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The almanack was reached from its stand, and the gay doings, you girls may as well have your new old lady proceeded to tell over the cards with appro- frocks made now, as at Christmas; now then, dress priate notes and comments.

yourselves directly; your black velvet spencers, and • Mrs. Lorraine Finch-Certainly; it is our duty to best flounced petticoats ; nothing is so becoming as to call upon the strangers in the first place; I wish one see sisters all dressed alike. Julia, love, keep your could have got a little of Sir John's history before one veil down at Mrs. Finche's. Anne, don't forget to went: I wonder whether he likes dancing. Julia, be offer to show Miss Dashford all the pleasant walks sure and practise over your quadrilles to-night. And about S- , really, I quite feel for poor Mrs. Finch, now I think of it, pray, Anne, my dear, did I ever no young people of her own to amuse her strangers; give Mrs. Finch the receipt for Scotch marmalade, we must relieve her as much as we can. which her poor old aunt asked me for?'

*No, indeed,' replied the young lady addressed, · Availing myself of the stage privilege, I beg the • for you said you should not make it common to any reader to consider the black line drawn above, equisuch person

valent to a drop-scene; and then, without further Mrs. Sharpley was seized with a coughing.fit towards prelimi, I shall open this second act, and introduce my the close of her daughter's reply, but recovering her performers sitting in Mrs. Finch's library; in company self, she thus proceeded : Dear me, what a shameful with that lady, Sir John Dashford and his sister, in piece of forgetfulness! Anne, love, sit down, and the fine full flow of morning-call talk; the matrons copy it out directly; take gilt-edge paper, child, not apart from the young people, and Mrs. Sharpley play. that back of an old letter, and get a new pen. I ing diplomatic. “My dear Mrs. Finch, I do assure wonder whether Mrs. Finch will have many parties you that this receipt has quite weighed upon my conwhile Sir John and his sister are with her.'

science, and I have said to my girls at least a dozen • Mrs. Finch knows more of the world than any one times, do one of you copy out that receipt for Scotch in S--,' said Julia. "And dresses better, and her marmalade for Mrs. Finch's aunt-what a delightful rooms are more tastefully ornamented,' said Caroline. old lady she is—so chatty and cheerful. Do tell her, * And her suppers are more elegant,' observed Anne, Mrs Finch, that she must come amongst us this winter; * And she has far better connexions,' said the mother. there is nothing so good for an old person as a social

Verdict.—Mrs. Lorraine Finch is more worthy of rubber; what a charming acquisition you have made attention than her neighbours.

to our society; but, indeed, as I say to our • Mother,' said Caroline, "we owe a call to those girls, whenever you make an increase, it always is an tiresome old frumps the Oddleys; always begging | acquisition. What a lovely young woman Miss Dashone's patterns, and inviting one to tea in a friendly ford is, and how exceedingly like her brother.' way. I hate friendly ways.

I · And he,' interrupted Mrs. Finch, “is, (I say it in Hush, hush, my dear,' replied her mother, with a | confidence), the mildest, most easy-tempered creature cautionary nod, a little civility is well bestowed upon in the world ; you may do any thing with him; his people who go every where, and who have nothing to own master, and full three thousand a year, I assure do but to talk about their neighbours; besides I really you Mrs. Sharpley.' like the Oddleys-poor souls-one of you find last . I hope we may be able to make S- pleasant to week's newspaper for them. And Caroline, you might him,' replied that lady earnestly. “Now, my dear as well give Miss Letty the pattern of a morning-cap; Mrs. Finch, I do beg and entreat that you will not take her that I desired you never to wear again. Well, stand upon ceremony with us; your time will be ocwho else have we to see; the Jones', the Walkers, the cupied, and we know young people like young people; Waleys—what people those are-call, call, call, the let my daughters lionize Miss Dashford and her brother instant one is out of their debt; just as if one had when you are engaged; we must plan some rural nothing to do but be at home to them. How long is excursions—what a pity it is not winter; but we must it since we were at a party there?' - Indeed, mother, do the best we can.' Meantime, out of compliment to I don't know,' replied Julia, but I am sure we always the distinguished strangers, the Miss Sharpley's had invite them twice for once.'

