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Of the bell and the visitor's entry is shorter
Than usual—I found; I won't say—I caught her,
Intent on the pier-glass, undoubtedly meaning
To see if perhaps it did n't need cleaning.
She turned as I entered,—“Why, Harry, you sinner,
I thought that you went to the Flashers' to dinner!"
“So I did," I replied, “but the dinner is swallowed,

And digested, I trust, for 't is now nine and more,
So being relieved from that duty, I followed

Inclination, which led me, you see, to your door;
And now will your ladyship so condescend
As just to inform me if you intend
Your beauty, and graces, and presence to lend
(All of which, when I own, I hope no one will borrow)
To the Stuckups, whose party, you know, is to-morrow ?”
The fair Flora looked up, with a pitiful air,
And answered quite promptly, “Why, Harry, mon cher,
I should like above all things to go with you there,
But really and truly—I 've nothing to wear."
“ Nothing to wear! go just as you are;

Wear the dress you have on, and you 'll be by far,
I engage, the most bright and particular star

On the Stuckup horizon—" I stopped, for her eye,
Notwithstanding this delicate onset of flattery,
Opened on me at once a most terrible battery

Of scorn and amazement. She made no reply, But gave a slight turn to the end of her nose,

(That pure Grecian feature,) as much to say, “How absurd that any sane man should suppose That a lady would go to a ball in the clothes,

No matter how fine, that she wears every day!”

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So I ventured again: “Wear your crimson brocade; (Second turn up of nose)—“That 's too dark by a shade." "Your blue silk "_"That's too heavy.” “Your pink"

“That's too light." “ Wear tulle over satin "_"I can't endure white."

Your rose-colored, then, the best of the batch.' “I have n't a thread of point-lace to match." “ Your brown moire antique ”—“Yes, and look like a Qua

ker;” The pearl-colored ”—“I would, but that plaguy dress

maker Has had it a week.”—“Then that exquisite lilac, In which you would melt the heart of a Shylock;”

(Here the nose took again the same elevation)“I would n't wear that for the whole of creation."

“Why not? It's my fancy, there 's nothing could strike it As more comme il faut"_“Yes, but, dear me, that lean

Sophronia Stuckup has got one just like it,
And I won't appear dressed like a chit of sixteen."
“ Then that splendid purple, that sweet Mazarine;
That superb point d'aiguille, that imperial green,

That zephyr-like tarletan, that rich grenadine"“Not one of all which is fit to be seen,

Said the lady, becoming excited and flushed. “Then wear,” I exclaimed in a tone which quite crushed

Opposition, " that gorgeous toilette which you spórted In Paris last spring, at the grand presentation, When you quite turned the head of the head of the nation,

And by all the grand court were so very much courted."

The end of the nose was portentously tipped up, And both the bright eyes shot forth indignation,

As she burst upon me with the fierce exclamation, “I have worn it three times, at the least calculation,

And that and most of my dresses are ripped up!" Here I ripped out something, perhaps rather rash,

Quite innocent, though; but, to use an expression More striking than classic, it "settled my hash,"

And proved very soon the last of our session. Fiddlesticks, is it, sir ? I wonder the ceiling Does n't fall down and crush you,--you men have no feel.

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You selfish, unnatural, illiberal creatures,
Who set yourselves up as patterns and preachers,
Your silly pretense,—why, what a mere guess it is!
Pray, what do you know of a woman's necessities?
I have told you and shown you I 've nothing to wear,
And it 's perfectly plain you not only do n't care,
But you do not believe me,” (here the nose went still

