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THE DRUNKEN SAILORS.
A PARSON once, of Methodistic race,
Words like these, utter'd in a sailor's note, Soon reach'd the man in black, who preach'd by rote; And he-though a dissenter, is what I would remark, Being no novice, beckon'd to his clerk, Told the amen-man what to say and do. Immediately he leaves his pew, Goes to the sailors to do as he was bid : Out hauls his 'bacco-box, with— 'dam'me, take a quid; What cheer, my thundering bucks ? how are ye all ? Come in, my lads, and give your sins an overhaul, The sailors roll'd their quids, and turn’d their eyes, And view'd their benefactor with surprise ; Swore he was a hearty fellow, 'd-n their souls ;' So in they staggering went, cheek by jowl, Found a snug berth, and stow'd themselves away ; To hear what master blackey had to say. His reverence preach'd and groan'd and preach'd again! And says my story, it was not in vain ; The plan succeeding, which they had concerted, They went in sinners, and came out converted.
POPPING THE QUESTION.
THERE is no more delicate step in life than the operation designated by the elegant phrase I have selected for the title of my present lucubration. Much winding and caution, and previous sounding, is necessary when you have got a favour to ask of a great man. It is ten chances to one that he takes it into his head to consider your request as exorbitant, and to make this a pretext for shaking off what he naturally considers a cumbersome appendage to his state-a man who has a claim upon his good offices. But this hazard is nothing in comparison with the risk you run in laying yourself at the mercy of a young gipsy, fonder of fun and frolic than any thing in life. Even though she love you with the whole of her little heart, she possesses a flow of spirits, and woman's ready knack of preserving appearances; and though her bosom may heave responsive to your stammering tale, she will lure you on with kind complacent looks, until you have told your pitiful story,' and then laugh you in the face for your pains.
It is not this either that I mean to express. Men are not cowards because they see distinctly the danger that lies before them. When a person has coolness sufficient to appreciate its full extent, he has in general either self possession enough to back out of the scrape, or, if it is inevitable, to march with due resig. nation to meet his fate. In like manner, it is not that poor Pilgarlick, the lover, has a clear notion (persons in his condition are rarely troubled with clear notions) of what awaits him, but he feels a kind of choking about the neck of his heart, a hang dog inclination to go backwards instead of forwards, a check, a sudden stop in all his functions. He knows not how to look, or what to say, his fine plan arranged with so much happy enthusiasm, when sitting alone in his arm-chair, after a good dinner, and two or three glasses of wine, in the uncertain glimmering of twilight, with his feet upon the fender, proves quite impracticable. Either it has escaped his memory altogether, or the conversation perversely takes a turn totally different from that by which he hoped to lead the fair one from indifferent topics to thoughts of a tender complexion, and thus, by fine degrees, (he watching, all the time, how she was affected, in order to be sure of his bottom, before he makes the plunge,) to insinuate his confession, just at the moment that he knows it will be well received.
The desperate struggles and flounderings by which some endeavour to get out of their embarrassment are amusing enough. We remember to have been much delighted, the first time we heard the history of the wooing of a noble lord, now no more, narrated. His lordship was a man of talents and enterprise, of stainless pedigree, and a fair rent-roll, but the veriest slave of bashfulness. Like all timid and quiet men, he was very susceptible and very constant, as long as he was in the habit of seeing the object of his affections daily. He chanced at the beginning of an Edinburgh winter to lose his heart to Miss ; and as their families were in habits of intimacy, he had frequent opportunities of meeting with her. He gazed and sighed incessantly -a very Dumbiedikes, but that he had a larger allowance of brain ; he followed her everywhere ; he felt jealous, uncomfortable, savage, if she looked even civilly at another; and yet, notwithstanding his stoutest resolutions-notwithstanding the encouragement afforded him by the lady, a woman of sense, who saw what his lordship would be at, esteemed his character, was superior to girlish affectation, and made every advance consistent with womanly delicacy—the winter was fast fading into spring, and he had not yet got his mouth opened. Mamma at last lost all patience ; and one day, when his lordship was taking his usual lounge in the drawing-room, silent, or uttering an occasional monosyllable, the good lady abruptly left the room, and locked the pair in alone. When his lordship, on essaying to take his leave, discovered the predicament in which he stood, a desperate fit of resolution seized him. Miss sat bending most assiduously over her needle, a deep blush on her cheek. His lordship advanced towards her, but, loosing heart by the way, passed on in silenee to the other end of the room. turned to the charge, but again without effect. At last, nerving himself like one about to spring a powder mine, he stopped short before her—Miss — will you marry me?”. “With the greatest pleasure, my lord,' was the answer, given in a low, somewhat timid, but unfaltering voice, while a deeper crimson suffused the face of the speaker. And a right good wife she made to him.
Some gentlemen, equally nervous and unaided by such a discriminating and ingenious mamma, have recourse to the plan of wooing by proxy. This is a system which I can by no means recommend. If a male agent be employed, there is a great danger, that, before he is aware, he begins to plead for himself. Talking of love, even in the abstract, with a woman, is a ticklish matter. Emotions are awakened, which we thought were lulled to sleep for ever, and we grow desirous to appropriate to our selves the pretty sentiments which she so well expresses. A female go between is less dangerous; but I cannot conceive with what face a man can ever address a woman as his wife whom he had not courage to woo for himself.