Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

wandering In and out, till they grow faint and low, like the sweet, soft music of an ^Eolian harp. How merrily it is ringing a welcome to the happy young bride and bridegroom! They are just coming up the aisle, the admired of all the simple, honest villagers assembled to witness their joy. His frank, manly face is bent down above her, and her eyes are raised trustfully to his. What a perfect shower of music the bell is making! What a glad, joyous ring!

The day fades away. It is night, and then day again. Hark! what sound is that? What has so changed the tones of the old bell? Last night it was ringing in loud rejoicing; to-day it is slowly tolling, tolling, like great, deep, half-suppressed sobs. What a dreary sadness steals over us as we listen to its muffled sound! Another friend has passed away. The form, lately so full of life and gaiety, is now cold and still in death; and now, in the beautiful spring-time, the setting sun casts a golden, warm and mellow light on the heavy sod that .covers her breast, and the villagers sorrowfully mourn a loved one.

Every inhabitant of the village will tell you what the old bell is to him. Every peal awakens a responsive heartbeat in our breasts, for the recollection of half a century is sweetened by hallowed memories.

ANONYMOUS.

\ CARVING A NAME.

j I wrote my name upon the sand,

And trusted it would stand for aye;
But soon, alas I the refluent sea
Had washed my feeble lines away.

I carved my name upon the wood,
And, after years, returned again;

I missed the shadow of the tree
That stretched of old upon the plain.

To solid marble next my name
I gave as a perpetual trust;

An earthquake rent it to its base,
And now it lies o'erlaid with dust.

All these have failed. In wiser mood
I turn and ask myself, "What then?

If I would have my name endure,
I'll write it on the hearts of men,

M In characters of living light,

From kindly words and actions wrought - {
And these, beyond the reach of Time,
Shall live immortal as my thought."

HORATIO ALGER.

THE DAUGHTER'S REQUEST.

My father, thou hast not the tale denied—
They say that, ere noon to-morrow,

Thou wilt bring back a radiant, smiling bride,
To our lonely house of sorrow.

I should wish thee joy of thy coming bliss,
But tears are my words suppressing;

I think of my mother's dyingjdss,
And my mother's parting blessing.

Yet to-morrow I hope to hide my care;

I will still my bosom's beating;
And strive to give to thy chosen fair

A kind and courteous greeting.

She will heed me not, in the joyous pride
Of pomp, and friends, and beauty;

Ah! little heed has a new-made bride
Of a daughter's quiet duty.

Thou gavest her costly gems, they say,
When thy heart first fondly sought her;

Dear father, one nuptial gift, I pray,
Bestow on thy weeping daughter.

My eye even now on the treasure falls,

I covet and ask no other; It has hung for years on our ancient walls;

'Tis the portrait of my mother!

To-morrow, when all is in festal guise,
And the guests our rooms are filling,

The calm, meek gaze of these hazel eyes
Might thy soul with grief be thrilling;

And a gloom on thy marriage banquet cast,
Sad thoughts of their owner giving;

For a fleeting twelvemonth scarce lias past
Since she mingled with the living.

If thy bride should weary or offend,
That portrait might awaken feelings

Of the love of thy fond departed friend,
And its sweet and kind revealings;

Of her mind's commanding force, unchecked

By feeble and selfish weakness;
Of her speech, where dazzling intellect

Was softened by Christian meekness.

Then, father, grant that at once, to-night,
Ere the bridal crowd's intrusion,

I remove the portrait from thy sight, ✓
To my chamber's still seclusion.

It will nerve me to-morrow's dawn to bear,—

It will beam on me protection,
When I ask of Heaven In faltering prayer

To hallow thy new connection.

Thou wilt waken, father, in pride and glee,

To renew the ties once broken; But nought on earth remains to me,

Save this sad and silent token.

The husband's tears may be few and brief,

He may woo and win another;
But the daughter clings in unchanging grief

To the image of her mother!

ANONYMOUS

MR. PICKWICK'S PROPOSAL TO MRS. BARDELL.

It was evident that something of great importance was in contemplation, but what that something was not even Mrs. Bardell herself had been able to discover.

Mrs. Bardell," said Mr. Pickwick at last, as that amiable female approached the termination of a prolonged dusting in the apartment.

"Sir," said Mrs. Bardell.

"Your little boy is a very long time gone."

"Why, it is a good long way to the Borough, sir," remonstrated Mrs. Bardell.

"Ah," said Mr. Pickwick, " very true; so it is."

Mr. Pickwick relapsed into silence, and Mrs. Bardell resumed her dusting.

"Mrs. Bardell," said Mr, Pickwick, at the expiration of a few minutes,

"Sir," said Mrs. Bardell again.

"Do you think it's a much greater expense to keep two people than to keep one?"

"La, Mr. Pickwick," said Mrs. Bardell, coloring up to the very border of her cap, as-she fancied she observed a species of matrimonial twinkle in the eyes of her lodger; "La, Mr. Pickwick, what a question?''

"Well, but do you?" inquired Mr. Pickwick.

"That depends "—said Mrs. Bardell, approaching the duster very near to Mr. Pickwick's elbow, which was planted on the table; "that depends a good deal upon the person, you know, Mr. Pickwick; and whether it's a saving and careful person, sir."

"That's very true," said Mr. Pickwick; "but the person I have in my eye (here he looked very hard at Mrs. Bardell) I think possesses these qualities, and has, moreover, a considerable knowledge of the world, and a great deal of sharpness, Mrs. Bardell, which may be of material use to me."

"La, Mr. Pickwick," said Mrs. Bardell, the crimson rising to her cap-border again.

u I do," said Mr. Pickwick, growing energetic, as was his wont in speaking of a subject which interested him; "I do, indeed; and to tell you the truth, Mrs. Bardell, I have made up my mind."

"Dear me, sir!" exclaimed Mrs. Bardell.

"You'll think It not very strange now," said the amiable Mr. Pickwick, with a good-humored glance at his companion, " that I never consulted you about this matter, and never mentioned it till I sent your little boy out this morning—eh?"

Mrs. Bardell could only reply by a look. She had long worshiped Mr. Pickwick at a distance, but here she was, all at once, raised to a pinnacle to which her wildest and most extravagant hopes had never dared to aspire. Mr. Pickwick was going to propose—a deliberate plan, too—sent her little boy to the Borough to get him out of the way—how thoughtful—how considerate!

"Well," said Mr. Pickwick, "what do you think?"

"O, Mr. Pickwick," said Mrs. Bardell, trembling with agitation, "you're very kind, sir."

"It'll save you a great deal of trouble, wont it?" said Mr. Pickwick.

"O, I never thought anything of the trouble, sir," replied Mrs. Bardell; "and, of course, I should take more trouble to please you then than ever; but it is so kind of you, Mr. Pickwick, to have so much consideration for my loneliness."

"Ah, to be sure," said Mr. Pickwick; " I never thought of that. When I am in town you'll always have somebody to sit with you. To be sure, so you will."

"I'm sure I ought to be a very happy woman," said Mrs. Bardell.

"And your little boy—" said Mr. Pickwick.

"Bless his heart," interposed Mrs. Bardell, with a maternal sob.

"He, too, will have a companion," resumed Mr. Pickwick, "a lively one, who'll teach him, I'll be bound, more tricks in a week than he could ever learn in a year." And Mr. Pickwick smiled placidly.

"O you dear!" said Mrs. Bardell.

Mj. Pickwick started.

"O you kind, good, playful dear," said Mrs. Bardell; and without

« AnteriorContinuar »