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with the long flower of a honeysuckle in his hand; upon which
« Mr. John Kann,
Is it not so ?”
“ The yellow gold,
Fair to behold,
Should you like such?” John Kann here made another bow, and answered, “Very much. But the fact is," he continued, “ my most worshipful little gentleman, if you were to give me all the gold in the world, I am not big enough or strong enough to carry more than one seven-shilling piece at the outside,—that is to say, unless it is your pleasure to make me tall again before you hand me over the money.”
Mr. Puck got very fidgety at this ill-timed interruption, and kept waving his hand backwards and forwards in token of his royal impatience. When John Kann stopped, he continued,
“ There is a spot that you may see
When walking on the strand,
And half upon the land.
Is shining fierce and bright,
By the gold grains glistening bright.
Pierced right ihrough and through.
Or bid the treasure adieu.” John Kann here stood up again, and made another bow. Upon which Mr. Puck said,
“ Puff-ball, turp brown
John Kann, sit down." The puff-ball immediately began changing from its snow-white colour, as if it had been baking in an oven, and the outer skin became shrivelly all over, and when John Kann sat down again, it burst as if its covering had been no stronger than a cobweb, and im
mediately he was enveloped in a cloud of dust, which got into his eyes and made them smart so, that for a long time he was completely blinded. When, by dint of rubbing and rubbing his eyes, he began to see a little again, he was surprised to find all his fairy companions flown, and himself restored to his original size, sitting alone on the little level spot on the hill side, which has been described before. The sun was shining bright and clear.
“ I will have a look for the gold, at any rate,” thought he, “before I return home.”
He descended the hill, and walked along the shore, as he had been directed. The tide was low, and the rays of the morning sun were reflected brightly on the wet sand. After a little search, he found a large flint stone with a hole in it, lying by itself upon the level smooth sand. The sand thereabouts certainly did appear to glisten rather more than elsewhere ; he took some up in his hand, and found a number of little bright grains amongst it.
« This is gold, then," said he to himself, as he cut a caper in the air from very joy. “What a lucky fellow I am! or, as my friend Mr. Puck would say,
“ John kann,
Lucky mau ! It strikes me that, if I had lived in fairy society a little longer, I should have learned to talk poetry myself. But how am I to become possessed of all this gold without anybody else finding it out ?- for Mr. Puck said particularly, that if any body else found it out, there would be no more gold for me.”
After turning the matter over in his mind for some time, he thought that his best plan would be to make a show of turning fisherman and collector of shells. So he bought a few lobster-pots, and set them about among the rocks in the neighbourhood, and kept a collection of ornamental shells in his window for sale; which was indeed a very poor trade in those days, whatever it may be now.
But whenever he went down to the sea side he took with him a small tub, in which he used to put sand and water, and then shake it about for some time, so that the grains of gold, being heavier than the sand, would collect together at the bottom. He used afterwards to cover the gold up with limpets and periwinkle-shells, and walk home.
Three or four times a year he used to take a trip to London to sell his gold dust, and return to the island as rich as a Jew. The neigh. bours wondered how he made his lobster and shell trade turn out so profitably. However, nobody guessed at the fact.
Well, John Kann got richer and richer. At length he bethought himself of taking a wife to share his wealth and happiness. A rich man, as it is well known, has never much difficulty in procuring a helpmate, and John was a handsome man besides ; so Betty Spooner shortly became Betty Kann. Betty, like the rest of her sex, was constantly harassed by that restless and troublesome demon curiosity. While there remained anything that she was not made fully acquainted with, she was quiet neither day nor night. She listened at keyholes, peeped into letters, cross-questioned everybody; sometimes pretending to know everything about an affair, by way of a trap to catch the unwary; or inventing a lie, by way of bait to fish
for the fact with. It is but justice to her memory to say, that she did not take all this trouble and tell so many falsehoods for any selfish or interested purpose. On the contrary, she appeared to be actuated purely by public-spirited and philanthropic motives. If there was any story or bit of scandal that she thought would tend to the amusement or instruction of the neighbourhood, she endeavoured to become possessed of the treasure solely that she might distribute it among the world at large. As for keeping a thing to herself, she never had been known to do so selfish a thing in her life.
All the neighbourhood felt convinced that Betty Spooner had been induced to marry John Kann chiefly for the purpose of discovering the secret how he contrived to get richer and richer, while every one round him remained poor. However, it is quite certain that she refused a much better match to marry John Kann. Her husband was for a long time proof against all cross-questioning, notwithstanding which she contrived, bit by bit, to poke the whole secret out. But with great discretion, instead of making it known to all the neighbourhood, she only told it to three or four of her chief friends and gossips, under a promise of the strictest secrecy.
Notwithstanding all these precautions, when John Kann went to work a day or two afterwards, he found a number of persons there, busily washing the sand. They did indeed find a very few grains of gold at first starting ; but ever since that time neither John Kann nor anybody else has thought it worth his while to wash the sand in Puckaster Cove.
Never marry a gossiping wife.
THE WITHERED ROSE.
I would not give this wither'd flower
For all the garlands you could twine;
When love, and hope, and youth were mine!
But, ob ! there lingers a perfume,
That half revives its faded bloom !
I first began to know love's power;
Alas! it was an emblem flower!
I dreamt not that a canker lay
Aright, I should not weep to-day!
