A COLLECTION AND ADAPTATION OF SUPERIOR PRODUCTIONS FROM BEST AUTHORS FOR USE IN CLASS ROOM AND ON THE PLATFORM
ARRANGED AND EDITED BY
ROBERT I. FULTON
DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF ORATORY AND PROFESSOR OF ELOCUTION AND ORATORY IN THE OHIO WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
THOMAS C. TRUEBLOOD
PROFESSOR OF ELOCUTION AND ORATORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
EDWIN P. TRUEBLOOD
PROFESSOR OF ELOCUTION AND ORATORY IN EARLHAM COLLEGE
GINN AND COMPANY BOSTON . NEW YORK . CHICAGO . LONDON ATLANTA . DALLAS . COLUMBUS . SAN FRANCISCO
COPYRIGHT, 1907, BY R. I. FULTON, T. C. TRUEBLOOD, AND E. P. TRUEBLOOD
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The Athenaeum Press
GINN AND COMPANY . PROPRIETORS BOSTON . U.S.A.
The purpose of the compilers of this volume is:—
First, to provide some new material in poetry and eloquence that has never before appeared in books of this character, in addition to many standard selections familiar to the general public;
Second, to furnish selections that will stand the test of literary criticism and at the same time prove to be popular and successful for public entertainment;
Third, to offer for the use of classes in public speaking such carefully selected literature of varied scope as will be helpful and stimulating in the practice of reading aloud and profitable in acquiring power of vocal interpretation;
Fourth, to stimulate interest in the works of the authors from whom we have chosen and in the speeches or books from which extracts have been taken;
Fifth, to present as models for students in public speaking notable specimens of eloquence, among which are masterpieces of the seven great orators of the world and from the six great triumphs in the history of American oratory;
Sixth, to provide carefully chosen scenes from a few standard, modern dramas for class-room and platform use. In these scenes the attempt has been made to preserve the spirit and unity of the plays, to shorten them to practical length, and to adapt them to the demands of the public audience.
To avoid reprinting material which is already universally accessible, we have inserted no scenes from Shakespeare; but the reader is referred to Fulton and Trueblood's "Choice Readings" (published by Ginn and Company), which contains copious Indexes to choice scenes from Shakespeare, the Bible, and hymn-books. The two volumes include a wide field of literature best suited for public speaking.
The selections throughout the book are arranged under six different classes and cover a wide range of thought and emotion. While many shades of feeling may be found in the same selection, it has been our aim to place each one under the division with which, as a whole, it is most closely allied.
We are grateful to the many authors and publishers who have courteously permitted us to use their publications. Instead of naming them in the preface we have chosen to make due acknowledgment in a footnote wherever their selections appear in the volume.
F. AND T.
NARRATIVE, DESCRIPTIVE, PATHETIC
PAGE Arena Scene from "Quo Vadis?" The Sienkiewicz. 1
Arrow and the Song, The Longfellow. 8
Aux Italiens Lytton. 8
Bobby Shafto Henry. 12
Carcassonne Nadaud. 13
Child-wife, The Dickens. 15
Count Gismond Browning. 21
Death of Arbaces, The Lytton. 25
Dora Tennyson. 32
Easter with Parepa, An Delano. 37
Evening Bells, Those Moore. 41
Ginevra Coolidge. 42
High Tide at Lincolnshire, The Ingelow. 47
How Did You Die? Cooke. 52
Indigo Bird, The Burroughs. 53
Jackdaw of Rheims, The Barham. 54
Jaffar Hunt. 57
Jim Bludsoe Hay. 59
King Robert of Sicily Longfellow. 61
Lady of Shalott, The Tennyson. 67
Legend of Service, A Van Dyke. 72
Little Boy Blue Field. 76
Mary's Night Ride Cable. 77
Nydia, the Blind Girl Lytton. 80
O Captain, My Captain! Whitman. 88
On the Other Train Anon. 89
Pansy, The Anon. 92
"Revenge," The Tennyson. 94
Rider of the Black Horse, The Lippard. 98
Sailing beyond Seas Ingelow. 101
Sands of Dee, The Kingsley. 102
School of Squeers, The Dickens. 103
Secret of Death, The Arnold. 110
Shamus O'Brien Le Fanu. 113
Ships, My Wilcox. 117
Soldier's Reprieve, The Robbins. 118
Song, The Scott. 123
Stirrup Cup, The Hay. 124
Swan-song, The Brooks. 125
Sweet Afton Burns. 129
Violet's Blue Henry. 130
Waterfowl, To a Bryant. 132
Wedding Gown, The Pierce. 133
When the Snow Sifts Through Gillilan. 137
Wild Flower, To a Thompson. 138
Zoroaster, The Fate of Crawford. 139
SOLEMN, REVERENTIAL, SUBLIME
Centennial Hymn Whittier. 144
Chambered Nautilus, The Holmes. 145
Crossing the Bar Tennyson. 146
Destruction of Sennacherib, The Byron. 147
Each and All Emerson. 148
Laus Deo! Whittier. 149
Pilgrim Fathers, The Hemans. 151
Present Crisis, The Lowell. 152
Recessional, The Kipling. 155
Sacredness of Work, The Carlyle. 156
What's Hallowed Ground? Campbell. 157
PATRIOTIC, HEROIC, ORATORICAL
The Seven Great Orators of the World 159
Encroachments of Philip, The 159
Oration against Antony 162
Undue Lamentations over the Dead 165 On Applauding Preachers 167
On the Death of the Prince of Conde 169
I. War with America 171 II. Attempt to Subjugate America 173
I. Impeachment of Hastings 175 II. Conciliation with America 178 III. English Privileges in America 182
I. Bunker Hill Monument 185 II. Revolutionary Patriots 188 III. Character of Washington 191
Six Great Triumphs in the History of American Oratory 193
Call to Arms, The 193
Coercion of Delinquent States 196
Reply to Hayne, The 199
Murder of Lovejoy, The 202
Slavery Issue, The 206
Moral Aspect of the American War 208
Abolition of War Sumner. 212
American Flag, The Beecher. 215
American People, The Beveridge. 217
American Question, The Bright. 218
America's Relation to Missions Angell. 220
American Slavery Bright. 222
Armenian Massacres, The Gladstone. 222
Battle Hymn of the Republic Howe. 225
Blue and the Gray, The Lodge. 226
Corruption of Prelates Savonarola. 228
Cross of Gold, The Bryan. 231
Death of Congressman Burnes Ingalls. 235
Death of Garfield, The Blaine. 237
Death of Grady, The Graves. 246
Death of Toussaint L'Ouverture Phillips. 239
Dedication of Gettysburg Cemetery, The Lincoln. 241
Fallen Heroes of Japan, The Togo. 242
Glory of Peace, The Sumner. 248
Hope of the Republic, The Grady. 249
Hungarian Heroism Kossuth. 250
International Relations McKinley. 251
Irish Home Rule Gladstone. 255
Lincoln Castelar. 258
Lincoln Garfield. 260
Louisiana Purchase Exposition Hay. 261
Man with the Muck-rake, The Roosevelt. 264
Message to the Squadron Togo. 271
Minute Man, The Curtis. 273
More Perfect Union, A Curtis. 275
Napoleon Corwin. 278
Napoleon Ingersoll. 279
National Control of Corporations Roosevelt. 280
Negro, The Grady. 283
New England Quincy. 284
New South, The Grady. 284
O'Connell Phillips. 290
Open Door, The Henry. 292
Organization of the World Mead. 294
Permanency of Empire, The Phillips. 296
Pilgrims, The Phillips. 297
Principles of the Founders Mead. 299
Responsibility of War, The Channing. 302
Scotland Flagg. 304
Secession Stephens. 243
Second Inaugural Address Lincoln. 305
Slavery and the Union Lincoln. 307
Subjugation of the Filipino Hoar. 309
Sufferings and Destiny of the Pilgrims Everett. 312
To Arms Kossuth. 313
True American Patriotism Cockran. 314
Vision of War Ingersoll. 315
War in the Twentieth Century Mead. 318
Washington Phillips. 321
GAY, HUMOROUS, COMIC
A Boy's Mother Riley. 323
Almost beyond Endurance Riley. 324
Bird in the Hand, A Weatherly. 328
Breaking the Charm Dunbar. 325
Candle Lightin' Time Dunbar. 327
"Day of Judgment, The" Phelps. 330
De Appile Tree Harris. 335
Dooley on La Grippe Microbes Dunne. 337
Doctrinal Discussion, A Edwards. 340
Finnigin to Flannigan Gillilan. 343
Gavroche and the Elephant Hugo. 345
Hazing of Valiant, The Anon. 349
Hindoo's Paradise, The Anon. 353
If I Knew Anon. 354
Imaginary Invalid, The Jerome. 354
Jane Jones King. 357
Knee-deep in June Riley. 359
Little Breeches Hay. 362
Low-Backed Car, The Lover. 364
Mammy's Pickanin' Jenkins. 366
Mandalay Kipling. 368
Mr. Coon and Mr. Rabbit Harris. 370
Money Musk Taylor. 373
One-legged Goose, The Smith. 375
Pessimist, The King. 379
Schneider Sees Leah Anon. 380
Superfluous Man, The Saxe. 384
Usual Way, The Anon. 386
Wedding Fee, The Streeter. 387
When Malindy Sings Dunbar. 389
When the Cows Come Home Mitchell. 391
DRAMATIC, NOT IN THE DRAMA
Confessional, The Anon. 395
Jean Valjean and the Good Bishop Hugo. 400
Lasca Anon. 404
Michael Strogoff Verne. 408
Mrs. Tree Richards. 414
Portrait, The Lytton. 423
Tell-tale Heart, The Poe. 426
Uncle, The Bell. 431
SCENES FROM THE DRAMA
Beau Brummell, Act I, Scene I; Act II, Scene 3 Jerrold. 468
Bells, The, Act III, Scene I Williams. 437
Lady of Lyons, The, Act II, Scene I; Act III, Scene 2 Lytton. 441
Pygmalion and Galatea, Act I, Scene I; Act II, Scene I Gilbert. 493
Rip Van Winkle, Act I, Scene I; Act II, Scene I Irving. 449
Rivals, The, Act I, Scene 2; Act II, Scene I; Act III, Scene I; Act IV, Scene 2 Sheridan. 454
Set of Turquoise, The, Act I, Scene I; Act I, Scene 2 Aldrich. 478
She Stoops to Conquer, Act II, Scene I Goldsmith. 486
INDEX OF AUTHORS 509
NARRATIVE, DESCRIPTIVE, PATHETIC
THE ARENA SCENE FROM "QUO VADIS"
The Roman Empire in the first century presents the most revolting picture of mankind to be found in the pages of history. Society founded on superior force, on the most barbarous cruelty, on crime and mad profligacy, was corrupt beyond the power of words to describe. Rome ruled the world, but was also its ulcer, and the horrible monster, Nero, guilty of all hideous and revolting crimes, seems a fit monarch for such a people.
