« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Into his pocket put; then slowly crept
To wished-for bed; but not a wink he slept-
For, on the floor, some sacks of flour were laid,
To which the rats a nightly visit paid.
Our hero now undressed, popped out the light,
Put on his cap and bade the world good-night ;
But first his breeches, which contained the fare,
Under his pillow he had placed with care.
Sans cérémonie, soon the rats all ran, And on the flour-sacks greedily began; At which they gorged themselves; then smelling round, Under the pillow soon the cheese they found; And while at this they regalirig sat, Their happy jaws disturbed the Frenchman's nap; Who, half awake, cries out, “Hallo! hallo! Vat is dat nibbel at my pillow so? Ah! 'tis one big huge rat! Vat de diable is it he nibbel, nibbel at ?"
In vain our little hero sought repose ;
Sometimes the vermin galloped o'er his nose ;
And such the pranks they kept up all the night
That he, on end antipodes upright,
Bawling aloud, called stoutly for a light.
“ Hallo! Maison! Garçon, I say!
Bring me the bill for vat I have to pay!”
The bill was brought, and to his great surprise,
Ten shillings was the charge, he scarce believes his eyes;
With eager haste, he runs it o'er,
And every time he viewed it thought it more.
Vy zounds, and zounds !” he cries, “I sall no pay;
Vat charge ten shelangs for vat I have mangé ?
A leetal sup of portar, dis vile bed,
Vare all de rats do run about my
Plague on those rats !" the landlord muttered out;
“I wish upon my word, that I could make 'em scout :
I'll pay him well that can."
- Vat's dat you say?" “ I'll pay him well that can."
“ Attend to me, I pray: Vil
you dis charge forego, vat I am at, If from your house I drive away de rat?” “ With all my heart,” the jolly host replies, “E'coutez donc, ani ;" the Frenchman cries. "First, den-Regardez, if you please, Bring to dis spot a leetal bread and cheese, Eh bien! a pot of portar too ; And den invite de rats to sup
And after—no matter dey be villing-
For vat dey eat, you charge dem just ten shelang:
And I am sure, ven dey behold de score,
Dey'll quit your house, and never come no more.”
Dear friends, we thank you
your condescension, In deigning thus to lend us your attention ; And hope the various pieces we recite, (Boys though we are,) will yield you some delight.
From wisdom and from knowledge, pleasure springs,
Surpassing far the glaring pomp of kings;
All outward splendor quickly dies away,
But wisdom's honors never can decay.
Blest is the man, who treads her paths in youth,
They lead to virtue, happiness, and truth;
Sages and patriots in these ways have trod,
Saints have walked in them till they reached their God.
The powers of eloquence can charm the soul,
Inspire the virtuous, and the bad control ;
Can rouse the passions, their rage can still,
And mold a stubborn mob to one man's will.
the great Demosthenes attained, Who haughty Philip's conquering course restrained; Indignant thundering at his country's shame, Till
every breast in Athens caught the flame.
Such powers were Cicero's :—with patriot might,
He dragged the lurking treason forth to light,
Which long had festered in the heart of Rome,
And saved his country from her threatened doom.
Nor to the senate or the bar confined,
The pulpit shows its influence o'er the mind;
Such glorious deeds can eloquence achieve ;
Such fame, such deathless laurels, it can give.
Then say not this our weak attempt is vain,
For frequent practice will perfection gain;
The fear to speak in public it destroys,
the bashfulness of boys.
Various the pieces we to-night repeat,
And in them various excellencies meet,
Some rouse the soul—some gently soothe the ear,
“ From grave to gay, from lively to severe.”
We would your kind indulgence then bespeak,
For awkward manner, and for utterance weak,
Our powers, indeed are feeble ;-but our aim,
Is not to rival Greek or Roman fame;
Our sole ambition aims at your applause,
We are but young—let youth then plead our cause,
And if your approbation be obtained,
Our wish is answered and our end is gained.
