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The crows like a knot of lawyers at the funeral of a rich man, were hovering near. They threatened to engross the whole skin, and make away with the personal property by conveyance.
The deceased they knew could not resist their charge, nor did they apprehend their bills would be taxed by the master.
Alack-alack! that he who had stoutly carried many a bushel, should thus fall beneath their peck. The well worn saddle, like many a better, had gone to back some other favourite of the race. The reins, too, were gone-yes, his disconsolate master, like a drunken man, had-slipped off the curb !
Wo, wo! but what avails it crying“ Wo!" unto a dead donkey? Were I thy master I would have thy portrait taken. How many an A-double-S is drawn by an R...! There is a placid docility about thy head that might supply Gall or Spurzheim with a lecture. But no cast remains to immortalize thee-albeit thy master, in thy life made many an impression with whacks !
Like a card-player, thou hast cut the pack, and left it in the hands of the dealer.
Unlike thy ragged brethren that run loose upon the common, exposing their ribs (as vulgar husbands do their wives in general company) there is a plumpness and rotundity in thy appearance, that plainly proves thee no common donkey. The smoothness of thy coat, too, shows thine owner's care. He, doubtless, liked thee (as Indians do their food) well curried !
Farewell, Edward, I exclaimed—too serious on the occasion to use the familiar epithet of Neddy.
I heard footsteps: I saw a man approaching the spot I had just quitted: he was a tall raw-boned-looking gipsey. Concealed from observation by the intervening hedge, I watched his motions.
I saw him stride across the animal. Drawing a clasp-knife from his breast, he looked wistfully around him. I had often heard of famished Russians devouring their horses. What did he meditate.
Keen hunger was depicted in his sharp countenance.
The vagrant wielded his knife-I stood breathless—the next moment I saw him cut a huge stake.
“ From the donkey ?”
THE HAUNCH OF VENISON.
AT Number One dwelt Captain Drew,
(The street we'll not now mention) The latter stunn'd the King's Bench bar, The former, being lamed in war,
Sung small upon a pension.
Tom Blewit knew them both-than he
Of culinary knowledge ;
In Mrs. Rundell's College.
Benson to dine invited Tom :
A host who 'spread' so nicely, Tom answer'd, ere the ink was dry, • Extremely happy-come on Fri
day next, at six precisely.'
Blewit, with expectation fraught,
Ideal turbot rich in ;
Down in the next-door kitchen.
Hey . zounds! what's this ? a haunch at Drew's ?
To pass were downright treason:
Zounds! it's the first this season !
• Ven'son, thou'rt mine! I'll talk no more'Then, rapping thrice at Benson's door,
John, I'm in such a hurry! Do tell your master that my aunt. Is paralytic, quite aslant,
I must be off for Surrey.'
Now Tom at next door makes a din
Drew, how d'ye do?'—What! Blewit!'
'I'm very glad you have,' said Drew, I've nothing but an Irish stew'
Quoth Tom, aside, 'No matter, 'Twon't do-my stomach's up to that,'Twill lie by, till the lucid fat
Comes quiv’ring on the platter.'
"You see your dinner, Tom,' Drew cried,
I smok'd below'-'What?'- Venson-
* Your neighbour! who ?- George Benson,
His chimney smoked ; the scene to change,
While his was newly polish'd :
I guess it's now demolish'd.
Don't sit with hands and knees up;
When next you open Æsop.'
If ever you should come to Modena,
She sits, inclining forward as to speak;
A coronet of pearls.--Alone it hangs
She was an only child-her name Ginevra ; The joy, the pride of an indulgent father. She was all gentleness, all gaiety. Her pranks the favourite theme of every tongue : And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave Her hand, and her heart with it, to Francesco.
Great was the joy; but at the nuptial feast, When all sat down, the bride herself was wanting ; Nor was she to be found! Her father cried, “ 'Tis but to make trial of our love," And fill'd his glass to all; but his hand shook; And soon from guest to guest the panic spread. 'Twas but that instant she had left Francesco, Laughing and looking back, and flying still Her ivory tooth imprinted on his finger. -But now, alas ! she was not to be found; Nor from that hour could any thing be guess'd, But that she was not.
Weary of his life, Francesco flew to Venice, and embarking, Flung it away in battle with the Turk. Orsini lived ;-and long you might have seen An old man wandering as in quest of something, Something he could not find,-he knew not what. When he was gone, the house remain'd awhile Silent and tenantless,—then went to strangers.
Full fifty years were past, and all forgottenWhen on an idle day, a day of search 'Mid the old lumber in the gallery, That mouldering chest was noticed ; and 'twas said By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra, “Why not remove it from its lurking place ?" 'Twas done as soon as said ; but, on the way, It burst-it fell ;--and lo, a skeleton ! With here and there a pearl, an emerald stone, A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold. All else had perish'd-save a wedding-ring And a small seal, her mother's legacy,
Engraven with a name, the name of both-
There, then, had she found a grave!
THE BARBER'S SHOP.
I'm a dapper little shaver,
Spoken.] Mr. Razor, says my poor deceased mother; My duck, says my father. Vy, lovy, I've been thinking as how ve should send Tony to a larned seminary, for I likes Latin-A little larning is a dangerous thing—drink deep, or a fig for larning, says my father ; or if he larns any thing, let him larn to shave, and as to drinking deep, he'll larn that of his father. So instead of being a man of letters, I can barely tell them, and am left with all my imperfections on my head, to shave, dress hair, comb wigs, and retail Day and Martin's blacking, Russia oil, pomatum, and powder, and instead of wearing a counsellor's wig, to be constantly employed in keeping it in curl, while the only bar I ever pleaded at is the bar of old Score'em, though I generally contrive to pay my way; I wish every tradesman could put his hand to his heart and say as much—we should then see fewer dividends of a shilling in the pound, and the credit of old England keep up its ancient vigour.
So, with scissors, comb, and lather
The barber's shop,
The barber's shop,