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Dr. Bell was a popular man: all things John Lincoln, that gave a sort of weight to to all men, with a ready gift of utterance, his words ; he spoke as if he meant all he and an ability for changing his opinion to said, and the youngsters, ever ready to pick this or that side, as occasion served. Chosen a quarrel, accepted from him what they to preach the Easter sermon at Paul's Cross, would not take from anybody else. he had cast about for a subject likely to be
“The boys must be ready to strike at the popular—"something taking," he had said right time,” he said, “and I foresee the to himself, over his sack-posset;
time is not far distant." thing that will fix attention, take them
"The boys," said Master Studely, runby the ear, and set their tongues wagging ning his hand over his smooth cheeks, afterwards.” The foreign residents ques prepared to strike.” tion suggested itself, and the doctor felt
“That's well-but not too much haste." warm on the subject. An Italian priest had Sherring tried to laugh the matter off, got a piece of preferment on which the doc- but that was impossible. tor's heart was set. “Yes," said he, “by
“I have a few names here, boys," said all means let me discuss with our worthy John Lincoln, “ that should not be forgotcits this important matter; they will see it ten. There is Mutas–Maitre Mutasas I see it--wonderful is the gift of elo. “What! the Frenchman ?” said Stephen quence!” So he dipped his nose into the Betts. posset, and prepared his sermon.
“Ay-with more wealth in his house It answered his expectations. It took than a Lombard Jew.” them by the ears ; they saw the subject
“We must have a turn with thee,” said as he saw it. It set their tongues wagging Master Studely.” afterwards.
Surely, surely—but let us not forget At the “Boar's Head," in Eastcheap, the Italian Razoni, by the Fleet Bridge.” Nick Sherring, Master Studely, Master They all knew him for a swaggerer, who Betts, John Lincoln, a broker, and two or took the wall, and was no friend, they three other choice spirits discussed the ser- guessed, to his highness the king. mon, and the drawer who served them lis- “Then there is the German silversmith, tened with both ears open, and hinted to Herr Gottlib, and the Dutchman, Vander. the cook that there would be mischief anon. huysen, and the Spaniard, Michael de la
Nick Sherring was in the best of humours, Pole." and in no way disposed to take anything in “But he is no trader," quoth Master earnest; but as to Master Studely, he was Studely. ready to unsheath his hanger, and bury it “That signifies nothing he is a spyin the heart of any man who had been guilty traitor-a let us be content to know of having been born beyond the four seas. that he is not English !” Lincoln, a downcast-looking man, sat There and then they conversed togethermoodily listening. He meant serious work. no one but themselves present, except the He saw that something would come of it, if | drawer with his ears open, and all unknown the “boys," as he called the 'prentices, to them in the next chamber Master Denis, could but be brought to do as well as to sergeant-at-arms, sipping his posset and talk. He had a curious way with him, this hearing every syllable.
WHAT THE POETS HAVE SAID ABOUT MAY.
BY WILLIAM WILLANS ASQUITH.
We have inserted this seasonable Paper in place of the “ Boys' RECITER,” which will be continued next month. Some of the quotations in this interesting collection
will, however, be found admirably adapted for recitation. Ed. B.M.M.] THE HE“ merry month of May” has made , Now the bright morning star, day's harthe subject of many a poet's song.
binger Our greatest writers have dignitied it with Comes dancing from the east, and leads with
her their most beautiful descriptions, and the The flower May, who from her green lap remembrance of what they have written
throws always makes us look forward to this month The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose. with anticipations of pleasure and delight. Hail ! bounteous May, that dost inspire
It is not wonderful that May should have Mirth and youth, and warm desire. been selected particularly for description Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Woods and groves are of thy dressing, and praised by the poets ; for there is no Thus we salute thee with our early song, month in the year which inspires feelings so And welcome thee and wish thee long. poetical and harmonious. Summer is rich
Here is another pretty, ode on the adand beautiful, with its trees and flowers,
vent of May, by Bullock : its deep blue skies, and sweetly-singing birds, and its gorgeous sunlight giving a still richer Hither she comes, the laughing May, hue to all its beauty. Autumn too is beautiful, Dressed in her bridals rich and gay; the bright colours of summer harmonized Her waist is girt with a zone of Howers, and deepened, the rich forest tinged with And her tresses float on the morning ray,
The free glad gifts of the glowing hours; brown, the ripe fruit hanging in delicious With the sheen of the cataract's sparkling clusters from the trees! and when Autumn spray approaches its close, how mournfully sug. Mark ye the smile of her sun-lit eye, gestive is the sight of the withered leaves and say is there aught with that smile can
vie ? falling from the trees, and forming a rich carpet on the ground below. Winter is Hither she comes, the flowerets spring, very grand : the height of the hills, the In the joy of her warm breath blossoming. roofs of the houses, the branches of the The violet peeps on the garish day,
And the wall-tower smiles on the ruin gray. trees, the whole surface of the ground, And the cowslip blooms on the sunny lea, buried in a sheet of pure white snow; the And the blossom is bright on the hawthorn rivers and ponds frozen into a polished tree, mirror of ice; everything cheerful, bright And the lark soars high on his speckled and clear.
