« EdellinenJatka »
As the postillion spoke this, Maria made a cadence fo melancholy, so tender and querulous, that I fprung out of the chaise to help her, and found myself fitting betwixt her and her goat before I relapsed from my enthufiasm.
Maria looked wiftfully for some time at me, and then at her goat-and then at me--and then at her goat again, and so on alternately,
-WELL, MARIA, said I softly-What resemblance do you
find ? I do entreat the candid reader to believe me, that it was from the humbleit conviction of what a beast man is,-that I asked the question; and that I would not have let fallen an unseasonable pleasantry in the venerable presence of Misery, to be entitled to all the wit that ever Rabelais scattered.
Adieu, Maria -adieu, poor hapless damsel !—fome time, but not now, I may hear thy sorrows from thy own lipsa but I was deceived: for that moment she took her pipe, and told me such a tale of wo with it, that I rose up, and with broken and irregular steps walked softly to my chaise.
THEN we had got within half a league of Moulines,
at a little opening in the road leading to a thicket, I discovered poor Maria fitting under a poplar-lhe was fitting with her elbow in her lap, and her head leaning on one side within her hand--a small brook run at the foot of the tree.
I Bade the poftillion go on with the chaise to Moulines and La Fleur to bespeak my supper-and that I would walk after him.
She was dressed in white, and much
friend described her, except that her hair hung loose, which before was twisted within a filk net. She had, fuperadded likewise to her jacket, a pale green riband which fell across her shoulder to the waist; at the end of which hung her pipe. Her goat had been as faithless as her lover; and she had got a little dog in lieu of him, which she had kept tied by a string to her girdle; as I looked at her dog, she drew him towards her with the string—“Thou shalt not leave me, Sylvio," said the. I looked in Maria's eyes, and saw she was think. ing more of her father than of her lover or her little goat; for as she uttered them, the tears trickled down her cheeks.
I sat down close by her; and Maria let me wipe them away as they fell, with my handkerchief. I then steeped it in my own—and then in her's—and then in mine and then I wiped her's again-and as I did it, I felt such undefcribable emotions within me, as I am sure could not be accounted for from any combinations of matter and motion.
I AM positive I have a soul ; nor can all the books with which materialists have pestered the world ever convince me of the contrary.
When Maria had come a little to herself, I asked her if fhe remembered a pale thin person of a man who had sat down betwixt her and her goat about two years before ? She said, she was unsettled much at that time, but remembered it upon two accounts-that ill as she was, she saw the person pitied her; and next, that her goat had stolen his handkerchief, and she had beat him for the theft-he had washed it, she said, in the brook, and kept it ever since in her pocket, to restore it to him in case the should ever see him again, which, she added, he had half promised her. As she told me this, she took the handkerchief out of her pocket to let me fee it: she had folded it up neatly in a couple of vine leaves, tied round with a tendril-on opening it, I saw an S marked in one of the corners.
She had since that, she told me, strayed as far as Rome, and walked round St. Peter's once and returned back that she found her way alone across the Apennines-had travelled over all Lombardy without money-and through the finty roads of Savoy without shoes : how she had borne it, and how she had got supported, she could not tell-but God tempers the wind, said Maria, to the shorn lamb.
Shorn indeed! and to the quick, said I; and wast thou in my own land, where I have a cottage, I would take thee to it and shelter thee; thou shouldst eat of my own bread, and drink of my own cup-I would be kind to thy Sylvioin all thy weaknesses and wanderings I would seek after thee, and bring thee back—when the sun went down I would say my prayers, and when I had done, thou shouldīt play thy evening fong upon thy pipe; nor would the incense of my facrifice be worse accepted, for entering heaven along with that of a broken heart."
Nature melted within me, as I uttered this; and Maria observing, as I took out my handkerchief, that it was steeped too much already to be of use, would needs go wash it in the stream.—And where will you dry it, Maria? said II will dry it in my bosom, said the it will do me good.
And is your heart still so warm, Maria ? said I.
I TOUCHED upon the string on which hung all her forrows she looked with wistful disorder for some time in my face; and then, without saying any thing, took her pipe, and played her service to the Virgin-The string I had touched ceased to vibrate in a moment or two Maria returned to herself-let her pipe falland rose up.
And where are you going, Maria? said I. She said, te Moulines. Let us go, said I, together.-Maria put her arm within mine, and lengthening the string, to let the dog follow
in that order we entered Moulines. Though I hate falutations and greetings in the marketplace, yet when we got into the middle of this, I stopped to take my
last look and last farewel of Maria. MARIA, though not tall, was nevertheless of the first order of fine formsaffliction had touched her looks with something that was scarce earthly—still she was feminine ;--and so much was there about her of all that the heart wishes, or the
looks for in woman, that could the traces be ever worn out of her brain, and those of Eliza's out of mine, she should not only eat of my bread and drink of my own cup, but Maria should lie in my bosom, and be unto me as a daughter.
ADIEU, poor luckless maiden !--imbibe the oil and wine which the compassion of a stranger, as he journieth on his way, now pours into thy wounds--the Being who has twice bruised thee can only bind them up
FT it has been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
Returning from his finish'd tour,
Two travellers of such a cast,
« Hold there, the other quick replies,
“ I've seen it, Sir, as well as you,