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LORD DUNDREARY PROPOSING.–F. J. SKILL. “Any fellah feelth nervouth when he knowth he 'th going to make an ath of himthelf.”
That's vewy twue, I–I've often thed tho before. But the fact is, evewy fellah dothn't make an ath of himthelf, at least not quite such an ath as I've done in my time. Idon't mind telling you, but 'pon my word now,-1-I've made an awful ath of mythelf on thome occathious. You don't believe it now,-do you? 1-thought you wouldn'tbut I have now-weally. Particularly with wegard to women.
To tell the twuth, that is my weakneth,-I s'pose I'm what they call a ladies' man. The pwetty cweachaws like me,-I know they do,—though they pwetend not to do so. It—it's the way with some fellahs. There was hith late Majesty, George the Fourth. I never thaw him mythelf, you know, but I've heard he had a sort of way with him that no woman could wesist. They used to call him a cam-what is it? a camelia --no, camel-leopard, no-chameleon, isn't it? that attwacts people with its eyes-no, by the way that—that's the bwute that changes color-it couldn't have been that you know,Georgius Wex-never changed color,-he-he'd got beyond blushing, he had-he only blushed once-early-vewy early in life, and then it was by mistake-no, cam-chameleon's not the word. What the dooth is it? O, stop,-it begins with a B. By the way, it's 'stonishing how many words begin with a B. O, an awful lot! No-no wonder Dr. Watts talked about the-the busy B. Why, he's more work than all the west of the alphabet. However, the word begins with a B, and its Bas- Basiloose-yes, that's it-stop, I'd better look it out in the dictionary to make certain. I--I hate to make mistakes—I do—especially about a thimple matter like this. O, here we are—B. Basilica.
No, it—that can't be the word you know-George was king, and if-if Basilica means a royal palace-they-they might have been-welations—but that's all- no, it isn't Basilica-it-it's Basilisk-yes, I've got it now-it's Bathilith. That's what his Majesty was—a Bathilith, and fascinated fair cweachaws with his eye. Let me see-where was
Well, of course then they all wanted to know, and I -- I told 'em-ha, ha! my anther was good, wasn't it? O, I forgot I haven't told you,--well,--here it is,--I said,
“Miss Charlotte is like a London cabman, because she's a Lotty Chaffingham,” (of course I meant, lot o'chaff in him). D'ye see? Doosid good I call it,—but would you believe? all the party began woarwing with laughter all wound. At first I thought they were laughing at the widdle, and I laughed too, but at last Captain Wagsby said (by the way, I hate Wagsby,-he's so doosid familiar)-Captain Wagsby said, “Mulled it again, my Lord." From this low expwession,- which I weckollect at Oxford, I thought that they thought I had made a mithtake, and asked them what they meant by woarwing in that absurd manner.
“Why, don't you see, Dundreary," someone said,—"it won't do,-you've forgotten the lady's sex,-Miss Charlotte · can't be said to have any chaff in him. It ought to be chaff in her,”—and then they began to woar again. Upon my word now, it hadn't occurred to me certainly before, but I don't see now that it was such a mithtake. What's the use of being so doosid particular about the sense of a widdle as long as it's a good one? Abthurd!
Well, after bweakfast we went out for a stroll upon the lawn, and somehow or other Miss Chaffingham paired off with me. She was a doosid stunning girl, you know. A fellah often talks about stunning girls, and when you see them they're not so stunning after all ; but Lotty weally was a doosid stunning girl,—fair eyes and beautifully blue, ha-no! blue hair and fair-I (confound it, I always make that mistake when there's more than one adjective in a thentenceI mean fair hair and beautifully blue eyes, and she had a way of looking at one that—that weally almost took one's bweath away. I've often heard about a fellah's falling in love. I never did tho mythelf, you know,-at least not that I weckomember;-I mean weckollect,-before that morning. But weally she did look 80 jolly bweaking her egg at bweakfast,
--so bewitching when she smashed the shell all wound with her thpoon before she began to eat it,-1, I weally began to feel almost thpooney mythelf. Ha, ha! there I am at it again; I weally must bweak mythelf of this habit of jok.
ing: it's vewy low, you know, like a beathly clown in a b-beathly pantomime,-I oughtn't to have said beathly twice, I know. A fellah once told me, that if-if a man says the same adjective twice in one thentence he's taught ological. But he's wrong you know,—for I often do, and I'm sure ) never was taught anything of the kind.
However, Lotty was a stunning girl, and we walked all about the lawn,-down into the shwubbery to look into some bush after a wobbin wedbweast that she said had built a nest there,-and, sure enough, when we got to it, there was this weddin-wob-1 mean wobbin-wed-beast looking out of a gweat lump of moss. I thought Lotty would be pleased if I caught it, and so I thwust my hand in as quick as I could, but you know those little wedding-wobbin-wed-beasts are so doosid sharp,--and I'm dashed if it didn't fly out on the other side.
“You stupid man," Lotty thaid. “Why-you-you've fwightened the poor little thing away."
I was wather wild at first at being called stupid,—that's a sort of thing-no fellah likes, but-dash it! I'd have stood anything from Lotty,-1-I'd have carried her pwayer-book to church,-I'd have parted my hair on one side,-or-10yes, I think I'd have thaved off my whiskers for her thake.
"Poor, dear little wobbin,” she said, "it will never come back any more ; I'm afraid you've made it desert.” What did she mean by that? I thought she meant the eggs, tho, taking one up, I said, “You-you don't mean to thay they eat these specky things after dinner ?” I said.
“Of course not," she weplied,-and I think I had hit tho wite nail on the head, for she began to laugh twemendously, and told me to put the egg quietly in its place, and then pwaps the little wobbin would come back. Which I hope the little beggar did.
At the top of the long walk at Wockingham there is a summer-house,-a jolly sort of place, with a lot of ferns and things about, and behind there are a lot of shrubs and bushes and pwickly plants, which give a sort of rural or wurwal-which is it? blest if I know-look to the place, and as it was vewy warm, I thought if I'nı ever to make an ath of mythelf by pwoposing to this girl,- I won't do it out in the eye of