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teristic of Leigh Hunt's poetry is word-painting: and
in this he is probably without a rival save in the last
and best productions of Keats " An American critic,
H. T. Tuckermari, says : " In the outset of his career his
ambition was to excel as a bard. His principal success,
however, seems to be in a certain vein of essay writing,
in which fancy and familiarity are delightfully com-
bined. Still he has woven many rhymes that are not
only sweet and cheerful, hut jiossess a peculiar grace
and merit of their own, besides illustrating some capital
ideas relative to poetical diction und influence."



Peter Klaus was a goatherd of Sittendorf,
and tended his flocks in the Kyffhausen
Mountains; here he was accustomed to let
them rest every evening in a mead surrounded
by an old M - all, while he made his muster of
them; but for some days he had remarked that
one of his finest goats always disappeared
some time after coming to this spot, and did
not join the flock till late: watching her more
attentively, he observed that she slipped

1 This legend will be interesting to the admirers o'
Washington Irving, as the source of his amusing story
Rip Van Winkle. See Library, vol i. page 69.



through an opening in the wall, upon which
he crept after the animal, and found her in a
sort of cave, busily employed in gleaning the
oat-grains that dropped down singly from the
roof. He looked up, and shook his ears amidst
the shower of corn that now fell down upon
him, but with all his inquiry could discover
nothing. At last he heard above the stamp
and neighing of horses, from whose mangers it
was probable the oats had fallen.

Peter was yet standing in astonishment at
the sound of horses in so unusual a place, when
a boy appeared, who by signs, without speak-
ing a word, desired him to follow. Accordingly
he ascended a few steps and passed over a walled
court into a hollow, closed in on all sides by
lofty rocks, where a partial twilight shot
through the over-spreading foliage of the
shrubs. Here, upon a smooth, fresh lawn, he
found twelve knights playing gravely at nine-
pins, and not one spoke a syllable; with equal
silence Peter was installed in the office of set-
ting up the nine-pins.

At first he performed this duty with knees
that knocked against each other, as he now
and then stole a partial look at the long beards
and slashed doublets of the noble knights. By
degrees, however, custom gave him courage; he
gazed on everything with firmer look, and at
last even ventured to drink out of a bowl that
stood near him, from which the wine exhaled
a most delicious odour. The glowing juice
made him feel as if re-animated, and whenever
he found the least weariness he again drew
fresh vigour from the inexhaustible goblet.
Sleep at last overcame him.

Upon waking, Peter found himself in the
very same inclosed mead where he was wont to
tell his herds. He rubbed his eyes, but could
see no sign either of dog or goats, and was,
besides, not a little astonished at the high
grass, and shrubs, and trees which he had
never before observed there. Not well know-
ing what to think, he continued his way over
all the places that he had been accustomed to
frequent with his goats, but nowhere could he
find any traces of them: below him he saw
Sittendorf, and at length, with hasty steps,
he descended.

The people whom he met before the village
were all strangers to him; they had not the
dress of his acquaintance, nor yet did they ex-
actly speak their language, and, when he asked
after his goats, all stared and touched their
chins. At last he did the same almost invol-
untarily, and found his beard lengthened by a
foot at least, upon which he began to conclude
that himself and those about him were equally

under the influence of enchantment; still he
recognized the mountain he had descended,
for the Kyffhausen; the houses too, with their
yards and gardens, were all familiar to him;
and to the passing questions of a traveller,
several boys replied by the name of Sitten-

With increasing doubt he now walked through
the village to his house: it was much decayed,
and before it lay a strange goatherd's boy in a
ragged frock, by whose side was a dog worn
lank by age, that growled and snarled when
he spoke to him. He then entered the cottage
through an opening which had once been
closed by a door; here too he found all so void
and waste that he tottered out again at the
back door as if intoxicated, and called his wife
and children by their names; but none heard,
none answered.

In a short time M r omen and children throng-
ed around the stranger with the long hoary
beard, and all, as if for a wager, joined in in-
quiring what he wanted. Before his own
house to ask others after his wife, or children,
or even of himself, seemed so strange that, to
get rid of these querists, he mentioned the first
name that occurred to him; " Kurt Steffen?"
The by-standers looked at each other in
silence, till at last an old woman said, "He
has been in the churchyard these twelve years,
and you'll not go there to-day." "Velten
Meier?" " Heaven rest his soul !" replied an
ancient dame, leaning upon her crutch; "Hea-
ven rest his soul! He has lain these fifteen
years in the house that he will never leave."

