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There was a man named Ferguson,

He lived on Market street, He had a speckled Thomas cat

That couldn't well be beat; He'd catch more rats and mice, and sich,

Than forty cats could eat.

This cat would come into the room

And climb upon a cheer,
And there he'd set and lick hisself,

And purr so awful queer,
That Ferguson would yell at him—

But still he'd purr—severe.

And then he'd climb the moon-lit fence,

And loaf around and yowl, And spit and claw another cat

Alongside of the jowl; And then they both would shake their tails

And jump around and howl.

Oh, this here cat of Ferguson's

Was fearful then to see;
He'd yell precisely like he was

In awful agony;
You'd think a first-class stomach-ache

Had struck some small baby.

And all the mothers in the street,

Waked by the horrid din,
Would rise right up and search their babes

To find some worrying pin;
And still this viperous cat would keep

A hollerin' like sin.

And as for Mr. Ferguson,
Twas more than he could bear,

And so he hurled his boot-jack out
Right through the midnight air;

But this vociferous Thomas cat,
Not one cent did he care.

For still he yowled and kept his fur

A standin up on end,
And his old spme a doublin' up

As far as it would bend,
As if his hopes of happiness

Did on his lungs depend.

But while a curvin' of his spine,

And waitin' to attack
A cat upon the other fence,

There come an awful crack ;—
And this here speckled Thomas cat

Was busted in the back I

When Ferguson came home next day,

There lay his old feline,
And not a life was left in him,

Although he had had nine.
"All this here comes," said Ferguson,

"Of curvin' of his spine."

Now all you men whoso tender hearts
This painful tale does rack,

Just take this moral to yourselves,
All of you, white and black;

Don't ever go like this here cat,
To gettin' up your back.


Most potent, grave, and reverend seigniors:
My very noble, and approved good masters:
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her:
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more.

Rude am I in speech,
And little blessed with the set phrase of peace:
For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field;
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broils and battle;
And therefore, little shall I grace my cause,
In speaking of myself.

Yet by your patience, I will, a round, unvarnished tale deliver, Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charma,

What conjuration, and what might
For such proceedings I am charged
I won his daughter with.


Her father loved me; oft invited me;
8till questioned me the story of my life
From year to year: the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I had past.

I ran it through, e'en from my boyish days,

To the very moment that he bade me tell it.

Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances:

Of moving accidents by flood and field;

Of hairbreadth 'scapes, in the imminent deadly breach;

Of being taken by the insolent foe,

And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,

And with it all my travel's history.

All these to hear,
Would Desdemona seriously incline;
But still the house affairs would draw her thence,
Which ever as she could with haste despatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear.
Devour up my discourse. Which, I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate;
Whereof, by parcels, she had something heard,
But not distinctly.

I did consent;
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke,

She gave me for my pains a world of sighs.
She swore in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing Strang*;
Twas pitiful; 'twas wondrous pitiful;
She wished she had not heard it; yet she wished
That heaven had made her such a man.

She thanked me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but tench him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. On this hint I spake;
She loved mc "or the dangers I had passed;
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This is the only witchcraft which I've used.


My story being done,


The whistle, shrill,
Went up the hill,
And echoed through the valley still;

* Danger ahead I" We thought it said, As on the heavy night-train sped.

The black wheels grate I

"Too late I too late I"
(How could they stop at such a rate 1)

The lightning's glow

But served to show
A mangled mass of flesh below 1

What did they find!

Tears always blind
My eyes, as I recall to mind

The fearful sight,

Which on that night,
W« saw by " the red lantern's" light

"The bridge is gone—

Send some one on! Twere worse for hundreds than for ontl"

The pleading mild

Cime from a child,
Down in the rain that midnight wild.

The stifled sound

Of groans around Told what a place these words had found,

As strong men thought

Of what was wrought. By his young life which theirs had bought

"I knew you'd slack,

If on the track,
Pd drop this ugly, poor hunchback I

But—don't you know—

In heaven I'll grow 4s straight as any one below I

"I saw it go—

Some—one—stoop low!"
His voice grew very faint and sloW,

"No one would care—

God made me dare To give what—all—could—so well spare."

They raised his head—

He smiled—was dead— Without one look of pain or dread.

Friends love to trace

His resting place,
Where bloom the lilies—types of grace.

THE JESTER'S SERMON.—Walter Thornrurt.

The jester shook his hood and bells, and leaped upon a chair j The pages laughed; the women screamed, and tossed their scented hair;

The falcon whistled; stag-hounds bayed; the lap-dog barked without;

The scullion dropped the pitcher brown; the cook railed at the lout;

The steward, counting out his gold, let pouch and money fall,—

And why? Because the jester rose to say grace in the hall.

The page played with the heron's plume, the steward with his chain;

The butler drummed upon the board, and laughed with

might and main; The grooms beat on their metal cans, and roared till they

were red,

But still the jester shut his eyes, and rolled his witty head, And when they grew a little still, read half a yard of text, And, waving hand, struck on the desk, and frowned like one perplexed.

"Dear sinners all," the fool began, " man's life is but a jest.
A dream, a shadow, bubble, air, a vapor at the best.
In a thousand pounds of law, I find not a single ounce of

A blind man k'Mec1 the parson's cow in shooting at the dove.
The foo! that eats (ill he is sick must fast till he is well.
The wooer who can flatter most will bear away the belle.

"Let no man halloo he is safe, till he is through the wood. He who will ;lot when he may must tarry when he should. He who laughs at crooked men should need walk very straight.

Oh! he who once has won a name may lie abed till eight. Make haste tq purchase house and land: be very slow to wed.

True coral needs no painter's brush, nor need be daubed with red.

"The friar, preaching, cursed the thief, (the pudding in hi« sleeve.)

To fish for sprats with golden hooks is foolish—by your leave. To travel well,—an ass's ears, ape's face, hog's mouth, and ostrich legs.

He does not care a pin for thieves, wbo limps about au<J begs.


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