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tumbled down into the lake; but the lake enchained him not. The waves parted asunder; unenfeebled, and in his own proper form, the stream came forth and advanced on For he was a son of Nature, and born of the
his path. mountain.
He was now a youth, and he chose his own path. Noble Nature errs not in her choice; she chooses greatness and worth. He cut for himself a way through rocks and mountains, which disciplined and tempered the impetuosity of his youthful vigour. Thus, too, vine-covered hills bordered the path of the youth.
Splendid was his career. A hundred streams and innumerable brooks mingled their lovely waters with his powerful flood. So the godlike attracts to itself the noble, and the high seeks to ally itself to the highest.
Manly and calm was now his step; more sedately he flowed along, but not more feebly. The rigour of winter would bind him in everlasting fetters; but he rent them in pieces, as one rends a thread. He had practised his strength in his youth, and torn rocks asunder.
His surface now resembled a polished mirror. Not the joyful vine-branch, the fruit of the mountain, but richly blessing corn fields encompassed him; his back carried ships and floats. Thus calm strength produces the useful along with the beautiful.
He now approached the limit of his career. Nature divided him into manifold streams, which are called by other names. Men give him the name RHINE alone, when they speak of his greatness and his blessings.
Thus calm strength retains its dignity and honour.
HENRY DE NEMOURS; OR FRATERNAL AFFECTION.
The French people having in 1789 taken possession of the Bastile, that ancient state prison, where so many political crimes had been committed, where such fearful vengeance had been summarily and secretly executed, the whole edifice was ransacked, and totally destroyed. On that occasion, a great iron cage was found, which proved to be that in which the Cardinal de Belue, minister of Louis XI., had expiated for eleven years the atrocious guilt of being the inventor, but for other victims, of the in
strument which thus served for his own punishment. In another dungeon was discovered a second iron cage, smaller, in the shape of a bowl, wide at top, and terminating at the bottom in a point so narrow, that any one shut up in it could neither sit, nor lie, nor stand upright. The last mentioned cage was the only one now remaining, of two, which had served, three centuries before, as the prison of two young princes, Henri and François de Nemours, sons of Jacques d'Armagnac, who in the reign of Louis XI. was Constable of France. It is well known to any who have read French History, that d'Armagnac had leagued with the Dukes of Burgundy and Brittany (Bretagne) to deliver up France to the English. This plot, which would have snatched the sceptre from the hands of the French monarch, was discovered to Louis when just ripe for execution, and Jacques d'Armagnac was instantly arrested, and sentenced to be beheaded. He had two sons so young at the time of his treason and its punishment, that when these poor children were asked if they had not been the accomplices of their father, they might have answered with the lamb in the fable; "How could I, when I was not born?" Nevertheless, by a refinement of cruelty which even the barbarism of the age cannot palliate, much less justify, Louis XI. ordered white robes to be put on the two boys, and thus attired, they were placed under the scaffold on which their father was standing, and when he received the fatal blow, the executioner sprinkled the white robes and their innocent heads with the blood of the criminal. Nor was the vengeance of Louis satiated by the punishment of the Constable. The two orphans, dyed in a father's blood, were taken to the Bastile, dragged to the subterranean dungeons, and there put into the two iron cages described before. Henri de Nemours was then eight years old, and his brother François was nearly seven.
The unhappy children, thus condemned to continual torture, had no other consolation but putting their hands through the bars of the cages to grasp each that of the other. And all day long, and all night long, the young brothers were hand in hand.
François, the younger of the two, was the most desponding. "I am so much hurt here," said he, surely we cannot live long this way." And he wept.
Come, come," replied Henri, "a pretty fellow to cry
at your age; besides you know that papa never liked that we should cry. You see they are treating us like men of whom they are afraid, so we must not behave like children. Instead of crying, let us talk of poor dear mamma."
And then the poor victims of the cruel policy of Louis XI. talked of days gone by, and of the beautiful domain of Loctour, where they had passed the first years of infancy. Once again did they climb their own hills of Armagnac, once more wander in its thick woods, once more run races in the broad walks of the baronial park. But alas! it was only in imagination-yet the young prisoners found a momentary oblivion of their sufferings in that blessed magic of memory which makes the present cease to exist for us, by bringing us back into the past.
