Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

means inelegant or coarse, though telling somewhat of her rustic Murat answered not, but gazed intently upon the features of birth and breeding. Despite his destination for the church, the the speaker, and his own wore a troubled expression of surprise abbé was a passionate and by no means self-denying admirer of and doubt. Bastide," " he said at length—" Bastide, my mind beauty, and the charms of Mariette were irresistible. Almost has been disturbed by painful dreams, and the recollections of the from the moment of her arrival, he neglected, not his studies past are strangely and confusedly mingled with the impressions merely, for they had never engrossed too much of his attention, of the moment. Even your voice appears sadly familiar, as but the frolics, the boon companions, and the flirtations and though it had often met my ear in earlier and more happy days intrigues that, for the last three or four years, had constituted the speak to me once again- Did you call upon me ere I woke, and chief employment of his time; and the admiration excited by her by the name I bore in childhood ? Speak once again, and sulve beauty soon ripened to a passion which he had not the virtue, if the mystery which I have little time to penetrate.” the power, to resist. Mariette was a good girl, and had been well “Joachim !" was again uttered, and in the tones so long for. brought up-but she was young, artless, and confiding-Murat gotten, but so well remembered now the cowl was thrown back was handsome, and his passionate eloquence, aided by the memories from the face of the speaker, the cloak fell to the ground, and of an attachment which had begun in childhood, and, though Mariette—the Mariette of his youthful love, though bearing the dormant, had never ceased to occupy her warm young heart

, impress of years and sorrow, was indeed before him. prevailed at last over the dictates of prudence, and the restraints “I should have known it," said Murat, after a brief silence, of principle. Yet she did not fall a victim to unbridled passion-into which a world of thoughts and feelings was condensed ; " I her purity was left unstained, although the pleadings of her lover should have known that only in the love and constancy of wom and of her own tenderness were powerful enough to turn her from could the secret of Bastide's devoted fidelity be read." the strict path of rectitude ; and if she did consent to fly with the The reader can neither expect nor wish to be advised at length young abbé, it was only upon his reiterated promise to renounce of the conversation that ensued. The hours of Murat were numthe ecclesiastical habit, and make her his lawful and honoured bered, and rapidly drawing to their close; and the remaining wife. It was a mad scheme, but perfectly in harmony with the interest of this sketch, if any it has, belongs to the consummation character of Murat, whose fault it was, through life, to rush upon of the drama, to which his life has been not inappropriately performance, by whatever impulse led, without regard to conse- likened. The explanations required by him from Mariette can quences. He had neither money nor the means of gaining it to easily be imagined. Her love for him had never known abatesupport even himself, much less a wife and children ; and Mariette ment; and although her image had long since passed from his was no better off ; yet, with no more ample provision for the memory, his success and fame had been the treasured happiness future than a few scores of francs, which he borrowed from his of her existence; his misfortunes and his danger called her loving school-fellows, the Abbé Murat and Mariette Majastre, at the spirit to more active ministration, and a determined heart, a mature ages of twenty-one and sixteen, absconded one morning woman's ingenuity, gold, and the aid of an honest and gentlefrom the house of Mariette's relative, and set off by diligence for natured cousin will readily account for all that she had done or Preissac, for the purpose of being married. Fortunately, perhaps, attempted in his behalf. Gold, the habit of a priest, and the for both, their absence was quickly discovered-pursuit was made kind assistance of an old father confessor, who was in the habit —and they had scarcely arrived at Preissac in the evening, before of visiting the prison on errands of mercy, perhaps connived at Mariette's uncle, with his brother and three sons, made their by the governor, had even obtained for her the interview of which appearance, and claimed possession of the would-be bride. Murat the reader has been just informed, and which was but too soon resisted with fury, but his single arm, vigorous as it was, could interrupted by the entrance of the aged padre, who came to warn not prevail against so great a disparity of force, and foaming with them that the governor was approaching, and that Mariette must rage he was compelled to see his mistress borne away, weeping be gone. A hurried farewell -a last embrace, which even Caroline bitterly, and vowing eternal constancy to her half frantic lover. of Naples would not have forbidden-a fervent blessing inter

The natural consequence of such an escapade would have been changed—and Murat was left alone, prepared to meet, as became a dismissal from the ecclesiastical school in which he had been his character, his rank, and fame, the doom of which he little entered, but he did not wait for it. Tearing the abbé's frock needed information. from his shoulders, he rushed into the street, and happening to The governor's tidings were brief, but conveyed with a respect meet with a sub-officer belonging to a regiment of chasseurs quar- and sympathy that did him honour. The tribunal appointed for tered in Preissac for the night, while on its march to Paris, the trial of “General Murat" was already sitting in an adjoining enlisted as a private ; and thus, in a moment of wrath and dis- apartment, and the advocate assigned him for his defence was appointment, began that dazzling career which was destined to waiting for admission. Murat asked the names and rank of the place upon his brow the crown of a rich kingdom.

