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De quel rêve enfantin ses sens étaient

bercés? Je l'ignore. On eût dit qu'en tombant

sur sa couche, Elle avait à moitié laissé quelque

chanson Qui revenait encor voltiger sur sa

bouche, Comme un oiseau léger sur la fleur

d'un buisson. Nous étions seuls. J'ai pris ses deux

mains dans les miennes, Je me suis incliné, sans l'éveiller pour

tant. O Gunther! j'ai posé mes lèvres sur

les siennes, Et puis je suis parti, pleurant comme un enfant.

A. de Musset.

Toujours l'air, toujours le travail, Toujours comme du sable écraser des

corps d'hommes, Toujours du sang jusqu'au poitrail. Quinze ans, son dur sabot, dans sa course rapide,

Broya les générations; Quinze ans, elle passa fumante, à toute bride,

Sur le ventre des nations. Enfin, lasse d'aller sans finir sa carrière,

D'aller sans user son chemin, De pétrir l'univers, et comme une poussière

De soulever le genre humain; Les jarrets épuisés, haletante et sans force,

Prête à fléchir à chaque pas, Elle demande grâce

son cavalier corse ;

Mais, bourreau, tu n'écoutas pas! Tu la pressas plus fort de ta cuisse nerveuse

Pour étouffer ses cris ardents, Tu retournas le mors dans sa bouche baveuse,

De fureur tu brisas ses dents: Elle se releva; mais un jour de bataille,

Ne pouvant plus mordre ses freins, Mourante, elle tomba sur un lit de mitraille, Et du coup te cassa les reins.

A. Barbier.

§ 42.

$ 43.

O Corse à cheveux plats, que la France était belle

Au grand soleil de messidor! C'était une cavale indomptable et rebelle,

Sans frein d'acier ni rênes d'or; Une jument sauvage à la croupe rustique,

Fumante encor du sang des rois, Mais fière et d'un pied libre heurtant le sol antique,

Libre pour la première fois : Jamais aucune main n'avait passé sur elle

Pour la Hétrir ou l'outrager; Jamais ses largestlancs n'avaient porté la selle

Et le harnais de l'étranger; Tout son poil était vierge, et, belle

vagabonde, L'oeil haut, la croupe en mouvement, Sur ses jarrets dressée, elle effrayait le monde

Du bruit de son hennissement. Tu parus, et sitôt que tu vis son allure,

Ses reins si souples et dispos, Centaure impétueux, tu pris sa chevelure,

Tu montas botté sur son dos. Alors, comme elle aimait les rumeurs

de la guerre, La poudre et les tambours battants, Pour champ de course alors tu lui donnas la terre,

Et des combats pour passe-temps; Alors plus de repos, plus de nuits,

plus de sommes,

Ami, vous arez beau, dans votre aus

térité, N'estimer chaque objet que par l'utilité, Demander tout d'abord à quoi tendent

les choses, Et les analyser dans leur fins et leurs

causes ; Vous avez beau vouloir vers ce pôle

commun, Comme l'aiguille au nord, faire tourner

chacun; Il est dans la nature, il est de belles

choses, Des rossignols oisifs, de paresseuses

roses, Des poëtes rêveurs et des musiciens Qui s'inquiètent peu d'être bons cito

yens, Qui vivent au hasard et non d'autre

maxime, Sinon que tout est bien pourvu qu'on

ait la rime...

Les vétérans conteurs, accoutumés aux

veilles, De leurs premiers travaux redisent les merveilles...

Barthélemy et Méry.

Laissons tourner le monde et les

choses aller; Sans que nous la poussions, la terre

peut rouler, Et nous pouvons fort bien retirer notre

épaule, Sans faire choir le ciel et déranger le

pôle; Se croire le pivot de la création Est une erreur commune à toute am

bition ; L'on est persuadé qu'on est indispen

sable, Et l'on ne pèse pas le poids d'un grain de sable.

T. Gautier.

§ 45.

8 44.

