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sets out to gather and arrange the various fruits which

From vineyards of the Green-Sea gushing; as yet formed the whole range of food for man :

And Shiraz wine, that richly ran

As if that jewel, large and rare,
With despatchful looks in haste

The ruby for which Kublai-Khan
She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent:

Offered a city's wealth, was blushing
What choice to choose for delicacy best;

Melted within the goblets there!'
What order, so contrived as not to mix
Tastes, not well joined, inelegant; but bring

Our next transition is not so great or sudden. To Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change :

step from Milton to Moore is to descend from the golden Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk,

clouds to something like ordinary earth ; but to pass Whatever Earth, all-bearing mother, yields

from Moore to Byron is only crossing the boundary of In India East or West, or middle shore In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where

two tangent dominions of poesy. The table, then, which Alcinous reigned; fruit of all kinds, in coat

we are next to look upon, though similar in some of its Rough, or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell,

features to those already described, is quite different in She gathers, tribute large, and on the board

its general air and character. The poet is describing lleaps with unsparing hand. For drink the grape

the feast given by Haidée to her lover in the dwellShe crushes, inoffensive must, and meaths From many a berry, and from sweet kernels pressed ing of her pirate father. He tells us that they She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold

Sate Wants her fit vessels pure; then strews the ground

At wassail in their beauty and their pride : With rose and odours from the shrub unfumed,"

An ivory inlaid table spread with state

Before them, and fair slaves on every side; Here is no 'regal pomp,' no 'dishes piled,' no mere.

Gems, gold, and silver formed the service mostly, tricious splendour! All chaste and simple, yet varied Mother-of-pearl and coral the less costly. and abundant. The primitive purity of the Eden-life

The dinner made about a hundred dishes; forbade the shedding of blood-the destruction of life

Lamb and pistachio nuts-in short, all meats, for the purposes of food; and consequently here we And saffron soups, and sweet breads; and the fishes have no savoury meats, no 'fowl of game,' or 'fish

Were of the finest that e'er flounced in nets, from every shore ;' no stately sideboard, and no frag

Drest to a Sybarite's most pampered wishes;

The beverage was various sherbets rant wines. Innocent and nutritious fruits, gently ap

Of raisin, orange, and pomegranate juice, peasive rather than provocative of appetite, with in- Squeezed through the rind, which makes it best for use. offensive must and meaths' to satisfy the promptings

These were ranged round each in its crystal ewer, of thirst-not rich and costly wines to tempt the cloy

And fruits and date-bread loaves closed the repast; ing palate to intoxicating excess. The description is And Mocha'- berry, from Arabia pure, perfect-unless, perhaps, we might be permitted to ask

In small fine china cups came in at last; (though it is almost heresy even to hint a fault in so

Gold cups of filigree made to secure

The hand from burning underneath them placed : complete a master of the proprieties' as Milton) how

Cloves, cinnamon, and saffron too were boiled the conventional word board (in 13th line) has been Up with the coffee, which (I think) they spoiled.' permitted to slip into such a passage?--especially when, How lightly touched, and yet how vivid is this luxuin a few lines afterwards, we are told that

rious or even voluptuous picture! We can see the -Raised of grassy turf

white and jewelled hands of the two lovers moving Their table was.'

among the fruits and sweetmeats of the heaped-up Yet the poet may have used it only as a convenient other to the tempting delicacies, and talking languish

table. We can imagine them playfully helping each common synonyme for table, intentionally overlooking ingly about the blushing fruits and the sparkling wines. its purely conventional origin.

We feel it to be a kind of falling away to leave the Yet, on the whole, this picture of a set feast by the company of the heavenly muse of Milton for that of any

modern poet is not so finely coloured as that which we lesser master of song. But variety is always pleasing; have quoted from his elder brother, Milton; nor perand without indulging in any remarks of our own, haps was it requisite that it should be so under the difwhich seem less called for in the present case, we shall

ferent circumstances. There is a sort of carelessness, at once lead our readers to the feast spread forth in the perhaps from the

peculiar style in which it

, in common

an air of dilettanteism, about Byron's description, arising gardens of Shalimar for the imperial Selim. We suppose we need scarcely add that we quote from Moore's with the whole of the poem from which it is extracted, beautiful poem of · Lalla Rookh ;' a work scarcely less is written, that does not tell beside the seriousness of distinguished for the vast amount of characteristic Milton's account of the Satanic feast. Milton's grand learning which it displays, than for its exquisite poeti- provision is calculated to fill the eye with longing, and

