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III.

I once saw a poor fellow, keen and clever,
Witty and wise :-he paid a man a visit,
And no one noticed him, and no one ever
Gave him a welcome. Strange!” cried I, “whence is it?”

He walked on this side, then on that,

He tried to introduce a social chat;
Now here, now there, in vain he tried;
Some formally and freezingly replied,

And some
Said by their silence—“Better stay at home.”

IV.

A rich man burst the door;

As Crosus rich, I'm sure
He could not pride himself upon his wit,
And as for wisdom, he had none of it;
He had what's better; he had wealth.

What a confusion !--all stand up erect--
These crowd around to ask him of his health;

These bow in honest duty and respect;
And these arrange a sofa or a chair,
And these conduct him there.
“Allow me, sir, the honor;"—Then a bow
Down to the earth—Is 't possible to show
Meet gratitude for such kind condescension ?

V.

The poor man hung his head,

And to himself he said, “This is indeed beyond my comprehension :"

Then looking round,

One friendly face he found,
And said, “ Pray tell me why is wealth preferred
To wisdom?”—“That's a silly question, friend!”
Replied the other—“have you never heard,

A man may lend his store

Of gold or silver ore,
But wisdom none can borrow, none can lend?”

KHEMNITZER.

XXVIII.-ARRAIGNMENT OF CATILINE.

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OW far, o Catiline! wilt thou abuse our patience ?

How long shalt thou baffle justice in thy mad career? To what extreme wilt thou carry thy audacity? Art thou nothing daunted by the nightly watch, posted to secure the Palatium*? Nothing, by the city guards? Nothing, by the rally of all good citizens ? Nothing, by the assembling of the Senate in this fortified place ? Nothing, by the averted looks of all here present?

2. Seest thou not that all thy plots are exposed ?—that thy wretched conspiracy is laid bare to the knowledge of every man here in the Senate ?—that we are well aware of thy proceedings of last night; of the night before; the place of meeting, the company convoked, the measures concerted ?

3. O, the times ! O, the morals of the times! The Senate understand all this. The Consul sees it. And yet the traitor lives! Lives? Ay, truly, and confronts us here in council,—presumes to take part in our deliberations,-and, with his calculating eye, marks out each man of us for slaughter! And we, the while, think we have amply discharged our duty to the State, if we do but succeed in warding off this madman's sword and fury !

4. Long since, O Catiline! ought the Consul to have ordered thee to execution, and brought upon thy own head the destruction thou hast been plotting against others ! There was in Rome that virtue once, that a wicked citizen was held more execrable than the deadliest foe. For thee, Catiline, we have still a law. Think not, because we are forbearing, that we are powerless.

5. We have a statute,-though it rests among our archives like a sword in its scabbard,-a statute which makes thy life the forfeit of thy crimes. And, should I order thee to be instantly seized and put to death, I do not doubt that

* Pronounced Pă-lā'-she-ům.

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all good men would say that the punishment, instead of being too cruel, was only too long deferred.

6. But, for sufficient reasons, I will a while postpone the blow. Then will I doom thee, when no man is to be found, so lost to reason, so depraved, so like thyself, that he will not admit the sentence was deserved. While there is one man who ventures to defend thee, live!

7. But thou shalt live so beset, so hemmed in, so watched, by the vigilant guards I have placed around thee, that thou shalt not stir a foot against the Republic without my knowledge. There shall be eyes to detect thy slightest movement, and ears to catch thy wariest whisper. Thou shalt be seen and heard when thou dost not dream of a witness near. The darkness of night shall not cover thy treason; the walls of privacy shall not stifle its voice.

8. Baffled on all sides, thy most secret projects clear as noonday, what canst thou now devise ? Proceed, plot, conspire, as thou wilt; there is nothing thou canst contrive, propose, attempt, which I shall not promptly be made aware of. Thou shalt soon be convinced that I am even more active in providing for the preservation of the State, than thou in plotting its destruction!

CICERO.

XXIX.-A GREYPORT LEGEND, 1797.

I.

TT
THEY ran through the streets of the seaport town,

They peered from the decks of the ships where they lay
The cold sea-fog that came whitening down
Was never as cold or white as they.

“Ho, Starbuck and Pickney and Tenterden!

Run for your shallops, gather your men, Scatter your boats on the lower bay.”

II.

Good cause for fear! In the thick mid-day

The hulk that lay by the rotten pier,

Filled with children in happy play,
Parted its moorings and drifted clear.

Drifted clear beyond reach or call,

Thirteen children there were in all,All adrift in the lower bay!

III.

Said a hard-faced skipper, “God help us all!

She will not float till the turning tide!” Said his wife, “My darling will hear my call, Whether in sea or heaven she bide."

And she lifted a quavering voice and high,

Wild and strange as a sea-bird's cry,
Till they shuddered and wondered at her side.

IV.

The fog drove down on each laboring crew,

Veiled each from each and the sky and shore; There was not a sound but the breath they drew, And the lap of water and creak of oar;

And they felt the breath of the downs, fresh blown

O'er leagues of clover and cold gray stone, But not from the lips that had gone before.

V.

They come no more. But they tell the tale

That, when fogs are thick on the harbor reef,
The mackerel-fishers shorten sail,
For the signal they know will bring relief,—

For the voices of children, still at play

In phantom hulk that drifts alway Through channels whose waters never fail.

VI.

It is but a foolish shipman's tale,

A theme for a poet's idle page,
But still when the mists of doubt prevail,
And we lie becalmed by the shores of Age,

We hear from the misty, troubled shore

The voice of the children gone before, Drawing the soul to its anchorage.

F. BRET HARTE

XXX.-TWO VIEW'S OF CHRISTMAS. SCROOGE and his NEPHEW. Scene.—The Counting-Room of Scrooge. Nephew. A merry Christmas, uncle! Scrooge. Bah! humbug!

Neph. Christmas a humbug, uncle! You don't mean inat, I am sure?

Scrooge. I do. Out upon merry Christmas! What 's Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, and not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books, and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I had my will, every idiot who goes about with “Merry Christmas” on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should !

Neph. Uncle!

Scrooge. Nephew, keep Christmas time in your own way, and let me keep it in mine. Neph. Keep it! But you don't keep it !

! Scrooge. Let me leave it alone, then. Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!

Neph. There are many good things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round,-apart from the veneration due to its sacred origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that,--as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-travellers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say. God bless it!

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