Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

10.5: The Ruined Maid

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Thomas Hardy

    “O ‘Melia[1], my dear, this does everything crown!
    Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
    And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?” —
    “O didn’t you know I’d been ruined?” said she.

    — “You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
    Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks[2];
    And now you’ve gay bracelets and bright feathers three!” —
    “Yes: that’s how we dress when we’re ruined,” said she.

    — “At home in the barton[3] you said thee’ and thou,’
    And thik oon,’ and theäs oon,’ and t’other’; but now
    Your talking quite fits ‘ee for high compa-ny!” —
    “Some polish is gained with one’s ruin,” said she.

    — “Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
    But now I’m bewitched by your delicate cheek,
    And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!” —
    “We never do work when we’re ruined,” said she.

    — “You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
    And you’d sigh, and you’d sock[4]; but at present you seem
    To know not of megrims[5] or melancho-ly!” —
    “True. One’s pretty lively when ruined,” said she.

    — “I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
    And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!” —
    “My dear — a raw country girl, such as you be,
    Cannot quite expect that. You ain’t ruined,” said she.

    — 1901


    • Template:ContribSexton

    1. Short and familiar form of Amelia. ↵
    2. Weeds. ↵
    3. Farmyard. ↵
    4. Sigh. ↵
    5. Low spirits. ↵

    10.5: The Ruined Maid is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

    • Was this article helpful?