make the mouth water with desire. We behold the cal beauties. The research of the author, his perfect knowledge of Eastern localities, manners, histories, le- rich meats and glowing fruits, and would fain stretch gends, and fables, are even visible throughout our short forth our hand to touch and taste them. But we can extract:

look at the Byronic feast- banquet with comparative in. '

difference. Everything there is very fine and attracThe board was spread with fruits and wine :

tive in its way, but somehow or other it is not so sorely With grapes of gold, like those that shine On Casbin's hills---pomegranates full

tempting to frail human senses. Of melting sweetness, and the pears,

But we wave our magic wand-as did Dr Snatchaway And sunniest apples that Cabul

before the greedy eyes of Governor Sancho--and all In all its thousand gardens bears;

these fine dishes disappear. The next poetical picture Plantains, the golden and the green,

which we present to our readers deserves to be shaded Malaga's nectared mangusteen ; Prunes of Bokhara, and sweet nuts by silken curtains. It is from “ The Eve of St Agnes,

' From the far groves of Samarcand,

a beautiful poem by that wonderful young poet Keats. And Basra dates, and apricots,

It was an ancient superstition that if, on the eve of the Seed of the sun, from Iran's land ;

day devoted by the rules of the Roman Catholic church With rich conserve of Visna cherries, Of orange flowers, and of those berries

to St Agnes, a maiden should observe certain approThat, wild and fresh, the young gazelles

priate rites and ceremonies before retiring to rest, she Feed on in Erac's rocky dells.

would, till midnight, enjoy sweet dreams about her All these in richest vases smile,

lover. * Around this legend of the olden time Keats In baskets of pure sandal-wood,

has woven one of the most beautiful poems in the
And urns of porcelain from that isle
Sunk underneath the Indian flood,

English language. We do not intend to give anything
Whence oft the lucky diver brings
Vases to grace the halls of kings.

* Somewhat akin to some of the Scottish superstitions about Wines, too, of every clime and hue,

Halloween. St Agnes's Eve, however, is nearly three months Around their liquid lustre threw;

later in the scnson of winter than Halloween-the latter being in Amber Rosolli-the bright dew

October, the former in January.

but the merest glimpse of the sunny brightness of this And all on the table no sooner were spread,

Than their cheeks next the god blushed a beautiful red. poetic gem ; but it is necessary to the right understand

'Twas magic, in short, and deliciousness all. ing of the general character of our extract, that we

The very men-servants grew handsome and tall ; should preface it by the information that Madeline-a To velvet-hung ivory the furniture turned, beautiful young lady-has observed the necessary rites, The service with opal and adamant burned, and gone to sleep fusting (an important part of the

Each candlestick changed to a pillar of gold,

While a bundle of beams took the place of the mould, charm, it would seem), in the hope of dreaming of her

The decanters and glasses pure diamond became, lover Porphyro, and that he has gained admittance to

And the corkscrew ran solidly round into fame : her chamber, with the view of persuading her to steal In a word, so completely forestalled were the wishes, away with him from among her cruel kinsmen, to his

E'en harmony struck from the noise of the dishes.' home.beyond the southern moors.' He prepares for But we must linger no longer amid such tempting her a slight repast, and waits her awakening, that he fare, lest we get intoxicated even with the fumes. We may by his actual presence fulfil, as it were, the visions trust, however, that we have given specimens sufficient which he hopes have visited her.

to show that poetry can, when it chooses, deal success*Then by the bedside, where the faded moon

fully with very commonplace subjects. As for those Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set

who seriously object to it on opposite grounds, we A table, and, half-anguished, threw thereon

do not hesitate to say that the fault is in themselves. A cloth of woven crimson, gold, and jet. * *

They are incapable of understanding or appreciating it. And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,

Such persons cannot of course be expected to enjoy the In blanched linen, smooth, and lavendered ;

fine descriptions which we have been quoting; nor can While he from forth the closet brought a heap

they, we will even venture to affirm, enjoy to their full Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd, With jellies soother than the creamy curd,

extent, or in their finer elements, the realities of such And lucent syrops tinct with cinnamon;

descriptions ; while, on the other hand, a poetical mind Manna and dates, in argosy transferred

is always able to add charms to actual delights of whatFrom Fez; and spiced dainties, every one, From silken Samarcand to cedared Lebano..

ever class or quality they may be-to draw forth riches

from its own exhaustless stores wherewith to crown These delicates he heaped with glowing hand

the feast, or fill the cup to overflowing.
On gulden dishes, and in baskets bright
Of wreathed silver. Sumptuous they stand
In the retired quiet of the night,

VEGETABLE CURIOSITIES.
Filling the chilly room with perfume light.'

