Infomotions, Inc.Domestic Pleasures, or, the Happy Fire-side / Vaux, Frances Bowyer



Author: Vaux, Frances Bowyer
Title: Domestic Pleasures, or, the Happy Fire-side
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): louisa; ferdinand; emily; mamma; bernard; papa; tarquin; edward; rome
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Title: Domestic pleasures
       or, the happy fire-side

Author: F. B. Vaux

Release Date: April, 2005 [EBook #7830]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on May 20, 2003]

Edition: 10

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK DOMESTIC PLEASURES ***




Produced by Ted Garvin and the Distributed Proofreading Team





[Illustration: Frontispiece Eddystone Light House as erected
by Lord Bywater 1759.]

       *       *       *       *       *

DOMESTIC PLEASURES;

OR

The happy Fire-side.

ILLUSTRATED
_BY INTERESTING CONVERSATIONS_.

BY F. B. VAUX.

Domestic happiness, thou only bliss Of Paradise, that has surviv'd the
fall! Tho' few do taste thee unimpair'd and pure, Or tasting, long enjoy
thee! too infirm, Or too incautious to preserve thy sweets Unmix'd with
drops of bitter, which neglect Or temper sheds into thy crystal cup;
Thou art the nurse of virtue; in thine arms She smiles, appearing, as in
truth she is, Heaven-born, and destin'd to the skies again.

COWPER.

ADDRESS.

*       *       *       *       *

MY DEAR YOUNG READERS,

When I was a child, if a new book were given to me, I recollect, my
first question invariably was:--"Is this true."  If the answer were in
the affirmative, the volume immediately assumed, in my eyes, a new
value, and was perused with far greater interest than a story merely
fictitious.  Now, as I am very desirous that you should take up this
little volume with a prepossession in its favour, I must inform you,
that the characters of the children here pourtrayed, are all _real_
characters.  The little work was undertaken for the improvement of a
family very dear to me, and was, during its progress, regarded by them
as a faithful mirror, reflecting both their virtues and defects. You
will find in it, among other subjects, a slight sketch of the early part
of the Roman history; but you must not suppose, that in offering it to
you, I mean my little book to supersede the more detailed accounts that
are usually put into the hands of children. I have often found, that
even when a volume has been read entirely through, very few of the facts
have made any deep impression on the youthful mind; and the improvement
to be derived from those facts, is still more completely overlooked.
This I discovered to be the case with my little friends: they had read
the Roman history, and I had hoped that they had read it attentively;
but upon questioning them afterwards, even upon some leading events, I
found them exceedingly deficient in information. This suggested to me
the idea of the following little volume. I recommended them to begin
again the perusal of the Roman history; to take notes as they proceeded,
and write, from them, an abridgment for themselves; promising that I
would do the same, and give my manuscript to the one who should most
deserve it. They were pleased with the plan, and regularly brought their
little productions, once a fortnight, for my inspection. I, at the same
time, read them mine. They soon discovered in it their own characters,
delineated under fictitious names, and took a still more lively interest
in their task. By the time I had completed the regal government of Rome,
I found my manuscript had attained a considerable size; I therefore had
it neatly bound, and as Emily and Louisa equally deserved the prize,
they drew lots, and it fell to the former. Several young persons who had
perused the little work, united in begging it might be printed, that
they also might have it in their libraries. This, my dear young readers,
is the origin of DOMESTIC PLEASURES.

The conversations recorded in the following pages, are chiefly such as
have, at different times, taken place between my little friends and
myself. I sincerely wish you may derive, not only amusement, but
instruction, from the transcript; and that it may convince you, no
pleasures are so pure as _domestic pleasures_; no society so delightful,
as that experienced in the affectionate intercourse of parents and
children, by a _happy fire-side_.

FRANCES BOWYER VAUX.

*       *       *       *       *

The Persons.

MR. AND MRS. BERNARD.

EMILY, aged _Fifteen_.

CHARLES, _Fourteen_.

EDWARD, _Twelve_.

LOUISA, _Ten_.

FERDINAND, _Seven_.

SOPHY, _Five_.


DOMESTIC PLEASURES.

*       *       *       *       *

CONVERSATION I.

The rain came down in torrents, and beat violently against the parlour
windows, whilst a keen autumnal blast made the children shiver, even by
the side of a good fire.  Their little hearts glowed with gratitude,
when they reflected on their happy lot, sheltered from the bitter wind
and driving sleet; and contrasted it with that of many miserable little
beings, who were, no doubt, exposed, at that very moment, to the
pitiless raging of the storm.

"Ah, mamma," said Ferdinand, a little boy of seven years old, "how I
feel for those poor children who have no home to shelter them, and no
fire to warm their cold hands.  I often think of them, and it reminds me
of the hymn I learned some time ago.

"Not more than others I deserve, Yet God hath given me more; For I have
food whilst others starve, Or beg from door to door."

"I am glad to find that you can feel for others in distress, my boy,"
said Mrs. Bernard; "and hope you will each, my dear children, cultivate
that benevolent affection called compassion, which enables us to enter
into the distresses of others, and feel for them, in worse measure, as
we do for ourselves. But we must not rest satisfied with only pitying
their sorrows; as far as lies in our power, it is our duty to relieve
them."

"That would be delightful indeed, mamma," said Ferdinand; "but what can
such children as we are, do towards assisting our fellow creatures?--at
least, such a little boy a I am. I thought it was only men and women,
who could do good to others by their charity and benevolence."

His mother endeavoured to explain to him, that, although he might not at
present be able to do any very extensive good to society, still the
attempt to be useful, as far as lay in his power, would improve his own
disposition; in which case his efforts would not be thrown away; and
that, although he was so young, he might, nevertheless, be serviceable,
in some degree, to his poorer neighbours. "And it would be very silly,
my boy," added she, "to abstain from making the trial, merely because
you could not do all the good you wished."

Ferdinand quite agreed with his mother, and the rest of the children
cordially united in his wish to render themselves useful; but how to
effect their purpose was the next consideration. Mrs. Bernard had taught
her boys to net and knit, together with several other employments of the
same kind. These occupations, she found, had the excellent effect of
completely fixing their wandering attention, whilst she read to them,
which she was daily in the practice of doing.

Ferdinand was the first to recollect that he could plat straw for a hat,
which, he had no doubt, Emily and Louisa would afterwards sew together
for him.

_Louisa_. Oh, yes, that we will most willingly, Ferdinand. But let us
think what we can do, Emily: we might make a great many things, you
know, because we can do all sorts of work.

_Emily_. Very true, Louisa: the chief difficulty will be to procure
materials for the exercise of our abilities. I have several things that
I shall not wear again; these, if mamma has no objection, might, I
think, be converted to very useful purposes.

_Mrs. B._ You have my free permission, my dear girl, to exert all your
ingenuity upon them.

Edward said, he had just thought of an employment for himself, which he
hoped would please Ferdinand. "A few days ago," added he, "when I was
drinking tea with my aunt, she was making gloves of fine white cotton,
with a little ivory instrument hooked at the end; now, if I use worsted
instead of cotton, I think I shall make some nice warm gloves, which
will do instead of fire, to keep the poor children's hands warm; and I
can knit stockings for them too, so that I do not think any one of us
need be idle."

_Louisa._ And then our prize-money--that may be set apart to purchase
materials for more clothes, when the stock we have on hand is all used.
May it not, mamma?

_Mrs. B._ It is an excellent scheme, my dear Louisa, and, as a reward
for suggesting it, you shall make the box to hold your treasure,
provided you will take pains, and endeavour to do it as neatly as you
can.

_Ferdinand._ And make it strong too, Lousia, for I expect it will soon
be full. I shall be more anxious than ever to get a prize now.

_Louisa._ I have been thinking what I shall put upon the box as a motto.
Ought it not to have one, mamma?

_Mrs. B._ By all means, my dear; but it must be something appropriate.
What do you propose, Louisa?

_Louisa._ I was thinking of painting a little wreath of flowers, and
writing very neatly in the middle, "Charity is kind."

_Mr. B._ A very well-chosen motto, Louisa. I am delighted to witness
your benevolent dispositions, my beloved children. Make haste and sit
down to your respective employments. In the mean time, I will hasten and
finish my business in the counting-house, that I may enjoy your company
this evening.

_All._ Thank you, dear papa.

While Mr. Bernard was absent, the children were all busily employed,
preparing for their new occupations, and had just taken their seats
before a cheerful fire, when their father re-entered the room.

_Mr. B._ Well, what all seated?

_Louisa._ Yes, papa, we made great haste, that we might be ready for you
when you came in. Are we to read to-night, or will you be so kind as to
talk to us?

_Mr. B._ Suppose you talk to me a little, Louisa. Tell me what you have
been reading with your mother to-day.

_Louisa._ Emily would tell you best, papa; but if you wish to hear me, I
will give you as good an account as I can.

_Mr. B._ To do your best, is all that can be expected of you, my dear.
Remember to speak very distinctly.

_Louisa._ We began the Roman history, and read as far as the deaths of
Romulus. Nobody saw him die, and so--

_Mr. B._ Stop, stop--not so fast, recollect, you have not yet told me
who Romulus was.

_Louisa._ Oh! I thought you knew that, papa; he was the first king of
Rome, and he built the city, and--

_Mr. B._ Begin again, my dear Louisa. Do not be in such a hurry; give me
a clear account of Romulus, from his birth to his death.

_Louisa._ Oh dear, papa, I do not think I can do that.

_Mrs. B._ Try, however, my dear, as your father wishes it. Emily will
help you out, if you find yourself at a loss.

_Louisa, (laying aside her work and looking attentively at her father.)_
I do not at all know where to begin, papa. I think you will not
understand me, if I do not first tell you something about Numitor and
Amulius.

_Mr. B._ Then, by all means, begin with them.

_Louisa._ Numitor and Amulius were brothers. They were sons to the king
of Lavinium. Numitor was, by his father's will, left heir to the throne,
and Amulius was to have all the treasures. This, however, did not
satisfy him; he wanted to be king too, and, by means of his riches, soon
gained his wish. He was a very bad man indeed, for he killed Numitor's
two sons, and would not let his daughter marry, for fear she should have
a little baby, which, when it grew up, might deprive him of the crown he
had so wickedly taken from his brother. Notwithstanding his precaution,
she did have two little boys, whom she named Romulus and Remus. Amulius,
their cruel uncle, found them out, and ordered them to be drowned: so
the poor little creatures were put into a cradle, and thrown in the the
river Tiber. But it happened, just at that time, it had overflowed its
banks, and at the place where they were thrown in, the water was too
shallow to drown them.--Do I get on pretty well, papa?

_Mr. B._ Admirably, my dear Louisa. Edward, can you tell us where the
river Tiber flows?

_Edward._ Yes, father, it rises in the Apenine mountains in Italy, and
empties itself into the Mediterranean Sea, ten miles from Rome. Its
present name is Tivere.

_Mr. B._ Perfectly right, my boy. Now, Louisa, go on. I beg pardon for
interrupting you.

_Louisa._ I think I left my little babies in a very dangerous situation
on the banks of the Tiber: they, however, escaped the death prepared for
them. The cradle floated some time, and on the waters' retiring, was
left on dry ground. And now, papa, do you know, I do not quite believe
what the book says, about a wolf's coming and suckling them: it seems so
unnatural.

_Mr. B._ I am inclined to doubt the fact too, my dear; but not upon the
ground of its being unnatural, as I have heard of many circumstances
quite as extraordinary, which, nevertheless, I know to have been true.
But go on with your relation.

_Louisa_. At last, Faustulus, the king's shepherd, found them, and took
them home to his wife, Laurentia, who brought them up as her own
children. They followed the employment of shepherds, but soon discovered
abilities above the meanness of their supposed birth. As they grew up,
they were not content with watching their flocks, but used often to
employ themselves in hunting wild beasts, and attacking a band of
robbers that infested the country. One day Remus was taken prisoner,
carried before the king, and accused of having robbed upon his lands.
The king sent him to Numitor, that he might punish him as he thought
proper. Numitor, however, did not punish him at all, for he, by
accident, discovered that he was his grandson. Amulius was soon
afterwards killed, and Numitor restored to the throne. Now, papa, may
Emily tell you the rest?

_Mr. B._ Louisa has acquitted herself wonderfully well. Let me hear you,
my dear Emily, continue the account.

_Emily_. The two brothers leaving the kingdom to Numitor, determined
upon building a city on the spot where they had been so cruelly exposed,
and so wonderfully preserved: but a fatal desire of reigning seized them
both, and created a difference between the noble youths, which ended in
the death of Remus. Romulus being now without a rival, laid the
foundation of a city, which, in compliment to its founder, was called
Rome. In order to people this new settlement, admission was given to all
malefactors and slaves, so that it was soon filled with inhabitants. The
next object was to establish some form of government. Romulus left them
at liberty to appoint their own king, and they, from motives of
gratitude, elected him. He was accordingly acknowledged as chief of
their religion, sovereign magistrate of Rome, and general of the army.
Besides a guard to attend his person, it was agreed that he should be
preceded, wherever he went, by twelve Lictors, each bearing an axe tied
up in a bundle of rods. These were to serve as executioners of the law,
and to impress his new subjects with an idea of his authority.

_Mr. B._  Very well, Emily: now suppose Edward gives us an account of
the legislation of Rome.

_Edward_.  The senate consisted of an hundred of the principal citizens,
who were appointed as counsellors to the king.  The first of these
senators was nominated by the sovereign, and always acted as his
representative, whenever war or other emergencies called him from the
Capitol.  The plebians, too, had considerable weight in the
administration, as they assumed the power of confirming the laws passed
by the king and senate.  Their religion was mixed with much
superstition.  They had firm reliance on the credit of soothsayers, who
pretended, from observations on the flight of birds, and from the
entrails of beasts, to direct the present, and dive into futurity.

_Mr. B._  Very well, Now can Ferdinand tell us any thing about Romulus.

_Ferdinand_.  Yes, papa, I can tell you how wickedly he deceived the
Sabines, to get wives for his Roman people.

_Mr. B._  Who were the Sabines?

_Ferdinand_.  A neighbouring nation, and reckoned the most warlike
people in all Italy.

_Mrs. B._  Well, now for your account of the treachery of Romulus.

_Ferdinand_.  Romulus proclaimed that he should give a feast in honour
of the god Neptune, and made very great preparations for it. The Sabines
came, with the rest of their neighbours, and brought their wives and
daughters with them: but the poor things had better have been at home,
papa, for in the middle of the entertainment, the young Romans rushed in
with drawn swords, seized the most beautiful women, and  carried them
off.  I think it was one of the most wicked actions I ever heard of.

_Mr. B._  I am not surprised, my dear, at your warm expressions.  If we
regard the deed merely as a breach of hospitality, we must pronounce it
both barbarous and unmanly; but to mediate such treachery, and veil it
under the cloak of religion, was indeed a sin of the deepest dye.  Can
you, Edward, tell us what was the consequence of this treachery?

_Edward._  A bloody war ensued.  Tatius, the Sabine king, entered the
Roman territories at the head of twenty-five thousand men; a force
greatly exceeding that which the Romans could bring against them into
the field.

_Mr. B._  Louisa, can you tell me how they gained possession of the
Capitoline hill?

_Louisa_.  Tarpeia, daughter of the commander, offered to betray one of
the gates to the Sabine army, if the soldiers would give her, as a
reward, what they wore on their left arms--meaning their bracelets:
they, however, willing to punish her for such treachery, pretended to
think she meant their shields, which they threw upon her as they
entered, and crushed her to death. I think, papa, she was justly
punished, for it is every one's duty to love and protect their country.
It is very base to betray it to its enemies.

_Mr. B._  I am pleased with your remark, Louisa. Indeed, I have been
delighted to hear you all answer, so properly, the different questions
that have been proposed to you. But it is growing late, as it wants but
a quarter to nine o'clock; we must therefore defer the remainder of our
history till to-morrow. Farewell, my dear children.

The young folks immediately arose, and having carefully put by their
work, took an affectionate leave of their parents, and retired for the
night.


CONVERSATION II

After a day spent happily, because it was spent in the cheerful
performance of their several duties, the little family assembled round
the tea-table, and were rewarded by the approving smiles of their
affectionate parents.

_Louisa._ Let us make haste and finish our tea, that we may sit down to
work, with papa and mamma, as comfortably as we did last night.

_Mrs. B._ Rather let us endeavour, my dear Louisa, to prolong each
moment by employing it usefully. It is wrong to wish one instant of so
short a life to pass unimproved. Recollect, the wisest of men has said,
"To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under
heaven."

_Ferdinand._ When you speak of the wisest of men, do you not mean
Solomon, mamma?

_Mrs. B._ Yes, my dear.  You have read that part of the sacred
Scriptures which contains the life of that great man, have you not?

_Ferdinand_.  I have, mamma.  When God gave him his choice of many
blessings, he preferred the gift of wisdom, which was granted him; and
honours and riches were also added, as a reward for his prudent choice.

_Louisa._  Is knowledge the same thing as wisdom, pray? [Footnote: The
conversation following, was held, _verbatim_, between the author and a
little boy seven years old.]

_Ferdinand_.  I think not, Louisa.  Wisdom is a much better thing than
knowledge.  Is it not, mamma:

_Mrs. B._  I think so my dear; but you shall hear what my favourite
poet, Cowper, says upon this subject:

"Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one, Have oft-times no connexion.
Knowledge dwells In heads, replete with thoughts of other men; Wisdom,
in minds attentive to their own. Knowledge, a rude, unprofitable mass,
The mere materials with which wisdom builds, Till smooth'd, and squar'd,
and fitted to its place, Does but encumber whom it seems t'enrich.
Knowledge is proud that he has learn'd so much; Wisdom is humble that he
knows no more."

_Ferdinand_.  I do not quite understand those lines:  they say that
knowledge is a mere unprofitable mass.  You have told me, mamma, that I
ought to take pains, and gain improvement by means of books,
conversation, and observation; but if these lines are true, what good
will it do me?

_Mrs. B._  Read the next line, my dear boy. "The mere materials with
which wisdom builds."  Now, if you provide no materials, you must be
aware that wisdom cannot build her temple in your mind.  Do you
understand now the meaning of the lines?

_Ferdinand, (after a pause for consideration,)_ Yes, mamma: and I think
I understand the true meaning of the word wisdom, too.  It is such power
as God possesses:--a great deal of knowledge joined to a great deal of
goodness.

_Mrs. B._  You are quite right, my dear Ferdinand. What is Emily
reflecting upon so seriously?

_Emily_.  I was thinking, my dear mother, how much at a loss the English
must have been, before the introduction of tea into Europe.  I have
heard my father say, it was not known here till within the last two
hundred years.

_Mr. B._  I did tell you so, my dear.  Some Dutch adventurers [Footnote:
See Macartney's Embassy to China.], seeking, about that time, for such
objects as might produce a profit in China, and hearing of the general
use, there, of a beverage from a plant of the country, endeavoured to
introduce the use of the European herb, sage, amongst the Chinese, for a
similar purpose, accepting, in return, the Chinese tea, which they
brought to Europe. The European herb did not continue long in use in
China, but the consumption of tea has been gradually increasing in
Europe ever since. The annual public sales of this article, by the East
India Company, did not, however, in the beginning of 1700, much exceed
fifty thousand pounds weight: the annual sale now, approaches to upwards
of twenty millions of pounds.

_Emily._ It is indeed an amazing increase; but I am not surprised that
is has been so universally adopted. I know of no beverage so refreshing
and pleasant. Although we take it twice a day, we never seem to grow
tired of its flavour. I suppose it is cultivated in China, as carefully
as corn is with us?

_Mr. B._ It grows wild, like any other shrub, in the hilly parts of the
country; but where it is regularly cultivated, the seed is sown in rows,
at the distance of about four feet from each other, and the land kept
perfectly free from weeds. Vast tracts of hilly ground are planted with
it. It is not allowed to grow very tall, for the convenience of the more
readily collecting its leaves, which is done first in spring, and twice
afterwards in the course of the summer. Its long and tender branches
spring up almost from the root, without any intervening naked trunk. It
is bushy, like a rose tree, and the blossom bears some resemblance to
that flower.

_Emily._ There is a very great difference in the flavour of tea. Does
that depend upon the manner of drying it?

_Mr. B._ In some degree it does; but its quality is materially affected
by the soil in which it grows, and by the age of the leaves when plucked
from the tree. The largest and oldest leaves are least esteemed, and are
generally sold to the lowest of the people, with very little previous
preparation. The younger ones, on the contrary, undergo great care and
much attention, before they are delivered to the purchaser. Every leaf
passes through the fingers of a female, who rolls it up almost to the
form it assumed before it was expanded by growth. It is afterwards
placed upon very thin plates of earthen-ware, or iron, and exposed to
the heat of a charcoal fire, which draws all the moisture from the
leaves, and renders them dry and crisp.

_Emily._ I have heard that green tea is dried on copper, which gives it
its peculiar taste and colour, and renders it less wholesome than black
tea.

_Mr. B._ This is, I believe, a mistake: the chief use of copper, in
China, is for coinage. Scarcely any utensil is made of that metal, and
the Chinese themselves confidently deny the use of copper plates for
this purpose. The colour and flavour of green tea is thought to be
derived from the early period at which the leaves are plucked, and
which, like unripe fruit, are generally green and acrid.

Emily thanked her father for the account he had given her, and all the
children gratefully felt the value of their kind parents, who were ever
willing to devote their time and attention to the improvement of their
beloved family.

_Mr. B._ I hope you are all prepared to give me a further account of
Romulus, after tea.

_All_. We hope so, papa.

_Ferdinand_. May I first tell you a very curious account of a little
dwarf, which I read today?

_Mr. B._ By all means, my boy.

_Ferdinand_. It is now seventy-four years since he was born, at a
village in France. He was a very little creature indeed, as you will
suppose, when I tell you he only weighed a pound and a quarter. When he
was baptized, they handed him to the clergyman on a plate, and, for a
long time, he used to sleep in a slipper. He could not walk alone till
he was two years old, and then his shoes were only an inch and a half
long. At six years old he was fifteen inches high. Notwithstanding he
was so very small, he was well-made and extremely handsome, but he had
not much sense. The king of Poland sent for him to his court, called him
baby, and kept him in his palace. They tried to teach him dancing and
music, but he could not learn. He was never more than twenty-nine inches
tall. By the time he was sixteen he began to grow infirm, like an old
man. From being very beautiful, the poor little creature became quite
deformed. At twenty he was extremely feeble and decrepid, and two years
after, he died.

_Mr. B._ Poor little creature: such objects are much to be pitied. There
are persons who take pleasure in seeing them; but I must confess, there
is something to me extremely unnatural, in such an exposure of our
unhappy fellow-creatures.

_Edward_. Did not Peter the Great, on some occasion, assemble a vast
number together?

_Mr. B._ He did; and I rather think Emily can give you an account of it.

_Emily_. It was in the year 1710, that a marriage between two dwarfs was
celebrated at the Russian court. The preparations for this wedding were
very grand, and executed in a style of barbarous ridicule. Peter ordered
that all the dwarfs, both men and women, within two hundred miles,
should repair to the capital, and insisted that they should be present
at the ceremony. Some of them were unwilling to comply with this order,
knowing that the object was to turn them into ridicule; but he soon
obliged them to obey, and, as a punishment for their reluctance, made
them wait on the others. There were seventy assembled, besides the bride
and bridegroom, who were richly adorned in the extreme of fashion.
Everything was suitably provided for the little company; a low table,
small plates, little glasses; in short, all was dwindled down to their
own standard. Dancing followed the dinner, and the ball was opened with
a minuet by the bride and bridegroom, the latter of whom was exactly
three feet two inches high, and the day closed more cheerfully than it
had begun.

_Edward._ I had always understood that Peter was a man of a very
barbarous disposition, and I think this circumstance is a strong proof
of it. How cruel! to make sport of the misfortunes and miseries of
others.

_Mr. B._ The Czar Peter was a most extraordinary man. No monarch ever
did more towards the civilization of his subjects, or less towards the
subduing of his own barbarous nature. My dear Ferdinand, ring the bell;
I believe the tea-things may now be removed.

_Louisa._ Oh! how pleasantly the time has passed. I have not once
thought of my work. I was afraid I should have been quite impatient to
begin the little frock which I cut out last night.

_ Emily._ You have felt interested in the conversation, Louisa, and that
has made the time pass so pleasantly. Sometimes, when you are anxious
respecting any pursuit, you think so much of its approach, that you do
not attempt to employ the preceding minutes, which is the cause of their
appearing so long.

_Mrs. B._ I was just going to make the same remark, Emily. It is very
unwise to lose the present time, in the anticipation of a moment we may
never see:

"Improve the present hour, for all beside Is a mere feather on the
torrent's side."

Whilst the servant was clearing away the tea-things, the children
employed themselves in preparing for their different occupations, and
were soon happily seated around their parents.

_Mr B._ Well, now who will give us an account of the Sabine war? As the
eldest, I believe I must call upon you, Emily.

_Emily._ The Sabines having become masters of the Capitoline hill,
through the treachery of Tarpeis, a general engagement soon took place,
which was renewed for several days, both armies obstinately refusing to
submit. The slaughter was prodigious, which seemed rather to increase
than diminish their rage. In a moment the attention of both armies was
attracted by a most interesting spectacle. The Sabine women, who had
been carried off by the Romans, rushed in between the combatants, their
hair dishevelled, their dress disordered, and the deepest anguish
pictured in their countenances; they seemed quite regardless of
consequences, and, with loud outcries, implored their husbands and
fathers to desist. Completely overcome by this distressing scene, the
combantants let fall their weapons by mutual impulse, and peace was soon
restored. It was determined that Tatius and Romulus should reign jointly
in Rome, with equal power, and that an hundred Sabines should be
admitted into the senate.

_Mr. B_. Was this union permanent, Edward?

_Edward_. Yes, father; though, as might have been expected, little
jealousies occasionally crept in among them. Tatius was, however,
murdered about five years afterwards, so that Romulus was once more sole
master of Rome.

_Mr. B_. Come, Louisa, you have been silent to-night, let me hear you
finish the account.

_Louisa_. Romulus soon began to grow very proud and haughty, now he had
no one to oppose him. The members of the senate were much disgusted by
his arrogance, and contrived to put him to death so privately, that his
body was never discovered: they then  persuaded the people that he was
taken up into heaven, and he was long afterwards worshiped as a God,
under the name of Quirinus.

_Ferdinand_.  I am glad Romulus is dead, for I never liked him.  Numa
Pompilius was a much better man.

_Mr. B._  And pray who was he?

_Ferdinand_.  He was a Sabine, papa: the second king of Rome, and was
famous for being a just, moderate, and very good man; and that is the
best kind of fame, I think.

_Mr. B._  I think so, too, Ferdinand.  Was Numa Pompilius elected to the
sovereign authority immediately upon the death of Romulus?

_Edward_.  No, father: the senators undertook to supply the place of a
king, by assuming, each of them in turn, the government for five days;
but the plebeians not choosing to have so many masters, insisted upon
the nomination of a king, and the choice fell on Numa Pompilius. He was
received with universal approbation, and was himself the only person who
objected to the nomination.  Happy at home, and contented in a private
station, he was not ambitious of higher honours, and accepted the
dignity with reluctance.

_Ferdinand_.  I should have thought just as

Numa did, papa; for I do not think kings can ever be happy.

_Mr. B._  They are certainly placed in a very responsible situation; but
those who conscientiously perform their respective duties, need not fear
being happy under any circumstances.

_Ferdinand_.  But a king has so many duties to fulfil, and they are so
important, that I am sure I had much rather be a subject.

_Mr. B._.  I am quite of your opinion, my dear boy, that there is much
more happiness to be found in the private walks of life; and I can with
truth declare, that I would not exchange my own fire-side, enlivened by
so many happy countenances, for the gilded palace of the greatest
monarch.

"Nor would we change our dear father and mother," said the cheerful
little Louisa, "to be the gayest lords and ladies in the land."

_Mr. B._.  Well, my little lady, now let me hear how Numa goes on in his
new dignity.

_Louisa_.  He was so well calculated to be a king, by his goodness as
well as his knowledge, papa, that you may suppose he made his subjects
very happy.  His whole time was spent in endeavouring to render them
pious and virtuous. He built a great many new temples for religious
worship; and, amongst others, one to Janus, which was always open in
time of war, and shut in time of peace.  He did every thing in his power
to encourage agriculture, and, for this purpose, divided the lands which
Romulus had conquered in war, among the poor people. His subjects loved
him very much, and he lived till he was eighty years old, and then died
in peace, after having reigned forty-three years. The temple of Janus
was shut during his whole reign.

_Mr. B._ You have given your account very correctly, Louisa; Numa was,
indeed, a wise and discreet prince. You have, however, omitted
mentionaing his distribution of the tradesmen of Rome into distinct
corporations, which Plutarch considered the master-piece of his policy.
The city had been long divided into two factions, occasioned by the
mixture of the Sabines with the first Romans. Hence arose jealousies,
which were an inexhaustible source of discord. Numa, to remedy this
evil, made all the artists and tradesmen of Rome, of whatever nation
they originally were, enter into separate companies, according to their
respective professions. The musicians, goldsmiths, carpenters, curriers,
dyers, tailors, &c. formed distinct communities. He ordained particular
statutes for each of them, and granted them peculiar privileges. Every
corporation was permitted to hold lands, to have a common treasury, and
to celebrate festivals and sacrifices proper to itself;--in short, to
become a sort of little republic. By this means the Sabines and Romans,
forgetting all their old partialities and party names, were brought to
an entire union.

_Ferdinand._ That was a capital contrivance. What a clever man Numa was;
and how much good such a king can do to his people.

_Edward._ You did not mention, Louisa, what pains Numa took to reform
the calendar. The year, before his time, consisted of but three hundred
and four days, which is neither agreeable to the solar nor the lunar
year. Numa endeavoured to make it agree with both: he added January and
February to the old year, which before consisted of only ten months.
Although he did not render the calendar so complete as it is at present,
he remedied the disorders as far as he was able, and put it into a
condition of more easily admitting of new corections.

_Mr. B._ Louisa has alreay told us that the temple of Janus was not
opened during the whole reign of Numa: he was, indeed a most pacific and
amiable prince. He was beloved by his neighbours, and became the arbiter
of all the differences among them; and his virtues seemed to have
communicated themselves to all the nations around Rome. As to the Romans
themselves, it might be literally said, that their weapons of war were
changed into implements of husbandry. No seditions, no ambitious desires
of the throne, nor so much as any murmurs against the person or
administration of the king, appeared amongst his subjects. When he died,
they lamented him as severely as if every man had lost his own father;
and the concourse of strangers to Rome, to pay the last tribute of
respect to his remains, was exceedingly great. Numa had forbidden the
Romans to burn his body; they therefore put it into a stone coffin, and,
according to his own orders, buried the greatest part of the books he
had written, in the same sepulchre with himself. He had made a law,
forbidding that any dead body should be buried within the city, and had,
himself, chosen a burying-place beyond the Tiber. Thither he was
carried, on the shoulders of his senators, and followed by all the
people, who bewailed their loss with tears.

_Mrs. B._ How superior to brass and marble, is such a monument of a
people's love.

_Ferdinand._ I suppose Numa named one of his new months January, in
compliment to the god Janus, to whom he had erected the temple.

_Mr. B._ Yes. Janus is always represented with two faces, one looking
backwards, the other forwards; and seems to be properly placed at the
beginning of the year, to point out to us the necessity of looking back
to the time that is past, that we may remedy our crimes in the year
ensuing.


_Louisa._ Well, really now, that is very ingenious. Are the names of the
other months all equally suitable, papa?

_Mr. B._ February was so called from the expiations signified by the
word _Februs_, which were in this month performed. March had its name
from _Mars_, the supposed father of Romulus; and on that account had
been placed first, till the alteration made by Numa. April is said to
have derived its name from _Aphrodite_, which is another name for Venus,
because of the superstitious worship at that time paid to her. May, from
_Maia_, the mother of Mercury, to whom this month was made sacred. June,
from _Juno_; or, as some suppose, from _Juventus_, the Latin word for
youth, because the season is warm, or, as it were, juvenile. The rest
had their names from their order:--as, _Quintilis_, the fifth month;
_Sextilis_, the sixth; _September_, the seventh; _October_, the eighth;
_November_, the ninth; and _December_, the tenth:--all derived, as you
know, Ferdinand, from the Latin words signifying these numbers.
_Quintilis_ and _Sextilis_ were afterwards changed into July and August,
in compliment to Julius Caesar and the emperor Augustus, of whom you
will hear as you proceed with your history. Have you read any part of
the reign of Tullius Hostilius, who was the next king of Rome?

_Louisa._ I just looked at a few pages, papa, but did not read much.
But, from the little I saw, I do not think I shall like him so well as
Numa.

_Edward_. No, that you will not, Louisa; for he was very fond of war,
which you do not like at all. The temple of Janus was soon opened when
he mounted the throne. I think Hostilius was a good name for him, for he
was hostile to all his neighbours.

_Mr. B._ You have read his reign, I suppose, Edward? We must not,
however, anticipate the history, by entering into any further detail at
present, or we shall deprive your sisters of the pleasure they would
otherwise have in the perusal of it. To-morrow, I shall expect an
account of the battle between the Hexatii and Curiatii, which was the
first remarkable event that occurred in his reign. It is now time to
retire, as I purpose taking you all on a little excursion to-morrow, if
it prove fine. You must, therefore, rise early, and prepare your lessons
before breakfast.