A few years ago appeared "Quo Vadis?" the story from which this selection is made. The book attained so great a popularity, that it was translated into almost every tongue. In spite of its many faults, it invited the attention, and, although it shocked the sensibilities, when its great purpose was understood it melted the heart.
The author drew a startlingly vivid and horrible picture of humanity at this lowest stage, and in conflict with it he showed us the Christ spirit.
The extract is the story of how the young Vinicius, a patrician, a soldier, a courtier of Nero, through the labyrinth of foul sin, of self-worship and self-indulgence, with love for his guide, found his way home to the feet of Him who commanded, "Be ye pure even as I am pure."
It is the love story of Vinicius and the Princess Lygia, a convert to Christ. The girl's happy and innocent life was rudely disturbed by a summons to the court of the profligate emperor. Arrived there, she found that Nero had given her to Vinicius, who had fallen passionately in love with her; but on the way to Vinicius' house she was rescued by the giant Ursus, one of her devoted attendants and a member of her own faith. They escaped in safety to the Christians, who were living in hiding in the city.
The imperious nature of the youthful soldier for the first time in his life met resistance. He was so transported with rage and disappointment that he ordered the slaves from whom Lygia had escaped to be flogged to death, while he set out to find the girl who had dared to thwart his desire. His egotism was so great that he would have seen the city and the whole world sunk in ruins rather than fail of his purpose. For days and days his search was unceasing, and at last he found Lygia, but in making a second attempt to carry her off was severely wounded by the giant Ursus. Finding himself helpless in the Christians' hands, he expected nothing but death; but instead he was carefully and tenderly nursed back to health. Waking from his delirium, he found at his bedside Lygia—Lygia, whom he had most injured, watching alone, while the others had gone to rest. Gradually in his pagan head the idea began to hatch with difficulty that at the side of naked beauty, confident and proud of Greek and Roman symmetry, there is another in the world, new, immensely pure, in which a soul resides. As the days went by, Vinicius was thrilled to the very depths of his soul by the consciousness that Lygia was learning to love him. With that revelation came the certain conviction that his religion would forever make an inseparable barrier between them. Then he hated Christianity with all the powers of his soul, yet he could not but acknowledge that it had adorned Lygia with that exceptional, unexplained beauty, which was producing in his heart besides love, respect; besides desire, homage. Yet, when he thought of accepting the religion of the Nazarene, all the Roman in him rose up in revolt against the idea. He knew that if he were to accept that teaching he would have to throw, as on a burning pile, all his thoughts, ideas, ambitions, habits of life, his very nature up to that moment, burn them into ashes and fill himself with an entirely new life, and from his soul he cried that it was impossible; it was impossible!
Before Vinicius had entirely recovered Nero commanded his presence at Antium, whither the court was going for the hot summer months. Nero was ambitious to write an immortal epic poem which should rival the "Odyssey," and in order that he might describe realistically a burning city, gave a secret command while he was in Antium that Rome should be set on fire.
One evening, when the court was assembled to hear Nero recite some of his poetry, a slave appeared.
"Pardon, Divine Imperator, Rome is burning! The whole city is a sea of flames!" A moment of horrified silence followed, broken by the cry of Vinicius. He rushed forth, and, springing on his horse, dashed into the deep night. A horseman, rushing also like a whirlwind, but in the opposite direction, toward Antium, shouted as he raced past: "Rome is perishing!" To the ears of Vinicius came only one more expression: "Gods!" The rest was drowned by the thunder of hoofs. But the expression sobered him. "Gods!" He raised his head suddenly, and, stretching his arms toward the sky filled with stars, began to pray.
"Not to you, whose temples are burning, do I call, but to Thee. Thou Thyself hast suffered. Thou alone hast understood people's pain. If Thou art what Peter and Paul declare, save Lygia. Seek her in the burning; save her and I will give Thee my blood!"
Before he had reached the top of the mountain he felt the wind on his face, and with it the odor of smoke came to his nostrils. He touched the summit at last, and then a terrible sight struck his eyes. The whole lower region was covered with smoke, but beyond this gray, ghastly plain the city was burning on the hills. The conflagration had not the form of a pillar, but of a long belt, shaped like the dawn.
Vinicius' horse, choking with the smoke, became unmanageable. He sprang to the earth and rushed forward on foot. The tunic began to smolder on him in places; breath failed his lungs; strength failed his bones; he fell! Two men, with gourds full of water, ran to him and bore him away. When he regained consciousness he found himself in a spacious cave, lighted with torches and tapers. He saw a throng of people kneeling, and over him bent the tender, beautiful face of his soul's beloved.
Lygia was indeed safe from the burning, but before the first thrill of relief was over an infinitely more horrible danger threatened her. The people were in wrath and threatened violence to Nero and his court, for it was popularly believed that the city had been set on fire at the emperor's instigation. The coward, Nero, was startled and thoroughly alarmed, and welcomed gladly the suggestion that the calamity should be blamed on the Christians, who were viewed with great suspicion by the common people, and obliged even then to live in hiding. In order to clear himself and to divert the people's minds, he instituted at once against the Christians the most horrible persecutions that have ever stained man's history. For days and days the people came in countless numbers to witness the tortures of the innocent victims; but at last they grew weary of blood-spilling. Then it was given out that Nero had arranged a climax for the last of the Christians who were to die at an evening spectacle in a brilliantly lighted amphitheater. Chief interest both of the Augustinians and the people centered in Lygia and Vinicius, for the story of their love was now generally known, and everybody felt that Nero was intending to make a tragedy for himself out of the suffering of Vinicius.
At last the evening arrived. The sight was in truth magnificent. All that was powerful, brilliant and wealthy in Rome was there. The lower seats were crowded with togas as white as snow. In a gilded padium sat Nero, wearing a diamond collar and a golden crown upon his head. Every eye was turned with strained gaze to the place where the unfortunate lover was sitting. He was exceedingly pale, and his forehead was covered with drops of sweat. To his tortured mind came the thought that faith of itself would spare Lygia. Peter had said that faith would move the earth to its foundations. He crushed doubt in himself, compressed his whole being into the sentence, "I believe," and he looked for a miracle.
The prefect of the city waved a red handkerchief, and out of the dark gully into the brilliantly lighted arena came Ursus. In Rome there was no lack of gladiators, larger by far than the common measure of man; but Roman eyes had never seen the like of Ursus. The people gazed with the delight of experts at his mighty limbs, as large as tree trunks; at his breast, as large as two shields joined together, and his arms of a Hercules. He was unarmed, and had determined to die as became a follower of the Lamb, peacefully and patiently. Meanwhile he wished to pray once more to the Saviour. So he knelt on the arena, joined his hands and raised his eyes towards the stars. This act displeased the crowd. They had had enough of those Christians, who died like sheep. They understood that if the giant would not defend himself, the spectacle would be a failure. Here and there hisses were heard. Some began to cry for scourgers, whose office it was to lash combatants unwilling to fight. But soon all had grown silent, for no one knew what was waiting for the giant, nor whether he would not defend himself when he met death eye to eye.
In fact, they had not long to wait. Suddenly the shrill sound of brazen trumpets was heard, and at that signal into the arena rushed, amid the shouts of the beast-keepers, an enormous German aurochs, bearing on his head the naked body of a woman.
Vinicius sprang to his feet.
"Lygia! Oh, ... I believe! I believe! Oh, Christ, a miracle! a miracle!" And he did not even know that Petronius had covered his head at that moment with a toga. He did not look; he did not see. The feeling of some awful emptiness possessed him. In his head there remained not a thought. His lips merely repeated as if in madness, "I believe! I believe! I believe!"
This time the amphitheater was silent, for in the arena something uncommon had happened. That giant, obedient and ready to die, when he saw his queen on the horns of the wild beast, sprang up, as if touched by living fire, and, bending forward, he ran at the raging animal.
From all breasts a sudden cry of amazement was heard, as the giant fell on the raging bull and seized him by the horns. And then came deep silence. All breasts ceased to breathe. In the amphitheater a fly might be heard on the wing. People could not believe their own eyes. Since Rome was Rome no one had ever seen such a spectacle. The man's feet sank in the sand to his ankle; his back was bent like a bow; his head was hidden between his shoulders; on his arms the muscles came out so that the skin almost burst from their pressure; but he had stopped the bull in his tracks. The man and the bull remained so still that the spectators thought themselves looking at a group hewn in stone. But in that apparent repose there was a tremendous exertion of two struggling forces. The bull's feet, as well as the man's, sank in the sand, and the dark, shaggy body was curved so that it seemed a gigantic ball. Which of the two would fail first? Which would fall first?
Meanwhile a dull roar resembling a groan was heard from the arena, after which a brief shout was wrested from every breast, and again there was silence. Duller and duller, hoarser and hoarser, more and more painful grew the groan of the bull as it mingled with the whistling breath from the breast of the giant. The head of the beast began to turn in the iron hands of the barbarian, and from his jaws crept forth a long, foaming tongue. A moment more and to the ears of the spectators sitting nearer came, as it were, the crack of breaking bones; then the beast rolled on the earth, dead.
The giant removed in a twinkling the ropes that bound the maiden to the horns of the bull. His face was very pale; he stood as if only half conscious; then he raised his eyes and looked at the spectators.
The amphitheater had gone wild. The walls of the building were trembling from the roar of tens of thousands of people.
Everywhere were heard cries for mercy, passionate and persistent, which soon turned into one unbroken thunder.
The giant understood that they were asking for his life and liberty, but his thoughts were not for himself. He raised the unconscious maiden in his arms, and, going to Nero's padium, held her up and looked up imploringly.
Vinicius sprang over the barrier, which separated the lower seats from the arena, and, running to Lygia, covered her with his toga.
Then he tore apart the tunic on his breast, laid bare the scars left by wounds received in the Armenian war, and stretched out his hands to the multitude.
At this the enthusiasm passed everything ever seen in a circus before. Voices choking with tears began to demand mercy. Yet Nero halted and hesitated. He would have preferred to see the giant and the maiden rent by the horns of the bull.
Nero was alarmed. He understood that to oppose longer was simply dangerous. A disturbance begun in the circus might seize the whole city. He looked once more, and, seeing everywhere frowning brows, excited faces and eyes fixed on him, he slowly raised his hand and gave the sign for mercy.
Then a thunder of applause broke from the highest seats to the lowest. But Vinicius heard it not. He dropped on his knees in the arena, stretched his hands toward heaven and cried: "I believe! Oh, Christ! I believe! I believe!"
 Copyright, 1896, by Jeremiah Curtin.