With a carol of joy for a welcoming. There is poetry, therefore, in all the seasons, and in all the months ; and each has she brushes the dew from the laden spray,
She climbeth the hills where the young its own peculiar suggestiveness. But May
lambs play ; perhaps more than all the rest offers subjects At noon she seeketh the cooling shade, for the highest strains of poetry. It would And the soft repose of the forest glade ; be useless to attempt a description of it in Where the glare of the clay is hushed and prose in an essay which concerns especially
dim, the poetry of the month, so I shall not try to and flingeth her gifts on the fountain's
brim, speak of it in my own language, but begin by And laveth her limbs in the lucid tide, quoting Milton's exquisite “ Ode to May:" As it laughs aloud in its joyous pride.
She walketh abroad when the sun is low, Now while the birds thus sing a joyous song, And her hand is seen on the mountain's And while the young lambs bound, brow,
As to the tabor's sound, In a glorious wreath of living light, The cataracts blow their trumpets from Ere she yieldeth the world to the shades of night.
No more shall grief of mine the season Then wheeling aloft on her azure wings, wrong ; She prompteth the lay that the night-bird I hear the echoes through the mountains sings,
throng, As she warbleth forth from her leafy home The winds come to me from the fields of “Mortals rejoice, for the spring time is sleep. come!”
All the earth is gay,
Land and sea, ---Our best poets almost all have written And with the heart of May descriptions of May. The following is from Doth every beast keep holiday. the poems of Robert Browning :
Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
My heart is at your festival, Hark where the blossomed pear-tree in the My head hath its coronal, hedge
The fulness of your bliss I feel, I feel it all. Leans to the field, and scatters to the Oh evil day if I were sullen, clover
While the earth herself is adorning, Blossoms and dewdrops at the bent spray's This sweet May morning ; edge.
And the children were pulling, That's the wise thrush, he sings each song
On every side, twice over,
In a thousand valleys, far and wide, Lest you should think he never would Fresh flowers, while the sun shines warm, recapture
And the babe leaps up on its mother's arm. The first fine careless rapture. And though the fields look rough with Miss Isa Craig has written a pretty de. hoary dew,
scription of May-day: All will be gay when noontide wakes anew.
It is the morn of May, Wordsworth, pre-eminently the poet of The flowery holiday nature in all her most beautiful aspects, Of Shakspeare's England, with its golder has some fine passages about this month. I
As bright as ever passed, will first give his description of the advent
In glittering waters glassed, of May, and then his description of the And threading labyrinths of leaves and month itself :
The trees, fresh-clad and cool, The valley rings with mirth and joy,
Of murmured bliss are full ; Among the hills th
A deep content is poured on nature's A never, never-ending song,
needs. To welcome in the May.
And joy is in the flow The magpie chatters with delight,
Of each pulsation low, The mountain raven's youngling brood Which sends the lakelet rippling to its Have left their mother and the nest,
reeds. And they go rambling east and west,
Fair princess, woodland queen, In search of their own food,
The slender birch is seen, Or through the glittering vapours dart, With silken tresses to the sunshine spread, In very wantonness of heart.
With gleams like dazzling smiles,
And gay coquettish wiles, Along the river's stony marge,
The light laburnum shakes her golden head. The sand-lark chants a joyous song ;
Like bride on bridal morn, The thrush is busy in the wood,
There stands the snowy thorn, And carols loud and long.
White, fragrant, flowery; and the lilac there A thousand lambs are on the rocks,
From every peachy plume All newly-born: both earth and sky
Shakes out a rich perfume, Keep jubilee.
In waves of incense on the happy air.
Apropos of May-day, I met with some As full of spirits as the month of May.-pretty Scotch lines by Fergusson about
Shakspeare. certain superstitious rites which the fairies As it fell upon a day, are said to perform on that day. I will Sitting in the pleasant shade,
In the merry month of May, only extract one verse, as these lines do not which a grove of myrtles made, give any description of the month :- Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
Trees did grow, and plants did spring : On May-day, in a fairy ring,
Everything did banish moan. -Shakspeare. We've seen them roun' St. Anthon's spring, Frae grass the cauler dew-drops wring The jolly hours led on propitious May.To weet their een,
Milton. And water clear as crystal springTo synd them clean.
She came adorned like sweet May.”
Shakspeare. May is renowned for flowers. Cowper
Cowper says of May says of some flowers in winter :
She weaves fresh garlands every day,
To crown the smiling hours.