The children all expressed their delight at this unexpected indulgence,
promised the strictest attention to their lessons, and, affectionately
embracing their parents, withdrew.



CONVERSATION III.

On the following morning the children rose according to their promise,
and, by strict attention to their lessons, merited the treat their
father had in store for them.  It was a lovely morning! but our best-
laid schemes are subject to disappointment; and the little group felt
their pleasure greatly lessened, upon hearing that a violent headache,
to which their mother was subject, would prevent her joining the party.
I shall not enter into any detail respecting their visit, as my young
readers will hear it all from their own lips, in the conversation they
held with their mother, when they returned in the evening. They had the
pleasure of finding her much better, and able to enjoy their company,
and the account they gave of their excursion.

Emily first entered the parlour, and, gently opening the door,
affectionately enquired after her mother's health.

"My head is much better, I thank you, my dear," replied Mrs. Bernard:
"but why are you alone?--where are your brothers and sisters? All safe
and well, I hope?"

_Emily_.  Yes, quite well, and in high spirits, I assure you.  They
requested to get out at the lodge-gate, that they might have a race
through the garden.  Feeling rather tired, I preferred riding.

At this moment Louisa came running in, quite out of breath.  The others
soon followed her, laughing merrily.

_Louisa_.  Oh! mamma, how I wish you had been with us.  We have had such
a happy day, and have seen so many curious things.

_Ferdinand_.  What a nice woman Mrs. Horton is, mamma.  She has been so
kind to us.

_Edward_.  Dear me, Louisa and Ferdinand, how loud you talk.  You forget
mamma's head.

"Gently, my dears, gently," said Mrs. Bernard: "moderate your delight a
little.  I am glad to hear that you have enjoyed year day, and shall
like to have a full account of all you have seen, when you can enter
upon it quietly. In the mean time, go and put by your hats and tippets,
my dear girls, and come to tea as quickly as you can."

Louisa declared she did not want any tea, and requested that she might
go into the nursery to little Sophy, and take her some shells, which
Mrs. Horton had given her.

Mrs. Bernard willingly granted her request and added:--"I am glad, my
dear Louisa, you do not, when in the midst of enjoyment yourself, forget
your little sister, who is too young to join your pleasures. You may go
and stay with her a quarter of an hour; but do not keep her up beyond
her usual time."

_Ferdinand_. Pray take my shells too, Louisa, and tell her that little
fishes once lived in them at the bottom of the sea.

Louisa, with a light step, and a heart still lighter, left the room,
saying, she had a great deal of information to give little Sophy.

_Mrs. B._ Now, my dear Emily, ring the bell, and make haste down to tea:
I see your father coming up the garden.

The children quickly returned. They were not, however, allowed to enter
into any detail of their past pleasures, till the tea-things were
removed, and Louisa had joined their part, which she did, very
punctually, at the expiration of the promised quarter of an hour.

_Louisa_. Little Sophy is so delighted with her shells, mamma! She sends
her love to you, Ferdinand, and says she will give you a kiss tomorrow.
I do not think I shall do much work to-night, mamma, we have so many
things to tell you.

The room was soon cleared, and liberty given to begin the account of
their excursion, provided only one spoke at a time.

_Ferdinand_. Oh, Louisa, tell mamma about the dog!

_Edward_. No: tell about the cat, that is the most curious.

_Louisa_. Now, I do not think so, Edward. The story about the dog was so
very droll.

_Mrs. B._ Stop--stop, my dear children, or I shall hear nothing after
all. Begin at the beginning, and all will go on regularly. Now, set out
from our own door.

_Louisa_. Come, Emily, you will tell that part best, because I do think
you enjoyed the ride more than any of us.

_Emily_. I did, indeed, enjoy it. The country looks so rich, from the
variety of foliage; the autumnal tints are in their highest beauty, and
you know, my dear mother, how delightful the scenery is, particularly
through the park which leads to Mrs. Horton's house. She received us
with the greatest politeness, and was very sorry you were prevented
accompanying us, especially when she heard that indisposition was the
cause of your absence. After we had taken some refreshment, she proposed
a walk in the park. As we passed through a small room, opening into the
garden, I was much struck with the appearance of an elegant bird in a
glass case. It was stuffed, but so remarkably well done, that you would
have thought it still alive. From the two long feathers in its tail, I
knew it to be the bird of Paradise, and begged Mrs. Horton would give me
leave to examine it more closely. She told me it was a native of the
Molucca Islands, and that there were eight different species of them.
The plumage is very beautiful. The head, throat, and neck, are of a pale
gold colour; the base of the bill, as well as the head, is covered with
fine black feathers, soft and glossy as velvet, and varying in colour
with the different shades of light that fall upon them. The back part of
the head is of a shining green, mixed with bright yellow; the body and
wings are covered with brown, purple, and gold-coloured feathers; the
upper part of the tail is a pale yellow, and the undermost feathers are
white, and longer than those above. But what chiefly excites curiosity,
are two long, naked feathers, which spring from the upper part of the
rump, above the tail, and are, in general, two feet in length. These
birds are supposed to migrate into other countries at the time of the
monsoons, but it is not certain that they do so.

_Ferdinand_. Pray, what are the _monsoons_, Emily?

_Emily_. They are periodical winds, to which those countries are subject
lying within a certain distance of the equator. They blow in one
direction for a time, and, at stated seasons, change, and blow for an
equal space of time from the opposite point of the compass.

_Louisa_. Do not forget the little hummingbirds, Emily, which were in
the case next to the bird of Paradise. What beautiful little creatures
they were! And Mrs. Horton says that nature has provided them with
forked tongues, completely formed for entering flowers, and drawing out
the honey, which is their natural food.

_Mrs. B_. Did Mrs. Horton tell you how curiously they construct their
nests?

_Louisa_. Oh, yes; she showed us one: it was suspended on the very point
of a twig. She says, they adopt this plan to secure them from the
attacks of the monkey and the snake. They form them in the shape of a
hen's egg, cut in half. The eggs are not bigger than a pea, of a clear
white, with a few yellow specks here and there. I wish I had some of
these pretty little creatures; but Mrs. Horton says they will not live
in England, it is so much colder than the tropical climates.

_Ferdinand_. What little feet the Chinese women have, mamma! We saw one
of their shoes, and I am sure it was not a bit bigger than little
Sophy's.

_Emily_. But you know, Ferdinand, _that_ is not the natural size of the
Chinese ladies' feet: they are confined, while they are babies, with
very tight bandages, which prevent them from growing.

_Louisa._ I am glad I am not a Chinese little girl.  Such small feet
cannot be very useful to them when they grow up to be women, I think.

_Mrs. B._  Indeed, they are not:  The poor things are perfect cripples,
and are obliged to be carried wherever they go.

_Ferdinand._ Oh, how I pity them!  They can never run about and enjoy
themselves while they are little, as we do, Louisa.

_Mrs. B._ Indeed, my dear Ferdinand, an English child has great cause
for thankfulness, on many accounts.  I know of no country where the real
happiness and welfare of children is so carefully studied.

_Emily._ In China, however, the boys are educated with considerable
care.  In their early studies, geography is particularly attended to. At
six years of age, they are made acquainted with the names of the
principal parts of the world; at eight, they are instructed in the rules
of politeness; and at ten are sent to a public school, where they learn
reading, writing, and arithmetic.  From thirteen to fifteen they are
taught music; they do not, however, sing merry songs, as we do, but
serious sentences, or moral precepts.  They also practise the use of the
bow, and are taught to ride.  In every city, town, and almost in every
village, I have been told that there are public school for teaching the
more abstruse sciences.

_Mrs. B._ The mind of the poor girls, on the contrary, are most sadly
neglected.  Needlework is almost the only accomplishment thought
necessary for them.  There is no country in the world in which the woman
are in a greater state of humiliation, than in China. Those whose
husbands are of high rank, live under constant confinement; those of the
second class are little better than upper servants, deprived of all
liberty; whilst the poort share with their husbands the most laborious
occupations.

_Louisa._ How exceedingly I should dislike it; and yet, I think, I would
rather be the wife of a poor Chinese, than of a rich one.

_Emily_ I think so too; for the hardest labour would not be to me so
irksome as total inactivity.

_Mrs. B._ I am quite of your opinion, Emily. The situation of these
wretched beings must be rendered doubly irksome by the uncultivated
state of their minds.  This deprives them of those delightful resources,
from which the well-educated female of our happy country may constantly
derive the purest enjoyment.

_Emily._ Had not your and my dear father early installed into us a love
of reading, how very much our present enjoyments would be lessened.

_Mrs. B._  We have always, my dear considered it as an important point
in your education; since no amusement so delightfully occupies the
vacant hours of life, even where entertainment is the principal object.
It is one of those tastes that grows by indulgence: there is scarcely
any enjoyment so independent of the will of others: it engages and
employs the thoughts of the wretched, directs the enthusiasm of the
young, and relieves the weariness of old age.  Well might the amiable
Fenelon say: "If the crowns of all the kingdoms of Europe were laid at
my feet, in exchange for my love of reading, I would spurn them all."

_Louisa_.  Now, Ferdinand, I know you long to tell mamma your droll
story about the dog.

_Ferdinand_.  Well, mamma, when we got into the garden, I was very much
amused with a nice little terrier, and Mrs. Horton said, she thought we
should be entertained with an anecdote or two she could tell us
respecting him. The dog belongs to her brother, who is an elderly
gentleman, and wears a wig.  He used to keep one hung up on a peg in his
dressing-room, and, as it was grown very shabby, he one day gave it away
to a poor old man.  The dog happened soon after to see him in the
street.  He knew the wig again in a minute; and, looking full in the
man's face, made a sudden spring, leaped upon his shoulders, seized the
wig, and ran off with it as fast as he could; and, when he reached home,
endeavoured, by jumping, to hang it in its usual place.

_Mrs. B._  I think your story very amusing, Ferdinand: it is a curious
instance of sagacity.

_Emily_.  The other circumstance which Mrs. Horton mentioned, of the
same animal, proves him equally sagacious.  He was one day passing
through a field, where a washerwoman had hung out her linen to dry; he
stopped, and surveyed one particular shirt with attention, then seizing
it, he dragged it through the dirt to his master, whose shirt it proved
to be. [Footnote:  See Bingley's Animal Biography.]

_Edward_.  Well, now, mamma, please to listen to my story about the cat.

_Mrs. B._  By all means, my dear.

_Edward_.  As we were walking near the house, I was surprised to see a
fine cat, with a pretty little leveret gambolling and frolicking by her
side.  Mrs. Horton told us, that, about a fortnight ago, the farmer's
boy brought this poor little creature into the house, having found it,
almost starved to death, in a hole, in consequence, I suppose, of some
accident having happened to its mother.  Mrs. Horton gave directions
that it should be fed and kept warm. The servants grew very fond of it,
and were quite grieved, one day, suddenly to miss it.  They concluded
that some cat or dog had killed it, and never expected to see their
little favourite again.  However, yesterday, in the dusk of the evening,
they observed the cat in the garden, with something gambolling after
her, which, to their great delight, they discovered to be the leveret.
They then recollected that poor puss had been deprived of a litter of
kittens, on the very day that their favourite had so mysteriously
disappeared.  The cat had adopted him in the place of her own little
ones, nourished him with her milk, and continues still to support him
with the greatest affection [Footnote: See Bingley's Animal Biography].

_Mrs. B._  It is a curious circumstance, but not so extraordinary, I
think, as the account Ferdinand read to me, some time ago, in "A Visit
for a Week," of a cat supporting a chicken in a similar manner.

_Ferdinand_.  Well, mamma, besides the accounts we have given you, Mrs.
Horton told us several other curious things respecting the instinct of
animals.  She took us to an aviary in the garden, which is a large place
made on purpose to keep birds in.  There were some beautiful gold and
penciled pheasants; but no bird, in my opinion, is so handsome as the
peacock. I asked Mrs. Horton if it were  originally a native of this
country.  She told me it was brought to us from the East, and that
numerous flocks of them are still to be seen wild in Java and Ceylon.

_Mrs. B._  Where are those two islands situated, Louisa?

_Louisa_.  They are both in the Indian Ocean. Java is a little to the
east of Sumatra; and Ceylon, off the coast of Coromandel.  All the
animals with which the woods abound, are not so agreeable as the
peacock, mamma; for I recollect reading, a little time ago, that there
are varieties of wild beasts live there: particularly in Java, there are
many large and fierce tigers.

_Mrs. B._  Did Mrs. Horton tell you any thing more respecting the
peacock?

_Emily_.  Yes; she made us observe its train, which does not appear to
be the tail.  The long feahers grow all up their backs.  A range of
short, brown, stiff feathers, about six inches long, is the real tail,
and serves as a prop to the train when elevated.  This certainly must be
the case, as, when the train is spread, nothing appears of the bird but
its head and neck; which could not be, were those long feathers fixed
only in the rump.  She also told us, that, in the time of Francis the
first, king of France, it was the custom to serve up a peacock at the
tables of the great, not for food, but ornament.  The skin was first
carefully stripped off, and the body being prepared with the hottest
spices, was again covered with it; in this state it was not at all
subject to decay, but preserved its beauty for several years.

_Mrs. B._  In China, a peacock's feather hanging from the cap, is
considered as a mark of high distinction; and Sir George Staunton, in
his account of the Embassy to China, mentions a circumstance of a legate
of the emperor, who was degraded from his office, for disobeying the
orders of his imperial majesty, being reduced to wear an opaque white,
instead of a transparent blue button, and a crow's instead of a
peacock's tail-feather pendant from his cap.  The splendour of this
bird's plumage certainly demands our highest admiration, but,
independent of its beauty, it has few excellencies to boast. Its voice
is extremely harsh and disagreeable, and its gluttony is a great
counterbalance to its personal charms.

_Emily_.  Mrs. Horton made a remark similar to yours, mamma.  She said,
beauty was certainly very pleasing when adorned by the smiles of good-
humoured cheerfulness; but that the fairest face, without this charm,
would soon cease to please.  She also repeated to us those sweet lines
from Cowper, in which he so prettily contrasts he retiring modesty of
the pheasant, with the proud display made by the peacock, of his gaudy
plumes.

"Meridian sun-beams tempt him to unfold His radiant glories--azure,
green, and gold. He treads as if, some solemn music near, His measur'd
step were govern'd by his ear; And seems to say--'Ye meaner fowl give
place, I am all splendour, dignity, and grace! Not so the pheasant on
his charms presumes, Though he too has a glory in his plumes; He,
Christian-like, retreats, with modest mien, To the close copse, or far-
sequester'd green, And shines, without desiring to be seen."

_Ferdinand_.  We then walked some time in the park and gardens, mamma;
after which Mrs. Horton took us into the house, that we might rest
ourselves a little before dinner. When dinner was over we went into the
picture-gallery, and, amongst a number of very beautiful prints and
paintings, there was one representing the combat between the Horatii and
Curiatii, of which we had read in the morning.  How much more pleasure
one has in looking at prints, when one knows a little about the subject
of them.

_Mr. B._  A cultivated mind, my deal children, is a constant source of
pleasure.  Youth is the seed-time of life, and you must be careful so to
plant now, as to ensure to yourselves hereafter, not only a plentiful,
but a valuable harvest. It is growing late--we must think of our
history, or we shall spend all the evening in chit-chat. Edward, suppose
you begin the account.

_Edward_. I mentioned, yesterday, that Tullus Hostilius was of a
disposition very different from the peaceful Numa. He was entirely
devoted to war, and more fond of enterprise, than even the founder of
the empire himself had been. The Albans were the first people that gave
him an opportunity of indulging his favourite inclination. Upon the
death of Romulus, seeing their ancient kings extinct, they resumed their
independence, with a determination to shake off the Roman yoke, and to
appoint their own governors. Cluilius was at the head of this affair. He
is, by some historians, styled dictator; by others, king. Being very
jealous of the growing greatness of Rome, he, by a stratagem, contrived
to engage them in a war. Cluilius was, however, previous to the
commencement of the hostilities, found dead in his tent, surrounded by
his guards, without any external marks of violence. After his death,
both parties seemed to wish for an accommodation upon a amicable terms,
but neither liked to submit to be inferior to their rival. It was at
length proposed, that the superiority should be determined of each
other, and, when the people expected to see them begin fighting
furiously, they, instead of that, laid aside their arms, and flew to
embrace each other.

_Mr. B._  What effect had this upon the spectators, Emily?

_Emily_.  They were much moved, and began to murmur at their king, who
had engaged such leader friends in a cruel rivalship for glory. But a
new scene quickly put an end to their pity, fixed their attention, and
employed all their hopes and fears:--the combat began, and the victory
long hung doubtful.  At length the eldest of the Horatii received a
mortal wound, and fell: a second soon met the same fate, and expired
upon the body of his brother.  The Alban army now gave a loud shout,
whilst consternation and despair spread themselves through the Roman
camp.

_Ferdinand_.  Oh, papa, how interested I felt, this morning, when we got
to this part.

_Mr. B._  I do not wonder that you were, my dear: it is a circumstance
calculated strongly to interest the feelings.  Edward, take up the
account where Emily quitted it.

_Edward_.  Do not suppose the Roman cause quite desperate.  It is true,
they had but one champion remaining, but he was both unhurt and
undaunted, while all the Curiatii were wounded.  He, however, did not
conceive himself able to attack the three brothers at once, and
therefore made use of a stratagem to separate them.  He pretended fear,
and fled before them. The Curiatii pursued him at unequal distances.
Horatius turned short upon the foremost, and slew him.  He then flew to
the next, who soon shared his brother's fate.  The only remaining
Curiatii was so severely wounded, that he could scarcely support his
shield, and offered no resistance to the attack of the conquering
Horatius. Thus ended the famous combat, which gave Rome the superiority
over Alba.

_Ferdinand_.  The picture at Mrs. Horton's, represented Horatius at the
moment he turned upon the first Curiatii.  And there was another,
representing him in the act of stabbing his sister, because she grieved
for the death of one of the Curiatii, to whom she was going to be
married.

_Edward_.  Ah!  that tarnished all the glory of Horatius, in my opinion.
It was so natural she should weep for such a loss.

_Mrs. B._  Flushed with conquest, Horatius lost his self-possession.
Often do we find heroes, who can subdue their enemies in the field, the
weakest of the weak, when the combat is against their own evil passions.
Self-knowledge, and self-possession, are most important acquirements.
They are excellencies I must earnestly desire for each of you, my dear
children.  But we have not time for further conversation to-night: you
have all exerted yourselves extremely to-day, and must feel fatigued.

_Louisa_.  Oh no, papa, I am not all all tired.

_Mrs. B._  Indeed, my Louisa, your heavy eyes tell a different tale.
Ferdinand, too, looks very sleepy.  Good night, my dear children.

They immediately arose, and, thanking their father for the great
indulgence he had afforded them, retired.


CONVERSATION IV.

"Now, my dears, have you your work prepared for the evening?" said Mrs.
Bernard, rising from the tea-table.

"Mine is quite ready, mamma," replied Emily.

"And mine too, I believe," said Louisa, opening her work-bag.  "Oh!
dear, no, I have used up all my thread.  I quite forgot that. And where
can my thimble be?  I am sure I thought I had put it into my bag.
Emily, have you seen my thimble?  I dare say you have got it, you are so
apt to take my things."

_Emily._  Oh! no, indeed, Louisa, you are mistaken, Sometimes, when I
find them left about, I put them by for you, that they may not be lost.

"Well, that is the very thing that makes me think I have lost them,"
said Louisa, rather petulantly.  "It is very tiresome of you, Emily. I
do wish you never would touch any thing that belongs to me."

"Gently, gently, my Louisa," interrupted Mrs. Bernard: "you ought to
feel much obliged to your sister for her kindness.  If it were not for
her attention, your carelessness would make a sad hole in your pocket-
money. In this instance, however, Emily appears to be quite innocent of
your loss: she does not seem to know any thing about the stray thimble.
She has not, therefore, been the cause of your misfortune to-day."

Louisa rose from her seat, and leaving the room, exclaimed: "I dare say
I shall find it in a minute or two."

She was, however, absent more than a quarter of an hour, and at length
returned, without having found her thimble.

"Well, mamma, it is a most extraordinary thing," said she: "I cannot
think what is become of it.  It is very tiresome that things should get
lost so."

_Mrs. B._  It is rather singular that Emily seldom meets with these
misfortunes, from which you so frequently suffer, Louisa.

_Louisa_.  Indeed, Emily is very fortunate, mamma.  She never has
occasion to lose her time in looking for things, and, I do believe, that
is one reason why she gets on so much faster with her work than I do.

_Mrs. B._  It is a very probably conjecture, my dear; but you must not
attribute the cause merely to good-fortune:  Emily is attentive to the
excellent maxim: "A place for every thing, and every thing in its
place," and if you would endeavour, in this respect, to follow her
example, you would find the same comfortable effects resulting from it.

_Louisa_.  Well, mamma, and so I have a place for my things.  My work-
bag is exactly like Emily's.

"But you do not make exactly the same use of it," said Mrs. Bernard.

Here Ferdinand interposed, with a proposition, that they should all go
and have a good hunt for the thimble, as it would hurt Louisa's finger
sadly, to work all the evening without one.

Louisa expressed her thanks to Ferdinand for his kindness, adding, "I am
quite sorry my carelessness has given every body so much trouble. If I
find my thimble this once, I will endeavour, in future, to copy Emily's
example, and be more careful."

Mrs. Bernard highly approved this determination, and added, "I hope you
will be able to keep your resolution, my dear.  You will find the
comfort resulting from the adoption of method, an ample recompence for
any little trouble it may at first occasion you. Now, make haste; I wish
you success in your search."                        _They go out._

After some time, Louisa returned with a disappointed countenance, which
convinced Mrs. Bernard that her search had been in vain. The gloom was,
however, soon banished by the entrance of Ferdinand, who, smiling with
exultation, held out the stray thimble, and exclaimed, "I have found it,
Louisa! Here it is! When you went to wash your hands, you left it in the
closet."

"Oh, thank you, Ferdinand! thank you!" cried Louisa. "How glad I am to
see it again! Pray, Emily, excuse my having been so cross to you just
now."

"That I do, most willingly," said Emily. "Indeed, I had already
forgotten your little momentary fit of anger."

"Come, let us now sit down to work, without further loss of time," said
their mother. "It gives me most sincere pleasure, my dear children, to
see in you a disposition to assist each other in any little case of
difficulty. Nothing tends so much to cement brotherly love, as
politeness and attention. In many families this is a thing much
neglected; and I have seen more disagreements arise, from a rude,
contradictory disposition, than from any other cause whatever. I know
you like to have our instructions illustrated by a story, particularly
if it be founded on fact. Your father will, therefore, I am sure, give
you an account of a friend of his, who experienced the most beneficial
effects, from adopting kind, conciliatory manners, in opposition to
rudeness and incivility."

"I shall relate the circumstance with much pleasure," replied Mr.
Bernard, "because I am convinced, a most excellent lesson may be learnt
from it; and, as I know the parties, I can assure you it is perfectly
true. An elderly gentleman, with a very large fortune, but no family,
adopted a nephew and niece, the orphan children of two of his sisters.
His object was, when they were of a proper age, to unite them to each
other by marriage, intending that the whole of his immense possesions
should centre in them; but he was much disappointed to find, instead of
the affection which he expected to witness, an extreme dislike
subsisting between the young people, which strengthened as they advanced
in years. Their uncle's presence imposed upon them some restraint, but,
when alone, they gave full scope to their dislike, teasing and
tormenting each other by every means in their power. When the young man
attained his twenty-second, and the young lady her nineteenth year, they
lost their uncle, who had been to them as a parent. The only sentiment
in which they united, was a tender regard to this common friend; and
deeply did they lament his death. The idea that they should now be freed
from the irksome incumbrance of each other's company, however, afforded
them some consolation. Under these impressions, you may judge of the
dismay they both experienced, upon opening their uncle's will, to find
that his fortune was left equally between them, provided they
accomplished his wish, by uniting their destinies; but, whichever
refused fulfilling these conditions, was to forfeit all claim to the
money and estates. Thunder-struck at this appalling sentence, the young
man retired to his chamber, and spent some hours in solitude,
considering what line of conduct it would be best for him to pursue.
Always accustomed to affluence, the horrors of poverty presented
themselves before him in dreadful array; yes, a union with his cousin,
seemed an alternative still more formidable:--he knew not how to
determine. She, in the mean time, suffered no less anxiety. The same
fears agitated her mind. She was well aware of her cousin's dislike to
her, and hoped it would prevent his making those proposals which she
dreaded to hear. At length, he joined her in the garden, and addressed
her as follows:--'You have heard the contents of our uncle's will, Emma.
It places us both in a most painful situation. It were vain to profess
for you an affection, I neither can, or do I believe I ever shall feel;
but, yielding to the necessity of my circumstances, I offer you my
hand.' 'The same sentiment induces me to accept your offer,' said the
dejected Emma, with a heavy sigh; but surely, by such a union, we both
bid adieu to happiness for ever.'--'Our prospect certainly does not
promise us much felicity,' rejoined the young man, 'yet I cannot help
thinking, a moderate share of happiness  may still be within our power.
Hitherto, our chief andeavour has been to thwart and irritate each
other; let us, henceforth, employ the same pains to conciliate and
oblige. Great affection, on either side, we will not expect: but let us
resolve to maintain, on all occasions, a spirit of politeness and of
good-will towards each other.' To this the young lady readily assented,
and, under those circumstances, they were married. They persevered in
their wise resolution. I have known them many years, and never did I see
a couple more affectonately attached to each other."

_Edward_. It is a very interesting account, indeed, papa.

_Mr. B._  It is a story from which much solid instruction may be
derived, my dear. People in general, are by no means aware what a
powerful influence those attentions, which they deem trifling, leave
upon the happiness of life. They think, on _important_ occasions, they
should be willing to make great sacrifices for those they love; but do
not reflect how rarely such occasions present themselves; whereas,
opportunities are daily, nay, hourly occurring, for the discharge of
mutual kind offices, which powerfully tend to cement the affectionate
ties of friendship. Edward, did you not commit to memory the passage
upon politeness, we read in Xenophon's Cyropaedia the other day?

_Edward._ I did, papa.

Mr. B. Repeat it to us, my dear.

_Edward._ Politeness is an evenness of soul, which excludes, at the same
time, both insensibility and too much earnestness. It supposes a quick
discernment, to perceive, immediately, the different characters of men;
and, by a sweet condescension, adapts itself to each man's taste, not to
flatter, but to calm his passions. In a word, it is a forgetting of
ourselves, in order to seek what may be agreeable to others, but, in so
delicate a manner, as to let them scarce perceive that we are so
employed. It knows how to contradict with respect, and to please without
adulation; and is equally remote from an insipid complaisance, and a low
familiarity.

_Louisa._ Pray, papa, who was the gentleman you were speaking of, a
little time ago?

_Mr. B._ That cannot concern you at all, Louisa. His name is of no
consequence to the moral of my tale.

_Edward._ Louisa is always so curious; we often laugh at her for it.

_Mrs. B._ It is a foolish and dangerous propensity, when it is carried
into the minor concerns of life. A laudable curiosity, whose object is
the improvement of the mind, should at all times be encouraged; and you
will never, on such occasions, find either your father or myself,
backward in satisfying it to the best of our abilities.

_Louisa._ I have been often told that it is wrong, mamma, and will
really try to amend.

_Mr. B._ I most earnestly wish you success in your endeavour, Louisa.
Curiosity was the fault of our first parents, you know. How much misery
did this fatal propensity in Eve, entail upon the human race!

_Ferdinand._ Oh, mamma, may I tell Louisa that droll story, which I read
to you the other day, about the poor wood-cutter's wife?

_Mrs. B._ I have no objection, provided Louisa would like to hear it.

_Louisa._ Yes, I should, mamma; for I do not mind being told of my
faults, because I wish to amend them.

"That is perfectly right, my love," said Mrs. Bernard: "I admire your
candour, and have no doubt that, with such a desire, your efforts will
prove successful. She then requested Ferdinand to begin his story, which
he did, as follows:

"A gentleman riding one morning through a wood, saw a poor man very
busily employed in cutting down trees, whilst his wife was collecting
the branches into bundles. She sighed heavily, from heat and fatigue,
and complained sadly of their hard fate, laying all the blame upon Adam
and Eve, whose fatal curiosity was the cause of man's being obliged to
earn his bread by such hard labour. The gentleman got off his horse, and
going up to these poor people, he began to talk to the woman, and
enquired, whether, if she had been in Eve's place, she would not have
been very likely to have done the same thing. 'No,' said the woman: 'if
I had every thing necessary for me, without working, I should certainly
be quite contented." 'Well,' said the gentleman, 'in order to silence
your complaints, I will take you and your husband to my own house, where
you shall have apartments to yourselves, servants to wait upon you, a
carriage to attend you, and my park and gardens to amuse yourselves in.
The continuance of these enjoyments shall depend entirely upon
yourselves. You shall have a table spread with dishes; but the middle
dish shall always remain covered, and if ever you uncover it, to examine
its contents, you shall immediately return to your present situation.'
The poor man and woman were delighted with the gentleman's proposal. The
very next day, they removed to their new abode. The novelty of every
object with which they were surrounded, filled them with delight. For
some time they enjoyed themselves extremely, and never once thought of
the covered dish; but, by degrees, all these delights lost the charm of
novelty. Their walks were always the same, and, although they had plenty
of nice things to eat, their appetites were not so good as when they
worked hard for their living. One day the woman said: 'I wonder what
there is under that cover?' After this, their wonder increased every
day, till at last they determined, by taking a little peep, to satisfy
their curiosity. They accordingly lifted up the cover, when, instantly,
out jumped a little mouse, and away it ran. They now saw their folly,
and were sadly vexed with themselves: but it was too late to complain.
They returned to their daily labour, and from their own experience
learned a useful lesson, and never blamed Adam and Eve any more."

"I think, mamma, we may all learn a useful lesson from this story," said
Edward, as Ferdinand concluded his account: "for I am sure I often feel
curious to discover things, that are not of the least consequence to
me."

_Louisa_. Is it a true story, mamma?

_Mrs. B._ I do not know, my dear; but the picture it draws of human
nature is true, and, on that account, the instruction it conveys is
valuable.

_Mr. B._ Let us now turn our attention to history again. We concluded,
last night, with the rash murder of his sister, committed by Horatius.
Did he undergo any punishment for this crime?

_Edward_. Yes, father: it was thought of dangerous consequence to
slacken the rigour of the laws, in favour of any person, merely on
account of his bravery and success in battle. The king was puzzled how
to act. He was divided between a regard for the laws, and a desire to
save the young warrior, who had rendered him such important service.

_Mr. B._ How did Tullus extricate himself from this difficulty, Emily?

_Emily_. He turned it into a state crime, and appointed two
commissioners to try him as a traitor. As the fact was so publicly
known, and Horatius did not deny it, he was found guilty, and condemned
to be executed; but, by the king's advice, he appealed to an assembly of
the people, whose authority was superior to that of the monarch himself;
and they, from admiration of his courage, rather than the justice of his
cause, revoked the sentence that had been passed against him. However,
that he might not go wholly unpunished, they condemned him to pass under
the yoke, a disgrace to which prisoners of war were subject.

_Mr. B_. What was the yoke, Ferdinand?

_Ferdinand_. It was a kind of gallows, papa, in the shape of a door-
case.

_Mr. B._ Did Horatius, then, receive no honour for his victory, Louisa?

_Louisa_. Yes, papa: a square column was erected in the middle of the
Forum, and the spoils of the Curiatii were hung upon it.

_Mr. B._ Did the Romans continue at peace, after the victory of
Horatius?

_Edward_. No, father: they went to war, successively, with the
Fidenates, Latins, and Sabines; in all of which the Romans were
successful.

_Mr. B._ How was the life of Tullus Hostilius terminated, Emily?

_Emily_. Historians differ in their accounts. Some suppose he was struck
by lightning, whilst others imagine he fell by the hand of Ancus
Martius, his successor.

_Mr. B._ Ferdinand, can you give us a short sketch of the character of
Tullus Hostilius, from what you have heard of him.

_Ferdinand_. He was very much inclined to fighting, papa. Generosity and
personal courage were his chief merit. He rekindled in the Romans the
love of war, which Numa had endeavoured to suppress. He acquired to the
Roman state a great name, but did not add to the real happiness of his
people.

_Mr. B._ As he was so much engaged in war, I suppose he did not exert
himself much to improve the legislation of his country.

_Louisa._ We only read of one law that he established, and that was,
that, whenever three little boys should be born at one birth, they
should, in memory of the Horatii, be brought up at the public expence.

_Mr. B._ Emily, what have you to tell us of Ancus Martius, successor to
Tullus?

