The Daisy Chain or Aspirations HTML version

Chapter I.3
Wee modest crimson-tipped flower,
Thou'st met me in an evil hour,
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem.
To spare thee now is past my power,
Thou bonnie gem.
"Is this all the walking party?" exclaimed Mr. Ernescliffe, as Miss Winter,
Flora, and Norman gathered in the hall.
"Harry won't go because of Ethel's spectacles," answered Flora; "and Mary
and he are inseparable, so they are gone with Hector to have a shipwreck in
the field."
"And your other sisters?"
"Margaret has ratted--she is going to drive out with mamma," said Norman;
"as to Etheldred the Unready, I'll run up and hurry her."
In a moment he was at her door. "Oh! Norman, come in. Is it time?"
"I should think so! You're keeping every one waiting."
"Oh, dear! go on; only just tell me the past participle of 'offero', and I'll catch
you up."
"Oh, yes, how stupid. The 'a' long or short? Then that's right. I had such a
line in my head, I was forced to write it down. Is not it a capital subject this
"The devotion of Decius? Capital. Let me see!" said Norman, taking up a
paper scribbled in pencil, with Latin verses. "Oh, you have taken up quite a
different line from mine. I began with Mount Vesuvius spouting lava like
"But Mount Vesuvius didn't spout till it overthrew Pompeii."
"Murder!" cried Norman, "I forgot! It's lucky you put me in mind. I must make
a fresh beginning. There go my six best lines! However, it was an uncanny
place, fit for hobgoblins, and shades, and funny customers, which will do as
well for my purpose. Ha! that's grand about its being so much better than the
vana gloria triumphalis--only take care of the scanning there--"