THE ARROW AND THE SONG
H. W. LONGFELLOW
I shot an arrow into the air. It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air. It fell to earth, I knew not where; For who has sight so keen and strong That it can follow the flight of song.
Long, long afterward, in an oak, I found the arrow still unbroke; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.
 Used by permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Co., publishers of his works.
R. BULWER LYTTON
At Paris it was, at the opera there; And she looked like a queen that night, With a wreath of pearl in her raven hair, And the brooch in her breast so bright.
Of all the operas that Verdi wrote, The best, to my taste, is the "Trovatore": And Mario can soothe, with a tenor note, The souls in purgatory.
The moon on the tower slept soft as snow; And who was not thrilled in the strangest way, As we heard him sing, while the gas burned low, "Non ti scordar di me?"
The Emperor there in his box of state, Looked grave; as if he had just then seen The red flag wave from the city gate, Where the eagles in bronze had been.
The Empress, too, had a tear in her eye; You'd have thought that her fancy had gone back again, For one moment, under the old blue sky, To that old glad life in Spain.
Well! there in our front row box we sat Together, my bride betrothed and I; My gaze was fixed on my opera hat, And hers on the stage hard by.
And both were silent and both were sad; Like a queen she leaned on her full white arm, With that regal indolent air she had; So confident of her charm!
I have not a doubt she was thinking then Of her former lord, good soul that he was, Who died the richest and roundest of men, The Marquis of Carabas.
I hope that, to get to the kingdom of heaven, Through a needle's eye he had not to pass; I wish him well for the jointure given To my lady of Carabas.
Meanwhile I was thinking of my first love As I had not been thinking of aught for years; Till over my eyes there began to move Something that felt like tears.
I thought of the dress that she wore last time, When we stood neath the cypress-trees together, In that lost land, in that soft clime, In the crimson evening weather;
Of that muslin dress (for the eve was hot); And her warm white neck in its golden chain; And her full soft hair just tied in a knot, And falling loose again.
And the Jasmine flower in her fair young breast; (O the faint sweet smell of that Jasmine flower!) And the one bird singing alone to its nest; And the one star over the tower.
I thought of our little quarrels and strife, And the letter that brought me back my ring; And it all seemed there in the waste of life, Such a very little thing.
For I thought of her grave below the hill, Which the sentinel cypress-tree stands over; And I thought, "Were she only living still, How I could forgive her and love her!"
And I swear as I thought of her thus in that hour, And of how, after all, old things are best, That I smelt the smell of that Jasmine flower Which she used to wear in her breast.
And I turned and looked; she was sitting there, In a dim box over the stage; and drest In that muslin dress, with that full soft hair, And that Jasmine in her breast!
I was here, and she was there; And the glittering horse-shoe curved between;— From my bride betrothed, with her raven hair And her sumptuous scornful mien,
To my early love with her eyes downcast, And over her primrose face the shade, (In short from the future back to the past) There was but a step to be made.
To my early love from my future bride One moment I looked, then I stole to the door, I traversed the passage; and down at her side I was sitting a moment more.
My thinking of her or the music's strain, Or something which never will be expressed, Had brought her back from the grave again, With the Jasmine in her breast.
She is not dead, and she is not wed! But she loves me now and she loved me then! And the very first words that her sweet lips said, My heart grew youthful again.
The Marchioness there, of Carabas, She is wealthy and young and handsome still, And but for her ... well, we'll let that pass; She may marry whomever she will.
But I will marry my own first love, With her primrose face, for old things are best; And the flower in her bosom, I prize it above The brooch in my lady's breast.
The world is filled with folly and sin, And love must cling where it can, I say, For beauty is easy enough to win, But one isn't loved every day.
And I think in the lives of most women and men, There's a moment when all would go smooth and even, If only the dead could find out when To come back and be forgiven.
But O! the smell of that Jasmine flower! And O that music! and O the way That voice rang out from the donjon tower, Non ti scordar di me, Non ti scordar di me!
DANIEL HENRY, JR.
"Bobby Shafto's gone to sea:— Silver buckles on his knee— He'll come back and marry me, Pretty Bobby Shafto!" "Mother Goose Melodies."
"With his treasures won at sea, Spanish gold and Portugee, And his heart, still fast to me, Pretty Bobby Shafto!
"In a captain's pomp and pride, With a gold sword at his side, He'll come back to claim his bride, Pretty Bobby Shafto!"
So she sang, the winter long, Till the sun came, golden-strong, And the blue birds caught her song: All of Bobby Shafto.
Days went by, and autumn came, Eyes grew dim, and feet went lame, But the song, it was the same, All of Bobby Shafto.
Never came across the sea, Silver buckles on his knee, Bobby to his bride-to-be, Fickle Bobby Shafto!
For where midnight never dies, In the Storm-King's caves of ice, Stiff and stark, poor Bobby lies— Heigho! Bobby Shafto.
 From "Under a Fool's Cap."
GUSTAV NADAUD, translated by M. E. W. SHERWOOD
"How old I am! I'm eighty years! I've worked both hard and long; Yet patient as my life has been, One dearest sight I have not seen,— It almost seems a wrong. A dream I had when life was new; Alas, our dreams! they come not true; I thought to see fair Carcassonne,— That lovely city,—Carcassonne!
"One sees it dimly from the height Beyond the mountains blue, Fain would I walk five weary leagues,— I do not mind the road's fatigues,— Through morn and evening's dew; But bitter frost would fall at night; And on the grapes,—that yellow blight! I could not go to Carcassonne, I never went to Carcassonne.
"They say it is as gay all times As holidays at home! The gentles ride in gay attire, And in the sun each gilded spire Shoots up like those of Rome! The bishop the procession leads, The generals curb their prancing steeds. Alas! I know not Carcassonne— Alas! I saw not Carcassonne!
"Our Vicar's right! he preaches loud, And bids us to beware; He says, 'O guard the weakest-part, And most that traitor in the heart Against ambition's snare.' Perhaps in autumn I can find Two sunny days with gentle wind; I then could go to Carcassonne, I still could go to Carcassonne.
"My God, my Father! pardon me If this my wish offends; One sees some hope more high than his, In age, as in his infancy, To which his heart ascends! My wife, my son have seen Narbonne, My grandson went to Perpignan, But I have not seen Carcassonne, But I have not seen Carcassonne."
Thus sighed a peasant bent with age, Half-dreaming in his chair; I said, "My friend, come go with me To-morrow, then thine eyes shall see Those streets that seem so fair." That night there came for passing soul The church-bell's low and solemn toll. He never saw gay Carcassonne. Who has not known a Carcassonne?
All this time I had gone on loving Dora harder than ever. If I may so express it, I was steeped in Dora. I was not merely over head and ears in love with her, I was saturated through and through. I took night walks to Norwood where she lived, and perambulated round and round the house and garden for hours together, looking through crevices in the palings, using violent exertions to get my chin above the rusty nails on the top, blowing kisses at the lights in the windows, and romantically calling on the night to shield my Dora,—I don't exactly know from what,—I suppose from fire, perhaps from mice, to which she had a great objection.
Dora had a discreet friend, comparatively stricken in years, almost of the ripe age of twenty, I should say, whose name was Miss Mills. Dora called her Julia. She was the bosom friend of Dora. Happy Miss Mills!
One day Miss Mills said: "Dora is coming to stay with me. She is coming the day after to-morrow. If you would like to call, I am sure papa would be happy to see you."
I passed three days in a luxury of wretchedness. At last, arrayed for the purpose, at a vast expense, I went to Miss Mills's, fraught with a declaration. Mr. Mills was not at home. I didn't expect he would be. Nobody wanted him. Miss Mills was at home. Miss Mills would do.
I was shown into a room upstairs, where Miss Mills and Dora were. Dora's little dog Jip was there. Miss Mills was copying music, and Dora was painting flowers. What were my feelings when I recognized flowers I had given her!
Miss Mills was very glad to see me, and very sorry her papa was not at home, though I thought we all bore that with fortitude. Miss Mills was conversational for a few minutes, and then laying down her pen, got up and left the room.
I began to think I would put it off till to-morrow.
"I hope your poor horse was not tired when he got home at night from that picnic," said Dora, lifting up her beautiful eyes.
"It was a long way for him."
I began to think I would do it to-day.
"It was a long way for him, for he had nothing to uphold him on the journey."
"Wasn't he fed, poor thing?"
I began to think I would put it off till to-morrow.
"Ye-yes, he was well taken care of. I mean he had not the unutterable happiness that I had in being so near to you."
I saw now that I was in for it, and it must be done on the spot.
"I don't know why you should care for being near me, or why you should call it a happiness. But of course you don't mean what you say. Jip, you naughty boy, come here!"
I don't know how I did it, but I did it in a moment. I intercepted Jip. I had Dora in my arms. I was full of eloquence. I never stopped for a word. I told her how I loved her. I told her I should die without her. I told her that I idolized and worshiped her. Jip barked madly all the time. My eloquence increased, and I said if she would like me to die for her, she had but to say the word, and I was ready. I had loved her to distraction every minute, day and night, since I first set eyes upon her. I loved her at that minute to distraction. I should always love her, every minute, to distraction. Lovers had loved before, and lovers would love again; but no lover had ever loved, might, could, would, or should ever love, as I loved Dora. The more I raved, the more Jip barked. Each of us in his own way got more mad every moment.
Well, well! Dora and I were sitting on the sofa by and by quiet enough, and Jip was lying in her lap winking peacefully at me. It was off my mind. I was in a state of perfect rapture. Dora and I were engaged.
Being poor, I felt it necessary the next time I went to my darling to expatiate on that unfortunate drawback. I soon carried desolation into the bosom of our joys—not that I meant to do it, but that I was so full of the subject—by asking Dora without the smallest preparation, if she could love a beggar.
"How can you ask me anything so foolish? Love a beggar!"
"Dora, my own dearest, I am a beggar!"
"How can you be such a silly thing," replied Dora, slapping my hand, "as to sit there telling such stories? I'll make Jip bite you, if you are so ridiculous."
But I looked so serious that Dora began to cry. She did nothing but exclaim, "O dear! O dear!" And oh, she was so frightened! And where was Julia Mills? And oh, take her to Julia Mills, and go away, please! until I was almost beside myself.
I thought I had killed her. I sprinkled water on her face; I went down on my knees; I plucked at my hair; I implored her forgiveness; I besought her to look up; I ravaged Miss Mills's work-box for a smelling-bottle, and in my agony of mind, applied an ivory needle-case instead, and dropped all the needles over Dora.
At last I got Dora to look at me, with a horrified expression which I gradually soothed until it was only loving, and her soft, pretty cheek was lying against mine.
"Is your heart mine still, dear Dora?"
"O yes! O yes! it's all yours, oh, don't be dreadful."