_Emily_. He was grandson to Numa Pompilius, and, after a short
interregnum, was unanimously chosen, both by the senate and people, to
the succession. He wished to imitate his grandfather, by reviving
husbandry and religious worship; but soon found that this pacific
disposition drew upon him the contempt of the neighbouring nations. The
Latins were the first who endeavoured to throw off their allegiance to
Rome. This provoked Ancus to declare war against them. He vanquished
them in many battles, and took several of their towns. He strengthened
Rome by new fortifications; built the port and city of Astin, at the
mouth of the Tiber; and was successful over the Fidenates, Sabines,
Veientes, and Volsci. Historians give different accounts of his death.
Some say he was destroyed by violence, whilst others speak of his
decease as altogether natural.

_Mr. B._ How long did he reign, Louisa?

_Louisa_. Twenty-three years, papa. We have not read any more yet. I
hope we shall not forget this part, as we advance further. Pray papa,
what do you think is the best means of remembering what we read?

_Mr. B._ The plan we adopt, in making it the subject of conversation, is
a very likely method to effect this desirable object; and, if you keep a
book, and take notes of the history as you proceed, you will still more
deeply impress it upon your memory. But we will talk upon this subject
some other day: it is now quite time for you to go to bed.

CONVERSATION V.


MR. AND MRS BERNARD, EMILY, EDWARD, LOUISA, AND FERDINAND.

(_A servent coming in with a parcel_.)

_Louisa_.

Ah! there is a parcel: I dare say it is from Charles. Do, pray give it
me, Mary:--I am sure I shall have a letter. He promised to write to me
the next opportunity. May I open it, mamma?

_Mrs. B_. You may, Louisa.

_Louisa_. Emily, be so good as to lend me your scissors; the string has
got into a hard knot:--I shall not have untied it this hour. I will just
give it a little snip and it will be off in a minute.

_Mr. B_. How, Louisa! Have you so soon forgotten the applicaiton of the
story with which you were so much pleased a week ago?

_Louisa_. Oh! I recollect: "Waste not--want not." But then, papa, it is
so tantalizing to know there is a letter for one, and not to be able to
get at it for such a long time; particularly when it comes from Charles,
for he does not write to me very often. Do pray let me cut it this once.
On any other occasion, I should have patience to untie the knot, I am
sure.

_Mr. B_. We are all apt, Louisa, to think it more difficult to act with
propriety under the very circumstances in which we happen to be placed,
than we should do under others; but, if we would learn wisdom, and
acquire the esteem of the good, we must _always_ endeavour to do the
very best that circumstances will allow. By making this principle the
rule of our conduct on trifling occasions, we shall acquire, as it were,
the habit of correctness and propriety of conduct, which will be very
valuable to us in the more important actions of our lives.

_Louisa_. Well, papa, I have been trying, all the time you have been
talking, to untie this string, and it really was not in so hard a knot
as I expected, for it is undone: and now I will endeavour to remember
you kind advice, and be more patient in the future. Oh! here is my
letter. What a long one it seems to be! And here is a short one for you,
mamma, with a little parcel for Sophy.

_Mrs. B_. Well, my dear Louisa, I am almost as anxious as you are, to
hear the contents of the letter: but do not be in a hurry. Read it
slowly, and very distinctly.

Louia promised to do her best, and began as follows:

"MY DEAR LOUISA,

"It is a long time since I wrote to you last, but I must not have you,
on that account, suppose I have forgotten you; for I really think more
of you now I am away, than I used to do when we were all at home
together. I am very happy in my new situation. Instead of finding a
severe master, as I sometimes feared might be the case, I seem to have
gained a second father in Mr. Lewis; and Mrs. Lewis is almost as
affectionate to me as my own dear mother. It shall be my constant
endeavour, by strict attention to my business, to prove myself grateful
for their kindness. I have my evenings completely to myself, which I
endeavour to employ profitably, according to my dear father's advice. I
am studying natural history, and, if it would afford you any amusement,
I should like to make my progress in that study, the subject of my
future letters. I shall not, however, begin that plan till I hear from
you, to know if it will be agreeable to you.

"A few evenings ago, I paid a very pleasant visit to an old friend of
Mr. Lewis's, which will afford me ample materials for this letter. He is
what Mr. Lewis calls a _virtuoso_, which signifies, a person fond of
antique and natural curiosities. You will, therefore, suppose I was not
at a loss for amusement. In one cabinet was a number of stuffed birds
and beasts; amongst others, a little animal somewhat resembling a rat,
but rather smaller. It legs are short and slender; the fore-legs longer
than the hind ones. Its head is of a pointed form; the colour of its
body tawny, and variegated with large black spots, irregularly arranged;
and the belly is white, tinged with yellow. There appeared to me so
little that was uncommon in this animal, that I could not help asking
Dr. Sinclair, on what account he had given it a place among so many
curiosities. 'I value that little animal,' said he, 'as much as any in
my collection. It is the Leming, or Lapland Marmot, and is distinguished
from other quadrupeds, by habits peculiar to itself. It is only found in
the northern part of our continent, where immense numbers of these
little animals sometimes overspread large tracts of country, especially
in Lapland, Sweden, and Norway. Their appearance happens at uncertain
periods; but fortunately for the inhabitants of these countries, not
oftener than once or twice in twenty years. As the source whence they
originate in such astonishing numbers, is as yet unexplored by the
naturalist, it is no wonder that the ignorant Laplander should seriously
believe that they are rained from the clouds.  Myriads of these animals
pour down from the mountains, and form an overwhelming troop, which
nothing can resist.  The disposition of their march is generally in
lines, about three feet asunder, and exactly parallel.  In this order
they advance with as much regularity as a well-disciplined army; and, it
is remarked, that their course is from the north-west or south-east.
They frequently cover the extent of a square mile, travelling in the
night.  They always halt in the day, and in the evening resume their
march.  No opposition can stop them; and, whatever way their course is
directed, neither fire not water can turn them out of their road.  If a
lake or river intercept their progress, they will swim across, or perish
in the attempt; if a fire interrupt their course, they instantly plunge
into the flames; if a well, they dart down into it; if a hay-rick, they
eat through it; and, if a house stand in their way, they either attempt
to climb over it, or eat through it; but, if both be impracticable, they
will rather die with famine before it, than turn out of the way.  If
thousands perish, thousands still supply their place, until the whole
column be destroyed.  Wherever they pass, they annihilate every trace of
vegetation, and, when subsistence fails, are said to divide into two
different armies, which engage with the most deadly hostility, and
continue fighting and devouring each other, till they are all entirely
destroyed. Numbers of them are devoured by foxes, weasels, &c. which
follow them in their march, so that none are ever known to return from
their migrations."

"I thanked Dr. Sinclair for his curious and entertraining account, with
which, I hope, my dear Louisa, you also have been amused. A very
beautiful, large, white cat, took possession of Dr. Sinclair's kneee,
the moment he seated himself in his elbow chair by the fire-side. It
licked his hand in a caressing manner, and seemed, by every means in its
power, to testify the greatest affection towards him. From the old
gentleman's kindness, in giving me so amusing an account of the Leming,
I was encouraged to enter into conversation with him upon the merits of
his cat. 'Some naturalists,' said I, 'have represented that animal as
insensible of kindness, and incapable of attachment; but I cannot help
thinking this is a great mistake.  We have a cat, at houme, that is very
fond of me; and yours, Sir, seems much attached to you.' 'The cat is, on
many accounts, unjustly aspersed,' said he: 'excepting the dog, I know
of no animal that appears capable of stronger attachment. It is also
reproached with treachery and cruelty; but are not the artifices it
uses, the particular instincts which the all-wise Creator has given it,
conformable to the purposes for which it is designed? Being destined to
prey upon the mouse, a lively, active animal, possessing many means of
escape, artifice is absolutely necessary for the accomplishment of its
end.  I can, however, say nothing in extenuation of its cruelty, in
sporting with the unfortunate victim that falls into its power, in
prolonging its tortures, and putting it to a lingering death.  This, it
must be confessed, is not a very favourable trait in its character.
Notwithstanding all this, it certainly renders very essential services
to man, and merits, in return, his kindness and protection.' I admired
the beauty of Tom, for so Dr. Sinclair calls his favourite.  'His beauty
is not his most remarkable property,' said the Doctor: 'this cat was
once the cause of detecting a murderer.' I was astonished, as I doubt
not, you, Louisa, will be also, and requested he would relate to me the
particulars of so extraordinary a fact. This he kindly did, as follows:

"Some time ago, when I was pursuing the duties of my profession, as a
physician, I was requested to enquire into the particulars of a murder,
that had been committed upon a woman in the city where I lived.  In
consequence of this request, I went to the habitation of the deceased,
where I found her extended lifeless on the floor, and weltering in her
blood.  This cat was mounted on the cornice of a cupboard, at the
further end of the apartment, where he seemed to have taken refuge.  He
sat motionless, with his eyes fixed on the corpse, and his attitude and
looks expressing horror and affright.  The following morning, he was
found precisely in the same position; and, when the room was filled with
officers of justice, neither the clattering of the soldier's arms, nor
the loud conversations of the company, could, in the least degree,
divert his attention.  As soon, however, as the suspected persons were
brought in, his eyes glared with increased fury, his hair bristled, he
darted into the middle of the apartment, where he stopped for a moment
to gaze at them, and then retreated precipitately under the bed.  The
countenances of the assassins were disconcerted, and they were, for the
first time during the whole course of the horrid business, abandoned by
their usual audacity.  I felt much interested for poor puss, and, as no
other person laid claim to him, I secured him for myself; and Tom and I
have been the best friends imaginable, ever since.'

"I felt my respect for Tom greatly increased by this story, the detail
of which has so completely filled my letter, that I have not space to
tell you of half the curiosities contained in Dr. Sinclair's cabinet.
One thing, however, I must find room to describe; this is, a piece of
cloth, which, judging merely from its outward appearance, I considered
still more unworthy than the little Leming, of a place among so many
rarities, and again ventured to express my surprise.  'Never allow
yourself to form such hasty conclusions, my dear boy,' said Dr.
Sinclair, taking my hand in the kindest manner: 'a rough exterior often
conceals real merit.  This you will find to be the case in your future
commerce with the world, as well as in examining the cabinet of a
_virtuoso_.  That piece of cloth, and this bit of paper,' said he,
opening one of the drawers and showing it to me, 'are made from a stone
called asbestos.' 'A stone!' said I, with astonishment: 'is that
possible, Sir?' 'It is very true, my dear,' replied he: 'this kind of
linen cloth was greatly esteemed by the ancients.  It was considered as
precious as the richest pearls. The most remarkable property belonging
to it, is, its being incombustible; that is, it cannot be consumed by
fire.  Among the Romans, napkins were made of it, which when soiled,
were thrown into the fire, and by this means much more completely
cleaned, than they could have been by washing.  Its principal use was
for making shrouds, to wrap up the dead bodies of their kings, so that
their ashes might be preserved distinct from those of the wood composing
the funeral pile.'

"I enquired where this very curious stone was found.  He told me that
there were ten species of it, and that it was discovered in many of the
European mountains, particularly in those of Lapland, Sweden, and
Germany; as well as in Candia, an island of the Mediterranean; and in
China.

"I enquired, whether it was used for any other purpose than the
manufacture of cloth and paper.  To which Dr. Sinclair replied, that he
understood, the Chinese employed it as an ingredient in the formation of
their finest porcelain.

"You may easily imagine, my dear Louisa, how much I enjoyed the
conversation of this kind and sensible man.  I hope Mr. Lewis will allow
me to accompany him, the next time he pays him a visit.  And now I must
beg of you to give my love to little Sophy, and tell her I have sent her
a work-bag and pin-cushion, and hope I shall hear she grows very notable
and industrious.  Give my duty to my dear father and mother; and love to
Emily, Edward, and Ferdinand; and believe me, my dear Louisa, your
affectionate brother,

"CHARLES BERNARD."

_Mrs. B._  Very well, Louisa, you have done your brother's letter
justice, by the manner in which you have read it; and great amusement it
has afforded me, I assure you.

_Emily_.  I have been both amused and instructed by it.  I never heard
of the Leming before; it is a most curious little animal.  I am glad
Clarles is studying natural history, as, no doubt, he will meet with
many pretty anecdotes to relate to us.  Is it not a pleasing science,
mamma?

_Mrs. B._.  It is, indeed, my dear.  No study tends so greatly to
enlarge the mind.  You already know something of botany, and have
admired the wisdom manifested in the formation of the minutest flower;
for

              "Not a tree,
              A plant, a leaf, a blossom, but contains
              A folio volume.
              We may read, and read,
              And read again, and still find something new;
              Something to please, and something to instruct,
              E'en in the nuisanceweed."

A deeper research into the beauties of nature, will excite in you still
greater attentions and astonishment, and will, I am sure, fill you with
reverence towards the Divine Author of so many wonders.  I hope Charles
will not merely relate to us the amusing anecdotes he meets with, but
enter scientifically upon the subject; as it is impossible to gain clear
ideas, without great method and regularity.

_Louisa_.  I hope, mamma, we shall not, in natural history, have long
lists of classes and orders to learn by heart, as we had when we began
botany; for I cannot say I think all those hard names at all
entertaining.

_Mrs. B._  Perhaps not, my dear; but nothing that is valuable, can be
attained without difficulty.  I would wish to smooth the path for you as
much as I can, but learning is "labour, call it what you will;" and
without strict attention, and industrious perseverance, you will never
attain perfection in any thing. The classes and orders in that division
of natural history, called the animal kingdom, are, however, by no means
difficult.  There are, in botany, as you no doubt recollect, twenty-four
classes; in natural history, there are but six.

"Will you be so kind as to repeat them to us, mamma?" said Louisa.

_Mrs. B._  Willingly, my dear.  The first is called Mammalia, and
consists of Quadrupeds and Whales; the second, Birds; third, Amphibia;
fourth, Fishes; fifth, Insects; and sixth, Worms.

_Louisa_.  That seems very easy.  I think I could soon learn those six
classes.  Are there many orders, mamma?

_Mrs. B._  In the class Mammalia there are seven.  But we must not talk
of them just at present, or our Roman history will be forgotten.

_Edward_.  Before we change the subject, will you be so good as to tell
me, mamma, what you meant by saying, that division of natural history
called the animal kingdom. Are there, then, many divisions?

_Mrs. B._  There are three, my dear. The first consisting of Minerals;
the second, of Vegetables; and the third, of Animals.

_Mr. B._  Well, my dears, now do not forget what you have been already
told, and another day we will talk further on this subject: for the
present, let us attend to our history. We concluded with the death of
Ancus Martius. Who succeeded to the crown, Emily?

_Emily._  Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. He was the son of a merchant of
Corinth, which is a large city of Greece. This man had acquired a
considerable fortune by trade, which was inherited by his son Lucumo,
who took the name of Tarquinius, from Tarquinia, a city of Hetruria,
where his wife Tanaquil lived, previous to her marriage. His birth being
considered contemptible by the nobles of this place, he, by his wife's
persuasions, settled in Rome, where merit alone gave distinction.

_Mr. B._  What remarkable circumstance is said to have occurred to him
on his way thither, Ferdinand?

_Ferdinand._  As he approached the city gate, historians say, that an
eagle, stooping from above, took off his hat, and, after flying round
his chariot for some time, with a great noise, put it on again. From
this circumstance, his wife, Tanaquil, foretold that he would one day
wear the crown.

_Mr. B._  By what means, Edward, did he obtain this object of his
ambition?

_Edward._  The two sons of Ancus were left under his guardianship. He
was a skillful politician, and found out the secret of making himself a
great favourite with the people. He used every artifice to set aside
these children, and to get himself elected in their stead. For this
purpose, he contrived to have them sent out of the city, and made a long
speech, mentioning his friendship for the people, the fortune he had
spent among them, together with his knowledge of their government, and
concluded by offering himself for their king. The people, with one
consent, elected him as their sovereign.

_Mr. B._  Pray, Louisa, can you tell me how he has governed the city he
had so unjustly obtained?

_Louisa._  Much more properly, papa, than might have been expected. The
first thing he did, was to add a hundred members to the senate: so that
it now consisted of three hundred. He was disposed to live in peace, but
the Latins and Sabines rose up against him: however, after a severe
conflict, he subdued them both.  Peace being restored, he employed his
subjects in many useful works for the improvement of the city, that they
might not grow corrupted through indolence.

_Mr. B._  This conduct in Tarquinius, shows great wisdom; for it is very
true, that "idleness is the root of all evil."  In states it foments
discord, and in private life occasions misery and ruin.  Well,
Ferdinand, what have you to tell us?

_Ferdinand_.  There is a curious account of Attius Navius, a famous
augur, (this signifies a kind of prophet, who could foretel future
events.) The Romans used to place great confidence in these people, and
Tarquinius, wishing to try this man's skill, sent for him; and, when he
was come into the midst of the Forum, said to him: "diviner, canst thou
discover, by thy art, whether what I am thinking of can be done or not?
Go and consult thy birds."  The augur did as he was ordered, and
returning quickly, answered:  "Yes, Tarquin, my art tells me, that what
thou art thinking of may be done." Upon which Tarquin pulled a razor
from under his robe, took a flint in his hand, and replied,
contemptuously, "I was thinking, whether it were possible to cut this
flint with this razor. I have taken thee in thy own craft.  The
introducing of the gods into thy decisions, is all cheat and imposture.
If thou canst do what is impossible, do."  At these words the people
burst out a laughing, but the augur did not appear at all moved.  He, on
the contrary, addressed himself to the king, with a bold air, and said,
"Put the razor to the flint and try.  I readily submit to any
punishment, if what you thought of be not done."  Upon trial, the razor
passed through with the greatest ease.  The people then gave a loud
shout, and the king's contempt for the augur was turned into admiration.
This is a very extraordinary account: but do you think it is true, papa.

_Mr. B._  I do not, my dear.  I think it is a mere fabulous invention;
and this was the opinion of the great orator, Tully, who was himself an
augur.  Writing to his brother, he says, "Look with contempt on the
razor and flint of the famous Attius.  When we reason as philosophers,
we ought to lay no stress upon fables." How did Tarquin close his long
life, Emily?

_Emily_.  In the eightieth year of his age, and thirty-seventh of his
reign, he was murdered by the artifices of the sons of Ancus Martius.
They hired two young men, who dressed themselves like peasants, with
hatchets on their shoulders, as if they had been wood-cutters.  They
approached the kings palace, pretending to have a quarrel about some
goats, and made so much disturbance, that they were carried before the
king.  At first they began to rail at each other, until a lictor
interfered, and ordered them to speak by turns.  Then one of them began
to tell his story, and, whilst the king was listening to it very
attentively, the other, lifting up his hatchet, gave him a deep wound on
his head, and instantly ran out of doors with his companion. Whilst some
of the company hastened to assist the king, others pursued the ruffians
and seized them.  On being put to the torture, they confessed by whom
they had been employed.

_Ferdinand_.  Pray, papa, what is the meaning of being put to the
torture?

_Mr. B._  It is a most barbarous punishment, my dear.  The unhappy
victim is extended upon a wheel, which stretches his limbs till they are
all dislocated; and it has frequently happened, that many poor wretches,
unable to endure such severe torments, have made confessions of crimes
they never committed, in order to free themselves from the severity of
their sufferings. How did queen Tansquil set upon the death of her
husband?

_Edward_.  She did not lose her presence of mind, but cleared the
palace of the crowd, shutting herself up in the apartment of the
expiring king, with only Servius Tullius, who was her son-in-law, his
wife, and Octivia his mother.  She pressed him to ascend the throne,
that Tarquin's two grandsons might be safe under his protection: then,
opening the window which looked into the street, she bade the people be
under no concern, since the wound was not deep, and the king, having
only been stunned by the sudden blow, was come to himself. She concluded
by expressing her hopes, that they would see him again very shortly;
declaring that it was their sovereign's orders, that, till that time,
they should obey Servius Tullius. This stratagem succeeded.  The report
that the king would soon be well again, so terrified the sons of Ancus,
that they went, of their own accord, into banishment.

_Mr. B._  How did Servius proceed, Louisa?

_Louisa_.  The second day after the murder of Tarquin, he took his seat
on the throne, in the royal robes, and heard causes; some of which he
decided himself, and, in difficult cases, pretended he would consult the
king.  He continued this management some time, and by his prudent
conduct gained the love of the people. At last, when he thought his
authority well established, the death of Tarquin was announced, as a
thing which had just happened, and Servius continued in power, without
being positively chosen as king.  That is all we have read at present,
papa.  I hope we shall hear something more about Servius, as I do not
think I clearly understand who he was, except that he was son-in-law to
Tarquinius. _Mr. B._  Oh, no doubt, all those matters will be cleared up
to your satisfaction to-morrow, Louisa. For the present we must
separate, my dears, as our conversation has been already prolonged
beyond your usual hour. Good night, my dear children.


CONVERSATION VI.


MR. AND MRS. BERNARD, EMILY, EDWARD LOUISA, FERDINAND, AND SOPHY,
_standing by her mother._

_Sophy_. Mamma, may I stay with you a little time to-night. I am not
sleepy at all.

_Mrs. B._ You may stay till seven o'clock, my dear, but not later, as we
must not break through good rules. When you are as old as Ferdinand, you
shall sit with us as long as he does; but, whilst you are such a little
girl, after tea, bed is quite the best place for you.

"Early to bed, and early to rise, Is the way to grow healthy, wealthy,
and wise."

_Sophy_. Well, mamma, I want very much to grow a clever girl, like
Emily; but how can going to bed early make me wise? If I might sit up
with you and papa, you would teach me a great many things, as you do
Fedinand; but when I am in bed, I go to sleep and learn nothing.

_Mrs. B._ But your sleep does you a vast deal of good, my little dear.
It makes you rosy and healthy, and will strengthen your memory too; so
that when you are older, you will learn your lessons much better, and
quicker, than those little unfortunate children who have been spoiled by
the silly indulgence of their nurses.

These arguments, together with an assurance that cheerful obedience
would make her dear father and mother very happy, soon convinced little
Sophy that going to bed early was very proper, though she could not
think it very agreeable; and promising to comply, the moment Mary made
her appearance, she added: "has papa ever heard grandpapa's verses,
which you taught me to-day?  If he has not, I will repeat them to him;
for it is not seven o'clock yet. Is it, mamma?"

_Mrs. B._ No my dear; there will be quite time enough for you to repeat
them to your papa. But first tell him on what occasion they were
written.

_Sophy._ A good while ago, grand-papa had two nice little pigs, and they
one day found some paint in a pot, and thinking it something nice, they
ate it.  There is something in paint that is poison, papa: pray, what is
it?

Mr. Bernard told Sophy that it was white-lead.

_Sophy._ Oh, well then, the white-lead that was in the paint, poisoned
these poor little pigs; and grand-papa had them buried in the orchard,
and wrote the verses, which mamma taught me, over their grave. Now do
you understand, papa? May I begin?

Mr. Bernard assured Sophy he understood her explanation perfectly well,
and was all attention, waiting for her recital.

Upon which she immediately repeated as follows:

"Ye passing pigs, I pray draw nigh, And hear a dreadful tragedy, Of two
fine pigs, as e'er were seen Grazing or grunting on the green: Till on a
time, and near this spot, We chanc'd to spy a painter's pot, White-lead
and oil it did contain, By which we pretty pigs were slain; Therefore a
warning let us be To future pigs, who this may see, With life prolong'd,
and free from pains, To be content with wash and grains."

_Mr. B._ Very well, Sophy. Here is a lesson for little boys and girls,
as well as pigs. Tell me what you have learnt from those lines.


_Sophy._  I do not know, papa: I learnt the verses, and that is all.

_Mr. B._  But that should not be all. There is a very useful lesson
hidden in that story. Try and find it out.

_Ferdinand._  I think I know it.

_Louisa._  And so do I.

_Mr. B._  And so will Sophy, when she has considered a little.

_Sophy._  Aye: yes. I think I have found it out, papa. You mean, that
the tale should teach little boys and girls never to taste things they
do not understand, for fear they should be killed, like the poor little
pigs.

_Mr. B._  That is exactly what I meant, Sophy; and, I assure you, I have
heard of children who have been actually poisoned, by incautiously
eating berries, and other things, which they had met with in their
country walks. You, my dear, have a sad habit of putting leaves and
flowers into your mouth. I hope you will endeavour to break yourself of
it, as, I assure you, it is very dangerous.

_Sophy._  I am going to try to leave it off, papa; for I made my tongue
very sore yesterday, by biting the stalk of a flower, that Ferdinand and
Louisa called lords and ladies.

_Mr. B._  That is an _arum_, the juice of which is, I believe, extremely
poisonous; so pray never put it in your mouth again.

_Sophy._  No, papa, I do not intend it, for it hurt me very much, I
assure you. Oh! here comes Mary. Good night, dear papa and mamma. Good
night all.

Little Sophy, after receiving many affectionate caresses, retired in
high good-humour, and soon forgot her sorrow for the little pigs, in a
gentle slumber.

_Louisa._  Mamma, I remember the names of the six classes in natural
history, which you were so kind as to teach me yesterday. Mammalia,
Birds, Amphibia, Fishes, Insects, and Worms; and now pray tell me the
seven orders, for I do like to know a little of every thing.

_Mr. B._  But that, Louisa, is exactly what I do not wish you to do. I
would greatly prefer that your information should be rather
circumscribed, provided it were correct, than that you should have a
slight smattering of many things, and a thorough knowledge of none. You
may impose upon the illiterate by this superficial information; but the
really wise will soon discover your ignorance, and despise you for
affecting a degree of knowledge you do not possess. Besides which, a
mere smattering of learning is very apt to fill the mind with self-
conceit and vanity, faults from which the really well-informed are
always free. My favourite poet, Pope, says:--

            "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing;
            Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
            Here shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
            But drinking largely sobers us again."

Therefore, my dear, unless you intend to enter decidedly upon the study,
I shall certainly beg your mother not to say any thing further on the
subject.

_Louisa_. Oh, then, I assure you, papa, I will enter decidedly upon it;
as it seems to me as if it would be extremely entertaining.

_Mr. B_. I think, my dear, you have formed your opinion somewhat
prematurely, as you certainly, at present, know very little of the
matter. This, however, with the young and ignorant, is no uncommon
error. I hope your good opinion of the study, will continue when you are
better acquainted with it. There are seven orders belonging to the first
class, as your mother has already informed you; the names of which are,
Primates, Bruta, Ferae, Glires, Picora, Beluae, and Cete.

_Louisa_. Those words are harder than the classics. I doubt I shall find
them more difficult to remember: however, I must write them down, and
try my best. Please not to tell me any more at present, papa. I believe
I shall succeed best, if I do not puzzle myself by attempting too much
at a time.

"I am quite of your opinion there," replied her father.

_Louisa_. Natural history shall be one of my pleasures. I will not call
it a lesson; but will study it when I am most in the fit for it. And
will you be so kind as to help me, papa?

"Willingly, my dear, provided your fit comes on when I am at liberty,"
replied Mr. Bernard.

Louisa thanked her father, adding, "and now I must tell you, that I am
quite satisfied with the account I have read of Servius Tullius. I
perfectly understand now, who he is."

_Ferdinand_. Louisa, before we begin our history, I wish to ask papa a
question about those verses which he repeated a few minutes ago. There
is one line, which I do not think I understand. Please to say them over
once more, papa.

_Mr. B._

                 "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing;
                 Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
                 Here shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
                 But drinking largely sobers us again."

_Ferdinand_. The first line is plain enough; but I do not at all know
the meaning of Pierian, which is in the second.

_Mr. B_. It is an epithet applied to the Muses and poetical
compositions, and takes its name from Pieria, a small tract of country
in Thessaly, in Macedonia, where stands a mountain called Pierius, on
which the nine Muses are said to have been born.

_Ferdinand_.  Are not all those places in Greece?

_Mr. B._  Yes, my dear.

_Louisa_.  Who were the Muses, pray, papa?

_Mr. B._  They were supposed to be goddesses, presiding over poetry,
music, dancing, and all the liberal arts, and were said to be daughters
of Jupiter.

_Emily_.  Those stores of the heathen gods and goddesses are all
fabulous, I suppose, papa!

_Mr. B._  Yes, my dear, completely so.  Do you understand the second
line now, Ferdinand?

_Ferdinand_.  Yes.  Pierian spring is another term for learning or
knowledge.  That makes the sense of all the lines perfectly clear, I
think.

_Mr. B_  Louisa may then give us an account of Servius Tullius, who, you
will recollect, was the sixth king of Rome.

_Louisa_.  He was the son of Ocrisia, a very beautiful and virtuous
lady, who was taken prisoner by the Romans when they sacked Corniculum.

_Mr. B._  Can you tell us, Edward, where Corniculum is situated?

_Edward_.  Yes, papa, it is a town of Latium, a country of Italy, near
the river Tiber.  This territory has now changed its name, and is called
Campagna di Roma.

_Ferdinand_.  May we look in the map for it, papa?

_Mr. B._  By all means, my dear.  I believe no plan of learning
geography is so effectual as that of finding, on the map, the different
towns that you meet with in the course of your reading. The names of
many places have been so completely changed latterly, that you will find
it useful to compare together the ancient and modern maps.  By this
means, both names will become familiar to you.  But now for the place in
question.

_Ferdinand_.  I have found it, papa.  It is bounded on the north by the
patrimony of St. Peter, on the east by Abruzzo, on the south by Terra di
Lavora, and on the west by the Mediterranean.

_Mr. B_  I see you are looking on the ancient map, Emily.  How is it
bounded there?

_Emily_.  On the north by Etruria, on the east by Salbina, on the south
by Samnium, and on the west by the Mediterranean Sea.

_Mr. B._  Very well, Now, Louisa, you may go on with your account of
Servius.

_Louisa_.  I told you that his mother's name was Ocrisia, papa; but who
his father was, seems uncertain.  Tarquin made a present of his fair
captive, to queen Tanaquil, who grew extremely attached to her, and
restored her to freedom. But as her son was born whilst she was in a
state of servitude, he took the name of Servius.

_Mr. B._ Is anything extraordinary related respecting the infancy of
this child, Ferdinand?

_Ferdinand._ Yes, papa; it is declared that a sudden flame, in the form
of a crown, surrounded his head one day whilst he was asleep, which was
supposed to foretel his future greatness.

_Mr. B._ Who had the charge of his education, Emily?

_Emily._ The king and queen, who loved him as tenderly as if he had been
their son. It was, however, chiefly to his own wise, noble, and amiable
conduct, that he owed his elevation to the throne. He distinguished
himself by his military achievements, even before he attained the age of
manhood; and his reputation increasing as he advanced in years, and
being joined to pleasing manners, manly eloquence, and uncommon
abilities in council, gained him the esteem and affection of the people.
He was twice married: first to a lady of illustrious birth, and, after
her death, to Tarquinia, daughter of the king and queen. Upon this
alliance, the king placed in him the most unbounded confidence,
entrusting him with the management, both of his public and private
affairs; of all which he acquitted himself so well, that the people were
perfectly indifferent whether they were governed by him or Tarquin. This
accounts for his having so easily gained possession of the throne, on
the death of his father-in-law.

_Mr. B._ In what manner did Servius conduct himself, after his accession
to the throne, Edward?

_Edward._ He determined, as much as possible, to make the peaceful Numa
his pattern, and directed his attention to the improvement of the civil
government of Rome. Although his accession to the throne had been
unattended by tumult, the beginning of his reign was disturbed by the
dissatisfaction of the nobles. They were not pleased at his ascending
the throne without being duly elected to it, and determined, if
possible, to oblige him to lay aside his royalty. In this emergency,
Servius endeavoured to gain over the people to his cause, that he might
employ their power against the patricians. For this purpose, he
assembled them together, and, with a grandson of Tarquin in each hand,
addressed them in a very moving speech, declared himself the protector
of the poor children, and the guardian of their helpless infancy, and
implored the assistance of the people in this arduous undertaking; at
the same time, promising them freedom from slavery.

_Mr. B_ Provided Servius performed this promise, this plan was
calculated to interest the people greatly in his behalf. "Well, papa,"
said Louisa, "he did keep his promise: for, a few days afterwards, he
commanded all those people who were too poor to pay their debts, to send
him an account of them; and then, causing counting-houses to be opened
in the Roman Forum, he there paid all with his own money. Besides which,
he made a much more equal distribution of the lands, and, by every means
in his power, endeavoured to gain the affection of the lower orders of
the people. Now, Edward, will you please to give papa some account of
the war in which Servius was obliged to engage against the Veientes; for
I like to speak about peaceable times best."

_Edward._ So do I, indeed, Louisa. I do not like war at all, I assure
you, nor did Servius Tullius. His inclination led him much more to works
of peace and civil government, than to military exploits; yet he found
himself obliged to embark in a war. It proved a very long one too, but
brought much glory, both to the Roman people and to their king. The
Veientes, whom Tarquin had often subdued, refused now to recognize the
sovereignty of Rome, and treated with scorn some ambassadors sent from
thence, to claim their submission. "We entered," said they, "into no
treaty with the _son of a slave_, nor will we ever submit to Servius's
dominion. Tarquin is dead, and our obligations to be subject to the
Romans, are dead with him."

_Mr. B._ Pray where did these haughty people reside, Edward?

_Edward._ At Veii, papa, a powerful city of Etruria, about twelve miles
distant from Rome.

_Mr. B._ Perfectly right. I imagine, the confidence of the Veientes
proceeded partly from the hopes they entertained of profiting by the
dissensions between the king and senate of Rome. Nothing weakens a state
so much as internal discord. The moral of the old man's bundle of
sticks, might be as properly applied to the larger communities of men,
as to his own little family. You all know the story to which I allude:
do you not?

