Слике страница
PDF
ePub

THE CHAMPION SNORER.

It was the Cedar Rapids sleeper. Outside it was as dark as the inside of an ink-bottle. In the sleeping-car peoplo slept. Or tried it.

Some of them slept like Christian men and women, peacefully and sweetly and quietly.

Others slept like demons, malignantly, hideously, fiendishly, as though it was their mission to keep everybody else awake.

Of these the man in lower number three was the “boss." When it came to a square snore, with variations, you wanted to count “lower three” in,-with a full hand and a pocket full of rocks.

We never heard anything snore like him. It was the most systematic snoring that was ever done, even on one of these tournaments of snoring, a sleeping-car. He didn't begin as soon as the lamps were turned and everybody was in bed. Oh no! There was more cold blooded diabolism in his system than that. He waited until everybody had had a taste of sleep, just to see how nice and pleasant it was, and then he broke in on their slumbers like a winged, breathing demon, and they never knew what peace was again that night. He started out with a terrific

Gu-r-r-rt !" that opened every eye in the car. We all hoped it was an accident, however, and trusting that he wouldn't do it again, we all forgave him. Then he blasted our hopes and curdled the sweet serenity of our forgiveness by a long-drawn

“Gw-a-h-h-hah !" that sounded too much like business to be accidental. Then every head in that sleepless sleeper was held off the pillow for a minute, waiting in breathless suspense to hear the worst, and the sleeper in "lower three" went on in longdrawn, regular cadences that indicated good staying qualities,

"Gwa-a-a-h! Gwa-a-a-a-h! Gahwayway! Gahway wah! Gahwa-a-ah !"

Evidently it was going to last all night, and the weary heads dropped back on the sleepless pillows and the swearing began. It mumbled along in low, muttering tones, like the distant echoes of a profane thunder storm. Pretty soon "lower three" gave us a little variation. He shot off a spiteful

“ Gwook !" which sounded as though his nose had got mad at him and was going to strike. Then there was a pause, and we began to hope he had either awakened from sleep or strangled to death--nobody cared very particularly which. But he disappointed everybody with a guttural

“Gurroch !”

Then he paused again for breath, and when he had accumulated enough for his purpose he resumed business with a stentorious

"Kow off!" that nearly shot the roof off the car. Then he went on playing such fantastic tricks with his nose, and breathing things that would make the immortal gods weep, if they did but hear him. It seemed an utter, preposterous impossibility that any human being could make the monstrous, hideous noises with its breathing machine that the fellow in “lower three” was making with his. He then ran through all the ranges of the usual gamut; he went up and down a very chromatic scale of snores; he ran through intricate and fearful variations until it seemed that his nose must be out of joint in a thousand places. All the night and all the day through he told his story.

“Gawoh! gurrah! gu-r-r-r! Kowpff! Gawaw-wah! gawahhah! gwock! gwart! gwah-h-l-h woof!"

Just as the other passengers had consulted together how they might slay him, morning dawned, and “lower number three” awoke. Everybody watched the curtain to see what manner of man it was that made the sleeping-car a pandemonium. Presently the toilet was completed, the curtains parted, and " !ower number three” stood revealed.

Great heavens!

It was a fair young girl, with golden hair and timid, pleading eyes, like a hunter's fawn. - Burlington Hawkeye.

THE ROBBER.

On tne ione deserted cross-road
Under the nigh crucifix.
Stood the robber. siyiy urking
In nis aand his naked sapro
And his rifle, heavy loaded.
For the merchant would he plundor,
Who, with his full weight of money,
With his garments, and his rare wines,
Came to-day home from the market.
Down already had the sun sunk,
And the moon peers through the cloudlete,
And the robber stands awaiting

Under the high crucifix.
Hark! a sound like angel voices,
Soft, low sighing deep entreaty,
Coming clear as evening bells
Borne through the still atmosphere!
Sweet with unaccustomed accent
Steals a prayer upon his ear,
And he stands and listens anxious,-

