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A Finished Young Lady
by [?]


I cannot send thee gold

Nor silver for a show;

Nor are there jewels sold

One-half so dear as thou


No daffodil doth blow

In this dull winter time,

Nor purple violet grow

In so unkind a clime


To-day I have not got

One spray of meadow-sweet,

Nor blue forget-me-not

My posy to complete


Yet none of these can claim

So much goodwill as you;

Their lips put not to shame

Cowslip end Oxlip too


But joy I’ll take in this,

Pleasure more sweet than all,

If thou this book but kiss

As Love’s memorial

There were few bigger men in the West of Scotland than Fergus Teeman, the grocer in Port Ryan. He had come from Glasgow and set up in quite grand style, succeeding to the business of his uncle, John M’Connell, who had spent all his days selling treacle and snuff to the guidwives of the Port. When Fergus Teeman came from Glasgow, he found that he could not abide the small-paned, gloomy windows of the grocer’s shop at the corner, so in a little while the whole shop became window and door, overfrowned by mere eyebrows of chocolate-coloured eaves.

He had a broad and gorgeous sign specially painted in place of the old ” John M’Connell, licensed to sell Tea, Coffee, and Tobacco,” which had so long occupied its place. Then he dismounted the crossed pipes and the row of sweetie-bottles, and filled the great windows according to the latest canons of Glasgow retail provision-trade taste. The result was amazing, and for days there was the danger of a block before the windows. It was as good as a peep-show, and considerably cheaper. As many as four boys and a woman with a shawl over her head, had been counted on the pavement in front of the shop at once–a fact which the people in the next town refused to credit.

Fergus Teeman was a business man. He was “no gentleman going about with his hands in his pockets”–he said so himself. And so far he was right, for, let his hands be where they might, certainly he was no gentleman. But, for all that, he was a big man in Port Ryan, and it was a great day for the Kirk in the Vennel when Fergus Teeman led his family to worship within the precincts of that modest Zion. They made much of him there, and Fergus sunned himself in his pew in the pleasing warmth of his own greatness.

In the congregation from whence he had come he had not been accustomed to be so treated. He had held a seat far under the gallery; but in the Kirk in the Vennel he had the corner seat opposite to the manse pew. There Fergus installed his wife and family, and there last of all he shut himself in with a bang. He then looked pityingly around as his women-folk reverently bent a moment forward on the book-board. That was well enough for women, but a leading grocer could not so bemean himself.

In a few months Fergus started a van. This was a new thing about the Port. The van was for the purpose of conveying the goods and benefits of the Emporium to the remoter villages. The van was resplendent with paint and gilding. It was covered with advertisements of its contents executed in the highest style of art. The Kirk in the Vennel felt the reflected glory, and promptly elected him an elder. A man must be a good man to come so regularly to ordinances and own such a van. The wife of this magnificent member of society was, like the female of so many of the lower animals, of modest mien and a retiring plumage. She sat much in the back parlour; and even when she came out, she crept along in the shadow of the houses.