_Ferdinand._ I do. You know, I read it to you the other day, papa.

_Emily._ But we do not; so, perhaps, papa, you will be so kind as to
tell is us.

_Mr. B._ We will not interrupt our Roman history now; when you have
finished your account, Ferdinand shall relate the story to you. Now,
Edward, proceed.

_Edward._ The Veientes prepared for war, and drew two other neighbouring
states, those of Caere and Tarquinia, into their party. But Servius, by
his courage and conduct, subdued the confederates, deprived them of
their lands, and transferred them to the new citizens of Rome, who had
no lands of their own. The success of Servius attached the people still
more to his interest, and he resolved to take advantage of their favour,
in order to render his title to the throne still more secure. He,
therefore, a second time assembled the citizens, and in a moving speech,
which drew tears from their eyes, complained of a design formed by the
patricians to take away his life, and bring back the sons of Ancus. In
the conclusion of his speech, he left the kingdom absolutely at their
disposal, and begged them to determine between him and his pupils on one
side, and their competitors on the other. Having finished his harangue,
he stepped down from the tribunal, and prepared to leave the assembly;
but they called to him to stay, and entreated him to be their king.
Accordingly, a day was appointed, and he was duly elected to the
sovereign power. The senate were not, however, reconciled to him, and
formed so dangerous a faction, that Servius was almost inclined to
renounce the dignity conferred upon him by the people; but imparting his
perplexities to Tanaquil, she disapproved of his intention, and
prevailed upon him to bind himself by an oath, never to resign the
kingdom.

_Mr. B._ Tanaquil was, in many respects, a great woman. She rendered
herself illustrious by her virtues, as well as by her political
abilities. Private life is the sphere most calculated for the display of
female perfection, and here her excellence conspicuously shone. The
king, to immortalize her memory, hung up her distaff in the Temple of
Hercules. I hope my dear girls will endeavour to imitate the domestic
virtues of this excellent woman, rather than her ambitious temper. I do
not wish to see them heroines.

_Emily._ I do not feel ambitious of any thing but my dear parents'
approbation.

_Mr. B._This, affection and obedience, my Emily, will never fail to
obtain. But let us now hear what further befell Servius. If Edward is to
be the recorder of his warlike achievements, I believe we must again
call upon him.

_Edward._ The Etrurians furnished him with an opportunity to increase
his glory. His victories over them obtained for him the honours of a
second triumph, and restored peace to his kingdom. Now, Emily, I again
resign the office of narrator to you.

_Emily._ Servius employed this interval of rest, in enlarging and
adorning the city. He divided the Roman territory into tribes, the
citizens into six different classes, and these classes into centuries. A
tax was levied on each century, according to the class to which it
belonged; by which means, each individual contributed towards the
exigencies of the state, in exact proportion to the amount of his
property. He also increased the number of the citizens, by giving
liberty to the unfortunate captives taken in war; permitting them either
to return to their own countries, or continue at Rome, with the
enjoyment of all the privileges of free citizens. The senate were at
first offended at this regard shown to a people they considered so mean;
but the king addressed to them a very persuasive speech, which entirely
appeased their anger, and they passed his institution into a law, that
subsisted ever after.

_Mr. B._ Another important regulation was, taking an estimate of the
population of the kingdom. It was performed every fifth year,
accompanied with sacrifices, and other religious rites, which were
called lustrations. This led to the computation of time amongst the
Romans, by _lustra_, or periods of five years.

_Louisa._ The most unfortunate thing Servius did, was marrying his
daughters so unsuitably. His two wards, Lutius Tarquinius and Aruns,
were now old enough to be capable of disturbing his government. To
secure their fidelity, therefore, he determined to marry them to his two
daughters; and, without consulting their dispositions, gave his eldest
daughter, who was mild and gentle, to the eldest of his wards, who was
fierce and haughty; and married his youngest girl, who was of a most
ungovernable disposition, to Aruns, who was extremely amiable and
virtuous. It was not likely that either of these marriages would prove
happy ones. Tarquin's wife endeavoured, by every winning way of
sweetness and insinuation, to soften the haughty fierceness of her
husband's temper; whilst her sister was always urging the quiet, good-
natured Aruns, to the most wicked attempts, in order to reach the
throne. She loudly lamented her fate, in being tied to such an indolent,
stupid husband; and being very much like Tarquin she soon began to love
him a great deal better than her own husband, and, at last, proposed to
him that he should murder her father and sister, together with the
gentle Aruns, that they might ascend the throne together. What a
dreadfully wicked woman she must have been, papa.

_Mr. B._ Dreadfully wicked, indeed, my dear. History presents us with
many very painful instances of the depravity of human nature. It is a
useful, but humiliating lesson. Proceed with your account, Louisa.

_Louisa._ A very little time afterwards, this wicked woman contrived to
poison her amiable husband, whilst Tarquin got rid of his virtuous and
gentle wife by the same means; and they were then so insolent as to ask
the consent of the king and queen to their marriage. Servius and
Tarquinia, though they did not give it, were silent. This disgraceful
marriage was celebrated shortly after, and was followed by intrigues
against the king. Tarquin and Tullia had not patience to wait till the
death of the good old monarch, which would have put them into quiet
possession of the crown, but endeavoured, by threats, to make him give
up his authority. When Tarquin found this plan was not likely to
succeed, he acted a new part. By the most affectionate behaviour, he
entirely regained the king's favour, and tranquillity seemed re-
established in the royal family. But it was not long before the cruel
Tullia put an end to it. She reproached her husband with cowardice,
insensibility, and stupidity. He was moved by these reproaches; gained a
number of young patricians over to his party; and contrived a stratagem,
which succeeded from the bold manner in which it was executed. I think
Ferdinand can explain it to you, papa.

_Mr. B._ Well, my boy, let us hear what it was.

_Ferdinand._ He clothed himself in the royal robes, sent some of
servants before, and, followed by a great number of his party, who had
swords under their robes, he crossed the Forum, and came to the gate of
the temple, where the senators used to assemble. He then sent messengers
to them all, commanding them, in king Tarquin's name, to attend
immediately, and seated himself on the throne. All the senators
assembled in haste; many concluded Servius was dead, and were afraid to
disobey the orders of the new king. When they were all collected
together, Tarquin began to rail against his father-in-law. In the midst
of his speech, Servius appeared; and, being enraged by the insolence of
Tarquin, rashly endeavoured to pull him from the throne. This raised a
loud shout, and occasioned great confusion, but nobody attempted to part
them. Tarquin, who was the strongest, seized the poor old man by the
waist, and harrying him through the temple, threw him down from the top
of the steps into the Forum. The old king, grievously hurt, and covered
with blood, raised himself up with much difficulty: but all his friends
had deserted him: scarcely a creature was found to lead him to his
palace, which he was not allowed to reach. Tullia advised her husband to
complete the bloody work he had begun; upon which he dispatched some of
his servants to overtake the venerable monarch, and deprive him of his
small remains of life. On her return home, the body of her murdered
father, still panting, lay in the street she had to pass. This inhuman
woman was not at all shocked at the horrid sight, but commanded the
charioteer to drive over it. The man, who had more feeling than the
cruel daughter, obeyed with reluctance; and, it is said, that not only
the chariot wheels, but even the clothes of the wicked Tullia, were
stained with her parent's blood.

_Edward._ Such horror was excited by these atrocities, and especially by
the barbarity of Tullia, that the street in which the transaction took
place, the day on which it was perpetrated, and the very name of the
parricide, were branded with perpetual infamy.

_Louisa._ I am glad that shocking account is finished: it really makes
one feel very uncomfortable. Servius was so good a man, too, I quite
pity him.

_Mr. B._ His wicked daughter is an object of still greater pity. The
sufferings of the good old king, we may hope, ended with this life;
whilst, we have every reason to believe, that the punishment of the
unnatural Tullia, would extend to the countless ages of eternity.
Servius was, indeed, an excellent prince: he subdued the enemies of
Rome, and was always desirous to avoid making new ones. He did not
conquer merely for the sake of glory, but for the public good. He made
Rome more formidable by twenty years' peace, than his predecessors had
done by many victories. He introduced order into the militia and public
revenues, extended the power of the senate, and yet kept its authority
within proper bounds. He was beloved by the people, and even his ancient
enemies, the patricians, esteemed his virtues; so that, if he could have
preserved the affection of his own family, he might have been said not
to have had a single enemy. He was, at the time of his death, seventy-
four years of age; of which he had reigned forty-four years. Tarquin
refused him the honours of a funeral, lest it might occasion a commotion
among the people. Tarquinia conveyed the body of her husband, privately,
by night, to his tomb, and she herself died on the following evening;
but whether from grief, or the wickedness of Tullia, is uncertain.

_Mrs. B._ This is, indeed, my dear children, a mournful account; but it
contains a very important lesson to all who are subject to the same
criminal enormities. At the commencement of her dreadful career, Tullia
would, perhaps, have recoiled with horror, from the hideous picture of
her own crimes. She might have remonstrated, as did Hazael to the
prophet: "What! is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great
thing?" The example of Tullia, forcibly teaches the progressive nature
and dreadful consequences of sin. It points out to us the danger of
entering upon a course of criminal indulgence, by showing the sad
extremes into which those are likely to be hurried, who resign
themselves slaves to ambition and to vice. Listen not, my children, to
the syren song of worldly pleasure; pursue not the gilded pageants of
time. Instead of amusing yourselces with these phantoms of a moment,
build up your happiness on the durable foundations of innocence and
virtue. Let us now turn from the dismal picture we have been
contemplating, though without forgetting the important lesson it
inculcates.  Ferdinand, my dear, tell us your promised story of the old
mand and his bundle of sticks.

_Ferdinand_.  An old man had several sons, who used very often to
quarrel with each other. Their father exerted his authority, and tried
every means in his power, in order to reconcile them, but all to no
purpose.  At length he assembled his family together, and ordered a
short bundle of sticks be brought, which he commanded them, one by one,
to endeavour to break.  They each tried, with all their might, but in
vain.  The sticks were firmly bound together, and no force they could
employ, could break them.  After this, the old man untied the bundle,
and gave a single stick to each of his sons, bidding them try to break
_that_, which they did with the greatest ease.  The father then said:
"Behold, my dear children, the power of unity.  If you would keep
yourselves strictly joined together by the bond of friendship, it would
not be in the power of any one to hurt you; but when once the ties of
brotherly love are dissolved, you are liable to be injured by the attack
of every enemy."

_Mr. B_.  It is an excellent fable, and I hope, my beloved children, you
will all attend to the lesson it conveys.  To see you united by the
tender hands of affection, is one of the first wishes of our hearts for
you.

"What a very pleasing manner of conveying instruction, is a fable," said
Edward.

"It is, my love," replied his father: "the ancients were aware of this,
and made great use of fables in their instruction of the young:
'Whatever is conceived by the mind, must enter by the senses; and moral
truth is never so easily understood, as when it is exemplified by
reference to some parallel case in nature.'  The various instincts of
brute creatures, are particularly useful for this purpose.  Moral good
and evil are, through their means, represented in a way which even
children can understand."

"Can you tell me, papa, what was the first origin of fables?" enquired
Ferdinand.

"It is not very clear, my dear," replied Mr. Bernard, "but it is
probable they are nearly as ancient as the history of mankind; or, at
least, that there never was a time, of which we have any knowledge, when
they were no familiar.  We first read of them as being used in Palestine
and Egypt, from whence they were even borrowed by the Greeks and Romans.
The earliest specimen of fables with which I am acquainted, occurs in
the book of Judges, where Jotham signifies to the people, the temper and
fate of a usurper, under the similitude of the trees going forth to
choose them a king." [Footnote: See Jones, on the Origin and Use of
Fables.]

_Ferdinand._  It is in the ninth chapter of Judges. I read it this
morning, but did not quite understand the intention of it.

_ Mr. B._  I will endeavour to explain it to you then, my love. You will
recollect, that the fruitful trees, when applied to, all declined taking
upon them the sovereign authority; but the bramble offers his services,
and gets into power. The moral of which, as applicable to the person of
Abimelech, was this:--that the desire of reigning does not prevail in
wise and good men, who should feed the people, and protect them under
the shadow of their authority; but chiefly in men of rough minds and
bloody intentions, who harass the people, and are, at last, consumed
with them, in the unjust exercise of their power.

"The parables made use of by our Saviour, are, I think, very much in the
form of fables," said Emily.

_Mrs. B._  They are, my love. They were delivered in this manner, for
the sake of some moral, which would either be obscure without an
illustration, or offensive to the bearers, if it were delivered in plain
terms.

_Louisa._  Nathan's reproof to king David, when he took away the wife of
Uriah the Hittite, is very beautiful. I read it a little time ago, in
the twelfth chapter of the second book of Samuel. He made use of a fable
to gain his attention.

_Mrs. B._  He did, my love. By putting a case in which David seemed to
have no immediate concern, he interested his affections; and when his
indignation was raised against a fictitious person, the prophet turned
it upon himself, with that striking application: "Thou art the man."
Then there was no retracting: he had already condemned himself, in the
judgement he had passed upon the cruel offender in the parable.

Mrs. Bernard now took out her watch, and expressed her surprise upon
finding it near ten o'clock.

Their father immediately requested them to prepare to retire, adding:
"To-morrow will be Sunday: I hope you will be in my study by seven
o'clock, that we may begin early the important duties of that sacred
day."

_Ferdinand._  I have been often surprised to find, that many people lie
longer in bed on Sundays, then on the other mornings of the week. This
must be wrong. They can rise six days a week to work, and not one to
worship. [Footnote: This was an observation, _verbatim_, of the same
little boy before mentioned.]

_Mr. B._ Your remark is a just one, my dear boy; let us, in our own
family, endeavour to set a different example. Good night, my children.


CONVERSATION VII.


The little party assembled this evening, as usual; but, being Sunday,
the conversation was less general, though not less cheerful than at
other times. Mr. and Mrs. Bernard possessed the happy art of presenting
religious instruction to their children, under the most pleasing form;
consequently, they did not dread the approach of the sabbath, as a day
when all pleasure must be excluded. On the contrary, it was hailed with
gladness: the business of the week was entirely laid aside, and their
minds were naturally turned, in thankfulness, towards the Divine Being
to whom they owed so much. The gracious God was always presented to
their view, surrounded by his benign attributes. They were instructed to
regard him, not only as the author of their existence, but as the source
whence every comfort flowed. They were taught to consider him, not a
severe judge, delighting in punishment, but a merciful father, who
withheld not even his only Son, but freely gave him up to die for
sinners, that they might be pardoned through his blood.  They were
instructed, fully to appreciate that mercy, which delighteth not in the
death of a sinner, but would rather that he should be converted and
live.  The beautiful prayers in the Liturgy, were explained to them in a
manner suitable to their different capacities; consequently, they were
not repeated by rote, as is too frequently the case, where the same
attention is not paid. Mr. and Mrs. Bernard took unremitted pains with
their children, and felt themselves amply rewarded by their conduct; for
though, like other human beings, they were fallible, and, consequently,
often did wrong, yet religious principle being the ground-work of their
characters, conviction instantly followed the commission of a fault, and
sorrow and repentance succeeded.

I hope, my dear young readers, you feel some degree of interest in my
little family, and some of you, perhaps, may wish to be as good and as
happy as they were: let me then most earnestly and affectionately
entreat you, to "remember your Creator in the days of your youth: while
the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when you shall say, I
have no pleasure in them."

After Ferdinand had repeated the text, and Emily, Edward, and Louisa,
had given an abstract of the sermon they had heard in the morning,
Louisa added: "I should have liked the sermon much better, mamma, if the
preacher had not been such a disagreeable-looking man."

"I should not have expected to have heard my little Louisa make so
foolish and improper a remark," replied Mrs. Bernard: "it reminds me of
an anecdote which I read a short time ago.  I will relate it to you, as
I think I cannot give you a more suitable reproof.  A person once
excusing his non-attendance at public worship, by pleading the
disagreeable appearance and manner of the minister, 'Let us look,' said
the good Bishop of Alet, to whom this man was addressing himself, 'more
at our Saviour, and less at the instrument.  Elijah was as well
nourished, when the bread from heaven was brought to him by a raven, as
Ishmael, when the spring of water was revealed to him by an angel.'"

"Thank you, my dear mamma," said Louisa: "it is a beautiful anecdote,
and I shall endeavour not to merit another reproof upon that subject."

Mrs. Bernard then produced a letter, which she had received from a
friend the day before, and desired Emily to read it aloud, as it
contained an account which she thought would both interest and instruct
the children.  "Read it slowly, my dear girl," continued she, "endeavour
to avoid hesitation, and lay your emphasis properly.  This is a very
material point. Lindley Murray, in his excellent Introduction to the
English Reader, says: 'It is one of the most decisive trials of a true
and just taste, and must arise from feeling delicately ourselves, and
from judging accurately of what is fittest to strike the feelings of
other.'"

Emily promised to attend to her mother's instructions, and taking the
letter, read the following extract.

"In the autumn of the year 1808, eight passengers, consisting of seven
gentlemen and one lady, embarked on board an American vessel, bound from
the port of Cronstadt to America, purposing to touch at England, in
company with a brig and another vessel.  They had scarcely proceeded
fifty leagues, when a violent storm arose.  The night was unusually
dark, and the ship ungovernable.  In this extremity, the brig suddenly
dashed against them with such force, that every plank seemed rent
asunder, and an instant after, they found themselves transfixed upon a
rock.  It was now near five o'clock in the morning.  They repeatedly
fired guns of distress, hung out signals, and at daybreak beheld, with
grateful delight, a large boat, rowed by two stout females, approaching
their ship.  The captain insisted that his eight passengers should go on
board the boat, whilst he and the seamen hastened to attempt the
preservation of their luggage and stores.  He entreated the women to
land their charge in safety, and then return, as expeditiously as
possible, for himself and his six sailors; as the ship leaked very fast,
and though the storm was abated, they were surrounded by such a cluster
of rocks, as to deprive them of all hope of getting off in safety.  The
two heroines steered their charge to the island of Stameo, a barren
rock, which they reached in about an hour. They conducted them to the
best hut on the island.  It was built of mud, and was the habitation of
two sisters, and several other females, who resided under the same roof.
They produced milk, dried fish, and rye bread, for the refreshment of
their wearied and exhausted guests.  They prepared a room, with beds,
for the gentlemen; and one of the boat-women gave up her own to the
lady, sleeping herself upon the oven.  Hospitality, affectionate
civility, and tender solicitude for their comfort, accompanied every
action, and occupied every thought.

"In vain they sought to gain the ship a second time: the swell was so
great, and the surf so strong, that no boat could venture--no vessel
dared approach.  Meanwhile, the generous crew were agitated by a
thousand fears. In vain they waited for the wished-for boat: no answer
was returned to their signals of distress--no pity shown for their
perilous state.

"Distracted by this delay, the captain ordered them to man the jolly-
boat, and arming himself and sailors with swords and pistols: 'My lads,'
said he, 'we will instantly seek our friends, and if the merciless
barbarians have robbed and murdered them, their lives shall pay the just
forfeit of their treachery.'

"The sailors instantly prepared to obey their commander.  They struggled
successfully against the roaring billows, and, benumbed with horror and
despair, at length reached the shore.  Here they wandered from one
wretched hovel to another, but no human voice broke upon their ear.  At
length they espied a solitary cow, and, mute with apprehension, sword in
hand, they hastened to the cot near which she was trying to graze.  With
a trembling hand and beating heart, the captain lifted up the latch,
and, on opening the door, imagine his joy on beholding his happy
shipmates safe.  His tongue denied him utterance--tears gushed
spontaneously to his eyes: with eager grasp he pressed his lost
companions to his heart, and in the rapture of that moment, all his
former sufferings were forgotten.  The hospitable board was filled
again, and every guest received a cordial welcome.

"Eleven days elapsed before the ship was again fit to put to sea.  When
the hour of departure arrived, a mutual interest animated their breasts,
and gratitude broke forth in thanks, from every tongue.  They begged
their kind hostesses to name the sum that would pay, as far as money
could, their offices of Christian charity. Fourteen persons, for eleven
days, to board, wash, and lodge, had nearly exhausted all their winter
store.  After a short consultation, the elder sister returned, with a
large Bible, translated into the Fins language, and given to the
islanders by Gustavus Adolphus, and said: 'We are not aware that we have
acted beyond what every Christian is in duty bound to do.'  Then,
opening the Bible, 'in this,' continued she, 'we learn that duty which
all our Christian brethren practise.  Distress, which claims, must
always find relief while it can be obtained; if, however, it will make
you more happy, that we should take some reward, provided two rubles
(four shillings and eight-pence) be not thought too much, that sum will
amply repay us.'  Then, taking the lady's hand, 'we regret,' continued
she, 'that we can never be assured of what would rejoice our hearts, and
reconcile us most to your departure, which is, that you all reach your
native land in safety, and find your parents and relations well.  Then
wishing them prosperous gales, they bid farewell, and parted, probably
for ever.

"Stameo is situated in the Gulph of Finland. It is one of the small
islands nearly opposite Fredericstadt, and distant about twenty verstes
[Footnote: A Verste is about 31 English miles.]. It is a barren rock of
granite, with scarcely any herbage, and only a few fir-trees here and
there. It is about three miles in extent, and has ten or twelve mud
huts, containing, men, women, and children, fifty souls. They were
formerly under the dominion of Sweden; but at the defeat of Charles the
Twelfth, by Peter the Great, became subject to the Russian government.
They are of the Lutheran church, though there is no place of public
worship on the island. Both men and women are expert at fishing, on
which they chiefly depend for subsistence; and keep up a sort of traffic
with Fredericstadt, exchanging fish, both dried, fresh, and pickled, for
rye, flax, wood, and vegetables. Their labour exceeds belief: they rise
at four o'clock, and instantly begin the labour of the day. The hut is
first cleaned and put in order: they then commence spinning, in which
they particularly excel, and continue working till eight at night. Their
breakfast is dispensed by the hostess of the hut, to all the family, who
eat it standing. It consists of black bread, fish dried or pickled, and
goat milk, when it is to be had: when that cannot be procured, they are
satisfied with pure water. Sixteen persons out of the fifty lived in
this hut, and were in possession of more comforts than might have been
expected.

"They are very net in their houses, persons, and dress. The bedding is
excellent: the blankets and linen are fine, warm, and white; the pillow-
cases and sheets have fine, open-worked, deep borders. Their dress is
becoming and modest, uniting warmth with convenience. The married women
hide their hair under a close, embroidered, silk cap, with a plain lace
border over their cheeks. The single women exhibit their beautiful
flaxen tresses, which they plat round their heads, or let it hang at
full length, with a knot of ribbon at the end, to confine the braid.

"Their government is truly patriarchal. The mistress of the house is
called mamma, and when advice is wanted, they assemble five or seven of
the elders, who confer on the subject, and decide, in a few minutes, on
the best means of acting. Such was the case when they determined on the
sum to be paid by the strangers.

"As soon as their youth attain the age of fourteen years, they go every
Sunday in boats to Fredericstadt, to learn their creed and catechism,
and to hear the word of God: they are also taught to read and write. In
winter, the clergyman crosses twice to them, to administer the sacrament
to the sick and aged.

"One Christian charity unites their minds. They are faithful to their
promises, honest, temperate, sober, and benevolent. They fear God, and
honour their king. In a word, they are virtuous, innocent, and happy;
and when told of vices, they seem to consider it as we do fairy tales:--
stories to listen to, but not believe.

"Two cows supply them all with milk; a few pigs with animal food: when
these fail, fish and water are the substitutes."

_Edward_.  It is a very interesting account, my dear mother; but I did
not think that any people in the world were so innocent--so free from
vice.  The Scriptures tell us, that the heart of man is deceitful above
all things, and desperately wicked; but this happy little community
seems quite an exception to the general rule.

"No doubt, their hearts, like those of the rest of mankind, are prone to
evil," replied Mrs. Bernard, "but being, from their insulated situation,
in a great measure removed from the commerce of men, and, consequently,
from many temptations by which the inhabitants of large societies are
beset, and making the sacred Scriptures the guide of their conduct, they
appear happily preserved from the commission of those crimes, to which
many individuals, more exposed to the temptations of the world, so
fatally fall victims. Nothing is so destructive to the morals of the
young, as indiscriminate intercourse with the world. In the bosom of
your own family, you are most likely to be secured from a temptation to
false pleasures; and there do I earnestly hope, my dear children, you
will ever find your chief enjoyment; since no felicity is so pure and
innocent, as that which results from an affectionate attachment to your
domestic circle."

_Emily_.  We should be ungrateful, indeed, were we not happy at home; as
I am sure it is the constant endeavour of both you and our dear father,
to make us so.

"We are amply repaid for all our efforts," said her tender mother, "when
the smile of good-humour enlivens your countenances, and beams delight
around our little circle.

"Now, Edward, read us the extract you have made from Sir Matthew Hale's
Contemplation upon Contentment," said Mr. Bernard.

"Indeed, my dear father," replied he, "I am sorry to say I have not
finished it. I put it off on Monday and Tuesday, when I had, certainly,
plenty of time, thinking I should readily accomplish it before the end
of the week; but in consequence of this delay, and several unexpected
circumstances intervening, to employ my time, it is wtill unfinished. I
hope you will excuse this neglect, and by next Sunday I will endeavour
to be prepared."

_Mr. B_.  I am sorry to see in you a sad habit of procrastination, and
want of punctuality. I assure you, my dear boy, that, to a man of
business, such a habit is more ruinous; and if not subdued in youth,
will surely grow the more confirmed by age, and blight his fairest
prospects.

Edward felt the justice of his father's reproof, and, bending his eyes
upon the ground, remained silent, forming a resolution to amend, and
hoping that he might never again incur his father's displeasure for a
similar fault.

Mr. Bernard perceived, by his countenance, what was passing in his mind,
and affectionately taking his hand, confirmed his good resolve by a
smile of approbation. Then, taking up Cecil's Remains, that lay upon the
table, he opened it, and read aloud the following passage:

"Method, as Mrs. More says, is the very hinge of business, and there is
no method without punctuality. Punctuality is important, because it
subserves the peace and good-temper of a family. The want of it not only
infringes on necessary duty, but sometimes excludes this duty.
Punctuality is important, as it gains time: it is like packing things in
a box; a good packer will get in as much again as a bad one. The
calmness of mind which it produces, is another advantage of punctuality.
A disorderly man is always in a hurry: he has no time to speak with you,
because he is going elsewhere; and, when he gets there, he is too late
for his business, or he must hurry away to another before he can finish
it. It was a wise maxim of the Duke of Newcastle:--'I do one thing at a
time.' Punctuality gives weight to character. Such a man has made an
appointment;--then I know he will keep it. And this generates
punctuality in you; for, like other virtues, it propagates itself.
Servants and children must be punctual, where their leader is so.
Appointments, indeed, become debts.--I owe you punctuality, if I have
made an appointment with you; and have no right to throw away your time,
if I do my own."

When Mr. Bernard had finished reading, Edward thanked his father, and
promised to endeavour to correct his bad habit. His parents united in
encouraging him to make a steady effort, assuring him that they felt
convinced that it would be attended with success, and recommending him
to commit to memory the preceding admirable paragraph. His father then
changed the subject, by enquiring whether Louisa had any thing new to
repeat to them before they separated.  She answered in the affirmative,
and immediately recited the following lines from Miss Carter's Poems.

"Grant me, great God, a heart to thee inclin'd, Increase my faith, and
rectify my mind; Teach me by times to tread thy sacred ways, And to thy
service consecrate my days. Still, as through life's perplexing maze I
stray, Be thou the guiding star to mark my way; Conduct the steps of my
unguarded youth, And point their motions to the paths of truth. Protect
me by thy providential care, And warm my soul to shun the tempter's
snare. Through all the shifting scenes of varied life, In calms of ease,
or ruffling storms of grief; Through each event of this inconstant
state, Preserve my temper equal and sedate. Give me a mind that nobly
can despise The low designs, and little arts of vice, Be my religion
such, as taught by thee, Alike from pride and superstition free. Inform
my judgment, regulate my will, My reason strengthen, and my passions
still. To gain thy favour, be my first great end, And to that scope may
every action tend. Amidst the pleasures of a prosperous state, Whose
fluttering chains the untutor'd heart elate, May I reflect to whom those
gifts I owe, And bless the bounteous hand from whence they flow. Or, if
as adverse fortune be my share, Let not its terrors tempt me to despair;
But, fix'd on thee, a steady faith maintain, And own all good, which thy
decrees ordain; On thy unfailing providence depend, The best protector,
and the surest friend. Thus on life's stage may I my part sustain, And
at my exit, thy applauses gain. When the pale herald summons me away,
Support me in that dread catastrophe; In that last conflict guard me
from alarms, And take my soul, aspiring, to thy arms."

_Mrs. B._  The lines are excellent, Louisa, and you have repeated them
as if you understood their meaning.  What is the "pale herald," alluded
to in the last verse?

_Louisa_.  Is it not Death, mamma?

_Mrs. B._  It is, my dear.  The concluding lines contain a supplication
for fortitude and serenity at that awful hour, which every individual
must one day meet.

_Emily_.  There is something very solemn in the contemplation of death,
my dear mother. It is an idea that often casts a gloom over my gayest
hours.

_Mrs. B._  A firm reliance on the power and mercy of God, with an humble
confidence in the redeeming love of Christ, will banish that fearful
dread which might otherwise obscure the closing scene.  Even in that
extremity, the true Christian has nothing to fear; he may say, with the
Psalmist, "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they
comfort me."

At this moment the clock struck eight, at which hour the servants always
joined the family, that they might have the advantage of hearing their
excellent master read such portions of the sacred Scriptures as were
best adapted to their capacities and circumstances; after which, the
solemn duties of the day were closed with prayer and thanksgiving, and
the children retired to their pillows, serene and happy.


CONVERSATION VIII


A very fine autumnal morning induced Mrs. Bernard to excuse the children
some of their lessons, that they might avail themselves of the
opportunity it afforded of enjoying a country walk, at this delightful
season of the year.  She considered every object in nature, as a book
from which, with a careful guide, much useful instruction might be
derived; and she never neglected any opportunity of enlarging their
minds, and elevating their thoughts, by directing their attention from
the various beauties of creation, to the kind and omnipotent Father, who
has graciously prepared for his dependent children, so many unmerited
blessings.

"Pray, mamma, what has become of all the swallows we saw flying about a
few weeks ago?" enquired Ferdinand: "I cannot see one now.  I was very
much amused, when we last walked this way, in watching their rapid
motions: other birds are here as usual, but I do not observe a single
swallow."

Mrs. Bernard took him by the hand, saying, "You have, my dear boy,
put a question to me, which I shall not be able to answer to your
satisfaction. It is a subject that has puzzled naturalists more than
many others, and opinions upon it are still very various.  Some suppose
that they migrate into milder climates, whilst others conclude, they
conceal themselves in some warm spot, and lie dormant, as is the case
with many animals during the severity of the winter months. In
confirmation of this latter opinion, some few have been discovered in
sandbanks, apparently dead, but, upon being laid before the fire, have
recovered their former vigour. If, however, the vast multitudes that
visit us, universally adopted this mode of concealment, they would be,
no doubt, frequently discovered in their winter retreats, which is not
the case. Mr. White, of Selborne, a man of great observation,
particularly directed his attention to this point, but was not able to
decide it to his own satisfaction. I think he seems of opinion, that the
majority of them migrate, and that some few of late broods, which have
not attained sufficient strength to join the travellers, conceal
themselves as before mentioned, reviving upon the return of spring."

_Ferdinand_. They seem to be curious birds: will you be so kind, mamma,
as to tell us some particulars respecting them? Pray, are not martins
very similar in their habits to swallows?

_Mrs. B._ They belong to the same order, called _hirundines_. There are
four kinds of British _hirundines_:--the house-martin, the swallow, the
swift, and the bank-martin, which have each habits peculiar to
themselves. The swallow is the first that makes its appearance in
spring; generally about the middle of April. It frequently builds in
chimneys, five or six feet from the top, and prefers those stacks where
there is a constant fire; no doubt, for the sake of the warmth. It does
not select the immediate shaft where there is a fire, but prefers one
adjoining the kitchen, and disregards the smoke by which it is almost
continually enveloped. The nest of the swallow, like that of the house-
martin, consists of a shell, composed of dirt or mud, mixed with short
pieces of straw to strengthen it. The shape is, however, somewhat
different: it is lined with fine grass and feathers, which are collected
by the little architects as they float in the air. Having constructed
their dwelling, the hen lays from four to six white eggs, dotted with
red specks, and brings out her first brood about the last week in June.
I have been frequently amused in watching the progressive method by
which the young ones are introduced into life: they first emerge from
their place of concealment with difficulty, and frequently I have found
a young one in the parlour, which had fallen down the chimney in its
first attempt to leave the next. For a day or two, the old ones feed
them on the chimney-top, after which, they conduct them to the dead
bough of some tree near at hand, where they continue attending them with
the greatest assiduity. In a few days after this, the young brood is
enabled to fly, but it is some time longer before the little creatures
can take their own food; until which time, they are fed by the parent
birds, with the most affectionate solicitude. As soon as they are
disengaged from their necessary attendance on their first brood, they
betake themselves to the business of rearing a second, which they bring
out towards the end of August. This little bird is an instructive
pattern of unwearied industry and affection; for, from morning till
night, whilst their young ones require support, they spend the whole day
in their service. Their food consists of flies, gnats, and a small
species of beetle, and they drink as they fly along, sipping the surface
of the water. They settle, occasionally, on the ground, to pick up
gravel, which is necessary to grind and digest the food of all birds.
[Footnote: for the preceding and following account, see White's Natural
History of Selberne.]