The goatherd shuddered, as in the last
speaker he recognized his neighbour, who
seemed to have suddenly grown old; but h
had lost all desire for farther question. At
this moment a brisk young woman pressed
through the anxious gapers, carrying an infant
in her arms, and leading by the hand a girl of
about fourteen years old, all three the very
image of his wife. With increasing surprise
he asked her name: "Maria!" "And your
father's?" "Peter Klaus! Heaven rest his
soul! It is now twenty years since we sought
him day and night on the KyflThausen Moun-
tains, when his flock returned without him; I
was then but seven years old."

The goatherd could contain himself no
longer; " I am Peter Klaus," he cried, " I am
Peter Klaus, and none else," and he snatched
the child from his daughter's arms. All for a
moment stood as if petrified, till at length one
voice, and another, and another, exclaimed,
"Yes, this is Peter Klaus! Welcome, neigh-
bour! welcome after twenty years !"





Little Cowboy, what have you heurd,

Up on the lonely rath's 1 green mound?
Only the plaintive yellow bird 2

Sighing in sultry fields around,
Chary, chary, chary, chee-ee !
Only the grasshopper and the bee?
"Tip-tap, rip-rap,
Scarlet leather sewn together,

This will make a shoe.
Left, right, pull it tight ;

Summer days are warm ;
Underground in winter,

Laughing at the storm ! "
Lay your ear close to the hill.
Do you not catch the tiny clamour
Busy click of an elfin hammer,
Voice of the Lupracaun singing shrill
As he merrily plies his trade?
He's a span

And a quarter in height.
Get him in sight, hold him tight,
And you're a made

You watch your cattle the summer day,
Sup on potatoes, sleep in the hay ;

How would you like to roll in your carriage,
Look for a duchess's daughter in marriage?
Seize the Shoemaker then you may !
"Big boots a-hunting,

Sandals in the hall,
White for a wedding-feast,

Pink for a ball.
This way, that way,

So we make a shoe ;
Getting rich every stich,


Nine-and-ninety treasure crocks
This keen miser-fairy hath,
Hid in mountains, woods, and rocks,
Kuin and round-tow'r, cave and rath,
And where the cormorants build ;
From times of old
Tjruarded by him ;
Each of them fill'd
Full to the brim
With gold!

"Rath," ancient earthen fort.

"Yellow bird," the yellow-buuting or yorlin.

I caught him at work one day, myself,

In the castle-ditch where foxglove grows,
A wrinkled, wizen'd, and bearded elf,
Spectacles stuck on his pointed iiose,
Silver buckles to his hose,
Leather apron shoe in his lap
"Kip-rap, tip-tap,

Tack-tack-too !
(A grig skipp'd upon my cap,

Away the moth flew)
Buskins for a fairy prince,

Brogues for his son,
Pay me well, pay me well,
When the job is done !"
The rogue was mine, beyond a doubt;
I stared at him ; he stared at me ;
"Servant, Sir!" "Humph," says he,

And pull'd a snuff-box out.
He took a long pinch, look'd better pleased,

The queer little Lupracaun ;
Offer'd the box with a whimsical grace,
Pouf ! he flung the dust in my face,
And, while I sneezed,
Was gone !

From Fijty Modern Poenit.


[Benjamin Franklin. LL.D , born in Boston, 17th
January, 1706; died in Philadelphia, 17th April, 1790.
Statesman, philosopher, and miscellaneous writer. Lonl
Brougham said that Franklin's name, ''in one point of
view, must be considered as standing higher than any
of the others which illustrated the eighteenth century."
In statesmanship and philosophy he was equally distin-
guished, "and his efforts in each were sufficient to have
made him greatly famous had he done nothing in th
other." He wag the youngest but two of seventeen
children. He began his active career as a printer; he
became President of the Common wealth of Pennsylvania,
and in 1787 sat with Washington in the Federal Con-
vention which framed the Constitution of the United
States. His experiments proved that lightning and
electricity are the same: he wrote numerous political,
historical, scientific, and moral essays; he founded the
institution which subsequently became the University
of Pennsylvania, and he established various useful peri-
odicalsamongst which was Poor Richaitrt Almanac.
The following was one of his most successful popular
essays ; it was read by everybody, but of late it has
been somewhat overlooked.]