The new-found heart, exchanged for mine ;
Which cbill'd awhile its burning shrine !
As Love took wing for newer bowers :
J. A. WADE.
CHRONICLES OF THE PLACE VENDOME.
BY TO BY ALL S P Y.
EVEN the most enthusiastic panegyrist of the discipline and subordination of the British army must, if a man of Christian sympathies, connect such painful associations with the words, “military punishment,” that, if accidentally pronounced in his hearing in the midst of a brilliant field-day, or royal review, the striking scene must forfeit half its charm in his eyes ; tbe “ha! ha!” of the trumpet breathes discordantly in his ears; and the symmetrical lines of apparently mechanical figures presents only a mass of deformity and confusion.
It is not so in France. There is nothing revolting to the finer feelings of humanity in the process by which the country clod is shaped into the trimly, agile, active soldier. In admiring the sol. dier-like array of a regiment on parade or manœuvring in the field, we feel that we are looking upon men, and men upon whom the frailties of mortal nature will never draw down the chastisement of dogs.
Among the numerous spectacles that recreate the eye of the stranger in Paris, is one that fills the mind of every Englishman with painful reflections ;—i. e, a military degradation.
“Come with me to the Place Vendôme," cried I the other day to a country cousin of mine, lately on a visit to the French metropolis, (a somewhat sniveling philanthropist, who arrived here, charged with a catalogue of eleven hundred questions upon the origin of truth, much after the fashion of the English philosopher, described in St. Pierre's “ Indian Cottage.”) “I have something interesting to show you.”
“I thank you,” he replied. “I have seen quite as much as I de- . sire of the bronze column.”
“ You were blind else!” cried I, knowing that he had been passing and repassing it hourly for ten days previous.
“ And, as to mounting to the top,” he resumed, “I should as soon think of climbing the chimney of a steam-engine!”
“ Or I, either !” was my reply ; “more particularly since, during your sojourn here, you have forced me to survey the city from the pinnacle of the temple of Notre Dame, and the wing of the telegraph at Montmartre, in spite of my declarations of preferring any other mode of rising in the world.”
“ But you are dragging me all this time towards the Place Vendôme?” quoth my cousin Peter, as we pushed onwards in a throng, from which cries of “ Allons ! allons ! on dégrade! on dégrade ! ” arose in all directions.
“Because I want you to witness a curious exhibition.”
" Ay — ay ? In the department of natural history, or of the fine arts ? "
“ In the simple history of human nature,” was my rejoinder; and methought I heard a contemptuous whistle issue from beneath my
cousin Peter's amber spectacles. “I want you to see a military punishment.”
“A military punishment! God's life, sir! for what do you take me? A man of my sensibility become an eye-witness of so disgusting an incident?” cried he (with a countenance such as used to be worn by hundreds 'of auditors of Sir Francis Burdett's humanityharangues of former times, graphically describing, previous to a Westminster election, the horrors of flogging in the British army).
“ Your sensibility is in no manner of danger," said I, quietly resuming my hold of his arm, which the start of my cousin Peter had dislodged. “For the first time in your life you are about to see a soldier punished like a Christian, rather than like a brute.”
At that moment we entered the Place Vendôme ; that sober, solid, architectural monument which, replete as it is with historical associations, has undergone no defeatures from the hand of time, or the hand of taste, from the epoch when the Scottish adventurer, Law, inhabited one of the most splendid hotels, obtained at the cost of hundreds of thousand of French victims, to the present hour, when Madame de F. inhabits precisely the same locality, obtained at the cost of one! Though the bold and salient masks of granite, which still smile complacently, or frown majestically over the basement stories of its noble habitations, are the same which smiled or frowned upon the tripping marquesses or red-heeled abbés of the reign of Louis XV, the carts conveying the same to execution after the deposition of Louis XVI, the massacres of two revolutions, the military ovations of the empire, and the puppet-show processions arising from the restoration of the bi-furcal line of Bourbon, their comely faces remain unwrinkled by the lapse of the couple of centuries which have played such fantastic tricks with the numerous generations of human visages succeeding to their original contemporaries.
On the day in question an autumnal sun was shining out brilliantly on the public offices, — the Quartier Général, the Chancellerie, and others, which occupy so large a portion of the old octagon, distinguished from the hôtels garnis, their neighbours, only by the discoloured tri-coloured flags pendent over their several portes-cochères, —and on the present occasion, by the fact that, while the windows of the latter were crowded, from entresol to mansarde with curious spectators of all nations, but especially with British, those of the governmental hotels were empty, the inhabitants, as of all public offices all over the world, being scrupulously engaged in the discharge of their public duties.
“A splendid trophy, certainly!” quoth my cousin Peter, glancing, as well as the intensity of sunlight would allow, from the base to the summit of the noble column, (which, though I have stared it daily out of countenance for the last six years, I never survey without admiration). “ Still, I can't make up my mind to the statue of Napoleon. 'Tis vulgar, sir, – immensely vulgar, and altogether unworthy the memory of the defunct Emperor of the most polite nation in Europe.”
“No doubt you would have preferred a Winged Victory, or a Fame blowing her trumpet on a china orange, as on the roof of the office of the Morning Post!” cried I, with indignation. “Or Napoleon himself, perhaps, in his Dalmatic robe of state, looking like a