Wlliam Gilmore Simms
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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription [The Prima Donna: A Passage from City Life was published in
pamphlet form in Philadelphia by Louis A. Godey in 1844. It has
never been reprinted. Explanatory and Textual Notes begin on page
695.]
THE PRIMA DONNA:
A Passage from City Life.
Mephistopheles. Methinks, 'twere better far,
In place of these vain wanderings through the woods,
Didst thou requite the monkey for her love.
The hours to her are lamentably long,
She stands beside the window, day by day,
To watch the shapeless clouds, and see them roll
Away, above the old walls of the town.
"Were I a bird! "—thus ever runs her song
Through the long day and the yet longer night :
A moment cheerful, but she lapses soon
To sadness, which is lasting: then she weeps
'Till tears refuse to come: then quiet seems,
But lovesick, not the less.
Faust. Oh, serpent, serpent! GOETHE'S FAUST.
CHAPTER I.
had changed my lodgings, seeking shelter in the suburbs, from
the crowd and confusion of Broadway and the Park. The om-
nibus, at a shilling a ride, enabled me, while enjoying a seclusion
akin to that of country life, to seek the city at any moment when
pleasure or business called me thither. The second morning after
my transition, I suffered myself to look round upon my new neigh-
bourhood. I found myself in very good quarters for a single man.
Our house was well arranged and spacious. It stood apart from all
others, while, on either hand, the green of a well-stored vegetable
garden gratified the eye, and the breezes from two quarters of the
compass poured in at my windows. We were just in advance of the
onward march of city improvements. Our pavements were incom-
plete, and the clang and clamour of cart, cab and carriage, were
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