Page images


“ My boy!”—said he, “ amidst this motley crew

Of Georgians, Russians, Nubians, and what not, All ragamuffins differing but in hue,

With whom it is our luck to cast our lot, The only gentlemen seem I and you ;

So let us be acquainted, as we ought: If I could yield you any consolation,

[nation?” 'Twould give me pleasure.--Pray, what is your


When Juan answer'd—“ Spanish !” he replied,

“ I thought, in fact, you could not be a Greek; Those servile dogs are not so proudly eyed :

Fortune has play'd you here a pretty freak, But that's her way with all men, till they ’re tried;

But never mind,-she'll turn, perhaps, next week; She has served me also much the same as you, Except that I have found it nothing new.”


“ Pray, sir," said Juan, “if I may presume, [rare

What brought you here?”—“Oh! nothing very Six Tartars and a drag-chain. .66 To this doom

But what conducted, if the question's fair, Is that which I would learn.". “ I served for some

Months with the Russian army here and there, And taking lately, by Suwarrow's bidding, A town, was ta'en myself instead of Widdin." (1)

(1) [Widdin is a considerable town in Bulgaria, situated on the right bank of the Danube.]


“ Have you no friends ?”—“I had—but, by God's

blessing, Have not been troubled with them lately. Now I have answer'd all your questions without pressing,

And you an equal courtesy should show." “ Alas !” said Juan, “'twere a tale distressing, And long besides.”

“ Oh! if 'tis really so, You're right on both accounts to hold your tongue; A sad tale saddens doubly, when 'tis long.


“ But droop not: Fortune at your time of life,

Although a female moderately fickle,
Will hardly leave you (as she's not your wife)

For any length of days in such a pickle.
To strive, too, with our fate were such a strife

As if the corn-sheaf should oppose the sickle :
Men are the sport of circumstances, when
The circumstances seem the sport of men.”


" 'Tis not,” said Juan, “ for my present doom

I mourn, but for the past;-I loved a maid :"
He paused, and his dark eye grew full of gloom;

A single tear upon his eyelash staid
A moment, and then dropp'd; “ but to resume,

'Tis not my present lot, as I have said,
Which I deplore so much; for I have borne
Hardships which have the hardiest overworn, (1)

(1) [MS.

“ for I have known Hardships which hardy men have overthrown."] VOL. XVI.



“ On the rough deep. But this last blow _" and

He stopp'd again, and turn'd away his face. [here “Ay," quoth his friend, "I thought it would appear

That there had been a lady in the case;
And these are things which ask a tender tear,(1)

Such as I, too, would shed if in your place:
I cried upon my first wife's dying day,
And also when my second ran away:


My third

-"_“Your third !” quoth Juan, turn

ing round; “ You scarcely can be thirty: have you three ?" “ No-only two at present above ground:

Surely 't is nothing wonderful to see One person thrice in holy wedlock bound !” (she?

“Well, then, your third," said Juan; what did She did not run away, too,—did she, sir ?” [her.” “ No, faith.” .66 What then?”


6 I

ran away


your sky,

“ You take things coolly, sir,” said Juan. “ Why,"

Replied the other, “ what can a man do? There still are many rainbows in

But mine have vanish'd. All, when life is new, Commence with feelings warm, and prospects high;

But time strips our illusions of their hue, And one by one in turn, some grand mistake Casts off its bright skin yearly like the snake.

(2) [MS. -" And these are things that oft demand a tear.”]


“ 'Tis true, it gets another bright and fresh,

Or fresher, brighter ; but the year gone through, This skin must go the way, too, of all flesh,

Or sometimes only wear a week or two;Love's the first net which spreads its deadly mesh;

Ambition, Avarice, Vengeance, Glory, glue The glittering lime-twigs of our latter days, Where still we futter on for pence or praise.”


“ All this is very fine, and may

be true," Said Juan ; “ but I really don't see how It betters present times with me or you.”

“ No?" quoth the other; " yet you will allow By setting things in their right point of view,

Knowledge, at least, is gain'd; for instance, now, We know what slavery is, and our disasters May teach us better to behave when masters.”


“ Would we were masters now, if but to try

Their present lessons on our Pagan friends here," Said Juan---swallowing a heart-burning sigh:() “ Heaven help the scholar whom his fortune sends

here !" “ Perhaps we shall be one day, by and by," [here ;

Rejoin'd the other, “ when our bad luck mends Meantime (yon old black eunuch seems to eye us) I wish to G-d that somebody would buy us !(?) (1) [MS. “ Said Juan, swallowing down a rising sigh."] (2) [MS. —" !Twould be { }if

if somebody would buy us.”]

as well no worse


“ But after all, what is our present state ?

'Tis bad, and may be better-all men's lot: Most men are slaves, none more so than the great,

To their own whims and passions, and what not; Society itself, which should create

Kindness, destroys what little we had got:
To feel for none is the true social art
Of the world's stoics — men without a heart.”


Just now a black old neutral personage

Of the third sex stept up, and peering over The captives seem'd to mark their looks and age,

And capabilities, as to discover
If they were fitted for the purposed cage :

No lady e'er is ogled by a lover,
Horse by a blackleg, broadcloth by a tailor,
Fee by a counsel, felon by a jailor, (1)


As is a slave by his intended bidder.(2)

'Tis pleasant purchasing our fellow-creatures; And all are to be sold, if you consider

Their passions, and are dextrous; some by features

(1) [MS.

-“ broad cloth by a tailor, Fee by physician, felon by a jailor.”] (2) [" The intended bidders minutely examine the poor creatures merely to ascertain their qualities as animals, select the sleekest and best-condi. tioned from the different groups; and, besides handling and examining their make and size, subject their mouths, their teeth, and whatever chiefly engages attention, to a scrutiny of the most critical description."


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »