« AnteriorContinuar »
And I have thought of other lands, whose storms
18. WILLIAM TELL AMONG THE MOUNTAINS.-J. S. Knowles.
YE crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!
I'm with you once again!
Scaling yonder peak,
I saw an eagle wheeling near its brow
O'er the abyss: his broad-expanded wings
Of measuring the ample range beneath
The death that threatened him. I could not shoot!
'T was liberty! I turned my bow aside,
19. THE FRACTIOUS MAN.-Original Translation from Brueys.
Monsieur Grichard. Blockhead! Would you keep me knocking two hours at the door?
Lolive. I was at work, Sir, in the garden. At the first sound of the knocker, I ran to answer it with such haste, as to fall down on the way.
M. Gri. A great pity it was you didn't break your neck, booby' Why did n't you leave the door open
Lol. Why, Sir, you scolded me, yesterday, because I did so. When it is open, you storm about it. When it is shut, you storm about it just the same. I should like to know what to do.
M. Gri. What to do, sirrah? What to do, did you say?
Lol. O, come now, master, how would you have it? Do you wish me to leave the door open?
M. Gri. No.
Lol. Do you wish me to keep it shut?
M. Gri. No!
Lol. But, Sir, it must be either open or
M. Gri. What, rascal, what! Do you presume to argue the point?
Lol. But does n't it hold to reason
M. Gri. Silence!
Lol. I say, Sir, that a door must be either open or shut. Now, how will you have it?
M. Gri. I have told you, a thousand times, you scoundrel, — I have told you, I wished it-wished it - but confound your impudence, Sir! Is it for you to ask questions? Let me only lay hands on you, I'll show you how I wish it! Have you swept the stair
Lol. Yes, Sir, from top to bottom.
M. Gri. And the yard?
Lol. If you find a bit of dirt there big as a filbert, I'll forfeit my
You have n't watered the mule ?
Lol. Ask the neighbors, who saw me pass, if I have n't.
M. Gri. Have you given him his oats?
Lol. Yes, Sir. Ask William if I have n't. He saw me do it. M. Gri. But you have n't taken those bottles of Peruvian bark where I ordered you?
Lol. Pardon me, Sir; I took them, and brought back the empty bottles.
M. Gri. And my letters? Did you take them to the Post Office? Hah?
Lol. Did n't I, though? I took good care to do that!
M. Gri. You villain, you! A hundred times I have forbidden you to scrape your infernal violin. Now, I heard you, this morning
Lol. This morning? Don't you remember you smashed it all to pieces, for me, yesterday?
M. Gri. Humph! I'll lay a wager that those two cords of wood
Lol. The wood is all sawed, split, and housed, Sir; and since putting it in, I have helped William get a load of hay into the barn, I have watered all the trees in the garden, dug over three of the beds, and was digging another when you knocked.
M. Gri. O, I must get rid of this fellow! Was there ever such a provoking scamp? He will kill me with vexation. Away with you, Sir! Out of my sight!
20. BALTHAZAR AND THE QUACK.-John Tobin. Born, 1770; died, 1804. Balthazar. And now, thou sketch and outline of a man!
Thou thing, that hast no shadow in the sun!
Thou eel in a consumption, eldest born
Of a starved pilchard!
Quack. I do confess my leanness. I am spare,
Quack. For my patients' sake!
Balt. I'll send you to the major part of them.
Quack. Pray, consider, Sir,
Balt. Why, then,
I'll rattle thee to pieces in a dice-box.
Or grind thee in a coffee-mill to powder:
For thou must sup with Pluto; - so, make ready!
Quack. Consider my poor wife!
Balt. Thy wife!
Quack. My wife, Sir.
Balt. Hast thou dared to think of matrimony, too?
Quack. I have a wife, and three angelic babes,
Balt. Well, well, your wife and children shall plead for you. Come, come, the pills! where are the pills? produce them. Quack. Here is the box.
Balt. Were it Pandora's, and each single pill
Had ten diseases in it, you should take them.
Quack. What, all?
Balt. Ay, all; and quickly, too; - come, Sir, begin!
Quack. One's a dose !
Balt. Proceed, Sir.
Quack. What will become of me?
I do beseech you let me have some drink,
Some cooling liquid, Sir, to wash them down'
Balt. O, yes-produce the vial!
Balt. Come, Sir, your new invented patent draught:
Quack. If you have any mercy, think of me!
Quack. May I entreat to make my will first?
Quack. Just to step home, and see my wife and children?
Quack. Let me go home and set my shop to rights,
Balt. Away, and thank thy lucky star I have not
Quack. Would I were one! for they can feed on air.
I'll be more wise, at least! [Exit.]
21. BRUTUS AND TITUS.—Nathaniel Lee.
There are some noble touches in the following dialogue, from Lee's tragedy of "Lucius Junius Brutus," although from the pen of a poet who mingled the extravagance of a madman with the inspirations of genius. Lee was born in Hertfordshire, England, in 1651, and died in 1692. He was for some time confined in a mad-house, being for nearly four years a raving maniac.
Brutus. Well, Titus, speak; how is it with thee now?
I would attend a while this mighty motion,
Looked down and listened to what we were saying:
Titus. So well, that saying how must make it nothing:
For so my heart, with powerful throbs, persuades me:
Brutus. How's that, my son? would death for thee be happy?
Each single scorn would be far worse than dying.
It seems as natural as to be born.
Yes, Sir; I call the powers of Heaven to witness,
Brutus. Thou perfect glory of the Junian race!
Bares his sad head, and passes sentence on thee.
Alas! my Lord,
Titus. Why art thou moved thus? Why am I worth thy sorrow? Why should the godlike Brutus shake to doom me? Why all these trappings for a traitor's hearse?
The gods will have it so.
Of gods or men to save thee from the axe.
Titus. The axe! O, Heaven! must I, then, fall so basely? What! Shall I perish by the common hangman?