discoursed in a manner very superior to the general · Fie, fie, Julia,' rejoined the mother, you should wont of morning-call conversation at S ; servants, not mention such trifes : however, I don't think we wedding reports, vulgar topics of every kind were shall have time to call this morning. Mrs. Morris, banished; but we will give the reader a specimen. sbe is a spiteful creature; but I must see her, for I They discovered then, that there were many pleasant want to know where her dyer lives. Mrs. Charles walks in the neighbourhood ; that riding was a very Merton, poor woman, what a life she leads with those

agreeable exercise ; that green was likely to be a very nine children.' • Really, mother,' interrupted Anne, fashionable colour; that Ivanhoe was in a quite • it is of no use wasting time with Mrs. Merton; one different style from Waverley: that

S w as very never meets her any where, and she knows nothing out dull in summer; that in winter it is much gayer; that of her own house; and she is always busy.' So quadrilles were far more elegant than country-dances ; much the greater charity to look in upon her now and that it must be very delightful to travel abroad; that then; besides, I think her housemaid is under warning, the book society was not well supported in S— ; that and I should like to know a little of her character in a

they hoped to see much of the strangers during their quiet way before I see after her. Well, really, I think

visit, &c. &c. we shall manage no more calls this morning ; we must Conversation rippled on in this style for about an do the rest to-morrow. I must somehow peep in at hour; at the end of which time the morning callers Mrs. Taffety's, to see if she has any thing new in the departed, and proceeded to the Oddleys, who were all turban way; and if Mrs. Finch is likely to have any at home, and in more than readiness to receive infor: mation on all subjects. A glance at the sitting-room summer as in winter; that people's dresses never ap would alone have sufficed to convince a stranger as to peared half so nice; that Mrs. Jones's governess was the character and customs of its inhabitants. It was about to leave; that it was suspected she was going to three-cornered, and full of three-cornered things. The | marry the eldest son; that the match between Emma table was octagonal, the flower-stands triangular, the Leicester and her cousin was broken off ; that it was escruitoire carved, the carpet of a zigzag pattern, and 1 not supposed there was any fault on either side; that the fire-place set round with Dutch tiles. The orna poor Mrs. Merton had had the tooth-ache a whole ments were, a superannuated parrot, and a stuffed owl, week; that the new curate played the best rubber of an asthmatic poodle, and a tortoise-shell tabby, fat as any gentleman in the place, and preached moreover a porpoise, and grave as a judge; two embroidered most excellent sermons; that it was a great comfort to angels hanging over the chimney-piece; and two china have a good clergyman ; that Doctor Dawdle had been hay makers, two ditto sheperdesses, ditto of porcelain called out of church the last Sunday, that Mr. Clare candlesticks, ditto of sea-shells, and ditto of glass had increased his business; that Mrs. Thompson was bellows upon the mantel-shelf. Who would not have likely to increase her family; that the Waleys were known this to be the tenement of old maids ! Such in just gone into mourning; that the Morris's were just truth were the three Miss Oddleys; but they did

gone out; that mourning was very disagreeable in honour to the species ; simple-hearted, straight-forward, summer; that it was very convenient when it so hapworthy women; prone, as Miss Caroline said, to beg pened that people could put it on in winter, &c., &c. patterns, and invite to tea in a friendly way; but This is but a brief abstract of what transpired; at thoroughly good-natured; good-natured even in their the end of an hour Mrs. Sharpley and her daughters gossip; no spiteful version of a fact ever originated

rose, for time was precious to them. They felt that with the Miss Oddleys; and if their heads resembled

news like knowledge was not to be hoarded; and if their sitting-room in being ornamented with lumber, I like Dr. Watts's busy bee their hearts did not, for they contained nothing three

They gathered honey all the day cornered. This has been a long digression from the

From every opening flower, main subject; but if one exhibits the worse parts of they were, to do them justice, neither idle nor selfish human nature, it is but common justice to pourtray its

recipients; like the same busy bee that stored it up worthier.

for the use and pleasure of others; what they gathered • Well, ladies,' commenced their matron visitor, in one place they deposited elsewhere in a new and im. • here I am, with all my tribe—no leaving them behind

