페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

What nobleman had pleased to die,
Was stunned to hear the old reply!

8. The Frenchman sighed and shook his head,

“Alas! poor Nick Van Stann is dead!
With such a house, and such a wife,
It must be hard to part with life;
And then, to lose that Mammoth Prize!
He wins, and—pop !-the winner dies!
Ah! well,—his blessings came so fast,
I greatly feared they couldn't last ;
And thus, we see, the sword of Fate
Cuts down ålīke the small and great!"

JOHN G. SAXE.

II. 12. STUART, THE PAINTER. O F Stuart,' the painter, this ămūsing ănecdote is related.

He had put up at an inn, and his companions were desirous, by putting roundabout questions, to find out his calling or profession. Stuart answered, with a grave face and serious tone, that he sometimes dressed gentlemen's and ladies' hair. At that time, high-cropped pomatumed’ hair was all the fashion.

2. “You are a hair-dresser, then !” “What,” said he,“ do I look like a barber?” “I beg your pardon, sir, but I inferred it from what you said If I mistook you, may I take the liberty to ask what you are, then?” “Why, I sometimes brush a gentleman's coat or hat, and sometimes adjust a cravat.”

3. “Oh, you are a valet,' then, to some nobleman ?” “A

i Gilbert Stuart was born in Newpaint, nothing but living flesh and port, R. I., in 1755, and died in 1828. blood, with the actual features of He lived successively in Philadel- the person in relief before us. Hence, phia, Washington, and Boston. His Stuart's portraits are very highly portraits are among the finest speci- estimated. mens of modern art. On a near and ? Po mā' tumed, dressed with sudden view, they appear like mere pomatum, a kind of scented oints daubs and blotches of paint; but, as ment used on the hair. the eye rivets its attention upon 3 Văl' et, a waiting servant; a them, the canvas appears to be actu- servant who attends on a gentle ally animated-there seems to be no man's person.

STUART, THE PAINTER.

83

valet! Indeed, sir, I am not. I am not a servant. To be sure, I make coats and waistcoats for gentlemen.” “Oh, you are a tailor?” “A tailor! do I look like a tailor? I assure you, I never handled a goose, other than a roasted one."

4. By this time they were all in a roar. “What are you, then ?” said one. “I'll tell you,” said Stuart. “Be assured, all I have said is literally true. I dress hair, brush hats and coats, adjust a cravat, and make coats, waistcoats, and breeches,' and likewise boots and shoes, at your service."

5. “Oh, ho! a boot and shoe maker, after all!” “Guess again, gentlemen. I never handled boot or shoe, but for my own feet and legs ; yet all I have told you is true.” “We may as well give up guessing.” “Well, then, I will tell you, upon my honor as a gentleman, my bona fide o profession. I get my bread by making faces.”

6. He then screwed his countenance, and twisted the lineäments of his visage, in a manner such as Samuel Foote" or Charles Mathews' might have envied. His companions, after loud peals of laughter, each took credit to himself for having suspected that the gentleman belonged to the theater; and they all knew he must be a comedian® by profession. When to their utter astonishment, he assured them that he was never on the stage, and very rarely saw the inside of a playhouse, or any similar place of ămūsemènt. They all now looked at each other in utter ămāzemènt.

7. Before parting, Stuart said to his companions : “Gentleměn, you will find that all I have said of my vārious employmènts is comprised in these few words : I am a portrait painter. If you will call at John Palmer's, York Buildings, London, I

Goose, the iron with which the thor, actor, and mimic. Born 1721, tailor smooths his work.

died 1777. 2 Breeches, (brich' ez), a kind of Charles Mathews, an English short trowsers or pantaloons, cover- comedian, celebrated as a mimic. ing the hips and thighs.

Born 1776, died 1837. 3 Bö' na fi' de, Latin words, mean- 8 Co mē' di an, an actor or player ing in good faith ; true ; actual. in comedy; that is, a representation

* Lin e a ments, features ; outlines. on a stage of the lighter passions of

5 Visage, (viz' aj), the face, coun- mankind, which generally termitenance, or look of a person, or of nates happily. When the story terother animals.

minates sadly, it is called tragedy, * Samuel Foote, an English au- and the player is called a tragedian.shall be ready and willing to brush you a coat or hat, dress your hair à la mode,' supply you, if in need, with a wig of any fashion or dimensions, accommodate you with boots or shoes, give you ruffles or cravat, and make faces for you.”

