« AnteriorContinuar »
universally pitied, by the whole regiment; but finish the story. 'Tis finished already, said the corporal, for I could stay no longer, so wished his honour a good night; young Le Fever rose from off the bed, and saw me to the bottom of the stairs; and as we went down together, told me they had come from Ireland, and were on their rout to join the regiment in Flanders. But alas! said the corporal, the Lieutenant's last day's march is over. Then what is to become of his poor boy? cried my uncle Toby.
Thou hast left this matter short, said my uncle Toby to the corporal, as he was putting him to bed, and 1 will tell thee in what, Trim. In the first place, when thou mad'st an offer of my services to Le Fever, as sickness and travelling are both expensive, and thou knewest he was but a poor Lieutenant, with a son to subsist, as well as himself, out of his pay, that thou didst not make an offer to him of my purse; because, had he stood in need, thou knowest, Trim, he had been as welcome to it as myself. Your honour knows, said the corporal, I had no orders: True, quoth my uncle Toby; thou didst very right, Trim, as a soldier, but certainly, very wrong as a man.
In the second place, for which, indeed, thou hast the same excuse, continued my uncle Toby, when thou offeredst him whatever was in my house, that thou shouldest have offered him my house-too. A sick brother officer should have the best quarters, Trim; and if we had him with us, we could tend and look to him; thou art an excellent nurse thyself, Trim; and what with thy care of him, and the old woman's, and his boy's, and mine together, we might recruit him again at once, and set him upon his legs.
In a fortnight or three weeks, added my uncle Toby, smiling, he might march. He will never march, an't please your honour, in this world, said the corporal. He will march, said my uncle Toby, rising up from the side of the bed, with one shoe off. An't please your honour, said the corporal, he will never march, but to his grave. He shall march, cried my uncle Toby, marching the foot which had a shoe on, though without advancing an inch, he shall march to his regiment. He cannot stand it, said the corporal. He shail be supported, said my uncle Toby. He'll drop at last, said the corporal, and what will become of his boy? He shall not drop, said my uncle Toby, firmly. A well o'day, do what we can for him, said Trim, maintaining his point, the poor soul will die. He shall not die, by Hn, cried my uncle Toby.
-The ACCUSING SPIRIT, which flew up to Heaven's chancery with the oath, blushed as he gave it in; and the RECORDING ANGEL, as he wrote it down, dropped a tear upon the word, and blotted it out forever.
-My uncle Toby went to his bureau, put his purse into his pocket, and having ordered the corporal to go early in the morning for a physician, he went to bed and fell asleep.
The sun looked bright the morning after, to every eye in the village but Le Fever's and his afflicted son's; the hand of death pressed heavy upon his eyelids, and hardly could the wheel at the cistern turn round its circle, when my uncle Toby, who had got up an hour before his wonted time, entered the Lieutenant's room, and without preface or apolo'gy, sat himself down upon the chair by the bed side, and independently of all modes and customs, opened the curtain, in the manner an old friend and brother officer would have done it, and asked him how he did-how he had rested in the night-what was his complaint-where was his painand what he could do to help him? And without giving him time to answer any one of these inquiries, went on and told him of the little plan which he had been concerting with the corporal the night before for him.
-You shall go home directly, Le Fever, said my uncle Toby, to my house-and we'll send for a doctor to see what's the matter and we'll have an apothecary-and the corporal shall be your nurse--and I'll be your servant, Le Fever.
There was a frankness in my uncle Toby-not the effect of familiarity, but the cause of it-which let you at once into his soul, and showed you the goodness of his nature; to this there was something in his looks, and voice, and manner, superadded, which eternally beckoned to the unfortunate to come and take shelter under him; so that before my uncle Toby had half finished the kind offers he was making to the father, had the son insensibly pressed up close to his knees, and had taken hold of the breast of his coat, and was pulling it towards him, The blood and spirit of Le Fever, which were waxing cold and slow within him, and were retreating to their last citadel, the heart, rallied back-the film forsook his eyes for a moment, he looked up wishfully in my uncle Toby's face-then cast a look upon his boy.
Nature instantly ebb'd again-the film returned to its place the pulse fluttered, stopped-went on-throbbedstopped again-moved--stopped-shall I go on ?-No.
I.-The Shepherd and the Philosopher.
REMOTE from cities liv'd a swain,
A deep philosopher, (whose rules
By various fates, on realms unknown:
The daily labours of the bee
And every fowl that flies at large,
From nature, too, I take my rule
Kites, hawks, and wolves, deserve their fate.
Thy fame is just, the sage replies:
II.-Ode to Leven Water.
ON Leven's banks while free to rove, And tune the rural pipe to love, I envied not the happiest swain That ever trod th' Arcadian plain. Pure stream! in whose transparent wave My youthful limbs I wont to lave; No torrents stain thy limpid source; No rocks impede thy dimpling course, That sweetly warbles o'er its bed, With white, round, polish'd pebbles spread; While, lightly pois'd, the scaly brood, In myriads cleave thy chrystal flood; The springing trout, in speckled pride; The salmon, monarch of the tide; The ruthless pike, intent on war; The silver eel, and mottled par. Devolving from thy parent lake, A charming maze thy waters make,
By bowers of birch and groves of pine,
III.-Ode from the 19th Psalm.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
What though, in solemn silence, all
SWEET Auburn! loveliest village of the plain; Where health and plenty cheer'd the lab'ring swain ; Where smiling spring its earliest visits paid, And parting summer's linging blooms delay'd: Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease! Seats of my youth, when ev'ry sport could please! How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green, Where humble happiness endear'd each scene! How often have I paus'd on every charm! The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
The never failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church, that topp'd the neighbouring hill The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, For talking age and whispering lovers made.