I proved form. when we are to call on Miss Oddleys-Well, and how Mrs. Morris's was the next point for which our have you been this age since I saw you? I said to Anne party made: and having there unloaded the cargo of or Julia, I don't know which, as we were dressing,

intelligence taken in at the Oddleys, they proceeded my dear, said I, we will go and call on the Miss to take in fresh supplies of such articles as Mrs. M. Oddleys this morning, come what will; and here we

could furnish; which, most unfortunately, consisted are, and here you are, snug and comfortable as ever.

chiefly of contradictions. From her then they learnt, Ah, as I often say to my girls, Miss Oddleys’life for

that Sir John Dashford had only two thousand a year; happiness. By the way we have brought you a news.

-that the Finches were exceedingly censured for paper, and the pattern of a morning-cap Miss Letty,

keeping so much company, (Mrs. Morris had not been which, take my word for it, will become you amazingly.

included in their last party); —that Mr. Clare was We are on our way to the fashions; I suppose you

likely to be gazetteed soon ;-that the new curate did don't countenance such vanities ; Miss Esther?!

not preach his own sermons ;--that the Waleys were My pocket does not,' replied the spinster, with a going into black, not into mourning ;-that there were good-humoured smile, but we always see them never

very unpleasant reports abroad concerning young theless; we contrive to want a yard or two of ribbon, Jones ;—that servants were the ninety-nine plagues of or a bit of persian, when Mrs. Taffety exhibits. But

Babylon ;—that five ladies wanted cooks, and as many have you seen our strangers ? Certainly the Finches

house maids;-that Mrs. Waley's new gown was a must be doing uncommonly well. I prophesy Sir

dyed one; that Emma Leicester was not likely to John will loose his heart whilst he is here; young

forget her disappointment, &c., &c. In addition to ladies, mark my words, But what do you think of him,

all this important intelligence, our morning callers my dears ?' The young ladies smiled, and bridled,

further increased their stock of useful knowledge by and declared they really had not formed any opinion

one or two culinary details and managing discoveries, on the subject; and from the very transient notice

which we purpose to impart to Dr. Kitchener, for the they had taken of him, Sir John appeared a rather

benefit of his new edition of the Cook's Oracle,' and pleasant, somewhat good-looking young man; then,

the · Footman's Directory.' • How shameful that there to make amends for their decorvus reserve as to the

should be so many contradictory reports about the same brother, one and all were rapturous in their encomiums

thing,' said Mrs. Sharpley as she left Mrs. Morris's, on the sister.

• but as we have many places yet to call at, I dare say But to proceed in this elaborate question-and-answer

we shall get at the truth by and bye.' manner, will protract out morning calls till doomsday;

In this hope she proceeded with her daughters to the we shall venture therefore to make a multum in parvo

Jones', the Walkers, the Waleys, and the Mertons. of all the useful and interesting information received

At all these places excepting the last, (poor Mrs. and imparted during this present sitting of the

Merton, as usual, knew nothing), the same peal of Gossips' Parliament.

subjects was rung, and at each with changes. Poor That four parties only were in projection through

Sir John's two thousand a year dwindled down to five out S ; that parties were not half so pleasant in

hundred; his other good qualities were plucked from

him in like manner; and his overthrow was crowned NO. XXXV.-VOL, III.

v 2

by the certain intelligence from unquestionable authority', (there never yet was a piece of scandal that did not plead • unquestionable authority'), that he was on the point of marriage! At each reduction of his income Mrs. Sharpley's eulogies waxed fainter and fainter, and at the last piece of intelligence she determined in her own mind to forego her new turban and let the girls wait till Christmas for their new frocks.

How the matter ended we cannot at present explain; all we dare venture to declare, is, that our morning callers returned home weary with walking, perplexed with contradictions, comforted only by reflecting how much business they had got through in one morning.

M. J. J.

THE COVENANTERS.

