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even these impressive circumstances paled
before my dread of the donkey. Even, when
the good sailor (and he was very good) came
to good fortune, and the bad sailor (and he
was very bad) threw himself into the ocean
from the summit of a curious rock, presenting
something of the appearance of a pair of
steps, I saw the dreadful donkey through my

At last the time came when the fiddlers
struck up the comic song, and the dreaded
animal, with new shoes on, as I inferred from
the noise they made, came clattering in with
the comic actor on his back. He was dressed
out with ribbons (I mean the donkey was) and
as he persisted in turning his tail to the
audience, the comedian got off him, turned
about, and sitting with his face that way,
sang the song three times, amid thunders of
applause. All this time, I was fearfully
agitated; and when two pale people, a good
deal splashed with the mud of the streets,
were invited out of the pit to superintend the
drawing of the lottery, and were received with
a round of laughter from everybody else, I could
have begged and prayed them to have mercy
on me, and not draw number forty-seven.

But, I was soon put out of my pain now, for
a gentleman behind me, in a flannel jacket
and a yellow neck-kerchief, who had eaten
two fried soles and all his pockets-full of nuts
before the storm began to rage, answered to
the winning number, and went down to take
possession of the prize. This gentleman had
appeared to know the donkey, rather, from
the moment of his entrance, and had taken a
great interest in his proceedings; driving him
to himself, if I use an intelligible phrase, and
saying, almost in my ear, when he made
any mistake, " Kum up, you precious Moke.
Kum up! " He was thrown by the donkey
on first mounting him, to the great delight
of the audience (including myself), but
rode him off with great skill afterwards,
and soon returned to his seat quite calm.
Calmed myself by the immense relief I had
sustained, I enjoyed the rest of the performance
very much indeed. I remember there
were a good many dances, some in fetters and
some in roses, and one by a most divine little
creature, who made the object of my affections
look but common-place. In the concluding
drama, she re-appeared as a boy, (in arms,
mostly), and was fought for, several times. I
rather think a Baron wanted to drown her,
and was on various occasions prevented by
the comedian, a ghost, a Newfoundland dog,
and a church bell. I only remember beyond
this, that I wondered where the Baron expected
to go to, and that he went there in
a shower of sparks. The lights were turned
out while the sparks died out, and it appeared
to me as if the whole playship, donkey,
men and women, divine little creature, and all
were a wonderful firework that had gone
off, and left nothing but dust and darkness
behind it.

It was late when I got out into the streets,
and there was no moon, and there were no
stars, and the rain fell heavily. When I
emerged from the dispersing crowd, the ghost
and the baron had an ugly look in my remembrance;
I felt unspeakably forlorn; and now,
for the first time, my little bed and the dear
familiar faces came before me, and touched
my heart. By daylight, I had never thought
of the grief at home. I had never thought of
my mother. I had never thought of anything
but adapting myself to the circumstances in
which I found myself, and going to seek my

For a boy who could do nothing but cry,
and run about, saying " O I am lost! " to
think of going into the army was, I felt sensible,
out of the question. I abandoned the
idea of asking my way to the barracksor
rather the idea abandoned meand ran
about, until I found a watchman in his box.
It is amazing to me, now, that he should
have been sober; but I am inclined to think
he was too feeble to get drunk.

This venerable man took me to the nearest
watch house ;—I say he took me, but in fact I
took him, for when I think of us in the rain,
I recollect that we must have made a composition,
like a vignette of Infancy leading Age.
He had a dreadful cough, and was obliged to
lean against a wall, whenever it came on.
We got at last to the watch-house, a warm
and drowsy sort of place embellished with
great-coats and rattles hanging up. When
a paralytic messenger had been sent to make
inquiries about me, I fell asleep by the fire,
and awoke no more until my eyes opened on
my father's face. This is literally and exactly
how I went astray. They used to say I
was an odd child, and I suppose I was. I am
an odd man perhaps.

Shade of Somebody, forgive me for the
disquiet I must have caused thee! When I
stand beneath the Lion, even now, I see thee
rushing up and down, refusing to be comforted.
I have gone astray since, many times,
and farther afield. May I therein have
given less disquiet to others, than herein I
gave to thee!


I DO believe that neither quinine nor saline
draughts were so effectual in curing me of the
marsh fever which prostrated me in Rome,
as the good little stories my excellent Doctor
used to tell me. One of his best was about a

Maria, the heroine, was the daughter of a
farmer; but became, at a very early age, the
servant of a sculptor of some celebrity in his
day, named Pulci, who had removed from
Florence to Rome to court inspiration in the
Metropolis of Art, for a great work. He was
a grave, serious man; and, after having instructed
Maria in the duties required of her,
retired within himself, and allowed her to do

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