« 上一页继续 »
"I've studied owls,
And other night fowls,
And I tell you
What I know to be true:
An owl cannot roost
With his limbs so unloosed;
No owl in this world
Ever had his claws curled,
Ever had his bill canted,
Into that attitude.
He can't do it, because
An owl has a toe
That can't turn out so!
I've made the white owl my study for years,
And to see such a job almost moves me to tears!
Mister Brown, I'm amazed
You should be so gone crazed
As to put up a bird
In that posture absurd!
To look at that owl really brings on a dizziness;
The man who stuffed him don't half know his business!" And the barber kept on shaving.
"Examine those eyes.
So unnatural they seem
Do take that bird down;
Have him stuffed again, Brown!"
And the barber kept on shaving.
"With some sawdust and bark
I would stuff in the dark
Stuck up there SO stiff like a side of coarse leather. In fact, about him there's not one natural feather."
Just then, with a wink and a sly normal lurch, The owl, very gravely, got down from his perch, Walked round, and regarded his fault-finding critic (Who thought he was stuffed) with a glance analytic, And then fairly hooted, as if he should say: "Your learning's at fault this time, anyway; Don't waste it again on a live bird, I pray.
I'm an owl; you're another. Sir Critic, good-day!" And the barber kept on shaving.
The Alarmed Skipper
"It was an Ancient Mariner"
MANY a long, long year ago,
Nantucket skippers had a plan
Of finding out, though "lying low,"
How near New York their schooners ran.
They greased the lead before it fell,
A skipper gray, whose eyes were dim,
Snug in his berth, at eight o'clock,
The watch on deck would now and then Run down and wake him, with the lead; He'd up, and taste, and tell the men How many miles they went ahead.
One night, 'twas Jotham Marden's watch,
"We're all a set of stupid fools
To think the skipper knows by tasting
And so he took the well-greased lead
"Where are we now, sir? Please to taste."
The skipper stormed and tore his hair, Thrust on his boots, and roared to Marden, "Nantucket's sunk, and here we are
Right over old Marm Hackett's garden !"
The Pettibone Lineage
My name is Esek Pettibone, and I wish to affirm in the outset that it is a good thing to be well-born. In thus connecting the mention of my name with a positive statement, I am not unaware that a catastrophe lies coiled up in the juxtaposition. But I cannot help writing plainly that I am still in favor of a distinguished family-tree. Esto perpetua! To have had somebody for a great-grandfather that was somebody is exciting. To be able to look back on long lines of ancestry that were rich, but respectable, seems decorous and all right. The present Earl of Warwick, I think, must have an idea that strict justice has been do e him in the way of being launched properly into the world. I saw the Duke of Newcastle once, and as the farmer in Conway described Mount Washington, I thought the Duke felt a propensity to "hunch up some." Somehow it is pleasant to look down on the crowd and have a conscious right to do so.
Left an orphan at the tender age of four years, having no brothers or sisters to prop me round with young affections and sympathies, I fell into three pairs of hands, excellent in their way, but peculiar. Patience, Eunice, and Mary Ann Pettibone were my aunts on my father's side. All my mother's relations kept shady when the lonely orphan looked about for protection; but Patience Pettibone, in her stately way, said, "The boy belongs to a good family, and he shall never want while his three aunts can support him." So I went to live with my plain but benignant protectors, in the State of New Hampshire.
During my boyhood the best-drilled lesson that fell to my keeping was this: "Respect yourself. We come of more than