The roof fell in -I saw my child no more!
A cloud closed round me, a deep thunder-cloud,
Half darkness and half fire. At length sense came
With a remembering like that which a dream
Leaves, of vague horrors; but the heavy chain,
The loathsome straw which was my only bed,
The sickly light through the dim bars, the damp,
The silence, were realities; and then
I lay on the cold stones and wept aloud,
And prayed the fever to retorn again
And bring death with it. Yet did I escape,
Again I drank the fiesi air of heaven,
And felt the sunshine laugh upon my brow;
I thought then I would seek my desolate home,
And die where it had been. I reached the place :
The ground was bare and scorched, and in the midst
Was a black heap of ashes. Franticly
I groped amid them, ever and anon
Meeting some human fragment, skulls and bones
Shapeless and cinders, till I drew a curl,
A long and beautiful enrl of sunny hair,
Stainless and golden, as but then just severed,
A love-gift from the head, I knew the hair-
It was my daughter's! there I stool, and howled
Curses upon that night. There came a voice,
There came a gentle step ;-even on that heap
Of blood and ashes did I kneel, and pour
To the great God my gratilude! That curl
Was wet with tears of happiness; that step,
That voice, were sweet familiar ones,-one child,
My eldest son, was sent me from the grave!
That night he had escaped.-

We left the desolaie valley, and we went
Together to the mountains and the woods,
And there inbabited in love and peace,
Till a strong spirit canie opon men's hearts,
And roused them to avenge their many wrongs.
Yet stood they not in battle, and the arm
Of the oppressor was at first too inighty.
Albeit I have lived to see their bonds
Rent like burnt flax, yet much of blood was spilt,
Or ever the deliverance was accomplished.
We fled in the dark night. At length the moon
Rose on the midnight,- when I saw the face
Of my last child was ghastly white, and set
In the death agony, and from his side
The life.blood came like tears; and then I prayed
That he would rest, and let me stanch the wound,
He motioned me to fly, and then lay down
Upon the rock, and died! This is his grave,
His home and mine. Ask ye now why I dwell
Upon the rock, and loathe the vale beneath?

Never; I will not know another home · Ten summers have passed on, with their blue skies, Green leaves, and singing birds, and sun-kiss'd fruit, Since here I first took up my last abode, And here my bones shall rest. You say it is A home for beasts, and not for humankind, This bleak shed and hare rock, and that the vale Below is beautiful. I know the time When it looked very beautiful to me! Do you see that bare spot, where one old oak Stands black and leafless, as if scorched by fire, While round it the ground seems as if a curse Were laid upon the soil ? Once by that tree, Then covered with its leaves and acorn crop, A little cottage stood : 'twas very small, But had ay air of health and peace. The roof Was every morning vocal with the song Of the rejoicing swallows, whose warm nest Was built in safety anderneath the thatch; A honeysuckle on the sunny side Hung round the lattices its fragrant trumpets. Around was a small garden : fruit and herbs Were there in comely plenty; and some flowers, Heath from the mountains, and the wilding bush Gemni'd with red roses, and white apple blossoms, Were food for the two hives, whence all day long There came a music like the pleasant sound Of lulling waters. And at eventide It was a goodly sight to see around Bright eyes, and faces lighted up with health And youth and happiness: these were my children, That cottage was mine home.-

· There came a shadow o'er the land, and men Were hunted by their fellow men like beasts, And the sweet feelings of humavity Were utterly forgotten; the white head Darkened with blood and dust, was often laid Upon the murdered infant, for the sword Of pride and cruelty was sent to slay Those who in age would not forego the faith They had grown up in, I was one of these : How could I close the Bible I had read Beside my dying mother, which had given . To me and mine such comfort? But the hand Of the oppressor smote is. There were shrieks, And naked swords, and faces dark as guilt, A rush of feet, a bursting forth of flame, Curses, and crashing boards, and infant words Praying for mercy, and then childish screams Of fear and pain. There were these the last night The white walls of my cottage stood; they bound And Aung me down beside the oak, to watch How the red fire gathered, like that of hell. There sprang one to the lattice, and leant forth, Gasping for fies!ı air,-iny own l'air girl! My only one! The vision haunts me still: The white arms raised to heaven, and the long hair, Bright as the liglıt beside it, stiff on the head Upright, from terror. In the accursed glare We knew each other; and I heard a cry, Half tenderness, half agony,-a craslı, -

WOODS.

