Page:The Comic English Grammar.djvu/75

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ETYMOLOGY.


temples on fire, that a Queen of Hearts should ever be seated on a burning throne!—but to return to the lover: he was to say something. Well, then, let A. B. be the lover. He expresses himself thus:

"Mary, my earthly hopes are centred in you. You need not doubt me; my heart is true as the dial to the sun. Words cannot express how much I love you. Nor is my affection an ordinary feeling: it is a more exalted and a more enduring sentiment than that which bears it name. I have done. I am not eloquent: I can say no more, than that I deeply and sincerely love you."

This, perhaps, will be regarded by connoisseurs as tolerably pathetic, and for the kind of thing not very ridiculous. Now, let A. S. S. be the lover: and let us have his version of the same story:—

"Mary, my capital in life is invested in you. You need not stick at giving me credit; my heart is as safe as the bank. The sum total of my love for you defies calculation. Nor is my attachment anything in the common way. It is a superior and more durable article than that in general wear. My stock of words is exhausted. I am no wholesale dealer in that line. All I can say is, that I have a vast fund of unadulterated affection for you."

In this effusion the Stock Exchange, the multiplication table, and the dry goods and grocer's shops have been drawn upon for a clothing to the suitor's ideas; and by an unhappy choice of words, the most delightful and amiable feelings of our nature, without which life would be a desert and man a bear, are invested with a ridiculous disguise.

We would willingly enlarge upon the topic which we