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apartment, in a garb little suited to a fugitive prisoner ; tenderly embraced his wife and children, and thanked them with tears of gratitude for the fifty louis d'ors they had caused to be remitted to him on his sailing from Tetuan, for his free passage, and a comfortable supply of wearing apparel.
His astonished relatives eyed one another in silence. At length, the mother, suspecting that her son had secretly concerted the whole plan, recounted the various instances of his zeal and affection. " Six thousand livres,” continued she, “is the sum we wanted; and we had already procured somewhat more than the half, owing chiefly to his industry. Some friends, no doubt, have assisted him upon an emergency like the present.” A gloomy suggestion crossed the father's mind. Turning suddenly to his son, and eyeing him with the sternness of distraction, “Unfortunate boy,” exclaimed he,
66 what have you done? How can I be indebted to you for my freedom, and not regret it ? How could you effect my ransom without your mother's knowledge, unless at the expense of virtue? I tremble at the thought of filial affection having betrayed you into guilt. Tell the truth at once, whatever may be the consequence.” apprehensions, my dearest father," "cried the son embracing him. “No, I am not unworthy of such a parent, though fortune has denied me the satisfaction of proving the full strength of my attachment. I am not your deliverer ; but I know who is. Recollect, mother, the unknown gentleman, who gave me the purse. He was particular in his inquiries. Should I pass my life in the pursuit, I must endeavor to meet with him, and invite him to contemplate the fruits of his beneficence.” He then related to his father all that passed in the pleasure boat, and removed every distressing suspicion.
Restored to the bosom of his family, the father again partook of their joys, prospered in his dealings, and saw his children comfortably established. . Some time afterwards, on a Sunday morning, as the son was walking on the quay, he discovered his benefactor, clasped his knees, and entreated him as his guardian angel, as the preserver of a father, and a family, to share the happiness he had been the means of producing. The stranger again disappeared in the crowd-but, Reader, this stranger was Montesquieu,
• Calm your
THE TUTOR AND HIS PUPILS.
Eyes, and no eyes ; or, the art of seeing. Well, Robert, where have you been walking this afternoon? (said a Tutor to one of his pupils, at the close of a holiday.)
Robert. I have been to Broom-heath, and so round by the windmill upon Camp-mount, and home through the meadows by the river side.
Tutor. Well, that is a pleasant round.
Robert. I thought it very dull, sir ; I scarce met with a single person. I would much rather have gone along the turnpike road.
Tutor. Why, if seeing men and horses is your object, you would, indeed, be better entertained on the high roads But did you see William ?
Robert. We set out together, but he lagged behind in the lane, so I walked on and left him.
Tutor. That was a pity. He would have been company for you.
Robert. O, he is so tedious, always stopping to look at this thing and that! I would rather walk alone. I dare say he has not got home yet. Tutor. Here he comes.
Well, William, where have
you been ?
William, O, the pleasantest walk! I went all over Broom-heath, and so up to the mill at the top of the hill, and then down among the green meadows by the side of the river,
Tutor. Why, that is just the round Robert has been taking, and he complains of its dulness, and prefers the high road.
William. I wonder at that. I am sure I hardly took a step that did not delight me; and I have brought home. my handkerchief full of curiosities.
Tutor. Suppose, then, you give us an account of what amused you so much. I fancy it will be as new to Robert as to me.
William. I will do it readily. The lane leading to the heath, you know, is close and sandy, so I did not
mind it much, but made the best of my way. However, I spied a curious thing enough in the hedge. It was an old crab-tree, out of which grew a great bunch of something green, quite different from the tree itself. Here is a branch of it.
Tutor. Ah ! this is mistletoe, a plant of great fame, for the use made of it by the Druids of old, in their religious rites and incantations. It bears a very slimy white berry, of which bird lime may be made, whence the Latin word viscus. It is one of those plants which do not grow in the ground, by a root of their own, but fix themselves upon other plants; whence they have been humorously styled parasitical, as being hangers-on, or dependents. It was the mistletoe of the oak that the Druids particularly honored.
William. A little further on, I saw a green woodpecker fly to a tree, and run up the trunk like a cat.
Tutor. That was to seek for insects in the bark, on which they live. They bore holes with their strong bills for that purpose, and do much damage to the trees by it.