The vegetable kingdom has often supplied the natural How much of united delicacy and richness is here! theologist with the most striking and forcible of his illusThere is no overloading, no gaudy ornament-all is trations in proof of the lavish goodness of the Creator. chaste and refined, but at the same time exquisitely He has seen in its varied productions the exhaustless skill rich and luxurious. It is a collation worthy of Elysium, of the All-creative hand; in their adaptation to the wants to be partaken of by Apollo and the Muses. It must and necessities of man, His wisdom; and in the gratificabe remembered that a fully-furnished feast would have tions they present to his eye and to his taste, the clear been quite out of place on such an occasion ; yet some evidences, that while utility has been amply regarded, the thing somewhat substantial was requisite, seeing that enjoyment of the creature has been equally remembered, Madeline had retired to rest fasting. Let your eye rian products of this kingdom we are sufficiently familiar;

and abundantly provided for. With most of the utilitawander again, good reader, over the lines we have but with regard to its more exquisite gifts, we believe a quoted, and think how welcome must have been such good deal of ignorance to prevail, which it will be our ensweet provision. Nothing could be finer or more ap-deavour, though imperfectly, to dissipate. propriate. 'Here,' says Leigh Hunt, that fine poet The Rev. Dr Walsh, in a paper upon plants growing in and exquisite critic— here is delicate modulation, and

the neighbourhood of Constantinople, contained in the super-refined epicurean nicety.

• Horticultural Transactions,' speaks in an interesting man“Lucent syrops tinct with cinnamon,"

ner of several of the gourd tribe, which grow luxuriantly

in that district. One of the curious varieties was the Crie make us read the line delicately, and at the tip-end, curbita cluriformis, or “Jonah's Gourd, which is believed to as it were, of one's tongue.'

be really that plant which was caused to grow up over the We shall conclude, for the present at least, these head of the prophet in a single night. It forms a beautipickings from the tables of the poets-appropriately fully green dense arbour, through which the rays even of enough-with a supper; a supper set out by Leigh the eastern sun are unable to penetrate; under its shade Hunt himself. It is from a fine fanciful poem, one of the singular fruit of the plant hangs down in long, delicate,

the Easterns delight to sit and smoke; while overhead his earlier works, entitled, “The Feast of the Poets,' in tempting clubs, somewhat like very stout candles. The which Apollo is represented as having descended to

fruit is not eaten in the uncooked state ; but the central hold a sort of levee with the living poets of the time, part being scooped out, it is filled with forcemeat, and and at which Byron, Campbell, Montgomery, Rogers, boiled, forming a very delicate and relishable repast. AnScott, Crabbe, Moore, Keats, Shelley, Landor, Southey, other remarkable gourd is the 'Turk's turban, botanically Coleridge, Wordsworth, and others, were present. the Cucurbita cidariformis; in form, it is like a large quince A pollo bestows upon each of them an appropriate placed on the top of a fat melon, thus bearing a pretty wreath, wherewith their brows are encircled, and they curious, and more wonderful than true,' as we fear. A

The history of its origin is all sit down to sup with him. ! parely imaginary, the poet could give full wing to his gourd was once planted in Campania, near a quince; and fancy; and accordingly we have a glow of magnificence gourd came to the resolution of adopting the form of the

an affection apparently springing up between the two, the worthy of the brightest dreams of the imaginative quince in addition to its own glossy rotundity, and the reEast:

sult was the form we have just noticed. It is used as an Rich rose the feast as an epicure's dreams,

excellent addition to soups. Another species is the white Not epicure civic, or grossly inclined,

gourd, or Cucurbita pepo; this is found in the markets prinBut such as a poet might dream ere he dined;

cipally in the winter, and is commonly piled up in heaps, For the god had no sooner determined the fare,

like cannon-balls, or more like pyramids of snow-balls. Than it turned to whatever was racy and rare:

Romantic associations attach to this chaste production ; The fish and the flesh, for example, were done,

it is presented at every native marriage ceremony to the On account of their fineness, in flame from the su:

married pair, and is supposed to insure peace and prosThe wines were all nectar of different smack, To which Muskat was nothing, nor Virginis Sac,

perity to them and their house. The Momordica elaterium, No, nor even Johannisberg, soul of the Rhine,

à member of the same family, is otherwise known as the Nor Montepulciano, though king of all wine.