_Ferdinand_. Pray mamma, how can we distinguish a swallow from the other
species of _hirundines_? I think that is the name by which you call
them.

"By the length and forkedness of their tails," returned Mrs. Bernard:
"they are much more nimble, too, than the other species."

_Louisa_. Do they always build in chimneys, pray, mamma?

_Mrs. B._ Although the shaft of a chimney is the place of which they
usually make choice for this purpose, they sometimes vary their plan.
In Sir Ashton Lever's Museum, was the nest of a swallow built on the
wings and body of an owl, which happened, by accident, to hang dead and
dry from the rafter of a barn; and another in a large shell, which was,
the following year, suspended in the same place. You have, no doubt, my
dear children, all observed vast flocks of swallows assemble together on
the roofs of houses; they chirp, and chatter, and seem very busy,
preparing for their ensuing migration, and consulting, as it were, upon
the plan most proper to be adopted on this occasion. I have often
wished, at such times, that I could understand their language. There is
seldom one of these birds to be seen after the middle of October; but to
what regions they fly, we do not exactly know; though I read, in Dr.
Russel's account of Aleppo, that numbers of these birds visit that
country towards the end of February, when they build as in Europe, and,
having hatched their young, disappear about the end of July.  They are
also said to be by no means uncommon North America. Sir Charles Wager
and Captain Wright, saw vast flocks of them at sea, when on their
passage from one country another.  White, in a pretty little poem, which
he calls "The Naturalist's Summer Evening Walk," addresses them as
follows:

"Amusive birds! say where your hid retreat, When the frost rages, and
the tempests beat; Whence your return, by such nice instinct led, When
spring, soft season, lifts her bloomy head? Such baffled searches mock
man's prying pride, The God of nature is your secret guide."

Professor Kahn, in his travels into America, relates an interesting
anecdote, of a pair of swallows which built their nest in a stable
belonging to a lady of his acquaintance. The female laid her eggs, and
was about to brood them: some days elapsed, and the people saw the
female still sitting on the eggs, but the male, flying about the nest,
and sometimes settling on a nail, was herd to utter a very plaintive
note, which betrayed his uneasiness. On a nearer examination the female
was found dead on the nest, and, on her being removed, the male took his
seat upon the eggs; but after remaining upon them about two hours, he
went out, and returned in the afternoon, bringing with him another
female, which sat upon the nest, and afterwards fed the young ones till
they were able to provide for themselves, with as much assiduity and
kindness as their natural parent could have done.

The children were all much interested in the account which their mother
had given them, and united in requesting some information respecting the
other species of _hirundines_. This, Mrs. Bernard most willingly gave
them, as follows:

"The house-martin, my dears, usually appears a few days later than the
swallow. For some time after their arrival, they play and sport about,
without any preparation for constructing their nests, which they do not
attempt to build till about the middle of May. At this season, if the
weather be fine, they begin seriously to think of providing a mansion
for their little family. This bird usually builds against a
perpendicular wall, without any projection to support the fabric; it is,
therefore, very necessary that the first foundation should be firmly
fixed. For this purpose, the prudent little architect is careful not to
advance in her work too rapidly. By building only in the morning, and
dedicating the remainder of the day to food and amusement, she gives it
sufficient time to dry and harden, seldom building more than half an
inch in a day."

_Ferdinand_.  Mamma, I have seen workmen, when they build mud walls,
raise but a little at a time, and then leave off: very likely it was
their observation of the martin's plan, which first taught them this
prudent caution.

_Mrs. B._  Very probably, my dear. We might learn many a useful lesson
from the sagacity and careful economy of animals, were we not above
attending to such humble instructors.

_Ferdinand_.  Yes, mamma; the shepherd, in one of Gay's Fables, which I
learned the other day, gained almost all his wisdom from his observation
of animals.  You know, he says to the philosopher:----

"The cheerful labours of the bee, Awake my soul to industry, Who can
observe the careful ant, And not provide for future want? My dog, (the
trustiest of his kind,) With gratitude inflames my mind; I mark his
true, his faithful way, And in my service, copy Tray--In constancy and
nuptial love, I learn my duty from the dove. The hen, who from the
chilly air, With pious wing protects her care, And every fowl that flies
at large, instruct me in a parent's charge.

                 Thus every object in creation;
                 Can furnish hints to contemplation;
                 And from the most minute and mean,
                 A virtuous mind can morals glean."

_Mrs. B._  Very true, my dear: and I am pleased to find you have
materials at hand to support your opinion.

_Ferdinand_.  But I have interrupted you, mamma, in your account.  Pray
go on, for I am very much interested in it, and want to know in how many
days the careful little laborers complete their house.

_Mrs. B._  In about ten or twelve days the mansion is finished; strong,
compact, warm, and perfectly fitted for all the purposes for which it
was intended; but very often, after this industrious little bird has
finished the shell of its nest, the house-sparrow seizes it as its own,
turning out the rightful master, and lining it after its own manner.

_Ferdinand_.  Poor little bird!  how I should pity him, to be deprived
of his house after having constructed it with so much labour.  I should
think, such strong nests would last more than one season, mamma?

_Mrs. B._  And so they do, my dear.  Martins will continue to breed for
several years together in the same nest, when it happens to be well
sheltered, and secure from the injuries of the weather.  The hen lays
from four to six white eggs; and, like the swallow, as soon as the young
are able to shift for themselves, the old ones turn their thoughts to
the business of rearing a second brood.  About the beginning of October,
they retire in vast flocks together.

_Louisa_. How are house-martins distinguished from the others, pray,
mamma??

_Mrs. B._ By having their legs covered with feathers quite down to their
toes.  They are no songsters, but twitter in their nests, in a pretty,
inward, soft manner.

_Louisa_. Now, pray mamma, give us some account of the swift.

_Mrs. B._ Most willingly, my dear Louisa. This is the largest of the
British _hirundines_, and makes its appearance much later in the season
than the others I have mentioned; being seldom seen before the last week
in April, or the first week in May. It is by no means so skilful an
architect as the two species I have already noticed. Making no crust or
shell to its nest, it forms it of dry grass and features, very rudely
put together, and constructing it in some dark corner of a castle,
tower, or steeple; this species cannot, therefore, be so narrowly
watched as the others, which build more openly. They are almost
constantly on the wing, never settling, either on the ground, on the
roofs of houses, or in trees, as is the case with the other species. The
female lays only two eggs, which are milk-white, long, and peaked at the
small end. It is a very lively bird, rising early and retiring to rest
late, and is observed, in the height of summer, to be on the wing
sixteen hours a day. Like the martin, they are no songsters, having only
one harsh, screaming note, which, however, I cannot consider
disagreeable. It is never heard but in the most lovely summer weather,
and, consequently, the sound occasions in my mind a pleasing association
of ideas, which I like to indulge. If by any accident they settle upon
the ground, they find great difficulty in rising, on account of the
shortness of their legs and the length of their wings: neither can they
walk conveniently, they only crawl along.

_Louisa_. They seem, in many respects different in their habits from the
other species you have mentioned, mamma: how may we distinguish them by
their outward appearance?

_Mrs. B_. The peculiar formation of the foot plainly discriminates them,
for it is so disposed, as to carry all its four toes forward; which
clearly accounts for the difficulty it finds in walking. As they arrive
later, so they retire sooner than the others, being seldom seen after
the middle of August. Are you not tired, my children, with my long
account of these birds?

"Oh no, dear mamma: pray tell us something about sand-martins too,"
exclaimed each of the children; "we shall then be able to distinguish
each of the four species of British _hirundines_."

Mrs. Bernard assured them, she would willingly comply with their
request, as far as she was able to do it: "but," added she, "it is
difficult to gain full and exact information respecting the lives and
habits of these little birds, which are extremely wild by nature,
disclaiming all domestic attachments, and haunting heaths and commons,
far from the resorts of man.  They are very fond of water, and are never
known to abound but near vast pools or rivers.  They form their nests in
a manner totally different from the varieties I have mentioned; boring a
round hole in the sand, in a serpenting direction, and about two feet
deep.  At the further end of this burrow, they form their rude nest;
consisting of fine grass and feathers, laid together with very little
art.  It is wonderful to observe what arduous undertakings perseverance
will accomplish.  One would suppose it almost impossible that this
feeble bird, with its soft bill and tender claws, should be able to bore
a stubborn sand-bank, without injury.  Sand-martins are much smaller
than any other species of _hirundines_, and also differ from them in
colour, being what is termed mouse-colour, instead of black.  They fly
also in a peculiar manner, by jerks, somewhat resembling a butterfly.
They are by no means so common as the other species; for there are few
towns or large villages that do not abound with house-martins; few
churches, towers, or steeples, but what are haunted by swifts; scarcely
a cottage chimney that has not its swallow; whilst the bank-martins,
scattered here and there, live a sequestered life, in sand-hills and in
the banks of rivers."

_Ferdinand_. Do they sing, mamma?

_Mrs. B._ No, my dear; they are particularly mute, only making a little
harsh noise when any person approaches their nest.  They lay from four
to six white eggs, and breed twice in the season.

_Louisa_.  Have you any thing more to tell us on this amusing subject,
my dear mother?

_Mrs. B._  No, my dear: I believe I have now told you most of the
important particulars respecting these curious little birds.  But I have
an account in my pocket-book, which I extracted from a book I was
reading last week--"Bingley's Animal Biography:"  I will read that to
you, if you please.  It is respecting a foreign species of _hirundines_,
called the esculent martin.

The children all united in begging to hear this account; upon which Mrs.
Bernard took it from her pocket, and read the following extract:

"The esculent martin is said to less in size than the wren. The bill is
thick; the upper parts of the body brown, and the under parts white. The
tail is forked, and each feather is tipped with white. The legs are
brown.

"The nest of this bird is excessively curious, and composed of such
materials, that it is not only eatable, but is considered one of the
greatest dainties that the Asiatic epicures possess. It generally weighs
about half an ounce, and is, in shape, like half a lemon; or, as some
say, like a saucer with one side flatted, which adheres to the rock. The
texture is somewhat like isinglass, or rather more like fine gum-dragon;
and the several layers of the matter it is composed of, are very
apparent; being fabricated from repeated parcels of a soft slimy
substance, in the same manner as the common martins form theirs of mud.
Authors differ much as to the materials of which it is composed: some
suppose it to consist of sea-worms, of the mollusca kind; others, of a
kind of cuttle-fish, or a glutinous sea-plast called agal-agal. It has
also been supposed, that the swallows rob other birds of their eggs,
and, after breaking the shells, apply the white of them to that purpose.

"The best sorts of nests, which are perfectly free from dirt, are
dissolved in broths, in order to thicken them, and are said to give them
an exquisite flavour. They are soaked in water to soften, then pulled to
pices, and, after being mixed with ginseng, are put into the body of a
fowl. The whole is then stewed in a pot, with a sufficient quantity of
water, and left on the coals all night. The following morning it is
ready to be eaten."

"Pray, mamma, what is _ginseng?_ I never heard of it before," said
Louisa.

_Mrs. B._ It is the root of a small plant, growing in China, Tartary,
and likewise in some parts of North America, particularly Canada and
Pennsylvania, from whence considerable quantities have lately been
brought over here. Amongst the Chinese, it is esteemed a medicine of
extraordinary value.

"A medicine! mamma," exclaimed Louisa; "I thought you said they put it
into the stuffing of their fowl!"

"And so they do, my dear," returned Mrs. Bernard, "it is by no means of
an unpleasant taste, as it has a mucilaginous sweetness, approaching to
that of liquorice, accompanied with an agreeable bitterness, and a
slight aromatic warmth, with little or no smell."

_Louisa._ Thank you mamma. Now will you go on with your account?

_Mrs. B._ "The nests of which I was speaking, are found in vast numbers
in many islands of the Eastern Archipelago. The best kind sell in China,
from one thousand to fifteen hundred dollars the picle, a weight of
about twenty-five pounds. The black and dirty ones only sell for twenty
dollars.

"Sir George Staunton, in his Embassy to China, says: 'These nests are a
considerable object of traffic among the Javanese, and many are employed
in it from their infancy. The birds having spent near two months in
preparing their nests, usually lay two eggs, which are hatched in about
fifteen days. When the young birds become fledged, it is thought time to
seize upon their nests, which is done regularly three times a year, and
is effected by means of ladders of bamboo and reeds, by which the people
descend into the caverns; but when these are very deep, rope-ladders are
preferred. This operation is attended with much danger, and several lose
their lives in the attempt. The inhabitants of the mountains generally
employed in it, begin always by sacrificing a buffalo; a custom which is
constantly observed by the Javanese, on the eve of every extraordinary
undertaking. They also pronounce some prayers, anoint themselves with
sweet-scented oils, and smoke the entrance of the cavern with gum-
benjamin. Near some of these caverns, a tutular goddess is worshipped,
whose priest burns incense, and lays his protecting hand on every person
intending to descend. A flambeau is carefully prepared at the same time,
with a gum which exudes from a tree growing in the vicinity, and is not
easily extinguished by fixed air, or subterraneous vapours.'"

The children were delighted with this account, and thanked their mother
for the amusement and instructions she had kindly afforded them. They
each determined, before the following spring, to provide themselves with
a book, for the purpose of keeping a diary, and noticing the different
objects that might engage their attention. They had been so much
interested by their mother's conversation, that the beauties of the
surrounding scenery had almost passed unnoticed. She now directed their
attention to the fine open country that lay behind them. A beautiful
little copse they were just entering, quite charmed Emily, who was a
great admirer of rural scenery. "The autumnal tints add to the riches of
the foliage, and improve our present prospect, my dear mother," said
she, "but make us fear that a very few weeks will deprive us of our
pleasure."

"That is very true, Emily," added Louisa, "but we shall have new
pleasures in the place of those we love. Think of the delightful winter
evenings which we always so much enjoy. I really scarcely know what
season to prefer. Spring is very charming; in summer too we have many
pleasures; and, at this moment, I feel as if a morning walk in autumn
were the best of all."

Mrs. Bernard smiled at the cheerful vivacity of Louisa, and recommended
to each of the children the cultivation of a contented disposition,
which knows how to derive comfort from circumstances in themselves
unpromising.

At this moment they turned into a little glen, and were delighted with
the rural appearance of a cottage, shaded by lofty trees. They
approached its humble door, which stood open, and beheld a young
cottager, who was singing at her spinning-wheel, and too much engaged by
her occupation to notice their approach. Mrs. Bernard drew back a few
paces, and whispered to Emily the following lines, which this sweet
scene recalled to her mind:

"E'en from the straw-roof'd cot, the note of joy Flows full and
frequent, as the village fair, Whose little wants the busy hour employ,
Chaunting some rural ditty, soothes her care.

"Verse softens toil, however rude the sound; She feels no biting pang
the while she sings, Nor, as she turns the giddy wheel around, Revolves
the sad vicissitude of things."

Then, again approaching the cottage, she accosted the young girl, who,
with a modest blush, arose from her wheel, and hastily pushing it on one
side, invited her unexpected visitors to take a seat, and rest
themselves after their walk.

Pleased with their reception, Mrs. Bernard accepted her invitation; and,
upon entering into conversation with the young cottager, became more and
more interested in her favour. There was that modest reserve in her
manner, which is particularly pleasing in youth.

In answer to Mrs. Bernard's questions, she informed her, that she was,
in very early life, left an orphan; having lost both her parents before
she had attained her third year. Since which time, she had been indebted
to an aged grandmother for protection and support.

"We have both worked hard for our livelihood," said Mary, (for that was
the young cottager's name,) "and, thank Heaven, we have never wanted the
_necessaries_ of life; _more_ we have never wished for. My grandmother
weeds in the squire's garden hard by, and I earn a trifle at my wheel."

Just as Mary had said these words, they perceived an old woman
approaching. She was leaning on the arm of a fine, healthy-looking
youth. A deeper blush, which at this moment dyed the cheeks of the
pretty young cottager, told a tale she would wittingly have concealed.

"Is that your grandmother, Mary?" enquired Mrs. Bernard.

_Mary_. Yes, Madam.

_Mrs. B._ And the young man is your brother, I suppose?

"No, Ma'am," said Mary, blushing still more deeply: "I have no brother.
That is Henry, our neighbour Farmer Wilson's son; and he is always very
kind to my grandmother."

By this time, the old woman had reached the cottage door, and was
introduced by Mary to her new guests. The young man made a rustic bow
and retired.

Mrs. Bernard soon entered into conversation with the old woman, and was
not less pleased with her, than she had before been with her grand-
daughter. There was an air of cheerful content in her countenance, which
bespoke that all was peace within, and prepossessed you more completely
in her favour than any words could have done.

After some conversation, the old woman, turning to her grand-daughter,
said: "The ladies will perhaps eat an apple, Mary."

Mary instantly left the cottage to gather some; and her grandmother took
that opportunity of passing upon the good girl, a well-merited eulogium.
"She is my greatest comfort, Madam," said she; "and I may truly say.
from the day she was born, she never willingly gave me a single moment's
uneasiness. To be sure, I do feel very anxious about her at times;
particularly since she and Henry have taken such a fancy to each other.
Times are so hard, Ma'am, and money so scarce, that I dare not consent
to their marrying. And yet it grieves me to the heart to keep them
asunder; for he is as good as she herself, and almost as dear to me."

Mrs. Bernard enquired what means Henry had of supporting a wife, and
found he was the younger son of a small farmer in the neighbourhood, who
had a large family to establish in the world, and very little to
accomplish it with.

Mary's return at this moment, with a basket of fresh-gathered apples,
interrupted the conversation; and the children, after regaling
themselves with her little offering, took their leave, and, accompanied
by their mother, bent their steps towards home.

Ferdinand, who was a child of great observation, seldom proceeded far
without discovering some object to interest his attention. He had
remained a considerable distance behind his mother, exploring the hedges
for some new flower or insect that he had not before examined, when his
attention was attracted by a wasp, which, having seized a fly almost as
large as himself, was endeavouring to carry the prize to his nest; but
the wind blowing in a contrary direction, acted so forcibly upon the
extended wings of the fly, that the poor wasp, with all his efforts,
could make no progress. Ferdinand was anxious to see how he would act in
this difficulty, and called his mother and sisters, to smile with them
at the insect's perplexity. In a few minutes, the wasp alighted upon the
ground, and, with the most persevering industry, sawed off, with his
teeth, the two wings of the fly, and then flew away with the body, in
triump, to his young ones.

"Well done, wasp," cried Ferdinand; "you do deserve that meal, however.
But is it not a wonderful instance of sagacity, mamma?  Who would expect
it in an insect! Do you suppose it knew this by instinct?"

"We are led to believe, my love," repied Mrs. Bernard, "that man alone
acts by the higher principle of reason; but I have met with many
instances of sagacity in the brute creation, which almost puzzle me,
when I ascribe their actions merely to instinct:

            Remembrance and reflection -- how allied!
            What thin partitions sense from thought divide!"

"It is astonishing how completely some animals will accommodate
themselves to circumstances. I will relate to you an anecdote which a
friend of mine told me a few weeks ago."

"Pray do, dear mamma," said Ferdinand; "I quite enjoy an anecdote.  I
suppose it is true?"

"Yes, my dear, it is quite true," returned Mrs. Bernard:  "the gentleman
of whom I spoke, has a little monkey, which frequently affords him much
amusement, by his sagacious, imitative tricks.  As he was one day
sitting near the pen in which the monkey was confined, he observed him
making many ineffectual efforts to regain a nut which had rolled beyond
his reach.  After several vain attempts, he took up a stick, and with
this he endeavoured to draw it towards him, but still without success.
Baffled, but not discouraged, he proceeded to select a second stick,
from a bundle that lay beside him, measuring it against the one he had
before found useless.  With this longer twing he set himself again to
his task.  This proving aslo insufficient, he adopted the same plan in
the selection of a third, and so on; always discarding the shortest, til
he found one that was long enough to touch the nut.  But this increased
his difficulty, by rolling it to a still greater distance. Upon this he
sat himself in a contemplative posture for a few minutes, as if
considering what was best to be done in this emergency; when, hastily
turning over the whole bundle of sticks he made choice of one of
considerable length, and hooked at the end, by means of which he, with
much apparent delight, accrued his prize."

"Well, that was a most capital contrivance," said Ferdinand; "and it
puts me in mind of a clever plan which I saw our own dog, Brush, adopt
yesterday. A bone that was thrown him, fell, like the monkey's nut,
beyond the reach of his chain, and, finding he could not obtain it by
means of his fore paws, he turned round, and throwing out his hinder
legs, readily reached it, and drew it to his kennel."

Just as Ferdinand had concluded his story of Brush, his attention was
caught by a beautiful dragon-fly, which flitted above his head. He
hastily threw up his handkerchief, and took the insect prisoner.

"It is rather late in the season, is it not, mamma, to see these insects
abroad?" said he, carefully unfolding his handkerchief, and discovering
his prize. "Do look what a beautiful crature. Do they sting, pray?"

"No, my dear, but they bit sometimes, rather fiercely. Their bite,
however, is perfectly harmless, therefore you need not look so much
alarmed, Ferdinand. Examine its eyes. You perceive they are very large
and prominent, covering almost the whole head. As it seeks its food
flying in the air, this seems a very necessary provision. By means of
these eyes, it can see in almost every direction at the same instant.
Dragon-flies are extremely voracious, and are the greatest tyrants of
the insect tribe. When we think them idly and innocently flitting about
in the cheerful sunshine, they are, in fact, only hovering up and down
to seize their prey."

"Which are the insects upon which they particularly feed, mamma?"
enquired Ferdinand.

_Mrs. B There is none, how large soever, that they will not attack and
devour. The blue fly, the bee, the wasp, and the hornet, are their
constant prey; and even your favourite butterfly is often caught, and
treated without mercy. Their appetite seems to know no bounds; and they
have been seen to devour three times their own size, in the space of a
single hour.

"Oh, the greedy creatures; I cannot forgive them for destroying the
pretty butterflies," said Ferdinand: "to wasps and hornets they are
perfectly welcome. Are they produced from eggs, like other insects,
pray, mamma?"

"Yes, my dear: the female deposits her eggs in the water, where they
remain some time, apparently without life or motion. The form they first
assume, is that of a worm with six legs, much resembling the dragon-fly
in its winged state, the wings being as yet concealed within a sheath
peculiar to this animal."

"What do they feed upon in this state, pray, mamma?" enquired Louisa.

"Upon the soft mud and glutinous earthy substances that are found at the
bottom," replied her mother.

"Pray, mamma, how long do they continue in their reptile state?" said
Emily.

"For a whole year, my dear," returned her mother. "When they parepare to
change to their flying state, they move out of the water to a dry place;
such as into grass, to pieces of wood, stone, or any thing else they may
meet with. There they firmly fix their sharp claws, and, for a short
time, continue quite immovable. It has been observed, that the skin
first opens on the head and back, and out of this aperture they exhibit
their real head and eyes, and at length their six legs; whilst the
hollow and empty skin remains firmly fixed in its place. After this the
creature creeps forward by degrees; drawing, first its wings, and then
its body, out of the skin; it then sits at rest for some time. The
wings, which were moist and folded together, now begin to expand. The
body is likewise insensibly extended, until all the limbs have attained
their proper size. The insect cannot at first make use of its new wings,
and is, therefore, obliged to remain stationary until its limbs are
dried by the air. It soon, however, begins to enter upon a more noble
life than it had before led at the bottom of the brook; and from
creeping slowly, and living accidentally, it now wings the air, adorning
the fields with beauty, and expanding the most lively colours to the
sun."

"Well, my pretty fly," said Ferdinand, "you have afforded me much
amusement, and now I will release you from your captivity." So saying,
he opened his handkerchief, and gave his prisoner liberty.

In a few minutes they reached home, highly pleased with their morning's
ramble.


CONVERSATON IX.


Mr. Bernard having dined from home, the children had not, till they met
round the tea-table in the evening, an opportunity of telling him how
pleasantly they had spent their morning, and how much information their
mother had given them respecting the habits of the swallow tribes.  "But
even now," added Edward, "I do not feel quite satisfied with regard to
their migration.  Pray, papa, what is your opinion upon that subject?"

_Mr. B._  I am decidedly of opinion that they do migrate, my dear.  The
internal structure of such animals as continue during winter in a torpid
state, is peculiar: both the formation of the stomach, and the organs of
respiration, differ from such as are constantly in a state of activity
and vigour.  Mr. John Hunter, one of our most celebrated English
anatomists, dissected several of these birds, but did not find them in
any respect different from the other tribes; from which he concludes the
accounts of their turpitude to be erroneous.  Now, although I feel no
doubt myself, that such instances have occurred, yet I by no means
believe them to be frequent. Indeed, a particular friend of mine, a
skilful navigator, tells me he has not infrequently seen, when many
hundreds of miles distant from shore, large flights of these birds; and
that his ship has often afforded the poor little travellers a most
seasonable resting-place, in their toilsome journeys.

"Oh, well papa," said Edward, "if a friend of yours has really seen
them, I can believe they do migrate; but I do not like to give up an
enquiry, till my mind is satisfied upon a subject."

_Mr. B_.  Within certain restrictions, your resolution is good, Edward;
but if you can believe nothing but what I, or some friend of mine, can
attest from our own observation, your incredulity will deprive you of
much valuable information. The great advantage of reading is, that it
enables us to gain instruction from the observation of others, on
subjects beyond the reach of our own experience.

_Edward._  Very true, papa: but do you not think that many authors make
mistakes, and put things in books that are not facts?

_Mr. B._ I do, my dear boy; and I always endeavor, when I meet with a
difficulty, to consult a variety of authors upon the same subject, and,
by this means, generally find I can discover the truth.

"In future I will endeavour to do so too, papa," said Edward, "and will
not allow my doubts to prevent my improvement; for I am sure I am at
present very ignorant. Every day, and almost every hour, I meet with
something that I do not understand--something that surprises me. Papa,
you have read, and thought, and seen so much, I should think you would
never meet with any thing new."

_Mr. B._ Indeed, my dear boy, you are much mistaken; I seldom read any
book without gaining from it some new idea, or some additional
information upon a subject with which I was before but imperfectly
acquainted. This very morning, for instance, in the book you saw me
reading at breakfast-time, I gained information that was entirely new to
me.

_Louisa._ Oh, pray papa, was it upon a subject we could understand, if
you were to be so kind as to tell us?

_Mr. B._ Yes, my dear girl, I think you might understand it, if you were
to pay attention to it; although it was a treatise upon comparative
anatomy I was reading.

_Louisa._ Oh, then, papa, I am sure I could not understand any thing
about it. I never heard of such a subject before.

_Mr. B._ Is that any proof that you will not understand it when you do
hear of it, Louisa? Do not allow yourself to be frightened by a hard
name, my dear; it is a proof of great weakness of mind. Edward,
endeavour to explain to your sister the meaning of the word anatomy.

_Edward._ I believe, papa, it is the study of animal bodies; more
particularly, their internal organization.

_Mr. B._ Yes and it also implies the dissecting, or cutting them to
pieces, to ascertain the structure and uses of their several parts.
Well, Louisa, what do you now think of anatomy? You have been much
pleased with your mother's description of the external structure and
habits of the swallow, this morning; now pay the same attention to my
account of the internal organization of the ostrich and cassowary, to-
night, and I think you will find it quite within the limits of your
comprehension.

_Louisa._ I will, indeed, attend, papa; and I hope I shall understand
you.

_Mr. B._ The more minutely, my dear children, you investigate the hidden
wonders of nature, the more firmly will you be convinced of the
unlimited power, as well as infinite mercy, of its Supreme Author. The
superintending providence of God, is as plainly manifested in the
provision made for the meanest reptile, as it is in the wonderful
formation of man.  Each bird, beast, fish, and insect, is endowed with
powers best suited to its wants, and most calculated to promote its
enjoyment.  In the cassowary of Java, a region of great fertility, the
colon is no more than one foot long; whilst in the ostrich, doomed to
seek its food in the wide and sandy deserts of the African continent, it
is _forty-five_ feet in length.

"Pray, papa, what is the _colon?_? enquired Louisa.

"It is one intestine," replied Mr. Bernard, which converts the food into
nourishment. You will now instantly perceive the wisdom of this
arrangement.  In the cassowary, the food passes very quickly through
this short channel, by which means, but a very small portion of its
nutritive particles is taken into the system, and the bird is thereby
preserved from many diseases, to which it would be liable, if the whole
of the food it devoured were converted into fat and nourishment.  The
ostrich, on the contrary, who can gain but a slender supply of food in
the desolate regions which it inhabits, is provided with a colon so
long, that every particle of nourishment is extracted, before it has
passed this channel; hence, the latter derives as much actual support
from her slender supply of food, as the former does from her abundance.

_Louisa_.  Thank you, papa.  I understand what you have told us, quite
well, and think it a very curious and a very wise contrivance.

_Mr. B._  Now then, tell me, in your turn, Louisa, how history has gone
on since we last met.

_Louisa_.  But, papa, we have not yet concluded the account of our walk.
Had we not better finish one subject first?

Mr. Bernard agreed to the propriety of Louisa's remark, and she entered
with great animation upon the description of the beautiful little
cottage, the pretty, innocent cottager, the nice, neat old woman, and
the bashful-looking youth, and concluded by expressing her sorrow, that
Mary and Henry could not be married; because she was such a pretty
creature, she had no doubt they would make the happiest couple in the
world.

Mr. Bernard endeavour to explain to Louisa, that beauty was by no means
the only requisite in a companion, where happiness was the object.

"Oh, no! I know that, papa," returned Louisa; "I recollect that Mrs.
Horton told us, that the peacock, beautiful as it is, has but few really
amiable qualities; but I cannot help admiring pretty people, and if you
saw Mary, I am sure you would admire her too; for she looks so good-
humoured and so modest, so cheerful, so industrious, and so very pretty,
papa, that you could not help loving her.  Don't you think so, mamma?

_Mrs. B._  I think there certainly is something very interesting in her
appearance, and, I assure you, Louisa, I am quite disposed to think
favourably of her; but we shall have an opportunity of seeing more of
her, probably, and then we can form a more decided opinion of her
character.  There is always danger in giving way to a sudden
prepossession in favour of a stranger.

_Edward._  But, mamma, do you think it possible not to feel a
prepossession in favour of such a sweet-looking girl as Mary?

_Mrs. B._  I do not think any one could avoid thinking favourably of
Mary; nor do I wish to check a generous sentiment in favour of a
stranger, at any time, my dear children.  Caution is necessary, but
suspicion is hateful; and I would rather you should be often deceived,
than never feel a confidence.  When I was young, I was once imposed upon
by a person quite as pleasing in manners and appearance as the young
cottager. I was warned that there was danger in trusting to appearances,
but disdained the caution of those who were older and wiser than myself.
I suffered for my folly, and would have you learn prudence from my
experience.

_Louisa_.  Do, mamma, tell us the story.  I dare say it is an
interesting one.

_Mrs. B._  Not at present, my dear; your father wishes to hear what
history you have read since Saturday.  Besides, an account of the
depravity of a fellow-creature, can never be a very interesting topic of
conversation.

_Louisa._.  No mamma, certainly it is not: but how did she impose upon
you?  You are so careful, you know--so prudent.

_Mrs. B_  But at that time I was credulous and imprudent, as I have
already told you, my dear, and was deceived by a pleasing address, and a
mournful tale.

_Louisa_.  Oh, do tell me, dear mamma.  I do love a mournful tale.

_Mrs. B._  But this was, in all probability, a fabricated story, to
impose on the incautious: at least, I have every reason to consider it
so.  I found out so many untruths, that I was inclined to think the
whole a complete falsehood.  But we will not dwell longer upon this
subject at present:  at some future time, if we have nothing upon which
we can  more profitably employ our attention, I may perhaps give you a
full account of the affair; but I have mentioned it to your father
before, and will not, therefore, trouble him to listen to a repetition,
as nothing is more tedious than a twice-told tale.

_Ferdinand_.  I want to ask you a question, papa, before we begin our
history. It is quite different from any thing we have been hitherto
talking of, to be sure; but I was reading a book to-day, in which,
speaking of some crime, it mentioned that it was punished by death,
without benefit of clergy. Now I do not know what benefit of clergy
means, and I thought you would be so good as to explain it to me.

_Mr. B._ That I shall most willingly, my dear boy. In order to encourage
the art of reading in England, which formerly made but slow progress,
the capital punishment for murder was remitted if the criminal could
read; and this, in law-language, is termed benefit of clergy.

_Edward._ I should think the art must have made very rapid progress,
when so highly favoured.

_Mr. B._ It does not appear that this was the case; for so small an
edition of the Bible as six hundred copies, translated into English, in
the reign of Henry the Eighth, was not completely sold in three years.

_Emily._ How different, my dear father, are the happy days in which we
live. No family, however indigent, need now be without a Bible.

