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plain of her, requesting at the same time that bis majesty would deign to accept her most grateful thanks for procuring her so good a marriage.
The talent of turning men into ridicule, and exposing those we converse with, is the qualification of mean (1), ungenerous lempers. The greatest blemishes are often found in the most shining characters. But what an absurd thing it is to pass over all the valuable qualities of a man and fix our attention on his infirmities! to observe his imperfections more than his virtues !
Cosroes, king of Persia, had summoned his ministers 10 deliberate upon an affair of the utmost importance. While they were assembled, a scorpion fell from the ceiling upon one of the vizirs and darted its sting several times into his foot. The minister, who at that instant was addressing his discourse to the king , continued it without the least emotion or visible alteration in his countenance.
Cosroes being informed some days after of the accident, asked the vizir how he could support so violent a pain without suffering any plaintive expression to escape him.“ Prince,” replied the minister," he that
1) Mean, bas, indigne.
in your majesty's presence has not resolution enough to contemn (1) so slight an evil as the pricking of a scorpion, how will he, in a day of battle , rush into the midst of his enemies, and bid defiance to death in all its variety of shapes ?" The king, in admiration of his fortilude, loaded the intrepid vizir with honours.
Haydn when in London , not a little piqued at the dull insensibility of some of his auditors, who during the execution of his finest symphonies were sometimes observed napping (2), resolved to hint (3) his displeasure through the medium of music itself. For this purpose,
he composed a piece under the title of a Turkish Symphony, which beginning in a soft lulling (4) style, soon set a portion of the company nodding (5), when a simultaneous burst of the cymbals, double-drums, trumpets and tabours, broke their bonds of sleep asunder; which object was no sooner effected, than sinking again (6) into a tender murmur, the orchestra renewed its astounding for. tissimo and again roused them like a peal of thunder. These alternations of soothing softness and startling crashes, were repeated till the alarmed dormeurs, find
(1) To contemn, mépriser.
ORIGIN OF THE LYRE.
ing they could not close their eyes in security, determined to remain awake and listen to the music which they bad affected (1) to come to hear.
ORIGIN OF THE LYRE.
We are told by Apollodorus that the Lyre, which was The first stringed musical instrument, owes its origin to the following circumstance. Mercury, says be, was walking one evening along the banks of the Nile after the relurn of its waters to their natural bed, when striking his foot against the shell of a tortoise which bad been left there by the retiring flood, he was astonished at hearing a harmonious sound; and on examining the shell to discover the cause, he found that the flesh had been dried up and wasted by the burning rays of the sun, leaving only the nerves and cartilages, which, becoming braced and contracted by the heat, emitted the pleasing sound he had heard. He immediately constructed an instrument in the form of a tortoise-shell, and strung it with the dried sinews of dead animals. Such, according to Apollodorus, was the origin of stringed instruments (3).
ARABIAN MANNER OF TAKING THE OSTRICH.
The Arabians train up (1) their best and fleetest horses
(1) To affect, affecter, prétendre.
Ais ?) To train up,
for the ostrich-hunt. As soon as the hunter perceives his game (1), he puts his horse into a gentle gallop, pursuing the bird so as to keep within sight of him, but without pressing him too closely, lest he should seek refuge in the mountains, where it would be extremely difficult to follow him.
When the ostrich finds that he is pursued , he begins to run, but not very quickly, appearing either insensible of danger, or confident of escape. His pace is a sort of flying-run (2), and such is the rapidity of his movement that a hunter, though mounted on the fleetest horse, would never overtake him if he were to run directly forward; but, like the hare, he makes doubles , he turns and dogs (3) continually, thus giving his pursuer an op. portunity of crossing and fatiguing him.
When the poor animal finds himself closely pursued and unable to escape, he thrusts his head into the sand, or into a bush, if he finds one. Sometimes, when driven to the last extremity, he turns on his pursuers and defends himself with almost irresistible force and courage, though naturally the ostrich is as gentle as the dove.
At the recent siege of the citadel of Antwerp (Anvers), in December 1832, among many other traits of
(1) Game, gibier.
(5) To dog, faire des détours comme un chien, ne pas aller tout droit.
heroism for which the French army is so justly celebrated, and for which (I am sorry to say it) my countrymen, the English, do not give it the credit it deserves, the following one merits a place in the annals of bravery.
The French were mining a lunette, or half-moon battery of the outworks, which, in consequence of the compactness (1) of the masonry, and the great strength of the garrison, was a very difficult operation.
The Dutch, though they suspected something of the kind, were not apprized that the work was actually going on (2), it having been commenced in the night. A soldier had lodged himself under the bastioid d was working with great ardour. Little communication was kept up with him, in order to lull (3) the gallrisbn into security. The poor fellow had already been there nearly four days, and it was well known that his provisions must be exhausted, when a suttler (vivandière) volunteered (4) to cross the ditch, whatever might be the danger, and to convey provision to the miner. She crossed on a raft, executed her commission amidst a shower of balls from the ramparts, and returned safe and sound , amidst the acclamations of the admiring besiegers, who, I think, would not have fired on a woman under such circumstances.
(1) Compactness, solidité. (2) Going on, en train. (3) To lull, bercer, endormir. (4) To volunteer, s'offrir.