Un visage livide et crispé par la fièvre, Le sarcasme fixé dans un coin de la

lèvre, Des yeux clairs et perçants, mais

blessés par le jour; Un cercle maladif qui creuse leur con

tour; Un regard effronté qui provoque et

défie, L'horreur des gens de bien, dont il se

glorifie, Le pas brusque et coupé du pâle scé

lerat, Tel on se peint le meurtre, et tel on

voit Marat.

Mais le rideau des nuits, lentement

déroulé, Confond avec le sol l'horizon reculé; Le bruit de la bataille expire, et dans

la plaine Le silence pensif a repris son domaine. Alors les sons confus d'un étrange

concert S'élèvent lentement. L'immobile dé

sert Écoute, comme un homme en sa vague

insomnie, Des cascades du Nil la bruyante har

monie; Dans ses cris éternels le nocturne

grillon Demande au sol brûlant un humide

sillon ; Et, transfuge des eaux, sur le sable

infertile Se traîne en mugissant l'immense

crocodile. A ces bruits solennels, pour la première

fois Des hommes inconnus mêlent leur

grande voix; Sur la ligne du camp le cri d'éveil

résonne Et va s'éteindre au loin comme un

bruit monotone Que, sous un long portique, au milieu

de la nuit, L'écho redit plus faible à l'écho qui le

suit. Aux rougeâtres lueurs dont la plaine

est semée, Comme une masse informe, on dis

tingue l'armée Et les soldats errant dans les groupes

confus. Assis sur les tambours, couchés sur les

affûts,

Tantôt il cherche l'ombre et tantôt

la lumière, Selon qu'il faut combattre ou qu'il

faut égorger, Présent pour le massacre, absent pour

le danger. Mais le combat fini, c'est alors qu'il

se montre. -C'est l'heure de la proie.—Alors, si

l'on rencontre Un homme, les bras nus, le bonnet

rouge au front, Sabres et pistolets pendus au cein

turon, Si cet homme applaudit pendant que

l'on égorge Les malheureux vaincus dont la prison

regorge, C'est Marat!-Quand le peuple, à qui

manque le pain, Ecoute aveuglément les conseils de la

faim, Celui qui, dégradant les misères pub

liques, Pousse la multitude à piller les bou

tiques, Celui qui veut montrer comme un

épouvantail Quelques marchands de blé pendus à

leur portail, C'est Marat !-Quelquefois la tribune

est souillée Par un homme en casquette, en veste

débraillée,

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§ 46.

Qui se croise les bras, et d'un air ou.

trageux, Semble étaler l'orgueil de ses haillons

fangeux; Écoutez-le parler : ‘Il faut qu'on in

stitue Un magistrat du meurtre, un dictateur

qui tue. C'est Marat, c'est Marat!-Pour le

peindre d'un trait, Il m'a dit de sang-froid, tout comme il

le ferait, Que l'unique moyen de calmer nos

tempêtes, C'est d'abattre deux cent soixante

mille têtes ! Voilà son taux.-Deux cent soixante

seulement ! Jusques à trois cent mille il monte

rarement...

On l'a bué, flétri, bafoué, confondu; A chaque flétrissure un crime a ré

pondu; Vainement les soufflets sont tombés

sur sa joue, Le crime allait croissant, le sang lavait

la boue, Ceux qui l'ont offensé sont tous morts

ou proscrits, Et l'épouvante enfin l'a sauvé du mépris.

Ponsard.

te Et le

Un ange au radieux visage, Penché sur le bord d'un berceau, Semblait contempler son image Comme dans l'onde d'un ruisseau. • Charmant enfant qui me ressemble,' Disait-il, .oh! viens avec moi, Viens, nous serons heureux ensemble: La terre est indigne de toi. Là, jamais entière allégresse, L'âme y souffre de ses plaisirs : Les cris de joie ont leur tristesse, Et les voluptés, leurs soupirs. Eh quoi ! les chagrins, les alarmes, Viendraient troubler ce front si pur Et par l'amertume des larmes Se terniraient ces yeux d'azur ! Non, non, dans les champs de l'espace Avec moi tu vas t'envoler : La Providence te fait grâce Des jours que tu devais couler.' Et, secouant ses blanches ailes, L'ange à ces mots a pris l'essor Vers les demeures éternelles... Pauvre mère !... ton fils est mort.

Reboul.

D.

