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THE OLD CLOCK ON THE STAIRS.-LONGFELLOW.
1. SOMEWHAT back from the village street
Stands the old-fashioned country-seat.
6 Forever-never !
2. Halfway up the stairs it stands,
And points and beckons with its hands
3. By day its voice is low and light;
But in the silent dead of night,
4. Through days of sorrow and of mirth
Through days of death and days of birth,
5. In that mansion used to be
6. There groups of merry children played,
There youths and maidens dreaming strayed ;
7. From that chamber, clothed in white,
The bride came forth on her wedding night;
8. All are scattered now and fled,
Some are married, some are dead;
“ Forever-never !
9. Never here, forever there,
Where all parting, pain, and care,
A PRETTY TIME OF NIGHT.-JOSEPE C. NEAL.
1. THERE is a furious stampede upon the marble-a fierce word or two of scathing Saxon, and then
Rangle—ja-a-a-nglera-a-a-ng!!!"—the sound being of that sharp, stinging, excruciating kind, which leads to the conclusion that somebody is “ worse," and is getting in a rage.
2. That one, let me tell you, was Mr. Dawson Dawdle, in whom wrath had surmounted discretion, and who, as a forlorn hope, had now determined to make good his entrance-assault, storm, escalade—at any hazard and at any cost. Dawson Dawdle was furious now—“sevagerous”-as you have been, probably, when kept at the door till your teeth rattled like castanets and cachucas.
3. Yet there was no answer to this pealing appeal for admittance-not that Mrs. Dawson Dawdle was deaf-not she --nor dumb either. Nay, she had recognized Mr. Dawdle's returning step-that husband's " foot,” which should, according to the poet,
“Have music in't, As he comes up the stair.”
But Dawdle was allowed to make his music in the street, while his wife-obdurate--listened with a smile bordering, we fear, a little upon exultation, at his progressive lessons and rapid improvements in the art of ringing “triple-bobmajors."
4. “Let him wait,” remarked Mrs. Dawson Dawdle; “let him wait—'twill do him good. I'm sure I've been waiting long enough for him.”
And so she had ; but, though there be a doubt whether this process of waiting had “done good” in her own case, yet if there be truth or justice in the vengeful practice which would have us act towards others precisely as they deport themselves to us,—and every one concedes that it is very agreeable, however wrong, to carry on the war after this fashion,-Mrs. Dawson Dawdle could have little difficulty in justifying herself for the course adopted.
5. Only to think of it, now !
Mrs. Dawson Dawdle is one of those natural and proper people, who become sleepy of evenings, and who are rather apt to yawn after tea. Mr. Dawson Dawdle, on the other hand, is of the unnatural and improper species, who are not sleepy or yawny of evenings-never so, except of mornings. Dawson insists on it that he is no chicken to go to roost at sundown; while Mrs. Dawson Dawdle rises with the lark. Now, as a corrective to these differences of opinion, Dawson Dawdle had been cunningly deprived of his pass-key, that he might be induced “ to remember not to forget” to come home betimes—a thing he was not apt to remember, especially if good companionship intervened.
Thus, Mrs. Dawdle was “ waiting up” for him.
6. So it is not at all to be marvelled at that Mrs. Dawson Dawdle-disposed as we know her to be, to sleepiness at times appropriate to sleep-was irate at the non-appearance of Mr. Dawson Dawdle, or that after he had reached home, she detained him vengefully at the street door, as an example to such dilatoriness in general; for it is a prevailing fault in husbandry, and that, in particular, being thus kept out considerably longer than he wished to keep out--too much of a good thing being good for nothing-he might be taught better, on
the doctrine of curing an evil by aggravation—both were aggravated.
7. “Well,” said he at the bell-handle all this time,“ Well, I suppose it's late again-it rings as if it was late ;
and how or other it appears to me that it always is late, especially and particularly when my wife tells me to be sure to be home early— you, Dawson, come back soon ; d'ye hear?' and all that sort o’thing. I wish she wouldn't-it puts me out, to keep telling me what I ought to do; and when I have to remember to come home early, it makes me forget all about it, and discomboberates my ideas so that I'm a great deal later than I would be if I was left to my own sagacity. Let me alone, and I'm great upon sagacity ; but yet what is sagacity when it has no key and the dead-latch is down? What chance has sagacity got when sagacity's wife won't let sagacity in? I'll have another pull at the bell-exercise is good for one's health.”
A PRETTY TIME OF NIGHT.-CONTINUED.
1. This last peal—as peals, under such circumstances, are apt to be—was louder, more sonorous, and in all respects more terrific than any of its “illustrious predecessors:" practice in this respect tending to the improvement of skill on the one hand, just as it adds provocation to temper on the other. For a moment, the fate of Dawson Dawdle quivered in the scale, as the eye of his exasperated lady glanced fearfully round the room for a means of retaliation and redress. Nay, her hand rested for an instant upon a pitcher, while thoughts of showerbaths, in their medicinal application to dilatory husbands, presented themselves in quick aquatic succession, like the rushings of a cataract. Never did man come nearer to being drowned than Mr. Dawson Dawdle.
2. “But no,” said she, relenting ; “if he were to ketch his death o'cold, he'd be a great deal more trouble than he is