Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about Tales.
Uncle lie
Sick on the bed, and heard his heavy sigh;
So he resolved, before he went to rest,
To comfort one so dear and so distressed;
Then watch’d his time, but, with a child-like art,
Betray’d a something treasured at his heart: 
Th’ observant wife remark’d, “The boy is grown
So like your brother, that he seems his own: 
So close and sullen! and I still suspect
They often meet:  —­do watch them and detect.” 
   George now remark’d that all was still as night,
And hasten’d up with terror and delight;
“Uncle!” he cried, and softly tapp’d the door,
Do let me in”—­but he could add no more;
The careful father caught him in the fact,
And cried,—­“You serpent! is it thus you act? 
“Back to your mother!”—­and, with hasty blow,
He sent th’ indignant boy to grieve below;
Then at the door an angry speech began —
“Is this your conduct?—­Is it thus you plan? 
Seduce my child, and make my house a scene
Of vile dispute—­What is it that you mean? 
George, are you dumb? do learn to know your friends,
And think a while on whom your bread depends. 
What! not a word? be thankful I am cool —
But, sir, beware, nor longer play the fool. 
Come! brother, come! what is it that you seek
By this rebellion?—­Speak, you villain, speak! 
Weeping!  I warrant—­sorrow makes you dumb: 
I’ll ope your mouth, impostor! if I come: 
Let me approach—­I’ll shake you from the bed,
You stubborn dog—­Oh God! my Brother’s dead!”
   Timid was Isaac, and in all the past
He felt a purpose to be kind at last: 
Nor did he mean his brother to depart,
Till he had shown this kindness of his heart;
But day by day he put the cause aside,
Induced by av’rice, peevishness, or pride. 
   But now awaken’d, from this fatal time
His conscience Isaac felt, and found his crime: 
He raised to George a monumental stone,
And there retired to sigh and think alone;
An ague seized him, he grew pale, and shook —
“So,” said his son, “would my poor Uncle look.” 
“And so, my child, shall I like him expire.” 
“No! you have physic and a cheerful fire.” 
“Unhappy sinner! yes, I’m well supplied
With every comfort my cold heart denied.” 
   He view’d his Brother now, but not as one
Who vex’d his wife by fondness for her son;
Not as with wooden limb, and seaman’s tale,
The odious pipe, vile grog, or humbler ale: 
He now the worth and grief alone can view
Of one so mild, so generous, and so true;
“The frank, kind Brother, with such open heart, —
And I to break it—­’twas a demon’s part!”
   So Isaac now, as led by conscience, feels,
Nor his unkindness palliates or conceals;
“This is your folly,” said his heartless wife: 
“Alas! my folly cost my Brother’s life;
It suffer’d him to languish and decay —
My gentle Brother, whom I could not pay,
And therefore left to pine, and fret his life away!”
Project Gutenberg
Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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