Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/129

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And now in all their leisure hours,
One resource never fails,
Morning and noon and night they sit
And polish up their nails.
Then if in one short fatal month,
A change like this appears,
Oh, what will be the next result
When they have stayed for years?

Tremendous applause greeted this masterly effort, and other poems were produced with the rapidity of genius by Amanda and Lavinia, each writing the alternate verse, à la Beaumont and Fletcher, which gave a peculiar charm to these effusions.

When Matilda was called upon for a festive suggestion, she promptly replied, with a graceful yawn:—

"Let's go to bed."

The meeting, therefore, broke up, and the younger ladies retired to their cells in good order. But the Raven, excited by the jocund hour, continued to rustle and patter about the' warm room in a state of inexpressible hilarity, most exasperating to the others, who desired to sleep. Not content with upsetting the fire-irons occasionally, singing to the cat, and slamming the furniture about, this restless bird kept appearing first at one cell door with a conundrum, then at the other with a joke, or insisted on telling