Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

TIIE EXCIANTED NET.

BY FRANK E, SMEDLEY.

Could we only give credit to half we are told, In a very few words he espressed his intention There were sundry strange monsters existing of Once for all to decline every Latin declension, old;

When persuaded to add, by the good Father Her. As evinced (on the cx pede IIerculean plan,

man, Which from merely a footstep presumes the whole That most classical tongue to his own native German. man)

And no doubt he was right in By our Savans disturbing those very large bones,

Point of fact, for a knight in Which have turned (for the rhyme's sake, perhaps) | Those days was supposed to like nothing but fight. into stones,

ing; And have chosen to wait a

And one who had learned any language that is hard Long while hid strata,

Would have stood a good of being burned While old Time has been dining on empires and for a wizard. thrones.

Education being then never pushed to the verge ye Old bones and dry bones,

Now see it, was chiefly confined to the clergy. Leg-bones and thigh-bones, Bones of the vertebra, bones of the tail, — Very like, only more so, the bones of a whale;

'Twas a southerly wind and a cloudy sky, Bones that were very long, bones that were very For aught that I know to the contrary ; short

If it wasn't, it ought to have been properly, (They have never as yet found a real fossil merry- As it's certain Sir Eppo, his feather bed scorning, thought;

Thought that something proclaimed it a fine huntPerchance because mastodons, burly and big,

ing morning; Considered all funny-bones quite infra dig.)

So pronouncing his benison Skulls have they found in strange places imbedded,

O'er a cold haunch of venison, Which, at least, prove their owners were very long- | IIe floored the best half, drank a gallon of beer, headed ;

And set out on the Taurus to chase the wild deer. And other queer things, —which 'tis not my inten

tion, Lest I weary your patience, at present to mention, and his bolts flew fast and free;

Sir Eppo he rode through the good greenwood, As I think I can prove, without further apology, What I said to be true, sans appeal to geology,

IIe knocked over a hare, and he passed the lair

(The tenant was out) of a grisly bear; That there lived in the good old days gone by

He started a wolf, and he got a snap shot Things unknown to our modern philosophy,

At a bounding roe, but he touched it not, And a giant was then no more out of the way

Which caused him to mutter a naughty word Than a dwarf is now in the present day.

In German, which luckily nobody heard,

For he said it right viciously;
Sir Eppo of Epstein was young, brave, and fair; And he struck his steed with his armèd heel,
Dark were the curls of his clustering hair,

As though horse-flesh were tougher than iron or Dark the moustache that o'ershadowed his lip,

steel, And his glance was as keen as the sword at his Or any thing else that's unable to feel.

hip; Though the enemy's charge was like lightning's fierce shock,

What is the sound that meets his ear? Ilis seat was as firm as the wave-beaten rock; Is it the plaint of some wounded deer? And woe to the foeman, whom pride or mischance Is it the wild-fowl's mournful cry, Opposed to the stroke of his conquering lance.

Or the scream of yon eagle soaring high? le carved at the board, and he danced in the hall, Or is it only the southern breeze And the ladies admired him, each one and all. As it sighs through the boughs of the dark pine In a word, I should say, he appears to have been

trees? As nice a young “ritter" as ever was seen. No, Sir Eppo, be sure 'tis not any of these:

And hark, again!

It comes more plain-
He could not read nor write,

'Tis a woman's voice in grief or pain.
He could not spell his name,
Towards being a clerk, Sir Eppo, his () mark,
Was as near as he ever came.

Like an arrow from the string,
lle had felt no vexation

Like a stone that leaves the sling,
From multiplication ;

Like a railroad-train with a queen inside,
Never puzzled was he

With directors to poke and directors to guide,
By the rule of three;

Like the rush upon deck when a vessel is sinking, The practice he'd had

Like (I vow I'm hard up for a simile) winking! Did not drive him mad,

In less time than by name you Jack Robinson can Because it all lay

call, Quite a different way.

Sir Eppo dashed forward o'er hedge, ditch, and The Ass's Bridge, that Bridge of Sighs.

Lollow, llad (lucky dog!) ne'er met his eyes.

In a steeple-chase style I'd be sorry to follow,

And found a young lady chained up by the ankle

The sun went down, Yes, chained up in a cool and business-like way,

The bright stars burned, As if she'd been only the little dog Tray ;

The morning came, While, the more to secure any knight-errant's pity, And the knight returned; She was really and truly excessively pretty.

The net he spread

O'er the giant's bed, Here was a terrible state of things!

While Eglantine, and Hare-bell blue, Down from his saddle Sir Eppo springs,

And some nice green moss on the spot he threw; As lightly as if he were furnished with wings, Lest perchance the monster alarm should take, While every plate in his armor rings.

