Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

their horses between them, and reminded them that the laws of the tournament did not, on the present occasion, permit this species of encounter.

66

"We shall meet again, I trust," said the Templar, casting a resentful glance at his antagonist; "and where there are none to separate us!"-"If we do not," said the Disinherited Knight, "the fault shall not be mine. On foot or horseback, with spear, with axe, or with sword, I am alike ready to encounter thee." More and angrier words would have been exchanged, but the marshals, crossing their lances betwixt them, compelled them to separate. The Disinherited Knight returned to his first station, and BoisGuilbert to his tent, where he remained for the rest of the day, in an agony of despair.

Without alighting from his horse, the conqueror called for a bowl of wine, and opening the beaver, or lower part of his helmet, announced that he quaffed it "To all true English hearts, and to the confusion of foreign tyrants." He then commanded his trumpet to sound a defiance to the challengers, and desired a herald to announce to them that he should make no election, but was willing to encounter them in the order in which they pleased to advance against him.

The gigantic Front-de-Boeuf, armed in sable armour, was the first who took the field. He bore on a white shield a black bull's head, half defaced by the numerous encounters which he had undergone, and bearing the arrogant motto, Cave, Adsum.* Over this champion the Disinherited Knight obtained a slight but decisive advantage. Both champions broke their lances fairly; but Front-de-Boeuf, who lost a stirrup in the encounter, was adjudged to have the disadvantage.

In the stranger's third encounter, with Sir Philip Malvoisin, he was equally successful; striking that baron so forcibly on the casque, that the laces of the helmet broke, and Malvoisin-only saved from falling by being unhelmed-was declared vanquished, like his companions.

In his fourth encounter, with De Grantmesnil, the Disinherited Knight showed as much courtesy as he had hitherto evinced courage and dexterity. De Grantmesnil's horse, which was young and violent, reared and plunged in the course of the career so as to disturb the rider's aim; and the stranger, declining to take the advantage which this accident afforded him, raised the lance, and passing his antagonist without touching him, wheeled his horse and rode again to his own end of the lists, offering his antagonist, by a herald, the chance of a second encounter.

This De Grantmesnil declined, avowing himself vanquished as much by the courtesy as by the address of his opponent. Ralph de Vipont summed up the list of the stranger's triumphs, being hurled to the ground with such force that the blood gushed from his nose and his mouth, and he was borne senseless from the lists. The

"Take care,-I am here!"

acclamations of thousands applauded the unanimous award of the prince and marshals, announcing that day's honours to the Disinherited Knight.

Mill Waddle.

COLMAN,

THE younger of that name, was born 1733, and died 1794, highly celebrated as a wit and a dramatist.

Who has e'er been in London, that overgrown place,
Has seen "Lodgings to Let" stare him full in the face.
Some are good, and let dearly; while some, 'tis well known,
Are so dear, and so bad, they are best let alone.
Will Waddle, whose temper was studious and lonely,
Hired lodgings that took single gentlemen only;
But Will was so fat he appeared like a tun,—
Or like two single gentlemen rolled into one.

He entered his rooms, and to bed he retreated;
But all the night long he felt fevered and heated;
And though heavy to weigh as a score of fat sheep,
He was not, by any means, heavy to sleep.
Next night 'twas the same, and the next, and the next;
He perspired like an ox; he was nervous and vexed;
Week passed after week; till, by weekly succession,
His weakly condition was past all expression,

In six months his acquaintance began much to doubt him;
For his skin "like a lady's loose gown" hung about him;
He sent for a doctor, and cried, like a ninny,

66

66

"I have lost many pounds-make me well-there's a guinea.”
The doctor looked wise; a slow fever," he said;
Prescribed sudorifics and going to bed.
"Sudorifics in bed," exclaimed Will, are humbugs!
I've enough of them there without paying for drugs!"
Will kicked out the doctor; but, when ill indeed,
E'en dismissing the doctor don't always succeed;
So, calling his host, he said, “Sir, do you know,
I'm the fat single gentleman six months ago?
Look'e, landlord, I think," argued Will, with a grin,
"That with honest intentions you first took me in:
But from the first night-and to say it I'm bold-
I've been so hanged hot, that I'm sure I caught cold."

Quoth the landlord, “Till now, I ne'er had a dispute;
I've let lodgings ten years; I'm a baker to boot;
In airing your sheets, sir, my wife is no sloven;
And your bed is immediately over my oven."
"The oven!" says Will. Says the host, "Why this passion?

In that excellent bed died three people of fashion.

Why so crusty, good sir ?"—" Zounds!" cries Will, in a taking, "Who wouldn't be crusty, with half a year's baking?"

Will paid for his rooms; cried the host, with a sneer, "Well, I see you've been going away half a year." "Friend, we can't well agree; yet no quarrel," Will said; "But I'd rather not perish while you make your bread."

Ode on a distant Prospect of Eton College.

GRAY.

BORN in London, 1716; educated at Eton College; and distinguished both as a scholar and a poet. He died in 1771.

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
Ah, fields beloved in vain!

As, waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to soothe,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.

[ocr errors]

Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
A stranger yet to pain!

I feel the gales, that from ye blow,
A momentary bliss bestow,

[merged small][graphic]

While some, on earnest business bent,
Their murm'ring labours ply

'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint, To sweeten liberty:

Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,

And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,

And snatch a fearful joy.

[blocks in formation]

Alas! regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come,
No care beyond to-day;

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

These shall the fury Passions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,

And Shame that skulks behind:
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,

That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim-visaged comfortless Despair,

And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy.

The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,

That mocks the tear it forced to flow; And keen Remorse with blood defiled, And moody Madness laughing wild Amid severest woe.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »