« ZurückWeiter »
stand forth and say it. If there be three in all your company dare face me on the bloody sands, let them come on. And yet I was not always thus—a hired butcher, a savage chief of still more savage men !
My ancestors came from old Sparta, and settled among the vine-clad rocks and citron groves of Cyrasella. My early life ran quiet as the brooks by which I sported; and when, at noon, I gathered the sheep beneath the shade, and played upon the shepherd's flute, there was a friend, the son of a neighbor, to join me in the pastime. We led our flocks in the same pasture, and partook together our rustic meal.
One evening, after the sheep were folded, and we were all seated beneath the myrtle which shaded our cottage, my grandsire, an old man, was telling of Marathon and Leuctra ; and how, in ancient times, a little band of Spartans, in a defile of the mountains, had withstood a. whole army. I did not then know what war was; but my cheeks burned, I knew not why, and I clasped the knees of that venerable man until my mother, parting the hair from off my forehead, kissed my throbbing temples, and bade me go to rest, and think no more of those old tales and savage wars. That very night the Romans landed on our coast. I saw the breast that had nourished me trampled by the hoof of the war-horse; the bleeding body of my father flung amid the blazing rafters of our dwelling!
To-day I killed a man in the arena ; and, when I broke his helmet-clasps, behold! he was my friend. He knew me, smiled faintly, gasped, and died—the same sweet smile upon his lips that I had marked when, in adventurous boyhood, we scaled the lofty cliff to pluck the first ripe grapes and bear them home in childish triumph! I told the pretor that the dead man had been
my friend, generous and brave; and I begged that I might bear away the body, to burn it on the funeral pile, and mourn over its ashes. Ay! upon my knees, amid the dust and blood of the arena, I begged that poor boon, while all the assembled maids and matrons, and the holy virgins they call Vestals, and the rabble shouted in derision, deeming it rare sport, forsooth, to see Rome's fiercest gladiator turn pale and tremble at sight of that piece of bleeding clay! And the pretor drew back as I were pollution, and sternly said—“Let the carrion rot; there are no noble men but Romans !" And so, fellow-gladiators, must you, and so must I, die like dogs.
O Rome! Rome! thou hast been a tender nurse to me. Ay! thou hast given to that poor, gentle, timid shepherd-lad, who never knew a harsher tone than a flute-note, muscles of iron and a heart of flint; taught him to drive the sword through plaited mail and links of rugged brass, and warm it in the marrow of his foe: to gaze into the glaring eye-balls of the fierce Numidian lion even as a boy upon a laughing-girl! And he shall pay thee back, until the yellow Tiber is red as frothing wine, and in its deepest ooze thy life-blood lies curdled.
Ye stand here now like giants, as ye are! The strength of brass is in your toughened sinews; but tomorrow some Roman Adonis, breathing sweet perfume from his curly locks, shall with his lily fingers pat your red brawn, and bet his sestérces upon your blood. Hark! hear ye yon lion roaring in his den? 'Tis three days since he tasted flesh; but tomorrow he shall break his fast upon yours—and a dainty meal for him ye will be!
If ye are beasts, then stand here like fat oxen, waiting for the butcher's knife! If ye are men-follow me! Strike down yon guard, gain the mountain passes, and there do bloody work, as did your sires at old Thermopylæ! Is Sparta dead? Is the old Grecian spirit frozen in your veins, that you do couch and cower like a belabored hound beneath his master's lash ? O comrades ! warriors ! Thracians !--if we must fight, let us fight for our selves ! If we must slaughter, let us slaughter our oppressors! If we must die, let it be under the clear sky, by the bright waters, in noble, honorable battle !
MR. ORATOR PUFF had two tones in his voice, 11 The one squeaking thus, and the other down so, In each sentence he uttered he gave you your choice; For one-half was B alt, and the rest G below.
0, Orator Puff,
One voice for an orator's surely enough! But he still talked away, 'spite of coughs and of frowns, So distracting all ears with his ups and his downs, That a wag once, on hearing the orator say,– “My voice is for war," asked him,—“Which of them,
O, Orator Puff,
One voice for an orator's surely enough! Reeling homeward one evening, top-heavy with gin, And rehearsing his speech on the weight of the
crown, He tripped near a sawpit, and tumbled right in, “Sinking fund,” the last words as his noddle came
O, Orator Puff,
“Oh! save !” he exclaimed, in his he-and-she tones, “Help me out! help me out! I have broken my bones!” “Help you out!” said a Paddy, who passed, “what a
bother! Why, there's two of you there; can't you help one
0, Orator Puff,
TO A CHRISTMAS PUDDING.
RB from a chaos of good things evolved,
Rounded, while plastic, in a tightened rag; Globe whose creation's not in doubt involved,
Whose mold and matrix was a pudding bag, No sphere of which astronomy can brag
Compares with thine. Perchance the sun may be A world half fire, half scoria and slag,
Or it may not: what is the sun to me,
Since for my system's center I have thee ?
Work of a culinary Providence.
Fluid and solid to a batter dense
Such was thy origin. Upon my life,
Toward thee I yearn, thou orb with richness rife,
“Planned, ordered, and perfected" by my wife.. Probers of earth, geologists, avaunt!
With all your strata-granite, flint, or slate; Look at this“ fissure,” as with knife aslant
The “spotted globe ” I glibly excavate.
What's your "formation of remotest date,"
Compared with this but now together thrown?
Is it not worth—the soft impeachment own-
Sir Isaac Newton was a wondrous man,
So was Galileo, ditto Tycho Brahe;
And how to cook the public up a star.
What was their spice of learning good for ?-say?
From “Charles's Wain," our beeves derive no hay,
Send your philosophers with me to dine,
I'll teach them something that will do them good-
And that a dinner, rightly understood,
But Taste's rich offering, worth its weight in gold.
Are worth one segment from thy circle rolled.
USD) a Horth its conclude old
WILL THE NEW YEAR COME TO-NIGHT? WILL the New Year come tonight, mamma? I'm
tired of waiting so, My stocking hung by the chimney side full three long