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An hundred hands were busy then: the banquet forth was
spread, And rung the heavy oaken floor with many a martial tread; While from the rive, dark tracery, along the vaulted wall, Lights gleamed on harness, plume, and spear, o'er the proud
old Gothic hall.
Fast hurrying through the outer gate, the mailed retainers
poured, On through the portal's frowning arch, and thronged around
the board; While at its head, within his dark, carved oaken chair of state, Armed cap-a-pie, stern Rudiger, with girded falchion, sate. "Fill every beaker up, my men; pour forth the cheering wine; There's life and strength in every drop;—thanksgiving to the
vine! Are ye all there, my vassals true? mine eyes are waxing dim; Fill round, my tried and fearless ones, each goblet to the brim. “Ye're there, but yet I see you not; draw forth each trusty
sword, And let me hear your faithful steel clash once around my
board;I hear it faintly;—louder yet! What clogs my heavy breath ? Up, all! and shout for Rudiger, ‘Defiance unto death!'” Bowl rang to bowl, steel clanged to steel, and rose a deafening
cry, That made the torches flare around, and shook the flags on
high. “Ho! cravens! do ye fear him? Slaves! traitors! have ye
flown? Ho! cowards, have ye left me to meet him here alone ? “But I defy him; let him come!” Down rang the massy cup, Whiie from its sheath the ready blade came flashing half-way
up; And, with the black and heavy plumes scarce trembling on his
head, There, in his dark, carved, oaken chair, old Rudiger sat, – dead!
Albert G. Greene.
DEATH OF LITTLE J0.-From "Bleak House."
Jo is very glad to see his old friend; and says, when they are left alone, that he takes it uncommon kind as Mr. Sangsby should come so far out of his way on accounts of sich as him. Mr. Snagsby, touched by the spectacle before bim, immediately lays upon the table balf-a-crown; that magic balsam of his for all kinds of wounds.
“And how do you find yourself, my poor lad ?" in. quires the stationer, with his cough of sympathy.
“I'm in luck, Mr. Sangsby, I am," returns Jo, "and don't want for nothink. I'm more cumfbler nor you can't think, Mr. Sangsby. I'm wery sorry that I done it, but I didn't go fur to do it, sir."
The stationer softly lays down another half-crown, and asks him what it is that he is sorry for baving done.
“Mr. Sangsby,” says Jo, "I went and giv a illness to the lady as wos and yet as war'nt the t'other lady, and none of em never says nothink to me for having done it, an accounts of their being so good and my having been s' unfortnet. The lady come herself and see me yes'day, and she ses, 'Ah Jo!' she ses. •We thought we'd lost you, Jo!' she ses, And she sits down a smilin so quiet, and don't pass a word nor yit a look upon me for having done it, she don't, and I turns agin the wall, I doos, Mr. Sangsby. And Mr. Jarnders, I see him a forced to turn away his own self. And Mr. Woodcot, he come fur to give me somethink fur to ease me, wot he's allus a doin on day and night, and wen he come a bendin over me and a speakin up so bold, I see his tears a fallin, Mr Sangsby."
The softened stationer deposits another half-crown on the table. Nothing less than a repetition of that infalli ble remedy will relieve his feelings.
“Wot I wos thinkin on, Mr. Sangsby," proceeds Jo, wos, as you wos able to write wery large, p'raps ?”
Yes, Jo, please God," returns the stationer. “Uncommon precious large, p'raps ?” says Jo, with eagerness.
“Yes, my poor boy.”
Jo laughs with pleasure. “Wot I wos thinkin on then Mr. Sangsby, wos, that wen I wos moved on as fur as ever I could go, and couldn't be moved no furder, whe ther you might be so good, p'rang, as to write out, wers
never went fur to do it; and that though I didn't know bothink at all, I knowd as Mr. Woodcot once cried over it, and wos allus grieved over it, and that I hoped as be'd be able to forgive me in his mind. If the writin could be made to say it wery large he might.”
"It shall say it, Jo; very large."
Jo laughs again. “Thankee, Mr. Sangsby. Its wery hind of you sir, and it makes me more cumfbler nor I wos afore."