eight officers named in the commission, and at once refused to Thus through the fancy of the sleeping captive, with more than appear before them: “They are my subjects, not my judges,' lightning speed, coursed the re-awakened memory of events that was his firm reply to the remonstrances of the governor ; " seven had been the story of his early years. He felt again the ardour of them received their commissions from my hand, and neither of of his youthful passion—the excitement of a first and frenzied them is my equal, even in the military rank which the order for love-the triumph of success—the eagerness of flight, and the my trial concedes to me. But were they marshals of France, like fury of that moment when love, success, and hope, on the very me, I am their sovereign, not their equal, and I will not appear eve of fulfilment, were dashed aside in bitterness and wrath. The before them. They can condemn unheard, and to condemn is form of Mariette was again before him in the freshness of its the task assigned them." In vain the governor attempted to youthful beauty—her lovely eyes, streaming with tears, were fixed combat his resolution by argument, and Starage, the advocate with an imploring passionate look upon his own, and her voice assigned him, by entreaty and the eloquence of tears ; the king was ringing in his ears, as she was borne away, calling upon her was immovable, and even commanded Starage not to speak in his Joachim to the rescue. “Joachim! Joachim!"-the name echoed defence. “I am the king of Naples," he continued ;

they may through his brain, with the startling clearness of a trumpet sound. take my life, but the keeping of my dignity and honour is

my own. ing to the charge--and with a start the chain of sleep was broken, His conduct was in accordance with this elevated feeling to the and Murat, the conqueror, monarch, exile, and doomed captive last. The commission proceeded to the trial in his absence; and of the present, beheld the dawn of his last day among the living. when the secretary waited upon him to ask his name, his age, and

For a moment reality mingled with his dream, and he gazed the other formal questions usual in the continental tribunals, he doubtfully upon the figure of an individual who stood before him, cut the ceremony short with the brief and almost contemptuous enveloped in an ample cloak, gazing upon his face with an earnest avowal, “I am Joachim Napoleon, king of the two Sicilies ; and mournful look-and it was borne upon his mind that the begone, sir, and bid them do their work." He then conversed voice which called upon the name-the long disused name-of freely and composedly with the governor and his fellow-prisoners, Joachim, was not the mere coinage of a dream-excited fancy. A who were admitted to an interview by the kindness of that officer, second glance assured bim of the truth, and hastily advancing to adverting earnestly, but without ostentation or self-eulogy, to the seize the hand of his unexpected visiter, he exclaimed, “ Then disinterestedness of his conduct on the throne, and to the services you have not perished, Bastide my friend-Bastide the noble. he had rendered the Neapolitans-received with calmness the hearted and true-nor yet abandoned me, when fate has determined sentence of immediate death conveyed to him by one of the on my ruin !"

commissioners--wrote a short, affectionate, and eloquent letter to The king was betrayed and deserted-he is in the power of his queen and children-passed the allotted half-hour with his sis enemies and Bastide is here to do him service, if it may be, * The death of Madame Murat (sister of Napoleon) was announced reto the last."

cently in the newspapers.

[ocr errors]

confessor, and then came forth with a firm step, simply remarking and were daily increasing. At length, under the conduct of the to the governor, "Let us delay no longer-I am ready!” celebrated Sir John Hawkwood, whose name is well known in

On his way to the place of execution, his movement was as Italian history, they entered into the service of the Marquis of dignified and self-possessed, his look as calm, as though he was Mountferrat, at that time (1361) engaged in a war with the merely taking part in some familiar pageant of court ceremony. Viscontis, Lords of Milan, and Viceregents of Lombardy; but Once only he was seen to cast an anxious glance around, as if in the Pope was not freed from their presence until he had granted search of one whose presence at that moment he desired, yet them absolution for all crimes committed. scarce had reason to expect ; and when his eyes rested on the Others of these Free Companions found employment in Spain, face and form of Mariette, again disguised from all but him in where, under the command of Sir Hugh Calverly, one of the most the cloak and outward bearing of Hypolite Bastide, a smile of celebrated captains of the age, they were received into the service satisfaction lighted up his features, which seemed to give assur- of Henry of Castille, where they continued until they were reance that already the bitterness of death was past. That called by the Black Prince to fight on the opposite side, when he glance, that smile, were once more noted when the fatal spot was espoused the cause of Pedro the Cruel, in 1367. reached—and Murat, proudly facing the carabineers who stood Many strongholds in France remained in the hands of these with ready weapons to fulfil his doom, drew from his bosom a adventurous soldier-robbers, who for years continued to inflict trinket bearing in medallion the portrait of his queen, and, kissing dreadful evils upon the country. Among these, Geoffry Tete-Noire it fervently, uttered his last command, " Aim at my heart!' made himself particularly conspicuous. In the year 1378, when in a voice as clear and calm as had ever issued from his lips war had again broken out between the French and English, and in the council-tent, the glittering hall of royalty, or on the battle the whole country of France was in the utmost disorder, scarcely field. The carabines rang sharply at the word, and Joachim one corner remaining free from foreign or domestic enemies, "there Murat lay extended dead upon the ground fast moistening with happened," as Froissart tells us, “ daily in Auvergne and Limousin his blood.

feats of arms and wonderful enterprises ; more especially in the

neighbourhood of the castle of Ventadour, in Auvergne, which is HISTORICAL EPISODES.

one of the strongest places in all that country. It was sold or

betrayed to the most cruel of all the Bretons, called Geoffry Tête. GEOFFRY TETE-NOIRE'S WILL.

