Gateway to the Classics: A Moral Alphabet by Hilaire Belloc
A Moral Alphabet by  Hilaire Belloc

L For Lady

L was a lady,

Advancing in Age,

Who drove in her carriage and six,

With a Couple of Footmen a Coachman and Page,

Who were all of them regular bricks.


If the Coach ran away, or was smashed by a Dray,

Or got into collisions and blocks,

The Page, with a courtesy rare for his years,

Would leap to the ground with inspiriting cheers,

While the Footman allayed her legitimate fears,

And the Coachman sat tight on his box.

At night as they met round an excellent meal,

They would take it in turn to observe:

"What a Lady indeed! . . . what a presence to feel! . . ."

"What a Woman to worship and serve! . . ."


But, perhaps, the most poignant of all their delights

Was to stand in a rapturous Dream

When she spoke to them kindly on Saturday Nights,

And said "They deserved her Esteem."


Now observe the Reward of these dutiful lives:

At the end of their Loyal Career

They each had a Lodge at the end of the drives,

And she left them a Hundred a Year.

Remember from this to be properly vexed

When the newspaper editors say,

That "The type of society shown in the Text

"Is rapidly passing away."

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