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“What a very nice gentleman !” remarked the nurse, as Mary closed the bed-room door.
What an uncommon nice man!” cried Miss Filby, an old familiar gossip, who had come to cheer up the invalid with all the scandal of the neighbourhood.
“And he will send, ma'am," said the nurse to the visitor, “to ask after us a matter of five or six times in a day.”
“It is really extraordinary,” said Miss Filby, "and especially in quite a stranger!”
“No, not quite,” whispered the invalid ; “I met him twice upon the stairs.”
“Indeed!” said Miss Filby; "it's like a little romance; who knows what may come of it.
I have known as sudden things come to pass before now !”
“There is summut in it, surely,” said the nurse ; "I only wish, ma'am, you could hear how warm and pressing he is asking after her, whoever comes in his way. There was this morning, on the landing— 'Nurse, says he, quite earnest-like-nurse, do tell me how she is.' Why then, sir,' says I, 'she is as well as can be expected.' 'Ah,' said he, that's the old answer, but it won't satisfy me. Is she better or worse?' 'Well then, sir,' says I, 'she's much the same.' 'Ah,' says he, fetching sich a long-winded sigh, 'there's where it is. She may linger in that
for months.' 'Let's hope not,' says I. 'You'll be pleased to hear as how she's going to try to eat a bit o' chicking.' 'Chicking!' says he, saving your presence, ma'm'chicking be d-d to--you know where—it's her nerves, nurse- eher nerves-how are her nerves?' 'To be sure, sir,' says I, 'them's her weak pints; but Dr. Boreham do say, provided they're kept quiet, and not played upon, they'll come round again in time. • Yes,' says he, ‘in time! that's the divil on it;' and you can't think how feeling he said it. What a weary time,' says he, 'she have been !'"
“Well, upon my word !” exclaimed Miss Filby, “these are very like love symptoms indeed! However, I'm not jealous, my dear,”—and she shook her head waggishly at the invalid, who replied, with a faint smile, that she was a giddy creature, and quite forgot the weak state of her
But, to be sure, it is odd,” said Miss Hopkinson to herself, “and particularly in the present age, when polite gallantry to females is so much gone out of fashion. She then fell into a reverie, which her friend interpreted into an inclination to doze, and accordingly took her leave, with a promise of returning in the evening.
No sooner was her back turned, however, than the invalid called the nurse to her, and, after giving sundry directions as to costume, intimated that she had an intention of trying to sit up a bit. So she was dressed and washed, and bolstered up in a chair ; and having put on a clean cap, she inquired of her attendant, rather anxiously, if she was not dreadfully altered and pulled down, and how she looked. To which the nurse answered, that, "except looking a little delicate, she was really charming."
In the evening the doctor repeated his visit, and so did Miss Filby, who could not help rallying the invalid on the sudden recovery of her complexion.
“It's only hectic,” said Miss Hopkinson, " the exertion of dressing has given me a colour."
And somebody else will have a colour too,” said the nurse, winking at Miss Filby, “when I tell him how very much some folks are improved.
"By-the-bye,” said Dr. Boreham, “it's only fair that people should know their well-wishers; and I ought to tell you, therefore, that the gentleman overhead is very friendly and frequent in his inquiries. We generally meet on the stairs, and I assure you he expresses very great solicitude-very much so indeed!”
Miss Hopkinson gave a short husky cough, and the nurse and Miss Filby nodded significantly at each other.
“Ho! ho! the wind sits in that quarter, does it?” said the doctor ; "I may expect, then, to have another patient. 'He grew sick as she grew well,' as the old song says; ” and chuckling at the aptness of his own quotation, the facetious mediciner took his leave.
“There he is again, I declare,” exclaimed the nurse, who had listened as she closed the door “ He has cotched the doctor on the stairs, and I'll warrant he'll have the whole particulars before he lets
* Very devoted, indeed!" said Miss Filby. 66 We must make haste and get you about again, my dear, for his poor sake as well as your
At this juncture Mrs. Huckins, the landlady, entered the room to ask after her lodger, and was not a little bewildered by a cross-fire of inuendoes from the nurse and the visitor. The strange behaviour of the sick lady herself helped besides to disconcert the worthy woman, across whose mind a suspicion glanced that the nasty laudanum, or something, had made the patient a little off her head. However, Mrs. Huckins got through her compliments and her curtseys, and would finally, perhaps, have tittered too, but that her attention was suddenly diverted by that most awful of intrusions, a troublesome child in a sick
Why, Billy, you little plague-why, Billy, what do you in here? Where have you come from, sir?-I've been looking for you this half hour.'
