« EelmineJätka »
7. On meeting him, he presented the papers to him with this address: "Sir, I am sensibly affected with your misfortunes; the obligations I have received from your family, give me a relation to every branch of it. I know that your inability to pay what you owe, gives you more uneasiness than the loss of your own substance. That you may not be anxious on my account in particular, accept of this discharge, and the remains of your bond.— I am overpaid in the satisfaction that I feel from having done my duty. I beg you to consider this only as a token of the happiness you will confer upon me, whenever you put it in my power to do you a good office."
The Indian Chief.
1. DURING the war in America, a company of Indians attacked a small body of British troops and defeated them. As the Indians had greatly the advantage in swiftness of foot, and were eager in the pursuit, very few of the British escaped; and those who fell into their hands, were treated with a cruelty, of which there are not many examples, even in that country.
2. Two of the Indians came up to a young officer, and attacked him with great fury. As they were armed with battle-axes he had no hope of escape. But, just at this crisis, another Indian came up, who was advanced in years and was armed with a bow and arrows.
3. The old man mstantly drew his bow; but, after having taken his aim at the officer, he suddenly dropped the point of his arrow, and interposed between him and his pursuers, who were about to cut him in pieces. They retired with respect. The old man then took the officer by the hand, soothed him into confidence by caresses; and having conducted him to his hut, treated him with a kindness which did honor to his professions.
4. He made him less a slave than a companion; taught him the language of the country; and instructed him in the rude arts that are practised by the inhabitants. They lived together in the most perfect harmony; and the young officer, in the treatment he met with, found nothing to regret, but that sometimes the old man fix
ed his eyes upon him, and, having regarded him for some minutes with a steady and silent attention, burst into
5. In the mean time, the spring returned, and the Indians again took the field. The old man, who was still vigorous and able to bear the fatigues of war, set out with them, and was accompanied by his prisoner. They marched above two hundred leagues across the forest, and came at length to a plain where the British forces were encamped. The old man showed his prisoner the tents at a distance: "There,” says he, are thy countrymen. There is the enemy who wait to give us battle. Remember that I have saved thy life, that I have taught thee to conduct a canoe, to arm thyself with a bow and arrows, and to surprise the beaver in the forest.
6. "What wast thou when I first took thee to my hut? Thy hands were those of an infant. They could neither procure thee sustenance nor safety. Thy soul was in utter darkness. Thou wast ignorant of every thing. Thou owest all things to me. Wilt thou then go over to thy nation, and take up thy hatchet against us?" The officer replied, "that he would rather lose his own life, than take away that of his deliverer.
7. The Indian, bending down his head, and covering his face with both his hands, stood some time silent. Then looking earnestly at his prisoner, he said, in a voice that was at once softened by tenderness and grief; "Hast thou a father ?" "My father," said the young man, "was alive when I left my country." "Alas!" said the Indian, "how wretched must he be!" He paused a moment, and then added, "Dost thou know that I have been a father?-I am a father no more.-I saw my son fall in battle-He fought at my side.-I saw him expire. -He was covered with wounds when he fell dead at my feet."
8. He pronounced these words with the utmost vehemence. His body shook with a universal tremor. He was almost stifled with sighs, which he would not suffer to escape him. There was a keen restlessness in his eye; but no tears flowed to his relief. At length he became calm by degrees; and turning towards the east, where the sun had just risen ; "Dost thou see," said he to the
young officer, "the beauty of that sky, which sparkles with prevailing day? and hast thou pleasure in the sight?" "Yes," replied the young officer, "I have pleasure in the beauty of so fine a sky." "I have none !" said the Indian, and his tears then found their way.
9. A few minutes after, he showed the young man a magnolia in full bloom. "Dost thou see that beautiful tree?" said he, "and dost thou look upon it with pleasure?" "Yes," replied the officer, "I look with pleasure upon that beautiful tree."-"I have no longer any pleasure in looking upon it!" said the Indian hastily and immediately added: "Go, return to thy father, that he may still have pleasure, when he sees the sun rise in the morning, and the trees blossom in the spring!"
Noble behavior of Scipio.
1. Scipio the younger, at twenty-four years of age, was appointed by the Roman republic to the command of the army against the Spaniards. Soon after the conquest of Carthagena, the capital of the Empire, his integrity and virtue were put to the following exemplary and ever-memorable trial, related by historians, ancient and modern, with universal applause.
