struck with it. -A better reason was,

I had preeletermined not to give him a single sous.

"Tis very true, said I, replying to a cast upwards with his eyes, with which he had concluded his address-—'tis very true-and heaven be their resource, who have no other but the charity of the world; the stock of which, I

fear, is no way sufficient for the many great claims which 6 are hourly made upon it.

As I pronounced the words great claims, he gave a slight glance with his eyes downwards upon the sleeve of his tunic-I •felt the full force of the appeal-I acknowledge it, said I-a coarse habit, and that but once in three years, with a meagre diet-are no great matters; but the true point of pity is, as they can be earned in the world with so little industry, that your order should wish to procure them by pressing upon a fund, which is the property of the lame,

the blind, the aged, and the infirm—the captive, who lies 7 down counting over and over again, in the days of his

affliction, languishes also for his share of it; and had you been of the order of mercy, instead of the order of St. Francis, poor as I am, continued I, pointing at my portmanteau, full cheerfully should it have been opened to you, for the ransom of the unfortunate. The monk made me a bow. But, resumed I, the unfortunate of our own country, surely have the first rights; and I have left thousands in distress upon the English shore. The monk gave a cor

dial wave with his head—as much as to say, No doubt ; 8 there is misery enough in every corner of the world as

well as within our convent. But we distinguish, said I, laying my


the sleeve of his tunic, in return for his appeal-we distinguish, my good father, betwixt those who wish only to eat the bread of their own labor, and those who eat the bread of other people's, and have no other plan in life, but to get through it in sloth and ignorance, for the love of God. The poor

Franciscan made·no reply; a hectic of a moment passed across his cheek, but could not tarry. Nature 9 seemed to have done with her resentments in him. He showed none; but letting his staff fall within his arm, he pressed both his hands with resignation on his breast, and retired.

My heart smote me the moment he shut the door.

Pshaw! said I, with an air of carelessness, three several tines. But it would not do; every ungracious syllable I had uttered, crowded back into my imagination. I reflected I had no right over the poor Franciscan, but to deny him; and that the punishment of that was enough to the disap10 pointed, without the addition of unkind language-I con

sidered his gray hairs, his courteous figure seemed to re-enter, and gently ask me what injury he had done me, and why I could use him thus ? I would have given twenty livres for an advocate : I have behaved very ill, said I within myself; but I have only just set out upon my travels, and shall learn better manners as I get along.

And from the prayer of want, the plaini of wo;
Oh! never, never, turn away thine ear :
Forlorn, in this bleak wilderness below,
Ah! what were man, should Heaven refuse to hear :
To others do—the law is not severe-
What to thyself thou wishest to be done :
Forgive thy foes; and love thy parents dear,
And friends, and native land : nor those alone,
All human weal and wo learn thou to make thine own.



Pairing and Incubation of Birds.-THOMSON.
1 CONNUBIAL leagues agreed, to the deep woods

They haste away, all as their fancy leads,
Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts;
That Nature's great command may be obey'd,
Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive
Indulg'd in vain. Some to the holly-hedge
Nestling repair, and to the thicket some ;
Some to the rude protection of the thorn
Commit their feeble offspring : The cleft troe

Offers its kind concealment to a few,
2 Their food its insects, and its moss their nests.

Others apart far in the grassy dale,
Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave.

[ocr errors]

But most in woodland solitudes delight,
In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks
Steep, and divided by a babbling brook,
Whose murmurs sooth them all the live-long day ;
When by kind duty fixed, among the roots
Of hazel, pendent o'er the plaintive stream,

They frame the first foundation of their domes, 3 Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid,

And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought
But restless hurry through the busy air,
Beat by unnumbered wings. The swallow sweeps
The slimy pool, to build his hanging house
Intent. And often, from the careless back
Of herds and flocks, a thousand tugging bills
Pluck hair and wool; and oft, when unobserved,
Steal from the barn a straw : till soft and warm,

Clean, and complete, their habitation grows. 4 As thus the patient dam assiduous sits,

Not to be tempted from her tender task,
Or by sharp hunger, or by smooth delight,
Though the whole loosened Spring around her blows,
Her sympathizing lover takes his stand
High on the opponent bank, and ceaseless sings
The tedious time away; or else supplies
Her place a moment, while she sudden flits
To pick the scanty meal. The appointed time

