« PreviousContinue »
3. Yet, prophet-like, that lone one stood,
With dauntless words and high,
As if a storm passed by,
'Tis Mercy bids thee go;
That shall no longer flow.
4. What though beneath thee man put forth
His pomp, his pride, his skill ;
The vassals of his will ?
For all those trophied arts
Entailed on human hearts.
5. Go, let oblivion's curtain fall
Upon the stage of men,
Life's tragedy again :
Of pain anew to writhe,
Like grass beneath the scythe.
6. Even I am weary in yon skies
To watch thy fading fire;
Behold not me expire.
To see thou shalt not boast.
Receive my parting ghost !
7. This spirit shall return to Him
Who gave its heavenly spark;
When thou thyself art dark!
By Him recalled to breath,
And took the sting from Death!
8. Go, Sun, while Mercy holds me up,
On Nature's awful waste,
Of grief that man shall taste-
On Earth's sepulchral clod,
Or shake his trust in God !
CHARLES DICKENS. 1. Mr. Weller having obtained leave of absence from Mr. Pickwick, who, in his then state of excitement and worry, was by no means displeased at being left alone, set forth long before the appointed hour; and having plenty of time at his disposal, sauntered down as far as the Mansion House, where he paused and contemplated, with a face of great calmness and philosophy, the numerous cads and drivers of short stages who assemble near that famous place of resort, to the great terror and confusion of the old-lady population of these realms. Having loitered here, for half an hour or so, Mr. Weller turned, and began wending his way towards Leadenhall Market, through a variety of bystreets and courts.
2. As he was sauntering away his spare time, and stopped to look at almost every object that met his gaze, it is by no means surprising that Mr. Weller should have paused before a small stationer's and print-seller's window; but; without further explanation, it does appear surprising that his eyes should have no sooner rested on certain pictures which were exposed for sale therein, than he gave a sudden start, smote his right leg with great vehemence, and exclaimed with energy, “If it hadn't been for this, I should ha' forgot all about it, till it was too late!”
3. The particular picture on which Sam Weller's eyes were fixed, as he said this, was a highly colored representation of a couple of human hearts skewered together with an arrow, cooking before a cheerful fire, while a male and a female cannibal in modern attire, the gentleman being clad in a blue coat and white trousers, and the lady in a deep red pelisse with a parasol of the same, were approaching the meal with hungry eyes, up a serpentine gravel path leading thereunto.
4. A decidedly indelicate young gentleman, in a pair of wings and nothing else, was depicted as superintending the cooking; a representation of the spire of the church in Langhorn Place appeared in the distance; and the whole formed a “valentine,” of which, as a written inscription in the window testified, there was a large assortment within, which the shopkeeper pledged himself to dispose of to his countrymen generally, at the reduced rate of one and sixpence each.
5. “I should ha' forgot it ; I should certainly have forgot it !” said Sam ; and so saying, he at once stepped into the stationer's shop, and requested to be served with a sheet of the best gilt-edged letter-paper, and a hard-nibbed pen which could be warranted not to splutter. These articles having been promptly supplied, he walked on direct towards Leadenhall Market at a good round pace, very different from his recent lingering onc. Looking round him, he there
beheld a sign-board on which the painter's art had delineated something remotely resembling a cerulean elephant with an aquiline nose in lieu of a trunk. Rightly conjecturing that this was the Blue Boar himself, he stepped into the house, and inquired concerning his parent..
6. “He won't be here this three quarters of an hour or more," said the young lady who superintended the domestic arrangements of the Blue Boar.
“Wery good, my dear," replied Sam. “Let me have nine penn'orth o'brandy and water luke, and the inkstand, will you, Miss ?”
7. The brandy and water luke and the inkstand having been carried into the little parlor, and the young lady having carefully flattened down the coals to prevent their blazing, and carried away the poker to preclude the possibility of the fire being stirred, without the full privity and concurrence of the Blue Boar being first had and obtained, Sam Weller sat himself down in a box near the stove, and pulled out the sheet of gilt-edged letter-paper, and the hard-nibbed pen. Then, looking carefully at the pen to see that there were no hairs in it, and dusting down the table, so that there might be no crumbs of bread under the paper, Sam tucked up the cuffs of his coat, squared his elbows, and composed himself to write.
8. To ladies and gentlemen who are not in the habit of devoting themselves practically to the science of penmanship, writing a letter is no very easy task, it being always considered necessary in such cases for the writer to incline his head on his left arm so as to place his eyes as nearly as possible on a level with the paper, and while glancing sideways at the letters he is constructing, to form with his tongue imaginary characters to correspond. These motions, although unquestionably of the greatest assistance to original composition, retard in some degree the progress of the writer, and Sam had unconsciously been a full hour and a half writing words in small text, smearing out wrong letters with his little finger, and putting in new ones which required going over very often to render them visible through the old blots, when he was roused by the opening of the door and the entrance of his parent.
9. "Vell, Sammy," said the father.
“ Vell, my Prooshan Blue," responded the son, laying down his pen. “What's the last bulletin about mother-inlaw?"
“Mrs. Veller passed a wery good night, but is uncommon perwerse, and unpleasant this mornin'-signed upon oath-Tony Veller, Esquire. That's the last vun as was issued, Sammy,” replied Mr. Weller, untying his shawl.
10. “No better yet?” inquired Sam.
“ All the symptoms aggerawated,” replied Mr. Weller, shaking his head. “But wot's that, you're doin' of-pursuit of knowledge under difficulties—eh, Sammy?”.
“I've done now,” said Sam, with slight embarrassment; “ I've been a writin'."
“So I see,” replied Mr. Weller. “Not to any young 'ooman, I hope, Sammy."
11. “Why it's no use a sayin' it ain't,” replied Sam. “ It's a walentine."
“A what !” exclaimed Mr. Weller, apparently horrorstricken by the word.
“A walentine," replied Sam.
12. “ Samivel, Samivel,” said Mr. Weller, in reproachful accents, “I didn't think you'd ha' done it. Arter the warnin' you've had o' your father's wicious propensities; arter all I've said to you upon this here wery subject; arter actiwally seein' and bein' in the company o'your own mother-in-law, vich I should ha’ thought wos a moral lesson as no man could ever ha' forgotten to his dyin' day! I didn't think you'd ha' done it, Sammy, I didn't think you'd ha' done it." These reflections were too much for the good old man. He raised Sam's tumbler to his lips and drank off its contents.
13. “Wot's the matter now !” said Sam.
“Nev'r mind, Sammy," replied Mr. Weller, “it'll be a wery agonizin' trial to me at my time of life, but I'm pretty tough, that's vun consolation, as the wery old turkey remarked when the farmer said he was afeerd he should be obliged to kill him for the London market.”
14. “Wot'll be a trial ? " inquired Sam.