Imágenes de página

King John sent certain ruffians to Falaise, to blind the boy with red-hot irons—but Arthur so feelingly entreated them, and shed such piteous tears, and so trustfully appealed to Hubert de Bourg, the warden of the castle, who had a love for him, and was an honourable tender man, that Hubert could not bear it. To his eternal honour, he prevented the torture from being performed, and at his own risk sent the savages away.

The chafed and disappointed king bethought himself of the stabbing suggestion next; and, with his shuffling manner and his cruel face, proposed it to one William de Bray. “I am a gentleman, and not an executioner,” said William de Bray, and left the presence with disdain.

But it was not difficult for a king to hire a murderer in those days. King John found one for his money, and sent him down to the castle of Falaise. “On what errand dost thou come ?” said Hubert to this fellow. “To despatch young Arthur,” he returned.

“Go back to him who sent thee," answered Hubert, “ and say that I will do it.”

King John, very well knowing that Hubert would never do it, but that he courageously sent this reply to save the prince or gain time, despatched messengers to convey the young prisoner to the castle of Rouen.

Arthur was soon forced from the good Hubert, of whom he had never stood in greater need than then ; carried away by night, and lodged in his new prison, where through his grated window he could hear the deep waters of the river Seine rippling against the stone wall below.

One dark night, as he lay sleeping, dreaming perhaps of rescue by those unfortunate gentlemen who were obscurely suffering and dying in his cause, he was roused and bidden by his jailer to come down the staircase to the foot of the tower ; he hurriedly dressed himself and obeyed. When they came to the bottom of the winding stairs, and the night air from the river blew upon their faces, the jailer trod upon his torch, and put it out. Then Arthur

i Piteous tears, Larmes attendrissantes. ,

in the darkness was drawn into a solitary boat ; and in that boat he found his uncle and another man.

He knelt to them, and prayed them not to murder him. Deaf to his entreaties they stabbed him, and sunk his body in the river with heavy stones. When the spring morning broke, the tower door was closed, the boat was gone, the river sparkled on its way, and never more was any trace of the poor boy beheld by mortal eyes.

Chas. DICKENS. (Child's History of England.)

SYDNEY SMITH BUILDS HIS HOUSE. I was suddenly caught up by the Archbishop of York, and transported to my living in Yorkshire, where there had not been a resident clergyman for a hundred and fifty years. Fresh from London, not knowing a turnip from a carrot, I was compelled to farm3 three hundred acres, and without capital to build a parsonage-house. 4

I asked and obtained three years' leave from the archbishop, in order to effect an exchange, if possible, and fixed myself meantime at a small village two miles from York, in which was a fine old house of the time of Queen Elizabeth, where resided the last of the squires with his lady, who looked as if she had walked straight out of the ark, or had been the wife of Enoch. He was a perfect specimen of old ! 5 he smoked, hunted, drank beer at his door with his grooms and dogs, and spelt over the county paper on Sundays.

At first he heard 6 I was a Jacobin and a dangerous fellow, and turned aside as I passed ; but at length, when he found the peace of the village undisturbed, harvests as usual, he first bowed, then called, and at last reached such a pitch of confidence that he used to bring the papers, that I might explain the difficult words to him ; actually discovered that I had made a joke, laughed till I thought? he would have died of convulsions, and ended by inviting me to see his dogs.

1 My living, Mon bénéfice.—2 Fresh from London, Fraîchement arrivé de Londres.

3 To farm, De prendre à ferme.—4 A parsonage-house, Un presbytère.—5 Of old, Des anciens temps.—6 He heard, On lui avait dit.—7 Reached such a pitch of confidence, En vint à un tel degré de confiance.

All my efforts for an exchange having failed, I asked and obtained from my friend the archbishop another year to build in. And I then set my shoulder to the wheel in good earnest ;3 sent for 4 an architect; he produced plans which would have ruined me. I made him my bow : “You build for glory, sir ; I for use." I returned him his plans, with five and twenty pounds, and sat down in my thinking-chair ; 5 and in a few hours Mrs Sydney and I concocted a plan which has produced what I call the model of parsonage-houses.

