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Overjoyed, the conditions so easy he hears ;
“I'll make you quite handsome !” he said. He said, and his chain on the Devil appears ; Released from his prison, released from his feans,
The Painter is snug in his bed.
At morn he arises, composes his look,
And proceeds to his work as before.
The people beheld him, the culprit they took ;
They thought that the Painter his prison had broke,
And to prison they led him once more.
They open the dungeon ;-behold in his place
In the corner old Beelzebub lay; He smirks and he smiles and he leers with a grace, That the Painter might catch all the charms of his face,
Then vanished in lightning away. Quoth the Painter ; "I trust you'll suspect me no more,
assertions were true. But I'll alter the picture above the Church-door, For he never vouchsafed me a sitting before,
And I must give the Devil his due.”
ONE day, it matters not to know
How many hundred years ago,
A Frenchman stopped at an inn door:
The Landlord came to welcome him, and cha
Of this and that,
For he had seen the Traveller there before.
“Doth holy Romuald dwell
Still in his cell?”
The Traveller asked ; “or is the old man dead ?"
“No; he has left his loving flock, and we
So great a Christian never more shall see,
The Landlord answered, and he shook his head.
"Ah, Sir! we knew his worth !
If ever there did live a saint on earth!-
Why, Sir, he always used to wear a shirt
For thirty days, all seasons, day and night;
Good man, he knew it was not right
For Dust and Ashes to fall out with Dirt !
And then he only hung it out in the rain,
And put it on again.
“ There has been perilous work With him and the Devil there in yonder cell ; For Satan used to maul him like a Turk.
There they would sometimes fight
All through a winter's night,
From sunset until morn, -
He with a cross, the Devil with his horn;
The Devil spitting fire with might and main
Enough to make St. Michael half afraid :
He splashing holy water till he made
His red hide hiss again,
And the hot vapour filled the smoking cell.
This was so common that his face became
All black and yellow with the brimstone flame, And then he smelt, --O Lord! how he did smell !
“Then, Sir! to see how he would mortify The flesh! If any one had dainty fare,
Good man, he would come there,
And look at all the delicate things, and cry,
O Belly, Belly,
You would be gormandizing now, I know;
But it shall not be so !
Home to your bread and water-home, I tell ye !""
"But,” quoth the Traveller, “wherefore did he leave
A flock that knew his saintly worth so well ?”
“Why,” said the Landlord, “Sir, it so befell
He heard unluckily of our intent
To do him a great honour: and, you know,
He was not covetous of fame below,
And so by stealth one night away he went.”
“What might this honour be?" the Traveller cried.
"Why, Sir," the Host replied, "We thought perhaps that he might one day leave us;
And then, should strangers have
The good man's grave,
A loss like that would naturally grieve us,
For he'll be made a Saint of, to be sure.
Therefore we thought it prudent to secure
His relics while we might ;
And so we meant to strangle him one night."
CHARLES LAMB. [Born in London, 18 February 1775; died at Edmonton, 27 December 1834.]
A FAREWELL TO TOBACCO.
May the Babylonish curse
Straight confound my stammering verse
If I can a passage see
In this word-perplexity,
Or a fit expression find,
Or a language to my mind
(Still the phrase is wide or scant),
To take leave of thee, Great Plant !
Or in any terms relate
Half my love, or half my hate :
For I hate yet love thee so
That, whichever thing I show,
The plain truth will seem to be
A constrained hyperbole,
And the passion to proceed
More from a mistress than a weed.
Sooty retainer to the vine,
Bacchus' black servant, negro fine ;
Sorcerer that mak'st us dote upon
Thy begrimed complexion,
And, for thy pernicious sake,
More and greater oaths to break
Than reclaimed lovers take
'Gainst women : thou thy siege dost lay
Much, too, in the female way,
While thou suck'st the labouring breath
Faster than kisses, or than death.
Thou in such a cloud dost bind us
That our worst foes cannot find us,
And ill fortune that would thwart us
Shoots at rovers, shooting at us;
While each man, through tlıy heightening steam,
Does like a smoking Etna seem,
And all about us does express
(Fancy and wit in richest dress)
A Sicilian fruitfulness.
Thou through such a mist dost show us
That our best friends do not know us,
And, for those allowed features
Due to reasonable creatures,
Liken'st us to fell Chimeras,
Monsters that who see us fear us ;
Worse than Cerberus or Geryon,
Or, who first loved a cloud, Ixion.
Bacchus we know, and we allow
His tipsy rites. But what art thou,
That but by reflèx canst show
What his deity can do,
As the false Egyptian spell
Aped the true Hebrew miracle ?
Some few vapours thou mayst raise
The weak brain may serve to amaze,
But to the reins and nobler heart
Canst nor life nor heat impart.
Brother of Bacchus, later born,
The old world was sure forlorn
Wanting thee, that aidest more
The god's victories than before
All his panthers, and the brawls
Of his piping Bacchanals.
These, as stale, we disallow,
Or judge of thee meant : only thou
His true Indian conquest art ;
And, for ivy round his dart,
The reformed god now weaves
A finer thyrsus of thy leaves.
Scent to match thy rich perfume
Chemic art did ne'er presume
Through her quaint alembic strain,
None so sovereign to the brain ;
Nature, that did in thee excel,
Framed again no second smell.
Roses, violets, but toys
For the smaller sort of boys,
Or for greener damsels meant ;
Thou art the only manly scent.
Stinking'st of the stinking kind,
Filth of the mouth and fog of the mind,
Africa, that brags her foison,
Breeds no such prodigious poison.
Henbane, nightshade, both together,
Nay, rather, Plant divine, of rarest virtue ; Blisters on the tongue would hurt you ! 'Twas but in a sort I blamed thee; None e'er prospered who defamed thee. Irony all, and feigned abuse, Such as perplexed lovers use At a need, when, in despair To paint forth their fairest fair,
Or in part but to express
That exceeding comeliness
Which their fancies doth so strike,
They borrow language of dislike;
And, instead of Dearest Miss,
Jewel, Honey, Sweetheart, Bliss,
And those forms of old admiring,
Call her Cockatrice and Siren,
Basilisk, and all that's evil,
Witch, Hyena, Mermaid, Devil,
Ethiop, Wench, and Blackamoor,
Monkey, Ape, and twenty more ;
Friendly Traitress, loving Foe;-
Not that she is truly so,
But no other way they know
A contentment to express
Borders so upon excess
That they do not rightly wot
Whether it be pain or not.
Or as men constrained to part
With what's nearest to their heart,
While their sorrow's at the height,
Lose discrimination quite,
And their hasty wrath let fall,
To appease their frantic gall,
On the darling thing whatever
Whence they feel it death to sever,
Though it be, as they, perforce,
Guiltless of the sad divorce.
For I must (nor let it grieve thee, Friendliest of plants, that I must) leave thee. For thy sake, Tobacco, I Would do anything but die, And but seek' to extend my days Long enough to sing thy praise. But, as she who once hath been A king's consort is a queen Ever after, nor will bate Any title of her state, Though a widow or divorced, So I, from thy converse forced, The old name and style retain, A right Katherine of Spain ; And a seat, too, 'mongst the joys Of the blest Tobacco Boys. Where, though I, by sour physician, Am debarred the full fruition Of thy favours, I may catch Some collateral sweets, and snatch