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the country, indeed! What do you think of this now for a day, a London day, - eh?"-"It's a little clearer out of town," said Nicholas. "Clearer?" echoed Tim Linkinwater, "you shall see it from my bed-room window."-"You shall see it from mine," replied Nicholas, with a smile.
2. "Pooh! pooh!" said Tim Linkinwater, "don't tell me. Country! Nonsense. What can you get in the country but new-laid eggs and flowers? I can buy new-laid eggs in Leadenhall market any morning before breakfast; and as to flowers, it's worth a run upstairs to smell my mignonette, or to see the doublewallflower in the back-attic window, at No. 6, in the court."
3. "There is a double-wallflower at No. 6, in the court, is there?" said Nicholas. "Yes, is there,".replied Tim, "and planted in a cracked jug, without a spout. There were hyacinths there this last spring, blossoming in but you'll laugh at that of course." -"At what?"-"At their blossoming in old blacking-bottles," said Tim. "Not I, indeed," returned Nicholas.
4. Tim looked wistfully at him for a moment, as if he were encouraged by the tone of this reply to be more communicative on the subject; and sticking behind his ear a pen that he had been making, and shutting up his knife with a sharp click, said, "They belong to a sickly, bedridden, humpbacked boy, and seem to be the only pleasures, Mr. Nickleby, of his sad existence."
5. "How many years is it," continued Tim, pondering, "since I first noticed him, quite a little child, dragging himself about on a pair of tiny crutches? Well! well! not many; but though they would appear nothing, if I thought of other things, they seem a long, long time, when I think of him. It is a sad thing," said Tim, breaking off, "to see a little deformed child sitting apart from other children, who are active and merry,
watching the games he is denied the power to share in. He made my heart ache very often."
6. "It is a good heart," said Nicholas, "that disentangles itself from the close avocations of every day, to heed such things. You were saying "That the flowers belonged to this poor boy," said Tim; "that's all. When it is fine weather, and he can crawl out of bed, he draws a chair close to the window, and sits there looking at them, and arranging them all day long. We used to nod at first, and then we came to speak.
7. "Formerly, when I called to him of a morning, and asked him how he was, he would smile, and say, 'Better'; but now he shakes his head, and only bends more closely over his old plants. It must be dull to watch the dark house-tops and the flying clouds for so many months; but he is very patient."-"Is there nobody in the house to cheer or help him?" asked Nicholas.
8. "His father lives there, I believe," replied Tim, "and other people too; but no one seems to care much for the poor sickly cripple. I have asked him very often if I can do nothing for him; his answer is always the same, 'Nothing.' His voice has grown weak of late, but I can see that he makes the old reply. He can't leave his bed now, so they have moved it close to the window, and there he lies all day; now looking at the sky, and now at his flowers, which he still makes shift to trim and water with his own thin hands.
9. "At night, when he sees my candle, he draws back his curtain and leaves it so till I am in bed. It seems such company to him to know that I am there, that I often sit at my window for an hour and more, that he may see I am still awake; and sometimes I get up in the night to look at the dull melancholy light in his little room, and wonder whether he is awake or sleeping.
10. "The night will not be long coming," said Tim, "when he will sleep and never wake again on earth. We have never so much as shaken hands in all our lives; and yet I shall miss him like an old friend. Are there any country flowers that could interest me like these, do you think? Or do you suppose that the withering of a hundred kinds of the choicest flowers that blow, called by the hardest Latin names that were ever invented, would give me one fraction of the pain that I shall feel when these old jugs and bottles are swept away as lumber?
11. "Country!" cried Tim, with a contemptuous emphasis; "don't you know that I could n't have such a court under my bed-room window anywhere but in London ?"-With which inquiry, Tim turned his back, and pretending to be absorbed in his accounts, took an opportunity of hastily wiping his eyes when he supposed Nicholas was looking another way.
ODE ON THE PASSIONS.
After the lapse of more than a century since its appearance, this poem maintains its rank as the finest specimen of the Ode in the English language. See remarks, § 54, pp. 29, 30, on emotional reading. The Passions being here personified and introduced by name, we need only remark that they should be described in tones and with a movement appropriate to the character of the several passions themselves. Thus, in the eighth stanza, the slow time with which the action of Melancholy may be properly described should contrast with the brisk rate of utterance in harmony with Cheerfulness and her attendant Powers. So in contrasting Hope with Revenge, the clear, joyous orotund tone suited to the former should be succeeded, in introducing the latter, by a partially guttural quality of voice. But the student's true course is to study the poem thoroughly and enter into its spirit, before venturing to read it aloud.
See in Index, BEGUILE, NE'ER, SHELL, WAN, WOEFUL or WOFUL, FAUN, DRYAD, SATYR, TEMPE, COLLINS.
WHEN Music, heavenly maid, was young,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Would prove his own expressive power.
First, Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Next, Anger rushed, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings owned his secret stings;
And swept with hurried hand the strings.
With woeful measures wan Despair
Low, sullen sounds! — his grief beguiled; A solemn, strange, and mingled air;
T was sad by fits, by starts 't was wild.
But thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair, What was thy delighted measure? Still it whispered promised pleasure, And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail! Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, She called on Echo still through all her song: And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close;
And Hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hair.
And longer had she sung-but, with a frown,
Revenge impatient rose.
He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down;
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe;
The doubling drum with furious heat:
And though, sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Her soul-subduing voice applied,
Yet still he kept his wild, unaltered mien,
While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fixed;
Sad proof of thy distressful state!
Of differing themes the veering song was mixed;
And, now it courted Love; now, raving, called on Hate.
With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
And, from her wild, sequestered seat,
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul:
Bubbling runnels joined the sound:
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole ;
(Round a holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing)
In hollow murmurs died away.
But, O! how altered was its sprightlier tone,