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“The cannon,” said I, amazed,“ we have nothing to do with the cannon.”
“But monsieur, we fired them on purpose for you.” “And we knew nothing at all about them !”
“You must have heard them. Remember, we get our bread by it.”
“Here then," said I, “ here are some more sous.”
“ Which makes thirty-six sous, and you have only given me, without counting for the gate, six.”
“How thirty-six ? Twelve sous, by your own making. Three coups, you say, at four sous each?
“There are three messieurs,” replied the child.
My two companions and I gave a series of laughs, which produced almost as loud an echo as the cannon, at this piece of impudence. However, we were glad to get released from the calculating ragamuffins at the price they mentioned. No wonder that there is not such a being as a Jew to be seen in Switzerland!
This little incident afforded us subject for conversation till we reached St. Martin, where we halted and engaged rooms for the night. While dinner was preparing, we all three strolled on to the bridge over the Arve, from the centre of which Mont Blanc appeared in all the majesty and refulgence of height, purity, and grandeur.
THE FAITHLESS WIFE.
BY MRS. CRAWFORD.
Yes, thou art faithless! and mine eye can trace
Telling unholy and forbidden things.
NOTE.—The above lines are founded upon actual fact. Not
only the wife's infidelity, but the injured husband's forgiveness (a circumstance seldom, if ever, heard of), is, in the present instance, equally taken from real life. The play of The Stranger, which is founded upon similar incidents, has been objected to by many; not merely as being utterly improbable in its denouement, but likewise, as having a dangerous tendency. Improbable or not, such a circumstance has occurred, within my own knowledge. Aud if I have not been deterred from clothing it in a metrical form, it is only because I feel no apprehension that any wife, whose mind might otherwise be base enough for the purpose, would ever be led to fall into the error of Mrs. Haller; the chance being so very remote, that any husband would be induced to copy the example of The Stranger.
BY WALTER R. CASTELLI.
YES! at the risk of calling forth a frown, or a wicked little pout upon your pretty lip, fair and gentle reader, we will with admirable candour confess that all our life we have been a wanderer over the face of the earth, and spite of our worthy old housekeeper, who receives the intimation of each fresh outbreak with venerable horror, and regarding us over the rims of her tortoiseshell spectacles in pitying sorrow, almost involuntarily murmurs, “There is no rest for the wicked,”—we fear, we fear we shall continue one till the end of the chapter. And yet we are not without a home, a fixed resting place whither to bend our wearied steps. On the contrary, we have a very pleasant one, just such an one as we always loved and sighed for, where
“Summer woods around it blowing,
o'ercanopied by roses and honeysuckle, with casements opening cmid them down to the smoothest of lawns, through which we
are wont to scent the freshness of the morning, as we sit at breakfast with our white cloth before us, white cups, white saucers, white rolls, white and calm inspiring milk, not an hour from the sleek cow that grazes in yon field which you can just see athwart the hazels—everything pure and snowy as befits a repast at such an hour and such a scene. But our restless spirit, nevertheless, constantly impels us to make pilgrimages through our own and other lands, wherever beauty tempts us; and we fondly fancy we thus imitate the bees that roam abroad amongst flowers for sweets to store their sunny Hybla, for we return from these our excursions with tenfold relish of our cot, and many a pleasant dream and happy memory to brighten our moments of repose and retirement. But for mercy's sake, do not call us a traveller, we hate the term :
“To do the act that might the addition earn,
Not the world's mass of vanity could make us.” But we most strenuously lay claim to the title of a “Rambler.” We have no idea of being whisked away at the rate of forty miles an hour in a railway carriage, through tunnels and cuttings which effectually preserve in mystery the surrounding country, from which we are inclined to believe that the invention, like so many others, must have been originally Chinese, to whose manners in any case it is best adapted. Nay, we even eschew stage coaches, notwithstanding their merry horns and prancing greys, to say nothing of the rosy Jehus, and the strange company one meets thereon; albeit they are truly celestial vehicles in comparison with their more flourishing rivals. These may do very well for practical men, invalided Nabobs, and Brummagem tourists, with whom a thorough rambler has neither connection nor sympathy. They try how quickly they can get to the end of a journey; they study their “Guides” for the fast trains, and no sooner leave brick walls and smoky chimneys, than they look out and sigh for brick walls and smoky chimneys again. But a rambler, reversely, seeks only to prolong his journeys; he straps his knapsack on his back, and with a book in his pocket, and his loose, short-skirted jacket courting the coolness of the breeze, starts off. He never takes short cuts, never keeps by high roads, but makes a thousand deviations, down every tempting lane, by the side of merry streamlets, that lead him astray ofttimes, it may be, laughing silverly the while at their own gamesome antics, and anon even trying to seem grave, and run slower, that he may keep up with them. Away down valleys in search after the church, whose spire he saw up there from the hill-top, peeping through the trees; for your ram
bler is always a lover of old country churches, with their ivied towers, their flowery tombs, and the sturdy yew, round whose stem is placed the smooth-worn seat where he rests to think of Gray, and Goldsmith, and others, whose beautiful descriptions first made such spots dear to him. And then again, you will find him stretched upon the hay, in the heat of the day; or upon some thymy bank, with his favorite poet before him, while the bees hum about him, and birds chaunt to each other from their leafy shadows; or else the cushat-dove coos lovingly from the depth of some night thicket; then does he know what enjoyment means—then alone does he rightly feel the intense pleasure of poesy, as he inhales its sweetness thus in the very temple and under the balm of its presiding goddess, Nature herself, with sundry visions of dryads and nymphs, or the mad revelry of Pan floating before his haif closed eyes. We will be bound for it, nectar would not taste half so sweet on earth, as it does in the dwellings of the gods, or in mossy Tempe, with all its concomitants of bright skies, radiant blossoms, and sigh-breathing melodies, not to mention the graceful Hebe as the cup-bearer to brim the goblet up unto your thirsting lip. Nor does Poetry ever steal over the soul with such enchantment as in a sunny woodland amongst violets and primroses, with the soft blue sky above, and the verdant sward beneath. But through the very force of habit we are on the point of falling into a rambling fit in our essay, towards which delinquency we are less hopeful of tolerance than to our errant propensities amongst green fields, which so eloquently plead for us, that we look for even more than mere pardon.
Have you no happy memories of rambles yourself? No sunny recollections of childhood, when you hied forth into the meads in May, to gather primroses and early flowers; or of merry troops seeking for wild strawberries, than which you have tasted none so luscious since or later, of the half-holiday, coming like a gleam of sunshine amid school sadness, when with a companion or two you rambled into the woods after nuts; or, it might be, in that more doubtful, but yet pleasant-to-look-back upon-pursuit, bird-nesting, and at the time you had no cruelty in your heart, but carried home the young fledgings in your cap as tenderly as a mother bears her child, with the full intention and hope of rearing them up in health and luxury; but which alas ! so often ended in tears. Or since then, again, is there no pic-nic in the distance, when, after the joyous bustle of your sylvan repast, the party broke up into twos and threes, who went forth on exploring expeditions through shady walks, where the blue eyes and golden hair, the white robe and tiny sandaled
March, 1849.–VOL. LIV.—NO. cclv.