“O thou Guide of the deserted!
O thou Guardian of the lost ones!
Bend, oh bend thy heavenly face,
Clear as sunlight, softly smiling,
Down on us, four little ones;
Fold, oh fold thy arms of mercy,
Which were on the cross extended,
Like two wings around our father,
That no storin destroy his pathway,
That his good steed may not stumble,
That the robber, still and lurking
In the forest, may not harm him.
O Protector of the abandoned,
O thou Guide of the deserted,
Send us home our own dear father!”
And the robber heard it all

Under the high crucifix.
Then the youngest crossing himself,
Folding his soft hands demurely,-
“O) thou dear Christ,” lisps he, childlike,

Oh, I know thou art almighty,
Sitting on the throne of heaven,
With the stars all glittering golden,-
As the nurse has told me often,-
Oh, be gracious, O thou dear Christ!

Give the robbers, the rapacious,
Give them bread, and bread in plenty,
That they may not need to plunder
Or to murder our good father!
Did I know where lived a robber,
I would give this little chainlet,
Give to him this cross and girdle,
Saying, 'O thou dear, dear robber,
Take this chain, this cross and girdle,
That you may not need to plunder
Or to murder our dear father!'”
And the robber hears it all

Under the high crucifix.
From afar he hears approaching
Snorting steeds and wheels swift rolling.
Slowly then he takes his rifle,
Slowly does he seize his sabre,
And he stands there deeply thinking,

Under the high crucifix.
And the children still are kneeling, –

O thou Guide of the deserted,
O thou Guardian of the wanderer,
Send us home our own dear father!"
And the father came home riding
All in safety, unendangered ;
Clasps his children to his bosom,-
Happy stammerings, kisses sweet.
Only the bare sabre found they;
Found the ritle heavy loaded;
Both had fallen from his hand
Under the high crucifix.

- Translation from the German.

66

PRECEPTS.—THOMAS RANDOLPH.*

First, worship God; he that forgets to pray,
Bids not himself good morrow nor good day;
Let thy first labor be to purge thy sin,
And serve Him first whence all things did begin.
Ilonor thy parents to prolong thine end;

With them, though for a truth, do not contend; *The Thomas Randolph who wrote the following “ precepts was a wit, poet and playwright in the early portion of the seventeenth century, and a great hvorite with “ Ben Jonson.'

JAAAA

Whoever makes his father's heart to bleed,
Shall have a child that shall avenge the deed.
Think that is just ; 'tis not enough to do,
Unless thy very thoughts are upright too.
Defend the truth; for that who will not die
A coward is, and gives himself the lie.
Take well whate'er shall chance, though bad it be,
Take it for good, and 'twill be good to thee.
First think ; and if thy thoughts approve thy will,
Then speak, and after, that thou speakest fulfill.
So live with men as if God's curious eye
Did everywhere into thine actions pry,
For never yet was sin so void of sense,
So fully faced with brazen impudence,
As that it durst before men's eyes commit
Their brutal lusts, lest they should witness it.
How dare they then offend when God shall see,
That inust alone both judge and jury be?
Would'st thou live long? The only means are these,
'Bove Galen's diet or Hippocrates,
Strive to live well; tread in the upright ways,
And rather count thine actions than thy days,
Then thou hast lived enough amongst us here;
For every day well spent I count a year.
Live well, and then, how soon soe'er thou die,
Thou art of age to claim eternity;
But he that outlives Nestor, and appears
To have passed the date of gray Methusaleh's years,
If he his life to sloth and sin doth give,
I say he only was--he did not live.

BURR AND BLENNERHASSETT.-WILLIAM WIRT.

A plain man, who knew nothing of the curious transmu. mtions which the wit of man can work, would be very apt co wonder by what kind of legerdemain Aaron Burr had contrived to shuffle himself down to the bottom of the pack, as an accessory, and turn up poor Blennerhassett as principal, in this treason. Who, then, is Aaron Burr, and what the part which he has borne in this transaction ? He is its author, its projector, its active executor. Bold, ardent, rest

« ПретходнаНастави »