The meek little stationer, with a broken and unfinished cough, slips down his fourth half-crown,ếhe has never been so close to a case requiring so many,—and is fain to depart. And Jo and he, upon this little earth, shall meet Do more. No more.
(Another Scene.--Enter Mr. Woodcourt.) "Well, Jo, what is the matter? Don't be frightened."
“I thought,” says Jo, who has started, and is looking round, " I thought I was in Tom-all-Alone's agin. Au't there nobody here but you, Mr. Woodcot ?"
"Nobody." “And I an't took back to Tom-all. Alone's, am I, sir ?"
Jo closes his eyes, muttering, “I am wery thankful." After watching him closely a little while, Allan puts his mouth very near his ear, and says to him in a low, distinct voice: “Jo, did you ever know a prayer ?”
“Never knowd nothink, sir."
"No, sir. Nothink at all. Mr. Chadbands be wos a prayin wunst at Mr. Sangsby's and I heerd him, but he sounded as if he wos a speakin to hisself, and not to me. Hle prayed a lot, but I couldn't make out nothink on it. Different times there wos other genlmen come down Tomall-Alone's a prayin, but they all mostly sed as the t'other wuns prayed wrong, and all mostly sounded to be a talkin in theirselves, or a passin blame on the t'others, and not a talkin to us.
We never knowd nothink. I never knowd what it wos all about.”
It takes him a long time to say this; and few but an experienced and attentive listener could hear, or, hearing, understand him. After a short relapse into sleep or stupor, lie makes, of a sudden, a strong effort to get out of bed.
“Stay, Jo, stay! What now?"
"It's time for me to go to that there berryin ground, bir," he returns with a wild look.
“ Lie down, and tell me. What burying ground, Jo ?”
“Where they laid him as wos wery good to me; wery good to me indeed, he wos. It's time for me to go down to that there berryin ground, sir, and ask to be put along with him. I wants to go there and be berried. He used sur to say to me, 'I am as poor as you to-day, Jo,' he ses. I wants to tell him that I am as poor as him now, and have come there to be laid along with bim.”
· By-and-by, Jo; by-and-by."
“AL! P'raps they wouldn't do it if I wos to go myself. But will you promise to have me took there, sir, and laid along with him ?”
“I will, indeed."
“ Thankee sir! Thankee sir! They'll have to get the key of the gate afore they can take me in, for it's allus locked.. And there's a step there, as I used fur to clean with my broom. It's turned wery dark, sir. Is there any light a comin?"
It is coming fast, Jo." Fast. The cart is shaken all to pieces, and the rugged road is very near its end.
“Jo, my poor fellow !!!
"I hear you, sir, in the dark, but I'm a gropin—a gro pin- let me catch hold of your hand.”
“Jo, can you say what I say?"
"I'll say anything as you say, sir, for I knows it's good.”
“Our FATHER.” “Our Father!-yes, that's wery good, sir." “ WHICHI ART IN HEAVEN." “Art in Ileaven !—Is the light a comin, sir ?" "It is close at hand. HALLOWED BE THY NAME." “ IIallowed be-thy-name !" The light is come upon the dark benighted way. Dead Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen
Join Bull for pastime took a prance,
Jolin to the Palais-Royal come, Its splendor almost struck him dumb: “I say, whose house is that there here ?" “House! Je vous n'entends pas, Monsieur.” “What, Nongtongpaw again!” cries Join; “This fellow is some mighty Don: No doubt he's plenty for the maw, I'll breakfast with this Nongtongpaw.”
John saw Versailles from Marle's height, And cried, astonished at the sight, “Whose tine estate is that there here ?” “State! Je vous n'entends pas, Monsieur." “His? What! the land and houses too? The fellow's richer than a Jew: On everything he lays his claw; I'd like to dine with Nongtongpaw.”
Next tripping came a courtly fair, Jolin cried, enchanted with her air, 66 What lovely wench is that there liere ?!! “ Ventch! Je vous n'entends par, Monsieur.” "What, he again? Upon my life! A palace, lands, and then a wife Sir Joshua might delight to draw; I'd like to sup with Nongtongpaw.