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It was a scene on which the “ melancholy Jacques” might have moralized by the hour.
10. We now abandoned the place, leaving much honey in the hollow of the tree. "It will all be cleared off by varmint,” said one of the rangers. “What vermin ?” asked I. “Oh, bears and skunks and raccoons and 'possums. The bears is the knowingest varmint for finding out a beetree in the world. They'll gnaw for days together at the trunk, till they make a hole big enough to get in their paws, and then they 'll haul out honey, bees, and all.”
XCVII. – THE SONG OF THE SHIRT.
With eyelids heavy and red,
Plying her needle and thread.
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
She sang the “Song of the Shirt !"
2. “Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof!
Till the stars shine through the roof !
Along with the barbarous Turk,
If this is Christian work !
3. “ Work — work — work
Till the brain begins to swim; Work — work — work
Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Band and gusset and seam,
And sew them on in a dream !
4. “Oh, men with sisters dear!
Oh, men with mothers and wives ! It is not linen you're wearing out,
But human creatures' lives ! Stitch-stitch -stitch,
In poverty, hunger, and dirt, Sewing at once, with a double thread,
A shroud as well as a shirt !
5. “But why do I talk of death,
That phantom of grisly bone ? I hardly fear his terrible shape,
It seems so like my own
Because of the fasts I keep;
And flesh and blood so cheap! 6. “Work-work — work !
My labor never flags; And what are its wages ? A bed of straw,
A crust of bread—and rags;
A table - a broken chair-
For sometimes falling there!
7. “ Work — work — work
From weary chime to chime; Work — work — work
As prisoners work for crime ! Band and gusset and seam,
Seam and gusset and band, Till the heart is sick and the brain benumbed,
As well as the weary hand !
8. “Work — work — work
In the dull December light; And work — work — work
When the weather is warm and bright;
The brooding swallows cling,
And twit me with the spring.
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet; With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet; For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel, Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal! 10. “Oh! but for one short hour!
A respite however brief!
But only time for grief !
But in their briny bed
Hinders needle and thread !"
11. With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
Plying her needle and thread;
In poverty, hunger, and dirt;
Would that its tone could reach the rich !--
XCVIII. — THE BORROWED UMBRELLA.
DOUGLAS JERROLD. 1. Bah! that's the third umbrella gone since Christmas. What were you to do? Why, let him go home in the rain, to be sure. I'm very certain there was nothing about him that could spoil! Take cold, indeed! He doesn't look like one of the sort to take cold. Besides he'd have better taken cold, than taken our umbrella. Do you hear the rain, Mr. Caudle? I say do you hear the rain ? Do you hear it against the windows ? Nonsense : you don't impose upon me; you can't be asleep with such a shower as that! Do you hear it I say? Oh! you do hear it! Well, that's a pretty flood, I think, to last for six weeks; and no stirring all the time out of the house. Pooh! don't think me a fool, Mr. Caudle; don't insult me; he return the umbrella ? Anybody would think you were born yesterday. As if anybody ever did return an umbrella !
2. There; do you hear it? Worse and worse. Cats and dogs ! and for six weeks; always six weeks; and no umbrella ! I should like to know how the children are to go to school tomorrow. They sha’n’t go through such weather; I am
determined. No; they shall stop at home and never learn any thing (the blessed creatures !), sooner than go and get wet! And when they grow up, I wonder whom they 'll have to thank for knowing nothing; whom, indeed, but their father? People who can't feel for their own children, ought never to be fathers.
3. But I know why you lent the umbrella; oh, yes, I know very well. I was going out to tea at dear mother's tomorrow: you knew that, and you did it on purpose. Don't tell me; you hate to have me to go there, and take every mean advantage to hinder me. But don't you think it, Mr. Caudle; no, sir; if it comes down in buckets full, I'll go all the more. No; and I'll not have a cab! Where do you think the money's to come from? You've got nice, high notions at that club of yours. A cab, indeed! Cost me sixteen-pence, at least; sixteen-pence! two-and-eight-pence; for there's back again. Cabs, indeed! I should like to know who's to pay for 'em ; for I am sure you can ’t, if you go on as you do, throwing away your property, and beggaring your children, buying umbrellas !
4. Do you hear the rain, Mr. Caudle? I say, do you hear it? But I do n't care; I'll go to mother's to-morrow; I will; and what's more, I'll walk every step of the way; and you know that will give me my death. Don't call me a foolish woman ; 't is you that's the foolish man. You know I can't wear clogs; and with no umbrella, the wet's sure to give me a cold; it always does, but what do you care for that! Nothing at all. I may be laid up for what you care, as I dare say I shall; and a pretty doctor's bill there'll be. I hope there will. It will teach you to lend your umbrellas again. I should n't wonder if I caught my death: yes, and that's what you lent the umbrella for. Of course!
5. Nice clothes I get, too, traipsing through weather like this. My gown and bonnet will be spoiled quite. Need