And not choose to sleep from being too wide awake. The words that he uttered were short and few,

Hark to that sound! But pretty much to the purpose too,

The rocks around As sternly he asked, with lowering brow,

Tremble—it shakes the very ground; “Who's been and done it, and where is he now ?”

While Irmengard cries,

And tears stream from her eyes, -
'Twere long to tell

A lady-like weakness we must not despise,
Each word that fell

(And here, let me add, I have been much to blame, From the coral lips of that demoiselle;

As I long ago ought to have mentioned her name): However, as far as I'm able to see,

“Ilere he comes! now do hide yourself, dear Eppo, The pith of the matter appeared to be

pray; That a horrible giant, twelve feet high,

For my sake, I entreat you, keep out of his way.” Llaving gazed on her charms with a coretous eye, Searce had the knight Had stormed their castle, murdered papa,

Time to get out of sight Behaved very rudely to poor dear mamma,

Among some thick bushes, which covered him Walked off with the family jewels and plate,

quite, And the tin and herself at a terrible rate;

Ere the giant appeared. Oh! he was such a fright! Then by way of conclusion

Ile was very square built, a good twelve feet in To all this confusion,

height, Tied her up like a dog

And his waistcoat (three yards round the waist) To a nasty great log,

seemed too tight; To induce her (the brute) to become Mrs. Gog; While, to add even yet to all this singularity, That 'twas not the least use for Sir Eppo to try Ile had but one eye, and his whiskers were carroty. To chop off his head, or to poke out his eye, As he'd early in life done a bit of Achilles (Which, far better than taking an “Old Parr's life- What an anxious moment ! Will he lie down? pill ”is),

Ah, how their hearts beat! he seems to frown,Hlad been dipped in the Styx, or some equally old No, 'tis only an impudent fly that's been teasing stream,

His snublime proboscis, and set him a sneezing. And might now face unbarmed a battalion of

Attish hu! attish hu! Coldstream.

You brute, how I wish you

Were but as genteel as the Irish lady,
But she'd thought of a scheme

Dear Mrs. O'Grady,
Which did certainly seem

Tho, chancing to sneeze in a noble duke's face, Very likely to pay—no mere vision or dream :

Iloped she hadn't been guilty of splashing his Grace. It appears that the giant each day took a nap

Now, look out. Yes, he will! No, he won't! By For an hour (the wretch!) with his head in her lap: the powers! Oh, she hated it so! but then what could she do?

I thought he was taking alarm at the flowers; Here she paused, and Sir Eppo remarked, “Very But it luckily seems, his gigantic invention truc;"

llas at once set them down as a little attention And that during this time one might pinch, punch, On Irmengard's part,—done by way of suggestion or shake him,

That she means to say “Yes,” when he next pops Or do just what one pleased, but that nothing could the question.

wake him, While each horse and each man in the emperor's pay Would not be sufficient to move him away,

There! he's down! now he yawns, and in one minute Without magical aid, from the spot where he lay. In an old oak chest, in an up-stairs room

I thought so, he's safe—he's beginning to snore;
Of poor papa's castle, was kept an heir-loom, He is wrapped in that sleep he shall wake from no
An enchanted net, made of iron links,
Which was brought from Palestine, she thinks, From his girdle the knight takes a ponderous key;
By her great grandpapa, who had been a Crusader; It fits—and once more is fair Irmengard free.
If she had but got that, she was sure it would aid

her.
Sir Eppo, kind man,

From heel to head, and from head to heel,
Approves of the plan;

They wrap their prey in that net of steel,
Says he'll do all she wishes as quick as he can; And they croché the edges together with care,
Begs she won't fret if the time should seem long; As you finish a purse for a fancy-fair,
Snatches a kiss, which was “ pleasant but wrong;" | Till the last knot is tied by the diligent pair.
Mounts, and taking a fence in good fox-hunting At length they have ended their business laborious,
style,

And Eppo shouts “Bagged him, by all that is gloSets off for her family-seat on the Weil.

rious!"

more

molle,

[graphic]

No billing and cooing,

That'll do, love, I'm sure I can more him alone, You must up and be doing.

Though I'm certain the brute weighs a good forty Depend on't, Sir Knight, this is no time for stone. wooing;

Yo! heave ho! roll him along
You'll discover, unless you progress rather smarter, (It's exceedingly lucky the net's pretty strong);
That catching a giant's like catching a Tartar: Once more—that's it—there, now, I think
lle still has some thirty-five minutes to sleep, He's done to a turn, he rests on the brink;
Close to this spot hangs a precipice steep,

At it again, and over he goes
Like Shakspere's tall cliff which they show one at To furnish a feast for the hooded crows;
Dover;

Each vulture that makes the Taurus his home Drag him down to the brink, and then let him roll May dine upon giant for months to come.”

over, As they scarce make a capital crime of infanti- Lives there a man so thick of head cide,

To whom it must in words be said,
There can't be any harm in a little giganticide.

