Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

14. “Twenty-six-that is talking like it. Twenty-sixtwenty-six-twenty-six-it is like a nation's ransom to the unfortunate clergyman, who is selling this carpet because he can't get his quarter's salary-twenty-six-twenty-seven, shall I have it—twenty-seven I'm offered—twenty-seven--twentyseven."

Twenty-eight !” 15. To make a long story short, Kate bought the carpet for thirty-two dollars.

BOUGHT AT A BARGAIN. CONTINUED.

1. WHEN her husband came home to dinner, he thought Kate looked fatigued. So she did, but she was more perplexed than tired-more vexed in mind with herself, than jaded in body. She had more than half a suspicion that she had made a fool of herself—she knew the matter must be broached to her husband, and did not see how she was to do it.

2. Luckily George was in a capital good humor. He had met his acceptances, and had something over. He chatted merrily, and even proposed a jaunt to the Springs, when the time for fashionable gadding into the bush came fairly round. He complimented Kate upon her dinner, and, after awhile, so far cheered her that she took courage to tell him she had bought a new carpet--that is, an old carpet, as good as new, for the basement.

3. “But I thought you meant to buy nothing," said George.

"To be sure I did not intend to purchase anything--but this I bought at a bargain."

The hour passed away very pleasantly. George certainly did not seem much inclined to hear the narrative of her auction experience, but put on a patient face while she described the excellent bargains which she saw sold, and took credit to herself for her resolute adherence to her promise not to buy, until she came to that carpet; to have missed the purchase of which she declared would have been “ downright extravagance," and neglect of such a chance as might not occur again in a lifetime.

4. George smiled incredulously when she came to the carpet. He was more than half disposed to take his evening walk without looking at it—but could not so far disappoint his helpmate as thus to expose his indifference to her “great bargain.” So he forced himself to say-- Well, Kate, I should like to see your purchase; and I may as well say what I think of it before I look at it. It is wonderfully cheap, and not worn enough for the wear to be perceived, and I really think it would have been cheap at a hundred dollars."

5. Kate smiled as though sure that what her husband said in jest he would repeat in earnest, when he did actually see that paragon of second-hand articles. She led the way to the breakfast-room, and proceeded to unroll the treasure. “There are a few ink spots in it,” she said, “ but on the whole" Here she stopped speaking, as she heard something like a marvelously low, long whistle. She rose and turned round. George was leaning against the door, almost smothered with a suppressed laugh, to which he allowed partial vent in the before described whistle. Kate looked at him steadily in perplexed and grieved astonishment; and at length tears began to steal out from the corners of her eyes.

6. “Ha! ha! ha!” at length burst out her husband's merry laugh. “Forgive me, Kate, but really I can't help it. That is the same shabby old rag I took from my office floor yesterday, and gave to the porter. It has been with me five years, and was second-hand at that time. There is the same identical spot that the booby made in upsetting the ink bottle."

7. Now was Kate fairly wretched. A woman's quick thoughts carried her years ahead, when still that carpet would be called up for her mortification. “Oh, dear!" she sobbed; “I never shall hear the last of it."

“ You have heard the last of it, my dear Kate-for I will never mention it again if it pains you."

“Not pains, but it certainly will not be very pleasant." “Well, you never shall hear one word of it again.”

8. She never has heard it alluded to in a taunt. But, sensible girl as she was, she quietly put it down on the floor she bought it for. To do it justice, it really wears well, and she declares that if her husband throws away such things, he will bear looking after. It is a capital good check in family quarrels; it is an excellent hint when a joke should be brought“ on the carpet," and, as it has entirely cured his wife of her auction mania, George himself now acknowledges that

BOUGHT AT A BARGAIN."

it was

66

I WISH I WERE A MAN.

1. THEY tell me that life's sweetest hours

Are those I now employ,
While yet, in Childhood's sunny

bowers
I innocence enjoy-
That fleeting time will swiftly chase

The holidays I've now,
And sad, perplexing troubles trace

Deep wrinkles on my brow;
They say my days will be but few

That human life's a span-
And, though I fear it may be true,

I wish I were a man.
2. Experience says I'll ne'er know less.

Nor have a smaller share
Of all the ills that life oppress-

Of sorrow or of care;
It bids my buoyant spirit wake

The music of my voice,

A melody of mirth to make,

While yet I may rejoice,
For ripe maturity is rife

With many a bitter ban;
And yet I long for future life

I wish I were a man.

3. Truth warns me that the prize I seem

So eager to pursue,
Is nothing but a fairy dream,

Too pleasant to be true-
That deep and bliss-betraying snares

Are hid in what I crave,
Which yet may lead my silver'd hairs

With sorrow to the grave-
That blasted hopes my cheek will blanch,

And make me pale and wan;
And yet I into life would launch-

I wish I were a man.

4. The man of age, whose pensive sighs

My glowing fancies chide,
Whispers that error in disguise

May lead my steps aside;
He tells me to reserve my tears

For times of greater need,
As piercing pangs, in coming years,

May cause my heart to bleed-
That dangers dire life's path beset,

Which yet I cannot scan:
All may be true, I know, and yet

I wish I were a man.

5. And upward still my hopes aspire,

Forward my musings haste,
Maturer knowledge to acquire,

And sages' lore to taste ;

And oft my heart is gladden'd when,

With many a longing sigh,
I think earth's best and greatest men

Were once as young as I.
By their example ever led,

I'll aim at glory's van :
And if I in their footsteps tread

I yet shall be a man.

“ISN'T THAT NICE!"-POTIPHAR PAPERS.

1. HOWEVER, Caroline, dear, I have my livery and my footman, and am as good as anybody. It's very splendid when I go to Stewart's to have the red plush, and the purple, and the white calves springing down to open the door, and to see people look, and say, “I wonder who that is ?”

2. And everybody bows so nicely, and the clerks are so polite, and Mrs. Gnu is melting with envy on the other side, and Mrs. Croesus goes about, saying, “ Dear little woman,

that Mrs. Potiphar, but so weak! Pity, pity!"

3. And Mrs. Settum Downe says, “ Is that the Potiphar livery? Ah! yes. Mr. Potiphar's grandfather used to shoe my grandfather's horses !"-(as if to be useful in the world, were a disgrace,-as Mr. P. says,) and young Downe, and Boosey, and Timon Croesus come up and stand about so gentlemanly, and

say, “ Well, Mrs. Potiphar, are we to have no more charming parties this season ?”—and Boosey says, in his droll way, “Let's keep the ball a-rolling!” That young man is always ready with a witticism.

4. Then I step out and James throws open the door, and the young men raise their hats, and the new crowd

says,

“I wonder who that is !" and the plush, and purple, and calves spring up behind, and I drive home to dinner.

Now, Carrie, dear, isn't that nice?

« AnteriorContinuar »