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No pay the dentist when he leaves
And pay the owner of the bear
That stunned you with his paw, And buy the lobster that has had Your knuckles in his claw;
But if you are a portly man,
To turn them out of town;
And if you are a slender man,
Go very quietly and drop
THE DEMON OF THE STUDY.
THE Brownie sits in the Scotchman's room,
The shade of Denmark fled from the sun,
And the Cock-lane ghost from the barn-loft cheer, The fiend of Faust was a faithful one,
Agrippa's demon wrought in fear,
The Old Man of the Sea, on the neck of him
Like the nightmare in one's sleep.
But he drank of the wine, and Sinbad cast
But the demon that cometh day by day
No bearer of burdens like Caliban,
He comes in the shape of a fat old man,
A stout old man with a greasy hat
Slouched heavily down to his dark red nose, And two grey eyes enveloped in fat,
Looking through glasses with iron bows.
He comes with a careless "How d'ye do?"
And then he reads from paper and book,
And hour after hour on my senses come
The price of stocks, the auction sales,
O'er the mossy roots of some forest tree,
So sweet, so dear, is the silvery tone
Of her in whose features I sometimes look,
As I sit at eve by her side alone,
And we read by turns from the selfsame book,—
Some tale perhaps of the olden time,
Some lover's romance or quaint old rhyme.
Then when the story is one of woe,
Some prisoner's plaint through his dungeon-bar,
Her blue eye glistens with tears, and low
And I seem to hear that prisoner's wail,
And, when she reads some merrier song,
A trumpet's summons is in her words,
Oh pity me then, when, day by day,
The stout fiend darkens my parlour door;
And reads me perchance the selfsame lay
I cross my floor with a nervous tread,
I whistle and laugh and sing and shout,
And stir up the fire to roast him out;
I've studied Glanville and James the wise,
Which a Christian man is presumed to meet,
Can I find of a reading fiend like mine.
I've crossed the Psalter with Brady and Tate,
"Conjuro te, sceleratissime,
Abire ad tuum locum !"-Still
The husky wheeze and the dolorous hum!
Ah!-commend me to Mary Magdalen
With her sevenfold plagues,-to the wandering Jew, To the terrors which haunted Orestes when
The furies his midnight curtains drew; But charm him off, ye who charm him can, That reading demon, that fat old man!
THE ASCENT OF THE RIGI.
From "A Tramp Abroad."
THE Rigi-Kulm is an imposing Alpine mass, 6,000 feet high, which stands by itself, and commands a mighty prospect of blue lakes, green valleys, and snowy mountains—a compact and magnificent picture three hundred miles in circumference. The ascent is made by rail, or horseback, or on foot, as one may prefer. I and my agent panoplied ourselves in walking costume one bright morning, and started down the lake on the steamboat; we got ashore at the village of Wäggis, three-quarters of an hour distant from Lucerne. This village is at the foot of the mountain.
We were soon tramping leisurely up the leafy mule-path, and then the talk began to flow, as usual. It was twelve o'clock noon, and a breezy, cloudless day; the ascent was gradual, and the glimpses, from under the curtaining boughs, of blue water, and tiny sailboats, and beetling cliffs, were as charming as glimpses of dreamland. All the circumstances were perfect-and the anticipations, too, for we should soon be enjoying, for the first time, that wonderful spectacle, an Alpine sunrise—the object of our journey. There was (apparently) no real need to hurry, for the guide-book made the walking distance from Wäggis to the summit only three hours and a quarter. I say "apparently," because the guide-book had already fooled us once-about the distance from Allerheiligen to Oppenau-and for aught I knew it might be getting ready to fool us again. We were only certain as to the altitudes- -we calculated to find out for ourselves how many hours it is from the bottom to the top. The summit is 6,000 feet above the sea, but only 4,500 feet above the lake. When we had walked half an hour, we were fairly into the swing and humour of the undertaking, so we cleared for action; that is to say, we got a boy whom we met to carry our alpenstocks, and satchels, and overcoats and things, for us; that left us free for business.
I suppose we must have stopped oftener to stretch out on the