Слике страница

around for her false teeth that had slipped out of her mouth in the confusion.

“She must certainly be drunk," soliloquized Mumford, watching her actions with amazement.

“If I was a man I'd skin you alive for this, you wretch !* she shouted, when she had got her teeth back, her bonnet on, and her bustle propped up.

“Drunk, and a lunatic both. What ’ve I got to do with her slamming herself arou.nd on the sidewalk, I'd like to know ?” he asked himself, as he watched her fading away in the darkness with her flattened boy in tow.

A few moments later, as he was flattening his nose against the window-pane, a pair of lovers came tripping along.

“And, Amy, love,” said the gentleman, “I can hardly realize that soon you are to be my own little darling duckseySuffering alligator!” he shrieked, as his legs opened like a pair of compasses, and he struck the sidewalk with a jar that loosened his back teeth, lifted his scalp an inch or two, cooled his love, ripped his pantaloons, started his eyes full of tears, and made him regret bitterly that he'd forgotten so much of his boyhood's profanity.

"O Fred !” exclaimed his fiance, trying to lift him up by his paper collar, and the next instant his charmer's feet slipped on the ice, and after swaying to and fro violently for a moment, she attempted to turn a back somersault which her lover did not look upon as a success, owing probably to the fact of her kicking him in the ear as she went over him, with more of the force of a yellow mule or a dynamite cartridge, than that of the cardinal-stockinged idol of his heart.

They got up, glanced sheepishly around to see if any one had noticed them, tried to coax up a sickly smile, and limped away trying to look as if they didn't want to rub themselves.

Hang it all! why don't you sprinkle some ashes on that ice?”' called out a grocer, who had skated off into the gutter, and mashed two dozen eggs, the back of his head, and : bottle of olive oil, in falling.

“Oh! there 's ice there; so that accounts for the gymnastics,” said Mumford, filling a scuttle with hot coals and ashes, and hurrying out.

Some of the neighbors, who happened to be looking out of their front windows about this time, have said since that

it was grand and awe-inspiring to see Mumford, after remaining for a second on the back of his neck, pointing at the twinkling stars with his heels, and emptying his pockets out on to the walk, suddenly collapse into a tangled, scorched and bruised heap, and fill the air with shrieks and more sparks than a firework explosion would make.

A policeman helped his wife and the cook carry him into the house, and he has informed the doctor who is attending him, that as soon as he can cultivate enough skin to cover the burned places, he's going to move to a climate where it don't freeze once in a billion years. His wife thinks she has read of such a place in the Bible.


The evening was glorious, and light through the trees
Played the sunshine, the rain-drops, the birds, and the breeze;
And the landscape, outstretching in loveliness, lay
In the lap of the year, in the beauty of May;
For the queen of the spring as she passed down the vale,
Left her robe on the trees and her breath in the gale;
And the smile of her presence gave joy to the hours,
And flush in her footsteps sprang herbage and flowers.
The skies, like a banner, in sunset unrolled,
O'er the west threw their splendor of azure and gold;
But one cloud at a distance rose dense, and increased,
Till its margin of black touched the zenith and east.
Then forth from its depths, in their fearful array,
Came the thunder-peal's voice and the lightning's fierce play,
When the rain in swift torrents poured down from the sky,
And then ceased, as the storm, with the moment, passed by.
We gazed on the scene as around us it glowed,
When a vision of beauty appeared on the cloud;
It was not like the sun which at midday we view,
Nor the moon that rolls nightly through star-light of blue,
Like a spirit it came in the path of the storm,
And the eye and the heart hailed its beautiful form;
For it looked not severe, like an angel of wrath,
But a garment of glory illumined its path.
In the hues of its grandeur sublimely it stood
O’er the river, the village, the field and the wood;
And river, field, village, and woodland grew bright,
As conscious they felt and afforded delight.
'Twas the bow of Omnipotence, bent by His hand,
Whose grasp, at creation, the universe spanned;


'Twas the presence of God in a symbol sublime,
His vow from the flood to the exit of time!
Not dreadful, as when in the whirlwind He pleads,
When storms are His chariot and lightnings His steeds,
The black cloud His banner of vengeance unfurled,
And thunder His voice to a guilt-stricken world,-
At the breath of His anger when thousands expire,
And seas boil in fury and rocks burn with fire,
And the sword and the plague-spot with death strew the plain,
And vultures and wolves are the graves of the slain ;-
Not such was the rainbow, that beautiful one,
Whose arch was refraction, its keystone the sun,
A pavilion it seemed by the Deity graced,
While justice and mercy met there and embraced.
Awhile, and it sweetly bent over the gloom,
Like love o'er a death-couch, or hope o'er a tomb:
Then left the dark scene whence it slowly retired,
As love has just vanished or hope has expired.
I gazed not alone on that source of my song;
To all who beheld it these verses belong;
Its presence to all was the path of the Lord,
Each full heart expanded, grew warm, and adored.
Like a visit, the converse of friends, or a day,
That bow from the sight passed forever away;
Like that visit, that converse, that day to my heart,
That bow from remembrance can never depart.
'Tis a picture in memory distinctly defined,
In the strong and imperishing colors of mind,
A part of my being beyond my control,
Beheld on that cloud, and transcribed on my soul.

