« AnteriorContinuar »
the wounded paw, as a surgeon would examine the hand of a patient. He then perceived that a thorn of uncoinmon size had penetrated the ball of the foot, and was the occasion of the swelling and lameness which he had noticed. Androcles found that the beast, far from resenting this familiarity, received it with the utmost gentleness, and seemed by his blandishments to invite him to proceed. He therefore extracted the thorn, and, pressing the swelling, discharged a considerable quantity of blood, which had been the cause of so much pain and uneasiness.
As soon as the beast felt himself thus relieved, he began to testify his joy and gratitude by every expression within his power. He jumped about like a wanton spaniel, wagged his enormous tail, and licked the feet and hands of his physician. Nor was he contented with these demonstrations of kindness. From this moment Androcles became his guest; nor did the lion ever sally forth in quest of prey without bringing home the produce of his chase and sharing it with his friend. In this savage state of hospitality did the man continue to live during several months. At length, wandering unguardedly through the woods, he met with a company of soldiers sent out to apprehend him, and was by them taken prisoner and conducted back to his master. The laws of that country being very severe against slaves, lie was tried, and found guilty of having fled from his master; and as a punishment for this pretended crime, he was sentenced to be torn in pieces by a furious lion kept many days without food, to inspire him with additional rage.
When the destined moment arrived the unhappy man was ex• posed, unarmed, in the midst of a spacious arena, enclosed on every side, around which many thousand people were assembled to view the mournful spectacle.
Presently a dreadful yell was heard, which struck the spectators with horror, and an immense lion rushed out of a den, which was purposely set open. The brute darted forward with erected mane and flaming eyes, and jaws that gaped like an open sepulchre. A mournful silence instantly prevailed! All eyes were turned
upon the destined victim, whose destruction now appeared inevitable. But the pity of the multitude was soon converted into astonishment, when they beheld the lion, instead of destroying his defenceless prey, crouch submissively at his feet, fawn upon him as a faithful dog would fawn upon his master, and rejoice over him as a mother that unexpectedly recovers her offspring The governor of the town, who was present, then called out with a loud voice, and ordered Androcles to explain to them this unintelligible mystery, and how a savage beast of the tiercest and most unpitying nature should thus in a moment have forgotten his innate disposition, and be converted into a harmless and inoffensive animal. Androcles then related to the assembly every circumstance of his adventures in the woods, and concluded by saying that the very lion which now stood before them had been his friend and entertainer in the woods. All the persons present were astonished and delighted with the story, to find that even the fiercest beasts are capable of being softened by gratitude and moved by humanity: and they unanimously joined to entreat from the governor the pardon of the unbappy man. This was immediately granted, and Androcles was also presented with the lion, who had in this manner twice saved his life.—Thomas Day.
17.- A country girl, with a pail of milk on her head, was reckoning all the way going to market what she might make of it. • This milk,' said she, • will bring me so much money ; that money will buy so many eggs; those eggs will, when hatched, give me as many chickens, and, with the fox's leave, those chickens will make me mistress of a pig; and that pig may grow a fat hog; and when I have sold that, I may buy a cow and calf. And then,' says she, “comes a sweetheart, perhaps a fariner; him I marry; and my neighbours will say, “How do you do, Goody Such-a-one" and I'll answer, “Thank you, neighbour, how do you? ” But perhaps my sweetheart may be a yeoman, and then it will be “ How do you do, Mrs. Such-a-one?” I'll say,
is Thank you.” Oh! but suppose I should marry a gentleman; then they'll say, " Your servant, madam;" but then I'll toss my head and say nothing.' Upon the sudden transport of this thought, and with the motion of her head, own came the pail; the milk was all spilt, and thus were at once overset all her fine schemes about her eggs, her chickens, her pig, her cow, and her husband.-L'Estrange.
18.-One of these marvellous storytellers, who had travelled to Damascus, told his company that the bees of that country were as big as turkeys. •Pray, sir,' said a gentleman (begging pardon for the question), ‘how large were the hives? "The same size with ours,' replied the traveller. • Very strange,' said the other ; but how got they into their hives?' • That is none of my business ; egad, let them look to that.'
