Page images

ing the

the old man,

dog, followed me to the infirmary. Fortunately the surgeon happened to be in the house, and on mention

poor man's situation, he immediately looked at the wound, which was highly inflamed with the heat of the weather, and the fatigue of the journey. “ It is fortunate,” said the surgeon,

" that he did not continue his journey a few hours later, as he must have lost his leg, but I can now cure it.”—

-"He will then get well ?" said I. Yes,” replied the surgeon; “ I will answer for the cure, provided he will continue perfectly quiet."

As he was going up stairs, followed by his faithful terrier, the porter laid hold of Trim, and was preparing to carry him out of the house. Trim," said

may not poor Trim follow me?"-"It is against the rules of the house," returned the matron, “ to admit any dogs into the wards.”—“Alas,” replied the old man, Trim will not be happy if he is not with me, and I shall not be happy if he is unhappy.”

."-" It is a pity to part good friends," said the surgeon ; I am convinced that my patient will soon get well, if Trim and he are not parted.” Then, turning to the matron, “ For once," he said, “ let us break through the rules of the house. If Trim behaves well, let him stay by his master's bed." "I will answer," returned the old man, “ for Trim's behaviour; he will lie by me whole hours without stirring from his sitụation, and if he may be suffered to follow me, I am sure he will be as quiet as a mouse.'

These words interested every one in favour of Trim ; the porter instantly set him down, Trim bounded up stairs with great agility, and as if aware of what had passed, fawned upon the surgeon, and then quietly followed his master.

Having thus left the old man and his dog in such good hands, I returned to the company, and related all that had passed: all pitied the poor man, and rejoiced at the hopes of his recovery ; but Louisa first

[ocr errors]

put half-a-guinea into my hands; the remainder of the company followed her example, some gave more and some less; and I undertook to be the old man's treasurer.

Meanwhile the story circulated, and every one wished to hear the tale of the Old Man and his Dog Trim. In repeating it I particularly dwelt upon the crown which I offered for the dog, and several ironically admired the excess of my generosity. Louisa would say, “ Only a crown for so inestimable a dog!” and her opinion was sure to be adopted by the generality of the company.

" And you, Sir," I would say, “and you, Madam, how much would you have given ?" Each person mentioned the sum which they would have contributed, augmenting or diminishing it according to the sensibility of their hearts; or the impression which the recital had made upon them. * Well," I replied, “ the old man is not far from hence, and you may now contribute what you would have given in my place."

By these means their charity was excited by emulation; a comfortable sum was obtained; the old man recovered, and I conducted him to the mansion-house, almost as lively and as frisky as his dog. Both were received with general satisfaction, poor Trim was the most taken notice of: in his life he never received so many caresses, and from none more than from the charming Louisa. Trim was at first confounded, but he soon appeared as if he knew why he was so much caressed. The old man dined and supped in the servant's hall, with Trim by his side.

The next morning, he came to take leave of me; I put into his hands the collection that had been made for him; and in vain I assured him that I had contributed nothing I can never forget,” exclaimed he, " that I owe you every thing :" in saying these words he endeavoured throw himself at my feet: in struggling to prevent him, lie fell into my arms, and we


you have loaded

embraced and bid adieu to each other, as if we had been old friends. “Sir,” said he, “ me with favours, but I shall ask of you another favour ; you have embraced me will you condescend to pat Trim ? I shall be happy to acquaint my son that you have caressed my dog. Come, Trim, the gentlemen will do you the honour to caress you." Trim rose upon his hind legs, and pawed me with his fore feet, as I stooped down to pat him; and as I inclined my head, the figure of the old man inclining his head on the dog as I was then doing, and thinking that he

was embracing him for the last time, presented itself so - forcibly to my imagination, that the tears started from my eyes.

Ah !” exclaimed the old man, “ah! you love Trim, I see; keep him; he is still your's.” “ No, my good friend," I replied, “ go, and the blessing of God attend you. I now feel myself happier than I deserve, and be assured that the image of you and your dog will never be effaced from my recollection."