William. What beautiful birds they are !
Tutor. Yes; they have been called, from their color and size, the English parrot.
William. When I got upon the open heath, how charming it was! The air seemed so fresh, and the prospect on every side so free and unbounded! Then it was all covered with gay flowers, many of which I had never observed before. There were at least three kinds of heath, (I have got them in my handkerchief here,) and gorse, and broom, and bell-flower, and many others of all colors, of which I shall beg you presently to tell me the
Tutor. That I will readily.
William. I saw, too, several birds, that were new to me. There was a pretty grayish one, of the size of a lark, that was hopping about some great stones; and when he flew, he showed a great deal of white above his tail.
Tutor. That was a wheat-ear. They are reckoned very delicious birds to eat, and frequent the open downs in Sussex, and some other counties, in great numbers.
William. There was a flock of lapwings upon a marshy part of the heath, that amused me much. As I came near them, some of them kept flying round and round just over my head, and crying pewit so distinctly, one might almost fancy they spoke. I thought I should have caught one of them, for he flew as if one of his wings was broken, and often tumbled close to the ground; but as I came near, he always contrived to get away.
Tutor. Ha, ha! you were finely taken in, then! This was all an artifice of the bird's to entice you away from its nest; for they build upon the bare ground, and their nests would easily be observed, did not they draw off the attention of intruders, by their loud cries and counterfeit lameness.
William. I wish I had known that, for he led me a long chase, often over shoes in water. However, it was the cause of my falling in with an old man and a boy, who were cutting and piling up turf for fuel ; and I had a good deal of talk with them, about the manner of preparing the , turf, and the price it sells at. They gave me, too, a crea. ture I never saw before
a young viper, which they had just killed, together with its dam. I have seen several common snakes, but this is thicker in proportion, and of a darker color than they are.
Tutor. True. Vipers frequent those turfy, boggy grounds pretty much, and I have known several turf-cutters bitten by them.
William. They are very venomous, are they not?
Tutor. Enough so to make their wounds painful and dangerous, though they seldom prove fatal.
William. Well-I then took my course up to the windmill on the mount. I climbed up the steps of the mill in order to get a better view of the country round. What an extensive prospect! I counted fifteen church steeples ! and I saw several gentlemen's houses peeping out from the midst of green woods and plantations; and I could trace the windings of the river all along the low grounds, till it was lost behind a ridge of hills.
But I'll tell you what I mean to do, if you will give me leave.
Tutor. What is that?
William. I will go again and take with me Carey's county map, by which I shall probably be able to make out most of the places. Tutor. You shall have it, and I will with
and take my pocket spying glass.
William. I shall be very glad of that. Well-a thought struck me, that as the hill is called Camp-mount there might probably be some remains of ditches and mounds, with which I have read that camps were surrounded. And I really believe I discovered something of that sort running round one side of the mount.
Tutor. Very likely you might. I know antiquaries have described such remains as existing there, which some suppose to be Roman, others Danish. We will examine them further when we go.
William. From the hill I went straight down to the meadows below, and walked on the side of a brook that runs into the river. It was all bordered with reeds, and flags, and tall flowering plants, quite different from those I had seen on the heath. As I was getting down the bank to reach one of them, I heard something plunge into the water near me. It was a large water-rat, and I saw it swim over to the other side, and go into its hole. There were a great many large dragon flies all about the stream. I caught one of the finest, and have got him here in a leaf. But how I longed to catch a bird that I saw hovering over the water, and every now and thien darting down into it! It was all over a mixture of the most beautiful green and blue, with some orange color. It was somewhat less than a thrush, and had a large head and bill, and a short tail.
Tutor. I can tell you what that bird was a kingfisher, the celebrated halcyon of the ancients, about which so many tales are told. It lives on fish, which it catches in the manner you saw. It builds in holes in the banks ; and is a shy, retired bird, never to be seen far from the stream where it inhabits.
William. I must try to get another sight of him, for I never saw a bird that pleased me so much. Well, I followed this little brook till it entered the river, and then took the path that runs along the bank.
On the opposite side, I observed several little birds running along the shore, and making a piping noise. They were brown and white, and about as big as a snipe. Tutor. I
suppose they were sand-pipers, one of the numerous family of birds that get their living by wading: among the shallows, and picking up worms and insects.