Another, who had travelled as far as Persia, spoke to his man John, as he was returning bome, telling him, how necessary it was that a traveller should draw things beyond the life, otherwise he could not hope for that respect from his countrymen which otherwise he might have. But at the same time, John,' said be, wheresoever I shall dine, or sup, keep you close to my chair, and if I do very much exceed the bounds of truth, punch me behind, that I may correct myself.' It happened on a day that he dined with à certain gentleman, who shall be nameless, where he affirmed that he saw a monkey in the island of Borneo which had a tail three-score yards long. John punched him. •I am certain it was fifty at least.' John punched again. I beJieve, to speak within compass, for I did not measure, it must have been forty. John gave him t'other touch.
I remember, it lay over a quickset hedge, and therefore could not be less than thirty' John at hiin again. I could take my oath it was twenty.' This did not satisfy John. Upon which the master turned about in a rage, and said : Would you have the monkey without any tail at all?_ L. Swift.
19. Well,' said Claverhonse, and who the devil do you think would carry a summons to these headstrong and desperate fanatics? They acknowledge no laws of war. Their
leaders, who have been all most active in the murder of the Archbishop of St. Andrews, fight with a rope round their necks, and are likely to kill the messenger
I will go myself,' said Evandale, * if you will permit me. I have often risked my blood to spill that of others; let me now do so, in order to save human lives.'
•You shall not go on such an errand, my lord,' suid Claverhouse; 'your rank and situation render your safety of too much consequence to the country. Here's my brother's son, Dick Grahame, who fears shot or steel as little as if the devil had given him armour of proof against it, as the fanatics say he has given to his uncle. He shall take flag of truce and a trumpet, and ride down to the edge of the morass, to summon them to lay down their arms, and disperse.'
• With all my soul, Colonel,' answered the cornet; and I'll tie my cravat on a pike, to serve for a white flag.'
Colonel Grahame,' said Evandale, this young gentleman is your nephew and your apparent heir; for God's sake, permit me to go.'
• Were he my only son,' said Claverhouse, this is no cause and no time to
Cornet Richard Grahame descended the hill, bearing in his hand the extempore flag of truce, and making his managed horse keep time by bounds and curvets to the tune which he whistled. The trumpeter followed. When he had arrived right opposite to those who, by their advancing to receive his message, seemed to take upon themselves as the leaders of the enemy, Cornet Grahame commanded his trumpeter to sound a parley. The insurgents having no instrument of martial music wherewith to make the appropriate reply, one of their number called out, with a loud strong voice, demanding to know why he approached their leader ?
• To summon you, in the King's name, and in that of Colonel John Grahame of Claverhouse, to lay down your arms,' answered the cornet, and dismiss the followers whom you have led into rebellion.'
• Return to them that sent thee,' said the insurgent leader; tell them that we are this day in arms for a Richard Grahame dropped from his horse. The shut was mortal. The poor young gentleman had only strength to turn himself on the ground, and mutter forth : •My poor mother!' when life forsook him in the effort. His startled horse fled back to the regiment at the gallop.
•What have you done? ' said one of Balfour's brother-officers. My duty,' said Balfour, firmly. "Is it not written, thou shalt be zealous even to slaying? Let those who dare now venture to speak of truce and pardon.' - Walter Scott.
broken Covenant and persecuted Kirk; tell them that we renounce the li. centious and perjured Charles Stuart, whom you call King, even as he re. nounced the Covenant. Whereas, far from keeping the oath he had called God and angels to witness, his first step, after his incoming into these kingdoms, was the fearful grasp. ing at the
prerogative of the Almighty.' * I did not come to hear you preach, answered the officer, but to know in one word, if you will disperse yourselves, on condition of a free pardon to all but the murderers of the late Archbishop of St. Andrews.'
In one word, then,' answered the spokesman, we are here with our swords on our thighs, as men that watch in the night. Whoever assails us in our good cause, his blood be on his own head. So return to them that sent thee, and God give them and thee a sight of the evil of your ways.'
• Is not your name,' said the cornet, who began to recollect having seen the person whom he was now speaking with, John Balfour of Burley?'
• And if it be,' said the spokesman, • hast thou aught to say against it?'
Only,' said the cornet, “that, as you are excluded from pardon, in the name of the King and of my commanding officer, it is to these countrypeople, and not to you, that I offer it; and it is not with you, or such as you, that I am sent to treat.'
