he was again replaced in his litter, where, laying his finger on his mouth, to enjoin secrecy to his officers who stood about him, he died a few moments after in that posture.(Spectator.)


ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARY.1 WHEN Alexandria was taken by the Mahomedans, Anirus, their commander, found there Philoponus, whose conversation highly pleased him, as Amrus was a lover of letters, and Philoponus a learned man.4 On a certain day Philoponus said to him : “You have visited all the repositories or public warehouses in Alexandria, and you have sealed up5 things of every sort that are found there. As to those things that may be useful to you, I presume to say nothing; but as to things of no service to you, some of them perhaps may be more suitable to me."8 Amrus said to him : “And what is it you want ?”—“The philosophical books,” replied he,“ preserved in the royal libraries.”— “ This,” said Amrus, “is a request upon which I cannot decide. You desire a thing where I can issue no orders, till I have leave from Omar, the commander of the faithful.” Letters were accordingly written 10 to Omar, informing him of what Philoponus had said; and an answer was returned by Omar to the following purport :11 “ As to the books of which you have made mention, if there be contained in them what? accords with the book of God (meaning the Alcoran),2 there is without them,3 in the book of God, all that is sufficient. But, if there be any thing in them repugnant4 to that book, we in no respect want them. Order them therefore to be all destroyed.”6 Amrus upon this ordered them to be dispersed through? the baths of Alexandria, and to be there burnt in making the baths warm. After this manner, in the space of six months they were all consumed.

1 Alexandria was taken by the the doer or doers of the action, Saracens in 640. Its great library by the active voice with on, or by had been created about the year the reflective form, as here. Ex.: 287 B.C., and contained upwards dicitur, (Latin ;) 'it is said,' (En. of 700,000 volumes.

glish ;) on dit, (French.) “That is 2 John Philoponus, of Alex- done every day,' cela se fait tous andria, a philosopher and gram- les jou marian of the seventh century, i qui ne vous sont d'aucun usage and author of a commentary on (or, d'aucune utilité). the work of creation.

8 me conviendraient davantage. 3 aimait les lettres.

When "more' is taken abso4 était un savant.

lutely, davantage is used instead 5 vous avez mis le scellé sur. of plus.

6 qui s'y trouvent. The English sur laquelle. (as the Latin) passive is to be 10 On écrivit en conséquence. translated into French whenever See above, note 6; and p. 5, note 12. there is a certain yagueness about 11 Omar répondit en ces termes.


Thus ended this noble library; and thus began, if it did not begin sooner, the age of barbarity and ignorance.


VALENTINE AND UNNION. At the siege of Namur by the allies, there was in the ranks of the company commanded by Captain Pincent, in Colonel Frederic Hamilton's regiment, one Unnion, a corporal, and one Valentine, a private sentinel :10 there happened between these two men a dispute about an affair of love, which, upon some aggravations, grew toll an irreconcilable hatred. Unnion, being the officer of Valentine, took all opportunities even to strike his rival, and profess the spite and revenge which moved him to it. 12 The sentinel 13 bore it without resistance ; but frequently said he

1 si ce qu'ils contiennent. be done, to have, or to get it done,'

? c'est-à-dire le Coran. (L'Al are elegantly expressed, in French, coran is also used, but is not cor by the verb faire, followed by an rect.)

infinitive. 3 on trouve autrepart qu'en eux. 7 ordonna qu'on les distribudt would die to be revenged 1 of that tyrant. They had spent whole months in this manner, the one injuring, 2 the other complaining; when, in the midst of this rage against each other,3 they were commanded upon the attack of the castle, where the corporal received a shot in 4 the thigh, and fell. The French pressing on, and Unnion expecting to be trampled to death, he called out to his enemy :? " Ah, Valentine ! can you leave me here ?" Valentine immediately ran back, and, in the midst of a thick fire of the French, took the corporal upon his back, and brought him through all the danger as far as the Abbey of Saltine, when a cannon ball took off his head :10 his body fell under his enemy whom he was carrying off. Unnion immediately forgot his wound, rose up, tearing his hair, 11 and then threw himself on the bleeding carcase, 12 crying : “Ah, Valentine ! was it13 for me, who have so barbarously used thee, that thou hast died ? I will not live after thee!” 14 He was not by any means to be forced from the body, 15 but was removed with it bleeding16 in his arms, and attended with tears by all their comrades who knew their enmity. When he was 17 brought to a tent, his wounds were dressed; but the next day, still calling upon Valentine, and lamenting his cruelties to him, he died in the pangs of remorse.—(Tatler.)

4 s'il s'y trouve quelque chose de (or, les fit distribuer) dans. contraire. Notice this use of the 8 pour chauffer les bains. preposition de after quelque chose, 9 De. as also after rien, and quoi.

