« ZurückWeiter »
protect and provide for them : as for me, who draw towards the end of my career, I have lived long enough ; may my son attain to my age, that he may bring up his tender infants ; I have lived as a man; I will die as a man; I therefore take the place of my son.'
5. At these words, which expressed his paternal love and greatness of soul in the most touching manner, his wife, his son, his daughter-in-law, and the little infants, melted into tears around this brave, this generous old man ; he embraced them for the last time, exhorted them to be ever faithful to the French, and to die rather than betray them by any mean treachery unworthy of his blood.
6. My death,' concluded he, “I consider necessary for the safety of my nation, and I glory in the sacrifice.' Having thus expressed himself, he presented his head to the friends of the deceased Chactaw, and they accepted it; he then extended himself over the trunk of a tree, when, with a hatchet, they severed his head from his body.
7. The French, who assisted at this tragedy, could not contain their tears, whilst they admired the heroic constancy of this venerable old man, whose resolution bore a resemblance to that of the celebrated Roman orator, who in the time of the triumvirate, was concealed by his son: the young man was most cruelly tortured in order to force him to discover his father, who, not being able to endure the idea, that a son so virtuous and so generous, should thus suffer on his account, went and presented himself to the murderers, and begged them to kill him, and save his son: the son conjured them to take his life and spare the age of his father; but the soldiers, more barbarous than the savages, butchered them both on the spot.
Albert and his Daughter. 1. ALBERTI", had been for many years an officer in the service of the East-India Company, but was not among those who, by plunder and rapine, accumulated riches at the expense of honour and conscience. He was a native of England, and had married an English lady at Calcutta, whose brother had brought her over, and soon after her arrival died, leaving her upwards of thirty thousand pounds. The wife of Albert did not long survive her marriage ; she died, and left her only daughter, who was educated by her father, 'till she attained the age of three years, at which time he embarked for his native country, taking with him his infant, and the whole of her fortune, which
she inherited by her mother, and his own, which was very considerable.
2. The morning was serene, the sea was calm, the sky was clear, when the coast of England appeared in view. The long wished for object spread universal gladness through the ship's company ; every heart was elated, every mind anticipated the joy of revisiting parents and sincere friends.
3. Albertus brought his daughter upon deck ; see, my child, said he, we are now in sight of England, the country where your mother first drew her breath ; there you will meet with relations and friends ; and you are able, my little dear, to assist them if they stand in need. The evening closed, the passengers retirea to rest; but a fresh gale springing up, soon increased to a storm. The ship was close in upon the coast; she struck upon a rock ; she filled ; she sunk; and Albertus, who at that in stant came upon deck, was swept off by a heavy sea. He was thrown upon the shore, and left there by the wave that bore him, stunned and senseless.
4. On recovering, he found himself supported by some peasants, who were endeavouring to assist him, and a few others, who had escaped. He looked round with anxiety for his infant daughter-the darling object was not there to delight his eyes; he broke out into lamentations of despair, till, fainting under the weight of his grief, he sunk into a fit, and was conveyed to the house of a philanthropic person in the neighbourhood.
5. In this hospitable mansion, Albertus resided for many weeks. His grief subsided into a settled melancholy, but it was accompanied by resignation. The world, however, he determined to abandon, and took a little cottage near the spot where he lost his child. There he lived secluded from the society of mankind, amusing himself with books, and the trifling domestic business of his little mansion.
6. Eighteen years he passed in this private manner, when an officer, whose name was Leontine, with his wife and child, came to reside at a small house and farm in the neighbourhood; and as the beach opposite to the hut of Albertus had a smooth bottom, and a gentle descent into the sea, Leontine's infant son vvas bathed there, daily, by a servant. The boy was near four years of age, and the servant being a good swimmer, frequently carried him out a considerable way from the beach, and swam with him towards the shore. Albertus had often pleased himself with looking at their sports from the door of his cottage ; and one morning, as he was indulging himself at this amusement, the servant being a considerable way out in deep water, sud.
denly gave a shriek, and sinking at the instant, left the little boy by himself. Albertus, throwing off his outward garments, which were loose, plunged into the sea. With a vigour and celerity unusual to a man of his years, he darted through the water, and rescued from death the sinking infant, whom he brought in safety to the shore.
19. The servant, who had been seized with the cramp, now appeared above water; the spasm had left him, and he regained the land in safety. The poor fellow's attention was at first solely employed on his infant charge ; but when he found it recovered, the tribute of his gratitude flowed copiously in thanks and blessings on its preserver; he pressed it with rapture to his bosom, smiled, and wept--then presenting it to Albertus, the good old man wept in his turn; and, embracing the child with the utmost affection, it was conveyed to its parents.
