I

"NOT that you'll like him," Nell said,
"No mystery - no romance,
A fine, stern, eagle-like head,
But he simply reeks of finance, -
Started from nothing - self-made -
And rather likes you to know it,
And now collects porcelain and jade,
Or some Seventeenth Century poet.

"Married in simpler days,
A poor little wren of a being,
Who exists to pray and praise,
And spends her life agreeing,
Thin and dowdy and pale,
And getting paler and thinner ­
Well, the point of this dreary tale
Is I've asked them both to dinner.

"I'd leave her out like a shot,
For I'm not so keen about her,
But, my dear, believe it or not,
He won't dine out without her.
She has that terrible hold
That aging wives exert to
Replace young charms grown old ­
Poor health and impeccable virtue.

"Lightly I asked them to dine,
And now I perceive the dangers,
My friends - yours and mine ­
Are so terribly rude to strangers.
But you, dear girl, I can trust
To come and be brilliant and tender;
Vamp the man, if you must,
But give an impression of splendor."

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