“Squirting Cucumber,' from its possessing the strange proThen as for the fruits, ye miglit garden for ages,

perty of squirting out its contents on one of the ends being Before you could raise me such apples and gages;

pulled or touched. It is a common piece of gardener's wit

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to request one to take hold of the dangerous end, and if grance and flavour, possessing a pulp of a deep yellow, and we consent, the face and person are covered with the acrid exhaling a fine vinous odour. Yet it must yield to the farslimy contents of this vegetable pop-gun. Where the famed mangustin of the Indian Archipelago. This exquisite plant grows in abundance, they may be heard popping off production is universally esteemed, and is alike agreeable pretty frequently; and by simply walking near these irrit- to strangers as to the inhabitants of its native country, able instruments, the passenger is often shot in the eyes whose pride it is. In shape and size it is like a middling with great force by them. Some of this tribe occasionally apple ; it has a thick purplish rind, which surrounds three reach an enormous size, particularly the mammoth or or four cloves of soft snow-white pulp, which almost immeAmerican gourd. Among many examples, one is spe- diately dissolve. The flavour is extremely rich, yet never cially recorded as having attained the colossal weight of becomes luscious, nor palls on the taste; but the fruit may two hundred and forty-five pounds! - a size truly mon- be eaten almost ad libitum. Dr Lindley says that an intelstrous.

ligent traveller and his companions were anxious to bring Among delicious fruits, the tree known as the Tombe. away with them some precise expression of its flavour; but rong’ produces small berries of a yellow colour, and ex- after satisfying themselves that it partook of the compound quisite tlavour. These are highly esteemed by the natives, taste of the pine-apple and the peach, they were obliged, who convert them into a beautiful sort of bread, which, after of course a series of tastings, to confess that it had curious to relate, both in colour and flavour bears the many other equally delicious, but utterly inexpressible, closest resemblance to our finest gingerbread. A tree be- flavours. Not only is it grateful to the strong and hearty, longing to the natural order Assocynacee, produces a fruit but even to the sick, who may eat it with impunity; and, called the • Cream Fruit,' which is estimated by some as

as if to swell the list of its good attributes, it is related being the most exquisite fruit in the world. Two are that Dr Solander was cured of putrid fever by eating it. always united together, and they depend from the extre- A more singular, and at first a most uninviting fruit, is the mity of a small branch; when wounded, they yield a

durian:' it combines in a remarkable manner an odour quantity of fine white juice resembling sugar, or the best the most disgusting and offensive-creating an almost inmilk in its taste. For allaying the thirst incident to a superable aversion to the fruit—with a very rich and delitropical climate this fruit is invaluable; and its delicious cate taste. The tree is described as being something like quality gives it an appropriate estimation in the eyes of a pear-tree; the fruit externally resembles that of the the weary traveller in those regions. Of another curious bread-fruit' tree, the outside being covered with tubercles. fruit produced by one of the same tribe, Dr Lindley writes When ripe, it contains several cells, in each of which is a - The sages of Ceylon having demonstrated, as they say, large seed of the size of a pigeon's egg, imbedded in a rich that Paradise was in that island, and having therefore pulp. The taste is very curious, and has been compared found it necessary to point out the forbidden fruit of the to a dish commonly known in Spain under the name of garden of Eden, assure us that it was borne on a species of Mangiar Blanco,' composed of hen's flesh dressed in vinegar. this genus, the Divi Ladner of their country. The proof The fruit really appears to partake more of an animal than they find of this discovery, consists in the beauty of the vegetable nature, and never becomes sickly or cloying. fruit, said to be tempting in the fragrance of the flower, The natives are passionately fond of it, and when it is to and in its still bearing the marks of the teeth of Ere. Till the be procured, live almost wholly on its luxurious cream-like offence was committed which brought misery upon man,

