Victorian London - Publications - Humour - Punch - Accomplishments

THE ACCOMPLISHED YOUNG LADY
[from ' VALENTINES' section, ed.]

I AM dying with ardent affection,
    So I send these few verses to thee,
In the hope that they will meet your inspection;
    But I fear you're too clever for me.
And although in intense adoration,
    There can be no very great sin,
To address such a clever young lady,- 
    I'm really afraid to begin.

Yes, indeed, you're remarkably clever,
    And of talents possess such a store,
That I'm truly unconscious if ever,
    I witness'd such knowledge before.
I would laud you beyond all conception,
    But I fear at my praise you would laugh;
For I know you accomplish'd young ladies
    Are sometimes too clever by half!

You sing with a thrilling expression, 
    That makes all your auditors tremble,
And warble out "Del cor tradisti,"
    Like Grisi or Adelaide Kemble.
Tis divine - though some illnatured folks, 
    Full of envy, snarl out in their rage,
"Tis a pity this clever young lady
    Wasn't brought up at once for the stage."

You embroider such exquisite patterns 
    For ottomans, sofas, and chairs
And I hear you have finish'd a carpet 
    That stretches up two pair of stairs
Though the same set of commonplace people 
    Opine 'twould be better by far,
If these wool-working clever young ladies 
    Took stalls at the Lowther Bazaar.

You write the most ladylike poems 
    And I hear that (incog.), now and then,
The Assemblée's elaborate columns 
    Are graced by the fruits of your pen.
They are brilliantly soft, I allow 
    But with all the respect for a blue,
The world thinks 'tis sometimes a pity 
    You find nothing better to do.

There are many opposed to such measures,
     Who hint from the right you depart,
In cramming the head with such treasures 
    And wholly forgetting the heart
But hearts have long ceased to exist, 
    So I deem your affections are free,
And the chance is not one to be miss'd, 
    Then, fair one, my VALENTINE be.

Punch, Jan.-Jun. 1842


NOT TO BE BEATEN

Mrs. Brown (whose Daughter has just been performing admirably on the Piano-Forte). "DO YOUR DAUGHTERS PLAY, MRS. JONES?" Mrs. Jones (whose four daughters have been listening) "NO." Mrs. Brown. "SING?" Mrs. Jones. "NO." Mrs. Brown. "PAINT IN WATER-COLOURS?" Mrs. Jones. "NO. WE GO IN FOR BEAUTY!"

Punch, January 18, 1873