_Edward._ And almost every poor child has an opportunity, in some of the
numerous charity-schools that are every where established, of learning
to read it too, which is better still.

_Mr. B._ We do, indeed, my beloved children, live in very glorious
times. The scriptural prophecy seems to be fast accomplishing, which
declares, that "the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the
waters cover the sea." May we prize our high privilege, and may our more
virtuous conduct bespeak our gratitude for the superior blessings we
enjoy.

_Louisa._ In the days of the cruel Tarquin, papa, of whom we have been
reading in our Roman history, the religion of Jesus Christ was not
known. The wicked Tullia could not, I think, have acted so basely, had
she been a Christian.

_Mr. B._ Those who act up to the _precepts_ taught by Christianity, my
dear girl, must act virtuously; but the _name_ of Christian will be
found by no means sufficient for any of us.

_Louisa._ Papa, it is very uninteresting to read about wicked people. I
do not feel the least inclination to give you any account of Tarquin and
Tullia. On the contrary, I quite enjoyed talking of the good Numa
Pompilius, and Servius Tullius.

_Mr. B._ Much is to be learned from history, my dear. It unmasks the
human character. You there read man as he is, and trace the fatal
effects of vice upon society, as well as the pleasing consequences of
virtue. But let me now hear how Tarquin behaved, on mounting the throne
so basely acquired. _Emily._  The whole series of his reign was suitable
to the manner of his accession to the throne.  Scarcely had he seated
himself there, when, from his capricious humour and arrogant behaviour,
he acquired the surname of the Proud.  He refused to consult, either
with the senate or people; but having secured a sufficient number of
soldiers to guard his person and execute his will, arbitrary power
actuated all his proceedings.  Informers were dispersed throughout the
city, the king was sole judge of the accused, and wealth and merit were
considered unpardonable crimes.

_Edward_.  The cruel murder of the venerable Marcus Janius, was a proof
of what Emily has just mentioned.  He was descended from a noble family,
and possessed great riches, on which account, Tarquinius Priscus had
allowed him to marry his youngest daughter.  The wicked Tarquin, in
order to get possession of his estate, caused both him and his son to be
assassinated. His youngest son escaped the same fate, by pretending to
be an idiot, from whom he supposed he had nothing to fear.

_Ferdinand_.  He was mistaken, however; was he not, Emily?

_Edward_.  Stop, stop, Ferdinand; you must not forestal our history.
Let Louisa give some account of Tarquin's government first.

_Louisa_.  Emily has already told you it was very tyrannical.  To avoid
the effects of his cruelty and avarice, the most worthy men in the
senate went into voluntary banishment.  The people at first rejoiced to
see the great thus humbled; but they were soon treated quite as ill as
the patricians, and all the laws which had been made in their favour,
were unmade again.

_Mr. B._  You have not expressed yourself well, my dear Louisa.  When a
law is unmade again, as you call it, we say it is annulled.

_Louisa_.  Thank you, papa.  Well then, all the laws made in favour of
the people, which had pleased them so much, were annulled.  The poor
were obliged to pay the same taxes as the rich.  Nor would they allow
any meetings, even for amusement, either in the town or country.

_Mrs. B._  It is astonishing that the people bore such oppressions
without revolt.

_Edward._  Indeed, mamma, Tarquin was justly afraid they would not; on
which account, he gave his daughter in marriage to a man of considerable
interest among the Latins, in hopes he should strengthen himself by this
foreign alliance.  He also employed the people in finishing the common
sewers, and the great Circus which his grandfather had begun; knowing
that constant employment was the best means to prevent their brooding
over their oppressions, and planning schemes of revenge.

_Mr. B._  His conduct was well judged, and likely to be attended with
success, as far as the common people were concerned; but he could not
employ the patricians in these labours. How were they kept in
subjection? for their wrongs appear to have been quite as flagrant as
those of the plebeians.

_Edward._  Indeed, papa, they were not kept in subjection at all. A
great number of them fled from Rome, and took refuge in Gabii, a city of
Latium, about a hundred furlongs distant.

_Mr. B._  Can Ferdinand tell us how many miles that is?

_Ferdinand._  If I consider a minute, I think I can, papa.  There are
eight furlongs in a mile, so I must divide a hundred by eight, which
will go twelve times and four over; therefore, it was exactly twelve
miles and a half from Rome.

_Mr. B._  You are quite right, my boy.  You may now go on, Edward.

_Edward_.  The inhabitants of Gabii were touched with compassion, to see
so many considerable persons thus cruelly persecuted, and resolved to
espouse their cause, by beginning a war with the king of Rome. This war
lasted seven years; sometimes one having the advantage, sometimes the
other. The inroads and devastations made on both sides, prevented the
regular sowing and reaping of the corn, which at length produced a great
scarcity in Rome. This increased the discontents of the people, who were
suffering so cruelly on account of the hatred borne by their neighbours,
not against them, but against their king; and they urgently demanded
either peace or provisions.

_Mr. B._  Affairs seem now coming to the extremities with Tarquin, I
think.

_Ferdinand._ They are, indeed, papa, and you cannot think what a
treacherous plan he contrived to extricate himself from his
difficulties.

_Louisa_. No indeed, Ferdinand, it was not Tarquin who contrived the
plot; it was his shocking son, Sextus Tarquinius, who was, I really
think, a more wicked man than his father.

_Ferdinand._  So it was, Louisa: pray let me tell about it. He pretended
to quarrel with his father, papa, declaring he was a great tyrant, who
had no compassion, even for his own children. Upon this, the king
ordered him to be publicly beaten in the Forum. All this was repeated at
Gabii, by persons who were in the secret, and whom they thought they
could trust. The Gabini believed it all, and were very anxious to get
Sextus amongst them. After many secret invitations, he agreed to their
request, provided they first gave him their solemn promise, never, on
any pretence, to deliver him up to his father. When he reached Gabii, he
talked constantly of the tyranny of the king of Rome, and acted, in
every respect, as the declared enemy of his country. He frequently made
inroads on the Roman lands, and came back loaded with spoil; his father
always contriving to send against him such weak parties, that he easily
conquered them. By these means, Sextus gained very great credit among
the Gabini. They at last chose him general of their army, and he was as
much master there, as Tarquin was in Rome.

_Louisa._ Ah! now comes the treachery. Oh, papa, what a very base thing
it is to betray those who place confidence in us. I cannot bear Sextus.

_Ferdinand._ Well, Louisa, now pray do not interrupt me just in this
very interesting part. Finding his authority so firmly established, he
sent a slave to his father, to enquire what he should do. The king dare
not treat the slave with his answer, even in writing; so he took him
into the garden, and there struck off the heads of all the tallest
poppies. Having done this, he sent back the messenger. Sextus, who
understood the meaning of this action, assembled the Gabini, and
pretended to have discovered a plot to deliver him up to his father. The
people, who were very fond of him, fell into a great rage, and begged
him to declare the names of the conspirators. He mentioned Antistius
Petro, who was, from his merit, the most considerable person in the
country. He, knowing his innocence, despised the accusation; but Sextus
had bribed his servants to convey amongst his papers some pretended
letters from the king of Rome, which being produced and read, the
populace, without further examination, immediately stoned him to death.
The Gabini then committed to Sextus the care of discovering his
accomplices, and appointing their punishment. He instantly ordered the
city gates to be shut, and sent officers into every quarter, to cut off
the heads of all the most eminent citizens, without any mercy; and in
the midst of the confusion occasioned by this dreadful massacre, he
opened the gates to his father, who had previously had notice of his
design, and who entered the city with all the pride of a conquerer.

Just as Ferdinand had finished this account, and before he had time to
make any comment upon it, Mr. Dormer was announced, a gentleman who
lived at no great distance from Mr. Bernard's, and who frequently, in an
evening, made one at his social fire-side. His kind, conciliatory
manners, had endeared him to the children, and he was, in his turn, much
pleased with their amiable frankness, and tender attachment to each
other.

Being a man of general information, and possessing an enlarged and
cultivated mind, his conversation was both amusing and instructive, and
he was always a welcome guest at Broomfield.

"I hope I have not interrupted any agreeable topic of conversation,"
said he, drawing Ferdinand between his knees.

Mr. Bernard assured him he could never be considered an interruption,
and proceeded to tell him how they had been engaged previously to his
entrance.

Mr. Dormer highly approved the plan of impressing instruction upon the
minds of young people by conversation, and regretted that it should be
generally so much neglected. "I dare say the little folks look forward
with great delight to the approach of evening," said he.

"Oh yes, Sir, that we do," replied Louisa: "we see so little of our dear
father in the day-time, that it is really quite a treat to sit down
altogether at night, and tell him what we have said, and thought, and
done, in the day; for I like that papa and mamma should know all my
thoughts, as well as my actions."

_Ferdinand_.  And so do I too; but mine are often very silly thoughts,
not worth any one's knowing.  I wish I could keep them in better order.
Those lines written by Cowper, which I learnt the other day, are very
true, mamma:--

"We may keep the body bound, but know not what a range the spirit
takes." [Footnote: This was an actual remark of the little boy that has
been before mentioned.]

Mr. and Mrs. Bernard looked at each other, and smiled with delight, to
find their dear boy entered so completely into the spirit of his
lessons, and was able to apply, in so proper a manner, the knowledge he
had acquired.

"Your fire-side circle seems so complete," said Mr. Dormer, "and you
appear so thoroughly to enjoy each other's society, that I fear a
proposition, which I have called this evening with the purpose of
making, will not be received so favourably as I could wish.  What do you
say to my running away with one of your party?"

"Not papa or mamma," said all the children at once: "we cannot spare
them, indeed, Sir."

Mr. Dormer assured them he had no intention of depriving them of either
of their valuable parents, even for a single day. "But," added he,
"unexpected business calls me to Plymouth. I shall be absent about a
fortnight or three weeks, and shall be very dull without a companion.
Ned, my boy, what say you to accompanying me?"

Edward was delighted with the proposal, and anxiously looked at his
parents for their permission to accept Mr. Dormer's invitation. It was
willingly granted, and Edward received the affectionate congratulations
of his brother and sisters upon the occasion; who, far from envying him
the pleasure that awaited him, sincerely rejoiced in his good fortune,
and only requested to be made partakers of his pleasure, by letter.

"I shall set off the day after to-morrow," said Mr. Dormer, "so you have
no time to lose, Edward."

_Edward._ Oh sir, I shall be ready; you need not fear my
procrastination, on this occasion.

"Nor on any other occasion, I hope, my dear boy," said Mr. Dormer, "for
it is a most ruinous habit for a youth to indulge in."

Edward looked a little conscious of his deficiency in this particular,
but again promised strict punctuality.

The clock at this moment struck nine, a signal for the children to
retire. They instantly arose, and, taking an affectionate leave of the
party, withdrew.


CONVERSATION X.


This being the last evening before Edward's departure, the family could
not be assembled so regularly as usual. Mrs. Bernard was engaged with
Edward up stairs, arranging his clothes, and other matters that were
necessary, preparatory to his journey. Mr. Bernard, in the mean time,
devoted himself exclusively to the other children below. Little Sophy
was allowed to make one of the party, and amused them with her cheerful
vivacity, till Jane came with the unwelcome news that it was bed-time.
After she had taken her leave, Louisa sat down to complete a baby's cap,
which she had begun the preceding evening; and Ferdinand was going to
attempt to copy a house, that Edward had, in the morning, sketched for
him, when Mr. Bernard, who generally took an opportunity, when not
alone, of speaking to the children upon any little impropriety of
conduct, called Ferdinand to him, and, with the most endearing
gentleness, told him, that he had remarked in him that day, as well as
on several former occasions, an unwillingness to acquiesce in the
commands of his mother, unless he were informed what were her reasons
for urging them. "Every child, my dear boy," continued he, "who wishes
to learn, must bring with him that teachable disposition, which is
willing to receive rules implicitly, and rust to the future for a
knowledge of the reasons on which they are grounded.  A child who is
resolved to take the judgment of no one but himself, concerning the
impropriety of what is proposed to him, will absolutely prevent the
possibility of improvement; at least, he will lose a great deal of time,
and, what is still worse, will contract bad habits in the beginning,
and, in all probability, find himself unfit to be taught, when he would
gladly learn. One of the first duties of children, is obedience: indeed,
instruction can, in no instance, be built on any other foundation. If
examples in proof of this were wanting, I could give you many.  The
recruit learns his exercise on the authority of his officer, because he
is himself ignorant of the art of war.  The reasons for the different
manoeuvres, he will discover when he comes into action. General Wolfe
told his soldiers, that if the French should land in Kent, as they were
at that time expected to do, actual service in that enclosed country,
would show them the reason of several evolutions, which they had never
hitherto been able to comprehend."

Ferdinand confessed the truth of all his father had said, but, at the
same time, thought it far better to know the motive of actions and
commands, when it was possible.

"But it is so often impossible, my dear boy," continued Mr. Bernard,
"that it is far better to make implicit obedience the groundwork of your
conduct, particularly when the commands are from your excellent mother;
to whom you all owe so much, and whose wishes are ever dictated by
reason, though it may not be always either necessary or proper to
disclose those reasons to you.  The Lacedeaeonians carried the doctrine
of submission so far, that they obliged their Ephori to submit to the
ridiculous ceremony of being shaved, when they entered upon their
office; signifying, by this act, that they knew how to practise
submission to the laws of their country. In short, my dear boy, it is a
universal rule, that he who will gain any thing, must give up something;
he that wishes to improve his understanding, his manners, or his health,
must contradict his will. This may not be an easy task; but you will
find it much harder to suffer that contempt, which is always the portion
of those who neglect the acquirement of wisdom and of virtue. The wisest
of men are often obliged to adopt the principle I have been recommending
to you. I will tell you an anecdote, in confirmation of this assertion:
'A gentleman appointed to a government abroad, consulted an eminent
person, who was at that time the oracle of the law, as to the rule of
his future conduct in his office, and begged his instructions. 'I take
you,' said he, 'for a man of integrity, and therefore the advice I must
give you in general is--to act in all cases according to the best of
your judgment.  However, I have this rule to recommend: never give your
reasons. You will gain no ground that way, and may, perhaps, bring
yourself into great difficulties by attempting it. Let your motives be
those of an honest man, and such as your conscience will support you in;
but never expose them to your inferiors, who will be sure to have their
reasons against yours; and while these matters are discussed, authority
is lost, and the public interest suffers.' Thus, my dear Ferdinand, you
see, that when children submit to the direction of their parents and
teachers, who are bound, by affection and interest, to promote their
happiness, and who will certainly take pleasure in explaining to them,
at proper times, the motives by which they are actuated, they do but
follow the example of all communities of men in the world: who are
passive for their own good; who are governed by laws, which not one in
five hundred of them understand; and who submit to actions, of which
they cannot see either the propriety or justice. Now, if children are
only required to submit to the same necessary restraints that are
imposed upon men, no indignity is offered to them, nor can they have any
just cause of complaint. Your own sense, my love, if you consult it,
will convince you, that society could not subsist, nor could any
instruction go forward, without obedience. Consider the wisdom and
happiness which are found amongst a swarm of bees. They are a pattern to
all human societies. There is perfect obedience, perfect subordination:
no time is lost in disputing or questioning, but business goes forward
with cheerfulness at every opportunity, and the great object is the
common interest. All are armed for defence, and ready for work.
Recollect, too, what is the fruit of their wise economy:--they have a
store of honey to feed upon, when the summer is past. Follow their
example, my dear boy; and such, I hope, will be the fruit of your
studies."

Having said these words, Mr. Bernard kissed Ferdinand with the fondest
affection.  He owned himself convinced, most fully, by his father's
arguments, of the impropriety of his past conduct, and promised, in
future, to yield implicit obedience to the wishes of both his dear
parents.

"And now, my dear girl," continued Mr. Bernard, turning to Louisa, "I
have also something to say to you, respecting your noisy, boisterous
manner of entering a room.  It is extremely unbecoming in any well-
educated person, but in a little girl, from whom we expect the greatest
delicacy and gentleness, such rough, unpolished manners, are
particularly disagreeable. A very intimate friend of mine, the other
day, was speaking of your conduct in terms of general approbation, but
she ended by regretting extremely, that awkwardness of manner which
prevents your appearing in so agreeable a light as other children, who
are not possessed of half so many real excellencies.  I should be very
sorry to have you neglect the _jewel_, in order to polish the _casket_;
but having secured the _one_, can see no objection to your attending, in
some degree, to the improvement of the _other_. A diamond is, when first
dug from the mine, a valuable acquisition, but its beauties are not
discovered till the hand of the polisher has brought to light its hidden
lustre.  A pleasing, gentle deportment, places female virtue in the
fairest point of view; and I hope, my dear love, you will not neglect
its assistance, in the formation of your character."

Louisa thanked her father for his advice, and promised, in future, to
pay greater attention to her manners, in which respect she had certainly
been hitherto very deficient.  Having completed her cap, she enquired
whether there would be time for her to have a lesson in natural history:
adding, I have, by means of "Bingley's Animal Biography," taught myself
a good deal, without your assistance, papa.  I have learnt that the
animals in the first class, Mammalia, have warm and red blood, that they
breathe by means of lungs, that they are viviparous, which means
bringing forth their young alive, and that they suckle them with their
milk. The jaws are placed one over the other, and are covered with lips.
The seven orders into which this class is divided, are, as mamma taught
me last week, Primates, Bruta, Ferae, Glires, Pecora, Belluae, and Cete.
All this, you see, papa, I have remembered pretty well.  Will you now be
so kind as to tell me what animals belong to the first order, Primates,
and how they may be distinguished?

_Mr. B._  The principal animals of this order are, man, the ape, the
various tribes of monkeys, and the bat.  They have, in each jaw, four
front, or cutting teeth; except in some species of bats, which have,
occasionally, only two, and at others none.  They have one canine tooth
on each side, in both jaws. Mr. Bernard then desired Louisa and
Ferdinand to open their mouths, and he would show them which were the
canine teeth; and, pointing to the sharp, single tooth, situated next to
the double ones, he told them that all animals preying upon flesh, were
provided with those sharp instruments, for the purpose of tearing their
food to pieces.

_Louisa_.  The more I study nature, my dear papa, the more clearly do I
see the goodness and mercy of God, who has so wisely provided for the
various wants of his creatures.

_Ferdinand_.  I am not surprised that men and monkeys should be ranged
in the same class, because they are, in many respects, very similar in
their appearance; but bats, papa, seem so extremely different.  They are
a great deal more like birds than man.  They have wings, you know, and
flit about exactly like birds.

_Mr. B._  If you regard their wings alone, they might be classed as you
propose, Ferdinand; but if you attend to their formation, with the eye
of a naturalist, you will find that they have all the characteristics
which determine the class Mammalia.  They are viviparous, and they
suckle their young.

_Ferdinand_.  And so do cows, horses, pigs, and many other animals: do
they, then, belong to the same class?

_Mr. B._  Yes, my dear: cows belong to the class Mammalia, but to the
fifth order, Pecora, which is known by their having several blunt,
wedge-like front teeth in the lower jaw, and none in the upper.  Their
feet are defended by cloven hoofs.  They live entirely upon vegetable
food, and all ruminate, or chew the cud.

_Ferdinand_.  Pray, what does that mean, papa?

_Mr. B._  All the genera in this order, my dear, are provided with four
stomachs.  They swallow their food without chewing, which is received
into the first stomach; here it remains some time to macerate, and
afterwards, when the animal is at rest, by a peculiar action of the
muscles, it is returned to the mouth in small quantities, then chewed,
and swallowed a second time for digestion.

_Ferdinand_.  Do horses and pigs belong to the order Pecora, likewise?

_Mr. B._  No: they are both ranked in the order Bellua.  They have
obtuse front teeth. Their feet are armed with hoofs; in many whole, in
others divided.

_Louisa_.  I take notice, papa, you always mention the teeth: I suppose
they are of consequence, in determining the order.

_Mr. B._  Yes, my dear, they are one of the most striking
characteristics.

_Ferdinand_.  You were surprised, Louisa, to find that bats were
considered of the class Mammalia; but I think it is much more
extraordinary that whales should be ranked under the same head with men.
I always thought they were great, large fishes.

_Mr. B._  They differ from fishes as much as bats differ from birds.
Like them, they bring forth their young alive, and suckle them with
their milk.  They breathe by means of lungs, like land animals, being
totally destitute of gills. But here come your mother and Edward: let us
move our table, and make room for them by the fire.  They will find it
very comfortable, after their employment in the cold.

Louisa jumped up, and, in her usual bustling manner, was preparing to
obey her father, but suddenly recollecting the advice which he had just
given her, she corrected herself, and, with the greatest gentleness,
removed every obstacle; set two chairs for her mother and brother, in
the place she thought most comfortable; and, to her great surprise,
found the business effected as soon, or sooner, than it would have been
with the greatest noise and bustle.

Her father perceived her caution, and gave her a smile of approbation,
which filled her with delight.

Whilst Mrs. Bernard and Edward warmed themselves, the children continued
their conversation.

"Pray, papa," said Ferdinand, "to what order do mice belong?"

_Mr. B._  To the fourth, Glires: but, unless you know the peculiar
characteristics by which each order is distinguished, you will never be
able to recollect the answers I have given to your desultory questions
this evening.  I have, in my pocket-book, a short account of each order,
which I yesterday wrote out for Louisa, and which I should wish you to
copy neatly, into a book devoted to the purpose of observation on
natural history.  Mr. Bernard then gave to Louisa a paper, containing
the following account:

The _Primates_, which is the first order of the class MAMMALIA, have
four parallel front, or cutting teeth, in each jaw; except in some
species of bats, which have either two only, or none.  They have one
canine tooth on each side, in both jaws.  The females have two pectoral
mammae, or breasts.  The two fore feet resemble hands, having fingers,
generally furnished with flattened, oval nails.  Their food is both
animal and vegetable.  The  principal animals in this order are, man,
the ape and lemur tribes, and the bats.

2nd. The _Bruta_ have no front teeth in either jaw: their feet are armed
with strong, blunt, and hoof-like nails. Their form is, to appearance,
clumsy, and their pace usually slow. Their food is principally
vegetable.  None of the animals of this order are found in Europe: they
consist of the sloths, the ant-eaters, the rhinoceros, elephant, and
manati.

3rd.  The _Ferae_ have generally six front teeth, of a somewhat conical
shape, both in the upper and under jaw: next to these, are strong and
sharp canine teeth; and the grinders are formed into conical, or pointed
processes.  Their feet are divided into toes, which are armed with
sharp, hooked claws.  This tribe is predacious, living almost entirely
upon animal food; and consists of the seal, dog, cat, weasel, otter,
bear, opossum, kangaroo, mole, shrew, and hedgehog genera.

4th. _Glires_ are furnished with two remarkably large and long front
teeth, both above and below, and are destitute of canine teeth.  Their
feet have claws, and are formed both for bounding and running.  They
feed on vegetables. The genera are, the porcupine, cavy, beaver, bat,
marmot, squirrel, dormouse, jerboa, and hare.

5th.  The _Pecora_ have several blunt, wedge-like front teeth, in the
lower jaw, and none in the upper.  Their feet are armed with cloven
hoofs.  They live on vegetable food, and all ruminate, or chew the cud.
The genera are, the camel, musk, deer, giraffe, antelope, goat, sheep,
and cow.

6th.  _Belluae_ have obtuse front teeth.  The feet are armed with hoofs;
in some whole or rounded, in others obscurely lobed or sub-divided. They
live on vegetable food.  The genera are, the horse, hippopotamus, tapir,
and hog.

7th.  The _Cete_, or Whales, although they resemble fishes in external
appearance, are ranged very properly amongst the Mammalia, having warm
blood, similar lungs, teats, &c.  Instead of feet, they are provided
with pectoral fins, and a horizontally flattened tail, fitted for
swimming. They have no hair.  The teeth are in some species
cartilaginous, and in others bony.  Instead of nostrils, they have a
tubular opening on the top of the head, through which they occasionally
spout water.  They live entirely in the sea; feeding on the soft marine
animals and vegetables.

The children carefully read over this paper, exclaiming: "It is almost
exactly what you have told us before, papa, only here we have it all at
one view."

_Mr. B._  Do you understand the signification of all the words, my
dears?

The children looked over it again.

_Louisa.  Predacious_ papa; I do not know the meaning of that word.

_Ferdinand_.  Oh, Louisa!  I can tell you that. A predacious animal is
one that preys upon others.

_Louisa_.  Thank you, Ferdinand.  _Conical_? Does not that mean, in the
form of a sugar-loaf?

"It does, my dear," replied her father: "do you understand the meaning
of _pectoral fins_?"

"No, I do not," answered Louisa.

_Mr. B._  They are fins growing by the breasts, and serve them to clasp
their young, as well as for the purposes of feet.

"I am not certain that I understand the meaning of the word
_cartilaginous_, but believe it signifies, that the teeth of the whale
are sometimes formed of gristle, instead of bone," said Ferdinand.

_Mr. B._  You are quite right, my love; and now, if you fully comprehend
the meaning of all the words, we will attend to our Roman history a
little.  Let me hear what more you have read respecting Tarquin and his
infamous son.

_Edward_.  We have finished the account of the regal government.
Tarquin and his son behaved so basely, that the people could no longer
bear their tyranny and oppression, but boldly threw off the yoke.  We
must, however, first tell you, papa, what became of the poor inhabitants
of Gabii, who had fallen victims to their credulity, and to the
confidence they placed in the perfidious Sextus.  When they saw
themselves thus totally at the mercy of the tyrant, they fell into the
deepest despair, expecting to suffer the most cruel treatment.  Their
misfortunes were not, however, so great as their fears. Tarquin thought
it most for his own interest, to act with some degree of humanity
towards this betrayed people, and none of the citizens were put to death
by his order.  He granted them their lives and liberties, making Sextus
their king.  Tarquin, after this, continued for some time to enjoy
profound peace at home.  The Romans became accustomed to the yoke of
their imperious master, and groaned in silence under his oppressions.

"Let me give the account of that curious woman, who came with her great
books, if you please, Edward," said Ferdinand.

"With all my heart," returned Edward.

_Ferdinand_.  Just at this time, when Tarquin was enjoying profound
peace, an unknown woman came to court, loaded with nine large volumes,
which she offered to sell for a great sum of money.  On Tarquin's
refusing to give it, she went away and burnt three of the books. Some
time after this she returned to court, and offered the remaining six for
the same sum. The people then thought her a mad woman, and drove her
away with contempt.  She again withdrew, and burnt four more, still
returning with the remainder, and demanding the same price as she had
done for the whole nine volumes. Tarquin now grew quite curious to know
the cause of this strange proceeding, and put the books into the hands
of his augurs, to have them examined.  They found them to be the oracles
of the Sybil of Cumae, and declared them an invaluable treasure.
Tarquin, therefore, ordered the woman to be paid the sum she demanded.
She exhorted the Romans to preserve her books with great care, and
afterwards disappeared.

_Mrs. B._  What became of these mysterious books?  Can you tell us,
Louisa?

_Louisa_.  They soon became very much respected at Rome, and were
consulted on all cases of emergency, as they were supposed to foretel
future events.  Two persons of high rank were appointed by Tarquin, to
be guardians of these invaluable treasures.  They were locked up in a
vault of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, and when, some time after,
this temple was burnt, they also were destroyed with it.

_Emily_.  The tranquillity of Tarquin's reign was disturbed by a
dreadful plague, which suddenly broke out in Rome, and raged with great
violence.  It made such an impression upon his mind, that he resolved to
send his sons, Titus and Arun, to consult the oracle of Delphi upon the
cause of this contagion, and how they might effect its cure.  The
princes prepared magnificent presents for Apollo.  Junius Brutus, the
pretended idiot, was to accompany them for their amusement.  He was the
youngest son of the venerable Marcus Junius, whom I mentioned last
night, as being assassinated by order of Tarquin; and Brutus would also
have fallen a sacrifice to his cruel policy, had he not counterfeited
idiotism.  When the princes were preparing their presents, he resolved
to carry his offering also.  The whole court was diverted at the choice
he made, of a suitable present for the occasion, which was an elder
stick.  He knew that the gods of those times, or their ministers, were
much delighted with valuable offerings; he therefore contrived to
conceal a rod of gold in this stick, without the knowledge of any one.

_Mr. B._  This was a true emblem of his own mind, which, under a
contemptible outside, concealed the richest gifts of nature.  Did they
gain any intelligence from the oracle.

_Louisa_.  I believe it told them, there would soon be a new reign at
Rome.  Upon this, the young princes enquired which of them should
succeed Tarquin.  The answer returned was: "He who shall first give a
kiss to his mother." The two brothers then declared that they would both
kiss her at the same moment, that they might reign jointly.  Brutus,
however, thought the oracle had another meaning, and, pretending to fall
down, he kissed the earth, the common mother of all living.

_Emily_.  The regal power lasted but a very little time longer in Rome.
A brutal insult, offered by Sextus to Lucretia, the virtuous wife of
Collatinus, roused the dormant spirit of the people.  Brutus threw off
the mark of idiotism, by which he had been hitherto concealed, and
seizing the dagger, which Lucretia, unable to survive the insult she had
received, had plunged into her breast, he held it up to the assembly,
stained as it was with the blood of that unhappy woman, and, in a very
animated speech, called upon his fellow-citizens to avenge her cause.
They were all astonished at the sudden change in Brutus, who then told
them his former folly had been affected, as the only means of securing
him from the murderous designs of Tarquin.  The nobility all submitted
to the will of Brutus.  He caused the still bleeding body of Lucretia to
be carried to the place where the senators usually assembled, and,
placing the corpse where it might be seen by every body, ordered the
people to be called together, and addressed them in a very spirited
speech, which was often interrupted by the acclamations of the people.
Some wept at the remembrance of past sufferings, other rejoiced in the
idea that their sorrows were about to end, and all called for arms.  The
senate passed a decree, depriving Tarquin of every right belonging to
the regal authority, and condemning him and all his posterity to
perpetual banishment.

"Can you tell me, Edward, how Tarquin acted upon this change of
fortune," said Mr. Bernard.

_Edward_.  He was not in Rome at the time it occurred, but, upon hearing
that Brutus was endeavouring to excite a tumult against him, he hastened
to the city, attended by his friends and his three sons; but finding the
gates shut, and the people in arms upon the walls, he returned with all
speed, to the camp.  During his absence, however, short as it was, he
found that the conspirators had gained over the army to their party.
Thus, driven from his capitol and rejected by his troops, he was forced,
at the age of seventy-six, to fly for refuge, with his wife and sons, to
Gabii, in hopes the Latines would come forward and espouse his cause;
but being disappointed in this expectation, he retired into Etruria, the
country of his mother's family, where he hoped to find more friends, and
still entertained expectations of recovering his throne. Having wandered
from city to city, he at length fixed his residence in Tarquinia, and so
far raised the compassion of the inhabitants, as to induce them to send
an embassy to Rome, with a modest, submissive letter from himself,
directed to the Roman people.

_ Mr. B_. Pray Emily, what was passing in Rome all this time.

_Emily_. Brutus assembled the people in the field of Mars, and in long
speeches exhorted them to concord; and the consuls, standing before the
altars, took an oath, in the name of themselves, their children, and
posterity, that they would never recall king Tarquin nor his family from
banishment, nor create any other king of Rome; and they made the people
take the same oath. Under these circumstances, you may suppose that the
ambassadors from the banished king did not meet with a very favourable
reception. From their earnest supplications to the senate, however, that
they would hear their monarch before he was condemned, the consuls at
first inclined to bring them before the people, and to leave the
decision of the affair to them; but Valerius, a man of great weight in
the council, strongly opposed this measure, and, by his influence in the
senate, defeated this first attempt of the artful Tarquin. His next step
seemed likely to be more successful. A second embassy was dispatched to
Rome, under pretence of demanding the estates of the exiles, but with
private instructions to stir up a faction, if possible, against the
consuls. The ambassadors were admitted, and urged the most modest
demands in behalf of the banished king. They requested only his paternal
estate, and on that condition promised never to attempt the recovery of
his kingdom by force of arms.

_Mr. B_. Well, Louisa, what reception did this proposition meet?

_Louisa_. The consul Collatinus would have complied with the request,
but Brutus opposed it. It was then left to the decision of the people,
who generously determined that the Tarquins should be put in possession
of the estates of their family.

"It was a generosity which those wicked Tarquins did not deserve, I am
sure," said Ferdinand; "for whilst the people were employed in loading
carriages with their effects, and in selling what could not be carried
off, the ambassadors were trying to draw some of the nearest relations
of the consuls into a plot against them. Among the conspirators were
Titus and Tiberius, the two sons of Brutus. Notwithstanding the secrecy
with which they carried on their designs, their plot was discovered by
one of their slaves, who disclosed the affair to Valerius. Upon this
information, the conspirators were taken prisoners, and their papers,
with several letters which they had written to the banished king,
seized."

"The trial of these unhappy men was very affecting," said Emily: "early
on the following morning, the people being summoned to the hall of
justice, the prisoners were brought forth.