How Eppo did the lady wed,
And built upon the giant's bed

A castle, walled and turreted? “Pull him, and haul him! take care of his head!

We will hope not; or, if there be, Oh, how my arms ache-he's as heavy as lead !

Defend us from his company!

ADVICE TO JOKERS.

[ocr errors]

A new york published in London, entitled, “The puddings, each person employs similar materials, IIand-Book of Joking,” gives the following advice, but the quality of the dish is entirely dependent on which is worthy of remembrance:

the skill of the artiste. As gold becomes refined Always let your jokes be well-timed. Any by passing through the ordeal of fire, so truth is time will do for a good joke, but no time will do the purer for being tested by the furnace of fun; for a bad one. Any place will fit, provided the for jokes are, to facts, what melting pots are to joke itself be fitting, but it never fits if a joke be metal. The utterer of a good joke is a useful memout of its place. No man can order a joke as he ber of society, but the maker of a bad one is a would his coat, at Stultz's, or his boots at Hoby's. more despicable character than the veriest coiner Jokes are not only often out of order, but we have by profession. known jokers ordered out; in short, any man who A joke from a gentleman is an act of charity; attempts to joke out of order, should either be an uncharitable joke is an ungentlemanly act. The provided with a strait waistcoat, or be kicked retort courteous is the touchstone of good feeling; out of society. In concocting jokes as in making the reply churlish the proof of cold-headed stupidity.”

[blocks in formation]

About ten o'clock one Sunday morning, in the down, but sit on the bedside, as he did with his arms month of July, 183–, the dazzling sunbeams which folded, ready to resume operations if necessary. In had for many hours irradiated a little dismal back this posture he remained for some time, watching his attic in one of the closest courts adjoining Oxford little fire, and listlessly listening to the discordant street, in London, and stimulated with their inten- jangling of innumerable church-bells, clamorously sity the closed eyelids of a young man lying in bed, calling the citizens to their devotions. What passed at length awoke him. He rubbed his eyes for some through his mind was something like the followtime, to relieve himself from the irritation he expe- ing:rienced in them; and yawned and stretched his · Ileigho!—Oh, Lord !-Dull as ditch-water!limbs with a heavy sense of weariness, as though This is my only holiday, yet I don't seem to enjoy his sleep had not refreshed him. He presently cast it—the fact is, I feel knocked up with my week's his eyes on the heap of clothes lying huddled to work.—Lord, what a life mine is, to be sure! Here gether on the backless chair by the bedside, and am I, in my eight-and-twentieth year, and for four where he had hastily flung them about an hour after long years have been one of the shopmen at Dowmidnight; at which time he had returned from a las, Tagrag, Bobbin and Company's—slaving from great draper's shop in Oxford street, where he seven o'clock in the morning till ten at night, and served as a shopman, and where he had nearly all for a salary of £35 a year and my board! And dropped asleep after a long day's work, while in the Mr. Tagrag is always telling me how high he's act of putting up the shutters. He could hardly keep raised my salary. Thirty-five pounds a-year is all his eyes open while he undressed, short as was the I have for lodging, and appearing like a gentleman! time it took him to do so; and on dropping ex- Oh, Lord, it can't last, for sometimes I feel getting hausted into bed, there he had continued in deep desperate-such strange thoughts! Seven shillings unbroken slumber till the moment he is presented a-week do I pay for this cursed hole—[he uttered to the reader. He lay for several minutes, stretch- these words with a bitter emphasis, accompanied by ing, yawning, and sighing, occasionally casting an a disgustful look round the little room]—that one irresolute eye towards the tiny fireplace, where lay couldn't swing a cat in without touching the four a modicum of wood and coal, with a tinder-box and sides !—Last winter, three of our gents (i. o. his fela match or two placed upon the hoh, so that he low-shopmen) came to tea with me one Sunday could easily light his fire for the purposes of shav- night; and bitter cold as it was, we made this d-d ing and breakfasting. Ile stepped at length lazily doghole so hot we were obliged to open the win. out of bed, and when he felt his feet, again yawned dows ! And as for accommodations—I recollect I and stretched himself, then he lit his fire, placed had to borrow two nasty chairs from the people behis bit of a kettle on the top of it, and returned to low, who, on the next Sunday, borrowed my only bed, where he lay with his eyes fixed on the fire, decanter in return, and, hang them, cracked it !watching the cracking blaze insinuating itself Curse me, if this life is worth having! It's all the through the wood and coal. Once, however, it be- very vanity of vanities, and no mistake! Faç, fag, gan to fail, so he had to get up and assist it by fag, all one's days, and—what for? Thirty-five. blowing and bits of paper; and it seemed in so pre- pounds a-year, and í no advance !' Bah, bells! ring carious a state that he determined not again to lie away till you're all cracked !-Now do you think I'm

[graphic]
« ElőzőTovább »