• Thou art a young soldier,' said Burley, or thou wouldst know that the bearer of a flag of truce cannot treat with the army but through their officers; and that, if he presume to do otherwise, he forfeits his safe conduct.'
While speaking these words, Burley unslung his carabine, and held it in readiness.
“I am not to be intimidated from the discharge of my duty by the menaces of a murderer,' said Cornet Grahame. • Hear me, good people: I proclaim, in the name of the King and of my commanding officer, fuli and free pardon to all, excepting-'
"I give thee fair warning,' said Burley, presenting his piece.
• A free pardon to all,' continued the young officer, still addressing the body of the insurgents—to all but
• Then the Lord grant grace to thy soul, — Amen,' sai l Burley. With these words he fired, and Cornet
20.— I should very imperfectly execute the task which I have undertaken if I were merely to treat of battles and sieges, of the rise and fall of administrations, of intrigues in the palace, and of debates in the parliament. It will be my endeavour to relate the history of the people as well as the history of the government, to trace the progress of useful and ornamental arts, to describe the rise of religious sects and the changes of literary taste, to portray the manners of successive generations, and not to pass by with neglect even the revolutions which have taken place in dress, furniture, repasts, and public amusements. I shall cheerfully bear the reproach of having descended below the dignity of history, if I can succeed in placing before the English of the nineteenth century a true picture of the life of their ancestors.—Macaulay.
21.-I shall conclude these instances with the device of the famous Rabelais, when he was at a great distance from Paris, and without money to bear his expenses thither. The ingenious author, being thus sharp-set, got together a convenient quantity of brick-dust, and having disposed of it, into several papers, writ upon one, • Poison for "Monsieur '; upon second, 'Poison for the Dauphin,' and on a third, “Poison for the King.' Having made this provision for the royal family of France, he laid his papers so that his landlord, who was an inquisitive man and a good subject, might get a sight of them. The plot succeeded as he desired. The bost gave immediate intelligence to the secretary of state.
The secretary presently sent down a special messen
ger, who brought up the traitor to court, and provided him at the king's expense with proper accommodations on the road. As soon as he appeared, he was known to be the celebrated Rabelais, and his powder, upon examination, being found very innocent, the jest was only laughed at, for which a less eminent droll would have been sent to the galleys.-Budgell.
22.—Henry IV. of France, while one day out a hunting, got separated from his attendants and lost his way. As he was riding about alone, he observed a country fellow standing upon a gate, apparently upon the watch, and asked him what he was looking for. I am come here,' said he, 'to see the king.' 'Get up behind me,' replied the monarch, and I will take you by and by to a place where you may see him.' The peasant mounted without any ceremony, and as they were riding along, put this sagacious question to bis companion: They tell me he's got a number of lords with him, how may a body know which is he?' Henry replied, that he would be able to distinguish the king by his remaining covered, while all his attendants took off their hats. Soon after, they fell in with the hunt, and all the courtiers and huntsmen were, as may well be expected, much surprised to see the king so oddly attended. Upon their joining the party, Henry, turning to the clown, asked him if he could tell which was the king. 'I don't know,' answered he, “but, 'faith, it must be one of us two, for we've both got our hats on.'- Addison.
dence between those wealthy societies of men that are divided from one another by seas and oceans, or live on different extremities of a continent. I have often been pleased to hear disputes adjusted between an inhabitant of Japan and an alderman of London, or to see a subject of the Great Mogul entering into a league with one of the Czar of Moscovy. 'I am infinitely delighted in mixing with these several ministers of commerce, as they are distinguished by their different walks and different languages. Sometimes I am jostled among a body of Armenians, sometimes I am lost in a crowd of Jews, and sometimes make one in a group of Dutchmen. I am a Dane, Swede, or Frenchman, at different times; or rather fancy myself, like the old philosopher, who, upon being asked what countryman he was, replied that he was a citizen of the world.--Addison.
