Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

3. “Would you were there !” the Pin replied ;

“I do not want you by my side.
I'm rather short and thick, 't is true-
Who'd be so long and thin as you?
I've got a head, though, of my own,
That you had better let alone.”
“ You make me laugh,” the Needle cried ;
“ That you ’ve a head can't be denied ;
For you a very proper head,
Without an eye, and full of lead.”

4. “ You are so cross, and sharp, and thin,"
Replied the poor

insulted Pin,
“I hardly dare a word to say,
And wish, indeed, you were away.
That golden eye in your poor

Was only made to hold a thread;
All your fine airs are only fudge,
For you are nothing but a drudge.
But I, in spite of your abuse,
Am made for pleasure and for use :
I fasten the bouquet and sash,
And help the ladies make a dash ;
I go abroad, and gayly roam,
While you are rusting here at home.”


Stop,” cried the Needle, “you 're too much ;
You've brass enough to beat the Dutch.
Do I not make the ladies' clothes,
Ere I retire to my repose ?
Then who, forsooth, the glory wins?
Alas! 't is finery and pins !
This is the world's unjust decree,
But what is this vain world to me?
I'd rather live with my own kin,
Than dance about like you, vain Pin!

I'm taken care of every day –
You ’re used awhile, then thrown away;
Or else you get all bent up double,
And a snug crack for all your trouble.”

6. “ True," said the Pin, “ I am abused,

And sometimes very roughly used;
I often get an ugly crook,
Or fall into a dirty nook ;
But there I lie, and never mind it,
Who wants a pin is sure to find it.
In time I'm pickéd up, and then
I lead a merry life again.
You fuss so at a fall or hurt,
And if you touch a little dirt,
You keep up such an odious creaking,
That where you are there is no speaking ;
And your lackey Emery 's called,
And he, poor thing, is pricked and mauled,
Until your daintiness - 0, shocking!
Is fit for what?— to mend a stocking !”

7. The Needle now began to speak;

They might have quarrelled for a week -
But here the Scissors interposed,
And thus the warm debate was closed :-

8. “ You angry Needle! foolish Pin!

How did this nonsense first begin?
You should have both been better taught,
But I will cut the matter short:
You both are wrong, and both are right,
But both are very unpolite ;
Even in a work-box 't will not do
To talk of everything that's true ;
All personal remarks avoid,
For every one will be annoyed
At hearing disagreeable truth;
Besides, it shows you quite uncouth,
And sadly wanting in good taste ;
And, what advantages you waste !

9. “ Think, Pins and Needles ! while you may,

How much you hear in one short day;
No serfs that wait on lordly man
Can hear one half of what you can ;
'Tis not worth while to mince the matter,
Nor men nor boys like girls can chatter;
All are now learning, forward moving,
E'en Pins and Needles are improving ;
And in this glorious, busy day,
All have some useful part to play.

10. “ Go forth, ye Pins, and bring home news !

Ye Needles, in your cases muse!
And take me for your kind adviser,
And only think of growing wiser.
Then, when you meet again, no doubt,
Something you 'll have to talk about,
And need not get into a passion,
And quarrel in this vulgar fashion ;
Less of yourselves you 'll think, and more
Of others, than you did before.
You 'll learn, that, in their own right sphere,
All things with dignity appear,
And have, when in their proper place,
Peculiar use — intrinsic grace.”

11. Methought the polished Scissors blushed,

To have said so much ; — and all was hushed.



1. I was suddenly diverted from my contemplation of this nagnificent scenery by a fall of heavy rain-drops, as the prelude of an impending shower. Seeing a gate open, and hearing a familiar clicking behind the hedge, I stepped through into a little blacksmith's shop, about as large as an American smoke-house for curing bacon.

2. The first object that my eyes rested upon was a fullgrown man, nine years of age, and nearly three feet high, perched upon a stone of half that height, to raise his breast to the level of his father's anvil, at which he was at work, with all the vigor of his little short arms, making nails. I say, a full-grown man, for I fear he can never grow any larger, physically or mentally. 3. As I put my hand on his shoulder in a familiar

way, to make myself at home with him, and to remove the timidity with which my sudden appearance seemed to inspire him, by a pleasant word or two of greeting, his flesh felt casehardened into all the induration of toiling manhood, and as unsusceptible of growth as his anvil block.

4. Fixed manhood had set in upon him in the greenness of his youth; and there he was, by his father's side, a stinted, premature man— with his childhood cut off — with no space to grow in between the cradle and the anvil-block- chased, as soon as he could stand on his little legs, from the hearthstone to the forge-stone, by iron necessity, that would not let him stop long enough to pick up a letter of the English alphabet on the way.

5. O! Lord John Russell, think of it!--of this Englishman's son, placed by his mother, scarcely weaned, on a high, cold stone, barefooted, before the anvil! there to harden, sear, and blister his young hands by heating and hammering ragged nail-rods, for the sustenance her breast can no longer supply !

6. Lord John! look at those nails, as they lie hissing on the block. Know you their meaning, use and language ? Please your lordship, let me tell you— I have made nails before now—they are iron exclamation points, which this unlettered, dwarfish boy is unconsciously arraying against you, against the British government, and the ministry of British literature, for cutting him off without a letter of the

English alphabet, when printing is done by steam !—for incarcerating him—for no sin on his or his parent's side, but poverty - into a dark, six-by-eight prison of hard labor, a youthless being !

7. Think of it! An infant hardened, almost in its mother's arms, into a man, by toil that bows the sturdiest of the world's laborers, who come to manhood through intervening years of childhood !

8. The boy's father was at work with his back towards me, when I entered. At my first word of salutation to the lad, he turned around and accosted me a little bashfully, as if unaccustomed to the sight of strangers in that place, or reluctant to let them into the scene and secret of his poverty.

9. I sat down upon one end of his nail-bench, and told him I was an American blacksmith by trade, and that I had come in to see how he got on in the world ; whether he was earning pretty good wages at his business, so that he could live comfortably, and send his children to school. As I said this, I glanced inquiringly towards the boy, who was looking steadily at me from his stone stool by the anvil.

10. Two or three little crock-faced girls, from two to five years of age, had stolen in timidly, and a couple of young, frightened eyes were peering over the door-sill at me. They all looked as if some task were daily allotted them in the soot and cinders of their father's forge, even to the sharp-eyed baby at the door.

11. The poor Englishman — he was as much an Englishman as the Duke of Wellington - looked at his bushyheaded, barefooted children, and said softly, with a melancholy shake of the head, that the times were rather hard with him. It troubled his heart, and many hours of the night he had been kept awake by the thought of it, that he could not send his children to school, nor teach them himself to read.

12. They were good children, he said, with a moist yearning in his eyes, — they were all the wealth he had, and he loved them the more the harder he had to work for them.

« AnteriorContinuar »