8. Leoatine was from home when the child returned. - The servant minutely related every circumstance that passed, to the mnother; who, trembling during the recital, at the conclusion poured forth her grateful thanks to heaven; then turning to her infant, we must see, said she, this preserver of your life.' Frantic with joy, and, taking him by the hand, she went imme. diately to the cot of Albertus, who attended to the effusions of her gratitude with silent admiration, sometimes disturbed with a sigh, again relieved by a tear. • I have saved your child,' said lie, and the grief I have suffered by the loss of my own in nearly the same place, accounts for the tumultuous joy you ex. perience, from the preservation of your child.' Alas!' said the mother, both I and my little son have been rescued from the devouring ocean ; but my parents never experienced the felicity of rejoicing at my escape. I never had the happiness of knowing them. I was taken up at sea, floating on a bed, when but three years of age.'
9. Need we say more, than these circumstances led to a discovery, that Albertus had recovered his daughter. The incidents of her life were few; she had been taken up in the morning after the wreck by a coasting cutter bound for Guernsey, and had been brought up by a merchant in that island, to whom the cutter belonged, and he had given her as liberal an education as the island afforded. When but sixteen, Leontine, who commanded a company quartered on the island, paid his addresses to her; and the honest merchant not only assented to their union, but bestowed an ample fortune upon the bride, 10. Leontine's father soon after dying, he returned to Epg
land, and his income being within four hundred pounds a year, he determined on an economical plan : he sold his commission, and retired to the country. Providence directed him to the neighbourhood of Albertus. A description of the scene which passed between the father and daughter, is, perhaps, beyond the power of language to describe. We, therefore, conclude with what, no doubt, the reader has anticipated, that Albertus returned to the world, and became one of his daughter's family, and passed the remainder of his days in contentment and happiness.
Filial Sensibility: 1. A Young gentleman, in one of the academies at Paris, was remarked for eating nothing but soup and dry bread, and drinking only water. The governour of the institution, attributing this singularity to excess of devotion, reproved his pupil, and endeavoured to persuade him to alter his resolution. finding, however, that his remonstrances were ineffectual, he sent for him again, and observed to him, that such conduct was highly unbecoming, and that it was his duty to conform to the rules of the academy.
2. He then endeavoured to learn the reason of his pupil's conduct; but as the youth could not be prevailed upon to impart the secret, the governour at last, threatened to send him back to his family. This menace produced an immediate explanation : Sir," said the young man, in my father's house, I eat nothing but black bread, and of that, very little ; here I have good soup, and excellent white bread; and though I might, if I chose it, fare luxuriously, I cannot persuade myself to take any thing else, when I reflect on the situation in which I have left my
father and mother.' 3. The governour was greatly moved by this instance of filial sensibility, and could not refrain from tears. Your fa. ther,' said he, has been in the army ; has he no pension ?' • No,' replied the youth: he has long been soliciting one ; but, for want of money, has been obliged to give up the pursuit; and, rather than contract any debts at Versailles, he has chosen a life of wretchedness in the country.' Well,' returned the governour, . if the fact is as you have represented it, I promise to procure, for your father, a pension of five hundred livres a year. And since your friends are in such reduced circumstances, take these three louis d’ors for your pocket expenses. I will undertake to remit your father the first half year of his pension in advance.' Ah, sir!' replied the youth.
have the goodness to propose remitting a sum of money to my father, I entreat you to add to it these three louis d'ors. As I have here every thing I can wish for, I do not need them: but they would be of great use to my father in the maintenance of his other children.'
The Noble Basket Maker. 1. The Germans of rank and fortune, were formerly remarkable for the custom of having their sons instructed in some mechanical business, by which they might be habituated to a spirit of industry ; secured from the miseries of idleness ; and qualified, in case of necessity, to support themselves and their families. A striking proof of the utility of this, custom, occurs in the following narrative :
2. A young German nobleman, of great merit and talents, paid his addresses to an accomplished young lady of the Palatipate ; and applied to her father for his consent to marry her. The old nobleman, amongst other observations, asked him how he expected to maintain his daughter. The young man, surprised at such a question, observed, that his possessions were known to be ample, and as secure as the honours of his family. • All this is very true, replied the father : but you well know, that our country has suffered much from wars and devastation ! and that new events of this nature may sweep away all your estate, and render you destitute. To keep you no longer in suspense, (continued the father, with great politeness and affection,) I seriously resolved never to marry my daughter to any person, who, whatever may be his honours or property, does not possess some mechanical art, by which he
be able to support her, in case of unforeseen events.'
3. The young nobleman, deeply affected with his determination, was silent for a few minutes ; when, recovering himselt, he declared, that he believed his happiness so much depended on the proposed union, that no difficulty or submissions, consist ent with his honour, should prevent him from endeavouring to accomplish it.' He begged to know whether he might be allowed six months to acquire the knowledge of some manual art. The father, pleased with the young man's resolution, and affection for his daughter, consented to the proposal ; and pledged his honour that the marriage should take place, if, at the expiration of the time limited, he should succeed in his undertaking.
4. Animated by the tenderest regard, and by a high sense of the happiness he hoped to enjoy, he went immediately into Flanders, engaged himself to a white twig basket-maker, and applied