ENGLISH PROSE WRITERS.

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1.-Two cats, having stolen some cheese, could not agree about dividing their prize. In order therefore to settle the dispute, they consented to refer the matter to a monkey. The proposed arbitrator very readily accepted the office, and, producing a balance, put a part into each scale. • Let me see,' said he, 'ay! this lump outweighs the other; and imme. diately he bit off a considerable piece in order to reduce it, he observed, to an equilibrium. The opposite scale was now become the heaviest; which afforded our conscientious judge an

additional reason for a second mouthful. Hold! hold !' said the two cats, who began to be alarmed for the event, 'give us our respective shares, and we are satisfied.' • If you are satisfied,' returned the monkey, ' Justice is not; a case of this intricate nature is by no means so soon determined.' Upon which he continued to nibble first at one piece and then the other, till the poor cats, seeing their cheese gradually diminishing, entreated him to give himself no further trouble, but deliver to them what remained. Not so fast, I beseech you, friends,' replied the

monkey; "we owe justice to ourselves as well as to you: what remains is due to me in right of my office.' Upon which he crammed the whole into his mouth, and with great gravity dismissed the court.-R. Dodsley.

not quite so bad with me; for, if one trick should fail, I have a hundred tricks more for them yet. However, if at any time you are reduced to beggary, apply to me, and I will relieve you.' A famine overspread the land; the tailor made shift to live, because his customers could not be without clothes; but the poor conjuror, with all his hundred tricks, could find none that had money to throw away. It was in vain that he promised to eat fire, or to vomit pins; not a single creature offered to relieve him, till he was at last obliged to beg from the very tailor whose calling he had formerly despised. To know one profession only is enough for one man to know; and this, whatever the professors may tell you to the contrary, is soon learnt.

Be contented, therefore, with one gooil employment; for if you understand two at a time people will give you no business in either.-0. Goldsmith

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2.-An old man and a little boy were driving an ass to the next market to sell. What a fool is this fellow,' says a man upon the road, to be trudging it on foot with his son, that his ass inay go light! The old man, hearing this, set his boy upon the ass, and went whistling by the side of him. • Why, sirrah!' cried a second man to the boy, 'is it fit for you to be riding, while your poor old father is walking on foot ?' The father, upon this rebuke, took down his boy from the ass, and mounted himself. •Do you see,' says a third, . how the lazy old knave rides along upon his beast, while his poor little bor is almost crippled with walking?' The old man no sooner heard this than he took up his son behind him. • Pray, honest friend,' says a fourth, is that ass your own ?' • Yes,' says the man. • One would not have thought so,' replied the other, by your loading him so unmercifully. You and your son are better able to carry the poor beast than he you.' • Anything to please,' says the owner; and alighting with his son, they tied the legs of the ass together, and by the help of a pole endeavoured to carry him upon their shoulders over the bridge that led to the town. This was so entertaining a sight that the people ran in crowds to laugh at it; till the ass, conceiving a dislike to the over-complaisance of his master, burst asunder the cords that tied him, slipped from the pole, and tumbled into the river. The poor old man made the best of his way home, ashamed and vexed that, by endeavouring to please everybody, he had pleased nobody, and lost his ass into the bargain -H. Walpole.

3.--A conjuror and a tailor once happened to converse together. “Alas !' cries the tailor, what an unhappy poor creature am I! If people ever take it into their heads to live without cloches, I am undone; I have no other trade to have recourse to.' Indeed, friend, I pity you sincerely,' replies the conjuror; 'but, thank heaven, things are

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4.--A young cock, who sat on a high branch of a tree, crowed out so loud that he was heard by a fox as he went that way. So up he trots, with a • How do you do, my dear friend? I have not seen you this long while.' I thank you,' says the cock, • I am as well as I can wish to be.' "Then pray,' says the sly fox, . come down from the tree that I may kiss you.' •No, I thank you,' said the cock; that will not do for me; for I have heard my old sire say that a fox is as fond as can be of the flesh of a cock, and will as soon eat him as look at him.' Pshaw, pshaw, child !' says the thief; 'give me leave to tell you that your old sire is an old fool, and there is not a word of truth in what he says; for all the beasts and birds are now at peace. Ay! ay,' cries the cock, .and is this true? I am glad to hear it with all my heart;' and with that he held out his reck, as if he saw something a great way off. •What do you look at, my dear?' cries the fox. No harm,' says the cock, 'but a pack of hounds that seem to run

• Dear me!' said Sly-boots, 'a pack of hounds! then it is high tiine for me to be gone.' Gone!' said the cock, and in time of peace? · Yes,' cries the fox, and I must run as fast as I can, for it is ten to one, my dear, that those vile curs have not yet heard of the peace.'- Mrs. Trimmer,

a race.'

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5.-As a fine colt, who was of a high breed, and as plump and as sleek as could be, took his tour round the meads, an old bear got sight of him. •O!' said he, that I could but catch the young rague; what a nice meal could I make of him! But the worst of it is, I am now so old that he runs a great deal too fast for me; so I must trust to my wit and not to my heels;' and on this he set to work to find out a sly trick to get bis ends on the poor colt. The trick he invented was this: the next time he saw him, he called out as loud as he could :-Hark you there, my friend! I want to speak to you. Come, come, you need not fear; for I do not mean to do you the least harm in the world. I should not boast of my own good deeds, but I am the grave old Don who cures all the sick or lame beasts who are so wise as to come and ask my help. It seems strange to me that you should not have known this till now.' •Grave sir, said the colt, who saw through the trick in a trice, .if I have not heard of your fame, you must lay it to my youth and my ill-luck. But I am glad in my heart that I have now heard it from your own mouth; for I have had a thorn in my foot these ten days past, and cannot get rid of it for the life of me. Do pray be so kind as to look at it, and see if you can pull it out. Oh, how it pains me!' When the bear heard this, he thought he was sure of his prize, and so up he got, to look at the foot and pull out the thorn. But when he was within reach of the hoof, the colt gave him a kick on the head, and then left him to roll on the ground, like a fool and a rogue as he was.--Mrs. Trimmer.

here has never been different from what you now behold it.' Was there not of old,' said I, a splendid city here?' Never,' answered he, so far as we have seen, and never did our fathers speak to us of any such.' my return there, five hundred years afterwards, I found the sea in the same place, and on its shores was a party of fishermen, of whom I enquired how long the land had been covered by the waters ? • Is this a question,' said they, .for a man like you? This spot has always been what it is now.' I again returned five hundred years afterwards, and the sea had disappeared ; I inquired of a man who stood alone upon the spot, how long ago this change had taken place, and he gave me the same answer as I had received before. Lastly, on coming back again after an equal lapse of time, I found there a flourishing city, more populous and more rich in beautiful buildings than the city I had seen the first time; and when I would fain have informed myself concerning its origin, the inhabitants answered me:

-Its rise is lost in remote antiquity: we are ignorant how long it has existed, and our fathers were on this subject as ignorant as ourselves.'

Ch. Lyall. 7.—My eldest son had reached his fifth or sixth year, knew the alphabet, and could read a little; but had received no particular information with respect to the Author of his being; because I thought he could not yet understand such information, and because I had learnt, from my own experience, that to be made to repeat words not understood is extremely detrimental to the faculties of a young mind. In a corner of a little garden, without informing any person of the circumstance, I wrote in the mould, with my finger, the three initial letters of his name, and, sowing garden cresses in the furrows, covered up the seed, and smoothed the ground. Ten days after he came running to me, and, with astonishment in his countenance, told me that his name was growing in the garden. I smiled at the report, and seemed inclined to disregard it; but he insisted on my going to see what had happened. “Yes,' said I carelessly, on coming to the place; “I see it is so; but there is

6.--I passed one day, says Khidhz in the Arab allegory, by a very ancient and wonderfully populous city, and asked one of its inhabitants how long it had been founded. It is indeed a mighty city,' replied he, we know not how long it has existed, and our ancestors were on this subject as ignorant as ourselves.' Five centuries afterwards, as I passed by the same place, I could not perceive the slightest vestige of the city. I demanded of a peasant who was gathering herbs upon its former site, how long it had been destroyed. • In sooth, a strange question !' replied he, •The ground

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