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THE WELI OF ST. KEYNE.—(Southey.) A WELL there is in the west country, and a clearer one never was seen ; there is not a wife in the west country, but has heard of the Well of St. Keyne. An oak and an elm-tree stand beside, and behind does an ash-tree grow, and a willow from the bank above droops to the water below.
A traveller came to the Well of St. Keyne ; joyfully he drew nigh, for from cock-crow he had been travelling, and there was not a cloud in the sky. He drank of the water so cool and clear, for thirsty and hot was he; and he sat him down upon the bank, under the willow tree.
There came a man from the neighbouring town, at the Well to fill his pail ; on the Well-side he rested it, and he bade the stranger hail. Now, art thou a bachelor, stranger ?” quoth he ; " for an' if thou hast a wife, the happiest draught thou hast drunk this day that ever thou didst in thy life: or has thy good woman if one thou hast-ever here in Cornwall been? for, an' if she have, I'll venture my life she has drunk of the Well of St. Keyne." "I have left a good woman who never was here,” the stranger he made reply; " but that my draught should be better for that, I pray you answer me why.” “St. Keyne," quoth the Cornish-man, “ many a time drank of this crystal Well, and before the angel summoned her, she laid on the water a spell :if the husband, of this gifted Well shall drink before his wife, a happy man henceforth is he, for he shall be master for life ; but if the wife should drink of it first,-heaven help the husband then!” The stranger stooped to the Well of St. Keyne, and drank of the water again. “You drank of the Well, I warrant, betimes ?” he to the Cornish-man said: but the Cornish-man smiled as the stranger spake, and sheepishly shook his head : “ I hastened as soon as the wedding was done, and left my wife in the porch ; but i'faith ! she had been wiser than I, for SHE TOOK A BOTTLE TO CHURCH.
MEDDLESOME MATTY.—(Jane Jaylor.)
The sweetest and the best!
One ugly trick possessed,
Hid all her better qualities.
To peep at what was in it,
But turn your back a minute :
This trick of meddling grew so much.
And by mistake she laid
Too near the little maid ;-
As soon as Grandmamma is gone."
The glasses large and wide,
The snuff box too she spied ;-
I'll open it,” said little Miss.
Don't meddle with it, dear,'
And no one else is near;
In opening such a box as this ?"
To move the stubborn lid,
The mighty mischief did;
For all at once, ah, woeful case !
The snuff came puffing in her face.
A dismal sight presented ;
Sincerely she repented ;
She could do nothing else but sneeze.
To wipe her tingling eyes,
Her Grandmamma she spies ;-
Cries Grandmamma, with lifted brow.
And tingling still and sore,
From ever meddling more ;
She ever since has kept her word. THE SAILOR Boy's FAREWELL.-(Anon.) FAREWELL to Father, blesséd hulk ! in spite of metal, spite of bulk, his cable soon may slip; yet while the parting tear is moist, the flag of gratitude I'll hoist, in duty to the ship. Farewell to Mother, first-class she! who launched me on life's stormy sea, and rigged me fore and aft; may Providence her timbers spare,
and keep her hull in good repair, to tow the smaller craft. Farewell to sister, lovely yacht! but whether she'll be manned or not, I cannot now foresee ; may some good ship a tender prove,—well found in stores of love, and take her under lee. Farewell to George, the jolly boat, and all the little craft afloat in home's delightful bay; when they arrive at sailing age, may wisdom prove the weather-gauge, and guide them on their way. Farewell to all on life's rude main ! and though we
ne'er should meet again, through stress of stormy weather; yet, summoned by the Board above, we'll harbour in the Port of Love, and all be moored together.
APOLOGY FOR THE PIG.—(Southey.) JACOB ! I do not love to see thy nose turned up
in scornful curve at yonder pig. It would be well, my friend, if we, like him, were perfect in our kind. And why despise the sow-born grunter ? He is obstinate," thou answerest : ugly; and the filthiest beast that banquets upon offal.”
Now, I pray thee hear the pig's counsel. Is he obstinate? We must not, Jacob, be deceived by words, by sophist sounds. A democratic beast-he knows that his unmerciful drivers seek their profit, and not his. He hath not learned that pigs were made for man, born to be brawned and baconized. And for his ugliness-nay, Jacob, look at him ; those eyes have taught the lover flattery. Behold his tail, my friend; with curls.like that, the wanton hop marries her stately spouse. And what is beauty but the aptitude of parts harmonious ? Give thy fancy scope, and thou wilt find that no imagined change can beautify the beast. All would but mar his pig perfection.
The last charge,-he lives a dirty life. Here I could shelter him with precedents right reverend and noble ; and show, by sanction of authority, that it is a very honourable thing to thrive by dirty ways. But let me rest, on better ground, the unanswerable defence. The pig is a philosopher, who knows no prejudice. Dirt ? Jacob, what is dirt ? If matter, why, the delicate dish that tempts the o'ergorged epicure is nothing more. And—there, that breeze pleads with me, and has won thee to the smile that speaks conviction. O'er yon blossomed field of beans it came—and thoughts of bacon rise !
THE GLUTTONOUS DUCK.—Miss Taylor.) A DUCK once had got such a habit of stuffing, That all the day long she was panting and puffing ; And, by every creature who did her great crop see, Was thought to be galloping fast for the dropsy. One day, after eating a plentiful dinner,With full twice as much as there should have been in her,Whilst up to the eyes in a gutter a-roking She was greatly alarmed by the symptoms of choking ! There was an old fellow, much famed for discerning, A Drake-who had taken a liking for learning; And high in respect with his feathery friends, Was called Doctor Drake:—for this doctor she sends. In a hole in the dunghill was Dr. Drake's shop, Where he kept a few simples for curing the crop ;Small pebbles, and two or three different gravels, With certain famed plants he had found in his travels. “Dear sir,” said the duck with a delicate quack,-Just turning a little way round on her back, And leaning her head on a stone in the yard ; “My case, Dr. Drake, is exceedingy hard. “I feel so distended with wind, and oppressed, So squeamish and faint, such a load at my chest : And day after day, it certainly is hard To suffer with patience these pains in my gizzard !” “Give me leave,” said the Doctor with medical look, As her cold flabby paw in his fingers he took ;
By the feel of your pulse, your complaint, I am thinking, Must surely be owing to eating and drinking !" “Oh no, sir! believe me!” the lady replied, Quite alarmed for her stomach, as well as her pride; " I am sure, it arises from nothing I eat, But I rather suspect
I got wet in