« AnteriorContinuar »
provide for their subsistence and defence by hunting and making war.
The shield which was presented to them was perfectly white and smooth, and the youths were forbidden to paint any ornament or device upon it till they had performed some brilliant action worthy of being recorded. This buckler was called the shield of expectation.
The desire of emblazoning (1) their bucklers gave them so much ardour and emulation that they frequently performed prodigies of valour, rushing into the midst of their enemies and seeming to vie with each other in their endeavours to procure honour, to render important services to their nation, and to obtain the distinguishing reward of bravery, the permission of emblazoning their bucklers.
CRUELTY AND REVENGE.
In a war between the emperor Tamerlane and the Rajah of Cascar, the former was taken prisoner. The Rajah however gave him his liberty, exacting only the abolition of a tribute which had been imposed on Cascar by the Tartars. In a subsequent war, the Rajah had the misfortune to be made prisoner by Tamerlane, who, far from imitating his generosity, caused his eyes to be put out (2).
The Rajah was extremely expert in the use of the
(1) To emblazon,
orner. (2) To be put out, à être crevés. Lui fit crever les yeux.
5 bow (1), and even after loss of sighi excelled to such a degree that he could hit a mark (2) on hearing a voice proceed from it. Tamerlane, who was also an excellent archer, sent for his prisoner in order to witness a trial (3) of his skill. All was prepared, and a person being placed behind the mark commanded the Rajah to shoot : be however replied, with an air of offended dignity, “ I shall obey no orders but those of my conqueror. " Tamerlane immediately gave the word, “ sehoot." He was instantly obeyed, and received in his heart the arrow of his injured captive.
In the year 1713 there was a total eclipse of the sun. It was foretold by the celebrated astronomer Halley, who mentioned the precise time of its beginning and ending. The Turkish envoy then at London declared that the English were mad (4) for pretending to know the exact time when the Almighty would overshadow (5) the sun, a cir. cumstance which he had not deigned to communicate even to the mussulmans. However the eclipse happened precisely as had been predicted ; and when the Turk was asked what he then thought of the English, he answered:
(1) Bow, arc.
“They must certainly have obtained their intelligence(1) from the Devil, for I am sure that God would never have communication with such a wretched set of infidels."
A poor curate in Wales whose salary was not sufficient to support his numerous family, employed his leisure hours in repairing the clocks and watches of his parishioners. A gentleman in the neighbourhood complained to the bishop of the diocese; stating that the curate disgraced the profession by carrying on a trade (2). The bishop, having listened to the complaint, assured the complainant that strict justice should be done; he accordingly sent for the curate and asked him how he dared to disgrace the clergy by mending clocks and watches. The poor churchman humbly replied that he did it to maintain a wife and ten children. 66 That won't do (3) with me,” said the bishop; " I shall punish you in such a manner as will make you leave off (4) your pitiful trade, I promise you." Immediately calling his secretary, he ordered him to make out (5) a presentation to a living (6) of 150 pounds a year, which he gave to the as
(1) Intelligence, communication, nouvelles.
(5) To make out, écrire, rédiger. Voyez liste de verbes suivis de prépositions. Grammaire pratique, 277,
(6) A living, une place, une cure, un appointement.
tonished curate, saying: “Let me hear no more of your watch and clock trade (1).
Louis XI one day observing among the crowd assembled to see him dine, an officer whom he disliked , made a private sign to Tristan l'Hermite, his grand prevost, to put him out of the way (2). Tristan understood the sign, but mistook (3) the man, thinking that the king meant (4) to indicate a fat monk who stood near the officer. He therefore allured the poor ecclesiastic into a secret place, caused him to be thrust into a bag and thrown into the Seine.
Louis heard on the next day, that the proscribed officer had taken his departure for Flanders, on which he reproached Tristan with his neglect.“ To Flanders!” said the prevost, “your majesty must be in an error, the inionk is on his way to Rouen , for I sent him off (3) immediately tied up in a sack. ” 66 Monk!” said the king, " what monk? ". Why, the same that your majesty pointed at (6), and who was standing beside the captain!" Pasque Dieu ! said Louis (his usual vath), you have drowned the best priest in my kingdom; it was the dog of a captain that I meant.
(1) Walch and clock trade, état d'horloger.
Frederic, king of Prussia, one day passing through Brandenburgh, observed a fine young woman of, at least, six feet in height. He caused her to be brought before him, and finding she was a poor shoemaker's daughter, immediately wrote a letter to the colonel (1) of the royal regiment of grenadier-guards at Berlin, ordering him to cause the bearer to be instantly married to the tallest man in his corps.
The young woman was desired to take the lelter to Berlin, but she was not informed of its contents. The girl not knowing it was the king who had given her the letter, and having no desire of going to Berlin, gave it to an old woman who was going that way; enjoining her strictly to deliver it to nobody but the person to whom it was addressed. The old woman faithfully (2) executed her commission; and the colonel was not a little surprised on reading the contents of the letter and viewing the bearer. However the king's orders were peremptory, and he was obliged to see them executed.
The affair remained a mystery till the king's return, when he desired to see the newly married couple. He was astonished on seeing the bride, and asked her how she had dared to practise (3) such a deceitful trick (4). The
poor old woman replied that she had not played any trick, and that she was sure her husband could not com
(1) Colonel se prononce keurnelle.
(2) Faithfully, fidèlement; par la terminaison ly les adjectifs anglais deviennent adverbes. Exemple : faithful, fidèle, faithfully, fidèlement.
(5) To practise, faire, pratiquer. (4) Trick, tour, tromperie.