Images de page
PDF
ePub

saying, that for this cause these terrors were suffered to afflict them.

The king of Naples, and Antonio the false brother, repented the injustice they had done to Prospero; and Ariel told his master he was certain their penitence was sincere, and that he, though a spirit, could not but pity them.

"Then bring them hither, Ariel,' said Prospero; if you, who are but a spirit, feel for their distress, shall not I, who am a human being like themselves, have compassion on them? them? Bring them quickly, my dainty

Ariel.'

Ariel soon returned with the king, Antonio, and old Gonzalo in their train, who had followed him, wondering at the wild music he played in the air to draw them on to his master's presence. This Gonzalo was the same who had so kindly provided Prospero formerly with books and provisions, when his wicked brother left him, as he thought, to perish in an open boat in the sea.

Grief and terror had so stupified their senses, that they did not know Prospero. He first discovered himself to the good old Gonzalo, calling him the preserver of his life; and then his brother and the king knew that he was the injured Prospero.

Antonio with tears, and sad words of sorrow and true repentance, implored his brother's forgiveness, and the king expressed his sincere remorse for having assisted Antonio to depose him and Prospero forgave them; and, upon their engaging to restore his dukedom, he said to the king of Naples: "I have a gift in store for you too;' and opening a door, shewed him his son Ferdinand playing at chess with Miranda.

Nothing could exceed the joy of the father and the son

at this unexpected meeting, for they each thought the other drowned in the storm.

'O wonder!' said Miranda, 'what noble creatures these are! It must surely be a brave world that has such people in it.'

The king of Naples was almost as much astonished at the beauty and excellent graces of the young Miranda, as his son had been. 'Who is this maid?' said he; 'she seems the goddess that has parted us, and brought us thus together.'

6

'No, sir,' answered Ferdinand, smiling to find his father had fallen into the same mistake that he had done when he first saw Miranda, she is a mortal, but by immortal Providence she is mine; I chose her when I could not ask you, my father, for your consent, not thinking you were alive. She is the daughter to this Prospero, who is the famous Duke of Milan, of whose renown I have heard so much, but never saw him till now; of him I have received a new life-he has made himself to me a second father, giving me this dear lady.'

'Then I must be her father,' said the king; 'but oh! how oddly will it sound, that I must ask my child's forgiveness!"

'No more of that,' said Prospero; let us not remember our troubles past, since they so happily have ended.'

These kind words which Prospero spoke, meaning to comfort his brother, so filled Antonio with shame and remorse, that he wept and was unable to speak; and the kind old Gonzalo wept to see this joyful reconciliation, and prayed for blessings on the young couple.

Prospero now told them that their ship was safe in the harbour, and the sailors all on board her, and that he and

his daughter would accompany them home the next morning.

Before Prospero left the island, he dismissed Ariel from his service, to the great joy of that lively little spirit; who, though he had been a faithful servant to his master, was always longing to enjoy his free liberty, to wander uncontrolled in the air, like a wild bird, under green trees, among pleasant fruits and sweet smiling flowers. My quaint Ariel,' said Prospero to the little sprite when he made him free, 'I shall miss you; yet you shall have your freedom.'

[ocr errors]

6 Thank you, my dear master,' said Ariel; but give me leave to attend your ship home with prosperous gales, before you bid farewell to the assistance of your faithful spirit; and then, master, when I am free, how merrily I shall live!' Here Ariel sung this pretty song:

'Where the bee sucks, there suck I;

In a cowslip's bell I lie ;

There I couch when owls do cry.

On the bat's back I do fly

After summer merrily:

Merrily, merrily shall I live now

Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.'

Prospero then buried deep in the earth his magical books and wand, for he was resolved never more to make use of the magic art. And having thus overcome his enemies, and being reconciled to his brother and the king of Naples, nothing now remained to complete his happiness, but to revisit his native land, to take possession of his dukedom, and to witness the happy nuptials of his daughter Miranda and Prince Ferdinand, which the king said should be instantly celebrated with great splendour on their return to Naples; at which place, under the safe

convoy of the spirit Ariel, they after a pleasant voyage soon arrived.

[Write from dictation]

Invisible himself, he could stand by and watch his wondering daughter and her companion, and see whether they dared to disobey his commands. The false duke was almost stupified by the discovery he made, and his sincere penitence led to a reconciliation with his exiled brother, and the marriage of the young people, which was celebrated in Naples, after a pleasant voyage, with great splendour.

TOM'S FIRST ADVENTURE.

[Spell and write]

particular, enemies, selected, sentinel, happened, excitement, lieutenant, officer.

'When I was a boy,' said Tom, 'nothing would please me but going to sea. sister Sally said no, and even little Jack, though he was no higher than my knee, said no; but it was no use, for I said yes to them all, and I kept on saying it, till at last, after three years, seeing I wasn't likely to keep steady at anything else, they gave consent. But didn't I repent when it came to the very day; when father said, very kind like: "Come, my lad, it is time to be off!" and mother was sobbing quietly over my bundle, pretending she had some more things to put in, and Sally not pretending at all, but crying with all her might, and little Jack hanging on to my hand as if no one could ever make him leave go. I don't know how I got away, and it brings a lump in my throat even now only to think of it; but I did set off, and I whistled all the way for ten miles to prevent my doing worse. Sailors must be brave, you know, even before they have been on board.

Father said no, mother said no,

'Well, I don't remember anything particular to tell you for the first two or three years; it was but a dull life, after all, for adventures don't happen every day at sea any more than on land; but, after three years, war broke out, and then we had many a watchful night, and many a hard-fought day. We had been sent to a French harbour, where we were to bring off a small party who had landed secretly on a part of the coast to the south of our appointed meeting-place, and were to join us a few miles from the village. The harbour was only a small fishing one, and there was nothing to fear on the land-side; but as some of the enemy's ships might catch sight of us, we kept a strict look-out, and did not make towards land till dusk. I was one of the party selected to go ashore in the boat, and the watchword to those we came to meet was "The little sentinel." Perhaps it is because of all that happened afterwards that I remember that night so well; but when I close my eyes I can just see the moon shining out by fits and starts from behind the clouds, and the waves leaping up in the light. We had gone on quietly for some time, when, suddenly, a dark object loomed in front of us, and we saw in a moment it was the hull of a vessel. Our only chance was that they had not seen us, and that by laying-to for a few minutes till we found all quiet, we might shift our course a bit, and yet reach land. So we lay-to, every face turned to our huge enemy. She lay quite still and dark, not a light to be seen, not a sound to be heard. I could hear my heart beat as I leaned forward on my oar, and turned my head over my shoulder. It did not beat with fear, however, but with excitement. "Muffle oars!" was whispered down the boat's length. glided straight off to the right, catching the full length

"Now, boys!" and we

« PrécédentContinuer »