402 THE SHIRT COLLAR
' I presume you are a girdle ? ' said the Shirt Collar— ' a sort of under girdle ? I see that you are useful as well as ornamental, my little lady.'
1 You are not to speak to me,' said the Garter. * I have not, I think, given you any occasion to do so.'
' Oh ! when one is as beautiful as you are/ cried the Shirt Collar, ' that is occasion enough/
* Go !' said the Garter ; ' don't come so near me : you look to me quite like a man/
' I am a fine gentleman, too/ said the Shirt Collar. ' I possess a bootjack and a hair-comb.'
And that was not true at all, for it was his master who owned these things, but he was boasting.
4 Don't come too near me/ said the Garter ; ' I'm not used to that.'
* Affectation !' cried the Shirt Collar.
And then they were taken out of the wash, and starched, and hung over a chair in the sunshine, and then laid on the ironing-board ; and now came the hot Iron.
'Mrs. Widow!' said the Shirt Collar, 'little Mrs. Widow, I'm getting quite warm ; I'm being quite changed ; I'm losing all my creases ; you're burning a hole in me ! Ugh ! I propose to you.'
' You old rag ! ' said the Iron, and rode proudly over the Shirt Collar, for it imagined that it was a steam boiler, and that it ought to be out on the railway, dragging carriages. ' You old rag !' said the Iron.
The Shirt Collar was a little frayed at the edges, therefore the Paper Scissors came to smooth away the frayed places.
' Ho, ho ! ' said the Shirt Collar; ' I presume you are a first-rate dancer. How you can point your toes ! no one in the world can do that like you.'
' I know that,' said the Scissors.
' You deserve to be a countess/ said the Shirt Collar. c All that I possess consists of a fine gentleman, a bootjack, and a comb. If I had only an estate ! '
' What! do you want to marry % ' cried the Scissors ; and they were angry, and gave such a deep cut that the Collar had to be cashiered.
' I shall have to propose to the Hair-comb,' thought the Shirt Collar. * It is wonderful how well you keep all your