Noire. The Comte de Ventadour de Montpensier was an ancient When the power of France was prostrated at the fatal battle of knight, and honourable man, who no longer took part in the wars, Poitiers, in 1356, and the imprisoned king found himself compelled but remained peaceably in his castle : this knight had a squire or to resign the fairest portion of his inheritance, and to consent to varlet, called Ponce du Bois, who had served him for a length of sign the memorable treaty of Bretigny, numbers of military time without having profited much by his service : seeing that adventurers were throw loose upon the world. Strict orders were

he should have no opportunities of gaining riches, he determined, issued by the English king that every garrison in the French terri- by bad advice, to enrich himself, and in consequence entered into tory should be evacuated; but these were reluctantly obeyed by a

a secret treaty with Geoffry Tete.Noire, who resided in Limousin. lawless soldiery, who had long been used to rapine. Half soldiers, to deliver up the castle of Ventadour to him for the sum of six hall freebooters, they could ill reconcile themselves to resign the

thousand francs. This was agreed to; but he had inserted independent life they had led; the commander of each petty fort among the conditions that no harm should be done to his master, or castle had been accustomed to act at his discretion, without the Comte de Ventadour, and that he should be put out of his waiting for particular orders: their object had been to distress the castle in a courteous manner, and that everything of his should be enemy by every possible means, and thus they had become ac.

restored to him. This was complied with, for the Bretons and customed to consider all the country within the limit of an

English who entered the castle did not in the smallest degree hurt excursion from their stronghold, as their peculiar territory, in the Count or his people, and only retained the stores and artillery, which it was lawful for them to rob, and plunder, and fight to their of which there were

great plenty. hearts' content. These were pleasures too congenial to be willingly his wife and children, beyond Aigueperse in Auvergne. Geoffry

" The Count de Ventadour went to reside at Montpensier, with parted with, and the king's commands were very unwillingly Tete-Noire and his troops kept possession of Ventadour ; from obeyed.*

The proceedings of the disbanded troops were most extraordi- whence they ravaged the country, and took many strong castles in nary ; dismissed by their commander, they still kept together, and Auvergne, Rouergue, Limousin, Quercy, Gevantan, Bigorre, and congregating, they at length formed a body of sixteen thousand in the Argenois, one after the other. well-armed veterans—their hand against every man, and every man's

“ With this Geoffry Tête-Noire there were othe. captains, who hand against them. Old habits of military discipline still had their performed many excellent deeds of arms, as Amerigot Marcel, a influence. They chose leaders among themselves ; and after com

Limousin squire, attached to the English party, who took the strong mitting various excesses, attacking and subduing many castles and castle of Cassuriel, situated in the bishopric of Clermont, in the idea of advancing to Avignon, and "paying a visit to the Pope other castles were also in his company, such as the bourg Calart, strong places, and plundering without ruth or meroy, they formed Auvergne; from whence the above-mentioned Amerigot and his

companions overran the country at their pleasure. Captains of and Cardinals." English territories of Aquitaine, &c., no steps were taken by the the bourg Anglois, the bourg de Champagne, Raymond de Force, king of England or the Black Prince to restr them. The king

a Gascon, and Peter de Béarn, a Béarnois. of France, however, got together a body of men, under the com

Amerigot made one day an excursion, with only twelve command of his cousin, Lord James of Bourbon, Constable of France, panions, to seek adventures; they took the road towards Aloise, who were entirely defeated by the superior skill of the “* Free near St. Flour, which was a handsome castle in the bishopric of Companions," as they termed themselves. Lord James and his Clermont: they knew the castle was only guarded by the porter. son were both mortally wounded at the battle of Brignois, and the As they were riding silently towards Aloise, Amerigot spies the Free Companions advanced towards Avignon triumphantly, being porter sitting on the trunk of a tree withoutside of the castle : a joined on the road by fresh parties excited by the news of their Breton, who

shot extraordinarily well with the cross-bow, says to success. Pope Innocent VI. and his Cardinals were dreadfully him, ; Would you like to have that porter killed at a shot?' alarmed, and proclaiming a crusade against these pillagers, en

