Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

translate goes on to say,) was by nature rapacious, avaricious, and looked upon all simony as but a light matter; and his successors improved upon his example, until they carried this wickedness to its greatest height, in the apostacy of Henry the Eighth, who assumed th tle of Head of the Anglican Church. But there is no one so utterly depraved and bestial, who performs not soine action not altogether evil, or who is in himself always wicked.

The following short anecdote, from the same author, is a happy illustration of that grave trifling which men are ever willing to receive as unanswerable argumentation, when made use of to favour some darling dogma, however blasphemous or absurd :

Certain English heretics grew very warm in expressing their detestation of the adoration of the holy images : to whom a Catholic nobly replied, that they who did not revere God and his saints in their images, neither would they love his image in their neighbour.

From another of those old Italians, whoin we do dearly love, we have collected the following piece of humour :

A certain gentleman, it being summer time, and very hot, took shelter from the sun in the house of one of his friends, where he was most kindly received, and there were set before him, for his refreshment, abundance of those cooling fruits which the season afforded. His friend also charged the lad who waited at table, to be careful in furnishing him with wine, and on no account to permit his glass to remain empty before him. To this command he paid attention, once, twice, and thrice. But a little wine being by no meařs sufficient to quench his intolerable thirst, and the lad seeming to consider it a trouble to fill his glass so often, the countenance of the guest expressed no inconsiderable annoyance, and having frequently looked at master and man, when he saw that no notice was taken of these hints, he sat altogether 'still; which the master of the house perceiving, at length bethought him that it is wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and rebuking the boy, sharply said to him—“ Did not I tell you, glutton, to attend to filling that gentleman's glass ?" But he being a bit of a wag, replied, "Master, I have already twice filled his glass, and as I saw that the gentleman appeared to be anxious to empty it, I thought I should do him a pleasure by saving him the trouble of having to do it so often."

The Marquis and the Cook. --The Marquis of Currado having one day some friends to dine with him, he ordered Chinchidio, his cook, to dress a very fine heron, which he had caught the preceding, morning, for their repast; desiring him at the same time to be particularly careful in cooking it, that his brother sportsmen might see that its quality was not inferior to its size.

Chinchidio took the bird, and followed his master's directions with great care. He was just about to take the fowl from the spit, when a young woman, to whom he was much attached, came into the kitchen; you think

and, attracted by the savoury smell, begged him to give her a slice. Chinchidio told her the whole state of the case, and concluded by begging her, for this once, to excuse his compliance with her request; but the lady was determined to have her own way, (a foible very common to her sex,) and his pleadings but strengthened her resolution. In vain the poor cook begged, and implored; he added fuel to the flames; till at length, determined to risk his master's displeasure rather than lose his mistress, he cut a leg from the fowl, and gave it to ber.

When dinner time arrived, the marquis ordered the heron to be set before him; but what was his surprise, when the cover was removed, to see that one leg had disappeared! He ordered Chinchidio before him, and angrily asked what had become of it; to which the cook replied, with great readiness,—“ It had but one leg, my lord, when you gave it me.”

“ How ! fool," cried his master, do I never saw a heron before p" “ It certainly had but one, my lord,” replied Chinchidio; " and if you please, I will shew you

similar ones living.” “ I take you at your word,” said the marquis ; “ to-morrow morning you shall prove the truth of your assertion; but if you fail, I will give you such a punishment as shall cause you to remember your audacity as long as you live.”

The morning arrived, Currado's anger was not at all appeased; and having ordered Chinchidio to accompany him, he rode towards the stream where his sport chiefly lay. The cook, seeing that his master was still angry, followed trembling, totally unable to devise a plan to extricate himself from the unfortunate scrape in which he found himself. But what was his joy when he saw several herons on the bank of the stream, asleep, and standing, as is their nature, on one leg! “ Now, my lord,” said he, pointing to where they stood,

you will see that what I told you was true.' “ I will very soon shew you that those have two legs," said Currado, riding up, shouting and hallooing; upon which the herons awaking, ran away at full speed. “What do you say now ?” continued he on his return, " it seems your birds have found a second leg." “Of course,” replied Chinchidio; “ but you never hallooed to the one on the dish!” Currado could not refrain from laughing. ". You are right,” said he,

I ought to have done it," and forgave him immediately.

NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.

The Tale” which we received without a signature, is hardly suited to our pages. The Life and Adventures of Sir Marmaduke Sydebaum" is accepted, and

will probably appear in our next. “ Settling in Australia,” though displaying no want of humour, is written in a style

which, unless very well executed, does not please : it has therefore been omitted. The next No. of the New Microcosm will not appear till the 10th of August.

Manchester: Printed by Cave and SEVER, Pool Fold. Sold by C. AMBERY,

91, Market Street, and other Booksellers.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

CHAP. II.-A Messenger from Abbeville. Rouen. The cause of the knocking was soon explained by the entrance of Albert, an old servant of the Count's. He brought word that a messenger was at the gate, who desired to see his master.

you

know his business ?” asked the latter. “ I did not inquire, my lord,” returned Albert; “ but his intelligence seems of importance, from the rate at which he must have ridden; for both he and his horse are splashed from head to foot, and appear dreadfully fatigued.”

" Send him up, then, immediately,” replied the Count; “ and see that his beast be well attended to.'

Emmeline left the room, and the messenger was soon after introduced. His haggard countenance and sinking frame, fully bore out the description given of him by Albert. On being asked as to his errand, he presented a letter, adding that it came from the head quarters of the royal army at Abbeville.

