Persuasions #9, 1987                                                                                                                                            Pages 47-48


Pen Sketches in Verse, from the Letters



Littlehampton, Sussex, England



“Lady Fagg and the Miss Faggs” (Letter 87, p. 347-48)


Five in all, the sisters Fagg

Must cause poor Lady Fagg some pain,

For how could any mother brag

Of daughters so distinctly plain!

Miss Sally Fagg, I have to own,

‘Neath muslin, bombazine or crape,

Unlike her sisters – all alone,

Is really quite a pretty shape!

But when good looks were handed out

With faces suitable for kissing,

Miss Fagg I fear was not about,

In fact the Faggs en masse were missing!



“Lord Bolton” (Letter 13, p. 36-37)


Lord Bolton, most astute of Whigs,

Decided to invest in pigs,

And not a man to be half-hearted,

Once a porker plan had started,

Purchased pigs, then promptly had ‘em

Housed in styes designed by Adam!

With the project, all have granted

Peer and pigs appear enchanted!



“Mr. Heathcote” (Letter 25, p. 85)


A genteel little accident occurred the other day;

Whilst hunting, Mr. Heathcote got in his horse’s way!

Some hedge or house across their path had forced him to dismount,

When for his steed the need for speed was chiefly paramount!

As Heathcote’s course to Heathcote’s horse was only bound to rancle,

The spiteful hack soon paid him back by stamping on his ancle!

Now Mr. Heathcote sits alone,

With bitter thoughts and broken bone!



“Earle Harwood” (Letter 25, p. 83)


To turn to another new topic

Which I fear may bring tears to your eye:

Earle Harwood has greatly upset his mama

By shooting himself in the thigh!

(Even for Earle,– not renowned for his tact,

This seems such a careless, unwarranted act!)

It appears he was cocking a pistol

In some Guardroom, whilst serving abroad.

If THIS is an instance of Earle with a gun,

How DOES he behave with a sword!

The doctors were all for removing his limb,

A decision not greatly approved of by him!

So they shipped him back home in a hurry,

Where the bullet has now been removed;

And much to his parent’s relief, we can say

His condition has vastly improved.

But poor Mrs. Harwood’s first shock had been cruel,

For she thought naughty Earle had been shot in a duel!



“Miss Harding and her Mama” (Letter 72, p. 282)


We dined at the Digweeds, the Terrys were there,

Plus Hardings, – just mother and daughter.

The last is nineteen, or nineteen and a half,

Or maybe nineteen and a quarter!

With flowers in her hair, she displayed for us all

Much musical art through her fingers;

An elegant, pleasing, and pretty young girl,

Whose memory most pleasantly lingers.

Her mother, though civil, would hardly evoke,

(With skin far from white as a lily,)

Much thought of her sister, fair Anne Marie Toke,

Although she’s not nearly so silly!

One other slight feature concerning her face –

A shortage of teeth does not add to its grace!

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