Twere best to fight shy of so curst a dilemma;
And tho' I confess myself somewhat a villain,
To've left idol mio without an addio,
Console your sweet heart, and a week hence from Milan
I'll send you--some news of Bellini's last trio.

N.B. Have just packt up my travelling set-out,
Things a tourist in Italy can't go without--
Viz., a pair of gants gras, from old Houbigant's shop,
Good for hands that the air of Mont Cenis might chap.
Small presents for ladies,--and nothing so wheedles
The creatures abroad as your golden-eyed needles.
A neat pocket Horace by which folks are cozened
To think one knows Latin, when--one, perhaps, doesn't;
With some little book about heathen mythology,
Just large enough to refresh one's theology;
Nothing on earth being half such a bore as
Not knowing the difference 'twixt Virgins and Floras.
Once more, love, farewell, best regards to the girls,
And mind you beware of damp feet and new Earls.

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