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XVIL—THE Ch'EERFUL LOCKSMITH.

FROM the workshop of the Golden Key there issued forth a tinkling sound, so merry and good-humored, that it suggested the idea of some one working blithely, and made quite pleasant music. Tink, tink, tink—cleai as a silver bell, and audible at every pause of the streets' harsher noises, as though it said, "I don't care; nothing puts me out; I am resolved to be happy."

2. Women scolded, children squalled, heavy carts went rumbling by, horrible cries proceeded from the lungs of hawkers; still it struck in again, no higher, no lower, no louder, no softer; not thrusting itself on people's notice a bit the more for having been outdone by louder sounds— tink, tink, tink, tink, tink.

3. It was a perfect embodiment of the still small voice, free from all cold, hoarseness, huskiness, or unhealthincss of any kind. Foot-passengers slackened their pace, and were disposed to linger near it; neighbors who had got up splen'etic that morning, felt good-humor stealing on them as they heard it, and by degrees became quite sprightly: mothers danced their babies to its ringing;—still the same magical tink, tink, tink, came gayly from the workshop of the Golden Key.

4. Who but the locksmith could have made such music? A gleam of sun shining through the unaashed window and checkering the dark workshop with a broad patch of light, fell full upon him, as though attracted by his sunny heart. There he stood working at his anvil, his face radiant with sxercise and gladness, his sleeves turned up, his wig pushed off his shining forehead—the easiest, freest, happiest man in all the world.

5. Beside him sat a sleek cat, purring and winking in the light and falling every now and then into an idle doze, as from excess of comfort. The very locks that hung around had something jovial in their rust, and seemed like

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There he sto^d working at his anvil, his face radiant with exercise and gladness his sleeves turned up, his wig pushed off his shining forehead—the easiest, frce»t, happiest man in all the world.

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gouty gentlemen of hearty natures, disposed to joke on their infirmities.

6. There was nothing surly or severe in the whole scene. It seemed impossible that any one of the innumerable keys could fit a churlish strong-box or a prison-door. Storehouses of good things, rooms where there were fires, books, gossip, and cheering laughter—these were their proper sphere of action. Places of distrust and cruelty and restraint, they would have quadruple-locked forever.

7. Tink, tink, tink. No man who hammered on at a dull, monotonous duty could have brought such cheerful notes from steel and iron; none but a chirping, healthy, honest-hearted fellow, who made the'best of everything and felt kindly towards evcrybody,'could have done it for an instant. He might have been a coppersmith, and still been musical. If he had sat in a jolting wagon, full of rods of iron, it seemed as if he would have brought some harmony

out of it.

Charles Dickens.

XVIIL—LOCHINVAR.

i.

O YOUNG Lochinvar is come out of the West,—
Through all the wide Border his steed was the hest!
And, save his good broadsword, he weapon had none,—
He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

Ii.
He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for stone,
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none;
But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
Wqs to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

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So boldly he entered the Netherby hall,

'Mong bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all:

Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword

(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word),

"O, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,

Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"—

"I long wooed your daughter,—my suit you denied; —
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide;
And now am I come, with this lost love of mine
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."

v.
The bride kissed the goblet; the knight took it up;
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
With a smile on her lip, and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,—
"Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar.

VI.

So stately his form, and so lovely her face,

That never a hall such a galliard did grace;

While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,

And the bridegroom stood dangling bis bonnet and plume;

And the bride-maidens whispered, " 'Twere better, by far,

To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."

VII.

One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,

When they reached the hall-door, and the charger stood near:

So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,

So light to the saddle before her he sprung:

"She is won! we are gone! over bank, bush, and scar;

They '11 have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar.

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