"My dearest love, the crust well earned—"
"O yes; but I don't want to hear any more about crusts. And after we are married, Jip must have a mutton chop every day at twelve, or he'll die."
I was charmed with her childish, winning way, and I fondly explained to her that Jip should have his mutton chop with his accustomed regularity.
When we had been engaged some half-year or so, Dora delighted me by asking me to give her that cookery-book I had once spoken of, and to show her how to keep accounts, as I had once promised I would. I brought the volume with me on my next visit (I got it prettily bound, first, to make it look less dry and more inviting), and showed her an old housekeeping book of my aunt's, and gave her a set of tablets, and a pretty little pencil-case, and a box of leads, to practice housekeeping with.
But the cookery-book made Dora's head ache, and the figures made her cry. They wouldn't add up, she said. So she rubbed them out, and drew little nosegays, and likenesses of me and Jip, all over the tablets.
Time went on, and at last, here in this hand of mine, I held the wedding license. There were the two names in the sweet old visionary connection,—David Copperfield and Dora Spenlow; and there in the corner was that parental institution, the Stamp Office, looking down upon our union; and there, in the printed form of words, was the Archbishop of Canterbury, invoking a blessing on us and doing it as cheap as could possibly be expected.
I doubt whether two young birds could have known less about keeping house than I and my pretty Dora did. We had a servant, of course. She kept house for us. We had an awful time of it with Mary Anne. She was the cause of our first little quarrel.
"My dearest life," I said one day to Dora, "do you think Mary Anne has any idea of time?"
"My love, because it's five, and we were to have dined at four."
My little wife came and sat upon my knee, to coax me to be quiet, and drew a line with her pencil down the middle of my nose; but I couldn't dine off that, though it was very agreeable.
"Don't you think, my dear, it would be better for you to remonstrate with Mary Anne?"
"O no, please! I couldn't, Doady!"
"Why not, my love?"
"O, because I am such a little goose, and she knows I am!"
I thought this sentiment so incompatible with the establishment of any system of check on Mary Anne, that I frowned a little.
"My precious wife, we must be serious some times. Come! sit down on this chair, close beside me! Give me the pencil! There! Now let us talk sensibly. You know, dear," what a little hand it was to hold, and what a tiny wedding ring it was to see,—"you know, my love, it is not exactly comfortable to have to go out without one's dinner. Now, is it?"
"My love, how you tremble!"
"Because, I know you're going to scold me."
"My sweet, I am only going to reason."
"O, but reasoning is worse than scolding! I didn't marry to be reasoned with. If you meant to reason with such a poor little thing as I am, you ought to have told me so, you cruel boy!"
"Dora, my darling!"
"No, I am not your darling. Because you must be sorry that you married me, or else you wouldn't reason with me!"
I felt so injured by the inconsequential nature of this charge, that it gave me courage to be grave.
"Now, my own Dora, you are childish, and are talking nonsense. You must remember, I am sure, that I was obliged to go out yesterday when dinner was half over; and that, the day before, I was made quite unwell by being obliged to eat underdone veal in a hurry; to-day, I don't dine at all, and I am afraid to say how long we waited for breakfast, and then the water didn't boil. I don't mean to reproach you, my dear, but this, is not comfortable."
"Oh, you cruel, cruel boy, to say I am a disagreeable wife!"
"Now, my dear Dora, you must know that I never said that!"
"You said I wasn't comfortable!"
"I said the housekeeping was not comfortable!"
"It's exactly the same thing! and I wonder, I do, at your making such ungrateful speeches. When you know that the other day, when you said you would like a little bit of fish, I went out myself, miles and miles, and ordered it to surprise you."
"And it was very kind of you, my own darling; and I felt it so much that I wouldn't on any account have mentioned that you bought a salmon, which was too much for two; or that it cost one pound six, which was more than we can afford."
"You enjoyed it very much. And you said I was a Mouse."
"And I'll say so again, my love, a thousand times!"
I said it a thousand times, and more, and went on saying it until Mary Anne's cousin deserted into our coal-hole and was brought out, to our great amazement, by a picket of his companions in arms, who took him away handcuffed in a procession that covered our front garden with disgrace.
"I am very sorry for all this, Doady. Will you call me a name I want you to call me?"
"What is it, my dear?"
"It's a stupid name,—Child-wife. When you are going to be angry with me, say to yourself, 'It's only my Child-wife.' When I am very disappointing, say, 'I knew a long time ago, that she would make but a Child-wife.' When you miss what you would like me to be, and what I think I never can be, say, 'Still my foolish Child-wife loves me.' For indeed I do."
I invoke the innocent figure that I dearly loved to come out of the mists and shadows of the past, and to turn its gentle head toward me once again, and to bear witness that it was made happy by what I answered.
Christ God, who savest man, save most Of men Count Gismond who saved me! Count Gauthier, when he chose his post, Chose time and place and company To suit it; when he struck at length My honor, 'twas with all his strength.
And doubtlessly ere he could draw All points to one, he must have schemed! That miserable morning saw Few half so happy as I seemed, While being dressed in queen's array To give our tourney prize away.
I thought they loved me, did me grace To please themselves; 'twas all their deed; God makes, or fair or foul, our face; If showing mine so caused to bleed My cousins' hearts, they should have dropped A word, and straight the play had stopped.
They, too, so beauteous! Each a queen By virtue of her brow and breast; Not needing to be crowned, I mean, As I do. E'en when I was dressed, Had either of them spoke, instead Of glancing sideways with still head!
But no: they let me laugh and sing My birthday song quite through, adjust The last rose in my garland, fling A last look on the mirror, trust My arms to each an arm of theirs, And so descend the castle-stairs—
And come out on the morning-troop Of merry friends who kissed my cheek, And called me queen, and made me stoop Under the canopy—(a streak That pierced it, of the outside sun, Powdered with gold its gloom's soft dun)—
And they could let me take my state And foolish throne amid applause Of all come there to celebrate My queen's-day—Oh I think the cause Of much was, they forgot no crowd Makes up for parents in their shroud!
Howe'er that be, all eyes were bent Upon me, when my cousins cast Theirs down; 'twas time I should present The victor's crown, but ... there, 'twill last No long time ... the old mist again Blinds me as it did then. How vain!
See! Gismond's at the gate, in talk With his two boys: I can proceed. Well, at that moment, who should stalk Forth boldly—to my face, indeed— But Gauthier, and he thundered, "Stay!" And all stayed. "Bring no crowns, I say!
"Bring torches! Wind the penance-sheet About her! Let her cleave to right, Or lay herself before our feet! Shall she who sinned so bold at night Unblushing, queen it in the day? For honor's sake, no crowns, I say!"
I? What I answered? As I live, I never fancied such a thing As answer possible to give. What says the body when they spring Some monstrous torture-engine's whole Strength on it? No more says the soul.
Till out strode Gismond; then I knew That I was saved. I never met His face before, but, at first view, I felt quite sure that God had set Himself to Satan; who would spend A minute's mistrust on the end?
He strode to Gauthier, in his throat Gave him the lie, then struck his mouth With one back-handed blow that wrote In blood men's verdict there. North, South, East, West, I looked. The lie was dead, And damned, and truth stood up instead.
This glads me most, that I enjoyed The heart of the joy, with my content In watching Gismond unalloyed By any doubt of the event: God took that on him—I was bid Watch Gismond for my part: I did.
Did I not watch him while he let His armorer just brace his greaves, Rivet his hauberk, on the fret The while! His foot ... my memory leaves No least stamp out, nor how anon He pulled his ringing gauntlets on.
And e'en before the trumpet's sound Was finished, prone lay the false knight, Prone as his lie, upon the ground: Gismond flew at him, used no sleight O' the sword, but open-breasted drove, Cleaving till out the truth he clove.
Which done, he dragged him to my feet And said, "Here die, but end thy breath In full confession, lest thou fleet From my first, to God's second death! Say, hast thou lied?" And, "I have lied To God and her," he said, and died.
Then Gismond, kneeling to me, asked —What safe my heart holds, though no word Could I repeat now, if I tasked My powers forever, to a third Dear even as you are. Pass the rest Until I sank upon his breast.
Over my head his arm he flung Against the world; and scarce I felt His sword (that dripped by me and swung) A little shifted in its belt; For he began to say the while How South our home lay many a mile.
So 'mid the shouting multitude We two walked forth to never more Return. My cousins have pursued Their life, untroubled as before I vexed them. Gauthier's dwelling-place God lighten! May his soul find grace!
Our elder boy has got the clear Great brow; though when his brother's black Full eye shows scorn, it ... Gismond here? And have you brought your tercel back? I just was telling Adela How many birds it struck since May.
THE DEATH OF ARBACES
EDWARD BULWER LYTTON
In the eventful year of the eruption of Vesuvius, there lived in Pompeii a young Greek by the name of Glaucus. Heaven had given him every blessing but one; it had denied him the heritage of freedom. He was born in Athens, the subject of Rome. Succeeding early to an ample inheritance, he had indulged that inclination for travel, so natural to the young, and consequently knew much of the gorgeous luxuries of the imperial court. His ideals in life were high. At last he discovered the long-sought idol of his dreams in the person of Ione, a beautiful, young Neapolitan, also of Greek parentage, who had lately come to Pompeii. She was one of those brilliant characters which seldom flash across our career. She united in the highest perfection the rarest of earthly gifts,—Genius and Beauty. No wonder that the friendship of these two ripened into a higher love than that which served a theme for the idle gossip of the Roman baths, or the epicurean board of a Sallust or a Diomede.
Arbaces, the legal guardian of Ione, was a subtle, crafty, cunning Egyptian, whose conscience was solely of the intellect awed by no moral laws. His great wealth and learning, and his reputation as a magician gave him great power and influence over not only the superstitious worshipers, but also the priesthood of Isis. Shrouding the deceit and vices of a heathen metaphysical philosophy in a brilliant and imposing ceremonial, Arbaces was the better able to gratify his own desires and work out his diabolical scheme.
As Ione just ripened into beautiful womanhood, Arbaces determined to claim her life and her love for himself alone; but his first overture not only met with rebuff, but revealed the fact that she already loved Glaucus. Angered by a fate which not even his dark sorcery could remove, and which the prophecy of the stars had foretold, he is further enraged by the violent opposition of Apaecides, the brother of Ione, who on his own account threatens and has prepared to expose the lewd deceits and hypocrisy of the worship of Isis. Arbaces murders Apaecides, imprisons the priest Calenus, the only witness of the deed, and with great cunning weaves a convicting net of circumstantial evidence around Glaucus, his hated rival. Glaucus is tried, convicted and doomed to be thrown to the lion.
