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Harry liked flowers for being pretty, and did not care whether they were rare or not. The gardener did not believe him. Soon afterwards he offered Harry some pinks, of a kind which he liked particularly.
"But, master, I can let you have them only upon condition, that you promise not to give any cuttings or layers of them to any one.'
Harry drew back with disdain, and said he would make no such promise.
He turned off abruptly, and walked away, but Lucy stood still, and said, "I believe we may have them. Mrs. Frankland told us we might have any thing in this garden that we choose; and here she is coming back from the orchard."
"Oh! that alters the case," said the gardener, with a look of some mortification. "Then, master, you must choose what you will, to be sure."
Harry turned back, and walked composedly along the sides of the carnation beds, writing down the names of those he chose, on a bit of paper. The gardener breathed freely, when Harry passed by the Panjandrum, and turned his back upon the Envy of the world.
Lucy whispered to her brother, "Did you see how much he was afraid that you should have chosen any of those, that are really valuable; and why did not you?" "Because I did not like them, and I despise his mean reasons for liking them," said Harry, putting the paper and pencil into her hands. Now, go, Lucy, and
Lucy, admiring her brother's independence, followed his example, and chose what she liked, without being influenced by the foolish wish of possessing what other people cannot procure. She did not choose either the Pride of Holland, or the Envy of the world.
Harry was quite right to adhere to his own taste: here was no trial of complaisance or generosity.
Mrs. Frankland and their mother now returned from the orchard, and Harry and Lucy gave Mrs. Frankland their list. She looked it over, said she thought they had chosen well, and had been moderate in their requests. She called to her gardener, gave him the paper, and desired him to have the plants in readiness at the time she mentioned.
Very well, ma'am," he auswered, coolly looking over the list, which he saw was only of common flowers; but when she added, that he must also give some Dutch hyacinths, and tulip roots, the gardener's whole countenance changed, he exclaimed, "My Dutch tulips and hyacinths!" and throwing down a hoe that he had in his hand, he walked off, muttering to himself, "that it was well his mistress's head was not loose, or she would give it away."
Mrs. Frankland laughed good-humouredly at his anger. She bore with him, she said, because he was an old and faithful servant, who had been long in the family before she was married. 66 Though you might not think it," said she, "he is generous to his relations, of all that belongs to himself, and covetous only of what belongs to the garden, of which he considers himself as guardian against his mistress's extravagance. But I cannot bear this sort of petty avarice and rivalship about flowers, in persons whose education ought to have raised them above such illiberality. I have heard of a lady, who, when she was asked by a friend for the roots of some particularly fine flower, ashamed to refuse, yet unwilling to give, boiled the roots before she sent them, to prevent the possibility of their growing."-(Vol. ii. p. 44.)
We now give a dialogue which is as pleasant as playing with children; those who are not fond of playing with children, (if any such there be,) will perceive that there is some metaphysical truth at the bottom of the frolic.
Harry observed how much more easy he found it to learn lines which he understood, than to get by heart lists of names. He said, that he recollected having read in Baron Trenck's Life, that when the King of Prussia wanted to try Trenck's memory, he gave him to learn by rote a list of fifty strange names of soldiers in a regiment. Trenck learned them quickly.
"I am glad," said Harry, "that I was not in his place, for his majesty would have thought me quite a dunce, and would have decided that I had no memory. It is much more difficult to learn nonsense than sense," continued Harry: "there is something in sense to help one out."
"Unless it be droll nonsense," said Lucy; "but when it is droll, the diversion helps me to remember."
Harry doubted even this.
Their father said he would, if they liked it, try the experiment, by repeating for them some sentences of droll nonsense, which were put together by Mr. Foote, a humorous writer, for the purpose of trying the memory of a man, who boasted that he could learn any thing by rote, on once hearing it.
"Oh! do let us hear it," cried Lucy; "and try us."
"Let us hear it," said Harry; "but I am sure I shall not be able to learn it." "It will be no great loss if you do not," said his father.
"Now, Lucy, pray sit still and listen," said Harry.
