James McIntyre

(25 May 1828 – 31 March 1906 / Forres, Scotland)

Book Agent Story


As we have given several humorous Scottish stories in verse we will venture to
trespass on your good nature by giving an American specimen. The scene is laid
in the suburbs of New York. It was a prose tale, and we fancy we have not
diminished the height, breadth or depth of the humour by grinding it in our
poetical mill and having it flow out in rhyme.

There is a man, his name is Brown,
He lives in a suburban town
And has an office in the city,
His misfortunes you will pity.
His mind it was on stocks and change,
He cared not for things new or strange ;
But agent managed him to hook
And sold to him a costly book.
Brown cared not for those glorious names-
Died for religion in the flames;
Now he felt agent was a Tartar
For selling him a book of martyr.

The agent knew it would make strife,
But sold another to his wife;
She did not know that Brown had bought,
And agent on her easy wrought .
Approaching her with winning smile
He poor woman did beguile.
He made her believe without a doubt
No Christian could do without
This book, which would all inspire
With spark of celestial fire,
With feelings like the first martyr
Who had died for Christian charter.

When Brown did home return at night
His wife, to add to his delight,
Resolved that she would, after tea,
Get chatting with her husband free
And tell him of fine book she bought ;
Of trouble fresh she never thought,
But she noticed a gloomy frown
On the brow of her husband Brown,
But thought when I my purchase tell
Those dark clouds they will dispel ;
She said, my dear, I bought martyr,
He looked as if he her could quarter.

And said the scoundrel sold me book ;
Out of the window then he did look
And saw the agent haste to train ;
He tried to stop him, but in vain ;
Smith then was passing in spring waggon,
And he had his trotting nag on ;
He told him to stop book agent ;
His escape for to prevent,
Smith told him Brown wanted him ;
But agent-nothing daunted him ;
Said he : He only wants to barter
With me for my book of Martyr.

If thats all, said Smith, with quick dash,
Give me his book, and here's your cash ;
Book agent jumped aboard the car,
For he knew there would be war;
Smith met Brown with triumphant look-
Said he : I have got you the book ;
Brown's feelings now no one could paint,
He there did show he was no saint ;
But to big own home he now returned,
And fierce rage in his bosom burned ;
He was not fit for Knight of Garter
When he brought in the third martyr.

Submitted: Friday, May 04, 2012

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