The day of the sports of the amphitheater had come. The gladiatorial fights and other games were completed. "Bring forth the lion and Glaucus the Athenian," said the editor. Glaucus had been placed in that gloomy and narrow cell in which the criminals of the arena awaited their last and fearful struggle. The door swung gratingly back—the gleam of spears shot along the walls.
"Glaucus the Athenian, thy time has come," said a loud and clear voice. "The lion awaits thee."
"I am ready," said the Athenian. "Worthy officer, I attend you."
When he came into the air its breath, which, though sunless, was hot and arid, smote witheringly upon him. They anointed his body, placed the stylus in his hand, and led him into the arena.
And now when the Greek saw the eyes of thousands and tens of thousands upon him, he no longer felt that he was mortal. All evidence of fear—all fear itself—was gone. A red and haughty flush spread over the paleness of his features—he towered aloft to the fullness of his glorious stature. In the elastic beauty of his limbs and form, in his intent but unfrowning brow, in the high disdain, and in the indomitable soul, which breathed visibly, which spoke audibly, from his attitude, his lip, his eye, he assumed the very incarnation, vivid and corporeal, of the valor of his land—of the divinity of its worship—at once a hero and a god.
The murmur of hatred and horror at his crime, which had greeted his entrance, died into the stillness of involuntary admiration and half-compassionate respect; and with a quick and convulsive sigh, that seemed to move the whole mass of life as if it were one body, the gaze of the spectators turned from the Athenian to a dark uncouth object in the center of the arena. It was the grated den of the lion. Kept without food for twenty-four hours, the animal had, during the whole morning, testified a singular and restless uneasiness, which the keeper had attributed to the pangs of hunger. Yet its bearing seemed rather that of fear than of rage; its roar was painful and distressed; it hung its head—snuffed the air through the bars—then lay down—started again—and again uttered its wild and far-reaching cries.
The editor's lip quivered, and his cheek grew pale; he looked anxiously around—hesitated—delayed; the crowd became impatient. Slowly he gave the sign; the keeper, who was behind the den, cautiously removed the grating, and the lion leaped forth with a mighty and glad roar of release. The keeper retreated hastily through the grated passage leading from the arena, and left the lord of the forest—and his prey.
Glaucus had bent his limbs so as to give himself the firmest posture at the expected rush of the lion, with his small and shining weapon raised high, in the faint hope that one well directed thrust might penetrate through the eye to the brain of his grim foe.
At the first moment of its release the lion halted in the arena, raised itself half on end, snuffing the upward air with impatient sighs; then suddenly sprang forward, but not on the Athenian. At half speed it circled around and around the arena; once or twice it endeavored to leap up the parapet that separated it from the audience. At length, as if tired of attempting to escape, it crept with a moan into its cage, and once more laid itself down to rest.
The first surprise of the assembly at the apathy of the lion soon grew into resentment at its cowardice; and the populace already merged their pity for the fate of Glaucus into angry compassion for their own disappointment. The editor called the keeper.
"How is this? Take the goad, prick him forth, and then close the door of the den."
As the keeper, with some fear, but more astonishment, was preparing to obey, a loud cry was heard at one of the entrances of the arena; there was a confusion—a bustle—voices of remonstrance suddenly breaking forth, and suddenly silenced at the reply. All eyes turned in wonder at the interruption, toward the quarter of disturbance; the crowd gave way, and suddenly Sallust appeared on the senatorial benches, his hair disheveled,—breathless—half exhausted. He cast his eyes hastily round the ring. "Remove the Athenian," he cried. "Haste,—he is innocent. Arrest Arbaces the Egyptian. He is the murderer of Apaecides."
"Art thou mad, O Sallust?" said the praetor, rising from his seat. "What means this raving?"
"Remove the Athenian. Quick! or his blood be on your head. Praetor, delay and you answer with your own life to the Emperor. I bring with me the eye-witness to the death of Apaecides. Room there—stand back—give way. People of Pompeii, fix every eye on Arbaces—there he sits. Room there for the priest Calenus."
"The priest Calenus,—Calenus," cried the mob. "Is it he?"
"It is the priest Calenus," said the praetor. "What hast thou to say?"
"Arbaces of Egypt is the murderer of Apaecides, the priest of Isis; these eyes saw him deal the blow. It is from the dungeon into which he plunged me—it is from the darkness and horror of a death by famine—that the gods have raised me to proclaim his crime. Release the Athenian—he is innocent."
"A miracle—a miracle," shouted the people. "Remove the Athenian. Arbaces to the lion!"
"Officers, remove the accused Glaucus—remove, but guard him yet," said the praetor.
"Calenus, priest of Isis, thou accusest Arbaces of the murder of Apaecides?"
"Thou didst behold the deed?"
"Praetor—with these eyes—"
"Enough at present—the details must be reserved for more suiting time and place. Ho! guards—remove Arbaces—guard Calenus! Sallust, we hold you responsible for your accusation. Let the sports be resumed."
"To the lion with the Egyptian!" cried the people.
With that cry up sprang—on moved—thousands upon thousands! They rushed from the heights—they poured down in the direction of the Egyptian. In vain did the aedile command—in vain did the praetor lift his voice and proclaim the law. The people had been already rendered savage.
Arbaces stretched his hand on high; over his lofty brow and royal features there came an expression of unutterable solemnity and command. "Behold!" he shouted with a voice which stilled the roar of the crowd; "behold the gods protect the guiltless! The fires of the avenging Orcus burst forth against the false witness of my accusers!"
The eyes of the crowd followed the gesture of the Egyptian, and beheld, with ineffable dismay, a vast vapor shooting from the summit of Vesuvius, in the form of a gigantic pine tree; the trunk, blackness,—the branches, fire,—a fire that shifted and wavered in its hues with every moment, now fiercely luminous, now of a dull and dying red, that again blazed terrifically forth with intolerable glare.
There was a dead heart-sunken silence. Then there arose on high the universal shrieks of women; the men stared at each other, but were dumb. At that moment they felt the earth shake beneath their feet; the walls of the theater trembled; and beyond in the distance, they heard the crash of falling roofs; an instant more and the mountain-cloud seemed to roll towards them, dark and rapid, like a torrent; at the same time, it cast forth from its bosom a shower of ashes mixed with vast fragments of burning stone! Over the crushing vines,—over the desolate streets,—over the amphitheater itself,—far and wide,—with many a mighty splash in that agitated sea,—fell that awful shower! The crowd turned to fly—each dashing, pressing, crushing, against the other. Trampling recklessly over the fallen—amidst groans, and oaths, and prayers, and sudden shrieks, the enormous crowd vomited itself forth through the numerous passages; prisoner, gladiator and wild beast now alike freed from their confines.
Glaucus paced swiftly up the perilous and fearful streets, having learned that Ione was yet in the house of Arbaces. Thither he fled to release—to save her! Even as he passed, however, the darkness that covered the heavens increased so rapidly, that it was with difficulty he could guide his steps. He ascended to the upper rooms—breathless he paced along, shouting out aloud the name of Ione; and at length he heard, at the end of a gallery, a voice—her voice, in wondering reply! He rescued her and they made their way to the sea, boarded a vessel and were saved from the wrath of Vesuvius.
Arbaces returned to his house to seek his wealth and Ione ere he fled from the doomed Pompeii. He found them not; all was lost to him. In the madness of despair he rushed forth and hurried along the street he knew not whither; exhausted or lost he halted at the east end of the Forum. High behind him rose a tall column that supported the bronze statue of Augustus; and the imperial image seemed changed to a shape of fire. He advanced one step—it was his last on earth! The ground shook beneath him with a convulsion that cast all around upon its surface. A simultaneous crash resounded through the city, as down toppled many a roof and pillar!—The lightning, as if caught by the metal, lingered an instant on the Imperial Statue—then shivered bronze and column! Down fell the ruin, echoing along the street, crushing Arbaces and riving the solid pavement where it crashed! The prophecy of the stars was fulfilled!
So perished the wise Magician—the great Arbaces—the Hermes of the Burning Belt—the last of the royalty of Egypt.
 An adaptation by R. I. Fulton from the "Last Days of Pompeii."
ALFRED LORD TENNYSON
With farmer Allan at the farm abode William and Dora. William was his son, And she his niece. He often look'd at them, And often thought, "I'll make them man and wife." Now Dora felt her uncle's will in all, And yearn'd toward William; but the youth, because He had been always with her in the house, Thought not of Dora.
Then there came a day When Allan call'd his son, and said, "My son, I married late, but I would wish to see My grandchild on my knees before I die; And I have set my heart upon a match. Now therefore look to Dora; she is well To look to; thrifty too beyond her age. She is my brother's daughter; he and I Had once hard words, and parted, and he died In foreign lands; but for his sake I bred His daughter Dora. Take her for your wife; For I have wish'd this marriage, night and day, For many years." But William answer'd short; "I cannot marry Dora; by my life, I will not marry Dora." Then the old man Was wroth, and doubled up his hands, and said, "You will not, boy! you dare to answer thus! But in my time a father's word was law, And so it shall be now for me. Look to it; Consider, William, take a month to think, And let me have an answer to my wish; Or, by the Lord that made me, you shall pack, And never more darken my doors again." But William answer'd madly; bit his lips, And broke away. The more he look'd at her The less he liked her; and his ways were harsh; But Dora bore them meekly. Then before The month was out he left his father's house, And hired himself to work within the fields; And half in love, half spite, he woo'd and wed A laborer's daughter, Mary Morrison. Then, when the bells were ringing, Allan call'd His niece and said, "My girl, I love you well; But if you speak with him that was my son, Or change a word with her he calls his wife, My home is none of yours. My will is law." And Dora promised, being meek. She thought, "It cannot be, my uncle's mind will change!" And days went on, and there was born a boy To William; then distresses came on him; And day by day he pass'd his father's gate, Heart-broken, and his father help'd him not. But Dora stored what little she could save, And sent it them by stealth, nor did they know Who sent it; till at last a fever seized On William, and in harvest time he died. Then Dora went to Mary. Mary sat And look'd with tears upon her boy, and thought Hard things of Dora. Dora came and said, "I have obey'd my uncle until now, And I have sinn'd, for it was all thro' me This evil came on William at the first. But, Mary, for the sake of him that's gone, And for your sake, the woman that he chose, And for this orphan, I am come to you. You know there has not been for these five years So full a harvest; let me take the boy, And I will set him in my uncle's eye Among the wheat; that when his heart is glad Of the full harvest, he may see the boy, And bless him for the sake of him that's gone." And Dora took the child, and went her way Across the wheat, and sat upon a mound That was unsown, where many poppies grew. Far off the farmer came into the field And spied her not; for none of all his men Dare tell him Dora waited with the child; And Dora would have risen and gone to him, But her heart fail'd her; and the reapers reap'd, And the sun fell, and all the land was dark. But when the morrow came, she rose and took The child once more, and sat upon the mound; And made a little wreath of all the flowers That grew about, and tied it round his hat To make him pleasing in her uncle's eye. Then when the farmer pass'd into the field He spied her, and he left his men at work, And came and said, "Where were you yesterday? Whose child is that? What are you doing here?" So Dora cast her eyes upon the ground, And answer'd softly, "This is William's child!" "And did I not," said Allan, "did I not Forbid you, Dora?" Dora said again, "Do with me as you will, but take the child, And bless him for the sake of him that's gone!" And Allan said, "I see it is a trick Got up betwixt you and the woman there. I must be taught my duty, and by you! You knew my word was law, and yet you dared To slight it. Well—for I will take the boy, But go you hence, and never see me more." So saying, he took the boy that cried aloud And struggled hard. The wreath of flowers fell At Dora's, feet. She bow'd upon her hands, And the boy's cry came to her from the field, More and more distant. She bow'd down her head, Remembering the day when first she came, And all the things that had been. She bow'd down And wept in secret; and the reapers reap'd, And the sun fell, and all the land was dark. Then Dora went to Mary's house, and stood Upon the threshold. Mary saw the boy Was not with Dora. She broke out in praise To God, that help'd her in her widowhood. And Dora said, "My uncle took the boy; But, Mary, let me live and work with you: He says that he will never see me more." Then answer'd Mary, "This shall never be, That thou shouldst take my trouble on thyself: And, now I think, he shall not have the boy, For he will teach him hardness, and to slight His mother; therefore thou and I will go, And I will have my boy, and bring him home; And I will beg of him to take thee back; But if he will not take thee back again, Then thou and I will live within one house, And work for William's child, until he grows Of age to help us."
