That is the end of my story about the watch. What shall I add to it? Five years later David married “Little Black-lip,” and in the year 1812 he died, a lieutenant in the artillery, the death of a hero at the battle of Borodino, defending the redoubt of Schewardino. Since then a great deal of water has run into the sea, and I have had many watches: I have even been so magnificent as to have a real Breguet repeater with second-hand and the day of the month. But in the secret drawer of my desk lies an old silver watch with a rose on the case: I bought it of a Jew peddler, struck by its resemblance to the watch my godfather gave me. From time to time, when I am alone and expect no visitor, I take it out of its case, and when I look at it I think of my youth and the companions of those days which are gone never to return.
TRANSLATIONS FROM HEINE.
Lo, a large, black-shrouded barge
Sadly moves with sails outspread,
And mute creatures’ muffled features
Hold grim watch above the dead.
Calm below it lies the poet,
With his fair face bare and white,
Still with yearning ever turning
Azure eyes toward heaven’s light.
As he saileth, sadly waileth
Some bereaven Undine bride:
O’er the springing waves outringing,
Hark! a dirge floats far and wide.
This is the springtide’s mournful
The frantic troops of blooming girls
Are rushing hither with flying curls:
Moaning they smite their bare white breast,
The night hath come. By the torches’
They search the forest on every side,
That echoes with anguish far and wide,
With tears, mad laughter, and sobs and screams,
The mortal youth, so strangely fair,
Lies on the cold turf pale and dead:
His heart’s blood staineth the flowers red,
And a wild lament fulfills the air,
LETTERS FROM SOUTH AFRICA.
BY LADY BARKER.
D’URBAN, January 3, 1876.
I must certainly begin this letter by setting aside every other topic for the moment and telling you of our grand event, our national celebration, our historical New Year’s Day. We have “turned the first sod” of our first inland railway, and, if I am correctly informed, at least a dozen sods more, but you must remember, if you please, that our navvies are Kafirs, and that they do not understand what Mr. Carlyle calls the beauty and dignity of labor in the least. It is all very well for you conceited dwellers in the Old and New Worlds to laugh at us for making such a fuss about a projected hundred miles of railway—you whose countries are made into dissected maps by the magic iron lines—but for poor us, who have to drag every pound of sugar and reel of sewing-cotton over some sixty miles of vile road between this and Maritzburg, such a line, if it be ever finished, will be a boon and a blessing indeed.