One other slight alleviation to their wretchedness was afforded to these infant martyrs by a very little mouse, which, having crept out of its hole one day, was at first so terrified by the sight of the young princes, that it ran back as fast as possible to its hiding place. In vain did the children try to coax it; it was not till the next day, that, pressed by hunger, she ventured out to pick up some of the crumbs which they had purposely let fall from the cages. By degrees, however, she became accustomed to the voices of the children, and a few days after her first appearance, she grew so tame, that she climbed up to the cages of her patrons, and at length used to go from one to the other, and eat out of their hands.
But it was a small thing to the vindictive Louis that the blood of d'Armagnac had stained the fair hair and white robe of his children. He heard that the two little prisoners of the Bastile were enduring their sufferings with fortitude; that, through custom's wondrous power they had learned to sleep soundly in their iron cage, nay, even to awake with an almost cheerful "good morrow on their lips. He heard it can any heart that responds to one human feeling believe that it but impelled him to devise fresh torture for them? He issued orders that a tooth should be extracted every week from each of the children.
When the person appointed to this office, a man too long accustomed, as the minister of the king's savage cruelty, to the sight of suffering, to shrink from inflicting it, was introduced into the dungeon, he could not suppress an exclamation of pity at the spectacle of the two unhappy,
yet patient little creatures. He was, however, obliged to tell the object of his visit; and when the brutal order of the king was announced, the little François uttered piercing cries, and Henri endeavoured to plead with the executioner. Mamma," said he, “would die of grief if she heard of my little brother suffering so much. Oh! pray, Sir, spare him-I entreat of you not to put him to such pain; you see how weak and ill he is already."
The executioner of the king's cruel purpose could no longer restrain his tears. "There is no alternative," he said, but he sobbed as he spoke, "I must obey; I risk my life even by delay. My orders are to hand the two teeth to the governor of the Bastile, in order that he may lay them before the king."
"In that case,” said Henri, “you must only take two from me. I am strong and can bear it, but the least additional suffering would kill my brother."
And now a long and touching contest arose between the children as to which should suffer for the other. Surprised and affected, the man hesitated for a few moments, and might, perhaps, have finally yielded to the dictates of pity, and have shrunk from executing his revolting office, had not a messenger come from the governor to inquire the cause of his dilatoriness. The messenger knew that longer delay would be regarded as a crime-he approached Henri and extracted a tooth: and the child repressed every expression of pain, and seeing the man move towards his brother's cage, he cried, "Stay, you are to take another from me-you know I am to pay for us both." And the heroic child obtained his wish, and his self-sacrifice gave to the governor of the Bastile the two teeth he was required to lay before the king.
The cruel order was executed in its utmost rigour; every week the minister of his barbarous will repaired to the dungeon, and every week Henri paid his own tax and that of his brother. But the strength of the noble boy was at last exhausted; a violent fever raged in his young veins; he gradually grew weaker, and his legs being unable to support him he was obliged to kneel in the cage. At length a day came when he felt that he had only a few minutes to live, and making a feeble effort to extend his hand once more to his brother, he said, "All is over, François, I shall never see mamma again, but, perhaps,
you may yet be taken out of this horrible place. Tell my darling mother that I often spoke of her, and that I never loved her so much as now that I am dying. Farewell, François," gasped he, as his breath failed him," you will give our poor little white mouse her crumbs every day. I depend upon you to take care of her; will you not, dear François ?"
He heard not the answer of his brother, death snatched him from his sufferings, and he passed into that place "where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest." It may be presumed that Louis was softened in favour of the last of the Nemours, for, after the death of Henri, François was released from his iron cage, and transferred to one of the ordinary dungeons.
At length the soul of the cruel monarch was required of him, and the reign of Charles VIII. began. His first act was to set at liberty all the victims of the suspicious and hateful policy of Louis XI. Among the rest, François de Nemours was released, permitted once more to behold the sun, once more to lay his drooping head on the bosom of his mother; but the tortures he had undergone in the horrible cage left him all his life lame and deformed.Sharpe's London Magazine.
THE EMPEROR OF ROME AND HIS THREE
THEODOSIUS was emperor of Rome, mighty in power, and wise in counsel. He had no son, but three daughters, whom he loved exceedingly. Now when they were come of full age, the emperor called unto him the eldest and said,- How much lovest thou me?"
“More than mine ownself," replied the eldest.
"It is good," rejoined her father; "thou shalt be rewarded for thy love."
So he married her unto a neighbouring king of great power and wealth. Then he sent for his second daughter, and asked her the same question.
"Even as I do myself," was the reply.
At this the emperor was well pleased, and he kissed his child, and said, "I will reward thee for this thy love." So he married her unto one of the greatest nobles of his realm.