higher.)
'I suppose, if you dared, you would call me a liar.
Our engagement is ended, sir,-yes, on the spot;
You 're a brute, and a monster, and—I do n't know what.'
I mildly suggested the words Hottentot,
Pickpocket, and cannibal, Tartar, and thief,
As gentle expletives which might give relief;
But this only proved as a spark to the powder,
And the storm I had raised came faster and louder;
It blew and it rained, thundered, lightened, and hailed
Interjections, verbs, pronouns, till language quite failed
To express the abusive, and then its arrears
Were brought up all at once by a torrent of tears,
And my last faint, despairing attempt at an obs-
Ervation was lost in a tempest of sobs.
Well, I felt for the lady, and felt for my hat, too,
Improvised on the crown of the latter a tattoo,
In lieu of expressing the feelings which lay
Quite too deep for words, as Wordsworth would say;
Then, without going through the form of a bow,
Found myself in the entry, I hardly knew how,
On door-step and side-walk, past lamp-post and square,
At home and up-stairs, in my own easy-chair;

Poked my feet into slippers, my fire into blaze, And said to myself, as I lit my cigar, 'Supposing a man had the wealth of the Czar

Of the Russias to boot, for the rest of his days, On the whole do you think he would have much to spare, If he married a woman with nothing to wear ?" Since that night, taking pains that it should not be bruited

Abroad in society, I've instituted
A course of inquiry, extensive and thorough,
On this vital subject, and find, to my horror,
That the fair Flora's case is by no means surprising:

But that there exists the greatest distress
In our female community, solely arising

From this unsupplied destitution of dress, Whose unfortunate victims are filling the air With the pitiful wail of “Nothing to wear.”

Researches in some of the “ Upper Ten " districts
Reveal the most painful and startling statistics,
Of which let me mention only a few :
In one single house, on the Fifth Avenue,
Three young ladies were found, all below twenty-two,
Who have been three whole weeks without anything new
In the way of flounced silks, and thus left in the lurch,
Are unable to go to ball, concert, or church.
In another large mansion, near the same place,
Was found a deplorable, heart-rending case
Of entire destitution of Brussels point-lace.
In a neighboring block there was found, in three calls,
Total want, long continued, of camel's-hair shawls;
And a suffering family, whose case exhibits
The most pressing need of real ermine tippets;
One deserving young lady almost unable
To survive for the want of a new Russian sable;
Still another, whose tortures have been most terrific
Ever since the sad loss of the steamer Pacific,
In which were ingulfed, not friend or relation,
(For whose fate she perhaps might have found consolation,
Or borne it, at least, with serene resignation)
But the choicest assortment of French sleeves and collars
Ever sent out from Paris, worth thousands of dollars,
And all as to style most recherché and rare,
The want of which leaves her with nothing to wear,
And renders her life so drear and dyspeptic

That she 's quite a recluse, and almost a skeptic,
For she touchingly says, that this sort of grief
Cannot find in Religion the slightest relief,
And Philosophy has not a maxim to spare
For the victims of such overwhelming despair.
But the saddest, by far, of all these sad features,
Is the cruelty practiced upon the

poor

creatures By husbands and fathers, real Bluebeards and Timons, Who resist the most touching appeals made for diamonds By their wives and their daughters, and leave them for days Unsupplied with new jewelry, fans, or bouquets, Even laugh at their miseries whenever they have a chance, And deride their demands as useless extravagance; One case of a bride was brought to my view, Too sad for belief, but, alas ! 't was too true, Whose husband refused, as savage as Charon, To permit her to take more than ten trunks to Sharon. The consequence was, that when she got there, At the end of three weeks she had nothing to wear, And when she proposed to finish the season At Newport, the monster refused, out and out, For his infamous conduct alleging no reason, Except that the waters were good for his gout; Such treatment as this was too shocking, of course, And proceedings are now going on for divorce.

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But why harrow the feelings by lifting the curtain
From these scenes of woe? Enough, it is certain,
Has here been disclosed to stir up the pity
Of every benevolent heart in the city,
And spur up Humanity into a canter
To rush and relieve these sad cases instanter.
Won't somebody, moved by this touching description,
Come forward to-morrow and head a subscription ?
Won't some kind philanthropist, seeing that aid is
So needed at once by these indigent ladies,
Take charge of the matter? Or won't Peter Cooper

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