flesh. It is said soon to turn putrid. One durian is worth we are assured that the fruit was delicious; but from that more than a dozen pine-apples. time forward it became poisonous, as it now remains.' The The rose-apples of the East have long been had in esteem, fruit of another tree of the same species affords a capital and take a high position among the elegant delicacies of substitute for red currant jelly, and one of the celebrated nature. In all respects, this fruit is a lovely production; 'cow-trees,' inhabitants of equatorial America, belongs to it is borne by a tree called the jambo; it is about as large this natural order also. The delicious custard apples of as a pear; externally, it is arrayed in a coat of the most the East and West Indies are produced by the Anona reti- splendid red; inside, its pulp is of the loveliest white; and culata. It is a small, weakly, branching tree, bearing fruit in perfume and taste it much resembles the rose. Some about the size of a tennis-ball, which is of a dull-brown varieties of the rose-apple are so fine, as to be preserved for colour. The flesh is said to be of a yellowish colour, soft the king's use alone; a beautiful variety, the jamrosade, is and sweet, being about the consistence, and sharing even most highly perfumed with rose, while its colour is a delimuch of the flavour, of a good custard. Another variety is cate transparent pink mixed with white. The well-known a small tree, which bears a fruit of a greenish-yellow colour, guava is a fruit belonging to the same natural order-the and of the size of an artichoke, called the ‘Sweet Sop. The myrtleblooms. One of the chief delicacies of the Indian skin is half an inch thick, and encloses an abundance of a desert is the fruit of the mango, the offspring of a conthick, sweet, luxurious pulp, tasting like clouted cream siderable tree like a walnut. When fresh, it is of an exmixed with sugar.* Rumphius says that it has in some ceedingly delicate, sweet, and acidulous flavour, and forms degree the smell and taste of rosewater, and is so deli- pickles and preserves, which are highly esteemed. Some cious, that one scarcely ever tires of partaking of it. It of its varieties are as large as an infant's head, and exceed has a complete contrast in the “Sour Sor,' which belongs two pounds in weight. Sir William Jones, in the · Asiatic to the same species, which is a fruit of the size of a Researches,' mentions a very delicious fruit, known as the large pear, abounding in a milk-white pulp of a sweetish- malura, which is curious in consequence of its possessing a acid taste. Sir Hans Sloane, in the Natural History of fragrance strongly resembling that of the wallflower. Jamaica, particularly mentions the alligator, or avocado Chinese horticulture has long been famous for its propear, the product of one of the Lacerels; the fruit is the ductions, some of which are very anomalous. Marco Polo size of a large pear, and possesses a rich delicate flavour, says they have some pears of most gigantic sizes: pears are not unlike that of the peach; but it is described as being at all seasons in the Chinese markets, and some appear to even more grateful. Another curious fruit is that called have been fattened up to a degree of obesity that would the ' Mammee ;' it is round and yellow, and when ripe, the rind peels off, 'discovering the eatable part, which has an would be thought in England of a pear weighing ten pounds,

do good to the eyes of an agricultural prize-breeder. What acidulo-saccharine taste, and is of great fragrance. The therefore somewhat of the size of a Southdown leg of tree by which it is borne reaches the size of our largest mutton ? Yet such this industrious traveller affirms as oaks.

a fact, adding that they are white in colour, melting, and Those who are admirers of marmalade (and we expect a most fragrant in taste. Other authors mention pears of vast number of our readers are guilty of that indiscretion), approximative sizes, some measuring nearly sixteen inches will learn with some surprise that nature presents the in- in circumference the long way, and upwards of a foot the habitants of Surinam with the article ready confected. round way. Their peaches, too, are equally fine ; many of The fruit is called the Marmalade Box;' it is about the them are of the most beautiful colours and exquisite flasize of a large apple, and is covered with down. At first it vour, and some attain enormous sizes. The Chinese garis green, but when ripe it becomes brown, and then opens deners boast of having produced peaches weighing two into halves like a walnut; the pulp is of a brownish colour, pounds; and it is not for us to doubt their assertions, alvery sweet and tempting, and is eaten by the natives with though we know somewhat of the elasticity of the Chinese the greatest avidity. The Brazilians boast also of a deli- conscience. They are also said to be possessed

of the cious fruit, the murucuja, said to be unsurpassed in fra- valuable secret of preserving fruit gathered in October

until the succeeding January, in all its beauty, freshness, * Dr Lindley in a valuable paper upon tropical fruits in ‘Horti- and flavour. Among other fruits, the flat peach' well cultural Transactions.'