Yes,' replied Amerigot, and I beg you will do so. The deavoured to raise a body of troops

to oppose them; but the cross-bow, man shoots a bolt, which he drives into the porter's poverty of the Pope's exchequer was a serious bar to his success,

head and knocks him down; the porter, feeling himself mortally and his troops deserted for want of pay, many of them joining wounded, regains the gate, which he attempts to shut, but cannot, the Companions, who revelled in the spoils they had already gained, castle

, which they enter by the wicket, and see the porter lying

and falls down dead. Amerigot and his companions hasten to the * These excesses appear to have reached their height in the interval dead and his wife distracted beside him : they do her no harm, but between tho battle of Poitiers and the treaty of Bretigny. In that period inquire where the constable of the castle is : she replies he is at we find one of Edward's best generals laying the foundation of his fortune by plunder. Froissart tells us that on the sea coast of Normandy the keys of the castle and of the dungeon ; which when she had

Clermont. They promise to spare her life if she will give them there were a great number of English and Navarrois plunderere and robbers. Sir Robert Knolles was their leader, who conquered every town

done, for she could not any way defend herself, they shut her out, and castle he came to, as there was no one to oppose him. Sir Robert

had having given her what belonged to her, and indeed as much as she followed this trade for some time, and by it gained upwards of 100,000 could carry away. She went to St. Flour, which is but a league crowns. He kept a great many soldiers in his pay; and being very liberal, off ; the inhabitants were much frightened, as well as all the ad. he was cheerfully followed and obeyed."

joining country, when they heard that Aloise was become English.”

[ocr errors]

Many other adventures and outrages of Marcel and the other My fair sirs, and companions in arms, I know I am in great Companions are related by Froissart, which we have not room to danger of death: we have been a long time together, and I have notice. We must return to Geoffry, who is described as "a cruel been a loyal captain to you all to the utmost of my power ; I man and very ferocious in his anger, minding no more killing a should wish, therefore, to see, before I quit this world, my successor man than a beast.” He lived at his ease in Ventadour, which he appointed, who would gallantly behave himself towards you, and held as if it had been his own inheritance, and forcing all the defend this castle, which I shall leave pentifully stocked with all surrounding country to enter into composition with him to avoid necessary things, such as wines, provisions, and artillery. I therebeing plundered. By this means every one could labour the ground fore beg you will tell me if you have taken any steps, or have at their pleasure, and he was enabled to keep the state of a great thought of electing any one after to govern and lead you as menbaron and live with his companions on the fat of the land, at the at-arms ought to be governed and led, for such has been my manner same time keeping cautious guard and laying up a good store of of carrying on the war; and in truth I cared not against whom. francs. He was not single in this free-and-easy mode of life, for I did indeed make it under the shadow of the king of England's besides Amerigot Marcel, (who was afterwards “justified," at name, in preference to any other ; but I have always looked for Paris, being first pilloried and then beheaded,) many other garrisons gain and conquest wherever they may be had ; and such should made promiscuous war, under pretence of being English, although ever be the conduct of adventurous companions, who are for deeds there were very few of that nation, the greater part being Gascons, of arms and to advance themselves. This country is very fertile : Germans, and Foixiens, and from different countries, " who had many good compositions have been made with it, though the French united together to do mischief." At length the Comte d'Armagnac now check them by their war ; but this cannot always last, for exerted himself, about the year 1387, to make a composition with their block-louses and siege must have an end. Now tell me truly, these freebooters, who held castles in Auvergne, Quercy, and have any of you thought of the person who is to succeed me?' Limousin, and had nearly succeeded in effecting his object, but the “ The companions remaining silent, he again addressed them determined resistance of Tête-Noire, who received an under-handed with the utmost good-humour, saying, 'I can easily believe you encouragement from Gaston Comte de Foix, who was at feud with have had some conversations together on what I have mentioned ; d'Armagnac, thwarted his designs. Téte-Noire was considered by and I also, during the time I have been forced to keep my bed, all the Free Companions of those parts of the country as their have thought on this matter for you.'--'Sir,' replied they, 'we head and chief, and himself “began all his passports and treaties refer the matter to you, and it will be more agreeable if it came of composition with, Geoffry Tete-Noire, Duke of Ventadour, from you than from us : you will therefore be pleased to inform us Comte of Limousin, sovereign lord and commander of all the of your will?'-Yes,' said Geoffry, 'I will tell you, and name captains in Auvergne, Rouergue, and Limousin.' He knew his those I wish to succeed me. Here is Alleyn Roux and his brother castle was impregnable, and provided with stores and a sufficient Peter, my cousins, who are good men-at-arms, and of my blood : garrison for seven or eight years; and it was not in the power of I entreat you, therefore, to accept of Alleyn as your governor, and any lord to shut him up, so that he could not be prevented from that you will swear to him in my presence loyalty and obedience, making sallies whenever he chose, and set all the powers of France as well as to his brother ; but I mean that Alleyn should have the at defiance."

