Obrazy na stronie

together at the same reflection, but the Farmer was the first to give it utterance.

“ Thee'd be missed, Dame, if thee were to die!” The Dame started. Although she had nothing but death at that moment before her eyes, she was far from dreaming of her own exit, and at this rebound of her thoughts against herself, she felt as if an extra cold coffin plate had been suddenly nailed on her chest: recovering, however, from the first shock, her thoughts flowed into their old channel, and she retorted in the same spirit—"I wish, master, thee may live so long as I !"

The Farmer, in his own mind, wished to live rather longer; for at the utmost, he considered that his wife's bill of mortality had but two months to run. The calculation made him sorrowful ; during the last few months she had consulted his appetite, bent to his humour, and dove-tailed her own inclinations unto his, in a manner that could never be supplied; and he thought of her, if not the language, at least in the spirit of the Lady in Lalla Rookh :

“ I never taught a bright Gazelle

To watch me with its dark black eye,
But when it came to know me well,

And love me, it was sure to die?” His wife, from being at first useful to him, had become agreeable, and at last dear; and as he contemplated her approaching fate, he could not help thinking out audibly " that he should be a lonesome man when she was gone !” The Dame, this time, heard the survivorship foreboded without starting; but she marvelled much at what she thought the infatuation of a doomed man. So perfect was her faith in the infallibility of St. Mark, that she had even seen the

symptoms of inortal disease, as palpable as plague spots, on the devoted Yeoman. Giving his body up, therefore, for lost, a strong sense of duty persuaded her, that it was imperative on her, as a Christian, to warn the unsuspecting Farmer of his dissolution. Accordingly, with a solemnity adapted to the subject, a tenderness of recent growth, and a memento inori sace, she broached the matter in the following question—“Master, how bee'st ?”

As hearty, Dame, as a buck.” The Dame shook her head “ and I wish thee life," at which he shook his head himself. A dead silence ensued. There is a great fancy for breaking the truth by dropping it gently, an experiment which has never answered any more than with ironstone china. The Dame felt this, and thinking it better to throw the news at her husband at once, she told him in as many words that he was a dead man.

It was now the Yeoman's turn to be staggered. By a parallel course of reasoning, he had just wrought himself up to a similar disclosure, and the Dame's death warrant was just ready upon his tongue, when he met with his own despatch, signed, sealed and delivered. Conscience instantly pointed out the oracle from which she had derived the omen, and he turned as pale as “ the pale of society”-the courlis complexion of late hours. St. Martin had numbered his years; and the remaining days seemed discounted by St. Thomas. Like a criminal cast to die, be doubled if the die was cast, and appealed to his wife : “ Thee hast watch'd, Dame, at the Church porch, then !"

Aye Master.” “ And thee didst see me spirituously !"

“In the brown wrap, with the boot hose. Thee were coming to the Church, by Fairthorn Gap; in the while I were coming by the Holly Hedge.”

För a minute the Farmer paused—but the next, he burst into a fil of uncontrollable laughter ;--peal after peal—and each higher than the last-according to the hysterical gamut of the hyena. The poor woman had but one explanation for this phenomenon--she thought it a delirium-a lightening before death, and was beginning to wring her hands, and lament, when she was checked by the merry Yeoman.

“Dame, thee bee'st a fool, it was I myself that seed thee at the Church porch. I seed thee too—with a notice to quit, upon thy face--but thanks to God, thee bee'st a-living, and that is more than I cared to say of thee this day ten month!

The Dame made no answer. Her heart was too full to speak, bnt throwing her arms round her husbaud, she shewed that she shared in the sentiment. And from that hour, by practising a careful abstinence from offence, or a temperate suffering of its appearance, they became the most united couple in the country; but it must be said, that their comfort was not complete till they had seen each other, in safety, over the perilous anniversary of St. Mark's Eve.-BEAR AND FORBEAR.

EVERYTHING has its ludicrous point of view, and funny incidents occur even on such grave occasions as funerals. A certain Cockney Bluebeard, overcome by his sensibilities, fainted at the grave of his fourth spouse. “What shall we do with him ?" asked a perplexed friend of his. “ Let him alone,” cried a bystander, “he'll soon re-wife.

To be really and truly independent is to support ourselves by our own exertions.

A Coquette is said to be a persect incarnation of Cupid, as she keeps her beau in a quiver.

Down East they put a fellow in gaol for swindling. The audacious scamp

dried snow, and sold it for salt. A GENUINE Down Easter has invented a new kind of dwellings. They are made of Indian rubber, and are so portable that you can carry a row of three-story houses in your hat.

He who remains in the mill grinds, not he who comes and goes. Be abstemious—“Who dainties love, shall beggars prove.”

FOUR CHOICE THINGS TO LIVE FOR. ALPHONSE, King of Arrogan, once said—“There were only four things worth living for. Old wine to drink, old wood to burn, old books to read, and old friends to converse with.

CURING LAZINESS. The Dutch have a singular contrivance to cure laziness. If a pauper, who is able, refuses to work, they put him into a cistern, and let in a sluice of water. It comes in just so fast, that, by briskly plying a pump, with which the cistern is furnished, he keeps himself from drowning.