"Brutus began with the examination of his two sons. The slave who had
discovered their designs, appeared against them, and the letters they
had written to the Tarquins were read. The proofs being clear, the
prisoners stood quite silent, and pleaded only by their tears. Three
times their father called upon them to plead their cause, but tears were
still their only answer. Many of the senators were touched with
compassion, and implored for their banishment rather than their deaths.
All the people stood trembling, in expectation of the sentence. Their
stern father at length arose, and with a steady voice, uninterrupted by
a single sigh, said: "Lictors, I deliver them over to you; the rest is
your part." At these words, the whole assembly groaned aloud; distress
showed itself in every face, and the mournful looks of the people
pleaded for pity:  but neither their intercessions, nor the bitter
lamentations of the young men, who called upon their father by the most
endearing names, could soften the inflexible judge. The heads of the
young men were struck off by the lictors, Brutus all the while gazing on
the cruel spectacle, with a steady look and composed countenance."

"Oh! my dear father," exclaimed Ferdinand, "surely Brutus must have been
a cruel, hard-hearted man."

"In his feelings as a patriot," returned Mr. Bernard, "those of the
father appear to have been absorbed. What became of the other prisoners,
Edward?"

_Edward_. Excepting the ambassadors, they all shared the fate of the
sons of Brutus. His severity towards his children, greatly increased his
authority in Rome; and when he was, some time after, slain in battle by
Aruns, the son of Tarquin, the citizens were inconsolable for his loss.
They considered him as a hero, who had restored liberty to his country,
who had cemented that liberty by the blood of his own children, and who
had died in defending it against the tyrant. The first funeral honours
were paid him in the camp; but, the next day, the corpse was brought
into the Forum, in a magnificent litter. On this occasion, Valerius gave
Rome the first example of those funeral orations, which were ever after
made in praise of great men. The ladies distinguished themselves on this
occasion: they mourned for him a whole year, as if they had lost a
common father.

"The death of such a man was, indeed, a serious misfortune to the
state," said Mr. Bernard: "can you tell me what became of the banished
Tarquin?"

_Emily_. After an exile of fourteen years, during which time he made
many ineffectual struggles to recover the throne, he died at the
advanced age of ninety.

"This, papa, is all we have read at present," said Edward; "I hope my
brother and sisters will not go on with the history till my return, for
this is a very good place to leave off."

_Louisa_ I am sure, Edward, we should have no pleasure in going on
without you, and am certain mamma would not wish it.

It was unanimously agreed, that the Roman history should be laid aside
till Edward's return.

"You have now seen," said Mr. Bernard, "the freedeom which the Romans
recovered by the expulsion of Tarquin the Proud, secured to them by his
death; a freedom that was undoubtedly the source of all their future
grandeur. I must again repeat, my dear children, that I have been much
pleased with the manner in which you have given this little sketch of
the regal government of Rome. One very important point you have,
however, overlooked."

"Pray, papa, what is that?" enquired the children, with one voice.

"The dates of the different events which you have mentioned," replied
their father. "Geography and chronology, are desevedly called _the two
eyes of history_. Without geography, which is a knowledge of the
situation and extent of the different countries of the earth, no reader
of history can have clear and distinct ideas of what he reads, as being
transacted in them; and without chronology, which is a knowledge of the
time when the various events took place, the historical facts he
acquires by reading, will only be an incumbrance upon his memory. He
will have a number of confused ideas, but no regular or useful
information. Now, which of you can tell me in what year Rome was built?"

"Oh, we all know that," said Louisa; "it was seven hundred and fifty-
three years before the birth of our Saviour."

"And the regal power was abolished four hundred and sixty-seven years
before that event," continued Edward; "so that _that_ administration
lasted two hundred and eighty-six years."

"But I do think, papa," said Ferdinand, "that it is very difficult to
remember dates. I wish you could tell us some easy way, by which we
might impress them upon our memories."

"The system of Mnemonics, lately introduced by Fineagle and Coglan, you
will find a great assistance. The substitution of letters for figures,
is an excellent plan, as it enables you to form the date into words,
which you may associate with the event itself, and, by this means,
impress it much more indelibly upon your memory."

"I do not quite understand you, papa," said Louisa.

"I will purchase one of Mr. Coglans's books, the next time I go to
town," said her father, "that will explain the plan to you very clearly,
and I think you will find it extremely useful. Come, my dear Edward,"
added he, turning to his son, "as you have so long a journey in prospect
to-morrow, it is quite time for you to retire."

The rest of the children soon followed his example, and taking an
affectionate leave of their parents, withdrew for the night.


CONVERSATION XI


Mr. Dormer called early the following morning, and breakfasted with the
Bernard family before his departure.  The little folks endeavoured to
welcome him with smiles; but it was very evident that their hearts were
heavy, in spite of their efforts to appear cheerful. They had never
before been separated from each other, and they felt that Edward's
absence would make a sad blank in their little circle. Edward himself,
though delighted with the prospect of his journey, could not repress a
starting tear, as his mother folded him, with maternal tenderness, to
her bosom.  He renewed his promise of writing them a long letter in the
course of a week, giving a full account of all he should hear and learn;
then, kissing his brother and sister, he hastened into the chaise,
followed by Mr. Dormer, and soon lost the sadness which had crept over
his spirits, in admiration of the luxuriant country through which they
passed.

But with the little group at home, it was quite otherwise: they had no
variety of scene to banish their sorrow for his departure; on the
contrary, every object they saw reminded them of their beloved Edward.
They felt, without being aware of it, the force of Scott's beautiful
lines:

"When musing on companions gone, We doubly feel ourselves alone."

Their customary tasks passed off heavily, and every object,
notwithstanding the cheerfulness of the day, assumed an appearance of
unusual gloom.

Mrs. Bernard affectionately sympathised in their sorrow, and thinking a
walk might in some measure divert their attention, proposed a visit to
the old woman's cottage.  Mr. Bernard had lost one of his under clerks,
and intended taking Henry to supply his place, should he find him
qualified for the situation.  No proposition could have been more
agreeable to the children, and with great alacrity they prepared to
accompany their mother.  It was, however, some time before they could
recover their spirits, so as to enjoy their walk as usual.

"Ah, mamma," said Ferdinand, "how very different things appear when we
are happy, and when we are unhappy; this walk was so delightful last
Monday!  How much we did enjoy ourselves!  Do you not remember it? You
gave us that interesting account of the British _hirundines_.  Edward
enjoyed it with us, and we thought it so pleasant; and now I really do
not think it a particularly cheerful walk, and, to tell you the truth,
mamma, it appears to me very dull to-day, and yet I see no alteration in
the prospect."

_Mrs. B._  The alteration is in your own mind, my boy.  Your present
feelings must convince you, how important is the acquisition of that
firmness of mind, which your father has so constantly endeavoured to
inculcate, and which can alone enable you to bear, with fortitude, the
_real_ evils you will have to encounter in after life.

"_Real_ evils, mamma!" reiterated Ferdinand; "you do not then think this
a real evil?"

"Indeed, my dear, I do not," replied Mrs. Bernard; "on the contrary, I
hope, to Edward it will prove a real good; and I am sure you are none of
you so selfish as to wish to deprive him of any advantage, merely for
the sake of your own gratification."

"Selfish!  Oh, no, mamma, indeed we are not selfish," cried all the
children at once: "we will convince you we are not, for we will, this
minute, leave off grieving for Edward's departure, and teach ourselves
to  rejoice, and wish him very happy."

_Mrs. B._  You will do quite right, my dears; and now let us change the
subject, for that is the best way to banish your regret.

_Ferdinand_.  I was very much amused yesterday, mamma, with reading the
new book you gave me for a prize a little time ago.

_Mrs. B._  Miss Edgworth's "Early Lessons," do you mean, my dear
Ferdinand?

"Yes, mamma: I was reading that part of Harry and Lucy, in which their
father so clearly explains to them the expansibility of air, and the
power of steam; and I thought this might, perhaps, account for a thing
that has always puzzled me extremely, and that is, earthquakes.
[Footnote: Another remark of the child before mentioned.] I was reading
a description of one a few days ago, and feel very anxious to know what
can occasion such dreadful convulsions in the bowels of the earth.  Will
you be so kind, mamma, as to tell me what is supposed to be the cause?"

_Mrs. B._  On this, as well as on most other philosophical subjects, the
opinions of the learned vary.  Mr. *****, who was a great naturalist,
imagines some to be produced by fire, in the manner of volcanoes;
others, by the struggles of confined air, expanded by heat, and
endeavouring to get free.  But there does not appear any sufficient
reason for this distinction. The union of fire and air seems necessary
to effect the explosion; since the former is an agent of no power,
without the aid of the latter.

_Ferdinand_.  But pray, mamma, how does heat get into the inside of the
earth?

_Mrs. B._  There are hidden in the bowels of the earth, immense
quantities of inflammable matter: pyrites, bitumens, and other
substances of a similar nature, which only require moisture to put their
fires in motion.  Water readily finds its way into the greatest depths
of earth: or even from subterraneous springs, this dreadful mixture may
occur, when immediately new appearances ensue; those substances which
have lain dormant for ages, and which, had they not met with this new
element, would have remained so for ages longer, appear suddenly to have
changed their nature: they grow hot, produce new air, and require room
for expansion.  The struggles this air then makes to get free, throw all
above into convulsions, and produce those dreadful catastrophes which we
so properly denominate earthquakes.  This appears the most rational
means of accounting for this phenomenon; I have not, therefore, thought
it needful to enter into the theoretical speculations of philosophers
upon the subject.

_Ferdinand._  Well, mamma, directly I read, in Henry and Lucy, an
account of those experiments, I felt almost sure, the expansion of the
air in the earth, was the cause of earthquakes; though I did not exactly
understand how it could be.  I am much obliged to you for your
explanation.

_Mrs. B._  You are very welcome, my dear. You lately read an account of
one of these dreadful convulsions of nature.  Where did it happen?

_Ferdinand._  In Jamaica, mamma, in the year 1692: it is a most dreadful
account.  In two minutes' time, the town of Port Royal was destroyed,
and the houses sunk in a gulph forty fathoms deep.  In every fathom,
there are six feet, you know, mamma; so, if we multiply forty by six, we
shall find that these poor creatures were instantly buried, with their
houses, to the depth of two hundred and forty feet under ground.  In
other parts of the island, the sand rose like the waves of the sea,
lifting up all who stood upon it, and then dashing them into pits. The
water was thrown out of the wells with the greatest violence; the
openings of the earth were in some places so broad, that the streets
appeared twice as wide as they were before: in others, the ground yawned
and closed again continually, swallowing, at each yawn, two or three
hundred of the wretched inhabitants: sometimes the chasms suddenly
closing, caught them by the middle, and crushed them instantly to death.
From openings still more dreadful than these, spouted up cataracts of
water, drowning such as the earthquake had spared. Every thing was
destroyed: houses, people, and trees, shared one universal ruin.  Great
pools of water afterwards appeared, which, when dried by the sun, left
only a plain of barren sand, without a single trace of its former
inhabitants.

_Mrs. B._  I recollect to have read the account, as well as that of a
very similar one that occurred some years  ago at Lisbon, which is, you
know, the capital of Portugal.  I have, at home, a very interesting
narrative of an earthquake that happened at Calabria, in the southern
part of Italy.  It is related by Father Kircher, who was considered as a
prodigy of learning, and was also a very excellent man.  When we return
home, I will look for the paper, and let you read it.

Just as Mrs. Bernard had finished speaking, a little girl, about six
years old, came running towards them, crying most bitterly, and
exclaiming: "Oh! dear lady, do pray come to my poor mammy, for she is
very bad indeed: I do think she is going to die, as my daddy did last
week; and then poor baby, and Tommy, and I shall die too, for there will
be nobody to take care of us when mammy is gone."

"Where does your mammy live, my poor little girl?" enquired Mrs.
Bernard.

"By the hill-side, Ma'am, at yonder cottage," said the child, pointing
to a low-roofed shed at no great distance.

Mrs. Bernard, accompanied by Emily, Louisa, and Ferdinand, proceeded
towards the spot pointed out by the little girl, and on entering the
cot, beheld a sight which wrung their gentle hearts with pity.  On a
bundle of straw in one corner of the hovel, (for it deserved no better
name,) lay a young woman, apparently fast sinking into the arms of
death; at the foot of this wretched bed, sat a poor little half naked
boy, crying for that food his wretched mother could not supply; an
infant at her breast, was vainly endeavouring to procure the nourishment
which nature usually provides, but which want and misery had now nearly
exhausted.

Mrs. Bernard approached the poor sufferer, and took her hand.  It was
cold and clammy: her lips moved, but no sound met the ears of the
attentive listeners  Mrs. Bernard then enquired of the child, what food
her mother had lately taken.

"Oh! none, Ma'am, since the day before yesterday.  When my poor daddy
was carried away, we had but one loaf left, and that she _giv'd_ all to
Tommy and me."

This account, though it shocked Mrs. Bernard extremely, still gave her
hopes that disease was not the sole cause of the poor woman's deplorable
situation, and induced her to believe, that proper nourishment, with
other attentions, might be the means of preserving a life so valuable to
her infant family.

Emily proposed hastening home for medical assistance, and also for that
nourishment which seemed not less necessary.

Mrs. Bernard requested she would take charge of her brother and sister,
as it was her intention to remain at the cottage till the poor woman
should revive a little.  She also begged her to send Jane as quickly as
possible, who was an excellent nurse, and would cheerfully afford the
assistance of which the poor sufferer stood so much in need.

Emily immediately set off, accompanied by Louisa and Ferdinand.  Before
they had proceeded far, they met a rosy milk-maid, singing with her pail
upon her head.

"Oh!" exclaimed Louisa, "I do think some milk would be good for the poor
woman and the children, till we can get them something better. Do let me
ask the young woman to take some to the hut."

Emily quite approved her sister's plan, and pointing out to the girl the
path that led to the hovel, they received her promise to call with the
milk, and proceeded on their way, their hearts already lightened of a
load of anxiety.

Mrs. Bernard was delighted at the sight of the milk-girl, and much
pleased with the consideration of the children in sending her.  She
purchased a sufficient quantity, to supply, for the half starved
children, a plentiful meal.

"Have you no bread in the house, my dear," said she to Susan, for that
was the little girl's name.

"Yes, Ma'am, a little," returned she; "because I did not eat my last
bit, for fear we should not get any more; and then, if poor little Tommy
was ever so hungry, he would have nothing to eat, for mammy is too ill
to work for us now."

"But are you not hungry yourself?" enquired Mrs. Bernard.

"Oh yes, Ma'am," replied Susan, "that I am; but I don't mind it: I am
the biggest and the strongest, so it won't hurt me to be hungry a bit."

Mrs. Bernard looked the surprise and admiration at this truly good
child.  "Well, my poor little Susan, you shall have a good meal now, as
soon as we can boil the milk.  But the fire is almost out."

"Oh, Ma'am, I'll make a cheerful blaze in a minute," said Susan, whose
usual alacrity was increased by the hopes of a plentiful meal: and
instantly running into the lane, she, in a few minutes, collected a
large bundle of sticks, which she placed with much judgment upon the
expiring embers, and exciting them with her breath, a blazing fire soon
lighted the cold walls of the hut, and cast a ray of cheerfulness around
the gloomy scene.  The heat from the fire, together with reflection from
its flame, gave to the child's before pallid countenance, a momentary
flush of health; and Mrs. Bernard thought, as she gazed upon her, she
had never seen a more interesting little creature.  She supplied the
fire with a fresh bundle of faggots, which maintained the genial warmth;
and producing a saucepan, which for brightness might have vied with any
in Mrs. Bernard's kitchen, she put on the milk to boil.

Whilst this operation was performing, Susan swept up the hearth, reached
out of a cupboard two black porringers, and crumbled into them her
little store of bread.

Tommy, in the mean time, had crept from the bed, and was warming his
half-frozen limbs at the cheerful fire, eyeing with delight the meal
that was preparing for him.

As soon as the milk boiled, Mrs. Bernard poured it upon the bread, and
persuaded the poor woman to take a few spoonfuls.  It appeared to revive
her much; and a violent flood of tears, which at this moment came to her
relief, proved still more salutary. Mrs. Bernard did not wish to stop
their flow: she took the little infant in her arms, and gave it a good
meal of bread and milk; after which it dropped into a sweet sleep, and
was again laid on the humble bed of its mother.

Susan and her brother ate their portion with the eagerness of real
hunger, and with hearts glowing with gratitude; though in a style of
infantine simplicity, they tanked their generous benefactress for her
kindness.

In about an hour Jane arrived, accompanied by Mr. Simmons, the medical
friend of the family. He was a man possessed of a liberal fortune, but
of a still more liberal mind. His skill in his profession was great, and
he was always ready to exert it to the utmost, for the relief of the
needy sufferer. He warmly entered into Mrs. Bernard's benevolent plan on
this occasion, and confirming her suspicion, that the poor woman
required nourshing diet and care, rather than medicine, it was
determined that Jane should remain at the cottage as nurse, and that the
children should be removed to a more comfortable abode, till their
mother was sufficiently recovered to attened properly to them. No
persuasions, however, could prevail upon poor little Susan to leave her
mother; she was, therefore, permitted to remain as Jane's assistant,
whilst her brother and the baby were conveyed to the hospitable mansion
of Mr. Bernard.

Under the kind care of Jane, and with the necessary assistance from her
benevolent mistress, the cottage soon assumed a new appearance. The
wretched pallet of straw was removed, and gave place to a comfortable
bed. A table and chairs were provided, and a degree of comparative
comfort reigned around.

The poor woman endeavoured to express her gratitude for so many
unexpected blessings, but was prevented by the positive commands of Mrs.
Bernard, who insisted upon her keeping herself, for this day at least,
perfectly tranquil.

The children at home had not been less busily, or less benevolently
employed, than their mother at the cottage. The moment little Tommy and
the baby entered the house, the charity-box, so recently stored by the
hand of industry, was recollected with delight. Some warm undergarments,
with a neat frock and petticoat, were soon found, that exactly fitted
little Tommy, and the baby was still more easily provided for.

"See, see, the effects of industry!" cried Ferdinand, jumping with
delight around his sisters, as Louisa tied the last string of Tommy's
frock, and Emily put on the baby's cap, which she declared made it look
quite beautiful:  "Oh! how delightful to be able to be so useful. Now I
wish mamma would come home: how pleased she would be. What a pity that
poor little Susan is not here, to have some new clothes too; but we must
take her some, Emily.  Let us go to the box, and look for some that will
fit her."

"We have none large enough, Ferdinand," said Emily.

"Oh yes, I do think this pink frock will be big enough," exclaimed
Ferdinand, drawing one out from underneath the others: "here is a great
tuck in it, let us pull it out; that will make it a great piece longer."
Saying these words, he was going to immediately to proceed to business,
when Louisa loudly exclaimed:

"Oh, stop, Ferdinand, stop; that is not a real tuck; there is a great
join under it, because my stuff was not long enough to make it all in
one piece."

"What a pity! How shall we manage then?" said Ferdinand, putting on a
look of great consideration.

"We must have patience till we can make one of proper size, I believe,"
added Emily: "but here comes mamma."

Ferdinand and Louisa instantly seized each a hand of little Tommy, and
led him forward, whilst Emily followed with the baby.

[lacuna]

_protegeis_, and thanked her children for the assistance they had
rendered her.

The idea of having afforded their mother assistance, as well as having
extended their benevolence towards a poor stranger in distress,
gladdened their affectionate little hearts, and never was there a
happier group.

"Ah, mamma, I am now convinced of the truth of what you said," continued
Ferdinand, "that the departure of Edward is not a real evil. Do you not
think it is very useful to see real sorrow sometimes?"

_Mrs. B._ Indeed, my dear boy, I do. It teaches us the true value of the
blessings we enjoy, and, I should hope, would fill our minds with
gratitude towards the Dispenser of so many favours.

In attention to their new charge, the children spent a most happy day,
and in the evening, Emily and Louisa, according to the promise they had
given Ferdinand, began to make the clothes for little Susan; whilst he
read aloud to them the following account of the earthquake in Calabria,
which had been the subject of their conversation during the morning
walk.

"Having hired a boat, in company with four more, two friars of the order
of St. Francis, and two seculars, we launched, on the twenty-fourth

[lacuna]

promontory of Pelorus.  Our destination was for the city of Euphemia in
Calabria, where we had some business to transact, and where we designed
to tarry for some time.  However, Providence seemed willing to cross our
designs; for we were obliged to continue three days at Pelorus, on
account of the weather; and though we often put out to sea, yet we were
as often driven back. At length, however, wearied with delay, we
resolved to prosecute our voyage; and although the sea seemed more than
usually agitated, yet we ventured forwards.  The gulph of Carybdis,
which we approached, seemed whirled round in such a manner, as to form a
vast hollow, verging to a point in the centre.  Proceeding onwards, and
turning my eyes to Etna, I saw it cast forth large volumes of smoke, of
mountainous sizes, which entirely covered the whole island, and blotted
out the very shores from my view.  This, together with the dreadful
noise, and the sulphureous stench which was strongly perceptible, filled
me with apprehensions that some most dreadful calamity was impending.
The sea itself seemed to wear a very unusual appearance: those who have
seen a lake in a violent shower of rain, covered all over with bubbles,
will conceive some idea of its agitations. My surprise was still
increased by the calmness and serenity of the weather: not a breeze, not
a cloud, which might be supposed to put all nature thus into motion.  I
therefore warned my companions that an earthquake was approaching; and,
after some time, making for the shore with all possible diligence, we
landed at Tropoea, happy and thankful for having escaped the threatening
dangers of the sea.

"But our triumphs at land were of short duration; for we had scarcely
arrived at the Jesuit's College in that city, when our ears were stunned
with a horrid sound, resembling that of an infinite number of chariots
driven fiercely forward, the wheels rattling and the thongs cracking.
Soon after this, a most dreadful earthquake ensued; so that the whole
track upon which we stood seemed to vibrate, as if we were in the scale
of a balance that continued wavering.  This motion, however, soon grew
more violent, and being no longer able to keep my legs, I was thrown
prostrate upon the ground.  In the mean time, the universal ruin around
me redoubled my amazement.  The crash of falling houses, the tottering
of towers, and the groans of the dying, all contributed to raise my
terror and despair.  On every side of me, I saw nothing but a scene of
ruin, and danger threatening wherever I should fly.  I commended myself
to God, as my last great refuge.  At that hour, Oh, how vain was every
sublunary happiness! Wealth, honour, empire, wisdom, all were useless
sounds, and as empty as the bubbles in the deep. Just standing on the
threshold of eternity, nothing but God was my pleasure, and the nearer I
approached, I only loved him the more. After some time, however, finding
that I remained unhurt amidst the general confusion, I resolved to
venture for safety, and running as fast as I could, reached the shore,
but almost terrified out of my reason. I soon found the boat in which I
had landed, and my companions also, whose terrors were even greater than
mine. Our meeting was not of that kind where every one is desirous of
telling his own happy escape; it was all silence, and a gloomy dread of
impending terrors.

"Leaving this seat of desolation, we prosecuted our voyage along the
coast, and the next day came to Rosetta, where we landed, although the
earth still continued in violent agitation. But we were scarcely arrived
at our inn, when we were once more obliged to return to the boat, and in
about half an hour, we saw the greatest part of the town, and the inn at
which we had set up, dashed to the ground, and burying all its
inhabitants beneath its ruins.

"In this manner proceeding onwards in our little vessel, finding no
safety on land, and yet, from the smallness of our boat, having but a
very dangerous continuance at sea, we at length landed at Lopizium, a
castle midway between Tropoea and Euphemia, the city to which, as I said
before, we were bound. Here, wherever I turned my eyes, nothing but
scenes of ruin and horror appeared; towns and castles levelled to the
ground: Strombolo, though at sixty miles distance, belching forth flames
in an unusual manner, and with a noise which I could distinctly hear.
But my attention was quickly turned from more remote, to contiguous
danger. The rumbling sound of an approaching earthquake, which we by
this time were grown acquainted with, alarmed us for the consequences.
It every moment seemed to grow louder, and to approach more near. The
place on which we stood, now began to shake most dreadfully; so that
being unable to stand, my companions and I caught hold of whatever shrub
grew next us, and supported ourselves in that manner.

"After some time, this very violent paroxysm ceasing, we again stood up,
in order to prosecute our voyage to Euphemia, that lay within sight. In
the mean time, while we were preparing for this purpose, I turned my
eyes towards the city, but could see only a frightful dark cloud, that
seemed to rest upon the place. This the more surprised us, as the
weather was so very serene. We waited, therefore, till the cloud was
past away, then turning to look for the city, it was totally sunk.
Wonderful to tell! nothing but a dismal and putrid lake was seen where
it stood. We looked about to find some one that could tell us of its sad
catastrophe, but could see none: all was become a melancholy solitude--a
scene of hideous desolations. Thus proceeding pensively along, in quest
of some human being that could give us some little information, we at
length saw a boy sitting by the shore, and appearing stupified with
terror. Of him, therefore, we enquired concerning the fate of the city;
but he could not be prevailed upon to give us an answer. We entreated
him, with every expression of tenderness and pity, to tell us; but his
senses were quite wrapped up in the contemplation of the danger he had
escaped. We offered him some victuals, but he seemed to loath the sight.
We still persisted in our offices of kindness, but he only pointed to
the place of the city, like one out of his senses; and then running up
into the woods, was never heard of after. Such was the fate of the city
of Euphemia; and as we continued our melancholy course along the shore,
the whole coast, for the space of two hundred miles, presented nothing
but the remains of cities, and men scattered, without a habitation, over
the fields. Proceeding thus along, we at length ended our distressful
voyage by arriving at Naples, after having escaped a thousand dangers,
both at sea and land."

"The children were all highly interested by this extract, but a secret
awe crept over their minds, as they listened to the account of this
dreadful visitation, and they felt thankful that a gracious Providence
had placed him in this happy isle, where such tremendous convulsions are
but seldom felt.

"I learnt a passage from Cowper's 'Task,' the other day, mamma," said
Emily, "in which he deplores a similar catastrophe, that occurred in
Sicily some time ago: may I repeat it to my brother and sister?"

"Certainly, my dear," replied Mrs. Bernard.

Emily having received the approbation of her mother, immediately recited
the following striking passage:

         "Alas, for Sicily! rude fragments now
          Lie scatter'd, where the shapely column stood.
          Her palaces are dust. In all her streets,
          The voice of singing and the sprightly chord
          Are silent. Revelry, and dance, and show,
          Suffer a syncope and solemn passe,
          While God performs upon the trembling stage
          Of his own works, his dreadful part alone,
          How does the earth receive him? With what signs
          Of gratulation and delight, her king.
          Pours she not all her choicest fruits abroad,
          Her sweetest flowers, her aromatic gums,
          Disclosing Paradise where'er he treads?
          She quakes at his approach: her hollow womb
          Conceiving thunders, through a thousand deeps
          And fiery caverns, roars beneath his foot.
          "The hills move lightly, and the mouontains smoke,
          For he hath touch'd them. From the extremest point
          Of elevation, down into the abyss.
          His wrath is busy, and his arm is felt.
          The rocks fall headlong, and the valleys rise:
          The rivers die into offensive pools,
          And, charg'd with putrid verdure, breathe a gross
          And mortal nuisance into all the air.
          What solid was, by transformation strange,
          Grows fluid; and the fix'd and rooted earth,
          Tormented into billows, heaves and swells,
          Or with vortiginous and hideous whirl,
          Sucks down its prey insatiable. Immense
          The tumult and the overthrow; the pangs
          And agonies of human and of brute
          Multitudes, fugitive on every side,
          And fugitive in vain. The sylvan scene
          Migrates uplifted, and with all its soil
          Alighting in far distant fields, finds out
          A new possessor, and survives the change.
          Ocean has caught the phrenzy; and upwrought
          To an enormous and o'erbearing height,
          Not by a mighty wind, but by that voice
          Which winds and waves obey, invades the shore
          Resistless. Never such a sudden flood.
          Upridg'd so high, and sent on such a charge,
          Possess'd an inland scene. Where sow the throng
          That press'd the beach, and hasty to depart,
          Look'd to the sea for safety? They are gone!
          Gone with the refluent wave into the deep,
          A prince with half his people! Ancient towers,
          And roofs embattled high, the gloomy scenes,
          Where beauty oft, and *etter'd worth, consume
          Life in the unproductive shades of death,
          Fall prone. The pale inhabitants come forth,
          And happy in their unforseen release
          From all the rigours of restraint, enjoy
          The terrors of the day that sets them free."

Whilst Mr. and Mrs. Bernard were conversing in this instructive and
interesting manner, with their little family, they were interrupted by
the arrival of Jane. She brough a good account of the poor woman, who
was already considerably better, and felt her appetite in some measure
returning.

"I think, Ma'am," continued Jane, "that a little sago or tapioca, or
something of that kind, would be very nice and nourishing for her to
take, before she settles for the night."

Mrs. Bernard quite approved this proposition: she desired Emily to bring
a small jar of tapioca from the closet in the store-room, and giving
Jane a sufficient quantity for the poor woman's supper, dismissed her
again to her charge.

The children all rejoiced to hear so good an accouont, and begged their
mother would allow them to walk to the cottage the following morning.
She readily promised a compliance with their request, provided the
weather should prove favourable.


Louisa, who had been for some minutes examining the tapioca, exclaimed:
"Pray, mamma, what is this; I cannot make it out: it does not look like
a seed, I think."

_Mrs. B_. It is, my dear, the produce of a plant, but not its seed.  The
plant is called cassada, and it grows in the Cape Verd Islands, as well
as in Rio de Janeiro, and many other parts of South America.  The root
is a wholesome vegetable, but the expressed juice from it is a rank
poison.

"How extraordinary!" said Ferdinand: "I should think they could not eat
the root, without taking the juice also."

"You will be still more surprised," said his mother, "to hear that this
very juice, after standing some time, deposits a sediment, which, when
dried, is not only wholesome, but extremely nutritious: and, in fact,
forms the tapioca which Louisa now holds in her hand."

"And sago, mamma," said Ferdinand, "is that the produce of a plant too?"

_Mrs. B_. Yes, my dear; it is obtained from a plant which grows in the
East Indies: the medullary, or pithy part of which, is beaten with
water, and made into cakes.  These the Indians use as bread.  This, when
reduced into granules and dried, forms the sago we find so nourishing to
persons of weakly and delicate constitutions.  But it is now, my dear
children, quite time to retire.

The children instantly arose, and putting away their work, took leave of
their parents; and having peeped at their little charge, who were both
in a sweet sleep, they retired to their pillows, and enjoyed that
tranquil repose which generally visits the young and innocent.


CONVERSATION XII.


Contrary to the hopes of the children, the following morning was
extremely wet, so that it was impossible they could walk to the cottage.
They had, however, the pleasure of hearing that the poor woman had had a
comfortable night's rest, and that she was so much refreshed, as to be
able to sit up whilst Jane made her bed.

Several days elapsed without affording them their wished-for pleasure.
This put their patience to a severe trial, as they were very anxious to
hear the poor woman's story, and to make the dutiful and affectionate
little Susan, the present their industry had prepared for her. Still,
being fully convinced that impatience would not hasten the
accomplishment of their wishes, they bore their disappointment with the
greatest good-humour; and turning their attention to other objects,
spent the time, which would otherwise have passed heavily away, in
cheerful and improving occupations.

They began now each day to watch anxiously for the arrival of the
postman, and on the sixth morning after Edward's departure, Emily
received from him the following letter:

_Plymouth, Sept. 30, 1814._

"MY DEAR SISTER,

"If I had not bound myself by a promise to write to you, I am sure you
would have received, by this post, a letter from me. Now I am at a
distance from home, it is the only means of communication afforded me.
I long for you every moment, to enjoy with me the many pleasures Mr.
Dormer's kindness provides for me, and which would all be doubled, could
you each share them with me.

"I have just thought of a riddle:--'What is that, which, the more you
divide it, the greater it grows?'  You will guess in a minute that I
mean _pleasure_; for indeed, my dear Emily, at this distance from you
all, when each delight is unshared by those I so dearly love, I seem to
enjoy myself only by halves.

"I shall not detain you with a long account of my journey: we have read
together a description of the delightful scenes in the south and west of
England, I should therefore tell you nothing new, were I to describe
them even in the most minute manner. It is enough to say, that, although
my expectations were highly missed, I was not disappointed with the
scenery.

"Mr. Dormer, last Saturday, promised me, that if the wind should prove
favourable, he would take me on Monday to see the Eddystone Lighthouse.
I was, as you may suppose, extremely delighted with the idea, and the
moment I was out of bed in the morning, ran to the window, and very
anxiously looked at the weather-cock, as my fate depended upon the point
from which the wind should blow. To my great joy, I found it full north-
west, which is the most favourable point of the compass for such an
expedition.

"Whilst we were at breakfast, Mr. Dormer gave me some account of this
wonderful building. It is constructed upon the Eddystone Rock. Before
the construction of this lighthouse, many valuable vessels were wrecked
upon this spot.

"The first lighthouse was built by a gentleman of the name of
Winstanley. He was a very singular man, and had a peculiar turn for
mechanics, which he frequently introduced into his furniture, in such a
manner as to surprise, and often even to terrify, his visitors. He lived
at Littlebury in Essex. In one of his rooms there was an old slipper,
lying, as it were, carelessly upon the floor; if you gave it a kick with
your foot, up started a ghastly-looking figure before you. If you sat
down in one particular chair, although there was nothing in its
appearance to distinguish it from others, a couple of arms would
immediately clasp you, so as to render it impossible to disentangle
yourself, till some one, who understood the trick, chose to set you at
liberty. In his garden was an arbour, by the side of a canal, in which,
if you unguardedly took a seat, forthwith you were sent afloat into the
middle of the water, before you were at all aware; from whence it was
impossible to escape, till the manager restored you to your former
situation on dry ground.

