Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

one being 120 feet in length, and the other 50. secret. By far the greater number of prisoners The first court was 80 feet broad, and a foun- were not real criminals, but persons who had tain bubbled up in the centre; the second was offended some individual of rank, who had it in 50 feet in width.

his power to make use of this provision for Four of the towers looked out towards the getting rid of a troublesome opponent. One suburbs; four towards Paris. The battle- never knew how many unhappy individuals ments were united by a platform, which was the dreadful prison contained—where they were kept in very good condition, and served as a placed, when they were discharged, whether promenade for those prisoners to whom it was they died, or whether they pined still in their wished to show special indulgence. The pros- dungeons ! pect which these favoured ones enjoyed was The prisoners were accompanied in all their indeed beautiful. The whole of the vast me- walks by sentinels, who narrowly observed their tropolis extended itself at their feet. They movements and deportment. If a prisoner saw the flourishing suburb S. Antoine ; they went into a court or corridor, where his presence followed the flowing course of the Seine; and was not desired, immediately a bell was rung their gaze embraced even the smiling plains by one of the guards at the entrance. At this of Ivri. How fearful the contrast when, after sign, all the soldiers drew their caps over their a short duration, the gloomy gaoler again faces, and the watchman called out to the imprisoned the unfortunate creatures !

prisoners in the court, “To the cabinet." Five different kinds of prison dungeons were This word "cabinet” referred to some openings recognized. The most fearful were those con. in the wall, about twelve feet long, and three tained in the vaults of the towers, and the broad; and into these niches those present had intermediate buildings. They were, from their to squeeze together until their mysterious close vicinity to the river, called “cachots," fellow-sufferer had been removed. and harboured toads, spiders, and rats. A layer Outside the Bastille stood four guards to of mud and filth covered the ground, from watch passers-by, so that no sign should be whence arose noxious vapours, which could communicated by them to the towers. only be very partially dispersed by means of a None of the guard might sleep beyond the kind of air-tube. The furniture consisted of walls of the Bastille without permission from an iron bedstead, fastened to the wall, with a the governor. Even the officers required his few boards nailed across. The approach was consent to dine out of the fortress. In order secured by two iron doors, seven inches thick, to remain the night out, it was necessary to each provided with three strong bolts, and the produce an order from the minister. same number of locks.

Subject to the governor, in the management Next to these vaults came the “

of the interior affairs of the Bastille, were the fer,” which have been already described. The major, the adjutant-major, and the lieutenant. tbird kind of dungeons were the so-called The inferior officers, the gaolers and the door.

calottes.” They were placed in the fourth keepers, were mere tools. Since the latter story of the towers, and were considered to be came into unavoidable contact with the prithe most cheerful rooms in the Bastille ; but soners, the coarsest and dullest persons, with the space was very contracted.

whom secrets seldom or never were in danger, The remaining rooms consisted of octagons were chosen for these posts. They cleaned the from eighteen to twenty feet broad, and four- rooms, brought the prisoners their food, and teen high. All the windows were placed high waited on them in case of sickness. They np, and could only be made use of by means of acted as the spies of the governor, and the three steps.

executors of his sternest decrees. Within the Bastille, all was mysterious and

(To be continued.)

cages de

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Leaves from the Book of Nature: Descriptive Narrative, &e.

A THOUSAND AND ONE STORIES FROM NATURE.

ORIGINAL AND SELECTED.

BY THE REV. F. 0. MORRIS, B.A., RECTOR OF NUNBURNHOLMB, YORKSHIRE, AND CHAPLAIN TO HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF CLEVELAND, AUTHOR OF A “HISTORY OF BRITISH BIRDS (DEDICATED BY PERMISSION

TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN), ETC., ETC.

THE Dog.

great measure attributable to these noble dogs. LXXVII.

An alarm having been raised, a rope was let A gentleman belonging to Greenock, who

down by a pulley, and we were all taken up

the cliff, which is 150 feet in height. We were was among the saved from the wreck of the ill-fated screw steamer Anglo-Saxon, describes,

shortly after enabled to reach the lighthouse,

where in a letter to a relative residing in that town,

every attention was paid to us.” a remarkable circumstance connected with the

LXXVIII. landing of one of the boats belonging to the Very much interested in the race whose ship. He says: “The last time I saw Captain faculties and habits you describe so well, I beg Burgess (the commander of the Anglo-Saxon), to offer you an instance of as close an approxhe was assisting to lower the small boat, in imation to reasoning in a dog as it has ever which were twenty-two men, one lady, and

been

my

fortune to meet with : myself. We left the ship without food, water, “A few years ago I had (alas for the past compass, or sufficient clothing.

