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MOSES ON MOUNT NEBO.
“And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of
Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm-trees, unto Zoar. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed : I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there, in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.”—DEUTERONOMY xxxiv.
The haggard steeps are crossed, and on the mount
The watered plains and goodly pasture lands,
The need of guidance to the tribes was past;
His book of life was closed, and on the last
As on the verge of heaven and earth he stood
And angel wings enshroud his lonely grave.
THE ADVENTURES OF MONSIEUR BONNARD.
THE YULE LOG
“This bookworm,” thought Hamilcar, “apparently
24th December, 1849. speaks for speaking's sake, whereas our houseI PUT on my slippers and dressing gown. I wiped keeper never utters words which are not full of away a tear which the wind on the quay had brought meaning and significance ; for either they announce into my eyes. A bright fire was blazing in my a meal or promise a whipping. It is possible to study, crystals of ice like fern-leaves made a flowery understand what she says. But this old man fills screen on my window panes, and hid from me the the air with sounds that mean nothing." Seine, its bridges, and the Louvre of the Valois.
These were Hamilcar's thoughts. Leaving him Having drawn my arm-chair and writing-table to his meditations, I opened a book which interested closer to the fire, I sat down in the place which me, for it was a catalogue of manuscripts. I know Hamilcar had condescended to leave to me. Hamil- nothing that makes more easy, attractive, and agreecar was curled up on a cushion in front of the fire able reading than a catalogue. It is true that the with his nose resting
one I was reading, on his paws. His
drawn up by Sir deep, soft fur rose
Thomas Raleigh's and fell with his
librarian, Mr Thompregular breathing.
son, in 1824, errs on At my approach the
the side of excessive agate eyes peeped
brevity, and is wantfurtively through his
ing in that kind of half - raised eyelids,
accuracy of detail but he shut them
which archivists of again almost imme
my time were the first diately, thinking
to introduce into “It's nobody, it's
diplomatic and paleoonly you.”
graphic works. It • Hamilcar," said
leaves something to I, stretching out my
desire and to speculegs, “Hamilcar,
late about. That is somnolent prince and
perhaps why, in nocturnal guardian
reading it, I experiof the city of books !
ence a sensation Like the divine cat
which, in a more imwhich, in the night
aginative individual of the great battle,
than myself, would fought the infidels in
be called dreaming. Heliopolis, thou de
I was gently yielding fendest from the vile
to my wandering race of gnawing
thoughts when my creatures the books
housekeeper, in & collected by the old
sulky voice, anscholar at the cost
nounced that M. of a moderate amount
Coccoz wished to of money and inde
speak to me. fatigable zeal. Sleep,
He had, in fact, Hamilcar, sleep the
slipped into the libsoft sleep of a sultana in this library which thy rary after her. He was a little man, a poor little warlike virtues protect, for in thy person thou com- fellow, of mean aspect, clad in a thin jacket. He binest the formidable aspect of a Tartar warrior, and advanced towards me with a number of little bows the heavy grace of an eastern woman. Heroic and and smiles. But he was very pale, and seemed ill, voluptuous Hamilcar, sleep while awaiting the hour notwithstanding his youth and vivacity. The sight when the mice will begin to dance before the Acta of him made me think of a wounded squirrel. Under Sanctorum of the learned disciples of Bollandus.” his arm he had a bundle in a green cloth, which he
The beginning of this discourse was pleasing to placed on a chair ; undoing the four corners of the Hamilcar, who purred an accompaniment like the cloth, he displayed a pile of little yellow books. singing of a kettle. But as my voice grew louder, “Sir," he then said to me, “I have not the Hamilcar, by lowering his ears and wrinkling the honour of being known to you. I am a book-agent, zebra-like skin of his forehead, made me aware that sir. I represent the principal houses in the capital, it was improper to declaim in this way.
and, hoping that you will kindly honour me with your
confidence, I take the liberty of offering you some novelties."
Great heavens! what novelties were offered to me by this homunculus! The first volume which he gave me was “ l'Histoire de la Tour de Nesle,” containing the loves of Margaret of Burgundy and Captain Buridan.
“ This is a historical work,” said he, smiling, “a true record of facts.”
" In that case," I replied, “ it must be very tedious, for books of history which do not tell lies are always extremely dull. I, myself, write truthful ones, and if you should be so ill-advised as to offer one of these from door to door, you would most likely have to keep it for the rest of your days in your green cloth, without ever finding a cook with so little wit as to buy it.”
"Certainly, sir,” acquiesced the little man, only wishing to please me.
And, with a smile, he offered me the “ Loves of Héloise and Abelard," but I gave him to understand that at my age love stories had no interest for me.
Still smiling, he offered me “Rules for Society Games : ” Piquet, Bézique, Ecarté, Whist, Dice, Draughts, Chess.
“ Alas!” exclaimed I; “ if you wish to remind me of the rules of Bézique, give me back my old friend Bignan, with whom I used to play cards every evening till the five academies solemnly conducted him to the cemetery : or, failing that, persuade the serious mind of Hamilcar, whom you see asleep on that cushion, to condescend to the frivolity of human pastimes, for he is now my only companion in the evening."
The little man's smile became vague and alarmed.
“ Here,” said he, “is a new collection of society amusements, containing jests and puns, and full instructions how to change a red rose into a white one.”
I told him that I had quarrelled with roses long ago, and, as to jokes, I was quite satisfied with those which I made myself unawares in the course of my scientific works.
The homunculus offered me his last book with his last smile. He said to me:
“ Here is the · Key to Dreams, with the explanation of every dream which it is possible to have : Dreams of gold, robbers, death, or a fall from the top of a tower.... You will find everything in it.”
I had seized the tongs, and I shook them vigorously, as I answered my commercial visitor :
** Yes, my friend, but these dreams and a thousand others, joyous and sad besides, are summed up in one : the dream of life; and will your little yellow book give me the key to that?”
** Yes, sir, "answered the homunculus. « The book is cheap and complete. The price is one franc twenty-five centimes, sir."
I called my housekeeper, for there is no bell in my room.
Thérèse,” said I, “I wish you to open the door for M. Coccoz. He has a book which may interest you ; it is the key to Dreams.' I shall be happy to present it to you."
My housekeeper replied :
one does not dream in one's sleep. Thank heaven! my days suffice for my work, and my work is sufficient for my days, and I can say every evening :
Lord, bless the rest which I am about to take!' I neither dream on my feet nor in my bed, and I do not mistake my eider-down for a devil, as my cousin once did. And if you will allow me to give my opinion, I should say that we have quite enough books here already. You have so many that they turn your head, and I have two which contain all that I need, my prayer-book and my cookery book.”
Having spoken thus, my housekeeper helped the little man to do up his wares again in the green cloth.
The homunculus had ceased to smile. His countenance had assumed such a suffering expression, that I was filled with remorse for having bantered a man who was evidently unhappy. I called him back, and told him that I had looked with covetous eyes at a copy of “ l'Histoire d'Estelle et de Némorin," which he possessed ; that I was very fond of shepherds and shepherdesses, and was willing to buy the story of these two perfect lovers at any reasonable price.
“I will sell you this book for one franç twentyfive, sir,” answered Coccoz, whose face beamed with joy. “It is historical, and will please you. I know now what you like. I see that you are a connoisseur. To-morrow I shall bring you · The Crimes of the Popes.' It is a good work. I shall bring you a copy of the edition with the coloured illustrations which collectors prize so much.”
I begged him to do nothing of the kind, and sent him away contented. When the colporteur and his green cloth had disappeared in the dark corridor, I asked my housekeeper where the poor little man had dropped from
“ From the attics, sir,” she answered, “ where he lives with his wife.”
“Do you mean to say he has a wife, Thérèse ? Well, that is wonderful. Women are strange beings. She must be a poor little creature."
“I don't know very well what she is,” answered Thérèse, “but I see her every morning sweeping downstairs in her silk dresses spotted with grease. She has sparkling eyes, which she makes good use of. Do you think that it is becoming in a woman, taken in out of charity, to have such eyes and dresses ? As the husband was ill, and the wife in an interesting condition, they have been allowed to have the attics while the roof is being repaired. The porter's wife tells me that the woman is in bed, and is likely to have her child to-day. Much need they had of a child !”
“ Thérèse," answered I, “they had doubtless little need of one, but it was the will of nature, and so it is. We may pity them, but we must not blame them; and as for the silk dresses, every young woman likes them. The daughters of Eve are all devoted to dress. What a state you get into yourself, Thérèse, staid and serious as you are, if you have no white apron to wear when serving at table. But do you know if they have all that is needful in their garret ?”.
“How can they, sir !" answered my house