Imágenes de páginas

rolled and flashed in delirium; his lips, usually so silent, muttered wild and incoherent words. In days of health, poor Duhobret had his dreams, as all artists, rich or poor, will sometimes have. He had thought that the fruit of many years' labor, disposed of to advantage, might procure him enough to live, in an economical way, for the rest of his life. He never anticipated fame or fortune; the hight of his ambition, or hope, was to possess a tenement large enough to shelter him from the inclemencies of the weather, with means to purchase one comfortable meal per day.

6. Now, alas ! however, even that one hope had deserted him. He thought himself dying, and thought it hard to die without one to look kindly upon him ; without the words of comfort that might soothe his passage to another world. He fancied his bed surrounded by fiendish faces, grinning at his sufferings, and taunting him with his inability to summon power to disperse them. At length the apparitions faded away, and the patient sunk into an exhausted slumber. He awoke unrefreshed; it was the fifth day he had lain there neglected. His mouth was parched; he turned over, and feebly stretched out his hand towards the earthen pitcher, from which, since the first day of his illness, he had quenched his thirst. Alas! it was empty! Samuel lay for few moments thinking what he should do. He knew he must die of want, if he remained there alone; but to whom could he apply for aid in procuring sustenance ?

7. An idea seemed at last to strike him. He arose slowly, and with difficulty, from the bed, went to the other side of the room, and took up the picture he had painted last. He resolved to carry it to the shop of a salesman, and hoped to obtain for it sufficient to furnish him with the necessaries of life for a week longer. Despair lent him strength to walk, and to carry his burden. On his way he passed a house, about which there was a crowd. He drew nigh-asked what was going on; and received for an answer, that there was to be a sale of many specimens of art collected by an amateur in the


course of thirty years. It has often happened that collections made with infinite pains by the proprietor, were sold without mercy or discrimination after his death.

8. Something whispered the weary Duhobret, that here would be the market for his picture. It was a long way yet to the house of the picture-dealer, and he made up his mind at

He worked his way through the crowd, dragged himself up the steps, and, after many inquiries, found the auctioneer. That personage was a busy, important little man, with a handful of papers; he was inclined to notice somewhat roughly the interruption of the lean, sallow hunchback, imploring as were his gestures and language. 9. 4 What do


call your picture ?" at length said he, carefully looking at it.

“ It is a view of the Abbey of Newbourg—with its village - and the surrounding landscape," replied the eager and trembling artist.

The auctioneer again scanned it contemptuously, and asked what it was worth.

“Oh, that is what you please whatever it will bring," answered Duhobret.

“Hem! it is too odd to please, I should think—I can promise you no more than three thalers."

10. Poor Samuel sighed deeply. He had spent on that piece the nights of many months. But he was starving now; and the pitiful sum offered would give bread for a few days. He nodded his head to the auctioneer, and retiring, took his seat in a corner.

The sale began. After some paintings and engravings had been disposed of, Samuel's was exhibited. 11. “Who bids at three thalers ? Who bids ?" was the

cry. Duhobret listened eagerly, but none answered. 6. Will it find a purchaser ?" said he, despondingly, to himself. Still there was a dead silence. He dared not look up; for it seemed to him that all the people were laughing at the folly of the artist who could be insane enough to offer so worthless a piece at &

public sale.

66 What will become of me?" was his mental inquiry. “That work is certainly my best ;" and he ventured to steal another glance. “Does it not seem that the wind actually stirs those boughs, and moves those leaves ! How transparent is the water ! what life breathes in the animals that quench their thirst at that spring! How that steeple shines! How beautiful are those clustering trees!” This was the last expiring throb of an artist's vanity. The ominous silence continued, and Samuel, sick at heart, buried his face in his hands.

12. “Twenty-one thalers!” murmured a faint voice, just as the auctioneer was about to knock down the picture. The stupefied painter gave a start of joy. He raised his head and looked to see from whose lips those blessed words had come. It was the picture-dealer to whom he had first thought of applying.

