« ElőzőTovább »
cial establishments on either (1) shore, and which in time will give birth to improvements of no small magnitude. There will be in this tunnel, a thickness of fifteen feet of earth, between the crown of the tunnel and the bed of the river; and the brick-work will necessarily be of the best materials and most solid nature, and closely cemented with the utmost care.
COLLEGE OF CHARLEMAGNE.
Some years after the establishment of this institution, Charlemagne paid a visit to it. The students were all presented to him, and he demanded the list of the places they had respectively obtained by their compositions. On examining it the king remarked that the scholars whose parents were of the middle, or obscure class of society, greatly excelled those of higher birth.
The king therefore ordered them to be formed in two divisions, and having placed the industrious on his right hand and the idle on his left, he thus addressed the former : 66 My dear children, as you have industriously applied yourselves to yours studies, and have maile such progress as will render you estimable in the eyes of men and useful mankind (2), I recommend you lo continue with ardour, and be assured that in the course of your lives you shall have my patronage and protection. Then, turning (3) to the left, he said,
(1) Either ou each, l'un et l'autre.
with a stern countenance, “ As for you idlers of noble blood, unworthy children of the most eminent families in my kingdom ; you, who instead of embellishing your minds and acquiring imperishable riches think your amusements and the adornment of your person the most important objects in life, and imagine that you are born only to enjoy the wealth and honours that some of your worthy ancestors have acquired : I swear to you that your birth and fortune shall have no influence with me, and that unless you recover (1) your lost time and avail yourselves (2) of the opportunities you have of acquiring what is here taught, you must expect no favour or encouragement from Charlemagne: be warned (3) in
PATERNAL SOLICITUDE, AND FORTUNE OF WAR.
The following anecdote is said to be found in Bonaparte's fourteenth bulletin of the French army in Spain.
An old Spanish general retired from service, being eighty years of age, was in his house at Madrid with his only daughter, a very beautiful girl, at the time of the entry of the French into that city. A French officer entered the house with a party of his soldiers, for the purpose of taking up their quarters.
The venerable old general presented himself, holding
(1) To recover, rattraper.
Be warned, prenez garde , ne négligez pas l'avertissement.
his daughter by the hand, and thus addressed the officer: “Sir, I am an old soldier, and I know the rights and the licentiousness of a victorious army. Are you a single man (1) ?” “ I am, sir, replied the Frenchman. “ Here then, returned he, is my greatest treasure, my only child, a beautiful and virtuous girl: be her protector, become her husband; her portion is nine hundred thousand franks."
The young officer did not hesitate , he took the house and family under his protection, married the beautiful Spanish girl, and soon finished his campaign.
THE SACRED WHITE ELEPHANT OF AVA.
It is a custom , in the empire of Burmah, at a place called Ava, to pay extraordinary honours to a white elephant. A traveller who has lately visited that part of India gives in his journal the following account. “The white elephant has á résidence near the palace, with which it communicates by a long gallery supported by pillars.
"A the extremity of the gallery a lofty curtain of black velvet richly, embossed (2) with gold, conceals the animal which is considered loo sacred to be exposed to the eyes of the vulgar. Before this curtain are deposited the numerous presents to be offered to him. They consist of costly things (3); such as gold, silver, muslin , cloth, essence of roses, silks, etc.
(1) A single man, garcon, célibataire.
THE SACRED WHITE ELEPHANT OF AVA.
75 "I waited a short time, when the curtain was drawn up (1) and discovered the august animal. He was not so large as I expected to find him; nor is he perfectly white; being nearly the colour of a sheep. He was amusing himself with his trunk, perfectly unconscious of the glory by which he was surrounded and of the homage paid him. The Burmese bow their heads to the ground before the animal whose residence is fitted up (2) in a very superb manner. The walls are richly gilt and supported by sixty four pillars of which about the half are also gilt.
“ The fore-legs (3) of the elephant are fastened by massy silver chains to one of the pillars : his hindlegs (4) are atlached by cords.
“ His bed consists of straw mattresses covered with very fine blue cloth and crimson silk. He has a regular household (5) of attendants, consisting of a minister of state, a secretary, couriers, etc. His trappings (6) are extremely magnificent, being all of gold cloth studded (7) with diamonds, sapphires, pearls and rubies; and all the vessels (8) out of which he eats (9) are of gold set with jewels.
(1) Prawn up,
levé. (2) Fitted up, garni , arrangé. (3) Fore-legs , jambes de devant. (4) Hind-legs, jambes de derrière. (5) Household , ménage, établissement. (6) 'Trappings, housses. (7) Studded, parsemé, garni. (8) Vessels , vaisselle. (9) Out of which he eats , dans lesquels il mange.
“ These honours are paid to the white elephant because, according to the belief of the Burmese in the transmigration of souls (1), this is the last state of many millions through which the soul passes before it is sufficiently purified to enter Paradise, or to be absorbed in the divine essence.
INVENTION, OR DISCOVERY OF GLASS.
The date of this useful discovery is involved in great obscurity. Pliny tells us that the first vessels of glass were made in the city of Sidon; but Loysel (another ancient author) asserts that the glass-works of the Phenicians were in high renown more than three thousand years ago, and that Sidon and Tyre were their principal depots or markets for the sale of glass-ware (2).
Pliny attributes the discovery of its composition entirely to chance; he says that some sailors were driven on shore by a tempest on the banks of the river Belus , and in order to (3) make fires they collected large quantities of the kali or sea-weed which abounds on that shore, and that the alkali of the plant uniting with the sand formed a hard transparent matter which very much excited their curiosity.
They saved some pieces of it, and on their return to their own country showed it to some scientific men,
(1) Transmigration of souls, métempsy cose.
(2) Ware, marchandise; glass-ware, marchandise en crise tal.
(5) In order to , pour, afin de...