Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

a

He was going a beggar and a wanderer to a strange land to earn his bread by daily labor.

“Is there any American gentleman staying at your house ?" he asked the laudlord of his hotel_“I am about to cross the water, and would like a letter to some person of influence in the New World."

The landlord hesitated for a moment, and then replied: “There is a gentleman up stairs, either from America oi Britain, but whether American or Englishman I cannot tell.”

He pointed the way, and Talleyrand—who in his life was Bishop, Prince, Prime Minister-ascended the stairs; a venerable supplicant, he stood before the stranger's door, knocked and entered.

In the far corner of a dimly lighted room sat a gentleman of some fifty years, his arms folded and his head bowed on his breast. From a window directly opposite, a flood of light poured over his forehead. His eyes, looking from beneath the downcast brows, gazed in Talleyrand's face with a peculiar and searching expression. His face was striking in its outline; the mouth and chin indicative of an iron will. His form, vigorous even with the snows of fifty winters, was clad in a dark but rich and distinguished costume. Talleyrand advanced-stated that he was a fugitive-and, under the impression that the gentleman before him was an American, he solicited his kind offices. He poured forth his story in eloquent French and broken English.

“I am a wanderer--an exile. I am forced to fly to the New World, without a friend or a hope. You are an American? Give me, then, I beseech you, a letter of introduction to some friend of yours, so that I may be enabled to earn my brcad. I am willing to toil in any manner-the scenes of Paris have filled me with such horror that a life of labor would be Paradise to a career of luxury in France-you will give me a letter to one of your friends? A gentleman, like you, has doubtless many friends."

The strange gentleman rose. With a look that Talleyrand never forgot, he retreated toward the door of the next chamber, still downcast, his eyes still looking from beneath his darkened brows. He spoke as he retreated back: ward: his voice was full of meaning.

a

[ocr errors]

I am the only man born in the Vew World that can raise hio hand to God, and say, I HAVE NOT ONE FRIEND-NOT ONE-IN ALL AMERICA."

Talleyrand never forgot the overwhelming sadness of the look which accompanied these words.

“Who are you ?” he cried, as the strange man retreated toward the next room_“Your name ?”

“My name --” with a smile that had more of mockery than joy in its convulsive expression—“My name is Benedict Arnold.

He was gone. Talleyrand sank into a chair, gasping the words"

ARNOLD, THE TRAITOR." Thus, you see, he wandered over the earth, another Cain, with the murderer's mark upon his brow. Even in the secluded room of that inn at Havre his crime found him out and forced him to tell his name--that synonym of infamy.

The last twenty years of his life are covered with a cloud from whose darkness but a few gleams of light flash out upon the

page of history. The manner of his death is not distinctly known. But we cannot doubt that he died utterly friendless, that his cold brow was unmoistened by one farewell tear, that remorse pursued him to the grave, whispering “John Andrè !" in his ears, and that the memory of his course of glory gnawed like a canker at his heart, murmuring forever, " True to your country, what might you have been, 0 ARNOLD, THE TRAITOR !”

A ZOOLOGICAL ROMANCE.-CHAS. F. ADAMS.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

say?

Deer girl! I loved her as my life, And vowed to heifer for my wife. Alas! a sailor, on the sly, Had cast on her bis wether eyeHe said my love for her was bosh, And my affection I musquash, He'd dog her footsteps everywhere, Anteater in the easy chair; He'd setter round, this sailor chap, And pointer out upon the map Where once a pirate cruiser boar Him captive to a foreign shore. The cruel captain far outdid The yaks and crimes of Robert Kid. He oft would whale Jack with the cat, And say, “ My buck, doe you like that? “ What makes you stay around so, The catamounts to something, hey ?" Then he would seal it with an oath, And say, “ You are a lazy sloth! "I'll starve you down, my sailor fine, Until for beef and porcupine!" And, fairly horse with fiendish laughter, Would say, “Henceforth, mind what giraffe ter 1" In short, the many risks he ran Might well a llama braver man. Then he was wrecked and castor shore While feebly clinging to anoa ; Hyena cleft among the rocks He crept, sans shoes and minus ox. And when he fain would goat to bed, He had to lion leaves instead. Then Sue would say, with troubled face, "How koodoo live in such a place ?” And straightway into tears would melt, And say, “ Ilow badger must have felt!" While he, the brute, woodchuck her chin, And say, “Aye-aye, my lass !" and grin.

