Urban Sketches

Urban Sketches

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Urban Sketches by Bret Harte

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57

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Urban Sketches

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A Venerable Impostor -- From a Balcony -- Melons -- Surprising Adventures of Master Charles Summerton -- Sidewalkings -- A Boy's Dog -- Charitable Reminiscences -- "Seeing the Steamer Off" -- Neighborhoods I Have Moved From -- My Suburban Residence -- On a Vulgar Little Boy -- Waiting for the Ship

Book Excerpt

of cansos and love chants! Confusion overtake and confound your modern descendants, the "metre ballad-mongers," who carry the shamelessness of the Middle Ages into the nineteenth century, and awake a sleeping neighborhood to the brazen knowledge of their loves and wanton fancies! Destruction and demoralization pursue these pitiable imitators of a barbarous age, when ladies' names and charms were shouted through the land, and modest maiden never lent presence to tilt or tourney without hearing a chronicle of her virtues go round the lists, shouted by wheezy heralds and taken up by roaring swashbucklers! Perdition overpower such ostentatious wooers! Marry! shall I shoot the amorous feline who nightly iterates his love songs on my roof, and yet withhold my trigger finger from yonder pranksome gallant? Go to! Here is an orange left of last week's repast. Decay hath overtaken it,--it possesseth neither savor nor cleanliness. Ha! cleverly thrown! A hit--a palpable hit! Peradventure I have still a boot that hath do

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