At this moment Louisa entered the room with a plate of meat for the dog. She set it down before him, and while Trim was feeding, she tied round his neck a rose-coloured ribband. I said to the old man, “ There is the person to whom your thanks are due; without her I should never have bought your dog ; without her you would never have been cured; and without her your little favourite Trim would not have been decorated with this rose-coloured collar.” The old man, instantly taking up his dog, placed it in Louisa's arms. Trim, here is your mistress : this, madam, is the only recompence in my power to make for your kind favours ; " and seeing the dog struggling to get loose, he added, - Trim is not fond of strangers, but soon becomes attached to those he knows, and who are kind to him. He is not handsome, but he is a good creature. I am happy in procuring for him a kind and affectionate mistress.” So saying, he drew his hand across his eyes, and quitted the door. Louisa, holding the dog in her arms, continued stroking and caressing it, but when the creature, instead of returning her caresses, struggled to get loose; she opened the house-door, and putting the dog upon the ground, Trim immediately ran after his master, and soon overtook him. The old man stopped, took him up in his arms, and pressed him to his bosom ; then taking off his hat, and waving it as a token of satisfaction and gratitude, hastened his pace, and in a few minutes both he and Trim were out of sight.



TICOLAS PEDROSA, a busy little being, who


midwife, in the town of Madrid, mounted his mule at the door of his shop in the Plazuela de los Affligidos, and pushed through the gate of San Bernardino, being called to a patient in the neighbouring village of Foncarral on a pressing occasion. Every body knows that the ladies in Spain, in certain cases, do not give long warning to practitioners of a certain description, and no body knew it better than Nicolas, who was resolved not to lose an inch of his way, nor of his mule's best speed by the way, if cudgelling could beat it out of her. It was plain to Nicolas's conviction as plain could be, that his road laid straight forward to the little convent in front; the mule was of opinion, that the turning on the left down the hill towards the Prado was the road of all roads most familiar and agreeable to herself, and accordingly began to dispute the point of topography with Nicolas by fixing her fore feet resolutely in the ground, dipping her head at the same time between them, and launching heels and crupper furiously into the air, in the way of argument. Little Pedresa, who was armed at heel with one massy

silver spur, of stout, though ancient, workmanship, - resolutely applied the rusty rowel to the shoulder of

his beast, and at the same time, adroitly tucking his blue cloth capa under his right arm, and flinging the skirt over the left shoulder en cavalier, began to lay about him with a stout ashen sapling, upon the ears, pole, and cheeks of the recreant mule. The fire now flashed from a pair of Andalusian eyes, as black as charcoal, and not less inflammable, and taking the segara from his mouth, with which he had vainly hoped to have regaled his nostrils in a sharp winter's evening by the way, raised such a thundering troop of angels, saints, and martyrs, from St. Michael downwards, not forgetting his own namesake Saint Nicolas de Tolentino by the way, that if curses could have made the mule to go, the dispute would have been soon ended, but not a saint could make her stir any other way than upwards and downwards at a stand. A small troopi of mendicant friars were at this moment conducting the host to a dying man.-- Nicolas Pedrosa,' says an old friar, · be patient with your beast and spare your blasphemies; remember Balaam.'

- Ah, father,' replied Pedrosa, · Balaam cudgelled his beast till she spoke, so will I mine till she roars.' --fie, fic, profane fellow!' cries another of the fraternity. Go about your work, friend,' quoth Nicolas, - and let me go about mine ; I warrant it is the more pressing of the two ; your patient is going out of the world, mine is coming into it.' * Hear bim,' cries a third, hear the vile wretch, how he blasphemes the body of God!' And then the troop passed slowly on to the tinkling of the bell.

A man must know nothing of a mule's ears, who does not know what a passion they have for the tink

« PreviousContinue »