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whenever they came too near, I could avoid them; for, from the peculiar formation of their feet, they cannot run on ice except in a right line. I immediately acted on this plan. The wolves, have ing regained their feet, sprang directly towards me. The race was renewed for twenty yards up the stream; they were already close on my back, when I glided round and dashed past them. A fierce howl greeted my evolution, and the wolves slipped upon their haunches, and again slid onward, presenting a perfect picture of baffled, blood-thirsty rage.
9. Thus I gained, at each turning, nearly a hundred yards. This was repeated two or three times, the wolves getting more excited every moment, until, coming opposite the house, a couple of stag-hounds, aroused by the noise, bayed furiously from their kennels. Quickly taking the hint, the wolves stopped in their mad career, turned skulkingly, and fled. I watched them till their dusky forms disappeared over a neighboring hill. Then, taking off iny skates, I wended my way to the house, grateful to Provi. dence for my escape, and determined never to trust myself again, if I could help it, within the reach of a gray/wolf.
LII. — THE PARTICULAR LADY... 1. I am far from being opposed theoreticallye to habits of neatness and order; but we sometimes see a good propensity carried so far as to interfere with the comfort of others. Did you ever live with a particular lady? - one possessed not simply with the spirit, but the demon of tidiness, — who will give you a two hours'l4l lecture upon the sin of an untied shoe-string, and raise a hurricane about your ears on the enormity of a fractured glove ? who will be struck speechless at the sight of a pin instead of a string, or set a whole house in an uproar, on finding a book on the table instead of in the book-case? Those who have had the misfortune to meet with such a person will know how to sympathize with me. I have passed two whole months with a particular lady.
2. I had often received very pressing invitations to visit an old school-fellow, who is settled in a snug parsonage, about fifty miles from town; but something or other was continually occurring to prevent me from availing myself of them. But, on the 17th of June (I shall never forget it, if I live to the age of old Parrer), having a few spare weeks at my disposal, I set out for my chum'sEl residence. He received me with his wonted cordial. ity ; but I fancied that he looked a little more care-worn than
a man of thirty might be expected to look, – married as he is to the woman of his choice, and in the possession of an easy fortune.
3. Poor fellow! I did not know that his wife was a precisian. The first hint I received of the fact was from Mr. S., who, removing my hat from the first peg in the hall to the fourth, observed, “ My wife is a little particular in these matters; the first peg is for my bat, the second for William's, the third for Tom's, and you can reserve the fourth, if you please, for your own: ladies, you know, do not like to have their arrangements interfered with.”
4. I promised to do my best to recollect the order of precedence with respect to the hats, and walked up stairs, impressed with an awful veneration for a lady who had contrived to impose so rigid a discipline on a man formerly the most disorderly of mortals. I mentally resolved to obtain her favor by the most studious observance of her wishes.
5. I might as well have determined to be Emperor of China ! Before the week was at an end, I was a lost man. I always reckon myself tolerably tidy; never leaving more than half my clothes on the floor of my dressing-room, nor more than a dozen books about any apartment I may happen to occupy for an hour. I do not lose more than a dozen handkerchiefs in a month ; nor have more than a quarter of an hour's hunt for my hat or gloves, whenever I am going out in a hurry.
6. I found all this was but as dust in the balance. The first95 time I sat down to dinner, I made a horrible blunder; for, in my haste to help my friend to some asparagus, a I pulled a dish a little out of its place, thereby derānging the exact hexag'onalorder in which the said dishes were arranged. I discovered my mishap on hearing Mr. S. sharply rebuked for a similar offence.
7. Secondly, I sat, the whole evening, with the cushion a full finger's length beyond the cane-work of my chair; and, what is worse, I do not know that I should have been aware of my delinquency, if the agony of the lady's feelings had not overpowered every consideration, and at last compelled her to burst forth, “ Excuse me, Mr. - * but do, pray, put your cushion straight: it annoys me beyond measure to see it otherwise !”.
8. My third offence was displacing the snuffer-stand from its central position between the candlesticks ;my fourth, leaving a pamphlet I had been perusing on the pianoforte ;Et its proper place being a table in the middle of the room, on which all books in present use were ordered to repose; my fifth - but, in short, I should never have done, were I to enumerate every separate enormity of which I was guilty. My friend S.'s drawing-room has as good a right to exhibit4 a placard of “steel traps and spring guns ” as any park I am acquainted with.