deserves the title of a horticultural curiosity. It is in

6

all respects like a peach, except that it is flattened out and carried a small bundle slung on the point of a stick into a cake: this fruit is well known at Canton; its colour over his shoulder. is a pale yellow ; when cut into, a beautiful circle of pink is seen surrounding the stone, and radiating into a mass

I could not stay any longer at home,' said the boy, of delicately-coloured pulp. In the indulgence of their longer master there ; some one else had everything his

as he threw his little packet on the floor. 'I was no dwarfing propensities, they mannfucture, for such it is, own way. Oh what a country boor that Venetian is ! miniature fruit-trees of various kinds by the method now become familiar to most persons. Large sums are set on

If I were only ten years older, I would turn him out of the heads of those diminutive trees in proportion to their the house. Alas! why am I only eleven years old ?' ugliness and their abundance of fruit. Venerable old * And a pretty rogue you are,' said the grandfather, plum-trees, a foot high, laden with fruit, are without a laughing at the childish passion of Antonio. “So you price; while finger-fruits, marygos, peaches, carambolas, want to be master in your mother's house?' and grapes, come in for subordinate attention. The beauti- • When my father died, he left no other son: I am ful orange the. mandarin' (Citrus nobilis), one of the recent therefore the head of the house.' importations into this country, is remarkable for having

• A fine house truly!' replied the old man, who was a deep crimson rind when ripe, which is quite detached by this time thoroughly awakened from his slumbers : from the fruit. “The whole,' writes Sir J. F. Davis,'has a

four stakes, a few stones, and a little straw! If it were fattish aspect, and is sometimes four or five inches in diameter; and the loose skin, when broken, opens like a puff

a palace indeed, like that of Falliero, it would be someball, disclosing the juicy lobes surrounded with a kind of thing worth talking of.' network of fibres. The celebrated finger-fruit comes very little head in a determined manner;

* Falliero !--Falliero!' said the child, as he shook his manifestly into our category, and is a curious result of an

one may have iazenious horticulture. It is a peculiar kind of citrus, spirit without belonging to the rich house of Falliero.' which, by some means or other, is made to run entirely • Tell me, Antonio, will you have some supper?' ininto rind, the whole terminating at the head in several terrupted the old man. long narrow processes like fingers: it has hence been No: I am not hungry.' Damed • Fo show,' or the hand of Fo. Its odour is very

“But you have had a long way to walk from your powerful, but is considered as very fine. So entirely, mother's: however, is this strange production the result of art operating upon nature, that it does not appear a second time

* Only three miles : what is that?' after the plant has been purchased.' The Chinese have

*Well

, then, give me an account of your escape from also some curious oranges, known as the horned oranges,

home.' from the circumstance of a number of little horn-like pro- • Yes, grandpapa, this is the history of it. You know cesses projecting from its upper end. It may be mentioned that my mother contracted a second marriage with that in connection with these plants, that the productiveness low fellow Paesillo; and what annoyed me most about of the orange is something quite enormous. A single tree it was, that she changed her pretty name. Was it not at St Michael's has been known to produce 20,000 oranges a beautiful name, grandpapa ?' fit for packing, exclusively of about one-third more of “Yes, to be sure. Well, go on.' damaged fruit. Mr Fortune supplies a curious account of • And it was my own name besides ; and I think it the production of vegetable tallow.' The seeds of the tallow-tree, after having been steamed and bruised, are

a disgrace that a son should bear one name and his

mother another.' hented over the fire; the tallow is thus completely separated, but it looks like coarse linseed meal; subjected to

Yes, yes; but do finish your story, for I am going expression, it exudes in a semi-fluid state, and beautifully to sleep,' interrupted Pasino, drowsily turning into bed. white, soon hardening and becoming solid. It is then made • The Signor Paesillo had hardly set foot within our into cakes, and exposed for sale in the markets, for the house,' continued Antonio, ' when changes began to be manufacture of candles; but as these are apt to get soft, made. In the first place, I was not caressed as heretothey are often dipped in wax of various colours, and some fore; I was no longer given the best of everything-it times are finely ornamented. But this is a subject with an was all for Signor Paesillo: I was unhappy, and they unconquerable tendency to expansion; let us therefore, left me to myself: I complained, and they left me to having gone thus far, take a hasty leave of it at once.

