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“Im-posseeble !" “Ah,—which is the bust and which is the pedestal ?” “ Santa Maria !-zis ze bust !-zis ze pedestal !”
“Ah, I see, I see,-happy combination,—very happy combination, indeed. Is—is this the first time this gen. tleman was ever on a bust ?”
That joke was lost on the foreigner,-guides cannot master the subtleties of the American joke.
We have made it interesting for this Roman guide. Yesterday we spent three or four hours in the Vatican again, that wonderful world of curiosities. We came very near expressing interest sometimes, even admiration. It was hard to keep from it. We succeeded, though. Nobody else ever did in the Vatican museums. The guide was bewildered, nonplussed. He walked his legs off, nearly, hunting up extraordinary things, and exhausted all his ingenuity on us, but it was a failure; we never showed any interest in anything. He had reserved what he considered to be his greatest wonder till the last,
-a royal Egyptian mummy, the best preserved in the world, perhaps. He took us there. He felt so sure this time that some of his old enthusiasm came back to him: “See, gentleemen !—Mummy! Mummy!"
The eye-glass came up as calmly, as deliberately as ever.
“Ah,-Ferguson,-what did I understand you to say the gentleman's name was ?”
“Name?--he got no name !—Mummy!—'Gyptian mummy!"
“Yes, yes. Born here ?” “No. 'Gyptian mummy.” “Ah, just so. Frenchman, I presume ?” “No! Not Frenchman, not Roman! Born in Egypta !” “Born in Egypta. Never heard of Egypta before. Foreign locality, likely. Mummy,-mummy. How calm he is, how self-possessed ! Is—ah !-is he dead ?” “Oh, sacré bleu! been dead three thousan’ year!” The doctor turned on him savagely:“Here, now, what do you mean by such conduct as this? Playing us for Chinamen, because we are strangers and trying to learn! Trying to impose your vile secondhand carcasses on us! Thunder and lightning! I've a notion to-to-if you've got a nice, fresh corpse fetch him out !--or we'll brain you !"
However, he has paid us back partly, and without knowing it. He came to the hotel this morning to ask if we were up, and he endeavered, as well as he could, to describe us, so that the landlord would know which persons he meant. He finished with the casual remark that we were lunatics. The observation was so innocent and so honest that it amounted to a very good thing for a guide to say.
Our Roman Ferguson is the most patient, unsuspecting, long-suffering subject we have had yet. We shall be sorry to part with him. We have enjoyed his society very much. We trust he has enjoyed ours, but we are harassed with doubts.—Mark Twain.
FORTY YEARS AGO. T’VE wandered to the village, Tom, I've sat beneath 1 the tree, Upon the school-house play-ground, that sheltered you
and me; But none were left to greet me, Tom; and few were left
to know, Who played with us upon the green, some forty years ago.
The grass is just as green, Tom; bare-footed boys at play Were sporting, just as we did then, with spirits just as gay. But the“ master” sleeps upon the hill, which, coated o'er'
with snow, ,Afforded us a sliding-place, some forty years ago.
Tha old school-house is altered now; the benches are
replaced By new ones, very like the same our penknives once
defaced ; Br: the same old bricks are in the wall, the bell swings
to and fro;. Its music's just the same, dear Tom, 'twas forty years ago.
The boys were playing some old game, beneath that same
old tree; I have forgot the name just now,-you've played the
same with me, On that same spot; 'twas played with knives, by throw
ing so and so; The loser had a task to do,—there, forty years ago.
The river's running just as still; the willows on its side Are larger than they were, Tom; the stream appears less
wide; But the grape-vine swing is ruined now, where once we
played the beau, And swung our sweethearts,-pretty girls, just forty
The spring that bubbled 'neath the hill, close by the
spreading beech, Is very low,—'twas then so high that we could scarcely
And, kneeling down to get a drink, dear Tom, I started so To see how sadly I am changed, since forty years ago.
Near by that spring, upon an elm, you know I cut your
name, Your sweetheart's just beneath it, Tom, you did mine
the same; Some heartless wretch has peeled the bark, 'twas dying
sure but slow, Just as she died, whose name you cut, some forty years ago.
My lids have long been dry, Tom, but tears came to my
eyes; I thought of her I loved so well, those early broken ties. I visited the old church-yard, and took some flowers to
strow Upon the graves of those we loved, some forty years ago.
Some are in the church-yard laid, some sleep beneath
the sea; But few are left of our old class, excepting you and me: And when our time shall come, Tom, and we are called
I hope they'll lay us where we played, just forty years ago.
EVENING AT THE FARM.
OVER the hill the farm-boy goes,
His shadow lengthens along the land,
The early dews are falling;
Into the stone heap darts the mink;
“ Co', boss! co', boss! co'l co'! co’!"' Farther, farther, over the hill, Faintly calling, calling still,
“Co', boss! co', boss! co'l co'!"
Into the yard the farmer goes,
The cooling dews are falling:
His cattle calling:
“Co', boss ! co', boss! co’! co’! co’l". While still the cow-boy, far away, Goes seeking those that have gone astray
“Co’, boss! co', boss! co', co’!” Now to her task the milkmaid goes, The cattle come crowding through the gate, Lowing, pushing, little and great; About the trough, by the farm-yard pump, The frolicksome yearlings frisk and jump,
While the pleasant dews are falling: The new milch heifer is quick and shy, But the old cow waits with tranquil eye,