Imágenes de páginas

For Hope-sweet Patience—Virtue fled !

I did what she could never dare : I cut the canker from her side ;

And bore her off-to healthier air !

Far—far away! She never knew

That I had blood upon my breast : And yet (although she loved me much),

I know not why, she could not rest. I strove to cheer her love,- to stir

Her pride—but, ah, she had no pride! We loved each other ;-yet she pined:

We loved each other ;-yet she died !

She died, as fading roses die,

Although the warm and healing air Comes breathing forth, and wraps them round:

She died, despite my love and care. I placed her, gently, in the lead ;

I soothed her hair, as it should be; And drew a promise—what she vowed

Is secret, 'tween my soul and me! She died; and yet I have her still,

Carved, softly, in Carrara stone; And in my chamber she abides,

Sitting in silence,—all alone; Alone, save when the midnight moon

Her calm and spotless bosom seeks ; Then, she unclasps her marble hands,

And moves her marble lips-and speaks !
And this is why I restless seem ;

And this is why I always rise
At midnight still throughout the year,

And look for comfort in the skies;
For then the angel of my heart

Awakens from her sleep of stone;
And we exchange sweet hopes and thoughts,

In words unto the earth unknown.

Now,—tell me, am I mad ?-Who's He

That stares, and gibbers at me there ?
I know him : there's his crooked claw ;

His glittering eye; his snaky hair ;
Begone !-he's gone! Excuse me, Sir ;

These fellows often pinch my brain ;
(I know full well who spurs them on ;)
But—as you see—they teaze in vain.

(By permission of the Author.)


ANDREW HALLIDAY. (Mr. Andrew Halliday was born at Grange, in the county of Banff, Scotland, in the year 1830. He was educated at Marischal College, Aberdeen, and made his first appearance as a journalist in the columns of the Morning Chronicle and the Leader. He afterwards turned his attention to essay writing, and furnished many contributions to the Cornhill Magazine, Temple Bar, London Society, &c. He has been for some years past one of the principal contributors to All the Year Round, from which he has collected and published three volumes of essays, entitled “Everyday Papers," " Sunnyside Papers,” and “ Town and Country,'' of which the Examiner says :-" They supply to our current litera. ture some of the best reading which seeks chiefly to amuse.” Mr. Halliday has also written a number of burlesques and farces for the stage.] I NEVER laid by a penny till the Post-office Savings Banks came up. Not that I mightn't have done so, for I earned good wages; and after paying all the expenses at home, I had always plenty of loose cash to spend. I was never without money in my pocket; but always at the year's end I had spent all I had received. I knew very well that I might have saved a good bit without cutting down the weekly allowance to the missus for the house, or stinting myself of any reasonable enjoyment; but I had never begun the thing, and when I thought about doing it, I was at a loss how to go about it. What I used to do, when I had a little lump of money over and above the expenses, was to put it away in a drawer, and lock it up; and I used to say to

myself, “I wont touch that money, but I'll put more to it from time to time, and when it amounts to a hundred, I'll do something with it-put it in the bank, or invest it in a building society, or something of that sort.” But, somehow, the money didn't grow as I expected. You see I always had the key of that drawer in my pocket ; and at any time, if I ran a little short through being rather free with my mates or going upon the spree, I had nothing to do but to go to the drawer and help myself. I hesitated over it sometimes, but never for long; the drawer was so handy, and I used to say to myself, “If I take a sovereign it wont reduce the money much, and I can put it back again next week.” But it generally happened when next week came that it wasn't convenient to put the money back. And so I went on going to the drawer for sovereigns and half-sovereigns, until the bit of money dwindled down so low that it wasn't worth keeping. It's the same with drink. If you make up your mind that you wont taste a drop for a week, and stick to it, you are all right; but only be persuaded to make a beginning to take one glass, just one, and you take another and another, and then it's all wrong. It's the the same, too, I dare say, with swindling and robbing your master : once make a beginning, and on you go, like rolling down One-Tree-Hill on Whit Monday, the further you go, the faster you go.

