Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/130

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her figure very questionably, but without the least suspicion that he was addressing the New Year in person.

'Thank you kindly!' said the New Year; and she gave the watchman one of the roses of hope from her basket. 'May this flower keep a sweet smell, long after I have bidden you good-by.'

Then she stept on more briskly through the silent streets; and such as were awake at the moment, heard her footfall, and said—'The New Year is come!' Wherever there was a knot of midnight roisterers, they quaffed her health. She sighed, however, to perceive that the air was tainted—as the atmosphere of this world must continually be—with the dying breaths of mortals who had lingered just long enough for her to bury them. But there were millions left alive, to rejoice at her coming; and so she pursued her way with confidence, strewing emblematic flowers on the doorstep of almost every dwelling, which some persons will gather up and wear in their bosoms, and others will trample under foot. The Carrier Boy can only say further, that, early this morning, she filled his basket with New Year's Addresses, assuring him that the whole City, with our new Mayor, and the Aldermen and Common Council at its head, would make a general rush to secure copies. Kind Patrons, will not you redeem the pledge of the NEW YEAR?