Jean Nicolas Bouilly.

The juvenile scrap-book and youth's annual online

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and offer her humble homage to the rightful em-
peror of China ; but this, Chao Rang would not
permit, saying, " he had always been accustomed
to look upon Choo-lan as entitled to his deepest
respect ; and if ever he should regain the throne
of his ancestors, he would make her his Empress,
provided she could only love him." Choo-lan
then replied, "that she loved him quite well
enough to share his present fortunes, if her father
would consent to her becoming his wife, and his
royal mother would be content to receive her for
a daughter." The consent of the Empress Min
was joyfully given ; and the fair Choo-lan became
the wife of the fugitive emperor. Meantime the
exhibition of the lantern had caused a great sen-
sation among the assembled multitude, as it made
known to them the existence of a descendant of
the great Yu. The mandarin had, however,
prudently expunged those parts of the picture
which revealed the present abode and occupation
of the royal youth, lest it should expose him to
the jealous rage of the usurper Han-sou ; and for
the present he judged it best for him to remain
concealed. After Chao Rang became the hus-
band of his beloved daughter, the mandarin ob-



PRINCE CHAD RANG. 115

tained for him a military command in a remote
station, where he learned the art of war, and
finally gained great reputation as a warrior : yet
he was thirty years old before he could arrange
his plans successfully, so as to assert his long
dormant right to the throne of China. At length
the moment came when the tyranny of the usurp-
er Han-sou could no longer be endured ; and the
people of China, from the city to the plains, and
from the mountain-tops to the shores of the sea,
called aloud for the last descendant of the great
Yu to appear for their deliverance.

Chao Kang had only waited for this summons.
He assembled his brave friends ; and three hun-
dred valiant youths, the flower of his army, were
commanded by Ti-chou, his eldest son by his
beloved wife Choo-lan, who had brought him a
hopeful family of lovely children. The army of
the usurper Han-sou was tenfold more numerous
than that of the rightful sovereign Chao-Kang ;
but the race is not always to the swift, nor the
battle to the strong.

Fired with the thought of his father's wrongs,
and eager to avenge the murder of all his kindred,
the young prince Ti-chou, calling upon the chosen
band under his command to follow him, dashed



116 PRINCE CHAD RANG.

into the very centre of Hansou's army ; and while
the hoary usurper was in the act of haranguing
his troops, and charging them to give no quarter,
he was seized in the strong grasp of Ti-chou,
who, flinging him across his horse's neck, carried
him off in that degrading posture as a captive,
amid the triumphant acclamations of his brave
followers.

Chao Rang and his troops then charged the
adherents of the usurper sword in hand ; and
they being thrown into a panic by the unexpected
loss of their leader, flung down their arras, and
on the very spot swore allegiance to the descend-
ant of the great Yu.

As for the ususper Han-sou, he was put to
the death his crimes had so richly merited ; and
Chao Rang with his mother, the widowed Em-
press Min, his faithful wife Choo-lan, who had
accompanied him in all his wanderings, and his
blooming family, entered the capital, where he
was crowned with the imperial diadem of China,
amid the shouts and rejoicings of the people.

Both Chao Rang and his son Ti-chou enjoyed
long and glorious reigns, having employed the
days of their adversity in fitting themselves to
advance the happiness of the people committed



PRINCE CHAD KANG. 117

to their charge ; and they cultivated the arts of
peace no less successfully than they had practised
the stern business of war, so that the memories
of both are still cherished with undiminished
regard by the descendants of their subjects,
though so many centuries have passed away since
these illustrious princes swayed the sceptre of
China.

10*



THE flower lies withered on the stalk ;
The bright leaves strow the garden walk ;
Again they spring forth fresh and fair,
And with new sweetness fill the air.

I've seen the sun set in the west,
And darkness bid all nature rest ;
That sun again broke forth in light,
And chas'd the darkness of the night,

I've seen the insect passive lie,
Refuse to eat, and seem to die :
It spun itself a tomb alone,
And shrouded lay in silken cone.

I look'd again ; it was not there ;
Its tomb had burst, and high in air
On color'd wings it seem'd to glow,
Rejoicing Us new form to show,



IMMORTALITY. 1 19

Then oh, frail man, canst thou distrust,
That with new life thou'lt rise from dust?
The seed which thou in faith dost sow,
Is buried first, ere it can grow.
So thou awhile in earth shalt lie,
Then rise again, no more to die.

