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And all above was in a howl,

And all below a clatter,
The earth was like a frying-pan,

Or some such hissing matter.
It chanced to be our washing day,

And all our things were drying;
The storm came roaring through the lines,

And set them all a-flying ;
I saw the shirts and petticoats

Go riding off like witches;
I lost-ah! bitterly I wept-

I lost my Sunday breeches.
I saw them straddling through the air,

Alas! too late to win them ;
I saw them chase the clouds as if

The devil had been in them ;
They were my darlings and my pride,

My boyhood's only riches,-
"Farewell, farewell," I faintly cried, -

“My breeches ! O my breeches !" That night I saw them in my dreams,

How changed from what I knew them! The dews had steeped their faded threads,

The winds had whistled through them; I saw the wide and ghastly rents

Where demon claws had torn them; A hole was in their amplest part,

As if an imp had worn them.
I have had many happy years,

And tailors kind and clever,
But those young pantaloons have gone

For ever and for ever!
And not till fate has cut the last

Of all my earthly stitches,
This aching heart shall cease to mourn

My loved, my long-lost breeches.


ANONYMOUS. It was a cold winter's evening: the rich banker Brounker had drawn his easy-chair close into the corner of the stove, and sat smoking his long clay pipe with great complacency, while his intimate friend, Van Grote, employed in exactly the same manner, occupied the opposite corner. All was quiet in the house, for Brounker's wife and children were gone to a masked ball, and, secure from fear of interruption, the two friends indulged in a confidential conversation.

"I cannot think,” said Van Grote, “why you should refuse your consent to the marriage. Berkenrode can give his daughter a good fortune, and you say that your son is desperately in love with her.”

“I don't object to it,” said Brounker. “It is my wife who will not hear of it."

" And what reason has she for refusing ?'

“One which I cannot tell you,” said his friend, sinking his voice.

“Oh! a mystery. Come, out with it. You know I have always been frank and open


you, even to giving you my opinion of your absurd jealousy of your

“Jealous of my wife ? nonsense ! Have I not just sent her to a masked ball ?"

“I don't wonder you boast of it. I should like to have seen you do as much when you were first married. To be sure, you had reason to look sharply after her, for she was the prettiest woman in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, she has taken such advantage of your love, that the grey mare has become the better horse, and you refuse an advantageous match for your son, to gratify her caprice."

“ You are quite wrong, my good friend. I never allow

any one to be master here but myself; and in the present instance I cannot blame Clotilda. The secret of her refusal lies in a herring pie.”


“A herring pie!" exclaimed Van Grote.

Yes, a herring pie. You may remember it was a favourite dainty of mine, and that my wife could not endure even the smell of it. Well, during the first years

of my marriage, I must confess that I was a little -a very little-jealous of Clotilda. My situation obliged me to keep open house, and among the young sparks who visited us, none gave me so much uneasiness as the handsome Colonel Berkenrode. The

reputation that he had already acquired for gallantry was enough to create alarm, and the marked attention he paid my wife convinced me it was well founded. What could I do? It was impossible to forbid him the house, for he had it in his power to deprive me of the government contracts; in other words, to ruin me. After pondering deeply on the subject, I decided on doing nothing until the danger should become imminent; all that was necessary was to know how things really stood. Having just purchased this house, I caused a secret closet to be made behind the stove here. It communicates with my private room, and from it I could overhear everything that passed in this apartment without risk of being discovered. Thank God I have had no use for it for the last twenty years, and, indeed, I do not even know what has become of the key. Satisfied with this precaution, I did not hesitate to leave Clotilda when any of her admirers paid her a visit, though I promise you that some of the Colonel's gallant speeches made me wince."

" Upon my word," interrupted his friend, "you showed a most commendable patience. In your place, I should have contented myself with forbidding my wife to receive his visits."

“ There spoke the old bachelor. But as I did not want to drive her headlong into his arms, I went a different way to work. Day after day I was forced to listen to the insidious arguments of the seducer. My wife-I must own she made a stout defence--at one time tried ridicule, at another entreaty, to deter him from his pursuit of her. He began to lose hope in proportion as I gained it, till one day he bethought himself of threatening to blow out his brains if she would not show him some compassion. Moved at this proof of the strength of his passion, she burst into tears, and pleaded that she was not free-in short, she gave him to understand that I was the obstacle to his ha ess. Berkenrode was too well skilled in the art of seduction not to see that he had gained a point. He raved, cursed me as the cause of his misery, and tried to obtain a promise from her in case she should become a widow. She stopped him peremptorily; but I never closed an eye that night, and Clotilda, though she did not know that I watched her, was as uneasy as myself. On the following day a circumstance occurred that increased her agitation. While at breakfast, a message came from the cook asking to see me alone. I desired him to come in (as I was not in the habit of interfering in domestic affairs) and communicate his business in my wife's presence. When the man entered he was as pale as a ghost, and scarcely seemed to know what he was about.

At last he told me that he had received a packet containing a small bottle, three hundred guldens, and a note, in which he was requested to put the contents of the former into the first herring pie he should prepare

He was assured that he might do so without fear, as the contents of the bottle were quite harmless, and would give a delicious flavour to the pie. An additional reward was promised if he

complied with the request and kept his own counsel. The honest fellow, who was much attached to me, said he was convinced there must be something wrong in the affair, and should not be happy till bottle and money were out of his hands. I poured a few drops of the liquid on a lump of sugar, and gave it to my wife's lapdog. It fell into convulsions, and died in a few minutes. The case was now plain; there had been an attempt to poison me. Never shall I forget Clotilda's pale face as she threw herself weeping into my arms—'Poison ! A

for me.

murderer ! she exclaimed, clasping me as if to shield me from danger; 'merciful Heaven, protect us both !' I consoled her with the assurance that I was thankful to my unknown enemy, who was the means of showing me how much she loved me. That day Berkenrode came at the usual hour; but in vain did I take my seat in my hiding-place, he was not admitted. I afterwards found that she had sent him a letter, threatening it ever he came again that her husband should be informed of all that had passed. He made many attempts to soften her resolution, but to no purpose, and a year afterwards he married. No acquaintance has ever existed between the families; and now you know why my wife refuses her consent to our son's marriage with Berkenrode's daughter."

“I cannot blame her," said Van Grote. " Who would have thought that Berkenrode, a soldier, and a man of honour, could have been capable of such a rascally deed ?"

“Ha! ha! ha!” laughed Brounker ; 6 and do you really think it was the general who sent the poison ?' "Why, who else ?"

Myself, to be sure! The whole was my own contrivance, and it cost me three hundred guldens in a present to my cook; but it was money well laid out, for I saved my wife, and got rid of her troublesome lapdog at the same time.”

“Do you know, Brounker, I think it was rather a shabby trick to leave Berkenrode under such an imputation; and now that your son's happiness depends on your wife's being undeceived

"I am aware of all that, but to undeceive her now is not so easy as you thinks. How can I expect her to disbelieve a circumstance in which for the last twenty years she has put implicit faith."

He was interrupted by the entrance of Vrow Brounker. Her cheeks were flushed, and she saluted Van Grote rather stifly.

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