complain ; and no one said “What aileth thee, little

one? Come to dinner-come to supper :" so I would not THE ARTIST'S FIRST WORK.

eat either one or the other. I took my resolution, and

said to myself, “ There is my grandfather, who lives Not far from the splendid Palazza Falliero at Possagno, alone, who loves children, who will let me do as I please in the Venetian states, stood the hunible cabin of an if I go and live with him. There I will go; and there, aged mason named Pasino. One evening that, wearied if nowhere else, I shall be master." Are you gone to with his work, he lay sleeping soundly after the labours sleep, grandpapa, instead of listening? of the day, he was suddenly awakened by a loud knock • No, no; all right! Now lie down on this fresh at the door of his cabin. He rose, ran hastily to open straw. Since you like so much to be master, I will it, and notwithstanding the darkness of the night, per- soon make you a master-mason.' ceived that it was a little boy who stood without.

• Oh, a mason is not the nicest trade.' "Who are you, and what do you ant here?' brusquely • You'll see what a nice one it is.' inquired Pasino.

What! putting one stone on the top of another? * Antonio,' replied the timid voice of a child.

always stones!' • What Antonio?'

• Is it marble, then, you would wish for, *Your own Antonio, dear grandpapa.'

madcap?' * Is it thou, my child? And what has happened • Certainly that would be better, and more honourthen?' said the mason, quickly changing his tone, and able too.' | drawing the little fellow kindly towards him, whilst "Well, then, stop chattering now, and let me go to | he sought even by the faint light of the moon to read sleep.'

in his countenance what unexpected cause could have The next day Pasino woke Antonio early, and after occasioned this late visit. “But speak then, my child! having offered up together a short prayer to Our Lady Why hast left thy mother?-Is she ill ?-Hast dis- of the Seven Sorrows,' and partaken of a frugal breakpleased her?-Has she turned you out of doors ?' fast, they wended their way to the Falliero palace, where *No: I left home of my own accord.'

the mason had been working for some days past. But * And for what reason?' again inquired the old man, it was all in vain that he attempted to keep his grandas he led the child into his cabin, and struck a light. child at work, for the little fellow was always mixing Madonna Santissima! why did you leave your mother?' up mud or squaring stones. The old man could never Pasino had now succeeded in lighting á lantern, and turn his back for a moment, but Antonio was busy was able more plainly to examine his grandson's coun-making either a Venus or a Policinello, or preparing

tenance. He then perceived that the child was in tears, I clay with his trowel for the divers figures he wished to 1:

you little

or

fashion. And if Pasino scolded him, he would say, You, Antonio, what are you whispering about over * But you see, grandpapa, I am so tired!'

there? Go, run and call your grandfather, and tell him * But what are you doing now?'

to come here.' "Making a blessed Virgin and Child.'

Antonio, highly amused, darted off directly, and soon And the poor grandfather, who for the most part came back pulling the old man along by his white could discover nothing but a shapeless mass of clay, apron. When the latter had been made to understand rather than disappoint the boy, would praise the beauty what was the matter, he shook his head, and twisting of the Virgin, or the grace of the child, and prophesied his cotton cap (which he had taken off out of respect to that his little man’ would one day become a famous the duke) in his thin hand, said, 'If you wanted me mason, and even build palaces for the Fallieri them- now to build up a wall, or repair the capital of a pillar, selves.

On the approach of the feast of St Cecilia, the Duke ‘But it is to make a centre dish which is required, of Falliero gave orders that a grand banquet should be grandpapa,' cried Antonio, as if he were speaking to a prepared in honour of the festival. Oh, if you could deaf man. only have seen how many saucepans simmered on the . I know it,' answered Pasino. heated braziers; how many spits groaned under the * And cannot you, who build houses and palaces, weight of pheasants, fowls, ducks, poulardes, strung on make a simple dish?' one after another !—If you could have had a glance at * Hold thy tongue, boy, and do not talk so loud beall the spiced meats, the savoury pasties, the rich jellies, fore monseigneur.' the candied confitures, the fragrant fruits of every sort Antonio, somewhat confused at the rebuke, began to and hue, together with every variety of dainty which murmur impatiently, “If they would only listen to me!' could please the eye or gratify the palate, it would have The Duke Falliero, who had for some time admired made your mouth water! Antonio, who had glided in the arch vivacity of Antonio's countenance, was struck amongst the cooks and assistants, opened his eyes wide, with its expression at this moment. It bespoke conand went about admiring and smelling all these fine tempt for so puerile a discussion; and the child's forethings, of which he had never before even formed an idea. head was radiant with a consciousness of power. A

