Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Tage 29.

[graphic]

The Meurner was sitting upon at the Doon, urth the assis panneb sits bruite li

sitting upon a stone bench

lancholy stream, singing to her sutë. She taught men to weep, for she took a Itrange delight in tears; and often, when the virgins of the hamlét were allembled at their evening sports, she would steal in amongst them, and captivate their hearts by her tales, full of charming fadness. She wore on her head a garland composed of her father's myrtles, twisted with her mother's cypress.

One day, as the fat muling by the waters of Helicon, her tears by chance fell into the fountain, and ever since, the Muses' fpring has retained a strong taste of the infufion. Pity was commanded by Jupiter to follow the steps of her mother through the world, dropping balm into the wounds she made, and binding up the hearts she had broken. She follows with her hair loose, her bofom bare and throbbing, her garments torn by the briers, and her feet bleeding with the roughness of the path. The nymph is mortal, for her mother is so; and when she has fulfilled her destined course upon the earth, they shall both expire together, and Love be again united to Joy, his immortal and long betrothed bride.

MRS. BARBAULD

CHAPTER IX.

THE DEAD ASS.

And this said he, putting the remains of a crust into his wallet-and this should have been tħy portion, said he, hadft thou been alive to have shared it with me. I thought by the accent, it had been an apostrophe to his child; But it was to his ass, and to the very ass we had seen dead in the road, which had occasioned La Fleur's mifadventure. The man seemed to lament it much; and it inftantly

brought into my mind Sancho's lamentation for his; but he did it with more true touches of nature.

The mourner was fitting upon a fione bench at the door, with the als's pannel and its bridle on one side, which he took up from time to time-- then laid them down-looked at thein and shook his head. He then took his crust of bread out of his wallet again, as if to eat it; held it some time in his hand--then laid it upon the bit of his ass's bridle-looked wifi fully at the little arrangement he had made---and then gave a sigh.

The fimplicity of his grief drew numbers about him, and La Fleur'among the rest, whilst the horses were getting ready : as I continued fitting in the post chaise, I could see and hear over their heads.

He said he had come laft from Spain, where he had been from the farthest borders of Franconia ; and had got so far on his return home, when his ass died. Every one feemed desirous to know what business could have taken so old and poor a man so far a journey from his own home.

It had pleased Heaven, he said, to bless him with three sons, the finest lads in all Germany; but having in one week loit two of them by the small pox, and the youngest falling ill of the same distemper, he was afraid of being berett of them all, and made a vow, if Heaven would not take him from him also, he would go in gratitude to St. Jago in Spain.

When the mourner got thus far in his story, he stopped to pay nature her tribute—and wept bitterly.

He said Heaven had accepted the conditions; and that he had set out from his cottage with his poor creature, who had been a patient partner of his journey--that it had eat the same bread with him all the way, and was unto him as a friend,

Every body who stood about, heard the poor fellow with concern-La Fleur offered him money-Themourner said he did not want it-it was not the value of the assbut the loss of him.-The ass, he said, he was assured, loved him-and upon this told them a long story of a milchance upon their passage over the Pyrenean mountains, which had separated them from each other three days; dura ing which time the ass had fought him as much as he had fought the ass, and thät neither had scarce eat or drank till they met.

Thou hast one comfort, friend, said I, at least, in the lofs of thy poor bealt; I am sure thou hast been a mercia ful malter to him.-dlas! said the mourner, I thought so, when he was alive--but now he is dead, I think otherwise -I fear the weight of myself and my afflictions together have been too much for him—they have shortened the poor creature's days, and I fear I have them to answer for. -Shame on the world ! said I to myself-Did we love each other, as this poor soul but lov'd his'assm'twould be something:

STERNE.

CHAPTER X.

THE SWORD.

When states and empires have their periods of declension, and feel in their turns what distress and poverty is I stop not to tell the caufes which gradually brought the house of d'E**** in Britany into decay. The Marquis d'E**** had fought up against his condition with great firmness; wishing to preserve and Itill shew to the world some little fragments of what his ancestors had been-their-indiscretion had put it out of his power. There was enough left for the little exigencies of obfcurity---But he had two

« VorigeDoorgaan »