The Count appeared violently agitated while reading the letter. He broke off suddenly in the midst of it, and calling to his steward, who still stood at the door, he said—“Send Larrot off immediately with a party of horse on the road to Rouen, in pursuit of my nephew, and desire them to bring him back if they overtake him. Let them tell him that I desire it. Rouen is lost, and the whole country around in a perilous state; and,” added he, as Albert was leaving the room," tell them to ride at full speed, for he has left the castle some time since."

Why, the appearance of things has strangely altered,” continued he, addressing the messenger; “ I thought that since our late victory the whole of Normandy had quietly submitted ?”

did for some time, but fresh troops were continually pouring into Beauvais, where Mayenne had taken up his quarters. He left the town suddenly, and appeared next morning with 20,000 men before the gates of Rouen. The town was immediately surrendered ;

is So

be the case,

but whether through fear or treachery, we have no satisfactory intelligence. The country people throughout the province are again in revolt, and if the Duke makes good use of his present opportunities, and marches direct to Abbeville, that town-the only one we still possess in Normandy-in the present dilapidated state of the fortifications must submit, and with it our hopes in the province are destroyed. Letters in the King's name have been sent to the Protestant Nublemen throughout the kingdom, urging them to hasten with their vassals to Abbeville; and if our opponents will remain idle in Rouen for three weeks or a month, we shall be fully prepared to meet them.”

How soon do you return to Abbeville ?” asked the Count.

As soon as ever I have received your answer," was the reply; “ which, on account of the disturbed state of the country, the Mareschal would recommend to be a verbal one, it will not be, like his, protected by the Royal seal."

The Count paused for a few moments, and then replied—“ Tell the Mareschal de Biron that within a few days I shall join him with all the force I can collect. Tell him, also, that my nephew left here this afternoon for Rouen, knowing nothing of the change which has taken place there; and I fear he will be captured by the enemy. If such

and there is an exchange of prisoners, let the Mareschal remember that Eustace d'Evreux is heir to one of the most noble families in France, and act accordingly. Your master wishes also to know the number of troops I shall bring : he may rely on a hundred and forty of my own vassals; others I cannot promise."

Having given this message, he called Albert, and desiring him to see that the messenger was entertained with the utmost hospitality till morning, withdrew.

To return to our hero. Notwithstanding the speed at which he rode, night had set in before he arrived at the gates of Rouen. Great was his surprise on finding them shut. He notwithstanding bailed one of the sentinels, and telling his name and title, demanded admittance for himself and his servant. After a delay of a few minutes, during which time the sentinels conversed together in a low tone, his demand was complied with ; but no sooner were the gates closed, and the portcullis dropped behind them, than they were ordered to surrender their arms as prisoners of the Duke of Mayenne. Resistance being vain, in a town occupied, as they perceived it to be, by the enemy's troops, they submitted, not without great and evident reluctance on the part of Eustace ; and after being dismounted, they were taken to the guard-house, there to await the orders of the Duke respecting them. They had not long to wait. The next morning, orders were sent that Eustace should appear before him. Guarded by two soldiers, he was conducted through the deserted streets to a mansion which he immediately recognised as having been in happier days occupied by the Bishop; but its disorderly condition, and the cups and flagons which strewed the floor, shewed the different character of its present occupier. He was conducted through a long suite of rooms to what seemed to be the state apartment: there sat the Duke of Mayenne, in a large easy chair, his appearance fully according with thať of his abode. His dress consisted of a grey morning gown; under this a shirt of mail, which he constantly wore as a defence from the daggers of assassins, which had frequently been aimed against his life. On his head he wore a Spanish cap, in the front of which was stuck a large plume of ostrich feathers.

“Well, youngster,” said he, as Eustace entered the apartment; who are you, who, attended by one esquire, has dared to summon our good town of Rouen to open her gates to you ?"

“ Eustace, Marquis of Montbrison," replied the prisoner, boldly.

“ A very pretty name, and a very pretty boy, too,” said the duke; “and for that reason, my young gallant, I intend to hang you up from the ramparts, for my soldiers to gaze at;" and the cruel tyrant laughed aloud at his barbarous idea.

"You dare not not do it," said the boy ; “ my uncle would exact too fearful a revenge.”

“ And who is this uncle of yours, before whom Mayenne and all the army of the League is to tremble ? I can tell you that there is no man in France, but a madman, who would willingly measure swords with me, no, not even in defence of as gallant a young gentleman as yourself. But if you will tell me all you know, as to what the King is doing at present at Abbeville,--the number of his forces, et cetera, I may perhaps remit your sentence.”

“I know nothing of the King's movements or intentions; and if I did, I should be the last to tell you,” replied Eustace.

Well, I will give you twenty-four hours to remember; if by that time

you still continue obstinate, I must try some other means of getting out of you the intelligence which I require ;" then, tuming to the soldiers, he said—“Take the prisoner to my friend Jean Bourreau, and tell him to give the youth a snug lodging till to-morrow.” Thus saying, he threw himself back in his chair, and Eustace was led away by his guards.

(To be continued.)

ODE. GOOD FRIDAY.

Part Second

1.
Dark stand the towers of Judah's pride,

Where Glory held her state ;
A thousand hideous phantoms glide
Across the stage of fate.

Events in ghastly train

Crowd o'er the spectral plain,
Where future horrors dye the purpling ground.

The nation's agony

Sounds echoing through the sky,
And earth convulsed, stands trembling at the sound.

The voice of Harmony is mute,
The pipe untuned, unstrung the lute.

« AnteriorContinuar »