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MR. SLUDGE, « THE MEDIUM.”
Now, don't sir! Don't expose me! Just this once !
“ Get up ?” You still inflict on me that terrible face ? You show no mercy ?-Not for Her dear sake,
The sainted spirit's, whose soft breath even now Blows on my cheek—(don't you feel something, sir ?) You 'll tell ?
Go tell, then! Who the devil cares What such a rowdy chooses to ...
Well, sir, I hope you 've done it now! Oh Lord ! I little thought, sir, yesterday, When your departed mother spoke those words Of peace through me, and moved you, sir, so much, You gave me—(very kind it was of you) These shirt-studs—(better take them back again, Please, sir !)—-yes, little did I think so soon A trifle of trick, all through a glass too much Of his own champagne, would change my best of
friends Into an angry gentleman !
Though, 'twas wrong. I don't contest the point; your anger 's just :
Whatever put such folly in my head,
Why, now your face clears ! I was sure it would ! Then, this one time . . don't take your hand away, Through yours I surely kiss your mother's hand .. You 'll promise to forgive me ?—or, at least, Tell nobody of this ? Consider, sir ! What harm can mercy do? Would but the shade Of the venerable dead-one just vouchsafe A rap or tip! What bit of paper 's here ? Suppose we take a pencil, let her write, Make the least sign, she urges on her child · Forgiveness ? There now! Eh? Oh! 'Twas your
foot, And not a natural creak, sir ?
Answer, then! Once, twice, thrice . . . see, I'm waiting to say
" thrice !" All to no use ? No sort of hope for me? It 's all to post to Greely's newspaper ?
What? If I told you all about the tricks ?
How you 're changed ! Then split the difference ; thirty more, we'll say. Ay, but you leave my presents! Else I 'll swear 'Twas all through those : you wanted yours again, So, picked a quarrel with me, to get them back! Tread on a worm, it turns, sir! If I turn,