sovereign command !'-'Sir,' answered they, we will cheerfully The Duke of Berry, uncle to King Charles VI., and lieutenant do so, for you have well chosen. All the companions then took of Limousin and Auvergne, at length took part with the Comte oaths of obedience to Alleyn Roux and to his brother Peter. d'Armagnac and the Dauphin d'Auvergne, who had likewise when this was done, Geoffry Tete-Noire again addressed them : bestirred himself, and gathering a body of four hundred spears, Well, my friends, you have complied with my request, and I thank equal to three or four times that number of men, laid close siege you for it. Because I wish you should partake of what you have to Ventadour. He was zealously aided by the peasants, who helped me to conquer, I must inform you, that in that chest that laboured to erect large block-houses for the accommodation and you see yonder, (pointing to it with his finger,) there is a sum of defence of the besiegers, and cut trenches, and laid trunks of trees thirty thousand francs. I would acquit my conscience and myself and other obstacles on all the roads, so that the garrison was towards those who have faithfully served me : say, therefore, if scarcely able to venture out. Geoffry, however, was indifferent you will truly fulfil the articles of my will ?' Having said they to this; for he knew he had provision and stores to last for seven would, he continued : . In the first place, I leave to the chapel of years, and that his castle was so strongly placed upon a rock that it St. George within our walls, the sum of fifteen hundred francs, for could not be taken by storm ; and notwithstanding these block- repairs and additional buildings.- I give to my mistress, who has houses, and this supposed complete blockade, he, at times, with some been faithfully attached to me, two thousand five hundred francs. of his companions, made salsies through a postern that opened -To Alleyn Roux, your governor, two thousand francs.—To my between two bidden rocks, and overran the country in search of valets-de-chambre, five hundred francs. To my officers, fifteen wealthy prisoners. They never brought anything beside with them hundred francs. The surplus I thus dispose of you are about to the castle, on account of the difficulty of the passes. This opening thirty companions, all engaged in the same enterprise, and you could not be closed, and to the surprise of the country, they were should behave like brothers to each other, without envy, riot, or found abroad seven leagues distant: if they were by accident strife. The sum I have mentioned you will find in the chest : pursued, and had once regained their mountains, though the chase divide it, therefore, among you fairly and honourably : but should might last for three leagues, they always considered themselves as the devil get among you, and you cannot agree, here is a wellsecure as if they had been in their fort. This manner of harass- tempered sharp axe, cut open the chest, and let those who ing the country was long continued ; and the siege of the castle can seize the contents!' To this speech they unanimously replied, lasted for more than a year.” If the castle had been invested by Lord and master, we will not disagree. We have so much loved regular troops, the garrison, notwithstanding their experience and and feared you, that we will not break the chest, nor disobey any good generalship, would probably have been much more straitened, of the orders you have given us.' Such was the last will of but even the men-at-arms were levied in the neighbourhood, and Geoffry Tete-Noire, who only lived two days more, and was were inexperienced, and probably overawed by the reputation of buried in the chapel of St. George in Ventadour. All his legacies the redoubted Geoffry. But his career drew to an end. were paid, and the overplus divided among the companions skirmish at the barriers, the wooden outworks stretching beyond according to his orders; and Alleyn Roux, with his brother Peter, the gate of the castle, where it was usual for besiegers to meet and were obeyed as governors of the castle." combat, more for the indulgence of the pugnacious spirit which We have given this will as a very curious instance of the led them to encounter in the tilt-yard, than from any decided state of France at the time, 1389. We find a man holding a advantage likely to be obtained on either side, Geoffry received a strong place, levying contributions, a sort of black-mail, upon all wound in the head from a cross-bow bolt, which passed through the surrounding country, for many years, without any attempt to the helmet and the cap beneath. Had he taken proper care of oppose him; and when at length individual, rather than national himself," says Froissart, " he would have soon been cured of this forces are brought into play, the chief of the marauding band, wound; but he indulged himself in many excesses, for which he cut off at last by a chance shot, leaves his followers in a position paid dearly enough by his death. He was warned of the conse- to maintain a successful contest. In the end they were subdued, quences of his conduct, and told he was in so dangerous a condition, but not by the force of the enemy. They laid a trap for their (the wound having become an imposthume,) that it was necesşary enemies, but were taken in their own snare, and Alleyn and Peter to settle his affairs.

Roux were pilloried, beheaded, and quartered at Paris ; a punish“ Upon this he ordered the principal persons of his garrison, ment not disproportioned to their crimes and treachery, by which and those who had been most used to arms, into his presence; and last they, like most cunning people, overreached themselves, and when they were come, he said to them, sitting up in his bed, I fell into the pitfall they had prepared for others,

At a

A BENEVOLENT ADVICE.