The glory of this month (October), however, is the gorgeous splendour of wood-scenery. Woods have in all ages vividly impressed the human mind ; they póssess a majesty and sublimity which strike and charm the eye. Their silence and obscurity affect the imagi. nation with a meditative awe. They soothe the spirit by their grateful seclusion, and delight it hy glimpses of their wild inhabitants, by their novel cries, and by odours and beautiful phenomena peculiar to themselves. This may be more particularly applied to our own woods, woods comparatively reclaimed, but in less populous and cultivated countries they possess a far more wild and gloomy character. The abodes of banditti, of wild beasts and deadly reptiles, they truly merit the epithet of “ salvage woods," which Spencer has bestowed upon them. In remote ages their fearful solitudes and everbrooding shadows fostered supersti. tion and peopled them with satyrs, fauns, dryads, hamadryads, and innumerable spirits of dubious natures. The same cause consecrated them to religious rites;

it was from the mighty and ancient oak of Donora, music, from the softest and the most melancholy under. that the earliest oracles of Greece were pronounced. tones to the full organ-peal of the tempest. I wonder The Syrians had their groves dedicated to Baal, and not that trees have commanded the admiration of men Ashtaroth the queen of Heaven, and affectd the Israel. in all nations and periods of the world. What is the ites with their idolatrous customs. In the heart of richest country without trees? What barren and mowoods the Druid cut down the bough of misletoe, and notonous spot can they not convert into a paradise ? performed the horrible ceremonies of his religion. The Xerxes in the midst of his most ambitious enterprise, philosophers of Greece resorted to groves, as schools | stopped his vast army to contemplate the beauty of a the most august and befitting the delivery of their tree. Cicero from the throng, and exertion, and anxiety sublime precepts. In the depths of woods did anchorites of the forum, was accustomed, Pliney tells us, to steal seek to forget the world, and to prepare their hearts forth to a grove of palm-trees, to refresh and invigorate for the purity of heaven. To lovers and poets they his spirit. In the Scaplan Groves, the same author have ever been favourite haunts; and the poets by adds, Thucydides was supposed to have composed his making them the scenes and subjects of their most noble histories. The Greek and Roman classics, indeed, beautiful fictions and descriptions, have added to their abound with expressions of admiration of trees and native charms a thousand delightful associations. woods, and with customs which have originated in that Ariosto, Tasso, Spenser, Shakspeare, and Milton, admiration; but above all, as the Bible surpasses, in have sanctified them to the hearts of all generations. the splendour and majesty of its poetry, all books in What a world of magnificent creatures comes swarming the world, so is its sylvan and aborescent imagery the upon the memory as we wander in the woods! The most bold and beautiful. Beneath some spreading tree gallant knights and beautiful dames, the magical are the ancient patriarchs revealed to us sitting in concastles and bippogriffs of the Orlando; the enchanted templation, or receiving the visits of the angels; and forest, the Armida and Erminia of the Gerusalemma what a calm and dignified picture of primeval life is Liberata; “ Fair Una with her milk-white lamb," and presented to our imagination, at the mention of Deboall the satyrs, Archimages, the fair Florimels and rah, the wife of Lapidoth, judging the twelve tribes false Duessas of the Faery Queene; Ariel and Caliban, 1 of Israel, between Ramah and Bethel, in Mount Jaques and his motley fool in Arden, the fairies of the Ephraim, beneath the palm-tree of Deborah. The oaks Midsummer-Night's Dream, Oberon, Titania, and that of Bashan, and the cedars of Lebanon, are but other pleasantest of all mischief-makers, ineffable Puck,—the and better names for glory and power. The vine, the noble spirits of the immortal Comus. With such com olive, and the fig-tree are made imperishable symbols of pany, woods are to us any thing but solitudes—they peace, plenty, and festivity. David in his psalms, are populous and inexhaustible worlds, where creatures Solomon in his songs and proverbs, the Prophets in the that mock the grasp but not the mind, a matchless sublime outpourings of their awful inspirations, and phantasmagoria, flit before us; alternately make us Christ in his parables, those most beautiful and perfect merry with their pleasant follies, delight us with their of all allegories, luxuriate in signs and similes dra'vn romantic grandeur and beauty, and elevate our hearts from the fair trees of the East. with their sublime sentiments. What wisdom do we In the earlier ages of Europe, Kings were crowned, learn in the world that they do not teach us better? councils were held, and justice dispensed beneath the What music do we hear like that which bursts from shade of some noble trees. From the shadow of an the pipes of the universal Pan, or comes from some oak was Christianity first proclaimed in these realms; viewless source with Æolian melodies of Faery-land ? | in a more recent day of our dear and noble country, the Whatever woods have been to all ages, to all descriptions willows of Pope and Johnson, the mulberry of Shak of superior mind, to all the sages and poets of the | speare, aud that of Milton have associated those great past world, they are to us. We have the varied whole names with the love of planting. Many noble works of their sentiments, feelings and fancies, bequeathed as of our illustrious countrymen it would be easy to menan immortal legacy, and combined and concentrated for tion, that have heen written, and more than one of our our gratification and advantage; besides the innume. | most distinguished living authors, who delights to rable pleasures which modern art has thrown to the ac compose amid the inspiring grace and freshness and cumulated wealth of all antiquity. Botany has intro purity of trees. John Evelyn spent a considerable duced us to a more intimate acquaintance with the portion of a valuable life in endeavouring to communinames and characters, and with something also of the cate his admiration of trees and forests, and besides physical economy of both “ the trees of the wood" immediately effecting a great national servvice, by and of the smallest plants which flourish at their feet; turning the attention of Government to the importance so that wherever we cast our eyes, we behold matter for of planting, has left a fine monument of his taste and both admiration and research.

