with tears. I ground my teeth, and clinched my hands, or—or I don't know what I mightn't ha' done. You see the joke of this, sir, don't you? Here was the girl crying, and asking me to forgive her, and like her a little; and there was I—not disliking her a bit all the time. Ha, ha, ha! I had a hearty laugh at her, and hurried with her down-stairs, and was introduced to Tom, and I talked to the old lady, and drank the young people's health, and was as happy as possible. And on the wedding-day I gave her away as if I had been her father; and I sang a song and danced: and, when the time came for Bessie to go away with her husband, I dried her eyes; for at the last moment the tender-hearted little thing broke down, and cried, and kissed us all, and asked her mother not to feel angry with her for leaving her all alone; and then the mother cried, and what with having so many eyes to wipe, I found myself wiping my own just as if it all weren't a tremendous joke.
How have they got on since? 'Bout as well as most people, I suppose: she loves him, and takes care of him. And the mother's softened down a bit since she's bin a grandmother. And as to my godson, there never was such a boy. I have him with me as much as possible, and he's beginning to see the joke of every thing almost as much as I do myself. And when I die, all this little place'll belong to him, and he'll be a rich man: so my death'll be the biggest joke of all, you see, sir.
THE SONG OF THE DRUM.
Dr-r-rum! Drum! Drum!
With a rap, and a tap, and a rolling beat,
And a sound on the ground of the tramp of feet,
Keeping step they come,
With the sound of the drum,
With the rolling and the beating of the drum.
And away fly the people as if driven for their lives!
Scudding out as if possessed from their daily human hives,
With a flurry,
And a scurry,
In a most outrageous hurry,