« AnteriorContinuar »
the inn with Corcuelo, who, by the way, began to recount the carrier's history. He related the minutest incidents of his life; 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.
8. When I arrived at the inn', I called for supper', and, it being a fast day', was glad to put up with eggs. When the omelet I had bespoken was ready', I sat down to the 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.
9. 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 Santillana 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'!”.
10. 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 Peñaflor." “How'! 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.”
11. 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 themselves 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.
12. “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 appetite',” pursued he'; “but I will sit down to bear you company', and eat a mouthful purely out of complaisance.” So saying, my panegyrist took his place right over against me', and, 2 cover being laid for him', attacked the omelet as voraciously as if he had fasted three whole days.
13. By his complaisant beginning, I foresaw that our dish would not last long; and I therefore ordered a second, which they dressed with such despatch that it was served up just as we or rather he—had made an end of the first. He proceeded on this with the same vigor, and found means, without losing one stroke of his teeth, to overwhelm me with praises during the whole repast, which made me very well pleased with my sweet self. He drank in proportion to his eating, sometimes to my health', sometimes to that of my father and mother'
14. During this time he plied me with wine, and insisted upon my doing him justice, while I toasted health for health, -a circumstance which, together with his intoxicating flattery, put me in such good humor', that, seeing our second omelet half devoured', I asked the landlord if he had any fish in the house'. Signor Corcuelo, who, in all likelihood', had a fellow-feeling with the parasite, replied, “I have a delicate trout, but those who eat it must pay for the sauce: 'tis a bit too dainty for your palate, I doubt.”
15. “What do you call too dainty?” said the sycophant, raising his voice: “you're a wiseacre, indeed! Know that there is nothing in this house too good for Signor Gil Blas de Santillana, who deserves to be entertained like a prince.” I was pleased at his laying hold of the landlord's last words, as he only anticipated me; and, feeling myself offended, said, with an air of disdain, “ Produce this trout of yours, Gaffer Corcuelo, and give yourself no trouble about the consequence.”
16. This was what the innkeeper wanted. He got it ready and served it up in a trice. At sight of this new dish I could perceive the parasite's eyes sparkle with joy; and he renewed that complaisance--I mean for the fish—which he had already shown for the eggs. At last, however, he was obliged to give out, for fear of accident, being crammed to the very throat. Having, therefore, eaten and drunk enough, he thought proper to conclude the farce by rising from the table and accosting me in these words :
17. “Signor Gil Blas', I am too well satisfied with your good cheer to leave you without offering you an important advice, which you seem to have great occasion for. Henceforth beware of flattery'; and be upon your guard against everybody you do not know.. You may meet with other people inclined to divert themselves with your credulity', and perhaps to push things still farther'; but don't be duped again, nor believe yourself, however strongly they may affirm it, the eighth wonder of the world.” So saying, he laughed in my face and stalked away.
THE LAST MINSTREL.
BY WALTER SCOTT.
1. The way was long', the wind was cold',
The minstrel was infirm and old';
2. No more, on prancing palfrey borne,
He caroll'd light as lark at morn;
3. He pass'd where Newark's stately tower
Looks out from Yarrow's birchen bower:
Had wept o’er Monmouth's bloody tomb. 4. When kindness had his wants supplied',
And the old man was gratified',
He could make music to her ear.
The aged minstrel audience gain'd'..
6. The pitying duchess praised its chime',
And gave him heart, and gave him time',
The long-forgotten melody.
And an uncertain warbling made;
BY GEORGE CROLY. 1. Son of Vespasian', I am at this hour a poor man, as I may in the next be an exile or a slave': I have ties to life as strong as ever were bound round the heart of man : I stand here a sup pliant for the life of one whose loss would imbitter mine · Yet, not for wealth unlimited', for the safety of my family', for the life of the noble victim that is now standing at the place of