« PreviousContinue »
that he was greatly over-reached in the purchase, and meeting his friend, severely expostulated with him for the trick that was played upon him, to which Broad-brim coolly replied, “ thou hadst nobody to blame but thyself, for did I stand on thy shoulder when I made the affirmation ?”
The Tyrolese.-We are put in possession of the following particulars of the French expedition against the Tyrol, in August last, by a Saxon officer :
“ We had penetrated to Inspruck without great resistance; and although much was every where talked of the Tyrolese stationed, upon and round the Brenner, we gave little credit to it, thinking the rebels to have been dispersed by a short cannonade, and already considering ourselves as conquerors. Our entrance into the passes of the Brenner was only opposed by small corps, which continued falling back, after an obstinate though short resistance. Among others, I perceived a man, full eighty years old, posted against the side of a rock, and sending death amongst our ranks with every shot. Upon the Bavarians descending from behind to make him prisoner, he shouted aloud, hurrah! struck the first man to the ground with a ball, seized hold of the second, and with the ejaculation, in God's name, precipitated himself with him into the abyss below.
“ Marching onwards, we heard resound from
the summit of a high rock: Steeven! shall I chop it off yet? To which a loud nay! reverberated from the opposite side. This was told to the Duke of Dantzic, who, notwithstanding, ordered us to advance; at the same time he prudently withdrew from the centre to the rear. The van, consisting of 4000 Bavarians, had just stormed a deep ravine, when we again heard halloo'd over our heads : Hans! for the most Holy Trinity! Our terror was completed by the reply that immediately followed :-In the name of the Holy Trinity! Cut all loose above! And ere a minute had elapsed were thousands of my comrades in arms crushed, buried, and overwhelmed, by an incredible heap of broken rocks, stones, and trees, hurled down upon us. All of us were petrified. Every one fled that could; but a shower of balls from the Tyrolese, who now rushed from the surrounding mountains, in immense numbers, and among them boys and girls of ten and twelve years of age, killed or wounded a great many of us. It was not till we had got these fatal muuntains six leagues behind us, that we were re-assembled by the Duke, and formed into six columns. Soon after the Tyrolese appeared, headed by Hofer, the inn-keeper. After a short address from him, they gave a general fire, flung their rifles aside, and rushed upon our bayonets with only their clenched fists. Nothing could withstand their impetuosity. They darted at our feet, threw or pulled us down, strangled us, wrenched the arms from our hands, and, like enraged lions,
killed all, French, Bavarians, and Saxons, that did not cry for quarter! By doing so, I, with 300 men, were spared, and set at liberty.
6. When all lay dead around, and the victory was completed, the Tyrolese, as if moved by one impulse, fell upon their knees, and poured forth the emotions of their hearts in prayer, under the canopy of Heaven ; a scene so awfully solemn, that it will ever be present to my remembrance. I joined in the devotion, and never in my life did I pray more fervently.”
Original Anecdotes.—The following anecdotes, although of an ancient date, have lately been published, for the first time, in a French work, from which we have translated them.
During the reign of Louis XIV. a rich financier's wife occupied a bench in a church on which a duchess thought proper to take a seat. Unable, however, to bear such a low neighbour, she ordered one of the King's guards, who was present, to turn her out. Her commands were obeyed, but the triumph of pride was of short duration. The financier complained of the insulting manner in which his wife had been treated to the State Minister, to whose office he belonged, and the complaint soon reached the Monarch.
Louis XIV. ordered the Duchess's husband to be brought before him, and after commanding his wife to beg the injured lady's forgiveness, added these remarkable words, fraught with sense, reason,
and dignity: “ Reflect, that a single word from me can make a duke, but that all my power can not create as useful a servant of the State as the man whose wife has been insulted.”
It is not astonishing that so many great men. should have sprung up under the reign of such a monarch. For it is thus that the chief of a great nation, always attentive to the claims of merit, learns the usual method of inspiring his subjects with emulation, and supplies talent and genius with favourable opportunities of displaying themselves to his view.
His successor, Louis XV. proved himself on the following 'occasion, worthy of filling the same throne, and possessing the same authority as his great predecessor. Passing once through his apartments, he perceived a lady in tears, and on enquiring into their cause, was informed that they had been occasioned by harsh language on the part of the Dauphin. The monarch instantly sought his son, made him feel how unjust harshness is in those who are vested with superior power, and concluded his energetic remonstrance with the following expressive sentence :-" Recollect, my son, that the reproaches of the great kill their object."..
What an excellent lesson for those armed with sovereign authority! May this example be followed for the happiness of nations, and the security of the great themselves. Benefits may be forgotten; but an injury seldom is.
The following anecdote, though not founded on
the sayings or actions of monarchs, will not be found destitute either of interest or information :
When M. De Choiseul was minister in France, it happened that one day, as he was employed in some accounts with his first clerk, in his closet, he · was visited by a general officer, who had a request to make. The minister led him to the other end of the room, and listened patiently to his representations. These turned chiefly on the inadequacy of officers' pay during peace. “However,” said the petitioner, “ I have only twelve thousand livres a year, whilst you give eighteen thousand to yonder clerk !" " It is true," answered the Minister, “but only do what he does, and you shall have double his pay." How mistaken many are with respect to their own talents.
Curious Anecdote of the Order of the Garter :The present decorative costume in wearing the blue ribbon was whimsically introduced in 1681 by the Duchess of Portsmouth, Lady Louisa Renée, on the person of her son the first Duke of Richmond, by Charles II. in the following manner :- Atthat time, and long antecedently, as all the ancient portraits shew, the Knights of the Garter wore their blue ribbon round the neck, with the George appendant, on the breast; but the Duke's mother having some time after his installation introduced him to the King, with the ribbon over his left shoulder, his Majesty was so pleased with the conceit, that he ordered all the