labour. Well might this venerable and enthusiastic What can be more beautiful than trees? their lofty apostle of woods exclaim : “ Here then is the true Partrunks, august in their simplicity, asserting to the most nassus, Castilia and the Muses ;' and at every call in inexperienced eye, their infinite superiority over the a grove of venerable oaks, methinks I hear the answer imitative pillars of man's pride; their graceful play of of a hundred old Druids, and the bards of our inspired wide-spreading branches ; and all the delicate and glo. ancestors. In a word, so charmed were the poets with rious machinery of buds, leaves, flowers and fruit, that those natural shades, that they honoured temples with with more than magical effect burst forth from naked the names of groves, though they had not a tree about and rigid twigs, with all the rich and brilliant, and them. In walks and shades of trees poets have come unimaginably varied colours under heaven; breathing posed verses, which have animated men to glorious acdelectable odours, pure, and fresh, and animating ; | tions. Here orators have made their panegyrics, his. pouring out spices and medicinal essences; and making | torians their grave relations; and the profound philoso

phers have loved to pass their lives in repose and con- Neri, full of glee, thinking full surely that the two templation. Howett's Book of the Seasons. crowns were his own already, (and, which he

valued more highly than any ten be possessed, thinkADIEU TO THE BIRDS.

ing what a good jest he should have at the expense of

one who had parted with them so lightly), began forthSweet poets of the woods, a long adieu !

with to harness on his armour-of which there were Farewell, soft minstrels of the early year! Ah! 'twill be long ere you shall sing anew,

suits enough in the good knight's mansion to fit out a And pour your music on the Night's dull ear.

lrundred troopers, he being a great friend of the elder

Lorenzo de Medici, who at that time was at the head Whether on Spring their wand'ring flights await,

of affairs in Florence; and, while he was so employed, Or wether silent in our groves they dwell, The pensive Muse shall own them for her mate,

Scheggia, taking Monaco and Pilucca aside, told them And still protect the song she loves so well.

what he would have them do, and sent them about

their business. At length, master Neri having laced With cautions step, the love-lorn youth shall glide Thro' the lone break that sheds thy mossy nest;

his helmet, took his lance on his shoulders, and sallied And shepherd girls, from eyes profane, shall hide forth in the direction of Ceccherino's shop; but he The gentle bird, who sings of pity best:

was forced to move slowly, both by reason of the weight For still your voice shall soft affections move,

of his armour, and of the greaves being somewhat too And still be dear to sorrow and to love!

long, by which he was very much encumbered in lift.

ing his feet from the ground. ITALIAN HOAXING.