So the women kiss'd Each other, and set out, and reach'd the farm. The door was off the latch. They peep'd, and saw The boy set up betwixt his grandsire's knees, Who thrust him in the hollows of his arm, And clapt him on the hands and on the cheeks, Like one that loved him; and the lad stretch'd out And babbled for the golden seal, that hung From Allan's watch, and sparkled by the fire. Then they came in; but when the boy beheld His mother, he cried out to come to her, And Allan set him down, and Mary said, "O Father!—if you let me call you so— I never came a-begging for myself, Or William, or this child; but now I come For Dora. Take her back, she loves you well. O Sir, when William died, he died at peace With all men; for I ask'd him, and he said, He could not ever rue his marrying me— I had been a patient wife; but, Sir, he said That he was wrong to cross his father thus, 'God bless him!' he said, 'and may he never know The troubles I have gone thro!' Then he turn'd His face and pass'd—unhappy that I am! But now, Sir, let me have my boy, for you Will make him hard, and he will learn to slight His father's memory; and take Dora back, And let all this be as it was before." So Mary said, and Dora hid her face By Mary. There was silence in the room; And all at once the old man burst in sobs:— "I have been to blame—to blame. I have kill'd my son. I have kill'd him—but I loved him—my dear son. May God forgive me!—I have been to blame. Kiss me, my children."
Then they clung about The old man's neck, and kiss'd him many times. And all the man was broken with remorse; And all his love came back a hundred-fold; And for three hours he sobb'd o'er William's child Thinking of William.
So those four abode Within one house together; and as years Went forward, Mary took another mate; But Dora lived unmarried till her death.
AN EASTER WITH PAREPA
MYRA S. DELANO
When Parepa was here she was everywhere the people's idol. The great opera houses in all our cities and towns were thronged. There were none to criticise or carp. Her young, rich, grand voice was beyond compare. Its glorious tones are remembered with an enthusiasm like that which greeted her when she sung.
Her company played in New York during the Easter holidays, and I, as an old friend, claimed some of her leisure hours. We were friends in Italy, and this Easter day was to be spent with me.
At eleven in the morning she sang at one of the large churches; I waited for her, and at last we two were alone in my snug little room. At noon the sky was overcast and gray. Down came the snow, whitening the streets and roofs. The wind swept icy breaths from the water as it came up from the bay and rushed past the city spires and over tall buildings, whirling around us the snow and storm. We had hurried home, shut and fastened our blinds, drawn close the curtains, and piled coal higher on the glowing grate. We had taken off our wraps, and now sat close to the cheery fire for a whole afternoon's blessed enjoyment.
Parepa said, "Mary, this is perfect rest! We shall be quite alone for four hours."
"Yes, four long hours!" I replied. "No rehearsals, no engagements. Nobody knows where you are!"
Parepa laughed merrily at this idea.
"Dinner shall be served in this room, and I won't allow even the servant to look at you!" I said.
She clasped her dimpled hands together, like a child in enjoyment, and then sprang up to roll the little center-table near the grate.
The snow had now turned into sleet; a great chill fell over the whole city. We looked out of our windows, peeping through the shutters, and pitying the people as they rushed past.
A sharp rap on my door. John thrust in a note.
"MY DEAR FRIEND:—Can you come? Annie has gone. She said you would be sure to come to her funeral. She spoke of you to the last. She will be buried at four."
I laid the poor little blotted note in Parepa's hand. How it stormed! We looked into each other's faces helplessly. I said, "Dear, I must go, but you sit by the fire and rest. I'll be at home in two hours. And poor Annie has gone!"
"Tell me about it, Mary, for I am going with you," she answered.
She threw on her heavy cloak, wound her long white woolen scarf closely about her throat, drew on her woolen gloves, and we set out together in the wild Easter storm.
Annie's mother was a dressmaker, and sewed for me and my friends. She was left a widow when her one little girl was five years old. Her husband was drowned off the Jersey coast, and out of blinding pain and loss and anguish had grown a sort of idolatry for the delicate, beautiful child whose brown eyes looked like the young husband's.
For fifteen years this mother had loved and worked for Annie, her whole being going out to bless her one child. I had grown fond of them; and in small ways, with books and flowers, outings and simple pleasures, I had made myself dear to them. The end of the delicate girl's life had not seemed so near, though her doom had been hovering about her for years.
I had thought it all over as I took the Easter lilies from my window-shelf and wrapped them in thick papers and hid them out of the storm under my cloak. I knew there would be no other flowers in their wretched room. How endless was the way to this East-Side tenement house! No elevated roads, no rapid transit across the great city then as there are now. At last we reached the place. On the street stood the canvas-covered hearse, known only to the poor.
We climbed flight after flight of narrow dark stairs to the small upper rooms. In the middle of the floor stood a stained coffin, lined with stiff, rattling cambric and cheap gauze, resting on uncovered trestles of wood.
We each took the mother's hand and stood a moment with her, silent. All hope had gone out of her face. She shed no tears, but as I held her cold hand I felt a shudder go over her, but she neither spoke nor sobbed.
The driving storm had made us late, and the plain, hard-working people sat stiffly against the walls. Some one gave us chairs and we sat close to the mother.
The minister came in, a blunt, hard-looking man, self-sufficient and formal. A woman said the undertaker brought him. Icier than the pitiless storm outside, yes, colder than ice were his words. He read a few verses from the Bible, and warned "the bereaved mother against rebellion at the divine decrees." He made a prayer and was gone.
A dreadful hush fell over the small room. I whispered to the mother and asked: "Why did you wait so long to send for me? All this would have been different."
With a kind of stare, she looked at me.
"I can't remember why I didn't send," she said, her hand to her head, and added: "I seemed to die, too, and forget, till they brought a coffin. Then I knew it all."
The undertaker came and bustled about. He looked at myself and Parepa, as if to say: "It's time to go." The wretched funeral service was over.
Without a word Parepa rose and walked to the head of the coffin. She laid her white scarf on an empty chair, threw her cloak back from her shoulders, where it fell in long, soft, black lines from her noble figure like the drapery of mourning. She laid her soft, fair hand on the cold forehead, passed it tenderly over the wasted delicate face, looked down at the dead girl a moment, and moved my Easter lilies from the stained box to the thin fingers, then lifted up her head, and with illumined eyes sang the glorious melody:
"Angels, ever bright and fair, Take, oh! take her to thy care."
Her magnificent voice rose and fell in all its richness and power and pity and beauty! She looked above the dingy room and the tired faces of men and women, the hard hands and the struggling hearts. She threw back her head and sang till the choirs of paradise must have paused to listen to the Easter music of that day.
She passed her hand caressingly over the girl's soft dark hair, and sang on—and on—"Take—oh! take her to thy care!"
The mother's face grew rapt and white. I held her hands and watched her eyes. Suddenly she threw my hand off and knelt at Parepa's feet, close to the wooden trestles. She locked her fingers together, tears and sobs breaking forth. She prayed aloud that God would bless the angel singing for Annie. A patient smile settled about her lips, the light came back into her poor, dulled eyes, and she kissed her daughter's face with a love beyond all interpretation or human speech. I led her back to her seat as the last glorious notes of Parepa's voice rose triumphant over all earthly pain and sorrow.
And I thought that no queen ever went to her grave with a greater ceremony than this young daughter of poverty and toil, committed to the care of the angels.
That same night thousands listened to Parepa's matchless voice. Applause rose to the skies, and Parepa's own face was gloriously swept with emotion. I joined in the enthusiasm, but above the glitter and shimmering of jewels and dress, and the heavy odors of Easter flowers, the sea of smiling faces, and the murmur of voices, I could only behold by the dim light of a tenement window the singer's uplifted face, the wondering countenance of the poor on-lookers, and the mother's wide, startled, tearful eyes; I could only hear above the sleet on the roof and the storm outside Parepa's voice singing up to heaven: "Take, oh! take her to thy care!"
THOSE EVENING BELLS
Those evening bells! those evening bells! How many a tale their music tells Of youth, and home, and that sweet time When last I heard their soothing chime.
Those joyous hours are passed away; And many a heart that then was gay Within the tomb now darkly dwells, And hears no more those evening bells.
And so 'twill be when I am gone; That tuneful peal will still ring on, While other bards shall walk these dells, And sing your praise, sweet evening bells.
So it is come! The doctor's glossy smile Deceives me not. I saw him shake his head, Whispering, and heard poor Giulia sob without, As, slowly creeping, he went down the stair. Were they afraid that I should be afraid? I, who have died once and been laid in tomb? They need not.
Little one, look not so pale. I am not raving. Ah! you never heard The story. Climb up there upon the bed: Sit close and listen. After this one day I shall not tell you stories any more.
How old are you, my rose? What! almost twelve? Almost a woman! scarcely more than that Was your fair mother when she bore her bud; And scarcely more was I when, long years since, I left my father's house, a bride in May. You know the house, beside St. Andrea's church, Gloomy and rich, which stands and seems to frown On the Mercato, humming at its base. That was my play-place ever as a child; And with me used to play a kinsman's son, Antonio Rondinelli. Ah, dear days! Two happy things we were, with none to chide, Or hint that life was anything but play. Sudden the play-time ended. All at once "You must wed," they told me. "What is wed?" I asked; but with the word I bent my brow, Let them put on the garland, smiled to see The glancing jewels tied about my neck; And so, half-pleased, half-puzzled, was led forth By my grave husband, older than my sire. O the long years that followed! It would seem That the sun never shone in all those years, Or only with a sudden, troubled glint Flashed on Antonio's curls, as he went by Doffing his cap, with eyes of wistful love Raised to my face—my conscious, woeful face. Were we so much to blame? Our lives had twined Together, none forbidding, for so long. They let our childish fingers drop the seed, Unhindered, which should ripen to tall grain; They let the firm, small roots tangle and grow, Then rent them, careless that it hurt the plant. I loved Antonio, and he loved me.
Life was all shadow, but it was not sin! I loved Antonio; but I kept me pure, Not for my husband's sake, but for the sake Of him, my first-born child, my little child, Mine for a few short weeks, whose touch, whose look Thrilled all my soul and thrills it to this day. I loved: but, hear me swear, I kept me pure!
It was hard To sit in darkness while the rest had light, To move to discords when the rest had song, To be so young and never to have lived. I bore, as women bear, until one day Soul said to flesh, "This I endure no more," And with the word uprose, tore clay apart, And what was blank before grew blanker still. It was a fever, so the leeches said. I had been dead so long, I did not know The difference or heed. Oil on my breast, The garments of the grave about me wrapped, They bore me forth and laid me in the tomb.
Open the curtain, child. Yes, it is night. It was night then, when I awoke to feel That deadly chill, and see by ghostly gleams Of moonlight, creeping through the grated door, The coffins of my fathers all about. Strange, hollow clamors rang and echoed back, As, struggling out of mine, I dropped and fell. With frantic strength I beat upon the grate; It yielded to my touch. Some careless hand Had left the bolt half-slipped. My father swore Afterward, with a curse, he would make sure Next time. Next time! That hurts me even now!
Dead or alive I issued, scarce sure which, And down the darkling street I wildly fled, Led by a little, cold, and wandering moon, Which seemed as lonely and as lost as I. I had no aim, save to reach warmth and light And human touch; but still my witless steps Led to my husband's door, and there I stopped, By instinct, knocked, and called.
A window oped. A voice—'twas his—demanded: "Who is there?" "'Tis I, Ginevra." Then I heard the tone Change into horror, and he prayed aloud And called upon the saints, the while I urged, "O, let me in, Francesco; let me in! I am so cold, so frightened, let me in!" Then with a crash, the window was shut fast: And, though I cried and beat upon the door And wailed aloud, no other answer came.
Weeping, I turned away, and feebly strove Down the hard distance toward my father's house. "They will have pity and will let me in," I thought. "They loved me and will let me in." Cowards! At the high window overhead They stood and trembled, while I plead and prayed. "I am your child, Ginevra. Let me in! I am not dead. In mercy, let me in!" "The holy saints forbid!" declared my sire. My mother sobbed and vowed whole pounds of wax To St. Eustachio, would he but remove This fearful presence from her door. Then sharp Came click of lock, and a long tube was thrust From out the window, and my brother cried, "Spirit or devil, go! or else I fire!" Where should I go? Back to the ghastly tomb And the cold coffined ones! Up the long street, Wringing my hands and sobbing low, I went. My feet were bare and bleeding from the stones; My hands were bleeding too; my hair hung loose Over my shroud. So wild and strange a shape Saw never Florence since.
At last I saw a flickering point of light High overhead, in a dim window set. I had lain down to die: but at the sight I rose, crawled on, and with expiring strength Knocked, sank again, and knew not even then It was Antonio's door by which I lay. A window opened, and a voice called out: "Qui e?" "I am Ginevra." And I thought, "Now he will fall to trembling, like the rest, And bid me hence." But, lo, a moment more The bolts were drawn, and arms whose very touch Was life, lifted and clasped and bore me in. "O ghost or angel of my buried love, I know not, I care not which, be welcome here! Welcome, thrice welcome, to this heart of mine!" I heard him say, and then I heard no more.
It was high noontide when I woke again, To hear fierce voices wrangling by my bed— My father's and my husband's; for, with dawn, Gathering up valor, they had sought the tomb, Had found me gone, and tracked my bleeding feet, Over the pavement to Antonio's door. Dead, they cared nothing; living, I was theirs. Hot raged the quarrel: then came Justice in, And to the court we swept—I in my shroud— To try the cause.
This was the verdict given: "A woman who has been to burial borne, Made fast and left and locked in with the dead; Who at her husband's door has stood and plead For entrance, and has heard her prayer denied; Who from her father's house is urged and chased, Must be adjudged as dead in law and fact. The Court pronounces the defendant—dead! She can resume her former ties at will, Or may renounce them, if such be her will. She is no more a daughter or a spouse, Unless she choose, and is set free to form New ties if so she choose."
O, blessed words! That very day we knelt before the priest, My love and I, were wed, and life began. Child of my child, child of Antonio's child, Bend down and let me kiss your wondering face. 'Tis a strange tale to tell a rose like you. But time is brief, and, had I told you not, Haply the story would have met your ears From them, the Amieris. Now go, my dearest. When they wake thee up, To tell thee I am dead, be not too sad. I who have died once, do not fear to die. Sweet was that waking, sweeter will be this. Close to Heaven's gate my own Antonio sits Waiting, and, spite of all the Frati say, I know I shall not stand long at that gate, Or knock and be refused an entrance there, For he will start up when he hears my voice, The saints will smile, and he will open quick. Only a night to part me from that joy. Jesu Maria! let the dawning come!
THE HIGH TIDE AT LINCOLNSHIRE
The old mayor climbed the belfry tower, The ringers rang by two, by three; "Pull, if ye never pulled before; Good ringers, pull your best," quoth he. "Play uppe, play uppe, O Boston bells! Ply all your changes, all your swells, Play uppe, 'The Brides of Enderby.'"
Men say it was a stolen tyde— The Lord that sent it, He knows all; But in myne ears doth still abide The message that the bells let fall: And there was naught of strange, beside The flight of mews and peewits pied By millions crouched on the old sea-wall.
I sat and spun within the doore, My thread brake off, I raised myne eyes; The level sun, like ruddy ore, Lay sinking in the barren skies, And dark against day's golden death She moved where Lindis wandereth, My sonne's faire wife, Elizabeth.
"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling Ere the early dews were falling, Farre away I heard her song. "Cusha! Cusha!" all along; Where the reedy Lindis floweth, Floweth, floweth, From the meads where melick groweth, Faintly came her milking song.
Alle fresh the level pasture lay, And not a shadowe mote be seene, Save where full fyve good miles away The steeple towered from out the greene; And lo! the great bell farre and wide Was heard in all the country side That Saturday at eventide.
I looked without, and lo! my sonne Came riding down with might and main: He raised a shout as he drew on, Till all the welkin rang again, "Elizabeth! Elizabeth!" (A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.)
"The old sea wall (he cried) is downe, The rising tide comes on apace, And boats adrift in yonder towne Go sailing uppe the market-place." He shook as one that looks on death: "God save you, mother!" straight he saith, "Where is my wife, Elizabeth?"
"Good sonne, where Lindis winds away, With her two bairns I marked her long; And ere yon bells beganne to play Afar I heard her milking song." He looked across the grassy lea, To right, to left, "Ho Enderby!" They rang "The Brides of Enderby!"
With that he cried and beat his breast; For, lo! along the river's bed A mighty eygre reared his crest, And uppe the Lindis raging sped. It swept with thunderous noises loud; Shaped like a curling snow-white cloud, Or like a demon in a shroud.
So farre, so fast the eygre drave, The heart had hardly time to beat, Before a shallow, seething wave Sobbed in the grasses at oure feet. The feet had hardly time to flee Before it brake against the knee, And all the world was in the sea.
Upon the roofe we sat that night, The noise of bells went sweeping by; I marked the lofty beacon light Stream from the church tower, red and high— A lurid mark and dread to see; And awesome bells they were to me, That in the dark rang "Enderby."
They rang the sailor lads to guide From roofe to roofe who fearless rowed, And I—my sonne was at my side, And yet the ruddy beacon glowed; And yet he moaned beneath his breath, "O come in life, or come in death! O lost! my love, Elizabeth."
And didst thou visit him no more? Thou didst, thou didst, my daughter deare; The waters laid thee at his doore, Ere yet the early dawn was clear, Thy pretty bairns in fast embrace, The lifted sun shone on thy face, Downe drifted to thy dwelling-place.
That flow strewed wrecks about the grass, That ebbe swept out the flocks to sea; A fatal ebbe and flow, alas! To manye more than myne and me: But each will mourn his own (she saith), And sweeter woman ne'er drew breath Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.
I shall never hear her more By the reedy Lindis shore, "Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling, Ere the early dews be falling; I shall never hear her song, "Cusha! Cusha!" all along Where the sunny Lindis floweth, Goeth, floweth; From the meads where melick groweth, When the water winding down, Onward floweth to the town.
I shall never see her more Where the reeds and rushes quiver, Shiver, quiver; Stand beside the sobbing river, Sobbing, throbbing, in its falling To the sandy lonesome shore; I shall never hear her calling, "Leave your meadow grasses mellow, Mellow, mellow; Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow; Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot; Quit your pipes of parsley hollow, Hollow, hollow; Come uppe Lightfoot, rise and follow; Lightfoot, Whitefoot, From your clovers lift the head; Come uppe Jetty, follow, follow, Jetty, to the milking-shed."
HOW DID YOU DIE?
EDMUND VANCE COOKE
Did you tackle that trouble that came your way With a resolute heart and cheerful, Or hide your face from the light of day With a craven soul and fearful? Oh, a trouble is a ton, or a trouble is an ounce, Or a trouble is what you make it, And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts, But only—how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that? Come up with a smiling face. It's nothing against you to fall down flat, But to lie there—that's disgrace. The harder you're thrown, why, the higher you bounce; Be proud of your blackened eye! It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts; It's how did you fight—and why?
And though you be done to the death, what then? If you battled the best you could, If you played your part in the world of men, Why The Critic will call it good. Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce, And whether he's slow, or spry, It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts, But only—how did you die?
 By permission of Forbes & Co, publishers, and of the author.
THE INDIGO BIRD
Oh, late to come but long to sing, My little finch of deep-dyed wing, I welcome thee this day! Thou comest with the orchard bloom, The azure days, the sweet perfume That fills the breath of May.
A winged gem amid the trees, A cheery strain upon the breeze From tree-top sifting down; A leafy nest in covert low; When daisies come and brambles blow, A mate in Quaker brown.