*

*

*

Excuse these steers * * * It's over now:
There's naught like grief the hart can ccw.
Jackass'd her to be his, and she
She gave Jackal, and jilted me.
And now, alas! the little minks
Is bound to him with Hymen’s lynx.

a

HOW THE OLD HORSE WON THE BET.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
'Twas on the famous trotting-ground,
The betting men were gathered round
From far and near; the “cracks" were there
Whose deeds the sporting prints declare:
The swift g. m., Old Hiram's nag,
The fleet s. h., Dan Pfeiffer's brag,
With these a third--and who is he
That stands beside his fast b. g. ?
Budd Doble, whose catarrhal name
So fills the nasal trump of fame.
There, too, stood many a noted steed
Of Messenger and Morgan breed ;
Green horses also, not a few-
Unknown as yet what they could do;
And all the hacks that know so well
The scourgings of the Sunday swell.
Blue are the skies of opening day;
The bordering turf is green with May;
The sunshine's golden gleam is thrown
On sorrel, chestnut, bay, and roan;.
The horses paw and prance and neigh;
Fillies and colts like kittens play,
And dance and toss their rippled manes
Shining and soft as silken skeins;
Wagons and gigs are ranged about,
And fashion Haunts her gay turnout:
Here stands—each youthful Jehu's dream-
The jointed tandem, ticklish team!
And there in ampler breadth expand
The splendors of the four-in-hand;
On faultless ties and glossy tiles
The lovely bonnets beam their smiles
(The style's the man, so books avow;
The style's the woman anyhow);
From flounces frothed with creamy lac
Peeps out the pug-dog's smutty face,

Or spaniel rolls his liquid eye,
Or stares the wiry pet of Skye-
O woman, in your hours of ease
So shy with us, so free with these !
“Come on! I'll bet you two to one
I'll make him do it!” “Will you? Doner
What was it who was bound to do?
I did not hear, and can't tell you
Pray listen till my story's through.
Scarce noticed, back behind the rest,
By cart and wagon rudely prest,
The parson's lean and bony bay,
Stood harnessed in his one-horse shay-
Lent to his sexton for the day.
(A funeral-so the sexton said ;
His mother's uncle's wife was dead.)
Like Lazarus bid to Dives' feast,
So looked the poor forlorn old beast;
His coat was rough, his tail was bare,
The gray was sprinkled in his hair;
Sportsmen and jockeys knew him not,
And yet they say he once could trot
Among the Heetest of the town,
Till something cracked and broke him down
The steed's, the statesman's common lot!
"And are we then so soon forgot ?”
Ah me! I doubt if one of you
Has ever heard the name "Old Blue,"
Whose fame through all this region rung
In those old days when I was young!
“Bring forth the horse !” Alas! he showed
Not like the one Mazeppa rode;
Scant-maned, sharp-backed, and shaky-kneed,
The wreck of what was once a steed-
Lips thin, eyes hollow, stiff in joints;
Yet not without his knowing points.
The sexton, laughing in his sleeve,
As if 'twere all a make-believe,
Led forth the horse, and as he laughed
Unhitched the breeching from a shaft,
Unclasped the rusty belt beneath,
Drew forth the snafile from his teeth,
Slipped off his head-stall, set him fres
From strap and rein-a sight to see !
So worn, so lean in every limb,
It can't be they are saddling him!

HHHH".

« AnteriorContinua »