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4. My sister Jane is very fair,
With azure eyes and auburn hair;
A RAINY SUNDAY AT AN INN.-WASHINGTON IRVING.
1. It was a rainy Sunday, in the gloomy month of November. I had been detained, in the course of a journey, by a slight indisposition, from which I was recovering; but I was still feverish, and was obliged to keep within doors all day, in an inn of the small town of Derby. A wet Sunday in a country inn! whoever has had the luck to experience one can alone judge of my situation. The rain pattered against the casements;
the bells tolled for church with a melancholy sound. I went to the windows in quest of something to amuse the eye ;
but it seemed as if I had been placed completely out of the reach of all amusement.
2. The windows of my bed-room looked out among tiled roofs and stacks of chimneys, while those of my sitting-room commanded a full view of the stable-yard. I know of nothing more calculated to make a man sick of this world than a stable-yard on a rainy day. The place was littered with wet straw that had been kicked about by travelers and stableboys. In one corner was a stagnant pool of water, surrounding an island of muck. There were several half-drownedfowls crowded together under a cart, among which was a miserable, crest-fallen cock, drenched out of all life and spirit;
his drooping tail matted, as it were, into a single feather, along which the water trickled from his back.
3. Near the cart was a half-dozing cow, chewing the cud, and standing patiently to be rained on, with wreaths of vapor rising from her reeking hide. A wall-eyed horse, tired of the loneliness of the stable, was poking his spectral head out of a window, with the rain dropping on it from the eaves. happy cur, chained to a dog-house hard by, uttered something every now and then, between a bark and a yelp. A drab of a kitchen wench tramped backwards and forwards through the yard in pattens, looking as sulky as the weather itself. Everything, in short, was comfortless and forlorn-excepting a crew of hard-drinking ducks, assembled like boon companions round a puddle, and making a riotous noise over their liquor.
4. I sauntered to the window and stood gazing at the people, picking their way to church, with petticoats hoisted midleg high, and dripping umbrellas. The bells ceased to toll, and the streets became silent. I then amused myself with watching the daughters of a tradesman opposite ; who, being confined to the house for fear of wetting their Sunday finery, played off their charms at the front windows, to fascinate the chance tenants of the inn. They at length were summoned away by a vigilant vinegar-faced mother, and I had nothing, further from without to amuse me.
5. The day continued lowering and gloomy. The slovenly, ragged, spongy clouds, drifted heavily along. There was no variety even in the rain; it was one dull, continued, monotonous patter-patter-patter, excepting that now and then I was enlivened by the idea of a brisk shower, from the rattling of the drops upon a passing umbrella. It was quite refreshing (if I may be allowed a hackneyed phrase of the day) when, in the course of the morning, a horn blew, and a stage coach whirled through the street, with outside passengers stuck all over it, cowering under cotton umbrellas, and seethed together, and reeking with the steams of wet box-coats and upper Benjamins. The sound brought out from their lurking-places a crew of vagabond boys, and vagabond dogs, and the carrotyheaded hostler, and that nondescript animal ycleped Boots. and all the other vagabond race that infest the purlieus of an inn; but the bustle was transient. The coach again whirled on its way; and boy and dog, and hostler and Boots, all slunk back again to their holes. The street again became silent, and the rain continued to rain on.
6. The evening gradually wore away. The travellers read the papers two or three times over. Some drew round the fire, and told long stories about their horses, about their adventures, their overturns, and breakings-down. They discussed the credits of different merchants and different inns; and the two wags told several choice anecdotes of pretty chambermaids and kind landladies. All this passed as they were quietly taking what they called their night-caps, that is to say, strong glasses of brandy and water and sugar, or some other mixture of the kind; after which, they one after another rang
Boots,” and walked off to bed, in old shoes, cut down into marvelously uncomfortable slippers.
7. There was only one man left; a short-legged, long-bodied, plethoric fellow, with a very large sandy head. He sat by himself with a glass of port wine negus, and a spoon ; sipping and stirring, and meditating and sipping, until nothing was left but the spoon. He gradually fell asleep bolt upright in his chair, with the empty glass standing before him ; and the candle seemed to fall asleep too! for the wick grew long and black, and cabbaged at the end, and dimmed the little light that remained in the chamber. The gloom that now prevailed was contagious. Around hung the shapeless, and almost spectral box-coats of departed travellers, long since buried in deep sleep. I only heard the ticking of the clock, with the deep-drawn breathings of the sleeping toper, and the drippings of the rain, drop-drop-drop, from the eaves of the house.
THE COACH AND THE FLY.-LA FONTAINE.
1. UPON a sandy, uphill road,
Six lusty horses drew a coach.
Whereupon there did a fly approach,
Cheered up the horses with his buzz-
As neatly as a jockey does-
2. And when the whole did get in motion,
Confirmed and settled in the notion,
3. Thus charged with all the commonweal,
This single fly began to feel
The horses up the tedious hill-
4. Thus in their ears he sharply sang,
And notes of indignation ran-
And, Messrs Horses, let me say,
5. Thus certain ever-bustling noddies
Are seen in every great affair;
And bores 'tis easier to bear,
THE PLAGUE IN THE FOREST.-J. QUINOY ADAMS.
1. TIME was, when round the lion's den,
A peopled city raised its head;
But by four-footed beasts instead.
The hoof-defended steed,
And all the canine breed.
2. In social compact thus combined,
Together dwelt the beasts of prey ;
And vowed each other not to slay.