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How

you

would laugh should I recount them now! I still predicted your return at last,

With gifts beyond the greatest vaunt of all,
All Tritheim's wondrous troop; did one of which
Attain renown by any chance, I smiled—
As well aware of who would prove his peer.
Michal was sure some woman, long ere this,
As beautiful as you were sage, had loved..
Par. Far-seeing, truly, to discern so much
In the fantastic projects and day-dreams
Of a raw, restless boy!

Fest.

Say, one whose sunrise

Well warranted our faith in this full noon!

Can I forget the anxious voice which said,

Festus, have thoughts like these e'er shaped themselves "In other brains than mine-have their possessors "Existed in like circumstance-were they weak

"As I-or ever constant from the first,

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Despising youth's allurements, and rejecting

"As spider-films the shackles I endure?

"Is there hope for me?"-and I answered grave As an acknowledged elder, calmer, wiser,

More gifted mortal. O you must remember,

For all your glorious...

Par.

Glorious? ay, this hair,

These hands-nay, touch them, they are mine! Recall

With all the said recallings, times when thus

To lay them by your own ne'er turned you pale,

As now.

Most glorious, are they not?

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So wide, no doubt. He would be scrupulous, truly, Who should object such drawbacks. Still, still, Aureole, You are changed-very changed! "Twere losing nothing To look well to it: you must not be stolen

From the enjoyment of your well-won meed.

Par. My friend! you seek my pleasure, past a doubt: By talking, not of me, but of yourself,

You will best gain your point.

Fest.

Have I not said
All touching Michal and my children? Sure
You know, by this, full well how Aennchen looks
Gravely, while one disparts her thick brown hair;
And Aureole's glee when some stray gannet builds
Amid the birch-trees by the lake. Small hope
Have I that he will honour, the wild imp,

His namesake! Sigh not! 'tis too much to ask
That all we love should reach the same proud fate.
But you are very kind to humour me

By showing interest in my quiet life;

You, who of old could never tame yourself

To tranquil pleasures, must at heart despise... Par. Festus, strange secrets are let out by Death, Who blabs so oft the follies of this world: And I am Death's familiar, as you know. -I helped a man to die, some few weeks since, Warped even from his go-cart to one endThe living on princes' smiles, reflected from

A mighty herd of favourites. No mean trick
He left untried; and truly well nigh wormed
All traces of God's finger out of him.

Then died, grown old; and just an hour before—
Having lain long with blank and soulless eyes-
He sate up suddenly, and with natural voice
Said, that in spite of thick air and closed doors
God told him it was June; and he knew well,
Without such telling, hare-bells grew in June;
And all that kings could ever give or take
Would not be precious as those blooms to him.
Just so, allowing I am passing wise,

It seems to me much worthier argument

Why pansies,* eyes that laugh, bear beauty's prize
From violets, eyes that dream-(your Michal's choice) —
Than all fools find to wonder at in me,
Or in my fortunes and be very sure
I say this from no prurient restlessness-
No self-complacency-itching to turn,
Vary, and view its pleasure from all points,
And, in this matter, willing other men
Should argue and demonstrate to itself
The realness of the very joy it tastes.
What joy is better than the news of friends
Whose memories were a solace to me oft,
As mountain-baths to wild fowls in their flight?
Yes, ofter than you wasted thought on me

* Citrinula (flammula) herba Paracelso multùm familiaris. DORN.

If you were sage, and rightly valued bliss!
But there's no taming nor repressing hearts:

God knows I need such!-So you heard me speak?
Fest. Speak? when?

Par.

When but this morning at my class?

There was noise and crowd enough. I saw you not.
Surely you know I am engaged to fill

The chair here?—that 'tis part of my proud fate
To lecture to as many thick-sculled youths
As please, each day, to throng the theatre,
To my great reputation, and no small
Danger of Basil's benches, long unused
To crack beneath such honour?

Fest.

I was there;

I mingled with the throng: shall I avow

I had small care to listen ?-too intent

On gathering from the murmurs of the crowd
A full corroboration of my hopes!

What can I learn about your powers? but they

Know, care for nought beyond your actual state-
Your actual value; and yet worship you!

Those various natures whom you sway as one!

But ere I go, be sure I shall attend. .

Par. Stop, o' God's name: the thing's by no means yet Past remedy! Shall I read this morning's work

-At least in substance? Nought so worth the gaining
As an apt scholar! Thus then, with all due

Precision and emphasis (you, besides, are clearly
Guiltless of understanding a whit more

The subject than your stool-allowed to be
A notable advantage). . .

Fest.

You laugh at me!

Par.

Surely, Aureole,

I laugh? Ha, ha! thank heaven,

I charge you, if 't be so! for I forget

Much-and what laughter should be like! No less,
However, I forego that luxury,

Since it alarms the friend who brings it back.
True, laughter like my own must echo strange.
To thinking men; a smile were better far-
\So make me smile! If the exulting look
You wore but now be smiling, 'tis so long
Since I have smiled! Alas, such smiles are born
Alone of hearts like yours, or shepherds old

Of ancient time, whose eyes, calm as their flocks,
\Saw in the stars mere garnishry of heaven,
In earth a stage for altars, nothing more.
Never change, Festus: I say, never change!
Fest. My God, if he be wretched after all!
Par. When last we parted, Festus, you declared,
-Or did your Michal's soft lips whisper words
I have preserved? She told me she believed
I should succeed (meaning, that in the search
I then engaged in, I should meet success),
And yet be wretched: now, she augured false.

Fest. Thank heaven! but you spoke strangely! could.

I venture

To think bare apprehension lest your friend,

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