« AnteriorContinuar »
Such wierd-like music thou hast heard
From panther, fox, and owl,
From the wild wolf's dreadful howl!
And thou hast stood when round thee flashed
The awful lightning's glare,
The hot sulphureous air:
Thy co-mates from their berths,
Bowed their high heads to earth!
How often in the autumn-time,
When the brown nuts appear, The Indian held his harvest-feast,
The corn-feast of the year:
The wigwam-smoke curled blue,
Thy spreading antlers through.
The scene was changed: the battle-shout
From hill to valley rang,
From their dark ambush sprang;
With blood were crimsoned o'er, And the rank earth about thy roots
Smoked hot with human gore!
But o'er the scene where war's fierce tide
Erst rolled ensanguined waves, Thy shadow in the morning-sun
Falls peaceful on the graves
Or age's calm decay,
Of those long passed away!
And when the hoary winter's blast
Drove down its frozen rain,
Lay crisp upon the plain,
Štout limbs — a giant form!
The anger of the storm.
But now no more amidst thy boughs
The blue-bird's song shall gush,
That makes the Orient blush ;
With purple hues the even,
llis vesper-hymn to HEAVEN.
TOWARD the end of the month of December, the porters of the Bidault Express distributed a hundred copies, or thereabout, of an invitation, of which the following is an exact transcript:
Messrs. RODOLPHE and MARCEL request the honor of your company Saturday evening next, (Christmas eve,) to hear a little laughter.
P. S. - We have but one life to live.'
PROORAMME OF THE ENTERTAINMENT:
'Ar seven, doors open. Lively and animated conversation. 'At eight, the talented authors of the Mountain in Labor, a comedy refused at the Odeon, will enter and walk about.
At eight and a half, Mr. ALEXANDER SCHAUNARD, a distinguished virtuoso, will execute on the piano The Influence of Blue in the Arts: an onomatopæic symphony.
'At nine, reading of a Report on the Abolition of Capital Punishment by TräGEDY.
'At nine and a half, Mr. GUSTAVE COLLINE, hyperphysic philosopher, will open a discussion with Mr. SCHAUNARD, on the Comparative Merits of Philosophy and Metapolitics.* To prevent any collision between the disputants, they will be tied together.
"At ten, Mr. TRISTAN, a literary man, will recount the story of his first love, accompanied on the piano by Mr. SCHAUNARD.
At ten and a half, reading of a Report on the Abolition of Capital Punishment by TRAGEDY, (continued.)
At eleven, Account of a Cassowary Hunt by an Eastern Prince.
• [7 metaphysics is what comes after physics, according to etymology, (though in practice I have generally found to be what comes after liquor,) this new science must be what comes after poutica. What in the name of every thing awful is that? The deluge is to come after some politicians, according to Prince METTERNICH and Lord MAIDSTONE.
+ The structure of this sentence does not make it quite clear whether the Eastern Prince was actually present to relate the Cassowary Hunt, or whether his performance was limited to Hunting the animal, and the account of the hunt was to be another person's work. A somewhat similar ambiguity I recollect in a magazine title some years ago: Lines on a Lady Slandered, by Barry Cornwall ; which one of our newspapers reprinted so as to cast a grave imputation or the poet, thus: Lines on a Lady, Slandered by Barry Cornwall.
‘Ar twelve, Mr. Marcel, historical painter, will suffer his eyes to be bandaged, and extemporize in crayon the meeting of Napoleon and Voltaire in the Elysian Fields. Mr. RODOLPHE will simultaneously extemporize a poetic parallel between the author of Zaïre and the author of the Battle of Austerlitz,
"At twelve and a half, Mr. Colline, in a modest deshabille, will imitate the athletic sports of the Fourth Olympiad.
"At one in the morning, reading of the Report on the Abolition of Capital Punishment by TRAGEDY, (re-continued,) and subscription for the benefit of the tragic authors whose occupation is to be gone.
'At two, quadrilles will be organized and continue till morning. 'At six, sunrise and final chorus.
During the whole continuance of the performance, all the ventilators will be in play: 'N. B. – Any person attempting to read or write verses will be immediately handed over to the police.
N. B. 2d. Gentlemen are requested not to pocket the candle-ends.'
Two days after, copies of this invitation were circulating in the third stories of art and literature, and creating a profound sensation. Nevertheless, there were some of the guests who doubted the splendors announced by our two friends.