III.

13. THE LAST LEAF.

T SAW him once before,
1 As he pass'd by the door,

And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o'er the ground

With his cane.
2. They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Timo

Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the Crier on his round

Through the town.
3. But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets

Sad and wan,
And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,

“They are gone.”
4. The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest

In their bloom,
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many ă year

On the tomb.
6. My grandmamma has said, -
Poor old lady, she is dead

Lòng ăgo,—
'A la mode, according to the Mar' bles, tombstones.
custom ; in fashion.

• Bloom, a state of healthful, Wan, (won), having a pale or growing freshness, beauty, and vigo sickly color.

or ; youth.

WISH FOR NO MAN'S MONEY.

85

That he had a Roman nose
And his cheek was like a rose

In the snow.
6. But now his nose is thin, .
And it rests upon his chin

Like a staff,
And a crook is in his back,
And a melancholy crack

In his laugh.
7. I know it is a sin
For me to sìt and grin

At him here;
But the old three-corner'd hat,
And the breeches, and all that,

Are so queer!
8. And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree

In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES

SECTION IV.

1. 14. WISH FOR NO MAN'S MONEY. T\HE health, and strength, and freshnèss, and sweet sleep

I of youth,' are yours. Young Love, by day and night, encircles you. Hearts unsoiled by the deep sin of covetousness' beat fondly with your own. None-ghoul-like-listen for the death-tick in your chămber. Your shoes have value in men's eyes, only when you tread in them. The smiles no wealth can 1 Youth, (y8th).

good ; an excessive desire for gain. » Yours, (y8rz).

* Ghoul-like, (g81’ lik), a ghoul s Covetousness, (kův et ús nés), was an imaginary evil being, among avarice; a strong or undue desire of the Eastern nations, that was supgetting and owning some supposed posed to prey upon human bodies.

purchase greet you, living ; and tears that rarely drop on rosewood coffins, will fall from pitying eyes upon you, dying.

2. Be wise in being content with competency. You have, to eat, to drink, to wear, enough? then have you all the rich man hath. What though he fares more sumptuously?' He shortens life--increases pains and aches-impairs his health thereby. What if his raiments be more costly? God loves him none the more, and man's respect in such regard comes ever mingled with his envy.

3. Nature is yours in all her glory : her ever-varying and forever beautiful face smiles peace upon you. Her hills and valleys, fields and flowers, and rocks, and streams, and holy places, know no desecration' in the step of poverty ; but welcome ever to their wealth of beauty-rich and poor ălīke.

4. Be content! The robin chirps as gayly as the gorgeous bird of Paradise. Less gaudy is his plumage, less splendid his surroundings. Yet no joy that cheers the Eastern beauty, but comes upon his barren hills to bless the nest that robin builds. His flight's as strong, his note as gay; and in his humble home the light of happiness shines all as bright, because no cloud of envy dims it.

5. Let us, then, labor and be strong, in the best use of that we have ; wasting no golden hours in idle wishes for things that burden those who own them, and could not bless us if we had them, as do the gifts already bestowed by a Wisdom that never errs. Being content, the poorest man is rich : while he who counts his millions, hath little joy, if he be otherwise.

II.
15. A HUMAN BEING WITH NOTHING TO DO.

M OST miserable, worthy of most profound pity, is such ă II being! The most insignificanto object in nature becomes a source of envy: the birds warble on every tree in ecstasy of

Com' pe ten cy, sufficiency for through splendid or various colors ; some end or duty.

showy. · Súmpt' u ous ly, splendidly ; ex. Gaudy, (gåd’i), gay beyond the pensively.

simplicity of nature or good taste; 3 Des e crā' tion, a turning from showy. its sacred character; a misusing. In sig nif i cant, without weight

* Gorgeous, (går' jus), imposivg of character; mean.

« 이전계속 »