10 un caporal, nommé U-, et un 5 nous n'avons nullement besoin simple soldat, nommé V(or, nous n'avons que faire) de ces li en raison de quelques provocaouvrages. Nous n'en avons nulle- tions, dégénéra en. ment besoin might be considered 12 et de témoigner son esprit die ambiguous, as en means of it'as rancune et de vengeance; or, more well as 'of them.'

literally, .... la rancune et la 6 Faites les donc détruire tous. vengeance qui l'y portuient. To order, or to cause a thing to 13 Le soldat,

1 il disait souvent qu'il (see page this use of a personal pronoun and 1, note 5,) mourrait volontiers pour of the definite article, where the se venger.

English use a possessive pronoun. 2 commettant des outrages.

s'arrachant les cheveux ; lite3 The preposition, in French, rally, 'tearing the hair to himself:' always stands between l'un' and same remark as above.

l'autre,' instead of before, as in 12 cadavre sanglant : carcasse, English.

in French, is said almost exclu4 un coup de feu d.

sively of the bones. 5 les serrant de près.

13 est-ce. 6 écrasé sous les pieds.

14 Je ne veux pas te survivre. 7 il cria d son ennemi.

15 Il n'y eut pas moyen de l'ar8 revint sur ses pas.

rucher du cadavre. 9 feu roulant.

16 mais on l'enleva qui le tenait 10 lui emporta la tête ; literally, tout sanglant. "took off the head to him.' Notice 17 Après qu'il eut été.


A Fox being caught in a trap, was glad to compound for his neck by leaving his tail behind him ;? but, upon coming abroad into the world,” he began to be so sensible of the disgrace such a defect would bring upon him,4 that he almost wished he had died rather than come away without it. However, resolving to make the best of a bad matter, 6 he called a meeting of the rest of the foxes, and proposed that all should follow his example. “ You have no notion,” said he, “ of the ease and comfort with which I now move about :8 I could never have believed it if I had not tried it myself; but really, when one comes to reason upon it, a tail is such an ugly, inconvenient, unnecessary appendage, that the only wonder is that, as foxes, we could have put up with it 10 so long. I propose, therefore, my worthy brethren, that you all profit by the experience that I am most willing to afford you, 11 and that all foxes from this day forward cut off their tails.” 12 Upon this one of the oldest stepped forward, and said, “I rather think, 13 my friend, that you would not have advised us to part with our tails,14 if there were any chance of recovering your own.” 15—(JAMES's Fables of Æsop.)

[ocr errors]


1 fut fort aise d'y laisser sa a preposition, when speaking of a queue pour sauver sa tête.

thing, not of a person. ? mais comme il allait entrer 9 que la seule chose dont on dans le monde.

ue, 3 See page 1, note 8.

10 nous ayons pu l'endurer. 4 See page 6, note 3.

11 dont je suis tout disposé à vous 5 qu'il en vint presque à souhai- faire part. ter d'être mort plutôt que d'avoir 12 et que dorénavant tous les échappé du piége ainsi écourté. renards se coupent la queue. See

6 de tirer le meilleur parti pos- page 10, notes 10 and 11 sible de sa mésaventure; or, de * 13 m'est avis; or, j'ai idée. faire bonne mine à mauvais jeu. 14 de nous défaire de nos queues. (PROV, EXPRESS.)

The word gueues is thus put here 7 il assembla.

in the plural on account of its 8 de la facilité avec laquelle je individual sense, whereas it has puis maintenant aller et venir. above (note 12) a general signifiThe relative pronoun lequel is cation. always used instead of qui, with 15 la tienne.

ON MODESTY. MODESTY is a very good quality, and which generally accompanies true merit : it engages and captivates the minds of people ;2 as, on the other hand, nothing is more shocking and disgustful than presumption and impudence. We cannot like a man who is always commending and speaking well of himself, and who is the hero of his own story. On the contrary, a man who endeavours to conceal his own merit, who sets that of other people in its true light,4 who speaks but little 5 of himself, and with modesty, such a man makes a favourable impression upon the understanding of his hearers, and acquires their love and esteem.

There is, however, a great difference between modesty and an awkward bashfulness, which is as ridiculous as true modesty is commendable. It is as absurd to be a simpleton as to be an impudent fellow ;7 and one ought to know how to come into a room, speak to people, and answer them, without being out of countenance, oro without embarrassment. The English are generally apt to be bashful, and have not those easy, free, and at the same time polite, manners which the French have. 10 (CHESTERFIELD, Letters to his Son.)

1 qualité excellente, et qui possession of the town.') 2 Simply, les esprits.

4 celui des autres dans son vrai 3 qui est toujours à se vanter et à jour. parler en bien (or, dire du bien) de 5 qui ne parle guère; lui; or, .... et à se faire des com- parle que peu. See page 5, pliments. Notice that this turn, note 12

commending and speaking of him 6 de ceux qui l'écoutent. self,' is not allowed by the French 7 Simply, un impudent. grammar. as commending' re- 8 sans être décontenancé (or, . quires a régime direct (accusative concerté, or, empêché de su peror objective case), and 'speaking' sonne); or, sans perdre contea régime indirect. Thus, e.g., we nance. should say, Il attaqua la ville et s'en 9 et. em para, not Il attaqua et s'em para 10 See page 6, note 3. de la ville, ('He attacked and took

« VorigeDoorgaan »