I then took to horse, to provide bricks and timber; was advised to make my own bricks of my own clay ;6 of course, when the kiln was opened, all bad ; mounted my horse again, and in twenty-four hours had bought thousands of bricks and tons of timber. Was advised by neighbouring gentlemen to employ oxen; bought four : Tug and Lug, Haul and Crawl; but Tug and Lug took to fainting, and required buckets of sal volatile, and Haul and Crawl to lie down in the mud. So I did as I ought to have done at first—took the advice of the farmer instead of the gentleman ; sold my oxen, bought a team of horses, and at last, in spite of a frost which delayed me six weeks, in spite of walls running down with wet, in spite of the advice and remonstrances of friends who predicted our death, in spite of an infant six months old, who had never been out of doors, I landed my family in my new house nine months after laying the first stone, on the 20th of March ; and performed my promise to the letter to 10 the archbishop, by issuing forth at midnight with a lantern to meet the last cart, with the cook and the cat, which had stuck in the mud, and fairly

1 Actually discovered that, Il découvrit un beau jour que.—2 Laughed till 1 thought, Il se mit à rire au point que.-_3 I set my shoulder to the wheel in good earnest, Je me mis sérieusement à l'ouvre.—4 See $ 55, 9.-5 And sat down in my thinking-chair, Et je m'enfonsai dans mon grand fauteuil.—6 Clay, Argile.—7 Took to fainting, Tombaient en syncope. —8 Delayed me six weelcs, Me retarda de six semaines –9 Walls running down with wet, Murs tout ruisselants d'humidité. 10 Performed my promise to the letter to, Je remplis à la lettre la promesse que j'avais faite à.

established myself and them before twelve o'clock at night in the new parsonage-house ; a feat, taking ignorance, inexperience, and poverty into consideration, requiring, I can assure you, no small degree of energy. 1

It made me a very poor man for many years, but I never repented it. I turned schoolmaster to educate my son, as I could not afford to send him to school. Mrs Sydney turned schoolmistress, to educate my girls, as I could not afford a governess. I turned a farmer, as I could not let my land. A manservant was too expensive ; so I caught up a little garden-girl, made like a milestone, christened her Bunch, put a napkin in her hand, and made her my butler. The girls taught her to read, Mrs Sydıey to wait, and I undertook her morals ; Bunch became the best butler in the country.

I had litle furniture, so I bought a cart-load of deals ; took a carpenter, (vho came to me for parish relief,) called Jack Robinson, with a face like a full-moon, into my service, established him in a barn, and said, “Jack, furnish my house."

At last it was suggested that a carriage was much wanted in the establishment. Aiter diligent search, I discovered in the back settlements 3 of a York coachmaker an ancient green chariot, supposed to have been th earliest invention of the kind. I brought it home in triumph to my admiring family. Being somewhat dilapidated, 4 the village tailor lined it, the village blacksmith repaired it: nay, but for Mr: Sydney's earnest entreaties, we believe the village painter would have exercised his genius upon the exterior ; it escaped this donger, however, and the result was wonderful. Each year addeato its charms ; it grew younger and younger ; a new wheel, a new spring. I christened it the Immortal. It was known all over the neighbourhood ; the village boys cheered it, and the village logs barked at it ;5 but “ Faber mece fortunoe” was my motto, and ve had no false shame.

1 A feat, taking ignorance into consideratio, requiring no small degree of energy, Ce qui, si l'on tient compte de mon ignorance, 'emandait une certaine dose d'énergie. -2 Christened her Bunch, Je la baptisai du om de Fagot.-3 In the back settlements, Dans le fonds de magasin. --4 Being sorewhat dilapidated, Cette voiture étant en assez mauvais état._5 The village bog cheered it, and the village dogs barked at , Les enfants du village criaient après, t les chiens abovaient.

My house was considered the ugliest in the country, but all admitted it was one of the most comfortable ; and we did not die, as our friends had predicted, of the damp walls of the parsonage.



INDUSTRY RECOMMENDED. VERY few people are good economists of their fortune, and still fewer of their time ; and yet, of the two, the latter is she most precious. I heartily wish you to be a good economist of both ; and you are now of an age to begin to think seriously of these two important articles.2 Young people are apt to think tley have so much time before them, that they may squander what they please of it, and 3 yet have enough left ;4 as very great fortunes have frequently seduced people to a ruinous profusion. Fatal mistakes, always repented of,5 but always too late! Old Mr Lowndes, the famous Secretary of the Treasury, in the reigns of King William, Queen Anne, and King George the First, ised to say : “ Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.”

This holds equally true as to time; and most earnestly recommend to you the care of those minutes and quarters of hours, in the course of the day, which people think oo short to deserve their attention ; and yet, if summed up at the end of the year, would amount to a very considerable portón of time. For example : you are to be at such a place at tweve, by appointment; you go out at eleven, to make two or thre, visits first; those persons are not at home ; instead of saunteriig away that intermediate time at a coffee-house, and possibly gone, return home, write a letter beforehand for the ensuing post or take up a good book, I do not mean Descartes, Malebranche Locke, or Newton, but some book of detached pieces, as Horar, Boileau, Waller, La Bruyère, &c. This will be so much time øved, and by no means ill-employed.

i Good economists, Ménagers 2 These two important articles, Ces deux points importants. -3 See $ 41.–4 Hav enough left, Ils en ont assez de reste.—5 Always repented of, Dont on se repent tujours.

« AnteriorContinuar »