24.-The favourite diversions of the middle ages in the intervals of war were those of hunting and hawking. The former must in all countries be a source of pleasure; but it seems to have been enjoyed in moderation by the Greeks and Romans. With the northern invaders, however, it was rather a predominant appetite than an amusement; it was their pride and their ornament, the theme of their songs, the object of their laws, and the business of their lives. Falconry, unknown as a diversion to the ancients, became from the fourth century an equally delightful occupation. From the Salic and other barbarous codes of the fifth century to the close of the period under our review, every age would furnish testimony to the ruling passion for these two species of chase, or, as they were sometimes called, the mysteries of woods and rivers. A knight seldom stirred from his house without a falcon on his wrist, or a greyhound that followed bim. Thus are Harold and his attendants represented in the famous tapestry of Bayeux. And, in the monuments of those who died anywhere but on the field of battle, it is usual to find the greyhound lying at their feet, or the bird upon their wrist. Nor are the tombs of ladies without their falcon; for this diversion, being of less danger and fatigue
23.-There is no place in the town which I so much love to frequent as the Royal Exchange. It gives me a secret satisfaction, and, in some measure, gratifies my vanity, as I am an Englishman, to see so rich an assembly of countrymen and 1oreigners consulting together upon the private business of mankind, and making this Metropolis a kind of emporium for the whole earth. I must confess I look upon high-change to be a great council, in which all considerable nations have their representatives. Factors in the trading world are what ambassadors are in the politic world; they negotiate affairs, conclude trea
than the chase, was shared by the delicate sex.-H. Hallam.
25.—The family consisted of an old gray-headed man and his wife, with five or six sons and sons-in-law and their several wives, and a joyous genealogy out of them. They were all sitting down together to their lentil-soup; a large wheaten loaf was in the middle of the table, and a flagon of wine at each end of it promised joy through the stages of the repast: 'twas a feast of love. The old man rose up to meet me, and with a respectful cordiality would have me sit down at the table. My heart was set down the moment I entered the room, so I sat down at once like a son of the family, and to invest myself in the character as speedily as I could, I instantly borrowed the old man's knife, and taking up the loaf, cut my. self a hearty luncheon; and as I did it, I saw a testimony in every eye, not only of an honest welcome, but of a welcome mixed with thanks that I had not seemed to doubt it. If the supper was to my taste, the grace which followed it was much more so.
thanks to Heaven that an illiterate peasant could pay.-L. Sterne.
26.—The condition of the present inhabitants of this country is very different from that of their forefathers. These, generally divided into small states or societies, had few relations of amity with surrounding tribes, and their thoughts and interests were confined very much within their own little territories and rude habits. Now, however, every one sees himself a member of one vast civilised society which covers the face of the earth, and no part of the earth is indifferent to him. In England, a man of small fortune may cast his regards around him, and say with truth and exultation :—'I am lodged in a house that affords me conveniences and comforts which even a king could not command some centuries ago. There are ships crossing the seas in every direction, to bring what is useful to me from all parts of the earth. In China, men are gathering the tea-leat for me; in America, they are planting cotton for me; in the West India islands, they are preparing my sugar and my coffee; in Italy, they are feeding silk-worms for me; in Saxony, they are shearing the sheep to make my clothing; at home, powerful steain-engines are spinning and weaving for me, and making cutlery for me, and pumping the mines, that minerals useful to me may be procured.
My patrimony is small, yet I have post-coaches running day and night on all the roads to carry my currespondence; I have roads, and canals, and bridges, to bear the coal for my winter fire; nay, I have proiecting fleets and armies around my bappy country, to secure my enjoyments and repose,
Then I have editors and printers who daily send me an account of what is going on throughout the world, among all these people who serve me: and in a corner of my house I have books, the miracle of all my possessions; more wonderful than the wishing-cap of the Arabian tales; for they transport me instantly, not only to all places, but to all times. By my books I can conjure up before me, to vivid existence, all the great and good men of antiquity; and, for my individual satisfaction, I can make them act over again the most re
When supper was over, the old man gave a knock upon the table with the haft of his knife, to bid them prepare for the dance. The moment the signal was given, the women and girls ran all together into a back apartment to tie up their hair, and the young men to the door to wash their faces and change their sabots; and in three minutes every soul was ready, upon a little esplanade before the house, to begin. The old man and bis wife came out last, and placing ine betwixt them, sat down upon a sofa of turf by the door. The old man had, some fifty years ago, been no mean performer upon the vielle; and at the age he was then of, touched it well enough for the purpose. His wife sang now and then a little to the tune, then intermitted, and joined her old man again as their children and grandchildren danced before them. The old man, as soon as the dance ended, said that this was their constant way; and that all his life long be had made it a rule, after supper was over, to call out his family to dance and rejoice; believing, he said, that a cheerful and contented mind was the best sort of