A CHARACTER OF A CHARACTER. Behold vice without satire; be content with an admonition or instructive To square out a character by our English level, is a picture (real or perreprehension; for noble natures, and such as are capable of goodness, are sonal) quaintly drawn in various colours, all of them heightened by one railed into vice that might as easily be admonished into virtue; and we shadowing. It is a quick and soft touch of many strings, all shutting up of should all be so far the orators of goodness as to protect her from the power one musical close : it is wit's descant on any plain song. of vice, and maintain the cause of injured truth.-Sir Thomas Broron.

Sir Thomas Overbury.

A LION'S REMORSE.
THE CHARACTER OF NEWTON.

In the beginning of the last century, there was in the menagerie at Cassel Newton never seems to have placed himself, even in idea, beside his

a lion that showed an astonishing dogree of tameness towards the woman fellows; but always in presence of the vast universe, and of Him the Maker

that had the care of him. This went so far, that the woman, in order to of it. His mind was therefore stamped with a grave and reverential abase

amuse the company that came to see the animal, would often rashly place ment; he compared his discoveries, not with what had been accomplished not only her hand, but even her head, between his tremendous jaws. She before, but with what remained to be done; the law of gravity itself was

had frequently performed this experiment without suffering any injury; but as a sound of distant waters, a little gleam from the unknown; telling,

but having once introduced her head into the lion's mouth, the animal however, distinctly of its home-like the shell of the Arabian maid in made a sudden snap, and killed her on the spot. Undoubtedly, this Gebir:

catastrophe was unintentional on the part of the lion; for, probably, at the “ Apply its polished lips to your attentive ear,

fatal moment, the hair of the woman's head irritated the lion's throat, and And it remembers its august abodes,

compellod him to sneeze or cough : at least, this suggestion appears to be And murmurs, as the ocean murmured there."

confirmed by what followed ; for, as soon as the lion perceived that he had Nichol's Phenomena and Order of the Solar System. killed his attendant, the good-tempered, grateful animal exhibited signs of

the deepest melancholy,- laid himself down by the side of the dead body,

which he would not suffer to be taken from him,-refused to take any food, VALUE OF AUTOGRAPHS.

and in a few days pined himself to death.-Zoological Anccdotes. Mr. Tefft, an American collector, received some of his most curious specimens gratuitously from friends in Great Britain, although, as might

IDOLS. be expected in a very artificial state of society, they would ofton command

Whatever passes as a cloud between considerable prices in that country. The poet Campbell raised forty-five

The mental eye of faith and things unseen, guineas for the Poles by autographs; and visiting a lady who had notes

Causing that brighter world to disappear, from distinguished people on her table, he advised her to conceal them, or

Or secm less lovely, and its hope less dear ; they would be stolen. Brougham's autograph was valued at five guineas.

This is our world, our idol : though it bear
A Week among Autographs, by the Rev. S. Gilman,

Affection's impress, or devotion's air.

Sabbath Recreations. THE SEA.

A CABINET COUNCIL. There is something in being near the sea, like the confines of eternity. It

The great Earl of Chatham's plan, when he had the gout, was to have no is a new element, a pure abstraction. The mind loves to hover on that

fire in his room, but to load himself with bedclothes. At his house at which is endless, and for ever the same. People wonder at a steam-boat, Hayes, ho slept in a long room, at one end of which was his bed, and his the invention of inan, managed by man, that makes its liquid path like an

lady's at the other. His way was, when he thought the Duke of Newcastle iron railway through the sea. I wonder at the sea itself, that vast leviathan,

had fallen into any mistake, to send for him and read him a lecture. The rolled round the earth, smiling in its sleep, waked into fury, fathomless, Duke was sent for once, and came when the Earl (then only plain Mr. Pitt) boundless, a huge world of water-drops. Whence is it-whither goes it? Is was confined to bed by the gout. There was, as usual, no fire in the room: it of eternity or of nothing? Strange, ponderous riddle, that we can

the day was very chilly, and the Duke, as usual, afraid of catching cold. neither penetrate nor grasp in our comprehension ; ebbing and flowing like The Duke first sat down on Mrs. Pitt's bed, as the warmest place; then human life, and swallowing it up in thy remorseless womb, -what art thou?

drew up his legs into it, as he grew coliler. The lecture unluckily continuWhat is there in common between thy life and ours, who gaze at thee? ing a considerable time, the Duke fairly lodged himself under Mrs. Pitt's Blind, deaf, and old, thou seest not, hearest not, understandest not; neither bedclothes. A person (who related the story to Horace Walpole) suddenly do we understand, who behold and listen to thee! Great as thou art, going in, saw the two ministers in bed, at the two ends of the room ; while unconscious of thy greatness, unwieldy, enormous, preposterous twin-birth Pitt's long nose and black beard, unshaved for some days, added to the groof matter! rest in thy dark, unfathomed cave of mystery, mocking human

tesque character of the scene. pride and weakness. Still is it given to the mind of man to wonder at thee, to confess its ignorance, and to stand in awe of thy stupendous might and

NATURE. majesty, and of its own being, that can question thine!-Hazlitt.