· Fifty thalers,” cried a sonorous voice. This time a tall man in black was the speaker.

There was a silence of hushed expectation.

“One hundred thalers," at length thundered the picturedealer.

“ Three hundred."
“Five hundred.”
6 One thousand.”

13. Another profound silence; and the crowd pressed around the two opponents, who stood opposite each other with eager


looks. "Two thousand thalers !" cried the picture-dealer, and glanced around him triumphantly, when he saw his adversary hesitate.

“ Ten thousand !” vociferated the tall man, his face crimson with rage, and his hands clenched convulsively.

The dealer grew paler; his frame shook with agitation; he made two or three efforts, and at last cried out

“Twenty thousand !"

14. His tall opponent was not to be vanquished. He bid forty thousand. The dealer stopped; the other laughed a low

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laugh of insolent triumph, and a murmur of admiration was heard in the crowd. It was too much for the dealer; he felt his peace at stake. “Fifty thousand !" exclaimed he in desperation.

It was the tall man's turn to hesitate. Again the whole crowd were breathless. At length, tossing his arms in defiance, he shouted “ One hundred thousand !"

15. The crest-fallen picture-dealer withdrew; the tall man victoriously bore away the prize.

How was it, meanwhile, with Duhobret, while this exciting scene was going on? He was hardly master of his senses. He rubbed his eyes repeatedly, and murmured to himself, “ After such a dream my misery will seem more cruel !"

When the contest ceased, he rose up bewildered, and went about asking first one, then another, the price of the picture just sold. It seemed that his apprehension could not at once be enlarged to so vast a conception.

16. The possessor was proceeding homeward, when a decrepid, lame, and humpbacked invalid, tottering along by the aid of a stick, presented himself before him. He threw him a piece of money, and waved his hand as dispensing with his thanks.

May it please your honor,” said the supposed beggar, “ I am the painter of that picture !” and he again rubbed his eyes.

17. The tall man was Count Dunkelsback, one of the richest noblemen in Germany. He stopped, took out his pocketbook, tore out a leaf, and wrote on it a few lines.

“ Take it, friend,” said he; " it is a check for your money. Adieu.”

Duhobret finally persuaded himself that it was not a dream. He became the master of a castle, sold it, and resolved to live luxurionsly for the rest of his life, and to cultivate painting as a pastime. But alas for the vanity of human expectation ! He had borne privation and toil; prosperity was too much for him, as was proved soon after, when an indigestion carried him off. His picture remained long in the cabinet of Count Dunkelsback; and afterwards passed into the possession of the king of Bavaria.


1. Know all men by these presents, Death the tamer

By mortgage hath secur'd the corpse of Demar;
Nor can four hundred thousand sterling pound
Redeem him from his prison under ground.
His heirs might well, of all his wealth possess'd,
Bestow to bury him in an iron chest.
Plutus, the god of wealth, will joy to know
His faithful steward's in the shades below.
He walk'd the streets, and wore a threadbare cloak;
He din'd and supp'd at charge of other folk;
And by his looks, had he held out his palms,
He might be thought an object fit for alms.
So, to the poor, if he refus'd his pelf,

He us’d them full as kindly as himself.
2. Where'er he went, he never saw his betters;

Lords, knights, and squires, were all his humble debtors; And under hand and seal the Irish nation

Were forc'd to own to him their obligation.
3. He that could once have half a kingdom bought,

In half a minute, is not worth a groat;
His coffers from the coffin could not save,
Nor all his interest keep him from the grave.
A golden monument could not be right,

Because we wish the earth upon him light.
4. O London tavern !* thou hast lost a friend,

Though in thy walls he ne'er did farthing spend;
He touch'd the pence, when others touch'd the pot;
The hand that sign'd the mortgage, paid the shot.
Old he

was, no vulgar known disease
On him could ever boast a power to seize;
But, as he weigh'd his gold, grim Death in spite,
Cast in his dart, which made three moidores light;


* A tavern in Dublin, where Demar kept his office.

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