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An Unmarried Female
by [?]

She came in here one day last week. It was about ten o’clock in the morning. I had got my house slick as a pin, and my dinner under way (I was goin’ to have a b’iled dinner, and a cherry puddin’ b’iled with sweet sass to eat on it), and I sot down to finish sewin’ up the breadth of my new rag carpet. I thought I would get it done while I hadn’t so much to do, for it bein’ the first of March I knew sugarin’ would be comin’ on, and then cleanin’-house time, and I wanted it to put down jest as soon as the stove was carried out in the summer kitchen. The fire was sparklin’ away, and the painted floor a-shinin’ and the dinner a-b’ilin’, and I sot there sewin’ jest as calm as a clock, not dreamin’ of no trouble, when in came Betsey Bobbet.

I met her with outward calm, and asked her to set down and lay off her things. She sot down but she said she couldn’t lay off her things. Says she: “I was comin’ down past, and I thought I would call and let you see the last numbah of the Augah. There is a piece in it concernin’ the tariff that stirs men’s souls. I like it evah so much.”

She handed me the paper folded, so I couldn’t see nothin’ but a piece of poetry by Betsey Bobbet. I see what she wanted of me, and so I dropped my breadths of carpetin’ and took hold of it, and began to read it.

“Read it audible, if you please,” says she. “Especially the precious remahks ovah it; it is such a feast for me to be a-sittin’ and heah it rehearsed by a musical vorce.”

Says I, “I s’pose I can rehearse it if it will do you any good,” so I began as follows:

“It is seldom that we present the readers of the Augur (the best paper for the fireside in Jonesville or the world) with a poem like the following. It may be, by the assistance of the Augur (only twelve shillings a year in advance, wood and potatoes taken in exchange), the name of Betsey Bobbet will yet be carved on the lofty pinnacle of fame’s towering pillow. We think, however, that she could study such writers as Sylvanus Cobb and Tupper with profit both to herself and to them.

“Editor of the Augur.”

Here Betsey interrupted me. “The deah editah of the Augah has no need to advise me to read Tuppah, for he is indeed my most favorite authar. You have devorhed him, haven’t you, Josiah’s Allen wife?”

“Devoured who?” says I, in a tone pretty near as cold as a cold icicle.

“Mahten, Fahqueah, Tuppah, that sweet authar,” says she.

“No, mom,” says I shortly; “I hain’t devoured Martin Farquhar Tupper, nor no other man. I hain’t a cannibal.”

“Oh! you understand me not; I meant, devorhed his sweet, tender lines.”

“I hain’t devoured his tenderlines, nor nothin’ relatin’ to him,” and I made a motion to lay the paper down, but Betsey urged me to go on, and so I read:


“Oh let who will,
Oh let who can,
Be tied onto
A horrid male man.

“Thus said I ‘ere
My tendah heart was touched,
Thus said I ‘ere
My tendah feelings gushed.

“But oh a change
Hath swept ore me,
As billows sweep
The ‘deep blue sea.’

“A voice, a noble form
One day I saw;
An arrow flew,
My heart is nearly raw.

“His first pardner lies
Beneath the turf,
He is wandering now,
In sorrow’s briny surf.

“Two twins, the little
Deah cherub creechahs
Now wipe the teahs
From off his classic feachahs.

“Oh sweet lot, worthy
Angel arisen,
To wipe teahs
From eyes like hisen.

“What think you of it?” says she, as I finished readin’.