2. Being retired into his camp, some of his officers brought him a young virgin of such exquisite beauty, that she drew upon her the eyes and admiration of every body. The young conqueror, started from his seat with confusion and surprise; and seemed to be robbed of that presence of mind and self-possession, so necessary in a general, and for which Scipio was very remarkable. In a few moments, having recovered himself, he inquired of the beautiful captive, in the most civil and polite manner, concerning her country, birth, and connexions; and finding that she was betrothed to a Celtiberian prince, named Allucius, he ordered both him and the captive's parents to be sent for.
3. When the Spanish prince appeared in his presence, Scipio took him aside; and to remove the anxiety he might feel on account of the young lady, addressed him in these words: "You and I are young, which admits of my speaking to you with freedom. They who brought
me your future spouse, assured me at the same time that you loved her with extreme tenderness; and her beauty and merit left me no room to doubt it. Upon which, I reflected, that if I were in your situation, I should hope to meet with favor: I therefore think myself happy in the present conjuncture to do you a service.
4. "Though the fortune of war has made me your master, I desire to be your friend. Here is your wife : take her, and may you be happy! You may rest assured, that she has been among us, as she would have been in the house of her father and mother. Far be it from Scipio to purchase any pleasure at the expense of virtue, honor, and the happiness of an honest man! No; I have kept her for you in order to make you a present worthy of you, and of me. The only gratitude I require of you, for this inestimable gift, is, that you will be a friend to the Roman people."
5. Allucius's heart was too full to make him any answer; but throwing himself at the general's feet, he wept aloud; the captive lady fell down in the same posture, and remained so, till the aged father, overwhelmed with transports of joy, burst into the following words: "O, excellent Scipio! Heaven has given thee more than human virtue. O glorious leader! O wondrous youth! what pleasure can equal that which must now fill thy heart, on hearing the prayers of this grateful virgin, for thy health and prosperity ?"
6. Such was Scipio; a soldier, a youth, a heathen! nor was his virtue unrewarded. Allucius, charmed with such magnanimity, liberality, and politeness, returned to his own country, and published, on all occasions, the praises of his generous and humane victor; crying out "that there was come into Spain a young hero, who conquered all things less by the force of his arms, than by the charms of his virtue, and the greatness of his beneficence."
Virtue in humble life.
1. In the preceding section, we have seen an illustrious instance of virtue in a person of exalted rank. This section exhibits an equally striking example of uprightness in humble life. Virtue and goodness are con
fined to no station: and wherever they are discovered they command respect.
2. Perrin, the amiable subject of this narrative, lost both his parents before he could articulate their names, and was obliged to a charity-school for his education. At the age of fifteen he was hired by a farmer to be a shepherd, in a neighborhood where Lucetta kept her father's sheep. They often met, and were fond of being together. After an acquaintance of five years, in which they had many opportunties of becoming thoroughly known to each other; Perrin proposed to Lucetta to ask her father's consent to their marriage; she blushed, and did not refuse her approbation.
3. As she had an errand to the town next day, the opportunity of her absence was chosen for making the proposal. You wish to marry my daughter," said the old man; "have you a house to cover her, or money to maintain her? Lucetta's fortune is not enough for both. It will not do, Perrin; it will not do." 'But," replied Perrin, "I have hands to work: I have laid up twenty crowns of my wages, which will defray the expense of the wedding: I will work harder, and lay up more. "Well," said the old man, "you are young, and may wait a little : get rich and my daughter is at your service." Perrin waited for Lucetta's return in, the evening.
4. " 'Has my father given you a refusal ?" cried Lucetta. 'Ah, Lucetta," replied Perrin, "how unhappy am I for being poor! But I have not lost all hopes: my circumstances may change for the better." As they were never tired of conversing together, the night approached, and it became dark. Perrin, making a false step, fell on the ground. He found a bag which was heavy. Drawing towards a light in the neighborhood, he discovered that it was filled with gold. "I thank heaven," cries Perrin, in a transport of joy, "for being favorable to our wishes. This will satisfy your father, and make us happy." In their way to her father's house, a thought struck Perrin. "This money is not ours, it belongs to some. stranger; and perhaps this moment he is lamenting the loss of it; let us go to the vicar for advice; he has always been kind to me.'
5. Perrin put the bag into the vicar's hand, saying,