« السابقةمتابعة »
One road, and to one bourne,
We all are goaded. Late
Of unrelenting Fate
A PRAYER FOR HEALTH AND CONTENT. For me, when freshened by my spring's pure cold, Which makes my villagers look pinched and old, What prayers are mine? “Oh, may I yet possess The goods I have, or, if heaven pleases, less.”
Let the few years that Fate may grant me still
You 're not a miser: has all other vice
Do you count up your birthdays by the year,
But I forbear; sufficient 't is to pray
More durable than brass ;
In height it doth surpass.
Rain shall not sap, nor driving blast
Disturb its settled base,
Its symmetry deface.
O SEEK not thou — 't is not to know — what end to me, what end
to thee The gods have given, nor Babylonish numbers test, Leuconoë How better far it is to bear whatever lot for us be cast ! Or whether Jove more winters still, or whether gives he this the
Which now on pumice-crags opposing over breaks th’ Etruscan sea; Be wise; strain out thy wines, and trim thine all too long expect
ancy To life's brief span. Now while we speak, invidious time hath slipt
away. O thou, as little as may be the morrow trusting, snatch to-day!
HOWARD, BLANCHE Willis, an American novelist; born at Bangor, Me., 1847; died at Stuttgart, October 7, 1898, where she married, in 1890, Baron von Teuffel, a physician of that city. Her books are: “One Summer” (1875); “One Year Abroad” (1877); “ Aunt Serena” (1881); “Guenn" (1883); “ Aulnay Tower" (1885); “ Tony the Maid” (1887); “ The Open Door" (1889); “ A Battle and a Boy” (1892); “No Heroes" (1893).
AN UMBRELLA EPISODE.
(From "One Summer.”) FORBIDDEN fruit being ever to our fallen natures the richest and ripest and sweetest, Miss Doane experienced vivid satisfaction in executing her fantastic scheme. She hilariously floundered off and on the narrow sidewalk, always insecure, and on this memorable night rendered unusually treacherous by occasional streams of running water and deep hidden pools, she joyously welcomed the cold raindrops as they beat persistently against her cheek, and was intoxicated with the pleasure of struggling with all her might against the constant efforts of the wind to seize and whirl away her umbrella, — efforts which she interpreted as the playful frolics of a friend, so jovial was her mood. She skipped along, stumbled along, blew along. The mode of progression signified nothing to her. She only felt that the storm was superb, that the great elms whose swaying branches she barely could distinguish in the darkness were sobbing and sighing around her, that a mighty wind was almost lifting her bodily from the ground. She pitied girls, her former self among them, who had only ventured forth in decorous drizzles, and who knew nothing of the rapturous excitement of a mad, wild, tempestuous night like this.
She reached the bookstore, bought the coveted pamphlet.
1 Copyright, 1875, by James R. Osgood & Co. By permission of Honghton, Mifflin, & Co.
The man stared as he passed the book to her. Visions of tall girls with glowing cheeks and sparkling eyes and numerous streamlets trickling from their apparel, half-breathlessly demanding light literature at nearly nine o'clock on the stormiest of evenings, were not frequent in his limited experience, and “ eyes were made for seeing.” The gaze of the grim librarian did not disconcert Miss Doane in the least. She grasped her novel and umbrella and passed out swiftly into the flood like a nineteenth-century Undine.
The buoyancy, the champagne-like frothiness of spirit still electrified her; but alas, champagne loses its sparkle, and forbidden fruit must some time turn to dust and ashes on the lips that taste it! As she drew near an exposed corner, it seemed as if all the winds of heaven had broken loose, were rioting madly, and seeking whom they might devour. Twice they beat her back in spite of her struggles, twitched violently at the closely fastened waterproof, and put a fiendish desire to soar away over the dusky tree-tops into her hitherto trustworthy umbrella. She retreated a step or two, stopped a moment to regain her breath, then, taking advantage of a partial cessation of hostilities, gathered herself together for a final mighty effort, and, with head bent forward, umbrella tightly clinched in both hands and held at an angle of about thirty degrees, made a grand spring, charged valiantly through the warring elements, triumphantly turned the corner, and, with singular precision of aim, plunged the apex of her umbrella directly into the face and eyes of an unwary pedestrian who was approaching from the opposite direction.
Miss Doane's momentum was great, — great also the severity of the blow she had unwittingly administered, and great the surprise and dismay she experienced at finding her freedom so suddenly brought to an inglorious end. In the confusion caused by the abrupt fall of her spirits from extreme excitement and elation to real regret, mingled with a ludicrous sense of the absurdity of her unprovoked assault, the “I beg your pardon, sir,” which sprang from her heart found no utterance. After a truly feminine fashion, she ran away frantically a few feet, then stood still and speechless at a short distance from her victim.
Who was he? What was he? If it were only light enough for her to judge by his looks whether she had better offer him assistance; for an exclamation of pain at the moment of the umbrella's direful deed, and now the stranger's motionless attitude, gave sufficient evidence that he was suffering. After all, whatever he might be, whether fierce desperado - a growth not indigenous to Edgecomb soil, she knew well — or innocent ploughboy, which was much inore likely to be the case, in ordinary kindness she could not leave him without a word of sympathy. Prudential motives for declining to enter into conversation with a stranger in utter darkness and the instinctive womanly desire to be of service if she were needed, together with unusual difficulty in knowing what to say, struggled for mastery in the girl's mind during the agitated minute which followed the accident. A half-suppressed groan from the subject of her reflections made her ashamed of her silly scruples, and she moved towards him with an expression of sincerest regret upon her lips. Her remark was however unspoken, for the stranger at the same moment advanced, and in a gentlemanly voice said,
“My good woman —”
“Good woman, indeed!” she thought indignantly and with a sudden revulsion of feeling, her sympathies giving way to wounded pride of station. “ Does he take me for a milkmaid ?” Then, common-sense coming to the rescue : “ Well, am I not a good woman? Naughtier than usual to-night, no doubt,” with sundry misgivinys as to the strict propriety of her conduct, "but a good woman, nevertheless. Certainly there is nothing offensive in the words in themselves. Nobody ever happened to call me so before, and there is a good deal in association ; but the poor man is in a dilemma, too; how in the world is he to know in what manner to address me?”
He evidently was somewhat embarrassed. He had hesitated after first using the obnoxious phrase ; but, reasoning that the “Madam” which would be his involuntary mode of address under other circumstances would be wholly out of place applied to a servant or to any woman out unprotected on such a furious night, he went on in a kind, reassuring tone,
“Do not be alarmed. Let me speak with you a moment."
This seemed to be an invitation to approach, as the violence of the storm rendered conversation at her present distance from him a difficult matter. There was in his manner a quiet dignity, - almost a command,- to which she found herself at once responding.
“May I trouble you to assist me?” he asked as she drew pear, and saw that he was trying to tie his handkerchief round his head, and that the wind and the necessity of holding his hat