"Mr. Dormer showed me a print of the lighthouse, which Mr. Winstanley
erected upon the rock. It must have been a whimsical-looking thing; more
like a fanciful Chinese temple, in my opinion, than an edifice that
would have to encounter the boisterous waves of the angry ocean. He
began the building in 1696, and it was four years before it was
completed. In 1703 it was much damaged, and stood in need of great
repair. Mr. Winstanley went himself to Plymouth, to superintend the
work. Some gentleman mentioning it to him, that they thought it was not
built upon a plan long to withstand the dreadful storms to which, from
its exposed situation, it would be subject, this presumptuous man
replied, that he was so well assured of the strength of his building, he
should only wish to be there during the most dreadful storm that ever
blew under the face of heaven, that he might see what effect it would
have upon his structure.  He was, alas! too fatally gratified in this
presumptuous wish; for while he was there, with his workmen and light-
keeper, on the 26th of November, one of the most tremendous storms
began, which was ever known in great Britain.  On the 27th, when the
violence was somewhat abated, many went to look anxiously for the
lighthouse; but not a remnant of it was remaining, nor were any of the
unfortunate people, nor ever any of the materials, ever afterward found.

"The ravages occasioned by this tremendous tempest, were by no means
confined to the Eddystone.  In London, the loss sustained by it was
calculated at one million sterling, and upwards of eight thousand
persons were supposed to be drowned in the several inundations it
occasioned.  On one level, fifteen thousand sheep were lost; and a
person counted seventeen thousand trees blown up by the roots, in Kent
alone.  What a happy thing is it for us, my dear sister, that these
dreadful convulsions of nature are not more frequent in our favoured
island. "Three years after the destruction of Mr. Winstanley's work, a
similar one was undertaken by a Mr. Rudyerd. It was built of wood and
upon a plan very different from the former, without any unnecessary
ornament, and well calculated to resist the fury of the waves.

"Mr. Dormer related to me an anecdote of Louis the Fourteenth, king of
France, which, as I think his conduct on the occasion much to his
credit, I shall send to you.  He was at war with the English at the time
this building was begun; during its progress, a French privateer took
the men at work on the rock prisoners, together with their tools, and
carried them to France.  The captain, no doubt, expected a handsome
reward for his achievement.  Whilst the captives lay in prison, the
transaction reached the ears of Louis: he immediately ordered the
prisoners to be released, and the men who had captured them to be put in
their place, declaring, that although he was at war with England, he was
not at war with all mankind. He therefore directed the men to be sent
back to their work with presents; observing, that the Eddystone
Lighthouse was so situated, as to be of equal service to all nations who
had occasion to navigate the channel which divides England from France.

"I do not know, my dear Emily, whether you will feel as much interested
as myself, in the fate of this lighthouse; but I scarcely ever recollect
to have been more delighted, than with this ornament, and well
calculated to resist the fury of the waves. "Mr. Dormer related to me an
anecdote of Louis the Fourteenth, king of France, which, as I think his
conduct on the occasion much to his credit, I shall send to you.  He was
at war with the English at the time this building was begun; during its
progress, a French privateer took the men at work on the rock prisoners,
together with their tools, and carried them to France.  The captain, no
doubt, expected a handsome reward for his achievement.  Whilst the
captives lay in prison, the transaction reached the ears of Louis: he
immediately ordered the prisoners to be released, and the men who had
captured them to be put in their place, declaring, that although he was
at ware with England, he was not at war with all mankind. He therefore
directed the men to be sent back to their work with presents; observing,
that the Eddystone Lighthouse was so situated, as to be of equal service
to all nations who had occasion to navigate the channel which divides
England from France.

"I do not know, my dear Emily, whether you will feel as much interested
as myself, in the fate of this lighthouse but I scarcely ever recollect
to have been more delighted, than with this expedition, notwithstanding
my having been in considerable danger, as I shall tell you in its proper
place. The dread of that is, however, now over, and the information I
have gained, upon subject of which I was before totally ignorant, will,
I think, be a constant source of pleasure to me. I shall venture to give
you another anecdote or two respecting the lighthouse; for as our tastes
are, on many subjects, very similar, I am inclined to hope my account
will not weary your patience, though I sometimes fear, the lively little
Louisa may think I might have chosen a more interesting topic.

"But to proceed with my relation. For many years after the establishment
of the second lighthouse, it was attended by two men only; and, indeed,
the duty required no more. This duty consisted in watching, alternately,
four hours, to snuff and renew the candles. But it happened that one of
the men was taken ill and died, and notwithstanding the Eddystone flag
was hoisted as a signal of distress, yet the weather was so boisterous
for some time, as to prevent any boat from getting near enough to speak
to them. In this dilemma, the living man found himself in a very awkward
situation, being apprehensive, that if he committed the dead body to the
deep, (the only way in which he could dispose of it,) he might be
charged with his murder. This induced him, for some time, to let the
corpse remain, in hopes that the boat might be able to land, and relieve
him from his distress. In the mean time, the body became, as it might
naturally be supposed that it would do, extremely offensive, and the
poor man's sufferings were, as you may imagine, very great. He, however,
bore it till some sailors effected their landing, when, with their
assistance, it was committed to the waves. This unpleasant circumstance
induced the proprietors afterwards to employ a third man; so that in
case of any future accident of the same nature, there might be
constantly one to supply his place. I should not much like a life of
such confinement, where the troubled waves must be almost one's only
companion. The tastes of mankind are, however, various, and it is very
well they are so:--'Many men, many minds,' as our copy says. Ferdinand
wanted an explanation of its meaning the other day. I can tell him a
little anecdote, very much to my present subject, and to that point
also.

"A skipper was once carrying out a shoe-maker in his boat, to be a
light-keeper at the Eddystone. 'How happens it, friend,' said he, 'that
you should choose to go out to be a light-keeper, when you can, on
shore, as I am told, earn half-a-crown or three shillings a day, by
making leathern pipes; whereas, the light-keeper's salary is but twenty-
five pounds a year, which is scarcely ten shillings a week.' To this the
shoemaker replied: 'I am going, bcause I don't like confinement:' Thus
you see, my dear Ferdinand, what different ideas different people attach
to the same word.

"I am now coming to a very melancholy part of my narrative, which is,
the fatal catastrophe that occasioned the destruction of this celebrated
building.

"About two o'clock in the morning, on the second of December, 1755, when
one of the light-keepers went into the lantern to snuff the candles, as
usual, he found the whole in a smoke, and upon opening the door of the
lantern into the balcony, a flame instantly burst from the inside of the
cupola. He immediately endeavoured to alarm his companions; but they
being in bed and asleep, were some time before they came to his
assistance.

"There were always some leathern buckets kept on the spot, and a tub of
water in the lantern. He therefore attempted to extinguish the flames in
the cupola, by throwing water from the balcony, upon the outside cover
of lead. As soon as his companions came to his assistance, he encouraged
them to fetch up water in the leathern buckets from the sea; which, you
may suppose, they could not do very quickly, as the fire was at so great
a height. You may judge of their horror, in perceiving that the flames
gained strength every moment, in spite of all their efforts to
extinguish them. The poor men were obliged to throw the water full four
yards higher than their heads, to render it of the least service. A most
remarkable accident put an end to the exertions of the unfortunate man
who first discovered the calamity. As he was looking very attentively,
with his mouth a little way open, a quantity of lead, melted by the heat
of the flames, suddenly rushed like a torrent from the roof, and fell,
not only upon his head, face, and shoulders, but even down his throat,
and into his stomach. This increased the terror and dismay of these
wretched men, who now saw no means of escaping. They found it impossible
to subdue the raging element, and, in dreadful alarm, retreated from the
immediate scene of horror, into one of the rooms below; and continued
descending, from room to room, as the fire, with constantly increasing
fury, advanced over their head. Early in the morning, the conflagration
was perceived by some fishermen in Plymouth Sound, who soon spread the
alarm: boats were instantly sent out to the relief of the unhappy
sufferers at the Eddystone. They were almost stupified with terror, and
were discovered sitting in a hole under the rock. All three were
conveyed in safety to the shore; but the poor man who had swallowed the
melted lead, continued to grow worse and worse, and in ten or eleven
days, he expired in great agonies. Although he had always himself been
positive that he had actually swallowed the melted metal, his physician
could scarcely believe it possible. After his death, his body was
opened, in order to ascertain the fact, and a large lump of lead,
weighing seven ounces and five drams, was actually found in his stomach.
It is a most extraordinary circumstance, but Mr. Dormer says it is so
well attested, as to be beyond all possibility of doubt.

"The present lighthouse, the sight of which has afforded me so much
pleasure, was begun in 1756, by Mr. Smeaton, and completed in little
more than three years. It is built of stone, and is reckoned quite a
master-piece of architecture. Hitherto it has resisted the utmost
violence, both of the winds and waves, and seems likely to stand so long
as the rock itself endures.

"I am amused myself on Saturday evening, with taking a small drawing of
this wonderful tower, from a large print belonging to our landlord. I
shall enclose it in this letter, as I think you will like to see a
representation of it.

"But it is time, my dear Emily, to give you some account of our little
voyage. And now I fancy I see you all attention. My curious sister,
Louisa, has laid aside her work to listen the more profoundly; and the
ears and eyes of the philosophic little Ferdinand, are opened even wider
than usual, that he may not lose a single word of my narrative.

"The day could not have been more delightful, nor the wind more
favourable; and if I shone in poetical description, here would be a fine
field for its display. I could tell you how brilliantly the sun-beams
danced upon the waters, and with how delightful a motion the vessel
glided lightly over its surface, as our sails swelled with the wind; but
all this I shall leave for your own fancies to picture. It is sufficient
for me to say, I completely enjoyed my short voyage.

"A singular circumstance occurred soon after we left land. [Footnote:
This circumstance actually occurred to the passengers on board the
Argyle steam-boat, in the autumn of the year 1814.]--A poor little lark
was pursued, at no great distance from our vessel, by a merciless hawk;
the little creature continued, for some time, with surprising dexterity,
to elude the grasp of its intended destroyer. At length, quite exhausted
by its efforts, it alighted on our boat. I incautiously ran to catch it,
purposing to shield it from the threatened danger. Not, however,
comprehending my design, the terrified bird again took flight, and was
again pursued by its pitiless foe. Half a dozen crows from a
neighbouring wood, generously enlisted themselves on the weaker side,
and at length succeeded in driving completely away the formidable
antagonist; whilst the poor little lark again sought shelter on our
deck, and escaped the threatened danger. This was the only adventure
that befell us on our way to the rock. The landing was very hazardous;
at least, it appeared so to me, who am unaccustomed to such expeditions.


"I have already told you so many particulars of the Eddystone, that
little remains for me to add upon the subject. I was extremely pleased
with the opportunity of viewing this wonderful structure, in company
with so well-informed a friend as Mr. Dormer, who took the greatest
pains to explain to me the uses of its several parts. I thought of the
poor sufferers whom I have already mentioned, as exposed to the raging
of the flames; and trembled for my own safety, as the angry billows
dashed against the rocks, whilst their hollow roar seemed to me, who am
not accustomed to the tremendous sound, to threaten instant destruction.
The light-keepers told us, that, on the morning after a storm, the waves
dashed above a hundred feet over the top of the building, completely
concealing it by the spray.

"After having spent some time in admiring this wonderful monument of
human ingenuity, we returned to our boat in high spirits, and little
anticipating the dangers that awaited us.

"About half an hour after we left the rock, the gathering clouds
threatened an approaching tempest; and what is termed a land-swell,
dashed about our little bark, and terrified me most sadly. Mr. Dormer
was himself alarmed, but he acted on this occasion with his usual
fortitude and presence of mind. Some of the gentlemen on board, who had
been more accustomed than I to the boisterous element, laughed at my
fears, and called me a fresh-water sailor. The storm increased, and with
it my terrors. I thought of my dear parents; of you, my beloved Emily;
of Louisa, Ferdinand, and our dear little Sophy. I felt scarcely a hope
that I should ever see you more. My love for you would, I thought, be
soon buried with myself in the stormy deep. I do not like to think of
those moments of horror. Heaven, in mercy, preserved us through the
danger, and guided us in safety to the shore. Do you not remember the
description of a storm, in the "Odyssey," which we were reading last
week. I thought it, at the time, a striking passage, but having now
experienced myself, the horrors of such a scene, I can discover in it
additional beauties:

"Meanwhile the god, whose hand the thunder forms, Drives clouds on
clouds, and blackens heaven with storms! Wide o'er the waste the rage of
Boreas sweeps, And night rush'd headlong on the shaded deeps."

"What a long letter have I written to you, Emily. Pray give my duty to
my dear father and mother, kiss little Sophy for me, and give my kind
love to Louisa and Ferdinand. I long to see you again. Farewell, dear
Emily.

"Your affectionate

"EDWARD."

"Oh, what a delightful letter!" cried Louisa, as Emily concluded it:
"but only think of his being exposed to such a dreadful storm. Dear,
dear Edward, how thankful I am that you escaped in safety."

The moistened eye of his tender parent, directed with pious gratitude to
heaven, silently spoke her feelings.

"Edward is quite mistaken in thinking that I should not feel interest in
his account of the lighthouse," continued Louisa; "for I think every
thing he has mentioned extremely entertaining, and even feel
disappointed that he has not given a more particular account of the
present building."

"I believe, my dear," said her mother, "I can supply you with all the
information you wish, as I have frequently heard your father speak upon
the subject."

_Louisa_. Thank you, mamma. Then, first of all, I want to know who Mr.
Smeaton was, who built it.

_Mrs. B._ He was, originally, a philosophical instrument maker; and in
consequence of his having made many inventions and improvements in
mechanics, he was chosen a Fellow of the Royal Society, in 1753. Not
finding the business in which he first embarked likely to afford him
much emolument, he turned his attention to architecture, and was
recommended to Lord Macclesfield as a very suitable person to attempt
the re-building of the Eddystone Lighthouse. His lordship bore a strong
testimony to his ability, in declaring he had never known him to
undertake anything, which he did not complete to the perfect
satisfaction of those who employed him.

_Louisa_. This was speaking highly in his favour, indeed. I should think
it would make the proprietors very anxious to have him undertake the
work.

_Mrs. B._ It did, my dear. He was at that time engaged in business in
Scotland, where a friend wrote to him, merely informing him, in a few
words, that he was made choice of, as a proper person to rebuild the
Eddystone Lighthouse. Mr. Smeaton not understanding that the former
building had been totally consumed, imagined he was only required to
repair or rebuild the upper part of it; or, perhaps, that he was merely
requested to give in his proposals, with other candidates. The
information of his friend, therefore, occasioned him no great joy; nor
was he much inclined to have any thing to do in the business, not
thinking it prudent to leave the affairs, which at that time engaged his
attention, upon an uncertainty.

_Louisa_. How much disappointed the proprietors must have been, if he
sent them this answer.

_Mrs. B._ He first prudently wrote a letter to his friend, enquiring
what was the extent of the mischief the former lighthouse had sustained,
and whether he was actually appointed to make the repairs. To this he
received an answer still more laconic than the first letter had been:
"It is a total demolition; and, as Nathan said unto David, thou art the
man."

_Louisa_. What an odd man that friend must have been. I suppose this
second letter pleased him highly, and that he was willing to undertake
the business.

_Mrs. B._ Yes, my dear; he regarded it as a high honour to be considered
competent to so great a work, and having finished the business in which
he was engaged in the north, he set off for London, where he arrived on
the 23d of February, 1756. Mr. Smeaton had an interview with the
proprietors, when it was determined that he should go to Plymouth; and,
after seeing the rock, and examining the plans upon which the two former
buildings had been erected, should communicate his ideas to the
proprietors. They seemed to wish to have it again constructed with wood;
Mr. Smeaton himself, on the contrary, greatly preferred stone.

_Louisa_. I should think stone would be much best: it could not then be
burnt down again; but I suppose it would be a great deal dearer than
wood.

_Mrs. B._ Exactly so, Louisa. However, the gentlemen concerned in the
business, were too generous to let this influence their determination;
therefore, when convinced that it would not only be stronger constructed
of stone, but also more speedily erected, they did not hesitate a
moment, but determined that it should be rebuilt in the very best
manner; and such was their confidence in Mr. Smeaton's honour and
integrity, that they left the accomplishment of the plan entirely to
him.

_Louisa_. In what month did he begin his work, mamma?

_Mrs. B._ On the 23d of July, 1756, he set sail for the rock; but there
was a great deal to be done before the erection of the building could be
begun.  First, marking out and preparing the rock, and contriving such
cements as would not be affected by water.

_Ferdinand._  I was wondering how that would be managed.

_Mrs. B._  Mr. Smeaton was indefatigable in his experiments upon that
subject, and at length succeeded, in a manner equal to his most sanguine
expectations.

_Louisa_.  I long to hear when he began the building.

_Mrs. B._  Have a little patience, my love, and you shall hear.  Towards
the end of May, 1757, every thing was in readiness for the commencement
of the work.  The comfort and accommodation of the light-keepers was, in
this building, most kindly considered.  In the one constructed by Mr.
Rudyerd, the bed-rooms had been in the lower part, and the kitchen at
top; but the beds were, in that case, very apt to be damp.  In the
present instance, the chambers are contrived above the kitchen; the
funnel for the smoke from which, passes through them, and by this means
they are kept constantly warm and comfortable.  I cannot give you an
account of the whole admirable arrangement of this building, nor do I
think it would be at all interesting to you if I could; you will be
satisfied to know, that on the 9th of October, 1759, it was completed,
without loss of life or limb to any person concerned in it.  Not a
single accident occurred during the whole time, by which the work could
be said to have been retarded. The time that elapsed, between the first
stroke upon the rock, and leaving the lighthouse completed, was three
years, nine weeks, and three days.

_Louisa_.  Thank you, dear mamma.  Now I think I know all about it; and
I feel quite as well pleased, as if I had actually been at the
Eddystone, and heard the billows roar, and seen the waves dash over it,
in the tremendous manner Edward says they sometimes do.

"I am much better pleased than I should be under those circumstances,"
said Emily, whose gentle nature preferred the calm of domestic life, to
any other scene.  But Ferdinand thought it would certainly be more
interesting to see and hear for himself, under all circumstances, than
to receive the most eloquent description from the lips of another.

"And now, pray, mamma," added he, "what does Edward mean by calling me a
philosopher. I believe he only intended to laugh at me, and that I do
not much like.  Little boys cannot be philosophers, can they?"

"I shall answer your question by another," returned his mother:  "Can
little boys love to acquire wisdom?"

"O yes, mamma, certainly," said Edward, "for I love nothing so well as
hearing new things, and improving myself."

"The word philosophy," my dear, "is formed from two Greek terms, which
signify a lover of wisdom.  You have heard your father speak of
Pythagoras?"

_Ferdinand._  Yes, I have, mamma.  I heard him once say, that he was the
first who discovered the solar system.

_Mrs. B._  Do you understand the meaning of the term you have just used,
my dear?

_Ferdinand_.  It means, the revolution of the earth and other planets
round the sun, I believe, mamma.

_Mrs. B._  True.  This was discovered, as your father has informed you,
by Pythagoras, several hundred years before the birth of our Saviour.
This great man was as humble as he was wise; and when the appellation of
_sophist_ was given him, which signifies a wise man, he requested rather
to be called a _philosopher_, or _lover_ of wisdom.

_Ferdinand_.  I like Pythagoras very much, mamma; I wish you would be so
kind as to tell me some more about him.

_Mrs. B._  That I will do most willingly, my dear.  I see the sun is
breaking out, and I believe we may venture to take a little walk.  Go
and put on your cloaks and bonnets, Emily and Louisa, and we will talk
about Pythagoras as we go along.

The children were soon equipped, and joined their mother in the garden.
The plantations were extensive, and as the clouds still looked dark and
lowering, they did not venture to extend their ramble beyond them.

Mrs. Bernard aroused them for some time, with relating the most
interesting particulars of the life of Pythagoras.

Louisa thought his forbidding his pupils to speak in his presence, till
they had listened five years to his instructions, was not a good plan;
declaring, that she should learn very little, were she not allowed to
ask the meaning of such things as she did not understand, and to mention
her own notions upon various subjects.

"The plan adopted by Pythagoras," said Mrs. Bernard, "was calculated to
teach his pupils those amiable virtues--diffidence, humility, and
forbearance.  These charms give a brilliant lustre to every other
acquirement; indeed, they are so necessary, that knowledge without them,
far from improving a character, is apt to produce conceit and arrogance,
which are great failings in all, but particularly disgusting in youth."

Louisa fully agreed to the truth of her mother's remark, and was going
on with the conversation upon the character of the philosopher, when her
attention was attracted by her favourite tortoise.  He was creeping
slowly out of his hole, to enjoy the sun-beams, which at this instant,
with splendour, shone through the dark cloud, that a moment before had
obscured his rays.

"Mamma, does not the tortoise live a great many years?" enquired Louisa.

"It does, my dear," returned Mrs. Bernard: "I was reading an account in
the 'Monthly Magazine,' this morning, of one which lives in the garden
of the Bishop of Peterborough, and is known to have been two hundred and
sixteen years in the country."

"Two hundred and sixteen years!" exclaimed Louisa, with astonishment:
"why that is almost as long as the patriarchs lived of old."

"Oh no, indeed, you are mistaken there, Louisa," said Ferdinand; "for I
read in the Bible, this morning, that Methuselah, who was the oldest man
ever known, lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years."

Mr. Bernard at this instant joined them, and in conversation equally
instructive and entertaining, the time passed pleasantly away, till the
dinner-bell summoned them to the house.

"Several days elapsed without any remarkable occurrence; frequent
showers prevented their visiting the poor cottager, whose health
gradually recovered, under the kind care of her excellent nurse Jane,
and the tender attentions of her little Susan.  On the day fixed for
Edward's return, the two children were again taken to their humble home,
and rejoiced their mother by their improved appearance.

Each hour was anxiously counted, as the time fixed for his arrival
approached.  Ferdinand, Louisa, and little Sophy, stationed themselves
at the window.  Anxiously they watched every carriage that drove past
the gate; at length, a cry of joy announced his arrival.  In an instant
he was folded in the arms of his tender parents, and alternately
embraced, with the greatest affection, by his brother and sisters. Every
individual rejoiced at his return.  And thus restored to the bosom of
DOMESTIC PLEASURE, we leave him, for the present, tranquil and happy.


THE END.

*       *       *        *       * HISTORICAL QUESTIONS.


Who were Numitor and Amullus? Who was Romulus? To what danger were
Romulus and Remus exposed in their infancy? How were they preserved?
Where does the river Tiber rise, and where does it discharge itself?
What is its present name? What was the employment of Romulus and Remus
during their youth? What circumstance was the principal cause of the
change in their situations? What occasioned the death of Remus? Who
founded Rome? What was its first form of government? Did any thing
extraordinary attend the first peopling of Rome? What was the cause of
the Sabine war? How did the Sabines gain possession of the Capitoline
hill? How was Tarpeia punished for her treachery? What was the
consequence of the Sabines becoming masters of the Capitoline hill? How
were the two nations reconciled? What change did this reconciliation
occasion in the government of Rome? Did Tatius long survive this
arrangement? What occasioned the death of Romulus? Who was Numa
Pompilius, and what was his character? Was he elected to the sovereign
authority immediately after the death of Romulus? How was he received by
the Roman people? How did he fulfill the important duties of a king?
What was the name of the temple he built, which was only opened during
war? What regulations did he make, to allay the animosities subsisting
between the Sabines and Romans? How many years did he reign, and what
was his age at his death? Where was he buried? Can you tell me why Numa
called the first month January, and whence the others derived their
names? Who was the third king of Rome? What was his character? Who were
the first people who gave Tallus an opportunity of indulging his warlike
disposition? How was this war terminated? Who were the Horatii and
Curiatii? What cruel action tarnished the honour which Horatius gained
by his victory? Did he undergo no punishment for his crime? What was the
yoke, used as a punishment by the Romans? Did Horatius receive no honour
for his victory? Did the Romans continue at peace after the termination
of the Alban war? How was the life of Tullus Hostilius terminated? Give
me a sketch of his character. What new law did he establish? Who
succeeded him? Who was Ancus Martius? What was his character? Give me a
short sketch of his reign. How long did he govern Rome? Who succeeded
him? Who was Lucius Tarquinius Priscus? How did he obtain the crown? How
did he govern the city so unjustly acquired? Give me an account of
Altius Naevius, and tell me the meaning of the word augur. What was
Tully's opinion of the pretended miracle? How did Tarquinius close his
long life? Were his murderers taken? Did they confess their guilt? What
is the punishment of the torture? How did queen Tanaquil act upon the
death of her husband? What became of the sons of Ancus Martius? How did
Servius act? Who were his parents? Where is Corniculum situated, and
what is its present name? Is any thing extraordinary related respecting
his infancy? Who had the charge of his education? How can you account
for his having so easily obtained the throne on the death of his father-
in-law? In what manner did he conduct himself after his accession? How
was he received by the nobles? How did Servius act in this emergency?
How did he ingratiate himself with the people? Give me some account of
the war with the Vicentes. Where is Veii? What was the result of this
war? How did Servius still further work upon the feelings of the people?
Did the nobles raise any other cabals against him? What resolution was
he inclined to make in consequence of this? Who prevented his fulfilling
this resolution? What was the character of Tanaquil? Was Servius engaged
in any new war? How did he employ the interval of rest after the
termination of this war? What important regulations did he introduce
into the government? What was his most impolitic measure? What was the
consequence of the ill-judged marriage of his daughters? What stratagem
did Tarquin make use of to gain possession of the throne? In what manner
did he behave to her aged father? How did Tullia act upon seeing the
bleeding body of her father in the street? Give me a sketch of the
character of the venerable Servius. At what age did he die, and how long
had he reigned? Was he allowed the honours of a funeral? What became of
his wife Tarquinia? What do you learn from this disgraceful catastrophe?
How did Tarquin act upon the death of the aged Servius? Give me a proof
of his injustice How did Brutus escape the same sad fate as the rest of
his family? How did the nobles escape the tyranny of Tarquin? How did he
act towards the people? How did he employ them, to prevent their
brooding over their misfortunes? How were the patricians kept in
submission? How afar distant was Gabii from Rome? What circumstance
occurred to increase the discontents of the Roman people? What plan did
Sextus devise, to extricate his father from his difficulties? How did he
execute it? What were the consequences? What happened to Tarquin and his
infamous son, after their treachery? What became of the unfortunate
inhabitants of Gabii? Give me an account of the manner in which the
Sybilline books were brought to Rome. What occurred to interrupt the
tranquillity of Tarquin's reign? What means did he take to enquire into
the cause of this calamity? Who accompanied the princes to the Oracle?
What present did Brutus take to the god? What answer was returned to
their enquiries of who should succeed Tarquin on the throne? How did
Brutus act when he heard the reply? What occasioned the overthrow of the
regal power in Rome? How did Brutus act on this occasion? What effect
had his speech upon the people? How did Tarquin act? What was his object
in going to Gabii? Did he succeed to his wishes? Whither did he next
flee? What was passing in the meantime in Rome? Who did Tarquin persuade
to undertake an embassy to Rome? What was the object of it? How were the
ambassadors received? Being disappointed in this scheme, what was
Tarquin's next attempt? Was this second embassy successful? What were
his demands? Were they granted? What was the consequence? Who were the
most remarkable among the conspirators? By whom was their plot
discovered? Who sat in judgment on the sons of Brutus? What was his
decree? What became of the other conspirators? How did Brutus meet his
death? What funeral honours were decreed him? What became of Tarquin?
When was Rome built? In what year was the regal power abolished? How
long had it existed?

*       *       *       *       *

MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS.


Who was the wisest of men? What was his choice, when many blessings were
offered him? Do you consider knowledge and wisdom to be the same thing?
Repeat to me Cowper's lines upon this subject. Where does tea come from?
What was the cause of its first introduction into Europe? How many years
is it since this circumstance? How many pounds weight were sold by the
East India Company in the year 1700? What is the present annual
consumption? Can you give me any account of the manner in which it is
cultivated? On what does the difference of flavour depend? How is it
prepared for sale? What occasions the difference between green and black
tea? Give me some account of the dwarf named Baby. On what account did
Peter the Great assemble a vast number of dwarfs together? Can you tell
me where birds of Paradise come from, and how many species there are of
them? Give me 1 description of this bird. Do they migrate? What is the
meaning of the word monsoon? What is the food of the humming-bird, and
how does it procure it? How do they construct their nests? Will these
birds live in England? What is the peculiarity of the feet of the
Chinese women? Give me a description of the mode of educating the boys
in China. Are the girls of that country equally well educated? What is
the native country of the peacock? Where are the islands of Java and
Ceylon situated? Give me some further particulars of the peacock. Repeat
these lines of Cowper's, in which he so prettily contrasts the retiring
modesty of the pheasant, with the proud display made by the peacock, of
his gaudy plumes. Repeat to me the passage on politeness, quoted from
Xenophon's Cyropaedia. Give me some particulars of that curious little
animal, the Lapland Marmot. What is asbestos? Where is it found? Of what
use is the cloth manufactured from it, and what are its peculiar
properties? How many classes are there in botany? How many are there in
that division of natural history called the animal kingdom? What are
their names? How many divisions are there in natural history? How many
orders belong to the first class, Mammalia? What are their names? Repeat
to me Mr. Pope's lines upon Superficial Information? What is the meaning
of the word Pierian? Who were the nine Muses? Relate the story of the
old man and his bundle of sticks. Can you tell me the origin of fables?
What is the first specimen of them of which we read? Explain to me the
application of the fable of the bramble. What was the parable spoken by
Nathan to King David? Give me an account of the Americana vessel
stranded on the island of Stameo. Where is this island situated, and are
its inhabitants numerous? What are their manners and government? Repeat
to me Cecil's remarks on Punctuality. What becomes of swallows in the
winter? What is Mr. White's opinion on that subject? How many kinds of
British hirundines are there, and what are their names? Which species
first makes its appearance? How does the swallow construct its nest? How
many broods do they rear each season? On what do they feed? How are
swallows distinguished from the other species of hirundines? In what
month do they usually disappear? Repeat to me Mr. White's lines upon
these birds. How does the house-martin construct her nest? In what month
do they usually leave us? How are they distinguished? Give me some
account of the swift. Where do they build their nests, and how many eggs
does the female usually lay? How may they be distinguished from the
other species? Do they continue with us as late a the former ones? Can
you give me some account of the sand-martin? How are they distinguished?
Are they songsters? Give me some account of the nest of the esculent
martin. What is ginseng, and where is it found? Where are the nests of
the esculemt-martin found, and what is their value? How do the
inhabitants procure them? What particular ceremony do the Javanese use,
previously to this undertaking? Give me some account of the dragon-fly.
What are the insects upon which they particularly feed? Where does the
female deposit her eggs? What is the first appearance this insect
assumes? Upon what do they feed in this state? How long do they continue
reptiles? Give me some account of their transformation. What is the
opinion of Hunter, the celebrated anatomist, respecting the migration of
the swallow tribes, and upon what clues he found his opinion? What is
the meaning of the word anatomy? What difference is there between the
internal structure of the cassowary and the ostrich? What is the meaning
of the term, benefit of clergy? How is the first class in natural
history, called Mamamalia, distinguished? What animals belong to the
first order, Primates, and how may they be distinguished? Which are the
canine teeth? What animals belong to the second order, Bruta, and how
may they be known? What are the characteristics of the third order,
Fera, and what animals does it comprehend? Give me an account of the
fourth order, Glires, with the animals belonging to it. What animals
belong to the fifth order, Pecora, and how may they be known? What are
the characteristics of the sixth order, Fellux, and what animals are
included under it? How is the seventh order, Cete, distinguished? What
is the meaning of the word _predacious_? What are the pectoral fins, and
what is their use? What is the meaning of the term _cartilaginous_? What
is geography? What is chronology? What are the causes of earthquakes?
Give me an account of the one which happened in Jamaica in 1692. Give me
some account of the one in Calabria. Repeat Cowper's lines upon this
subject. What is tapioca? What is sago? Of what use is the Eddystone
Lighthouse? By when was the first constructed? What was this gentleman's
character? What occasioned the destruction of this edifice? Give me some
account of the dreadful storm that occurred in the year 1703. By whom
was the second lighthouse built, and what were the materials of which is
was composed? How did Louis XIV behave to some workmen captured on the
rock by a French Privateer? What circumstance occasioned there being
three men stationed on this spot, instead of two, as formerly? What
destroyed the second building? What particular circumstance occurred
during this sad catastrophe? In what year was the present building
erected, and who was the architect? With what materials is the present
edifice constructed? Give me some account of the circumstances that led
to the appointment of Mr. Smeaton to this undertaking? How long were
they in building the present lighthouse? From what is the word
philosophy derived? What is the solar system? By whom was it first
discovered? Does the tortoise live many years? What is the age of the





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