CURIOUS MUTATION. We have always been aware that on our canals Paddies generally raise riots; but, what was our astonishment to learn, from a recent agricultural work, that in certain districts in India, labourers, termed ryots, raise a sort of rice known as paddy!

Say, what is Life ? A wasting thing,

That bringeth bitter sighs,
Fades as the fragrant rose of spring,
Or like a bird on wounded wing,

Flutters and then it dies.
Say, what is Life ? A fleeting shade-

A sun-beam in decay,
In evanescent pride array'd
Like as the trees near yonder glade,

Stript of their vestments gay.
Say, what is Life ? A thorny way

That points to misery-
That glows at morn, with brightest ray,
But drooping, at the close of day,

Submits to fate's decree.

SOON ANSWERED. “John," said the school master, “ you will soon be a man, and will have to do business—what do you suppose you will do when you have to write letters, unless you learn to spell better ?”—“Oh! sir," replied John, “ I shall put easy words into them."

THE AUGEAS STABLE. It was represented that one of the twelve labours of Hercules, was the cleansing of the Augeas Stable, which had been soiled by the dung of 3,000 oxen, for thirty years, which was cleansed by turning a river through it.

And that the House of Commons might be cleansed by turning the tide of popular opinion through it.

THE REAL GENTLEMAN. Not he who displays the latest fashion, dresses in extravagance, with gold rings and chains to display. Not he who talks the loudest, and makes constant use of profane language and vulgar words. Not he who is proud and overbearing, who oppresses the poor, and looks with contempt on honest industry. Nor he who cannot control his passions, and humble himself as a child. No; none of these are real gentlemen. It is he who is kind and obliging—who is ready to do you a favour with no hope of reward --who assists those who are in need, who is more careful of his heart than the dress of his person—who is humble and sociable, not irascible or revengeful-who always speaks the truth without resorting to profane or indecent words. Such a man is a gentleman, wherever he may be found. Rich or poor, high or low, he is entitled to the appellation.

'Mid the heath's purple bells, on the low mountain side,

The brown bee is loudly humming;
In the deep wooded vale, where the clear waters guide,
The cuckoo tells summer is coming.

The wild flowers bloom

Flings around rich perfume,
Grove and glen are with melody ringing :

While the torrent is seen

Dashing down the ravine,
And the lark is at Heaven's gate singing.
The hawthorn appears in her blossoms of snow,

The primrose blooms in the deep dell,
The violet in green moss is nestling below
And ’mid the brown fern the hare-bell;

Yellow broom and fox glove

Enliven the grove,
Where the ivy aud woodbine are creeping;

A dazzling sunbeam

Sparkles bright on the stream,
While the rose is in dewy tears weeping.
The notes of the song-birds thrill loudly in glee

Till the woodlands with joy ring around us;
Sweet bloom is on meadow, and hedge-way and tree,
Rejoicing that summer bath found us-

Wild flowers rare,

Bees nestling there,
'Mid fresh sweets of the newly cut hay;

Sunbeam chasing shadow

O'er mountain and meadow:
All nature seeme joyful in May.


The following advice was left by a miser to his nephew :—Buy your coals in summer; your furniture at auctions about a fortnight after quarter-day; and your books at the fall of the leaf.

TIMES PAPER, 1852. The following appeared in the advertising columns of the Times:“It is enough, one man alone upon earth have I found noble, away from me for ever, cold heart and mean spirit, you have lost what millions-empires-- could not have bought, but which a single word trustfully and nobly spoken, might have made your own to all eternity. You are forgiven; depart in peace; I rest in my


ASKING TOO MUCH. A YOUNG couple were sitting together in a romantic spot, with birds and flowers about them, when the following dialogue ensued :-"My dear, if the sacrifice of my life would please thee, most gladly would I lay it at thy feet.” “Oh! sir, you are too kind ! But it just reminds me that I wish you'd stop using tobacco.” “Can't think of it. It's a habit to which I am wedded.” “Very well, sir, since this is the way, you lay down your life for me, and as you are already wedded to tobacco, I'll take good care you are never wedded to me, as it would be bigamy.”

A GENTLEMAN asking Doctor Johnson why he hated the Scotch, said-“I do not hate them, sir, neither do I hate frogs, but I don't like to have them hovering about my

chamber.” How suffering will degrade human nature aud steel heart against heart.

It is the evasive life of the sneak that demoralises the man, and makes him a criminal.

A young widow in New Orleans, being asked after her husband's health, answered with a soft quiet smile_“He is dead, I thank you."

A GENTLEMAN economical of his wine, descanting on the extraordinary performance of a blind man, remarked that the poor fellow could see no more than that bottle.” “No wonder, sir," said a minor canon ; for we have seen no more than that bottle all the afternoon.”

An old lady, remarkable for her confused ideas of the meaning of words, thus described a clear summer evening :- It was a beautiful bright night, the moon made every thing as light as a cork !"

IF women knew their real power and wished to exert it, they would always endeavour to show sweetness of temper, for there they are irresistible.

An American paper notices the marriage of Mr. John Strange, to Miss Elizabeth Strange, and thinks it very strange, but says no doubt the next event will be a little stranger.

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »