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Mr. Cuppage put down his tea. Even his buttered toast could afford him no gratification compared with that of doing the poor-law collector He seized his hat, and sallied out like a knight of old, prepared to conquer or to die.
There was a short way across the country, and, although a timid horseman, he prefers to take this to going by the road. He clears the fences gal lantly; and, on gaining arising ground, he sees the object of his hopes and fears grazing unconsciously in the field, about half-a-mile off. He pulls up to gloat his eyes upon it, and chuckling, thinks that he has done the poor-rate collector.
Hark! what does he hear in the distance ? it is a horse ;-a horse; and on its back Quinlan.
With a cry of horror Cuppage lashes his horse, and dashes down the steep in the direction of the cow - on, on, over hedges, and ditches, and stone walls. Some fate seems to guard the riders, for neither gets a fall. On, on; if the race were a hundred yards longer, Quinlan would win; but Cuppage keeps the lead.
In the next field unconsciously cropping the clover is the cow: a large fence, impracticable to horses, separates her from her pursuers. Cuppage leaps off, and dashing at an open place, gets through in spite of the thorns.
There are two ways to seize a cow, by the horn or by the tail. He looks at the cow's head, but the cow looks vi. ciously at him; and he prefers the safer, but more ignominious method, and grasping the cow by the tail, he exclaims in a solemn voice
" I hereby declare that I seize this cow, which is found on the land of John Ormsby, Esq., for county-cess due by him to me, and I call you, Peter Quinlan, to be witness to the seizure,”
• With all my heart, Mr. Cuppage," said Mr. Quinlan, from the other side of the hedge. " And I," here he seized Mr. Cuppage's pony_" declare that I seize this pony which I find on Mr. Ormsby's land, for poor-rate due to me, and I call you, Mr. Cuppage, to be witness to the seizure. I wish you good morning, Mr. Cuppage."
And he rode off, leading Mr. Cup. page's pony by the bridle, and leaving Mr. Cuppage gazing in a bewildered
manner at the cow, and the cow gazing at his tail in Mr. Cuppage's hand.
I never heard whether he recovered his pony, but certainly he took the thing very much to heart, and had thoughts at one time of emigrating to America, but gave it up, hearing of the buffalo hunts there. "His first and only hunt is ever before his mind; he is a cynic in disposition, and talks mysteriously of the band of fate, and of being done by a poor-rate collector.
A few days after I had heard of Mr. Cuppage's adventure, I was paying a visit at Lady --'s; as I was an old acquaintance, the servant did not bring up my name, and as I reached the drawing-room door I heard her ladyship (who has a deuce's own temper), blowing up her governess, or maid. servant, as I thought. As it is unpleasant catching a lady in an excited state, I hesitated, undetermined whether to advance or retreat, and necessarily heard some of the conversation. I could hear her ladyship, in a loud, imperious voice, and another person in a subdued one, seemingly deprecating her wrath.
“What business had you to dare to think so ?"
"I entreat your ladyship's pardon ; I did not know you wished me to appear when there was company."
“I might have expected such ingratitude," said her ladyship, sweeping out of the room, " when I took Irish beggars into my house.”
Thinking that the governess, for so I could perceive the other party to be, had also departed, and not wishing to be caught eavesdropping, I quietly entered the room. As I did so, I saw a young girl seated near the window, with her head buried in her hands. At the noise she started up, throwing back her dark brown ringlets from her forehead.
«Gracious heaven! Emily Ormsby," I t was, indeed ; but how changed I The wild Irish girl was then no more; it was a pale, broken-hearted creature, too true an emblem of Ireland herself. She might pass for the genius of Erin, with her harp unstrung, weeping over the wreck of former hopes, and wistfully lingering on the thoughts of those days she should see no more.
HALF AN HOUR WITH THE MODERN FRENCH POETS.
Among the many “ Popular Fallacies” which Jeremy Bentham has left untouched in his celebrated essay, there is none more generally diffused than this very great fallacy, that there are no French poets, properly so called, and no such thing as French poetry. It is true that the French, having chosen to put trammels on their language, and to make their poetry dance, as it were, in fetters, by encumbering it with rigid and superfluous rules, their natural genius has been cramped, and its productions disfigured, by a cold. ness and stiffness hardly reconcilable with the effusion of genuine poesy. Still the poetic spirit inherent in the Celtic race (the same which had al. ready, in ruder times, produced in France the “ lais" of the menestrals and troubadours, and the more recent ballads and rondeaus of Clement Marot) could not be wholly kept under. The genius of a Racine, bursting its bonds, showed itself in many a lofty passage of the “ Andromaque,” the
Esther," and the “ Athalie;" while a Malesherbes, a Moncrif, and others scarcely known to us by name in these islands, produced, despite all obstacles, some exquisite stanzas, and some bal. lads as simple and pathetic as are to be found in any language. The revolutions, the many revolutions in poli. tics to which France has been subjected, have been accompanied, too, by a revolution scarcely less important in literature. The rules of the Academy have not only been relaxed, and words and subjects, long taboo's, been al. lowed to the French poet, but “ Free Trade” in verse-making has been pro. claimed to him in all respects, and he is now quite as much of a “ chartered libertine" as any of his European or American co-minstrels. The barriers of prohibition once removed, the natural consequences have followed-a torrent of verse, fresh, natural, and impetuous, has been poured forth ; and if haply some of it has been turbid and unclean, yet by far the greater part has either dashed along over rock and stone, bright, bound ing, and sparkling, or glided on in a gentle and pellucid current, mur. muring soft music to the listening
ear. To drop metaphor, the France of our day deserves any reproach rather than that of being unpoetical ; for without speaking of the world-famous Chateaubriand, whose verses are all too few, of Hugo, and LAMARTINE, and BERANGER — the greatest of the three, there are numbers of original and pleasing poets among the French writers of the present day, who are quite unknown in these countries, and who have not yet attained any considerable degree of fame in their own. Among these, Henri Blaze and Ernest Legouvé are favourites of our own; and as we should wish to give an idea of their powers and their manner to such of our readers as do not understand French, we venture to offer to their notice the two following translations, one of which is from each poet, premising that the first, “ Claire," by Henri Blaze, is rendered nearly word for word, the metre of the original being as much as possible preserved ; while the second, the “ Two Mothers," by Legouvé, is altered only by being "done into " blank verse, instead of rhyming couplets:
“ CLAIRE. "Hear'st thou? The wind is rising in the
wood; It moaneth wildly through the rustling
grass, O'er which the beech-tree leaves are thickly
strewed : Even the oak bendeth as the storm-gusts
pass. Lowly the willow doth its branches trail, And through the chestnuts sound the music
of the gale.
"The nightingale sits silent in the shade,
The fresh acacia bends each vigorous bough, The streamlet gurgles o'er its pebbly bed,
The reeds wave sad and silently; while not The clouds, driven wildly o'er the sky's blue
plains, Pass like a rapid flight of snow-white
"Along the path by which wild strawber
ries grow, And lilies of the rale, 'neath sheltering
bowers Of balmy hawthorn, lilac, blossomed sloe, Claire, with light footstep trampling the
And by the moonlight Claire can see it steers
Its downward course more rapidly along; She, with light footstep, follows as it goes
Along the margin of the deep, deep stream; But now the north wind more tempestuous
blows, The huge oaks groan, and fitfal wild fires
gleam Upon the wave, which Claire thinks dia
mond-strewn, Amid the darkness, round her flowery crown"O tell, loved wreath! who cast thee on the
wave ?" She cries, and he my heart, my hand, my
life shall have !!
"THE TWO MOTHERS.
“ BY ERNEST LEGOUVE. "One clear bright morning in the early June, On the green turf beneath thick chestnut
trees (Their white robes rustling thro' the fresh
wild flowers), There passed together two young, lovely
women : Joy beaming in their eyes, their glossy hair Floating behind them in the summer wind. One is named Clari; in her sheltering arms
" Some paces thence the stream a winding
makes, Which Claire, lost in love ravings, does
not see ; The moon is hid by clouds, the path by
A sleeping child, scarce one year old, she
bears : The other Ella, slowly moves along; Her eyes are full of languor, and her speech, Tho' clear, is low; while in her faint, sweet
smile We read that she, too, soon will be a mo
ther. We see engraven on her pallid brow Thy venerable seal, Maternity,