Meanwhile, Monaco and Pilucca had gone upon their

respective missions--the one to the shop of the haber In the days of Scheggia, Monoco, and Pilacca, (who dasher, the other to Grechetto's fencing-school, (which were choice friends and boon companions, and all three was then held in the tower hard by the old marketmasters in the art of hoaxing), there was one Neri place)-and both affirmed to the by-standers that Neri Chiaramontesi, a man of good birth and easy circum- | Chiaramontesi had gone out of his senses, and attempted stances, but cunning and crafty withal as any in our

to kill his own mother, and thrown all his household city in his time; nor was there any who took greater goods into a well and that he had at last armed himdelight in playing off his wit upon other persons. This self cap-a-pie in one of my Lord Tornaquinci's suits, worthy gentlemen frequently found himself in company and, with his lance in rest, was driving all the people with the three before mentioned, at the table of my helter-skelter before him. To which Pilucca (who Lord Mario Tornaquinci, a knight of the Golden Spur, was at the fencing-school) added, how he had heard of great wealth and worship; and upon these occasions him swear a terrible oath that he would go to Cec. he had not scrupled to perform divers feats at the ex | cherino's shop, to give him a drubbing,-upon which pense of his companions, for which they did not dare the greater part of the young men who were present attempt to take any revenge, although very much to ran out of school to see the fun, with so much the their displeasure-above all, to that of Master Scheggia, I greater delight, as that same haberdasher was an object who murmured greatly at being made the butt of so'many of general dislike, on account of his ignorance and shafts of ridicule. Once upon a time it so happened, presumption, and having the most cursed and slanderthat as they all were chirping together round a good ous tongue in all Florence-notwithstanding which, fire at the house of this worshipful cavalier, (it being | his shop was the resort of noble and honourable gal. then in the depth of winter), discoursing with one lants, to whom Monaco was at the same time busy in another about this thing and that, says Neri to | relating various other particulars of the extravagance Scheggia, “ Here's a crown of gold for you, if you will

and madness of Neri. go directly to the house of La Pellegrina, (who was a Meanwhile, Neri himself having left the knight's famous courtezan in those days, and had come from house, (which was near St. Marie Novella), made his Bologna), habited as you are now, but having first progress to Ceccherino's shop, not without much besmeared your face and hands with ink, and present wonder and laughter of all beholders; and on his to her this pair of gloves, without uttering a syllable." arrival at the door gave a thundering rap, and bursting -"And here's a brace of crowns for you,” said it open, entered with furious gestures, in complete Scheggia, if you will sally forth, armed cap-a-pie in armour as he was, exclaiming with a loud voice, white armour, with a lance on your shoulder, to Cec « Aha! traitors—Aha! ye are all dead men”-and cherino the mercer's shop''-(which was at that time forthwith put his lance in rest. They who were pre

a noted place of rendezvous for all the rich young sent, alarmed by what they had just heard, as no less - gallants of Florence).-" In the name of grace," re than by what they themselves saw and witnessed, were plied Neri, laughing, “ hand me up the two crowns.” soon seized with a perfect panic, and fled away in all

-“ Content!" answered Scheggia; “but hear me directions_some to the counting-house, some behind require, moreover, that whatsoever persons are present, the counter, or under chairs and tables—some shoutyou pretend to fall into a furious passion with them, | ing, some threatening, some praying-in short, the and threaten that you will make minced meat of them | uproar was quite prodigious. all."-" Trust me for that," replied Neri; “ only let 1 Scheggia, who had followed close at his heels all me see the money.'' Whereupon Scheggia forthwith the way, no sooner saw him entered, than he ran off drew out of his purse two crowns, fresh from the mint, full speed towards Portarossa, where dwelt his uncle, and putting them into the hands of their host, “ There Agnolo Chiaramontesi, (an old man, one of the woollen they are,” says he, “in pawn, ready to be made over | trade, and a citizen of fair credit and reputation), and to you, as soon as you have accomplished the under- | told him, quite out of breath, that he must make all

haste to the shop of Ceccherino the mercer, where he

taking."

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