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A True Story
by [?]

The monstrous pain of this proceeding
Had not so numbed his miser wit,
But in this slip he saw a hit
To save, at least, his purse from bleeding;
So when the dentist sought his fees,
Quoth Hunks, “Let’s finish, if you please,”
“How, finish! why, it’s out!”–“Oh no–
‘Tis you are out, to argue so;
I’m none of your before-hand tippers.
My tooth is in my head no doubt,
But, as you say you pulled it out,
Of course it’s there–between your nippers,”
“Zounds, sir! d’ye think I’d sell the truth
To get a fee? no, wretch, I scorn it!”
But Hunks still asked to see the tooth,
And swore by gum! he had not drawn it.

His end obtained, he took his leave,
A secret chuckle in his sleeve;
The joke was worthy to produce one,
To think, by favor of his wit
How well a dentist had been bit
By one old stump, and that a loose one!
The thing was worth a laugh, but mirth
Is still the frailest thing on earth:
Alas! how often when a joke
Seems in our sleeve, and safe enough,
There comes some unexpected stroke
And hangs a weeper on the cuff!

Hunks had not whistled half a mile,
When, planted right against a stile,
There stood his foeman, Mike Mahoney,
A vagrant reaper, Irish born,
That helped to reap our miser’s corn,
But had not helped to reap his money,
A fact that Hunks remembered quickly;
His whistle all at once was quelled,
And when he saw how Michael held
His sickle, he felt rather sickly.

Nine souls in ten, with half his fright,
Would soon have paid the bill at sight,
But misers (let observers watch it)
Will never part with their delight
Till well demanded by a hatchet–
They live hard–and they die to match it.
Thus Hunks prepared for Mike’s attacking,
Resolved not yet to pay the debt,
But let him take it out in hacking;
However, Mike began to stickle
In words before he used the sickle;
But mercy was not long attendant:
From words at last he took to blows,
And aimed a cut at Hunks’s nose,
That made it what some folks are not–
A member very independent.

Heaven knows how far this cruel trick
Might still have led, but for a tramper
That came in danger’s very nick,
To put Mahoney to the scamper.
But still compassion met a damper;
There lay the severed nose, alas!
Beside the daisies on the grass,
“Wee, crimson-tipt” as well as they,
According to the poet’s lay:
And there stood Hunks, no sight for laughter.
Away went Hodge to get assistance,
With nose in hand, which Hunks ran after,
But somewhat at unusual distance.
In many a little country place
It is a very common case
To have but one residing doctor,
Whose practice rather seems to be
No practice, but a rule of three,

Thus Hunks was forced to go once more
Where he had ta’en his to t’ before.
His mere name made the learned man hot,–
“What! Hunks again within my door!
I’ll pull his nose”; quoth Hunks, “You cannot.”
The doctor looked and saw the case
Plain as the nose not on his face.
“Oh! hum–ha–yes–I understand.”
But then arose a long demur,
For not a finger would he stir
Till he was paid his fee in hand;
That matter settled, there they were,
With Hunks well strapped upon his chair.