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JOAN OF ARC.

ever I believed in as full of truth and self-sacrifice, this was amongst the strongest pledges for thy side, that never once-no, not for a moment of weakness-didst thou revel in the vision of coronets and honor from man. Coronets for thee? Oh, no! Honors, if they come when all is over, are for those that share thy blood. Daughter of Domremy, when the gratitude of thy king shall awaken, thou wilt be sleeping the sleep of the dead. Call her, King of France, but she will not hear thee! Cite her by thy apparitors to come and receive a robe of honor, but she will be found en contumace. When the thunders of universal France, as even yet may happen, shall proclaim the grandeur of the poor shepherd-girl that gave up all for her country, thy ear, young shepherd-girl, will have been deaf for five centuries.

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To suffer and to do, that was thy portion in this life; to do,never for thyself, always for others; to suffer,-never in the persons of generous champions, always in thy own; that was thy destiny, and not for a moment was it hidden from thyself. "Life," thou saidst, "is short, and the sleep which is in the grave is long. Let me use that life, so transitory, for the glory of those heavenly dreams destined to comfort the sleep which is so long."

Pure from every suspicion of even a visionary self-interest, even as she was pure in senses more obvious, never once did this holy child, as regarded herself, relax from her belief in the darkness that was travelling to meet her. She might not prefigure the very manner of her death; she saw not, in vision, perhaps, the aerial altitude of the fiery scaffold, the spectators without end, on every road, pouring into Rouen as to a coronation, the surging smoke, the volleying flames, the hostile faces all around, the pitying eye that lurked but here and there until nature and imperishable truth broke loose from artificial restraints; these might not be apparent through the mists of the hurrying future, but the voice that called her to death, that she heard forever.

Great was the throne of France even in those days, and great was he that sat upon it; but well Joan knew that not the throne, nor he that sat upon it, was for her; but, on the contrary, that she was for them: not she by them, but they by her, should rise from the dust. Gorgeous were the lilies of France, and for centuries had the privilege to spread their beauty over land and sea, until, in another century, the wrath of God and man combined.

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SHERIDAN'S RIDE.

to wither them; but well Joan knew, early at Domremy she had read that bitter truth, that the lilies of France would decorate no garland for her. Flower nor bud, bell nor blossom, would ever bloom for her.

SHERIDAN'S RIDE.-THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.

U

P from the South at break of day,
Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay,
The affrighted air with a shudder bore,
Like a herald in haste, to the chieftain's door,
The terrible grumble, and rumble, and roar,
Telling the battle was on once more,
And Sheridan twenty miles away.

And wider still those billows of war
Thundered along the horizon's bar;
And louder yet into Winchester rolled
The roar of that red sea uncontrolled,
Making the blood of the listener cold,
As he thought of the stake in that fiery fray,
And Sheridan twenty miles away.

But there is a road from Winchester town,

A good, broad highway leading down;

And there, through the flush of the morning light,

A steed as black as the steeds of night
Was seen to pass, as with eagle flight;
As if he knew the terrible need,

He stretched away with his utmost speed;
Hills rose and fell; but his heart was gay,
With Sheridan fifteen miles away.

Still sprung from those swift hoofs, thundering South,
The dust, like smoke from the cannon's mouth,
Or the trail of a comet, sweeping faster and faster,
Foreboding to traitors the doom of disaster.

The heart of the steed, and the heart of the master
Were beating like prisoners assaulting their walls,
Impatient to be where the battle-field calls;

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SHERIDAN'S RIDE.

Every nerve of the charger was strained to full play,
With Sheridan only ten miles away.

Under his spurning feet, the road
Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed,
And the landscape sped away behind
Like an ocean flying before the wind,
And the steed, like a bark fed with furnace ire,
Swept on, with his wild eye full of fire.
But lo! he is nearing his heart's desire;
He is snuffing the smoke of the roaring fray,
With Sheridan only five miles away.

The first that the General saw were the groups
Of stragglers, and then the retreating troops;
What was done? what to do? a glance told him both,
Then striking his spurs, with a terrible oath,

He dashed down the line, 'mid a storm of huzzas,

And the wave of retreat checked its course there, because
The sight of the master compelled it to pause.

With foam and with dust the black charger was gray;

By the flash of his eye, and the red nostril's play,
He seemed to the whole great army to say,
"I have brought you Sheridan all the way
From Winchester, down to save the day."

