Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

was perhaps the best for drawing out the heat; and a glass of sherry was brought me from the side-board—I snatched it up with eagerness; but oh! how shall I tell the sequel ? Whether the butler by accident mistook, or purposely designed to drive me mad, I know not; but he gave me the strongest brandy, with which I filled my mouth, already flayed and blistered. Totally unused to every kind of ardent spirits, with my tongue, throat, and palate as raw as beef, what could do? I could not swallow, and, clapping my hands upon my mouth, the burning liquor squirted from me, like a fountain, over all the dishes, and I was crushed by bursts of laughter from all quarters.

In vain did Sir Thomas reprimand the servants, and Lady Friendly chide her daughters; the measure of my shame and their diversion was not yet complete. To relieve me from the intolerable state of perspiration which this accident had caused, without considering what I did, I wiped my face with that ill-fated handkerchief, still wet from the consequences of the fall of Xenophon, and covered my features with streaks of ink in every direction! The Baronet himself could not support this shock, but joined his lady in the general laugh; while I sprang from the table in despair, rushed out of the house, and ran home, in an agony of confusion and disgrace, which the most poignant sense of guilt could not have excited.

Othello's Defence.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approved good masters,
That I have ta’en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her:
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,

And little blest with the soft phrase of peace; For since these arms of mine had seven year's pith, Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used Their dearest action in the tented field; And little of this great world can I speak, More than pertains to feats of broil and battle; “And therefore little shall I grace my cause In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience, I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms, What conjuration and what mighty magicFor such proceeding I am charged withalI won his daughter. Her father loved me, oft invited me, Still questioned me the story of my life From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes, That I have passed. I ran it through, even from my boyish days To the very moment that he bade me tell it; Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances, Of moving accidents by flood and field, Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' the imminent deadly breach, Of being taken by the insolent foe, And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence, And portance in my travel's history: Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle, Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven, It was my hint to speak,-such was the process; And of the Cannibals that each other eat, The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads Do grow beneath their shoulders. This to hear Would Desdemona seriously incline: But still the house-affairs would draw her thence; Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,

She 'ld come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse: which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not intentively: I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:
She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful:
She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
She loved me for the dangers I had pass’d,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used.
Here comes the lady; let her witness it. -Othello, i., 3.

TONE OF GENIALITY.

(See Tone Drill No 108.) [The tone of Geniality manifests a feeling of good will. It says to the listener, more eloquently than words, “I wish you well, it is a pleasure to talk to you, I delight in your company.'']

Agreeable People.

T. DE WITT TALMAGE.

Agreeable people! I see by your looks, my friends, that you belong to this class. These good-humored husbands before me are all what they ought to be, good-natured as a

May morning; and when the wife asks for a little spendingmoney, the good man of the purse says, "All right; here's my pocket-book. My dear, take as much as you want, and come soon again." These wives at eveningtide always greet their companions home with a smile and say, “My dear, your slippers are ready and the muffins warm. Put your feet up on this ottoman. Bless the dear man !” These brothers always prefer the companionship of their own sisters to that of any one else's sister, and take them out almost every evening to lectures and concerts. And I suppose that in no public building to-night in this city, or in any other city, is there a more mild, affable, congenial and agreeable collection of people than ourselves.

The world has a great many delightful people who are casily pleased. They have a faculty of finding out that which is attractive. They are like a bee that no sooner gets out of the hive than it pitches for a clovertop. They never yet walked into a picture-gallery but they were refreshed and thankful. They saw some exquisite gem that kindled their admiration. There was some pleasant face in a picture that for hours kept looking over their shoulder. They will never forget how in one of them a vine in filial affection, with its tender arm hugged up an old grandfather of a tree that was about to feel the stiff breeze. They never came from a concert but there was at least one voice that they admired, and wondered how in one throat God could have placed such exhaustless fountains of harmony.

They like the spring, for it is so full of bird and bloom, and, like a priestess, stands swinging her censer of perfume before God's altar; and the summer is just the thing for them, for they love to hear the sound of mowing-machines, and battalions of thunderbolts grounding arms among the mountains; and autumn is their exultation, for its orchards are golden with fruit, and the forests march with banners

dipped in sunsets and blood-red with the conflicts of frost and storm.

And they praise God for winter, that brings the shout of children, playing blind-man's buff, with handkerchief they can see through, around a blazing fire, and the snow shower that makes Parthenons and St. Mark's Cathedrals out of a pigeon-coop, and puts brighter coronets than the Georges ever wore on the brow of the bramble, and turns the woodshed into a "royal tower” filled with crown jewels; and that sends the sleigh-riding party, in buffalo robes, behind smoking steeds. Three cheers for the goodnatured!

Henry V.'s Wooing.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

1' faith, Kate, my wooing is fit for thy understanding: I am glad thou canst speak no better English; for, if thou couldst, thou wouldst find me such a plain king that thou wouldst think I had sold my farm to buy my crown. I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say "I love you :" then if you urge me farther than to say “Do you in faith?” I wear out my suit. Give me your answer; i' faith, do: and so clap hands and a bargain: how say you, lady?

If I could win a lady at leap-frog, or by vaulting into my saddle with my armour on my back, under the correction of bragging be it spoken, I should quickly leap into a wife. Or if I might buffet for my love, or bound my horse for her favours, I could lay on like a butcher and sit like a jack-anapes, never off. But, before heaven, Kate, I cannot look greenly nor gasp out my eloquence, nor have I no cunning in protestation; only downright oaths, which I never use till urged, nor never break for urging. If thou canst love a fellow of this temper, Kate, whose face is not worth sunburning, that never looks in his glass for love of anything

« AnteriorContinuar »