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That ceaseless toil was the proper fate
When told that events might justify
Nay, nay,” said John, with a sigh and frown,
Whenever the world our eyes would blind
BURNT AIGLE AND MRS. RADFORD; OR, THE VALUE OF
TIME-Mrs. S. C. HALL.
ONE of the most amusing and acute persons I rememberand in my very early days I knew him well—was a whiteheaded lame old man, known in the neighborhood of Killaggin by the name of Burnt Eagle, or, as the Irish peasants called him, " Burnt Aigle." His descent proclaimed him an Irishman, but some of his habits were not characteristic of the country, for he understood the value of money, and that which makes money--Time. He certainly was not of the neighborhood in which he resided, for he had no "people," no uncles, aunts, or cousins. What his real name was I never heard; but I remember him since I was a very little girl, just old enough to be placed by my nurse on the back of Burnt Eagle's donkey. At that time he lived in a neat, pretty little cottage, about a mile from our house : it contained two rooms; they were not only clean but well furnished; that is to say, well furnished for an Irish cottage.
The little patch of ground this industrious old man had, after incredible labor, succeeded in forming over the coat of sward that covered the sand, was in front of Crab Hall. The donkey had done his best to assist a master who had never given him an unjust blow: the fence was formed round the little inclosure of gray granite, which some convulsion of nature had strewed abundantly on the strand; these stones the donkey drew up when his day's work was ended, three or four at a time. Even this inclosure was perfected, and a very neat gate of basket-work, with a latch outside and a bolt in, hung opposite the cottage door, before Burnt Eagle had laid down either the earth or manure on his plot of ground.
“ Why, thin, Burnt Aigle, dear," said Mrs. Radford, the netmaker's wife, as, followed by seven lazy, dirty, healthy children, she strolled over the sand-hills one evening to see what the poor bocher* was doing at the place, “ that was good enough for Corney, the crab-catcher, without alteration,dacent man ! for twenty years. Why, thin, Burnt Aigle dear,what are ye slaving and fencin at?"
Why, I thought I told ye, Mrs. Radford, when I taught ye the tight stitch for a shrimp-net, that I meant to make a garden here; I understand flowers, and the gentry's ready to buy them; and sure, when once the flowers are set, they'll grow of themselves while I'm doing something else. Is'nt it a beautiful thing to think of that! how the Lord helps us to a great deal, if we only do a little towards it !"
“How do you make that out ?" inquired the net-maker.
Burnt Eagle pulled a seed-pod from a tuft of beautiful seapink. “All that's wanted of us," he said, " is to put such as this in the carth at first, and doesn't God's goodness do all the rest ?"
* A lame man.
“ But it would be time enough,' sure, to make the fence whin the ground was ready,” said his neighbor, reverting to the first part of her conversation.
And have all the neighbors' pigs right through it the next morning ?" retorted the old man laughing; “no, no, that's not my way, Mrs. Radford.”
“Fair and aisy goes far in a day, masther Aigle," said the gossip, lounging against the fence, and taking her pipe out of her pocket.
“Do you want a coal for you pipe, ma'am ?" inquired Burnt Aigle.
“ No, I thank ye kindly ; its not out I see,” she replied, stirring it up with a bit of stick previous to commencing the smoking with which she solaced her laziness.
“ That's a bad plan," observed our friend, who continued his labor as diligently as if the sun was rising instead of setting “What is, Aigle dear ?"
Keeping the pipe a-light in yer pocket, ma’am; it might chance to burn ye, and its sure to waste the tobacco.
Augh !” exclaimed the wife, “what long heads some people have! God grant we may never want the bit o' tobacco Sure it would be hard if we did, we're bad off enough without that.”
“ But if ye did, ye know, ma'am, ye'd be sorry ye wasted it; wouldn't ye ?"
“Och, Aigle dear, the poverty is bad enough whin it comes, not to be looking out for it.”
"If you expected an inimy to come and burn your house." ("Lord defend us !" ejaculated the woman), “what would
you do ?"
“Is it what would I do? bedad, that's a quare question. I'd prevint him to be sure.”
“ And that's what I want to do with the poverty," he answered, sticking his spade firmly into the earth; and, leaning on it with folded arms, he rested for a moment on his perfect limb, and looked earnestly in her face. "Ye see every one on the sod-green though it is, God bless it—is some how or other born to some sort of poverty. Now, the thing is to go past it, or undermine it, or get rid of it, or prevent it.”
“Ah, thin, how?" said Mrs. Radford.
" By forethought, prudence; never to let a farthing's worth go to waste, or spend a penny if we can do with a half-penny. Time makes the most of us—we ought to make the most of him; so I'll go on with my work, ma'am if you please ; I can work and talk at the same time.”
Mrs. Radford looked a little affronted; but she thought better of it, and repeated her favorite maxim, “Fair and aisy goes far in a day.”
“ So it does ma’am; nothing like it; its wonderful what a dale can be got on with by it keeping on, on, and on, always at something. When I'm tired at the baskets, I take a turn at the tubs; and when I am wearied with them, I tie up the heath--and sweet it is sure enough; it makes one envy the bees to smell the heather! And when I've had enough of that, I get on with the garden, or knock bits of furniture out of the timber the sea drifts up after those terrible storms."
“ We burn that,” said Mrs. Radford.
5 There's plenty of turf and furze to be had for the cutting; it's a sin, when there's so much furniture wanting, to burn any timber—barring chips," replied Eagle.
“Bedad, I don't know what ill luck sea-timber might bring," said the woman.
Augh! augh! the worst luck that ever came into a house is idleness, except, may be extravagance."
"Well, thin, Aigle dear l'exclaimed Mrs. Radford," what's come to ye to talk of extravagance? What in the world have
poor crathurs like us to be extravagant with ?" “ Yer time," replied Burnt Eagle with particular emphasis, yer
Ah, thin, man, sure it's' time enough' for us to be thinking of that when we can get anything for it
- Make anything of it, ye mean, ma'am : the only work it will ever do of itself, if it's let alone, will be destruction.”
THE THREATENED INVASION.--Anon.
invade us, then, beautiful France ? And will you come over to teach us to dance ? Has Louis declared so? has gentle Guizot ? Or is it the furor of Butcher Bugeaud ? Will he come on a steam bridge of fearful dimensions ? Or will he throw over a bridge of suspension ? Oh! do let us know if he means to throw over A bridge of suspension from Calais to Dover ! Will his troops land at Deal—all alive, not a man ill ; Or will his steam navy sweep all down the channel ? Will their hopes never waver, their hearts never bend, Till they land, irresisted, at gallant Gravesend ? The Marshal's a bright one as ever was sunn'd on; Pray, mayn't we consider him almost in London ? Won't he coop us alive in our dungeons and towers, And give us a roasting for forty-eight hours ! Do say, when he once lands his troops from the main, Will he come by the road—will he travel by train ; And did he send forward an order from Calais, To get him clean quarters in Buckingham Palace Our
army are traitors-our navy is doneAnd they both have agreed to be beaten like fun; Not a man-of-war's seen on the waves now to dance, But has made up its mind to be taken to France. We've got no militia—and pray ye, or urge ye Ye won't get a bit of fight out of the clergy; While the whole of the lawyers have packed up their rags,
, And are hiding their heads in their very blue bags ! Then, as for the people--Bugeaud you may come ! They are poltroon, pacific, low-spirited, dumb; So my blood-thirsty Marshal you'll have no occasion, To take too much pains with your British invasion 1