Hurrah! hurrah for Sheridan!

Hurrah! hurrah for horse and man!

And when their statues are placed on high

Under the dome of the Union sky,

The American soldiers' Temple of Fame,
There, with the glorious General's name,
Be it said in letters both bold and bright:
"Here is the steed that saved the day
By carrying Sheridan into the fight,
From Winchester-twenty miles away!"

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94

SAM WELLER'S VALENTINE.

SAM WELLER'S VALENTINE.-CHARLES DICKENS.

"I'VE

"VE done now," said Sam, with slight embarrassment; "I've been a writin'."

"So I see," replied Mr. Weller. "Not to any young 'ooman, I hope, Sammy?

"

"Why, it's no use a sayin' it ain't," replied Sam. "It's a walentine."

"A what?" exclaimed Mr. Weller, apparently horror-stricken by the word.

"A walentine,” replied Sam.

"Samivel, Samivel," said Mr. Weller, in reproachful accents, "I didn't think you'd ha' done it. Arter the warnin' you've had o' your father's wicious propensities; arter all I've said to you upon this here wery subject; arter actiwally seein' and bein' in the company o' your own mother-in-law, vich I should ha' thought was a moral lesson as no man could ever ha' forgotten to his dyin' day! I didn't think you'd ha' done it, Sammy, I didn't think you'd ha' done it." These reflections were too much for the good old man; he raised Sam's tumbler to his lips and drank off the contents.

""

"Wot's the matter now ? said Sam.

"Nev'r mind, Sammy," replied Mr. Weller, "it'll be a wery agonizin' trial to me at my time o' life, but I'm pretty tough, that's vun consolation, as the wery old turkey remarked ven the farmer said he vos afeerd he should be obliged to kill him for the London market.”

Wot'll be a trial?" inquired Sam.

To see you married, Sammy; to see you a deluded wictim, and thinkin' in your innocence that it's all wery capital,” replied Mr. Weller. "It's a dreadful trial to a father's feelin's, that 'ere, Sammy."

"Nonsense," said Sam, "I ain't a goin' to get married, don't you fret yourself about that. I know you're a judge o' these things; order in your pipe, and I'll read you the letter,-there!"

Sam dipped his pen into the ink to be ready for any corrections, and began with a very theatrical air

999

"Lovely

SAM WELLER'S VALENTINE.

"Stop," said Mr. Weller, ringing the bell. "A double glass o' the inwariable, my dear."

"Very well, sir," replied the girl, who with great quickness appeared, vanished, returned, and disappeared.

66

They seem to know your ways here," observed Sam.

"Yes," replied his father, "I've been here before, in my time. Go on, Sammy."

"Lovely creetur','" repeated Sam.

""Taint in poetry, is it?" interposed the father.

"No, no," replied Sam.

"Wery glad to hear it," said Mr. Weller. "Poetry's unnat❜ral. No man ever talked in poetry 'cept a beadle on boxin' day, or Warren's blackin' or Rowland's oil, or some o' them low fellows. Never you let yourself down to talk poetry, my boy. Begin again, Sammy."

Mr. Weller resumed his pipe with critical solemnity, and Sam once more commenced and read as follows:

66 6

95

'Lovely creetur', i feel myself a damned'".

"That ain't proper," said Mr. Weller, taking his pipe from his mouth.

"No: it ain't damned," observed Sam, holding the letter up to the light, "it's shamed,' there's a blot there; i feel myself ashamed.'

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"Wery good," said Mr. Weller. "Go on."

"Feel myself ashamed, and completely cir-? I forget wot this 'ere word is," said Sam, scratching his head with the pen, in vain attempts to remember.

"Why don't you look at it, then ?" inquired Mr. Weller.

"So I am a lookin' at it," replied Sam, "but there's another blot here's a 'c,' and a 'i,' and a 'd.'"

"Circumwented, p'rhaps," suggested Mr. Weller.

"No, it ain't that," said Sam: "circumscribed,' that's it."

"That ain't as good a word as circumwented, Sammy,” said Mr. Weller, gravely.

"Think not?" said Sam.

"Nothin' like it," replied his father.

"But don't you think it means more?" inquired Sam.

"Vell, p'rhaps it's a more tenderer word," said Mr. Weller, after á few moments' reflection. "Go on, Sammy."

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