'I have grave suspicions,' said one of the skeptical. 'I was at Rodolphe's Wednesdays sometimes when he lived Rue de la Tour d'Auvergne. You could only sit down metaphorically, and had nothing but water to drink, and not filtered at that.”
Now, a word as to the origin of this party which was causing so much astonishment in the Transpontine world of art. For about a year, Marcel and Rodolphe had been talking of this sumptuous gala, which was always to come off next Saturday, but disagreeable circumstances had forced their promise to run the round of fifty-two weeks; so that they were in the condition of not being able to move without encountering some ironical remark from their acquaintances, some of whom were even rash enough to demand its fulfilment! The thing was beginning to take the character of a standing joke against them; the two friends resolved to put an end to this by liquidating their engagement. Accordingly they sent out the above invitation.
* Now,' said Rodolphe, there is no retreat. We have burned our ships. Eight days are left us to procure the hundred francs indispensable to doing the thing properly.'
Since we must have them, we will,' answered Marcel; and with their habitual rash trust in luck, the two friends went to sleep, well convinced that the hundred francs were already on the way-some impossible way — toward them.
However, the night before the day indicated for the entertainment, as nothing had yet arrived, Rodolphe thought it would be safer to help his iuck a little, if he did not wish to find himself disgraced when the time was come for lighting up. To facilitate this, the two friends progressively modified the splendors of their self-imposed programme. By modification after modification, cutting down very much the article of Cakes, and carefully reviewirg and abridging the article of Refreshments, the total expense was reduced to fifteen francs : the question was simplified, but not resolved.
Come, come,' said Rodolphe, we must put every engine at work. In the first place, we cannot adjourn the performances this time.'
• Impossible !' replied Marcel.
How long is it since I heard the story of the Battle of Studzianka ?' Nearly two months.'
“Two months ? Good! Quite long enough. My uncle shall not have to complain of me. I will go to-morrow and make him tell me the Battle of Studzianka; that will be five francs, sure.'
'And I,' said Marcel,' will go and sell a deserted manor to old Medicis ; that will be five francs, too. If I have time to put in three turrets and a mill
, it may go up to ten francs, and we shall have our budget.' So the two friends fell asleep, dreaming that the Princess Belgiozoso was begging them to change their days of reception, so as not to take from her salons all the literati of Paris.
Marcel awoke early in the morning, took a canvas, and went energetically to work on a deserted manor, an article particularly in demand with a broker of the Place du Carrousel
. Rodolphe, on his part, went to visit his uncle Monetti, who excelled in the retreat from Russia, which he had the pleasure of repeating to his nephew five or six times a year, in consideration of some small loans, which the veteran stove-maker did not hesitate about when his narrative had been listened to with sufficient enthusiasm.
About two in the afternoon, Marcel, with downcast look and a portrait under his arm, met, in the Place du Carrousel, Rodolphe, coming from his uncle's with a face that announced bad news.
Well,' asked Marcel, 'were you successful ?' 'No, indeed! my uncle has gone to Versailles -- and you?' * That beast of a Medicis does n't want any more ruined castles. He asked me for a Bombardment of Tangier.'
Our reputation is gone if we don't give our party,' said Rodolphe. • What will my friend the influential critic say, if I make him put on a white cravat and straw-colored gloves for nothing !'
Both returned home a prey to the most lively anxiety just as the clock (not their clock, of course) struck four.
• We have but three hours before us,' said Rodolphe.
But,' exclaimed Marcel, approaching his friend, are you sure, now, quite sure, that we have no money left here?' Neither here nor any where else. How should we?'
If we look under the furniture — in the chairs? They say that the emigrants used to hide their treasure in Robespierre's time. Perhaps our arm-chair belonged to one; beside, it is so hard that I have often thought there must be metal inside of it. Will you make an autopsy of it?'
* This is mere farce !' replied Rodolphe, with an air of mingled sternness and pity.
Suddenly Marcel, who had been poking into every corner of the room, uttered a shout of triumph.
• We are saved !' he cried. 'I was sure there was something valuable here. Look!' and he showed Rodolphe a piece of money the size of a crown, half consumed by rust and verdigris. It was a Carlovingian coin, of some value to an antiquary. The inscription was fortunately in such a state of preservation that you could read the date of Chariemagne's reign.