But most I prize, past summer's prime, When other throats have ceased to chime, Thy faithful tree-top strain; No brilliant bursts our ears enthrall— A prelude with a "dying fall," That soothes the summer's pain.
Where blackcaps sweeten in the shade, And clematis a bower hath made, Or, in the bushy fields, On breezy slopes where cattle graze, At noon on dreamy August days, Thy strain its solace yields.
Oh, bird inured to sun and heat, And steeped in summer languor sweet, The tranquil days are thine. The season's fret and urge are o'er, Its tide is loitering on the shore; Make thy contentment mine!
 By permission of Harper & Bros., publishers, and the author.
THE JACKDAW OF RHEIMS
R. H. BARHAM
The Jackdaw sat on the Cardinal's chair! Bishop and abbot and prior were there; Many a monk, and many a friar, Many a knight, and many a squire, With a great many more of lesser degree,— In sooth, a goodly company; And they served the Lord Primate on bended knee. Never, I ween, was a prouder seen, Read of in books, or dreamt of in dreams, Than the Cardinal Lord Archbishop of Rheims! In and out through the motley rout, That little Jackdaw kept hopping about: Here and there, like a dog in a fair, Over comfits and cates, and dishes and plates, Cowl and cope, and rochet and pall, Miter and crosier! he hopped upon all. With a saucy air, he perched on the chair Where, in state, the great Lord Cardinal sat, In the great Lord Cardinal's great red hat; And he peered in the face Of his Lordship's Grace, With a satisfied look, as if he would say, "We two are the greatest folks here to-day!" And the priests with awe, as such freaks they saw, Said, "The deuce must be in that little Jackdaw!"
The feast was over, the board was cleared, The flawns and the custards had all disappeared, And six little singing-boys—dear little souls In nice clean faces, and nice white stoles— Came, in order due, two by two, Marching that grand refectory through!
A nice little boy held a golden ewer, Embossed and filled with water, as pure As any that flows between Rheims and Namur, Which a nice little boy stood ready to catch In a fine golden hand-basin made to match. Two nice little boys, rather more grown, Carried lavender-water, and eau de Cologne; And a nice little boy had a nice cake of soap, Worthy of washing the hands of the Pope. One little boy more a napkin bore, Of the best white diaper, fringed with pink, And a Cardinal's hat marked in "permanent ink."
The great Lord Cardinal turns at the sight Of these nice little boys dressed all in white; From his finger he draws his costly turquoise: And, not thinking at all about little Jackdaws, Deposits it straight by the side of his plate, While the nice little boys on his Eminence wait; Till when nobody's dreaming of any such thing, That little Jackdaw hops off with the ring!
There's a cry and a shout, and a terrible rout, And nobody seems to know what they're about, But the monks have their pockets all turned inside out; The friars are kneeling, and hunting and feeling The carpet, the floor, and the walls, and the ceiling. The Cardinal drew off each plum-colored shoe, And left his red stockings exposed to the view; He peeps, and he feels in the toes and the heels; They turn up the dishes, they turn up the plates, They take up the poker and poke out the grates, They turn up the rugs, they examine the mugs; But, no! no such thing,—they can't find THE RING!
The Cardinal rose with a dignified look, He called for his candle, his bell, and his book! In holy anger and pious grief He solemnly cursed that rascally thief! Never was heard such a terrible curse! But what gave rise to no little surprise, Nobody seemed one penny the worse!
The day was gone, the night came on, The monks and the friars they searched till dawn; When the sacristan saw, on crumpled claw, Come limping a poor little lame Jackdaw! No longer gay, as on yesterday; His feathers all seemed to be turned the wrong way; His pinions drooped, he could hardly stand,— His head was as bald as the palm of your hand; His eye so dim, so wasted each limb, Regardless of grammar, they all cried, "THAT'S HIM! That's the scamp that has done this scandalous thing, That's the thief that has got my Lord Cardinal's ring!" The poor little Jackdaw, when the monks he saw, Feebly gave vent to the ghost of a caw; And turned his bald head as much as to say, "Pray be so good as to walk this way!" Slower and slower he limped on before, Till they came to the back of the belfry-door, Where the first thing they saw, Midst the sticks and the straw, Was the RING, in the nest of the little Jackdaw!
Then the great Lord Cardinal called for his book, And off that terrible curse he took; The mute expression served in lieu of confession, And, being thus coupled with full restitution, The Jackdaw got plenary absolution! When these words were heard, the poor little bird Was so changed in a moment, 'twas really absurd: He grew slick and fat; in addition to that, A fresh crop of feathers came thick as a mat! His tail waggled more even than before; But no longer it wagged with an impudent air, No longer he perched on the Cardinal's chair. He hopped now about with a gait devout; At matins, at vespers, he never was out; And, so far from any more pilfering deeds, He always seemed telling the Confessor's beads. If any one lied, or if any one swore, Or slumbered in prayer-time and happened to snore, That good Jackdaw would give a great "Caw!" As much as to say, "Don't do so any more!" While many remarked, as his manners they saw, That they never had known such a pious Jackdaw! He long lived the pride of that country side, And at last in the order of sanctity died: When, as words were too faint his merits to paint, The Conclave determined to make him a Saint. And on newly made Saints and Popes, as you know, It's the custom at Rome new names to bestow, So they canonized him by the name of Jim Crow!
Jaffar the Barmecide, the good vizier, The poor man's hope, the friend without a peer, Jaffar was dead, slain by a doom unjust; And guilty Haroun, sullen with mistrust Of what the good, and e'en the bad, might say, Ordained that no man living, from that day, Should dare to speak his name on pain of death. All Araby and Persia held their breath;
All but the brave Mondeer; he, proud to show How far for love a grateful soul could go, And facing death for very scorn and grief (For his great heart wanted a great relief), Stood forth in Bagdad, daily, in the square Where once had stood a happy house, and there Harangued the tremblers at the scimitar On all they owed to the divine Jaffar.
"Bring me this man," the caliph cried; the man Was brought, was gazed upon. The mutes began To bind his arms. "Welcome, brave cords," cried he, "From bonds far worse Jaffar delivered me; From wants, from shames, from loveliest household fears, Made a man's eyes friends with delicious tears; Restored me, loved me, put me on a par With his great self. How can I pay Jaffar?"
Haroun, who felt that on a soul like this The mightiest vengeance could not fall amiss, Now deigned to smile, as one great lord of fate Might smile upon another half as great. He said, "Let worth grow frenzied if it will; The caliph's judgment shall be master still. Go, and since gifts so move thee, take this gem, The richest in the Tartar's diadem, And hold the giver as thou deemest fit!" "Gifts!" cried the friend; he took, and holding it High toward the heavens, as though to meet his star, Exclaimed, "This, too, I owe to thee, Jaffar!"
Wall, no! I can't tell where he lives, Because he don't live, you see; Leastways, he's got out of the habit Of livin' like you and me. Whar have you been for the last three years, That you haven't heard folks tell How Jimmy Bludsoe passed in his checks, The night of the Prairie Belle?
He warn't no saint—them engineers Is all pretty much alike— One wife in Natchez-Under-the-Hill, And another one here in Pike. A careless man in his talk was Jim, And an awkward man in a row— But he never flunked, and he never lied— I reckon he never knowed how.
And this was all the religion he had— To treat his engine well; Never be passed on the river; To mind the pilot's bell; And if ever the Prairie Belle took fire; A thousand times he swore, He'd hold her nozzle agin the bank Till the last soul got ashore.
All boats has their day on the Mississip', And her day came at last— The Movastar was a better boat, But the Belle, she wouldn't be passed, And so came a-tearin' along that night, The oldest craft on the line, With a nigger squat on her safety-valve, And her furnaces crammed, rosin and pine.
The fire burst out as she cleared the bar, And burnt a hole in the night, And quick as a flash she turned and made For that willer-bank on the right. Ther' was runnin' and cursin', but Jim yelled out Over all the infernal roar, "I'll hold her nozzle agin the bank Till the last galoot's ashore."
Thro' the hot black breath of the burnin' boat Jim Bludsoe's voice was heard, And they all had trust in his cussedness, And know'd he would keep his word. And sure's you're born, they all got off Afore the smokestacks fell, And Bludsoe's ghost went up alone In the smoke of Prairie Belle.
He warn't no saint—but at judgment I'd run my chance with Jim Longside of some pious gentleman That wouldn't shook hands with him. He'd seen his duty, a dead sure thing, And went fer it thar and then; And Christ ain't a-goin' to be too hard On a man that died for men.
 By permission of Mrs. Hay.
KING ROBERT OF SICILY
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane And Valmond, Emperor of Allemaine, Appareled in magnificent attire, With retinue of many a knight and squire, On St. John's eve, at vespers, proudly sat, And heard the priests chant the Magnificat, And as he listened, o'er and o'er again Repeated, like a burden or refrain, He caught the words, "Deposuit potentes De sede et exultavit humiles;" And slowly lifting up his kingly head, He to the learned clerk beside him said, "What mean those words?" The clerk made answer meet, "He has put down the mighty from their seat, And has exalted them of low degree." Thereat King Robert muttered scornfully, "'Tis well that such seditious words are sung Only by priests and in the Latin tongue; For unto priests and people be it known, There is no power can push me from my throne!" And leaning back, he yawned and fell asleep, Lulled by the chant, monotonous and deep. When he awoke it was already night; The church was empty, and there was no light, Save where the lamps, that glimmered few and faint, Lighted a little space before some saint. He started from his seat and gazed around, But saw no living thing and heard no sound. He groped toward the door, but it was locked; He cried aloud, and listened, and then knocked, And uttered awful threatenings and complaints, And imprecations upon men and saints. The sounds reechoed from the roof and walls As if dead priests were laughing in their stalls.
At length the sexton hearing from without The tumult of the knocking and the shout, And thinking thieves were in the house of prayer, Came with his lantern asking, "Who is there?" Half choked with rage, King Robert fiercely said, "Open: 'Tis I, the King! Art thou afraid?" The frightened sexton muttering with a curse, "This is some drunken vagabond or worse!" Turned the great key and flung the portal wide; A man rushed by him at a single stride, Haggard, half naked, without hat or cloak, Who neither turned, nor looked at him, nor spoke, But leaped into the blackness of the night, And vanished like a spectre from his sight. Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane And Valmond, Emperor of Allemaine, Despoiled of his magnificent attire, Bareheaded, breathless, and besprent with mire, With sense of wrong and outrage desperate, Strode on and thundered at the palace gate; Rushed through the courtyard, thrusting in his rage To right and left each seneschal and page, And hurried up the broad and sounding stair, His white face ghastly in the torches' glare. From hall to hall he rushed in breathless speed, Voices and cries he heard, but did not heed, Until at last he reached the banquet room, Blazing with light and breathing with perfume.