But who is he that bursts the tomb,
And bids thy soul immortal bloom ?
Who wakes the dead, to whom is giv'n
To gather the redeem'd, in Heav'n 1

He cometh on a fiery cloud,
The trump of God is sounding loud ;
Thousands of angels at his hand,
Obedient wait his high command.

Then cease thy mourning, child of earth ;
Thou'lt rise to an immortal birth ;
In sighs no more expend thy breath,
Jesus, thy friend, has conquer'd Death.



FROM THE FRENCH.

MR. LIERNEY, formerly an eminent barrister,
was afflicted by the infirmities of old age, and
forced to sit continually in an armed chair, where
he received the most endearing attentions from
his only daughter, Mrs. Rainford, whose husband,
a captain of artillery, had died five years before
on the field of glory.

Mrs. Rainford had two children, a son, twelve
years of age, called Stephen, and a daughter,
one year older, named Alphonsine. They much
resembled each other in their features and in the
tone of their voices ; but they differed greatly in
their dispositions. Stephen, lively, cheerful, and
affectionate, was pleased with every thing, and
treated alike the rich and the poor, the weak and
the strong. His heart was a stranger to egotism
and pride. To distinguish merit, to be attracted



THE ARM CHAIR. 121

by goodness and affability, were the principles of
Stephen ; and such was the effect of his numer-
ous conversations with his grandfather, that he
frequently preferred his society to that of the
young people of his own age, and to the most
brilliant companies.

Alphonsine, on the contrary, was fond of a
dazzling appearance ; the elegance of her shape
and the beauty of her figure made her suppose
that nothing could be compared to her. Her
pride found no attractions but in pomp and mag-
nificence ; she valued nothing but the signs of
opulence. To cultivate her talents, to improve
her mind, to enrich her heart with the virtues that
render women beloved and respected, appeared,
in Alphonsine's eyes, time lost and tediously spent.

Among the rich and costly furniture with which
Mrs. Rainford's saloon was decorated, was an
old fashioned wooden arm chair, covered with
faded red leather, fastened with nails that had
once been gilt, and were now black, the interval
between each of which discovered here and there
a remnant of antiquated fringe, a deposite of
dust. This large arm chair, mounted on four
castors, and the back of which could be lowered
at pleasure by means of a double spring, was the



122 THE ARM CHAIR.

usual seat of the respectable Mr. Lierney. He
found himself much more at ease there than in
our modern chairs, whose incongruous forms and
constrained shapes appeared to him as ridiculous
as incommodious.

Stephen, who saw nothing in this antiquated
piece of furniture but a place of rest in which
his grandfather often forgot his infirmities, took
pleasure in preserving and repairing it, and in
adding to it whatever might contribute to the
comfort and ease of the venerable old man.

At the entrance of winter, Stephen adapted to
the top of his grandfather's arm chair a kind of
drapery, which sheltered from cold his head and
his organs weakened by age. At the return of
spring, Stephen adorned the fore part of the arm
chair with a little wooden tablet, on which he
every day deposited flowers, the sight and fra-
grance of which reanimated the old gentleman.
Frequently, Mr Lierney was rolled about by his
grandson to enjoy the rays of the sun, which
invigorated his strength and gayety. Sometimes,
at the end of a few rounds, he fell asleep in his
arm chair with a smile on his lips, and appearing
to bless the amiable boy, who was delighted to
think that by his care and attentions he might



THE ARM CHAIR. 123

prolong the days of his grandfather, and embel-
lish the end of his career.

Alphonsine, far from sharing the attentions of
her brother towards their venerable parent, had
never once rolled the enormous and antiquated
arm chair ; she had never deposited a single
flower upon it. Her greatest torment, on the
contrary, was to see that old piece of furniture,
forming so striking a contrast with the handsome
mahogany chairs covered with rich silk, that
stood in the saloon. A hundred times, if she had
dared, she would have broken that old chair
which humbled her pride. " Yes," said she, one
day in a moment of vexation, " as soon as my
grandfather is dead, I shall burn his old arm
chair."

Mr. Lierney, whose organs were not absolutely
enfeebled, had noticed Alphonsine's antipathy to
his favorite chair ; he had even overheard those
harsh and unfeeling words, " As soon as my
grandfather is dead, I shall burn his old arm
chair." These culpable expressions lay heavy
upon his heart ; he resolved to give his grand-
daughter a lesson which she might long remem-
ber.