Courteous reader, I have heard that nothing
gives an author so great pleasure as to find his
works respectfully quoted by others. Judge,
then, how much I must have been gratified by
an incident I am going to relate to you. I
stopped my horse lately where a great number of
people were collected at an auction of mer-
chants' goods. The hour of the sale not being



come, they were conversing on the badness of
the times ; and one of the company called to
a plain, clean, old man, with white locks,
"Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of
the times? Will not these heavy taxes quite
ruin the country? How shall we ever be able
to pay them? What would you advise us to?"
Father Abraham stood up and replied, "If you
would have my advice, I will give it you in
short; for 'A word to the wise is enough,' as
Poor Richard says." They joined in desiring
him to speak his mind, and gathering round
him, he proceeded as follows.

"Friends," said he, "the taxes are indeed
very heavy, and, if those laid on by the govern-
ment were the only ones we had to pay, we
might more easily discharge them ; but we
have many others, and much more grievous to
some of us. We are taxed twice as much by
our idleness, three times as much by our pride,
and four times as much by our folly ; and from
these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or
deliver us, by allowing an abatement. How-
ever, let us hearken to good advice, and some-
thing may be done for us; 'God helps them
that help themselves,' as Poor Richard says.

"I. It would be thought a hard government
that should tax its people one-tenth part of
their time, to be employed in its service; but
idleness taxes many of us much more ; sloth,
by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens
life. 'Sloth like rust, consumes faster than
labour wears; while the used key is always
bright' as Poor Richard says. ' But dost thou
love life, then do not squander time, for that
is the stuff life is made of,' as Poor Richard
says. How much more than is necessary do
we spend in sleep, forgetting that ' The sleep-
ing fox catches no poultry,' and that 'There
will be sleeping enough in the grave,' as Poor
Richard says.

" ' If time be of all things the most precious,
wasting time must be' as Poor Richard says,
'the greatest prodigality;' since, as he else-
where tells us, ' Lost time is never found again ;
and what we call time enough, always proves
little enough.' Let us then up and be doing,
and doing to the purpose; so by diligence shall
we do more with less perplexity. ' Sloth makes
all things difficult, but industry all easy; 'and
'He that riseth late must trot all day, and
shall scarce overtake his business at night;'
while ' Laziness travels so slowly, that Poverty
soon overtakes him. Drive thy business, let
not that drive thee;' and 'Early to bed, and
early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy,
and wise,' as Poor Richard says.

"So what signifies wishing and hoping for

better times ? We may make these times bet-
ter if we bestir ourselves. 'Industry need not
wish, and he that lives upon hopes will die
fasting. There are no gains without pains;
then help, hands, for I have no lands;' or, if
I have, they are smartly 'taxed. 'He that
hath a trade hath an estate ; and he that hath
a calling hath an office of profit and honour,'
as Poor Richard says; but then the trade must
be worked at and the calling followed, or
neither the estate nor the office will enable us
to pay our taxes. If we are industrious, we
shall never starve; for 'At the working-man's
house hunger looks in, but dares not enter.'
Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for
' Industry pays debts, while despair increaseth
them.' What though you have found no trea-
sure, nor has any rich relation left you a
legacy, ' Diligence is the mother of good luck,
and God gives all things to industry. Then
plough deep while sluggards sleep, and you
shall have corn to sell and to keep.' Work
while it is called to-day, for you know not how
much you may be hindered to-morrow. 'One
to-day is worth two to-morrows, ' as Poor Richard
says; and further, 'Never leave that till to-
morrow which you can do to day.' If you were
a servant, would you not be ashamed that a
good master should catch you idle? Are you
then your own master? Be ashamed to catch
yourself idle, when there is so much to be done
for yourself, your family, your country, and
your king. Handle your tools without mit-
tens; remember that ' The cat in gloves catches
no mice,' as Poor Richard says. It is true
there is much to be done, and perhaps you are
weak-handed; but stick to it steadily and you
will see great effects; for 'Constant dropping
wears away stones;' and 'By diligence and
patience the mouse ate in two the cable;' and
' Little strokes fell great oaks.'

