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XII. — THE OLD ARM CHAIR.

Miss ELIZA COOK.

I LOVE it, I love it; and who shall dare
To chide me for loving that old arm chair?
I've treasured it long as a sainted prize,
I've bedewed it with tears, and embalmed it with sighs ;
'Tis bound by a thousand bands to my heart;
Not a tie will break, not a link will start.
Would ye learn the spell ? A mother sat there;
And a sacred thing is that old arm chair.

In childhood's hour I lingered near
The hallowed seat with listening ear,
And heeded the words of truth that fell
From the lips of a mother that loved me well;
She told me shame would never betide *
With truth for my creed and God for my guide ;
She taught me to lisp my earliest prayer
As I knelt beside that old arm chair.

I sat and watched her many a day,
When her eye grew dim and her locks were gray ;
And I almost worshipped her when she smiled,
And turned from her Bible to bless her child.
Years rolled on; but the last one sped –
My idol was shattered, my earth star fled ;
I learned how much the heart can bear
When I saw her die in that old arm chair.

'Tis past! 'tis past ! but I gaze on it now
With quivering breath and throbbing brow:
'Twas there she nursed me; 'twas there she died;
And memory flows with lava tide.

* Betide, happen.

Say it is folly, and deem me weak,
While the scalding drops start down my cheek ;
* But I love it, I love it, and cannot tear
My soul from my mother's old arm chair.

XIII. - THE DISHONEST PEASANT.

means.

In the year 1794, a poor French emigrant was passing the winter in a small village in Westphalia.* He was obliged to live with the greatest economy, in order not to go beyond his

One cold morning he had occasion to buy a load of wood. He found a peasant who had one to sell, and asked him what the price was. The peasant, who perceived by his broken German that he was a foreigner, and that his ignorance might be taken advantage of, answered that the price was three louisd’ors.f The Frenchman endeavored to beat him down, but in vain : the peasant would abate nothing of his first demand. The emigrant, finding it useless to waste words with him, and being in immediate and pressing need of the fuel, at last took and paid the money that was asked for it.

The peasant, delighted to have made so good a bargain, drove with his empty cart to the village inn, which was not far distant, and ordered breakfast. While it was getting ready, he entertained the landlord with an account of the way in which he had cheated the Frenchman, and made him pay

three louisd'ors for a load of wood which, at the utmost, was not worth more than two dollars ; I talking as if he had done a very bright thing.

But the landlord was a good man, and, feeling justly indig

* Westphalia, a part of Germany.

† A louisd'or, (pronounced lu-e-dore',) literally a louis of gold, is a gold coin of the value of about four dollars and a half.

I A German dollar is about seventy-five cents of our money.

nant at the peasant's conduct, told him that he ought to be ashamed of himself thus to have taken advantage of the ignorance of a poor foreigner. “Well,” said the peasant, with a scornful laugh, “ the wood was mine; I had a right to ask just what I pleased for it, and nobody has a right to call my conduct in question."

The landlord made no reply. When breakfast was over, the peasant asked how much was to pay. The landlord replied, “ Three louisd’ors.”

“What,” said the peasant, “ three louisd’ors for a cup of coffee and a few slices of bread and butter !” “Yes,” said the landlord, with the utmost composure; " the coffee and bread and butter were mine ; I have a right to ask just what I please for them. My bill is three louisd’ors; and if you don't pay me, I shall keep your horse and cart until you do. If you

think I am charging you too much, you can go before the judge.”

The peasant, without saying any thing more, went to the judge's office, and made his complaint. The judge was surprised and indignant at the landlord's extortion, especially as he had always borne an excellent character.

He ordered him to be brought before him, and his reception of him was somewhat stern. But the landlord told him the whole story - how the peasant had taken advantage of the poor emigrant's ignorance to cheat him, what their conversation was, and how his own conduct was simply visiting upon the head of a dishonest man the wrong he had previously done to another.

Under such circumstances, the judge decided that the landlord had done right, and that the peasant should pay the three louisd’ors. The peasant, with a very ill grace, and with shame and anger

in his face, drew out his purse and laid the money on the table. “I do not want this money,” said the landlord to the judge, honor may well suppose.

have the goodness to change one of these louisd’ors, and give the peasant

66

Will you

as your

two dollars out of it, - for that, as he confessed to me, is all that his wood is worth,- and return the remainder to the poor

Frenchman. For the breakfast I want nothing.” The judge was much moved at these words of the good innkeeper. He counted out the two dollars to the peasant, and dismissed him with a severe rebuke. The rest was returned to the emigrant, who, on hearing the story, with difficulty prevailed upon the innkeeper to accept a small sum for the peasant's breakfast.

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Thou art no lingerer in monarch’s hall:
A joy thou art and a wealth to all ;
A bearer of hope unto land and sea ;
Sunbeam, what gift hath the world like thee ?

Thou art walking the billows, and ocean smiles;
Thou hast touched with glory his thousand isles ;
Thou hast lit up the ships, and the feathery foam,
And gladdened the sailor like words from home.

To the solemn depths of the forest shades
Thou art streaming on through their green arcades,
And the quivering leaves that have caught thy glow
Like fireflies glance to the pools below.

I looked on the mountains: a vapor lay
Folding their heights in its dark array ;
Thou brakest forth, and the mist became
A crown and a mantle of living flame.

I looked on the peasant's lowly cot:
Something of sadness had wrapped the spot ;

But a gleam of thee on its casement fell,
And it laughed into beauty at that bright spell.

Sunbeam of summer, 0, what is like thee,
Hope of the wilderness, joy of the sea ?
One thing is like thee, to mortals given
The faith touching all things with hues of heaven.

XV. - FLOWERS.

O, THEY look upward in every place

Through this beautiful world of ours, And dear as a smile on an old friend's face

Is the smile of the bright, bright flowers !
They tell us of wanderings by woods and streams ;

They tell us of lanes and trees;
But the children of showers and sunny beams
Have lovelier tales than these

The bright, bright flowers !

They tell of a season when men were not,

When earth was by angels trod,
And leaves and flowers in every spot

Burst forth at the call of God;
When spirits, singing their hymns at even,

Wandered by wood and glade ;
And the Lord looked down from the highest heaven
And blessed what he had made

The bright, bright flowers.

That blessing remaineth upon them still,

Though often the storm cloud lowers, And frequent tempests may soil and chill

The gayest of earth’s fair flowers.

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