Susan used to say to me, “ George, how's the money getting on ?" And she used to say it in a sly, sarcastic sort of way, meaning that I was spending it, and that it was going very fast. I knew it was, but I didn't like to acknowledge it, and always said: “Oh! it's all right in the drawer, there, what's of it.” “Well, George,” she would say, “you put away ten pounds about a month ago; and as Christmas is coming on, it will enable us to buy all we require, and give a little party to our friends.” “Yes,” I would say, “but you know, my dear, that I have paid So-and-so, and So-and-so ;" and then I'd name certain bills, and the subscription to

my lodge—for I am an Odd Fellow—and add it up and subtract it from the ten, and Susan, not being good at figures, would be quite puzzled and give the sum up in despair.

But she found me out more than once. One day, when I came home to dinner, she says to me, “George,” she says, “you left the key of the drawer on the mantleshelf this morning." She didn't look at me, but went on carving the boiled rabbit. My wife is odd that way, and not like generality of women. Nagging is not one of her faults. She doesn't say much, but she thinks the more. So, when she told me about the key in that quiet way, I knew she had been to the drawer and counted the money. That's where I don't hold with Bluebeard. He might have tried his wife with anything but a secret ; it is downright unreasonable to expect a woman not to be curious. I merely said “Oh!" in an indifferent kind of way; but I am sure my looks convicted me. However, Susan did not make any remark about the money being nearly all gone; but, by-and-by, when she was helping me to a suety dumpling, she says in her usual demure way, “Don't you think, George, it would be a good thing to put a little money away in a savings bank ?” “Well,” I says, “ it wouldn't be a bad thing, Susan.” “No," she says, “I'm sure it wouldn't, and if I was you I would make a beginning.” “Well,” I says, “I would, if I knew how to go about it.” “There's no difficulty about that,” Susan says; "you've only to go to Welbeck-street, and put a little in, and they'll give you a book, and there you are.” “Very well, Susan," I says, “ I'll take your advice, and go to Welbeck-street to-morrow."

I was as good as my word; and next day, at the dinner-hour, I walked up to Welbeck-street to put in three pounds ten, which was all that was left of the fifteen. But, lo and behold! when I got to the bank it was shut; and for the moment I thought it had broke, or the manager bolted with the funds, or something, but on looking about I noticed a brass plate on the wall with information about the bank-hours, and from that I learned that the bank was only open three days a week, from ten to two in the morning, and from six to eight in the evening. I had come on the wrong day. I was a good bit vexed to have all my trouble for my pains, but Susan, when I told her, took it quite quiet, and says, “ Never mind, George, you can go again on Saturday when the Bank is open.” Well, I fully resolved to go, and on Saturday morning I took the money with me, intending to walk over to the bank after my work. However, just as I was leaving the shop at six o'clock, who should I meet but an old mate of mine, that I hadn't seen for years. Nothing would do for Dave but I must go and have a glass with him. Well, you know, you can't refuse to drink with a mate, especially when he's been away in Birmingham for ever so long, and got a holiday on purpose to come up and see his friends. So in we goes to the Yorkshire Grey, and has a glass of rum-and-water each, and you know how the time slips away when old friends meet as have been long parted. Dave had so much to tell me about Birmingham gunbarrels, and I had so much to tell Dave about Clerkenwell watch-springs, and one thing followed another, including glasses of rum-and-water, that it was a quarter to eight in no time. It was no use; I couldn't get to Welbeck-street in a quarter of an hour unless I took a cab, and it didn't seem natural like to take a cab to go to a savings bank with three pounds ten: so I stopped with Dave, and had another glass.

When I went home and told Susan, she didn't say an angry word, but just remarked that I was very unlucky. You don't know how aggravating Susan is in that way. I'd rather have tongue-pie a good deal, than that sit-andsay-nothing, but think-the-more way of hers. It's more aggravating than saying the thing right out, for you can't tell what an awful character a quiet woman thinks you are. For my part, I'd rather have teacups. However, I was resolved to show Susan that I was in earnest, and on the following Tuesday I got to the bank

« AnteriorContinuar »