Whoever shall represent to his fancy, as in a picture, that great image of

our mother Nature, portrayed in her full majesty and lustre,-whoever in WAFERS.

her face shall read so general and so constant a variety,-whoever shall The oldest letter yet found with a red wafer was written in 1624, from

observe himself in that figure, and not himself, but a whole kingdom, no D. Krap, at Spires, to the government at Bayreuth. Wafers are ascribed, by bigger than the least touch or prick of a pencil, in comparison of the whole, Labat, to Genoese economy. In the whole of the seventeenth century, they that man alone is able to value things according to their true estimate and were only used by private persons; on public seals they commence only in grandeur.-Montaigne. the eighteenth century.-Fosbroke's Dictionary of Antiquities.

A BIT OF MAHOMEDAN LAW.
THE LARGE RED MONKEY OF DEMERARA.

Oh, true believers ! when ye bind yourselves one to the other in a debt

for a certain time, write it down, and disdain not to write it down, be it a While lying in your hammock in the gloomy and immeasurable wilds, large, or be it a small one, until its time of payment. This will be more you hear him howling at intervals from eleven o'clock at night till day- just in the sight of God, and more right for bearing witness, and more easy, break. You would suppose that half the wild beasts of the forest were that ye may not doubt. But if it be for a present bargain which you transcollecting for the work of carnage. Now it is the tremendous roar of the act among yourselves, it shall be no crime in you, if you write it not down. jaguar, as he springs on his prey: now it changes to his terrible and deep- |-Koran, chap. 2. toned growlinge, as he is pressed on all sides by superior force : and now you hear his last dying moan, beneath a mortal wound. Some naturalists have

STRONG ATTACHMENT OF A GOLDFINCH. supposed that these awful sounds, which you would fancy are those of Madame — had a goldfinch, that never saw her go out without making enraged and dying wild beasts, proceed from a number of the red monkeys every effort in his power to quit his cage and follow her, and welcomed her howling in concert. One of them alone is capable of producing all these return with every mark of extreme delight: as soon as she approached, a sounds; and the anatomists, on an inspection of his trachea, will be fully thousand little actions showed his pleasure and satisfaction; if she presatisfied that this is the case. When you look at him, as he is sitting on the sented her finger, he caressed it a long time, uttering a low joyous murmur. branch of a tree, you will see a lump in his throat, the size of a large hen's This attachment was so exclusive, that if his mistress, to prove it, substiegg.--Waterton's Wanderings.

tuted another person's finger for her own, he would peck it sharply, whilst

one of his mistress's, placed between two of this person's, would be immediPOETRY AND PAINTING.

ately distinguished, and caressed accordingly.-Bechstein. We consider nature but transiently till the poet or painter awake our

LIFE VIEWED RELATIVELY. attention, and send us back to life with a new curiosity, which we owe entirely to the copies they lay before us.- Preface to Wood's Essay on Homer.

The ant and the bee are, I think, much nearer man in the understanding

or faculty of adapting means to proximate ends than the elephant. Plants IMPORTANCE OF FIRESIDE EDUCATION,

exist in themselves, insects by or by means of themselves, men for them

selves. There is growth only in plants; but there is irritability, or (a better The fireside is a seminary of infinite importance. It is important because word) instinctivity, in insects.—Cobridge. it is universal, and because the education it bestows, being woven in with the woof of childhood, gives form and colour to the whole texture of life. There are few who can receive the honours of a college, but all are graduates

London: WILLIAM SMITH, 113, Fleet Street. Edinburgh: FRASER of the hcarth.-Fireside Education.

& Co. Dublin: CURRY & Co.-Printed by Bradbury & Evans, Whitefriars.

[blocks in formation]

and the mist will fall from his eyes, and he will then find in all the REASON AND REVELATION.

works of nature proofs of the goodness of God. His researches, ."The mind of man is as a mirror or glass, capable of the image no longer prosecuted from vain curiosity and profitless speculations of the universal world, and as joyful to receive the impressions concerning the intentions of God, will be pursued with yet greater thereof as the eye rejoices to receive the light; and not only eagerness, that he may fulfil his commands, and use and multiply delighted in the beholding the vanity of things and the vicissitudes the talent entrusted to his care. of times, but raised also to discover the inviolable laws and the We have advocated, and still advocate strongly, the opinion that infallible decrees of nature ; but if any man shall think by view the human race is advancing, not only in the acquisition of and inquiry into sensible and material things, to attain that light knowledge, but in mental improvement; but we do not mean whereby he may reveal unto himself the nature and will of God, to assert that this is a necessary consequence of man's organisathen is he spoiled through vain philosophy : for the sense of man tion. We view in the fact, which we believe is fully borne out by is as the sun, which opens and reveals the terrestrial bodies, but the evidence of the history of the past compared with the present conceals and obscures the stars and bodies celestial.” Such are situation and prospects of mankind, the working of God's provi. the words of Bacon; and in the compass of these few words a great dence. It is not for man to say such must be the result. That truth, too often neglected in the pride of human knowledge, is laid is in God's hand. He who stood on the Acropolis of Athens, in down and illustrated with a clearness and conciseness peculiarly his the days of Pericles, must have looked proudly round upon the own.

magnificent piles which it had required but a few years for that “ If any man shall think by view and inquiry into sensible and learned, polite, and cultivated people to erect.

