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The aged Beggar in the woody lane, Shouts to him from behind; and, if perchance The old Man does not change his course, the boy Turns with less noisy wheels to the road-side, And passes gently by--without a curse Upon his lips, or anger at his heart. He travels on, a solitary Man, His age has no companion. On the ground His eyes are turned, and, as he moves along, They move along the ground ; and evermore, Instead of common and habitual sight Of fields with rural works, of hill and dale And the blue sky, one little span of earth Is all his prospect. Thus, from day to day, Bowbent, his eyes for ever on the ground, He plies his weary journey ; seeing still, And never knowing that he sees, some straw, Some scattered leaf, or marks, which in one track, The nails of cart or chariot-wheel have left Impressed on the white road, in the same line, At distance still the same. Poor Traveller ! His staff trails with him ; scarcely does his feet Disturb the summer dust ; he is so still In look and motion, that the cottage curs, Ere he have passed the door, will turn away, Weary of barking at him. Boys and girls, The vacant and the busy, maids and youths, And urchins newly breeched-all pass him by : Him even the slow-paced waggon leaves behind.
But deem not this man useless.Statesmen! ye
Among the farms and solitary huts,
Yet further.—Many, I believe, there are
In this cold abstinence from evil deeds,
Then let him pass, a blessing on his head !
And let him where and when he will, sit down
A GOOD OLD MAN.
A GOOD old man, is the best antiquity, and which we may with least vanity admire. One whom time hath been thus long working, and like winter fruit, ripened, when others are shaken down. He hath taken out as many lessons of the world as days, and learnt the best thing in it—the vanity of it. He looks over his former life as a danger well past, and would not hazard himself to begin again. His last was long broken before his body, and yet he is glad this temptation is broke too, and that he is fortified from it by his weakness. The next door of death sads him not, but he expects it calmly as his turn of nature, and fears more his recoiling back to childishness than dust. All men look on him as a common father, and on old age, for his sake, as a reverend thing. His very presence and face puts vice out of countenance, and makes it an indecorum in a vicious man. He practises his experience upon youth without the harshness of reproof, and in his counsel is good company. He has some old stories still, of his own seeing, to confirm what he says, and makes them better in the telling; yet is not troublesome neither with the same tale again, but remembers with them how oft he has told them. His old sayings and morals seem proper to his beard, and the poetry of Cato does well out of his mouth, and he speaks it as if he were the author. He is not apt to put the boy on a younger man, nor the fool on a boy, but can distinguish gravity from a sour look, and the less testy he is, the more regarded. You must pardon him if he like his own times better than these, because those things are follies to him now, that were wisdom then ; yet he makes us of that opinion too when we see him, and conjecture those times by so good a relick. He is a man capable of a dearness with the youngest men, yet he is not youthfuller for them, but they older for him, and no man credits more his acquaintance. He goes away at last too soon whensoever, with all men's sorrow but his own, and his memory is fresh, when it is twice as old.
BISHOP EARLE, 1628.
BY NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE.
Translated from the French.
THE following extraordinary story, which appeared at Paris about three years ago, is affirmed to be the production of the late Emperor of France. To prove that it is so, may now be impossible ; but were we allowed to judge from internal evidence, we would at once pronounce it to be genuine. It has been remarked, that it is replete with that species of superstition by which Napoléon was deeply infected; that in its progress it is wrought up with considerable power over the feelings; and that its termination is of that abrupt and inartificial kind which might be expected from an Improvisator whose sole object was to agitate his auditors, and that accomplished, came at once to his conclusion without ceremony or regard to consistency. A novel-writer would in all probability have taken especial care to render the catastrophe more decidedly dependent upon the fates, than, as in this in. stance it is on the mere will of the principal actor. A short introduction precedes Rosario, from which the following are extracts :
“ Buonaparté, during the first year that he was Emperor, was accustomed to pass his evenings in the society of Josephine and her ladies of honour; here he amused himself by relating different stories, the immediate product of his own imagination ; and was never so pleased as when he could alarm or agitate those around him by his recital. The expression of his countenance was most striking, and every passion was so faithfully depicted on it, that he who had once heard him could never forget it. The present tale was one of his favourite productions. Madame de Bemuzi, who heard him relate it, committed it to paper the same evening, preserving as nearly as possible the same sentiments and the same expressions.
66 It will be difficult, perhaps, to make the world believe, that he at whose name surrounding nations trembled, and of whose time ambition claimed the greatest portion, should dedicate any part of it to the occupation of a novelist; the only answer that can be given to the sceptic is, that many are still living who could fully attest the fact." * * * *
Be this true or fabulous, the tale is one which it may be believed a person of Napoleon's cast of mind would tell upon an occasion such as is here alluded to. ED.
" At the period to which this tale relates, little else was spoken of