But Harry's power of attention, which he had prepared himself to exert to the utmost, was set completely at defiance, when his father, as fast as he could utter the words, repeated the following nonsense, abruptly beginning with
"So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage leaf, to make an apple pie; and at the same time a great she-bear coming up the street, pops its head into the shop. What! no soap? So he died, and she very imprudently married the barber; and there were present the Picninnies, and the Joblillies, and the Garyulies, and the grand Panjandrum himself, with the little round button at top; and they all fell to playing the game of catch as catch can, till the gunpowder ran out at the heels of their boots."
Gunpowder at the heels of their boots! horrible nonsense!" cried Harry; while Lucy, rolling with laughter, and the more at Harry's indignation, only wished it was not dark, that she might see his face.
"Well, can either of you remember or repeat any of this?" said their mother. Lucy said, that if it had not been for the grand Panjandrum, she was almost sure she should have been able to say it; but she was so much surprised by meeting the grand Panjandrum himself again, and so diverted by his little round button at top, that she could think of nothing else; besides, laughing hindered her from hearing the names of all the company who were present at the barber's marriage: but she perfectly well remembered the Picninnies; and she knew why she did, because their name was something like piccunini; and this word had been fixed in her head by a droll anecdote she had heard of a negro boy, who, when he was to tell his master that Mr. Gosling had called upon him one morning, and could not recollect his name, said he knew the gentleman was a Mr. Goose-piccanini."
"So you see, Lucy," said her father, "that even with you, who seem to be yourself one of the numerous family of the Piccaninies, or of the Goose-piccaninies, there is always some connexion of ideas, or sounds, which helps to fix even nonsense in the memory."
"Papa, will you be so very good as to repeat it once more. Now, Harry, once more let us try.'
"I would rather learn a Greek verb," said Harry. "There is some sense in that. Papa, could you repeat one?"
"I could, son, but I will not now," said his father; "let your sister divert herself with the grand Panjandrum, and do not be too grand yourself, Harry. It is sweet to talk nonsense in season. Always sense would make Jack a dull boy."
The grand Panjandrum was repeated once more; and this time Harry did his best, and remembered what she went into the garden to cut, for an apple pie; and he mastered the great she-bear, and the no soap, but for want of knowing who died, he never got cleverly to the marriage with the barber. But Lucy, less troubled concerning the nominative case, went on merrily, "and she very imprudently married the barber." But just as Lucy was triumphantly naming the company present, and had got to the Joblillies, Harry, whose attention was not so wholly absorbed, as to have no eyes for outward nature, exclaimed- --(Vol. ii. p. 151.)
-what he exclaimed will be found in the book.
The following adventure contains some useful hints for the better government of sentimentalists; and also an excellent illustration of the absurdity of the vulgar in respect of disbelief and belief. A waggoner is told a very probable story, but he scarcely credits it, till he is informed that the event happened on a particular spot named, when he believes it all implicitly.
Harry wanted to look at a broad-wheeled waggon, which was coming down the hill. And while he watched the shape and motion of the wheels, and asked his father some questions concerning them, Lucy was pitying the poor dog, who was chained underneath the waggon, and who, as he waddled along, apparently half dragged by the neck, looked very mournful. She was told, that his use was to guard
the waggon, and that his being chained to it secured his always being near it. She wished very much that the man could be persuaded to loose him; a faithful dog, she thought, would guard his master's goods without being chained. Her mother observed, that it would be useless to talk sentiment to an English waggoner. Lucy wished that she had some money, that she might give it to buy this dog from his master, and set him free. Her mother told her, that even supposing she could buy this dog, the man would get another, and this dog would not perhaps be better off, as he might not find any body to feed him, "You know, my dear Lucy, we could not take him with us. What should we do for the next dog we meet under the next waggon?"
Lucy saw the impossibility of freeing them all, and sighed. Her mother was glad to see that she had such humane feelings for animals, but said, "there is much we must bear to see in this life, that we cannot remedy; all we can do is, to take as good care as possible of those creatures of which we have the charge."