We were

tense!) a bull-terrier named Pincher, which I knocked about in a dense fog all day, not am not ashamed to say I dearly loved. He knowing whither we were drifting. Towards had prescriptive rights, and was not ignorant eve, however, we espied a cliff, off Belleisle, of the fact; he knew, also, that he had a when we steered for Cape Race, which we character for good temper, rarely allowing made. Approaching the shore, we saw a man anything to ruffle him. So much is necessary carrying a gun, and accompanied by two large by way of preliminary. One morning, at Newfoundland dogs. He evidently saw us, and breakfast, he was sitting in his usual place, made signals for us to approach the shore close beside my chair, waiting quietly for cautiously. We followed his course for some whatever I might give him. There was anotime, till he was hid from us by a large cliff ther dog in the room, a very small terrier-a which it was impossible he could descend. The female, by the way-watching for her chance, two dogs, however, soon appeared descending and not particular about the doctrine of meum this dangerous headland, and, reaching the and tuum, but appropriating to her use as waifs water, dashed precipitately into the sea, howl. and strays anything that came within her ing dreadfully. Having swam out close to our reach. I had thrown several morsels, which I boat, they then turned towards the shore, make no doubt, had been seized by the little keeping a little distance ahead of us, indicating terrier, when, to my surprise, I suddenly heard that we were to follow them. Our singular an angry growl. I looked round quickly, and pilots seemed to understand the danger of our caught Pincher in the fact. He had lost his position, as we did not dare to deviate from temper; but the very instant his eye met the course they were leading us without a loud mine, he converted his growl into a most dehowl being uttered by them. At last we

monstrable yawn, and took no further notice arrived in a large natural creek, where a safe of the little terrier, which went on picking the landing was effected. No other similar creek bone that ought to have been Pincher's. It was to be seen, which caused us all to wonder was perfectly clear that by this manæuvre he at the sagacity displayed by these dumb ani. was taking care of his reputation for gallantry, mals. No doubt our preservation was in a as well as temper, and argued rapidly as

see.

LXXIX.

follows: "That growl must be made to appear worthy person in the neighbourhood. When an accidental noise. What shall I do? Oh, I on their return he was restored to the mansion A yawn will turn it off.

Here goes!' at Hoddesdon, he not only clearly recognized Don't you suppose he got patted on the head, his old haunts beneath the chairs, &c., but and called a 'good dog,' and received a double manifested the most intense delight at the portion forth with? Not that he cared about sigbt of Mrs. and Mr. Hooper, from one to the eating, except just as a hungry dog sometimes other of whom he ran, and, leaping upon their ought to care-as you, or I, or any other man laps, licked their faces and hands in obvious may. No; his dish might be set before him joy. at all moods of appetite, and if you wanted Two puppies were, by way of an experihim to abstain, it was only necessary to say, ment, introduced upon one occasion into their 'Pincher!' in a peculiar tone, and he waited room. Harry, without first seeing the pups, till the word 'Yes' was uttered, and then he sniffed the air, and, raising himself up on his fell to.

hind legs, looked with erected ears cautiously “I could tell you many more anecdotes of around. Then perceiving his natural enemies, the poor dear fellow, whom I lost in a very sad his frame shook for awbile in a paroxysm of way, but am afraid of trespassing too much fear, and then the poor fellow rushed up the upon your attention."

corners of the room, and fell back in his

futile efforts to escape. THE HARE.

One way in which Harry shows his delight

when his master and mistress arrive after a While waiting for dinner at the residence of few hours' absence, is to scamper madly round J. Hooper, Esq., of Hoddesdon, in Hertford- and round the room, and finish his spree by a shire, with whom I had had a long ramble spring upon one of their laps. He knows full by the side of the river Lea, with a view well that so splendid a circus-like performance to the publication of my trip upon that will then be rewarded by a slice of bread-andstream and its tributaries, in the Field, I was

butter and sugar.

If spread without the asked by the lady of the house whether I latter accompaniment, he very plainly tells would like to see Harry” before he retired that he has been deprived of one of his to bed. In the full expectation that I was luxuries ; but he eats the proffered food sans about to be introduced to a juvenile member the saccharine notwithstanding. of the family, with whom I had not previously made acquaintance, I descended to the par

THE CAT. lour, where “Harry” was presented to me in the guise of a tame hare. Harry has been in the family for five years,

Lieut.-Colonel W. A. G. Wright, Royal having been taken when a leveret by a woman Marines, has been recently transferred on while harvesting, and reared by hand. He promotion from Plymouth to the division at runs about the house and rooms like a cat. Portsmouth. On Saturday, the 30th of De. He will eat almost everything, showing a cember, a favourite cat was secured in a great partiality for sweet cakes. He has par- basket, and forwarded by the South Devon taken of four Christmas puddings. He will railway to Portsmouth, when it was received not permit such gustatory viands to be long in the Colonel's new residence. The cat reon the table before his well-known inquiry is mained the Saturday night, but was missed heard; and if not attended to, he is rude on the Sunday. On Wednesday, the 3rd of enough to jump on the table—very often to January, it was observed in the garden in the the surprise of a guest not previously aware rear of its master's former residence at Stoneof the presence of so “timid” an animal-and, house (Plymouth), now unoccupied, and has after scattering the glasses right and left, help since been fed by an officer of the corps,

who himself from his mistress's plate.

lives adjoining. The animal is a large, strong The memory of this interesting creature male; it was born in Stonehouse, is only appears to be no less remarkable than his

per- twelve months old, and never before quitted fect docility. The family having occasion to the town. How it managed to find its way quit England for a tour on the Continent for back so great a distance in so short a time eighteen months, left “Harry” with a trust. seems inexplicable.

LXXX.

« AnteriorContinuar »