" Methinks I hear some of you say, ' Must
a man afford himself no leisure?' I will tell
thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says:
' Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to
gain leisure; and, since thou are not sure of a
minute, throw not away an hour.' Leisure is
time for doing something useful; this leisure
the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man
never; for 'A life of leisure and a life of lazi-
ness are two things. Many, without labour,
would live by their wits only, but they break
for want of stock ; ' whereas industry gives
comfort, and plenty, and respect. ' Fly plea-
sures, and they will follow you. The diligent
spinner has a large shift; and now I have a
sheep and a cow, everybody bids me good mor-



"II. But with our industry we must like-
wise be steady, settled, and careful, and over-
see our own affairs, with our own eyes, and not
trust too much to others; for, as Poor Richard

" ' I never saw an oft-removed tree,
Nor yet an oft removed family,
That throve so well as those that settled be.'

And again, 'Three removes are as bad as a
fire;' and again, 'Keep thy shop, and thy shop
will keep tliee; ' and again, ' If you would have
your business done, go; if not, send.' And

" 'He that by the plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.'

And again, ' The eye of a master will do more
work than both his hands; ' and again, ' Want
of care does us more damage than want of
knowledge;' and again, 'Not to oversee work-
men is to leave them your purse open.' Trust-
ing too much to others' care is the ruin of
many; for ' In the affairs of this world men
are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it;'
but a man's own care is profitable ; for, ' If
you would have a faithful servant, and one
that you like, serve yourself. A little neglect
may breed great mischief; for want of a nail
the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse
was lost ; and for want of a horse the rider was
lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy;
all for want of a little care about a horse-shoe
nail. '

" III. So much for industry, my friends,
and attention to one's own business: but to
these we must add frugality, if we would make
our industry more certainly successful. A man
may, if he knows not how to save as he gets,
keep his nose all his life to the grindstone and
die not worth a groat at last. ' A fat kitchen
makes a lean will ; ' and

"'Many estates are spent in the getting,

Since women for tea forsook spinning and knitting,
And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting.'

' If you woald be wealthy, think of saving as
well as of getting. The Indies have not made
Spain rich, because her outgoes are greater
than her incomes.'

"Away then with your expensive follies,
and you will not then have so much cause to
complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and charge-
able families; for

'"Women and wine, game and deceit,

Alake the wealth small and the want great.'

And further, ' What maintains one vice would
bring up two children.' You may think,

perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now
and then, diet a little more costly, clothes a
little finer, and a little entertainment now and
then, can be no great matter; but remember,
' Many a little makes a mickle. ' Beware of
little expenses; 'A small leak will sink a great
ship.' as Poor Eichard says; and again, ' Who
dainties love, shall beggars prove;' and more-
over, ' Fools make feasts, and wise men eat
them. '

" Here you are all got together at this sale
of fineries and knick-knacks. You call them
goods; but, if you do not take care, they will
prove evils to some of you. You expect they
will be sold cheap, and perhaps they may for
less than they cost; but if you have no occasion
for them, they must be dear to you. Remember
what Poor Richard says: ' Buy what thou hast
no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy
necessaries.' And again, 'At a great penny-
worth pause a while.' He means, that per-
haps the cheapness is apparent only and not
real; or the bargain, by straitening thee in
thy business, may do thee more harm than
good. For in another place he says, 'Many
have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.'
Again, ' It is foolish to lay out money in a
purchase of repentance;' and yet this folly is
practised every day at auctions, for want of
minding the Almanac. Many a one, for the
sake of finery on the back, have gone with a
hungry belly and half-starved their families.
' Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets, put out
the kitchen fire,' as Poor Richard says.

