Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

We have made it interesting for this Roman guide. Yesterday we spent three or four hours in the Vatican again, that wonderful world of curiosities. We came very near expressing interest sometimes, even admiration. It was hard to keep from it. We succeeded, though. Nobody else ever did, in the Vatican museums.

The guide was bewildered, nonplussed. He walked his legs off, nearly, hunting up extraordinary things, and exhausted all his ingenuity on us, but it was a failure; we never showed any interest in anything. We had reserved what he considered to be his greatest wonder till the last,-a royal Egyptian mummy, the best preserved in the world, perhaps. He took us there. He felt so sure, tbis time, That some of his old enthusiasm came back to him :"See, genteelmen !

-Mummy! Mummy!" The eye-glass came up as calmly, as deliberately as ever. - "Ah,—Ferguson,—what did I understand you to say the gentleman's name was ?"

" Name?--he got no name!-Mummy !-'Gyptian mummy!

T!" “Yes, yes.

Born here?” "No. Gyplian mummy."

Ah, just so. Frenchnian, I presume?" “No!--not Frenchman, not Roman !-born in Egypta!"

“Born in Egypta. Never heard of Egypta before. Foreign locality, likely. Mummy,-mummy. How calm he is, how self-possessed! Is-ahl-is he dead ?"

“Oh, sacre bleu! been dead three thousand year!" The doctor turned on him savagely :

Here, now, what do you mean by such conduct as this? Playing us for Chinamen because we are strangers and trying to learn! Trying to impose your vile secondband carcasses on us! Thunder and lightning! I've a notion to-to-if you've got a nice fresh corpse, fetch him out ! or, by George, we'll brain you !"

We make it exceedingly interesting for this Frenchman. II owever, he has paid us back, partly, without knowing it. He came to the hotel this morning to ask if we were up, and he endeavored, as well as he could to describe us, so that the landlord would know which persons he meant. Ile finished with the casual remark that we were

66

lunatics. The observation was so innocent and so honest that it amounted to a very good thing for a guide to say.

Our Roman Ferguson is the most patient, unsuspecting, long-suffering subject we have had yet. We shall be sorry to part with him. We have enjoyed his society very much. We trust he has enjoyed ours, but we aro harassed with doubts.

S. C. Clemens.

TIE CHILDREN.

When the lessons and tasks are all ended,

And the school for the day is dismissed,
And the little ones gather around me,

To bid me good-night and be kissed ;
Oh! the little white arms that encircle

My neck in a tender embrace !
Oh ! the smiles that are halos of heaven,

Shedding sunshine of love on my face!
And when they are gone, I sit dreaming

Of my childhood, too lovely to last;
Of love that my heart will remember

When it wakes to the pulse of the past,
Ere the world and its wickedness made me

A partner of sorrow and sin, -
When the glory of God was about me,

And the glory of gladness within.
Oh! my heart grows weak as a woman's,

And the fountains of feeling will flow,
When I think of the paths steep and stony,

Where the feet of the dear ones must go
Of the mountains of sin hanging o'er them,

Of the tempest of Fate blowing wild;
Oh! there's nothing on earth half so loly

As the innocent heart of a child !

They are idols of hearts and of households ;

They are angels of God in disguise;
His sunlight still sleeps in their tresses,

Ilis glory still gleams in their eyes ;
Oh ! these truants from home and from heaven,

They have made me more manly and mild;
And I know how Jesus could liken

The kingdom of God to a child.

I ask not a life for the dear ones,

All radiant, as others have done,
But that life may have just enough shadow

To temper the glare of the sun;
I would pray God to guard them from evil,

But my prayer would bound back to myself; Ah ! a seraph may pray for a sinner,

But a sinner must pray for himself.

The twig is so easily bended,

I have banished the rule and the rod; I have taught them the goodness of knowledge,

They have taught me the goodness of God. My heart is a dungeon of darkness,

Where I shut them from breaking a rule ;
My frown is sufficient correction,

My love is the law of the school.
I shall leave the old house in the autumn,

To traverse its threshold no more ;
Ah ! how shall I sigh for the dear ones

That meet me each morn at the door!
I shall miss the “good-nights” and the kisses,

And the gush of their innocent glee,
The group on the green, and the flowers

That are brought every morning to me. I shall miss them at morn and at eve,

Their song in the school and the street; I shall miss the low hum of their voices,

And the tramp of their delicate feet.
When the lessons and tasks are all ended,

And death says, “The school is dismissed !”
May the little ones gather around me,
To bid me good-night and be kissed!

Charles Dickinson

CLARENCE'S DREAM.

Clarence. Oh, I bave passed a miserable night, So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams, That, as I am a Christian faithful man, I would not spend another such a night, Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days, So full of dismal terror was the time i

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

Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches. Thence we looked toward England
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster,
That had befallen us. As we passed along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methouglıt that Gloster stumbled ; and, in falling,
Struck me, that sought to stay him, overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
Oh Heaven! Methought what pain it was to drown'
What dreadful noise of waters in my ears !
What siyhts of ugly death within my eyes !
Niethought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
A thousand men, that fishes gnawed upon ;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestiniable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scattered in the bottom of the sea.
Some lay in dead men's skulls : and in those holes
Where eyes did once inliabit, there were crept,
(As 'twere in scorn of eyes,) reflecting gems,
That wooed the slimy bottom of the deep,
And inocked the dead bones that lay scattered by.

Brak. Ilad you such leisure, in the time of death,
To gaze upon these secrets of the deep?

Clar. Methought I had; and often did I strive
To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
Tu seek the empty, vast, and wandering air;
But smothered it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.

Brak. Awaked you not with this sore agony?
Clar. No, no! my dream was lengthened after life;
Oh, then began the tempest to my soul!
I passed, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger soul
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick,
Who cried aloud-" What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy aford false Clarence?

And so ba yonished

Tom dorina by

THE DEATH OF HAMILTON.

A SHORT time since, and he, who is the occasion of our sorrows, was the ornament of his country. He stood op an eminence, and glory covered him. From that emi. nence he has fallen suddenly, forever fallen. His intercourse with the living world is now ended; and those who would hereafter find him, must seek him in the grave. There, cold and lifeless, is the beart which just now was the seat of friendship; there, dim and sightless, is the eye, wbose radiant and enlivening orb beamed with intelligence; and there, closed forever, are those lips, on whose persuasive accents we have so often, and so lately hung with transport.

From the darkness which rests upon his tomb there proceeds, methinks, a light, in which it is clearly seen, that those gaudy objects which men pursue are only phantoms. In this light how dimly shines the splendor of victory-how humble appears the majesty of grandeur The bubble, which seemed to have so much solidity, bas burst; and we again see, that all below the sun is vanity.

True, the funeral eulogy has been pronounced, the sad and solemn procession has moved, the badge of mourning has already been decreed, and presently the sculptured marble will lift up its front, proud to perpctuate the name of Hamilton, and rehearse to the passing traveller his virtues,—just tributes of respect, and to the living useful;but to him, moldering in his narrow and humble habitation, what are they? How vain! how unavailing!

Approach, and behold, while I lift from his sepulchre its covering! Ye admirers of his greatness—ye emulous of his talents and his fame-approach, and behold him

« ZurückWeiter »