Longfellow has written a beautiful de
scription of May :And Shakspeare has in “Hamlet”.
The sun is bright, the air is clear, O rose of May, sweet maid, kind sister !
The darting swallows soar and sing, And again,
And from the stately elms I hear His crimes broad-blown as flowers in May. The blue-bird prophesying spring. May is also constantly associated by the So blue yon winding river flows,
It seems an outlet from the sky, poets with youth. Of this there are nu
Where waiting till the west-wind blows, merous instances. Robert Selma says- The freighted clouds at anchor lie. "She, though in her May of youth.” All things are new; the buds, the leaves
That gild the elm tree's nodding crest And Shakspeare uses the same expres. And even the nest beneath the eaves : sion in “Much Ado about Nothing :”- There are no birds in last year's nest ! His May of youth and bloom of lustyhood. All things rejoice in youth and love,
The fulness of their first delight!
And learn from the soft heavens above Sir W. Davenant (1605) has the same
The melting tenderness of night. ideaFair as the day
Leigh Hunt's description of May at In its first birth, when all the year was
Ravenna is so true of this month everyMay.
where, that I shall be pardoned for insertMay is also the month of love. Shaks- ing it here: peare speaks of—
The sun is up, and 'tis a morn of May, “Love, whose month is ever May."
Round old Ravenna's clear-shown towers
and bay. A morn the loveliest which the earth has
seen, On fine nights in May Young hearts betrothed used to go there to
Last of the spring, yet fresh with all its
For a warm eve and gentle rains at night May is represented as full of spirit and
Have left a sparkling welcome for the light;
And there's a crystal clearness all about ; playful, and also on account of her nume
The leaves are sharp, the distant hills look rous flowers and trees as richly adorned with out.
A balmy briskness comes upon the breeze,
The smoke goes dancing from the cottage The frolic wind that breathes the spring, trees; Zephyr with Aurora playing
And when you listen you may hear a coil As he met her once a-Maying.–Milton. Of bubbling springs about the grassy soil.
And Hunt says
And all the scene, in short, earth, sky, and But thou wert cold and sullen, and inclined
To sulk and whimper when thou should'st Breathes like a bright-eyed face that laughs out openly.
As if 'twere easier to be cross than kind! 'Tis nature full of spirits, waked and Thou had'st not e'en the spirit of a flirt, springing ;
To set off thy dim beauty! thou did'st The birds to the delicious time are singing, Darting with freaks and snatches up and Smile on thy lovers, that around thee clung. down,
And yet, cold and unloving as thou wert, Where the light woods go seaward from The thought is sad that thou art gone for
the town. While happy faces, striking through the green
But I cannot conclude these selections Of leafy roads, at every turn are seen. And the far ships, lifting their sails of with such a mournful one as the last, when white,
the month is so bright and joyful. I will Like joyful hands, come up with scattery add, in conclusion, Mr. Tennyson's beautiful light
description of May, with which he finishes Come gleaming up, true to the wished-for the first part of his “May Queen :"
day, And chase the whistling swirl and brine The honeysuckle round the porch has woven into the bay.
its wavy bowers, Speaking of the sea in May, I have found And by the meadow - trenches blow the a beautiful little piece, by Alexander Smith, And the wild marsh-marigold shines like
faint-sweet cuckoo-flowers; on this subject :
fire in swamps and hollows gray, The lark is singing in the blinding sky,
Ånd I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother,
I'm to be Queen o’ the May. Hedges are white with May-the bridegroom sea
The night-winds come and go, mother, upon Is toying with the shore, his wedded bride;
the meadow grass, And in the fulness of his marriage joy And the happy stars above them seem to He decorates her tawny brow with shells, brighten as they pass : Retires a space to see how fair she looks, There will not be a drop of rain the whole Then, proud, runs up to kiss her. All is of the livelong day, fair,
And I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, All glad from grass to sun.
I'm to be Queen o' the May. And yet May is not always fair. The All the valley, mother, 'ill be fresh, and poet cannot look for ever at the brightness
green, and still, and beauty, and ignore the occasional And the cowslip and the crowfoot are over darkness and disappointment. Robert And the rivulet in the flowery dale 'ill
all the hill, Selma, some of whose verses I have before
merrily glance and play, quoted, has written an “Ode to an Unpro- For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, pitious May:"
I'm to be Queen o' the May. 'Tis well that thou art dead and passed So you must wake and call me early call, away
me early, mother dear, All save thy worthless memory, for now
To-morrow ’ill be the happiest time of all I will endeavour to forget that thou
the glad New Year : Wert so unkind, so uncongenial, May !
To-morrow ’ill be of all the year the madAll hearts awaited thee with dance and
dest, merriest day,
For I'm to be Queen o’ the May, mother, song, To make thee happy as thy days were long.
I'm to be Queen o’ the May.