"These are not the necessaries of life; they
can scarcely be called the conveniences; and
yet, only because they look pretty, how many
want to have them ! By these, and other ex-
travagances, the genteel are reduced to poverty,
and forced to borrow of those whom they for-
merly despised, but who, through industry and
frugality, have maintained their standing; in
which case it appears plainly, that 'A plough-
man on his legs is higher than a gentleman on
his knees,' as Poor Richard says. Perhaps
they have had a small estate left them, which
they knew not the getting of; they think, 'It
is day and will never be night;' that a little
to be spent out of so much is not worth mind-
ing; but 'Always taking out of the meal-tub
and never putting in, soon comes to the bot-
tom,' as Poor Richard says; and then, ' When
the well is dry, they know the worth of water.'
But this they might have known before, if
they had taken his advice. ' If yon would
know the value of money, go and try to bor-
row fome; for he that goes a borrowing goes a
sorrowing,' as Poor Richard says; and indeed



so does he that lends to such people, when he
goes to get it in again. Poor Dick further
advises and says,

" ' Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse ;

Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse.'
And again, ' Pride is as loud a beggar as Want,
and a great deal more saucy.' When you have
bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more,
that your appearance may be all of a piece ;
but Poor Dick says, ' It is easier to suppress
the first de.sire, than to satisfy all that follow
it. ' And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape
the rich, as for the frog to swell in order to
equal the ox.

< Vessels large may venture more,

But little boats should keep near shore.'

It is, however, a folly soon punished; for as
Poor Richard says, 'Pride that dines on vanity,
sups on contempt. Pride breakfasted with
Plenty, dined with Poverty, and supped with
Infamy.' And, after all, of what use is this
pride of appearance, for which so much is
risked, so much is suffered? It cannot pro-
mote health nor ease pain; it makes no in-
crease of merit in the person; it creates envy;
it hastens misfortune.

"But what madness must it be to run in
debt for these superfluities? We are offered,
by the terms of this sale, six months' credit;
and that, perhaps, has induced some of us to
attend it, because we cannot spare the ready
money, and hope now to be fine without it.
But, ah! think what you do when you run in
debt; you give to another power over your
liberty. If you cannot pay at the time, you
will be ashamed to see your creditor; you will
be in fear when you speak to him; you will
make poor, pitiful, sneaking excuses, and, by
degrees, come to lose your veracity, and sink
into base, downright lying; for 'The second
vice is lying, the first is running in debt,' as
Poor Richard says; and again, to the same
purpose, 'Lying rides upon Debt's back;'
whereas a free-born Englishman ought not to
be ashamed nor afraid to see or speak to any
man living. But poverty often deprives a man
of all spirit and virtue. ' It is hard for an
empty bag to stand upright.'

"What would you think of that prince, or
of that government, who should issue an edict
forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or
gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or
servitude? Would you not say that you were
free, have a right to dress as you please, and
that such an edict would be a breach of your
privileges, and such a government tyrannical ?
And yet you are about to put yourself under

such tyranny, when you run in debt for such
dress! Your creditor has authority, at his
pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by
confining you in jail till you shall be able to
pay him. When you have got your bargain,
you may, perhaps, think little of payment;
but, as poor Richard says, 'Creditors have
better memories than debtors; creditors are
a superstitious sect, great observers of set days
and times.' The day comes round before you
are aware, and the demand is made before you
are prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear your
debt in mind, the term, which at first seemed
so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely
short. Time will seem to have added wings to
his heels as well as his shoulders. ' Those
have a short Lent who owe money to be paid
at Easter.' At present, perhaps, you may
think yourselves in thriving circumstances,
and that you can bear a little extravagance
without injury; but

'"For age and want save while you may;
No morning sun lasts a whole day.'

Gain may be temporary and uncertain, but
ever while you live, expense is constant and
certain; and 'It is easier to build two chimneys
than to keep one in fuel,' as Poor Richard
says; so, 'Rather go to bed supperless, than
rise in debt.'

" 'Get what you can, and what you get hold;

'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.'

And, when you have got the Philosopher's
Stone, sure you will no longer complain of
bad times or the difficulty of paying taxes.

" IV. This doctrine, my friends, is reason
and wisdom; but, after all, do not depend too
much upon your own industry, and frugality,
and prudence, though excellent things ; for
they may all be blasted, without the blessing
of Heaven ; and, therefore, ask that blessing
humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that

Online LibraryUnknownThe library of choice literature : poetry and prose selected from the most admired authors (Volume 4) → online text (page 70 of 75)