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We missed him on our seaward walk :
The children went no more To listen to his evening talk,
Beside the cottage door ; Grim palsy held him to the bed,
Which health eschewed before.
Beheld him weaker grow;
Became more faint and slow;
Life's fire was burning low.
Till frail as frail could be ;
Homeward the bird and bee,
To gaze upon the sea. And now he watched the moving boat,
And now the moveless ships, And now the western hills remote,
With gold upon their tips, As ray by ray the mighty sun
Went down in calm eclipse.
Of pilgrim, travel-tired,
A thing to be desired ;
EXERCISE.-72. PARSING, ETC. 1. Write out the words containing diphthongs in the first five verses underlining the diphthongs.
2. Name the nouns in the objective in the second five verses, and say what governs them. 3. Parse syntactically the last four verses. 4. Analyse the eighteenth and nineteenth verses. 5. Select the nouns in apposition from the whole poem, and state their
AN ADVENTURE IN CALABRIA.
re-mu-ne-ra-tion [L. re, back; munus, a gift), payment, reward, recompense for any service.com-pan-ion (F. compagnon, from con, together; panis, bread], an associatē, a partner, fellow traveller. contra-ry (L. contra, against], opposite, on the other hand. I was once travelling in Calabria, a land of wicked people who, I believe, hate every one, and particularly the
French ; the reason why would take long to tell you. Suffice it to say that they mortally hate us, and that one gets on very badly when he falls into their hands.
In the mountains of Calabria, which forms the southern extremity of Italy, the roads are precipices, and our horses got on with much difficulty. My companion went first; a path, which appeared to him shorter and more practicable, led us astray. It was my fault. Ought I to have trusted to a head only twenty years old ? Whilst daylight lasted, we tried to find our way through the wood; but the more we tried, the more bewildered we became, and it was pitch dark when we arrived at a very black-looking house.
We entered, not without fear, but what could we do? We found a whole family of charcoal-burners at table. They immediately invited us to join them. My companion did not wait to be pressed. There we were, eating and drinking; he at least, for I was examining the place and the appearance of our hosts.
Although our hosts were merely charcoal-burners, you would have taken the house for an arsenal. There was nothing but guns, pistols, swords, knives, and cutlasses. Everything displeased me, and I saw very well that I displeased them. My companion, on the contrary, was quite one of the family; he laughed and talked with them, and, with an imprudence that I ought to have foreseen, he told at once where we came from, where we were going, and that we were Frenchmen. Just imagine! amongst our most mortal enemies, alone, out of our road, so far from all human succour, and then, to omit nothing that might ruin us, he played the rich man, and promised to give the next morning, as a remuneration to these people and to our guides, whatever they wished. Then he spoke of his portmanteau, begging them to take care of it, and to put it at the head of his bed—he did not wish, he said, for any other pillow. O youth, youth, you are to be pitied. One would have thought that we carried the crown diamonds. Supper over, they left us.
Our hosts slept below; we in the upper room, where we had supped. A loft raised some seven or eight feet, which was reached by a ladder, was the restingplace that awaited us—a sort of nest, into which we were to introduce ourselves by creeping under joists loaded with provisions for the year.
My companion laid himself down with his head upon the precious portmanteau. Having determined to sit up, I made a good fire, and seated myself by the side of it. The night, which had been undisturbed, was nearly over, and I began to reassure myself; when, about the time that I thought the break of day could not be far off, I heard our host and his wife talking and disputing below; and, putting my ear to the chimney which communicated with the one in the lower room, I perfectly distinguished these words, spoken by the husband : “Well, let us see, must they both be killed ?" To which the wife replied, “Yes ;" and I heard no more.
How shall I go on? I stood scarcely breathing; my body cold as marble. To have seen me, one would hardly have known if I were dead or alive. Good heavens, when I think of it now! we two almost without weapons, against twelve or fifteen who had so many, and my companion fast asleep, and half dead with fatigue !
To call him, or make a noise, I dared not; to escape alone was impossible. The window was not high ; but below were two great dogs, howling like wolves. It may be imagined in what an agony I was. At the end of a long quarter of an hour, I heard some one on the stairs, and through the crack of the door I saw the father, his lamp in one hand, and, in the other, one of his large knives. He came up, his wife after him. I was behind the door. He opened it; but, before he came in, he put down the lamp, which his wife took.
He then entered barefoot, and from outside, the woman said to him in a low voice, shading the light of the lamp
with her hand, “Softly, go softly." When he got to the ladder, he mounted it, his knife between his teeth ; and getting up as high as the bed—the poor young man lying with his throat bare—with one hand he grasped his knife, and with the other—I shall never forget the sight-seized a ham which hung from the ceiling, cut a slice from it, and retired as he had come. The door was closed again, the lamp vanished, and I was left alone with my reflections.
As soon as day appeared, they came to awaken us, as we had requested. They brought us something to eat, and gave us a very clean and very good breakfast, I assure you. Two fowls formed part of it, of which we must, said our hostess, eat one and take away the other. When I saw them, I understood the meaning of those terrible words, " Must they both be killed ?" And I think, reader, you have enough penetration to guess now what they signified.
EXERCISE.-73. MEANINGS OF WORDS. 1. Give the meanings of the following words ;-Mortally, precipices, arsenal, succour, remuneration, portmanteau, joists, fatigue, re-assure, ceiling, hostess, reflections, penetration.
2. Distinguish between the meanings of :-wear, where, wear, weir, ware; wait, weight; raised, razed; bare, bear.
3. Illustrate the different meanings that the following words may have :-well, must, fast.
READ LESSONS, MY HEART.
MATTHIAS BARR.* blight-ed (A.-S. blaecan, to bleach or whiten], withered, blasted. coun-sel (L. consilium, advice], admonition, an opinion given for the guidance of another. pru-dent [L. prudens, wise, cautious), cautious and careful in acting.
Out in the world, my heart, my heart !
Into the down-trodden paths of men;
Than ever can fall from a poet's pen.
* MATTHIAS BARR, the author of the above poem, is a young Scotch writer of promise, whose first volume of “ Poems” has been favourably noticed by both the English and Scottish press. The simplicity and tenderness of his early productions augur well for his future popularity as a poet.
Look on tne pale, on the hollow cheek,
Where the roses of youth have long been dead;
Read lessons, my heart.
Gaze on life's struggles—behold its doom!
Deeper and darker than earthly gloom ; There's work, work, work for those sinewy hands,
On which, like a shower, the sweat-drops fall; There's work, work, work from the waking of morn Till the shadows of midnight hang over all.
Be prudent, my heart!
Into the darksome dreary street ;
Beat to the plodding of weary feet.
Take counsel, my heart.
There's wisdom and beauty in every page ; 'Tis a volume, my heart, that will never grow old,
Good for the present and future age ;
Treasure the maxims its pages impart ;
Read lessons, my heart.
EXERCISE.—74. COMPOSITION. 1. Express in your own words the teaching that may be gathered from the above poem.
2. Show in what way the poem afford; a useful lesson to a boy who is about to leave school and go out into the world.
3. Prove that constant labour and active employment are more beneficial to man than a state of idleness.