" This is a promaterial things to attain that light whereby he may reveal unto gressive age,” he must have cried ; “ the spirit that is kindled in himself the nature and will of God, then is he spoiled through vain Athens will bear forward the mind of man until he challenges the philosophy." Yet to this end books have been written and trea- power of the gods.” But what must have been the thoughts of the tises compiled, and thus systems of natural theology are too often melancholy Alexandrine when he beheld the imperial library, the more regarded than the oracles of revealed religion. In the ardent storehouse of the arts, sciences, and eloquence of the past, pursuit of knowledge, the mind of man is too apt to be elated by kindled in the furnace to warm the baths of Omar? Surely his the consciousness of its increasing power, and in the upliftings of a cry was, “ The world is retrograde, and learning and literature proud spirit, professes to discover, ay, to prove, with mathematical have departed for ever!” Both were mistaken, for Athens in her precision, both the “nature and will of God," basing the argument proudest days was tottering to her fall, and we owe the restoration upon proofs drawn from his own scanty knowledge of the works of of science to the sages of Arabia. We feel that although the flow the Creator. He sets up an idol, a phantom of his brain, an unreal has hitherto been onward, it has been by the influence, not of man god, for the God whose revelations are the only sure foundations of but of God. In looking back upon the page of history, we see religion, and, we may add, even of history, and science.

single men start up at intervals, and by their actions totally change That this earth teems with proofs of the exceeding wisdom, the aspect of the world. Are they to be regarded as necessary almighty power, and great goodness of the Creator, is known to in the fixed course of human economy? Can we calculate the none so well as to those who seek to know Him in his works. But appearance of such spirits at stated periods, or under given circum. it will be difficult for the inquirer who, throwing revelation aside, stances, as we do the appearance of a comet or an eclipse? They finds manifest proofs of the wisdom and power of a Creator, to are then proofs of the immediate providence of an all-watchful prove the supreme goodness of his idol. Let him turn, and wind, God; nor is the least of his creatures less the object of his special and twist his arguments through all the mazes of logical sophistry, care. If map were in his own nature a progressive creature, it one fact, the existence of evil, cannot be denied, and cannot be would follow that we should find progression steady ; but at various accounted for by human reason. The consequence is, that he periods in the history of the world human intellect appears to who takes his ground upon a natural religion or theology, must in have slumbered, and in that dangerous sleep fallen back to the the end be compelled to admit that the world is not necessarily the point from which it started; then, again aroused, it pressed forward work of a beneficent Being. Not a creature in earth, sea, or air with renewed energy. Can we see aught in this but the immediate which is not subjected to pain and suffering : the very insects, the presence of God ? animalculæ invisible to our eyes, wage an eternal warfare. The These are mysteries inscrutable to us, and so decreed by God to answer of the reasoner is, that this is only another proof of Infinite remain during this mundane existence. Admit them, and the Wisdom, since a superabundance is thus prevented. Granted, in its soul, lightened from its heavy burden of doubt and despondency, fullest extent; but until it can be proved that the existence of this goes gloriously on in her appointed way. Searching on every side superabundance was necessary, that the Almighty Power could not for proofs of the power and wisdom of God, she now can clearly have adopted other means than the infliction of pain and suffering distinguish in each the sure tokens of his great goodness. But -of evil,—upon the creatures of his creation, to prevent a super- deny the truth of revelation, and the soul, searching to penetrate abundance, the reasoner must admit that he fails in proving his unfathomable depths of darkness with the weak light of mere idol to be a beneficent creator.

human intellect, is lost, dazzled, and bewildered. She cannot But let him humble his reason before revelation. Let him turn deny that there is a God, and yet shrinks from the power she is to the Bible, and there learn of the fall of man, and that the earth, compelled to acknowledge. which had been so exceeding good, was cursed for man's sake ; that To such let us recommend the consideration of a little apologue thorns and briars sprang up; that, in short, evil was the consequence illustrated by an old master (Garofolo), in an excellent picture, of man's transgression. Let him place his faith in the promise of now hanging in the National Gallery. St. Augustin, sitting one salvation, and see that promise fulfilled in the coming of Jesus, day by the sea shore, busily occupied in the composition of his

VOL. I.

DD

Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.

« AnteriorContinuar »