" And Vulcan, Mars, and Hector of Troy, and Jupiter and his wife,

And Phoebus, from his forked hill, coming down to take a knife,

And Mercury, and piping Pan, to the tune of ' Old King Cole,'

And Venus, the Queen of Love, to eat an ox that was roasted whole.

" Sir Mark, God bless him ! loves good old times, when beards wag, and every

thing goes merry,

There'll be drinking out of gracecups, and a Boar's head chewing rosemary,

Maid Marian, and a Morris dance, and acting of quaint Moralities,

Doctor Bellamy, and a Hobby horse, and many other Old Formalities.

" But there won't be any Psalm-singing saints, to make us sad of a Monday,

But Bacchus will preach to us out of a barrel, instead of that methodist Bundy.

We'll drink to the King in good strong ale, like souls that are true and loyal,

And a fig for Mrs. Hanway, camomile, sage, and penny-royal ;

And a fig for Master Gregory, that takes tipsy folks into custody,

He was a wise man to-morrow, and will be a wiser man yesterday.


" Come fill a bumper up, my boys, and toss off every drop of it !

Here's young Squire Ringwood's health, and may he live as long as Jason,

Before Atropos cuts his thread, and Dick Tablet, the bungling mason,

Chips him a marble tea-table, with a marble tea-urn a-top of it!

Quoth Tom in Tatters."

Extraordinary, indeed, was the excitement that was produced

throughout the parish, and almost throughout the

county, by the announcement of the intended merrymaking

at Tylney Hall. It would be intruding unwisely

intruding on the peculiar province of Miss Mitford, to

attempt to describe the commotion of the village ; how

rustic flirts and coquettes ogled their own pretty faces in

round, oval, triangular, square, and nine-bob-square look-

ing-glasses, or pieces of looking-glass ; and how Polly

Hicks discovered that yellow suited a brown complexion,

and Peggy Bland, that pink ribbons looked well among

carroty curls. Dear Mary Russell only could correctly

enumerate what country cosmetics came into request, such

as buttermilk for tan and freckles honey dew, gathered

at sunrise, for red hands and arms, and home-made pomatum,

for refractory stubble hair. She, alone, who distin-

guishes with fine discriminative touches the genuine natural

pastoral barn-door Rosina, from the Rosina that is townmade,

she only could pourtray worthily the workings of

feminine hopes, fears, jealousies, and vanities which kept

all the rural maids, wives, and widows of * * * in a fer-

ment. Faded satins were dipped in turmeric and logwood

rusty gauzes were refreshed with vinegar and stale tablebeer.

Female dresses were bought, sold, and exchanged

cleaned, dyed and altered. Tall mothers, figurativel

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines