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dispensed with the hearing of; but, after having made me his confidant, he thought he had a right to exact the same condescension from me; and accordingly, he asked me from whence I came, whither I was going, and what I was. I was obliged to answer article by article, because he accompanied every question with a profound bow, and begging me to excuse his curiosity with such a respectful air that I could not refuse to satisfy him in every particular. This engaged me in a long conversation with him, and gave me occasion to mention my design, and the reason I had for disposing of my mule, that I might take the opportunity of a carrier. He approved of my intention, though not in a very succinct manner, for he represented all the troublesome accidents that might befall me on the road, recounted
many dismal stories of travellers, and I was afraid would never have done; he concluded at length, however, telling me that if I had a mind to sell my mule, he was acquainted with a very honest jockey who would buy her. I assured him he would oblige me by sending for him, upon which he went in quest of him with great eagerness.
It was not long before he returned with his man, whom he introduced to me as a person of exceeding honesty; and we went into the yard all together.
There my mule was produced, and passed and repassed before the jockey, who examined her from head to foot, and did not fail to speak very disadvantageously of her. I own there was not much to be said in her praise ; but, however, had it been the Pope's mule he would have found some defects in her. He assured me she had all the faults a mule could have, and, to convince me of his veracity, appealed to the landlord, who doubtless had his reasons for supporting his friend's assertions.
Well," said this dealer, with an air of indifference, “how much money do you expect for this wretched animal ?"
After the eulogium he had bestowed on her, and the attestation of Signor Corcuelo, whom I believed to be a man of honesty and understanding, I would have given my mule for nothing, and therefore told him I would rely on his integrity, bidding him appraise the beast in his own conscience, and I would stand to the valuation. Upon this he assumed the man of honour, and replied that, in engaging his conscience, I took him on the weak side. In good sooth, that did not seem to be his strong side ; for instead of valuing her at ten or twelve pistoles, as my uncle had done, he fixed the price at three ducats, which I accepted with as much joy as if I had made an excellent bargain.
After having so advantageously disposed of my mule, the landlord conducted me to a carrier, who was to set out next day for Astorga. When everything was settled between us, I returned to the inn with Corcuelo, who, by the way, began to recount the carrier's history. He told me
every circumstance of his character in town: and, in short, was going to stupefy me again with his intolerable loquacity, when a man of pretty good appearance prevented that misfortune, by accosting him with great civility. I left them together, and went on, without suspecting that I had the least concern in their conversation.
When I arrived at the inn, I called for supper, and, it being a meagre day, was fain to put up with eggs. While they were getting ready, I made up to my landlady, whom I had not seen before. She appeared handsome enough, and withal so sprightly and gay, that I should have concluded (even if her husband had not told me so) that her house was pretty well frequented. When the omelet I had bespoken was ready, I sat down to table by myself; but had not swallowed the first morsel when the landlord came in, followed by the man who had stopped him in the street. This cavalier, who wore a long sword, and seemed to be about thirty years of age, advanced towards me with an eager air, saying
“Mr. Student, I am informed that you are that Signor Gil Blas of Santillane, who is the flambeau of philosophy and ornament of Oviedo! Is it possible that you are that mirror of learning, that sublime genius, whose reputation is so great in this country? You know not,” continued he addressing himself to the innkeeper and his wife), “you know not what you possess! You have a treasure in your house! Behold, in this young gentleman, the eighth wonder of the world !" Then, turning to me, and throwing his arms about my neck, " Forgive," cried he, “my transports. I cannot contain the joy your presence creates."
I could not answer for some time, because he locked me so close in his arms that I was almost suffocated for want of breath; and it was not till I had disengaged my head from his embrace that I replied
Signor Cavalier, I did not think my name was known at Pennaflor."
“Not known ?” replied he, in his former strain. “We keep a register of all the celebrated names within twenty leagues of us. You, in particular, are looked upon as a prodigy, and I don't at all doubt that Spain will one day be as proud of you as Greece was of the Seven Sages."
These words were followed by a fresh hug, which I was forced to endure, though at the risk of strangulation. With the little experience I had, I ought not to have been the dupe of his professions and hyperbolical compliments. I ought to have known, by his extravagant flattery, that he was one of those parasites who abound in every town, and who, when a stranger arrives, introduce themselves to him, in order to fill their bellies at his expense. But my youth and vanity made me judge quite otherwise; my admirer appeared to me so much of a gentleman that I invited him to take a share of my supper.
“Ah, with all my heart," cried he; “I am too much obliged to my kind stars for having thrown me in the way of the illustrious Gil Blas, not to enjoy my good fortune as long as I can. I own I have no great
But she to be his love
Declared she would not stoop,
In the Mulligatawny soup.
Was scarce fit for his post ;
And as pale as any ghost.
And that reckoning was his last;
He was going very fast.
Dead suddenly he drops!
To identify his copse:
Much too thin for folks to see,
('Twasn't grammar)—“This is me!"
That his ghost was seen at night,
An attenuated sprite !
It answers, “ Coming—coming!'
The inconstancy of Wumming !"
THRILLING SCENES IN DIXIE.
ARTEMUS WARD. I HAD a narrer scape from the sonny South. swings and arrers of outrajus fortin," alluded to by Hamlick, warn't nothin in comparison to my trubles. I come pesky near swearin sum profane oaths more'n onct, but I hope I didn't do it, for I've promist she whose name shall be nameless (except that her initials is Betsy J.) that I'll jine the Meetin House at Baldinsville, jest as soon as I can scrape money enuff together so I can 'ford to be piuss in good stile, like my welthy nabers. But if I'm confisticated agin I'm fraid I shall continner on in my present benited state for some time.
I figgered conspicyusly in many thrillin scenes in my tower from Montgomry to my humsted, and on sevril occasions I thought “the grate komick paper" wouldn't be inriched no more with my
lubrications. Arter biddin adoo to Jefferson D. I started for the depot. I saw a nigger sittin on a fence a-playin on a banjo. “My Afrikan Brother," sed I, coting from a Track I onct red, "yu belong to a very interesting race. Your masters is going to war excloosively on your account.”
“ Yes, boss,” he replied, “an' I wish 'em honorable graves !” and he went on playin the banjo, larfin all over and openin his mouth wide enuff to drive in an old-fashioned 2 wheeled chaise.
The train of cars in which I was to trust my wallerable life was the scaliest, rickytiest lookin lot of consarns that I ever saw on wheels afore. 66 What time does this string of second-hand coffins leave ?" I inquired of the depot master. He sed direckly, and I went in & sot down. I hadn't more'n fairly squatted afore a dark lookin man with a swinister expression onto his countenance entered the cars, and lookin very sharp at me, he axed what was my principles ?
" Secesh ” I ansered. “I'm a Dissoluter. I'm in favor of Jeff Davis, Bowregard, Pickens, Capt. Kidd, Bloobeard, Munro Edards, the devil, Mrs. Cunningham, and all the rest on 'em.”
" You're in favour of the war ?"
“ Certingly. By all means. I'm in favour of this war and also of the next war. I've been in favor of the next war for over sixteen years !"
6 War to the knive !" sed the man. “Blud, Eargo, blud !" sed I, tho them words isn't