Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

flinty roads of Savoy without shoes: how she had borne it, and how she had got supported, she could not tell--but God tempers the wind, said Maria, to the shorn lamb.

Shorn indeed, and to the quick, said I: and wast thou in my own land, where I have a cottage, I would take thee to it and shelter thee; thou shouldst eat of my own bread, and drink of my own cup--I would be kind to thy Sylvio--in all thy weaknesses and wanderings I would seek after thee, and bring thee back-when the sun went down I would say my prayers, and when I had done, thou shouldst play thy evening song upon thy pipe; nor would the incense of my sacrifice be worse accepted for entering heaven along with that of a broken heart.

Nature melted within me as I uttered this; and Maria observing as I took out my handkerchief, that it was steeped too much already to be of use, would needs go wash it in the stream --and where will you dry it, Maria? said I--I will dry it in my bosom, said she--it will do me good.

And is your heart still so warm, Maria? said I. I touched upon the string on which hung all her sorrows--she looked with wistful disorder for some time in my face; and then, without saying any thing, took her pipe, and played her service to the Virgin. The string I had touched, ceased to vibrate--in a monient or two Maria returned to herself--let her pipe fall, and rose up.

And where are you going, Maria? said I-She said, to Moulins. Let us go, said I, together. Maria put her arm within mine, and lengthening the string, to let the dog follow, in that order we entered Moulins.

Though I hate salutations and greetings in the market-place, yet when we got into the middle. of this, I stopped to take my last look and last farewell of Maria.

Maria, though not tall, was nevertheless of the first order of fine forms--affliction had touched her looks with something that was scarce earthly--still she was feminine: and so much was there about her of all that the heart wishes, or the looks for in a woman, eye that could the traces be ever worn out of her brain, and those of Eliza's out of mine, she should not only eat of my bread and drink of my own cup, but Maria should lie in my bosom, and be unto me as a daughter.

Adieu, poor luckless maiden! imbibe the oil and wine which the compassion of a stranger, as he journeyeth on his way, now pours into thy wounds--the Being who has twice bruised thee can only bind them up for ever. STERNE.

OFF

CHA P. XI I.

The Cameleon.

FT it has been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
With eyes, that hardly serv'd at most
To guard their master 'gainst a post:
Yet round the world the blade has been
To see whatever could be seen.
Returning from his finish'd tour,
Grown ten times perter than before;
Whatever word you chance to drop
The travell'd fool your mouth will stop;
<< Sir, if my judgment you'll allow-
» I've seen and sure I ought to know >>-
So begs you'd pay a due submission,
And acquiesce in his decision.

Two travellers of such a cast ' As o'er Arabia's wilds they past, And on their way in friendly chat Now talk'd of this, and then of that, Discours'd awhile 'mongst other matter, Of the Cameleon's form and nature. » A stranger animal, » cries one, << Sure never liv'd beneath the sun: » A lizard's body, lean and long, "A fish's head, a serpent's tongue, "Its tooth with triple claw disjoin'd; And what a length of tail behind! » How slow its pace! and then its hue! Who ever saw so fine a blue? »

כל

«Hold there, n the other quick replies, » 'Tis green-I saw it with these eyes, » As late with open mouth it lay,

[ocr errors]

» And warm'd it in the sunny ray; » Stretch'd at its ease the beast I view'd, » And saw it eat the air for food. » <<< I've seen it, Sir, as well as you, » And must again affirm it blue; At leisure I the beast survey'd Extended in the cooling shade. » «< 'Tis green, 'tis green; Sir, I assure ye » » Green, » cries the other in a furyWhy, Sir-d'ye think I've lost my eyes ? « "Twere no great loss, the friend replies; » For, if they always serve you thus,

૪ ૬

כ

כל

» You'll find 'em but of little use. >>
So high at last the contest rose "
From words they almost came to blows:
When luckily came by a third d;
To him the question they referr'd ;
And begg'd he'd tell 'em, if he knew,
Whether the thing was green or blue.

[ocr errors]

כג

Sirs, cries the umpire, «< cease your pother, >> The creature's neither one nor t'other.

>> I caught the animal last night,
» And view'd it o'er by candle-light:
» I mark'd it well-'twas black as jet-

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

» You stare-but Sirs, I've got it yet,
» And can produce it. » Pray, Sir, do:
» I'll lay my life the thing is blue. »
« And I'll be sworn that when you've seen
» The reptile, you'll pronounce him green ».

» Well then, at once to ease the doubt,»
Replies the man, « I'll turn him out:
» And when before your eyes I've set him,
» If
you don't find him black, I'll eat him. »
He said; then full before their sight
Produc'd the beast, and lo!-'twas white.
Both star'd, the man look'd wond'rous wise-
« My children,» the Cameleon cries,
(Then first the creature found a tongue)
» You all are right, and all are wrong
» When next talk of what you view,
» Think others see as well as you:
» No wonder, if find that none
>> Prefers your eye-sight to his own. »

you

you

CHA P. XIII.

:

MERRICK.

The Youth and the Philosopher.

A Grecian Youth, of talents rare,

Whom Plato's philosophic care
Had form'd for Virtue's nobler view,
By precepts and example too,

Would often boast his matchles skill,
To curb the steed, and guide the wheel;
And as he pass'd the gazing throng,
With graceful ease, and smack'd the thong,
The idiot wonder they express'd

Was praise and transport to his breast.
At length, quite vain, he needs would shew
His master what his art could do;
And bade his slaves the chariot lead

To Academus' sacred shade.

The trembling grove confess'd its fright,

The wood-nymphs started at the sight;

The Muses drop the learned lyre,
And to their inmost shades retire.

Howe'er the Youth with forward air,
Bows to the sage, and mounts the car:
The lash resounds, the coursers spring,
The chariot marks the rolling ring;
And gath'ring crouds with eager eyes-
And shouts pursue him as he flies.
Triumphant to the goal return'd,
With nobler thirst his bosom burn'd;
And now along th' indented plain,
The self-same track he marks again;
Pursues with care the nice design,
Nor ever deviates from the line.

Amazement seiz'd the circling crowd;
The Youths with emulation glow'd;
Ev'n bearded sages hail'd the boy,
And all, but Plato, gaz'd with joy;
For he, deep-judging sage, beheld
With pain the triumphs of the field;
And when the charioteer drew nigh,
And, flush'd with hope, had caught his eye:
Alas! unhappy youth, he cry'd,

Expect no praise from me, (and sigh'd)
With indignation I survey

Such skill and judgment thrown away.
The time profusely squander'd there,
On vulgar arts beneath thy care,
If well employ'd, at less expence,
Had taught thee honour, virtue, sense
And rais'd thee from a coachman's fate,
Το govern men and guide the state.

WHITEHEAD.

CHA P. XIV.

Sir Balaam.

HERE London's column, pointing at the skies, Like a tall bully, lifts the head, and lies: There dwelt a Citizen of sober fame "

« AnteriorContinua »