Imágenes de páginas

Though you strive all your might you can do nothing

right; While the maids—the old song—can do nothing wrong; · Every shirt wants a button !" Every day they've cold · mutton; They're always a flurrying one, or else they're a hurry

ing one, or else they're a worrying one; Threatening to smother your dear sainted mother, or

kick your big brother; After all your fine doings, your strugglings and stew

ings-why “the house is in ruins!" Then the wine goes like winking, and they cannot help

thinking you've taken to drinking; They're perpetually rows keeping, 'cause out of the

house-keeping they're in bonnets their spouse

keeping; So when they've been meated, if with pies they're not

treated, they vow that they are cheated ! Then against Ascot Races, and all such sweet places,

they set their old faces; And they'll never leave town, nor to Broadstairs go

down, though with bile you're quite brown; For their wife they unwilling are, after cooing and

billing her, to stand a cap from a milliner-e'en a

paltry twelve shillinger; And it gives them the vapours to witness the capers of

those bowers and scrapers, the young linen drapers; Then to add to your woes, they say nobody knows how

the money all goes, but they pay through the

nose for the dear children's clothes; Though you strive and endeavour, they're so mightily

clever, that please them you'll never, till you leave them for ever-yes! the hundredth time sever

6 for ever-AND EVER ! !" Now the gentlemen sure I've no wish to disparage, But this is the way they go on after marriage.

(From the Comic Almanack.")


Thomas OTWAY. Pri. No more! I'll hear no more! begone, and leave.

me. Jaff. Not hear me! By my sufferings but you shall : My lord, my lord ! I'm not that abject wretch You think me. Patience! where's the distance throws Me back so far, but I may boldly speak In right, tho' proud oppression will not hear me!

Pri. Have you not wrong'd me ?

Jaff. Could my nature e'er
Have brook'd injustice, or the doing wrong,
I need not now thus low have bent myself
To gain a hearing from a cruel father. -
Wrong'd you ?

Pri. Yes, wrong'd me. In the nicest point,
The honour of my house, you've done me wrong..
When you first came home from travel,
With such hopes as made you look'd on
By all men's eyes, a youth of expectation,
Pleased with your seeming virtue I received you:
Courted and sought to raise you to your merits:
My house, my table, nay, my fortune, too,
My very self was yours: you might have used me
To your best service: Like an open friend
I treated, trusted you, and thought you mine,
When in requital of my best endeavours,
You treacherously practised to undo me :
Seduced the weakness of my age's darling,
My only child, and stole her from my bosom.

Jaff. Tis to me you owe her :
Childless you had been else, and in the grave
Your name extinct; no more Priuli heard of.
You may remember, scarce five years are past
Since in your brigantine you sail'd to see
The Adriatic wedded by our duke :
And I was with you. Your unskilful pilot
Dash'd us upon a rock; when to our boat
You made for safety; enter'd first yourself;

The affrighted Belvidera, following next,
As she stood trembling on the vessel's side,
Was by a wave wash'd off into the deep;
When instantly I plunged into the sea,
And buffeting the billows to her rescue,
Redeem'd her life with half the loss of mine.
Like a rich conquest in one hand I bore her,
And with the other dash'd the saucy waves,
That throng’d and press’d to rob me of my prize.
I brought her : gave her to your despairing arms:
Indeed, you thanked me! but a nobler gratitude
Rose in her soul; for from that hour she loved me,
Till for her life, she paid me with herself.

Pri. You stole her from me, like a thief you stole her
At dead of night; that cursèd hour you chose
To rifle me of all my heart held dear.
May all your joys in her prove false like mine!
A sterile fortune, and a barren bed,
Attend you both; continual discord, make
Your days and nights bitter and grievous still ;
May the hard hand of a vexatious need
Oppress and grind you; till at last, you find
The curse of disobedience all your portion !

Jaff. Half of your curse you have bestowed in vain ; Heaven hath already crown'd our faithful loves With a young boy sweet as his mother's beauty : May he live to prove more gentle than his grandsire, And happier than his father!

Pri. No more.

Jaff. Yes, all; and then-adieu for ever!
There's not a wretch that lives on common charity,
But's happier than I; for I have known
The luscious sweets of plenty; every night
Hath slept with soft content about my head,
And never waked but to a joyful morning :
Yet now must fall: like a full ear of corn,
Whose blossom 'scaped, yet's wither'd in the ripening.

Pri. Home, and be humble ; study to retrench;
Discharge the lazy vermin of thy hall,
Those pageants of thy folly ;

Reduce the glittering trappings of thy wife
To humble weeds, fit for thy little state;
Then to some suburb cottage both retire;
Drudge to feed loathsome life; get brats, and starve.-
Home, home, I say.-

Jaff. Yes, if my heart would let me-
This proud, this swelling heart; home I would go,
But that my doors are hateful to my eyes,
Filld and damm'd up with gaping creditors.
I've not now fifty ducats in the world;
Yet still I am in love and pleased with ruin.
Oh! Belvidera !-Oh! she is my wife-
And we will bear our wayward fate together-
But ne'er know comfort more.


“Now, well-a-day!" the sailor said,

“Some danger doth impend :
Three ravens sit in yonder glade,
And harm will happen, I'm sore afraid,

Ere we reach our journey's end.”
“And what have the ravens with us to do?

Does their sight then bode us evil ?
“Why, to find one raven is lucky, 'tis true;
But 'tis certain destruction to light upon two,

And meeting with three is the devil.
" I've known full three score years go by,

And only twice before
I've seen three ravens near me fly;
And twice good cause to wish had I

That I ne'er might see them more.
“ The first time I was wrecked at sea;

The second time, by fire
I lost my wife and children three
That self-same night; and woe is me

That I did not then expire !

“ Still do I hear their screams for aid,

Which to give was past man's power ;
I saw in earth their coffins laid,
Well, my heart of marble must be made,

Since it did not break that hour !"
“Poor soul! your tale of many woes

Brings tears into my eyes :
But think you that your ills arose
Because you saw your fancied foes,

Three ravens, near you rise ?
“No doubt, since this fantastic fear

Has thus possessed your head, You firmly believe that ghosts appear, And that dead men rise from their blood-stained

bier, To haunt the murderer's bed.” “ Believe it, master ? well I may!

Now mark what I relate; For Gospel-true are the words I say, When I swear, that, during three weeks and a day,

A Ghost was my own shipmate.
“My cash run low—no beef, no flip,

And the times were hard to live ;
So I e'en resolved to make a trip
For slaves, on board of a Guinea ship,

Which crime may God forgive ! “Oh, 'twas a sad, sad thing to hear

The negroes scream and groan,
And curse the billows which bore them near
To the tyrant white-man's land of fear,

And far, far away from their own! “But soon the sailor found his part

Scarce better than the slaves'; For our captain had a tiger's heart, And he plagued his crew with such barbarous art,

We all wished us in our graves !

« AnteriorContinuar »