With pious toil fulfilled, the callow young, 5 Warmed and expanded into perfect life,

Their brittle bondage break, and come to light,
A helpless family, demanding food
With constant clamor: O what passions then,
What melting sentiments of kindly care,
On the new parents seize! Away they fly
Affectionate, and undesiring bear
The most delicious morsel to their young ;
Which equally distributed, again

The search begins. Even so a gentle pair,
6. By fortune sunk, but formed of generous mould,

And charmed with cares beyond the vulgar breast,
In some lone cot amid the distant woods,
Sustained by providential Heaven,
Oft as they weeping eye their infant train,

Check their own appetites, and give them all.

Be not the Muse asham'd, here to bemoan
Her brothers of the grove, by tyrant Man
Inhuman caught, and in the narrow cage

From liberty confined, and boundless air.
7 Dull are the pretty slaves, their plumage dull,

Ragged, and all its brightening lustre lost;
Nor is that sprightly wildness in their notes,
Which, clear and vigorous, warbles from the beech
Oh then, ye friends of love and love-taught song,
Spare the soft tribes, this barbarous art forbear;
If on your bosom innocence can win,
Music engage, or piety persuade.

But let not chief the nightingale lament
Her ruined care, too delicately framed
8 To brook the harsh confinement of the cage.

Oft when, returning with her loaded bill,,
The astonished mother finds a vacant'nest,
By the hard hand of unrelenting clowns
Robbed, -to the ground the vain provision falls ;
Her pinions ruffle, and, low-drooping, scarce
Can bear the mourner to the poplar shade ;
Where, all abandoned to despair, she sings
Her sorrows through the night; and on the bough,

Sole sitting, still at every dying. fall
9 Takes up again her lamentable strain

Of winding wo; till, wide around, the woods
Sigh to her song, and with her wail resound.


[ocr errors]

The Fortune-Teller.-ANONYMOUS.

Mrs. Credulous and the Fortune-Teller. Mrs. C. Are you the fortune-teller, sir, that knows every thing?

F. T. I sometimes consult futurity, madam, but I make no pretensions to any supernatural knowledge.

Mrs. C. Ay, so you say, but every body else say you

had any

know every thing; and I have come all the way from Boston to consult you, for you must know I have met with a dreadful loss.

F. T. We are liable to losses in this world, madam.

Mrs. C. Yes, and I have had my share of them, though 2 I shall only be fifty, come Thanksgiving.

F. T. You must have learned to bear misfortunes with fortitude by this time.

Mrs. C. I don't know how that is, though my dear husband, rest his soul, used to say, “ Molly, you are as patient as Job, though you never children to lose as he did.”

F. T. Job was a model of patience, madam, and few could lose their all with so much resignation.

Mrs. C. Ah, sir, that is too true, for even the comparatively small loss I have suffered overwhelms me. 3 F. T. The loss of property, madam, comes home to the bosom of the best of us.

Mrs. C. Yes, sir; and when the thing lost cannot be replaced, it is doubly distressing. When my poor, good man, on our wedding day, gave me the ring, "Keep it, Molly," said he, "till you die, for my

sake.” And now that I should have lost it, after keeping it thirty years, and locking it up so carefully all the time, as I did

F. T. We cannot be too careful in this world, madam ; our best friends often deceive us. 4 Mrs. C. True, sir, true-but who would have thought

that the child I took, as it were, out of the street, and brought up as my own, could have been guilty of such ingratitude ? She never would have touched what was not her own, if her vagabond lover had not put her


to it. F. T. Ah, madam, ingratitude is the basest of all crimes.

Mrs. C. Yes, but to think that the impudent wench should deny she took it, when I saw it in the possession of that wretch myself.

F. T. Impudence, madam, usually accompanies crime. 5 But my time is precious, and the star that rules your desti

ny will set, and your fate be involved in darkness, unless I proceed to business immediately. The stars inform me, madam, that you are a widow.

Mrs. C. La! Sir, was you acquainted with deceased husband ? :

F. T. No, madam, we do not receive our knowledge liy


« ElőzőTovább »