Lucy blushed: "I will take care not to forget to give poor Dash water when I have him again, mamma. I recollect one day
Here she was interrupted by Harry, exclaiming, "Father! pray look out of the window this instant! Do you see that streak of black powder in the track of the waggon, papa? I saw it dribbling from a barrel. Is it not gunpowder? May I get out and look?"
He spoke as fast as he could utter the words, and his father instantly called to the waggoner, stopped the carriage, and jumped out, Harry following him. It was gunpowder. They ran after the waggoner, who either did not hear, or would not stop. When they overtook him, and showed him the gunpowder running out of the barrel, he, being a sulky fellow, was very angry with the barrel, and with the man who packed it, and with the man to whom it was going, and with every body but himself. He had no clear idea of the danger he had run, till Harry's father told him, that he had some years before known a waggon to have been blown to pieces, and men and horses killed, by just such an accident. Some gunpowder had been shaken out of a barrel in the waggon, and had taken fire, as it is supposed, from a spark struck from a flint in the road. This communicating with the gunpowder had blown up the whole. The waggoner scarcely credited the story, till he heard the name of the hill down which the waggon had been going, and then, as Harry observed, without any further question, he believed it to be true. So it is, that ignorant people believe or disbelieve, without any reasonable grounds. They staid to see the barrel well packed, and safely stowed. Some of the passengers, who were sitting within the canvas roof of the waggon, and who had looked out and listened, now expressed much gratitude, and said they might have lost their lives but for this timely discovery of danger. The waggoner then grew warmer in his thanks, and, as he was repacking the barrel, said in his Somersetshire tone to Harry,
"Master, you've done uz a mortal good turn, I finds, and if zo be it was in my power to give you a lift any ways, I'd not be behind, you'd zee; but the likes of I can do little for the likes of you gem'men."
Harry thanked him; he wanted nothing he said, but he was glad that he and his waggon were safe.
"How well it was, father," said Harry, as they walked back together to the carriage, "that I saw the gunpowder running out, and recollected what you had told me about the blowing up of the waggon."
"Yes," said his father, " you see how useful it is to observe what passes before your eyes, and to recollect what you know at the right time."
When Lucy heard what had passed, after rejoicing that waggon and waggoner were safe, she regretted, that when the man offered to do Harry a good turn, he had not said a word for the dog.
"I forgot the dog," cried Harry. will run and speak for the dog."
Father, will you stay for me three minutes? I
His father smiled, and back he ran. What he said, or in what words the waggoner replied, we cannot tell, for Harry never could remember, either the words he used, or those said to him; but the result was, as he informed Lucy, that the dog Lion was unchained, that the waggoner promised that Lion should have liberty to run after him by day, and that he should be chained only by night.-(Vol. ii. p. 135.)
We shall conclude our extracts with a description which is, to our minds, perfect in its way. To our tastes it surpasses the happiest efforts of Sterne in the same style, for it is brief, bold, and unstudied, and wholly free from the conceit which pervades all the compositions
of the great sentimentalist. The subject of the picture is a waterdrawing canary bird.
He disliked, it seems, the labour of drawing water, and never performed this operation, except when compelled by thirst. Unluckily for Lucy, just before she arrived he had drawn up a bucket full, and having satisfied his thirst, he was now singing away, loud and shrill, as if rejoicing in having cast dull care behind him. Lucy waited and waited; she and the housekeeper exhausted all their exhortations, all the endearing epithets in the language, and all their hemp seed, in vain. The canary took all the bribes as fast as they were offered, and received all the compliments seemingly in good part-but no return made he: not that he did not understand what return was expected. The rogue eyed the bucket askance, as the housekeeper held it up to him; then straight he turned his back upon her, or upon it, and sang away, pertinaciously, with a louder and a shriller note than before. A full quarter of an hour was spent upon him, then Lucy gave it up.-(Vol. iii. p. 268.)
We have quoted the above passages merely as specimens of the literary merit of Harry and Lucy: examples of its information, the main excellence of the book, would necessarily have occupied a space inconsistent with our limits, the chain of instruction being long, and so linked together that a bit cannot be severed for exhibition without doing violence to the design of the author. For evidence of its higher merits we therefore exhort every body, young and old, to read the book, convinced as we are that there are few who will not profit in some particular by it, and that every one who peruses it will do justice to the utility of its design, and the ingenuity with which it is executed.
THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES
CONTAINING HIS TRAVELS IN ITALY, GREECE, FRANCE, &c. No. III.
WE reached Brest at a late hour in the evening. We took up our abode at the sign of the Falcon. Next morning we enquired the address of a certain merchant (whose name, for delicate reasons, must be here suppressed,) and to whom my friend in Calais had furnished us with a strong letter of recommendation; we had another to General Bonté, who had been appointed to command the expedition to America. We immediately went to call upon the merchant, and were shown into a superb antichamber, fitted up in the highest style; and after we had waited about five minutes, Monsieur N. appeared, My companion having presented the letter, he desired us to be seated, and proceeded to read it, thus affording us leisure to survey him. He was a man about fifty years of age, of a handsome countenance, not very tall in stature, but rather thin, and very fashionably drest. Having read the letter, he said: gentlemen, I am much obliged to my correspondent for procuring me the pleasure of your acquaintance; he informs me that your intention is to proceed to America; I shall not fail to render you all the service in my power. I hope you will come and dine with me to-day; we shall then talk further on the subject; meantime, allow me to introduce you to my wife and my sister-in-law, that you may have some conversation with them, during which you
will be pleased to dispense with my company, as I have a good deal of business to attend to." We assured him that we were very grateful for his kindness, but being unwilling to occasion the smallest inconvenience, we desired him to convey our compliments. Monsieur N. said: "Quite the contrary, my wife and her sister are very fond of the society of foreigners; do me the favour to come along with me." He led the way, and conducted us to a very elegant apartment, where two charming women were seated at breakfast with whom he left us. One of them, whom we afterwards discovered to be the wife of Monsieur N., the other being her young unmarried sister, said to us: "If you wait for the expedition you will have to remain some months in Brest, and of this we shall be very glad; we hope you will not fail to come to our house every day. I have much pleasure in speaking Italian, having studied it eight months in Paris; I read Italian books continually that I may not forget it." I enquired if the other lady spoke Italian and was answered in the negative. I then began to converse in Italian, and found that the lady had made but little progress in the language; she pronounced it very ill, (which, however, is no great wonder, as it is almost impossible for the French to pronounce tolerably any language but their own.) After we had talked a little, I complimented her by saying she spoke the language very well. [The reader will excuse this momentary piece of adulation, for who could have forborne it, placed as I was in the presence of a very beautiful lady?] Finding my native language to be so excellent a passport, I did nothing but commend the few phrases that she uttered. My companion conversed with the other lady, and the conference lasted nearly two hours. Unwilling to be tedious on our first interview, we took our leave, anticipating the pleasure of meeting them again at dinner, Monsieur N. having been so kind as to invite us. I perceived that the ladies were pleased with what I now told them.
As we had still sufficient leisure on our hands, we called upon General Bonté. We entered the palace in which his apartments were, and were shown into an antichamber, which proved to be full of people waiting for audience, some of whom were well and others ill dressed ; there being an officer in waiting, we informed him that we were foreigners who had a letter for the general; and this message he went to communicate. Meanwhile I enquired of one of the company, who seemed a gentleman, if the general had so crowded an audience every morning. He said: "No, there was an audience thrice a week on affairs relating to the expedition to America, and all those now in the antichamber were persons desirous of being engaged to go, whom the general wished to see before he engaged them, that he might ascertain who and what they were, as they came from all parts of France, in great numbers, and of various characters, good, bad, and indifferent. Perceiving that my informant was very courteous and well dressed, I asked him if he also had determined to engage as a soldier. He replied: "Sir, I was a merchant; I failed; I am left without a sixpence. I hope to change my fortune by going to America. As soon as I get there I shall desert and do as I please. I have no money to pay the expence of such a voyage." I said to him, if every body be in your mind Louis XVIII. will not have many troops in America. The general was a corpulent man of a cheerful mien; and wore a queue with a profusion of hair-powder. We presented to