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All is shrunken in size, and the distances, too;
The pond at the wood is near by;
As I pass it, scarce catches my eye.
7. The old barn is gone, like the past with its dreams,
Which crowded, chaotic, my brain ;
I could live in their Eden again.
All flashing and living with light.
8. All are gone — all are gone! The soft pictures I draw,
Not one has Time's cruelty spared.
That for such things I ever have cared.
That the present can never display;
That soon fades forever away.
9. And in that sweet light the heart grows pure and
bright In the paradise smiling around; And we wish o'er and o'er we were children once
And yet, as upon it we dwell,
ALFRED B. STREET.
XXXV.-THE SHELL ON THE SHORE.
1. I had turned over the pebbles and the damp weeds, and sought with naked feet among the waves for some bright shell or colored stone to carry home, but I could find none.
2. Tired out, I sat down on a pile of stone to rest, and to watch the waves unroll themselves on the waiting sands. I heeded not the tide, but let it go and come without notice.
3. After a longer interval than I dare tell, considering I was without boots or stockings, and my coat damp with the spray of the last tide, I woke from my dreaming and renewed my search for a prize, and sure enough there was a shell glistening and gleaming, colored like sunlit crystal, just dropped from the white fingers of
4. I did not hurry to possess myself of it, but sat still admiring it. It was mine; I was sure I could reach it at
any moment with my stick,- and who was near on this lonely beach to pick it up ere I could take full possession?
5. Splash, splash, and up rolled a huge wave, hissing and hurrying, rattling the stones, wetting my feet- and the shell; where is it? I looked around, I followed the receding water; dripping sea-grass, creamy lots of froth, only remained to meet me; the shell — the beautiful shell -- was gone. Old Neptune had altered his mind, and got back his pearl.
6. A little loss, this, but uttering a lofty lesson,- never to lose an opportunity of taking every gift of mercy or usefulness the tide of time may bring us. If unused -neglected - the wave that brought it will soon take it away.
(KING, MILLER, COURTIER.) 1. King. (Enters alone, wrapped in a cloak.) No, no, this can be no public road, that's certain. I have
I lost my way, undoubtedly. Of what advantage is it now to be a king? Night shows me no respect; I can not see better, nor walk so well, as another man.
When a king is lost in a wood, what is he more than other men ? His wisdom knows not which is north and which is
his power a beggar's dog would bark at, and the beggar himself would not bow to his greatness. And yet how often are we puffed up with these false attributes ? Well, in losing the monarch I have found the man. But hark ! somebody sure is near.
What were it best to do? Will my majesty protect me? No. Throw majesty aside, then, and let manhood do it.
(Enter the Miller.) 2. M. I believe I hear the rogue. Who's there? 3. K. No rogue, I assure you? 4. M. Little better, friend, I believe. Who fired that
5. K. Not I, indeed.
7. K. (aside) Lie, lie? how strange it seems to me to be talked to in this style. (Aloud) Upon my word, I don't, sir.
8. M. Come, come, sirrah, confess; you have shot one of the king's deer, haven't you?
9. K. No, indeed ; I owe the king more respect. I heard a gun go off, to be sure, and was afraid some robbers might be near.
10. M. I am not bound to believe this, friend. Pray, who are you? What is your name?
11. K. Name?
12. M. Name! aye, name! You have a name, haven't you? Where do you come from? What is your business here?
13. K. These are questions I have not been used to, honest man.
14. M. May be so; but they are questions no honest man would be afraid to answer; so if you can give no better account of yourself, I shall make bold to take you along with me, if you please.
15. K. With you! What authority have you to
16. M. The king's authority, if I must give you an account. Sir, I am John Cockle, the miller of Mansfield, one of his Majesty's keepers in the forest of Sherwood; and I let no suspicious fellow pass this way unless he can give a better account of himself than you have done, I promise you.
17. K. Very well, sir, I am very glad to hear the king has so good an officer; and, since I find you have his authority, I will give you a better account of myself, if you will do me the favor to hear it.
18. M. You don't deserve it, I believe; but let's hear what you can say for yourself.
19. K. I have the honor to belong to the king, as well as you, and perhaps should be as unwilling to see any wrong done. I came down with him to hunt in this forest, and the chase leading us to-day a great way from home, I am benighted in this wood, and have lost my way.
20. M. This does not sound well; if you have been hunting, pray where is your horse? ?
21. K. I have tired my horse so that he lay down under me, and I was obliged to leave him.
22. M. If I thought I might believe this, now. 23. K. I am not used to lie, honest man.
24. M. What! do you live at court and not liel That's a likely story, indeed!
25. K. Be that as it may, I speak truth now, I assure you; and to convince you of it, if you will attend me to Nottingham, or give me a night's lodging in your house, here is something to pay you for your trouble (offering money), and if that is not sufficient, I will satisfy you in the morning to your utmost desire.
26. M. Aye, now I am convinced you are a courtier; here is a little bribe for to-day, and a large promise for to-morrow, both in a breath. Here, take it again ; John Cockle is no courtier. He can do what he ought with. out a bribe.
27. K. Thou art a very extraordinary man, I must own; and I should be glad, methinks, to be further acquainted with thee.
28. M. Prithee, don't thee and thou me at this rate. I suppose I am as good a man as yourself, at least.
29. K. Sir, I beg pardon.
30. M. Nay, I am not angry, friend; only I don't love to be too familiar with you until I am satisfied as to your honesty.
31. K. You are right. But what am I to do? 32. M. You may do what you please.
You are twelve miles from Nottingham, and all the way through this thick wood; but if you are resolved upon going thither to-night, I will put you in the road, and direct you the best I can; or, if you will accept of such poor entertainment as a miller can give, you shall be welcome to stay all night, and in the morning I will go with you myself.
33. K. And can not you go with me to-night?
34. M. I would not go with you to-night if you were the king himself. 35. K. Then I must