There he stands, in his pitiful parti-hues,

With his painted face, and his coxcomb crest,
And his shrill

, cracked voice, for his nightly dues-
The crowd's rough laugh at his senseless jest,
His ribald puns, and his antics strange

That make the little ones roar again,
Till you'd deem his life but a merry change

From laugh to laugh, and devoid of pain.
But follow me, upon fancy's wing,

To the dim tent corner he swiftly seeks,
When he tumbles off from the lighted ring

For a respite brief. Lo! his painted cheeks
Are wet and furrowed with coursing tears,

The hollow groan from his breast ascends,

As there by a pallet, whereon appears

The wasted form of his wife, he bends.
He holds her hand-like a man he strives

To choke the sobs from her dying ear;
While before his fancy their wretched lives

Unroll their length like a desert sere.
And she, poor soul! while his faithful hand

She presses in token of love and pride,
How the dying eyes for a space expand

As the roar comes in from the ring outside!
What queen of the saddle or spangled prince

Calls forth those plaudits that once were hers,
Ere the illness crept to her lungs that since

Hath dragged her down with its subtle curse?
But hush! the gloom in those eyes returns,

Her hand grows icy, the pulse flies fast,
Nearer he bends, while the life-light burns

At its last wild flicker: 'tis out at last!
Alone with his dead! Now, dazed, appalled,

The sobs burst forth-he would voice his grief;
But no, his name from the flies is called;

His cue is on-there is no relief!
A moment more, and he's there again,

With the cap and bells, in the cirque's expanse;
Though little they guess with what awful strain

Quip, joke, and jest for their laughter glance.
And how many and many there are, think you,

In the world's arena, whose heavy task
Is ever hidden from searching view

By the jester's garb, as a laughing mask ?
Masks and faces together go;

Ill would it fare with us, rich or poor,
To unveil the heart, with the secret woe,

The cares and troubles, that most endure.


J. A. FROUDE. Glorious as the spectacle was, perhaps, however it passed unheeded. Those eyes were watching all for another object, which now drew near. In an open space behind the con. stable there was seen approaching "a white chariot,” drawn by two palfreys in white damask which swept the ground,

As if the flesh which walled about her life

a golden canopy borne above it making music with silver bells: and in the chariot sat the observed of all observers, the beautiful occasion of all this glittering homage; fortune's plaything of the hour, the Queen of England--queen at last !-borne along upon the waves of this sea of glory, breathing the perfumed incense of greatness which she had risked her fair name, her delicacy, her honor, her self-respect, to win; and she had won it.

There she sat, dressed in white tissue robes, her fair hair flowing loose over her shoulders, ard her temples circled with a light coronet of gold and diamonds-most beautifulloveliest-most favored, perhaps, as she seemed at that hour, of all England's daughters. Alas!“ within the hollow round of that coronet

“Kept Death his court, and there the antick sate
Scoffing her state and grinning at her pomp;
Allowing her a little breath, a little scene
To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks,
Infusing her with self and vain concest,
Were brass impregnable; and humored thus,

Bored thro' her castle walls; and farewell, Queen!" Fatal gift of greatness! so dangerous ever! so more than dangerous in those tremendous times when the fountains are broken loose of the great deeps of thought, and nations are in the throes of revolution; when ancient order and law and traditions are splitting in the social earthquake; and as the opposing forces wrestle to and fro, those unhappy ones who stand out above the crowd become the symbols of the struggle, and fall the victims of its alternating fortunes. And what if into an ur.steady heart and brain, intoxicated with splendor, the outward chaos should find its way, converting the poor silly soul into an image of the same confusion--if conscience should be deposed from her high place, and the Pandora box be broken loose of passions and sensualities and follies; and at length there be nothing left of all which man or woman ought to value, save hope of God's forgiveness.

Three short years have yet to pass, and again, on a summer morning, Queen Anne Boleyn will leave the Tower of London-not radiant then with beauty on a gay errand of coronation, but a poor, wandering ghost, on a sad, tragic errand, from which she will never more return, passing away out of an earth where she may stay no longer, into a pres

« ПретходнаНастави »