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XIX.-MARMION AND DOUGLAS AT TANTALLON CASTLE.
Sir Walter Scott.
NoT far advanced was morning-day, when Marmion did his troop array to Surrey's camp to ride: he had safe-conduct for his band, beneath the royal seal and hand, and Douglas gave a guide. The ancient Earl, with stately grace, would Clara on her palfrey place; and whispered in an under-tone, "Let the hawk stoop, his prey is flown."
The train from out the Castle drew; but Marmion stopped to bid adieu :-"Though something I might 'plain," he said, "of cold respect to stranger-guest, sent hither by your king's behest, while in Tantallon's towers I stayed; part we in friendship from your land, and, noble Earl, receive my hand.". But Douglas round him drew his cloak, folded his arms, and thus he spoke:-"My manors, halls, and bowers, shall still be open, at my Sovereign's will, to each one whom he lists, howe'er unmeet to be the owner's peer: My castles are my King's alone, from turret to foundation stone;-the hand of Douglas is his own! and never shall, in friendly grasp, the hand of such as Marmion clasp!"
Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire, and shook his very frame for ire: "Ah! this to me," he said ;- "An 'twere not for thy hoary beard, such hand as Marmion's had not spared to cleave the Douglas' head! And, first, I tell thee, haughty peer, he who brings England's message here, although the meanest in her state, may well, proud Angus, be thy mate! And, Douglas, more I tell thee here, even in thy pitch of pride,-here in thy hold, thy vassals near,(nay, never look upon your lord, and lay your hands upon your sword),-I tell thee, thou'rt defied! And if thou saidst I am not peer to any lord in Scotland here,-Lowland or Highland, far or near,-Lord Angus, thou hast lied!"
On the Earl's cheek, the flush of rage o'ercame the ashen hue of age. Fierce he broke forth :- "And dar'st thou, then, to beard the lion in his den, the Douglas in his hall? And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go?-No! by Saint Bride of Bothwell, no!-Up drawbridge, grooms!-what, warder, ho! let the portcullis fall!"
Lord Marmion turned-well was his need,—and dashed the rowels in his steed; like arrow through the archway sprung; the ponderous gate behind him rung: to pass there was such scanty room, the bars, descending, razed his plume!
THE ISLE OF THE BLEST.—Gerald Griffin.
ON the Ocean, that hollows the rocks where ye dwell,
A Peasant, who heard of the wonderful tale,
Morn rose on the deep!—and that shadowy Isle
Rash dreamer, return! O ye winds of the main,
Night fell on the deep, amidst tempest and spray,
XXI.-DOMESTIC ASIDES-TRUTH IN PARENTHESIS. -Thomas Hood.
"I REALLY take it very kind, this visit, Mrs. Skinner!
I have not seen you such an age-(the wretch has come to dinner!)
Your daughters, too, what loves of girls-what heads for painters' easels !
Come here and kiss the infant, dears-(and give it, p'rhaps, the measles!)
boys I see are home from Reverend Mr.
'Twas very kind to bring them both-(what boots for my new Brussels!)
What! little Clara left at home? well, now, I call that shabby!
I should have loved to kiss her so-(a flabby, dabby babby!) And Mr. S., I hope he's well;-ah! though he lives so handy,
He never now drops-in to sup-(the better for our brandy!) Come, take a seat-I long to hear about Matilda's marriage; You're come of course to spend the day? (thank goodness! there's the carriage!)
What! must you go? next time I hope you'll give me longer
Nay-I shall see you down the stairs-(with most uncommon pleasure!)
Good-bye! good-bye! remember all, next time, you'll take your dinners!
(Now, David, mind I'm not at home in future to the Skinners!)"
XXII. THE KISS IN SCHOOL.-J. W. Palmer.
A DISTRICT School, not far away, 'mid snow-clad hills, one winter's day, was humming with its wonted noise of threescore mingled girls and boys;-some few upon their tasks intent, but more on future mischief bent. The while the Master's downward look was fastened on a copy-book; when suddenly, behind his back, rose, sharp and clear, rousing smack! as 'twere a battery of bliss, let off in one tremendous kiss. "What's that?" the startled Master cries. "That, thir," a little imp replies, "wath William Willith, if you pleathe; I saw him kith Thuthannah Peathe!"
With frown to make a statue thrill, the Master thundered, "Hither, Will!"-Like wretch, o'ertaken in his track with stolen chattels on his back, Will hung his head in fear and shame, and to that awful presence came,- -a great, green, bashful simpleton, the butt of all good-natured fun. With smile suppressed and birch upraised, the threatener faltered: "I'm amazed that you, my biggest pupil, should be guilty of an act so rude! before the whole set school to boot,-what
evil genius put you to 't?" "T-t-'was she herself, sir," sobbed the lad, "I didn't mean to be so bad, but when Susannah shook her curls, and whispered I was 'fraid of girls, and darsn't kiss a baby's doll . . . . I couldn't stand it, sir, at all! but up and kissed her on the spot. I know-boo-hoo! -I ought to not; but somehow, from her looks-boo-hoo!I thought she kind o' wished me to!"
XXIII. THE SCRUPULOUS SCHOOL-BOY.-William Cowper.
A YOUNGSTER at school, more sedate than the rest,
His comrades had plotted an orchard to rob,
He was very much shocked, and answered: "Oh, no! What! rob our good neighbour? I pray you, don't go; Besides, the man's poor,-his orchard's his bread,Then think of his children, for they must be fed." "You speak very fine, and you look very grave, But apples we want, and apples we'll have! If you will go with us, we'll give you a share; If not, you shall have neither apple nor pear."
They spoke, and Tom pondered: "I see they will go; Poor man! what a pity to injure him so;
Poor man! I would save him his fruit if I could,
If this matter depended alone upon me,
His apples might hang, till they dropped from the tree;
His scruples thus silenced, Tom felt more at ease,
Conscience slumbered a while, but soon woke in his breast, And in language severe the delinquent addressed: "With such empty and selfish pretences away!
By your actions you're judged, be your speech what it may."
XXIV.-A CONNUBIAL ECLOGUE.-J. G. Saxe.
He. Much lately have I thought, my darling wife,
She. Agreed: your plan I heartily approve;
Your plan is surely fair;
In such a work 'tis fitting we should share :-
She. Proceed! In making laws I'm little versed,
I only claim-and hold the treasure fast
My sex's sacred privilege, the last!
He. With all my heart. Well, dearest, to begin:-
(The rest with rapture listening the while)
She. That's Number One; I'll mind it well, if you
When we attend a party or a ball,
Don't leave your darling standing by the wall,
He. When I (although the busiest man alive)
Don't keep me waiting half-an-hour or so,
And then declare, "The clock must be too slow!"
She. When you (such things have happened now and then) Go to the Club with, "I'll be back at ten".
And stay till two o'clock-you needn't say,
"I really was the first to come away;
'Tis very strange how swift the time has passed!
I do declare the clock must be too fast!"
He. There-that will do. What else remains to say,
We may consider at a future day.
I'm getting sleepy, and-if you have done
She. Not I; this making rules is precious fun;