" I've been up with Mr. Tweedy, the new lodger," said Billy, standing very erect, and speaking rather proudly. “We've been a-playing the
“ The WHAT!” cried all the female voices in a breath.
' A-playing the flute,” repeated the undaunted Billy. “Mr. Tweedy only whispers a toon into it now, but he says he'll play out loud as soon as ever the old”-here Billy looked at the invalid, and then at his mother—"he says he'll play out loud as soon as ever Miss Hopkinson is well, or else dead!”
"Pray how did you leave Miss Hopkinson, ma'am," inquired Mr. Tweedy, about an hour afterwards, of a female whom he met at the foot of the stairs.
“Miss Hopkinson, sir !-oh, you horrid, wicked wretch! you unfeeling monster!"--and totally forgetting the weak nerves of her friend, the indignant Miss Filby rushed past the New Lodger, darted along the passage, let herself out, and slammed the street-door behind her with a bang that shook Miss Hopkinson in her chair.
In a deep and hollow tone;
By her lurid light that shone.
And his heart was sick with care ;
Though he follow'd her everywhere.
And breath'd a fervent prayer ;
He mark'd a stranger there.
Wrapp'd high in a sable shroud ;
The while his heart beat loud.
Who cannot be known to thee;
With the sweetest melody.' “I'll furnish the requeim, then," he cried,
“When this moon has waned away." The stranger bowed, yet no word replied, But fled like the shade on a mountain's side,
When the sun-light hides its ray.
And his heart beat high with fear;
In the dark, chill sepulchre:
And his breast grew faint within ;
The flame that was flickering.
While the days and nights were one:
'Tis best thy will be done ! ”
He gaz'd on his lov'd one, who cherish'd him well,
And weepingly hung o'er him :
On the notes of this requiem!”
The stranger appear'd once more:
SCENE FROM “AS YOU LIKE IT."
Clo. Salutation and greeting to you all.
Jaq. Good, my lord, bid him welcome. This is the motley-minded gentleman that I have so often met in the forest : he hath been a courtier, he swears.
Clo. If any man doubt that, let him put me to my purgation: I have trod a measure, I have flattered a lady, I have been politic with my friend, smooth with my enemy, I have undone three tailors, I have had four quarrels, and had like to have fought one.
Jaq. And how was that ta'en up ?
Jaq. How the seventh cause ? Good, my lord, like this fellow.
well. Clo. I press in here, sir, amongst the rest of the country copulatives. Rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a poor house, as your pearl in your foul oyster.
Duke. By my honour, he is very swift and sententious.
Jaq. But for the seventh cause—how did you find the quarrel on the seventh cause ?
Clo. Upon a lie seven times removed: as thus, sir :-I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier's beard; he sent me word-if I said his beard was not well cut, he was in the mind it was: this is called the retort courteous. If I sent him word again it was not cut well, he would send me word he cut it to please himself: this is called the quip modest. If again it was not well cut, he disabled my judgment: this is called the reply churlish.
If again it was not well cut, he would answer I spake not true : this is called the reproof valiant. If again it was not well cut, he would say I lied: this is called the countercheck quarrelsome; and so the lie circumstantial, and the lie direct.
Jaq. And how oft did you say his beard was not well cut ?
Clo. I durst go no farther than the lie circumstantial, and he durst not give me the lie direct; and so we met, measured swords, and parted.
Jaq. Can you nominate in order, now, the degrees of the lie?
Clo. O, sir, we quarrel in print, by the book, as you have books for good manners. I will name you the degrees. The first, the retort courteous; the second, the quip modest; the third, the reply churlish ; the fourth, the reproof valiant; the fifth, the countercheck quarrelsome; the sixth, the lie with circumstance; the seventh, the lie direct. All these you may avoid but the lie direct; and you may avoid that, too, with an “If;" as, “If you said so, then I said so :" "O, ho, did you so. So they shook hands, and swore brothers. Your “If” is the only peacemaker ; much virtue in “If."
Jaq. Is not this a rare fellow, my lord ? He's good at anything, and yet a fool.
Duke. He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that, he shoots his wit.
THE DEATH OF NAPOLEON.
Wild was the night-yet a wilder night
Hung round the soldier's pillow;
Than the fight on the wrathful billow.
The few that his stern heart cherish'd ;
That life had nearly perish'd.
By the order hastily spoken,
And the nations' hosts were broken.
And triumph'd the Frenchman's “eagle;'
Like the hare before the beagle.
The Prussian's camp was routed ;
His mighty armies shouted.
At the pyramids—at the mountain ;
And by the Italian fountain :