* In reading aloud, the word Blank may be sometimes substituted (as in this instance) for a mark of Ellipsis. See | 147, Part I.
9. Even those “ chartered libertines,” the children and dogs, were taught to be as demurel and hypocritical as the matronly tabby-catEi herself, who sat with her two fore-feet together and her tail curled round her, as exactly as if she had been worked in an urn-rug, instead of being a living mouser. It was the utmost stretch of my friend's măr'italet authority to get his favorite spaniel admitted to the honor of the parlor ;£l and even this privilege is only granted in his master's presence. If Carlo happens to pop his unlucky brown nose into the room when S. is from home, he retreats directly, with as much consciousness in his ears and tail as if he had been convicted of larceny in the kitchen, and anticipated the application of the broomstick.
10. As to the children, I believe that they look forward to their evening visit to the drawing-room with much the same sort of feeling. Not that Mrs. S. is an unkind mother, or, I should rather say, not that she means to be so; but she has taken it into her head that, as young people have sometimes short memories, it is necessary to put them verbally in mind of their duties, “ from morn till dewy33 eve.”
11. So it is with her servants. If one of them leaves a broom or a duster out of its place for a second, she hears of it for a month afterwards. I wonder how they endure it! I have sometimes thought that, from long practice, they do not heed it, as a friend of mine who lives in a bustling street in the city tells me he does not hear the noise of the coaches and carts in front of his house, nor even of a brazierl who hammers away in his near neighborhood from morning till night.
12. The worst of it is, that while Mrs. S. never allows a mo. ment's peace to her husband, children or servants, she thinks her. self a jewel of a wife; but such jewels are too costly for everyday wear. I am sure poor S. thinks so in his heart, and would be content to exchange half-a-dozen of his wife's tormenting good qualities, for the sake of being allowed a little commonplace repose.
13. I never shall forget the delight I felt on entering my own house, after enduring her thraldomi for two months. I absolutely revelled in disorder: I tossed my hat one way, my gloves another ; pushed all the chairs into the middle of the room, and parrowly escaped cuffing my faithful Christopher, for offering to put it “in order” again, -, “straightening," as they call it in Cheshire. That awful « spirit of order!” For my own part, I do so execrate the phrase, El that if I were a member of the House of Commons, and the “order "El of the day were called for, 1 should make it a “rule” to walk out.
LIII. —THE FATHER'S RETURN FROM A FOREIGN LAND. 1. O JOYFUL hour when to our longing home
The long-expected wheels at length drew nigh!
And hope's impatience quickened every eye.
More glad return, mora happy hour, than this.” 2. Aloft on yonder bench, with arms dispread,
My boy stood, shouting there his father's name,
And there, a younger group,39 his sisters came;
While tears of joy were seen in elder eyes.
The cordial greeting, the belovëd31 sight;
And when those overflowings of delight
4. Bring forth the treasures now,- a proud display,
For rich as Eastern merchants we return!
The Friargal whose heads with sober motion turn;
5. The tumbler, fi loose of limb; the wrestlers twain;
And many a toy beside of quaintai device,
Their pasture on the mountains hõar with ice,
3. It was a group which Richter, El had he viewed,
Might have deemed worthy of his perfect skill ;
Their eager eyes, and fingers never still;
7. The agëd friend serene, with quiet smile,
Who in their pleasure finds her own delight;
The aunt's, rejoicing in the joyful sight;
8. Scoff ye who will! but let me, gracious Heaven,
Preserve this boyish heart till life's last day!
Shall still direct and cheer me on my way,
LIV. — THE CARRIER-PIGEON. EI
The bird, let loose in Eastern skies, when hastening fondly home
So grant me, God, from every care and stain of passion free,
LV. — ODE TO PEACE.
Once more in this sad heart;
We therefore need not part.
2. Where wilt thou dwell, if not with me,
And pleasure's fatal wiles ?
The banquet of thy smiles ?
3. The great, the gay, shall they partake
And wilt thou quit the stream