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XII. — THE OLD ARM CHAIR.
Miss ELIZA COOK.
I LOVE it, I love it; and who shall dare
In childhood's hour I lingered near
I sat and watched her many a day,
'Tis past! 'tis past ! but I gaze on it now
* Betide, happen.
Say it is folly, and deem me weak,
XIII. - THE DISHONEST PEASANT.
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
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.
Thou art no lingerer in monarch’s hall:
Thou art walking the billows, and ocean smiles;
To the solemn depths of the forest shades
I looked on the mountains: a vapor lay
I looked on the peasant's lowly cot:
But a gleam of thee on its casement fell,
Sunbeam of summer, 0, what is like thee,
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 lanes and trees;
The bright, bright flowers !
They tell of a season when men were not,
When earth was by angels trod,
Burst forth at the call of God;
Wandered by wood and glade ;
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.