All on a sudden, and just as dinner was about to be half-malicious smile played around his mouth, while served, the major-domo uttered a loud cry, and strik- the two rosy lips, half parted, seemed so plainly about ing his forehead with his hand, as if in despair, ex- to say, 'Why do you not seek my help?' that the duke claimed, • Oh, unhappy creature that I am!-oh, un- could not resist interrogating him. fortunate Pietro!—Madonna Santissima! I am ruined, 'If we were to listen to you, then, what would be and with me the illustrious House of Falliero!' At this your counsel ?' said the duke, as he playfully pulled moment, while the poor man was finishing his doleful Antonio by the ear. soliloquy, the duke himself happened to pass, and in- • Why, my lord,' answered the boy, colouring up quired what was the matter. • Oh, illustrious duke,' to his eyes on being thus addressed, if the Signor replied the major-domo, 'beat me, kill me if you will ; Pietro would only give me a bit of paste, such as is used I am a wretch, an assassin!'

for making ornamental cakes'The duke cut him short with the inquiry, 'Well, • Do not listen to this little pickle, please your exbut explain yourself, Pietro: how is it that my honour cellency!' said Pasino, at the same time motioning to has been compromised as well as yours ? Speak, and let the child to be silent. me understand it.'

I will not only listen to him,' said the duke, ' but • My banquet, may it please your excellency, which also desire Pietro to leave the construction of this fawould have equalled those that were spread before the mous dish to Antonio. Antonio, I give you cartedoges of Venice in the times of its greatest splendour, blanche; but on your part, what will you give me if oh, my magnificent banquet is ruined by an act of for- you do not succeed?' getfulness, which deserves to be punished by a halter.' • My ears, please your excellency,' boldly replied the And what, then, have you forgotten ?'

boy. . The first service, my lord, is perfect-everything is Done, then,' said the duke: ' let us see what you composed in the most exquisite taste, the purest and can achieve.' most elegant style; the second corresponds to the first The banquet was sumptuous beyond any that the in every respect; the third, if possible, exceeds them guests had ever beheld ; and when the dessert was both; but the fourth-the dessert-oh, Madonna San- about to be served, the duke entertained the company tissima! only think of the centre dish being spoiled by relating to them the history of the cook's failure, the very crowning piece of the whole !'

and of the opportune presumption of the little An• What a piece of work about nothing!' exclaimed tonio. As he spoke, the dessert made its appearance. the little Antonio with an arch sniile, as he stood in Dish after dish was laid in exact order upon the table; the corner of the kitchen : 'it is only to make another but whether it arose from malice, or whether the poor dish instead.'

Antonio had not been able to succeed, the centre of the • And can there not be another substituted ?' inquired table remained vacant, and the guests began to smile, the duke.

and then to wonder, until at last their patience was It is difficult—it is impossible, may it please your well-nigh exhausted, when lo! the major-domo apexcellency.'

peared, bearing in his hands a large dishi, veiled by a • Make some pyramid, some tower of—of something.' light covering. It was laid before the duke, its cover

• It is exactly this something which we are in want of; ing removed, and a cry of admiration resounded through and besides, there is no time left—there is only half an the hall. It was a beautiful lion, exquisitely modelled hour to spare, and already the guests are beginning to in sugared paste. arrive.'

Bravo!-bravo!' exclaimed the guests on all sides. * I should know very well what to do,' muttered An- * Where is the confectioner, the cook, the little architonio to himself, . if they would only ask my advice.' tect?'

• Well,' said the duke somewhat anxiously to Pietro, Where is the artist?' inquired the duke in an what course do you mean to pursue?'

authoritative tone. “Oh, if the architecture of the banquet were not of Then appeared, half concealed behind Pietro, a hand80 pure and elegant a style, we could

But no, it

some boy, blushing and confused, but with a countewould ruin our reputation.'

nance wonderfully expressive of genius for one

such • The architecture, do you say? Well, go hold a con- tender years. The duke perceiving in the boy the sultation with Pasino the mason—he may be able to marks of decided talent, requested permission of his help you out of the scrape. You are laughing at the grandfather to take him to Venice, where he placed idea?'

him under the direction of the most distinguished mas

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