Under the seat of the chair, Mr. Lierney had



124 THE ARM CHAIR.

secretly placed a drawer, of which he alone had
the key, and wherein he deposited whatever was
most precious to him. Every age of man has its
weakness ; that of old people is to separate them-
selves as little as they can from the treasure
which their industry and economy has amassed.

One day when Alphonsine was to go in the
evening to a ball where the best dressed females
of her acquaintance were to meet, she bitterly
complained that she had not a robe sufficiently
elegant. She particularly wished for a garland
of artificial flowers, such as she saw worn by the
young ladies of her rank and fortune ; but Mrs,
Rainford, who wanted to accustom her daughter
to a prudent economy, had fixed her monthly
allowance, which Alphonsine had spent before
hand. It was therefore irrevocably decided, that
the young lady should go to the ball in a plain
robe of white crape. Disconsolate at having
expended her whole allowance in trifles, Alphon-
sine expressed her sorrow in the presence of her
grandfather, who seemed not to give it any atten-
tion.

A few hours after she returned to Mr. Lier-
ney's room, and vented again her lamentations
and her despair. " Well, my child," said the



THE ARM CHAIR. 125

respectable old man with a smile, " to console
you for not having a more costly dress, be for
once useful to your grandfather ; take this key
and oblige me by opening the drawer under my
chair on your side." She took the key, opened
the drawer under the chair, and perceived a
handsome perfumed work-basket covered with
blue satin, which contained a complete trimming
of white roses, whose elegance equalled their
freshness. She then comprehended the amiable
lesson of her grandfather, confessed that she was
never more agreeably surprised, and hastened to
place on her crape robe the rich ornament which
she was so far from expecting.

But Alphonsine's antipathy to the old arm
chair was not yet entirely subdued ; she could
not accustom herself to see it figure among the
modern furniture with which it was surrounded
in the saloon. She durst no longer express her
aversion aloud, but as soon as Mr. Lierney left
the room she hid it in a corner, and placed any
thing before it to prevent its being seen. A sin-
gular occurrence destroyed for ever Alphonsine's
repugnance, and rendered her grandfather's arm
chair as dear to her as it had formerly been disa*
greeable.

11



126 THE ARM CHAIR.

It was carnival time. Alphonsine was to go-
disguised as an old woman to one of her friends,
where a number of young persons were to assem-
ble. The gown folded on the back, long triple
ruffles, a cap with wings, high-heeled shoes, and
a maliciously looking and wrinkled mask on her
face ; nothing was wanting in her dress, and
though scarcely in the spring of life, she might
have been taken for an old woman of seventy.
Her mother had superintended her masquerade
with pleasure, and young Stephen, in the disguise
of a handsome jockey, was to bear the train of
the old dowager countess, and make a triumphant
entry with her in the joyous and brilliant company
where they were expected. It had been expressly
agreed upon that parents should not be admitted,
and that the lady of the house should alone watch
over these merry young people, who wished to be
left for once wholly to themselves.

To complete her disguise of an old dowager,
Alphonsine had committed the indiscretion of
taking, unknown to any one, diamond ear-rings
of a great price from the toilet-box of Mrs. Rain-
ford. When she got to her friend's, she placed
them in her ears, and this addition to her dress
produced indeed the most perfect illusion/ The



THE ARM CHAIR. 127

approbation of the company was general. Al-
phonsine was unanimously declared to have chos-
en one of the richest and most uncommon char-
acters. Her vanity was nattered and her joy
extreme. She gave herself up to the pleasure of
dancing, and to the little games with which it
was intermixed, with all the ardor and giddiness
of her age. But the clock struck twelve : this
was the hour which their parents had prescribed
for the breaking up of the party. How quickly
this hour appeared to come ! Alphonsine and
Stephen, under the protection of an old servant,
got into a coach and returned home, where every
one was in bed. But who can imagine the young
lady's terror when, on walking up to her glass to
undress herself, she missed one of her mother's
ear-rings ? She uttered a piercing cry, and shed
a flood of tears. The good natured little Stephen
immediately returned to the house where the
masked ball had been given ; he searched every
corner and made strict inquiries, but all in vain ;
the rich jewel could not be found. " What will
my mother say ? " cried Alphonsine. " How
dreadfully am I punished for my indiscretion!
How shall I be able to repair so great a loss !"
" It would perhaps require a thousand crowns,"



128 THE ARM CHAIR.

added Stephen. " But how durst you take them
unknown to mamma ? I thought it was her who
lent you those rich ornaments. Consider what
sorrow you may cause her by your indiscretion
and your imprudence. Oh, Alphonsine ! you
are greatly to blame."

The two unfortunate children passed the night
in the most dreadful agitation. Alphonsine in
particular could not once close her eyes. The
next day the depression which was observed in
the countenance of the brother and sister was
taken for a consequence of the fatigues of the
ball. Many days passed away. In the mean
time, Stephen, being questioned by his grand-
father, who no longer discerned in the features
of his grandson the amiable serenity which was
their brightest charm, confessed the misfortune
which they had met with, and described Alphon-
sine' s despair in the most glowing colors. " Well,"
said Mr. Lierney, " endeavor to procure me the
other ear-ring, but it must be unknown to any
one, and especially unknown to your sister. Go,
my dear boy, and calm your uneasiness." Ste-
phen obeyed, and executed literally his grand-
father's directions.

Some time after, Alphonsine, supposing that



THE ARM CHAIR. 129

3ier mother, who was invited to a grand ceremo-
nious dinner, would want her ear-rings, and learn
of course the accident she had met with, came to
confide her tormenting cares to Mr. Lierney.
The old man was seated in his arm chair, which
Stephen was amusing himself with rolling about
in the saloon. Alphonsine's afflicting narrative
drew a smile from the old gentleman. He once
more gave her his key, and told her to open the
drawer under his chair. She opened the drawer,
and the first object which caught her eyes was
her mother's jewel-box, containing a new ear-
ring, and so like the other that it was impossible
to distinguish the new one from the old. Al-
phonsine at first thought it was the latter which
had been found ; but Stephen explained the mys-
tery, and the giddy young lady learnt that it was
to the generosity and affection of her grandfather
that she was indebted for her good fortune. Ste-
phen immediately ran to place the jewel-box on
his mother's toilet table, who never perceived the
change. Alphonsine, elated with joy and over-
flowing with gratitude, threw herself into the
arms of Mr. Lierney, who, pressing her to his
heart, said, with the most affecting expression,
" When I am gone, do not burn my old arm chair."
11*



LOOK at yon spreading oak,
It is the village pride ;
Its trunk is massy, strong,
With branches spreading wide.

Its roots, like crooked fangs,
Strike deep into the earth ;
Old tree, how cam'st thou here,
What was thy wondrous birth ?

The birds build on thy boughs,
The cattle seek thy shade ;
The rustic neighbors sit in groups,
And children here have play'd.

The men come round thy trunk,
Whose locks with age are gray ;
They cannot tell thy growth,
Thou 'rt older, far, than they.



131



Son of the forest ! thou hast seen
Whole generations die ;
And yet thou dost the wintry gales
Of centuries defy.

And thou didst from an acorn spring,
Which was so very small,
That but a drop or two of dew
Into its cup could fall !

From this beginning thou didst rise,
Thy leaves grew by degrees ;
Till rains, and dews, and fertile soil,
Made thee the pride of trees.

Just so the mind of every child,
Is like this acorn small ;
Its powers are folded up from view,
And scarcely felt at all.

The memory, judgment, all are there ;
The sense of right and wrong ;
And yet the child knows not its life,
Nor where those powers belong.

Think of the wisest man you know,
Think of the greatest one who lives ;



132



Think of some one, who, like the tree,
Protecting blessings gives.

His mind was once like thine,
His thoughts were childish, few,
His wisdom grew by slow degrees,
Just as the acorn grew.

Instruction was his food,

Its dew, its rain, its soil ;

He glean'd from books and teachers too,

With unremitted toil.

'T was long before the oak

Shot far above the ground ;

A child might then have plucked it up

From out its hilly raound.

It might have been a graceless tree,
Had twigs been from it broke ;
But ever, if it grew at all,
It must have been an oak.

The child may have a wicked mind,
No love of truth to scan ;
But still his nature is the same,
He must grow up a man.



133



Then guard thy soul, and feed it well,
With nutriment divine ;
It came from God, it goes to him ;
Oh, let his image shine.

The oak at last decays,
Nor verdure more can give ;
Not so thy mind, my child ;
That evermore shall live.

Revere thyself; let coming years
Thy weaknesses reform ;
Preserve thy nature pure within,
Then take an angel's form.



BT J. N. BOUILLY.

IF among the benefits we bestow, there are
some that produce no return but ingratitude and
oblivion, there are others, however, that yield the
sweetest pleasure and excite the most lively and
everlasting gratitude.

