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No pay the dentist when he leaves
A fracture in your jaw,

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,
Put on your fiercest frown,
And talk about a constable

To turn them out of town;
Then close your sentence with an oath,
And shut the window down!

And if you are a slender man,
Not big enough for that,
Or, if you cannot make a speech,
Because you are a flat,

Go very quietly and drop
A button in the hat!


THE Brownie sits in the Scotchman's room,
And eats his meat and drinks his ale,
And beats the maid with her unused broom,
And the lazy lout with his idle flail ;
But he sweeps the floor and threshes the corn,
And hies him away before the break of dawn.

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,
And the devil of Martin Luther sat
By the stout monk's side in social chat.

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The Old Man of the Sea, on the neck of him
Who seven times crossed the deep,
Twined closely each lean and withered limb,

Like the nightmare in one's sleep.

But he drank of the wine, and Sinbad cast
The evil weight from his back at last.

But the demon that cometh day by day
To my quiet room and fireside nook,
Where the casement light falls dim and grey
On faded painting and ancient book,
Is a sorrier one than any whose names
Are chronicled well by good king James.

No bearer of burdens like Caliban,
No runner of errands like Ariel,

He comes in the shape of a fat old man,
Without rap of knuckle or pull of bell;
And whence he comes, or whither he goes,
I know as I do of the wind which blows.

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.
Read ye, and heed ye, and ye who can
Guard well your doors from that old man!

He comes with a careless "How d'ye do?"
And seats himself in my elbow-chair;
And my morning paper and pamphlet new
Fall forthwith under his special care;
And he wipes his glasses and clears his throat,
And, button by button, unfolds his coat.

And then he reads from paper and book,
In a low and husky asthmatic tone,
With the stolid sameness of posture and look
Of one who reads to himself alone;

And hour after hour on my senses come
That husky wheeze and that dolorous hum.

The price of stocks, the auction sales,
The poet's song and the lover's glee,
The horrible murders, the seaboard gales,
The marriage list, and the jeu d'esprit,
All reach my ear in the selfsame tone,—
I shudder at each, but the fiend reads on!
Oh, sweet as the lapse of water at noon,

O'er the mossy roots of some forest tree,
The sigh of the wind in the woods of June,
Or sound of flutes o'er a moonlight sea,
Or the low soft music, perchance, which seems
To float through the slumbering singer's dreams,

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
Her voice sinks down like a moan afar ;

And I seem to hear that prisoner's wail,
And his face looks on me worn and pale.

And, when she reads some merrier song,
Her voice is glad as an April bird's;
And, when the tale is of war and wrong,

A trumpet's summons is in her words,
And the rush of the hosts I seem to hear,
And see the tossing of plume and spear !—

Oh pity me then, when, day by day,

The stout fiend darkens my parlour door;

And reads me perchance the selfsame lay
Which melted in music, the night before,
From lips as the lips of Hylas sweet,
And move like twin roses which zephyrs mcct!

I cross my floor with a nervous tread,

I whistle and laugh and sing and shout,
I flourish my cane above his head,

And stir up the fire to roast him out;
I topple the chairs, and drum on the pane,
And press my hands on my ears, in vain!

I've studied Glanville and James the wise,
And wizard black-letter tomes which treat
Of demons of every name and size

Which a Christian man is presumed to meet,
But never a hint and never a line

Can I find of a reading fiend like mine.

I've crossed the Psalter with Brady and Tate,
And laid the Primer above them all,
I've nailed a horseshoe over the grate,
And hung a wig to my parlour wall,
Once worn by a learned Judge, they say,
At Salem court in the witchcraft day.

"Conjuro te, sceleratissime,

Abire ad tuum locum !"-Still
Like a visible nightmare he sits by me,-
The exorcism has lost its skill;
And I hear again in my haunted room

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!

Mark Twain.


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

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