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Her Pedigree
by [?]


Into this world we come like ships,
Launch’d from the docks, and stocks, and slips,
For fortune fair or fatal;
And one little craft is cast away
In its very first trip in Babbicome Bay,
While another rides safe at Port Natal.


What different lots our stars accord!
This babe to be hail’d and woo’d as a Lord!
And that to be shun’d like a leper!
One, to the world’s wine, honey, and corn,
Another, like Colchester native, born
To its vinegar, only, and pepper.


One is litter’d under a roof
Neither wind nor water proof–
That’s the prose of Love in a Cottage–
A puny, naked, shivering wretch,
The whole of whose birthright would not fetch,
Though Robins himself drew up the sketch,
The bid of “a mess of pottage.”


Born of Fortunatus’s kin
Another comes tenderly ushered in
To a prospect all bright and burnish’d:
No tenant he for life’s back slums–
He comes to the world, as a gentleman comes
To a lodging ready furnish’d.


And the other sex–the tender–the fair–
What wide reverses of fate are there!
Whilst Margaret, charm’d by the Bulbul rare,
In a garden of Gul reposes–
Poor Peggy hawks nosegays from street to street
Till–think of that, who find life so sweet!–
She hates the smell of roses!


Not so with the infant Kilmansegg!
She was not born to steal or beg,
Or gather cresses in ditches;
To plait the straw, or bind the shoe,
Or sit all day to hem and sew,
As females must–and not a few–
To fill their insides with stitches!


She was not doom’d, for bread to eat,
To be put to her hands as well as her feet–
To carry home linen from mangles–
Or heavy-hearted, and weary-limb’d,
To dance on a rope in a jacket trimm’d
With as many blows as spangles.


She was one of those who by Fortune’s boon
Are born, as they say, with a silver spoon
In her mouth, not a wooden ladle:
To speak according to poet’s wont,
Plutus as sponsor stood at her font,
And Midas rocked the cradle.


At her first debut she found her head
On a pillow of down, in a downy bed,
With a damask canopy over.
For although, by the vulgar popular saw,
All mothers are said to be “in the straw,”
Some children are born in clover.


Her very first draught of vital air,
It was not the common chameleon fare
Of plebeian lungs and noses,–
No–her earliest sniff
Of this world was a whiff
Of the genuine Otto of Roses!


When she saw the light, it was no mere ray
Of that light so common–so everyday–
That the sun each morning launches–
But six wax tapers dazzled her eyes,
From a thing–a gooseberry bush for size–
With a golden stem and branches.


She was born exactly at half-past two,
As witness’d a timepiece in ormolu
That stood on a marble table–
Showing at once the time of day,
And a team of Gildings running away
As fast as they were able,
With a golden God, with a golden Star,
And a golden Spear, in a golden Car,
According to Grecian fable.


Like other babes, at her birth she cried;
Which made a sensation far and wide–
Ay, for twenty miles around her:
For though to the ear ’twas nothing more
Than an infant’s squall, it was really the roar
Of a Fifty-thousand Pounder!
It shook the next heir
In his library chair,
And made him cry, “Confound her!”