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There is no God," a youngster thinks,

“Or really, if there may be,
He surely didn't mean a man

Always to be a baby."

There is no God, or if there is,"

The tradesman thinks, “ 'twere funny
If He should take it ill in me

To make a little money."

" Whether there be," the rich man says,

“ It matters very little,
For I and mine, thank somebody,

Are not in want of victual.”

Some others, also, to themselves,

Who scarce so much as doubt it,
Think there is none, when they are well,

And do not think about it.

But country folks who live beneath

The shadow of the steeple;
The parson and the parson's wife,

And mostly married people;

Youths green and happy in first love,

So thankful for illusion;
And men caught out in what the world

Calls guilt, in first confusion;

And almost every one when age,

Disease, or sorrows strike him,
Inclines to think there is a God,
Or something very like Him.

Arthur Hugh Clough


Miss Flora McFlimsey, of Madison Square,
Has made three separate journeys to Paris;
And her father assures me, each time she was there,
That she and her friend Mrs. Harris

i From “ Nothing to Wear."

(Not the lady whose name is so famous in history,
But plain Mrs. H., without romance or mystery)
Spent six consecutive weeks without stopping,
In one continuous round of shopping;
Shopping alone, and shopping together,
At all hours of the day, and in all sorts of weather :
For all manner of things that a woman can put
On the crown of her head or the sole of her foot,
Or wrap round her shoulders, or fit round her waist,
Or that can be sewed on, or pinned on, or laced,
Or tied on with a string, or stitched on with a bow,
In front or behind, above or below;
For bonnets, mantillas, capes, collars, and shawls;
Dresses for breakfasts, and dinners, and balls;
Dresses to sit in, and stand in, and walk in,
Dresses to dance in, and flirt in, and talk in;
Dresses in which to do nothing at all;
Dresses for winter, spring, summer, and fall,
All of them different in color and pattern,
Silk, muslin, and lace, crape, velvet, and satin,
Brocade, and broadcloth, and other material
Quite as expensive and much more ethereal:
In short, for all things that could ever be thought of,
Or milliner, modiste, or tradesman be bought of,
From ten-thousand-francs robes to twenty-sous frills;

In all quarters of Paris, and to every store:

While McFlimsey in vain stormed, scolded, and swore. They footed the streets, and he footed the bills.

The last trip, their goods shipped by the steamer Argo
Formed, McFlimsey declares, the bulk of her cargo,
Not to mention a quantity kept from the rest,
Sufficient to fill the largest-sized chest,
Which did not appear on the ship's manifest,
But for which the ladies themselves manifested
Such particular interest that they invested
Their own proper persons in layers and rows
Of muslins, embroideries, worked underclothes,
Gloves, handkerchiefs, scarfs, and such trifles as those;
Then, wrapped in great shawls, like Circassian beauties,
Gave good-by to the ship, and go-by to the duties.
Her relations at home all marvelled, no doubt,
Miss Flora had grown so enormously stout

For an actual belle and a possible bride;
But the miracle ceased when she turned inside out,

And the truth came to light, and the dry-goods beside,
Which, in spite of collector and custom-house sentry,
Had entered the port without any entry.
And yet, though scarce three months have passed since the

This merchandise went, on twelve carts, up Broadway,
This same Miss McFlimsey, of Madison Square,
The last time we met, was in utter despair,
Because she had nothing whatever to wear!

NOTHING TO WEAR! Now, as this is a true ditty,

I do not assert — this you know is between us That she's in a state of absolute nudity,

Like Powers's Greek Slave, or the Medici Venus;
But I do mean to say I have heard her declare,

When at the same moment she had on a dress
Which cost five hundred dollars, and not a cent less,

And jewelry worth ten times more, I should guess,
That she had not a thing in the wide world to wear!
I should mention just here, that out of Miss Flora's
Two hundred and fifty or sixty adorers,
I had just been selected as he who should throw all
The rest in the shade, by the gracious bestowal
On myself, after twenty or thirty rejections,
Of those fossil remains which she called her “affections,"
And that rather decayed but well-known work of art,
Which Miss Flora persisted in styling “her heart.”
So we were engaged. Our troth had been plighted

Not by moonbeam or starbeam, by fountain or grove; But in a front parlor, most brilliantly lighted,

Beneath the gas-fixtures we whispered our love -
Without any romance, or raptures, or sighs,
Without any tears in Miss Flora's blue eyes,
Or blushes, or transports, or such silly actions;
It was one of the quietest business transactions,
With a very small sprinkling of sentiment, if any,
And a very large diamond imported by Tiffany.
On her virginal lips while I printed a kiss,
She exclaimed, as a sort of parenthesis,
And by way of putting me quite at my ease,
"You know, I'm to polka as much as I please,
And flirt when I like, now stop, — don't you speak, –

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