Georgiana, the daughter of a rich merchant of
the name of Mirval, was one summer evening
inhaling the fresh air at one of the balconies of
her father's house, with several young ladies of
her age. While many persons of the company
were engaged at cards in the drawing-room, they
were entertaining themselves by looking at two
little sweeps from the province of Auvergne, who
were performing in the street one of the dances
of their country to the sound of a bagpipe, whose
harsh and wild tone agreed in every respect with
the grotesque gambols and singular songs of the
two little mountaineers.



THE LOUIS D J OR. 135

Georgiana was ready to die with laughter at
the sight of their contortions, and was noticing
them to her young companions, when one of the
little sweeps came under the balcony, holding
his hat, and asked in the customary way for a
trifling donation.

Georgiana, who had not any thing to give
them, went into the drawing-room and asked
her father (who was playing rather high at a
game of chance) for some money, to give, said
she, to two little sweeps, who had much amused
her. Mr. Mirval reached his daughter some
pieces of coin, which she wrapt up in a piece of
paper, and threw down from the balcony to the
boy, who, still holding up his ragged hat, said,
" Heaven bless you for it, my good young ladies !"
At the same time he put the paper and what had
been thrown to him from the neighboring win-
dows, into his pocket, and disappeared with his
comrade, playing on the bagpipe as he went
along.

On the next day, Georgiana, breakfasting with
her father, described the comical dance of the two
little sweeps, and lamented the fate of those un-
fortunate boys who quit their parents at a tender
age, and go two hundred leagues from their



136 THE LOUIS D'OR.

native village to devote themselves to the rudest
labors in the metropolis, exposed to the severity
of the seasons, and to a misery so much the more
poignant, as they are constant eye witnesses of
the magnificence and luxury of the wealthy.

Mr. Mirval profited by the pertinent observa-
tions of his daughter, to make her sensible of the
happy lot of those who enjoy the smiles of fortune
and the advantages of a good education. He
added, that to refuse our assistance to the unfor-
tunate is a crime against society, and one which
renders ourselves unworthy of the benefits of
Providence.

The conversation on this interesting subject
was growing very animated between Georgiana
and her father, when a servant came to inform
them that two little sweeps wanted to speak to
Miss Mirval.

" If they should be the same who diverted me
so much last night," said Georgiana ; " but what
can they want of me ?" " Tell them to walk
in," said Mr. Mirval. The servant immediately
introduced the two little mountaineers, who, trem-
bling and afraid of dirtying the floor, had left
their shoes in the antechamber, and approached
barefooted. " They are the very same !" ex-



THE LOUIS D'OR. 137

claimed Georgiana as soon as she perceived them.
" What do you want ?" asked Mr. Mirval.

The two little sweeps remained some time
speechless, looking and nodding one to the other
to be the orator. At length the tallest, twirling
his hat, and drawing a little leather bag from his
bosom, said, " You must excuse us, good sir, if
we take the liberty to appear in your presence ;
but in the parcel of halfpence which Miss gave
us last night, we have found this gold coin, which
certainly was not intended for us, and which we
hasten to return to you : here it is." Saying
this, he placed on the edge of the table a louis
d'or, blackened with the dirt of his hands. " But
what makes you think that it was me," said
Georgiana, " who threw you this gold coin, rather
than any of the other persons in the neighbor-
hood ]"

" Oh ! my good young lady," said the young-
est, who had not yet dared to speak, " I took
particular notice of the paper you threw into my
hat." " And then," added the eldest, " we in-
quired at several houses in the street. It is yours,
nothing is more certain, sir. Take it back again,
I pray you."

" I suppose," said Mr. Mirval, " it was me,
12



138 THE LOUIS D'OR.

when I gave inadvertently a few pieces of money
for you to my daughter. Yes, yes, I'll take the
louis d'or back again, but to reward your good
faith, to encourage your probity. Here," said
he to the elder boy, presenting it to him, " I will
give it you with all my heart, and hope it will
prosper in your hands. I am not joking," said
Mr. Mirval ; " keep this gold coin." " And I,"
added Georgiana, eagerly, " to convince you how
much I delight in rewarding, in encouraging good
qualities, I will double the sum ; you must have
each of you the same little treasure." And she
instantly went to bring a louis d'or from an ad-
joining room, and gave it to the youngest boy,
who, with his brother, fell at the feet of Mr.
Mirval and his daughter, and both ejaculated in
their dialect a fervent prayer for the prosperity


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Online LibraryJean Nicolas BouillyThe juvenile scrap-book and youth's annual → online text (page 6 of 8)