Our parts are perform’d and our speeches are ended,
We are monarchs, and courtiers, and heroes no more ; To a much humbler station again we've descended,
And are now but the schoolboys you've known us before. Farewell then our greatness—’tis gone like a dream,
'Tis gone—but remembrance will often retrace The indulgent applause which rewarded each theme,
And the heart-cheering smiles that enlivened each face.
We thank you !--Our gratitude words cannot tell,
But deeply we feel it-to you it belongs ; With heartfelt emotion we bid
farewell, And our feelings now thank you much more than our tongues.
We will strive to improve, since applauses thus cheer us,
That our juvenile efforts may gain your kind looks ; And we hope to convince you the next time you hear us, That praise has but sharpen'd our relish for books.
THE MODERN RAKE'S PROGRESS.-Hurdis.
Tobias was his father's joy;
He trained him, as he thought, to deeds of praise ;
He taught him virtue, and he taught him truth,
And sent him early to a public school.
Here, as it seemed, but he had none to blame,
Virtue forsook him, and habitual vice
Grew in her stead. He laughed at honesty,
Became a sceptic, and could raise a doubt
E'en of his father's truth. 'Twas idly done
To tell him of another world, for wits
Knew better; and the only good on earth
Was pleasure; not to follow that was sin.
“ Sure He that made us, made us to enjoy ;
And why,” said he, "should my fond father prate
Of virtue and religion? They afford
No joys, and would abridge the scanty few
Of nature. Nature be my deity;
Her let me worship, as herself enjoins,
At the full board of plenty." Thoughtless boy!
So to a libertine he grew, a wit,
A man of honor; boastful empty names;
That dignify the villain.
His father thought
in wisdom as he grew in years. He fondly deemed he could perceive the growth Of goodness and of learning, shooting up, Like the young offspring of the sheltered hop, Unusual progress in a summer's night. He called him home, with great applause dismissed By his glad tutors-gave him good advice Blessed him, and bade him prosper. With warm heart He drew his purse-strings, and the utmost doit Placed in the youngster's palm. " Away," he cries, “Go to the seat of learning, boy.
Be wise, be frugal, for 'tis all I can."
“I will,” said Toby, as he banged the door,
And winked, and snapped his finger. “Sir, I will."
So joyful he to Alma Mater went
A sturdy freshman. See him just arrived,
Received, matriculated, and resolved
To drown his freshness in a pipe of port.
“Quick, Mr. Vintner, twenty dozen more;
Some claret too. Here's to our friends at home.
There let them doze. Be it our nobler aim
To live ;—where stands the bottle ?" Then to town
Hies the gay spark, for futile purposes,
And deeds, my bashful muse disclaims to name.
From town to college, till a fresh supply
Sends him again from college up to town.
The weekly post to the vexed parent brings,
Of college impositions, heavy dues,
Demands enormous, which the wicked son
Declares he does his utmost to prevent.
So blaming, with good cause, the vast expense,
Bill after bill he sends, and pens the draft
Till the full inkhorn fails. With grateful heart
Toby receives, short leave of absence begs,
Obtains it by a lie,-gallops away,
And no one knows what charming things are done
Till the gulled boy returns without his pence,
And prates of deeds unworthy of a brute :
Vile deeds, but such as in these polished days
None blames or hides.
So Toby fares, nor heeds
Till terms are wasted, and the proud degree,
Soon purchased, comes his learned toils to crown.
He swears, and swears he knows not what, nor cares,
Becomes a perjured graduate, and thinks soon
To be a candidate for orders. Ah!
Vain was the hope. Though many a wolf as fell
Deceive the shepherd, and devour the flock,
Thou none shalt injure. On a luckless day,
Withdrawn to taste the pleasure of the town,
Heated with wine, a vehement dispute
With a detested rival, shook the roof :
He penned a challenge, sent it, fought, and fell!
THE MAGPIE ; OR BAD COMPANY.—Anonymous.
Let others, with poetic fire,
In raptures praise the tuneful choir,
The linnet, chaffinch, goldfinch, thrush,
And every warbler of the bush ;
I sing the mimic magpie's fame,
In wicker cage, well fed, and tame.