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A BACHELOR'S NOTION OF A WIFE. 221
“ Who gives you soup — ye gods, what stuff!
And fish, of which the smell's enough!
“ Who gives you wine, that ice ne’er knew,
To wash down each unsav'ry stew;
“ Who has the children - pretty dears!'
To come when the dessert appears ;
“ Who forces you, for quiet's sake,
Appointments with choice friends to break,
“ And, while, in pensive reverie,
You think of where you wish to be,
“ Who, when at length you rise to go,
Reproaches loud and deep lets flow,
“Who lets you find 'twas all in vain
You starved, and gave up iced champagne,
“ Who selfish is, and void of tact,
Refusing aye to let you act,
" Who thinks a husband —- there's the rub!
Should give up living at a club;
“ Who is it that detests your friends,
Accusing them of selfish ends;
“Who jealous ever is of you,
And yet will have a lover too,
“ Who gets shewn up each Sabbath morn,
With reputation sadly torn,
“ Who runs you into debt each day,
Although she knows you've lost at play,
“ Who every bright illusion rends,
Proving you never could have friends,
“ Who tells your faults to every dame
She meets, exposing you to shame,
“ Ye Benedicts of Fashion, own
Here's no exaggeration shewn;
The love of money, and deference to those who are imagined to possess it, is another striking peculiarity of my compatriots. He, or she, who can boast of wealth, no matter how obtained, is sure of being well received in society; though such persons may be illiterate, ill-mannered, and not immaculate in reputation. On observing certain individuals, in the circle styling itself exclusive, whose personal merits would never have gained them admission, my ignorant queries as to the why, and wherefore, have been replied to by the assertion, that “ he or she was immensely rich;” a reply considered amply explanatory.
“ Then he or she, is probably very generous?" asked I, in my simplicity, supposing that a lavish expenditure on a clique proverbial for the derangement of the finances of its members, was the secret cause of the reception of the said rich individual.
No, quite the contrary,” has been the answer ;
“ he is très avare, I can assure you :” for no one better knows the value of money, or is less prone to make a generous use of it, than he who has no other recommendation,
But what is still stranger, this same reputa
tion for wealth is considered an excuse for the economy which a deficiency of income alone ought to justify. A man known to be rich may give, not only few, but remarkably bad dinners, and wines whose execrable quality all condemn; yet, still, the very people who would unceremoniously decline a far less objectionable repast, if offered by one of limited means, will freely eat the one, and drink the other, because
the donor is affluent. The parsimony of the wealthy excites no murmurs: people like to dine with them, and to have them at their own boards; why, or wherefore, I cannot discover, unless the feeling may arise in a superstitious desire of consorting with those who are favoured by fortune.
So well understood is this inordinate respect for riches in this country, that not a few instances have been known of men who, with only a moderate income, have, by the stratagem